About Niagara At Large

About Niagara At Large – Our Mission Statement

“Democracy cannot function without a well-informed electorate.” – the late news broadcaster Walter Cronkite

Welcome to Niagara At Large – an independent, online source of news and commentary for the greater Niagara region.

Doug Draper, publisher and commentator for Niagara At Large, way back when he was still able to cover environmental issues for a once-proud daily newspaper in St. Catharines, Ontario

Niagara At Large is dedicated to providing news and the most in-depth analysis possible – without fear or favour and always with the goal of getting to the guts of a matter or whatever constitutes the truth – on issues of interest and concern to those of us living and working in a binational region of communities including and neighbouring the region of Niagara, Ontario and the counties of Erie and Niagara in Western New York.

This online site has been launched with the support of long-time journalists and others in our region who share the following beliefs and principles:

  • That journalism is a public trust that plays a vital role in providing citizens with the information they need to participate effectively in discussions and decisions that shape the future of their community.
  • That journalists can only fulfill their potential as honest brokers of information and watchdogs for their community if their work is not compromised by the pecuniary interests of corporate chains that too often replace the “editorial policies” of newsrooms with “business plans” that define news as a “product” and readers of news as “customers” who might just as well be out at the mall shopping for shoes or laundry detergent.
  • That independent sources of news, owned and operated by people who have roots in our communities and therefore share a greater stake in their well-being, are truer guardians of the public trust than distant corporate owners and their shareholders whose first mission is to siphon as much revenue as possible out of our communities, even if that means gutting the resources needed to provide the residents of those communities with quality news.
  • That residents of the greater Niagara region would welcome a news source with an eye to covering events and issues of interest and concern to the entire region over newspapers that continue to assume that those of us who live in the south end of the region aren’t interested in news from the north end, let alone news from one side of the Niagara River or the other.

With these principles in mind, Niagara At Large is working to build a diverse network of contributors of news and commentary from across our binational region and beyond with the aim to be the most go-to and engaging forum for information and debate on issues of information and concern to the whole region.

In working toward that goal, Niagara At Large welcomes diverse points of view from all of those who post news, analysis and comments here and will not discriminate against anyone who holds views differing from those of the publisher.

Niagara At Large has no interest and sees no benefit for the region at large and the challenges we face as individuals and communities in simply creating one more blog in cyberspace that becomes an echo chamber for people who share the same view. Nor will this be another one of those sites that post anonymous rants of a vitriolic or potentially libelous nature. All material submitted to this site must be linked to the authors real name and will be moderated through editors before it is posted.

For further information on our ‘Comments Policy” and on how you can “Be a Contributor” to Niagara At Large, please return to our home page and click on those headings above the site’s masthead. All questions or concerns about this sites editorial policies can emailed to Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper at drapers@vaxxine.com.

In the meantime, we encourage you to engage in this site with your comments and contributions. Add niagaraatlarge.com to your Address Book and circulate it to your network of online friends and associates.

With your active participation as a reader, commenter and/or contributor, we may very well succeed in building a fearlessly independent and dynamic source of news and commentary, and the very best forum for reporting and debating the key quality-of-life issues facing our communities facing all of us in our communities across the greater Niagara region.

Doug Draper, Publisher

About The Publisher

A native of the Niagara, Doug Draper began his journalism career at The St. Catharines Standard in 1979 and spent most of the next 19 years covering environmental issues before leaving the newspaper in 1998.
He went on to write for several other publications, including News, Niagara This Week, Pulse Niagara and the former Downtowner. His articles have also appeared in The Buffalo News, Hamilton Spectator.
Through his career, Doug Draper has received several provincial, national and international awards for his reporting and has been invited to participate as a panelist and keynote speaker at numerous conference and workshops on journalism and environmental issues.
Doug Draper now begins a new journey as a founder of Niagara At Large, an online newspaper for news and commentary on issues of interest and concern to residents in a Greater Niagara Region that ecompasses communities on both sides of the Niagara River and Canada/U.S. border.


