MISSISSAUGA JUDICIAL INQUIRY –Commissioner J. Douglas Cunningham’s decision: “In balancing these three considerations, I conclude that citizen journalists should have access to unedited, raw footage of the Inquiry proceedings.”

April 26th, 2010  

YES! YES! YES! I’m so happy!

My favourite part is Commissioner Cunningham writing:

In balancing these three considerations, I conclude that citizen journalists should have access to unedited, raw footage of the Inquiry proceedings. This access will promote freedom of expression, and allow Mr. Barber and Ms. Bennett to report on aspects of the Inquiry that may not be covered by the accredited media.

That means he got my part about there not being any media in MYTHissauga.

The Mississauga News just came out with Split decision for citizen journalists. Not for me it wasn’t. I didn’t really want to videotape! I’d be forced to change batteries and I wouldn’t have a complete unaltered record that way. Plus I wanted to draw/sketch in court and you can’t do that and videotape too. All I wanted was the Rogers feed for historical records and got it!

This leaves me free to be court sketcher. Like this sketch I made on April 2, 2007 when Donald Barber had to fight off the Misstapo (rhymes with Gestapo) and the evil empire at Brampton Courthouse.

BRAMPTON COURTHOUSE COMMENT during DONALD BARBER COURT APPEARANCE APRIL 2, 2007

Commissioner J. Douglas Cunningham just helped UNstick public inquiries!

Thank you to Commissioner Cunningham but also to “friend of the court”, media specialist/lawyer Peter Downard, for speaking up on behalf of us-citizens and yet still providing that crucial “balance” that I define as “Canadian” and anti-evil-empire.

Okay. Enough from me.

Here’s Commissioner Cunningham’s decision letter.

You can access it directly at the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry website:  Decision of Commissioner Cunningham on Motion by Citizen Journalists for Permission to Record Inquiry Hearings (April 26, 2010)  (1,306Kb / 3 pages).

We’ve scanned the pdf file so Google can access it as HTML, people can do word searches in this document and of course, for ease of cut-and-paste. (The Commissioner’s words are a thing of Beauty.)

Last, if an eagle-eye spots an error, I’d appreciate being advised. Thanks.

[Decision Letter Begins]

City of Mississauga Judicial Inquiry

The Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham, Commissioner

Decision of Commissioner Cunningham

Motion by Citizen Journalists for Permission to Record Inquiry Hearings

The open court principle is a “hallmark of a democratic society”1. Public access to our courts allows all those who are interested to see that justice is administered in a non-arbitrary manner and according to the rule of law. As Mr. Downard explained in his submissions as amicus curiae, it enables justice to be done, and to be seen to be done. This principle is particularly important for public inquiries: open and public hearings instill confidence in the fact-finding, thoroughness and objectivity of a judicial inquiry.

While all who are interested can enter an open court, the reality is that most people will not be able to attend in person. This Inquiry will occupy many weeks and hearings will be held during regular business hours, making it prohibitive for the majority of people to observe the testimony themselves. As a result, they will depend on news organizations to report on the Inquiry’s events and progress.

Representatives of a range of accredited media organizations have attended and reported on the preliminary hearings to date. In addition, two Mississauga residents have been attending and reporting on the Inquiry. Donald Barber of the Democratic Reporter and Ursula Bennett of Mississauga Watch have demonstrated an interest in following and reporting on the Inquiry.

Non-accredited “citizen journalists” can play an important role in the reporting and analysis of events. As both Mr. Downard and Commission Counsel Mr. McDowell explained, the advent of social media and the proliferation of blogs have expanded the role of non-traditional journalists. Indeed, in 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada noted that in this age of electronic media and the blogosphere, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between media representatives and ordinary citizens.2 I recognize, of course, that this development is not without its dangers.3

The question before me today is whether, as citizen journalists, Mr. Barber and Ms. Bennett should be permitted to videotape the Inquiry proceedings. To date, Inquiry staff have arranged for Rogers Communications to videotape the entire Inquiry, on the condition that it provides feed to all journalists and media representatives with access to the media room.

In light of this, and in response to the request from Mr. Barber and Ms. Bennett, I must answer two questions. First, should Mr. Barber and Ms. Bennett be permitted to tape the Inquiry? Second, if not, should they be provided access to the Rogers feed? I answer these questions pursuant to the Rules of Procedure for the Inquiry, which provide that television cameras or other recording electronic or photographic equipment are permitted in the hearing room at my discretion.

The courts have identified three interests that I must balance to decide whether citizen journalists can record the proceedings. First, the interest in freedom of expression; second, the interests of the individuals directly involved in the proceedings; and third, the integrity of the process itself.

Freedom of expression includes the freedom to know what is happening in public proceedings, and to communicate about them. As well, as Mr. Barber noted in his submissions, for freedom of expression to be meaningful, members of the public should have access to a broad range of opinions and coverage. To ensure that a variety of perspectives is presented, journalists should have access to the raw footage of the Inquiry, and not only to edited videos.

Second, I must consider the interests of the individuals directly involved in the process. A public inquiry puts individual reputations at risk, and the procedures following at the Inquiry should manage these risks. Personal dignity and privacy should be protected. For example, while a witness’ evidence is a key part of the Inquiry and should be accurately recorded, it is not necessary to record that witness’ facial reactions throughout the other weeks of testimony .4

The third interest is the integrity of the inquiry process itself. This is a legal process, requiring appropriate decorum. Witnesses should not feel targeted or intimidated, and counsel’s written and oral communications should remain privileged. Our procedures should strive, to the extent possible, to prevent even inadvertent capturing of documents or conversations.

In balancing these three considerations, I conclude that citizen journalists should have access to unedited, raw footage of the Inquiry proceedings. This access will promote freedom of expression, and allow Mr. Barber and Ms. Bennett to report on aspects of the Inquiry that may not be covered by the accredited media. While the transcripts for each day’s proceeding will be posted on the Inquiry website, usually within five hours of the conclusion of that day’s hearing, I recognize that video footage is often more compelling and journalists have a legitimate interest in accessing it.

Citizens journalists will not, however, be permitted to record the proceedings with their own devices. Rogers has experience recording judicial inquiries, and is familiar with the protocols for doing so. As an accredited news organization, Rogers will be held to the standards of decorum and journalistic integrity that must govern the recording of any inquiry.

Mr. Barber and Ms. Bennett, the only two citizen journalists who requested permission to record these proceedings, are to be granted access to the media room and to the Rogers feed. They will make arrangements with Rogers to accept the raw footage, and they are encouraged to contact the Inquiry Communications Officer, Peter Rehak, for assistance with the technological requirements.

