‘Zuck Facebook’! Visit Niagara At Large at www.niagaraatlarge.com

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

Posted February 28th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

This little creep – Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook – has done more than almost anyone else in the last couple of decades to destroy real community news outlets, spread misinformation, including hate and anti-democratic garbage, and just generally poison public dialogue …. Zuck him. Niagara At Large is cutting out.

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara At Large is saying ‘Zuck Off’ to Facebook and will have more to explain about this decision which, yes, we know, may be a killer for NAL,  in the days ahead.

In the meantime, all you have to do is go on Google or whatever search engine you use to key in http://www.niagaraatlarge.com to visit and support our independent, online news and commentary site for our Greater Niagara Region on both sides of the Niagara River, and for issues that impact the people of our region in the world beyond.

And for all of the many possibly  thousands of you who may be wondering where Niagara At Large has been on Facebook over the last week or so of this February, 2021, now you know.

If you still care to follow and support Niagara At Large, please just take a second or three to key it in at www.niagaraatlarge.com  .

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

If you would like a brief hint as to why I want to get away from Facebook as a venue for posts on Niagara At Large, please watch the following, by clicking on the screen immediately below, from one of my favourite commentators, Bill Maher, from HBO’s Real Time –

More on what we are prepared to accept as a possibly killer for Niagara At Large in the days ahead.

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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

One Last Song for Black History Month – 2021

A Brief One from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted February 28th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

This being the final day of Black History Month, I thought I would end our Niagara At Large honouring of it  with one more song.

There are so many great songs of struggle against racial hatred and for the civil rights that defeats it to choose from, but I decided to go with one from one of the most fearless American musicians and activists over the past 50 or 60 years – the late Nina Simone.

She was an accomplished classical pianist, as well as a great writer and performer of jazz, gospel and R&B oriented songs, along with being a magnetic singer. So here is a song that became an anthem for the civil rights movement.

You can hear and watch Nina Simone delivering a life performance of it by clicking on the screen immediately below –

If you can find a way of calling it up on NETFLIX or getting a copy of it, there is also a wonderful documentary on the brilliant, yet tragic life of this great artist called ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’

Meanwhile, let’s do our best to live together. On that note, here is an encore  song for the road –

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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Niagara Expands COVID-19 Vaccinations For Healthcare Workers Across Region

A News Release from Niagara Health in Niagara, Ontario

Posted February 26th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Teams of medical researchers around the world are working on a vaccine.

Niagara, Ontario – Across Niagara, 20,265 COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered to long-term care and retirement home workers and residents, essential caregivers, and hospital staff and physicians.

Niagara Health’s vaccination clinic at the Seymour Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre in St. Catharines will begin vaccinating community healthcare workers identified in the highest and very high priority groups as set out by the Ministry of Health in its risk-based guidance document<https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontarios-vaccine-distribution-implementation-plan>.

This work will take place over the next several months. Continue reading

Niagara Falls MPP Grills Ford Government Over Recent Shortfall in Vaccine for Niagara Residents

MPP Wayne Gates turns up the heat, but ministers still denying what Niagara’s doctors are saying

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted February 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ford government won’t reveal the truth about what happened to Niagara’s vaccines – Wayne Gates

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates. File photo

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario — Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates continued to press the Ford government for answers Thursday (Feburary 25th, 2021)  on why vaccines were diverted away from Niagara, and demanded to know when the region will get its fair share of both Moderna and Pfizer shots.

Gates reminded the Ford government that Niagara has the third oldest population by average age in the entire country, which means it’s critical to get vaccines to Niagara urgently without more delays.

“Given that they Niagara is such a high-risk zone and given the over 200 outbreaks we’ve had across the region with over 350 deaths, it makes sense that Niagara would be given its fair share of both the available vaccines. Yet in early January we found out that a shipment of the lifesaving Moderna vaccines were diverted away from Niagara and sent elsewhere at the expense of healthcare workers and seniors,” said Gates during question period Thursday at Queen’s Park. Continue reading

The Gifts of Health Our Wetlands Provide to Our Lives, and the Urgent Need to Save What’s  Left of Them in Niagara

“Niagara and its surrounding areas have seen significant wetland losses, currently approaching 90 per cent. That losss, coupled with the increased storm frequency and intensity caused by climate change, is causing large volumes of stormwater to be generated which is overwhelming infrastructure and causing flooding that is reaching disastrous proportions.”                                                         – from an article from Brock News at Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara, Ontario

“All remaining Canadian wetlands, if used wisely, can sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services for future generations.”                 – from an article from Brock News at Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara, Ontario

A Report from Brock University, originally published in the St. Catharines, Ontario’s newspaper in October of 2020

Posted February 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

This Brock University report on the benefits of wetlands to the health of our communities and to our health as individuals has been sitting on our desktop at NAL for almost four months now, and it has been there because I have always intended to post it.

Thanks to Niagara Falls, Ontario Mayor Jim Diodati and a majority on his council, and a China-based development group, this provincially significant wetland in the Thundering Waters Forest and Niagara River watershed is at risk of being degraded or lost forever. Photo by Lori Monroe

So much else, including the ongoing blizzard of COVID-19 reports, and the Holiday Season seemed to get in the way of a right time to post this piece,  but maybe the right time is now.

This Thursday, February 25th, starting at 6:30 p.m., Niagara Ontario’s Regional Council is holding a full meeting (virtually, of course) and one of the items on the agenda – again – is whether or not to designate the Canadian side of the Niagara River a globally significant wetland under an international Ramsar agreement that has seen more than 2,300 sites around the world receive such a designation already. Continue reading

‘The Last Walrus’ – A Film Exploring the Issues Around a Last Walrus at the captive animal fun park Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario – to Premier on CBC’s ‘The Nature of Things’

“Friends of the Walrus – I am happy to announce that *CBC’s The Nature of Things: The Last Walrus *is going to air in Canada on *March 12 at 9pm ET* on CBC and CBC Gem.”                                          – the film’s creator Nathalie Bibeau

A News Release from Bunbury Films, presenter of the documentary, ‘The Last Walrus’ Posted February 24th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Last Walrus premieres on the 60th Season of CBC’s The Nature of Things March 12 Award-winning filmmaker Nathalie Bibeau goes behind the battle lines of an explosive debate about marine mammals in human care

 

Toronto, Ontario – Killer whale kisses and walrus waves have been iconic experiences in modern childhood. Marine parks have long tickled the imagination of animal lovers around the world, but a seismic shift in public opinion on the captivity of marine mammals has upset the status quo

In The Last Walrus, filmmaker Nathalie Bibeau dives deep into the debate on how – and whether – to hold marine mammals ‘in human care’. Presented by Bunbury Films, the documentary premieres March 12th at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem on The Nature of Things.

Former Marineland trainer and Niagara resident Phil Demers, still faced with a SLAPP suit launched by the Niagara Falls amusement park,  being interviewed by film producer Nathalie Bibeau during production.

With trusted access to contrasting perspectives, Bibeau puts the animal at the centre of her narrative. She returns to her home region of Niagara, and to far-flung areas on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, to explore the complex questions around the capture, display and study of marine mammals. Continue reading

At Long Last – A Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership

“The President (Joe Biden)  and the Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau) expressed their commitment to strengthened implementation of the Paris Agreement, including by working together and with others to increase the scale and speed of action to address the climate crisis and better protect nature.”

A Statement to Canadians and Americans from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden

Posted February 24th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

(A Note from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

The following statement was released by Canada’s Prime Minister and the United States’ new President this February 23rd, 2021) following the first (necessarily virtual) one-on-one meeting that President Biden has held with any national leader around the world.

The fact that Biden would hold such a meeting with Canada’s prime minister first is a hopeful sign that after four years of Trump, who did incalulable damage to relations with a friendly neighbor he once even listed as a “security threat”, and who totally botched his country’s COVID response to a degree that our shared border crossings are still closed to most of us – appears to bode well for the immediate future.)

Let’s hope so.)

The Statement from the Two Leader, dated February 23rd, 2021, Ottawa, Ontario


Then-vice-president-joe-biden-with-canadas-prime-minister-justin-trudeau-during-better-days-for-canada-u.s.-relations-during-a-visit-to-ottawa-in-2018.jpg

“It is in the shared interest of the United States and Canada to revitalize and expand our historic alliance and steadfast friendship to overcome the daunting challenges of today and realize the full potential of the relationship into the future.

