Author Archives: dougdraper

Canada Pledges Support for Global ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ Campaign

Stand Up For Ukraine – 9.1 billion euros ($12.4 billion) pledged in support of internally displaced and refugees

“Whether it’s food, water, shelter, or medical aid – we will continue to have your backs and provide the assistance you need at this time. We are standing  up for Ukraine.”                                        – A message to the people of Ukraine from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

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

Posted April 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The “Stand Up for Ukraine” global pledging event and campaign has raised 9.1 billion euros ($12.4 billion) for people fleeing the Russian invasion, inside Ukraine and abroad, including €1 billion from the European Commission.

On top of that, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced an additional €1 billion in loan to cover the needs of the people displaced by the invasion.

Out of these €10.1 billion in pledges and EBRD funding, €1.8 billion are for internally displaced persons and €8.3 billion for refugees in frontline EU Member States and countries, like Moldova. Continue reading

Budget 2022 Signals “Canada Is Back” As a Full Great Lakes Partner

“Investing in the Great Lakes fishery is good for the “triple bottom line” –  the fishery contributes $8 billion in economic return each year, the fishery is integral to our culture, and a healthy fishery means a healthy environment.”                                                                             – Vance Badawey, Niagara Centre MP and Co-Chair of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Taskforce

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

Posted April 8th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre Liberal MP and Co-Chair of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Taskforce, Vance Badawey. file photo

OTTAWA, ON – Vance Badawey Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre and Co-Chair of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Taskforce, was pleased to see our Liberal Government has made a decisive decision to be the first Federal Government in forty years to fully fund the binational treaty organization Great Lakes Fishery Commission in (this April 7th’s) budget.

Canada and the United States co-fund the Commission’s work under a treaty of 1954 called the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries.

The Commission’s program protects and improves the $8 billion Great Lakes fishery and Canada, before today, had been providing less than what the treaty requires. Today’s budget will ensure Canada makes essential investments to sustain the fishery, which we share with the United States. Continue reading

Passionate Birder & Champion in Fight to Save Fort Erie’s Waverly Woods to Receive Time-Honoured Nature Award

Marcie Jacklin is one of the citizen leaders in a David vs. Goliath battle to keep developers from destroying one of Niagara’s  natural jewels

A News Release from the Niagara Falls Nature Club in Niagara, Ontario

Posted April 7th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario naturalist, citizen activist and leading member in fight to save Waverly Woods in Fort Erie to receive time-honoured award

Niagara, Ontario – Local Fort Erie resident, Marcie Jacklin, will be receiving the R.W. Sheppard Award on Monday, April 11th, 3:00 pm, at Waverly Beach Park in the Town of Fort Erie.

The award is being presented by representatives from the Niagara Falls Nature Club who originally chose her as the recipient in 2020.  Traditionally the award is presented at the group’s annual dinner in April, but COVID-19 resulted in the cancellation of this and other live events.

Now that restrictions are lifted, an outdoor presentation has been planned to allow for safe distancing and masking, if preferred.

Roy W. Sheppard, for whom the award is named, was the first honourary president of the Niagara Falls Nature Club.  He joined the club in 1966 and was an active member until his death in 1985.  He was internationally known as a naturalist and published scientific and nature articles. Continue reading

Niagara’s Major Business Group Applauds Federal Government’s “Growth-Oriented Budget”

“With unemployment projected to remain low, and with supply chains and inflation now the biggest economic challenges, a growth-oriented budget makes sense at this time. Prudent governments have reinvested the rewards of growth in diversification and social programs, and this budget represents a step in that direction.”

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

Posted April 7th. 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce offers its views on the 2022 federal budget

Niagara, Ontario – The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) notes that the Government of Canada, reacting to a booming economic rebound, has opted to re-invest in housing, green energy, and other forward-thinking projects and programs.

Much of this is wisely targeted at known economic pain points such as housing and supply chains.

Simultaneously, while the era of extraordinary COVID-19 relief is coming to an end, the last five weeks in Ukraine have shown that peace and security cannot be taken for granted. That being the case, heightened defence spending was inevitable, particularly as Canada currently funds its military at a low rate compared to NATO peers. Continue reading

Should More of Our Natural Heritage be Sacrificed for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games?

You Have an Important Role to Play in Stopping the Destruction of 12 Mile Creek Ravines in St. Catharines/Niagara

A Call-Out from Friends of 12 Mile Creek, a Niagara-based citizens group

Posted April 7th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Twelve Mile Creek is a study in contrasts – in some areas, one of the most natural, and in other areas, one of the most altered watersheds in Niagara.

The ravine behind Riverview Blvd. is in an altered area, however, it is a quiet and peaceful place of Creekside trails and woodland slopes.

Sadly, this ravine is being destroyed by a plan advanced and supported by the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games and the Mayor of St. Catharines for the construction of a mountain bike racecourse. Continue reading

Ontario Liberals Call For Mask Extension And Expansion To Schools, Pharmacies And Grocery Stores

“Ford’s Conservatives are still planning to end all mask mandates in long-term care homes and hospitals on April 27th – this is a huge mistake.”                                                                                             – Ontario Liberal Party Leader Steven Del Duca

A Statement by Steven Del Duca, Leader of Ontario Liberal Party

Posted April 7th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca has issued the following statement:

“With COVID case counts now skyrocketing, Ontarians deserve science, not silence from their provincial government. Doug Ford’s Conservatives must stop muzzling the Chief Medical Officer of Health and restore his regular media conferences that ended over a month ago. Continue reading

G7 Nations – Canada and the United States Included – Tighten Screws on Putin

“We underscore that those responsible for war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law, including the indiscriminate use of force or attacks intentionally targeting civilians, must be held accountable and brought to justice.”

A Statement from the Group of Seven (G7), released by Canada’s Office of the Prime Minister

Posted April 7th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

“We, the Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7), condemn in the strongest terms the appalling atrocities by Russian armed forces in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns. We continue to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

 

The murder of civilians and non-combatants is categorically prohibited under international humanitarian law.

We support the UN Secretary General’s call for an independent investigation that leads to effective accountability for these atrocities. We underscore that those responsible for war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law, including the indiscriminate use of force or attacks intentionally targeting civilians, must be held accountable and brought to justice. Continue reading

An Urgent Call-Out – Make Sure You Have Your Say in Planning the Way Niagara Grows

Region’s Proposed Official Plan Will Impact Niagara’s Urban and Green Spaces for Decades to Come

A Notice from Niagara’s Regional Government, with a Foreword by Doug Draper

Posted April 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Foreword by Doug Draper, reporter/publisher, NAL

After years of discussion and debate, and of  drafting and redrafting a new Official Plan for Niagara, the Region’s Council is hoping to give the Plan final approval before this term of the council ends in the fall.

An Official Plan, as Niagara’s Regional Government explains it, “includes land-use policies that cover topics like Niagara’s natural environment, land needs, growth allocations, housing, transportation, urban design, employment lands and agriculture.”

Thjis image, first posted months ago by the region-wide citizens coalition Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, speaks to the importance of this Official Plan in protecting what is left of Niagara’s natural heritage.

In a nutshell, it sets the framework for how and where our communities grow, both inside and outside urban boundaries for decades to come. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Cutting Gas and Fuel Taxes For Six Months “To Provide Relief For Businesses and Families”

Government to Introduce Legislation to Cut Gas Tax by 5.7 Cents per Litre and Fuel Tax by 5.3 Cents per Litre

“I am proud that I am part of a government, under the leadership of Premier Doug Ford, that continues to lower the cost of living in our region and across the province.”     – Niagara West Ford Government MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Now Ford’s Finance Minister Wants to See Trudeau Government to Cut Carbon Tax it Introduced to Fight Climate Change

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara West Conservative Party MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Posted April 4th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO – As part of its plan to keep costs down for Ontario families and businesses, the Ontario government is introducing legislation that would, if passed, cut the gas tax by 5.7 cents per litre and the fuel tax by 5.3 cents per litre for six months beginning July 1, 2022.

