Defeated NPCA Board Members Now Trying To Call Shots On New Board Appointments

“It’s an apparent attempt to not only delay and confuse the process of appointing a new board, but it also makes us ask what deals they are trying to get done behind the scenes, and how much more damage they want to do before they are finally heaved out the door.” – the citizens watchdog group, A Better Niagara

A Message to fellow Niagara residents from a Better Niagara

Posted November 26th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

NPCA board chair and defeated Fort Erie regional councillor Sandy Annunziata can’t seem to take the verdict of Niagara’s voters for an answer

Niagara, Ontario – Now we know at least a portion of what the board of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has been up to since so many of their members were defeated in the municipal election.

On Friday, NPCA Board Chair Sandy Annunziata (an outgoing Fort Erie regional councillor defeated in the October 22nd municipal elections) sent a memo to all municipal governments in the region that, in effect, states the current NPCA board has decided a new process must be used to appoint an NPCA Board, and that process will be presided over by current chair Sandy Annunziata.

It’s an apparent attempt to not only delay and confuse the process of appointing a new board, but it also makes us ask what deals they are trying to get done behind the scenes, and how much more damage they want to do before they are finally heaved out the door.

The memo, sent to area councils and staff, informs them that the NPCA has turned up a 1994 Order in Council that outlines how board members of the NPCA should be selected and also details the number of representatives from each area of the NPCA watershed.

It’s a process that has not been followed in recent memory. Instead, the Niagara Region followed the process for appointing a Board as defined in the 2017 updated Conservation Act.

To be clear, the NPCA has just made a unilateral declaration that they are now demanding a new process be followed to appoint a board and until that process is followed, the present Board will retain power.

When is the NPCA board of the past four years going to go away?

If the new process is followed it will strip some municipalities of representation on the Board and will give others more representatives.

It also means that once candidates are selected, the Mayors of the community must meet with the current NPCA board chair, Sandy Annunziata, at a time of the NPCA’s choosing, in order to bring forward their candidates for final approval.

Annunziata also says he would be happy to identify candidate selection criteria for the candidates.

Citizens of Niagara, we voted this crew out. Tell your new Councils we won’t stand for it. Insist they fight for us.

Please write members of the new Council.

Below is a cut and paste list of all newly elected Council members and below that, newly elected Council members by municipality.

It’s important to note that for new Councillors, the only emails we have are those which they were using for their election campaign.

We hope they are still valid. They will not have Regional emails until Dec. 6th.

wayne.redekop@niagararegion.ca, tominsinna@sympatico.ca, votejeffjordan@gmail.com, wfertich@cogeco.ca, frank.campion@niagararegion.ca, pchiocchio@cogeco.ca, leanna4niagararegion@gmail.com, jim.diodati@niagararegion.ca, peternicholson82@gmail.com, bbgreenwood@cogeco.ca, bob.gale@niagararegion.ca, sandra.easton@niagararegion.ca, rjfoster@sympatico.ca, walter.sendzik@niagararegion.ca, brian.heit@niagararegion.ca, brian.heit@niagararegion.ca, sandie.bellows@cogeco.ca, electBradley2018@gmail.com, gdarte@yahoo.com, laura@lauraip.ca, elect.terryugulini@gmail.com, whalen53@outlook.com, info@bettydisero.ca, gary@garyzalepa.com, marvinjunkin@gmail.com, diana.huson@outlook.com, bill@steele.ca, barbarabutters21@gmail.com, kevinforwainfleetmayor@gmail.com, dsbylsma@vaxxine.com, albert.witteveen4@gmail.com

Fort Erie
Mayor Wayne Redekop: wayne.redekop@niagararegion.ca
Regional Councillor Tom Insinna: tominsinna@sympatico.ca

Grimsby
Mayor Jeff Jordan: votejeffjordan@gmail.com
Regional Councillor Wayne Fertich: wfertich@cogeco.ca

Welland
Mayor Frank Campion: frank.campion@niagararegion.ca
Regional Councillor Pat Chiocchio: pchiocchio@cogeco.ca
Regional Councillor Leanna Villella: leanna4niagararegion@gmail.com

Niagara Falls
Mayor Jim Diodati: jim.diodati@niagararegion.ca
Regional Councillor Peter Nicholson: peternicholson82@gmail.com
Regional Councillor Barbara Greenwood: bbgreenwood@cogeco.ca
Regional Councillor Bob Gale: bob.gale@niagararegion.ca

