On This Page

  1. Purpose
  2. Values
  3. Scope
  4. Definitions
  5. Policy Guidlines
  6. References
  7. Approval Responsibility
  1. Code of Conduct Procedure

Code of Conduct

1. Purpose

  1. The following policy is designed to allow Pride Toronto to preserve its long tradition of integrity and credibility with the public and within the Organization.

2. Values

  1. Based on the Organizational Values below, this policy provides guidelinesfor behaviour that is acceptable and encouraged as well as actions or behaviours that are regarded as misconduct.
  • Value Diversity – by accepting and respecting differences and working to understand the diverse cultural complexities that influence identity, assumptions, behaviours, expectations, and beliefs.
  • Respect – volunteers, staff and stakeholders by creating and sustaining an environment where we treat each other with respect and dignity.

3. Scope

  1. This is an organization wide policy.

4. Definitions

  1. Member: refers to an individual whose application to become a member of the Organization has been approved by the Board of Directors. For further information refer to the Organization’s By-Laws section 3.
  2. Organization: refers to Pride Toronto the not-for-profit organization.
  3. Personal Harassment: means any conduct whether verbal or physical that is discriminating in nature. This includes but is not limited to an individual’s real or perceived: race, ethnicity, ancestry, place of origin, political beliefs, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ability, age, level of literacy, membership in a union or staff association, marital status, family status, or source of income.
  4. Sexual Harassment: is any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that one would find to be unwanted or unwelcome by any individual, or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that individual as placing a condition of sexual nature on employment, career development, or participation as a volunteer.

5. Policy Guidelines

5.1 General Behaviour

Pride Toronto Staff, Volunteers, and Board Members must:

  1. Always act with fairness, honesty, integrity and openness; respect the opinions of others and treat all with equality and dignity (See th Anti-Discrimination Statement).
  2. Promote the mission, vision, and values of the Organization in all dealings with the public on behalf of the Organization.
  3.  Strive to provide a positive and valued experience for all Members, Volunteers, Staff, and the general public by agreeing to:
    • behave in a manner consistent with the celebration of Pride and positive value of diversity in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, queer, questioning, TwoSpirited and allied communities
    • respect the right of all members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, queer, questioning, Two-Spirited and allied communities to participate in the Pride Toronto Festival
    • not present images or messages that may promote or may condone, violence, hatred, degradation or negative stereotypes of vulnerable groups.
  4. Abide by all Municipal, Provincial and Federal laws and legislation (including the Criminal Code of Canada) while executing their duties or acting on behalf of Pride Toronto.

5.2 Media Conduct

  1. All requests for media releases, interviews, and other media engagement must be brought to the attention of the Executive Director and /or Board Co-Chairs
  2. The Executive Director and Board Co-Chairs are the only individuals authorized to engage with the media. The Executive Director and Board Co-Chairs may grant explicit permission to other Staff, Directors, or Volunteers to interact with the media within their area of specialty. Any member that publically speaks on behalf of the Organization without permission Pride Toronto is subject to sanctions up to and including removal from the Organization.

5.3 Accountability

Pride Toronto Staff, Volunteers, and Directors must

  1. Act with honesty and integrity and in accordance with any professional standards and / or governing laws and legislation that have application to the responsibilities you perform for or on behalf of the Organization (See the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality policies for more information).
  2. Comply with both the letter and the spirit of any orientation and/or training provided to you by the Organization in connection with those responsibilities.
  3. Adhere to all of the policies and procedures of the Organization.
  4. Take responsibility for your actions and decisions. Follow reporting lines to facilitate the effective resolution of problems. Ensure that you do not exceed the authority of your role within the Organization.
  5. Must be aware of their authority, responsibilities and position and shall insure that they act with the best intentions of the organization when interacting with other members or the pub

5.4 Personal or sexual harassment

  1. Pride Toronto has a zero tolerance policy with respect to Personal/Sexual Harassment. Personal/Sexual Harassment in any form is strictly prohibited and may be grounds for termination as a volunteer, or, in the case of an employee, immediate dismissal for just cause without notice or pay in lieu of notice.
  2. No behaviors that are abusive in any manner to the Staff, Volunteers, or Members will be allowed. This includes verbal abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse.

5.5 Consequences for breaching this policy

An employee or volunteer who is in breach of this policy can be subject to an investigation, at the discretion of the Board or Executive Director. Consequences of breaching this policy may result in one or more of the following actions:

  1. a verbal or written warning; and/ or
  2. dismissal; and / or
  3. litigation and / or
  4. Or other action as deemed appropriate by the Organization

6. References

  1. Organizational By-laws
  2. Anti-Discrimination Policy
  3. Discrimination Statement
  4. Confidentiality
  5. Conflict of Interest

7. Approval and Responsibility

  1. This policy shall be reviewed by the Management Team prior to the end of each annual Management Planning Session to assess the effectiveness of the policy in achieving the purpose set out in Section 1 as well as in complying with municipal, provincial and federal laws and regulations, as may be amended from time to time.
  2. Concerns and/or questions about this policy can be directed to Pride Toronto Co-Chairs.
  3. This policy shall be amended only by resolution of the Board of Directors through review and recommendation of the Board Governance Committee

Code of Conduct Procedure Draft

  1. The Policy Checklist Agreement confirming that the Code of Conduct Policy has been read and discussed, will be signed by employees within two – four weeks of employment.
  2. The Policy Checklist Agreement confirming that the Code of Conduct Policy has been read and discussed, will be signed by Board Members, students and volunteers within four weeks of commencement in their role.
  3. The signed Policy Checklist Agreement will be placed in the employee’s file and kept by the Executive Director, or in the student’s or volunteer’s file and kept by the Volunteer Program
    Manager, or in the Board Member’s file and kept by the Secretary of the Board.

