Barrie Community Tennis Club – Constitution
Article One: Definitions
In this Constitution and Bylaws and all other Bylaws and all resolutions of the Barrie Community Tennis Club:
a) “Barrie Community Tennis Club” shall also be known as “BCTC” and website www.barrietennis.ca
b) “Executive” shall mean the Executive members of the “BCTC”
c) “Meetings of Members” shall include Annual General Meetings but not Executive meetings. The Executive may grant permission for a member or members to attend for presentation to the Executive.
Article One: Name
The organization shall be known as Barrie Community Tennis Club (BCTC) and/or www.barrietennis.ca.
Article Three: Objective
Barrie Community Tennis Club’s primary objectives are to:
- Promote and govern the sport of recreational tennis in the City of Barrie, Ontario.
- Encourage fair play, good sportsmanship and good citizenship.
- Support the participation of players in recreational Tennis.
Article Four: Membership
a) The membership will be open to all residents of the City of Barrie, regardless of race, creed or color, who must abide by the Constitution and Bylaws of the Club. Membership is on an annual basis and the membership year shall be from opening day for one calendar year.
Residents outside these boundaries may be admitted at the discretion of the Executive, if openings are available. Existing members in good standing shall have priority for readmission as members for the following year(s).
b) Membership is by way of payment of an annual fee. The amount of fees shall be determined by the Executive, which may designate types of memberships, with fees to be adjusted accordingly.
Only members in good standing shall be eligible to serve on any committee of the BCTC.
c) The Executive shall from time to time set and determine, as it deems appropriate, any additional rights or obligations as the case may be, attaching to the different types of memberships.
d) The annual membership of the Organization shall be limited as determined by the Executive.
e) An adult member means a person who is 18 years of age or older at the first day of registration.
A senior is a member 60 years of age at the first day of registration.
f) The Family plan is defined as a husband and wife (common-law included) and their dependants up to age 17.
g) A junior member means a person who is 17 years of age or younger (but not less than 12 years of age) on the first day of registration. Junior members do not have voting rights at the Annual General Meetings. Parents of junior members must discuss with an executive member issues such as safety, supervision, level of play and expectations of the parents. The cost of junior membership shall be less than that of an adult membership.
h) A juvenile member means a person who is 11 years of age or younger (but not less than 6 years of age) on the first day of registration. The cost of the juvenile membership shall be less than that of an adult membership.
i) Junior and juvenile members may not sit on the Executive as members.
a) Members may submit their resignation in writing which shall be effective upon acceptance thereof by the Executive.
b) In case of resignation, a member shall remain liable for payment of any assessment or other sum levied or which became payable by him to the BCTC prior to acceptance of his resignation.
a) No member shall canvass, solicit or exhibit any service or product of any kind whatsoever on BCTC premises or at any meeting, activity or event of BCTC unless previously authorized by resolution of the Executive with the exception of BCTC fundraising programs.
b) No member shall utilize the membership directory for solicitation or canvassing for any product or service whatsoever with the exception of BCTC fundraising programs.
Article Five: Meetings of Members
Annual and General Meetings
a) The annual or any other general meetings of the members shall be held in October and May at a location as the Executive may determine and on such day as the said Executive shall appoint.
b) The Executive by majority vote shall have the power to call at any time a general meeting of the members of the BCTC.
Notice – Notice of the time and place of every such meeting shall be given to each member by sending the notice by electronic means and posting on the BCTC community board at least ten days before the meeting is to take place.
Quorum – A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of members shall consist of not less than 20% members present in person.
a) Every member entitled to vote at any meeting of members may vote either in person, or by email, or may by instrument in writing (including email) appoint a proxy, who shall be a member, to attend and act at the meeting in the manner, to the extent and with the power conferred by the proxy.
b) 48 hours prior to a meeting, excluding Saturday, Sunday and Holidays proxies must be deposited with the Secretary of the BCTC by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Secretary will confirm by telephone or electronic means with the appointer, the validity of the proxy prior to the meeting. The time fixed for the deposit of proxies prior to a meeting shall be clearly indicated on the notice calling that meeting. The notice of members meeting shall contain a form of proxy attached.
Each member of the BCTC shall be entitled to one vote on each question arising at any annual or general meeting of the members.
Show of Hands
a) At all meetings of members every question shall be decided by a show of hands unless a poll thereon be required by any member present or represented by proxy and entitled to vote.
b) Upon a show of hands every person present and entitled to vote shall have one vote.
c) After a vote by show of hands has been taken upon any question, the meeting chairperson may require or demand a poll thereon. This request or demand may be withdrawn at any time prior to the taking of the poll by the meeting chairperson.
d) A vote may occur by show of hands or by poll and the chairperson will declare if the vote has been carried or not carried. The results will be documented in the minutes.
