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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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