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Mike Del Grande, a trustee of the Toronto Catholic District School Board.Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews

TORONTO, November 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In the latest attack on Catholic trustee Michael Del Grande by LGBTQ activists and pro-LGBTQ trustees, the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) agreed to the limited release of the confidential report investigating code of conduct charges against Del Grande that he was cleared of in August.

More significantly, the TCDSB scheduled a special board meeting next Wednesday, when trustees will vote on a motion to release the report to the public and reopen debate on the complaints against Del Grande, according to Joe Volpe, publisher of Corriere Canadese, Canada’s only Italian-language daily print newspaper.

A former federal Liberal cabinet minister, Volpe told LifeSiteNews that the source of his information is board chair Joe Martino.

LifeSiteNews contacted Martino for comment, but he did not reply by deadline.

The confidential report concerns an investigation into code of conduct complaints against Del Grande over a motion he made a year ago when defending Catholic teaching and opposing gender ideology.

On November 7, 2019, after a months’ long and often bitter debate, TCDSB trustees voted 8-4 to amend its code of conduct to add “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds for discrimination.

Just before the vote, Del Grande tabled a motion asking the board to refer the matter to committee to study whether it should add other aberrant sexual behaviors, such as pedophilia and bestiality, as protected categories under the code.

He later said the motion was “hyperbolic” and intended to underscore the consequences of amending the code of conduct.

But he has since been a target of sustained attack by LGBTQ activists, aided by their allies on the board, notably former chair Maria Rizzo, who spearheaded the campaign to add the terms, and trustee Markus de Domenico.

On Wednesday, TCDSB trustees agreed in a nearly three-hour, closed-door session “to release the report on a Code of Conduct matter to complainants, and to direct the chair of the board to send a copy of the report to the minister of education,” according to an email statement from the board attributed to Martino.

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Volpe said Martino told him the report will be released to three of a total of 15 complainants.

These include dissenting Catholic elementary school teacher Paolo De Buono, as well as LGBTQ activist, former TCDSB student trustee, and openly homosexual Kyle Iannuzzi.

Trustee de Domenico told local media earlier this week that he planned to bring a motion Wednesday to request a public release of the confidential report, which De Buono has identified on Twitter as prepared by Michelle Bird of Rubin Thomlinson.

According to the Toronto Star, Education Minister Stephen Lecce also directed the board to release the confidential report, after lesbian and former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne brought the matter up at the provincial legislature last week.

Wynne cited a letter she received from Iannuzzi, and she demanded that Lecce take action on Iannuzzi’s request that the province “intervene in order to secure the release of the report on the homophobic, bigoted behavior and language of trustee Michael Del Grande.”

Lecce agreed that the comments were “deeply disturbing” and his spokesperson told the Toronto Star that the minster “spoke to the leadership of the board to make clear his expectation that the board would deliver on his initial request: a fulsome investigation, a public release of the investigation’s report, and accountability for this trustee’s actions.”

Pro-family groups have denounced the TCDSB’s most recent move.

“This is a disgraceful situation at what is rapidly becoming a Catholic-in-name-only school board,” said Jack Fonseca, director of political operations at Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group.

“Markus de Domenico is especially disgraceful, slandering the good name of his colleague and willfully attacking the moral teachings of the Catholic Church,” added Fonseca.

“There needs to be a movement to demand de Domenico’s resignation. He is clearly unfit for the job and a clear and present danger to the authentic Catholicity of the TCDSB.”

That was echoed by Teresa Pierre, president of the parental rights’ group, Parents as First Educators (PAFE), who described the allegations against Del Grande as “trumped up.”

“PAFE has confidence in the report that found that Michael Del Grande did not misspeak. The accusations against him have no substance whatever,” she told LifeSiteNews in an email.

“In these challenging COVID times everyone should be allowing government officials and trustees to do their jobs and make sure public education is meeting student needs, not wasting their time over trumped-up charges,” Pierre said.

“PAFE hopes that Education Minister Lecce and the school board will see that there is an end to this controversy now.”

Volpe suggested that board politics may well figure into the campaign against Del Grande, a former budget chief for the City of Toronto under Mayor Rob Ford.

The board will be voting in a new chair later this month, and de Domenico is rumored to be eyeing the position, nor has incumbent Martino ruled out another run.

But while politics can involve some “dirty action,” what Del Grande’s opponents are doing is “vicious,” Volpe said.

In December 2019, Del Grande explained the reason for his actions in an article LifeSiteNews published shortly after the board voted against reprimanding him for alleged code of conduct violations.

“I am a faithful Catholic with an informed conscience standing up for Catholic education and Church teachings. The Church is the instrument of eternal salvation for humanity,” he said.

“My Baptismal promises, Confirmation, and Oath of Office have compelled me to speak up. A Catholic school cannot be Catholic if it is not faithful. Simply saying Jesus loves everyone does not mean Jesus condones sin. He loved and forgave the adulteress at the well, but he also told her to ‘go and sin no more’ (John 8:11).”

Del Grande said then that although he has been called a “hero,” that term ought to be reserved for those who suffer martyrdom for the faith.

“I am only harassed, hated, and repudiated for the stand that I took against a gender ideology which is incompatible with the Christian anthropology of the human person – a stand that was twisted by the media and believed by those who needed someone on which to focus their hate.”

Campaign Life Coalition’s Fonseca urged Catholics to contact trustees, Lecce, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford to protest the treatment of Del Grande. 

“All faithful Catholics owe Michael a debt of gratitude,” Fonseca said. “He is being persecuted for Christ.”

Contact: 

Provincial Government
Premier Doug Ford:
416-325-1941 
Email: [email protected]

Education Minister Stephen Lecce
Phone: 416-325-2600 
Email: [email protected]
 
TCDSB trustees:

Joseph Martino, Chair
Phone: 416-512-3401
Email: [email protected]

Angela Kennedy– Ward 11: East York/Toronto
416-512-3411 
Email: [email protected]

Nancy Crawford – Ward 12: Scarborough
Phone: 416-512-3412 E-Mail: [email protected]

Daniel Di Giorgio – Ward 10: Toronto
Phone: 416-512-3410 
Email[email protected]

Frank D'Amico, CD– Ward 6: York
Phone: 416-512-3406
Email:[email protected]

Norm Di Pasquale – Ward 9: Toronto
Phone: 416-512-3409
Email:[email protected]

Ida Li Preti – Ward 3: North York
Phone: 416-512-3403
Phone: 416-222-8282 Ext.2660 
Email: [email protected]

Teresa Lubinski – Ward 4: Parkdale-High Park, Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Phone: 416-512-3404
Email: [email protected]

Garry Tanuan- Ward 8: Scarborough
Phone: 416-512-3408
Email: [email protected]

Michael Del Grande -Ward 7: Scarborough/ North York
Phone: 416-512-3407 
Email: [email protected]

Markus de Domenico- Ward 2: Etobicoke
 Phone: 416-512-3402 
Email: [email protected]

Maria Rizzo – Ward 5: North York
Phone: 416-512-3405 
Email: [email protected]

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