Open Mike! By Mike Bedard – Code of Ethics are a Mirage! – April 2, 2012

CFN – What good is a professional code of ethics if they can’t be enforced?  Many organizations claim that they hold the highest standards of quality and have established a code of ethics that all members or employees must adhere to………….but what if said code was broken?
A professional code of ethics is simple and normally part of how professional businesses “naturally” conduct themselves.  A number of professional organizations define their ethical approach as a number of discrete components. Typically these include:

So what if a business or person is defamed, slandered and its clients or friends fraudulently approached!  More specifically how does an ethical business or person protect themselves and should it even have to protect themselves against those looking to harm their livelihood?

Unfortunately, it is far too common for employees of a business to “bash” a competitor in order to deter a prospective client from going elsewhere!  The forms of unethical “bashing” range in aggressiveness and although sound different ultimately provide an equivalent message.   Here are some examples of what you might hear:

“We have decided to get into this business as a natural extension to our service offering because we ultimately could not refer anyone without hurting our reputation!”


“Everyone in our industry is too expensive and we can save you money through our unique process!”


“Unlike our competitors, we guarantee our service and offer the highest quality products!”


Every one of these statements may seem normal or not very harmful and you are right but they are unethical because they lead consumers to believe that others in the industry have acted improperly which may or may not be true.  It also is a negative approach since it relies on discrediting others rather than focusing on showing the value in their products or services!

What do you do if another person or business is acting unethically?

Take legal action?  Ignore the comments?  Defend yourself by countering the comments with some of your own? Etc.
Will you be seen as weak or even guilty by not commenting?  Should you not publicly defend yourself?
What if you lose clients do to these misleading or fraudulent actions?



“Grow your success and focus all of your energy on your clients!  Do not focus your energy on those who are lost in transition and who can do and say whatever they wish but ultimately the proof is in the pudding and you should always strive to improve!  Use their comments as fuel to Objectively improve areas under criticism or to provide further Transparency to the public about the product, services or decisions that you provide /have made!”

Codes of ethics are fools tails!

In reality, all Code of ethics are merely a concept and ultimately agreed upon but essentially never enforced nor reviewed; if the individual or company is of a certain stature!  It is normal for larger or established companies and more influential community leaders or politicians to get away with unethical practices and blame the circumstance or individuals rather accept that the fact that in reality Honesty, Integrity, Transparency, etc. are more often forgotten rather than followed!


Codes of Ethics are created as a mere guideline and mean very little in today’s society because although they are as widely believed as religion they are barely adhered to and never repent for their wrongful actions unlike those of faith of true faith!

A code of ethics is NOT a process rather than a belief often forgotten!

Platinum Pools


  1. Dude… business at its very core is unethical, using scarcity in a world of abundance, using marketing to entice and lure that which is not needed. Using geopolitical policy to manufacture products for the lowest price without consideration of the human spirit.

  2. The Code of Ethics is non-existant at City Hall thats for sure.

  3. • So it’s not as simple as that. Societies are not virtual entities existing only in your computer screen when you play video games. It’s not as simple as pushing the “reset” button and changing the settings for a computer program. You can’t simply set the clock ten or twelve years back in an economy with living people. You can do that very easily of course by changing the numbers in a machine. But societies with real human beings are not machines or computer programs. You might want to create a “Virtual Cornwall” simulation program and set the clock twelve years earlier. It will be very easy. In real Cornwall, this is not going to happen. It’s not going to work. Anyway, deflation rarely ever succeeds, and it has usually disastrous economic (not to mention political) results.

  4. Readers of “Open Mike” should note that unlike a “Code of Ethics”, a “Code of Conduct” is a document that clearly states acceptable and non-acceptable conduct and specifies the procedure that would lead to enforceable corrective action.

    (The key being that ethics deals with principles while conduct is deals with actions. One relying on subjectivity judgement and the other available to objective examination)

    For instance, in the case of a city CAO using city resources — let’s say — to tow his vehicle out of a ditch after visiting a friend.

    A Code of Conduct with a section like this could apply:
    “No member shall use for personal purposes any City property equipment services supplies or services of consequence other than for purposes connected witht he discharge of City duties or associated community activities of which City Council has been advised”

    Then using a simple procedure with strict timelines, the incident would be reported, investigated, and if sustained, a public report is presented and corrective action may be taken and/or a penalty imposed, if an incident is dismissed then at least a public report is presented that can be examined.

    A Code of Conduct is then combined with adherance to Municipal Act 2001 (the “Act”), which requires that:

    a) Council is “to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality, including the activities of the senior management of the municipality”. (the Act, section 224(d.1)); and

    b) that municipalities must adopt and maintain a policy with respect to “the manner in which the municipality will try to ensure that it is accountable to the public for its actions, and the manner in which the municipality will try to ensure that its actions are transparent to the public”.(the Act, section 270(1), para. 5).

    So…. there’s no point bemoaning our situation. The residents of Cornwall must insist on a written and enforceable Code of Conduct.

  5. Do you mean like when a business (perhaps 40 years old plus), doesn’t pay their bills, stiffs suppliers, stiffs the former owners of said business, puts their longstanding employees out of work, closes their doors (in the middle of the night), then reopen a new business and act as though the old business never exsisted, walking around, and mouthing off, with no shame. Is that what you mean by “unethical”?

  6. Re: Befordst,

    No, kind of like the back door slander and unethical comments made like yours specifically!

    1) Past employees slandering past owner’s and trying to pretend that the problems within the former company where 100% the owner’s fault! Telling people that a business that has closed purely due to financial constraints has closed due to numerous reasons other than the truth!

    2) Having their children post comments on-line using anonymous names!

    3) Calling “Roy’s” clients on behalf of another company and misleading them to believe that the “new” company that they now work for is “replacing” Roy’s Pools! When the only relation is a few former employees work their as oppose to the more then triple that work for me! Which this employee was accused of by the former owner’s you mention!

    Would you like to mention your real name? Or would that prove how unethical you and your family really is?

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  7. Qui s’excuse…?

  8. J’écris mes colonnes pour divertir et fournir une autre vue de société en général. Je n’aime pas discuter d’autres entreprises parce que c’est non étique et je défendrai toujours mes mes affaires parce qu’essentiellement je protège mes employés et leurs familles!

    De certains membres de famille d’une autre compagnie de piscine essaient de diffamer mon nom et ont voyagé par la poste sous les noms des autres pour cacher leur propre identité et c’est malhonnête!

    Les choses ne s’entraînent pas toujours malgré le meilleur d’intentions. Il y a une grande différence entre le fait d’avoir honte d’un échec personnel et le fait d’essayer résolument de faire mal à d’autres. Une action est accusable pendant que l’autre est complètement honteux.

    Mike Bedard

  9. Faire mal a d’autre? T’a du front tout le tour de la tete toi! Toute les fause accusations , tu pence ca pas fait mal ?

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