Town of Lincoln
Mayor Sandra Easton: sandra.easton@niagararegion.ca
Regional Councillor Rob Foster: rjfoster@sympatico.ca

St. Catharines
Mayor Walter Sendzik: walter.sendzik@niagararegion.ca
Regional Councillor Brian Heit: brian.heit@niagararegion.ca
Regional Councillor Tim Rigby: tim.rigby@niagararegion.ca
Regional Councillor Sandie Bellows: sandie.bellows@cogeco.ca
Regional Councillor Jim Bradley: electBradley2018@gmail.com
Regional Councillor George Darte: gdarte@yahoo.com
Regional Councillor Laura Ip: laura@lauraip.ca

Thorold
Mayor Terry Ugilini: elect.terryugulini@gmail.com
Regional Councillor: Tin Whalen whalen53@outlook.com

Niagara-on-the-Lake
Mayor Betty Disero: info@bettydisero.ca
Regional Councillor Gary Zalepa: gary@garyzalepa.com

Pelham
Mayor Marvin Junkin: marvinjunkin@gmail.com
Regional Councillor Diane Huson: diana.huson@outlook.com

Port Colborne
Mayor Bill Steele: bill@steele.ca
Regional Councillor: barbarabutters21@gmail.com

Wainfleet
Mayor Kevin Gibson: kevinforwainfleetmayor@gmail.com

West Lincoln
Mayor David Bylsma: dsbylsma@vaxxine.com
Regional Councillor Albert Witteveen: albert.witteveen4@gmail.com

Here is the two page memo referred to in the Better Niagara message above, sent out to Niagara area municipal leaders this November 23rd  by  recently defeated Fort Erie regional councillor and NPCA board chair Sandy Annunziata –

 

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

‘Disrespectful’ and ‘arrogant’ are not strong enough words to describe the conduce of this outgoing NPCA board of directors in the wake of municipal elections this past October 22nd that sent out a clear message from Niagara voters that we want sweeping change and something far better than what we have endured over the past four years.

This is what some of the public response to what has been going on at the NPCA has looked like over the past four years – this demonstration in front of the Conservation Authority’s offices in Welland. File photo by Doug Draper

It is almost as if Annunziata and municipal politicians who sat on the NPCA board over the past four years and lost in the October 22nd elections are in a state of denial that has them refusing to accept the verdict of the voters and grasping whatever strings they think they can to continue exercising power over a once proud Conservation Authority that they have wreaked havoc on over the past four years.

So as our fellow citizens in A Better Niagara are urging, contact your municipal representatives and tell them enough is enough around this bunch. We insist on a new board, made up of members with experience in the area of conservation and environmental protection, and with a passion to rebuild the NPCA as the voice for safeguarding our natural heritage that it should be.

There is a motion that was tabled at the final, November 1st meeting of the outgoing Niagara regional council, and was left for consideration of the Region’s new council, to be sworn in this December, that outlines a more open and accountable process for local municipalities and the Region to choose suitable people to sit on the next NPCA board.

Whatever delusional nonsense Annunziata and the outgoing board are now trying to pull should be swept aside as completely as so many of them were swept out of elected office, and Niagara’s new regional council and local municipalities should work together in the spirit of the motion still on the floor to appoint an NPCA board a majority of citizens across the region can feel some confidence in.

Here is the motion, first passed this October by Pelham’s town council, that is still there for consideration by Niagara’s incoming regional council – 

This online poster was first circulated by the citizens group, A Better Niagara, months before the October 22nd municipal elections. All but two of the individuals shown in this poster – Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and Welland Mayor Frank Campion – were either defeated in those elections or in the case of Port Colborne Mayor John Maloney, Port Colborne regional councillor David Barrick and Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs, decided not to run for another term. Barrick remains in a full-time administrative position at the Conservation Authority

WHEREAS the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is a Provincially mandated agency operating in the Region of Niagara, Haldimand County and the City of Hamilton, funded largely by the Region of Niagara; and

WHEREAS the each of Niagara’s 12 Cities, Towns and Townships are collectors and contributors of public funds to the Region of Niagara, and, therefore, a contributor to the NPCA’s funding; and

