THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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National Post - Dec. 10, 2009 - By Megan O’Toole.
The evening began civilly enough, with wine, light conversation and truffle linguini.
It ended with a long-time waitress at Aielli, an Italian restaurant in Port Credit, picking up the torn pieces of a poster promoting Mayor Hazel McCallion.
Those remnants, says restaurateur Louis Macerola, were scattered by a smirking Carolyn Parrish after she grabbed the poster off the wall on her way out the door to an Andrea Bocelli concert.
“It was totally unexpected,” Mr. Macerola said, noting the dinner had gone well and Ms. Parrish – with her husband and two other guests in tow – seemed to be in a fine mood.
The Mississauga councillor was almost outside, Mr. Macerola said, when she seemed to double back, noticing a poster on the wall advertising a rally in support of Ms. McCallion, the city’s embattled mayor. The rally, held a day earlier, drew hundreds of residents opposed to a pending judicial inquiry spurred by allegations of mayoral misconduct – an inquiry Ms. Parrish has stood squarely behind.
“Within seconds, she took the poster down, tore it, threw the pieces on the lobby carpet and did a little stomp,” Mr. Macerola said.
While he did not witness the incident himself, he said, both the restaurant’s general manager and the waitress who had served Ms. Parrish’s table did.
After stomping on the poster, Ms. Parrish “looked at the server with a little grin, laughed and walked out the door,” Mr. Macerola said.
“I’m Italian. In our culture, that’s the highest disrespect.”
After stewing over the incident, Mr. Macerola says, he decided to write Ms. Parrish an e-mail, informing her that he was keeping the torn poster pieces “as a souvenir to remind me of this inexcusable behaviour by a publicly elected official.”
In a short reply, Ms. Parrish apologized for the incident, attributing it to “poor judgment” and offering to replace the poster.
Ms. McCallion declined to be interviewed on the matter, but Ms. Parrish, in an e-mail, said council has been under “considerable pressure” over the judicial review.
“The lion’s share of the blame has been put on my shoulders through hate mail, attack websites and speculation on the motivation behind the way I voted,” she wrote.
“On the evening in question, I and my husband and two friends were taking a night off – pure entertainment, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster – NO POLITICS FOR ONE EVENING. I saw the poster on my way out. The rally was over,” she noted. “Egged on by my helpmeet of 41 years, I committed a spontaneous act.”
Indeed, supporters of Ms. McCallion have fixated on Ms. Parrish as the prime target for their discontent over the inquiry, accusing her of attempting to unseat the mayor for her own political gain. Ms. Parrish has maintained the inquiry is a necessary process not to discredit Ms. McCallion, but to unravel a variety of “murky” dealings involving a number of different entities doing business in the City of Mississauga.
During yesterday’s council meeting, a group using the moniker “Friends of Hazel McCallion” presented a 2,000-signature petition calling on council to cancel the inquiry, a move that would be highly unlikely at this point, as a judge has been assigned.
Tensions seemed to run high throughout the day, with councillors sniping at each other and at times trading harsh words with scheduled speakers, while Ms. McCallion struggled to maintain control.
“This is no way to run a corporation,” Councillor Nando Iannicca burst out at one point, apparently angered by a discussion about setting up a special council meeting, despite a couple meetings that were recently canceled due to lack of quorum.
Ms. Parrish, at one point, referred to the inquiry as “the elephant in the room.”
As to whether she would be welcome back at Aielli anytime soon?
“I don’t think she’ll come back,” Mr. Macerola said. “I think she’ll avoid us like a hot potato... but I’m an open person.”
Following is Carolyn Parrish's reply to a note from restaurateur Louis Macerola, after he chastised her for tearing up a poster featuring Mayor Hazel McCallion at his eatery:
Let me begin by thanking you for a wonderful dinner on Thursday evening.
You are absolutely correct. What began as a bit of a dare and a prank, in retrospect was poor judgment on my part. I sincerely apologize to you for my inexcusable bahaviour. Please accept my apology. I will attempt to replace the poster at once.
Sincerely, Carolyn Parrish
Comments by others, 4, to this web-page;
by Southsider Dec 10 2009 9:00 AM
What a loser.
I love this quote, though:
“I’m Italian. In our culture, that’s the highest disrespect.” - I'm sure ripping up a picture of someone and stomping on it is a pretty universal sign of disrespect, and not strictly an Italian thing...
What an immature act. It was not impulsive, she actually doubled back to perform this stupid action then the smirk. What next, burn a flag. Apologized only when it came to light...she regret only being caught.
Purely, politically motivation on her part for this and everything; she would not get my vote.
She probably never went to kindergarten!
by DW2007 Dec 16 2009 9:26 PM
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