Author Archives: dougdraper

Niagara Falls to be Illuminated – This Sunday, June 13th, 9:30 to 10 P.M. – for Montreal Canadiens

A News Release from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission and the Ontario/New York Niagara Falls Illumination Board

Posted June 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario –  In support of the Montreal Canadiens’ pursuit of the Stanley Cup, as Canada’s last remaining team in the 2021 NHL playoffs, the Canadian Horseshoe Falls will be illuminated tonight in Red, White and Blue from 9:30 to 10:00pm., the night before the team begins its next series.

 

No Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens defeated Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings four games to one to claim their record 24th Championship. Continue reading

Join A Virtual Rally Against Ford Government’s Move to Muzzle Opposition

This Monday, June 14th at 10 A.M. – Find Link For Joining this Virtual Rally Below

A Call-Out from the Ontario Health Coalition, a non-profit advocacy group for quality public health care in Ontario

Posted June 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

URGENT: Virtual Rally to Protest Doug Ford Running Roughshod Over Our Canadian Constitution

“So Doug Ford wants to break the constitution to up his chances of winning an election & stifle his opposition. The only other time I have been this disgusted was when Ford passed Bill 218 last fall to shield the for-profit long-term care companies from liability for their negligence,” – Ontario Health Coalition Executive Director Natalie Mehra on hearing the news that Doug Ford is invoking the notwithstanding clause to override the constitution.

We are calling on all our members and supporters to please join in the online protest organized by the Ontario Federation of Labour.

Details here:

Continue reading

Niagara Regional Council Fills Key Post with New Planning Commissioner

Welcome Michelle Sergi – Most Recently Chief Planner for Waterloo Region – to Niagara this July 19th

Diana Huson

“The importance of the work undertaken by the Region’s Planning and Development Services – whether it be managing development approvals, planning for the future of our communities or designing policies to protect Niagara’s natural environment, cannot be underestimated. Michelle’s experience and leadership will be critical as we work to ensure that Niagara’s social and economic future is one we can be proud of.”                         – Pelham Regional Councillor and Chair of Niagara Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee, Diana Huson

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted June 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Meet Niagara Region’s incoming Planning Commissioner, Michelle Sergi

Niagara, Ontario – Michelle Sergi joins Niagara Region as Commissioner of Planning and Development Services Niagara Region is pleased to announce the appointment of Michelle Sergi as the Region’s new Commissioner of Planning and Development Services.

Sergi’s appointment was approved at a Special Council meeting on June 10, and follows an extensive, Canada-wide, recruitment process that was undertaken by an independent recruitment agency. She brings with her a proven track record of success in a wide variety of areas, including strategic planning, policy development, natural heritage protection and relationship-building.

As Commissioner, Sergi will be part of the Region’s Corporate Leadership Team and will lead the Planning and Development Services Department, which comprises Infrastructure Planning and Development Engineering, Long-range Community Planning and Development Approvals. Continue reading

Join a Vigil – A ‘Night of Healing’ – in St. Catharines Niagara this Coming Monday, June 14th

Citizen Organizers Host a Vigil for Victims of London, Ontario Attack, of Canada’s Residential Schools and the most recent Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Posted June 11h, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Note about this Event from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Right about now, we could all use some healing, couldn’t we?

A memorial of flowers and children’s toys continues to grow at a crosswalk in London, Ontario where a young man with a hate on aimed his speeding pick-up truck at a Muslim Canadian family, killing four of them while they were on a Sunday walk this past June 6th.

As if more than 15 months of COVID-19 hasn’t been punishing enough, this past week we received news of a horrible, hate-driven attack against a family of the Muslim faith in London, Ontario with four members, representing three generations of that family, murdered and a nine-year old boy seriously injured and left without his parents, his 15-year-old sister and a grandmother. There crime was the colour of their skin, their dress and going out for a walk together on a Sunday evening.

This past May there was the discovery of a mass grave of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia – yet another jarring reminder of how horribly native peoples have been treated on this continent for hundreds of years.

Children’s shoes left on the steps of St. Catharines City Hall in recent days as a memorial to the 215 Indigenous children discovered in a mass grave in Kamloops, B.C.

Also this spring, there was another eruption of violence in the seemingly endless conflict between the State of Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza and West Bank area. As always, it is mostly civilians who become the co-lateral damage when the rocks start to fly – this time at least a dozen people in Israel and more than 200 Palestinians, an estimated 60 or more of them children.

How tragic it is that the two sides have never been able to find leaders willing and able to put an end to this this carnage.

With all of this in mind, some citizens have organized the vigil on the grounds of City Hall in St. Catharines downtown this coming Monday, June 14th at 7:30 p.m.

They are asking everyone who attends to bring their own candle, to wear a mask and be prepared to follow all other COVID-19 safety rules.

Here is a poster created for the ‘Night of Healing’ vigil –  

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

Niagara Region’s Brand New Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee is Ready to Go

Members of Committee Have Now Been Named

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

“The events of the past year has shown us that much work remains to address the negative impacts of bias and discrimination that exist within our society. I am pleased to see such a diverse, talented and energetic group of individuals on this committee, and I am confident that their collaborative work will go a long way toward making Niagara an open and welcoming community for everyone.”                  ~ Jim Bradley, Chair of Niagara Regional Council

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government in Niagara, Ontario

Posted June 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Regional Headquarters

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Region confirms membership of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee

Regional Council recently took a step toward fostering a more diverse and welcoming community, appointing two regional councillors and eight community members to its new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee <https://www.niagararegion.ca/government/committees/diversity/default.aspx>(DEIAC).

They will be joined by representatives from the Women’s Advisory Committee and the Accessibility Advisory Committee. Continue reading

Canada’s Federal Conservative ‘Tar Sands’ Party Bemoans Cancellation of Keystone XL Pipeline

“The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline extension is devastating.” Canada’s federal Conservative Party Erin O’Toole

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

Posted June 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Erin O’Toole, Canada’s federal Conservative leader and cowboy for the Alberta tar sands

My God!

Canada’s Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has tried to deny that his party doesn’t take the global climate emergency seriously, but if there were any more proof that he and his party doesn’t, check out the statement O’Toole released below.

It is a statement that is a gift to the now governing Justin Trudeau Liberals and every other federal party vying to convince a majority of Canadians – including growing numbers of engaged younger voters – that they are serious about addressing one of the most serious and potentially most urgent challenges facing us in the 21st century. Continue reading

A Young Muslim Girl Leaves the Gift of a Beautiful Message to Us All

“Shoot For The Moon. Even If You Miss, You’ll Land Among The Stars”

A Brief Comment from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted June 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

During the very moving memorial gathering in London, Ontario this June 8th, for four members of a Muslim family murdered, and a young member of that same family seriously injured, in an act of hate, we learned about one member of that family – 15-year-old Yumma Afzaal – who was an aspirring artist.

On the wall of a school she attended, she and her mother, also murdered, left the gift of the mural below.

What a beautiful gift this mural is. Just to think that a virus of hate that we have in this country wiped the future of this beautiful young lady away. What are we going to do about it?

More on this horrific event later on Niagara At Large and the words of some of Canada’s leading politicians had to do with enabling it. Stay tuned.

For more on Yumma Afzaal and the mural, click on the video screen immediately below –

Below are the members of the Afzaal family, with Umma at left, followed by her mother, grandmother and father, all wiped out by a young, white supremacist in a pick-up truck who saw them waiting at a crosswalk and ecided to drive right through them.

Yumna Afzaal, 15, left, Madiha Salman, 44, centre left, Talat Afzaal, 74, and Salman Afzaal, 46, right, were out for an evening walk when they were run over by a man who police say was motivated by anti-Muslim hate.

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

Helping Keep Niagara Safe During Step One of Re-Opening

“The past six months have been difficult, with our lives disrupted to control COVID-19. We can be cautiously optimistic about better days coming as we begin to reopen on Friday,”                      – Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer Of Health, Niagara Region Public Health

A News Release from Niagara Region Public Health

Posted June 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

As the province moves to Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, June 11, Niagara Region Public Health is reminding Niagara residents of additional public health and safety measures as part of section 22 orders for food premises and retail.

