Ontario’s Ford Government Supporting Niagara Parks Commission During COVID-19

“Funding will ensure Niagara region remains one of the top tourism destinations in the world” – Ford Government

A News Release from the Ontario Government of Premier Doug Ford

Posted December 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Ontario government is providing the Niagara Parks Commission with up to $12.81 million to help ensure the region remains one of the top tourism destinations in the world during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This one-time funding will help protect jobs, keep some attractions open, ensure compliance with public health protocols, and continue to keep visitors safe through policing and road maintenance activities.

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Sam Oosterhoff, MPP of Niagara West, Jim Diodati, Mayor of Niagara Falls, and David Adames, CEO of the Niagara Parks Commission.

“Ontario’s heritage, tourism and culture agencies are important components of the province’s economic and social recovery,” said Minister MacLeod.

“This has been an incredibly challenging time for our agencies, who have all taken immediate action to reduce costs where possible and help keep visitors safe. Our government is proud to support the Niagara Parks Commission, one of the most spectacular tourist areas that Ontario has to offer.”

As both local and international travel remain uncertain, it is critical that the Niagara Parks Commission continues operating and supports the recovery of the tourism sector in Ontario, continuing as a major economic hub in the Niagara Region.

“Our government is confident that, with this funding and as a world leader in their field, the Niagara Parks Commission will continue to contribute to the province’s double bottom line: strong economic growth, and a resilient cultural fabric that reflects the diversity and strength of Ontario’s communities,” said Minister MacLeod.

For more information on their COVID-19 measures and the operations of their public facilities, please visit the NPC website . 

Quick Facts

  • The Niagara Parks Commission is a provincial agency with a mandate to preserve and promote the natural and cultural heritage of the Niagara River corridor.
  • Niagara typically attracts 13 million visits every year.
  • In 2017, total tourism expenditures in Niagara reached $2.4 billion. In 2018, there were 40,000 total jobs in the tourism sector.

Niagara West MPP and Ford government rep. Sam Oosterhoff


“The Niagara Parks Commission has been an anchor and historic tourism partner in our region for more than a century. This support will ensure the commission can continue to fulfill its core mandate of preserving and promoting the natural and cultural heritage of Niagara Falls and the Niagara River corridor and continue drawing millions of visitors to Niagara when it becomes safe again to travel.” – Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West

“Niagara Falls is the number one leisure destination in Canada and this support

Niagara Falls, Ontario Mayor Jim Diodati

marks a confidence from the government that will help bolster Niagara Falls and the Niagara Parks Commission. The tourism and hospitality industry is hemorrhaging and this will serve as a first step to helping get us back on track. Great thanks to the provincial government and to Minister MacLeod for keeping her hands on the wheel as we drive through the pandemic.”- Jim Diodati
Mayor of Niagara Falls

“We are incredibly appreciative of today’s announcement of financial support from our Minister, Lisa MacLeod. As the minister has stated in the past, the tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors by COVID-19 and will take the longest to recover. As an operational enterprise agency under the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries, located in Canada’s top leisure tourism destination, this support will enable Niagara Parks to deliver on our mandate, which includes the combination of being the environmental and cultural stewards of the Niagara River corridor and supporting tourism in Niagara and in Ontario. We look forward to emerging strongly in to 2021.” – David Adames
CEO, Niagara Parks Commission

Ford government appointed Niagara Parks Commission board Chair and former Ford Conservative Party candidate for St. Catharines, Sandie Bellows

“This year has presented the tourism industry with an unprecedented challenge, and at Niagara Parks we have been heavily impacted. We are so incredibly appreciative of the support we have received every step of the way from our Minister, Lisa MacLeod, along with our Minister of Finance, Rod Phillips, and of course our Premier Doug Ford. The grant announced by our minister today will help us cover unanticipated costs like PPE and our other core financial obligations.”- Sandie Bellows, Chair, Niagara Parks Commission

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

Notice in this Ontario government news release that the Niagara Parks Commission, a provincial body with a number of Premier Doug Ford-friendly people sitting on its current board, describes the Niagara Parks Commission as a ”provincial agency with a mandate to preserve and promote the natural and cultural heritage of the Niagara River corridor.”

For most of its more than a century-year-old history that mandate has been observed, but with this board, which Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati sits on with failed Conservative Ford candidates like Sandie Bellows and April Jeffs, to hell with that!

Why, for example, would this Niagara Parks board, want to approve nominating a beautiful Niagara River as a RAMSAR, globally recognized, internationally important watershed?

When Diodati’s Communist China-based development friends want to build urban structures in and around a haven for provincially significant wetlands in the Niagara River watershed, we can’t have a designation like that, can we?

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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One response to “Ontario’s Ford Government Supporting Niagara Parks Commission During COVID-19

  1. I suspect like a lot of Niagara Parks projects, it’s aimed more at the ‘Niagara’ part of the name rather than the ‘Parks’ part of the name. There’s a lot of habitat along the Niagara Parkway that could be improved (and cleaned) and set aside for wildlife. That would attract people. Birding/birdwatching has a large following; the Park’s Commission ignores indigenous nature as a potential and popular tourist attraction. They have a large butterfly conservatory but have done nothing for local species like the monarch and spicebush swallowtail. I’ve seen a lot more use of the parkway in Fort Erie since the onset of COVID restrictions. But with that, came more garbage.


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