MISSISSAUGAWATCH
MississaugaWatch Mississauga Watch Dear Madam Mayor:
The McCallion Letters

Dedicated to Malton –MISSISSAUGAWATCH.CA (non) mayoral address (Lincoln Alexander Secondary School)

October 9th, 2010  

Lots to do so I’m going to make this fast.

What follows is my experience trying to get my mayoral (non) campaign speech across to the audience still hanging tough inside the cafeteria at Lincoln Alexander Secondary School on October 7, 2010 when my turn finally came.

As a strategy I waited until Mayor Hazel McCallion gave her talk—which everyone assumed was the last of the evening. Nope.

I’d been waiting a very long time to talk to the good folks in Malton and especially Lincoln Alexander. And it was Show Time.

I won’t be providing a transcript of the video (they cut the microphone on me because they didn’t know that I was a mayoral candidate and—well, you’ll have to watch). So instead, along with the video, I’ll just cut-and-paste my script.

Dedicated to Malton –MISSISSAUGAWATCH.CA (non) mayoral address (Lincoln Alexander Secondary School)  7:34 min

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

SCRIPT OF THE MALTON/LINCOLN ALEXANDER SPEECH

Hi. I’m unique among the people here because I am *not* running, I’m simply registered. I registered as part of my research into municipal governance and the City of Mississauga in particular. Since January 2007 I’ve spent over $2,000 on Freedom of Information to investigate Mississauga.

The McMurtry/Curling Report on The Roots of Youth Violence states:

“Community Centres and programs run by mainstream social service providers that have facilities are not “youth-friendly” or accessible to youth, particularly Black youth.

“Not youth-friendly”—that’s what I see too.

I have a moral obligation to tell you something.

In 2008 I attended four Mississauga Youth Plan meetings, one of which was held across the street at Malton Community Centre on March 3, 2008. I witnessed a City of Mississauga security guard deny a half dozen black youths entrance into that meeting. A couple of the kids peered through the window to friends inside and gestured that the guard wasn’t letting them in! I’ve got a photograph to prove that.

At this meeting, youth were asked to write up a wish list. Of the four Youth meetings I attended throughout the city, Malton kids were the only ones to write “DON’T KICK US OUT” as a wish.

However, you won’t see “DON’T KICK US OUT” recorded in the City’s official version of the Mississauga Youth Plan!

Here are the City’s Security records for Malton Community Centre January 1, 2006 until September 26, 2008. During that time, City security guards issued 200 bans and arrests!

By contrast, the combined stats for Cawthra, Meadowvale, Clarkson and River Grove show only 22 bans representing more than twice the foot traffic of Malton Community Centre. And no arrests.

People might respond with, “Well, you know, this is Malton –isn’t 200 what you expect?”

So I investigated the City’s bans for the nearby Westwood Mall Transit Terminal during the same period. NO bans—or arrests. Zero.

I don’t know about you but I am pretty sure more people go through that transit terminal in a day than Malton Community Centre.

From what I can figure, of the 200 Malton Community Centre bans/arrests, 48% of them are youth and minors.

Contrary to its own guidelines, the City does not inform parents when a child is banned.  Over the entire City there are hundreds of parents and guardians with no clue of the City’s bans to their kids.

That’s deadly because if a kid returns to property before a ban’s expiry, he is ARRESTED. Freedom of Information retrieved this direct quote from the Director of Corporate Security about the Arrest policy: “…no exceptions. Let them tell it to the judge”.

And that’s still not the worst part.

It’s what Staff and security guards write about you or your kid into their computer system that you have to worry about. The vast majority of people written into City Security’s “occurrence narratives” simply cannot imagine what’s written about them!

And that computer database with stuff written about your kid rides in the front seat console of every one of the City’s Security RESPONSE UNITS.

And how would you like to be the parent of this kid?

Or this one?

If your kid goes to Malton Community Centre I urge you to file Freedom of Information on any records that the City of Mississauga might have on your youngster.

If nothing comes up, great.

If it does? Do not try to fix things up by dealing directly with City Security. They are highly-accomplished liars and I have proof of this. Besides, you can’t remove what these security guards wrote about your kid. But you CAN enter into the records your youngster’s side of the story.

And you can file a complaint—even if it was something that happened back in 2006.

Go to www.mississaugawatch.ca. I will help!

Thanks for listening.

Signed,

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

Pic from City of Mississauga Youth Plan meeting held at Malton Community Centre on March 3, 2008. Mississauga Corporate Security guard prevents (black) youth from entering the building.

MISSISSAUGA/BRAMPTON GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT conclusion: Studying graffiti/tags is an important window into youth culture

April 2nd, 2010  

—As promised —the transcript of this video —uploaded to YouTube just prior to the Hate Crime/graffiti data released by the Peel Police Services Board at their Friday, March 26, 2010 meeting.

Advisory: I research graffiti/tags and do not report any locations no matter how offensive (even racist) it is. After all, if I am documenting such observations as how long something stays up, I can’t be the one reporting it! Having begun my research into graffiti on April 19, 2009, I can now confidently say that studying graffiti/tags is an important window into youth culture. Graffiti and especially the tags, give marginalized/alienated youth a voice they simply don’t have anywhere else.

These youth never showed at Mississauga Youth Plan meetings. Never showed for Peel Youth Violence Prevention meetings.

These youth NEVER show. Because they KNOW.

Like I do.

Want to prep you for the graffiti stuff with a quote from Peel Regional Chair Emil Kolb, February 28, 2008.

“I had a young gentleman in to see me yesterday that was here to convince me that we need to get away from the word, ‘multi-culture’ and we need to get to the word of ‘integration’. If we don’t get to the word of integration —how these communities are going to integrate, that, maybe not in our time here soon, but maybe in his children’s time, they’ll be a big issue in this Region.”

To me, that’s the most important thing Chair Kolb ever said in the four years that I’ve been researching municipal governance.

PEEL REGIONAL CHAIR, EMIL KOLB, MULTICULTURALISM vs INTEGRATION, YOUTH GANGS, RACISM

OK, enough background.

WARNING! DO NOT VIEW THIS VIDEO IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY THE F-WORD AND EVEN WORSE WORDS!

Video: MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON PEEL GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) 10:09 min
uploaded March 25, 2010

Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

Video: MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON PEEL GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT PART 2 (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) 10:32 min

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (parked directly in front of the City of Mississauga Big Yellow evil empire, March 25, 2010):

March 25th, 2010 and all I care about is that I get this report up on YouTube today and before tomorrow’s Peel Police Services Board meeting.

I read in the Toronto Sun that Peel Regional Police were going to be tabling their annual Hate Crime statistics.

[DIP TO WHITE]

And there was mention that quite a bit of the material that would be presented was in the form of graffiti.

So I’m absolutely intrigued and I want to record my own findings and study so far on graffiti and I thought what better place to do it than right here in front of Big Yellow evil empire City of Mississauga city hall. Because, see right there? Freedom of Information, direct observation, videotape, observing the Mississauga Youth Plan, Peel Youth Violence Prevention —all manner of emails and documents going back and forth, that, right there is a MAJOR Root of Youth Violence.

So I thought no better place than right here with that in the background.

[DIP TO WHITE]

OK, first of all the Mississsauga Youth Plan. I had been observing it including four meetings, ostensibly called “youth input” meetings.

Let’s put it this way. The youth that really needed a voice, not only weren’t represented, they wouldn’t have even been welcome there!

[DIP TO WHITE]

So I realize that the youth who were most at-risk, the ones who got in trouble with police and that I would see at Brampton Court House  —they’re not going to these meetings.

And I thought, well, how do I even go about finding them? And I managed to do that through YouTube. And it became very clear that if you want to know what youth are thinking (laughs) you don’t invite them to the Mississauga library!

The youth that I’m primarily interested in, the target group, the most at-risk, have already pushed these people aside and recognized them for what they are. Frauds.

[DIP TO WHITE]

But how do you gain access to them? To be able to see what it is that they’re thinking and what it is they’re saying because, for the most part, they’re not interested in talking to people like me. I’m 60 years old for example. They just— and a lot of them don’t even trust you or think that you’re legitimately interested in them. And, by the way, I don’t blame them.

And they certainly have a hatred —an absolute hatred, for institutions. And may I also say that I don’t blame them for that either.

[DIP TO WHITE]

So in March 2009, I watched a lot of true youth voice videos on YouTube. And it became obvious that graffiti was a big thing in those kids’ lives. So by April I was already deciding that I was going to start documenting graffiti here in Peel Region.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing I want to say is even though I’m a resident of Mississauga, I think Peel Region. And in fact, the fact that I’m wearing this hat today is symbolic of that. I’m a Peeler. I think in terms —I love the City of Brampton. I love Brampton kids. Those are the kids I taught for most of my career. So there’s this strong feeling of community within me and pride for Peel.

So it wasn’t just a case of me documenting City of Mississauga graffiti, I also wanted to know what was happening in Brampton. And I began my first photographic foray on April 19, 2009.

[DIP TO WHITE]

And I did not report any of the graffiti. While I put these samples up on my Flickr site, I did my best to try to hide the locations. And I can say that even now, that some of these graffiti and tags are still up.

[DIP TO WHITE]

There are some really-truly graffiti artists. And I mean like ART. It’s zero question, it’s ART.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing is, in July and August I also expanded my graffiti research to the Hawaiian Island of Maui. And also expanded my research to include skateboarding culture and to compare —and I also researched skateboarding, to compare the urban-style skateboarding that we have here in Brampton slash Mississauga versus the west coast style of skateboarding that you’d see in California and definitely on Maui.

Very very interesting and I also speculated that there would be a difference in the graffiti between the urban here Mississauga one and west coast, Hawaiian Island kind of graffiti as well.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing that I did, is in July and August, what with me researching Hawaiian or Maui-based graffiti, it meant that there was a two-month window that I didn’t have graffiti here in July and August. So what I did just recently, is I filed Freedom of Information with Peel Police requesting their graffiti information for the months of July and August.

And I can’t thank Peel Regional Police enough for two reasons. For one thing the amount of material that they gave back both in terms of print-outs, colour print-outs and also one DVD cost —was roughly $44.00. And they waived the fee. I’m grateful.

But the other thing is, by reading their —Peel Regional Police’s occurrence reports and the quality of their observations and the insights there, that did two things. I learned a lot from what Peel Regional Police is looking for in terms of its own graffiti research. And to realize that they are applying Science to the study of graffiti. As am I, by the way.

[DIP TO WHITE]

One thing that I found with the graffiti here, is I agree too that a lot of the graffiti is —of the Hate ones, and there isn’t as much as you might think. Which in some ways is good.

But yeah, you see the swastikas. You see the White Power. You see N***** and niggaz.

However, I’ve also documented graffiti which shows sort of the Chinese —the target Chinese community, with the Chinese hat and the moustache, with “Chinaman” down there. Or drawings of the turban. And then —I mean really offensive stuff!

The other thing I was looking for was the relationship that these youth who do graffiti have with Police. Because I felt the relationship between youth and Police would be reflected in the graffiti.

And I admit that there’s some “F*** the Police” and “FTP” which is short for “F*** the Police”. And Peel Regional Police, in their July and August 2009 data also showed some evidence of that.

But what was neat was, it’s still quite rare.

And when you go, for example, to the City of Hamilton, which is one of my alternate study sites —comparative sites, “F*** the Police” is one of the most common pieces of graffiti. As is “FTP”. And I’m talking about every pole. Along every area— even in the parks.

And I’m talking about Beasley Park where “F*** the Police” is about this high in big black letters and has been there since I started back in April.

[DIP TO WHITE]

So there’s a really huge difference in the relationship, I believe —at least that’s what I think it suggests between the youth in the City of Hamilton and the Police, as opposed to what we see here in Peel and the relationship with Police.

Sure there’s the odd tag but it isn’t nearly as prevalent and as obvious as City of Hamilton.

And so one of the questions you ask is well, what’s the message there?

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing that is interesting is, when I looked at the photographs that Peel Regional Police had for July and August, there was very little overlap between what they documented and what I did.

And the other thing really interesting is, Peel Regional Police —their July/August stuff, a lot of it was parks. And a surprising amount was City of Mississauga sites and parks. And City of Mississauga Corporate Security being the ones filing the reports on graffiti.

[DIP TO WHITE]

That’s not a surprise because I avoid City of Mississauga property because (whispers) I know about these security guards.

[DIP TO WHITE]

So I always have a— I have to have a [sic] audio recorder to even feel remotely-safe on City property. So I try to avoid that and my analysis is more along the roadways and just driving along the roads and pulling aside when I see something.

[PART 1 VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

Signed,

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

“STONEWALLED” SUB-CONTRACTORS FALL VICTIM TO CITY OF MISSISSAUGA FACILITIES AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT’S “DUE DILIGENCE” OF CONTRACTS

February 27th, 2010  

This video has been prepared for the sub-contractors who appeared before the Wednesday, February 24, 2010 Mississauga Council meeting. Unpaid for their work, stonewalled and given the runaround, they too fell victim to City of Mississauga’s Staff’s chronic non-compliance to Corporate policies.

Truth be told, in the case of these sub-contractors, they fell victim to yet another policy believed to be “in place”, just that Mississauga’s Internal Audit did not find any trace of it!

And who was responsible for this contract? Why, none other than City of Mississauga Facilities and Property Management! The same fine folks who honed City of Mississauga Corporate Security into the unaccountable, no oversight, unethical knobs who also profess to be a “dedicated team of security professionals”.

Have to say I felt so sorry for the sub-contractors. In the words of the deputant, “blue collar” workers comprised of “single parents with kids on disability that are being —that are losing a lot of money”.

Sure they’ve been stonewalled, screwed-over and eventually forced to file Freedom of Information to peer at the truth. But in some ways they’re lucky —it’s still just money.

This same City of Mississauga Facilities and Property Management and their Corporate Security Guards arrest people/youth/minors.

By far the most offensive thing in the video I’ve prepared is Councillor Pat Saito looking the deputant in the eyes and saying, “I was assured by Staff at that time that when they did due diligence” and “Mayor McCallion and I did discuss that with Staff yesterday and we have been assured by Staff that they…”

Considering the number of times that I’ve advised Councillors that Staff’s word cannot be trusted, I’m just so offended she’d fling that “I was assured by Staff” turd at these people.

Saito’s “I was assured by Staff”comment alone is Perfect Testimony as to why the City of Mississauga can’t be trusted to hire its own Integrity Commissioner. There’s NONE THERE NOW!

This video is dedicated to the sub-contractors and their families who fell victim to the City of Mississauga Facilities and Property Management’s chronic non-compliance to policy and procedure.

So. As always, the video —followed by the transcript.

Video: HAZEL MCCALLION/MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL DECEIVE SUB-CONTRACTORS AND PUBLIC –WITHHOLD VITAL INFORMATION (10:22 min)

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

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

Okay, it is Thursday, February the 25th, 2010 and I’m here, underground, near 130 Adelaide Street and I’m to meet with the Judicial Inquiry investigators at 2 o’clock.

You know, I’ve been mentioning the non-compliance of City of Mississauga Staff to numerous policies. And you know, as recently as February 3rd I detailed quite a number of them in a deputation.

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (Mississauga General Committee Deputation, February 3, 2010):
* sequence edited for brevity and audio begins after Policies 1 through 6.

Now these are non-compliance.

  1. Video Surveillance Policy (The Corporation’s first SNOOP policy)
  2. Violence and Vandalism Policy (2000 to 2006)
  3. Violence, Vandalism and Bullying Policy (the existing current one)
  4. Corporate Security Code of Conduct
  5. Corporate Security Public Complaints Policy (if you can believe that)
  6. Conflict of Interest Policy
  7. Vendor (and this comes from Audit) Performance Policy (Assumed abandoned, Internal Audit could no trace of it.)
  8. Charging Interest to non-government organization Policy
  9. Infoplace Cash Collection Policy (cost the City over, what? —$700,000 plus)

And then By-laws —the Records Retention By-law. That’s confirmed through Freedom of Information, and even Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

And the City Manager, Janice Baker responded with that she would simply not accept what I had said.

CITY MANAGER, JANICE BAKER (Mississauga General Committee Deputation, February 3, 2010):

The accusations that she’s made about the behaviour of Staff at the City are extremely serious and, you know, I am actually quite taken aback by them.

