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A silver lining at Loretto Abbey

A silver lining at Loretto Abbey

A silver lining at Loretto Abbey

TORONTO – There is a fine line between being a curmudgeon and trying to give credit where some is due. As in all things, victories have a thousand parents; defeats are orphans. The parents of future students at Loretto Abbey High School are great victors today. They will have newer facilities and [maybe] a healthier environment free of the asbestos and mold that several engineering reports had documented in the past.

Most recently, last December to be specific, the Administration had declared the circumstances at Loretto Abbey to be so seriously negative that the need had become “urgent” to relocate students elsewhere, asap.

The local Trustee, Maria Rizzo professing surprise and shock – because she had not, by her admission, read the report – caused the decision to be delayed, after stirring up discord among the school community.

The Corriere Canadese was vested in the debate, pointing to the defense fund established by asbestos companies – now shut down – in the expected class action lawsuits being launched in Canada by victims of “asbestosis”. Loretto Abbey was/is not the only such place.

From Italy, home of some of the world’s most advanced asbestos products manufacturing centres, the Corriere Canadese reported on the many initiatives by the wives of workers in the manufacturing of downstream asbestos products who had been infected with the fatal “disease” by simply washing their spouse’s clothing. Asbestosis is deadly. Factories were shuttered and mines in Canada outlawed.

Trustee Rizzo practically laughed it off. Her lightweight protégé Trustee Li Preti could barely contain her derision for those concerned about the lack of ventilation, the presence of asbestos and black mold: “there’s magic between those walls”, she proclaimed.

Then, of course, Covid-19 struck us all. The “magic” ceased working. The school was shut down.

Now with Federal Government cash raining down like a hurricane in Alabama, the Province is looking for place where it can give a measurable evidence of product for cash spent. Why not Loretto Abbey?

We know that Minister Lecce reads the Corriere Canadese, so does the Parliamentary Assistant, MPP Robyn Martin. The details and the timelines, including whether the students will stay in the school during the restructuring and the construction phase, are still up in the air. But yesterday, in the middle of the Covid-19 “depression”, this was an announcement to celebrate.

We do not know the real motives for their action, but we applaud Premier Ford, Minister Lecce, and the Parliamentary Assistant Martin for it.

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