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Ontario Honours Survivors of Residential School System

Province of Ontario Marks Orange Shirt Day – Wednesday September 30th, 2020

A Statement from Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Affairs,

Posted September 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — This September 30th, Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, issued the following statement on Orange Shirt Day:

“Today, we acknowledge the long-lasting, multi-generational impact of the residential school system on Indigenous communities, our province and our country. For more than 100 years, Indigenous children across Canada were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools, where they were stripped of their language and culture. Continue reading

If You Care About Protecting Niagara’s Trees, Get Involved in This!

Key Niagara Region Committee Meeting Coming – This October 14th at 1 P.M. – on Proposed By-Law for Protecting and Preserving Trees in our Region

Find Out Below How You Can Have Your Say

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large, followed by a Notice from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted September 29th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

More than a decade has passed since Niagara’s Regional Government last updated its tree protection by-law, and many Niagara citizens have made it clear, in one way or another, that a revised by-law for better protecting what wooded areas Niagara has left is long overdue.

Over past decade, there have been numerous cases of trees being taken out with chainsaws or bulldozers. There would be an outcry from citizens who were often told that the laws in place for protecting trees do little or nothing to charge those who cut them down. Continue reading

50 Trees for 50 Years: Fall Tree Plantings in Lincoln

News from the Town of Lincoln

Posted September 29th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Lincoln, Ontario – As part of Lincoln’s celebratory 50^th anniversary year, 50 trees will be planted in several parks throughout the Town.

Beautification and decoration of public spaces helps to instill a sense of civic pride and support community belonging. Town staff work to beautify the public realm and animate spaces through year-round seasonal plantings and decorations.

To further support these beautification efforts, there is opportunity to commemorate the Town’s 50th anniversary in 2020 by installing legacy beautification pieces such as floral displays and new trees.

Tree planting locations will include:

Continue reading

Greater Niagara Chamber Wants More Ford Government Transparency on COVID-19 Decisions

“We ask that the Government of Ontario commit to greater transparency in dealing with the business community and the public at this very difficult time.”                                                                   – the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, Niagara, Ontario’s large organization representing  members of the region’s business community

A News Release from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Posted September 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Chamber asks Ontario government for more transparency on its decision making  around this virus

Niagara, Ontario – On September 25th, the Government of Ontario announced immediate changes applying additional measures and restrictions to restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments.

The government stated that the decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, but did not reveal what the nature of that consultation was, who recommended the changes, who decided to legislate the changes, and what data that decision was based upon.

These changes will negatively impact many businesses which are already struggling to survive under the pressure of the pandemic. The GNCC does not prioritize business over public health, but simply asks that decisions which harm businesses include a clear and tangible demonstration of benefit to public health, with data that include projections of cases with and without the measure.

The GNCC offered similar suggestions when Niagara was not among the regions selected to move to Stage 2 of the provincial re-opening. While we respect the decision of the government and encourage all of our members to comply with legislation, the government’s case would be better-made if the data they were basing their decisions on, and the methods by which they reached them, were publicly available.

We ask that the Government of Ontario commit to greater transparency in dealing with the business community and the public at this very difficult time.

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in Niagara and the third-largest Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, with 1,600 members representing 50,000 employees.

More information on the GNCC is available at gncc.ca

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

Ontario’s NDP Hits Ford Government for ‘Doing Little or Nothing’ to Prevent a Second Wave

As COVID-19 Infections Hit The Highest-Ever Daily Count In Ontario – Now A Full 700 a Day –  NDP Leader Andrea Horwath Said It’s Clear Doug Ford’s So-Called Plan Isn’t Working

A Statement from Ontario Official Opposition and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted September 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Official Opposition and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario — On the day (this September 28thy) that COVID-19 infections hit the highest-ever daily count in Ontario, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said it’s clear Doug Ford’s incomplete, weeks-late so-called plan isn’t working — and she urged the government to make the investments needed to try to get ahead of the second wave, now.

“The Ford government is doing the bare minimum in order to save a buck, and it’s not working,” said Horwath.

“Parents are worried about their kids as COVID-19 cases climb in schools, families are worried about their grandparents as COVID-19 reignites in long-term care homes, and tens of thousands of people are waiting anxiously in self-isolation for their test results because of a backlog. It’s clear Doug Ford’s late, incomplete, so-called plan for the second wave isn’t working.” Continue reading

Trudeau to United Nations – “The World Is In Crisis. …“Our World Is Facing A Climate Reckoning!”

Canada’s PM Shares Words with UN about Climate Crisis That Many Wish He Would Live Up To At Home

Trudeau May Have One More Chance to Prove Himself a Leader on the Climate Front

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher           Doug Draper

Posted September 26th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

I can’t count the number of times I have had friends from the United States – friends who are sick to their stomachs over Trump and all the damage he continues to do – say to me; ‘Any chance we can switch leaders with you? We really like Justin Trudeau.”

I understand what my American friends are saying, and I would just love it if I could like our Canadian prime minister as much as they do too.

Problem is that Justin Trudeau says an awful lot of things that, to liberal, progressive-minded people at least, sound good, then he turns around and either does little or nothing, or he allows he allows ideas from past federal governments or he comes up with ideas of his own that betray the good words he is speaking.

Take the climate crisis that is already taking such a costly toll on Canada and other regions around the world. Continue reading

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff Acclaimed as Ontario PC Party Candidate for Niagara West

“I look forward to continuing to faithfully represent and actively advocate for the needs and concerns of families and job creators in Niagara West at Queen’s Park.”                                                         – Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff 

Next Ontario Election is Now Just Twenty Months Away

News from Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Constituency Association for Niagara West

Posted September 27th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

BEAMSVILLE in Niagara, Ontario – Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, has been formally acclaimed as the riding’s Progressive Conservative candidate leading into the next provincial general election.

In an online Zoom Meeting, Saturday, chaired by riding president, Tony Joosse, the executive and membership of the Progressive Conservative Constituency

Association of Niagara West endorsed the acclamation.

“On behalf of the Progressive Conservative Constituency Association of Niagara West, Provincial Nominations Committee and our great Premier, Doug Ford, I am pleased to declare and announce our dedicated and hardworking MPP, Sam Oosterhoff, as theOntario PC Partycandidate for the upcoming general election,” said Joosse. Continue reading

A Call-Out to All of Us to Take a Stand for Something Life-Sustaining – The Trees on Our Planet!

Plan for Planting In The Fall, Plant Trees In The Spring – Now Is The Time To Advance A Canada-Wide Tree Planting Strategy

“With our dedicated partners, we already plant about three million trees a year from coast to coast in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador.”                                                                                                        – Forests Ontario and Forest Recovery Canada

An Opinion Piece by Rob Keen, Registered Professional Forester and CEO of Forests Ontario and Forest Recovery Canada

Posted September 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

As Canadians, we need to ask ourselves this question – how do we build upon and deploy large-scale tree planting efforts such as the Two Billion Tree Program envisioned by Prime Minster Trudeau?

We are not alone with this idea. According to ETH Zurich University, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations, planting one trillion trees around the world may be one of the most effective ways to combat climate change impacts.

