April 25th, 2009  

Hey Missy Dudes and Dudettes,

Yes, my city government is an evil empire. And yes, that evil empire continues to deny that it’s an evil empire but, well, sometimes that evil empire really does have something to celebrate.

And that’s what MISSISSAUGAWATCH will do today —celebrate MISSISSAUGA THIS WEEK.

And BOY was it a cool week! Mostly thanks to Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell.

On Wedesday Mayor Fennell showed up at Mississauga Council to present Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion with a Brampton Battalion hockey sweater. Seems the mayors had a friendly bet.  Clearly the Bramptom Battalion beat out the Mississauga Majors and now we have Hurricane Hazel encouraging Mississaugans to cheer for Brampton in the next round of hockey. Yes. Really.

So. For the many who couldn’t attend Wednesday’s Council…

I love this picture.


Mayor McCallion looked great in a Brampton Battalion hockey sweater and if Madam Mayor was at all crabby about having to wear the green-and-white, she sure didn’t show it. Total class act.

Then came time for the Mississauga Mayor to present some awards and pose for pictures. For that Mississauga official ceremony, a  Brampton Battalion hockey sweater simply wouldn’t do!

So……………………….  Those in attendance had some fun —along  the Mississauga Mayor and Councillor Nando Iannicca.

Here’s the MISSISSAUGAWATCH YouTube video


(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

But wait! There’s more! For those of you who can’t view YouTube videos easily, I took some freeze-frames from “The Sweater” video and turned  them ito an animated gif. Here ya go. Might make a cool screen saver…


Love McCallion’s laugh.

But not everything was fun at that Council meeting.

Because of the April 20, 2009 Mississauga News article, “City’s main financial man headed west”,  I attended Council knowing ahead of time that City of Mississauga would be losing Roberto Rossini, its Director of Finance, to the City of Hamilton.

So I did a lot of Rossini-watching on Wednesday —appreciating what may well be his final budget presentation, even as I was videotaping Infrastructure Spending.

I can see why he’s respected. Rossini’s got class and gentle humour that  makes Finance less boring.  Rossini’s admitted so many times that he loves numbers. It shows! Even when he hates what the numbers are telling him!

This is my favourite pic of Roberto Rossini waiting to address Council and BLACKBERRYing someone  (although I hope it’s not to the dude sitting closer to me who’s also BLACKBERRYing…)


The Director of Finance kept me awake during all those Budget deliberations. I mean, can you imagine?…

I’m going to miss Roberto Rossini.


The Mississauga Muse

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MISSISSAUGA GRAFFITI RESEARCH leads to “VIRTUAL GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA” (for All of Us “losers” with Nothing Better to do who need to “Get a Life”)

April 20th, 2009  

Just tons happening right here in MYTHissauga.

What I’d only observed and duly documented was confirmed last week. Anyone who is serious about trying to understand Youth isn’t going to get the goods from your government —whether that’s your local crime prevention association or the latest “youth study” funded by your provincial politicos.

Since March 2007, I’ve witnessed for myself that what Youth say to “intermediaries” is not relayed to elected officials or to the Public. At each step in the communication channel, a Youth’s message is filtered, modified, manicured and as I’ve personally experienced, BLOCKED altogether.

What’s left? Primary research. Watching videos that Mississauga/Peel Youth have produced and posted to YouTube. Reading Youth comments to other Youth —no matter how racist or repulsive. Following up on some of those comments.  Getting f**** ***s back and emailing them back again. Persevering, and sometimes being rewarded by a Youth who actually opens up.

Yesterday, I followed up on a Youth’s tip through YouTube and toured Brampton and Mississauga in search of graffiti. I can tell you this. The kid was right.

Just a reminder. Defniition of graffiti from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.



3 entries found. 1graffiti (transitive verb) 2graffiti (noun) graffito





Main Entry: 2graffiti Function: noun Etymology: Italian, plural of graffito Date: 1945




: usu. unauthorized writing or drawing on a public surface

The functional word here is “unauthorized”.

Didn’t take long to find some.

I knew I was on the right track right off the start. I’d settled into the back of Westwood Mall, set up my camera and tripod to compose a shot of “HELLRAZORS” when three kids (Grade 3 age) approached on bikes.

“You photographing graffiti?”

“Yeah,” I smiled.

Big grin back and— “COOL!”

and that was it.

Needless to say, there’s graffiti that I can’t share —no matter how artistically the F-word is sprayed to a surface.  I offer the results of yesterday’s foray presented by order the photos were taken.






Being a bit of an artist myself, I’d sure love to have my say on a highly-visible slab of concrete but I’m not even capable of littering, let alone “unauthorized writing or drawing on a public surface“.

So I’ve decided to try VIRTUAL GRAFFITI! And sooooooooooooo….


And because, I have a lot of time on my hands and nothing better to do and haven’t got a life…



The Mississauga Muse

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Hazel McCallion saves Sheridan Library: “…please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing!”

April 17th, 2009  

Hey Missy Dudes and Dudettes,

Apologies for not having a fresh Blog since April 14th but there’s just been so much to document/research that there’s simply been no time to report on what’s happening.

To give you an idea of what MISSISSAUGAWATCH has been up to in the data collection department since Monday’s Blog here’s a list.

Data collection, researching through Freedom of Information and bearing witness to what needs to be witnessed are far more important than regular Blogging.

You’d think that would go without saying. But no.

The Internet is thoroughly polluted with Blogs spouting opinion —the situation made worse by comments to opinion-focussed Blogs spouting opinion from readers spouting their opinions.   Far too many Blogs assault readers with hundreds of words before actual supporting documents/data are presented.

The very worst Blogs are 100% opinion.

I can tell you this —consider it a reader alert. As of this week, one more Blog (already toxic with unsubstantiated opinion) has joined our virtual world.

As for MISSISSAUGAWATCH.CA,  all I can say is Freedom of Information research continues…

Next. Today’s Blog.


I’ve been observing Mississauga Council since June 2006 and I can’t tell you the number of times Budget deliberations have threatened the Sheridan Library. Cut hours. Cut hours. Cut hours.

Cut hours so much that here’s what Sheridan Library service looks like today (from the website). Hint: When you scan the hours, think of when kids are in school and parents at work.

NEW! Hours – Winter 2009

Mon 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tues 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Wed 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thurs 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sat 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

There’s a worrisome trend at the City of Mississauga that I’ve already mentioned in previous Blogs. Two years worth of Freedom of Information documents reveal that City of Mississauga Staff aren’t strong on social issues.

Cut-and-pasting from a previous Blog that dealt with cuts to hours of library service, Councilor Saito said it best.

PAT SAITO: They are probably the four libraries that are in the area of most need.”

“I guess when I look at the, the hours, or sorry, the libraries that are suggested to be closed for the saving on the Friday evenings and the Sundays.. You know (small chuckle) they’re the four libraries —four of them, Meadowvale, Burnhamthorpe, Malton and South Common. They are probably the four libraries that are in the area of most need.” —Mississauga Councillor Pat Saito (October 15, 2008 Budget Meeting)

Now speaking of areas with most need, we have Sheridan Library. And I have to say I found the presentation by the Mississauga consultant fascinating. For one thing, she used 2004 data. For those who need the Obvious spelled out for them 2004 was five years ago!

The other odd item was the difference of opinion about the needs of the community in the immediate area. The City of Mississauga consultant downplayed the need —that there were other parts of Mississauga more “at-risk”. Then the E.S.L. (English as a Second Language) teacher for the nearby Oakridge Public School, who attended to support his kids, provided data showing that the Peel District School Board identified his school —Oakridge, as Number One in terms of  need.

Two studies. Two very different findings. Something is very wrong here.

I suppose that this is as good a place as any to tell readers that in my former life, I taught at Oakridge Public School back in the mid 70’s. Many youngsters were needy back then!

A lot of people attended this meeting to defend the Sheridan Library. But I have to congratulate that Oakridge E.S.L. teacher because he served up data. Facts.

As a result of the information he provided, he’s made it possible for me to file Freedom of Information on various aspects of the Sheridan Library. (I won’t reveal more because I know the minions of evil empire move their lips to this Blog.)


Here’s the bottomline.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion  has the following message.

“Please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing. “

And I’m only too happy to.


