Augustyn Proposes Citizens First for NPCA Board Appointments

Lauds Auditor General for Extensive NPCA Report and Recommendations

Based on an investigation and report by Bonnie Lysyk, Auditor General of Ontario, regarding the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), Mayor Dave Augustyn has put forward a motion to amend the appointment process so that qualified citizens can be appointed to the NPCA Board. The motion is to be debated at the October 4, 2018 Regional Council meeting.

“I have been highlighting the questionable actions of the Board and Senior Staff of the NPCA for many years,” said Dave Augustyn. “I questioned the hiring of Staff from the Board in 2013, the Lakewood Camp property purchase in 2014, the attempts to remove the Thundering Waters wetland protections this term, the use of the $3 million Ontario Hydro funds, the exorbitant increases in Board pay and per diems, and the suing of a resident because he dared asked questions. Thank you to the Auditor General for her fulsome investigation and many important recommendations.”

In addition to covering these and other specific issues, the Auditor General recommended that “members of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) Board of Directors should collectively have the skills, experience and training necessary to oversee the NPCA’s activities effectively.” Lysyk recommended that the “NPCA’s funding municipalities [should] ensure that their Board appointment processes consider skills and experience requirements.”

To address this, Augustyn filed a formal motion to the Clerk for Regional Council to amend the appointment process. If approved, the change would permit each of Niagara’s local municipalities to publicly advertise and make recommendations for appointment of qualified and independent citizens with appropriate skills and expertise to represent their respective municipalities. The recommendations for qualified citizens would then have to be ratified by Regional Council.

The informal, past practice of the Niagara Regional Council has been to offer a single appointment from each of the twelve local municipalities by first, offering appointment to the Regional Councillor(s) or Mayor of the local municipality. Then, if they do not want the role, the appointment defaults to the local municipal Councillors. Currently, only once Regional or Local Councillors reject an appointment can a qualified citizen apply.

“I have long called for reforms at the NPCA. We need to take action now so that qualified citizens can serve on the NPCA Board and fully implement the recommendations of the Auditor General,” said Augustyn.

For more information, please contact:

Dave Augustyn, candidate for Niagara Regional Council,