The fragrant chum-trail of Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion’s impending retirement has attracted the expected circling school of Liberal bottom-feeders – suck right up, Steve “Póg” Mahoney, Bonnie Crombie and Carolyn Parrish.
After all, you can’t beat the fat mayoral emolument of $191,854, plus $18K in bennies. The mayor of Toronto subsists on a mere $177,499, and drinks el cheapo Iceberg vodka ($14.30 for a mickey, Gatorade not included). For those with a taste for Grey Goose on the public tab, the choice is clear.
Both Ward Five Councillor Crombie and Steve-o (via wife Katie’s seat on council) are already wards of the Mississauga ratepayer — $135,726, plus $43,000 in benefits — but their arses burn with ambition for the big chair.
The Crombie household is also, through Bonnie’s hubby Brian, firmly attached to the Canadian taxpayer’s teat, with some $3.8 million in federal grants and “loans” to PurGenesis, the pharma company Brian’s into with billionaire Eugene Melnyk.
Brian was the Ottawa Sens owner’s loyal CFO at Biovail in 2003, when the company issued nose-stretching financial statements to cover a $45-million hole in revenue, famously claiming a whopping $10 to 20-million loss on the crash of a single truck full of pills. The financial tragedy was later revised downward to $5-mil, but the damage was done.
Biovail paid $35.6 million in fines to U.S. securities regulators and $6.5-mil to the Ontario Securities Commission,. The OSC dinged Crombie $300,000 personally and slapped him with an eight-year ban on serving as a director of a public company in Ontario. Stateside, he had to cough up $100,000 and got a five-year ban.
Despite Brian and Eugene’s attempt to turn over a new leaf with PurGenesis, which proposes to make megabucks unleashing the magical powers of spinach, there’s been scant progress so far.
Last March, they were touting an anti-aging spinach skin cream for release that fall. Eager wrinklies are still waiting — and making do with the approximately a grillion snake oils (miracle cures, shurely?!–ed.) already on the market making similar claims.
Still, you can’t hurry science, and PurGenesis is encouraged by early trials of their spinach bowel-inflammation treatment. Frank is confident the feds will, in the fullness of time, get every penny of their shrewd investment back from Brian and Eugene – barring a catastrophic spinach truck accident.