Williams Lake city councillor Ivan Bonnell has been wearing an Every Child Matters T-shirt to council meetings since Nov. 2. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake city councillor Ivan Bonnell has been wearing an Every Child Matters T-shirt to council meetings since Nov. 2. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake city council asks staff to pursue developing code of conduct

‘We recognize this is an area where we don’t have any tools to address:’ Coun. Ivan Bonnell

A Williams Lake city councillor would like to see the city develop a code of conduct for city councillors.

Coun. Ivan Bonnell said he brought his wish to city council to the Tuesday, Nov. 23, meeting in the form of a motion and it was endorsed unanimously.

“We directed staff to bring forward options for council’s consideration to build new tools to address these issues,” he told the Tribune. “How do we hold members of council’s behaviour accountable via complaints externally or complaints internally?”

To date, he said he believes council as well as Mayor Walt Cobb have done everything it can with what is available to them.

“We recognize this is an area where we don’t have any tools to address this issue and it is an area I believe most municipalities, local governments in the province, as well as the province, recognize this is an area we need to develop some tools.”

Bonnell said he does not use social media himself and has no intention to, having ‘never agreed with it in the first place.’

However, when city council received a letter from Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars responding to Mayor Cobb sharing a post about ‘the other side of residential schools,’ on his personal Facebook page, it bothered him.

“It brought everything to my attention and the wheels in my head started going ‘wow.’ What happened? We all spoke publicly on Nov. 2 around that and I recognize there’s a gap in our system of local government here around the issue of behaviour of members of council,” he said.

Referring to the oath of office all councillors sign, he highlighted point three which reads: I will faithfully perform the duties of my office and will not allow any private interests to influence my conduct in public matters.

“I thought does this action constitute a breach of that oath? I have no way to flush that through to find out so that is where we are.”

Since the Nov. 2 meeting, Bonnell has been wearing an Every Child Matters orange T-shirt to the council meetings, which he said is the least he can do to show support.



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