Reporting a “General Behaviour” concern about an employee, student or volunteer:

  1. Personnel (includes students, volunteers and staff) should feel free to raise their concerns about possible improper activities without fear of reprisal. Personnel are encouraged to identify themselves; however, reports of potential improper activity can be made anonymously.
  2. If uncertain about whether a concern falls within this policy, personnel should consult with their Manager.
  3. If the concern is about their supervisor, personnel should direct the concern to that individuals direct superior.
  4. When reporting a concern, the person should clearly articulate the behaviour or action s/he observed and explain the concern.
  5. The Manager or ED will determine the appropriate next steps based on the information presented. Reports of possible improper activity will be taken seriously and will be promptly and thoroughly investigated.
  6. Personnel are expected to cooperate in the investigation of a potential improper activity or reprisal. Personnel are subject to disciplinary action, if they fail to cooperate or deliberately provide false information.
  7. If, at the conclusion of the investigation, Pride Toronto determines that an improper activity has taken place, it will take required action. This action may include disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, student or volunteer contracts. Appropriate steps will also be taken to prevent the improper activity from happening again.
  8. Violations of the Code of Conduct, particularly if they pose a risk to the organization, willbe reported to the board by the Executive Director.
  9. In the event the person who raised the concern is not satisfied that the matter was thoroughly investigated, the person is encouraged to take this matter to the Executive Director.
  10. Personnel who believe that they have been subject to reprisal should immediately report their concern to the ED.

Reporting a concern about the Executive Director

  1. If a concern is about the Executive Director, personnel should report on the concern to the Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors.
  2. The Co-Chairs, in consultation with the Executive Committee or the whole board, will investigate the matter and determine the appropriate course of action.
  3. See Pride Toronto By-Laws for more information

Reporting a concern of Harassment

  1. While personnel cannot be required to report experiences of discrimination and harassment, they are strongly encouraged to bring forward complaints regarding violations of this policy.
  2. If an individual believes they are being harassed or discriminated against, they can talk to the person on their own or with the support of a peer or supervisor.
  3. The individual should notify the first level of management not involved in the complaint (free of bias or conflict of interest).
  4. The individual can seek information or assistance from a second member of the Management Team. The Management Team is committed to responding confidentially to any individual’s request for information about this policy and aspects of managing workplace discrimination and harassment issues

Manager’s Responsibilities:

In responding to allegations of discrimination and harassment, all Pride Toronto Managers are responsible for:

  • Informing the Executive Director of the complaint as soon as possible
  • acting quickly and appropriately
  • determining the method by which to deal with the allegations based on the nature and complexity of the issue, needs, interests and goals of the parties involved — possible methods include direct management action, informal or formal dispute resolution (i.e., mediation, investigation), and may involve both internal and external “service providers” (i.e., mediators, investigators)
  • recognizing that harassment and discrimination conflicts often involve power imbalances between the parties and ensuring that the power can be balanced in the process selected


The following situations may not be appropriate for mediation:

  • a significant power imbalance exists between the parties (e.g., status, position,authority, knowledge, resources)
  • one or both parties has revenge or punishment as a primary goal
  • hostility is so high that communication and problem-solving is impossible
  • there is little desire to establish or mend a working relationship
  • there is a need to have a determination of guilt or innocence, such as where the alleged offender has a history of similar behaviour or where discipline is an obvious remedy


While every effort must be made to comply with the following, failure to do so does not void
the process.

  1. Unless the situation warrants immediate referral for formal dispute resolution or investigation, managers will attempt to resolve complaints themselves within 30 days of becoming aware.
  2.  Dispute resolution must be completed within 15 days after assignment of a service provider, unless extenuating circumstances exist.
  3. An investigator must be assigned within 15 days after management’s decision that the complaint will be investigated.
  4. An investigation must be completed and final report submitted to management within 60 working days after assigning a complaint to an investigator, unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  5. Parties and managers involved must be notified of the outcome of an investigation within 30 days of receiving the final report; and where an allegation is upheld, a statement regarding discipline imposed and/or other appropriate action taken.


Individuals found to have violated this policy will receive penalties/discipline, as appropriate to the circumstances of each case, up to and including termination of employment.

Confidentiality and Privacy:

  • During the resolution of possible violations, all information must remain confidential subject to the rules below, except where sharing information is required by law.
  • Complainants, respondents (the person against whom the complaint is made) and witnesses
    have access to statements they have made and information that they have provided.
  • Respondents and complaints must have access to enough information about the allegations
    and responses of other parties and witnesses to enable them to make a defence or rebuttal.
  • If a complaint is found to be unsupported, provided the complaint was not made in bad faith, no documentation will be placed on the personnel files of the individuals involved.

When a breach is identified the Executive Director or the direct Manager will appoint an appropriate person to investigate the complaint and to provide a report with recommendations of disciplinary actions.

Volunteer complaints will be directed to the Volunteer Program Manager, Staff complaints will be directed to the Executive Director, and Executive Director or Board Member complaints will be directed to the Board of Director Co-Chairs.

Last Updated October 18, 2021
Policy Number: PT-1-18

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