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Niagara Region Commits To Addressing Climate Change at Inaugural Summit

“It is within our power to undertake the activities that are needed to help slow the increase of global temperatures.”                                                                                         – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

A  News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted June 30th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at NAL –

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

I am in full agreement with the above statement, delivered by Jim Bradley, Niagara’ Regional Chair who, by the way, is  a former Ontario environment minister and one of the best environment ministers this province ever had during the years  Liberal leader David Peterson served  as premier, at the end of Niagara’s first-ever Climate Summit this past Tuesday, June 28th.

The pledge embraced at the end of that summit by our Regional government and our 12 local municipalities to work together with area agencies like the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and institutions like Brock University to develop and make actions for addressing what many experts around the world now agree is a full-fledged crisis is a start. Continue reading


Trudeau Government Continues Wasting Our Tax Money on Climate Killing Trans Mountain Pipeline

A Statement from Julia Levin, Environmental Defence’s National Climate Program Manager, on a new Parliamentary Budget Office update on the Trans Mountain Pipeline

Posted June 22nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – Today’s update from the Parliamentary Budget Office  (PBO) is the latest official report to determine that the Trans Mountain Pipeline has become a financially dangerous boondoggle.

The government has often justified the pipeline by promising that its eventual profits will fund clean energy projects; this is flimsy logic given the disastrous climate and environmental impacts of the project.

The PBO update shows this argument doesn’t hold water: there will be no profits, only financial losses for Canadians and more carbon emissions for the planet. Continue reading

Sorry Buffalo. Why Would Canadians Want To Go Over There?

Being A Victim of a Random Shooter or Having Our Cars Vandalized or Stolen – Just Because Trump Told Some of You to Hate Canadians – Is Not on My Bucket List

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted June 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Sorry Buffalo. You want to call yourself the ‘City of Good Neighbours’?

There was a time, not long ago and before the pandemic set in, when that seemed to be so true. My wife and I –residents of Niagara, Ontario – enjoyed going to Buffalo all the time to enjoy the festivals and the architecture of neighbourhoods along and around the great boulevards and parks designed by Olmstead in the late 1800s.

But those days are gone and despite all of the posturing from the current mayor that this is still America’s city of good neighbours, the rate of violent crimes in the city has significantly increased and then there was the horror of that mass shooting at a popular grocery store this spring. Continue reading

Here’s For All You Dads Out There

Happy Fathers Day from The Boss

Posted by Doug Draper on Niagara At Large

June 19th, 2022

Click on the screen below and go to rock and roll heaven. All you moms can rock along too –

I was lucky enough to see him perform this live on three different occasions. The sweat was pouring off me just watching it. (I was also lucky enough to see Mitch Ryder, the rocker from Detroit who made Devil With The Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly and Jenny Take A Ride in the late 1960s, perform these songs in concert too.).

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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Paying Tribute to One of Niagara’s Passionate Citizen Activists

Niagara Falls Resident Linda Babb Passed Away January 17th, 2022 at Age 76. A Memorial Gathering Was Held for Her this June

By Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted June 17th, 2022

Linda Babb

When I was still in the hospital late this past December and through the New Year, being treated for a stress-related heart episode, one of the many kind notes I received came from Linda Babb.

“Please Doug,” she wrote, “get well soon. … I am sending the very best of wishes for a speedy FULL recovery. Much love, Linda Babb.”

Thirteen days later, while I was home recovering, I received the shocking news that she had suddenly died. And yes, I think for almost everyone I talked to who knew her, the news came right out of the dark, grey skies. Continue reading

Civil Rights Icon Harriet Tubman is Target of Niagara Area Hatemongers – Again & Again!

“This is not the first time a statue of (the late civil rights icon) Harriet Tubman has been violated in St. Catharines. No one in Niagara can rest in comfort thinking that the escalation of white supremacist and anti-2SLGBTQQIA+ violence will escape us.”                                               – Niagara Region Anti-Racism Association (NRARA)

“There is no excuse or justification for the defacement of any public property, let alone a school and statue designed to honour one of history’s most recognized advocates for freedom, and noted conductor of the Underground Railroad.”                                 – Jim Bradley, Chair of Niagara Region, Ontario

“The NRPS (Niagara Regional Police Service) recognizes the harmful impact this crime has on members of our community and are working diligently to bring those responsible before the courts to be held accountable.”                                                               – from a June 15th Statement released by the Niagara Regional Police

A  Commentary by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large, followed by other important statements from an anti-racism organization, Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and the Niagara Regional Police Service

Posted June 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

By Doug Draper at NAL – 

In 2016, children at Harriet Tubman Public School in St. Catharines look on after unveiling of a statue of the civil rights icon the St. Catharines, Ontario school is named after. File photo by Doug Draper

How sad. And how disgusting.

Most of all, what an awful lesson for young students at Harriet Tubman Public School in St. Catharines on low some members of our community can go in their hatred of people of colour and of other groups that serve as targets of their bigotry discrimination and hatred.

Six years ago, I was one of the journalists invited to Harriet Tubman Public School to celebrate the unveiling of a statue of the late, great civil rights icon that the school was named after.

Young children who were students at the school at the time, along with their parents and teachers, were bubbling with pride as scholars of Harriet Tubman talked out how this courageous woman, born a slave in the American south and who was not allowed to learn how to read at the time, went on for the rest of her life to campaign for that ability of future generations of children to learn how to read and fulfill their promise as human beings. Continue reading

Animal Advocacy Group Calls for End to Nightly Fireworks in Niagara Falls

Danger Ahead! Niagara Falls Fireworks Prompt Sky-High PETA Appeals on Billboards in Honeymoon City

“Fireworks’ ear-shattering explosions are nightmarish for wildlife as well as cats and dogs, some of whom flee their homes in fear and even get hit by cars. PETA is calling on Niagara Falls Tourism to pack up the pyrotechnics and embrace modern summer festivities that leave everyone in peace.”                               – PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman

News from the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Posted June 16h, 2022 on Niagara At Large

One of the billboards, featuring blasts of fireworks in the shape of a skull, that  PETA has erected in three prominent locations in  Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara Falls, Ontario – Because nightly fireworks have started and are scheduled to continue through October, PETA has erected three new can’t-miss messages to push Niagara Falls Tourism to ditch the displays.

 Featuring a skull made of smoke and fireworks, PETA’s appeals remind everyone that pyrotechnics terrify wildlife, companion animals, and vulnerable humans, including those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The action comes on the heels of PETA’s letter to the president and CEO of Niagara Falls Tourism, Janice Thomson, advising her to swap the fireworks for a drone or laser light show, which are safer and produce virtually no pollution. Continue reading

Niagara At Large Will Ramp Up Again Next Week. Here’s Begging Your Patience

A Message from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted June 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

This out-of-service kittie could be me, although I could never match this level of cuteness.

I’ve had more than a few readers contact me with notes that there has not been much posted on the Niagara At Large site in the last number of days. And they are right and I sense at least a bit of disappointment in their notes.

In a way, it feels good to know that there are people out there who notice and care enough to want this site to post more news and commentary. On the other hand, the last thing I want here is to discourage people from visiting this site.

So let me be honest with you and say that the past week or two with the Ontario election and other issues has been exhausting and disappointing, if you don’t want four more years of Doug Ford running this province.

So I am working to recoup and I will be ramping up again in the coming week. I beg your patience. Stay Tuned.

P.S. – I am also wondering when in hell Trump is going to be arrested for crimes of treason against his country!

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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce Calls on Trudeau Government to Lift Remaining Border-Crossing Restrictions

“With the Chief Public Health Officer reporting declining COVID-19 indicators and as other pandemic-related restrictions have been removed across the country, we feel the time is right to re-evaluate Canada’s border crossings.”                                                         – Mishka Balsom, Executive Director, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

News from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce in Niagara, Ontario

Posted June 7th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

GNCC requests lifting of border restrictions

Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce CEO Misha Balsma

Niagara, Ontario – The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) has asked the Government of Canada to lift its remaining border restrictions.

“With the Chief Public Health Officer reporting declining COVID-19 indicators and as other pandemic-related restrictions have been removed across the country, we feel the time is right to re-evaluate Canada’s border crossings,” said GNCC CEO Mishka Balsom.

“Niagara’s tourism sector has essentially missed two seasons. Reserves are at an end. Economic recovery requires a strong 2022, and that requires a return of visitors from the United States and further afield. It is already June – a removal of onerous requirements such as the ArriveCAN app cannot come soon enough.” Continue reading

Help Stop Developers from Paving Over One of the Most Hallowed Grounds in Canadian History – D-Day’s Juno Beach in Normandy, France

One of the many rows of crosses for Canadian soldiers, near Juno Beach in Normandy, France.

“If we’re going to preserve the sanctity of this hallowed ground and honour the memory of the soldiers who fought and died on D-Day, we need Canadians like you to speak up so our politicians will step up.” A Message from a group of Canadian citizens called Save Juno Beach’

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

Posted on the Anniversary of D-Day, June 6th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Seventy-Eight years ago this June6th, thousands of young Canadians joined their British  and American allies in storming the beaches of Normandy, France in an epic military assault against Hitler’s fascist forces.

It was D-Day, also known as Operation Overlord, and the stretch of French shoreline where more than 1,200 Canadians soldiers lost their lives in that historic assault continues to be known as Juno Beach.

Every year, on the anniversary of the assault, many Canadians, including some of what are left of the veterans and their relatives, gather at June Beach with citizens of France and other countries in Europe and around the world to remember and pay tribute to those who fought and died here.

Young Canadians land on June Beach on D-Day, June 6th, 1944 as part of the largest assaults from the water in military history, marking the beginning of the end of Hitler’s murderous grip on Europe and the world.

But this year and last, the remembrances come with concern and anger over plans by a developer to build condos along Juno Beach – on some of the same hallowed lands where the historic battle took place. And the condominium developer is moving forward with this desecration of this place with the at lease enough support from French government representatives, locally and nationally, to keep its unconscionable plan alive.

Can you imagine that?

Continue reading

Today – this Sunday, June 5th, 2022 – is World Environment Day

Posted June 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large


Let’s all do our part –even just a little – to make our world greener, cleaner and healthier for our generation and for  generations to come.

Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

A Statement by the Prime Minister on World Environment Day

June 5, 2022

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on World Environment Day:

“Today, on World Environment Day <>, we come together with the international community to protect our planet and ensure our kids and grandkids can have a safe and healthy place to live and grow. This year’s theme – Only One Earth – highlights the importance of working together toward this goal.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Climate change is real and its impacts are already here. Across the country, Canadians have experienced extreme heat waves, had their homes destroyed by wildfires and floods, and seen their crops devastated by drought – and these extreme weather events are on the rise.

“Since 2015, the Government of Canada, together with Canadians, has taken historic action to cut pollution while growing the economy and creating good jobs. We put a price on pollution, which is making life more affordable for Canadian families in jurisdictions where the federal pricing system applies. Continue reading

Democracy May Be Biggest Loser in this Ontario Election

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

Posted June 3rd 2022 on Niagara At Large

By know, most of us know that Doug Ford and his Conservatives won an even larger majority than they did last time in this June 2nd Ontario election.

Two of this election’s losers – the NDP’s Andrea Horwath and the Liberal’s Steven Del Duca – have already resigned as leaders of their parties.

But who or what were the big losers?

Starting with the politicians and opposition parties, Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca lost his bid to win a seat for himself in the provincial legislature, leaving him with little choice but to step down as leader of a party that also failed to win enough seats (it only chalked up eight this time) to recover party status.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath managed to hold on to her seat in Hamilton and win enough seats to keep Official Opposition Party status. But her party’s share of seats and votes were lower than they were in the 2018 election and she, too, stepped down as leader. Continue reading

Canada’s  Government Introduces Toughest Gun Control Laws in Generations

“One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many. I’ve seen all too well the tragic cost that gun violence has in our communities across the country. Today, we’re proposing some of the strongest measures in Canadian history to keep guns out of our communities and build a safer future for everyone.”             

-. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

News from the Office of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Posted May 31st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – Mere days after the horrific mass shooting massacres across the American border in Buffalo, New York and at an elementary school in gun-happy Texas, Canada’s prime minister and his Liberal government have introduced some of the toughest gun restriction in generations.

In the United States, we are once again being treated to the regular bullshit from soft, weak Democrats and liberals that “this time” there is more support for gun restrictions, but we know that nothing will come of it because lobby groups like the NRA and gun manufacturers have completetly corrupted the American political system. Continue reading

Ontario’s Niagara Parks Celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee this June 2nd thru 5th

  *   Public ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 4, in Queen Victoria Park

  *   Niagara Parks Police Honour Guard, Niagara Regional Police Pipe and Drum Corps to kickoff the ceremony, followed by dignitary remarks

  *   Special regal purple Falls illuminations are scheduled nightly from June 2 to 5

An Invite to All from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted May 21st. 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – In honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, Niagara Parks and the City of Niagara Falls will host a formal celebration to commemorate the Queen’s 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth. Continue reading

Do You Still Want to Cross the Border to the Land of Mass Shootings?

If So, Better Brush Up on Your “Active Shooting Drills” First

A NewsCommentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

After the horrific slaughter this May 24th of 19 children and two teachers in a Texas elementary school, one of the many thoughts that went through my mind was a conversation I had, pre-pandemic, with a store owner in Buffalo, New York.

On one of the visits to the store, I happened to mention to the owner for reasons I can’t remember that I was Canadian and immediately he told me how much he and his family liked Canada, and how safe and sane they found it there.

To amp up his point about safety and sanity, the store owner (whose name I will not use to protect the innocent) told me about the “active shooter drills” a child of his was being put through at an elementary school the child attended, and about how much angst those drills caused for both the children and their parents. Continue reading

Brock U. Invites You To An Online Discussion on the Impact of Inflation on Working Families

See Registration Information Below for this Free, Monday, May 30th Event

An Invite from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted May 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Inflation, the impact of rising costs on families and the possible responses of workers, unions and progressive governments will be at the centre of a free public webinar next week.

“Prices, Profits, Power: A People’s Guide to Inflation,” hosted by Brock University’s Department of Labour Studies and the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies (CAWLS), will take place virtually Monday, May 30 from noon to 1 p.m.

“There are differing opinions about the causes of current inflation and how governments should respond, but the populist right and Bay Street economists have tended to dominate the narrative,” says Brock Associate Professor Simon Black, who will moderate the panel discussion. Continue reading

Get Ready for ‘PREMIER DOUG FORD’ – The Sequel

Short of a Miracle, Ford and his Conservatives are on the Verge of Winning Another Commanding Majority

Climate Action and Affordable Communities for Generations  Now And  For Generations To Come,          Be Damned!

A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter Doug Draper

Posted May 27th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Once upon a time, at least some of us across Niagara and Ontario hoped that our health care, our natural heritage and other valued community services and resources would fall into safer, more caring hands following this spring’s provincial election.

But that was once upon a time, and now, within one week of the finish of that election, and there is little doubt now that Doug Ford and his Conservatives are on the verge of winning another four-year term in government.

