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Monday, August 15, 2016

Will Cost You $357.60 To Have a Look at Chair Michael's Expenses

BURLINGTON - If you want a look at HCDSB Board Chair Jane Michael's expenses from 2015 to 2016 it will cost you $357.60 says Director and FOI Head Paula Dawson.  

The expense seems to be derived from the amount of information there is and the time to collect it all according to FOI administrator Tina McKinnon. Apparently, there were 83 documents at 20 cents per page and 8 hours of searching at $30 per hour for a total of $256.60. 



After receiving the above notice on June 17, Tina sends an email on July 25 (38 days later) saying she found 85 more pages of expenses and she now wants to increase the amount and charge for preparation time, (something she didn't charge for in her first notice above) for a new total of $357.60


--- Original Message -----
To: 'M. WHINTON'
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2016 2:52 PM
Subject: request number 2016 027

Good Afternoon Mr. Whinton, I made an error when initially gathering the records for your request. The actual number of pages of information is 168 and I did not include my time when forwarding you the request for payment.
Please see below the revised request for fees.

Photocopying @ .20 per page 168 pages x .20 = 33.60
Records Search time @ 7.50 per 15 minutes 8 hours x $30.00 per hour = 240.00
Preparation time @ 7.50 per 15 minutes 2.8 hours x $30.00 = 84.00
Total cost of records $357.60

In accordance with Regulation 460/823 s.7, 50% of the fee is required prior to beginning processing the request, therefore one hundred and seventy-eight dollars and eighty cents ($178.80) is required before I resume processing your request.
As per my original letter dated July 6, 2016, you have 30 days to forward a complaint to the IPC upon receipt of this email. If we do not receive a response from you within the 30 days we will consider the request closed.
Regards
Tina


It seems Michael's expenses aren't easy to find even for a skilled privacy administrator like McKinnon. And considering Jane Michael's expenses for 2014 to 2015 listed here show her total expenses to be $2927.86 (on one sheet of paper) it seems highly improbable that her expenses for 2015 to 2016 would need 168 pages to provide a little more detail on the spending of a few thousand dollars. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that when it comes to information regarding the spending of your tax dollars Jane Michael's refrain of accountability, transparency and openness applies to every employee at the HCDSB but not to the Chair of the Board. 

Nice example Jane.



As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Jane's Days May Be Numbered

Halton Catholic board chair accused of not upholding the will of the board: Chair of the Halton Catholic District School Board Jane Michael has accused some trustees of dissension, negativism and dishonourable conduct.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Privacy Commissioner Tells HCDSB to Re-Think It's Video Surveillance

BURLINGTON - From a recent IPC decision published here the HCDSB gets schooled on how to properly use the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)

The complainant, whose child attended the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School in Oakville (the School), expressed concern with the use of video surveillance at the School, which is operated by the Halton Catholic District School Board (the Board). The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario (the IPC) finds that the Board’s collection of the personal information is not in accordance with section 28(2) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act). The IPC recommends that the Board conduct an assessment of the video surveillance system at the School in a manner consistent with the Act, the Board’s internal policy and this Report.



As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Tax Records Reveal HCDSB Issued Over $40,000 in Bogus Tax Receipts to Other Charities?

BURLINGTON May 9, 2016 - HCDSB NEWS FOI update: After having refused an initial Freedom of Information request for records of who the HCDSB gave tax receipts to for over 1 million dollars and following a costly appeal process, the Director Paula Dawson has decided to reverse her initial decision to withhold the records. 


Apparently after a successful appeal was launched by the HCDSB NEWS the Information and Privacy Commissioner convinced Director Dawson that withholding the information was not the best idea.

The tax records reveal that the Halton Catholic District School Board has been issuing tax receipts for tens of thousands of dollars to other charities, something that the CRA has told HCDSB NEWS is against the rules. Below is a list of some of the charities issued tax receipts by the Halton Catholic District School Board.

Charity of Hope

Rotary Club of Oakville

RBC Foundation

TD Friends of The Environment

The Halton District School Board

The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation

Holy Rosary Church

Knights of Columbus

Lighthouse Charitable Foundation


In total more than $40,000 in official tax receipts were issued to the charities between the years of 2011 and 2014. According to the CRA a registered charity such as the HCDSB shall not issue tax receipts to other charities, the rule is plain and clear. The HCDSB NEWS has requested an explanation from the HCDSB finance department. 


