Mississauga Council okays $250,000 more for Hazel McCallion’s lawyers fees. (Video of debate highlights)

August 5th, 2010  

Thanks to the Toronto Star and Mississauga News for the following.

Torstar Network
Aug 04, 2010 – 5:46 PM

Council okays $250,000 more for mayor

More for the Mayor. Mississauga councillors voted today to give another $250,000 to Mayor Hazel McCallion to cover her legal bills during the judicial inquiry. File photo

After a 40-minute debate, Mississauga city councillors voted today to give another $250,000 of taxpayers’ money to Mayor Hazel McCallion to cover her legal bills during the ongoing judicial inquiry.

The motion was tabled by Councillor Sue McFadden and passed unanimously by Council. The mayor excused herself from the vote just ahead of the motion.

Ward 6 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, a vocal critic of the mayor, raised some vital questions about soaring costs at the inquiry, but acknowledged that “we have no choice but to accept it.”

She said councillors are caught between a rock and hard place, “but the mayor will have to explain it to the taxpayers.”… the rest, please see Council okays $250,000 more for mayor

Now for video of this discussion.

What follows is an excerpt of today’s Mississauga Council debate on covering the Mayor’s legal bills. We highlight the words of Councillor Nando Iannicca and his exchange with City Solicitor Mary Ellen Bench. And of course, the transcript.

Video: Mississauga Council debates lawyers’ fees for Mayor Hazel McCallion (Judicial Inquiry)  (3:55 min)

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

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BEGINS:

COUNCILLOR CARMEN CORBASSON (Acting Mayor):

Councillor Iannicca.

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA:

Thank you. I have just a couple of quick thoughts. Councillor Parrish touched upon it. I am concerned the extent to which, you know, we might need $400,000 more. And then she said that immediately becomes a target waiting at the finish line. It’s not an [inaudible] limit. So you know you’re in. And that concerns me.

And the fact that it wasn’t articulated or demonstrated in a little bit more fulsome manner. But be that as it may.

The other part as it relates to the costs. Certainly on my behalf and on behalf of my constituents, you know it’s the classic “It Is What It Is”. I mean when I supported the Inquiry, I said to myself, I’m not asking for a fixed amount of justice. We’re asking for justice and a proper inquiry.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH whispers into camera:

Yes..

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA:

It’s very tough under that circumstance to say we rolled up and said give me twenty bucks worth of gas. You’ve got to say Fill it Up. Wherever that journey takes you.

And so I’m a little disappointed in the sense that we look at these reports and this is what it costs and it’s costing you 40 hours of work. What is somebody thinking? That if you come back and say that we’ve reached five million, we’re going to say Stop?

I mean, and especially in the circumstances that we’re describing, where it’s to seek justice where politicians are involved. And one of us has the courage to say here “stop now”? You know, I think our public deserves better than that.

This is justice and it doesn’t matter where it takes you and who’s involved. And the last thing I’d want to do is stop if we’re trying to seek the truth and politicians are involved. That’s just not right. So, it’s not even an academic argument. It’s an argument you shouldn’t be having in society. It costs what it costs to get to the truth under the circumstances and I’m not going to deviate from that at all.

I think in that regard as well, I think the costs are what they are and I think this needs to be said —because we’ve bent over backwards as a Council to be fair to everybody involved. I would think. I don’t what else we could have done to all of the participants, recognizing and respecting their rights, and to be represented appropriately and I fully support that as well.

The only other point that I will raise and I do want to give the Commissioner and the Counsel the chance to work through the process, because it’s by far the most common question being asked of me is, if Mr. McCallion, whether he knew it or not had certain assets and he was given certain funds thinking he did not have assets for legal fees, what is the recourse, can that come back and the Commissioner —the Justice can revisit it. And perhaps you could speak to that or whether that’s something that the Justice has the right to revisit at a later date or at some appropriate time.

CITY SOLICITOR MARY ELLEN BENCH:

The purpose of the Inquiry will be to —for the Commissioner to make certain findings as to fact and he will make recommendations but you have to remember, it’s not a court of law. So he will not have the power sitting in this forum, to require repayment or anything of that nature.

I think at the end of this process, when we do have his recommendations, it’s appropriate to look at them and assess the evidence and determine what actions City needs to take moving forward.

And based on previous inquiries in Waterloo and in Toronto, legal action was taken where it was appropriate. In other cases, like the bulk of the changes were administrative process changes and the Commissioner in this case will do the same.

