Author Archives: dougdraper

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Introduces Bill to Support Ontario’s Wineries

Wayne Gates Introduced A Bill At The Ontario Legislature To Create An Exemption For VQA and 100 Per Cent Ontario Wine From The 6.1 Percent Basic Tax 

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

Posted September 30the, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) introduced a bill Wednesday at the Ontario legislature to create an exemption for VQA and 100 per cent Ontario wine from the 6.1 percent Basic Tax paid on wine sold at winery retail stores.

“The wine industry is an incredibly important part of our community here in Niagara and the economic impact of COVID-19 has dealt a massive blow,” said Gates. “This legislation is an important step in creating a level playing field and assisting our wineries and growers during a difficult time.”

Gates’ bill, the Supporting Economic Recovery and Renewal in the Niagara Region Act, would create the tax exception for all on-site retail sales of VQA and 100 percent Ontario wine for all wineries in the province. Continue reading

Ontario Honours Survivors of Residential School System

Province of Ontario Marks Orange Shirt Day – Wednesday September 30th, 2020

A Statement from Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Affairs,

Posted September 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — This September 30th, Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, issued the following statement on Orange Shirt Day:

“Today, we acknowledge the long-lasting, multi-generational impact of the residential school system on Indigenous communities, our province and our country. For more than 100 years, Indigenous children across Canada were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools, where they were stripped of their language and culture. Continue reading

A Message to Niagara, Ontario Residents – “The Second Wave of the Virus is Here”

“We now have confirmation of what we have suspected for the last several weeks with the rise in COVID-19 infections.”

A Message from Niagara Health President Lynn Guerriero about the second wave of COVID-19

Niagara Health is the body that operates Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted  September 29th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – On the advice of his provincial experts, Ontario Premier Doug Ford confirmed yesterday that we are in the second wave and is cautioning that it may be more challenging than the first wave.

At this point in time, we have a higher number of daily infections in Ontario than we did with the first wave, including a single-day record of 700 cases reported on Monday. At Niagara Health, we have two patients in our care who are being treated for COVID-19.

Thankfully, we are in a strong position to respond to the second wave because of the hard work of our teams over the last six months. Continue reading

If You Care About Protecting Niagara’s Trees, Get Involved in This!

Key Niagara Region Committee Meeting Coming – This October 14th at 1 P.M. – on Proposed By-Law for Protecting and Preserving Trees in our Region

Find Out Below How You Can Have Your Say

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large, followed by a Notice from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted September 29th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

More than a decade has passed since Niagara’s Regional Government last updated its tree protection by-law, and many Niagara citizens have made it clear, in one way or another, that a revised by-law for better protecting what wooded areas Niagara has left is long overdue.

Over past decade, there have been numerous cases of trees being taken out with chainsaws or bulldozers. There would be an outcry from citizens who were often told that the laws in place for protecting trees do little or nothing to charge those who cut them down. Continue reading

An American Aviation Hero Joins Growing Call to ‘Vote Trump Out’

Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger

“For the first time in American history, a president has repeatedly shown utter and vulgar contempt and disrespect for those who have served and died serving our country. …. We owe it not only to those who have served and sacrificed for our nation, but to ourselves and to succeeding generations to vote him out.”                                                                                                        – Retired Airline Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger

A Brief Comment from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted September 29th, 2020

Retired Captain Chesley ‘sully” Sullenberger with an image of that jet he glided safely to the waters of the Hudson River on January 15th, 2009.

Every time this Canadian finds myself feeling really down about what is going on south of the border with Trump and his cultish followers, there is at least a little something that gives me hope.

This September 29th, that hope came in the form of a newly released ad, produced by ex-Republican Party operatives calling themselves The Lincoln Project and by a U.S. military veterans organization called Vets Vote.

The ad, which will apparently be widely circulated on social media and American television networks features retired commercial airline Captain Captain Chesley Sullenberger – also known as ‘Sully’ – who, in January, 2009, became an overnight hero after he was forced to glide a crippled jet with 155 people aboard onto the cold waters of the Hudson River between the shores of New Jersey and Manhattan. Continue reading

50 Trees for 50 Years: Fall Tree Plantings in Lincoln

News from the Town of Lincoln

Posted September 29th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Lincoln, Ontario – As part of Lincoln’s celebratory 50^th anniversary year, 50 trees will be planted in several parks throughout the Town.

Beautification and decoration of public spaces helps to instill a sense of civic pride and support community belonging. Town staff work to beautify the public realm and animate spaces through year-round seasonal plantings and decorations.

To further support these beautification efforts, there is opportunity to commemorate the Town’s 50th anniversary in 2020 by installing legacy beautification pieces such as floral displays and new trees.

Tree planting locations will include:

Continue reading

Greater Niagara Chamber Wants More Ford Government Transparency on COVID-19 Decisions

“We ask that the Government of Ontario commit to greater transparency in dealing with the business community and the public at this very difficult time.”                                                                   – the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, Niagara, Ontario’s large organization representing  members of the region’s business community

A News Release from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Posted September 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Chamber asks Ontario government for more transparency on its decision making  around this virus

Niagara, Ontario – On September 25th, the Government of Ontario announced immediate changes applying additional measures and restrictions to restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments.

The government stated that the decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, but did not reveal what the nature of that consultation was, who recommended the changes, who decided to legislate the changes, and what data that decision was based upon.

These changes will negatively impact many businesses which are already struggling to survive under the pressure of the pandemic. The GNCC does not prioritize business over public health, but simply asks that decisions which harm businesses include a clear and tangible demonstration of benefit to public health, with data that include projections of cases with and without the measure.

The GNCC offered similar suggestions when Niagara was not among the regions selected to move to Stage 2 of the provincial re-opening. While we respect the decision of the government and encourage all of our members to comply with legislation, the government’s case would be better-made if the data they were basing their decisions on, and the methods by which they reached them, were publicly available.

We ask that the Government of Ontario commit to greater transparency in dealing with the business community and the public at this very difficult time.

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in Niagara and the third-largest Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, with 1,600 members representing 50,000 employees.

More information on the GNCC is available at gncc.ca

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 NDP Hits Ford Government for ‘Doing Little or Nothing’ to Prevent a Second Wave

As COVID-19 Infections Hit The Highest-Ever Daily Count In Ontario – Now A Full 700 a Day –  NDP Leader Andrea Horwath Said It’s Clear Doug Ford’s So-Called Plan Isn’t Working

A Statement from Ontario Official Opposition and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted September 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Official Opposition and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario — On the day (this September 28thy) that COVID-19 infections hit the highest-ever daily count in Ontario, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said it’s clear Doug Ford’s incomplete, weeks-late so-called plan isn’t working — and she urged the government to make the investments needed to try to get ahead of the second wave, now.

“The Ford government is doing the bare minimum in order to save a buck, and it’s not working,” said Horwath.

“Parents are worried about their kids as COVID-19 cases climb in schools, families are worried about their grandparents as COVID-19 reignites in long-term care homes, and tens of thousands of people are waiting anxiously in self-isolation for their test results because of a backlog. It’s clear Doug Ford’s late, incomplete, so-called plan for the second wave isn’t working.” Continue reading

Trudeau to United Nations – “The World Is In Crisis. …“Our World Is Facing A Climate Reckoning!”

Canada’s PM Shares Words with UN about Climate Crisis That Many Wish He Would Live Up To At Home

Trudeau May Have One More Chance to Prove Himself a Leader on the Climate Front

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher           Doug Draper

Posted September 26th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

I can’t count the number of times I have had friends from the United States – friends who are sick to their stomachs over Trump and all the damage he continues to do – say to me; ‘Any chance we can switch leaders with you? We really like Justin Trudeau.”

I understand what my American friends are saying, and I would just love it if I could like our Canadian prime minister as much as they do too.

Problem is that Justin Trudeau says an awful lot of things that, to liberal, progressive-minded people at least, sound good, then he turns around and either does little or nothing, or he allows he allows ideas from past federal governments or he comes up with ideas of his own that betray the good words he is speaking.

Take the climate crisis that is already taking such a costly toll on Canada and other regions around the world. Continue reading

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff Acclaimed as Ontario PC Party Candidate for Niagara West

“I look forward to continuing to faithfully represent and actively advocate for the needs and concerns of families and job creators in Niagara West at Queen’s Park.”                                                         – Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff 

Next Ontario Election is Now Just Twenty Months Away

News from Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Constituency Association for Niagara West

Posted September 27th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

BEAMSVILLE in Niagara, Ontario – Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, has been formally acclaimed as the riding’s Progressive Conservative candidate leading into the next provincial general election.

In an online Zoom Meeting, Saturday, chaired by riding president, Tony Joosse, the executive and membership of the Progressive Conservative Constituency

Association of Niagara West endorsed the acclamation.

“On behalf of the Progressive Conservative Constituency Association of Niagara West, Provincial Nominations Committee and our great Premier, Doug Ford, I am pleased to declare and announce our dedicated and hardworking MPP, Sam Oosterhoff, as theOntario PC Partycandidate for the upcoming general election,” said Joosse. Continue reading

Niagara’s Ontario NDP Reps Roll Out Their Party’s “Save Main Street” Plan

An NDP Plan For Jobs And Financial Security Will Support Working People In Niagara

From left, Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch, St. Catharines resident and downtown worker Adelodun Olusola-Ajayi, St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens, St. Catharines resident and downtown worker Andrea Connely-Miele, and Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates. Photo by Doug Draper

News from the Constituency Offices of Niagara NDP MPPs Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines), Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre)

Posted September 26th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario’s downtown has been undergoing a positive makeover in recent years that has been drawing more people to the city centre. File photo by Doug Draper

Niagara, Ontario – Ontario NDP MPPs Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines), Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) held a press conference in downtown St. Catharines this past Friday, September 25th to discuss “Save Main Street: A Plan for Jobs and Financial Security for Working People.”

Full details of the plan were released earlier in the day by Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath.

It’s a plan to help people and small businesses weather the second wave of economic challenges, and ensure working people are positioned to drive Ontario’s economic recovery, and bounce back healthier and more prosperous than ever. Continue reading

A Call-Out to All of Us to Take a Stand for Something Life-Sustaining – The Trees on Our Planet!

Plan for Planting In The Fall, Plant Trees In The Spring – Now Is The Time To Advance A Canada-Wide Tree Planting Strategy

“With our dedicated partners, we already plant about three million trees a year from coast to coast in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador.”                                                                                                        – Forests Ontario and Forest Recovery Canada

An Opinion Piece by Rob Keen, Registered Professional Forester and CEO of Forests Ontario and Forest Recovery Canada

Posted September 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

As Canadians, we need to ask ourselves this question – how do we build upon and deploy large-scale tree planting efforts such as the Two Billion Tree Program envisioned by Prime Minster Trudeau?

We are not alone with this idea. According to ETH Zurich University, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations, planting one trillion trees around the world may be one of the most effective ways to combat climate change impacts.

To respond to our moral and global responsibilities, and since Canada is able to contribute to the world’s growing need for trees and new forests, I say it is time we build on the Prime Minister’s visionary Two Billon Tree promise announced near Belleville last September with a climate focused national tree planting strategy. Continue reading

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates Calls on Ford Government to Provide OHIP Coverage for Prostate Cancer Testing

“We have universal health care coverage but somehow don’t cover this test which can save lives.”                                                     – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

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

Posted September 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates. File photo

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) tabled a motion in the Ontario legislature Thursday calling on the Ford government to provide OHIP coverage for prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer.

“Early detection of prostate cancer saves lives. When detected early, the survival rate for prostate cancer is close to 100 per cent. Ontario is currently one of only two Canadian provinces that do not cover the cost of the PSA test for men upon physician referral,” said Gates.

“We have universal health care coverage but somehow don’t cover this test which can save lives. Now, more than ever, we see the importance of access to health care. When people can’t spare the money they choose not to get tested, we can put an end to that and make sure everyone can get the test. This will catch more cases of prostate cancer early and save lives.” Continue reading

Have Your Say On Niagara Region’s 2021 Budget Priorities

“Your opinion matters. Please take the time to help shape the 2021 budget process by participating in this short survey (linked in the post below).”                                                                                       – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

An Invite to All Niagara Citizens from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted September 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Work to determine Niagara Region’s 2021 budget is underway. Through the budget  process, choices are made to ensure the Region continues to provide services at a level that residents expect.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our community hard. Your Regional government wants to learn more about which municipal services you value and believe should remain a priority during this challenging time. Continue reading

Culture Days Returns to St. Catharines/Niagara with New, Month-Long Format

This year Culture Days in St. Catharines will expand from its traditional weekend-long format to encompass a whole month, from September 25th to October 25th

News from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario — From the history of the Welland Canal to a vibrant and growing arts scene, there is no shortage of culture to celebrate in St. Catharines. So much so that this year it will take a whole month to celebrate as Culture Days returns.

The City is once again gearing up to participate in the Canada-wide celebration of arts and culture, that this year will expand from its traditional weekend-long format to encompass a whole month, from Sept. 25 to Oct. 25.

Every year communities across Canada participate in Culture Days, featuring hands-on activities inviting the public to participate in the cultural landscapes of their communities. This year will be no different, albeit with the introduction of more online events, and physical distancing measures for in-person events. Continue reading

A Great Exhibit For Us – North Is Freedom: The Legacy Of The Underground Railroad

A Photographic Journey By Yuri Dojc

On Exhibit in Niagara Falls, Ontario from September 26th, 2020 to January 10th, 2021

News from the Niagara Falls History Musuem in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – This photographic journey celebrates the descendants of freedom-seekers who escaped slavery in the United States in the years before the American Civil War.

One of the photos in the exhibit of Wilma Morrison, one of the pillars of the Black community in Niagara, Ontario, who passed away earlier this 2020. Photo by Yuri Dojc

Approximately 30,000 men, women and children fled north to freedom, settling from the Canadian Maritimes to as far west as the Manitoba border. Some arrived alone; others found their way to Canada with the help of a clandestine network of “conductors” and “stations” called the “Underground Railroad.” Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Needs To Make Class Size Decisions Based On Evidence

With COVID-19 Still Very Much in the Air, Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch Urges Province’s Minister of Education to follow the evidence and Cap Class Sizes in Schools at 15 Students

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara, Centre MPP Jeff Burch

Posted September 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) was at the Ontario legislature this week to urge the Minister of Education to follow the evidence and cap class sizes at 15 students, following an outcry from parents in Niagara.

Burch shared the story of a local parent, Angela Gamsby, whose two children attend elementary school in Port Colborne.

“Angela is a front-line health care worker and unable to keep her children home from school because she is busy being a hero at work. Her son’s class has 29 students. Her daughter’s has 28 students. The Kindergarten class has 30 kids in one classroom,” said Burch during question period this Thursday, September 24th.