Please don’t get me wrong. I would give up almost everything outside of my immediate family and prize record collection to wake up a week from not, this Friday, to read that Ontario’s New Democrats won a majority government in this election and that the Green Party won a few more seats. Continue reading

Ontario Greens Introduce “Yes In My Backyard  – YIMBY – Strategy for Affordable Housing

“A whole generation of young people are giving up hope of ever finding an affordable place to call home, that’s why an innovative housing solution is urgently needed. “

News from the Ontario Green Party

Posted May 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

We want change, right in our own backyards


Ontario Greens want to say yes to communities where it’s easy and affordable to find a place to live.

We want to say yes to increasing the supply of homes so young people can have a chance at finding a place to call home. We want to say yes to this and more in our backyard.

That’s why yesterday Ontario Greens leader Mike Schreiner announced the YIMBY (“Yes in My Backyard”) Housing Strategy. Continue reading

In this Ontario Election, Vote For Quality Public Health Care

Join the Campaign Against More Privatizing by Ford Conservatives of our Health Care System

A Message from Natalie Mehra, Executive Director of the Ontario Health Coalition

Posted May 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Hi everyone,

All kinds of photos like these have been coming in from across Ontario.

I am so excited to see them! In a number of communities, we have been successful in making the threat (and frankly, the reality) of health care privatization visible.

We have succeeded in winning clear promises from the NDP, and more recently, the Liberals and Greens to end for-profit long-term care. That is *our* collective work! Well done. We have made privatization an issue that has been raised by media (not  enough but it is being raised) and is all over on social media. It matters. But we have some bare spots and could do more…

I will be driving around and putting up lawn signs to try to make them more visible in the city of Toronto and in Durham. I want to try to get a few at least in as many neighbourhoods as possible so that they are visible across the community.  If you don’t have one yet, can you please send me your address & postal code (in Toronto and Durham only!) and I’ll come by and put one up. Continue reading

Ontario’s NDP Will Scrap Ford’s Lawsuit Shield , andFor Privately Owned and Operated Long-Term Care Homes

Niagara Falls Riding MPP and NDP incumbent Wayne Gates. file photo

“During the height of the pandemic, so many of our loved ones lost their lives in these private for-profit long-term care homes and those families are still seeking justice. Just weeks after these atrocities became known, Doug Ford passed special legislation to prevent lawsuits against the private operators that let this happen – we’ll repeal that and get these local Niagara families justice.”                                                                  – Niagara Falls Riding MPP Wayne Gates.

News from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted May 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – Why on earth did Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservative government use their majority to pass legislation protecting privately run long-term care (LTC) homes from ever being sued by citizens for alleged poor care of their loved ones unless Ford did it to protect his cronies in the LTC business?

Why would any Conservative government that is supposed to believe in governments not interfering in matters between businesses and their customers or clients pass such legislation anyway? Continue reading

Deadly May 21st Storm Should Be a Wake-Up Call for Ontario Voters

This Coming Election Day – On Thursday, June 2nd – Are We Really Going to Gift Doug Ford and his Party of Climate Laggards Another Four Year Term?

Unfortunately, For Our Future and the Future of our Children, It Looks That Way

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

Posted May 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

This past Saturday, May 21st. a severe storm, featuring highly destructive winds and flooding rain, swept through a wide swath of Southern Ontario and Quebec, killing at least eight people and leaving many thousands without electrical power.

As of the time of this posting, Ontario hydro crews were still working to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses, and police and firefighters were knocking on doors in the most severely hit communities, checking to see if there are any others who have in trapped, injured or killed.

Fortunately, those of us who live municipalities across Niagara, who, earlier on the day,  received the same storm warnings those in the Greater Toronto area and other regions of Southern Ontario did, managed to dodge the worst of it this time. Continue reading

Ontartio NDP Commits to Add 850 Nurses In Niagara So Health Care Comes Faster

“We absolutely can help people get care faster. We can staff up, so instead of rushing patient to patient, working double-shifts and endless overtime, Ontario’s world-class nurses have the time to be there when you need them.”                                                             – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Horwath and the NDP will add 30,000 nurses in Ontario

News from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted May 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, file photo

NIAGARA and TORONTO – NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will fill the 50 empty nursing jobs in Niagara Region hospitals and hire an additional 800 nurses in her first term so Niagara families get the care they need faster.

“When your mom is in the hospital, you want to know that a nurse is at her bedside. When your little one is inconsolable, you want a health care professional to take a look right away. Families aren’t asking for the moon and the stars — we all just want the best care for our loved ones, as quick as possible,” said Horwath.

“The good news is, we absolutely can help people get care faster. We can staff up, so instead of rushing patient to patient, working double-shifts and endless overtime, Ontario’s world-class nurses have the time to be there when you need them.” Continue reading

Niagara Falls Weekend GO Train Service Has  Resumed for Season

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted May 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

  *   Metrolinx GO Train has resumed weekend service from Union Station to Niagara Falls on Saturday, May 21

  *   Discounted packages including GO Train tickets and access to the Niagara Falls WEGO bus service are available at

Niagara Falls, Ontario – Niagara Parks partnership with GO Transit to return, offering a convenient transportation option between Toronto and Niagara Falls. Starting May 21, GO Trains will run daily round trips from Union Station to Niagara Falls on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays.

Ticket packages, including round-trip GO Train tickets, with the popular Niagara Falls WEGO hop-on, hop-off bus line that stops at Niagara Parks sites starting at Table Rock Centre, along with stops at hotels and other top attractions, are just $25 for adults. Continue reading

It’s Already Over. Ford Is Heading for a Second Majority Government in Ontario

A Big Win is Coming for More Highways and Carbon Emissions, and Fewer Public Services. A Big Loss for What is Left of Same Public Services, Our Natural Heritage, and a Healthy, Affordable Future for Generations to Come

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 21st. 2022 on Niagara At Large

Doug Ford and his Ontario Conservatives have Winner written all over them. For those working against Ford, it is over.

How much do I want Andrea Horwath and her New Democrats to win?

How much do I want Niagara, Ontario’s current sea of NDP orange in the ridings of Niagara Centre, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines extend to Niagara West, where a very capable NDP candidate in Dave Augustyn is running against Ford Conservative incumbent Sam Oosterhoff?

I can’t tell you as s one citizen watchdog who cannot feel more disturbed over the Ford government’s last four years of wreaking havoc on public health care, education, environmental protection and other fundamentals, how much I dream of seeing a big NDP win this time.

But to paraphrase the late, great George Carlin; ‘Dreams are for people who are asleep because you have to be asleep to believe them.’

Continue reading

We Need Concrete Action, Not More Empty Promises On New Niagara Falls Hospital – Wayne Gates

“(Ontario Conservative Leader Doug) Ford came to Niagara Falls four years ago and promised a shovel in the ground. He lied. Ford did nothing as Niagara faced a health care staffing crisis that led to urgent care and other health care services getting shut down.”                                                                                           – Niagara Falls Riding NDP MPP Wayne Gates

A News Release from the Re-election Campaign for Niagara Falls Riding NDP MPP Wayne: Gates

Posted May 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls Ontario NDP incumbent candidate Wayne Gates

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario – NDP incumbent candidate for Niagara Falls Wayne Gates says that an NDP government would prioritize the new hospital for Niagara Falls, and that Doug Ford is recycling a broken promise he made four years ago as he visits Friday. Gates released the following statement:

“Niagara families deserve to have health care services that meet their needs, and we’ve been fighting to make sure we get a new hospital in Niagara for years. No one should face long wait times or be treated in a hallway when they urgently need care, but unfortunately that’s the reality when you have a government that cuts rather than invests in care. Continue reading

Only Ontario  PCs Will Build the New South Niagara Hospital, Doug Ford Vows

New state-of-the-art hospital in south-west Niagara Falls with more beds part of plan to keep Ontario’s economy open

A News Release from the Campaign of Doug Ford’s Ontario Conservatives

Posted May 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario – Today (this May 20th), Doug Ford announced that only a re-elected PC government will get shovels in the ground this year to build a new hospital in Niagara Falls with more beds and expanded services.