Vehicle owners in Ontario would see significant direct savings from this proposed gas tax cut and the recently announced elimination of licence plate renewal fees, with households benefitting from an average combined savings of about $465 in 2022.

Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy

“Ongoing supply chain challenges and geopolitical conflicts are pushing up the cost of living from gas to groceries,” said Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance.

“With these added pressures, families and businesses need extra help to keep costs low.  That is why our government is bringing forward legislation to provide tax relief at the pumps and put money back into people’s pockets.”

Niagara West Ford government MPP Sam Oosterhoff

“A key concern for many residents in Niagara West is affordability and cost of living,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“I am proud that I am part of a government, under the leadership of Premier Doug Ford, that continues to lower the cost of living in our region and across the province by putting money back in the pockets of working families.”

Effective July 1 until December 31, 2022, the gas tax rate would be cut from 14.7 cents per litre to 9 cents per litre, representing a cut of 5.7 cents per litre.  The fuel tax rate, which includes diesel, would be reduced from 14.3 cents per litre to 9 cents per litre, representing a cut of 5.3 cents per litre.

The Ontario government is also continuing to call on the federal government to help families and businesses in the face of rising costs by cutting the carbon tax, which increased to 11.05 cents per litre on gasoline and 13.41 cents per litre on diesel on April 1, 2022.

“Ontario is getting stronger, and with this proposed legislation, our government is doing its part to support workers and families,” said Minister Bethlenfalvy.

“Now is the time for the federal government to join us in providing relief for hard-working Canadians by cutting the carbon tax.”

Ontario’s plan to cut gas and fuel taxes is part of a broader package that will provide immediate cost-of-living relief, including:

  *   Cutting costs for millions of Ontario vehicle owners by refunding licence plate sticker renewal fees paid since March 2020, and eliminating licence plate renewal fees and plate stickers on a go-forward basis, saving vehicle owners $120 a year in southern Ontario and $60 a year in Northern Ontario for passenger and light commercial vehicles.

*   Permanently removing tolls on Highways 412 and 418, effective April 5.

  *   Providing tax relief for workers, families and seniors through the Low-Income Workers Tax Credit, the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit, the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit and the Ontario Child Care Tax Credit.

  *   Reaching an agreement with the federal government for $13.2 billion of funding for a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care System, providing Ontario families with children five years old and younger in participating licensed child care centres with up to 25 per cent in savings, to a minimum of $12 per day, retroactive to April 1, 2022. This agreement will deliver an average of $10-a-day child care for eligible children by September 2025.

Quick Facts

  *   Vehicle owners in Ontario would see a significant direct savings from this proposed gas tax cut and the recently announced elimination of licence plate renewal fees. For example, a family in Southern Ontario who owns two cars and drives regularly would save about $815 in 2022.  Households that do not own vehicles are expected to benefit from the impact of the proposed gas tax cut in the prices paid for taxis, food delivery and consumer products.

  *   The price paid at the pump is made up of the cost of crude oil, wholesale margins, retail margins, federal excise tax, the federal carbon tax, Ontario gasoline/fuel tax and HST.

  *   This proposed tax cut would be effective July 1, 2022 to provide the industry – including manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers – the required time to adjust their systems and business processes.

  *   In 2018, the government passed legislation to eliminate the previous government’s cap and trade carbon tax to reduce gas prices by 4.3 cents per litre.  When combined with the savings from the government’s proposed legislation, the reduction in provincial taxes and charges on gas would total 10 cents per litre.

  *   Ontario’s Gas Tax program supports public transit in municipalities across Ontario by providing two cents per litre of provincial gas tax to improve and expand transit. The Ontario government will ensure that this funding would not be impacted by this proposed cut.

Additional Resources

  *   Working with Industry to Provide Tax Relief to Ontario Workers and Ontario Families<https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/1001936/working-with-industry-to-provide-tax-relief-to-ontario-workers-and-ontario-families>

  *   Gasoline Tax<https://www.ontario.ca/document/gasoline-tax>

  *   Fuel Tax<https://www.ontario.ca/document/fuel-tax>

See a related story posted by CBC by clicking on – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-gas-tax-1.6407385

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

Action Needed Now on Affordable Housing Crisis – Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

“If we are to properly represent our constituents, I’m urging this House to take real substantive and timely action to address the soaring cost of living and shortage of affordable places to live.”        – Niagara Centre MPP Jeff  Burch

From the Constituency Office of Jeff Burch, NDP MPP for the Niagara Centre Riding in Niagara, Ontario

Posted April 4th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Note from Niagara At Large – The following statement by Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch was made in the Ontario legislature this past March 30th and is very much in line from what NAL hears many people – especially younger people – in our Niagara region and elsewhere in the province saying. That is why NAL is posting it.)

A Statement by Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch –

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

“In my riding of Niagara Centre, there is a severe lack of affordable housing, wages are stagnant, but the price of gas, groceries, and housing continues to rise.

A modest one bedroom in Welland is going for $1400 a month. A basement one-bedroom apartment in Port Colborne is $1300. According to Niagara’s Workforce Planning Board in March 2020,Niagara’s average home price was $450,000. In March 2021, this price increased by 37.2% to over $620,000.This annual increase in local housing costs outpaces wage increases of the average worker by five times. Continue reading

Niagara Region’s Council Loses Strong Voice for our Green Heritage

A  News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted April 3rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

What a downer!

Now former St. Catharines Regional Councillor George Darte

George Darte was there – not all that long ago – speaking out for the preservation of Niagara’s green spaces.

Then, suddenly y, he was gone.

The St. first-term St. Catharines Regional Councillor, who had already earned a reputation as a solid voice for protecting and preserving what is left of Niagara’s farmlands, woodlands and wetlands, informed fellow councillors via email this past March 30th that he was vacating his council seat for “private” reasons and effective immediately.

Callouts by Niagara At Large to obtain even a clue about what led to Darte’s decision came up dry.

So all that those of us who care about protecting what remains of Niagara’s natural heritage are left with is that we have lost a good ally on the Region’s council. Continue reading

Niagara Health Issues Important Update about Another Rise in COVID-19 Cases

Cases of COVID-19 are rising again in Ontario, including at Niagara Health, driven by the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron.

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

Posted April 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – We anticipated this increase in cases in the hospital as public health measures lifted and people started spending more time together.

We are well prepared to manage hospital activity and want to recognize the extraordinary commitment of our staff and physicians to provide patients and families with safe, quality care.  Continue reading

Trudeau Comments on Pope’s Historic Apology to Canada’s Indigenous Peoples

“Today’s apology is a step forward in acknowledging the truth of our past. We cannot separate the legacy of the residential school system from the institutions that created, maintained, and operated it, including the Government of Canada and the Catholic Church.”                                                                                        – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A Statement by Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Posted April 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this April 1st, 2022) issued the following statement on the apology from His Holiness Pope Francis for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system in Canada:

“I acknowledge His Holiness Pope Francis’ apology to Indigenous Peoples for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in operating the residential school system in Canada. Today is about the Survivors, their families, and those who never came home. Continue reading

Niagara College Joins Ontario Colleges To Support The Ukrainian Crisis Fund

“This tragedy has affected everyone on our campuses and created a strong desire to help.”

A News Release from Niagara College

Posted March 31st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Student Anastasia Bobrova, who is from Russia, pens her message of support for Ukraine at NC’s Welland Campus with a powerful message “We are all one family. Ukraine, we are with you.”

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara College has partnered with a number of colleges across Ontario to make a joint donation of $200,000 to UNICEF’s Ukraine emergency fund<https://www.unicef.org/ukraine/en>.

