TORONTO - I came away from last night’s Meeting of the Toronto Catholic District School Board with several impressions to share specifically with our 177,000 Toronto residents who self-identify ethnically as Italian; more generally with the roughly 1,000,000 Torontonians who are nominally Catholic, and finally with other Catholic District School Board Trustees in Ontario.
First, think of the Trustees as grocery edibles, then clear your inventory of any bad apples. Grocery stores do that with their fresh goods before closing time, every day. Second, cleaning out the stables can become a Herculean task unless competent and willing personnel routinely air them. Third, pomposity is usually misplaced and almost always serves as a mask for rot from within.
Fourth, “expert advice” givers are no substitute for electoral accountability. Five, Catholic electors are fortunate to be heading for the electoral polls because they can do something to save their education system and their children from malicious, self-serving pariahs.
Start by playing back the tape of last night’s meeting and ask yourself why you would ever vote for the following people Markus De Domenico, Norm Di Pasquale, Ida Lipreti and Maria Rizzo.
By the way, I and the Corriere are engaged in a lawsuit against the latter four. This same Gang of Four are also part of a manipulation of the Human Rights Tribunal to sue fellow trustees Nancy Crawford, Teresa Lubinski, Michael Del Grande, Garry Tanuan and Angela Kennedy for perceived mental health damage to a former student trustee.
Angela Kennedy is in a class of incompetence designed specifically and uniquely for her. I am being kind. On three separate occasions, she called for a “recess” – suspension of proceedings – presumably to review “her instructions”.
Those instructions must have included a never before used tactic to eject inconvenient trustees from the meeting. Think of it as “blocking” people who disagree with you from your twitter account. Except that here the “blocked” are elected officials.
Dutifully, Kennedy attempted to demit from the meeting two of her colleagues (Teresa Lubinski and Daniel Di Giorgio). Lubinski had been the object of condescending verbal bullying by Markus De Domenico. She protested his “mysoginistic” behaviour to no avail.
Di Giorgio was protesting the procedural and policy premise of what was clearly, even to outside observers like me, a meeting orchestrated to embarrass him personally. There was no other item on the agenda. Except for the reputation of the Board.
The proverbial “hitman”/expert advisor was the outside counsel, Eric Roher, of BLG. He has been through this before, on November 7, 2019 and in subsequent meetings on matters of “natural justice” and “procedural fairness”. It seemed to this observer that his position was the exact opposite this time, although the objective was the same: sink the target.
In 2019, the target was Del Grande, Tuesday night, Di Giorgio. The Board is embroiled in a massive lawsuit stemming from the advice/assistance sought of and offered by BLG’s education expert. It failed Tuesday. What will happen when the case goes to Court this Fall with last night as a reference point? The amount of financial expense taken from our children’s education to pay for the damages will be astronomical.
Allow me to remind Catholics of the historical figure Pontius Pilate. As a “tactic”, his presence overshadowed everything. The Associate Director, the Board’s in- house Counsel, as well as the Parliamentarian deferred all questions on procedure and policy to BLG. The Director, Brendan Browne, having sown the seeds of dissension upon his arrival in September of 2019, was conveniently absent.
No matter what happens, the weaponization of Trustee Code of Conduct issues has replaced common sense, decency of conduct and purpose in Board deliberations. That needs to change. It starts with encouraging good people to replace the “emperors of woke”.
We note that a certain Gabriella Mazarakis has registered to contest De Domenico. Everyone should have a look.
In the pics, from the top: Angela Kennedy and Eric Roher; Brendan Browne and Theresa Lubinsky (screenshots from TCDSB's meetengs)
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