PDSB School Trustee – Wards 3 & 4

Trustees must balance the demands of the community with the duties required by the Ministry of Education. By law, they are required to consult with parents, students and supporters of the board on the board’s multi-year plan and bring the concerns of these groups to the attention of the board. This takes dedicated leadership coupled with a willingness to seek innovative ideas and the courage to implement them.

School board trustees have a responsibility to all the families in their community – not just their neighbours, and not just families with school-aged children. Trustees build and maintain relationships with the entire community. They work with their school board colleagues and with other community partners to ensure that all the students within the board’s jurisdiction have equal opportunities to reach their full potential.

By applying One Planet Living principals, School Board policy can significantly impact how the City grows as a sustainable community as well as being a major contributor to student success. See how the candidates responded to the following questions related to the ten One-Planet Living principles.

Culture and Community

Climate change represents a significant threat that can only be addressed through collective action. When is comes to environmental issues, we truly are all in this together. School Boards can have a big impact in relating the importance of the environment to different cultures and providing concrete actions students can take that will give them hope as we collectively deal with the climate crisis.

Question: Brampton’s 2040 Vision is based on One Planet Living Principles. How well do you understand the City’s 2040 vision document?

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
I’m intimately familiar and support it
I’ve read it. It is a good aspirational goalX
I know about it and don’t have strong opinions either way
I think it is time for a new vision for the City
I’m not familiar with it but would like to learn more
I don’t think Vision 2040 is a priority for Council

Question: How should the School Boards contribute to Brampton’s 2040 Vision?

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
Act as a community partner with the municipality as part of a coordinated strategy and workplanX
Establish Board goals and objectives aligning with the municipal plans
Meet occasionally with municipal staff to share thoughts and ideas
The School Board is an independent body and needs to focus on its own priorities

How important is it for school boards to support Eco-schools programs such as Low Carbon Commuting, Ground Greening, Nature Based Playgrounds and Project 2050?

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
Very importantX
Somewhat important
Neutral importance
Somewhat unimportant
Not at all important

Would you support making Eco-schools certification mandatory for all schools in your jurisdiction?

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
Yes
No
OtherMandatory where possible. I would have to look at each school as some schools may not be able to acquire the certification for a plethora of reasons

Land & Nature

Schools utilize a significant percentage of the City’s total land area. How it is used can have a big impact on City sustainability.

Question: How important is it for school boards to support siting of schools to minimize bussing and car travel and to place schools on streets with access to sidewalks, multi-use pathways and bike lanes?

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
Very importantX
Somewhat important
Neutral importance
Somewhat unimportant
Not at all important

Health & Happiness, Travel and Transport

Commuting to and from school accounts for about 30% of the morning and afternoon traffic. Reducing this will have a significant impact on community carbon emissions. 

According to Public Health Ontario children and youth require 60-90 minutes of daily physical activity to stay healthy. In-school programs provide 20 minutes of physical activity for elementary students. School Boards can, however, affect physical activity patterns outside of school hours.

Active school travel means students travel to and from school using their own power, (walking, cycling etc.). Studies indicate that students who actively travel to and from school have better concentration and perform better with problem solving than those who do not travel by active means.

Question: How important is it for school boards to support (financially or otherwise) active school travel programs such as walking school bus, bike train and school streets?

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
Very importantX
Somewhat important
Neutral importance
Somewhat unimportant
Not at all important

Question: How important is it for school boards to support student cycling skills training either as part of the curriculum or as an after school activity? 

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
Very importantX
Somewhat important
Neutral importance
Somewhat unimportant
Not at all important

Zero Carbon Energy

Mitigating the climate change risk means reducing fossil fuel consumption as quickly as practicable. School Board infrastructure consumes a lot of energy and School Boards can be amongst the leaders in implementing energy conservation and fuel switching programs.

Question: If elected as Board Trustee, what energy conservation or fuel switching actions, would you support? 

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
Purchase green energy offsetsX
Hire an energy management consultant to review Board energy consumptionX
Implement a building retrofit program to improve energy efficiencyX
Implement a rooftop solar program for new or existing schoolsX
Install heat pumps as boiler replacements in schools
Integrate schools into district energy projects
Other

Question: Would you support programs to provide education to parents about adhering to idling bylaws (no more than 2 minutes) when picking up children from school and or the benefits of active forms of travel to and from school rather than by car?

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
YesX
No
Other

Sustainable Water 

Brampton has parts of three watersheds within its boundaries including the Credit and Humber Rivers as well as the Etobicoke Creek. These watersheds provide significant eco-system services including temperature moderation, storm-water management and recreational opportunities. School Boards can help students understand the importance of proper watershed protection and management.

Question: How important is it for school boards to teach water conservation and watershed health to students, either as part of the curriculum or as an after school activity in association with the Conservation Authorities? 

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
Very importantX
Somewhat important
Neutral importance
Somewhat unimportant
Not at all important

Question: What programs could be run at the Board to promote water conservation and improve water quality? Check all that apply

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
Installing rain barrels on school property
conserving storm water by building a rain garden
adopting a section of valley land near each school for litter clean up campaignsX
Other

Equity & the Local Economy, Materials & Products, Zero Waste: 

If everybody lived the way that North Americans do, it would take five planet’s worth of resources. We have only one planet. We must use resources more efficiently if we are to sustain our living standards and allow others to improve their lot. School Boards consume significant resources. How they are procured and used can have a big impact on the City’s local economy as well as on its sustainability. 

Question: How important is it that School Boards favour local and or ethical suppliers as part of their procurement process?

ResponsesGuillermo FerrerClaudio LewisKathy McDonald
Very importantX
Somewhat important
Neutral importance
Somewhat unimportant
Not at all important

Question: As Board Trustee, what steps would you take to reduce waste in schools including school supplies and food,  reducing lunch box litter and promoting anti litter activities with children on the school grounds and while walking to and from school?    ?

Guillermo Ferrer
Claudio Lewis
Kathy McDonaldFirst would have robust education campaign for both students and parents. E.G. litter-less lunches, have family fun nights to promote making healthy litter-less lunches. Have culturally relevant presentations about AT to and from school. Partner with PPH to promote walking and riding to school. Partner with community partners to teach kids about bike safety, how to take care of a bike as well as how to repair your bike. I currently do some of the aforementioned initiatives in the schools within my ward. I hope to try and excite my colleagues with such initiatives when the new board is formed so that schools all across the board will do their part in reducing waste , minimizing their carbon footprint as well as doing their part in protecting the environment.
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