It does not seem to get any easier
for the Tcdsb

di Joe Volpe del February 17, 2021

TORONTO - The school systems in the Toronto area are straining under the pressures brought to bear by health issues related to Covid-19. That is a “no brainer”.

We could go through the diagnostic already familiar to every parent whose children might otherwise today be in school. But there would be no point. The Minister of Education has come close to having exhausted his entire political capital thanks to his almost daily briefings to remind the public that “his government is announcing that it will make an announcement about opening/closures later in the week experts permitting.”

In addition, the “systems” are stressed by the difficulties presented by the apparent lack of preparedness to deal with the integration of newer Canadians and their families into the Canadian milieu. Regrettably, the only attention-grabbing issues seem to be associated with real or perceived slights against individuals.

In this case, “there are experts galore”, on the Boards of trustees – or social media”. Take your pick, if you are not concerned with the skills sets (euphemistically referred to as the “three Rs” – Reading, wRriting and aRithmetic) our children should be developing along with other life skills.

The TCDSB, which we continue to critique because, given its size (90,000 students, or so it claims) it plays a leadership role in the province. On two counts: (1) the “academic” three Rs, and (2) the fourth R – religion (the social ethic embedded in the Constitution). On the first count, its will must necessarily bend to the public policy authority vested in the Minister of Education; on the second it is solemnly sworn to follow the lead of the Archbishop of Toronto, the Cardinal.

One of its trustees, already embroiled in a messy defiance of the Cardinal’s magisterium, on February 14, was confirmed as the candidate of choice for the Ontario Liberal Party in Humber River Black Creek.

From a practical point of view it means the trustee will now have an a priori contrary view to that of the Minister, who happens to be Conservative.

In the age-old answer quoted to focus priorities (give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s), that trustee and the Board may have difficulty dealing with two opposing Caesars: her Party leader and the Minister.

The Board of trustees at the TCDSB will surely soon turn into a forum for playing out partisan interests not necessarily related to the interests of their students and parents. Allegations of “conflict” and transgressions of Code of Conduct will emerge as mushrooms do in the forest after a rainstorm.

There is nothing wrong with political ambition for those who think they have something to offer. In this instance, the trustee may be well advised to pursue those ambitions, after resigning from the TCDSB – the sooner the better.

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