A black SUV glides along a leafy street in Etobicoke and stops in front of Doug Ford (open Doug Ford's policard)’s home. It’s dark, but the driver’s shock of bright blond hair identifies him a block away.
I walk over as he loads boxes of food into the SUV for the next day’s Thanksgiving food drive, and I ask how his brother is doing.
He looks up and groans. “Awwww, not too good,” he says. Mayor Rob Ford (open Rob Ford's policard) is undergoing chemotherapy at Mount Sinai Hospital and has more sessions ahead of him. Doctors can’t say how many.
He expected to lose his hair, says Doug, but not that his head would hurt so much.
“He’s not finished with chemo but today he told his doctor, ‘No more!’ ” Doug says. “The doctor looked him straight in the eye and said, ‘You’ll be dead by Christmas.’ ”
That changed Rob’s mind. What choice does he have if he wants a chance at life?
“It rips my heart right out,” Doug says as we head up the walk. “I have to hold myself together when I’m with him.”
There’s never been any doubt about the strong ties, both emotional and political, between Rob and Doug Ford, whose seeming interchangeability led Doug to replace the ailing Rob as mayoral candidate on Sept. 12.
And for opponents of the Fords’ policies, they’ve been equally reviled and attacked.
Some see Doug as the brains while Rob is the more visceral politician. And there is no shortage of Doug Ford foes at City Hall who, off-the-record, decry what they describe as “thuggish” behaviour. They say he’s a “bully,” has “no shame” and “refuses to listen to advice.” Rival John Tory calls him “the hammer.”
There’s also no doubt about the bonds of loyalty within Doug’s own family. Another side of him is evident at home, a place full of warmth and activity.
The dichotomy of the man can be striking. He’s goofy about his pets and adores his daughters, “his four angels.” And yet he’s overheard after a debate referring to someone as “a little bitch” — photographers say he was referring to the Star’s Jennifer Pagliaro but Ford maintains it was about another person. In any case, one knows he would never abide such language being applied to any of his girls.
A loveable lab waits on the mat in the front hall shaking with excitement. Hard to believe Buddy is 15. “All he wants is to be petted the whole time,” says Doug in mock exasperation.
Star photographer David Cooper and I get settled in the living room, along with Ford campaign aide Amin Massoudi. Doug, who will be 50 on Nov. 20, and his wife, Karla, sit together on a high-backed couch and Buddy plants himself on Doug’s feet.
The room is furnished with pale tones, fancy yet lived-in.
It’s an animal-friendly home. Besides Buddy, there are four cats — sisters Charlie and Sassy, 11, Roxy, 8 and Jimmy 2.
I look up and see Charlie, with her long, cream-coloured fur, curled up on another couch. Cats are not allowed on the furniture. “NO!” shouts Doug from across the room.
Karla jumps in: “I’ll spray her later,” she says, pointing to a water bottle. “And I don’t fool around. I give good sprays.”
Charlie opens an eye and yawns.
The family has deep roots in Toronto and Etobicoke. Doug Ford Sr. met his wife, Diane, at Sunnyside Beach, where he was a lifeguard in the ’50s. He’d grown up poor in the east end, the youngest of 9, raised by a single mother. He was an all-round athlete, a powerful swimmer who had huge respect for Marilyn Bell because, he said, he couldn’t withstand the freezing water of Lake Ontario the way she did when she swam across.
Doug tells the family stories. His dad asked Diane if she wanted a ride home. “There was a Caddy and a Lincoln. She was all excited. And in between was a Triumph motorcycle. ‘Hop on,’ he said. We figure she was disappointed.
“They had just oiled the road to keep the dust down and he wiped out. Mom went one way, the bike went the other — and my Dad went over to check on his bike first.”
The story still gets a big laugh, just as it did for Doug Sr. He started the family business, Deco Labels and Tags Inc., raised four children, Kathy, Randy, Doug and Rob, and served in Mike Harris’s Conservative Ontario government from 1995 until 1999.
He retired from the business at 67, dividing it up for his sons, 40 per cent each for Doug and Randy and 20 per cent for Rob.
