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Chair Calls on Government to Translate Coronavirus Info

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Categories: Board and Trustee Governance

Premier Ford,

On behalf of the Toronto District School Board, I am writing you to express our deep concerns with how your government is publicly communicating information about the coronavirus, in particular, the lack of translation.

Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in North America, made up of a large number of people and communities that represent various cultures, backgrounds, religions and languages. Here, at the TDSB, nearly one-quarter of our students were born outside of Canada and, collectively, our school communities are home to more than 120 languages.

The containment of the coronavirus continues to be a high priority for health officials and the public; however, your public communications about the virus – including your website, letters and other informational materials – have only been issued in English. This is a major concern when Toronto, and all of Ontario, is so linguistically diverse. It is important that our communities receive clear information about the virus and containment strategies, and we believe it is your government’s responsibility to consider the diverse languages that make up our communities, city and province.

In saying that, we ask that you translate all public communications and information – including your website – about the coronavirus into multiple languages that represent the people and communities of Ontario.

We look forward to your response and action on this matter.


chair's signature

Robin Pilkey, CPA, CA, ICD.D
Chair, Toronto District School Board

cc: John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
Dr. David Williams, Ontario Medical Officer of Health
Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto Medical Officer of Health
Cathy Abraham, President OPSBA
Toronto MPP's & MP's
Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce
Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Christine Elliott

Our Mission
To enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and well-being
and to acquire the knowledge, skills
and values they need to become responsible, contributing members of
a democratic and sustainable society.
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