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Breaking News – Niagara’s Conservation Authority Claims Ontario’s Auditor General has turned down calls to audit NPCA operations

 From Doug Draper, reporter/publisher Niagara At Large

Posted September 22nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Following months of calls from growing numbers of Niagara area citizens, and a majority of local municipal councils and Provincial Members of Parliament across the Region, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is claiming in a media release it posted late this Friday, September 22nd that Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s office has informed it that it “will not be conducting a value-for-money audit of the NPCA.”

One of a number of citizen demonstration over the past several months, calling for an independent audit of NPCA’s operations. Photo by Doug Draper

According to the NPCA media release – which might be seen as a classic case of what is called a “Friday afternoon news dump” done to make it hard for others to contact appropriate parties for confirmation until the following week due to government offices being closed through the weekend – the Conservation Authority’s board “will now turn its attention to conducting additional audits beyond their annual financial audits.” Continue reading


Welcoming Wellspring Home, To Pelham!

‘For individuals and families impacted by cancer, Wellspring Niagara stands as a beacon of light and a rainbow of hope.’

A Guest Column from Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn

Posted September 22nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – On behalf of Pelham Town Council, it was my honour and privilege to participate in the special groundbreaking for a new home for Wellspring Niagara earlier this September.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Wellspring’s new home in Pelham/Niagara. Photo courtesy of Town of Pelham

Wellspring Niagara’s exceptional services are well known across the Peninsula. For more than 16 years their dedicated volunteers and staff have provided free social, emotional, psychological and informational support to people coping with cancer. Continue reading

On First Day of Fall, High Heat alert issued for Niagara Area

A News Advisory from Niagara, Ontario’s Public Health Department

Posted September 22nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note from NAL publisher Doug Draper – After finding ourselves digging out our long pants and fall jackets to deal with the unseasonal cold temperatures earlier this September, and now this – what could be record-setting high temperatures forecast this weekend for much of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, including Niagara, and for much of Western New York.

Pack it in with unprecedented weather events of a far more dangerous sort in the Carribean and southern United States and in parts of western Canada and the U.S., where extended periods of drought and wildfires have dominated much of the spring and summer just past.

So enjoy however bonus days of July-like weather we get knowing, as many of you who have been following the climate issue closely do, that in the long-run there may be a cost, and it probably won’t be cheap. The rest can relax as they are assured by Tories, Republicans and their corporate masters, that the whole thing is a hoax.

Now here is the Niagara Public Health Department’s heat advisory – )

​An Excessive Heat Alert has been issued today, Sept. 22, 2017, by Niagara Region Public Health as the humidex is expected to approach 40​°C over the weekend. Continue reading

Ontario, Quebec and California Join Forces to Fight Climate Change

“Climate change, if left unchecked, will profoundly disrupt the economies of the world and cause untold human suffering. That’s the reason why California and Québec are joining with Ontario to create an expanded and dynamic carbon market, which will drive down greenhouse gas emissions.” — Jerry Brown, Governor of California

News from the Office of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne

Posted September 22, 2017 on Niagara At Large

This Friday, September 22nd, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and California Governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown further strengthened their cooperation in the global fight against climate change.

From left, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard and California Governor Jerry Brown sign climate pact. Photo courtesy of Ontario Premier’s Office

Premier Couillard hosted Premier Wynne and Governor Brown in Québec City to sign an agreement linking the carbon markets of Québec, Ontario and California.

By signing this agreement to integrate and harmonize emissions cap programs, Ontario will now formally enter the Québec-California carbon market, effective January 1, 2018. This will allow all three governments to hold joint auctions of greenhouse gas emission allowances and to harmonize regulations and reporting. Continue reading

A Call from Canada’s Green Party leader for more action on climate change

“We are sleepwalking to cataclysmic planetary disaster.” – Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May

A Message from the Green Party of Canada

Posted September 22nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – I am not a member of any political party and I do not want to be, but I am posting the following message from federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May  – even though it includes a request for donations to the party and its public interest campaigns – because I believe it is very important.

Canada’s Green Party leader Elizabeth May

It is a message that is coming from the only federal party in Canada that, during the 2015 national election, took a clear and unequivocal stance for leaving what is left in the tar sands buried in the ground and not building any more pipelines for transporting this tar to shipping docks on the coasts.

For that reason alone – given the magnitude of the climate challenges facing the planet and every form of life inhabiting it – NAL is pleased to give Elizabeth May’s continued efforts for more progressive change and action a little exposure here.

Now back to May’s message.)

Dear Friend,

“Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” – David Orr

On September 5th, we held a press conference in Vancouver with Dr. David Suzuki and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

The Green Party was hoping to get media attention to the imminent risk of the Liberals abandoning promises to repair environmental assessment law and the damage done by Harper. Almost no one from the media attended.

Dr. David Suzuki (left), Green Party leader Elizabeth May and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip press need for more action on climate change.

Out the windows, Vancouver Harbour was bathed in a sickly orange haze, choking in smoke from the BC forest fires. Continue reading

Buffalo Humanities Festival features acclaimed environmentalist  Bill McKibben speaking on “The Desperate Climate Fight: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Moment”

Friday, September 29th , 8 PM (with a 7 PM VIP reception) at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery overlooking Buffalo, New York’s Delaware Park

Posted September 22nd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York  – The America/New York Buffalo Humanities Festival features environmentalist Bill McKibben speaking on “The Desperate Climate Fight: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Moment.”

American environmentalist Bill McKibben speaks on climate crisis

The critically acclaimed environmentalist and author will speak at the Albright-Knox on issues of environmental justice and economic sustainability, local and regional activism and planning, and the global climate change crisis. Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins will introduce  him.

$20 general admission
$15 Students

Buy Tickets Online

Learn More about the Festival
Learn More about Bill McKibben

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


Another Dispatch from the NPCA Twilight Zone

One of the lessons from in the zone – If you don’t say anything about workplace harassment, apparently it doesn’t exist

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted September 21st, 2017 on Niagara At Large

“We have a positive and high-performing workplace, and that’s what I work at every day.”

Some protest signs outside a board meeting of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority this past April

That is what Mark Brickell, the most recently installed CAO of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, told a reporter for one of region’s daily newspapers following the release of a report alleging a “toxic” environment and repeated harassment of employees in the NPCA workplace.

So if the Chief Administrative Officer for Niagara’s publicly funded Conservation Authority  says that, where do you go from there? Continue reading