Monday, 11 December 2017

Espionage in Niagara

What kind of twisted brain would think that any respected media would have any use of clandestine recording of in-camera information regarding personnel? 
What could media do with such information?
     Perhaps that is a good question to ask Regional Councilor the ultra secretive Mayor of Pelham Dave Augustyn who forbids audio recording in his Council? He also sits directly in front of the media desk and has repeatedly seen the recorder and still insisted on calling the police!

    Regional Councilor and Mayor Dave Augustyn pretended not to know who owned the recorder situated right behind him during the December 7, 2017 Regional Council meeting.

    He knew it belonged to Preston Haskell of ‘News Alert Niagara’ and furthermore he knew why the recorder was necessary as shown in the email correspondence between Haskell and the Pelham Clerk Nancy Bozzato.

    Being aware of all the details Mayor Augustyn still insisted that the police be called!

The whole story is clearly laid out in the article ‘Espionage in Niagara’ where you can see the small Sony recorder on the media desk behind Augustyn at the 1:19Minute Mark of the Regional Council’s meeting Video.
    Mayor Augustyn could have informed his fellow Regional Councilors but chose not to do so! 

This is exactly what Niagara Regional Council thinks of its local media.
It is well known that Preston Haskell of ‘News Alert Niagara’ (NAN) legally takes notes via an audio recording device. 

When NAN left the media desk there was discussion with their lawyer as to whether or not to broach the subject of personnel matters in-camera but who would have thought that in-camera would start mid way through the meeting forcing the entire gallery to be cleared for the duration!

It was at this point that Preston Haskell left the chamber in need of the facilities.

Upon returning the hallway was filled with gallery people and the council was closed.

It turned out that security had my hat, scarf, coat, camera and even the recorder pouch but no recorder. Dangling the recorder pouch in my face security asked if the recorder for the pouch was mine. I answered in the affirmative. He said it was too bad because it was confiscated and I wouldn’t be getting it back. 

Security, that they refer to as staff, was fully  apprised of the situation yet council proceeded to 'contravene the law' by conducting themselves in such a shocking manner!

The Question is; if the Region's CAO (formerly CAO of NPCA) and council were so concerned that a recording device was spotted in plain sight, in my space at the media desk and knowing that I take notes via recorder why did they not send it out with the rest of my belongings. 

Folks there is ample evidence that the 'Hat Trick' being referred too is totally inconsistent with fact. The Recorder can be seen at the1:19 Minute mark of the meeting video. You can also view my empty seat at the 1:35 Minute mark showing that nothing has changed after I left for the facilities. It shows that my hat is still on top of my scarf, my camera is still resting on my hat, even my water glass hasn't moved. The recorder is in the same place!

And who claims that he found the recorder hidden under a hat? Why none other than the NPCA Board Chair Sandy Annunziata! Sandy Annunziata, a man with a motive and "preternatural sense to detect political skullduggery", has a beef with 'News Alert Niagara' because of the article called 'A Study in Corruption' proving beyond doubt that there is a problem with SOME of our Niagara Authorities.

 Disturbing is the fact that they even pretended not to know who the owner of the recorder was or the fact that they had all the facts and details before breaking the law. Why?

The fact is that nobody deliberately set out to break the rules or to record an in-camera meeting! No one hid a recording device under a hat where no one would have seen it without rummaging through personal effects! 

It was an unfortunate incident for which I have and do apologize! I also apologize for getting Bill Sawchuk into trouble! I was the target and Bill got caught up in it. Sorry Mr. Sawchuk.

To categorize this as some ridiculous spy caper and to belittle and demean 'Blogger News' is at the very least suspect especially in light of the fact that so much of the world's news is now garnered through social media. Even the video of Regional Meetings can be viewed on Youtube and Regional public information are posted on-line; no longer in newspapers! These 'Pampered Patricians' would have balked at the 'Standards' first single fold effort.

'News Alert Niagara' is clocking well over 15K page views per month (November19,929K) and is a valid source of news and information. Peruse the stories on 'News Alert Niagara' and its sister publication 'the mirror online' and you will discover why many politicians and bureaucrats hate about our Blog. 
     Their term 'professional' is code for 'manageable'! 
Our blog receives no Tax Payer funded government advertising therefore we are not beholding in any way to government $dollars.

'News Alert Niagara' submitted its history and the required number of news stories to be successfully accepted as a 'professional member' of the 'Online News Association' 

Have we regressed to the point where politicians and bureaucrats determine who is or who is not Media and what is or is not News? 

In the meantime we have replaced our recorder and will continue to propagate the news as best we can!  

     For the sake of informing the public perhaps this is an appropriate time to expose the character of CAO Carmen D’Angelo the man recorded threatening Haskell with legal action without ever contacting either Haskell or 'News Alert Niagara'.

     You can also witness the character of D’Angelo by clicking here!

     By clicking here you can read about D’Angelo’s physical assault on Haskell!  
"I consider myself fortunate considering that during my last fracas with Carmen D'Angelo he slammed my camera against my face, dislodging my glasses and cutting the bridge of my nose!"

Now we have this outstanding gentleman performing his mystical magic as CAO of the Niagara Regional Government.

There is a comment section below just for you!


  1. I was taught a sincere apology, is made immediately upon realizing, that you made a mistake. You don’t get to lick your finger, hold it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing before you decide to apologize; three days after the fact. Mr. Carmen D’Angelo’s claim that this was the first time he called the police on removing media personnel; needs to be corrected, read: The link also will clarify that the tape recorder was not covered, as stated by Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Chair, Annunziata who is also a Regional Councillor. The attached video on the above link shows otherwise. I hear Karma has a way of biting liars’ in the ass, I’m waiting for the upcoming election to see if that is true.

  2. Thanks for shedding light on these matters, Preston. It's unbelievable how you and Mr. Sawchuk have been treated by members of local governance - it questions their integrity, and their basic knowledge of Canadian rights & law - additionally, what a despicable waste of police time/resources…

    We should chat about how I could possibly help you to help our Niagara Region…