The HCDSB operates a second charity called the Halton Catholic Childrens Education Foundation which is currently running in the red so one has to wonder why they have two charities in the first place when one would do and why are they having so much trouble running them?


As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

HCCEF - Top Three Reasons Not To Attend Bishop Crosby Dinner

1.     Change in HCCEF leadership. Retired HCDSB Director Fred Sweeney is now the new Chair of the HCCEF replacing former HCDSB employee Frank Crouchman. In 2001 the HCDSB faced a charity probe by revenue Canada for illegally donating taxpayer money to political parties. Fred Sweeney bought tickets for himself and trustees to attend numerous Progressive Conservative fundraisers. Sweeney In response to the story by the Spectator said "the Board is not a registered charity, and said he has no idea why it (the HCDSB) would have filed registered charity tax returns." Revenue Canada informed Mr. Sweeney the HCDSB was in fact a registered charity and threatened to revoke their charitable status. Using money donated to help educate children by purchasing tickets to PC fundraisers for himself and trustees - not a good thing.


Former HCDSB Director Fred Sweeney


2.     Over the summer the HCCEF refiled their charity tax returns making some big changes in order to correct some inaccurately submitted financial information. The charts below show the 2013 financials as they originally appeared on the CRA charity website and how they have recently been changed in the summer of 2015. The change was likely the result of a previous HCDSB NEWS story that had a link to the CRA website showing the HCCEF had spent $0 dollars on charitable programs. The link in the previous story is still working it just shows the "new" revised financials instead of the previous financial chart showing $0 dollars.



First submission to CRA for 2013 financials
2013 financials as they now appear after being changed in summer 2015

3.     Compared to the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton the HCCEF spends 77 cents of every dollar collected to pay for expenses such as management, administration and fundraising activities whereas the United way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton spent 22 cents of every dollar donated on the identical expenses according to the current 2014 filings on the CRA charities website. The HCCEF exists inside the main offices of the HCDSB and pays no rent, heat, hydro etc and has one paid employee. Most fundraising is carried out by volunteers.

If you are donating to a charity whose leader didn't know he was running a charity, donated charity money to political parties, submitted inaccurate information to the CRA on numerous occasions over several years and spent 77 cents of every dollar collected on expenses, then maybe its time to consider donating to the United Way instead of the HCCEF.  Good charities help people -  don't be a sucker.


As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.



Friday, July 10, 2015

Police Confirm Identity of Anonymous Oectawatchdog Twitter Author

HAMILTON - The union hater group known as oectawatchdog is anonymous no more thanks to the Hamilton Police Services (HPS). In an email from HPS to HCDSBNEWS they confirm that Jodi Formosi is indeed the owner of the blog and twitter account by the name of Oectawatchdog. 

Apparently Ms Formosi believes a previous article by HCDSBNEWS about Oecta Haters listed here amounts to criminal harassment. According to the HPS they state in an email (quote) it's "Nothing to worry about" and have closed the file






As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ministry of Ed Unwittingly Giving Money to Group that Opposes Sex Ed Curriculum

TORONTO - A Globe and Mail story published June 11, 2015 states that the Institute for Catholic Education (ICE) headed by former HCDSB Director Mike Pautler may receive funding to produce a "catholic" version of the new sex ed curriculum documents being demanded by the catholic school boards.  


Michael Pautler


What the Ministry of Education may not know is that ICE and it's current executive Director Mike Pautler was one of the early authors and prime movers behind the anti GSA movement a few years back. He co-authored guidelines put out by the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops (OCCB) on the subject and coincidentally, the same group that is now writing guidelines, again with Mr. Pautler's help, on the new sex education curriculum. The Pastoral guidelines Mike Pautler help co-author are called "Pastoral Guidelines To Assist Students of Same-Sex Orientation" and as of this date can still be found on the website of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops in Ontario. Regarding homosexuality on page 8 of the guideline it states the following;


"Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. "


The genesis behind all the opposition to the new sex ed curriculum are homophobic and firmly rooted in any clear reference to homosexual acts. Make no mistake about, ICE will attempt to remove anything and everything that refers to homosexual activity. The OCCB always claims to love the homosexuals in our society, but considers their actions that of a depraved and "disordered" individual. How can you love someone who you think acts in a depraved manner is a form of logic entirely devoid of a form of reason. Once again we find a government institution unwittingly funding the opposition to itself further wasting tax dollars and most importantly your time. Why doesn't someone ask the anti sex ed group exactly what they want removed or re-written? If they do they'll never get a straight answer and that's where ICE comes in. They'll provide a "smoothed" over version removing all references to homosexual activities long after everyone has forgotten. 


