Author Archives: dougdraper

Ontario’s Ford Government Now Moving to Weaken Rules for Owners of Province’s Quarries and Pits

A Call on All of Us to Speak Out for Putting Our Species and Others before Stones and Gravel

A Call-Out from Ontario Nature, a not-for-profit, non-partisan citizens’ advocacy group for protecting and preserving Ontario’s natural heritage 

Posted October 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

Here we go again.

Relentless in the pursuit of its “open for business” agenda, the Government of Ontario wants to weaken protections for nature in order to fast-track development.

Specifically, the government aims to make potentially devastating amendments to Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) which would permit pits and quarries on sensitive landscapes across the province.

Ontarians cannot let these proposed changes fly under the radar. If you agree, please join Ontario Nature in voicing your concern. Continue reading

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Niagara Centre MPP Pleads With Ontario’s Ford Government to “Do The Right Things” For Children and Families Struggling With Autism

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

“Each day that children ,,, are denied much needed therapy, it is another day their full potential for success and growth is thwarted by your government’s inaction on getting funding finalized.” – Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

An ‘Urgent Open Letter’ from Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch to Ford’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services

Posted October 16th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Signs like this have become commonplace in Ontario since Doug Ford’s Ontario Conservatives were elected to power in June, 2018.

Dear Minister Todd Smith:

I am sending this urgent letter on behalf of constituent Joe Seranni of Welland who has yet to see any provincial funding to provide much needed therapy for his son Ashton.

Ashton, who was 3 years old when his father applied in March, has been diagnosed with autism and his Physician recommended 10 hours of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) therapy a week.

Joe will tell you almost in tears the advances his son has made with the limited therapy he is now getting weekly that he is paying out of pocket. Otherwise, there would be no therapy at all. Continue reading

City of Hamilton Continues Battling Ford Government Over Proposed Gutting of Policies to Fight Climate Change and Protect Green Lands

‘The province’s new rules on climate change are limited to preparing for its “potential” impacts. … There are no policies within the (Ford government’s revised Provincial Policy Statement) document which speak to the importance of taking measures now to prevent or avoid climate change,” declares a City of Hamilton staff report.

A News Article by the Hamilton-based citizens’ watchdog group, Citizens At City Hall (CATCH)

(This article was originally posted on September 30th, 2019 in CATCH’s online newsletter at http://hamiltoncatch.org/list_articles.php .)

Posted October 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Bulldozing over ever more paradise to make way for more low-density, urban sprawl.

Hamilton, Ontario – City staff are challenging yet another massive rewrite of planning rules by the provincial government. Planning staff oppose the province’s proposed elimination of policies to fight climate change and protect sensitive natural areas.

They are also questioning “market based” changes that will make it easier for developers to pave over farmland and effectively shift planning approvals “from a municipal-led approach to a developer-led one.”

Municipalities are facing a major revision of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), the document which sets out the overriding rules that all land use planning in Ontario “must be consistent with”.  The PPS directs policies on housing, infrastructure, transportation, economic development, aggregate extraction, land servicing arrangements and other municipal activities. Continue reading

This Thanksgiving, Ontario Premier Doug Ford Says We Have A Lot To Be Thankful For

Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement on Thanksgiving Day, 2o19

Posted October 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford wishes Ontarians a happy Thanksgiving

Toronto — “Today, people across Ontario will come together to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a time to be thankful for the many good things in each of our own lives.

We all have our different traditions, whether it’s carving a turkey, volunteering at the local soup kitchen, or giving thanks before sharing a meal with loved ones.

On this day, I also want to recognize and give thanks for the work of our first responders and our Canadian service members. They go above and beyond every day to keep us safe and healthy.

From my family to yours, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.” – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

End of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Statement and the News Release circulated by Ontario News

The above image obviously did not come from the Ontario government’s news media reps with the Premier’s Thanksgiving statement.

A Thanksgiving Footnote from Niagara At Large –

In this photo, circulated in social media before the 2018 provincial elections, here is then-Ontario Conservative Party leader Doug Ford posing with this then Niagara Centre Riding candidate April Jeffs

And  if we don’t have enough to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season, consider the following. 

We now have April Jeffs , a former Wainfleet mayor and a former member of the board of directors of the Niaagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) under the management of past NPCA administrators, including  Carmen D’Angelo and David Barrick, and Doug Ford’s former  Niagara Centre Riding candidate in the 2018 Ontario election, running as the Conservative/Andrew Scheer candidate in the Niagara Centre Riding in this federal election.

Is the turkey ready yet?

To review the special report Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk released a year ago this September onoperations at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority under the administration of the NPCA’s past administrators and board of directors, click on – http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/specialreports/specialreports/NPCA_en.pdf .

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

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

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at http://www.niagaraatlarge.com .

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

In this Canadian Election, Vote for Climate Action 

A Message from Ontario Nature, a non-partisan, public advocacy group for protecting and preserving our natural heritage 

Posted October 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

Are you ready to vote for nature?  

You don’t need to wait in line on October 21st. Advance voting has already started and runs through the holiday Monday, October 14th.

Here’s what you need: 

Continue reading

Canadians Say Politicians Need to Tackle Plastics Pollution

“Nine out of 10 Canadians are concerned with plastics pollution in groundwater sources and drinking water, almost nine out of 10 are concerned about plastics pollution in soil and food eaten.”

A Message to All Candidates in this Federal Election from Friends of the Earth, one of the more time-honoured environmental groups on the plant

Posted October 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – Half way through the federal election, Friends of the Earth Canada has a message for Canadian politicians. 

The electorate wants action to stop plastics pollution: 86% of Canadians want you to take more action on plastics as a way of reducing climate harmful greenhouse gases. And 8 out 10 Canadians will support you to ban production and use of single-use disposable plastic containers and packaging.

Friends of the Earth is releasing its new national poll with six questions on plastics pollution. Oraclepoll Research Limited conducted the 1,200 person national poll on behalf of Friends of the Earth between September 20-23 (margin of error for total N=1,200 sample is ± 2.8%, 19 times out of 20). Complete results are attached to the release – including vote intent breakout by question. Continue reading

A Brief Tribute to One of Rock Music’s Greatest Drummers – Ginger Baker

August 19th, 1039 to October 6th, 2019

He was a member of the legendary power trio, Cream

By Doug Draper

Posted October 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

It is a little belated, but I can’t go let another day go by without posting a wee bit of a tribute to Ginger Baker, who was, without question, one of the greatest rock drummers in the world.

Ginger Baker, in action during the 1960s, with the legendary super group Cream

Ginger (Peter Edward) Baker, who found himself, along with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, swept to worldwide fame in the 1960s as part of the powerhouse trio Cream, died this October 6th in his native at age 80.

Eighty-years old! I know the years have been racing by, but that is still a little a little wild to rap my mind around. 

I can still remember those jaw-dropping moments, as a young kid in high school, turning on a radio and, for the very first time, listening to one of their most commercially successful songs, ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, from an album called ‘Disraeli Gears’, which has stood the test of time, more than 50 years later. Continue reading