No Wizard Will Run Trump Out Of Office. Voters Will Have To Do That

There Is No Real Substitute for People Power, After All

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted March 26th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

“Oh, we’re off to see the Wizard

The wonderful Wizard of Oz.

We hear he is a whiz of a Wiz

If ever a Wiz there was….”

– From the 1939 movie classic, ‘The Wizard of Oz’

An awful lot of references to scenes from ‘The Godfather’ – a trilogy of movies first released between 1972 and 1990 about an American crime family – have been used by political pundits over the past three or four years to comment on Donald Trump’s campaign for the U.S. presidency and his subsequent two years in the Oval Office.

Given all of the shady and sleazy behaviour of Trump and his entourage, including members of his own family, references to Godfather movies make a lot of sense. But for all the news right now (this March 24th and 25th) around the report that U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller has finally completed on Trump, the life lessons I have so often found in another classic movie, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, seem more fitting now, with Mueller playing the role of the “great and powerful Oz.”

I’m putting Robert Mueller in the role of the Wizard because so many of my friends in the U.S. have been hoping that Mueller – a Vietnam War hero and long-time federal prosecutor – would be the one who would finally uncover enough skulduggery committed by Trump and his clan to run him out of office and possibly even put him in jail. Continue reading


Calling Out Cases of Alleged Abuse in Ontario’s Training Schools for Children and Teens

Niagara Centre MPP Reminds Ontario Government of its responsibility ‘to keep province’s teenagers and children safe

A Statement from Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

Posted March 25th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

(Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch delivered the following statement about alleged abuses committed in Ontario’s training schools for children and teenagers, against two of his constituents and others, and about the continued pursuit of the alleged victims for justice from the Province of Ontario.

The statement was delivered this March 25th in the Ontario legislature.)

Mr. Jeff Burch: “I rise today (March 25th) to speak for my constituents John Parisee and Rick Brown, who are here with us today, and for countless others like them, who survived their time in Ontario’s training schools for children and teenagers. Continue reading

Hamilton Joins Municipalities Around World in Declaring a “Climate Emergency” that ‘Threatens Cities, Regions, Nations …. and all of Humanity’

Kingston is only other Ontario municipality that has so far joined hundreds of other cities and towns around the world in joining the declaration







News from the Hamilton-based citizens watchdog group, Citizens At City Hall

Posted March 25th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

City of Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger authored the motion “that the City of Hamilton declare a climate emergency that threatens our city, region, province, nation, civilization, humanity and the natural world.”

At the urging of the Environment Hamilton citizens group, city councillors have declared a climate emergency joining hundreds of municipal governments in Europe and North America including Vancouver, Halifax and Kingston.

The local action was approved (Monday, March 18th), just days after the worst weather disaster in the southern hemisphere devastated a city almost exactly the same size as Hamilton.

At least hundreds and perhaps thousands are dead in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in the wake of Typhoon Idai that created a new lake 125 km long and 25 km wide just west of the city of Biera. At least 600,000 people were displaced and a week later vast areas were still underwater.

The typhoon hit just before the global student climate strike on March 15 of 1.6 million including 150,000 who marched in Montreal. However both the strike and the typhoon got limited media attention because of the white supremacist mass murder in New Zealand. Continue reading

Brock University Partners with Niagara Agency in Research on Childhood Mental Health Issues

Bill Helmeczi, Pathstone Director of Strategic Planning, Standards and Practices

“By bringing clinical staff (at Pathstone’s Mental Health Centre in St. Catharines) together with researchers (at Brock University), I think we can build a dynamic research program that fosters a great deal of benefit as researchers become more aware of the specific challenges we face in dealing with children’s mental health in the region.” – Bill Helmeczi, Pathstone Director of Strategic Planning, Standards and Practices

News from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted March 25th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

A new partnership between two Niagara organizations will mean a direct connection between the people conducting leading-edge research on child mental health and the caregivers who work with families dealing with related issues.

Pathstone Mental Health and Brock University signed a Memorandum of Understanding Friday, March 22. Pictured front row from left: Bill Helmeczi, Pathstone Director of Strategic Planning, Standards, and Practices, Pathstone CEO Shaun Baylis, Brock President Gervan Fearon and Brock Professor Sid Segalowitz. Back row are Pathstone Board Chair Elco Drost, left, and Brock Board Chair Gary Comerford.

Pathstone Mental Health and Brock University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Friday, March 22 that solidifies a collaboration that will positively impact children suffering with mental health in Niagara and beyond. Continue reading

Beechwood Doughnuts is Niagara, Ontario’s Latest Certified Living Wage Employer

“A living wage reflects what earners need to be paid based on the actual costs of living and being included in the community.” – Glen Walker, Chair of the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network

A News Release from the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network

Posted March 25th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network is pleased to announce that Beechwood Doughnuts has become a certified living wage employer.

Tayler Book, President, Beechwood Doughnuts and Glen Walker, Chair, Niagara Poverty Reduction Network with certificate

Beechwood Doughnuts is Niagara’s first and only 100% vegan doughnut shop. Located in the heart of Downtown St. Catharines, Beechwood Doughnuts has proven that plant-based foods can be just as delicious as they are compassionate. They currently employ 10 full time staff and 11 part time staff.

“Ever since we came to the realization that our little doughnut shop was becoming something much larger than we could have ever anticipated, becoming a certified living wage employer was at the forefront of our minds. No matter the industry, all working people deserve a liveable wage. Continue reading

Honouring a U.S. President Who Cared About People and the Environment

Jimmy Carter has made  a great  mark of his own on our region of the Great Lakes

Then U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1980, with Lois Gibbs, president of the then Love Canal Homeowners’ Association, after signing a second emergency delaration, to help Gibbs’ family and hundreds of others evacuate their homes around the Love Canal toxic waste dump.

“There must never in this country be another Love Canal.”   – U.S. President Jimmy Carter, in the spring of 1980, after signing a second federal emergency declaration to assist hundreds of families leave their homes around the leaking Love Canal toxic waste dump in Niagara Falls, New York.

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

Posted March 22nd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

This Friday, March 22nd, Jimmy Carter, marked a milestone in the history of the U.S. presidency by becoming the longest living person, at age 94 and a half, and after the recently deceased George H. Bush, to have ever held the office.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has left a very positive legacy in our Niagara region.

Maybe all of the good people don’t die young, after all.

Jimmy Carter, a former Georgia government who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981, certainly made his mark on Niagara and on this bi-national region of our Great Lakes during his all-to-short tenure in his nation’s highest office.

In August of 1978, Carter signed the first of two documents, declaring a federal emergency at a neighbourhood in Niagara Falls, New York called Love Canal where, decades earlier, a local chemical industry buried close to 20,000 tonnes of some of the most toxic chemicals known to science – chemicals that were leaking out of the dump and into the yards of surrounding homes, and were also reaching creeks draining to the Niagara River. Continue reading

Brock University Expert Provides Unique Look At Future Of Animal Cruelty Investigations With New Report

Calling it a critically important moment for animal welfare in Ontario, a Brock University professor released her latest findings Wednesday, March 20 that offer unique insight and perspective on the issue.

News from Brock University in St. Catharines

Posted March 22nd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Brock University  expert on anti-animal cruelty enforcement Kendra Coulter

Niagara, Ontario – Kendra Coulter, Chair of Brock’s Labour Studies Department and Canada’s foremost academic expert on anti-cruelty enforcement, has released a much-anticipated public report entitled: A More Humane and Safer Ontario: The Future of Animal Cruelty Investigations.

For nearly a century, anti-cruelty investigations in Ontario have been handled by charitable organizations.

However, earlier this month, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) announced it would cease its law enforcement work at the end of March.

 “Crimes against animals have been sidelined and de-prioritized by successive governments, and charities have filled in the gap,” says Coulter. “But the era of private enforcement is over and Ontario will finally have public animal cruelty investigations.” Continue reading