When Judge’s Ruling In The Case Of The NPCA Vs. Citizen Ed Smith Is In,  Niagara At Large Will Work Fast To Post It Here

Stay Tune To News On The Ruling And Our Analysis Of What It Means For The Future Of Citizen Participation And Grassroots Democracy In This Region

A Brief Update from Niagara At Larger reporter/publisher Doug Draper

Posted November 21st, 2017 on Niagara At Large

This sign held up by an area citizen outside a meeting of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors earlier this year.

Niagara, Ontario – It is all over now save for the ruling of an Ontario judge in a court case that could send out some pretty powerful messages on how far citizens can go in questioning what government bodies do with our tax dollars in this region.

That is how significant this case involving back and forth lawsuits involving one of the region’s most controversial public bodies, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, and its former CAO and now Niagara regional government CAO Carmen D’Angelo, Niagara community activist Ed Smith, who has raised serious questions about the NPCA’s operations, and a Niagara area marketing consultant Bill Montgomery, who has filed his own libel and slander suit against Smith and two St. Catharines regional councillors, Brian Heit and Kelly Edgar.

Ontario Judge James Ramsay has now finished hearing two days of arguments put forward by lawyers for the NPCA and D’Angelo, and Smith, and from Montgomery, who represented himself in a Welland court.

Now everyone involved waits for the Judge’s ruling, which could come in writing any day now.

Niagara At Large was in the courtroom covering the proceedings gavel to gavel, and rather than give you some of the highlights of the arguments piecemeal, we will wait to give you a whole picture when the ruling is in.

In our opinion, few court cases in recent times in this Niagara region may be as important as this one in terms of what it concludes about citizen involvement in local government actions – especially in terms of how far citizens can go in questioning and raising concerns about how government bodies go about conducting their operations with millions of our tax dollars.

The stakes for future citizen participation in government affairs in Niagara could be very high!

So stay tune to Niagara At Large for news of the court ruling in this case and the analysis and discussion which, as always, we will invite you to participate in.

Top of the first page of the legal document Niagara, Ontario citizen and community activist Ed Smith was issued last winter when he was slapped with a defamation suit following questions and concerns he raised about the way the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority does business with millions of our tax dollars. Smith’s lawyer argued in court this November 21st that Smith, a retired Canadian Armed Forces officer, was exercising his right to free speech and acting in the public interest.

For a related story on this court case, click onhttps://niagaraatlarge.com/2017/11/21/niagara-peninsula-conservation-authority-vs-ed-smith-lawsuit-cases-are-finally-on-in-ontario-court/ .

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 bi-national 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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