Big trouble for Little Lecce

di Joe Volpe del August 6, 2021

TORONTO - Two very big constituencies have just about had enough of the Ford government. If the province is truly headed toward a fourth wave, there will be no one left to support the Progressive Conservatives. Who would support a government that manifests tentativeness, confusion, reluctance to abide by legal precedence, demonstrates, incompetence and perversion of purpose in its every step?

The “Seniors community”, the biggest users of the health care system, and obviously of long-term care facilities, has had it with the Minister assigned to their interests. The Minister, Mme Fullerton, a Medical Doctor, has allowed total disregard for the minimal obligations, required by law, to go unattended and unpunished.

She has allowed willful negligence to go unchecked – with the severest of consequences. The Premier and his government have resorted to protecting those operators from either criminal charges or civil remedies normally available to the families of the deceased as a result.

The second group comprises parents with children in school, in particular those who identify themselves as Catholic electors (about 32% of citizens in Ontario) and send their kids to Catholic schools. Whether one agrees with Catholic schools or not, they have a guaranteed Constitutional right to exist.

No Minister of Education in Ontario can interfere with that right, nor can said Minister do anything that alters the Catholic nature of that right. Only the Magisterium (the Vatican and its designate) can interpret what constitutes Catholicism and only the Magisterium can determine what is a Catholic Board, School or curriculum.

Some locally elected Trustees, perhaps resentful of the moral code preached by the magisterium but unwilling to go elsewhere, have taken to thumbing their noses at the value structure those Catholic Schools represent. They have allied themselves with “anti-Catholic” radicals who have no interest in promoting the Catholic ethic. That would seem to include Stephen Lecce.

In a letter to supporters on July 3, Jeff Gunnarson, National President of the Campaign Life Coalition refers to an on-going legal matter between the Toronto Catholic District School Board and Trustee Michael Del Grande. The Minister is also implicated. Mr. Gunnarson’s letter suggests very strongly that the Minister is directly involved and may in fact be the “mastermind” behind the TCDSB abuse of due process to excoriate Del Grande as part of a plan to eat away at the Catholic nature of the school system.

If true, that would represent a perverse abuse of authority that goes well beyond negligence. We may not know until the matter is decided in Court.

The government and the TCDSB are apparently doing their utmost to prevent Del Grande’s lawyers from questioning the Minister in Court. It smacks of a government (and a school board) using their power and resources to slap down someone who exercises his right to freedom of expression, to freedom of religion and his civic obligation to protect the rights of his electorate enshrined in law.

As of today, both the TCDSB and the Minister of Education have spent an estimated one million dollars to ensure Del Grande does not get his day in Court. If he does succeed, a civil suit is sure to follow at the very least. The financial consequences for the Trustees and Administrators who enabled the conditions leading to the allegations may result in their monetary impoverishment.

The prospects for Lecce are no more promising. In that case, it is better for him to have the Provincial Attorney General and a government team of lawyers “cut him off at the pass” In other words, better we pay than he.

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