Now I Get It – Stupid People Love Rich People Who Don’t Pay Taxes

Thank You, Donald, For Sharing That With Us

A Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted September 27th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

In the weeks leading up to last year’s federal election in Canada, a few candidates and even fewer media outlets attempted to make an issue of the fact that members of super-rich in this country are flying billions of dollars to off-shore tax havens so they don’t have to do what most mortal Canadians have to do to avoid criminal charges – pay taxes.trump-money-taxes

A public broadcaster, to its credit – TV Ontario – aired a documentary a number of times before the election called “The Great Canadian Tax Dodge” – detailing how government-sponsored loopholes in the tax laws care allowing an estimated $200 billion a year to fly off to tax havens, leaving the rest of us holding the bag for covering the costs of health care and other necessary public services.

I’m watching and reading  reports about all of this high-flying tax dodging, and I’m thinking – naively or stupidly perhaps – where is the outrage? Why aren’t Canadians standing up, en masse, and demanding that this be an issue in the election, and that candidates and the parties they were running for either draw up a plan to address it or get creamed at the polls. Continue reading

Ontario NDP Leader Promises Relief For University And College Students Burdened With Debt

By Doug Draper

Posted September 26th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath made a stop at Brock University in St. Catharines this September 26th to meet with students about the burdening tuition fees and debt loads they are carrying these days.

While on the campus, Horwath, who was accompanied by Niagara NDP representatives Cindy Forster and Wayne Gates, pledged that if her party forms the next Ontario government, it will erase the interest students are forced to pay back on student loans they receive from the province.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwth,, flanked by Niagara representatives Wayne Gates and Cindy Forster, and a gathering of Brock University students, announces pledge to eliminate interest from student loans if her party wins 2018 provincial election.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwth,, flanked by Niagara representatives Wayne Gates and Cindy Forster, and a gathering of Brock University students, announces pledge to eliminate interest from student loans if her party wins 2018 provincial election.

“The government should not be making a profit off of the fact that students in Ontario need to take out laonds to afford post-secondary education,” said Horwath. “It’s just not right.” Continue reading

Look At All Of Justin’s Piggies, Living Piggy Lives

A Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted September 25th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

“Everywhere there’s lots of piggies, living piggy lives. You can see them out for dinner, with their piggy wives, clutching forks and knives, to eat their bacon.”    from the George Harrison song, Piggies

Who do you know in the world of everyday Canadians, who needs more than $100,000 to cover the costs of moving their families from one home to another, just a couple of hours’ drive away in the same province.

Probably no one, unless you are unfortunate enough to know someone who works in a senior position in federal government.katie-tuflord-gerald-butts-highflying-elites

And if they happen to have a job working for the prime minister of the country, it’s a free-for-all on what you can charge the taxpayer for expenses – right up to the time you get caught, of course. Then you might have to practice looking contrite while you are paying some of it back.

You know, it was just about a week ago when I was standing in a long check-out line at a local grocery store that people in the line began engaging in a discussion about how corrupt and how wasteful of our money they feel the still relatively new Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is. “They’re no better than Stephen Harper,” said one to the nodding approval of others.”

Never one to shrink from a discussion about politics, I took a stab at defending Trudeau and company. Continue reading

Goodbye, Mr. Golf

Arnold Palmer Dies At Age 87

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted September 26th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

The year 2016 is continuing to take a depressingly high toll when it comes to heavy weights and legends in a number of fields.

In the area of pop music, we’ve seen the loss of David Bowie, Prince, Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, Earth, Wind & Fire bandleader Maurice White and Beatles producer George Martin, just to name a few.

Arnold Palmer, as many will remember him on those black & white television screens back in the late 1950s and early to mid 60s when he dominated as a player

Arnold Palmer, as many will remember him on those black & white television screens back in the late 1950s and early to mid 60s when he dominated as a player

We’ve lost towering voices for peace and human rights like Elie Wiesel and Ursula Franklin, beloved comedian and actor Gene Wilder and one of the most brilliant and daring play writes of the past 50 years, Edward Albee.

In the world of sports, we’ve lost Muhammid Ali, whose heroism as a person all but eclipsed his remarkable boxing career, then we lost Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe and now, Mr. Golf (or “the King of Golf,” as many also called him) Arnold Palmer, who died this September 25th at age 87.

Arnold Palmer’s impact as a cultural icon and on the game he was one of the undisputed masters of can hardly be over-estimated. Continue reading

BLACK LIVES MATTER! – As Embers Of Hate Light Up The Night From The Fire This Time

Posted by Doug Draper, September 26th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

“If we – and now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks, who must, like lovers, insist on, or create, the consciousness of the others – do not faulter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world. If we do not now dare everything, the fulfillment of that prophecy, recreated from the Bible in song by a slave, is upon us:   God have Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time.”

from the late American writer James Baldwin’s epic 1960s epic essay ‘The Fire Next Time’ which still stands to this day as one of the most eloquent and stirring plea for racial reconciliation ever written.
Flames light up the night in Charlotte, North Carolina following another fatal shooting of a black man in the streets.

Flames light up the night in Charlotte, North Carolina following another fatal shooting of a black man in the streets.

