RZone Procedure

Purpose statement

  1. The Corporation of the Town of Oakville (the town) is committed to fostering an environment where there is Respect for yourself; Respect for others; and Responsibility for your actions.
  2. The goal of this procedure is to promote a positive, safe, and supportive environment for all individuals and user groups of town recreation and cultural centres, facilities, parks, events and those participating in recreation programs.
  3. This procedure outlines the process and consequences to address inappropriate conduct or actions.

Scope

  1. This procedure applies to all individuals and user groups of town recreation and cultural centres, facilities, parks, events and those participating in recreation programs.
  2. Inappropriate conduct or actions for the purpose of this procedure includes, but is not limited to:

a. Verbal including threats, profanity, rude or inappropriate language, attempts to goad or incite anger in others, harassment, discrimination
b. Physical including aggressive or intimidating approaches to another individual, throwing articles in a deliberate or aggressive manner, physical striking of another individual
c. Illegal activity including illegal consumption of alcohol or drugs, theft, possession of weapons, vandalism
d. Any act that violates town permits, policies or by-laws
e. Any act that gives rise to concern for public safety

  1. The town’s primary concern is the safety of members of the public and staff. If at any time members of the public feel personally threatened, they are to call the police immediately. It is NOT the expectation that members of the public or staff put themselves at risk or jeopardize anyone’s safety when dealing with any perceived or real situation.
  2. Town staff, volunteers and anyone acting on behalf of the town are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner. For reporting staff misconduct, refer to the Customer Service Complaints and Compliments Procedure.

Procedure

Individuals or user groups are to report acts of inappropriate conduct within 24 hours of the incident.

Reporting an incident – by individuals or user groups

  1. Complete the Inappropriate Behaviour Reporting form (Appendix A) within 24 hours of the incident, which can be done online, through email, in person or by phone.

Reporting an incident – by staff that has witnessed an incident

  1. Report acts of inappropriate conduct to the most senior staff person present at the incident
  2. Without jeopardizing anyone’s safety, advise the individual or user group to stop the activity immediately or they will be asked to leave (verbal warning)
  3. If the individual or user group does not cooperate, inform them they are now trespassing and the police will be called
  4. If they refuse to leave, call the police, and wait for them to arrive while ensuring that you and any others in jeopardy, are in a safe location
  5. Complete the Inappropriate Behaviour Reporting form (Appendix A) within 24 hours of the incident.

Reporting an incident – by staff that has not witnessed an incident on behalf of an individual or user group

  1. Report any act(s) of inappropriate conduct to the most senior staff person of the appropriate department within 24 hours of the incident being reported
  2. Complete the Inappropriate Behaviour Reporting form (Appendix A) within 24 hours of the incident.

Follow-up process

Once a form has been submitted:

  1. A copy of the form will be forwarded to the appropriate director or designate within 48 hours of the incident.
  2. All incidents will be investigated for accuracy and confirmation of the details provided. The consequences outlined in the following section are guidelines that may be adjusted to reflect the circumstances of the inappropriate conduct or actions. Face to face interviews may be requested by town staff at any time to discuss conduct. If the situation involves a permit holder that is in multiple leagues and divisions, the consequences will be related to the division within the league (i.e. co-ed division D actions treated independent of co-ed division B).

If the complaint is substantiated:

  • The department director or designate will notify the individual or user group in writing within 14 days of the incident of any consequences to be taken
  • Staff will notify the complainant that action has been taken and that any further instances of inappropriate conduct or actions should be reported immediately

If the complaint is not substantiated:

  • The department director or designate will notify the complainant and individual or user group that no further action will be taken. If it is determined that the complaint was made in a frivolous or vexatious manner, the complainant may be subject to consequences as noted in the following section
  1. A copy of any consequences will be provided to the appropriate commissioner upon notice to the individual, user group or complainant.
  2. Appropriate staff will be notified of any individual, user group or complainant who has been subject to consequences under this procedure.
  3. The Recreation and Culture department will keep the original Inappropriate Behaviour Reporting form.

Consequences

Individuals or user groups who engage in inappropriate conduct or actions, as defined in this procedure, may, depending on the severity, be removed immediately from the premises.

In addition to any other measures taken, where any damage to town property has occurred, the individual or user group responsible will be required to reimburse the town for all costs associated with any repairs, an administration fee, as well as any lost revenues or where appropriate, be required to repair the damage.

Consequences may include but is not limited to:

  • Verbal warning (with written letter)
  • Written warning letter
  • Suspension
  • Permit revoked
  • Removal from premises
  • Ban from town premises/trespass to property
  • Should further incidents occur, consequences will escalate as appropriate.

Appeal Process

If an individual or user group wishes to appeal any consequences taken by the town, the individual or user group may present their case in writing to the appropriate commissioner, or should the incident involve a commissioner to the CAO or designate, within 14 days of the decision.

The appeal will be reviewed by the appropriate commissioner or CAO, and any decision made is final.

Definitions

Frivolous – means a complaint that is reasonably perceived by the town to be (a) without reasonable or probable cause (b) without merit or substance, or (c) trivial.

Harassment – engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the town’s Respectful Conduct Policy.

Notice – where there has been a violation of this procedure, a letter may be issued to the identified individual, group or team providing details of the specific conduct that is not tolerated and any action to be taken.

User group – means any group that uses town facilities/property and could include sports teams, community groups

Vexatious – means a complaint that is frivolous and which is pursued in a manner that is reasonably perceived by the town to be (a) malicious (b) intended to embarrass or harass the recipient, or (c) intended to be a nuisance

Responsibilities

Individuals and user groups are responsible for behaving and acting in a manner that respects the rights of others to promote an environment that can be enjoyed by all.

User groups are responsible for:

  • Advising their participants and attendees about the RZone procedure
  • Complying with requirements of town contracts and permits relating to the RZone procedure
  • Applying the RZone procedure to programs, including addressing concerns with their participants and attendees

Departments are responsible for monitoring violations and following up as appropriate.

 

Procedure details

Procedure Number: G-COM-003-004
Parent Policy: G-COM-003
Section: Governance
Sub-Section: Communications
Author: Strategy, Policy and Communications
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2008 Jul 07
Review by Date: 2024
Last Modified: 2019 Sep 23

References

Customer Service Standards and Customer Conduct Policy and Related Procedures
Appendix A – Inappropriate Behaviour Reporting Form
Appendix B – Standard letter template (warning)
Appendix C – Standard letter template (trespass/ban)
Be a Good Neighbour Program
Respectful Conduct Policy
Town of Oakville Codes of Conduct
Ontario Human Rights Code
Occupational Health and Safety Act