“Niagara College stands with the people of Ukraine,” said NC president Sean Kennedy. “We are proud to contribute to a fund that will help provide vital necessities and services for Ukrainian families who are experiencing hardship and loss.”

Donations to the Ukraine emergency fund will support the organization’s ongoing programs and response to the escalating need in Ukraine by providing communities with safe water, urgent medical aid and health-care services, child protection and education. UNICEF has been working in Ukraine since 1997. Continue reading

Trudeau’s Latest Climate Action Plan ‘Continues To Fall Short’

“Canada is still not spending what it takes to successfully scale up proven climate solutions and transition the country towards a clean energy future.”

From Environmental Defence, , a nation-wide citizens advocacy group for a greener, cleaner future in Canada

Posted March 30th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Statement from Keith Brooks, Programs Director for Environmental Defence – 

The government of Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan provides the most comprehensive national climate action roadmap to date.

It is an improvement from previous climate plans, which largely ignored the two most polluting sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada: road transportation and the production of oil and gas.

Unfortunately, the level of ambition reflected in this plan continues to fall short.

Most importantly, this plan lets the oil and gas sector off from doing its fair share. Avoiding catastrophic climate change requires winding down production of oil and gas over the next decade. Continue reading

Canada’s Trudeau Government Unveils Plan for Addressing Climate Crisis

“Taking real climate action that is not only ambitious, but also achievable, is key to building a strong economy in the 21st century.”  – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

News from the Government of Canada

Posted March 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Delivering clean air and a strong economy for Canadians

Canadians have been clear about what they want: clean air and good jobs, a healthy environment, and a strong economy. Today, the Government of Canada delivered a plan that outlines the next steps to continue delivering on those priorities for everyone.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (March 29th, 2022) announced the release of the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps to Clean Air and a Strong Economy. The plan is an ambitious and achievable sector-by-sector approach for Canada to reach its new climate target of cutting emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and to put us on track toward our goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Building on the actions of millions of Canadians, Indigenous Peoples, businesses, provinces, territories, and municipalities, the Government of Canada is continuing to take action to fight climate change, create jobs, and ensure that Canadians are global leaders in the transition to clean industries and technologies. Continue reading

Pre-Election Spending Spree Makes Doug Ford “The $6 BILLION MAN”

“It is going to take more than billions of dollars in cynical pre-election announcements for voters to forget the cuts Doug Ford’s Conservatives made.” – Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca

A News Release from Ontario’s Liberal Government

Posted March 30th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

In 2019, the Doug Ford Conservatives pledged to “end March madness spending”

QUEEN’S PARK – Doug Ford’s Conservatives have made well over $5.6 billion in pre-election expenses in the month of March alone according to a list compiled from government news releases by the Ontario Liberals (https://ontarioliberal.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/March-Madness-Backgrounder-2.pdf) .

For Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservatives, this spring’s election race is already on as many of the programs they cut or ignored over the past four years are now getting buried in pre-election funding.

“Everyone knows the real Doug Ford is a cutter, not an investor. It is going to take more than billions of dollars in cynical pre-election announcements for voters to forget the cuts Doug Ford’s Conservatives made during the full four years of their government,” Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said. Continue reading

Niagara Region’s Current Councillors, Staff Have Worked to Restore Public Confidence in Regional Government – Jim Bradley

Some Stand-Out Words from Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley’s 2022 State of the Region Address, with a Foreword by Doug Draper

A Foreword by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted March 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

In early December, 2018, former St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley reads oath of office before beginning his new role as Chair of Niagara Regional Council. Many members of the public were breathing a sigh of relief after four years of Al Caslin and his enablers at the helm.

After reading through the entirety of Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley’s 2022 State of the Region address this March 29th, there was one section in it unlike any I have ever read in a State of the Region address before – and in my more than 40 years as a journalist in Niagara, I have read quite a few of these addresses.

State of the Region addresses, delivered before an audience made up of largely business representatives from across Niagara and, regardless of who delivers them– are typically a fairly dry, nuts-and-bolts presentations of the Regional government’s “accomplishments” over the past year, with some mention of work that is still in progress.

I can never recall one of these addresses speaking to disturbing conduct that has occurred in the ranks of regional council or staff in the past. These speeches usually leave negative stuff like that locked away in the attic. Continue reading

Niagara Regional Chair Uses Annual Address to Highlight Steps Made to Meet Major Challenges

Bradley’s 2022 State of the Region address focuses on teamwork, respect and results

“I have never been more confident that we will overcome our challenges together. … Niagara is a community that has demonstrated, time and time again, that when we work together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”                              – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

News from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted March 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – In his State of the Region address on March 29 (2022), (Niagara) Regional Chair (Jim) Bradley delivered a speech focused on the themes of teamwork and respect, while also discussing numerous accomplishments that have been delivered by this term of council.

Appearing before a sold-out audience at the Balls Falls Conservation Area, and countless more online as part of the hybrid event, Chair Bradley reflected on his time in office and the strength of the team that comprises Regional Council. Continue reading

$10-A-Day Child Care For Families In Ontario (Is Finally A Reality)

(NAL Note – Ontario’s Ford Government is Last Province in  Country to Sign on to this Widely Popular, Historic Child Care Agreement with  Feds)

“With the signing of today’s (March 28th, 2022) agreement, we’re making $10‑a‑day child care a reality for families across country. Today’s announcement will save Ontario families thousands of dollars each year.                                                              – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

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

Posted March 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, today (March 28th) announced an agreement that will deliver affordable, inclusive, and high-quality child care for families in Ontario.

This Canada-Ontario early learning and child care agreement is a five-year deal to reduce child care fees in the short term, deliver $10-a-day child care for Ontario families, and create 86,000 new licensed early learning and child care spaces in the province. Continue reading

A Disturbing Cyber Attack Only Strengthens Resolve of Waverly Woods Supporters

A Message to all Friends and Supporters of Waverly Woods from Marcie Jacklin, President of Community Voices of Fort Erie in Niagrar, Ontario

Posted March 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Thank you Fort Erie and Saving Waverly Woods

Dear friends

Niagara, Ontario – On Thursday night we experienced a targeted attack on our zoom Information night meeting.

The attack consisted of hate messages and pornography. I want to take the time to thank the strong, caring people of Fort Erie. Your reaction has been amazing.

We have received emails, Facebook messages, and phone calls supporting us. Signatures to our petition are increasing by the minute.

Thank you for being strong, everyone. Thank you for rising up and standing up for your community. Continue reading

Biden Delivers Powerful Speech in Poland for Democracy over Tyranny Everywhere

“For God’s sake, This Man (Putin) Cannot Remain In Power” – U.S. President Joe Biden

“Russians Are Not Our Enemy.”

We Will Have A Different Future, A Brighter Future, Rooted In Democracy And Principles, Hope And Light, Of Decency And Dignity, Of Freedom, And Possibilities,”

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper, followed by Biden’s full speech in Warsaw, Poland

Posted March 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

U.S. President Joe Biden gives a pickup and hug to a young girl from Ukraine in a refugee camp near Warsaw, Poland where he later talks about the spirit and courage of those he met in the camp

Joe Biden’s powerful speech Warsaw, Poland was not over for a couple of minutes before cable media outlets in his own country said – “Did you listen to that? He’s calling for regime change!”

They kept saying it over and over again as if to accuse Biden of wanting a hit squad from his country and/or others in the NATO coalition to go in and take the monster in the Kremlin out.

But if you listen to Biden’s entire speech and place that part of it in context, there is a segment where the U.S. president makes it clear he is trying to get through to the Russian people – people he also makes clear he has no beef with – and hopes that they will take him out of power, one way or another.

