And Let’s Hope It Is Their Last, Already!
A News Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted November 21st, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Someone in the region shot me off a quick email earlier this week asking if I was going to this November 21st meeting of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s (NCPA) board of directors.
I took one look at the note and said; “What? This board is holding another meeting? I find that hard to believe.”
Yet believe it or not, the note writer’s news turned out to be true. There on the NPCA’s website, on the calendar for board meetings, was one scheduled for this Wednesday, November 21st at 9:30 a.m… And once again, I am thinking; “WHY?!!!”
What is this outgoing board of directors doing holding another meeting now? This is seems well beyond what is often referred to as a “lame duck meeting” a public body holds in the weeks leading up to an election. It seems more like a “dead duck meeting.”
After all, more four weeks have already passed since this October 22nd’’s municipal elections, and eight of the 15 members of this board, including, Fort Erie regional councillor and the board’s chair Sandy Annunziata, St. Catharines regional councillor Bruce Timms, Grimsby regional councillor Tony Quirk, Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Patrick Darte, Pelham regional councillor Brian Baty, West Lincoln Mayor Doug Joyner, Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs and Port Colborne Mayor John Maloney, were either defeated in those elections or, in the case of Jeffs and Maloney, decided not to run in them.
What’s more, an all-new or almost all new board of directors could be in place before the end of this year, which is rapidly approaching, or very early in the New Year.
So what is this outgoing board of directors – a board that has overseen a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority plagued with so much public criticism and controversy, not to mention a recently released report on its operations from Ontario’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk that any self-respecting organization should be ashamed of – doing holding another meeting at this stage?
I went to my computer this November 21st morning and turned on the live stream video for the meeting. And there most of them were, making the odd reference to the October election, but mostly deliberating away as if it never happened.
Welcome to a recurring nightmare. When is this bunch going to catch on to the clear and resounding call for change that voters across Niagara cast this October, and just go away?
What are they doing having any more talks about their infamous “strategic plan” and about “restructuring” the NPCA – as if they haven’t already almost restructured this hapless organization almost to death – and about the scheduling of future board meetings (whether they should continue to be held monthly or perhaps be held bi-monthly or quarterly during the year), and about other issues that involve the allocation of any more of our tax dollars.
Please do the tax payers of this Niagara region and the other areas the NPCA serves in the watershed, in Hamilton and Haldimand, a favour and leave things to a new board that will hopefully not be dominated by members who are municipal politicians, but by people with an expertise in and a passion for conserving and protecting what is left of our natural heritage.
Interestingly enough, the board meeting for the month of October was cancelled shortly after the Auditor General released her scorching (September 27th) report on the NPCA’s operations – a meeting which would have been the last before the municipal elections, and one in which citizens were prepared to show up and raise concerns, either inside or outside the meeting room with representatives of the news media, about the contents of the report.
Whatever this outgoing board of directors thinks it accomplished during the meeting it held this November 21st, let’s hope that the incoming board members take it with whatever few grains of salt it deserves, before moving forward with an agenda that puts conservation and environmental protection front and centre.
By the way, yet another NPCA board meeting is scheduled for this December, with no guarantees that this reporter is aware of that a new board will be in place by then.
What is there about all of this that has me imagining one of those Wack-A-Mol e games where the same heads keep popping up out of holes.
Where is my mallet?!
To watch the video of the NPCA board’s November 21st meeting, click on –
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