“It’s time for defeated Fort Erie (Regional) Councillor Sandy Annunziata and the rest of the board to step down and allow the individual municipalities to make their appointments to the NPCA Board as set out in the Conservation Authorities Act.” – Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch
New from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, with an Afterword from Niagara At Large reporter Doug Draper on who should be made to pay the legal bills for this.
Posted December 2nd, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Welland/Niagara – MPP Jeff Burch confirmed this December 2nd that the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authorities’ attempted use of an outdated Order in Council from 1994 to oversee new appointments is not valid.
An official from the Ministry of Natural Resources stated in an email to the MPP’s office that the power to appoint and replace members of an authority now supersedes any direction provided within a previous Order in Council, or other past process governing the appointment of authority members.
The statement outlined that the Order in Council in question was made under a previous version of the Conservation Authorities Act that has since been revoked. New provisions of the act have come into force that provides participating municipalities with the clear authority to appoint and replace members. The Conservation Authorities Act was amended in 2017.
Burch says “It’s time for defeated Fort Erie (regional) Councillor Sandy Annunziata and the rest of the board to step down and allow the individual municipalities to make their appointments to the NPCA Board as set out in the Conservation Authorities Act.”
He believes that due to this statement from the Ministry, the NPCA needs to tell the taxpayers of Niagara just how much it cost them for this legal opinion that has been proven incorrect.
“I hope this outgoing board apologizes to the people of Niagara for once again dragging a previously respected Conservation Authority through the mud with this desperate last grab at power.”
What follows is the total text of the email to Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry –
We have received a response back to your inquiry by the Ministry responsible for Conservation Authorities. Please see the response below.
- The authority to both appoint members to a conservation authority and to replace such members is granted to the council of the relevant participating municipality:
The Conservation Authorities Act states that “members of an authority shall be appointed by the respective councils of the participating municipalities in the numbers set out in subsection 2(2) for the appointment of representatives”
◦Subsection 14(4.3) states that regardless of any term of appointment granted to a member, that “a member may be replaced by the council of the participating municipality that appointed the member”
- The Order in Council in question was made under a previous provision of the Conservation Authorities Act that has since been revoked, and new provisions of the act have come into force, providing participating municipalities the clear authority to appoint and replace members.
- As such, the power to appoint and replace members of an authority now supersedes any direction provided within a previous Order in Council, or other past process governing the appointment of authority members
A Brief Afterword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
Niagara’s new regional council, to be sworn in this December 6th, and new councils in local municipalities across our Niagara region should make a determined effort in the weeks ahead to find out how much of our tax money was spent on legal costs and an NPCA staff resources, trolling around for whatever Sandy Annunziata and company could find in the old files of the Ontario government to use in this arrogant effort – so disrespectful of the very clear call for change Niagara voters sent out fe in this October’s municipal electi0ns – to cling to power at our Conservation Authority.
However much this nonsense has cost us, efforts should be made to recover the dollars from the pockets NPCA board and staff representatives responsible for this outrageous episode.
There is no way the beleaguered taxpayers of Niagara should be left paying the bill for this conduct.
Call your municipal representatives and insist that they identify the responsible parties and make them pay the cost out of their own pockets !
– Doug Draper, NAL
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