New Regional Chair Promises A Council Term That  ‘Puts The Interests Of Niagara’s Residents First’

Niagara Region’s new Chair, Jim Bradley

“During the recent municipal campaign all of us received a clear message from the voters. A justified demand that council conduct its business with honesty, integrity, civility, fairness, openness and accountability. Without a doubt there is an expectation that elected officials must embraces these attributes at all times and in all circumstances is a profound message that all of us will heed I’m sure in the term ahead.”  – Niagara’s new Regional Chair Jim Bradley

The Full Text of Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley’s Inaugural Address to the Region’s Council, delivered Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Posted December 11th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper – A number of Niagara residents who had the opportunity to attend the inaugural ceremonies for the new term of Niagara Region’s council this past December 6th or watch the proceedings online, commented on how heartening it was to hear the words new Regional Chair Jim Bradley delivered in his inaugural address – particularly after all the controversy and turmoil we’ve been put through at the regional government level over the past four years.

Niagara’s new Regional Chair Jim Bradley shortly after his inauguration with Debbie Zimmerman, who was Niagara’s regional chair from 1997 to 2003. Photo used with permission from Debbie Zimmerman’s Facebook page

In that spirit, I decided that we would post the full text of Bradley’s inaugural address as soon as it became available electronically, which was this December 11th.

So for those who heard it the first time, and for all those who did not get a chance to hear it, here it is with the promise Jim Bradley finishes with – that Niagara will finally get back to moving forward again with the kind of representation we expect and deserve.

Now here is Bradley’s full inaugural address.)

”I would like to begin this afternoon by extending to all who are in attendance in the Chamber and in Regional Headquarters a warm welcome as the Council of the Regional Municipality of Niagara begins a new four-year term which commences today that will be completed in the latter part of 2022.

“I would like to convey to the elected representatives for each of our local municipal heartiest congratulations on your election or re-election to Regional Council on October 22 of this year.

“I note at this time something we’re all proud of as Canadians and those in the western democracies and that is how great it is to have a democracy where when the transition of power takes place – takes place in a peaceful manner.

“Not many places in the world unfortunately have that transition taking place as we do.

“I think it speaks well of those who established our democratic system and years gone by and who have had it prevail in the years since.

At the back and centre, now former Niagara regional chair Al Caslin shakes Jim Bradley’s hand after Bradley takes the oath of office. Photo by Doug Draper

“On a personal note I am grateful to regional Councillor who elected me as chair of the Niagara Region. I don’t know reading earlier today that I pledge to you that I will endeavor to perform my duties and responsibilities in a manner which I hope will meet your satisfaction and live up to your expectations.

“I look in the audience as well as people who have served on Regional Council on years gone by, I thank you for your service to the people of the region of Niagara and your legacy will live on in so many ways and we will build upon the solid foundation that you have established.

“I would particularly like to mention, it’s always dangerous to do so, the federal member of parliaments for Niagara Falls Rob Nicholson former member of regional council and member of parliament in Canada and former cabinet minister Robert delighted to have you here today and I know that you’re very proud that your son is serving in a similar capacity.

Jim Bradley, making an announcement during his previous years as St. Catharines MPP.

“Since its beginning in 1970 as a newly established regional government the Regional Municipality of Niagara has experienced much progress and many changes and has adapted to new circumstances as a municipality.

“Success of councils have been confronted with new challenges and the developed policies and procedures designed to meet those challenges and overcome problems. Similar and new challenges will face this council and I am confident that we will rise to the occasion, match those problems and be equal to our opportunities.

“During the recent municipal campaign all of us received a clear message from the voters. A justified demand that council conduct its business with honesty, integrity, civility, fairness, openness and accountability. Without a doubt there is an expectation that elected officials must embraces these attributes at all times and in all circumstances is a profound message that all of us will heed I’m sure in the term ahead.

“As your chair I am committed to working in a collaborative consensus of a reaching manner to ensure all the views of councilors receive a fair hearing and that accurate information is provided on a timely basis to each elected representative.

“Each decision should be an interest of the people we represent and not in the personal interests of anyone or any group of councilors. I am confident this sentiment is shared by all members of this council – those re-elected and those newly elected.

“It will be our goal to attract and retain top-notch staff who were hired and promoted on merit and in fair, open and transparent fashion we’ll be able to carry out the responsibilities in a professional manner without political interference or intimidation providing independent expert advice to our elected representatives.

“Again this was a theme that permeated our recent municipal electoral process. A message conveyed to all of us seeking public office.

Niagara’s new Regional Chair Jim Bradley takes the oath of office this December 6th. Photo by Doug Draper

“It should be our goal to develop solid partnerships with our federal and provincial governments and our local area municipalities working in cooperation and coordination with all levels of government in the interest of the people that we represent.

“It is important we work together with all members of parliament and members of the provincial legislature from Niagara to assist them in promoting the interests of the people of Niagara and that we consult in a meaningful way with elected representatives in our local cities, towns and townships so that no part of the Niagara region is forgotten, or ignored.

“Our goal will be to ensure that basic municipal services are delivered in an efficient and reliable fashion so Niagara has well-maintained roads and bridges, reliable garbage and recycling management, clean water and waste-water pollution control facilities, good child and senior services, adequately resources ambulance and police services, decent affordable housing and vital public health and safety programs.

Our regional government will continue to play a central role in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our society through our programs under the auspices of community services division.

“We in the Niagara Region are often reminded of the many assets and attributes that we have by those who visit our area including: the vast beautiful economically important agricultural sector which has provided valuable products for us for over two centuries.

“We are blessed with unique climatic conditions and soils which enable us to grow crops which are found infrequently in other parts of our county and hard-working expert farmers who contribute immensely to our food supply and provide employment opportunities to so many.

Jim Bradley, a former Ontario environment minister for David Peterson’s Liberal government in the 1980s, with current federal Liberal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna during a gathering in Niagara this past summer. File photo by Doug Draper

“When engaging in land-use planning for the future we have an opportunity to preserve both our natural and our built heritage. With Brock University and Niagara College firmly established as reputable post-secondary education institutions we have willing partners for progress now and in the future.

“Niagara has hosted national and international events such as the world rowing championships, Pan American Games and a variety of other prestigious events and we look forward with anticipation to playing host to the 2021 Canada Summer Games when thousands of Canadians will visit Niagara to see  top-notch athletes compete.

“As we expand our inter-municipal transit system we look forward with anticipation to all-day commuter GO train service – something unanimously supported by previous council and I’m convinced by this council.

“As we begin in a new era of the history of the Niagara Region – we will strive to attract and retain business and public sector investment to grow our economy and enhance the quality of life for our residents all within the framework of fiscal responsibility ensuring that the tax dollars of our people are invested and allocated with efficiency and care.

“With the effort and involvement of both returning veterans and newly elected representatives to move Niagara forward and provide the kind of representation they expect and deserve. I’m confident this will be the case in the term ahead.

“Thank you”

  • Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

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


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