Upon a poll each member who is present or represented by proxy shall be entitled to one vote upon the question, and the result of the poll shall be the decision of the members of BCTC in an annual or general meeting, as the case may be.
The chairperson will not vote unless in the case of an equality of votes either upon a show of hands or upon a poll.
Election of Executive
The President and Vice-President will ensure that all members are contacted by email, one month prior to the Annual General Meeting to solicit interest for all Executive positions. Those members interested in being elected to the Executive for the upcoming year shall give their names to the Executive no later than 20 days prior to the annual general meeting. The names will be posted on the “Notice of Annual General Meeting” 10 days prior to the Annual General Meeting. If there are no volunteers for positions, the President and Vice-President, with the assistance of the Executive, will engage in an active effort to solicit volunteers.
Article Six: Executive Members
The Executive Members of the club shall comprise
e) Treasurer; and
Election of Executive Members
a) The affairs of the BCTC shall be managed by a board of Executive members, who are elected from the membership at-large at the Annual General Meeting. The election of the Executive will be by secret ballot, and positions shall be elected in sequence, as shown herein. In each case, the ballots shall be counted and the result announced before voting on the next positions if properly nominated.
b) The role of the Executive will be to set goals for the year, establish budgets and membership fees, meet for regular Executive meetings and appoint committees, as they deem necessary. Each Executive member at the time of his/her election and throughout his/her term of office shall be a member of BCTC. A member elected to an executive position shall have at least one full year’s membership within the BCTC.
The Executive shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting each year and to hold office until their successors shall have been duly elected or appointed. The whole board shall be retired at each annual meeting, but shall be eligible for re-election. In the event that a position on the Executive remains unfilled, then the Members may vote a retiring Executive Member, into that position by majority vote.
Removal of Executive Members
a) The office of Executive member may be vacated upon a majority vote by the Executive in the following circumstances: If he/she is convicted of any criminal offence during the term of office, or if he/she failed to disclose prior to accepting a position on the Executive a prior criminal conviction; or for severe transgressions of the current BCTC’s Code of Conduct, as modified from time to time.
b) The office of Executive member shall be automatically vacated;
I) if an Executive member has resigned his/her office by delivering a written resignation to the Secretary of the BCTC.
II) If an Executive member has been asked to vacate their position by majority vote of the Executive, as outlined above.
II) on death
c) The Secretary shall give at least 48 hours notice to such Executive member that a meeting will be held at which the Executive will consider the removal of that member from the Executive.
Vacancies on the Executive may, so long as a quorum of Executive members remains in office, be filled by the Executive from among the members of the BCTC, if they shall see fit to do so, otherwise such vacancy or vacancies shall be filled at the next annual meeting of members at which the Executive for the ensuing year are elected, but if there is not a quorum of Executive members, the remaining Executive members shall forthwith call a meeting of members to fill the vacancy or vacancies.
A majority of the Executive members shall form a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the Executive board.
Except as otherwise required by law, the Executive may hold their meetings at such place or places as it may from time to time determine. No formal notice of any such meeting shall be necessary if all the Executive members are present, or if those absent have signified their consent to the meeting being held in their absence. Executive meetings may be called by the President or Vice-President or by the Secretary on direction of the President or Vice-President or by the Secretary on direction in writing of two Executive members.
Notice of Meetings
a) Notice of meetings of the Executive shall be communicated to each Executive member not less than two days exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and holidays as defined by the Interpretation Act of Ontario before the meeting is to take place. The statement of the Secretary or President that notice has been given shall be sufficient and conclusive evidence of the giving of such notice.
b) The Executive may appoint a day or days in any month or months for regular meeting at an hour to be named. An Executive meeting may also be held, without notice, immediately following the Annual General meeting of the BCTC.
c) Any meeting of members of the BCTC may be adjourned at any time and no notice is required of such adjournment. Members’ last address recorded will be utilized to give notice of meetings. Error or omission in giving notice of a meeting shall not invalidate such meeting. Executives may waive notice of meetings and may ratify, approve and confirm any or all proceedings taken.
Votes to Govern
Questions arising at any meeting of the Executive shall be decided by a majority of votes cast on the question.
The Executive members may administer the affairs of the BCTC in all things and make or cause to be made for the BCTC in its name, any kind of contract which the BCTC may lawfully enter into and, save as hereinafter provided, generally, may exercise all such other powers and do all such other acts as authorized to do. Without in any way derogating from the foregoing, the Executive is expressly empowered, from time to time, to purchase, lease or otherwise acquire, alienate, sell exchange or otherwise dispose of shares, stocks, rights warrants, options and other securities, lands, buildings and/or other property moveable or immoveable, real or personal or any right or interest therein owned by the BCTC for such consideration and upon such terms and conditions as they may deem advisable.
Books and Records
The Executive shall see that all necessary books and records of the BCTC required by the Constitution and Bylaws are regularly & properly kept.
