2014 TDSB Election: Ward 1 – Etobicoke North

The Incumbent:

John Hastings

The Race

Of the two candidates who responded, Dahir Dalbete seems more inclined towards private investment, while Ricardo Harvey favours a dedicated tax for education. Dalbete has a general respect for taxpayers theme, while Harvey is more inclined towards consultation and community meetings.  The incumbent did not respond to the survey.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate: Tahir Ahmad, Michael Ford, John Hastings, Kim King, Eli Sivalingam, Sandy Zajac

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Dalbete, Dahir Tender all maintenance and repair
    Harvey, Richardo Educate staff and trustees on expenses


  • Candidate Response
    Dalbete, Dahir Increase permit fees, reducing maintenance and utility cost, exploring additional funding to generate additional revenue, reducing administration costs and improving efficiency in the system by using new technologies
    Harvey, Richardo Increase partnership with community service associations.


  • Candidate Response
    Dalbete, Dahir No
    Harvey, Richardo  Yes


  • Candidate Response
    Dalbete, Dahir All new teachers must be prepared to teach, set meaningful objectives, establish required accommodations and ensure regular curriculum is appropriately modified.
    Harvey, Richardo Partnership, strong and adequate support for early learning


  • Candidate Response
    Dalbete, Dahir Eliminate wasteful spending, improve transparency for Trustee expenses, increase community consultation.
    Harvey, Richardo Work with Ministry of Education, meet with community, look at fee for service and space usage


  • Candidate Response
    Dalbete, Dahir Tender all maintenance and repair
    Harvey, Richardo Solar panels on roofs, green energy grants


  • Candidate Response
    Dalbete, Dahir Yes
    Harvey, Richardo No


  • Candidate Response
    Dalbete, Dahir Negotiations based on mutual respect-improve student learning, reduce teacher workloads, focus on student achievement
    Harvey, Richardo Keep children and youth in mind


  • Candidate Response
    Dalbete, Dahir Yes
    Harvey, Richardo Will consider


  • Candidate Response
    Dalbete, Dahir TDSB Board must  eliminate all wasteful spending, MCSTC must respect taxpayers money
    Harvey, Richardo Transparency of finances, educate ourselves about process

 

The full responses

  • 1. Evidence suggests the TDSB was warned in 2006 about spending problems. Previous Chair Chris Bolton chose to ignore these warnings until his resignation. Going forward, how would you address the issue of over-spending at the school board?

    The board has shown a lack of “leadership and accountability” over its building and maintenance issues and the Maintenance and Skilled Trades Council has taken advantage to charge unbelievable cost to repair most of the work they do in schools. This has to stop and the only way to solve this mess is to tender all maintenance repair to maintain transparency and accountability.

    2. The TDSB has been faced with a difficult decision about potentially selling school properties. To avoid this, where would you find savings in future budgets? List your top five specific priorities for savings.

    I will suggest the following:
    1. Increase permit fees
    2. Reducing maintenance and utility cost
    3. Exploring additional funding to generate additional revenue
    4. Reducing administration costs
    5. Improving efficiency in the system by using new technologies

    3. There are candidates who have proposed advocating for a new tax dedicated specifically for education. Is this a proposal you support?

    I do not support any tax on education.

    4. Failures in special education are considered by some to be the greatest failure in the public system. What is your plan for correcting this?

    Children from working class and minority community groups continue to negatively labelled with exceptionalities and special needs in elementary schools, streamed to dead-ends programs that encourage many of them to drop out of secondary schools; and excluded from post-secondary schools.
    All Teachers: all new teachers must be prepared to teach students of all abilities who will be members of their regular classrooms in the future.
    Building for Inclusion: to set meaningful objectives with the highest possible standards, establish the required accommodations and ensure that the regular curriculum is appropriately modified, so it can accommodate all students.

    5. The current board saw the TDSB deficit balloon to $109-million – it’s biggest ever. What is your plan to address this going forward?

    The board’s 2013-2014 school-based staff allocation recommended cutting nearly 250 secondary school teachers positions, along with cuts to guidance teachers, clerical staff, even school-based safety monitors. The recommended cuts to teachers and staff would not eliminate the deficit, only half of it. We need to eliminate wasteful spending, improve transparency for Trustee expenses and increase community consultation to move forward.

    6. The TDSB recently estimated the cost of roof repairs to more than $2.5-million dollars. How would you ensure that necessary capital refurbishments are met within budget?

    The Maintenance and Skilled Trades Council has taken advantage to charge unbelievable cost to repair most of the work they do in schools. This has to stop and the only way to solve this mess is to tender all maintenance repair to maintain transparency and accountability.

    7. Recently the Canadian Football League and Nissan stepped in to help school boards with the costs of organized sports. Do you support seeking more private investment at the TDSB?

    Yes, I do support and this is the way to build collaboration with private and community stakeholders to seek more private investment.

    8. What do you think is the best approach for the TDSB to take in upcoming contract negotiations with teachers and staff?