Niagara Falls, Ontario Mayor Jim Diodati shakes hands with Ontario Conservative’s Doug Ford this May 20th on the proposed site of a new “Niagara South” hospital, in the corner of Niagara Falls, just south-west of the soon to be developed Thundering Waters Forest. Photo courtesy of Ford Conservatives

“The Del Duca-Wynne Liberals made empty promises to people in the Niagara Region and stalled this project for years,” said Doug Ford. “The Liberals and Andrea Horwath’s NDP voted against this project and have no real plan to fix the broken health care system they left behind.”  Continue reading

Bob Gale Fails to Participate in a Candidates Debate? That’s Good!

Who Wants to Burn Away Hours of Our Precious Time Listening to More Propaganda from Doug Ford Hacks Anyway

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

Posted May 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Bob Gale, file image from a July 2017 Niagara Regional Council meeting where he represents Niagara Falls as a regional councillor

I turned on the radio a few days ago to a provincial election debate featuring Niagara Falls Riding candidate, NDP incumbent Wayne Gates and his Liberal challenger Ashley Waters.

It was a good, informative, civil debate between the two candidates, and for a couple of moments I began to shutter as I tried to image what the tone of that debate would have been like if the Doug Ford Conservative candidate Bob Gale had decided to participate.

As a journalist who has had the misfortune of watching and hearing Gale speak for the past almost eight years as a Niagara regional councillor for Niagara Falls, those trepid words from Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ come to mind – “The horror. The horror.”

It has been repeatedly mentioned in Niagara media outlets that outside of Niagara West Riding MPP Sam Oosterhoff who to his credit is the only Ford Conservative candidate in the region who has decided to participate in debates, Gale, along with St. Catharines Riding Ford candidate Sal Sorrento and Niagara Centre Riding Ford candidate Fred Davies, for whatever reason, would not. Continue reading

Ontario’s NDP Promises To Get  Corporations Out Of Seniors Care

“We can take the profits out, and put care back in. We can invest in home care so people can live at home longer. We can train and hire tens of thousands of nurses and PSWs so everyone in long-term care gets a minimum of four hours of attention and care, every day.”                                                                                                       – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

A Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted May 19th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says that the Canadians for Tax Fairness blockbuster report on long-term care shows the urgent need to get for-profit corporations out of long-term care.

The report shows that $4 billion in public funding was diverted away from improving care for residents, and into private profits over the last decade. Horwath released the following statement:

“The NDP wholeheartedly supports the recommendations of the Canadians for Tax Fairness report. We will get for-profit corporations out of seniors’ care in Ontario, and give generations of seniors the quality of life and quality of care they deserve. Continue reading

Canada In Full Support of Finland & Sweden Joining NATO

Strengthening Freedom & Democracy’s Defence Against Putin’s Criminal War Machine

“Canada will continue to support the principles that have kept the countries on both sides of the Atlantic safe, free, and prosperous for over 70 years.”                                                                                           – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A Statement by the Prime Minister on Finland and Sweden’s application to join the NATO Alliance

Posted May 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this Math 18th, 2022)  issued the following statement on Finland and Sweden’s application to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Alliance:

“Canada strongly supports Finland and Sweden’s decision to pursue NATO membership. As a close friend and security partner, Canada will support Finland and Sweden through the accession process, including against threats to their security. Continue reading

Fort Erie Grieves with our Good Neighbours in Buffalo, New York

A Statement from Fort Erie (Ontario) Mayor Wayne Redekop:

Posted May 16th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

An image of Fort Erie’s shores in the foreground with Buffalo in the background and the Peace Bridge joining them as it crosses over the upper waters of the Niagara River

FORT ERIE in Niagara, Ontario – “The residents of Fort Erie are shocked and horrified at the senseless shooting of innocent people in Buffalo.

“The knowledge that the shooter was racially motivated is extremely troubling.  There is no place for hate and racism in our societies. 

“We grieve with the families of those killed and maimed (this past Saturday, May 14th), and all residents of the City of Good Neighbours. We all have an obligation to speak out against and oppose the ideologies that promote hate, racism and discrimination. Continue reading

A Gift of Music from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra “for our Buffalo Community”

From the Buffalo Philharmonic(BPO) in Buffalo, New York

Posted May 16th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Our hearts are with you

One of many makeshift memorials left near the scene of the mass shooting

There is no room for hate and prejudice in our society. 

The Buffalo Philharmonic is horrified and saddened by the senseless tragedy that took place this past weekend.

As our community grieves together, we would like to share the healing power of music with George Walker’s Lyric for Strings.

To watch and listen please click on the screen below –

To visit the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s website, click on – 

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 Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Remembering Niagara’s Doug Rapelje – A Model Citizen and a Super-Model Public Servant

A Brief Remembrance by Doug Draper, followed by a 2020 Tribute to Doug Rapelje upon his receiving the Niagara regional government’s T. Roy Adams Humanitarian Award

Posted May 16th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

In the neighbourhood where I grew up in the west end of Welland and where he and his family lived for a while, everyone loved them.

Doug Rapelje – a model of the kind of public servant working in the best interest of us all

“You could not ask for better neighbours,” I heard my parents and others in the neighbourhood say.

The father figure or dad in that good family was Doug Rapelje and years later, when I began working as a reporter at The St. Catharines Standard, I crossed paths with him again – this time working as an administrator for Niagara’s regional government as a passionate, tireless champion of quality pubic services for senior citizens.

Even after he retired from the Region, he volunteered his time to making life better for seniors and by doing so he more than embodied the meaning of the term; “above and beyond the call of duty.”

Public servants have received more knocks than usual in recent years – especially at the Niagara regional level of government from 2014 through 2018 when the Al Caslin administration (or “cabal” as many came to call it) was in charge at Regional Headquarters and in the offices of partner agencies like the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA). Continue reading

Tears for Buffalo and its People

“This is the worst nightmare that could come to a community and we are hurting.”                                                       – Byron Brown, Mayor of Buffalo, New York

A Comment from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A popular place for grocery shopping turns into a blood-soaked crime scene.

As the cable news channels continued to report the “breaking news” out of Buffalo, New York this past Saturday afternoon, the skies in that city turned from bright sunny and blue to grey, and rain started falling.

It was as if the heavens were shedding tears on this “City of Good Neighbours.”

As I am sure most, if not all of you know by now, a horror that has visited far too many cities and towns across the United States visited Buffalo this Saturday, May 15 with a mass shooting that murdered 10 people and wounded three others in a Tops’ grocery store in a neighbourhood that is a few minutes’ drive from the downtown core. Continue reading

If We, The People, Don’t Stand Up For Our Natural Heritage, No One Else Will

It Was Everyday Citizens – Not Politicians and Surely Not Developers – That Won Some Concessions in the Fight to Save Waverly Woods along the Shores of our Great Lakes in Fort Erie, Ontario

A Comment from Fort Erie resident Linda McKellar

Posted May 13th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

We have elections this year, provinciall elections this June and municipal elections this October, and it is time to sweep out those who don’t work to save what is left of our natural heritage.

Power to the people.

The public must stand up to those who care only about the almighty dollar and don’t care what invaluable treasures they destroy! This was a grass roots movement that average citizens researched for over four years and they worked hard to attain at least some concessions.

If the average person doesn’t speak up and fight for their towns and their special uniqueness, nobody else will. When it’s gone it’s gone forever!!!!!

