An Open Letter To NPCA Chair from Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

“Actions speak louder than words Mr. Annunziata, and it’s unfortunate that you perceive mine to be divisive when one of your first public statements in this new capacity is a letter designed to undermine the very legitimate concerns that I’ve brought forward on behalf of Niagara’s residents.” – Welland MPP Cindy Forster

From the Niagara, Ontario constituency office of Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

To Mr. SandyAnnunziata, NPCA Chair:

Ontario MPP for the Niagara riding of Welland, Cindy Forster, who has recently called for a full investigation and audit of the NPCA's operations

Ontario MPP for the Niagara riding of Welland, Cindy Forster, who has recently called for a full investigation and audit of the NPCA’s operations

I’m writing to firstly congratulate you on your new position as Chair of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and secondly, to thank you for sharing your lengthy perspective on recent developments with the NPCA in the region. Despite the confrontational nature of your press document, I’ll do my best to address some of your key concerns. 

I appreciate your relaying a verbose understanding of the term advocacy.  Given the many definitions you provide, it’s unfortunate that you overlook my responsibility as an elected Member of Provincial Parliament to ensure the voices in my community are heard. This responsibility includes working with countless individuals, advocates, community groups, municipalities, and fellow MPP’s across partisan lines to ensure advocacy translates into effective political action.

To be clear, these are the very individuals who have been calling on their municipalities to take action; Action that, in this case, has translated into unanimous motions across the region calling for greater transparency and accountability at the NPCA. Collectively, these represent close to one million voices from diverse backgrounds. 

As such, it isn’t one special interest group as you claim, or a singular agenda; rather, long standing appeals by many in the communities that we both were elected to represent.  As elected officials, it’s our duty to ensure their voices are heard. I was pleased to see the NPCA finally agree to a third party forensic audit at its most recent board meeting. I trust the motion inspires you as Chair to engage (as you say) with these very partners in thoughtful, respectful discussion to find common ground in hopes of restoring trust in the NPCA.

To emphasize this point, I remind you that these concerns aren’t new. In fact, they’re one of the key reasons the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) undertook the larger review process.

A recent letter from the MNRF validates how longstanding the concerns are and confirms they’ve heard similar concerns from many public stakeholders and Indigenous Communities as part of the review process. As such, it should come as no surprise that the first key priority of the review mandate is to strengthen oversight and accountability in decision making processes.

Actions speak louder than words Mr. Annunziata, and it’s unfortunate that you perceive mine to be divisive when one of your first public statements in this new capacity is a letter designed to undermine the very legitimate concerns that I’ve brought forward on behalf of Niagara’s residents.

I believe as Chair, your new role provides you an opportunity to restore faith in the NPCA. To that end, perhaps resources could be better spent on working together to ensure the organization is transparent, accountable and trusted, rather than wasting those very dollars to silence the voices of those concerned.

 Regards,

Cindy Forster, MPP, Welland Riding

 To read a recent post on Niagara At Large containing the full text of the NPCA chair’s statement, attacking MPP Cindy Forster and others, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2017/01/24/in-a-prepared-statement-new-npca-chair-sets-tone-for-conservation-authoritys-future/ .

NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK. PLEASE SHARE YOUR VIEWS ON THIS ISSUE BELOW.

 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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5 responses to “An Open Letter To NPCA Chair from Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

  1. Cindy Forster thank you for standing up for all of us, not for some of us.

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  2. When I receive or write comments pertaining to the NPCA I re-read them “ALL””several times” to make certain there is “NO” incriminating sentences or phrases that might be twisted and used by certain elements to enable them to threaten and “USE MY OWN TAX DOLLARS” in a phony( Definition-Making a false show) lawsuit against me or my friends.
    It is scary, horrific, catastrophic to even think that WE might have to protect ourselves against the very people who come to ” WE THE PEOPLE” begging for our vote. Well YOU ALL can be assured that in ELECTIONS to follow I will use the same SELF protective measures when I VOTE and I will exercise my rights as a taxpaying citizen to help prevent assholes slipping through ever again.

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  3. Thank You MPP Cindy Forster…WE did not always agree on issues BUT on this issue I not only Agree ….I praise you and “OUR” group for standing up against these diverse ELEMENTS….THANK YOU ALL

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  4. How well said! Obviously a well timed reminder of the definition of “representation” of the people at every level.
    I would like to be “charitable” and allow that perhaps Councillor Annunziata simply still has a lot to learn about what representing the electorate means ie ALL the people.
    I would like to be able to believe that his limited, apparently exclusive, interpretation of the “agenda” for the Conservation Authority merely requires more education which seems to be lacking.
    Unfortunately, the arrogance and dismissiveness of the million or so people in the Region who do not agree with him as “one small special interest group” precludes that generosity in me. The majority of electors in a Region cannot constitute a special interest group. Perhaps he should also keep in mid that, the million or so people are, in effect, his employers.
    Those employers require the “employee” to follow instructions and the “job description” otherwise, the employers have the right to terminate that employment on the basis of inability or refusal to perform the duties for which they are hired.

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  5. Elizebeth Clark

    Well said. Bravo. We appreciate it.

    Like

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