Support a Bid to Pull the Plug on the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s current Board of Directors!

Join growing numbers of Niagara area citizens in signing         the petition below

Posted August 8th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

A Foreword Note from Niagara At Large publisher and reporter Doug Draper

The following petition, urging Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne and other government leaders in this province and region to take whatever steps they can to pull the plug on the current board of directors (mostly made up of Niagara mayors and regional councillors) of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority until a thorough forensic audit is completed on the NPCA’s operations, has been drafted by St. Catharines citizen activist Emily Spanton with the support of other citizens across the Niagara region.

The petition, which goes on to make other reasonable recommendations to rectify the useless mess this NPCA has become in recent times, is now making the rounds on social media and is gaining signatures by the day.

Niagara At Large is pleased to join other venues in posting this petition for our readers to review and hopefully sign. This independent site for news and commentary – as many of those who visit Niagara At Large on a regular basis know – is a strong supporter of programs and projects that protect and conserve our natural environment.

That is why Niagara At Large has come to the conclusion that the current board and executives in charge of the NPCA offer nothing in the environmental protection and conservation area that cannot be delivered by other bodies of government, including the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Environment Canada and local municipalities which could be provided with the support and funding to care for conservation areas as parks within their jurisdictions.

We do not need to spend millions of dollars of municipal tax money each year on yet another layer of administration and on another board for mayors and other elected politicians  to sit on when they  already have municipal councils of their own to sit on to advance their agendas.

The NPCA’s board of directors in session at one of its monthly board meetings this past January.

Do we not already have enough committees of regional council for these politicians to sit on? It is not at all funny that some of the same politicians who stand up at regional council and talk about how bloated government is in Niagara also serve on this totally useless and redundant NPCA body.

So good for Emily Spanton and other citizens across the region for putting the following petition together.

Please read Emily’s intro to the petition, along with what the petition is asking for, and by all means, sign it if you agree that something serious needs to be done about this wasteful, out-of-control body.

From Emily Spanton –

There exists a plethora of misinformation on many issues in the Niagara Peninsula, particularly regarding the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and the citizen-lead fight to Save Thundering Waters Forest.

In July, I wrote a petition regarding Thundering Waters Slough Forest and its proposed development; as of this morning, we have 750 signatures and continue to gain strength: Protect Thundering Waters Forest Petition Si tu prefere, c’est aussi disponible en francais: Protege d’eaux-tonnantes (Thundering Waters Forest) Petition

Many in the Niagara Region, constituents and politicians alike, missed a great article in the Pelham Voice on July 13th, 2017, regarding allegations that the regions Mayors, and CAO`s, meet privately to discuss regional matters in contravention of the Ontario Municipal Act. http://www.thevoiceofpelham.ca/private-meetings-among-niagara-mayors-called-out/

In reaction, I have penned the newly posted Accountability at the NPCA petition asking the province, and councils, to step in and show some leadership; there are 50 signatures overnight. Please take a moment to read the entire document: Accountability at the NPCA Petition

Constituents, voters and taxpayers, are demanding change and accountability from our politicians; hear what we are saying.

Accountability at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA)

Supporters –

WHEREAS there is a perception of a proclivity to favour developers at the expense of conservation and the NPCA’s official mandate; despite irrefutable, documented evidence, the NPCA has neglected to enforce conservation regulations when the infraction involves a developer.  

WHEREAS the Board has demonstrated favouritism to friends, and fellow Board members, by awarding untendered contracts to under-qualified individuals replacing professional, well trained, fully qualified employees; The Board has further engendered a toxic environment for employees, and Board members, who disagree with their actions by threatening action in the event of perceived “whistle-blowing”.

WHEREAS we feel the only way to stop the uncontrolled destruction of our green spaces in the name of development is to dissolve the Board of Directors of the NPCA and appoint a caretaker board.

THEREFORE  

  • We demand Premier Wynne show some leadership in this urgent issue and stepin to that end;
  • We demand the municipalities which contribute to the NPCA immediately recall their representatives until such a time as a complete forensic audit is completed;
  • we recommend any future board comprise at minimum half citizen representatives with relevant specializations to be selected after an application process; 
  • we recommend any future board be prohibited from stacking mayors as it is perceived to be a conflict of interest.

This petition will be delivered to:

  • Minister of Municipal Affairs, Ontario Bill Mauro
  • Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ontario Kathryn McGarry
  • Mayor, City of Hamilton Fred Eisenberger

17 more decision makers…

To sign the petition and read more detailed information on the reasons for it, please click onhttps://www.change.org/p/kathleen-wynne-accountability-at-the-npca .

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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2 responses to “Support a Bid to Pull the Plug on the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s current Board of Directors!

  1. Thank you for sharing this Doug. The NPCA and the Regional Council are dysfunctional to the point of total irrelevance to the people and the purpose they are supposed to serve. There are Regional Councillors who do know why they are there – to serve the people and the Region but .. they are shut down and shut out by those who have “other agendas”. It’s time for “the people” to say “Enough is enough” – replace the NPCA Board and reform the Regional Council. As you say, how many “administrative bodies” do we need ? Could the tax dollars not be put to more effective use and should we not be demanding more accountability from Municipal councils at the same time?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine Mitchell

    According to the Conservation Authorities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.27 the biggest problem with the NPCA is they continually over step their legal authority. They have authority of Public lands but do not have authority over private lands unless they purchase said lands, lease the lands or expropriate said lands. And in all cases they would have to pay for said lands. According to the Powers of authorities
    21 (1) For the purposes of accomplishing its objects, an authority has power,
    (c) to acquire by purchase, lease or otherwise and to expropriate any land that it may require, and, subject to subsection (2), to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of land so acquired;
    (d) despite subsection (2), to lease for a term of five years or less land acquired by the authority;
    (e) to purchase or acquire any personal property that it may require and sell or otherwise deal therewith;
    I have concerns with the Welland River floodplain which they want to make larger when the syphons have not been cleaned out – a maintenance issue and the gates at the hydro turbines in the Niagara River are internationally controlled. Both are man made restrictions on the floodplain.
    The NPCA sold access to the Gord Harry Trail to the IWT industry so areas that they are to protect are sold to the highest bidder
    20 IWT’s were placed in Blandings Turtle Habitat a universally protected species and not one word of opposition was voiced by the NPCA
    How do you trade wetlands in Niagara Falls for some other wetlands so a developer can complete his project? NPCA does not conserve and protect what we have and has lost all credibility!

    Like

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