Ontario school board trustee challenges meeting ban, announces re-election bid

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An Ontario school trustee who was banned from attending all meetings between June and September 2022 is challenging the board’s ban in court and is running for re-election this fall.

Mike Ramsay, trustee for more than 30 years of the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB), said in a statement that he has filed a ‘notice of application for judicial review’ to challenge the WRDSB’s ‘unconstitutional conduct’ in court, and that he is running for re-election ‘to give parents, students and staff back their voice’ .

“This nonsense must stop!” he said. “Administrators have a duty to ensure the best public school experience for all children in this region, not to silence different voices.”

The WRDSB board voted in June to bar Ramsay from meetings until September 30 for violating the code of conduct for directors in a way he would not disclose.

The board said it learned of Ramsay’s alleged offense in an anonymous message.”complaintfiled in February 2022. However, in her statement, Ramsay said fellow trustee Laurie Tremble filed her.

“To date, the Commission is too embarrassed to publish the complaint, the report of the Integrity Commissioner or even the name of the Integrity Commissioner! It is effectively an admission that the six directors and the plaintiff have something to hide,” Ramsay said.

“In my opinion, the Commission’s decision is unfair and the complaint is unfounded. It also violates both my right to free speech under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and your rights as voters to fair and diligent representation on council,” he said. he declares.

In his challenge, Ramsay is seeking court orders for the council to lift his assembly ban and declare that his actions were “unreasonable” and violated his Charter rights.

Ramsay also said in his statement that the WRDSB board is full of members who push for political ideologies rather than their constituents.

“The majority of the current board is sacrificing the public interest in favor of a boutique ideology,” he said. “They abused and weaponized Council rules to silence their opponents.”

Ramsay spoke out against the council in January after a WRDSB teacher who questioned the age appropriateness of certain library books was banned from entering her school and ordered to work from home.

The teacher, Carolyn Burjoski, expressed concern that the books contained sexually explicit material.

Ramsay supported Burjoski’s motion asking the board to review library books and criticized President Scott Piatkowski for hastily silencing Burjoski.

“The president and the majority of my colleagues have exploited for political gain the fears and concerns not only of our transgender friends and neighbors, but also of friends and neighbors who ask legitimate questions,” Ramsey told The Epoch Times in a statement. previous interview.

The Ontario School Board elections are October 24.

Isaac Teo and Jared Gnam contributed to this report.

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Peter Wilson is a journalist based in Ontario, Canada.

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