Archive for May, 2007

FYI on FOI

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

For those interested in the Freedom of Information I have done a lot a research on this subject with regards to TEDCO and Miller.

If you type in “freedom of information” on the search bar on this site you’ll find that the host of people involved in this cover-up is far reaching, from judges to politicians to businessmen to bureaucrats.

We Passed 60,000…

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

…Last night. It’s official.

Ontario Appeal Court Ruling States Government Secrecy No Longer the Norm

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Without question the age of information is changing the way governments conduct themselves. Everywhere in the world where the Internet exists citizens are being empowered by information. This is an indisputable fact.

The Globe and Mail reported on Friday the Ontario Court of Appeal finally showed some intestinal fortitude – guts – and ruled in favor of an applicant seeking contentious information from a government body.

The paper quotes the Freedom Commissioner, Ann Cavoukian, saying, “this is a great day for transparency and openness.”

Unfortunately, late last year this same court ruled on the contrary and refused a simple request for information on the Filmport lease from the City of Toronto’s economic development agency, TEDCO.

The case in question before the courts, on Friday, was a complex murder trail that erupted into legal battle over the investigating officer’s deliberate non-disclosure and deliberate editing of useful information. The men had the charges stayed by the crown and walked under section 7 and 11 of the Charter. The O.P.P. did an investigation and determined that no police misconduct occurred.

Hence the lawyers wanted to see the police report and sought a freedom of information request (F.O.I.).

Now there are certain exceptions that I believe are completely reasonable for a government body to withhold under the F.O.I. The following lists lawful examples found within this judicial ruling.

[18] Some of the exemptions in sections 12 to 22 are mandatory; some are discretionary; some provide a duty on the part of the head to disclose. The exemptions are worth noting in summary, for purposes of context. They are:
a) cabinet records (s. 12);
b) advice to government by a public servant or other employee (s. 13);
c) law enforcement records (s. 14);
d) relations with other governments (s. 15);
e) defence records (s. 16);
f) commercial third party records (s. 17);
g) economic and other interests of Ontario (s. 18);
h) solicitor-client privilege (s. 19);
i) disclosure of records that can threaten the safety or health of someone (s. 20);
j) personal information about a person to a third party (s. 21);
k) disclosure of records that can put fish or wildlife species at risk (s. 21.1); and
l) information soon to be published (s. 22)

The significance of this ruling is that you have the Appeal Courts releasing information on a mob hit, police misconduct, solicitor-client privilege, law enforcement records; all contentious issues some of which could potentially be personally injurious or retributively fatal to someone.

With the Filmport lease what is it that Jeffrey Steiner and David Miller are protecting, other than greed and ego.

One thing they have not protected is the Toronto Film industry.

It is absurd to say that the TEDCO is not part of the city.

Hopefully this new ruling will set added precedence for the Freedom Commissioner to provide Ontarians with a more open and transparent society.

Le Fait est Accompli

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Yesterday, Toronto City Council voted on the One Waterfront Place – Project Symphony.

The startling 34-4 vote in favor of the construction commencement tells me the City is financially doomed with this present council.

The newspapers claim part of the money is coming from TWRC and Tedco. The truth is the development is based on borrowing some $150 million of City money – this figure will no doubt increase if, or rather when, the project goes over budget.

The City Chief Financial Officer stated the deal is below market value. A City sponsored study showed that it was below market value. As our Councilors continue to spend at record pace both these sources have publicly stated that the City’s credit rating will be jeopardized if Corus fails to pay the rent over the long haul.

The significance here is that the bonding agencies are already holding off lowering the City’s credit rating. Moody, Dominion and S&P are all anticipating the historical annual Provincial Government bail out for Toronto. Should the City not receive this money a number of adverse financial triggers may follow.

On the variable lending side, under the new City of Toronto Act, council will no longer be allowed to borrow money should the rate drop below a AA rating. I am not sure, but I think that city’s rate has never fallen below AA.

On long term borrowing, under fixed rate long term debt, the city’s capital projects will be paying added interest. The debt financial limits for such borrowing are determined under the Municipal Act.

During this same meeting, many councilors were more interested in the politics of wasting our dime, taking Holiday and Ford to task over the ridiculous office expenditure audit affair.

Anyway you spell it our future appears gloomy.

Treehouse and My Mom

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Treehouse is a children’s channel put out by Corus that hosts some wonderful programming for those under 5 or 6 years of age.

One cartoon is the Bernstein Bears. In one episode Brother Bear must stand up to a bully. The bully reacts by retreating.

