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Legal wrangling over: Red Hill Inquiry to resume

Legal wrangling over: Red Hill Inquiry to resume

The Red Hill Valley Inquiry will resume on Thursday following the handing down of a decision by the Hon. Frank Marrocco, the designate appointed by the Commissioner, that rejected most of the City’s claims that certain documents the inquiry had requested were privileged. City council subsequently voted unanimously to not appeal the Marocco ruling, and the enquiry can get back underway.

A number of the city’s claims of privilege related to correspondence between City Legal staff and Toronto Lawyer David Boghosian, an expert in municipal law, with an emphasis on municipal and police defence work. He has handled over 60 trials and appeals over the course of his practice. Boghosian was engaged to render opinions on how much legal liability the city faced as a result of the failure to disclose the Tradewind Report into friction of the Red Hill Expressway.

Marrocco essentially ruled that the  city waived much of its solicitor-client privilege by ordering the inquiry–essentially saying that having initiated the inquiry, the city can’t now deny the inquiry the documents it requested. There were, however a few documents that Marrocco ruled could be withheld.

On the list of witnesses yet to be heard from, is Dan McKinnon, who took over as head of Public Works in 2016 and who oversaw the replacement of Gary Moore, who was in charge of  the RHCE construction and commissioned the Tradewind Report as head of engineering. McKinnon subsequently retired from the city in the aftermath of the massive sewage spill into Chedoke Creek.

Mr. Marroco’s decision and a transcript of the hearing he conducted can be located here.

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