Ethics Policy March 2019

  • Ethics Policy
  • Policy Statements
    • Conflict of Interest Policy
    • Confidentiality Policy
    • Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy
  • Ethics Complaint Process


1.                ETHICS POLICY

It is the policy of South Saskatchewan Woodturners Guild (SSWG) that its Directors, members, other volunteers tasked with performing duties on behalf of the SSWG, and staff, shall uphold the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior. To that end, these individuals shall dedicate themselves to carrying out the mission of this organization and shall:

  • Not receive any personal compensation or profit as the result of any position held with the SSWG, and shall, at all times, avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
  • Act with honesty, truthfulness and openness in all their dealings as representatives of the SSWG and as ambassadors to the worldwide community of
  • Not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud or
  • Have a duty to report conduct that violates the SSWG Code of
  • Not use SSWG funds for direct or indirect political
  • Act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance personal and professional honor, integrity and the dignity of the SSWG. Treat with respect and consideration all persons, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, maternity, marital or family status, disability, age or national
  • Engage in carrying out the SSWG’s mission in a professional
  • Respect the structure and responsibilities of the SSWG Board of Directors, provide the Board and its members with facts and advice as may form a basis for their policy making decisions, and uphold and implement policies adopted by the Board of Directors.
  • Serve with respect, concern, courtesy, and responsiveness in carrying out the organization’s
  • Avoid any interest or activity that is in conflict with the conduct of their official duties.
  • Respect and protect privileged and confidential information to which they have access in the course of their official


{Drafter’s Notes: This language is adapted from the AAW}




Specific ethics policies are as follows:

  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Confidentiality Policy
  • Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy





  • Purpose:

The SSWG is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Maintenance of its tax-exempt status is vital both for its continued financial stability and for public support. Therefore, the CRA as well as provincial regulatory and tax officials view the operations of the SSWG as a public trust, which is subject to scrutiny by and accountable to such governmental authorities as well as to members of the public.

Consequently, there exists between the SSWG and its Board, officers, and any management employees, a fiduciary duty, which carries with it a broad and unbending duty of loyalty and fidelity. The Board, officers, and management employees have the responsibility of administering the affairs of the SSWG honestly and prudently, and of exercising their best care, skill, and judgment for the sole benefit of the SSWG. Those persons shall exercise the utmost good faith in all transactions involved in their duties, and they shall not use their positions with the SSWG, or knowledge gained there from, for their personal benefit. The interests of the organization must be the first priority in all decisions and actions.


The SSWG Board, staff, volunteers, and members must act as good stewards of the resources and information entrusted to our care. The assets of SSWG are to be used solely for the benefit of SSWG and only for valid non-profit purposes. These assets may not be improperly used to provide personal gain for Board members or others. Board members may not use SSWG assets for direct or indirect political contributions. Board members may not transfer any of the assets to other people, except in the ordinary course of business. On occasion, assets of SSWG no longer needed in the business may be sold to board members, other members, staff, or the general public.

2.1.2.     Persons concerned:

This statement is directed not only to directors and officers, but to all members, volunteers, and staff who can influence the actions of the SSWG. For example, this would include all who make purchasing decisions, all persons who might be described as “management personnel,” and anyone who has proprietary information concerning the SSWG.


2.1.3.     Areas in which conflict may arise:

Conflicts of interest may arise in the relations of directors, officers, management employees and members with any of the following third parties:

  • Persons and firms supplying goods and services to the
  • Persons and firms from whom the SSWG leases property and
  • Persons and firms with whom the SSWG is dealing or planning to deal in connection with the gift, purchase or sale of real estate, securities, or other property.
  • Competing or affinity
  • Donors and others supporting the
  • Agencies, organizations, and associations which affect the operations of the
  • Family members. Family members include an individual’s spouse, domestic partner, parents, children, spouse’s parents, children’s spouses, brothers and sisters, and spouses of brothers and



