Toronto Catholic parent group seeks school supervisor’s removal

  • April 16, 2009
{mosimage}TORONTO - The chair of a Toronto Catholic parent group says she plans to file a complaint with Ontario’s ombudsman over the potential conflict-of-interest position of the provincially appointed supervisor for the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

In a letter to Education Minister Kathleen Wynne, Murielle Boudreau of the Greater Toronto Parent Network wrote that Norbert Hartmann “is usually in a conflict-of-interest situation whenever he presides over many aspects of the administration of the board” as his wife and daughter are Toronto Catholic school teachers.

Boudreau sent a copy of the letter to Andre Marin, Ontario’s ombudsman, and said she plans to file a formal complaint.

Michelle Despault, spokesperson for Ontario’s education minister, said Hartmann is not in a conflict-of-interest position because he “excuses himself” when there are decisions on board issues which could affect his wife or daughter.

In her letter, Boudreau also asked Wynne to call a by-election for the seat vacated by former trustee Oliver Carroll who was found guilty of conflict-of-interest charges in February for participating in budget votes affecting teachers’ jobs even though his daughter was employed as a teacher with the board at the time. Carroll was replaced earlier this month by his former assistant, Mary Ann Robillard.

The Toronto Catholic board opened up the application process to the public to find a replacement for Carroll instead of holding a by-election which would have cost $180,000.

The board came under provincial supervision last year when it failed to balance its budget and amid allegations of trustee overspending.

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.