WRDSB Trustee speaks out against code of conduct complaint, board responds

By CityNews Staff

The conversation continues around a code of conduct complaint made against Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) Trustee Mike Ramsay.

The Integrity Commissioner found Tuesday, a further formal inquiry would not be required due to time limitations.

Ramsay posted his response to the findings on social media and saying, “I am more angry than relieved… It is lousy that the chair chose to proceed with a full formal investigation.”


The school board is now responding to Ramsay’s comments saying in a release, “Trustee Ramsay’s characterization of this matter is quite incorrect…it is not the function of the Chair to decide whether to have a formal complaint proceed to an inquiry or not…it is the role of the Integrity Commissioner.”

The release goes on to say the Board’s policy was followed and Trustee Ramsay is “fully aware of these facts.”

The full statements can be read below:


Message on behalf of Joanne Weston, Chair Person

I am sharing the following message on behalf of Joanne Weston, Chair and Spokesperson for the Board of Trustees:

Regrettably, the Board finds itself in the position of having to correct the record concerning a recent Trustee Code of Conduct complaint.

The Board has a policy which governs these matters.

Some of the relevant provisions of this policy include:

If a written complaint is filed with the Chairperson of the Board, then a formal inquiry shall be undertaken unless the complainant subsequently withdraws the complaint or agrees that the complaint may be dealt with in accordance with the informal complaint process.

Within three (3) working days after receiving the written complaint, the Chairperson of the Board shall notify the trustee and the Integrity Commissioner of the complaint.

The Integrity Commissioner shall provide, to all trustees, a confidential copy of the complaint within ten (10) days of receiving it.

Any allegation of a breach of the Code of Conduct must be brought to the attention of the Chairperson of the Board no later than six (6) weeks after the breach comes to the knowledge of the trustee reporting the breach.

If the Integrity Commissioner is of the opinion that the formal complaint is out of time, or that there are no grounds or insufficient grounds for a formal inquiry, a formal inquiry shall not be conducted and a confidential report stating the reasons for not doing so shall be provided to all trustees.

It is evident that the Board’s policy ensures that an independent person decides whether to proceed with a formal inquiry or not. Having the Integrity Commissioner make this decision (rather than the Board itself) helps to ensure that the process is fairly administered. Stakeholder confidence would be reduced if the Board decided not to proceed with a formal complaint against one of its members for what appeared to be “technical” reasons.

Trustee Ramsay’s characterization of this matter is quite incorrect. It is not the function of the Chair to decide whether to have a formal complaint proceed to an inquiry or not. The Board’s policy could not be clearer in this regard. It is the role of the Integrity Commissioner. The Board’s policy was followed. Trustee Ramsay is fully aware of these facts.

In addition, it is quite wrong to say that any allegations are meritless because there was never any determination as to the merits of the allegations.

We must not confuse the voicing of concerns with the use of incendiary language and deliberate distortion. The former is to be encouraged at all times. There is no place for the latter if we truly care about trying to improve the education of children.

As Trustees, we are required to ensure that our public comments are issue-based and not personal, demeaning or disparaging with regard to fellow trustees, stakeholders or the Board as a whole. If we meet this standard in our public communications then our students will be well served.

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