One of the Most Inspirational Voices of our Times is taking her Final Bows

Here is hoping Joan Baez will always be an inspiration to each and every one of us who longs for a more just and peaceful world

A Brief Commentary from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted June 21st, 2018 on Niagara At Large

One of the truly great ones, folk singer and humanitarian Joan Baez

Now is her mid-70s, legendary American folk singer Joan Baez is also now in the middle of what she is calling her “farewell tour” (a stop at Massey Hall in Toronto is scheduled for this September) and her latest critically acclaimed album – ‘Whistle Down The Wind’ – is reportedly the last set of new songs she plans to record in the studio.

Joan Baez has marched shoulder to shoulder with everyone from the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King to anti-war and human rights advocates around the world, and has done so despite every threat of violence, of being jailed and of being censored or blacklisted in one way or another.

Joan Baez, to the right of Martin Luther King (centre) during a civil rights rally in the 1960s

And there is no record of her ever compromising her principles or backing down.

She is one of my heroes and true sources of inspiration going back to my teen years in the 1960s.

Here is a line from Joan Baez’s acceptance speech when she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past 2017 – a line that defines her legacy as an artist and a caring, compassionate citizen of the world. I hope you find it inspiring too.

 “I want my granddaughter to know that I fought against an evil tide and had the masses by my side”

Niagara At Large is still on the road this week and will be back in full operation this coming Monday, June 25th with more news and commentary about the good, the bad and the ugly in our region and the world around us.

Road trips are good for a little escape, but as far as the good, the bad and the ugly around us goes, I am reminded of a line in an old Eagles song – “You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.”

So here’s to coming back to face the music folks.

Stay Tuned!

To watch Joan Baez entire acceptance speech at the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee ceremonies, click on the screen below

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





Canada Must Take Strong Stand Against Trumps’s “Barbaric Treatment” of Migrant Children

This is horrible – will you pitch in to help us put the Liberals on notice?

“Thus far, the non-action from Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals in the face of this human rights tragedy is deeply disturbing. We can’t let this go on!” – Ed Broadbent

A Message from Former Canadian NDP Leader Ed Broadbent

Posted June 25th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Ed Broadbent

Like (so many of) you, I have been simply horrified at the news coming out of the US this week regarding the barbaric treatment of migrant children. It’s too horrible to believe. But it’s all too real. And the callous attitude of the Trump administration demands a strong and principled response from Canada’s government.

With an estimated 48 children a day being ripped from their parents and herded, alone, into detention centres often in baking heat in the desert, the urgency could not be clearer. Continue reading

Niagara At Large – Help Us Grow a Fearless, Independent Voice for the People of this Greater Niagara Region

To rebuild the kind of news media we lost in this region thanks to corporate chains cutting and gutting newsrooms, we are going to need your support!

A Message from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted June 19h, 2018 on Niagara At Large

For the next five or six days, this independent site for news and commentary will be relatively inactive while we are on the road, travelling from the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic, through the heart of that state and New York State to Buffalo, then back to our home base in Niagara, Ontario.

First thing next week – starting June 25th – we are going to hit the ground running because we have a great deal of work to do in our region with only four months left before the October 22nd municipal elections – elections that, without doubt, will make the difference between more of the same divisive, self-serving ugliness at the regional level of government and hope for a healthier better future for you and I, for the youngest among us, and for the communities we live in. Continue reading

Ford’s Ontario PCs Moving To Kill Cap On Climate Changing Carbon Emissions

NDP says Ford’s anti-environment move comes with costs

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted June 16th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park – Doug Ford’s anti-environment crusade will put Ontario’s air, water and land at risk – and cost people and the province billions.

Ford announced Friday he’ll remove the cap on how much industrial operations are allowed to pollute, despite having no plan for a replacement climate change strategy.

Then Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne (left) signs cap and trade pact with Quebec Premier Pillippe Couillard (centre) and California Governor Jerry Brown in September of 2917 in one more effort to address climate change.

“Does Doug Ford not believe in climate change, or does he just think a climate strategy is not part of his job?” asked Peter Tabuns, the NDP MPP-elect for Toronto-Danforth. “Scrapping all clean-air and climate change initiatives will hurt Ontario – and doing that without any sort of a replacement carbon reduction initiative is completely irresponsible. Continue reading

Are We Really Doug Ford’s ‘Friends’?

A Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted June 16th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

“My Friends …. We are going to turn this province around so that our children and their children will feel proud to call Ontario their home.”

Doug Ford likes to call us his “friends”.

That was the vow Doug Ford delivered before cheering crowds of supporters on the night of June 7th – on the day that just enough Ontario voters gave him the number of seats his Ontario PC Party needs to enjoy the next four years as a majority government in the province.

An Orwellian chill shot up my spine when I heard Ford make that election night vow, and not just because he used the words “my friends” to set it off.

There is something about politicians who repeatedly use “my friends” in addresses to crowds that makes me cringe – like someone I am not sure about putting a sweaty hand on my shoulder. Continue reading

Canadian and U.S. Mayors in Great Lakes Region Stand United For Environmental Protection & Shared Economic Prosperity

Mayors Pledge To Protect Urban Natural Spaces

“Wetlands and naturalized shorelines are critical habitat for so many of our indigenous species in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Region. As mayors, we need to find ways to naturalize our shorelines and connect terrestrial habitat and migratory pathways throughout the region.” – Suzie Miron, councillor and representative of City of Montréal Mayor Valerie Plante

A News Release from the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative

Posted June 15th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

At the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative annual conference in Ajax, Ontario this June, Canadian and US mayors celebrated the strong, integrated relationship on environment and economy that binds our two countries and the Great Lakes St. Lawrence region as a whole. The mayors cautioned against isolationist policies towards trade and environmental protection.

“As mayors in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence region, we represent a community of common interest, dedicated to the protection of our shared waters and our integrated economic prosperity,” said incoming Cities Initiative chair Sandra Cooper, Mayor of Collingwood.

If the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region were a country, encompassing Québec, Ontario and the eight Great Lake states, it would be the world’s third largest economy. It also holds 20% of the world’s fresh water. Due to the integrated nature of its economy, both sides of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region would be seriously impacted by the imposition of trade tariffs. Continue reading

Join the Niagara March for Justice in Palestine-Israel – Friday June 22nd in St. Catharines, Ontario

An Invite to All from the Niagara movement for Justice in Palestine- Israel

Posted June 15th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

A number of very concerned residents of Niagara have initiated a “Movement for Justice in Palestine-Israel” (MJPI). The movement made its presence felt very positively at the Market Square in St. Catharines on 19 May.

Participants were  encouraged by the   large number of the public who were very receptive to their message.

They are now holding a MARCH FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE-ISRAEL on Friday, 22 June, 2018 starting at 4.30 p.m. on the sidewalks at the intersection of Geneva- St. Paul- Niagara Streets in St.Catharines.
Continue reading