Author Archives: dougdraper

Biden’s Cancellation of Filthy Keystone Tar Pipeline Project is “Devastating” – Canada’s Conservative Leader

This is the Best Canada’s Tories  Have to Offer – A Century Old Industry that is Devastating Our Planet!

A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by a statement from Canada’s Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole

Posted January 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole, sporting 19th century cowboy garb and peddling 20th century energy enterprises

The baloney that Conservative Party politicians across Ontario and Canada have tried foisting on us for as many decades as I can remember is that they are the ones that are sound economic leaders, and other parities – Liberal or NDP – would drive our economy into the ditch.

One more piece of evidence that proves that this Tory claim is pure, unadulterated baloney is the response we are getting from the likes of Canada’s Conservative leader, Erie O’Toole and Alberta’s loudmouth premier, Jason Kenney, to the news that this January 20th, 20221 – within a few hours of taking the oath of office – U.S. President Joe Biden followed through on a promise to cancel further construction of the Keystone XL pipeline between the Alberta borders of Canada and the Gulf Coast of the United States. Continue reading

Major Canadian Environment Group Applauds New U.S. Prez for Saying No to Keystone XL Pipe

“Killing the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all is a clearindication that climate action is a priority for the White House.” – Environmental Defence

A News Release from Environmental Defence Canada

Posted January 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Statement from Dale Marshall, National Climate Program Manager, on PresidentBiden cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline

Thanks Joe Biden, no more climate ravaging tar crap from Alberta through an XL pipeline, Please!

Ottawa, Ontario – U.S President Joe Biden’s first move in office sends a clear signal that Canada needs to get serious about phasing out fossil fuels, ramping up action on climate change, and implementing a transition plan for workers and communities.

 Killing the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all is a clear indication that climate action is a priority for the White House. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

 Along with rejoining the Paris Agreement, President Biden is expected to undertake a number of climate initiatives. Continue reading

A Federal Leader Across Our Canada/U.S. Border in Niagara Celebrates Biden/Harris Inauguration

A Statement by Congressman Brian Higgins on the Inauguration of President Biden & Vice President Harris

Posted January 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – “In a history-making moment, today Joe Biden and Kamala Harris begin their tenure as President and Vice President of the United States.

“With this transition, we are filled with new optimism for healing and unity. This passage represents an opportunity to quell divisive rhetoric in exchange for respectful dialogue and meaningful consensus building to serve the needs of all Americans. Continue reading

GOOD RIDDAANCE!

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

Posted January 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

As the blades of the helicopter began to turn – to lift Trump and his pole dancer of a “first lady” off the south lawn of the White House for the last time this morning of January 20th – Willie Geist, a co-host of the MSNBC news program ‘Morning Joe’ said (and I just slightly paraphrase); ‘He is about to fly over the capital (Washington, D.C.) that he, in so many ways, has wrought so much destruction over.”

Just do the world a favour and go away! Trump leaves the White House, for the last time as U.S. president, with the Washington Monument looming the background

Indeed, make that the damage destruction he has done to his country and the world, when you think of what he has done to public institutions, to the environment, to the relationships between peoples and countries, and the list could go on and on.

So good riddance to him and to his crime family. Continue reading

Shipments of COVID Vaccine to Niagara are Falling Short

“The interruption in supply is deeply disappointing and impacts on our plans to continue vaccinating Niagara Health staff and physicians who are on the front line against COVID-19,”                 – Lynn Guerriero, President and Interim CEO, Niagara Health

“It is frustrating that vaccines to Niagara are being reduced again, when we have only just started vaccinating.”                              – Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Health for the Niagara Region

A News Release from Niagara Health, Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted January 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Reduced Pfizer shipments result in changes to Niagara’s vaccine plan

Niagara, Ontario – Supply shortages of the Pfizer vaccine are resulting in changes to Niagara’s vaccination plan. We have received provincial direction that, effective immediately, all first doses of vaccine are to be used to vaccinate residents, staff and essential caregivers in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes

This is being done to ensure there is sufficient supply to vaccinate these individuals by Feb. 15.  As a result, there will be a pause in vaccinating Niagara Health’s staff and physicians.

“It is frustrating that vaccines to Niagara are being reduced again, when we have only just started vaccinating,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Health for the Niagara Region. Continue reading

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Pays Tribute to late Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King

On Martin Luther King Day – Monday, January 18, 2021

The late Americana civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King

From the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) in Buffalo, New York

Posted January 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – BPO Musicians Amy Licata, Andrea Blanchard-Cone, Janz Castelo, and David Schmude pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an original arrangement of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson.

To watch, click on the screen immediately below –

On November 9, 1967, Dr. King delivered one of his most eloquent and poignant speeches at Kleinhans Music Hall just 4 months after the Buffalo Riots of 1967, and just 5 months before his untimely death. Special thanks to University at Buffalo, Buffalo Toronto Public Media, Asbury Hall, and the BPO Diversity Council.

For more on the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and its upcoming event schedule, click on https://bpo.org/ .

To visit a commentary on Martin Luther King Day, posted on Niagara At Large, in 2020 that includes a video of King delivering his iconic ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, click on https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/01/20/in-the-united-states-and-canada-martin-luther-kings-dream-has-yet-to-be-fully-realized/ .

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

Yet Another Reason – If You Need One – Not to Vote Conservative in Canada

If You Care About the Future of the Planet, Tories Erin O’Toole, Doug Ford & Company Should Be in Your No-Vote Zone

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

If you care a about protecting our environment, nothing could be worse for Canada than continuing on with Doug Ford (left) as premier in Ontario, and possibly having federal Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole in the Prime Minister’s office.

As if anyone who cares about environmental protection needs another reminder why to not every vote for a Conservative Party candidate in Canada – federal or provincial – here is another one.

This January 17th – on the cusp of the United States inaugurating a president who actually takes the climate crisis our planet faces seriously – Canada’s federal Conservative Party leader, Erin O’Toole, releases a statement expressing concern over incoming President Joe Biden’s promise to cancel plans to build the infamous Keystone XL pipeline between Alberta’s tar sands and oil refineries deep down in Texas.

“I call on (Canada’s) Prime Minister (Liberal Justin Trudeau) to immediately reach out to the incoming U.S. administration to stop this (cancellation of the tar sands pipeline) from happening,” insisted O’Toole in his statement.

More confirmation – and certainly not surprisingly – that we have yet another Conservative Party leader in Canada, following former federal Tory prime minister Stephen Harper, and the current premiers of Ontario and Alberta (Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, respectively) who would rather go on treating our earth’s planet like a dumpster for carbon pollution – even while scientists around the world are warning that we are rapidly reaching the point of no return in addressing a life-or-death climate catastrophe. Continue reading

Canadian Governments Must Transition Away From Fossil Fuels and Toward a Green Energy Economy – NOW!

Dr. Jim Stanford

“It is undeniable that the world is transitioning away from fossil fuels, much faster than expected even a few years ago. … Our choice is to manage that transition, avoiding severe hardship for individuals and communities, or else wait until far more painful and chaotic changes are forced upon us.”     – Dr. Jim Stanford, Canadian Economist

A News Release from Environmental Defence and The Centre For Future Work

Posted January 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

New Research: Smart transition plan for workers can prevent unemployment as fossil fuel economy sunsets

Study finds that for every job lost in the fossil fuel sector, 42 jobs have been created by other industries

Ottawa, Ontario – New research released today demonstrates that with prudent long-term planning, Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy can be managed without causing unemployment for fossil fuel workers.

“Employment Transitions and the Phase-Out of Fossil Fuels,” a report from the Centre for Future Work and commissioned by Environmental Defence, finds that a 20-year phase-out of fossil fuels implies an annual reduction of fossil fuel employment of around 8,500 jobs annually – the number of jobs typically created by the Canadian economy every ten days.

With a clear timetable for phase-out, combined with generous supports for retirement, redeployment, and regional diversification, that gradual transition could occur without any involuntary lay-offs.

A healthier, greener future on the left, or more tar sand pits. Which way do you want Canada to go?

