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Hazel McCallion: Implement “frivolous and vexatious” Public Complaints Policy “with tender, loving care”

June 23rd, 2014  

There are several news articles this week relating to City of Mississauga’s new “frivolous and vexatious” public complaints policy.

I can’t tell you how annoying it is when traditional media “report” on an issue they never bothered doing their homework on —homework as minimal as actually reading the policy-in-question!

Fact is, there are only two people whose views are worth reading on Mississauga’s “frivolous and vexatious” public complaints policy: Toronto Star’s Urban Affairs reporter, San Grewal and MISSISSAUGAWATCH. Both were physically present during the Mississauga Council “debate” and both recorded the interview with the person who’s opinion matters most —Mayor Hazel McCallion.

Mr. Grewal wrote an article as follow-up to his interview with the Mayor. And MISSISSAUGAWATCH offers this video of Mr. Grewal and Madam Mayor.

And so the Grewal-McCallion interview, in their own words, complete with video transcript.

Hazel McCallion: Implement Public Complaints Policy “with tender, loving care”

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BEGINS]

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Last one. The frivolous and vexatious complaint. You mentioned that there’s one individual that calls you five times a day–

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Well, there’s, ya, we-we’ve had situations in my office where we’ve taken over from the Councillor because the Councillor has said they feel they can’t deal with it anymore. And so instead of us, instead of them being cut off from calling, my office has taken over and trying to reduce the impact it has on the Staff in my office as well as the impact on the Staff in the different departments.

‘Cuz any complaint the comes, 9 out of 10 have to be referred to a department to comment on.

So it’s a [sic] very time-consuming and some of the complaints are just nuisance complaints.

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

How common is it, like for you, like if all of these —even from Councillors’ offices are redirected to you, how much time is your Staff, you know, spending on these things? How common is this?

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Well, sometimes we’re spending a lot of time on it. But not only Staff in my office, but it means that the Staff in all the departments are spending time on it, because the item has to be referred to them to investigate.  And in some cases the staff has to go out to investigate.

And then finds out there’s no problem.

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Can you give me one example, like of a particularly sort of nuisance complaint?

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Oh no, sometimes it’s all over the place.

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Just give me one example.

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Well, they complain about everything. Especially, especially about construction in their area —whether it’s road construction or City construction contract jobs. Or whether it’s developers infilling.

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Can you think of like one that you remember like—

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

No. No.

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

—someone complained—

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

There’s too many. [laughs]

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

No?

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

There’s too many. There’s too many that we have to deal with.

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Yeah.

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

I think this policy is long overdue.

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Okay.

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

It’s got to be administered with tender, loving care –there’s no question about it. You gotta –and I’m sure the Staff will do that, as well as the Councillors –will deal with it too.

But, I mean, you got a policy like that has to be –well-monitored. And very special care has to be applied to it.

Very special care.

Because nobody wants to cut off a citizen from complaining. You know, we don’t want to do it. But there comes a time when it’s a.. when it’s a great pressure on the Staff of either the Councillor’s office or the Mayor —and great pressure on the departments for dealing with, with—

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Are we talking like in your office about hours a week?

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Oh. Yes. I would say hours a week. On some. Yeah. I think I gave you an example that on one I know that my Staff was called 5 times in one day. On it. So it’s pretty—I think, I think the Policy is long overdue, but it must be administered with tender, loving care—

San Grewal, Urban Affairs reporter, Toronto Star, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Okay.

Mayor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014

Because we don’t want to cut off communication with our citizens in any way. So it’s gotta run its course. Then it comes to a point where a decision has to be made.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH turns camera away with just 1 minute left on battery, Mississauga Council Chambers, June 18, 2014. [Whispers]

I have to, I’ve only, I got less than a minute and Nando Iannicca’s going there.

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

There you have it. Primary source material.

You can read San Grewal’s article “Mississauga moves to cut off ‘vexatious’ complainers” and please be sure to skim through the 139 online comments.

Hazel McCallion " I mean, you got a policy like that has to be --well-monitored. And very special care has to be applied to it.  Very special care. "
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

One Response to “Hazel McCallion: Implement “frivolous and vexatious” Public Complaints Policy “with tender, loving care””

  1. Ron Heath on July 8th, 2014 10:12 am

    Hi; City staff must be Watched.

    It is 1 year to-day and I have had no action about the July 8/2013 flooding of my property. A matter of fact Jim Tovey ignores me an tells others that he’s done much work and improvement to my property. He has done nothing. His office doesn’t respont to my email requests and/or updates on the matter. He avoids any discussion on the matter. He told me last year the City got not a penny from the Province and then The Minister of Finance tells me He did give the City of Mississauga funding for that flooding. I mention this to Tovey and I get no response. I have sent an email to hes office and still nothing. Who is going to do something. I’ve been left with approximately $ 85,000.00 worth of damages plus Property depreciation because of it and left alone to deal with the disaster all at my own cost at the age of 74 years. Some City and Staff that look after there Seniors. Where is their Morals. Then they have the nerve to raise my Taxes that I cannot pay. Thank for the opportunity to comment my Complaint. yours, [name, address, phone number redacted]


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