26 responses to “About Niagara At Large

  1. nice work draper
    keep it up
    i think you’re on to something here

    how about linking to the herald, cloutier’s online newspaper



  2. Let me know when you go live and I’ll post a blogroll link — you’ve got my coordinates.


  3. Congratulations Doug.We all look forward to a voice of reason presenting unbiased views from the extended Southern Tier. You will certainly have enough material to promote thought and discussion. The many areas in which we are both ignored and out-voted by the North are endless.


  4. Congratulations Doug….as I have said before you are one of the few reporters….if not the only one….in Niagara, who is very objective, well informed and will dig deep to get the whole story. Also, you are principled and have so much experience to build on. Niagara is definitely divided by its newspapers, who only report on either St. Catharines, Niagara Falls or Welland. Getting viewpoints across from south Niagara is very difficult…if not impossible.
    All the best to your new venture,
    Pat Scholfield


  5. Doug, how exciting!

    I wish you all the best on this new project.


  6. Robert A. Ritchie

    Good to have a caring voice become independent. I look forward to following your input, and even contributing whenever I feel it appropriate. My Niagara concern is what is happening, or is continuing to happen, to NPC, especially the environmental/ecological side of things that I was very involved with before I retired from NPC in Sept.2008.
    Best wishes for success and support.


  7. Bob and Marilyn Draper

    This looks very promising to us. Best of luck Doug.


  8. Doug, thank you so much for your efforts. It’s great to have another venue for logic and curiosity, for the larger picture. Kudos!


  9. Hello Doug:

    A friend informed me of your new venture. I think it’s a great idea and the Huffington Post is a great model of what a lively, stimulating venue of public record can be. Congratulations. I will follow with interest.



  10. http://fadingintomyth.blogspot.com/

    We support the Niagara Heritage Partnership proposal for a non-motorized gorge rim in NYS. Perhaps you’ll add our link?


  11. Niagara At Large is great -you are off to a great start – i’m sharing it with everyone in my personal address book and suggesting they do the same. Thank You Doug


  12. Congratulations on your new venture, Doug.
    I have followed your columns for years and I always felt your reporting was solid, interesting and guided by the principals of what the press should be doing for a community. I am looking
    forward to stimulating and informative articles that will keep our communities informed on
    vital issues affecting us all.
    Thank you and keep up the good work.


  13. Joseph A. Somers

    The Murdocks, Disney, the Asners and a host of other corporations have literally corrupted the media to an extent that some damn good Journalists are now walking the Streets of Canada as well as the U.S. of A .
    Through this decade we have been subjected to “Brain Washing” as never before witnessed in this so called “Democratic world”. Doug you tell it as it is and that is your forte in life
    “Honesty and Integrity” ……Amen


  14. My comment was legit I sent you two emails two prove it


  15. Jeannette Tossounian

    I’m so glad this site is here. Keep informing.


  16. I love your site there’s information here that you just won’t find anywhere else. There’s one thing that everyone living in the Niagara Region has in common and it’s a regional government trying to govern at least 7 distinct and independent urban centers. Thanks for giving a second opinion.


  17. Congratulations, Drapes. You are a leader.


  18. Best of luck, Doug. The more voices, the better. And I’m still springing for beer at the Mansion if Obama gets elected to a second term.


  19. This is a wonderful network when i got to read it.


  20. Just found this site, great to find a place with news that is not plastered with advertising. I grew up in the area and like to keep up on issues.
    That picture of you looks great, you would have fit right in with the watergate guys. LOL


  21. Can I send in an article about events occurring in the Niagara Region that The Binational Alliance will be sponsoring during the summer months and into the fall of 2012 – Trying to raise awareness of the 10th Annual Doors Open Niagara & The Binational Heritage Peace Garden Trails. Thank you!