He then spent his time at home, making suggestions to his wife about how things should be done until Diane Ford called Doug to say, “Dad’s not working and he doesn’t know what to do with his time. Puh-leeze find something for him. If you don’t, I’m going to kill him.”
Doug Ford Sr. died of colon cancer in 2006.
More mayoral profiles on thestar.com
Doug Jr. surprised dark-haired Karla Middlebrook with a ring while they watched a hockey game on a date. They’ve been married almost 30 years and have an easy, teasing banter, the kind that’s hard to manufacture for a reporter’s benefit.
They had met at a pool party at his parents’ home in Etobicoke. “His eyes met my eyes,” says Karla. “I was shy and quiet so I didn’t approach him. My mom and dad both loved him because he was a respectable young man. My mom said, ‘He takes care of his mother and a man like that will take care of his wife.’ ”
“I was built like Charles Atlas, I was 190 pounds of dancing dynamite,” says Doug in what feels like a well-worn family line. Four daughters later, they still have date night once a week. Maybe a meal out or a movie.
All their girls — Krista, 24, Kayla, 22, Kara, 20 and Kyla, 19 — are blond like their dad.
Karla, who has an easy, affable way about her, has been active in her husband’s mayoral campaign, canvassing door-to-door. And criticism of Doug has been tough for her.
She says it was “ridiculous” there was controversy over her husband’s claim she’s Jewish.
“I do have Jewish blood,” says Karla, explaining her mother’s parents came from Europe separately to flee persecution. “Doug isn’t anti-Semitic or homophobic or racist. I know the truth, but he’s judged by harsh criticism of people who don’t know. Bully — that’s the worst.”
She grew up in the city’s west end. Her father, Bill, who died in 1994, used to tell Doug stories about being in the army in World War II. Karla’s mother, Julie, has Alzheimer’s, and she goes to the home to help care for her every day. “She still knows me, I know she does.”
If Doug’s elected, Karla says, she want to do something for Alzheimer’s patients and, she adds, “I’d like to help animals.”
They say they’ve had to deal with “serious threats” against their family (some reported to police in June 2013), particularly ugly slurs against their daughters. For that reason, they didn’t want their girls to be photographed. Doug says threats have also come to their Florida home.
With so much criticism from his colleagues, praise comes from unexpected sources. Toronto Centre — Rosedale Councillor Krystyn Wong-Tam calls Doug “very approachable” and says that “from Day One we’ve had a cordial relationship even though we’re on opposite sides.” She’s an activist politician who came out as a lesbian in high school, while Ford is staunchly on the right. “If you get on his bad side, watch out,” says Wong-Tam. “He can be vindictive.”
Unlike his brother Rob, Doug says he’ll march in the Pride Parade as mayor and says he’s taken his daughters in past years.
This Ford is master grassroots politician. A millionaire with property in Florida and Muskoka and the company he co-inherited from his father, he’s adept at creating the impression he fights for the people against “the elites.” As is his brother.
He checks name tags and often calls people by their first names. A waiter, for example, who has just met him will say Doug’s “a guy you can count on.” His handshake is firm and eye contact, direct.
In his brief time on the campaign trail, he’s made some astute moves. Arguably, it was smarter to talk to fans at the Maple Leaf home opener than attend a debate on social issues at Regent Park. There would be more debates. And don’t people who are barely scraping by on low-wage jobs understand why he spurned the Empire Club speech with a table of 10 going for $800? Not bad optics as long as his wealth is overlooked.
“I’ve learned a lot from Rob,” says Doug. “He might have poor personal judgment but his political sense is perfect. He has the heartbeat — the pulse — of Toronto in every different area.
“You know why? Because he makes 70, maybe 80 calls a day. He knows what’s going on.”
Doug entered the race late, on Friday, Sept. 12, just before the 2 p.m. cutoff for candidate registration. He says it was a scramble after Rob was diagnosed with a mass on his abdomen. It turned out to be malignant and a rare form of cancer.
