A Commentary by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper
With the G-8 Summit hosted this third week of June, 2013 in Ireland, it is hard not to recall the G-20 summit Canada’s Harper government, with the blessing of Ontario’s McGuinty Liberals, hosted in Toronto, Ontario a mere three years ago this June.
John Pruyn, being dragged way by riot police after having his artifical leg removed. The Welland Ontario federal government worker and part-time farmer was locked in a makeshift jail, then released without any charges or explanation for his detention, a day later. He had been sitting on the grass near Queen’s Park in Toronto, listening to citizen activists offer talks on jobs, environmental protection and other issues before being dragged away.
I imagine that few people would remember what transnational business transpired inside the heavily fortified walls and fences of that summit, which officially took place on June 26 and 27, and yet had a heavy presence in the city of Toronto, Ontario for the better part of a week. But few will forget the epic clashes that between police and demonstrators and others, including citizens that had absolutely nothing to do with those demonstrations – clashes that included hundreds of arbitrary arrests in what Ontario’s independent, provincially appointed Ombudsman Andre Marina later described as a “sad legacy” of “ugly scenes” where Canada’s respect for civil liberties gave way to “martial law.”
It remains, in my view, one of the most disgraceful assaults on free expression and democracy in Canada in the six decades since my birth and life in this country, and it was particularly disappointing that so many Canadian citizens, not to mention politicians, reacted by saying that’ you don’t have to worry’ about a massive police assault ‘if you have done nothing wrong,’ and that the people who went to what were mostly peaceful rallies and were hauled off to makeshift jails ‘must have deserved it. …. They should have stayed home.’ Continue reading
A Foreword by Doug Draper
This past winter, during Black History Month in February, and during March, which has come to be recognized as Women’s History Month, residents across Niagara recognized one of its great heroines.
This stamp, part of a series for honouring famous Canadian women, was issued by Canada Post in 1992. It reads; ‘Laura Secord, Lengendary Patriot’ and depicts her on her June 1813 walk into history.
Her name was Harriet Tubman, a former slave who was born in the United States but made her home base in the Niagara, Ontario community of St. Catharines for some of the turbulent years leading up to the American Civil as she played a leading role as an abolitionist and in guiding slaves northward to freedom through the ‘underground railway’.
This June, it is time to celebrate another woman who played a dynamic role in this region’s history, and her name is Laura Secord.
Not that Laura, who was also born in the United States, in a beautiful community called Great Barrington in the Berkshire hills of Massachusetts before moving in the late 1700s to what was then Upper Canada and her eventual home in Queenston, has ever been that far away from the thoughts of anyone who was born and raised in Niagara. Her courageous walk, beginning in the late hours of June 22, 1813 and covering some 20 miles or 32 kilometres from Queenston to the Decew area of Thorold to warn British troops and their Mohawk allies of a coming attack from American forces. Continue reading
A Brief from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper
If you are one of the countless number of residents or visitors to Niagara, Ontario who has enjoyed some of this region’s conservation areas and the bounty of natural riches they offer, one of the people we can thank is Doug Elliott.
Niagara conservationist pioneer Doug Elliot. Photo courtesy of Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
Not that Doug Elliot, from all of the humility that came through in the short time I had a chance to get to know him , was ever in it for the thanks of others. For this Welland, Ontario resident, it most always seemed to be about preserving natural spaces for which he felt such reverence for present and future generations.
Doug Elliot, a founding member of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, established in 1959 as one of numerous stewards hip agencies of its kind across the province, passed away this June 10 at age 88 – a year after receiving a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his decades of selfless efforts to protect and preserve something of our natural heritage here. Continue reading
By Mark Taliano
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best ones. Unfortunately, though, Canada’s extreme concentration of corporate power often precludes the solutions from ever seeing the light of day.
The first step towards resolution of this problem is nomenclature. We need to free corporate-fashioned words from their false meanings.
Here are some examples. Trade deals, including the so-called “free trade” deals which have crippled North American manufacturing , are more accurately described as “corporate empowerment” deals. Invariably, these deals empower transnational companies to relocate where wages are low (or in the case of prison labour, non-existent), where collective bargaining doesn’t exist, and where unions are impotent or non-existent. Continue reading
Submitted by Willy Noiles
The Niagara Injured Workers Centre will host a public hearing June 18 as part of a series of province-wide hearings based on the 100th anniversary of the tabling of Sir William Meredith’s report on workmen’s compensation.
Organizers of Meredith 100 will be holding hearings over the next few months to find out how the workers’ compensation system is working, with Niagara as the first stop.
In October 1913, Meredith published his final report in which he outlined the fundamental principles he believed should form a fair and just workmen’s compensation system. Meredith outlined six principles, which have become known as Meredith’s Principles—no fault, non-adversarial, compensation for as long as the disability lasts, employer pays, collective liability and an independent public agency.
McMaster University’s Labour Studies Professor Robert Storey will be traveling across Ontario to learn how changes made to the workers’ compensation system over the last 20 years have altered Meredith’s principles. Continue reading
NIAGARA REGION – June 18– Niagara, Ontario’s regional government is making $50,000 available to help students from low-income families access post-secondary education.
Niagara Regional Chair Gary Burroughs
Applications for the 2013/2014 academic year are now being accepted.
Full bursaries of up to $500 will be available to eligible students entering a college or university program leading to a certificate, diploma or degree. Applicants must be 18 – 34 years old by Aug. 30, 2013.
Partial bursaries of up to $250 will be available to students beginning a short-term academic upgrading, apprenticeship, trade or skills-based training program. Continue reading
As she promised, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne wants to criss cross the province this spring and summer, meeting with residents and hearing their concerns.
Here are her Niagara stops as submitted to Niagara At Large by the premier’s office, posted for your information. Continue reading