[dip to white]

But to suggest that there is a callous disregard at —by the Staff at the City of Mississauga for both the responsibilities that we have for the care, custody and control of records, written and electronic, is something that I simply cannot accept. I’m sorry.

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

So, what happened at yesterday’s Council meeting was quite remarkable.

It was the 2009 Corporate Awards for Excellence that had been —were being handed out. And you would hear “Leading Canada in management”.

[cross zoom]

CITY MANAGER, JANICE BAKER (Mississauga Council Corporate Awards of Excellence Meeting , February 24, 2010):

Mississauga is continually looked upon as a municipal leader.

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

Our excellent Staff, our excellent commitment to the taxpayer.

[cross zoom]

CITY MANAGER, JANICE BAKER (Mississauga Council Corporate Awards of Excellence Meeting , February 24, 2010):

—to address the needs of all sectors and members of our community.

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

They are Trust, Quality and Excellence.

[cross zoom]

CITY MANAGER, JANICE BAKER (Mississauga Council Corporate Awards of Excellence Meeting , February 24, 2010):

They have exemplified our values of Trust, Quality and Excellence.

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

And Excellence and Excellence and more Excellence.

[cross zoom]

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Council Corporate Awards of Excellence Meeting , February 24, 2010):

Just outstanding. Solves all problems. Brings Peace and Harmony on all issues that he faces.

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

And you know, it’s a killer when I know what Freedom of Information and the Audit Committee has revealed.

[dip to white]

And then, more to the point, there was a group of about six sub-contractors who went before Council* and detailed their frustration with being paid, or in this case, not paid, for work they’d done by [sic] a contractor that was hired by the City of Mississauga.

[cross zoom]

BRIAN MCMAHON, HALTON BMAC MECHANICAL INC (Mississauga Council Corporate Awards of Excellence Meeting February 24, 2010):

Very early in the project, we expressed our concerns to the City Staff that the sub-trades weren’t being paid.

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

His frustration that there were people really counting on the money and feeling hardship at this point.

[cross zoom]

BRIAN MCMAHON, HALTON BMAC MECHANICAL INC (Mississauga Council Corporate Awards of Excellence Meeting February 24, 2010):

—to maybe do something, [inaudible] single parents with kids on disability that are being —that are losing a lot of money

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

Things wouldn’t happen —then there was, he used the word “stonewalled” on occasion.

[cross zoom]

BRIAN MCMAHON, HALTON BMAC MECHANICAL INC (Mississauga Council Corporate Awards of Excellence Meeting February 24, 2010):

Through the Freedom of Information Act —because I was being stonewalled by so many people—

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

And then what was really interesting was, he asked, “Did the City do due diligence before hiring the contractor?”

[cross zoom]

BRIAN MCMAHON, HALTON BMAC MECHANICAL INC (Mississauga Council Corporate Awards of Excellence Meeting February 24, 2010):

"Through the Freedom of Information Act —because I was being stonewalled by so many people —through the Freedom of Information Act, I found out the information I do have."

Through the Freedom of Information Act —because I was being stonewalled by so many people —through the Freedom of Information Act, I found out the information I do have. I have access to the contract and to his —to the contract, to the statutory declarations that he was signing.

I also have, I also have his references and his resume, which at the least leaves much to be desired.

[dip to white]

Now there’s projects that he had that he put down as a reference, these are projects that he’s been, basically, kicked off for non-performance —this contractor, he’s done projects where there’s been liens to put on it and he’s been asked to leave.

And these are the —I want to know about due diligence of hiring this contractor and awarding him this job.

The sub-contractor says, "—I want to know about due diligence of hiring this contractor and awarding him this job."

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

And as soon as I heard the “due diligence” I said (laughs) I knew about an Audit Committee just recently, where again, there was issue with contracts. And the Audit Committee had investigated just how contracts were being handled in the City and Hazel McCallion brought up some issues where there had been problems with contractors in the past.

[cross zoom]

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

We sit down with management as we go through the Audit and say exactly what our concerns are so that they have time to address them. And as you can see, by the end of June of this year, five out of seven of the recommendations will be completed.

And also that formal Vendor Evaluation Criteria will be developed by mid-2010.

[cross zoom]

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

But on that point—

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

[inaudible]

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

On that point—

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Yeah.

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

There was a procedure set up years ago on Vendor [requisitions? inaudible]. Did you find any trace of it?

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

It’s just an informal vendor performance review right now [inaudible] it’s not being —there’s no formal process in there. The first thing—

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

There was —there was a policy established. Every vendor, and especially on major contracts, that when we had bad experiences —and we have had some bad experiences—

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Yes.

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

There was a policy established years ago that the vendor would be categorized. And in fact some would be cut off for future contracts.

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

That’s not—

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Did you find no trace of it?

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

No, it’s not in there.

COUNCILLOR PAT MULLIN (Chair, Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

No, the answer’s no. So I guess [inaudible]

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Well it was set up, I can tell you.

COUNCILLOR CARMEN CORBASSON (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

I remember the discussion.

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Do you?

COUNCILLOR CARMEN CORBASSON (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

I remember the discussions.

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Some of you who’ve been around long will remember? It was set up. So obviously it got lost in the shuffle somewhere. Cuz we ran, we ran into some bad examples. And that’s when we set the policy. That’s years ago. That’s not —ten years ago, would I be right? At least. So where did that —what happened to it?

Hazel McCallion, "And that’s when we set up the policy. That’s years ago. That’s not —ten years ago, would I be right? At least. So where did that —what happened to it?"

DIRECTOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, SALLY ENG (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

There is some mention of a purchasing By-law where we would be able to —or the purchasing agent has the authority to,  prevents [sic] the bidder from bidding in future contracts. But we have not been able to find any detailed processes relating to what you’re talking about.

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Okay.

COUNCILLOR PAT MULLIN (Chair, Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

[inaudble] that we should look into, I guess for the future. Because I remember the discussion.

[inaudible —several speakers at once]

CITY MANAGER, JANICE BAKER (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

That’s what one of the recommendations is.

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

I’m getting a little frustrated as Mayor as we set up policies and then they’re not followed. And that’s what bothers me. I was in the business —in the private sector and we had millions of dollars in contracts. And it’s been something I’ve been promoting  —is control of the contracts. And that policy was set up because we ran into one vendor who were [sic] behind two millions dollars, I remember.

Anyway.

So now we’re going to set up one up. Fine.

Someone:

Yeah.

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

If we set one up, it better be followed. That is the key. No use setting it up if it’s not going to be followed. You know, I don’t know why there’s such a disregard for policy.

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Just to conclude. Working with Facilities and Property Management, we’ve had a good rapport with them and I just want to thank Ken—

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

The guy that did the renovations at the . I hope he never sees another contract.

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Yeah.

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Am I right?

COUNCILLOR CARMEN CORBASSON (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

And the one at the

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

And the one at the

COUNCILLOR CARMEN CORBASSON (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

That was a bad one.

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

And I’ll be honest with you that’s—

MAYOR HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

Now that was a bad one.

COUNCILLOR CARMEN CORBASSON (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

I think that’s when it was raised.

SENIOR INTERNAL AUDITOR, AL STEINBACH (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

[inaudible] of this audit, Madam Mayor they, ah,  that contractor again, there was no formal evaluation for those contracts. And that’s why we recommended that that be formalized and documented.

HAZEL MCCALLION (Mississauga Audit Committee, May 11, 2009):

There was even an evaluation form used many years ago because of our bad experience with contractors and we’d see their name pop up again being awarded a contract.

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010) :

So, Staff and Council approved a policy that outlined how to go about evaluating a contractor to make sure that the City would be doing this due diligence. And what was interesting is, that was never mentioned to the contractor [sic] sub-contractor who was up there!

[cross zoom]

COUNCILLOR PAT SAITO (Mississauga Council Corporate Awards of Excellence Meeting February 24, 2010):

I was assured by Staff at that time that when they did due diligence —and you questioned the due diligence on page 3, which is “I 3c” of the report you filed. You questioned the due diligence of the City.

[dip to white]

MISSISSAUGA COUNCILLOR PAT SAITO'S ";And Mayor McCallion and I did discuss that with Staff yesterday and we have been assured by Staff that they went to three of the projects" is an insult of the highest order to both those gentlemen and me!

