Working Group on Responsible Conduct

Forging the Path to Responsible Conduct

This resource provides guidance on ways to prevent conduct issues by local elected officials, and how best to deal with them if they do arise. Developed by the Working Group on Responsible Conduct (WGRC), this guide provides advice on fostering responsible conduct, maintaining good governance and resolving conduct issues for those who serve on Councils and Boards. It also includes considerations for local governments that wish to establish an enforcement process within a Code of Conduct.

Model Code of Conduct

This document provides local government council or board members with a set of principles and general standards of conduct that can be used to develop their own Code of Conduct. This model may also be useful for councils or boards who already have a Code of Conduct in place, but wish to review or refresh the document following the 2018 general local elections.

The companion guide provides discussion questions, things to keep in mind, and other helpful tips and resources to facilitate a council/board's conversation in developing their own Code of Conduct.

2017 Report

UBCM Executive has approved the report of the Working Group on Responsible Conduct to be presented as a policy paper at the 2017 UBCM Convention.

Policy Development Process

The initial focus for the Working Group was to develop a shared understanding of the issue and to consider how the current parts of BC’s local government framework support responsible conduct. The Working Group also explored approaches that other Canadian provinces are taking to support and strengthen responsible conduct. A Consultation Paper was prepared by the Working Group to reflect this research and is offered to the local government community to provide a basis for discussion.

UBCM delivered presentations on the Consultation Paper at the 2017 Area Association meetings. Local government elected officials and senior management were also surveyed by UBCM and LGMA, respectively. The results of both surveys are available and will form an Appendix to the final report.


The Working Group on Responsible Conduct is a joint initiative of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), the Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development (the Ministry) and the Local Government Management Association (LGMA).

The staff-level Working Group was formed to undertake policy work in response to a 2016 resolution to UBCM that addressed the issue of questionable conduct by local government elected officials. Delegates referred the matter to UBCM Executive, with the direction that further policy work should be undertaken jointly with the Ministry and LGMA. At its November 2016 meeting, UBCM Executive approved a Terms of Reference for a joint Working Group.