Mr. Millroy once again last night supported our Mayor by attacking me and defamed me by comparing me to Donald Trump. It is very clear that Mr. Millroy is firmly in the Mayor’s camp not only because of the manipulative things he is writing about me but he has clearly come out of the closet in support for the Mayor by ignoring all of the Mayor’s failings and his clear efforts to keep his dealings at city hall hidden from scrutiny.
Seriously, when was the last time Mr. Millory ever agreed that failing to disclose something like severance payments was acceptable government behaviour?
Mr. Millroy claims that I have no plan and I simply have a slogan that can’t be achieved. I have a plan. I have published my plan, Mr. Millroy can see it on my website in English, French and Italian, he should have heard it in the debates and today it will be in his mailbox. By repeating the claim that I have no plan, I feel like he is “Gaslighting” his readers. Something that Trump does not me!
Mr. Millroy attacked me for saying that the city sued Essar while it was in the CCAA proceeding. The fact is that the proceeding brought by the city was the equivalent of a lawsuit within the CCAA proceeding. A lawsuit is a nonspecific term used to describe the process of settling a dispute in a court of law. The CCAA legislation gives the court discretion to allow or halt claims against an insolvent company. Mr. Millroy should read the legislation.
The Mayor spent almost $600,000 trying to collect money that the city had a legal right to collect. So to Mr. Millroy’s point: I called the proceeding a lawsuit. He says there was no lawsuit. Of course there was a lawsuit: The city took Essar before the court within the CCAA proceeding. There was sworn testimony, cross-examinations, a ruling and even an appeal. Instead Mr. Millroy sought to discredit me because I used the word lawsuit. Really? Is this the status of our political reporting? Or is it perhaps reporting by someone who isn’t interested in asking the tough questions—or hearing the answers? Wouldn’t you expect a veteran like Mr. Millroy to question why the Mayor spent $600,000 and what we got for it all?
Regarding MPAC, Mr. Millroy is insisting that Algoma just happened to be the fortuitous benefactor of a lower MPAC assessment as part of the normal process every four years. He is wrong. Essar appealed their $85 million assessment for the years 2014 to 2017. MPAC didn’t simply grant the lower assessment. Essar appealed and won and the city didn’t even bother to send anyone to review the Essar property during the course of the appeal. Mr. Millroy should read the court filings on the Ernst and Young website. There are numerous references to the assessment appeal started by Essar. For example in order dated May 17, 2017 at paragraph 13 the judge wrote:
Algoma points out that the assessment for  is under appeal and that the assessment recently received by Algoma for the years 2017 to 2020 is less than 50% of the 2016 assessment under appeal.
So not only did Algoma appeal their assessment for the years 2014 to 2016, but the city failed to appeal the assessment for the years 2017-2020. The Mayor dropped the ball on this. He spent money in the wrong court on the wrong fight and media is giving him a pass—and Mr. Millroy is giving him a pat on the head.
The Mayor told us we lost only about $4 Million in tax revenue but everything the city filed with the court and said under oath has the city stating that as of the date Algoma went into CCAA, they owed over $10MM and that the tax bill was growing at the rate of about $600,000 a month. Someone isn’t being straight here and frankly, the media is letting this slide.
Although Mr. Millroy did not acknowledge that I am correct when I state that the city tax rate for the industrial class went up over 56%, neither did he acknowledge that he was wrong. I guess that would have exposed the Mayor to criticism.
Mr. Millroy has once again alleged, wrongly and purposefully that I am claiming the Mayor obstructed my FOI request to find out how much money the city paid all the people that were sacked since the Mayor was elected. I never said that Mayor obstructed anything. That is a pure fabrication by Mr. Millroy who has taken a very clear position in this campaign.
Mr. Millroy, should be doing his job and digging to find the answer. I said the Mayor can tell us how much he has paid in severance costs, but he is refusing. If the Mayor was truly proud of his record on spending and transparency, I would not have needed to file the FOI request to find out how much was spent. I am fairly certain that in the past Mr. Millroy was critical of the amount earned by the spousal partner of the former police chief and that it was hidden from the public. Now that he has an agenda to support the Mayor, Mr. Millroy’s concern has evaporated.
Mr. Millroy even gives a lame pass to the Mayor and the way he controls councillors and council through the agenda review committee. I never alleged that the Mayor created the current practice that gives him control of the agenda committee. What I said is that as the leader of council, the Mayor has the ability to correct this concentration of power. Mr. Millory, who is has been a champion of openness and accountable government is completely sidestepping the main issue by purposely and wrongfully claiming that I said the Mayor created the committee structure. I never said that and Mr. Millroy knows it. As long as the number of councillors is less than 50% of the total committee, the Mayor can give up this control, secrecy and leverage over council.
If there is one thing I have learned since I have been here is that the Sault is in desperate need of a breath of fresh air. It’s sad that Mr. Millroy has abandoned his reputation of being a champion of openness and checks on government power. And he did it to support a Mayor who has the power of multigenerational wealth, family connections and failed to deliver on the promises he made to get elected.
Electing me will be the best way to send a signal that the old ways of doing business are over and that citizens are ready to move the city into a future of prosperity. I have built a platform with the input of thousands in the community and I am proud of the work our team is doing in addressing the difficult issues, even if some in the media have already made up their minds.