Hazel McCallion Mayor’s Gala Scandal: illegal tax receipts and just 20 cents per dollar to charity

March 14th, 2011  

This Blog is a follow-up to our March 10, 2011 Blog, “HAZEL MCCALLION’S MAYOR’S GALA SCANDAL ‘…without question what we’ve done is illegal under the Revenue Act of Canada.’

Hazel McCallion's Mayor's Gala RECEIPTS for public agencies 2005 and 2006

Today, we present the man behind so many of the Mayor’s Galas over the years —reaching as far back as 1991 and as recently as being Chair of Hazel McCallion’s $350.00 a ticket 90th Birthday Celebration Bash.

Mississauga News pic: Hazel’s 90th. Details of Mayor Hazel McCallion's 90th birthday festivities were announced today at the Living Arts Centre by organizing committee members, from left, Ray Lessard (senior vice-president, wealth advisor, BMO Nesbitt Burns), committee chair Jim Murray and Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, president and chief executive officer of Sheridan College. Staff photo by Fred Loek
(Jim Murray, chair of the Mayor’s 90th Birthday Celebration Committee, middle)

So here’s the video complete with transcript.

Hazel McCallion Mayor’s Gala Scandal: illegal tax receipts and just 20 cents per dollar to charity (11:02 min)

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

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (reporting March 13, 2011)

There’s been considerable controversy regarding Mayors’ galas both here in Mississauga as well as Brampton. And I just want to explain one of the most startling revelations regarding these galas.

In the case of Hazel McCallion’s November gala that has been going on all the way back to 1987, it was revealed that for every dollar of the ticket price only twenty cents actually goes to charity. And of those twenty cents, only six or seven actually goes [sic] to the arts. And yet the gala is “for the arts”.

And rather than me express the concerns, why not take it directly from Councillor Nando Iannicca.

[REVERSE CLOCK-WIPE]

Councillor Frank Dale, Acting Mayor (Mississauga Council meeting, March 9, 2011)

Councillor Iannicca.

Councillor Nando Iannicca (Mississauga Council meeting, March 9, 2011)

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Well, I wanted to follow up on the previous concerns from Councillor McFadden with regards to items she raised. But more important, the information that’s come back from the Staff in regards to the Mayor’s Gala.

And I understand more is to come back.

I just want to be clear on what is coming back and the action we’re taking, that something that to be very candid, just from the media accounts, looks dreadfully appalling. And looks like a whole bunch of people feel cheated.

And so I want some clarity around the issues when they come back, I want it to be very clear, and I want to say it here at Council, that these are the list of concerns. And the one specifically that relates to us as Board of Directors of the Corporation.

But first is, I trust the donors are aware, were aware that when you gave a dollar only six or seven cents went to the entity. And I’m starting to think that they’re not because of how tax receipts were issued. But perhaps that will come back.

I wonder what rapprochement’s been done with the charities when they now know, and I didn’t know, —I don’t think a lot of people knew, that you had this grand fete with the City’s elites. And at the end of the day for every dollar that came in, eighty cents was consumed.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH whispering into camera (Mississauga Council meeting, March 9, 2011)

Thank you.

Councillor Nando Iannicca (Mississauga Council meeting, March 9, 2011)

The donors would have been better off giving them half as much directly and some of the charities are saying exactly that.

So I hope that comes back.

I’m sure a lot of taxpayers feel cheated because if my math is correct, only from the accounts, some of the entities who wholeheartedly and graciously gave money would have got bigger business receipts and charity receipts than the charities got in actual money.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (reporting March 13, 2011)

Now there’s a March 7th, 2011 article in the Toronto Star, “Peel police board spent thousands on mayors’ galas”.

There’s [sic] two factual errors. One, they stated that Hazel McCallion was on the Peel Police Board. That’s not the case. And in another, they had stated that the Special Fund that Peel Police were using was intended to be used for victims of crime. That too was not the case.

But I want to read some of the highlights now.

The Peel Police Services Board has bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of tickets to private mayoral galas in Brampton and Mississauga, using “proceeds of crime”—

And that’s true.

Minutes show, for example, that the board approved buying a $4,000 table at Fennell’s gala on Feb. 20 last year, on Fennell’s invitation. A month before the gala took place, then-board member Jim Murray put forward a motion to buy a second table. It was approved.

A big player in Mississauga’s real estate market and close friend of McCallion, Murray is one of the organizers of her annual arts gala.

And what I want to do now is just highlight just how close a friend Jim Murray is to Hazel McCallion.

