Green Party Leader Elizabeth May Nailed It On Shooting On Parliament Hill

From the federal parliamentary hansard, Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

(A Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – It took what many of Canada’s federal MPs described as a near-death experience, with bullets ricocheting off the walls inside the Parliament building’s lobby – to get the members of all parties to stand together, in a few moments of solidarity, for the best that Canada can be as a democracy.

Canada's Green Party Leader Elizabeth May

Canada’s Green Party Leader Elizabeth May

All party leaders, from Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP Opposition leader Thomas Mulcare and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau stood in the legislature morning after the shooting . All had good things to say but there was something particularly important about the words from the leader of the fourth party in the legislature, the Green Party, which hardly gets any mainstream media attention at all, about trying to keep a cool head and not lose our sense of civility and tolerance over all this. So here, for the record, are the words of Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank all my colleagues for giving me this opportunity to speak on this very serious and grave day. We had a horrible day yesterday. I especially want to thank the Prime Minister for his words today, as the Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Liberal Party. Continue reading

Ontario Premier’s Statement On The Attack In Ottawa

Queen’s Park, October 22, 2014 - Premier Kathleen Wynne issued this statement today following the tragic events that took place in Ottawa:

Ottawa's National War Memorial where tragedy began to unfold this October 22nd.

Ottawa’s National War Memorial where tragedy began to unfold this October 22nd.

“The appalling acts of violence that occurred today at our National War Memorial and on Parliament Hill have shocked our province and our nation.

Details are still forthcoming, but we know this tragedy has resulted in the death of a member of the Canadian Forces and that others are injured. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the friends, family and colleagues of the man who lost his life serving his country today. Together with all Canadians, my thoughts and prayers are with them.

Our thoughts and sympathies also go out to the injured and all those who are suffering in the aftermath of this traumatic event. Continue reading

A Statement From Niagara Regional Chair Gary Burroughs On The Attack On Canada’s Centre Of Democracy

Niagara Region, October 23, 2014 - On behalf of all Niagarans, I extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Canadian Armed Forces member who was killed in yesterday’s (October 22nd) attack in Ottawa.

The Peace Tower overlooking Canada's capital city of Ottawa

The Peace Tower overlooking Canada’s capital city of Ottawa

I stand with all Canadians in condemning this deplorable act. I and all members of Regional Council applaud the work of the brave men and women of our armed forces, police departments and first responders, who acted swiftly and with resolve to ensure the safety of parliament, public servants and the residents of Ottawa.

Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with all those affected by these grave events.

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One Of The Last Of The Great Newspaper Journalists Is Gone

A Brief by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

He was an inspiration to countless thousands of us who grew up wanting to get a job in a newsroom in the 1970s.

Ben Bradlee was the prototype of one of the last managing editors of journastic integrity and courage in a now-gone golden age of North American newspapers.

Ben Bradlee was the prototype of one of the last managing editors of journastic integrity and courage in a now-gone golden age of North American newspapers.

The journalist in me cannot move on without saying at least a few words about Ben Bradlee, who died this October 21st at age 93 and who was managing editor of the Washington Post when that newspaper broke a long series of stories adding up to what became known as the Watergate scandal that, in 1974, led to Richard Nixon becoming the first president in U.S. history to resign in disgrace.

If you ever saw the 1976 movie ‘All the President’s Men’, which was a fine film in its own right but which also served as a primer for many a fledgling news reporter at the time, there was legendary actor Jason Robards playing Ben Bradlee, along with Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford playing reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward respectively, as they re-enacted the true drama of investigative stories that led to the ultimate downfall of a person holding the most powerful office in the world. Continue reading

Outdated Planning Studies Continue To Threaten What Is Left Of Niagara, Ontario’s Natural Areas

By John Bacher 

At an October 6th meeting of the Grimsby Town Council, councillor David Kadwell got some sense of the difficulties in challenging archaic studies.

Author of this post, conservationist John Bacher, joins others recently on a tour of  the Irish Grove Forest in Grimsby. Photo courtesy of Richard Young.

Author of this post, conservationist John Bacher, joins others recently on a tour of the Irish Grove Forest in Grimsby. Photo courtesy of Richard Young.

Kadwell attempted to bring a notice of motion to discuss a Class Environmental Assessement on the proposed extension of Livingston Avenue through the 26 acre Irish Grove Forest. If the proposal is approved, one of the last rare Lake Ontario Plain Forests, recognized as Significant in the Niagara Regional Policy Plan, will be cut in two.

The Grimsby councillor’s attempt to rescue the Irish Grove Forest was not popular with his fellow councillors and his notice of motion went nowhere. In this situation, the conservationist councillor found himself in similar circumstances to then newly elected St. Catharines councillor, Mark Elliott, when he discovered the 1965 St. Catharines Transportation Study. Continue reading

Canada’s Federal And Provincial Governments Should Make Corporations Pay Their Fair Share Of Taxes

News from the public interest group Canadians for Tax Fairness and its executive director Dennis Howlett

As the country rolls towards a 2015 federal election, we’ve been doing our best to make sure that politicians and voters ask the right questions about achieving tax fairness.

Canada's Harper Government's Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay defeinds corporate tax cuts that outstrip those in the U.S.

Canada’s Harper Government’s Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay defeinds corporate tax cuts that outstrip those in the U.S.

We’re hitting a nerve.  Recently Kerry-Lynne Findlay Canada’s National Revenue Minister called us “ politically biased” , “ ill-informed” and a “special interest group”.  This was in a letter she wrote to the Charlottetown Guardian in response to a letter from Senator Percy Downe which in turn sparked several more heated exchanges. The Charlottetown Guardian even published a blog I wrote about this war of words.

For the record, we want to work with any politician who believes in a fair and accountable tax system.  That should be all of them, right? We have asked for a meeting with Ms. Findlay, but so far without sucess. Continue reading

These May Be The Most Important Municipal Elections in Niagara, Ontario History. Get Engaged And Vote!

A Brief by Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

There is now only one week to go before eligible voters across the Niagara, Ontario region go to the polls this coming Monday, October 27th to choose who will lead us at the municipal level for the next four years.every vote counts

And, I would urgently submit, the stakes could not be hire. Public transit, smarter, more affordable urban growth versus the 20th century contagion of low-density sprawl, drawing more jobs and young people to want to live and work here, conserving what is left of our watersheds and natural environments, the cost of policing and health and seniors care – the list goes on and on. Continue reading