2. A person who wishes to make either an informal or formal Code of Conduct complaint, or who wishes to make an MCIA application, must follow these procedures.
3. The Commissioner will apply these procedures with necessary modifications when requests or applications are made by City Council, a local board (restricted definition), or a Toronto accountability officer.
4. No new informal complaints, Code of Conduct complaints or MCIA applications can be received after the nomination day for a regular election year, as described in section 31 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.
5. All open inquiries on the nomination day for a regular election, as described in section 31 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, will be suspended in accordance with the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the parties will be so notified and informed of their rights to seek a resumption of such suspended inquiries by the Commissioner.
6. The Commissioner may attempt to settle any matter at any stage.
7. The Commissioner has discretion to waive compliance with any part of these procedures other than those required by the City of Toronto Act, 2006, the Public Inquiries Act, 2009 or Chapter 3 of the Toronto Municipal Code.
8. To make an informal complaint, a person must write and request the Commissioner’s help to settle the matter and provide the following information:
9. The Commissioner will review this information to determine whether the subject matter involves the Code of Conduct and is suitable for the Commissioner to attempt to settle or resolve without an inquiry and, if that is the case, will proceed to do so.
10. The Commissioner will assess if it is suitable for the informal complaint to be settled and may decline to assist at any point.
11. The complainant or the respondent can decline to participate in the informal complaint at any time.
12. Making an informal complaint does not limit a complainant from subsequently filing a Code of Conduct complaint, if the informal complaint is not settled.
13. The Commissioner will not report to City Council about any specific informal complaint, except for anonymized information about the subject matters or statistical information in the Commissioner’s annual report.
14. A person who wishes to make a Code of Conduct complaint must complete a complaint form and send it to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner by email or mail, or deliver it in person to the Office.
15. Within six weeks of becoming aware of an alleged contravention of the MCIA, a person who wishes to make an MCIA application must complete the application form, with the required statutory declaration, and send it to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner by email or mail, or deliver it in person to the Office.
16. A person may file both a Code of Conduct complaint and an MCIA application about the same subject matter, in which case they must file both a complaint form and an application form.
17. If a person is complaining about the actions of more than one member, a separate complaint form or application must be filed for each member.
18. The Commissioner will review all Code of Conduct complaints and MCIA applications to verify that they are properly filed in accordance with these procedures and, as applicable, the requirements of the City of Toronto Act, 2006.
19. All Code of Conduct complaints and MCIA applications that are properly filed will be reviewed by the Commissioner to determine whether the subject matter of the complaint or application is within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner.
20. The Commissioner may dismiss a Code of Conduct complaint or an MCIA application without conducting any inquiry if:
21. The Commissioner may dismiss a Code of Conduct complaint without conducting any inquiry if:
a. there has been a substantial delay between the request and the incidents that are the subject matter of the complaint and because of the delay the investigation would serve no useful purpose; or,
b. the Commissioner is of the opinion that the investigation would serve no useful purpose.
22. The Commissioner must, subject to the exception below, dismiss an MCIA application, without conducting any inquiry, when the application is submitted more than six weeks after the applicant became aware of the alleged contravention. The only exception to this time limit is if the applicant knew of the alleged contravention within six weeks of nomination day of a regular election for City Council and submits their application within six weeks after voting day.
23. If a Code of Conduct complaint or an MCIA application is not dismissed, the Commissioner will conduct an inquiry into the matter.
24. The Commissioner will inform the complainant or applicant of the outcome of the intake review.
25. If a Code of Conduct complaint or an MCIA application is dismissed at the intake stage, the Commissioner will not inform the respondent of the Code of Conduct complaint or MCIA application unless the Commissioner determines that it is otherwise appropriate to do so.
26. In the case of an inquiry about a Code of Conduct complaint, the Commissioner will inform the respondent of the substance of the allegations and provide the respondent the opportunity to provide a response within a specified time. The Commissioner may provide the response to the complainant for reply.
27. In the case of an inquiry about an MCIA application, the Commissioner will provide the respondent with a copy of the MCIA application filed and provide the respondent the opportunity to provide a response within a specified time. The Commissioner may provide the response to the applicant for reply.
28. If the same person has made a Code of Conduct complaint and an MCIA application about the same subject matter, the Commissioner may conduct a single inquiry into both.
29. If more than one person makes a Code of Conduct complaint or MCIA application about the same subject matter, the Commissioner may combine these into a single inquiry.
30. When conducting inquires in relation to Code of Conduct complaints and MCIA applications, the Commissioner may use the powers of investigation set out in Part V of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, including the powers provided in section 33 of the Public Inquiries Act, 2009.
31. The Commissioner will seek and share information with and from the complainant, the respondent and witnesses as is necessary to complete the inquiry, in a manner that is procedurally fair, proportionate, and that enables the Commissioner to maintain secrecy with respect to matters in accordance with sub-section 161(1) of the City of Toronto Act, 2006.
32. Should, during the course of an inquiry into an MCIA application, the Commissioner determine that the subject matter may also, or alternatively, give rise to a possible Code of Conduct contravention, the Commissioner may treat the matter as a Code of Conduct complaint, and if so will inform the respondent, provide an opportunity to provide a response, and proceed as if a Code of Conduct complaint had also been made with respect to the subject matter of the MCIA application.
33. If the Commissioner determines when conducting an inquiry about a Code of Conduct complaint or MCIA application that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a contravention of the Criminal Code of Canada or an offence committed under any other Act, other than the MCIA, the Commissioner will suspend the inquiry and the complainant or applicant will be so advised. The Commissioner must report this matter to the appropriate authority and the suspension of the inquiry to City Council. The Commissioner’s investigation will remain suspended until any resulting police investigation and prosecution have concluded.
34. During the course of an inquiry into a Code of Conduct complaint or MCIA application , the Commissioner may determine that there are insufficient or no grounds for a further investigation, the complaint or application is frivolous, vexatious, not made in good faith, or that the continued investigation would serve no useful purpose and, in these circumstances, the Commissioner will so notify the parties and make no report about the matter.
35. The Commissioner shall not issue a report finding a violation of the Code of Conduct on the part of any respondent unless the respondent has had notice of the basis for the proposed finding and any recommended penalty or remedial action, and an opportunity either in person or in writing to comment on the proposed findings and any recommended sanction or remedial action.
36. If the Commissioner concludes that a respondent contravened the Code of Conduct, the report will contain a recommendation regarding penalty or remedial action and be filed with City Council or the applicable local board (restricted definition) in accordance with Council or the board’s procedures.
37. If the Commissioner concludes that the respondent did not contravene the Code of Conduct, the report will be provided to the complainant and respondent. The Commissioner may file all or any portion of the report with City Council or the board, as applicable, should the Commissioner determine that the report contains useful guidance or interpretation about the meaning of the Code of Conduct for members, or for any other similar reason.
38. At the conclusion of the inquiry or within 180 days from the application date, whichever is earlier, the Commissioner will notify the applicant and respondent whether the Commissioner intends to apply to a judge of the Superior Court of Justice under section 8 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act for a determination about whether the respondent has contravened section 5, 1 or 5.2 of that Act and publish written reasons for the decision.
39. In making a decision, the Commissioner may consider whether the inquiry established that the conduct at issue was also, or instead, contrary to the Code of Conduct and, accordingly, whether the matter could be adequately addressed by a report to City Council or the applicable local board (restricted definition), including an adjudicative board.
Effective date: September 27, 2021
This content is available to download as a PDF: Complaint and Application Procedures.