“It is undeniable that the world is transitioning away from fossil fuels, much faster than expected even a few years ago,” said the study’s author, economist Dr. Jim Stanford. Continue reading

Ontario’s Largest Public Employees Union Condemns Province’s Hospital Association Over Barriers to Vaccine Rollout

“It’s unbelievable that front-line workers at some hospitals are being told they have to use vacation or lieu time to get a vaccine shot.” – Ontario Public Service Employees Uniont (OPSEU/SEFPO) President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

A News Release from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (UPSEU/SEFPO),  the largest public employees union across Ontario

Posted January 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Public Service Employees Union leader Warren ‘Smokey’ Thomas

Toronto, Ontario – OPSEU/SEFPO is calling out the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) for not providing clear direction to hospitals that workers should be given time to get vaccinated against COVID-19 during work hours.

OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says it’s unbelievable that front-line workers at some hospitals are being told they have to use vacation or lieu time to get a vaccine shot.

Although the union appealed to the OHA to provide direction, there has, thus far been no action, Thomas said.

“It is duplicitous for the OHA to drag their heels and fail to show any leadership while claiming to be all-in on preserving healthcare capacity,” said Thomas. “The OHA claims to exist to preserve the integrity of our healthcare system, and then they treat our frontline heroes, who keep our health system running, with contempt.” Continue reading

Ford Government Rules Forcing Converting Farmland – Outside the Greenbelt – to Residential Subdivisions

‘As Ontario’s last environmental commissioner (Dianne Saxe) has repeatedly stated – urban sprawl is the Ontario equivalent of the tar sands and is the main cause of increasing carbon emissions.’

News from Citizens At City Hall (CATCH), a Hamilton, Ontario-based citizens watchdog group

Posted January 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Note from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – When you read the following CATCH commentary on the threat to farmland around Hamilton, please think Niagara too. The same weakened conservation and environmental protection rules, courtesy of Ontario’s Ford government, pose just as much of a threat to our farmlands and other green lands here.)

Why does Ford want to pave over ever more of what is left of our food-growing places in Ontario?

Early this year Hamiltonians will be asked, once again, whether they favour or oppose more residential expansion onto farmland, but the outcome appears to already have been decided. By rewriting the planning rules the provincial government seems to have ensured more sprawl development whether the city and the public wants it or not.

The official question in the upcoming consultation is how to add a predicted 235,000 more people to Hamilton over the next thirty years – a fifty percent increase over the city’s current population. In the past, the planning time frame was the next 20 years not 30 and these provincial projections have repeatedly been over-estimates for Hamilton. Continue reading

Shea’s Theatre in Buffalo – One of the Grandest Theatres in our Greater Niagara Region – Celebrates its 95th Birthday Today

A News Release from Shea’s Theatre, with a Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 16th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

 

 

 

A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

I just can’t help posting a little something about this.

For any of us who have ever had the joy of attending any entertainment event at Shea’s Theatre in Buffalo, New York, you walk into this grand old theatre of the arts with a feeling of awe.

Architectural, there is hardly anything like it left across the United States and Canada because, quite stupidly, many great buildings like this were destroyed going back decades ago when anything old had to be knocked down in favour of a glass-box building or fast-food restaurant. Continue reading

Join Niagara Parks’ Virtual Black History Speaker Series

An Invite from the Niagara Parks Commission in Niagara, Ontario

Posted January 16th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Rosemary Sadlier, one of the key speakers for this online event, is a former president of the Ontario Black History Society and a key voice in estabishing Black History Month in Canada

Niagara Falls, Ontario – Niagara Parks will host a three-part virtual speaker series exploring perspectives on Black history and culture in Canada, delivered by leading historians and commentators.

The online events will be held on the last Wednesday of the month in January, February and March.

The three-part virtual series features an incredible line-up of speakers, including the return of acclaimed author Saladin Allah and renowned historian, Rochelle Bush, both of whom presented at Niagara Parks’ Black History Symposium last February. Joining them to kick-off the series on January 27th will be Order of Ontario recipient, Rosemary Sadlier.

The interactive online sessions will each focus on a unique topic related to Canadian Black History and Culture. Continue reading

A Statement from Canada’s Prime Minister on the “Most Serious Health Crisis Canada has EVER Faced”

“The COVID-19 crisis has been difficult for all Canadians. As a team (of federal Cabinet ministers) , we are committed to doing whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to keep Canadians safe and supported.” – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Releases Supplementary Mandate Letters For Canada’s Federal Cabinet Ministers

Posted January 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The global COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious public health crisis Canada has ever faced. It has had devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of Canadians, and has exposed fundamental gaps in our society.

The Government of Canada will keep doing whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to have people’s backs during this difficult time. We will continue to support families and protect Canadians’ health and jobs as we work to build a stronger, more resilient country.

To continue to support Canadians through the pandemic and build a healthier, cleaner, and fairer Canada, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this January 15th, 2021) released supplementary mandate letters for Cabinet ministers. Continue reading

Reconciliation Advances with Niagara’s Indigenous People Are ‘Truly Extraordinary’ – Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

“We need to encourage and support initiatives that are demonstrably making a difference by redressing the past and working to eliminate bias, prejudice, discrimination, racism, and violence against Indigenous peoples.”                                                   – Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre.

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre MP (federal) Vance Badawey

Posted January 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Larges

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey, file photo

“Five years since Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report and 94 Calls to Action, we need to encourage and support initiatives that are demonstrably making a difference by redressing the past and working to eliminate bias, prejudice, discrimination, racism, and violence against Indigenous peoples,” said Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre.

Among the principles established for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, mandated in Schedule “N” of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and representing a national commitment, was the need to have forward looking efforts “in terms of rebuilding and renewing Aboriginal relationships and the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.”

Many agencies of federal and provincial government as well as regional and municipal government, along with educational institutions and enlightened industries, acknowledge the need for dialogue and action but are often at a loss on how best to proceed. Continue reading

Trudeau Government Pushed to Move – ASAP – on Business and Jobs Assistance New Post

Federal Conservatives Call for Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Applications to Open

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls Conservative MP Ton Baldinelli

Posted January 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls federal Conservative Party MP Tony Baldinelli

Ottawa, Ontario – Tony Baldinelli, Special Advisor to the Conservative Leader on Tourism Recovery, and Bernard Généreux, Member of Parliament for Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, issued the following statement on the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP):

“Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau Liberals to release details on the HASCAP and open applications before next month.

“The Liberals announced the HASCAP more than a month ago. Since then, businesses still don’t know when they can apply, who will qualify, or when funding will come. Continue reading

Join An Online Zoom Meeting on the Crisis in Our Long-Term Care Homes

Niagara District Council of Women (NDCW) to hold Zoom Public Meeting on Wednesday, January 20th, 7:30 P.M. re: “Elder Care-Seniors Homes, Long Term Care Workers – A Crisis in Care & How to Improve a Broken System!”

An Invited from the Niagara District Council of Women (NDCW)

Posted January 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – In the height of  the COVID  storm,  as seniors living in long term care facilities  are faced with the results of  past errors such as old  and  crowded living space, fewer and fewer hours of care and  poorly paid overworked front line  staff ,  they now find themselves isolated from families and friends and are the   most at risk from illness and death from this  relentless  pandemic. 

NDCW, which as a member of the Provincial Council of Women of Ontario  has lobbied the government  since the early 1980s to improve senior care, considers this a  crisis  which could well have been avoided and now needs immediate remedial and preventative  actions. Continue reading

COVID-19 Vaccine Finally Going Into Niagara, Ontario Arms

First 322 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered to long-term care residents and healthcare workers in Niagara

A News Release from Niagara Region Public Health and from Niagara Health, Niagara’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted January 14th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Faber Baquero, a Personal Support Worker from Linhaven a long-term care home in St. Catharines, one of first to get vaccine in Niagara, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Niagara Health and Niagara Region Public Health

Niagara, Ontario – This past Wednesday, January 13th, Niagara Health (NH) and Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services (NRPH&ES) administered the first 322 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region.

Niagara Health vaccinated 108 long-term care home workers and 70 hospital staff and physicians. Meanwhile, NRPH&ES teams were deployed to two long-term care homes, one in St. Catharines and one in Fort Erie, vaccinating 144 residents and staff.

“This is a huge day for Niagara Health and our region. We’ve talked about wanting to see that light at the end of the tunnel, and it is finally here,” said Lynn Guerriero, President and Interim CEO of Niagara Health.  Continue reading

A Must-Read Globe and Mail Editorial on Ford Government’s Half-Hearted Response to COVID Pandemic

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it best: “The virus punishes half-heartedness. In Ontario, that’s an understatement.” – from an Editorial published recently in The Globe and Mail

Posted here by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

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

Is this man – Ontario Premier Doug Ford – and his Conservative government doing enough to get us through this hell?

