By Editor

May 15, 2018

2018 Provincial Election Information

As Ontarians prepare for the June 7 provincial election, issues that are important to Ontario residents are being directed to candidates at debates and town halls province-wide. For your reference OCSTA’s key education funding and policy priorities document has been edited to include suggested questions for provincial candidates (and post election meetings with MPPs).

To support outreach to candidates OCSTA has prepared the following candidate contact information for Ontario’s three major parties:

Liberal Party Candidates

PC Party Candidates

NDP Party Candidates


Catholic Student Youth Day/ #CatholicEdWk

On May 8, over 150 students and staff from Catholic District School Boards across Ontario gathered in Toronto for the celebration of Catholic Student Youth Day. Catholic Board Council Student Trustee President, Ben Smith (York CDSB) and Student Trustee Vice President, Christina Atrach (Halton CDSB), first envisioned the idea of a centrally celebrated Catholic Student Youth Day last fall and worked with OCSTA and other partners, especially former Toronto CDSB teacher and current WE Director for Catholic Schools Outreach, Greg Rogers to coordinate the final May 8th event.

The day opened with a beautiful Mass celebrated by His Excellency, Bishop Gerard Bergie at St. Paul’s Basilica in Toronto.

Students from Sudbury Catholic DSB serve as Gift Bearers during the Ontario Catholic Student Youth Day Mass.


Following Mass students and staff walked to the WE Global Learning Centre where a day of presentations and discussion about the essence of servant leadership and the great work being done to provide sustainable access to clean water around the world by those involved in the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace and WE.

Ontario Catholic Student Youth Day Hosts: OSTA-AECO Catholic Board Council President, Ben Smith (York CDSB) and Catholic Board Council VP, Christina Atrach (Halton CDSB).

OCSTA Past President, Patrick Daly addressed the gathering of students to congratulate the Catholic Board Council student trustee leadership team responsible for the OCSYD Event and to recognize and honour the achievements and commitment to Christian service that defines so many students and staff in Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic schools.


Social Activist, Spencer West discusses his calling to help the vulnerable close to home and around the world to overcome challenges during Ontario Catholic Student Youth Day.


Fr. Renatus Karamuna, C.S.Sp, Spiritan Fathers – Tanzania – discusses building schools and providing access to water in Tanzania.


A visit by WE co-founder, Craig Kielburger provided an unexpected afternoon highlight.

Students welcomed the surprise visit by Craig Kielburger who took the opportunity to not only greet students and other guests in attendance, but also took a few moments to talk about his Catholic education experience in Ontario and specifically about his grade 8 teacher Mr. Fredrigoni of  Blessed Scalabrini Catholic Elementary School in Thornhill (York CDSB).

Mr. Fredrigoni was the teacher who first  encouraged Craig to act upon his desire to help children enslaved around the world by developing a project to address the issue. That encouragement eventually led to Craig and 11 of his 12 year old peers starting a group that would later evolve into the well known Free the Children organization.

The May 8th Catholic Student Youth Day celebration was one of the wonderful highlights of Catholic Education Week and below are other Catholic Education Week highlights from around the province.


Catholic Education Week Highlights from Across the Province

Ottawa Catholic School Board – Twitter Highlight

TWITTER HIGHLIGHT from St. Patrick’s Catholic High School (Ottawa Catholic School board): @stpatricksIRISH Taking a stand for injustice today and standing in solidarity for those silenced around the nation and world every day #IamStPats #CatholicEdWk

Waterloo Catholic District School Board

TWITTER HIGHLIGHT from St. Paul Catholic Elementary School (Waterloo CDSB): Thank you Sharon Porty, WCDSB’s Mental Health Lead for teaching the gr 6-8 students about ways to promote Mental Health & how to recognize signs that you may need to talk to someone for support

Nipissing Parry Sound Catholic District School Board
TWITTER HIGHLIGHT: Our friends at Holy Cross attended a mass at St. Peters church yesterday as part of #CatholicEdWk. We are so blessed to celebrate the gift of Catholic Education with our school communities!
Toronto Catholic District School Board
From St. Francis de Sales CES (Toronto CDSB): A beautiful start to Catholic Ed. Week. Today we celebrated the Living Rosary. Thanks to the ladies of the Rosary Apostolate who worked with our students all year and organized this wonderful and powerful community prayer event. #CatholicEdWk



OCSTA 2018 AGM & Conference – Co-hosted by Waterloo CDSB

Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick leads the Commissioning Ceremony prayer for OCSTA’s 2018-19 Board of Directors at St. Mary Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, Kitchener.

