The Comment

The war on Catholic Families, Part II

TORONTO – OECTA and PFlag spew HATRED on parents and trustees.  Both organizations are doing it via the written word. For what purpose one may ask? OECTA, the union representing teachers in York region, operates on an annual budget of an estimated $7.5 million derived from membership fees levied on about 5,000 teaching personnel.

In the lead up to the YCDSB meeting for January 30, 2024, the “executives” of PFlag and OECTA issued a “call to arms” to beat back two proposed motions presented by trustee Frank Alexander: one regarding the pre-eminence of the Canadian flag, the other about stickers and religious symbols reflective of Catholic Christian messages.

Religion themed conflict dominating contemporary news cycles, as they do today, and given the attention-grabbing “success” of their tactics last year, OECTA “strategists” deemed it imperative to call Press and Media from the GTA to witness the debate and the bringing of Alexander and others ”to heel”.

The Corriere was not on the invitees list but what goes on at the YCDSB is of on-going concern to our readers: 144,000 residents of York Region self-identified as ethnically Italian in the last census when roughly 250,000 inhabitants of the Region also self-identified as Catholic. It is a safe bet that close to 100% of those “Italians” are [at least culturally] Catholic. Therefore, they represent better than 50% of the YCDSB clientele.

YCDSB, with its $700 million annual budget, is their board and the Board of other parents whose value/religious structure aligns with their own, not OECTA’s, nor of any group whose values may differ. The Law gives them a fully funded option to go elsewhere. Without passing judgement on those values, the Constitution says it is so! There is no mention in it of OECTA or of PFlag. Archbishop Leo please take note.

Undeterred by the rights of those parents to the upbringing that is theirs by law, both organizations issued a claim on those rights by demonizing the Catholic practices of Alexander and the Board. Catholicism may be a soft target in today’s world but inciting hatred with accusations of being religious colonizers, practitioners of homophobia, transphobia … fill in the blank… and heresy will not sway the audience.

The vitriolic content of the letter by Mike Totten, written on Company letterhead and directed at trustee Alexander (and secondarily at trustees of Italian background who support him), must have libel defamation lawyers salivating. He and his executive may be well paid (twelve of the thirteen earn between $103,000 to $130,000 p.a., according to Ontario’s Sunshine list, 2022), but they are still employees of the Catholic Board. Disloyalty to their employer’s raison d’etre in the marketplace is usually just cause for dismissal.

As noted in yesterday’s article, the motions were deferred to a later date. Still, there are at least three lawsuits hovering over the Board and individual trustees on this matter. We have entered the phase of Lawfare, where “aggressors, equipped with money and legal counsel hope to snatch what is not theirs”.

Two law firms at a minimum have lent themselves to this tawdry exercise by filing lawsuits with the Human Rights Tribunal and with the Divisional Court of Ontario.

(to be continued…)

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