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2006 Toronto School Board Elections

For all the apathy and misinformation we find when considering the elections for Toronto City Hall, you find dramatically more when considering the school boards.

If I thought I was unusual, I'd be embarrased to say I don't know the name of my local school trustee. But the fact is many of us don't know and yet will be asked to choose from a list of names at the ballot box on election day.

It would be a mistake to think that the Toronto school boards are not important, even though the provincial government has left them with little power and no money. Our schools are vitally important, especially in this city where so many students arrive without English and without much familial knowledge about how Canada works. And our school boards are the only elected representatives who are there to stand up for these schools.

Warren Kinsella recently pointed to the blog of TDSB trustee Bruce Davis. Kinsella was recommending him for mayor, but I've enjoyed reading his strong comments on the challenges faced by the board.

He recently began a post this way:

In this morning's newspapers Premier McGuinty was quoted as saying that school boards need to take more responsibility for how we manage our money (I am paraphrasing). Considering we are in the middle of school board elections and I am one of the incumbents targeted by the Premier, let me take a minute in our defense...

And I'd strongly recommend reading the whole thing for a summary of Toronto's school woes.

Meanwhile, you can find the names of this year's candidates online. My current TDSB trustee is apparently Rick Telfer, but the upcoming election is being contested by Gord Crann (a former NDP candidate for provincial office)and Cathy Dandy (a leader of the Toronto Parent Network).

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