My mother was a tad upset to say the least in regards to yesterday’s subjective posting.

In an attempt to explain my reasoning I told her about the Brother Bear story. Furthermore, I explained to my mom that after watching 25 dvd’s of council meetings I was absolutely sickened by some actions of certain councilors.

It was apparent that certain councilors were apprehensive to tangle with the stronger debutants like Don Cormondy or the owner of Absolute – both of whom were very informed on the details. However with other disputants, in particular the females, David Miller would talk down to and forcefully intimidate them. It was disgusting.

Peter Lucas who was also very up on the subject matter was cut off each and every time he took the mike. I thought this was disgraceful treatment to a man who I imagine has paid taxes in this country for 50 years.

Anyway I ended up showing my mom some of the footage and she had to agree.

Just like Sister Bear nobody likes a bully.

Too Much for Radio not Enough for T.V.

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Recently, I acquired all the video of council meetings regarding the mega studio deal. So this weekend I watched them.

I found the Councilors to be an odd set of ego-driven characters that lack common courtesy toward one another. Few can spell conciliatory.

On a positive note Norm Kelly and Michael Walker did seem seriously interested in seeking the truth and resolving the issues at hand.

The most important point of note though were the disputants. Nowhere have I ever ever ever ever seen each and every member of an industry support added competition – which the mega studio would no doubt bring. All of the disputants were in favor of the mega deal. Over and over again they all urged council to disclose the details of the deal. They seemed bewildered and frustrated by the stonewalling. They all felt the process was corrupted. And all were deeply concerned that the loss of 629 Eastern as a film studio would have a huge adverse impact on the Toronto film campus.

Please note that had council disclosed the deal there would be no need for this subjective posting.
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I removed a few paragraphs wed night in this post. I thinks its fair game to take a little poke. But i reacted and went to far and crossed the line. so i am sorry.

Liberty Tumultuous from Tedco Tornado

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

For a very long time now there has been festering resentment toward David Miller’s favorite government business enterprise – Tedco.

Liberty Village is the newest recipient of the Tedco tornado; since they induced Corus to become the anchor tenant in the project symphony development. In doing so Corus will move close to 1000 jobs out of the Village over to the waterfront at the foot of Jarvis and the Queen’s Quay

For 20 years Tedco achieved nothing. Since Jeff Steiner whirled into power there now stands a record of one controversial deal after another. The Canpar deal, the Mega studio, Walmart on Eastern ave, the merchants on Queen St., Leslieville, South Riverdale, Toronto’s movie industry and the long standing tenants of the Portland all possess victims.

Hopefully, Liberty’s cohesion may prove to be different.

The Village community members are livid over the hi-jacking of its long standing tenant. The area newspapers have reported the negative response and there are flyers being distributed opposing this move.

Historically, the Village has been a long time in the making. Years ago the entire western border was encompassed by a General Electric plant. In the mid 80’s this was purchased by Johnson Furniture. The son, Pat Johnson, was a visionary and embarked on doing a retrofit of the dated G.E. manufacturing plant. This emanated into the area evolving into an eclectic mix boasting some highly successful makers of intellectual property.

The community grass roots are mounting and questions are being asked. But these people have never experienced the terror of Tedco. They are frustrated because, like all the others, they are faced with a shroud of secrecy surrounding the facts.

Speculating on what little we know consider that since Corus currently occupies approximately 200,000 sq.ft. in Liberty Village. It could prudently follow that Corus accepted Tedco’s offer to relocate to the waterfront based on almost doubling its square footage for the same money that it currently pays in the Village. Under these circumstances this deal would possess the financial benefits to pass the Corus board including being made palatable to a fickle Corus workforce.

Project Symphoney is but one more example of how Jeffrey Steiner and David Miller work. Their self serving ego driven goals have no regard for what makes sense. Liberty is a vibrant community that will now face economic uncertainty.

There is fear in the unknown.

Nothing is personal until it is real.

Petition First

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

We need the petition first.

As the numbers grow, it is important to collect emails and keep a flow of information moving to those that sign up.

When we hit 5000 email addresses, then we can plan a rally.

It would be beautiful if everyone brings a broom.

Once the rally is completed we move to the legal front.

We need to seek accountablity.

With the strong numbers I am suggesting a $5.00 payment to a fund that is transparent and collectively managed.

I can tell you from experience $25,000.00 can carry a lawsuit like this for the first year.

We want their attention. We want change. And we don’t want the film industry being politically manipulated again.