Author Archives: dougdraper

Ontario’s Ford Government Empowering Province’s Mayors to Build Housing Faster

New measures will help deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities

A News Release from Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Posted August 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO ― The Ontario government introduced legislation that would give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa (and possibly more mayors in the future)more responsibility to deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities, including building 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years.

If passed, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, would give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa the ability to move priority projects forward and get more homes built faster.

Proposed changes include:

  * hiring the Chief Administrative Officer and municipal department heads, and create and re-organize departments Continue reading

To Hell With Blue Box Recycling in Niagara!

Just Take All Your Plastic Waste – ‘Black’ or Whatever It Is – and Throw It In the Garbage

Throw You Blue Box In The Garbage Too

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted August 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Take this Blue Box recycling box and shove it.

According to recent reports in Niagara, Ontario’s mainstream media newspapers, Niagara’s regional government doesn’t seem to know how to handle or what to do with plastics in our Blue Boxes.

There is something about “black plastics” – whatever to hell that is – and “plastic contamination” in the Blue Boxes that apparently does not meet the Ontario Ford government’s regulations. (As if the Ford government has any regulations on contamination or on protecting our environment that we should take seriously at all.)

This is becoming bloody ridiculous and I will admit I have to take a wee little of the blame for once promoting Blue Box recycling in Niagara. Continue reading

Canada’s Trudeau Liberals Fiddle While Big Oil Continues to Haul in Huge Profits &  Destroy Planet

There is No Excusing the Multi-Billions of Dollars of Subsidies Trudeau and his Liberal MP Puppets Continue to Pour In to the Filth of the Tar Sands

Yet What’s Another Wildfire, Drought  or Flood to Canada’s Big Oil Liberals?

A Statement from Environmental Defence Canada, a nation-wide advocacy group for our Mother Earth

Posted August 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper, journalist and publisher of Niagara At Large –

As the world continues to burn and countless billions of dollars of destruction is continuing to happen, almost all that Canada’s Justin Trudeau and his Liberals continue to do is use billions of dollars of our tax money to fund big oil and the tar sands. All this while Biden’s United States are working to corner the world market on renewable energy.

I am getting sick and tired of the bullshit (sorry, or maybe not so sorry for the language) we have been getting from Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his dutiful MPs over the past six or seven years on how much they care about the climate change crisis.

While we now watch U.S. President Joe Biden on the verge of signing a historic bill that will pour hundreds of billions of dollars into green energy projects, we have Trudeau and the minions who follow him continuing to pour billions of dollars in subsidies – Canadians’ tax money- into a big oil/tar sands industry that this year has seen its profits spike three or four times above what corporations like Suncor were making this time last year.

Not a peep out of any of them …. Liberal MP Vance Badawey in Niagara Centre, Chris Bittle in St. Catharines ….not one of them. What in hell are they afraid of? A weak leader on the climate file like Justin Trudeau?

Not one of them speaking for our children’s future and about these obscene subsidies and soaring costs for the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, or about the price gouging by oil companies that is hurting so many middle and lower income Canadians. Continue reading

A Sad Farewell to Singer/Actress Olivia Newton-John

Star of Beloved  Film ‘Grease’ Dies at Age73, Following Long, Brave Battle With Cancer

A Brief One by Doug Draper

Posted August 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Olivia Newton-John

My wife Mary and I were visiting an antique store in Fort Erie just this past weekend and there, in a bin of old record album covers, was one of Olivia Newton-John from way back in the 1970s when she was scoring hit after hit on the Billboard charts.

“She sure was pretty,” I said to my wife as we looked at that album cover.

No kidding! To just about every young guy I knew growing up at the time- even if we weren’t a big fan of her music – she was breathtakingly beautiful, drop-dead cute and a perfect model of the kind of girl you could only dream of living next door. Continue reading

A Message to We Humans from Niagara’s Gunned Down White Wolf

Posted by Doug Draper on Niagara At Large

August, 5th, 2022

 

Click on the following link for full commentary on the tragic death of a great white wolf in Niagara – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2022/08/05/niagara-police-gun-down-arctic-wolf-in-port-colborne/

This spring, Ontarians – enough of those who even bothered to go out and vote – delivered another majority government to Doug Ford and his Conservatives who, earlier on, during their first four-year term, gutted endangered species protections for wild life in this promise.

To hell with Ontario’s green places. Let’s just keep paving what is left of them over for more highways and low-density sprawl. image from Council for Canadians

Shame on us for giving Ford another four-year mandate to deliver the greed-driven goods to his masters in Ontario’s God-awful development industry, and for a majority of us not giving a damn about what is left of our natural heritage.

  • 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

Niagara Police Gun Down Arctic Wolf in Port Colborne

“Rescued” Wolf Escaped From Enclosure This Past August 2nd, and Now, After Less Than 48 Hours of Freedom, It Is Gone

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

Posted August 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

When news first circulated this week that a snowy white Arctic wolf – supposedly rescued from somewhere in North Ontario and enclosed in a pen in Port Colborne- had dug its way to freedom and was now being looked for by Niagara Regional Police, I didn’t think it would come to a good end.

And sure enough, less than 48 hours after this majestic animal had snatched a little freedom, a police officer fatally shot it in circumstances where, according to an NRP report, a resident in the area sighted the wolf and feared it would attack his or her farm animals.

Thus ended the short dash for freedom of a majestic female wolf named ‘Boo.’ Continue reading

“May You All F—K Off and Die, “Says Anonymous Email to West Lincoln Councilors

Email Follows Councillors’ Reprimand of One of Their Own – Councillor Harold Jonker – For Continued Involvement in ‘Illegal” Ottawa ‘Freedom Rally’ Chaos

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

Posted August 4rth, 2022 on Niagara At Large

“It is disturbing and that’s putting it mildly,” West Lincoln Councillor William Reilly told me of the email that he and other fellow councillors received late this July from a party that did not have the courage to identify themselves.

The email, that called Reilly and fellow councillors “scumbag Canadians” who, in the online troller’s view, committed “disgusting,” and “shameful actions,” was an apparent response to the West Lincoln’s council to accept a report from its integrity commissioner that called fellow Councillor Harold Jonker out for continuing to participate in a ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest in Ottawa this past winter, even after it was deemed illegal by police authorities.

This vile email sent to these councillors has reportedly been forwarded to Niagara Regional Police and hopefully the NRP and any partner police agencies it may need to employ will use any forensic means possible to track down the source of the email. Continue reading

Niagara, Ontario’s Hospitals Are Facing “Serious” Healthcare Shortages

“Our staff and physicians are working full out to maintain service levels – including taking extra shifts and postponing their scheduled vacations and the regular time off they need to rest and recover after maintaining a gruelling pace since the pandemic began.”

News from Niagara Health in Niagara, Ontario

Posted August 4th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

An update to the community on hospital pressures and our response

This message is from Lynn Guerriero, President and CEO and Dr. Johan Viljoen, Chief of Staff, and Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs.

Niagara Health is experiencing a serious shortage of healthcare workers, on a daily basis, across our five sites and in all areas of the hospital.

Niagara Health’s West St. Catharines Hospital site.