And Mayor McCallion and I did discuss that with Staff yesterday and we have been assured by Staff that they went to three of the projects —former projects, that this contractor had undertaken —that they’d used as references, and they were similar-sized projects.

And the information that we’ve received from our Facilities Staff, who oversaw the project, is that they received good reviews from two of them. They weren’t able, I guess to get a hold of the third one. But two of them did give good reviews and we have that review.

It doesn’t have a lot of detail in it.

[cross zoom]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (underground somewhere under 130 Adelaide, February 25, 2010):

So instead McCallion and Councillor Saito said, yes, Staff did do due diligence and check [sic] things out.

And again, once I found out that it was Facilities and Properties [sic] Management, again, because I sat in on the Audit Committee, I know that there have been Audits done of that Department that describe their record-keeping as from adequate to non-existent.

February 24, 2010's Mississauga sub-contractor deputants and MISSISSAUGAWATCH have a LOT in common! Both Victims of City of Mississauga Facilities and Properties Management!

And because I research City of Mississauga Corporate Security, also part of Facilities and Properties [sic] Management, there’s a lot of non-existent as well in terms of record-keeping.

So —what’s interesting is, in front of the cameras, there’s this kind of a non-acknowledgment of what happened in the Audit Committee.

[cross fade: logo]

TRANSCRIPT ENDS

Signed,

The (If you like how Mississauga Facilities and Property Management bungles Contracts, you should see the cluster****bungleknobfest that passes for Security!)

P.S. Have I an appropriate sign-off pic? Yep!

CITY OF MISSISSAUGA AUDIT COMMITTEEE JANUARY 24 2000 MINUTES

COMMENT left at the Mississauga News

The Mississauga Muse

Feb 27, 2010 9:07 AM

Really happy this morning…because I finally answered my biggest question

“Does Hazel McCallion know?” Meaning does Hazel McCallion know how Staff operate? Wednesday’s Council meeting CONFIRMS not just that McCallion KNOWS, but that she, like her Staff are Perps. By not telling those sub-contractors on Wednesday, that at the May 11, 2009 Audit Committee she found out that Internal Audit could find no trace of a formal Contractor Evaluation Policy that was passed by Council “10 years ago” she made her Respectful Workplace utterance about “honesty with the citizens both on the Council and on the part of Staff” a lie. First time I ever stepped foot inside Council Chambers (May 5, 2006). Got The Answer to “Does Hazel McCallion know? Wednesday, February 24, 2010. Zero doubt that Mississauga News “knows” too.

2009 MISSISSAUGA VIDEOS: MISSISSAUGAWATCH Shatters the MYTH behind the City of MYTHississauga

January 1st, 2010  

JANUARY 2009 video INSIGHT INTO THE BRANDING (AND FLUFFING) OF MYTHISSAUGA

Last Blog you saw the pics: The first being, Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion hugging and congratulating Michael Nobrega fellow Director of the Enersource Board after their successful Enersource public meeting and Cable 10 broadcast. Nobrega is president and chief executive of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) —10% partner with 100% veto power (yes. really!).

Here’s the video uploaded to YouTube on January 25, 2009 of Mississauga Inc and McCallion-Nobrega in action.

Video: GEORGE ORWELL MEETS MISSISSAUGA ENERSOURCE (4:27 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

FEBRUARY 2009 (Uploaded February 10, 2009)

Video of youth/Police interaction on the TTC. Bitter February and the youth was wearing a thin T-shirt —complete with holes.

Video: HOMELESS YOUTH and TORONTO POLICE/SPECIAL CONSTABLES at TTC SUBWAY (Queen St station) 090205 (2:28 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

MARCH 2009 (Uploaded March 12, 2009) FROM THE THIS IS FRIKKIN’ SO-TYPICAL DEPARTMENT

MISSISSAUGAWATCH asks Dr. Alvin Curling if the authors of the Roots of Youth Violence Report had filed any Freedom of Information as part of their research. Nope.

Video: “ROOTS OF YOUTH VIOLENCE” co-author, DR. ALVIN CURLING interviewed by MISSISSAUGAWATCH (4:40 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

APRIL 2009 (Uploaded April 17, 2009)

HAZEL MCCALLION SAVES MISSISSAUGA’S SHERIDAN LIBRARY (4:16 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

MAY 2009 (Uploaded May 17, 2009) PUT A *STAR* BESIDE THIS ONE!

Video: HAZEL MCCALLION: on City Staff’s “complete disregard” for Policies (10:06 min)

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

JUNE 2009 (Uploaded June 5, 2009) MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL SETS A NEW RUBBER-STAMP RECORD!

Video: ROOTS OF YOUTH VIOLENCE: MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL FAILS YOUTH: IN 12 SECONDS! (1:00 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

JULY 2009 (Uploaded July 4, 2009)

Video: SKATEBOARDING MAUI, PAIA STONEWAVE SKATE PARK (1:48 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

AUGUST 2009 (Uploaded August 5, 2009) NOW HERE’S A PROMISE THAT NEVER DREW ITS FIRST BREATH!

Video: HAZEL MCCALLION MAKES PROMISE ABOUT PUBLIC QUESTION PERIOD (0:54 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

SEPTEMBER 2009 (Uploaded September 10, 2009)

Video: Poor and Invisible in Toronto. Through a (Tim Hortons coffee shop) Window 6:22)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

OCTOBER 2009 (Uploaded October 2, 2009) NOT ONLY WON’T THIS HAPPEN BUT EXPECT RIGOROUS COVER UP

Video: ‘MAKE MISSISSAUGA YOUTH BANS PUBLIC INFORMATION” says COUNCILLOR PAT SAITO (3:07 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

NOVEMBER 2009 (Uploaded November 1, 2009) WHEREIN WE WITNESSED WHO REALLY RUNS MYTHISSAUGA

Video: “Mega-Builder” Harold Shipp $$$threatens$$$ Seven Mississauga Councillors with $$$DEFEAT$$$ (1:04 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

DECEMBER 2009 (Uploaded December 15, 2009)

Video: MISSISSAUGA JUDICIAL INQUIRY: Citizen-Blogger MISSISSAUGAWATCH requests limited standing (8:09 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

Follow MISSISSAUGAWATCH on Twitter.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH at www.mississaugawatch.ca

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MISSISSAUGAWATCH photos (and documents secured through Freedom of Information) at Flickr The Mississauga Muse

RELATED LINKS

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Videos: Inside Peel Regional Police (11 Division) Young Offenders’ Jail Cells –and Hamilton Graffiti Update

September 14th, 2009  

Well, it was quite the weekend. Went to the Peel Police 11 Division Open House and then paid a return visit to Chinguacousy Skateboard Park. I love Chinguacousy Sk8park.

Today, I conducted a graffiti survey in Hamilton and got one major surprise. I don’t know when but someone went through Hamilton’s downtown core and took major action on the graffiti there. Gosh, most of the graffiti that I’d documented back in June is gone. Erased or totally painted over!

The transformation was so complete that it took me several passes to finally locate exactly where this picture was taken back on May 31st. That door and surroundings were completely free of tags and blight.

THE MISSISSAUGA MUSE POSES BESIDE AN IRONIC ANTI-GRAFFITI POSTER INSIDE A CITY OF HAMILTON BUS SHELTER (PANORAMIC SHOT) 090531

And it wasn’t just one or two streets. Even major graffiti sites behind buildings have been obliterated. It made getting around difficult for me because in all prior visits, I’d used unique graffiti for navigation —not street names! But still, that’s one impressive clean-up effort!

Don’t get me wrong. once you gravitate to the Beasley Park area, and work its cramped side streets, there’s still plenty of “photo-ops”. More about that in later Blogs.

At yesterday’s 11 Division Open House, a Peeler graffiti-specialist was absolutely generous with his time. He taught me how to recognize gang tags. So imagine following a park wooden fenced walkway and you see your normal “F***” this and “F***” that’s and then you recognize the very symbols your Peeler told you about.

GRAFFITI, HAMILTON (September 13, 2009)

Take your pics. Get out fast —but with dignity.

