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WCDSB trustee issues resignation over ‘wokeism’ and ‘identity politics’ (update)

Kevin Dupuis and Greg Reitzel handed in their resignations over the weekend, which was ratified Monday
Waterloo Catholic District School Board 2
Waterloo Catholic District School Board admin. building on Weber St.

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board will be ratifying the resignation of Kevin Dupuis at a board meeting Monday evening, after receiving the Kitchener/Wilmot trustee’s letter of resignation over the weekend. He cited issues with what he refers to as ‘wokeism’, Dupuis had previously suggested he’d resign over the board’s decision to fly the Pride flag – though as the board continues to make decisions that Dupuis argues move “further and deeper” into things he finds questionable, and meeting opposition in raising his viewpoints that he admitted are contentious, the trustee said he’ll be leaving his position.

Speaking with 570 NEWS, Dupuis elaborated on his reasoning for his resignation and the perceived issues of the board – as he maintained that there’s not a single trustee on the board that does not want to make students feel welcome. With regards to the flying of the Pride flag, Dupuis said that there wasn’t an opportunity to vote on the decision – and when he had suggested that the matter be sent as a referendum to the “Catholic ratepayers’, he was turned down.

“What we did receive was an equity census report that was laced with numerous instances of what I would say was a further separation of our students,” said Dupuis. “It’s using an awful lot of identity politics – and although the report looks like we’re doing something that is required and maybe needs to be done, the report separates everyone into subcategories by race, sex, gender and ethnicity.”

“On the surface, it looks like a reasonable request – but my point is that it further divides us as victims (...) and I don’t think that we should be treating our students as victims.”

According to Dupuis, conversations around whether or not to fly the Pride flag at our local Catholic schools did involve conversations with SPECTRUM, a safe space for LGBTQ members of the community – though Dupuis expressed concern that conversations weren’t had with those “on the opposing side”.

“We didn’t ask parents groups, we didn’t ask Right to Life, Parents as First Educators; not that they asked to speak to us. SPECTRUM did, but I just thought it seemed to be one-sided (...) any of the conversations that were held over the last year were really much more for one side than the other.”

When asked to elaborate on the “wokeism” cited in his resignation letter, Dupuis raised concern with the way in which “critical race theory” was “creeping in” to the board, as he argued that there was a “self-loathing attitude” being created for students. Dupuis also spoke to his perspective that the local Catholic board seems to have an agenda that is moving into territory he deemed “questionable” as he referred specifically to the board’s statements put out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“A lot of people believe that All Lives Matter, and that is considered hate speech by many,” said Dupuis. “Things like that are concerning, and it seems to be driven by a very left-leaning agenda. That’s what I’m speaking out against – this need for identity politics when I think we’re all children of God; we should all be united and coming together as one. That’s why I’m resigning.”

Dupuis added that his comments speaking out against “wokeism” put him “on the line”, as he made reference to comments made by trustee Greg Reitzel last year regarding the Pride flag that lead to a strong reaction from the community, with some individuals calling for his resignation.

“Those things are a part of the wokeism I’m speaking about – this is all part of the cancel culture that goes along with wokeism”, said Dupuis. “Wokeism brings down statues of (Sir) John A. Macdonald. It asks for police departments to be defunded (...) it breaks out to complete anarchy and rioting in Portland, Oregon.”

With his resignation ratified on Monday evening, Dupuis said he will likely continue the conversation around ‘wokeism’ in the future as he intends to run in the next federal election.

“I feel there’s a need to speak up. I just see what’s happening in the world – so it’s something I feel very passionate about; I think that we’re going astray in some of our values,” said Dupuis. “I will be running in this next federal election for Kitchener-Conestoga with the People’s Party of Canada.”

At Monday's meeting, it was learned trustee Greg Reitzel also made the decision to step down.


"We may not always agree on all issues or decisions but do value, respect, and appreciate all voices at the table as it allows for meaningful discussions with the hope of working together," Board Chair Melanie Van Alphen said in a statement to 570 NEWS Tuesday morning.

"We appreciate this wasn't an easy decision for either of them but respect their choice to resign as Trustees from Waterloo Catholic and did ratify this at the Board meeting."

"We truly wish both Greg and Kevin all the best."

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