Our staff and physicians are working full out to maintain service levels – including taking extra shifts and postponing their scheduled vacations and the regular time off they need to rest and recover after maintaining a gruelling pace since the pandemic began.

There is no fast fix, no one answer to address the cause, effect or solution to the challenges that have emerged from, or been exacerbated by, the pandemic. Continue reading

Ontario Election’s Over So Why Should Ford & Company Care About Our Hospital Crisis

Hospital, Health Care Horrors Won’t Stop Until Ford Repeals Bill 124, Takes Action

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted August 3rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Tories have just won another majority government for the next four years, so why should they give a damn about our health care?

Thanks to Ontario’s Ford Government and provincial governments before for it, and thanks to succesissive federal governments, including the current Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau, our once proud, universal public health care system is going to hell.

These governments would rather continue cutting  taxes for the upper 10 per cent and spending billions of dollars on new tar sands pipelines and on highways set  to make their donors in the land speculation and development business  even richer than invest enough in our health care systems to keep them sustainable for ordinary Canadians. Continue reading

Police Investigating Damage to Canada Summer Games Mountain Bike Course in St. Catharines

“Anyone caught intentionally damaging or altering the mountain bike course in any way that is dangerous to members of the public or Canada Summer Games athletes may be subject to criminal charges.” – Niagara Regional Police

A News Release from the Niagara Regional Police Service

Posted August 3rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Branches thrown across trail for Summer Games mountain bike event

St. Catharines, Ontario – In July 2022, Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) officers assigned to 1 District (St. Catharines / Thorold) commenced a mischief investigation after receiving reports of intentional damage to the Canada Summer Games Mountain Bike Course, located in the Glenridge / Western Hill area of St. Catharines.

  The course is situated on private property and has been made available to the Canada Summer Games by the Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Traditional Asian Water Lantern Ceremony  in Welland’s Chippawa Park

A Free Event on Friday, August 5th,  7:30 P.M. to 9 P.M. in One of Niagara, Ontario’s Nicest Public Parks

An Invite from Members of Niagara’s Folk Arts Festival

Posted August 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Free to attend. Come experience elements of a traditional Asian Water Lantern Ceremony, our Wishes on the Water.

Free to attend, this event is designed to address anti-Asian racism, by creating a safe space, using art to encourage dialogue, compassion and understanding. This quiet and personal reflective event is family-friendly and designed to especially accommodate those with mobility and sensory/auditory concerns.

Enjoy live traditional and modern Chinese music performed by Helen Huang on violin and Lion Dancers, scheduled to appear around 8pm. Be sure to stay for the Great Launch at dusk when all the lanterns will be floated upon the water at once. Continue reading

This August 1st Is Emancipation Day in Canada

“Emancipation Day falls on the day in 1834 that slavery was abolished in the British Empire. This historic day paved the way to freeing over 800,000 enslaved Africans and their descendants in Canada, parts of the Caribbean, Africa, and South America.”  – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

A Statement by the Prime Minister on Emancipation Day

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on

“Today (this August 1st, 2022), on Emancipation Day <https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/emancipation-day.html>, we acknowledge the painful history of slavery here in Canada and celebrate the strength and determination of Black communities, who fought – and continue to fight – for freedom, justice, and equality.

“Officially designated last year by a unanimous vote in the House of Commons, Emancipation Day falls on the day in 1834 that slavery was abolished in the British Empire. This historic day paved the way to freeing over 800,000 enslaved Africans and their descendants in Canada, parts of the Caribbean, Africa, and South America. Continue reading

On Climate Change, Our Only Choice Left is Between ‘Collective Action and Collective Suicide’

Let’s Keep Pushing Our Political Leaders, at the Municipal, Provincial/State and Federal Levels to Act Now or Face Defeat in the Next Election

A Brief One from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted July 29th, 2022

Just dne glance of wildfires destroying forests in Ontario in 2021.file photo

If you have been paying any attention to the news, you know about all of the catastrophic, life-threatening droughts, wildfires and floods we are facing again this summer across this continent and the world.

We have municipal elections in Niagara this fall. Please make sure you vote for only those candidates who promise to save what are left of our woodlands, wetlands and food-growing lands,  and who take this climate emergency we are now suffering seriously.

NO MORE URBAN EXPANSIONS AND NO MORE CUTTING ROADS THROUGH WETLANDS AND WOODLANDS. NO MORE BUILDING VANITY CONDOS AND FAKE COMMUNITIES ON CHERISHED NATURAL HERITAGE LANDS LIKE WAVERLY WOODS AND THUNDERING WATERS. Continue reading

Ontario ERs Facing Closure Due To Longstanding Nursing Issues-  Brock Expert

Ontario ERs Facing Closure Due To Longstanding Nursing Issues-  Brock Expert

‘The entire system needs to be reformed’. …”Even if we increase the workforce, there still needs to be amenable work conditions as an incentive for RNs to stay in Ontario.”                                          – Connie Schumacher, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Brock University

Connie Schumacher, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Brock University.

A News Release from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted July 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Situation critical. Recent news that many Ontario emergency departments (ERs) are on the brink of closing due to nursing shortages is dire but not surprising to Connie Schumacher.

“The ER is usually the first to signal a warning, and ER overcrowding has been an issue that has not been adequately addressed in decades,” says the Assistant Professor of Nursing at Brock University. Continue reading

New Lawsuit from Polluting Industries Tries to Hinder Canadians’Ability to Protect Themselves from Plastic Waste

Canada’s Plastics Industry Seeks To Block Federal Regulations That Ban Single-Use Plastic

“These irresponsible companies just want to continue profiting from forcing their garbage on us. Disposable plastic has led to a pollution crisis in Canada and around the world.”                          – Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence.

A News Release from Environmental Defence, a Canadian-based public advocacy group for environmental protection

Posted July 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – In a move that should shock and enrage Canadians and people around the world, a group of plastic companies that include DOW and NOVA Chemicals, have filed a legal action to block the federal government from implementing a ban on several non-recyclable single-use plastics.

The application for Judicial Review [https://environmentaldefence.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/T-1468-22_Notice-of-Application_July-15_2022_20220715151302.pdf] filed in Federal Court seeks to block the implementation of the government regulations and allow the continued sale of the banned items. Continue reading

Prime Minister, Pope Discuss Hot-Button Issues on Residential Schools

‘They discussed the need for the Church to take concrete action to repatriate Indigenous artifacts, provide access to residential schools documents, address the Doctrine of Discovery, and ensure justice for Survivors.’

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

Posted July 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(This Wednesday, July 27th), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with His Holiness Pope Francisand the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the  Citadelle of Quebec.

Prime Minister Trudeau thanked Pope Francis for visiting Canada to engage with Indigenous Peoples on their ancestral lands, acknowledge the truths about the residential school system, and recognize its painful legacy for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada. Continue reading

New Global Research Reveals Protection of Greenbelts Now More Critical Than Ever- International Report

Greenbelts Play Vital Role in Adapting to the Growing Threat of Climate Change

Report Examines Eight Greenbelts Around The World, Ranging From Brazil To Denmark, To Shine A Light On The Threats And Opportunities They Face

A News Release from The Greenbelt Foundation in Ontario

Posted July 27th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large I post the following piece less than two months after roughly 18 per cent of eligible voters in Ontario who bothered to vote elected a second majority government for Doug Ford and his Conservatives in the province for the next four years.

