Toronto & Waterloo
On March 6, 1998, 3 month old Athena Kporwodu died. She suffered: dehydration; 35 rib fractures; a lacerated liver; and bruises to her head.
On June 23, 2003, Justice Brian Tafford stayed a charge of first-degree murder against her parents because of the delay bringing the case to trial.
The judgment ran 182 pages.
'The defendants, who are presumed to be innocent, have been denied an opportunity of demonstrating their innocence for an unconscionable period of time.'The original Crown attorney Rita Zaied was criticized for her repeated requests for adjournments and failure to make disclosure to the defense lawyers.
'The traditions of the administration of justice in Ontario were not met in the circumstances of this case'
'All reasonable people who know the history of these proceedings and the legal principles governing them at critical phases would express strong disapproval of its course to date'
' ... a course of conduct ... contrary to her obligations as a minister of justice and an officer of the court in this case'The coroner, Dr. Charles Smith, took 8 months to produce an autopsy report.
'The delay by Dr. Smith in preparation of a comprehensive post-mortem report is shocking, not only in its departure from the standards expected of him and the OCCO (Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario) in the circumstances of the case, but because of his knowledge of the importance of his work to the case'In the interim, Athena was cremated without notice to her parents. The parents had told the police and the coroner that they wanted a second autopsy if Smith found that the death was not accidental.
'The risk of miscarriages of justice arising from wrongful convictions is important to the court in itsThree persons were tried for killing Matti Baranovski. Two were convicted. The one accused who was acquitted spent 31/2 years in jail awaiting trial. Justice delayed is justice denied.
interpretation of the duty to preserve evidence'
is determined to go out in a blaze of incompetence.
Even though museums throughout the country are starved for operating funds, Chretien has dreamed up: a $100 million museum of history and politics. (It will be a perfect example of how politicians destroy a country); a $130 million war museum; and a $20 million+ national portrait gallery.
To help Paul Martin get around, Jean bought two Challenger jets from Bombardier for $100 million. The planes were bought without tender. The new jets have greater range than the planes they are replacing. One of the old planes once lost pressure, but the Department of National Defence gave the old jets a 99.1% reliability rating.
In the spirit of Kyoto, the government is going to devote untold amounts to completely irrational and unmanageable projects.
One is a subsidy ($1,000 per home) for improving insulating and energy conservation in homes. Similar programs have been attempted by various government - they don't work. And if they did work, they don't need subsidies. Programs offering small amounts for specific performance are inherently unmanageable because the cost of verifying performance would be so high it is never done. In other words, this is the birth of a boondoggle.
The Ethanol Expansion Program devotes $100 million to creating new ethanol plants. By 2010 the government wants 35% of all gasoline to have 10% ethanol. There will also be a government ad program to inform the taxpayers of the benefits.
The Queen of Denmark scheduled a bye-bye party for Alfonso Gagliano, Ambassador from Canada, because he thought he was going to be Canada's representative at the Vatican. Unfortunately, the Vatican doesn't approve of having this sinner within its walls.
Terry Mercier, Chretien's party director, received
a 19 year retirement in the Senate.
Percy Downe, Chretien's chief of staff, appointments secretary, appointed to Senate for 22 years.
Paul Massicotte, Liberal bagman, appointed to Senate.
Other significant appointments during the Chretien reign:
Jean Pelletier, former Chretien chief of staff, is chairman of Via Rail
Patrick Parisot, former Chretien press secretary, became ambassador to Chile.
Jim Munson, former Chretien director of communications for about 18 months, appointed to Senate.
Mac Harb, Liveral MP, appointed to Senate.
The Emperor Ernie
of Ontario is building a reputation to rival Chretien's.
He presented his budget at Magna Park, not Queens Park. The Speaker considered it contempt of the legislature. Cost? $200,000+, including: $98,500 for the set, floor director, equipment & backstage crew, makeup artist, and $24,750 for Scott Munnoch, who usually arranges Tory fundraisers and meetings. But the voters can afford it.
He placed many TV ads extolling purported improvements health and education system.
He bought a 32 page heavy paper section in Macleans trumpeting Superbuild, a program that builds the facilities the government is supposed to build..
All ads were prepatory to an election, and should be paid by Emperor Ernie's party, not the taxpayers.
He offers a tax deduction for mortgage interest, imitating Joe Clark, who was defeated.
He offers a tax credit for tuition paid to private schools.
He offers an exemption from educational taxes to seniors.
He offers corporations lower taxes.
He refused to charge the actual cost of electricity. In the first 11 months the shortfall was $1.36 billion. But the debt isn't included in the Emperor Ernie's calculation of provincial debt. (He learned accounting from Arthur Andersen, Worldcom and Enron).
He offers Bay Street more fees for selling bonds to finance the rising debt.
He exempted the Ontario Power Generation from the freedom of information, the better to hide expenses paid by OPG for travel by Emperor Ernie's cabinet members, such as Chris Stockwell. Subsequently, Stockwell resigned.
Emperor Ernie got his seat when David Tillson stepped aside. The Emperor rewarded his loyal subject by appointing Tillson to be vice-chairman of the Ontario Municipal Board, at $111,000 a year.
Tolls on 407 increased to 13 cents/km, the fifth increase since May 1999.
To find cash, he is proposing to privatize the land registry system and sell off the service centres on major highways.
Ernie doesn't believe in marriage for couples of the same sex, attributing this stand to his Anglican upbringing. But equitable fellow that he is, Ernie doesn't believe in marriage for opposite sex couples either. And this position would be attributable to
...? So in his odd way he treats same sex and opposite sex marriage similarly.
