There is no excuse for this. None whatsoever.
On a Council that is already under much-deserved scrutiny for unethical actions and behaviour, it serves no one, least of all the citizens of Niagara, to continue to put up roadblocks on matters of simple communication.
If I earn the privilege of representing the people of St. Catharines at Niagara Regional Council, I will bring a motion forward* that encourages staff to cooperate with all reasonable information requests.
*A motion shouldn’t be required, as the Freedom of Information Act lays out clearly how matters like this should proceed, but I will do so to re-affirm that this kind of behaviour cannot continue under the next term of Council.
Promises made to date:
- Bring a motion to have regional councillors paid based on a formula and remove their ability to vote for raises for themselves.
- Publicly post expenses; never charge for driving to Niagara regional headquarters.
- Bring a motion to have an expense policy put in place that more clearly details how councillors can spend Niagara Region money, what they can and cannot spend it on; outline how expense records shall be kept in order to be reimbursed, and implement a procedure whereby all expenses are to be approved by the Regional Clerk before they are paid out.
- Provide citizens with an at least bi-monthly opportunity to have coffee/tea and discuss Regional concerns. Dates will be posted to my website, and the location will change throughout St. Catharines.
- Bring a motion forward that encourages staff to cooperate with all reasonable information requests.