Ford has promised to build and expand multi-lane highways through the Greenbelt that will encourage more car and truck traffic and low-density sprawl. He was also caught on video in the past, promising developers that he would be willing to allow “chunks” of the Greenbelt to be paved over for housing.

So here we go. Thanks to those who voted this Ford government back in and to those who couldn’t bother to vote, we  stand to lose more of our green heritage in an era of climate emergency.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large)

TORONTO, Ontario — The protection and enhancement of greenbelts around the world is more important than ever to the future of the cities and regions in which they exist. That is one of the key findings of a new report that shows how greenbelts, or natural areas with protected land-use policies, are evolving globally to respond to current and emerging conditions. Continue reading

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Urges Ford to Prevent Closure of Fort Erie’s Urgent Care Health Care Service

An Open Letter from Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates to Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Posted July 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

RE: Immediate action required to meet Niagara’s health needs

Niagara Falls Riding NDP MPP Wayne Gates

‘I am writing today (this July 26th, 2022) regarding the alarming closure of emergency rooms across Ontario. As you well know, in the last COVID wave Niagara was allowed to be under-resourced which led to the unacceptable decision to cease services at Douglas Memorial Urgent Care in Fort Erie. Today’s urgent letter is a request to avert that situation from occurring again.

I am writing today to ask you to immediately direct Ministry of Health staff to connect with Niagara Health, assess the staffing situation in Niagara and take measures immediately to ensure that the people of Fort Erie are not once again left without their urgent care centre. I am also requesting your offices ensure the people of Fort Erie will not lose their healthcare services again. Continue reading

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey in Alberta for Pope’s Apology

Vance Badawey file photo

Badawey – a Member of Canada’s Metis Community and Liberal Government’s Parliamentary Seeretary to Indigenous Services –Paid Own Way to Historic Event

Did the Pope’s July 25th Apology Go Far Enough?

A Brief News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted July 26th 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre Liberal MP Vance Badawey was among the many thousands gathered near a mass grave for a former residential school in the outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta this past July 25th when Pope Francis issued his much-anticipated apology for the Catholic Church’s role in those infamous schools.

Vance Badawey, right, with two other members of Canada’s Indigenous community at gathering in Alberta this July 25th for Pope’s historic apology for his church’s role in residential schools. Photo courtesy of Niagara Centre constituency office

Like so many others, Badawey, who is also a member of Canada’s Metis community, no doubt found an apology that has been a long time coming heartfelt on the Pope’s part and moving.

Other than that, I will not make the mistake of putting any words in Badawey’s  mouth or anyone else’s in the Indigenous community except to say, fromwhat has been reported, that feelings were mixed. Continue reading

‘Citizen Scientists’ Now In Second Summer of Surveying Niagara’s Great Lakes Shorelines

VAST (Visual Assessment Survey Tool) Benefits for Great Lakes Shoreline Resiliency from Community Coastal Monitoring

Niagara’s Visual Assessment Survey Tool (VAST) is expanding this year to monitor the success of local restoration projects improving coastal resiliency. Coastal communities and visitors can get involved today, becoming active participants in the protection of their shorelines.

A News Release from the Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative

Posted July 22nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Launched in the summer of 2021 by Niagara Coastal, VAST engages coastal residents, visitors, community groups and other local organizations in collecting data to fill knowledge gaps across our Great Lakes shorelines.

Participating citizen scientists complete surveys and submit standardized, repeatable images to monitor coastal stressors.

These images and data are used to advocate for policy changes, guide coastal management decisions, and identify local actions that communities can take to improve their shorelines.

In its first year of operation, over 1,800 photos from 70 different sites across the Great Lakes shoreline were submitted to the VAST platform. The monitoring season reopened this year on April 15 and is well underway. Citizen scientists have already submitted over 660 images of the coast, volunteering 180 hours of their time to support shoreline protection. Continue reading

Niagara, Ontario’s Lakeside Park Carousel Featured in Souvenir Canada Post Stamp

“We are very excited to have our beloved carousel showcased on a Canadian stamp.”                                                                                     – Kathleen Powell, Supervisor of historical services and curator of the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canal Centre.

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

Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2022

St. Catharines, Niagara’s most treasured carousel animal, the Looff lion, is being prominently featured on a stamp released by Canada Post this July 21st.

The St. Catharines issue is joined by four other stamps in the series that display Canadian vintage carousels – The Bowness Carousel in Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary, Alberta, the C.W. Parker Carousel No. 119 in Burnaby Village Museum in B.C., the Roseneath Carousel at Roseneath Fairgrounds in Ontario, and LeGalopant located in La Ronde in Montreal, Quebec.

Each of the popular merry-go-rounds has one of their animals featured on their own individual stamp. Continue reading

Strongman Ford Moves to Create “Strong Mayors” With Draconian Veto Power Over Municipal Councils

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

Posted July 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Well here we go with the first jack boot hitting the ground in the dictatorship Tory Premier Doug Ford is going to impose on Ontario, a mere six weeks after winning a majority government thanks to a pathetic 18 per cent of the province’s eligible voters.

But never mind such a  tissue thin mandate that might cause others to lead the province with a little humility.

Thanks to an Ontario election this June that drew the lowest voter turnout  in the province’s history, Ford and his Conservatives managed to win a majority of seats which allows them, if they want, to run a dictatorship for the next four years. Continue reading

Brock Students, Volunteers Uncovering St. Catharines’ Maritime Past At Local Dig

New discoveries are already being made at the historic Shickluna Shipyard in downtown St. Catharines — and volunteers are being invited to join in the experience.

A News Release from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted July 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Shickluna Shipyard in downtown St. Catharines . Photo vintage 1860s. Brock U. archives

The second season of the archaeological dig near Twelve Mile Creek got underway last week after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to return to the Shickluna Shipyard and share in the experience of exploring local historical and maritime archaeology with our Brock University students and the wider Niagara community,” says archaeologist Kimberly Monk, Adjunct Professor with Brock University’s Department of History.

The 2022 field school is building on the success of the 2019 season<https://brocku.ca/brock-news/2019/07/public-tours-to-be-held-at-excavation-site-of-historic-shickluna-shipyard/>, with further excavation of two key locations: a worker’s cottage and a boathouse.

The site was first used as a shipyard by Russell Armington from 1828 to 1837 and then by Maltese immigrant Louis Shickluna from 1838 to 1880. Joseph Shickluna was the last to run the shipyard from 1880 to 1891 before it was leased to the St. Catharines Box and Basket Company until 1901. Continue reading

Canadian Crown Corporation’s Targets for Addressing Climate Change Are Woefully Weak

“For years, the crown corporation has been fueling climate disaster by providing billions each year to oil and gas companies.” – Julia Levin, Environmental Defence

A Statement from Julia Levin, National Climate Program Manager for Environmental Defence, on Export Development Canada’s New Climate Targets

Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – The new climate targets released this July] by Canada’s export bank, Export Development Canada are a disappointment.

 For years, the crown corporation has been fueling climate disaster by providing billions each year to oil and gas companies.

The only responsible thing to do is to end public financing to the fossil fuel sector but even as people are fleeing their homes and dying from climate disasters, Export Development Canada has put forth weak promises that fail to really decrease fossil fuel financing.

A message climate activists have been sending out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government in recent years as they continue to spend billions of dollars of Canadians ‘tax ,money – moey that could be used for health care or for clean energy projects – on tar sand pipelines like the Trans Mountain pipe to the west coast.

This plan also, unfortunately, buys into the debunked myth that fossil gas is a “transition” fuel, instead of directing investment to genuine climate solutions.

To read more on the details in  Export Development Canada’s latest climate report, click on – [https://www.edc.ca/en/about-us/newsroom/edc-net-zero-2050-update-2022.html]

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Ontario NDP calls Ford’s Health Care Cuts Dangerous Amid Rash Of ER Closures

Ontario NDP calls Ford’s Health Care Cuts Dangerous Amid Rash Of ER Closures

Official Opposition NDP says it is unbelievably callous and dangerous for the Doug Ford Conservatives to have shortchanged health care

New FAO report reveals underspending across the board – including $1.8 billion in health care

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted July 19th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — The Official Opposition NDP says it is unbelievably callous and dangerous for the Doug Ford Conservatives to have shortchanged health care by $1.8 billion as the province grapples with a rash of ER closures amid an ongoing staffing crisis.

In a report released today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario revealed that the Ford government withheld $1.8 billion earmarked for health care as part of $7.2 billion in mid-year cuts for 2021-22. Continue reading

Help a Fort Erie Citizen Group Fund the Fight to Save Waverly Woods

Citizen Activists Holding a Fund-Raising Yard Sale this coming Saturday, July 23rd – See Details Below

A Call for Help from the Community Voices of Fort Erie, a group of citizens dedicated to saving one of the most beloved wooded areas along the Lake Erie shoreline from the forces of greed

Posted July 18thy, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Inside the verdant tree canopy of Waverly Woods. file photo by Doug Draper

(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – If you have never been to Waverly Woods, it is a beautiful tract of green space for wildlife and for people who are drawn to it as a haven for walking and for finding peace of mind in a world where peace of mind is often hard to come by.

Yet no body of government, from the Town of Fort Erie to Niagara Region and the provincial and federal governments, have seen fit to save it from being  vandalized and destroyed forever by the indiscriminate forces of urban development.

At an Ontario Land Tribunal Hearing this spring, it was abundantly clear that the only party that really cared was a group of citizens called the Community Voices of Fort Erie. This group spent an enormous amount of volunteer time and funding for a lawyer to fight the developer and its enablers at the town, and it did manage to win some significant concessions to save at least some of this wonderful place. Continue reading

NPCA Invites You to Nominate ‘Conservation Heroes’ in Your Community for Special Award

Award Of Merit Recognizes Achievements Of Conservation Heroes

An Invite to Make Your Nominates from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted July 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

At their 31st annual Conservation Awards this September, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) will celebrate the accomplishments of hundreds of volunteers who give of their time, energy, and resources to make the Niagara Peninsula watershed a better place to live.

The pandemic made volunteering difficult in many ways, but volunteers remained engaged while assisting with NPCA’s cultural heritage and outdoor education programs, and community stewardship and citizen science initiatives. Continue reading

‘Citizen Scientists’ Gather Vital Great Lakes Water Quality Data for Niagara Residents

Niagara Coastal’s Community-based Water Monitoring Program will Improve Access to Beach Water Quality Data for Niagara Region Residents

“Community-based initiatives are extremely valuable as they establish a foundation for watershed residents to become actively involved in the health of their coast.” – Annie Michaud, Professor of Environmental Studies at Niagara College.

News from The Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative

Posted July 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – With provincial government ministries and agencies, historically responsible for environmental and natural ecosystem protection missing in action and often  unwillingly to openly communicate with the public and media about  concerns in these areas – except through a  lens contaminated by political interests – it is becoming more and more important that we have partnerships and projects like this.

In an age when government agencies are shamelessly letting us down, citizen-based initiatives, working in partnership with learning institions likeNiagara College and Brock University (to the extent those institutions are willing to involve themselves in projects that may  upset the political powers that be, appear to be the wave of the future.

It is becoming ever more clear that citizens have to play the lead role in protecting and conserving our environment. At a time when every region of the world, including ours,  is vulnerable to damaging and deadly climate-related disasters, we can no longer count on government-based bodies to do it.)

Now here is the News from Niagara Coastal- 

For three years, the Niagara Hub has been collecting low-cost, timely, and reliable recreational water quality data for beaches across Niagara’s Lake Erie north shore. Continue reading

Niagara Falls MPP Gets Key Role as Voice for Seniors

“We have thousands of seniors who need supports to stay in their homes as long as they can. Once they need care, they need to know the care will be there for them.”   – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic (NDP) Party

Posted July 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large 

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

QUEENS PARK —NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls, Fort Erie & Niagara-on-the-Lake) was recently given a major portfolio within the NDP caucus

 Gates will now be the party’s leading voice on long-term care, homecare and retirement homes as the Official Opposition critic.

“It’s no surprise this is an issue that’s close to my heart. I’ve been saying for years long-term care was broken in Ontario – but the pandemic really showed us how bad it was,” said Gates.

Continue reading

Approval of COVID Vaccine for Ontario’s Children Is “Monumental Step” Forward – Brock U. ImmunologistAdam MacNeil

“As a parent of an under-five-year-old myself, and someone who has dedicated significant time to studying immunity at its most fundamental level, I will absolutely be vaccinating my child,” MacNeil says.

News from Brock University in St. Catharines Ontario

Posted July 18th,. 2022 on Niagara At Large

Brock University immunologist Adam MacNeil.

The recent approval of a COVID vaccine for infants and preschoolers is a boost needed in Canada’s ongoing battle with the pandemic, says Brock University immunologist Adam MacNeil.

Health Canada announced this past July 14th that the Moderna vaccine has been approved for children between six months and five years old.

“This is a monumental step toward maximizing the vaccine layer of protection across our communities as we continue to wrestle with the evolution of one of the most transmissible pathogens in human history and learn more about its long-term impacts on health outcomes,” says MacNeil, Associate Professor of Immunology.

The children’s vaccine works in exactly the same way as the adult version, he says, with very mild — and no serious — side effects reported to date. Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Webinar Presentation on How to Turn Your Lawn and Gardens into a Haven for Biodiversity

Join This Free Webinar Event on Thursday, July 14th at 7 P.M

News of this Event was Shared by Liz Benneian, a leader of coalition of Earth-friendly groups and individuals across Niagara called the Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee – Niagara

Posted July 12th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Everyone is welcome to a free Zoom webinar on Designing For Biodiversity: turning yards and gardens into habitat.

The presentation focuses on how people can help protect and enhance biodiversity through plant choices, garden design and adding habitat elements from water sources to wood piles. Continue reading

Ford and his Enablers in Politics and Ontario’s Development Industry Just Keep On Paving Over Our Farmland

A Message from the Green Party of Ontario

Posted July 6th, at Niagara At Large

Ontario is losing farmland at an alarming rate.