To that I say shouldn’t anyone of sound mind hope the same! Continue reading

Stand Up for Ukraine – European Commission And Canada Team Up With Global Citizen To Support Refugees

“Today, our message to the Ukrainian people is this: we are standing with you. Whether you need food, water, shelter, or medical aid – we are rallying the world to continue to have your backs.”                                                                                   – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A  News Release from the Government of Canada

Posted March 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(This March 26th),  the European Commission and the Government of Canada announced the launch of a global campaign to raise funding in support of people fleeing the invasion of Ukraine, in partnership with international advocacy organization Global Citizen.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the international community on behalf of his citizens who have been displaced by the war, saying: “On 9 April, the biggest online event ‘Social Media Rally’ will support people who were forced to flee Ukraine. I’m inviting everybody: musicians, actors, athletes, businessmen, politicians, everybody. Everyone who wants to join this movement and ‘Stand Up for Ukraine’.” Continue reading

Remembering Aretha Franklin on the 80th Birthday of One of the Greatest Voices Ever Recorded

By Doug Draper, a life-long Aretha fan

Posted March 25th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Aretha Franklin in the mid-1960s – young, gifted and already wowing millions of us around the world.

It was a warm evening in late June, 1994 when my wife Mary and I walked through the gates of Artpark in Lewiston, New York. And we knew, before we took our seats that we were in for something every special.

The performer that evening was Aretha Franklin, who had already cemented her legacy as “The Queen of Soul” and the greatest female singers of her generation.

We sat there in awe as her voice seemed to ring out over the audience and onward to the Niagara River. It would not have surprised me if you could still hear her at Queenston Heights on the other side.

What got me too was how effortlessly, even in the most raucous of numbers like “Think” or “Respect” every note rang out. “Her voice was all-powerful and all-consuming,” read a review in The Buffalo News the following day.” Continue reading

Our World Loses a Much-Needed Voice for Democracy

Madeleine Albright Recently Left Us a Must-Read Book – Fascism, A Warning

“The real question is: who has the responsibility to uphold human rights? The answer to that is: everyone.” – Madeleine Albright, from her 2018 best-selling book, Fascism, A Warning

A Statement from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, with a Brief Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

A Foreword by Doug Draper

Posted March 24rth, 2022 on Niagara At Large

“Fascism draws energy from men and women who are upset because of a last war, a log job, a memory of humiliation, or a sense that their country is in steep decline,” wrote the former and now-late U.S. Secretary of State and foreign affairs scholar Madeleine Albright in her 2018 best-selling book Fascism, A Warning. “The more painful the grounds for resentment, the easier it is for a Fascist Leader to gain followers by dangling the proposect of renewal or by vowing to take back what has been stolen.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If what Albright, who died of cancer this March 23rd at age 84, describes in those opening lines from this important and timely book sound familiar, think of Trump and his millions of followers across the border in the United States or, more recently, the so-called “Freedom Convoy” organizers and their enablers, who wreaked so much havoc in Ottawa and at Canada-U.S. border crossings.

Albright know of what she speaks. As a very young girl, born in Eastern Europe, she ultimately made her way to the United States with her parents, in the shadow of two of the most notorious Fascists of the last century, Hitler and Stalin. (Two 20th Century prototypes of Putin.)

Margaret Atwood, one of Canada’s and the world’s greatest contemporary writers and author of a book that rivals George Orwell’s 1984, the dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, said in an interview a few years back that if you only have time to read one book on the subject of Fascism, read Albright’s. Continue reading

Bob Gale Can Take My $240 and Shove It!

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper Posted March 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls regional councillor Bob Gale – a current Doug Ford Conservative candidate in the Niagara Falls Riding – wants to see us get back  money/ And why not – especially during an election year like this, where we have a provincial vote this spring and a municipal election in the fall..

What an ingrate I am.

Here is Bob Gale, a Niagara regional councillor from Niagara Falls and long-time retailer in gas, wanting to give me and every other property tax payer across Niagara who rakes in less than $160,000 a year a $240 cheque out of the Regional Government’s reserve fund.

What a magnanimous gesture on Bob Gale’s part.

And I don’t want to take it!

Of course, I am sure that Gale’s generous proposal has nothing to do with the fact that he is also running in the Niagara Falls Riding (covering all of Niagara Falls and most of Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake) as a Doug Ford Conservative candidate in this spring’s provincial election, Continue reading

A Target of Greedy Developers – Niagara’s Waverly Woods Receives CBC Attention as a “Priceless” Place of Green

Why Aren’t Governments at All Levels Doing More to Save this Precious Place in Fort Erie, Ontario? Could it Be that They Don’t Really Care?

A Brief News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted March 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

“It’s disturbing actually … there are some things that are priceless,” Marcie Jacklin, a Fort Erie resident, national award-winning naturalist and head of an ever-growing citizens group called Community Voices of Fort Erie was quoted saying in a CBC story this March 23rd story.

Inside the canopy of Waverly Woods, a well-worn path winds through. How long will it last?

Unfortunately, what most other polical representatives at the local, regional and higher government levels had to say about the possible loss of this great treature – Waverly Woods – to a 10-storey condo building was weak and feckless. Continue reading

Niagara Region Public Health Strongly Recommends Continued Mask-Wearing

“In recent days, that decline has ended and hospitalizations have increased again. More generally, COVID-19 continues to circulate widely and there is still substantial risk.” – Public Health, Niagara, Ontario

A Message from Niagara Region’s Public Health Department

Posted March 22nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Thanks largely to our community’s hard work around limiting social interactions and getting vaccinated, we’ve seen COVID-19 hospitalizations decline in our community, allowing the reopening that we are now enjoying.

However, in recent days, that decline has ended and hospitalizations have increased again. More generally, COVID-19 continues to circulate widely and there is still substantial risk at this time. Even with limitations on testing, we are seeing large numbers of cases every day; the true number of infections is likely still higher than in any previous wave. Continue reading

Springtime in Niagara, Ontario Means Destroying More Trees and Green Places

As Niagara Possibly Leave the Pandemic, the Old Norm of Destroying More of Our Natural Heritage Returns

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

Posted March 21st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Welcome to the first full day of spring in Niagara – a day when some of us celebrate a season of renewal that includes the budding of trees and the nesting of birds and other wildlife.

How silly, How naive of us.

What a  bunch of “tree huggers,” “eco freaks,” “dickie bird lovers” and (even worse in this world of upside down, alternative realities we now live in) what a bunch of “conservationists and (ever worse than that) “environmentalists.”

Forces for developers move in earlier this March and bulldoze down trees in Niagara Falls’ Thundering Waters Forest. Might as well get it started now with nesting time here.

Please God, this spring,- in the year 2022, in this Niagara region of Ontario, don’t call us conservationists or environmentalists. Continue reading

Face Coverings No Longer Required In Town Of Lincoln Facilities Starting March 21, 2022 

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

Posted March 21th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Lincoln, Ontario  – Following the guidance of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Town of Lincoln will no longer require visitors to wear face coverings when visiting Town of Lincoln facilities, effective Monday, March 21, 2022.


Here are some of the key changes coming into effect on March 21, as outlined in Statement from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health: Continue reading

Fort Erie Updates Mask Mandates At Town Facilities

Town is Planning to Keep Most Health Requirements in Place Until  March 31st

A News Release from the Town of Fort Erie in Niagara, Ontario

Posted March 21th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

FORT ERIE, Ontario – The Province has announced that it is lifting the mask requirement in most settings as of March 21, 2022.

To enhance the safety of our staff, the Town of Fort Erie is extending its current safe work standards and policies for Town staff and in most municipal facilities (such as Town administration offices and the Fort Erie Historical Museum), including wearing masks, until March 31, 2022.

The Emergency Operation Committee (EOC) will be meeting again on March 24th to review information and data that becomes available to determine any next  steps. Continue reading

Hey Putin, Ban Us All. Who In Hell Would Want to Go to Russia Now?

