The MississaugaWatch Sniff Test

This question is the MISSISSAUGAWATCH Sniff Test for all Ontario municipal Mayors and Councillors:

Do you support asking the Ontario government to extend the investigative authority of the Ontario Ombudsman to include municipalities?

If the answer is not an UNQUALIFIED "Yes!", ask "Why not?" and proceed with extreme caution.


MIRROR: Complete Mississauga Judicial Inquiry Transcripts

Councillor Carolyn Parrish slams City’s $731,485.00 “goof up” that “flew through” Mississauga Council with ZERO discussion.

April 2nd, 2009  

Just thought I’d share video of yesterday’s $731,485.00 General Committee meeting.

Long story short, regarding Mississauga’s transit revenue loss of $731,485.00 , I was advised (thanks to the tipster) that the Ottawa Citizen first broke the story of Infoplace Ticket Centre woes on January 27, 2009 but didn’t name Mississauga as a creditor.

Money woes shut lottery kiosks

Five area booths affected; company owes $9.7M

By Tony Lofaro, The Ottawa Citizen January 27, 2009

OTTAWA — Five lottery kiosks in Ottawa and others across the country closed on the weekend, and threw close to 800 people out of work.

The kiosks, owned by Infoplace Ticket Centres Ltd. and located in Carlingwood Mall, Billings Bridge Plaza, Place d’Orléans, Lincoln Fields and Hazeldean Mall and 180 other locations across Canada, shut down Friday night. The kiosks sold lottery tickets, bus passes and postage stamps and were franchise operations with five or six employees at each location.

“We disabled the terminals so that lottery business could no longer be conducted, given their situation. We had no alternative,” Don Pister, a spokesman for the Ontario Lottery Corp., said Monday.

He said the Infoplace Ticket Centres Ltd. represented “less than one per cent” of retailers that sold lottery tickets across the province. In Ontario, more than 10,000 outlets sell tickets on behalf of the lottery corporation, he said.

“It’s too soon to say what happened, but the company ran out of money,” said Hassan Jaffer, a trustee with Grant Thornton Ltd. Trustees in Toronto. He said the Toronto-based company owes 40 creditors about $9.7 million…

By February 11, 2009, The Ottawa Citizen listed Mississauga out by $600,000.

Bankrupt ticket firm owes city $1.9M

Ottawa officials to attend upcoming court hearing in hopes of getting money back

By Jake Rupert, The Ottawa Citizen February 11, 2009

The city’s 2009 financial outlook has taken a potential $1.9-million hit with the bankruptcy of a kiosk company that used to sell bus tickets and passes, and one councillor is angry the municipality was doing business in a manner that left it exposed to that high of a loss.

Infoplace Ticket Centres Ltd. had five kiosks in Ottawa shopping malls. The company largely sold lottery tickets and bus passes and tickets near major transit stations. It filed for bankruptcy at the end of January.

According to the trustee appointed to oversee the bankruptcy process, the company owes $9.7 million and the City of Ottawa is its largest unsecured creditor. Infoplace Ticket Centres operated 180 kiosks across Canada.

The list of creditors includes several other municipalities including:

Yet it took the Toronto Star (and Mississauga News) until March 25, 2009 to pick up the story. Why?

Mississauga mayor calls for audit after city fails to collect $731,000 owed by bus ticket firm

Mar 25, 2009 04:30 AM

Comments on this story (4)

Phinjo Gombu URBAN AFFAIRS REPORTER

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion has ordered a city-wide audit of money owed to the municipality after she learned her city could be out $731,485 in transit ticket revenues with the collapse of a kiosk chain.

Why did it take two months after the story appeared in the Ottawa Citizen for it to break in Toronto/Mississauga?

And it seems that I’m not the only one asking for details.

The $731,485 revenue-loss appeared as Item 29 on yesterday’s General Committee “additional” agenda.

