04.16.2019

NPCA CAO AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS WORKING TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY AND OPEN DIALOGUE WITH THE COMMUNITY

WELLAND, Ont. (April 15, 2019)– On Apr. 11, 2019, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) received notice of a Supplementary Application on behalf of local advocacy group, A Better Niagara (ABN), to seek determination on the number of Board Members that Niagara is entitled to.

“The Board of Directors has been making significant progress towards a consensus the appointment issues,” says Dave Bylsma, NPCA Board Chair. “While we realize the NPCA board makeup is a top priority to ABN, the governance issue is only one of the many important tasks that the Board and the CAO have been working on to put this important organization back on track.”

The current Interim Board of Directors began their work on Jan. 7, 2019, following a ruling by Judge Ramsey. Since then, they have made various achievements in governance and internal organizational structure, to lead the Authority in a more transparent and accountable path.

“We have accomplished a lot in this first quarter, and with the hiring of Interim CAO, Gayle Wood, a top priority for the organization has been continued open dialogue with members of the community, including ABN,” adds Bylsma. “We are disappointed that they have decided to take this matter in a legal direction, which will inevitably result in more legal fees and delay any resolve on seeking citizen appointees to the Board.”

Since the arrival of Ms. Wood, the organization has engaged members of the media and various local community and nature clubs, so that their needs and concerns are heard. These include but are not limited to A Better Niagara, Niagara Chapter Trout Unlimited, Rotary Club of Welland, Ducks Unlimited, Friends of One Mile Creek, and The Harmony Group. More meetings have been scheduled in the next quarter to ensure that the organization continues its open dialogue with every community group and sector that makes up the Niagara Peninsula Watershed in Hamilton, Haldimand, and Niagara.

“I understand that communications and open dialogue has been a contentious issue in the past,” adds Gayle Wood, NPCA Interim CAO. “I have worked diligently to ensure that our lines of communications are wide open.”

The Interim Board of Directors, its Governance Committee, and Interim CAO have reviewed governance and board make-up on various occasions, hoping to move towards a resolution that is beneficial to the residents of the watershed. This discussion will resume at the upcoming Board of Directors meeting on Apr. 17, 2019. See meeting agenda here.

Ms. Wood can be reached at 905-788-3135 ext.251 or gwood@npca.ca.

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

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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