June 2016

I believe that we need to invest in safe schools. This means not only ensuring that the infrastructure, the bricks and mortar of buildings are safe and sound, but also we need to provide each student with the means to realize their potential. We need safe spaces for children to play, learn and grow. This means addressing issues of bullying which I know from talking with parents is a concern for those with school age children.

On February 17, 2016 Sheila Ward who represented Toronto-Centre Rosedale (Ward 14) on the Toronto District School Board died unexpectedly. After twenty years of service her seat will be filled in a by-election called for June 20, 2016. I am proud to announce that I am running for school board trustee of our community.

I came to Canada at the age of 6 from Dominica, after my younger brother was killed by a drunk driver. The loss of my brother left a hole in our family and my parents decided I would accompany my grandmother to Canada to ensure I would have more opportunities.

Arriving in Canada I found myself in a strange world, with customs and behaviours I did not understand. For several years I sat in the classroom, almost invisible. Like other immigrant children I found myself afraid to speak and only responded when prompted. Because of this my grades in school were average at best.

All that changed in Grade 10 under the tutelage of my history teacher Mr. Augustine. He was the first black educator I ever encountered. Seeing a black man teaching helped me see value in myself for the first time. Never underestimate how important it is to see yourself reflected in positions of power and authority. Mr. Augustine knew I had more to give and pushed me to raise my grades. For the first time I received an ‘A’ in his class which made me realize I was capable of more than I ever thought.

The boost to my ego I experienced with Mr. Augustine allowed me to run for Student Council President the following year, despite objections from the school Principal at the time. The experience taught me to stand up for myself, to advocate for change and to always rise to any challenge.

After high school I went to college where I studied law enforcement and then to university where I graduated with a double major in sociology and political science. These experiences taught me that education truly makes a difference. Education is the great equalizer. No matter who we are or where we start off in life, education allows each of us to achieve more than we expected and to surprise those around us. My education has shaped my life. I know first hand the importance of having teachers and administrators who are supportive and a reflection of the community.

I live and work in the community as a counsellor in St. Michael’s emergency department and I am owner of a pet store, Pet Cuisine located on Front Street. I know the importance of education and schooling and want to bring a progressive voice to the TDSB. We need an advocate who champions the community and who represents the diversity of Toronto-Centre Rosedale.

I believe that we need to invest in safe schools. This means not only ensuring that the infrastructure, the bricks and mortar of buildings are safe and sound, but also we need to provide each student with the means to realize their potential. We need safe spaces for children to play, learn and grow. This means addressing issues of bullying which I know from talking with parents is a concern for those with school age children.

As a school trustee I will work with our local City Councillors to ensure that child care continues to be affordable. Working together as partners we can ensure that public daycare is available for all those in need. I have already reached out to the members of council and have received the endorsement of Councillors Kristyn Wong Tam and Pam McConnell.

We also need to invest in programs that help children to grow as well-rounded citizens. We need to ensure that access to programs in art, music, languages and ESL are balanced with an emphasis on science, math and reading. In most cases, the classroom is the only place young people have the opportunity to explore the arts.

As our city continues to grow, our green spaces are shrinking at an alarming rate. We must protect the green spaces we have and try to create new ones where they don’t exist. If we look at schools as the centres of our communities and not just places for teaching it helps us recognize how they can become community hubs for children, adults and seniors.

As your representative to the Toronto District School Board for Toronto-Centre Rosedale I want to continue to meet with people from every corner of the ward. I want to hear your concerns and to listen to your experiences with the public school system. In order to move forward I want to learn from each of you so that I can champion your concerns and causes at the board table. Help me carry your voice to the TDSB. On June 20, I hope to earn your vote.

Visit chrismoise.ca for more information.