And not only that but just from examining the Mayor’s face during her speech and afterwards, it’s a pretty good guess that she’s going to see that this needy community’s largely new immigrants (and the Oakridge kids) get a library reflective of those needs.

Ward Councillor Katie Mahoney has defended Sheridan Library every single time it was threatened. Afterwards, I even stood in line to speak with her and thank her for the resolute defence she played on behalf of these people. Mahoney squawked every single time. And her last Council squawk made it clear to Mississauga Staff not to bring up the topic of closing again.

Still, a Councillor has surprising little power.

What has guaranteed a brighter future for Sheridan Library is McCallion herself.  I’m convinced that the Mississauga Mayor did not know the embarrassing conditions at Sheridan Library. Frankly I had my eyes opened too Wednesday evening as well.

The cramped conditions and aging books sure turned the News Release,  “Service Options Review for the Sheridan Community” into an Orwellian joke.

Down at the very bottom of the City’s News Release. it states:

Mississauga is Canada’s sixth largest city with a population of more than 700,000. With well-established infrastructure and state of the art facilities, the City is considered to be an employer of choice, delivering quality municipal programs and services to its citizens. Mississauga is a dynamic, diverse, and progressive municipality, known for its economic strength and for being Canada’s safest city.

“state of the art facilities”?! STICK IT YOU SPINMEISTERS IN COMMUNICATIONS!

Well, I certainly feel better now…

So here is video of Mayor McCallion’s wonderful address to the Sheridan Library Community Wednesday evening.  And the transcript of the video. All for the record.


(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

TRANSCRIPT  Mayor Hazel McCallion Sheridan Library April 15, 2009 public meeting:

Thank you very much and I came to listen. And there are some excellent suggestions put forward.

And I want you to know that your Councillor has protected this library.

And I want you to know that myself and the Councillor and even Councillor Mullin, is concerned about reducing the library hours.

Because I really believe the library, in many years, is the community centre as much as it is, especially for the students.

And you know, today, in order for Canada to be competitive, it is so important that our children get every opportunity to learn more because that’s the only way will remain competitive.

[Apologies, battery change]

The services, by the way, Paul, [Ed: Commissioner of Community Services, Paul Mitcham] that we provide in this library obviously is not adequate. I hate to hear that there’s not enough computers. Today, the children, when they’re doing their research, the computer is such a key to it.

So I heard two things tonight –how the library is stocked. Is it that same as others libraries in the area? I don’t mean all libraries. We DO have the Central Library. And we DO have a district library. And we have a [inaudible] library and therefore they should be all equal, whether the neighbourhood is here or in Streetsville or Erin Mills or wherever it is.

So we heard tonight, there is a need. As I say, your Councillor has protected the library. There was a movement to close it and she stood up and made sure it wasn’t closed.

Now we’re here tonight and Councillor Mullin has joined us.

The library, you know, years ago, when there weren’t community centres and there weren’t arenas and there weren’t all those things, there were libraries. Think about that. There were libraries because that was the key to a community.

And so the library is an extremely important facility in the community.

In regard, I agree with Councillor Mahoney as well, that the library should be located in the right location and that is important as well –to be able to be available to as many people as possible.

Not all –we can’t have a library on every corner –we can’t have a library right next to your house, I wish we could, but we can’t. So we have to choose a good location. And I think your Councillor is well aware of where the library should be.

We will attempt –I will try to negotiate with the owner of this plaza as well. And I would think that the economic downturn and the fact that plazas are not doing as well –and this one, I understand is not doing as well as others and I think that there’s a pretty good negotiating opportunity.

Secondly, we will look at land within this area that Councillor has clearly defined to see if there is. It’s tough to purchase land these days, you know. You can’t force people to sell it to you but we will make every effort.

I know that Paul, our Commissioner here tonight, will bring me up to date on the negotiations that are taking place with the owner of this plaza and I will get involved.

So tonight you gave us some ideas –I think they’re great– I want you to know that we are here to serve you and to serve this community as we try– [McCallion cut off by applause]

So thank you for coming and please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing!



The Mississauga Muse

HAZEL MCCALLION: READ "TRANSCRIPT Mayor Hazel McCallion Sheridan Library April 15, 2009 public meeting: ...and please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing"

Addtional resources.