Rogers will provide its feed to the media room. All accredited news organizations, Mr. Barber and Ms. Bennett will have access to the media room and to the feed. For all news organizations and journalists, this privilege is subject to the following restrictions:

  1. All journalists and news organizations must comply with the Inquiry rules and with rulings that I may make during the course of the proceedings, including publication bans.
  2. Mr. Rehak will arrange an official photographing opportunity. Photographs are not to be taken in the Inquiry courtroom at any other time.
  3. No video recordings may be taken in the courthouse hallways, nor of individuals entering and exiting the courthouse.
  4. It is my hope that all journalists will report on the Inquiry in a fair and accurate manner. Our courts have developed guiding principles for responsible publication, and I encourage anyone not familiar with these principles to learn about them. By way of example, I note that to be protected under our law of defamation, a fair and accurate report must be balanced and must reflect both sides of an issue. It cannot leave out important information that would give a different view of what transpired, embellish with circumstantial detail or select only fragments of material for their “spiciness”. While I cannot prevent biased reporting, it is not protected by our law of defamation, and will not be condoned in this Inquiry.

If any citizen journalist or news organization fails to abide by these restrictions, I will entertain submissions as to whether I should cancel their access to the media room and the Rogers feed. (Of course, I recognize that individuals could record from the Rogers feed at home, albeit without the sanction of the Commission.)

It is a privilege to conduct this Inquiry in a democracy where citizens are engaged and eager to report on the events. I am grateful for the interest and involvement of citizen journalists, and believe that this ruling strikes an appropriate balance of the interests at stake.

1 Vancouver Sun (Re) [2004] 2 S.C.R. 332 at para. 23.

2 Named Person v. Vancouver Sun, [2007] 3 S.C.R. 252 at para. 153 (in dissent).

3 See, e.g., Crookes v. Wikimedia Foundation Inc., 2009 BCCA 392.

4 In this regard, see Justice Sopinka’s analysis in New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. v. Nova Scotia, where the Court upheld a restriction on hand-held cameras in the Nova Scotia legislature’s public gallery although the restriction may “on occasion detract from the atmosphere of what is going on and no doubt may from time to time deprive the public of a considerable source of amusement”. New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. v. Nova Scotia, [1993] 1 S.C.R. 319 at para. 163.

[Signature]
Cunningham, A.C.J.O. (Commissioner)
April 26, 2010

[Decision Letter Ends]

Oops. This just in from the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry.

Inquiry to hold hearing on Friday

MEDIA RELEASE
City of Mississauga Judicial Inquiry to hold hearing on Friday, April 30, 2010, on Mississauga News motion

Mississauga, Ont., April 26 /CNW/– The City of Mississauga Judicial Inquiry will hold a hearing on Friday, April 30, 2010, to hear a motion by the Mississauga News newspaper for an order that the affidavit of Peter McCallion regarding his ability to pay for counsel at the Inquiry and the cross-examination on that affidavit be made part of the Commission’s record.

The hearing will commence at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 1 at 950 Burnhamthorpe Road West.

Mr. McCallion was granted standing at the Inquiry on December 14, 2009. He also requested funding for legal counsel for the Inquiry. Mississauga City Council approved funding of up to $100,000 , on the condition that he provide evidence of his inability to pay, and only covering the time that Mr. McCallion was testifying.  On March 4, 2010 Mr. McCallion brought a motion before the Commissioner, asking him to request the City of Mississauga to reconsider the limit in order to give him the ability to fully participate in the Inquiry. The Commissioner ruled that further evidence was required in order to enable him to make such a recommendation.  The Commissioner ordered that Mr. McCallion swear an affidavit as to his ability to pay for legal counsel, and that Commission Counsel cross-examine Mr. McCallion on that affidavit.  That cross-examination took place earlier this month.

The affidavit and cross-examination transcript are currently confidential and have been provided only to Commission Counsel.  The Commissioner will review the affidavit and the transcript of the cross-examination and make a recommendation to Mississauga City Council as to whether Mr. McCallion should receive additional funding for counsel.

The City of Mississauga Judicial Inquiry is an independent judicial inquiry that was established under Section 274 of the Municipal Act 2001 by a vote of the Mississauga City Council on November 11, 2009. The mandate of the Inquiry is to investigate issues in connection with the acquisition by the City of Mississauga of approximately 8.5 acres of land in the city centre. Mr. Justice J. Douglas Cunningham, Associate Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, has been appointed Commissioner.

Further information about the Inquiry is available on its web page: www.mississaugainquiry.ca

————————–

For further information:

William McDowell, Commission counsel: 416-865-9500; wmmcdowell@mississaugainquiry.ca

Last. Peter Downard’s presentation is just so Perfect that I want repeat it all and end today’s Blog with it.

Video: Peter Downard (Lawyer/media specialist) addresses Mississauga Judicial Inquiry –On: citizen journalism

Click here to go directly to the clip on MISSISSAUGAWATCH Vimeo

COURT/VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

 23                 MR. WILLIAM MCDOWELL:  I would ask that we
 24  now hear from Mr. Peter Downard who's here acting as
 25  amicus on this suite of media issues.

24

  1                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Thank
  2  you.  Mr. Downard, thank you very much for assisting us.
  3
  4  SUBMISSIONS BY MR. PETER DOWNARD:
  5                 MR. PETER DOWNARD:   I hope I can,
  6  Commissioner.  Thank you.  Good morning.
  7                 Commissioner, the -- the law in this area
  8  primarily involving the openness of public proceedings
  9  has been subject to much careful review and analysis in
 10  the twenty-five (25) years, since the -- the courts have
 11  been rethinking issues of freedom of expression and
 12  public access to -- to justice under the Charter.
 13                 And I think it's fair to say that, in
 14  summary, the jurisprudence identifies that in such cases
 15  there are, essentially, three types of interests that
 16  have to be balanced in any particular situation.
 17                 Those are, first, the interests in freedom
 18  of expression; second, the legitimate individual
 19  interests of those directly involved in the process; and
 20  third, the integrity of the process itself.
 21                 And if I may first speak to the subject of
 22  freedom of expression briefly.  It is very clear that
 23  freedom of expression in our democracy includes the
 24  freedom to know what is going on in public proceedings
 25  and to communicate with others about it.  And to be able

25

  1  to communicate about that, it is necessary for there to
  2  be access to the proceeding.
  3                 Now, the reality is that the public at
  4  large necessarily depends on reporters to obtain that
  5  access for them and to re -- report what goes on to them
  6  because they just can't do it for themselves.
  7                 And in the modern world it is clear that
  8  access to means of mass communication has been extended
  9  far beyond the limits of traditional media organizations.
 10  To -- it has [correction: is] extended to -- to bloggers, to users of --
 11  of social media, the people who have websites.  And if
 12  freedom of expression is to be truly democratic and alive
 13  in the modern world, it must give way to their interests
 14  too.
 15                 Now next, though, I turn to the individual
 16  interests that have to be balanced in this sort of a
 17  situation.  And it was very interesting to -- to hear the
 18  references to 1984 in the submissions today and -- and
 19  the great Orwell since he is one (1) of the great writers
 20  about how the individual may become lost in -- in the
 21  wake of mass interests.
 22                 And in a democratic society, it's clear
 23  under our law that the interests of individuals directly
 24  involved in public proceedings can also never be
 25  forgotten, and reputation is of vital importance, and it

26

  1  is reputation that is often put at risk in public
  2  inquiries in particular.
  3                 Reputation is -- is so important in our
  4  society because it is closely linked to the building of
  5  people to participate in society itself.  And secondly,
  6  there is respect for the emotional security, the dignity
  7  of people involved in a -- in a process, which needs to
  8  be respected.
  9                 And there can be circumstances where a
 10  public process may intrude upon areas of life, of
 11  individual life, where there is a reasonable expectation
 12  of privacy, and that has to be considered too.
 13                 And third, after freedom of expression and
 14  individual interest, one has to consider the integrity of
 15  a process.  And it is indeed clear, and I think it's been
 16  said once today, that the principle that public
 17  proceedings should generally be [sic] open exists so that
 18  justice will be done and can be seen to be done.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (whispers in unison): “Seen to be done, that’s right.”

 19                 An open process allows the public to
 20  scrutinize and, if they see fit, to criticize the process
 21  and its participants.  It allows the public also to be
 22  assured about the fair conduct of the process because
 23  they can see it for themselves.
 24                 Now that being said, a public inquiry is
 25  not a public scrum.  First, it is a legal process.  It's

27

  1  appropriate for the Commission to take appropriate steps
  2  to ensure suitable decorum of the proceedings, a suitable
  3  tone.
  4                 Second, witnesses must be respected as
  5  individuals and not be subjected to undue intrusions or,
  6  at worst, intimidation.
  7                 Third, as it is a legal process there is
  8  going to be much that occurs in the hearing room that is
  9  properly private.  There will be written communications
 10  or oral communications which -- among counsel that are
 11  privileged.
 12                 There will be a lawyer's documentary work
 13  product that is also properly confidential.  And any
 14  inadvertent or even intentional intrusion upon those --
 15  those rights of confidentiality should be prevented.
 16                 So those, in my submission, are three (3)
 17  general areas of considerations that have to be weighed
 18  in the balance, and -- and, of course, in this area what
 19  -- what the Supreme Court has said repeatedly is that one
 20  must try to give a reasonably equal weight to all of
 21  those values and not -- not privilege some over -- over
 22  others.
 23                 And in -- in my submission, I -- I would
 24  suggest -- I would suggest that as a -- as a
 25  recommendation perhaps that -- that it would be an

28

  1  appropriate balancing of these principles if persons
  2  could be allowed access to a single video feed, which I
  3  understand can be prepared, an unaltered videotape of the
  4  proceedings, to use words that have been used with you
  5  this morning, so that not only established media
  6  organizations but individuals acting responsibly can
  7  exercise their appropriate rights of freedom of
  8  expression.
  9                 With respect to the cameras, I would
 10  suggest that it will be consistent with decorum for --
 11  for there only to be one (1) video camera, one (1) video
 12  feed, and that there should not be roaming video cameras
 13  or roaming audio devices in the courtroom.  There may, on
 14  occasion, be times in a public inquiry when -- when any -
 15  - any reporter, any member of the media, will be allowed
 16  to take photographs for a brief time and it should be one
 17  (1) rule for all in my -- my submission.
 18                 And with respect to audio recording, there
 19  is a precedent for allowing unobtrusive audio recording
 20  in courtrooms.  One (1) solution that might be adopted
 21  there that would respect confidentiality interests would
 22  be that if audio recording were to be allowed, it would
 23  be -- to be from a stationary position and should be at a
 24  distance, a reasonable distance, away from counsel tables
 25  to avoid any inadvertent intrusion upon matters of

29

  1  confidentiality.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH (whispers): “This guy is good.”

  2                 So those are the suggestions I would make
  3  in light of the balancing of those factors.  And I -- I
  4  suggest also that it would be appropriate for -- for the
  5  Commission to -- in -- in seeking to provide appropriate
  6  scope for free expression is to -- it would be helpful to
  7  remind members of nonprofessional media -- who -- who may
  8  be more or less experienced in these matters, I'm not
  9  sure -- but it may be appropriate to remind them that in
 10  the modern law of reporting on proceedings such as this,
 11  there are important limitations upon what people can say
 12  properly.
 13                 There is a civil liability in defamation
 14  which can result in matters of -- in statements of
 15  opinion or comment.  In matters of public interest,
 16  they'll be broadly protected as long as they are based on
 17  fact and made without malice.  But if they are not based
 18  on fact and not made without malice, those expressions of
 19  opinion or comment can lead to civil liability.
 20                 And, similarly -- similarly, statements of
 21  fact on matters of public interest are protected as long
 22  as they are responsibly published, and in this sort of
 23  situation [cell phone rings] -- I beg your pardon.
 24                 In this sort of situation, it is very
 25  important to bear in mind that the legal protection for

30

  1  reports of public proceedings has had a fundamental
  2  principle, which is, that those reports of public
  3  proceedings must be fair and accurate [cell phone rings again]. They must be
  4  balanced.  Can you put that somewhere for me, please? They must be -- be balanced.  They must
  5  reflect both sides of an issue.  If someone is going to -
  6  - whether they're a large organization or a single
  7  individual, if they're going to report an allegation,
  8  they have to identify it as an allegation.  If it is
  9  disputed, or if it may be disputed, they have to say
 10  that.  They have to be fair.
 11                 And there -- there's no licence for
 12  biassed reporting.  If someone engages in biassed
 13  reporting to the public because of an axe to grind or --
 14  or a -- a malicious intent, that falls outside the law.
 15                 And so -- and, as well, one has to bear in
 16  mind in the age of the Internet, the audience for the --
 17  the Internet in a -- in a particular matter may, in fact,
 18  be very small, but it is always potentially very large.
 19  And if we have an -- an example of an Internet --
 20  Internet publication that somehow becomes terribly
 21  popular, or goes viral in the popular term, the damage,
 22  if it is a wrongful publication, can be very significant.
 23                 So, in light of all of that, I would
 24  suggest -- I put it -- I'd have to put an asterisk on the
 25  recommendations I -- I submitted previously.  I would

31

  1  suggest that the Commission reserve a discretion to deny
  2  any reporter, organized or not, in the -- in the business
  3  sense, access to the video feed if that were to be abused
  4  in any future interest.
  5                 And so, subject to any questions you may
  6  have, Sir, those are essentially my submissions.
  7                 COMMISSIONER DOUGLAS CUNNINGHAM:   Thank
  8  you, Mr. Downard.
  9                 Does any other... audio fade...

Court transcript cut-and-pasted from Mississauga Judicial Inquiry website and modified as a video transcript.

Signed,

The Mississauga Muse
MISSISSAUGAWATCH

The Mississauga Muse at the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry

MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) Off the Cuff Hate Crime/Gang REPORT PART 2

April 2nd, 2010  

This time Part 2  —the transcript of this video report —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.

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA "HATE CRIME" "JULY 29" 2009 "ERIN MILLS PARKWAY" "WHITE POWER" "NIGGER" PERMISSION WALL"

Rather than repeat the introduction, please click here if you’re interested in viewing/reading Part 1 MISSISSAUGA/BRAMPTON GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT conclusion: Studying graffiti/tags is an important window into youth culture first.