“The Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership announced today establishes a blueprint for an ambitious and whole-of- government effort against the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of our mutual prosperity.

“It creates a partnership on climate change, advances global health security, bolsters cooperation on defense and security, and it reaffirms a shared commitment to diversity, equity, and justice. Bound by history and geography, the partnership between the United States and Canada endures because we invest in each other’s success.”

President Joe Biden
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
February 23, 2021

Combating COVID-19

The top priority of the President and the Prime Minister is to end the COVID-19 pandemic. They agreed to strengthen comprehensive and cross-sectoral efforts to control the pandemic, collaborate on public health responses, and build resilience against future outbreaks.

The Prime Minister and the President committed to working closely together to defeat the virus, including by surging the health and humanitarian response to the global pandemic, responding to new variants, following expert advice, and supporting global affordable access to and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, including through the COVAX Facility. Continue reading

Celebrating 50 Earth Moving Years of ‘Tapestry’

A Brief Tribute to A Legendary  Musical Artist and Album  by         Doug Draper

Posted February 24th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Tapestry album cover, featuring Carole King at home with that heroic-looking cat in the foreground

It remains, to this day, one of the most  beloved and best-selling albums of all time.

When Carole King’s ‘Tapestry’ was released in February of 1971, it originally received “little fanfare,” according to liner notes written for one of many updated editions of it decades later.

It was multiple moments like one I remember weeks or possibly even months after the album’s release where at a house party I attended with friends, someone put the record on a turntable and said; “You’ve got to listen to this.” Continue reading

Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Weclomes Return to Canada-U.S. Collaboration

Bilateral Meeting Re-opens Dialogue on Matters of Significant & Mutual Interest

“There is work to be done to repair the relationship which suffered over the last four years but the kinship between the United States and Canada is long and strong.”                                  – Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

A News Release to Canadians and to his American constituents from Buffalo, New York area Democratic Party Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted February, 23rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, representing people in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York area.

Buffalo, New York – Today (this Feburary 23rd, 2021),  President Biden, Prime Minster Trudeau, and their top staff will hold a virtual meeting as the two nations begin to lay out the “US – Canada Partnership Roadmap.”

Below is the schedule released by the White House:

4:00 PM         THE PRESIDENT participates in his first bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada; THE VICE PRESIDENT also attends

5:45 PM         THE PRESIDENT and Prime Minister Trudeau give statements on their bilateral meeting

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), who serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus, welcomed the bilateral meeting between United States President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Continue reading

Ontario Opposition Parties All Vow Swift Restoration Of Conservation Authority Powers

Developers Who Get Permits Through A “Political Route” Would Be Left With Nothing

A News Release From The Public Interest Groups Environmental Defence, Cpaws Ottawa Valley, David Suzuki Foundation, Ontario Nature, Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition And  Wilderness Committee

Posted February 23rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A haven for provincially significant wetlands in Niagara Falls, Ontario’s Thundering Waters Forest are now threatened by development plans that the mayor of the city and most on his council supports. Photo by Lori Monroe

Toronto, Ontario  – Developers and landowners who want to develop on floodplains, wetlands and other hazardous or environmentally sensitive lands should think twice before using newly-created political shortcuts to circumvent or overrule Conservation Authorities.

That is the unified message sent today (this February 23rd, 2021) by Ontario’s opposition political parties.

Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democratic Party, as well as the Liberal, and Green parties, pledged to restore the powers of Conservation Authorities over development decisions. Continue reading

A Very Warm (Can You Believe This?) EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY  to a Timeless Artist and Activist – Buffy Sainte-Marie

The Canadian-Born, Indigenous Singer/Songwriter Continues, Through Her Calls for Peace, Compassion, and Earth Care, to Offer Humans Some Redemption as a Species on this Planet

A Brief One from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted February 22nd, 2021

The incomparable Buffy Sainte-Marie, hardly looking her age.

If you have ever treated yourself to an evening of Buffy Sainte-Marie in concert, as I have three or four times, there is no way you leave without feeling totally warm inside and inspired to go out in the world and do something to improve the lives of every living species on this oh-so-fragile earth we share.

From her earliest years as a young, upcoming folksinger in Greenwich Village, New York during the heyday of the folk scene in the early 1960s, to her rise and continued success as an award-winning performer and songwriter – not to mention her many appearances on Sesame Street from 1975 to 1981, where she drew new generations of fans – Buffy Sainte-Marie remains a continued beacon of light in our lives. Continue reading

Niagara’s Hotel Dieu Shaver Launches New and Innovative Post-COVID-19 Rehabilitation Program

News from the Hotel Dieu Shaver health care complex in Niagara, Ontario

Posted February 22nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Hotel Dieu Shaver (HDS) is very pleased to announce that a new and innovative post-acute COVID-19 inpatient rehabilitation program has been launched at HDS. Significant research has gone into this exciting initiative.

Already, HDS has admitted four patients to this program and expects many more to follow as awareness builds.

“As the only rehabilitation hospital in Niagara, our specialized staff and physicians pride themselves on adapting to changing needs and providing the most innovative and cutting edge care possible for our community,” says Executive Vice President David Ceglie. Continue reading

Niagara Centre New Democrats Embrace Incumbent Jeff Burch as Candidate in 2022 Ontario Election

New Democrats in Niagara Centre have selected incumbent MPP Jeff Burch to be their NDP candidate in the 2022 provincial election.

News from Ontario’s New Democratic (Official Opposition) Party

Posted February 22nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch will run again in 2022 Ontario election

Jeff Burch chosen to be the NDP 2022 candidate in Niagara Centre

NIAGARA, Ontario  — New Democrats in Niagara Centre have selected incumbent MPP Jeff Burch to be their NDP candidate in the 2022 provincial election.

Burch served two terms as a city councillor, is the past CEO of the not-for-profit Niagara Folk Arts, and is a former union leader and representative for frontline health care workers. Since his election to Queen’s Park in 2018, Burch has served as the Official Opposition Municipal Affairs critic. Continue reading

Making Pharmacare Part of Canada’s Universal Healthcare System is Long Overdue

“Embarrassingly, Canada (is) the only country in the world to have a “universal” healthcare system that doesn’t include pharmcare.”

Find Out Below How You Can Urge Your Members of Parliament to Approve a Pharmacare Plan for all Canadians Now

A Call-Out from the Broadbent Institute, a Canada-wide public advocacy group

Posted February 20th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Fulfilling Tommy Douglas’ Vision Of Medicare

A stamp issued by Canada Post in 2012 of the late federal NDP leader Tommy Douglas, known to many across the contry as the ‘Father of Medicare’. No fault to him, the Liberal government of the day, in the 1960s, passed a universal health care plan that did not include the coverage of pharmaceutical drugs and dental care. Yet countries in Europe include that coverage in their plans.

The unfinished business of medicare in Canada has resulted in a healthcare system that provides free access to primary care (doctor and hospital visits), but excludes universal access to prescription medication.

Embarrassingly, this makes Canada the only country in the world to have a “universal” healthcare system that doesn’t include pharmacare, a key component not only in keeping people healthy but also in ensuring people don’t face undue financial hardship due to a lack of benefits and high costs of prescription drugs.

The federal government’s 2020 Speech from the Throne <https://www.canada.ca/en/privy-council/campaigns/speech-throne/info-speech-from-throne.html>, stated that the government is ready to move forward with any province who is ready and willing to implement pharmacare. Continue reading

Petitioning Ontario’s Ford Government to Save What is Left of Our Precious, Life-Sustaining Green Places

‘Once we pave over a wetland or farmland, we don’t get it back!’

A Call-Out to All of Us from Ontario’s Green Party

Posted February 19th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

This week, the Ford government announced they want to start consultations for the possibility of expanding the Greenbelt and then patted themselves on the back.

 

We enthusiastically support expansion of the Greenbelt.

But we know this announcement is just a smokescreen for the harm they are doing to the environment.

Since taking office, Doug Ford has been using his power to drive through developments that pave over wetlands and farmlands for the benefit of his big donor friends. Continue reading

Re-opening Too Soon Is Risking ‘Variant Explosion’ – Ontario New Democratic Party

Province’s NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on Doug Ford to hear the experts’ warnings, and increase public health protections.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada and Dr. Teresa Tam released projections Friday (February 19th, 2021) that show the spread of the variants in Canada will skyrocket without more public health measures.”

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted February 19th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

HAMILTON, Ontario  — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on Doug Ford to hear the experts’ warnings, and increase public health protections to put the pandemic’s end in sight — rather than cutting protections and opening too fast.