For context at Hazel McCallion’s $350.00 a ticket 90th birthday party, where he said—

[CROSS-FADE]

Jim Murray, close friend of the Mayor and CHAIR of Hazel McCallion’s $350.00 a ticket 90th Birthday Bash Celebration, February 12, 2011]

I love you, Hazel.

(laughter from audience)

That’s not what Bridget said, by the way. She said, “What could be more beautiful than a lady growing wise with age?”

[DIP TO WHITE]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (reporting March 13, 2011)

In addition we find that Jim Murray has been a organizer of the Mayor’s Galas going all the way back to 1991.

And what emerges is that you’ve got a devoted, close friend of the Mayor sitting on the Peel Police Services Board.

[DIP TO WHITE]

And when you know of the devotion, the allegiance, the loyalty that Jim Murray, who the Toronto Star calls, “a big player in Mississauga’s real estate market”, has toward Hazel McCallion, then you can view his impassioned speech on October 28, 2009, when he tried to stop the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry —in a different light.

[DIP TO WHITE]

Jim Murray, close friend of the Mayor and at the time, Vice Chair of the Peel Police Service Board (“Stop the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry” deputation, October 28, 2009]

My name is Jim Murray. I live at in Mississauga.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH, whispering into camera (videotaping Murray’s “Stop the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry” deputation, October 28, 2009]

Peel Police Services Board.

Jim Murray, close friend of the Mayor and at the time, Vice Chair of the Peel Police Service Board (“Stop the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry” deputation, October 28, 2009]

I didn’t come to speak today. I came to listen to find out what was going on.

There isn’t a single person on this Council I don’t know, and know well. Some of you I’ve known for a long time and I’ve worked with you. And I’ve had a respect for each member of Council.

I’ve lived her most of my life. I choose to make my business here. And I’m sad.

I’m very sad.

Because what you are embarking on, I suspect there wouldn’t be five people in this room who’ve ever been in a Judicial Inquiry. Well I have. In 1975. And it’s ugly and it takes on a life of its own. And it destroys people.

If what you really want to do is find out if anybody has a conflict of interest or anybody has done anything untoward, or anybody wants to clear the air, pass a resolution to hire an integrity commissioner like most municipalities have and GET ON WITH LIFE!

[strong applause with a “Here Here!”]

[CLOCK-WIPE]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (reporting March 13, 2011)

And returning to the Toronto Star.

A big player in Mississauga’s real estate market and close friend of McCallion, Murray is one of the organizers of her annual arts gala. In 2008, Fennell moved that the police board buy a $6,000 table for McCallion’s gala that November.

Murray rejected any suggestion that there was a quid pro quo between them, yelling “that’s just insulting.”

And “quid pro quo” means “this for that” or “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine.”

[DIP TO WHITE]

And also when you know that Jim Murray has been organizing the Major’s galas going all the way back to 1991, Murray’s Gala —and I mean it’s fair to call it “Murray’s Gala” when he’s an organizer.

For example when you look at 2008, which is the Regis Philbin one. Here’s the 2008 Gala, “Let the Games Begin”. So in [sic] October 17th, 2008 you can see Jim Murray here , voted for his own Gala,

[CROSS-FADE]

Emil Kolb, Chair (Peel Police Services Board meeting, October 17, 2008)

Also there’s another special request. Would someone like to move that for the Mississauga—

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell (Peel Police Services Board meeting, October 17, 2008)

Oh, I’ll move that. (laughs)

(general laughter)

Emil Kolb, Chair (Peel Police Services Board meeting, October 17, 2008)

All those in favour? Carried.

Item 112.

[NOTE: Mayor Fennell moved the purchase of one table of 10 tickets in the total amount of $6,000 to Hazel McCallion’s annual gala. Video confirms that Jim Murray, organizer of the McCallion’s gala voted in favour.]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (reporting March 13, 2011)

And this one in 2009.

[REVERSE CLOCK WIPE]

Emil Kolb, Chair (Peel Police Services Board meeting, January 23, 2009)

Item number 20 then is an event from the Special Policy —uh the Special Fund area. Mr. Murray.

Jim Murray, Vice Chair (Peel Police Services Board meeting, January 23, 2009)

Yes. Mr. [inaudible]

This year’s recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for the City of Brampton at the Mayor’ annual gala for the community, and for the Brampton community is the past vice chair [inaudible] and two-time member of this Board over many many years, Mr. Webb.

Mr. Ron Webb, and I think it will be appropriate if this Board was to buy two tables to this event. Primarily for that reason but also to recognize that this might be a difficult year to sell some subscriptions to this event, and it’s a worthy event. It supports the community —it supports the [inaudible] of this award. I would move that we purchase two tables.