Doug says Rob told him of stomach pain at breakfast on Wednesday, Sept. 10, adding it began when he was in rehab in June.
The last-minute shuffle, with Rob entering the race for councillor in Ward 2, started rumours of a bait-and-switch. The change had been predicted in a tweet in July from Rob’s 2010 campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis, now on John Tory’s election team. “You heard it here first,” he wrote.
Doug insists it “really came down to that last day and events that unfolded at the last minute.”
Kouvalis says he believes the Fords and hopes for Rob’s recovery. In a phone interview, he says he made the prediction because he always knew “Doug really wanted to be mayor. Doug has been after power from Day 1.”
Jeff Silverstein, Ford’s communications manager, denies that his boss wanted the mayor’s job from the beginning.
In November 2012, when Rob Ford lost a conflict of interest case and an Ontario Superior Court judge ordered him removed from office, Kouvalis says Doug phoned to say he wanted to push for a byelection and asked Kouvalis to be his campaign manger. Rob opposed the move and eventually won his appeal.
Doug’s ambition isn’t a secret. In June 2012, Star urban affairs reporter David Rider wrote that Doug was eager to run provincially if then premier Dalton McGuinty called a snap election. It didn’t happen.
Doug has largely avoided his brother’s scandals. However, the Globe published an investigation in May 2013 that alleges Doug was the go-to dealer for hashish in central Etobicoke in the 1980s. “It’s all lies,” says Doug. “None of it is true.”
The Globe has stood by its investigation. Ford said he would sue but hasn’t.
“I don’t drink or do drugs,” he says. “I don’t even take aspirin. My drink is chocolate milk.”
* * *
An hour into the interview, Buddy is still jammed against Doug’s feet, his pale fur by now covering his dark blue suit. “Ah Buddy,” Doug says, trying to push the dog away. A futile gesture.
“I like cats too,” says Doug. “I just don’t like four of them sleeping on my head.”
Karla blames Doug for Buddy’s extra weight. “They bond over cookies and milk at midnight,” she says.
Their daughters are all “fitness fanatics,” says Doug.” They track every ounce of food that goes in their mouths.”
He includes his wife in that claim. Until a recent injury she got up at five every morning to work out for two hours. She’s cut it to one hour. Meanwhile, their youngest, Kyla, has won numerous fitness and cheerleading competitions.
Their second daughter, Kara, has a broadcast television diploma from Conestoga College. “Who ever thought a Ford kid would be in the media?” jokes Doug, who along with Rob has repeatedly claimed reporters have a vendetta against the Fords. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
OTTAWA—Thousands of Canadians turned out Friday to salute a fallen soldier’s emotional return home and his comrades’ brave return to duty.
From Ottawa to Hamilton, bystanders packed the overpasses and crowded the roadside to stand in silent tribute as a motorcade carried the body of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo to his hometown.
Travelling along the Highway of Heroes, the stretch of Highway 401 where the casualties of Canada’s Afghan campaign were returned home, a crush of bystanders waving Canadian flags and wearing poppies gave Cirillo an outpouring of support and sympathy.
Cirillo, the father of a six-year-old boy, was shot and killed Wednesday as he stood ceremonial guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. His attacker later stormed Parliament, where he was shot and killed by police and security staff.
In Pickering, a crowd of some 300 people gathered on the Brock St. bridge while hundreds more lined the side of a nearby mall. Many had been there since before 2 p.m., more than four hours before the procession carrying Cirillo passed by.
The crowd was quite chatty until the flashing lights of the police escort appeared on the horizon. Then the crowd fell silent and started into a somber rendition of O Canada as the motorcade passed under the bridge.
Pickering firefighters parked their truck in the middle of the bridge and stood at top it waving a Canadian flag.
With the motorcade en route, Cirillo’s family issued a statement thanking Canadians for their support in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“There are no words to express the sadness that has fallen upon us all. We take comfort knowing Nathan has done our country proud,” Capt. Robert Andrushko said, as he read the family’s statement in Hamilton Friday evening.
“The support of the nation in this devastating time provides a measure of comfort and helps make this almost bearable.”
