Troubling indeed to ponder that there are now elected to the Toronto District School Board, a handful of hard-line communists. Latest to gain public office as Etobicoke North's trustee is the communist newspaper People's Voice-backed Stan Nemiroff.
The turnout, which elected Nemiroff in a March 18 byelection, was about 10 percent of 51,000 eligible voters. Rival Bruce Sinclair, a former mayor of Etobicoke, garnered about 20 per cent of the vote.
The byelection, held to replace former trustee Sam Basra, convicted of Immigration Act charges and forced under the Education Act to resign his seat, cost the board and its taxpayers a whopping $160,000.
According to the stridently communist People's Voice, "Nemiroff told the Board that he had legal advice that it should either appoint him as the runner-up, (from the last civic election) or call a byelection to let the people decide. Combined with strong interventions from the community, Nemiroff's action was enough to peel away two votes needed to force the byelection, preventing the Tories from appointing one of their own to replace Basra."
The Voice contends that the 22-member board is "split almost evenly between right-wing and �progressive' trustees. (�Progressive' is the latter-day description under which New Democratic and communist politicians like to hide). In any case, "The election of another progressive trustee could finally enable the board to refuse to comply with the Tory under-funding formula which has already cut 25 per cent of the TDSB budget since 1995," The Voice said.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, it has become almost "quaint" to point out the election of communist party members to local school boards.
For the fractious entity known as the Toronto District School Board, Nemiroff, who taught at McGill University for 26 years, is communist number three. First came Toronto Trustee Elizabeth Hill later joined by Trustee Paula Fletcher, who rode to public office on the accommodating coattails of Coun. Jack Layton in the last municipal election.
Nor is it any coincidence to some that Nemiroff's campaign was chaired by Fletcher's husband John Cartwright, new President of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council.
Among the first to endorse Nemiroff were the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and the Toronto Teachers' Federation (elementary panel).
Perhaps it was these groups who saw to it that Nemiroff's main election plank would be "to block another $150 million provincial funding cut to the TDSB.
In Canada it's not quaint but getting dangerous that communist candidates gain public office through the convenient backdoor provided by largely ignored municipal elections and byelections. It wasn't so long ago that each of the nine trustees on the Vancouver Board of Education was a communist party member, courtesy of the Jack Layton-backed Committee of Progressive Electors (COPE).
With 300,000 students the TDSB matters. The TDSB is in fact the largest school board in Canada.
Given its all-important mandate of educating our children, what a travesty that it has any communist party member let alone three.
Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: [email protected]