By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has released details of its plan for a registry and discipline system for teachers.
The idea was promised in last fall’s throne speech and is laid out in a bill now before the legislature.
The bill aims to make disciplinary action public in a similar way to how doctors and lawyers are governed.
If passed into law, it would create an online registry that would let people see whether a teacher has faced disciplinary action.
The government would set out competency standards that teachers would have to meet to maintain their teaching certificate.
The province would also have a new commissioner to investigate complaints and order a hearing into a teacher’s conduct.
“We are introducing legislative amendments that will better protect students in schools and increase the transparency of our processes,” Education Minister Wayne Ewasko said in a news release Tuesday.
Some other provinces, such as Ontario and British Columbia, already have public registries that let people see whether a teacher has been disciplined.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection called on Manitoba last year to follow suit. It released a report that said across the country, 252 current or former school personnel committed or were accused of sexual offences against more than 500 children between 2017 and 2021.
The Manitoba School Boards Association said Tuesday it welcomes a system that can investigate teachers fairly and with an independent commissioner.
“It is … critical that any alleged or actual misconduct within the teaching profession be investigated and addressed with expediency, fairness and a view to protecting everyone’s interest,” said association president Alan Campbell.
Under the bill, a panel that hears a complaint would have the power to reprimand the teacher, place conditions on their licence, or suspend or cancel the licence. A teacher would have the right to appeal the decision in court.