TDCSB to Corriere: “Your comment
on what the legal counsel said
is inaccurate”

di corriere canadese del April 2, 2021

Prior to printing yesterday’s article on “suppression of information”, based on live observation of the TCDSB meeting of March 25, and review of video replay the following day, Corriere afforded the Director of Education at the TCDSB the courtesy of reviewing several paragraphs in which he is mentioned. We indicated two deadlines for his accommodation (11:00am and later 3:00pm). At 4:38 pm, someone from the Communications department sent a response, part of which for spacing reasons we reprint below.

…the Director responded that the IC responds to the Board of Trustees, and he referred the question to General Counsel Matthews for further comment. Counsel Matthews responded that the Board authorized, through an RFP process, the hiring of an Integrity Commissioner.

Your comments below regarding what TCDSB in-house legal counsel said is totally inaccurate. Mr. Matthews did not say that “questions posed by a singular trustee are considered operational issues, and the Director is the only one responsible for operational matters”. Further Mr. Matthews did not say “the Board surrendered all of those powers to the Director when they authorized the Staff to select and hire the IC. From there on in, everything the IC does is operational, there is no independence of thought on the IC’s part-he follows instructions, and does not take any from trustees”.

…it is inaccurate to say that staff selected and hired the IC. The selection criteria was set by the Board approved RFP and through that process approved the hiring of the IC, not staff.

It is also completely false to say the IC does not follow instructions from Trustees. Any trustee of the Board can make a complaint or inquiry of the IC, and the IC is required to investigate the issue raised by the Trustee and report back to the Board of Trustees on the matter. The Integrity Commissioner reports directly to the Board of Trustees, not the Director.

Please clarify if you are able to update the online version of the article.

Regards, TCDSB Communications

The Communications department can spin its own interpretation but the issue that formed the debate was about the authorities of an Integrity Commissioner and the rights of an individual trustee to obtain information from him/her in anticipation thereof. It should be clarified that the Board approves the recommendation flowing from the Staff ’s evaluation. Moreover, our article makes clear that we were not quoting anyone. The Board website is a matter of public record. From the “debate”, the issue emerged that the Director, not the trustees, was in possessions of the powers of the IC.

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