    Well, negations should be based on mutual respect and including salary, benefits, working conditions, sick leave, vacation, protection from arbitrary discipline, and much, much more. Also the negations should include improve student learning, reducing teacher workloads and issues related to educational initiatives that focus on student achievement

    9. In short time, the agreement between the TDSB and Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council is up for re-negotiation. Do you feel there are changes needed in the current agreement?

    a)TDSB must be able to contract out some jobs
    b) Remove the controversial payment (0.5 per cent of the job value) that had to be given by outside firms to the union every time a job (typically something too big for the council workers) was performed.
    c)Accountability and transparency has to be enforced

    10. TDSB has come under fire for ridiculous expenses – $150 to cut a key, $140 for a pencil sharpener, and a $200 toilet seat are just scratching the surface. How will you bring about a new culture that respects the budget and sees money spent wisely?​

    The TDSB Board has to take responsibility by analysing contracts and expenses and must  eliminate all wasting spending.
    Also, The 900 workers belonging to the Maintenance and Skilled Trades Council who carry out the work have to be honest and work in a professional manner that respect taxpayers money.


    • 1. Evidence suggests the TDSB was warned in 2006 about spending problems. Previous Chair Chris Bolton chose to ignore these warnings until his resignation. Going forward, how would you address the issue of over-spending at the school board?

      WE NEED CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT. I WILL BRING THAT CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT TO THE BOARD. EDUCATING TRUSTEES AND STAFF ON ALLOWABLE EXPENSES AND QUESTIONABLE ONES – ALLOW TRUSTEE AND STAFF TO FOLLOW THE POLICY AND PROCEDURE AROUND SPENDING

      2. The TDSB has been faced with a difficult decision about potentially selling school properties. To avoid this, where would you find savings in future budgets? List your top five specific priorities for savings.

      INCREASE PARTNERSHIP IN OUR SCHOOLS WITH COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATION. THIS IS ONE OF MY PRIORITIES. BRINGING THE SUPPORT AND SERVICES TO THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH AND PARENTS

      3. There are candidates who have proposed advocating for a new tax dedicated specifically for education. Is this a proposal you support?

      THROUGH DEVELOPMENT AND RELATIONSHIP, I WILL WORK FERVENTLY WITH THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND “EDUCATION PREMIER” IN ACHIEVING THIS.

      4. Failures in special education are considered by some to be the greatest failure in the public system. What is your plan for correcting this?

      PARTNERSHIP, STRONG, ADEQUATE SUPPORT, AND SERVICES IN ALL OUR EARLY LEARNING PROGRAMS. THIS IS ONE OF MY PRIORITIES ATTACHED

      5. The current board saw the TDSB deficit balloon to $109-million – it’s biggest ever. What is your plan to address this going forward?

      WORK WITH THE MINISTRY, BUILD ON KNOWLEDGE THROUGH EDUCATING SELF, MEET  WITH COMMUNITY, PARENTS AND STUDENTS, GRASSROOTS GROUPS, ORGANIZATIONS, LOOK AT FEE FOR SERVICE, AND SPACE USAGE IN OUR SCHOOLS AMONGST OTHERS THROUGH – I WILL DO WHAT’S BEST BASE ON CONSULTATION AND INCLUSIVITY OF CHILDREN, YOUTH, PARENTS, FAMILIES, COMMUNITY AND GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION, WHO ARE ALL LEADERS IN EDUCATION TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM.

      6. The TDSB recently estimated the cost of roof repairs to more than $2.5-million dollars. How would you ensure that necessary capital refurbishments are met within budget?

      FOCUS ON THE NEEDS FIRST. REGULAR REPORTING TO THE COMMITTEE, CHILDREN, YOUTH AND PARENTS TO ENSURE IT WITHIN BUDGET. SOLAR PANELS, GREEN ENERGY GRANTS, ETC

      7. Recently the Canadian Football League and Nissan stepped in to help school boards with the costs of organized sports. Do you support seeking more private investment at the TDSB?

      NOT PRIVATE INVESTMENT YET PARTNERSHIP FOR EDUCATION. SERVERAL OF OUR SCHOOLS ALREADY HAVE PARTNERSHIPS WITH DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS IN THEIR COMMUNITY – INSPIRING OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH THROUGH EXPERIENCIAL LEARNING ETC

      8. What do you think is the best approach for the TDSB to take in upcoming contract negotiations with teachers and staff?

      FOLLOW A MEANINGFUL PROCESS, WITH OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN MIND. THEY ARE OUR STAKE HOLDERS. I BELIEVE THAT THROUGH WORKING WITH EACH OTHER WE CAN KEEP MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER

      9. In short time, the agreement between the TDSB and Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council is up for re-negotiation. Do you feel there are changes needed in the current agreement?

      CHANGES REALLY? I WOULD SAY WE MUST MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER INTO A NEW ERA WITH OUR TRADES COUNCIL. LOOK AT GIVING BACK DIRECTLY TO OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH WE SERVE. WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE MAINTENANCE AND CONSTRUCTION SKILL TRADES THAT WE NEED TO START WORKING WITH.

      10. TDSB has come under fire for ridiculous expenses – $150 to cut a key, $140 for a pencil sharpener, and a $200 toilet seat are just scratching the surface. How will you bring about a new culture that respects the budget and sees money spent wisely?

      TRANSPARENCY OF OUR FINANCES – EDUCATE EACH OTHER ABOUT THE PROCESS AROUND THESE TYPES OF TIMES. Working Towards Good Governance ​