Thursday, 18 May 2017

In need of an Honest Media

Is it wrong to assume that a Free Pressis required to tell 'the Truth, the Whole Truth and nothing but the Truth!’

False or misleading reporting deliberately promotes inaccurate opinion in the minds of citizens.

How are Citizens to form a full and honest opinion when the information provided by their media is skewed?

The Press likes to proffer their position that they are to hold government accountable. However as shown in the example below  the Standard often sides with the government against our civil rights!

The following is the St. Catharines Standard 'Report on Freedom of Speech fighter’ Mr. Fred Bracken 

Standard: “Bracken has been escorted from regional council chambers in the past and is best known for following local politicians, police officers and reporters around with a video camera and occasionally conducting one-man protests on street corners.”

There are two main methods of disinformation. One is by outright lies while the other is lying by omission. In the lonely paragraph above the Standard lied by omission. Yes Mr. Bracken was escorted by the police from Regional council chambers. Missing in the Standard report was the fact that Bracken was removed from council chambers illegally. The illegal activity of denying Mr. Bracken his civil rights cost the Niagara Taxpayers $Tens of Thousands.

During the ensuing court trial the center character of the illegal eviction, Councilor Zimmerman perjured herself in her sworn deposition. 

Supporting witness CAO Schlange also perjured himself in his sworn deposition. The Justice noted that their testimony was at serious odds with Mr. Bracken’s video. 

It was Mr. Fred Bracken that stood alone fighting for his rights and in the process fighting for the rights of all Niagara’s Citizens. The sickening paragraph smugly promoted by the St. Catharine's Standard puts the newspaper in direct deleterious opposition to the civil rights and freedom of speech of Niagara’s Citizens.

The St. Catharines Newspaper owes Mr. Fred Bracken an apology as well as their Citizen Readers!

This 'Dirty Dog Journalism' is disturbing to the News Media Share Holders. 

A Citizen's Cry For Help

Dear Mr Scott - Managing Editor Post Media

Coincident with unprecedented fallout in the US regarding possible impeachment of the President I was struck by comments made by Senator Hesse of Nebraska.  He referred to himself and fellow “elected” Senators and Members of Congress as “public Servants for a time”. The Senator made reference to 9-12% approval ratings.   One might question the relevance of that observation in the context of Canada, and Niagara Region, in particular.  Question: What might the current approval ratings be for Provincial, Regional and Municipal elected bodies if we were to know?

At this clearly very minor, almost irrelevant level, we are acutely aware of “public servants” who have grossly abused and misinterpreted the “powers vested in them” by the People.  The NPCA and the Chair of the Regional Council constantly and consistently ignore the people and their openly declared demands for transparency, accountability and responsibility to the people.  There are some among us who perceive a disturbing correlation between the public actions and words of some members of Regional Council and the words and actions of the US President and his Republican supporters.

Senator Hesse went on to say, “How can we rebuild, not further erode, public trust” which could very well be something Regional Council, the NPCA and many local elected people begin to ponder very seriously.  The truth is the public trust in the aforementioned elected bodies has probably been eroded beyond restoration or resuscitation.

Taken to a level higher, to the Provincial level of jurisdiction, the same can be said.  Hundreds of individual citizens have protested, sent emails, written letters to the Premier, Ministers of Natural Resources and Forestry and Municipal Affairs and MPPs as well as to members of Regional Council asking for, demanding intercession from the higher level of government regarding the out-of-control actions of the NPCA as well as interference from the Regional Chair.  To what avail one may ask?  In a word the answer is NONE.  The Premier passes the entreaty to her minions, the Ministers.  The Ministers, in turn, churn out standard responses which say nothing helpful or productive.  Minister Kathryn McGarry says: “"However, I regret to inform you that the current avenue to address any concerns with the management of the NPCA would be through your own municipally appointed representatives on the NPCA board.  

That amounts to a totally useless suggestion considering the “offenders”, almost in total, are the very people she advises us to urge to find a solution.  This whole situation has degenerated into a circus of tragic proportions.  Fox guarding the chicken coop, in spades.  When are all those “so called” “pubic servants, elected and paid by, the people, going to be held accountable and responsible for their actions?

It is now May 16 2017.  The next election is Fall 2018.  We do not have the luxury of playing a “waiting game”.  Action must be swift and immediate.  Our first casualty fell today.  Cllr Bill Hodgson of Lincoln, the lone voice for the people on the NPCA Board, supported motions from all Municipalities in the Region to hold the NPCA Board accountable in presenting a Motion calling for a full, independent, forensic audit of the NPCA, resigned.  He fell foul to bullying, intimidation, public humiliation, censure and mockery by bullies.  Hodgson is a man of integrity and honesty with ethics and comprehension of what it means to be a “public servant”.  Did he deserve the abuse he experienced?   Absolutely not.  Is everyone in Niagara Region so befuddled by the antics of some on Regional Council that they are blind to this travesty of democracy we have just been made so sickeningly aware?

I call on the Premier and all relevant Ministers and MPPs to take a stand for justice and democracy, to uphold the Charter of Rights with regard to freedom of speech and protection from harassment in the workplace. Do what you were elected to do.  Finally, take appropriate action.  Disband the current NPCA Board and investigate all perceived or real violations at Regional Council with regard to coercion, influence peddling and all covert actions which may be against the best interests of the taxpayers of the Region.

