The battle continues
Regular readers of the Caribbean Camera would no doubt remember the name Charline Grant.
She is the Jamaica-born mother of three young children who has been having her battles with the York Region District School Board and was a candidate for trustee for the Board in municipal elections last October.
Well, Grant is running again for the same position in a by-election next month.
And this is most unfortunate.
We – and many voters in York Region – believe she should not be running in the by-election scheduled for April 25.
In fact we believe there should be no by-election.
Grant should have been called upon to fill the position made vacant by the sudden resignation of the candidate who won the election in Vaughan wards one and two – the same wards in which Grant was running.
Grant was the first runner-up. Thousands of people voted for her and she could have filled the position .
The Board certainly had the option to call upon her to fill the position. But what did it do?
It decided instead to call a by-election.
For those who may not have been following the story about Grant and her troubles with the Board, we would like to point that she has been fighting a long and hard battle against racism.
She had complained hat her son was called “intimidating” and “angry” by his teachers because of his race.
And in an incident in 2016, she was called a nigger by trustee Nancy Elgie who resigned after Grant launched a complaint about the racial slur.
In April 2017, a three-month investigation of the Board by the provincial government found that students, parents and staff had had feelings of “alienation, marginalization and discrimination” and that a culture of fear was rampant within the Board.
Mitzie Hunter, then Ontario minister of education, who had appointed two provincial reviewers to investigate the Board, ordered it to implement 22 directives. These included establishing a human rights office, reinstating the Every Student Counts survey that will capture “statistics relating to incidents of racism” and ongoing training for all staff on equity and human rights.
Last year Grant was turned down when she tried to get on the Board’s parent advisory committee.
That, she said, t was the reason she decided to run for the position of trustee.
Clearly, her battles with the Board are not yet over.
However, as we report in this issue of the Caribbean Camera, the Board’s decision to go through the lengthy, time-consuming and costly process of holding a by-election has angered many voters.
We hope that they will be angry enough to go back and vote in the by-election and send the right message to the Board.
He said…she said
In the hurley burley of politics, shouting matches are not uncommon.
But they are often between people from different political camps.
So when a Liberal member of Parliament from our own community was allegedly involved in a shouting match with her own Liberal Prime Minister, well, we sat up and took notice.
Only last week, the Liberal MP in question, Celina Caesar Chavannes from Whitby, Ontario, said she was not seeking re-election.
This week we learned from mainstream media reports, that after she told Prime Minister Trudeau she was not going to run, he shouted at her.
And, according to Caesar Chavennes herself, she shouted back.
At this stage, we really do not know what happened in the conversation between the MP and the Prime Minister.
Did he shout at her? And did she shout back?
A spokesman at the Prime Minister’s office denied that Trudeau shouted at Caesar Chavannes.
What really happened?
Will we ever learn the truth?