Monday, 15 September 2014

The Lords of Niagara

   Here in the Niagara Region of Canada we are sanctified with a unique form of democracy. It’s a sort of democracy by convenience, a fiefdom operated by elected but self-appointed lords and ladies, dukes and duchesses and pompous princes and princesses who have, over the decades, transformed into a mental state of self-importance.

Dictionaries describe a fiefdom as an organization that is controlled by a dominant person or group as in a caliphate or semi-dictatorial and authoritarian rule, which in the case of the enigmatic Niagara Regional Government is disguised as democracy predicated solely on the freedom of an election .

This assessment of ‘The Lords of Niagara’ is not based on foolish pomp and ceremony. No, this assessment is based on actual years of observations and written expose's regarding conduct and behavior.

Oh sure, there is the malignant effects of parochialism overshadowing the 13 individual municipal governments comprising of 125 Councilors (Toronto 44) and an army of bureaucrats to over-govern a mere 430K citizens. And just what do we witness from our self-absorbed Lords and Ladies regarding the ‘greater Niagara Chamber’s call for ‘efficiencies in government?’  
 Nothing!  Absolutely nothing! 
In fact they don’t want to talk about it! They have said that they don’t even want to hear about it!

We suffer persistent rumors and allegations of nepotism and corruption, bureaucratic Bullying and Machiavellian schemes designed to benefit their fiefdom and themselves over the citizens who have placed, or misplaced, their faith in the people they have elected and hired.

Those that the citizens have elected and hired have grown complacent because they have garnered so little attention to themselves and to their machinations that they are slipping ever deeper into an autocratic, adversarial relationship with the very citizens that indeed elected and hired them in the first place!

The daily newspaper pays so-called reporters to report the benign occurrence of grown men and women playing council to the rules of parliamentary procedure, while totally missing the underlying current of gratuitous conduct going on behind their veil of secrecy.
These Lords and Ladies of Niagara's senior level of government make sure that even Cogeco's televised council meetings are not live. 
They make sure the canned program is only available week days during working hours.
Their sound system is kept at a level that it makes it hard to follow along with what is going on.
The names on the desk Identification conveniently leaves out their job description. 

These mounting things have begun to coalesce in Niagara’s collective psyche to the point where questions are starting to form, yet still there is very little tangible evidence of negative response from the citizens or visible contrition from ‘The Lords of  Niagara’ .

No one knows just when the backlash started or just when the growing discontent will dissipate or what it will achieve but it is growing.  
New groups of people are forming all in an effort to protect themselves and their property from ever increasing imperious mistreatment.

We have stories detailing our Lords of Niagara allowing their many government bureaucracies to run roughshod over innocent citizens by using taxpayer money to continually appeal the government’s losing court cases until their citizens are completely financially drained, exhausted or even dead under their relentless pressure.
Some say that the days of ham-fisted abuse of the citizen are coming to a close. Others are saying not so. Whatever the situation, there are citizens stepping up to expose what they feel is unacceptable conduct of those ‘over the rainbow’ characters hiding behind their curtain of secrecy.

Perhaps the first jolt to the senses came during Private Citizen Mr. Andrew Petrowski’s presentation to the Niagara Regional Council regarding his sentiment that over-charged taxes (page 5) belonged to the taxpayer and should therefore be refunded. The shock came when the Regional Chair let slip that the overcharged tax amounted to an average of just over $7 and that ‘even people living in stick houses could afford that’.

It’s unclear whether or not this jolt was the beginning of dictatorial responses from our civic leaders, such as unanimously passing a bylaw permanently baring the public from the public forum! (meaning: denying the citizen their right to present their concerns and opinions to their authoritarian government in OUR taxpayer paid for Regional Council chamber. 

We asked each Niagara Regional Councilor this simple question:
Who do we see about the fact that we have admitted and convicted armed and dangerous criminals on our Niagara Regional Police force?
It was stunning when so few of our regional councilors took the time to respond.

It's for that very reason that we took up the challenge to run a poll to gather information on just where each of our politicians stand on very important issues.

 It's hard to fathom how our regional councilors can display such contempt toward the Citizens of Niagara by refusing to answer a simple question regarding a very important subject matter!

What is clear is the fact that Petrowski (now Councilor) in his continual fight on behalf of his constituents marked himself as a ‘threat to the fiefdom’ and therefore he became the victim of a four-year long vendetta and target for every dirty trick in the immense arsenal of the ‘Lords of Niagara’.
 Spurious attacks ranged from outright lies and false testimony to anonymous charges from a pseudonym 'Tim Lewis' and gang of acquaintances of Mayor McMullan and the‘old guard’ Niagara politicians and bureaucrats. And to think this Niagara Regional Government claims Integrity and Transparency!

