Open for business
but not for school

di Joe Volpe del July 20, 2021

TORONTO - The classic “rich kid”, Stephen Lecce, also Minister of Education, is identified, by a Toronto daily, as the “frontrunner name” to replace the discredited Dundas St. in Toronto (and other places) where “sensitivity” for errors past will replace the obligation to develop rational policies for the future. Mr. Lecce has been busy trying to establish his credentials as the poster child of the non-binary community. He has become a target for ridicule and denigration.

An education critic/lecturer at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education refers to his credentials as those of “a 32-year-old communications expert” in press relations. Judging from the “progressive” slant of her writing, she would seem to be a natural ally for him. It is safe to say that she is not impressed. But at least she did not dismiss him a simple “apple polisher” to the Premier, as the above Toronto daily did.

Some readers have drawn attention to the more pedestrian - vulgar – definition of the term as “A** - Kisser”, a description probably closer to the intention of the not-so-favourable editorial disposition preferred by that publication. The periodical is not known for its balanced approach to the Italian community. The offended readers, outraged by the perceived insult, want us to rush to his defense.

We beg forgiveness for being slow off the mark. Under his watch, the education of our children has never been worse. Schools have effectively been closed to in-person learning since March of 2019. At his “direction”, Boards of Education have opened, closed schools on whim, fiction and propaganda or on spurious interpretation of medical reports. Their ad-hoc distance learning programs have been, to put it mildly, a joke.

Lecce could not find money to disinfect, sanitize physical spaces to house students. Nor could he establish a program to engage teachers in the discharge of contractual obligations in a monitored reassuring environment for parents. Ten thousand students contracted the virus. In other jurisdictions around the globe, the mantra is that the economy cannot take off without the re-opening of schools. Yet, Ontario has no plan at the ready for resumption of scholastic, academic and extra-curricular activities.

As at today, of twelve educational provincial/territorial school systems in the country, Ontario has distinguished itself as the only one which shut down its services completely. On what did our champion focus? If you can believe it, on two themes: one, inclusivity and protecting our children from human traffickers - who presumably prey on our children in his schools; two, eradicating systemic racism from Math – Greek colonizer names from geometric theories have long passed their best before date, I guess.

He discharges his role as if the Constitution and the Education Act do not apply to him. Moreover, in the process, he has emerged as the sworn enemy of Catholic schools - “the slayer of the dragon”, so to speak.

Such is his impatience to displace whoever is/was at the head of the “progressive agenda”.

His parents bought him a private school education. They can pay to replace a slaver’s name on a street with their own funds.

Doug Ford may be running a “transactional” government, but I do not think that is what most people think of when they say: “Ontario is open for business”.

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