Author Archives: dougdraper

A Brief Message to Our Many Niagara At Large Readers

From Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted September 18th, 2019

Niagara At Large is taking a little time off to walk the beaches of Cape Cod and think about where a news and commentary site like this may go in the future, if anywhere?

I know I leave myself wide open to Trump-inspired trolls out there who hate so much of what we post here, but I will ask you the question anyway – “Any suggestions?”

We have a strong and loyal readership now, but we need to grow and we are going to need some support in the future in order to survive.

Thanks so much to all of our many readers for supporting us with your visits and comments over the past 10 years.

With more support, we can build this independent, alternative news voice into a real tour de force for democracy and for social and environmental justice in our greater Niagara region.

Doug Draper, journalist

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 reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large –  moan independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at .

“A politician thinks of the next election. a leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



Six-Year-Old Proposal for New South Niagara Hospital Takes “An Important Step Forward” – Niagara Health

“This new hospital represents a significant and important investment in healthcare in Niagara. With the government’s support, we are one step closer to a new hospital and we look forward to our continued work with the Ministry of Health to plan the next stage.” – Angela Zangari, Interim President, Niagara Health

A News Release from Niagara Health, formerly the Niagara Health System

Posted September 18th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Planning for the new South Niagara Hospital took an important step forward as Infrastructure Ontario has listed the project (Niagara Falls Hospital) in their Market Update for Projects in Pre-Procurement.

The proposed site for a new hospital for Niagara’s south end is in the southwest end of Niagara Falls off the QEW. Is that a good location for people in communities like Welland and Port Colborne?

  The South Niagara Hospital is listed in the Market Update to start issuing RFQs (Request for Qualifications) in spring 2021 and issuing RFPs (Request for Proposals) in winter 2021 with a financial close in 2022.

With a Stage 2 revised submission soon to be provided to the provincial Ministry of Health, the project will move through important milestones. The submission outlines the program and service requirements, equipment and space needs and has been developed with extensive input from Niagara Health’s staff, physicians and community partners.   Continue reading

Province’s Say in Conservation Authority Operations Should Be Limited To What It Contributes in Funding

In the Case of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, We Are Talking No More Than Two to Four Per Cent

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher           Doug Draper

Posted September 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

To Ontario Premier Doug Ford – How about adding more to the pot, if you want to have a say in how Conservation Authorities do business?

There is an old saying that goes like this; “If you want to play, you gotta pay.”

Some attribute the line to American novelist Stephen King, although I always tied it to Bruce Springsteen, who used it as far back as the 1970s to rev up audiences at his shows.

At the risk of insulting those two guys, I could hear a line like that coming out of the mouth of Ontario’s premier, Doug Ford, because it does seem to have a bit of a free market ring to it, doesn’t it?

“If you want to play, you gotta pay,”

In other words;‘If you’re not going to put down more doe, it’s time to get up and go.’

Continue reading

Here Is a Chance to Watch Two Climate Crusaders and Champions for Our Planet

A Video of Activists Naomi Klein from Canada and Greta Thunberg from Sweden, on Stage in New York, September 10th, 2019, and brought to us by the award-winning international news organization, The Intercept

A Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher             Doug Draper

Posted September 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Climate activists Greta Thunberg and Naomi Klein. Photo downloaded from Twitter

Long-time Canadian activist, journalist and best-selling book writer Naomi Klein and 16-year-old Swedish activist extraordinaire Greta Thunberg, who has almost single handedly kindled a world-wide youth movement to address what is a full-blown climate emergency we face today, are heroes of mine.

And I hope they become heroes of yours too, if they are not already.

But more than that, I hope that their  words and actions inspire all of us to exercise the intelligence, forsight and moral fortitude to act decisively now to make the changes necessary to save the life-sustaining resources of this great earth of ours for ourselves and our children.

Here are Naomi Klein and Greta Thunberg together recently, sharing their concerns, their call for action and their vision for a better future, all ahead of a major United Nations gathering later this September for a summit on climate action  in New York.

