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Vancouver appoints veteran lawyer as first-ever ‘integrity commissioner’

Lisa Southern already conducted review involving Mayor Kennedy Stewart
The City of Vancouver announced Tuesday that veteran lawyer Lisa Southern has been appointed the city’s first-ever integrity commissioner. Photo courtesy City of Vancouver
Lisa Southern has been retained as Vancouver’s first-ever integrity commissioner.

The City of Vancouver announced Tuesday (Jan. 4) that city council appointed Southern, a veteran lawyer and managing partner at Southern Butler Price in North Vancouver, in the new role.

Her two-year appointment was effective Jan. 1.

“I am honoured to accept this appointment and provide support to council and the City of Vancouver community through the important role of integrity commissioner,” said Southern in a news release.

“I look forward to developing the full scope of responsibilities of the position including education, advice, and mediation, in addition to investigation services.”

Southern’s duties will include providing advice and recommendations to the mayor and 10 councillors, and educating council, the public and staff about the operation of the city’s code of conduct bylaw.

She will also be responsible for conducting investigations into complaints of alleged breaches of the code of conduct.

Southern already has experience in such investigations, having done one last year when the city hired her to review a complaint over a tweet posted on the Twitter account of Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

Details on her findings and why she was likely to become the city’s integrity commissioner were reported Dec. 1 by Vancouver Is Awesome. Council has set aside a $200,000 budget this year for Southern’s position and it will be used on a contractual retainer basis.

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