Windsor man crying foul after failing to win seat on Catholic board
A Windsor man is crying foul after failing to win a seat on the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board.
Eric Renaud is claiming election interference over a letter issued by the school board, the Catholic Teachers union and the Diocese of London before Monday’s election.
Renaud claims the letter was an attack on him and his platform to merge the public and separate school boards.
“The letter was a blatant attack,” says Renaud. “They were claiming that I was planning on actually closing the catholic schools, cancelling catholic courses in the schools. All of that is completely untrue."
The letter was posted on church bulletins around the City of Windsor.
It advocated for a separate catholic school system and said "we felt it was imperative for us as spiritual and academic leaders to reach out to our catholic community to reaffirm our commitment to providing top quality catholic education.”
“We were only proposing merging the administration and reinvesting those costs savings into at risk students,” says Renaud, who shared the same platform with other trustee candidates. “The administration wages would be cut by $6.2 million locally alone.”
The director of education for the Catholic school board, Terry Lyons, insists they did nothing wrong.
“We wanted to reaffirm all the great things that we do as a board to our Catholic members,” says Lyons. “I think it's easy to sit back and look at numbers and make decisions based on those numbers but there's a number of factors that weren't considered."
Lyons tells CTV News no candidate from either school board was specifically mentioned.
“All we talked about in that letter was for our people to have their voice heard and to speak up for catholic education as it was coming under attack by a few people.”
Renaud was a trustee candidate in Wards 3 and 4 in Windsor. Bernie Mastromattei won the election with 990 votes while Renaud was second with 560 votes.
Renaud tells CTV News he will seek legal action against the Catholic board.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs issued a statement, saying “should an elector or candidate have questions or concerns regarding their local election, they may wish to contact the municipal clerk. If they have a legal question, they may wish to contact a lawyer.”
Renaud says he has already been in contact with his lawyer.