Tony Brecknock: - it was a vote made under mental, emotional and physical duress, that in the end was pushed through.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 26, 2017



Tony Brecknock, a parent with children who graduated from Pearson high school, the school he once attended  came out of the gate swinging at the Administrative Review meeting held to hear the views of parents on a school board vote that closed the high school.  He didn’t choose to thank the chair for allowing him to speak – he went straight to his main point.

“The HDSB policy clearly states that “There must be no fewer than ten (10) business days between the public delegations and the final decision of the Board of Trustees” , this simply did not happen on June 7, 2017.

HDSB Parents at PARC 1 Jan 26-17

Tony Brecknock, male figure in the centre, attended the PARC meetings and delegated the evening the vote to close the schools was taken

“I was notified of my delegation on June 6th, the day before I was expected to present and it was received and presented on the same day of the vote, June 7th, which means there was a failure of the board’s own policy, namely to provide the Trustees with the sufficient time needed to fully process any and all information before voting.

“This lack of due process, negatively and directly impacted the final decision to close two schools in Burlington.

“My delegation was to be a strictly timed, one shot presentation – I had submitted over 13 pages full of data – so I made sure to include the documents as attachments in my submission, of which a receipt was confirmed by the Board – at noon on the day of the vote.

“There is simply no way that all of my information was clearly ingested.

Amos and Graves

It became painfully clear that Chair Amos, on the left and the vice chair, Kim Graves did not know how to manage the confusing flow of motions that were before the meeting.

“On the night of the vote it was also apparent there was a lack of understanding of how to proceed.

“It seemed that the possibility of not being done, prior to a summer break, pressured decisions to be made ad hoc – not because of clear judicial thinking, but because of the clock ticking,

“During the meeting, the Trustees constantly bounced back and forth amongst specialists in the room, trying desperately to decipher the rules of engagement that they should have studied in advance.

“From that chaos, random recess’ started to happen – one of which was conducted, strategically prior to the final vote.

“The meeting should have been stopped right there, with everyone regrouping.

Voting by hand

The vote was taken to close two of the city’s seven high schools so late in the evening (after midnight) that the electronic vote software had shut down. The trustees voted by a show of hands.

“This decision was made during the very late evening hours, after listening to an overabundance of information – it was a vote made under mental, emotional and physical duress, that in the end was pushed through.

“The prudent course of action would have been to wait 10 business days, as policy dictates, to allow for a period of reflection before a final vote.

“It needs to be mandated at a higher level, that the Boards are fulfilling their due diligence. They need to ensure they are delivering the best educational experience to ALL students.

“A Provincial moratorium on school closures, was put into effect, just two weeks after the vote for a reason – the realization of a flawed process.

“Had the Board adhered to their own policy, this vote would have been deferred to a time of better and calm understanding.

“This committee and by extension the Board, needs to take this review and adhere to the many key components within their own guidelines.

“They need to listen to those that continue to express dissatisfaction with the result, and re-vote to pause the closures – until they have fixed the process.”

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 comment to Tony Brecknock: – it was a vote made under mental, emotional and physical duress, that in the end was pushed through.

  • Luke

    Illegal Procedure is that five or ten yards back and down over?

    Seriously, Mr Brecknock, “Well Played Sir!”
    Would the trustees be in breach of their Fiduciary duty on basis of this sort of shenanigan? It really only highlights the idea that the fix was in before anyone was invited to discuss the issue many months before.