Amaranth Dufferin News Municipal Politics

Township of Amaranth Selects New Integrity Commissioner


Filing a complaint with Amaranth’s new integrity commissioner will be significantly more expensive for the township’s taxpayers than it had been before.

On July 7, 2021, Amaranth Council completed the selection process for its new integrity commissioner after receiving a report from Chief Administrative Officer and Clerk Nicole Martin. Council asked for indications of interest in supplying integrity commissioner services to the township, in addition to pricing, from four providers. Two out of four responded. Martin stated that Guy Giorno, the incumbent integrity commissioner, last communicated he was not interested in staying on due to an outstanding investigation. Since the report on the outstanding matter has since been submitted, Martin advised that councillors direct staff to contact Giorno to see if he will remain as Amaranth’s integrity commissioner for the remainder of the current council term.

“I think the guy’s done a good job,” pronounced Mayor Bob Currie.

Councillor Gail Little disagreed, citing the extended timelines needed to close two code of conduct investigations recently completed. The first report was related to Mayor Currie’s homophobic remarks on the pride flag last year. The second was regarding Currie’s insults towards Councillor Gail Little and Deputy Mayor Gerrits last September.

“These last two complaints have been dealt with over a very extensive time period, which kind of makes it almost irrelevant in addressing the matters,” declared Councillor Little. “I am very disappointed in that and feel that perhaps the investigations were not as thorough as they could have been.”

After council received an explanation of how the standard procurement process doesn’t come into play for selecting integrity commissioners, Mayor Currie responded to Councillor Little’s concerns.

“I think the one reason that someone is not maybe impressed with our current person is she didn’t get their own way on this thing,” remarked Mayor Currie. “You didn’t get your own way, or you didn’t get – the person wasn’t crucified hard enough or whatever, and that’s maybe the reason why that you’re thinking the way you are.”

Amaranth council resolved to appoint Principles Integrity to provide integrity commissioner services for the remainder of the term. The new rate applied to Amaranth is $275 per hour, with an annual retainer of $1000. It has been stated that the previous hourly rate administered to the town by Giorno was $100. In 2020, all costs attributed to the Integrity Commissioner were more than $30,000. Most of this expense stemmed from a workplace harassment investigation that found evidence supporting allegations that Mayor Bob Currie had cultivated a poisonous work environment dominated by fear and intimidation. The CAO’s report states that Principles Integrity has a maximum charge for code of conduct investigations, which are separate from workplace harassment investigations. 

“It’s zero dollars spent if everybody behaves,” said Deputy Mayor Chris Gerrits of the change in the hourly rate.

References – Township of Amaranth Selects New Integrity Commissioner

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