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Globe and Mail - July 27, 2010 - By Adrian Morrow
McCallion's son says he
The son of Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion stood to make millions off a deal to build a hotel and condominium complex in the centre of the city – a development that had his mother’s firm support, a judicial inquiry heard Tuesday.
In a full day of testimony, Peter McCallion confirmed that he was part owner of World Class Developments, took money from the company’s bank account to pay his personal expenses, lent it more than $100,000 of his own money and negotiated a $50,000 loan to keep the operation afloat. However, he insisted that he was merely a real estate agent helping to broker the deal and said he didn’t even realize at the time that he owned a portion of WCD.
The 57-year-old realtor told the inquiry he had tried since 2002 to find financial backers for a four-star hotel and convention centre near Mississauga’s City Hall. In 2005, he brought in Thornhill businessman Leo Couprie as an investor for the project. He approached developer Murray Cook, a family friend, to lead WCD.
“I was the instigator of the group,” Mr. McCallion said in testimony, referring to WCD. Earlier before the inquiry, he had described himself as the “visionary” behind the project.
For most of his testimony, he remained expressionless, answering questions in short sentences.
Mr. McCallion said he didn’t run the company but expected to earn a commission by selling the 2,500 condominiums that were to be built in conjunction with the hotel. He estimated that he could have made $10- to $12-million.
His relationship with WCD became more complicated in January of 2007 when he signed a trust agreement with Mr. Couprie, then WCD’s majority shareholder. The document, signed over dinner at Pier 4 restaurant on Toronto’s waterfront, stipulated that Mr. Couprie was holding his shares in trust for Mr. McCallion, effectively making the realtor an owner of the company.
In testimony, however, Mr. McCallion said he didn’t understand the implication of the agreement at the time, explaining that he signed the document because he was going on a business trip and wanted his family financially protected if something happened to him. He did not elaborate, but insisted that his mother had not read the document before signing it.
“Before she was a politician, [Mayor McCallion] was in business for 20-odd years,” William McDowell, lawyer for the inquiry, pressed Mr. McCallion during cross-examination. “She would have understood that you were making a very substantial financial commitment to the company and that you were becoming a shareholder of the company.”
“If she had read it,” Mr. McCallion countered.
Over the following year, Mr. McCallion twice put his own money into the company and acted as a signing officer of WCD to secure a loan from a Vaughan construction company. Company promotional material identified him as an owner and he later signed an affidavit that identified himself as a principal of WCD.
Mr. McCallion said the promotional material had been prepared without his knowledge and that he hadn’t read the affidavit closely before signing it.
The project fell apart due to a lack of money and the global recession, he testified.
Documents submitted at the inquiry showed that Ms. McCallion often spoke with the company’s owners and once became irate when someone suggested the deal wouldn’t go through. Ms. McCallion’s lawyer hasn’t disputed that the mayor tried to ensure the project got off the ground but has argued that she was acting in good faith by trying to bring a major development to Mississauga.
The inquiry, presided over by Superior Court Justice Douglas Cunningham, cannot assign blame in its probe, but can determine if conflict of interest rules need to be tightened. Mr. McCallion’s testimony continues Wednesday.
Comments by others - 6 - to this web-page at time of posting;
7/27/2010 11:24:59 PM
"Mantis" left this comment at the Toronto Sun --Michele Mandel's article, "McCallion's son testifies at inquiry" just to show how MYTHissauga WILL prevail:
"Irrespective of the outcome of this inquiry, we will get Hazel McCallion relected. Mantis, July 27th 2010, 10:30pm"
Mantis knows (as do I) that Hazel McCallion is Above any Law!
7/27/2010 11:39:34 PM
7/27/2010 11:41:19 PM
She has become used to this treatment and she is obviously abusing her powers now. Likely for a long time. Mississaua is not a great place to live anymore, and its barely a good place to live. Its over crowded, and patched together like a cloak made out of 50 different pieces of fabric.
All the once great Neighborhoods are dumps now. Meadowvale is Ghettovale, Malton is falton..Malton is well on its way to becoming the most violent place in the GTA- easily rivaling any of the worst areas in Toronto.
Its time for this Lady to step down, it would be a bloody farce to have her in Office next election. Honestly, how effective is a Woman who is getting close to 100 years old going to be? how much fight does she have in her? She looks like Mr Burns from the Simpsons.
What I dont understand is that with all the money she has made, and that massive pension she would get- why wouldnt she retire?! She is going to quit this job eventually, just in time to die. I dont understand workaholics like this. Mississauga is not benefiting from her 'leadership' at all. Id imagine she is going more senile by the day.
What is she going to do ?claim she is to old and she didnt understand that she was engaged in a conflict of interest? She is Mayor for crying out loud, she is supposed to know these things..typical trying to work around it garbage..
Its time for Hurricane Hazel to quit, what she did is borderline criminal and could very welll be criminal. What is she? an Immmortal? vote for Hazel in 2050?
By then she will look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings...
7/27/2010 11:51:25 PM
Name one good reason why anyone with half a scrotum for a brain would vote for her again? Replacing her with Parrish is like having your arm amputated and then having it replaced with a limb that has gone through a tree shredder. Mississauga needs alot of help and proper leadership, that City is all over the place.
Hazel is WAY to out of touch with the common folk now, I cant imagine that she is in tune with the Youth, and infact her idea of 'youth' is 40-50 year olds. Just because she is old enough to play Lawn Darts with Moses - doesnt make her qualified anymore.
She is as old as Christ's sandals. Id argue that Mississauga hasnt benefited from her leadership for over 10 years, maybe even 15. The gap between the poor and the rich in Mississauga is massive. There are serious problems with crime in that City.
Age doesnt gurantee you the right to have this Job, Hazel isnt fighting for it anymore.. she belongs in a retirement home - not the Mayors Office. She reminds me of Ronald Reagan in his final years as President.
Hazel is guilty, and her sons excuse that she didnt read certain documents is just stupid. ' Im sorry your honor, I didnt read that part where Murder was illegal.. I didnt know about that..so does that make me guilty?
Hamster Hazel has to go
7/28/2010 12:00:23 AM
7/28/2010 12:17:19 AM
7/28/2010 1:10:29 AM
7/28/2010 2:13:27 AM
7/28/2010 6:54:03 AM
Who would have known that on top of their main councilor salaries, they get laid on additional increments for sitting on hydro boards or committees.
I always hear about complaints that property taxes outside Toronto are so much higher yet no one questions why it is so much higher. Instead it is conveniently used to justify that Toronto's taxes need to be higher.
[Recommend This Comment]
7/28/2010 9:33:24 AM
If I May:
ALL POLITICIANS ARE OVERPAID......ALL OF THEM!!!!
7/29/2010 4:37:11 PM
7/28/2010 11:01:51 PM
7/28/2010 10:59:22 PM
7/28/2010 1:20:30 PM
7/28/2010 12:18:29 PM
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