Everyone needs to stand up to any greedy individuals who have little or no regard for communities, the people who live there, the history, the natural beauty, the serenity and the wildlife. They create havoc in one place and move on to the next one with pocketsful of cash. They just don’t care!

Unfortunately, such people have the money to fight the average Joe’s and Jill’s of the world. Continue reading

Settlement  Has Been Reached in Waverly Woods Development Plan Case in Fort Erie

‘Community Voices’ Citizens Group Pleased with Additional Protection and Wildlife Connections

A News Release from Community Voices of Fort Erie, a citizen group dedicated to saving Waverly Woods in Fort Erie, Niagara

Posted May 12th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Fort Erie, Ontario —Community Voices of Fort Erie Inc. (“CVFE”) is pleased to announce a settlement with 800460 Ontario Ltd. and the Town of Fort Erie over the longstanding dispute over the development of a proposed 236-unit Harbourtown subdivision on the shore of Lake Erie at Waverly Woods.

Inside Waverly Woods in the summer of 2021. It has been a natural haven for many during the pandemic. File photo by Doug Draper

After more than two weeks at the hearing, the parties reached a deal that will see a significant increase from 2.8 to 3.4 ha of Environmentally Protected lands on site, the closure of Lakeshore Road near the lake, creation of vernal pools for amphibian breeding and an increase in the setback of the proposed tower from Waverly Woods.

“Our experts recommended the settlement and a number of additions to the development that will improve conditions for the Fowler’s Toad, Red-headed Woodpecker and other important species. This was our primary motivation all along in launching the appeal,” said Marcie Jacklin, CVFE’s President.

“We’re particularly pleased that the closure of Lakeshore and added Environmentally Protected lands will really make a difference for Fowler’s Toad recovery. It’s now up to the Town and the Conservation Authority to create new habitat along the Friendship Trail that will need swift action in the coming weeks,” Jacklin added. Continue reading

Ontario Greens Launch Fully-Costed 2022 Election Platform

The Green Plan: New Solutions To Old Problems

A News Release from the Green Party of Ontario

Posted May 12th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner

TORONTO — This May 12th, Leader Mike Schreiner launched The Green Plan: New solutions to old problems ahead of the June election.

“Our vision is for the Ontario we all want — caring, connected, and ready for the new climate economy,” Schreiner said at the announcement in Toronto alongside Deputy Leaders Dianne Saxe and Abhijeet Manay. “And with our full slate of strong, diverse candidates, we have the leadership ready to deliver on it.”

“We need new solutions to the decades-long problems that the old-line parties have simply failed to solve.” Continue reading

Another Ontario Election, Another Promise to Lower Auto Insurance Rates

The NDP May Be the Go-To Party to Cut Rates, But Will They? Can They?

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

Posted May 12th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

It must be election time in Ontario because here we voters are again, facing another promise from one of the provincial parties to lower those bank-busing auto insurance rates.


Maybe I’ve been around too long, covering too many elections, but I’ve heard promises to lower auto insurance rates before and nothing ever comes from them.

The first time I recall hearing this promise in a big way was back around 1990 when the Ontario New Democratic Party, then led by Bob Rae who would later switch to the federal Liberals and now serves as Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, promised lower rates as part of a grander plan to and a larger plan to switch to a not-for-profit public insurance system across the province. Continue reading

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik Has Set His Own Term Limits, And It Is Two

The St. Catharines Mayor has Announced he will Not be Running for a Third Term as Mayor in this October’s Municipal Election 

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

Posted May 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik

In an announcement Walter Sendzik made this May 10th through his city’s local newspaper, The St. Catharines Standard, he said he will not be running for a third as the city’s mayor in this October’s municipal elections.

Sendzik explained during an interview with The Standard that he told himself when he first ran in 2014 for the top office of Niagara’s largest municipality that he would only serve two four-year terms.

“I do think the role of a public official, the person who is elected, shouldn’t be a career job,” Sendzik was quoted saying in the interview. I don’t think it was ever designed to be a career job.”

Perhaps that is an idea that should become infectious in Niagara. One wonders what Mayors Jim Diodati of Niagara Falls (now serving his third term as mayor), Frank Campion of Welland (now serving his second term) and Wayne Redekop of Fort Erie (now serving his fifth term) awould think of that? Continue reading

Canada’s Prime MinisterMakes Unannounced Visit to War-Torn Ukraine

“As Russia continues its ongoing illegal and unjustifiable war against Ukraine, Canada will continue to be there to support Ukraine and its people. I would like to thank President Zelenskyy for hosting this visit, but also more importantly, for his leadership. Together with Ukrainians, President Zelenskyy is defending the values at the very heart of democracies. His courage and the courage of Ukrainians is inspiring, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure Ukraine gets the support it needs.”                                           

  –  Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A News Release from Canada’s Office of the Prime Minister

Posted May 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

, Ukraine – This May 8th, Canada sends a resounding message to the world that we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine and its people.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today visited Kyiv, Ukraine, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia  Freeland, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, accompanied the  Prime Minister.

Earlier (this May 9th), the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs participated in a flag raising ceremony to mark the re-opening

of the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine. Ambassador Larisa Galadza, together with a team of additional staff members, will resume diplomatic operations in Kyiv, Ukraine as part of a gradual restoring of Canada’s full diplomatic presence and services. Until further notice, consular and immigration services will continue to be provided in Poland and many other European cities in the region. Continue reading

Ford Tories Are Driving All of Us in Ontario Down the Highway to Bankruptcy

And Few, If Any, In Ontario’s Business Community Seem to Give a Damn or Seem Willing to Pay More Taxes to Cover the Cost

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

Posted May 6th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Roads, highways and bridges! Bridges, highways and roads!

Get out the heavy machinery and plough through more of our crop lands and woodlands to build ever more highways. Is that what we still want in the third decade of a 21st Century faced with a highly destructive climate crisis? Apparently a good number of  his business supporters and others in Ontario do.

Since the 2022 Ontario election officially got started in these first days of May, Premier Doug Ford and his Conservatives have made a highly-orchestrated point of standing on green fields where they want highways built and empathize how much they view spending multiple billions of our dollars on every more roads, highways and bridges as a centre piece of their vision in this third decade of the 21st century of economic growth for Ontario. Continue reading

Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Slams Top Court’s Attack on Women’s Rights

A Statement by Brian Higgins, U.S. Congressman for the Buffalo, New York area followed by a Commentary by NAL’s Doug Draper

Posted May 3rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

On Draft Decision by United States Supreme Court to Strike Down Roe v. Wade

Buffalo, New York area Democratic Party Congressman Brian Higgins

(Buffalo, New York area) Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) released the following statement in response to a draft decision by the United States Supreme Court which would overturn Roe v. Wade:

“The Supreme Court is on the verge of decimating the rights of women across our country.

“A ruling to completely strike down Roe v. Wade, which has been in place for over 50 years, is a gross backslide of a grueling fight for progress and signals a forewarning that equal rights in America universally are in danger.”

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

Time For Rest of Us to Tell Extreme Right-Wing, Anti-Abortion Fanatics to Stand Down

Continue reading

Canada’s Prime Minister Pays Tribute to Key Role Journalists Play in Democracy on ‘World Press Freedom Day’

A Statement from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Posted May 3rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this May 3rd) issued the following statement on World Press Freedom Day:

“Today, on World Press Freedom Day, we honour the many journalists here in Canada and around the world who work tirelessly to seek out and report on the truth. We also reaffirm our longstanding commitment to the freedom of the press – a foundational pillar of our democracy – and recognize those who have been injured or lost their lives defending freedom of the press.

