During a Special Board meeting this evening, Trustees with the Toronto District School Board approved a new realignment plan for Trustee ward boundaries.
The realignment follows last month’s introduction of legislation by the Government of Ontario that would see Toronto City Council ward boundaries aligned with the 25 federal/provincial ridings and reduce the number of Toronto City Council seats from 47 to 25. As a result, the TDSB was required to realign its ward boundaries with the City’s ward boundaries.
After reviewing a number of boundary change options as laid out in a staff report, Trustees chose an option (Option 1.1) that attempts to balance the number of schools in each ward and aligns with the federal/provincial boundaries in the City of Toronto.
Given serious questions and concerns about the lack of public consultation and the City Clerk’s capacity to implement the changes in time for the election, Trustees also passed a motion to support the City of Toronto’s consideration of legal action. At the same time, Trustees made clear that they are not ruling out the possibility of legal action of their own at a later date.
- The realignment plan will require provincial government approval and is subject to change as a result of possible legal action being considered by the City of Toronto.
- Regulation 412, Trustee Determination and Distribution, currently requires the TDSB to align its Trustee boundaries with the City’s ward boundaries.
- The TDSB was instructed by the Ministry of Education to review the new municipal boundaries, analyze the student population and public school electoral data, and approve a boundary realignment plan by August 14, 2018.
- On February 7, 2018, the Board approved new Trustee ward boundaries that aligned with the City of Toronto’s decision to increase the number of councillors to 47. Both the City and the TDSB conducted extensive consultations with the community on the proposed municipal and school board boundary changes.
“We’re disappointed that the Government of Ontario’s announced changes came right in the middle of the election and with a complete lack of public consultation. Despite some extremely tight timelines imposed on us by the province, we managed to make a decision that we hope will best serve our communities under these difficult circumstances.”
- Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB