Saskatoon report lists causes council members might be disqualified – Saskatoon

A report outlining what options the City of Saskatoon has when public concerns are raised about council members was delivered at Monday’s Governance and Priorities Committee.

A motion was brought forward on Oct. 24 to create this report from Mayor Charlie Clark, who said this was in response to allegations concerning councilor Randy Donauer.

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Coy Nolin, a former student of Legacy Christian Academy, alleged that Donauer struck him with a wooden paddle while he was attending Living Waters Bible Camp.

None of the allegations have been tested in court, and Donauer is not currently named in a class-action suit.

“I was spanked. Afterwards, we talked about what I did was wrong and, you know, (how I) have to be more of a man of God, and gossip is not something that is permitted,” Nolin said.

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Nolin added that the paddling happened in 2003. Corporal punishment was banned by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004.

Donauer sent a statement back in October to Global News.

“I deny any wrongdoing. If any of these unsubstantiated assertions are made against me, I will vigorously defend them,” read the statement.

The report to the committee said that council members can be disqualified, listing the reasons:

  • When nominated, was not eligible for nomination or election as a candidate pursuant to The Local Government Election Act, 2015;
  • Ceases to be eligible for nomination or election or to hold office pursuant to The Local Government Election Act, 2015 or any other Act;
  • Is absent from all regular City Council meetings held during any period of three consecutive months unless the absence is authorized by a resolution of City Council or a leave of absence policy adopted by City Council;
  • Is convicted while in office: Of an offense punishable by imprisonment for five years or more; or of an offense pursuant to Section 123 (Municipal corruption), 124 (Selling or purchasing office), or 125 (Influencing or negotiating appointments or dealing in offices) of the Criminal Code;
  • Contravenes: A bylaw passed pursuant to Section 34 of The Local Government Election Act, 2015 (The Campaign Disclosure and Spending Limits Bylaw, 2006); Section 116 (Public disclosure statement) or 117 (Declaration of conflict of interest) of the Act; Subsection 87.1(2) (Protection from reprisal); Subsection 162(5) (Civil liability of members of Council);
  • Ceases to reside in the city;
  • Is determined to have made a false statement or declaration in the nomination paper filed in accordance with The Local Government Election Act, 2015; or
  • Is removed from office by the Minister or by the Lieutenant Governor in Council pursuant to Section 356 (Minister’s power to issue directions and dismiss) or 358.1 (Dismissal and appointment of members of council).

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“These are the only reasons that a member of City Council can be disqualified or removed from office during their elected term,” read the report.

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City Solicitor Cindy Yelland said a code of ethical conduct is in place that outlines the basic ethical standards and values ​​for council members, noting that an integrity commissioner investigates and enforces that code.

“The integrity commissioner is an external third party who has a number of duties under the code. One of those duties is to receive and investigate complaints under that code,” Yelland said.

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The report listed some of the integrity commissioner’s duties, including:

  • Provide oral advice and written advance rulings and recommendations to members on questions of compliance with the Code;
  • Receive and assess all written complaints to determine if there is jurisdiction to investigate, sufficient grounds for an investigation, opportunity for settlement or if the complaint is frivolous or vexatious;
  • Investigate and conduct inquiries as to violations of the Code;
  • Determine and report to GPC and City Council as to whether a member has violated the Code; other
  • Make recommendations on whether to censure the member, impose sanctions or require corrective actions if there is a violation.

Yelland said if an integrity commissioner finds that the code has been violated, they will report to city council, and recommendations will be given for possible sanctions.

The list of sanctions in the report include a letter of reprimand, requesting the member issue a letter of apology, requiring a member to attend training, or suspending or removing the member from council committees and other bodies.

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“However, to be clear, members of council cannot be removed from office for violations of the code,” Yelland said.

It was noted in the Oct. 24 committee meeting that nothing new would come from this report, but it would be an easily accessible document outlining what the city can and can’t do.

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