And why do I care?
It’s not what many may think.
I suggested a ways back that I thought it may improve communications with Parent’s Committee if instead of just sitting in the audience and listening, that a commissioner or two might sit at their table and really communicate, ie: participate in the meeting.
But hey – maybe it was a stupid idea. I am 100% open to the idea that maybe this may just not be a good idea.
So why do I keep bringing it up?
Well, because it has not yet been dealt with. At this stage, Parent’s Committee has passed a resolution – a unanimous resolution, asking to have two commissioners attend and participate in their Jan and Feb meetings – as a trial.
The chair of PC sent the invitation to the chair of council. The chair of council indicated to the chair of PC that it would not happen. Obviously – it is March now! It has not happened.
The issue that I have has nothing to do with the actual resolution and/or the idea of having commissioners at the PC table – maybe it’s a good idea; maybe it’s a stinker. I don’t know. I still have the feeling that communications is in fact a two way street, and that communications may be better if commissioners could take part and not just watch, but hey – again – maybe it’s a bad idea – but again – THIS IS NOT MY POINT!
My point is this: If PC passes a resolution asking Council to send representatives to partake and sit at the table of PC meetings on a trial basis for Jan and Feb, then COUNCIL has to respond. The chair of council is the official spokesperson – the chair relays the decision of council; the chair DOES NOT DECIDE anything here; COUNCIL DECIDES.
So – has the PC resolution come to council? Nope.
Yes, I know – the whole thing came up at an executive committee meeting where it was erroneously reported that the resolution had never actually been taken to a vote. That was fixed – there had in fact been a vote – with a unanimous resolution.
Then another report circulated, suggesting that council had in fact already discussed the resolution. The reality is that it hasn’t – the resolution from PC has never been brought to the table for commissioners to decide on anything. Mis-communications happen and they always will – I have no issue with that. But hold up a sec – I have been called out at meeting after meeting now – and for what? I have no “goal” or “hidden agenda” here – and there are no politics involved here either.
The PC passed a resolution. The council must respond by resolution.
If we don’t keep the basic rules straight, we’re just not going to get very far at all.
Bill 88 has nothing to do with this. Commissioners always have had the right to speak and still *do* have the right to speak. (See extracts from the Education Act below.)
In fact, it is not just our right; it is our duty to speak.
So – is PC the right forum for it? Maybe! Maybe not! But how does a resolution from PC asking council something get treated? By council answering via resolution – no one can argue that one. Well, I guess someone could argue it, but… 🙂
Extracts from the education act:
S.175.1 (last paragraph) which hasn’t changed:
“This section must not be construed so as to restrict the freedom
of speech inherent in a commissioner’s function.”
And S.176.1, which defines the role of commissioners:
176.1. The members of the council of commissioners shall exercise
their functions and powers with a view to improving the educational
services provided for by this Act and by the basic school regulations
made by the Government. To that end, the role of the members of the
council of commissioners includes
(1) informing the council of the needs and expectations of the
population of their electoral division or their sector, as part of
their contribution to defining the school board’s directions and
(2) seeing to the relevance and quality of the educational services
offered by the school board;
(3) making sure that the school board’s human, material and financial
resources are managed effectively and efficiently;
(4) carrying out any mandate entrusted to them by the council of
commissioners, on a proposal by the chair, for the purpose of
providing information to the other council members on any specific
2008, c. 29, s. 19.