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A cursus honorum distorted by small minds

TORONTO – Of course, one has to “start small”. John A. MacDonald, Canada’s now much maligned first Prime Minister, was undoubtably an ambitious visionary. He was also a great compromiser, not a warrior. Without him, Canada as we know it, might not have been possible. The “country” and the BNA Act, the Constitution upon which our institutions rest and foster contextual debate, would be as nothing.

In Italy, his contemporary, Giuseppe Garibaldi, is considered by many as the military genius behind the reunification of Italy (some see him in a lesser light). Without him, other notables in the creation of the nation state would surely “have had less to play with”. He famously rebuked the manifest pettiness of one of his lieutenants, Bixio, with the phrase “are we engaging in politics or in the creation of Italy?”

In both cases, the leaders had an end goal in mind and their personal ambitions took a secondary position. Not so the wrecking crew at the Toronto Catholic District School Board. They are “moralizing artists in undoing” who are perfecting the strategy of “Me first and Me only”.

Partisans and current counter-culture zealots (“anti-colonizer” romanticists who would descend to the lowest rungs of hell to retrieve people like Christopher Columbus and subject them to Court trials for their “achievements”) will have a different view.

However, if anyone needed further proof that Catholic education is nothing more than a whimsical pitstop for cynical “train wreckers” looking for the next greener pasture, consider some of the political fall-out of the of Covi-19 in the Toronto area.

Three rookie trustees – charter acolytes of the Rizzo’s Apocalyptic Foursome – are lusting for nominations to represent different political parties in the next election. Local Conservative executive board members in York Center are aghast that Etobicoke trustee Markus De Domenico is trying to circumvent a nomination process by appealing directly to Premier Ford for an appointment as the candidate to replace ousted MPP Roman Baber. Markus has sniffed out yet another “opportunity for personal growth”.

His sidekick, no less a “saviour” in her own mind, trustee Ida Li Preti has hired a veteran campaign manager and diversity activist to help her win the Liberal nomination for Humber River Black Creek. The party has already declared that men need not apply. The constituency is currently held by highly regarded MPP Tom Racekovic. He is a long-time reputable local member of the NDP.

Speaking of local NDP, the ones in the riding of St. Paul, apparently in an effort to boost Norman Di Pasquale’s quest for a nomination… anywhere… have been passing resolutions calling for the removal of any and all representatives of the Catholic dioceses – and indeed Catholicism – from the TCDSB’s “academic” committees. Welcome to Normsworld.

Den mother Rizzo, not to be outdone, was found by her colleagues (unanimously) to be in a material conflict of interest at an August 20, 2020 meeting of the board. She is still on the Board.

This is the crew in charge while our children and their families cope with school/no school; instruction versus formation; mental health versus enforced distancing; safe spaces versus a healthy and secure school environment.

If ever an educational environment screamed for leadership, this would be a classic moment. The public- school boards have to rely on the petty ambitious like Bixio.

The Catholic counterparts have assets like the Cardinal. Where is he?

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