‘Town hall’ on the censuring of Trustee Killens slated for July 25

Larry Killens

MANITOULIN—Manitoulin Island resident Jason Chandler is continuing his pursuit of answers as to why, and if, it is legal that Manitoulin’s voice at the Rainbow District School Board (RDSB) table has been significantly muted following a board motion that banned elected Manitoulin Trustee Larry Killens from future meetings of the board and its committees. The news has a number of Island electors up in arms and a town meeting scheduled for 7 pm on Wednesday, July 25 in the upstairs hall of the Mindemoya Community Hall has been set up by Mr. Chandler to delve into the issue.

“From the very start we have had other media contact us and have heard from other residents who have had run-ins with the school board, from areas like Sudbury, Elliot Lake, the North Shore and Espanola, who are interested in coming out and hearing the information at the meeting,” Mr. Chandler told the Recorder last Friday.

“And it has been a week since I sent out a formal invitation to (RDSB) Director of Education Norm Blaseg and board chair Doreen Dewar about attending the meeting. To date neither has forwarded a response letter to me,” stated Mr. Chandler. “Our hope still is that they will reply and attend the meeting.”

Mr. Chandler said the concerns have been forwarded to the Legislative and Research Services with the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in regards to the censuring of Mr. Killens and if they (RDSB) are actually allowed to do it, said Mr. Chandler. 

Mr. Chandler said he decided to set up the town hall meeting after discovering that Mr. Killens had been banned from board meetings. The motion passed by the board at the Tuesday, July 3, meeting of the RDSB board of trustees read as follows: “That trustee Larry Killens be censured for inappropriate interactions with outside individuals to encourage and/or facilitate litigations against the Board, undermining decisions of the Board, sharing confidential information and making false and disparaging comments about staff and members of the Board.”

“That, considering that this is Trustee Killens’ sixth sanction for violating the Code of Conduct, that, employing progressive discipline he be sanctioned and banned from attendance at all meetings of the Board effective immediately until November 30, 2018.”

“This will be a town hall style of meeting. I will be making a presentation and opening remarks and people will be able to voice their concerns,” said Mr. Chandler. “Anyone with any concerns can come out to the meeting,” noting that because the meeting is expected to have a large attendance, attendees will be encouraged to limit their comments to two minutes or less. “But we want everyone to have their chance to speak up and provide their comments.”