Informing and engaging area residents

PoliticsSchools - Education

Candidates for local School Boards – October 22nd election

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]Selecting a candidate for the school board you support is an important task that is often made difficult by a general lack of information about who is running and what they stand for.  It is unfortunate candidates are not required to submit a brief publicly available outline of who they are, their qualifications and goals when they file their papers for candidacy.  It is little wonder there is apathy on the part of voters when information upon which to make a choice is not readily available. In this vein we have attempted to contact each candidate to fill that void in information.

Trustees play an important oversight role in the operation of our schools and are vital contacts for parents who need help negotiating the complexities of the system.  Public school trustees will have to deal with a provincial government that wants to change many things from the way math is taught to a revised sex-ed curriculum.  Your voices need to be heard.  This is in addition to the large budgets the trustees control in offering education to our most important resources, our children.

This is important work, so it is hoped this article will help you with your choice where you have one.  There are choices in two boards. Long time trustee John Curry ran uncontested for the Ottawa Catholic School Board. The same happened with Chad Mariage, elected by acclimation at Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est. Unfortunately, several candidates did not respond to repeated attempts to reach them and there is no readily available information about them on-line.

Here is a brief snapshot provided by each candidate who responded sorted by Board:

Ottawa Carleton District School Board:

Jon Flemming –

Why I’m Getting Involved:- I am a partner in a small construction company in Ottawa. Every year, my business partner and I interview dozens of recent graduates who are looking for their first job. This is what I’ve noticed: Students are unprepared:- I see far too many kids leaving school completely unprepared for the real world – in particular, their English and math skills are lacking. Our school system is failing:- For years, the academic achievement trends in Ottawa’s public schools have been negative. There is too much at risk to continue to let the same people, with agendas and values that don’t put student achievement first, to run our school system. It is time for change:- This fall’s election is our opportunity to reverse the decades-long slide in academic outcomes and change the system for the better. I’ll never stop fighting for students:- I’ve never been the kind of guy who can stand on the sidelines when action is needed. As a common-sense, pragmatic conservative, if elected, I will never stop fighting to ensure our students’ best interests remain the focus of our public school system. I’ve spoken with hundreds of students and parents, who want a Trustee who will fight for their priorities. They want someone who will work with, instead of fight against, our new government to make positive change.


Gurprit Kindra –

(Nothing submitted by publication deadline — information will be added when received.)

Ken Lumsden –

(Nothing submitted by publication deadline — information will be added when received.)

Brandon Rabideau –

I am running because it’s time for a change at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. It’s time for a fresh voice – Your Voice. I am running because I feel that our trustees should represent their communities to the board and not the board to their communities. As your elected trustee I will open lines of communication and be responsive to you. I will respect our front-line staff. I will fight for local control over decisions that directly affect your children’s education. I will provide sound governance and stewardship of your tax dollars. I will be open to all solutions that make for a better experience of the OCDSB for all stakeholders, regardless of ideology. I will advocate for sound planning which is long-term, effective, measurable, and accountable. This way we can avoid decisions which are made in crisis mode on arbitrarily tight deadlines. OCDSB trustees make decisions that affect the next generation but there are no young people elected to the board, in fact the incumbent trustee for Zone 1 has held the position since 1994. It’s time for a change. I will bring a fresh voice and perspective to the board.


Lynn Scott (Incumbent) –

As the current trustee for Zone 1, I know that some important decisions will be coming in the next four years.  In Zone 1, we will need to consider carefully how to draw the right boundaries for the new public high school in Stittsville, recognizing the continuing growth in the Fernbank lands and also the growth in Richmond and Manotick.  I’m well acquainted with all the Zone 1 communities and their schools, and I want to keep them strong. We need to ensure a good range of programs at both South Carleton HS and the new high school in Stittsville with a view to the longer-term needs of local students.  I strongly support improving instruction, particularly in math, where many Zone 1 schools are doing well in Grade 3 and Grade 9, but need some work at the Grade 6 level. I will continue to advocate for equitable supports and access to all programs for rural students. I will work collaboratively with our provincial MPPs to support good public education despite financial constraints.  I will ensure your concerns about your children’s education are addressed and will support your advocacy for your children and your schools. I believe in evidence-based decision-making and meaningful consultation, and I will continue to weigh all decisions on the basis of benefit to students. I also believe that we need to continue to change and improve, with more individualized education, better strategic planning, fiscal accountability and good governance.  I offer a blend of experience, leadership and fresh ideas based on fact to meet the challenges of the next four years.

Ottawa Catholic School Board:

John Curry – Candidate elected by acclamation for OCSB – Zone 1 –

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Denis Labrèche –

My name is Denis Labrèche.  I am a candidate for zone 12 for the CEPEO for French public elementary schools in Riverside South, Barrhaven, Stittsville, and Kanata. I am fluently billingual.

I am interested in a trustee position for the CEPEO as I have an interest in community and public affairs and also with our educational system in Ontario.   I have over 15 years in community representation having been a President for a local community association in Ottawa for many years. I have three children that go to school that are with the CEPEO, one in elementary and two in secondary school. I have also lots of experience in community relation and liaison with the City of Ottawa.  My current and past experience can help the CEPEO board. I can be contacted at  On October 22, vote for Denis Labrèche.


Samia Ouled Ali – no contact information available

(Nothing submitted by publication deadline — information will be added when received.)

Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

Chad Mariage – Candidate elected by acclamation for CECCE – Zone 5 –

There you have it … be sure to get out and vote!