2014 TDSB Election: Ward 18 – Scarborough Southwest

The Incumbent:

Elizabeth Moyer

The Race

The incumbent, Elizabeth Moyer has received a fair amount of media attention during this term due to spending indiscretions and alleged questionable behaviour. There is a large roster of candidates looking to take over in Ward 18 with some who have shared their ideas below.

Candidates Who Did Not Participate:  Abida Abida, Azim Dewan, Naser Kaid, Parthi Kandavel, Michael Opoku, Don Stuart

The Breakdown

  • Candidate Response
    Dale, Gaye I know that staff can assist in determining where cuts can be made without drastically affecting the quality of education and the safety of students. I would work to improve communication and trust between elected trustees and staff to enable this exchange. Further, I will work with my colleagues on the TDSB to gain consensus so that the board's decisions are truly a reflection of all its representatives. Cuts at the school board should never be at the cost of the student.
    Heffernan, Tim The issue is not overspending but underfunding.  Why is it that our board is in a deficit, yet it never seems to get the grant money for the needy students that require it?
    Moyer, Elizabeth As the former Audit Chair I can assure you that there is still much work to be done. I was the only Audit Committee Trustee who was willing to go to the Minister of Education with my concerns with the external members (non-Trustees). The Board currently has a balanced budget achieved through some significant spending reductions.  There are still ways to achieve more savings by putting better controls in place, better management, stopping bad practice and assessing contributions to organizations that are outside the TDSB mandate.
    Stergianis, John Spending against budgets should always be tracked and explained, and variances need to be highlighted and investigated. Also, we cannot allow instances where budgets are passed, knowing that they can never be met.

  • Candidate Response
    Dale, Gaye Lease rather than purchase any additional required capital assets, Further reduce administrative Costs: for example – reduce photocopying/paper cost – investigate outsourcing of reprographic services, Reduce administrative costs associated with provincial compliance (paperwork), Increase revenue from rental of school properties during off-hours (permitting), Increase foreign-student program revenue
    Heffernan, Tim 1. Cut back on Trustee retreats, junkets and individual expense accounts, 2. Invest more in retrofitting properties to make them energy efficient (initial investment expense that will provide long term savings) 3. Expand the programme of installing solar panels on school roofs so that TDSB can get more revenue from feed-in tariffs, 4. Cut back on the number of Superintendents and other senior staff. 5. The big one – get the whole Board of Trustees onside to press the province to move to one secular, publicly funded education system (i.e. ending the funding to the separate R.C. system)
    Moyer, Elizabeth 1. Using technology better – assess what can be done cheaper or more efficiently using the best resources 2. Shared services – who could we be working with to save costs?  3. Focusing on our mandate – educating our students.  4. Having departments do ‘zero base budgeting’ rather than getting the budgets they’ve always had – make sure that every line item is necessary and has a mandate to our core mandate. 5. What are other Boards doing to reduce their costs that we can adopt?
    Stergianis, John I cannot give an informed answer without reviewing and analysing the budgets.

  • Candidate Response
    Dale, Gaye No
    Heffernan, Tim No
    Moyer, Elizabeth No
    Stergianis, John No

  • Candidate Response
    Dale, Gaye The paperwork necessary to complete Individual Education Plans and Identification,Placement and Review Committee along with school placement committees needs to be reassessed by the government. In the past 15 years, an IEP has grown to become, in some cases, a ten page document. We need to work closer with the government so that the online process of reporting is used by all schools and the amount of time necessary for this process is reduced. This will allow teachers and administrators to work with the students rather than filling out paperwork. This is just one way I think we could improve Special Education.
    Heffernan, Tim The Ministry of Education has mandated its plan for inclusion for special needs students but school boards are backtracking. Guaranteeing that there is sufficient staffing and resources to meet the needs of all special needs students and their families is essential. In general, I favour the integrated model over the congregated one for Special  Education.
    Moyer, Elizabeth Recently the TDSB did a Special Education Audit, although I can’t comment on it publically as it’s a private document it did highlight that there is a lot the board could be doing better. If re-elected I will be advocating to do things in the best interest of students.
    Stergianis, John I agree that special education is vital. I won’t offer a plan on such a complex issue without in depth research and interviews.