Ontario NDP MPP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath want’s Ford Longterm-Care Home Minister’s head.

“The exhaustion and isolation people are feeling is painful. We all desperately want this to end,” said Horwath. “But new modelling from Dr. Teresa Tam and the Public Health Agency of Canada has put the threat of the variant into cold, terrifying reality. If we do not do more to stop the spread of the variants, we will face a longer, deeper nightmare and more lockdowns.

“We can end this. We can beat this virus. But Doug Ford’s choice to re-open too soon, including re-opening York Region, is putting politics ahead of public health. People will pay the price for that choice with a longer, deeper, deadlier third wave, driven by the variants.” Continue reading

Unveiling a New Report on Planning Smarter, More Sustainable Communities in Niagara, Ontario

Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) To Present Policy Brief On Land-Use Planning – Be There Virtually on Wednesdsay, February 25th, at 1 P.M., Details Below

An Invite from the Niagara Community Observatory at Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted February 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – In an ideal situation, municipal government officials work in consultation with organizations, community members and others in land-use planning that balances environmental, economic and social concerns.

But a number of obstacles, including “an increasingly activist provincial government,” may be impacting civil society involvement in such a process, says a new policy brief produced by Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO).

Land-use Planning in Niagara: A Study in Multilevel Governance and Smart Growth, co-authored by recent Political Science graduate Sean Giverin (BA ’18, MA ’20) and NCO Director Charles Conteh, examines how multiple tiers of government work together to take a ‘smart-growth’ approach to land-use planning. Continue reading

NPCA’s CAO Remains Optimistic about Conservation Authority’s Future

Reflections On 2020 – A Year Of Change, Resilience, And Progress At The NPCA

A Message form Chandra Sharma, Chief Administrative Officer for the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority in Niagara, Ontario
Posted February 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

NPCA CAO Chandra Sharma

The Year 2020 started with anticipation and hope as we embarked on a journey to continue to steer the organization in the right direction. We had an ambitious agenda ahead of us!  

By any measure, 2020 was an extraordinary year.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented unforeseen challenges to the NPCA’s day-to-day operations, our staff, communities, and our watersheds. In addition to delivering on our regular business, we had to innovate on-the-go.
With ongoing ingenuity, and the resilience of our staff and support of our Board of Directors, we easily navigated through these difficult times. Our gratitude also goes out to the strong network of municipal partners and public health agencies who continue to delivery a coordinated response to the pandemic.

Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Takes Steps to Grow the Greenbelt

“The Premier has been steadfast in his commitment to protect the Greenbelt and our government will not consider any proposals to remove or develop any part of it.”                                                             – Steve Clark, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

News from the Government of Ontario

Posted February 17th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO The Ontario government has launched a 60-day consultation to grow the Greenbelt <https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontarios-greenbelt> and help protect more of the province’s natural environment — including farmlands, forests, wetlands and watersheds — from future development. The consultations could result in the largest expansion of the greenbelt since its creation in 2005.

“This is truly a unique opportunity to grow the Greenbelt and protect Ontario’s environmental, groundwater and agricultural resources for future generations,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “The Premier has been steadfast in his commitment to protect the Greenbelt and our government will not consider any proposals to remove or develop any part of it.” Continue reading

In a Pandemic, It Is About Time Canada’s Tax-Dodging Wealthiest Pay Their Far Share of Taxes

While Many of Canadians Continue to Suffer,”Canada’s top billionaires have already increased their wealth by more than $50 billion during the pandemic and many large corporations are making record profits.”                                                               – from the non-profit citizens group, Canadians for Tax Fairness

A Call-Out to All Canadians to say Enough is Enough from Canandians forTax Fairness

Posted February 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

This is the last week in federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s public consultations to tell her what you want to see in her upcoming budget!

Budget 2021-22 will be the most important budget in decades.

 

The federal debt is at record levels, but we need public investments to recover from the pandemic and to build back better: with pharmacare, accessible childcare, long-term care and other social supports in a more  equitable and sustainable economy. Continue reading

Ford Government Can’t Be Trusted to Protect Ontario’s Greenbelt

Ontarians believe that Doug Ford wants to “chop up” the Greenbelt, because he’s told them so many times.

News from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted February 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — Ontarians believe that Doug Ford wants to chop up the Greenbelt, because he’s told them so many times.

* In February 2018, Ford assured his insider land baron friends that he would open up the Greenbelt to development in a backroom meeting, captured on video (https://toronto.citynews.ca/video/2018/04/30/doug-ford-says-he-would-open-up-greenbelt-to-development/) .

Ford called the Greenbelt “just farmer fields” and said that he wanted to “open that up and create a larger supply” of land for development. “I’ve already talked to some of the biggest developers in the country, and, again, I wish I could say it’s my idea, but it was their idea as well,” said Ford. Continue reading

Affordable Housing Urgently Needed In The Niagara Region

A ‘Letter to the Editor’ shared with Niagara At Large, from Niagara, Ontario resident Kathleen MacCarthy

Posted February 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

There is a great urgency for affordable housing for single and low-income individuals in the City of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Region.

Property development companies are building mega homes and sprawl on the periphery of the city that is out of the reach for the average resident.

A graphic, courtesy of Niagara, Ontario resident Kathleen MacCarthy

Worse, due to the lack of rent control, prices on rental properties are increasing beyond affordable rates. Continue reading

Stay Safe, Stay Strong & ‘Someday We’ll Be Together’

After a Few Days Off to Refuel and to Retool this Online News Site, Niagara At Large will be Back  on Tuesday, February 17th with New Posts

A Message from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher               Doug Draper

Posted February 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Alice, a beloved cat in my family home, knows how to lay back and cool out – even during a pandemic. I think I am going to take a cue from her for a few days before getting back ijn action. Photo by Doug Draper

Like so many other people out there, I’ve had mare share of ups and downs, physically and mentally, with an ongoing COVID-19 catastrophe that is continuing to do so much harm to people’s health and to jobs and businesses in our communities.

Layered on top of that is the relentless flow of disappointing news related to the way all levels of government – municipal, provincial and federal – are addressing or failing to address issues that are near and dear to my heart like smarter, more sustainable planning for our communities, protecting our precious natural places for present and future generations, and taking the action needed now to fight a worsening climate crisis. Continue reading

A Sneak-Peek Into The 3rd Annual Birds On The Niagara Virtual Celebration

“Everyone who participates every year from Canada, U.S. and across the world, shares the common interest and goal of protecting, conserving, and promoting the natural heritage of the Niagara River corridor.”                                 – Marcie Jacklin, Co-Chair of BON21 Canada and member of the Fort-Erie, Ontario-based Bert Miller Nature Club.

A News Release and a Call-Out from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) for All of Us to Join this On-Line Celebration – Taking Place this Valentine Weekend, Friday, February 12th thru Sunday, February 14th

Posted February 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – A bi-national bird festival, and the only trans-boundary event of its kind in North America, will captivate audiences of all ages this weekend from February 12-14.

Flocks of gulls gathering over the great falls of Niagara. Photo courtesy of Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Guests from around the world are invited to participate in this virtual celebration, at no cost, from the safety and comfort of home.

Birds on the Niagara is an international partnership of organizations, agencies, and individuals, dedicated to promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Niagara River Globally Significant Important Bird Area and the Ramsar Wetland of International Significance. Continue reading

Low Wages, Precarious Work & the Need for People to Live a Dignified Live

An Invite to All of Us for a Virtual Discussion from the Niagara District Council of Women

Posted February 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Join Us Wednesday, February 17th at 7:30 p.m. for a Public Meeting On –

Raising the Income Floor for those in Precarious Work and Poverty- as COVID-19  starkly reveals :

  • Deep fault lines in the labour market!
  • The rich getting richer & low wage precarious workers struggling to make ends meet !
  •  The need for public dialogue  about the role of governments & public policies in ensuring all people can live a dignified life and maximize their human potential  !

    SPEAKER : Simon Black

Award-winning   Brock U Assistant Professor Labour Studies

Register for Zoom meeting by e mailing 1niagaracouncilofwomen@gmail.come asap!