The Executive members shall receive no remuneration for acting as such, but shall receive gratis membership (not including any additional fees such as initiation, fees for tournaments, etc) for the year(s) in which they act as Executive members. Such gratis membership shall be revoked upon the resignation or removal of an executive member, but he/she may continue as a member, at the Executive’s discretion, upon payment of the annual fee.
Indemnity of the Executive
Every Executive member of the BCTC and his/her heirs, executors, administrators and estate and effects, respectively, may from time to time be indemnified and saved harmless by the BCTC from and against,
a) any liability and all costs, charges and expenses that he/she sustains or incurs in respect of any action, suit or proceeding that is proposed or commenced against him for or in respect of anything done or permitted by him/her in respect of the execution of the duties of his/her office; and
b) all other costs, charges and expenses that he/she sustains or incurs in respect of the affairs of the BCTC except such costs, charges or expenses as are occasioned by willful neglect or default.
Article Seven: Duties of Executive
Executive members are responsible for delivering the following club activities.
One or more members shall take responsibility for an activity.
a) Summer camps for children aged 4-11
b) Scheduled play
e) Clubhouse and court maintenance
f) Community relations
The President shall, when present, preside at all meetings of the members of the Organization and the Executive. The President shall also be charged with:
a) Managing and supervising of the affairs and operations of the Organization.
b) Calling meetings as he/she considers necessary and to enforce the observance of all rules and regulations of the BCTC.
c) Signing all cheques after such have been signed by the Treasurer and payment approved by the Executive.
d) Encouraging and to co-ordinate the duties of the Executive, ensure that all executive members perform their respective duties
e) Ensuring the creation of standing committees to deal with specific activities and preside or appoint a chair of the committee.
f) Preparing a President report at the end of his term, to submit to the incoming President and at the Annual General Meeting. This written report will summarize the events of his/her year in office and outline his/her recommendations for the future developments of the Organization.
g) Other duties that may be required.
During the absence or inability of the President, his/her duties and powers may be exercised by the Vice-President. The Vice-President shall assume responsibility for some of the duties listed above. He/she shall perform such other duties as may from time to be determined by the executive.
The past President shall act in an advisory capacity and share previously gained knowledge and experience with the Executive Committee and Club members. The Past-President is not a voting member.
a) The Director shall be responsible for managing the schedule for “Scheduled Play” once the schedule has been finalized. The schedule shall be prepared collectively by the Executive or by a Schedule Play committee comprised of club members;
b) He/she shall perform such other duties as may from time to time be determined by the Executive
a) The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the Executive and record all facts and minutes of all proceedings.
b) He/she shall give all notices required to members and to the Executive.
c) He/she shall be the custodian of all books, papers, records and correspondence, contracts and other documents belonging to the BCTC.
d) He/she shall ensure that the membership e-mail addresses are update, all e-mails are filed in applicable folders and updates to the Website are forwarded to the Website Manager.
e) He/she shall process all membership applications annually and draw up a membership list, and shall keep full and accurate records for that purpose.
f) He/she shall perform such other duties as may from time to time be determined by the Executive.
a) The Treasurer shall keep full and accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements of the BCTC in proper records of account
b) shall deposit all monies or other valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the BCTC in a recognized banking institution as designated by the Executive.
c) He/she shall disburse the funds of the BCTC under the direction of the Executive, taking proper vouchers thereof and shall render to the Executive at regular meetings thereof or whenever required of him/her, an account of all the transactions as Treasurer, and of the financial position of the BCTC.
d) He/she shall further prepare and submit to the annual General Meeting a properly prepared financial statement of the affairs of the BCTC reviewed by a qualified accountant.
e) He/she shall also perform such other duties as may from time to time be determined by the Executive.
Article Eight: Contracts and Obligations
Execution of Instruments
a) Deeds, transfers, licences, assignments, contracts and obligations on behalf of the Organization may signed by President and any one of the Vice- President or Treasurer.
b) Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary contained in the by-laws of the Organization, the Executive may at any time and from time to time direct the manner in which and the person or persons by whom any particular deed, transfer, licences, assignments, contracts or obligations of the Organization may or shall be signed.
Borrowing of Monies
a) The Executive members of the BCTC may from time to time borrow money on the credit of the BCTC for current operating expenses and issue, sell or pledge securities of the BCTC in connection therewith.
b) The Executive members may also borrow money for all other purposes and charge, mortgage, hypothecate or pledge all or any of the real or personal property of the BCTC, to secure any money so borrowed, or other debt, or any other obligation or liability of the BCTC.
c) From time to time the Executive may authorize any officers of the BCTC or any other person to make arrangements with reference to the monies borrowed or to be borrowed as aforesaid and as to the terms and conditions and to give such additional securities for any monies borrowed or remaining due by the BCTC as the Executive may authorize, and generally to manage, transact and settle the borrowing of money by the BCTC.