  • Candidate Response
    Dale, Gaye I would like to see the board do 'bottom up' budgeting: looking at what the needs are in each area and eliminate things that have become unnecessary.
    Heffernan, Tim That was not the fault of the TDSB but of the government funding model and how it expects Boards to foot the bill for its own initiatives.
    Moyer, Elizabeth The deficit ballooned to $109 million because the last board did not address the issues and left it as a problem for this current board – that should not be allowed to happen again. It was a hard decision to finally make the necessary permanent reductions, but as a Board this term, we have voted to make those hard budget cuts to bring us closer to sustainability on the operating side.
    Stergianis, John The deficit can’t be addressed properly until it is analysed. For example, I would look into where the spending was higher than expected. Are these expenses new or recurring? Are the budgets unrealistic and unlikely to be met?

  • Candidate Response
    Dale, Gaye Strict adherence to a legitimate tendering process so that the most cost effective solutions are identified is a way to keep costs under control. This should then be followed by the oversight of the contracts and work done.
    Heffernan, Tim Deferred maintenance is a product of under funding and dubious maintenance contracts. If capital refurbishments are required, money has to be found for them but not through robbing the operating budget.
    Moyer, Elizabeth We need to look at new sources of capital dollars, whether through solar panels, redevelopment projects or partnerships.
    Stergianis, John Expenses of this nature can usually be predicted and estimated. The buildings need to be maintained properly, not only for the safety and comfort of the students and staff, but also to maintain values and avoid costlier repairs in the future.

  • Candidate Response
    Dale, Gaye Yes
    Heffernan, Tim No
    Moyer, Elizabeth Yes
    Stergianis, John Yes

  • Candidate Response
    Dale, Gaye The best approach for the TDSB during contract negotiations is to work with employees in a fair and  honest way. If teachers and staff are at odds with the board they can’t possibly do their jobs properly.
    Heffernan, Tim Fair and open negotiations should be the rule. Respect free collective bargaining and ensure the government doesn't trample over the rights of teachers/education workers as they did before.
    Moyer, Elizabeth Most of the bargaining will now take place at a provincial level. We need to stay within the framework the Ministry is prepared to fund.
    Stergianis, John I’m not sure what is meant by “approach”. Ultimately everyone wants to reach a deal where all sides are satisfied.

  • Candidate Response
    Dale, Gaye Yes
    Heffernan, Tim Yes
    Moyer, Elizabeth Will consider
    Stergianis, John Will consider

  • Candidate Response
    Heffernan, Tim I am not well disposed to a culture that “respects a budget” and “spends money wisely” when buildings are falling apart and students don’t get the resources they need.
    Moyer, Elizabeth What the media has reported is an incomplete story. There are 2 issues with the above statements. First of all there is an issue that perhaps the wrong person was sent to do a job and so that is a management decision that needs to be fixed. Secondly, some of the information was charged/billed incorrectly and was later fixed. Both of these issues suggest that there are systemic issues that must be addressed and fixed.
    Stergianis, John Expenditures should always be reviewed to ensure the best value for each tax dollar.

 

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?

    I know that this has been a problem since the amalgamation of the board. Over-spending can lead to the province wresting control from the elected board of trustees therefore it is of crucial importance to work within budget limitations. Based upon my past experience, I know that staff can assist in determining where cuts can be made without drastically affecting the quality of education and the safety of students. I would work to improve communication and trust between elected trustees and staff to enable this exchange. Further, I will work with my colleagues on the TDSB to gain consensus so that the board’s decisions are truly a reflection of all its representatives. Cuts at the school board should never be at the cost of the student.

    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.

    Lease rather than purchase any additional required capital assets
     Further reduce administrative Costs: for example – reduce photocopying/paper cost – investigate
    outsourcing of reprographic services
     Reduce administrative costs associated with provincial compliance (paperwork)
     Increase revenue from rental of school properties during off-hours (permitting)
     Increase foreign-student program revenue

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

    We need to look at where we can find the savings without putting the burden on the taxpayers.

    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?

    I think we need to reconsider what has been done in the past successfully to make special education work. For instance, the paperwork necessary to complete Individual Education Plans and Identification,Placement and Review Committee along with school placement committees needs to be reassessed by the government. In the past 15 years, an IEP has grown to become, in some cases, a ten page document. We need to work closer with the government so that the online process of reporting is used by all schools and the amount of time necessary for this process is reduced. This will allow teachers and administrators to work with the students rather than filling out paperwork. This is just one way I think we could improve Special Education.

