exposure of some questionable financing in Julian Fantino's campaign.
Seems Fantino is running two separate accounts, in a non-transparent fashion, one with a balance of $300,000.
Why two accounts and why were the records of only one of the accounts presented to Elections Canada?
Is Fantino accepting donations over the $1,100.00 limit imposed by our current government?
As a former Mike Harris crony, nothing that Julian Fantino does surprises me. He had quite a reputation back in the day.
NOW magazine reported in October of 1999, of: Fantino's Conservative ties to (Mike) Harris and the law-and-order platform ... "The kind of policing Fantino embodies is the scary part. The steroid boys will get a free hand. It'll be road-boss country again." It's moving the policing discussion a huge step backward," says another councillor, recalling the "kiddie porn" busts Fantino presided over in London that, when all was said and done, amounted mostly to an anti-gay witch hunt."
And a month later when he was handed the job of police Chief in Toronto: "... firm signals from the Progressive Conservative government at Queen's Park that Mr. Fantino is the man Mike Harris and his people have wanted for the job." His appointment was political and not based on merit.
Harris wanted to put a tough face on his so-called "law and order" agenda, and Fantino's was that face. Sadly, that's all he brought to the job, as one retired RCMP Sgt from Caledonia says: “Fantino was a complete joke as far as law and order was concerned”
The case of Peter Shoniker is a perfect example. Shoniker was a fundraiser for Mike Harris and the boys, who was caught in a sting involving money laundering. Seems Shoniker washed clean $700,000 and outright stole another $50,000.
When he was approached by an undercover RCMP corporal in 2003, and asked for help to launder $250,000, money he said was stolen from the pension fund of a Hamilton union, Shoniker readily obliged. He told Cpl. Lewis he would use his special status as a lawyer to evade police surveillance. And he bragged about his connections to highly placed police officers:.“I'm untouchable, untouchable by the police. Not a cop in this country who would dare burn me, question my integrity.”
And indeed at his trial, guess who came to his rescue? Yep. Julian Fantino, who painted Shoniker as a saint.
Fantino knew how to play the game. Attack the gay community but make sure that your Conservative friends are taken care of.
Another example of this was brought to light in April of 2011, when it was revealed that Fantino had secured a $10 million federal grant for a hospital in Vaughan, that appears to have been given under false pretenses. In fact, two members of Fantino's re-election team resigned over the scandal. 'Two Vaughan Conservatives have quit their riding association over a $10 million federal grant given to a health care project spearheaded by MP Julian Fantino’s former fundraisers.'
And the two former fundraisers in question? 'Michael DeGasperis, the hospital group’s chair, and Sam Ciccolini, the director, ran Fantino’s successful byelection fundraising campaign in November 2010.'
Now go back to the leaked documents on 404. Who is handling these questionable transactions? Sam Ciccolini and Michael Degasperis. Recipients of the $10 million gift. And as the Star notes, this money is not even going to the hospital, which is a provincial expense, but is 'earmarked to help develop a site for health-related facilities to complement a hospital.' Private, for profit, health care. As yet there are no shovels in the ground.
There needs to be an investigation into this, but now that the RCMP are not allowed to investigate the government, one of their primary jobs, fat chance of that happening.
The new mayor of Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua, is determined to clean up Dodge, ending backroom deals and changing their reputation as the “City Above the Law”.
But until they get rid of Fantino and his cronies, I'm afraid it will be a futile effort.