Cirillo’s family said the reservist with the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders “loved the army.
“He had a strong and unwavering devotion to duty. He understood what it meant to sustain freedom. He was fearless. Nathan would have done his duty, even if he knew this tragedy was coming,” Andrushko said.
As Cirillo was being returned home, his military colleagues resumed their duties at the National War Memorial.
Since Wednesday, the expansive monument had been a crime scene as police investigated the site where Cirillo was shot, collapsing next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
When the police tape was taken down, the monument to the casualties of Canada’s past conflicts become a moving memorial to a soldier slain on that very spot.
Then with little advance warning Friday, word filtered out that the ceremonial guards would resume their posts.
Just before 2 p.m., before a crowd of several hundred onlookers — as well as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gen. Tom Lawson, the chief of defence staff — watched the soldiers return to the war memorial.
A bagpiper led the ceremonial guard to the foot of the tomb. With the quiet order “take posts,” Cpls. Daniel Germaine and Mark Daigle marched into position at the base of the monument. A swelling applause from the crowd broke the silence.
On Friday, more was being learned about final movements of Cirillo’s killer, Michael Zahaf-Bibeau.
Montreal newspaper La Presse reported that he spent the night before the assault at his aunt’s rural cottage in Mont-Tremblant.
As well, the Star has learned that Zahaf-Bibeau bought the grey 1995 Toyota Corolla from an Ottawa family, who say the man was agitated and made a scene at the provincial licensing office.
The RCMP have said that Zahaf-Bibeau had “intentions” for the car but have not elaborated.
The murder of Cirillo and the attack on two soldiers earlier in the week by a man police say had been radicalized have raised fears of domestic terrorism. The Conservative government is pledging to give security agencies additional powers to combat the threat, a debate that will dominate Ottawa next week.
The earlier attack on two soldiers — who were mowed down by a car in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, south of Montreal — killed 53-year-old Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.
His family issued a statement Friday, saying his death “will create a huge void in our hearts” and described him as a bon vivant who was well-liked by all.
“Patrice was very proud to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces. He did what he loved and we supported during the 28 years he served. “
With files from Joanna Smith, Tim Alamenciak and Chris So
OTTAWA—The Conservative government suggested Friday it will bring in even tougher anti-terror powers than previously planned, as a highly charged week of violence left MPs emotionally drained and the opposition warning against a rush to legislative change.
Through strategic leaks and oblique references by Conservative ministers Friday, the government suggested it would look at lowering the legal threshold for taking “preventive action” against terror suspects.
Leaked media reports suggested the Conservatives are mulling new hate speech legislation that would make it illegal to claim online that terrorist acts are justified.
Justice Minister Peter MacKay hinted at changes to the Criminal Code to “allow for more preventative action,” and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney suggested lower legal thresholds to allow for preventive detention of suspected foreign fighters who are intent on travelling abroad to participate in terror activity.
Those powers would be on top of amendments already previewed to increase the leeway for CSIS to track Canadian targets through intelligence-sharing with foreign agencies, and to provide blanket anonymity for CSIS informants whose intelligence federal prosecutors want to use as evidence in court.
Blaney said he is focused on making sure “we get the information which is critical, the intelligence. There’s only one way to do make that very operational, it’s to protect our sources.”
Blaney said the first bill to amend the CSIS act and others — heavily promoted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and others in recent weeks — will be tabled as soon as possible.
In an interview with CBC’s Power and Politics, Blaney cited the deaths of two Canadian soldiers, saying: “We owe it to Nathan Cirillo; we owe it to Patrice Vincent; we owe it to those who are putting their lives at risk for us.”
Asked about trying to prevent the spread of hate on the Internet, Blaney acknowledged that “there are some options that are contemplated at this point in time.”
But he refused further comment on the reports citing unnamed government sources that said the government is contemplating legislation that would make it an offence to spread terrorist ideology or condone terrorist acts online.
Asked if he would provide more money to national security and law enforcement agencies, Blaney said “we are certainly contemplating ways in which we can” give more tools and resources.