To respond to our moral and global responsibilities, and since Canada is able to contribute to the world’s growing need for trees and new forests, I say it is time we build on the Prime Minister’s visionary Two Billon Tree promise announced near Belleville last September with a climate focused national tree planting strategy. Continue reading

Have Your Say On Niagara Region’s 2021 Budget Priorities

“Your opinion matters. Please take the time to help shape the 2021 budget process by participating in this short survey (linked in the post below).”                                                                                       – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

An Invite to All Niagara Citizens from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted September 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Work to determine Niagara Region’s 2021 budget is underway. Through the budget  process, choices are made to ensure the Region continues to provide services at a level that residents expect.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit our community hard. Your Regional government wants to learn more about which municipal services you value and believe should remain a priority during this challenging time. Continue reading

Culture Days Returns to St. Catharines/Niagara with New, Month-Long Format

This year Culture Days in St. Catharines will expand from its traditional weekend-long format to encompass a whole month, from September 25th to October 25th

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

Posted September 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario — From the history of the Welland Canal to a vibrant and growing arts scene, there is no shortage of culture to celebrate in St. Catharines. So much so that this year it will take a whole month to celebrate as Culture Days returns.

The City is once again gearing up to participate in the Canada-wide celebration of arts and culture, that this year will expand from its traditional weekend-long format to encompass a whole month, from Sept. 25 to Oct. 25.

Every year communities across Canada participate in Culture Days, featuring hands-on activities inviting the public to participate in the cultural landscapes of their communities. This year will be no different, albeit with the introduction of more online events, and physical distancing measures for in-person events. Continue reading

A Great Exhibit For Us – North Is Freedom: The Legacy Of The Underground Railroad

A Photographic Journey By Yuri Dojc

On Exhibit in Niagara Falls, Ontario from September 26th, 2020 to January 10th, 2021

News from the Niagara Falls History Musuem in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – This photographic journey celebrates the descendants of freedom-seekers who escaped slavery in the United States in the years before the American Civil War.

One of the photos in the exhibit of Wilma Morrison, one of the pillars of the Black community in Niagara, Ontario, who passed away earlier this 2020. Photo by Yuri Dojc

Approximately 30,000 men, women and children fled north to freedom, settling from the Canadian Maritimes to as far west as the Manitoba border. Some arrived alone; others found their way to Canada with the help of a clandestine network of “conductors” and “stations” called the “Underground Railroad.” Continue reading

Canadian Environmentalists Pleased to See PM Re-Commit to Fighting Climate Change Except for This …

“Canada has been promising climate action for years now, yet we continue to fall further behind in meeting our existing targets. There is still no vision for how Canada gets off fossil fuels or transforms our economy and energy system.”                                                    – Tim Gray, Environmental Defence Canada

A Statement from Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence

Posted September 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has always, at least, talked a good game on fighting the global climate emergency

Toronto, Ontario – We are glad to see the government reaffirm its commitment to the environment and climate change in the Speech from the Throne.

In particular, we welcome the promise to ban harmful single-use plastics next year and ensure more plastic is recycled, and the commitment to modernize the two-decade old toxics and pollution prevention law, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act .

We’re likewise happy to see commitments to immediately bring forward a plan to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate goal and legislate Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

We are also pleased to see the promise to introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples before the end of this year. Continue reading

Ontario Government Expands COVID-19 Testing to Pharmacies

“As part of our plan to ensure that we are ready for future waves of COVID-19, our government is working with pharmacies to help expand testing for Ontarians,”                                                         – Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott

News from the Ontario Government

Posted September 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario government is providing people with convenient and timely access to free COVID-19 testing at pharmacies in the province. As of Friday, up to 60 pharmacies in Ontario will begin offering testing by appointment only, with further locations coming online in the coming weeks. This initiative will expand testing capacity well beyond the province’s 150 assessment centres.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

“We rely on our pharmacists for our flu shots, prescriptions, and important health advice for ourselves and our families. It makes sense to engage them as key partners in delivering more COVID-19 testing,” said Premier Ford. Continue reading

Trump Move Will Allow More Dumping of Toxic Metals in the Shared Waters of Our Great Lakes

Buffalo, N.Y. Area Congressman Brian Higgins Strongly Opposes Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Rule Rollback Allowing Release of Toxic Metals Into Great Lakes and Waterways

Urges a Re-doubling of Efforts to Prioritize the Long-term Sustainability of the Environment

This Trump Rollback Affects Canadians Who Depend on Great Lakes Water for Our Survival Too!

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

Posted September 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Our shared Great Lakes. They only remain healthy and safe, if all governments in Canada and the United States work together to protect them.

Buffalo, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins (Democrat) spoke on the House floor to strongly oppose the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s recent rule rollback allowing the release of toxic metals into our nation’s Great Lakes and waterways, and urged colleagues to re-double their efforts to prioritize the long-term sustainability of the environment.

Higgins said “For decades, communities across Western New York have been working together to bring back waterways, like the Buffalo River, that were once declared ecologically dead due to unchecked industrial pollution.” Continue reading

Niagara Groups Host Native Tree & Shrub Sale

Here Is Something Positive We Can All Do to Add More Green to our Planet

An Invite to All form the Niagara Native Gardening Club and Ontariogreen, in partnership with the Town of Lincoln

Posted September 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Fall is the perfect time to add trees and shrubs to your garden.

To help you pick a plant that will not only provide you with the shade and beauty you want, but that will also benefit our local environment, the Niagara Native Gardening Club and Ontariogreen, in partnership with the Town of Lincoln, is holding our Second Annual Native Tree and Shrub sale.

There will be more than a dozen species to choose from. A list of the trees and shrubs available, along with information about their features, size, soil requirements etc. is available here: http://www.ontariogreen.ca/tree-sale.html Payment for your tree and shrub order can be securely online through Paypal, Debit or Credit Card. Continue reading

Ontario Premier Falling Short on Action Needed to Address Second Wave of COVID-19

“There’s so much more that could be done to make people better off right now.” – a statement by Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath as daily COVID-19 case counts in Niagara rise dangerous close to 500

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted September 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Tuesday that Ontario is in desperate need of action to help Ontario cope with the second wave of COVID-19 infections.

“Yet again (this September 22nd), (Ontario Premier Doug) Ford didn’t announce any changes to make people safer,” said Horwath.

“For people with loved ones in long-term care, for everyone waiting hours in lines for a COVID-19 test, and for parents whose child is stuffed in a class of 30 kids, Doug Ford is telling them that there are no changes coming to help them.” Continue reading

A Few Words of Tribute for Ruth Bader Ginsburg from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

From the New York State Governor’s Office in Albany, N.Y.

Posted September 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Statement by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo –

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

“On Friday (September 18th) , we were devastated to learn that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away. Justice Ginsburg was a daughter of Brooklyn and her life was a testament to the true meaning of New York Tough — accomplishment, tenacity, conviction, all coupled with respect, grace and dignity.

“As an advocate, litigator, professor and judge, Justice Ginsburg was a singular force for justice throughout her extraordinary career, particularly in her relentless fight for gender equality. New York will honour her life and legacy with a statue in Brooklyn.

“This statue will serve as a physical reminder of Justice Ginsburg’s monumental contributions to American jurisprudence and as an inspiration to us all.”

A  Footnote from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper –

Now that is how you pay tribute to one of your great citizens – not with the disgusting garbage coming out of the mouths of Trump and his cult.

To read a commentary I wrote and posted earlier this September 21st on the Trump crowd’s shameful response to the death of this great humanitarian and Supreme Court justice, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/09/21/trumpies-already-dancing-on-the-great-justice-ginsburgs-grave/

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

Trumpies Already Dancing on the Great Justice Ginsburg’s Grave

            “Fill that seat! Fill that seat! Fill that seat!”                          – a chant from the masses at a Trump rally on September 19th, not 24 hours after the death of  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted September 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Trump’s cult-like band of worshipers – many of them evangelical Christians – could not seem to wait for 24 hours following the death of the great U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before pressing to have her seat filled with a judge, singularly bent on saving fetus at any cost to anything or anyone else.