Throughout the dark and troubling times we, the people  across Niagara, Ontario and the rest of the world are continuing to suffer through with this killer virus, there has been ongoing debate and discussion in Ontario over how well the Ford government has been addressing the most unprecedented health crisis we have faced in living memory.

Since the winter of 2020, when the first significant outbreaks of COVID-19 were confirmed in Niagara and other regions of Ontario, Niagara At Large has posted countless pieces of news and commentary on the pandemic and what steps the government in this province has been taking to address it. Continue reading

Moderna Vaccine May Be Better for a Niagara Urgently Needing COVID Protection – Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates

“We’re happy that the Ford government has finally realized Niagara is a hot spot region, but we’re in a race against time, and the Moderna vaccine is urgently needed.”                                         – Wayne Gates, NDP MPP for  Niagara Falls, Ontario

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted January 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Niagara, Ontario – NDP MPP Wayne Gates has released a statement following a meeting with Niagara Health to discuss the vaccine rollout in the region:

Gates: Niagara needs Moderna vaccine urgently to protect long-term care residents

“After two weeks of pressure from the Official Opposition NDP, Ford is finally sending the Pfizer vaccine to Niagara. Of course, any vaccines coming to Niagara is a good start but public health officials and Niagara Health are making clear that we need the Moderna vaccine,” said Gates.

The Moderna vaccines can be sent to long-term care homes much more easily to protect residents in these facilities that can’t go to a hospital site. In Niagara, the Pfizer vaccine is being stored in hospital freezers, which will be more challenging for public health to deliver into long-term care homes, possibly causing further delays. Continue reading

Ontario Liberals Launch Platform for Addressing Climate Change, Education Funding, Health Care Needs and Economic Growth

A News Release from the Liberal Party of Ontario

Posted January 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Liberal Leader Stephen Del Duca

TORONTO – Ontario Liberal Party Leader, Steven Del Duca has appointed the party’s 2022 Platform Co-Chairs – Don Valley East MPP, Michael Coteau and London North Centre candidate, Kate Graham.

The Ontario Liberal plan for the next election will be built on the following pillars:

  • * Growing an economy that ensures prosperity and dignity.
  • * Reinvigorating our publicly-funded education system, to guarantee future generations’ economic success and social progress.
  • * Putting patients and their families at the centre of our public health care system; Eliminating gaps in prescription medicine and mental health care; And protecting the safety and the health of our seniors as they age.
  • * Building a real plan to help Ontario families confront climate change and protect our natural environment.

Continue reading

To Possibly No One’s Surprise, Ban on ‘Non-Essential’ Traffic on Our Canada/U.S. Border Bridges Is Extended – YET AGAIN!

A News Release from the Office of Buffalo, New York-area Congressman Brian Higgins, with a Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 12th, 2021 ion Niagara At Large A Foreword by Doug Draper at NAL –

This Peace Bridge – built in friendship to peoples on both sides of the Canada/U.S border – remains closed to most of us. Thanks to Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins to circulating a statement on it again. No thanks to our federal MPs on the Canadian side of the border for not releasing a statement on this … Shame on them, Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Once again, an extension the ban on non-essential traffic across the Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and other border crossing bridges is being circulated in a statement from a Buffalo, New York area Congressman, and not by any federal MPs on the Niagara, Ontario side of the border.

And the question is why are our federal MPs here in Niagara, Ontario not issuing a statement containing the kind of substance that is in the one issued by Buffalo-area Congressman below.

Does all of the cost and suffering – economic, social and otherwise – not matter to them as much too.

We are going through unprecedented times and I can say that at no time, during my more than six decades on this earth, have the border bridges bonding friends on both sides of the Canada/U.S border been closed for such a long time – almost going on a whole year now. Continue reading

Ontario Government Declares Second Provincial Emergency to Address COVID-19 Crisis and Save Lives

Province Issues Stay-at-Home Order and Introduces Enhanced Enforcement Measures to Reduce Mobility

A News Release from the Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Posted January 12th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

TORONTO, Ontario – In response to a doubling in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, the real and looming threat of the collapse of the province’s hospital system and alarming risks posed to long-term care homes as a result of high COVID-19 transmission rates, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is immediately declaring a second provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA).

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Co-Chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS – COVID Vaccine Finally Arriving In Niagara, Ontario

Niagara is ready for this week’s arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine – Niagara Health System

“It is a relief that vaccines are finally arriving in Niagara. Throughout this pandemic, residents of long-term care homes and retirement homes have suffered the brunt of this pandemic.” – Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner (Acting), Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services

News from Niagara Health, Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted January 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The arrival of the Pfizer vaccine is a turning point in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Niagara.

We expect delivery of the Pfizer vaccine in Niagara on Tuesday or Wednesday, and we are prepared to get doses into arms as soon as the shipment arrives.

Niagara Health (NH) and Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services (NRPH&ES) have been working together on the region’s vaccination plan, starting with priority populations identified by the Ontario government for Phase 1 of COVID-19 vaccinations.

“We have planned aggressively and are well prepared to begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine in Niagara,” says Lynn Guerriero, President and Interim CEO of Niagara Health. “With rising numbers of COVID-19 in the community and in the hospital, the vaccine will help us save lives, protect our hospital services and beat this pandemic. Every vaccine dose in an arm reduces the risk of the virus spreading in our region.” Continue reading

Families Of Loved Ones In Long Term Care Homes In Niagara And Across Ontario Are Saying Enough Is Enough.

An ‘URBENT OPEN LETTER to Ontario Premier Doug Ford from Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Posted January 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Dear Premier Ford:

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Families of loved ones in Long Term Care homes in Niagara and across Ontario are saying enough is enough.

Nearly three thousand have now died in these facilities and the situation is clearly spiraling out of control as we hear from more and more families desperate to get the proper care they deserve during the pandemic.

Constituent Susan Park sent me an email about the deplorable conditions her 57-year-old sister is dealing with at Extendicare in St. Catharines. Staff are overwhelmed, many at home with Covid. Continue reading

Okay Mr. Premier – So Where In Hell is the Vaccine for Niagara?

Niagara, Ontario NDP MPPs Call on the Ford Government to Work with Region’s Public Health on Vaccine Distribution Here

“Niagara’s seniors and frontline health care staff cannot wait any longer to receive life-saving vaccinations … No long-term care home should be left out, while the province sits with thousands of vaccines in the freezer.”                                                        – St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

A Call-Out to the Ford Government from Niagara MPPs Jeff Burch, Wayne Gates and Jennie Stevens

From left, Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates and St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted January 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Where is Ontaraio’s Ford government’s detailed plan for moving vaccinations forward?

NIAGARA, Ontario  – NDP MPPs Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) and Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) are calling on the Ford Government to increase the role of Niagara Public Health in the distribution strategy of the COVID-19 vaccine and ensure long-term care residents and frontline healthcare workers have quick access to the vaccine.

“We have spoken directly with public health officials and frontline health care staff that have expressed serious concern about the rollout of vaccines in Niagara,” said Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates.

“We do not need to reinvent the wheel, our public health units have ample experience in vaccine distribution—specifically, they have the expertise to get the vaccine into our long-term care homes quickly. Niagara is struggling with outbreaks in these homes and our healthcare workers are stretched to the breaking point. This vaccine will save lives and protect workers, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be using the quickest method to get it out which is our local teams.” Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Webinar Event on Protecting Ontario’s Environmental Future

What’s next after the gutting of Conservation Authorities?

Sign Up for This Event – Scheduled for this Tuesday, January 12th at 7 P.M – Now. Details Below

A Webinar Event Hosted by Environmental Defence, the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Ontario Nature, and also Featuring now-former chair of the Ontario Greenbelt Council, David Crombie

Posted January 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

This past  December 8th, 2020, the Ontario government passed a new law which seriously weakened Conservation Authorities, allowing the province to turn its back on science-based planning.

This means that new developments that could cause floods or landslides and destroy protected and ecologically sensitive lands can be ordered to go ahead. 

At the same time, the government has been making unprecedented use of Minister’s Zoning Orders to force through planning decisions without debate or input from municipalities or the public.  Continue reading

Canada’s NDP Leader Speaks Out on Attack on Democracy in Washington, D.C.

