Good news and a breath of fresh air
TORONTO – I suppose we all need to sprinkle a little water in our wine. A gentleman daily reader of our paper was offering some laudatory observations on why our publication has everything any informed citizen would want to read about Canada, Italy, Ontario, Toronto and so on. Then he offered some “constructive criticism”.
“Maybe it is a sign of the history we are living today, but there seems to be an awful lot of news that tends to the negative. Sometimes, I feel a little down” he said. Having just published the interview with the Mayor of Monteleone, Giovanni Campese, I countered with the repost asking his views on that analysis. “Happy to read about it; did not think some “borgo” so far away could be doing so many positive things”, he conceded.
I left him promising this article and posting of pictures on our website that would reflect how our Diaspora embraces life in general in this country – our home. In the words of our office manager, reflecting on the Gala to honour Mayor Campese and his delegation, “I cannot remember the last time I saw so many people enjoy themselves and each other, so thoroughly, at a social-cultural event” (see videos and pictures at the end of this article).
I kept that in mind two days later when I drove up to (aurora) the York Catholic District School Board for a meeting on Monday, unconstrained by the normally scheduled one on Halloween. There were at least three very serious items on the agenda with far reaching impacts, so I stayed until 10:30 PM (not the entire meeting), and decided to concentrate on ONE positive decision.
In that vein, Trustee Angela Saggese deserves recognition for having “beaten back” thinly-veiled concoction to deprive students in her ward of established rights to access a high school to which siblings and other community members already enjoy, without forfeiting the transportation support they would normally have a right to expect.
The Board’s transportation budget (ministry approved and allocated) is $20,522,848 – an increase of $1.4 million over the base year 2019. The apparent (stated) reason why common sense was shifted to one side was that we are obliged to review boundaries periodically – though not necessarily to adopt them. Not that it would make sense at this juncture: the Board has 6.3% fewer students than in base year 2019.
The good news is that, after some verbal manoeuvring and jostling between the trustee McNicol side advocating for the Administration recommendation and the Saggese group, the Board saw the wisdom of “keeping the status quo for students”.
Good for Saggese and her supporters on this issue.
Below, two videos and the fotogallery from the Monteleone Gala