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TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) –– In a betrayal of Catholic doctrine, at least three trustees for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, including the vice-chair himself, have voiced their opposition to two pro-life initiatives proposed by one of their fellow trustees: to fly the pro-life flag at all district schools in May and to educate students about the pro-life cause on the same day as the Canadian March for Life.  

TCDSB school trustee for Scarborough – Agincourt Michael Del Grande recently introduced a motion which, if passed, would mandate that every school in the district, as well as the school board’s head office, fly the international pro-life flag every year for the entire month of May. 

Del Grande’s motion read:  


As a public expression of this Board’s fidelity to the pro-life teachings of the Church and to Catholic education, all TCDSB schools, the Catholic Education Center, and Office of the Board, shall fly the International Pro-Life Flag, annually, throughout the month of May, commencing May 1, 2024. 

Additionally, Del Grande’s motion would mandate that each TCDSB school spend the day of the Canadian March for Life, which is being held on May 9 this year, studying a special pro-life curriculum.  

The motion will soon be debated at a public meeting scheduled to take place on April 23.  

However, no less than three TCDSB trustees, Kevin Morrison, Maria Rizzo, and vice-chair of the board Markus de Domenico, have all made comments to legacy media in which they have voiced their opposition to Del Grande’s Catholic motion.  

LifeSiteNews contacted the three aforementioned trustees, asking them a series of questions regarding their apparent opposition to having the pro-life flag flown at Catholic schools in May.  

One question asked was if the trustees believe, their “Opposition to the pro-life flag is a violation of your Oath of Office, sworn to the diocesan bishop of Toronto?” 

Another question asked was what would they say to people who “Characterize your opposition to the pro-life flag as supporting the practice of abortion?” 

As of press time, Morrison, Rizzo, and de Domenico have not replied to LifeSiteNews with comments.  

Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) Director of Political Operations Jack Fonseca said in comments sent to LifeSiteNews that Del Grande’s motion serves to “symbolize the Catholic Church’s defense of the sanctity of human life,” and that the trustees going against him are “heretical.”

“Disgracefully, three of the heretical trustees on his board have mounted a media campaign to oppose the pro-life flag and to paint a false narrative about it being ‘an American style political maneuver’ that has no place in education, as a cover for their wicked voting intention, which will essentially be a vote in support of abortion,” said Fonseca. 

Morrison, in recent comments published on the left-leaning Toronto Star, claimed that Del Grande’s motion was a result of “an outside political group,” and said it was a “complete waste of our time” and that it was “bizarre.” 

He then said that flying a pro-life flag at a Catholic school “has nothing to do with education – it’s politics,” despite the Church’s unchangeable moral teaching that abortion is gravely immoral and must never be tolerated.  

Morrison was also quoted as saying in the Toronto Star that Del Grande’s motion does “nothing to advance education” or “the problems we’re dealing with.”  

Morrison additionally claimed that as the TCDSB has a Respect for Life Week in May, Del Grande’s motion is a “duplication of efforts.” 

As for Rizzo, she is quoted as saying that she does not like “American-style politics coming to the boardroom,” and that the whole motion is about “politicizing the boardroom for a third party.” 

In comments on a Toronto radio show, de Domenico defended his past vote in support of flying the LGBT “pride” flag – which represents an ideology unchangeably condemned  by the Church – while arguing against the pro-life flag. 

“I will definitely be voting against it, it’s not what we do as a Catholic board,” he asserted. “This is just American style, red meat politics which is so divisive and not appropriate.”  

He also said that “we all support the sacredness of life,” but said he does not believe the flag will “fly at all.”  

He then called out CLC directly, saying he “always been at odds with” with the group for its positions regarding LGBT issues – which are in line with the Catholic Church’s positions. 

Del Grande’s motion aims to serve as a symbol of “solidarity with the National March for Life taking place on May 9 in Ottawa and will help to invigorate a culture of life in all students and staff,” noted CLC President Jeff Gunnarson. 

As reported by LifeSiteNews, the TCDSB in recent months has seemingly had no issues with promoting a pro-LGBT agenda, as can be seen after earlier this year it recommended its staff watch a pro-LGBT play about a little girl who thinks she is a boy. 

Similarly, on January 16, the TCDSB Women’s Affinity Group scheduled to host “Women in Education: A Dialogue with Mitzie Hunter on empowering leadership,” featuring anti-family and anti-life former Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter.  

