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.