Ontario College of Teachers welcomes recommendations to improve
transparency and efficiency
TORONTO, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario College of Teachers will act
swiftly on recommendations in a comprehensive review of its
disciplinary process and practices, Registrar and CEO Michael
Salvatori, OCT said today.
A 76-page report by former Ontario Chief Justice Patrick Lesage -
released at noon today by the College - makes 49 recommendations, many
calling on the teacher regulatory body, the provincial government and
district school boards to improve reporting and information-sharing
processes to protect the public interest.
The College commissioned the Honourable Patrick J. LeSage C.M., O.ONT.,
Q.C., last summer to conduct an independent review of its disciplinary
processes and the publication of information relating to teacher
Mr. LeSage, an Order of Canada member for his contributions to Ontario's
justice system, has presided over some of Canada's most publicized and
complex cases. He has served on a number of commissions and has
conducted reviews including that of Ontario's police complaints system
and of the Canadian military justice provisions of the National Defence Act.
"I want to thank Mr. LeSage for his insightful and very helpful review
and recommendations," said Salvatori. "His focus on improving the
transparency and efficiency of our disciplinary process provide a
welcome roadmap for reforms that will improve our ability to govern our
profession in the public interest.
"More than 60 per cent of the LeSage report's recommendations will
require changes to the law that we have worked under for the past 15
years. We look forward to working with the government to implement
these legislative changes.
"In the future, a parent who is concerned about a teacher will have
their concerns resolved more quickly and will be better informed about
the case," said the College Registrar. "The recommendation for a
mechanism that would allow the fast-tracking of cases where there has
been a criminal conviction is one that will be very welcome in our
schools and our communities."
The LeSage report also recommends:
tighter timelines for reporting information about teacher misconduct or
incompetence from boards to the College, from the College to members,
and from the College to the public
disclosing the names of all College members found guilty of misconduct
posting information that a member is facing misconduct charges on the
College's public register, Find a Teacher
expanding the roster of panel members who hear misconduct cases to
include more non-teachers
holding hearings on consecutive days until a case is completed
requiring that written decisions be provided within 60 days of the
conclusion of a hearing.
In January, the College improved public access by posting online more
than 600 disciplinary decisions that had previously been available in
the College library or through Quicklaw.
"Nothing is more important or sacrosanct than the safety and well being
of students," said Liz Papadopoulos, OCT, an elementary school teacher
who chairs the College Council. "It is our duty to protect the public
interest. Earning the public's trust is our job.
"Our Council has already begun its careful consideration of the report
to determine a plan and timeline to tackle the recommendations,
including those that involve changes to legislation and require action
from the province," said the Council Chair.
The full report and backgrounder is available at www.oct.ca.
The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates the
profession of teaching in the public interest. It sets standards of
practice and ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings and
accredits teacher education programs affecting its 235,000 members in
publicly funded schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is
the largest self-regulatory body in Canada. Visit the College's website
Terms of Reference
The Ontario College of Teachers commissioned the Hon. Patrick J. LeSage
to review its investigation and discipline procedures and outcomes, and
dispute resolution program. The terms of reference asked Mr. LeSage to:
determine whether College processes and procedures protect the public
interest, including the processes and procedures contained in:
the Ontario College of Teachers Act, regulations passed under that Act and College bylaws
policies, rules and guidelines used by the Investigation and Discipline
Committees. Such policies, rules and guidelines would include the "Use
of Prior Decisions and/or Concurrent Complaints and Related Information
Involving the Same Member" "Investigation Committee Decisions in the
Margaret Wilson Library" and the Discipline Committee's "Rules of
determine whether these processes and procedures provide fair, impartial
and timely adjudication of complaints against members
examine whether the College's dispute resolution program protects the
consider whether the College's communication and publication practices
prior to and following a hearing meet current standards of transparency
examine whether the College's Investigation and Discipline Committee
members receive appropriate training and legal support to carry out
their mandate to protect and serve the public interest
examine whether cases involving similar findings of fact have resulted
in a consistent range of penalties or other outcomes.
examine whether the College provides acceptable protection of
confidentiality in its investigation and hearing procedures
review College protocols for the initial handling of frivolous and
The Honourable Patrick J. LeSage C.M., O.ONT., Q.C.
The former Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court retired from the
bench after 29 years of distinguished service and joined Gowling,
Lafleur Henderson LLP, one of Canada's leading diversified law firms,
in February 2004.
His practice is focused on providing advice on complex disputes and he
also acts as a mediator, arbitrator, and/or fact finder in significant
private and public sector matters.
Patrick LeSage began his career as a Crown Attorney in the Ontario
Ministry of the Attorney General where he rose to the position of the
Director of Crown Attorneys for Ontario. In 1975, he was appointed to
the County and District Court and became Associate Chief Judge of that
Court in 1983. In 1994, he became Associate Chief Justice and in 1996,
was appointed Chief Justice of what is now the Superior Court of
Justice for Ontario, a position he held until September 2002.
In almost three decades on the bench, Mr. LeSage presided over some of
Canada's most publicized and complex cases.
He lectured extensively to judges, law students and law societies. He
was involved in introducing gender and racial equality seminars for
judges in the late 1980s. He was a member of the Equality Committee and
the Administration of Justice Committee of the Canadian Judicial
Council and is a past director of the Canadian Judges Conference.
In 2004, Mr. LeSage was appointed to the Board of Governors of York
University and was elected a Senior Fellow of Massey College,
University of Toronto, in 2005.
In July 2004, he was appointed by the Government of Ontario to conduct
an Extensive Review of Ontario's Police Complaints System. His final
report, presented to the Attorney General in 2005, contained 27
recommendations, which were incorporated in the independent Police Review Act.
In December 2005, Mr. LeSage was appointed by the Attorney General of
Manitoba to conduct an Inquiry into the first-degree murder conviction
of James Driskell. The Commission of Inquiry Into Certain Aspects of
the Trial and Conviction of James Driskell began in April 2006, and Mr.
LeSage's findings and recommendations were provided to the Attorney
General on January 30, 2007.
In December 2005, he was appointed as a Commissioner of the Ontario
Securities Commission and served in that capacity until February 2011.
In March 2007, he was appointed by the Government of Ontario as Vice
Chair of the Consent and Capacity Board. In August 2007, he was
appointed as an Advisor to the Business Law Section of the American Bar
Association for a two-year term.
In April 2007, the former Chief Justice was appointed as Senior
Independent Consultant to the Ontario Criminal Conviction Review
Committee, a Standing Committee within the Criminal Law Division of the
Ministry of the Attorney General. The OCCRC was established in May 2006
to provide expert leadership in the prevention of wrongful convictions.
In 2008, Mr. LeSage was appointed by the Attorney General to conduct a
review of large and complex criminal case procedures. He and Michael
Code (now Justice Michael Code of the Superior Court of Justice)
presented their report to the Attorney General in November 2008. The
LeSage-Code Report led to Bill C-2 Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act being passed by the Parliament of Canada in June 2011.
In October 2008, Mr. LeSage accepted an invitation to attend in Tanzania
to address the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda on the issues involved in managing complex trials.
In November 2009, he was appointed by the Board of Directors of The
Toronto Community Housing Corporation to conduct an Independent Review
of the Eviction of Al Gosling and the TCHC's Eviction Prevention
Policy. His report was delivered in June 2010.
In December 2009, Mr. LeSage was retained by the Ministry of the
Attorney General in connection with matters involving the Special
Investigations Unit and the police in Ontario. He provided
Recommendations to the Ministry in April 2011.
In August 2010, he and Dr. Alan Meek (Dean Emeritus of the Ontario
Veterinary College) were retained by the Ontario Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to conduct an Independent External
Review of events that occurred in May 2010 at the York Regional Branch
of the OSPCA. Their report was delivered in April 2011.
In March 2011, he was appointed by the Minister of National Defence to
conduct an Independent Review of the Military Justice provisions of the
National Defence Act.
On April 26, 2012, the Ontario Bar Association presented its President's Award to Mr.
LeSage for his outstanding contributions to the practice of law in
K. Lynn Mahoney
Lynn Mahoney is a partner in the advocacy department at Gowlings'
Toronto office with a practice consisting primarily of commercial
In addition to her commercial litigation practice, She has criminal law
experience as both a prosecutor and defence counsel. Her practice has
also involved professional disciplinary matters.
Ms. Mahoney has acted as counsel before the Law Society of Upper Canada
and as independent counsel to the Ontario College of Pharmacists and
the College of Midwives of Ontario.
She has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, including the
Court of Appeal, and has represented her clients before regulatory
tribunals, and in large public inquiries, including the Walkerton
Most recently, she has acted as counsel on several inquires and also
reviews commissioned by the provincial government: The Review of the
Roots of Youth Violence, Report of the Review of Large and Complex
Criminal Case Procedures and the Report on Financial Assistance for
Victims of Violent Crime in Ontario.
Ms. Mahoney was called to the bar in 1988, after having received her law
degree from the University of Toronto and a BA in French and English
Literature from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
The reviewers met with or heard from other regulators, teacher
federations, parents, principals and supervisory officers in both
French and English. The following is a list of the organizations
Ontario Federation of Home and School Associations
People for Education
Ontario Public School Boards' Association
Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association
Ontario Teachers' Federation
Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association
Counsel for Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association
Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens
Conseil ontarien des directrices et directeurs de l'éducation de langue
Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l'Ontario
Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario
Ontario Federation of Independent Schools
Ontario Public Supervisory Officials' Association
Ontario Principals' Council
Catholic Principals' Council of Ontario
Association des directions et directions adjointes des écoles
Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association - Elected Officers
Representatives of various school boards
Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto
Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
Law Society of Upper Canada
Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators
Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario
College of Nurses of Ontario
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
SOURCE Ontario College of Teachers
For further information:
416-961-8800, ext. 647