The North Toronto Collegiate Institute land swap, in which the school swapped land with the developer Tridel to allow them to build two condos on their land if they also build a new school, is an example of public officials being resourceful, not selling out. Here’s the CBC article.
Recently I mentioned to Lindsay that I was thinking of running for our condo-board president on a platform of being the first socialist condo board and doubling our condo fees in order to start a local daycare and to use one of our homes as a homeless shelter. That campaign has yet to begin.
Despite my own plans, I like this North Toronto Collegiate Institute plan. The specifications for the condos were drafted by the communities involved then given to Tridel (not argued over after it was proposed by the developer); the new school will not be named after Tridel and there is no other synergistic nomenclature in use, and the TDSB will continue to build new schools that only meet the highest standards for energy use.
The government should be building schools and can’t abdicate this role to the private sector, but this is a good move. Real estate, education, health and safety, city planning, etc. all converge on the issue of building schools and their is no single solution and assuming that the money to build schools can only come from one source does not reflect the complexity of the issue.
This plan is good for central Toronto and demonstrates that the TDSB is creative, reasonable and not full of ideologues. I can only assume this demonstrates the best meaning of “running government like a business” (as opposed to its most common meaning: “I don’t care how crapy things get, I’m not paying my taxes”).
When it comes time to rebuild the next school let no level of government suggest that the TDSB is not worthy of more funds because they clearly put more thought into what to do with their funds then those that refuse to hand it out do into their denials.