Memorial for Niagara’s COVID Victims Should be Embraced by Region Councillors

It is a Welcome Idea that Certainly Beats Publicly Flogging the Region’s Acting Medical Health Officer 

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

Posted July 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Thank You St. Catharines Regional Councillor Laura Ip. We certainly needed something out of this Niagara Region after the recent slap down that our acting Medical Officer of Health received at an earlier Regional Council meeting.

Well here are two thumbs up for St. Catharines Regional Councillor Laura Ip

While so many of us across Niagara are still trying to wash from our mouths the foul after-taste of the Regional Council’s dumping all over the Region’s acting Medical Health Chief Dr. Mustafa Hirji for daring to publicly air his concerns about opening the Canada/U.S. border too soon, it was a relief to hear a Niagara Regional Councillor express a positive idea

That Regional Councillor was Laura Ip and the idea, as she outlined it at a meeting of the Region’s Public Health  and Social Services Committee this past July 13th, is to create a community memorial for us to go to remember the more than 425 Niagara residents who have so far died from a killer COVID-19 pandemic that, going by the shameful garbage Dr. Hirji had to endure at that June 8th Regional Council meetings, too many of our elected politician across this region, still do not take as seriously as they should.

Ip’s idea, first to create a temporary memorial, possibly on the property of Niagara’s Regional Headquarters in Thorold, then a permanent one at a site deemed to be accessible to all, received enough support to have the Region’s staff prepare a report for Regional Councillors in the weeks ahead.

A passive memorial that residents across Niagara can visit and remember should be welcomed by all as the toll of those who suffered and died from this plague in this region over a 15 month period is truly catastrophic. I know of few people among us who do not have some kind of attachment to individuals here who were brought down by this killer virus.

So thanks to Laura Ip for calling out for a memorial.

Niagara’s acting Medical Officer of Health Mustafa Hirji  showed class and kept his cool during a hammering from Niagara Regional Councillors this past July 8th over his views on re-opening the border crossings. The support he has received from Niagara citizens since has been heartenning.

And shame on all of those self-anointed medical health officers on the Regional Councillors, including Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati, Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop and St. Catharines Regional Councillor Tim Rigby, for making Dr. Hirji the scapegoat for the obvious complicated matter of whether or not the Canada-U.S. border should be re-opened any time soon – especially with that wild card of a Delta variant, and other more lethal mutations of COVID-19 now causing for spikes in COVID cases, especially on the American side of the border.

Shame on them for having the audacity to tell a medical health professional we depend on for his most honest assessments of the risks we all face, to be careful what he says – as if to say he ought to pay more attention to politics than to science.

And finally, shame on far too many other members  of Regional Council at that June 8th meeting for  sitting there like a box of rocks while the bullies at the meeting gave Dr. Hirji a public flogging. (It was almost as if the old Caslin cabal from the last term of Regional Council is back.)

Here is one final thought around this Regional Council. Based on all of the letters to the editor and all of the email and phone calls reporters like me have received over the last week or so, Dr. Hirji is far more popular than many of you.

To read another recent commentary Niagara At Large posted on this issue, click on – 

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


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