Home Correction letter Letter to the Editor: Filling Vacant Director Position Was an Option Under Law, Says Catholic Board Chair

Letter to the Editor: Filling Vacant Director Position Was an Option Under Law, Says Catholic Board Chair

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The Commission was unanimous in considering that the holding of by-elections would not serve the best interests of its voters, because of the enormous costs

A letter to the editor published in these pages on Thursday, January 13, 2022, titled “Too much secrecy and one-sided decision-making at the Catholic School Board” requires correction as it relates to legal obligations and the process followed to fill a recent vacancy as a director.

As Chair of the Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board (NPSC), it is my duty to do so.

Our Board of Directors and the NPSC community were deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our fellow Director, Linda Jamieson, on October 28, 2021. Linda made many important contributions to our Board over the years and she will be greatly missed.

In these circumstances, since the next regular municipal election was over a month away, the law required that the vacancy created by Ms. Jamieson’s death be filled within 90 days. Reference is made to sections 221 and 224 of the Education Act which impose these requirements.

The board had the option of holding a by-election to fill the vacant position.

At a special meeting held on November 10, 2021, we instead chose to appoint a successor trustee, which was the other option granted to us by law. The Commission was unanimous in considering that holding a by-election would not serve the best interests of its voters, because of the enormous costs. In the interests of transparency, the Board has taken steps to advertise the vacancy to solicit applications from qualified candidates.

In addition to advertising the vacancy on its various communications platforms throughout November, the council also purchased ads in the North Bay Nugget and on BayToday. Two nominations were received, one of which was from a qualified candidate.

The board interviewed and approved the appointment of the successful director candidate at a special meeting held on January 5, 2022, thereby meeting the 90-day deadline to fill the vacant position.

We are fortunate to have found such a qualified and competent candidate to fill the vacant position on our board and we thank her for her keen interest in serving and advocating for the interests of Catholic education. His insights will be welcome as we continue to focus on the success and well-being of our students and helping them reach their full potential.

Leo de Jourdan

Chair, Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board