Mississauga Judicial Inquiry Commissioner Cunningham asks, “Without the involvement of Peter McCallion and the Mayor, do you really think that these large entities would have paid any attention to WCD?”

February 9th, 2011  

Well, yesterday someone finally raised the salient point at the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry. The good news is that that “someone” was Commissioner J. Douglas Cunningham.

He simply asked “without the involvement of Peter McCallion and the Mayor” whether such large pension funds as OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) and AIMCo (Alberta Investment Management Corporation) would have paid any attention to a no-assets no-history “shell” company like World Class Developments.

So here’s the video followed by the transcript. Note, video also features OMERS CEO, Michael Nobrega receiving a congratulatory thank you hug from Mayor Hazel McCallion after his performance at the January 22, 2009 Enersource public meeting.

Mississauga Inquiry 7-Million dollar question “Without the involvement of Peter McCallion and the mayor” (2:30 min)

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

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]

Commissioner J. Douglas Cunningham to Elizabeth McIntyre, Hazel McCallion’s lawyer (Mississauga Judicial Inquiry, Tuesday, February 8, 2011)

Do you think that Mr. Nobrega, OMERS, Oxford would have paid any attention at all to WCD, this shell company, coming out nowhere with no apparent assets and unknown principals, that’s ALS, coming forward with a proposal to develop a hotel convention centre, condominium project, no history of having ever done any of this kind of work previously?

And this isn’t something that OMERS, Oxford, AIMCo had put out for tender. This was something that came out of the blue from this company. Now, Mr. Lax would characterize it as the Mayor having created this one (1) horse race. But putting that aside, without the involvement of Peter McCallion and the Mayor, do you really think that these large entities would have paid any attention to WCD?

Elizabeth McIntyre, Hazel McCallion’s lawyer (Mississauga Judicial Inquiry, Tuesday, February 8, 2011)

Well, I –um.

[DIP TO BLACK]
[Music: Mark Knopfler “Don’t Crash the Ambulance”]

Commissioner J. Douglas Cunningham to Elizabeth McIntyre, Hazel McCallion’s lawyer (Mississauga Judicial Inquiry, Tuesday, February 8, 2011)

Do you think that Mr. Nobrega, OMERS, Oxford would have paid any attention at all to WCD, this shell company, coming out nowhere with no apparent assets and unknown principals, that’s ALS, coming forward with a proposal to develop a hotel convention centre, condominium project, no history of having ever done any of this kind of work previously?

And this isn’t something that OMERS, Oxford, AIMCo had put out for tender. This was something that came out of the blue from this company. Now, Mr. Lax would characterize it as the Mayor having created this one (1) horse race. But putting that aside, without the involvement of Peter McCallion and the Mayor, do you really think that these large entities would have paid any attention to WCD?

[CROSSFADE LOGO]

[TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

"OMERS CEO Michael Nobrega and Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion in congratulatory hug after Enersource public meeting January 22" 2009

What follows is a cut-and-paste from the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry website —and the Closing Submissions by Hazel McCallion’s lawyer, Ms. Elizabeth McIntyre. It’s instructive to examine how Ms. McIntyre successfully avoided answering Commissioner Cunningham’s direct Yes/No question, “Without the involvement of Peter McCallion and the Mayor, do you really think that these large entities would have paid any attention to WCD?”

The Mayor’s lawyer counters with a Bullshit-Baffles-Brains approach and in avoiding the Commissioner’s simple Yes/No question even serves up two “the question is” that turn out not to be Cunningham’s question at all!

Unbelievably after four minutes avoiding Cunningham’s question, McIntyre then offers, “So that’s the best I can answer the question”. She then follows that up with “we’ve prepared a chart, which we can — which I plan to — to hand out that — that –” and we never did get her answer to “Without the involvement of Peter McCallion and the Mayor, do you really think that these large entities would have paid any attention to WCD?”

Did the Commissioner notice McIntyre’s avoidance strategy?

