June 30, 2014 6:48 pm

Extracurriculars at centre of LBPSB conflict of interest allegations

DORVAL — A clutch of parents is alleging that Lester B. Pearson School Board chairperson Suanne Stein Day created a conflict of interest during her tenure at the board because she served as treasurer of a non-profit that handled extracurriculars.

“We can’t get any clarification on how activities are organized, on how contracts are awarded,” said Cindy Mac Donald, a former member of the Sherwood Forest Elementary School. “The principals can’t answer that.”

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Global News

The Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations is a non-profit whose stated aim is to supplement a school’s offering of educational programs and offer them advice. Stein Day served as treasurer of the organization for two years while she also served as the chair of the board. Some parents are saying this represents a conflict, adding that schools under Pearson had their extracurricular programs all but completely taken over by the QFHSA.

The QFHSA denies any conflict of interest, and notes that individual schools would not be able to put on after school programs by the organization.

“Individual schools would not be any position to offer those services to families, to children or to parents,” said Larry DePoe, the QFHSA president.

DePoe did concede, however, that it collects the program fees associated with extracurriculars, something that some find objectionable.

“Private organizations only have a responsibility to their stakeholders, they’re not required to make a decision for stakeholders or the public,” Mac Donald said.

Stein Day would only talk to Global News over the phone, and said she was confident that she’d be absolved of any allegation of conflict of interest. Elections for Lester B. Pearson are slated for November.

 

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