In the last month in power. 5 new members were appointed to the Ontario Municipal Board. After the election had been called. 15 new members were appointed to various boards and agencies in an unpublicized cabinet meeting on September 24: Niagara Escarpment Commission, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership, Ontario Financial Authority, St. Lawrence Parks Commission, Ottawa Congress Centre Board, and the council of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.
When the voters dethroned Emperor Ernie, Erik Peters, former Provincial Auditor, rather speedily produced a report suggesting that the the deficit for the year will be $5.6 billion.
The Emperor Ernie isn't advertising the brilliance of selling 407, incredibly a money losing operation despite 5 toll increases.. SNC-Lavalin owns of 16.77% of 407. According to SNC-Lavalin, 407 lost millions in the second quarter.
When Dalton McGinty made noises about rolling back tolls, credit rating agency Standard and Poor's pointed out that the highway has an iron-clad contract that protects its interests against government interference.
'If you break the contract, you essentially have to buy the 407 at market value. It could range anywhere from $8 billion to $13 billion.Of course it is worth more than when it was originally purchased. Look at the huge increase in tolls.
For the Webmaster's conservative calculation of value
The Globe and Mail reported on December 4, 2003:
"When the deal was announced, Highway 407 was getting about 220,000 trips on a typical work day. The sprawl of suburban cities north of Toronto has created a sharp increase in traffic. In October, 347,000 vehicle used it on the average workday. The highway exceeded traffic targets negotiated with the government, which by the contract, allowed 407's proprietors to raise tolls well above the inflation-plus-2-percent cap .... Revenue was $311 million last year, compared with $117 million in the year of privatization."Money Makes the World Go Around
|Bank of Nova Scotia||
|RBC Dominion Securities||
|Royal Bank of Canada||
|Rogers Group of Companies||
|KPMG Peat Marwick Thorne||
|9004-8612 Quebec Inc.||
|Bank of Montreal||
|Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce||
9004-8612 Quebec Inc. is owned by Alain Renaud, a Liberal fund raiser who also worked for Groupaction Marketing, an ad agency. The Globe and Mail reported that Renaud couldn't remember making a donation to the Liberal party or what business his company was in, and denied he had ever done business with the government. He has gone bankrupt twice, and his company has also gone bankrupt.
9004-8612 gave the donation to the Liberal party. Public Works, run by Alfonso Gagliano, gave a $492,200 contract to Groupe Everest for key chains, T-shirts, etc. Groupe Everest took a $68,835 (17.65%) commission for subcontracting the work to Communications Art Tellier owner by Alain Renaud's brother, Benoit. The government negotiated with Benoit's company, not Groupe Everest. An itemized confirmation of the order with Communications Art Tellier was signed by J. Charles Guite. The list was sent to Groupe Everest later.
The largest contributor to the Emperor Ernie's Conservatives and its various candidates is the Cortellucci-Montmarano Group.
Between 1995 and 2001 Mario Cortellucci's companies contributed $1.097 million. In the leadership fight, Eves received $44,600, Elizabeth Witmer received $40,000, Jim Flaherty received $ 46,000, Tony Clement received $40,000, and Chris Stockwell only $15,000.
Cortellucci-Montmarano bought the abandoned Adams iron ore mine in Kirkland Lake, is attempting to purchase 2,000 acres adjacent from Ontario for $22 per acre. It is trying to become Toronto's garbage dump.
Cortellucci-Montmarano received a $36.3 million loan from the Ontario Pension Board. The Pension board is run by Donald Weiss, who, by some strange coincidence, was formerly the executive director of the PC Ontario fund and responsible for raising money for the Emperor Ernie's party from Cortellucci-Montmarano and others of its ilk..
John Manley, minister of finance & deputy prime minister, who previously had unsuccessfully attempted to engineer $100 million in grants to professional hockey teams when he was the minister of industry, called John Hunkin, chairman of CIBC, about the status of negotiations of loans to the Ottawa Senators. The hockey team is owned by Rod Bryden .
Manley's mouthpiece says that he was inquiring about a $20 million loan
from FleetBoston Financial, a U.S. company. But the implication is that
the real question was whether or not CIBC, already on the hook for $40
million, would be willing to pony up more money if FleetBoston dropped
Fleet wasn't willing to keep financing the loser which was seeking another $42 million. The money would have been part of a $234 million refinancing plan that would have given Bryden a $3 million incentive fee, and 650 investors $101 million in tax breaks.
Ethic Counsellor Howard Wilson cleared Manley of conflict-of-interest allegations. Of course, Wilson didn't find anything wrong with Chretien calling the head of the Business Development Bank either.
Cannabis, said the Ontario Court of Appeal, was governed by an unconstitutional law and gave Parliament a year - from July 2000 - to amend the law. Cabinet didn't go to Parliament to have the law amended. Instead it adopted a regulation.
The Ontario Court agreed that the grace period had expired, that Parliament had not amended the law, that the cabinet regulation was unsuitable, and that, therefore, possession was legal in Ontario.
Ottawa is appealing the ruling.
F.Y.I. - Roy McMurty is asking for a big study about why the courts are all screwed up. Duh!
Pot Project Impotent, a most unfortunate outcome. Prairie Plant Systems Inc. in Saskatoon, in 2000, received a 5 year, $5.75 million contract. The 2002 requirement was to deliver 50 kilograms of pot with lest than 0.1 percent THC, and 370 kilograms exotic high-test stuff. The company couldn't grow the less than 0.01% version to be placebo so Health Canada could use it testing scientifically the effectiveness in reducing pain of certain medical conditions. Only 244 kg of regular product was produced.
The government wanted pot with 20 - 25% THC. This was difficult to grow, hence the low production.
