TORONTO - There is no more vile, venal, despicable individual than one who will use children for their advantage. Some individuals at the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) are trying desperately hard to prove they can descend to those depths.
Their unwitting target enablers this time were/are the teachers’ union, TECT, a tried and true ‘punching bag’. No pun intended. In late 2019, trustee Rizzo, menacingly approached their then President, M. Minnan-Wong, and threatened to smash her f*****g head on the f*****g table. This was in the public boardroom for all to see and hear.
TECT did not call the police to lay charges. Instead, Rizzo had to promise not to seek re-election to the Chair and the Board agreed to submit to arbitration before the Labour Relations Board. The Board lost.
It cost them $60,000 plus legal and consulting fees. Outside legal counsel, BLG, probably sent them a thank you note. It did not cost Rizzo anything. Except the endorsement of TECT for her and her snivelling colleague-trustees Li Preti and De Domenico in the election two months hence. The children got nothing.
So, on Ukrainian Independence Day, August 25, Markus De Domenico dressed up in Blue and gold, hoisted a horizontal flag as a backdrop to his virtual participation at a TCDSB trustees’ meeting. It was laughable. De Domenico is Maltese, not Ukrainian.
Not even Vladimir Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, puts on that display. But the President is not running for re-election as a converted woke trustee in Toronto’s Catholic community.
What is sad, if not reprehensible, is the quasi-co-ordinated timing associated with an article on Toronto Star’s digital platform wherein De Domenic pounces on TECT, just as he was crowing about his support for Ukraine. The article is seen as condemning TECT for launching grievance against the TCDSB for breach of contract and for claiming $25,000 in damages in the process.
What was the breach? Some elementary school classes, earlier in the Spring, had seen their numbers swell to 40 students – 30% above the allowable limit. We were still in Covid-19 conditions. TECT objected, as is their right… however… the students are Ukrainian and the circumstances of their unexpected arrival on foreign land called for ‘purposeful measures’ and compassion.
The TDSB, Toronto’s public-school board, found both. It integrated 361 students in 146 schools according to a report referenced in the Star. That is an average of 2.5 Ukrainian-refugee students per school.
De Domenico’s Board accepted only 170 children in three of its elementary schools and some high schools. Whether too little or not enough, there have been no classes, no schools open for two months.
In any event, neither TECT nor the individual classroom teachers have the ability “to operationalize” accommodation plans approved by clown trustees like De Domenico. That power and authority rests solely on the shoulders of the Secretary-Director Brendan Browne. Where was he?
According to the Star article, De Domenico whines about TECT’s gambit because “we have been moving mountains” to find space for these children. Look at the topography of Toronto and choose a more appropriate metaphor. TDSB accommodated 212% more Ukrainian refugees; they must have more interested, more competent, more dynamic senior staff.
Two months later, two weeks before the start of the new year, De Domenico expresses his concerns. Oh please. He has no authority to speak to the Media on behalf of the Board. TCDSB is in collective bargaining negotiations with TECT. How this would help that process or the children is unclear. Browne’s people should have known that.
Thank you, Browne and De Domenico. You just sullied Catholic education with another direct hit to the eye.
Corriere reached out to TECT without a response as at time of writing.
In the pic below, Markus De Domenico (from his Twitter profile)
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