Trustees in breach of fiduciary obligations, law

di corriere canadese del May 6, 2021

TORONTO - A tangled web of breach of fiduciary obligations, administrative incompetence, questionable ethics and blatant unjustifiable breaches of corporate duties by “dissidents” at Catholic School Boards. Some Catholics are saying “enough is enough!”

In Toronto, the TCDSB – rather, some radical activist trustees who have their own version of Catholicism - is considering a Motion to declare June Pride Month and to fly the pride flag at all of their schools and the Catholic Education Centre.

Motion: “According to the 2SLGBTQ+ Advisory Committee, the recommendations are as follows: ’Pride month be proclaimed every June starting in 2021; the Pride flag be flown at the Catholic Education Centre from June 1-June 30; and, every school in the TCDSB raise the Pride flag from June 1-June 30.”

Last month, a committee was struck to consider equity and inclusiveness at the Board. Membership included two Superintendent level sta., student trustees, “allies” of the LGBTQ movement and at least one radical activist who has been agitating against the Catholic religion and Catholic doctrine in Ontario schools. No one appears to have checked their credentials as Catholic electors or as individuals committed to the teachings of the magisterium.

To no one’s surprise, the committee came up with the Motion above – after only two meetings. Parents and Catholic electors have responded with angry indignation: “How dare they raise this issue? Our children have been shut out of the schools. Sta. has been unable to keep them clean and safe from infection. Trustees have turned a blind eye to the learning needs of our kids for a year and a half, and this is what concerns them? Who told them they could disregard our Catholic principles”, said an angered M-A Lima, mother of a high school student in the system.

The office of the Cardinal, inundated by Catholics offended by the Committee’s recommendation responded with a letter outlining Catholic orthodoxy on the issue of sexuality and human dignity (you can read the entire letter here: Reflection from Archdiocese of Toronto - Inclusivity & Acceptance).

Parents make a clear choice when they decide that their children will attend a Catholic school. They rightly expect that trustees, principals, teachers – all partners in education – will ensure that Catholic teaching is presented, lived and infused in all that we do. In that regard, the appropriate symbol that represents our faith, and the inclusion and acceptance of others, is the cross, which is visible at the entrance of every Catholic school”.

The Cardinal also offered a view on flags, “there are any number of groups working to advocate for many diverse causes. For this reason, many school boards wisely fly only the Canadian flag out of a sense of equity for all”, as symbols of inclusivity; and highlighted the importance of the cross as the all-defining symbol of Catholicism.

The cross outside Catholic schools…signals our commitment that all who enter the building are welcomed and loved in their beauty and uniqueness as children of God… we lead by example, as we foster a culture of care and love for every individual. That truth is perfectly represented in our most fundamental Catholic symbol: the cross”.

The letter is part of his communication to the Board on the matter of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to which the month of June is dedicated in the Catholic Church.

“Allies” have called on teachers’ unions and activists to delegate in a counter move.

As at going to press, they secured the delegation of former Premier, Kathleen Wynne (in the pic below), and Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, both declared Lesbian activist, to also deliver remarks.

From all indications, their positions speak to the applications of the Human Rights Code to replace Catholicism and its values. Geoffrey Cauchi, a renowned lawyer on Education law and the Constitution, has sent in an exhaustive, thoroughly documented, two-part submission (48 pages in total) presenting a compelling, if not persuasive case founded on the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and the Education Act.

It seems he agrees that Catholic District School Boards have no legal authority to solicit the views of non-Catholic electors.

The teachers’ unions do not fit the definition of Catholic elector in law, he maintains. Moreover, seeking the views of persons who are self-declared non-Catholics, inimical in their public views to Catholic values is a serious breach of corporate ethics by Staff and trustees, as outlined in his brief.

Mr. Cauchi (in the pic below), whose studied presentation contrasts starkly with the undocumented assertions of bias by supporters of the Committee’s recommendation in its depth, breadth and references to Court decisions substantiating his position, claims that even individual catholic electors have recourse to legal remedies for these illegalities and breaches of trust.

Those remedies include applying to the Court to declare the seats of those trustees vacant and to remove trustees from office. Apparently, Administrative sta. could suffer the same fate.

Minister Lecce waded in with two curious announcements on Tuesday. One, teachers should prepare for student decisions to go to a fully remote educational experience – which his Ministry would enable.

Two, the Ministry would spend an additional $2 Billion next year to improve instructional housing (schools). Minister Lecce’s insistence that the Human Rights Code take precedence in Catholic schools sparked the debate nearly two years ago.

Mr. Cauchi’s presentation notes that neither the Human Rights Code nor the Minister can trump the Constitutional, denominational rights of Catholics. The TCDSB should have politely told the Minister that it is not in the habit of disobeying the Law.

On another, perhaps related matter, a report pointing to RCMP investigations into the legalities of the political involvement by Minister Lecce’s supporters surfaced yesterday (you can read the entire Geoffrey Cauchi's submission here: Geoffrey F. Cauchi's submission).

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