Accountability and Transparency

accountability word art

 Integrity Commissioner

The Integrity Commissioner is appointed by Council to oversee the conduct and ethical behaviour of City Council Members and members of their local boards.

In 2007, the Municipal Act (the 'Act') was amended to provide municipalities with greater autonomy but also to mandate the implementation of various accountability and transparency measures.  

We are committed to conducting business in an open, transparent and accountable manner, and have embedded these principles within our various policies, practices and procedures.  Thorold City Council adopted a Code of Conduct for Mayor and Council and Local Boards in 2015 and updated it in 2019.  Council also appointed an Integrity Commissioner for the purpose of investigating Code of Conduct and Municipal Conflict of Interest concerns, Mr. Mascarin can be reached at

We make every effort to provide the community with as much information as possible.  If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact us.

By-Law 26-2021 - Govern the Calling Place and Proceedings of Council Meetings

Declaration of Interest Registry

Complaints Handling Policy

Code of Conduct for Mayor and Council and Local Boards

Appendix B - Complaint Protocol for Code of Conduct 

Public Code of Conduct

Policy 100-32 - Council and Staff Communication Policy

Policy 400-07 - Routine Disclosure Policy


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.

Closed Meeting Investigations

Top 10 Tips for Municipal Officials

1. Know and follow the Municipal Act, 2001 and your procedure by-law’s open meeting requirements.

 2. Make sure you have a procedure by-law that complies with the Municipal Act – every municipality and local board is required to have one.

 3. Give adequate advance public notice of all meetings, including the time and location of all meetings.

 4. Keep meetings open to the public unless closure is specifically authorized under the Municipal Act and there is a real need to exclude the public. 

5. Pick the right s. 239 exception before closing a meeting.

6. Pass a resolution in public that includes meaningful information about the issue to be considered (not just the exception) – before closing the doors.

7. Record the meeting, including all decisions, by taking minutes, and preferably also by recording audio or video.

8. Stay on topic – don’t stray from the subject stated in the resolution.

9. Do not hold a vote in closed session unless it is for a procedural matter or to give directions to staff or officials.

10. To the extent possible, report back publicly in open session about what occurred in closed session. Accessible PDF of the Ombudsman's "Open Meetings - Guide for Municipalities.  

 Office of the Ombudsman

The Ombudsman listens to and investigates complaints and concerns about City Staff and unfairness in the delivery of City services.

An Ombudsman is an impartial investigator who looks into complaints about the administration of the city's services or programs, in those times where the city's internal complaint procedures and process have not resolved the issue to your satisfaction.  Before contacting the Ombudsman, you must always try to resolve complaints through our regular channels.

A complaint may only be filed with the Ombudsman if it is related to the administration of the city.  It is not a request for service, such as notifying the Region of Niagara about missed garbage collection, or a question, such as asking for specific information related to a city program or service.

If you have already tried to have your complaint addressed by the city and are not satisfied with the outcome, then you can contact the Ombudsman.

Filing a complaint with the Ombudsman

The Complaint Form is available on the Ombudsman's website: You must complete the form, sign it and forward it along with any supplementary documents directly to the Ombudsman.  City staff cannot forward complaints.

Please note that anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

What happens next?

The Ombudsman will review your complaint, determine whether or not it falls within the Ombudsman's jurisdiction and contact you regarding next steps in the process.  For details about how the process works, please refer the complaint process on the Ombudsman's website.

Access City Information or Records

The City of Thorold promotes open government and encourages the routine disclosure of information to the public.

For more information on Freedom of Information requests, please click here.

City of Thorold Procedure By-Law 
 By-Law 26-2021 - Govern the Calling Place and Proceedings of Council Meetings
Public Code of Conduct

Public Code of Conduct

 Council Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct for Mayor and Council and Local Boards

Appendix B - Complaint Protocol for Code of Conduct 

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 Commissioner for 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 to 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.


Complaints Handling Policy

We make every effort to provide the community with as much information as possible.  If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact us.

For more information about accountability and transparency measures, contact the Office of the Clerk at 905-227-6613 or TTY: 905-227-6613 or 

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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