Mark Brickell Is Out As Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s CAO

NPCA Appoints Lisa McManus As Interim CAO

This News just in from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority with a Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 7th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Doug Draper’s Foreword –

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Mark Brickell has been replaced by interim CAO. Members of the public are already demanding more details about this.

There has been speculation from NPCA watchers all week that the shotgun meeting that the NPCA’s outgoing board chair and defeated Fort Erie regional councillor Sandy Annunziata and other lame duck members of the board held at a  Niagara-on-the-Lake hotel this past December 3rd a may have had something to do with letting at least one senior manager at the problem-plagued Conservation Authority go.

And now we know, based on the NPCA news release below, that the speculation was fairly spot on.

We are now learning that Mark Brickell,  hired to the NPCA’s CAO post after Carmen D’Angelo left it two years ago for the CAO position at Niagara Region, has been replaced with an interim CAO, Lisa McManus, who has previously served in other administrative positions at the Conservation Authority.

As word of this news is getting around, some Niagara residents who have volunteered many years of their lives to conserving our region’s natural heritage are already circulating notes of their own, wondering what all this may cost Niagara residents and that portion of their tax dollars that go to the NPCA for  conservation projects.

They are  wondering if members of the outgoing NPCA board –   a number of whom are defeated municipal politicians whose terms had officially expired by the time they organized that shotgun meeting in the hotel  this December 3rd – –  may have taken it upon themselves to invest some of our municipal tax dollars in a generous buyout package for Brickell, and possibly for others in  management who may be leaving theNPCA now or sometime in the near future.

We do not yet know the answer to that concern yet, but this December 6th, Niagara Region’s newly inaugurated council  voted to immediately put in place an interim NPCA board made up of members of the council   who could be holding their first meeting as early as this December 12th.

Hopefully that interim board will do its best to get to the bottom of what decision  or decisions were made at the closed session held at the Niagara-on-the-Lake hotel, and disclose as much information as possible about those decisions and their potential costs to  Niagara tax payers.

Depending on what the interim board members discover, let’s hope that they also consult  a competent lawyer to determine if any decisions  from  a board made up of a number of municipal politicians whose terms of office as mayors and regional councillors had  expired may be just as “null and void” – to use the words in recent statements from Ontario government officials – as a 24-year-old Order in Council that Annunziata and company have tried to use as an argument for stubbornly remaining in their seats.

It may be that any decision that  this rogue board made on December 3rd is not worth the paper it is written on.

Let’s hope that the incoming interim board will do its best to find out.

Now here is the news release from the NPCA – 

Welland, Ont. (December 6, 2018) The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is pleased to announce that Lisa McManus has been appointed as the NPCA Interim Chief Administrative Officer/Secretary-Treasurer.

Ms. McManus brings over 16 years of experience in public administration, which will provide the organization with the desired leadership to implement the Auditor General’s recommendations. It is anticipated in early 2019 a newly appointed NPCA Board will begin a comprehensive process of recruiting a permanent CAO.

“This organization has been under an incredible amount of scrutiny over the past few years, which has had a deep effect on our culture,” said Interim CAO McManus. “With the recent tabling of the Auditor General’s report, we must continue to move the organization forward by implementing the recommendations within that document and advancing the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan. We do such important work here, and we are poised and ready to get back to doing the great work that the Conservation Authorities Act empowers us to do.”

The NPCA is currently implementing its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, which has four areas of focus: evidence-based watershed resource management, rebuilding the tree canopy, forging corridors and creating parks, and sustainable asset management.

For more information, please visit or email Follow on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date.


About NPCA –

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) oversees the Niagara Peninsula watershed, which encompasses the Niagara Region and portions of the City of Hamilton, and portions of Haldimand County.

NPCA delivers programs and services that focus on initiatives to help keep people and their property safe from flooding and erosion by regulating development near watercourses and natural features, predicting and issuing public flood warnings, guiding the protection of raw drinking water sources, testing water quality, managing and conserving natural resources, and education.

Questions related to the above release should be directed to:
Michael Reles, Manager, Communications
Mobile: 905-325-7334

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


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