The TDSB recently accepted $1 million from a developer to build a new playground in exchange for abandoning the plan to work alongside the City to fight the planned development at the upcoming Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing. The proposed development casts a shadow over the entire school yard every morning, creating a sub-optimal play space for students.
Why would the TDSB agree to such a deal? Sadly, because it made sense when weighing the guaranteed $1 million from the developer against the uncertain $400,000 compensation if the OMB hearing resulted in a win.
Developers should be contributing financially to TDSB schools in communities where they build via Education Development Charges (EDCs). However, due to current provincial regulations, the TDSB doesn’t qualify so instead, we see these one-off deals where developers only contribute to public schools when backed into a corner.
The Province must change the regulation guiding the collection and use of EDC’s so that TDSB schools benefit routinely from new development. The TDSB has been lobbying the Province to do this since January, 2014 and Fix Our Schools has been lobbying the Province on this issue since May, 2014. To find out more about EDCs, visit Education Development Charges 101