WRDSB trustee barred from committee meetings until September
Trustee with the Waterloo Region District School Board have decided to boot one of their own from a number future meetings and sessions.
At a special meeting on Monday night, they voted 6-3 to temporarily remove long-time trustee Mike Ramsay.
It comes after a complaint was filed in late February alleging Ramsay breached the Trustee Code of Conduct.
As for what the complaint was, that's not known, and the board has declined to release it publically.
Ramsay claims it involves a number of his interactions on Twitter.
“I either retweeted someone tweeting something, or I had my own tweet,” Ramsay told CTV News. “There’s absolutely no denial, with respect to what was posted. What it comes down to is somebody else’s viewpoint as to what the tweets constituted. This is essentially a free speech issue."
'A VEIL OF SECRECY'
Ramsay said he wants both the complaint and an accompanying 36-page report from the integrity commissioner released to the public.
"The fact that my colleagues are hiding behind a veil of secrecy, which allows them to put their own spin on what the issues were, for that part I am going to be seeking some [legal] advice," Ramsay said.
On Monday night, after reviewing the report from the integrity commissioner into the complaint against Ramsay, trustees voted in support of a motion indicating he had breached the code of conduct.
Ramsay has been censured and banned from all committee meetings, including committee of the whole, until Sept. 30.
He has also been banned from a board meeting on June 27, as well as blocked from attending in-camera meetings and receiving materials until Sept. 30.
“I’m disappointed in my colleagues in the sense that they pretend to advocate for diversity, inclusion and equity. But when a Black person disagrees with them, they're quick to put me in my place,” Ramsay said.
BOARD RELEASES STATEMENT
The Waterloo Region District School Board and board chair Scott Piatkowski both declined interview requests from CTV News.
“As public officials, school board trustees are duty bound to be accountable to the public and the WRDSB Code of Conduct is our tool to ensure public accountability,” Piatkowski said in part in an emailed statement.
Meanwhile a retired University of Waterloo political science professor who has been critical of the board in the past, and is not directly connected to this situation, said the complaint should be made public.
"As citizens we're called upon to make judgments on our public officials," said Peter Wollstencroft. "How are we able to do that if you dont know what they've done? We know what they've done, but dont know how they've done it. And why they've done it is very important."