Since 1885, The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC), an agency of the Provincial Government, has carried out its important mission of preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the Falls and the Niagara River Corridor for the enjoyment of visitors while maintaining self-sufficiency. Our organization has had, and will continue to have, an obligation of serving as the guardian of these public lands.
In June of 2007, NPC adopted the Code of Conduct which was developed in consultation with our Commissioners, employees and other stakeholders. To reflect the provisions of the Public Service of Ontario Act and new directives and policies, the Code of Conduct was updated and re-issued in August of 2010 and again in 2013. This Code applies to all of us. It provides a set of standards of conduct or behaviour expected and required of everyone associated with NPC. The Code helps us to understand what we stand for and will guide our behaviour as we work together toward our common vision and goals. It is an important tool that will strengthen our organization and continue to build on our culture of integrity. Our adherence to the Code of Conduct will serve to build and enhance public confidence in all that we do. Our objective is clear and strong: NPC will demonstrate the accountability, ethics and non-partisan behaviour expected of a Provincial agency.
It is our shared responsibility to become familiar with the Code and other applicable laws and policies. We are all accountable for our actions and behaviours. We expect Commissioners, employees, suppliers and other associates to be aware of ethical or legal issues and to refrain from engaging in any unethical or illegal activity.
There is a disclosure mechanism for breaches to the Code. If you believe that the principles set forth in the Code of Conduct are being violated, there is an internal mechanism for disclosure. If you become aware of a violation of this Code of Conduct, it is your responsibility to bring the matter to the attention of appropriate persons in the organization. There is no excuse for remaining silent if wrongdoing is being committed. Niagara Parks will protect from retaliation those who come forward with a legitimate disclosure. An ethics programme cannot be effective unless persons are willing to come forward and report violations.
The Public Service of Ontario Act and regulations were proclaimed on August 20, 2007. This Act sets out the ethical framework for all public servants. Employees and appointees of The Niagara Parks Commission are public servants under the Act and subject to the provisions of the Act. Under this Act, a disclosure of wrongdoing can be made internally to the Ethics Executives of The Niagara Parks Commission (General Manager is the Ethics Executive for all employees and I am the Ethics Executive for the General Manager and Commissioners).
Disclosures can also be made directly to the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario in certain circumstances. The Conflict of Interest and Political Activity rules of the Act and its regulations must be followed. In addition, all new public servants must swear or affirm an Oath of Allegiance and an Oath of Office.
Both the General Manager and I have important responsibilities under the Act which include: promotion of ethical conduct, determination of conflict of interest matters, determinations on political activity, investigation of disclosures of wrongdoing and the administration of oaths/affirmations.
The Code of Conduct for The Niagara Parks Commission promotes ethical behaviour and furthers the objectives of the Public Service of Ontario Act.
Please read the enclosed Code of Conduct carefully and make it a part of the way you conduct business at Niagara Parks. I am confident that full compliance with the Code will help maintain the integrity so critical to The Niagara Parks Commission.