Integrity Commissioner Message, Biography and Role
Ethical decision-making is critical to a government’s reputation and its relationship with the public. Reputation shapes the public’s opinion about government officials’ personal integrity, honesty and overall government performance. In some cases, it can overpower all other values of a government organization, including competence, experience and expertise.
Elected officials are representatives of the public and they are expected to:
- answer public inquires in a clear and timely manner
- avoid any interest or activity (financial or personal) that conflicts with official duties
- oversee the management of taxpayers’ money
- treat everyone fairly
Code of Ethical Conduct for Members of Council
Vaughan’s Accountability and Transparency Committee tasked the Integrity Commissioner to develop an updated Code of Ethical Conduct for Members of Council and Local Boards (PDF). The code has many important functions:
- It discusses expectations for behaviour and actions of Council Members in various situations.
- It indicates that Council Members will be held accountable if a section of the code is violated.
- It provides a tool to evaluate and strengthen support for acting ethically and responsibly.
The primary role of the Integrity Commissioner is to educate Members of Council on the requirements found in the code. This is done to prevent violations before they occur. At the beginning of each term of Council, all new and returning Council Members meet with the Integrity Commissioner to discuss their obligations outlined by the code.
Video messages from Suzanne Craig
Message about the 2016-2017 Integrity Commissioner Annual Report
Message about the role of the Integrity Commissioner
Suzanne Craig has an extensive educational background. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and attended the American University of Rome, Italy, where she received a post-graduate degree. Ms. Craig also completed the doctor of law program at the University of Rome, Italy, and the master of law program at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.
With more than 15 years of legal, management and policy experience in the public and private sectors, she has an in-depth understanding of the procedures, rules and investigative processes of provincial and municipal agencies, boards and commissions.
Ms. Craig was an independent administrative tribunal agent, arbitrator and mediator across Ontario, in the areas of labour relations, human rights, workplace safety, insurance and tenant protection. She was also a lawyer in Italy and a forensic investigator in the European banking sector.
Ms. Craig held various leadership positions at the Province of Ontario where she built effective and sustainable compliance frameworks based on the principles of openness, transparency and accountability. Her major tasks involved creating quality assurance initiatives, leading complaint investigations and developing corporate ethics strategies. Her positions included:
- director of Corporate Access and Privacy at the City of Toronto
- special projects advisor at the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
- legislative provincial specialist at the Ministry of Labour
The Integrity Commissioner ensures all Members of Council follow the Code of Ethical Conduct for Members of Council and Local Boards (PDF) and handles matters when a section of the code is violated. This involves:
- determining whether a Council Member has made a violation
- giving written and verbal advice to the Council Member(s) that made the alleged violation
- investigating requests made by a member of the public or Council to decide whether a Council Member has violated a section of the code
- providing Council and City staff with general advice on issues of ethics and integrity including codes of conduct, policies, protocols and office procedures, and emphasizing the importance of ethics in municipal government
- publishing an annual report on the work of the Integrity Commissioner, including complaints received and disposed of and general terms of advice
- reporting violations and outlining recommendations that are in accordance with any City protocols, policies and the Ontario Municipal Act, 2001.
- uploading a report to the City’s website and holding an open meeting of Council to inform the public on the violation(s) made
Office of the Integrity Commissioner
Phone: 905-832-2281 ext. 8301
Executive Assistant to the Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registry Liaison:
905-832-2281 ext. 8314
Vaughan City Hall
2141 Major MacKenzie Dr.
Vaughan, ON L6A 1T1