William McDowell Appointed as Town Counsel for Judicial Inquiry

William McDowell has been appointed as the Town of Collingwood Counsel for the Judicial Inquiry investigating the 2012 sale of 50% of Collus to PowerStream.

The announcement was made during the Rise and Report portion of the June 11th meeting of Collingwood Council following an in-camera session.

The motion to appoint Mr. McDowell was put forward by Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson, seconded by Councillor Mike Edwards and approved by council.

Mr. McDowell has been a litigation lawyer for over 31 years. He practiced at McCarthy & McCarthy, later McCarthy Tétrault until 2005. In 2005 he assumed the role as Associate Deputy Minister of Justice for Canada dealing with, among other things, central agencies, civil litigation and national security questions. In that capacity McDowell dealt with the Arar inquiry (he is the joint recipient of a Department of Justice National Award for his work in resolving the Maher Arar vs. Canada case) with the Air India inquiry, the Milgaard inquiry and others.

In 2008, McCarthy was appointed by the Chief Justice of Ontario to mediate issues arising from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Inquiry into Aboriginal residential schools. He was subsequently appointed to an Amicus role by the Superior Court in connection with a series of land occupations in Brantford.

Mr. McDowell also acted as counsel to a corporate party in the 2002-2003 Waterloo judicial inquiry and in 2009 he was named Chief Commission Counsel to the City of Mississauga Judicial Inquiry, which delivered its report in October 2011.

He then stepped into the role as Lead Commission Counsel to the Wettlaufer inquiry looking in to the serial murders of the nursing home patients in southwestern Ontario.

Earlier in the evening, Collingwood CAO Fareed Amin provided Council with an update on the Judicial Inquiry.

Mr. Amin advised Council that he understands the Commission is now fully staffed with a Commissioner, a Counsel, an Assistant Counsel as well as a Communications Assistant.

Amin feels the documentary review will be conducted through the summer, with public hearings expected to begin in early fall.

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