Prairie Plant was not able to get U.S.-government approved seed from the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda Maryland, so it used seed that had been seized by Canadian police. Only one third sprouted and represented 185 different varieties - not exactly a homogeneous product.
And so pot is legal to use, but not to sell. The government spent millions to become a supplier but couldn't grow the stuff. And had no intention of actually selling the stuff until the scientific proof was created.
Jean Chretien is making noises that he will introduce legislation that will severely restrict political contributions from corporations and unions. However, he still has scheduled a big fund raising dinner ($500 per person or $5,000 per table) in Ottawa on April 29/03). Expected attendance - 1,200. That's $600,000, folks. Making a rough guess, the legislation, if passed, will not take effect until April 30/03, at the earliest.
The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty got into hand-to-hand combat with police on June 15, 2000, at the Ontario Legislature. The trial started in mid-January, 2003, a mere two and one-half years later.
Gun Registry, the billion dollar boondoggle, is getting more expensive. The system is required to record an estimated 7.9 million guns and 2.3 million gun owners at a cost of a mere $1 billion. That's more than $125 per gun.
A $35.7 million contract was given to CGI Group Inc. and BDP Business Data Services Ltd. to re-evaluate the computer system and look at a new program to replace it. $156 million has already been spent on the computer system.
Between 3,600 and 3,800 gun-registry officials receive a total of $28.7 million in bonuses in 2000-2001. Since they were obviously doing such a good job, firing anyone would be difficult.
Justice Minister Martin Cauchon has contracted Ramond Hession, a former deputy minister, and HLB Decision Economics Inc., to look at improving the efficiency of the Canadian Firearms Centre.
KPMG will probe the program's financial systems.
'It is about preventing crime and fighting crime, and I will not compromise on public safety.'Well, not exactly. British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have announced that they will not prosecute. Police, of course, are required to charge people under the Firearms Act or Criminal Code. Isn't it good to see the team you pay for pull together?
How The Gun Registry Fixed
On April 1, 2003, (April Fools Day, appropriately) the gun registry will be transferred from Justice to Solicitor-General. According to Cauchon this will save $67 million a year by 2008-2009. Wanna bet?
TORONTO & WATERLOO
MFP Financial Services, leases computer equipment. Unhappy customers, who think that they have been overpaying, include the cities of Toronto, Guelph, and Waterloo . Check out the price history on the Toronto Stock Exchange - symbol MFP.
The Bellamy inquiry, headed by Madam Justice Denise Bellamy of Ontario Superior Court, has been running for a year. Phase I has been completed. Phase II starts in 2004. Check out the web sites for testimony and schedules 1, & 2.
Essentially, MFP loaned money to Toronto. Toronto, with the highest credit rating can borrow in the market at the lowest rates. Why would it go to MFP?
The purported basis of the transaction is the sale of computers owned by Toronto to MFP, then leasing them back. In reality, MFP had no intention of ever taking physical possession of the computers. The final version of the contract required Toronto to dispose of the equipment at its own cost. The estimated cost of disposal? $100 per computer.
The final contract was delivered to Wanda Liczyk, Toronto treasurer, by Dash Domi, hairdresser & MFP salesperson. Previous versions of the contract made disposal of the computers MFP's problem. The final version was signed without review. In the real world, large contracts would go through rigorous review and signoff by, for example, budgets, internal audit, and legal. None of these internal controls seem to exist in the weird and wonderful world of Toronto bureaucracy. Council approved $43 million. The contract was for $80 million. With other contracts, the total is over $100 million. Dash Domi collected a $1.2 million commission.
By sale and leaseback, Toronto created an administrative disaster. Computers aren't discrete items. Various things get added to them along the way, such as increased memory, improved monitors, docking stations, thus creating an inventory recording nightmare. The accuracy of such records is of interest if you are lending on the value of assets. But the value of used computers is minimal. Toronto compounded the problem by signing a five-year lease meaning it was paying for the computers well beyond their useful lives.
Then there is the replacement problem. If all computers belong to MFP, and Toronto wished to continue to use them after the end date of the contract, they must be rented or purchased from MFP. MFP thus converted itself into the sole source supplier, and Toronto would have no bargaining power in arranging a lease extension..
Toronto, confronted with the problem, came to the conclusion that it could not switch over to new equipment when the lease expired. New equipment would have to be phased in, given the logistics and training required.
The Names and Their Claim To Fame
Tom Jakobek - former city councillor, former budget chief, lied to the inquiry and his lawyer denying that he flew on a private jet to a hockey game at MFP expense. Received a whole 2% of the mayoral votes in the November election.
Paul Godfrey - president, Toronto Blue Jays, former publisher Toronto Sun, former Chairman Metro Toronto, political fundraiser, contacted by Mel Lastman late in 2001 in an attempt to reach a settlement with MFP and avoid an inquiry
Rob Godfrey - banker, son of Paul, received $719 cufflinks from Dash.
Tony Miele - president, Ontario Realty Corp .
Jim Ginou - Tory fundraiser - Toronto Harbour Commission member
Harold Peerenboom - Chairman, Toronto Harbour Commission/Toronto Port Authority, on flight to Philadelphia on May 31, 1999, supported Jakobek's lie before the commission. Peerenboom a Liberal backroom boy, was appointed to the Harbour Commission by friend and former employee David Collenette. (Peerenboom hired Collenette when he lost the 1984 election. Similarly, John Nunziata, when he lost his seat, became a headhunter for Peerenboom's Mandrake Management Consultants. Nunziata became known as a source of Maple Leafs tickets for politicians.) At the Harbour Commission Peerenboom's claim to fame includes spending $140,000 for hockey tickets etc at the Air Canada Centre, and a $70,000 junket to the French and Spanish Rivieras. When the city auditor brought these facts to light, the Harbour Commission was replaced by the Port Authority.
