Thursday, 18 May 2017

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."

1 comment:

  1. Is Canada a free country? Must be they are just censoring Hodgson and have not put him in front of a firing squad(YET). He has quit the NPCA board. This country has laws about bullying in school,internet but do they have it in politics? A councilor can't even try to help people who voted him in. The rest of the board members have done nothing to protect the peoples rights. How can they ask us to vote for them if they can't be honest and do the right thing. If you are trying to do the right thing you will be bullied. It"s easier to go the ways of the bully and not get dragged through the headaches they throw at you. Only a few politicians run this whole region and bully the other politicians to follow their leads. I was taught always to stand up to the bullies even if you fail you did what was right but if the rest of the politicians don't stand up to them we are lost. Are we in Canada or North Korea?