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To the main Judicial Inquiry page - to the Hazel McCallion page.Comments by others to this web-page - 3 - to this web-page at time of posting.
Mississauga News - Aug. 10, 2010 - By Torstar Network
WCD bid skirted usual fees
Testimony resumed yesterday at the Mississauga judicial inquiry when consultant Barry Lyon was called to the witness stand.
Staff photo by Rob Beintema
An application for a $1.5 billion hotel/convention centre project by a company fronted by Mayor Hazel McCallion’s son proceeded through the approvals process at City Hall despite not paying more than $220,000 in required fees, the Mississauga judicial inquiry was told yesterday.
The unpaid fees would have been the first installment on $500,000 normally required to have the site-plan application circulate through various City departments for needed approvals.
Had the project gone through, the inquiry heard, the approvals could have quadrupled the value of the land being purchased from the OMERS pension fund by World Class Developments to almost $50 million.
The inquiry is probing Mayor Hazel McCallion’s behind-the-scenes role in the failed deal, amid allegations that it represents a conflict of interest.
Testimony about the potential windfall from the sale of the land, even if the project was never built, came from respected development consultant Barry Lyon. His firm, N. Barry Lyon Consulting Ltd., was hired by World Class Developments to help bring the plan to fruition.
“It was a major source of tension with the City,” Scott Walker said of the unpaid fees. Walker, who works for Lyon, said that, at one point, City officials had threatened to halt the process if the fees weren’t paid.
Asked by commission counsel William McDowell if the application process was allowed to proceed anyway, Walker said: “I believe (the plans) did circulate, notwithstanding the fees were not paid.”
Walker said his repeated calls to World Class, asking if the company was ever going to cough up the fees, went unanswered.
The request for an explanation from Lyon’s firm, which later parted ways with World Class, came as the company was giving written assurances to the City that the fees would be paid “in the near future.”
A key approval that would have increased the land’s value, Lyon told the inquiry, was lifting the “H” designation, a restriction imposed on a property to ensure the City gets what it wants built there — in this case, a major hotel.
Lyon said he was told by Murray Cook, an initial partner in World Class Developments who hired him, that Peter McCallion was someone who “wanted to learn the development business.”
“I didn’t have a clear understanding as to his (Peter’s) role,” Lyon said.
But Walker said that, as far as he was concerned, the younger McCallion’s involvement was that of an owner: He participated in many meetings and asked to be copied on all correspondence.
The question of ownership is significant because McCallion testified earlier in the inquiry that he had long believed himself to be simply an agent who would make money selling more than 2,000 condo units associated with the project. He said he didn’t realize he was an owner of the company that his mother had championed to build a convention centre.
The mayor’s lawyer has asserted that she wasn’t aware of the extent of Peter McCallion’s personal financial stake in the company and that he had misled her about it, although she was the signing witness to a trust agreement finalized at a Toronto restaurant in 2007 that effectively made him a partial owner.
Walker suggested during his testimony yesterday that he felt uncomfortable about the optics of Peter McCallion being involved in a meeting with City staff about the project.
The inquiry continues this morning at 10 a.m. with testimony from City Solicitor Mary Ellen Bench and Planning Commissioner Edward Sajecki.
Comments by others - 3 - to this web-page at time of posting;
The Mississauga Muse
Aug 10, 2010 9:36 AM
'kay 'kay, check this out.
"Mississauga Judicial Inquiry: Consultant testimony BULL**** vs Videotape-TRUEth" www.youtube.com/watch?v=umEv1sr75F8 [caution: **** in full] My favourite part? Hazel McCallion saying, "Why would anybody on a major contract be the one signing officer —to approve all payments, all credits and everything?" at the May 11, 2009 Audit Committee! The Peter not only was the One signing officer --he knew he wasn't even authorized. AND then he signed his name to the right of his ASO signature.
* Agree 1
Aug 10, 2010 9:08 AM
How to get rich....
when your spouse/parent is working on the city council. (1) Use your basement corporation to buy cheap (due to restrictions) property and get the restrictions (zoning) changed using the spouse/parent, then sell it. It's NOT a surprise that many councilor's kins so run such ponzy corporations from their basement. PETER ADAMS, Councilor Eve ADAMS' spouse is one such businessman, claiming influence brokering with city Hall (http://www.getusconsulting.com/index2.html)
* Agree 1
* Offensive 1
Aug 10, 2010 8:59 AM
No special treatment here, move along
Clearly the Truts-Qaulty-100%-Exselent-Threwout City staff were just being efficient. I'm sure they circulate plans that are missing their half million dollar fees all the time at the Big Yellow. Why hold things up when someone promises that the cheque is in the mail? I bet they'd do the same for me.
* Agree 2
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