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OTL’s Code of Conduct

Our Mission

At the Ottawa Tool Library (OTL), our mission is to engage and empower the community to participate in sharing resources by providing access to tools and skills for everybody.

Our Values

We believe in providing a service to our entire community, and having an inclusive and welcoming volunteer team that is representative of that community, and in treating all members of our community (whether volunteers, members, or the public) with respect and compassion.

Our Code of Conduct

The OTL is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from violence, harassment, and discrimination, plus one where we accommodate others to support their full participation.

To achieve our mission while respecting our values, the OTL has therefore adopted the following Code of Conduct:

Violence, Assault & Threatening Behaviour

Violent behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated at the OTL. This includes all forms of verbal or physical assault – including any non-consensual touching – as well as threats. If you experience or witness such behaviour, please attempt to de-escalate or safely remove yourself from the situation, including contacting the police as necessary.


The OTL strives to provide an environment free of harassment. The deliberate mistreatment of others for any reason – including but not limited to: using racist, sexist or other derogatory terms; making sexual comments; or refusing to adopt a person’s preferred gender pronouns – will absolutely not be tolerated.


The OTL also strives to provide an environment free of discrimination. It is open to all regardless of race, nationality, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, or socio-economic status. Prejudicial treatment – such as dismissing a volunteer application, refusing a shift with a volunteer, or refusing to serve a member or visitor – of anyone based on such factors will absolutely not be tolerated.


The OTL has a duty to accommodate everyone to enable them to fully participate in our operations or use our services. If requested by anyone for such accommodation, everyone at the OTL must make all reasonable efforts to do so. In the event that such a request cannot be or is not fulfilled, it must be reported to our Executive Director, Board, or management team.

Drug & Alcohol Use

Nobody may borrow tools, or undertake work at the OTL, such as operate tools or interact with members or the public, while under the influence of recreational drugs or alcohol. Attendees of events hosted by the OTL are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful, safe, and responsible manner – adhering to applicable laws and in full compliance with this Code.

Concerns & Complaints

If you believe that you have witnessed or experienced the behaviours described above, you may submit a confidential complaint to the Executive Director, Bettina Vollmerhausen ( In the event that such concerns involve the Executive Director, you may instead contact the current representative of our Board of Directors, Jim Potter (

Once a complaint has been made, an OTL representative will hear the complaint and take notes to confirm accuracy, determine any resources and support required, and review options for redress (such as no longer being scheduled together, training for the accused, mediation, or a report to police). Using this internal mechanism does not prejudice your right to file a human rights claim or pursue other avenues as appropriate.

Beyond this Code, we want everyone’s experience at the OTL to be overwhelmingly positive. We ask that you treat others at the OTL with respect and compassion at all times. If you feel you have been treated in a manner not reflective of our values, we welcome you to raise such concerns with the Executive Director, Board, or management team.