The late American satirist and social critic George Carlin could not have been more right about these single-issue fanatics when he put it this way –

“Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favour of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own,” said Carlin. Continue reading

Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region Kicks off Campaign on World Alzheimer Day

“Together with the support of the community The Alzheimer Society will provide help for today and hope for tomorrow.”

News from the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region

Posted September 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – There are 10,524 people living with progressive dementia in Niagara, with the most common being Alzheimer’s disease. Anyone may develop dementia and there is no cure.

COVID-19 is significantly impacting persons living with dementia and their care partners. People living with dementia already face deep stigmatization, and the isolation they live with every day has become so much worse. 

In Ontario, nine out of 10 residents in long term care have some form of cognitive impairment, 2/3rds with dementia – and 64.6% of all COVID-19 deaths in Ontario (as of September 17)) are among long-term care residents. Continue reading

Niagara Region Releases New App To Give Residents Waste Management Info At The Touch Of A Button

“It’s now even easier to learn about solid waste management in our community with our improved mobile app, Niagara Region Waste, and online tools.”                                                                               – Jennifer Mazurek, Waste Management Program Manager, Niagara Region

News from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted September 20th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Region has launched a new waste management app, called Niagara Region Waste, which makes it even easier for residents to obtain current information about waste and recycling collection programs.

Residents can download the mobile app forApple orAndroid smartphones. In the mobile app, you will find the garbage/recycling collection schedule specific to your house address, with the ability to sign up and receive a collection day reminder. As part of signing up for a reminder, you will also receive updates in case of collection changes or delays. Continue reading

Eastdale Secondary School In Welland Reports COVID-19 Case

“Custodians will complete a deep cleaning of Eastdale Secondary School this weekend. Additionally, the school community will continue to be vigilant with preventative COVID-19 practices.”

A Media  Advisory from the District School Board of Niagara

Posted September 19th, 2020 in Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Region Public Health (NRPH) has advised the District School Board of Niagara that an individual at Eastdale Secondary School has tested positive for COVID-19. For privacy reasons, the identity of the individual will not be shared.

On Monday, September 21, a Public Health Inspector and a Public Health Nurse from NRPH will visit the school.

Eastdale Secondary School and the District School Board of Niagara will work collaboratively with Niagara Region Public Health to ensure the school meets all the health and safety protocols required.  Continue reading

Niagara Health Ramps Up COVID Testing to Meet Increasing Demand

NH Teams Working To Accommodate Increase In Demand For COVID Testing

News from Niagara Health in Niagara Ontario

Posted September 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

There has been a significant increase in the number of people seeking testing over the past week at Niagara Health’s three COVID-19 Assessment Centres, with 3,484 tests performed between Sept. 11 to 17, which is an average of nearly 500 people per day.

This total includes a record 665 tests on Sept. 16.

With the increase in the number of patients coming to the Assessment Centres, walk-in patients are experiencing longer than normal wait times. Assessment Centres see walk-in patients until 4 p.m. on the days of operation. With large numbers of patients arriving for testing, it may not be possible to see all walk-in patients on the day they arrive. Continue reading

Environmentalists Ready to Face Down Conservative Party Climate Laggards in Canada’s Supreme Court

News from Environmental Defence, a Canada-wide group dedicated to protecting the environment, followed by a Footnote by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted September 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

From left to right, Conservative premiers and fellow cowpokes Doug Ford, Jason Kenney and Moe Scott are all in on fighting Ottawa’s move to put a price on carbon pollution. They are using our tax money to take their 20th century war for the continued dominance of carbon fuels all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court

Toronto/Ottawa, Ontario – On September 22 and 23, the Supreme Court will hear challenges from Alberta,Ontario and Saskatchewan to the (federal Liberal government’s) 2018 Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act , along with over 25 intervenors challenging or defending the Act.

Environmental Defence is one of the intervenors defending the Act, which puts a levy on the use of fossil fuels in those provinces that do not have their own pricing system. We will be represented by the Canadian Environmental LawAssociation. Continue reading

Niagara’s Regional Council Extends Mandatory Face Mask Bylaw to April, 2021

“It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and will continue to affect our communities into next year. Regional Council’s decision to extend the Face-covering By-law reflects Niagara’s united commitment to safeguarding the health of our communities by following established public health advice”          ~ Jim Bradley, Niagara Regional Chair

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

Posted September 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

As daily COVID-19 case counts jump in Ontario – fueling concern about a possibly second, more deadly wave of the virus in the months ahead – Niagara’s Regional Council voted this September 17th to extend the Region’s mandatory mask bylaw for indoor places (due to expireOctober 1st) to April 1st of next year.

The extension was approved with an understanding that if we collectively get lucky, and this global pandemic is behind us before next spring, the bylaw could be rescinded at a sooner date.

Unfortunately, that is not the prognosis of many leading health and infectious disease experts around the world though who are already warning that with the annual flu season upon us this fall, and the COVID-19 still in the air, we could be in for some difficult times ahead. Continue reading

No Surprise Here. Canada-U.S. Border Crossings Are Staying Closed!

Like A Tin Can Border Ban Has Been Kicked Ahead Another Month – This Time Until October 21st, 2020

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

Posted September 16th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

It may be many more months before we see traffic like this again on the Peace Bridge crossing between Niagara, Ontario and Buffalo, New York

Niagara, Ontario – No one who has been paying attention to the Covid-19 disaster still fully in flames in Donald Trump’s America should be surprised by this news.

For the sixth month in a row, since this past March, the Peace Bridge and other Canada-U.S. border crossings in Niagara and from sea to sea across the continent will remain closed to all by essential (mostly commercial) traffic.

When the first border crossing restrictions were announced by the two countries in March, few probably imagined they would continue this long, and possibly be extended on into 2021.

“It will probably only be for a month or two,” I heard people on both sides of the border say, and I was thinking that myself, and was still hopeful that my wife and I would be able to take our annual trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts this September to visit some of our dear friends. Continue reading

Canada’s PM Celebrates Democracy at a Time When Populism and Fascism are Haunting the U.S and So Many Other Countries Around the World

“By being engaged in the democratic process, we can help safeguard our institutions and help protect democracy worldwide.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Statement from the Office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Posted September 15th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the International Day of Democracy:

“Today, we join our international partners to celebrate the International Day of Democracy <https://www.un.org/en/observances/democracy-day>. We recognize that the respect for freedoms, human rights, and the rule of law are essential for democracies to thrive. Continue reading

St. Catharines Approves Arts and Culture Funding to Help Revitalize City, Post Pandemic

“The arts and culture sector in St. Catharines has been severely affected by COVID-19. Disruption caused by the pandemic has had a significant impact on many artists’ and arts organizations’ abilities to carry out their work.”

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

Posted September 15th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Downtown St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario

St. Catharines City Council forges ahead in its support of the arts and culture sector by approving funding in the amount of $93,095 to 16 local artists and arts organizations through its annual St. Catharines Cultural Investment Program (SCCIP).

“This funding will provide an opportunity for local organizations to develop projects that support the sustainability of the arts and culture sector through tough times,” said Director of Community, Recreation and Culture Services Phil Cristi.

The arts and culture sector in St. Catharines has been severely affected by COVID-19. Disruption caused by the pandemic has had a significant impact on many artists’ and arts organizations’ abilities to carry out their work, especially in the audience-based performing arts sector. Continue reading

Ontario Just Recorded Highest Daily COVID Case Count Since the Outbreak of the Virus this Past Winter and Spring

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

Posted September 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Well, what is this? Should we start hording toilet paper again for a second wave?

All of a sudden, in just one day – this Monday, September 14th, to be precise – we jump from 204 daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario this Sunday to 313 cases today.

That is one of the highest daily case counts the province has recorded since this past spring when shopping malls, hair salons, entertainment venues, libraries, schools and most everything else was shut down.

Do we really want to go back to a lockdown situation like that, along with all of the emotional and economic pain it caused for so many of us?

I hate to sound like a broken record, but we have all got to collectively stand on guard folks – with masks, with social distancing and with hand-washing – or here comes a second wave that more than a few infectious disease experts say could cause even more sickness and death than the first. Continue reading

You Are Invited To the 46th Annual Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival- A VIRTUAL CELEBRATION

“The Festival continues to be a staple in the lives of many families, local communities, and tourists alike, and while we’re not able to offer the usual experience, we are confident that festival goers will join us on this unique virtual adventure to ensure this annual tradition is not missed.”                                         – Alicia Powell, festival coordinator for the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

With celebrations all over the world looking a lot different this year, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is excited to announce its virtual celebration of the Annual Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival.

“In it’s 46th year, the festival, which was originally conceived as four days of in-person shopping, featuring delicious local food, the best in VQA wines and local brews, artisan vendors, farmer’s market, and historical tours and demonstrations, has been transformed into a virtual experience,” says Alicia Powell, festival coordinator. Continue reading

Trump’s “Slow, Sloppy & Adversarial” Pandemic Response is Keeping Canada-U.S. Border Crossings Closed

Because of High COVID-19 Death Toll in U.S., “the world is closed to Americans, and to America. Americans aren’t welcome in Canada; Americans aren’t welcome in 27 European countries.”   – Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

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

Posted September 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Peace Bridge between Niagara, Ontario and Buffalo, New York, like all Canada-US. border crossings, has been closed to all but essential (mostly commercial) traffic since March, 2020. File photo by Doug Draper

Buffalo, New York – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke during a House of Representatives Ways & Means committee hearing last week, blaming the Trump Administration’s chaotic and failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the ongoing U.S.-Canada border closure set to expire next week.

Higgins said “The fact of the matter is, the poor handling of this pandemic by the federal government is as clear as it could be.”

“Twenty-five per cent  25 of the deaths from COVID-19 are Americans globally, with only five per cent of the world’s population. The world is closed to Americans, and to America. Americans aren’t welcome in Canada; Americans aren’t welcome in 27 European countries.” Higgins later continued. Continue reading

Ontario’s COVID-19 Cases Now in Danger of Spiking – Again

Hey Fellow Ontarians, Are We Forgetting That This Killer Virus Is Still Out There? Now Is No Time To Let Our Guard Down Now

A Brief Comment form Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted September 13th, 2020

Hey Ontario. This is still out there.

Okay, so what’s going on in our Province of Ontario?

After going through collective hell this spring with this deadly virus, we got our act together to a point where the total daily number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario sank to below 100 and we were finally able to see businesses and at least some of our public institutions re-open, and see tens-of-thousands of people return to work.

Yet here we are in recent weeks, with report after report that the daily cases numbered more than 100, and as of this September 13th, we have had three days in a row in Ontario with the total number of cases totaling more than 200. Continue reading

Is Time Running Out for Ontario’s Cormorants?

Doug Ford’s ‘Small Game Hunt’ Could Mean the Decimation of an Entire Great Lakes Species

“If every small game hunting license holder in the province killed what they are legally allowed to kill, that would mean the death of 316 million cormorants.” – a statement from the wildlife advocacy group Zoocheck Canada

Double-crested cormorant © Colin Durfee CC BY 2.0

A Call-Out to All of Us from Zoocheck Canada to Help Stop Ford’s Cormorant Shoot Fest

Posted September 13th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

You might have heard the Ontario government has announced that small game hunters will be allowed to kill 15 cormorants per day beginning September 15th and ending on December 31st.

If every small game hunting license holder in the province killed what they are legally allowed to kill, that would mean the death of 316 million cormorants.

But there aren’t that many. The province estimates that there are only about 142,000 cormorants and most of them live in small colonies, often less than 50 birds, across the province. Continue reading

Niagara Centre MP Partners With Area Mayors & Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority to Advance Trade Corridors Along Welland Canal

“The idea of establishing Niagara as an active trade corridor is a notion that I took to Ottawa with me when I was first elected in 2015.” – Niagara Centre Liberal government MP Vance Badawey

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

Posted September 12th on Niagara At Large

Building the Welland Canal corridor as a major trade zone

Welland, Ontario – Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre and Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, came together with the mayors of Port Colborne, Welland, and, Thorold, and with the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) to advance the development of three Multimodal Industrial Hubs along the Welland Canal.

This initiative is a positive and practical solution to a long-held belief that many of the region’s marine assets are underutilized, and could be leveraged for positive economic impact, job creation and trade facilitation. Badawey noted.

“The idea of establishing Niagara as an active trade corridor is a notion that I took to Ottawa with me when I was first elected in 2015. Now, after years of working together with all our partners, the Transport Committee’s 2019 study on the subject seems to be gaining traction,” Badawey said. Continue reading

Arrest of Niagara Activist and Award-Winning Indigenous Journalist Karl Dockstader Gets Big Media Coverage

“It’s hard to separate my arrest with the criminalization of Indigenous people generally. …I’ve worked in court for several years. I’ve seen first hand how racist the system is.”                         – Niagara resident and Indigenous journalist Karl Dockstader, as quoted in a September 11th opinion piece in The Toronto Star

A Brief One from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher                  Doug Draper

Posted September 12th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Karl Dockstader, seen here before his arrest, reporting on aland defense battle with developers in Haldimand County

The arrest and charges laid by Ontario provincial Police this past September 2nd against well-known and respected Niagara activist and award-winning Indigenous journalist Karl Dockstader continue to draw concern and outrage among members of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike, and is also continuing to draw attention from big media outlets.

OPP officers arrested and charged Dockstader while he was covering land defence actions by Indigenous peoples on traditional lands against developers pushing to construct a housing project in the Caledonia area of neighbourhing Haldimand County. Continue reading

Seven Recipients Receive Six Prestigious Celebration of Nations Outstanding Achievement Awards

Karl Dockstader, Niagara Indigenous Journalist and Activist, and Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates are Among Winners

Celebration of Nations Continues in St. Catharines/Niagara this Saturday and Sunday

News from the Organizations of Niagara’s Celebration of Nations

Posted September 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario  – Celebration of Nations 2020 opened on Friday 11 September with a powerful message that reflected upon the many challenges humanity currently faces while honouring a group of remarkable achievers whose accomplishments have diffused knowledge, broadened awareness, and inspired us to live lives of meaning, purpose, enjoyment, and responsibility.

The Celebration of Nations Outstanding Achievement Awards are given in six categories: Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Intellectual Advancement, Language and Culture, Empathic Traditions, and Two Row Alliance.

This year’s deserving recipients include deeply experienced, highly skilled, and seriously accomplished people who have displayed consistent dedication to their respective fields of interest and who, through their work, have sought to unite people through their common interest in securing a sustainable future for the Seventh Generation.

The 2020 Celebration of Nations Outstanding Achievement Award-winners are:

Continue reading

In Niagara, Ontario, ‘Celebration of Nations 2020 is Here!

