Politics and its Discontents: Revisionism Run Amok

I have written ten previous posts about Chris Spence. the disgraced former Director of the Toronto District School Board, whose fall from professional grace was caused by his serial plagiarism. I hope readers will indulge me for my eleventh post, this one in response to a risible attempt at resurrecting his career. When I taught, ...

A BCer in Toronto: Where does trustee Harout Manougian really stand on Gay Straight Alliances

Harout Manougian,who is running for re-election as Toronto District School Board trustee in Ward 17 (Don Valley East), is on the record claiming support for Gay Straight Alliances in Toronto schools.  However, troubling past statements by Manougian would seem to put lie to this claim. Less than 10 years ago, here’s what Manougian had to say about ...

Politics and its Discontents: Chris Spence’s ‘Performance: The Reviews Are In

I realize that the subject of Chris Spence is likely of little or no interest to readers of this blog outside of the immediate area, but I cannot apologize for writing what is now my tenth entry on the disgraced former Director of the Toronto District School Board. My anger at his betrayal of education ...

Politics and its Discontents: When Is Claiming To Take Full Responsibility Just A Platitude?

When it is proclaimed by Chris Spence, the disgraced former Director of the Toronto District School Board who lost his job earlier this year for extensive plagiarism. In what the Toronto Star describes as a ‘far reaching interview,’ Spence says “there are no excuses for what I did; I didn’t give credit where credit was ...

Politics and its Discontents: Did Someone Say ‘Byelection’?

I’m certainly glad that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is adhering to her commitment to a new way of doing politics. I’m sure the Toronto District School Board also appreciates her integrity. Recommend this Post

the reeves report: Finding work a struggle for new teachers in Toronto

Flickr image by spDuchamp. *** Note: this piece was originally published with OpenFile Toronto on Feb. 10, 2012, but is no longer available online since their website shut down. *** When Deirdre Dimitroff started teachers college at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in September 2011, she knew the odds of finding work in ...

Politics and its Discontents: Why Chris Spence Must Be Fired

It is hardly an insight to observe that ours is a world that bears witness to institutional and organizational failures on a massive scale. Those bodies that should be there to promote and protect the public good have proven far more adept at promoting and protecting their own interests instead. Be they church, government, police, ...

Politics and its Discontents: Finger-Pointing 2.0

Well, there can be little doubt that both The Toronto District School Board and the Ontario Ministry of Education have fully embraced the digital age. Finger-pointing abounds on both sides. In the ongoing saga that I think could best be described as a clash between Jimmy Hazel’s union muscle (and please remember that I am ...

Politics and its Discontents: Jimmy Hazel and His Crew Prevail

As I have mentioned in this blog before, one of the many reasons I respect The Toronto Star is that it doesn’t let its adherence to The Atkinson Principles blind it to good stories, even when those stories may lead to some uncomfortable questions about the abuses that unions are sometimes guilty of. Their stellar ...

Politics and its Discontents: Toronto District School Board Blinks

As I suspected, after yesterday’s Star story about the Toronto District School Board’s outrageous demand for $3.6 million to release work order information related to the costs incurred in their exclusive contract with Jimmy Hazel’s maintenance and construction skilled trades council, the board is singing a different tune today: The Toronto District School Board is ...

Politics and its Discontents: TDSB To Star: It’s Gonna Cost You To See My Hand

The Toronto Star, after conducting an excoriating investigative series on the fiscal incompetence of the Toronto District School Board in its very costly arrangement with Jimmy Hazel’s Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council, has learned the price of getting the complete picture of that incompetence: $3.6 million. That’s how much officials have told the paper ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Glacial Pace Of Change At The TDSB

Regarded by some as a master of platitudes, Toronto District School Board Director Chris Spence says that things are getting better. As outlined in The Star’s investigative series, the board, in the thrall of Jimmy Hazel’s Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council, which forms the backbone of the TDSB’s facilities division, has for years been ...