I was unaware that the young man sitting in the chair to my right was Peter, the person who left an announcement about the Sheridan Library meeting in “About the Mississaugas Muse”.  I Googled him and found his excellent summary of the Sheridan Library meeting.

Peter Browne describes himself as a “Peter Browne student. nerd. politics activist” and I encourage you to read his “Sheridan Branch Library Meeting” summary. Clearly Peter is a Blogger committed to informing his readers. He’s actually posted an audiotape of the  meeting as an mp3!  Audio and video cut through the He Saids and She Saids of differing opinions of what actually happened.

Also please visit Peter’s Flickr site for his photographs of the information slides presented at that meeting.

Last. Here is the Mississauga News article, “Neighbourhood needs its library, residents say”.

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April 11th, 2009  

Hey Missy Dudes and Dudettes,

Today’s Blog is going to be a little different because it will consist entirely of a report I filed inside Mississauga Council Chambers last Wednesday as Council went “in-camera”.

It’s essentially my incredulous and frustrated response to  the chronic blight of citizens being limited to MINUTES of Council meetings. Being limited to reading the accounts of all the He-Saids, She-Saids They-Saids of municipal government meetings through manicured MINUTES.

MINUTES —someone writing stuff down, just like it was done back when papyrus was first invented!

So, crabby, I vented into my video camera my own “Why aren’t we recording all meetings on VIDEO? Or at least AUDIO?” report.

Today’s Blog will be the transcript.


(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)


I have to say that Council today was really remarkable in the amount of “He-Said She-Said They-Said” that was going on. And they were talking about going back to minutes of meetings.

Well, I mean, I happen to know when you compare the video of the Council and even General Committee meetings –the video that I shoot, and you compare it to what actually makes it in the minutes, we’re talking about Creative Writing here. And that’s a problem that is systemic here at the City of Mississauga.

And what they write down is essentially [a] manicured message of The Corporation and that’s pretty well anybody who’s required to write a report of some kind.

And what was particularly fascinating was reference to what happened at various in-camera meetings. Now in-camera meetings are closed, secret meetings –really, away from the public. In fact the word, “in-camera” means exactly the opposite.

They go off into a special room up there. I guess it’s on the third floor and then away from the public. We don’t know what they’re talking about in there. And there seems to be, no not “seems to be” –certainly, there was considerable debate as to what it is that they actually said in behind closed doors.

And it’s left me to wonder, surely the in-camera meetings aren’t limited to somebody taking notes [whispering into camera] because City of Mississauga is not good at taking notes. You don’t want them to take notes on you.” [whispering ends]

[Pauses to think…]

We’re in the new millennium. 2009 now. And we’re witnessing an entity –indeed, pretty well all municipalities -that they limit the minutes of their meetings to what someone chooses to write down and record.

And just from my own experience and research and two years of Freedom of Information documents –to be able to tell the difference between what they [City of Mississauga] say publicly and what The Reality shows, you know, they do privately…

‘scuse me, telephone.

[cell phone call interrupts. Fade to black. Fade in]

Where was I? Right. We’re in a new millennium where the kind of camera that I’m using right now to record this has seven hours of recording time. [reaches for digital recorder] We have digital audio recorders that can record for days!

And yet we’re limiting things to minutes of meetings –in other words, Pen and Quill Technology, and the public is limited to what someone chooses to record.

And in my own experience, and this is researching and securing documents through Freedom of Information, it’s often what they don’t record that screws you over royally.

And I’m just wondering when the debate between, “well this was said and that was said and this was left out and no, no, no you don’t have all the facts” -what I don’t understand is why they can’t have [points] on that computer screen, because I can do it at home -go to my hard drive, I can go right now and find out what the March 11th meeting said about Enersource or about some corporate policy or what by-law was passed or what wasn’t –and I can’t understand -why we’re limited to someone’s view of what happened!

That’s why I’m recording this! Because I know the inventive Creative Writing that goes on here. Because the selective “memory” [gestures] within these walls is obscene!

[whispers] It’s obscene!

