, 05.31.2018 07:52 AM

About that huge, huge Globe investigative story: read it

Three things about this extraordinary investigative story.

One, it’s behind a paywall because journalists deserve to get paid just like you are.  Do you give away your goods and services for free?  Neither should they.  Cough up a few bucks and subscribe, for Chrissakes.  Don’t be cheap.

Two, this story is going to have an impact on the Ontario election – in a way that is very unhelpful to prominent Ontario Liberals.

Three, I left Navigator when Glen Murray arrived there, unbidden by me.  I despise him. His life is about to get very complicated, and deservedly so.

Snippets:

On March 23, 2013 – a Saturday – Mr. Murray travelled to the farm fields south of Bolton that Solmar sought to build on.

In an interview with The Globe last year, Mr. Murray acknowledged that he did not travel alone, but he declined to identify whom he was with, other than to say it was a “planner” or “consultant” for Solmar…During his site visit, Mr. Murray e-mailed his chief of staff, David Black, and asked him what powers he had, as minister, with respect to the housing development.

Mr. Black responded with blunt advice: “There is no action you can take.”

Mr. Black (who is now chief of staff to Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli) declined to respond to questions from The Globe. But his e-mails to Mr. Murray – obtained under the Freedom of Information Act – show he was concerned that his boss was with someone from Solmar.

And that was potentially a big problem. Solmar had taken Caledon to the Ontario Municipal Board, the quasi-judicial body that has the power to overturn the planning decisions of cities and towns, and a decision had yet to be rendered. But the OMB can be overruled by cabinet – which is why, Mr. Black warned his boss that day, ministers are forbidden from interacting with developers currently before the tribunal.

“I hope you are not in the Bolton area with anyone who might have an active OMB case,” Mr. Black e-mailed to Mr. Murray. “Ministers meeting with active OMB appellants can be grounds for the Premier to ask for your resignation because it can look like you are trying to influence the outcome of an OMB case.”

…But his interest in Bolton did not fade. On April 18, Mayor Morrison and two of her staff drove to Queen’s Park at the request of Mr. Murray.

According to Ms. Morrison and another staff member present that day, Mr. Murray scolded them for what he said was poor planning. He had a specific idea, too: The swath of land south of Bolton should be designated for homes .

Next, Minister Murray asked all of the aides, including his own, to leave the room. All of a sudden Ms. Morrison found herself in the type of meeting she had long refused to take – one without witnesses. And what unfolded next reminded her why.

“In my opinion, he threatened me,” said Ms. Morrison, who recounted the exchange, over several interviews with The Globe. “He told me that he had some complaints against me that were very serious and that he could make them go away if I changed those lands to residential.”

Ms. Morrison, then in her 10th year as mayor, insisted she had done nothing wrong, and that Mr. Murray could do whatever he liked with those “complaints.”

As he prepared to leave the room, she says, the minister repeated one more time that she “had better” permit homes on that land.

The kicker, about the Premier who received a complaint from a Mayor about one of her Ministers making a threat – and the Premier who did nothing about it, and why:

There is another person whom Ms. Morrison says she told about the encounter: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

In December of 2013, she heard Ms. Wynne on the radio claiming, in the wake of a massive ice storm, that she had spoken with all the mayors in the GTA. Ms. Morrison – who had lately become disenchanted with politics and had decided not to seek re-election the following year – became enraged: She had never heard from the Premier in the storm’s aftermath.

And so she sent the Premier a letter that made a pointed reference to a TV ad, filmed in Caledon, that showed Ms. Wynne out for a run. “Perhaps you have forgotten that Caledon is one of the GTA municipalities, not just a scenic location north of the city to film jogging commercials.”

Not long after, says Ms. Morrison, Ms. Wynne called her and said, “I got your letter … I don’t understand why you’re so upset.”

“I’ll tell you why,” the mayor replied, and chronicled Mr. Murray’s conduct. She says Ms. Wynne told her “I’ll be dealing with him.”

Ms. Morrison said that, at the time of that phone call, she didn’t realize that Solmar had donated $20,000 to Ms. Wynne’s 2012 leadership campaign – a sum that was among the largest contributions it received.

It was the last time she spoke with Ms. Wynne. 

10 Comments

    • PATRICIA Suddes says:

      Elizabeth is this the same economist that the liberals chose to ignore all of his advise.

      Have to wonder if this is part of the reason that Glen Murray resigned to go to the private sector.

    • Terry says:

      *This* is your reply to this story? Did you post to the wrong article?

      • Matt says:

        It’s called “whataboutism”.

        When someone reads a story about their team they have no defense for, they’ll bring up a completely unrelated negative story about the other team.

        • The Doctor says:

          Yes, much like the “But Hillary!” response that you constantly get from Trump supporters.

          • Fred from BC says:

            Yes, which is exactly the same as the “But Trump!” response that you constantly get from Hillary supporters (and the Democrats, and the Liberals, and the unions, and Hollywood, and the MSM…etc…etc..).

          • Nicole says:

            Hillary is a private citizen and making reference to her post election is ridiculous. Criticizing the sitting president for his ridiculous behaviour and erratic policies is what should be done and is completely fair game. The argument that somehow “Hillary supporters” are not allowed to criticize the absurd and lawless behaviour of the worst president in US history shows an extreme form of hypocrisy. He won. Now deal with the fact he has no ability to govern.

  1. Matthew L says:

    It’s well known that Murray is an arsehole.

  2. Pedro says:

    All of it stinks like hell and many of us who are not of this, Canadian, “Liberal” (a misnomer for a long time in light of the philosophy’s origins) persuasion have felt this has been the normal way of operating for them for many years. All the while understanding that it is practised by the other political persuasions as well. Like you said before, we Ontarians are now at the point of, “Yeah, so what? Big deal.” And yeah, Murray is an arsewhole.

  3. Pat Y. says:

    If one understands that the Chinese Communist Party is working around the clock for state capture of Canada by any means…

    “In March, 2011, an official school board delegation flew to Beijing to recruit students from China to study at public schools in Toronto. The group included Mr. Bolton and Mr. Quan, then associate director of education. At some point during the trip they were joined by Mr. Papathanasakis.

    Neither Mr. Papathanasakis, Mr. Bolton nor Ms. Quan have explained how it came to be that someone with no role at the school board joined the delegation. Mr. Papathanasakis attended some official meetings, according to a former school board official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    In response to questions from The Globe, Ms. Quan provided a one-sentence statement that said Mr. Papathanasakis “did not serve the TDSB in any capacity.” Mr. Papathanasakis would only say the purpose of his trip “was to visit a friend.” Globe & Mail, OCTOBER 24, 2014)

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