A Weekend Full of Live Streams begins this Friday, September 11th and runs through the entire Weekend

A News Release from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted September 11, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Celebration of Nations is the annual gathering of Indigenous Arts, Culture and Tradition presented by Kakekalanicks Indigenous Consultancy and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Celebration of Nations celebrates creativity, diversity and resilience. This year we’re going virtual with live stream performances, teachings, workshops + so much more!

SEE VIRTUAL EVENT SCHEDULE(https://www.celebrationofnations.ca/2020-virtual-events/?utm_source=%21ALL&utm_campaign=c878469dd7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_21_06_01_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b4ea112f4d-c878469dd7-242893989)

 

Friday 11 September live stream features:

Continue reading

An Indigenous Lawyer’s Words of Defence for Niagara Activist and Indigenous Journalist Karl Dockstader

“The OPP’s actions run counter not only to well-established constitutional law protecting freedom of the press but serve to frustrate reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Arresting and charging an Indigenous journalist (Karl Dockstader) for reporting on Indigenous land occupations through Indigenous voices feels very much like systemic racism.”                                             – Dr. Pamela Palmater, an Indigenous lawyer, specializing in Indigenous and human rights law, and an associate professor and chair in Indigenous governance at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario

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

Posted September 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Karl Dockstader, at a demonstration in front of Niagara Falls City Hall a few years ago, speaking out for the preservation of the Thundering Waters Forest and its wetlands, File photo by Doug Draper

Karl Dockstader, a Niagara resident, member of the Indigenous community and a highly respected journalist and community activist, was arrested earlier this September by Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers while he was covering an ongoing land defence issue in the Haldimand County area.

The arrest, along with criminal charges filed against Karl, continue to make no sense – to say the least – and have triggered a good deal of concern and anger among members of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike.

Just to mention a few, expressions and concern and support for Karl Dockstader have come from St. Catharines, Ontario Mayor Walter Sendzik, lawyers at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democratic Party.

This September 9th, 2020, another expression of support came in the form of an Opinion piece, written by Indigenous laywer Pamela Plamater and published in a respected Canada-wide journal called The Lawyer’s Daily

Immediately below are the first few paragraphs of that Opinion piece,  followed by a link you can click on to read the entire piece of The Lawyer’s Daily website – Continue reading

Trump’s Lies Are Costing American Lives

Brian Higgins, U.S. Congressman (Democrat) for the Buffalo, New York area

Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Responds to Tapes Proving Trump Knew of the Dangers of the COVID-19 Pandemic As Far Back as Last January and February

A Statement by Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins, representing Buffalo and other communities in neighbouring New York State

Posted September 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Statement by Congressman Brian Higgins In Response to President Trump’s Recorded Comments About COVID-19

“As COVID-19 began its assault on Americans’ lives, President Trump knew of its severity. He secretly stated as much to (veteran Washington Post journalist) Bob Woodward.

“But publicly the President downplayed the very dangers he knew Americans faced. Continue reading

Where is the COVID-19 Recovery for Ontario’s Women?

‘There Will Be No Economic Recovery In Ontario Without A She-Covery’

“We need to build an inclusive economic recovery that includes everyone and recognizes the devastating impact of the pandemic on women.”                                                                                                        – Ontario New Democratic Party representatives

A Statement from members of Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted September 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

MPPs Catherine Fife, the NDP’s critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation, and Jill Andrew, NDP critic for Women’s Issues, have issued a statement – 

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario  – MPPs Catherine Fife (Waterloo), the NDP’s critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation, and Jill Andrew (Toronto—St. Paul’s), NDP critic for Women’s Issues, have issued a statement following the publication of a new Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) report on the need to address the disproportionate economic impact of the COVID-19 on women:

“While the pandemic is having profound effects on all Ontarians, it isn’t affecting us equally. Women have lost the majority of jobs, and many women have been unable to get back into the workforce or get their businesses back on track. The she-cession has affected Black, Indigenous, racialized and disabled women most severely, as they work disproportionately on the frontlines in health care and service jobs and are at the most risk of contact with the virus. Continue reading

The Compounding Impact of Climate Change on our Already Stressed Great Lakes

A Stressful Interaction – Climate Change and Other Ecosystem Stressors Often Have Greater Influence When Combined

Join the Canada-U.S. International Joint Commission for a Public Webinar on the Great Lakes – Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. EDT

An Invite to All from the International Joint Commission

Posted September 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Our Great Lakes- a wondrous, life-sustaining treasure to millions of us who live around them. Let’s work together to protect and preserve them.

There are many factors stressing the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem, but some issues like climate change are making other problems even worse.

The International Joint Commission Science Advisory Board (SAB) Science Priority Committee’s new report, An Evaluation of Stressor Interactions in the Great Lakes, explores the cumulative effects of important stressors in the Great Lakes basin.

There will be a public webinar reviewing the report’s findings on Tuesday, September 22 at 10:30 am EDT; advance registration is required to participate. Continue reading

Children Head Back to School Fearful of COVID-19, Brock Research Finds

“A lot of the children we talked to were really aware of the pandemic and of what you need to do to stay safe, and they were worried about other people not following the rules.”                            – Rebecca, Raby, Professor of Child and Youth Studies, Brock University

News from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted September 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Rebecca Raby, Professor of Child and Youth Studies, Brock University

Niagara, Ontario – Most children participating in an ongoing Brock University study on COVID-19 say they’ve missed certain aspects of school, especially seeing friends, and are open to returning to class.

But many are also worried about becoming sick or bringing the virus home to their families, says Professor of Child and Youth Studies Rebecca Raby.

“As families and teachers prepare for children to go back to school, either in-person or online, we have generally not heard from children themselves about their views of the pandemic, their experiences of online schooling in the spring, and their thoughts about going back to school,” says Raby.

Raby is leading a research team that began a study in early April<https://brocku.ca/brock-news/2020/04/brock-team-begins-online-study-of-childrens-experiences-during-covid-19/> consisting of regular online interviews with 30 children and youth about their experiences at home during the pandemic, including online schooling. Continue reading

Ontario Court Delivers Ford and his Tory Party Climate Laggards a Well-Deserved Smack Down

Superior Court Judge Rules Ford’s Mandatory Order for Carbon Price Stickers on Gas Pumps is “Unconstitutional”

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

Posted September 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

The Ontario Doug Ford government ordered gas stations across the province to put these stickers on their pumps, just weeks before the October 2019 federal election. The stickers are not only misleading, they fail to tell gas consumers that the federal government is placing a price on carbon pollution and that the proceeds would be used to fund  greener alternatives

Well, apparently at least some of us do need to be told, because many among us voted in 2018 for now Ontario Premier Doug Ford and a Conservative Party that is such a cabal of right-wing extremists, it bears no resemblance to the Ontario Conservative Government of Bill Davis half a century ago.

So thank God that Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward M. Morgan has done just that in a ruling he tabled this past September 4th, declaring “unconstitutional” the province’s Ford Government’s outrageous move a year ago, to force private sector companies in the gas-selling business to place a self-serving, political sticker on their gas pumps.

Can anyone other than Ford and the sycophants in his party that lick his boots now imagine any member of the Conservative Party during the era of Bill Davis or John Robarts ordering private sector companies to display blatantly political stickers on their property at the risk of being fined or worse, if they do not?

This is a Ford government that not only could not care less about true conservative principles, but is acting it out in the case of environmental issues former Ontario Conservative governments like that of Bill Davis demonstrated a record of caring about, in its contempt for virtually any and all environmental protection measures, and for any and all of the science that shows our human carbon-based energy culture is wreaking havoc on the earth’s climate. Continue reading

Save Our Pollinators – A Virtual Event in Niagara for the Need to Save Our Bees!

