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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: Would Maple Ridge councillors want cannabis store beside them?

Resident concerned about how close cannabis store is to her home

Sign on the door explains Service BC office in Maple Ridge is by appointment. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Covid exposure closes Maple Ridge Service BC office

Open by appointment only next week

Linda Peters want to start a Butterflyway in the community. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Maple Ridge gardener rallying community to create a ‘butterflyway’

Linda Peters has volunteered with the David Suzuki Foundation to become a butterflyway ranger

Cases for the week of March 28 to April 3, created April 7 by the BC Centre for Disease Control.
COVID-19 weekly case counts hit 231 in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

CDC reports 1,941 cases in both cities since January 2020

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

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

(File photo)
Youths confront man seen masturbating while walking his dog

Police say it happened Thursday (April 8) on walking path in Surrey

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, pictured here in October 2020, had its third COVID-19 outbreak declared on April 9, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
3rd COVID outbreak at care home run by Chilliwack church known for opposing vaccinations

30-bed Sunset Manor owned and operated by Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Most Read