“Let us be clear, this was an act of domestic terrorism. Democracy must not be intimidated. Leaders and politicians in the U.S. – and here in Canada – have a duty to end divisive rhetoric and end the flaming of hatred. … Now, it is more urgent than ever, that the (Canadian) government works to immediately ban and dismantle all hate organizations operating in Canada.”  – Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP

 

 

 

A Statement from Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP)Leader Jagmeet Singh

Posted January 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he knows what it is like to be a target of hate and white supremacy. He is calling for the voices of intolerance to be rooted out in Canada.

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP, made the following statement:

“The horror that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (this past January 6th, 2021) was frightening and it was incited by American President Donald Trump. He had the opportunity to end it and to clearly denounce the actions of those attempting to overthrow democracy and put the lives of many in danger, but he refused to.

Let us be clear, this was an act of domestic terrorism. Democracy must not be intimidated. Leaders and politicians in the U.S. – and here in Canada – have a duty to end divisive rhetoric and end the flaming of hatred. What we saw (on January 6th), was a direct result of dangerous, divisive speech.

While we may be quick to say this is a problem that exists only in the United States – hate knows no borders. We need to act with urgency to stop the flames of hatred here in Canada. Currently, over 300 white supremacists groups are operating in our country. Continue reading

Niagara’s Municipal Leaders Reveal Common Principles To Combat The Second Wave of COVID-19

“These are unprecedented times, and Niagara’s municipal leaders recognize that most residents are making the sacrifices necessary to combat COVID-19 (and) Niagara residents are reminded of the importance of following all public health directives to keep everyone safe.”                                                            – from a Statement released this January 8th, 2020 by Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Niagara’s 12 Mayors

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted January 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Yesterday evening (this past Thursday, January 7th), Niagara’s 12 Mayors and the Regional Chair met virtually to discuss the pressing challenges facing the community due to the second wave of COVID-19.

With the significant increase of COVID-19 cases, an alarming rise in the number of pandemic-related deaths, and the continued impact of outbreaks in more than 50 per cent of Niagara’s long-term care homes, the consensus of the heads of council was that Niagara is at a critical point and a concerted effort will be required by all partners to help gain control of an exceptionally serious situation.

Niagara’s Mayors and Regional Chair agreed on the following principles. –

Continue reading

Remembering Canadian Victims on Flight 752 – Shot Down Over Iran, One Year Ago Today

“Over the past year, Canada has worked tirelessly to get the transparency, accountability, and justice that the victims and their families deserve. We have been unrelenting in pursuit of the truth, and Canada will not accept anything less.”                             – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A Statement from Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Posted January 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement to mark the first anniversary of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752:

Three of the 63 Canadians, Bahareh Hajesfandiari, his wife Mehdi Sadeghi and their daughter Anisa, who perished when a Ukrainian jetliner went down in Iran

“One year ago today, a passenger jet carrying 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents, was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, in Tehran. Of the 176 innocent people who died on Ukraine International Flight 752, 138 had ties to Canada. Today, we honour those who were lost and stand shoulder to shoulder with the people they loved.

“Over the past year, Canada has worked tirelessly to get the transparency, accountability, and justice that the victims and their families deserve. We have been unrelenting in pursuit of the truth, and Canada will not accept anything less than a comprehensive and honest explanation from the Iranian regime of what exactly happened that day.

“We continue to work closely with our international partners to ensure a thorough, transparent, and credible investigation into the cause of this tragedy, and to hold Iran accountable, including by ensuring that Iran makes full reparations for the victims of PS752 and their grieving families, and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. Continue reading

Removal of Trump May Be Best Option Forward – Brock University Experts

“Canada has seen a steady rise of radicalized right-wing sentiments; albeit, these political sentiments have not always been prosperous in garnering widespread support. Right-wing populist moments are very much a part of Canada’s political landscape.”                                                                                                    – Ibrahim Berrada, a Brock University instructor in Canadian Studies and former Parliament Hill staffer

A News Release from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario
Posted January 7th on Niagara At Large
How should America move forward and properly react to Wednesday’s occupation of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump?
That’s the question being pondered by politicians, experts and observers around the world today.
Brock University Associate Professor of Political Science Paul Hamilton says the events in Washington were either “the last gasp of the Trump era or the beginning of the descent of American politics into political violence and anti-democratic populism.”

Continue reading

Niagara Health Cuts Ties with Caribbean Vacationing Hospital CEO

Cutting Dr. Tom Stewart Loose Follows in Wake of Rebukes from Hospital Workers, from Public, and even suggestions from Ontario Premier Doug Ford that he Should Go

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

Posted January 7th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Dr. Tom Stewart – now Niagara Health’s former CEO following Holiday Season Caribbean vacation

Niagara Health’s CEO Dr. Tom Stewart was recently caught with his beach trunks on – on a Holiday Season vacation in the Caribbean while other brave and dedicated doctors, nurses and care workers were back here at home in our region, risking their health at our hospitals to treat members of our communities during this killer pandemic.

So Niagara Health’s board of directors really had no choice.

In a statement the board released shortly after 9 p.m. this Wednesday, January 6th, it oh-so-gingerly announced that it is cutting its contractual ties with Dr. Stewart and with the managerial services of  the neighbouring St. Joseph’s Hospital System in Hamilton.

Yet this move to cut ties with this CEO – arrogant enough to do a vacation in southern climes while the rest of us were being told to stay home and sacrifice get-togethers with members with friends and beloved members of our family – only came after associations and unions supporting hospital workers expressed anger upon hearing of this elitist’s conduct, and after it made news across Ontario and the rest of the country. Continue reading

Niagara Health CEO “Sorry” He Vacationed in Southern Climes While Rest of Us Told to Sacrifice During DOVID Lockdown

Dr. Tom Stewart Resigns From Ontario Health Advisories on COVID-19.

Should Stewart Resign from CEO Job at Niagara’s Amalgamated System of Hospitals Too?

Dr. Tom Stewart, CEO of Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals, takes a vacation to the southern islands while the rest of us sacrifice and suffer.

“I regret this non-essential travel and I’m sorry. Everyone should be avoiding non-essential travel now, including me.” 

Dr. Tom Stewart, CEO of Niagara’s amalgamated system of hospitals, in a statement he released after he got caught taking a recent vacation to the Dominican Republic, while the rest of us in Niagara and all of Ontario were urged by health professionals to stay home.

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

Posted January 6th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

If those in positions of public leadership wonder why so many members of the public hold them in contempt or such little regard, here is one of the more recent and all-to-many reasons why.

This irresponsible character makes big money running Niagara Health, the region’s amalgamated system of hospitals

This time the example is of a medical doctor and one who is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by Ontario taxpayers – this one is Dr. Tom Stewart who is CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton and of Niagara Health’s amalgamated system of hospitals in our Niagara, Ontario region – taking a recent vacation to the sunny beaches of the Dominican Republic while the rest of us were encouraged to stay home during this second deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Stewart, along with the now former Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips and others, is but the latest elitist in a high-end public position to get caught going on a vacation down south while the rest of us were not only told to stay home, but to sacrifice spending time this Holiday Season with our beloved relatives and friends if they do not already live under our roof. Continue reading

Major Boost to Great Lakes Funding, Backed by Buffalo, New York Area Congressman, Becomes Law

U.S. Great Lakes Funding to Grow to $475 Million by 2026

This is Good News for Niagara, Ontario and for Millions of other Canadians who share the Great Lakes with Our American Neighbours Too

A News Release from the Office of Buffalo, New York-area Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted December 6th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, based in the Buffalo, New York area, has been a strong voice for our shared Great Lakes.

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), a (Buffalo, New York area) member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, announced the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act (GLRI) has been signed into la, delivering a major increase in funding for the Great Lakes.

Higgins, an original cosponsor of the bill, said “Western New York’s identity and future is tied to the Great Lakes; we have the responsibility to protect this natural resource. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has demonstrated its worth through a decade of progress. Continued and expanded investment is good for the environment and the economy.”

In 2010, Congress amended the Clean Water Act of 2010 to create the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a multi-state, bi-national and multi-agency effort to provide federal resources for the Great Lakes ecosystem. Continue reading

Ford Must Allow Niagara Public Health to Create a COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

Hey Mr. Premier, We need the vaccine going into arms NOW!

“Niagara hear(s) crickets when it came to the Ford government discussing their vaccination plan for Ontario. For weeks, residents in Niagara and myself have been highlighting the sluggish and vague vaccine rollout. ,,,

“If the premier is not going to put forward a vaccination plan that includes Niagara, then he needs to let our Niagara Public Health experts lead a vaccination campaign for the region.”           – St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

A News Release from the Constituency Office of St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted January 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

st. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario – NDP MPP for St. Catharines Jennie Stevens is supporting Niagara Region Chief Medical Officer Mustafa Hirji’s request for the province to allow Niagara Public Health to create and administer a vaccination plan in long-term care homes and retirement homes in Niagara.

On Tuesday January 5th, 2021), Dr. Hirji requested a public health led vaccination campaign that will actually get vaccinations in the arms of vulnerable seniors in long-term care.

“Today (January 5th), Niagara heard crickets when it came to the Ford government discussing their vaccination plan for Ontario. For weeks, residents in Niagara and myself have been highlighting the sluggish and vague vaccine rollout. If the premier is not going to put forward a vaccination plan that includes Niagara, then he needs to let our Niagara Public Health experts lead a vaccination campaign for the region”, says Stevens. Continue reading

Where is the COVID Safety Plan for Ontario’s Schools?

“If we want kids to start returning to classes in just one week, we need to make schools safer. That means action and investments, including a broad in-school asymptomatic testing program, and smaller class sizes so kids can physically distance better”               – Ontario NDP Education Critic Marit Stiles

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted December 5th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP calls for COVID safety plan, with one week left until kids return to classrooms

QUEEN’S PARK — Not one action has been taken to prepare schools and classrooms for kids’ safe return on Monday, said NDP Education critic Marit Stiles, who is calling for urgent action and investments to make kids safer.

“If we want kids to start returning to classes in just one week, we need to make schools safer. That means action and investments, including a broad in-school asymptomatic testing program, and smaller class sizes so kids can physically distance better,” said Stiles. Continue reading

The State of the Union in Trumpland

Trump May Be Leaving Office, but the Tens-of-Millions in his Cult will still be there to Push Forward with his Doctrine of Anger, Hate and White Nationalism

A Brief One from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher             Doug Draper

Posted January 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

If any Americans may be wondering why the United States is not taken as seriously in the eyes of the world as it was even seven or eight years ago, click on the screen immediately below and watch –

The problem is that Trump and his tens-of-millions of followers are not going away, even if and when U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is finally allowed to take the oath of office this January 20th.

They and their mouthpieces in the extreme right-wing media will still be around to block virtually everything the Biden/Harris administration wants to do and to continue taking a wrecking ball to whatever is left of the foundations of American democracy for years to come.

And if they get their way, come the next presidential election four years from now, they will get someone in who is far more competent around fulfilling their vision of a white-dominated, totalitarian state.

God Help America.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Two of Trump’s millions of American followers, wearing t-shirts at one of Trump’s cult rallies that read; “I’d rather be Russian than Democrat.” Trump may be leaving the Oval Office, but these people will still be there. How will Canada and the rest of the world deal with it?

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

Ontario’s Opposition Leader Calls On Premier Ford to Immediately Recall Legislature

Long-Term Care Plan And Vaccines Program Need Urgent Overhaul – Now

“The vacations (of Ontario MPPs) need to stop. All MPPs need to return to the legislature. We are facing a longer, deeper lockdown because Doug Ford keeps choosing to do too little too late. Let’s stop him from continuing to make that choice.”              – Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

A News Release from the Official of Ontario’s Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted January 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP MPP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath want’s Ford Longterm-Care Home Minister’s head.

HAMILTON, Ontario  — With Ontario in deeper depths of the COVID crisis than ever, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling for MPPs to return to the legislature immediately to work on solutions to save people in long-term care, and fix Ontario’s lethargic vaccines program.

“Long-term care homes are in a humanitarian crisis. Seniors are being forced to cry out to beg for food and water, while they’re left vulnerable to deadly infection. The province is lagging far behind the country on vaccinations, and doesn’t appear to have a plan to ramp up. And COVID-19 is spreading faster than ever,” said Horwath. Continue reading

British Invasion Rock Legend Gerry Marsden of ‘Gerry and the Pacemakers’ Dies

Hits of Liverpool, England Icon Include ‘Ferry, Cross the Mersey’ and ‘Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying’

A Brief One from Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted January 4th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Gerry Marsden, as some of us may remember him, with a group that was huge during the ‘British Invasion’ years of the 1960s – Gerry and the Pacemakers

I won’t spend a long time on this one because I am sure few people around now – unless you are a veteran of the early to mid-1960s Beatlemania and British Invasion – would remember Gerry Marsden and his Liverpool, England-based band Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Gerry Marsden died this January 3rd at age 78 and as a lover of music, going back to my very young years lapping up The Beatles and so many other bands that were part of what was then called ‘the British invasion’, his band Gerry and the Pacemakers, was huge at the time with hits like ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’ and ‘Ferry, Cross the Mersey’, and a much beloved cover of an old standard, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’

“Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool, said former Beatle Paul McCartney in a statement after he learned of Marsden’s death. “He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of You’ll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross the Mersey remain in many people’s hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music.” Continue reading

Looking Forward to a Better Future for All in this New Year

And We Can Do So Much Better. Never Mind the Old Normal. Let’s Create a New Normal With a Fairer, Healthier, More Prosperous World For Everyone

A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

I was standing in a line at a grocery store this past Sunday with a few items I needed to get for the home when I looked over at a magazine rack and saw one of those special editions of Time Magazine with a cover headline that read; “2020 – The Year In Review”.

Chuckling for a brief moment, I found myself saying out loud; “Who would want to get a magazine reviewing a year like that.” A young lady behind me quickly concurred; “I think we have had enough of that one. I say we move forward.”

Then I came home from the store and checked my email, where quite on the same theme, someone shared a copy of the following image – some very timely beach art, produced along the shores of Lake  Erie this past New Year’s weekend by Wainfleet/Niagara area residents Kelly and Patrick Robson –

A most timely message for the New Year, produced and photographed on the beaches of Lake Erie, courtesy of Kelly and Patrick Robson and family. A Better New Year to them and to all of us.

Amen!

And Thank You Kelly and Patrick for sharing this spot-on creation.

Let’s hope as many of us as possible resolve to re-imagine and reshape a healthier, more sustainable and prosperous future for ourselves and our children as we emerge from these dark and difficult times.

With enough will and wisdom, we can and we must do better that simply – as some of our current business and political leaders want us to do -“go back to (the old) normal.”

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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

Four-Legged, Furry Friends Have Helped Get Us Through These Tough Times

Let’s All Pledge to be Just as Good to Them

A Brief Comment from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 2nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The late American actress and animal welfare activist Doris Day was once quoted saying the following –

“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.”

I would say that the same is true of cats, for those of us who have been fortunate enough to invite cats into our homes and let them adopt us.

From what I have been reading and hearing on the news, record numbers of dogs and cats have been adopted across North America this year by people longing for the special kind of companionship they can provide during a time when we are staying mostly at home during this pandemic. Continue reading

‘The Windows of the World’ – A Song for These Times Too

‘A Brief Note from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher            Doug Draper

How many of us had to share moments with loved ones through windows this past year?

Posted January 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

For those of you who work through the more celebratory moments of New Year’s to feel a few misty and mellow ones too, as I tend to do, a song came to mind for me that, as old as it is and now going back more than 50 years to some of the most volatile  years of the 1960s, strikes a chord for these times.

At the windows of their homes, Italians share songs during some of the darkest days of the pandemic

The song, written by the legendary composing team Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and performed by the equally legendary singer Dionne Warwick, was released in 1967 with the ongoing carnage of the War in Vietnam in mind.

Yet now, for this listener anyway, it resonates again as we continue – even as the clock struck midnight to a New Year we all hope will bring sunshine again – to struggle together through the nightmare of this seemingly relentless, unforgiving pandemic.

To listen to that song, click on the screen below –

 

And let us all hope for a better 2021 for us all.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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

Caught With His Beach Trunks On, Ford’s Finance Minister Quits

Rod Phillips’ Resignation Comes Two Weeks After Ontario Premier Knew About His Caribbean Vacation

A Little Breaking News on Niagara At Large

Posted December 31st, 2020
From Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

After a sneaky vacation to the Caribbean Islands, Ontario’s Finance Minister Rod Phillips walks the plank.

I was not planning on posting anything else before the clock strikes 12 this New Year, but this is hard to hold back on ….. and I will keep it short.

