Paul Sloan – On Municipal Conflict of Interest Act

Thunder Bay City Hall and the plaza are in great shape in downtown Fort William
Thunder Bay City Hall

THUNDER BAY – CIVIC – The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA). Little known or appreciated by the public. Very important for regulating elected municipal officials and protecting city tax money. Experts say it needs an update. It serves the interests of the ruling provincial party as is.

I recently tried bringing three councillors before a judge under the MCIA following an investigation of council’s RegenMed loans. I had not the legal experience, time or money to successfully advance the case. I feel a little better reading “…expensive, …staggeringly difficult for the average person to even contemplate taking such enforcement into his or her own hands.” (Greg Levine PhD, LLB, expert)

The first problem with the MCIA is its narrow focus on financial interests while ignoring all the other real potential conflicts of interests.

The second problem is that the MCIA relies completely on the electorate to bring forth cases at their expense and in a very limited six weeks “after the fact comes to his or her knowledge that a member may have contravened” the MCIA.

“…no provision for advice or investigation… helper or overseer…” (G. Levine)

Ontario’s MCIA is well behind other jurisdictions in protecting the electorate from the misdealing of municipal officials.

Paul Sloan, Red River Ward, Thunder Bay councillor candidate

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