Search Mississauga Councillors’ homes for email leak! McCallion-ally Councillor Katie Mahoney HER WORDS (January 12, 2011 transcript)

January 21st, 2011  

It took me longer than I’d have liked but I finally worked up the video to accompany National Post’s Megan O’Toole January 12, 2011 article, “Mississauga councillors call for investigation into leaked memos”.

January 12, 2011 – 12:23 pm

Mississauga councillors allied with Mayor Hazel McCallion are calling for a full investigation into the source of leaked internal memos, which fuelled public outrage about the city’s use of taxpayer dollars after the National Post exclusively revealed their contents this week.

The hyperbole was cranked into full gear at Wednesday’s meeting of general committee, where Councillor Katie Mahoney drew a parallel to the high-profile WikiLeaks scandal and urged all members to submit to electronic searches of their home and office computers — a concept one councillor decried as “Orwellian.”

I arrived late for Council and so was forced to buy a DVD of the meeting and videotape as it played from the DVD. So this offering is coming directly from the Better than Nothing Department and features McCallion-ally-uber-secretive-Councillor Katie Mahoney calling for a search of all Councillors’ homes to track down who leaked the email leak to National Post’s Megan O’Toole.

As always, our video is followed by the transcript.

Mississauga Councillor Katie Mahoney’s answer to email leaks, SEARCH COUNCILLORS’ HOMES! (8:25 min)

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

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]

McCallion-ally Councillor Jim Tovey (Chair, Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

Number 17, emails.

Emails.

[laughs]

McCallion-ally Councillor Katie Mahoney (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

Thank you.

I introduced this and I think we’re all well aware of the topic of how these —what the topic of these emails that were sent off to media were all about. So I’m not going to discuss that. I guess my issue is, the City Manager had definitely, well Number One, I mean somebody doesn’t have a lot of courage if they don’t speak to the rest of Council or to the City Manager but I did put that in the email.

I don’t know if the media have it or not —my thoughts are far as the person who forwarded this on.

But the City Manager in her second email indicate very clearly that this email may not be forwarded to anyone for any reason without express written permission of the author.

And I guess the concern is that, over the years, we all have expected that that would be a binding comment that legally one cannot forward emails on. And certainly we have been advised as Council, and our Staff have been advised that if any email is received in our offices with that indication that we have to ask permission of the author of the email before we can forward it on to staff for any action or to deal with it.

So what I’m looking for is what is the legal situation on something that —on an email that comes in or a letter, or any correspondence, I guess, whichever way it comes, that has that disclaimer or claimer on it that this may not be forwarded on.

And maybe Mary Ellen, you can help me out with that.

City Solicitor Mary Ellen Bench (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

Now generally in our by-laws, we have provisions that deal with in-camera reports and provisions that deal with some confidential material but it’s not as much a legal requirement as it is a Council policy on some of those.

Those disclaimers, as you have indicated, are very common and used by just about anybody and that will go to the weight of a document. If it’s distributed to someone and gets in the wrong hands in a court situation. However, and that’s because the ownership remains with the person who wrote the document and who said it can’t be forwarded.

However, there is no legal violation if that request is not respected.

McCallion-ally Councillor Katie Mahoney (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

So it’s really professional courtesy, I guess. We’ve been all reading about Wikipedia [sic] leaks and all of that sort of thing.

But there is a Council policy that pertains to staff —I guess we sometimes, as Council, believe we’re above City policies and procedures.

So there is no legal recourse on this as I’m understanding. But if it did go to court there would be some weight attached because that disclaimer was in place?

City Solicitor Mary Ellen Bench (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

It would certainly be one of the things that the court would look at if it got into the wrong hands, yes. But again, it’s not something that would be the subject of a charge.

In this case, we do have, for example, the Respectful Workplace Policy.

McCallion-ally Councillor Katie Mahoney (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

Exactly.

City Solicitor Mary Ellen Bench (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

We do have provisions in our Code of Conduct that talks about respect for the City’s by-laws and policies. And there are similar provisions like that. But it’s not something that would lead to charges that would go to a court.

McCallion-ally Councillor Katie Mahoney (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

Okay. Then I know that Councillor Saito was going to suggest that maybe this is a matter that the Integrity Commissioner, if Council could support a review or a search of computers, FAX machines, printers in Leadership Team’s office. And I know the City Manager did say that she asked all of the Leadership Team who said no but in fairness, I think, and Council’s office, that would be something that I’m sure would be a Council resolution. And I’d be willing to put that forth if Council would support it.

Would that be something that would come before the Integrity Commissioner to sort of approve or not approve? Or is that something that we can, as a matter of course, we have the authority as Council to do today?

