STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL REGIONAL COUNCILLOR BILL HODGSON

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO

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.