As reported in Newsweek, residents of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board turned out en masse to a board meeting Monday night to demand answers from the board about why it continued to tolerate racist remarks made online by one of its Trustees, Wendy Ashby, trustee for Kitchener/Wilmot,
A tweet from Ashby’s now-deleted twitter stream from October of last year alleged "The most dangerous creature on the planet is the White Christian Male. They're a threat to anyone that is not them."
In a March, 2023 comment on a line item from the 2023 Ontario budget to promote the PSW profession, Ashby further targeted white women. Ashby tweeted that the money was “hush money” from Doug Ford’s government to buy PSWs’ silence about being underpaid. The tweet read, “White women make obedient soldiers for the christofascist patriarchy."
A crowd of over fifty protestors gathered before the meeting waving signs that said “0% Tolerance for Racism. Resign Trustee Ashby,” and “Why are you labelling constituents as the most dangerous creatures on the planet?” and simply “Wendy Ashby must resign!”
Trustee Ashby attended the meeting by teleconference.
Near the beginning of the meeting matters quickly came to a head when David Menzies of Rebel News saw an opportunity to ask the question the crowd wanted asked: was the board going to continue to tolerate racist remarks from Trustee Ashby?
When the chair tried to silence Menzies, the gallery erupted chanting “Shame!“ Shame!” The chair was unable to silence the gallery, after trying three times to no avail, and instead led trustees and staff away from the circle and into private, while the board called police.
Seven police cruisers responded, including a pair of officers to speak to the public and a number of others who spoke separately to David Menzies. One community member said publicly that she felt traumatized by the police presence.
The police issued a notice of trespass to David Menzies so that he was banned from the remainder of the meeting.
The people in the gallery indicated that they would be quiet so that the meeting could continue.
When the meeting resumed, delegate, parent and former trustee candidate Ahmed Kassad told the board that he didn’t feel safe with his children in a board where such remarks were tolerated.
“I believe that the act of singling out any race or gender and perpetuating stereotypes based on that race or gender, can be clearly defined as racist behavior,” said Kassad. “And I have no confidence or trust in anyone in a leadership position who displays this hateful behavior.
Seeing a trustee make these disgusting remarks, is a sure sign that this trustee subscribes to woke ideologies based on critical race theory. These concepts that teach that white people are oppressors have no merit and do harm to everyone exposed to them…
These type of statements are seeds of division and they do not contribute to moving us forward together.”
The full gallery of parents cheered Kassad on as he finished. No questions were asked by trustees afterward.
“Trustees left parents with more questions than answers,” said Pierre. “Does the board appreciate that the public no longer has confidence in Trustee Ashby? Will any repercussions follow for her hateful, bigoted remarks? The public is demanding a response from the board and will not allow silence to continue to prevail.”