Mayor Mike Morden said the council conduct bylaw puts everything under one roof. (THE NEWS/Files)

Mayor Mike Morden said the council conduct bylaw puts everything under one roof. (THE NEWS/Files)

Maple Ridge council conduct bylaw passes three readings

Fourth reading expected May 12

A council conduct bylaw is one step closer to being reality after it passed three readings at a recent council meeting.

The bylaw was revised following a meeting on April 7 Committee of the Whole meeting and brought forward at the April 21 meeting where it was eventually carried forward, opposed by Councillors Ahmed Yousef, Kiersten Duncan and Gordy Robson.

The proposed behaviour bylaw, Council Conduct Bylaw No. 7637-202, sets out standards of conduct for council and sets out how complaints of misconduct should be handled, investigated, and penalized, if deemed appropriate.

Councillor Duncan was most concerned with the formal complaint process that is spelled out in the document that was first put under scrutiny at a committee meeting in early April.

READ MORE: Council conduct bylaw under scrutiny in Maple Ridge

The section informs councillors how to file a formal complaint against one or more councillors who they feel are not complying with the bylaw.

It says that the complaint must be made in writing and addressed to a “complaints investigator,” a member of council or subcommittee of council, or a third party investigator – which is selected by council.

However, senior policy analyst and policy lead, Laura Benson explained that this bylaw allows council to operate as a group.

The choosing of an investigator is a decision for all of council and will depend on what the situation is, she noted.

This will give them the latitude to hire an investigator with the appropriate skills to look into a matter. Or if a matter is “cut and dry”, where a council member contravened the bylaw, didn’t realize it and apologized, then an investigator does not have to be hired.

“In that case council could be the investigator,”said Benson.

RELATED: Maple Ridge council bylaw change undermines democratic principles

Benson also said accusations about the city taking away computers and phones given to councillors to use as a penalty for not complying with the bylaw, is not accurate.

“What the bylaw speaks to is city assets provided for convenience,” said Benson. Not laptops, tablets or phones that are being used to comply with the city’s security policy.

Councillor Duncan was disappointed that the bylaw was carried forward, saying it was “fairly unusual” for they bylaw to pass three readings in one meeting.

“The only time we typically pass something first, second and third reading is if it’s very straight forward and no controversy and it’s just an update to a bylaw,” said Duncan

“You never do that for a brand new bylaw,” she said.

“It really actually doesn’t change a whole lot in our world right now,” said City of Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden.

“We have an existing code of conduct which we have all signed and we have a truck load of policies that are already in place,” said Morden.

When he was first elected, Morden said, he didn’t have a full sense of the scope of the rights, obligations and the role of the councillor.

Morden spent two terms on Maple Ridge council, from 2009 to 2014, but lost when he ran for mayor in 2014.

“This now puts it all into one place,” he said.

The bylaw is expected to go to a fourth reading at a council meeting on Tuesday, May 12.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City Council

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

New mural at Glenwood Elementary School designed by Jillian Currie. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge school to unveil new mural

Grizzly bear mural to be unveiled on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Letter writer Sarah Chesterman is urging society to protect nature, noting old growth forests provide homes for animals such as this endangered western screech owl. (Special to The News)
LETTER: Maple Ridge resident urges people to value trees for more than money

Preserving old growth forests are vital to the survival of humans, letter writer says

The vigil will be held on the grounds of Holy Spirit Anglican Church in Whonnock. (Google Maps/Special to The News)
Bells will be tolling in Maple Ridge for victims of former residential school

The bells at Holy Spirit Anglican Church will toll 215 times on Monday, June 21

Share your opinion via email, through our website or in a posted letter. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Maple Ridge man critical of public’s gullibility

News has become entertainment and public only has itself to blame, letter writer says

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

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

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read