Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion’s reputation for integrity has come under close scrutiny at a judicial inquiry amid testimony that her son’s company was “using” her to facilitate a $14.4-million land deal — and by notes that have her attending a previously unreported private meeting on the subject.
The second phase of the Mississauga inquiry opened with dramatic testimony Thursday involving emails and documents connected to Michael Nobrega, head of OMERS, the $40-billion municipal employees pension fund.
They raise questions about how deeply the mayor was involved in the controversial deal, by which son Peter McCallion’s company, World Class Developments, had hoped to purchase a prime piece of downtown land from an OMERS subsidiary.
Peter McCallion’s company wanted to build a hotel and convention centre on the site, a project the mayor strongly favoured.
“The important thing is to maintain our relationship with the city, and we have done this to date,” Michael Kitt of Oxford, a subsidiary of OMERS, wrote to Nobrega Dec. 14, 2008, not long before OMERS terminated the tentative deal because certain conditions had not been met.
“I don’t trust the buyer (World Class), and there is no doubt they are using Hazel in this process, but it is difficult to tell her that, especially with her son involved,” Kitt wrote.
The meeting with Nobrega took place the previous March, as detailed in an internal memo.