Circumstances Crying, Pleading for Leadership

TORONTO – If the 102 candidates for the mayor’s chair in Toronto signifies anything, it may be that we are prepared to overlook the obvious until the dam bursts. Then everyone heads for the lifejackets. 

Judging from the press and media coverage of the election campaign so far, from infrastructure, to housing, to essential services, to transportation, to social policy to policing, who knew things were so bad in Toronto? The Premier, arguably the only real candidate in the race so far, thought everything was “tik-ity-boo”, until the former mayor dropped the ball.

Even the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has managed to get into the picture of “what no longer works”. In a report to its trustees the Administration identified no less than 323 acts of violence perpetrated on its students, in school. Rarely a week goes by when its high schools do not report fights, stabbings or shootings. Whom to blame?

The teachers? Fully 77% of elementary school teachers, according to their union, EFTO, claimed to have been victims of violence or knew of colleagues who had been. Think about it… the teachers represented by EFTO are elementary school teachers whose students are not older than thirteen (13) years of age.

Or is it the “system” itself? School boards have started to rely on the police to intervene in the event of “apprehended violence, bullying or hateful discourse” on the part of parents. Halton and Toronto’s school boards have become familiar with police lockdowns. The police comply as part of their pre-emptive tactics.

The strategy has become a risible testimony to collapsing social convention in respect of parental rights and freedom of speech. Catholic school boards are not immune from that contagion.

In Renfrew County, a teenaged boy defending what he thought was his [Catholic] school’s value structure regarding gender, was suspended from school and later charge with trespassing and arrested by police for hate speech. His parents have lost their jobs (at least temporarily) with the board.

For three consecutive monthly meetings, the Director Scuglia caused, or collaborated in, the calling of police to usher parents from the Catholic Education Centre in York Region (YCDSB) because they objected to his and the teachers’ Union insistence on promoting a gender ideology judged inconsistent with the Church’s interpretation of obligations by Catholic boards under the Constitution.

Not to be outdone, the Director of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, who co-authored much of the educational strategy unfolding in the TDSB, called in, or authorized the calling of squad cars to disperse, or hold at bay, parents who had collected in front of a school where a dissident teacher (“protected”, to that point by the director and the trustee) preached his own brand of [Catholic] education.

The teacher, Paolo De Buono, has finally been removed, even if temporarily, according to parents and teachers who called the Corriere. Some parents have clearly “had enough”. They have begun to go to all media in an effort to seek out “allies” in their call to return to normalcy.

Back in the YCDSB, the Director appears determined to create an issue around flying the Flag – which one you ask? Sooner or later, the archbishop will have to step in, or the Premier may have to change Ministers. 

In the pics above, from the left: Archbishop Frank Leo, Paolo De Buono and Domenic Scuglia (photos from Twitter and