A Letter To Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne And Members Of Her Cabinet – Demanding A Full Investigation And Audit Of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

From St. Catharines/Niagara resident and community activist Desmond Sequeira

Posted December 5th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note – Niagara At Large is posting the following letter, dated December 3rd and written to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, some of her key Cabinet Ministers and to Niagara area MPPs, with the permission of its author Desmond Squeira, just hours before St. Catharines councillors debate a motion this Monday (December 5th) evening to make the same call on the province for a full investigation and audit of the NPCA.

Niagara residents rally in front of NPCA headquarters r in support of recent call by Welland MPP Cindy Forster for a forensic audit of the body. File photo by Doug Draper

Niagara residents rally in front of NPCA headquarters r in support of recent call by Welland MPP Cindy Forster for a forensic audit of the conservation  body. File photo by Doug Draper

NAL learned earlier this December 5th that NPCA chair and St. Catharines regional councillor has been granted permission to speak to the council at the 6:30 p.m. meeting, presumably to speak against passage of the motion, drafted by St. Catharines city councillor Bruce Williamson, calling for the audit and investigation.

Niagara area residents have also been working to organize a rally in front of the St. Catharines City Hall in the city’s downtown, in favour of the motion.

More on this issue later. Now here is the letter to the Premier and company, composed by Desmond Sequeira.)

To Honourable Premier, Ministers and MPPs –

In the words of Councilor Bruce Williamson of St. Catharines, Ontario, I  hereby request the Government of Ontario to “immediately initiate an appropriately thorough investigation and forensic audit of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA).” ( the final part of a motion to be tabled at the meeting of Council on 5 December, 2016)

There is every reason to assert that the NPCA is NOT working to fully conserve Niagara’s wetlands and forests. There is also reason to conclude that the NPCA is not working to fully respect historical treaty rights and agreements made by governments of Ontario and Canada with the indigenous peoples of Niagara.

You are probably aware that the issues arising from the conduct of the NPCA with regard to the above have led to a strong and dramatically growing grassroots movement in Niagara, throwing a bright light on the workings of this body and of other Niagara politicians with vested interests.

St. Catharines/Niagara resident Ed Smith slapped with lawsuit threat from NPCA in wake of his efforts to get to the bottom of how the body is spending millions of dollars of our tax money. File photo by Doug Draper

St. Catharines/Niagara resident Ed Smith slapped with lawsuit threat from NPCA in wake of his efforts to get to the bottom of how the body is spending millions of dollars of our tax money. File photo by Doug Draper

Among several concerns, I draw your attention firstly to the patent tactics of intimidation being used by the NPCA towards upright and law abiding activists Ed Smith and others whose only “crime” is to request completely transparent accountability by the NPCA to the citizens of Niagara and Ontario whose taxes fund this regional body. Since when is it OK for an agency of our government to file a lawsuit against citizens, using our tax dollars to boot. This is a shocking, disgraceful and presumptuous attempt to preempt democratic challenge.

The following links will provide you with some immediately relevant material. I am sure that each of you is in a position to obtain further history and details through the personnel of your various ministries.

https://niagaraatlarge.com/2016/12/01/niagara-citizen-wont-let-conservation-authority-muzzle-his-efforts-and-those-of-others-to-make-it-more-publicly-accountable/

http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2016/11/30/activist-wont-back-down-from-npca

Along with thousands of voting citizens of Niagara, I trust that your offices will take speedy action with regard to the NPCA for its effort to subvert democracy.

Further, going back to the original provocations of this crisis, I request the government to examine the role of the NPCA in jeopardizing the very last and best of Niagara’s and Canada’s wetlands and forests which critically provide sacred habitat for many of the most endangered and/or threatened animal, bird and insect populations in our country. This action is especially called for in the context of  Ontario’s, Canada’s and the world’s commitment to save our ecosystem, to reverse global warming and to redirect our resources to a green economy.

There is very good reason to believe that the NPCA and other Niagara politicians are working far more to support the objectives of multinational corporations bent on sheer profit than for the well-being of the citizens of our region and country.

Thank you for your attention, Desmond Sequeira

Desmond Sequeira is a St. Catharines/Niagara, Ontario resident, a retired Multi-Faith Chaplain for the Government of Ontario and, formerly, a Jesuit missionary in Guyana, South America. He remains a member of the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara andserves as the coordinator of its Social Action Team. “My consuming concern, he says, is Systemic Social Justice, local, national and international.”

Desmond Squeira is also a member  of the grassroots movement to Save Thundering Waters in Niagara Falls, Ontario from becoming so called “Paradise” for an urban development project proposed there.

If you wish to urge the City of St. Catharines’ mayor and its councillors, via email, to appove Councillor Willianson’s motion for a full investigation and forensic audit of the NPCA before the 6:30 p.m council meeting gets underway this December 5th, you still have time to do so by clicking on – mayorcouncil@stcatharines.ca .

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space provided after the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

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

 

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One response to “A Letter To Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne And Members Of Her Cabinet – Demanding A Full Investigation And Audit Of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

  1. The total attempt to stop a Forensic Audit of the NPCA and an investigation into the operations and agenda of the same association seems to be causing quite a stir in the administration of that Body or should I say Closed shop or better still EMPIRE.
    A full page article in Niagara this Week by the NPCA Chairman, followed by a gaggle of NPCA administrators, Board Members or Regional Councillors visited the office of the local MPP and I wonder what was their objective? Was it to convince the MPP to drop her request to the Provincial Government to order a Forensic Audit???
    Numerous good, hard working NPCA people have been eliminated in a so called restructuring scheme yet the working members of the staff has actually increased? I read in an article where people who donated to the election of some of the now administration have been hired ?????
    If something stinks like shit it usually is……and……. the smell completely covers the Niagara Region….

    Like

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