September 5, 2018
City Council has approved the hiring of Edmonton’s first Integrity Commissioner and Ethics Advisor. These positions form an independent Integrity Office.
Establishment of the office is a proactive step by City Council to ensure an independent party investigates complaints of the Mayor and Councillors’ conduct and ethics. The office will also advise the Mayor and Council, supporting the high standards that Council expects of itself.
Jamie Pytel will be the City’s first Integrity Commissioner. Ms. Pytel has been a practicing lawyer for 26 years, in corporate and private practice. As the Integrity Commissioner she will receive and investigate potential breaches of the Council Code of Conduct. The Commissioner will also work with the new Ethics Advisor to provide proactive services to Council and the Mayor.
Brent Rathgeber, a former Member of Parliament and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, will be the City’s first Ethics Advisor. He will provide legal advice to the Mayor and Council regarding individual ethics and policy, as well as educational programs and materials.
A new bylaw was required to establish the position of Integrity Commissioner, as the position is directly accountable to Council. This allows Council to delegate certain powers, duties and functions to the position, including completing investigations into possible breaches of the Council Code of Conduct.
The Integrity Commissioner and Ethics Advisor will hold their positions for five years. The annual cost of the Office is estimated at $180,000, including administrative support staff.
If a member of the public, another elected official or anyone else believes that a Councillor or Councillors, which includes the Mayor, have breached the Council Code of Conduct, they can complete a form and submit it directly to the Integrity Commissioner at
Edmonton joins other major Canadian municipalities, including Calgary, in having an office of this kind