Zero discussion, just “flew through” and it was moved for receipt in 19 seconds then neatly swept behind the secrecy of closed doors.

However Council did talk for over ten minutes on whether to spend $15,000 to remove a wall that was ordered built by just one councillor who wanted a wall where one originally wasn’t (you’re getting all this down, right?). I managed to videotape eight minutes of wall-discussion but there was actually more that didn’t get documented (perilously low battery).

To Councillor Carolyn Parrish’s credit, she’d finally had enough. Here is the transcript.

Councillor Carolyn Parrish:

I find it fascinating that we’re spending this much time on it [talking about $15,000 on a wall] and the report where we lost $750,000 on bankrupting [inaudible because I said, “Exactly” into the camera] just flew through. And I’m going to tell you the reason it flew through without my asking the questions that I want to ask is that I think it involves personnel.And I want to know why —and it’s coming up again in-camera, and I want to know why it took four months for us to be informed and I want to know who goofed up when it says in the policy, “Cash or cheque on delivery arrangements for tickets”. But I don’t want the audience or the people watching on television to think we spend all our time on a $15,000 wall and we’re ignoring the $750,000 mess up on tickets that we’ll never get back plus the other amounts —the outstanding tickets that we won’t get back.”

Then they went behind closed doors (called “in-camera”) came back to make their announcements. All except for Parrish. Her seat was empty (the lady’s not good with pretending)…

Called out the Item then —nothing. “Flew through” again and adjourned.

Here is video.

MISSISSAUGA COUNCILLOR CAROLYN PARRISH SLAMS $731,485 COUNCIL “FLEW THROUGH”

(1:37 min: 8 minutes of which was compressed into 5 seconds)

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

Ask yourself why Mississauga Council  “flew through” Item 29 without a word, whisked it behind closed doors ( in-camera) and then “flew through” again once out from behind closed doors.

Control the Message.

If Rick Mercer is reading this, that’s how you “stay in power for 31 years.”

And that’s why citizens need The Province to grant  the Ontario Ombudsman  full investigative powers into municipalities as well as the rest of the MUSH sector.

Signed,

The Mississauga Muse

UPDATE: THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2009 11:30 pm Special thank you to the YouTuber who emailed me and requested that I cut down the wall-discussion even further. So now the 8-minute wall-discussion is compressed down to 5 seconds. And I’ve replaced the original vid. Thanks again to the viewer for the comment. You made the video much better.

Mississauga Muse at April 1, 2009 General Committee meeting (splitting headache in need of caffeine)

“But I don’t want the audience or the people watching on television to think we spend all our time on a $15,000 wall and we’re ignoring the $750,000 mess up on tickets that we’ll never get back plus the other amounts —the outstanding tickets that we won’t get back.”

Comments

2 Responses to “Councillor Carolyn Parrish slams City’s $731,485.00 “goof up” that “flew through” Mississauga Council with ZERO discussion.”

  1. Newbie on April 2nd, 2009 8:13 pm

    I’ll tell you why. To protect the very very high priced city manager and staff. Whatever happened to our “traditional media” Ursula?

  2. The Mississauga Muse on April 2nd, 2009 10:36 pm

    Hey there, newbie,

    You wrote:

    “I’ll tell you why. To protect the very very high priced city manager and staff. Whatever happened to our “traditional media” Ursula?”

    Traditional media didn’t do their homework. That’s why I escaped into alternate media and my own research through Freedom of Information.

    I’m not all that interested in finding out Who blundered. Not into head-rolling… well, at least not for this.

    I just want one day for people to write (especially those who crapped on me for almost two years calling me a miscreant, malcontent, nutbar, whackjob and I can’t begin to repeat the profanity ones) have them write and say yeah, I think I see what you meant when you said that municipalities protect their employees at the expense of the public and especially Youth.

    It’s just nice to see what I’ve been warning people about splatter so big with something McCallion really cares about. $MONEY$

    Thanks for your comments, newbie and I hope you stick around….


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