  22. Have learned alot from this site and tried to contribute a little ! Thanks Doug —–John–


  23. In the year of 2000 , it was a benchmark study that has a ability to reveal. Certain events and various public profiteering of Federal and Provincial monies were concealed . This was done with a sole purpose to with holding knowledge that would gain a plain clothed no skilled person. The power to operate as a Ministerial Authority and profiteer on all levels of Judicial System. Alberta is a controlled province and the people here know what is peddled by corrupt public officials and a corrupt justice system . When one voices a opinion or a violation they or their children become involved as targets for practice to conceal certain activities that violate the Canadian criminal codes of Canada.
    I wrote a report to the ministers of Canada in the year 2000 , the time frame when several companies, of course one federally owned . Were defrauding the system and gaining advantages over private and public domains. This in turn was to conceal the first shipments of industrial grade H2s, that were used in a flood plain senerio and rejuvenate a depleted 50year natural gas coal formation . This event contaminated the northern Alberta ground water shield . .
    It has been 12 years of study time, 7 of them with four children grabbed by a Corrupt Alberta Justice System to stop a environmental law suit .
    Read into November 21 2005 transcript . Then filed evidence on june 20 2006 the other side of the story. Northern Alberta Surface Water Study.com
    The beginning of Canada’s worst industrial secrets relating to human cancer, home and heath .
    more to be on updated website
    jim reamsbottom 780 494 3830


  24. Is there life after cardiac arrest?
    I’m not so sure if you life in Ontario according to the conclusions reported in the Ontario Prehospital Advanced Life Support (OPALS) study and the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) trial.
    “These studies, reported on the Health Quality Ontario site, examined the effect of a community program to respond to cardiac arrest with and without the use of AEDs. Their authors had reported a significant reduction in overall mortality from cardiac arrest with the use of AEDs.
    “Of the 85% cardiac arrests that occur in homes, 56% occur in single residential dwellings (houses), 23% occur in multi-residential dwellings (apartments/condominiums), and 6% occur in nursing homes. There is no program in place except the 911 system to reach these patients.
    “One model for the use of AEDs in out-of-hospital settings was examined in the OPALS study. Firefighters and police were trained and provided with AEDs. The total initial cost (in US dollars) of this program was estimated to be $980,000. The survival rate was 3.9% before implementing the AED program and 5.2% after its implementation (OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.03-1.7; P = .03). Applying these estimates to cardiac arrest rates in Ontario in 2002, one would expect 54 patients of the total 1,395 cardiac arrests to survive without AEDs compared with 73 patients with AEDs; thus, 19 additional lives might be saved each year with an AED program. It would initially cost $51,579 to save each additional life.”
    Note, however, that “in subsequent years the total cost would be lower by about $50,000 per year”! That means after the first year, it would cost only $2,632 to save each additional life.
    “Results from this review suggest that the incidence of cardiac arrest in out-of-hospital setting in Ontario is 59 per 100,000 people. The mean age of cardiac arrest patients is 69 years. Eighty-five percent of these cardiac arrests occur in homes. Of all the cardiac arrests, 37% have heart rhythm abnormalities (ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation) that are correctable by delivering shock through an AED.
    “Thus,” reported the Health Quality Ontario site, “in an out-of-hospital setting, general use of AEDs by laypersons would not be cost-effective.” Special programs are needed in the out-of-hospital setting for cost-effective use of AEDs.”
    Not cost effective for whom? Certainly cost effective for the 19 people in Ontario who survived because of AED’s in 2002. Surely even more cost effective for the additional lives that would be saved now!
    The article at the HQO site goes on to conclude that, “Special programs are needed in the out-of-hospital setting for cost-effective use of AEDs.”
    I for one would like to see those programs made available as widely as possible. I would also like to se an AED in every public building and every church, synagogue, temple, etc. Who knows the life saved may be your own.


