Can a 386-page report on Hazel McCallion’s misbehaviour stop the Hurricane? Probably not
Things aren’t looking great for the Hurricane. As every paper in the city is reporting, a judicial inquiry has found that Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion had a “real and apparent” conflict of interest in a scrapped real estate development that would have financially benefitted her son. And while it’s really hard not to like McCallion, the 386-page report outlines McCallion’s many missteps and provides a few reasons to feel a little less rosy about her conduct as mayor. Combine this with recent accusations that McCallion’s newest ally on council broke campaign rules and you might start to feel sorry for the mayor (then again, she’s not exactly begging for forgiveness, so perhaps you should save your sympathy.)
According to the Globe and Mail:
In a 386-page report released this morning, Hon. Justice Douglas Cunningham concluded that Ms. McCallion, who has presided over the growth of the suburban municipality since 1978, actively promoted the ambitious project while failing to closely scrutinize key legal documents and fully disclose her own family connection to the venture to council and the public, as required under Ontario law.
The report also found that former Mississauga city manager David O’Brien—a long-time bureaucratic and political advisor to the mayor, as well as a trustee of the mayor’s family trust—was put in “an impossible position” when he was recruited to negotiate a $4-million legal settlement between World Class Developments, Mr. McCallion’s company, and the property owners, which included the OMERS pension fund on whose board he sits.
“I have found that the actions of the mayor in relation to the City Centre Land and the WCD project raise significant concerns,” wrote Justice Cunningham, adding that he made the findings “with a measure of regret” because of Ms. McCallion’s long history of public service.
The Globe goes on to compare the implications of McCallion’s scandal to Toronto’s municipal purchasing scandal, which helped bring David Miller to power. Still, although the $7-million inquiry found plenty of dirt on McCallion, she says—surprise, surprise—she’s not going to resign. The challenges and opposition mounted against McCallion are certainly unprecedented for a mayor with a support base as broad as hers. But maybe none of that matters for McCallion. After all, accusations of a conflict of interest were loud and clear when Mississauga voters gave McCallion her 12th term in office last October. And while a mere three quarters of the vote isn’t the kind of landslide McCallion has gotten used to, but we know some politicians who’d love that kind of support.
• Mississauga mayor McCallion had ‘real and apparent’ conflict of interest in land deal, inquiry finds [Globe and Mail]
• Inquiry report: McCalion had a conflict of interest [Toronto Star]
• Judge rules McCallion in conflict of interest [Toronto Sun]
• Updated: ‘I complied with the Conflict of Interest Act,’ McCallion says [National Post]