The requirement of legal eligibility to seek and hold office  

di Joe Volpe del December 31, 2020

TORONTO - We are forced to publish this open letter, sent - a couple of weeks ago - following articles concerning the elegibility for office of some trustees and in particular for trustee Rizzo. Unfortunately, we have not been given a direct answer so far. The other day we alerted Director Browne that we would publish this letter. We demand a response.

"Dear Dr. Browne and Chair Martino:

Let me express appreciation for the email response from the Integrity Commissioner, Principles Integrity, to my formal complaint in respect of Maria Rizzo’s (in the pic below) position as trustee. This is the second time you have indicated to me that the matter would be dealt with by the Integrity Commissioner.

Forgive me for suggesting that this a little like asking the Corriere Canadese to scoot down a rabbit hole. As I pointed out in an earlier response, we recognize that virtually everything your trustees do has a code of conduct implication. We have been rather straightforward in our assessment of what they are doing to the Board and to Catholic education.

This complaint, which we have already documented for you, is one founded on the requirement of legal eligibility to seek and hold office. Disagree as you will, I defined it for you as a process question: if she was ineligible, she has no right to participate.

If she was ineligible to seek and hold office, she must be considered as being wrongfully in possession of an asset that belongs to someone else. Your Integrity Commissioner may be “independent” but he reports to the Board and its Director of Education (you).

Before I or the Corriere Canadese will engage with him, please make available to me/us the mandate letter you have provided him for this issue.

In the interests of accountability and transparency, we would like to know the parameters you have outlined for him; the people you will expect that he interview; the legislation and the “regulation” that will inform his opinion; what you will authorize him to transcribe; the conditions he will place on any and all interviewees; what consequential sanctions besides removal from office he will recommend; to which other individuals or bodies he will make available his report, and, most importantly, what “instruments for removal” he will employ.

You know of course we deem all of this to be in the public interest. For us, it would be extremely difficult to accept constraining conditions of confidentiality and non disclosure suggested in your letter.

Why would we? You, your Staff and Trustees have made available to the public and other Media/ Press confidential documents since you have taken office.

Finally, how could we be assured that this current Integrity Commissioner will not be “shown the door” in the unlikely event he were to produce an uncomfortable Report – for you – as happened to the former Integrity Commissioner.

Best personal regards,

Hon. Joe Volpe, Corriere Canadese, Editor"

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