Linda Babb

John Mascarin 
Integrity Commissioner of Niagara Region
Aird & Berlis LLP
Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street
Suite 1800, Box 754
Toronto, ON M5J 2T9

The Hon, Kathleen Wynne, PC
Premier of Ontario
Room 281
Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario. M7A 1A

Hon Kathryn McGarry,  MPP
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
Suite 6630, 6th Floor, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1W3

Hon Bill Mauro –
Minister of Municipal Affairs
17th Floor
777 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E5

Cindy Forster, MPP (Welland)  Caucus Chair
Room 357, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A5
Unit 102
60 King Street, Canal View
Welland, Ontario L3B 6A4
Tel 905-732-6884
Fax 905-732-9782

Wayne Gates MPP (Niagara Falls)
Constituency   Unit 1, 6746 Morrison St,  Niagara Falls, ON  L2E 6Z8
Queens Park    Room 361, Main Legislative Building
Queen's Park, Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1A5

James J Bradley MPP  (St Catharine’s )
Queen's Park    Room 1304, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West  Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A4

Constituency   Unit 2, 2 Secord Drive  St. Catharines, Ontario L2N 1K8 

Sam Oosterhoff, MPP (Niagara West—Glanbrook)
Room 328, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A8

Unit M1
4961 King Street East
Beamsville, Ontario L0R 1B0
Tel 905-563-1755   Fax 905-563-1317

Queens Park   Room 157, Main Legislative Building,
Queen's Park   Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A5

Constituency   Unit 202,   555 Concession Street   Hamilton, Ontario L8V 1A8

"Doubt less ~believe more, complain less ~appreciate more, worry less ~dream more, fear less ~trust more, control less ~flow more."

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Terminating the NPCA Nightmare

Termination began when property owners formed the Ontario Landowners Association (OLA) as a protective alliance against pernicious prosecution.

Members of the Niagara Landowners Association (NLA) watched in stunned disbelief as The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) gerrymandered court dates to get corrupted and conflicted justices to do their bidding to legally* extort individual property owners.
It must be clear that the only time the NPCA legally* extorts money is when it goes after individuals, never corporations or developers.

Corporations and developers are actually aided and abetted by the NPCA in their quest to compromise our environment
"When money talks integrity walks!"

Just two cases in point; the ignored 'Coyle Creek' destruction by a developer and the City of Welland and the attempt to destroy the Thundering Water Provincially Significant Wetland in a dastardly conspiracy between the NPCA, Niagara Falls Mayor Diodatti and Ontario Premier Wynne in favor of a Toronto developer.
Now a new movement has formed to save Thundering Waters along with various other citizen groups

All 12 of Niagara's  Municipal governments are clamoring for a forensic audit of the NPCA as well as all four of Niagara's MPPs.

Speculation, rumors and anecdotes are swirling that criminal activities are the reason behind the NPCA's year long fight to avoid public scrutiny.

The NPCA is lashing out with lawsuits against it's perceived enemies. Lawsuits and threats of lawsuits have been leveled against Mr. Ed Smith the champion for the preservation of the 'Thundering Waters' a Provincially Significantly Wetlands.

The NPCA is even trying to censor one of their own board members, Regional Councilor Bill Hodgson, for doing his duty by voting his conscious at an open board meeting

The NPCA declares emphatically that they are only following the Ontario Government's guidelines

So are we to conclude that dragging innocent Canadian Citizens through our questionable court system five, ten, and even fifteen times over many years to get the verdict they want is simply following the Ontario Governments guides lines? 

Are we also to conclude that the shameful contempt of the Citizenry is also the will of the Ontario Government?
We have to give kudos to NDP MPP Cindy Forster for her incite and courage to stand in place and deliver her summation regarding the Machiavellian  activity of the NPCA in no less than Queen's Park our Provincial Legislature.

Hansard, May 3, 2017

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Ms. Cindy Forster: Today I rise in support of Bill Hodgson, a member of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board who is being censured by the board because he dared to express legitimate and valid concerns about a questionable RFP they recently issued.
Our community has raised serious concerns about the board’s lack of operational accountability and financial transparency. The Auditor General intervened, offering an impartial audit, one the board declined.
Perhaps fearful of what the AG may uncover, the board issued its own RFP, except it reported back to the very people it was supposed to be auditing. The public called foul, we wrote letters; Councillor Hodgson did what was right: He questioned it. The NPCA retracted the RFP and decided to go back to the AG.
It’s clear that the NPCA board chair, Sandy Annunziata, in an attempt to cover up his and some of his board members’ own actions, will stop at no end to silence anyone who seemed to disagree.
The majority of elected municipal officials and our communities are fed up. It’s time for the government to appoint a supervisor to oversee the NPCA.
Today I stand alongside local Councillor Hodgson to send a strong message to the NPCA board chair, Sandy Annunziata, and his cohorts: We will not tolerate bullying and we will always stand up for transparency and accountability.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

NPCA and The Magnificent Seven

Integrity is when any board member challenges the direction of any administration!

Integrity is harmed when any administration censors those of integrity!

Integrity does not hide behind closed doors!

Integrity does not need translation, interpretation nor explanation! 

The test of integrity is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

Lack of integrity encumbers understanding of public disgust! 

It appears that Integrity is a rare commodity among Niagara Authorities! 

Quick to have third-party investigation into dissenting Hodgson; slow for forensic audit

Annunziata: At the Full Authority Board Meeting on April 26, 2017, I presented the findings of a third-party investigation into the actions of Member Bill Hodgson. The investigation conducted by Gowling WLG LLP found that Mr. Hodgson violated the Board of Director’s Code of Conduct, specifically Article 7.0, Influences on Staff.

The Board policy states that, “Members shall be respectful of the fact that staff work for the whole corporation and are charged with making recommendations that reflect their professional expertise and corporate perspective, without undue influence from any individual member or faction.”

Dear Councilor Annunziata,
Why does the NPCA need a Board of Directors if your Code defines the board members as mere rubber-Stampers?  

Some Integrity!