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MississaugaWatch Mississauga Watch Dear Madam Mayor:
The McCallion Letters

Only those who file Freedom of Information have a hope of knowing what’s really going on.

September 30th, 2011  

That’s right. Only those who file Freedom of Information have a hope of knowing what’s really going on. Don’t believe? Then ask yourself why the Toronto Star files so many Freedom of Information requests in the course of their investigations.

Answer? Same reason I do!

And now the video, complete with transcript.

Only those who file Freedom of Information have a hope of knowing what’s really going on.

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

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BEGINS]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH reporting from Mississauga Council Chambers, September 21, 2011

It is Wednesday, September the 21st, 2011 and we’re here at Mississauga Council. I just want to talk a little bit right now about Tom Urbaniak’s book, “Her Worship: Hazel McCallion and the Development of Mississauga.”

Tom Urbaniak researched his book, limiting himself to interviews, public documents, minutes of meetings —and we all know how “accurate” Mississauga minutes are— and newspaper articles.

And we’re thinking here specifically of the Missing News, as Donald Barber likes to refer to them —or the MYTHissauga News, which is my preference.

And you just don’t get the true story of what’s really going on. And that’s where Freedom of Information comes in.

And to explain that, Urbaniak limiting himself to interviews, public documents, minutes of meetings, or —horrors— newspaper articles, is something like a snorkeler who’s kind of doing a survey of the ocean. And what it means is that a snorkeler can cover quite a bit of surface area. And perhaps even dive down momentarily to inspect something that’s caught his interest.

But it’s still —he has a very superficial understanding of the ocean or of a particular issue.

By contrast, Freedom of Information is like SCUBA diving. In which case you can explore deeply into a subject. Probe all the nooks and crannies of an environment or of an issue. And it’s just an entirely different view that you get, of, well, in this case, municipal governance.

That is not to sweep away what Tom Urbaniak wrote. “Her Worship: Hazel McCallion and the Development of Mississauga” is an important, important book. Superbly researched—given the materials that Urbaniak limited himself to.

And I have the same criticism for Tom Urbaniak’s book that I have for the McMurtry/Curling Report on the “Roots of Youth Violence”. McMurtry/Curling did the same thing: interview people, public documents, newspaper articles. But the $2.7 million dollar report didn’t file a single Freedom of Information request.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH, Erin Mills United Church, March 10, 2009

When your team worked on “The Roots of Youth Violence” from the initial drafting to the final product, did you do any research using Freedom of Information —and specifically, filing Freedom of Information into Schools, Municipalities and even Police?

DR. ALVIN CURLING Erin Mills United Church, March 10, 2009

Well most of the research that we have done, which we contracted Scott Beaudry (sp?), a renowned criminologist, to do that. We gathered all the documents that were public already.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH, Erin Mills United Church, March 10, 2009

Yeah.

DR. ALVIN CURLING Erin Mills United Church, March 10, 2009

About Freedom of Information, I don’t think [inaudible} most of it unnecessary —they were all public documents out there. We just pulled all that together—

MISSISSAUGAWATCH reporting from Mississauga Council Chambers, September 21, 2011

So again. A lot of surface stuff: He said/She said, newspaper articles, or what politicians and staff and so on have to say. And yet what really was happening? What Freedom of Information could reveal —well, they chose not to file it.

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

Signed,
MISSISSAUGAWATCH

ROOTS OF YOUTH VIOLENCE DR. ALVIN CURLING

"CANADIAN FEDERATION OF MUNICIPALITIES" "HAZEL MCCALLION" OTTAWA, MAY 1, 2010

UPDATE Sunday, October 2, 2011. We replaced the video, “Only those who file Freedom of Information have a hope of knowing what’s really going on” because we found an error in one of our captions. Rather than delete the original it has now been set to Private.

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