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Stricter rules for councillors?

Toronto councillors should be bound by stricter rules governing conflict of interest, says integrity commissioner Lorne Sossin.

Toronto councillors should be bound by stricter rules governing conflict of interest, says integrity commissioner Lorne Sossin.

In his annual report released this week, Sossin echoes the opinion of predecessor David Mullan, who also said the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act has serious gaps. The provincial act prohibits councillors from debating and voting on issues affecting the financial interest of “a limited range of family members,” Sossin writes.

But it doesn’t prevent a councillor from voting on issues that would affect a broad swath of other associates with financial interests, including close friends and business partners, Sossin notes.

Toronto council does have a code of conduct dictating rules, but Sossin says the city solicitor has given an opinion that the code can’t legally have conflict of interest provisions because it would conflict with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

Sossin suggests in her report that the City of Toronto Act could be amended to address the gaps in the provincial law.

 
 
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