“Will the Minister listen to the people in Niagara and across Ontario, stop fudging the numbers, and commit to keeping our children safe by capping class sizes at 15 students?” Burch asked the Minister of Education. Continue reading

Canadian Environmentalists Pleased to See PM Re-Commit to Fighting Climate Change Except for This …

“Canada has been promising climate action for years now, yet we continue to fall further behind in meeting our existing targets. There is still no vision for how Canada gets off fossil fuels or transforms our economy and energy system.”                                                    – Tim Gray, Environmental Defence Canada

A Statement from Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence

Posted September 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has always, at least, talked a good game on fighting the global climate emergency

Toronto, Ontario – We are glad to see the government reaffirm its commitment to the environment and climate change in the Speech from the Throne.

In particular, we welcome the promise to ban harmful single-use plastics next year and ensure more plastic is recycled, and the commitment to modernize the two-decade old toxics and pollution prevention law, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act .

We’re likewise happy to see commitments to immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal and legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

We are also pleased to see the promise to introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples before the end of this year. Continue reading

Ontario Government Expands COVID-19 Testing to Pharmacies

“As part of our plan to ensure that we are ready for future waves of COVID-19, our government is working with pharmacies to help expand testing for Ontarians,”                                                         – Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott

News from the Ontario Government

Posted September 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario government is providing people with convenient and timely access to free COVID-19 testing at pharmacies in the province. As of Friday, up to 60 pharmacies in Ontario will begin offering testing by appointment only, with further locations coming online in the coming weeks. This initiative will expand testing capacity well beyond the province’s 150 assessment centres.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

“We rely on our pharmacists for our flu shots, prescriptions, and important health advice for ourselves and our families. It makes sense to engage them as key partners in delivering more COVID-19 testing,” said Premier Ford. Continue reading

Canada’s Liberal Government Vows to Make Action on Climate Change More of a Priority in these COVID Troubled Times

“The Government will immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal. The Government will also legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.”                   – from the Liberal Government’s September 23rd Throne Speech

The following is For the Record, rom the Transcript of the Trudeau Liberal Government’s September 23rd, 2020 Throne Speech

Posted September 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

“Taking action on extreme risks from climate change

“Climate action will be a cornerstone of our plan to support and create a million jobs across the country.

This is where the world is going. Global consumers and investors are demanding and rewarding climate action.

Canadians have the determination and ingenuity to rise to this challenge and global market opportunity.

We can create good jobs today and a globally competitive economy not just next year, but in 2030, 2040, and beyond.

Canadians also know climate change threatens our health, way of life, and planet. They want climate action now, and that is what the Government will continue to deliver. Continue reading

Trump Move Will Allow More Dumping of Toxic Metals in the Shared Waters of Our Great Lakes

Buffalo, N.Y. Area Congressman Brian Higgins Strongly Opposes Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Rule Rollback Allowing Release of Toxic Metals Into Great Lakes and Waterways

Urges a Re-doubling of Efforts to Prioritize the Long-term Sustainability of the Environment

This Trump Rollback Affects Canadians Who Depend on Great Lakes Water for Our Survival Too!

A News Release from the Buffalo, New York Office of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted September 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Our shared Great Lakes. They only remain healthy and safe, if all governments in Canada and the United States work together to protect them.

Buffalo, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins (Democrat) spoke on the House floor to strongly oppose the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s recent rule rollback allowing the release of toxic metals into our nation’s Great Lakes and waterways, and urged colleagues to re-double their efforts to prioritize the long-term sustainability of the environment.

Higgins said “For decades, communities across Western New York have been working together to bring back waterways, like the Buffalo River, that were once declared ecologically dead due to unchecked industrial pollution.” Continue reading

Niagara Groups Host Native Tree & Shrub Sale

Here Is Something Positive We Can All Do to Add More Green to our Planet

An Invite to All form the Niagara Native Gardening Club and Ontariogreen, in partnership with the Town of Lincoln

Posted September 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Fall is the perfect time to add trees and shrubs to your garden.

To help you pick a plant that will not only provide you with the shade and beauty you want, but that will also benefit our local environment, the Niagara Native Gardening Club and Ontariogreen, in partnership with the Town of Lincoln, is holding our Second Annual Native Tree and Shrub sale.

There will be more than a dozen species to choose from. A list of the trees and shrubs available, along with information about their features, size, soil requirements etc. is available here: http://www.ontariogreen.ca/tree-sale.html Payment for your tree and shrub order can be securely online through Paypal, Debit or Credit Card. Continue reading

Ontario Premier Falling Short on Action Needed to Address Second Wave of COVID-19

“There’s so much more that could be done to make people better off right now.” – a statement by Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath as daily COVID-19 case counts in Niagara rise dangerous close to 500

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted September 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Tuesday that Ontario is in desperate need of action to help Ontario cope with the second wave of COVID-19 infections.

“Yet again (this September 22nd), (Ontario Premier Doug) Ford didn’t announce any changes to make people safer,” said Horwath.

“For people with loved ones in long-term care, for everyone waiting hours in lines for a COVID-19 test, and for parents whose child is stuffed in a class of 30 kids, Doug Ford is telling them that there are no changes coming to help them.” Continue reading

United Nations Releases Troubling Report on ‘Environmental Racism’ in Canada

Environmental And Physicians Groups Urge Canada’s Prime Minister To Swiftly Introduce Amendments To Strengthen Key Environmental Protection Law

“It was clear from the visit (by UN Human Rights Council representatives) that many communities in Canada continue to be exploited by toxic exposures. ….. The prevalence of discrimination in Canada’s laws and policies regarding hazardous substances and wastes is clear. There exists a pattern in Canada where marginalized groups, and Indigenous peoples in particular, find themselves on the wrong side of a toxic divide, subject to conditions that would not be acceptable elsewhere in Canada.” – from a newly released United Nations Human Rights Council report

A News Release from Environmental Defence, Ecojustice, The David Suzuki Foundation and the Canadian Association Of Physicians For The Environment

Posted September 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

One of the warning signs in Grassy Narrows First Nation communities in northern Ontario where industry generated mercury has contaminated the waters and fish there for decades. Maybe if this was an affluent area in the Toronto area, governments would have ordered this cleaned up by now.

Toronto, Ontario – A report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Toxics tabled at the 45th session of Human Rights Council presents troubling findings about the state of environmental racism and disparate health risks caused by toxic chemicals and pollution in Canada.

The report [http://www.srtoxics.org/resources/reports/canada/] , which summarizes the observations of the Special Rapporteur during an official visit conducted in the spring of 2019, brings to light the deep rooted and grave failures of federal laws, including the cornerstone Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), in protecting Indigenous communities and vulnerable populations from the harmful impacts of toxic chemicals and pollution.

“This report powerfully lays bare that Canada’s toxic pollution problem is a racial and environmental justice problem that Indigenous people and other marginalized communities have borne the brunt of,” says Muhannad Malas, Toxics Program Manager at Environmental Defence. Continue reading

A Few Words of Tribute for Ruth Bader Ginsburg from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

From the New York State Governor’s Office in Albany, N.Y.

Posted September 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Statement by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo –

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

“On Friday (September 18th) , we were devastated to learn that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away. Justice Ginsburg was a daughter of Brooklyn and her life was a testament to the true meaning of New York Tough — accomplishment, tenacity, conviction, all coupled with respect, grace and dignity.

