If you are a current public appointee to a City board, committee, or tribunal, or if you are an applicant looking for more details about the roles and responsibilities of public appointees, read on to find some helpful resources and information.

Public members are typically appointed to two or four year terms of office, though terms can vary in some cases. The limit on length of service is two consecutive four-year terms on the same board, committee, or tribunal, or eight years of consecutive service.

Public appointees may take a leave of absence from their position for an extended period of time for any reason. No remuneration or expenses will be paid to the member while they are on leave. City Council may fill the vacancy on a temporary basis depending on the duration of the leave and other requirements. In order to take a leave of absence, the public appointee needs to notify the City Clerk’s Office and the board, committee, or tribunal.

Any public appointee that wishes to run for or seek appointment to any elected office is required to take a leave of absence. The leave of absence must begin on or before the date of application to or the date of nomination for the elected office.

If a public appointee wishes to resign, they need to notify the City Clerk’s Office immediately and state the date their resignation takes effect.

The standards of conduct for many City of Toronto appointees are detailed in the Code of Conduct for Members of Local Boards or the Code of Conduct for Members of Adjudicative Boards. In these cases, the City of Toronto’s Integrity Commissioner is responsible for providing advice, complaint resolution and education to these members on the application of the codes of conduct, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA) and other bylaws, policies and legislation governing ethical behaviour.

 In other cases, members of the public may be appointed to boards which are governed by their own policies and codes of conduct. In all cases, public appointees are expected to meet the highest standards of conduct to maintain and foster the City of Toronto’s reputation and integrity.

As a public appointee, you may be subject to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA). Among other things, the MCIA requires that if a public appointee is present at a meeting at which a matter is considered in which they have a direct or indirect pecuniary interest they must:

  • disclose the interest and its general nature;
  • refrain from taking part in the discussion or voting on any question in relation to the matter; and
  • not influence the voting on any related questions.

City staff cannot give members advice on their interests. Members must independently determine if they have an interest for the purposes of the MCIA. Resources available to public appointees includes:

  • For more information on how to declare an interest, members may consult their board secretary or the City of Toronto’s Integrity Commissioner.

If you are not sure if your position falls under the jurisdiction of the MCIA, please contact our office.

Most City boards, committees, and tribunals are governed by the open meeting rules in the City of Toronto Act. Under the Act, the public is entitled to attend meetings, except when the meeting is properly closed for one of a small number of reasons. Any person who believes a meeting has been closed improperly can complain and the City/board is obliged to arrange an independent investigation.

Public service is implied in any public appointments by the City of Toronto. The City of Toronto’s Remuneration Policy states that where paid, remuneration for public appointees should reflect the level of responsibility, the necessary qualifications, the frequency of meetings, and amount of preparation required. More information on any remuneration for each opportunity is posted on each of the Boards, Committees and Tribunals application pages.

Under the City of Toronto’s Expense and Travel Reimbursement Policy, boards may reimburse members for certain expenses. The Policy sets out guidelines for reimbursement within the context of the board’s activities and budget.

The City hosted two online information sessions in winter 2023 to share details on the kinds of opportunities that are available and how to apply. If you missed these sessions, you can watch a recording of the presentation with closed captioning.