Grimsby council to consider more transparent process for integrity reports

·1 min read

After another update from the town’s integrity commissioner Charles Harnick this week, Grimsby council will consider whether all integrity reports should be made public during its next meeting on Nov.16.

The notice of motion was put forward by Coun. Lianne Vardy, who expressed disappointment with the minimal information Harnick was able to provide council in regards to a recently filed complaint that Harnick himself terminated.

According to Harnick, the town’s current rules surrounding integrity reports prevents him from disclosing any more information that could compromise the privacy of the councillors involved.

Speaking to council, Harnick delivered his latest report, and said the matter had been closed by himself after reviewing the material provided to him by the complainant.

“I am reporting to council that a specific complaint between two councillors has been terminated, that is really all I can say about it.

"I am obligated to report to council that the complaint has been terminated, and that is the extent of my report.”

Coun. Dorothy Bothwell added she would also be interested in learning more about the costs of the costs the town has incurred when it comes to dealing with integrity complaints since Harnick last presented to council in the summer.

“I would like to know many complaints have been filed since Aug 17, and the costs associated with those complaints.”

Harnick presented his last round of findings to council during its July 20 meeting, where four of the six complaints filed were dismissed.

Council will consider the motion during its next meeting on Nov. 16, which would make public the findings of all integrity reports, including those that are dismissed, or terminated, by the commissioner.

Bryan Levesque, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News