NDP justice critic Françoise Boivin was deeply skeptical, saying, “It’s very hard to control hate.”
“Sometimes it’s more a question of giving the tools, giving the manpower, having the people trained to do certain things that maybe we should be looking at before we start saying, ‘Oh we don’t have those’ ” laws.
Boivin said before even broader powers are enacted, there should be a clear-eyed assessment of what worked and what didn’t work to prevent Monday’s and Wednesday’s attacks.
“I’m tired of adopting some type of legislation and all types of legislation. We’re facing the government who’s got the biggest law and order agenda and basically what they’re saying this week is that it must have failed them dramatically.”
Because they seem to not exactly know where they’re going and they seem to say to us, “If we need more tools, we’ll be joining with them with — no problems, because it’s our first obligation as security for our Canadians,” said Boivin, but the government has to make that case first.
As MPs left Parliament after a highly charged week, many seemed exhausted, and simply looked forward to time at home.
Conservative MP Erin O’Toole, a lawyer and former Sea King navigator who responded to the 1998 Swiss Air disaster that killed 229 people, said his past military search and rescue experience helped him process the week’s events.
But O’Toole suggested for others, the stress may not truly be felt until they leave Ottawa.
O’Toole said he has talked to friends in the opposition about ways to reduce the pressure on MPs, now that the symbolic show of getting Parliament reopened and back to work is done, suggesting they are discussing rescheduling parliamentary sitting time, maybe moving up a “constituency week” or break scheduled for November, or not sitting on Fridays for a few weeks.
“The whole environment needs to decompress,” he said.
OTTAWA—Justin Bourque was not a terrorist, but he terrorized.
The 24-year-old murdered three RCMP officers and wounded two others in an attack on Canada’s east coast this summer.
Described as depressed, emotionally and financially unstable, Bourque sparked a manhunt before he was finally caught, shutting down the city of Moncton, N.B., for 30 hours. Bourque was later deemed mentally fit to stand trial and pleaded guilty.
On Monday, he will be in court again to hear the victim impact statements from the injured and relatives of the dead.
By definition, Bourque was a “lone wolf,” someone who acted without outside influence, driven by personal impulses still not understood. Bourque’s father said his son sounded paranoid during their last conversation. “It was as if another person was speaking,” Victor Bourque told the court.
There are similarities between Bourque and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the 32-year-old who terrorized the nation’s capital on Wednesday.
Both men were angry. Both were battling inner demons, although Zehaf-Bibeau, who was estranged from his parents, had a much longer history: problems with drugs, alcohol and petty crime, struggling with mental health issues.
But the implications of Zehaf-Bibeau killing a soldier and striking the heart of the country’s capital with Ottawa’s involvement in the war against the so-called Islamic State group in Syria, are far reaching.
In the shock, grief and burst of patriotism that follows such acts, there have been calls for new terror laws, greater police powers, tighter security and headlines that read: “Canada Under Attack.”
This fear of Canada under siege by “homegrown terrorists” was only heightened by the fact that Zehaf-Bibeau stormed Parliament after he fatally shot 24-year-old Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial just two days after Martin Couture-Rouleau killed a Canadian soldier in a hit-and-run in Quebec.
Couture-Rouleau, too, was a lone wolf, and roughly fits the profile of what security services have warned in recent years will be the next wave of terrorists.
The threat has increased recently with a combustible mix: the rise of ISIS and the West’s failure to stop the slaughter of President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria.
ISIS is adept at online propaganda, speaking to disenfranchised young people, offering a sense of belonging and direction to those who have neither. Canada’s prominent military role in fighting ISIS and strong war rhetoric from Ottawa has helped bring home what many Canadians likely regarded as a distant war.
Last month, an ISIS spokesperson issued a rambling 42-minute speech calling for attacks wherever, whenever, if adherents of the group could not travel abroad: “If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — or an Australian, or a Canadian . . . kill him in any manner or way however it may be,” he said.
There is no evidence to show the attacks this week were inspired by these words, but both men were hoping to go to Syria, and frustrated by their difficulty in travelling.
