Category: Commentary

Canada Commentary Featured GTA Ontario Toronto

Ignore candidates who flout the rules

TORONTO – There must be a way “to qualify” candidates for political office or to disqualify those with a proven record of transgressing publicly accepted standards with inappropriate behaviour. For better or for worse, the bureaucracy of recognized political parties conduct a selection process for potential nominees for office. These are open to abuse and to the whim of the leadership and its entourage, but at least there are standards against which approval or criticism can galvanize.

Not so in the in the hurley burley wild west that we see in Municipal politics. The much- touted office of Integrity Commissioner has done little but develop an industry (lucrative for the practitioners) of “tut-tut ism”. Conflicts Commissioners (Ethics Commissioners in some circles) are as eunuchs in a harem.

John Tory, full-time employee of media giant, Rogers, can occupy the mayor’s chair, make decisions that suit his employer and still run for office. School board trustees can violate their oath of office and still offer themselves for election.

It seems endemic to our democratic system: do anything, no matter how egregious – lie, cheat, malign – if you can escape the public’s wrath.

It is a disease that afflicts even the boards of cultural institutions like the Art Gallery of Mississauga. A reading of the Agenda (and its Appendices) of the Annual General Meeting of the Gallery, held August 4, 2022, obtained by the Corriere Canadese would cause a reasonable person to shake their head in disbelief.

It is a “cleaning house” document approved by the assembly following a litany of disruptions, allegations of harassment, bullying, intimidation, questionable circumventions of rules and procedures, obfuscation, “people” sitting as arbitrators of complaints against them personally, falsification of financially sensitive documents etc. It is a wonder the AGM has survived the ordeal.

The Board of the AGM finally succeeded in liberating itself from the cause of all of this turbulence appears to be, its now former President of the Gallery’s Board of Directors, Leslie Silvestri. After an internal revolt structured to secure a legitimate meeting of the Board, it hired Scott and Associate (Scott) to conduct an investigation into the preceding allegations and to report – which it did on July 29, 2022.

Here is an excerpt from Scott’s Workplace Investigation Summary:

“…the allegations of bullying and harassment made against Ms. Silvestri are substantiated…Ms. Silvestri has engaged in, among other things, psychological harassment of others, as well as workplace violence as defined by Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, and that the complainant(s) fear reprisal, reputational harm from Ms. Silvestri. Scott concluded that [Silvestri’s] conduct contravened both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Human Rights Code…”

Armed with this background, Ms. Silvestri has registered as a candidate for Mississauga City Council.

Silvestri and complainants were notified of the findings. Corriere’s attempts to reach Ms. Silvestri went unresponded as of going to print.

Canada Commentary Featured GTA Ontario

TCDSB rejects IC report: fallout, part one

TORONTO – Catholic Schools exist because the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and the Education Act recognize and protect their existence; so does the Human Rights Code. Catholic ratepayers are expected to contribute, and do so contribute, to their financial stability.

The former Integrity Commissioner of the TCDSB seems to have had trouble understanding those fundamental concepts when he/they made themselves an instrument of others’ questionable attacks on trustees who comprehend and discharge their role. It started with the concocted attack on Del Grande in November 2019 and ended with the failed attempted defamation of Di Giorgio on August 10, 2022.

So, what is the role of Catholic trustees?

A certain Gabriella Mazarakis researched The Trustee Code of Conduct outlined in A.04 on the Board’s website. It says, in part… “Trustees are expected to discharge their duties and responsibilities in a professional and ethical manner consistent with Gospel Values and the teachings of the Catholic Church… That standard includes upholding the Catholic Faith and adhering to the Oath of Office taken each year at the Caucus meeting.”

…Unless you are a member of the infamous gang of four trustees at the TCDSB. Then the rules may not apply to you – you are woke, a cancel culture zealot – you make them up as you go along… until you are called out for misuse, if not abuse, of your position.

That’s what has happened to Markus De Domenico, charter member of the self-proclaimed authority of how to be an ethical Catholic trustee. Bang, just like that, Gabriella Mazarakis, has effectively asked the TCDSB and the Interim Integrity Commissioner to disqualify De Domenico from holding office for breaches of those “rules”.

Mazarakis, a mother of school-aged children, is registered as a candidate to oust the incumbent. Encouraged by the special Board meeting on August 10, called to “punish” trustee Di Giorgio for disagreeing with De Domenico and his ilk, she submitted a request to the new Integrity Commissioner (law firm Aird Berlis) that it investigate and report a finding of fault in the allegations of egregious violations (emphasis added) of the Trustee Code of Conduct and perhaps Conflict of Interest guidelines committed by De Domenico. What’s good for the goose is good for…

For good measure, she supplied relevant sections of the Code of Conduct and the Conflict-of-interest guidelines, together with pictures revealing Markus in flagrante delicto to support the allegations. It is a copious document. She has done the research for the Integrity Commissioner.

Mazarakis pointed out violation after violation, including a ten-page newsletter, an election brochure churned out at Board expense and distributed via Board resources. She made specific reference to the Political Activity and Campaigning Policy A.40 of the Board.

It may be worth noting for Municipal election officials that De Domenico also started a finance campaign prior to registering his candidacy, as required by the Municipal Elections Act.

Mazarakis, however, raised the question of electoral integrity and fairness with the City of Toronto Municipal Elections department who manage Trustee Elections. Mazarakis’ letter points out that “they have the same black out period for complaints and similar policies regarding use of City resources on election campaign sites as TCDSB”.

