Niagara Falls won't join call for support from the NPCA
Don't add Niagara Falls to the growing list of Ontario municipalities opposing changes the Doug Ford government made to the Conservation Authorities Act that would remove citizen participants on authority boards across the province and replace them with municipal politicians.
The changes were put forward as a part of Bill 229, the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act, that was introduced at Queen’s Park last month and passed last night.
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has been asking local councils for their support and Councillor Carolynn Ioannoni brought forward the motion asking her colleagues for their support.
However, Councillor Vince Kerrio called it a political decision and refused to consider it.
"Personally I think this is very political, I think it's very political and I don't think we should be getting involved in the politics. Maybe St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake don't get their grants from the province but I don't usually like to bite the hands that feeds me, so i'm not going to support this."
Councillor Ioanonni argued the move was political and the right thing to do.
"Well it is political and we are politicians and we are in a political city council meeting, and I don't think this is biting the hands that feeds us. We just heard that the residents of Niagara Falls want us to protect them. We are hearing across the province Ontarians wants us to protect them, not just other municipalities but here too, I don't call it biting the hands that feed you, I call it taking care of our kids and our grandkids future"
In a recorded vote, Ioanonni's motion on garnered support from Councillors Lori Lococco and Wayne Campbell.
Many Ontario municipalities including Fort Erie, St. Catharines, N-O-T-L and the Niagara Region have all passed motions either indicating that the province should work with conservation authorities to address their concerns or remove the controversial section of the bill completely.