And I uh, just two weeks ago, I secured Freedom of Information on Report Writing for Mississauga Corporate Security and it was a pdf file [Ed: incorrect, I meant “Power Point” files] and there were three documents. And while it didn’t say directly that you should keep stuff out, it did warn the guards that anybody could secure or ask for their records –and by the way, I do.

And they also mention “Freedom of Information” as being one.

So they don’t want to write down something that doesn’t advance the interests of The Corporation.

And you know, you’ve got Parrish and Adams saying one thing. You’ve got Mahoney saying something else and you know [reaches for digital audio recorder] let’s hear it in here! Or better yet, on video.

And I really think, one of the things is, forty or fifty years from now –because I think our democracy is being eroded something horrible, just.

We’re allowing our governments to use technology unfettered and that includes [points to Council Pelco PTZ “Pelco One”] these frikkin’ video surveillance cameras without any oversight!

And they’re using this sophisticated technology and yet citizens forty/fifty years from now, when they’re going to want to know how Mississauga came about. How it responded to the Smart Growth. How it got the transit system it developed. That’s happening right here, right now! This is The History.

And we’re allowing –citizens are allowing the history of this city to be [points to Council] to be written by them!  And, and, it isn’t just that, it’s all Ontarians are allowing that to happen. Whether it’s in Vaughan, in Whitby, in Ajax, in Brampton, in Oakville. All citizens in Ontario –and I’m going to use the word “victimized” -are being victimized by minutes of meetings as opposed to it being recorded and the actual video record of every Council meeting, of every General (Committee) meeting, of every Audit Committee meeting should be part of the record!

And I know why it isn’t. I know why it isn’t. Because a video record cuts through the “He-Said, She-Said”. Cuts through the selective reporting -or even the lies. Because.. [long pause]

I, uh –the thing that happened today with Councillor Parrish and her frustra-I can understand the frustration! I can understand what it’s like to be stonewalled, to have delays, to be treated with disrespect –and by the way, being bullied, intimidated, threatened and [very long pause] I can understand her frustration.

[even longer pause]

They’re coming back (from in-camera). So let me record it this way.

Let’s add “no video records of things” and “selective minutes, selective reporting” as another Root of Youth Violence.



The Mississauga Muse

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GRAFFITI update and the Peel Regional Police 2009 Public Opinion Online Survey: express your views on key safety and security issues

April 5th, 2009  

Hey Missy Dudes and Dudettes,

I’ve been thinking a lot about graffiti and scribbles on walls quickly wrenched me back to the mid-60’s and the immediate impact that Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Sounds of Silence” had on me.

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whispered in the sounds of silence.

Today I want to concentrate on the “And the signs said, the words of the prophets Are written on the subway walls And tenement halls.” part.

You see over the last two years I’ve also been documenting graffiti in the City of Mississauga. Unfortunately many flash the F-word and just as many contain obscene drawings (an expertly drawn fully-erect penis  pencilled onto a ramp at Mississauga City Hall’s Skate Plaza springs immediately to mind. And yes, pun intended.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being moralistic, just bemoaning that it’s difficult to share these sexually-explicit graffiti offerings when it’s my hope to provide MISSISSAUGAWATCH as a resource for Peel Youth currently (to put it charitably) not resourced.

And the signs said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.

Graffiti. Tagging. Vandalism. What’s it all mean?

And why is there so much of it in Ottawa? And so little in Mississauga —but now it’s growing.

Who even does graffiti?  Why do some sprayers just limit themselves to initials?

Used to be a time when I needed to learn something I’d reach for a book or (scientific) literature on the subject. Now, more and more I turn to YouTube and the primary information that can be found there —videos produced by “the prophets” themselves.

This purpose of today’s Blog is to invite people to send up pics of graffiti in and around Mississauga, Brampton (Peel Region). I’m really interested in documenting the material before it’s sprayed over.

When you go to Flickr and word search “GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA” you get 69 results. No surprise that the “graffiti wall” mural at Mississauga City Hall’s Skate Plaza shows up. But I don’t really consider that graffiti. Here’s why.


Main Entry: 2 graffiti
Function: noun
Etymology: Italian, plural of graffito
Date: 1945

: usu. unauthorized writing or drawing on a public surface

See why I don’t consider that City Hall Skate Plaza mural to be graffiti?  Bet your boots some Big Yellow “suit” in Communications approved that mural from beginning to end.