Couture-Rouleau, who had waited in a parking lot for at least two hours Monday before he drove his car into two soldiers, killing 53-year-old Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, had had his passport seized when he tried to fly to Syria, via Turkey earlier this year. The RCMP had already designated him a “high-risk traveller.”
Zehaf-Bibeau was delayed in getting a passport due to security questions regarding his criminal history, which, according to those who last spoke to him, was a source of great angst.
But while ISIS has undoubtedly increased the stakes, lone wolf terrorism is not new.
“The study of terrorism is a speculative endeavour at best, with cultural and personal biases potentially affecting explanations as to why individuals or groups may resort to violence against a wide range of targets,” writes Jeffrey D. Simon in his book, The Growing Threat of Lone Wolf Terrorism.
Simon says the most important aspect to the lone wolf terrorism phenomenon is the Internet, which allows people to become “infatuated with extremist ideologies.”
Before Anders Behring Breivik bombed downtown Oslo on July 20, 2011, and then systematically gunned down 62 teenagers and young adults at a summer camp for Norway’s Labour Party, the 32-year-old Norwegian posted a 1,500-page manifesto online calling for an end to “the Islamic colonization and Islamisation of Western Europe.”
Norway’s dignified and measured response in the immediate wake of such a horrific terrorist attack is often held up as the model of how a country should deal with national tragedy.
Canada’s time has come — the next few weeks and months will reveal how we cope.
Based on the facts known to date, it is unclear if new security laws or more resources may have not have stopped men like Zehaf-Bibeau and Couture-Rouleau, any more than they could have stopped Bourque.
“As my colleague in Quebec said, even if we had surveillance on Rouleau, in the parking lot, we probably would not have been in a position to have stopped his attack on those soldiers. That’s the kind of threat we’re having to deal with,” RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told a press conference Thursday.
As for Zehaf-Bibeau, Paulson said: “We didn’t know that this individual was in Ottawa, had that intention and of course had we known that we all would have acted on that in defense.”
But in echoing comments made earlier by the head of the Canadian Security Service Intelligence Service, Paulson also stated that the security services were overwhelmed.
And in this sense, some have suggested that the examination of what went wrong should extend beyond looking to the actions of inactions of the RCMP, CSIS or Canada’s Muslims communities, which have widely denounced the acts.
“In many cases the kind of person who becomes radicalized and tries to pull off a lone wolf terror attack would, in the absence of becoming radicalized, commit some other violent crime,” says David Welch, senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and chair of Global Security. “The problem is not Muslim radicalization so much as maladjusted males.”
Welch said many who turn to the Internet and are “self-radicalized” are detected and intercepted. But there will always be the elusive lone wolf and he said that problem must be kept in perspective.
“Such people will never bring down the state or succeed in doing more than inflicting local, limited damage,” he said. “That is not to belittle the tragedy of the death or injury of their innocent victims, but the tragedies here are personal, not national, and we need to keep that in fact in view.”
Follow Michelle Shephard on Twitter @shephardm. Contact her at email@example.com .
Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell has dramatically reduced the amount she must pay back to taxpayers after appealing the results of a forensic audit that found she should return $34,118.
In her report Friday, Janet Leiper, the appeal arbitrator hired by the city, found that Fennell did not break city rules when she used Air Canada’s Latitude economy flight passes for city business. Leiper did rule Fennell must repay $3,522.97 for a business class flight to London and a hotel suite at the Fairmont Whistler.
Fennell’s lawyer, David Shiller, had argued that the flight passes fell under the city’s requirement to fly on a “regular economy” fare, though the flight passes Fennell purchased are the most expensive out of the three in Air Canada’s economy category.
The city’s policy does not say what a “regular economy fare” is, Leiper, Toronto’s former integrity commissioner, wrote in her decision.
Leiper’s report, which dealt with council member appeals of the Deloitte Canada audit, focused on just a small portion of the controversial spending in the mayor’s office.
Still outstanding is more than $155,952 that Deloitte auditors said could not be accounted for because not enough information was provided by the mayor’s office. Council must still deal with the forensic audit and Leiper’s report and could decide to take action on both.
