In response to questions about the Code of Conduct decision last week, we would like to provide further clarification. To be clear, contrary to claims made in the media, the Trustee Code of Conduct complaint did not pertain to any pending issues or notices of motion, nor did it result from any differences of opinion.

On February 24, 2022, a trustee submitted a formal Code of Conduct complaint against Trustee Ramsay alleging certain breaches arising from his conduct and actions. Trustee Ramsay received a copy of the complaint the same day.

Section 30 of the Code of Conduct provides that only serious and/or recurring breaches of the Code should be investigated under the Formal Complaint Process. This complaint met that requirement.

In compliance with the Trustee Code of Conduct, on March 1, 2022, the Board retained an independent and external integrity commissioner to prepare a report regarding a code of conduct complaint against Trustee Ramsay. The Integrity Commissioner conducted a full and thorough investigation, which included interviewing relevant Trustees, including Trustee Ramsay, and reviewing documentation.

To ensure accuracy, the Integrity Commissioner provided a draft report to the parties for their review. The purpose of providing the draft report to the parties was to ensure no errors of fact were contained in it. Trustee Ramsay and the other trustee had ten days from the receipt of the draft report to provide a written response.

On May 31, 2022, the Integrity Commissioner issued their final report. The report outlined only findings of fact and noted that there was no dispute between the parties as to the facts that prompted the complaint. In keeping with the requirements and limitations of the Trustee Code of Conduct Policy G201, which prohibits them from offering an opinion, their report did not contain any recommendation or opinion as to whether the Code of Conduct had been breached. Under the Code of Conduct, this question must be left to trustees to decide after reviewing the report.

As Trustees, we are governed by the Education Act, which is not the same as the legislation which sets out the rules of governance for municipalities, and so the procedure regarding an in-camera Board meeting followed in this case complied with the requirements set out in section 207(2) of the Education Act. In compliance with the requirements of the Education Act, the meeting reviewing the Integrity Commissioner’s report was held in private session. Section 218.3 of the Education Act requires that all resolutions involving the determination of a breach of the Code of Conduct and any sanction imposed by the Board must be held in public session. These issues were determined by the Board of Trustees as a whole.

Under the Code of Conduct, both resolutions pertaining to the breach of the Code and any related decision regarding a specific sanction must be decided by a vote of at least two-thirds of the trustees of the Board present and voting.

After careful consideration, lengthy discussions and a review of the findings of fact set out in the report, the trustees, by two-thirds majority, made the determination that Trustee Ramsay’s conduct and actions constituted a breach of the Trustee Code of Conduct. Trustees voted by a two-thirds majority to censure Trustee Ramsay (i.e., the Board has issued a statement of formal disapproval of his actions which breached the Code of Conduct).

The Code of Conduct notes that trustees can face sanctions lasting for up to six months. The Board voted by a two-thirds majority to suspend him only for meetings in June and September. He can continue his work on other committees, attend board events, and represent the concerns of his constituents. Trustees typically do not meet in July and August, and no meetings are currently planned for that period this year.

Throughout the process, the Board of Trustees have worked diligently to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Trustee Code of Conduct, section 218.3 of the Education Act, and the best interest of the public.