Article Nine: Deposit of Securities for Safekeeping
Execution of Instruments
The securities of the BCTC shall be deposited for safekeeping with one or more bankers, trust companies or other financial institutions to be selected by the Executive. Any and all securities so deposited may be withdrawn from time to time, only upon the written order of the BCTC signed by such officer or officers, agent or agents of the BCTC and in such manner as shall from time to time, be determined by resolution of the Executive and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. The institutions which may be so selected as custodians by the Executive shall be fully protected in acting in accordance with the directions of the Executive and shall in no event be liable for the due application of the securities so withdrawn from deposit or the proceeds thereof.
Article Ten: Amendment of the Constitution
Amendment of the Constitution
The Constitution may be amended at the next Annual General Meeting, when it must be ratified by a two-thirds majority vote of the adult members of the BCTC in attendance at the AGM.
Members who are not able to attend the AGM may assign their vote by proxy.
Amendment of the Bylaws
a) The Bylaws may be amended by majority vote with quorum, at any regular meeting of the Executive members of the BCTC. The amendment will, however, only be in effect until the next Annual General Meeting, when it must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the members in attendance at the AGM. If it is not ratified, it ceases to have effect at that time.
b) Notice of amendments passed that need to be ratified shall be included in the notice of the Annual General Meeting. The notice shall fairly inform the members of the points to be ratified, i.e. the exact amendments, stated in a former manner, as would appear in the Bylaw.
Barrie Community Tennis Club – Code of Conduct
On Court / Off Court Rules
On Court Rules
Each player’s obligation includes:
- Calling balls fairly and honestly.
- If you have any doubt that a ball is out or good, give your opponent the benefit of the doubt and play the ball as good. You should not play a let.
- It is your obligation to call all balls on your side, to help your opponent make calls when the opponent requests it, and call against yourself any ball that you clearly see out on your opponent’s side of the net.
- If you call a ball out and then realize it was good, you should correct your call.
- Do not enlist the aid of spectators or other players on another court in making line calls.
- To avoid controversy over the score, the Server should announce the set score before starting a game and the game score prior to serving each point.
- If players cannot agree on the score, go back to the last score and resume play from that point.
- Volunteer honestly any violations such as ball touching a player, double bounces, touching the net, foot faults, etc.
- Do not stall, sulk, throw tennis racket, hit tennis balls indiscriminately or engage in profane language or unethical behavior.
Off Court Rules
- Member must not use any form of criticism or ridicule to another member.
- Member must not engage in profane or abusive language.
- Member should treat other members with respect.
- The consumption and storage of alcohol is prohibited in the clubhouse and within the surrounding area of the clubhouse.
Offences – Each breech in conduct will be addressed according to the procedures outlined in the BCTC Abuse and Harassment Policy.
Abuse and Harrassment Policy
As a club under the umbrella of the Ontario Tennis Association (OTA) and with permission, this policy was adapted from the current OTA Abuse and Harassment Policy.
The objective of this policy is to provide a work and club environment that fosters mutual respect and relationships free of abuse. Some behaviours that are defined as abuse can also constitute harassment when the behaviour breaches human rights or appropriate relationship boundaries. The Ontario Human Rights Code states that prohibited grounds of discrimination are those that are based on race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or handicap.
This policy applies to all employees and members of the Barrie Community Tennis Club (BCTC) as well as to all directors, officers, consultants, volunteers, coaches, and officials associated with specific BCTC activities (collectively referred to in this policy as “members” of BCTC).
The BCTC prohibits and will not condone any form of abuse or neglect, whether physical, emotional or sexual, of any participant of any age in any of its programs. The BCTC expects every employee and member to take all reasonable steps to safeguard the welfare of BCTC participants and to protect them from any form of maltreatment. The BCTC encourages the reporting of all incidents of abuse, regardless of who the offender may be.
Allegations of abuse or neglect will be dealt with in accordance with the BCTC’s complaint procedures as set out in this policy.
This policy applies to abuse occurring during the course or in conjunction with any BCTC business, activities or events.
Notwithstanding this policy, every person who experiences abuse continues to have the right to seek assistance from the police, their provincial child protection authority, and their provincial human rights commission, even when steps are being taken under this policy.
HARASSMENT AND ABUSE CRITERIA DEFINED
- Abuse is any form of physical, emotional and/or sexual mistreatment or lack of care which causes physical injury or emotional damage. Abuse may be perpetrated by an adult or a child, and the victim may be an adult or a child.
- Child abuse raises distinct issues and triggers unique legal obligations. A common characteristic of all forms of abuse against children and youth is an abuse of power or authority and/or breach of trust by an adult over a child. In Ontario, a person is considered a child, for purposes of triggering a legal obligation to report child abuse, if this person is under 18 years of age
- Physical abuse occurs when a person purposefully injures or threatens to injure another person. This may include slapping, hitting, shaking, kicking, pulling hair or ears, throwing, and shoving, grabbing, hazing or excessive exercise as a form of punishment.
