WikiLeaks Sudbury
Accessing Information

WikiLeaks Sudbury Legal Defense Fund
DONATE

We keep you informed

 
                 
    Main About  Archives Editorials Donate    
   

 

 

 

 

 

   
   

Better scrutiny leads to reduced corruption and stronger democracies in all society’s institutions, including government, corporations and other organizations.

   
 

 

             
 

 

     April 2017          
                 
                 
 
Released on April 17, 2017
Tag # 700
 


Fired: Canapini, no longer with the City


Canapini: Bad Legal advice

The man behind the spending of millions of tax dollars for external legal fees and the conspiracy to fire Ontario’s ombudsman is finally gone. According to the Law Society of Upper Canada, Canapini is no longer practicing law in Ontario.

Conspiracy
Canapini is facing allegations of creating a false affidavit in an attempt to prevent access to the freedom of information request. That freedom of information request is directly related to water and wastewater’s division, one of their service contracts. An invoice was emailed to the director of the division Nick Benkovich. Benkovich was generous enough to pay the contractor $ 5600/h, costing the taxpayers.

Conspiracy deepened: Bad legal advice
Sudbury’s city council opted out the oversight service offered by the Ontario ombudsman. Former Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin publicly condemned Canapini’s involvement and said that Canapini had given "bad legal advice."

The City is among the poorest performing municipalities in the Canada, according to the Civil Liberty Groups. The local government has failed to streamline its regulations regarding business practices. They have also engaged in reforms that have liberalized the Sudbury economy and failed to increase its strength and viability. The unemployment rate is higher than both the national and Ontario average.

The City is riddled with dishonesty as the bureaucrats are not immune to private interests and corrupt administrators can bypass the law. The complete control by the corrupt administration leaves no room for a reform or an independent assessment of the City’s actions by a civil society or the media. The permeation of informal networks (mainly in the form of family relations), the lack of avenues for political participation among Sudbury citizens and the clientele’s relationship between interest groups supports the continuation of this status quo.

Canapini took full advantage of this situation and teamed up with the General Manager of corporate services Kevin Fowke and the director of water and wastewater services Nick Benkovich. All three were involved in defrauding public funds through various contracts, such as external legal services and water main break emergency repair contracts. Despite Sudbury taxpayers paying the bill, there was no political willingness to correct the situation.

Instead of finding solution to issues raised by employees, Canapini continuously tried to silence voices of those opposing the corrupt regime. To support him, Benkovich conducted numerous discipline inquiries, according to questions scripted by Fowke. Benkovich and Fowke’s actions resulted in the termination of several city employees. This has opened new avenue in the fight against corruption at city hall.

Canapini is now gone. However, Fowke and Benkovich are still hiding behind veils of secrecy and are continuing their corrupt practices. Fowke and Benkovich must be kicked out of city hall in order to complete a full clean up.

The clock is ticking …

Related Articles

An outrageous spending practice found for Labour and Employment matters
City’s Labour and Employment Legal Expenses Continually Soar
2011 outside legal counsel expenses paid to the one single firm reached $
681,682.27  
Toronto based legal firm received $ 717,123.22 pay cheque - Disbursements also includes airfairs and hotel charges
City Clerk Hallsworth reimbursed $ 593.25 legal expenses from tax dollars - Echo of bad legal advice
City Spent $ 86,142.00 tax dollars to defend the misconduct of bureaucrats’ in Human Rights legal proceedings from 2009 to 2012. 
Transit Ticket Scandal: Nadorozny’s Sorry Saga -CAO Nadorozny, City Solicitor Canapini and Director Human Resources, Fowke should step down    
City’s labour and employment legal expenses on the rise - Incompetence of top bureaucrat in the human resources division exposed
Authoritarianism: City in crisis
Lack of Accountability: "Gravy train" all over again
Dark side of Nodorozny’s Sorry Saga
Open and Transparent Municipal Government - Municipal Election Forcing New Politics of Sudbury Identity
 
 

---------------------------------------------------------------------End
Released on April 17, 2017

This article originally published on Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 301 (2015).  Brief overview and excerpts of the articles as follows:

Have we legalized corruption?

This article asks whether granting expanded powers to local government decision makers in Ontario without concomitant expansions of procedural safeguards may lead to an abuse of such powers (or to corruption) by allowing these officials to use their powers for their own private gain. In summary, this article is concerned with whether the current state of Ontario municipal law lends itself to abuse by municipal officials.

Under current municipal law and the resulting political structures, individual municipal councillors are key decision makers who have the power to affect the outcomes of municipal decisions. Moreover, as municipalities have gained broad discretion to act with few procedural safeguards, an individual councillor can use his or her power to affect a municipal decision. Because municipalities have such broad discretion, it may be difficult to determine whether a particular municipal decision was made for a proper purpose. In other words, a councillor could act improperly, abusing his or her power for private gain, without any jurisdictional, political, or procedural limit on his or her action to demonstrate that such action is, in fact, improper. Thus, one unintended consequence of current municipal law may be the creation of conditions that allow for abuse of discretion and corrupt political patronage by municipal council members without any penalty.

Stated another way, researchers take issue with the commentary, quoted by Justice McLachlin, as she then was, in the Shell dissent, that there may be no right or wrong municipal decision. In researcher's view a wrong decision, or one that is improperly made, is a decision that circumvents ordinary municipal decision-making processes and might be seen as merely arbitrary or as satisfying the whims of an individual councillor. Such decisions are not based on the rule of law when they are not transparent, reasoned, predictable, or made for a proper municipal purpose."

The municipal decision makers, and in particular individual municipal councillors, use their powers to influence municipal decisions and are so concerned with responsiveness and efficiency to protect and grow their own political capital (and potential for re-election) that they may not make decisions that are in the best interests of the municipality. As a result, the question arises: (1) does current Ontario municipal law create a system which lends itself to improper, (2) or even abusive or corrupt, decision making by local elected officials or, at the very least, benefit those officials more than it benefits the public?

Researchers  have explored the idea that a confluence of factors has expanded the powers and broadened the discretion of Canadian municipalities and individual municipal council members: the exercise of judicial restraint in reviewing city decisions; the creation of larger, single-tier cities with centralized power and few legislative limits; the lack of political limits on the power of individual city council members; the lack of procedural safeguards; and the privileging of economic and political values over rule of law values in city decision making. These changes allow municipalities to ensure that political decisions reflect local values, that local government has the tools to effect its decisions, and that local government (not a provincial government) is accountable for such decisions. For municipalities and municipal councils that in the past had to seek express authority to take action, this represents a radical change. Moreover, the expansion of power and discretion includes few administrative or procedural limits, since municipalities can make their own rules, set their own administrative procedures, and impose their own conditions, unless there is a conflict with federal or provincial legislation. Moreover, as a result of a weak-mayor system, lack of party affiliations, and elections by individual districts or wards, individual municipal council members and their core constituents have become not only the key decision makers in municipal government but also the primary beneficiaries of expanded municipal powers and discretion in municipal decision making.

Editor
WikiLeaks Sudbury
April 2017

Reference
Makuch, S.M., Schuman, M.  (2015). Have We Legalized Corruption? The Impacts of Expanding Municipal Authority without Safeguards in Toronto and Ontario. 53 Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 301 . 

Related documents
Have we legalized corruption? 

 


 
             
     

Contact and Media Inquiries