Topic

conservation

14 petitions

Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Bill Mauro, Kathryn McGarry, Fred Eisenberger, Ken Hewitt, Alan Caslin, Sandy Annunziata, James Kaspersetz, Brian Baty, J. Stewart Beatti, Frank Campion, Patrick Darte, Jim Diodati, April Jeffs, Douglas Joyner, JOHN MALONEY, Tony Quirk, Rob Shirton, Bruce Timms, Walter Sendzik, Kathleen Wynne

Accountability at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA)

WHEREAS there is a perception of a proclivity to favour developers at the expense of conservation and the NPCA’s official mandate; despite irrefutable, documented evidence, the NPCA has neglected to enforce conservation regulations when the infraction involves a developer.   WHEREAS the Board has demonstrated favouritism to friends, and fellow Board members, by awarding untendered contracts to under-qualified individuals replacing professional, well trained, fully qualified employees; The Board has further engendered a toxic environment for employees, and Board members, who disagree with their actions by threatening action in the event of perceived "whistle-blowing". WHEREAS we feel the only way to stop the uncontrolled destruction of our green spaces in the name of development is to dissolve the Board of Directors of the NPCA and appoint a caretaker board. THEREFORE   We demand Premier Wynne show some leadership in this urgent issue and stepin to that end; We demand the municipalities which contribute to the NPCA immediately recall their representatives until such a time as a complete forensic audit is completed; we recommend any future board comprise at minimum half citizen representatives with relevant specializations to be selected after an application process;  we recommend any future board be prohibited from stacking mayors as it is perceived to be a conflict of interest. For more information or to contact the Save Thundering Waters Forest crew, email us at: email the STWF6 crew at: stwf6info@gmail.comSome highlights of recent controversy include, though are not limited to: Member of the Board of Directors, Mayor Frank Campion, is on tape stating he believes the board should resign and questions whether there should be a criminal investigation of the NPCA. https://youtu.be/lEpBYJ5IUds An employee of Niagara Region has come forward alleging that Regional matters are improperly discussed and strategy agreed on, out of public view, in closed-door meetings among the mayors and CAOs of Niagara’s municipalities. Together, the region’s mayors, make up 12 of the 30 votes on Niagara Regional Council and 5 of the 15 votes on the NPCA board. This is a clear conflict of interest and violation of Ontario Municipal Act, 2001, c. 25, s. 239 (1).  http://www.thevoiceofpelham.ca/private-meetings-among-niagara-mayors-called-out/ The NPCA is using public funds to sue a citizen, Ed Smith, claiming defamation after a citizen lead investigation, through the Freedom of Information Act, resulted in the publication of a report “A Call for Accountability at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority”. The report, circulated in October 2016, was critical of the way NPCA operates and accused the agency of being rife with conflicts of interest issues; the NPCA has yet to deny, or respond to, most of the allegations contained within. http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2017/03/27/activist-counter-suing-npcahttp://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2017/01/23/npca-report-lawsuits-piling-up The NPCA has refused to enforce provincial regulations when the complaint is made by a citizen against a developer nor force remediation of the land. 3.1 A citizens complainants regarding potential development and past infilling of a Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW) at Coyle Creek in Welland. Requests by Welland MPP Cindy Forester for an update as to an enforcement plan for the developer to remediate this PSW remain unanswered; the NPCA state the matter is closed. https://niagaraatlarge.com/2017/01/17/mpp-cindy-forster-seeks-answers-from-niagara-peninsula-conservation-authority-to-concerns-raised-by-niagara-area-constituents/3.2 At Draper's Creek in Welland a drainage pipe was installed in the middle of a PSW. The drainage pipe was reported by an adjacent landowner to the City of Welland and to the NPCA. The city of Welland staff verified the existence of the illegal drain pipe, tracing it to the end point, verifying that the swamp was being drained into the city's drainage system. An appeal was filed by the adjacent landowner to have the developer forced to remediate the land by simply removing the drainage pipe, the NPCA has refused.  