2.1.4.     Nature of conflicting interest:

A conflicting interest may be defined as an interest, direct or indirect, with any persons or firms mentioned in Section 2.1.3. Such an interest might arise through:

  • Owning stock or holding debt or other proprietary interests in any third party dealing with the
  • Holding office, serving on the board, participating in management, or being otherwise employed (or formerly employed) with any third party dealing with the
  • Receiving remuneration for services with respect to individual transactions involving the
  • Using the SSWG’s time, personnel, equipment, supplies, or good will for other than the SSWG-approved activities, programs, and
  • Receiving personal gifts or loans from third parties dealing or competing with the SSWG. If any unsolicited gift is received, it must be reported to the Board, and the Board will decide on its disposition. Similarly, no gift may be made from any SSWG resource to any outside person or organization without prior notice to and approval by the Board. Excluded from this are promotional items such as t-shirts, Journals, or gift memberships handed out by staff or board members when promoting SSWG.
  • Should a director be considered for employment by the SSWG, he/she must temporarily remove her/himself form the Board.



2.1.5.     Interpretation of this Statement of Policy:

The areas of conflicting interest listed in Section 2.1.3 above, and the relations in those areas which may give rise to conflict, as listed in Section 2.1.4, are not exhaustive. Conflicts might arise in other areas or through other relations. It is assumed that the directors, officers, management employees, and members will recognize such areas and relation by analogy.

The fact that one of the interests described in Section 2.1.4 exists does not necessarily mean that a conflict exists, or that the conflict, if it exists, is material enough to be of practical importance, or if material, that upon full disclosure of all relevant facts and circumstances it is necessarily adverse to the interests of the SSWG.

However, it is the policy of the Board that the existence of any of the interests, including but not limited to those described in Section 2.1.4 shall be disclosed before any transaction is consummated. It shall be the continuing responsibility of the board, officers and management employees to scrutinize their transactions and outside business interests and relationships for potential conflicts and to immediately make such disclosures.




It is the policy of the SSWG that members of the Board of Directors, Committee Members, employees and members of the SSWG may not disclose, divulge, or make accessible confidential information belonging to, or obtained through their affiliation with the SSWG to any person, including relatives, friends, and business and professional associates, other than to persons who have a legitimate need for such information and to whom the SSWG has authorized disclosure. Members of the Board of Directors, committee members, employees and members shall use confidential information solely for the purpose of performing services as a trustee for SSWG. This policy is not intended to prevent disclosure where disclosure is required by law.

Trustees, members, volunteers and contractors must exercise good judgment and care at all times to avoid unauthorized or improper disclosures of confidential information.

At the end of a director’s term in office, at the end of a committee member’s term, or upon the termination of a employee’s, volunteer’s or contractor’s relationship with the SSWG, he or she shall return or destroy, at the request of the SSWG, all copies of all documents, papers, and other materials, regardless of medium, which may contain or be derived from confidential information, in his or her possession. Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and members of the SSWG should not use any organizational information, including mail lists, for non-SSWG purposes.

Board minutes will be available to all SSWG members. The confidentiality of the deliberations of executive sessions of the Board will be decided by the Board and that confidentiality must be respected by all individuals.




The SSWG is committed to equal opportunity for all persons without regard to sex, age, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, marital status, disability or sexual orientation. It is the policy of the SSWG to comply with all federal, provincial and local laws and regulations regarding equal opportunity. In keeping with that policy, the SSWG is committed to maintaining an environment that is free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Accordingly, the SSWG will not tolerate unlawful discrimination against or harassment of any of our members, employees, or others present at our facilities or events by anyone, including any supervisor, co-worker, vendor, client, or customer of the SSWG.



2.3.1.     Unlawful Discrimination and Harassment

Unlawful discrimination includes treating someone less well in opportunities for work, promotions, shifts, overtime, or other conditions of employment because of his or her race, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability or other protected attribute. Harassment consists of unwelcome or unwanted conduct, whether verbal, physical or visual, that is based upon a person’s protected status. Examples of unlawful harassment include words, gestures, stories, jokes or nicknames that are derogatory, demeaning or insulting to a person based upon his or her race, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion or other protected attribute.


