At tonight’s special meeting of council, members voted unanimously to implement all of the Ombudsman’s recommendations to ensure that the Niagara Region can move forward with integrity and accountability.
Council’s motions directed staff to implement all 16 of the Ombudsman’s recommendations and with intention to have many of them completed in the first quarter of 2020. As per the Ombudsman’s recommendations, the Niagara Region will also provide his office with updates every six months.
“I was pleased to see Regional Councillors vote to implement all 16 of the recommendations made in the Ombudsman’s report this evening,” said Regional Chair, Jim Bradley. “On behalf of Regional Council, I would like to publicly and formally commend those members of Council, staff and the public who strived to uphold the integrity of our public institution during the last term of Council.”
“As noted by the Ombudsman, it is important to remember that the actions described in the report were carried out by only a small number of former employees and councillors. Regional Council remains proud of the tremendous work carried about by our talented team of staff,” said Bradley. “We value the thoughtful advice of the Ombudsman and we are confident that the implementation of his recommendations will serve to ensure that these activities should not occur again.
As part of moving forward with the recommendations, the Niagara Region is committed to being open and transparent as progress is made.
Based on the findings detailed in the Ombudsman’s Nov. 29 report, Council also voted to forward the Ombudsman’s report to the police for further investigation.
Council also voted to direct the Region’s external legal counsel to investigate all options of possible legal recourse.
By council passing these two motions, the Region now considers those items to be active legal matters. As such, it is the Niagara Region’s practice to refrain from commenting on ongoing legal matters.
Daryl Barnhart, APR
Office of the Regional Chair