A Brief Comment from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted December 5th, 2018 on Niagara At Large
“Sit down. … You are out of order. …. I said sit down! … If you don’t sit down, I’m going to have to ask you to leave. …Sit down. … (to which, one speaker, at one time, responded: ‘I’m not finished.’) …. Yes you are….. I don’t want to hear it. …. I told you to sit down. … Time’s up …. Sit down. You are out of order!” (word clips from numerous Niagara regional council meetings over the past four years).
Those were the days, weren’t they?
I can still hear these verbal missives – aimed over and over again by Niagara’s recently defeated regional chair Al Caslin at virtually any member of the Region’s council or delegation of citizens from the community who he and members of his cabal perceived to be a political opponent.
They are still ringing in my ears.
Thankfully, Caslin is now gone – buried in the polls in this past October’s municipal elections – and this Thursday, December 6th marks the beginning of new Niagara regional council with a majority of members serving on the council for the first time.
From what I have been able to see and hear, there are good number of people being sworn in as regional councillors this December 6th who are determined to put the wheels of governance at the Region back on a positive track, so I am hopeful that those words will ring no more.
“It’s been a long time comin’,” to quote lyrics in an old Crosby, Stills and Nash song. “Don’t you know,” the song goes on to tell us, “that the darkest hour always comes before the dawn.”
From all of the calls and email I have received from many residents across Niagara over all of the weeks leading up to and following October’s municipal elections, I know that many people have been waiting anxiously for a new dawn in governance at the regional level. those members of the public can feel comfortable and confident they can work with again for the betterment of all.
Then maybe we can take down those awful signs Caslin and company had posted in the regional council chambers over the past year – signs warning that “aggressive and intimidating behaviour” and “harassment” will “not be tolerated” – signs that always seemed more appropriately aimed at members of the council than they did at anyone from the public who were sitting up in the gallery, enduring the ugly conduct down on the floor.
Here is to a new dawn in regional governance and to a brighter, more prosperous future for all of us in Niagara.
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders