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  • authored by remote viewer
  • published Mon, May 16, 2005

Builder Says UFCW Pension Trustees Should Kiss His Butt

Questions continue to linger about why UFCW pension fund trustees went along with a condo conversion scheme that cost over one hundred UFCW members their jobs. In the months leading up to the closure of the west end Toronto hotel, the UFCW maintained a studied silence about what was going on, as did union trustees on the board of its pension fund (CCWIPP) which owned 50% of the hotel.

As our investigative Mondo Condo feature about the history and closure of the hotel continues, so does the UFCW's silence. Why did union pension trustees back what was essentially a job destruction scheme? After investing millions of members' pension dollars into the hotel, why are they throwing even more millions into a scheme that involves closing the business and throwing union members out of work? How far in the hole was the pension fund anyway - and why? The questions pile up and the trustees' silence is deafening.

Fortunately Joe Ieradi, the Toronto builder who is spearheading the condo project, hasn't been quite as circumspect. With a zeal that is reminiscent of certain UFCW leaders, Ieradi is convinced that Vancouver labour writer Hugh Finnamore is the author of the articles despite Finnamore's (and our) repeated assurances that he is not.

Their discussions have however, shed at least a little light on the man in whom the trustees have placed their faith (and over $4 million of their members' money) and on the fact that he and the trustees were not exactly ships that passed in the night.

Ieradi recently contacted MFD threatening to sue if we didn't tell-on-the-author. We asked him some pointed questions to which he has yet to respond. On the heals of that exchange, we learned that he'd been in touch with Finnamore yet again. The discussion that followed was the most illuminating so far.

In a rare moment of candor, Ieradi let on that things would have been a whole lot worse for the UFCW pension trustees if it weren't for his efforts. "They should be kissing my ass", he stated emphatically.

So no one can claim they were misquoted, we're posting the entire discussion.

Now that we've got that much, we want more! How bad were things for the UFCW pension fund when Joe Ieradi came along? We're inviting CCWIPP trustees, UFCW Canadian Director Michael Fraser and Joe Ieradi to join us for a panel discussion.

  • posted by weiser
  • Mon, May 16, 2005 3:20pm

I don't get it. The guy talks about all the dough that he's poured into the joint, but there ain't no evidence of any of his dough being ploughed into the place. Granted, somebody had to put up the cash to do the display suites, but this Joe guy always references "we" in talking about the project.

It's an interesting comment about Chimo Hotels that he makes too.

  • posted by weiser
  • Mon, May 16, 2005 4:25pm

Did Joe ever cough up the free land to the City of Toronto?

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Mon, May 16, 2005 6:18pm

I really like the Joe interviews. They provide a lot of insight into the CCWIPP trustees' newfound partner. This guy's pretty much become their spokesperson since none of them want to say anything to anybody about what they're up to at this hotel.

With all that money they loaned this guy, they could have renovated the hotel, rebuilt the business, saved the existing 150 jobs and potentially created more. Why didn't they do it?

By now the CCWIPP boys had better know that we're not going to stop until we have the answers. They've made this guy their front man and now he's the only spokesperson they've got. I can hardly wait til the next phone call.

Hey maybe we can webcast the butt-kissing?

  • posted by weiser
  • Tue, May 17, 2005 7:51am

It's typical machine-head bullshit.

I'm not hurting you; I'm helping you.

If it wasn't for me, you'd be in big trouble.

It costs me money when you tell the truth.

I'm good; everyone else is bad.

  • posted by press
  • Tue, May 17, 2005 9:01am

But isn't this guy the greatest PR man ever??

He's better than that Iraqi 'Minister of Information' dude. Remember him? At least that guy towed the party line until the end.

This guy is their final hope. And he doesn't know the party line. He's taking himself and them down without even trying.