By far, the most interesting thing I did this weekend was spend quality pondering-time in jail. First a brief visit inside a jail cell for female Young Offenders and then about 20 minutes inside the males’ holding cell. (It took me a long time to decipher and document all the graffiti scratched into the glass —plus file a video report.)

So here we are. Two videos today complete with transcripts. The first, Peel Regional Police 11 Division’s tiny female jail cell, followed by video of the males’ cell.

TRANSCRIPT of YouTube video: PEEL REGIONAL POLICE (FEMALE ) YOUNG OFFENDERS JAIL CELL 11 DIViSION

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

This is September the 12th, 2009. I’m here at Peel Regional [Police] 11 Division. Shooting down on the floor to protect people’s privacy. And what I’ve got here is I’ve asked and received permission to videotape. This is where the Under-18’s… I think it’s Under 18.. Excuse me, Officer? What is this again —the Under-what-age?

PEEL POLICE OFFICER

Ah, Young Offenders [inaudible]

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

Young Offenders 18 and under [Ed. ERROR. Young Offenders are Under-18] and this would be female. And this would be their holding cells so to speak. And this is what they get. And what we’ll do is just go here and kind of step… these look like 6-inch tiles. But 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and then you got the can.

And there’s where you wash your hands. Although I suspect there’s soap there.And this is what you get to sleep on.

So the actual room you have is 1, 2, 3 steps. And I don’t think I have to tell you that…wow.

Let’s see what we got up here. Light bulb. I’ll tell you something. There’s no way I could fit and try to escape from there.

I wonder if they give you a metal cup that you could bang across here.

Video: PEEL REGIONAL POLICE (FEMALE ) YOUNG OFFENDERS JAIL CELL 11 DIViSION 1:40 min

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

TRANSCRIPT of YouTube video: PEEL REGIONAL POLICE YOUNG OFFENDERS JAIL CELL 11 DIVSION (MALE) 090912

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

[Sitting inside the male jail cell with video surveillance camera over right shoulder] It’s not quite what I expected. [looks around]

Uh, I guess, I guess it’s something that I needed to see based on the research that I’ve been doing about City [of Mississauga] Security and how they would call in an arrest. And of course that involves Peel Regional Police.

So you’ve got uh, my concern of course, is that ah, there’s no accountability mechanisms in place for City [of Mississauga] Security and then they’re handed over to Peel Regional Police…

And these are the male cells.

We’ve got a video surveillance camera there [inaudible] We’re gonna go here a bit. A place to take a p*** and a dump. And two beds. So I guess if there’s more than that you got a problem.

And what’s interesting is you get the graffiti and the scratching here. OK. Now I can finally —took me a long time to figure out what this says. This right here. OK, even though there’s a video surveillance camera right there somebody (laughs) managed to scrawl in a complaint in glass that reads, “NO TOILET PAPER”. Finally figured out now.

So there’s a complaint there, etched in glass that there was no toilet paper… is that true?

[camera swings over and around the toilet...] There’s gotta be toilet paper.

[Reaches into a toilet-paper sized hole with no toilet paper in it] I suspect it’s there…

Tell ya, if you want to know the truth in society, there it is. NO TOILET PAPER However, there is a video surveillance camera.

I mean it’s bare.  And it’s, I mean you don’t expect posters up. A jail is supposed to be a place where you have nothing to do but to contemplate how you got in there. And the video surveillance camera… at least you know that the video surveillance camera right here, try pointing to it, yah, right here. Um, that is a Peel Police video surveillance camera and you’ve got Police Services manning that thing instead of Mississauga Corporate Security that have no accountability mechanisms in place.

Trust me. This is what Freedom of Information has confirmed. And that’s what I got a problem with.

Video: PEEL REGIONAL POLICE YOUNG OFFENDERS JAIL CELL 11 DIVISION (MALE ) 090912 3:12 min

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

Signed,

The (Warning to Youth. There’s no INTERNET access in Jail!) Mississauga Muse

Time to lighten things up a bit!

PEEL REGIONAL POLICE DODGE CHARGERS (11 DIVISION) CARTOON September 12, 2009

UPDATE: Monday, September 14, 2009. 9:06 am. The video PEEL REGIONAL POLICE YOUNG OFFENDERS JAIL CELL 11 DIVISION (MALE ) 090912 was replaced because I forgot to dampen the audio of a rather crude word regarding the jail cell’s  toilet arrangements. Also, a viewer hated the original enough to give it a 1 out of 5. He/she may wish to go back and click on the 1 again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

SKATEBOARD SUNDAY preliminary report: Turner skatepark (Hamilton), Chinguacousy skatepark (Brampton) and Iceland skatepark (Mississauga)

September 7th, 2009  

Yesterday as part of a MISSISSAUGAWATCH Skateboard Sunday survey, I visited three major “flagship” municipal skateboard facilities, Turner in Hamilton, Chinguacousy in Brampton, and Iceland, Mississauga. The Sunday before (August 30, 2009) we wrapped up our summer’s observation of Maui’s three skateboard parks.

We’ve already reported on the Maui skateboard scene in previous Blogs and especially in “MISSISSAUGAWATCH reports on three Maui Skateboard parks (StoneWave-Paia, Kalama-Kihei and Keopuolani-Kahalui)”.

Once back in Mississauga, it became clear that it would be absurd to now compare the Maui Three with the skateparks we’d been observing and reporting on back in May and June. For example, while observing Beasley Park in City of Hamilton, we were not aware that the new $500,000 Turner Skatepark had opened. (Plus back in May/June I preferred neighbourhood skate plazas to observing a larger City-wide facility.)

No more. The Maui Three forced me to turn my attention to local Flagship Parks.

Yesterday, as part of back-to-back Skateboard Sundays, I first visited Turner Skatepark in Hamilton. (I’d been tipped to the existence of this new facility by a commenter here.)

I ran a quick check of City of Hamilton Council’s decisions as to how Turner Skatepark got located where it did, and surfed a tour of what Google Maps suggested was an affluent surrounding neighbourhood (it was).

TURNER SKATEPARK CITY OF HAMILTON

By far the most surprising thing about Turner Skatepark came from a conversation with one of several parents sitting around watching their kids skateboarding. This mother enthused about how the skatepark was right next to the police station (and I mean right-next-right-next).

I responded that such close presence of police must make parents feel comfortable letting their kids skate there.

Her response was, “Oh no, I’d never leave him here by himself!”

That made Turner Skatepark the most fascinating park in our 6-facility study.

After Turner, I traced out the Upper James route that a kid living around Beasley Skatepark would have to take to reach the flagship Turner. There were only three kids skateboarding that day at Beasley and only one had an actual skateboard. A pervert waxed poetic into my video camera about the number and quality of his testicles while three other suspicious characters were sitting on a park bench watching me videotape graffiti.

Now with two months of Maui skatepark observation behind me, I see Beasley Skatepark for what it is. One ramp. One small depression for a “bowl” and some concrete to smear a board across —that’s Beasley.

BEASLEY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF HAMILTON) 090906

Two small girls were on swings unsupervised and I was reminded of the Turner Park mother’s comment, “Oh no, I’d never leave him here by himself!”… Hamilton: A Tale of Two Cities.

I then set off for Chinguacousy Park, City of Brampton. I heard more F-words in my observation time there than at all Maui skateboard parks the months of July and August combined, plus Turner that morning. Not a good start…

However, Chinguacousy surprised me the most of the three local skateparks I visited yesterday. And surprised me in a good way.

CHINGUACOUSY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF BRAMPTON) panoramic shot 090906

(Click here for larger version)

Chinguacousy reminded me of Kahalui’s Keopuolani Skatepark.  More about all this in later Blog entries.

It was getting deep into afternoon and I reluctantly headed for Iceland in Mississauga. I say “reluctantly” because 1: I have the City of Mississauga Corporate Security database printout of all the bans and arrests issued at that City Property, plus 2: I’d visited the skatepark there on several other occasions.

ICELAND SKATEPARK (CITY OF MISSISSAUGA) 090906

On this visit, there were perhaps 20 boys, with about an even split of bikes and boarders. Being just fresh from Chinguacousy, I found Iceland the bore. I videotaped a bit, narrating into the camera and then once I was done, a parent supervising his two kids talked me up.

“You mentioned a skatepark in Brampton?”

“Yeah, Chinguacousy. I just came from there.”