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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Join A Canada-U.S. Festival of Birds On The Niagara River – Virtually

Third Annual Birds on the Niagara Festival is Coming to Us this Valentine Day Weekend – February 12th to 14th, 2021

For More Details On How You Can Enjoy this Unique Festival and Celebration of Nature in our shared Niagara River Corridor, Please Read On

A Brief Note from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, including Key Information and Details for Attending this International Niagara Bird Festival – Virtually –  from some of its Hosts and Supporters

Posted February 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Some of the wonderful birds that are drawn to the natural wonders of our Niagara River. Photo courtesy of Marcie Jacklin

Once upon a time – back in 1996 when there were still enough political and citizen leaders on both sides of the Niagara River to make such a magical thing happened – leaders from both sides came together in Niagara Falls, Ontario to celebrate the signing of an international Ramsar agreement, declaring the Niagara River a “sanctuary of global importance” for an amazing diversity of native and migratory birds.

This reporter – then still covering  environment stories full-time for the once-proud and independently owned St. Catharines Standard – was honoured to be there to cover this binational ceremony.

It was, I am  sad to say, a binational meeting of lovers of the natural wonders of this great river that might never happen any time soon, due to such a lack of interest and will on the part of too many political representatives on the Niagara, Ontario side of the river – political representatives that have turned the agenda on the Niagara, Ontario side over to predatory developers.

Yet the warm glow of that 1996 celebration has not been lost.

And thanks to a coalition of caring partners on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border,  it still finds itself glowing again in a Third Annual Festival of Birds on the Niagara River, scheduled for this coming Valentine Day Weekend , from Friday February 12th thru Sunday, February14th. Continue reading

Farewell to One of Niagara’s Finest, Most Famous Felines

A Sad Goodbye to Tigger – Everybody’s Beloved Friend At Pet Valu Thorold

From Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted February 8th, 2021

One of Niagara’s most beloved cats – Tigger. All photos here courtesy of Joe Krawchuk at Pet Valu Thorold in Niagara, Ontario

Maybe it is everything else we’ve all been going through with this ongoing pandemic, but I am having an extra hard time, as a hopelessly addicted lover of cats, writing this one.

It was about eight or nine days ago, when I flipped the ‘Tigger’ calendar in my little office at home from January and February, and said to my wife Mary and daughter Sarah; ‘Oh look, the calendar says it is Tigger’s birthday on February 8th. We will have to give him a virtual pet.’

As soon as I said it there were downcast eyes in the room. ‘We’ve been wondering how to tell you this,’ said Mary, ‘but Tigger died this January.’

What?!!!

I had just given him a few pets when I was in the Pet Valu store on Pine Street in Thorold, where he is the mascot extraordinaire and everyone’s best friend who goes in there. That was just a few days before Christmas and the most recent retail lockdown, to pick up a few things for our cat, Alice, and he seemed just fine. Continue reading

Niagara Chamber Calls For Coordinated Approach To Safe Reopening Ontario’s Economy

“It is never too early to start planning how our province and economy can emerge stronger while doing everything necessary to avoid further lockdowns.”                                                                      – Mishka Balsom, CEO , Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce 

A News Release from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Posted February 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Mishka Balsom, CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Niagara, Ontario  – The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce have jointly appealed to the Premier of Ontario, asking for a predictable and coordinated effort to ensure society reopens in a harmonized fashion that prioritizes individual safety as well as economic stability.

Each region’s experience differs significantly across the province when it comes to transmission rates, tracking and tracing capacity, and other variables. With vaccines being deployed already, the Chamber network is looking forward to the day when the economy can be safely reopened.

“In the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, it is difficult to think beyond confronting the immediate demands of COVID-19,” said Mishka Balsom, the CEO of the GNCC. Continue reading

Ontario’s Small Businesses Must Come First In Reopening

“Small business owners and their employees have been devastated by closures, all the while their Big Box competition has held near-monopolies on the economy.”                                               – Steven Del Duca, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party

A Statement from Ontario Liberal Party Leader Steven Del Duca

Posted February 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO, Ontario  – Steven Del Duca, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, issued the following statement:

“Doug Ford plans to announce the re-opening of Ontario’s economy next week, after weeks of putting Big Box lobbyists and Amazon first while local entrepreneurs suffered. If he’s going to re-open the economy, he needs to let small businesses lead Ontario’s economic recovery. Continue reading

Prime Minister Pays Tribute to a Canadian Icon – Actor Christopher Plummer

“A longtime pillar of Canada’s Stratford Festival, he also performed on Broadway and starred in over 150 feature films, television movies, and miniseries.”

A Statement by Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau on the death of Christopher Plummer

Posted February 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Legendary Canadian-born actor Christopher Plummer passes at age 91

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the death of Christopher Plummer at age 91:

“Today (this February 5th, 2021), Canada and indeed the world lost one of our most iconic and beloved actors – Christopher Plummer.

“Whether performing on stage, in film, or on television, Mr. Plummer showed gravitas, dignity, and heart throughout a career that spanned over six decades.

A longtime pillar of Canada’s Stratford Festival, he also performed on Broadway and starred in over 150 feature films, television movies, and miniseries. He gave life to so many characters we grew to love and cherish, from Captain von Trapp, to Richard III and Star Trek’s General Chang. Continue reading

Niagara West Ford Gov. MPP Sam Oosterhoff Announces ‘Exciting’ Update on Plans for South Niagara Hospital – To be Located in Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates Shares in the “Excitement” 

“This news means that in the near future we will see shovels in the ground and people put to work building this hospital.”            – Wayne Gates, NDP MPP for Niagara Falls Riding

“This substantial investment shows the Government of Ontario’s recognition of the importance of investing in health care in Niagara.”                                                                                                       – Sam Oosterhoff, Conservative MPP for Ontario’s Ford Government, from the Riding of Niagara West

A News Release from Niagara Health, Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated service of hospitals

Posted February 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Request for Qualifications Issued for South Niagara Site

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff and Ontario Ford Government rep leads latest announcement to build South Niagara Hospital in Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati’s city.

The South Niagara hospital project is taking another step forward as Infrastructure Ontario and Niagara Health start the process to find a design-build-finance-maintain team for the project.

Issuing a request for qualifications, (RFQ) is the first step in the competitive process for prospective teams to express their interest in bidding to help deliver the project. Submissions will be reviewed to shortlist three teams with the design and construction experience, as well as the financial capacity to deliver a project of this size and complexity.  Shortlisted teams will then be invited to respond to request for proposals, expected to be released in fall 2021.

The new state-of-the-art facility involves the creation of Centres of Excellence in stroke, complex care, geriatric psychiatry and ageing and wellness. The project will have a senior’s focus embedded into all aspects of the design. Continue reading

Heads Up For Severe Weather Along Lake Erie Shoreline & Fort Erie Stretch of Niagara Parkway

Weather-Related Reports from the Niagara Parks Commission and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Posted February 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large News from the Niagara Parks Commission in Niagara, Ontario

Sections of Niagara Parkway and Recreation Trail to Temporarily Close Due to Anticipated Flooding

Niagara, Ontario – In the interest of ensuring public safety, Niagara Parks’ staff is working with the Town of Fort Erie to temporarily close access to the Niagara Parkway and recreation trail between Queen Street and the intersection of Lakeshore Road and Dominion Road.

Huge pieces of ice from Lake Erie and mouth of Niagara River, pushed onto the Niagara Parkway trail area in Fort Erie during severe wind storm in February 2019. That is the Peace Bridge to Buffalo in the background.

Weather conditions similar to those expected later today have caused significant flooding and damage to the shoreline area over the past few years. The preventative closure measures are being implemented out of an abundance of caution, in the interest of public safety. About Niagara Parks Since its establishment in 1885, Niagara Parks has remained a self-financed agency of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, entrusted to preserve and protect the land surrounding Niagara Falls and the Niagara River.

Now, A Weather Warning from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry –

This notice is intended to update the public and local municipalities of the condition of the Lake Erie Shoreline as it relates to the Niagara Peninsula and the eastern portion of Haldimand County. Continue reading

A Plea For Your Support to Save Local News – Nothing Less Than Our Democracy is at Stake!

A Brief Comment by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by an Urgent Message from News Media Canada, an organization dedicated to saving local newspapers

Posted February 4th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Comment from Doug Draper, Niagara At Large –

Way back when newspapers still had strong community support and there were the resources necessary for covering news, this guy – Doug Draper – worked as a full-time environment reporter at The St. Catharines Standard. These days, full-time environment beats at community newspapers are virtually gone.

If you are one of the all-to-few who still check a newspaper stand these days in a convenience store or one of our grocery stores, you may have noticed that today – this February 4th – the front pages of newspapers like The Toronto Star, and more locally in Niagara, The St. Catharines Standard, sit there on the stand with a complete blank front page, save for the newspapers’ mastheads.

