The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA)
and The Ontario Auditor General (AG):
Misinformation or Manufactured Controversy?
January 18th 2017—NPCA Board meeting
- Vice Chair James Kaspersetz reads the letter from Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger stressing that the Auditor General has been granted the authority to conduct and audit and has a team ready;
- Chair Sandy Annunziata pushes for the audit motion to be deferred until the Audit committee could meet and advise;
- the audit motion passes, unanimously, with the amendment that the NPCA would continue to try to work with the Auditor General.
January 24th, 2017—Chair Annunziata and Auditor General Lysek speak
- Chair Annunziata was quoted in official transcripts as repeatedly saying “…can’t make a unilateral decision in regards to having the Auditor General come in”;
- While true the Chair may not act unilaterally, the Board had passed a motion the week prior which included a caveat to continue to work with the Auditor General if possible.
February 2017 to present day
- Chair Annunziata has stated on numerous occasions to municipal councils across the Niagara Region, and through media interviews, that he has had numerous conversations with the AG on “how to move forward” as “Conservation Authorities do not fall under the purview of the AG”;
- As recently as November 2017, Chair Sandy Annunziata reiterated these statements to both St Catharines Council and Port Colborne Council.
CONCLUSION: In my opinion, this entire controversy was manufactured through misinformation; hopefully, with the December 2017 arrival of Auditor General Lysek to Niagara, we will soon know where the truth lies; we deserve A Better Niagara.