THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Globe and Mail - Oct. 01, 2009 - By Josh Wingrove
Inquiry sought into Mississauga mayor's potential conflict of interest
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion is facing the prospect of a judicial inquiry over whether she hid a conflict of interest in not excusing herself during a council meeting decision last year about a land sale tied to her son's company.
City council voted 6-4 yesterday to ask for the inquiry and for the city solicitor "to report back on the parameters" of such a prospect "as soon as possible."
Councillor Nando Iannicca, who tabled the motion, said it would ensure an independent body would review the circumstances of the May 21, 2008, meeting to see whether Ms. McCallion broke the law - and not leave it up to council.
But one of the councillors who opposed the motion framed it as an attack on the long-tenured Ms. McCallion, 88. The motion was seconded by Councillor Carolyn Parrish, rumoured as an aspiring successor to Ms. McCallion.
"Parrish wants to be mayor, and if she can undermine and wear down Mayor McCallion, she'll use any method she can to do that," alleged Councillor Katie Mahoney, a supporter of the mayor. "For this treatment to be imposed upon [Ms. McCallion] at this stage in her career, unfounded - totally unfounded, all conjecture - is an absolute disgrace."
Mr. Iannicca rejected that.
"We're not accusing her of anything. We're saying, send it to someone else and let them decide," he said. "I don't think I can look my constituents in the face and say, 'it's okay, don't' worry, we swept [allegations] under the rug.' "
He expected to hear from the city solicitor in about a month.
The case stems from the city's ongoing negotiations to purchase a swath of empty land near Square One mall, and lease it to Sheridan College. The land was once owned by a company that employed Ms. McCallion's son.
In a meeting last year, the city addressed a brief zoning issue about the land. Ms. McCallion didn't excuse herself, though she had on three previous instances when the issue had come up. It's not clear why she didn't the fourth time, though she might have considered it minor - the item took 37 seconds of discussion, documents show.
The mayor didn't return a request for comment.
Comments by others, 6, to this web-page;
Senior Dude 10/1/2009 8:56:06 PM
We also all know what a political b*tch Carolyn is. Just as power hungry as any other politician - she'd most likely do anything to get Hazel's job.
Well - Carolyn had better watch out at the mud she throws. It usually sticks on the thrower ss well.
Christina A. 10/1/2009 7:56:14 PM
ccdd 10/1/2009 4:33:07 PM
carringtonm'om 10/1/2009 3:57:13 PM
OhPlease 10/1/2009 10:42:34 AM
Instead of focusing on conflict of interest the question is really if anything improper has taken place here. The lawyers hired by the city only checked if the Mayor complied with ONE law of the countless that could apply.
For the Council not to vote for a Judicial inquiry would have seemed like a cover-up.
Scrappy T 10/1/2009 8:45:47 AM
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