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Message from the Board Chair
Message from the Board Chair

CorrieMcbain-small.jpg

October 8, 2019

Censure of Trustee Elizabeth Terrell Tracey

At a special Board Meeting held Tuesday, August 27, 2019, the York Region District School Board determined by unanimous vote that Trustee Elizabeth Terrell-Tracey breached the Trustee Code of Conduct. Following a written request for reconsideration received from Trustee Terrell-Tracey on September 9, 2019, the Board of Trustees confirmed its determinations and all sanctions at a special Board Meeting on Monday, September 23, 2019.

As one of the sanctions, the Board of Trustees agreed to censure Trustee Terrell-Tracey. The following is the public censure of Trustee Terrell-Tracey.

Based on the results of the investigation carried out by the Board’s Integrity Commissioner, Trustee Elizabeth Terrell-Tracey breached the following sections of the Trustee Code of Conduct:

     Section 13, Discreditable Conduct;

     Section 14, Failure to Adhere to Board Policies, Procedures and Supporting Documents; and

     Section 15, Reprisals and Obstruction.

The Integrity Commissioner found evidence that Trustee Terrell-Tracey engaged in a pattern of, “behaviour that is contrary to the underlying principles set out in the Application of the Code, chipping away at its principles [through] repeated failure to adhere to Board policies, procedures and supporting documents, and engaging in discreditable conduct and obstructive behaviour”.

Trustees are expected to uphold the priorities, values and policies of the Board.  As ethical leaders they are expected to model the behaviour we want to see in our students and across our system. In knowingly disregarding Board policies, Trustee Terrell-Tracey failed to put the public interest ahead of herself, thereby impairing her duty to act as a fiduciary and diminishing the professional reputation that the York Region District School Board as whole is trying to achieve and maintain.

Further, despite having received extensive training and opportunities for clarity from the Chair, Director and staff, Trustee Terrell-Tracey engaged with members of the public and staff in a way that is contrary to the Board’s values and her role as trustee.   These actions had a direct and negative impact on one of the Board’s key priorities – relationships.

Under the Trustee Code of Conduct, each trustee is obliged to cooperate with inquiries conducted in accordance with the Complaint Protocol.  Additionally, any reprisal or threat of reprisal against a complainant or person involved in the inquiry is prohibited.  Findings contained within the report from the Integrity Commissioner indicate that Trustee Terrell-Tracey refused to participate in the formal inquiry process and threatened reprisal against the Integrity Commissioner.

The Board of Trustees takes violations of its Code of Conduct seriously and will act judiciously to protect the integrity of this important elected office.  We expect Trustee Terrell-Tracey to honour the declaration she made on December 3, 2018 to “truly, faithfully, impartially and to the best of [her] ability execute the office of board member”.  If Trustee Terrell-Tracey is unable to uphold her commitment to our 127,000 students, then we trust she will exercise her right to vacate the board member seat for Whitchurch-Stouffville and East Gwillimbury.​


Sincerely,

Corrie McBain
Board Chair​​ ​​​​​​​​​​

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