Councillors, you will find counterpoints regarding 'staff misinformation' in the Memorandum below. I am also attaching a counter memorandum for your perusal.

Niagara Region MEMORANDUM
C7972
DATE: January 17, 2013
TO: Regional Chair Burroughs and Members of Regional Council
FROM: Janet Pilon, Acting Regional Clerk


SUBJECT: Points of Misinformation in Mr. HaskeII’s Presentation made at the
November 28, 2012 Integrated Community Planning Committee meeting in reference to the Integrity Commissioner.

As per Councillor Timms request "that staff provide Council with clarification on points of
misinformation in Mr. Haskell’s presentation for the January 17, 2013 Council meeting",
please find below Mr. HaskelI’s speaking notes in bold from the November 28, 2012
Integrated Community Planning Committee meeting in reference to the Integrity
Commissioner and staffs clarification on points of misinformation in italics.

Councillors,
I requested to come here because I’ve been told that some in this government are calling for the taxpayer to ante up the annual expense of an ethics commissioner.
The assumption has got to be that someone in this government believes that there are elements in this council that are un-ethical.

Is the message suggesting that our Niagara Regional Councillors are unable or unwilling to police themselves?

Where is the evidence to justify this expense?

Who would be affected by the imposition and expense of a so-called ethics commissioner?

Would this ethics commissioner have any authority over undue secrecy?

Would this ethics commissioner have prevented the embarrassment of having the Ontario Ombudsman’s findings against the Region for misconduct and secrecy?
! http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2012/09/10/region—chided-for-transparency-snafus
STAFF-The Ombudsman has jurisdiction over Closed Meeting protocol and Niagara had no violations found on the 5 complaints that have been lodged. *Spin!

With all the serious problems facing the Niagara Region should this expense be our first priority?

What could the ethics commissioner have done about the Secret CORC Committee’ with which council unanimously agreed that Delegations {Individuals} shall not be permitted to appear at Council Meetings
STAFF-This Committee met in public and the recommendations contained in their minutes were presented to the ICP Committee for consideration. Really! Then why did we have to break the story to the public and rest of the media who went ballistic at the news and forced the region to back down from their draconian action.
Note - Those that claim they did not vote for this attempt to ‘ban the public from the public forum’ also failed to raise their hand for a recorded vote!

Or the fact that the Regional Government recently formed another secret committee made up of two commissionaires, two Councillors, plus the Regional Chair to interview candidates for the vacated position of Clerk.
STAFF-The Ombudsman has made a decision on this Committee and given that there were more staff on the Committee than Councillors, Niagara Region received no violations on this complaint as well. So, secret committees are allowed if Councillors are excluded?

This case of indiscretion lies in the fact that this whole secret setup was actually withheld from the REST of COUNCIL!
STAFF-It wasn’t kept from Council, Council received updates when they asked for one. One has to be aware of a secret to ask for UPDATES.

Even the CHOSEN Councillors couldn't see a need to enlighten their fellow Regional Councillors about their direct involvement in this process!
STAFF-It was a confidential matter the Councillors who were on the interview Committee had no
responsibility to update their colleagues on this matter. So, forming a secret committee is common and the secret committee has 'no responsibility' to divulge the secret to their fellow councillors. Sorry, but I was in the gallery when councillors expressed surprise and dismay that they were not kept in the loop or informed of this secret committee. What was the reason for the secrecy?

How About a fifty (50) Day wait to get a response from this administration on serious toxic pollution inquiry!
STAFF-lt was on the 32"d day, staff were informed by Mr. Haskell that he would not be paying the $5 — l\/lr Haskell originally submitted his request on August 23'd, staff initiated the search and the information was compiled through an MFIPPA request, howeven Mr. Haskell did not pay the $5 fee and noted in an email that he will not be paying for or picking up the information.
lf he was to pay the fee the information would have been provided to him and Niagara
Region would have fonxvarded on his request to the MOE. *More spin! We fulfilled our responsibility according to “WaterSmart’ Niagara by alerting Niagara Authorities about a toxic pollution dump. We were not about to pay for the privilege! We asked for answers to our simple questions on August 22, 2012. We received our first response from Dr. Jaeger on October 10, 2012. This is exactly fifty (50) days. We have yet to receive a single answer. The questions and further information can be found on: ! http://newsalertniagara.blogspot.ca/2012/11/watersmart-niagara-how-does-that-work.html