Otherwise, we begin Brampton/Mississauga graffiti Part 2 video and transcript.

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

NOTE: When I uploaded Part 2 to YouTube on March 25th, I referred to it as a DRAFT and said that I’d replace it at a later date with a more-worked version. I’ve since changed my mind. Viewing this a week later, I realize that it’s important to show “works in progress” –even as rough, rushed and off-the-cuff as this one was.

Video: MISSISSAUGA BRAMPTON PEEL GRAFFITI RESEARCH (preliminary) REPORT PART 2 (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) 10:31 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):

Just to speak a little bit further on the lack of overlap between what the July and August 2009 Peel Regional Police graffiti photographs showed and mine —that was a surprise. I had actually figured that I would recognize more tags than I did.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The other thing is, in my own driving and looking around, the tags that I documented, while they might still be there —they’re the original tags that I documented a year ago. And I often don’t see new ones by the same individual.

And I’m not quite sure how to interpret that.

[DIP TO WHITE]

Peel Police has [sic] suggested that catching graffiti [sic] is very difficult to do —and catching people in the act. That’s not a surprise.

So the question is, do the kids just naturally grow out of it in the sense that they’ve tagged maybe for a few months and then just grown out of that, or whether they’ve been caught, whether they’ve been talked out of it by buddies —I don’t know. But it doesn’t seem to be something that for a lot of them they don’t do for any length of time.

[DIP TO WHITE]

For graffiti people who might be out there watching this and offended, I have to admit that I haven’t been at the Mississauga Graffiti Wall. I’m aware that it exists. I just have difficulty getting access to it. But it appears to run —I’ve checked Google Maps and it runs along Streetsville. And I have seen the graffiti there and there’s a lot of beautiful stuff there. I’m talking about the artwork because it is Art —it’s just unauthorized Art and therefore it’s a crime, but—

It may be a crime, but it’s still Art.

In the case of somebody spraying “FTP” on a post, don’t convince me that’s art —that’s just tagging.

[DIP TO WHITE]

One thing just looking at the occurrence reports and the quality of the occurrence reports, who’s ever writing them, the descriptions are excellent. The best occurrence reports also explain what the graffiti represents. And I’m satisfied myself, that I’m beginning to recognize gang-related graffiti versus just a bunch of boys [sic] who are out on a lark.

[DIP TO WHITE]

However at the same time just because somebody’s putting up gang graffiti doesn’t make them gang members either. It just means that they know the gang symbols —as do I.

[DIP TO WHITE]

There was the underpass, clearly permission wall underpass and it had been sprayed with —I know one of the words was “White Power”. I can’t remember if there was the word “N*****” in there. I seem to remember that to be the case, which again would it clearly make it a Hate Crime.

But what was interesting is, I remember, oh, about a year ago, maybe more, Councillor Katie Mahoney saying, oh, we put up these permission walls and when we do, other graffiti artists respect this art and won’t draw over it.

Wronnnnnnnnnnnng! They draw over it.

And the best example to show that taggers will draw over other graffiti artists is just to go to the [points to Mississauga City Hall] skateboard plaza in there.

[DIP TO WHITE]

Some of the permission walls constantly attract taggers. There’s only one that doesn’t and it was done by a respected, well-known graffiti artist. And it seems to be that, yes, that stuff is not touched because people recognize it as a true graffiti artist.

The other stuff? Pfffft.

[DIP TO WHITE]

I have to say that at this time last year, I don’t think there was as much graffiti around as there is now. I think it’s on the increase. However, at the same time I also know that I’m a much much better at spotting it.

So, and Peel Police also suggest that maybe there isn’t as much —that the increase that they see might not be so much an increase in graffiti, as an increase in reporting.

[DIP TO WHITE]

There’s a lot of question marks, here. You see I’m kind of struggling with what the graffiti says.

But there’s absolutely no doubt that if you are not —I’m talking about now people who want to understand youth and trends of youth. I’m not talking about the kind of youth that feel comfortable walking into building.

[DIP TO WHITE]

The youth that I’m interested in and the most at-risk aren’t going to be writing as much. They’re more likely going to be expressing themselves on YouTube.

Again. It’s just a hypothesis right now.

And I think in the case of video, YouTube is richer for the [sic] kind of research because sometimes you see incidental things. In the case of one video, I was, I won’t say what the subject was but somebody was

[DIP TO WHITE]

driving down Highway 10. And you could see out the window, as they were videotaping out the car, there was a Mississauga Transit bus. And also a City of Mississauga Transit Enforcement vehicle. I don’t know if it was the 301 or 302 car but there are these little snippets that you get and then you can email the videographer and say, hey, can you tell me something about that incident.

Or, hey, I noticed some interesting graffiti you’ve got in your video. Can you tell me the location.

And you know, at first they don’t want to tell you. But then when they start looking at your stuff and they realize that yeah, you’re really interested in researching and what they have to say, they do share it.

[DIP TO WHITE]

When they really know that you’re not reporting the location, you get, I get emails —really terrific insights into graffiti and the tagging culture. And it is a culture.  It’s a —yes, it’s a sub-culture.

But when you think about these people [points to Mississauga City Hall], these people look down on —not just look down on, they look at taggers and graffiti artists and the “bad youth” with the most, with the most contempt.

And [points to Mississauga City Hall], these people view themselves as “decent folk” where the tagger is essentially an animal.

[DIP TO WHITE]

What was really interesting was to be going through and reading each of the [Peel Police] documents and I matched the photographs up with the occurrence reports and then I flipped the page and I saw big black spray paint on yellow brick and I knew immediately that it was [points to Mississauga City Hall] City Hall.

And as I looked at the other pictures, sure enough, somebody, and I don’t know the date, about late July, “bombed” City Hall!

And it looked like they started at the skate plaza, went around the front, did the pillars —I don’t know what those watchtowers are at both ends—

[DIP TO WHITE]

But I want to make it clear I will never report a location of graffiti and tagging. Because when you’re researching if you report, what happens then, it becomes erased. And because of that, you have changed something in what you’re researching.

And one of the things I’m researching is how long some of these graffitis [sic] —graffiti meaning paintings or drawings, or tags, stay up!

If it’s on public property, Public Works, I will tell you this, Public Works gets rid of stuff really fast. A lot of the stuff on private property stays up a lot longer.

[DIP TO WHITE]

Peel Regional Police and Peel Council say how much they try to work with the community. I had been at the Lincoln Alexander School lock-down, had an opportunity to talk to Malton residents and they spoke very highly of Peel Regional Police. Every last one, including a Honda Civic, you know, with the dark tinted glass coming in with three youth in it.

And you’re kind of thinking, oh oh, [laughs] this is going to be a drive-by shooting. No, they rolled down the window and they asked what was going on and those guys in there with the hats this way [turns cap sideways] they supported Peel Regional Police too.