“As an advocate, litigator, professor and judge, Justice Ginsburg was a singular force for justice throughout her extraordinary career, particularly in her relentless fight for gender equality. New York will honour her life and legacy with a statue in Brooklyn.

“This statue will serve as a physical reminder of Justice Ginsburg’s monumental contributions to American jurisprudence and as an inspiration to us all.”

A  Footnote from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper –

Now that is how you pay tribute to one of your great citizens – not with the disgusting garbage coming out of the mouths of Trump and his cult.

To read a commentary I wrote and posted earlier this September 21st on the Trump crowd’s shameful response to the death of this great humanitarian and Supreme Court justice, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/09/21/trumpies-already-dancing-on-the-great-justice-ginsburgs-grave/

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

Canada-Wide Environment Group Slams Trudeau for Embracing Doug Ford’s Lame System for Cutting Climate-Ravaging Carbon Gases

“The federal government stated last week that it needs to act more aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Today’s approval of a weaker pricing system for industrial polluters in Ontario will do the opposite.”

A Statement from Sarag Buchanan, Environmental Defence’s Clean Economy Program Manager, Sarah Buchanan

Posted September 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Are Canada’s Prime Minster Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford now partners in going soft on climate-ravaging carbon pollution?

Toronto, Ontario. – We are extremely disappointed by the federal government’s decision today to accept Ontario’s proposed carbon pricing system for industry.

By pricing a smaller share of industrial carbon emissions, Ontario’s proposed system is clearly weaker than the federal system currently in place, and should not have been accepted.

Ontario’s system lets industrial polluters off the hook for more of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than the federal government’s system and should have never been granted equivalency. Continue reading

Niagara Centre MP to Play Key Role on New Great Lakes Taskforce

Niagara, Centre MP Vance Badawey and PEI Senator Diane Grffin Chair New All Party Taskforce With Special Cross-Border Focus On The Economic, Social, And Environmental Impacts Of The Great Lakes And St. Lawrence River

News from Canada’s Federal Government

Posted September 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Our Great Lakes- a wondrous, life-sustaining treasure to millions of us who live around them. Let’s work together to protect and preserve them.

Ottawa, Ontario – After months of collaboration, PEI Senator Diane Griffin and Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey are pleased to announce the establishment of a new all-party, bicameral Great Lakes St. Lawrence Taskforce by the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group.

The Taskforce will informally link with and mirror the US-based Great Lakes Task Force to ensure constant and meaningful attention to all matters relating to the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence. Continue reading

Trumpies Already Dancing on the Great Justice Ginsburg’s Grave

            “Fill that seat! Fill that seat! Fill that seat!”                          – a chant from the masses at a Trump rally on September 19th, not 24 hours after the death of  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted September 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Trump’s cult-like band of worshipers – many of them evangelical Christians – could not seem to wait for 24 hours following the death of the great U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before pressing to have her seat filled with a judge, singularly bent on saving fetus at any cost to anything or anyone else.

The late American satirist and social critic George Carlin could not have been more right about these single-issue fanatics when he put it this way –

“Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favour of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own,” said Carlin. Continue reading

Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region Kicks off Campaign on World Alzheimer Day

“Together with the support of the community The Alzheimer Society will provide help for today and hope for tomorrow.”

News from the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region

Posted September 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – There are 10,524 people living with progressive dementia in Niagara, with the most common being Alzheimer’s disease. Anyone may develop dementia and there is no cure.

COVID-19 is significantly impacting persons living with dementia and their care partners. People living with dementia already face deep stigmatization, and the isolation they live with every day has become so much worse. 

In Ontario, nine out of 10 residents in long term care have some form of cognitive impairment, 2/3rds with dementia – and 64.6% of all COVID-19 deaths in Ontario (as of September 17)) are among long-term care residents. Continue reading

In Trumpland, 200,000 COVID-19 Deaths and Counting

And a President of the United States who now says that maybe the solution is “herd mentality”

 

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

Posted September 20th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

As tragic as they may be for every stricken family, it is almost as if roughly 1,000 COVID-19 deaths each day in the United States of Trump have become nothing more than background noise.

Yet there should be no escaping the fact – in a country where, for tens of millions of Trump worshippers, facts don’t matter anymore – the United States reached a jarring milestone this past Saturday, September 20th of 200,000 deaths, confirmed to be caused by this highly-infectious plague over a period of just six months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global healthy emergency.

Two-hundred thousand and counting, in just six months! In a country where, just six months ago, said it would soon disappear “like a miracle,” and where he later suggested to the populace that drinking bleach, shooting up Lysol or having ultra-violet light bulbs implanted in the body would inoculate people against this plague. Continue reading

Brock University To Extend Online Classes Through Winter Term

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Brock has made the health of our students, staff and faculty our priority and we will continue to do so.”                                                                                                – Lynn Wells, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, Brock University

News from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted September 20th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

The Brock Tower at Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Niagara, Ontario – Following a decision by the University Senate, Brock University announced (this September 18th) it will continue with primarily online classes for the full academic year, extending the current academic model through the Winter Term that runs from January to April.

As a result of this decision, the current timetable for the Winter Term will be reviewed. A revised timetable should be available to students in November.

While courses will continue to be delivered primarily online in the Winter Term, a limited number of courses for which no online alternative exists will be offered on campus, as was the case in the Fall Term. Continue reading

Niagara Region Releases New App To Give Residents Waste Management Info At The Touch Of A Button

“It’s now even easier to learn about solid waste management in our community with our improved mobile app, Niagara Region Waste, and online tools.”                                                                               – Jennifer Mazurek, Waste Management Program Manager, Niagara Region

News from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted September 20th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Region has launched a new waste management app, called Niagara Region Waste, which makes it even easier for residents to obtain current information about waste and recycling collection programs.

Residents can download the mobile app forApple orAndroid smartphones. In the mobile app, you will find the garbage/recycling collection schedule specific to your house address, with the ability to sign up and receive a collection day reminder. As part of signing up for a reminder, you will also receive updates in case of collection changes or delays. Continue reading

Eastdale Secondary School In Welland Reports COVID-19 Case

“Custodians will complete a deep cleaning of Eastdale Secondary School this weekend. Additionally, the school community will continue to be vigilant with preventative COVID-19 practices.”

A Media  Advisory from the District School Board of Niagara

Posted September 19th, 2020 in Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Region Public Health (NRPH) has advised the District School Board of Niagara that an individual at Eastdale Secondary School has tested positive for COVID-19. For privacy reasons, the identity of the individual will not be shared.

On Monday, September 21, a Public Health Inspector and a Public Health Nurse from NRPH will visit the school.

Eastdale Secondary School and the District School Board of Niagara will work collaboratively with Niagara Region Public Health to ensure the school meets all the health and safety protocols required.  Continue reading

As If Things Aren’t Bad Enough in Trumpland, The Irreplaceable Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Died

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”       – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A Brief One by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

The great human rights Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Posted September 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large For all of us on the Canadian side of the border who understand – and we should understand that what happens in and to the United States affects us too – here is some dark and disturbing news – as if there hasn’t been enough awful news coming out of the United States in recent times. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court and possibly the most powerful liberal voice for women’s rights, civil rights and related issues around fairness and justice for all, has died this September 18th at age 87.

Shortly after the Clinton administration appointed her to the U.S. Supreme Court

I don’t know how many of my more liberal, progressive-minded friends in the United States, knowing Ginsburg has been continually battling complications from cancer in recent times, have been praying that the great lady would at least hold on until Trump is gone.

