By: Surjit Singh Flora
City of Brampton councils always get into Some kinds of controversial issue mostly it’s Taxpayers money that poured into it without any accountability and the tax dollars are likely to be abused.
Taxpayers have tied of this all the propagandas with enough heat, discontinued and they do not need a repeat of the same. Brampton’s acting city manager Joe Pittari must do his homework, and not be swayed by a few unscrupulous individuals those doing a favor to gain votes.
Actually, councilors sat on the Board, knowing full well what was going on. They just follow one rules and regulation you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your attitude.
This time, on July 10, Brampton chamber endorsed $150,000 in subsidizing for Neighborhood Watch Brampton, which worked by similar individuals “media association” with nearby news outlet Brampton Focus. for a pilot time of a half year.
Appears two of the sitting councilors Paul Vicente and Rowena Santos Ward 1 and Ward 5 have connections to the not-revenue driven news source.
“Brampton Focus was made, by local people who volunteer their time, and self-money a communicate media office. Especially in a network that had no genuine voice,” Michael A. former Brampton Focus host wrote in his column in May 2017.
Mayor Patrick Brown told the board that talks with Brampton Focus managers Don McLeod and Fazal Khan had been continuous for a half year, or in all respects soon after Brampton’s new gathering was confirmed last December. He included they had initially requested $300,000 in subsidizing.
McLeod and Khan have been behind the volunteer-run neighborhood watch program and Brampton Focus for quite a while; however, the associations are discrete elements.
An ongoing staff report to the committee said Brampton Focus is Neighborhood Watch Brampton’s “parent organization.” The city is stressing the “network wellbeing” part of the activity as a staff report depicted the association with Brampton Focus as a chance to utilize the news source to “advance city informing.”
The city’s media relations office noticed the committee goals taught “Key Communications band together with Brampton Focus, where pertinent, to give video creation and substance benefits, and guarantee the outlet proactively gets the city’s correspondences to share over their social channels as a way to improve network security.”
Despite their close ties and history with both organizations and its principals, neither Vicente or Santos declared pecuniary interests before voting to give former colleagues and the media channel they worked with a significant amount of taxpayers’ money.
Vicente was one of Brampton Focus ‘ founding directors, which was initiated after municipal elections in 2014 by local politicians and unsuccessful candidates. Santos served on the board of directors of the internet broadcaster.
“Paul Vicente and Rowena Santos were Brampton Focus volunteer members until they formally resigned in December 2017. Neither have they received compensation in their positions as organization volunteers, “the couple declared in an official joint declaration.
“As mayor, I see no conflict. They are hard-working, passionate community activists that volunteered with a not-for-profit,” said Brown.
But recently documents obtained by Community activist Bruce Marshall claims that a Brampton City Councillor is still on the Board of Directors of Brampton Focus and should not have voted on the contract to award them $150,000 at the July 10th meeting of the city council.
“This past weekend I forward a document from the Ontario Ministry of Government Services to the Brampton Integrity Commissioner.
The document is stamped and signed by a government official on every page. It is a certified true copy”, said Bruce Marshall
The document, which is attached, lists the Directors and Officers of Brampton Focus Media Inc.
The Directors listed are as follows:
Donald McLeod ( President), Karla Bailey ( Secretary), Joseph Cassian ( Treasurer), Michael Gyovai ( Vice-President), Fazal Khan ( Executive Director), Hardeep Kalirah (Director), and Paul Vicente ( Director)
“I have forwarded this document to the Integrity Commissioner so that it can be authenticated by her because taxpayers deserve to know that everything was above board in awarding this contract to Brampton Focus. Right now, they are not so sure.”
“The document was produced on July 18, 2019. It is stamped in bold print as a CORPORATION POINT IN TIME REPORT as of July 10, 219. This was the date of the vote at Brampton City Council. The data suggests at least one of the councillors should have abstained from debating or voting in this issue. His participation calls the whole process into question.”
Marshall added, “People tell me they believe City Council should hold off on issuing any cheques to Brampton Focus Community Media Inc. They say, ‘Let’s get to the bottom of this and clear the air’. Since the Brampton Focus contract has come to light, many, many people have contacted me with valuable information about how Brampton Focus really operates.”
“Taxpayers want the mayor and the 10 city councillors to explain why they didn’t ask for a list of the Board of Directors before agreeing to hand over $150,000 of taxpayers money to Brampton Focus. I think the City Manager has some explaining to do too. Was it incompetence or was it a deliberate attempt to mislead the public? You decide.”