These remain in place to help keep our community safe, to continue to keep transmission rates low, and to help ensure Niagara will be ready for Step 2 of reopening.

*Food Premises*

When outdoor dining reopens in Niagara, diners at one table will once again be limited to just the same household (with existing exceptions for persons essential to physical and mental health of the party such as caregivers). Continue reading

An Action Plan for Re-opening Canada-U.S. Border Crossings is Long Overdue

“If we can do it for some, we can surely find a way to do it for all. Families have been separated for over a year, homeowners have been kept from their property, and our economies have suffered. Leaders on both sides of the border must get this done.”                    – Brian Higgins, U.S. Congressman from the Buffalo, New York area and a Co-Chair of a Canada-U.S. Norther Border Caucus

A Statement by Buffalo, New York area U.S. Congressman Higgins on the U.S. – Canada Border

Posted June 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York area Democratic Congressman Biran Higgins has been pushing for months now for a safe plan for a gradual border re-opening.

Buffalo, New York – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), who serves as Co-Chair of the Northern Border Caucus and the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group released the following statement in response to ongoing discussions about U.S.-Canada border restrictions:

“It is clearly the beginning of the end of the border shutdown between the U.S. and Canada. In conversations with government leaders on both sides of the border we are learning plans are moving forward to provide for expanded crossing allowances. Action is long overdue.

“Later this week President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau will travel to meet in England for the G7. And accommodations were made to allow U.S. and Canadian hockey teams to come together for the Stanley Cup finals. Science and progress in fighting the pandemic have made this possible. Continue reading

Ontario’s Niagara Parks to Illuminate Falls in White this June 8th in Support of the Afzaal Family

A Brief News Release from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission and the Niagara Fals Illumination Board

Posted June 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara’ Horseshoe and American Falls to be Illuminated in support of the Afzaal Family from London, Ontario

Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Niagara Falls Illumination Board will be illuminating both the Canadian Horseshoe and American Falls in white, in support of the Afzaal family of London, Ontario.

The illumination will take place tonight, Tuesday June 8 between 9:30pm and 10:30pm.

The Illumination Board expresses its sincere condolences to the Afzaal family and stands in unity with the people of the city of London against hatred, violence and prejudice.

A memorial of flowers and children’s toys continues to grow at a crosswalk in London, Ontario where a young man with a hate on aimed his speeding pick-up truck at a Muslim Canadian family, killing four of them while they were on a Sunday walk this past June 6th.

Continue reading

Murderous Attack on Ontario Muslim Family was an “Act of Terror” – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

“On behalf of the people of Niagara, I wish to express our sincere condolences to the Afzaal family, and reiterate that we stand in solidarity with the people of London, Ontario, as well as Muslim Canadians across the country.”                                                                 – Jim Bradley, Niagara Region

A Statement from Jim Bradley, Niagara, Ontario’s Regional Chair

Posted June 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Sunday’s (May 6th) senseless attack on a London family was an act of cowardice and brazen violence that has no place in our communities.

Many come to place flowers near a street crossing in London, Ontario where four members and three generations of a Muslim family became a target this June 6th in a horrific hate attack.

We are now learning that this horrendous act was fueled by hatred, and the  Afzaal family was targeted solely because of their Muslim Faith. I agree with those who have defined this attack as an act of terrorism and this type of violent, brutal racism cannot not be tolerated.

Unfortunately, this violent act of Islamophobia is not an isolated incident, and we must all work together to eliminate hatred and prejudice where it exists. Continue reading

Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre Speaks Out on Horrific Attack on Muslim Family

“Enough is enough. This type of hate is simply incomprehensible. These were innocent human beings who were killed simply because of their faith. They were our neighbours, family, friends, and co-workers who were murdered in cold blood.”

A Statement from the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre on the murder of a Muslim family in London, Ontario

Posted June 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre is shocked and horrified and demands justice after learning about the planned and premediated act of murder against a Muslim family in London, Ontario who were out for a walk on Sunday evening.

Four members of the family were killed and the lone survivor, a nine-year-old boy, remains in hospital with serious injuries after they were run down on the side of the street.

We strongly condemn this act of unspeakable hatred, murder, and Islamophobia as it has no place in our society. Continue reading

Ontario Moving Forward with Re-Opening Plan

Ford Government Moves to Step One of Roadmap to Reopen on June 11

Improvements in Key Indicators Allowing Province to Begin the Safe and Gradual Lifting of Public Health Measures

A News Release from the Government of Ontario

Posted June 7th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO, Ontario — Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will move the province into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.

“Thanks to the ongoing success of Team Ontario’s vaccine rollout and the ongoing improvements in public health trends, we are able to enter step one of the Roadmap and begin to safely and cautiously lift restrictions,” said Premier Doug Ford. Continue reading

Ontario NDP Leader Responds to Horrific Act of Hate in Province

“Words are not enough to express the sorrow and anger we are all feeling in the wake of news that three generations of a family were targeted and killed by a hateful act of Islamophobic terror in (the city of)London (Ontario) this week.”                                          – Ontario’s Official Opposition Party Leader Andrea  Horwath

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted June 7th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP MPP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement in response to London Police Services’ revelation that a Muslim family was targeted and deliberately struck by a driver on Sunday in London, Ontario:

“Words are not enough to express the sorrow and anger we are all feeling in the wake of news that three generations of a family were targeted and killed by a hateful act of Islamophobic terror in London this week.

This family mattered, they were loved, and they should be here today. My heart aches for their relatives, friends, loved ones and their community forced to cope and grieve in the wake of this heinous attack, and devastating loss. Continue reading

City of St. Catharines Planning For Impacts Of Climate Change

“Climate change poses an existential threat to not only our community, but every corner of the planet. As a City we are continuing to do all that we can to limit emissions and mitigate its scope, but we also have to be ready for those impacts, even a worst-case scenario.”                                                                                   – St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik

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

Posted June 7th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Even as the City of St. Catharines takes efforts to prevent climate change from occurring, planning and action is under way to adapt to the impacts a changing climate will bring.

On Monday, May 31, Council approved the City’s first Climate Adaptation Plan (CAP), a document that will guide the City as it undertakes efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The document is the culmination of months of work by the City, in cooperation with the Niagara Adapts network of local municipalities and Brock University. Continue reading

Canada’s PM Vows to Advance Environmental Protection on World Environment Day

 “More than ever, we must work with nature, not against it.”                         – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Canada’s  Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on World Environment Day

Posted June 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

“Today (this June 5th) , on World Environment Day <https://www.un.org/en/observances/environment-day>, we join the global community in celebrating nature and recommit ourselves to building a cleaner, more resilient world.

“World Environment Day 2021 marks the launch of the United Nations’ Decade on Ecosystem Restoration <https://www.decadeonrestoration.org/>. This international initiative reminds us of the vital importance of healthy ecosystems and the urgent need to restore, protect, and sustain them for generations to come. To help put nature and biodiversity on a path to recovery, I signed the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature <https://www.leaderspledgefornature.org/> in September. The race is on for a nature positive world in 2030.

“From purifying the air we breathe to providing us with nutritious food and fresh water, ecosystems are essential to our health and well-being. They are also key to our continued prosperity – in the fight against climate change, we have no stronger, more natural allies. Ecosystems, as large as the ocean and as small as a tree, work together to reduce pollution. They also offer protection from the worst impacts of climate change, from storm surges to heat waves. Continue reading

Canada Shames Itself Before World In Not Confronting It’s Genocidal Past

United Nations Experts Call On Canada, Holy See To Investigate Mass Grave At Residential Schools

“We urge (Canadian) authorities to conduct full-fledged investigations into the circumstances and responsibilities surrounding these deaths, including forensic examinations of the remains found, and to proceed to the identification and registration of the missing children.” – United Nations

Some White nun, in the name of “ripping the Indian out of the Indian,” oversees Indigenous children, ripped away from their families by the RCMP, praying to God in one of Canada’s residential schools. All sanctioned by more than a hundred years from one Canadian government after another. One can’t help but ask how many of the children in this photo ended up iburied in an unmarked grave on the school grounds.

A News Release from the United Nation’s Human Rights Office in Geneva Switzerland

Posted June 4th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

United Nations (UN) human rights experts have urged Canadian authorities and the Catholic Church to conduct prompt and thorough investigations into the discovery of a mass grave containing the remains of over 200 children at a British Columbia ‘residential school’ for indigenous children forcibly taken from their homes.

Indigenous children in one of Canada’s residential schools, which ran up to the 1990s, forced to chalk lines on a black board while praising Jesus. Where in hell were we Canadians while this was still going on? Shame on us.

The Kamloops Indian Residential School, where the children’s remains were found, had been run by the Catholic Church between late 19th century and the late 1960s, when the federal government took over until its closure in the 1970s.

It was part of the indigenous residential school system which, between 1831 and 1996, hosted over 150,000 children in 130 schools, many run by the Catholic Church or the federal government. Continue reading

Climate Change Will Drive Up Health Costs And Inequities, Report Finds

Governments can save lives and minimize costs by investing proactively in measures that improve people’s health and security in the face of rising climate impacts

A New Report from The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, made up of a individuals in a host of expert fields from across the country

Posted June 4th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

OTTAWA, Ontario —As the world takes stock of how the COVID-19 pandemic continues  to impact the most vulnerable people, a new report from the Canadian Institute for Climate  Choices warns that climate change will similarly worsen health inequities and significantly  increase costs to Canada’s health system and economy without targeted government action.  

Published today, The Health Costs of Climate Change: How Canada Can Adapt, Prepare, and  Save Lives finds that climate change represents a significant public health threat that will  disproportionately harm those most vulnerable.   Continue reading

This Seniors Month, ‘Stay Safe, Active and Connected’

“The pandemic has been particularly challenging for older adults. … Now that vaccines are flowing through our community, it is my hope that we will soon see a return to normal for seniors across Niagara.”    – Jim Bradley, Chair, Niagara Regional Council

Appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are currently available. See Details Below.

A Statement from Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley on Seniors Month

Posted June 4th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

“Every June, we take time to acknowledge the substantial contributions that seniors and older adults make in our community.

This year, the theme for Seniors Month is Stay Safe, Active and Connected – this is particularly fitting as we continue to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 across Niagara.

Seniors and older adults continue to play an important role in our community by making significant contributions to our economy and volunteering thousands of hours each year to non-profit organizations.

Older adults in Niagara have a tremendous positive influence on the quality of live for everyone in our region, and Seniors Month is an excellent time to reflect on those contributions. Continue reading

Ontario’s New Blue Box Recycling Plan Falls Far Short of Addressing Plastic Pollution Crisis

“This regulation has low targets, broad categories and poor reporting requirements. That means companies will still be able to churn out mountains of non-recyclable packaging destined for burial or burning and face no consequences.”                                                                                              – Emily Alfred, Waste Campaigner at the Toronto Environmental Alliance

A News Release from the public interest groups Environmental Defence, Health And Environment Justice Support, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Citizens’ Network On Waste Management, Waste Watch Ottawa And Canadian Environmental Law Association

Posted June 3rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

New Blue Box program put business interests ahead of protecting the environment

Plastic bottles and other plastic debris wash up on shores of Great Lakes.

Toronto, Ontario – This June 3rd, 2021, Ontario Environment Minister Yurek announced changes to the province’s  Blue Box recycling program.

Unfortunately, this long-awaited shift of responsibility for Blue Box recycling from municipalities to the businesses who make, use and sell packaging will do little to reduce plastic pollution. 

Known as “extended producer responsibility,” the announcement signals that the new rules are light on measures to reduce plastics that end up in landfills, incinerators and the natural environment.  Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Vowing to Enhance Blue Box Recycling Program

“Our goal is to ensure our program remains convenient, affordable and right for communities. That’s why we are creating a stronger and more effective blue box service that will have some of the highest waste diversion targets in North America.”                                                                                                       – Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek

A News Release from the Government of Ontario

Posted June 3rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Province bringing recycling to more communities and expanding list of blue bin items

TORONTO, Ontario  — Following extensive consultations, the Ontario government is improving blue box recycling by expanding service to more communities, standardizing the list of materials that can be recycled across the province and saving municipalities money by making producers of products and packaging fully responsible for the cost and operation of the program.

“Producers and municipalities have been advocating for an enhanced, producer-led Blue Box program for over a decade and I’m proud that our government has finalized these improvements,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. Continue reading

Niagara’s Regional Government Working to Strengthen Relations with Indigenous Communities

“The recent news of the remains of 215 children discovered at the site of a former Kamloops Indian Residential School is a painful reminder of the lasting impact residential schools have on Indigenous communities across the country.”                                      – Jim Bradley, Chair of Niagara’s Regional Council

The flag’s for Niagara’s Regional Government and those for all 12 local municipalities in Niagara were lowered to half mast at the Region’s headquarters in Thorold this May 31 after news broke that the bodies of 215 children were discovered in a mass grave on the property of a former residential school in British Columbia. Photo by Doug Draper

A Statement from Niagara Regional Chair Bradley on National Indigenous History Month

Posted June 3rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

June is National Indigenous History Month

<https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1466616436543/1534874922512>, giving us an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the distinct histories, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples around Niagara.

The recent news  of the remains of 215 children discovered at the site of a former Kamloops Indian Residential School is a painful reminder of the lasting impact residential schools have on Indigenous communities across the country. Continue reading

St. Catharines Unveils First Pride Crosswalk As City’s Commitment To Inclusivity And Diversity Continues

“Thank you to the LGBTQ2+ Advisory committee for their work on the design and implementation of the Pride Crosswalk. This design is a visible acknowledgement of the city’s solidarity with LGBTQ2+ communities here in St. Catharines and to visitors from afar. We want to ensure our community is a place where everyone feels seen and welcomed.”                                                        – St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik

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

Posted June 3rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – As Pride Month celebrations get underway the City of St. Catharines is celebrating the installation of its first Pride Crosswalk, recognizing the community’s diversity and the importance of continued efforts toward inclusion.

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik, left, atofficial opening of Pride crosswalk in city’s downtown. To the mayor’s right is LGBTQ2+ Advisory Committee Chair Liam Clarke-Coward. Photo courtesy of City of St. Catharines

The crosswalk was installed last week at the St. Paul Street pedestrian crossover located in front of the FirstOntario PAC, with a design developed in consultation with the City’s LGBTQ2+ and Anti-racism Advisory Committees. Continue reading

It’s Time for Canada, U.S. to Release a ‘Science-Based Border Re-Opening Plan’

Leaders Representing Buffalo, Niagara Falls, New York, Beaches-East York, Toronto & Malpeque, Prince Edward Island Push for Action

A Joint Statement from Buffalo, New York Area U.S. Congressman Higgins & Canadian Liberal Members of Parliament Erskine-Smith & Wayne Easter on Northern Border

Posted June 3rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Sooner or later, our Canadian and U.S. Governments are going to have to release a plan for safely crossing the border on bridges like this – the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York

“Reopening our countries’ shared border must be a top priority for our respective governments at this point in the pandemic. For more than a year, Americans and Canadians have endured separation from their families, friends, and property in response to the public health crisis.

“Guidance from both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Canada’s COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel is clear: individuals with proof of immunity can travel safely and should not be subject to quarantine requirements.

“It is time for our governments to listen to the experts and together release an evidence-based plan to reunite families, safely resume normal border operations, and quickly restore our two countries’ deeply interconnected economies.”

Higgins represents portions of Western New York, including the Cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls in the U.S. House of Representatives. Erskine-Smith represents Beaches-East York, a downtown Toronto riding in Canada’s House of Commons. Easter represents the riding of Malpeque, Prince Edward Island.

Higgins & Easter serve as Co-Chairs of the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group and regularly work on cross-border issues. The statement follows a virtual meeting between Higgins and Erskine-Smith.

The United States and Canada share 5,525 miles of border, the longest land boundary between two countries in the world.

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

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins has been calling on both countries for a safe border re-opening plan.

Okay, so I can already imagine more than a few readers saying; ‘Here we go again with this Congressman from the Buffalo, New York area calling for a plan for re-opening Canada-U.S. border crossings.

That Congressman – a Democrat from the Buffalo area named Brian Higgins – has been taking more than his fair share of hits from individuals on the Canadian side of the border for some time now calling for a strategy for eventually re-opening border crossings like the Peace Bridge to everyday traffic.

We all know that the border crossings – closed to all but so-called “essential traffic  for going on a year and a half now – are going to open sooner or later.

Higgins, by all accounts and his own words and as a long-time member of a Canada-U.S. border committee, has never been  calling for the border gates to be swung wide open. For the most part, he has advocated for people on both sides of the border, with valued properties or with beloved relatives they have not been able to visit in hospitals or long-term care homes, to be able to cross under rules that are safe for everyone.

I simply wanted to try to point that out for those who may read this post and criticize him again for asking for safe, science-based border -re-opening rules.

I would also say that, in the view of this Canadian journalist anyway, Buffalo are Congressman Brian Higgins has shown every sign of being a friend of Canada and we should feel good about having a U.S. political representative like him (rather than someone in the more hostile Trump camp) as a close neighbour.

  • 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

Cheers to St. Catharines City Council for Embracing Climate Change Plan

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

Posted June 2nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Sandbags holding back the rising and near record high waters of Lake Ontario in 2019 as, for the second or third year in a row, much of the beach area in the Port Dalhousie area of St. Catharines is swamped with water, resulting in costly damage and making the area off limits, for week as a recreational area. Photo by Doug Draper

Niagara, Ontario – Over the past decades or so, Niagara At Large has joined members of the pubic in taking well-warranted shots at municipal leaders across Niagara for taking positions that do more to harm than protect our shared environment.

Indeed, there continue to be examples of municipal politicians in Niagara, taking positions hurtful to what is left of our natural heritage, and Niagara At Large will continue to do what we can to call these politicians out.

And when there are examples of our municipal representatives working together with area residents and other public partners to do something positive for our environment, we need to praise them.

I ‘ve learned well enough, from my decades working as a news reporter, that even the best of our elected representatives find themselves buried in criticism when an issue surfaces that raises pubic ire. When things go right, they all too often hear the sound of crickets. Continue reading

How Come Hockey Players Can Cross Border and People Wanting to Visit Beloved Family Members Can’t?

Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Brian Higgins Says if Travel Exemptions Can Be Made for Hockey Teams, Similar Allowances Can Be Made for Separated Families

Reports Indicate Plans Underway to Allow Crossings, Waive Quarantine Requirements for NHL Players

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

Posted June 2nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) responded to published reports<https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/31540404/nhl-working-health-authorities-plot-travel-exemption-canada-united-states-later-postseason-report-says> indicating plans are underway to accommodate NHL teams by extending exemptions for travel between the United States and Canada.

Buffalo, New York area Brian Higgins, seen in this file photo, speaking at a news conference with Peace Bridge crossing in background

Higgins said, “If exemptions can be made to bring hockey teams together, the same can be done to bring families together.”

Congressman Higgins does not oppose coordination to allow for teams to cross the border. Higgins is a member of the Congressional Hockey Caucus, played hockey as kid and has laced up his skates in recent years for charity hockey events.

The Congressman would simply like the two governments to work in the same urgent and deliberative manor to come to agreement on the process allowing for families to reunite after being separated for over 14 months. Continue reading

Niagara’s Regional Government Raises Flag for Pride Month – June 2021

“As Regional Chair, I will continue to advocate for equality as I stand in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.”                    – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

A Statement from Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley on Pride Month

Posted June 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Every June, we mark Pride Month across many parts of the world. While this time is often a cause for celebration in our community, it is also a time to reflect on the importance of equality, human rights, and the work that remains to eliminate discrimination in our society.

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley, left at Pride Month flag raising at the Region’s headquarters in Thorold, with St. Catharines Regional Councillors George Darte and Laura Ip. Photo courtesy of Niagara Region

This term of council has taken strides to make Niagara a more welcoming and inclusive community. In addition to joining the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, we have also made investments by hiring our first Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to ensure our policies and practices are working  for everyone. Continue reading

One of the Great Voices from the Golden Years of Pop Music – B.J. Thomas – Leaves Us

A Brief Tribute to B.J. Thomas by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted June 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

This singer had his greatest run of hit songs from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s, so chances are most people under the age of 40 would not even know who he is.

That is unless they happened to go to a repertoire movie theatre and see a classic film from the late 1960s starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford called “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, and told them that in more of the iconic scenes, featuring the song “Raindrops Are Falling on My Head,” that is B.J. Thomas singing it.

B.J. Thomas died at age 78 in his home in Texas from lung cancer this past May 29th. Continue reading

Ontario Government Called On to Search for Mass Graves on Former Residential School Grounds

“Let this be the first step towards an honest reckoning with the past by Ontario, by Canada, and all the people who call this land home.”                                                                                                              – Suze Morrison, the NDP critic for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Response

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted May 31st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK – After the remains of 215 children were found at a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia, the Ontario NDP is calling on the Government of Ontario to work with Indigenous communities to use radar technology to investigate all lands and properties formerly associated with residential schools within Ontario.

“The legacy of residential schools is one of children being ripped away from their parents, disappearing forever. Those parents never stopped loving their children, and never stopped looking for them,” said Suze Morrison, the NDP critic for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Response.

Sol Mamakwa, NDP critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations, said it is an open secret that children were buried at residential schools. Continue reading

Niagara’s Municipal Flags Lowered To Honour Residential School Victims

Niagara’s Regional Chair, Mayors Issue Statement Following Discovery of Indigenous Children In Mass Grave

”The discovery of this mass grave is a stark reminder of the devastating legacy that the Canadian residential school system continues to have on Indigenous people across our country.”  – from the Statement released by Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Niagara’s Mayors

A Statement from Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Niagara’s Mayors

Posted May 31st 2021 on Niagara At Large

Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Niagara’s 12 mayors offered the following joint  statement:

On behalf of the people of Niagara, we have asked that flags be lowered at municipal facilities across the region in honour of the 215 children who were recently found in a mass grave at a former residential school in Kamloops. The flags will remain at half-mast for one hour for each of the lives that were taken.

Shrines of chidren’s shoes are appearing all over Canada following latest discovery of mass grave

Starting Monday, May 31, flags will be flown at half-mast until June 8.

The discovery of this mass grave is a stark reminder of the devastating legacy that the Canadian residential school system continues to have on Indigenous people across our country. As Canadians, we must never forget that residential schools forcefully removed Indigenous children from their families, robbed them of their culture, and exposed many of them to physical, mental and sexual abuse. Continue reading

Making Homes More Energy Efficient To Reduce Energy Bills, Create Jobs and Cut Pollution

“Improving the energy efficiency of our homes not only cuts down on pollution, it also creates new jobs, economic growth, and a cleaner future for everyone.”                                                         – The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Posted May 31st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – Climate action starts at home. By helping Canadians make their homes more energy efficient, the Government of Canada is making it easier for them to reduce their  energy bills and making their lives more affordable. This will cut pollution,  create jobs and growth, and build a cleaner future for all Canadians.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today launched the new Canada Greener Homes Grant, which will help up to 700,000 Canadian homeowners across the country improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce their energy bills through an investment of $2.6 billion over seven years. Continue reading

Ontario’s Medical Heath Chief – Dr. David Williams – Is Leaving The Building

A Brief News Commentary by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large, followed by Statements from Ontario’s Opposition Parties

Posted May 30th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Chief Medical Heath Officer Dr. David Williams is firing himself out. And who knows if we will ever get the whole story behind that exit.

For quite some time now, during the darkest times of waves two and three of this killer virus washing across the Ontario landscape, one wondered when Dr. David Williams, the province’s Chief Medical Heath Officer,  would finally call it a nightmare and leave the building.

This Monday, May 31st. word has already leaked out that Dr. Williams is going to announce that he is doing just that – exit stage far right.

Indeed, there have been so many open letters from health professionals across Ontario, scolding Premier Doug Ford for not doing what he has always claimed he was doing – listening to the science rather than the worst among us in the business community, who have always chomped at the bit to get back to ‘business as usual’ when it was still too damn risky to do so.

And through all of this, there was Dr. Williams, often standing behind Premier Ford at news conferences, looking like he was in a hostage tape when it was his turn to speak. Then there was yet another round of health professionals from across the province, taking shots at Ford and Williams again for blowing off advice from others following the science. Continue reading

Bob Dylan Turns 80! I Thought He Was (to borrow a few of his lyrics) “Younger Than That Now.”

Born My 24th, 1941, A Belated  Happy Birthday Bob

A Brief One from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper 

Posted May 30th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The iconic 1963 album cover for ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ album, with Dylan walking through the streets of Greenwich Village, New York – the hot spot for the folk music revival at the time – with then close friend Suze Rotolo

You know you’ve been around for a while when you turn on the news, as I did this past May 24th, and are told that Bob Dylan has just turned 80 years old.

I was about a year shy of my 13th birthday when, in 1963, his second album, ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ was released with some of earliest songs like ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’, ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’, ‘Oxford Town’ and ‘Masters of War’ would cement his reputation, from then until now, as one of the powerful lyricist in the field of song-writing – enough to earn him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.

I still remember sitting on a swing at my family home in Welland in 1963 and a working out the chords to another song on that Freewheelin’ album, ‘Don’t Think Twice Its Alright’ on a cheap acoustic guitar my parents bought me. And I remember how delighted I was when I learned later, from music sheets, that I got all of the chords, including the dominant 7th and minor chords tucked when the major ones. Continue reading

Ontario Government Accelerates Rollout of Second Shots Targeting a Two-Dose Summer

Sixty-Five Per Cent of Adults Have Received First Doses, Ahead Of Schedule

News from the Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Posted May 28th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO, Ontario — Ontario has reached a key milestone in its fight against COVID-19, having achieved its target to administer first doses to 65 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over ahead of schedule.

Ontario is also preparing to roll out the eligibility for accelerated second dose appointments starting with individuals aged 80 and over, beginning on May 31, 2021. If there is sufficient vaccine supply, it is anticipated that the majority of Ontario residents who choose to receive the vaccine will be able to be fully vaccinated by the end of summer.

“Team Ontario has shown what we can do when we have a steady and reliable supply of vaccines,” said Premier Ford. “Having made so much progress administering first doses, we are now in a position to begin delivering second doses for a two-dose summer. If we receive more vaccines from the federal government, we’ll be able to accelerate our rollout further to offer more protection to Ontarians even sooner.” Continue reading

New Studies Show Nature’s Health and Economic Benefits to Residents Across Ontario

Greenbelt Foundation and EcoHealth Ontario Highlight the Importance of Investing in Natural Spaces

“Previous research by EcoHealth Ontario has shown nature is important for community health and well-being, and these case studies now help to also understand the true economic value from a health system resources perspective.”             – Edward McDonnell, Greenbelt Foundation CEO

News from Greenbelt Foundation, a charitable body dedicated to preserving Ontario’s Greenbelt, the  and EcoHealthOntario, an alliance of experts in the health and environmental fields

Posted May 27th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO, Ontario —The Greenbelt Foundation and EcoHealth Ontario have released two new case studies and one survey design that showcase the economic, public health and community well-being benefits of urban greenspace.

Previous studies in the region have examined the health benefits of greenspace, but these are the first to calculate the health savings from those benefits using a framework developed by the EcoHealth collaborative. The framework can be used on future projects to inform policy and land-use decisions and can estimate total health system savings that would result from natural infrastructure investments. Continue reading

Niagara Community Raises $2.8 million in just over Two Months to Fund a 3rd MRI for Niagara Health.

“Once again, a heartfelt thank you to those in our community who rallied to respond to the call with generosity. The impact of your gift will be life-changing for many.”                                                     – Niagara, Ontario resident and business leader Tom Rankin

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

Posted May 27th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Health Foundation is humbled by the incredible support and community spirit it has seen during its recent efforts to bring a 3rd MRI (magnetic resonance imagery) machine to Niagara.

The Foundation was supported by Tom Rankin, who put out a community-wide call-to-action to support bringing a third MRI to the Niagara Region.

The outpouring of support from Mr. Rankin’s efforts was almost immediate and created a flood of support and well wishes to Niagara Health, raising $2,800,000 in just over two months. Continue reading

Prime Minister Delivers Apology For Second World War Internment Of Italian Canadians

A News Release from the Office of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Posted May 27th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Prime Minister delivers apology for internment of Italian Canadians during Second World War

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (May 27th, 2021) delivered a formal apology in the House of Commons for the internment of Italian Canadians during the Second World War.

Following Italy’s declaration of war against Canada on June 10, 1940, the Government of Canada interned more than 600 people of Italian heritage.

Around 31,000 Italian Canadians across the country were declared “enemy aliens”, and many experienced discrimination, lost their jobs, or saw their businesses boycotted or vandalized. The government’s actions violated the values that our country was fighting to secure during the Second World War, including freedom, equality, and justice, and had serious impacts on families and the Italian Canadian community. Continue reading

It’s Getting Harder and Harder to Feel Shocked and Sad About Mass Shootings in America

“Happiness is a warm gun. Bang, bang. Shoot, shoot.”                   – from a song by former Beatle John Lennon, who was gunned down in America in 1980

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 27th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

I know this is going to sound callous, but when CNN came in with “BREAKING NEWS” this May 26th that there has been another mass shooting in America, my first instincts this time were to switch over to the Food Channel or turn my cable screen off completely.

Here we go again. Another mass shooting in America. And stay tuned for the next one.

How much more mass shooting news from America can one take, with all of the stock lines from residents and political leaders in the community like; “I can thought this would happen here” and “This is not who we are.”

And this has always been one of my favourites from members of America’s powerful gun lobby; “Now is not the time to talk about gun control.”

This May 26ths mass shooting took place at a large transit terminal in San Jose, California where one of the terminal’s long-time employees, who reportedly had anger management issues, killed at least nine of his fellow employees before cheating some lawyers of work by doing himself in.

I once felt the sorrow and shock that so many others have at the news of these mass shooting, but they have become so routine in the United States that it is getting harder and harder to work up some tears for them, even though one knows how tragic they must be for families of the victims. Continue reading

Escaping to Freedom – A Journey from Vietnam to Canada

Join An Online Discussion On Anti-Asian Racism With Jolie Phuong Hoang – Thursday May 27th, at 7 PM

An Invite to All from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, Niagara

Posted May 26th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The continuation of the Online Speaker Series keeping up the momentum for racial justice and inclusion in St. Catharines is presented in partnership between the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, Niagara Region Anti-Racism Association and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

Join us for a conversation with math professor (Niagara College) and author Jolie Phuong Hoang. Hoang escaped Vietnam in 1983, stayed at a refugee camp in Indonesia for 14 months before arriving in Canada in July 1984.

For more than 25 years, her career binds with lecturing formulas, mathematical theorems and how numbers shape life. But only in writing, Jolie finds the solution for her endless unanswered questions of sorrow and grief. Continue reading

Planting Trees For Our Future – Niagara Region At Its Best!

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

Posted May 26th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

With so much bad news these days – so much of it focused on an Ontario government and its enablers working to weaken programs for protecting our natural heritage – you have to celebrate goods news when you get it.

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Pelham Regional Councillor hold a toast to planting trees at a major tree-planting event on the grounds of the Region’s Decew Water Treatment Plan on the borders of St. Catharines and Thorold in Niagara, Ontario . Photo by Doug Draper

In that spirit, how good it was this May 25th, to go out to Niagara Region’s Decew Falls Water Treatment Plant to cover a story about a large tree-planting project our Regional Government is involved in on acres of the Decew Falls property, in partnership with the good people at Land Care Niagara

The two Regional Councillors who were there for this ground-breaking event are among our most progressive when it comes to looking forward to a post-pandemic future in Niagara that re-imagines how we plan growth and prosperity with respect to protecting and growing what is left of our natural environment. Continue reading

Hey Mayor Bylsma – Apologies Don’t Work If You “Continue To Be An “A-Hole”

A Brief Comment from Linda McKellar, a Fort Erie resident and retired hospital emergency ward nurse

Posted May 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Apologies don’t amount to squat if you continue to be an A-hole.

West Lincoln Mayor and Niagara Regional Councillor David Bylsma speaking out against COVID-19 protection measures at a large rally in St. Catharines, Ontario this past April. Many feel it really is time for this dangerous screwball to go.

Sadly, many people gravitate to such screwballs. He’s our own local Marjorie Taylor Greene. She equates masks to the Jewish gold stars worn during the Holocaust. I wonder if Bylsma also believes in Jewish space lasers causing forest fires as she does.

The worst pandemic right now is ignorance. Not stupidity but ignorance, simply not bothering to search out the facts.

We can’t soar like eagles if we flock with turkeys.

An Afterword from Doug Draper  at Niagara At Large –

This comment, from retired Niagara, Ontario medical nurse Linda McKellar was a response to what is so pathetically left of any response by our neighours in the United States to deal rationally with issues of hatred and COVID-19. Continue reading

Thanks for the Apology Mayor Bylsma. NOW RESIGN!

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher           Doug Draper

Posted May 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Regional Councillor and West Lincoln Mayor David Bylsma under the gun again for his recent participation in an anti-lockdown rally in St. Catharines/Niagara

Like one of those holier than thou, evangelical preachers south of the border who’ve been caught doing something naughty West Lincoln Mayor and Niagara Regional Councillor David Bylsma took up some the first minutes of a Niagara Region council meeting this past May 20th, prostrating himself for his latest sin.

As you will see (if you care to open up a link to a video at the bottom of this commentary). Bylsma was allowed time the meeting to apologize to the people of the West Lincoln he represents as a mayor, to the people of Niagara he represents as a Regional Councillor, to members of the Council and not least of all, to a young citizen of Niagara who, in a recent Twitter message, Bylsma so thoughtlessly, and without invitation from her, asked a question about her menstrual cycle.

Through this pitiful spectacle of self-flogging, the beleaguered mayor characterized himself at one point as a “wayward child” who sent the tweet out to the young woman in a statue of “fatigue.” Continue reading

Welland, Ontario’s Historic Central Fire Hall Gets Federal Funding Boost

Niagara Centre Liberal MP Vance Badawey

“It’s one thing to say you want to preserve heritage buildings; it’s quite another to develop a plan to pay for that preservation and to make an older building viable to the wider community. The Central Station Education Initiative deserves all of our thanks for caring about the history of Welland and making sure we continue to enjoy the use of our 100-year-old fire hall by ensuring this architecturally significant building will continue to be a landmark in the downtown core.”                                                                                           – Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre Liberal MP Vance Badawey

Posted May 24th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

WELLAND, Ontario, – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage,  announced (earlier this May) an investment of $500,000 over three years for the Central Station Education Initiative to support the restoration of the historical Central Fire Hall in Welland.

Welland’s historic Central Fire Hall remains a heritage gem in Niagara

Minister Guilbeault was joined by Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament (Niagara Centre).

The preservation and repurposing of the fire station in the heart of downtown Welland will provide the community with a gathering place to learn about history and arts.

The station will provide information about the history of firefighting and other services in the Niagara Region, preserving memories of the past for future generations. It will also serve as a place where groups and individuals interested in the arts, culture and history can come together. Continue reading

Have a Happy, Healthy and Safe Victoria Day – 2021

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

Posted May 24th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Oops, that’s not really her. Well, what do you expect from a cat person.

She may have passed on 120 years ago, but that doesn’t mean we will still can’t celebrate her birth, way back in 1819 on the 24th day of May.

I can’t let this first warm long-weekend leading to what we hope will be a much better summer across Canada pass without playing a song by one of my favourite old bands from my teeny bopper days.

Happy Victoria Day everyone from Niagara At Large and The Kinks. (To hear and watch, click on the screen immediately below.)

Stay health and safe, and if you haven’t been vaccinated for COVID yet, please do it! Never mind what some of the wing nuts among us say about “bio-warfare” and masked fascists.

Without the vaccines, and all of the mask-wearing and social distancing we must continue to do in certain places until this killer virus is subdued, we would not be in the more positive place we are today.

Here is too a healthier, fairer, greener, post-pandemic future.

  • 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

Thanks To At Least a Handful of Niagara Regional Councillors, A Strong Option for Safeguarding Our Natural Heritage is Still Alive

“Once a natural asset is gone, it is gone forever. … I think, we have to remember that.” – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley, at meeting of the Region’s Council this May 20th, 2021

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

Posted May 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Red-Tail Hawk soars over what is left of the precious green and blue natural places in our Niagara region. Studies show we are already down to less than what we need for a healthy. sustainable future.

One of the good Niagara citizens, who took time they will never get back this May 20th to live stream the meeting of Niagara Regional Council, sent this reporter an email afterword that led with the words; “Where does one begin?”

Where does one begin, indeed!

Those words summarize a justifiable response to so many of the smoke bombs, along with the babble gab and Grade A B.S. coming from the usual suspects on the Region’s Council, and often looking so orchestrated, that clouded an oh-so-long session on where Niagara goes around protecting what is left of our life-sustaining water resources and green places. Continue reading

Ford Government Releases Three-Step Roadmap to Safely Reopen the Province

Province Safely Reopening Outdoor Recreational Amenities Prior to End of Stay-at-Home Order

A News Release from the Government of Ontario

Posted May 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO, Ontario  — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has released itRoadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators.

In response to recent improvements to these indicators, Ontario will allow more outdoor recreational amenities to reopen, with restrictions in place, effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

“As a result of the strict public health measures we introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19 variants, we are seeing a steady improvement in our situation as ICU and hospital numbers begin to stabilize,” said Premier Doug Ford. Continue reading

You Are Invited to an  Online Discussion on Protecting & Expanding Ontario’s Precious Natural Areas

Please Join Us For An Informative Discussion – This coming May 27th from 7 to 8:30 P.M. – About Expanding Protected Areas. See Details For Registering Below

An Invite to All from Ontario Nature, a public interest group dedicated to protecting and preserving Ontario’s natural areas

Posted May 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Please join us on May 27th for an informative discussion about expanding Ontario’s protected areas.

During the Your Protected Places webinar, we will consider emerging opportunities and unveil a collective StoryMap showcasing special places across the province that people would like to permanently set aside from development for future generations.

Though the Government of Ontario recently announced its intention to protect more natural areas <https://ontarionature.thankyou4caring.org/page.redir?target=https%3a%2f%2fnews.ontario.ca%2fen%2frelease%2f60977%2fontario-working-with-conservation-experts-to-protect-more-natural-areas&srcid=47768&srctid=1&erid=7167978&trid=878925b2-451c-4597-9444-2ab72051c546>, it provided no public process for offering input on where or how protected areas should be established. Continue reading

Another Extension of Canada-U.S. Border Shutdown – With No Exceptions – is “Truly Unacceptable” – Buffalo- Area Congressman Brian Higgins

Statement by Congressman Higgins on Extension of the US-Canada Border Shutdown Homeland Security Keeps Northern Border Closed to Non-Essential Travel Through June 21

Posted May 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York area Democratic Congressman Biran Higgins has been pushing for months now for a safe plan for gradual border re-opening.

Buffalo, New York – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) expressed great disappointment following the announcement that the United States and Canada have continued to keep the Northern Border closed to non-essential travel for another full month.

“It is truly unacceptable at this point to have another 30-day extension with no further exceptions for those vaccinated, no goals or targets outlined to expand crossings, no reciprocal allowances for family reunification, and no plan,” said Higgins, who serves as Co-Chair of the Northern Border Caucus and the Canada-US Interparliamentary Group.

“We have made great strides in fighting the pandemic and we need to make progress on reopening the border. That is essential to both families that have been separated for way too long and to our binational economies.” Continue reading

Regional Councillors Have One More Chance to Get It Right On Protecting Niagara’s Natural Heritage for Future Generations

Let’s At Long Last Put the Health and Economic Welfare of our Communities  Ahead of the Short-Term, Growth-At-Any-Cost Greed of the Predators in Niagara’s Development Industry 

A Commentary by and Plea from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Red-Tail Hawk soars over what is left of the precious green and blue natural places in our Niagara region. Studies show we are already down to less than what we need for a healthy. sustainable future.

“I recently became a great grandmother and in 2051, when my great granddaughter is 29 or 30 years old and I will be 98, and … if I am still around, I would like to be able to look around and see a Niagara that is still green and that we have made the best decisions going forward that preserves what really makes Niagara special.”

Those were some of the final words from Port Colborne Regional Councilor Barbara Butters at a meeting this past May 12th of Niagara Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.