This afternoon of Thursday, December 31st, 2020, CBC reported that Rod Phillips, the Ontario Ford Government’s all-so-irresponsible and arrogant Finance Minister, resigned after returning from a Holiday Season vacation in the Caribbean – this after Ford and other senior officials in the Ontario government urged the rest of us to stay home during this COVID-19-driven provinc-wide lockdown.

The first few paragraphs in a CBC news report on this go like this –

“Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips has resigned after returning from a controversial Caribbean vacation while the province is under strict lockdown measures that discourage non-essential travel, Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday.

Continue reading

Good Riddance 2020, and Let’s All Work Together for a Better 2021

A New Year’s Message from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 31st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

In the nice neighbourhood I grew up in on the west side of Welland Ontario, there was this wonderful old, silver-hair fellow across the street named Truman C. Jones, or T.C. for short.

I met him before I was old enough to go to school, through my adoration for a heroic Lassie-like collie he had named Jamie, and Mr. Jones, as I always called him, became a mentor of mine.

One of the many things I still remember him telling me was this; “Dougie (the name he forever called me), don’t ever wish any time away. Make the best of every moment.” Continue reading

Ontario’s Official Opposition Leader Calls for Removal of Ford Cabinet Minister

Andrea Horwath

“There Is A Pattern Of These Guys Behaving Like (COVID-19) Rules Don’t Apply To Them. From (Niagara West MPP) Sam Oosterhoff To (Finance Minister) Rod Phillips And (Premier) Doug Ford Himself.”                                                     – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

A Statement from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted December 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips (left), who recently flew off on a Caribbean vacation during province-wide lockdown, and Ford government rep and Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff who, last October had a large group in to a popular Niagara Falls, Ontario restaurant, flaunting COVID mask and social distancing rules. Makes for a perfect Ford government team, doesn’t it? They tell us to do one thing, then go off and do whatever the hell they want.

HAMILTON, Ontario  — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath Released The Following Statement In Response To Ford’s Decision Not To Punish Finance Minister Rod Phillips For His Two-Week Christmas Vacation In St. Barts (in the Carribean):

“While The Government Demands Sacrifice From Everyday Ontarians, Rod Phillips Chose To Ignore Public Health Advice, Jet Off To St. Barts, And Create An Elaborate Cover-Up On Social Media.

It’s Not Believable That A Senior Member Of Cabinet Didn’t Tell The Premier’s Office He Was Leaving The Country For Weeks During The Height Of A Global Emergency. If He Didn’t, That In Itself Would Be Enough Reason To Demote Him.

Because Of His Lack Of Judgment And Lack Of Honesty, Doug Ford Must Kick Rod Phillips Out Of Cabinet. Continue reading

If You Are A Doug Ford Cabinet Minister, To Hell with COVID Health Warnings

Do Whatever You Want While The Rest of Us Sacrifice!

Ontario’s Premier Cannot Give Minister Rod Phillips a Free Pass for Choosing to Leave the Country for a Vacation, While Instructing Ontarians To Stay Home

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party, with a Brief Foreword form Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

Ontario’s Finance Minister Rod Phillips, seen here with his dear leader Doug Ford behind him, sneaks off on a warm-climate vacation, while we, the rest of us suckers are on a province-wide lockdown.

So now we find out that Rod Phillips – this creep of an Ontario Finance Minister we have, courtesy of his moronic boss, the premier, Doug Ford – having tabled a hellish budget which, among other things, guts our province’s Conservation Authorities and further compromised the health of our environment for our children, sneaks off on a vacation to the Caribbean Islands during a province-wide lockdown where the rest of us sacrifice and suffer!

Sorry I am in so off a mood during this Holiday Season, but God damn these two-faced Doug Ford bastards!

It’s just fine with them to tell the rest of us to stay home and stare at “we are closed signs” at virtually every restaurant, store and public institution for at least the next four weeks. But hey, if they want to climb aboard a jet and sneak off on an –out-of-country vacation to warmer climates during an Ontario-wide walk down, that is just dandy. Continue reading

Ford Minister of Long-Term Care Should Be Sacked!

As Long-Term Care Outbreaks Explode, Ontario Opposition Leader  Calls For Minister To Be Replaced

35 More Homes In Outbreak Compared To One Week Ago

A Statement from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted December 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP MPP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath want’s Ford Longterm-Care Home Minister’s head.

HAMILTON, Ontario — Nursing Homes Like Tendercare In Scarborough Are In Desperate Crisis, And Outbreaks Are Bursting Into More Long-Term Care Homes Every Day — Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath Calls For Doug Ford To Urgently Replace The Failed Minister Of Long Term Care Merrilee Fullerton.

“Over 2,700 Long-Term Care Residents Have Lost Their Lives — They Were Loved, And They Died Without Their Family There To Comfort Them And Say Goodbye. And Thousands More Families Are Now Racked With Worry About Their Parents And Grandparents As The Virus Rips Through Nursing Homes Again,” Said Horwath. Continue reading

Ford Government Runs Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes like Death Camps For Our Seniors

Ford’s Agenda – Let Corporate Interests Run LTCs Like Slot Machines, Shield Them from Any Legal Liability, and So What if the Seniors in them Die

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

Posted December 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently passed a law protecing privately owned and operated long-term care homes from any legal liability around their care for senior residents.

There was a time when those people now in their 80s and 90s were celebrated as members of “the greatest generation” – those who grew up and struggled their way through a great depression and a catastrophic world war from a century ago.

Now – quite apparently – in the measly, greedy minds of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the minions in his Tory Party, and the private-sector operators he continues to let manage so many of the province’s long-term care homes, they are now little more than basic income units – old gizzards that can easily be replaced by others, lined up to take their place, when they curl up in their soiled diapers and die.

Let’s not kid ourselves my fellow Ontarians.

Welive in a province where we now have a Ford government supported by a critical mass of our fellow citizens, and where previous Ontario governments, going back through the Dalton McGuinty/Kathleen Wynne Liberals, and the Mike Harris government of the late 1990s,  have never given (forgive my language or not) much of shit aoubt  the way our elders are treated in long-term care homes. Continue reading

Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party Demands Accelerated Vaccinations Across Province

NDP Calls on Ford Government to Publicly Release  Detailed Plan for Vaccinations

. “Vaccine supplies have been available in Ontario for more than two weeks, yet instead of an urgent mobilization to get the vaccine into the arms of people who need it most, we’re seeing the government struggle to figure out how to move this life-saving vaccine out.”                                                                                                – Ontario Opposition Party Leader Andrea Horwath

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted December 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Party Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario — Despite having 90,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines ready to go in Ontario, the Ford government has only vaccinated about 11,000 people, according to the government’s website.

Now Andrea Horwath and the NDP are calling for the province to accelerate vaccinations urgently, and publicly release the full vaccination schedule and detailed plan.

“It’s disheartening and frustrating to know that tens of thousands of life-saving vaccine doses have been sitting in freezers,” said Horwath. “Vaccine supplies have been available in Ontario for more than two weeks, yet instead of an urgent mobilization to get the vaccine into the arms of people who need it most, we’re seeing the government struggle to figure out how to move this life-saving vaccine out.

“How many more people will get sick or die from COVID-19 as a result of these delays? How much further will the spread get?” Continue reading

U.K. Super Virus Strain Has Made It To Ontario

Ontario Government Confirms First Cases of COVID-19 UK Variant in Ontario

To Help Stop the Spread Ontario Entered Provincewide  Shutdown Beginning Today

A News Release from the Government of Ontario

Posted December 26th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — Today (this December 26th, 2020), Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced the first two confirmed cases in Ontario of the COVID-19 variant first identified in the UK.

This variant has now been detected in multiple countries beyond the UK, including Denmark, Belgium, Australia and the Netherlands.

With inbound international travel, it is not unexpected to have identified the new variant in Ontario. Ontario is the first province to identify this variant thanks to the proactive work of the Public Health Ontario Laboratory.

The cases are a couple from Durham with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts. Both individuals have been informed and are now in self-isolation as per public health protocols.

“This further reinforces the need for Ontarians to stay home as much as possible and continue to follow all public health advice, including the provincewide shutdown measures beginning today,” said Dr. Yaffe. Continue reading

Wishing All of Our Niagara At Large Readers a Warm and Safe Holiday Season

A Message from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted December 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Well what can someone say as we live the final days of a year like this?

