Working group to examine codes of conduct for N.S. municipal officials

·1 min read
Nova Scotia Municipal Affairs Minister John Lohr sent a letter at the end of November to the province's 49 municipalities, updating them on the regulations governing conduct for elected officials. (Tom Ayers/CBC - image credit)
Nova Scotia Municipal Affairs Minister John Lohr sent a letter at the end of November to the province's 49 municipalities, updating them on the regulations governing conduct for elected officials. (Tom Ayers/CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia's minister of municipal affairs has set up a working group to turn regulations governing conduct for municipal officials into law.

In a letter sent last month to the province's 49 municipalities, John Lohr said the 2017 regulations establishing municipal codes of conduct and a 2021 amendment requiring third-party investigations of complaints were never proclaimed "to support their implementation."

Lohr also said possible sanctions for breaching the codes of conduct will be considered.

Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood, who is representing the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities on this issue, said it's taken far too long to get to this point.

"It's not rocket science to enact good behaviour, and it shouldn't be 49 different codes. Hopefully it will be one," said Mood.

Violations should have serious consequences, says mayor

Mood said bad behaviour between elected officials or with staff is more common than most people realize, so she is anxious for codes of conduct to include serious consequences for violations.

"Just horrific behaviour results in that person still getting a paycheque. You can take them off committees, but they still get paid," she said.

The working group will have representatives from the federation, the Association of Nova Scotia Villages, the Association of Municipal Administrators and the Department of Municipal Affairs.

Mood expects it will take another 12 to 18 months before the Municipal Government Act is finally updated.

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