This Complaint Protocol describes informal and formal ways for members of the public, staff members and members of the Board of Trustees to address complaints concerning the Trustee Code of Conduct
and members of the Board. The Complaint Protocol provides a number of ways to resolve complaints in addition to the process described in section 218.3(2) of the Education Act which permits a member to bring an alleged breach directly to the attention of the Board of Trustees.
The Integrity Commissioner may provide advice to members of the Board, information to staff members, and members of the public as well as options for resolving complaints as described in this Complaint Protocol. All of these processes are intended to ensure that there is an opportunity to resolve complaints as fairly, expeditiously and meaningfully as possible.
Informal Complaint Process
Individuals (including staff members of the Board, members of the public, or members of the Board) are encouraged to use informal means first to address conduct prohibited by the Code of Conduct. With the consent of the complaining individual and the Trustee, the Integrity Commissioner may be a part of any informal process.
Individuals (including staff members of the Board, members of the public, or Trustees) who have identified or witnessed conduct by a Trustee that they believe is in contravention of the Code of Conduct may address the prohibited conduct as follows:
(a) advise the Trustee that the conduct contravenes the Code of Conduct with an explanation as to why;
(b) encourage the Trustee to stop the prohibited conduct;
(c) keep a written record of the incidents including dates, times, locations, other persons present, and any other relevant information; tell someone else (for example the Integrity Commissioner, a senior staff member or an officer of the organization) about the concerns related to the Trustee and any response of the Trustee;
(d) if applicable, confirm to the Trustee the satisfaction with the response of the Trustee; or, if applicable, advise the Trustee of the dissatisfaction with the response;
(e) if the parties agree, the Integrity Commissioner can participate in resolving or attempting to resolve the issues relating to the complaint; and
(f) consider the need to pursue a formal complaint as described in section 6.2. An informal complaint must be made within six (6) months of the alleged violation or no action will be taken on the complaint.
The informal complaint process is encouraged; however, it is not required prior to beginning the formal complaint process.
Anonymous complaints will not be considered by the Integrity Commissioner but the Integrity Commissioner has the discretion to make an informal complaint anonymous where it compromises the functioning of the Board.
If an informal complaint is brought to the attention of the Integrity Commissioner during the pre-election period described in subsection 6.2(e), the Integrity Commissioner shall not participate in the informal process until after a new Board is deemed organized under section 6 of the Municipal Elections Act.
Formal Complaint and Request for Inquiry Process
Requests for Inquiries
(a) A request for an inquiry into a complaint that a Trustee has contravened the Code of Conduct (the "complaint") may be made to the Integrity Commissioner and if so, shall be made in writing on the prescribed form (sworn affidavit).
(b) All written complaints shall be signed by an identifiable individual.
(c) The office of the Integrity Commissioner shall know the identity of the complainant, but where the safety of the complainant is an issue, or the identity of the complainant can impact the functioning of the board and/or professional working relationship, the Integrity Commissioner can maintain the anonymity of the complainant.
(d) A written complaint shall set out reasonable and probable grounds for the allegation that the Trustee has contravened the Code of Conduct. The complaint should include the name of the alleged violator, the provision allegedly contravened, the facts constituting the alleged contravention, the names and contact information of witnesses, and contact information for the complainant during regular business hours.
(e)Where a complaint is brought forward by way of a Board decision under s. 218.3(a) of the Education Act, 6.2 (a) will not apply.
(f) In a municipal election year, a Code of Conduct complaint respecting a Trustee who is seeking re-election will not be received by the Integrity Commissioner and any open complaint investigation shall be suspended during the period starting on Civic Monday and ending when a new Board is deemed organized under section 6 of the Municipal Elections Act.
(g) A formal complaint must be made within six (6) months of the alleged violation or no action will be taken on the complaint.