We’ve got a Niagara Regional Councillor who’s a Champion for Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. … And let’s Thank God for that!
A Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted April 21st, 2017 in Niagara At Large
There is a quote I read in a newspaper earlier April 21st that left me so breathless I almost hate to share it with you. But I don’t like gasping for air alone, so I am going to anyway.
It is quote published in the St. Catharines Standard that has Port Colborne regional councillor David Barrick responding to concerns some people have raised about his decision this past April 19th, as the regional government’s corporate services committee chair, to unilaterally move forward with a request made by St. Catharines regional councillor Andy Petrowski at the end of the committee meeting.
What Petrowski requested was to hold any and all code of conduct complaints the Region’s integrity commissioner is now reviewing in abeyance while regional staff determine if the Region’s current Code of Conduct complies with Canada’s Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Asked about a concern raised by at least one other member of the regional council – Pelham Mayor Dave Agustyn – that Barrick gave his blessing to a request that (if approved by a majority of regional councillors at their next general council meeting this April 27th, effectively freezes the integrity commissioner’s review of complaints against any councillors and others until a review of the Code now on the books is completely, Barrick reportedly had this to say – “Maybe some people don’t respect our Constitution and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms; I, for one, do.”
This line coming from a regional councillor who also holds a senior administrative position on the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority – a public body that is now in the process of suing a Niagara citizen and retired officer of Canada’s Armed Forces who has been raising questions and concerns about how the NPCA is doing business with millions of dollars of our tax money.
Let me repeat the quote the Standard newspaper attributed to Barrick once again – “Maybe some people don’t respect our Constitution and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Barrick said. “I, for one, do.”
Please God. Keep me from actually posting the thoughts that went through my mind when I first read this quote.
I’ll hold those thoughts in abeyance and leave you with this.
I can no longer count the number of people who have said to me over the past year or two that they can no longer stand attending or watching regional council meetings in any other way, let alone consider making a presentation before the council, given what they have seen of the conduct at the meetings. A few of them have shared that view in precisely these words ‘ I don’t want any part of that shit show.”
I don’t know if it is possible, but if there is a way enough citizens across this Niagara region could sign a petition to get a credendum question on the ballot in the 2018 municipal elections that asks voters to mark an X next to ‘Yes’, if they want to dissolve regional government have police, waste management, water and other regional services run like utilities by a board of local mayors, I’m willing to bet the “Yes” vote would win overwhelmingly.
It was recently reported in the local media that regional councillors annually cost the taxpayers of Niagara about $1.5 million. Just think of what a boost that money would be for Meals on Wheels or public transit?
To read the whole St. Catharines Standard story containing the Barrick quote, click on – http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2017/04/20/integrity-issues-continue-to-plague-region .
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