“While Canada enjoys a strong and free press, we know that this is not the case everywhere – many journalists face censorship, intimidation, violence, imprisonment, and false arrests. This year alone, many journalists were killed and hundreds imprisoned in the line of duty around the world. This serves as reminder that we must continue to advocate for journalists and for a strong and free press. Continue reading

It’s Time To Make Building New Superhighways In Ontario’s Greenbelt Illegal

“These highways would also increase pressure to allow new industrial, commercial and residential development along them, while also crossing and polluting hundreds of waterways, fragmenting forests and farms, filling in wetlands and creating a death trap for many wildlife species.”

A Message from Environmental Defence, Ontario Nature, Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, and the Wilderness Committee

Posted May 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Environmental Groups say: Enough is Enough. It’s time to make building new Superhighways in the Greenbelt illegal

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – New multi-lane superhighways threaten the farms, forests and wetlands of the Greenbelt and need to be banned to protect Ontario’s water, air, food, wildlife, access to nature and our climate.

This is why five organizations are calling on all political parties in Ontario’s June 2nd election to commit to making a legislative amendment to the Greenbelt Act to ban new multi-lane highways from being built through the Greenbelt. Continue reading

Just In Time for Ontario’s Spring Election, Shovels in Ground for New West Niagara Hospital

“After decades of inaction by previous governments, our government is getting it done for the people of West Niagara.”     – Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

“Promise made, promise kept – shovels are in the ground for our new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.”                                                 – Niagara West Conservative Government MPP Sam Oosterhoff

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara West Conservative MPP Same Oosterhoff

Posted April 30th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

GRIMSBY, Ontario  – Shovels are in the ground to build a new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Grimsby.

The Government of Ontario has approved the start of construction to begin on the new Hamilton Health Sciences site following the closing of the project contract between Ellis Don Infrastructure Healthcare, Hamilton Health Sciences and Infrastructure Ontario on April 29, 2022. 

During the next three years, Ellis Don Infrastructure Healthcare will design, build and finance the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital redevelopment project.

From left to right at ground-breaking, Andrew Smith, Chair, Take It To The Finish Campaign; Kevin Antonides, Chair, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation; Tony Joosse, Co-Chair, Save and Rebuild Campaign; Sandra Easton, Mayor, Town of Lincoln; Sam Oosterhoff, MPP Niagara West; Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences; Mary Volk, Board Member, Hamilton Health Sciences; Jeff Jordan, Mayor, Town of Grimsby; Dave Bylsma, Mayor, Township of West Lincoln

On behalf of the Government of Ontario, Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, made the announcement today at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.  MPP Oosterhoff was joined at the podium by Sandra Easton, Mayor of the Town of Lincoln; Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences, and other key representatives from the hospital, West Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation and West Niagara community. Continue reading

4,700 New Native Trees To Be Planted At Two-Mile Creek Conservation Area in NOTL

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted May 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) will continue a forest and stream rehabilitation project at the Two-Mile Creek Conservation Area in Niagara-on-the-Lake this May.

This work will see the planting of 4,700 new native trees in the cherished conservation area.

Photo courtesy of Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Phase one of this project took place last summer, with a tree-clearing operation to remove the dominant ash tree forest decimated by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Fallen trees and logs in the watercourse were also removed to improve flow and address large creek debris and flooding concerns.

While the largest debris was cleaned up, some dead trees and other smaller, messy debris were intentionally left behind to provide habitat features for birds, bats, and other wildlife that call the area home. Continue reading

Ontario Green Party Gongs Ford’s ‘Pro-Sprawl, Anti-Climate’ Budget

A News Release from the Green Party of Ontario

Posted April 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large


Full of old ideas we don’t want, Doug Ford’s pro-sprawl, anti-climate budget is out of touch with what Ontarians want.

The government says if it’s re-elected it will invest money in highways, cars, and sprawl. These are old ideas Ontario can’t afford.

This $198.6B budget is selling Ontarians a bill of goods. Minister Bethlenfalvy announced investments in “clean steel” — a disastrous fairy tale that will only increase Ontario’s emissions — an increase in housing supply without measures to lower costs, and the same calamitous highways we’ve been fighting against for years. Continue reading

Ford Government’s Pre-Election Budget is a Bust for Environmental Protection

“The 16 lanes of asphalt highway on the cover of today’s budget tell Ontarians everything they need to know about the government’s environmental agenda. This budget would commit billions to environmentally disastrous projects like Highway 413, the Bradford Bypass, and the widening of Highway 417 that will destroy Greenbelt, farmland, and endangered species habitat, worsen car traffic, and keep our existing suburbs mired in car-dependency for decades to come.”                                                             – Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager, Environmental Defence

Experts for citizen group Environmental Defence react to the 2022 Ontario budget

News from Environmental Defence

Posted April 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Larg

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation –

Keith Brooks, Programs Director:

Ontario’s Budget 2022 shows once again that this government doesn’t care about the environment. The environmental elements of the budget are mainly focused on building more highways and encouraging more people to drive by cutting the gas tax, removing tolls, and eliminating license fees, none of which are new announcements.

The budget also celebrates that businesses will be paying over a billion dollars less for their pollution, thanks to the government’s cancellation of the cap-and-trade program. This government has wasted millions tearing up green energy projects and fighting against climate change policy. This head-in-the sand budget dooms us to billions more in climate damages in the years to come Continue reading

Ford’s Pre-Election Budget Slammed for Failing to Address Housing Crisis in Niagara

Niagara’s Four Ontario NDP candidates react to Ford’s refusal to address affordability in budget

News from the Ontario New Democratic Party

Posted Apri 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

NIAGARA, Ontario – Niagara’s NDP MPPs Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines), Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre), Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), and NDP candidate Dave Augustyn (Niagara West) were dismayed that Doug Ford has tabled a election platform masquerading as a budget with $2.7 billion in cuts to services people rely on, while refusing to address the housing and affordability crises in Niagara Region.

Niagara West Ontario NDP candidate Dave Augustyn

“Niagara families needed to see a budget that made building affordable housing a priority and provided assistance for young families trying to buy their first home – but it is clear that Doug Ford’s budget will once again only make life easier for his developer buddies, and it does nothing for families.

“We have a housing crisis in Niagara – people from our own community literally cannot afford to buy a home here. Parents are watching as their kids have no choice but to leave the community they were raised in. The problem is worse now than four years ago, and families — especially young families — are paying the price,” said Stevens. Continue reading

Niagara, Ontario’s Major Business Chamber Finds Ford Government Budget Mostly Encouraging

 “We are encouraged to see Government of Ontario’s pledge to build 1.5 million homes over the next ten years and their extensive commitment to building highways and public transit. These are valued steps to address some of our members’ concerns.”                     – Mishka Balsom, CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC)

Niagara, Ontario – Mishka Balsom, CEO of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC), today released the following statement:

Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce CEO Mishka Balsom

“Over the past few months, the GNCC conducted extensive provincial budget consultations with businesses across Niagara to determine the key pressure points for our economic recovery and growth. Our members identified significant inflation concerns, labour shortages, ongoing supply chain interruptions amplified by war, red tape challenges, and the housing crisis. Continue reading

City Nature Challenge Starts in St. Catharines this April 29th, Runs Through Weekend

‘The challenge is an opportunity for residents to enjoy nature while making important discoveries that will help scientists to better understand and protect nature.’

News from the City of St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario

Posted April 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines residents are set to take on one of the world’s largest citizen science events by joining the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge once again this spring. 

From April 29 to May 2, residents will participate in an intense weekend of biological surveying as they join citizens from across the globe in the four-day bio blitz.  

The challenge is an opportunity for residents to enjoy nature while making important discoveries that will help scientists to better understand and protect nature. Participants will record and submit as many species as possible within the St. Catharines boundary followed by a week of identifying what was found using the free iNaturalist app.    Continue reading

Join A Workshop On How to Run for Municipal Office in Niagara and Win!