New data from The Ontario Federation of Agriculture says Ontario is losing farmland at a rate of 319 acres per day.

That’s 319 acres of family businesses, 319 acres of land that protects us from the harmful effects of climate change, and 319 acres of land used to grow your food – all gone.

The pirates in Ontario’s development industry couldn’t give a damn about saving farmland and that is okay with the Ford government. So take what is on the left side here and turn it into more of what is on the right. Then where do we get locally grown food, as if they give a damn. It is all about money in their pocket, and nothing more

The culprit of this devastating loss? Sprawl. It needs to stop now.

Doug Ford’s disastrous plan to pave over precious farmland with supersprawler projects like Highway 413 and The Bradford Bypass threatens the security of the province’s $50 billion food and farming sector. Continue reading

Trudeau Government Not Doing Enough to Address Great Lakes Plastic Pollution

As the Great Lakes Surpass the Oceans in Plastic Pollution, Environmental Defence Is Urging the Government to Do More to Protect the Freshwaters We Need to Survive

A News Release from Environmental Defence, a leading Canadian advocacy group for protecting our environment

Posted July 6th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg,Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – This Plastic Free July, Environmental Defence is highlighting that plastic pollution is not just an oceans problem.

More than 10,000 tonnes of plastic are dumped into the Great Lakes every year—they now have a higher concentration of plastic pollution than the ocean garbage patches. The Great Lakes are drowning in plastic and the federal government must act urgently.

“The Great Lakes contain 84 per cent of North America’s surface water, essential for the survival of millions of people, animals and plants,” said Michelle Woodhouse, Water Program Manager at Environmental Defence.

“But the lakes are very much threatened by plastics,” added Woodhouse. “The only way to save the Great Lakes from plastic pollution is to reduce plastic production altogether. Continue reading

Niagara Coastal’s Community-based Water Monitoring Program will Improve Access to Beach Water Quality Data for Niagara Region Residents

“Community-based initiatives are extremely valuable as they establish a foundation for watershed residents to become actively involved in the health of their coast.”                                                     – Annie Michaud, Professor of Environmental Studies at Niagara College.

News from The Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative

Posted July 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

For three years, the Niagara Hub has been collecting low-cost, timely, and reliable recreational water quality data for beaches across Niagara’s Lake Erie north shore.

Taking samples of water for testing off the Great Lakes waters of Niagara, Ontario

This year, funding from the Niagara Community Foundation and a partnership with Niagara College will expand the community-based monitoring hub to include sites across Lake Ontario. Continue reading

Cave Springs Conservation Area Enhancement Project Underway

 “Through this enhancement project we aim to improve access to greenspace and opportunities for people to connect with nature, protect and highlight the site’s ecological and cultural significance, and showcase our commitment to sustainable practices.” – Adam Christie, Director of Conservation Areas, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA).

Cave Springs Conservation Area from the sky. NPCA photo

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted July 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large06.22.2022

An exciting project is underway to enhance access to thCave Springs Conservation Area, while maintaining the site’s significant natural and cultural aspects.

The outcome of this project will include a completed Cave Springs Management Plan, and enhancements to the conservation area such as a new parking area and improved accessible trail, a new trail system, wayfinding, and educational signage. Continue reading

Now That There’s a Dip in Housing Prices, We Should Invest in Community Land Trusts for Good

“Now it is time to fast-track CLTs to the top of the affordable housing priority list in our communities and across Canada.”

A Guest Column by y Colin Bruce Anthes

Posted July 5th on Niagara At Large

This May Canadian house prices finally fell for the first time in two years, a period during which the average house price had skyrocketed by an astonishing $300,000.

The spiral at one point saw the House Price Index increase by 29 per cent in a single year.

An unprecedented amount of recent purchasing has been made by private speculators and the mega-landlord initiatives called REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts), pushing much of the working class off the metaphorical and literal turf. Continue reading

Could This Be America’s Last Independence Day?

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper, publbisher, NAL

Posted on the Fourth of July, 2022 on Niagara At Large

You don’t have to follow he news from the American side of the border too much to arrive at the conclusion that the country, which  has long branded itself  “the world’s greatest democracy”,  is sliding down a slippery, slimy slope to full-fledged fascism.

Despite all the damaging evidence coming out about Trump and his cult followers at those Jan. 6 Congressional hearings, the common wisdom among pundits on all sides of the political spectrum in the U.S. is that the Republicans, which have become the party of Trumpism, will win this coming November’s mid-term elections.

That means that by the beginning of next year the ‘Party of Trump’ will hold a majority of seats in the U.S. Congress and Senate which will put an end to the current President, Joe Biden, and his Democrats passing anything else in the way of progressive form. Continue reading

This Canada Day, Share a Peace Sign, Be Kind to People

A Brief Message from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted on Canada Day, July 1st, 2022

Suffice to say, there is a good deal of ugly out there these days.

Whether we want to blame it on how easy social media sites make to trash people, on a growing crisis of confidence in government and our public institutions, on the pandemic, on a Trump cauldron of anger and hate metastasizing through not only bodies of Americans, but the bodies of at least some on our side of the border too, or on a combination of all these and more, it is hard to deny that we are in a darker place than we were even a decade or so ago.

In Niagara alone, there have been attacks of vandalism on the properties of some of our elected representatives, nasty encounters with our front-line health care workers, the repeated acts of damage and defacement done to statues and busts of civil rights heroine Harriet Tubman, including the spray painting of a swastika on a sidewalk outside of a school bearing her name, and recent assaults on the property of people expressing support the people of Ukraine by displaying a Ukrainian flag. Continue reading

Niagara Region Commits To Addressing Climate Change at Inaugural Summit

“It is within our power to undertake the activities that are needed to help slow the increase of global temperatures.”                                                                                         – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

A  News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted June 30th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at NAL –

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

I am in full agreement with the above statement, delivered by Jim Bradley, Niagara’ Regional Chair who, by the way, is  a former Ontario environment minister and one of the best environment ministers this province ever had during the years  Liberal leader David Peterson served  as premier, at the end of Niagara’s first-ever Climate Summit this past Tuesday, June 28th.

The pledge embraced at the end of that summit by our Regional government and our 12 local municipalities to work together with area agencies like the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and institutions like Brock University to develop and make actions for addressing what many experts around the world now agree is a full-fledged crisis is a start. Continue reading

Cassidy Hutchinson – An American Hero!

A Brief One by Doug Draper

Posted June 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Twenty-Five Years old and threatened with everything up to and including bodily harm  by Trump Republicans, what a profile in courage she is!!!!!

