Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Great Niagara Railroad Conspiracy

People in Niagara have been subjected to the St. Catharines Standard’s seven-year-long diatribe and stalking regarding ‘the now made infamous’ Regional Councilor Andy Petrowski’s trial by media.
However, there are readers of the 'Standard' who are not convinced that Andy was the bane of local politics. Seems that whatever negative thoughts people have about Petrowski is generally compliments of the St. Catharines Standard.

Some news is not about news anymore. Some news is about protecting some people, destroying others, and promoting agenda.

From before Petrowski’s entry into politics starting with his clever soup can presentation against the Region’s statement that ‘even people that live in straw houses can afford a $1.2Million tax increase’, News Alert Niagara has followed the old guard’s vicious attacks based simply on the fear that Petrowski could or would poke a stick in the spokes of their gravy train, their tax and spend proclivities, or worse their inept husbanding of Niagara’s resources.

The meeting was very enlightening. I sat alone at the media table which is situated to the right of the council horseshoe with the closest councilor being Regional Councilor and Mayor of Pelham Dave Augustyn. Of all the rhetoric with back and forth comments, which will be addressed later in this article, the one thing that stood out was Mayor Augustyn’s constant insistence regarding the character of ‘Niagara’s Code of Conduct’ both old and new versions. Mayor Augustyn’s efforts were enough to compel me to make an effort to be in the Council Chamber on the 18th.

Folks, for those interested in what is happening in Niagara it will be a good investment of your time to witness for yourself what is actually going on. Here we provide you with links for you to quickly get to the video of the Niagara Regional Council in action.

In no Particular order you will witness councilors making their comments for and against Councilor Andy Petrowski.

You will witness an attempt to charge Petrowski under both the ‘old Code’ as well as the ‘new Code’. Under the ‘old code the complainant can be made public. Here Petrowski is not allowed to face his accusers under the ‘new Code’ and he is also denied seeing the actual charges against him. He only gets to see a lawyer’s version of the complaints. In political speak this is called integrity.

You will learn that Petrowski was never interviewed by the Integrity commissioner before the conclusion of the investigation. Upon conclusion of the investigation Petrowski was asked if he had any comments. This smacks of Integrity commissioner Swayze’s fallacious conduct of only interviewing the complainant’s testimony. 

Following is a summation of CouncilorRemarks:

Councilor Volpatti takes integrity Commissioner to task for finishing his report before investigating target Councilor’s side of story-

Councilor Barrick reminded Council the he had raised his concern that an integrity commissioner could be used as a weapon against fellow councilors-

Councilor Rigby stated that an apology wasn’t enough of a penalty against Petrowski-

Councilor and Pelham Mayor Augustyn – “the code is about integrity, code is about respect, code is about dignity”*-

Councilor Bruce Timms challenged the Integrity Commissioner on the use of Twitter-

Councilor Gale – Railed that the procedure was a fraud and a farce and fraudulent 

Councilor Easton – Petrowski has some very good ideas he has some very good approaches - doesn’t see any hope for a proper conclusion under the current situation

Councilor Barrick – Kangaroo Court – Witch-hunts – Distraction – Political farce

Councilor Augustyn – Mayor Augustyn makes a point that it was not he who laid the complaint but the Pelham Council.
The Town of Pelham Council cannot legally lay an integrity complaint under Section 223.4 (1) (a) of Ontario's Municipal Act. By reporting on the now identified, yet authorized complainant, the Integrity Commissioner's billing Niagara Taxpayers $Tens of Thousands is illegitimate and wrong. 

The Niagara Taxpayers should not have to pay for this conspiracy!

Furthermore, the Town of Pelham's official and lengthy complaint wasted unnecessary tax-dollars of Pelham residents.

Councilor Sendzik motions to “Remove Petrowski from committees and boards” which would nullify Petrowski’s ability to fight for his constituents against the big spenders. Sendzik and big spender Mayor Augustyn moved for this tactic on December 8, 2016 when Petrowski was absent from council because urgent family issues. 

Councilor and Mayor Sendzik stated that more penalties were needed considering it “shows there is a pattern”. 

Sendzik is absolutely correct that there is a pattern. A years-long pattern of deceit, innuendo and outright lies aimed at ridding council of a councilor who does more than just heat a seat. Petrowski offends by questioning nearly every $expenditure and raises hell against ineptitude and corruption.

Removing Petrowski from his committee responsibilities is not so much a penalty for Petrowski as it is for Niagara Taxpayers, which appears to be the real goal of his detractors.
 That brings us to the conduct of Pelham Mayor David Augustyn during his special meeting of April 25, 2016 regarding the $36 Million Community Centre.

There are two versions of the video depicting the Pelham Council Meeting.