Joe seriously, don't take the fall for this. Come clean on your buddies. We're all ears, mouths, keyboards and pens. These guys have been using you as usual (you want a list?). You gotta stop going along with their shit. Too many headaches and what do you really get out of it. Honestly your cut of the take must suck. You do all the work, they get all the cash.

The truth shall set you free, Joe.

  • posted by press
  • Wed, May 18, 2005 7:02am

The City has gone even more confidential on us now. I think RV had made the 'wagons are circling' analogy. Maria Augimeri must be having loads of fun trying to keep this under wraps.

Council minutes usually take about a month to get released (saves them a bit of headache). Here's the latest.

quote:


4.78 North York Community Council Report 1, Deferred Clause 10b, headed 'Feasibility to
Extend the Concrete Median - Keele Street North of Highway 401 (Ward 9 - York
Centre)'.


The Clause was submitted without recommendation.

Motion:

Councillor Augimeri moved that Council adopt the staff recommendations contained in the
Recommendations Section of the confidential report (April 13, 2005) from the City Solicitor. The following recommendations and Attachment 1 are now public, and the balance of the report remains confidential, in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Act, 2001, as it contains information that is subject to solicitor client privilege:

'It is recommended that City Council:

(1) receive North York Community Council Report 1, Clause 10b;

(2) authorize execution of a tri-partite agreement with Canadian Tire Corporation and Independence Way Inc. to implement an interim driveway connecting Keele Street to Wilson Avenue, including a revised median design for Keele Street, on terms and conditions satisfactory to the Acting Commissioner of Works and Emergency
Services as outlined in the body of this report;

(3) approve the extension of the median on Keele Street, as detailed in Attachment 1,
for construction in 2005 as part of the Capital Works Program already underway for Keele Street;

(4) direct the appropriate City officials to introduce in Council the appropriate Road
Alterations By-law to permit the construction; and

(5) authorize and direct the appropriate City officials to take all other necessary action
to give effect thereto.'

Votes:

The motion by Councillor Augimeri carried.

The Clause, as amended, carried.


I'm not a road expert, but I do know that Keele already connects with Wilson and any interim driveway has to go through a famous piece of land.

The lawyers involved must be making a killing. It's the one time I'm in full support because it will only further prove how ridiculous all those involved have been acting on this issue.

And I wonder when we get to see the confidential stuff? Because there hasn't been any public mention of the Travelodge site in quite some time in the North York City Council agendas or minutes. You would think they would be discussing this issue there. No?

Is it possible that Joe, UFCW, Royal Host and their lotsa money for all (except employees) have contacted a few other people? When do we get to listen to those phone calls? They must be really, really entertaining and I'm just jealous of their fun.

Share the experience guys.

  • posted by weiser
  • Wed, May 18, 2005 10:03am

quote:


interim driveway


A driveway and Roadway are two different puppies. Interim usually denotes that the driveway is a stop gap until the permenent roadway is finalized.

They can't keep the plans "secret" for long.

  • posted by press
  • Thu, May 19, 2005 11:26am

quote:


posted by weiser:
They can't keep the plans "secret" for long.


I guess it depends when they stop obsessing over the chess board to see if they have any moves left. And they don't.

After I got myself a haircut this afternoon, I went for a walk around the Swiss Chalet land to see how things are progressing. Observations...

