Author Archives: dougdraper

Environmental Racism Experts to speak at Brock University

On Friday, November on Friday, November 15th from 2 to 4 p.m. on the Brock campus’s Charles A. Sankey Chamber in St. Catharines, Ontario

An Invite to All form Brock University
Posted November 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Where is federal and provincial government action on cleaning up mercury pollution left over from old industrial operations in the English River watershed at the Grassy Narrows First Nation community in northern Ontario?

St. Catharines, Ontario – This Friday, November. 15th, Charlotte Henay, Lecturer at Brock’s Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, will be joined by two external experts in a panel presentation titled “Climate Justice, Gender, and Environmental Racism.”

Margot Francis, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and co-organizer of the event, explains that the panel will highlight the ways in which “minoritized communities suffer disproportionate harm from environmental toxification.”

“The impact of environmental devastation is not currently and has never been felt equally by everyone,” says Francis. “Communities in the global south who have been least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions are being harder hit, and in Canada, Indigenous and black communities have always been more vulnerable to environmental racism.” Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Taking Next Steps to Integrate Health Care System

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

“In order to bring our world-class health care system into the 21st century, we need to get rid of the inefficiencies and back office duplication. This is how we are continuing to put patients first and ensure sustainability for future generations.”                   – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

News from Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservative Government

Posted November 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Changes will Protect Uninterrupted Access to Patient Care

TORONTO — Ontario is taking the next steps in its plan to better integrate the province’s health care system to help end hallway health care.

On December 2, 2019, five provincial agencies will begin transferring into Ontario Health while the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) have been clustered into five interim and transitional geographic regions.

The Hamilton, Niagara, Hadlimand, Brant LHIN (Local Health Integration Network), still outlined with thin black border lines on this map, is now being clustered with other LHINs to form an interim West region stretching west to Windsor and northward along the shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Map courtesy of Ontario government


This is an administrative step only and not a merger of the LHIN boundaries. Further, there will be no impact to patients’ access to home and community care or long-term care placement as Ontarians continue to receive the care they need from the care providers they have built relationships with at the 14 LHINs. Continue reading

Transforming Transportation in Neighbouring Western New York – A Roundtable Discussion

The Sierra Club Writers Group of Western New York Encourages You to Participate, on Monday, November 18th, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the University of Buffalo South Campus Hayes Hall in Buffalo, New York

A Call-Out from the Sierra Club and the Citizens Regional Transit Corporation in the Buffalo/Western New York area

Posted November 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

We are reaching out to invite you to a local roundtable discussion regarding Sierra Club’s Transforming Transportation (https://my-geo.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=35f78c77c3fbd6dbbeeebe6ac&id=bd3902bba7&e=1e416ef83d) report on November 18th from 10:30am – 12:30pm at UB Hayes Hall 402. 

This year, New York passed the nation’s most ambitious climate legislation which will phase out fossil fuels in our economy by 2050. Over 1/3rd of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector. Continue reading

Niagara College Ranks Number One in Canada for Applied Research Activity

News from Niagara College

Posted November 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara College will mark its 20th year of applied research activity with the honour of earning the number one spot in all of Canada for research.

In its annual report “Top 50 Research Colleges,” Research Infosource Inc. has announced that Niagara College has secured the top place in the country, based on total research funding numbers for 2018. The listing also demonstrates NC’s steady standing as a leader in research in Canada, as this represents the fifth year in a row of being in the Top 10.

On November 12, Niagara College announces its number one ranking in Research Infosource Inc.’s Top 50 Research Colleges.  President Dan Patterson (front right) and VP Research, Innovation & Strategic Initiatives Marc Nantel (front left) hold up a banner announcing the good news as they gather with staff members from NC’s  Research & Innovation division.

“A great year for Niagara College research,” said Ron Freedman, CEO, Research Infosource Inc. “Not only in terms of research income – number one in the country – but research partnerships, where Niagara ranks number three among large colleges.” Continue reading

If A Tree Falls In The Forest, Does Anybody Hear?

And How Many More Trees Are Going to Have to Fall in Forests in Niagara Before We Get a Stronger                    Tree Protection Bylaw in this Region?

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper 

Posted November 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

‘Cut and move on
Cut and move on
Take out trees
Take out wildlife at a rate of species every single day.’

  • Lyric’s from Bruce Cockburn’s song ‘When a Tree Falls in the Forest’

Canadian-born singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn performed a sold-out concert at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines this October and one of the songs he sang was If A Tree Falls in the Forest.

As Cockburn performed the song, members of the audience joined him in singing the chorus; “If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear?”

Last year, a number of trees were sawed down or bulldozed out of the way in forests in Niagara Falls and Fort Erie, and on the property of a historic old estate in Niagara-on-the-Lake , and many people heard.

A tree taken down in Waverly Woods in Fort Erie last year, much to the chagrin of residents in the community, fighting to keep the woods free of urban development.

They not only heard and witnessed the destruction themselves, they made angry calls to the powers that be in government, only to be told, for the most part,  that the regional government’s current tree protection bylaw is not strong enough to do anything of any real substance about it. Continue reading

Ontario lost 24,200 Full-Time Jobs in October

Jobs in Manufacturing, Health Care Hit Hardest

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP and Official Opposition Party

Posted November 12th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

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

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservatives have declared the province “open for business.” Okay, so why aren’t there more full-time jobs and living wages?

Did I miss hearing something in all of the “open for business” sermons coming out of Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservatives over the past 16 months?

Without ever showing Ontarians any details or substantive plans or policies in the run-up to the June 2018 provincial election, Ford and company told us  they were going to make Ontario “open for business” by cutting red tape (code for tearing up labour safety, building code, planning and environmental rules and regulations) and cutting taxes for “job creators,” which is a totally misleading term the radical right and their supporters use for any business that donates money to their party.

And, oh yes, Ford and his “government for the people” crusaders followed through on a promise to cap the minimum wage at a rate that falls significantly below what has been calculated by Poverty Reduction Networks across Ontario, including Niagara’s network, to be a living hourly wage in most communities because as Ford and his minions put it, anything higher than a capped down poverty wage is “a job killer.” Continue reading

Ontario Government Bows To The Aggregate Industry, Moves To Block Municipal Efforts To Protect Groundwater

Groups say the Ontario Government is putting the aggregate industry ahead of people. The province needs to go back to the drawing table, and consult with communities and environmental groups, rather than give industry free rein

A News Release from Environmental Defence Canada, Ontario Nature, Wellington Water Watchers and Gravel Watch

Posted November 12, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Some of the Ontario residents protesting what they charged was a secret meeting earlier this year between representatives of the province’s Ford government and quarry owners and operators to discuss the possibility of some deregulation of quarries

Toronto, Ontario – With the introduction of Bill 132, the Ontario Government is rolling a boulder in front of municipal efforts to control groundwater impacts from aggregate pits and quarries and taking aggregates policy in the wrong direction.

Proposed changes to the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) will prevent municipalities from addressing the impacts of pits and quarries on groundwater by outlawing the use of municipal zoning bylaws to
prevent aggregate operations from digging beneath the water table. This change poses a dangerous threat to local groundwater supplies and quality.

The provincial government is also proposing to stop municipalities from
implementing zoning restrictions on aggregate development on Crown Land within their boundaries. This change impacts many communities across Ontario.

Meanwhile, the government’s proposed amendments would make it easier for aggregate operators to make changes to their operations with a poorly defined “permit by rule” system that allows changes for unspecified “low risk” activities. It would also prevent consideration of road damage from haulage in deciding on license approvals. Continue reading