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06 Mar 2020

Our readers write about Niagara Falls’ garbage plan, Sam Oosterhooff and teachers, and Niagara Region’s credibility

Garbage dispute proves governance change is needed

Re: Exclusive: Mayor Diodati's garbage plan for Niagara Falls based on Modern info, March 2

The City of Niagara Falls may take Niagara Region to court over garbage pickup. 

This is another example of why we need to take a serious look at governance reform in Niagara. Instead of wasting tax money on this issue, why are we not taking a more serious look at our governance structure? 

Niagara has more politicians per capita than any other place in the province.

There is a lot of duplication and opportunities for amalgamation and cost efficiencies. Instead of looking for these opportunities, elected officials choose the status quo and operate in political silos, which is costing taxpayers.

It is time for change.

Al McKay

St. Catharines

Oosterhoff unqualified to make government's case

Re:  Province's change on class sizes still doesn't make the grade: OSSTF Niagara president, March 4

It is a sad commentary on our present provincial government that it sends forth Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff to make its case during the current teacher/government impasse. 

As a home-schooler, non-parent and non-educator, Mr. Oosterhoff is a distinctly unqualified spokesperson. Only in this Ford-driven car wreck of a government would such a choice be made.

Doug Melville

St. Catharines

Discovering leaks, reducing in-cameras, will strengthen Region's credibility

Re:  St. Catharines councillor wants to expose newspaper's Niagara Region sources, Feb. 26

Niagara Region council may make good progress this term on the issue of in-camera confidentiality. 

The combination of Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop's whistleblower motion, St. Catharines Coun. George Darte's interest in discovering the source of leaks and a general interest in limiting the items of business that are considered in-camera may reduce the problems of going behind closed doors. 

The in-camera process is designed to protect the financial interests of the Region and its taxpayers. It is also designed to protect employees from public disclosure of their employment issues. 

Experience over my 27 years on council shows that anything discussed in-camera can become public knowledge and the elected councillors are not able to confirm or dispute the issue. 

It is clear that the public wants more public debate and less in-camera business, despite the cost. 

Regional council did learn last term that it is better to set labour agreement targets than to set confidential "bottom line " increases that are leaked to the union negotiating team a day later. 

The combination of whistleblower protection, discovering the sources of leaks and reducing the scope of items dealt with in-camera will strengthen public confidence in regional government.

D. Bruce Timms

St. Catharines

Breaking the sound barrier on the canal

Re:  Photos: Icy race course laid out on Welland's recreational canal, Feb. 15

Hey, what happened to the Go Quiet policy created by the City of Welland for the recreational canal? 

I'm not allowed to put my quiet, super-clean 4-stroke outboard motor anywhere in the canal. Not even in the unused north end. 

But it looks like I could put my super noisy dirt bike or ATV on the canal near the Welland hospital area. 

Maybe I'll do that.

Jacques-Yves Dubois

Welland

Last Modified: March 08, 2020 06:08 PM
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