By the Way, When is Trudeau Going to Kick Putin’s Ambassador to Canada out of Our Country?

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

Posted March 17th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Putin tells our elected leaders – Stay out of Russia! As if anyone would want to go.

I guess the federal MP in Niagara Centre – the riding in Niagara, Ontario where I live – won’t be going to Russia any time soon.

Not that Vance Badawey,  the person of decency and sound mind that I think he is, would be planning a vacation to Russia anyway – not under circumstances where the mad leader of that country continues murdering and making life hell on earth for more than 40 million people in neighbouring Ukraine.

In the wake of a stirring address Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, delivered to members of Canada’s House of Commons and Senate in Ottawa this past March 15th, Niagara’s four MPs – Liberals Badawey and St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle, and Conservatives Tony Baldinelli (Niagara Falls and Dean Allison (Niagara West) – and all other members of Canada’s House of Commons have been banned by Putin and his fellow war criminals from setting foot on Russian soil. Continue reading

THE MUSH HOLE Uncovers The Trauma Of Canada’s Residential Schools – This Tuesday, March 22nd in St. Catharines

“Something Dark And Hidden Is Being Brought Into View, Impossible To Ignore.” – Karen Fricker, The Toronto Star

A News Release from the FristOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted March 17th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Created from Survivor testimonials, The Mush Hole)  is a story about hope and finding light in dark places. This theatrical dance performance, produced by Santee Smith and Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, tells the true stories of the brutal legacy of residential schools in Canada.

The Mush Hole hits particularly close to home as it shares the shameful history of abuse that took place at Canada’s first residential school –  the former Mohawk Institute – located in Brantford and just down the highway from Niagara. Continue reading

A Happy St. Patrick’s Day to All – Even if You are Just Irish for a Day

A Brief Message from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted March 17th, 2022

For many years now, my wife and I have crossed the border to Buffalo to enjoy its great St. Patrick’s Day Parade (back on track and scheduled for this coming Sunday, March 20th at 2 p.m.), even though my Italian-born wife and I hardly share enough Irish blood between us to wet the bottom of a thimble.

That doesn’t stop us from pinning on these great big “Irish for a Day” button and celebrating the contribution so many Irish immigrants have made to life in Canada and the United States. Continue reading

Ontario Liberals Promise to Bring Back Incentive for Purchasing and Leasing Electric Vehicles

Incentive On Electric Vehicles And Charging Stations To Save Ontario Families Thousands While Fighting Climate Change

A News Release from the Liberal Party of Ontario

Posted March 16th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO – An Ontario Liberal government will undo the cut Doug Ford made to Ontario’s incentive programs for electric vehicles by providing families up to $8,000 on the purchase or lease of eligible zero emissions vehicles and $1,500 on charging equipment, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca said this March 16th..

“Electric vehicles are the future it’s long past time the provincial government helped Ontarians make the move to protect themselves from the rising cost of gasoline. An Ontario Liberal government would ensure Ontario is again a leader in the fight against the climate crisis,” Del Duca said.

“Doug Ford’s Conservatives hit drivers twice, not only did Ford break his promise to cut the gas tax by 10 cents, but they also made it harder for Ontario drivers to choose the long-term cheaper and cleaner option of electric vehicles over their gas-guzzling alternatives,” Del Duca added. Continue reading

Trudeau Government Vows to Make Canada a Leading Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Producer

Supporting Canada’s automotive manufacturing sector and its workers

“By helping Canadians build – and then drive – cleaner vehicles, we’re delivering on our plan to build a better future for all.”           – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A News Release from the Government of Canada

Posted March 16th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with Ontario Premier Doug Ford to announce govermnent investments in building greener vehicles at a Honda plant in the province

Across the country, Canadians are laying the groundwork for a strong economic recovery that will create good jobs, grow the middle class, cut pollution, and build a cleaner future for everyone.

The Government of Canada is making smart investments to support automotive workers, help Canadians get around in cleaner and more affordable ways, and make Canada a global leader in building hybrid-electric vehicles.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was joined today (March 16th, 2022) by the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, to announce a new federal investment of $131.6 million that will help Honda Canada retool its manufacturing operations in Alliston, Ontario to launch the next generation of hybrid-electric vehicles. This investment will be matched by the Province of Ontario. Continue reading

Destruction at Waverly Woods/Erie Beach in Fort Erie, Niagara

“Significant Canadian history may have been destroyed (in Niagara, Ontario  this March 14th) With only six weeks to go to the (provincial) Hearing (over an urban developer proposal here)  the bulldozers are now at Waverly Woods/Erie Beach.”

A Message from Marcie Jacklin, a leading member of Community Voices of Fort Erie, a Niagara-based citizens group dedicated to saving Waverly Woods

Posted March 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Dear friends

Countless Niagara residents and visitors to the region love Waverly Woods as a place to celebrate for its natural beauty. A developer wants to destroy it. Photo by Doug Draper

Niagara, Ontario – Significant Canadian history may have been destroyed yesterday (this past Monday, March 14th).

With only six weeks to go to the Hearing the bulldozers are now at Waverly Woods/Erie Beach.

There is a high probability that Indigenous History and Indigenous and War of 1812 bodies are being destroyed. A recent analysis of the archaeological reports for this site recommends that it is worthy of UNESCO Heritage Designation.

What a wonderful treasure and opportunity the people of Fort Erie have but are already losing.

Yesterday (this March 14th) the heavy equipment showed up and extended the destruction that was started in January. Continue reading

Ukrainian President’s Passionate Speech to Canada’s Parliament

Volodymyr Zelensky Asks Canadians to IMAGINE what his people are going through at the hands of Russia’s Psycho Leader

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

Posted March 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

On a big screen in Canada’s House of Commons, Canadian Prime Minister Welcomes Ukrainian President Zelensky to deliver an address this March 15th as Zelensky holds a hand over his heart.

Ukraine’s heroic president was seen on a big screen inside Canada’s House of Commons holding his hand to his heart as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finished introducing him as the figure of courage he is.

Other leaders of Canada’s political parties honoured him as an inspiration to the world – the living embodiment of what a leader of a free, democratic nation should be.

Elizabeth May, leader of Canada’s Green Party, holding back tears at the end of President Zelensky’s address to Canadians, said that as much as Canada has done for the people of Ukraine and to stop Putin’s murderous war on them, we have got to find ways to do more without, at the same time, causing the madman in Moscow to start a nuclear war.

If you missed Zelensky’s entire address to Canada’s parliament, I encourage you to please click on the screen below and watch it –

Finally, here (to the right) is a portrait of another true hero – Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova for having the guts to hold up this sign on Putin’s propaganda TV channel. For doing this, she now faces up to 15 years being raped and tortured by pigs in a Putin prison. The world has to fight to get her out of that country NOW.

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

Almost Two Years On, State of Emergency is Finally Lifted in Niagara, Ontario for COVID-19

Regional Chair Bradley and Niagara’s 12 mayors make joint decision to end the State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic

“Make no mistake: the sacrifices that you made saved lives and kept people out of the hospital.”                                                                 – Jim Bradley, Niagara Regional Chair

A News Release from Niagara, Ontario’s Regional Government

Posted March 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Niagara’s local municipal mayors offer the following joint statement regarding the decision to lift the State of Emergency:

“Effective this Tuesday, March 15 at 12:01 a.m., Niagara’s municipalities are officially ending the municipal States of Emergency that have been in place since April 3, 2020 as they are no longer necessary.

Niagara mayors and Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley at an official ceremony over an unrelated matter after the Emergency Declaration was launched in April 2020.  If you look close, West Lincoln Mayor David Bylsma, second from left and toward the back, is the only municipal leader not wearing a mask. He has been an anti masker and anti vaxxer from the get go – a view shared by many of his far-right Christian constituents in the west end of Niagara.

