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Statement by Janice Baker, City Manager and CAO, City of Mississauga, October 3, 2011

Oct 03, 2011

Statement by Janice Baker, City Manager and CAO, City of Mississauga, October 3, 2011
Re: Report of the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry

This morning, City of Mississauga Council Members and staff received a copy of the Judicial Inquiry report authored by The Honourable J. Douglas Cunningham, Commissioner. The Judicial Inquiry has taken almost two years from start to finish. The City will now take the necessary time to review the report and consider its recommendations. Staff will then be in a position to take appropriate action, including advising City Council in regard to the matters addressed in the report that relate to the operations of the Corporation of the City of Mississauga. There are recommendations in the report that relate to matters that are not within the jurisdiction of the municipality to act upon. Municipalities only have authority over those matters delegated to them by the Province. As such, we will only be addressing those matters that are within our control.

The report finds that, "the members of City staff were not influenced by the Mayor or by Peter McCallion in their conduct" and that "City staff did not stand to benefit financially and provided no preferential treatment to WCD (World Class Developments)." The report also states that City staff acted in good faith by advancing the application. We will now review the legal merits of pursuing the recovery of application fees and will report back to Council.

I want to acknowledge the professional way our staff throughout the Corporation have continued to carry out their duties and responsibilities in accordance with our values of Trust, Quality and Excellence. The City cooperated fully with the Inquiry in providing all requested documentation in the form prescribed by Commission Counsel, and ensuring that appropriate space and security was provided. I appreciate that Mr. Justice Cunningham in his report has acknowledged the excellence of our City staff and the honesty and integrity in which staff answered questions during interviews and during their testimony.

Trust, Quality and Excellence have been hallmarks of our municipality for many years, long before the Judicial Inquiry. The City has a well-earned reputation and tradition of living these values in everything we do. We have demonstrated our commitment to our values by taking actions to make our processes open, transparent and accessible to the public, and we will continue to do this.

The City of Mississauga has had conflict of interest rules in place governing staff conduct for many years and City Council has adopted a Code of Conduct and established a municipal Integrity Commissioner to assist City Council in remaining a leader in such matters. The recommendations coming out of this Inquiry will allow us to review our policies and procedures once again and in doing so, ensure we meet or exceed current best practices.

I thank Mr. Justice Cunningham for recognizing that City of Mississauga employees acted responsibly and professionally in the matters related to the WCD transactions that were the subject of this Inquiry. Justice CunninghamÂ’s factual findings respecting the real estate transactions explored by the Inquiry, are aligned with the conclusions reached in the external legal opinion obtained before the Judicial Inquiry was called. We support any opportunity to review what we are doing and how we are doing it, and to ensure we have open and fair processes in place to provide the best local governance and services possible for our residents and businesses.

As City Manager, it is now my responsibility to thoroughly review the Inquiry report with appropriate staff and take the necessary action to ensure that the City continues to exemplify our corporate values in every service and program we deliver. I am proud of all the staff that appeared before the inquiry as they followed our values of Trust, Quality Excellence. As the Commissioner states, "Mississauga is one of Canada's great urban success stories."

Janice M. Baker, FCA
City Manager and CAO
City of Mississauga

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