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Dome plan inches closer

February 15th, 2015 · No Comments

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has signed a deal with a developer, Razor Management, which contemplates applying an artificial surface and winter dome over the Central Tech playing field. The current slate of school board trustees is at the end of their term of office. The newly elected trustees, together with the two city councillors for the area Mike Layton and Joe Cressy, wrote a letter urging the current board to hold off the decision since they felt that signing the deal was premature and was not a concept they supported.

Tim Grant, the chair of the Harbord Village Residents’ Association (HVRA), said he is “not surprised” by the decision, “but the outgoing board made a decision that is very disappointing. The wishes of the voters in this area were totally ignored. This issue was very much part of the city council election and school trustee election. There were ‘pro-dome’ candidates in each election, and in total, they got no more than 10% of the vote.”

Outgoing local TDSB trustee Briony Glassco, who voted in favour of signing a deal now with Razor, ahead of the planning approval, did not respond to a written request for comment.

The TDSB is currently being examined under a microscope by the provincial government as Education Minister Liz Sandals tries to respond to widespread reports of governance issues with the board itself. Sandals has appointed Margaret Wilson, a former registrar at the Ontario College of Teachers, to conduct an examination of “operational issues and focus on the TDSB’s governance structure”. Wilson’s report is due by Dec. 31st.

The proposal forms part of an application before the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) that appeals an earlier City of Toronto decision rejecting the proposal. If initial mediation fails between the city and the TDSB then a hearing will be held in June 2015 where the OMB can make a final determination. The HVRA and the Palmerston Residents’ Association are parties to the proceedings.

—Brian Burchell/Gleaner News

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