  • as I started, 2 gentlemen were seen surveying the very little driveway behind the Swiss Chalet complex. This explains that they are still working with their only idea of a bisecting road.
  • The empty lot land has a sign saying that 5 townhomes are left and that you get a free car with the purchase. They aren't as specific with the parking or roadway details.
  • The Canadian Tire site has a building going up as high as the top of the parking garage and covering it's whole south face. These cannot be townhomes since they don't look like townhomes and the fact that the north side is basically kissing the parking garage doesn't make me feel good about the amount of sunshine they will be getting on that end. Poor buyers.
  • Because the parking garage is now barricaded in on the south side, any and all imagined renovations will have to be done from the interior. RV has photos showing the holes and falling ceiling at that spot. Good luck to all workers and our prayers are with you.
  • The hotel and land itself looks like a garbage dump... in keeping with their historic theme. There seems to be a very insignificant amount of workers on the property and well, how many years does everyone feel like waiting on this?
  • I decided to do a rare thing and stop in at the Swiss Chalet for lunch. I had a Ceasar salad to start, a chicken sandwich and a baked potato. Sour cream, gravy, coke and water. And the servers seemed very busy yet extremely nice. Seems that UFCW members do exhibit some rather unique qualities! I love them.
  • After I left I found those same two surveyors surveying at the same spot. It almost seemed as though these guys are trying everything in their power to make the numbers fit enough for a bylaw skirting. It is now May 19th, 2005 and they still are at this stage. Funny yet so ridiculous.
  • For a final laugh I approached one of the surveyors and asked "what exactly are you measuring?". The response was... "this is survey equipment". Well, knowing what we all know about this property, could the answer be more fitting?

My haircut, survey, lunch, conversations and report have now been posted online as of just before 2:30pm.
How long will it take all of the get-us-out-of-checkmate spending take to come up with the same conclusions?

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, May 22, 2005 7:08pm

The pressure is on the CCWIPP to set its books straight. They have been busy calling their loans. Here's the latest.

quote:


Court Appoints Receiver for AFM Hospitality Corporation
On April 29th, 2005, AFM Hospitality Corporation (TSX: AFM) was placed in interim receivership pursuant to an order of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, upon application by AFM's principal secured lender.

Mintz & Partners Limited was appointed Receiver of AFM.

The Receiver is empowered and authorized (but not obligated) to, among other things, take possession and control of any of the property of AFM and to carry on its business and deal with its property. The Court Order was granted pursuant to Section 47(1) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. B-3, as amended, and Section 101 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43, as amended, and provides AFM with creditor protection by staying all proceedings and the exercise of any remedies against AFM or its property. The Court Order also stays proceedings and the exercise of any remedies against a wholly owned subsidiary of AFM or its property.

The Receiver has been informed that Mr. Lawrence Horwitz, Mr. Per-Odd Keul, Mr. Ron Erickson and Mr. Andre Tatibouet had resigned from the Board of Directors of AFM. As such, it appears there are currently no directors of AFM.

AFM has received notification from the Toronto Stock Exchange that its common shares will be suspended from trading on May 20, 2005. AFM is also subject to cease trade orders issued by the securities commissions of Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and Quebec.


The reason why I put this notice in this thread is because the Keele Street address is where it all started for the CCWIPP and AFM.

Wayne Hanley and Gene Fraser slipped off the AFM Board just before the CCWIPP petitioned AFM into bankruptcy.

This is only the beginning.

  • posted by siggy
  • Mon, May 23, 2005 7:20am

quote:


Wayne Hanley and Gene Fraser slipped off the AFM Board just before the CCWIPP petitioned AFM into bankruptcy.


  • posted by press
  • Tue, Jun 7, 2005 6:33pm

I was suffering from Mondo Condo withdrawal so I looked up the minutes to the May 17,18,19 City Council meeting.

Is anyone here good at decoding this stuff? To me it seems that councillor Maria is willing to take a payoff (what a stretch!) for allowing the Independence Way site to go ahead with what was just a few months ago ILLEGAL ACTIVITY.