An Invite from the Niagara District Council of Women

Posted September 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

We need these bees, badly, to help produce our food. Or we are in even bigger trouble than we are in now.

A  Foreword by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

How great it is that the Niagara District Council of Women – one of the longest-lasting public interest and advocacy groups in this region, and one of its equally great leaders, Gracia Janes – is hosting this virtual meeting for all of us on the need to save our pollinators.

And how great that the NDCW is doing this virtually, during a time when so much attention has so understandably  been paid to the COVID-19 health crisis all around us.

Too many pressing issues that we need to be addressing, for the sake of our future, right now – issues like the climate emergency, the toxic algae blooms and plastics choking our Great Lakes, and the continued threat to populations of pollinating bees by chemical sprays used by farmers who should be just as concerned about the loss of these pollinators – are tragically been pushed to the side or are not receiving the attention they deserve because of the pandemic. Continue reading

Ford Government Pressed to Post Online List of Any Schools that may have COVID-19 Cases

Ontario’s Official Opposition/New Democratic Party calls for transparency on school COVID-19 cases and outbreaks

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted September 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario — The Official Opposition is asking the Ford government to commit to posting a list online of all schools with COVID-19 cases, while maintaining the privacy of students and staff.

“Of course we all hope that COVID-19 doesn’t make its way into schools, but we believe parents, students and staff including supply teachers should be informed if it does,” said NDP Education critic Marit Stiles. “With so much pressure being put on staff, students and their families to monitor symptoms and follow protocols, they deserve information and transparency. Continue reading

Push to Defund Police is Growing in Nearby Hamilton

An unprecedented wave of public involvement to defund the police has seen letters from over 400 people. Over 40 video delegations coming this Tuesday, September 8th

News from Citizens at City Hall (CATCH), a citizens watchdog group in Hamilton Ontario

Posted September 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Hamilton, Ontario – In an unprecedented wave of public involvement in a civic issue, Hamilton officials have received written correspondence from over 400 people supporting the defund police campaign. The outpouring continues this week with more than three dozen people set to make personal video delegations to city councillors at the Tuesday morning on-line general issues committee meeting.

The comments and demands are various but most call for  shifting police budget dollars “towards initiatives fighting against food insecurity, racism and towards more affordable housing.” Many demand that police stop ticketing and surveillance of houseless and disabled people, and end the purchase of more weapons and high tech surveillance equipment.

The number of individuals submitting these highly critical letters is even more extraordinary given the reasonable fear that publicly challenging the police and their practices could result in personal repercussions. Continue reading

On this Labour Day 2020, the Nation’s Unions Launch Plan to disaster-proof Canada

“Canada’s unions are looking for targeted investments in green infrastructure, education and training, and care work. … The United States is showing us what happens when we act like everyone is in it for themselves. We can and must do better.”        – Canadian Labour Congress

A Labour Day Message from the Canadian Labour Congress

Posted September 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa – To mark Labour Day, Canada’s unions are calling on all levels of government to focus on investments and community supports to help restart our economies and protect Canadians.

Forward Together: A Canadian Plan is a new campaign centred on ensuring that Canada is ready to disaster-proof our nation so that no one is left behind when crisis hits. The campaign will roll out digitally on various social media platforms and will encourage Canadians to engage with their elected representatives on key issues. Continue reading

Keeping Ontario’s Students and Staff Safe as They Return to School

“We will do this, together. Stay positive, kind, and optimistic, and know that by working together, we will overcome any challenge with strength and unity.”                                                                               – Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce

The Following is a Statement from Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce

Posted September 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce

Toronto, Ontario — Today (this September, 7th, 2020), the Honourable Stephen Lecce, (Ontario) Minister of Education issued the following statement on students returning to school over the coming days –

“While COVID-19 has forced upon us many changes to our schools and our lives, some things remain constant. The importance of quality education, our collective mental health, and the safety of our students and staff. 

This year is like no other in our past.  I am fiercely proud of our province, and our collective efforts. We will overcome any challenge on the horizon, so long as we continue to work together in the interests of our students and aggressively work to stop the spread in our communities.  Continue reading

A Message to All of Us About Niagara’s Face-Covering By-law

A Public Service Announcement from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted September 5tgh, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara’s residents, businesses and visitors are asked to treat each other with kindness and respect when it comes to wearing a mask in public spaces.

If you have concerns about someone not wearing a mask or face covering, keep in  mind that Niagara’s Face-Covering By-law includes a number of exemptions. Not everyone can wear a mask and many disabilities are invisible. There’s no requirement for people to prove they are exempt.

Wearing masks in enclosed public spaces is one way we can prevent the spread of  COVID-19. The primary objective of the by-law is to educate the public about the importance of face coverings, and gain voluntary compliance.

*Who do I call?*

During normal business hours, concerns around enforcement should be directed to  your local municipality’s by-law office.

After 4:30 p.m., please call Niagara Region’s dispatch line at 905-984-3690 or 1-877-552-5579. Do not call 911. Regional or local by-law enforcement or Niagara Regional Police Services may respond to reports of significant or ongoing non-compliance.

For more information on the Face Coverings By-law, visit  niagararegion.ca/COVID19 <http://www.niagararegion.ca/COVID19>.​

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

A Gripping Look At One Citizen’s Epic Battle with Marineland in Niagara, Falls, Ontario

Now – For the First Time on a Big Screen in Niagara –  DON’T MISS  ‘The Walrus and The Whistleblower’

One Showing Only – This Sunday, September 6th, 2020 at the the Can View Drive-In directly  off the  Highways 20 and 406 interchange in Thorold – Box Office for the film opens at 7:30 p.m.

A Brief One from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted September 4th, 2020

If you missed the CBC Television debut of this award-winning documentary film this past May, now is your chance to see it for the first time on the big screen, this Sunday at the Can View Drive-In in Niagara.

Click on the screen immediately below to watch  a brief trailer for the Walrus and the Whistleblower –

The following is a brief promotional summary of the film –

The Walrus and the Whistleblower (2020)

Phil Demers is a part-time mailman who lives in a bungalow across the creek from MarineLand, the iconic amusement park in Niagara Falls, where he had his dream job as an animal trainer for over a decade. He swam with killer whales and ran the show, until he quit and blew the whistle, making claims of animal abuse and calling for an end to the near 60-year-old practice of keeping marine mammals in pools.

For a news commentary on the film, posted this past May on Niagara At Large, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/05/25/new-film-focuses-on-former-marineland-trainer-and-whistleblower-phil-demers-his-epic-battle-with-an-iconic-niagara-falls-amusement-park/

For another  piece Niagara At Large posted on the documentary this past May, click on https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/05/28/a-gripping-look-at-one-citizens-epic-battle-with-marineland-in-niagara-falls-ontario/

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

Indigenous Journalist and Niagara Activist Karl Dockstader Arrested While Reporting on Land Defense Issue in Haldimand County

“Criminalizing a member of the Indigenous media sets a dangerous precedent in a society that is supposed to have a free press.”

Karl Dockstader is also known to many in Niagara as an outspoken critic of urban development plans for the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, Ontario

A News Release from Members of the Indigenous Community in Canada

Posted September 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Karl Dockstader, at a demonstration in front of Niagara Falls City Hall a few years ago, speaking out for the preservation of the Thundering Waters Forest and its wetlands, File photo by Doug Draper

Karl Dockstader – Oneida of the Thames Bear Clan – is a freelance journalist working for One Dish, One Mic Indigenous media who was arrested and charged thisSeptember 2nd for reporting during a land action at 1492 Land Back Lane.