I mentioned Chinguacousy’s attributes (like that it was in a park and not beside the 403) and then provided directions. He gathered his two kids and B-lined it for B-Town.

I saw Chinguacousy as a cool mix between Maui’s Keopuolani and Kalama skateboard parks.

CHINGUACOUSY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF BRAMPTON) TRUE TO THE SPORT 090906

Even a Chinguacousy conversation between a kid and a BMXer reminded me of the New York Times article “The End of Falling” in memory of Skateboard pioneer, Andy Kessler.

The BMXer rested his bike on a ramp ledge.

CHINGUACOUSY SKATEBOARD PARK (CITY OF BRAMPTON) close-up BMX BIKE 090906

The kid asked, “How did you get so good?”

“I fall down a lot,” and he sped away.

Having observed all six skateparks now, I’m confident in rating them as if I were a Middle School kid committed to skateboarding. But I recognize that what this almost-60 year old white female might look for isn’t the same thing as a real skateboarder (or for that matter a male!).

For me, the Skatepark Rankings were based on architecture, respect and supervision. Did the parks have the kind of ramps and bowls to attract the serious big-boy skaters? Was there a culture of respect among the park users?  If two parks’ architecture and respect rated equal then the ranking came down to a skatepark’s supervision.

I hope you’ll agree that a skatepark where kids are respectful of others and is unsupervised, is infinitely preferable to a supervised park. Unsupervised means it’s the kids’ skatepark where they are free to be respectful, inclusive and solve inevitable conflicts —on their own.

Signed,

The Mississauga Muse

New York Times and Toronto Star REMEMBRANCE: Skateboarding pioneer, Andy Kessler (48) dies of wasp sting

August 23rd, 2009  

I had meant to post this a week ago. Andy Kessler…

The thing  is that for readers to understand the importance of skateboarding pioneer Andy Kessler, you have to know something about the skateboarding culture. Far too many of us see skateboarders as thugs-on-wheels.

And when we see graffiti and tags, we make an immediate connection to skateboarders.

I can tell you this from my summer research here on Maiui. Real skateboarders have the same contempt for the “thugs-on-wheels” as real graffiti artists have for taggers.

Real skateboarders are athletes and like top tier surfers, they’re Alpha-Male-fearless-crazy. (Expect skateboarding to become an Olympic sport.)

While I began my study of skateboarders and skateboard parks in Mississauga —and then Hamilton, it took quality time at Maui, Hawaii’s three skateboard parks for me to GET it. Get real skateboarding.

I didn’t know who Andy Kessler was until I read his Obituary in the Toronto Star. He was a skateboarding pioneer, died at age 48 from a wasp sting.  I can’t emphasize enough that to understand real skateboarding, you have to know that the first skateboarders were surfers.

Thought I’d share a portion of this Blog commemorating Kessler —“The End of Falling”, from the New York Times first.

What’s interesting is Bret Anthony Johnston’s comparison between the East Coast skateboarders and the West Coast ones (“gritty, dirty, and beautiful, the shadow-version of the breezy West Coast surf-style”).

That’s the same difference that I’ve observed this summer between the Mississauga/Hamilton skaters vs those at the three skateboard parks in Maui, Hawaii.

Excerpt from the New York Times Blog, “Happy Days, The Pursuit of What Matters in Troubled Times”

Image Courtesy of the New York Times

Andy Kessler, West 30th Street, Manhattan, 2005. Image courtesty of the New York Times

Andy Kessler, West 30th Street, Manhattan, 2005.  Ivory Serra

The End of Falling

August 13, 2009, 11:15 pm

By Bret Anthony Johnston

I’ve been skateboarding seriously for more than 20 years, and while I never met Andy Kessler, I know his life story. Most skaters over the age of 25 do. Born in Greece and raised on West 71st Street in Manhattan, Kessler started skateboarding when he was 11. This was in the 1970s, a time when skateboarding was so alien to New York City that he had to mail-order his gear from California. Significance-wise, think: Prometheus and fire. When other kids saw Kessler carving around the Upper West Side on his board — which would’ve been three inches wide with metal wheels — they followed, and just like that, the East Coast skate scene was born. It was gritty, dirty, and beautiful, the shadow-version of the breezy West Coast surf-style.

And now, with special thanks to the Toronto Star.

COURTESY THE TORONTO STAR:

REMEMBRANCE

TheStar.com | Obituary |

Andy Kessler, 48: Skateboarding pioneer

Aug 15, 2009 04:30 AM

DANIEL DALE
STAFF REPORTER

The next time some punk skateboarder cuts you off on a downtown sidewalk, curse Andy Kessler.

California’s skateboarding pioneers were surfers, kids who rode in empty backyard swimming pools when they couldn’t ride the waves.

YOUNG SK8RZ, STONEWAVE SKATEBOARD PARK, PAIA, MAUI, HAWAII

Because there were fewer pools in New York, young rebels there were forced to pioneer city skating. In the late 1970s, a group of a few dozen teenagers turned the features of the urban landscape – stairs, poles, flower planters – into obstacles to be challenged and conquered.

“It was about making that action happen with your imagination,” J.J. Veronis, one of those rebels, told The East Hampton Star. “And Andy was king.”

Kessler, born in Greece in 1961 and raised in New York, was the unofficial leader of the Soul Artists of Zoo York, the city’s first skateboard crew. The Upper West Side was their laboratory – and their fishbowl. When they began skating, they had to order their gear by mail from California; in large part because of their rolling advertisements for the sport, New York developed its own burgeoning scene.

Kessler received his first skateboard from his mother at age 10. Like most Zoo Yorkers, he dabbled in graffiti and drugs as a teenager. After the crew disbanded in the 1980s, he became an addict. But he recovered. He then helped take skateboarding off city streets.

Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii August 16, 2009 0043

Despite his dedication to street skateboarding, Kessler long advocated the creation of a haven where New York’s skaters could ride unbothered. In the mid-1990s, his lobbying persuaded the municipal government to build its first public skate park. The city hired him as lead designer, and he eked out a living creating several more.

Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii August 16, 2009 0027

Kessler continued skating into his 40s. While young skaters tended to be unaware of his contribution, an ignorance that sometimes bothered him, the older ones never forgot. In 2005, dozens helped raise thousands of dollars for his medical care when he broke his femur in a wipeout.

Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii August 16, 2009 0044

Though he could be unpleasant – “Some days you caught him and he was a jerk, some days you’d sit and talk for hours,” skate-park builder Tim Vander told ESPN – he was widely beloved.

Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii August 16, 2009 0037

Kessler died Tuesday of a heart attack following an allergic reaction to a wasp sting at a cottage on Long Island.

He was 48.

This pic is dedicated to Andy Kessler. I’m sure he’d know what the kid on his back and under his skateboard is doing. But up until my husband and I witnessed it, we wouldn’t have been able to guess.

Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii August 16, 2009 0043

Signed,

The (Special mahalo nui loa to the skaters at Keopuolani Skate Park, Kahului. Maui, Hawaii) Mississauga Muse

“Often, especially when Kessler was nurturing what would become the East Coast scene, the kids who gravitated toward skateboarding were misfits and malcontents, the shy outcasts who’d been intimidated and sullied by the complex pressures of social interaction. Skateboarding gave them an identity and voice, and Kessler, by example, gave them the confidence to declare themselves to society.”

“This is who he was and how he’ll be remembered, as a man who understood the abiding and cathartic power of resilience. You don’t give in. You take every run —on the ramp, with recovery, at City Hall.”

Bret Anthony Johnston from “The End of Falling” New York Times Blog, “Happy Days, The Pursuit of What Matters in Troubled Times”

READ THE TORONTO STAR ONLINE

www.thestar.com

READ THE NEW YORK TIMES ONLINE AT:

www.global.nytimes.com

MISSISSAUGAWATCH CALLS FOR REMOVAL OF ALL PEEL YOUTH CHARTERS FROM CITY OF MISSISSAUGA FACILITIES

August 7th, 2009  

This Blog is dedicated to the 9/10 year old girl who was banned for 30 days from three major City of Mississauga facilities at once (Mississauga Civic Centre, Mississauga Central Library and Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre). The ban, by City of Mississauga Corporate Security guards, was for “Disturbance”. It was issued on November 14, 2008, the same day that Roy McMurtry and Dr. Alvin Curling released their  Review of the Roots of Youth Violence report. Meanwhile, documents reveal that not much earlier that year (May 9, 2008) two 15/16 year old girls were banned for 30 days from just one facility, the Mississauga Civic Centre, for “Drugs”.  Parents/Guardians were not advised in either case —the only consistency found in these bans.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH is currently researching Brampton, Mississauga and Peel municipal governance through Freedom of Information (FOI) on many fronts.  Every query, every FOI filed —indeed every tangent we take, relates to Youth and ultimately what we believe to be a Major Root of Youth Violence, municipalities themselves.

