Helping our kids get a better education

Community News & Features Aug 24, 2018 at 4:37 pm

Luz-del-Rosario-2015Luz del Rosario, for re-election as Dufferin Peel CDSB Trustee:

By Irish Mae Silvestre
The Philippine Reporter

For the twice-elected Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board Trustee, Luz del Rosario, her passion for community involvement started at her children’s school. Like every parent, she found herself volunteering as a chaperone at school events. But as her children got older, she realized that she enjoyed being part of a cause and decided to invest her time and energy in other organizations.

She has a long list of accomplishments: she was the president of the Culture Philippines of Ontario, the former chair of the Carassauga Festival and board member for Safe City Mississauga and Heritage Mississauga – to name but a few. So it’s no surprise that in 2006, she was named Mississauga’s Citizen of the Year. Now with election season heating up, we caught up with del Rosario to discuss her thoughts on PASSOC, Doug Ford and the state of education in her ward.

TPR: What are some of the challenges of being a trustee?

LDR: We have to comply with what the Ministry of Education outlines but we also ensure that we put the Catholic lens into some of the courses. In this last term, the challenges for me specifically was that seven of my elementary schools were put in a PAR review (Pupil Accommodation Review). It’s a review to see if a school will close or remain open. Out of that seven, one got closed and one other school got closed in another area. So it’s very difficult and parents were upset. The only reason we were forced to do that is because the ministry was actually reducing our programs budget of about $7 million every year.

Pictures taken in June with the principal, superintendent and fellow Trustee Thomas Thomas, students from St. Marcellin- us Secondary School and representatives from Stopgap.ca with whom the project was coordinated. The students present- ed the “stop-gap” which is a ramp to two businesses in Streetsville to provide access for all to their establishments.

TPR: What do you think of The Philippine Arts and Social Studies in the Ontario Curriculum (PASSOC), the new curriculum for Filipinos, their culture and heritage?

LDR: I think it’s a great idea! I’m hoping to bring that to the Dufferin-Peel region. I had been in conversation with the consulate and with Dr. Patrick Alcedo from York University on how to get started and how we could work it out and present it to be part of Peel as well. We’ll try because I think it’s a great idea.

TPR: What made you decide to become a trustee?

LDR: I was chair of Carassauga Festival for eight years, it’s the biggest multicultural festival here in Mississauga so I know a lot of people. When elections were around the corner after my term, somebody suggested that I run for the position. What attracted me about being a trustee is that I get the opportunity to be part of anything we could do to help our kids get a better education. And I enjoy seeing some of our graduate levels, which are higher than the average provincial graduate expectations.

TPR: Are there plans for the Filipino students in your ward?

Pictures taken in June with the principal, superintendent and fellow Trustee Thomas Thomas, students from St. Marcellin- us Secondary School and representatives from Stopgap.ca with whom the project was coordinated. The students presented the “stop-gap” which is a ramp to two businesses in Streetsville to provide access for all to their establishments.

Pictures taken in June with the principal, superintendent and fellow Trustee Thomas Thomas, students from St. Marcellinus Secondary School and representatives from Stopgap.ca with whom the project was coordinated. The students presented the “stop-gap” which is a ramp to two businesses in Streetsville to provide access for all to their establishments.

LDR: When we do programs, it cannot be just for my ward; it has to be for the whole Dufferin-Peel region. When we think of programs, we think of them for everybody. When I prepare a submission for PASSOC, it will have to be for the whole board. There are a lot of Filipino students in our school board so I’m keeping my hopes up. This would be very interesting to present.

TPR: What is the Filipino community like in Mississauga?

LDR: It’s a great community that loves to have fun and host different parties but they also love to help out. But when I was campaigning I tapped [into Filipino groups] and they were very helpful. Some of them do things that’s very good for our people back home. Even though they’re doing their own thing for their own community and their own barrio, they’re also thinking of our people back home.

TPR: What are your thoughts on Premier Ford’s plan to reduce Toronto councillors from 47 to 25 and scrap elections for two regional councils?

LDR: He may be thinking it’s a good decision and that it’s efficient but you have to look at the other side of that coin. You have all of these councillors who’ve prepared for their campaign and you have constituents who would want to have a say about it. They probably did a review and said, “Okay well, [in terms of] cost efficiency this is better.” I wasn’t surprised because I heard him say it while he was campaigning but I didn’t think he’d do it just like that.

TPR:
What are your thoughts on Doug Ford in general?

LDR: I’ve met him a few times and at Mayor Hazel McCallion’s birthday party. He seems to be a nice guy but I think that as a businessman he’s using [his experience] to make a decision; it’s not a business, it’s a community that’s involved. It’s not like it’s your own business where you decide what you want to do. In a business sense, maybe it’s easier to make decisions. But, at this point now, you have a lot of people involved – the community and constituents. He did not consider that people [would want to] put in their two cents and he just decided. It’s probably a good decision but, at this point in time, to call it out in the last minute, that’s where the problem is. I’m in Peel, I’m just looking from the outside but it definitely affects people.