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Vancouver councillor wins code of conduct complaint against her, filed by the mayor

A Vancouver city councillor has won a code of conduct complaint, which was filed against her by the mayor.

OneCity Coun. Christine Boyle issued a statement Tuesday, saying she welcomed the finding by the city's integrity commissioner, who found Boyle did not breach the code of conduct by speaking publicly about how she voted when council decided to end its living wage policy, an issue which was discussed during an in-camera meeting.

The decision was made in January, and brought to light by Boyle in March.

In her report, integrity commissioner Lisa Southern wrote the aim of her investigation was to determine whether Boyle revealed information that was “treated as confidential” by the city. Ultimately, it was found that Boyle did not breach any code of conduct. The commissioner even noted that Boyle sought advice from the city’s own legal department before disclosing her vote.

“Before speaking about it publicly, I sought advice from many places about what exactly I was able to say,” Boyle told CTV News in an interview. “I did my due diligence and as the investigation indicated, I acted in good faith.”

The commissioner wrote that on March 15 she asked Mayor Ken Sim “if he would be open to informal resolution (of his complaint)," but he declined.

“There are many approaches that Mayor Sim could have taken that were less confrontational than this,” Boyle said. “It certainly had a chilling impact on me and what I felt comfortable saying on decisions where I have disagreed with the ruling majority ABC's votes.”

The mayor’s office declined an interview request by CTV News, instead issuing a statement.

“As a result of this investigation, integrity commissioner Southern has clarified that the City of Vancouver has been unclear and inconsistent regarding individual in-camera council voting disclosures,” the statement said, in part. “The Office of the Mayor looks forward to working with council to develop a clear policy around in-camera meetings to ensure clarity.”

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