Ethics ruling exonerates Stein Day

By Robert Frank

Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) ethics commissioner Bernard Grenier issued a revised decision, Nov. 25, based on conflict of interest allegations against LBPSB chair Suanne Stein Day.

The complaints stemmed from the suspension of the Sherwood Forest Elementary governing board, after parents questioned the legality of Quebec Home and School Association (QFHSA) activities at the Beaconsfield school and its relationship with its teachers and staff.

Three parents, Cindy Mac Donald, Michèle Poupore and Luc Horne, filed an official complaint in June, alleging that Stein Day had failed to declare a conflict of interest, because she served on the QFHSA board of directors as its treasurer.

The complaint against Stein Day alleged that she was involved in the decision to abolish the Sherwood Forest governing board without due process.

LBPSB suspended she Sherwood Forest governing board because it had been unable to attain quorum on three successive occasions, after the school’s teachers boycotted the body.

“It was not established that Ms. Stein Day had a ‘personal interest’ in the QFHSA simply because she was the treasurer of this not-for-profit organization,” Grenier concluded on page seven of his nine-page decision. “Even though there was a relationship between the two organizations, namely the QFHSA and the Sherwood Forest Home and School, it cannot be assumed that Ms. Stein Day had a ‘personal interest’ in the latter due to her role as the treasurer of the former.”

“Even if this were the case,” he continued, “it has not been established that [she] placed such ‘personal interest’ in conflict with the interest of the LBPSB.”

Consequently, Grenier ruled “that Suanne Stein Day was not in a conflict of interest and did not violate, in any way, Article 175.4 of the Education Act.”
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