Corruption rampant in City of Toronto

RE: Mayor Ford gravy train wreck begins, Mar. 4

Whoever wrote this editorial obviously isn’t a Torontonian nor do they keep up to date on daily municipal affairs in Toronto.

This was just announced on Monday with Board responses yesterday. But news of it was already known since last Thursday and Friday. Maybe more research should have been done into the “gravy train wreck” as you so call it before you start hating.

The rampant spending culture at Toronto Community Housing Corporation (THCH) has been a long time issue and only represents just a small facet of what illegitimate spending is happening.

The Auditor General reported that poor enforcement of THCH expense policy has led to inappropriate expenses being approved — as much as $200,000 worth. These include a $40,000 Christmas staff dinner, $1,000 in Holt Renfrew chocolates and the services of four massage practitioners who offered “short relaxation massages for staff” at a summer picnic at a cost of $800.

Additionally, a deal worth nearly $5 million was awarded to a Chinese bathroom fixture supplier. The agreement appears to have been sole-sourced and “completely informal.” In another $500,000 sole-source contract with a Chinese supplier, the overseas agent who facilitated the deal was a “long-time friend” of TCHC staff. The conflict was not declared in writing.

Finally, a $25 million refurbishment deal was given to a vendor who put forward an unsolicited proposal. “Other contracts may have been able to provide similar or in fact additional benefits,” Griffiths wrote. “It is not possible to determine this without a competitive process.” The fact is that newly released information very much points out evidence of wasteful spending that the Cord editorial all but ignores and actually refutes in order to reach its conclusion.

—Tony Ho

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