Tag Archives: Reza Moridi

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says controversial grant indicates problems


Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty conceded Friday there are problems with a government spending program that saw $200,000 shipped to a group headed by two senior Liberal party activists, including one candidate in the upcoming election.

McGuinty said his government was going to “have to take a look” at the program which, despite doling out approximately $32 million over the past two years, according to records, has neither a formal application process nor any selection criteria. In fact, the program does not even have a name.

It was under those circumstances that the Iranian-Canadian Community Centre received the $200,000 cash grant only three weeks after registering in March 2006. The charitable organization, initially categorized under “protection of animals,” was later changed to “recreation, playgrounds and vacation camps.”

The group lists its mailing address as the law office of charity director David Farmani, Liberal riding association president for Richmond Hill.

Reza Moridi, the Liberal candidate in the same riding is listed as another director. A third director, Bohran Fouladi, is a longtime acquaintance of Finance Minister Greg Sorbara.

“I think we can do a better job and I think that we have to do a better job,” McGuinty told reporters Friday. “We’re going to have to look at it.”

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PC AND NDP MPP’s call for police investigation of “slushgate”


(Toronto) – Progressive Conservative and New Democratic MPP’s joined forces today to call for a police investigation into a scandal involving $32 million in grants to multicultural groups by the McGuinty Liberal government.

Bob Runciman (MPP Leeds-Grenville), a former Solicitor General and Peter Kormos (MPP Niagara Centre), a former criminal defence lawyer, released a letter to Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant requesting a police investigation into “financial misconduct” by political officials in the distribution of “highly questionable” grants made at the fiscal year end over the last two years.

In late July, Ontario’s Auditor General released a review of the decision-making process used in the distribution of grants. His findings and scathing criticism detailing the lack of control and transparency as the money was doled out, led to the resignation of Citizenship Minister Mike Colle.

“The Auditor’s report left a basketful of unanswered questions, many beyond the Auditor’s purview to investigate and some raising issues of criminality” asserted Runciman.

“The Auditor’s report was not an investigation of civil or criminal wrongdoing rather it was a quick and narrowly scoped review that confirmed financial misconduct” said Kormos. “We still have no answers for why the misconduct occurred and how these improper benefits were sought or bestowed.”

In calling for the police investigation the veteran MPPs’ argue, citing various sections of the Criminal Code, that criminal misconduct remains a potential explanation for the actions in question and the citizens of Ontario have a right to answers.

“The Auditor General did his job, now it’s time to get to the bottom of this by having the police investigate” said Runciman.

“It’s over to Mr. Bryant to do his job” added Kormos.

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The Propaganda and Truth in democraticspace.com


“Propaganda is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of large numbers of people. Instead of impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience”. I’ve spent some time doing research this month, and over the summer, and realized that the propaganda machine is alive and well on the web. It is the wild west of information and media manipulation, casting a shadow over the unlearned and untrained eye of the receiver. With blogs and new sites, allowing interactivity we can all become victims. One unfortunately victim is the website, democraticspace.com. It was probably the best site to get objective information about clients, in Ontario (dare I say Canada) and probably still is. However, it seems that there is a major problem with the “comments” section, for each candidate. What is interesting is how people use the comments section to spread false information and lies about various candidates. We are a democratic country and we still have freedom of speech, however media impression is still a tool used to defame an aspiring candidate’s reputation. One of the reasons this happens is because search engines, like Google and Yahoo, use tags and keyword information. If someone spreads enough bad information about a candidate, then as voters do their research they may actually see the rants and ravings of the commentary. To many the web is still a new thing and they may believe everything they see. At present all we can do is try to filter and present truthful information, hoping the receiver of that information will be able to correctly know what the truth actually is. Albeit, demrocraticspace.com officials may have truthful information, controlling who posts comments can be a challenge. What is unfortunate is that this offers political parties a free way to destroy another person’s character. The Internet is the wild west of media manipulation and we will need to find new ways to make sure its integrity is not destroyed. This will be a long process, and who knows how it will be achieved. In the interim, we the voters need to be diligent and informed. Right now, the web is the equal to a tabloid newspaper or Fox News (sorry Fox – but some of the stuff you talk about…). I am impressed with democraticspace.com and they are trying. Recently the veil was lifted as they revealed that the same person was posting comments from the same machine, under different names and alias’s.

“in the interests of transparency…Malik, Naim_Malik, albert_chang, sue_sung, jacckie, josh_siato and John Lee are all posting from the same IP address. Comment/commentaire by democraticspace 10.02.07 @ 5:15 am”

Knowing this now and the previous posts, in reference to the destruction of lawn signs, the obvious intension was to destroy the reputation of the PC candidate – Alex Yuan. Seems that either some Liberal or maybe NDP supporters (hard to tell – but I doubt they were really NDP’ers?) were trying to gain “brownie points” in the riding. It is strange that there is so much commentary for this riding, but a website like this should not be used to spread misleading information, increasing the likelihood of someone searching on a candidate and getting the wrong impression. It’s great to see that democracticspace.com is doing their utmost best preserve the integrity of the site; making sure that information is factual, not hearsay. In the media sometimes you have to read through the cues and wordings of a commentator. Do they have an agenda? What opinion are they pushing or supporting? Just like a call in radio show, the host will challenge any opinion presented over the airwaves. This is so people do not get false information and make an incorrect judgment about the issue. In the end maybe we will come up with better technology, with the ability to challenge the commentary of posts. A good example is Steve Munro of www.stevemunro.ca , who does his best to challenge and moderate the comments of other posts. I hope in the future democraticspace.com does more to challenge comments. They are still the best site for candidate information on the web at present (especially for the G.T.A), so they will need to be the best site they can be.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Show me the money!


Auditor general found no written request from Iranian-Canadian Community Centre of Toronto. Sometimes money just falls into your lap. The group, founded in August 2005 and mistakenly listed as an animal welfare charity at one point, got a $200,000 grant from Ontario’s ministry of citizenship and immigration last year to help build a community centre in the Richmond Hill area.

But the auditor found no written request for funding. In fact, since the group was operating for less than two years, it didn’t qualify for a grant under other programs administered by the ministry.

“We had a number of groups where there wasn’t any documentation of what they wanted the money for,” McCarter noted.

As first reported by the Toronto Star last spring, the group had numerous Liberal connections.

One member of its executive had worked for Health Minister George Smitherman. Another, Reza Moridi, has since left the executive and become a Liberal candidate for the Oct. 10 provincial election.

Yet another quit to become a Liberal riding association president. And another is a long-time acquaintance of Finance Minister Greg Sorbara.

However, McCarter concluded the political connections were not a factor in the group getting the grant.

Still looking for land and money to build a community centre, the Iranians have put their $200,000 in the bank.

“It astounds me,” said Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory, noting that families of children with autism are struggling to pay their treatment bills while taxpayers’ money sits idle.

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