Now this is graffiti (found in Newfoundland).


Sure. “Unauthorized” but the gentle message made us smile.

By contrast… graffiti photographed on October 1, 2008 at the Mississauga  Hurontario/Dundas Transit “hub”…


And the signs said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.

And then there’s temporary graffiti like this one I documented at the Mississauga Transit Creditview Road bus shelter directly opposite St. Joseph Secondary School back on January 16, 2007.

"temporary" graffiti documented at the Mississauga Transit Creditview Road bus shelter directly opposite St. Joseph Secondary School baclk on January 16, 2007.

I see more of this stuff every day. What’s it mean?

And there’s an entire youth culture that I didn’t want to know existed —how to describe…

I can tell you this. No book, no canned TV documentary delivered the message that watching YouTube graffiti videos did.  Holy jumpin’.  (What police have to deal with!)

I had to struggle with whether to share this here.  It’s video of a subway train “graffiti bombing” in the Paris subway videotaped by the perpetrators (in what I figure to be 1998) . It shows the shocking damage that a half dozen Youth can inflict between stations during  an orchestrated rampage.

I examined the video carefully and could see no video surveillance cameras about. Maybe that’s because it was 1998. Don’t know.

I can’t imagine how scary it was for the female passengers or the lone female transit employee  when two perps tagged the glass of her kiosk.

This YouTube video “Graffiti: Dirty Handz” packs a powerful message especially in light of the McMurtry/Curling Roots of Youth Violence Report and its “we are at a crossroads” warning.

PLEASE do not view this video if you are offended by the F-word, let alone the F-word in offensive song and in every possible offensive variation.


Graffiti: Dirty Handz (4:32 min)

(WARNING: HIGHLY OFFENSIVE CONTENT! Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

Somewhat related topic… communicating.

Posted this yesterday at Mississauga Blogs and hope all readers living in Brampton and Mississauga help out by filling in this online survey .

Peel Regional Police 2009 Public Opinion Survey online: express your views on key safety and security issues



Citizens are asked to fill out the survey between MARCH 23 AND APRIL 20, 2009.

Peel Police write that “the survey process is being managed by an independent market research company” and for more details about this survey, (including a message from the police chief) check out:

This survey is presented in several languages so here we go. To start the Peel Police survey, just click on your preferred language.








I filled out mine yesterday.


The Mississauga Muse


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Councillor Carolyn Parrish slams City’s $731,485.00 “goof up” that “flew through” Mississauga Council with ZERO discussion.

April 2nd, 2009  

Just thought I’d share video of yesterday’s $731,485.00 General Committee meeting.

Long story short, regarding Mississauga’s transit revenue loss of $731,485.00 , I was advised (thanks to the tipster) that the Ottawa Citizen first broke the story of Infoplace Ticket Centre woes on January 27, 2009 but didn’t name Mississauga as a creditor.

Money woes shut lottery kiosks

Five area booths affected; company owes $9.7M

By Tony Lofaro, The Ottawa Citizen January 27, 2009

OTTAWA — Five lottery kiosks in Ottawa and others across the country closed on the weekend, and threw close to 800 people out of work.

The kiosks, owned by Infoplace Ticket Centres Ltd. and located in Carlingwood Mall, Billings Bridge Plaza, Place d’Orléans, Lincoln Fields and Hazeldean Mall and 180 other locations across Canada, shut down Friday night. The kiosks sold lottery tickets, bus passes and postage stamps and were franchise operations with five or six employees at each location.

“We disabled the terminals so that lottery business could no longer be conducted, given their situation. We had no alternative,” Don Pister, a spokesman for the Ontario Lottery Corp., said Monday.

He said the Infoplace Ticket Centres Ltd. represented “less than one per cent” of retailers that sold lottery tickets across the province. In Ontario, more than 10,000 outlets sell tickets on behalf of the lottery corporation, he said.

“It’s too soon to say what happened, but the company ran out of money,” said Hassan Jaffer, a trustee with Grant Thornton Ltd. Trustees in Toronto. He said the Toronto-based company owes 40 creditors about $9.7 million…

By February 11, 2009, The Ottawa Citizen listed Mississauga out by $600,000.

