Angela Kennedy to try to reclaim her seat

Embattled ex-Catholic school trustee will run after all

Former trustee Angela Kennedy has declared her intention to reclaim her seat in the upcoming municipal election less than a month after a provincial judge booted her from her job as chair of the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

In an about-face from recent comments stating she wouldn’t enter the race, Kennedy registered to run Sept. 10, the last day nominations were accepted for the upcoming Oct. 25 election.

“I had a couple of weeks to think about it and basically a lot of my supporters were urging me to run,” said Kennedy, who as trustee, represented schools in East York and the Beach.

“Serving in an elected capacity in the field of education is what I am most passionate about so I have decided to seek a fourth term.”

A provincial judge removed Kennedy from her position on Aug. 19, ruling she contravened the Conflict of Interest Act by voting on a budget matter that could have had a direct impact on her board employee sons at a May 2008 board meeting. Following the ruling, Kennedy announced to various media outlets that she would not be seeking re-election to the school board.

However, she noted the judge had not forbid her from running for the board again.

“Judge Roberts ruled I could run again — I will let the electors decide,” said Kennedy.

Her firing has been the latest in a string of conflicts involving members of the Catholic school board. Conflict of interest allegations against former chair Oliver Carroll in July 2008 resulted in a court order that he step down from the board. In early September, Ward 10 trustee Barbara Poplawski was also awaiting a ruling on similar charges. The ruling was unknown at press time.

For over a year now, the board has been in the charge of provincially appointed supervisor, Richard Alway. Former education minister Kathleen Wynne appointed Alway last August to help rectify past problems of accountability and transparency at the board.

Asked whether it might be inappropriate for her to run given the recent court decision, Kennedy rebuffed the idea.

“I feel that I wasn’t guilty. If I was guilty of anything in my situation, it was remote and insignificant. I made a mistake — one mistake. So you know, if people want to crucify me for that, well go ahead. But basically I don’t believe that I’m a tainted candidate.”

She said she’s still the best person for the job, and if elected she will focus on bringing unity and harmony to the board.

“I do my part and I’ve always acted in a respectful manner. I concentrate on my job. I get along with the people, I’m a team player — I’m not going to change what I do in any way at all.”

About this article:

By: Joshua Freeman
Posted: Sep 24 2010 1:06 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto