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

CAROLYN PARRISH VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: “This Inquiry is about things that have been going on —murky things that have been going on around our city for quite some time.”

November 8th, 2009  

Yesterday, we posted video of Councillor Carolyn Parrish’s explanation as to why Mississauga needs a Judicial Inquiry.

By way of introduction to today’s Blog, I will simply repeat what I wrote yesterday. The reader can regard this as my official position on the Judicial Inquiry. Yesterday I wrote:

I’ve filed two years and $2,100 worth of Freedom of Information on City of Mississauga Corporate Security. If the rest of the City of Mississauga is as corrupt and unaccountable as their Security operation, this judicial inquiry is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overdue!

There you have it.

And now, the video, followed by the transcript.

COUNCILLOR CAROLYN PARRISH: JUDICIAL INQUIRY WILL LOOK INTO “MURKY” DEALS AROUND THE CITY (10:04 min)

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

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BEGINS:

NOTE:  Councillor Parrish really did say “one hundred million” and the City Solicitor also did say “ten million”. Next, regarding OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retiredment System) Councillor Parrish really did say, “They gave us ten percent of Enersource” —this is clearly in error and can’t be what she meant to say based on the rest of her comments.

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Councillor Parrish.

COUNCILLOR CAROLYN PARRISH:

Yes, Mr. Chairman, and I know you’re all going to want to boo. So if you just be patient and wait til I finish speaking and then boo maybe we’ll get through this a little more quickly.

First of all I’d like to tell you, and get on the record that there’s a procedural problem here in that the judicial review was passed four weeks ago. So what Councillor Mullin has done is defer the Terms of Reference. She hasn’t asked us to reverse that decision yet. So the procedure to do that is quite different and we’ll have to discuss it.

Secondly I would like to ask the lawyer, the City’s lawyer, if in fact we can get to a 100-million dollars in your wildest dreams and secondly, can a judge order us to pay the costs of the witnesses that come before the judicial review.

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Through the City Solicitor.

CITY SOLICITOR MARY ELLEN BENCH:

In my report, I set out the reasons for why I’ve estimated the costs the way that I have. I don’t think the costs are going to  be anywhere near the range of  10-million dollars. They could definitely go higher than what I’ve estimated because as I’ve said in the report, there are a number of variables depending  on what the investigation turns up and how the Commissioner decides to handle those matters.

In terms of the Third Parties or Corporations or outside parties, the Commissioner does not have jurisdiction to provide funding and I set that out on page 11 of my report. In terms of who has Party status and who can participate fully in the Inquiry, if the Inquiry is held, that is a matter that will be determined by the Commissioner.

The Commissioner establishes the rules for a Judicial Inquiry —Council does not. So they will determine the rules. They will determine the Parties. They make —may make  recommendations on funding if they think it’s appropriate. But they do not have any jurisdiction to make that decision.

COUNCILLOR CAROLYN PARRISH:

Thank you. And another comment I would like to make is, with the exception of Mr. Shipp who took a direct shot at me, and I will discuss it with you later because I want you  to know what you said about me is not true.

I agree with everything that was  said today about Hazel McCallion. This Inquiry is not about Hazel McCallion. This Inquiry—no—

[Protests, jeers from audience]

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Let her finish please.

[Protests, jeers from audience]

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

You’ve had your opportunity.

[Protests, jeers from audience]

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Order.

[Protests, jeers from audience]

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Order!

[Protests, jeers from audience]

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Order. Please proceed.

[Protests, jeers from audience die down]

COUNCILLOR CAROLYN PARRISH:

This Inquiry is about things that have been going on —murky things that have been going on around our city for quite some time.

And if you want to talk about money and you want to talk about OMERS, the first thing that was discovered after I was elected, through a very laborious process that cost us over a million dollars, was the Enersource agreement that was signed in 2000 was altered two days before it was signed on direction from the lawyers from OMERS and accepted by then City Manager.

It was altered to give Veto Power —one hundred percent Veto Power to our ten percent partner.

Now you need to understand, that’s OMERS.  They came in. They gave us [sic] ten percent of Enersource and they took one hundred percent control.

They have excuses for doing it but the main excuse was that we have a Put agreement, which is too complex to get in to. If it was a good excuse, why didn’t they bring it to the Councillors of the day in 2000 and say this is why we need this little veto in here. This is why we have to be able to veto one hundred percent of your decisions. You’re ninety percent, we’re ten percent. We have a good reason but you know what? We’re not going to tell you what it is. We’re gonna send a letter from OMERS to the City Manager of the day and to our Lawyer of the day and say, “Just slip that in.”

So that when we were looking into selling Hydro, which we subsequently decided not to, cost us one-hundred-fifty/two-hundred thousand dollars to find that little mistake. And the clock has been ticking ever since.

So OMERS, who sent us a threatening letter last night, saying, “We’ve just spent nine months trying to re-negotiate that deal because we know we shafted you, we’re going to draw the re-negotiation out of the ballpark. We’re taking it back. We don’t like what you’re doing with the Judicial Review. We don’t like being named in it. And by the way, we want you to pay for our lawyers for the last nine months while we were trying to figure out how to fix the mistake that was done without the knowledge of your Councillors or your Mayor!”

