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Niagara Regional Council Approves 2021 Budget With COVID Crisis in Mind

The 2021 Operating Budget Contains An Overall Property Tax Increase of 1.8 percent To The Taxpayer

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

“We know that residents and businesses are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 budget reflects our efforts to ensure Niagara is responsive to this crisis while continuing to deliver the supports  and services our residents rely on.”                        – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted January 22nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara’s Regional Headquarters in Thorold

Niagara, Ontario – At its meeting on January 21st, Niagara Regional Council approved a budget for 2021 that ensures the municipality can continue to provide a high level of service while minimizing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents.

The Niagara Region budget is made up of three components: the levy operating budget, rate operating budgets, and the capital budget. The 2021 operating budget contains an overall property tax increase of 1.8 percent to the taxpayer.

For the average property assessed at $278,764, the Regional portion of the tax bill will increase by $29, totalling $1,640 in 2021.

As part of 2021 budget deliberations, the Region undertook a comprehensive public engagement process. The budget engagement exercise reaffirmed our residents’ desire to see the Region continue to support population and economic growth initiatives and ensure Niagara’s most vulnerable citizens are cared for.

*Highlights of the budget*

Continue reading

Canada and U.S. May Move Forward on Planning Safety Measures at Border Crossings

Biden Executive Order Answers Congressman Higgins’ Call for Development of a Plan for the Northern Border

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, representing people in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York area.

“While we come from different nations, US and Canadian citizens have long enjoyed a unique relationship. We are neighbors at vacation property, customers at one another’s small businesses, travel companions at airports, diners at local restaurants, and loyal fans at sporting events. We are family – both in law and in spirit – and we are eager to come back together .”         – Buffalo, New York-area Congressman Brian Higgins

News from the Buffalo, N.Y. Office of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted January 22nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

This Peace Bridge – built in friendship to peoples on both sides of the Canada/U.S border – has been s closed to most of us since March of last year, as have other border crossings across the region and country due to the ongoing pandemic.

Following Fractured Relationship & Ten Months of COVID Related Restrictions at the Border, New Administration Prioritizes US-Canada Relations

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26, Buffalo/Niagara Falls), who serves as Co-chair of Congressional Northern Border Caucus, says President Joe Biden’s week one actions demonstrate a new beginning for the US-Canada relationship.

This week President Joe Biden released an aggressive plan to fight COVID-19 which includes a directive for departments to collaborate with the Canadian government toward the goal of quickly developing health and safety measures at the border.

The Biden team also announced the new President’s first call with a foreign leader would take place today, the President’s third day in office, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Continue reading

Ding, Dong, Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette is Gone!

In the Wake of Multiple Charges of Workplace Harassment, the ‘Right Honourable” Julie Payette Resigns

A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by a Statement released by Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Posted January 21st. 2021 on Niagara At Large

From Doug Draper –

Don’t let the smile fool you. Julie Payette finally does us all, includng those who have had to work for her, a favour and resigns as Canada’s Governor General. The question is, why didn’t Canada’s Prime Minister get rid of her sooner?

Going back to this  past summer of 2020, an investigative reporter for CBC recorded stories from at least 20 staff members at Canada’s Rideau Hall – the residents of our country’s residence and headquarters for the official residence of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth of whatever may be left of the British Empire – revealed that the Governor  General herself, former Canadian astronaut Julie Payette, had turned the place into a toxic, hell hole through her abusive behaviour.

It was so bad, according to reports from CBC’s Ashley Burke, that employees who had loved their jobs at Rideau Hall so much, prior to Payette’s appointment  by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to one of Canada’s top posts some four years ago, that they wanted to make it their career for life, found themselves so being so humiliated and verbally abused, they fled to their care or a toilet stall in the place to break down and cry. Continue reading

Conservation Authorities Battle Against Ontario Government Move to Gut Them Far From Over

More regulatory changes from Ford Conservatives Threaten Ecological Protection, Recreational Trails, Education Programs, Permitting

NPCA board member and Hamilton Councillor Brad Clark

“I’m not interested in rolling over. I’m interested in fighting for Conservation Authorities … to protect the land, and protect the people, and deal with the flooding issues, and protect the wetlands.”     – Hamilton City Councillor and Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board member Brad Clark

A News Commentary from the Hamilton, Ontario-based watchdog group, Citizens At City Hall (CATCH)

Posted January 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Anger and opposition continues to grow against the provincial changes to Conservation Authorities (CAs).

Only a small part of the Ford government’s legislation has come into force so far with the coming year to see more changes via regulations that may threaten ecological protection, recreational trails, education programs, permitting, and other activities of the CAs.

In particular, the province has yet to make public its changed definition of the mandate of the Authorities although there have been strong indications it will be much restricted. Continue reading

Niagara, Ontario Humane Society to Auction Doggie Art – Dubbed ‘Pup-Casso Paintings’ – to Help Fund Shelter Dogs

News from the Lincoln County Human Society in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted January 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

One of the Lincoln Country Humane Society’s canine artists exhibits work. Photo courtesy of Lincoln County Humane Society

St. Catharines, Ontario – The Lincoln County Humane Society in St. Catharines has launched a series of pup-made paintings – or pup-casso paintings (aptly named after the famous painter, Pablo Picasso).

Stemming from TikTok sensations, the LCHS provided their adoption dogs with a smattering of peanut butter on a plastic sheet, placed over top of some water based paints on canvas. The result are active tongue paintings. The carefully selected colours resulted in artwork fit for the walls of your home.

“After discovering this project, I went to work on making it a fun and enjoyable project for the LCHS dogs” said Olivia Bosey, an Animal Care Technician at the LCHS. Continue reading

A Federal Leader Across Our Canada/U.S. Border in Niagara Celebrates Biden/Harris Inauguration

A Statement by Congressman Brian Higgins on the Inauguration of President Biden & Vice President Harris

Posted January 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – “In a history-making moment, today Joe Biden and Kamala Harris begin their tenure as President and Vice President of the United States.

“With this transition, we are filled with new optimism for healing and unity. This passage represents an opportunity to quell divisive rhetoric in exchange for respectful dialogue and meaningful consensus building to serve the needs of all Americans. Continue reading

GOOD RIDDAANCE!

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

Posted January 20th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

As the blades of the helicopter began to turn – to lift Trump and his pole dancer of a “first lady” off the south lawn of the White House for the last time this morning of January 20th – Willie Geist, a co-host of the MSNBC news program ‘Morning Joe’ said (and I just slightly paraphrase); ‘He is about to fly over the capital (Washington, D.C.) that he, in so many ways, has wrought so much destruction over.”

Just do the world a favour and go away! Trump leaves the White House, for the last time as U.S. president, with the Washington Monument looming the background

Indeed, make that the damage destruction he has done to his country and the world, when you think of what he has done to public institutions, to the environment, to the relationships between peoples and countries, and the list could go on and on.

So good riddance to him and to his crime family. Continue reading

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Pays Tribute to late Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King

On Martin Luther King Day – Monday, January 18, 2021

The late Americana civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King

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

Posted January 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – BPO Musicians Amy Licata, Andrea Blanchard-Cone, Janz Castelo, and David Schmude pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an original arrangement of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson.

To watch, click on the screen immediately below –

On November 9, 1967, Dr. King delivered one of his most eloquent and poignant speeches at Kleinhans Music Hall just 4 months after the Buffalo Riots of 1967, and just 5 months before his untimely death. Special thanks to University at Buffalo, Buffalo Toronto Public Media, Asbury Hall, and the BPO Diversity Council.

For more on the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and its upcoming event schedule, click on https://bpo.org/ .

To visit a commentary on Martin Luther King Day, posted on Niagara At Large, in 2020 that includes a video of King delivering his iconic ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, click on https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/01/20/in-the-united-states-and-canada-martin-luther-kings-dream-has-yet-to-be-fully-realized/ .