The blank front-page is a stark message to us all of what is happening to local newspapers and, quite frankly, what has been happening to them for the past two or three decades as social media venues like Facebook have drawn away countless millions of readers, and as corporate chains have bought up local newspapers and gutted their news-gathering resources for the sake of profit, further making newspapers less capable of performing their vital role as sources of information people need to meaningfully engage in the challenges facing our communities.

I write this as someone with personal interests in this subject. Continue reading

Brock University Launches Its First Indigenous Research Grant

“We are really looking to support research that is Indigenous-centred: developed in conjunction with Indigenous Peoples and contributing in positive, reciprocal ways to Indigenous Peoples.” – Robyn Bourgeois, Brock’s Acting Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement

A News Release from Brock University in Niagara Ontario

Posted February 2nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Robyn Bourgeois, Brock’s Acting Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement

Niagara, Ontario – In the months before she became Acting Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement, Robyn Bourgeois led a process that was to yield a first for Brock University’s Indigenous researchers and researchers studying Indigenous topics.

The Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies held extensive consultations with Two Row Council, the Aboriginal Education Council, other Indigenous members of the Brock community and staff from the Office of Research Services to prepare the Terms of Reference for an unprecedented internal funding source.

The University’s first-ever Indigenous Research Grant, valued up to $7,500 per proposal, is now open for applications from Brock faculty. Continue reading

Celebrating  Black History Month – All Thru this February – in Niagara, Ontario

A Statement from Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley on Black History Month

From Niagara, Ontario’s Regional Government

Posted February 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – February marks Black History Month, a time when we celebrate Black culture and recognize the many accomplishments and contributions made in Niagara, in our province, and across our country by those in the Black community.

“Here in Niagara, we have an especially rich history that intersects with that of the Underground Railroad and key figures in Black history, including Harriet Tubman, Anthony Burns and others. While we have cause to be proud of such moments, the events we have witnessed over the past year have certainly highlighted the fact that anti-Black racism is still an issue that deserves  everyone’s attention.

In September of last year, I, along with all 12 of Niagara’s mayors, signed our communities onto the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, reflecting our shared commitment to work toward policies that eradicate racism and discrimination, and promote human rights and diversity. I am encouraged at the progress we have made as a community, however much work still remains to be done.

Remember one of Niagara, Ontario’s great resident and one of our great historians around preserving Black history in this region, Wilma Morrison, who died in early 2000, following complications from COVID-19

Please take the opportunity to virtually explore the many exhibits, displays and resources on Black history that Niagara has to offer, like Niagara Parks’ Black History Speaker Series <https://www.niagaraparks.com/events/event/black-history-speaker-series>, and find ways you can get involved. We owe it to ourselves to become better acquainted with these seminal moments in our history, to learn from them, and to use them to build a brighter future for us all.​”

A a few Footnotes from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

This past year, Niagara, Ontario lost one of its great citizens and a passionate recorder of Black history in our region, Wilma Morrison, who passed away early in the year from COVID-19-related complications. To read a piece Niagara At Large posted on her following her passing, click on –  https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/05/20/a-belated-goodbye-to-wilma-morrison-a-niagara-ontario-treasure/ .

One of Niagara’s most celebrated residents, if only for a while, the late, great abolitionists, Harriet Tubman, will soon get her justice on U.S. currency. To read a recent Niagara At Large post on that development, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/01/25/one-of-north-americas-great-abolitionists-a-celebrated-citizen-of-niagara-ontario-for-a-while-might-finally-get-her-just-due-on-u-s-currency/

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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

St. Catharines Museum Seeking Modern Postcards for a Very Fun New Exhibit

A Call-Out from the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre in Niagara, Ontario

Posted February 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario — The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is looking for a particular type of souvenir from residents’ latest vacation or travel stop.

The museum is currently gearing up to launch Just a Line to Say: Postcards from the St. Catharines Museum Collection.

St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre Visitor Services Coordinator Adrian Petry shows off a few of the postcards that will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at the museum, including a novelty postcard from Buffalo NY, sent to Violet Collins in St. Catharines in 1913. The museum is calling out to residents to submit their own postcards for the exhibit. Photo Courtesy of City of St. Catharines

This new exhibit, opening spring 2021, will feature historic postcards from the Niagara region and surrounding area, drawn from the museum’s collection.

With travel limited due to COVID-19, the hope is to feature resident-submitted postcards from trips anywhere in the globe as a sort of virtual glimpse of travel to compliment the archival pieces on display as part of the exhibit. Continue reading

An Ode to One of the Original Animals!

Eric Burdon and the Animals guitarist Hilton Valentine Dies at Age 77

A Brief Tribute from Doug Draper on Niagara At Large

Posted February 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Hilton Valentine playing guitar (at right) with Animals lead singer and front man Eric Burdon, performing House of the Rising Sun on a 1964 TV show.

If you are a true listener lover of the popular music going back 50 or so years, then it may not matter whether you are an aging baby boomer going back to the beginning of the Beatles era or someone in your 20s or 30s, digging the latest releases from The Weekend, Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato or Drake.

Regardless of age or what genre of music you love the most, you have likely heard the first few bars of guitar notes that lead in to a song called ‘House of the Rising Sun’, recorded in 1964 by a group called The Animals from Newcastle, England.

Those notes, as simple as they were to master for countless aspiring guitarists, ushered in a song that became a mega hit for the group and is considered a classic in pop music to this day. They were played by Animals guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall-Of-Famer Hilton Valentine, who died late this January at age 77. Continue reading

Town of Lincoln, Ontario to Lower Flags at Town Hall in Honour of Lives Lost from COVID-19

Flags to Be Lowered at Lincoln Town Hall for Entire Month of February

A News Release from the Town of Lincoln in Niagara, Ontario

Posted January 30th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Lincoln, Ontario – Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton has today directed flags at Town Hall to be lowered to half-mast for the entire month of February 2021, to recognize the lives lost as a result of COVID-19 and to express sympathy to these individuals’ families and friends.

“We are joining our neighbouring municipalities in Niagara in lowering our flags to mourn those who have perished in our community, the region, and across the world due to COVID-19,” said Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton. Continue reading

Listen Up Canada – The End is in Sight for the Tar Sands and Big Oil

Seems like Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would blow billions of dollars more on tar sands pipes and subsidies for the tar oil industry before investing that kind of money on renewable energy projects. Pretty sad for a political leader who claims he cares about climate change.

When Are Canada’s Prime Minister and so many of our Premiers going to stop gambling away so much of our country’s future on the tar sands? Can’t We Diversify Our Economy, For God’s Sake!

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

Posted January 30th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

There was an old saying, coined in the middle of the last century that goes  something like this – “What’s good for General Motors is good for America.”

In this brave new world of the 21st century, that slogan may not have as much currency as it did then for the United States and for Canada, which has a huge stake in the manufacture of parts for GM trucks and cars. It is quite likely that Amazon now has a larger impact on what is good or bad for America and its closest economic partners. Continue reading

2020 Ties with 2016 As Warmest Year Ever Recorded On Our Pleanet

Let’s Get Moving NOW – Federally and Regionally – On Climate Plans!

“The extraordinary climate events of 2020 and the data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service show us that we have no time to lose. We must come together as a global community, to ensure a just transition to a net zero future. It will be difficult, but the cost of inaction is too great.”                                                                                 – from a January, 2021 report, released by the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation Programme

News from the European Uniont’s (EU’s) Copernicus Earth Observation Programme

Posted  January 29th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Footnote from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – As you read this, ask yourselves where Niagara’s Regional Government and 12 local municipalities are on this? And why aren’t they taking this more seriously and moving faster to launch climate plans?)

Air temperature at a height of two metres for 2020, shown relative to its 1981–2010 average. Source: ERA5. Credit: Copernicus Climate Change Service/ECMWF
DOWNLOAD THE ORIGINAL IMAGE

Latest data released by the Copernicus Climate Change Service show that globally 2020 was on par with the warmest year ever recorded, marking the end of the warmest decade on record, while CO2 concentrations continue to rise. Continue reading

Canada Can’t Afford To Waste Ever More Tax Dollars On Costly Nuclear Energy

Don’t Let the Trudeau Government Make The Same Mistake Again!

