NA­TION SPORTS DOME IS­SUE

Le Reflet (The News) - - FRONT PAGE - GREGG CHAM­BER­LAIN gregg.cham­ber­[email protected]

A re­sident of The Na­tion Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty has fi­led complaints with the pro­vin­cial Om­bud­sman and pri­va­cy com­mis­sio­ner’s of­fices about coun­cil’s hand­ling of the pro­po­sed Li­moges sports dome pro­ject, in­clu­ding an al­le­ga­tion that coun­cil vio­la­ted pro­vin­cial re­gu­la­tions res­tric­ting its ap­pro­val on fi­nan­cial mat­ters du­ring a mu­ni­ci­pal elec­tion year.

Da­vid Mu­shing is­sued a press re­lease to re­gio­nal me­dia this week al­le­ging that mem­bers of The Na­tion coun­cil have mi­shand­led the pro­po­sed Li­moges sports dome mat­ter, in­clu­ding not being “trans­parent” with the ge­ne­ral pu­blic and tax­payers about a pos­sible $250,000 out-of-court settlement to Saint Jo­seph Pro­per­ties Ltd., the contrac­tor hi­red for the pro­ject.

“I have grave concerns about how this pro­ject has trans­pi­red,” Mu­shing sta­ted. “The se­cre­tive na­ture of coun­cil throu­ghout the en­tire pro­cess, conduc­ting most of the pro­cu­re­ment pro­cess be­hind clo­sed ses­sion pro­vi­sions of the Mu­ni­ci­pal At, in my opi­nion, re­pre­sents a se­rious fai­lure in transparency of go­vern­ment.”

Mu­shing al­so al­leges that mem­bers of the pre­vious coun­cil vio­la­ted the pro­vin­cial go­vern­ment’s “lame duck” res­tric­tions on fi­nan­cial ap­pro­vals im­po­sed on coun­cil du­ring the per­iod lea­ding up to a ci­vic elec­tion. The al­le­ged vio­la­tion concerns ap­pro­val of $253,838.35 to the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty’s so­li­ci­tor, SKS Law LLP and the cheque in­voice ac­cor­ding to the ac­counts payable sum­ma­ry was mar­ked as “10-19 SPORT D”. The ap­pro­val was done in Oc­to­ber prior to the mu­ni­ci­pal elec­tion date.

Mu­shing no­ted that the 2018 mu­ni­ci­pal bud­get al­lo­cates $50,000 for le­gal ex­penses. Any other ex­penses would re­quire coun­cil ap­pro­val. But, Mu­shing no­ted, the $250,000 pay­ment ap­pro­ved in Oc­to­ber took place du­ring the “lame duck” per­iod when there is a $50,000 li­mit on any fi­nan­cial ap­pro­vals the exis­ting coun­cil can make. The res­tric­tion conti­nues un­til the new coun­cil is sworn in the fol­lo­wing No­vem­ber.

Mu­shing has made se­ve­ral re­quests to the mayor and coun­cil mem­bers and to the mu­ni­ci­pal of­fice for ex­pla­na­tions about the cheque ap­pro­val which he be­lieves was an out-of-court settlement to the contrac­tor over the sports dome pro­ject.

He has al­so as­ked for de­tails of the mu­ni­ci­pal bid pro­cess for the pro­ject. Some of those re­quests were fi­led un­der the pro­vin­cial Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion and Pri­va­cy re­gu­la­tions. Mu­shing sta­ted all his re­quests were re­fu­sed with the rea­son gi­ven that they fell un­der the On­ta­rio Mu­ni­ci­pal Act sec­tion concer­ning dis­clo­sure of in ca­me­ra items. Mu­shing, who was a can­di­date for

The Na­tion coun­cil in last Oc­to­ber's elec- - tion, has now fi­led complaints to both the pro­vin­cial Om­bud­sman’s of­fice and to the On­ta­rio In­for­ma­tion and Pri­va­cy Com­mis­sio­ner.

The Om­bud­sman of­fice no­ti­fied him that it is doing two se­pa­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tions of his com­plaint, one re­gar­ding The Na­tion coun­cil use of in ca­me­ra mee­tings, and the other for dea­ling with is­sues re­la­ted to the sports dome pro­ject pro­cess.

Mayor Fran­çois St-Amour de­cli­ned com­ment on the sub­ject when contac­ted Mon­day, Ja­nua­ry 7.

He confir­med that the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty has no­ti­fied the pri­va­cy com­mis­sio­ner about the si­tua­tion and al­so said Mu­shing is en­tit­led to file a com­plaint with the Om­bud­sman if he wishes.

—ar­chives

Da­vid Mu­shing a sou­le­vé des pré­oc­cu­pa­tions au su­jet de la ges­tion, par le conseil de la Na­tion, du pro­jet de dôme spor­tif pro­po­sé pour le vil­lage de Li­moges. Une des ques­tions est de sa­voir si les membres du conseil pré­cé­dent ont vio­lé les res­tric­tions sur la pé­riode« ca­nard boi­teux », qui s’ap­pliquent au conseil mu­ni­ci­pal en cam­pagne élec­to­rale. Il a dé­po­sé des de­mandes d’en­quête au­près des bu­reaux de l’om­bud­sman de l’On­ta­rio et du com­mis­saire à l’in­for­ma­tion et à la pro­tec­tion de la vie pri­vée de l’On­ta­rio. Le maire Fran­çois St-Amour a dé­cli­né tout com­men­taire à ce su­jet, se conten­tant de dire que la mu­ni­ci­pa­li­té a avi­sé le com­mis­saire à la pro­tec­tion de la vie pri­vée de l’af­faire.

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