But Trump isn’t gone, and one can almost imagine that this monster of a man and his enablers are working now to see if they can wedge in a new appointment to the Supreme Court before this November’s presidential election – a person who will be totally loyal to Trump and a Republican Party that shows total disdain for the rights of everyday people and the institutions of democracy.

I feel the same way about the loss right now of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as I do about the loss earlier this summer of American civil rights icon John Lewis – ‘You are among the last people in this mad world that we can afford to lose right now.’

God help us all.

Here is one account of this sad news, just posted by Rolling Stone magazine –https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/ruth-bader-ginsburg-dead-777835/

Here is a great trailer for a documentary on Ruth Bader Ginsgurg, called RBG, that my wife and I were fortunate enough to see when it came out with some friends of ours on a big screen on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. To watch it, click on the screen 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 Sander

Niagara Health Ramps Up COVID Testing to Meet Increasing Demand

NH Teams Working To Accommodate Increase In Demand For COVID Testing

News from Niagara Health in Niagara Ontario

Posted September 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

There has been a significant increase in the number of people seeking testing over the past week at Niagara Health’s three COVID-19 Assessment Centres, with 3,484 tests performed between Sept. 11 to 17, which is an average of nearly 500 people per day.

This total includes a record 665 tests on Sept. 16.

With the increase in the number of patients coming to the Assessment Centres, walk-in patients are experiencing longer than normal wait times. Assessment Centres see walk-in patients until 4 p.m. on the days of operation. With large numbers of patients arriving for testing, it may not be possible to see all walk-in patients on the day they arrive. Continue reading

Environmentalists Ready to Face Down Conservative Party Climate Laggards in Canada’s Supreme Court

News from Environmental Defence, a Canada-wide group dedicated to protecting the environment, followed by a Footnote by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted September 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

From left to right, Conservative premiers and fellow cowpokes Doug Ford, Jason Kenney and Moe Scott are all in on fighting Ottawa’s move to put a price on carbon pollution. They are using our tax money to take their 20th century war for the continued dominance of carbon fuels all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court

Toronto/Ottawa, Ontario – On September 22 and 23, the Supreme Court will hear challenges from Alberta,Ontario and Saskatchewan to the (federal Liberal government’s) 2018 Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act , along with over 25 intervenors challenging or defending the Act.

Environmental Defence is one of the intervenors defending the Act, which puts a levy on the use of fossil fuels in those provinces that do not have their own pricing system. We will be represented by the Canadian Environmental LawAssociation. Continue reading

Ford Conservatives Vote No to NDP Motion to Cap Classes at 15 Students

Ontario’s Ford Government Restricts Gatherings While Allowing Huge Class Sizes – All While Daily COVID-19 Counts in Province Spike Above 400

News from Ontario’s Official Opposition NDP Government

Posted September 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Andrea Horwath ihomes

QUEEN’S PARK — Amid rising COVID-19 numbers and 62 schools with cases of the virus, the NDP MPPs have voted in favour of capping class sizes at 15, and Ford’s Conservatives blocked that from happening by voting no on a motion by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

“Doug Ford announced (this September 17th)  that it’s no longer safe to have more than 10 people gather indoors, yet he’s still forcing classrooms to be jammed full, with 25 or 30 kids, and school busses to be packed with up to 70 kids,” said Horwath.

“Parents, education workers, teachers and students themselves are filled with anxiety. They’re wondering if their school is next. They’re wondering if their family is next.” Continue reading

Niagara’s Regional Chair, Mayors Sign on to Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities

“As president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, I am thrilled that the Niagara Region has joined this network, which includes cities, regional governments, and smaller communities across the country.”                                                                                            ~ Dr. Liette Vasseur, President, Canadian Commission for UNESCO

News from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted September 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley signing declaration. Photo courtesy of Niagara Region

Niagara, Ontario – This September 18th, Niagara’s Regional Chair and Mayors signaled their resolve to make Niagara a more diverse and welcoming community on Sept. 18, as they jointly signed a declaration marking Niagara as a member of the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities.

Over the past year, Regional Council, along with all 12 municipal councils, voted to join the Coalition <https://en.ccunesco.ca/networks/coalition-of-inclusive-municipalities>, a network that brings together municipalities that want to improve their policies against racism, discrimination, exclusion and intolerance.

The joint declaration demonstrates a shared recognition that Niagara is not immune to systemic racism and other forms of discrimination, and that real action must follow to build Niagara’s identity as a truly welcoming community. Continue reading

Niagara’s Regional Council Extends Mandatory Face Mask Bylaw to April, 2021

“It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and will continue to affect our communities into next year. Regional Council’s decision to extend the Face-covering By-law reflects Niagara’s united commitment to safeguarding the health of our communities by following established public health advice”          ~ Jim Bradley, Niagara Regional Chair

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

Posted September 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

As daily COVID-19 case counts jump in Ontario – fueling concern about a possibly second, more deadly wave of the virus in the months ahead – Niagara’s Regional Council voted this September 17th to extend the Region’s mandatory mask bylaw for indoor places (due to expireOctober 1st) to April 1st of next year.

The extension was approved with an understanding that if we collectively get lucky, and this global pandemic is behind us before next spring, the bylaw could be rescinded at a sooner date.

Unfortunately, that is not the prognosis of many leading health and infectious disease experts around the world though who are already warning that with the annual flu season upon us this fall, and the COVID-19 still in the air, we could be in for some difficult times ahead. Continue reading

Regional Chair Comments on Decision to Postpone 2021 Canada Summer Games in Niagara

A Statement from Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley on the postponement of the 2021 Canada Summer Games

Posted September 17th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

Niagara, Ontario – In light of the recently announced decision of the 2021 Canada Summer Games Host Society to postpone the games to 2022, Regional Chair Jim Bradley offers the following statement:

“As we allare abundantly aware, COVD-19 has had an unprecedented impact on all aspects of our society. The 2021 Canada Summer Games has not been immune to the effects of the pandemic, with the coronavirus negatively affecting the timeline for games-related construction projects, the ability to recruit volunteers and the ability to secure vital sponsorship and fundraising dollars.

The pandemic has also prevented athletes from training and qualifying in many sports, and the limitations currently in place regarding the gathering of large groups pose numerous challenges. Continue reading

Niagara’s Conservation Authority Receives Federal Funding To Continue Work On Niagara River Remedial Action Plan

“Since the late 1980s, the Niagara River has been identified as one of 43 severely degraded locations in the Great Lakes, called Areas of Concern, (leading to) the development of locally driven Remedial Action Plans (RAPs).”

News from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 16th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is pleased to announce the receipt of federal funding through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Great Lakes Protection Initiative.

The NPCA will receive $140,000 throughout the next two years to support collaboration, coordination, and involvement toward improving the Niagara River’s water quality and ecosystem health.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support projects like these that lead to innovation and action on the ground, and positive, measurable results in our Great Lakes. We value these efforts to ensure Canadians have safe and secure fresh water, which is critical for human health, the environment, and the economy,” said The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Continue reading

No Surprise Here. Canada-U.S. Border Crossings Are Staying Closed!

Like A Tin Can Border Ban Has Been Kicked Ahead Another Month – This Time Until October 21st, 2020

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

Posted September 16th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

It may be many more months before we see traffic like this again on the Peace Bridge crossing between Niagara, Ontario and Buffalo, New York

Niagara, Ontario – No one who has been paying attention to the Covid-19 disaster still fully in flames in Donald Trump’s America should be surprised by this news.

