Join A Toronto, Ontario Rally – This Sunday, August 28th – In Support Of Standing Rock Reservation’s Battle Against Keystone/Tar Sands Pipeline

 “Water is life. It is necessary. Oil is neither. …What do we value as people?”

A Call-Out from Karl Dockstader, an Oneida First Nations community member in Niagara

Posted August 27th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

This Sunday, August 28th at 4pm in Toronto at Allan Gardens on 19 Horticultural Ave, join supporters standing in “Solidarity with Standing Rock”.

More details can be found on Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/182590575494464/

A black snake is trying to coil around the Missouri River to choke out the water supply upon which the people of the Standing Rock Reservation are dependent.

Dakota Access LLC and Enbridge are continuing their persistent effort to drain every last drop of black gold and turn it into carbon dioxide by carving up the territory of the Black Rock Native Americans with their newest iteration of the Keystone Pipeline-like black snake of destruction.

A rally by young members of the Standing Rock Reservation earlier this August against pipeline

A rally by young members of the Standing Rock Reservation earlier this August against pipeline

Led by youth from their reservation, these people – original to the lands – are being supported by people across the globe who agree with their principles:

Water is life. It is necessary. Oil is neither. Continue reading

Good Riddance To Prime Minister Tar Sands

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted August 26th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

As you may already have heard, Calgary, Alberta area MP and defeated neo-con prime minister Stephen Harper has taken his final bow this August 26th – exiting his seat in Canada’s parliament completely to move on to his next abomination in the private sector.harper that's all folks

Harper’s long-awaited departure from Canadians’ collective lives may grant us some brief pause for celebration during these last lazy, hazy days before the Labour Day weekend and getting back to work.

And what a monumental amount of work current federal, provincial and municipal governments, not to mention we, the Canadian people, have ahead of us cleaning up the malodorous mountain of dung, domestically and globally, that constitutes Harper’s legacy as one of the worst leaders this country has ever had.

In a book of essays by prominent Canadians, published a year ago this summer and  titled ‘Canada After Harper’, the book’s editor and veteran journalist Ed Finn concludes that following a decade of Harper’s dictatorship; “the need for sweeping progressive reform is more urgent now than ever before.”

“Uncurbed global warming, pollution, and resource depletion threaten Canada (and) to continue, lemming-like, following the profit-obsessed path set by our business and political leaders will take us to the abyss. We are not just in a struggle for social, economic and environmental betterment, but for the very survival of future generations.”harper book

“Canada’s fate is in the balance,” concludes Finn, “teetering between a future of worsening decline and a future of restored advancement, security, equity and climatic health. …. To succeed in reaching a future of renewed well-being, we need to get back on the path of progress from which we have been ruthlessly and recklessly misdirected. And as soon as possible.”

To no surprise, news of Harper’s departure was accompanied by a glowing statement about her former boss from interim federal Tory leader Rona Ambrose who, as one of his former environment ministers, demonstrated uncompromising zeal in gutting the federal environment department and what were leading edge environmental protection laws and programs.

Today (August 26th, 2016), the Conservative Party of Canada joins all Canadians in expressing our utmost respect and warm wishes to Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he steps back from his role as the Member of Parliament for Calgary Heritage, and the Canadian political stage,” began Ambrose in her statement which I do not have the stomach lining to post any more of.

If you have it in you to read any more of this, you can click on Ambrose’s site at — http://ronaambrose.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/13653095_10153945453178525_9200714836389543942_o.jpg .

As for my parting words, I’ll do my best here to keep them clean and short – – Good riddance Prime Minister Tar Sands. It is good to finally see the back of you.Harper_2

Visit Niagara At Large at www.niagaraatlarge.com for more news and commentary for and from the greater bi-national Niagara region.

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

Sod-Turning at General Electric’s New ‘Brilliant Factory’ In Niagara, Ontario

‘This endeavour will create 220 new value-added jobs for skilled workers in Niagara Centre.’

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

Posted August 26th on Niagara At Large

Welland, Ontario – GE Canada reaffirmed its commitment to the City of Welland at the site of their newest “Brilliant Factory” in (the Niagara municipality of) Welland.

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

Slated to open in early 2018, this endeavour will create 220 new value-added jobs for skilled workers in Niagara Centre.

“GE Canada’s Welland facility is the cornerstone to the Niagara Economic Gateway-Foreign Trade Zone,” stated Niagara Centre, Member of Parliament, Vance Badawey. “This is a prime example of all levels of government working together and leveraging the many resources and incentives in place to attract cutting-edge private-sector partners, like GE Canada.” Continue reading

When Are Niagara’s Municipal Leaders Going To Stop Showing Contempt For Residents Fighting To Save Thundering Waters Forest

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted August 24rd, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – For those of you who have not yet heard, the much-anticipated August 23rd Public Meeting over a controversial plan to urbanize a tract of natural heritage known as the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, Ontario was over before it began.

Celeste Smith, a young voice for the Indigenous community in the Niagara area, speaks to a gathering of residents outside Niagara Falls City Hall this August 23rd. She calls the coming together of native and non-native people to save the Thundering Waters Forest "beautiful." Photo by Doug Draper

Celeste Smith, a young voice for the Indigenous community in the Niagara area, speaks to a gathering of residents outside Niagara Falls City Hall this August 23rd. She calls the coming together of native and non-native people to save the Thundering Waters Forest “beautiful.” Photo by Doug Draper

After all of the weeks of foreplay over this most important opportunity for members of the public to comment on the strength and weaknesses of a provincially required Environmental Impact Statement for this development plan, there was no Public Meeting at all.

In the minutes before the Public Meeting was set to begin on this past Tuesday night in August, enough Niagara Falls city councillors had the good sense to pass a motion tabled by Councillor Kim Craitor to hold the Public Meeting in a larger venue at a later date – this while residents packed the council chambers until there wasn’t a square foot left for anyone to stand, and others were forced to remain outside, chanting ‘Let us in’ while watching the sorry proceedings on a video screen. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources Sounds Alarm For Thundering Waters Forest

‘With this report from the Ministry, it is hoped that the developers will digest it and give up on their plans.’

By John Bacher

Posted August 24th, 2016 on Niagara At large

In an August 19th, 2016 report prepared by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry resource operations supervisor Ian Thornton, some alarms properly went off for 500 acres of the Thundering Waters Forest-Savannah now under threat of urban development.

A giant white oak tree in Thundering Waters Forest, in the Niagara River watershed in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

A giant white oak tree in Thundering Waters Forest, in the Niagara River watershed in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Hopefully, the report will put an end to the junk science that is being employed by paid contractors for the developers to destroy this precious natural refuge for a myriad of wildlife species in the southwestern end of Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The report should help speed the process where it can be purchased by the federal and provincial governments for a nature sanctuary administered by guardians in the greater Niagara area’s indigenous community.

Thornton’s report begins by condemning the developer’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for not undertaking adequate studies on bats. He deplores that “no acoustic monitoring was undertaken to confirm presence/absence of species at risk bats.” Continue reading

New Ontario Driver Licence Fee Comes Into Effect September 1st

News from the Ontario Government

Posted August 24th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Toronto – Driver licence fee increases come into effect this September to help maintain Ontario’s transportation infrastructure. Additional fees for reinstatements, replacements and commercial permits will follow effective January 1, 2017.images

As of September 1, 2016:

  • The Driver’s Licence Original and Renewal Fee, including the driver licensing fee as part of the Enhanced Driver Licence, will change from $81.50 to $90
  • Vehicle Licence Validation in Northern Ontario will change from $54 to $60
  • Vehicle Licence Validation in Southern Ontario will change from $108 to $120.

Continue reading

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper To Host Scajaquada Creek-Themed Fundraiser On September 1st

“Our Waters, Our Future: Saving Scajaquada Creek” Expected To Have Over 200 Guests, With All Proceeds Supporting Creek Restoration Efforts

News from Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper

Posted August 23rd, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper announced this week that its 2nd annual waterfront event will raise funds to clean up the impaired Scajaquada Creek.

On September 1st from 6 to 9 p.m., Riverkeeper will gather supporters and partners at a special waterfront celebration at Marcy Casino, in Delaware Park. Scajaquada Creek runs underneath the building, making it an ideal location to acknowledge this challenged waterway’s history and to look forward to a brighter future.

Hoyt Lake off Scajaquada Creek with Marcy Casino (the historic old boathouse and restaurant) in Buffalo, New York's Delaware Park. Photo by Doug Draper

Hoyt Lake off Scajaquada Creek with Marcy Casino (the historic old boathouse and restaurant) in Buffalo, New York’s Delaware Park. Photo by Doug Draper

“It has never been more important to stand up for our local waterways, and we need our community’s support to restore Scajaquada Creek to its full potential,” stated Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.

“The creek has endured more than 100 years of abuse, yet still clings to life and is ready for restoration, and this September we will celebrate our vision for the creek’s bright future.” Continue reading