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Opening comments:  More at the end.

To the main Judicial Inquiry page - to the Hazel McCallion page.

Comments by others to this web-page  10.

Toronto Sun - Jul. 27, 2010 - By Michele Mandel - Columnists - or 416-947-2231.

McCallion's son testifies at inquiry

MISSISSAUGA — His mother may not have been physically present for his testimony, but the looming presence of Hurricane Hazel was everywhere.

And her eldest son was doing his best to keep her out of trouble.

Peter McCallion took the stand Tuesday at the city’s public inquiry into whether his famous mother was acting inappropriately as “emissary” to push the failed $14.4 million land deal that her son was trying to broker in Mississauga’s prime downtown.

Dressed in a Johnny Cash black suit and shirt, his Stetson by his side, the divorced 57-year-old real estate agent tried valiantly to minimize his stake in the controversial transaction — and thereby his mother’s need to get involved — insisting he didn’t even know he was an owner in World Class Developments, the company formed to buy “the last best piece of land in Mississauga” and build a four-star hotel, convention centre and condos on 3.5 hectares near the Living Arts Centre.

Instead, McCallion said he was just the ideas man who put the development team together with the expectation that he’d ultimately get a commission on the land sale and another $10 million to $12 million in hawking the 2,500 new condos.

“I was basically acting as real estate agent, promoter of the development — the visionary,” he testified.

The question is how much the son with only a Grade 12 education relied on his mommy’s influence and back room involvement to secure, and then try and save, the deal.

In his opening statement Monday, commission counsel Will McDowell told Justice Douglas Cunningham that “the mayor battled for WCD to the bitter end.”

And indeed it seems the mayor’s fingerprints are all over the place.

McCallion admitted speaking often to his mother about his business dealings, that they live only five minutes apart and see each other five to six times a week.

“I let her know what I’m working on basically,” he explained.  “She usually says, ‘Are you working?’”

As he added later to laughter, “She likes to drive you.”

But McCallion denied talking to the mayor in depth about the development and even complained that having the powerful woman as his mother was more of a hindrance in his business life than a benefit.

“Some people don’t want to deal with me because of a perception of a conflict,” he said.

But in this case, it seems his mom was never far away.

In 2005, he approached Murray Cook, a family friend from Streetsville, to be the front man for his project and Leo Couprie, a Thornhill importer, to put up the $750,000 down payment to buy the land from the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS).

Hazel McCallion was the witness to the loan agreement between Couprie and the newly-formed World Class Developments.

Shortly before he left on a trip, his helpful mom witnessed another document he signed with Couprie at a Toronto dinner that gave her son shares in the development company “just in case something happened to us on the plane so my family might get some benefit out of this.”

McCallion said he threw out the trust agreement on his return, mistakenly believing it was now null and void and that he had no ownership in the company.  But for a guy who insists he didn’t know until recently that he was a principal in World Class Developments, he sure acted like a worried owner.  He admitted pumping more than $150,000 into the cash-starved company, including $50,000 he borrowed from TACC Construction owned by Silvio DeGasperis with a promissory note signed by him on behalf of WCD.

In fact, as city lawyer Clifford Lax pointed out at the end of the day, it turns out the mayor’s son owns a 16% stake in World Class Developments.  And since his company received a $4 million settlement from OMERS when the deal went south — he’s hardly the penniless pauper who begged the city to cover his legal bill for this inquiry.

McCallion returns to the hot seat Wednesday.

Comments by others, 10, to this web-page;

Jake Report Comment
July 28th 2010, 4:45pm
The City of Mississauga used to be a very well run machine. They seem to have alot of problems lately ie. duct tape employees and now all of this political nepotism. Things need to change with The City of Mississauga. Need new blood, better hiring practices and less nepotism.

The Ram Report Comment
July 28th 2010, 3:19pm
WAS a DIE-HARD Hazel Fan, till recently; when I experienced the SAD STATE R CITY has come to, with New Undesirables, thru' Social Housing Projects.

The Star's Article, on Monday, gave Dammning Evidence.
Allegedly, Hazel was LISTED as a Key Contact with her Son's Firm (Not her Son); that the Principals Dealt with HER DIRECTLY, on Key Deals; with the FIRM getting OFF with UNDERVALUED Prime Real Estate, for Breaks on FEES and TAXES - Serious $$$. TRES TRAGIC. .

Madam Mayor, please RESIGN or DO NOT RUN, again. Walk out with GRACE and you will be REMEMBERED FONDLY. Persist and ALL your ACHIEVEMENTS will be OVERSHADOWED by your UnEthical Actions-Real or Perceived-, in this SCANDAL. .that we know of. .

You've LOST MY VOTE, Madam Mayor!!

Canadians Report Comment
July 28th 2010, 11:01am
The irony is too much.......... Ya hold your nose and vote in Hazel (who has not filed yet to run, I might add) and then next spring @ the age of 90 she has to step down due to health issues....... and all of the SUB URBAN cowboys pumping irons for her worshipfulness get Carolyn Parrish as the Interim Mayor...........LOLOLOLOLOL ................... Ya gotta ask what Torontonians would doing with this one.? Maybe Mississauga can recruit John Tory......... Any other suggestions?

HH Report Comment
July 28th 2010, 10:40am
Hazel has done a phenomenal job for the city of Mississauga!! It's unfortunate that she allowed herself to get involved in this scandal. No matter how pristine her record, and even if she is exhonerated it will always remain as a blemish on her record.

James Report Comment
July 28th 2010, 9:12am
Doesn't matter what level of government, or what stripe, we are continously fleeced.
A wolf in a grandma disguise.

Ted-Mississauga Report Comment
July 28th 2010, 8:43am
I love my mayor, but it'll soon be time for her to call it a day. On the other hand, I'd rather have a stuffed Hazel than that snake Carolyn Parrish, so if for no other reason than to keep Parrish out, I say keep going Hazel.

The Crusher Report Comment
July 28th 2010, 7:27am
Isn't it a sad day when you see this revealing evidience about a Mayor that has conflicts coming out of her ying yank and you still have the sheep singing her praises!!! This city has been run like a small town in the backwoods of Alabama for years and it is people like Mantis and others that have allowed it to happen. The myth of Hazel is the fact that she is everyone's grandmother and thus immune from critisim, it allows her to do what she does.

Andre Lafond Report Comment
July 28th 2010, 12:55am
I seen this lady jog and do things that most people in their fifties can,t do so don,t be so quick to kick
her to the curb, Parrish reminds me of George Smitherman, sleazy.


Canadians Report Comment
July 27th 2010, 11:25pm
Heh, Mantis. Why don't you remind the folks reading the Toronto Sun that the Mayor is 89.4 years old now and that by the time the 2014 election is held she'll be 93.7 years old? Statistics reveal that the chances of McCallion having to step aside mid-term due to health related issues is almost a sure thing, and at that point the City Council can (mostly likelywill) appoint anyone it wants as Interim Mayor, such as your favourite person, Councilor Carolyn Parrish? So why would you or anyone support the re-election of someone who will be unable to finish his/her term? One way or another by 2014 Missisauga have a new Mayor. So work real hard, get the Mayor re-elected and we'll all guess who will be the NEW Mayor by 2014.

Mantis Report Comment
July 27th 2010, 10:30pm
Irrespective of the outcome of this inquiry, we will get Hazel McCallion relected.

Ms Miss Report Comment
July 27th 2010, 8:32pm
A majority of the residents of Mississauga love Mayor McCallion.

But since her enemies can't beat her at the ballot box they are persuing a new strategy.

We know who her enemies are.

I dread the day she is not our mayor

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