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

Yet Another Reason – If You Need One – Not to Vote Conservative in Canada

If You Care About the Future of the Planet, Tories Erin O’Toole, Doug Ford & Company Should Be in Your No-Vote Zone

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

If you care a about protecting our environment, nothing could be worse for Canada than continuing on with Doug Ford (left) as premier in Ontario, and possibly having federal Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole in the Prime Minister’s office.

As if anyone who cares about environmental protection needs another reminder why to not every vote for a Conservative Party candidate in Canada – federal or provincial – here is another one.

This January 17th – on the cusp of the United States inaugurating a president who actually takes the climate crisis our planet faces seriously – Canada’s federal Conservative Party leader, Erin O’Toole, releases a statement expressing concern over incoming President Joe Biden’s promise to cancel plans to build the infamous Keystone XL pipeline between Alberta’s tar sands and oil refineries deep down in Texas.

“I call on (Canada’s) Prime Minister (Liberal Justin Trudeau) to immediately reach out to the incoming U.S. administration to stop this (cancellation of the tar sands pipeline) from happening,” insisted O’Toole in his statement.

More confirmation – and certainly not surprisingly – that we have yet another Conservative Party leader in Canada, following former federal Tory prime minister Stephen Harper, and the current premiers of Ontario and Alberta (Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, respectively) who would rather go on treating our earth’s planet like a dumpster for carbon pollution – even while scientists around the world are warning that we are rapidly reaching the point of no return in addressing a life-or-death climate catastrophe. Continue reading

Canadian Governments Must Transition Away From Fossil Fuels and Toward a Green Energy Economy – NOW!

Dr. Jim Stanford

“It is undeniable that the world is transitioning away from fossil fuels, much faster than expected even a few years ago. … Our choice is to manage that transition, avoiding severe hardship for individuals and communities, or else wait until far more painful and chaotic changes are forced upon us.”     – Dr. Jim Stanford, Canadian Economist

A News Release from Environmental Defence and The Centre For Future Work

Posted January 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

New Research: Smart transition plan for workers can prevent unemployment as fossil fuel economy sunsets

Study finds that for every job lost in the fossil fuel sector, 42 jobs have been created by other industries

Ottawa, Ontario – New research released today demonstrates that with prudent long-term planning, Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy can be managed without causing unemployment for fossil fuel workers.

“Employment Transitions and the Phase-Out of Fossil Fuels,” a report from the Centre for Future Work and commissioned by Environmental Defence, finds that a 20-year phase-out of fossil fuels implies an annual reduction of fossil fuel employment of around 8,500 jobs annually – the number of jobs typically created by the Canadian economy every ten days.

With a clear timetable for phase-out, combined with generous supports for retirement, redeployment, and regional diversification, that gradual transition could occur without any involuntary lay-offs.

A healthier, greener future on the left, or more tar sand pits. Which way do you want Canada to go?

“It is undeniable that the world is transitioning away from fossil fuels, much faster than expected even a few years ago,” said the study’s author, economist Dr. Jim Stanford. Continue reading

Ford Government Rules Forcing Converting Farmland – Outside the Greenbelt – to Residential Subdivisions

‘As Ontario’s last environmental commissioner (Dianne Saxe) has repeatedly stated – urban sprawl is the Ontario equivalent of the tar sands and is the main cause of increasing carbon emissions.’

News from Citizens At City Hall (CATCH), a Hamilton, Ontario-based citizens watchdog group

Posted January 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Note from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – When you read the following CATCH commentary on the threat to farmland around Hamilton, please think Niagara too. The same weakened conservation and environmental protection rules, courtesy of Ontario’s Ford government, pose just as much of a threat to our farmlands and other green lands here.)

Why does Ford want to pave over ever more of what is left of our food-growing places in Ontario?

Early this year Hamiltonians will be asked, once again, whether they favour or oppose more residential expansion onto farmland, but the outcome appears to already have been decided. By rewriting the planning rules the provincial government seems to have ensured more sprawl development whether the city and the public wants it or not.

The official question in the upcoming consultation is how to add a predicted 235,000 more people to Hamilton over the next thirty years – a fifty percent increase over the city’s current population. In the past, the planning time frame was the next 20 years not 30 and these provincial projections have repeatedly been over-estimates for Hamilton. Continue reading

Shea’s Theatre in Buffalo – One of the Grandest Theatres in our Greater Niagara Region – Celebrates its 95th Birthday Today

A News Release from Shea’s Theatre, with a Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 16th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

 

 

 

A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

I just can’t help posting a little something about this.

For any of us who have ever had the joy of attending any entertainment event at Shea’s Theatre in Buffalo, New York, you walk into this grand old theatre of the arts with a feeling of awe.

Architectural, there is hardly anything like it left across the United States and Canada because, quite stupidly, many great buildings like this were destroyed going back decades ago when anything old had to be knocked down in favour of a glass-box building or fast-food restaurant. Continue reading

A Statement from Canada’s Prime Minister on the “Most Serious Health Crisis Canada has EVER Faced”

“The COVID-19 crisis has been difficult for all Canadians. As a team (of federal Cabinet ministers) , we are committed to doing whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to keep Canadians safe and supported.” – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Releases Supplementary Mandate Letters For Canada’s Federal Cabinet Ministers

Posted January 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The global COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious public health crisis Canada has ever faced. It has had devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of Canadians, and has exposed fundamental gaps in our society.

The Government of Canada will keep doing whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to have people’s backs during this difficult time. We will continue to support families and protect Canadians’ health and jobs as we work to build a stronger, more resilient country.

To continue to support Canadians through the pandemic and build a healthier, cleaner, and fairer Canada, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this January 15th, 2021) released supplementary mandate letters for Cabinet ministers. Continue reading

Trudeau Government Pushed to Move – ASAP – on Business and Jobs Assistance New Post

Federal Conservatives Call for Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Applications to Open

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls Conservative MP Ton Baldinelli

Posted January 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls federal Conservative Party MP Tony Baldinelli

Ottawa, Ontario – Tony Baldinelli, Special Advisor to the Conservative Leader on Tourism Recovery, and Bernard Généreux, Member of Parliament for Montmagny—L’Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, issued the following statement on the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP):

“Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau Liberals to release details on the HASCAP and open applications before next month.

“The Liberals announced the HASCAP more than a month ago. Since then, businesses still don’t know when they can apply, who will qualify, or when funding will come. Continue reading

Join An Online Zoom Meeting on the Crisis in Our Long-Term Care Homes

Niagara District Council of Women (NDCW) to hold Zoom Public Meeting on Wednesday, January 20th, 7:30 P.M. re: “Elder Care-Seniors Homes, Long Term Care Workers – A Crisis in Care & How to Improve a Broken System!”

An Invited from the Niagara District Council of Women (NDCW)

Posted January 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – In the height of  the COVID  storm,  as seniors living in long term care facilities  are faced with the results of  past errors such as old  and  crowded living space, fewer and fewer hours of care and  poorly paid overworked front line  staff ,  they now find themselves isolated from families and friends and are the   most at risk from illness and death from this  relentless  pandemic. 

NDCW, which as a member of the Provincial Council of Women of Ontario  has lobbied the government  since the early 1980s to improve senior care, considers this a  crisis  which could well have been avoided and now needs immediate remedial and preventative  actions. Continue reading

COVID-19 Vaccine Finally Going Into Niagara, Ontario Arms

First 322 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered to long-term care residents and healthcare workers in Niagara

A News Release from Niagara Region Public Health and from Niagara Health, Niagara’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted January 14th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Faber Baquero, a Personal Support Worker from Linhaven a long-term care home in St. Catharines, one of first to get vaccine in Niagara, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Niagara Health and Niagara Region Public Health

Niagara, Ontario – This past Wednesday, January 13th, Niagara Health (NH) and Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services (NRPH&ES) administered the first 322 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region.

Niagara Health vaccinated 108 long-term care home workers and 70 hospital staff and physicians. Meanwhile, NRPH&ES teams were deployed to two long-term care homes, one in St. Catharines and one in Fort Erie, vaccinating 144 residents and staff.

