Show Your Support For A St. Catharines Councillor’s Motion To Demand Accountability From Conservation Authority On How Niagara Tax Dollars Are Spent!

Names And Contact Info. For St. Catharines Councillors Is Posted Here – Call Or Email Them Before This Monday, December 5th Evening Council Meeting

A  Call-Out from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 4th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

“Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing,” said St. Catharines/Niagara citizen Ed Smith at a press conference this past November 30th about the lawsuit threat he is facing from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority for raising questions about its operating practices and demanding a forensic audit to get to the bottom of how responsibly the NPCA is spending millions of dollars of tax money that comes from residents in Niagara, Hamilton and Haldimand County.

A recent citizens' protest in front of the Niagara Peninsula Conservtion Authority headquarters in Welland/Niagara, Ontario. Protesters call for full audit of the body.

A recent citizens’ protest in front of the Niagara Peninsula Conservtion Authority headquarters in Welland/Niagara, Ontario. Protesters call for full audit of the body.

This past a spring, during what turned out to be a failed attempt by a delegation of area resident, including Smith, to convince enough Niagara regional councillors (a number of whom are allowed by the regional and provincial governments to sit on the NPCA board) to do a thorough audit of the Conservation Authority’s operations, Thorold regional councillor and former Thorold mayor Henry D’Angela (who has no ties with then NPCA CEO and now-Niagara regional CEO Carmen D’Angelo), insisted that the audit should be done “to make sure we’re (each and every tax paying citizen in the region) getting value for money from the NPCA.”

“Who wouldn’t want their internal controls reviewed to see if they can do it better,” asked D’Angela at the time.

Who indeed!

Well, the answer is the NPCA and its chief administrators and most everyone on its board with the exception of Lincoln regional councillor Bill Hodgson, that’s who.

So much so, that some of its boss hogs met with Welland MPP Cindy Forster and her staff late this past November to see if they could soften or render null and void Forster’s recent call to the provincial government for a full, forensic audit of the NPCA.

Fortunately, and three cheers to Forster for putting the interests of the public at large first, the NPCA honchoes were unable to turn her call for an audit around.

Now, this Monday, December 5th, St. Catharines city councillor Bruce Williamson is tabling a motion at the city’s 6:30 p.m. council meeting, asking the city to call on the provincial government to comment a full investigation and audit of the NPCA.

Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster stands by her call for a full, forensic audit of the Conservation Authority.

Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster stands by her call for a full, forensic audit of the Conservation Authority.

This is the first time a local municipality in Niagara is on the verge of demanding to know what is going on at the NPCA (the City of Hamilton council approved a motion last year to have the NPCA’s upper executives and entire board swept out and replaced) and St. Catharines mayor and every councillor sitting around the table needs to know that there are countless thousands of residents in their city and across this region that want a thorough, independent accounting of what happens to the millions of public dollars this body receives to happen.

That is why as many people as possible in St. Catharines need to contact their mayor and councillors before this Moonday evening’s council meeting and urge them to approve Williamson’s motion.

And it probably wouldn’t hurt at all for others among us, living in other parts of the region, to contact the mayor and councillors to, just to let them know how many everyday, taxpaying citizens across Niagara are counting on these accountability actions to happen.

In fact, we should be asking all of our local municipal councils in Niagara to consider similar motions as the one pass by Hamilton and the one now being considered by St. Catharines council since ever local municipalility is expected to contribute to the more than $7 million in tax money the NPCA receives from Niagara each year.

So here, posted immediately below, is St. Catharines city councillor Bruce Williamson’s motion, followed by the list of contact information for St. Catharines’ mayor and city councillors.

Make sure you call them and do your part to make sure this motion passes!

The Motion

WHEREAS the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority(NPCA), a Provincial agency operating in the Regions of Niagara and Haldimand County and the City of Hamilton, is funded largely by the Region of Niagara; and

WHEREAS the City of St. Catharines is the single largest local tier municipal contributor of public funds to the Region of Niagara and, therefore, the largest contributor to the NPCA’s funding;

WHEREAS, serious questions have been raised about the financial and human resource management of the NPCA; and

WHEREAS, serious questions have been raised about the functioning of the NPCA in upholding its duty to fulfill the legislative mandate, as set out for it in Section 20 of The Conservation Authorities Act, “to establish and undertake programs designed to balance the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources.” ; and

WHEREAS, Niagara MPPs and citizens have called for a forensic audit of the NPCA’s business practices; and

WHEREAS the people of the City of St. Catharines, the Region of Niagara and the Province of Ontario deserve openness and accountability as to how their tax dollars are being spent and how effectively our natural environment is being protected;

Therefore be it resolved, Council requests a letter be sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, with copies distributed to all Niagara MPPs, the Niagara Region, local tier municipalities in Niagara, Haldimand County and the City of Hamilton, urging the Province to immediately initiate an appropriately thorough investigation and forensic audit of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.

Here is the contact information for the St. Catharines mayor and members of council –

Office of the Mayor

Mayor Walter Sendzik 905.688.5601 ext. 1540

Grantham Ward

Coun. Sandie Bellows 905.380.7310
Coun. Bill Phillips 905.327.5363

Merritton Ward

Coun. David Haywood 289.696.0243
Coun. Jennifer Stevens 905.328.6722

Port Dalhousie Ward

Coun. Carlos Garcia 905.937.7012
Coun. Bruce Williamson 905.934.2787

St. Andrew’s Ward

Coun. Matt Harris 905.329.6802
Coun. Joe Kushner 905.327.9638 or 905.685.1817

St. George’s Ward

Coun. Mike Britton 905.359.7449
Coun. Sal Sorrento 289.696.3673

St. Patrick’s Ward

Coun. Mark Elliott 905.327.1763
Coun. Mat  Siscoe 905.329.8162

To read a related story on the call for an audit of the NPCA click on –

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


2 responses to “Show Your Support For A St. Catharines Councillor’s Motion To Demand Accountability From Conservation Authority On How Niagara Tax Dollars Are Spent!

  1. The NPCA “EMPIRE” leaves me totally disgusted and in my opinion a FORENSIC AUDIT needs to be ordered immediately to ascertain the TRUE present financial and economic conditions under which it is operating,
    to rooting out the apparent cronyism and nepotism that seems to prevail within the NPCA and Board and to open this association to stakeholder transparency and accountability.
    During the past few years this NPCA Association seems to have developed a mission that is totally Corporate influenced and this is NO where close to the ORIGINAL MANDATE, Rubber Stamping and Approving Bio-diversity off setting seems to be the agenda put in place BY developers and FOR developers and there is no instance when the NPCA should be involved other than prevention and protection of these environmentally sensitive areas.


  2. Dear Councillor:

    I am shocked, saddened and angered with the members of the NPCA. How dare they attack citizens for staying involved in their communities. We do still reside in Canada not in mainland China – correct?

    I have been a social and an environmental activist for decades fighting many controversial issues, but never, not even once was I, or any group or organization I represented, threatened and intimidated by elected or appointed officials. Even CEOs of high profile industries maintained decorum in our contentious meetings. They might not like what we were saying or surmising from our reviews of issues but they were polite and respectful.

    When did it become socially acceptable for Canadians to behave as if they were Trump supporters from the backwoods of society. The NPCA members should be ashamed and remember what their mothers would have told them concerning their fear of review: “Methinks they protesteth too much.”

    Please do your upmost to require an unbiased audit of the organization .

    Leslie Daniels

    “Níl aon suáilce gan a duáilce féin.”
    “There are no unmixed blessings in life.”


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