Toronto Catholic school trustee responds to board rejecting his latest appeal
TORONTO, December 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Editor's note: Below is a statement from Mike del Grande upon the Toronto Catholic District School Board rejecting his appeal. Read full LifeSiteNews coverage of the case HERE.
I am disappointed – and in disbelief – that the Board voted 8-1 to reject my appeal, with two trustees abstaining in protest of the unlawful nature of the second determination. I am consulting with my legal team about taking this matter to court for judicial review. I are confident that the court will set aside the unlawful second determination, and affirm the original acquittal of August 20th which found me not guilty.
I was re-tried when there is no statutory authority to do so. There was no new evidence. The complaint was the same. The parties were the same. The rule of law requires that court rulings about issue estoppel, res judicata, and abuse of process must be observed. Otherwise, every elected official can expect to be repeatedly re-tried until enough votes are obtained to reverse engineer a desired adverse outcome against an accused and previously acquitted trustee. This issue is far bigger than the personal hatred and animosity that has been directed against me for faithfully doing my duty as a Catholic trustee.
My freedom of speech is at stake. So is due process, freedom of religion and the rule of law. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms must be complied with by all public bodies, including the Toronto Catholic District School Board.
There are many unanswered questions the public needs to ask. Why would Minister Lecce, after my acquittal, put pressure on individual Board members to change their minds, and to hold a fresh pre-determined vote, when he and the Board are not legally permitted to do this? Why is this Catholic School Board accepting legal advice from a law firm that publicly advocates LGBTQ+ political goals and its legal agenda, instead of a law firm that is neutral? Why did the Board fail to provide my complete and legible legal submissions, in a timely manner, depriving me of fairness and a full opportunity for my appeal to be heard? Why was trustee Rizzo permitted to cast a vote, now that it has been publicly exposed that she may have been ineligible to vote? If the allegation is true, without her vote, the Second Determination would have resulted in my acquittal on November 11, 2020 too.
I take seriously my religious oath of office and fiduciary duty to defend the spiritual well-being and proper religious formation of all Catholic students in Toronto. I will continue to execute my duties faithfully, according to the TCDSB’s constitutional imperative and with genuine love for children whose parents have entrusted them to Catholic schools in order to receive an authentic Catholic formation. If our schools lose their Catholicity, what is the point of having a Separate system?