And what it is is corruption.
Early in the campaign, I posted a video to social media and my website in which I said, “We have seen so much corruption in this last term of Regional Council and it cannot continue.”
Nearly immediately, I was taken to task (not by people who support the Chair and CAO) for not being able to prove corruption.
Now, I don’t know, Merriam Webster defines corruption as follows:
Definition of corruption
1 a : dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people (such as government officials or police officers)
So, I’m not sure how anyone can look at what’s been happening at Regional Council the last four years, and especially the last several months (beginning in April when we first started learning of the corruption around the hiring of the CAO, and with the latest story being that the current CAO had access to documents about the appointment of the interim CAO and about the recruitment process before they were debated by Council), and not consider it corruption.
Here’s where I stand: If we don’t call it what it is; if we don’t recognize it for what it is, how can any of us pledge or work to fix it; to make sure it doesn’t continue to happen or happen again?
We need a Regional Council that understands that – first and foremost – it works of the citizens of Niagara; each of them is sitting in those Council Chambers because the citizens of Niagara put them there.
We need a Regional Council that will spend more time conducting the business of the Region, because they haven’t created situations where they’re regularly discussing Integrity Commissioner reports and investigations by the media (not because they’re ignoring those things, but because they have given the citizens of Niagara and the media no reason to engage in those things).
We need a Regional Council made up of people who have a track record of positive contributions to the community and who hold themselves to high standards of integrity, ethical behaviour, and open communication (if nothing comes up through a Google search that points to this, don’t vote for them).
It’s time to Reset the Region. This cannot continue for another four years.
For those interested, here’s the video I posted to introduce myself (pardon my discomfort with this medium):