Watson at golf tourney while NVCA directors decide to keep him as chair
NVCA CAO Doug Hevenor and Vice-Chairs Keith White and Donna Jebb. -AWARE Simcoe photo
Discussion of Yurek letter cut short
By Kate Harries AWARE News Network
Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority directors have decided Wasaga Beach Councillor George Watson will continue to serve as their chair.
The matter was dealt with behind closed doors today. No statement or explanation was provided.
At their June meeting, some directors suggested that Watson’s position at the helm was compromised after he supported a Wasaga Beach council resolution that called for the dissolution of the NVCA and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.
“It was dealt with. And I have no further comment, it was handled in closed session,” said Vice-Chair Keith White, an Essa councillor.
Watson was not present at the meeting.
Asked where Watson was, White said he was at “the Nottawasaga annual golf tournament and two weeks ago he asked me to chair the meeting, he was unable to attend, I believe it’s a fundraiser for a number of charities.”
White said he could not answer further questions because a staff appreciation barbecue was scheduled to start. “Our staff is very important to us and I must go,” he said.
He did confirm that Watson remains in his position: “He is still the chair.”
AWARE Simcoe had previously asked for release of a copy of a letter written by the NVCA to Watson in reply to his July 8 letter stating that he would not resign.
White and corporate services director Sheryl Flannagan said they would have to discuss whether to release the letter and would provide an answer next week. When asked for an answer today, Flannagan said that would not be possible because of the staff appreciation barbecue which was about to start, at noon.
Earlier there was a brief discussion of the controversial ’‘to whom it may concern’ letter that Environment Minister Jeff Yurek sent last Friday evening to the email addresses of the CAOs of conservation authorities across Ontario. The letter suggests they “wind down’ activities outside the scope of their core mandate.
The ensuing discussion lasted all of five minutes. It ended with White cutting short Adjala-Tosorontio Deputy Mayor Bob Meadows when he started to criticize Hevenor’s letter.
“The subject is not that letter,” White said, insisting that discussion focus on the communication from the province.
After silencing Meadows, White invited further comment but no one spoke and the board moved in camera.