Town of Peace River revises Code of Conduct Bylaw

Town of Peace River will be making changes to Council Code of Conduct Bylaw No. 2083, which administration noticed had a clause that was contrary to the Freedom of Information Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. The bylaw was undergoing legal review for proposed revision, and while being reviewed the town’s legal counsel discovered a clause that references the employment of the chief administrative officer. Administration notes that it is an inappropriate location for such a clause, and that there is a portion that is in contravention of a part of FOIP, specifically the part that states, “the motion for ratification shall include the contract term, remuneration and severance provisions and shall form part of the public record of that meeting.” Some of the information was not part of routine disclosure and goes against section 17, Disclosure Harmful to Personal Privacy and section 24 (1)(c)- Advice from Officials. “(Noticing) this was a coincidence as the bylaw was being reviewed and the part about the CAO was noticed and we happened to be hiring a CAO,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer. “Council took the opportunity to amend that part of the bylaw now.” Council’s legal counsel recommended removing the clause from the Code of Conduct Bylaw completely and move it, with amendments, to the CAO bylaw. The current bylaw requires amendments in the interim to ensure that council’s motion to hire the new CAO is in compliance with bylaws. Other amendments to the code of conduct and the CAO bylaw will need to be made, but administration says this will take more time by legal counsel. “Further changes may happen and will be brought to council for review in the future,” says Manzer.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter - South Peace News - southpeacenews.com

Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, South Peace News