United Way of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo Complaints Process

The United Way of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo recognizes the importance of having a process available to accept complaints in an honest and confidential manner.  With this in mind the Board has developed an Internal Complaint Process and a Public Complaint Process.





This policy outlines the procedure which the Board of Directors has established for the honest and confidential submission of any complaints (including anonymous complaints) about any serious misconduct, wrongdoing or illegal activities that are conducted by any staff member or volunteer.



Any staff member or volunteer has the right to raise a concern or file a complaint where it is believed that the United Way of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo, its staff members or volunteers has engaged in serious misconduct, wrongdoing, or an illegal activity.  Where it is not appropriate to address such matters through the normal internal processes for problem resolution,  and where the alleged misconduct may constitute a criminal offense, negligent, improper or gross mismanagement of any United Way or public funds, a serious, willful, or flagrant breach of federal, provincial, or municipal stature or United Way policy, procedure or regulation; and/or substantial and specific danger to the environment or public health and safety, the process outlined below should be used.


The United Way will not retaliate against any staff member or volunteer who, in good faith, makes a complaint/disclosure or raises a concern in accordance with this policy, or discloses information to an external agency/body, against the United Way or any staff member or volunteer on the basis of a reasonable and honest belief that the information is true and in the public interest.


A staff member or volunteer is protected from retaliation in accordance with this Policy if the complaint/disclosure is made in good faith and is not knowingly false or materially inaccurate. If a person makes a complaint/disclosure under this policy in bad faith or knowingly provides false or materially inaccurate information, he/she shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions, including reprimand, suspension, demotion or termination.




Reporting Concerns:

If any staff member or volunteer reasonably knows or has reason to believe that the United Way, or a staff member or volunteer, has engaged in activity covered by this policy, he/she may file, in confidence, a written complaint, report or disclosure with the Executive Director (ED). In the event the complaint cannot be resolved by the ED, or in the event that the complaint relates to the conduct of the ED, the matter may be referred to the President of the Board of Directors. If the staff member or volunteer wishes his/her identity to remain confidential, the written communication should clearly indicate this wish for confidentiality.


All concerns should be forwarded by mail to the Executive Director (ED) or to the President of the Board of Directors in a sealed envelope, or by electronic mail addressed directly to the ED or the President of the Board of Directors. If the individual wishes to discuss any matter, this request should be indicated in the submission. In order to facilitate such a discussion, the individual may include a telephone number or other contact information at which he/she can be readily contacted.


Handling Of Concerns Raised:

The Executive Director and/or Board President shall receive, determine, investigate and resolve, where appropriate, all complaints/disclosures as defined by this policy. The Board President may engage the entire Board of Directors in reviewing and resolving the complaint.


Anonymous allegations will only be acted upon if the evidence collected during the preliminary investigation indicates the disclosure can be properly investigated, has merit, and is in the public interest.


In the event an internal solution is not available and depending on the nature of the complaint / disclosure, the matter may be referred to the external auditors of the United Way, or other external agency commission, tribunal and/or legal process for resolution.



Applicable individuals found to have participated in wrongful acts will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment and prosecution. These principles apply equally to all employees, regardless of their position, past performance or length of service.



The Executive Director and/or Board of Directors will retain as part of its records any complaints or concerns for a period of no less than seven years. The Executive Director and the Board of Directors will keep a written record of all such reports or inquiries and the ED will make quarterly reports on any ongoing investigation which will include steps taken to satisfactorily address each complaint.






To ensure that a process exists which allows for members of the public to express concerns to United Way with respect to the conduct of its staff and volunteers, and to ensure that such concerns are :

  • handled in a timely and professional manner
  • given appropriate attention
  • disposed of effectively and expeditiously





The United Way will fully, fairly, and transparently deal with complaints received from members of the public regarding its staff, volunteers, or operations in an expeditious fashion.





Step One – Source of the initial complaint

Any individual may contact the United Way office directly to set forth a complaint or concern with United Way staff members, volunteers, or operations. Such individuals should be requested to compile all relevant information including

  • supporting documents concerning the complaint,
  • the names of any employees that were involved
  • an outline of the circumstances
  • the expected remedy


United Way staff receiving this complaint should endeavor to resolve the matter directly with the complainant. In the event that the complaint is not addressed to the satisfaction of the complainant by a member of the United Way staff, staff should keep the Finance and Operations Manager apprised of all complaints received and their disposition on a regular basis.


Step Two – Appeal to the Executive Director (ED) of United Way

If the issue cannot be resolved under Step One, the Complainant may require that the issue be considered by the ED, either by telephone, email or in person to the United Way office.


Step Three – Appeal to the Board President of United Way

If the issue cannot be resolved under Step Two, the Complainant may require that the issue be considered by the Board President who may:


  1. Deem the complaint to be frivolous or vexatious or otherwise without merit and inform the complainant that no further action will be taken;


  1. Elect to bring the matter before the Board with a recommended disposition; or


Step Four – Mediation

Upon the recommendation of the Board efforts to settle the unresolved issue may result in mediation. A mediator helps disputing parties work toward a mutually acceptable resolution by maintaining open communication in an effort to identify issues, interests and possible options.


Additional Resources:

Contact for privacy complaints:

The Finance and Operations Manager is the United Way contact for privacy complaints.


Finance and Operations Manager
United Way of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo
The Redpoll Centre at Shell Place

1 C.A. Knight Way  Fort McMurray, AB  T9H 5C5

Telephone: 780.791.0077

Fax: 780.743.0088



If the person with the concern is still not satisfied, he/she may contact The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada — The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada investigates complaints concerning the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Complaints to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner must be submitted in writing.


The Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 1H3


For general privacy inquiries and additional information about personal information-handling practices, you can contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in any of the following ways:


Telephone: 613-995-8210
Toll-free telephone: 1-800-282-1376
Fax: 613-947-6850

Regulatory bodies and other resources:


Government regulators provide alternative sources of consumer information and have offices that handle specific complaints. Depending on your issue, the federal government and the province of Alberta have their own regulatory bodies that can be contacted.