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Marineland Can Say All It Wants About Anti-Captivity Campaign, But There Is No Escaping It –

The Curtains Are  Finally Closing In On                     Captive Marine Mammal Exhibits in Canada

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

Posted May 22nd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The opening day of Marineland’s 58th season came and went this May 18th with the usual gathering of animal welfare activists demonstrating along a narrow stretch of land between the main road and a fence in front of the sprawling Niagara Falls, Ontario amusement park.

Missing from the mix on this opening day was John Holer, the man who founded Marineland and built it into one of Niagara Falls’ top tourist draws by the 1970s and 80s.

A year ago this May on, John Holer was reported to have been seen on the other side of the fence from the demonstrators on opening day, staring them down as he drove his SUV through Marineland’s parking lot. A month later he died at age 83.

Animal welfare activists demonstrating this May 18th, on opening day in front of Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario

The amusement park has continued without him, however, and a news release it issued the day following the May 18th opening that boasted about the “huge crowd” of visitors flowing through its gates that “dwarf(ed)” the “small group of annual demonstrators.” Continue reading


Ford Government’s Sam Oosterhoff Stands Up for Seniors

“For many seniors in my riding on a fixed income, it is hard for them to access affordable programs and services.”                            – Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff 

Posted May 22nd, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff

PELHAM in Niagara, Ontario  – Seniors in Ontario want to remain healthy, active and socially connected within their own communities. Seniors deserve to be engaged with and to live independently with dignity in their homes for as long as they can. 

“For many seniors in my riding on a fixed income, it is hard for them to access affordable programs and services,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West. “That is why we are announcing funding for projects that will provide local supports and services for seniors.” 

The Seniors Community Grant Program<> will invest up to $3 million in grants to partner with non- profit community organizations and municipalities across the province to co-ordinate and deliver local supports and programs to seniors in Niagara. Continue reading

Ford Government’s Scheme for Auditing Municipalities is Nothing More Than a Money-Wasting P.R. Stunt

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

“Only Doug Ford would cut billions from municipalities and school boards, then spend millions more hiring private consultants to justify those cuts.”                             – Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Posted May 21st, 2019 on Niagara At Large

WELLAND— NDP Official Opposition Municipal Affairs critic Jeff Burch released the following statement regarding Doug Ford’s latest scheme to use $7.35 million in public money to have private consultants conduct municipal audits:

Ontario Premier  Doug Ford, and his government continue to download countless mllions of dollars in “Ford Taxes” on municipalities as he axes services at provincial level.

“Only Doug Ford would cut billions from municipalities and school boards, then spend millions more hiring private consultants to justify those cuts.

Ford’s plan to hire consultant auditors is nothing more than a publicity stunt, and a waste of money – especially since they’re just to re-doing work already done by each municipality’s auditors. Continue reading

The Ontario NDP Leader who should be Premier is in Niagara Thursday, 23rd for a Town Hall Meeting for One and All

Ontaro NDP and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Everyone is Invited. Whether you voted for Andrea Horwath or Not, this Town Hall is a good way to get engaged. All of Our Services, from Health Care to Education and Environmental Protection. Are at stake!

A Call-Out to All from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted May 20th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Note from NAL publisher Doug Draper – 

The Town Hall, hosted by NDP Official Opposition Pary Andrea Horwath and Niagara area NPD MPPs Jennie Stevens, Jeff Burch and Wayne Gates, will take place at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre on North Service Road (click on a link for a map below) in St. Catharines,  from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019.

This Town Hall is a good chance for all of us to share our questions and concerns with a political leader in Ontario who is in one of the best positions to stand up to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Tories as they work to dismantle key services and rules and regulations for protecting the health and welfare of our communities, our environment and people who live and work in this province. Continue reading

United Nations Chief Calls For ‘Enlightened Self-Interest’ From World Leaders To Save ‘The Whole Planet’ From Climate Change

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

“We need to tax pollution, not people. …Taxpayer money should not be used to boost hurricanes, spread drought and heatwaves, melt glaciers and bleach corals. We need a green economy, not a grey economy”  – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

News from the United Nations

Posted May 20th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Concluding a week-long visit to the South Pacific, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on the world’s decision-makers (this May 18th) to make “enlightened” choices on climate action because “the whole planet” is at stake. 

