Author Archives: dougdraper

St. Catharines City Council Puts Off Calling on Province for Supervisor to take over NPCA operations

City Councillors decide at October 16th meeting to wait for staff report on issue

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted October 16, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – City councillors in St. Catharines have deferred a motion calling on the Ontario government to appoint a special supervisor to take over the management of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.

One of many public demonstrations fueled by concerns and questions over the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority does business with millions of our municipal tax dollars – this one last year in front of the NPCA offices in Welland.

The motion, introduced at the council’s October 16th meeting by veteran city councillor Bruce Williamson, charges that a special supervisor is needed because, among other things, the current NPCA managers and board members “continue to demonstrate an inability to operate an effective Conservation Authority that respects its mandate and operates in a transparent and accountable way.”

Williamson’s motion went on to talk about the recent laying off of front-line staff needed to perform its role as a protector and preserver of environmental lands. Continue reading

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Students at Niagara College Join College Students Across Ontario, Now Out Of Class Due to Province-Wide Strike

A Commentary by Doug Draper followed by Statements from Niagara College and Union representing College Faculty

Posted October 16, 2017 on Niagara At Large

When Ontario’s colleges or universities are shut down due to a strike, it is almost always the students, stuck in the middle, who pay the highest cost, regardless of what side, faculty or administration, is right or wrong.

As of this Monday, October 16th and for who knows how long, more than 10,000 students at Niagara College in Niagara, Ontario, along with about half a million college students across the province, are now out of class thanks to a strike called by the union representing faculty following a breakdown in negotiations with Ontario’s college administrators.

From some of the reports I have read in newspapers and heard on radio this October 16th, at least some students support their teachers on this strike call and some – possibly the same students expressing that support – are also insisting that at least some of their tuition be paid back for any lost academic time the strike causes. Continue reading

Ontario’s NDP Leader Demands To Know When Premier Learned Of Toxic Chemical Valley Spills

Concerns Arise Over Ontario Tory Leader’s New Proposals To Roll Back The Clock On Environmental Protection

From the Office of Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted October 16th,  2017 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Toronto  – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is demanding to know when Kathleen Wynne learned about the unending series of toxic chemical leaks in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, and why she and the Liberals took no action when a plume of toxic benzene was released into a residential neighborhood.

Demonstrators take a toxic tour through Sarnia, Ontario’s ‘Chemical Valley’

“The premier must explain why the people of Sarnia were not warned by the Ministry of the Environment about a cancer-causing chemical wafting toward their front doors and why they didn’t send an investigator in after the spill to figure out what went wrong,” Horwath said Monday during the legislature’s question period. Continue reading

St. Catharines’ City Council To Consider Motion Calling On Ontario’s Premier To Act On NPCA Mess

Motion – to be tabled at Monday, October 16th council meeting – calls on Premier to “immediately appoint a supervisor to take over the operations of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority”

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted October 14th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Veteran St. Catharines city councilor Bruce Williamson will table motion calling on Ontario Premier to appoint special supervisor to take over management of NPCA

Niagara, Ontario – St. Catharines’ city council could be the first local in Niagara to call on Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and her government to use whatever powers it has to appoint a special supervisor to come in and sweep out the senior managers and board of directors at a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority man across the region feel has gone rogue.

If the motion – to be introduced for a vote this coming Monday, October 16th by veteran St. Catharines councillor Bruce Williamson – is passed, the city’s council would join a growing number of private citizens across the region, provincial representatives like Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster and the Ontario Public Services Employees Union (OPSEU), a union representing some of the NPCA’s front-line employees, in calling on the Ontario government for a complete change of management at the Conservation Authority. Continue reading

The NPCA 10 – Remember Them with a Vengeance Come October, 2018!

The Next Municipal Elections are now only One Year Away and      the NPCA 10 Have Got to Go

At Long Last, It’s Time For We the People to Vote Out this Wrecking Crew!

A Commentary by Doug Draper, reporter/publisher Niagara At Large

Posted October 14th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Who are the NPCA 10?

They are the 10 municipally elected politicians appointed by a Niagara regional council chaired by Al Caslin to sit on the 15-member Board of Directors of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA).

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors in session at one of their monthly meetings earlier this year.

And according to the NPCA’s recently anointed CAO Mark Brickell and Sandy Annunziata, one of the NPCA 10 and a Fort Erie regional councillor who serves as the Board’s chair, at news conference they participated in this October 4th, the NPCA is doing a great job. Continue reading

Niagara Children Face Alarming Wait Times For Mental Health Services – Ontario’s NDP Leader

Province’s NDP Leader Andrea Horwath  calling for standalone Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Posted October 13th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

St. Catharines/Niagara —This October 13th, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath met with the Pathstone Mental Health team at the Branscombe Mental Health Centre in St. Catharines, and renewed her commitment fix Ontario’s fractured mental health system after hearing about alarmingly long wait times for children in need of mental health care.

“The administrators and staff I met with today see too many people requiring urgent mental health services left languishing on waiting lists,” said Horwath. “Niagara families feel abandoned by a government that forces their kids to wait nearly a year for the services they need to thrive. And Pathstone staff are run off their feet as they cope with a Liberal government that hasn’t increased their base funding in a decade, even as needs continue to rise.”  Continue reading

Citizens Group Hosts Meeting on Future of Public Transit in Buffalo area communities

Free and Open to All Wednesday, October 18, 2017 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.   United Way of Buffalo & Erie County 742 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209

A Call-Out from Citizens for Regional Transit in Buffalo, New York

Posted October 14th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Metro rail transit cars gliding through downtown Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New York  –  On Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 5:30 p.m., Citizens for Regional Transit (CRT) hosts a quarterly meeting featuring speakers from the NFTA, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and Lyft to discuss the future of transportation in our community and the role that ridesharing could play in supplementing public transit.

When ridesharing became legal in Upstate New York this past summer, many Western New Yorkers were relieved to finally have access to the popular transportation option available in cities across the U.S. Continue reading