Sunday, October 22, 2006

Montague 13 : More Questions

Is current Deputy Reeve David Schoular, running for re-election, the same David Schoular who was dismissed from the Ontario Ministry of Education on November 16, 2000 after being elected as a trustee for the Upper Canada District School Board?

The David Schoular in this case had appeared on a radio show in May 1999 and made comments about the platform of a provincial political party with regard to education funding. During the radio interview, it emerged that Mr. Schoular was both a school board trustee and an employee of the Ministry. The comments he made in the interview were deemed to be in breach of the Public Service Act by the then Assistant Deputy Minister for Education. However, no action was taken at the time because Schoular was nearing the end of his term as Trustee.

In fall 2000, however the David Schoular in this case ran for re-election, having been advised that he would have to resign from the Ministry if re-elected. He did not resign, was elected on November 13, 2000 and deemed to have resigned from the Ministry of Education on November 16, 2000. He and his union filed a grievance, which was dismissed by the Ontario Grievance Settlement Board.

In this case, a conflict of interest clearly existed, the individual concerned tried to persist in the conflict of interest and fought the consequences all the way. It's also worth noting that the whole matter came to the attention of the ADM at Education only because of the radio interview, which might be seen as something of a lapse in judgement, both because it breached the legislation and because it exposed his tenuous situation.

The full story of the case can be found here.