The Niagara-wide, non-partisaan citizens group, A Better Niagara, will be holding candidate training sessions for the upcoming (October 2022) municipal elections

An Invite from A Better Niagara

Posted April 28th, 2022 on Niagara At large

Passionate about your community? Want to make a difference?

If you are considering running in the next Municipal election, here’s your chance to get valuable information to help you make an informed decision.

Join us for a municipal election workshop this coming Tuesday, May 3rd7 to 8:30 p.m.

In this pre-election workshop you will hear from those who have successfully run for office about what managing a campaign and being an elected representative is like. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Has Kept Just 37 Per Cent of Its 2018 Campaign Promises

Province’s NDP Leader Promises to Restore Integrity in Government

“It’s time for a government that works for you and your family — not for themselves and their buddies.”                                                       – Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP Leader

News from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted April 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Doug Ford made promises and enough Ontarians believed him to elect him once. Polls suggest they will elect him again. Now there is something to laugh about.

TORONTO – Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath is committing to a number of changes to restore integrity in Ontario’s government.

“It’s been a rough few years. People who are looking for an affordable place to live have been hurt by a government helping developers who donate to their party, instead of families who need a home. People who are calling for investment in autism services have to watch millions in public dollars go out the door to fund partisan ads.”

We all have to watch and worry as the line between being a lobbyist and being a senior advisor to Doug Ford has been wiped away,” said Horwath.

“It’s time for a government that works for you and your family — not for themselves and their buddies.” Continue reading

Rising COVID-19 Patient Load Causes Niagara Health to Ramp Down Surgical Program

Niagara Health surgical program temporarily ramping down to 70% capacity

Patients who are impacted will be contacted by their surgical team

News from Niagara Health, Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted April 25th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario  – We are experiencing growing pressures with patient volumes and staff and physician illness, resulting in the need to adjust our operations to ensure we can provide emergency, critical and acute care to our patients using the resources available to us.

Today (this April 25th), our surgical program needs to temporarily ramp down to 70% capacity. This measure will allow Niagara Health to use these beds to care for COVID-19 positive patients and other patients with urgent needs. Continue reading

Niagara College Goes the Distance to Help Students Impacted By War in Ukraine

“We all recognize that students from Ukraine and many other countries, including Russia, are victims of this circumstance and it is critical that we illustrate to our students that we stand with them and are here to support them through this terribly tragic and stressful time.”                                                                                       – Gary Torraville, Director of Niagara College’s International Division

A News Release from Niagara College

Posted April 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – They have travelled across the world to study at Niagara College, now the College is going an extra mile for them.

NC is assisting international students impacted by the war in Ukraine with a range of supports – both financial and emotional – to help them through this challenging time.

Gary Torraville, Niagara College’s international division director. Photo courtesy of Niagara College

Whether they need financial assistance to help cover expenses, or emotional support as they struggle with anxiety over the safety of their loved ones in a war zone, Niagara College is demonstrating that they may be far away from home, but they are not alone. Continue reading

Brock University Opens ‘Seed Library’to Help Build a Diversity of Native Plants in our Communities

Seeds Now On Loan To Community At Brock Library

‘Seed libraries are an effective mechanism for collecting and distributing a variety of rare, endangered, native and/or culturally important seeds. They aim to protect genetic diversity in our food system and promote public access to seeds.’

News from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted April 19th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Master of Sustainability candidate Alexandra Cotrufo helped to create Brock University’s seed library launching Tuesday, April 19. Photo courtesy of Brock University

Niagara, Ontario – The list of items you can borrow from the Brock University Library is growing.

On Tuesday, April 19, the James A. Gibson Library will open the Brock University Seed Library to the community.

The initiative, which allows people to “borrow” seeds for planting, was the brainchild of Brock Master of Sustainability candidates Alexandra Cotrufo and Madison Lepp.

When the pair learned about WWF-Canada’s Go Wild School Grants, they decided to apply in hopes of bringing their vision for a community seed library to life.

The WWF-Canada Go Wild School Grant program funds projects that are focused on protecting or restoring nature in schools and on campuses. While most recipients receive grant amounts of $1,000, Cotrufo and Lepp were fortunate to receive $2,500 to plan, build and execute their project. Continue reading

Milestone Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Turns 50

Is it Really a Time for Celebration?

“If we pollute the air, water and soil that keep us alive and well, and we destroy the biodiversity that allows natural systems to function, no amount of money will save us.”                                       – David Suzuki, Canadian scientist, environmental activist and host of the CBC TV program ‘The Nature of Things’

“It is never too late to go quietly to our lakes, rivers, oceans, even our small streams, and say to the sea gulls, the great blue herons, the bald eagles, and the salmon, that we are sorry.”                         – American novelist and nature writer Brenda Peterson

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by a Statement from the Canadian and U.S. governments on the 1972 signing of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

Posted April 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A News Commentary by Doug Draper –

The Great Lakes, the largest source of fresh, drinkable water in the world, if we have the sense to look after them.

By the time citizens gathered in cities and towns around the world for the very first Earth Day in April, 1970, the Great Lakes and so many of the rivers and creeks flowing into them were on just about every environmental scientist who was paying attention critical list.

These massive reservoirs of fresh water – home to tens-of-millions of humans and a rich diversity of wildlife – were by then so seriously contaminated with petro-chemical waste from a multitude of sources on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border that fish-eating birds, from gulls to bald eagles, were dying off and at least one river flowing to the lower Great Lakes from Ohio literally caught fire.

Scientist were examining fish from the lakes and the watersheds feeding them that were suffering from exterior tumors the size of those marbles kids played with on the schoolyard.

At the same time, mats of rotting algae were washing up and stanching Great Lakes shores.

Great Lakes fish, washing up the shores in lethal mats of rotting algae

A product of nutrients (mostly phosphorus and nitrogen agents entering the lakes from farmlands treated with chemical fertilizers, and from urban sewers, the algae choked the lakes of the oxygen they needed to sustain fish life.

Lake Erie, the shallowest of the lakes and therefore the most vulnerable to growths of this oxygen-robbing plight, was declared in front-page headlines across North America to be “on the verge of dying.”

Two years after the first Earth Day, on April 16, 1972, then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (father of the current prime minister) and then U.S. President Richard Nixon set aside the beefs they had with each other on so many other issues and signed a binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement aimed at saving the lakes from those threats and more.

U.S. President Richard Nixon (second from left) and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (right) in April. 1972,, signing the Canada/U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

Through two revisions of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, in 1978 and 1987, and through the first 25 or 30 years of its initial signing, a great deal of progress was made by the two federal governments, by the Province of Ontario and the U.S. states bordering the lakes, and by municipalities and other bodies in both countries to bring these vital, life-sustaining water bodies back from the brink. Continue reading

Niagara Centre MPP’s Motion to Keep Full Services at Welland Hospital Receives Full Ontario Legislature Approval

“Niagara families are counting on us to provide the resources needed to keep emergency and acute care services running at the Welland Hospital. It’s critical that we keep the hospital services we have, and keep building capacity to serve Niagara families.”  – Jeff Burch, NDP MPP for the Riding of Niagara Centre in Niagara, Ontario

A New Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Posted April 13th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jeff Burch’s motion to keep the Welland Hospital’s emergency department and acute care services open passed after debate in the legislature on Tuesday evening.

“Families who rely on the Welland hospital deserve timely access to emergency and acute care when they need it,” said Burch.