Greg Peerenboom - son of Harold, on flight to Philadelphia on May 31, 1999
Lana Viinamae - former technology projects director, City of Toronto, suing city for wrongful dismissal
Paula Leggieri - former supervisor of the city office administering the MFP leases
Michael Garrett - former city administrator
Jim Andrew - former head of Toronto's Information Technology
Mel Lastman - memory challenged mayor
Dash Domi - memory challenged MFP salesman
Wanda Liczyk , former city treasurer, couldn't remember charter flights and hockey games. She used a hairdresser, Gian Frank of Fiorio, recommended by Dash Domi. She and Jim Andrew, head of Toronto's Information Technology department attended a Tie Domi charity dinner March 15, 1999, as guests of Dash. She says they never talked business in the Air Canada Centre box when they were at hockey games.
Michael Garrett, former city administrator, testified that Ms. Liczyk's reports on computer leases recommending MFP were unprofessional, incomplete, and misleading.
An investigation by the city auditor charged that she withheld key information that caused interest rates on the leased equipment to rise sharply and suppressed warnings of her own officials about the deals.
Vince Nigro, is a former aide to Mayor Mel Lastman. He left the mayor's office in April 1999 to join TEDCO, Toronto's economic development agency. He joined MFP in the fall, 2001, as a $150,000/yr salesman with car allowance and unlimited expense account shortly after MFP won the contract. He is now unemployed. He was listed frequently on the expense accounts of Dash Domi. Said Vince:
The things he didn't remember anything about included details of flying off to hockey games in private jets.'I don't remember anything specific about anything in general.'
Irene Payne, MFP vice-president of sales, said that Dash Domi would pick representatives who were 'critical' of MFP's efforts, and attempt to build relationships with them. Building relationships included flights to hockey games in Montreal, Ottawa, and Philadelphia, theatre nights, golf tournaments, and seminars. She approved Dash Domi's expenses.
Peter Wolfraim, MFP president, said that he had been told by Dash Domi that some of the expense accounts were inaccurate because they contained the names of people who were not actually present at the events.
Dash Domi joined MFP in November, 1998. His entertainment expense claims were nearly $100,000, with more than half spent on the Toronto sales effort, a little job that earned him a $1.2 million commission. Although many expense claims had no names detailed, he entertained:
Vince Nigro, former executive assistant to Mayor Mel LastmanDash Domi made many phone calls. He had told police that he did not have a relationship with Tom Jakobek, but he had made 200 calls to Jakobek in 3 1/2 years to his home, cell, and office numbers. He called Jakobek on September 4, 2002, the first day he was interviewed by inquiry lawyers, and again on September 5, 2002. Total for September 2002 - 11.
Tom Jakobek, former city budget chief
Wanda Liczyk, former city treasurer, now with to Toronto Hydro
Unnamed officials of Toronto Hydro
Jim Andrew, former city information-technology director
John Danson, Mayor Mel Lastman's campaign manager
Paul Godfrey, Lastman supporter, former Toronto Sun publisher, president of Toronto Blue Jays
Rob Godfrey, Paul Godfrey's son
Unnamed officials of the Ontario Realty Corporation . The ORC is under investigation for allegations of favouritism and kickbacks
Jeffrey Lyons (1) (2) (3) , Progressive Conservative fundraiser, co-chair of Mel Lastman's 1997 campaign, former vice-chairman of the Toronto Police Commission and the Toronto Transit Commission, member of the board of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, and a lobbyist who managed to represent both MFP and Dell, competitors for the city contract. According to an Ontario Provincial Police report, an executive at Dell allegedly told officers that Mr. Lyons sought a $150,000 fee to help Dell secure the city contract, and that 'Tom' (assumed to be Tom Jakobek) was the authority who named the figure.
Lyons lied to the inquiry. Currently fighting to prevent the inquiry from inspecting records at his former law firm, records which he testified under oath didn't exist.
Domi made 211 calls to Wanda Liczyk, including 62 to her home.
Other calls to:
Jim Andrew - 112During the 'blackout period' when the city was evaluating bids May 31 to July 27, 1999:
Jeffrey Lyons - 44
Lorenzo Berardinette - councillor, nominated Liberal candidate in the next provincial election - 33
Betty Disero - councillor - 5
Jim Andrew - 8In July, 1999, Jakobek sponsored a motion that amended the MFP deal to give city staff the flexibility to extend the lease for up to 5 years from 3 years.
Nadir Rabati - city financial analyst evaluating bids - 4
Tom Jakobek - 28
Domi, who worked as a hairdresser for more than 10 years, then was involved in a gym with Lennox Lewis. At the gym he met the sons of Paul Godfrey, and through them met Paul Godfrey.
Domi did not have: any postsecondary education; any sales experience; knowledge of leasing or computers. He relied on other MFP staff to do the paperwork.
Testifying about documents found in his filing cabinet, the inquiry has heard that Dash:
Did not know about a document that compared the financial provisions of bids submitted to the city.He stated that his expense accounts could create a false impression that he was entertaining people that he did not. He said that the people named on the expense accounts could simply be people he was learning about as he tried to figure out how to do business with the city.
Did not know if he had ever read of a draft of city tender documents dated 16 month before the bid was made public, or if the hand-written notes on the documents were his.
He has stated that the city contract management office was in such a sad state that he took documents from that office in Metro Hall to Ms Liczyk's office for her signature.
April 30, 1999: a draft tender document with this date was found in Dash Domi's files
April 30, 1999: Dash Domi spent $369.27 at Air Canada Centre feeding and watering Ms. Liczyk, Mr. Andrew and Mr. Jackobek.