Politics and its Discontents: Digital Exercise

With all of the finger-pointing ensuing from the Star’s latest installment on the Toronto District School Board’s questionable relationship with Jimmy Hazel and his Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council, I think it is safe to infer that all involved parties have truly entered the digital age. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: The Toronto District School Board’s Political Response

While hardly surprising, the decision of TDSB chair, Chris Bolton, to have a facilities committee look into The Star’s embarrassing revelations about its inappropriate and very costly relationship with Jimmy Hazel’s Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council is wholly inadequate. As today’s Star editorial tartly observes, It was exactly what taxpayers have learned to expect ...

Politics and its Discontents: Prepare For The Revolution, A.K.A. Spin, Spin, And More Spin

What is the priority of organizations that are mired in embarrassing public revelations about fraudulent spending of taxpayers money? The development of a good PR plan. At least that is what I gleaned from Part Three of The Star’s investigation of the Toronto District School Board and its relationship with the Maintenance and Construction Skilled ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Star Continues Its Investigation

Unless the Toronto District School Board is staffed by a raft of incompetents, it has to have known what is going on. As I wrote in my blog post yesterday, an investigation by The Toronto Star has revealed theft on a massive scale in the form of grossly inflated charges to the board for even ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Star Continues Its Stellar Work

One of the Atkinson Principles guiding The Toronto Star is to champion the rights of working people; to my ongoing delight and gratification, however, this tenet does not mean the paper gives a free ride to labour and unions. Today’s edition is ample testament to that fact. Another of its excellent investigations has uncovered what ...

Law is Cool: Islamophobia in Canada: A Primer

by Fathima Cader and Sumayya Kassamali Ten years after September 11, 2001, the term “Islamophobia,” once largely obscure, has become all but inevitable when discussing contemporary politics. As Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden became household names, Western fear of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims has also grown. Canada has been no stranger to this phenomenon. ...

Canadian Firebrand: Shepherd’s Grandaughter – new update

Back in March and again in April and June, I reported on efforts by Brian Henry, the B’nai Brith and Trustee Sheila Ward to have the Toronto District School Board ban the acclaimed children’s book’ The Shepherd’s Granddaughter because it tells the story of a Palestinian girl who suffers at the hands of Israeli settlers ...

Andy Lehrer's Firebrand blog: Shepherd’s Grandaughter – new update

Back in March and again in April and June, I reported on efforts by Brian Henry, the B’nai Brith and Trustee Sheila Ward to have the Toronto District School Board ban the acclaimed children’s book’ The Shepherd’s Granddaughter because it tells the story of a Palestinian girl who suffers at the hands of Israeli settlers ...

Andy Lehrer: Shepherd’s Grandaughter – new update

Back in March and again in April and June, I reported on efforts by Brian Henry, the B’nai Brith and Trustee Sheila Ward to have the Toronto District School Board ban the acclaimed children’s book’ The Shepherd’s Granddaughter because it tells the story of a Palestinian girl who suffers at the hands of Israeli settlers ...

Andy Lehrer: Shepherd’s Grandaughter – new update

Back in March and again in April and June, I reported on efforts by Brian Henry, the B’nai Brith and Trustee Sheila Ward to have the Toronto District School Board ban the acclaimed children’s book’ The Shepherd’s Granddaughter because it tells the story of a Palestinian girl who suffers at the hands of Israeli settlers ...

Canadian Firebrand: Shepherd’s Granddaughter Update

Book should stay, school board committee says Final decision rests with education director A special review committee has recommended that a controversial novel about the Mideast conflict remain available to grades 7 and 8 students in Toronto’s public schools. The 11-member committee was struck in April after a parent made a formal complaint to the ...

Andy Lehrer's Firebrand blog: Shepherd’s Granddaughter Update

Book should stay, school board committee says Final decision rests with education director A special review committee has recommended that a controversial novel about the Mideast conflict remain available to grades 7 and 8 students in Toronto’s public schools. The 11-member committee was struck in April after a parent made a formal complaint to the ...

Andy Lehrer: Shepherd’s Granddaughter Update

Book should stay, school board committee says Final decision rests with education director A special review committee has recommended that a controversial novel about the Mideast conflict remain available to grades 7 and 8 students in Toronto’s public schools. The 11-member committee was struck in April after a parent made a formal complaint to the ...