Niagara Animal Advocacy Group Hosts Fundraising Yard Sale – Saturday, April 29th

An Invite and a Call-Out to You for support from Niagara Action for Animals (NAFA)

Dear friends of Animals

St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario – We are holding a yard sale fundraiser this Saturday, April 29th,  94 Welland Avenue, St. Catharines (NAfA house) open from about 8:30 til noon.  

We have a variety of items to sell, including but not limited to: books, Martha Stewart magazines, DVD’s, children’s toys, dishes, car polishers, knick-knacks, household goods, lamps, bedside cupboard, tools, basketball hoop, some clothes, purses, shredder, some ‘pet’ supplies, basketball hoop and a George Foreman grill! and more.  Come by and say hello and see what you can find. Continue reading

Ontario Premier’s Budget Doesn’t Undo The Damage She’s Done

A Statement from the Office of Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted April 27th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Toronto, Ontario – Showing how out of touch she is with Ontario families, Kathleen Wynne’s budget fails to undo the damage she has done to affordability for people, or the services they count on.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

“What’s clear from this budget is that Ontarians waiting for a $15 minimum wage will have to wait for a change in government,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “The 85 per cent of Ontarians that want a public hydro system and reform that will get their bills down, and keep them down – they’ll have to wait for a change in government. And the vast majority of the 2.2 million Ontarians without a drug plan won’t get the help they need until after the election.”

The Wynne government’s 2017-18 budget, released Thursday, ignores Ontarians who have been feeling the squeeze caused by high prices for hydro, housing, medication and so much more. Continue reading

Ontario Government to invest in Healthcare in Niagara

“Finance Minister Charles Sousa committed funding for our health care future, specifically for a new south Niagara hospital.”

News from Niagara Health (former known as the amalgamated Niagara Health Service or NHS)

Posted April 27th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Our vision to build a healthier Niagara got a significant boost today with the provincial government’s announcement that it will be investing in healthcare in our region.

This billboard sign, on a green site in south Niagara Falls, has been up now for more than half a decade. File photo by Doug Draper

Finance Minister Charles Sousa committed funding for our redevelopment plans, specifically for a new south Niagara hospital. There are many other areas mentioned such as: primary care improvement and wait time reduction funding with further details to follow. Our redevelopment plans are before the Ministry for feedback and approval. Continue reading

Help Support  the Restoration of one of Ontario’s oldest churches in Thorold, Niagara

A Call-Out from the Friends of Beaverdams Church in Thorold

Posted April 27th, 017 on Niagara At Large

The two century old Beaverdams Chuch in Thorold, Ontario is one of the oldest in the province. File photo

After the great success of the How Great Thou Art luncheon and art auction in 2016, the Friends of Beaverdams Church are again hosting a fundraising event on May 7 to raise money for replacing all 26 windows at historic Beaverdams Church.

“Windows on Beaverdams” will showcase work by local artists that will be available for sale and as donations to the silent auction. All proceeds go toward the restoration project.

Hurry, as tickets are running out!

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Announces new Acting CAO

Job Switch comes as controversies continue to swirl around NPCA operations

A News Release from the NPCA

Posted April 26th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Welland, Ontario – The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Board today announced the appointment of Mark Brickell as Acting Chief Administrative Officer, effective Friday, April 28.

“Peter Graham has done an excellent job as Acting CAO. He has taken on a challenging role, and has shown professionalism and commitment to the organziation the entire time”, stated NPCA Chair, Sandy Annunziata. “On behalf of our Board, I would like to thank Peter for his dedication and focus. I have every bit of confidence that Mr. Brickell will be able to continue moving the organization forward in the interim.” Continue reading

Niagara Niagara MPP Cindy Forster applauds NPCA for decision to finally engage Ontario Auditor General

In a letter, Forster also seeks assurance no records will be destroyed prior to audit

“Given the existing climate and the interest of the Auditor General in providing public assurance to our communities, I trust that the board fully appreciates the importance of retaining any and all pre-existing documents.”                          – Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

A letter to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority from Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster, with a Brief Foreword from NAL publisher Doug Draper

Posted April 26th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Niagara, Ontario – At a meeting this April 26th of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors, St. Catharines regional councillor and board member Bruce Timms (until this past January the board’s chair) tabled a motion that commits the NPCA to destroying none of its records until an audit is performed – possibly by Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s office – on its books.

A meeting of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors, File photo by Doug Draper

Timms’motion was approved by the 15 member board – 11 of which are Niagara regional councillors and mayors of area municipalities – in the wake of concerns raised by numerous area residents, Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster and Ontario Public Service Employees Union president Smokey Thomson, whose union represents more than 20 NPCA employees, that managers at the Conservation Authority might destroy internal documents before a thorough audit is done of the body and before any and all court actions and wrongful dismissal complaints are dealt with. Continue reading

Constituents are “Tired” of Niagara MPP’s NPCA ‘Obsession” – St. Catharines Regional Councillor Andy Petrowski

“I have received several calls over the past few months from Cindy’s constituents who are growing tired of her obsession with the NPCA.” – from a recent email from St. Catharines regional councillor Andy Petrowski to Mike Haines, an executive assistant in Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster’s  constituency office.

A News Commentary by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted April 25th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

We seem to have a growing trend of regional councillors in Niagara taking a keener and keener interest in the business of our local municipalities and members of provincial parliament in this Niagara region.

St. Catharines regional councillor Andy Petrowski has received word from Welland MPP Cindy Forster’s constituents upset over her NPCA “obsession.”

And isn’t that a good thing?

After all, what better person could we have scrutinizing the conduct of our local municipal councils and those we elect to represent us in the Ontario legislature than a member of Niagara regional council? Right?

Now here are just two of the more recent examples of what I am talking about here.

Late this past March, those of us who still dare to peak in on meetings of Niagara Region’s council were offered the spectacle of Port Colborne regional councillor David Barrick, who also serves as chair of the regional government’s budget and corporate services committees aside from his full-time administrative job at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, tabled a motion calling for a closer examination of the Town of Pelham’s financial well-being given that it might (according to wording in his motion) deal a serious blow to the credit rating for the entire region.

This reporter attended a town hall meeting arranged by Pelham’s municipal council this April 24th to address the concerns raised in Barrick’s motion, but so far – based on the questions and concerns addressed at that meeting, at least –Pelham’s finances don’t appear to have the makings of a budget bomb that could send shrapnel flying all over the peninsula. Not even close. Continue reading