THE LEGISLATIVE ENVIRONMENT
Recent changes to the Municipal Elections Act, and pending legislative amendments to the Municipal Act, and Conflict of Interest Act has presented new challenges for the Municipal Clerk with a related lack of clear direction and clarity regarding their new responsibilities related to this legislation.
Third Party Advertising – What Does it Mean For me?
The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 now includes a framework for third party advertising. The framework will come into effect on April 1, 2018, so that the rules will be in place for the 2018 municipal election. Jonathan Batty, Director of Compliance and General Counsel, from Elections Ontario will deliver a presentation on the implications and obligations related to the new provisions on third party advertising, share Elections Ontario’s experience in implementing similar provisions for the first time and facilitate an interactive Q & A session to answer any questions.
Jonathan Batty, Director of Compliance and General Counsel, Elections Ontario
The Increased Scope and Responsibility of Integrity Commissioners
There is growing concern about the increased role of integrity commissioners in Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2016. Increasing the role of integrity commissioners is being perceived by many in the sector as diminishing the perception of integrity that the public has in their municipal councils and the Government’s position that they see municipalities as accountable and responsible governments. Positioning the integrity commissioner potentially as the only municipal official committed to ensuring the integrity and transparency of municipal governments. That is a shared responsibility of integrity commissioners, councillors, heads of councils, municipal staff including the CAO, the Clerk and others. Panelists will discuss the implications of the increasing role of the Integrity Commissioner and what it means for you.
Guy W. Giorno, Integrity Commissioner for Durham Region, Dufferin County, Renfrew County, Amaranth, Clarington, Dryden, East Garafraxa, Grand Valley, Horton, Melancthon, Orangeville, Scugog, Shelburne and Whitby, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Rick O'Connor, CMO, City Clerk and Solicitor, City of Ottawa
THE OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
Implementing the many responsibilities of the Clerk and balancing compliance with service delivery in an often highly politicized environment is a tight-rope all Clerks walk daily.
Council Staff Relations in the New Legislative Environment
There is a sense that the staff-council relationship is becoming increasingly adversarial, especially with Clerks having to reinforce to Council the various legislation under the Municipal Act, designed to ensure their accountability and transparency. Interpreting, and communicating to council rules around Closed Meetings; Declaration of Conflicts of Interest; and Codes of Conduct are some of the sensitive areas where Clerks are seeking guidance on the rules, and on where their responsibilities begin and end. Panelists will share war stories about the good, the bad and the ugly, and provide expert opinion regarding the Clerks role with respect to the current legislative environment.
Jody Johnson, Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP
Jeffrey Abrams, Retired Clerk, City of Vaughan
Josh Morgan, Councillor, Ward 7, City of London
Record Keeping and Electronic Information Management
An increasing public perception of mistrust in government, is leading to a rise in demands on the Clerk’s role, including processing FOI requests. This panel will discuss how to manage the increasing demands on record keeping and electronic document management with limited resources, and lack of Council priority, while addressing security concerns.
Else Khoury, Manager, Information Management Services, Niagara Region
Ilidia Sa Melo, CMO, Deputy City Clerk/Manager of Information Management and Archives, City of Cambridge
John Hannam, CMO, City Clerk, City of Thunder Bay
Security Concerns: Electronic Voting – How Safe is It?
There is increasing public concern regarding the safety and integrity of electronic voting based on allegations surrounding the US election of potential hacking. How secure is internet voting, and what steps should be put in place to mitigate risk and ensure the democratic process is not being tampered with?
With the May 1st legislated deadline looming for Council’s authorization of alternative voting, this session isn’t so much about whether you should or shouldn’t consider internet voting, but more about after you’ve made the decision, how to do you work with a vendor to prepare yourself for the questions you’ll need to answer from Council and your community and, perhaps more importantly, how you are satisfying yourself as Returning Officer that you’ve done what needs to be done to ensure a successful election with special reference to security and mitigating risk.
Stephen O'Brien, Clerk, City of Guelph
Stephen Beamish, Regional Sales Manager, Dominion Voting, Canada
Dean Smith, President and Founder, Intelivote Systems Inc.
There is an expanding communication component to the role clerks must play. As a central figure at council meetings Clerks are increasingly being pulled into engagement with informal media and are not always provided a good platform to respond or are ill equipped in how and when to respond.
The New Communications Demands for Clerks
There is an increasing trend toward public and media engagement through informal media (such as social media) vs traditional media. As potentially controversial issues arise there is potential for Clerks to play an increasingly important role communicating key matters to the public. Elected officials are also increasingly engaging the public through social media without any filter or a good grasp of the potential implications. Communications experts and practitioners will share valuable tips and insights on managing in this new reality and what types of policies need to be put in place.
Andrea Montgomery, APR, Vice President, Redbrick Communications, Interim Communications Director, City of Cambridge
Angela Morgan, CMO, City Clerk ,City of Burlington
Stephanie Troyer-Boyd, Clerk, Municipality of Middlesex Centre