Author Archives: dougdraper

St. Catharines Citizens Coalition Calls for Long Overdue Cleanup of Abandoned General Motors Site

‘Directly adjacent to downtown St Catharines, the former GM manufacturing site is an embarrassment to the city (and)  a dangerous situation that must be cleaned up immediately.’            – Citizens Coalition Spokesperson Dennis Van Meer

The abandoned General Moters site off Ontario Street in St. Catharines, Niagara – a rotting eyesore near residential neighbourhoods and the city’s downtown

Sign the Petitiion and Attend a Public Meeting this coming Saturday, January 11th at 3 p.m. at the Mahtay Café in downtown St. Catharines

A Call-Out from the Coalition for a Better St. Catharines, a city-based citizens group in Niagara

Posted January 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A look inside the abandoned industrial mess near downtown St. Catharines

On Saturday, January 11, the Coalition for a Better St. Catharines (CBSC), an ad hoc group of concerned citizens, will hold a public meeting to provide community members with an update on the status of the former General Motors (GM) property on Ontario Street and efforts to make the site safe and secure.

The meeting will begin at 3:00 pm and will be held in the Community Room of the Mahtay Café (on 241 St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines).

Though demolition of the buildings on the GM site began more than four years ago, the demolition and clean-up plan was never completed.

In its current state, the site is a safety and health hazard. Broken fences and deteriorating sheets of plywood have allowed people to shelter in unsafe structures, exposing them and the surrounding neighbourhood to potential health hazards from mold and toxic materials such as asbestos. Continue reading

Body Running Niagara’s Hospitals Chooses New President

Ontario assistant deputy Health Minister Lynn Guerriero named President of Niagara Health

“There has been a lot of positive change at Niagara Health over the last several years, and Ms. Guerriero’s unique experiences and collaborative leadership style will be instrumental in building on this momentum,”                                                                    – Dr. Tom Stewart, CEO of Niagara Health & President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health System.

A News Release from Niagara Health, the amalgamated hospital system in Niagara, Ontario

Posted January 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large 

Lynn Guerriero is Niagara Health’s new president

Lynn Guerriero, an accomplished executive leader in the Ontario health system, will assume the role of President of Niagara Health effective Tuesday, February 18, 2020. This appointment follows a national search that attracted strong candidates and led to Lynn’s unanimous selection due to her unique set of skills, passion and vision for high-quality healthcare in Niagara.  

 Ms. Guerriero comes to Niagara with more than 30 years of leadership, management and clinical experience within a variety of healthcare provider settings, including multi-site acute care, rehabilitation and community care. She also has extensive senior leadership experience providing hands-on implementation and oversight of provincial programs, agencies and sectors of the health system. Continue reading

Niagara Public Secondary School Teachers to Participate in One-Day Strike this Wednesday, January 8th

“The cuts (that Ontario’s Ford government has) imposed and proposed will affect our students not just for one, but for generations and that’s why we’re standing up against it now.”     – Shannon Smith, Ontario   Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) District 22 T/OT President

A News Release from Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO), District 22 in Niagara followed by a response from Niagara West MPP and Ontario Ford government representative Sam Oosterhoff

Posted January 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Fonthill, Ontario –  Teachers and Education Workers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) at the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) will participate in a one-day strike on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.

Niagara secondary school teachers participating in an earlier one-day strike action, this past December 2019. file photo by Doug Draper

This comes after other select school boards across Ontario participated in the same job actions on December 11 & December 18, 2019.   Continue reading

Trump’s Rollback of U.S. Clean Water Standards Pose Serious Threat to Great Lakes

The lower Great Lakes system – Lakes Erie and Ontario, connected by the Niagara River – from space

Buffalo Area Congressman Calls Rollback of EPA Clean Water Standards a Threat to the Environmental and Economic Health of Communities with the Potential to Destroy Years of Progress in Western New York

EPA’s Own Science Advisory Board Warns the Plans Lack Evidence and “Departs from Established Science”

A News Release from the Buffalo, New York Office of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted January 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – US. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is sounding the alarm on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to rollback safeguards for clean water.  Higgins isn’t alone; the President’s own EPA Science Advisory Board is expressing concern.

From left, Buffalo Riverkeepers executive director Jill Jedlicka, U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins and Campaign for the Environment associate executive director Brian Smith sound alarm bells over possible impact of Trump administration gutting of clean water standards on Great Lakes watershed. Photo courtesy of Congressman Higgins’ Buffalo constituency office

In a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Rep. Higgins, a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, warned of the dire consequences of the EPA’s actions to communities like Western New York, writing “Rollback of these rules actively threatens efforts to revitalize waterways like the Buffalo River and endangers Western New York and other Great Lakes communities that depend on the health of their natural resources.” Continue reading

Trump’s Threat to Destroy Irreplaceable ‘Cultural Site’ in Iran Should Abhor All of Us

Under International Agreement, Deliberately Destroying “Cultural Sites” is a War Crime

Trump Tweets out his threat to make cultural sites in Iran a target of U.S. attacks

“By threatening cultural sites in Iran, the president fails to consider the broad value of these places, not just to Iran, but to the world more broadly. … Iran’s losses would be a tragic for all of us.”                                                                                                             – Elizabeth S. Green, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at Brock University

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

Posted January 7th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The ancient city of Persepolis is significant tourist attraction in Iran

Niagara, Ontario – The threat by U.S. President Donald Trump against Iranian sites of cultural importance has archaeologists concerned.

“While the destruction of monuments and the looting of sites was a frequent feature of ancient combat, modern efforts strive to preserve heritage in recognition of its value beyond the national level,” says Elizabeth S. Green, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at Brock University. “By threatening cultural sites in Iran, the president fails to consider the broad value of these places, not just to Iran, but to the world more broadly.

“Iran’s losses would be a tragic for all of us.”

Continue reading

Greater Niagara Chamber Welcomes Federal Government’s Municipal Nominee Immigration Program

“The GNCC feels that this forward-thinking program will result in benefits for both local communities and immigrants. The former will be able to fill labour market gaps and grow their populations and their economies, while immigrants will be drawn to communities where their skills are in demand and where they will be welcomed.”                                                                – The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC)

A News Release from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Posted January 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – In his mandate letter, Prime Minister (Justin) Trudeau instructed Immigration Minister (Marcos) Mendicino to begin work on a program that would give local communities, chambers of commerce and labour councils a say in the selection of immigrants, helping them match newcomers with labour needs.

The GNCC has suggested such a program in the past, anticipating that allowing communities to target immigrants for skills and professions would help solve local labour shortages and allow businesses and local economies to grow. Continue reading

Niagara’s Chamber of Commerce Applauds Ontario Government’s Tax Cut for Small Business

“Under pressure from rising prices for labour, energy, and other essentials, not to mention increased municipal tax burdens from local governments with substantial infrastructure backlogs, this cut offers relief to small businesses.”                                                      – the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

A News Release from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Posted January 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park follows through with tax cut for province’s small businesses

Niagara, Ontario –  In welcome news, the Government of Ontario has announced that, effective January 1st of this year, it will reduce the small business Corporate Income Tax by 8.7 per cent, to a new rate of 3.2 per cent.

Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy. Almost all of Niagara’s businesses are small- or medium-sized enterprises, and nearly four in five (33,947 out of a total of 42,692 registered businesses) employ fewer than five people. Continue reading