[DIP TO WHITE]

What I’m trying to do is anything that I remember I want to record right now because I’m really interested in how much of it, of my observations, matches Peel Regional Police. And wouldn’t it be interesting if it’s different? Because it really shouldn’t be. If —there might be different stuff that Peel Police record, but the ratio of the Hate Crimes and “FTP”s [F*** the Police] and this kind of thing, the ratio should be the same as my photographs.

Should be. Well, we’ll see.

[DIP TO WHITE]

[PART 2 VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS]

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA, "S BLOCK" "S-BLOCK" MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL "BOMBED" (MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL MATERIAL courtesy Peel Regional Police through Freedom of Information)

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA, "S BLOCK" "S-BLOCK" Pic 2 MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL "BOMBED" (MISSISSAUGA CITY HALL MATERIAL courtesy Peel Regional Police through Freedom of Information)

GRAFFITI MISSISSAUGA, "S BLOCK" "S-BLOCK" (undisclosed location) photographed March 30, 2010

Signed,

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

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.

“The Mississauga Muse” (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) ru– hobbles for Mayor –and concedes DEFEAT the Next Day!

January 5th, 2010  

Yesterday, January 4, 2010, I, The Mississauga Muse waited outside the door of the City Clerk’s Office so that I could be the first candidate to register. I did so at 8:35. It was a tough decision striking a match to 200-bucks and Hobble for Mayor —but what the heck.

Special thanks to our good friend and sometimes colleague, Donald Barber for taking this photo of the losing candidate.

Citizen-Blogger, "The Mississauga Muse" ru- hobbles for Mayor (and strikes match to 200-bucks)

Next, I videotaped the sign-up and swear-in and the flushing of 200-bucks on my Visa —plus provided two video clips of why I’m keepin’ on keepin’ on.

With this Blog, I raise a single defiant finger in almost-unwavering defiant salute to the despicable, hypocritical MYTHissauga Mister Hydes who —well, HIDE!

On the bright side, fortunately I have almost ten entire months to work on my concession speech!

Video: “The Mississauga Muse” (MISSISSAUGAWATCH) ru… –hobbles for MAYOR. (10:17 min)

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube

Signed,

The (200-bucks = 40 Freedom of Information requests out the window….) Mississauga Muse

Follow MISSISSAUGAWATCH on Twitter.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH at www.mississaugawatch.ca

MISSISSAUGAWATCH at MISSISSAUGAWATCH Facebook

MISSISSAUGAWATCH at MISSISSAUGAWATCH YouTube

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

RELATED LINKS

The Ontario Ombudsman Twitter

OMBUDSMAN OF ONTARIO website

The Ontario Ombudsman Facebook

The Ontario Ombudsman YouTube

The Ontario Ombudsman Flickr

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

MISSISSAUGAWATCH at MISSISSAUGAWATCH Facebook

MISSISSAUGAWATCH at MISSISSAUGAWATCH YouTube

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

RELATED LINKS

The Ontario Ombudsman Twitter

OMBUDSMAN OF ONTARIO website

The Ontario Ombudsman Facebook

The Ontario Ombudsman YouTube

The Ontario Ombudsman Flickr

“Ontarians need the Ontario Ombudsman looking into municipalities. Full investigative powers. And it’s not just Mississauga. This is for all Ontario municipalities.” MISSISSAUGAWATCH deputation to MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL

November 26th, 2009  

We’re up for air and back online.

Only purpose for this Blog is to document, for the record, a video that MISSISSAUGAWATCH showed at yesterday’s Mississauga Council meeting to oppose Mississauga Council hiring an Integrity Commissioner. MISSISSAUGAWATCH made it clear to Mississauga Council that “Ontarians need the Ontario Ombudsman looking into municipalities. Full investigative powers.”

"ONTARIANS NEED THE ONTARIO OMBUDSMAN LOOKING INTO MUNICIPALITIES. FULL INVESTIGATIVE POWERS." MISSISSAUGAWATCH to MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL, NOVEMBER 25, 2009

Our good friend (and sometimes colleague), citizen-activist Donald Barber also called for Mississauga Council to determine how the Ontario Ombudsman might play the (invited) role of Integrity Commissioner for the City until such time as the Province Gets Real and expands the Ombudsman’s Office jurisdiction into the MUSH sector ([M] of MUSH is “Municipalities).

So here is the video we showed —video weaving clips of the December 6, 2006 Bill 130 Standing Committee Queen’s Park deliberations with “The Mississauga Muse” inside Council Chambers, four years later —on November 11, 2009.

Followed by the transcript.

Video: “INVITE THE ONTARIO OMBUDSMAN IN AS YOUR INTEGRITY COMMISSIONER” MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL URGED” (5:51 min)

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

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Video taped at Queen’s Park regarding Bill 130 Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act Standing Deliberations,  December 6, 2006.

It includes debate between Brad Duguid, (Liberal) MPP, Scarborough Centre, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Ernie Hardeman (PC) MPP Oxford.

TRANSCRIPT BEGINS

Mr. Duguid: —this is in keeping with some of the recommendations that came forward from the Ombudsman in discussing the need that these duties be carried out in an independent manner. And that’s what this particular motion is designed to do. It clarifies that the ombudsman is to function in an independent manner.

The Chair: Very good. Any speakers to this? Mr. Hardeman?

Mr. Hardeman: I guess I say it in a kind of negative way but, it seems to me from the government’s side  —saying it doesn’t make it so. And from having an amendment that says we’re changing nothing about how it’s done but the Ombudsman says we should have an independent ombudsman or investigator —to just put that in and say they should be independent — unless it gives some direction of what independence means, I don’t know how anyone would take comfort from this being sure it’s going to be  independent.

If it still allows that independent person, that’s doing it now independently, to be an employee of council, I don’t know how the public could see that as independence.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH: I really would like to think that most citizens aren’t stupid enough to accept an Integrity Commissioner that a municipality itself decides to hire. I mean there are 440 municipalities in Ontario. Some of them have to be corrupt!

And you’re gonna somehow say that we’re going to deal with this corruption by hiring our own Integrity Commissioner? What?!

Mr. Hardeman: Of course because of the whole nature of the bill, there will be no avenue for the public to be involved in whether it’s independent or not, because the very fact that the individual is appointed prohibits that person from going to the Ontario Ombudsman to ask for an independent review.

So, [inaudible] just saying it, to me, just doesn’t cut it.

There needs to be more direction as to how independent they must be, that they must be appointed separately from council, that it can’t be, as was suggested on a very negative note by the Ombudsman, it can’t be just hiring a lawyer who’s — no disrespect to lawyers — who is in fact, obligated to work for the people who hire them.

So obviously, an independent investigation by a lawyer hired is not going to suffice for the public—

MISSISSAUGAWATCH: And here’s something else. If these people had done a minimum amount of homework, as far as checking the Code of Conduct and complaints system that they have passed in April 2008—if they have looked into that, and had examined what’s been happening since that one was implemented, they’d realize how important it is to get substantial complaints away from municipalities and into the Provincial realm.

