UPDATED – One of Niagara’s Most Controversial Public Figures, David Barrick, and the NPCA Have Finally Parted Ways

The controversial “acting CAO” has left the Conservation Authority by “mutual agreement” – effective this February 21, 2019

(In our haste to get a breaking report about David Barrick’s departure from the NPCA up this February 21st, Niagara At Large made the mistake of using Grimsby Mayor Jeff Jordan’s headshot in the body of the report instead of NPCA chair and West Lincoln Mayor Dave Bylsma’s. We sincerely apologize to all concerned.)

A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted February 22nd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

David Barrick, NPCA’s now departed “acting CAO”

David Barrick, one of the most controversial figures who has worked his way up to top of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s administrative food chain over the past six years, has now partied ways with the agency.

Members of the NPCA’s board of directors and staff received official word this February 21st afternoon of a “mutual separation agreement,” effective immediately and signed between Barrick, who last served as the Conservation Authority’s “acting CAO,” and the board.

The agreement apparently bars any public disclosure of how much any buy out package for Barrick cost the taxpayers of Niagara, Hamilton and Haldimand County who contribute (with most of the money coming from Niagara) to the NPCA’s $9 million-plus a year budget.

A memo circulated this February 21st from the NPCA board’s current Chair, Dave Bylsma, to other board members and the agency’s staff reads, in part –

“Hello NPCA Board of Directors …

“The Interim Chief Administrative Officer/Secretary Treasurer, David Barrick and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) Board have concluded a mutual separation agreement effective today (February 21st, 2019).

Niagara citizens outside an NPCA board meeting as recently as this February 20th, holding up signs demanding the ouster of David Barrick.

“I am proud of what I was able to accomplish during my tenure with the NPCA. During my time, and with the support of my team, we went from running at an annual net deficit of over $550,000 in 2013, to a combined net surplus for NPCA parks of over $280,000 by year-end 2018. The net surpluses add to the overall financial health of the organization, increased investment in capital have been made and operational reserves have been replenished,” said former Interim CAO David Barrick.

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BREAKING NEWS – One of Niagara’s Most Controversial Public Figures, David Barrick, and the NPCA Have Finally Parted Ways

The controversial “acting CAO” has left the Conservation Authority by “mutual agreement” – effective this February 21, 2019

(In our haste to get this breaking report about David Barrick’s departure from the NPCA up this February 21st, Niagara At Large made the mistake of using Grimsby Mayor Jeff Jordan’s headshot in the body of the report instead of NPCA chair and West Lincoln Mayor Dave Bylsma’s. We have corrected that error and we sincerely apologize to all concerned.)

By Doug Draper

Posted February 21st, 2019 on Niagara At Large

David Barrick, NPCA’s now departed “acting CAO”

David Barrick, one of the most controversial figures who has worked his way up to top of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s administrative food chain over the past six years, has now partied ways with the agency.

Members of the NPCA’s board of directors and staff received official word this February 21st afternoon of a “mutual separation agreement,” effective immediately and signed between Barrick, who last served as the Conservation Authority’s “acting CAO,” and the board.

The agreement apparently bars any public disclosure of how much any buy out package for Barrick cost the taxpayers of Niagara, Hamilton and Haldimand County who contribute (with most of the money coming from Niagara) to the NPCA’s $9 million-plus a year budget.

A memo circulated this February 21st from the NPCA board’s current Chair, Dave Bylsma, to other board members and the agency’s staff reads, in part –

“Hello NPCA Board of Directors …

“The Interim Chief Administrative Officer/Secretary Treasurer, David Barrick and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) Board have concluded a mutual separation agreement effective today (February 21st, 2019).

Niagara citizens outside an NPCA board meeting as recently as this February 20th, holding up signs demanding the ouster of David Barrick.

“I am proud of what I was able to accomplish during my tenure with the NPCA. During my time, and with the support of my team, we went from running at an annual net deficit of over $550,000 in 2013, to a combined net surplus for NPCA parks of over $280,000 by year-end 2018. The net surpluses add to the overall financial health of the organization, increased investment in capital have been made and operational reserves have been replenished,” said former Interim CAO David Barrick.

