Integrity and Ethics Office Roles
The Ethics Advisor provides advice and guidance to members of Council on matters of conduct that create a legal risk for a Council member, or a risk to a Council member’s public reputation. The Ethics Advisor provides advice to members of Council individually, but also advises on general questions of conduct relevant for all members of Council. The Ethics Advisor will not provide an opinion on the appropriateness of a Council member’s conduct unless asked to do so by that Council member, but can provide advice to all members of Council where it appears to her to be appropriate or useful to do so. The Ethics Advisor may assist in the resolution of complaints about Council member conduct referred by the Integrity Commissioner after assessment.
Complaints about Council members conduct will be received and reviewed by the Integrity Commissioner who, in the Integrity Commissioner’s sole discretion, will decide how or whether such complaints should be pursued. Options for the Integrity Commissioner on receiving a complaint about Council member conduct will include dismissing the complaint, further investigation of the complaint, adjudicating the complaint or referrirng the complaint to the Ethics Advisor for resolution. The Integrity Commissioner will make recommendations to Council on the appropriate consequence or sanction for improper conduct by a Council member. The Integrity Commissioner will not consider complaints about City Administration or the City Auditor.
Dr. Emily Laidlaw, JD, PhD – Ethics Advisor
Emily Laidlaw is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary where she teaches internet law, privacy and cybersecurity. She spent almost ten years in the United Kingdom where she completed her LLM and PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science and held a tenure-track lectureship at the University of East Anglia Law School in information technology, intellectual property and media law. Before undertaking postgraduate studies, Dr. Laidlaw practiced law in Calgary.
Dr. Laidlaw's expertise is in the areas of technology law, social media regulation, privacy, cybersecurity, human rights and corporate social responsibility. She has authored numerous publications, including her book, Regulating Speech in Cyberspace: Gatekeepers, Human Rights and Corporate Responsibility, published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. Her current research on developing privacy for the digital age is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Dr. Laidlaw speaks widely about her fields of expertise to governmental bodies, international institutions, non-governmental organizations, practitioners, judges and the general public.
Dr. Laidlaw is currently an advisor to the Law Commission of Ontario concerning defamation law in the age of the internet. As a result of the impact of her work, Dr. Laidlaw was named a Peak Scholar at the University of Calgary in 2018.
The appointment of the new Integrity Commissioner is currently underway.