As the heads of council, we declared the State of Emergency together in an effort to help save lives, protect our hospital system and to underscore the critical nature of the situation. After two years, we are in a significantly different position and appears that it is now the appropriate time to move forward as a community. Continue reading

Niagara Health Continues To Expand Visitor Guidelines at Hospital Sites Across Region

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

Posted March 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Starting (this past) Monday, March 14th, we are increasing our visitor guidelines to welcome two visitors at the bedside for inpatient units, including Labour and Delivery and NICU.

At this time, there is no change for outpatient, Emergency Department (ED) and Urgent Care Centres (UCC) where patients can continue to bring one person to support them.

We ask patients and their loved ones to review the visitor guidelines before coming to the hospital:

Continue reading

Initial Business Case for Proposed Beamsville/Niagara GO Station Released

Good News for Residents of Niagara Anticipating Rail Service Expansion

A News Release from the Government of Ontario

Posted March 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

BEAMSVILLE, Ontario – The regional transportation agency, Metrolinx, with support from Infrastructure Ontario, has completed an Initial Business Case (IBC) in partnership with the Regional Municipality of Niagara, Town of Lincoln and a third-party partner for a proposed GO Station in Beamsville.

The release of the IBC<https://www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/projectevaluation/benefitscases/2020-11-Beamsville-Station-IBC-Appendix-EN.pdf> is the first step in the planning process of building a new GO Station in the Town of Lincoln and is good news for local commuters.

“As we continue to address rapid growth in Niagara, our government is committed to providing Ontarians with faster, more accessible transit,” said Hon. Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. Continue reading

Niagara Falls Residents Win Long Battle Against River Road Condo Towers Plan

“We were very well prepared — able to pick up on discrepancies. It was extremely stressful, but worth it.”                                                       – Debra Jackson, one of the leaders in the residents’ fight to defeat the controversial towers plan.

A Report written and originally posted by the Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee – a Niagara, Ontario-based coalition of groups and individuals dedicated to promoting planning that keeps our region healthy and livable for all

Posted March 12th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

It’s a WIN for the little guy!

Finally, after a four-year battle, the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) said no to the 29 and 10 storey condo towers proposed for River Road in Niagara Falls.

The development was opposed by nearby resident, Ken Westhues, and a group called Citizens for Responsible Development (CRD), formed and incorporate specifically to be granted party status. Continue reading

Niagara Marks Two-Year Anniversary of COVID-19 Pandemic

“While COVID-19 indicators are trending in the right direction, each of us has a responsibility to protect ourselves – and those around us – by getting vaccinated if able and taking the necessary steps if you are not feeling well as a means to control the spread of the virus.”                                                                            – Walter Sendzik, Mayor, St. Catharines/Niagara

A Statement from City of St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik

Posted March 11th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Today (Friday, March 11th, 2022) the City of St. Catharines marks the National Day of Observance for the second year, commemorating the people who have lost their lives, and the significant impacts our community has felt, because of COVID-19.

As we mark this anniversary, flags at City facilities will be lowered through the weekend in honour of those who lost their lives or have been seriously affected by COVID-19.

To date, tragically the virus has claimed the lives of more than 500 residents in Niagara. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones, with those who have suffered due to the impacts of the pandemic and with those who continue to face hardship and difficulties brought on by the pandemic. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Must Support Local Health Care Manufacturing

“We have a company here in St. Catharines with 25 years of expertise making injectable cancer therapies being blocked from providing their products to Ontario’s hospitals by a large purchasing group with no accountability. That’s 25 years of good jobs and local manufacturing skill being threatened.”                      – St. Catharines NDP NPP Jennie Stevens.

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Jennie Stevens, MPP for St. Catharines Riding in Niagara, Ontario

Posted March 11tj, 2022 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario – MPP Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) is calling on Ford to make the procurement of drugs and supplies for Ontario hospitals more transparent and to focus on buying Ontario-made products. This comes as St. Catharines-based Biolyse Pharma has been forced out of the Canadian market by the largest health care procurement buying group.

She was joined by NDP health critic France Gélinas and Biolyse Pharma president Brigitte Kiecken a press conference Thursday

“We have a company here in St. Catharines with 25 years of expertise making injectable cancer therapies being blocked from providing their products to Ontario’s hospitals by a large purchasing group with no accountability. That’s 25 years of good jobs and local manufacturing skill being threatened,” said Stevens. Continue reading

Brock U. Experts Concerned By Ontario’s Decision To Lift Mask Mandate

“We know the pandemic is far from over, but for most people, the message they are getting is that things are improving and are going to continue to improve.”

A News Release from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted March 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Is it too early for Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his government to life the province-wide mandate on wearing masks?

Niagara, Ontario – Dropping Ontario’s mask mandate on March 21 may be going too far, too soon, say Brock University experts, who are concerned with the government’s decision announced Wednesday.

“Most people rely on the message they are getting from the government and if the government is lifting so-called restrictions, it must be because things are OK,” says Christine Daigle, a Philosophy Professor with the Interdisciplinary Humanities PhD program.

“We know the pandemic is far from over, but for most people, the message they are getting is that things are improving and are going to continue to improve.” Continue reading

Government of Canada Invests in Safety at Niagara District Airport

“As we emerge from the impacts of COVID-19 and can more fully embrace the economic opportunities rapidly evolving throughout the Niagara Region, continued investments in Niagara District Airport have never been more important for our community.”     – Niagara Centre Federal Liberal Government MP Vance Badawey

A News Release from Transport Canada

Posted March 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Canadians rely on safe and well-maintained local and regional airports to support vibrant communities. These airports also support essential air services including community resupply, air ambulance, search and rescue, and forest fire response. 

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, Vance Badawey, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, Chris Bittle, today announced that the Government of Canada is making important safety investments at the Niagara District Airport.

Through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program, the Government of Canada will provide the airport with almost $1.2 million to purchase critical safety equipment including a runway sweeper, a snow plow and a loader. Continue reading

The Evil Bastard!!

Putin’s Crimes Against Humanity Need to Be Answered With Maximum Force

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

Posted March 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

An expecting mom, wounded by one of Putin’s bombs, flees from a maternity hospital in Ukraine.

“Dropping a bomb on a maternity hospital — it’s the final proof that what is happening is genocide of Ukrainians.” – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Where is the so-called “red line” when it comes to Canada, the United States and other NATO members finally crushing Putin and the homicidal enablers in his military?

Is it when they deliberately target for the killing civilians in Ukraine, including the maternity hospital they bombed this March  9th? Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Set To End Mandatory Mask Wearing this March 21st

How Many of Us in Niagara and the Rest of Ontario Are Ready to Take the Masks Off?

A Statement from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health

Posted March 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

In Ontario, we may soon be seeying the end of signs like this. Are you ready?

TORONTO — Today (this March 9th) Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health (for Ontario)  issued the following statement:

“With the peak of Omicron behind us, Ontario has been able to cautiously and gradually move through its reopening milestones.

The majority of public health and workplace safety measures have now been lifted, and key public health indicators continue to improve or remain stable.

As we continue on this path, we are able to take a more balanced and long-term approach to Ontario’s pandemic response. Continue reading

As Ontario Election Nears, Demand Clear Commitments from Political Leaders on Conserving Our Natural Heritage

“Together, we (the people) can be the voice for wild species and wild spaces on election day.”

A Message from Ontario Nature, a time-honoured public interest group, dedicated to advocating for our natural places the wildlife inhabiting them

Posted March 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

On June 2, 2022, Ontarians will head to the polls to elect our next provincial government. As election campaigns get underway, you will have various opportunities to make your voice heard.

Be ready when candidates come knocking on your door, when local media cover the upcoming election and for all-candidate meetings.

