Putting the Act in Activism – You Are Invited To A Niagara Social Justice Forum, Saturday January 31st, 2015

News from the Council of Canadians South Niagara Chapter

(A free event at the St. Catharines, Ontario campus of Brock niversity that includes workshops, parking, lunch and child-care. REGISTER ON-LINE. Read on for details.)

The tower on the Niagara, Ontario campus of Brock University in St. Catharines

The tower on the Niagara, Ontario campus of Brock University in St. Catharines

Whatever your reasons for wanting to become an activist, tips from the grassroots for turning passion into action will be the focus of a workshop presented by the Council of Canadians South Niagara Chapter. Just Doing It! is the group’s how-to for “Putting the Act in Activism”, this year’s theme for the 8th Annual Niagara Social Justice Forum on Saturday, Jan. 31, at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Workshop participants will be invited to join with local activists from the South Niagara Chapter to review several of their social justice and environmental campaigns as they have tried to impact and influence local government and other decision-makers. Participants will then have the opportunity to try their own hand at planning and mapping out the action steps to conduct a local social/environmental justice campaign. Continue reading

Chaos Grows As Ontario FamiliesIn Need Of Social Assistance Face At Least 10 More Weeks Of Turmoil

Niagara, Ontario's Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

Niagara, Ontario’s Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

News from the Office of Welland, Ontario Riding MPP Cindy Forster

Welland, Ontrario, January 26th, 2015 – Cindy Forster, NDP Critic for Community and Social Services, called on the Liberal government to come clean about the chaos caused by SAMS, as an internal memo predicts at least 10 more weeks of turmoil for families and caseworkers.

“The SAMS nightmare keeps getting worse for families on social assistance,” said Forster. “This Liberal government was careless to put the most vulnerable Ontarians at the mercy of unreliable software. Months later and with over $250 million dollars spent, the Liberal government still has no clue how to fix it.” Continue reading

A Hamilton, Ontario Native – And One Of Canada’s Sport Icons – Skates Into Eternity

A Brief from NAL publisher Doug Draper

He never won an Olympic Gold Medal – the most he won was a Bronze – yet he may very well have had more of an impact on his sport than anyone over the past 40 years.

Toller Cranston in 1976 and at the top of his sport.

Toller Cranston in 1976 and at the top of his sport.

Toller Cranston, who was born in Hamilton, and who died this January, 24th, 2015 of an apparent heart attack at age 65 – has been credited by many in the sport of figure skating of changing it in to a form of artistry up to this time, even while he did not earn the respect of Olympic judges and others for being ahead of his time.

That became all too obvious during one Winter Olympic Games held in Austria in the 1970s and Cranston did not win Gold for what was clearly a flawless and brilliant free-form single men’s performance. I can still remember hearing the collective ‘you have got to be kidding’ from so many who watched his performance on TV. And it seemed so clear, even to many of the Olympic commentators at the time that he was rushing beyond pure technical skills, to an artful extravagance that the judges of the day could not yet come to terms with. Continue reading

Environmental Alliance Calls On New U.S. Congress To Continue Efforts To Restore Health Of Great Lakes

News from the American-based citizens group Alliance

(A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large – With the unfortunate demise a few years ago of the binational citizens group Great Lakes United, The Alliance for the Great Lakes, although based in the U.S., is the only real group we have left with a reach across the basin that includes working with Canadian citizen groups when possible. For the sake of these Great Lakes – the largest reservoir of life-sustaining fresh water on this earth – do what you can to support this group.)

A look at the world's largest basin of fresh water from space

A look at the world’s largest basin of fresh water from space

Support for Great Lakes restoration funding and protection against Asian carp are key Great Lakes priorities for the new Congress, with algae-promoting nutrient pollution topping a list of issues to watch with wary eye.
The Alliance reached out to congressional members this week with a lineup of Great Lakes priorities needing their attention in 2015.

Continue reading

Celebrate One Of Niagara’s Great Cat’s Birthday – And Donate To Animal Assistance And Community Care

By Doug Draper

If he were a human and eligible to run as a candidate in this last fall’s 2014 Ontario municipal elections, he might very well hold a seat on Thorold, Ontario’s municipal council now.

Tigger wants his birthday to be a chance for people to donate to the Animal Assistance Socity of Niagara and Community Care Thorold

Tigger wants his birthday to be a chance for people to donate to the Animal Assistance Socity of Niagara and Community Care Thorold

And the people of Thorold – to leave the kitty completely out of it and say so myself – might be better off.

Tigger – a regal, orange tabby who resides at a Petvalu retail outlet at the Pine Plaza on Pine Street in Thorold – is turning seven in human years and the store’s staff is celebrating with a Birthday Party on Saturday, February 7th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As I hope regular visitors to Niagara At Large know, does not give plugs to retail businesses in the form of what is sometimes termed as an ‘advertorial’ or sponsored content.’ 

But Tigger’s birthday is different. It is not just about this Pevalu outlet promoting itself with an event that includes raffles, gams nd cupcakes. It is about asking encouraging us to make donations to Niagara’s Animal Assistance Society and to Community Care in Thorold. Continue reading

U.S. Now Far Outpacing Canada On Addressing Climate Change

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

When will Canada have a prime minister who even comes close to U.S. President Barack Obama when it comes to addressing climate change?

U.S. President Barack Obama includes call for more action on climate change in State of Union address.

U.S. President Barack Obama includes call for more action on climate change in State of Union address.

More than 90 per cent of the most reputable climatologists around the world now agree that carbon emissions from human activities are contributing to atmospheric that could lead to catastrophic quality of life and economic impacts for those of us, and our children and grandchildren, still living in the last half of this century – impacts that are already causing trillions of dollars in damage to property, food crops and other vital necessities in our collective lives now.

Yet in Canada, we have a Harper government that continues to view any conclusion that human activities are impacting on climate as a joke and views taking any action to significantly reduce carbon emissions from tar sand operations and related activities as, what Stephen Harper recently called, a “job killer.” Continue reading

Enjoy Beauty Of Niagara Parks’ Anual Floral Showhouse

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Niagara Falls, Ontario, January, 2015 – For 70 years The Niagara Parks Commission’s Floral Showhouse has been a beloved part of the Niagara Falls experience for Ontario residents and international travellers alike.

Escape winter's cold and enjoy a bit of spring at Niagara Park's Floral Showhouse

Escape winter’s cold and enjoy a bit of spring at Niagara Park’s Floral Showhouse

The perfect complement to any visit to Niagara Parks, The Showhouse will be unveiling its annual spring display this weekend, featuring stunning arrangements, as well as colourful and lush greenery to help brighten your day.

The displays in the popular greenhouses are regularly changed for visitors’ enjoyment, with eight seasonal plant exhibitions showcased throughout the year. The annual spring display features a variety of vibrant Primula, Calceolaria, Cyclamen, Cineraria, Schizanthus, tropical plants and shrubs. Continue reading