I read that former Vaughan councillor Michael Di Biase, 71, is to appear before the Superior Court in Newmarket on 30 October 2019 on municipal corruption charges.
Over the years I have blogged off and on about Di Biase and what he got up to. Besides being a Vaughan councillor he also served on York Regional Council.
We wait to see what unfolds in Court.
Turning a blind eye
But even after Di Biase was censured by his home council in Vaughan in 2015 and docked 90 days pay for improperly interfering in the tendering process, life continued as before at York Region.
Nothing was permitted to disturb the clubby atmosphere or cause unpleasantness.
There was no formal report to the Regional Council on Di Biase’s behaviour in Vaughan and the Region continued to pay the regional portion of his salary in the usual way.
Code of Conduct
More astonishing still, the Regional Council decided it didn’t need a Code of Conduct for its members – and this was after the Di Biase shenanigans had come to light.
What does this tell us? Institutions, no matter how grand, need Codes of Conduct to guarantee the highest ethical standards in public life.
It is good to know that York Region now has one.
Di Biase faces charges under sections 122 and 123 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Breach of trust by public officer
122 Every official who, in connection with the duties of his office, commits fraud or a breach of trust is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, whether or not the fraud or breach of trust would be an offence if it were committed in relation to a private person.
- R.S., c. C-34, s. 111
Marginal note: Municipal corruption
- 123(1) Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years who directly or indirectly gives, offers or agrees to give or offer to a municipal official or to anyone for the benefit of a municipal official — or, being a municipal official, directly or indirectly demands, accepts or offers or agrees to accept from any person for themselves or another person — a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for the official
- (a) to abstain from voting at a meeting of the municipal council or a committee of the council;
- (b) to vote in favour of or against a measure, motion or resolution;
- (c) to aid in procuring or preventing the adoption of a measure, motion or resolution; or
- (d) to perform or fail to perform an official act.