Another Regional Council Meeting, Another Run at Pelham’s Mayor and Town Council

Could the Flying Monkeys Be Very Far Behind?

A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted March 21st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

First, let me start by giving you some good news.

Spring is finally here and here’s the most important thing. There are only 213 days left until this coming October’s municipal elections.

This coming October’s municipal elections are our chance to draw the curtains on this circus.

Yes, I know, at least some of you are probably saying that another 213 days is like a century with the kind of characters we have on Niagara’s regional council, not to mention on more than a few of our local councils in this region.

My response to that is go out and enjoy the spring and summer, and by  all means get informed and engaged in what is going on in municipal politics in this region. And lo and behold,, that glorious date of October 21st, when we can go to the polls and show all those characters (less the good ones on our councils, because there are some good ones) who the real boss is will come soon enough.

In the meantime, here’s the bad news. Continue reading


Niagara Senior Denied Urgently Needed Dental Care Under Ontario’s Wynne Government – the NDP’s Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

 “No senior should have to live in pain because they can’t afford dental care. Nor should they live with worries about cracking a tooth, knowing they can’t afford to fix it.”

A Media Release from the Ontario New Democratic Party and Welland Riding (Niagara Centre) MPP Cindy Forster

Posted March 21st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster in Ontario legislature. File photo

Queen’s Park, Toronto  – During question period this past Tuesday, March 20th, Cindy Forster, NDP MPP for Welland, called on the Wynne government to make sure low-income seniors have access to necessary dental care after being contacted by a 68-year-old low-income constituent who lost over 30 pounds because she can’t access the oral care she needs. 

 “Lisa is a low income senior in my riding. Over the last year, Lisa has lost over 30 pounds because she can’t be treated for TMJ –  severe arthritis of the jaw. Her jaw locks, gets stuck and the pain is so overwhelming she’s unable to eat. Worse, when she went to her doctor last fall, she was told the oral service needed to fix it isn’t covered by OHIP,” Forster said. Continue reading

Citizens Peace Center Holding Parallel ‘March For Our Lives Rally’ – Saturday, March 24th – In Buffalo, New York

Buffalo Rally Being Held In Support of Major Washington, D.C. March To End ‘Gun Violence’ in America

A Call-Out from the Western New York Peace Center

Posted March 21th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

March For Our Lives – WNY

March 24 @ 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Join us to stand against gun violence. #NeverAgain should our children have to be afraid to go to school because our politicians are too busy filling their pockets with NRA contributions to do the right thing to keep people safe.

Rally in Niagara Sq, City Hall Steps, Bflo, w/circular March (est > 1mile). Organized by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, and the WNY Peace Center, with stellar co-sponsors (see below) – 38 and counting! Continue reading

Canada’s Prime Minister on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

“Change starts when we examine our own attitudes and beliefs, and question how they came to be. It takes daily, deliberate effort to recognize the biases we hold, especially those we are unaware of.”

A Statement from the Office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Posted March 21st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s  Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:

“As Canadians, we embrace diversity as a defining aspect of our identity. Yet, over the centuries, people in Canada have not felt progress equally. Far too many have faced discrimination, often on the basis of the way they look or where they are from. Continue reading

Stronger Firearms Legislation to Make Communities Safer – Canada’s Federal Government

“While Canada is one of the safest countries in the world, increased gun crime has caused too much violence and taken too many lives in communities of all kinds.  It has tragically claimed innocent bystanders, children and police officers from coast to coast.  With this legislation and our other measures, we are taking concrete steps to make our country less vulnerable to the scourge of gun violence, while being fair to responsible, law-abiding firearms owners and businesses.” – Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

A News Release from the Government of Canada

Posted March 21, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – Crime rates generally in Canada have been on the decline for more than two decades, but offences involving firearms have become more prevalent, especially since 2013.

Many communities across the country have been facing a steady increase in gun violence over the past five years. Gun-related homicides, domestic and gender-based violence involving guns, criminal gang activity and gun thefts are all up significantly. Continue reading

Brock U./NCO Policy Brief Calls For More Transparent Hiring, Youth Employment Strategy in Niagara

“By creating a culture where it is easier for employers to hire through transparent and measurable means, we address both the short-term challenge of getting a person into a job, and the longer-term challenges of maintaining balance between labour supply and demand.” – Niagara Community Observatory Director Charles Conteh

A News Release from Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory

Posted March 21st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – A significant portion of Niagara employers hire their staff through the ‘hidden’ job market, according to a newly-released youth employment policy brief co-researched by Brock University.

Niagara Workforce Planning Board researchers Thalia Semplonius, left, and Adam Durrant listen as Brock University associate professor Jeff Boggs goes over data from the “Youth in Niagara: Highly Skilled, Highly Mobile” policy brief released Tuesday, March 20 at Brock University.

Brock’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) and the Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB) estimate that 20 per cent of the region’s employers could be using private job boards, paywalls and other publicly inaccessible ways of recruiting employees rather than advertising positions openly. Continue reading

Ontario’s NDP Leader Announces First Of A Kind ‘Dental Care for Everyone Plan’

Every Ontarian Will Access Dental Benefits Either Through Workplace Benefits Or Their Health Card

“Every three minutes in Ontario, someone visits a doctor’s office or emergency room to get care for a dental problem,” said Horwath. “No one in Ontario should have to live in pain, or deal with the lifelong damage of going without dental care. No one should have to rack up credit card bills just to get the dental care they need for themselves – or for their kids.”                                      – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

A ‘Special Announcement’ from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted on March 20th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO, Ontario – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath announced this March 19th that when she’s elected premier, she’ll implement Dental Care for Everyone – a plan that will ensure every person in Ontario has access to dental care without the cost.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Horwath says that under her dental care plan, everyone will have dental coverage – with working people and their families covered through their job, and all other Ontarians covered through public dental coverage.

“In Ontario, one in three working people don’t have a workplace benefits plan – including those working in the gig economy,” said Horwath. “And seniors and those on social assistance are left without coverage, too. Continue reading