Niagara College to offer Canada’s first-ever postsecondary program in Commercial Cannabis Production

News from Niagara College

Posted September 20th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Responding to a need for skilled graduates who are knowledgeable in the complex regulations and requirements of an emerging industry, Niagara College will launch a Graduate Certificate program in Commercial Cannabis Production in 2018 – Canada’s first postsecondary credential in the production of commercial cannabis.

Shown in the Niagara College Greenhouse are Al Unwin, associate dean of Niagara College’s School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies, and Denzil Rose, a student in Niagara College’s Greenhouse Technician program. Photo courtesy of Niagara College

The program, which was approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development over the summer, would prepare graduates to work in the licensed production of Cannabis, which is used as a therapeutic drug (Marijuana); fiber (Hemp) and as a source for seed oil  (Hempseed). Continue reading


Niagara Area MP Chris Bittle named new Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

 A Statement from the Office of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Posted September 20th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement this September 19th on the appointment of Member of Parliament Chris Bittle – MPP for the Niagara area riding of St. Catharines, as the new Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons:

St. Catharines Riding MPP Chris Bittle promoted to Deputy Leader post

“I am very pleased that Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, Chris Bittle, has been appointed as the new Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

“Working closely with the Honourable Bardish Chagger, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Chris Bittle will encourage close collaboration and meaningful engagement with House of Commons colleagues, Parliamentary Committees, the Public Service, stakeholders, and Canadians. He will also play an instrumental role as we work to modernize the House of Commons and make it more accountable, predictable, efficient, and transparent. Continue reading

A Statement from Ontario’s Health  Minister on Province’s Opoid Strategy

In response to a deadly opoid crisis that is growing across the province and country

From  the Government of Ontario

Posted September 20th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

The following statement was issued this September 19th by Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care:

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“The opioid crisis in Ontario is a tragic and growing issue, one we are continuing to work diligently to combat. As part of our government’s commitment to openness, transparency and evidence-based decision-making, we are continuing to make relevant data widely available, including to health care providers and planners working on the front lines, as well as to the public. 

Today, we have updated the Interactive Opioid Tracker with data from April 1 – June 30, 2017. As part of the $222 million announced last month to fight the opioid crisis, Ontario is making $21 million immediately available to help community-based addiction organizations in their response to this crisis.  Continue reading

We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place

When are the next municipal elections? Bring them on!

A Brief Message from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted September 19th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

“We’ve gotta get out of this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do.”

Some of you may remember the words to that old song by Eric Burdon and The Animals, and after a whole evening this past Thursday, September 14th  of live streaming Niagara’s regional council meeting and spending this past Monday morning feeling like I had crossed over into the twilight zone at a meeting of the same government’s so-called Audit Committee, I gotta get out of this region for a day and decompress.

Port Colborne regional councilor David Barrick and Niagara’s superhero for open democracy and fiscal accountability wins his month’s long bid for an “independent, third-party audit of the Town of Pelham’s books.

Sitting at that audit committee meeting, watching Port Colborne regional councillor David Barrick (also a senior manager at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority), scolding someone else (in this case a lawyer for the Town of Pelham) and  declaring outrage at the lawyer’s refusal to answer his questions about the town’s financial business, then declare that  he was plowing ahead with his inquiry as a way of standing up for  open democracy, was too much  magic bus and purple haze.

It was like – get me the hell out of this asylum.

Sometimes it is  best not o post the words that immediately come to mind after such alternative reality episodes.

So I will have more to say about this and about the growing number of  Niagara At Larger  readers and citizens in this region who are just plain saying; “Let’s get rid of regional government,” when I return from my retreat this September 21st.

In the meantime, this day of escape is kind of like that old line about banging  your head against a concrete block. “It feels so good when you stop.”

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

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 binational 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


Ontario’s Niagara Parks celebrates  80th Anniversary of Oakes Garden Theatre

Rededication event celebrates the extensive rehabilitation work undertaken at Oakes Garden Theatre

80th Anniversary celebrations include special Canadian citizenship ceremony

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted September 19th on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, OntarioIn a ceremony held today, The Niagara Parks Commission was pleased to rededicate the awe-inspiring amphitheatre, Oakes Garden Theatre, in celebration of the venue’s 80th anniversary.

Oakes Garden Theatre near the Falls. Photos courtesy of Niagara Parks

Oakes Garden Theatre and its associated Rainbow Gardens are outstanding examples of design and architecture created to specifically act as a dramatic gateway to Canada. Influenced by the City Beautiful architectural movement of the mid-20th century, the venue was first opened to the public with an original dedication ceremony held on September 18, 1937. Continue reading

Ontario College Faculty Vote To Fight Precarious Work

Strike Looming  at Ontario Colleges As Full-Time Faculty Jobs Disappear, Part-Time Faculty Numbers Soar.

“It is a shame that so many students have enrolled in post-secondary education only to find a strike looming that might cost them their semester. The provincial government has thought to provide financial assistance to students but neither the government nor college management seem to have considered those                   who teach them..”

A News Commentary by Melissa McGlashan, a citizen activist in Niagara, Ontario and member of the South Niagara chapter of the Council of Canadians

Posted September 18th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

On September 13th, 2017 Niagara At Large reported that “more than one-third of all full-time college and university students in Ontario are receiving free tuition thanks to the new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).”

Niagara College alone is reporting a record high enrolment of over 10,000 students. It is a shame that there may not be any faculty at Ontario’s colleges to teach these students.

The current contract for faculty at Niagara College and Ontario’s 23 other provincial colleges expires on September 30, 2017. At a vote held September 14, Ontario’s 12,000 college faculty gave their bargaining team a strike mandate.  

One of the major issues that the union wants addressed is precarious work. Continue reading

You are Invited to a Talk on Coping with the Loss of an Animal Companion

An Invite from Niagara Action For Animals, an animal advocacy & assistance group for animals in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 18th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Dear Friends of Animals –

Niagara Action for Animals (NAFA) is hosting an evening with Aleisha Murray on Monday September 25th from 7 – 9 p.m. at the NAfA house – 94 Welland Avenue, St. Catharines.

Amongst other things, Aleisha will discuss how one can honour the passing of their companion animals. Please RSVP if you are coming, so that we can arrange sufficient refreshments and also if we have a great deal of interest, we may have to arrange a 2nd evening or afternoon. Continue reading