Open Government

The Region of Waterloo strives to be open, transparent and accountable to citizens. Through a number of projects and initiatives, the Region is empowering citizens to become more engaged and to access government information.

Accountability and Transparency Policy
 The Region is committed to:
  • Openness and fairness in all Regional business
  • Efficient and effective financial management
  • An open, responsive meeting process that ensures citizen have access to and awareness of the Council/Committee business being discussed
  • Providing access to public information consistent with legislative requirements
  • Ensuring staff conduct themselves in accordance with policies, procedures and practices
  • Responding in a timely manner to inquiries, concerns and complaints
  • Ensuring delegated responsibilities are documented and include appropriate oversight
  • Knowing, understanding and following any legislative mandate approved by the Provincial or the Federal government

Read the Region's Accountability and Transparency Policy for more information.

Municipal Act Policies

The Municipal Act requires municipalities to develop and maintain various policies regarding the accountability and transparency of municipal government and its operations. The following have been adopted by Regional Council

Procedural By-law


The Procedural Bylaw was adopted by Council to govern how meetings are conducted. The rules ensure a fair and consistent approach with respect to the consideration of Regional business. The Procedural Bylaw also establishes standards in relation to notice provisions, agendas and minutes, resolutions, and voting. 

Service Improvement
The Region is focused on providing excellent customer service through every service we provide. We aim to constantly improve on the five drivers that have been proven to most influence overall customer satisfaction:
  • Timeliness
  • Staff performance
  • Ease of access
  • Clear processes
  • Outcome

The Region regularly collects feedback on key Regional Services. To tell us about your experience, please visit our feedback page. The Region is committed to responding to and following up on complaints. Visit our complaints page

Enhanced public engagement program
The Region believes engaged citizens can strengthen government. We have developed guidelines for public engagement that provide staff with a consistent approach to public engagement. We have also expanded the tools we use to engage citizens, including an online engagement platform. There are a number of other ways to engage with the Region. Visit our Public Engagement page for more opportunities to get involved.
Access to information

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) gives you the right to ask for access to municipal government information. The Act also protects the privacy of personal information and gives you the right to request your own personal information that is held by the Region.

Personal health records held by Sunnyside Home, Public Health and Emergency Services are regulated by the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). This Act has a similar process for requesting access to health records. For more information, check our Personal Health Privacy page.

The Region makes every effort possible to provide appropriate access to our records, but in some cases we cannot give access to certain records or parts of them because the Act includes some limited protections for information holdings. For example, the Region may be required to protect the rights of another person or organization. Visit the Access to information page for more information.

Municipal Ombudsman Services

The Region of Waterloo uses the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario to provide their Municipal Ombudsman services. The Municipal Ombudsman will independently receive, review and investigate complaints, provide periodic updates on investigations and produce an annual report. The Municipal Ombudsman acts at arm’s length from Regional Council and the corporation. For more information and to view Annual Reports, check out our Municipal Ombudsman Services page.

Code of Conduct for Members of Council and the Integrity Commissioner

The Code of Conduct for Members of Council was adopted by Council to:

  • ensure that Members of Council share a common basis for acceptable conduct;
  • reinforce the Region’ Accountability and Transparency Policy;  and
  • enhance public confidence that the Region’s elected representatives operate from a base of accountability, transparency, integrity, fairness and respect

Council appointed an Integrity Commissioner to address the application of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council. The Integrity Commissioner has the power to deal with requests to investigate suspected contraventions of the Code of Conduct and Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and recommend penalties.

In addition to conducting formal Code of Conduct and Municipal Conflict of Interest Act investigations, the Integrity Commissioner also serves as an advisor on appropriate conduct and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to individual Members of Council or Council as a whole.

The Integrity Commissioner delivers an annual report to Council providing a summary of activity throughout the year and information related to best practices and the potential development and/or revision of policies and procedures which emphasize the importance of ethical conduct.

Code of Conduct Complaint Procedure

Complaints under the Code of Conduct for Members of Council are to be submitted to the Regional Clerk and sworn before a commissioner of oaths and are then forwarded to the Integrity Commissioner.