One of our favourite f, Tigger. You can find out more about Tigger and his calendar further down in this Holiday message. Photo courtesy of Joe Krawchuk

I have been a professional wordsmith, or at least an aspiring or struggling one,  for most of my adult life, and yet this Holiday Season I am fighting for words that might leave us all with the kind of warm Holiday Season message I normally like to send out.

Thanks to that invisible killer virus out there, though, what once passed as normal, just one past Christmas season ago, is gone, and in a way, when I hear the likes of a Doug Ford say they want to “get back to normal again,” my response is; ‘No we don’t. Let’s build a new normal. Let’s re-imagine or reshape our communities in ways that are more conducive to tolerance and civility, and to a healthier economy and environment for us all!” Continue reading

Ontario Premier Doug Ford Declares Santa Claus an ‘Essential Service’

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Why Isn’t Ford Also Declaring What Are Left of Our Woodlands, Our Wetlands, Our Watersheds, Our Endangered Plants and Animals, and our Conservation Authorities in Ontario “Essential” to the Health of Our Environment and our Children’s Future?

A Brief Holiday Season Message from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, with a Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Foreword from Doug Draper at NAL –

So now we have Ontario’s premier, Doug Ford, declaring Santa Claus an “essential service” for all of the children out there.

It seems like a cute enough little message on the surface, and I am sure that some out there would say to me; ‘Hey, why not just loosen up on this guy during the Holiday Season, and let the message stand on its own?”

Sorry, but I have a hard time doing that with a premier who is coming on like he has our children at heart with this Santa declaration, even while he and his government continue to wipe out the environmental measures generations of Ontarians fought for – measures that are we should be building on, and not destroying, for the health and welfare of our children’s future.

From slashing funding for planting trees and watershed protection and restoration, to significantly weakening rules for protecting endangered species and green places, to more recently moving to gut our Conservation Authorities, and their capacity to deal with flooding or rule on development proposals that may have a negative impact on vital environmental features in our Great Lakes basin, Ford and his government have done more compromise a healthy, sustainable future for our children than any gifts from Santa can make up for.

So never mind Santa Claus. What we have with Ford and his government is a Grim Reaper leaving coal in our children’s stockings.

Continue reading

Tips for Keeping the Holiday Season a Little More Merry During a Pandemic

Making Connections – Even Virtually – Important During Holidays

A Tip Sheet from Niagara Health, Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted December 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Stay connected. Even if it’s not in person.

That’s the message for the holidays from Dr. Maxine Lewis, Chief of Mental and Addictions for Niagara Health and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Maintaining connections with others is always important for your mental health, but especially during a pandemic that has put limits on the amount of in-person contact people have with each another.

“People are demonstrating really innovative ways to stay connected with each other, like video conferencing and telephone,” says Dr. Lewis. Continue reading

Ontario Gov. Welcomes Health Canada Approval of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccine Is More Mobile and Can Be Taken Directly to Various Settings

News from the Office of Ontario’s Premier

Posted December 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO, Ontario ― Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement following Health Canada’s approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine:

“This is phenomenal news for Ontarians and Canadians – yet another life-saving COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for safe and effective use in the province and in the country. We are taking another step towards ending this terrible pandemic.

The federal government has allocated approximately 53,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for Ontario in December 2020, and they will be delivered before the end of the month. These are the first of 40 million doses Canada will be receiving through its agreement with Moderna.

The Moderna vaccine is a real game changer as it does not need to be stored at extremely cold temperatures and is more mobile. This means health staff can administer this vaccine onsite in our long-term care homes, retirement homes, congregate care settings, rural and remote locations, and other places where our most vulnerable populations live. For the first time, we can take the vaccine directly to our priority groups. Continue reading

Niagara’s Health System to Manage COVID-Ravaged Long-Term Care Home in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara Health to Provide Temporary Management Support to Privately Owned and Operated Oakwood Park Lodge in Niagara Falls, Ontario

“Our hospital team is taking immediate action to contain the virus and protect residents and staff. Their health and wellbeing is our most important priority.”                                                              – Niagara Health President Lynn Guerriero.

News from Niagara Health, Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted December 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Effective (late this December 22nd), Niagara Health will provide temporary management support through a voluntary contract with Oakwood Park Lodge, a long-term home in Niagara Falls that is in a home-wide outbreak of COVID-19.

The Oakwood Place Long-Term Care facility in Niagara, Falls, Ontario

The outbreak was declared on December 12, 2020. A total of 97 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Sadly, eight residents who tested positive have passed away. In addition, 91 staff have tested positive as part of surveillance testing.

“Our hospital team is taking immediate action to contain the virus and protect residents and staff. Their health and wellbeing is our most important priority,” says Niagara Health President Lynn Guerriero. Continue reading

MPP Demands More Action on Huge Outbreak at Niagara Falls Long-Term Care Home

NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) is demanding immediate action at Oakwood Park Lodge long-term care home in Niagara Falls

A News Release rom the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls Constituency Office of NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted December 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates. File photo

NIAGARA FALLS —NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) is demanding immediate action at Oakwood Park Lodge long-term care home in Niagara Falls, where an outbreak of COVID-19 has infected at least 90 residents at the 153-bed facility, as well as 60 staff members, and nine lives have already been lost.

“I am hearing from residents, staff and worried family members about what’s happening at Oakwood Park Lodge. It’s clear the Ford government needs to step in immediately and take over this home. Lives are at stake and there isn’t a minute to waste,” said Gates.

Gates says he has received complaints of chronic understaffing, inadequate PPE and lack of communication from the owners of the home, Conmed, a for-profit corporation. Continue reading

Ford Putting Big Buck Interests of “Big-Box CEOs” Ahead of Smaller Local Businesses

Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Leader says Longer Deeper, Broader Lockdown the Result of Ford Putting Politics And Big Business Ahead of Health

“A lot of folks are already on the brink. This lockdown means more people are facing the collapse of their business and loss of their job.”                                                                                                         – Ontario Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

A News Release from the Office of Ontario’s Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted December 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

NDP Leader says longer deeper, broader lockdown the result of Ford putting politics and big business ahead of health

HAMILTON, Ontario  — People will need much greater financial supports to make it through this lockdown, while more public health supports will be needed to make it effective, said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who also said Ford has been putting politics and big-box CEOs ahead of public health.

Big Box chain stores like Walmart, along with chain grocery and pharmacies saw great profits during the first lockdown, and and are expected to do well in this one. What about all of the smaller, local, independently owned businesses?

“It should never have come to this. We are facing a longer, deeper, wider lockdown because Doug Ford caved to politics in his caucus. He caved to the demands of the CEOs of big-box giants.

And he sat on billions in COVID-19 funding because he didn’t want to spend it,” said Horwath. “Once again, Ford is scrambling to catch up, and it’s Ontarians that now have to pay the price for that.” Continue reading

Brock University in Niagara Prepared For Province-Wide Lockdown

‘With Niagara being moved into the lockdown classification, Brock will move into its Stage 1 effective Thursday, Dec. 24 at noon.’

A News Release from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted December 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Brock University, with the original old ‘Brock Tower’ in the background.

Further steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 were announced by the Ontario government on Monday, Dec. 21 with a province-wide lockdown coming later this week.

Effective Saturday, Dec. 26, the Niagara region will join the rest of the province in moving into a lockdown under Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework. This will be effective for at least 28 days until Friday, Jan. 22.

Brock University had previously announced it was moving into Stage 2 of its own Stages of Response and Recovery plan<https://brocku.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/216/Stages-for-Pandemic-Response-and-Recovery-Report.pdf> effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Dec. 21 to align with the government moving Niagara region into the Red (Control) classification. Continue reading

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey Announces Funding Support for Legions

A News Release from the Niagara Centre Constituency Office of Federal Representative Vance Badawey

Posted December 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

Welland, Ontaro – This December 21st, Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey announced $32,535.15 in funding from the Government of Canada to support the Rose City Legion, Thorold Legion, and Port Colborne & Humberstone Legion, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.

This funding will assist our local veteran organizations with their operational costs so they can continue providing important support for Veterans.

The Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund is part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to protect jobs, provide emergency support and keep businesses afloat through the pandemic. Organizations such as our Legions, play a critical role in the well-being of Veterans, their families and the community. Continue reading

New Visitor Restrictions at Niagara Health Emergency Depts. and Urgent Care Centres

“We regret any inconvenience this may cause patients and their loved ones, but these measures are in place for everyone’s safety.” – Derek McNally, Niagara Health’s Executive Vice President of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive.

