Every day is a good day to share memories and experiences

TORONTO – One of my grandfather’s favourite sayings, “wolves have a predilection for feasts and bad weather”, was a guide for people to stay alert: someone profits from the bad luck of others – keep an eye out for who that might be and you will “stay safe”.  

Last Sunday, April 28, I listened to an impassioned plea from Marino Toppan, former construction worker, union organizer, author and, in recent decades since his retirement, researcher into the tragic deaths of Italians killed on the job as they were building the infrastructure of this city, the province and indeed of the country. Those victims were young men – some were mere boys – recent husbands or fathers. Forgotten immigrants seeking stability and future advancement in life for their families.

His research has uncovered about 1,300 such husbands, sons and fathers and evidence of a further 2,000+ from other cities and provinces across the country, particularly in sites associated with the construction of the transcontinental railways (CNR and CPR). “We built this country when we had nothing; that’s our legacy”, he said proudly. “We built a society with people we did not know, today…” he nearly burst into tears.

What has gone wrong? Lawyer-author Howard Levitt, possibly experiencing first-hand the consequences of what happens when tolerance and co-operation turns to “anti-ism” and “hatred fostered by radical ideologues”, reflected in an article published in the Financial Post on Friday that maybe people are beginning to see the light (see article here: Howard Levitt: Even Google, once a leader among the woke, is waking up | Financial Post).

If he is right, the article should become required reading for school trustees in all school boards and in the office of Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. In Toronto, he condemns the public Board for incompetence in [financial] resources allocation but rewards the Catholic counterpart by accepting a structural deficit of $60 million as he approves their demolition of perfectly useable buildings. Both Boards are suing Meta to the tune of $4.5 Billion for corrupting the minds of our children. In their schools.

The demolition of Regina Mundi

In York Catholic District School Board, the Integrity Commissioner (IC) filed the results of an investigation (see pp 46-57 here: https://www.ycdsb.ca/wp-content/uploads/April-30-2024-Regular-Board-Pkg.pdf) into the conduct of a trustee, Theresa Mc Nicol, whose apparent contempt for her colleagues of Italian extraction has the air of being “like the grace of God – boundless”. Yet, they, like the ratepayers and students in the system are, in the main, of the same Italian background responsible for building or growing the system to the point it is today.

On April 30,  at a meeting of the Board, trustees will vote to receive the IC Report, debate it in public forum, decide whether to censure the trustee or not, and determine sanctions, if any. Last Tuesday, the Board and the trustee were before a Tribunal, in Divisional Court, on a similar though separate matter.

The Italian community is waiting for results with trepidation.