On September 25, Mr Haskell wrote to Mr. Trennum, freedom of information:
"l fear that there is a miscommunication at play.
Our job is done. We tried to raise the alarm regarding the situation of a severe load of pollution.
l would point out that the job of mitigating this issue is the JOB of the Region.
If the issue of severe pollution is of no interest to the Region then we are done with trying to help.
Mr Trennum, we sounded the alarm.
We have no reason to send $5 or paying $ for copies or waiting for weeks or even months for possible information.

Would this ethics commissioner help the month long refusal to reply to Industry and Commerce and even then only under duress! Should Industry & Commerce be ignored?

In the private sector world where REAL wealth and jobs are created, failure to respond to a prime customer is cause for termination!

Chairman Burroughs believes he has a valid reason to demand an ethics commissioner. Apparently the idea is to include stiff penalties to intimidate suspected UN-ethical regional councillors.
! http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2012/11/28/committee-wants-weakest-code-of-conduct

Evidence is that what we truly need is an ethics detective to ferret out how we have lost more than just ethics at our Niagara Regional Government. We need to discover how and why we have also lost honesty, transparency and integrity!

Where is our ethics and integrity authority to protect Niagara citizens?

Councilors: Voters have sent you here to do the right thing for Niagara and NOT
to be intimidated by what some would demand of you...

Last Thursday Nov 22, 2012, I witnessed this council struggle to assist the
bureaucracy with their ‘Plea for help’ conference.
Other than learning that no one had a helpful suggestion beyond the ‘Pure Gold’ of the same old tripe, what did we learn?

We learned that secrecy continues!

This government is forming ‘Team Niagara’, to be made up of a gaggle of EDO's and CAO‘s predicated on their stated excuse that ‘Industry & Commerce’ might not ‘open up their business’s strategic information’ unless ‘Team Niagara’ is secret!
STAFF-Our Procedural By—Iaw governs Committees of Council, this is a committee
made up of staff there are to be no Councillors on this committee. Exactly! That was my point.

Secret is ‘in-camera’ or is this also insecure predicated on the perceived lack of ethics and integrity? STAFF-Niagara Region follows the provincial legislation with respect to Closed Session meetings and with its current statistics from the Ombudsman’s Office it only sen/es to illustrate that Niagara Region is being open and transparent. *Not according to the Ontario ombudsman, which says that, 'Council and the Corporate Services Committee could have been more transparent however in their consideration of the land acquisition matters reviewed at the April 4, 2012 Corporate Services Committee meeting and the subsequent April 12, 2012 Council meeting. It is noted that the Committee did not report back in open session following the closed committee meeting and, when Council approved the recommendations at an open meeting on April 12, 2012, it did not provide any detail about the nature of the recommendations being passed. As such the amount of information, even of a general nature, available to the public with respect to council’s decision was extremely limited'. Does this sound like an endorsement to the Niagara Regional Goverment's claim that they are 'open and transparent'? 

Team Niagara will operate just like the former NEDC - In complete secrecy with no witnesses from the Press or Public and NO oversight from our elected officials!
STAFF-The NEDC minutes were received by the ICP Committee. If this is true, why did regional bureaucrats waste over $30million with no tangible results! The NEDC annual meetings where closed and secret!
Respectfully submitted,
Etiiet Pilon
Acting Regional Clerk

Councillors, there is NO misinformation in the presenter’s presentation and it is not ‘so full of errors’ as stated by Councillor Augustyn.

Councillors, can you honestly say that you are satisfied with these staff explanations as to their interpretation regarding misinformation in this presenter’s presentation?

The staff explanation causes me to doubt the veracity of your staff.

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