Here’s a ‘Quote of the Week’ for You’

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.

Port Colborne regional councilor and corporate services committee chair standing strong for Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. . File photo

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.

Port Colborne regional councilor David Barrick (left) and St. Catharines regional councilor Andy Petrowski. File photo

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 .

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 .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


3 responses to “Here’s a ‘Quote of the Week’ for You’

  1. Sad really, nothing but sad. This is from the same Regional Councillor who did not think twice about using his position of public trust to land himself a job in Senior Management at the NPCA. Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. It really is that simple.


  2. How is it that when the councillors drew up the Code of Conduct and were made aware of what it said upon election,and at some point decided they were capable of handling code of conduct issues themselves (which clearly was poor judgment), and did not need an integrity commissioner, that no-one was concerned about any infringement of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms at any point of time until now??


  3. Setting aside the question of why a regional councillor would want to stop an investigation by the Region’s integrity commissioner, couldn’t Petrowski and his lawyer simply bring a motion in an actual court before an actual judge to determine if the Code of Conduct adheres to the Charter? All staff can do is ask another lawyer for an opinion. Only a judge can make a decision. If Petrowski’s lawyer believes his rights are being infringed upon, that argument is best made in a courtroom. Imagine a government that freezes whenever a lawyer expresses an opinion on behalf of their client? If this precedent stands, they may as well close the doors because the system is completely unworkable.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s