For the sixth month in a row, since this past March, the Peace Bridge and other Canada-U.S. border crossings in Niagara and from sea to sea across the continent will remain closed to all by essential (mostly commercial) traffic.

When the first border crossing restrictions were announced by the two countries in March, few probably imagined they would continue this long, and possibly be extended on into 2021.

“It will probably only be for a month or two,” I heard people on both sides of the border say, and I was thinking that myself, and was still hopeful that my wife and I would be able to take our annual trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts this September to visit some of our dear friends. Continue reading

Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission Says NO to Global Wetland Designation for Canadian side of Niagara River

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

Posted September 16th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission – a body created in the late 1800s with a mission to protect and preserve natural features of the river corridor on the Ontario side – has thrown a wrench into efforts to recognize the Ontario side, internationally, as a wetland of global importance

Niagara, Ontario – Almost a year after municipal, state and federal leaders joined citizens on the New York State side of the Niagara River to celebrate the designation of that side of the waterway as a “wetland of international importance,” Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) board members have said NO to moving forward with such a designation on the Ontario side.

One of numerous slide images produced over the years in support of a Ramsar designation for the Niagara River

The NPC board’s decision came at a September 10th meeting – not open to the pubic and held by board members via teleconference  – and just one day after members of Niagara Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee voted to approve such a designation for the Ontario side of the Niagara River under the framework of a Ramsar Convention, agreed to by 170 nations around the world, including Canada, at a summit held in Ramsar, Iran in 1971.

In a note obtained by Niagara At Large and circulated to Niagara, Ontario area municipal representatives and others in the days following the NPC board’s September 10th meeting, the Niagara Parks Commission’s CEO (chief executive officer) David Adames wrote the following – Continue reading

IMPORTANT CORRECTION!

Re: An Earlier September 15th post in Niagara At Large, headlined: ‘Canada’s PM Celebrates Democracy at a Time When Populism and Fascism are Haunting the U.S and So Many Other Countries Around the World’

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

Posted September 15, 2020 on Niagara At Large

In a piece I posted on the Niagara At Large news and commentary site earlier this Tuesday, September 15th, I left a very important (one might even say key or critical) word out of a sentence I wrote about the current state of democracy in Canada, the United States and other parts of the world.

The word I left out in a point I was making about the state of democracy in Canada versus what has been happening in the United States under Trump was the word NOT –  as in (and here goes the whole sentenc,e) – ‘Let’s hope that we are NOT slowly moving in the same direction in Canada.’ Continue reading

Canada’s PM Celebrates Democracy at a Time When Populism and Fascism are Haunting the U.S and So Many Other Countries Around the World

“By being engaged in the democratic process, we can help safeguard our institutions and help protect democracy worldwide.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Statement from the Office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Posted September 15th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the International Day of Democracy:

“Today, we join our international partners to celebrate the International Day of Democracy <https://www.un.org/en/observances/democracy-day>. We recognize that the respect for freedoms, human rights, and the rule of law are essential for democracies to thrive. Continue reading

St. Catharines Approves Arts and Culture Funding to Help Revitalize City, Post Pandemic

“The arts and culture sector in St. Catharines has been severely affected by COVID-19. Disruption caused by the pandemic has had a significant impact on many artists’ and arts organizations’ abilities to carry out their work.”

A News Release from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 15th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Downtown St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario

St. Catharines City Council forges ahead in its support of the arts and culture sector by approving funding in the amount of $93,095 to 16 local artists and arts organizations through its annual St. Catharines Cultural Investment Program (SCCIP).

“This funding will provide an opportunity for local organizations to develop projects that support the sustainability of the arts and culture sector through tough times,” said Director of Community, Recreation and Culture Services Phil Cristi.

The arts and culture sector in St. Catharines has been severely affected by COVID-19. Disruption caused by the pandemic has had a significant impact on many artists’ and arts organizations’ abilities to carry out their work, especially in the audience-based performing arts sector. Continue reading

Ontario Just Recorded Highest Daily COVID Case Count Since the Outbreak of the Virus this Past Winter and Spring

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

Posted September 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Well, what is this? Should we start hording toilet paper again for a second wave?

All of a sudden, in just one day – this Monday, September 14th, to be precise – we jump from 204 daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario this Sunday to 313 cases today.

That is one of the highest daily case counts the province has recorded since this past spring when shopping malls, hair salons, entertainment venues, libraries, schools and most everything else was shut down.

Do we really want to go back to a lockdown situation like that, along with all of the emotional and economic pain it caused for so many of us?

I hate to sound like a broken record, but we have all got to collectively stand on guard folks – with masks, with social distancing and with hand-washing – or here comes a second wave that more than a few infectious disease experts say could cause even more sickness and death than the first. Continue reading

You Are Invited To the 46th Annual Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival- A VIRTUAL CELEBRATION

“The Festival continues to be a staple in the lives of many families, local communities, and tourists alike, and while we’re not able to offer the usual experience, we are confident that festival goers will join us on this unique virtual adventure to ensure this annual tradition is not missed.”                                         – Alicia Powell, festival coordinator for the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

With celebrations all over the world looking a lot different this year, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is excited to announce its virtual celebration of the Annual Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival.

“In it’s 46th year, the festival, which was originally conceived as four days of in-person shopping, featuring delicious local food, the best in VQA wines and local brews, artisan vendors, farmer’s market, and historical tours and demonstrations, has been transformed into a virtual experience,” says Alicia Powell, festival coordinator. Continue reading

Trump’s “Slow, Sloppy & Adversarial” Pandemic Response is Keeping Canada-U.S. Border Crossings Closed

Because of High COVID-19 Death Toll in U.S., “the world is closed to Americans, and to America. Americans aren’t welcome in Canada; Americans aren’t welcome in 27 European countries.”   – Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

A News Release from the Buffalo, New York Office of U.S. Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted September 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Peace Bridge between Niagara, Ontario and Buffalo, New York, like all Canada-US. border crossings, has been closed to all but essential (mostly commercial) traffic since March, 2020. File photo by Doug Draper

Buffalo, New York – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke during a House of Representatives Ways & Means committee hearing last week, blaming the Trump Administration’s chaotic and failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the ongoing U.S.-Canada border closure set to expire next week.

Higgins said “The fact of the matter is, the poor handling of this pandemic by the federal government is as clear as it could be.”

“Twenty-five per cent  25 of the deaths from COVID-19 are Americans globally, with only five per cent of the world’s population. The world is closed to Americans, and to America. Americans aren’t welcome in Canada; Americans aren’t welcome in 27 European countries.” Higgins later continued. Continue reading

Ontario’s COVID-19 Cases Now in Danger of Spiking – Again

Hey Fellow Ontarians, Are We Forgetting That This Killer Virus Is Still Out There? Now Is No Time To Let Our Guard Down Now

A Brief Comment form Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted September 13th, 2020

Hey Ontario. This is still out there.

Okay, so what’s going on in our Province of Ontario?

After going through collective hell this spring with this deadly virus, we got our act together to a point where the total daily number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario sank to below 100 and we were finally able to see businesses and at least some of our public institutions re-open, and see tens-of-thousands of people return to work.

Yet here we are in recent weeks, with report after report that the daily cases numbered more than 100, and as of this September 13th, we have had three days in a row in Ontario with the total number of cases totaling more than 200. Continue reading

Is Time Running Out for Ontario’s Cormorants?

Doug Ford’s ‘Small Game Hunt’ Could Mean the Decimation of an Entire Great Lakes Species

“If every small game hunting license holder in the province killed what they are legally allowed to kill, that would mean the death of 316 million cormorants.” – a statement from the wildlife advocacy group Zoocheck Canada

Double-crested cormorant © Colin Durfee CC BY 2.0

A Call-Out to All of Us from Zoocheck Canada to Help Stop Ford’s Cormorant Shoot Fest

Posted September 13th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

You might have heard the Ontario government has announced that small game hunters will be allowed to kill 15 cormorants per day beginning September 15th and ending on December 31st.

If every small game hunting license holder in the province killed what they are legally allowed to kill, that would mean the death of 316 million cormorants.

But there aren’t that many. The province estimates that there are only about 142,000 cormorants and most of them live in small colonies, often less than 50 birds, across the province. Continue reading

Niagara Centre MP Partners With Area Mayors & Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority to Advance Trade Corridors Along Welland Canal

“The idea of establishing Niagara as an active trade corridor is a notion that I took to Ottawa with me when I was first elected in 2015.” – Niagara Centre Liberal government MP Vance Badawey

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

Posted September 12th on Niagara At Large

Building the Welland Canal corridor as a major trade zone

Welland, Ontario – Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre and Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, came together with the mayors of Port Colborne, Welland, and, Thorold, and with the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) to advance the development of three Multimodal Industrial Hubs along the Welland Canal.

This initiative is a positive and practical solution to a long-held belief that many of the region’s marine assets are underutilized, and could be leveraged for positive economic impact, job creation and trade facilitation. Badawey noted.

“The idea of establishing Niagara as an active trade corridor is a notion that I took to Ottawa with me when I was first elected in 2015. Now, after years of working together with all our partners, the Transport Committee’s 2019 study on the subject seems to be gaining traction,” Badawey said. Continue reading

Arrest of Niagara Activist and Award-Winning Indigenous Journalist Karl Dockstader Gets Big Media Coverage

“It’s hard to separate my arrest with the criminalization of Indigenous people generally. …I’ve worked in court for several years. I’ve seen first hand how racist the system is.”                         – Niagara resident and Indigenous journalist Karl Dockstader, as quoted in a September 11th opinion piece in The Toronto Star

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

Posted September 12th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Karl Dockstader, seen here before his arrest, reporting on aland defense battle with developers in Haldimand County

The arrest and charges laid by Ontario provincial Police this past September 2nd against well-known and respected Niagara activist and award-winning Indigenous journalist Karl Dockstader continue to draw concern and outrage among members of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike, and is also continuing to draw attention from big media outlets.

OPP officers arrested and charged Dockstader while he was covering land defence actions by Indigenous peoples on traditional lands against developers pushing to construct a housing project in the Caledonia area of neighbourhing Haldimand County. Continue reading

Seven Recipients Receive Six Prestigious Celebration of Nations Outstanding Achievement Awards

Karl Dockstader, Niagara Indigenous Journalist and Activist, and Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates are Among Winners

Celebration of Nations Continues in St. Catharines/Niagara this Saturday and Sunday

News from the Organizations of Niagara’s Celebration of Nations

Posted September 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario  – Celebration of Nations 2020 opened on Friday 11 September with a powerful message that reflected upon the many challenges humanity currently faces while honouring a group of remarkable achievers whose accomplishments have diffused knowledge, broadened awareness, and inspired us to live lives of meaning, purpose, enjoyment, and responsibility.

The Celebration of Nations Outstanding Achievement Awards are given in six categories: Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Intellectual Advancement, Language and Culture, Empathic Traditions, and Two Row Alliance.

This year’s deserving recipients include deeply experienced, highly skilled, and seriously accomplished people who have displayed consistent dedication to their respective fields of interest and who, through their work, have sought to unite people through their common interest in securing a sustainable future for the Seventh Generation.

The 2020 Celebration of Nations Outstanding Achievement Award-winners are:

Continue reading

In Niagara, Ontario, ‘Celebration of Nations 2020 is Here!

A Weekend Full of Live Streams begins this Friday, September 11th and runs through the entire Weekend

A News Release from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted September 11, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Celebration of Nations is the annual gathering of Indigenous Arts, Culture and Tradition presented by Kakekalanicks Indigenous Consultancy and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Celebration of Nations celebrates creativity, diversity and resilience. This year we’re going virtual with live stream performances, teachings, workshops + so much more!

SEE VIRTUAL EVENT SCHEDULE(https://www.celebrationofnations.ca/2020-virtual-events/?utm_source=%21ALL&utm_campaign=c878469dd7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_21_06_01_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b4ea112f4d-c878469dd7-242893989)

 

Friday 11 September live stream features:

Continue reading

An Indigenous Lawyer’s Words of Defence for Niagara Activist and Indigenous Journalist Karl Dockstader

“The OPP’s actions run counter not only to well-established constitutional law protecting freedom of the press but serve to frustrate reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Arresting and charging an Indigenous journalist (Karl Dockstader) for reporting on Indigenous land occupations through Indigenous voices feels very much like systemic racism.”                                             – Dr. Pamela Palmater, an Indigenous lawyer, specializing in Indigenous and human rights law, and an associate professor and chair in Indigenous governance at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario

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

Posted September 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Karl Dockstader, at a demonstration in front of Niagara Falls City Hall a few years ago, speaking out for the preservation of the Thundering Waters Forest and its wetlands, File photo by Doug Draper

Karl Dockstader, a Niagara resident, member of the Indigenous community and a highly respected journalist and community activist, was arrested earlier this September by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers while he was covering an ongoing land defence issue in the Haldimand County area.

The arrest, along with criminal charges filed against Karl, continue to make no sense – to say the least – and have triggered a good deal of concern and anger among members of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike.

Just to mention a few, expressions and concern and support for Karl Dockstader have come from St. Catharines, Ontario Mayor Walter Sendzik, lawyers at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democratic Party.

This September 9th, 2020, another expression of support came in the form of an Opinion piece, written by Indigenous laywer Pamela Plamater and published in a respected Canada-wide journal called The Lawyer’s Daily

Immediately below are the first few paragraphs of that Opinion piece,  followed by a link you can click on to read the entire piece of The Lawyer’s Daily website – Continue reading

Trump’s Lies Are Costing American Lives

Brian Higgins, U.S. Congressman (Democrat) for the Buffalo, New York area

Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Responds to Tapes Proving Trump Knew of the Dangers of the COVID-19 Pandemic As Far Back as Last January and February

A Statement by Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins, representing Buffalo and other communities in neighbouring New York State

Posted September 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Statement by Congressman Brian Higgins In Response to President Trump’s Recorded Comments About COVID-19

“As COVID-19 began its assault on Americans’ lives, President Trump knew of its severity. He secretly stated as much to (veteran Washington Post journalist) Bob Woodward.

“But publicly the President downplayed the very dangers he knew Americans faced. Continue reading

Where is the COVID-19 Recovery for Ontario’s Women?

