Here’s Calling On ALL OF US to Contribute to a Legal Defence Fundraiser for a Niagara Citizen being Sued by Members of Our Municipal Government!

By Doug Draper

Posted February 17th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

This is something that will never stop being outrageous to me. And it is something you and all your friends and neighbours should feel is outrageous too!

One of our fellow citizens in this region of Niagara gets sued for a total of $200,000 by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation (the board of which is stacked with regional councilors and with mayors of some of our local municipalities) and by the NPCA’s former CAO (now CAO for Niagara’s regional government) Carmen D’Angelo.

Ed Smith, recently talking to reporters about the lawsuit launched against him by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and its former CAO. File photo by Doug Draper

Ed Smith, recently talking to reporters about the lawsuit launched against him by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and its former CAO. File photo by Doug Draper

And why? Because the NPCA and D’Angelo found things they claim are  defamatory to them in a list of questions and concerns raised a report that was circulated around to local politicians and others about the way the NPCA has gone about spending  our tax dollars.

The citizen beingsued is Ed Smith, a St. Catharines resident and retired Canadian Armed Forces officer who the better part of the past year has been asking many of the same questions growing numbers of others across Niagara and Hamilton are asking about the NPCA’s hiring and firing practices, its land deals, its awarding of contracts to other parties, and other matters involving the spending of millions of dollars it receives from we, the people, each year.

In my view, and in the view of many of his friends and supporters, Ed Smith could be any one of us who dares to confront a government body when they feel it may be doing something questionable with our tax money, and demanding answers.

That is why none of us should sit back and accept what is happening to Ed Smith and as many of us as possible should contribute to the following defence fundraiser for him – all in a way to let the power that be in government know that we will not be slapped down for exercising our democratic right to question what they are doing with the hard-earned dollars they tax from us!

As one Ontario court judge – Justice Kenneth E. Pedlar – concluded of a citizen sued by a government body in Montague, Ontario a few years ago – “In a free and democratic system, every citizen must be guaranteed the right to freedom of expression about issues relating to government as an absolute privilege, without threat of a civil action for defamation being initiated against them by that government.”

Here, here! Now here is information about the Sunday, March 12th fundraiser other good citizens in Niagara have organized for Ed Smith. Please support it with some dollar in any way you can, and let the powers that be holding public office in this region know that citizens are not going to stand for this in a democracy!

poster-fundraiser

Here again is some information and contact information for this fundraiser –

DATE AND TIME   Sun, 12 March 2017   1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT

LOCATION  Celtic Club  14 Secord Drive  St Catharines, ON L2N 1K8

NB  All funds raised go straight into a ‘trust fund’ administered by separate individuals and Ed wants everyone to know he cannot access any funds – it is as transparent as he is and totally arms length. 

Donation cheques can be mailed to c/o Jeff Burch, 311 Queenston St., St. Catharines, L2P 2X6. Donations can also be emailed to jeff@jeffburch.ca. Receipts will be issued (not tax deductible).

I leave you with a few words from Ed Smith, who served our Canada in the Armed Forces for more than two decades –

 “I willfully dedicated 25 years of my professional life fighting for the “ideal” of Canada,” he said. . “Countless others have sacrificed much more than that, and there is nothing that will divert me from doing right by them.”

PLEASE DO WHAT YOU CAN TO SUPPORT THIS IMPORTANT FIGHT FOR CITIZENS RIGHTS.

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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3 responses to “Here’s Calling On ALL OF US to Contribute to a Legal Defence Fundraiser for a Niagara Citizen being Sued by Members of Our Municipal Government!

  1. I second, and endorse, everything expressed here. What is being perpetrated against Ed Smith is unconscionable and indefensible. 10 Councils and Citizens in every one of those municipalities plus 4 MPPs have asked for an audit of the NPCA. Does the NPCA intend to sue every member of Council, every MPP and every citizen for challenging what they consider to be their inalienable right to do as they please with our money with no questions asked and no transparency? Keep in mind – the NPCA is funded by Region and all Municipalities – therefore – using OUR money to sue a private citizen. Is this acceptable? I think not!! Ed has done, unflinchingly, what many of us wished we had the guts to do and he has not wavered. Please support however you are able. Thank you.

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  2. Do we NOT have a Government of the People for the People and by the People?

    We seem to have an Ontario government that sits on its proverbial ass as ONTARIO citizens are harassed, threatened and sued by an agency of the Provincial Government because they attempted to exercise what is assumed to be their given right in a “FREE COUNTRY”.

    Major Ed Smith upheld both his and our rights as enshrined within the CANADIAN “CHARTER of RIGHTS” and where as his acts and actions were backed by the four Niagara Region MPPs and most if NOT all the TAXPAYERS whose TAXES finance and enable the NPCA to exist and to up hold the mandate as defined in the NPCA mission statement.

    In my opinion, the MANDATE of the NPCA has been compromised by this action and to a point where it serves NO Environmental purpose. The NPCA should therefore and be eliminated in its present form.

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  3. My husband and I will attend the event. No person more worthy of community support than Ed Smith. He speaks for thousands of diverse folks in Niagara, not a select few.

    Like

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