The members of Laval city council voted unanimously on Feb. 7 to adopt a new by-law containing a code of ethics and professional conduct. According to provincial law, every municipality is expected to have such a by-law on its books by March 1.
“This is a good habit that the legislators have just added to our political ways of doing things and which adds to the various other gestures meant to guarantee our commitments for integrity, transparency and probity towards our citizens,” said Mayor Marc Demers.
Prior to the adoption of the new code of ethics, the city’s Bureau d’intégrité et d’éthique de Laval (BIEL) carried out an analysis of Laval’s existing ethics controls and measures and proposed modifications.
As an example of what sort of thing will now have to be reported under the new ethics regulations, any city official who receives a gratuity or gift worth more than $100 will now have to file a written declaration with the City of Laval’s public clerk’s office.
“The principal modification we are bringing to this is that the code will henceforth apply to political employees in addition to the elected officials,” added the mayor. “We are in fact going further than we are legally obliged to and on this we have been unanimous.”
Right direction: Opposition
“Despite the fact that these control mechanisms applying this new code don’t apply legally to the political employees of the offices of the mayor or of the opposition, were are today taking a step in the right direction,” said Fabreville city councillor Claude Larochelle, the sole member of the official opposition.
“It was necessary to adopt this new code of ethics and professional conduct with unanimity and with a spirit of consensus,” added Chomedey city councillor Aglaia Revelakis. “I am very happy to have had the opportunity to add to this new code with my experiences and ideas, in order to better serve the citizens of Laval and Chomedey.”