Criminalizing a member of the Indigenous media sets a dangerous precedent in a society that is supposed to have a free press.

Karl spent last week at 1492 Land Back Lane to do an immersive story for One Dish, One Mic as independent media.

He understood that as a journalist that as long as he didn’t actively assist the land defenders that his status as a journalist would protect his work. On the last day he was there for the week – August 29th – he made the following editorial commentary on videoi: https://twitter.com/OneDishOneMic/status/1299849385858281473?s=20&fbclid=IwAR3uOZlE7VkQrIIlhgg4DjIu6PfGQ_T7Ji9NJ8LaTG3CUk6gw3CsI80rOtA Continue reading

Good News for Citizens of Niagara, Not So Good for Former Regional CAO Carmen D’Angelo

Scales of Justice Are Tipping in the Right Direction for We, The People

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

Posted September 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Former Niagara Region CAO Carmen D’Angelo may not be having the best of weeks.

Unless I am mistaken, I’m guessing that the last six or seven days have proven to be far from the best of times for one of the individuals at the centre of the ongoing controversy and legal machinations over the 2016 hiring of Carmen D’Angelo for the top administrative job at Niagara Region.

And yes, with reference to news that has unfolded over the last six or seven days, I am talking about the now former Niagara Regional CAO himself – Carmen D’Angelo.

First it was reported September 1st in one of Niagara’s daily newspapers, The St. Catharines Standard, that this past August 28th, that Ontario Superior Court Justice Elizabeth Sheard ruled against D’Angelo’s efforts to keep relevant documents tied to his 2016 hiring sealed or under wraps. Continue reading

Fifty-One Canadian and U.S. Experts Decry Ford’s Plan to Gun Down Great Lakes Cormorants

“A hunt is not the approach that should be utilized to ensure maintaining a sustainable population of cormorants in Ontario.”

For the Ford Government, and for many anglers and hunters, the answer to protecting fish populations in our freshwater lakes is a mass-killing of this bird.

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by an Open Letter to Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski from 51 Wildlife Experts

Posted September 2nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

If we need one more reason why people of voting age across Ontario have to promise ourselves to throw the Conservative government of Doug Ford out of office as soon as possible, here it is.

The Ford government, along with an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry that has become such a public disgrace that it might as well be shut down, is now on the verge of letting hobby hunters out in the weeks ahead, to participate in the possible extermination of an entire species of bird in a Great Lakes basin that we share with our American neighbours.

 

The species in question is the double-creased cormorant, and the grounds the Ford government and this waste of a space of a ministry is offering for unleashing every Homer Simpson and Elmer Fudd who owns a gun on them is that they are rather filthy birds that foil some of the near-shore environment and worst of all, they compete with anglers for catching fish. Continue reading

Remembering a True Canadian Hero – Terry Fox

A Statement from Canada’s Prime Minister on the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope

Posted September 1st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

September 1, 2020

Remembering Terry Fox

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this September 1st, 2020) issued the following statement on the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope:

“Terry Fox is a Canadian hero who taught us invaluable lessons about the importance of helping others. After losing his leg to cancer, he ran the Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research. Starting at Canada’s easternmost point in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Terry ran – with a prosthetic leg – a marathon a day for 143 days. Sadly, before he arrived in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on September 1, 1980, his cancer spread to his lungs and  Terry had to cut his cross-country tour short. Continue reading

Women Under-Represented In Niagara Politics – Niagara Community Observatory Report

‘This disproportionate representation of women on elected council and appointed committees and boards can lead to a “policy blindness” that can “impact Niagara’s choices of actions, investments and ultimately, whose needs are prioritized and whose remain unmet.”’

News from Brock University and the Niagara Community Observatory

Posted September 1st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Carol Philips, a reserarch co-ordinator with the Niagara Community Observatory and a co-author of the brief

Niagara, Ontario – Women in Niagara are not equitably represented on elected local councils, new research from Brock University has found.

And while they are more likely to participate on appointed advisory committees and municipal boards, those numbers are still not in line with their share of the population, says the Niagara Community Observatory (NCO)’s latest policy brief, ‘Gender Representation and Governance in Niagara,’ which will be released later this month.

“Our research begins with the supposition that the choices that are made in terms of policy priorities and actions are a function of who is making those choices,” says Carol Phillips, research co-ordinator at the NCO and co-author of the brief. “It’s about bringing people to the table who see life through a different lens and a different experience. In this research, we begin with gender representation.” Continue reading

Safer, Smaller Classrooms Will Protect Our Kids, Our Workers And Our Communities

A Statement from Niagara Falls NDP MPP Waye Gates

Posted September 1st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

MPP Wayne Gates released a statement following the decision of the four major teachers unions to challenge Ford’s school re-opening plans 

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario  – MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), Official Opposition NDP critic for Workplace Health and Safety, released a statement following the decision of the four major teachers unions to challenge Ford’s school re-opening plans at the Ontario Labour Relations Board:

“It shouldn’t have to come to this. Front-line educators and everyone working in our schools are workers just like anyone else – and just like everyone else they deserve a safe workplace. No Ontarian should have to go to work and worry about catching this virus, and potentially spreading it to their families and the community. Continue reading

Ontario’s NDP calls for $1,000 Pandemic Tuition Relief For Ontario Post-Secondary Students

“Ontario post-secondary students were already paying some of the highest tuition fees in Canada, and were saddled with an average debt load of $28,000. … “It is unfair to expect post-secondary students reeling from months of financial hardship and facing a limited campus and in-class learning experience this Fall to pay the same hefty tuition fees that were too high to begin with.”                                                         – Ontario NDP MPP Chris Glover

News from Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democratic Party

Posted September 1st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP MPP Chris Glover and his Offfical Opposition Party call for relief for post-secondary students during pandemic

The Ontario NDP is urging the Ford government to provide Ontario post-secondary students with direct pandemic tuition relief of $1,000 to each full-time student and $500 to each part-time student, and is asking the government to stop clawing back the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) from students’ OSAP supports.

NDP MPP Chris Glover, also an adjunct professor at York University,  was joined Tuesday morning by post-secondary students from different parts of the province, who spoke out to stress the additional financial pressures college and university students are facing as a result of COVID-19.

Students from the Canadian Federation of Students, the College Student Alliance and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance joined MPP Glover in calling for $1,000 pandemic relief for full-time students and $500 for part-time students. Continue reading

A Little Celebration of September for You

“Do you remember the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders,
while chasing the clouds away.”

In September, the monarchs gather before beginning their migration south

From Doug Draper

Posted September 1st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Wow. Is the firsd day of September really here already?

Funny how only about seven or eight months ago – before this whole COVID nightmare began – now seems like a hundreds years ago. Yet, so many of the days since seem to have melted into each other. They’ve come and gone so fast.

Always a nice sight in late summer

Has it seemed that way too you?

Anyway, here we are on the first day of September and for me that can only give rise to one thing – that song. Some of you must know the song I mean don’t you.

It came out of what is arguably one of the best decades ever for pop music – the 1970s – and it was produced and performed by one of the biggest and best funk bands ever – Earth, Wind and Fire.