City Solicitor Mary Ellen Bench (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

In terms of your first question, with respect of this going to the Integrity Commissioner, I believe that would be appropriate step to take. I know that the City of Toronto for example, there have been a number of matters dealt with, dealing with leaked documents and communications that have been referred to integrity commissioners.

With respect to an investigation of the electronic equipment, Council passed a policy on that last year. However it —Council is the ultimate authority and Council if Council chooses that those matters be looked at then they certainly can.

McCallion-ally Councillor Katie Mahoney (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

Okay. You’re verifying what I’m saying. It is Council decision. Okay, I’m prepared to put forward that motion at the appropriate time.

[DIP TO WHITE]

McCallion-ally Councillor Jim Tovey (Chair, Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

Councillor Mahoney.

McCallion-ally Councillor Katie Mahoney (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

Thank you and it’s very encouraging to hear the words of all of my colleagues on this matter —those that have spoken.

With respect, what I wanted to speak to with respect to, I guess we can’t deal with a resolution at General Committee in order to do an investigation of technology equipment.

So, I guess I put it on the agenda but it won’t get dealt with til next week at Council. So maybe I can make this a Notice of Motion for Council and I can have someone help me draft that motion for Council.

But in the meantime, as an individual member of this Council, I would ask that IT [Information Technology] come and do a search of all of the equipment in my office and in my home because I do have—

McCallion-ally Councillor Jim Tovey (Chair, Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

Me too.

McCallion-ally Councillor Katie Mahoney (Mississauga General Committee meeting Wednesday, January 12, 2011)

—a computer and a printer FAX in my home. And of course, the Blackberry. Just in the meantime so that we can get on this. Maybe other members of Council want to offer the same. But to avoid having to wait for the week for the motion so I put that on the table.

So I’m absolutely disgusted. I said in my email that —this is a, in my opinion it’s a cowardly act of someone afraid to make their opinion heard and prefers to hide behind the media. I suggest this person needs to have the decency and moral standards to say what they wish to say to those of us involved directly.

And with that I would ask if anyone wants to own up right now. Publicly.

Seeing no one.

But, so I make that request. Perhaps Madam City Manager, you can have IT contact my office —and I’m talking about a search of my staff equipment as well as my own. And the equipment that is City-owned that I have at home.

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

This just in at the Mississauga News. A Letter to the Editor by none other than McCallion-ally Councillor Katie Mahoney. Mahoney proved the Mississauga News right when they wrote, “There was an angry backlash from enraged residents and the councillors did what all politicians do when they’ve been caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar — they blamed the media.”

No witch hunt

The following letter is a response to What are you hiding?, a letter from Ram Sivapalan that was printed by The News (Friday, Jan. 14).

Dear Mr. Sivapalan:

I did not request a “witch hunt” but wanted an investigation into who pre-empted the democratic and open public process of discussion and decision-making by a full council by forwarding the e-mail to the media before that could occur.

This discussion should have been held at the regular meeting where Council would have given direction that it was not appropriate to spend taxpayer dollars on this proposal to purchase tickets for staff and councillors to this event.

The media created a firestorm, leading the public to believe that we all supported this expenditure, which is not the case.

The democratic process was pre-empted. Now the common belief is that Council approved this. Council did not approve it. We were not given the opportunity.

For context, at the December 2, 2009, Friends of Hazel Rally, Katie Mahoney was the only Councillor who spoke at that rally. Her words?

“And I think something that I’d like to really impart to you is it’s not hard to support our Mayor. Trust me.”

You can’t. And here’s why.

Video: “FRIENDS OF HAZEL” RALLY and MYTHissauga Ghost of New Year’s Past (2:10 min)

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

And of course, there’s always McCallion-ally, Ron Starr making sure everyone knows, “it’s not a party”.

Hazel-McCallion-endorsed-councillor, Ron Starr quoted referring to Hazel McCallion's 90th birthday party was ""...the fund-raiser for Sheridan --I was going to say 'party' but it's not a party"  (January 12, 2011) and a 90th confirmation notice calling it

E MALAMA KAKOU. To Care For All.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

"The TRIUMPH of MYTHissauga" "Justanopinion  Aug 12, 2010 6:12 PM       Face reality  Our mayor could be caught, in the library, with the candlestick in her hand, over the dead body, and she would still win by a landslide!  MISSISSAUGA NEWS READERS COMME

“The TRIUMPH of MYTHissauga” MISSISSAUGA NEWS READERS COMMENT:

“Justanopinion Aug 12, 2010 6:12 PM

Face reality Our mayor could be caught, in the library, with the candlestick in her hand, over the dead body, and she would still win by a landslide!

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