Code of conduct recommended for Ontario school trustees

  • May 1, 2009
{mosimage}TORONTO - Ontario’s education minister should establish a provincial code of conduct for all school boards, says a new report .

In its April 22 report, the Governance Review Committee recommended that the minister consult with trustees or trustee organizations to set a minimum code of conduct for trustees.

While noting that many school boards already have policies on ethics or conduct for trustees, the committee said creating a uniform code of conduct would “ensure some level of consistency across the province.”

The report acknowledged diverging opinions on the idea of a uniform provincial code, including “some trustees (who) expressed concern that such a code would hold trustees to a different standard than other elected officials.” But the committee said school boards should be able to add their own provisions based upon local circumstances.

According to the report, provincial standards for a code of conduct could include provisions requiring trustees to avoid conflict of interest and personal advantage, and “uphold decisions made by the board, even if an individual trustee does not agree with them.”

Education Minister Kathleen Wynne established the committee Nov. 4, in the middle of a trustee spending scandal which has plagued the Toronto Catholic District School Board. The board has been under provincial supervision for almost a year and former chair Oliver Carroll was found guilty of conflict-of-interest charges in February.

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