Amendments required for Prince Edward Island code of conduct bylaws
Municipalities are required to pass code of conduct bylaws in accordance with section 107 of the Municipal Government Act (the “MGA”). Subsection 107(1) of the MGA specifically states that a municipality’s code of conduct must be in accordance with the regulations. The Province of Prince Edward Island passed new Code of Conduct Regulations (the “Regulations”) earlier this year. If your municipality does not have a code of conduct bylaw in place, now is the time to enact one. If your municipality already has a code of conduct bylaw, it needs to be updated in order to meet the new regulatory requirements.
The Regulations require code of conduct bylaws to include a number of specific provisions, including the following:
- public notice and publication requirements respecting sanctions and financial disclosure statements;
- specific conduct obligations;
- complaint process requirements;
- investigation process requirements;
- conduct of committee members;
- training requirements; and
The Regulations have mandated the actual bylaw content in some instances, so it is critical for your code of conduct bylaw to include the precise wording that is set out in the Regulations.
Procedure for enacting bylaws
To validly enact a code of conduct bylaw, or an amendment to your existing code of conduct bylaw, it must be read and formally approved at two separate Council meetings which are open to the public and held on different days. The bylaw (or the bylaw amendment) must be approved by a majority of the Council members present and voting at each meeting. After its second reading, the bylaw (or the bylaw amendment) must be formally adopted by Council resolution.
Next steps for municipalities
Municipalities who already have code of conduct bylaws in place should review their bylaws to make sure that they satisfy the regulatory requirements. We encourage all municipalities to contact their legal advisors to ensure that their bylaws comply with the new Regulations.
This client update is provided for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about the MGA, please do not hesitate to contact one of the members of our Municipal Group at Stewart McKelvey in Charlottetown: Perlene Morrison, K.C., Hilary Newman and Curtis Doyle.
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