MISSISSAUGA JUDICIAL INQUIRY VIDEO VIGNETTE: Councillor Carmen Corbasson, “This isn’t about Mayor Hazel McCallion. This is about Governance, how do we improve it. Not only for this municipality, but across the Province. And I don’t know what price tag you put on that”
November 3rd, 2009
The October 28, 2009 Mississauga Council meeting will always be remembered as the Judicial Inquiry Meeting.
Facing blistering criticism from angry Hazel McCallion supporters and even dire threats of defeat from “When-Our-Hazel-Dies-I-Want-Her-Here-In-This-Hall” Mega-builder Harold Shipp, seven Councillors held their ground —and put their political futures directly on the line.
HERE COMES THE SUN
In his October 31, 2009 article, Mississauga melee gets ugly, Toronto Sun, columnist Ted Woloshyn telegraphs the 2010 pro-McCallion strategy.
So expect Hurricane Hazel, who’s facing a tornado of trouble right now including a judicial inquiry into her actions and the inability to win key votes at council, to fight back hard.
To regain her power, expect McCallion to essentially build Team Hazel, for next year’s election. Team Hazel would consist of four sitting councillors and seven candidates hand-selected by the Hurricane, who back the mayor.
The other seven incumbents are now seen as anti-Hazel. If even two of those went down in defeat, control of Mississauga’s council chamber would shift dramatically, and in the end control of council equals control of the city.
An endorsement from a mayor who continuously garners in excess of 90% of the vote would carry a ton of weight. Would a politician who runs as part of Team Hazel get a little more attention and maybe a few more lawn signs?
I suspect an endorsement from Mississauga Mega-builder Harold Shipp is worth a mega-ton as well. Not to mention a mega-ton of lawn signs!
Having researched City of Mississauga governance (videotaping, Freedom of Information etc) and documenting “citizen input” over the years, this is the Picture…
The vast majority of Mississaugans do not know what’s going on. Second, of those who don’t know what’s going on, I’ve concluded that sadly, few would care if a judicial inquiry confirmed widespread malfeasance and corruption. Voters clearly vote with their wallets and wallets don’t care about ethical governments.
During his deputation in support of a judicial inquiry, Donald Barber stated:
“I’m not here to discuss anything about Hazel. We all know that, you know, even if she was dead and buried, her name was on the ballot sheet, she’d be elected That’s fine.”
To which Mr. Barber received strong applause and cheers.
I’d go so far as to say that even if headlines confirmed that she routinely stuffs cats and political opponents into a wood-chipper, Mississaugans would re-elect Hazel McCallion. Such is the Pathology of MYTHissauga.
Over the next while, MISSISSAUGAWATCH will post videos of the October 28, 2009 Council meeting onto YouTube for posterity. Regardless of who is speaking, all videos will begin the same way —with Harold Shipp and his $$$threat$$$ of political oblivion to any Councillor who’d stand up during a recorded vote in support of a judicial inquiry.
So. First video on tap, is Ward 1 Councillor Carmen Corbasson and why she supported the judicial review, followed by a transcript from the video (minus my whisperings into camera). All transcripts will be sent to the City Clerk for inclusion into the Council minutes for this meeting.
Video: “Mega-builder” Harold Shipp warns MISSISSAUGA Councillors.
Councillor Carmen Corbasson responds” (3:50 min)
(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BEGINS:
VIDEO INTRODUCTION speaking AGAINST a judicial inquiry. “Mega-builder” HAROLD SHIPP:
If I were sitting there among you, Ladies and Gentlemen, who serve on our Council today, I would be wondering what my position would be one year from now when an election is held and how many of you might have a chance for re-election —IF you proceed with the action you are contemplating now.
MISSISSAUGAWATCH whispers into camera:
Now that’s a threat. Isn’t that interesting..
DIP TO BLACK (to signify later in the meeting).
COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):
COUNCILLOR CARMEN CORBASSON:
Thank you Mr. Acting Mayor and I will be brief. Um, let me first say that this isn’t an easy time for any of us around this table just like it’s not an easy time for you. I don’t think we take comfort in any of the decisions we’ve had to make of late. But notwithstanding, we are elected to make some tough decisions and I think that’s the type of comment you’re gonna hear around this table today.
I am not at all overwhelmed by the number of people who showed up, Councillor Prentice. In fact, I’m surprised there wasn’t more.
And I’ll tell you why I’m surprised because we all know Madam Mayor is loved, admired and respected. And I for one moment am not going to take away that from her. For me, she has been a role model in many many ways. We both started here in the City in 1978 and I’ve learned an awful lot from her.
I— my biggest difficulty is, and I hope you can understand and appreciate that when we have in-camera sessions, we are privy to certain comments and information that the general public is not.
For me, the in-camera session on the judicial inquiry opened up more questions than it answered.
I— that Madam Mayor didn’t declare one Conflict of Interest for a 17-minute or a 17-second, whatever it was, I have no problem with that.
I do have a problem that official government documents got changed with no satisfactory explanation.
I do have difficulty that any member of Council, doesn’t matter if it’s Madam Mayor, or me, or anyone else, can have off-site meetings, with a landowner, who has an interest in the City of Mississauga, that is going to financially benefit a member of any one of our families.
That may not be against the Conflict of Interest Act. But in my opinion, I would hope, and it’s my understanding that a judicial inquiry can —and most probably would, depending on their findings —make some very strong recommendations to have either the Conflict of Interest Act or the Municipal Act changed.
That’s simply put, Ladies and Gentlemen, for me —I’m not going to speak, I’ll let the others speak for themselves.
This isn’t about Mayor Hazel McCallion. This is about Governance, how do we improve it. Not only for this municipality, but across the Province. And I don’t know what price tag you put on that. Is it ten thousand? Is it one million? Is it ten million? I don’t know.
But I would like to see this City in particular, and certainly Madam Mayor come out with credibility, integrity and that we all maintain our dignity.
I do thank you for coming out today, Ladies and Gentlemen and I will turn it back to the Acting Mayor.
COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):
—VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS—
Here’s a fact. Throughout its 30-year history, there has never been anything resembling legitimate oversight of City of Mississauga conduct and operations, let alone independent external scrutiny. Don’t believe? I’m only too happy to hand over three years’ worth of video of Audit Committee meetings (and almost two years worth of Freedom of Information!)
Councillor Corbasson summarized our MISSISSAUGAWATCH research goal in her own justifications for a judicial inquiry. She said:
“— it’s my understanding that a judicial inquiry can —and most probably would, depending on their findings —make some very strong recommendations to have either the Conflict of Interest Act or the Municipal Act changed.”
That’s our goal here too at MISSISSAUGAWATCH! We must change the Municipal Act (Yes. Really).
And we hope to use City of Mississauga Corporate Security’s conduct and operations as “Poster Boy” for precisely why citizens need the Province to grant the Ontario Ombudsman full investigative authority into Municipalities.
There’s every reason to suspect that some (perhaps even many) municipal governments harbour institutional bullies —with Zero Conscience.
Freedom of Information has revealed City of Mississauga “public servants” with Zero Conscience. And residents should have “Zero Tolerance” for that!
CHANGING PROVINCIAL LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE GOVERNANCE
Councillor Corbasson cares not just about Mississauga. Clearly, her support of a judicial review proves that she has her sights set for improving Government throughout Ontario.
The (Changes to the Muncipal Act… can’t happen soon enough) Mississauga Muse