We submit there’s Hope. Why? Anyone bright enough to ask the salient question, “Without the involvement of Peter McCallion and the Mayor, do you really think that these large entities would have paid any attention to WCD?” with also recognize McIntyre’s four minutes of acrobatics for exactly what it was. Her way of avoiding, “No.”

So here it is. The exchange between the Commissioner and Hazel’s lawyer.

  2                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Do you
  3  think that Mr. Nobrega, OMERS, Oxford would have paid any
  4  attention at all to WCD, this shell company, coming out
  5  nowhere with no apparent assets and unknown principals,
  6  that's ALS, coming forward with a proposal to develop a
  7  hotel convention centre, condominium project, no history
  8  of having ever done any of this kind of work previously?
  9                 And this isn't something that OMERS,
 10  Oxford, AIMCo had put out for tender.  This was something
 11  that came out of the blue from this company.  Now, Mr.
 12  Lax would characterize it as the Mayor having created
 13  this one (1) horse race.  But putting that aside, without
 14  the involvement of Peter McCallion and the Mayor, do you
 15  really think that these large entities would have paid
 16  any attention to WCD?
 17                 MS. ELIZABETH MCINTYRE:   Well, I -- I
 18  would suggest that on the evidence, the -- the hotel
 19  convention centre was something that the owners
 20  recognized was in their best interest.  It was -- it was
 21  a good use of -- of that land.  The hotel convention
 22  centre was -- was something that would be of value to
 23  them, particularly their interest in Square One.
 24                 In terms of it being a corporation that
 25  was set up for that project, I didn't see anything in the

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  1  evidence that suggested that -- that that was unusual; it
  2  -- that there be a corporation put together for a single
  3  purpose.  I assume that -- that the owners would put in
  4  place a -- and they did put in place a contractual
  5  arrangement which they saw as protecting their interest.
  6  And, you know, they saw it as something that was of value
  7  both to -- both to themselves and the City.
  8                 I mean, if the question is, what was the
  9  Mayor's role in jump-starting the project, there's -- and
 10  she has acknowledged this, that she encouraged them to
 11  look at it.  She would have encouraged them to look at
 12  any project that came forward that was proposing to -- to
 13  -- to build a hotel, but then once it's -- once they look
 14  at it it's up to, and I think this is the evidence fairly
 15  of the co-owners, it's up to them to do their -- their
 16  due diligence.
 17                 They did, of course, know Mr. Cook.  They
 18  knew that he had some history, and in fact, I think on
 19  the totality of the evidence that -- that -- that the
 20  project, as originally conceived, would have moved
 21  forward and we might have that hotel/convention centre
 22  there today had not the market crashed and the economy
 23  interceded.
 24                 So, you know, the question is, did they
 25  make a wise business deal based on all of the usual

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  1  business considerations, and I think the answer to that
  2  is yes.  You know, we don't have any evidence of other
  3  projects that came forward.  There was nothing else on
  4  offer for -- for that property at the time, we know that.
  5                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   M-hm.
  6                 MS. ELIZABETH MCINTYRE:   So that's the
  7  best that I can answer the question.  In terms of
  8  speculating as to whether -- if the Mayor had not made
  9  the phone call she did, that one (1) phone call, is that
 10  what's responsible for everything that then proceeded.  I
 11  think that it's highly speculative to suggest that that
 12  was the only trigger.
 13                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Oh, no,
 14  she did much more, but I'm -- I'm sure you'll touch on
 15  that.
 16                 MS. ELIZABETH MCINTYRE:   Yes.  And in
 17  fact, we've prepared -- we've prepared a chart, which we
 18  can -- which I plan to -- to hand out that -- that --

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

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!

One Response to “Mississauga Judicial Inquiry Commissioner Cunningham asks, “Without the involvement of Peter McCallion and the Mayor, do you really think that these large entities would have paid any attention to WCD?””

  1. David Culham Says:

    I agree with taking this away from local Integrity Commissioners and putting it at the Ombudsman. Less staff and less likely local pressure.
    Already Integrity Commissioners have been misused in Mississauga and Toronto
    djc


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