- Emotional abuse is a chronic attack on a person’s self-esteem. It is psychologically destructive behaviour. It can take the form of, among other things, name-calling, threatening, ridiculing, berating, intimidating, isolating, hazing or ignoring the person’s needs.
- Sexual abuse is when a person, without their consent, is used by another person for his or her own sexual stimulation or gratification. Children under 14 are deemed not to consent to sexual touching by an adult. Children under 18 are deemed not to consent to sexual activity by an adult who is in a position of authority or trust. There are different types of sexual abuse, some of which involve physical contact, and some of which do not. Sexual abuse that does not involve physical contact includes making obscene remarks, voyeurism, showing pornography, forcing a person to watch sexual acts, asking sexually intrusive questions or making sexually intrusive comments, and forcing a person to pose for sexual photographs or videos.
- Neglect is chronic inattention to the basic necessities of life such as clothing, shelter, nutritious diets, education, good hygiene, supervision, medical and dental care, adequate rest, safe environment, moral guidance and discipline, exercise and fresh air. This may occur in tennis when injuries are not adequately treated or players are made to play with injuries, equipment is inadequate or unsafe, no one intervenes when team members are persistently harassing another player, or road trips are not properly supervised.
- Abuse and neglect may be inflicted directly or indirectly, and through any means of communication, including through electronic communications.
- The BCTC President and the BCTC Vice-President are responsible for the implementation of this policy. In addition, they are responsible for:
- appointing a BCTC Abuse & Harassment Officer, herein referred to in this document as “Officer”;
- discouraging and dealing with abuse within the BCTC;
- ensuring that formal complaints of abuse are investigated in a sensitive, responsible, and timely manner;
- imposing appropriate disciplinary or corrective measures when a complaint of abuse has been substantiated, regardless of the position or authority of the offender;
- providing advice to persons who experience abuse;
- doing all in their power to support and assist any employee or member of the BCTC who experiences abuse by someone who is not an employee or member of the BCTC;
- making all employees and members of the BCTC aware of the problem of abuse, including, sexual abuse, and of the procedures contained in this policy;
- informing both complainants and respondents of the procedures contained in this policy; and regularly reviewing the terms of this policy to ensure that they adequately meet the organization’s legal obligations and public policy objectives.
- Every employee and member of the BCTC has a responsibility to play a part in ensuring that the BCTC sport environment is free from abuse, by complying with this policy.
- Employees or members of the BCTC against whom a complaint of abuse is substantiated may be severely disciplined, up to and including employment dismissal or termination of membership.
- The BCTC understands that it can be extremely difficult to come forward with a complaint of abuse and that it can be devastating to be wrongly convicted of abuse. The BCTC recognizes the interests of both the complainant and the respondent in keeping the matter confidential.
- However, abuse allegations must be dealt with in a forthright and fair manner. This includes an obligation to share relevant information with child protection authorities and police, and to be fair to the alleged abuser by providing sufficient information about the allegation that concerns them to enable them to respond properly. In many cases, this will mean that anonymity is not feasible or fair. However, employees and members can be assured that the BCTC will take all possible steps to preserve confidentiality to the extent reasonably possible. Where information pertaining to allegations is disseminated, the status of the allegations as being allegations only should be articulated.
REPRISALS AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS
- A person who makes a complaint of abuse, whether under this policy or otherwise, should not be penalized for doing so.
- Retaliation against an individual for having filed a complaint or for having participated in any procedure under this policy will not be tolerated and will be treated as a disciplinary offence. The making of false, frivolous or malicious allegations of abuse by another person will likewise be treated as a disciplinary offence.
- OTA Abuse and Harassment Policy (2017). Available on the OTA website www.ontariotennis.com
- Individuals who believe they have been subjected to abuse, which includes discrimination or harassment, should immediately report the incident to the Officer. All complaints will be promptly and thoroughly investigated. The BCTC will treat such complaints as confidentially as possible, releasing information only to those with a need or right to know.
- Any person who observes or becomes aware of any discrimination or harassment should immediately advise the Officer. No person should assume that the BCTC is aware of the problem.
- A person who experiences harassment is encouraged to make it known to the harasser that the behavior is unwelcome, offensive, and contrary to this policy.
- If confronting the harasser is not reasonably possible or if after confronting the harasser the harassment continues, the complainant should seek the advice of the Officer.
