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.

Hello Premier Ford. Why has Niagara been getting the short end of the stick on COVID vaccines when this region has among the highest number of vulnerable seniors, per capita in the province. Is it because Niagara has three NDP MPPs and only one of your Tory MPPs, Sam Oosterhoff, who did not show the good grace to where a mask, even when staff asked him to, in one of Niagara’s family restaurants? You excused Oosterhoff. but not a public word of apology to the restaurant. So where are the vaccines?

“We have continually asked the premier and minister of health where were these vaccines went and they refuse to tell us. Where were our vaccines sent, why were they diverted and when will you immediately send Niagara its fair share of both vaccines?,” he asked.

Gates told the Ford government that given the previous rates of COVID-19 in Niagara, and the number of seniors that live there, it doesn’t make sense that lifesaving dosages of vaccines would be taken away from the region.

“From Christmas to the end of January, we saw hundreds of seniors die in Niagara, at one point Niagara was witnessed a death every three and a half hours,” said Gates.

“So I will ask again and continue to ask until we receive a response, does the Minister disagree with our health care workers and when will this government be open with the people of Niagara to let them know where the much-needed vaccines were diverted to?”

The Government’s house leader, Paul Calandra, responded on behalf of the Ford Government and insisted that there was never a discrepancy and that Niagara had received its fair share of vaccines.

Calandra’s comments stand in contrast to a letter sent on Jan. 13 to the premier by Niagara’s doctors on the region’s Medical Advisory Committee indicating that Niagara had not received its fair share of vaccines after dosages of the Moderna vaccine were diverted from the region. They went on to say, ‘Our teams are burned out; people are worried for their loved ones and they need hope. Hope that the vaccine offers’.

Here is a link you can click on to a Video of Gates questions in the Ontario legislature Thursday (

A Brief Footnote from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

Niagara At Large is using this post to reprise a CBC story on Doug Ford’s one and only Conservative MPP in Niagara, the all-too-wet-behin- the-ears, home schooled  Niagara West MPP, Sam Ooosterhoff, who more or less said too damn bad, late last year,  with wearing a mask to following the rules during a gathering at the much-beloved family owned restaurant, Betty’s in Niagara Falls.

The un-masked Oosterhoff gathering at Betty’s Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ontario last Ocober. That is Ford’s Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, shown near the the left-hand back in the circle. Ford’s reponse to this – ‘give the young man, meaning his MPP, a break. Never mind the garbage good people at this restaurant had to take from Tory trolls after the story on this maskless gatheing broke.

Staff at the restaurant reportedly asked Oosterhoff and his group to please wear masks in keeping with the restaurant’s – not to mentionour Niagara Region’s COVID-19 safety rules at the time.

Niagara West MPP and Ford Government member was called out  for going maskless in a group photo as Ontario surges into a second wave of the pandemic

But that wasn’t good enough for Oosterhoff, a Ford government member and an assistant to Ontario’s public education minister (even though he was home schooled) who should be serving as some kind of a role model for public school students who are expected to wear masks in .

How bloody arrogant of this young man and how  irresponsible!

Then again, why should we excpet much more from  Ford and Oosterhof, and the way their government has treated smaller, locally owned businesses during this pandemic.

Here is the line for the the CBC piece –

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

  1. Hi Doug – great to see that you are still at it. Me too, in the USVI. Keep up the good work. My parents in Fort Erie have yet to get vaccinated (!). Sian (long ago from the Standard)


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