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Opening comments: More at the end.
This article was published in the Oct. 2, edition.
Everything below this line was not in the printed edition - "We are satisfied that the land purchase is a fair deal and in the best interest of the citizens of Mississauga," said Ward 4 Councillor Frank Dale, who represents the City Centre area. ....
To the main Judicial Inquiry page - to the Hazel McCallion page.
Mississauga News - Oct. 1, 2009 - By ?
College land deal back in the works
Sheridan College is coming to Mississauga.
Despite a string of missteps that included missed deadlines, concern over contaminated soil, legal lawsuits and conflict-of-interest allegations against Mayor Hazel McCallion, councillors voted yesterday to purchase 8.5 acres of land north of the Living Arts Centre.
Now they will finalize negotiations to lease the property to Sheridan College.
Queen's Park and Ottawa will provide $31 million to build a satellite campus that will accommodate 1,760 new business students and 7,500 continuing education students when it opens in 2011.
Earlier, the $14.9 million land deal with OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System) was in jeopardy after councillors balked on the deal. They were concerned about legal repercussions surrounding conflict-of-interest allegations involving McCallion and a potential buyer who had bid on the same property earlier this year.
Councillors also expressed concern about a potentially toxic chemical found in the soil. OMERS, which owns Square One, has agreed to remove the beryllium at its own expense.
However, the purchase, expected to be finalized today (Thursday, Oct. 1), went through after legal experts hired by the City vetted the transaction and deemed it okay.
"We are satisfied that the land purchase is a fair deal and in the best interest of the citizens of Mississauga," said Ward 4 Councillor Frank Dale, who represents the City Centre area.
Ward 9 Councillor Pat Saito said councillors made the right decision to defer buying the land until all concerns had been satisfactorily addressed.
Ward 5 Councillor Eve Adams said she was displeased with the whole process, particularly since the original deal involved taking over contaminated land and councillors were kept in the dark about the key players.
“However, I really want to see another post-secondary institution come to our city. I just want to be clear that I am voting for the purchase of this land, but it was a very unsavory experience for me.”
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