HALTON - Yet another storm over the Halton Catholic District School Board. Peter DeRosa, a trustee who has been trying to report a series of "dysfunctions" in the administration of Catholic schools in that district since 2021, was censured and expelled from the Board meeting of Tuesday, October 14. The trigger appears to have been the debate revolving around Marvin Duarte, the Chair, refusal to forward DeRosa's reports to the other trustees.
The Corriere Canadese came into possession of correspondence, circulated among [some] trustees, from which indications are that Duarte considered the reports of the trustee DeRosa to be "not of interest" and for this reason he refused to include DeRosa’s reports on the agenda for October 18th public meeting (read in original here: Letter to the Chair August 6 2021). A letter that, since August 2021, DeRosa (who was also Chair of the HCDSB, 2018-2020) has tried to have the Board of Trustees put on record several times (the last on 8 October last, with another letter that you can read here: Letter to the Chair October 8 2022).
The editorial staff of Corriere Canadese tried to get in touch with President Marvin Duarte to understand the reasons for this "censorship", without response.
According to DeRosa, Duarte’s behaviour is a very troubling. It highlights the attempt by a group of trustees associated with Halton Parents for Change to erode the Catholic school system from within and replace it with one of woke philosophy.
For this reason, DeRosa apparently decided to send an open letter to all voters, as below:
Open Letter to my Constituents
Dear friends, neighbors, Catholic rate payors,
I’m writing to you in anticipation of the upcoming election on October 24, 2022, to impress upon you the importance of voting in record numbers for the next Board of Directors of the HCDSB. I cannot emphasize enough the need to refocus our board to its core statutory obligations for governance, accountability to parents and rate payers. The Board in 2021 and 2022 became consumed with the politics of the day as the role of the Chair drifted away from that of impartial arbitrators to the favor of a block of ideologically driven trustees. The muzzling of non-conforming voices either from trustees or members of the community has regrettably become the norm. Whether by muting, expulsions, delegations declined in record numbers, code of conduct violations conveniently timed for the elections the list goes on. Meanwhile the school yard antics, the jeering, the sarcasm, the Cheshire smiles, the virtual cheerleaders, and the twitter trolls never relented from their canceling and shaming campaigns. Bullying skills, such as these, learned years ago in the school yard, which we do not accept from our students, should have no place with the adults running our school board.
Regrettably a recent medical event and a promise to my family to focus on a speedy recovery has precluded me from being on the ballot this time. Having garnered the most votes of all candidates in the last election I feel a deep sense of responsibility to my supporters and a great disappointment for not being able represent you this time around. There will be another time and another way.
Peter DeRosa Oakville Trustee at Large and former Chair of the Board 2018/20