Mayor Hazel McCallion media scrum transcript: “It is absolutely essential that we go to an Election”

May 12th, 2011  

Today we present primary source material —Appoint or Elect? Complete video of Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion  interviewed by Media during a break in yesterday’s Council meeting.

And, as is our custom, complete with video transcript.

Mayor Hazel McCallion media scrum: “It is absolutely essential that we go to an Election” (6:56 min)

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

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

—of Ward 5 the opportunity to choose their Councillor for the next four years. It’s only five months. So if it was a year before the next election, it would be different.

Yes, we have the authority under the new Act to appoint. But in such a short period of time that the Councillor’s been in the office it is absolutely essential that we go to an election.

And so today I hope that Council will give direction to the Staff to start preparing for an election. We don’t have an election staff at the City. We only, according to the Clerk, we only hire people when there is an election and train them for the election. So of course the staff has all been dispersed.

And so the Clerk now has to build a whole new staff to deal with an election.

She has estimated to date —and that’s an estimation, that it would have cost a half a million dollars for us to go. But I don’t think that we can take into account unfortunately, the cost because I think the people of Ward 5 deserve the right to elect a new Councillor.

So I would think that Council today will move in that direction. I’d be surprised —I’ve talked to a couple of Councillors, I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to many but their position is an election. So I would think that direction will be given today, to proceed with an election. Such a short term period, it is absolutely, in my opinion, essential that we go to an election.

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

So if there was an election, would you support anyone specific? There has been some word that Bonnie Crombie would be your candidate—

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

—That is absolutely a rumour, you know I went to Bonnie Crombie’s party that she was to have as a winner. And I just jokingly mentioned, but you know the Press picked it up and made a big story out of it.

I jokingly said, just to sort of boost her morale or try to give her —well you know the Ward 5 obviously, position will be open. I did not recommend her, or even invited her. I just made a comment.

But of course, the Press twisted it, as usual, to make it into an unfortunate situation, that I am supporting Bonnie Crombie. It will be up to the people of Ward 5. And I’m sure that there will be a number of people will come forward to offer themselves. Yes, I’ve heard of quite a few.

I know that the person who ran against— one person that ran against her last time will be offering because she’s already told me that she will be offering herself for the office. But I’m sure it will be open to the —it will be open to the citizens of Ward 5 to elect their councils [sic]

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

So you—

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

—I think it’s unfortunate that we are faced with another election —and especially with the costs. But I don’t think we can let the cost determine the right of the people of Ward 5 to make a decision—

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

—[inaudible] clear, you wouldn’t back any specific candidate, if there were to be a by-election.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

I don’t back any specific candidate at any time. The only candidate that I supported was unfortunate, during the last election, in which some very vicious information was sent out against Ron Starr and his family that was not factual. And I believe, that I, as Mayor had to take a stand on it.

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

But smear campaigns happen often in politics.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Pardon?

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

There’s a lot of smear campaigns during elections. Why take action on that one specifically?

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Of all the elections that’s the only one that I ever took a stand on. And I felt it so essential when false information is spread by, against a candidate and their family that is incorrect.

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

But—

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

I think the Mayor has that responsibility to take a stand. And I did.

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Question about the cost and I’m not sure if you’re able to answer it. But I was reading in the papers today there was a —this election would potentially cost $500,000—

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

—That’s an estimate—

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

—an estimate. Right.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

—that the clerk gave. You know it’s unfair—

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Right.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

—to tie the Clerk down to that. We will know what it will cost when she comes back. Which, there will be a period —60 days, that we have. She will come back with a factual report. She was asked for an estimate. She gave an estimate. Okay?

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

But not necess— it won’t necessarily be 500, it could be significantly less—

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

—You just heard what I said. Please. She, she was asked for an estimate. She gave an estimate. Is that the answer to your question?

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Yes.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Ya, thank you.

Just wait and, you know, it’s discouraging the way in which things get twisted.

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Oh no, I’m just um —because people are going to be reading in the papers today and seeing that.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

—Yeah.

