Landslide win for Niagara's new Regional Chair

A landslide win for Jim Bradley who becomes Niagara's new Regional Chair.

Regional Councillors gathered at Regional Headquarters this morning to select their next leader.

In an open vote, the former long-time St.Catharines MPP received 19 votes, Welland's Leanna Villella received 7, and Lincoln's Rob Foster got 5 votes.

Each candidate had a chance to address councillors today prior to the vote and Bradley took an opportunity to talk to fellow councillors.

He says it's clear from the election campaign that people were looking for a new era at the Regional Council.

Bradley wants that new council to be based on honesty, integrity, civility, fairness, openness, accountability, and the ability to be transparent to everyone.

The past Regional Council term was filled with controversy when former Chair Al Caslin's office was accused of helping hire CAO Carmen D'Angelo.

Caslin then extended D'Angelo's contract complete with a golden parachute.

Caslin was there today as the new Chair was appointed.

The hiring, and contract are now the subject of an Ombudsman investigation.

Bradley served St.Catharines as a Liberal MPP from 1977 until 2018.

He lost in the provincal election in June to the NDP's Jennie Stevens, but was then after a short break from politics as he was elected as a St. Catharines Regional Councillor in October.

His 41 year term as an MPP is the second longest tenure in Ontario history, behind only Harry Nixon.