Author Archives: dougdraper

A Happy ‘Presidents Day’ to our American Neighbours

“He’s now president for life. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot           someday.” – U.S. President Trump, seemingly “joking” to an adoring audience of supporters  at a May 2018 Florida fundraiser about a power grab that had just been made by China’s president, Xi Jinping, to rule his country for life

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

Posted on this Presidents Day in Trumpland, February 17th, 2020

“Donald Trump is functionally a monarch at this point. … If the king does it, it’s okay.”                                                              – American historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Jon Meacham, shortly after Moscow Mitch delivered Trump an acquittal shortly after the sham of an “impeachment trial” held in what is left of the U.S. Senate this January

“Every public official that I know believes that his election (in 2020) is in the public interest,” said Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard University law professor, acquaintance of convicted sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein  and member of Trump’s legal team from hell, during what so many mainstream American media lemmings dutifully called an “impeachment trial.” Continue reading

Federal NDP Leader Reaches Out to Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Pharmacare

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh

“Today in Canada, one-in-five Canadians – close to 7.5 million people – either has no drug coverage at all or effectively has no coverage due to high deductibles and co-payments. As a result, nearly three million Canadians do not take their medication as prescribed because they cannot afford it – leading to hundreds of preventable deaths every year.”                                                             – Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh

News from Canada’s New Democratic Party

Posted February 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

 Ottawa, Ontario – This week, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford to update the government of Ontario on the NDP’s plan to bring in pharmacare for all and to seek his government’s support to make sure every person in Ontario is covered.

“New Democrats know that sky-high prices put enormous pressure on the provinces. In fact, prescription drugs are now the second largest spending category in Canadian healthcare, costing more than physicians’ services,” said Singh. Continue reading

This Valentines Day Weekend, You are Invited to an Exciting Family Friendly Celebration of our Birds on the Niagara

An International Celebration of Winter Birds in our Bi-National Niagara River Corrirdor – Identified as a “Globally Significant Important Bird Area”

A Great Snowy Owl on the Niagara River. Photo courtesy of Jay Burney

An Invite to All from the Niagara Falls Nature Club and Bert Miller Nature Club in Niagara, Ontario and the Buffalo Audubon Society in Western New York

Posted February 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara’s three naturalist clubs have partnered with Niagara Parks and several organizations on the US side of the river to welcome birders; from beginners to experts to get outside and experience the stunning natural beauty of the Niagara River corridor.

Photo courtesy of Jay Burney

Hundreds of thousands of birds representing over 40 species of waterfowl, including colourful ducks, and sociable swans, snowy owls, gulls and other birds visit here from the north and can be found on the Niagara River during the winter. Continue reading

Surprise, Surprise – Ontario’s Premier Is in Bed with the Auto Insurance Industry

The laugh is on we, the people! Did you vote for up to an 11 per cent hike on your auto insurance premiums?

Doug Ford dings Ontario drivers with another insurance rate hike

Auto Insurance Rates Expected to Soar as High as          11 Per Cent in Ontario 

News from Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democratic Party

Posted February 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARKTom Rakocevic, Ontario NDP Auto Insurance critic, released the following statement in response to news that some Ontario drivers will be paying up to 11 per cent more for auto insurance this year as rates continue to climb in the province:

Get your stacks of cash ready, if you have any. More of it needs to go to some of the businesses that fund the Ford Tories’ election campaigns

“It’s wrong for the Ford government to let auto insurers pile on with another rate hike as Ontario drivers struggle to keep up with skyrocketing auto insurance rates.

Adding insult to injury, Doug Ford campaigned on lowering auto insurance rates and he’s turned around and done the exact opposite, driving premiums up and up.

This confirms that there is no relief in sight for Ontarians as Doug Ford’s Conservatives pick up where the Liberals left off. Continue reading

This Black History Month, Ontario’s Niagara Parks is Hosting its First Black History Symposium

Saturday, February 29th from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m, at the Historic Queenston Chapel

An Invite to All from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted February 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Park’s Queenston Chapel on 29 Queenston St., in Queenston, Niagara-onthe-Lake, Ontario, where the symposium will be held

Queenston, Ontario – Niagara Parks will host its first Black History Symposium at the historic Queenston Chapel on Saturday, February 29 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., bringing together leading community historians and commentators specializing in black history and culture.

Learn how the Niagara region played host to some of Canada’s most poignant stories of courage and freedom through three different perspectives: Continue reading

The Late Kirk Douglas’s Film ‘Spartacus’ Was ‘Pivotal to 20th Century History of Confronting Injustice and Oppression’

“It was credited with effectively ending the Hollywood blacklist and has been recognized as providing social commentary on the Civil Rights Movement in its treatment of women, African-Americans, and same-sex relationships.”                                             – Classics Professor at Brock University, Katharine von Stackelberg, reflects on legacy of Spartacus

News from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted February 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Of all the films he appeared in, Kirk Douglas, who passed away last week at the age of 103, was perhaps best known for his starring role in the 1960 film Spartacus.

Although Douglas was a controversial figure — including serious sexual misconduct allegations that came to light later in his life — Spartacus is seen as an important film that dealt with significant contemporary issues.







“The film was pivotal to 20th century history of confronting injustice and oppression,” says Katharine von Stackelberg, Associate Professor with the Department of Classics at Brock. “People keep thinking slavery is just something that belongs to the past, but as I emphasize in the slavery module of my introduction to Roman civilization course, slavery is very much a present and ongoing issue.” Continue reading

Environmental Watchdogs Sue Ontario’s Ford Government Over Plan To Log Old-Growth Forest In Temagami

“Ontario is required to consider climate change before exempting forestry from environmental assessment. … This didn’t happen for Temagami,”                                                                                            – Joshua Ginsberg, a lawyer with Ecojustice’s law clinic at the University of Ottawa.

These old=growth trees have been standing in Ontario’s Temagami Forest for hundreds of years. Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Tories across the province would have them cut down in a matter of days without a proper review of the consequences.

“These 400-year-old trees are not something that is a sustainable harvest. You’re not talking about regrowing them. … They started growing before Champlain discovered this part of the world, “We’re not talking about a cycle of regrowth and return.We’re talking about ancient creatures that have acquired and protected this carbon for centuries.”                                             – Gord Miller, a former Environmental Commissioner for Ontario and now Chair of  Earthroots, an Ontario-based grassroots conservation organization

A News Release from Ecojustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity, and the Ontario-based environmental groups Earthroots and Friends of Temagami

Posted February 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Don’t simply let more of this happen in Ontario’s Temagami Forest

Ecojustice lawyers, on behalf of Earthroots and Friends of Temagami, have filed a lawsuit against the Ford government for refusing to take into account climate-related considerations in its forestry management plan for Temagami.

“Ontario is required to consider climate change before exempting forestry from environmental assessment. When this condition is not met, the environment ministry is legally required to kick-start the individual environmental assessment process. This didn’t happen for Temagami,” said Joshua Ginsberg, lawyer with Ecojustice’s law clinic at the University of Ottawa.

“This is a systemic problem across the province where climate-related impacts are left out of the picture for Ontario’s forests despite the legal requirement for it to be included.”

In Ontario, forestry management plans benefit from a class-based exemption from environmental assessment, provided the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) addresses a list of mandatory conditions, including efforts toward climate change mitigation and carbon management. Continue reading