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I won’t resign – NVCA chair Watson

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In Adjala-Tosorontio
Jul 17th, 2019
9 Comments
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George Watson

Wasaga Beach Councillor and NVCA Chair George Watson

AWARE News Network

Wasaga Beach Councillor George Watson has written to members of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority board to say he does not intend to step down as chair.

Watson says he has worked “diligently and tirelessly” as the head of the NVCA since elected in January.

“At all times while carrying out my duties, I have performed with integrity and honour while striving to advance the interests of the Authority, ” he states in a July 8 2019 letter to members of the NVCA board.

In May, Watson voted in favour of a Wasaga Beach submission to the provincial government that included a call for the dissolution of the NVCA and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.

In a June 28 presentation to the board on the importance of the watershed management provided by the conservation authorities, AWARE Simcoe members Sandy Agnew and Kate Harries questioned whether the NVCA chair can provide effective leadership if he is working towards ending the organization’s functions.

Several members of the NVCA board expressed dismay at Watson’s stance and Mono Councillor Fred Nix put forward a motion calling for his resignation. It was not voted upon in open session.

In his letter, Watson states that the town is not alone in calling for change to conservation authorities, citing submissions from Simcoe County and Conservation Ontario.

He adds: “Whether the Government of Ontario wishes to implement the town’s position is up to Premier Doug Ford and his government.”

He writes that he has reviewed the Conservation Authorities Act and can find no grounds for him to resign as chair.

He expresses disappointment at the “unprofessional manner” with which some board members treated him at the June 24 meeting, claiming that discussion of his role was improper as it was not on the agenda.

He takes exception to the use of the word “unseemly” by one board member (Collingwood Councillor Mariane McLeod) in describing his behaviour and writes that he plans to ask the Ontario Ombudsman whether he has grounds for complaint about the nature of the meeting and comments that were made.

Watson letter

AWARE Simcoe presentation

Wasaga Beach letter 

List of NVCA board members

Previously

Wasaga Beach councillor asked to resign as NVCA chair

9 Responses to “I won’t resign – NVCA chair Watson”

  1. Ann says:

    George Watson doesn’t make any sense.
    He’s in a total conflict of interest being Chair of the NVCA board while he’s endorsing the dissolution of the NVCA and LSRCA!
    Instead of voting with the Wasaga Beach council to dissolve the NVCA, he should have tried to stop council from taking this step and voted against it!
    How can he say that he has performed with integrity and honour while striving to advance the interests of the Authority, when he wants it disbanded? What a joke!! You can’t have it both ways!
    He expresses disappointment at the “unprofessional manner” with which some board members treated him at the June 24 meeting, claiming that discussion of his role was improper. He’s the one who is acting in an unprofessional manner!
    He also takes exception to the use of the word “unseemly” by one board member in describing his behaviour and he plans to ask the Ontario Ombudsman whether he has grounds for complaint about the nature of the meeting and comments that were made. Are you kidding??
    Please do the honourable thing George, and resign as Chair of the NVCA.

    • Peter Lomath says:

      Scary thing is the Ontario Ombudsman (based on my 15 years of experience dealing with that abysmal organization) will probably support him and rule that everyone else was wrong.

  2. Bill French says:

    There is no question, George should resign. You can’t lead an organization or “work diligently and tirelessly” when you are requesting that the organization be disbanded. How can he laud the good works that the NVCA does and be a cheer leader (which is part of the job) when he believes it shouldn’t exist? Now that is hypocritical to the nth degree. I would hope that board members call for a closed session, discuss the matter and hopefully the Board would come out with a motion to request his resignation or remove him from the board. I do believe the NVCA has far exceeded its original intent, but if it can get back to its core mandate, it is a needed institution. There is quite a difference George between improving an organization and disbanding it. You were appointed to improve it and provide leadership not to undermine it.

  3. Donald Kerr says:

    If he won’t resign, it will be necessary to replace him. Not sure what is the best process. A motion of lack of confidence might work. If a majority votes in favour, he could hardly continue.

  4. laura gail smith says:

    Mr. Watson should absolutely resign. As a Wasaga Beach Councillor, he had an opportunity at best to declare a conflict of interest being NVCA Chairman and remove himself from participating in the decision to recommend to the Provincial government to dismantle the NVCA. It is the height of arrogance that he feels that he is above criticism for his actions. Shame on him. He already has lost the confidence and respect of the members of the NVCA Board and the public that can never be recovered.

  5. Danielle Falardeau says:

    Why is he using the Town of Wasaga Beach letterhead when in fact his reply (via letter) is “his” own answer and scolding of individuals? In no instance in the Wasaga Beach “Registry of written” now in effect since May 2019 does he declare any conflict of interests and votes on matters where the NVCA is involved? including voting on issuing cheques? Mr. Watson should resign as the Chair of the NVCA or resign as a Councilor of Wasaga Beach. Where is the Integrity Commissioner report on this matter?https://www.wasagabeach.com/Document%20Library/Registry%20of%20Written%20Statements%20of%20Disclosure%20May%202019.pdf

  6. Fred Garvan says:

    Mr. Watson is following the lead of former chair Nina Bifolci when she refused any critism and a request to resign when she was chair of the NVCA. I invite all to review the past and observe the present state of leadership of the NVCA in a clear and transparent manner. This is a vital organization and it should be told that the future decision of the twin pad arena has to be approved by the NVCA in Wasaga Beach. In my opinion,that, is the real reason for Mr. Watson wishing to disband this valuable organization

  7. Peter Lomath says:

    This is just another example of the polar differences in integrity expected by taxpayers from those they elect and what those elected officials deliver during their term.

    There seems to be chemical change in the brain materials of elected officials when they are voted into POWER, once they are sworn in, watch out!

    As a Wasaga Beach Councillor, Mr Watson should have gone on record opposing the dissolution of the NVCA BEFORE it was presented to the “municipal review” by the NON-ELECTED STAFF “head of bureaucracy” at the Beach.

    Mr Watson now joins an ever expanding group of elected parties (starting at the top with Mr Trudeau and his conflict of interest issues) who feel that they should not be held publicly accountable for their actions.

    Only Canadians can get rid of these individuals, and Mr Trudeau’s “date with the electorate” is only a few weeks away.

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