nr-escribe.esolutionsgroup.ca/FileStream.ashx?DocumentId=13446 The NPCA used public funds to hire lobbyists to actively promote biodiversity offsetting, and “compensation”, in furtherance of their development agenda. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/niagara-conservation-authority-1.3941312 https://niagaraatlarge.com/2016/12/21/npca-pushes-ontarios-wynne-government-for-offsetting-of-wetlands-through-hired-lobbyist/ On June 19th, 2017, the chair of the NPCA told Lincoln town council his agency needs to focus solely on water and the effects of water. “We are not an environmental protection agency”, Sandy Annunziata. https://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/7388863-chair-paints-a-pared-back-picture-of-npca-s-role/ In January, 2017, a majority of Niagara’s municipal councils, Hamilton council and all four Niagara MPPs called for an audit of the agency. The board initially declined an offer by the provincial auditor general to do an audit at no cost to the Board. In April, the Board changed its mind, cancelling its bidding process to hire an auditor. According to the Auditor General’s official Twitter account, no audit is scheduled. https://www.hamiltonnews.com/news-story/7404893-niagara-peninsula-authority-chairman-waits-for-auditor-general-to-conduct-audit/ There exists a culture of fear within the NPCA:7.1 On February 8, 2017, OPSEU release a statement regarding recent lay-offs. “In a workplace with 32 bargaining unit employees, there are over 20 managers.  Currently there are 10 active grievances, all at arbitration – about one grievance for every three unionized employees. Instead of working with the union to settle grievances in early stages, NPCA senior staff routinely spend public money on expensive arbitration hearings.” - Warren “Smokey” Thomas, President OPSEU. http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/NPCA-must-halt-valentines-day-layoff-opseu.htmlhttp://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2017/02/09/npca-union-battle-over-layoffs7.2 On July 19, 2017, OPSEU released the results of a stress survey, conducted in cooperation with OHCOW, which asked them to evaluate the psychological climate in their workplace. Almost 90 per cent of NPCA employees completed the survey, Two-thirds of NPCA employees indicated they have experienced workplace bullying, while 70 per cent say they have witnessed “offensive behaviours”.  https://opseu.org/news/npca-workplace-unhealthy-survey A culture of questionable ethics/behaviours continues to exist:8.1 On June 12, 2017, Sandy Annunziata, chairman, asked that a video of the board’s January meeting be edited to remove footage of two board members appearing to give a Nazi salute. The video shows Welland Mayor Frank Campion and Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati making the gesture; Mayors Campion and Diodati verbally apologized; the video was removed from YouTube and edited before being reloaded. The mayors were not censured nor was further action taken.  http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/mayors-nazi-salute 8.2 By comparison, board member Bill Hodgson, of Lincoln, had been urging the Board to take steps to reassure the public of the agency’s integrity in the wake of the “A Call for Accountability” report (see items #4 and 5). On April 26, 2017, in a special meeting, behind closed doors, the Board voted to censure Mr Hodgson, refusing to release any further information. A two-thirds majority of 12 members would require eight members to vote in favour of a motion.The public vote to confirm the decisions made in confidential session was seven in favour and four against; the motion passed in contravention of the requirement. Amidst allegations of bullying and harassment, after being improperly censured, Councillor Hodgson has since resigned. http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2017/05/04/npca-on-witch-hunt-forster-sayshttps://www.thespec.com/news-story/7272546-npca-board-votes-to-censure-member-bill-hodgson/https://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/7328851-bill-hodgson-resigns-from-npca-board/  

