Author Archives: dougdraper

Cutting Health Care Workers Won’t End Hallway Medicine in Ontario

Province’s Health Minister walks back Doug Ford’s comments on hallway medicine

A News Release from the Office of Ontario Official Opposition and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted July 16th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK — Last week, speaking from Saskatoon, Doug Ford said his government has addressed hallway medicine, and would end the practice within a year. On Monday (July 15th), Health Minister Christine Elliott walked those comments back.

Official Opposition and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement in response:

“Across Ontario, people are waiting hours and hours in emergency rooms, and laying on stretchers in hospital hallways because there aren’t enough hospital beds. Ambulances are forced to wait — sometimes for hours — to offload patients. And some patients are walking away from ER waiting rooms, never getting a chance to see a doctor, because waiting in pain and discomfort becomes unbearable. Continue reading


Niagara Needs Stronger Rules for Protecting and Preserving Our Trees

Citizens in the Niagara town of Fort Erie, Ontario are fighting to save this green place – Waverly Woods – from being compromised or destroyed for a condo that cpuld go somewhere that isn’t as green with trees as this.

Why Aren’t More Citizens Across this Region Pressing their Councillors for More Effective Rules for Conserving Trees?

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

Posted July 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Most of us are familiar with old line; “What if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it?”

Well, what if a trees falls or, more to the point, an entire stand of trees is chopped down within ear or eye shot of a community of concerned citizens and there are no rules with enough teeth on the books to stop it?

The felling of this tree and others in Waverly Woods last year caused an outcry among citizens. File Photo courtesy of the group Community Voices for Fort Erie

There were at least two significant cases in this Niagara region this past November 2018 where citizens were faced with a case of trees they cherished being chopped down – one in the Waverly Forest area of Fort Erie where a multi-storey condo is on the drawing board, and one on the historic Randwood Estates property in Niagara-on-the-Lake where the current owner plans to build a new hotel, convention centre and recreational complex.

Tree cutting underway on the property of the Randwood Estate in Niagara-on-the-Lake last year. File Photo courtesy of members of the citizens group SORE (Save Our Randwood Estate)

And in both these cases and others like them, including a clearing of trees by developers in the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls to make way for a path or road, calls for action against the tree cutters were met with a response from authorities that upset and angered many of them.

In short, the response they received was that the tree and forest conservation rules on the books at the time, and are still the rules of the day at the Niagara regional government level, would do nothing to stop or to penalize the tree cutting that took place at these sites. Continue reading

Thank You for All the Kind Words following the Passing of our feline friend Dylan 

A Brief Message from Doug Draper 

Posted July 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

Our sweet white guy Dylan

I would like to offer a few lines of heartfelt thanks to all of the people out there who shared words of condolence after I posted a story about the passing this July 8th of Dylan, a much-beloved feline member of my family for the past 20 years. 

The response to the story was overwhelming, including emails and phone calls my wife, daughter and I received from friends across the Niagara region and GTA, and as far away as Massachusetts and New Jersey, where the story was shared on social media. 

What I found most heartening in so many of the notes I received is that I may have succeeded in writing a brief story about Dylan’s life and death that came across as something more than just some person crying over the loss of his cat.   Continue reading

An Invite to the Green Party’s Niagara Falls Annual General Meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Wednesday, July 17th at 7 P.M. at the Victoria Avenue Public Library in Niagara Falls

From Karen Fraser, CEO, Niagara Falls Riding, Green Party of Canada

Posted July 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

On Wednesday July 17th at 7 PM, the Green Party of Canada, Provincial and Federal Niagara Falls Riding Associations will be hosting both federal and provincial Annual General Meetings (AGM) as well as the Nomination Meeting for our 2019 Federal Green Candidate.

* The meeting will be held at the Victoria Ave. Public Library  LaMarsh Room, 4848 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 4C5. Continue reading

Lake Erie at Risk – Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Calls for Swift Action to Address Threat to Health of Great Lakes

U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)Warns of Significant Harmful Algal Bloom, Which Are Toxic to People & Animals, in Lake Erie

“As climate change increases the threat of algal blooms, our efforts (to address (the harmful effects of this problem in the Lake Erie basin) must escalate proportionately.”                                           – Brian Higgins, U.S. Congressman

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

Posted July 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is calling for swift action in response to new warning about toxic algae threatening the health of the Great Lakes and the communities around them.

Higgins letter calls on the EPA to accelerate efforts to combat Harmful Algal Blooms, writing, “Such a bloom may impact the health of the entire lake, including the eastern basin near my district in Buffalo, New York. As climate change increases the threat of algal blooms, our efforts must escalate proportionately.”

The green algae mass, seen from space as it grows in the western end of Lake Erie, and working its way to the lake’s eastern end off the shores of Buffalo and Niagara.

This week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a warning predicting a harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie. Continue reading

When Will The Killing Ever End?

“Together, we must create a safer, more peaceful world, where the media freedom so central to healthy democracies and strong societies can flourish.”                                                                               – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Nalayeh, another light for peace and love put out by war and hate

A Statement by the Prime Minister on the terrorist attack in Somalia that killed Somali-Canadian journalist Hodan Nalayeh, July 14, 2019 Ottawa, Ontario

Posted July 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this July 14th) issued the following statement on the terrorist attack in Somalia:

“On behalf of all Canadians, I offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Hodan Nalayeh, a Somali-Canadian journalist who, together with her husband Farid, was killed in the terrorist attack in Kismayo, Somalia. Our thoughts are also with those who were injured or lost loved ones. Continue reading

The Ongoing Work to Restore a Niagara River Watershed that is So Vital to the Health and Welfare of All Who Live Here

A Brief Look at the History and the Current Status of Efforts to Protect  and Preserve this Watershed for Generations to Come.

And a Few Words on How You Can Stay Informed on the Restoration Work as it Continues

By Doug Draper

Posted July 12th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The waters of the American and Horseshoe Falls spill to the lower Niagara River

It hardly needs to be said that the Niagara River and the numerous tributaries  draining  into it play a vital role in the quality of life, including the health and economic prosperity of people and communities on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border.

Yet we have not always shown this sprawling watershed the respect and the care it needs to continue playing that priceless role. 

By the middle decades of the last century, growing numbers of citizens and civic leaders on both sides of the border began sounding alarm bells about discharges of pollution to the Niagara River that, according to a report from one Maid of the Mist captain at the time, made the water below the Horseshoe and American Falls smell like “airplane glue”. Continue reading