- The Officer shall inform the complainant of:
- the options for pursuing an informal resolution of his or her complaint;
- the right to lay a formal written complaint under this policy when an informal resolution is inappropriate or not feasible;
- the availability of counseling and other support provided by the BCTC;
- the confidentiality provisions of this policy;
- the right to withdraw from any further action in connection with the complaint at any stage (even though the BCTC might continue to investigate the complaint); and
- other avenues of recourse, including the right to file a complaint with a human rights commission or, where appropriate, to contact the police to have them lay a formal charge under the Criminal Code.
- There are four possible outcomes to this initial meeting of complainant and the Officer.
- The complainant and officer agree that the conduct does not constitute harassment.
- If this occurs, the Officer will take no further action and will make no written record.
- The complainant brings evidence of harassment and chooses to pursue an informal resolution of the complaint.
- If this occurs, the Officer will assist the two parties to negotiate a solution acceptable to the complainant, or may assist the complainant with informal means of resolving the complaint. If desired by the parties and if appropriate, the Officer may also seek the assistance of a neutral mediator.
- If an informal resolution yields a result, which is acceptable to both parties, the Officer will make a written record that a complaint was made and was resolved informally to the satisfaction of both parties, and will take no further action.
- If informal resolution fails to satisfy the complaint, the complainant may reserve the option of laying a formal written complaint.
- If an informal resolution is not achieved, and the complainant does not file a written complaint, a record of his or her dealings with the Officer will be kept by the Officer. Such record will be confidential.
- The complainant brings evidence of harassment and decides to lay a formal written complaint.
- If this occurs, the Officer will assist the complainant in drafting a formal written complaint, to be signed by the complainant, and a copy given to the respondent without delay. The written complaint should set out the details of the incident(s), the names of any witnesses to the incident(s), and should be dated and signed.
- The respondent will be given an opportunity to provide a written response to the complaint. The Officer may assist the respondent in preparing this response.
- The complainant brings evidence of harassment but does not wish to lay a formal complaint.
- If this occurs, the Officer must decide if the alleged harassment is serious enough to warrant laying a formal written complaint, even if it is against the wishes of the complainant.
- When the Officer decides that the evidence and surrounding circumstances require a formal written complaint, the Officer will issue a formal written complaint and, without delay, provide copies of the complaint to both the complainant and the respondent. In such cases, the procedures in Sections 7 to16 below shall apply.
- The complainant and officer agree that the conduct does not constitute harassment.
- As soon as reasonably possible after receiving the written complaint, but in any case, within 21 days, the Officer shall submit a report to the President and Vice-President, containing the documentation filed by both parties along with a recommendation (and reasons for the recommendation) that:
- No further action be taken because the complaint is unfounded or the conduct cannot reasonably be said to fall within this policy’s definition of abuse or harassment; or
- The complaint should be investigated further.
- A copy of this report shall be provided and reviewed without delay, to both the complainant and the respondent.
- In the event that the Officer’s recommendation is to proceed, the BCTC President and the Vice-President shall within 14 days appoint two Executive members and one member to serve as a case review panel. This panel shall consist of at least one woman and at least one man. To ensure freedom from bias, no member of the panel shall have a significant personal or professional relationship with either the complainant or the respondent. In the event the respondent is the BCTC President or the Vice President, the Officer shall make the above appointments.
- Within 21 days of its appointment, unless the parties and the review panel agree otherwise, the case review panel shall convene a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in a manner that is fair to both parties, and shall be governed by such procedures as the review panel may decide, provided that:
- The complainant and respondent shall be given 14 days notice, in writing, of the day, time and place of the hearing.
- Members of the review panel shall select a chairperson from among themselves.
- A quorum shall be all three-panel members.
- Decisions shall be by majority vote.
- The hearing shall be in camera.
- Both parties shall be present at the hearing to give evidence and to answer questions of the other party and of the panel. Each shall have the right to present evidence and to question and cross-examine witnesses.
- If the complainant does not appear, the matter may be dismissed (unless the complainant decided not to lay a formal complaint, but the Officer concluded that the evidence and surrounding circumstances were such as to require a formal written complaint). If the respondent does not appear, the hearing may proceed in any event.
- A representative or adviser may accompany the complainant and respondent.
- The Officer shall attend the hearing at the request of the panel.
- Within 14 days of the hearing, the case review panel shall present its findings in a report to the BCTC President and the Vice-President which shall contain:
- a summary of the relevant facts found by the case review panel, based on the evidence presented at the hearing;
- a determination as to whether abuse or harassment as defined in this policy has occurred as alleged in the complaint;
- recommend disciplinary action against the abuse or respondent, if harassment is found to have occurred; and
- recommend measures to remedy or mitigate the harm or loss suffered by the complainant, if abuse or harassment is found to have occurred.
- If the panel determines that the allegations of abuse or harassment are false, vexatious, retaliatory, or unfounded, their report may recommend disciplinary action against the complainant.
- A copy of the report of the case review panel shall be provided, without delay, to both the complainant and the respondent.