Niagara Region Climate Summit – Tuesday June 28th

Will It Lead to Any Meaningful Change in Niagara in Addressing the Climate Crisis?
Posted June 26th, on Niagara At Large
A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large publisher and veteran environment reporter Doug Draper –
It appears that this so-called Climate Summit has been planned mostly for and by members of the business, including development industry sector. There seems to be little interest in engaging ordinary citizens.
Therefore we, the people, need to consider having a climate summit of our own and most importantly, we need to consider making sure that we vote in people in this fall’s municipal elections that truly care about protecting and preserving our environment.
– Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
To learn more about the corporate climate summit, click on https://niagaraclimatechangesummit.ca/
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Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Slams U.S. Supreme Court on Abortion Ruling

A Statement by Buffalo, New York-area Congressman Brian Higgins on Supreme Court Decision Overruling Roe v. Wade

Posted June 24th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) released the following statement in response to today’s ruling by the Supreme Court:

“The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a devastating and dangerous theft of women’s rights. This takes us fifty years backward, stripping away the personal freedom for all who are pregnant to make medical decisions that impact your body and your life.

“It will limit access to and criminalize reproductive health services in states across the country. This extreme infringement by the conservative court doesn’t reflect the views of a majority of Americans and sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the continued erosion of decades of progress on equal rights.”

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Warning – Buffalo, New York is Now a Free Zone for Nuts Wanting to Carry Guns in Public

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted June 23rd on Niagara At Large

Thanks to new U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Any Screwball Can Carry a Gun into a Movie Theatre, Grocery Store, Shopping Mall – Anywhere They Want!

A Supreme Court in the United States that is largely controlled by Trump and by Facists that Call Themselves Republicans, carrying a gun in public is now just plain dandy anywhere in the United States, including border communities like Niagara Falls and Buffalo, New York.

That means that virtually any angry male – and they are mostly males of the Trump persuation – can run around with guns and if they get angry, then it is up to them what happens next.

The June 23rd Supreme Court rulling comes less that two months after an 18-year-old white supremacist entered a Top’s grocery store in Buffalo and killed and wounded more than 10 people with a military-style assault weapon that he purchased legally – but apparently most Americans couldn’t give a shit because their rights to own these weapons mean more than human lives.

As a Canadian speaking to others on our side of the border, do you want to cross over and take a chance on that?

And why aren’t our federal representatives speaking out and warning us about this?

Why aren’t they looking at closing the Canadian borders to Americans on the grounds that they are okay with carrying guns? They should be given that stastistics in Canada have shown for years now that a majority of the guns used in deadly acts of violence here come from the United States.

It appears that Americans place free and easy gun ownership and use above human live, but why should we?

It’s time to close the border down to gun-totting Americans.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Niagara At Large is Experiencing Technical Difficulties

A Message from Doug Draper

Posted June 23rd on Niagara At Large

For the past number of days Niagara At Large has been experiencing serious technical glitches related to the software used to post news and commentary here.

I am not a computer technician or a website expert so I am doing my best to correct the problems so we can get back in business.

I do not make any money for doing this site either so I try to avoid spending more time and money out of pocket to keep this online site going. That’s just the way it is.

I beg your patience while I try to work through the website problems here.

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“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Trudeau Government Continues Wasting Our Tax Money on Climate Killing Trans Mountain Pipeline

A Statement from Julia Levin, Environmental Defence’s National Climate Program Manager, on a new Parliamentary Budget Office update on the Trans Mountain Pipeline

Posted June 22nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – Today’s update from the Parliamentary Budget Office  (PBO) is the latest official report to determine that the Trans Mountain Pipeline has become a financially dangerous boondoggle.

The government has often justified the pipeline by promising that its eventual profits will fund clean energy projects; this is flimsy logic given the disastrous climate and environmental impacts of the project.

The PBO update shows this argument doesn’t hold water: there will be no profits, only financial losses for Canadians and more carbon emissions for the planet. Continue reading

Happy First Day of Summer

Happy First Day of Summer

By Doug Draper

Posted June 21st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

I don’t mind saying I am a warm weather person – no cross-country skiing for me- and I’ve been looking forward to this first day of summer since that monster snow storm that covered our region with ice and snow this past January.

However, in these times of climate crisis its likely things will get too warm, as in record heat waves that can trigger heat strokes and lead to respiratory breakdowns due to all of that extra carbon-fuel related smog we are breathing.

So try to stay cool and here is some music from John Sebastian and The Lovin’ Spoonful to ring in summer that you can hear and watch by clicking on the screen below –

Happy Summer and Stay Cool, Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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Sorry Buffalo. Why Would Canadians Want To Go Over There?

Being A Victim of a Random Shooter or Having Our Cars Vandalized or Stolen – Just Because Trump Told Some of You to Hate Canadians – Is Not on My Bucket List

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted June 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Sorry Buffalo. You want to call yourself the ‘City of Good Neighbours’?

There was a time, not long ago and before the pandemic set in, when that seemed to be so true. My wife and I –residents of Niagara, Ontario – enjoyed going to Buffalo all the time to enjoy the festivals and the architecture of neighbourhoods along and around the great boulevards and parks designed by Olmstead in the late 1800s.

But those days are gone and despite all of the posturing from the current mayor that this is still America’s city of good neighbours, the rate of violent crimes in the city has significantly increased and then there was the horror of that mass shooting at a popular grocery store this spring. Continue reading

Here’s For All You Dads Out There

Happy Fathers Day from The Boss

Posted by Doug Draper on Niagara At Large

June 19th, 2022

Click on the screen below and go to rock and roll heaven. All you moms can rock along too –

I was lucky enough to see him perform this live on three different occasions. The sweat was pouring off me just watching it. (I was also lucky enough to see Mitch Ryder, the rocker from Detroit who made Devil With The Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly and Jenny Take A Ride in the late 1960s, perform these songs in concert too.).

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Paul McCartney Turns 80 – UNBELIEVABLE

“You say it’s your birthday. …. We’re going to have a good time. … Happy birthday to you.”                                    – lyrics from The Beatle song,  and one primarily penned by Paul McCartney

A Brief One by Doug Draper

Posted June 18, 2022 on Niagara At Large

I was barely in my teens when a rock group called The Beatles crossed the Atlantic from Britain ignited music mania with their first big appearance on an American television show that received record-breaking ratings that night.

That was 1964 and Beatle member Paul McCartney was still in his 20 when, three years later, he wrote a song for the group’s Sgt. Pepper album called “When I’m Sixty-Four,” leaving his fans trying to imagine him, along with the rest of us, ever getting that old.

Well, the pages of the calendar seem to have turned faster than a whirligig in a wind storm and here we are this June 18th with Paul McCartney at 80.

Believe it Beatle fans. It’s true.

We’ve gone a long way down that long and winding road.

As a toast to Paul, here is another one of the songs he was the primary composer of, along with a little help from fellow composer John Lennon and The Beatles. You can watch and hear them perform it – one of the group’s biggest of all the big hits it had – following a bit of fun banter from the group by clicking on the screen below –

Here is one more for the road, featuring Paul and one of his touring bands performing live sometime over the past few decades –

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Paying Tribute to One of Niagara’s Passionate Citizen Activists

Niagara Falls Resident Linda Babb Passed Away January 17th, 2022 at Age 76. A Memorial Gathering Was Held for Her this June

By Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted June 17th, 2022

Linda Babb

When I was still in the hospital late this past December and through the New Year, being treated for a stress-related heart episode, one of the many kind notes I received came from Linda Babb.

“Please Doug,” she wrote, “get well soon. … I am sending the very best of wishes for a speedy FULL recovery. Much love, Linda Babb.”

