‘The Ontario Ombudsman’s Report is thorough, and I believe that our Chair’s (Al Caslin), and our CAO’s (Carmen D’Angelo) actions are so appalling and damaging to our reputation as a region that the only solution is to ask for their resignations.- Niagara, Ontario citizen and Niagara regional council candidate for St. Catharines Haley Bateman
A Statement from St. Catharines resident and Niagara Regional Council candidate Haley Bateman
Posted July 21st, 2018 on Niagara At Large
A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
Haley Bateman, a concerned citizen of St. Catharines, back at Niagara regional council this past December 7th, urging the council to take firmer action to discipline St. Catharines regional councillor Andy Petrowski in the wake of code of conduct rulings against him.
On that same December 7th evening, the council went into closed session to discuss the matter and within minutes, as a recently report on an Ontario Ombudsman Office investigation put it, “chaos ensued.”
St. Catharines Standard reporter Bill Sawchuk, accused by regional officials at the time of possibly trying to record discussions taking place in the closed meeting, had abruptly had his computer and notes seized, and under the watch of Niagara Regional Police officers summoned by the powers-that-be in the regional government, was ordered off he regional headquarters property.
The same happened to citizen blogger Preston Haskell.
In his July 18th report, following a lengthy probe by an independent team of investigators, Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé called the seizure of the Standard reporter’s computer and notes and his expulsion from municipal property “contrary to law, unreasonable, unjust and wrong.”
“I also found that the Regional Municipality of Niagara acted unreasonably and without due care when it ejected a citizen blogger (Preston Haskell) from the council meeting on December 7, 2017, and seized his digital recording device.” Dubé concluded in his 60 page report which you can read by clicking on – https://www.ombudsman.on.ca/Media/ombudsman/ombudsman/resources/Reports-on-Investigations/PressPauseFinal-ENJuly2018.pdf .
Haley Bateman, like many others, including this reporter, who were there that night and witnessed at least some of the disgusting events that unfolded, has since decided to walk the walk as a citizen and register to run as a candidate in St. Catharines for a seat on Niagara regional council in the coming October 22nd municipal elections.
This is her call for heads to roll at Niagara regional headquarters as a result of this disgusting incident. It is a call that Niagara At Large and numerous other citizens across the region are taking up before the Niagara regional council comes together this coming Thursday, July 26th?
Will enough Niagara regional councillors stand up and demand the resignations of the Region’s chair, Al Caslin, and the Region’s CAO, Carmen D’Angelo when we haven’t seen many of the current councillors show much strength and courage before? We will be watching.
In the meantime, here is Haley Bateman’s July 20th news release on the matter –
“In the past 72 hours, I have read every column and studied the Ombudsman’s report (Press Pause) in detail.
I was also present, addressing Council the evening of December 7th, 2017. Following my address to council, they decided to go in-camera to debate whether or not they would place sanctions on the Councillor who violated their Code of Conduct,” Bateman said.
“The Ombudsman’s Report is thorough, and I believe that our Chair, and our CAO actions are so appalling and damaging to our reputation that the only solution is to ask for their resignations. I also believe that Councillor Annunziata, has violated the Code and should be removed from the each committee he represents our Region as a Councillor.”
“In the past I have asked for apologies and sometimes an apology, followed by a change in behaviour may be all that is needed to move forward, but this is different.
This is criminal.
This is embarrassing and shows arrogance that we haven’t seen before.” Bateman concluded.
On December 7th, 2017 Haley Bateman addressed Council regarding her formal complaint against Andy Petrowski, who was found violated the Code of Conduct by the Region’s Integrity Commissioner. That evening Bateman reminded the Chair of his comments regarding the Conduct of Petrowski.
She concluded her address by reminding the Chair of his remarks regarding Petworski’s behaviour.
Bateman said “Chair Caslin, 5 months ago, you asked Councillor Petrowski to resign calling Councillor Petrowski’s actions “reprehensible and the conduct is completely unacceptable for a regional councillor,” and that “an individual councillor’s comments do not represent the values of our organization”.
Chair Caslin you also stated “demand better when conducting business on behalf of the Region.”
For more on Haley Bateman | Regional Council Candidate 2018 click on –
www.haleybateman.ca | @hales4council
For one recent take from Niagara At Large on this grotesque episode in the history of municipal governments in this region, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2018/07/19/apologies-are-not-enough-charges-should-be-laid-heads-should-roll/ .
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