He will make recommendations that he thinks are appropriate based on the totality of the evidence he has. And right now we’re at that awkward spot where we’ve got part of the evidence but there’s still at least two more weeks to go.

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA:

Yeah, thank you. What I take from that —and not as eloquently as you but I hope I’m saying what you’re saying in different words. What I’ve told any constituent is, let’s let the process run its course. Let’s let the reasons that we’re here be answered. Let’s let the Justice do his work and we will revisit those or visit those afterwards.

That’s a fair way of putting it.

CITY SOLICITOR MARY ELLEN BENCH:

That’s correct.

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA:

And I don’t know where that takes us but I think people want some indication that there’s more to play out on that front. Certainly that’s what I’m telling them. Thank you Madam Chair.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS

ONTARIO OMBUDSMAN BALL CAP MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL

The Mississauga News has provided a terrific resource so I’ll just cut-and-paste with special thanks to them for making my job easier.

Judicial inquiry coverage

Faces of the inquiry. From left, businessman Peter McCallion and his powerful mother, Mayor Hazel McCallion, are in the spotlight as the historic Mississauga judicial inquiry continues to unfold in the Burnhamthorpe Rd. W. courthouse. Justice Douglas Cunningham (right) is probing the extent of the mayor’s involvement in a major land deal that was being brokered by her son, and whether she had a conflict of interest.

Related Stories

The Mississauga News
Aug 04, 2010 – 8:36 PM

Did Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion have a conflict of interest when she got involved in her son’s business dealings? Or, was she just working on behalf the City of Mississauga by helping to being a major hotel and convention centre to the City Centre?

That’s what Justice Douglas Cunningham is trying to determine at the ongoing Mississauga judicial inquiry.

It’s also a hot topic of conversation for many city residents.

The City of Mississauga Judicial Inquiry was established under Section 274 of the Municipal Act by a vote of City Council on Nov. 11, 2009.

It has been conducted in two sessions. The first half, which began May 25 and ran through June 15, examined a controversial Enersource Shareholders Agreement that gave unusual veto powers to the utility’s minority owner, the giant OMERS pension fund.

The second part of the inquiry, which got underway July 8, is examining the mayor’s role in a bid by a development company fronted by her son to buy a package of City Centre land from OMERS for a hotel and convention centre.

Below is our coverage of the judicial inquiry to date.

Council okays $250,000 more for mayor
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/856578–council-okays-250-000-more-for-mayor

What price truth?
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/editorial/article/855846–what-price-truth

Mayor should step down
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/columns/article/855844–mayor-should-step-down

McCallions’ inquiry tab could top $500,000
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/855622–mccallions-inquiry-tab-could-top-500-000

Mayor not helped by son’s testimony
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/855587–mayor-not-helped-by-son-s-testimony

McCallion should pay: Parrish
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/855047–mccallion-should-pay-parrish

‘I did nothing wrong’
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/854557–i-did-nothing-wrong

Firm thought McCallion was a real estate agent, inquiry told
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/854348–firm-thought-mccallion-was-a-real-estate-agent-inquiry-told

City wasn’t fleeced in land deal
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/854255–city-wasn-t-fleeced-in-land-deal

Son misled mayor, lawyer suggests
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/853946–son-misled-mayor-lawyer-suggests

McCallion sticks up for mom
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/853823–mccallion-sticks-up-for-mom

McCallion’s memory tested
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/853442–mccallion-s-memory-tested

Mayor pushed her son’s project
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/853143–mayor-pushed-her-son-s-project

Mayor’s son on the hot seat
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/853105–mayor-s-son-on-the-hot-seat

Not a principal: McCallion
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/852904–not-a-principal-mccallion

McCallion co-signed loan
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/852871–mccallion-co-signed-loan

Mayor an ’emissary’ for son’s company: lawyer
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/852774–mayor-an-emissary-for-son-s-company-lawyer

O’Brien was also involved in Sheridan deal
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/852668–o-brien-was-also-involved-in-sheridan-deal

Lawyers prepare for battle at inquiry
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/852401–lawyers-prepare-for-battle-at-inquiry

Hazel vouched for son’s partner
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/852375–hazel-vouched-for-son-s-partner

Mayor’s son to testify
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/852244–mayor-s-son-to-testify

OMERS denies inflating land deal
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/848667–omers-denies-inflating-land-deal

