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A breath of fresh air
is blowing through York

TORONTO – Two citizen delegations went before the Board of Trustees for the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) on Tuesday night. Their presentations and outcomes should stimulate people to involve themselves further, if as a society we are to survive the culture wars the crazies have foisted on us.

First, applaud some trustees of the YCDSB for the courage to confront discrimination and hatred with the firmness and objectivity required to put it in its place. Last night (Tuesday) it received the JMJ Investigation report on the matter of discriminatory behaviour by one of their trustees, Theresa McNicol, in respect of colleagues of Italian background.

As reported in the Corriere Canadese on September 25, 2023, the Investigator, Jennifer MacKenzie, found that Theresa McNicol’s behaviour contravened [i] the trustee Code of Conduct, [ii] the Board’s Equity and Inclusive Education Policy and [iii] the Board’s Workplace Harassment Policy. The Board of Trustees, minus trustee McNicol, who could not vote on a motion related to that Report, agreed unanimously to censure her.

Four of the five [former] trustees – Cantisano, Giuliani, Iafrate, Marchese and Mazzotta – captured in the complaint that prompted the investigation and the Report, had delegated to recommend censure and specified some sanctions.

The four former trustees of Italian origin during the meeting

These included barring McNicol from membership on and attendance at any and all Board and Committee meetings for the duration of the current electoral mandate until the Municipal election in 2026. In a signal that discrimination of any sort would not be tolerated in YCDSB, Chair-Trustee Frank Alexander moved a Motion to approve those sanctions.

Together with trustees Barbieri, Di Meo, Iafrate and Saggese, Chair Alexander’s vote secured the majority to effectively deliver a harsh but fair message: we cannot force you to resign, but there is no room for your behaviour in our midst and in our deliberations. Trustees Cotton, Crowe, Wigston and, shockingly, Grella decided to vote differently. They must still be leaving the door open to discrimination at their convenience.

The delegating trustees who put their reputation on the line when they opted not to seek re-election in protest, may take some comfort in the outcome of the vote.

The delegation that preceded theirs, delivered by Adriano Misuraca (in the pic below), on the need to restate and reinforce the Catholic values that sustain the school system, seemed an apt prelude to their intervention. Mr. Misuraca delivered a tempered, scholarly, yet brief, dissertation on manifest Denominational Rights, Parental responsibility, school obligations and the Catechism as guides for the student growth and teacher development at the Board.

The gallery gave sustained, but polite applause. Even the agitators from the local unit of OECTA, who had come to intimidate him, had to slink away in face of his message.

The former trustees, now private citizens, were equally effective. The Corriere Canadese had called for McNicol’s resignation. The Board Resolution produced that outcome in a different manner. She should “take the hint”.

Pics are screenshots from the video of the meeting published on YCDSB YouTube channel

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