In November of 2023, the TCDSB invited Pro-LGBT Fr. James Martin, SJ, to lecture staff and faculty on how to be “welcoming” to students who identify as “2SLGBTQ+.”  

As for Del Grande, he has been facing ongoing legal battles after being canceled for going against the LGBT agenda. He was tried before a tribunal of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) for objecting to the addition of transgender ideology into the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s policies and for defending the Catholic Church’s teaching that abortion is morally wrong.  

LifeSiteNews also contacted the office of the Archdiocese of Toronto, asking if Archbishop Francis Leo would comment on the matter, but was told by Neil MacCarthy Director, Public Relations & Communications for the Archdiocese, that “His Grace” will “not” be commenting on the matter. 

Pope John Paul II’s pro-life encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), affirmed the Church’s constant, traditional and historical teaching on the sanctity of human life and the gravity of the crime of abortion. 

Vote for motion is ‘not a matter of politics but of faith in action,’ says Del Grande  

Trustee Del Grande replied to LifeSiteNews when asked why he feels some of his fellow trustees oppose his pro-life motion.  

“Opposition to this motion will reveal which trustees have the courage to oppose abortion and be faithful to their oath of office,” said Del Grande to LifeSiteNews in a statement.  

“To vote for this motion is a public affirmation of integrity and loyalty to the religious teachings of the Church, which is the fundamental reason why Catholic schools exist.” 

Del Grande said that a vote in favor of his motion is “not a matter of politics but of faith in action.” 

“Silence in the face of the ongoing deaths of millions of unborn children is at the very least, moral complicity supporting the act of abortion,” he told LifeSiteNews. 

Del Grande also noted that some of the trustees’ media statements in opposition of his motion, “alleging without proof there is American style politics at play,” is concerning. 

“They suggest that the Pro-Life flag is American, even though it was in fact designed by a Brazilian artist, Nanda Gasparini. Yet these same trustees may have no problem supporting flying the American Pride flag which was designed by a gay American artist named Gilbert Baker and first flown on June 25, 1978, in San Francisco at the Gay Freedom Day parade,” he observed.  

“Opponents of this motion are unsupported by the teachings of the Catholic Church. That may be why their media comments distract the public from what is at stake, the defense of innocent and vulnerable human beings from death.” 

Del Grande said that his motion is an “opportunity for Catholic school board trustees to show solidarity in their Catholic faith and to be role models for the students to see.” 

“To vote in favor of this motion is to publicly support all human beings to have equality before the law, to establish justice for the unborn, and to remember with dignity the deaths of millions of innocent unborn human beings from abortion,” he said.  

School board’s by-laws state trustees are obligated to ‘Follow the Teaching Magisterium of the Church’  

Del Grande comments sent to LifeSiteNews note that when it comes to supporting his pro-life motion, the fact of the matter is that trustees are obligated, as per TCDSB by-laws, to “Follow the Teaching Magisterium of the Church,” as sworn in the yearly “oath of office” (3.2.9).” 

“Each Trustee is committed to be faithful to the teachings of the Church, and fidelity to the primacy of the Pope and the authority of the Magisterium (oath of office),” reads the by-law. 

As for the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it proclaims, as noted by Del Grande, in section 2270, that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.”  

Section 2271 of the Catechism affirms that “[s]ince the first century, the Church has affirmed the “moral evil of every procured abortion.” 

“This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” 

Section 2272 reads, “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.”  

As for section 2273, it affirms the “inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constituent element of a civil society and its legislation: The inalienable right to life of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority.” 

To respectfully voice your opinion regarding Del Grande’s pro-life motion, please contact: 

TCDSB Trustees  

Joseph Martino
Ward 1: Etobicoke
Phone: 416-512-3401
Email: [email protected] 

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

Ida Li Preti
Ward 3: North York
Phone: 416-512-3403
Email: [email protected] 

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

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

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

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

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

Kevin Morrison
Ward 9: Toronto
Phone: 416-512-3409
Email: [email protected] 

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

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

Nancy Crawford (Chair)
Ward 12: Scarborough
Phone: 416-512-3412
Email: [email protected] 

Archbishop Francis Leo  

Phone: (416) 934-0606  

Email:[email protected]