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Monday, April 15, 2019

What Happened At Judicial Inquiry Day One

Collingwood | by Catherine Thompson  
The hearings of the Collingwood Judicial Inquiry into the sale of half of Collus in 2012 are underway.

The hearings of the Collingwood Judicial Inquiry into the sale of half of Collus in 2012 are underway.

Day One (Monday) started with an opening statement by Associate Chief Justice Frank N. Marrocco saying that a foundation report that was put together from over 440 thousand documents would be the basis of the hearings.

He says the document will be modified from oral submissions from the witnesses.

The first witness was Town Clerk Sara Almas.

A document was presented to do with a meeting in June, 2011 between Almas and then Mayor Sandra Cooper's brother, Paul Bonwick.

According to Sara Almas, Bonwick had said that he would be doing public relations work with PowerStream, the company that bought part of Collus.

A document was then presented at the hearing showing that the work Paul Bonwick would be doing with PowerStream included identifying opportunities for a purchase or merge.

Sara Almas said she did not know this at the time.

Another exhibit presented at today's hearing showed correspondence saying Compenso, which was Paul Bonwick's company, was in constant contact with municipal leaders and as such was able to monitor and report any opportunities that may come up. It also talks about intelligence gathering.

Another part of the testimony had to do with the employment termination in 2012 of then CAO Kim Wingrove.

Clerk Sara Almas stated, after being questioned, that she did see what she perceived as "bullying" towards Wingrove and town staff by then Deputy Mayor Rick Lloyd and then Councillor Ian Chadwick.

Almas also testified that she was shocked when CAO Wingrove was fired.

She added that the things she found out about that she didn't know shocked and disgusted her.

This statement brought tears to her eyes.

Cross-examination came next and Paul Bonwick was allowed to ask questions of Sara Almas since he doesn't have a lawyer and is representing himself.

The list of witnesses is Sara Almas, Kim Wingrove, former Mayor Sandra Cooper, former Deputy Mayor Rick Lloyd and former Councillor Ian Chadwick.

The hearings continue tomorrow.

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