“Our community is growing and our health care system needs to keep pace. While we’re looking forward to the new Niagara Falls hospital, we can’t afford to lose these critical services that Niagara families rely on.” Continue reading

Bertie Historical Society and Saving Waverly Woods

Join the Bertie Historical Society and Community Voices of Fort Erie for Meetings on the History of Erie Beach and Waverly Woods

An Invite and Update from Marcie Jacklin and Community Voices of Fort Erie

Posted April 13th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Dear friends of Waverly Woods/Erie Beach in Fort Erie, Ontario

Please join us for some in person meetings about the history of Waverly Woods/Erie Beach.

Community Voices of Fort Erie is partnering with the Bertie Historical Society to present Counting Back to Erie Beach (Waverly Woods) on April 13 at the Centennial Library at 6 p.m. and again at the Crystal Ridge Library at 6 p.m.  Continue reading

Big Birds Sighted in High Numbers this Spring Over Niagara Escarpment

‘This year’s (raptor) count was off to a good start in March, with a total count (in the skies above the Niagara Escarpment and  Beamer Memorial Conservation Area in Grimsby, Ontario) of 4,860 birds- the highest total since 2012, spread over 12 species.’

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted April 12th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A red-tail hawk, one of the species of raptors, flying in healthy numbers along the Niagara Escarpment this spring

This year’s annual spring migration raptor count began March 1st and goes until May 15, with volunteers from the Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch (NPH) group visiting the site to count sightings daily.

Although access to the viewing platform is limited to NPH volunteers only due to COVID-19, visitors and aspiring counters are welcome to join to learn more about the importance of this annual work.

This year’s count was off to a good start in March, with a total count of 4,860 birds- the highest total since 2012, spread over 12 species. Continue reading

Helping More Canadians Drive Electric Vehicles

“One of the best ways to cut pollution is getting more clean cars on the road. That’s why we’re making it easier and more affordable for Canadian families to make their next vehicle purchase an electric one.”                                                                         – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A News Release from the Office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Posted April 11th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he wants more Canadians driving electric vehicles

Canadians have been clear about what they want: clean air, good jobs, a healthy environment, and a strong economy. That’s why the Government of Canada is making it easier and more affordable for Canadians across the country to drive zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), while helping the auto sector to build them right here in Canada.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today highlighted key measures included in Budget 2022: A Plan to Grow Our Economy and Make Life More Affordable to help Canadians make the switch to zero-emission vehicles. Continue reading

We Put Off  the Need to ACT NOW on Climate Change at Our Peril

By Not Acting Now, We also Waste Away the Right to a Good Life for our Children

“The jury has reached a verdict and it is damning.  We are on a fast track to climate disaster. … It is time to stop burning our planet and start investing in the abundant renewable energy all around us.”                                                                                                   – an excerpt from  a message from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

A  Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by the latest climate emergency report released by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Posted April 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Of all the pressing problems we now face in this world – from affordable housing and galloping inflation to COVID-18 and the war crimes in the Ukraine – there is one that will continue to ravage life on this planet for generations to come if we don’t take decisive action to solve it now.

That problem is climate change and in yet another detailed report released this April 4th by scientists working under the umbrella of the Unite Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, we have been presented with one of the starkest warnings yet that we are on the road to a global meltdown if we continue to deny, delay or lie our way out of addressing this most perilous or problems.

Canada’s west in these recent years of unprecedented wildfires. Yet too many of our politicial leaders are willing to risk more of this over taking decisive action to deal with the causes of climate change.

As we approach the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day on this coming Friday, April 22nd, one of this aging environment reporter’s worst fears is that other pressing problems like the pandemic and the war Putin ignited in eastern Europe has put all of the attention and energy that the climate crisis finally began to receive before the COVID-19 plague began on the backburner. Continue reading

Canada Pledges Support for Global ‘Stand Up For Ukraine’ Campaign

Stand Up For Ukraine – 9.1 billion euros ($12.4 billion) pledged in support of internally displaced and refugees

“Whether it’s food, water, shelter, or medical aid – we will continue to have your backs and provide the assistance you need at this time. We are standing  up for Ukraine.”                                        – A message to the people of Ukraine from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A News Release from the Office of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Posted April 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The “Stand Up for Ukraine” global pledging event and campaign has raised 9.1 billion euros ($12.4 billion) for people fleeing the Russian invasion, inside Ukraine and abroad, including €1 billion from the European Commission.

On top of that, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced an additional €1 billion in loan to cover the needs of the people displaced by the invasion.

Out of these €10.1 billion in pledges and EBRD funding, €1.8 billion are for internally displaced persons and €8.3 billion for refugees in frontline EU Member States and countries, like Moldova. Continue reading

Budget 2022 Signals “Canada Is Back” As a Full Great Lakes Partner

“Investing in the Great Lakes fishery is good for the “triple bottom line” –  the fishery contributes $8 billion in economic return each year, the fishery is integral to our culture, and a healthy fishery means a healthy environment.”                                                                             – Vance Badawey, Niagara Centre MP and Co-Chair of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Taskforce

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre Liberal MP Vance Badawey

Posted April 8th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre Liberal MP and Co-Chair of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Taskforce, Vance Badawey. file photo

OTTAWA, ON – Vance Badawey Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre and Co-Chair of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Taskforce, was pleased to see our Liberal Government has made a decisive decision to be the first Federal Government in forty years to fully fund the binational treaty organization Great Lakes Fishery Commission in (this April 7th’s) budget.

Canada and the United States co-fund the Commission’s work under a treaty of 1954 called the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries.

The Commission’s program protects and improves the $8 billion Great Lakes fishery and Canada, before today, had been providing less than what the treaty requires. Today’s budget will ensure Canada makes essential investments to sustain the fishery, which we share with the United States. Continue reading

Passionate Birder & Champion in Fight to Save Fort Erie’s Waverly Woods to Receive Time-Honoured Nature Award

Marcie Jacklin is one of the citizen leaders in a David vs. Goliath battle to keep developers from destroying one of Niagara’s  natural jewels

A News Release from the Niagara Falls Nature Club in Niagara, Ontario

Posted April 7th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario naturalist, citizen activist and leading member in fight to save Waverly Woods in Fort Erie to receive time-honoured award

Niagara, Ontario – Local Fort Erie resident, Marcie Jacklin, will be receiving the R.W. Sheppard Award on Monday, April 11th, 3:00 pm, at Waverly Beach Park in the Town of Fort Erie.

The award is being presented by representatives from the Niagara Falls Nature Club who originally chose her as the recipient in 2020.  Traditionally the award is presented at the group’s annual dinner in April, but COVID-19 resulted in the cancellation of this and other live events.

Now that restrictions are lifted, an outdoor presentation has been planned to allow for safe distancing and masking, if preferred.

Roy W. Sheppard, for whom the award is named, was the first honourary president of the Niagara Falls Nature Club.  He joined the club in 1966 and was an active member until his death in 1985.  He was internationally known as a naturalist and published scientific and nature articles. Continue reading

Niagara’s Major Business Group Applauds Federal Government’s “Growth-Oriented Budget”

“With unemployment projected to remain low, and with supply chains and inflation now the biggest economic challenges, a growth-oriented budget makes sense at this time. Prudent governments have reinvested the rewards of growth in diversification and social programs, and this budget represents a step in that direction.”

A News Release from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce in Niagara, Ontario

Posted April 7th. 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce offers its views on the 2022 federal budget

Niagara, Ontario – The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) notes that the Government of Canada, reacting to a booming economic rebound, has opted to re-invest in housing, green energy, and other forward-thinking projects and programs.

Much of this is wisely targeted at known economic pain points such as housing and supply chains.

Simultaneously, while the era of extraordinary COVID-19 relief is coming to an end, the last five weeks in Ukraine have shown that peace and security cannot be taken for granted. That being the case, heightened defence spending was inevitable, particularly as Canada currently funds its military at a low rate compared to NATO peers. Continue reading