If you have any information regarding this or other stories please contact HCDSB NEWS. All submissions will be kept strictly confidential.

As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

HCDSB Chair Congratulates Progressive Consevative Candidate But Not Liberal or NDP

BURLINGTON -  Chair Jane Michael decided to tweet congratulations to a Progressive Conservative candidate for Oakville North Burlington (ONB) Effie Triantafilopoulos and stand in front of a PC sign. Trouble is she is not to be perceived as favouring any political party and she didn't bother to congratulate or mention the other party candidates.


Effie Triantafilopoulos




There are a number of problems with this given Jane's job description. Firstly when she speaks publicly it is on behalf of all trustees. Secondly, and most importantly, Jane has not congratulated the other women candidates who have won their nominations in ONB, Liberal Pam Damoff and NDP candidate Rebecca Rajcak 


               
Pam Damoff
Rebecca Rajcak

If you want to appear politically biased, insult the thousands of Liberals and NDP supporters who voted for all trustees and at the same time ignore fellow woman leaders in your own community then this is the way to do it. Jane's been making a few mistakes lately. Turning her back on the trustees sex ed motion was one and now this is another. She won't serve her full term as Chair if she keeps making these rookie mistakes. If you want to congratulate a politician then do it in private or congratulate all of them so you don't make yourself and the Board look like a bunch of right wing Harper supporters.


If you have any information regarding this or other stories please contact HCDSB NEWS. All submissions will be kept strictly confidential.

As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Students and Employees Not Invited To Town Hall Meetings - Only Parents and Ratepayers asked to attend Brain Washing Exercise

BURLINGTON - The HCDSB is holding Town Hall meetings at selected high schools starting June 11, 2015. The Town Hall meetings are supposed to provide information on the Board's strategic planning process which they refer to as "Fulfilling The Promise: Strategic Directions For 2010-2015".  As an added show of respect the Board has decided not to invite staff or students and you must register for the event and give them your email. 




If you do plan on attending make sure to ask the following questions about how well the strategic plan has worked so far;


Why don't you include student statistics on how many go to college, university or work? 


Why did former Director Mike Pautler, author of the strategic plan, try to fire the Principal and others of the Notre Dame staff?


Why is the Board closing classrooms at Notre Dame contrary to the best interests of students and staff?


Why is the graph dealing with respect for employees on page 4 of the strategic plan 8 years out of date and stating "80% of staff will report being treated as valued and respected by 2011"? Isn't that a completely fictitious number based on absolutely nothing that is already out of date?


Why does the Board spend tens of thousands in student funding to keep information out of public hands? 


Why did the trustees overpay Director Paula Dawson by $17,000 . They hired her and gave her a contract, can't they read and do simple math?



If you have any information regarding this or other stories please contact HCDSB NEWS. All submissions will be kept strictly confidential.

As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Catholic Extremists Lose Battle Over Sex Ed Curriculum

BURLINGTON - Trustees Anthony Danko and rookie trustee Anthony Quinn lead an effort to derail the implementation of Ontario's new sex education curriculum at Tuesday evenings board meeting. Danko had proposed a motion to delay its implementation and Quinn publicly gave his support. Level headed trustees ensured it went down in flames and the motion was defeated. Nanna and her supporters were not happy.



Both Danko and Quinn had wanted the curriculum revised by Catholic Bishops, a group well known for its lack of sexual expertise. As of late Tuesday evening the twitter accounts of the HCDSB, Jane MichaelPaula Dawson, Anthony Quinn and Arlene Iantomasi make no mention of it. The HCDSB account shows kids on a field trip to Ottawa, Jane's gushes over a new Microsoft app, Paula's mentions the HIEC Breakfast, Anthony's congratulates a hockey player for signing with the NHL and Arlene congratulates Alice Anne LeMay for something. 


Once again the brain trust at the HCDSB seems to be hell bent on delivering insincere congratulations and mind numbing drivel to those that are employed by them. Have they deluded themselves into thinking that their employees don't want to know what really goes on?


UPDATE: Thursday June 4, The Star covers the parking lot fight after meeting - Police called in.