Mr. Duguid: —There are a variety of interpretations to the wording in this motion that could provide some degree of difficulty for municipalities down the road, and we’d rather not complicate that. We have confidence that municipalities will — in fact, when we had AMO before us during the hearings, Mr. Reycraft made it very, very clear municipalities are not going to appoint somebody as an ombudsman who is not independent, and would not get an employee of the company, or of the corporation or the city or town or village or region to do that.

But there are issues in terms of definitions of “employee” that I think we’d rather not get into.

Mr. Hardeman: I recognize that the president of AMO, on behalf of all the member municipalities of AMO, was making a presentation and suggested that he would never, nor would any municipality, do anything that would be contrary to the best interests of the people who were being impacted by their decisions.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH: And then the other thing about this report, it doesn’t deal with prior problems and any complaint —you’re only allowed six months.

Most people don’t know how badly they’ve been screwed over —for years! It took me about two years to figure out about Freedom of Information!

Mr. Hardeman: At the same time, I think, if you’re going to have a third party review for decisions that they make, I think the public would expect that third party review to be by an impartial third party. I think if we don’t do something like this, we’re going to have the old adage about “You can’t fight city hall” is going to be true, because the judge is going to be somebody at city hall, and I don’t think that’s an appropriate way.

So I think this is one that should be passed, and I do request a recorded vote on it.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH: Most people don’t have the resources that I have here or the time that it’s taken me to really understand why you can’t have an Integrity Commissioner. You need —Ontarians need the Ontario Ombudsman looking into municipalities. Full investigative powers. And it’s not just Mississauga. This is for all Ontario municipalities.

They need help. You need something else, because everything else is just —pretense. Absolute pretense.

End slide: “saying it doesn’t make it so” Ernie Hardeman (PC) MPP Oxford, December 6, 2006.

NOTE: This video transcript differs from the official Hansard records and I have no idea why.

Signed,

The (Ontarians need the Ontario Ombudsman looking into municipalities. Full investigative powers. And it’s not just Mississauga. This is for all Ontario municipalities.) Mississauga Muse

"MISSISSAUGA CITIZEN-ACTIVIST" "DONALD BARBER" "CALLS UPON MISSISSAUGA COUNCIL TO INVITE THE ONTARIO OMBUDSMAN IN AS INTEGRITY COMMISSIONER"

MISSISSAUGA Conflict of Interest Judicial Inquiry VIDEO TRANSCRIPT COMPILATION-1: IN THEIR OWN WORDS, Councillors Corbasson, Dale, Carlson, Iannicca

November 6th, 2009  

At the October 28, 2009 Council meeting, despite blistering opposition from the “Our Hazel Can Do No Wrong” crowd, seven City of Mississauga Councillors voted for a judicial inquiry into the inner “murky” workings of the Trust, Quality, Excellence people.

While the traditional media have taken considerable interest of late, the reader/viewer is limited to reporters’ version of events which in some cases are as ghastly and non-researched as what is churned out by the “Our Hazel Can Do No Wrong” crowd.

Again, to repeat, I’ve been filing Freedom of Information on City of Mississauga Corporate Security conduct, operations and adherence to policies. If there are similar WThuh?! open cesspools like I’ve dredged up with $2,100 worth of Freedom of Information, this judicial inquiry was long overdue.

So MISSISSAUGAWATCH will turn today’s Blog over to a compilation of video transcripts of four Councillors as they explained why they voted for a judicial inquiry.

These transcripts appear in the order presented in previous Blogs: Councillor Carmen Corbasson (Ward 1), Councillor Frank Dale (Ward 4), Councillor George Carlson (Ward 11) and Councillor Nando Iannicca (Ward 7).

The reader who knows a thing or two about Mississauga will notice Councillor Carolyn Parrish (Ward 6) is not among these four and not addressed at all so far.  That’s because Councillor Parrish’s October 28, 2009 comments were extensive and will need more time to work up in video as well as provide transcripts.

The next Blog (and possibly a second) will deal exclusively with Councillor Parrish’s October 28, 2009 comments.

As I’ve said in my previous Blogs, all video and transcripts will be submitted to the Mississauga City Clerk for inclusion in the October 28, 2009 minutes because frankly, I do not want Future Mississauga 30-40 years from now to read only the Corporation’s side of the story (aka manicured minutes). (As a historical record it can’t get better than video and the transcript).

Here we go.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

IN HER OWN WORDS

COUNCILLOR CARMEN CORBASSON:

Thank you Mr. Acting Mayor and I will be brief. Um, let me first say that this isn’t an easy time for any of us around this table just like it’s not an easy time for you. I don’t think we take comfort in any of the decisions we’ve had to make of late. But notwithstanding, we are elected to make some tough decisions and I think that’s the type of comment you’re gonna hear around this table today.

I am not at all overwhelmed by the number of people who showed up, Councillor Prentice. In fact, I’m surprised there wasn’t more.

And I’ll tell you why I’m surprised because we all know Madam Mayor is loved, admired and respected. And I for one moment am not going to take away that from her. For me, she has been a role model in many many ways. We both started here in the City in 1978 and I’ve learned an awful lot from her.

I— my biggest difficulty is, and I hope you can understand and appreciate that when we have in-camera sessions, we are privy to certain comments and information that the general public is not.

For me, the in-camera session on the judicial inquiry opened up more questions than it answered.

I— that Madam Mayor didn’t declare one Conflict of Interest for a 17-minute or a 17-second, whatever it was, I have no problem with that.

I do have a problem that official government documents got changed with no satisfactory explanation.

I do have difficulty that any member of Council, doesn’t matter if it’s Madam Mayor, or me, or anyone else, can have off-site meetings, with a landowner, who has an interest in the City of Mississauga, that is going to financially benefit a member of any one of our families.

That may not be against the Conflict of Interest Act. But in my opinion, I would hope, and it’s my understanding that a judicial inquiry can —and most probably would, depending on their findings —make some very strong recommendations to have either the Conflict of Interest Act or the Municipal Act changed.

That’s simply put, Ladies and Gentlemen, for me —I’m not going to speak, I’ll let the others speak for themselves.

This isn’t about Mayor Hazel McCallion. This is about Governance, how do we improve it. Not only for this municipality, but across the Province. And I don’t know what price tag you put on that. Is it ten thousand? Is it one million? Is it ten million? I don’t know.

But I would like to see this City in particular, and certainly Madam Mayor come out with credibility, integrity and that we all maintain our dignity.

I do thank you for coming out today, Ladies and Gentlemen and I will turn it back to the Acting Mayor.

Video: Councillor Carmen Corbasson  (3:50 min)

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

IN HIS OWN WORDS

COUNCILLOR FRANK DALE:

Thank you Mr. Acting Mayor. I certainly just wanted to make a point, that I want to be clear as a member of Council that I always examine the facts that are before me and weigh them in any decisions that I make as the Councillor. And taking into, of course, the consideration, uh, taking into consideration, the best interests of this great city as well as the community in which I represent.

And I stand behind the position that that I took with respect to the inquiry primarily for the same reasons that Councillor Corbasson eloquently described.

And I do want to make it clear that this was not personal to the Mayor. This was just based on the facts that was presented before us and the recommendations that were before us by outside legal counsel —and reviewing that, and examining that, made that decision. And I stand by, and will support the recommendations that are before us today, with respect to the terms of reference.

