The council of the Canadian city of Brampton has appointed Muneeza Sheikh as its integrity commissioner and lobbyist registrar to become the city’s first Muslim woman on a full contract, In Brampton reported.
“As integrity commissioner, I’ll oversee the application of the Council Code of Conduct, along with any city by-laws, procedures, rules and policies governing the ethical behavior of the mayor and councilors,” the new Muslim official explained.
Being effective since Thursday, July 11, Sheikh took over the position from Suzanne Craig, who was serving as the interim integrity commissioner.
The Muslim lady is a senior partner at Levitt LLP specializing in labor and employment law in the Greater Toronto Area, the most populous metropolitan area in Canada.
She’s also the director of communications for Canadian Muslim Vote, which promotes the engagement of Muslim Canadians in the democratic process.
“Per my role as lobbyist registrar, I’ll enforce the city’s Lobbyist and Gift Registries, as well as the Lobbyist Code of Conduct. The lobbyist registrar can investigate complaints and impose sanctions if lobbying activity hasn’t been disclosed or if an individual has contravened the Lobbyist Code of Conduct,” Sheikh informed.
For both roles, she will produce reports summarizing complaints, investigations, and advice and will make recommendations for any improvements to the city’s accountability process.
Trust for Brampton Diversity
On his behalf, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said: “Our new integrity commissioner isn’t only a leading legal expert and an advocate for the democratic process, but also represents the very mosaic of Brampton’s diversity.”
He further said: “Supported by her leadership, this council is committed to transparency and government excellence which are foundational to Brampton being a well-run city.”
According to the 2011 report of the National Household Survey (NHS) in Canada, Islam was the religion of 7.1% of the total population of Brampton city in Ontario province.
Brampton and its surrounding region were inhabited by Amerindians for thousands of years before the arrival of European occupiers from France and the UK by the mid of the 17th century.
The native peoples of the region are the Algonquian (Ojibwa, Cree, and Algonquin) and Iroquoian (Iroquois, Petun and Huron) tribes.
In NHS’s 2011 report, Muslims numbered as few as 581,950 individuals in Ontario province. This puts them as 4.6% of the total population of the east Canadian province.