If you have any information regarding this or other stories please contact HCDSB NEWS. All submissions will be kept strictly confidential.

As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Board Won't Say Who Got Over $1 Million in Tax Receipts

BURLINGTON - The Halton Catholic District School Board is again prepared to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars in fighting a Freedom of Information request asking who they gave tax receipts to for over $1 million dollars.




The HCDSB is a registered as a charity as are all Ontario school boards. This is done in order to avoid paying taxes on moneys transferred to school boards (and other government institutions) by the Ontario government. 

Even though information regarding identifiable individuals was not requested the HCDSB claims they can't say how many tax receipts they issued, to what companies or organizations, or the respective amounts stating the following reasons;


          It's a trade secret

          It's scientific, commercial, financial or labour relations information

          The information has monetary or potential monetary value


Most people have asked questions to which they have received an answer that makes them think the other person giving it must be smoking crack. How could a donation to a school board be considered a trade secret? scientific? or labour relations?

The person that denies FOI requests at the Board is the FOI head and by Board policy the FOI Head is the Director Paula Dawson





As in most cases it's a matter of interpreting the FOI law as to whether or not an information request is or is not granted. Which means the Director can spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars fighting an FOI request (as she has done previously) or she could simply release the information depending on her interpretation of the law. It's her call and she could release the information in a New York minute if she wanted to. Just so she knows, no FOI head has ever been fined or jailed for releasing information. 

The cost to release the information $5.00, the cost to fight it $10,000.00 + Taking that kind of money away from student programs just doesn't make sense considering all the financial pressures the Board claims to be under. Maybe they have more money than they know what to do with or they like to spend whatever it takes to keep information out of taxpayers hands. Either way this Board can never claim it is transparent and mindful of taxpayers money. The Board's motto, Achieving, Believing and Belonging should be Deceiving, Ignoring and Conniving - DIC for short.


If you have any information regarding this or other stories please contact HCDSB NEWS. All submissions will be kept strictly confidential.


As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Director Dawson Pays Back Thousands in Salary After News Report Of Overpayment

BURLINGTON - An investigation by the HCDSB NEWS regarding the salary of Paula Dawson, Director of Education for the Halton Catholic District School Board published on March 29, 2015 has prompted the Director to repay thousands in over payments after the fact. 



The overpayment occurred despite the fact the Director herself had, on at least two (2) separate occasions and as part of her duties, (and prior to the HCDSB NEWS report of March 29) personally checked, reviewed and signed the following documents that were specifically about the amount of her own pay;


Sunshine List Report of Salaries - To be signed by Director and submitted by March 6, 2015

Ministry of Education Report on Directors SalaryTo be signed by Director and submitted by March 6, 2015


As stated in Board Policy III-14 Employee Code of Conduct;

Maintaining an unimpeachable standard of integrity in all their business relationships, both inside and outside the Board that is consistent with the Board’s Governing Values

Every employee is responsible and accountable for exercising good judgement and avoiding situations that would present a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest and where a conflict of interest exists each employee has an affirmative duty to disclose such a conflict when it becomes apparent. 

Employees must not participate in any decision or recommendation in which they or a relative, friend or business associate may have a direct or indirect financial, commercial or business interest

As stated in Board Policy I-24 Fraud Management;

Fraud and the material misstatement of financial information can have a significant adverse effect on the Board’s public image, reputation and its ability to achieve its strategic objectives.

The Board will make every reasonable effort to protect itself against fraud, and will establish and maintain a system of internal control to ensure, to the fullest extent possible, the prevention and detection of fraud.

If any other employee had for months been over payed, asked to sign and submit documents regarding the accuracy of their own salary and then only after an independent investigation admitted they were over payed, they would, by Board policy, be facing anything from dismissal to a reprimand.  We are about to discover if rules apply to all employees or if special rules apply to the privileged.  

At the very least the trustees and the Director need to give a public explanation as to how this mismanagement of public funds happened despite financial audits and numerous levels of administrative oversight. 

Who's job is it to watch the boss? The nine trustees lead by Jane Michael. Legally they get to hire, fire and evaluate one employee, the Director. You'd think nine people could do a better job of watching one person when it comes to your money instead of tweeting about the weather and food like the Chair of the Board is fond of doing.


If you have any information regarding this or other stories please contact HCDSB NEWS. All submissions will be kept strictly confidential.