Code needed at City
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/editorial/article/847289–code-needed-at-city

Company received $4M payout
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/847088–company-received-4m-payout

City seeks public review of ethics code
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/846865–city-seeks-public-review-of-ethics-code

Company received $4M pay-out over hotel deal
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/846702–company-received-4m-pay-out-over-hotel-deal

Voters will decide
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/letters/article/845495–voters-will-decide

Process can’t be muzzled
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/editorial/article/845494–process-can-t-be-muzzled

Mayor pushed deal, Inquiry told
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/845386–mayor-pushed-deal-inquiry-told

Mayor linked to meeting
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/845348–mayor-linked-to-meeting

Mayor pushed for hotel in City Centre
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/845305–mayor-pushed-for-hotel-in-city-centre

Judge shoots down mayor’s request
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/844957–judge-shoots-down-mayor-s-request

Was it legal?
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/letters/article/844106–was-it-legal

Mayor cries foul at inquiry
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/844048–mayor-cries-foul-at-inquiry

Inquiry hits another roadblock
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/842350–inquiry-hits-another-roadblock

Questions remain
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/letters/article/841093–questions-remain

Inquiry costs now expected to hit $5 million
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/840203–inquiry-costs-now-expected-to-hit-5-million

Inquiry may hurt Enersource: lawyer
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/839993–inquiry-may-hurt-enersource-lawyer

‘I am not stepping down’
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/838087–i-am-not-stepping-down

Inquiry’s second phase begins in July
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/838006–inquiry-s-second-phase-begins-in-july

‘I forget‚’ doesn’t cut it
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/columns/article/837377–i-forget-doesn-t-cut-it

Council told of veto: Mahoney
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/833782–council-told-of-veto-mahoney

Mahoney set to testify at inquiry
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/833374–mahoney-set-to-testify-at-inquiry

Mahoney called to testify
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/832789–mahoney-called-to-testify

Councillor asks for fees
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/831724–councillor-asks-for-fees

Mayor’s legal fees capped
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/831432–mayor-s-legal-fees-capped

Inquiry costs climb
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/editorial/article/830589–inquiry-costs-climb

Lawyers want more to represent mayor
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/829779–lawyers-want-more-to-represent-mayor

McCallion calls out Parrish
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/828112–mccallion-calls-out-parrish

Mayor denies knowing of veto
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/827766–mayor-denies-knowing-of-veto

Deal negotiated improperly, inquiry hears
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/826715–deal-negotiated-improperly-inquiry-hears

Mayor on stand tomorrow
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/823922–mayor-on-stand-tomorrow

Enersource deal ‘terrific’ for Mississauga
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/823722–enersource-deal-terrific-for-mississauga

Enersource deal nixed by inquiry
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/823414–enersource-deal-nixed-by-inquiry

We’ll all pay a share
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/editorial/article/822510–we-ll-all-pay-a-share

Former City manager vague in details
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/822193–former-city-manager-vague-in-details

Councillors should have known about veto, deal maker says
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/821795–councillors-should-have-known-about-veto-deal-maker-says

Files stay sealed
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/821442–files-stay-sealed

City set to approve full funding for mayor’s son
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/821229–city-set-to-approve-full-funding-for-mayor-s-son

City key to OMERS, inquiry told
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/821186–city-key-to-omers-inquiry-told

No common sense
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/letters/article/821055–no-common-sense

High stakes drama
http://www.mississauga.com/opinion/editorial/article/821054–high-stakes-drama

Enersource powers ‘changed’
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/820981–enersource-powers-changed

Hydro deal took years to probe, inquiry hears
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/820827–hydro-deal-took-years-to-probe-inquiry-hears

Judicial inquiry starts today
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/820606–judicial-inquiry-starts-today

Inquiry starts tomorrow
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/820581–inquiry-starts-tomorrow

Mayor to testify June 2
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/818995–mayor-to-testify-june-2

Councillors consider code of ethics
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/818976–councillors-consider-code-of-ethics

Council code of conduct on agenda
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/818368–council-code-of-conduct-on-agenda

More money for Mayor’s son
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/817504–more-money-for-mayor-s-son

Commissioner to rule on funding for mayor’s son
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/817197–commissioner-to-rule-on-funding-for-mayor-s-son

Inquiry costs at $1.5M and rising
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/815604–inquiry-costs-at-1-5m-and-rising

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