There is an unedited version clearly illustrating what went on in the council chamber and an edited version that was provided to the Integrity Commissioner.

By the Mayor providing only the edited version of the video he denied the integrity Commissioner the complete picture of the situation. How does that square with the lofty goals of ‘Respect, Truth, Honesty and Integrity.’*

Following is a minute by minute guide of the video lead-up to the start of Pelham Council:

April 25, 2016

Special Pelham Meeting Re; over-budget Community Centre

Minute Mark of unedited full version of video:

4:30     Mayor Augustyn Enters Council chamber

4:53     Clerk intercepts Mayor in Corner for chat

4:57     Petrowski appears heading for his designated seat

5:12     Petrowski sitting in his pre-arranged presenter seat

6:15     Clerk approaching Petrowski

7:18     Clerk tells Petrowski to give Curt Harley’s presentation in point form only

7:46     Mayor intercepts clerk in corner for further chat

8:59     Photographer enters asks and gets location of Petrowski

9:25     Photographer takes pictures of Petrowski then exits the scene

11:05    Police officer enters

12:01    Clerk holds Agenda for Mayor to write changes to agenda

12:55  Mayor passes agenda change to Councilor Durley via the Clerk

13:28  Councilor Durley asks Mayor for clarifications

After Gavel:

18:05 Mayor has Durley announce agenda change

19:34 Petrowski Leaves in Disgust calling Mayor’s action Disgusting

Watch Mayor Dave Augustyn reacting to Councillor Peter Papp`s suggested amendment to this project. 2:26:25 minute mark, and then lose his temper at 2:28:35 when a taxpayer speaks out.

The Mayor even improperly removed his out burst from his edited version of the Video

How does editing square with ‘Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?’*

Regional Councilor and St. Catharines City Mayor Sendzik says that when he became Mayor he gave up some of his rights. What rights did Mayor Sendzik give up? Why should anyone in government, or not, have to give up any rights, freedoms or freedom of speech?

Our rights and freedoms including freedom of speech are guaranteed by law. Persons stepping over the line are subject to penalty under our law.

It’s not for a hired gun lawyer to decide especially one who is not an investigator or, God forbid a lawyer with a vested interest to please a financial master or worse $financially conflicted with a continued benefit of creating a ‘New Code of Conduct’.

Councilor Barrick is absolutely correct. There is an attempt to use a lobbied hired gun Lawyer to accomplish the desired effect of silencing contrary councilors; removing their independent efforts on behalf of constituents or doing what the councilor believe is their duty.

It’s definitely not right to use the ‘Code of Conduct’ to force fellow councilors to bend to the will of a mob! In this case a mob of big spenders. 

In conclusion the ‘Disrespectful and undignified’ conduct of Mayor Augustyn of intentionally refusing the designated agent, by way of changing the agenda in the face of said agent, who was ready and willing to make a presentation on Citizen Curt Harley’s behalf, is a disgusting act. It is far more egregious to do it in the face of his fellow Niagara Regional Councilor!

As wrong as it was for Councilor Petrowski to allow his indignation to manifest into name calling, manipulative Mayor Augustyn and his humiliated council could have generated far more colorful language.

Our society must resist giving up our cherished Freedom of Speech and hard fought ‘Rights and Freedoms’ as a cure-all for ineptitude.

Society honors its living conformists and its dead troublemakers.

May believe that the energy expended by the ‘Standard’ in its quest to destroy Petrowski could be the reason for the demise of Grant Lefleche’s ‘Grant Rant’ in the St. Catharines Standard.


  1. The failing penny stock Fake News Standard is on its last legs as are many of Niagara's politicians. Thankfully, there are alternative news sites like News Alert Niagara that are bold enough to tell the truth. The people are smarter enough to know the difference between cheap left wing bird cage liner 'journalism' and the facts.

  2. It seems to me that any right-wing politician that fails to adhere to the leftist agenda is singled out for abuse. Mr. Petrowski definitely "rocked the boat" occasionally, but most often, he had darned good reasons for doing so. It is shocking to see the corruption and collusion going on at every level of government. We need far more transparency and accountability! Not just for right-leaning people.

  3. Is it not a 'thrill' to watch and listen to well-paid 'public servants' simply and efficiently do as they wish, without regard for 'close examination' by the citizens who pay them. The term 'public servant' is clear and unambiguous. In essence it means: 'Serve the interests of the public.' That term, it would appear, is either foreign to, or simply ignored by so many holding 'public service' positions. Perhaps with some clear-minded thinking, those who pay for the 'servant' to 'serve the public interests' to find a legal method of having those who either cannot see or will not see that that is their first duty, can be removed from office. That is the route, if there is such a route. If there is not such a route, then it is time to have such a route put into statute.