Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Rights! What Rights?

Here we go again! Charged with illegal trespass and forced removal from a public meeting in a publicly owned space in a publicly owned edifice for the crime of quietly taking a photograph. It is not a crime and is a violation of Charter rights to prevent anyone from doing: Photographing/Filming in any public place, or in any private place to which the public is admitted.

Now didn’t we just have a November 12, 2015 court judgment handed down by THE HONOURABLE MR.  JUSTICE R. J. NIGHTINGALE?

Preston Haskell was attending a public meeting along with fellow members of the Niagara Landowner Association and members of the Welland River Property owners. 

Etiquette holds that permission be required to photograph in private venue.  Permission is not required to photograph in public space!

However, the assumption being that the place was public and without recognizable limits of access or travel, there should never have been an issue. 

People in public, including guest speakers, have no expectancy of privacy from recording or photography.
Haskell is the publisher and editor on ‘News Alert Niagara’. He also publishes a quarterly magazine ‘The Mirror on line’ and assists with The Niagara Landowners Association website.

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s CAO Carmen D’Angelo tried to interfere with Haskell’s usual polite practice of acquiring images for publication. 

See Offensive Pictures below. Audio recording available...

Haskell spoke to no one on the NPCA until CAO Carmen D’Angelo spoke to him. D’Angelo made a successful  grab for the camera whereby Haskell warned him not to touch his camera or lay his hands on him

It was made clear that the camera was an excuse for them but they did not ask him to leave the premises. 

Haskell was only asked to leave when police officer P. Koole ordered him to leave or be handcuffed, arrested and taken to jail! For what?
Officer P. Koole grabbed his arm and forcibly escorted him out of the building. After ordering him off the property and telling him that this was private property he issued him a $65.00 Ticket. But Officer P. Koole couldn't or wouldn't tell Haskell what he had done wrong. Nice!

When Haskell asked officer Koole why he used so much force he told Haskell he could apply any amount of force necessary. Haskell says he 'is surprised that a NRP officer has the right to use whatever force necessary on an any citizen before determining guilt or wrongdoing or any reasonable or probable Grounds'!

NRP officer stated twice that he knew what he was doing!
Mr. Haskell is known for not disrupting public meetings to which he has attended many in his effort to attain news. This meeting was no exception!

NPCA communications direct Mr. Kevin Vallier,   Manager, Development & Communications, (pictured on right) said pictures were not allowed because the speaker had not ‘Given permission’ even while she was speaking publicly.

It was revealed that it was Valliers that summoned the police on D'Angelo's order. 

After their extraordinary treatment of an attendee in a public meeting, the preposterous excuse given by NPCA Chairman of the board, and Regional Councilor Bruce Timms was 'We don't recognize his credentials'. 

Haskell's credentials date back 25 years in producing and disseminating news and information. Click HERE for Preston's BIO.

 Mr. Timms is well known for his brilliant remarks such as:
"This way the NPCA can buy lands instead of confiscating land rights without compensation" and “regional council has no say in the (NPCA) board's decisions” 

Perhaps it's time to look at the credentials of the NPCA management and examine their admitted and continued abuse of Private Property Owners.
Seems to be very easy to have your rights violated and worse to be violated by a conservation authority with the reputation of NPCA Oath Violators.

 Media I.D. Shown original size or 3 X 4 inches


  1. File a lawsuit Preston. The law is on your side. The NRP are uneducated when it comes to Charter law and the rights of the people.

  2. Certainly sad to see the NPCA stoop to these levels. Certainly if there was an issue would't Mr. D'Angelo first talk to the reporter rather than have him removed and charged. And even if the speaker did not give permission to be photographed shouldn't the speaker first make the objection and then have the person hosting the meeting deal with this issue calmly? I am surprised that the NRP didn't laugh this off. It is apparent that the NPCA needs to look at their manors of how to host a public meeting and should clearly state the ground rules a the opening of a public meeting.

    Sadly my tax dollars fund this.

  3. I was there, and witnessed the entire thing. As a member of the Niagara Landowners Association, it was shocking to see Mr. Haskell treated in this manner. It felt like a "police state". Mr. Haskell had not bothered anyone. He simply stood quietly in the corner, taking photos. He explained what he was doing, but the NPCA people, Mr. D'Angelo, and the policeman would not pay any heed to what he said. They had an agenda, and were going to carry it through, regardless of the facts. I was horrified, and felt very outraged, for the abuse Mr. Haskell suffered. He was mistreated and disrespected for no reason that I could see, unless someone had a personal vendetta against him? Disgraceful behaviour, for employees of the government.....supposedly, our government???? Something needs to be done, to hold the people involved, accountable!!