Their appearance also predates public strikes being organized by individuals and groups of people – young and old and many in between – around the world this September 20th and 27th to build the push for climate action now

Click on the screen below to watch and share it around using the hashtag #ourclimatefuture –

Before we leave you, here is a link to a commentary posted on Niagara At Large this past September 9th on the need to make the environment a major issue in Canada’s October 21st federal election –

In response to that September 9th commentary, one of Niagara At Large’s regular readers and commenters on issues discussed and debated on this site, shared the following comment that I believe is worth repeating here. –  

By Linda McKellar, Fort Erie, Ontario –

The climate should be PRIORITY ONE!  What good is a booming economy if you can’t breathe the air or drink the water (if you even have any) or your home burns in a forest fire or gets washed away by flooding?   Continue reading

Two Canadian Icons – David Suzuki & Stephen Lewis  – Tour the Country for Climate Action & Our Children’s Future

“Imagine two elders with no vested interest in the status quo speaking out about climate change and the kind of world we are leaving to our children.” — David Suzuki

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

Posted September 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

It is heartening to know that not every person over the age of 70 is either treating the climate emergency our world faces as some kind of joke or commie plot, or is out there saying; “Why should I care what the world’s like in 20 or 30 years. I’ll probably be punching out before then anyway. So I’m supporting politicians like Harris and Scheer, just to long as they keep their hands off my pension and health care, and give me cheap gas and more tax cuts.”

We’ve got what a recent best-selling book by the same title calls “a generation of sociopaths” – otherwise known as aging baby boomers  and older – who we can count on to drive to the polls in droves in this October’s federal election, to vote for any candidate that promises to strike down putting moe of a price (what the likes of Harris and Scheer demonize as a “tax”) on climate-changing carbon pollution.

So thank God there are at least some people over 70 out there – in this case, 83-year-old David Suzuki, a scientists and host of the long-running CBC program, A Nature of Things, and 81-year-old Stephen Lewis, a former Ontario politician and United Nations Ambassador for Canada – who are prepared to go out there and speak out for climate action and our children’s future.

Suzuki, Lewis and another great Canadian over the age of 70 – 78-year-old folksinger and social justice activist Buffy Sainte-Marie, who is joining them as a special guest – are embarking on what they are calling a “Climate First Tour” of five key cities across the country this September and October, starting at 7p.m this September 14th, at Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto. Continue reading

Niagara Parks Police, Firefighters Remove Man From Rapids Near Brink of Horseshoe Falls

Personal Watercraft Operators in Restricted Waters Faces Federal Charge

A News Release from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Police

Posted September 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – On September 11th, 2019 at approximately 7:00 p.m. emergency services responded to the upper Niagara River following a 9-1-1 call that an individual had fallen off his personal watercraft in restricted waters at the International Control Dam.

A second personal watercraft operator was observed in these restricted waters but steered back towards shore.

Niagara Parks Police Service members positioned themselves along three shoreline locations between the Toronto Power Generating station and the brink of the Horseshoe Falls with rescue throwlines. Continue reading

Ford’s Cuts To Ontario Municipalities Forcing Service Cuts, Downloads Costs Onto Families

A Statement from Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch and Ottawa MPP Joel Harden for Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted September 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park –  Ottawa NDP MPP Joel Harden and NDP Municipal Affairs critic, Jeff Burch,  issued the following statement after the City of Ottawa’s finance and economic development committee approved a property tax increase, a direct result of Doug Ford’s cuts to Ontario municipalities.

“Doug Ford is cutting critical services — including public health — and downloading the costs of those provincially funded programs onto municipalities, and families that pay municipal taxes.

Let’s be clear: if Ottawa or any other community has to raise municipal taxes this year, it’s a Ford Tax.

The alternative, with Ford’s funding cuts, is forcing cities to look at cutting community programs that families depend on. Either option is unthinkable for many city councillors and municipal leaders. Continue reading