Winnipeg, Manitoba — The establishment of a Commissioner for teacher discipline as proposed by the Manitoba Government in Bill 35 is a historic step towards transparency and accountability as it relates to teachers who exploit their positions of trust and authority over children.
If passed, this bill would bring Manitoba closer to victim-centric practices already seen across Canada in provinces including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.
More transparent oversight is long-overdue and supported by survivor groups and their families. In addition to this, public information surrounding the handling of several teacher abuse and misconduct cases in recent years demonstrates how the current system puts students at risk.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) is especially supportive of the following measures proposed in the bill:
- The establishment of a Commissioner tasked with investigating and adjudicating complaints of teacher misconduct from any person, which may include students, parents, teachers, and other school personnel;
- The move towards more transparency in teacher discipline, including the creation of an online registry of teachers to allow the public to obtain information about the status of a teacher’s teaching certificate, the publication of any consent resolution agreements or disciplinary decisions associated to the teacher, and the holding of public hearings; and
- The inclusion of all offences related to child sexual abuse material in the list of matters constituting professional misconduct.
C3P strongly believes transparency and accountability are essential to better protecting students. In November 2022, C3P published a country-wide report that found nearly 550 students were or are alleged to have been sexually abused or victimized by Canadian school personnel over the last five years. The study identified 290 school personnel involved in sex abuse or victimization incidents. The 2022 report was a follow up to a similar report published in 2017, which examined sexual offences by school personnel against at least 1,272 children between 1997 and 2017.Media contact:
1 (204) 560-0723