    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?

    I would like to see the board do ‘bottom up’ budgeting: looking at what the needs are in each area and eliminate things that have become unnecessary. This should be done as part of the normal budget process so that money is directed towards students in the classroom rather than spending on programs and materials that happens year after year just because it’s always been done that way.

    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?

    Strict adherence to a legitimate tendering process so that the most cost effective solutions are identified is a way to keep costs under control. This should then be followed by the oversight of the contracts and work done. I think it is a dangerous thing to not repair the roofs in the system. When the roof leaks the loss of equipment and the possibility of mould growing within our schools is a danger to both students and staff. Unfortunately, some schools have been left too long and extensive repairs may be necessary. If they had been handled in a quick manner the costs might not have gotten out of control.

    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?

    I fortunately have witnessed the support of the CFL in Borden B.T.I. Exceptional young athletes were not only mentored but financially assisted to become an award winning football team. I am totally in favour of seeking private investment provided the quality of education offered to TDSB students is not jeopardized.

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

    The best approach for the TDSB during contract negotiations is to work with employees in a fair and  honest way. If teachers and staff are at odds with the board they can’t possibly do their jobs properly.

    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?

    I feel that when you employ a person you can ask them to assist you with what needs to be done. If a job is outsourced you will not be able to control the costs that may be incurred to complete required work. When you outsource, you have no ownership over what happens. That being said, it is critical that future contracts provide increased flexibility to the board to identify and exercise options to control maintenance costs.

    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?​

    I think a review of the process for maintenance and facility work orders and associated costs is appropriate. Staff reporting back to the board about costs should be a frequent part of our monthly package.

  • 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 issue is not overspending but underfunding. Yes there are lines in the budget that are over spent e.g. retreats for Trustees in luxury hotels; irrelvant professional development programmes for teachers; raises that for upper management in times when teachers and support staff have had to accept the austerity demands of the government.

    This year, the Board was in debt by $50 million. Over the past three years, the Board has cut almost 1,500 staff positions. Less than one half of these cuts came from declining enrolment. The rest were due to additional funding cuts by the provincial government. The province recommended that, to balance the budget, trustees needed to cut music instructors, librarians and school budgets. On the capital side –
    used for major repairs, additions and new schools – funding is now so tight that the board is considering selling off playgrounds where children play every day.

    Why is it that our board is in a deficit, yet it never seems to get the grant money for the needy students that require it?

    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’m against the idea of selling school buildings/properties that are vacant or underutilized. Shortfalls in operating expenses (the fault of the provincial government – see above) should not be met by selling off the Board’s fixed assets, even if there is a temporary under utilization of some of them.
    Five areas of savings:
    1. Cut back on Trustee retreats, junkets and individual expense accounts, e.g use of Board money to produce expensive brochures that get distributed to all voters in a ward and serve mainly as fluff pieces to promote the profile of the incumbent trustee.
    2. Invest more in retrofitting properties to make them energy efficient (initial investment expense that will provide long term savings)
    3. Expand the programme of installing solar panels on school roofs so that TDSB can get more revenue from feed-in tariffs (again, initial investment expense that will provide long term savings)
    4. Cut back on the number of Superintendents and other senior staff.
    5. The big one – get the whole Board of Trustees onside to press the province to move to one secular, publicly funded education system (i.e. ending the funding to the separate R.C. system) – savings of approx $1.5bn. a year

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

    I am not in favour of general tax increases on ordinary working people. However, unless we are aiming for a selfish and unequal system where everyone pays for the education they can afford, taxation is necessary. In the TDSB it is common knowledge that schools in more affluent areas fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. This is money that should be going to the common good, not directly back into those already affluent families’ services. This is just one of the many issues which create great inequality in TDSB schools. It is only through appropriate taxation that inequalities such as this can be addressed. By approriate taxation, I mean increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals. I am ashamed of politicians and business leaders who boast of Canada being one of the tax havens of the world. If Burger King can take over Tim Horton’s and relocate to Oakville, let’s welcome them with a hefty tax on their profits that will go directly to the funding of education – but not just in Oakville.