Today we post a transcript of the October 25, 2007 endorsement of the Peel Youth Charter by Peel Regional Council.

The Peel Youth Charter was presented with much ceremony and even former Ontario Premier William G. Davis was there to smile for the Photo Op.

Below is video of Larry Zacher’s presentation of the Peel Youth Charter followed by the transcript: vital, historical, Youth Violence related-material that must be posted now.

Please know that when I was videotaping this, I was not aware that Charter-presenter, Larry Zacher, Executive Director of Safe City Brampton is spouse of City of Brampton Councillor, Gael Miles, who is also Chair of the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Network. Apparently neither of them thought this was worth mentioning.

To  begin, Google Video uploaded January 5, 2008.

PEEL YOUTH CHARTER endorsed by PEEL REGIONAL COUNCIL (Oct 25 2007) – 08:09 min

Please click here to go directly to the clip on Google Video

TRANSCRIPT of Google Video, “PEEL YOUTH CHARTER endorsed by PEEL REGIONAL COUNCIL (Oct 25 2007)” (Please advise of any errors in the transcript, thanks)

Larry Zacher, Executive Director, Safe City Brampton:

“Good morning, Chairman Kolb and Members of Council.

I have mixed emotions here this morning. I’m very proud to be presenting the Peel Youth Charter but also very intimidated to be following the Honourable William Davis. (laughter)

It’s a hard act to follow before but now that’s he’s bringing children up to his presentations (more laughter) what do you think, Valerie? (more laughter)

I would like to introduce Judge Valerie-Arnold, the Trustee from Brampton in Dufferin-Peel –oh! In the Peel District! -and also a member of the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Committee.

Thank you for having us here today.

First, I would like to congratulate the Honourable William Davis and the Success by Six Committee for the work that they’ve done when creating the Children’s Charter.

The absolute best thing we can do to Youth is provide seamless care for our children, from the day they’re born right though til they become responsible adults.

So it’s very timely that they are here with the Children’s Charter and we’re here with the Peel Youth Charter.

Council supported the development of this document by establishing the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Committee. I guess it was about January 06 and in the following spring we held a Youth Forum because we wanted to get input from the Community.

We had over a hundred and forty agencies represented as well as quite a few young people themselves, came, and we had a full day –it was one of those days where [sic] you’re pretty drained at the end of it, and looking at what are the issues facing Youth, where do we need to go and how can we tackle this as a Community (inaudible).

The outcome of that was the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Strategy, which was published in September of last year –very comprehensive document, a very innovative document, that is probably one of the first that comprehensive an approach anywhere in North America.

I know that for a fact we recently had the World Health Organization in Brampton designating us as an international safe community and one of the programs and one of the issues that they were very very impressed with was the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Strategy and seeing that it was very cutting edge and a very important program for our region.

Out of this Strategy, we’re currently, since it was published in September, we’ve established four working groups that are working comprised of people from all walks of life and all communities and all neighbourhoods in the Region of Peel.

Those working groups are focusing on Youth activities and Youth support and just as importantly, Family support, Community development –these all good ideas take money and resources to put into place, and Educational policies. And they have been working for the last year and a half and will continue to work and develop approaches and programs and strategies as we go forward.

The second very important outcome to come out of the Youth forum and out of the Strategy is the Peel Youth Charter. With that mounted, it’s a big document, I think that some of you have seen it, many of you have seen it and it sets out really how to accomplish two things.

The first is that it’s a statement from all of us that we value Youth and the skills and the energy and everything they bring to our community

And the second part is a –it’s a commitment from all of us to provide a safe and supportive environment for our young people and to do our utmost best to provide Safety initiatives for them and to ensure that they have the opportunities for education, future employment opportunities, that they have a good quality of life in our region and that they have access to the resources and activities they need to develop into happy, healthy, responsible adults.

The Charter has been signed by community leaders throughout the Region and includes the Mayors –Chairman Kolb has already signed it, the Police Chiefs, the Heads of the School Boards, the Community agencies.

We’ve also very strategically left a blank line in there because as we go forward, we want every business, every community agency, every organization that can contribute to Youth to sign on there and become a partner in this.

And by signing it, it’s not just saying, “Hey this is a great thing to hang on the wall”, it is a commitment to do what we can in those key areas –whether it’s Education, Jobs, Safety, any of those areas to support our young people.

So this week our committee has been visiting community leaders, media, going everywhere, presenting the Charter. I’m proud to say also this week the Charters are about to be going up in every school in the Region of Peel.

They’re going up in libraries, recreation centers and wherever other public [sic] –public buildings.

One of the things we’re asking today, Chairman Kolb, is that the Region endorse these Charters going out in Regional buildings, police stations and again where people will see them and wherever we have an organization that can contribute to this Charter.

At this time I would like to ask Chairman Kolb, and he mentioned that there are a number of Regional Councillors who sit on the Peel Violence [sic] Prevention Committee… Councillor Gael Miles, Councillor Katie Mahoney and Councillor Pat Saito and –sorry?

Councillor Gael Miles or Sue McFadden (unsure which) : That’s ok.

Larry Zacher, Executive Director, Safe City Brampton:

So if you can join us at the front, we’ll present —as well, Trustee Tony da Silva, from the Duffeirn-Peel Catholic District Board is here.

(Everyone goes to the front. Mississauga News, Ron Lenyk takes photo. Video ends.)

FACT:  Freedom of Information has confirmed that (at least at the City of Mississauga), the Peel Youth Charter is merely, “Hey this is a great thing to hang on the wall”.

OPINION: As a result, all Peel Youth Charters should be removed from City of Mississauga facilities and properties, ASAP.

To review the Peel Youth Charter, [underlined emphasis mine]


PEEL YOUTH CHARTER (signed March 29, 2007)


We believe that young people are valuable members of the Region of Peel. Young people bring a unique, diverse set of ideas, perspectives and skills, and make a valuable and significant contribution to our community. They deserve the same respect, dignity and human rights as all members of the community.

We believe all Peel youth have the right to:

These rights will apply without discrimination or prejudice to all youth in Peel.

By signing this charter we are committed to use our best efforts to ensure the safety, health, education and future employment of Peel’s youth.

Signed by: (left to right on the original Charter)

Susan Fennell (Mayor-Brampton), Marolyn Morrison (Mayor-Caledon), Hazel McCallion (Mayor-Mississauga) Emil Kolb (Chair Region of Peel), Janet McDougald (Chair Peel District School Board), Bruno Iannicca (Chair, Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board), Andy Karski (Inspector Caledon OPP), Mike Metcalf, (Chief, Peel Regional Police), Jim Bird (Vice-President Brampton Safe City Association), Katie Mahoney (Mississauga Crime Prevention Association), Shelley White, (CEO, United Way)

Signed,

The Mississauga Muse

WILLIAM G DAVIS AT THE ENDORSEMENT OF THE PEEL YOUTH CHARTER BY PEEL REGIONAL COUNCIL OCTOBER 25, 2007

William G. Davis at the endorsement of the Peel Youth Charter (Peel Regional Council) October 25, 2007

Hazel McCallion saves Sheridan Library: “…please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing!”

April 17th, 2009  

Hey Missy Dudes and Dudettes,

Apologies for not having a fresh Blog since April 14th but there’s just been so much to document/research that there’s simply been no time to report on what’s happening.

To give you an idea of what MISSISSAUGAWATCH has been up to in the data collection department since Monday’s Blog here’s a list.

Data collection, researching through Freedom of Information and bearing witness to what needs to be witnessed are far more important than regular Blogging.

You’d think that would go without saying. But no.

