Jessica Sartori, trustee for the Greater Essex County District School Board, is seen in her seat at the board table on December 2, 2014. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Trustee Calls For Boycott Of Caboto Club

The Greater Essex County District School Board could soon be the latest organization to boycott the Caboto Club over its men-only rule.

Trustee Jessica Sartori introduced a Notice of Motion at Tuesday night’s meeting calling on her colleagues to support a ban on holding events at the club after the end of the school year.

“I think it’s important for the school board to take this stand because quite frankly, it goes against our own values of equal opportunity for boys and girls,” says Sartori. “There may be some events that are booked there until the end of the school year. I want to give the school board an opportunity to adjust as well.”

The executive board agreed to take the matter to its general assembly last week, after meeting with two other high-profile members, Unifor National Auto Director Dino Chiodo and Windsor & District Chamber of Commerce President Matt Marchand.

The general assembly meets this month, and the motion will not be voted on until the next board meeting on March 20. If the club’s membership votes to allow female members and extend voting on policy to them, Sartori says she will withdraw the motion.

Sartori says the board does not hold many meetings there anymore, although it did book a mental health seminar at the Caboto Club in 2016.

“There have been discussions, and in fact, the school board already does not use those facilities to a great extent,” she says.

The men-only rule came to light earlier this month when Premier Kathleen Wynne cancelled a booking for a town hall meeting at the Caboto Club, opting instead to hold it at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts. Since then, the Windsor & District Labour Council has agreed to discourage its member unions from booking events at the club, and city councillor Bill Marra threatened to let his membership lapse.