04.18.2019

100 DAYS OF CHANGE AT THE NIAGARA PENINSULA CONSERVATION AUTHORITY

WELLAND, Ont. (April 17, 2019)– At it’s Full Authority Meeting on Apr. 17, 2019, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s (NPCA) Board of Directors marked its 100th day since it began working towards transparency and accountability for the organization.

“We are very proud of the many accomplishments that have been made by this dedicated group who make up the current Board of Directors,” says Dave Bylsma, NPCA Board Chair. “From improved media and community relations, to major changes in board governance and internal organizational culture, and the many implemented Auditor General recommendations, we believe the Authority is headed in the right direction.”

In the early stages of the term, the Board of Directors focused on reviewing the organization’s Administrative By-Law to appoint members as necessary, receiving correspondence from various community groups, and reviewing financial reports, and human resource matters.

To put the organization back on track, they established three committees. The Governance Committee has met twice, to review policies, roles, and responsibilities, and ensure the NPCA’s Administrative By-Laws are accountable and transparent. The Audit and Budget Committee met once to receive and review the completed, clean audit by KPMG and discuss upcoming 2020 budget, and the CAO Selection Committee has met six times to hire an external recruitment firm, to ensure a fair hiring process and a reach beyond local candidates.

The hiring of Interim CAO, Gayle Wood, for a five-month period was a major accomplishment, as it allowed the organization to continue its work under the leadership of a seasoned CAO with more than 40 years of experience with Conservation Authorities.

“Upon arrival, my top priority was to establish trust with the staff and the Board, improve workplace culture, and establish open dialogue with media, and the community. It doesn’t take long to build trust, as long as you are open and transparent with people,” says Gayle Wood, NPCA Interim CAO. “After I invested my first month of the tenure into developing open dialogue, the next priority was to tackle the challenges of an appropriate organizational structure for the Board to consider, an improved budgetary process, and the revitalization of the restoration program.”

The NPCA is delighted to announce that this program will address the mandate of the Conservation Authorities Act, the NPCA’s Strategic Plan, and the recommendations in the Auditor General’s Report.

Ms. Wood additionally brought forth a new budgetary process, which will enable the NPCA to improve its relationship, by consulting and interacting with its three levying municipalities.

“We are pleased to share that the Auditor General of Ontario has accepted our invitation to come to the Full Authority meeting on May 3,” adds Diana Huson, NPCA Board Vice-Chair. “We will be providing her with an update on her 24 recommendations, the majority which have already been initiated.”

The Board of Directors will meet at its next Full Authority meeting on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. The location has changed to Meridian Community Centre in Fonthill, at the Dr. Gary and Mall Accursi Room.

For more information about the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, please visit www.npca.ca. Follow on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

—30—

About NPCA:

The NPCA manages the impact of human activities, urban growth, and rural activities on the Niagara Peninsula watershed with programs and services that help keep people and their property safe from flooding and erosion, while retaining the safety of our drinking water.

NPCA manages 41 Conservation Areas, including Ball’s Falls, Binbrook, Long Beach and Chippawa Creek. These lands are held in public trust for recreation, heritage preservation, conservation, and education. NPCA’s Conservation Areas marry
nature, culture and adventure to create limitless opportunities for discovery.

Questions related to the above release should be directed to:

Erika Navarro, Communications Specialist
Mobile: 905-650-4027
enavarro@npca.ca