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Niagara Falls
Friday, April 19, 2024
Editorial: “Our opinion”

The Lake Report would like to address an ad recently placed in the Metroland-owned Niagara Advance by local resident Joe Accardo.

The ad — a smear campaign against mayoral candidate and incumbent lord mayor Pat Darte — offers the following misleading statement:

“By his own admission failed to lead the updating of the Official Plan. In our opinion giving developers free reign to challenge council.”

Underneath the statement there is an attribution to The Lake Report’s recent special election edition.

To Mr. Accardo and the Niagara Advance: Considering the ad is signed by Accardo alone, what is meant by “our opinion?”

The phrasing is misleading, and could lead residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake to believe The Lake Report published such a statement. As is plain in the election edition, the paper made no such claim, and is endorsing no particular candidate in the 2018 municipal election.

When contacted by the Lake Report, Accardo said the phrasing was not intended to mislead residents.

“The opinion, as you rightly point out is mine not that of the Lake Report,” said Accardo. “The ‘our’ is akin to my royal ‘we’ and not meant to be attributed to the Lake Report.”

We’re not sure what that means. The misleading nature of the ad is based on the grammatical rules of person and predicate.

Regardless of Accardo’s intentions, The Lake Report responded that we expect a public retraction of this statement, along with an explanation of who was meant to be implicated by the phrase “our opinion.”

Accardo said he would be cooperative. The Niagara Advance did not respond.

The Lake Report, as always, holds itself to the highest standards of journalism, and will not tolerate  misleading or libellous statements directed towards itself, staff of members of our community.

In that regard, we must also state the paper does not support the type of ads Accardo is running, and ensures residents they will not see such petty politicking in this paper.

We must also point out that Accardo did not purchase a similar smear ad against Disero, a sitting member of council during the time the Official Plan was neglected.

All of council is responsible for the lack of an up-to-date Official Plan.

It is our hope that nobody is fooled by these ads — which are both poor in taste and questionable in their accuracy — but will rather make their own decisions.

It brings some relief that many residents have contacted us to express they don’t believe in this type of attack campaign in local politics, especially in our friendly little town.

For better or worse, Accardo has likely done the candidates he’s smearing a favour with those residents.


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