May 31, 1999: Tender put out for bid.
May 31, 1999: Flight to Philadelphia for hockey game
On July 10, 1999, Dash Domi spent $335.43 buying Wanda Liczyk dinner at Prego Della Piazza.
On July 13, 1999, a confidential city staff report recommending MFP be awarded the contract was distributed to city council's policy and finance committee.
On July 14, 1999, Michael Brown, MFP vice-president finance, sent Dash Domi an e-mail congratulating him on winning the contract, and asking for details so financing could be arranged.
Paul Wolfraim, MFP president, said he did not know how Mr. Brown learned that MFP had won the contract.
On July 20, 1999, the city's policy and finance committee blessed the deal.
On July 27, 1999, council approved the deal and MFP was so advised. Council thought it had approved $43 million. The cost of the deal was more than $80 million.
On September 2, 1999, Domi played (and paid for) golf at the Hunt Club in Scarborough with Jim Andrew, Wanda Liczyk, and Tom Jakobek. Drinks at Tom Jakobek's home.
On November 4, 1999, Domi had breakfast with Jim Andrew and Paul Godfrey. Andrew wanted to talk to Lastman's good buddy Godfrey about the job of commissioner of corporate services.
On September 21, 2000, Domi picked up a $1,500 tab at For Your Eyes Only, a King Street West strip club after Vince Nigro's credit card was rejected. Nigro was entertaining at least four unnamed individuals from Enwave District Energy Ltd., a company owned by the City of Toronto and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. Dennis Fotinos, former city councillor is president.
On October 30, 2001, Paula Leggieri, supervisor of the city office administering the MFP leases, wrote a memo to Lana Viinamae, technology project director for Toronto, about things that went wrong in transit with detailed lists of, and payment schedules for, the equipment being leased from MFP, and that Dash Domi had taken documents signed by Ms Vinnamae from Ms Leggieri's desk and passed them on to Ms Liczyk.
On November 2, 2001, Lana Viinamae was sent home. She is suing the city for wrongful dismissal.
MFP Waterloo Inquiry
Dave Robson, former vice-president of MFP, made a $3.8 million commission on leasing deal. An inquiry is taking place to determine why/how a deal that the city thought would cost $113 million rose to $227.7 million. The report from the $3.4 million public inquiry concluded that Robson pulled a 'scam', a 'bait and switch', and 'deliberately misled' senior city staff about the ability of MFP to deliver low interest rates. The report was prepared by Justice Roy Sills of the Ontarion Superior Cout of Justice after more than a year of inquiry. The discovery of the total bill was:
'a revelation that shook the financial foundation of the city and eroded public confidence in the persons who made the decisions resulting in this enormous obligation for the taxpayers'RIM Park, is a 200 hectare site with a municipal golf course, four ice sheets, two double gymnasiums, indoor soccer field, and 15 kilometre of hiking trails.
MFP leased the facility for 31 years by making a $48,353,159 lump payment to Waterloo on October 4, 2000.
Waterloo subleased the facility from MFP for what the city thought was $113 million over the term of the lease.
On June 4, 2001, the city learned from MFP that the payment total is $227.7 million.
Waterloo sued MFP and settled out of court for $14 million and a reduction in the cost of the payments to $145 million.
The sublease was delivered by Dave Robson a couple of hours before council approved the deal. It did not have a schedule of the payments the city was to make. Waterloo's former treasurer, John Ford, testified he relied on Mr. Robson's representations that the cash streams were the same in both the lease and sublease. He never worked out the sublease payment schedule himself. Robson testified that he had shown Mr. Ford the schedule before the council meeting.
The sublease had a formula, which, if slightly misinterpreted, produces a payment schedule to $113 million, but if done correctly produces a payment schedule of $227.7 million. To quote Kirk Stevens, representing Clarica Life Insurance Co.
'The first possibility is that it's almost a divine, preordained coincidence, and the other is that there's some human design involved.'As with Toronto, there appears to be no formal review and approval by legal or internal audit before contracts get signed.
And in MFP 'there was absolutely no paper trail'
OMG Media Inc.
Vince Rizzuto, 'godfather of the Italian mafia in Montreal', in a car registered to OMG, was arrested in the spring of 2002 by Montreal police and charged with impaired driving. Rizzuto and OMG deny they have any connections.
In 1999 Toronto gave OMG a long-term exclusive contract to supply trash containers on city streets. The containers carry advertising, and the contract was to generate revenue for the city. Little revenue has made it into city coffers and the city and the company are continually in disputes over revenue or the lack thereof.
OMG and its lobbyists had approached Toronto with the idea these advertising trash cans. Normally, when a company comes forward with such a idea, one that has not been contemplated by the government, the government seeks proposals from other potential suppliers. City staff made this suggestion, but it was turned down by the works committee who where ready to award a contract without a tender. Council later reconsidered, but it indicates that some city politicians do not necessarily have much respect for proper procedure.
Lawrence David , oyster shucker, tried to get the bid details under freedom of information and was informed he couldn't have them; they had been destroyed. An inquiry by Justice Coulter Osborne, provincial Integrity Commissioner, is underway.
Just what was up for grabs is unclear. Everything was carried out in secret. But the fear is that the bidding to redevelop Union Station would not include just the existing station but additional development rights for 100 years and that the the fix was in.
The deal was approved by council. Members of the winning consortium include Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Ltd., controlled by Toronto businessman Larry Tanenbaum, O & Y Properties, SNC Lavalin, OMERS Realty, PCL Constructors and Jones Lang LaSalle, a company with experience at New York's Grand Central Station.