And reading it thoroughly it seems to say that the city will still take a financial hit on this mess. Maybe I'm confused?? Help me Maria!! You do look really good in that picture, by the way. MFD's gonna make you even more famous!... Oh the anticipation!

quote:


J(35) Cash in lieu for Parkland Dedication – 2701 Keele Street (Ward 9 – York Centre)
Councillor Augimeri moved that the necessary provisions of Chapter 27 of the City of Toronto Municipal Code be waived to permit introduction and debate of the following Notice of Motion, which carried, more than two-thirds of Members present having voted in the affirmative:

Moved by: Councillor Augimeri
Seconded by: Councillor Carroll

'WHEREAS City Council at its meeting on November 30, December 1 and 2, 2004, adopted, as amended, North York Community Council Report 9, Clause 32, headed ‘Final Minutes of the Council of the City of Toronto
May 17, 18 and 19, 2005
Report Application to Amend Zoning By-law 7652 - 04 169386 NNY 09 OZ - Independence Way Inc. - 2701 Keele Street (Ward 9 - York Centre)'; and

WHEREAS there is a deficiency of parkland in Ward 9 and it is desirable to re-direct the required cash-in-lieu for parkland to the community;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, in accordance with §27-49 of Chapter 27 of the City of Toronto Municipal Code, North York Community Council Report 9, Clause 32, headed ‘Final Report - Application to Amend Zoning By-law 7625 - 04
169386 NNY 09 OZ - Independence Way Inc. - 2701 Keele Street (Ward 9 - York Centre)', be re-opened for further consideration, only as it pertains to cash-in-lieu for parkland dedication;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the required cash-in-lieu for parkland dedication for this development be directed towards improvements to parkland within Ward 9, to the satisfaction of the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in
consultation with the Ward Councillor.'

Fiscal Impact Statement:
City Council had before it, during consideration of Motion J(35), a Fiscal Impact Statement (May 18, 2005) from the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer advising that there was a financial impact resulting from the adoption of this Motion. (See Fiscal Impact Statement 8, Page 215)

Vote:
The first Operative Paragraph contained in Motion J(35) carried, more than two-thirds of Members present having voted in the affirmative.

Adoption of the balance of Motion J(35) without amendment:
Yes - 27
Councillors: Altobello, Augimeri, Balkissoon, Carroll, Chow, Davis, De Baeremaeker, Di Giorgio, Filion, Giambrone, Grimes, Hall, Jenkins, Li Preti, Lindsay Luby, Mammoliti, McConnell, Mihevc, Milczyn, Minnan-Wong, Moscoe, Pantalone, Pitfield,
Saundercook, Shiner, Stintz, Walker

No - 13
Mayor: Miller
Councillors: Ashton, Del Grande, Feldman, Ford, Holyday, Kelly, Nunziata, Palacio, Rae, Soknacki, Thompson, Watson


  • posted by siggy
  • Tue, Jun 7, 2005 7:04pm

quote:


NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, in accordance with §27-49 of Chapter 27 of the City of Toronto Municipal Code, North York Community Council Report 9, Clause 32, headed ‘Final Report - Application to Amend Zoning By-law 7625 - 04
169386 NNY 09 OZ - Independence Way Inc. - 2701 Keele Street (Ward 9 - York Centre)', be re-opened for further consideration, only as it pertains to cash-in-lieu for parkland dedication;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the required cash-in-lieu for parkland dedication for this development be directed towards improvements to parkland within Ward 9, to the satisfaction of the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in
consultation with the Ward Councillor.'


The question as I understand it - did Maria's a-team - in accordance with whatever regulation could be quoted to make it all sound official and above board - vote 27-13 in favour of forfeiting park reserve - as quaranteed under Parks, Forestry and Recreation regulation - for cold hard cash?

  • posted by weiser
  • Wed, Jun 8, 2005 7:34am

In effect, it seems to be a case of, "How much money do you want to change the City's livability plan?" It seems to be, "Hey, take the dough, and go buy a park somewhere where it don't f*$@ up our money machine."

These politicians know exactly what's goin' on here. They know full well that Independence Way project has a very real tie-in with "rubble city" project next door.

While we're talkin' 'bout "rubble city"... Hey Joe! When are you going to install the HVAC units for the Mondo Condo conversion? The present units are garbage, and you promised the buyers that a completely new HVAC system would be installed. If you don't replace the present pile-o-junk and if you keep the pool, you can sell the whole Mond Condo as a swimming pool with 200+ saunas. You could dump the "Tuscan" theme and go Scandinavian. Hey, Svend, pass the loofa! And den ve go fer a dunkin' da pool.

