Misinformation & Manufactured Controversy

Notwithstanding the recent Ontario Superior Court decision by Judge Ramsay, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) board members and staff continue to defame residents; one would think the NPCA would have the grace to admit they were wrong, the public would have accepted that, but to continue to misrepresent the truth through the use of truncated quotes from Judge Ramsay’s decision is, in my opinion, shockingly arrogant.

Curtailing the judge’s words to suit your own purpose is the  definition of tendentious (biased) speech, or misinformation, through obfuscation of the complete content and context. Just as the term “fake news” has become inculcated in the vocabulary of our neighbours to the south, the term “misinformation” has become part of the  daily lexicon of Niagara residents.

Misinformation is an oft used word by the NPCA to describe the peoples movement for integrity, transparency, and accountability, in Niagara governance.

No clarification or correction is offered; critics have been shut out of the public process; Freedom of Information (FOI) requests continue to be denied; Code of Conduct complaints called frivolous; the word of the Authority is to be considered omnipotent.

This pattern of behaviour has not been reconsidered since Judge Ramsay’s decision, rather it has increased; NPCA board members and staff continue to release biased (mis)information as justification for their actions.

Not only is this perplexing, but, in my opinion, whether deliberate or otherwise, could be construed as interfering with the operations of the institution, and, done in bad faith.

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When the Government Attacks (Canadian Democracy)

On November 21, 2017, lawyers for the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), a conservation authority formed under the Ontario Conservation Act, argued in Ontario Superior Court they are either not a government entity, rather a charity, and therefore have the rights of a corporation, or, should the court decide conservation authorities are a government entity, than they should be afforded the rights of a corporation as Canadian public interest is not served by allowing citizens to defame or question government entities. 

Arguing municipalities are corporations and therefore able to sue for defamation flies in the face of Canadian civil liberties and the democratic process. We must protect citizen’s rights to express their opinion and, by extension, freedom of the press, otherwise we begin down a dark path whereby citizens are afraid to question our government and Charter Rights are meaningless. The very fabric of our democracy is at stake: it is not only our right but our duty to question our elected officials and the integrity of the system.

The public interest is not well preserved by allowing this action to continue – it is putting the interests of the government ahead of the interests of its citizens. To say that the government’s right to a good reputation supersedes the rights of citizens to speak out against the government is archaic and completely contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is not only our right to question, it is our fiduciary duty and the basis of our democracy.   

This is no longer simply about seeking accountability from the elected officials who sit on the NPCA Board of Directors, nor it is about their reputation, but is a direct attack on Canadians everywhere.

Is the Region of Niagara, and the municipalities who form it, aware that this is the tactic being used to justify tax payers footing the bill to sue a private citizen?

Is this an opinion which the Board of Directors of the NPCA share?

Do Canadians want their tax dollars being spent arguing citizen’s civil liberties are meaningless?

It is the authors opinion, Canadians will be shocked and outraged by the pursuit of this line of thought; it is a direct affront to those who have fought for Canada, democracy, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and those who laid the foundations of what we now proudly call home.  Edition 1 Misinformation Democracy.jpgAttack