Secrecy, conflicts in Collingwood deals point to holes in Ontario’s integrity rules, judge finds

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A tangle of insider relationships among officials and family in the resort town of Collingwood, Ont., led to serious problems in two multimillion-dollar public contracts, a judge concluded today after a two-year public inquiry, pointing to the need for the province to plug holes in its laws around municipal politicians’ conflicts of interest. The 306 recommendations from Judge Frank Marrocco include a call to overhaul Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. The judge said elected officials should be barred from participating and voting on many matters in which extended family such as siblings are involved — a much bigger circle than in current rules. It’s also something already recommended nine years ago but not acted on, after an inquiry into a municipal deal in another Ontario city.