Saturday, 27 October 2012

Death at the Governance Conference

Governance Alert!
Dateline September 20, 2012…
Perhaps you read about the attempt by our Niagara Regional Council to finally come to grips with the subject of ‘GOVERNENCE’.
You know; things like the numbers of politicians, or Mayors on council, hybrid councilors, or reducing the number of governments, or any of a myriad of critical issues.
There sat the council along with their bureaucrats; yes and the press was present, eager to glean and report the promise of hard decisions.
Hours droned by with brilliant proclamations on things like how smart the councilors are followed by rude bickering and affirmations that council reform and/or reduction are NOT on the table.
Of all the ideas they wrote on their flip chart, it came down to only the following two safe headings on which they could find consensus.
Adequate Communication & Co-Ordination
Annual package of ‘Propaganda’ that tells Region’s story
Annual Q&A by Regional Staff at local councils
Seek input from former Regional politicians
Obfuscation of governance issues were noticeable
*No Critical Governance issues were discussed!

Is it any wonder we read headlines like: 

'What’s With Niagara Regional Council? Maybe It Should Be Abolished' – Niagara at Large

'Give Niagara regional councillors a big ‘F’ for failing once again to talk about governance' – Bullet News Niagara

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Friday, 26 October 2012


Niagara winners Circle has been following the machinations of government policies particularly as they pertain to Industry, Commerce and Employment.
In this year of 2012 the NWC has been apprized of another classic example of our future under the current Regional Government Administration.
(Welded Tube of Welland)
It is interesting to observe the Niagara Regional Councilors as they struggle to come to terms with each agenda item, as if each separate agenda item has no relation or ramification to another agenda item.
As we tried to point out in our article Schizophrenic Conduct our Niagara Regional Council approved of the following disparate items;
Council approved increasing development fees on new and/or expanding Industry, Commerce and Employment from $2.20 to $5.16 an astonishing 134% or two and a third times higher.
Council approved an expenditure of nearly $1 million for our Economic Development Officer to attract new and/or expanding Industry, Commerce and employment.
Council approved an extra expense of $470K on top of $3.3million for 14 extra regional employees to assist Niagara’s tens of thousands of unemployed find work in our politically induced diminishing jobs market.
There is no doubt that the two and a third times increase in development fees will definitely bring diminishing returns in the form of less Industry, Commerce and Employment plus the impediment to success of the EDO’s effort to attract same with the nearly $1million wasted war chest.
While the expenditure to assist the unemployed is laudable and has even morphed into an expensive necessity, it is a short sighted solution that is guaranteed to fail in a politically induced and ever expanding downward spiral.
Higher Taxes and increased Fees means less jobs, elevated unemployed and even more abject poverty; a level of misery which will destroy everything that our collective governments profess it wants to achieve.
Whether good times or bad, Niagara’s Industrial, Commercial and Employment diminution can be charted over the last four decades from the inception of Niagara Regional Government to near bottom of most surveys!

Welded Tube moves closer to a $50M Lackawanna project
Business First by James Fink

A Canadian firm has agreed to invest more than $50 million in building its first U.S. operations in Lackawanna, N.Y.
Welded Tube of Canada Inc. Cleared one of its final hurdles when the Erie County Industrial Development Agencies board unanimously approved an incentive package to advance the project.
Welded Tube is a manufacturer of cold-formed carbon and low-alloy tubular-steel products currently operating in Welland, Ontario.
Welded Tube is moving their operation to a 40 Acre site inside the Tecumseh Business Park in Lackawanna, N.Y.
Once fully developed, the property will generate an estimated $996,000 in property taxes and new JOBS for LACKAWANNA, N.Y.
Products made in the Lackawanna plant will be shipped to Welded Tube’s Welland, Ontario plant for finishing on a temporary basis. Once the N.Y. finishing plant is completed, EVERTHING will be processed in Lackawanna and then shipped to the Company’s clients.
Besides the ECIDA incentives, which include $6.8 million in property tax savings and $850,000 in mortgage and sales tax breaks, the company will be receiving assistance from the Empire State Development Corporation including utility breaks. 
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Monday, 22 October 2012

Investigative Reporting

News Alert Niagara operates as a more current dissemination of news and information for the quarterly Niagara Winners Circle newsletter. 
The Niagara Winners Circle is a quarterly publication first published in 2004 featuring news, commentary and opinions primarily regarding matters concerning The Niagara Region.  

Investigative Reporting:

Broke the story on Niagara Regions attempt to muzzle the public from public forum;       

Broke the 2010 Story on the ignored deterioration of Burgoyne Bridge;

Broke the story on SECRECY at the Niagara Region;

Broke the story on the Niagara Economic Development fiasco;

Broke the story on our Culture Committee’s spending practices;

Broke the story regarding the condition of Niagara’s Roads;

Broke the story on ARMED building inspectors;

Panned the ‘Open for Business’ wish list;

May we point to our story ‘Responsible Vigilance’ January 2011;

Leading years-long fight against illegal Dumping in Niagara;

Exposed shameful abuse of potential commerce and jobs for Niagara;

Exposed the Machiavellian 'Tim Lewis Story';

Exposed those responsible for convicted miscreants on our Niagara regional police;

Exposed the true character of The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority;

Exposed the astonishing secrecy regarding extreme levels of toxic pollution and its disposal;

We offer continuous opinion and commentary on Niagara issues of public interest.

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