At the same committee meeting, where options for protecting Niagara’s environmental system were being considered for approval, members of the public urged members of the committee to vote in favour on an option identified as 3C that would provide a higher level of protection for woodlands, hedgerows and other green place, and for water resources like wetlands, both in and outside urban boundaries across our region. Continue reading

Tell Our Regional Councillors to Protect Niagara’s Natural Heritage for Our Children

The Following is a Moving Message from some of Niagara’s Children Shared by the Biodiversy and Climate Action Committee of Niagara
Posted May 19th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

These two young brothers care about the environment.

They go to the Woodland school in Niagara and belong to its Green Heron Ecoclub.

Their club made this fantastic four-minute video that talks about their concern for Niagara’s unique and special environment.

Please take a few minutes to watch it by clicking on the screen immediately below – 

For more on the Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee, a large coalition of individuals and groups dedicated to working for a healthier natural in Niagara, click on – Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee – Niagara

Please contact your members of Niagara Regional Council NOW and urge them to support Option 3C – a higher level of protection for Niagara’s water resources and green places – when they meet for a Regional Council Meeting this Thursday, May 20th at 6:30 p.m.

For contact information for your Regional Councillors, click on – https://www.niagararegion.ca/government/council/profiles/default.aspx

Please also feel free to share this entire post of messages from children by emailing the link for it to your Regional Councillors. Here is the link – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/05/19/tell-our-regional-councillors-to-protect-niagaras-natural-heritage-for-our-children/ .

Read a related story on what is at stake now at Niagara Regional Council by clicking on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/05/19/regional-councillors-have-one-more-chance-to-get-it-right-on-protecting-niagaras-natural-heritage-for-future-generations/ .

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

West Lincoln Mayor and Niagara Regional Councillor David Bylsma Dives – Head First – Into More Hot Water

Niagara Regional Chair Releases Statement Regarding Inappropriate Comments by Bylsma

Bylsma Sent Out Recent Twitter to Niagara Resident, Asking Her a Question About Her “Period”

A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper followed by a May 18th, 2021 Statement issued by Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

Posted May 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Foreword by NAL journalist Doug Draper –

Niagara Regional Councillor and West Lincoln Mayor David Bylsma under the gun again f

What gives with David Bylsma?

When I first met him in the parking lot of the Niagara Regional Headquarters in late 2018, short after he was sworn in as Mayor of West Lincoln (an elected post that automatically earns him at seat on the Region’s Council, he didn’t strike me as a genius, but he seemed like a nice enough guy.

Yes, I already knew he was president of a fringe, far right political outfit called the Christian Heritage Party of Canada, and that he took a hard stand against abortion and did not believe climate change has anything to do with human activities but I, like others, was not prepared for what was to come.

Since then, Bylsma has found himself in hot water with fellow councillors and others for such things as making controversial comments about the LGBTQ  community and Black Lives Matter on a local radio program. Continue reading

Rapid COVID-19 Tests Now Available For Niagara Businesses

A News Release from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Posted May 18th, 221 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) is pleased to announce a partnership with Great Wolf Lodge for the distribution of COVID-19 rapid testing kits.

Great Wolf Lodge, located at 3950 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, is a member of the Ontario Vaccination Support Council<https://occ.ca/events/ontario-vaccination-support-council/>, whose mission is to support public vaccination through partnerships with private businesses. Great Wolf Lodge will be the distribution site for kits throughout Niagara. Continue reading

Buffalo Area Congressman Hopes Biden’s Vaccine Exports Will Speed Canada-U.S. Border Opening

Congressman Brian Higgins Applauds Biden Administration Action to Send Vaccines to Other Nations

“Higgins has been pushing for a plan to reopen the border between the United States and Canada, which has been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020.”

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

Posted May 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

U.S. Congressman Says Distribution Should Help Speed Reopening of US-Canada Border, Improve Health Outcomes Around the World

Buffalo, New York area Democratic Party Congressman Brian Higgins

Buffalo, New York – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) applauded today’s (May 17th)  announcement by President Biden that the United States will share at least 20 million additional doses of approved COVID vaccines with other nations.  This is in addition to the 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine previously shared by the U.S.

Higgins, who serves as Co-chair of the Northern Border Caucus and the Canada-US Interparliamentary Group, said, “The United States has made incredible progress in the fight against COVID.

We still have more work to do to see everyone vaccinated, but as our supply outnumbers our demand, we have the opportunity to help other countries battle back against this unforgiving pandemic toward the goals of returning to a sense of normalcy and saving lives.” Continue reading

Ford’s Conservatives Vote Down NDP Motion Calling for Immediate Safe Re-Opening of Outdoor Activities

“I’ve heard from hundreds of people in Niagara, who say that Doug Ford’s lockdowns have had a devastating impact on their mental health. They’re asking that outdoor activities that can be done safely be opened up.”                                                                               – Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff  Burch

“Families are incredibly frustrated that Doug Ford and his Conservatives are refusing the back down from their ban on outdoor recreational amenities when the science is telling us we should be doing the opposite.”                                                                    – Ontario NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh

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

Posted May 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Jeff Burch, MPP for Niagara Centre, is pledging to keep pressing Ford government to end its ban on outdoor recreation activities.

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

NIAGARA, Ontario  — Jeff Burch, MPP for Niagara Centre, is going to bat for Niagara residents, pledging to keep pressing Doug Ford’s government to end its ban on outdoor recreation activities during the lockdown. Despite calls from municipal leaders, health experts, the Ontario Medical Association and their own Science Table, the Ford Government government has continued to keep outdoor recreation closed.

Monday in question period, Burch urged the government to support an NDP motion calling for the immediate safe re-opening of amenities like basketball courts, skate parks, golf courses and tennis courts. Shortly afterwards, the Conservatives shot it down by a vote of 63 to 21.

“I’ve heard from hundreds of people in Niagara, who say that Doug Ford’s lockdowns have had a devastating impact on their mental health,” said Burch. “They’re asking that outdoor activities that can be done safely be opened up.” Continue reading

Niagara Sets New Vaccination Clinic Dates as Eligibility Soon Expands to 18 Years and Older

A COVID-19 Update from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted May 17th on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – In anticipation of those 18 and older eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccination starting tomorrow, Tuesday, May 18, new clinic dates have now been added into the provincial booking system for Niagara for June 1-5 at MacBain Community Centre in Niagara Falls.

 Appointments are also still available at clinics in Pelham, West Lincoln, and Port Colborne in May. Continue reading

Are You Outraged at The Ford Gov’t’s Response on Long-Term Care?

Pack The Public Galleries Of The Ontario Legislature (Virtually) – This Tuesday May 18 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Use the hashtag #FordFailedSeniors

A Call-Out from the Ontario Health Coalition, a citizens advocacy group for quality public health care across the province

Posted May 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

We can’t fill the Legislature physically during the shutdown but we can organize thousands of Ontarians to pack the Public Galleries virtually for Question Period.

– Join the Facebook livestream with live comment & send in your reaction https://www.facebook.com/ontariohealth

  • – Watch Doug Ford & his Ministers as Opposition Parties welcome all of us, demand answers, raise your questions and experiences
  • – Press conference on the livestream: noon immediately following Question Period

Pour on the pressure. Make the Ford government take responsibility & commit to finally fix LTC.
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Niagara Mayors Call On Ontario’s Ford Government For Clearly Defined Re-Opening Plan

“With the prospect of an outstanding summer in Niagara on the horizon, we need to continue to do everything we can to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. We also need to have plans in place to allow our communities to be prepared and ready for a safe, more open summer than last year.”

An Open Message to the Ontario Government  from the Mayors of the 12 Local Municipalities in Niagara, Ontario

Posed May 14th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – On Thursday Premier Doug Ford announced an extension to the Stay-at-Home order until at least June 2. The extension is needed to provide additional time to control the spread of COVID-19, bring down case counts, take pressure off already overburdened hospitals and put more vaccines in arms.

While we are supportive of the decision to further extend protective measures for the betterment of our communities, the lack of any kind of detailed plans to lead us towards an opening up of the economy is frustrating.