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

And so they’re seeing—

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

It’s already been seen in the papers. It’s already publicized —of her estimate.

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Of course, of course. I just wanted you to basically address that. And you know—

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Yeah, it’s an estimate and I hope it will be reported as an estimate.

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Right. Thank you very much.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

In fairness to the Clerk —who was asked for an estimate. She gave an estimate. Like my staff —like the staff of the City usually replies [sic] —with the facts.

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

In 60 days you said?

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Pardon?

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

60 days we’ll know for sure?

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Pardon?

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

In 60 days we’ll know for sure, you say?

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

I don’t know —when the Clerk will be able to assemble the staff and what it will cost to run an election. With the advertising, we must let the people know. And there’s renting the accommodation, hiring the people to manage  —to staff the polls, etc.

That’s all. She will estimate it. She will come back with a more factual figure, when she has an opportunity to review.

We haven’t had a by-election in Mississauga. I can’t recall us ever having a by-election in Mississauga, so it’s something new for us.

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Half a million is a lot higher than Toronto’s estimate, $175,000.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Yeah. I believe they have a permanent election staff in the City —of the City of Toronto. I’m not sure about it, but I understand that they do. We don’t in this City. Once the election is over we disperse the staff —to save the taxpayers’ money. Instead of having people on staff waiting for another election.

Okay?

Any other questions?

Media Question (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Thank you very much.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion interviewed by Media (Mississauga Council Chambers, May 11, 2011)

Yeah. Thank you.

Okay?

Mayor McCallion leaves.
Mark Knopfler
(“Don’t Crash the Ambulance”)

Don’t crash the ambulance, whatever you do…

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Eve Adams (newly-elected Conservative MP) interview with Media on her last day as Councillor (4:55 min)

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

Mississauga to hold by-election to replace Adams

Toronto Star – ‎22 hours ago‎
Mayor Hazel McCallion has quieted a growing storm in Mississauga. The powerful mayor pushed a vote Wednesday in favour of a by-election, instead of appointing a new councillor once a current member vacates her seat for one in Ottawa.

Residents laud departing Mississauga councillor Eve Adams

National Post (blog) – Tim Fraser – ‎May 11, 2011‎
Mayor Hazel McCallion said it was “absolutely essential” that the citizens decide who fills the seat, which will be declared vacant once Ms. Adams is sworn in as an MP in the federal riding of Mississauga-Brampton South. The Mayor’s comments came as

Mayor wants by-election

Mississauga – ‎May 11, 2011‎
Mayor Hazel McCallion told reporters she would rather have a by-election than a Council appointment to fill the vacant seat in Ward 5. File photo Mayor Hazel McCallion wants a by-election to replace the councillor in Ward 5, rather than having City

Council votes for Ward 5 by-election

Mississauga – ‎21 hours ago‎
With the help of other councillors, Mayor Hazel McCallion will take over duties in Ward 5 until a replacement councillor can be elected. File photos Ward 5 residents will vote for their next representative after City Council passed a motion today

McCallion offers faint praise for new Tory MP

Global Toronto – Megan O’Toole – ‎May 11, 2011‎
paid tribute Wednesday to Hazel McCallion, the long-time Mayor could barely muster a word of public praise for her Ottawa-bound colleague, instead lamenting the failure of several prominent Liberal MPs to maintain their seats in Monday’s election.

Skeptics question by-election cost

Mississauga – ‎May 11, 2011‎
Because of the clear division on council between those who are devoted supporters of Mayor Hazel McCallion and those who often criticize her leadership, the by-election could be important in tipping the balance of power on council.

Mississauga estimate for byelection cost almost triple that of Toronto

Global Toronto – Megan O’Toole – ‎May 11, 2011‎
Ward 5 has a significantly higher population than Toronto’s Ward 9 — 75000 people compared to 45000 — the cost differential appears excessive, said political scientist Tom Urbaniak, who has written a book on the tenure of Mayor Hazel McCallion.

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