Thirteen days later, while I was home recovering, I received the shocking news that she had suddenly died. And yes, I think for almost everyone I talked to who knew her, the news came right out of the dark, grey skies. Continue reading

Civil Rights Icon Harriet Tubman is Target of Niagara Area Hatemongers – Again & Again!

“This is not the first time a statue of (the late civil rights icon) Harriet Tubman has been violated in St. Catharines. No one in Niagara can rest in comfort thinking that the escalation of white supremacist and anti-2SLGBTQQIA+ violence will escape us.”                                               – Niagara Region Anti-Racism Association (NRARA)

“There is no excuse or justification for the defacement of any public property, let alone a school and statue designed to honour one of history’s most recognized advocates for freedom, and noted conductor of the Underground Railroad.”                                 – Jim Bradley, Chair of Niagara Region, Ontario

“The NRPS (Niagara Regional Police Service) recognizes the harmful impact this crime has on members of our community and are working diligently to bring those responsible before the courts to be held accountable.”                                                               – from a June 15th Statement released by the Niagara Regional Police

A  Commentary by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large, followed by other important statements from an anti-racism organization, Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and the Niagara Regional Police Service

Posted June 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

By Doug Draper at NAL – 

In 2016, children at Harriet Tubman Public School in St. Catharines look on after unveiling of a statue of the civil rights icon the St. Catharines, Ontario school is named after. File photo by Doug Draper

How sad. And how disgusting.

Most of all, what an awful lesson for young students at Harriet Tubman Public School in St. Catharines on low some members of our community can go in their hatred of people of colour and of other groups that serve as targets of their bigotry discrimination and hatred.

Six years ago, I was one of the journalists invited to Harriet Tubman Public School to celebrate the unveiling of a statue of the late, great civil rights icon that the school was named after.

Young children who were students at the school at the time, along with their parents and teachers, were bubbling with pride as scholars of Harriet Tubman talked out how this courageous woman, born a slave in the American south and who was not allowed to learn how to read at the time, went on for the rest of her life to campaign for that ability of future generations of children to learn how to read and fulfill their promise as human beings. Continue reading

Animal Advocacy Group Calls for End to Nightly Fireworks in Niagara Falls

Danger Ahead! Niagara Falls Fireworks Prompt Sky-High PETA Appeals on Billboards in Honeymoon City

“Fireworks’ ear-shattering explosions are nightmarish for wildlife as well as cats and dogs, some of whom flee their homes in fear and even get hit by cars. PETA is calling on Niagara Falls Tourism to pack up the pyrotechnics and embrace modern summer festivities that leave everyone in peace.”                               – PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman

News from the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Posted June 16h, 2022 on Niagara At Large

One of the billboards, featuring blasts of fireworks in the shape of a skull, that  PETA has erected in three prominent locations in  Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara Falls, Ontario – Because nightly fireworks have started and are scheduled to continue through October, PETA has erected three new can’t-miss messages to push Niagara Falls Tourism to ditch the displays.

 Featuring a skull made of smoke and fireworks, PETA’s appeals remind everyone that pyrotechnics terrify wildlife, companion animals, and vulnerable humans, including those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The action comes on the heels of PETA’s letter to the president and CEO of Niagara Falls Tourism, Janice Thomson, advising her to swap the fireworks for a drone or laser light show, which are safer and produce virtually no pollution. Continue reading

Okay, So Maybe I Should Have Said Niagara At Large Will Ramp Up Later This Week – Or Maybe Even Later

A Brief Message from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted June 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

That post-provincial election depression is still with me so let me amend my message from late last week.

It will be late this week when Niagara At Large begins to ramp up again, to the extent that it matters at all in this world of over information.

Sometimes, I wonder if it matters at all.

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Niagara At Large Will Ramp Up Again Next Week. Here’s Begging Your Patience

A Message from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted June 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

This out-of-service kittie could be me, although I could never match this level of cuteness.

I’ve had more than a few readers contact me with notes that there has not been much posted on the Niagara At Large site in the last number of days. And they are right and I sense at least a bit of disappointment in their notes.

In a way, it feels good to know that there are people out there who notice and care enough to want this site to post more news and commentary. On the other hand, the last thing I want here is to discourage people from visiting this site.

So let me be honest with you and say that the past week or two with the Ontario election and other issues has been exhausting and disappointing, if you don’t want four more years of Doug Ford running this province.

So I am working to recoup and I will be ramping up again in the coming week. I beg your patience. Stay Tuned.

P.S. – I am also wondering when in hell Trump is going to be arrested for crimes of treason against his country!

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Mask Mandate To Remain in Place at Niagara Health

Niagara Health is Maintaining Our Masking Requirement for Everyone Inside Our Hospitals

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

Posted June 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Health west St. Catharines hospital site

Although provincial masking mandates will change on Saturday, June 11, Niagara Health will continue to require everyone who comes into any of our hospital sites to continue to wear a face mask, including when visiting at a patient’s bedside.

Hospitals care for vulnerable patients who are at heightened risk of infection. Continuing to follow masking is an effective infection prevention and control measure against COVID-19. Masking helps us to maintain a safe environment for our patients and their loved ones, and for our staff, physicians and volunteers, by limiting the risk of infection transmission and outbreaks. Continue reading

Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce Calls on Trudeau Government to Lift Remaining Border-Crossing Restrictions

“With the Chief Public Health Officer reporting declining COVID-19 indicators and as other pandemic-related restrictions have been removed across the country, we feel the time is right to re-evaluate Canada’s border crossings.”                                                         – Mishka Balsom, Executive Director, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

News from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce in Niagara, Ontario

Posted June 7th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

GNCC requests lifting of border restrictions

Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce CEO Misha Balsma

Niagara, Ontario – The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) has asked the Government of Canada to lift its remaining border restrictions.

“With the Chief Public Health Officer reporting declining COVID-19 indicators and as other pandemic-related restrictions have been removed across the country, we feel the time is right to re-evaluate Canada’s border crossings,” said GNCC CEO Mishka Balsom.

“Niagara’s tourism sector has essentially missed two seasons. Reserves are at an end. Economic recovery requires a strong 2022, and that requires a return of visitors from the United States and further afield. It is already June – a removal of onerous requirements such as the ArriveCAN app cannot come soon enough.” Continue reading

Help Stop Developers from Paving Over One of the Most Hallowed Grounds in Canadian History – D-Day’s Juno Beach in Normandy, France

One of the many rows of crosses for Canadian soldiers, near Juno Beach in Normandy, France.

“If we’re going to preserve the sanctity of this hallowed ground and honour the memory of the soldiers who fought and died on D-Day, we need Canadians like you to speak up so our politicians will step up.” A Message from a group of Canadian citizens called Save Juno Beach’

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

Posted on the Anniversary of D-Day, June 6th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Seventy-Eight years ago this June6th, thousands of young Canadians joined their British  and American allies in storming the beaches of Normandy, France in an epic military assault against Hitler’s fascist forces.

It was D-Day, also known as Operation Overlord, and the stretch of French shoreline where more than 1,200 Canadians soldiers lost their lives in that historic assault continues to be known as Juno Beach.