  25. Why not do a story on Sunday shopping in Nova Scotia? The lies that the media and government told to the people of Nova Scotia. You’re Independent Site For News and Commentary should be for all over Canada. We need newspapers and on line news to report news that otherwise is over looked. The scandal in Nova Scotia with the media is real frustrating. They never told the truth,
    Here is some information on our findings –
    In a Binding plebiscite on Saturday , October 16th, Nova Scotians went to the polls to decide whether or not to have Sunday shopping.

    With 49 of 55 municipalities reporting, the
    unofficial total provincial vote opposed to Sunday shopping
    was 55 per cent.
    Unofficial results on the ballot’s first question — should there
    be Sunday shopping (in retail businesses not now permitted to be
    open on Sunday) — are:
    98,726 No (55 per cent)
    81,110 Yes (45 per cent)
    In 2006, both grocery chains took the government to court as they were discriminated against. Pete’s
    Grocer in Bedford, Nova Scotia subdivided their stores as they found loop holes in the Retail Uniform Business Act.
    Both grocery chains decided they would also subdivide their stores. Rodney MacDonald’s government then went to it’s
    own cabinet to change the rules so the grocery chains could not open subdivided.
    The issue went to the courts for a ruling to which the Judge ruled that it was discriminatory

    [37] It is the finding of the Court that the impugned Regulations are discriminatory as against the Applicants and the Interveners, and indeed against any other retailer not falling within the restrictive provisions of such Regulations. Objectively considered, these regulations do not give to Cabinet the power to discriminate in the manner which it did in this case. Cabinet cannot discriminate either as to the size of the retail outlet or the corporate structure of it without the requisite regulatory power. Such power is neither express or implied in Section 8 of the Act. It logically follows that the impugned regulations are ultra vires the Governor in Council (the Cabinet) and are therefore of no force and effect.
    Rodney MacDonald’s government was in a minority situation and they needed either party to support them. They were not allowed to make this decision through cabinet but through the legislature only.
    The public was mislead to think the Sunday shopping ban was struck down. This wasn’t the case and is quoted by the Judge in the court report in section 34.

    [34] In order to put this entire matter in the proper perspective I will repeat, yet again, what this application is NOT about. It is not about any social or political considerations respecting the appropriateness of Sunday shopping; nor is it about the constitutional authority of the legislature to enact legislation dealing with Sunday shopping; nor is it about the protection of vulnerable retail employees being required to work on Sundays. This application is simply about the scope of the authority or power granted to the Governor in Council (Cabinet) to make regulations pursuant to the Act.

    We did some further research and found that Maureen MacDonald spoke in the legislature on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2006

    “Mr. Speaker, but certainly their position added to the confusion and perpetuated the idea that somehow the courts had struck down Sunday shopping in our province. That simply did not occur.”

    Another voice was added to the debate with an interview with Mark Parent in four parts.


    Mark Parent , Rodney MacDonald’s former cabinet minister confirms that Maureen MacDonald’s comments are correct.

    McInnis Cooper lawyers also confirm it


    It should be noted that this was not really a case about Sunday shopping, but rather the scope of Cabinet’s power to pass regulations under the Act. The judge ruled that the wording of the Act which gave Cabinet the power to make regulations did not give Cabinet the power to discriminate between different types of businesses by size (i.e. square footage), corporate structure or the kinds of goods and services offered.

    Rodney MacDonald’s government with the support of the two parties gave Retail workers back their Holidays. The loop holes are fixed.


    The proposed rules closed the loopholes that allowed so many retailers to defy the old ban on Sunday shopping and ensure only stores under 4,000 square feet open on holidays.

    We had a binding plebiscite and the courts never struck down the Sunday shopping ban. The loop holes could have been fixed for Sunday shopping as they did it for our Holidays. How do you

    feel knowing that our government broke the law and opened the doors to Sunday shopping? By remaining silent, we are sending a message that it’s ok for our government to break the law.

    Our site – http://www.saveoursundays.ca


  26. Recently discovered your website. Many thanks!


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