More than 250 delegates and guests gathered in Kitchener this year for the 2018 OCSTA/OCSBOA Business Seminar and OCSTA AGM and Conference held April 26 – 29.


The staff and students of the Waterloo CDSB -this year’s Conference co-host – truly made the 2018 OCSTA Conference a deeply memorable event for participants.  From the moving opening liturgy, to the Governance Workshop led by the Waterloo CDSB Board of Trustees, to the Student Trustee Workshop on Global Leadership – the distinctive contributions of the Waterloo CDSB made this year’s Conference an outstanding opportunity for professional learning and for a celebration of publicly funded Catholic education in Ontario.

Ontario Catholic school alumnus and co-founder of WE Craig Kielburger with Catholic school student trustees at the OCSTA Conference.

We would like to thank and acknowledge the following individuals from the Waterloo CDSB:

Waterloo CDSB Conference Liturgical Committee and Trustees
Chair, Wendy Price
Vice Chair, Bill Conway
Trustee Brian Schmalz
Trustee Joyce Anderson
Trustee Jeanne Gravelle
Trustee Manuel da Silva
Trustee Melanie Van Alphen
Trustee Greg Reitzel
Director of Education, Loretta Notten
Fr. Toby Collins
Christine Bencina
Alice Figueiredo
John Murphy
Richard Olson
Marianna Worth

Student Trustee Workshop Presenters
Kate Jamieson
Meghan Nemeth

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board’s Elementary and Secondary Students


Audio Presentations and Slides Available

Presentations including MP3 audio files and PowerPoint slides from the Business Seminar Program and AGM and Conference Program have been uploaded to the Members’ Centre on this website – to access please click here.

Please note that you will need your user name and password to enter this secure area of the OCSTA website.  If you need assistance securing your user name and/or password please contact Ashlee Cabral at or contact Sharon McMillan at OCSTA (416-932-9460).

See below photo highlights from this year’s AGM and Conference.

2018 OCSTA Award Recipients

The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA) Awards Program recognizes Catholic Trustees, Student Trustees and other leaders in Catholic education who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to others while exemplifying the values that are at the core of Catholic education. The Association announced the recipients of this year’s awards at the April 27 OCSTA Annual Awards Dinner in Kitchener.

This year’s recipient of the Trustee Award of Merit is long-serving trustee, journalist, and inclusionary education advocate John Curry of the Ottawa Catholic School Board. Through his membership on the Special Education Advisory Committee, John is a very vocal supporter of programming for students with special needs. He has been a proponent for French Immersion in rural and small schools and as a result of his advocacy, the Ottawa Catholic School Board offers the French Immersion pathway in all 83 of its schools.

The OCSTA Special Award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Catholic education at the provincial level. This year’s recipient is Sr. Joan Cronin, former Executive Director of the Institute for Catholic Education (ICE). During Sr. Joan’s tenure at ICE, she elevated the profile of Catholic education and gained a tremendous level of respect and influence with educators, various Ministers of Education, Premiers and Bishops. As a former instructor in the Supervisory Officers’ Qualifications Program, Sr. Joan played a pivotal role in forming generations of Ontario’s outstanding Catholic school board supervisory officers.

The Student Trustee Alumnus Award is presented annually to Catholic school graduates who served as student trustees at the secondary level and since graduation have demonstrated through their actions the values articulated in the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations framework. This year’s recipient is Dr. Anthony Silva. A former student trustee from the Kenora Catholic District School Board, today Dr. Silva is an Orthopaedic Doctor who has committed his life to helping others through medicine. For more than five years, he has focused on palm frond injury research to support workplace Health and Safety initiatives in addition to conducting research focused on the mental well-being of doctors in the medical profession.


Municipal Election Information

Recent revisions to legislation has resulted in changes to the municipal election process – see OCSTA overview of Bill 68 Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act.

For your refeference, following are some of the key details for trustees to know regarding the 2018 Municipal Election.

  • Election Day – October 22
  • The campaign period has been shortened by 120 days.  Candidates can file their nominations between May 1 and July 27.
  • MPAC has once again launched the site. It is very important for Catholic ratepayers to know that they can correct information on the voters list, especially school support data by accessing the website. Due to MPAC’s default mechanism, many times Catholic school supporters are listed incorrectly as public school supporters (typically the default mechanism happens after a move). Catholic school boards are encouraged to share the website with parents and other supporters in the community to ensure that our Catholic voters are able to vote for their local Catholic trustee in the next municipal election.
  • For more resources and guides for Catholic trustees please visit OCSTA’s Municipal Election Page.

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