A Brief One from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted July 6th, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Those of you who have been regular visitors to Niagara At Large and have been following our posts on the ongoing saga of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), may already know the story about Bill Hodgson, the Lincoln regional councillor and former NPCA board member.
You may also remember reports on Niagara At Large and other media outlets about how Hodgson quit the NPCA a year ago last May after other board members censured him for the way he went about trying to get independent auditors to comb over the Conservation Authority’s books and manner of doing business with millions of dollars of our tax money – something that is going on right now, by the way, with investigators from the Ontario Auditor General’s Office spending the past four or more interviewing NPCA staff and going through the files.
Niagara At Large has spent more time than we want to covering this saga and in all fairness, St. Catharines Standard reporters Bill Sawchuk and Grant LaFleche have done a good job covering too, although a number of the current board members and managers at the NPCA probably would not agree.
As recently as this July 5th, and again this July 6th, Sawchuk and LaFelche have been running a two part story called; “Becoming Citizen Bill,” about Bill Hodgson’s more recent decision, after 25 years in public life, not to run for another term of regional council this coming October 22nd because of the serious toll all of this fighting inside the NPCA and on the Region’s council has taken on his health and his family.
This July 5th, Niagara At Large also posted a piece, which we hope you read if you haven’t already (we’ll include a link to it below) on Bill Hodgson’s decision to leave municipal politics, and we also gave him praise we believe he deserves for his honesty, decency and selfless service to community over the years.
In the July 6th edition of their “Becoming Citizen Bill” story, Sawchuck and LaFleche write that they attempted to interview other NPCA board members for the story, and the only one who took them up on a request for an interview was Grimsby regional councillor and board member Tony Quirk.
Quirk’s take on Hodgson, as reported in The Standard, say as much about the attitude and culture festering inside the current Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority as anyone else might say at the moment.
So here, as The Standard reporters put it, is Quirk’s take on “Hodgson’s version of events,” –
“Here is the thing. Fourteen other people (on the NPCA board) agree with something, and you don’t — and then you quit when you don’t get your own way. If that’s the case, which is what I call a cry-bully,” Quirk says.
“You try to say things, and the rest of the board feels you are full of shit, does that mean everyone else is corrupt but you? Then he is the hero. His leaving falls into the narrative that your paper has helped create, that we are a bunch of bullies who don’t know what we are doing. It doesn’t matter that every finding along the way have shown that’s not the case.”
There you have it. Now it’s your turn to have a say.
To read the second and final part of The Standard’s “Becoming Citizen Bill” story, click on – https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/8725990-becoming-citizen-bill-part-two/ .
For other stories in The Standard and Niagara At Large on this matter, click on –
- See an online story The St. Catharines Standard posted on this by clicking on – https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/8723219-becoming-citizen-bill-the-end-of-a-niagara-political-career/ .
- For Niagara At Large’s July 5th, 2018 commentary on Bill Hodgson’s decision to leave politics, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2018/07/05/niagara-loses-one-of-its-very-best-with-bill-hodgsons-decision-not-to-run-for-regional-council-again/ .
- For news commentaries, Niagara At Large posted last year on this matter, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2017/05/03/npca-board-takes-aim-at-one-of-its-own-members-lincoln-regional-councillor-bill-hodgson-with-move-to-censure-him/ .
- And click on this one about the cowardice of the current mayor of Lincoln around not speaking out for Bill Hodgson when the NPCA chair visited her council last year – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2017/07/20/the-craven-cowardice-of-lincolns-mayor-and-town-council/ .
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