Category Archives: Learn How To Join Niagara At Large On Twitter And Facebook By Clicking Here

Niagara’s Regional Government Launches Survey To Help Improve Diversity, Equity And Inclusion

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

“Everyone in Niagara has the right to live in a safe, welcoming and respectful community. Listening to the lived experiences of our community members is the first step in making that happen, and we want as many individuals as possible to speak up and have their voice heard. This information will be invaluable as we work to create Niagara’s first-ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan.”                     ~ Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

News from Niagara’s Regional Government in Niagara, Ontario

Posted November 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Individuals from all backgrounds across Niagara are being asked for their input to help make Niagara a more welcoming and inclusive community for everyone.

From now until Dec. 1, Niagara residents can take a short online survey to share experiences of discrimination they have witnessed or experienced in Niagara, and their ideas to eliminate that discrimination. Continue reading

Honouring a Canadian Scientific Breakthrough That Continues to Save Countless Millions of Lives

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I invite all Canadians to join me in recognizing World Diabetes Day and the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin.”                                               – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A Statement by the Prime Minister on World Diabetes Day and the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin

Posted November 14th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this November 14th) issued the following statement on World Diabetes Day and the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin:

“Diabetes is a chronic health condition experienced by hundreds of millions of people in Canada and around the world. Today on World Diabetes Day <https://www.un.org/en/observances/diabetes-day>, we unite with the global community to raise awareness about this disease and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin.

“In 1921, insulin was discovered by a team of four scientists at the University of Toronto – Sir Frederick Banting, Dr. Charles Best, Dr. James Collip, and Dr. John Macleod. Two years later, in recognition of this major scientific breakthrough, Frederick Banting and John Macleod were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Zoom Public Meeting on Affordable Child Care and Decent Pay for Workers in Niagara

Niagara District Council of Women tp host Zoom  Public  Meeting  Panel  on “Affordable Child Care and Decent Pay for Workers”  at 7:30 p.m., this coming  Wednesday November 17th . 

An Invite to All from the Niagara District Council of Women

Posted November 14th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Across Ontario, while   the Covid-19 pandemic lingers, parents are struggling harder than ever  to find affordable child care ,and non-profit and institutional care givers are challenged to  provide services .

As panelist  Dr. Kate Bazanson, Associate Dean , Faculty of Social Sciences & Associate Professor of Sociology  of Brock University  notes, “The tension between high fees and low wages results in inaccessible space for parents (especially mothers) and recruitment and retention struggles for providers.  The continued presence of COVID also affects enrolment and costs.” Continue reading

Former Niagara Regional Councillor and Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn Running for Ontario NDP in Niagara West Riding

Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was in the Niagara region this Friday, November 12th,  to Welcome Dave Augustyn to the Team of Ontario New Democrats.

In Spring, 2022 Provincial Election, Augustyn will be Running Against Ford Conservative Incumbent Sam Oosterhoff

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted November 12th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Former Pelham mayor, regional councillor running for the Ontario NDP in the Niagara West Riding

“Just as the cost of everything is being driven through the roof, we’re facing cuts in education, public health and long-term care again. That’s not right — Niagara families deserve so much better. And with the NDP, I know we can deliver better.”    David Augustyn

PELHAM, Ontario  — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was in the Niagara region this Friday (November 12th)  to welcome Dave Augustyn to the team of Ontario New Democrats running for provincial election in 2022.

Augustyn was the mayor of Pelham for 12 years, as well as regional councillor. He’ll be running for the NDP in Niagara West.

As mayor, Augustyn worked with the community to design and build Pelham’s Meridian Community Centre. He also had a particular focus on health care, orchestrating the donation of land to Wellspring Niagara for the Regional Cancer support centre and attracting a new long-term care home and retirement residences to the Town. Continue reading

Town of Lincoln Develops Single-Use Plastics Strategy as Part of Climate Adaption Plan

“The Town is taking important steps to address climate change and encourage more sustainable and environmentally conscious practices in Lincoln. … We all have a part to play in mitigating the effects of climate change”                                                                  – Town of Lincoln Councillor Paul MacPherson, who introduced the motion for a Single-Use Plastics Reduction Strategy

News from the Town of Lincoln in Niagara, Ontario

Posted November 12th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Lincoln, Ontario – Town of Lincoln Council have given staff the green light to proceed with a pilot study in the Rittenhouse Library Branch and waste audits in the Fleming Centre and Town Hall that will help inform a corporate-wide, Single-Use Plastics Reduction Strategy.

This initiative supports the Town’s Corporate Climate Adaptation Plan which was approved by Council in March 2021.

“As a municipal government, we have a responsibility and are making a commitment to protecting Lincoln’s economy, ecosystems, and community from climate change,” said Town of Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton.

“Council recognizes the need to work cooperatively to take action on climate change, and this initiative is just one of the ways we’re moving towards a more sustainable future.” Continue reading

Join a Letter Writing Drive to Save Waverly Woods in Niagara, Ontario

Lend Your Voice to a Citizens Campaign to Save One of Niagara’s Most Precious Green Places from Destruction

A red-headed woodpecker. One of the many species of birds that like Waverly Woods just the way it is.

A Call-Out from Community Voices of Fort Erie, a citizens group in Fort Erie, Ontario

Posted November 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – 

Long live Waverly Woods!

If you don’t know about Waverly Woods, it is a jewel of a green place – lush with trees and other vegetation and rich with wildlife – located along the shores of Lake Erie, just in from the opening of the Niagara River, in Fort Erie, Ontario.

Inside Waverly Woods in Fort Erie, Ontario. Places like this been good for peoples’ souls during this pandemic. Let’s not allow them to be stolen away.

Go visit it any day of the year, and you will find families and couples, young and old, hiking around it or venturing a short distance into the woods until they are stopped by “no trespassing” signs nailed, unceremoniously, to the trunks trees.

Those signs were put there by a developer bent on taking buzz saws to the heart and soul of this gem of a place because, of course and wouldn’t you know it? In their mind there is no other place in the region to build condos than on one of the last few remaining tracts of natural heritage left along Niagara’s Lake Erie shoreline. Continue reading

On This November 11th, Remembering and Honouring Those Who Served Our Country

A Remembrance Day Statement from Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted November 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement to mark Remembrance Day:

A monument to those who fought and died in the World Wars of the last century, standing proudly in Chippawa Park in Welland, