“The Region owes a formal and public apology to the reporters who were unfairly ejected from the meeting and had their personal property seized. Beyond the reporters, the Region owes the public an apology for violating the Municipal Act and locking the public out of an open meeting.” – Jeff Burch
A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch
Posted July 22nd, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – NDP MPP Jeff Burch’s response to Ombudsman Paul Dube’s report on the December 7th 2017 situation that led to reporters being ejected from a public meeting and their private property being seized –
“I echo the comments made by the Ombudsman. The actions taken against local media by Regional Staff were not only unjust, they were illegal.”
The Ontario Ombudsman investigated the incident following numerous complaints, including one from former Welland MPP Cindy Forster.
“The Region owes a formal and public apology to the reporters who were unfairly ejected from the meeting and had their personal property seized. Beyond the reporters, the Region owes the public an apology for violating the Municipal Act and locking the public out of an open meeting.”
The report additionally found that public access had been limited by locking the main outside doors during the ongoing regional council meeting. Paul Dube recommends that the Regional Municipality should regularly report to the office of the Ombudsman until the office is satisfied.
“The Regional Government and its representatives have displayed an arrogance in functionally refusing to cooperate with the office of the Ombudsman and present a lack of understanding of the authority that the office holds.
“As a Member of Provincial Parliament in the Region, I will be carefully monitoring the actions of this government to ensure they are respectfully following the Municipal Act and implementing the recommendations within the Ombudsman’s six-month deadline.”
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