According to a report in the Star:
The city gets $500,000 a year in minimum guaranteed rent, with inflationary increases, plus 5 per cent of net operating income and bonus rent if the project earns more money than projected.If there is no provision to adjust rents in the final 50 years, this deal will make Toronto look like the Newfies who did not demand an escalation clause in the Churchill Falls agreements, Thus they gave all price increases to Hydro Quebec.
The city now takes in about $1.1 million annually from Union Station, where retail tenants are paying an average $71 per square foot in rent per year.
City finance staff predicted the city could net $3.5 million in the lease's 11th year. But Miller said there's no provision to adjust rents during the final 50 years, which could turn out to be lucrative for Union Pearson.
Alliance of Reformed Conservatives
To become leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, Peter Mackay signed an agreement with David Orchard that the Party would never consort with the Alliance. Now the two parties are working on merger.
A political party founded by lying to its members will have no problem lying to the public. Obviously a party that will have no problem competing with the Liberals on even footing and will have a very long life.
Waiting For The Report
Commenting on a soon to be released report from the Auditor General, Public Works Minister Ralph Goodale stated: " The sooner it is out, the sooner we can begin acting on her recommendations".
Audits are not secret, are not conducted in splendid isolation remote
from the ministries or without discussion with the various levels of management.
Furthermore, one suspects that most of the findings replicate many previous
reports. Issuing a government audit report a long process. The report should
state the steps management has agreed to take to correct the problem and
prevent recurrence (or management's position if it disagrees with the auditor),
the standard practice in the
private sector. Mr. Goodale's real position: the government has taken no corrective action, therefore, no corrective action will be taken.
Good managers look the auditor in the eye and say: "I'm running things right, and you can't prove otherwise". How many good managers do you find in Chretien's cabinet or the PMO?
Taking The Census
Under contract, Lockheed Martin Canada will manage Canadian men and women dutifully taking the census. Presumably, the government can't manage what is most government activity: people performing mundane and essential tasks. Hence the contract. But there is ample evidence that government can't manage contracts either. The poor taxpayers wonder which is worse, and if contracting Lockheed Martin Canada is not just one more disaster.
Mike Harris Economics
The Ontario Conservatives, first under Mike and then under Ernie, had a peculiar perspective on finance - no money? Sell stuff! No consequences.
It's like a husband telling his wife: "Honey, I blew a hundred grand on prostitutes, booze, horses, crap games, and coke. But NO PROBLEM! I sold the house."
And the poor Ontario taxpayers found out that the Ernie/Eckert financial wizards left a $5.6 BILLION deficit. The closest guesser, at $4.5 billion, was the Fraser Institute where Harris now hangs out.
Playing With and Paying
ChooChoo Collenette, Minister of Transport and Idiocy, has plans to give $692.5 million extra to Via Rail. Via attracts about 4 million passengers a year. Do the math. The Via Chairman is Jean Pelletier, former Prime Minister's Office chief of staff. The good news? Collenette didn't get the $3 BILLION he was seeking, and Paul Martin warned Via not to spend money it does not actually have.
John Nunziata, lawyer, purports that:
He was offered the deputy mayor position if he would quit the Toronto mayor's race. He did not report the bribe to police.
He was offered $100,000. He did not report the bribe to police
He was offered $150,000. He did not report the bribe to police.
Police investigated. laid no charges.
The rule is: Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times and you have a pattern of behavior.
Labour Minister Claudette Bradshaw, Health Minister (and soon to be Industry Minister) Allan Rock, Human Resources Minister Jane Stewart, Environment Minister David Anderson, and Fisheries Minister Robert Thibault have flown gratis on Irving Air. Anderson, Rock, and Thibault also went fishing at Downs Gulch, the Irving's fishing lodge on the Resigouche River.
Once exposed, there was a complication. Transport Canada rules prohibit payments for flights on private aircraft (lest they compete and put Air Canada out of business). Cheques apparently were sent to Irving for flights by Anderson and Bradshaw. It was the Irvings who pointed out that they could not accept cheques for airfare. Paying for fishing is ok.
Just to add to the ooze: the daughter of Arthur Irving is married to Paul Zed. Zed, a lobbyist in Ottawa ( Isn't is nice that Paul's inlaws are so supportive of his chosen profession); and Allan Rock appointed the Irving Shippbuilding Inc. vice-chairman to a federal shipbuilding and industrial marine advisory board in 2002.
Kevin Fram, chief of staff to Natural Resources Minister herb Dhaliwal, also visited the Irvings. Fram's position is that he has a close personal friendship with the Irvings for 10 years and that this exempts him from the obligation to disclose any hospitality received from them.
Allan Rock makes the same sort of excuse. Because he was Minister of Health at the time, he would have little or no dealing with Irving companies. Subsequently, he became Minister of Industry.
Progressive Conservatives MPs Elsie Wayne and John Herron, and Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm have also flown on Irving Air.
Martin's Money For Leadership Campaign
Irvings - $100,000
Harrison McCain - $100,000
John Risley (Clearwater Fine Foods) - $50,000 + $10,000 in kind
Harry Steele - $100,000
CanWest Global - $100,000
Jimmy Pattison - $100,000
Senator Leo Kolber - $ 60,000
Amadeus Capital - $100,000
AIC Ltd. - $100,000
Gerry Swartz, Onex, Celestica - $300,000
Toronto Election Money according to
According to The Globe and Mail (Oct 30/03), in the Toronto 2000 elections, the major sources of contributions to candidates:
Media, communications and others - 12% - $144,016
Property owners/managers/real estate - 14% - $168,642
Contractors, consultants - 22% - $272,240
Developers - 22% - $261,726
Unions - 5% - $ 64,956
Lobbyists, law firms, consultants - 11% - $130,112
Retail, food, beverage, bar, restaurants - 14% - 169,086
Greenwin related companies - $40,950
Jeffrey Lyons (1) and related - $40,100
Delzotto - $33,550
Universal Workers Union, Local 183 - $32,505
Costa Earthmoving - $25,200
O & Y - $23,700
Gt Sewer & Watermain Contractors Association - $22,675
Molson - $19,950
Borealis Funds Management Ltd. - $16,300
First Professional Management Inc. - $15,625
Context Development Inc. - $13,750
Electrical Contractors Association of Toronto - $13,500
Adam Dryer - $13,275
Pattison - $12,650
Ford Robert - $12,455
Loblaws - $11,925
Susan Cross quit his company; she had funnellled $13,000 in corporate cash to various campaigns.
