Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Grand Proclamation

In a 20-7 vote, the Kings and Queens of our expensive Regional Council made a feckless proclamation that Niagara was henceforth to be elevated to the exalted status of Green Energy Capital of Canada.
Does this strategy block other Canadian Cities, such as Churchill Falls, from making the same irrelevant claim for their cities? Will this strategy force other Canadian Cities to remove their claim to this dubious moniker?
Welland Councillor Peter Kormos was absolutely correct to point out that Niagara Falls Mayor Diodoti has a potential claim to the title of Green Energy Capital of Niagara.

Kormos criticized solar power as insufficient and wind power as a “sham,” and said he “would care less” about support for the moniker from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.

“Putting that kind of sign up is like declaring, ‘I’m the Pope, so you’d better kiss my ring,’” he said.

Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey thinks the nickname could mean jobs “because there’s an economy attached to it”. 
Perhaps Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey would raise silly signs proclaiming Niagara as the Economic Capital of Canada?

He said taking on the name could help Niagara regain an economic edge because it sends a message that industry will be closer to power sources here. That means lower power costs.

Question: How does being closer to power sources mean lower costs since the price of power has long since been merged in Ontario?

The move, Badawey said, is “150 years overdue.”

But Wainfleet Mayor April Jeffs said the motion “flies in the face” of Wainfleet town council’s opposition to wind turbine projects going up in the area.
“To declare this all-encompassing designation tonight, I think is premature,” she said.
The question is; what is Mayor Jeffs and her council prepared to do about other Regional Municipality’s dumping of pollutants in Wainfleet and what is Mayor Jeffs and her council prepared to do about the leaching of pollutants entering our Great Lakes?

And Welland Mayor Barry Sharpe said the motion is “not respectful” of municipalities in Niagara opposed to green power.

The motion passed with an amendment from Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn to act on the moniker. He asked staff to update the Region’s growth plan to reflect the green energy crown by the end of the year. 
Is the rush predicated on the fact that other Canadian Cities have already claimed the moniker with more to jump on this ridiculous bandwagon?

St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan noted the vote wasn’t about the province’s controversial Green Energy Act, but about green energy in general.

“Really, what it’s about is jobs,” he said. “Why can’t we be bold for some reasons, for the right reasons?”
Maybe St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan would support equally silly signs reading the Jobs Capital of Canada or the Garbage Capital of Canada.
So, let’s see, the proponents of this scheme would have us believe that we will gain jobs and enhance our Niagara economy.

On the very same evening Brock University Professor David Siegel made a presentation suggesting that we identify and prioritize serious problems. It seems self-evident that the first necessary changes would be the total elimination of the obviously parochial Mayors!

Although Professor Siegel cautioned against pursuing problems with limited "payback", the elimination of these non-directly-elected members on Regional Council would save taxpayers close to $1.5 MILLION per term.

Remember, no government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. -Ronald Reagan

It would be extraordinary and wonderful if the kings and Queens of Niagara Regional Government would do the job they were elected and hired to do instead using ineffectual proclamations for the purpose of pretending that they are doing the job they were elected and hired to do!

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