Code of Conduct

The Board of Health believes that its Members are held to a high standard of ethical behaviour in all aspects of their conduct at all times, and should endeavour to fulfill their duties in a way that maintains and enhances public confidence in the Board of Health.

The Board represents the public and considers the well-being and health of the residents of Ottawa while carrying out its duties under the Health Protection and Promotion Act or any other Act. In determining which services the health unit provides, and developing and evaluating the policies and programs for the health unit, the Board ensures the accountability and transparency of the operations of the health unit.

Statutory Provisions Regulating Conduct 

This Code of Conduct is a complement to the existing legislation governing the conduct of Members of the Board of Health.

The following federal and provincial legislation governs the conduct of Members of the Board:

  • theHealth Protection and Promotion Act;
  • theMunicipal Act, 2001;
  • theMunicipal Conflict of Interest Act;
  • theMunicipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
  • thePersonal Health Information Protection Act, 2004;
  • theOccupational Health and Safety Act;
  • theOntario Human Rights Code;
  • theCriminal Code of Canada; and
  • the by-laws and policies of the Board of Health as adopted and amended from time to time.

I.  Integrity

  • Members of the Board are committed to performing their functions with integrity, accountability and transparency.
  • Members of the Board are responsible for complying with all applicable legislation, Board of Health by-laws and policies pertaining to their position as an appointed Board Member.
  • Members of the Board recognize that the public has a right to open government and transparent decision-making.
  • Members of the Board will, at all times, serve and be seen to serve the interests of residents of the health unit in a conscientious and diligent manner and will approach decision-making with an open mind.
  • Members will avoid the improper use of the influence of their office and will avoid conflicts of interest, both apparent and real.
  • Members of the Board will avoid the discharge in their official duties preferential treatment to any individual or organization if a reasonably well-informed person would conclude that the preferential treatment was solely for the purpose of advancing a private or personal interest.

  II.  Confidentiality

By way of their appointment to the Board, Members of the Board may acquire confidential information from a variety of different sources including personal and/or personal health information related to residents or other confidential/proprietary information that is not personal.

In accordance with the rules under Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act("MFIPPA"), Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), Board by-laws and Board policies, Members of the Board will:

  • Keep in confidence any confidential information acquired by virtue of their position as a Board Member, in either oral or written form, except when required by law or authorized by the Board to do otherwise;
  • Where a matter has been discussed in camera, keep the matter or the substance of the deliberations of the in camerameeting confidential (Subsection 40 (1) (d) of the Procedure By-law); and
  • Refrain from using information that is obtained in his or her capacity as a Member and that is not available to the general public to further or seek to further the Member's private interest or improperly to further or seek to further another person's private interest.

 III.  Conduct at Board Meetings

Members of the Board will conduct themselves with decorum at all Board of Health meetings in accordance with the provisions of the Procedure By-law by:

  • Using respectful language;
  • Obeying the Rules of Procedure, or a decision of the Chair or of the Board, on questions of order or practice or upon the interpretation of the Rules of Procedure;
  • Recognizing that individual decisions and directions to staff are taken by the Board as a whole;
  • Board authority is not vested in any individual when interacting with staff, public, or media, except when explicitly authorized by the Board; and
  • Understanding that Board Members may not speak for the Board in public except to repeat explicitly stated Board decisions.

IV.  Discrimination and Harassment

All Members of the Board have a duty to treat members of the public, one another and staff with respect and without abuse, bullying or intimidation; and to ensure that their work environment is free from discrimination and harassment. The Ontario Human Rights Code as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Act apply and, where applicable, the City of Ottawa's Workplace Harassment Policy.

 V.  Use of Influence

Members of the Board are expected to perform their duties of office with integrity, accountability and transparency. Members of the Board should not use the status of their position to influence the decision of another individual to the private advantage of oneself, or one's parents, children or spouse, staff members, friends, or associates, business or otherwise.

VI.  Conduct Respecting Staff

Members of the Board will be respectful of the role of staff to provide advice based on political neutrality and objectivity and without undue influence from an individual Member or group of Members of the Board.

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