A Call-Out from the Ontario Clean Air Coalition, a not-for-profit, non-partisan citizens group in Ontario

Posted January 29th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Canadian government has made a number of disastrous bets on nuclear energy in the past, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on reactors that don’t work (the infamous Maple nuclear project) and ones that no one wants (Advanced Candu).

Now the government is under pressure from the nuclear industry to fund “small” nuclear reactors that they think can help them deal with the rapidly declining global interest in nuclear power. Continue reading

Niagara Falls Retirement Home Should Be Subject to “Emergency Takekover” – Niagara Falls MPP

NDP MPP Wayne Gates is calling for privately owned Greycliff Manor retirement home to be subject to an emergency takeover by the province

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted January 28th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Gates calls for emergency takeover of Greycliff Manor Retirement Home

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates is calling for Greycliff Manor retirement home to be subject to an emergency takeover by the province after learning of deplorable living conditions in the facility.

Gates was given a series of disturbing photos (https://mcusercontent.com/353019c4e982ae7eb8ea53150/files/928895c4-b63d-4b1c-92a7-fe9ae6edfa9e/Greycliff_Manor.01.pdf ) from the family of a resident at Greycliff Manor.

The resident died in recent days of non-COVID causes, and in the final days of his life he lay in bed surrounded by faeces and urine on the floors in a filthy, unsafe room. The resident’s family, including his 10-year-old daughter, was forced to clean the room themselves prior to saying good-bye to their loved one. Continue reading

Canada Can Take A Lesson from New U.S. President Biden’s Climate Plans

A News Release from Environmental Defence Canada

Posted January 27th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Statement from Dale Marshall, National Climate Program Manager, Environmental Defence Canada, on President Biden’s “Climate Day” Executive Orders

Ottawa, Ontario – President Biden’s executive orders on climate change show this was never about one pipeline project or even Canada.

It’s about getting the United States off fossil fuels, transitioning to clean energy, and addressing current and historic environmental injustices.

The President’s actions confirm that that means taking care of those most affected—communities whose health is compromised by pollution, and fossil fuel workers and their communities—and doing so with fairness and justice.

Canada needs to take lessons.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( www.environmentaldefence.ca [https://www.environmentaldefence.ca/] ): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities

A Brief Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

A poster of Trudeau, drenched in tar sands oil, and one of many displayed at protests across the country a few years ago after the Prime Minister and his Liberals threw billions of dollars of our money to continue operating tar sands pipes.

Let’s hope, for the sake of our children’s future, that Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of his Liberal government stop subsidizing the filthy tar sands operation in Alberta with billions of dollars of our money, and stop blowing smoke about addressing the climate crisis, the challenges facing our Great Lakes, etc., and finally begin to take these issues as seriously as they should be.

Perhaps now, with a U.S. president now in power who certainly seems to be taking climate change seriously, Trudeau and company will grow some strength on these urgent issues.

One even wonders though, if the Trudeau government understands why it might be better for Canada’s future and the planet’s future to spend billions of dollars transitioning to greener energy that throwing it down a tar sands hole.

So far we have received little proof of life on that one.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

To watch a News Briefing U.S. President Joe Biden delivered on his climate plan this January 27th, 2021, please click on the screen immediately below –

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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Talking Money in Municipal Politics in Our Niagara Region

How Financial Considerations Continue to Remain A Barrier For Women’s Participation in Politics

By Melissa McGlashan

Posted January 27th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – In November of 2020 the City of Welland held public consultations on revising its future electoral mapping. One option discussed was changing from the current six ward system to an at-large system for electing city councillors.

The Waterloo Region Women’s Municipal Campaign School in spring of 2018 mentioned that women are more likely than men to fund their campaigns themselves, while men are more likely to ask for donations.

As a result, financial considerations are more of a barrier to women’s participation in politics than men’s. In an at-large system, all municipal candidates need to campaign throughout the city. This is an endeavour far more costly than a ward campaign. If an at-large electoral system is a possibility, barriers to participation need to be considered. Continue reading

Fort Erie’s Mayor Joins Other Ontario Border Mayors Bid for a “Seat At the Table for Border Reopening Discussions

“We understand how the border works. Our residents are crossing the border, manning the border and constantly watching the border. It’s only natural that we should be part of policies that affect the border.”                                                                – Mayor Wayne Redekop, Town of Fort Erie, Ontario

A News Release from the Town of Fort Erie, Ontario

Posted January 26th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Fort Erie, Ontario Mayor Wayne Redekop asks to have a say in Canada/U.S. border re-opening plans

FORT ERIE, Ontario – On January 25, 2021, the Ontario Border Mayors sent a letter to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Minister of Foreign Affairs asking for an opportunity to be consulted regarding the reopening of the Canada-United States Border.

The letter highlights the implications that occur when essential workers are crossing the border for work and then interacting with others in the community each day after they return to Canada, as well as concerns around those permitted to cross the border to visit relatives and return. Continue reading

West Lincoln Mayor & Regional Councillor Receives Reprimand from Niagara Region’s Council for ‘Insensitive’, ‘Discriminatory’ Remarks

West Lincoln Mayor and Niagara Regional Councillor Dave Bylsma – file photo

A Visibly Upset Dave Bylsma – Removed from Seats on Regional Boards, Agencies  and Commissions  for Remainder of 2021 – Falls Short of Apologizing for Comments Made During a June, 2020 Radio Interview

A News Report from A Better Niagara, a citizens watchdog group in Niagara, Ontario

(This report was originally posted January 24th, 2021 on A Better Niagara’s Facebook Page)

Posted January 26th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

 “If you are going to err, err on the side of social justice”                   — Ed Smith, St. Catharines community activist and a founding member and director of A Better Niagara,  speaking to a full meeting Niagara Regional Council this past January 21st

It was difficult for many citizens, who watched the discussion by Regional Council on Thursday, January 21st to understand why it was so hard for some members Council to make a decision about if, and then how to, reprimand West Lincoln Mayor Dave Bylsma.

Niagara Region’s Integrity Commissioner recommends reprimand for Bylsma for use of what he found to be insensitive and derogatory languaqe used by the West Lincoln Mayor and Regional Councillor during a 2020 radio interview

The integrity commissioner’s report that they had in front of them, based on a complaint filed by Ed Smith after Council previously refused to deal with the issue themselves, concluded that remarks Bylsma made during a 610 interview in June about the Black Lives Matter movement, the LGTBQ community and Indigenous people were discriminatory and a contravention of the Region’s Code of Conduct. The report recommended that Regional Council reprimand Bylsma.

Ed Smith delegated to Council on the matter. He recommended that Council go a step further and remove Bylsma from taskforces, boards and commissions that the Region had appointed him to.

He said, in part: “You as a governing body appointed him in good faith to represent you, and by extension represent the values of this Region. He has clearly demonstrated that he is out of step with the values that the Region wishes to espouse. I put to you tonight that his unrepentant nature in this matter makes him no longer fit to represent this Region in the appointments that are controlled by you, the Council of the Niagara Region.” A full transcript of Ed’s remarks can be found at the end of this post. Continue reading

Major Canadian Grocer/Drug Store Chain Ending Use of Toxins in Cash Receipts

Loblaw Retail Chain commits to stop using toxic BPA & BPS receipts from across all stores in Canada by end of 2021

Labour, women’s health and environmental groups congratulate Canada’s leading grocery giant for taking this important step to protect its workers and public health from toxics on receipts

News from Environmental Defence Canada, with United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW), Breast Cancer Action Quebec and the Mind the Store Campaign

Posted January26th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Toronto, Ontario – In response to calls from environmental advocacy and labour groups, Loblaw Companies Limited, Canada’s biggest grocery retail and drugstore company, made a public commitment in its 2020 Corporate Social Responsibilityreport to phase out receipt paper containing hazardous BPA, BPS and other bisphenol alternatives from its stores by the end of 2021.

This phase out will apply to all of Loblaw’s subsidiaries including Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills and T&T.

“We commend Loblaw for making this important sustainability commitment and for taking the steps necessary to protect its workers and customers from harmful chemicals,” said Muhannad Malas, Toxics Program Manager at Environmental Defence. Continue reading

One Of North America’s Great Abolitionists – A Celebrated Citizen of Niagara, Ontario For a While – Might Finally Get Her Just Due on U.S. Currency

American’s New President, Joe Biden, Plans to ‘Step Up’ Plans to Honour Harriet Tubman on $20 Bill

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

Posted January 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

If you are looking for a bit more good news during these times, here is some.

