Purpose and Function of County Council

The Mayor is the head of Council and the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation of Norfolk County. The Mayor presides over Council meetings and is a member of Council-in-Committee. The Mayor interacts on a continual basis with Councillors, the municipal administration, community agencies and citizens. As head of Council, the Mayor is also the chief spokesperson on intergovernmental discussions with other municipalities, provincial and federal governments.

Norfolk County Council consists of 9 elected officials. Council is the governing and legislative body for the municipality. Council approves policies and authorizes the raising of revenue and expenditures for the provision of services.

Accountability and Transparency Policy

The purpose of the Accountability and Transparency Policy is to outline the manner in which Norfolk County will try to ensure that it is accountable to the public for its actions and that its actions are transparent to the public. The policy provides guidance on how Norfolk County ensures municipal governance is conducted in an accountable and transparent manner, with emphasis on openness, ethics, performance outcomes and fiscal responsibility.

Code of Conduct for Members of Council and Local Boards

A written Code of Conduct helps to ensure that members of Council and Local Boards all share a common basis of acceptable conduct. These standards are designed to provide a reference guide and a supplement to the legislative parameters with which the members must operate. These standards shall serve to enhance public confidence that Norfolk County’s elected and appointed representatives operate from a base of integrity, justice, and courtesy.

Integrity Commissioner

Council has appointed Boghosian+Allen LLP to serve as the Integrity Commissioner for Norfolk County.

The role of the Integrity Commissioner is to help ensure that Members perform their functions in accordance with the Code of Conduct and other procedures, rules or policies governing their ethical behaviour. In addition, the Integrity Commissioner may, upon request of Council or a Member, provide advice and rulings on ethical challenges, issues and dilemmas, as set out in section 5 of By-law 2018-33, being the Office of Integrity Commissioner and Process for Hearing Complaints By-law. The Integrity Commission is also responsible for investigating complaints and providing a report respecting their investigation to Norfolk County Council.

A refundable fee in the amount of $150.00 is required upon the filing of a Complaint. The fee shall be refunded to the Complainant when the Integrity Commissioner files their report; however, where a Complaint is found to be frivolous, vexatious, or not made in good faith, the fee shall not be refunded. A Complainant may withdraw their Complaint and receive a refund of the fee.

For further information respecting the Code of Conduct or submitting a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner, please contact the Clerks Department at 519-426-5870 or 226-NORFOLK x 1228 or email [email protected].

To file a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner

Please review the County’s Office of Integrity Commissioner and Process for Hearing Complaints By-law.

Complaints must be submitted as outlined in Clause 6:

We encourage individuals to review the entire by-law for information purposes.

To contact the Acting County Clerk for any inquiries related to this process, please email [email protected].

Ombudsman – Closed Meeting Investigator

The Ontario Ombudsman promotes fairness, accountability and transparency in the public sector by investigating public complaints and systemic issues within his jurisdiction.

The Ontario Ombudsman serves as Norfolk County’s Closed Meeting Investigator. If you wish to file a complaint regarding a Closed Meeting of Council, you may contact the Ontario Ombudsman at:

Ombudsman Ontario – General Complaints:
Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario
483 Bay Street
10th floor, South Tower
Toronto, ON M5G 2C9

Or you may submit a complaint online at ombudsman.on.ca/have-a-complaint.

Council’s Procedural By-Law

The following Norfolk County By-law has been adopted, which governs the procedures of the Council and all of its committees, the calling of meetings and the conduct of its members.

Council Handbook