Where be they--Joe? Where be the new HVAC units?

 - Ya, right away--Joe!

  • posted by press
  • Fri, Jul 1, 2005 7:23pm

quote:


posted by weiser:
In effect, it seems to be a case of, "How much money do you want to change the City's livability plan?" It seems to be, "Hey, take the dough, and go buy a park somewhere where it don't f*$@ up our money machine."

These politicians know exactly what's goin' on here. They know full well that Independence Way project has a very real tie-in with "rubble city" project next door.


Just an update. I took a long bike ride today and before I rant against a horrible Toronto City Council... I must say that the nature-path/bike-routes in the city are fabulous. Thanks for all your hard work, Maria!

I did decide to detour and pass by my old friend, the Mondo Condo. Wow. It looks worse than ever! For anyone not in Toronto, you're missing quite a site/sight. The huge sign that was draped on the north side is now torn and flaps about in the wind like an ugly flag hoisted on a really ugly building. I swear it's like a city version of a ghostly pirate ship you see in the movies. I was expecting Joe with an eyepatch and jailbird stripe shirt to be looking out the 10th floor window.

Imagine a building that was always neglected... now even more neglected. The 'garden' that surrounded the patio and pool area (both still there) fronting Keele, is now a jungle. The building is surrounded by a sea of construction garbage. The walls are even less 'white'. Although they've put in these things that I believe they will refer to as 'windows' in about 75% of the place. What it looks more like is $5 sheets of plexiglass covering up a bare inside and making it look like these guys are spending some cash on the place.

The signs outside says 94% sold. I wonder if Joe keeps losing sales (I'd do anything to get out seeing that), if they will start going in reverse with the number. That would be fun to watch! He can keep us all updated that way! 94%-90%-21%.

94%?? Joe and the CCWIPP dudes should just buy the rest up and say sooooold out!!

Next door is really interesting. The Independence Way project has two cranes working on this mini-city. It's amazing to see such a tight-cramped space in the middle of all this land (gas station to the west, houses to the east, hotel and garage north, highway south) and wonder... a road would be so gosh-darn nice.

One also wonders what ever happened to that possible city lawsuit? Hypothetically (jump in TTE) if I 'monetarilly compensated' certain individuals to consistently ignore laws, bylaws and their constituents asking serious questions... and after that I still got screwed in the ass... would I be able to ask for my money back?? Even partially?? For like... a good try?

Great clause...

quote:


Notices of Motion –(J35) – Not consistent with current Council policy to allocate cash-in-lieu 4 ways to local and City-wide parkland acquisition and improvements. Could set precedent whereby there would be no parkland cash-in-lieu funding for City Wide projects or those in Wards with no development projects.


That comes from the end of this one.

May 17, 18, 19th Council minutes

Other relevant info...

Feb 16th Feasibility to Extend the Concrete Median

And finally, we have new mortgage players at the Mondo Condo. Somebody called in the New York boys...

http://www.largocapital.com/ns/canada.html

Ring around the rosie
A pocket full of posies
Atischoo, atischoo
We all fall down

  • posted by siggy
  • Fri, Jul 1, 2005 10:43pm

quote:


Harisson Hot Springs Hotel
349 Rooms
British Columbia
U.S. Borrower


What a coincidence - Harrison Hot springs is a fave ufcw 1518 haunt.

  • posted by weiser
  • Mon, Jul 4, 2005 6:04pm

quote:


And finally, we have new mortgage players at the Mondo Condo. Somebody called in the New York boys...


Yup! Offices in Buffalo and Toronto. They don't lend the money; they act as the go-between. That's interesting.

What's also interesting is that they seem to think that the Westmount is a Hotel/Condo project. Wasn't that the previous plan that was hatched for the dump?

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