Toronto Catholic District School Board,
time to clean house

di Joe Volpe del July 4, 2022

TORONTO – The school year is finally over. We have a brief reprieve from the deceit that has passed for learning these last two and a half years.

Catholic schools, until recently the overwhelming choice of our readers, have not been immune from the chaos. Covid-19 and its attendant tangled web of measures did not help.

Rather, the learning charade should be laid squarely on the shoulders of what passes for leadership at the Board level and its Operations arm – the Director’s office. Both seem to have forgotten that they are, in law, required to always act in the best interests of the child; in other words, to make decisions and apply strategies that a reasonable parent would. They are privileged, and duty-bound, to act in loco parentis. A reasonable parent would have trouble identifying proof that their child’s best interests have been at the heart of many of those decisions.

Thankfully, concerned parents are beginning to organize with the purpose of “taking back their schools”. Their first target is to replace a “gang of four” trustees – De Domenico, Di Pasquale, Li Preti and Rizzo – whose shenanigans have caused costly, almost irreparable, reputational harm to the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), to their colleagues and to the students under their care.

The Corriere and its Publisher are in Court against them. So is another trustee, Del Grande, whom they have persecuted since 2019. Several self-professed woke activists are manipulating the Human Rights Tribunal to advance their claims against trustees Crawford, Del Grande, Kennedy, Lubinski and Tanuan. It is not costing the gadflies any money, but lawyers will be salivating over their payday, win or lose.

For good measure, two of the activists have doubled down against Del Grande in a shameful and spurious effort to have the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) de-certify him. He has never taught.

Trustee Daniel Di Giorgio has become their latest target. Their instrument of choice has been the Integrity Commissioner (IC) who did their bidding via interpretations of the Trustee Code of Conduct (which offers guidelines for professional and deferential behaviour towards one another), seemingly always in their favour. Di Giorgio pushed back, the IC resigned, effective June 16, 2022. The Director is still there. Why? All these difficulties coincide with his hiring, starting September 2019.

The Director and the IC maintain (and accordingly justify their actions to the public and to us) that the Human Rights Code (HRC) is the “law of the land”. The truth of the matter is that, notwithstanding the merits in the HRC, the Law of the Land is the Constitution Act (CA), 1982 wherein the rights of Catholic parents and duties of their trustees are embedded.

The powers of the Provincial government in respect of Education (both permissive and restrictive) flow from Section 93 of the CA, which specifically says that nothing can take away from the denominational rights of Her Majesty’s Roman Catholic subjects held at Confederation.

That guarantee is repeated in the Education Act, in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and… in Section 19(1) of the HRC.

The Catholic Church (the Magisterium) is the only entity that can certify who/what is Catholic. Trustees are required to swear an oath of obedience to that message every time the Board restructures itself. The gang of four have refused to do that for the last three years. They should be booted from office.

Two of them did not fulfill the residency requirement in 2018 when they sought election.

Rizzo, for example, not only did not live in Toronto, but she also listed two residential addresses in Toronto as evidence of her eligibility in a sworn affidavit that she was an eligible (for municipal tax purposes) Catholic elector, as required by law.

Neither owner at the Toronto addresses identified as a Catholic elector; neither did the owners of her out of town address.

The IC does not and did not have authority over compliance with electoral laws, yet he/she turned themselves into razor-wire knot to say, “it was ok”. They even bullied mothers who protested when the gang of four gave them short shrift.

The “gang” went out of their way to influence the employers of the complainants when parents appeared before the Board to delegate.

The Province needs to launch a forensic audit on the legitimacy of the process involving the use of the Public’s money for alleged educational goals.

The amount of monies for outside legal counsel has hovered around the one-million-dollar mark ($1,000,000) per annum over the last four years.

The new/old Minister has his work cut out.

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