When ‘The Fire Next Time’ was first published in the early 1960s, Harper’s and Atlantic magainzes .took turns praising it as “a compassionate and eloquent sermon, demanding the most agonizing self-examination from anyone who reads,” and as a work that is “scorching in its candor” and “plunges to the human heart of the matter.”

Yet apparently even Baldwin’s passionate words – still very much available in numerous newer editions of his writings on racial relations for anyone who cares to read them, have not been enough to dampen down the level of racial violence documented on American streets in recent years, or the hateful rhetoric spewing from the mouth of a certain candidate who is dangerously close to being voted in as the next president of the United States.

And for those of us in Canada who believe this is mostly an American problem, we might want to remind ourselves that the kind of prejudices and intolerances we are seeing play out south of the 49th parallel are still alive in this country for millions of people who vote for politicians at the federal, provincial and municipal level who want to ban from entry or screen certain classes of immigrants for whatever their definition is of “Canadian values” or who engage in bashing members of the LBGT community or others they viewas a threat to those values.

More than 50 years after James Baldwin wrote ‘The Fire Next Time’, we still have a long way to go in the peace and tolerance department and it might not hurt both Americans and Canadians to start with a collective re-reading of that essay and national discussions on what the essay was trying to say.

In that spirt, I’ll finish here with a few more words from ‘The Fire Next Time’.

“In short,” writes Baldwin in the final pages of the essay, “we, the black and the white, deeply need each other here if we are to become a nation – if we are really, that is, to achieve our identity, our maturity, as men and women.”

charlotte-fires-riots

Find out about a new book of essays and poems inspired by James Baldin’s original essay, called ‘The Fire This Time – A New Generation Speaks About Race’, compiled by award-winning writer Jesmyn Ward by clicking onhttp://www.simonandschuster.ca/books/The-Fire-This-Time/Jesmyn-Ward/9781501126345 .

JOIN THE CONVERSATION BELOWNiagara At Large encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie quote below. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.

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

 

 

– – a on …..

Niagara Economic Summit Will Bust Economic Myths

Summit To Focus On Niagara’s Job Market, Skills Gap & ‘What Makes Millennials Tick’

An Invite from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce
Posted September 23, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – On October 27th, Niagara’s leaders in business, government, non-profits and community will convene again for this year’s Niagara Economic Summit, hosted by the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce at White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa.

millennialsThis year, the Summit will dive into myths and misconceptions about Niagara’s economy. A range of panellists and speakers from business, government, and non-profits will bring out the truth about Niagara’s most pressing economic concerns.

The first theme to be explored is Niagara’s job market. Some say it’s a slack labour market and that it’s hard to find work here. Others believe Niagara has plenty of jobs if you know where to look, and the biggest problem is that employers can’t find good people.

Helmut Pastrick, chief economist of Central 1 Credit Union and editor of Economic Analysis of Ontario and Economic Analysis of British Columbia, will deliver a plenary address on the labour market, and then join a panel of experts that will attempt to answer this burning question.

The Summit will also dive into the question of the skills gap, aiming to establish whether it’s real, and if so, what its extent and nature are. A panel of experts from diverse backgrounds including recruiting agencies, major HR departments, trades education and organized labour will join plenary speaker David Tsubouchi, President of the Ontario College of Trades, on this subject.

Finally, the subject of the millennial generation will be addressed. Educators, entrepreneurs, and community leaders will investigate what makes the millennials tick, and how there’s good business in hiring and marketing to that generation. Brand Blvd. Vice-President Chris Sinclair will explain how his business prospered with both.

For anyone interested in Niagara’s economy and the future of business in the region, this is one event that cannot be missed. For a complete list of speakers, further information, and to register for the Summit, visit  http://www.gncc.ca/economicsummit/ .

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the champion for the Niagara business community. With almost 1,600 members representing 50,000 employees, it is the largest business organization in Niagara and the third largest Chamber in Ontario. The Chamber Accreditation Council of Canada has recognized the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce with its highest level of distinction.

For more information click on@GNCCadvocacy  www.greaterniagarachamber.com

Niagara At Large now encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie quote below. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.

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

Ontario’s Natural Resources Minister Focusing On Wetlands, Biodiversity Strategies & Review Of Province’s Conservation Authorities Act

Now Madam Minister, It Is Also Time To Focus On Taking Action On Protecting Wetlands, Biodiversity & On Auditing A Conversation Authority Many Have Lost Trust In

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted September 23rd, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne unveiled a set of mandates for members of her cabinet this September 23rd, with one for her Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Kathryn McGarry, focusing on issues that have become a focus on quite a bit of public debate in Niagara lately.biodiversity-sign-better

Those issues include what to do about protecting wetlands and strengthening biodiversity in the province, and how Conservation Authorities should be government in the future.

All three of these issues have generated a good deal of heated discussion and debate in recent months as growing numbers of residents across Niagara have joined efforts to save hundreds of acres of forest, savannah and wetlands – located in the southwest end of Niagara Falls and known to many as Thundering Waters Forest – from being bulldozed away for urban development. Continue reading