The Internet is thoroughly polluted with Blogs spouting opinion —the situation made worse by comments to opinion-focussed Blogs spouting opinion from readers spouting their opinions.   Far too many Blogs assault readers with hundreds of words before actual supporting documents/data are presented.

The very worst Blogs are 100% opinion.

I can tell you this —consider it a reader alert. As of this week, one more Blog (already toxic with unsubstantiated opinion) has joined our virtual world.

As for MISSISSAUGAWATCH.CA,  all I can say is Freedom of Information research continues…

Next. Today’s Blog.

SHERIDAN LIBRARY PUBLIC MEETING April 15, 2009

I’ve been observing Mississauga Council since June 2006 and I can’t tell you the number of times Budget deliberations have threatened the Sheridan Library. Cut hours. Cut hours. Cut hours.

Cut hours so much that here’s what Sheridan Library service looks like today (from the mississauga.ca website). Hint: When you scan the hours, think of when kids are in school and parents at work.

NEW! Hours – Winter 2009

Mon 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tues 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Wed 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thurs 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sat 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun CLOSED

There’s a worrisome trend at the City of Mississauga that I’ve already mentioned in previous Blogs. Two years worth of Freedom of Information documents reveal that City of Mississauga Staff aren’t strong on social issues.

Cut-and-pasting from a previous Blog that dealt with cuts to hours of library service, Councilor Saito said it best.

PAT SAITO: They are probably the four libraries that are in the area of most need.”

“I guess when I look at the, the hours, or sorry, the libraries that are suggested to be closed for the saving on the Friday evenings and the Sundays.. You know (small chuckle) they’re the four libraries —four of them, Meadowvale, Burnhamthorpe, Malton and South Common. They are probably the four libraries that are in the area of most need.” —Mississauga Councillor Pat Saito (October 15, 2008 Budget Meeting)

Now speaking of areas with most need, we have Sheridan Library. And I have to say I found the presentation by the Mississauga consultant fascinating. For one thing, she used 2004 data. For those who need the Obvious spelled out for them 2004 was five years ago!

The other odd item was the difference of opinion about the needs of the community in the immediate area. The City of Mississauga consultant downplayed the need —that there were other parts of Mississauga more “at-risk”. Then the E.S.L. (English as a Second Language) teacher for the nearby Oakridge Public School, who attended to support his kids, provided data showing that the Peel District School Board identified his school —Oakridge, as Number One in terms of  need.

Two studies. Two very different findings. Something is very wrong here.

I suppose that this is as good a place as any to tell readers that in my former life, I taught at Oakridge Public School back in the mid 70’s. Many youngsters were needy back then!

A lot of people attended this meeting to defend the Sheridan Library. But I have to congratulate that Oakridge E.S.L. teacher because he served up data. Facts.

As a result of the information he provided, he’s made it possible for me to file Freedom of Information on various aspects of the Sheridan Library. (I won’t reveal more because I know the minions of evil empire move their lips to this Blog.)

Enough.

Here’s the bottomline.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion  has the following message.

“Please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing. “

And I’m only too happy to.

HEY EVERYBODY! SHERIDAN LIBRARY IS NOT CLOSING!

And not only that but just from examining the Mayor’s face during her speech and afterwards, it’s a pretty good guess that she’s going to see that this needy community’s largely new immigrants (and the Oakridge kids) get a library reflective of those needs.

Ward Councillor Katie Mahoney has defended Sheridan Library every single time it was threatened. Afterwards, I even stood in line to speak with her and thank her for the resolute defence she played on behalf of these people. Mahoney squawked every single time. And her last Council squawk made it clear to Mississauga Staff not to bring up the topic of closing again.

Still, a Councillor has surprising little power.

What has guaranteed a brighter future for Sheridan Library is McCallion herself.  I’m convinced that the Mississauga Mayor did not know the embarrassing conditions at Sheridan Library. Frankly I had my eyes opened too Wednesday evening as well.

The cramped conditions and aging books sure turned the mississauga.ca News Release,  “Service Options Review for the Sheridan Community” into an Orwellian joke.

Down at the very bottom of the City’s News Release. it states:

Mississauga is Canada’s sixth largest city with a population of more than 700,000. With well-established infrastructure and state of the art facilities, the City is considered to be an employer of choice, delivering quality municipal programs and services to its citizens. Mississauga is a dynamic, diverse, and progressive municipality, known for its economic strength and for being Canada’s safest city.

“state of the art facilities”?! STICK IT YOU SPINMEISTERS IN COMMUNICATIONS!

Well, I certainly feel better now…

So here is video of Mayor McCallion’s wonderful address to the Sheridan Library Community Wednesday evening.  And the transcript of the video. All for the record.

HAZEL MCCALLION SAVES MISSISSAUGA’S SHERIDAN LIBRARY 090315  (4:16 min)

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

TRANSCRIPT  Mayor Hazel McCallion Sheridan Library April 15, 2009 public meeting:

Thank you very much and I came to listen. And there are some excellent suggestions put forward.

And I want you to know that your Councillor has protected this library.

And I want you to know that myself and the Councillor and even Councillor Mullin, is concerned about reducing the library hours.

Because I really believe the library, in many years, is the community centre as much as it is, especially for the students.

And you know, today, in order for Canada to be competitive, it is so important that our children get every opportunity to learn more because that’s the only way will remain competitive.

[Apologies, battery change]

The services, by the way, Paul, [Ed: Commissioner of Community Services, Paul Mitcham] that we provide in this library obviously is not adequate. I hate to hear that there’s not enough computers. Today, the children, when they’re doing their research, the computer is such a key to it.

So I heard two things tonight –how the library is stocked. Is it that same as others libraries in the area? I don’t mean all libraries. We DO have the Central Library. And we DO have a district library. And we have a [inaudible] library and therefore they should be all equal, whether the neighbourhood is here or in Streetsville or Erin Mills or wherever it is.

So we heard tonight, there is a need. As I say, your Councillor has protected the library. There was a movement to close it and she stood up and made sure it wasn’t closed.

Now we’re here tonight and Councillor Mullin has joined us.

The library, you know, years ago, when there weren’t community centres and there weren’t arenas and there weren’t all those things, there were libraries. Think about that. There were libraries because that was the key to a community.

And so the library is an extremely important facility in the community.

In regard, I agree with Councillor Mahoney as well, that the library should be located in the right location and that is important as well –to be able to be available to as many people as possible.

Not all –we can’t have a library on every corner –we can’t have a library right next to your house, I wish we could, but we can’t. So we have to choose a good location. And I think your Councillor is well aware of where the library should be.

We will attempt –I will try to negotiate with the owner of this plaza as well. And I would think that the economic downturn and the fact that plazas are not doing as well –and this one, I understand is not doing as well as others and I think that there’s a pretty good negotiating opportunity.

Secondly, we will look at land within this area that Councillor has clearly defined to see if there is. It’s tough to purchase land these days, you know. You can’t force people to sell it to you but we will make every effort.

I know that Paul, our Commissioner here tonight, will bring me up to date on the negotiations that are taking place with the owner of this plaza and I will get involved.

So tonight you gave us some ideas –I think they’re great– I want you to know that we are here to serve you and to serve this community as we try– [McCallion cut off by applause]

So thank you for coming and please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing!

[TRANSCIPT ENDS]

Signed,

The Mississauga Muse

HAZEL MCCALLION: READ "TRANSCRIPT Mayor Hazel McCallion Sheridan Library April 15, 2009 public meeting: ...and please, spread the news that this library is NOT closing"

Addtional resources.

I was unaware that the young man sitting in the chair to my right was Peter, the person who left an announcement about the Sheridan Library meeting in “About the Mississaugas Muse”.  I Googled him and found his excellent summary of the Sheridan Library meeting.

Peter Browne describes himself as a “Peter Browne student. nerd. politics activist” and I encourage you to read his “Sheridan Branch Library Meeting” summary. Clearly Peter is a Blogger committed to informing his readers. He’s actually posted an audiotape of the  meeting as an mp3!  Audio and video cut through the He Saids and She Saids of differing opinions of what actually happened.

Also please visit Peter’s Flickr site for his photographs of the information slides presented at that meeting.

Last. Here is the Mississauga News article, “Neighbourhood needs its library, residents say”.

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.”


Bear