Trustee Garry Tanuan swearing in. Image via TCDSB
Students, hark! The polyester of your oppressor! Last night, the Toronto Catholic District School Board rejected a motion that would reinstate a ban overturned by Ontario’s Bill 13, the Accepting Schools Act, allowing all kids–including those in the TCDSB–to use the term “gay-straight alliance.” The motion, brought forward by Ward 8 Trustee Garry Tanuan and seconded by Ward 7 Trustee John Del Grande, invoked a section of the Constitution that enshrined the denominational rights of Catholic schools.
“I am convinced by reading the British North America Act, and its interpretation by the courts, that Bill 13 is unconstitutional,” he said. Trustees defeated his reading and proposal by a vote of 7-4, causing him to release a statement whining: “I am disappointed as a Catholic, a parent and a trustee that my colleagues made a poor decision. They failed to see the big picture because they failed to protect the Constitutional rights of Catholic ratepayers, students and staff.”
Bill 13 was widely praised by student and parent groups, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, but has nonetheless angered some Catholics, including the Archbishop of Toronto, whoever that is.
Vidal Wu is an intern at Toronto Standard. You can follow him on Twitter at @vidalwuu.