NPCA ordered to pay court costs for a local activist.

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has been ordered to pay a St. Catharines activist more than $130,000 in legal costs.

The judge, who dimissed a defamation lawsuit by the NPCA against Ed Smith, ruled the NPCA failed to demonstrate its case had any merit and had no right to sue a citizen for criticizing it.

Judge James Ramsay also ordered Niagara-on-the-Lake businessman Bill Montgomery to pay more than $48,000 in Smith's legal costs after his defamation lawsuit was also dismissed.

The lawsuits were in response to a report  by Smith  in 2016 that alleged NPCA was rife with conflict of interest problems and engaged in other questionable practices.

According to the St. Catharines Standard, Smith calls this "a victory for every citizen in Niagara."