Bankrupt ticket firm owes city $1.9M

Ottawa officials to attend upcoming court hearing in hopes of getting money back

By Jake Rupert, The Ottawa Citizen February 11, 2009

The city’s 2009 financial outlook has taken a potential $1.9-million hit with the bankruptcy of a kiosk company that used to sell bus tickets and passes, and one councillor is angry the municipality was doing business in a manner that left it exposed to that high of a loss.

Infoplace Ticket Centres Ltd. had five kiosks in Ottawa shopping malls. The company largely sold lottery tickets and bus passes and tickets near major transit stations. It filed for bankruptcy at the end of January.

According to the trustee appointed to oversee the bankruptcy process, the company owes $9.7 million and the City of Ottawa is its largest unsecured creditor. Infoplace Ticket Centres operated 180 kiosks across Canada.

The list of creditors includes several other municipalities including:

Yet it took the Toronto Star (and Mississauga News) until March 25, 2009 to pick up the story. Why?

Mississauga mayor calls for audit after city fails to collect $731,000 owed by bus ticket firm

Mar 25, 2009 04:30 AM

Comments on this story (4)


Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion has ordered a city-wide audit of money owed to the municipality after she learned her city could be out $731,485 in transit ticket revenues with the collapse of a kiosk chain.

Why did it take two months after the story appeared in the Ottawa Citizen for it to break in Toronto/Mississauga?

And it seems that I’m not the only one asking for details.

The $731,485 revenue-loss appeared as Item 29 on yesterday’s General Committee “additional” agenda.

Zero discussion, just “flew through” and it was moved for receipt in 19 seconds then neatly swept behind the secrecy of closed doors.

However Council did talk for over ten minutes on whether to spend $15,000 to remove a wall that was ordered built by just one councillor who wanted a wall where one originally wasn’t (you’re getting all this down, right?). I managed to videotape eight minutes of wall-discussion but there was actually more that didn’t get documented (perilously low battery).

To Councillor Carolyn Parrish’s credit, she’d finally had enough. Here is the transcript.

Councillor Carolyn Parrish:

I find it fascinating that we’re spending this much time on it [talking about $15,000 on a wall] and the report where we lost $750,000 on bankrupting [inaudible because I said, “Exactly” into the camera] just flew through. And I’m going to tell you the reason it flew through without my asking the questions that I want to ask is that I think it involves personnel.And I want to know why —and it’s coming up again in-camera, and I want to know why it took four months for us to be informed and I want to know who goofed up when it says in the policy, “Cash or cheque on delivery arrangements for tickets”. But I don’t want the audience or the people watching on television to think we spend all our time on a $15,000 wall and we’re ignoring the $750,000 mess up on tickets that we’ll never get back plus the other amounts —the outstanding tickets that we won’t get back.”

Then they went behind closed doors (called “in-camera”) came back to make their announcements. All except for Parrish. Her seat was empty (the lady’s not good with pretending)…

Called out the Item then —nothing. “Flew through” again and adjourned.

Here is video.


(1:37 min: 8 minutes of which was compressed into 5 seconds)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

Ask yourself why Mississauga Council  “flew through” Item 29 without a word, whisked it behind closed doors ( in-camera) and then “flew through” again once out from behind closed doors.

Control the Message.

If Rick Mercer is reading this, that’s how you “stay in power for 31 years.”

And that’s why citizens need The Province to grant  the Ontario Ombudsman  full investigative powers into municipalities as well as the rest of the MUSH sector.


The Mississauga Muse

UPDATE: THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2009 11:30 pm Special thank you to the YouTuber who emailed me and requested that I cut down the wall-discussion even further. So now the 8-minute wall-discussion is compressed down to 5 seconds. And I’ve replaced the original vid. Thanks again to the viewer for the comment. You made the video much better.

Mississauga Muse at April 1, 2009 General Committee meeting (splitting headache in need of caffeine)

“But I don’t want the audience or the people watching on television to think we spend all our time on a $15,000 wall and we’re ignoring the $750,000 mess up on tickets that we’ll never get back plus the other amounts —the outstanding tickets that we won’t get back.”

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