As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Catholic Teachers Set To Strike - 94% vote in Favour of Strike Action

TORONTO - April 24, Catholic teachers from all across Ontario have been electronically voting to take strike action since noon Thursday April 23 until today, noon April 24.  The results are in. 94.2% in favour of taking strike action.



As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

HCCEF's Missing $203,193 - documents reveal $O spent on Needy Children

BURLINGTON - An ongoing investigation into the finances of the Halton Catholic Children's Education Foundation (HCCEF) has revealed that the missing $203,193 that the charity had in 2007 and previously reported by the  HCDSB NEWS, was indeed transferred to the Halton Catholic District School Board. According to documents recently released to HCDSB NEWS under a freedom of information request. None of the $203,193 was given to needy children or their families.



The documents show that the money was transferred from FECE (now renamed HCCEF) to the HCDSB, which is itself a charity. There is no reason stated as to why the money was given to the HCDSB. The HCDSB put the money into its general revenue account in April 2007. From there it was given to schools which in turn spent most of the money on furniture, textbooks and classroom supplies.There is no expense listed for charity, charitable programs, needy children etc. 




How much of the money is still left is unknown but assumed to be zero given the transfer occurred over eight years ago. According to the Ministry of Education fundraising guidelines and HCDSB Board Policy V-4 the purchase of classroom materials and textbooks is an unacceptable use of fundraising proceeds.


Before any support is given for the HCCEF's Student Guardian Campaign, Charity Golf ClassicWalk With Jesus or the Evening with Bing Crosby  fundraisers, make sure you are completely satisfied that the HCCEF will account for all the money raised after each event and that most of the money collected is given to needy children shortly after. If the HCCEF won't do it, don't support it. A review of HCCEF finances indicates that it will not get enough donations this year to pay the salary of its sole employee Marc Clare, therefore $0 will go to needy children this year.


There are many good charities out there like the United Way that gives 78% to charitable programs and other charities that support mental health, MS and many worthy causes. The HCCEF gives 0% to charitable programs and don't publish who they gave the money to. 


Please give your support to charities that show they help others. Contact your trustee and ask them to make the HCCEF dormant once again, or better yet file a complaint with the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency. Its completely confidential and your employer will never know. It was a CRA complaint in 2001 that lead to the former charity FECE being made dormant. After that period of time individual schools could raise funds for the charities they knew and trusted but all that changed when former director Mike Pautler decided to resurrect it in 2012 and rename it the Halton Catholic Children's Education Foundation. 


As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Nanna's Complaint Letter Tells The HCDSB She's Not a Fan of Oral Sex or Homosexuals and Chair Insults Gay Students and Fellow Gay Trustee by Publishing it.

BURLINGTON - Two seniors decided to give the HCDSB an earful about the new sex education curriculum in a letter dated March 27th 2025.



The letter was received by the Directors office April 2, 2015 and appears to be in response to a questionaire sent out by trustees. It is poorly written and clearly homophobic, disrespectful, insulting and politicaly motivated. Nonetheless, Chair Jane Michael, ever the extremist Catholic and the one who is responsible for the Board's agenda and minutes decided it was a good idea to include the letter below on the last page of the full report of the April 7th, 2015 Board meeting. The letter writer and fellow extremist, Linda Jachymek, seems to have a history of complaining about teachers participating in gay pride parades, abortion funding and the chemical abortion pill which she thinks is tied to Nazi death camps.




Most people would agree that letters like this should not be published due to there homophobic comments. For the Chair to decide to publicly include this in the full meeting report is telling and reflects poorly on her and the other trustees. Perhaps Jane is unaware there are gay students and that fellow trustee Paul Marai is gay. 


Paul Marai and Jane Michael

Jane, next time ask for advice from the Board's numerous communications people before doing something so obviously wrong and insulting. 


As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Help Pay Marc Clare's Salary by Donating to the HCCEF

HCDSB NEWS BURLINGTON - Meet the new guy running the Halton Catholic Children's Education Foundation Marc Clare. Trained as a teacher Marc was employed as a manager for a local YMCA over the past thirteen years.


Marc Clare at work YMCA April 2013


His new job is that of Executive Director of the Halton Catholic Children's Education Foundation. His salary will be $45,000. His duties will include taking the HCCEF from a floundering charity to a stellar one. 


