“Today, I stand alongside local Councillor Hodgson to send a strong message to the NPCA (Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority) board chair, Sandy Annunziata, and his cohorts: We will not tolerate bullying and we will always stand up for transparency and accountability.” – Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster
A Statement from Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster to the Legislative Assemply of Ontario
Posted May 3rd, 2017 on Niagara At Large
Ms. Cindy Forster: “Today (Wednesday, May 3rd) I rise in support of Bill Hodgson, a member of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board who is being censured by the board because he dared to express legitimate and valid concerns about a questionable RFP they recently issued.
Our community has raised serious concerns about the board’s lack of operational accountability and financial transparency. The Auditor General intervened, offering an impartial audit, one the board declined.
Perhaps fearful of what the AG may uncover, the board issued its own RFP, except it reported back to the very people it was supposed to be auditing.
The public called foul, we wrote letters; Councillor Hodgson did what was right: He questioned it. The NPCA retracted the RFP and decided to go back to the AG.
It’s clear that the NPCA board chair, Sandy Annunziata, in an attempt to cover up his and some of his board members’ own actions, will stop at no end to silence anyone who seemed to disagree.
The majority of elected municipal officials and our communities are fed up. It’s time for the government to appoint a supervisor to oversee the NPCA.
Today I stand alongside local Councillor Hodgson to send a strong message to the NPCA board chair, Sandy Annunziata, and his cohorts: We will not tolerate bullying and we will always stand up for transparency and accountability.”
Niagara At Large is also posting excerts from comments made this May 3rd in the Ontario legislature by St. Catharines MPP and veteran member of the province’s governing Liberal Party, Jim Bradley –
Mr. James J. Bradley: “I didn’t have the opportunity to hear the first part of (Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster’s) speech, and I was wondering if she had made any reference to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority in the first part of her speech.
Probably she didn’t have the time to do so, but she will, I know, later on, because there have been concerns expressed to the member and to all of us in Niagara about the new direction that is being taken at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.
I’m told by people who contact my office that a number of people who were noted as environmentally inclined have been shown the door at the conservation authority. There have been what people describe to me as some questionable land deals that have taken place.
There’s some interesting contracts which have been let. And, of course, the hiring of new personnel: There are questions asked as to how particular people were chosen for particular positions which pay six-figure salaries. …
It’s matter of genuine concern. The volume of calls and e-mails and letters and simply conversations that have taken place to her office, my office and, I’m sure, the other two members from Niagara Peninsula has been rather remarkable.
I want to commend her (Cindy Forster) on taking the actions that she has to this point in time.”
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