toronto blue jays ceo and for-mer Sun Media king Paul Godfrey may be in for a rough reception when he takes the podium to speak at Bathurst Heights Secondary School's 50th-anniversary celebrations June 23.A school selection committee decided to invite Godfrey, a former alumnus who went on to fame and fortune, to celebrate the school's anniversary as well as mark its closing. Bathurst Heights is one of several high schools scheduled to close.
But some students, as well as a former president of the student council, have questioned the invitation, given Godfrey's ties to the Tory government responsible for the cuts that precipitated the school's closing. They're now circulating a petition to have Godfrey uninvited. A Web site has also been set up. The ripple effects have reached the classrooms, where teachers are bringing up the subject for discussion.
"It really doesn't seem the most appropriate choice under the circumstances," says Ulli Diemer, a former Bathurst student who got the petition rolling.
Principal Michael Rethazi acknowledges that the school's closure has been very difficult for students, many of them from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the area. Still, he's a little miffed that some have chosen to throw a wrench into the works.
"We wanted this to be an opportunity for people to meet friends and say goodbye," he says. "Anything that detracts from that would be unfortunate." Godfrey did not respond to a request from NOW for comment.