City of Belleville missing policies required by law

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| Published , updated January 16, 2024

Section 270 of the Municipal Act requires that all municipalities adopt and maintain policies with respect to the following matters:

  1. Real Property Acquisition and Disposition Policy – Sale and disposition of land (approved)
  2. Recruitment, Selection and Hiring – Hiring employees
  3. Council-Staff Relations Policy – Relationship between members of council and the officers and employees of the municipality
  4. Purchasing Policies for the Procurement of Goods and/or Services for the City of Belleville – How goods and services are purchased
  5. Public Notice Policy – How notice is provided to the public and, if notice is to be provided, the form, manner and times notice shall be given. According to the Deputy Clerk, this is the Procedural By-law.
  6. Accountability and Transparency Policy – How it is accountable to the public for its actions, and how it ensures that its actions are transparent to the public. According to the Deputy Clerk, this is the Budget and Financial Controls Policy.
  7. Delegation of Powers Policy – Delegation of its powers and duties. According to the Deputy Clerk, this is the Delegate Authority of Treasurer, Lame Duck Council – Delegation of Authority to CAO.
  8. Tree Canopy and Natural Vegetation Policy – How they will protect and enhance the tree canopy and natural vegetation in the municipality
  9. Council Pregnancy and Parental Leave Policy – Pregnancy leaves and parental leaves of members of council

At the beginning of December 2023, only the following policies were publicly accessible on the City’s website and CivicWeb folder:

  • Budget and Financial Controls Policy
  • Proof of ID and Vaccination for Individuals enter city buildings policy

I reached out to the Deputy City Clerk about the missing mandatory policies, who “updated the policies that are in existence”, adding them to the folder:

This left the following mandatory policies outstanding:

  1. Public Notice Policy
  2. Accountability and Transparency Policy
  3. Delegation of Powers Policy

I submitted a Freedom of Information Request in order to access these policies.

I recognize that this may seem picky and excessively particular. However, I believe having access to these policies is necessary in measuring and assessing organizational performance.

For example, in order to determine how transparent and accountable the City of Belleville is being to residents, there needs to be an Accountability and Transparency Policy to compare their actions (or lack thereof) to.

In response to my request, I was informed that these policies already existed:

  • The Procedural By-law is their “Public Notice Policy”
  • The Budget and Financial Controls is their “Accountability and Transparency Policy”
  • The Delegate Authority of Treasurer, Lame Duck Council/Delegation of Authority to CAO is the “Delegation of Powers Policy” (I was unable to find this available online as was suggested)

I have filed an appeal as I disagree that the first two documents suggested meet the definitions of the policies required and for access to the 3rd, which I was unable to find on the City’s website.

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