A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted February 12th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
Remember David Barrick?
It was exactly three years ago this coming February 21st that the then new Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) board of directors, as per a “mutual separation agreement,” cut Barrick loose last job at the NPCA – that of interim chief administrative officer (CAO) and secretary treasurer.
“I am proud of what I was able to accomplish during my tenure with the NPCA,” boasted Barrick n a statement after his departure from Niagara’s Conservation Authority.
Months later – in October 2019 – we learned that Barrick had been hired to serve as CAO for the City of Brampton where a fellow Conservative, Patrick Brown, was and still is mayor.
This February 11th, we learn from reports in the Brampton media, that the city’s council, by a narrow margin of six to five, voted to let Barrick go following ongoing concerns raised about hiring practices, treatment of staff, use of taxpayers’ money for contracts and control of information of potential interest to the council and the public under Barrick’s watch.
Controversy over Barrick’s conduct as Brampton’s CAO continued to swirl despite previous investigations, including one by the Peel Region police that found “no evidence of criminal wrongdoing,” according to a report in a newspaper called the Brampton Guardian.
Barrick’s hiring as top administrative officer in Brampton – a job that pays more than $300,000 in wages and benefits a year – seemed baffling to many in Niagara who were well aware of controversies surrounding a so-called “cabal” of regional government supporters (including Barrick, who also served as Port Colborne regional councillor up to late2018) under Niagara Region’s then-chair, Al Caslin.
There were controversies around the way the NPCA was being operated, including concerns that the body’s voice as a protector of the region’s watersheds and related natural resources was being muzzled.
And, of course, there were ongoing questions and concerns about the 2016 hiring of then NPCA CAO Carmen D’Angelo as CAO for Niagara’s regional government with the blessing of Caslin, Barrick and other members of the so-called Cabal. That episode was later detailed in a damning Ontario Ombudsman’s report called “Inside Job.”
Indeed, there were so many stories about the conduct of Caslin, Barrick and others in the Niagara media by 2019 and the time Brampton’s council was preparing to hire a new CAO that one is left wondering why Barrick’s name would not raise at least a few red flags. All one had to do is spend a few minutes searching his name online.
At any rate, here we are three years later, and the Brampton council has parted ways with Barrick on that job.
But not without Brampton’s mayor, Patrick Brown, who supported Barrick until the end, reportedly telling the Brampton Guardian – “David has gone on to pursue new opportunities and we thank him for his service. We’ve encouraged him to look at new opportunities and he is doing that.”
Indeed, it will be interesting to see where David Barrick lands in the world of career opportunities next. Could it be somewhere back here in Niagara?
I have a feeling we will have more to report on the Barrick file in the not to distant future.
For related posts, click on the following links –
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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders