MLA Code of Conduct Backgrounder/Timeline
Before 2017 Members of the Legislative Assembly did not have a Code of Conduct. That’s why I put forward a motion to begin this process in February 2015, during my first session as an MLA. A code of conduct offers new MLAs guidance on their roles and responsibilities, while also detailing how all MLAs should behave in carrying out their duties.
On March 16, 2017 the Legislature unanimously adopted my motion to have the Standing Committee on Procedure, Privileges and Legislative Officers look into creating a Code of Conduct.
The Committee met and adopted a Code of Conduct on December 5, 2017.
The Legislature formally adopted the Code of Conduct, adding it to the Standing Rules, on March 14, 2018.
For the full text of the code of conduct, see below.
STATEMENT ON ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES AND CODE OF CONDUCT
124(1) The Legislative Assembly shall, on the recommendation of the Standing Committee on
Procedure, Privileges and Legislative Officers, establish a Statement on Roles and Responsibilities
and Code of Conduct for Members, hereinafter referred to as the “Code”.
124(2) The Code shall be printed as an appendix to the Standing Rules of the Legislative Assembly
and in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick Members’ Orientation Manual.
2. That the following Statement on Roles and Responsibilities and Code of Conduct for
Members be added as an appendix to the Standing Rules of the Legislative Assembly:
STATEMENT ON ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES AND CODE OF CONDUCTFOR MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF NEW BRUNSWICK
THE KEY ROLE AND DUTIES OF AN MLA
As Members directly elected by the People of New Brunswick to represent them in the Legislative
Assembly, we acknowledge and accept the responsibility thereby entrusted to us to serve the people
of the Province honestly and conscientiously to the best of our abilities.
In furtherance of this commitment, the Members of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
further acknowledge that in carrying out their legislative duties, Members have the following
1. to first and foremost represent conscientiously the interests of the constituents of his or her
2. to be accessible to the constituents of his or her electoral district and to assist his or her
constituents regardless of their political affiliation;
3. to perform the duties of a legislator in the Assembly, by attending and participating in the
proceedings of the Legislative Assembly;
4. to work for the advancement of the people and the Province of New Brunswick;
5. to uphold the principles of democratic governance;
6. to represent faithfully and loyally the Province of New Brunswick in all venues, be they
local, provincial, national or international.
CODE OF CONDUCT
1. The key principle of this Code is to maintain and promote public confidence and trust in the
integrity of Members of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick as well as the respect
and confidence that citizens place in the New Brunswick Legislature as an institution.
2. A further purpose of this Code is to provide guidance to the Members of the Legislative
Assembly as to the standard of conduct expected of them in the discharge of their obligations
to their constituents, the Legislative Assembly and the public at large.
3. This Code applies to Members in all aspects of their public life.
4. By virtue of their oath or affirmation of allegiance, Members have a duty to be loyal to the
people of New Brunswick and to perform the duties of Members honestly and justly in
conformity with the laws of the Province of New Brunswick and the rules of the Legislative
Duty as a Representative
5. Members have a duty to be accessible to the people of the areas for which they have been
elected to serve and to represent their interests conscientiously.
6. In representing people’s interest, Members have a duty to respect individual privacy, unless
there are overwhelming reasons in the wider public interest for disclosure to be made to a
relevant authority, for example where a Member is made aware of criminal activity.
General Principles of Personal Conduct
Members should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so
in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their
8. Integrity and Honesty
a) Members should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to
outside individuals or organizations that might influence them in the performance of
their official duties.
b) Members have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties
and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public
9. Accountability and Openness
a) Members are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public. They have a
duty to consider issues on their merits, taking account of the views of others.
b) Members should be as open as possible about their decisions and actions that they
take and give reasons for their decisions and restrict information onlywhen the wider
public interest clearly demands.
10. Respect and Courtesy
In respect of the responsibilities outlined in this Code, the conduct of Members shall
demonstrate respect and courtesy
a) in all communications with constituents, regardless of political affiliation;
b) in all interventions in the Legislative Assembly and towards its Members and
c) by showing compassion and fairness toward all who seek their assistance;
d) for the cultural diversity of the Province of New Brunswick.
Members have a duty to promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
12. Members shall base their conduct on a consideration of the public interest, avoid conflict
between personal interest and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two,
at once, and in favour of the public interest.
13. Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and
strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the Legislature and never
undertake any action which would bring the Legislative Assembly or its Members generally
14. The provisions of this Code shall be taken into account by the Legislative Assembly in any
proceeding relating to the conduct of an MLA.
15. This Code of conduct is not designed to be exhaustive and there will be occasions when
Members will find it necessary to adopt more stringent norms of conduct in order to protect
the public interest and to enhance public confidence and trust.