    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?

    We have a legal and moral responsibility to provide students identified as Special  Education with all that they require to succeed.

    The Ministry of Education has mandated its plan for inclusion for special needs students but school boards are backtracking. For example, in the TDSB, by June 2017, the proportion of students placed in congregated Special Education classes will be reduced by 50%. Guaranteeing that there is sufficient staffing and resources to meet the needs of all special needs students and their families is essential. In general, I favour the integrated model over the congregated one for Special  Education.

    The government’s Declining Enrolment Working Group in 2009, reported that special education grants should be revised to better reflect the needs of special education students. Teachers need additional professional support to successfully integrate students with identified special needs students into regular classrooms. Teachers are reporting an increase in incidents of violence on the part of students with psychological and behavioural issues. To address these issues, classrooms require more access to educational assistants, behavioural counsellors, child and youth workers, psychologists, and speech and language pathologists. I would argue for basing special education grants on the educational needs of students -increase the funding allocation for staff in the aforementioned areas.

    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?

    That was not the fault of the TDSB but of the government funding model and how it expects Boards to foot the bill for its own initiatives.

    The provincial government today argues that, at the TDSB, funding is up by 33 per cent over the past eight years, and enrolment is down by 12.5 per cent. So how is it that funding is up and enrolment is down, but the board is facing shortfalls each year? The answer is in the difference between gross and net funding.

    If the province gives a school board an additional $100, but tells it to spend $120 on full-day kindergarten, then gross funding may be up, but the net funding is down and the board is facing shortfalls.

    The economist Hugh Mackenzie calculates that between 1998 and 2009, when you tally the additional costs to schools of inflation and provincial actions such as the class cap, provincially negotiated pay increases, and literacy and numeracy initiatives, net funding is down across the province by $450 per student per year.

    The introduction of full-day kindergarten has added to the net funding shortfalls at the TDSB.

    To address the deficit going forward? See my suggestions above.

    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?

    Deferred maintenance is a product of under funding and dubious maintenance contracts. If capital refurbishments are required, money has to be found for them but not through robbing the operating budget.

    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?

    Public education must be publicly funded through normal revenues. I am against private investment or corporate sponsorhips for any school based activity, curricular or extra-curricular.

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

    Fair and open negotiations should be the rule. Respect free collective bargaining and ensure the government doesn’t trample over the rights of teachers/education workers as they did before. If we are concerned about student success, the morale of front line workers is important. Employees who feel that they have been shafted or are generally unappreciated are less likely to perform well or be motivated to go the extra model. The Finnish model, where teachers are highly valued and well paid, is often touted as the education success story of the modern era

    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?

    No doubt, there should be and there will be changes to the agreement but I prefer to leave contractual negotiations to the parties concerned rather than lay down strict paramters beforehand.

    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?​

    See points above. I am not well disposed to a culture that “respects a budget” and “spends money wisely” when buildings are falling apart and students don’t get the resources they need.

  • 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?

    As the former Audit Chair I can assure you that there is still much work to be done. I was the only Audit Committee Trustee who was willing to go to the Minister of Education with my concerns with the external members (non-Trustees). The Ernst and Young Report that was issued in December 2013 noted every point we had raised. The Board has yet to deal with the E&Y report.

    The Board currently has a balanced budget achieved through some significant spending reductions. Those were hard decisions that I supported. Fiscal responsibility is challenging when faced with student achievement and well-being. We need to continue to advocate for funding improvements to reflect the needs of a very diverse large urban school board. We need to ensure that we advocate for funding in categories that may be outside of the standard funding formula from the province.

    There are still ways to achieve more savings by putting better controls in place, better management, stopping bad practice and assessing contributions to organizations that are outside the TDSB mandate.

    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.

    1. Using technology better – assess what can be done cheaper or more efficiently using the best resources e.g. our spending with IT providers should be more scrutinized to ensure we are getting the best for the best price. We now have lots of data on all sorts of things – we need to use this data.
    2. Shared services – who could we be working with to save costs? E.g. sharing large enterprise software systems with other public sector entities such as school boards, the city, hospitals, universities, colleges, other municipalities?
    3. Focusing on our mandate – educating our students. What are some of the things that we are doing as a Board that other levels of government or other organizations should be providing instead?
    4. Having departments do ‘zero base budgeting’ rather than getting the budgets they’ve always had – make sure that every line item is necessary and has a mandate to our core mandate.
    5. What are other Boards doing to reduce their costs that we can adopt? Many other boards have made changes that TDSB should be adopting as well.