Emil Kolb, Chair (Peel Police Services Board meeting, January 23, 2009)

Is there a seconder? Okay. Any other questions? If not, all those in favour? Carried.

Item number 21.

[VIDEO REPLAY with magnification.]

[NOTE: Video confirms that Mayor Fennell voted in favour of purchasing two tables in the total amount of $8,000 to her own gala.]MISSISSAUGAWATCH (reporting March 13, 2011)

And again in 2010.

[CROSS-FADE]

Emil Kolb, Chair (Peel Police Services Board meeting, January 22, 2010)

Yes. Mr. Murray?

Jim Murray, Vice Chair (Peel Police Services Board meeting, January 22, 2010)

Mr. Chairman, we initially have passed a resolution to support Mayor Fennell’s gala on February 20th with the caveat that we would come back should they find themselves in these tough economic times in difficulty in selling tickets —tables to this worthy fund-raising event.

Capping that off they are honouring Iggy and Didi Kaneff, who made an ongoing lifetime contribution to this community and to many charities, not the least of which is University of Toronto and Sheridan Campus. And the 25-year sponsorship to Community Living and Community Living fund-raising efforts.

And I would like to move that we buy a second table to support this event. I think we bought two tables to the Mississauga Mayor’s gala in [inaudible] and in this economic time, it’s time to step up.

I would move that we buy a second table.

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell (Peel Police Services Board meeting, January 23, 2010)

[inaudible] I declare a conflict because of all the money that goes to the community and it’s in my name so [rest largely inaudible.]

[Video shows that Mayor Fennell stands up and moves into corner and abstains from voting.]

Emil Kolb, Chair (Peel Police Services Board meeting, January 22, 2010)

Thank you. All those in favour? Carried.

[Video confirms purchase of one additional table in the amount of $4,000 in support of the 6th Annual Mayor Fennell Gala. (total $8,000)   Moved by J. Murray.] MISSISSAUGAWATCH (reporting March 13, 2011)

And in 2010, April, I believe, Jim Murray resigned from the Peel Police Services Board and was replaced by Laurie Williamson, who, interestingly enough, is also an organizer of the Mayor’s Galas. So I’m just wondering if that’s a qualification to be on the Police Board here in Peel.

Anyway —I don’t know.

[Music:“Don’t Crash the Ambulance” by Mark Knopfler] [IMAGES/VIDEO OF MAYOR’S GALAS with repeat-audio of Councillor Nando Iannicca speaking]

Councillor Nando Iannicca (Mississauga Council meeting, March 9, 2011)

—But first is, I trust the donors are aware, were aware that when you gave a dollar only six or seven cents went to the entity. And I’m starting to think that they’re not because of how tax receipts were issued. But perhaps that will come back.

I wonder what rapprochement’s been done with the charities when they now know, and I didn’t know, —I don’t think a lot of people knew, that you had this grand fete with the City’s elites. And at the end of the day for every dollar that came in, eighty cents was consumed.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH whispering into camera (Mississauga Council meeting, March 9, 2011)

Thank you.

[LOGO] [VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

Hazel McCallion and son Peter, pose with Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Lucy impersonators at 2002 "Long Live Rock and Roll" Mayor's Gala for the arts

ONTARIO MUNICIPALITIES: A MAJOR (unexplored) ROOT OF YOUTH VIOLENCE

This is a comment left at the Toronto Sun by a Peel Board trustee who was in the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Network Policy and Working Group [cut-and-paste begins] Valerie Arnold-Judge Report Comment March 10th 2011, 3:12pm. After being a school board trustee with PDSB for 13 years where the school board trustees have been micro managed by the provincial government with their expenses. No galas or functions are allowed on their expense reports unless it pertains to children., I find it appalling that the municipal councillors in the GTA are not questioned as to how many galas, trips and tournaments that they attend without any concerns from the provincial governmentl regarding tax payers money….It is time that they are held accountable for their spending. [end cut-and-paste]

One Response to “Hazel McCallion Mayor’s Gala Scandal: illegal tax receipts and just 20 cents per dollar to charity”

  1. DeValera Says:

    Thanks Muse, meticulous research and reporting once again. If we could only get five percent of the “spin money” to help organize and distribute all the counter thinking and concern independant citizens have – we could really turn Mississauga and Peel around. With all the changes toward democracy going on in the Middle East, fiscal realities taking hold in Madison WI – it is a shame that blind devotion to Mayor McCallion muddies us.


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