TORONTO - The Glen Long-Playfair Ratepayers Association has had it, so to speak and is taking off the gloves by signalling a “bare knuckles” intervention in the condominium project that calls for the demolition of the Columbus Centre.
In a blunt and direct email - one that leaves little room for departure from that which is laid on the table with all its naked evidence - sent to all trustees at the Toronto Catholic District School Board, City Councillors, Mayor John Tory, Federal and Provincial MPs and MPPs and to the Minister of Education, Mitzie Hunter, it asks “that the TCDSB put an end to its partnership with Villa Charities Inc and cancel this unpopular joint project in favour of one to be built on the Board’s current property”.
The clear and elaborate letter by the ratepayers also cites disdainful and provocative statements authored by trustee Maria Rizzo in a booklet she distributed at a November 28, 2017, meeting titled “Columbus Centre-Dante Alighieri Community Hub. Did you know? Things everyone should know! News told, rumours heard, truth implied, facts buried. Fake News not included!”
Trustee Rizzo, with this cryptic, thinly veiled, launches an attack on the Press, as in the Corriere Canadese, which for months has been reporting the views of the Community as it organizes itself to condemn the proposed demolition of the Columbus Centre.
Those two words - fake news – weapons of choice for President Trump in his defense against the incessant, even merciless, Press and Media efforts to shed light on his numerous and mammoth lies. Corriere has eschewed the opportunities to report anything that has not been the fruit of direct interviews, emails received and verified, on site, personal eye-witness account by our journalists or information that has not been meticulously researched by our staff.
If truth be told, one must add that the accusation of “liar” is attributed to Trustee Rizzo by the same Glen Long-Playfair Ratepayers Association. In the face of her assertion that “the TCDSB consulted with the community prior to entering into the accord with Villa Charities 5 years ago”, the ratepayers claim that no-one can recall a consultation having taken place. Moreover, they “cannot imagine how they could have convinced hundreds to sign their petition and agree to take [save the Columbus Centre] signs in front of their houses if the consultations had taken place. We don’t remember it haven taken place, nor do any of the 400 people who signed the petition.”
For good measure, the Association in question adds that “many have affirmed their readiness to express displeasure and disappointment with the TCDSB’s decision by withholding their tax support for the Catholic Board after the next election”.
While Trustee Rizzo hurls accusations of fake news to justify the unholy alliance between the TCDSB and VCI, the Director of Education, Rory McGuckin, employs a different tactic to dismiss public discontent, adding that it merely represents “the views of part of the community in the Dufferin & Lawrence neighbourhood who frequent the Columbus Centre”.
That is how he responded to an e-mail sent by Mauro Pontiero, who had invited him to listen to the complaints of those who are against the project. It is a Community that yet again is up against a “stone wall”.