We believe our residents and businesses need to see a clearly developed re-opening plan that is evidence-based and includes the positive impacts of vaccinations. With more than half of Ontarians vaccinated with at least one dose, increased shipments of vaccines on the way, and age eligibility expanding in the next few weeks – Ontario should have a clearly defined re-opening plan. Continue reading

Ford Government Adding 2,000 Nurses to Health Care System, Long-Term Care Homes

New Investment Will Also Expand Support For Clinical Education Programs In Long-Term Care Homes

A News Release from the Ontario Government

Posted May 14th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Long-Term Care Minster Dr. Merrilee Fullteron insists she inherited a mess on long-term care from previous governments – so, as she continues insist, cut her some slack. It takes years to take action.

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $35 million to increase enrollment in nursing education programs in publicly-assisted colleges and universities across the province.

The new spaces will be available for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 cohorts and will introduce approximately 1,130 new practical nurses and 870 registered nurses into the health care system.

COVID-19 has exacerbated the gap between the current supply of nurses compared to Ontario’s current and future needs across the health care system.

Today’s (May 14th, 2021) announcement is a significant step towards keeping pace with the rising demand for frontline health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, especially in sectors where health care workers care for Ontario’s most vulnerable patients such as long-term care, home and community care and acute care. Continue reading

Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Says No To More Monthly Extensions On Canada/US. Border Crossings

Congrressman Calls for Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and Other Border Crossings to Be “Fully Open” by July

“We cannot keep the border closed forever – families, loved ones, businesses, and communities along the northern border have sacrificed so much for the past year to get where we are. Now is the time for the Biden Administration to act (on land crossings along the border).                  _                                                                                     – Brian Higgins, U.S. Congressman for the Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York area

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

Posted May 14th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

With Existing Cross-Border Order Set to Expire Next Week Congressman Says CDC Guidance Demonstrates the Ability to Safely Return to Travel.

Buffalo, New York area Democratic Party Congressman Brian Higgins

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) says new public health guidance confirms we can safely reopen the border between the United States and Canada.

The Congressman, who serves as Co-Chair of the Northern Border Caucus and the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group, is pressing the White House to end the orders banning non-essential travel which have been issued monthly for over a year now.

In a letter to President Biden<https://higgins.house.gov/sites/higgins.house.gov/files/051421%20Letter%20to%20President%20Biden%20re%20CDC%20-%20Northern%20Border.pdf>, Higgins writes, “For over a year, Americans along the Northern Border have awaited eagerly the end of the pandemic and resumption of normal commerce and travel between our two countries.

The CDC’s decision lifting the masking requirement for fully vaccinated Americans is an affirmation of the scientific fact on the power of vaccinations to crush COVID-19. Continue reading

If Ford Had Listened to Health Experts in Past, Would We Still Be In Lockdown Today?

Stay at home extension is the result of Doug Ford’s choices, says Ontario NDP Official Opposition Party Leader Andrea Horwath

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

Posted May 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford rolls up his sleeve for his COVID-19 vaccine in early April. He often sounds as though the vaccine alone will rapidly bring things back to “normal.” Then he opens business back up again, even while health experts plead with him to wait at least a little longer

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the current Stay at Home order has to be extended, yet again, because Premier Doug Ford continuously refuses to do what the experts have told him to do.

“People are frustrated. They are exhausted. They are struggling with isolation. And they will be devastated to hear this Stay at Home order has to be extended, yet again, because of Doug Ford’s choices,” said Horwath.

“People and families have to stay locked down because Ford refuses to do what the experts have been telling him to do.

“If I were premier today, I would give workers paid sick days, close non-essential businesses and give them financial support, focus on hotspots, and re-open outdoor activities safely, right away.” Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS – Ontario Extending Stay-at-Home Order Until June 2

Province Outlines Plans to Make Pfizer Vaccine Available to Youth Aged 12 to 17

A News Release from the Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Posted May 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO, Ontario  — With the new, more contagious variants continuing to pose significant risks, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended the Stay-at-Home Order (O. Reg. 265/21) until at least June 2, 2021.

All public health and workplace safety measures under thprovincewide emergency brake will also remain in effect. During this time, the government will prepare to administer the Pfizer vaccine to youth between the ages of 12 and 17, beginning the week May 31, 2021, as the province also finalizes plans to gradually and safely re-open the province.

“While we are seeing positive trends as a result of the public health measures put in place, we cannot afford to let up yet,” said Premier Ford. Continue reading

Join Niagara Region’s Medical Health Officer for a COVID-19 Update

Participate in a Virtual Question & Answer Session – Coming Our Way, Tuesday, May 18th at 2 P.M.

See Details for Registering for this Free On-Line Event Below

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted Mary 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Vaccination progress and other health updates from Dr. M. Hirji, Medical Officer of Health and Commisioner, Public Health, Niagara Region.

An update from Dr. Hirji, Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner, Public Health. – https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/lunch-learn-maximizing-emotionally-effective-leadership-tickets-151242966785?aff=odeimcmailchimp&utm_source=Greater+Niagara+Chamber+of+Commerce+Subscribers&utm_campaign=86afb1335c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_01_19_04_05_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a9d7633c2c-86afb1335c-111643714&mc_cid=86afb1335c&mc_eid=UNIQID#tickets

About this event

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Niagara Falls MPP Calls on Ford Government to Address Niagara’s Housing Affordability Crisis

“We have a housing crisis in Niagara – people from our own community literally cannot afford to buy a home here. Parents are watching as their kids have no choice but to leave the community they were raised in. Residents of Niagara have known this for years as their kids have been priced further and further out of the market.”                                                                             – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

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

Posted May 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates asked Premier Doug Ford to immediately table a plan to address skyrocketing housing prices in Niagara

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Nagara, Ontario — On Tuesday in question period, Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates asked Premier Doug Ford to immediately table a plan to address skyrocketing housing prices in Niagara.

Gates pointed to a recent study by Desjardins, which showed that housing affordability in Niagara got worse by 14 per cent — the worst drop in Canada. Data shows that the average sale price of a house in Niagara for the first quarter of the year was $717,702.

“We have a housing crisis in Niagara – people from our own community literally cannot afford to buy a home here. Parents are watching as their kids have no choice but to leave the community they were raised in. Residents of Niagara have known this for years as their kids have been priced further and further out of the market. Houses are facing multiple offers and bidding wars — regularly selling well over asking price, sometimes $100,000 over asking. Who can afford that?” Continue reading

Town of Lincoln Council Reaffirms Commitment To Preserving Parkland And Green Space

A News Release from the Town of Lincoln in Niagara, Ontario

Posted May 12th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Lincoln, Ontario  – Coming out of a closed session of the Special Council Meeting on May 10, 2021, Town of Lincoln Council passed a motion to maintain greenspace and preserve park lands in the community, as per the Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan.

The motion also confirms that the Elizabeth Street property will not be sold and that the park will be remain open for community use.

“Through this motion, Council continues to advance our priorities of being a Connected and Resilient community,” said Town of Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton. “The Town continues to invest in parks and green spaces so that they can be enjoyed by Lincoln residents and visitors for many generations.” Continue reading

Niagara Region’s Planning Staff Supports Official Plan that Favours Urban Development Over Natural Heritage Protection

This deer has made its home in Waverly Woods – now a target of predatory development in Fort Erie. How many homes will be left for wildlife like this if Niagara Regional Council passes a weak Official Plan for our future?

“The Region staff is recommending to council that they choose option 3B for a Natural Heritage System. This option is totally in favour of development. It means Niagara will look like Mississauga in a few short years.”                                               Community Voices of Fort Erie, a citizens group fighting to keep urban sprawl out of Save Waverly

A Call-Out to all Niagara citizens from Community Voices of Fort Erie

Posted May 12th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Today, Wednesday May 12, 2021 (at 1 p.m.) the Planning and Economic Development Committee will be holding a meeting about the upcoming new Official Plan.

There will be several important residents speaking about the issues and problems with this official plan. Watch for the live stream on  https://www.niagararegion.ca/government/council/  starting a 1 p.m.

Will ever more of the low-density urban sprawl on the bottom half of this photo pave over ever more of the green lands above?

The region staff is recommending to council that they choose option 3B for a Natural Heritage System. This option is totally in favour of development. It means Niagara will look like Mississauga in a few short years.

And citizens won’t be able to have any further input on development. Continue reading