The legendary Harriet Tubman

At least I think so.

At a White House news briefing today, it was mentioned that now U.S. President Joe Biden will be ‘stepping up’ plans to celebrate Harriet Tubman – a 19th century American abolitionist who spent some of her years living in St. Catharines/Niagara – on his country’s $20 bill.

The decision to place the image of Harriet Tubman – the first woman that would ever be highlighted on U.S. paper money – on the $20 bill was made more than four years ago by the outgoing American administration of Barack Obama. Then came the rancid administration of Trump, and all of a sudden there was some reason to fulfill that plan by 2019. Oh, geez, there might be some security problems for the money, some of Trump’s toadies said at the time. Continue reading

An Online Workshop – Thursday, January 28th, 9:30 to 11:30 A.M. – On Leaving A Greener Footprint on our Watersheds

Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada is hosting this workshop with presentations  from Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVC) and Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRC)

Anyone Involved in Municipal Planning and Development and Who Cares About Our Precious Watersheds Should Attend

An Invite from the Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canda

Posted Janary 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Innovations in Watershed Management: Green Infrastructure (GI) and Low Impact Development (LID) for Watershed Management

About this Event

Join us on ZOOM, Thursday January 28th, 2021 from 9:30 am – 11:30 am as Phil James and W. Kyle Vander Linden of Credit Valley Conservation and Tim Van Seters of Toronto Region Conservation Authority introduce us to Green Infrastructure and LID strategies with a myth-busting session featuring relevant Ontario case studies.

Green infrastructure, including Low Impact Development (LID) is gaining traction as an approach to enhance stormwater management within existing and new developments. GI reduces stress on aging infrastructure, builds resiliency, optimizes water and wastewater treatment costs and ultimately improves watershed health and the local economy. Continue reading

This January 25TH, 2021 Marks the One Year Anniversary of the First COVID-19 Case in Ontario and Canada

“Since then, Ontario has tragically lost 5,846 lives to this deadly virus. We mourn the passing of each and every person and offer our deepest condolences to their families, friends and colleagues.” – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Government thanks those who stepped up, did their part, and showed the true Ontario spirit

A News Release from the Office of Ontario’s Premier

Posted January 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper – There may be some or even many out there who wonder why NAL is posting this statement by a premier that at least some of us feel has fallen short of doing what is needed to be done to protect our seniors, our frontline workers and the population in general from this killer virus.

There will be more time for analysis and criticism about all of that. But this is a milestone anniversary date for Ontario in this pandemic. The Premier of Ontario has circulated this statement, so we are giving him his moment.)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford (right, with his Health Minister Christine Elliott at one of numerous COVID update briefings they have held over the past hear

TORONTOToday (this Monday, January 25th, 20210, Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, issued the following statement to mark significant milestones since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Ontario on January 25, 2020:

“A year ago today, we were presented with one of the most difficult challenges in our history with the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in Ontario. The rapid spread of the virus through the province, the country and around the world would lead the World Health Organization to declare COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020.  

Since then, Ontario has tragically lost 5,846 lives to this deadly virus. We mourn the passing of each and every person and offer our deepest condolences to their families, friends and colleagues. Continue reading

A Youthful Voice of Hope for the 21st Century

“When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”                                                                                                               – American poet Amanda Gorman

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

Posted January 23rdm 2021 on Niagara At Large

Amanda Gorman, a youthful voice of hope for the world

I almost wasn’t going to post this – first and foremost because it has already gone viral as the poem heard around the world.

But I just can’t help myself on this one.

Like Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist from Sweden, America’s Amanda Gorman shares with the world that offers hope for the future in a world that has recently been going through hell.

Twenty-two year old Amanda Gorman moved virtually every human being on the planet who has a heart and a willingness to listen with a poem she wrote and recited – called ‘The Hill We Climb’ – at this past January 20th’s inauguration ceremonies for U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. Continue reading

Niagara Region Expanding EMS Services to Address People Struggling with Mental Health, Addiction & Homelessness

“Niagara EMS is excited to expand the unique services offered through our mobile integrated health teams to reach a greater number of people in Niagara.”                                                                – Kevin Smith, Chief Niagara EMS

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted January 23rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara EMS is expanding Mobile Integrated Health services to support individuals who are struggling with mental health, addictions and homelessness through the Mental Health and Addictions Response Team (MHART).

Adding a second Mental Health and Addictions Response Team vehicle in the community will allow Niagara EMS to provide greater mental health and addictions coverage geographically to the residents of Niagara. Continue reading

Niagara Big-Box Stores Now Target of Inspections for Any Possible COVID Guideline Violations

Ontario Government Expands Big-Box Blitz to Niagara Ottawa, Windsor, and Durham Regions

“If we find that businesses are putting the safety of workers and customers at risk, our government will not hesitate to take immediate action.” – Monte McNaughton, Ontario Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development

A News Release from the Ontario Government

Posted January 23rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Ontario government is carrying out workplace inspections in Ottawa, Windsor, Niagara and Durham this weekend to ensure essential businesses that can continue to operate during the provincewide shutdown are following the public health guidelines.

The province wants to ensure workers and customers are properly protected from COVID-19.

The blitz, developed in consultation with local health units, will build on the recent provincewide inspection campaigns in the GTHA. Additionally, more than 300 provincial offences officers, as well as local public health inspectors and municipal bylaw officers, will continue to visit a variety of other workplaces such as retail establishments, restaurants providing take-out meals and essential service-sector establishments such as gas stations. Continue reading

Niagara Regional Council Approves 2021 Budget With COVID Crisis in Mind

The 2021 Operating Budget Contains An Overall Property Tax Increase of 1.8 percent To The Taxpayer

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

“We know that residents and businesses are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 budget reflects our efforts to ensure Niagara is responsive to this crisis while continuing to deliver the supports  and services our residents rely on.”                        – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted January 22nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara’s Regional Headquarters in Thorold

Niagara, Ontario – At its meeting on January 21st, Niagara Regional Council approved a budget for 2021 that ensures the municipality can continue to provide a high level of service while minimizing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents.

The Niagara Region budget is made up of three components: the levy operating budget, rate operating budgets, and the capital budget. The 2021 operating budget contains an overall property tax increase of 1.8 percent to the taxpayer.

For the average property assessed at $278,764, the Regional portion of the tax bill will increase by $29, totalling $1,640 in 2021.

As part of 2021 budget deliberations, the Region undertook a comprehensive public engagement process. The budget engagement exercise reaffirmed our residents’ desire to see the Region continue to support population and economic growth initiatives and ensure Niagara’s most vulnerable citizens are cared for.

*Highlights of the budget*

Continue reading

Canada and U.S. May Move Forward on Planning Safety Measures at Border Crossings

Biden Executive Order Answers Congressman Higgins’ Call for Development of a Plan for the Northern Border

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, representing people in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York area.

“While we come from different nations, US and Canadian citizens have long enjoyed a unique relationship. We are neighbors at vacation property, customers at one another’s small businesses, travel companions at airports, diners at local restaurants, and loyal fans at sporting events. We are family – both in law and in spirit – and we are eager to come back together .”         – Buffalo, New York-area Congressman Brian Higgins

News from the Buffalo, N.Y. Office of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted January 22nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

This Peace Bridge – built in friendship to peoples on both sides of the Canada/U.S border – has been s closed to most of us since March of last year, as have other border crossings across the region and country due to the ongoing pandemic.

Following Fractured Relationship & Ten Months of COVID Related Restrictions at the Border, New Administration Prioritizes US-Canada Relations

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26, Buffalo/Niagara Falls), who serves as Co-chair of Congressional Northern Border Caucus, says President Joe Biden’s week one actions demonstrate a new beginning for the US-Canada relationship.

This week President Joe Biden released an aggressive plan to fight COVID-19 which includes a directive for departments to collaborate with the Canadian government toward the goal of quickly developing health and safety measures at the border.

The Biden team also announced the new President’s first call with a foreign leader would take place today, the President’s third day in office, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Continue reading

Ding, Dong, Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette is Gone!

In the Wake of Multiple Charges of Workplace Harassment, the ‘Right Honourable” Julie Payette Resigns

A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by a Statement released by Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Posted January 21st. 2021 on Niagara At Large

From Doug Draper –

Don’t let the smile fool you. Julie Payette finally does us all, includng those who have had to work for her, a favour and resigns as Canada’s Governor General. The question is, why didn’t Canada’s Prime Minister get rid of her sooner?

