Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria applauds the Working Group on Responsible Conduct (WGRC) for its creation of a resource to provide guidance on ways to prevent conduct issues by local elected officials, and how best to deal with them.
The 46-page Forging the Path to Responsible Conduct in Your Local Government is a critical resource for local governments, a joint initiative of the WGRC that included the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), the Local Government Management Association of British Columbia, and the B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
“This is not a report that should sit on a shelf and gather dust,” says John Treleaven, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$. “Good governance must include local elected officials holding themselves accountable for rare instances of bad behavior and damage to credibility.”
“It’s not good enough to say ‘bad conduct will be dealt with by voters sometime in the distance future.’ Bad conduct impacts the reputation of everyone and brings local government into disrepute. It also scares voters away from the polls at election time,” Treleaven says.
Of note, City of Victoria council is at an early stage of conducting a governance review, so we would urge them to embrace some of the suggestions in the guide.
The guide provides advice on fostering responsible conduct, maintaining good governance and resolving conduct issues for those who serve on Councils and Boards. It also includes considerations for local governments who wish to establish an enforcement process within a Code of Conduct.
We agree with Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs who says, “This guide is an important step that will help local governments develop clear codes of conduct, along with effective enforcement practices and solid governance structures, so they can better serve the people who rely on their leadership.”
Forging the Path to Responsible Conduct in Your Local Government, WGRC, Press Release, April 2021.
Councillor wants review on how Victoria is governed, Times Colonist, Oct. 22, 2020.
When councils misbehave, there are remedies, Grumpy Taxpayer$, Jan. 2021.