Read our latest blog <https://ontarionature.thankyou4caring.org/page.redir?target=https%3a%2f%2fontarionature.org%2fvote-for-nature-blog%2f&srcid=49835&srctid=1&erid=8773241&trid=2c8927f9-ee0d-427e-bf11-8c4cd3e00f73> to find out three topics and questions you could raise.

You may even find these issues spark good discussions with those around you as they consider their vote.

Together, we can be the voice for wild species and wild spaces on election day.

P.S. There’s only one Ontario and the time to protect it is now. Your vote and work to put nature in the forefront of this election will decide whether Ontario addresses the biodiversity and climate crises.

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

Companies Operating In Russia Feel The Heat To Get Out – Brock U. Experts

‘What’s motivating this divestment effort is the war’s “moral intensity.” …”A number of factors relate to this moral intensity, including a feeling of social, cultural and psychological nearness that we have for the victims, and all the people who have relatives there.”                                                                                            – Paul Dunn, Professor of Business Ethics, Brock University

A News Release form Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted March 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

For companies continuing to do business in Russia, Joachim Scholz offers a key insight: proactive is better than reactive.

Some of the logos of corporations that are at least temporarily pulling business from Russia due to world-wide outrage over Putin’s murderous aggressions in Ukraine

“Don’t drag your feet,” says the Brock Assistant Professor of Augmented Reality Marketing. “Don’t wait until consumers get more and more frustrated before you take a stand, because then you move from building your brand to protecting your brand.”

Brock Professor of Business Ethics Paul Dunn says social consensus is saying this attack against Ukraine is wrong.

“Businesses are not only feeling that sort of pressure but are perhaps in the vanguard of opposing the war as well,” he says. Continue reading

We Should Be Rationing Gasoline and More in the War Against Putin

Why Are Practically None of Our Political Leaders Willing to Encourage Us to Do Everything Possible to Cut Back Our Use of Gas and Oil?

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted March 7th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

This has more or less the price of a litre of gasoline at practically every pump in southern Ontario this March 7th and 8th. In the war for democracy that we are fighting against Putin, we should be drastically cutting back on gas use.

I don’t know about you, but I am getting awfully damn tired of turning to the news and hearing or reading the same lines from Canadian and U.S. politicians, and from economists and global trade gurus when it comes to slapping sanctions on Vladimir Putin.

The lines revolve around whether Canada and the United States, along with those in Europe and elsewhere should ban the purchase of Russian gas and oil and they go something like this –

“We know that gas and oil make up Putin’s number one cash cow and that short of NATO forces joining Ukraine in taking direct military action against him, not purchasing any more of his gas and oil is probably the most effective way of crushing him, but if we do that, where do we find enough oil to make up the difference?

“And if we can’t find enough to make up the difference, we will have gas and oil prices at our pumps spiking even higher than they are now.” Continue reading

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Calls on Ford Government for Plan for Relief at Gas Pumps

“I ask the Premier, have you looked at the price of gas lately? You have nothing to celebrate. Ontario residents are breaking under the cost of gasoline right now. I am saying to the Premier, his Government can and must play a role in offering relief at the pumps.”                                                                                                          – Wayne Gates, NDP MPP for the Niagara Falls Riding

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

Posted March 8th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The way the prices at the pumps looked in Niagara, Ontario as of this March 8th,2022

QUEENS PARK —NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) rose in the Legislature to demand a provincial plan for relief at the gas pumps as prices topped $1.83 a litre in Niagara Falls.

“I ask the Premier, have you looked at the price of gas lately? You have nothing to celebrate. Ontario residents are breaking under the cost of gasoline right now. I am saying to the Premier, his Government can and must play a role in offering relief at the pumps for Ontario residents. We’ve offered solutions and recommended using the Ontario Energy Board to try and shine a light on this industry and to ban gouging where it occurs. The Premier rejected that plan, Continue reading

Niagara Health Opens New Clinic at St. Catharines Hospital Site

New gynecology service to enhance care for females in Niagara

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

Posted March 8th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Health’s St. Catharines hospital site

A new clinic opening today at the St. Catharines Site will increase access to minor gynecology services that are minimally invasive and can be safely provided to female patients who do not require general anesthesia or a hospital admission.

“Our team of physicians and nurses at our Welland Site were instrumental in introducing this safe new model of care to enhance services for females in our region,” says Dr. Nicholas Braithwaite, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Niagara Health. Continue reading

Paying Tribute to Women and Girls on International Women’s Day, 2022

“As we recover from the pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to build a more inclusive future, including through a Canada-wide $10-a-day early learning and child care system, which will make life more affordable for Canadian families and increase women’s participation in the workforce.”                                            – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on International Women’s Day

Posted March 8th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this March 8th, 2022) issued the following statement on International Women’s Day:

“Women, girls, and gender diverse people play an invaluable role in building a fairer and more inclusive future with equal opportunity for everyone, here in Canada and around the world.

“Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate the achievements of women and girls thathave helped shape the world we know today and we recommit to ensuring that everyone has the chance to reach their full potential, regardless of their gender identity, race, ethnicity or religion. Continue reading

Let’s All Do What We Can to Provide Humanitarian Aid to the Ukrainian People

A Brief Commentary and a  Call-Out from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted March 7th, 2022

If you have been anywhere near a video screen tuned in to the cable news in recent days, you have no doubt seen them.

A madman’s bloody lust for money and power has them fleeing for their lives, setting off one of the worst humanitarian crises in Europe since the Second World War.

They are the heartbreaking scenes of Ukrainian refugees, with fear, tears and a look of hunger n their faces as they clutch any of their belongings they can carry. Many of them have children, the youngest hugging their favourite stuffed toys like security blanket.

An estimated 1.6 million plus have crossed the border so far to Poland and any other neighbouring country that is not yet, although might one day be the next target of Vladimir Putin’s murderous bullets and bombs.

Representatives of UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders and other international aid organizations are already calling it one of the worst, if not the worst humanitarian crisis that Europe has experienced since the Second World War.

And as the monster in the Kremlin continues to direct his lethal forces to commit one war crime after another on the Ukrainian people, the need for humanitarian aid reportedly grows more desperate by the day. Continue reading

Women Interested In Municipal Politics Encouraged To Participate In Niagara Region “Seat At The Table” Program

Niagara Region is partnering with the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) Women in Niagara (WIN), City of St. Catharines, YWCA, Future Black Female, Services 4 Humanity, Muslim Senior Circle and Niagara Region’s Women’s Advisory

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted March 4rth, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Region’s Seat at the Table program aims to address barriers that women and gender diverse people face when running for municipal office, while also improving the environment once elected. Despite being just over half of the Niagara population, women are underrepresented in local government, especially in senior leadership.

The programs goal is to increase the number of women and gender diverse people, particularly from underrepresented groups, elected for municipal government in Niagara.

The program aims to promote understanding, awareness, and confidence through education, mentorship and support to those interested in running for election. Continue reading

Climate Change: A Threat To Human Wellbeing And Health Of The Planet

Taking Action Now Can Secure Our Future

“The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet. Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future,” – Hans-Otto Pörtner, marine biologist Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

A Report from the International Panel on Climate Change, working under the umbrella of the United Nations

Posted March 3rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Western Canada on fire, just this past year.

Human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks. People and ecosystems least able to cope are being hardest hit, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released today.

“This report(released this past February 28th, 2022)  is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC. “It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.” Continue reading

St. Catharines MPP’s  Motion To End Veteran Disability Clawbacks Passes

“Veterans who are injured in service to their country should not be living in poverty, scrapping by on meagre OW and ODSP benefits that keep people below the poverty line. (Ontario Premier Doug) Ford must immediately implement my motion and stop the clawbacks on federal disability awards.”                          – St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

News from the Constituency Office of St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted March 3rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jennie Stevens’ (St. Catharines) motion to end the automatic deduction of federal disability award payments from Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) benefits received by injured veterans was passed by the legislature on Tuesday.

