Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Is Using Our Tax Money To Malign A Niagara Citizen’s Good Name

“Are we going to see the bill for this lawsuit? … The message that seems to be out there is “don’t ask” or you’ll be sued.”

An Open Letter from Niagara citizen Marilyn Bell for Niagara At Large to post and for all of us to give the words she shares in it some serious consideration.

Posted January 15th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Some of our elected officials don’t want to “waste” taxpayers’ money on a forensic audit of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority but are willing to spend taxpayers’ money on suing a private citizen named Ed Smith for asking questions. 

A private citizen who, by the way, spent twenty-five years of his life in our Canadian Air Force.  He served us then and is serving us now by wanting to find out facts.  Are we going to see the bill for this lawsuit?

A 2016 meeting of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board. The board recently launched a lawuist against Niagara citizen Ed Smith who has been calling for a forensic audit of the NPCA's operations. File photo by Doug Draper

A 2016 meeting of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board. The board recently launched a lawuist against Niagara citizen Ed Smith who has been calling for a forensic audit of the NPCA’s operations. File photo by Doug Draper

  The message that seems to be out there is “don’t ask” or you’ll be sued.

What is the big deal, or is there a big deal? 

It won’t be the first or last time that taxpayers’ money has been wasted.  So waist it!  Get a forensic audit done!  Clear this up and move on! 

This whole situation is the “Donald Trump” campaign of our Region.  “Drain the swamp” says Donald Trump but I won’t disclose my tax returns.  “Build a wall.”  Our wall is being built between our so called representatives and us who voted for them. 

Mr. Smith’s name is getting maligned by the very people who claim that that is what he is doing to them.  Who pays for ads against Mr. Smith?  Taxpayers?

I along with many others stand beside “our voice” Ed Smith thanking him for trying to make our community “great again.”  

Am I going to be sued for writing this letter?

A Response to Marilyn Bell’s letter from Niagara At Large publisher and journalist Doug Draper –

The above letter from Marilyn Bell is one of a growing number I receive from citizens across this Niagara region – letters that most of those who write to them ask me not to post for fear that they too will be sued by the rogue managers and board members on a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority they have so obviously forgotten is our Conservation Authority – not theirs to use like a candy store for themselves and their cronies.

At the end of her letter, Marilyn Bell finishes by asking; “Am I going to be sued for writing this letter?

I believe that Marilyn means this as a rhetorical question and is not personally worried that the posting of this letter, alone, now makes her a target for a slap suit from the NPCA.

Yet in a very real way, the lawsuit the bunch now running this Conservation Authority has launched against Ed Smith, is a suit against all of us – against Marilyn and you and I, and everyone else in this region who might dare to raise questions about the way this public body is doing business with millions of dollars of our tax money.

In a very real way, this lawsuit is an expression of complete and utter expression of contempt from a majority of those sitting on the NPCA’s board of directors and from the NPCA’s upper managers for the people who live and work and pay taxes in a watershed falling under its jurisdiction that covers all of Niagara and parts of Hamilton and Haldimand Township.

Citizens staged a protest rally in front of NPCA offices late last year. File photo by Doug Draper

Citizens staged a protest rally in front of NPCA offices late last year. File photo by Doug Draper

The NPCA’s management and its board (made up largely by municipal councillors appointed by the Niagara regional government’s Caslin administration) is showing contempt again by holding its Annual General Meeting and a full board meeting this coming Wednesday, January 18th – not in the evening when more members of the public may be able to attend, but at 9:30 a.m. at NPCA Ball’s Falls Conservation Area centre (do a bit of Googling to find the exact location) in the Niagara municipal of Lincoln.

Despite the inconvenient time for many citizens who work or attend classes then, many people are urging each other to go because at these meetings, it is expected that one of the board’s an important board meeting to have one of the lackeys on the board put forward that would ask the NPCA to make arrangements to have a forensic and/or value for money audit done on itself.

That move smells way too much like the wolf looking after the hen house and defies the recent calls by Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster, and the councils for many municipalities, including St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelham, Welland, Port Colborne and Hamilton, and of many citizens across the region , to have the Ontario premier and her government arrange a full audit and investigation of this body’s way of doing business when it comes to hiring and firing people, awarding contracts, land transaction and other matters that involve millions of dollars of our money.

This move by the NPCA to take control of who does an audit on what when it comes to its operations is another expression of contempt for each and every one of us who have the right to expect true accountability and openness from our government, AND IT MUST BE PROTESTED AND OPPOSED at the Wednesday, January 18th board meeting and at every other appropriate venue for citizens to demand answers to their concerns at the municipal and provincial level!

Be at that meeting if you can.

Enough is enough of lawsuit threats and other contemptable tactics this rogue group is using against citizens exercising their rights in a democracy to call those whose role it is to serve the public to account.

For more information on this issue, check out some recent, related news and commentary posted on Niagara At Large by clicking the following links.  

Now please consider using the space below to join Marilyn Bell in sharing your comment on the NPCA mess.

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

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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4 responses to “Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Is Using Our Tax Money To Malign A Niagara Citizen’s Good Name

  1. That has a “Trump” sort of ring to it. Sue me and I’ll just take the money out of your own pocket.

    Like

  2. Definition of “STAKEHOLDER” (Google) A person, group or organization that has an interest or concern in an organization………………. and as such each and every taxpayer whose taxes support and fund the NPCA is a stakeholder in that ASSOCIATION. Thus it would seem “TRUTH” the NPCA is in essence “ACCOUNTABLE” to the taxpaying citizens of all jurisdictions from which this Association draws funding.

    It also seems logical that a stakeholder has a RIGHT to question actions attempted and/or taken without the consent and/or knowledge of the Association’s “STAKEHOLDERS”.

    In my own opinion The actions taken by the NPCA Administration is beyond extreme and does not address the original mandate or mission statement of this Association.

    I find too many little “EMPIRES” operating in this Province, Empires built by appointee many through cronyism and/or nepotism, Empires where the builders feel they are emperors or empresses who are beyond mere accountability to even the taxpaying citizens who through their
    Taxes funding their excesses.

    Therefore; My Right as a taxpaying STAKEHOLDER

    Does the NPCA ADMINISTRATION and its Appointed BOARD FEEL THEY ARE ABOVE REPROACH and if so WHY????

    YOU ARE ALL ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE WHO ELECTED
    YOU……………… “ALL” THE TAXPAYING CITIZENS

    Like

  3. The regional Councillors who dominate the Conservation Aauthority are like a group of people connected with the tobacco industry trying to dominate the public health authority. Terrible self’ interest on the part of those whose job should be to protect the earth.

    Like

  4. Excellent article Doug. Thank you for keeping this nonsense in the for front of our awareness. I will do my part as a citizen to make as many other citizens knowledgeable about what is going on.

    Like

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