Maple Ridge Mayor Michael Morden

Maple Ridge Mayor Michael Morden

Bylaw lays out rules for Maple Ridge council conduct

Actions of municipal politicians can now be controlled further by fellow councillors

Maple Ridge council now has recourse, if any of its municipal politicians aren’t acting appropriately.

A somewhat contentious council conduct bylaw, criticized by some councillors at the table, was given final approval this week.

The concept was initialy floated by Mayor Michael Morden just after he was sworn in to office in 2018, and it came to life following a vote on Tuesday.

SOME HISTORY: New schedule, new code for Maple Ridge council

This bylaw follows in the footsteps of many elected bodies across the country, not just unique to politicians but also to many organizations who set professional standards of conduct, insisted the mayor.

“The public expects and deserves a high standard from their elected officials,” Morden said.

“It is the responsibility of each elected representative to listen, consider, and communicate respectfully with each other, staff and the public as we make decisions that shape our city. By working together with professionalism, respect, and with open minds, we can be successful in our role as community leaders, regardless of differences of opinion.”

EARLIER IN THE PROCESS: Council conduct bylaw under scrutiny in Maple Ridge

In past, two-term councillor Kiersten Duncan feared this bylaw was designed for her, in particular.

“I think it’s very scary. I think it’s very undemocratic, and it’s being used to silence members of council,” she said in past.

Likewise, former mayor turned councillor Gordy Robson questions the enforcability of such a document.

“I don’t think council should be in the position of trying to discipline one of their own members, and I think this bylaw may lead to that,” he said after the issue was raised at a committee of the whole meeting last month.

At that time, Coun. Ahmed Yousef said he opposed to the bylaw, feeling the spirit of the code does not build team dynamics.

PAST REACTION: LETTER – Bylaw pushes council towards dictatorship

Meanwhile, Coun. Chelsa Meadus spoke clearly in favour of the bylaw, believing it puts mechanisms into place that facilitate a respectful workplace.

Morden believes the bylaw creates a “culture of transparency, accountability, and collaborative decision making.”

The mayor’s goal, he said, is to inspire public trust and confidence and foster a safe and respectful environment for all.

Further, he continued, it ensures respect for the collective decisions of council when representing the city in public forums and in intergovernmental relations, while holding each other accountable for conduct.

RELATED: Maple Ridge council conduct bylaw passes three readings

“If we want the best people to run for office then we have to ensure there is a strong culture of accountability, which starts from this chamber and will emanate out into the community. In a time when collaboration and leadership are more critical than ever, now is the best time to set high professional standards to ensure great outcomes for the City of Maple Ridge now, and for the future,” he concluded.

The new council conduct bylaw, Morden said, is a legal framework that consolidates existing bylaws, policies, and standards consistent with this council’s past practice of creating compendium bylaws to collate regulations into one document.

He added that overarching senior government legislation, such as the Criminal Code, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, WorkSafe regulations are included as related schedules and appendices. And the Community Charter and Local Government Act define the legal obligations of local elected council members.

OTHER VIEWS: Citizen Ink – Maple Ridge council bylaw change undermines democratic principles

“This will be one of the great legacies of this council. It will ensure good governance, maintain civil discourse, each being held accountable for how we treat each other, our staff, and the public. It brings clarity and definition to how we serve,” Morden said.

.

• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

City Councilmaple ridge

Just Posted

Vanessa Barrett is competing to be the face of fitness for a health and bodybuilding magazine. (Vanessa Barrett/Special to the Maple Ridge News)
Ridge fitness champ aims to become face of magazine

Vanessa Barrett wants to add ‘Ms Fitness’ to her titles of entrepreneur and mom

A Nova Scotia court has overturned the conviction of a man with ties to Maple Ridge. (Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck)
Conviction thrown out for supposed leader of Maple Ridge cannabis smuggling conspiracy

A Nova Scotia appeals court found there wasn’t enough evidence and quashed a four-year sentence

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Darryl Mazor share a photo of his 78-year-old mother, Rena Mazor, singing to her 45-year-old cockatoo, Sassie. (Special to The News)
PHOTOS: Only one Fab Senior could win…

But there were more than a dozen worthy seniors who were entered in the photo contest

During a recent late afternoon, with a nice breeze blowing through her Maple Ridge backyard, Zoe Bell caught pictures of a hummingbird visiting her garden, then about 30 minutes later a “beautiful butterfly” arrived to help the boths, bees, and other insects pollinate. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Searching blooms for sweet nectar

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Most Read