Monday, July 19, 2010

 

Not BC Rail, but tragic echoes as staff at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Ontario Realty Corp. under criminal investigation by OPP Anti-Rackets branch

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With July 20 update, at bottom of page.

Transportation Ministry, Ontario Realty Corp. raided in OPP probe

Karen Howlett
Globe and Mail - Monday, July 19, 2010



Staff at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation are under criminal investigation as part of a probe into “irregular” financial dealings with the private sector and the ministry has been identified as one of several raided last week by the Ontario Provincial Police.

A source familiar with the probe said OPP officers armed with search warrants arrived at the Transportation Ministry’s offices last Thursday, where they examined computer files dealing with the purchase of goods and services from private-sector suppliers.

The raid also involved Ontario Realty Corp. and a government official confirmed on the weekend that employees at the Ontario government’s real estate arm are also under investigation.

OPP officials said the force’s anti-rackets branch, which handles complex fraud investigations, has launched a probe into “irregular financial transactions” involving unnamed government ministries and outside suppliers.

The police may release additional information about the investigation as early as Monday, but it could take much longer, Superintendent Angie Howe said in an e-mail response to questions on Sunday.

But many questions remain unanswered about the probe, including just how many public sector employees are under investigation. It also is not known which other ministries are involved. All telephone calls and e-mails to government officials on the weekend were referred to Craig Sumi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Government Services, who said only that employees in “a few” ministries are part of the investigation.

The Transportation Ministry and Ontario Realty Corp. both have their offices in the Macdonald Block, a sprawling complex that houses ministries as well as senior bureaucrats and cabinet ministers.

Government sources stressed that the probe is confined to employees in the public sector and that no MPPs or their political staff are involved.

Nevertheless, it likely will be difficult for the McGuinty government to distance itself from a developing situation that could become its biggest scandal since eHealth.

{Snip} ...

Ontario Realty Corp. manages one of the largest real estate portfolios in Canada on behalf of the provincial government. Assets owned or leased by the Crown agency consist of vacant land as well as more than 6,000 buildings, including office towers, heritage buildings, courthouses and jails.

This is not the first time ORC employees have been embroiled in controversy. The Ontario government spent about $23-million in legal and consultant fees pursuing a long-running case dating back to 2000 and involving allegations of bid rigging and fraud at ORC.

The government sued four ORC employees and a group of outside contractors in 2000 for more than $35-million relating to about 40 transactions. After pursuing the case for more than seven years, lawyers acting for the government ended up going after seven of the transactions.


Read more HERE.


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New results for OPP raids Ontario ministries

Police investigate Ontario ministries - Yahoo! Canada News
Officers from the Ontario Provincial Police raided several ministries Thursday as part of their probe into these activities, but a senior government source ...
ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100717/.../opp_investigation

Ontario Energy Ministry staff face criminal probe 
The Globe and Mail
 OPP raids government complex after allegations of irregular business dealings; investigation includes ...
m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/.../article1643826/?...

'Irregular transactions' prompted Queen's Park OPP raid
... 
The Canadian Press  - July 18, 2010
TORONTO — At least two Ontario government ministries are ...
news.sympatico.ctv.ca/canada/irregular...park.../2eafc551

Transportation Ministry, Ontario Realty Corp. raided in OPP probe
India Times - July 18, 2010

Staff at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation are under criminal investigation as part of a probe into “irregular” financial dealings with the private ...
iplextra.indiatimes.com/article/00yS5El7WgeL8?q=Ontario

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OPP corruption investigation in Ontario Ministries - Political Forums
OPP corruption investigation in Ontario Ministries: McGuinty's next migraine. ...Officers also raided the home of one senior manager in that ministry. ...
www.mapleleafweb.com/forums//index.php?showtopic...


TheSpec.com - CanadaWorld - OPP plan update today on Ontario ...
The Ontario Provincial Police say they will release information today ... Officers raided several ministries Thursday as part of their probe into these ...
www.thehamiltonspectator.com/News/CanadaWorld/.../81009...


Transportation Ministry, Ontario Realty Corp. raided in OPP probe
Transportation Ministry, Ontario Realty Corp. raided in OPP probe - Staff at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation are under Criminal Investigation as ...
politifi.com/.../Transportation-Ministry-Ontario-Realty-Corp-r...


OPP, cabinet remain quiet on ministry raids - Yahoo! Canada News
OPP, cabinet remain quiet on ministry raids. Module body. 1 hour, 48 minutes ago . CALGARY (CBC) - The Ontario Provincial Police and the provincial cabinet...
ca.news.yahoo.com/.../canada_toronto_opp_government_inve...


OPSEU Local 217 - Transportation Ministry, Ontario Realty Corp ...
Transportation Ministry, Ontario Realty Corp. raided in OPP probe .. Staff at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation are under criminal ...
www.opseu217.com/mambo/index.php?option...id...

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BC Mary comment, updated Tues, July 20: Seems to me, there's plenty of eastern news coverage on the shocking subject of police raiding Ontario government offices (not the Ontario Legislature). But as Gary E pointed out, there's an equally shocking failure in British Columbia media to report Ontario's raids (which have similarities to BC's own police raids of Dec 28, 2003).

I'd like to suggest that readers follow up on the Ontario news online -- and leave comments which will help to inform or remind easterners that BC has been tortured by this same set of circumstances. Tell them it's more serious than they may think. In the big picture, it's about sovereignty: it's really about who's running the country, is it Organized Crime, or what? Tell them it definitely is not your average investigation.

Tell them that the BC Rail tragedy has a major real estate component, too, but that it never got the attention it deserved. Never in the mainstream media.

First clue to watch for (tell them): how well is the media doing its job of keeping the public informed?Tell them to keep asking the questions (persistently but politely) -- just keep asking, because it's important that the public should know and understand the situation. Cops and elections and governments don't blend well.

Tell them (as I've been trying to tell them for the past 6 years), we the people are all in this together. A good place to start leaving your comments is HERE.

It's just a hunch on my part, but my hunch is that the older, bigger, wiser Province of Ontario won't let themselves be run over as captive BC has been doing. But the point is now: BC  has been forced to learn a hard lesson, the hard way. So Ontario can learn from the BC experience.

Reach out. Join hands.  Let's wish them good luck as they start down this dismal road toward the big clean-up.

There are so many Ontario news reports, I won't re-post them all. Just google "Ontario police raids" and you'll see them. And please consider leaving your messages in their comments section.

I'll go back to searching, searching for BC Rail news (wondering, as I search, why Justice MacKenzie should ever have felt it necessary to invoke that terrible Publication Ban on the BC Rail trial).

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Comments:
See anything new on this from the MSM in BC, Mary? Almost as if they were trying to hide the reminder from BC. It appears everyone else is on it but not Canned Waste or whatever they want to call themselves now. New zebra, same stripes.
 
Y'know somethin' pathetic, Gary E? I didn't even LOOK for "anything new" or anything at all about the Ontario investigations in the West Coast newspapers ...

now isn't that truly pathetic?

So when your comment arrived, I set off on my due diligence and what did I find?

In Vancouver Sun, our flagship newspaper, an article about clever dogs; two articles about clever gamblers, stuff about U.S. movie stars ... and all that time-wasting, tree-wasting crap they use to fill up their pages without providing a clue about what's actually going on in this nation of ours.

I started wondering what would happen if they suddenly woke up, realized the dangers, needed our help to save the country, and wanted to get our attention ... ha ha ha ... what would they say, that we could believe??

Very good question, Gary E. But maybe the big difference is: the media originating in Ontario is on the story, has the news, and is publishing it. God bless 'em!

and what's more, the cops are Ontario too. Ontario Provincial Police. O.P.P.

I wish them well, and a speedy recovery.
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