He'd better have the Midas touch considering his stated yearly salary is in fact more than the charity currently brings in. In 2014 the HCCEF financial statements clearly indicate the charity, from all sources, had revenues of $62,011 and total expenses of $29,244. Leaving aside for the moment that this charity uses up 47 cents in expenses for every dollar it currently collects, total revenues minus total expenses leaves it with exactly $32,767 in which to pay Mr. Clare's $45,000/yr salary. This now leaves the HCCEF in the ridiculous position of having it's expenses exceed 100% of it's revenues and leaves it open to having it's registration as a charity revoked by the CRA. Mr. Clare certainly has his work cut out for him.


This past week Director Dawson sent out a lovely tear stained hard sell email to all employees about her childhood and how you and her were unaware of needy children all around you etc. etc. and asking for you to donate to the HCCEF through payroll deductions or hard cash. While some VPs and Principals will be falling over themselves to sign up out of fear of not being promoted the vast majority of other workers might want to ask a few questions first, like where did the $203,193 dollars go the charity once had, and why is the charity collecting money instead of spending it on the needy as mentioned in the Director's email? Why are Principals unable to answer any questions but always ready to ask for donations?


The Director is fully aware of this blog and all the criticisms levelled at the HCCEF but as your supreme leader, she seems unwilling or unable to respond to them, preferring instead to simply ignore them. And that's the same advice I'd give anyone donating to the HCCEF, simply ignore it. Don't worry about Mr. Clare he might keep his job for a while since part of his efforts will focus on shaking money out of the many corporate suppliers to the Board such as banks, insurance companies, paper towel suppliers you name it, the list is endless. The Board could always hire him as a teacher if this gig doesn't work out. He has some fairly good contacts.


Frank Crouchman, B. Crosby, Marc Clare

Bottom line - bad charities take money out of your pocket and also that of good charities so donate to a worthy charity every chance you get, just don't be a sucker.


As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What Is The Correct Answer, A, B, or C? What The HCCEF is Really Doing With The Money It Collects

HCDSB NEWS Burlington - An on going investigation into the finances of the Halton Catholic Children's Education Foundation (HCCEF) tries to determine just what is being done with the money collected. You'd think that the answer would be self-evident, they simply give all or most the money to needy students. This failed to happen when under it's old name the HCCEF transferred $203,193 from its own account to the HCDSB leaving itself with $0.

As previously reported by the HCDSB NEWS here the HCCEF has spent exactly $0 dollars on charitable programs according to its own financial reports submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). On closer examination of the HCCEF's  T3010 Schedule 6 return it would appear that the charity has been granted permission to accumulate funds, or in other words, simply collect funds for some determined amount of time without spending any of it. The general public has not been made aware of this major secret likely out of the fear that few people would be willing to donate to a charity that simply collects money.


From Schedule 6 of the CRA HCCEF return it states the following;


Complete Schedule 6 if any of the following applies:
a) The charity's revenue exceeds $100,000.
b) The amount of all property (for example, investments, rental properties) not used in charitable activities is more than $25,000.
c) The charity has permission to accumulate funds during this fiscal period.

Do not complete Section D: Financial Information, if you must complete Schedule 6.











As is already known, the HCCEF doesn't have revenues in excess of $100,000  so the answer isn't "A". It doesn't own property of any kind so the answer isn't "B" and as requested, it did not complete section "D". That leaves "C" as the only possible answer and fully explains why the charity hasn't been reporting any spending on charitable programs as has been previously reported.

If the HCCEF has been granted permission to accumulate funds it has a duty to make that known to the public. It's sole reason to exist is to help needy students and if they are accumulating funds they need to fully explain that to one and all otherwise what's the point in raising funds or donating if they are just going to sit on the money? Acting is if everything is fine and the average person doesn't know about the Internet and social media and no one will find out...is not a strategy or an option. 

This is the modern age, from children to seniors, school volunteers, support staff, retirees, administrators, teachers and unions all read  this blog so if you happen to be someone who is running the HCCEF how about letting everyone know just what the hell is going on.


