THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Mississauga News - July 26, 2010 - By Joseph Chin - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lawyers prepare for battle at inquiryThe second phase of the Mississauga judicial inquiry began today with Commission counsel and the lawyer for Mayor Hazel McCallion laying out their respective battlegrounds.
The former, William McDowell, led off by acknowledging that while McCallion was expected to generate private-sector interest for a hotel in the downtown core, “to a large extent, the inquiry surrounds the question of what the proper limits were, and, more importantly, what the limits should be to the participation by the mayor in the process.”
Elizabeth McIntyre, McCallion’s lawyer, meanwhile, foreshadowed her defence strategy by noting that the mayor, at all times, acted in the best interests of the City of Mississauga and not for personal gain of either her son, Peter McCallion, or herself.
This phase of the inquiry will probe the extent of the mayor’s involvement in a failed $14.4-million land deal her son brokered for his company, World Class Developments (WCD).
“Most of the facts (that will come out during testimony) will be uncontested,” said McIntyre, who unsuccessfully argued for her client to be the first witness.
“As the person at the centre of the inquiry and as one whose conduct was called into question, the mayor felt hearing her evidence up-front would reduce the need to call numerous witnesses to prove uncontroversial facts...and ultimately would save money for the taxpayers of the City of Mississauga,” McIntyre argued.
McIntyre acknowledged McCallion did, “intervene, made phone calls and talked to the players” involved in the project, but only because she had always been a hands-on mayor.
McIntyre said that the co-owners of the land – pension giant Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and Alberta-based investor AIMCO – were “sophisticated” businessmen and would not have been intimidated that the deal was being brokered by McCallion’s son.
WCD, McIntyre noted, was the only group interested in buying the 8.5 acres, so McCallion was not choosing sides between competing companies.
“In reality, it was not the preferred group, it was the only group,” she said.
Ken Lusk, former owner of 50 per cent of Hawthorne Realty, and John Zingaro, former assistant City solicitor, will take the stand today as witnesses.
Tomorrow, Peter McCallion takes the stand.
Among the “cast of characters” McDowell said the inquiry will hear from during this phase of the inquiry is former City manager David O’Brien, who was the central figure in the first phase probing the controversial Enersource sale.
The Mississauga Muse
Jul 26, 2010 3:18 PM
I think the lawyers should be required to swear on the Bible before each hearing, don't you?
* Agree 2
The Mississauga Muse
Jul 26, 2010 3:02 PM
re: "McIntyre acknowledged McCallion did, “intervene, made phone calls and talked to the players” involved in the project, but only because she had always been a hands-on mayor."
Fact. She's sure a hands-OFF mayor the rest of the time whose solution to just about anything is "refer to staff". And what joy! We get to see David (I don't remember I can't recall) O'Brien again! As for this... "Elizabeth McIntyre, McCallion’s lawyer, meanwhile, foreshadowed her defence strategy by noting that the mayor, at all times, acted in the best interests of the City of Mississauga and not for personal gain of either her son, Peter McCallion, or herself." I think it's wonderful how all the mayors across this great land (and the Canadian Federation of Municipalities) at all times act in the interest of their town/city and not for personal gain of either themselves or their families/friends. We Canadians are BLESSED by such selfless devotion to the common good. (she grins widely as she hits "Submit")
* Agree 1
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