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Toronto Catholic school board keeps Rob Ford football documents secret
Toronto Catholic school board is refusing to release any of the 91 documents that could shed light on its May decision to fire Rob Ford as a volunteer football coach. Its argument: Ford, Toronto mayor, was a of the school board.
Documents labour relations or employment related matters are exempt from provincial freedom of information law. The board argues that information related to Ford coaching must be kept secret under this matters exemption even though he was an unpaid volunteer a contention called by a leading employment lawyer.
Mr. Ford was not a salaried employee of the TCDSB, in our view his position as a volunteer coach placed him in a relationship of quasi employment with the TCDSB, which would render any records related to his position with the board subject to exemption under the Act, the board said in its denial letter to the Star.
the Act is silent on the question of the status of volunteers specifically, we consider that it is the intent of the act to include the volunteer relationship to the institution. The labour ministry website explains that are not covered by the Employment Standards Act, which defines an employee as someone supplies services to an employer for wages. A person is either a volunteer or an employee, he said; can be both. no such thing, legally.
volunteering to help kids in high school football qualifies as employment, then every parent who does any volunteer work at a school qualifies as employment. Well, they don and (Ford) doesn and for whatever reason, they don want to give you the information, so they making up an excuse, Levitt said.
School board spokesman John Yan said the board refusal to release the documents was based on advice from its lawyers.
the public profile of the person named in the FOI, we been advised by our legal counsel that we have to exercise an abundance of caution in any interpretation of the privacy law . . . In this particular case, what we don want to do is expose ourselves to further action, Yan said.
Yan factory outlet coach added that the board would be cautious even if the volunteer in question were not a powerful public figure.
legal opinion we have is that where the law is silent or unclear, we must act prudently in the best public interest of everyone involved. This is definitely a grey area, so we have to act prudently. It is a unique case, and whenever there a new case, and you making new case law, we have to look at being as careful as we can, he said.
The Star has appealed coach outlet for men the board denial to the provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner. The dispute will eventually be resolved by a commission adjudicator.
Bruce Rodrigues, then the board director of education, banned Ford from coaching after a spring 2013 review Yan said was prompted by inaccurate and disparaging comments Ford made about Don Bosco in an interview with Sun News at the end of February.
Yan has said publicly that the dismissal was related to the interview, but some board officials and Don Bosco staff members had qualms about Ford role at the school well before he sat down with the Sun.
The Star requested all records related to the review. At the request of a commission mediator, the board agreed to provide a brief summary of each relevant official coach outlet online store document.
The documents include: a September 2012 from Toronto Police chief to Don Bosco coach re: police background check April 2013 discussions about concerns re: Don Bosco coach presence in the school January 2013 emails related to a about Don coach purse outlets Bosco football issues and a March discussion about Ford requests for to the football team.
They also include a discussion between Yan and Rodrigues about points for their final city hall meeting with Ford, his chief of outlet coach staff and Councillor Doug Ford; Yan notes for that meeting; September 2012 information related to a with trustees re: Don Bosco coach and an April 2013 meeting with Don Bosco staff Don Bosco coach presence in the school community.
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