Toronto Catholic school board sanctions trustee over LGBTQ comments


TORONTO -- The Toronto Catholic District School Board has voted to sanction Trustee Mike Del Grande for comparing homosexuality to bestiality, pedophilia and cannibalism at a board meeting last year.

The TCDSB held a special meeting Wednesday night to weigh a report on the incident and ultimately voted to sanction the Scarborough trustee.

In a statement Thursday, TCDSB Chair Joseph Martino called Del Grande’s behavior “disrespectful to the LGBTQ community as a whole and the TCDSB community.”

The board’s sanctions include a request that Del Grande present a public apology and complete an equity training program. The board will also refrain from appointing Del Grande to any representative position or role for a period of three months.

Martino said the TCDSB will also release a portion of the independent report into the incident, though that action falls short of calls from critics, including former premier Kathleen Wynne, to release the entire report.

“I want to assure students, their families and staff, that the TCDSB is committed to creating inclusive learning environments and school communities that are safe and welcoming places,” Martino said in his statement Thursday.

Del Grande’s comparison came just over a year ago at a Nov. 7, 2019 board meeting where trustees were considering adding new terms, such as “gender identity” and “gender expression,” to the board’s code of conduct to support LGBTQ students.

Del Grande said the move was a “slippery slope” and said if LGBTQ terms were included, pedophiles and cannibals might demand inclusion as well.

Such comparisons have long been slammed by the LGBTQ community as an effort to demonize its members.