Ford’s Favour To Big Polluters – Gutting of Cap And Trade on Carbon Pollution – To Cost The People Of Ontario Billions

“(This) means ripping $3 billion right out of folks’ bank accounts, or cutting $3 billion from things like health care.” – Peter Tabuns, Ontario NDP’s Energy and Climate Change critic

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted October 16th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

The cost of this move? $3 billion in the short run.. And there is no estimating how many more billions of dollars of damage and destruction to persons and property we will face in the years ahead because this guy wants to make like Donald Trump on addressing climate change.

Queen’s Park – The people of Ontario will have to shell out an extra $3 billion over four years because of Doug Ford’s favour to big polluters: cancelling cap and trade.

“Doug Ford is hurting Ontario’s environment, and he’s charging all Ontarians extra to do it,” said the NDP’s Energy and Climate Change critic, Peter Tabuns.

“The direct result of Ford’s favour to big polluters will be $3 billion in costs piled onto the backs of the people of Ontario. That means ripping $3 billion right out of folks’ bank accounts, or cutting $3 billion from things like health care.” Continue reading


Niagara Regional Government Receives National Journalists’ Award for Efforts to Withhold Information from Public

Caslin and Company at Niagara Region Win Canadian Journalists’ “Code of Silence Award for           Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy’

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted October 15th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Caslin circus wins national award!

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara’s regional government received a national award this Monday, October 15 and not one of those still in power at the Region – not the Region’s Chair Al Caslin or CAO Carmen D’Angelo or any of their stand-ins – showed up for the presentation.

That’s no surprise though, since this particular award, presented each year by the Canadian Association of Journalists, News Media Canada, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and Ryerson University-based Centre for Free Expression (CFE), is not the kind any self-respecting municipal leaders would want in a news release – just days away from municipal elections that could very well see quite a few on this regional council swept out of office.

James Turk, director of Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression’. with ‘Code of Silence’ Award given to Niagara’s regional council by Canadian journalists associations.

The award, given by the four, Canada-wide press-advocacy groups, is called the “Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy” in the category of municipal government.

James Turk, director of the Centre for Freedom and 15th, a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, made the award announcement at a press conference in downtown St. Catharines this October 15th, said the award’s purpose “is to call public attention to government departments and agencies that put extra effort into denying public access to government information to which the public has a right under access to information explanation.”

In that spirit, a citation, inscribed on the award Turk said the Canadian groups will attempt to send to the regional government reads as follows – Continue reading

Niagara Falls MPP Slams Ontaro’s Ford Government For Not Reinstating Slots At Fort Erie Race Track

Backroom deal keeping slots out of Fort Erie Race Track sells Niagara community and its people short – Wayne Gates

A Statement from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gate

Posted October 15th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario MPP Wayne Gates in provincial legislature. File photo

(A Note to NAL readersThe following statement  from Niagara Falls’ MPP is a response to an announcement Ontario’s Ford government outlined in a media release this October 12th. You can  read that media release by going  Niagara At Large’s online site or by clicking on

Fort Erie, Ontario —Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates released the following statement regarding Doug Ford’s decision not to reinstate the slot at the racetrack program at the Fort Erie Race Track:

“This backroom deal trading dollars for slots tramples the efforts of Fort Erie families and horse people throughout the region to secure a future for the Fort Erie Race Track. Continue reading

Ford Government Keeps Commitment to Support Horse Racing in Fort Erie and other regions of Ontario

“Government for the People” reaches deals with Ontario race tracks

Fort Erie and Dresden race tracks elected to receive additional financial support for horse racing operations, but declined to accept slots at those facilities.

News from the Ontario Government of Doug Ford

Posted October 15th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Toronto — The Government for the People has kept a commitment to bolster support for Ontario’s horse racing industry.

This repairs the damage done by the previous Liberal government when it cancelled the slots at racetracks program.

Agreements in principle have now been reached to keep slots operating at Kawartha Downs and Ajax Downs, and to provide additional funding to continue horse racing in Fort Erie and Dresden.

“This is another promise made, promise kept,” said Finance Minister Vic Fedeli.

“We worked with our partners in the horse racing industry, and have agreed on packages which include funding and/or slots at racetracks. These packages are designed to directly support the horse racing industry and rural communities.”

Ajax Downs will continue to have slots which will provide additional financial support to continue quarter-horse racing in Durham Region. 

Fort Erie and Dresden race tracks elected to receive additional financial support for horse racing operations, but declined to accept slots at those facilities.

Discussions are ongoing with other racetracks in Ontario.

Quick Facts

  • In May 2018, a new long-term funding agreement for the horse-racing sector was signed between the industry and OLG. The agreement includes funding for racetracks operations and purse support for horse people up to $105M per year for 19 years.
  • The signatories of the long-term funding agreement (Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Ontario Racing, Woodbine Entertainment Group and Ontario Racing Management Inc.) executed the agreement May 7, 2018. The agreement will come into effect on April 1, 2019.

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at .

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

An Important Message to Voters from the public interest group, A Better Niagara

This coming Monday, October 22nd, vote for positive change for our Niagara region. Nothing less than        our future is at stake!