Going back to this  past summer of 2020, an investigative reporter for CBC recorded stories from at least 20 staff members at Canada’s Rideau Hall – the residents of our country’s residence and headquarters for the official residence of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth of whatever may be left of the British Empire – revealed that the Governor  General herself, former Canadian astronaut Julie Payette, had turned the place into a toxic, hell hole through her abusive behaviour.

It was so bad, according to reports from CBC’s Ashley Burke, that employees who had loved their jobs at Rideau Hall so much, prior to Payette’s appointment  by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to one of Canada’s top posts some four years ago, that they wanted to make it their career for life, found themselves so being so humiliated and verbally abused, they fled to their care or a toilet stall in the place to break down and cry. Continue reading

Conservation Authorities Battle Against Ontario Government Move to Gut Them Far From Over

More regulatory changes from Ford Conservatives Threaten Ecological Protection, Recreational Trails, Education Programs, Permitting

NPCA board member and Hamilton Councillor Brad Clark

“I’m not interested in rolling over. I’m interested in fighting for Conservation Authorities … to protect the land, and protect the people, and deal with the flooding issues, and protect the wetlands.”     – Hamilton City Councillor and Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board member Brad Clark

A News Commentary from the Hamilton, Ontario-based watchdog group, Citizens At City Hall (CATCH)

Posted January 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Anger and opposition continues to grow against the provincial changes to Conservation Authorities (CAs).

Only a small part of the Ford government’s legislation has come into force so far with the coming year to see more changes via regulations that may threaten ecological protection, recreational trails, education programs, permitting, and other activities of the CAs.

In particular, the province has yet to make public its changed definition of the mandate of the Authorities although there have been strong indications it will be much restricted. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Ignoring Safe Schools Advice – NDP

Internal documents show government ignored safe schools advice. NDP demands safe schools now

A News Release from Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democratic Party

Posted January 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — Internal government documents revealed by the Toronto Star show that the Doug Ford government was advised to have a classroom cap of 15 and a large in-school asymptomatic testing program— but Ford chose half-measures instead.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Education critic Marit Stiles are again demanding investments to make schools safe, now.

“Parents, teachers, education workers and children are living with anguish, frustration and fear about education right now. There have been more than 7,300 school-based cases of COVID-19, and thousands of families are struggling to manage at-home learning because their school is closed, or they don’t feel safe there,” said Horwath. Continue reading

Niagara, Ontario Humane Society to Auction Doggie Art – Dubbed ‘Pup-Casso Paintings’ – to Help Fund Shelter Dogs

News from the Lincoln County Human Society in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted January 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

One of the Lincoln Country Humane Society’s canine artists exhibits work. Photo courtesy of Lincoln County Humane Society

St. Catharines, Ontario – The Lincoln County Humane Society in St. Catharines has launched a series of pup-made paintings – or pup-casso paintings (aptly named after the famous painter, Pablo Picasso).

Stemming from TikTok sensations, the LCHS provided their adoption dogs with a smattering of peanut butter on a plastic sheet, placed over top of some water based paints on canvas. The result are active tongue paintings. The carefully selected colours resulted in artwork fit for the walls of your home.

“After discovering this project, I went to work on making it a fun and enjoyable project for the LCHS dogs” said Olivia Bosey, an Animal Care Technician at the LCHS. Continue reading

Biden’s Cancellation of Filthy Keystone Tar Pipeline Project is “Devastating” – Canada’s Conservative Leader

This is the Best Canada’s Tories  Have to Offer – A Century Old Industry that is Devastating Our Planet!

A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by a statement from Canada’s Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole

Posted January 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole, sporting 19th century cowboy garb and peddling 20th century energy enterprises

The baloney that Conservative Party politicians across Ontario and Canada have tried foisting on us for as many decades as I can remember is that they are the ones that are sound economic leaders, and other parities – Liberal or NDP – would drive our economy into the ditch.

One more piece of evidence that proves that this Tory claim is pure, unadulterated baloney is the response we are getting from the likes of Canada’s Conservative leader, Erie O’Toole and Alberta’s loudmouth premier, Jason Kenney, to the news that this January 20th, 20221 – within a few hours of taking the oath of office – U.S. President Joe Biden followed through on a promise to cancel further construction of the Keystone XL pipeline between the Alberta borders of Canada and the Gulf Coast of the United States. Continue reading

Major Canadian Environment Group Applauds New U.S. Prez for Saying No to Keystone XL Pipe

“Killing the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all is a clearindication that climate action is a priority for the White House.” – Environmental Defence

A News Release from Environmental Defence Canada

Posted January 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Statement from Dale Marshall, National Climate Program Manager, on PresidentBiden cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline

Thanks Joe Biden, no more climate ravaging tar crap from Alberta through an XL pipeline, Please!

Ottawa, Ontario – U.S President Joe Biden’s first move in office sends a clear signal that Canada needs to get serious about phasing out fossil fuels, ramping up action on climate change, and implementing a transition plan for workers and communities.

 Killing the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all is a clear indication that climate action is a priority for the White House. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

 Along with rejoining the Paris Agreement, President Biden is expected to undertake a number of climate initiatives. Continue reading

A Federal Leader Across Our Canada/U.S. Border in Niagara Celebrates Biden/Harris Inauguration

A Statement by Congressman Brian Higgins on the Inauguration of President Biden & Vice President Harris

Posted January 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – “In a history-making moment, today Joe Biden and Kamala Harris begin their tenure as President and Vice President of the United States.

“With this transition, we are filled with new optimism for healing and unity. This passage represents an opportunity to quell divisive rhetoric in exchange for respectful dialogue and meaningful consensus building to serve the needs of all Americans. Continue reading

GOOD RIDDAANCE!

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

Posted January 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

As the blades of the helicopter began to turn – to lift Trump and his pole dancer of a “first lady” off the south lawn of the White House for the last time this morning of January 20th – Willie Geist, a co-host of the MSNBC news program ‘Morning Joe’ said (and I just slightly paraphrase); ‘He is about to fly over the capital (Washington, D.C.) that he, in so many ways, has wrought so much destruction over.”

Just do the world a favour and go away! Trump leaves the White House, for the last time as U.S. president, with the Washington Monument looming the background

Indeed, make that the damage destruction he has done to his country and the world, when you think of what he has done to public institutions, to the environment, to the relationships between peoples and countries, and the list could go on and on.

So good riddance to him and to his crime family. Continue reading

Shipments of COVID Vaccine to Niagara are Falling Short

“The interruption in supply is deeply disappointing and impacts on our plans to continue vaccinating Niagara Health staff and physicians who are on the front line against COVID-19,”                 – Lynn Guerriero, President and Interim CEO, Niagara Health

“It is frustrating that vaccines to Niagara are being reduced again, when we have only just started vaccinating.”                              – Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Health for the Niagara Region

A News Release from Niagara Health, Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted January 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Reduced Pfizer shipments result in changes to Niagara’s vaccine plan

Niagara, Ontario – Supply shortages of the Pfizer vaccine are resulting in changes to Niagara’s vaccination plan. We have received provincial direction that, effective immediately, all first doses of vaccine are to be used to vaccinate residents, staff and essential caregivers in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes

This is being done to ensure there is sufficient supply to vaccinate these individuals by Feb. 15.  As a result, there will be a pause in vaccinating Niagara Health’s staff and physicians.

“It is frustrating that vaccines to Niagara are being reduced again, when we have only just started vaccinating,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Health for the Niagara Region. Continue reading

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Pays Tribute to late Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King

On Martin Luther King Day – Monday, January 18, 2021

The late Americana civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King

From the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) in Buffalo, New York

Posted January 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – BPO Musicians Amy Licata, Andrea Blanchard-Cone, Janz Castelo, and David Schmude pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an original arrangement of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson.

To watch, click on the screen immediately below –

On November 9, 1967, Dr. King delivered one of his most eloquent and poignant speeches at Kleinhans Music Hall just 4 months after the Buffalo Riots of 1967, and just 5 months before his untimely death. Special thanks to University at Buffalo, Buffalo Toronto Public Media, Asbury Hall, and the BPO Diversity Council.

For more on the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and its upcoming event schedule, click on https://bpo.org/ .

To visit a commentary on Martin Luther King Day, posted on Niagara At Large, in 2020 that includes a video of King delivering his iconic ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, click on https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/01/20/in-the-united-states-and-canada-martin-luther-kings-dream-has-yet-to-be-fully-realized/ .

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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders