City of Hamilton Staff Upset Over Ford Government’s Proposed Quarry Rule Changes

The potential changes could affect water tables, trucking routes and where quarries could expand. Self-filing procedures and elimination of licensing for some “low risk” activities are also proposed.

Changes of concern to Hamilton and other municipalities include no longer requiring “agreements between municipalities and aggregate producers regarding aggregate haulage.”

News from Citizens at City Hall, a Hamilton, Ontario-based citizen watchdog group

Posted October 16th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Hamilton, Ontario – City of Hamilton staff are fuming over a Ford government re-write of the rules governing quarrying and related aggregate transportation.

The provincial plans emerged from a “summit” last March to which the
city was not invited.

And once again the changes have not been spelled out in
sufficient detail to determine their impacts, although they have won
the endorsement of the aggregate industry association.

The potential changes could affect water tables, trucking routes and
where quarries could expand. Self-filing procedures and elimination of
licensing for some “low risk” activities are also proposed. Continue reading


ClaraDerma+ is Niagara’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.”

News from the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network

Posted October 16th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

ClaraDerma+ co-owners Alicia Yap and Olenka Allison with Niagara Poverty Reduction Netwok chair Glen Walker

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network is pleased to announce that ClaraDerma+ has become a certified living wage employer at the Champion level.

ClaraDerma+ is a medical aesthetics clinic dedicated to helping patients address their skin needs using a variety of preventative measures, corrective treatments and patient education. They are based in St. Catharines and currently employ five full time, three part time and three contract staff.

“Being a living wage employer is not only beneficial to our staff’s quality of life, but also beneficial to the business as a whole when the people working here are happy to be a part of the team. Our clinic’s tagline being “your concern is our concern” does not only apply to our clients/patients,” says ClaraDerma+ co-owners Alicia Yap and Olenka Allison. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Now Moving to Weaken Rules for Owners of Province’s Quarries and Pits

A Call on All of Us to Speak Out for Putting Our Species and Others before Stones and Gravel

A Call-Out from Ontario Nature, a not-for-profit, non-partisan citizens’ advocacy group for protecting and preserving Ontario’s natural heritage 

Posted October 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

Here we go again.

Relentless in the pursuit of its “open for business” agenda, the Government of Ontario wants to weaken protections for nature in order to fast-track development.

Specifically, the government aims to make potentially devastating amendments to Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) which would permit pits and quarries on sensitive landscapes across the province.

Ontarians cannot let these proposed changes fly under the radar. If you agree, please join Ontario Nature in voicing your concern. Continue reading

Niagara Centre MPP Pleads With Ontario’s Ford Government to “Do The Right Things” For Children and Families Struggling With Autism

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

“Each day that children ,,, are denied much needed therapy, it is another day their full potential for success and growth is thwarted by your government’s inaction on getting funding finalized.” – Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

An ‘Urgent Open Letter’ from Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch to Ford’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services

Posted October 16th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Signs like this have become commonplace in Ontario since Doug Ford’s Ontario Conservatives were elected to power in June, 2018.

Dear Minister Todd Smith:

I am sending this urgent letter on behalf of constituent Joe Seranni of Welland who has yet to see any provincial funding to provide much needed therapy for his son Ashton.

Ashton, who was 3 years old when his father applied in March, has been diagnosed with autism and his Physician recommended 10 hours of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapy a week.

Joe will tell you almost in tears the advances his son has made with the limited therapy he is now getting weekly that he is paying out of pocket. Otherwise, there would be no therapy at all. Continue reading

City of Hamilton Continues Battling Ford Government Over Proposed Gutting of Policies to Fight Climate Change and Protect Green Lands

‘The province’s new rules on climate change are limited to preparing for its “potential” impacts. … There are no policies within the (Ford government’s revised Provincial Policy Statement) document which speak to the importance of taking measures now to prevent or avoid climate change,” declares a City of Hamilton staff report.

A News Article by the Hamilton-based citizens’ watchdog group, Citizens At City Hall (CATCH)

(This article was originally posted on September 30th, 2019 in CATCH’s online newsletter at .)

Posted October 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Bulldozing over ever more paradise to make way for more low-density, urban sprawl.

Hamilton, Ontario – City staff are challenging yet another massive rewrite of planning rules by the provincial government. Planning staff oppose the province’s proposed elimination of policies to fight climate change and protect sensitive natural areas.

They are also questioning “market based” changes that will make it easier for developers to pave over farmland and effectively shift planning approvals “from a municipal-led approach to a developer-led one.”

Municipalities are facing a major revision of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), the document which sets out the overriding rules that all land use planning in Ontario “must be consistent with”.  The PPS directs policies on housing, infrastructure, transportation, economic development, aggregate extraction, land servicing arrangements and other municipal activities. Continue reading

This Thanksgiving, Ontario Premier Doug Ford Says We Have A Lot To Be Thankful For

Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement on Thanksgiving Day, 2o19

Posted October 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford wishes Ontarians a happy Thanksgiving

Toronto — “Today, people across Ontario will come together to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a time to be thankful for the many good things in each of our own lives.

We all have our different traditions, whether it’s carving a turkey, volunteering at the local soup kitchen, or giving thanks before sharing a meal with loved ones.

On this day, I also want to recognize and give thanks for the work of our first responders and our Canadian service members. They go above and beyond every day to keep us safe and healthy.

From my family to yours, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.” – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

End of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Statement and the News Release circulated by Ontario News

The above image obviously did not come from the Ontario government’s news media reps with the Premier’s Thanksgiving statement.

A Thanksgiving Footnote from Niagara At Large –

In this photo, circulated in social media before the 2018 provincial elections, here is then-Ontario Conservative Party leader Doug Ford posing with this then Niagara Centre Riding candidate April Jeffs

And  if we don’t have enough to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season, consider the following. 

We now have April Jeffs , a former Wainfleet mayor and a former member of the board of directors of the Niaagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) under the management of past NPCA administrators, including  Carmen D’Angelo and David Barrick, and Doug Ford’s former  Niagara Centre Riding candidate in the 2018 Ontario election, running as the Conservative/Andrew Scheer candidate in the Niagara Centre Riding in this federal election.

Is the turkey ready yet?

To review the special report Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk released a year ago this September onoperations at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority under the administration of the NPCA’s past administrators and board of directors, click on – .

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

In this Canadian Election, Vote for Climate Action 

A Message from Ontario Nature, a non-partisan, public advocacy group for protecting and preserving our natural heritage 

Posted October 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

Are you ready to vote for nature?  

You don’t need to wait in line on October 21st. Advance voting has already started and runs through the holiday Monday, October 14th.

Here’s what you need: 

Continue reading