‘There Will Be No Economic Recovery In Ontario Without A She-Covery’

“We need to build an inclusive economic recovery that includes everyone and recognizes the devastating impact of the pandemic on women.”                                                                                                        – Ontario New Democratic Party representatives

A Statement from members of Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted September 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

MPPs Catherine Fife, the NDP’s critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation, and Jill Andrew, NDP critic for Women’s Issues, have issued a statement – 

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario  – MPPs Catherine Fife (Waterloo), the NDP’s critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation, and Jill Andrew (Toronto—St. Paul’s), NDP critic for Women’s Issues, have issued a statement following the publication of a new Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) report on the need to address the disproportionate economic impact of the COVID-19 on women:

“While the pandemic is having profound effects on all Ontarians, it isn’t affecting us equally. Women have lost the majority of jobs, and many women have been unable to get back into the workforce or get their businesses back on track. The she-cession has affected Black, Indigenous, racialized and disabled women most severely, as they work disproportionately on the frontlines in health care and service jobs and are at the most risk of contact with the virus. Continue reading

The Compounding Impact of Climate Change on our Already Stressed Great Lakes

A Stressful Interaction – Climate Change and Other Ecosystem Stressors Often Have Greater Influence When Combined

Join the Canada-U.S. International Joint Commission for a Public Webinar on the Great Lakes – Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. EDT

An Invite to All from the International Joint Commission

Posted September 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Our Great Lakes- a wondrous, life-sustaining treasure to millions of us who live around them. Let’s work together to protect and preserve them.

There are many factors stressing the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem, but some issues like climate change are making other problems even worse.

The International Joint Commission Science Advisory Board (SAB) Science Priority Committee’s new report, An Evaluation of Stressor Interactions in the Great Lakes, explores the cumulative effects of important stressors in the Great Lakes basin.

There will be a public webinar reviewing the report’s findings on Tuesday, September 22 at 10:30 am EDT; advance registration is required to participate. Continue reading

Children Head Back to School Fearful of COVID-19, Brock Research Finds

“A lot of the children we talked to were really aware of the pandemic and of what you need to do to stay safe, and they were worried about other people not following the rules.”                            – Rebecca, Raby, Professor of Child and Youth Studies, Brock University

News from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Rebecca Raby, Professor of Child and Youth Studies, Brock University

Niagara, Ontario – Most children participating in an ongoing Brock University study on COVID-19 say they’ve missed certain aspects of school, especially seeing friends, and are open to returning to class.

But many are also worried about becoming sick or bringing the virus home to their families, says Professor of Child and Youth Studies Rebecca Raby.

“As families and teachers prepare for children to go back to school, either in-person or online, we have generally not heard from children themselves about their views of the pandemic, their experiences of online schooling in the spring, and their thoughts about going back to school,” says Raby.

Raby is leading a research team that began a study in early April<https://brocku.ca/brock-news/2020/04/brock-team-begins-online-study-of-childrens-experiences-during-covid-19/> consisting of regular online interviews with 30 children and youth about their experiences at home during the pandemic, including online schooling. Continue reading

Ontario Court Delivers Ford and his Tory Party Climate Laggards a Well-Deserved Smack Down

Superior Court Judge Rules Ford’s Mandatory Order for Carbon Price Stickers on Gas Pumps is “Unconstitutional”

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

Posted September 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

The Ontario Doug Ford government ordered gas stations across the province to put these stickers on their pumps, just weeks before the October 2019 federal election. The stickers are not only misleading, they fail to tell gas consumers that the federal government is placing a price on carbon pollution and that the proceeds would be used to fund  greener alternatives

Well, apparently at least some of us do need to be told, because many among us voted in 2018 for now Ontario Premier Doug Ford and a Conservative Party that is such a cabal of right-wing extremists, it bears no resemblance to the Ontario Conservative Government of Bill Davis half a century ago.

So thank God that Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward M. Morgan has done just that in a ruling he tabled this past September 4th, declaring “unconstitutional” the province’s Ford Government’s outrageous move a year ago, to force private sector companies in the gas-selling business to place a self-serving, political sticker on their gas pumps.

Can anyone other than Ford and the sycophants in his party that lick his boots now imagine any member of the Conservative Party during the era of Bill Davis or John Robarts ordering private sector companies to display blatantly political stickers on their property at the risk of being fined or worse, if they do not?

This is a Ford government that not only could not care less about true conservative principles, but is acting it out in the case of environmental issues former Ontario Conservative governments like that of Bill Davis demonstrated a record of caring about, in its contempt for virtually any and all environmental protection measures, and for any and all of the science that shows our human carbon-based energy culture is wreaking havoc on the earth’s climate. Continue reading

Save Our Pollinators – A Virtual Event in Niagara for the Need to Save Our Bees!

An Invite from the Niagara District Council of Women

Posted September 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

We need these bees, badly, to help produce our food. Or we are in even bigger trouble than we are in now.

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

How great it is that the Niagara District Council of Women – one of the longest-lasting public interest and advocacy groups in this region, and one of its equally great leaders, Gracia Janes – is hosting this virtual meeting for all of us on the need to save our pollinators.

And how great that the NDCW is doing this virtually, during a time when so much attention has so understandably  been paid to the COVID-19 health crisis all around us.

Too many pressing issues that we need to be addressing, for the sake of our future, right now – issues like the climate emergency, the toxic algae blooms and plastics choking our Great Lakes, and the continued threat to populations of pollinating bees by chemical sprays used by farmers who should be just as concerned about the loss of these pollinators – are tragically been pushed to the side or are not receiving the attention they deserve because of the pandemic. Continue reading

Ford Government Pressed to Post Online List of Any Schools that may have COVID-19 Cases

Ontario’s Official Opposition/New Democratic Party calls for transparency on school COVID-19 cases and outbreaks

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted September 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario — The Official Opposition is asking the Ford government to commit to posting a list online of all schools with COVID-19 cases, while maintaining the privacy of students and staff.

“Of course we all hope that COVID-19 doesn’t make its way into schools, but we believe parents, students and staff including supply teachers should be informed if it does,” said NDP Education critic Marit Stiles. “With so much pressure being put on staff, students and their families to monitor symptoms and follow protocols, they deserve information and transparency. Continue reading

Push to Defund Police is Growing in Nearby Hamilton

An unprecedented wave of public involvement to defund the police has seen letters from over 400 people. Over 40 video delegations coming this Tuesday, September 8th

News from Citizens at City Hall (CATCH), a citizens watchdog group in Hamilton Ontario

Posted September 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Hamilton, Ontario – In an unprecedented wave of public involvement in a civic issue, Hamilton officials have received written correspondence from over 400 people supporting the defund police campaign. The outpouring continues this week with more than three dozen people set to make personal video delegations to city councillors at the Tuesday morning on-line general issues committee meeting.

The comments and demands are various but most call for  shifting police budget dollars “towards initiatives fighting against food insecurity, racism and towards more affordable housing.” Many demand that police stop ticketing and surveillance of houseless and disabled people, and end the purchase of more weapons and high tech surveillance equipment.

The number of individuals submitting these highly critical letters is even more extraordinary given the reasonable fear that publicly challenging the police and their practices could result in personal repercussions. Continue reading

On this Labour Day 2020, the Nation’s Unions Launch Plan to disaster-proof Canada

“Canada’s unions are looking for targeted investments in green infrastructure, education and training, and care work. … The United States is showing us what happens when we act like everyone is in it for themselves. We can and must do better.”        – Canadian Labour Congress

A Labour Day Message from the Canadian Labour Congress

Posted September 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa – To mark Labour Day, Canada’s unions are calling on all levels of government to focus on investments and community supports to help restart our economies and protect Canadians.

Forward Together: A Canadian Plan is a new campaign centred on ensuring that Canada is ready to disaster-proof our nation so that no one is left behind when crisis hits. The campaign will roll out digitally on various social media platforms and will encourage Canadians to engage with their elected representatives on key issues. Continue reading