‘Better Niagara’ Group Makes Its Endorsements Of Regional Council Candidates Who Believe In “Integrity, Transparency And Accountability”

Group Gives Thumbs Up To Only Seven Of The Incumbents Running For Another Term On Niagara Region’s Council

  • Based On Their Voting Records On Seven Key Issues In This Term Of Regional Council, Pelham’s Dave Augustyn, St. Catharines’ Kelly Edgar, Brian Heit and Debbie MacGregor, Thorold’s Henry D’Angela and Ted Luciani, and Welland’s George Marshall Are Being Endorsed by The Better Niagara Group
  • The Group Is Saying NO To St. Catharines’ Al Caslin and Bruce Timms, Niagara Falls’ Bob Gale Selina Volpatti and Jim Diodati, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Pat Darte, Pelham’s Brian Baty, Grimsby’s Tony Quirk, Fort Erie’s Sandy Annunziata, West Lincoln’s Doug Joyner and Welland’s Paul Grenier
  • The Group Remains “Neutral” on St. Catharines’ Tim Rigby and Walter Sendzik, Lincoln’s Sandra Easton, Welland’s Frank Campion and Fort Erie’s Wayne Redekop.
  • St. Catharines’ Andy Petrowski, Niagara Falls’ Bart Maves, Port Colborne’s David Barrick and John Maloney, Grimsby’s Bob Bentley,  Wainfleet’s April Jeffs and Lincoln’s Bill Hodgson are not running for re-election. Gary Burroughs, who once served as Niagara Region’s Chair and served as a regional councillor for the town this term, is now running for a seat on Niagara-on-the-Lake’s town council.

News from A Better Niagara, is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mandate to encourage civic engagement and municipal public participation in Niagara

Posted September 6th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

A Better Niagara is endorsing candidates who believe in integrity, transparency, and accountability.

Welland regional councillor George Marshall is among seven incumbents running for another term on the Region’s council that the Better Niagara group endorses

Here’s the list of incumbent Regional Council members who we believe deserve to be re-elected, those who we think definitely should not be, and those on whom we are remaining neutral – Pelham’s Dave Augustyn, St. Catharines’ Kelly Edgar, Brian Heit and Debbie MacGregor, Thorold’s Henry D’Angela and Ted Luciani, and Welland’s George Marshall

Our decision is based on their voting record on seven key votes that are relevant to the current crisis at the Region.

The accompanying chart describes the votes, shows how each Councillor voted on each vote, and then lists whether they are supported or not.

For readers who find this chart a little difficult to read on the screen, since it is pretty packed with information, in the days ahead Niagara At Large will be blowing up parts of it to discuss regional councillor’s votes on key issues and the impact those votes have potentially had on Niagara’s regional services and your taxes and life in the region. Chart courtesy of A Better Niagara. (In the meantime, you can try clicking on this chart to blow it up if your computer device makes that possible

Those we are supporting voted in what we judge to be in the best interest of citizens more than 80% of the time.

Those we don’t support, voted in what we judge to be not in the best interest of citizens more than 70% of the time.

Those in the middle split their votes and/or missed too many votes for us to make a judgment.

A Better Niagara believes these votes clearly identify the members of the Caslin Cabal (red) and also very clearly identifies those good Councillors (green) who have continued to try and do what’s best for our Region despite being outnumbered by the cabal.

We have also listed the voting records of those who are not running for re-election.

It’s important that we replace those Regional Councillors with good people.

For the list of candidates that we have endorsed so far please go tohttps://www.abetterniagara.com/endorsements

A Better Niagara is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mandate to encourage civic engagement and municipal public participation in Niagara. The group was founded by a coalition of local residents frustrated by the nature of politics in Niagara who joined together to offer a new vision for politics in our communities.

Drawn together by a mutual desire to see integrity, transparency and accountability in municipal politics we are committed to a Niagara that is more democratic, more equal and more open. .

For more information on A Better Niagara, on endorsement and other news, and on the role it is playing as a citizens network in these October 22nd municipal election, click onhttps://www.abetterniagara.com/ .

Key Figures

A Better Niagara is run by a steering committee and also features several subcommittees that are made up by a number of Niagara citizens. Our membership is inclusive and non-partisan. Meet some of our key figures:

Ed Smith, Executive Director

A Better Niagara’s executive director Ed Smith

Ed Smith serves as Executive Director of A Better Niagara. Born and raised in St. Catharines, Ed joined the Canadian Forces in his early 20s. He served Canada in many regions of the world before retiring in 2011 after 25 years of service at the rank of Major. He currently lives in Port Dalhousie.

In 2015, Ed became involved in the struggle to save Thundering Waters, 484 acres of pristine swamp forest and meadowland in Niagara Falls from development. As a direct result, he authored a report that was critical of local elected officials and drew attention to many questionable practices within governance in Niagara. In response to this report, he was sued for defamation by the Board of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), made up primarily of Regional Councillors and Mayors, and by the current CAO of the Region (former NPCA CAO) Carmen D’Angelo. In 2017, an Ontario Superior Court Justice threw the case against him out of court, stating in part: “I have heard of places in the world where things like [the government using the legal system to silence citizens] take place, but not in my beloved Dominion”. The report Ed authored eventually resulted in a multi-level investigation into the NPCA that will culminate in a report from the Auditor General of Ontario before the end of 2018. 

Ed’s unique experience, of having a Canadian government attempt to sue him into silence,  motivated him to join A Better Niagara, along with his observation of their casual disrespect for our shared environment, and the serious level of disrespect and dysfunction he saw within Niagara’s governance.

Outside of A Better Niagara, Ed is also the founder of an international non-governmental organization (International Children’s Awareness) and has been on the Board for 25 years. He volunteers his time working both locally in Niagara and internationally in different African nations. He and his wife Margaret have three children who live across Canada.

Liz Benneian, Director

A Better Niagara’s director Liz Benneian

Liz Benneian is a former journalist and newspaper editor who has been leading advocacy and environmental educational organizations since 2004. Active in her community, Liz has volunteered with several service groups and has provided help and advice to community-led groups around the Province and abroad. Liz has also volunteered on four successful municipal council candidate campaign teams here and in her previous community.

After leading a successful fight against a planned incinerator in Niagara, Liz became concerned about the lack of good governance, especially at the Regional level, in this area. She is pleased to be a part of A Better Niagara, a group of citizens who are working to engage and inform citizens and to support and endorse good candidates in the next municipal election.

A Brief Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

In the days and weeks ahead leading up to the October 22nd municipal elections, Niagara At Large will continue to post some of our own commentary on who should be elected and who should be defeated in these municipal elections – especially with a mind to cleaning up the ugly, dysfunctional mess that unfortunately is Niagara’s regional council.

In the meantime, Niagara At Large applauds the Better Niagara group’s great interest and efforts in these elections and will also continue to post information from this group.

You can go on A Better Niagara’s website using the link available in the post above to see the group’s updated lists of new candidates running for municipal office in the region.

We also invite you to share your views on those running for regional council and the 12 local councils in Niagara in the space below.

Here is a link you can click on to look up the names of all the registered candidates for Niagara regional council and the local councils in Niagara – https://www.niagararegion.ca/government/council/municipal-election/municipal-candidates.aspx .

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.