In a press conference held on the front lawn at her Brampton home, Fennell said she felt vindicated by the report. Deloitte Canada, the Star and her opponents “were just plain wrong,” she said. “The arbitrator now agrees with that.”
In September, Fennell served the Toronto Star with a notice of libel over its coverage of the expenses scandal. The Star stands by its reporting. After Fennell threatened legal action against Deloitte, the firm pulled out of the process and Leiper was asked to step in and hear the appeals.
In August, the Deloitte audit found Fennell and her staff breached the city’s spending rules 266 times for $131,581 in charges and expenses (not including what was reimbursed). Deloitte recommended that Fennell personally pay back $34,118.
The other 10 members of council had a total of $42,979 in expenses and charges that breached the city’s rules, the audit found. It was recommended they pay back $33,769. Six councillors had their amounts reduced by Leiper Friday to $3,883.52 from $10,901.65
Fennell said Friday the Deloitte forensic audit “has now been shown to be a total waste of taxpayer” dollars.
The audit is currently being investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police.
Fennell’s flight costs under the Latitude air passes, which allow ticket holders to upgrade to business class, included fares of $1,850 to Ottawa, $1,800 to Saskatoon and $1,800 to Bagotville, Quebec. The Deloitte forensic audit found that the average cost of Fennell’s airfare was more than twice the price of the lowest economy fare.
At her house on Friday, about two dozen people were on hand to show their support for Fennell.
“I have given her my support because of her honesty, her integrity,” prominent Brampton lawyer Ron Webb said, when introducing Fennell at the press conference.
Councillor John Sanderson, who is trying to unseat Fennell, issued a statement saying council will have the last word.
“There is no way the Brampton taxpayer is going to pay for Susan Fennell`s irresponsible jetsetting lifestyle on my watch. Her highly paid Bay St. lawyers can argue all they want, but council will decide what Ms. Fennell owes back to the hardworking taxpayers of Brampton,” he said.
At a press conference earlier Friday, Sanderson questioned how the Latitude fare is actually an economy fare. “The policy clearly said ‘regular economy fare’. You show me one person in Brampton who thinks the highest of three fares in that category, that costs $1,800 to fly to Ottawa and lets you sit in business class, could be considered a ‘regular economy’ fare.”
Councillor John Sprovieri was at Sanderson’s press conference.
“The taxpayers aren’t going to get stuck with this. She (Fennell) thinks she’s fooled people. She hasn’t fooled anyone. She always tries to find a way out. This will just make taxpayers even angrier. Her ridiculous salary, limousine, Luxury SUV, all the travel, people are just fed up with all of it. But we’re going to get this money back.”
Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey was disqualified from the US PGA Championship after the second round for failing to "recreate his lie" after removing a ball from sand.
American Scott Verplank withdrew from the US PGA Championship with a hip problem half-way through his second round at the Ocean Course.
Golf Channel (blog)
Golf-PGA president fired for 'insensitive' remarks
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Golf Channel (blog)
Brandel Chamblee: Ted Bishop-Ian Poulter Rift About Cyberbullying
Golf Channel (blog)
While the fallout continues from Ted Bishop's short-lived comments about Ian Poulter, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee believes that the back-and-forth between the PGA of America president and the five-time Ryder Cup participant is a sign of a ...
Golf Channel (blog)
'Lil Girl' Remark Was Final Straw of Ted Bishop Tenure
Golf Channel (blog)
On Friday morning, I posted a column about Ted Bishop's latest egregious error as PGA of America president. It was hardly his first, though his impetuousness at referring to Ian Poulter as a "Lil Girl" through social media did turn out to be his last ...
PGA President Ted Bishop Trolling Par For Course
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Ted Bishop's Legacy Forever Altered with Tweet,Ouster
Golf had always been a sport where respect was shown to its icons. That seems to have gone by the wayside.? Attempts to contact the deposed president were unsuccessful on Friday, the PGA's most outspoken chief executive silenced by insensitivity and ...