NIAGARA VOTES | Thundering Waters development focus of Niagara Falls Mayors Debate

Today's focus was the Mayors' race in the City of Niagara Falls for the upcoming municipal election.   

Four candidates are running, two of which participated on CKTB this afternoon. 

Much discussion centred around the controversial development formerly known as Thundering Waters.  

The development, a proposed multi-use residential, commercial and entertainment community contains a large portion of provincially signficant wetland (PSW). 

In 2016, Niagara Falls City Council and the Region’s Planning Committee heard of a process known as bio-diversity offsetting, which would see development on the wetlands with the PSW recreated elsewhere on the property.  

First-time candidate, Dinah Lillia Mansour, says she's worried municipality will be sued if the project does not proceed. 

Her comment was in reference to a Globe and Mail newspaper article from July 25th, 2017 in which the developer stated that if the project was no longer economically viable, they should be compensated. 

Councillor Kim Craitor, who also is running for Mayor, says how the entire process unfolded has shocked him. 

He says the developer told him that they followed the advice of the City’s Mayor and CAO. 

Craitor says the developer did not approach City Council first, as is standard practice.

The recently released Auditor General's report touched on the Thundering Waters and found the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority lobbied the Provincial government to allow for bio-diversity offsetting for the project without having studied the site’s ecosystem and against the advice of staff.

Incumbent Mayor Jim Diodati declined to participate in today's debate citing health reasons and Kip Fin did not reply to our invitation.