A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher, followed by a video message from the region-wide citizens group, ‘A Better Niagara’.

Posted August 14th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

It is time to vote out this guy – current Niagara Region chair Al Caslin – and his fellow travellers and enablers on the council

Given the costly, hellish nightmare that Niagara Regional Chair Al Caslin and his cabal  of bullies and enablers have turned our Region’s council and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority – a key regional partner in protecting and preserving what is left of our precious natural heritage in our region – in to over the past four years, the coming  October 22nd municipal elections are the most important ones in decades for our region’s future.

In these October 22nd municipal elections, it is absolutely imperative in these municipal elections that we, the people who live, work and pay taxes in Niagara, fire Caslin, who is running in St. Catharines, and members of his cabal running in other municipalities across the region, and replace them with people of integrity, who will put our interests as people and a community of communities first.

There is no other option if we want a Niagara Region that is working for a healthier, more prosperous future us and that we can be proud of again.

In that spirit, please click on the following video message from the dedicated citizens working for more public engagement in these crucial elections, ‘ A Better Niagara’ –

Of the members of the cabal that are running in these municipal elections, the ones who definitely need to be voted out or fired include Al Caslin and Bruce Timms in St. Catharines, Brian Baty in Pelham, Mayor Frank Campion and Paul Grenier in Welland, Sandy Annunziata in Fort Erie, Lord Mayor Patrick Darte in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Mayor Doug Joyner in West Lincoln, Tony Quirk in Grimsby, and Mayor Jim Diodatti , along with  Bob Gale and Selina Volpatti in Niagara Falls.

There are some very good candidates running against each and every one of the above and Niagara At Large will be posting information about them in the days ahead.

It is time to get more people with integrity in this building. These municipal elections are our best chance to do it.

There are also some very good incumbents who sit on the current Niagara regional council who are running for re-election – individuals who have had the courage to stand up (not just sit there or not show up for key meetings) and speak out for something better than the train wreck the council unfortunately turned in to.

Key incumbents Niagara At Large urges you to support in these elections include Brian Heit and Kelly Edgar in St. Catharines, George Marshall in Welland, Dave Augustyn who is running for a regional council seat in Pelham, Barbara Butters who has sat on the local council in Port Colborne and is running for a regonal council seat this time, and Henry D’Angela who is running for mayor this time in Thorold, and Tim Whelan, who has sat on Thorold’s council and is now running for a regional council seat.

Don’t make the mistake of throwing out good councillors with the bad! We need the experience of these good people, and so will those who will be serving on regional council for the first time!

Please spend the week days left before the coming Monday, October 22nd vote getting to know as much as you can about the candidates running for regional and local municipal council, and the school boards in your community, and do everything you can to show your support for candidates that promise to do our communities the most good.

(If we missed any key candidates in the lists above please let us know in a comment below and we will be sure to make up for any omission that makes sense to us – give a candidate’s past record – the next time.)

And please continue to visit  Niagara At Large at for more on all of this in the days ahead.

For more  on the October 22nd municipal elections from A Better Niagara, visit the citizen organizaiton’s website by clicking o .

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

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


It’s Time For Niagara To Win Back An NPCA That Puts Conservation First

Our Natural Heritage is being Ill-Served by those now running this Broken Conservation Authority

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

Posted October 12th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Canadian environmentalist  John Jackson

“You have all of these special ecosystems in Niagara,” said veteran Canadian environmentalist John Jackson during his talk on the Great Lakes, hosted in St. Catharines this October by the Niagara District Council of Women. “You have so many special places here in this region. … It is so important to protect them.”

Jackson knows what he is talking about  when it comes to those  special places because the Waterloo area activist has spent a good deal of his adult life in Niagara, helping local citizen groups battle one proposal or another that posed risks to healthy communities and the environment.

Eighteen of those years – in the 1980s and 90s – were spent helping Niagara citizens successfully defeat a plan by a now-defunct Ontario crown corporation to build and operate a giant toxic waste disposal facility in West Lincoln when, Jackson said, some of those citizens would take him on tours of woodlands, marshlands and other natural places he came to treasure.

A look at the wetlands in Thundering Waters Forest

It is too bad that the people of our region no longer has a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) that shows the same passion and dedication for protecting and preserving what are left of these special places as citizen activists like John Jackson have. Continue reading

New Study Shows Roundup Weed Killer Also Kills Bees

Glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, targets undesired weeds—as well as honeybees

News from the National Magazine for the Sierra Club, one of North America’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental groups

Article by Austin Price, Sierra Club

Posted October 12th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

The most widely sprayed herbicide in the world kills honeybees, according to a new report.

SIERRA Monsanto Honeybees WB

Glyphosate, an herbicide and active ingredient in Monsanto’s (now Bayer’s) Roundup weed killer, targets enzymes long assumed to be found only in plants.

The product is advertised as being innocuous to wildlife. But some bacteria also use this enzyme, including a microbiome found in the intestines of most bees. When pollinators come in contact with glyphosate, the chemical reduces this gut bacteria, leaving bees vulnerable to pathogens and premature death. Continue reading