Author Archives: dougdraper

This Monday, October 21st – Vote Strategically. Vote for a Safe and Healthy Future for Generations to Come. VOTE FOR OUR PLANET

Vote for the Candidate in Your Riding – Liberal, NDP or Green – Who You Believe is Most Likely to Win and Spare Us from the Nightmare of a Service Gutting, Climate-Denying Ford-Scheer Coalition in Ontario

Vote Liberal, Green or NDP, whichever party and candidate you believe has the best chance in your riding of beating the Conservative and fighting for a better future for us all.

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher                 Doug Draper

Posted October 20th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

I have often wondered who, among us, is getting called for all the polls we read and hear about during provincial and federal elections,

Then a few days ago, for perhaps only the second or third time in my life, I was called by a national polling agency and asked to respond to a few questions about this Monday’s federal election.

First I was asked, who I thought was the best leader among all at the helm of parties in this federal race. My answer, without a nanosecond of hesitation, was Green Party Leader Elizabeth

The very next ask from the pollster was which party in my party that I planned to vote for. My answer was the Liberals.

If this comes across as confusing, disappointing or something worse to you, let me try offering a brief explanation. Continue reading


“Why I Would Not Vote For April Jeffs”

Niagara Centre Conservative Candidate’s Record on former NPCA Board, Regional Council Should Be Enough To Count Her Out

A Commentary by Ed Smith

Posted October 18th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

If I lived in Niagara Centre (and I don’t), I would not vote for Aril Jeffs, who is now running in that riding as the federal Conservative candidate.

Ed Smith raises concerns about operations at a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board meeting three years ago. April Jeffs was a board member at the time.

There are many reasons why I wouldn’t, and Jeff’s promotional ads in which she talks about the need for “trust” has made me feel compelled to write this.

April Jeffs was on the Board of Directors of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and was a councillor at the Niagara Region during what can only be described as some of the darkest days of politics in Niagara’s history.

In the interest of transparency, I need to tell you that I am the Niagara citizen that April and the rest of the NPCA board at the time and a now former CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) of the Conservation Authority tried unsuccessfully (in 2016 and 2017) to sue.

They were disturbed by me being critical of their actions at the NPCA and by my demands for answers. Continue reading

NPCA and Conservation Authority’s former CAO Mark Brickell Have Reportedly  “Resolved” Differences Over a Hefty Lawsuit

Brickell sued the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority for $2.3 million in February of 2019 for wrongfull dismissal by now former NPCA administrators and board members in late 2018

A Brief Foreword Note by Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted October 18th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Former NPCA CAO Mark Brickell and the Conservation Authority have apparently reached a settlement on Brickell’s $2.3 million lawsuit against the agency. No further detailed have been made available.

I knew that the NPCA’s new board and administrators were working to reach some sort of mutually agreeable settlement to the heft lawsuit former NPCA CAO Mark Brickell filed against the agency in February of this year.

However, we have no details on whatever settlement may have been reached in recent days or any payment or compensation the NPCA has made to Brickell, who served in the role of CAO from April 2017 to December of last year.

The following “Joint Statement”, released late this Friday afternoon, October 18th, 2019 as all of the information we have received so far.

It came with a note from an NPCA communications specialist, reading; “Because this is remains an HR matter, the NPCA will not be providing any further comment.”  Continue reading

Outdoor Adventurer Owen Bjorgan to Speak on Niagara’s Great Wetlands and Watersheds

Join Host Friends of One Mile Creek and Guest Speaker Owen Bjorgan at a Free Meeting on Wednesday, 23rd, at  7.m. in the Niagara-on-the-Lake  Community Centre

An Invite from Friends of One Mile Creek (FOMC) in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Posted October 18th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario  – At the October 23rd meeting of Friends of One Mile Creek (FOMC), special guest speaker Owen Bjorgan will talk about Niagara’s wetlands and what’s happening in the watersheds of our traditional creeks such as One Mile Creek, Two Mile Creek, Four Mile Creek and Eight Mile Creek.

Owen Bjorgan doing what he loves – exploring Niagara’s natural places

An accomplished photographer and experienced outdoor adventurer, Owen will explain and show how important wetlands are in our ecosystem. Continue reading

Fair Tax Report Card Grades Federal Parties On Election Promises

The Conservatives came in Dead Last for their Platform!

“The NDP is tops with an overall mark of A- for producing one of the mostprogressive platforms in decades, with the best plans to close taxloopholes, tackle tax havens, make the tax system more progressive andlevel the digital playing field by taxing foreign e-commerce giants.”

“The Greens weren’t too far behind with a B+ for their ambitious proposalsincluding increasing the carbon pricing system and closing tax loopholes.”

“The Liberals and the Bloc both tied in third place with a score of C- afterreleasing platforms that mostly skipped over tax fairness measures while the Conservatives came in dead last with an F for their platform, which included proposals to reintroduce tax breaks for millionaires.”

A News Release from the nation-wide public interest group, Canadians for Fair Taxation

Posted October 18th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

We’ve just released our Fair Tax Report Card grading every party on the tax fairness strength of their platforms and promises.

Grades were based on the top five tax fairness priorities our supporters selected this summer: closing tax loopholes, tackling tax havens, making the tax system more progressive, levelling the digital playing field, and addressing climate change. Continue reading

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