WHEREAS the people of all municipalities represented on the NPCA Board deserve openness and accountability relating to how their tax dollars are being spent, how effectively our natural environment is being protected, and how representatives to the NPCA Board are appointed; and

WHEREAS currently, 11 of the 12 Niagara members of the NPCA Board are municipal politicians who may not have the necessary conservation and environmental expertise suited to effectively serve on this important Board; and

WHEREAS for the City of Hamilton, it has been the practice of their city council to appoint citizen representatives to the NPCA Board, thus highlighting the importance of the ability to provide appropriate knowledge, experience and expertise to the Board and establishing a precedent to support citizen appointment to the NPCA; and

WHEREAS the Auditor General, in her September 27, 2018 report to the Ontario Legislative Assembly, recommended that “members of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) Board of Directors should collectively have the skills, experience and training necessary to oversee the NPCA’s activities effectively” and that the “NPCA’s funding municipalities [should] ensure that their Board appointment processes consider skills and experience requirements”; and

WHEREAS the informal, past practice of the Niagara Regional Council has been to offer a single appointment from each of the twelve local municipalities by: first, offering appointment to the Regional Councillor(s) or Mayor of the local municipality; and, second by a process that defaults to the local municipal Councillors; and then, finally, to citizen representation; (please see attached description from NPCA website) and

WHEREAS the majority of Council’s across the Niagara Peninsula recently supported a formal appointment protocol that allows the local municipalities to seek applications for appointment to the NPCA Board and that a recommendation for appointment then be subsequently provided to the Region by the local municipalities;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Council for the Town of Pelham hereby requests the Regional Municipality of Niagara to establish a formal process for appointments to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Board that would request and permit each of Niagara’s local municipalities to publicly advertise and make recommendations for appointment of a qualified and independent citizen with appropriate skills and expertise to represent their respective municipalities, to take effect following the 2018 municipal election, or immediately should a vacancy on the NPCA Board of Directors occur; and

THAT a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to Niagara Regional Council and Niagara’s Local Area Municipalities for endorsement and support; and

THAT a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the Auditor General of Ontario; Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry; the current NPCA Board of Directors; Niagara MPPs; the City of Hamilton; and Haldimand County for information.

For a reminder or possibly for some of you, a first-time review of  the way our Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has been operated with millions of dollars of our money in recent years, click on the following link for a report on the NPCA, prepared and released this past September by Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk – http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/specialreports/specialreports/NPCA_en.pdf .

For a recent Niagara At Large commentary on the NPCA board, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2018/11/22/can-you-believe-this-the-npcas-outgoing-board-holds-dead-duck-meeting/

To learn more abut A Better Niagara, click on – https://www.abetterniagara.com/about .

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

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2 responses to “Defeated NPCA Board Members Now Trying To Call Shots On New Board Appointments

  1. I just spoke to an employee of NPCA and that person was not even aware of this. Said person was also not aware of the upcoming meeting. I had called to see if the meeting was open to the public and of course not knowing of said meeting, was told that I would be advised ASAP.
    Thank you Doug for the information. If it is open you can bet your booty that I will be there.

    Like

  2. The Minister responsible and his suite of advisors may well be unaware of this development. Their contacts details are:

    Hon. Rod Phillips | Minister | 416-314-6790 | minister.mecp@ontario.ca
    Rick Roth | Chief of Staff | 416-212-1625 | rick.roth@ontario.ca
    Bruce Addo | Director of Operations | 416-325-5809 | bruce.addo@ontario.ca
    Andrew Brander | Director of Communications | 416-314-6790 | andrew.brander@ontario.ca
    David Donovan | Director of Policy | 416-314-6742 | david.donovan@ontario.ca
    Jonathan Ricci | Executive Assistant | 416-325-4045 | jonathan.ricci@ontario.ca
    Holly Fullager | Special Assistant, Operations and Policy | 416-327-9720 | holly.fullager@ontario.ca
    Emily Hogeveen | Press Secretary | 416-314-6790 | emily.hogeveen@ontario.ca
    Cobi Lechem | Policy Advisor | 416-325-5281 | cobi.lechem@ontario.ca
    Heather Potter | Legislative Assistant & Issues Manager | 416-314-6790 | heather.potter@ontario.ca
    Zahra Sultani | MPP Liaison | 416-314-6790 | zahra.sultani@ontario.ca

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