YCDSB election: From embarrassment to a criminal matter

TORONTO – Something happened at the YCDSB “caucus election” Monday night that should have triggered a response from Church and State authorities. It still may. Unless the embarrassment that passed for an election is corrected asap, , the entire affair could end up in a legal imbroglio

In a nutshell, only ten ballots were cast. To win the election one would have had to garner a minimum of six votes. It seems simple enough. If it did not happen, and a candidate were declared victor, then there would have been a commission of electoral fraud – a crime.

Five trustees (including the incumbent Chair/candidate) claimed that they could prove they voted for Alexander. They produced screenshots of the votes they had submitted to the lawyer, Gillian Tuck Kutarna, who tabulated the results. There could NOT have been a winner, if the process had ended there, as it did.

A video of the event confirms that Kutarna, who is a partner in the Law firm Miller Thomson, was directed to go to the podium and announce that “the new Chair is Elizabeth Crowe”. Thirty minutes later, behind closed doors, after many people including trustees and unionists supporting Crowe had left, “someone” decided to nullify the vote and to call for another at 5:00 pm today.

In a democratic environment, the entire affair suggests a serious breach of trust. The police should have been called to investigate and to press charges if intent could be established. When the police is called, the matter would not look pretty: either Kutarna or the Director, Domenic Scuglia, would find themselves at the center of attention.

Then yesterday, at Executive Committee (at about the 25-minute mark on the video recording of the meeting) Elizabeth Crowe introduced a complicating suggestion – out of the blue, so to speak – that Maria Iafrate should step down from her Vice Chair position so that a new election for her spot could be held as well.

Iafrate had been acclaimed, there was no taint on her and she accepted none. Crowe insisted that, had she “lost” the election for Chair, [her group] would have wanted her to run and win the Vice-Chair position, as a fall-back. Nonsense.

Kutarna and Scuglia will be under scrutiny for this debacle. No need for Crowe to draw attention to herself and others in a potential electoral fraud investigation. Her best course of action is to withdraw her candidacy –  before Angela Grella, one of her supporters, comes to her senses and abandons the Crowe group to support Alexander to save the day for the Board

Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum