The wheels are now turning to begin the process of a Judicial Inquiry into the sale of 50 percent of Collus to Power Stream in 2012.
The Process Begins
The official letter dated March 6, 2018 and signed by Mayor Sandra Cooper has now been sent from the Town of Collingwood to The Honourable Chief Justice Heather J. Forster Smith – Superior Court of Justice.
With it was a true certified copy of Resolution 042-18, requesting that a judge be appointed pursuant to s. 274 of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25 to conduct an inquiry.
The letter asks that any further correspondence be directed to Fareed Amin, Chief Administrative Officer for the Corporation of the Town of Collingwood.
So now the investigation will move forward.
William. C. McDowell from the law firm Lenczner Slaght was hired in August 2015 by the Town of Collingwood to do a high level review of the share purchase transaction of the utilities of Collingwood, the Collus group of companies.
McDowell said in his presentation to Council on Monday February 26, 2018 that upon the passage of the motion, the first step required would be to send a letter from Mayor Sandra Cooper as the head of council to the Chief Justice, attaching a resolution formally requesting that a judge be appointed to conduct the inquiry.
This has now been down. McDowell then explained to Council what would happen next.
“It will take the Chief Justice a little bit of time to pick the judge. The judge will take some time to pick his or her Chief Counsel and other lawyers and then there would be a meeting if I had to guess probably in 30 or 45 days between the Town of Collingwood’s lawyers and the lawyers to the commission to discuss the steps thereafter. There would be a hearing to decide who is formally going to be granted party status in the inquiry. There would be a call for the production of documents and the delivery of summonses or subpoenas as they are often known, and I would anticipate that if the judge proceeds in the way that he or she is requested to proceed and that is to do a documentary review and then focused hearings, I wouldn’t think those hearings would begin until 2019.”
At the same time, the Town remains under the microscope of an active OPP Anti-Rackets Branch investigation
On Tuesday March 6th, Staff Sergeant Carolle Dionne, Provincial Media Relations Coordinator with the Ontario Provincial Police confirmed to CollingwoodLiving.com that the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch Town of Collingwood investigation remains active.
“In answer to your questions, yes the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch investigation is still active. However, we can’t provide details on the content of the investigation. “
“There will be no duplication of efforts in work done by a judicial inquiry and investigative work being done by the OPP.”
While not able to comment on any details or the current status of the Collingwood OPP investigation, Dionne was able to tell us that the judicial inquiry launched by Collingwood Council would not in any way negatively impact the ongoing OPP investigation.
“I can provide some input on your comments about duplication involving the OPP investigation and the work of a pending judicial inquiry. Should a judicial inquiry commence in relation to the various aspects of the sale of Collus to PowerStream. The OPP investigation will not be negatively impacted in any way. There will be no duplication of efforts in work done by a judicial inquiry and investigative work being done by the OPP.”
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