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Code of Conduct

Preface

FLIP Saint John
Free Local Independent Perspectives

Code of Conduct

Issued September 2020

This Code of Conduct sets out the required levels of conduct for members participating in FLIP Saint John activities, events, conferences, meetings, projects, and online communications, defined henceforth as “FLIP Saint John Business.” This Code of Conduct applies to all Board of Directors, Advisors, Project Leads and Volunteers, as defined henceforth as “Members.”

All Members must review and agree to abide by this Code of Conduct as a condition of participation in any FLIP Saint John Business. Violations of this Code of Conduct will be taken seriously and may result in various repercussions. Repercussions include, but are not limited to, member’s suspension from the group and/or a ban from future participation in FLIP Saint John Business.

Scope

This Code addresses Human Rights standards (i.e. anti-harassment and anti- discrimination standards) and expected standards of conduct for FLIP Saint John Business practices. FLIP Saint John is not liable for members’ conduct. By registering as a Member, the Member acknowledges this Code of Conduct and accepts that FLIP Saint John bears no responsibility of any kind or any nature in respect of any such conduct.

Definitions

  • Board Member – An elected member of the Board of Directors for FLIP Saint John
  • Advisor – An individual who is involved in an advisory capacity with FLIP Saint John
  • Project Lead – An individual who carries out project leadership on behalf of FLIP Saint John
  • Volunteer – A volunteer is anyone who carries out unpaid activity on behalf of FLIP Saint John, including project work, campaigning, fundraising, training or providing support to the organization. There are many ways to contribute and everyone’s contribution is valued

Criminal Behaviour

Members shall not engage in any conduct deemed illegal by the Criminal Code of Canada.

Criminal behaviour constitutes grounds for immediate suspension from FLIP Saint John and Members may be prohibited from participation in future FLIP Saint John Business. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to:

Human Rights

FLIP Saint John supports and abides by the principles articulated in all applicable Human Rights legislation mandated by the Federal Government and the Province of New Brunswick. We celebrate inclusion & diversity, and expect equal treatment for all without discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender, gender identity, ancestry, place of origin, social origin, social condition, ethnic origin, source of income, political belief, affiliation or activity, religious belief association, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, same-sex partnership status, family status, and physical or mental disability. Members will not engage in behaviour that, in any way, discriminates, demeans, or treats another member, or member of the public, adversely on the basis of any of the enumerated grounds. Members will not engage in any behaviour that, in any way, is repeated or persuasive with the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for any person.

Communications Policy

From time to time, FLIP Saint John may use online communications to “call out” perceived acts of injustice or wrongdoing in an effort to hold public figures and organizations accountable. FLIP Saint John understands that some topics may be sensitive in nature or include uncomfortable language. While utilizing FLIP Saint John branded accounts, Members will do their best to cultivate compassionate and open dialogue, however, due to the public nature of these discussions FLIP Saint John will not be held liable for the actions of those who engage in public discourse while utilizing personal accounts.

FLIP Saint John recognizes the value of satire, a literary form in which humour, irony, exaggeration or ridicule are used to expose the flaws in contemporary politics, as it is an effective means of criticism.

Members agree they will not post, publish, or distribute any defamatory, obscene, infringing or other unlawful material or information while conducting FLIPSJ Business.

Conflict of Interest

The purpose of this policy is to help board members of FLIP Saint John to effectively identify, disclose, and manage any actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest in order to protect the integrity of FLIP Saint John and manage risk.

The FLIP Saint John board aims to ensure that board members, committees, and volunteers are aware of their obligations to disclose any conflicts of interest that they may have, and to comply with this policy to ensure they effectively manage those conflicts of interest as representatives of FLIP Saint John. This policy applies to the board members, committee members, and volunteers of FLIP Saint John.

Board members have a fiduciary duty called the Duty of Care, which requires them to place the best interests of FLIP Saint John ahead of their own interests. When a board member’s personal interests conflict with their responsibility to act for FLIP Saint John, it creates a conflict of interest.

Board members, committees, and volunteers should be aware that conflicts of interest may be actual, potential, or perceived, and that they may relate to financial or nonfinancial interests including political interests. Conflicts may also include related interests by family or friends, or duties that board members, committee members, and volunteers have with other nonprofits or organizations.

This policy has been developed because conflicts of interest commonly arise, and do not need to present a problem to the organization if they are openly and effectively managed. It is the policy of FLIP Saint John as well as a responsibility of the board that ethical, legal, financial, or other conflicts of interest be avoided and that any such conflicts (where they do arise) do not conflict with the obligations to FLIP Saint John.

FLIP Saint John will manage conflicts of interest by requiring board members to:

  • Avoid conflicts of interest where possible
  • Identify and disclose any conflicts of interest at the earliest opportunity
  • Carefully manage any conflicts of interest
  • Follow this policy and respond to any breaches

The board is responsible for:
Establishing a system for identifying, disclosing, and managing conflicts of interest across FLIP Saint John, monitoring compliance with this policy and reviewing this policy on an annual basis, [following the annual general meeting], to ensure that the policy is operating effectively.

Once an actual, potential, or perceived conflict of interest is identified, it must be reported to the FLIP Saint John Board of Directors. Where all of the board members share a conflict, the board should abstain from participating and look to volunteers without said conflict of interest to continue.

Once the conflict of interest has been appropriately disclosed, the board (excluding the board member disclosing and any other conflicted board member) must decide whether or not those conflicted board members should:

  • Vote on the matter (this is a minimum).
  • Participate in any debate on the matter.
  • Be present in the room during the debate and the voting.
  • In exceptional circumstances, such as where a conflict is very significant or likely to prevent a board member from regularly participating in discussions, it may be necessary for the board to consider whether it is appropriate for the person conflicted to resign from the board.

In deciding what approach to take, the board will consider the following:

  • Whether the conflict needs to be avoided or simply documented.
  • Whether the conflict will realistically impair the disclosing person’s capacity to impartially participate in decision-making.
  • Alternative options to avoid the conflict.
  • FLIP Saint John objects and resources, and the possibility of creating an appearance of improper conduct that might impair confidence in, or the reputation of, FLIP Saint John.
  • The approval of any action requires the agreement of at least a majority of the board (excluding any conflicted board member/s) who are present and voting at the meeting. The action and result of the voting will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting and in the register of interests.

If the board has a reason to believe that a person subject to the policy has failed to comply with it, it will investigate the circumstances.

If it is found that this person has failed to disclose a conflict of interest, the board may take action against them. This may include seeking to terminate their relationship with FLIP Saint John.

Code of Conduct Violations

Violations of the Code of Conduct by members will be reviewed by the Board and two advisory members of FLIP Saint John, determined to be impartial in the matter. If the complaint is against a member of the Board, that individual will be removed from the investigation process and a separate board member will be added in their place. Behaviours considered violations of this Code of Conduct could result in various repercussions, ranging from a verbal or written notice, suspension, or termination. More than two written notices of violations will result in an immediate suspension.

Review and Comments

Comments are welcome on this Code of Conduct. It will next be reviewed in January 2021. We appreciate that policies and procedures can always be improved, and we welcome suggestions. Please contact us at flipsaintjohn@gmail.com