Toronto Catholic school board trustees will freeze all hiring and ask staff to calculate how much could be saved by delaying non-essential repairs and technology projects for one year in a last-ditch bid to fend off a government takeover.


Reeling from a spending scandal and government anger that they have not balanced their books, trustees last night voted to not hire new staff, but to fill all positions from within. As well, staff are being asked to report by tomorrow on how to wipe out the looming $14-million deficit without hurting classroom programs.


Some trustees said they hope the plan will show government investigator Pierre Filiatrault there is no need to recommend the province take over the board’s finances.


“It may be a short turnaround, but we want to show, within 48 hours, that we have left no stone unturned to close the (budget) gap,” said trustee Rob Davis.