“This is a huge day for Niagara Health and our region. We’ve talked about wanting to see that light at the end of the tunnel, and it is finally here,” said Lynn Guerriero, President and Interim CEO of Niagara Health.  Continue reading

Ontario Government Declares Second Provincial Emergency to Address COVID-19 Crisis and Save Lives

Province Issues Stay-at-Home Order and Introduces Enhanced Enforcement Measures to Reduce Mobility

A News Release from the Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Posted January 12th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

TORONTO, Ontario – In response to a doubling in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, the real and looming threat of the collapse of the province’s hospital system and alarming risks posed to long-term care homes as a result of high COVID-19 transmission rates, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is immediately declaring a second provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA).

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Co-Chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS – COVID Vaccine Finally Arriving In Niagara, Ontario

Niagara is ready for this week’s arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine – Niagara Health System

“It is a relief that vaccines are finally arriving in Niagara. Throughout this pandemic, residents of long-term care homes and retirement homes have suffered the brunt of this pandemic.” – Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner (Acting), Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services

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

Posted January 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The arrival of the Pfizer vaccine is a turning point in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Niagara.

We expect delivery of the Pfizer vaccine in Niagara on Tuesday or Wednesday, and we are prepared to get doses into arms as soon as the shipment arrives.

Niagara Health (NH) and Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services (NRPH&ES) have been working together on the region’s vaccination plan, starting with priority populations identified by the Ontario government for Phase 1 of COVID-19 vaccinations.

“We have planned aggressively and are well prepared to begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine in Niagara,” says Lynn Guerriero, President and Interim CEO of Niagara Health. “With rising numbers of COVID-19 in the community and in the hospital, the vaccine will help us save lives, protect our hospital services and beat this pandemic. Every vaccine dose in an arm reduces the risk of the virus spreading in our region.” Continue reading

Okay Mr. Premier – So Where In Hell is the Vaccine for Niagara?

Niagara, Ontario NDP MPPs Call on the Ford Government to Work with Region’s Public Health on Vaccine Distribution Here

“Niagara’s seniors and frontline health care staff cannot wait any longer to receive life-saving vaccinations … No long-term care home should be left out, while the province sits with thousands of vaccines in the freezer.”                                                        – St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

A Call-Out to the Ford Government from Niagara MPPs Jeff Burch, Wayne Gates and Jennie Stevens

From left, Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates and St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted January 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Where is Ontaraio’s Ford government’s detailed plan for moving vaccinations forward?

NIAGARA, Ontario  – NDP MPPs Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) and Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) are calling on the Ford Government to increase the role of Niagara Public Health in the distribution strategy of the COVID-19 vaccine and ensure long-term care residents and frontline healthcare workers have quick access to the vaccine.

“We have spoken directly with public health officials and frontline health care staff that have expressed serious concern about the rollout of vaccines in Niagara,” said Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates.

“We do not need to reinvent the wheel, our public health units have ample experience in vaccine distribution—specifically, they have the expertise to get the vaccine into our long-term care homes quickly. Niagara is struggling with outbreaks in these homes and our healthcare workers are stretched to the breaking point. This vaccine will save lives and protect workers, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be using the quickest method to get it out which is our local teams.” Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Webinar Event on Protecting Ontario’s Environmental Future

What’s next after the gutting of Conservation Authorities?

Sign Up for This Event – Scheduled for this Tuesday, January 12th at 7 P.M – Now. Details Below

A Webinar Event Hosted by Environmental Defence, the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Ontario Nature, and also Featuring now-former chair of the Ontario Greenbelt Council, David Crombie

Posted January 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

This past  December 8th, 2020, the Ontario government passed a new law which seriously weakened Conservation Authorities, allowing the province to turn its back on science-based planning.

This means that new developments that could cause floods or landslides and destroy protected and ecologically sensitive lands can be ordered to go ahead. 

At the same time, the government has been making unprecedented use of Minister’s Zoning Orders to force through planning decisions without debate or input from municipalities or the public.  Continue reading

Canada’s NDP Leader Speaks Out on Attack on Democracy in Washington, D.C.

“Let us be clear, this was an act of domestic terrorism. Democracy must not be intimidated. Leaders and politicians in the U.S. – and here in Canada – have a duty to end divisive rhetoric and end the flaming of hatred. … Now, it is more urgent than ever, that the (Canadian) government works to immediately ban and dismantle all hate organizations operating in Canada.”  – Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP

 

 

 

A Statement from Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP)Leader Jagmeet Singh

Posted January 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he knows what it is like to be a target of hate and white supremacy. He is calling for the voices of intolerance to be rooted out in Canada.

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP, made the following statement:

“The horror that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (this past January 6th, 2021) was frightening and it was incited by American President Donald Trump. He had the opportunity to end it and to clearly denounce the actions of those attempting to overthrow democracy and put the lives of many in danger, but he refused to.

Let us be clear, this was an act of domestic terrorism. Democracy must not be intimidated. Leaders and politicians in the U.S. – and here in Canada – have a duty to end divisive rhetoric and end the flaming of hatred. What we saw (on January 6th), was a direct result of dangerous, divisive speech.

While we may be quick to say this is a problem that exists only in the United States – hate knows no borders. We need to act with urgency to stop the flames of hatred here in Canada. Currently, over 300 white supremacists groups are operating in our country. Continue reading

Niagara’s Municipal Leaders Reveal Common Principles To Combat The Second Wave of COVID-19

“These are unprecedented times, and Niagara’s municipal leaders recognize that most residents are making the sacrifices necessary to combat COVID-19 (and) Niagara residents are reminded of the importance of following all public health directives to keep everyone safe.”                                                            – from a Statement released this January 8th, 2020 by Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Niagara’s 12 Mayors

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted January 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Yesterday evening (this past Thursday, January 7th), Niagara’s 12 Mayors and the Regional Chair met virtually to discuss the pressing challenges facing the community due to the second wave of COVID-19.

With the significant increase of COVID-19 cases, an alarming rise in the number of pandemic-related deaths, and the continued impact of outbreaks in more than 50 per cent of Niagara’s long-term care homes, the consensus of the heads of council was that Niagara is at a critical point and a concerted effort will be required by all partners to help gain control of an exceptionally serious situation.

Niagara’s Mayors and Regional Chair agreed on the following principles. –

Continue reading

Remembering Canadian Victims on Flight 752 – Shot Down Over Iran, One Year Ago Today

“Over the past year, Canada has worked tirelessly to get the transparency, accountability, and justice that the victims and their families deserve. We have been unrelenting in pursuit of the truth, and Canada will not accept anything less.”                             – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A Statement from Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Posted January 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement to mark the first anniversary of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752:

Three of the 63 Canadians, Bahareh Hajesfandiari, his wife Mehdi Sadeghi and their daughter Anisa, who perished when a Ukrainian jetliner went down in Iran

“One year ago today, a passenger jet carrying 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents, was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, in Tehran. Of the 176 innocent people who died on Ukraine International Flight 752, 138 had ties to Canada. Today, we honour those who were lost and stand shoulder to shoulder with the people they loved.

“Over the past year, Canada has worked tirelessly to get the transparency, accountability, and justice that the victims and their families deserve. We have been unrelenting in pursuit of the truth, and Canada will not accept anything less than a comprehensive and honest explanation from the Iranian regime of what exactly happened that day.

“We continue to work closely with our international partners to ensure a thorough, transparent, and credible investigation into the cause of this tragedy, and to hold Iran accountable, including by ensuring that Iran makes full reparations for the victims of PS752 and their grieving families, and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. Continue reading

Niagara Health Cuts Ties with Caribbean Vacationing Hospital CEO

Cutting Dr. Tom Stewart Loose Follows in Wake of Rebukes from Hospital Workers, from Public, and even suggestions from Ontario Premier Doug Ford that he Should Go

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

Posted January 7th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Dr. Tom Stewart – now Niagara Health’s former CEO following Holiday Season Caribbean vacation

Niagara Health’s CEO Dr. Tom Stewart was recently caught with his beach trunks on – on a Holiday Season vacation in the Caribbean while other brave and dedicated doctors, nurses and care workers were back here at home in our region, risking their health at our hospitals to treat members of our communities during this killer pandemic.

