Screening Committee Decisions

Two recent related decisions by the screening committee for the regulator of Ontario teachers reinforce the authority of screening committees to deal informally with concerns even if they arise outside of the practice of the profession.

In Bouragba v Ontario College of Teachers, 2018 ONSC 6935, <http://canlii.ca/t/hw6g8> a teacher brought an application for judicial review for being cautioned about the tone of his communications. The communications occurred when the teacher, acting in his capacity as a parent, communicated with a principal related to the treatment of the teacher’s child. The Court held the regulator did have jurisdiction over the teacher’s conduct when acting as a parent. The Court also held that a caution could be justified even where facts were in dispute and even in circumstances where another reasonable disposition would have been to take no action. The Court said:

A caution is not a disciplinary action, and is not made public. It is not based on any finding of wrongdoing. Rather, it is meant to express the Committee’s concern about conduct and to provide guidance for the future.

In a companion case, the Court also upheld the screening committee’s decision to take no action against the principal and two school board administrators who dealt with the teacher’s child: Bouragba v Ontario College of Teachers, 2018 ONSC 6940, <http://canlii.ca/t/hw6g7>. The Court found there was no appearance of bias on the basis that one of the screening committee members knew of one of the parties or that she had written a letter of reference for a former representative of the regulator, who was not involved in the case prior to the application for judicial review.

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