- When determining appropriate disciplinary action and corrective measures, the case review panel shall consider factors such as:
- the nature of the abuse or harassment;
- whether the abuse or harassment involved any physical contact;
- whether the abuse or harassment was an isolated incident or part of an ongoing pattern;
- the nature of the relationship between complainant and the respondent;
- the age of the complainant;
- whether the respondent had been involved in previous abuse or harassment incidents;
- whether the respondent admitted responsibility and expressed a willingness to change;
- whether the respondent retaliated against the complainant.
- In recommending disciplinary sanctions, the panel may consider the following options, singly or in combination, depending on the severity of the harassment:
- a verbal apology;
- a written apology;
- a letter of reprimand;
- termination of employment or contract
- expulsion from membership
- Where the investigation does not result in a finding of abuse or harassment, a copy of the report of the case review panel shall be placed in the Officer’s files. These files shall be kept confidential and access to them shall be restricted to the BCTC President, Vice-President and the Officer.
- Where the investigation results in a finding of abuse or harassment, a copy of the report of the case review panel shall be placed in the personnel or membership file of the respondent. Unless the findings of the panel are overturned upon appeal, this report shall be retained for a period of three years, unless new circumstances dictate that the report should be kept for a longer period of time.
- The foregoing procedures are not applicable to cases of suspected Child Abuse and Serious Violence (dealt with below)
PROCEDURES FOR ADDRESSING SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE General Principles
- The child protection authorities and/or police have prime responsibility for the investigation of allegations of child abuse and neglect. This means that any internal BCTC investigation will generally be deferred or modified, pending the completion of a related child protection or police investigation. The BCTC will work cooperatively with the appropriate child protection authority and police and will share all information relevant to an investigation, to the extent permitted by law.
Receiving a Complaint from a Child
- An initial disclosure of alleged child abuse must be received and responded to appropriately. Trauma may result from responses that seek to minimize or discount truthful disclosures. Some basic “dos and don’ts” for receiving a child’s disclosure are:
|Listen to the child.||Lead or suggest answers to the child.|
|Tell the child who must be notified.||Promise the child not to tell anyone.|
|Reassure the child that the conduct described is not the child’s fault and That the child has done the right thing by disclosing||Criticize the child for how or when disclosure has been made.|
|Speak to the child in private.||Bring the suspected perpetrator in to confront the child.|
|Determine the immediate safety needs of the child, involving the child in the decision.||Return the child to a risk laden situation.|
- Where an employee or member of the BCTC has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child has suffered or is at risk of likely suffering child abuse, he or she must report those suspicions and the information on which they are based directly to the provincial or territorial child protection authority. The reporting person may request that one or more representatives of the BCTC be present while he or she is making the report to the child protection authority.
- The employee or member must also immediately notify the Vice-President and/or the President.
- The Vice-President must immediately notify the child’s parents or guardians, unless it would be inappropriate to do so in the circumstances. It may be appropriate in some cases to seek the advice of the child protection authority prior to contacting the child’s parents or guardians.
- The reporting person may need to ask questions of the child or of the child’s parent to clarify the nature of the complaint. Questioning should occur only until the point that the person has a reasonable suspicion that the child has been abused. Any further questioning constitutes investigation, which is the responsibility of the child protection authority or the police. Employees and members of the BCTC must avoid interfering with the child protection or police investigation.
- The reporting person must document in writing all details of the report and provide a copy to the Vice President. The Vice-President must write to the child protection authority confirming that the suspicion has been reported, and keep a copy of the letter.
- The Vice-President shall consult with the child protection authority as to the best way to address the child’s continued involvement in BCTC activities, if appropriate, and shall follow up with the child protection authority to determine the outcome of the investigation.
- The BCTC shall ensure that support structures are in place for children who disclose alleged abuse.
When an Employee or Member is Suspected
- Where an employee or member of the BCTC is suspected of conduct that may constitute child abuse, the Vice-President must be notified immediately and provided with all relevant information regarding the suspicion. Where the Vice-President is suspected of such conduct, the President must be notified.
- The subject matter of a complaint should not be discussed with the alleged perpetrator until specific instructions are received from the investigating police or child protection authority.
- Generally, where abuse has been alleged against an employee or member, the individual should be removed from situations involving unsupervised access to children, pending determination as to whether abuse occurred. Depending on the circumstances, removal may involve reassignment to other duties, suspension with or without pay (if an employee), or immediate termination if, for example, abuse is admitted.
- The employee or member’s status should be reassessed upon completion of any police or child protection investigation, after any criminal charges are laid, after any criminal case is completed, and upon completion of any internal BCTC investigation.
- Any employee or member of the BCTC may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a suspected perpetrator of child abuse. However, any Discipline Committee struck must determine whether to defer its investigation or disciplinary proceedings until the child protection or police investigation is complete.