I want to be clear though that the decision I make, the decision then—the decision I make today is for no one’s political gain.

Jeer from audience

I make this decision because I truly believe it’s the right thing to do.

Video: Councillor Frank Dale (1:58 min)

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

IN HIS OWN WORDS

COUNCILLOR GEORGE CARLSON:

Thank you very much Mr. Acting Mayor. I appreciate the opportunity just to say a few words that may be a slightly different tone than some of the other comments made. I think it’s sad in a way that it’s looked as a win-lose here today.

This was a process because we really, as a governing body, find ourselves vexed by the issues we’re reading about here today. And they haven’t just started dogging us yesterday at noon. This has been going on for some years.

And we’ve spent a considerable amount of money trying in our own way to get to the bottom of many of these issues. And in my opinion, I don’t think we’ve been all that successful. And it continues to hang over Council .

And when you read of the divisions on Council, you’re mostly talking about Enersource and the issues associated with OMERS and partnerships. So to me, I’m delighted that the motion is to delete Madam Mayor from that minor Conflict of Interest, which she’s already said she accepts responsibility. That is a nothing-issue as far as this inquiry is concerned

And as far as I’m concerned, Explanation Accepted. Forgotten about. That part is a Big Zero to me.

So because it’s so obvious from the heartfelt response from the folks here today that this appears to be a first-class witch hunt —must be Hallowe’en, we’re too much into the witch stuff, that we need— This helps to de-focus that and gets us on the other issues which I’m afraid the media find a lot less interesting than going after dear old Hazel.

The kind of stuff about governance and ownership and shares puts most people to sleep. I have to agree with you. But, it’s Big Bucks and we have never properly settled that issue. And I don’t know how to do it other than this.

But I think another point of view as well too, the fact that we’re going to a judge, that speaks volumes to me as a Canadian. I love that we have a country where we can go to an impartial judiciary and say look, we’ve played with the damn thing for two years and we’re not lawyers, judges.

And as I said to one resident today, if there was anything going on here, I would not want this group, much as I love them all, to be sitting in judgment of me. This is a non-starter —reat group of people to work with but, this is not a court of law.

So I think sometimes when you’re stuck, you’re stuck and you’ve got to get some help from somebody. And for me, that’s all this is about and the speculation about politics and who’s the Mayor—

I would think, to be honest with you, Carolyn Parrish has lost 20 points in leading this thing because this is not helping her for Mayor at all. And she gettin’ a lot of advice that brought this because for sure this is costing her votes if she ever were to run for Mayor.

So you may get your wish in that she’ll never be elected Mayor but we still have to sort out these problems and that’s why I’m supporting — It has nothing to do with the Mayor. I’ve known her —I’m trying to think when I first met Hazel, I think I was probably three years old or something. I have no interest in any vexatious action against her.

But by golly, I don’t know what else to do. I guess you could hire a consultant —we’ve done all of the consultants. We’ve done, we’ve asked for outside lawyers and asked for —we need someone who can come in and sort out the stuff and say, here’s what you need to do and what/where you went wrong, if we did go wrong. And here’s how you can improve it for the future.

That’s all I’m voting for and if that’s bad, I guess that’s bad but that’s all I can say about it and I appreciate the opportunity, Mr. Chair

Video: Councillor George Carlson (3:53 min)

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

IN HIS OWN WORDS

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

And if you don’t mind, as Chair, I would like to speak if someone would so move.

[Someone does]

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Thank you, I—

MISSISSAUGAWATCH into camera:

Here he goes.

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

—have an obligation to my consitituents and I’ll be very very brief but I think Councillor Carmen (Corbasson) hit on the fundamental point that we’re all grappling with. This is not a fun day for us. This is a heart-wrenching decision.

The reason that I was one of the proponents of the Inquiry —the reason I stand by it emphatically needs all of ten seconds to explain.

Number One, I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know where this is going.

I do know that minutes have been altered —there some other things have gone on that I cannot explain to my taxpayers and I owe them an explanation.

Point Number Two, the Lady of Justice is blind for a reason. It matters not who she judges over —whether that’s your Mayor, whether that’s my brother, whether that’s the local parish priest. And I have to hold that close to my thoughts as well.

I also have a concern to be brutally candid with you of my understanding of some of the conduct that has been outlined —because, to be brutally candid with you, I would have grave concerns if I lived in a city where a Mayor and [inaudible] members of Council conducted their affairs in a somewhat similar manner.

It is not a city that I would want to live in. I’ve never conducted my affairs in that manner.

I’m shocked that anyone in the audience or anyone in this city would put the cost of such an exercise ahead of having to ensure you have Integrity and Accountability in your political system.

[Jeers and protests from the audience]

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

I beg your pardon.

And so to conclude, at the end of the day, I was not elected for my love of the Mayor. I was elected to do the right thing.

This, as difficult as it is on an emotional level —I want you to hear from me directly, from many of you that I’ve known for a long time, on an ethical, moral, and the-right-thing level, this is one of the easiest decisions that I’ve ever had to make though I’ve never regretted a decision more.

With that I now turn to the motions before me, I need the assistance of the Clerk to make sure…

Video: Councillor George Carlson (2:23 min)

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

MISSISSAUGA CONFLICT OF INTEREST JUDICIAL INQUIRY RECORDED VOTE, October 28, 2009

Again, Councillor Parrish’s comments are on-deck and for historical reasons, transcripts and video of the Councillors who opposed the judicial inquiry will also be recorded here for posterity.

Signed,

The Mississauga Muse

LINKS TO PREVIOUS BLOGS of the October 28, 2009 CONFLICT OF INTEREST/JUDICIAL INQUIRY meeting

MISSISSAUGA JUDICIAL INQUIRY VIDEO VIGNETTE: Councillor Carmen Corbasson, “This isn’t about Mayor Hazel McCallion. This is about Governance, how do we improve it. Not only for this municipality, but across the Province. And I don’t know what price tag you put on that”

MISSISSAUGA JUDICIAL INQUIRY VIDEO VIGNETTE: Councillor Frank Dale, “I make this decision because I truly believe it’s the right thing to do.” November 4, 2009

MISSISSAUGA JUDICIAL INQUIRY VIDEO VIGNETTE: Councillor George Carlson, “I would think, to be honest with you, Carolyn Parrish has lost 20 points in leading this thing because this is not helping her for Mayor at all. November 4th, 2009

MISSISSAUGA JUDICIAL INQUIRY VIDEO VIGNETTE: Councillor Nando Iannicca, “I would have grave concerns if I lived in a city where a Mayor and [inaudible] members of Council conducted their affairs in a somewhat similar manner. It is not a city that I would want to live in.”

Best quotes for people to Get It.

“This isn’t about Mayor Hazel McCallion. This is about Governance, how do we improve it. Not only for this municipality, but across the Province. And I don’t know what price tag you put on that. Is it ten thousand? Is it one million? Is it ten million? I don’t know.”