As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Charity Money Collected For Needy Students Goes Missing



BURLINGTON - In 2007 the former charity known as the Foundation for Excellence in Catholic Education (FECE) transferred $203,193 to the Halton Catholic District School Board, itself a registered charity. At the time of the transfer in 2007 the Foundation for Excellence in Catholic Education reported having $0 assets. The charity has since been renamed in 2012 and operates as "The Halton Catholic Children's Education Foundation" (HCCEF) but the $203,193 hasn't been returned to it. A source tells HCCEF NEWS that when directors of the charity asked where the money went when transferred to the HCDSB the answer was "no one knows". What is known is that the former FECE now renamed the HCCEF is supposed to help students in need of financial assistance. The money the HCCEF has raised has come primarily from elementary and secondary schools in the system that use student generated funds from activities like civvies days to buy entire tables for the charity's annual fundraiser an "Evening with Bishop Crosby" held in Oakville every year. Each year principals are contacted by a senior administrator in the HCDSB and asked to support the charity by purchasing a table for 10. The tables are usually filled with school staff, administration, parent council members and invited students. 

HCDSB NEWS has filed a Freedom of Information request with the HCDSB asking for all the financial records related to the transfer of the $203,193

As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Oops! My Bad - Board Pays Director $17,000 More Than Allowed

HCDSB NEWS had previously reported on the contract details of the HCDSB Director Paula Dawson here in January 2015. Her contract stated very clearly that her "basic" annual salary would be fixed at $200,000



It also stated her "basic" salary is subject to change if provincial guidelines mandated it or if the Board of Trustees changed it. She was also allowed to work through 4 of her 6 weeks of vacation and get paid for it. Her vacation doesn't include Christmas or the March break so add another 2 weeks for a total of 8. Predictably, there is no information published by the Board in any form that states they raised the Director's salary in 2014 but the Public Sector Salary Disclosure (PSSD) list for 2014, otherwise known as the "Sunshine list"  tells a different tale. It states the HCDSB paid the director a total of $217,594.77 in the calender year 2014. That my friends is an 8.1% increase in pay any way you slice it. The PSSD numbers are from the T4 issued to the Director for the calender year 2014. 

You'd think after the Minster of Education Liz Sandals slapped around the TDSB for paying their Director Donna Quan too much in salary the trustees of the HCDSB would have had a close look at what was going on with their Director so as not to suffer the same embarrassment. Maybe they are playing a game of silly bugger by using the vacation clause as a means of skirting ministry guidelines. If that's the case the Minister better wake up and smell the coffee. Of course there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why the trustees are paying the Director more than it appears they should have. I have asked the HCDSB this exact question and when they get back to me I'll let you know what their explanation is. In the meantime stay tuned, I'll post the answer just as soon as I get it. 

BREAKING NEWS - Monday 5:25 a.m. The official response from the Board; The increase is due to unused vacation time and 1 extra pay period.

According to the Director's contract the trustees had to approve her vacation time. It states; "It is the intent of this agreement that the employee shall take the six (6) weeks of vacation during each calender year, providing such vacation does not unduly interfere with the operation of the school system and as approved by the Board." All the Director needs to do at this point is tell  the Board she would like four weeks vacation in June and 2 weeks in April instead of the typical times of July and August. The Board simply approves it as a "working vacation" of some kind instead of simply denying it as it very commonly does with all other employees. There has been no mention of this in any Board meeting minutes. So much for transparency.

The "extra pay period" appears to be nothing more than complete fiction on the part of the accounting department. This is not the first time the HCDSB has paid a Director more than their contract allowed, see here. The other three top paid administrators, Joe O'Hara (HR), Paul MacMahon (Finance) and Lorrie Naar (SO) all suffered decreases in pay in 2014 compared to 2013. O'Hara lost $4.28, MacMahon lost $4.26 and Naar lost $4.21. It seems the other top paid administrators did not benefit from the same "extra pay period" their boss did which would lead to the conclusion that only one administrator at the HCDSB had an "extra pay period". The question now becomes who ordered/invented the "extra pay period" for the Director and why?


BREAKING NEWS - Monday 3:15 p.m. An official with the HCDSB has apologized regarding their original claim of an "extra pay period" This was in fact not accurate. There was no extra pay period for the Director as previously stated.

Given the above admission that there was no extra pay period leads to the conclusion that the extra $17,594.77 was all due to being paid for working a vacation  period of 4.57 weeks in duration. Her contract states she can carry over unused vacation time of up to 6 weeks to the following year and that any unused carry over vacation time can be paid out as a lump sum in that year. In 2014 there 194 school days and 171 non school days plus 21 days of statutory holidays. the Director received approval from the Board for her holidays. The Board could have made her book her holidays in the summer like everyone else but didn't. If you want to know why you'll have to ask Jane Michael.

As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned in any article will be published.