Continue reading

Support a Federal Bill to End Captiivity of Whales and Dolphins in Canada

Passage of Bill could Spell the End of Captive Marine Mammal Exhibits at Marineland in Niagara Falls

A Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by a Call-Out to Support the Bill from Canada’s Green Party

Posted February 21st. 2019 on Niagara At Large

One of the countless demonstrations every spring, summer and fall in front of Marineland in Niagara Falls. File photos by Doug Draper

Going back to my earliest years as an environment reporter at The St. Catharines Standard in the 1980s, there have been individuals and groups in Niagara and across the North American continent pressing senior levels of government to ban the captivity of whales and dolphins and other marine mammals at amusement parks and acquariums like Marineland in Niagara Falls.

Groups like Niagara Action for Animals (NAFA) and Zoocheck Canada, a handful of activist teachers in Niagara who decided to stop taking groups of grade school students to Marineland, and former Marineland trainers like Phil Demers, who is still facing a$1.5 million lawsuit for speaking out seven years ago about conditions for the mammals in the park, are among a long paraid of groups and individuals who have been fighting for an end of captivity for these remarkable animals.

And now, with a federal bill, S-203 – better known as the End the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act -coming closer to a final vote in Canada’s Parliament, the dream of ending the practice of keeping whales and other marine mammals in tanks for public exhibition may finally come true. Continue reading

Brock University Business Prof named CEO of 2021 Canada Games

“This is a wonderful opportunity that will bring all of Niagara together as we welcome athletes, parents and spectators from across Canada.” – Barry Wright, associate professor, Brock’s Goodman School of Business

News from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted February 21st, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Brock Prof Barry Wright will serve as CEO for the 2021 Canada Games when they come to Niagara

Organizers of the 2021 Canada Games have reached into the academic ranks at Brock University to find their new Chief Executive Officer.

Barry Wright, an associate professor who has also served as Interim Dean in Brock’s Goodman School of Business, will officially move into the CEO role on May 1.

An announcement from Doug Hamilton, who is Chair of the 2021 Canada Games Host Society, said Wright will oversee a range of key organizational activities that include human resources, volunteer programming, finance, and sport and athlete services.

Wright will take a secondment from his Brock duties in order to concentrate on the Games, which will take place in the Niagara region in the summer of 2021. Continue reading

Ontario NDP Brings Families Throughout The Province Together To Push Back Against Conservative Cuts To Autism Supports

After Ford Government admission that only families earning less than $55,000 are entitled to full amount

“People everywhere are coming together to fight back against Conservative cuts that rip funding away from the kids that need it most.” – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

A News Release from Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democratic Party

Posted February 21st, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park—Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath said that families of children living with autism have spoken; and they oppose Doug Ford’s scheme to rip supports and treatment away from their kids.

This past Wednesday (February 20th), about 200 families from every part of the province joined the NDP at Queen’s Park to push back against Ford’s callous cuts to autism services — all families with a child with autism, all devastated by Ford’s cut to funding. 

“People everywhere are coming together to fight back against Conservative cuts that rip funding away from the kids that need it most,” said Horwath. Continue reading

Ontario Taking Action to Strengthen Protection for New Home Buyers

Province Transforms Tarion Warranty Corporation’s Broken System to Protect Ontario Families

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara West NPP Sam Oosterhoff

Posted February 2nd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Niagara, Ontario —Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West is working for the people by protecting hardworking Ontarians when making one of the biggest purchases in their lives — a new home.

Ontario’s Government is transforming Tarion Warranty Corporation and implementing initiatives to better protect purchasers of cancelled pre-construction condominium projects.

“There are many families across the province who have faced difficulties over the years when seeking a solution from Tarion,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West. “For our government one thing is clear, Tarion is broken. That is why our government is pleased to announce that we are taking decisive action to put the People of Ontario first by transforming Tarion and strengthening consumer protection.” Continue reading

New NPCA Board Could Begin to Build a Bit of Public Trust by Rehiring Fired Employee

Time  Rapidly Running Out For This Board to Take Real Action to Clean e Mess at  Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Up

A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted February 19th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

I don’t believe I’d be too far off the mark to say that if the current board of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) was a song, it would be lucky to ever make it on to the Hot 100 Billboard charts – not the way things on this board are going.

One of many demonstrations of citizens in front of the NPCA’s headquarters in Welland over the past four years. File photo by Doug Draper

Now more than two thirds of the way through a three-month interim mandate, the 12 area mayors and councillors Niagara’s Regional Council appointed to the board of this highly dysfunctional public agency, along with members from Hamilton and Haldimand County, have overseen a continuation of what an Ontario Superior Court Judge described this past December as the kind of chaos that cannot be tolerated any more. Continue reading