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

    There is no appetite for new taxes from anyone – times are tough and we must learn to do things better. The property tax has the education component, the challenge is that monies raised in Toronto are going elsewhere in the province.

    There are ways to leverage new funds by having the province change their stance on a few items
    a. When TDSB properties are sold or redistributed, the TDSB would receive a value at a Fair Market Price
    b. allowing the TDSB to receive the same funds as the Catholic board on new builds which is known as EDC – Educational Development Charges

    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?

    Recently the TDSB did a Special Education Audit, although I can’t comment on it publically as it’s a private document it did highlight that there is a lot the board could be doing better. If re-elected I will be advocating to do things in the best interest of 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 deficit ballooned to $109 million because the last board did not address the issues and left it as a problem for this current board – that should not be allowed to happen again. It was a hard decision to finally make the necessary permanent reductions, but as a Board this term, we have voted to make those hard budget cuts to bring us closer to sustainability on the operating side. There are many changes that could still be made without severely impacting student achievement and well-being and I will be looking to make those changes in my next term. It is also important to continue to advocate for Toronto students’ fair share of provincial funding to support their needs and that any uniqueness of the TDSB is funded.

    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?

    We need to look at new sources of capital dollars, whether through solar panels, redevelopment projects or partnerships.

    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?

    Partnerships can be a good thing and the TDSB has demonstrated that they can benefit students; including partnerships or investments by our unions. Some examples that are currently in place are financial literacy, Argos support of local schools’ football teams (in this case it’s been more than financial – they have run workshops etc which have benefitted students) and student nutrition programs. However, private investments in our schools has to be evaluated responsibly and there needs to be some parameters and consultation with our stakeholders.

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

    Most of the bargaining will now take place at a provincial level. We need to stay within the framework the Ministry is prepared to fund.

    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?

    Every collective agreement and all contracts should be reviewed to ensure that it is fair to both our employees and the TDSB. We need to continue to assess how we do business with all our stakeholders. We need to work together on how to best proceed. As a Board, we also need the flexibility to use dollars in the most efficient way while providing a fair and equitable workplace and work environment for our employees.

    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?​

    What the media has reported is an incomplete story. There are 2 issues with the above statements. First of all there is an issue that perhaps the wrong person was sent to do a job and so that is a management decision that needs to be fixed. Secondly, some of the information was charged/billed incorrectly and was later fixed. Both of these issues suggest that there are systemic issues that must be addressed and fixed.

    Finally it should be noted that senior staff gave the media information that put our schools and students at risk and the costs to fix this error was hundreds of thousands of dollars which was higher than the original problems reported.

  • 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?

    Spending against budgets should always be tracked and explained, and variances need to be highlighted and investigated. Also, we cannot allow instances where budgets are passed, knowing that they can never be met.

    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 cannot give an informed answer without reviewing and analysing the budgets.

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

    I don’t support a dedicated education tax. A dedicated tax makes it easier to increase spending with small marginal rate increases that may seem inconsequential, but that increase the over-all tax burden.

    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?

    I agree that special education is vital. I won’t offer a plan on such a complex issue without in depth research and interviews.

    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 deficit can’t be addressed properly until it is analysed. For example, I would look into where the spending was higher than expected. Are these expenses new or recurring? Are the budgets unrealistic and unlikely to be met?

    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?

    Expenses of this nature can usually be predicted and estimated. The buildings need to be maintained properly, not only for the safety and
    comfort of the students and staff, but also to maintain values and avoid costlier repairs in the future.

    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?

    It’s wonderful to have businesses contribute funds or resources to the educational system, but only if offered as gifts and not as promotional tools.

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

    I’m not sure what is meant by “approach”. Ultimately everyone wants to reach a deal where all sides are satisfied.

    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?

    All agreements should be assessed and reviewed before renewing.

    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?​

    Expenditures should always be reviewed to ensure the best value for each tax dollar.