Following the news that Toronto Mayor John Tory had a romantic relationship with one of his employees that led to him resigning, Collingwood’s mayor has asked for report back on options for prohibiting romantic relationships between supervisors and their direct reports.
A new code of conduct for town staff was given initial approval on Feb. 6 at the committee level, however when it came time to ratify the decision at their Feb. 21 regular meeting of council, Mayor Yvonne Hamlin put forward a motion to refer the new code back to staff.
“I have become aware through my reading about the John Tory affair that some municipalities have, in their employee code of conduct, a clause that prohibits romantic relationships between parties where one person is reporting to the other,” said Hamlin.
“I want to propose that we return this back to staff so they can give some further thought to (this),” she said.
On Feb. 10, Tory announced his resignation from the Toronto mayor’s office after admitting he had an "inappropriate relationship" with a former staffer. The move has sent the city toward a byelection to replace Tory, with multiple candidates throwing their hats in the ring for the seat.
The new Collingwood staff code of conduct is based on the City of Vaughan’s code as a best-practise example. The code applies to all full-time and part-time employees, permanent, contract, seasonal and temporary employees, students, interns and volunteers.
The new document includes rules regarding employee standards, stewardship, conflicts of interest, business meals, functions, oversight and reporting/investigations.
A public gift registry will also be made available moving forward on the Town of Collingwood’s website which will outline when gifts are received by town staff, who received them, who sent them, when they were sent, a description of the gift and the estimated value of gift.
Council voted unanimously in favour of asking for an added clause in the staff code of conduct to address romantic relationships.
Collingwood council has its own code of conduct, some of which came from recommendations of the Collingwood Judicial Inquiry. Council's code of conduct does not expressly mention romantic relationships.
With files from The Canadian Press.