Ministry of Natural Resources says Order in Council invalid

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is weighing in on Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board appointments.

Recently the chair of the authority's board, Sandy Annunziata, put out a statement accompanied by a lawyers letter stating he would be taking part in the selection process for the new board, citing an Order in Council from 1994.

During an interview with CKTB's Tim Denis last week Annunziata, who was defeated in the municipal election, said this was not an attempt to cling to power.

Welland NDP MPP Jeff Burch says a spokesperson for the ministry has emailed him to say the Order in Council was revoked because the Conservation Authorities Act has been amended several times.

Political Science Professor at Brock University David Siegel explains, "These Orders in Council have their genesis in some piece of legislation and therefore when the piece of legislation that they are grounded in is no longer effective than the Orders in Council become moot."

The email from the ministry goes on to say the power to select the NPCA board of directors lies solely with local municipalities and regional council.

Siegel also had a warning to impart to councillors regarding all upcoming board appointments, "Be really careful and thoughtful about the appointments that you're making because these people will have significant power to run the police service, to run the conservation authority, these appointments are very important."