2.3.2.     Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment deserves special mention. Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature and constitute sexual harassment when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s participation in guild activities or by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.  For employees, these constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such by an individual is uses as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.



  • Disclosure Policy and Procedure

Transactions with parties with whom a conflicting interest exists may be undertaken only if all of the following are observed:

  • The conflicting interest is fully disclosed;
  • The person with the conflict of interest is excluded from the discussion and approval of such transaction;
  • A competitive bid or comparable valuation exists; and
  • The board has determined that the transaction is in the best interest of the organization.

Disclosure in the organization should be made to the President and the Ethics Liaison member of the Board (past president or other appointed member). These persons shall bring the matter to the attention of the board. If the Ethics Liaison or the President is the one with the conflict, then the disclosure should be made to another member of the Board. The Board will then meet without the presence of the person in question and will then decide the matter.

The board shall determine whether a conflict exists and in the case of an existing conflict, whether the contemplated transaction may be authorized as just, fair, and reasonable to the SSWG. The decision of the board on these matters will rest in their sole discretion, and their concern must be the welfare of SSWG and the advancement of its purpose. If the conflicted transaction is approved by the Board following the above guidelines, the finding of the Board will be made part of the minutes of that Board meeting. If the transaction is not approved by the board, this will also be made part of the minutes of that Board meeting.



3.2.         Procedure for Filing an Ethics Complaint

Any member of the SSWG may file a complaint with the Ethics Liaison or the Board regarding alleged unethical behavior by an SSWG member, Board Member or employee.

A complaint shall consist of a written statement setting forth facts from the personal knowledge of the complainant. The complaint shall list the alleged violation of the Code of Ethics and shall have any available supporting documentary evidence attached. Hearsay statements by others should not be included, but rather statements by those persons who can speak from personal knowledge should be submitted instead. If the complainant lists the sections of the Code of Ethics alleged to have been violated, the Board shall make specific findings of fact and conclusions as to each Code section cited.

Every complaint shall be kept strictly confidential by the complainant as well as by all on the Board of Directors until a decision with regard to the matter is reached. Publication or dissemination of the complaint by the complainant or anyone else who submits supporting evidence shall constitute an independent violation of the Code by that person.

The decision of the Board in all complaints shall be final within the jurisdiction of the guild. That is to say, the same matter may also be considered by the justice system if the actions are of a serious nature.


3.3.         Role of the Board

The Board shall investigate alleged violations of the SSWG Code of Ethics. The Board shall provide the subject of the ethics complaint with a summary of the allegations and permit the subject to respond to the subject matter of the complaint. The Board shall prepare its report in writing within 60 days. The Board report shall address each violation of the Ethics Policy alleged in the original complaint.

If the subject of the complaint is a member of the Board the member shall recuse himself or herself from participation in the investigation or preparation of the report and recommendations.

The Board shall take such action as it deems appropriate and as set forth below. All such actions shall be conducted in open meeting with a vote, full disclosure and discussion, and written minutes. However, if the issue should involve SSWG personnel, the Board reserves the right to examine and act on the matter in executive session. In all matters regarding the Ethics and Conflict of Interest policy, the SSWG Board of Directors is the final arbiter. A Director who is the subject of an ethics complaint may not participate in deliberations or otherwise vote on a course of action.


The Board shall permit the subject of the complaint to respond in detail to the SSWG Board of Directors regarding the matter in question. The Board will then, after discussion, by a simple majority vote, take one of the following courses of action:

  • Dismiss the allegation of infraction of the Code of
  • Direct the subject of the complaint to remedy the situation within a specified time frame, followed by a Board review of the requested
  • Censure the accused subject of the complaint.
  • Terminate the employment of the employee.
  • Remove the Director or committee member from his or her position under provisions outlined in the
  • Refund a member’s annual dues and remove their name from the membership roll.