“Injured veterans deserve government supports they can count on. They deserve to have decent life here in Ontario after their service,” said Stevens.

“We have a responsibility to show gratitude and take care of those who served our country, and ending the clawbacks on federal disability awards for injured veterans is one step closer to making sure our veterans are taken care of after their service.” Continue reading

The Time for Us to Blow to Hell Putin’s Murderous Drive Through the Ukraine is Now!

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted March 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

I’ve been an anti-war  peacenik since my high school days in the 1960s so I have a very hard time saying this.

But I’m going to say it anyway.

I turn on the cable news and look at those aerial shots of that 40-mile-long convoy of Russian tanks and other lethal military equipment on open roads, heading slowly but surely toward Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv and the brave people still there to defend their city and country from the hellish ambitions of a madman and I am thinking; ‘Where are the NATO force’s jet bombers?

Why aren’t the United States, Canada and other members of NATO ordering jets in the air to blow this convoy to smithereens?

There is Putin’s military convoy, right there in plain site. NATO forces could turn it into a pile of burnt flesh and metal now. What are we waiting for? – more of Ukraine’s men, women and children to die? Where do we draw the red line – at a hundred thousand? a million? More? A time will come, sooner or latter, when we will have to intervene with military force anyway.

I have heard over and over again from retired generals and other senior officers familiar with the NATO forces that NTO has enough air power in this region of the world to turn this convoy and all of the Russian military personal manning it into flaming piles of metal and flesh within 10 or 15 minutes. Continue reading

Support the Niagara Citizens Battle to Save Waverly Woods

Here Are Some Upcoming Events We Can All Participate in to Save this Natural Gem in Fort Erie, Ontario

A red-headed woodpecker – one of the many feathery and furry residents of Waverly Woods.

A Call-Out to All of Us from Community Voice of Fort Erie, a citizens group dedicated to saving this Natural Gem from the Buzz Saws and Bulldozers of Greedy Developers

Posted March 2nd, 2022 in Niagara At Large

Hello everyone.

Spring is in the air! Please join us for a Virtual Open House and our always popular Trivia Night. Looking forward to seeing everyone.

March 24 Virtual Open House –

Why save Waverly Woods?

This beautiful area, which is currently under threat of development, is a special place for many reasons.  Members of Community Voices of Fort Erie Inc. would like to share some of them with you  in a virtual public information session scheduled for Thursday March 24th, at 7 pm.

A look inside Wavely Woods, a natural haven enjoyed by many Niagara residents and visitors to the region. Let’s keep it that way!

The session will begin with a presentation highlighting the History, Nature and Community Assets that the area provides.  The historical connections include Indigenous Peoples, War of 1812, Black history and the Erie Beach Amusement Park. Continue reading

Buffalo Congressman Calls for End to COVID Restrictions at Canada-U.S. Border

Pointing to Action by U.S. & Canada Health Agencies, Congressman Higgins Calls for COVID Restrictions at Northern Border to End

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

Two years ago, the border between the United States and Canada closed with devastating consequences for both countries economically and emotionally. Incredible progress has been made in the fight against COVID and it’s time to remove the remaining disjointed and prohibitive restrictions at the U.S and Canadian borders.”                                                       – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, representing a district that includes Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York

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

Posted March 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York –  Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), who serves as co-chair of the Northern Border Caucus and the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group, says the U.S. and Canada should follow guidance implemented by its health agencies and lift remaining pandemic-related border restrictions.

The Peace Bridge crossing between Niagara, Ontario and Buffalo, New York – hardly taking much traffic at all for the past two years.

In remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives, Higgins said it part, “Increased vaccination rates in the United States, Canada and around the world show that communities who have done the right thing and followed the science can return to a watchful sense of normalcy. 

Today I am calling on the United States and Canadian governments to follow the science-based directives of their health agencies and to fully reopen the Canadian border to travelers without COVID restrictions.” Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Looks At Weakening Environmental Rules to Incinerate Plastic Waste

Environmental Groups Decry Province’s Plan to Cut Public Oversight of Controversial Plastic Burning Projects

“This proposal does not benefit the public in any way. … The province is just letting the plastics industry off the hook for the pollution it creates.” – Liz Benneian, a Niagara, Ontario citizen activist from the Ontario Zero Waste Coalition.

“This will create a free-for-all for companies to install unproven technology wherever they want because the government has decided to call burning plastic ‘recycling’. The health of Ontario residents should not be put at risk for projects that benefit some of the world’s biggest petrochemical companies.” – Emily Alfred, from the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

A News Release from Environmental Defence, Ontario Zero Waste Coalition and Toronto Environmental Alliance

Posted March 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The government of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s answer to plastic waste is to burn it. How toxic will that be?

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg,Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – Ontario government aims to make it easier for companies to establish experimental facilities to burn plastic waste and call it “recycling.”

Environmental groups from across Ontario are challenging the provincial government’s plan to implement changes to the Environmental Assessment Act.

These changes would not only make it easier for companies to launch experimental technologies that claim to recover fuel and/or chemicals from waste, they would also remove important public oversight from these controversial projects.

“This will create a free-for-all for companies to install unproven technology wherever they want because the government has decided to call burning plastic ‘recycling’,” said Emily Alfred, from the Toronto Environmental Alliance. “The health of Ontario residents should not be put at risk for projects that benefit some of the world’s biggest petrochemical companies.” Continue reading

How We Can Provide Humanitarian Aid to the People of Ukraine – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

“If you have the means and interest in doing so, residents may considering donating to a number of humanitarian organizations, including the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and the Canadian Red Cross. … Your donations will support immediate and ongoing relief efforts, long-term recovery, resiliency, and other critical humanitarian activities as needs arise.” – Jim Bradley , Niagara Region

Long live a free and independent Ukraine.

A Statement by Niagara Regional Chair Bradley on the public’s support for Ukraine

Posted February 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley issued the following statement regarding the  public’s ongoing support for Ukraine – .

“This (past) weekend, I joined with hundreds of Niagara residents in a rally of support for the Ukrainian people. It was heartening to see these types of rallies occurring around the country, and indeed around the world. I believe it is important to show our support for Ukrainian people both here in Niagara, and abroad.

But as the unprovoked invasion of the independent and sovereign Ukrainian nation continues to unfold, we must also consider the humanitarian crisis that will develop over the coming weeks and months. Continue reading

Canada Should Be Leading World in Ending Climate Crisis

“Canada is a wealthy nation and a top-ten emitter – we bear enormous responsibility to lead the world in a responsible transition off of fossil fuels.”

A Statement from Environmental Defence’s Senior Climate and Energy Program Manager

Posted February 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

Doug Draper, standing up against carbon emissions and other air pollution during the first Earth Day in April of 1970.

With all of the pressing issues we now face in this world, from Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine and our continued battle battle with the pandemic, to all of the problems facing us in our communities and own lives, it would be just as great a danger if the global climate crisis was somehow forgotten.

Before the invasion of Ukraine and the latest variant of COVID-19, we cannot forget the past year of unprecedented heat waves, wildfires, flooding windstorms and other climate related events that caused so much death and destruction to fellow humans, to wildlife and to whole communities, and the countless hundreds of billions of dollars, world-wide, in economic damages. Continue reading

Trudeau’s Liberals Are Running Out Of Time To Prevent A Climate Disaster – NDP

“There is no time to delay. New Democrats will continue to push for urgent and effective climate action to protect Canadians now and for generations to come.”

A Statement from Canada’s Federal New Democratic Party

Posted February 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

NDP critic for the environment and climate change, Laurel Collins, and the critic for natural resources, Charlie Angus, made the following statement:

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report released today is yet another dire warning that all levels of government have only a narrow window to implement key climate change mitigation and adaptation measures to secure a liveable future. Continue reading