Ontario’s Wynne Government Sits  On The Sidelines As Conservation Authority Layoffs Threaten The Niagara Watershed

 “The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is mandated to protect Niagara and parts of Hamilton’s environment for nearly a million residents. But instead of doing that, it’s been too busy firing environmental specialists and suing private citizens who dare to speak up for accountability.” – Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

News from the Constituency Office of Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

Posted September 28th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Welland Rding MPP Cindy Forster

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario – Welland NDP MPP Cindy Forster says the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s (NPCA) recent move to cut staff in its watershed department in half is an assault on workers, as well as its own mandate. While this is just the latest decision from the chaotic NPCA board, the Liberal government continues to turn its back, doing nothing to ensure accountability and transparency are restored to the organization.

“The NPCA is mandated to protect Niagara and parts of Hamilton’s environment for nearly a million residents,” said Forster. “But instead of doing that, it’s been too busy firing environmental specialists and suing private citizens who dare to speak up for accountability.

On Monday (September 25th)  the NPCA announced it would be firing eight key positions, gutting its Watershed Department by half. The move raised alarm bells from concerned community members, environmental experts, worker representatives and elected officials.

They all question how the authority will fulfil its mandate to conserve, restore and manage the Niagara Watershed with these key jobs eliminated.  The move also comes on the heels of a string of allegations against authority board members, including a recent survey confirming that two-thirds of NPCA employees are experiencing workplace bullying and 70 per cent have witnessed “offensive behaviours.”

“This year alone, we’ve seen the NPCA fire many key staff, censure board members with dissenting viewpoints, lobby the government to allow developers to build on significantly protected wetlands, stall the Auditor General’s offer to audit the books, stall freedom of information requests and allow widespread workplace harassment — and the list goes on,” said Forster.

“When will this government step in and hold the NPCA board accountable to ensure public dollars are well spent and that necessary transparency, integrity and accountability are brought back to the NPCA?“

To watch Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster’s exchange on this issue in the Ontario Legislature, click on the following links – http://https://www.dropbox.com/s/t5sz3dukbqx3f5i/Q5_Forster_09-28-17.mp4?dl=0

An Afterword from Niagara At Large –

Where is Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Minister, whose ministry has jurisdiction over the Ontario Conservation Act that sets rules for Conservation Authorities like the NPCA, on this issue? Where is she and when is she going to take action?

When are Ontario Natural Resources Minister Kathryn McGarry ad the Kathleen Wynne government finally going to act on mounting concerns raised about the way the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority does business with millions of dollars of our money?

Oh, look below!

When she’s not busy telling the rest of us that she has no powers to do anything, there she is earlier this year at a meeting elsewhere in the province earlier this year, with NPCA board chair and Fort Erie regional councilor Sandy Annunziata!

Ontario Natural Resources Minister Kathryn McGarry meets Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board chair and Fort Erie regional councilor Sandy Annunziati at an event in the province earlier this year. Apparently the two see eye to eye on how Conservation Authorities should operate in the province.

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

 

Advertisements

2 responses to “Ontario’s Wynne Government Sits  On The Sidelines As Conservation Authority Layoffs Threaten The Niagara Watershed

  1. Re photo “Apparently the two see eye to eye on how Conservation Authorities should operate in the province.” OR – was “ex CFL player” towering over her telling her what to do?? To whom is the Minister responsible? The tax payers of the Province or bully boy Chair Annunziata who labours under the delusion of supreme controller?? When ARE the Premier and the Ministers going to take action and – in whose interests will those actions be taken??

    Like

  2. That photo shows McGarry talking to Annunziata. He is Chair of the NPCA, and she has every right to talk to him. While McGarry is certainly at fault for ignoring the situation, I doubt that she is doing so without input from the Premier. How is demonizing McGarry going to help the situation?

    Like

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s