The depth of the degeneration had to be the ghastly life and death struggle of the Bob Hansplant Story with the equally appalling situation of an integrity commission devoid of integrity, culminating in an open letter to the citizens of Niagara.    
( The St. Catharines Standard Newspaper refused to publish this open letter)  
After discovering the faulty nature of their ‘Integrity Commissioner’s report’ the Lords of Niagara blatantly refuse to this day to correct ‘for the record’ the charges against their least loved Councilor Andrew Petrowski! This Niagara Regional Government continually displays its lack of integrity by attacking the credibility of any of its citizens. 
The Lords and Ladies of Niagara utilize an expensive 'on-call' Integrity Commissioner for the sole purpose of controlling councilors into general conformity, while they protect their uncontrollable and unaccountable agencies from the prying eyes and oversight of that same, already paid for, Integrity commissioner!

Now try to imagine the reaction of The Lords of Niagara to a well publicized and licensed video reporter who operates under the banner, ‘Holding them accountable’.

His name is Fred Bracken. The Lords of Niagara first became aware of this licensed video/reporter Bracken when he showed up at Niagara Regional Council armed with his menacing looking video camera and displaying the danger of this weapon by actually aiming it at the Lords of Niagara. The very title of Bracken’s moniker, ‘Holding them accountable’ marked the YouTube video reporter as an enemy of The Fiefdom.

The name, ‘Holding them Accountable’ was considered by The Lords of Niagara to be nothing less than a declaration of war. The word went out to all 13 Niagara municipalities, bureaucrats and law enforcement.

But there was Mr. Bracken valiantly presenting his concern before the City of Fort Erie council regarding what he considered an issue of ‘Bait and Switch’ by promising one thing to the citizens and then successfully sneaking through the placing of a marijuana factory on Fort Erie' Main Street and without accepted norms of setbacks from the street. The city had promised that any such marijuana factory would be restricted to a rural setting with commonly accepted setbacks.

Bracken learned that the city was proceeding with its plans to open a marijuana factory on Fort Erie Main Street and decided to protest OUTSIDE city hall. A city staffer called police and had Bracken illegally arrested, handcuffed and thrown in a police cruiser.

The illegal Fort Erie incident was more than enough for The Lords of Niagara to take action to defend their fiefdom by hiring two police officers to be present at 'their' Niagara Regional Council meetings at a cost of over $800.00 per meeting.

Fred BrackenAs sure as night follows day the dangerous video reporter crossed the Fiefdom’s imaginary line by simply asking a question of a Regional Councilor regarding a possible ‘conflict of interest’. It didn’t seem to matter that the YouTube video reporter was trying to ‘Hold them accountable’ by asking his affronting question in a near empty chamber PRIOR to the convening of council!

For Bracken’s dastardly deed, he now finds that The Lords of Niagara have placed trespass charges against him and that he is barred for a full year from all property of the Niagara Region under penalty of arrest.

In a new attempt to hide information from the public the Niagara Regional Bureaucrats has had ‘other Business’ removed as a Council agenda item as part of the Procedural By-law review, in favor of announcements only and not for the introduction of new items for consideration.  
Hide from the public ‘New Business’ or ‘Other Business’ in favor of announcements regarding such earth shattering items as an upcoming pancake breakfast?

Further restrictions on Niagara Citizens predicated on the Region’s #13.2 ‘delegations shall be permitted to appear at Council meetings with respect to items on the Council agenda provided a written request is made to the Clerk by 9:00 a.m. on Friday prior to the following Thursday council meeting. 
 However, the silent Lords and Ladies know full well that the items on their ‘agenda’ are not published until the following Monday. Assuming of course that a volatile item is ever placed on the agenda! 

Click here to witness the progress of the self-proclaimed Green Niagara’s war on Pollution.

Or click here for a display of the Region’s preference for a quick tax grab at the expense of Industry, Commerce and above all else, JOBS!

In 2008 this regional government inaugurated the failed ‘Culture Committee’ in an expensive  scheme to buy ‘Culture!
Citizens are stunned when they learn of a disgraceful situation of having convicted, violent and armed criminals as Niagara Regional Police officers (NRP now over 40% of our budget) on duty and all with the tacit approval of our Lords and Ladies of our,Fred Bracken redundant and expensive  Niagara  Regional Government and our feckless Regional Councillors.

Niagara Regional Council meets once every three weeks and then under time restrictions for each meeting. At some council meetings there are no presentations at all. The citizens of Niagara are left completely in the dark as to the value of this imperious regime.  


The Niagara Regional Government has been extremely successful at avoiding transparency but with Canadians paying 42% of income in tax — more than they spend on food, shelter, clothing combined it's time for this level of government to prove its relevancy.

The upper tier of Regional Government must come to realize who they serve, or be served up themselves!

We can no longer afford a redundant level of government that is primarily focused on its own self-interest! 
“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”- Albert Einstein
      Thank you for your support

If any part of this expose´ comes as a surprise to you, then you should ask yourself why, who dropped the ball and who sat at the ‘PRESS TABLE’ and failed you?

We are sad to report that Mr. Haskell’s customary comments under The St. Catharines' ‘STANDARD’ articles are now being blocked or immediately removed.
Mark Cressman Publisher, St.Catharines Standard Wrote:
 I don't have anything to do with deleting comments.  Please direct these emails to Peter Conradi at or Erica Bajer at

For more Information Click Here