So Niagara Health’s board of directors really had no choice.

In a statement the board released shortly after 9 p.m. this Wednesday, January 6th, it oh-so-gingerly announced that it is cutting its contractual ties with Dr. Stewart and with the managerial services of  the neighbouring St. Joseph’s Hospital System in Hamilton.

Yet this move to cut ties with this CEO – arrogant enough to do a vacation in southern climes while the rest of us were being told to stay home and sacrifice get-togethers with members with friends and beloved members of our family – only came after associations and unions supporting hospital workers expressed anger upon hearing of this elitist’s conduct, and after it made news across Ontario and the rest of the country. Continue reading

Ford Must Allow Niagara Public Health to Create a COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

Hey Mr. Premier, We need the vaccine going into arms NOW!

“Niagara hear(s) crickets when it came to the Ford government discussing their vaccination plan for Ontario. For weeks, residents in Niagara and myself have been highlighting the sluggish and vague vaccine rollout. ,,,

“If the premier is not going to put forward a vaccination plan that includes Niagara, then he needs to let our Niagara Public Health experts lead a vaccination campaign for the region.”           – St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

A News Release from the Constituency Office of St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted January 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

st. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario – NDP MPP for St. Catharines Jennie Stevens is supporting Niagara Region Chief Medical Officer Mustafa Hirji’s request for the province to allow Niagara Public Health to create and administer a vaccination plan in long-term care homes and retirement homes in Niagara.

On Tuesday January 5th, 2021), Dr. Hirji requested a public health led vaccination campaign that will actually get vaccinations in the arms of vulnerable seniors in long-term care.

“Today (January 5th), Niagara heard crickets when it came to the Ford government discussing their vaccination plan for Ontario. For weeks, residents in Niagara and myself have been highlighting the sluggish and vague vaccine rollout. If the premier is not going to put forward a vaccination plan that includes Niagara, then he needs to let our Niagara Public Health experts lead a vaccination campaign for the region”, says Stevens. Continue reading

The State of the Union in Trumpland

Trump May Be Leaving Office, but the Tens-of-Millions in his Cult will still be there to Push Forward with his Doctrine of Anger, Hate and White Nationalism

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

Posted January 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

If any Americans may be wondering why the United States is not taken as seriously in the eyes of the world as it was even seven or eight years ago, click on the screen immediately below and watch –

The problem is that Trump and his tens-of-millions of followers are not going away, even if and when U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is finally allowed to take the oath of office this January 20th.

They and their mouthpieces in the extreme right-wing media will still be around to block virtually everything the Biden/Harris administration wants to do and to continue taking a wrecking ball to whatever is left of the foundations of American democracy for years to come.

And if they get their way, come the next presidential election four years from now, they will get someone in who is far more competent around fulfilling their vision of a white-dominated, totalitarian state.

God Help America.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Two of Trump’s millions of American followers, wearing t-shirts at one of Trump’s cult rallies that read; “I’d rather be Russian than Democrat.” Trump may be leaving the Oval Office, but these people will still be there. How will Canada and the rest of the world deal with it?

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 Opposition Leader Calls On Premier Ford to Immediately Recall Legislature

Long-Term Care Plan And Vaccines Program Need Urgent Overhaul – Now

“The vacations (of Ontario MPPs) need to stop. All MPPs need to return to the legislature. We are facing a longer, deeper lockdown because Doug Ford keeps choosing to do too little too late. Let’s stop him from continuing to make that choice.”              – Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

A News Release from the Official of Ontario’s Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted January 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP MPP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath want’s Ford Longterm-Care Home Minister’s head.

HAMILTON, Ontario  — With Ontario in deeper depths of the COVID crisis than ever, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling for MPPs to return to the legislature immediately to work on solutions to save people in long-term care, and fix Ontario’s lethargic vaccines program.

“Long-term care homes are in a humanitarian crisis. Seniors are being forced to cry out to beg for food and water, while they’re left vulnerable to deadly infection. The province is lagging far behind the country on vaccinations, and doesn’t appear to have a plan to ramp up. And COVID-19 is spreading faster than ever,” said Horwath. Continue reading

British Invasion Rock Legend Gerry Marsden of ‘Gerry and the Pacemakers’ Dies

Hits of Liverpool, England Icon Include ‘Ferry, Cross the Mersey’ and ‘Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying’

A Brief One from Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted January 4th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Gerry Marsden, as some of us may remember him, with a group that was huge during the ‘British Invasion’ years of the 1960s – Gerry and the Pacemakers

I won’t spend a long time on this one because I am sure few people around now – unless you are a veteran of the early to mid-1960s Beatlemania and British Invasion – would remember Gerry Marsden and his Liverpool, England-based band Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Gerry Marsden died this January 3rd at age 78 and as a lover of music, going back to my very young years lapping up The Beatles and so many other bands that were part of what was then called ‘the British invasion’, his band Gerry and the Pacemakers, was huge at the time with hits like ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’ and ‘Ferry, Cross the Mersey’, and a much beloved cover of an old standard, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’

“Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool, said former Beatle Paul McCartney in a statement after he learned of Marsden’s death. “He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of You’ll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross the Mersey remain in many people’s hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music.” Continue reading

Looking Forward to a Better Future for All in this New Year

And We Can Do So Much Better. Never Mind the Old Normal. Let’s Create a New Normal With a Fairer, Healthier, More Prosperous World For Everyone

A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

I was standing in a line at a grocery store this past Sunday with a few items I needed to get for the home when I looked over at a magazine rack and saw one of those special editions of Time Magazine with a cover headline that read; “2020 – The Year In Review”.

Chuckling for a brief moment, I found myself saying out loud; “Who would want to get a magazine reviewing a year like that.” A young lady behind me quickly concurred; “I think we have had enough of that one. I say we move forward.”

Then I came home from the store and checked my email, where quite on the same theme, someone shared a copy of the following image – some very timely beach art, produced along the shores of Lake  Erie this past New Year’s weekend by Wainfleet/Niagara area residents Kelly and Patrick Robson –

A most timely message for the New Year, produced and photographed on the beaches of Lake Erie, courtesy of Kelly and Patrick Robson and family. A Better New Year to them and to all of us.

Amen!

And Thank You Kelly and Patrick for sharing this spot-on creation.

Let’s hope as many of us as possible resolve to re-imagine and reshape a healthier, more sustainable and prosperous future for ourselves and our children as we emerge from these dark and difficult times.

With enough will and wisdom, we can and we must do better that simply – as some of our current business and political leaders want us to do -“go back to (the old) normal.”

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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

Four-Legged, Furry Friends Have Helped Get Us Through These Tough Times

Let’s All Pledge to be Just as Good to Them

A Brief Comment from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 2nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The late American actress and animal welfare activist Doris Day was once quoted saying the following –

“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.”

I would say that the same is true of cats, for those of us who have been fortunate enough to invite cats into our homes and let them adopt us.

From what I have been reading and hearing on the news, record numbers of dogs and cats have been adopted across North America this year by people longing for the special kind of companionship they can provide during a time when we are staying mostly at home during this pandemic. Continue reading

‘The Windows of the World’ – A Song for These Times Too

‘A Brief Note from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher            Doug Draper

How many of us had to share moments with loved ones through windows this past year?

Posted January 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

For those of you who work through the more celebratory moments of New Year’s to feel a few misty and mellow ones too, as I tend to do, a song came to mind for me that, as old as it is and now going back more than 50 years to some of the most volatile  years of the 1960s, strikes a chord for these times.

At the windows of their homes, Italians share songs during some of the darkest days of the pandemic

The song, written by the legendary composing team Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and performed by the equally legendary singer Dionne Warwick, was released in 1967 with the ongoing carnage of the War in Vietnam in mind.

Yet now, for this listener anyway, it resonates again as we continue – even as the clock struck midnight to a New Year we all hope will bring sunshine again – to struggle together through the nightmare of this seemingly relentless, unforgiving pandemic.

To listen to that song, click on the screen below –

 

And let us all hope for a better 2021 for us all.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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

Caught With His Beach Trunks On, Ford’s Finance Minister Quits

Rod Phillips’ Resignation Comes Two Weeks After Ontario Premier Knew About His Caribbean Vacation

A Little Breaking News on Niagara At Large

Posted December 31st, 2020
From Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

After a sneaky vacation to the Caribbean Islands, Ontario’s Finance Minister Rod Phillips walks the plank.

I was not planning on posting anything else before the clock strikes 12 this New Year, but this is hard to hold back on ….. and I will keep it short.

This afternoon of Thursday, December 31st, 2020, CBC reported that Rod Phillips, the Ontario Ford Government’s all-so-irresponsible and arrogant Finance Minister, resigned after returning from a Holiday Season vacation in the Caribbean – this after Ford and other senior officials in the Ontario government urged the rest of us to stay home during this COVID-19-driven provinc-wide lockdown.

The first few paragraphs in a CBC news report on this go like this –

“Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips has resigned after returning from a controversial Caribbean vacation while the province is under strict lockdown measures that discourage non-essential travel, Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday.

Continue reading

Good Riddance 2020, and Let’s All Work Together for a Better 2021

A New Year’s Message from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 31st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

In the nice neighbourhood I grew up in on the west side of Welland Ontario, there was this wonderful old, silver-hair fellow across the street named Truman C. Jones, or T.C. for short.

I met him before I was old enough to go to school, through my adoration for a heroic Lassie-like collie he had named Jamie, and Mr. Jones, as I always called him, became a mentor of mine.

One of the many things I still remember him telling me was this; “Dougie (the name he forever called me), don’t ever wish any time away. Make the best of every moment.” Continue reading

If You Are A Doug Ford Cabinet Minister, To Hell with COVID Health Warnings

Do Whatever You Want While The Rest of Us Sacrifice!

Ontario’s Premier Cannot Give Minister Rod Phillips a Free Pass for Choosing to Leave the Country for a Vacation, While Instructing Ontarians To Stay Home

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party, with a Brief Foreword form Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

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

Ontario’s Finance Minister Rod Phillips, seen here with his dear leader Doug Ford behind him, sneaks off on a warm-climate vacation, while we, the rest of us suckers are on a province-wide lockdown.

So now we find out that Rod Phillips – this creep of an Ontario Finance Minister we have, courtesy of his moronic boss, the premier, Doug Ford – having tabled a hellish budget which, among other things, guts our province’s Conservation Authorities and further compromised the health of our environment for our children, sneaks off on a vacation to the Caribbean Islands during a province-wide lockdown where the rest of us sacrifice and suffer!

Sorry I am in so off a mood during this Holiday Season, but God damn these two-faced Doug Ford bastards!

It’s just fine with them to tell the rest of us to stay home and stare at “we are closed signs” at virtually every restaurant, store and public institution for at least the next four weeks. But hey, if they want to climb aboard a jet and sneak off on an –out-of-country vacation to warmer climates during an Ontario-wide walk down, that is just dandy. Continue reading

Ford Minister of Long-Term Care Should Be Sacked!

As Long-Term Care Outbreaks Explode, Ontario Opposition Leader  Calls For Minister To Be Replaced

35 More Homes In Outbreak Compared To One Week Ago

A Statement from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted December 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP MPP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath want’s Ford Longterm-Care Home Minister’s head.

HAMILTON, Ontario — Nursing Homes Like Tendercare In Scarborough Are In Desperate Crisis, And Outbreaks Are Bursting Into More Long-Term Care Homes Every Day — Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath Calls For Doug Ford To Urgently Replace The Failed Minister Of Long Term Care Merrilee Fullerton.

“Over 2,700 Long-Term Care Residents Have Lost Their Lives — They Were Loved, And They Died Without Their Family There To Comfort Them And Say Goodbye. And Thousands More Families Are Now Racked With Worry About Their Parents And Grandparents As The Virus Rips Through Nursing Homes Again,” Said Horwath. Continue reading

Wishing All of Our Niagara At Large Readers a Warm and Safe Holiday Season

A Message from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted December 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Well what can someone say as we live the final days of a year like this?

One of our favourite f, Tigger. You can find out more about Tigger and his calendar further down in this Holiday message. Photo courtesy of Joe Krawchuk

I have been a professional wordsmith, or at least an aspiring or struggling one,  for most of my adult life, and yet this Holiday Season I am fighting for words that might leave us all with the kind of warm Holiday Season message I normally like to send out.

Thanks to that invisible killer virus out there, though, what once passed as normal, just one past Christmas season ago, is gone, and in a way, when I hear the likes of a Doug Ford say they want to “get back to normal again,” my response is; ‘No we don’t. Let’s build a new normal. Let’s re-imagine or reshape our communities in ways that are more conducive to tolerance and civility, and to a healthier economy and environment for us all!” Continue reading

Ontario Premier Doug Ford Declares Santa Claus an ‘Essential Service’

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Why Isn’t Ford Also Declaring What Are Left of Our Woodlands, Our Wetlands, Our Watersheds, Our Endangered Plants and Animals, and our Conservation Authorities in Ontario “Essential” to the Health of Our Environment and our Children’s Future?

A Brief Holiday Season Message from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, with a Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Foreword from Doug Draper at NAL –

So now we have Ontario’s premier, Doug Ford, declaring Santa Claus an “essential service” for all of the children out there.

It seems like a cute enough little message on the surface, and I am sure that some out there would say to me; ‘Hey, why not just loosen up on this guy during the Holiday Season, and let the message stand on its own?”

Sorry, but I have a hard time doing that with a premier who is coming on like he has our children at heart with this Santa declaration, even while he and his government continue to wipe out the environmental measures generations of Ontarians fought for – measures that are we should be building on, and not destroying, for the health and welfare of our children’s future.

From slashing funding for planting trees and watershed protection and restoration, to significantly weakening rules for protecting endangered species and green places, to more recently moving to gut our Conservation Authorities, and their capacity to deal with flooding or rule on development proposals that may have a negative impact on vital environmental features in our Great Lakes basin, Ford and his government have done more compromise a healthy, sustainable future for our children than any gifts from Santa can make up for.

So never mind Santa Claus. What we have with Ford and his government is a Grim Reaper leaving coal in our children’s stockings.

Continue reading

Tips for Keeping the Holiday Season a Little More Merry During a Pandemic

Making Connections – Even Virtually – Important During Holidays

A Tip Sheet from Niagara Health, Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals

Posted December 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Stay connected. Even if it’s not in person.

That’s the message for the holidays from Dr. Maxine Lewis, Chief of Mental and Addictions for Niagara Health and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Maintaining connections with others is always important for your mental health, but especially during a pandemic that has put limits on the amount of in-person contact people have with each another.

“People are demonstrating really innovative ways to stay connected with each other, like video conferencing and telephone,” says Dr. Lewis. Continue reading

Ontario Announces Province-Wide Shutdown to Stop Spread of COVID-19 and Save Lives

Government Providing Grants of up to $20,000 to Small Businesses Impacted by New Public Health Measures

“The number of daily cases continue to rise putting our hospitals and long-term care homes at risk. We need to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”                                                                                        – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A News Release from the Office of Ontario’s Premier

Posted December 21st. 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

TORONTO, Ontario — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Province-wide Shutdown.

Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Province-wide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Naveed Mohammad, President and CEO, William Osler Health System. Continue reading

Look to the Skies – This Monday, December 21st, 2020 after Sunset – for a Rare Look at the “Christmas Star”

Skywatchers Call It “The Great Conjunction”. Beginning this December 21st and for the Next Few Weeks, It is also a Great (and most welcome) Diversion from COVID-19 and Related Madness

Posted by Niagara At Large publisher and reporter Doug Draper

December 21st, 2020

“Skywatchers are in for an end-of-year treat,” begins a recent news release from NASA.

“What has become known popularly as the “Christmas Star,” continues the news release, “is an especially vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next two weeks as the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn come together, culminating on the night of Dec. 21.”

“In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope to the night sky, discovering the four moons of Jupiter – Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. In that same year, Galileo also discovered a strange oval surrounding Saturn, which later observations determined to be its rings. These discoveries changed how people understood the far reaches of our solar system.

“Thirteen years later, in 1623, the solar system’s two giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, traveled together across the sky. Jupiter caught up to and passed Saturn, in an astronomical event known as a “Great Conjunction.”  …

For more details on when and where to watch for this rare event in our skies, check out the NASA news release and a related Globe and Mail newspaper story below.

To read the full NASA media release, with details on when and where to watch for this sky spectacular, click on https://www.nasa.gov/feature/the-great-conjunction-of-jupiter-and-saturn

To read a Globe and Mail report on the Great Conjuction, including an audio report, click on https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-how-to-see-and-photograph-the-great-conjunction-of-2020/ .

To watch it when or after it happens, try clicking on the screen, at the appropriate time, immediately below –

 

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

Canadians Need ‘Accurate Info’ on New Variant of Killer Virus in United Kingdom

Canada Federal Conservative Party Statement Regarding Genetic Variant of the COVID-19 Virus

Posted December 21st. 2020 on Niagara At Large

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. A Brief Note here from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – I would buy as much o what this character says about COVID-19 as I would buy a Brexit plan from him. He operates in the same dead zone as his old friend Donald Trump.

OTTAWA, Ontario – The Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, Shadow Minister for Health, issued the following statement calling on the Trudeau Liberals to provide Canadians with information about the new genetic variant of COVID-19 identified in the United Kingdom:

“Canadians are looking for accurate information about the new variant of COVID-19 that has been identified in the United Kingdom. The ties between our two countries are extremely close, with many Canadians’ families overseas.

“I am pleased that the Prime fMinister is convening a meeting of the Incident Response Group this afternoon.  It is imperative that the Trudeau government provide Canadians with information and proactively respond to the following questions:

Continue reading

Niagara Region Moving to Red Zone Shows Desperate Need for More Action

A Statement from Niagara, Ontario’s Three NDP MPPs

Posted December 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates, St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens and Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch released the following  statement in response to the Niagara, Ontario  region being moved to the Red-Control Zone

From left, Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates and St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

Niagara, Ontario — “Our communities are facing longer and deeper lockdowns, once again, because Doug Ford failed to take action and invest the money we needed in our health and safety.

It should never have come to this. If Ford had stepped up earlier with paid sick days and family care days so people didn’t have to go to work when they’re unwell, testing in our schools and workplaces and more funding for our local health units to test and contact trace, we could have avoided this.

Instead, Ford decided to sit back and wait for the vaccine, knowing it’s still months before everyone is vaccinated.

Our thanks and praise go to everyone in the Niagara region, particularly our frontline heroes, who are working hard to prevent the spread, and our condolences go out to all those that have had their lives touched by COVID.”

The three NDP MPPs at a news conference in downtown St. Catharines this past fall, for the launch of an NDP plan to support Ontario’s main street businesses.

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 At Large is Taking a Rest – Just for a Few Days

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

Posted December 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

I have never known a cat in my life – however dynamic – that has not needed a nap every once in a while.

Well, with your patience, Niagara At Large is taking a little one now, if only until the coming week leading up to Christmas when we will once again be posting more news and commentary about the issues and the crazy world around us – in earnest! Continue reading

Ontario Delivers First COVID-19 Vaccine in the Country

“This is a watershed moment – the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic. The light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter every day, but we must remain on our guard.”                  – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A News Release from the Government of Ontario

Posted December 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement on the first COVID-19 vaccinations being administered to frontline health care workers in Ontario and in the country:

“Today (this Monday, December 14th, 2020) is a historic day for Ontario and for Canada as the first Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccines have started to be given to our frontline health care heroes.

I would especially like to recognize Anita Quidangen, the first person in Ontario and Canada to receive the shot. Anita is a personal support worker (PSW) from the Rekai Centre at Sherbourne Place, a long-term care home in Toronto.

 

 

She has worked tirelessly to care for some of our most vulnerable, both throughout this pandemic and since her first days as a PSW in 1988. Anita has spent years rolling up her sleeves to protect our province, and today, she didn’t hesitate to find a new way to do so. She represents the best of the Ontario Spirit. Continue reading

Despite Blow from Ford Government, Niagara’s Conservation Authority Determined to Soldier On

Brenda Johnson, Hamilton city councillor and Chair of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board

“The NPCA is thankful to its partner municipalities, residents, nature clubs, professional associations, not-for-profit organizations, volunteers, community groups, and many others who made a difference by voicing their support for the important work of conservation authorities. …We are especially grateful to our local media for their ongoing coverage and helping us keep our communities informed.                                                                               – Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Board Chair  Brenda Johnson

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA)

Posted December 12th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

NPCA REMAINS COMMITTED TO KEEPING PEOPLE AND PROPERTY SAFE AND CONSERVING THE WATERSHED’S NATURAL RESOURCES

On December 8th, the Government of Ontario passed Bill 229 Budget Measures Act, along with Schedule 6 approving changes to the Conservation Authorities Act.

While the NPCA was hoping for full withdrawal of Schedule 6, as it presents significant challenges related to its planning and permitting activities and defending lands as the second largest landowner in Ontario, partial success was achieved.

During the process, amendments to Schedule 6 addressed conservation authorities’ enforcement activities, as well as several governance-related concerns pertaining to the appointment and duties of Board members. Continue reading

Canada’s Federal Government ‘Accelerates’ Action on Climate Change

Prime Minister Announces Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan to Protect Environment, Create Jobs, and Support Communities

News from the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada

Posted December 12th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

As we continue to address the challenges of today and the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada remains focused on meeting the tests of the future.

Climate change is the biggest long-term threat of our generation, but it is also the greatest economic opportunity.

By accelerating action to fight climate change and rebuilding a more sustainable and resilient economy, we can create new jobs and opportunities for Canadians, while also ensuring cleaner air and water for our kids and grandkids.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, (this December 11th) announced Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, which will help achieve our economic and environmental goals. Continue reading

You Are Invited to a 100th Birthday Celebration of One of Niagara, Ontario’s – AND CANADA’S – Great Fire Halls

WELLAND’S CENTRAL FIRE STATION CELEBRATES 1OOth BIRTHDAY VIRTUALLY

Find Out Below How You Can Go Online – This Coming Thursday, December 17th, 2020 – To Enjoy What This Heritage Gem Has to Offer

Welland’s iconic old Fire Hall – one of the best of the still standing fire stations of its kind in Canada – is celebrating its 100th Birthday. We all have to make sure that it is saved.

Niagara, Ontario – On Dec. 17, 1920, with the official opening of the Central Fire Station, firefighting and public safety in Welland rolled into the 20th Century.

A stylish and practical $43,851 fire hall, built on an easy-to-exit 45-degree angle at Hellems Avenue and Division Street, contained the latest firefighting features of the period.

For the hall’s centennial on Dec. 17, 2020, the Central Station Education Initiative (CSEI), which leases the closed fire hall from the city, had planned to hold an “at home”, a traditional fire department open house. Continue reading

COVID-19 Outbreak Declared at Greater Niagara General Site in Niagara Falls

News from Niagara Health, the body managing the amalgamation of hospital sites in Niagara, Ontario

Posted December 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared today on the inpatient Unit C at Niagara Health’s Greater Niagara General Site in Niagara Falls.

The outbreak was declared as a result of three healthcare-associated cases of COVID-19 involving two patients and a healthcare worker.

Our Infection Prevention and Control team, working with Niagara Region Public Health and our Occupational Health and Safety team, is monitoring the situation closely. Continue reading

Hey Mr. Premier, Waiting for a Vaccine Isn’t a Plan – Ontario Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Horwath Wants Legislature To Return Immediately To Get To Work Protecting People From Second Wave

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Andrea Horwath in St. Catharines this August 8th to press for more resources to safeguard province’s long-term care homes

HAMILTON, Ontario — “Doug Ford is waving the white flag in the fight against COVID-19, and just waiting for a vaccine now,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

On Tuesday (December 8th), Doug Ford ended the session of the legislature early — and Horwath said that’s despite the fact that Ford hasn’t done the things people need to stay safe until the vaccine is delivered. She’s calling for the legislature to return immediately, so MPPs can pass more protections and support for people, who likely still have to get through months before vaccines are available to all.

“Sending MPPs home to have a holiday break at the height of the pandemic is wrong,” said Horwath. Continue reading

Canada Must Act Now To Head Off Rising Costs Of Climate Change, Experts Warn

“As climate change accelerates, no individual, province or sector will be immune. Now more than ever, we cannot afford to ignore massive future costs—especially those that we have the power to manage.”                                                                                                             – Kathy Bardswick, President, Canadian Institute for Climate Choices

A News Release from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, with a Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 6th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

This sticker in place of the one Ford forced gas stations to display on their pumps to protest the federal government’s efforts to put a price on climate ravaging carbon pollution.. The courts recently ruled against Ford trying to make the display of his anti-carbon pricing stickers mandatory.

Almost every time public debate turns to what we need to do now – collectively as regions, provinces, states and countries – to address a climate crisis that is already doing major damage to our natural resources and to properties and communities, we get extreme right-wing politicians like Doug Ford in Ontario, Jason Kenney in Alberta and Donald Trump in the United States arguing that taking the real action that is needed and moving toward a green economy is going to cost too much.

In Ontario, we have witnessed Premier Doug Ford and the anti-environmental protection ideologues that make up his Trump-like party, spend tens of millions of our tax dollars fighting Canada’s federal government’s efforts to, at the very least, put a modest price on climate-ravaging carbon pollution. Continue reading

Remembering the Death of a Beatle – Forty Years On

“There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone, and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead, and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all.”

  • From The Beatles song ‘In My Life’, with lyrics by John Lennon

By Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted December 8th, 2020 on NAL

John Lennon, the way I will so often remember him during the height of The Beatles years in the 1960s

I went to work 40 years ago today – it was Monday, December 8th, 1980 and I was about a year and half in to my first job as a reporter for The St. Catharines Standard – and I was still flying high from what is still one of the greatest rock concerts I have ever seen, just four days earlier

On December 4th, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took the stage at the old Buffalo Aud., and from the countdown to ‘Born to Run’ to almost five hours later (Springsteen was famous for doing those marathon concerts at the time), those of us who were fortunate enough to be there were in Rock and Roll ecstasy.

For me, it almost made up for not seeing The Beatles when I was a kid, although right up to December 8th, I still entertained dreams that a Beatles reunion and a concert I may be lucky enough to get a ticket to could still happen. Continue reading

Niagara Falls MPP to Ontario Premier – ‘Stop Attack on Niagara’s Environment!’

NDP MPP for Niagara Falls Wayne Gates stood up in the Ontario legislature this December 7th  to tell Doug Ford to stop attacking the environment

Our kids’, our grandkids’ futures are at stake. … Stop the attack now. We must stand up for our greenbelt, our environment, our climate, our kids and our grandkids.”                                                        – Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates

Posted December 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario NDP MPP Wayne Gates

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP for Niagara Falls Wayne Gates stood up in the Ontario legislature Monday (December 7th) to tell Doug Ford to stop attacking the environment by gutting the province’s conservation authorities.

This weekend David Crombie, chair of the Greenbelt Council, and six of its members, resigned in protest against the Ford government’s pushing through changes to the Conservation Authorities Act in the budget omnibus bill.

“For weeks, my colleagues and myself have been highlighting the shameful decision the of this government to sneak in damaging anti-environmental legislation underneath the smokescreen of the budget.

These recent resignations further prove that this government’s priorities when it comes to the environment are all wrong. They want to tear up 80 years of environmental protection and help their developer friends pave over the greenbelt. Continue reading

Major Ontario Architects Group Joins Fight to Spare Conservation Authorities from Doug Ford’s Axe

Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO)  joins thousands calling for withdrawal of Ford Government’s  Bill 229 Schedule 6

“ACO’s mandate is to encourage the conservation of culturally significant landscapes. We strongly oppose the removal of the excellent protection which Ontario’s Conservation Authorities have provided.”                                                                                                  – ACO Board of Directors Chair Kae Elgie

A News Release from Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO)

Posted December 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO) has joined the hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals calling for the withdrawal of Bill 229 Schedule 6, the portion of the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 (Budget Measures) Act which would limit the powers of Conservation Authorities to comment on land use planning decisions.

“ACO’s mandate is to encourage the conservation of culturally significant landscapes,” said ACO Board of Directors Chair Kae Elgie. “We strongly oppose the removal of the excellent protection which Ontario’s Conservation Authorities have provided.”

The proposed legislation removes highly trained and experienced scientists and engineers and 75 years of Conservation Authorities’ experience from the land use planning process. Continue reading

More Resignations at Ontario Greenbelt Council Are “Alarm Bells” – Official Opposition Party Critic

Six more Greenbelt Council resign in protest to Ford Government’s Move to Gut Environmental Rules and Conservation Authorities

“Conservation Authorities are key to the future of watershed planning in Ontario. … The steps taken in (the Ford Government’s Budget Bill) ill 229 (to gut the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and province’s 36 other CAs), put decades of excellent work across city and regional boundaries at risk.”                                                                                                              – from a resignation letter by Ontario Greenbelt Council member Leith Moore

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted December 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — Peter Tabuns, NDP critic for Energy and the Climate Crisis, has issued the following statement regarding Sunday’s resignation of six more members of the Greenbelt Council in protest over measures in Doug Ford’s budget that will gut conservation authorities.

These resignations follow the resignation of Chair David Crombie Saturday (December 5th) evening:

“I want to thank the outgoing members of the Greenbelt Council for their principled stand against Doug Ford’s attack on the environment, the Greenbelt, and conservation. People have had enough of Ford working for powerful developers and not in the best interests of the province. Continue reading

Another Twist Of the Knife for Conservation Authorities from the Ontario Government

“The provincial government is circumventing the planning process and shutting down public consultation and now they are ending the ability of any “nuisance” bodies like Conservation Authorities to apply laws that protect wetlands, floodplains and source water protection areas.”                                                                                      – Caroline Schultz of Ontario Nature.

Ontario’s Ford Government now just a few days away from moving to destroy the voice and the role the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and 35 other Conservation Authorities across the province play in flood management and protecting our environment from ill-conceived development. RAISE YOUR VOICE AND STOP THIS GOVERNMENT FROM RAPING OUR CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES’ ROLE IN NATURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION.

An Urgent Call-Out to All of Us from ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE and ONTARIO NATURE

Posted December 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario government’s proposed amendments to Bill 229, Schedule 6 are a shocking escalation of attacks on public safety, natural values and safe drinking water

Toronto, Ontario –  The Ontario government will today bring forward amendments to its proposed legislation that attacks Conservation Authorities, which will allow the provincial government to order dangerous development projects to proceed against the science-based decisions of Conservation Authorities in a manner that threatens public safety and environmental values all across the province.

These new, and never previously discussed, amendments expressly force Conservation Authorities to issue permits for development, even if it will cause flooding or erosion and jeopardize human health and safety, if the government issues a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO). They also force Conservation Authorities to accept and implement “pay to slay” agreements with developers to allow natural values to be wiped off the landscape for a fee. Continue reading

Ontario Health Coalition Applauds Excellent Recommendations Released by Long-Term Care Commission

Coalition Calls on on Ford Government to Implement Recommendations Immediately

A News Release from the Ontario Health Coalition, a province-wide citizens advocacy group for quality public health care

Posted December 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Toronto – The second set of recommendations from Ontario’s Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission were released this December 4th.

You can click on them here: http://www.ltccommission-commissionsld.ca/ 

The Commission continues to do excellent work and the Ontario Health Coalition said it is fully in support of the recommendations which focus on restoring comprehensive inspections in all LTC homes, improving compliance and enforcement of care standards and care plans, ensuring that staffing levels are inspected, and improving infection control measures in long-term care homes. Continue reading

Ontario Premier’s Vicious Attack on Our Natural Heritage

‘Ford Government’s Midnight Amendments to Legislative Bill Threatens Ontarians’ Safety from Floods and Throws Our Wetlands at Mercy of Developers’

Environmental Protection Role of Our Conservation Authorities Hangs in the Balance

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted December 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario NDP Environment critic Ian Arthur responded to the Ford government introducing amendments allowing developers to destroy wetlands, floodplains and source water at a cost to human safety, to proposed legislation that attacks Conservation Authorities:

“Doug Ford is a threat to Ontarians’ safety. Ontario’s wetlands, floodplains and source water and the wildlife they support aren’t just beautiful; they protect people from dangers like flooding, disease and the contamination of our food and water. Continue reading

Last Call to Stop Ford and Vandals in Ontario’s Development Industry from Gutting Our Conservation Authorities

Anti-Environment Ford Government Moving to Ram CA-Gutting Thru Ontario Legislature as Soon as this coming Monday, December 7th

We need your help with a last-minute push to retain the Current Mandate of the Province’s 36 Conservation Authorities – Ontario Nature, a province-wide citizens advocacy group for our environment

A News Release from Ontario Nature

Posted December 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Rather than listening to tens of thousands of Ontarians – including nearly 20,000 Ontario Nature members and supporters who requested that Schedule 6 be removed from Bill 229 – the provincial government (of Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff and company) is proposing several pages of never-seen-before amendments that tighten the screws even further on Conservation Authorities.

These amendments include one that will require a Conservation Authority to issue a permit that would otherwise be prohibited by provincial law and policy, if associated with a Minister’s Zoning Order. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Supporting Niagara Parks Commission During COVID-19

“Funding will ensure Niagara region remains one of the top tourism destinations in the world” – Ford Government

A News Release from the Ontario Government of Premier Doug Ford

Posted December 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Ontario government is providing the Niagara Parks Commission with up to $12.81 million to help ensure the region remains one of the top tourism destinations in the world during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This one-time funding will help protect jobs, keep some attractions open, ensure compliance with public health protocols, and continue to keep visitors safe through policing and road maintenance activities.

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Sam Oosterhoff, MPP of Niagara West, Jim Diodati, Mayor of Niagara Falls, and David Adames, CEO of the Niagara Parks Commission.

“Ontario’s heritage, tourism and culture agencies are important components of the province’s economic and social recovery,” said Minister MacLeod. Continue reading

Ford Moving To Gut Conservation Authorities’ Ability To Protect Communities from Severe Flooding

Ontario’s Ford Conservatives Now Working to Rip Apart Role of Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and 35 other CAs Across Province in Environmental Protection

A Call-Out from Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner to Stop Ford Tories’ War on our Environment

Posted  December 1st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner

Two days ago (this past Sunday, November 29th), I stood on the banks of the Grand River alongside local leaders, to condemn the rollback of flood protections by the Ford government.

The Grand River Conservation Authority (one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario that may have been established at various times later) was formed in the 1930s in direct response to severe flooding.

But now Doug Ford wants to gut the ability of conservation authorities (including the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority in our Niagara watershed) to protect communities from severe flooding, thus taking us back decades in responsible  planning. Continue reading

Save Niagara’s Green Spaces – Speak Now or Risk Losing Them Forever!

We, As Citizens, Don’t Have Much Time Left to Act – To Stop Ford and his Government from Further Threatening Our Natural Heritage

A Call-Out from Ed Smith, St. Catharines community activist and member of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s Board of Directors

Posted November 27th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Long-time St. Catharines citizen activist and Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board member Ed Smith makes a plea to fellow Niagara citizens to speak up for Conservation Authorities and our green spaces. File photo by Doug Draper

We are days away from the greatest environmental catastrophe to be unleashed on Niagara by a sitting government. Once it occurs there will be no undoing the damage and it will result in mortal consequences to Niagara’s last few remaining wilderness areas.

Ontario’s Ford government has bundled into its recent budget legislation a section called Schedule 6.

Schedule 6 of the Budget Bill deals specifically with the 36 Conservation Authorities across Ontario, including our Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.

Since taking office  more than two years ago, the Ford government has tried to take control of our environment away from any strict protections and hand it over to causes more sympathetic to the needs of developers. Continue reading

Another Appeal to Save Our Conservation Authorities from a Group of Canada’s Top Environmental Lawyers

“We hope (the Ford Government) will listen to the chorus of voices asking them to protect the vital role of conservation authorities in Ontario”                                                                                     – April Weppler, Canadian Environmental Law Association

A Message from the Canadian Environmental Law Association

Posted November 27th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Dear Fellow Ontarians

Thank you for your continued support for conservation authorities. We promised you an update on the province’s omnibus budget measures Bill 229 that is threatening Conservation Authorities, and here it is – the government is fast-tracking passage of Bill 229.

The Ford government’s legislation would purge Conservation Authorities across the province, including our Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority in this region, of citizen voices on its board of directors. Ford is moving to block citizens from sitting on these boards. His pals in the development community don’t want citizens to have a say.

Through a time-allocation motion that passed Monday, the government has sent the Bill to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs for an expedited review (https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/committees/finance-economic-affairs/parliament-42/notice-hearings/2020-nov-23-notice-hearings-standing-committee-finance-economic-affairs) .  While the timelines are very tight, there is a small window for public comment, through both in-person presentations and written submissions. Continue reading

For Doug Ford, Ontario’s Front-Line Health Care Workers Are ‘Heroes’ Until They Test Positive for COVID-19

Then – After Risking Themselves Caring For Others – Ford’s Tories Reward Them by Cutting Their Pay

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Demands Ontario Health Minister Immediately Reverse Directive That Denies Pay to Health Care Workers Who Need to Self-Isolate

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

Posted November 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) has demanded the Ford government reverse a directive from the Ministry of Health that tells hospitals to stop paying frontline heath care workers who self-report when they are exposed to COVID-19 and are forced to go into isolation.

“This government likes to talk about the hard work done by nurses, doctors, personal support workers and other frontline health care workers, correctly calling them ‘heroes’. Yet the actions of this government put them in an impossible situation, having to choose between reporting an exposure and feeding their family,” said Burch during question period at the Ontario legislature Tuesday.

“Will this Minister investigate, reverse this disgraceful directive, and ensure that front-line health care workers in Ontario’s hospitals receive their full pay when they are mandated by the employer to self-isolate due to COVID-19?,” Burch asked Health Minister Christine Elliott. Continue reading

Raise Your Voice to Save Our Conservation Authorities!

Doug Ford’s Conservatives are Shameless in their Assault on the Environment

A News Release from the Green Party of Ontario

Posted November 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

You might never have heard of a conservation authority.

That’s OK.

They quietly keep us safe by regulating development in watershed areas (including the Niagara area)- where 95 per cent  of Ontarians live.

Most importantly, they hold the line against reckless projects in flood-prone areas. Continue reading

NPCA Applauds Growing Interest In & Support For Ontario’s Conservation Authorities

Ford Government’s Plan to Gut Role of Conservation Authorities May Be Getting More Media Attention Than The Premier and Company  Bargained For

A Statement from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA)

Posted November 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

MEDIA COVERAGE ON (Ford Government”s BILL 229 & CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority takes this opportunity to thank members of the media for their dedication to ensuring that our communities are well aware of the potential impacts that Bill 229 will have on conservation authorities across Ontario.

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board in session in early 2019 . File photo by Doug Draper

These proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act will greatly impact the NPCA’s role in land use planning and will completely change the role of conservation authorities in protecting Ontario’s environment and ensuring people and property are safe from natural hazards.

We are proud to serve and support our community, and are grateful for the amount of support that has been shown. Continue reading