What are the standards by which the public should measure elected officials, public servants, public bodies, and corporations? This page will carry both actual and a citizen’s “wish list” of codes of conduct when it comes to processes relating to rezoning and development applications. The purpose of this page is to inform citizens about the standards of behavior that the our civil society should be able to expect of the key players in the development process. (The comment function is turned on, so CityHallWatch welcomes your input (suggestions, web links, questions, etc.) here, or by e-mail directly to citizenYVR@gmail.com.) We will also provide links to mechanisms that can be accessed in the case of concerns.
Important codes of conduct cover…
- elected officials, city staff, advisory bodies
- professional planners, architects, etc.
- public employees
- marketers and pollsters
- media (new)
- realtors (new)
1. CITY OF VANCOUVER CODE OF CONDUCT, POLICY NUMBER AE-028-01
PURPOSE: To set minimum expectations for the behaviour of Council officials, staff and advisory body members in carrying out their functions.
SCOPE: All City staff, Council officials and advisory body members.
1.1 Integrity: Council officials, staff and advisory body members are keepers of the public trust and must uphold the highest standards of ethical behaviour. Council officials, staff, and advisory body members are expected to:
• make decisions that benefit the community;
• act lawfully and within the authorities of the Vancouver Charter; and
• be free from undue influence and not act, or appear to act, in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, family, friends or business interests
1.2 Accountability: Council officials, staff, and advisory body members are obligated to answer for a responsibility that has been entrusted to them. They are responsible for the decisions that they make. This responsibility includes acts of commission and acts of omission. In turn, decision-making processes must be transparent and subject to public scrutiny; and proper records are kept and audit trails are in place.
DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE POLICY HERE: Policy-AE02801-CodeofConduct-2008-05-15
2. CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF PLANNERS, CODE OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
TOP OF THE LIST:
# The Planner’s Responsibility to the Public Interest
Members have a primary responsibility to define and serve the interests of the public. This requires the use of theories and techniques of planning that inform and structure debate, facilitate communication, and foster understanding. Accordingly, a CIP member shall:
1. practice in a manner that respects the diversity, needs, values and aspirations of the public and encourages discussion on these matters;
2. provide full, clear and accurate information on planning matters to decision-makers and members of the public, while recognizing both the client’s right to confidentiality and the importance of timely recommendations;
3. acknowledge the inter-related nature of planning decisions and their consequences for individuals, the natural and built environment, and the broader public interest; and
4. identify and promote opportunities for meaningful participation in the planning process to all interested parties.
3. URBAN DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (UDI)
The Urban Development Institute is a national non-profit association (with international affiliations) of the development industry and its related professions. With over 500 corporate members, UDI Pacific represents thousands of individuals involved in all facets of land development and planning, including: developers, property managers, financial lenders, lawyers, engineers, planners, architects, appraisers, real estate professionals, local governments and government agencies.
UDI Code of Ethics
As a responsible corporation, we recognize the need for wise, efficient and productive urban land use. To achieve this, it is essential that governments, communities and industry work together. As land use and development professionals, we will use our professional knowledge and expertise to further the enhancement of the land and the advancement of the quality of life of all who live on it. We ascribe to the following:
Respect for the Public: we will endeavor to enhance the public’s understanding of the development process to preserve their trust in the development profession and to protect their welfare.
Respect for the Community: We will strive to provide quality housing and facilities, acknowledging that development plays an important role in directing communities. We recognize that development needs to be responsible.
READ THE WHOLE CODE HERE: http://udi.bc.ca/code-of-ethics
4. PLANNING INSTITUTE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Code of Professional Conduct
15.1 The Planner’s Responsibility to the Public Interest
Members have a primary responsibility to define and serve the interests of the public. This requires the use of theories and techniques of planning that inform and structure debate, facilitate communication, and foster understanding. Accordingly, a Member shall:
15.1.1 practice in a manner that respects the needs, values and aspirations of the public and encourages discussion on these matters;
15.1.2 provide full, clear and accurate information on public planning matters to decision-‐makers and the public;
15.1.3 acknowledge the inter-‐related nature of planning decisions and their consequences for individuals, the natural and built environment, and the broader public interest; and
15.1.4 identify and promote opportunities for meaningful participation in the planning process to all interested parties.
DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE CODE: http://pibc.bc.ca/sites/default/files/pdfs/PIBC-Code-Of-Prof-Conduct-Bylaws-2007.pdf
5. ARCHITECTURAL INSTITUTE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Excerpt: AIBC Professional Conduct – Complaints – As a self-governing professional organization, the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) has been empowered by the provincial government to establish, monitor, and enforce standards of conduct and ethics for its member architects and associates. To meet this responsibility, the AIBC has established a process to receive and investigate complaints and, when necessary, to hold a formal Disciplinary Inquiry into a member’s alleged unprofessional conduct.
The website provides materials like these AIBC Professional Conduct Documents:
- AIBC Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
- Rules of Professional Conduct
- The Complaint Process – AIBC Professional Conduct Process
- AIBC Professional Conduct Complaint Form
6. MEDIA ETHICS
Reading material: Morals and the Media, 2nd edition: Ethics in Canadian Journalism, by Nicholas Russell, 2005. Confronted daily with decisions on how to present their stories, what to write and what not to write, journalists and the media are frequently accused of sensationalizing, of choosing to report the bad news, and of misquoting those they interview. In this substantially updated edition of Morals and the Media, Nick Russell addresses many of the concerns the public has about the media as he examines why the media behave the way they do. He also discusses how values have been developed and applied and suggests value systems that can be used to judge special situations.
Here are some examples of codes of conduct and ethics that could be tools for citizens to understand and call for the highest levels of excellence in the media:
- Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ): Statement of Principles and Ethics Guidelines
- Canadian Newspaper Association (CNA): Statement of Principles
- CBC: Journalistic Standards and Practices
- Radio-Television News Directors Association of Canada: Code of Ethics
- Canadian Association of Broadcasters: Code of Ethics
- BC Press Council: Code of Practice
Some newsrooms have their own written ethical statements
- Globe and Mail: See “Code of Conduct” in Style Book
- Check for other local media
International, for reference
- National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
- Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
- National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
7. MARKETING AND POLLSTER ETHICS
Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA)
Code of Conduct for MRIA members
MRIA Charter of Respondent Rights
Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC)
Codes (of ethics, etc.): http://www.cbsc.ca/english/codes/index.php
Make a complaint: http://www.cbsc.ca/english/complaint/index.php
8. REALTORS AND RELATED MARKETING INDUSTRY
We note that the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) has a “Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice.”
The BCREA lists member boards all over the province. For example, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (www.rebgv.org) is a member.
The preamble to the code goes like this: “As REALTORS®, we accept a personal obligation to the public and to our profession. The Code of Ethics of The Canadian Real Estate Association embodies these obligations. As REALTORS®, we are committed to:
• Professional competent service
• Absolute honesty and integrity in business dealings
• Co-operation with and fairness to all
• Personal accountability through compliance with CREA’s Standards of Business Practice
It appears that BCREA has an investigation and disciplinary process.