The City Manager of the day slipped the papers to her, said go ahead and sign them [inaudible word] the same as the ones Council looked at.

So Number One, I want to look at OMERS, I’m sorry. We’ve have a few deals with those guys.

Secondly, we tried to buy a piece of land to build Sheridan College here in City Centre.  What was discovered was affidavits were sent through the courts where certain persons involved in World Class Development said you have to pay us off. We’ve put in two-point-three-million dollars that we’re not going to get back. So we’re going to take you to court, hold this whole thing up and Sheridan won’t get built because they have to get built by 2011 just like the other infrastructure money.

So if we have to go to court and fight with these guys, W. [sic] World Class Development, Sheridan won’t get built!

So what do we do? World Class Development does all these affidavits, tells us about off-site meetings, tells us this, tells us that. And they say, “But you know what, for a cash settlement from OMERS we’ll withdraw our objection.” In my world, that’s blackmail.

So I want those guys looked at. Because they affect our city and they affect the prices we pay. If OMERS paid them three million to go away, I’m sure we paid them three million more than we should have for that land.

So that’s what I want to look at and that’s what we all wanted to look at.

Mayor McCallion’s Conflict of Interest is a small technicality that is absolutely irrelevant to me.

[Murmurs, groans from audience]

COUNCILLOR CAROLYN PARRISH:

What is relevant, what is relevant, is the fact that six days after the minutes of the meeting was [sic] taken care of, somebody in this building changed those minutes. And we’ve never had an explanation.

The other thing you need to know, ‘cuz we’ve asked the City Manager in-camera, you know when you Blackberry each other in business —you guys are all in business, you all have those little Blackberrys, this City monitors our PIN to PIN conversations.

That was admitted by the City Manager that the City has the technology to do that…

[MISSISSAUGAWATCH turns video camera to video surveillance camera over Councillor Parrish’s left shoulder.]

COUNCILLOR CAROLYN PARRISH:

So somebody can find out who instructed the minutes to be changed or go into the minutes and change them. To me that’s an issue!

I’m sure you’d like to know that your minutes, when you read them from a meeting are honest, nobody has the ability to change them, and we’ve never had an explanation as to why they were changed.

So when you look at the Terms of Reference of this, it was a lengthy conversation by all the members of Council —and I didn’t give them something in their drinking water, and I didn’t promise them jobs or Heaven, or anything else.

I merely looked into this because I’m a bit of a ferret and I follow Hazel’s instructions which are “Do Your Homework” and when you keep doing your homework and you keep finding problems that you can’t answer or solve —the rest of your colleagues say, “Hey, we got to look at this.”

Now if there’s a way of doing the Terms of Reference that Hazel McCallion’s Conflict of Interest is taken out of it, I have no problem with that because she’s admitted she had a Conflict of Interest.

I want to find out how the minutes got changed, I want to find out why OMERS took what they paid World Class Development to go away. I want to know what other deals have been going on at the City Centre like that. I want to know why we’ve spent a year-and-a-half trying to fix a deal that was signed by the Mayor without her knowledge or Council’s knowledge slipping in a huge Veto Power in there for a little ten percent partner!

My colleague, Nando, has often said, if that is acceptable in business, he’s going to buy ten percent of every one of your houses—

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

(whispers) And tell you what to do.

COUNCILLOR CAROLYN PARRISH:

—and then tell you what to do with them. When you can live in them. Who can live in them with you. He’s In Charge.

So please get it out of your heads that I— and by the way I was told by Hazel McCallion when she announced six weeks ago or whenever that she was running again, I was the only one who sent her a note congratulating her. I want her to run again!

[Laughter, jeers from audience]

COUNCILLOR CAROLYN PARRISH:

No, I’m sorry…

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Order. Order.

[Laughter, jeers from audience]

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Order.

COUNCILLOR CAROLYN PARRISH:

But I also want this judicial review to clear the air.

And I’m also surprised at how little faith you have in the Mayor when you all keep talking about this thing growing like a giant mushroom cloud.

If it’s a little Conflict of Interest, it’ll be over in ten minutes.

If it’s OMERS it might take longer.

If it’s people in this building snooping on all our PINs and changing minutes—might take a little longer. But these are the things that we want to look at.

[MISSISSAUGAWATCH BATTERY CHANGE —SPECIAL THANKS TO ROGERS CABLE 10 BROADCAST for remaining 17 seconds]

And if there’s a way in the Terms of Reference and I’m going to ask our lawyer, if we can take Hazel McCallion’s Conflict of Interest out of it at that meeting on May 21st, I’d be happy to do so. Could I, through you, ask our lawyer?”

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Through the Solicitor.

—VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS—

Please note that video ends because YouTube allows a maximum of 10 minutes per video and this video is exactly 10:04 including the MISSISSAUGAWATCH logo.

Signed,

The Mississauga Muse

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