—Mississauga Councillor Carmen Corbasson regarding the judicial review, October 28, 2009

I want to be clear though that the decision I make, the decision then—the decision I make today is for no one’s political gain. (Jeer from audience) I make this decision because I truly believe it’s the right thing to do.

—Mississauga Councillor Frank Dale regarding the judicial review, October 28, 2009

I would think, to be honest with you, Carolyn Parrish has lost 20 points in leading this thing because this is not helping her for Mayor at all. And she gettin’ a lot of advice that brought this because for sure this is costing her votes if she ever were to run for Mayor. So you may get your wish in that she’ll never be elected Mayor but we still have to sort out these problems and that’s why I’m supporting — It has nothing to do with the Mayor.

—Mississauga Councillor Frank Dale regarding the judicial review, October 28, 2009

And I also have a concern to be brutally candid with you of my understanding of some of the conduct that has been outlined —because, to be brutally candid with you, I would have grave concerns if I lived in a city where a Mayor and [inaudible] members of Council conducted their affairs in a somewhat similar matter. It is not a city that I would want to live in.

—Mississauga Councillor Nando Iannicca regarding the judicial review, October 28, 2009

MISSISSAUGA JUDICIAL INQUIRY VIDEO VIGNETTE: Councillor Frank Dale, “I make this decision because I truly believe it’s the right thing to do.”

November 4th, 2009  

[The BACKGROUND (all in dark blue font) is a repeat from a previous blog. You may just want to scroll down directly to the video and transcript.]

BACKGROUND

The October 28, 2009 Mississauga Council meeting will always be remembered as the Judicial Inquiry Meeting.

Facing blistering criticism from angry Hazel McCallion supporters and even dire threats of defeat from “When-Our-Hazel-Dies-I-Want-Her-Here-In-This-Hall” Mega-builder Harold Shipp, seven Councillors held their ground —and put their political futures directly on the line.

HERE COMES THE SUN

In his October 31, 2009 article, Mississauga melee gets ugly, Toronto Sun, columnist Ted Woloshyn telegraphs the 2010 pro-McCallion strategy.

He writes:

So expect Hurricane Hazel, who’s facing a tornado of trouble right now including a judicial inquiry into her actions and the inability to win key votes at council, to fight back hard.

To regain her power, expect McCallion to essentially build Team Hazel, for next year’s election. Team Hazel would consist of four sitting councillors and seven candidates hand-selected by the Hurricane, who back the mayor.

The other seven incumbents are now seen as anti-Hazel. If even two of those went down in defeat, control of Mississauga’s council chamber would shift dramatically, and in the end control of council equals control of the city.

An endorsement from a mayor who continuously garners in excess of 90% of the vote would carry a ton of weight. Would a politician who runs as part of Team Hazel get a little more attention and maybe a few more lawn signs?

I suspect an endorsement from Mississauga Mega-builder Harold Shipp is worth a mega-ton as well. Not to mention a mega-ton of lawn signs!

Having researched City of Mississauga governance (videotaping, Freedom of Information etc) and documenting “citizen input” over the years, this is the Picture…

The vast majority of Mississaugans do not know what’s going on. Second, of those who don’t know what’s going on, I’ve concluded that sadly, few would care if a judicial inquiry confirmed widespread malfeasance and corruption. Voters clearly vote with their wallets and wallets don’t care about ethical governments.

During his deputation in support of a judicial inquiry, Donald Barber stated:

“I’m not here to discuss anything about Hazel. We all know that, you know, even if she was dead and buried, her name was on the ballot sheet, she’d be elected  That’s fine.”

To which Mr. Barber received strong applause and cheers.

I’d go so far as to say that even if headlines confirmed that she routinely stuffs cats and political opponents into a wood-chipper, Mississaugans would re-elect Hazel McCallion. Such is the Pathology of MYTHissauga.

Over the next while, MISSISSAUGAWATCH will post videos of the October 28, 2009 Council meeting onto YouTube for posterity. Regardless of who is speaking, all videos will begin the same way —with Harold Shipp and his $$$threat$$$ of political oblivion to any Councillor who’d stand up during a recorded vote in support of a judicial inquiry.

Video: “Mega-builder” Harold Shipp warns MISSISSAUGA Councillors. Councillor Frank Dale responds (1:58 min)

So. First video of  Ward 4 Councillor Frank Dale and why he supported the judicial review, followed by a transcript from the video. All transcripts will be sent to the City Clerk for inclusion into the Council minutes for this meeting.

We begin.

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

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BEGINS:

VIDEO INTRODUCTION speaking AGAINST a judicial inquiry. “Mega-builder” HAROLD SHIPP:

If I were sitting there among you, Ladies and Gentlemen, who serve on our Council today, I would be wondering what my position would be one year from now when an election is held and how many of you might have a chance for re-election —IF you proceed with the action you are contemplating now.

MISSISSAUGAWATCH whispers into camera:

Now that’s a threat. Isn’t that interesting..

DIP TO BLACK (to signify later in the meeting).

COUNCILLOR FRANK DALE:

Thank you Mr. Acting Mayor. I certainly just wanted to make a point, that I want to be clear as a member of Council that I always examine the facts that are before me and weigh them in any decisions that I make as the Councillor. And taking into, of course, the consideration, uh, taking into consideration, the best interests of this great city as well as the community in which I represent.

And I stand behind the position that that I took with respect to the inquiry primarily for the same reasons that Councillor Corbasson eloquently described.

And I do want to make it clear that this was not personal to the Mayor. This was just based on the facts that was presented before us and the recommendations that were before us by outside legal counsel —and reviewing that, and examining that, made that decision. And I stand by, and will support the recommendations that are before us today, with respect to the terms of reference.

I want to be clear though that the decision I  make,  the decision then—the decision I make today is for no one’s political gain.

Jeer from audience

I make this decision because I truly believe it’s the right thing to do.

COUNCILLOR NANDO IANNICCA (Acting Mayor):

Thank you Councillor Dale. Councillor Saito…

—VIDEO TRANSCRIPT ENDS—

For serious students of municipal governance, there’s a timely article in the November/December 2009 issue of the Municpal Monitor.  Written by Gregory J. Levine, (Lawyer, Southampton and London, Ontario), you can find “Ethics in Municipal Government: The Law in Ontario” online at:

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/MCTS0609/index.php#/6

Signed,

The (“Big Brother has his hand firmly planted in our back pocket – government revenues his lifeline; unaccountability his refuge.” —Andre Marin, Ontario Ombudsman, June 27, 2007) Mississauga Muse

“This isn’t about Mayor Hazel McCallion. This is about Governance, how do we improve it. Not only for this municipality, but across the Province. And I don’t know what price tag you put on that. Is it ten thousand? Is it one million? Is it ten million? I don’t know.”

—Mississauga Councillor Carmen Corbasson regarding the judicial review, October 28, 2009

"ETHICS IN MUNIICIPAL GOVERNMENT: THE LAW IN ONTARIO" online at the MUNICPAL MONITOR" BY GREGORY J. LEVINE

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


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