A News Release from Niagara Health, Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted December 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Health is implementing new restrictions for visitors at our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres, effective this just-past Monday, December 21st at noon.

Niagara Health regularly reviews and updates its safety measures based on COVID-19 activity to ensure the hospital remains a safe environment. Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres are busy areas of the hospital and these additional measures are necessary to maintain proper physical distancing. These changes have been made in collaboration with our Patient Partners. Continue reading

Ontario Announces Province-Wide Shutdown to Stop Spread of COVID-19 and Save Lives

Government Providing Grants of up to $20,000 to Small Businesses Impacted by New Public Health Measures

“The number of daily cases continue to rise putting our hospitals and long-term care homes at risk. We need to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”                                                                                        – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A News Release from the Office of Ontario’s Premier

Posted December 21st. 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

TORONTO, Ontario — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Province-wide Shutdown.

Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Province-wide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Naveed Mohammad, President and CEO, William Osler Health System. Continue reading

Look to the Skies – This Monday, December 21st, 2020 after Sunset – for a Rare Look at the “Christmas Star”

Skywatchers Call It “The Great Conjunction”. Beginning this December 21st and for the Next Few Weeks, It is also a Great (and most welcome) Diversion from COVID-19 and Related Madness

Posted by Niagara At Large publisher and reporter Doug Draper

December 21st, 2020

“Skywatchers are in for an end-of-year treat,” begins a recent news release from NASA.

“What has become known popularly as the “Christmas Star,” continues the news release, “is an especially vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next two weeks as the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn come together, culminating on the night of Dec. 21.”

“In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope to the night sky, discovering the four moons of Jupiter – Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. In that same year, Galileo also discovered a strange oval surrounding Saturn, which later observations determined to be its rings. These discoveries changed how people understood the far reaches of our solar system.

“Thirteen years later, in 1623, the solar system’s two giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, traveled together across the sky. Jupiter caught up to and passed Saturn, in an astronomical event known as a “Great Conjunction.”  …

For more details on when and where to watch for this rare event in our skies, check out the NASA news release and a related Globe and Mail newspaper story below.

To read the full NASA media release, with details on when and where to watch for this sky spectacular, click on https://www.nasa.gov/feature/the-great-conjunction-of-jupiter-and-saturn

To read a Globe and Mail report on the Great Conjuction, including an audio report, click on https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-how-to-see-and-photograph-the-great-conjunction-of-2020/ .

To watch it when or after it happens, try clicking on the screen, at the appropriate time, immediately below –

 

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

Canadians Need ‘Accurate Info’ on New Variant of Killer Virus in United Kingdom

Canada Federal Conservative Party Statement Regarding Genetic Variant of the COVID-19 Virus

Posted December 21st. 2020 on Niagara At Large

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. A Brief Note here from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – I would buy as much o what this character says about COVID-19 as I would buy a Brexit plan from him. He operates in the same dead zone as his old friend Donald Trump.

OTTAWA, Ontario – The Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, Shadow Minister for Health, issued the following statement calling on the Trudeau Liberals to provide Canadians with information about the new genetic variant of COVID-19 identified in the United Kingdom:

“Canadians are looking for accurate information about the new variant of COVID-19 that has been identified in the United Kingdom. The ties between our two countries are extremely close, with many Canadians’ families overseas.

“I am pleased that the Prime fMinister is convening a meeting of the Incident Response Group this afternoon.  It is imperative that the Trudeau government provide Canadians with information and proactively respond to the following questions:

Continue reading

A CODE RED Message from St. Catharines’ Mayor – Wear Face Covering, Whenever Possible, Stay Home!

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik

“This second wave of COVID-19 is overwhelming our healthcare systems and has had a serious impact on our long-term care homes in Niagara. We are on the verge of losing the battle against COVID-19 in Niagara – and if we do not get everyone – every family and every business – focused on removing the opportunities for the virus to move about our city, more people will become sick, more people will die.”                                                                                          – St. Catharines, Ontario Mayor Walter Sendzik

A Statement from St. Catharinges, Ontario Mayor Sendzik on Niagara Region moving into RED category of the provincial COVID-19 response framework

Posted December 21st. 2020 on Niagara At Large

Downtown St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario. File photo by Doug Draper

Niagara, Ontario – This past Friday, December 18th, the Ontario government is placing Niagara Region – along with a number of other regions, into the RED category of the provincial COVID-19 response framework.

This means, that effective Monday, Dec. 21, there will be a number of broader-scale measures and restrictions<https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open#red> across multiple sectors – to stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes changes to the City’s recreation programs and facilities.

Please see www.stcatharines.ca/covid19<http://www.stcatharines.ca/covid19> for information on City programs and services, and watch the page regularly for updates.

This second wave of COVID-19 is overwhelming our healthcare systems and has had a serious impact on our long-term care homes in Niagara.

We are on the verge of losing the battle against COVID-19 in Niagara – and if we do not get everyone – every family and every business – focused on removing the opportunities for the virus to move about our city, more people will become sick, more people will die and more healthcare workers will suffer the stresses of a system-wide breakdown.

While the province is suggesting tighter restrictions may be announced next week, we need to continue to take a bundled approach to keep our community safe regardless of any future announcements.

We must act quickly and aggressively to stop the spread of COVID-19. To achieve this we MUST do the following:

  *   Maintain physical distancing

  *   Wear a face covering

  *   Wash your hands frequently

  *   Stay home

The only way to flatten the curve is to reduce points of contact. This means – no private house parties, no hosting dinner parties, and do not have your children or teenagers attending large gatherings in anyone’s house. These measures will greatly reduce points of contact and help to drive down COVID-19.

As we head into the final week before Christmas, please limit any travel in the community. Support small local businesses in any way you can, but also try to limit your points of contact. Curbside pick up, gift cards and pre-ordering products is a great way to both support local businesses and limit your own exposure to COVID-19.

Check out www.loveSTC.ca<http://www.loveSTC.ca> for some great ideas.

We are months away from a level of vaccinations that would be able to combat the spread of COVID-19. Now is not the time to let up and let other people do the heavy lifting of protecting our community. The greatest gift we can give each other right now is to stay home.

In the wake of Red Zoning in Niagara, Ontario, The Town of Lincoln circulated the following release on new restrictions in that Niagara municipality. To read the release, click on – https://mailchi.mp/e0a59d604302/statement-from-mayor-sandra-easton-and-chief-administrative-officer-michael-kirkopoulos-on-recent-cases-of-covid-19-in-lincoln-12973674?e=6d96d8ed62 .

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

Long-Term Home Care Staff Continue Getting the Shaft from Ontario’s Ford Government

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch Responds for NHS staff and Niagara LTC staff, who continue to inform him about be ing unpaid for self-isolation when exposed to COVID-19 at work.

An Open Letter to Official Opposition Critic for Municipal Affair, Hon. Christine Elliot. Ontario Ministry of Health from Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

Posted December 21st/ 2020 on Niagara At Large

OPEN LETTER

Dear Minister Elliot,

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

I am writing to you today as a follow-up to my original letter sent to you on November 19, 2020, to which I have yet to receive a reply.

Dozens of health care workers have reached out to my office since the original letter, pleading for assistance. Nurses working in hospitals and long-term care homes are reporting that when their employers or health and safety officials direct them to isolate due to COVID exposure, they are not allowed to take sick days or get paid.

One nurse was exposed to COVID by a person in their bubble. OCC Health mandated them to stay home until they received a negative test, but said they could not take sick time or be paid. Continue reading

Dear U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi- Please Lift America Above the Moral Morass It is In – American Folk Singer Legend and Activist, Joan Baez

From Joan Baez to Nancy Pelosi, on Joan Baez’s Facebook Page

Posted December 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Joan Baez

(A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – Why am I posting this? Well because Joan Baez remains one of the greatest living activists for world peace and justice of our times. That is why. She was on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the early 1960s when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech and she was there for his funderal after he was assinated by a bullet of intolerance and hate in 1968. Love and peace to you Joan. Long may you live on. – Doug Draper.)

Thank you, Speaker Pelosi, for not mincing words about the 126 Republicans who joined the lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General. As you said: “Instead of upholding their oath to support and defend the Constitution, they chose to subvert the Constitution and undermine public trust in our sacred democratic institutions.”

But in these virulent times are words enough? Continue reading