Catholic Board candidates defend fiscal positions

Fiscal responsibility and faith were top-of-mind issues for both trustee candidates and constituents at a recent debate for Toronto Catholic District School Board seats.

Bishop Marrocco-Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School hosted a meet ‘n’ greet with TCDSB trustee candidates, last night. Although only three of the five candidates attended, education and spending were hot topics.

Trustee candidate Andre Bastian suggested that his background in law gave him requisite skill to become a school board trustee.

“I understand the ledger… and I know how to balance the budget,” Bastian said.

Meanwhile, incumbent Barbara Poplawski, with her bank statements in hand, assured the Ward 10 community members that she knows how to budget.

“You can come take a look if you want. I have them all the way from 2006,” she said.

Candidate Mark Lubinski credited his role as a leader in the community as evidence he deserved the trustee position.

“I want someone else to step up to the plate,” Lubinski said, adding that Poplawski is the only TCDSB trustee he’s ever seen in Ward 10.

As candidates attempted to appease voters, Bastian’s said, “I don’t expect any remuneration for my expenses.”

Resident Trudi Cortens attended the meeting. She’s a member of the Madonna House, a volunteer centre offering a Christian message. Her main concern is education, pointing out that she was curious why some teachers in the TCDSB don’t go to church.

During an informal the Q&A session after the meeting, Cortens echoed a statement earlier in the evening by candidate Bastian.

“Secularism is big issue now. (Kids the TCDSB) don’t know their faith and they don’t know where to go,” she said.