Halton Catholic school board considers non-Catholic student trustees

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Published November 3, 2021 at 6:13 pm

The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) has further delayed a decision on including non-Catholic student trustees on its Board of Trustees. FACEBOOK PHOTO

The Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) has further delayed a decision on including non-Catholic student trustees on its Board of Trustees.

The board sought to make a decision at its meeting on Tuesday following a motion adopted at the Oct. 19 meeting that they obtain a legal opinion specifically around the legalities of having non-Catholic student trustees.

While board members did receive a legal opinion from Director of Education and Secretary of the Board Pat Daly, they didn’t get it until Tuesday afternoon, just hours before the meeting.

Oakville Trustee Peter DeRosa felt it didn’t give the board enough time to consider the motion properly.

“If we are going to be making decisions tonight, I really don’t feel I’ve been afforded the time to really consider this issue properly,” DeRosa said.

Loyola Catholic Secondary School student Katie Bowie, one of three Student Trustees on the HCDSB board, also said more time was needed.

“I didn’t receive the report,” she said before having the legal opinion sent to her minutes later.

Milton Trustee and Chair of the Board Patrick Murphy then suggested they agree to bring the motion back next meeting, which all trustees agreed to.

The board sought legal opinions on whether there are legal implications for not allowing or conversely for allowing non-Catholic students to run for and possibly win a student trustee position at the HCDSB.

The motion asked that opinion be sought from legal counsel not affiliated with OCSTA or their board to elicit the most objective opinion as possible.

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