Tag: monique smith

    Williams goes out fighting

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The way Ontario Tourism Minister Monique Smith wants to tender the right to run boat tours on the Niagara River will harm the Niagara Parks Commission, Niagara Falls’ tourism industry and tourism provincewide, says former Niagara Parks Commission chairman Jim Williams.

    He’s not going quietly after resigning his $250-a-day government- appointed job Thursday over a dispute with Smith, the cabinet minister responsible for the parks commission.

    “If she’s willing to jeopardize the parks in this cavalier a fashion, I don’t want any part of the organization. This is a bad decision by the government and this minister,” Williams told The Review Friday.


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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Jim Williams stepped down as Niagara Parks Commission chairman Thursday over a dispute with Tourism Minister Monique Smith’s support for him, and over his “grave concerns” about an historic bidding process she ordered that could see the Maid of the Mist Steamboat Co., replaced as operator of boat tours on the Niagara River.

    “Given … your unwillingness to defend this commission against the false accusations levied against us, I can only conclude that I no longer have your confidence in this matter,” Williams wrote in a four-page resignation letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Niagara Falls Review.

    No shakeup at the Parks

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    There are no plans to shake up the Niagara Parks Commission, Tourism Minister Monique Smith says.

    In an interview Tuesday, she brushed off a Conservative critic’s claim that replacing the whole board is the only way to restore public confidence in the government agency.

    “We have no intention of replacing the board,” Smith said about how the Liberal government is responding to 11 pages of recommendations in a report she requested looking into how the parks commission is run.

    The Niagara Parks Commission Governance Review called for “fundamental changes” in who is appointed to the parks commission and the process for appointing them.

    Smith, however, was not specific about how the Liberal government will handle that recommendation or when.

    “We’ll be working with the commission to determine the implementation,” she said.

    Province orders lease for Maids reopened

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    For the first time in years, the Maid of the Mist will have to fend off competitors to hold onto the right to run boat tours in the Niagara River.

    Ontario Tourism Minister Monique Smith announced Wednesday the Niagara Parks Commission will solicit competing bids from companies interested in leasing the property needed to provide the tours.

    “For once, the taxpayers have won. It’s unbelievable,” said Bob Gale, the former commissioner whose concerns about the attempt to renew the lease in 2008 led to a year and a half of intense scrutiny for Niagara Parks.

    Minister lukewarm on city’s Parks plan

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The Ontario government isn’t in a hurry to act on free advice from Niagara Falls council about how the Niagara Parks Commission should run.

    Tourism Minister Monique Smith confirmed her staff received a July 9 letter from city hall that outlines a resolution councillors passed calling for openness at the Niagara Parks Commission.

    Council suggested the Liberal government amend the Niagara Parks Act to allow the four Niagara Parks Commissioners who are also municipal politicians to report back to their councils about parks business.

    “The resolution has been received by my staff. It will be taken into consideration,” Smith said in an interview with The Niagara Falls Review this week.

    Three Parks posts refilled -but no word on Gale’s spot

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The province has reappointed three Niagara Parks Commission members whose terms were ending -but not Bob Gale, the controversial member whose term expired in February.

    “We wanted to make sure the board remained functional. We were concerned about that,” Ontario’s Tourism Minister Monique Smith said in an interview Tuesday.

    Niagara Falls lawyer Italia Gilberti, St. Catharines businessman David Howse and Ed Werner, the Niagara-on-the-Lake investor who backed the highly successful Trivial Pursuit board game, have been reappointed to the parks commission, Smith said in a phone interview from Sudbury.

    Tourism minister pushes ‘stay-cations’

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The provincial government is doing its part to help Ontario’s tourism industry, and the roughly 300,000 people who depend on it for all or part of their living, through challenging times.

    That’s the message Tourism Minister Monique Smith delivered during a luncheon meeting sponsored by the Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce Monday.

    “Today, the tourism industry is facing challenges beyond its control,” said Smith. “This means we as a government are being challenged to bring forth solutions.”

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