She highlights that, however, “in the case of alleged violations of election policies such as those [she has] described herein, [the complaints] are dealt with immediately to ensure election integrity and fairness.” She demands that the TCDSB do the same.

Otherwise, willful breaches of the Act may compromise the election and result in unfair advantage to the perpetrator, De Domenico.

Not content with the IC’s apparent docility to take on the task, she sent her concerns to the Director and all the trustees. Again, receiving no reply, she sent a letter demanding action to the Board, copying the Corriere Canadese and the Toronto Star.

We think she deserves a hearing.

Canada Commentary Italian Sport

Mr Kim, il più grande fan degli Azzurri a Toronto

TORONTO – Pensate quello che volete, ma per i miei soldi (tifoseria percepita a parte), il più grande tifoso della squadra di calcio dell’Italia – gli Azzurri – in questi Europei di Calcio è Mr. Kim. È il nostro vicino (coreano), un rivenditore di t-shirt, maglie delle squadre, accessori per il calcio e bandiere. Nessuna mancanza di rispetto nei confronti della sua controparte italiana di Woodbridge. (more…)

Commentary Filipino Technology

Halaga nang Wifi’s

May isang emplado tawagin natin sa pagalan na Susie, pumasok para maga trabaho nakita na walang wifi. Tumawag siya sa kompania nang tulong pero walang sumasagot.

Sa madali niyang pag iisip nakakuha siya nang kanilang email sa selular na telepano. Pero kunti lang ang magagawa nang selular telepano para paandarin ang isa opisina sa buong araw pang samantala.

(more…)

Commentary English Technology

“Wifi’s Worth”


An employee, let’s call her “Suzie”, showed up for work only to find that the Wifi was out. She phoned Tech support, but no one was in.

Thinking quick on her toes, she managed to get some emails across by turning on “Cellular Data” in her cell phone. But there is only so much you can do to keep the company afloat for a regular work day by buying time on one’s cell phone. (more…)

Commentary Editorials News Updates Podcasts & Videos Spanish

Maquina de barro, las disculpas di Blogto al Corriere

Article by Francesco Veronesi – Translation and Video: Lisa Picerno

 El tiempo es caballero, como se suele decir.
La máquina de mudslinging – lamentablemente hiperactivo en redes sociales y círculos políticos – que apuntó al Corriere Canadese en los últimos meses ha comenzado a perder simpatía por la calle. (more…)

Commentary Editorials English Faith & Religion Featured World News

Sources of military actions in the Middle East: Power and Bibi

TORONTO – Whatever one might hazard to say about Israel… it would be wrong, the moment a “shot” is fired. There have been many “shots” fired in the last week. In fact, as of May 19, the overall death toll in Gaza stood at 197 people, including 58 children and 34 women, with 1,235 injured and about 70,000 displaced. (more…)

Commentary English Featured Health & Medicine

Light at the end of the tunnel, the risk is to lower your guard too soon

TORONTO – In Ontario, we are entering the most delicate phase of this long, exhausting, never-ending battle against Covid-19. Virologists and experts point out that how the exit from the third wave will lay the foundations for the developments of the pandemic. In essence, we are at a crossroads: if we are able to comply with health and safety protocols, we could avoid a potential fourth wave. (more…)

Commentary News Updates

Sine Papano Naepektohan ang Buhay Natin

Nakapanood ka na ba nang sine na naapektohan ang buhay mo na umabot na kailagan
Ibahin mo ang kilos mo o mag ingat na para sa sarili? Oo, mayroon ang “Jaws” ay binibigyan ako nang mag isip dalawang beses bago ako lumagoy sa malalim nang dagat. “Exorcist” na gawa kong mapag isipan ang maga masasamang bagay na nakikita ko ay kadimonyohan. Hindi nasa ko dapat banggitin pero itong pelikulang Ito ay napanood ko noong ang edad ko ay maga bente annos palang ako at na bisita ko uli ang Jaws pero hindi ang Exorcist ay nilayuan ko na. (more…)

Commentary Education Matters Portuguese

Fraude política nas escolas e na igreja

TORONTO – Que estranho. Graças a reflexões absurdas, até mesmo fúteis (mas expostas com paixão) pelos conselheiros (trustees) das escolas católicas, o verdadeiro drama humano da vida está ocorrendo dentro da Igreja Católica. 

É coisa de filme.

A autoridade moral e jurídica do primeiro prelado do Canadá, aquele que pode ser eleito Papa ou votar no próximo, está a ser contestada publicamente. (more…)

Commentary Editorials Education Matters Featured Politics

Political Fraud in Schools and the Church

How odd. Thanks to the nonsensical, even inane musings (but they are done with passion) of trustees in Catholic school boards, the real Human drama of life is taking place within the Catholic Church.  It’s the stuff of movies. The moral and legal authority of Canada’s premier prelate, the one eligible to be Pope or vote for the next one, is being publicly challenged. (more…)

Commentary Education Matters Featured Opinion Podcasts & Videos

Toronto Catholic District School Board like Molière’s Tartuffe

TORONTO – Whenever I attend (virtually or in-person) meetings of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, I picture myself in the audience of a performance of Moliere’s comedic production, Tartufe. It is not a compliment.

Read More in Corriere Canadese >>>

This is to say: it is difficult to take these people seriously. Tartufe, the character and the play, have become synonymous with hypocrisy, duplicity, pious fraud and treachery. (more…)


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