TORONTO - Just when one thinks the situation could not get more ridiculous at the Toronto Catholic District School Board, the Board decided to meet on November 4 to address Minister Lecce’s diktat to reopen an issue that had been consuming their resources, creative energies and their abilities to deal with the challenges of accommodating and instructing our children in a virus infested environment.
Except that they had no authority to do so. Their deliberations are not only invalid, but they may also, in fact, be illegal. And they are subjecting one of their colleagues to legal “double jeopardy”. If the Minister counseled them to do so anyway, he has some serious explaining to do.
While he is at it, he will no doubt fi nd the time to explain how he managed to make two announcements of capital funding for projects in the wards of Trustees Rizzo and De Domenico. Both have been agitating to reopen the issue while publicly pillorying their colleague, Trustee Del Grande, for their interpretation of words he used in a debate.
The Board had made a determination that he had not breached the Trustee code of Conduct. Trustees can reopen the issue only through judicial review. In layman’s terms, they can appeal the decision to another jurisdiction – the Divisional Court, according to the written advice provided by the former Interim Integrity Commissioner to mothers who had launched a complaint against Trustee De Domenico for harassment and conduct inconsistent with his Oath of Office.
As to Trustee Rizzo, in August, the Board had found her in violation of [material] conflict of interest. Moreover, her threats to visit aggravated assault on a union official are still before the Labour Relations Board. The police should have been involved.
On November 4, the TCDSB met in camera (private), notwithstanding the above, to consider reopening the matter and curry favour with the Minister for his announcements. In their rush, they neglected to report to public session as required by the rules and the law. Without that, and the ensuing public vote (2/3) authorizing the release of the confi dential report, the matter would come to an end.
Nevertheless, the next day the report found its way into the hands of a Toronto Star reporter, and presumably in those of the Minister and in other hands of the LBGTQ2+ community. Now, on November 11, the Board will reconvene to do what they did not on November 4: report to public session, vote, structure non disclosure agreement of a confidential document and move on to negotiations for the Chairmanship and other offices for the coming year.
On Saturday, Trustee De Domenico issued the tweet on the left – in violation of the Code of Conduct and under paragraph 6, potentially committing a confl ict of interest. Our readers must be su. ering under the mistaken impression that the Catholic Board of Education should be about education, skills, critical thinking, and character development.
De Domenico has now included “Staff” in the circle of his and Rizzo’s vicious buffoonery.
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