The formal complaint form must provide:

a)       the name of Member to whom the complaint relates;

b)       the nature of the alleged contravention;

c)       the specific provision(s) of the Code allegedly contravened;

d)       the names of any witnesses to the alleged contravention;

e)       a supporting affidavit that sets out the evidence in support of the complaint; and

f)        any written material in support of the alleged contravention.

When the Integrity Commissioner receives a complaint they will determine if it is within their jurisdiction. Complaints that are not within the Integrity Commissioner’s jurisdiction shall be referred to the appropriate person or agency to follow that process.

If the Integrity Commissioner is of the opinion that a complaint is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith, or that there are no grounds or insufficient grounds for an investigation, the Integrity Commissioner shall not conduct an investigation.

If the complaint is within the Integrity Commissioner’s jurisdiction the Integrity Commissioner will investigate and may attempt to settle the complaint.

The Integrity Commissioner shall report their findings to an open meeting of Regional Council. Regional Council shall consider and respond to a report from the Integrity Commissioner within thirty days of receiving the report. 


Questions can be directed to the Regional Clerk.

Integrity Commissioner Reports

Code of Conduct for Citizen Appointments to Local Boards, Foundations and Advisory Committees

The purpose of the Code of Conduct for Citizen Appointments to Local Boards, Foundations or Advisory Committees, is to provide a general standard for all citizen appointed members to ensure they are acting in a manner that is appropriate with regard to the body that they have been appointed to.  


complaint about a Member of a Local Board/Foundation/Advisory Committee must be submitted to the Regional Clerk for their consideration.  The Clerk shall determine if a complaint should be sent to the Integrity Commissioner for their review.

Conflict of Interest Registry

Changes to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act require that municipalities create and maintain a public registry of all declarations of pecuniary interest made by members of Council and local boards. The Conflict of Interest Registry is available to view and download. 

Closed Meeting Investigations

Generally, Region of Waterloo Council and Committee meetings are held in public. Occasionally they may meet behind closed doors to receive certain information or give direction.

Anyone can submit a confidential complaint to the Closed Meeting Investigator about a meeting or part of a meeting that is closed to the public if they feel it did not follow the rules/exemptions as listed in Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001 and/or the Region’s Procedural By-law.

Under Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, the permitted reasons for going into a closed meeting are:

  • The security of property of the municipality or local board;
  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including employees;
  • A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land;
  • Labour relations or employee negotiations;
  • Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege;
  • A matter authorized by another provincial statute;
  • If the subject matter relates to a request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
  • If the subject matter relates to an ongoing investigation by the Ombudsman or Municipal Ombudsman.
  • The meeting is held for educating and training and no member discusses or deals with a matter in a way that materially advances the business or decision-making of the council or local board.

Before submitting a request for an investigation, members of the public, including corporations, can contact the Regional Clerk’s office to see if they can answer your question/concern.

Regional Council has appointed the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario as its Closed Meeting Investigator. The Ombudsman of Ontario is authorized to conduct investigations upon receipt of a complaint about a closed meeting or part of a closed meeting. The Investigator will determine compliance with the Municipal Act and/or the Procedural Bylaw.

To submit a request for a closed meeting investigation for the Region of Waterloo, please contact the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario.

Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario
483 Bay Street, 10th Floor, South Tower
Toronto, ON M5G 2C9

Toll free (Ontario only): 1-800-263-1830
Outside Ontario: 416-586-3300
TTY (teletypewriter): 1-866-411-4211
Fax: 416-586-3485
Toll-free Fax: 1-866-863-2560

Open data
Open data allows the public to access the Region's data more easily and encourages innovation in the community. The data can be accessed by everyone for free and used or republished with very few restrictions. Check out the Region's Open Data portal to see what data is available.
Asset Management

The data in the Asset Management Plan demonstrates that assets are managed well and the Region's infrastructure is in reasonable condition. The Asset Management Plan (AM Plan) is a long range planning document, intended to improve the Region’s ability to meet its corporate goals and objectives in a way that best serves its customers.

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