Mary Ann Robillard chosen as Toronto Catholic School Board's newest trustee

  • April 14, 2009
{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board has a new trustee but the same old problem, says a Toronto Catholic parents group.

Murielle Boudreau, chair of the Greater Toronto Catholic Parent Network, says appointing Mary Ann Robillard, a former trustee and one-time assistant to Oliver Carroll, to the seat vacated by Carroll is like appointing her old boss.

“(Parents) believe that it’s returning to the old guard, that nothing has changed,” she said.

Robillard was chosen April 6 by Norbert Hartmann and the supervision team as the board’s trustee for Ward 8. She was one of 20 who applied to replace Carroll, who was removed from the board Feb. 6 for violating conflict-of-interest rules.

Robillard was a trustee with the former Metropolitan Separate School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board from 1994 to 2003. Since 2007, Robillard has worked with Elections Ontario. She has served on numerous community groups, including the Catholic Women’s League at St. Joseph’s Church in Scarborough.

“I have proven myself to be a person of integrity who has instilled confidence in the local electorate,” Robillard said in a board statement. “I have a reputation of getting things done.”

She added she was committed to “facilitating a better working relationship among trustees, and with Catholic educators, parishes, parents and all stakeholders.”

Robillard’s former boss also has nothing but good things to say.

Carroll said he has known Robillard for many years and is a “great choice for the position.”

“What she’’ll help do is get the focus back on Catholic education and off of all this other stuff,” he told The Register.

The “other stuff” is a board that remains under provincial supervision since last year when a series of spending scandals and trustees refusal to balance the budget let to the province taking over control of the board.

Boudreau said parents remain concerned that trustees continue to be powerless under provincial supervision.

“We don’t know what the future will bring (for publicly funded Catholic education),” Boudreau said.

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