- Regardless of whether an employee or member of the BCTC initiates disciplinary proceedings, the Vice President must consider whether an internal BCTC investigation should be conducted, or internal disciplinary proceedings commenced, and determine the appropriate timing of any investigation or proceedings. A criminal conviction or finding of guilt will justify disciplinary action, including termination of employment or membership. The need for a full internal investigation by the BCTC may thereby be unnecessary. However, an internal investigation may be required where no criminal investigation or prosecution is initiated, or where criminal charges are withdrawn, stayed or dismissed. This is a recognition that criminal charges involve a different burden of proof, and that different rules of admissibility are applicable in a disciplinary context.
- Any internal investigation conducted by the BCTC and any resulting disciplinary proceedings in connection with alleged abuse should be informed by the desirability of:
- Avoiding or reducing trauma to the child;
- Respecting the confidentiality and privacy interests of all affected parties, to the extent possible; and
- Ensuring fairness to the BCTC employee or member against whom a complaint has been made.
When a Child is Suspected
- Where an employee or member of the BCTC who is a child is suspected of conduct that may constitute child abuse, the procedures outlined above apply, with necessary modifications. The child protection authority should be contacted about both the victim and the alleged perpetrator, and the parents of both the victim and the alleged perpetrator should be notified.
- The Vice-President should review the available information to determine whether the alleged perpetrator may continue to participate in BCTC activities pending investigation of the matter. Advice of the child protection authority or the police may be sought in this regard.
- A decision to permit the alleged perpetrator to continue to participate may be made if it is determined, after appropriate consultation, that the alleged perpetrator’s continued involvement is unlikely to be detrimental to the physical or mental well-being of the alleged victim or witnesses or other employees or members, and is in the alleged perpetrator’s best interests. Reasonable conditions may be imposed.
PROCEDURES FOR ADDRESSING SERIOUS VIOLENCE
- Incidents of abuse other than child abuse can appropriately be divided into two categories: serious incidents of violence, and less serious incidents. In determining the seriousness of an incident, the totality of the circumstances should be considered, including:
- The nature of the conduct perpetrated;
- Whether the conduct would amount to a criminal offence;
- The impact, including physical and emotional harm, upon the victim and the BCTC community;
- The motivation or underlying causes for the conduct;
- The ages of the alleged perpetrator and victim;
- Whether the conduct is isolated or reflects a pattern of misconduct;
- Whether the alleged perpetrator acted alone or with others.
- Uttering threats of serious bodily harm or death, criminal intimidation, assault causing serious bodily harm, sexual assault, arson, robbery, stalking, extortion, gang or group related violence, and hate motivated violence, will almost always be regarded as serious.
- Fighting not resulting in bodily harm, some violent acts such as throwing objects, some threats and intimidation, and some inappropriate but not criminal behaviour may be regarded as less serious.
Serious Incidents of Violence
- All serious incidents of violence shall be reported to the police and to the Vice-President or, if the Vice-President is not available, to the President. The President must promptly advise the BCTC Executive members of all serious incidents.
- If a child is involved, the parents or guardians of the child must be contacted with the least possible delay. However, reporting to the police should not be delayed because of the unavailability of a parent or guardian.
- If, in the course of an investigation, the police need to speak to an employee or member of the BCTC regarding alleged abuse, the BCTC will cooperate after being informed of the nature of the request.
- Any employee or member of the BCTC may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a suspected perpetrator of a serious incident of violence. However, any Discipline Committee struck must determine whether to defer its investigation or disciplinary proceedings until the police investigation is complete.
- Regardless of whether an employee or member of the BCTC initiates disciplinary proceedings, the Vice-President must consider whether an internal BCTC investigation should be conducted, or internal disciplinary proceedings commenced, and determine the appropriate timing of any investigation or proceedings.
- Any internal investigation conducted by the BCTC and any resulting disciplinary proceedings in connection with alleged abuse should be informed by the desirability of:
- Avoiding or reducing trauma to the victim;
- Respecting the confidentiality and privacy interests of all affected parties, to the extent possible; and
- Ensuring fairness to the BCTC employee or member against whom a complaint has been made.
Less Serious Incidents
- Where a less serious incident of abuse is alleged, the allegations must be reported to an Executive member present at the location of the incident or, if an Executive member is not present to a witness present. The incident should immediately be reported to the Vice-President to determine whether an informal or formal investigation is required.
- If the incident is investigated and dealt with on the spot, the member should provide a written report to the Vice-President immediately thereafter, explaining the facts and the manner in which the incident was handled. If appropriate, the Vice-President may initiate a further investigation or disciplinary proceedings.
- Should you be involved in or witness an incident of abuse or harassment as described in this policy, you have one (1) year from the date on which the incident occurs in which to file a report to the Officer.
PRESIDENT OF BCTC
27 February 2019
RATIFIED BY 2019 EXECUTIVE MEMBERS
27 February 2019