TORONTO - The [validity] of “the project is uncertain at this time”. At least from the perspective of the public responses solicited by the Consultation process in the TCDSB/VCI Redevelopment Project.
That was the closing remark of the Consultant, who urged everyone to read the full report when it would be made available online on January 31.
Odd, his Contractors - TCDSB, before whose Staff and Trustees he was making these public comments – and VCI Staff and Chair must surely have insisted on seeing a copy before it was presented in public session. Even odder was the admission that the public views/viewed the consultation process with skepticism and distrust. The Consultant acknowledged that [legitimate] consultations should take place before decisions are made, not during or after they have taken place. As for example in this instance.
Once again, those constituencies that challenge the legitimacy of the Redevelopment project showed up in impressive numbers. They were equipped with compelling presentations in support of their position and delivered them with cogency and passion.
One after the other, Joseph Palozzi, Deborah Galego, Stephanie Fusco-D’Amico, Christine Genowefe, Kerry Kotlarchuk, Lawrence Pincivero detailed the value of their Save the Columbus Centre position while concurrently challenging the premises and validity of the Project.
An overtly biased, and less than competent, Chair risked making a shambles of the exercise with her constant interruptions and hectoring, especially with Pincivero and Anthony who read Hari Jagasia’s letter as a presentation. The group was supported by Councillor Josh Colle’s presentation – first rate and professional, like those of others before and after him – on the technical, process issues.
He might have saved himself the trouble. Some Trustees, disregarding any potential to collective and individual reputational damage, decided not to “kill the deal on the spot” – as had been expected in the absence of “overwhelming support” for the project in the Consultants’ report.
That was what the Motion moved and approved by Trustee Sal Piccininni on November 16 had dictated.
But this is the “Catholic” School Board. Who knows what shenanigans Trustees on a political suicide mission are bound to do.
Somehow they think that dramatizing and abusing prayer at the start of a meeting is a substitute for transparency and trust. God save us.