He was working for both MFP and Dell when they were competing for the infamous computer leasing contract.
"This country's military is a joke: 60% of its helicopters, 50% of the navy's ships and 75% of its light troop carriers don't work. Its influence abroad is mostly impotent posturing. It has an ongoing brain drain."
Well, yes, but the rant about the ' sclerotic' politicians comes from La France Qui Tombe (France Is Falling Down) by Nicholas Baverez.
'The crisis isn't only economic, it's intellectual, moral, even spiritual'That is one hell of country that Chretien chose to copy. But it did get him a big fairwell banquet in France on his final trip.
Another Brilliant Policy
Canada doesn't have enough doctors but the number of spaces at Ontario medical schools has been reduced. Physicians from other countries have great difficulty getting accepted by the provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons and drive cabs. Many spaces at Canadian medical schools are taken by foreign students who will return to their own country to practice. Meanwhile, Canadians graduating from Canadian medical schools have to go to the U.S. for residency because the number of medical residents has been frozen government below the number of Canadian doctors who will graduate. And physicians who go to the U.S. will tend to stay there.
Francis The Forger
& Other Martinites
Paul Martin made Francis Fox the principal secretary and Quebec representative in the Prime Minister's Office. While Fox, a lawyer, was Trudeau's solicitor-general, he admitted forging the signature of the husband of a woman with whom he was having an affair, to facilitate her abortion. Trudeau bounced him. In a more recent incarnation, he was an in-house lobbyist for Rogers AT&T Wireless.
After Paul Martin lost to Jean Chretien in 1990, many of his buddies went to Earnscliffe Strategy Group, a consulting and communications organization. Earnscliffe received many contracts from a Martin-run Ministry of Finance. Now lobbyists from Earnscliffe and other of its ilk are becoming more visible:
Earnscliffe has announced that it is splitting itself in two, to avoid the problem of the public-relations(polling & communications) group advising Martin at the same time as the lobbying (government relations) group is trying to win favourable treatment for clients. The government relations group will include Mike Robinson. The public relations group will include David Herle and Elly Alboim. Howard Wilson has given his blessing to this 'Chinese Wall' arrangement. Chinese Walls were what were supposed to separate research from underwriting on Wall Street, making Enron, Worldcom et al impossible.
Public Service Union Solidarity
Civil service unions are famous for filing an enormous number of grievances. Consequently few civil servants with genuine grievances have them speedily resolved. To compound the problem, many grievances are moronic. For example:
George Pavlovsky, tree-cutter, was fired by the City of Moncton. Seven days later the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 51 filed a grievance challenging the dismissal.
The cause of the dismissal? On April 10, Pavlovsky showed up at the Moncton Public Works Operation Centre, very drunk, with a sawed-off shotgun and a handgun, looking for two senior managers. Palovsky was convicted of carrying a loaded gun for the purpose of committing a crime. He was acquitted of attempted murder. Now serving time. He wants his job back when he gets out.
Several union members who were around when Pavlovsky made his entrance are still off work on stress leave.
Justice Delayed, Justice
In 1994-95 it took an average of 136 days to get an accused into court for the first time. In 2002-03 it took 197 days.
In Quebec it took 260 days. In Prince Edward Island it took 32 days. In part this extension is caused by governments giving lower priority to criminal cases than civil.
60% were convicted, 3% were acquitted, 37% of the charges were stayed, dismissed or withdrawn.
Ethic Counsellor Howard Wilson said that Denis Coderre, junior minister for amateur sport acted appropriately when 'recommended' Groupe Everest receive a $500,000 contract in 2000. The ad agency Groupe Everest was owned by a friend.
& The Pete & Shelley Show - Part II - See Part
On December 2, 2003, the Provincial Auditor released a report on the Family Responsibility Office. Unpaid support payments have been growing since 1996 and
"are creating extreme hardship for these people"The government is facing a potential payout of up to $300 million in additional social-assistance cost, and has thrown tens of thousands of families into hardship.
"You basically have women and children who are depending on these support payments, they are depending on the government to help them out to make sure they get their money ... Unless this thing is fixed, the government is not helping them out."
Click for the full report
The report notes:
'Responsibility for the Office was transferred from the Ministry of the Attorney General to the Ministry of Community, Family and Children's Services effective April 9, 2001.'So in Part I, the change in the name of the program was noted, and now we have a change in ministry. This is what passes for management brilliance in Mikey's Ontario.
THE SECRET TRIAL
- SM 132/00
Eurocopter Canada Ltd., a German controlled helicopter supplier, was charged with fraud involving the purchase and sale of helicopters intended for the Canadian Coast Guard, between 1986 and 1991. The trial went on in camera until Justice Edward Then opened the files at the end of October.
One item remains sealed: the identity of a police informant who would only come forward under one condition - that Brian Mulroney (1) was charged.
