Photo Credit: MZE Architects

If things weren’t already hot at the Region of Niagara HQ over last week’s ejection of a reporter and unlawful seizure of his equipment, local MPP’s of all parties have turned the oven to broil by taking their concerns to Municipal Affairs Minister, Bill Mauro.

While it appears at this time the Ministry may not get involved, the door is wide open for the Ombudsman who can put the matter under the microscope and fully investigate the incident.

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Now that the gravity of the matter has finally hit Regional Council, they are scrambling to sweep what is potentially a Constitutional matter under the proverbial carpet.

Labeling the whole incident as an “inconvenience” there is an attempt to diffuse responsibility, so no one is singled out.  From the St. Catharines Standard:

“However, asked who gave the order to seize Sawchuk’s notes and computer and have him removed from the building, Caslin pointed to everyone in the council chambers.

“About 25 councillors, a lawyer, the CAO, staff and a chair,” Caslin said, who also said order had broken down in the chamber at the time. “It wasn’t as if one person masterminded what happened. Councillors were yelling across the room ‘What about that piece of equipment? What about this piece of equipment?’”

By their own admission, it sounds like a scavenger hunt was occurring in the chambers rather than a display of proper political acumen.

On the aspect of the engagement seen in this photo:

Photo Credit:  St. Catharines Standard/Twitter

“We all make mistakes, and I have admitted in this case mistakes were made. I think there is an opportunity for improvement,” Caslin said of Carter’s conduct. “We didn’t see, as council, any of that. Chris is the type of individual who is pretty animated in his mannerism, and I am sure he could be deemed as intimidating in that circumstance.”

What do you think… is the Region being sincere in admitting “mistakes”?

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