Minister, Premier's aide got massages with Ontario Greenbelt developer in Vegas: hotel employees
Published Tuesday, September 19, 2023 10:32PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 19, 2023 10:34PM EDT
Three Wynn Las Vegas hotel employees say their records contradict the story an Ontario Minister gave the Integrity Commissioner about a chance meeting in the hotel's lobby with a developer whose land was later removed from the Greenbelt — claiming the pair, along with a former aide to Premier Doug Ford, actually got massages at the same time.
Minister Kaleed Rasheed and Amin Massoudi got the “Good Luck Ritual” massage and developer Shakir Rehmatullah got a custom massage at the same time in the Spa at Encore, 4 p.m. on Feb. 1, 2020, which the hotel describes as a “truly opulent experience,” the three hotel employees said.
That was some two months after the dates that Rasheed gave Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake, who was exploring possibilities in how Rehmatullah could have been tipped off that Greenbelt land was up for grabs — something Wake found was more likely than not.
When told of the concurrent massages, NDP leader Marit Stiles said there are major differences in the accounts of what happened, and there could be more to dig into.
“It seems inconsistent with what a minister told the Integrity Commissioner and that’s very concerning,” Stiles said in an interview and had a message for Rasheed himself.
“You need to come clean with all the details. If there’s something you’ve been holding back you need to come clean with Ontarians,” she said.
In a statement, Rasheed’s staff responded to questions from CTV News about the mistaken dates of the trip but didn’t address the massages.
“Minister Rasheed planned a trip to travel to Las Vegas in December 2019. This trip was subsequently pushed and rescheduled to early 2020 due to scheduling conflicts,” said spokesperson Doug Allingham.
“The information that was shared with the Integrity Commissioner was mistakenly based off the original itinerary for the December 2019 trip. As noted in the commissioners’ report, Minister Rasheed had been trying to contact the hotel numerous times for assistance in obtaining proof of payment but received no response. When it was finally escalated, it was discovered that the December 2019 trip was rebooked and took place on January 30th to February 1, 2020. The hotel provided Minister Rasheed the invoice showing proof of payment to the hotel on Minister Rasheed’s credit card,” Allingham said.
Upon receiving the information, Minister Rasheed contacted the integrity commissioner’s office to correct the record and has shared the supporting hotel invoice and proof of payment paid for by the Minister. All relevant information and records are with the Integrity Commissioner,” Allingham said.
Rehmatullah didn’t respond to questions from CTV News, though the self-declared friend of Premier Doug Ford has said his Greenbelt plans long pre-dated last year’s land swap. Massoudi didn’t return calls from CTV News.