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Putting Calgary First

Putting Calgary first

I am responsible for: putting Calgary first

You are many things to different people, and balancing all of these roles can be tricky. As we carry out our work at The City, it is important that we are not influenced by personal or outside interests. We want to provide services to members of the public in a way that is fair, objective and impartial so that we do not give anyone an unfair advantage, or create an advantage for ourselves.  Putting Calgary first isn't just about being fair and honest; it is also about protecting our reputation and the trust members of the public have in us.

Behaviours for putting Calgary first

Consider the greater good:

  • Set aside personal views and focus on what is best for The City and its people.
  • Remain politically neutral in the performance of your duties.
  • Tell your Leader if you are asked to participate in decision-making on a matter that could benefit you or someone connected to you.
  • Use your own time for private interests, such as taking part in a community event or political activity.
  • Disclose any new, ongoing, or possible conflicts of interests that you are aware of to your Leader or HR Business Partner.
  • Maintain public trust by keeping your outside interests separate and distinct from your job obligations.

Setting an example:

  • If a vendor or business associate offers to give me tickets or to pay for my meal, and accepting could be perceived to be a conflict of interest, I respectfully decline.
  • When in doubt about a potential conflict of interest, I talk to my leader.
  • I advise my leader if a person with whom I have a family or personal relationship is being considered for a job in my work area.

Be an ambassador:

  • Treat all members of the public, vendors, and special interest groups fairly and consistently.
  • Deliver services to members of the public regardless of their political or world views.
  • Act and communicate in a way that reflects positively on The City.

Setting an example:

  • When I see a positive story about The City or my colleagues, I share it.
  • When I see a City employee who has made a public statement online that reflects poorly on The City and/or a City employee, I let my leader know.
  • I only communicate with the media about City business if I have been authorized and completed training to be a designated spokesperson.

Behaviours to avoid: I will not...

  • Be influenced to act in a way that is not in The City’s best interests.
  • Post any information that could harm The City’s or your reputation including selfies in your work uniform.
  • Use information you have access to at work for the benefit of someone you have a personal relationship with.
  • Accept a discount on personal purchases from a business, unless they offer a discount program to employees from multiple organizations.
  • Identify yourself as a City employee when you communicate your personal or outside interests publicly.
  • Use your position, authority, or influence to benefit yourself, a relative, a group you support, or someone with whom you have a personal relationship.
  • Accept cash or gift cards of any value from members of the public, business associates, or vendors. If it’s impossible to decline the gift, seek advice from a Leader.
  • Ask for, or accept, any discount that a vendor may have negotiated with The City when you are purchasing something for your personal use.​


Conflict of interest

Occurs when an employee has a private or personal interest that could influence or compete with, or be perceived to influence or compete with, the objective exercise of their City duties.​​

Disrespectful behaviour

Is objectionable or unwelcome conduct with moderate impact, which may or may not have intent to cause harm and has a negative effect on the work environment or individual(s).


Is any single significant incident or repeated incidents of objectionable or unwelcome conduct, comment, bullying or action by a person that the person knows, or ought reasonably to know, will or would cause offence or humiliation to an individual and/or a negative effect an individual’s health and safety.


A Leader means a person who is in a position of directing employees and/or work relating to any City Workplace, project, contract, or volunteer operation.  They have job titles such as City Manager, General Manager, Director, Chief, Manager, Deputy, Leader, Supervisor, Captain, Team Lead, Superintendent, Foreman, Lead Hand, Coordinator or similar.  This includes those temporarily acting in a Leader role or has been delegated a Leader’s duties. 

Personal information

Any recorded information about an identifiable individual. It includes information that relates to a particular individual and allows that individual to be identified, e.g., notes, including opinions, about a customer are the customer’s Personal Information.

Personal relationship

Involves a relationship of a romantic nature or a relationship which is sufficiently close that objectivity is either impaired or may be perceived to be impaired.

