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Citizen round table

Code of conduct for the Citizen round table

In this section

1. Objectives

The Code of conduct sets forth the conduct and behaviours expected of the Citizen round table members in the performance of their duties as entrusted to them by the Chief Electoral Officer. The purpose of the Code of conduct is to make the members aware of their responsibilities and to maintain the confidence of the Québec population in the Citizen round table’s integrity.

The rules stated in this document cannot alone cover the full range of acceptable and unacceptable forms of conduct. Indeed, it is the responsibility of each and every member to perform their duties with discernment and to act with honesty.

2. Values of the citizen round table and expected conduct

The members of the Citizen round table shall express opinions and make recommendations on election-related matters to Élections Québec to the best of their ability and in the interest of all Québec electors.

In doing so, and throughout their participation, the members of the Table must be ever mindful of five core values as inspired by the values that guide the Chief Electoral Officer personnel. These values are respect, competence, impartiality, loyalty and integrity. The conduct expected of the members of the Citizen round table, as set forth in this Code of conduct, derives from these five core values to which the members must adhere.

2.1 Respect

When performing their work on the Citizen round table, all members shall demonstrate consideration and respect for the other members, the institution and all other people with whom they are asked to interact. Respect also entails an absence of discrimination and harassment.

Demonstrating respect

The members of the Table shall work together in a collaborative manner, being sure to be good listeners and to be open-minded so that everyone may express themselves freely. The members respect their colleagues’ right to speak and are respectful of their ideas. The members shall treat each other, the Chief Electoral Officer’s personnel and any experts consulted with consideration.

2.2 Competence

Every member of the Table shall take their work seriously and shall perform it to the best of their knowledge, skills and ability. Competence is also reflected and developed through team work, co-operation and collaboration among the members with a view to successfully carrying out the mandate of the Citizen round table.

Exercising diligence

The members shall prepare for meetings seriously and diligently. They read the documents provided to them and demonstrate curiosity and a concern for expressing thoughtful opinions to the full extent of their knowledge.

Attendance and punctuality

The members shall attend the meetings and arrive on time. They shall participate actively in the work of the Table.

2.3 Impartiality

In the context of the Citizen round table’s work, every member shall exercise political neutrality. The proposals and recommendations of the members shall respect the impartiality of Élections Québec and take into consideration the interest of all electors, without discrimination.

Exercising political neutrality

In the framework of the Table’s work, the members shall demonstrate political neutrality. For the duration of their term, the members shall not belong to a political party, whether federal, provincial or municipal. They shall avoid partisanship and act on their own behalf, independent of any political party or special interest group.

Working in the interest of all Quebecers

The members shall formulate recommendations in the interest of all Québec electors and with a concern for fairness as it affects electors.

Exercising discernment in the public expression of their political views

During their term with the Table, the members shall show discernment when it comes to publicly expressing political views that could affect how citizens perceive the Table’s opinions and recommendations. In case of doubt, the members are asked to first consult the Table chairperson by contacting the Table’s secretary.

2.4 Loyalty

Every member shall honour their commitments and their duties toward their colleagues and Élections Québec, in order to ensure everyone’s collaboration and the efficiency and effectiveness of the Table.

Respecting the anonymity of discussions

The members shall respect the anonymous nature of what members say in the course of the Table’s discussions and shall refrain from naming any member in relation to the comments and opinions expressed.

  • This rule shall apply even after members have finished their term on the Table.

Safeguarding the confidentiality of information

The members shall not disclose any information or document provided or discussed verbally as part of the work of the Table, unless otherwise authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer.

  • This rule shall apply even after members have finished their term on the Table.

Exercising discretion

The members shall not express positions publicly on behalf of Élections Québec or the Chief Electoral Officer and shall act personally in their own name.

For the duration of their term, the members have a duty of nondisclosure vis-à-vis the institution in the public sphere. They shall refrain, for example, from commenting publicly on the activities, reports and opinions of the Chief Electoral Officer, or any work underway, unless otherwise authorized in writing by the chairperson.

2.5 Integrity

Every member shall conduct him or herself in a fair and honest manner. The members shall ensure that their decisions and recommendations are oriented to the public good. Moreover, they shall avoid putting themselves in situations where they are accountable to someone who could unduly influence them in the performance of their duties on the Table.

Avoiding conflicts of interest

The members shall avoid putting themselves in situations of potential or apparent conflict of interest, i.e. a situation where their personal interest could take precedence over the public interest that they must promote in carrying out their duties on the Table.

The members agree to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest and are bound to declare any potential or apparent conflict of interest. They shall complete and sign the form Declaration regarding conflicts of interest at the start of their term and update this declaration throughout their term. More specifically, the members shall report in a timely manner to the Chief Electoral Officer any new potential or apparent conflict of interest and sign an amended declaration to this effect.

Depending on the nature of the conflict of interest, the Table chairperson shall determine whether it would be appropriate to temporarily exclude the member from the deliberations of the Table, or to terminate the member’s participation.

Acting with honesty

The members shall not act in such a way as to derive an undue advantage for themselves or a third party from their duties or the information to which they are privy in the performance of their duties, either during their term on the Table or after it has ended.

3. Respect for the values of Élections Québec

As part of the Table’s work, the members are asked to make suggestions and recommendations on election-related matters. In doing so, the members must take into consideration the values guiding Élections Québec’s actions and stemming from its mission.

Thus, the members must perform all their duties in keeping with the values of the institution. These values, as outlined in the institution’s Strategic plan 2019-2023, are:

  • Impartiality and independence when fulfilling our duties.
  • Integrity when managing elections.
  • Transparency in all of our activities.
  • Fairness in our decisions and actions.
  • Competence in the realisation of our mission.
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