Regional Councillor update — May 5 2019

Spring of 2019 has turned out to be a bit on the weird side weather wise.

The odd wind storm, the interesting quantities of rain, the swings in temperature — nature is certainly keeping us guessing.  You know this when the hot spot in Canada (at least so far today) is Ingonish Beach, NS at 14.2 C. (Environment Canada website, @ 9:30 AM) 🙂

Political life has also been interesting.

NPCA

This past Friday, the Auditor General of Ontario, Bonnie Lysyk, provided a summary of her report on the NPCA to the board and public.  Gayle Wood, the NPCA interim CAO, provided the response and it is clear — we are making progress.

The following is as reported by the our local media:

https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/9336631-npca-s-interim-cao-gayle-wood-says-agency-is-taking-action-on-auditor-s-report-recommendations/

Councillor Tom Insinna of Fort Erie and I have taken on the responsibility of the NPCA Foundation — this foundation has and does require some changes to help bring it back to the trusted organization that is required to help bring programs and conservation activities to Niagara that are important.  This will become even more important as changes continue to happen in funding formulas here in the Province of Ontario.

More to come on this over the next few months …

NIAGARA REGION

At the Region, I am happy to say that Council no longer dominates the front page of all the local media.  But lots of things are going on.

As Chair of Corporate Services, I have been in discussions with staff about the 2020 budget — I can’t say I was completely happy with the process this past year.

When it comes to our households, workplaces, and governments too, we have to have plans to keep ourselves moving forward.  Sustainability is an important part of this equation — best practices on reserves, debt and overall financial management will be important and critical to the Region of the future.

Governance remains a hot topic — although I will say, it is also a huge annoyance.  I am in agreement with the provincial government that we need to be looking for our systems to be as efficient as possible — but at the same time, politics and governments can be messy.  Simply eliminating levels of government or politicians is not the answer.

And probably the biggest issue we have dealt with are the barriers that are now to go up on a structure in St. Catharines.  I voted in favour, and will leave it at that.

OTHER

I attended Mayor Easton’s State of Lincoln luncheon recently.  And I also participated in the Rotary Club of Lincoln’s Paul Harris awards ceremony where our former Mayor and Regional Councillor Bill Hodgson received this prestigious award (note, the motto of Rotary is “Service Above Self” and Bill has certainly exemplified this in his political career).

There are a bunch of changes that have been happening and will continue happening — being a Regional Councillor takes a lot of time and I am rearranging my life to help let dig into the issues so important to our town and Region accordingly.

I don’t have an official budget for things like promotion — however, I have created the following to help get messaging out:

https://politicsniagara.ca
https://facebook.com/robertfosterniagara
https://twitter.com/rjfoster7777

Please visit these and like or follow.

You can also click here for my Niagara Region website page.

I look forward to bringing you along on this journey.

Thank you.