Political activity

Includes, but is not limited to, being a candidate for elected office, campaigning for a candidate for elected office, fundraising for an election campaign, and/or promoting a political party or cause.​

Public statement

A declaration made by an employee in any public forum that relates to The City, City business or employees, including presentations made to Council or committee and/or community forums (open houses, information sessions, engagement events). Public statements may also include online and social media posts.​​


Is an individual with whom the employee has a family relationship and includes without limitation an employee’s: Current or former spouse, including common law partner and adult interdependent partner, child(ren) and grandchild(ren) (including foster or step), dependent(s), parent(s) (including foster or step) and parent(s)-in-law, parent(s)’ sibling(s), cousin(s), sibling(s) (including foster or step) and sibling(s)-in-law, sibling(s)’ child(ren), grandparent(s) (including step) and grandparent(s)-in-law.


Whether at a Workplace or work-related, Violence means the Threatened, attempted, or actual conduct of a person that causes or is likely to cause physical or psychological injury or harm, and includes domestic or sexual Violence.


I always have choices. Which one feels right to me?

I work with a group of City customers. One of ‘my regulars’ often brings in gifts like food or gift cards to say ‘thank you’ for my work. What should I do?

  • I share these gifts with others on my team as we all work together - some just get more recognition than others.

  • I tell the customer I can’t accept the gift cards based on our Conflict of Interest Policy but can receive the food with gratitude.

  • I reassure the giver that they will get great service without gifts but thank them for their gesture. I can accept gifts that are of nominal value and are not cash-based including gift cards.

  • If I believe declining the gift will cause significant offense to the person offering it I accept it but seek guidance from my leader on next steps.


It’s important that we treat members of the public, vendors and special interest groups fairly and consistently. It’s important that you don’t put yourself into a conflict of interest situation. You should not accept a gift if it would appear you are obligated to an individual or organization–or convey that this is an accepted way to obtain service from City employees.

More examples

Conflict of interest example #1

Dear Code of Conduct,

I have been an employee for two years. When I first started my wife was providing occasional services to The City as a contractor. I informed my supervisor of this when I first started. Since that time, my wife’s business has grown significantly and her company now provides regular services to The City accounting for a good percentage of her income. I am now in a position to use those services. Is this still okay?

– The Other Half

Dear The Other Half,

Thanks for checking in a second time. What may not have been an issue when you first joined The City could be an issue now, especially if your job has changed since your start date.

There appears to be a real potential for conflict of interest here. I encourage you to seek further guidance on this by talking to your leader or your HR Business Partner.

Conflict of interest example #2

Dear Code of Conduct,

I have a number of employees on a temporary assignment, who all want to continue working at The City. For Christmas one employee gave me jewellery to thank me for being a great boss. Coincidentally, at the start of January I need to end one of the assignments. Is there a problem if I keep the gift or the employee who gave it to me?

– Conflicted

Dear Conflicted,

Conflict of Interest often involves people’s perception that a conflict exists. In this case, there could be a problem, especially if that employee is successful in continuing to work in your area at the end of the temporary assignment.

If the jewelry is more than just a general trinket, then it would be best to explain to the employee who gave it to you that while you appreciate the gesture, it isn’t appropriate for you to accept the gift. Take this opportunity to explain the Conflict of Interest Policy section on gifts, hospitality and other benefits.

Generally speaking, a token of nominal value can be exchanged between employees or between employees and their supervisors. Examples might include a small bag of candies or a modest bouquet of flowers. Items exchanged when participating in the Corporate Recognition Program are also acceptable.

Social media, media relations and public statements example

Dear Code of Conduct,

I noticed a City employee posting inappropriate comments about The City on a popular social-networking page. It’s not really my role to say anything, is it? What should I do?

– Proud of my City

Dear Proud of my City,

Even if you are not an official media spokesperson, you are still an ambassador of The City. If you come across posts, comments or images that could negatively impact our brand or reputation share this with your leader.

Whether the offensive post is from a City employee, contractor or even The City itself we want to know about them.

Learn more


Resources supporting Putting Calgary First can be found in the resource section.

If you are unsure: ask questions and seek guidance

  • Your leader is there to provide clarity on expectations in the workplace and to support you.

  • If you are not comfortable speaking to your leader, you can speak with their leader. The Corporate Organizational Chart can help you identify who this is.

  • The HR Business Partner in your business unit can answer some of your questions or help you find someone who can. If you need to find contact information for your HR Business Partner call: 403-268-5800.