That song is called ‘September’ and if you click on the screen immediately below, you can celebrate it as a most joyful soundtrack for the last few weeks of summer –

Have a safe month of September everybody, and thanks for your visits to our independent news and commentary site, Niagara At Large.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Stay tune for this September’s “full corn moon” – what I’ve always called a harvest moon – in the very early hours of this September 2nd, 2020

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

Niagara Falls to be Illuminated in Red in Appreciation of Live Events Industry

COVID-19 has left Many in the Industry Unemployed

News from the Niagara Falls Illumination Board and Niagara Parks Commission

Posted September 1st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Niagara Falls Illumination Board will be illuminating both the American and Canadian Horseshoe Falls in red on September 1st, joining over 1,500 venues from across North America in appreciation of the live events industry which has been devastated by the impacts of COVID-19.

A second illumination will also take place on September 22nd. Continue reading

Lack of Day Care Options in Niagara Puts Parents in Impossible Position – St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

Stevens deeply concerned about news that YMCA-licensed school age child care centres will not re-open until later in September

Late opening child care options will disproportionately affect women in Niagara

A Message from the Constituency Office of St Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted August 31st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

St. Catharines, Ontario  – NDP MPP Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) is deeply concerned about news that YMCA-licensed school age child care centres will not re-open until later in September, with a staggered return to full operations, and is urging the Ford government to support parents who can’t return to work.

“Parents depend on child care centres to look after their kids before and after school. As schools are set to re-open in Niagara in September it’s essential for parents, including teachers themselves, returning to work to know that there’s care available out of school hours so they can go back to their jobs,” said Stevens. Continue reading

Environmental Groups Launch Legal Challenge Against Ford Government’s Controversial Bill 197

Bill Seeks to Reduce Role of Public in Reviewing Plans and Projects that may harm Environment

“Bill 197 holds true to an insidious pattern of environmental deregulation that reflects neither the values nor the long-term interests of Ontarians who understand the importance of a healthy environment,”                                                                               – Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature’s Executive Director.

A News Release from Ontario Nature, Earthroots and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)

Posted August 31st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Defending the health and prosperity of communities and the environment

Toronto, Ontario – In the wake of the passage of Ontario’s controversial Bill 197, a legal challenge against the legislation has been commenced by Earthroots; Canadian Environmental Law Association; Ontario Nature; Cooper Price, a 16-year old activist; and Michel Koostachin, who was born and raised in Attawapiskat.

These parties have jointly filed an application for judicial review that asks the Divisional Court to issue declaratory relief and other remedies in relation to the omnibus legislation, which overhauls the Environmental Assessment Act and amends other provincial laws. Continue reading

A Sliver of Hope for Endangered Species and Our Natural Heritage in Ford’s Ontario

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

Posted August 31st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Every now and then – eveb in the face of Ontario’s Ford government’s relentless war against environmental protection measures – citizens across this province who care about protecting and preserving our natural heritage win one.

According to an August 28th story posted on the National Observer of Canada’s website, citizen pressure, including some from residents in a Greater Toronto Area riding that just happens to have a Ford government member as an MPP, has caused Premier Doug Ford to back away from allowing more quarries in areas of the Golden Horsehoe where there is endangered species habitat. Continue reading

In this Climate Emergency, There is No ‘Green New Deal’ that is Too Radical

Wonder why your property insurance costs are soaring. Devastating wildlires and flood have become more commonplace in Canada and the United States, but politicians like Donald Trump and Doug Ford don’t want to talk about that – certainly not in the context of a climate emergency

“What is radical is doing nothing to take on the existential threat of climate change while the world burns.”                – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

By Bernie Sanders, in a recent email to supporters

Posted August 29th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword Note from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

Read the following from Vermont Senator and former U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and see if you agree with me that when it comes to the climate crisis our world faces, we sure could use more voices in politics like Bernie Sanders here in Canada.

There are way too few at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. We, the people, need to use our votes to do something about that.

Now here is Bernie Sanders –

Bernie Sanders, always telling it like it is. No B.S.!

Sometimes, when you hear a speech, what is NOT said is more important than what is said. 

You wouldn’t know it if you watched the first night of the Republican National Convention, but we are in the middle of a climate emergency with scientists telling us we have just a few years to act in order to save our planet for future generations.

Just look around our country (the United States):

The second and third largest fires in the history of the state of California have burned more than 1.2 million acres in just a month, thousands of homes and businesses have been lost to the blaze, and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee. Continue reading

O Canada, Let’s Keep That Border Closed!

Let’s hope our Canadian government, for the sake of our citizens security, keeps border crossings like this Peace Bridge between Niagara, Ontario and the Buffalo, New York area closed.

Trumpland is Far Too Dangerous to Allow More People from that side of the Border to visit Canada

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted August 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

As a life-long Niagara, Ontario resident who has always enjoyed crossing the Canada-U.S. border, and who has – quite naively, as it turns out – taken the freedom to cross for granted, how sad the past five months have been for so many of us who have enjoyed our cross-border visits to friends and relatives, and to all those places and events we loved to visit and engage in.

As residents in both countries now observe the fifth full month of border crossings to all but essential (mostly commercial) traffic due to COVID-19, the toll on those who have relatives and friends or own properties on either side, and on businesses and communities that benefit from cross-border traffic is incalculable.

How sad it is that events like this wonderful Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts in Buffalo, New York has been cancelled – thanks to Trumpland treating COVID-19 like a joke. File photo by Doug Draper

As I write this, I am reminded that this weekend of August 29th and 30th would mark the 21st anniversary of the Elmwood Avenue – an event that my family and always looked forward to. It has been one of the last great street festivals of the summer season, and certainly a wonderful boost to an Elmwood Village in Buffalo, New York that has been so much fun for people on both sides of the border, and such an economic boost for artists, and for the cafes and restaurants and other businesses in that so-very nice neighbourhood. Continue reading

Raise Your Voice for an Official Plan for Niagara that Protects What’s Left of Our Natural Heritage

Let Your Niagara Regional Councillors and Mayors of Your Towns and Cities Know That You Care About About Saving What Remains of Our Precious Natural Areas

For the sake of ours and future generations, let’s save what is left of places like this in our Niagara region.

A Call-Out to All of us from the Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee, a non-partisan coalition of citizens in Niagara, Ontario

Posted August 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara’s Regional Council is about to make what may be the most important decisions of their term.

Will they make the right one?

The Region of Niagara is conducting an Official Plan review to bring its plan into compliance with Provincial Policy. As part of this review, the Region must create a Natural Heritage System (NHS) plan and Water Resource System (WRS) plan. Unfortunately, staff are not currently recommending the best option for either system.

We need to save what is left of places like this – one of the wetlands in Thundering Waters Forest, a sprawling green area in the Niagara River watershed in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Lori Monroe

Given the development pressure Niagara Region is under, now is the time to protect our remaining, fragmented natural areas and link them into systems that are robust and resilient enough to ensure the region’s children and grandchildren will be able to depend on all the benefits they provide. Continue reading

Remembering Our ‘Great Guy’ Dexter

We Sure Miss You Buddy. Even More During These Perilous Times

Dexter, on his back, catching a few rays. File photo by Doug Draper

By Doug Draper

Posted August 27th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Dexter, on his perch, in an open-air cat house in our backyard.

Every now and then, while sitting on the back porch of our home, I still look up expecting to see those beautiful green eyes stark g back at me from a perch near a bedroom window where he loved to sit on a warm summer day.

Then I am reminded, once again, that he is gone.

The perch where he sat is empty. Man how I miss that wonderful cat and wish so much that he was still here, looking on with those eyes that seemed to reflect a such a boundless spirit and a wisdom of the ages. Continue reading