STAY TUNE FOR MORE ON THIS ISSUE AROUND AN AGENCY THAT IS SUPPOSED TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT SOME OF THIS REGION’S MOST PRECIOUS GREEN LANDS
From the office of Cindy Forster, an NDP representative for the Welland Riding of Niagara, Ontario riding of Welland
Today, Cindy Forster made a statement in the house about concerns surrounding the recent action of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority:
I stand in the Legislature today to echo the concerns of city councilors, regional councilors, conservationists, residents of the Niagara Region as well as past and present members of the board of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority over the recent actions of the NPCA.
Since January of 2012 the NPCA has fired 20% of their staff, including many long-serving senior positions.
These personnel changes have not been the only major changes taking place. The NPCA recently released their Strategic Plan that outlines their goals for the next four years. Concerns have been raised over the language in the Plan and the shift towards the potential sale of NPCA land.
In the plan, one of the key objectives is the ‘Streamlined, Efficient Delivery of Development Approvals Process’, which clearly defines development as a priority. Further, I have been informed that a separate committee has been struck to deal specifically with property acquisition and disposal. The committee is being comprised of many from the development community.
According to the mandate of Conservation Authorities of Ontario, the NPCA is here to ensure that Ontario’s rivers, lakes and streams are properly safeguarded, managed and restored; to protect, manage and restore Ontario’s woodlands, wetlands and natural habitat; to develop and maintain programs that will protect life and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion; to provide opportunities for the public to enjoy, learn from and respect Ontario’s natural environment.
Many are worried that the NPCA is diverting away from their mandate and I stand here today to bring awareness to this issue to ensure the Minister of Natural Resources exercises his ministerial authority to ensure that the NPCA is operating as per their mandate and in accordance with Ministry and OCA regulations.
There will be more information to come tomorrow.
(If you care about protecting and preserving green space in Niagara, Nagara At Large encourages you to share your views on this post. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.)
Good for you, Cindy!
Why am I NOT surprised? Well!! I am not surprised because I have watch the developers in the Niagara Region run rough shod over Municipal and Regional Councils and do so with support from a few Council members who are financially supported during the run up to elections.
The Developers in this Region get away with development fees that are basically peanuts compared to the fees in areas or Regions like Halton or London. A couple of years ago when the Region decided to raise the fees the Developers circled the Regional building in Thorold in a show of contempt and one of the council members even put forth a motion in an attempt to delay the implementation of the increase.
This councilor’s Father-in-law was and is a developer in this Region.
Also a couple of years ago a local rag had a write up that basically inferred the developers were being subsidized to the tune of almost 50% by the Taxpayers of the Region…The Rate or fee was about $10,000 per single family dwelling and the Developers paid slightly over $5,000 while the taxpayers were on the hook for the balance.
That they NOW control the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is nothing NEW for their have been people fighting this developers group for years but now they seem to have found a way to bye pass the formalities of CONSERVATION by literally owning the NPCA.
I have to add THIS SOUNDS LIKE CONSULTANTS WERE HIRED TO COME UP WITH THE DECREES OF THE DEVELOPERS
Could this be connected to a 40% increase in salary for the top dog and the nepotism of conscription of Regional personnel
As an agency increases overhead for executives it has to eliminate workers>
You and I do not always agree but I think you will agree that Political Appointments and “Nepotism” lead to “EMPIRE BUILDING” and this Region has so many ” FIDDLING NEROS” it is no wonder there is so little, IN FACT, no concern by these elite to do the jobs they were ceremoniously appointed to perform for the HEALTH and WELFARE of the Community as a whole not just to cater to their own selfish egoes and in some cases their bank accounts.
Lives will be lost in the watershed all in the name of profit. The NPCA was once a leader in the province in terms of its work but now has sadly become the playground of developers and politicians (yes this means you Mr. Hudak…remember your pledge before the last election to abolish conservation authorities). The NPCA is MANDATED to protect the watershed from dangers to life and property through flooding. Flood Lines are not negotiable. The board seems more than willing to allow development in the flood plain and hazard area. Who on this board will be held accountable if/when a major storm event occurs and its decisions result in property damage or worse, loss of life?
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Support for this NPCA has fallen away 100 per cent from what they are meant to be, a conservation authority. They are now more of a development authority. Time for a revamp and get some actual scientists, environmentalists and conservationists on the board again. . Good job Cindy – Keep it up!