“Over the past week, I have witnessed first-hand the impacts of climate change in the Pacific Island States”, the UN chief said in a statement concluding his visit to the region. “They contribute very little to the global climate emergency and yet, they are the ones that are being most affected”.  

He did not mince words in saying that for some of them, “climate change is now an existential threat”.

Pointing out that entire villages are being relocated, livelihoods destroyed and people becoming sick from climate-related diseases, Mr. Guterres lamented: “The risks are all too real”.


He drew attention to his time in Tuvalu, where he saw “an entire country fighting to preserve its very existence”.   Continue reading

Happy 50th Anniversary to Canada’s Greatest LIGHTHOUSE

Thanks to this iconic Canadian band for all of the     ‘Fine Mornings’ and ‘Sunny Days’ it has gifted us

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted May 19th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Fifty years ago this May, as I was reminded this fine morning by another Canadian institution, CBC Radio’s Sunday Morning host Michael Enright, a band that would soon become another Canadian institution took the stage at a Toronto, Ontario music venue called the Rock Pile to make its performing debut.

The band, called Lighthouse and made up of a line-up of horn and string musicians built around a more generic four-piece rock band and lead singer, was introduced that night by non other than one of the most legendary musicians, composers and band leaders in jazz, Duke Ellington, who ended his intro with a play on lyrics from one of his own classic songs; “I am beginning to see the light … house.

From left, Duke Ellington, one of the towering figures of jazz music, with Lighthouse co-founders Skip Prokop and Paul Hoffert in May, 1969, when the ban performed live, for the first time, at a club in Toronto, Ontario. How cool is that!

Lighthouse was fronted by the late great drummer Skip Prokop, keyboardist Paul Hoffert and guitarist Ralph Cole, and featuring a huge cast of great musicians  from the late singer Bob McBride (whose voice can be heard on such hits as ‘One Fine Morning’ and ‘Hats Off To The Stranger’, and sax players Keith Jollimore, Steve Kennedy (both of whom went on to play with another hot Canadian band, Dr. Music of ‘Sun Goes By’ fame) and Howard Shore,  who went on to front one of the earlier  the Saturday Night Live bands  and later became a three-time Academy Award winner for the music he produced for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Lighthouse always could fill a stage. Read more about the band’s history below.

Continue reading

NPCA Welcomes Citizen Appointees To Board Of Directors

Ed Smith, a St. Catharines citizen activist and retired Canadian Armed Forces officer who spent the past four years demanding openness and accountability from the old NPCA board, will now take a seat on the new board.

One of the Appointees is St. Catharines citizen Ed Smith, who defeated a lawsuit filed against him over the past four years by the old Bruce Timms/Sandy Annunziata board of the Conservation Authority

Smtih was sued after airing a list of questions and concerns about the way the NPCA’s last boards and mangers were doing business with millions of our tax dollars

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted May 17th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) welcomes four new members to its Board of Directors, following a Niagara regional council decision this May 16th.

The newly appointed Board members are Bruce MacKenzie from Town of Grimsby, Ed Smith from City of St. Catharines, Leah Feor from Town of Fort Erie, and John Ingrao from City of Welland. They will replace outgoing members and Councillors Jeff Jordan, Brian Heit, Tom Insinna, and Pat Chiocchio.

Four new Niagara citizen appointees from St. Catharines, Welland, Fort Erie and Grimsby will soon be sitting on the NPCA board.

“We are extremely grateful to the outgoing members for their commitment and dedication to the NPCA since their appointment at the beginning of this term,” says Dave Bylsma, NPCA Board Chair. Continue reading