After Mulroney left politics, and before Karlheinz Schreiber (1)
( 2) (3)
(4) ( 5)
became entangled by various legal problems and political scandals, Schreiber
paid Mulroney $300,000 (for consulting services), in cash. This was discovered
by National Post reporter Philip Mathias. The Post quashed the story.
(When Mulroney was questioned in connection with his suit against the Canadian
government, none of the high priced lawyers thought to ask him if he had
received money from Schreiber.)
Business Development Bank
The Business Development Bank has refused to say how much lawyers have been paid to fight the wrongful dismissal lawsuit brought by former president, Francois Beaudoin. Canadian information commissioner John Reid is seeking an order from the Federal Court to force the bank to reveal the total amount as required by the Access to Information Act..
Beaudoin claims he was fired because he suggested he suggested calling a $615,000 loan to Auberge Grand-Mere in Chretien's riding and owned by Chretien's friend Yvon Dumaime. Jean Chretien lobbied Beaudoin in 1996 and 1997 to make the loan, and assured Beaudoin that he no longer had any interest in the adjoining golf club. But Chretien had not been paid for the shares sold in 1993, and his lawyer was trying to find a new buyer.
Duhaime had twice been denied a loans of $1.6 and $1.1 million. Luc Provencher, former executive vice-president of corporate finance and risk management, testified that BDC had granted the $615,000 loan because a local credit union and a labour-sponsored venture capital fund had become partners in the inn, reducing the risk to the bank. Provencher said he had never seen a memo from Beaudoin dated March 3, 1999, raising questions about the viability of the inn and the merits of lending to it.
Beaudoin claims he did not receive an agreed severance settlement.
The bank claims that Beaudoin hid a hefty pension increase; used his chauffeurs to do work at his cottage; and paid his wife's golf club fees from a bank allowance.
Mr. Vennat, chairman of the bank, a friend of Jean Chretien, replaced Beaudoin as president..
John Carle ran up $110,000 in expenses from March 1998 to March 1999, according to Francois Beaudoin. Beaudoin is suing the Business Development Bank (BDC) for wrongful dismissal. At the trial in Quebec Superior Court, testimony was given that Carle charged the bank for meals with Aline Chretien, showing them on claims as meetings with an unnamed 'government official'. Carle received a car as part of his benefits, but also rented a car and charged the bank. Carle, when at the Business Development Bank in 1998-99, had the title of vice-president of corporate affairs.
Carle and Eric Simard controlled a Montreal bank account used to finance Chretien's aborted leadership-review campaign. Simard is a lawyer representing the BDC. $32,000 was deposited into the account after Jean Chretien had announced, in August 2002, that he would be stepping down.
In the wrongful dismissal suit, John Rae, friend of Chretien and Power Corp. executive testified that Beaudoin had made veiled threats during the 2000 election that the case would have an impact on Chretien if it was not settled. Rae received cheques from the Montreal bank account controlled by Carle and Simard.
Stupidity In A Small Package
To find out what Americans think about Canada and Canadians, Millward Brown Goldfarb was hired to run focus groups in the four cities to receive consulates: San Diego, Denver, Houston & Raleigh. Cost? $49,593.
Toronto Port Authority
Pickering Nuclear Plant - Click
here for full report
After Pickering was restarted, on January 20, 2003, workers were working on the number 4 reactor building, running cable through a hole in the plant wall, when they were fired, at 22:55 to save money. It does sound like management by diktat.
Greedy George, Chretien's former speech writer, just before he became Privacy Commissioner, settled a half million tax bill for ten cents on the dollar. While Privacy Commissioner, he rigged job competitions to give his friends employment by creating a "culture of fear and favour" in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. Seven employees (in a office with 100 employees) were transferred in from other departments, and then their jobs were reclassified to a higher grade. Thirteen temporaty employees got full time jobs through fixed competitions, and in 22 cases, evidence of fair comptition did not exist. The audit was conducted by the Auditor General.
The Public Service Commission and Treasury Board Secretariat had received complaints about the practices of the Privacy Commissioner ovr the course of several year, and did what the Public Service Commission and Treasury Board Secretariat do best: NOTHING.
Financial controls were lacking. Greedy George was known for:
"an assault upon the democratic process itself" and that sanctions should "reflect the gravity of the offence"Radwanski became the first person in 90 years to be found in contempt of Parliament. The last person was R.C. Miller who, in 1913, refused to answer the questions of the public accounts committee, and was sent to jail. Radwanski, inexplicibly, was spared that fate. Said Prime Minister to be Paul Martin:
'It's just a terrible, terrible precedent. It makes us look impotent."Radwanski is threatening to write a book about his experience in the Chretien government.
The Sport Of Taxpayers
Thoroughbred racing is called The Sport of Kings. In Canada we have The Sport Of Taxpayers: F1 Racing. Canada and Quebec are paying $6 million each to stage the F1 race in Montreal. The money purportedly is to replace lost advertising revenue from tobacco companies. because Canada bans such displays.
Greater Toronto Airport Authority
Mulroney started down this road when a 57 year lease was given to Don Matthews, former president of the Progressive Conservatives, who then combined with the only other bidder. (Which See)
The Liberals killed the deal in 1993, tried to pass legislation to prevent the developers from suing, and settled out of court for a modest $60 million. Then the GTAA was created as a not-for-profit corporation.
The GTAA isn't a non-profit organization run by the airlines using it. That would make too much sense. It is run by appointees from the federal, provincial and municipal governments. None of the appointees can claim any experience in operating airports.
From 1997 to 2003 the GTAA raised $5.2 billion in debt. A spending spree followed. Airlines had no input. Air Canada complained about the size of the $4.4 billion teminal project. It went to court to block fee increases that would result, and sought damages for "abuse of monopoly power".
Now let's examine the assumptions.