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

Bob Dechert and Hazel McCallion field question, “ACCOUNTABILITY? WHERE?” at Safe City Mississauga town hall meeting

June 14th, 2009  

[UPDATE: June 15, 2009. I’ve just been advised of an error in yesterday’s Blog. I’d used “Progressive Conservative” instead of “Conservative” when referring to Mississauga-Erindale MP Bob Dechert. This means I’ll have to rework the video which made reference to “P.C.” and post the corrected version. So please be patient as I make this fix. Thanks also to the reader who pointed out that I spelled “ostensibly” as “bstensibly”. Apologies especially  to Mr. Dechert for referring to his party as “Progressive”. Now only yesterday’s Blog.]

On  June 11, 2009, the former Mississauga Crime Prevention Assocation, aka Safe City Mississauga, hosted a town hall meeting at Ruth Thompson Middle School to assure the assembled that “The federal government has been working tirelessly in the fight against violent crime”.

Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Rob Nicholson was there as special guest and believe me, there was a lot of toughness going on.

According to the Mississauga News article “Tories tough on crime, residents told”, about 60 people turned out to hear Nicholson outline “his government’s commitment to cracking down on crime.”

I was one of those 60 people and I blew my chance to ask the Justice Minister my question which was basically, “Where do you get off getting tough on youth when you don’t get tough on provincial and municipal governments ostensively there to serve them?” But alas… it was not meant to be.

However, I did get to ask a similar question that both Mississauga-Erindale MP Bob Dechert (Conservative) and Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion responded to but predictably didn’t answer as in answer-answer.

Here is the video of that exchange, followed by the  transcript.

Bob Dechert and Hazel McCallion field question, “ACCOUNTABILITY? WHERE?” (3:35 min)

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


Brad Butt (Chair: Safe City Mississauga):

Okay, we’ll go to our final question. Ursula, you got a question over here to end us up?

The Mississauga Muse (Witness: MISSISSAUGAWATCH):

Yeah, just regarding Youth programs, I’m just wondering when funding and money is given to various Youth programs (and it really doesn’t matter whether it’s Peel or anywhere else, I’m talking about any municipality specifically in Ontario). I’m interested, what kinds of Accountability mechanisms are in place to ensure that there’s effectiveness in the program.

I know that Peel Regional Police had a summit back in 1994 –94 I think it was. And their first recommendation was to ensure that there was Accountability in place for various programs, for cost-effectiveness and everywhere else.

It still isn’t happening!

And I’m just wondering if there’s going to be any kind of effort on the part of the Federal government to kind of make the Provincial government more accountable, who then might turn the screws on the municipal government? Thank you.

Bob Dechert (Mississauga-Erindale MP (Conservative):

Thanks for the question, Ursula. I think the question as to —how do we monitor the programs, the Federal programs at the Federal level for things like at-risk Youth programs to make sure that they’re effective.

The Federal government doesn’t hold the Provincial government accountable or audit their functions but I know that they

The Mississauga Muse (Witness: MISSISSAUGAWATCH):

I know  i—

Bob Dechert (Mississauga-Erindale MP (Conservative):

But we certainly do and Julius can tell you that the programs that his centre operates, there is a separate function of the Department of Safety and Security and other departments that fund the programs at his centre and on an annual basis. They measure effectiveness of the program that his centre and all these centres are delivering to ensure that they are reaching their goals.

Their goals set [sic] for them when they apply for funding and then there is an audit department of that ministry that at the end of the year audits to see if they’ve met their goals. And if they don’t meet their goals they don’t get continued funding for the next year. And they’re told, you know, what they need to do to improve to meet their goals and objectives.

I’m pretty sure that the same thing happens at the Provincial level and I’m sure (turns to Hazel McCallion) Mayor, the same thing happens at the municipal level as well.

(To Mayor McCallion) I don’t know if you want to say something about that provided it’s short.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion:

At the local level, our Staff [inaudible] applications for grants very thoroughly. It has to meet certain criteria.  And especially they have to have audited statements of their finances. And if they don’t meet, as you say, Bob, they don’t meet the criteria that we set down, then the next year they don’t get the grant. Simple as that.

It’s a very detailed analysis that’s done on every application. It’s done by the Staff and you know, they don’t monitor the program all year round but when they come back to the application the next year, then they got to show proof how they spent the money. Was it spent the way —the purpose for which it was granted? And we ask for audited statements.



The Mississauga Muse

MISSISSAUGAWATCH and a billboard (Britannia Rd, Mississauga)


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