Accountability and Transparency

accountability word art

At the City of Thorold, we are committed to making every effort to provide the community with as much information as possible.  If you cannot find what you are looking for, or for more information about accountability and transparency measures, contact the Clerks Department at 905-227-6613 or clerk@thorold.ca

Complaints Policy

The Ontario Ombudsman is an independent and impartial Officer of the Ontario Legislature that can resolve complaints about government and public sector bodies. In 2016, the Ombudsman was granted the ability to review complaints about the administration of municipalities and their services and programs.

Before contacting the Ombudsman with concerns about the City of Thorold, you should try to resolve complaints through our regular channels, as laid out in the City’s complaint policy. If you have already done this and are not satisfied with the outcome, you may contact the Ontario Ombudsman. Please note that City staff will not forward complaints to the Ombudsman on your behalf.

Further details about the Ontario Ombudsman can be found on their website. You may contact the Ombudsman for more information.

Council Accountability and Transparency 

Code of Conduct and Integrity Commissioner 

The City of Thorold has approved a Code of Conduct for Members of Council and Local Boards. The Code of Conduct also includes an Appendix B, which lays out a complaint procedure that the Integrity Commissioner is to follow when reviewing complaints. If you believe a Councillor or Member of a Local Board has violated section(s) of the Code of Conduct, you may submit a complaint. 

Complaints may be submitted in-person to a member of the Clerk's Department Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays. 

Note, your submission must include a signed affidavit, sworn before a commissioner of oaths. This may be done at Thorold City Hall. 

Individuals should make an appointment with the Clerk's Department for commissioning and to submit a complaint, which can be done by calling 905-227-6613/ 

Council Remuneration, Expenses and Gifts Registry 

Members of Council are required to publicly report and publish a statement of gifts received, salary, benefits and expenses twice a year. You may contact the City for additional information.

Council Conflict of Interest Registry 

As of March 1, 2019, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and the Municipal Act, 2001 together establish a new, integrated framework for municipal conflict of interest rules.

Under this new framework, the Integrity Commissioner is now responsible for providing Members of Council and members of the City’s local boards with conflict of interest advice.

Declaration of Interest Registry

  •  What happens when a member has a conflict of interest? 
    • When a member has a conflict of interest, they are expected to:
      • Disclose the interest and the general nature of the interest before the matter is considered at a meeting;
      • Complete the Conflict of Interest Form;
      • Not participate in the discussion or vote on the matter;
      • Not attempt to influence the voting on the matter before, during or after the meeting.
  •  Who can file for an inquiry?
    • An eligible elector or a person demonstrably acting in the public interest who believes a member has contravened the conflict of interest rules in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, may apply to the Integrity Commissioner for an inquiry.
  •  Are there any restrictions on when an applicant can apply?
    • An applicant must apply to the Integrity Commissionerfor an inquiry within six weeks of becoming aware of the conflict of interest.
    • In a municipal election year, the Integrity Commissioner cannot accept applications between Nomination Day (the fourth Friday in July and Voting Day (the fourth Monday in October).
    • If an individual becomes aware of a conflict of interest during this period, the applicant must apply to the Integrity Commissioner within six weeks after Voting Day.
    • If the Integrity Commissioner has not completed an investigation before Nomination Day in a municipal election year, the investigation must be terminated on Nomination Day.
  •  How can I apply for an inquiry?
    • An individual, who believes a Member of Council or a member of a local board has violated the conflict of interest rules in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, may apply to the Integrity Commissioner for an inquiry into the matter.

Procedure of Council Meetings  

The City passed By-law 26-2021 to govern the proceeding of council and committee meetings. This by-law deals with things such as the time, place, and forum of meetings, the order of matters discussed, and the process by which individuals can ask to present or delegate at meetings.

Closed Meetings 

The Municipal Act recognizes that the public should be able to observe municipal government in action. Council and local board meetings must therefore be open to the public. The Municipal Act, does allow for meetings, or part of a meeting, to be closed to the public for discussion of certain matters.

If you have concerns that City Council or a board went into closed session during a meeting, you may contact the Ontario Ombudsman, which serves as the City’s Closed Meeting Investigator. For more information, please visit the Ombudsman's website. 

Access to Information and Privacy
i) Information and Records Requests

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) governs the collection, use and disclosure of information within municipalities in Ontario. The purpose of the Act is to:

1) provide a right of access to information under the control and custody of institutions in accordance with the principles that,

1a) information should be available to the public;

1b) necessary exemptions from the right of access should be limited and specific and related to the Act; and

1c) decisions on the disclosure of information should be reviewed independently of the institution controlling the information; and

2) protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by institutions and to provide individuals with a right of access to their own personal information.

MFIPPA provides an individual with the right to access records of information, including their own personal information, under the custody and control of a local government institution with certain limitations in order to protect personal and sensitive information. Everyone has the right to access a record in the custody and control of the City of Thorold, unless it falls within one of the exemptions as described in MFIPPA.

The City of Thorold has also created a Routine Disclosure Policy to ensure that information is available to its residents and to reaffirm its commitment to open and transparent government.

Routine Disclosure it the routine release of certain types of administrative and operational records in response to informal rather that formal requests under MFIPPA.

You may also contact the City Clerk if you wish to obtain a copy of a specific by-law.

For non-routine information and/or records requests, you will need to complete the Freedom of Information Request Form and pay the $5 filing fee (per request). Additional fees may apply if a lot of research and photocopying is required. The City Clerk has 30 days to respond to Freedom of Information Requests unless an extension is required, in which case notification is provided to the applicant in writing outlining the reasons.

ii) Privacy

The City of Thorold is committed to ensuring the security of personal information in its possession. All information collected by the City of Thorold is done in accordance with relevant privacy legislation.

The principal purpose(s) for which the personal information is intended to be used is for the distribution of information as subscribed to on this page using the contact information you have provided.

For any questions or concerns regarding the collection of your personal information, please contact the Clerk’s Department.

Please visit Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC)'s website for more information about privacy laws in Ontario.

Public Code of Conduct

The City of Thorold oversees a diverse community which recognizes and supports the rights of all people to be free from discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, mental or physical disability or any other prohibited ground of discrimination. All community members should expect to access City services without being subjected to discriminatory or other inappropriate behaviour.

Similarly, all City staff as well as members of Council, local boards and advisory committees deserve to be able to work free from discriminatory or other inappropriate behavior, including harassment, bullying, intimidation and disparagement.

The City will not tolerate for any reason, discriminatory or inappropriate behaviour in any form including on social media against staff or Council while they are performing their regular job duties in the community.

The City is committed to ensuring a respectful environment for all users while attending or working at municipal facilities or events. In order to achieve this, the City has established a Public Code of Conduct to outline procedures for dealing with inappropriate behaviour arising from the use of a City service or facility, and direct or indirect interactions with City staff and members of Council, committees and of local boards. 

Contact Us

© 2018 The Corporation of the City of Thorold, 3540 Schmon Parkway, PO Box 1044, Thorold ON, L2V 4A7

Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday

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