Emily Spanton
654 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Christopher Atkins, Linda Hepner, City Clerk

Don't eliminate Greenside's natural space with high density development

This petition is for residents and visitors to Surrey BC. We've all seen the negative results of Surrey's high-density development of numerous green spaces: more property crime, traffic congestion, overloaded schools, insufficient parking, noise and the loss of mature trees. Next up is the natural area in the centre of Greenside Estates (development proposal file# 7915-0393-00). Residents walk their dogs in the natural area, play with their children, and watch the ducks in the duck pond. Cramming 236 townhouse and stacked townhouse units into that 6.4 hectare area will destroy this much needed natural space and detract from the livability of the area. Even those who do not directly enjoy the natural area or pond will be affected by this proposed development. Traffic and congestion of the adjacent 60th Avenue, 192 Street, and Fraser Highway will unavoidably worsen. Parents of students who attend Latimer Road Elementary have reason for concern, because this development would put an additional 236 families right next to the school. It would also add additional students to Clayton Heights Secondary, which is already over-capacity by more than 330 students. This additional load may result in larger classes, more portables, or changes to the school catchment areas. This development proposal should not be approved. Development should be lower-density and limited to the portion of the green area that is closest to Fraser Highway so it doesn't interfere with the pond or detract from the livability of the area.If you are a resident of Surrey, please sign this petition and let Christopher Atkins (Surrey Planning & Development Department) at 604-591-4327 or ctatkins@surrey.ca know that you don't want this development. Quote file number 7915-0393-00.To see what this green space and duck pond looks like, check out:http://greensideestates.imgur.com/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgD__hUrxHMhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui8HGmQCAg0https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cZ0k0sAP6ETo see the current development proposal's status and developer's contact information, see:https://apps.surrey.ca/Online-Development-Inquiry/?year=15&seq=0393

Concerned Citizen
602 supporters
Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to Paisley Donaldson, John Klinck

Preserve the Dark Skies above Muskoka's Torrance Barrens

Whereas the Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve was the world's first permanently designated dark sky reserve and achieved international media attention for Muskoka, making it an important draw for tourists and stargazers thereby enhancing Muskoka's reputation as a "go to" destination; Whereas the effort to preserve the Dark Sky not only protects the viability of the Torrance Barrens but also the environment of "cottage country" and thus contributes to the special features for which Muskoka is famous and visited; Whereas the Dark Night Sky in Muskoka is a treasured asset comparable to water quality, wildlife or healthy trees; Whereas light pollution causes glare to emanate upwards and be dispersed by the atmosphere, creating a glow which washes out all deep space objects (like nebulae and galaxies) and even stars and planets, making the night sky awash with an artificial glow; Whereas this sky glow is endemic to urban centres around Ontario and is not compatible with an environment seeing to remain natural. Stopping its spread helps to ensure that Muskoka retains its precious natural environment and does not take on an urban look; Whereas the Town of Gravenhurst has adopted some Dark Sky friendly lighting, (notably at the Wharf and on Main Street), but in other places has dropped the ball and ignored its own Site Plan Agreements which called for dark sky friendly lighting (such as the large plaza now known as the Rio Can site near Hwy 11); Whereas Dark Sky lighting which utilizes full cut off fixtures, is aimed downwards (as opposed to up or sideways) and is not too bright (so as to minimize reflected light) can mitigate damage to the night sky; Whereas the Town of Gravenhurst (into which half of the Torrance Barrens is situated) enacted a Dark Sky Bylaw which requires that all signage be lit from the top down on all signs created after the enactment of the bylaw; Whereas the Town of Gravenhurst is not seriously enforcing its Dark Sky bylaw, allowing the erection of signs in clear violation of its requirements (including the Town's own sign on Hwy 11!!) and is relying on feeble excuses and exemptions from the District so as not to have to comply; Whereas once the Dark Night Sky is lost, it is likely lost forever, leaving ourselves and our children with a light polluted nightscape and an irrevocably damaged feature of Muskoka, jeopardizing its uniqueness and viability as a healthy, natural place attractive for tourists and residents; We accordingly call upon the Town of Gravenhurst to abandon its reckless approach and to strictly enforce its Dark Sky bylaw. We call upon Gravenhurst to adopt a new and healthier level of thinking, in spirit and in practice, to ensure all development and signage protects the Dark Sky. We call upon Gravenhurst to respect the Dark Sky as a special natural feature of Muskoka and to ensure our children inherit a Muskoka just as special.

Ian McClennan
79 supporters