Niagara Regional Chair Gets Private Contractor To Investigate CAO Hiring

P.R. Campaign Launched On How Great Niagara Has Been Doing Over Past Three Years

A Brief News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted April 13th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – An issue that seemed to have lots of Niagara area residents up in arms in recent days over what is going on in regional government is being addressed.

Niagara regional chair Al Caslin

This past Thursday, April 12th, following a protest rally engaged in by a couple dozen people in front of Niagara’s regional headquarters, The Region’s Chair Al Caslin remained at the helm while a majority on the regional council agreed to direct the ADR Chambers – the firm already on contract to investigate code of conduct complaints for the Caslin council – to investigate any and all allegation that 2016 process for hiring the Region’s current CAO, Carmen D’Angelo, may have been compromised or corrupted.

There was no request by anyone on the regional council that Caslin, whose office may have been the source of a confidential memo Angelo is alleged to have received about other candidates for the CAO position before he was hired, should step aside during the Thursday night discussion over how to address the allegation,

Caslin simply went on – totally uncontested – chairing the proceedings, while D’Angelo sat to his right, looking relative calm as if all of this was just another evening of regional council business.

After that issue was addressed the council heard from a member of regional staff, who used a slide show to talk about how well Niagara is doing economically these days and how the region may be in for a renaissance of new manufacturing jobs.

That was followed by a presentation on a ‘Shape Niagara’ campaign, complete with a public consultation exercise that will take place over next few months, with a report back to council this coming September – a month before this October’s municipal elections.

The regional council was treated to a recently produced video that ends with the narrator declaring that Niagara has been doing great over the past three years.

St. Catharines regional councillor Tim Rigby rose to say that he had no awareness of this “Shape Niagara” campaign until Caslin announced it during his State of the Region address a few weeks ago. Rigby said he wondered if he might have missed a meeting where the regional council had an opportunity to discuss and vote on the project.

Other regional councillors told Niagara At Large recently that the Shape Niagara business took them by surprise

Dave Augustyn, who sits on the regional council as mayor of Pelham, argued this Thursday that the Shape Niagara campaign, with all of its messages about how well Niagara has been doing over the past three years, may be seen as “electioneering” in front of the upcoming municipal elections, and a way of giving incumbent candidates for a regional council seat an unfair advantage over challengers for a seat.

Augustyn’s request that the exercise be put off until the election is over didn’t go very far, and Grimsby regional councillor Tony Quirk praised the exercise as a way of getting good news out about Niagara to counter the negative things “special interest groups” (whoever they are. … maybe anyone who has the audacity to complain) say about how things are going in the region.

By the way, in case you missed the presentation Mark Brickell, the CAO for the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, made to Port Colborne’s council this past April 9th, the NPCA is doing quite well these days do, contrary to negative things others say.

So now that we have taken care of all that, we can all brace ourselves for the ice storm forecasted for the weekend, then move on to something else.

That’s it for me for now. Have you seen any good movies lately?

You can watch the Shape Niagara video, by clicking the screen below. Note one of the final messages in the video that refers to how great the past three years have been, which just happen to be the three years that Caslin and his cabal have been calling the shots at regional council –

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


2 responses to “Niagara Regional Chair Gets Private Contractor To Investigate CAO Hiring

  1. Gail Benjafield

    Well done on Tim Rigby’s part. Says it all. All, Al..


  2. Problem with the video is that Caslin had nothing to do with any of the benefits.


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