Every year, on the anniversary of the assault, many Canadians, including some of what are left of the veterans and their relatives, gather at June Beach with citizens of France and other countries in Europe and around the world to remember and pay tribute to those who fought and died here.

Young Canadians land on June Beach on D-Day, June 6th, 1944 as part of the largest assaults from the water in military history, marking the beginning of the end of Hitler’s murderous grip on Europe and the world.

But this year and last, the remembrances come with concern and anger over plans by a developer to build condos along Juno Beach – on some of the same hallowed lands where the historic battle took place. And the condominium developer is moving forward with this desecration of this place with the at lease enough support from French government representatives, locally and nationally, to keep its unconscionable plan alive.

Can you imagine that?

Continue reading

Today – this Sunday, June 5th, 2022 – is World Environment Day

Posted June 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

 

Let’s all do our part –even just a little – to make our world greener, cleaner and healthier for our generation and for  generations to come.

Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

A Statement by the Prime Minister on World Environment Day

June 5, 2022

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on World Environment Day:

“Today, on World Environment Day <https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/overview>, we come together with the international community to protect our planet and ensure our kids and grandkids can have a safe and healthy place to live and grow. This year’s theme – Only One Earth – highlights the importance of working together toward this goal.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Climate change is real and its impacts are already here. Across the country, Canadians have experienced extreme heat waves, had their homes destroyed by wildfires and floods, and seen their crops devastated by drought – and these extreme weather events are on the rise.

“Since 2015, the Government of Canada, together with Canadians, has taken historic action to cut pollution while growing the economy and creating good jobs. We put a price on pollution, which is making life more affordable for Canadian families in jurisdictions where the federal pricing system applies. Continue reading

Democracy May Be Biggest Loser in this Ontario Election

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

Posted June 3rd 2022 on Niagara At Large

By know, most of us know that Doug Ford and his Conservatives won an even larger majority than they did last time in this June 2nd Ontario election.

Two of this election’s losers – the NDP’s Andrea Horwath and the Liberal’s Steven Del Duca – have already resigned as leaders of their parties.

But who or what were the big losers?

Starting with the politicians and opposition parties, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca lost his bid to win a seat for himself in the provincial legislature, leaving him with little choice but to step down as leader of a party that also failed to win enough seats (it only chalked up eight this time) to recover party status.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath managed to hold on to her seat in Hamilton and win enough seats to keep Official Opposition Party status. But her party’s share of seats and votes were lower than they were in the 2018 election and she, too, stepped down as leader. Continue reading

As Projected from the Beginning of this Election, Ford Government is Back with a Big Majority

Conservative Sam Oosterhoff Wins in Niagara West, NDP Incumbents Wayne Gates, Jennie Stevens and Jeff Burch win in Ridings of Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Niagara Centre Respectively

A News Commentary by Doug Draper at NAL

Posted June 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The slogan Doug Ford and his Ontario Conservatives flashed around the province in this election was “Get It Done.”

Well, they sure did get it done alright, because this was decisive win for the Ford forces that has all but buried the opposition under the asphalt of one of the new highways they are promising to build through swaths of Ontario’s greenbelt.

Fortunately that burial did not include three very good and hard-working NDP incumbents in Niagara – Wayne Gates in the Riding of Niagara Falls, Jennie Stevens in the Riding of St. Catharines and Jeff Burch in the Riding of Niagara Centre. Continue reading

‘A Message for People Thinking of Voting for Doug Ford

Do Yourself and Do All of Us a Big Favour. Vote for Anyone Else!

A Brief Foreword Note from Doug Draper

Posted June 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The following video, featuring a message from a fellow Ontario citizen and writer named Paul Chato, was sent to Niagara At Large earlier today by one of our readers.

In order to protect the innocent, I will not identify the reader by name. However, I thank her for sending this important message and I urge anyone who is thinking of voting for Doug Ford and his Conservatives to hear it before they go to the polls this Thursday, June 2nd.

It might just make you consider changing your mind as we face the possibility of suffering through four more years of a Ford government that will continue to wreak havoc on the quality of life in our community, on our public services and on our environment.

To watch and listen to the message, click on the screen immediately below –

 

Our feature and the future of generations of Ontarians to come is on the line in this provincial election – 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

In this Ontario Election, Let’s Paint Niagara Orange

Let’s Have a Full Slate of New Democrats to Raise a Voice for Us in the Face of Four More Years of Ford Government

 Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted June 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

As I write this commentary there are less than 24 hours left before voters go to the polls in this Ontario election.

And I am going to begin by repeating something that I know some of you out there have told me you don’t want to believe or hear. Every poll out there is projecting, just as tracking polls have since this election officially began a month or so ago, that Doug Ford and his Conservatives are going to win another four-year term as a majority government.

The question we have here in Niagara is do we want to replace one or more of the three NDP MPPs we have – Jeff Burch in the riding of Niagara Centre, Wayne Gates in the riding in a riding of Niagara Falls that includes Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Jennie Stevens in the riding of St. Catharines – and add NDP candidate Dave Augustyn in a riding of Niagara West now held by Ford Conservative Sam Oosterhoff? Continue reading

Canada’s  Government Introduces Toughest Gun Control Laws in Generations

“One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many. I’ve seen all too well the tragic cost that gun violence has in our communities across the country. Today, we’re proposing some of the strongest measures in Canadian history to keep guns out of our communities and build a safer future for everyone.”             

-. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

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

Posted May 31st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – Mere days after the horrific mass shooting massacres across the American border in Buffalo, New York and at an elementary school in gun-happy Texas, Canada’s prime minister and his Liberal government have introduced some of the toughest gun restriction in generations.

In the United States, we are once again being treated to the regular bullshit from soft, weak Democrats and liberals that “this time” there is more support for gun restrictions, but we know that nothing will come of it because lobby groups like the NRA and gun manufacturers have completetly corrupted the American political system. Continue reading

Ontario’s Niagara Parks Celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee this June 2nd thru 5th

  *   Public ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 4, in Queen Victoria Park

  *   Niagara Parks Police Honour Guard, Niagara Regional Police Pipe and Drum Corps to kickoff the ceremony, followed by dignitary remarks

  *   Special regal purple Falls illuminations are scheduled nightly from June 2 to 5

An Invite to All from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted May 21st. 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – In honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, Niagara Parks and the City of Niagara Falls will host a formal celebration to commemorate the Queen’s 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth. Continue reading

Do You Still Want to Cross the Border to the Land of Mass Shootings?

If So, Better Brush Up on Your “Active Shooting Drills” First

A NewsCommentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

After the horrific slaughter this May 24th of 19 children and two teachers in a Texas elementary school, one of the many thoughts that went through my mind was a conversation I had, pre-pandemic, with a store owner in Buffalo, New York.

On one of the visits to the store, I happened to mention to the owner for reasons I can’t remember that I was Canadian and immediately he told me how much he and his family liked Canada, and how safe and sane they found it there.

To amp up his point about safety and sanity, the store owner (whose name I will not use to protect the innocent) told me about the “active shooter drills” a child of his was being put through at an elementary school the child attended, and about how much angst those drills caused for both the children and their parents. Continue reading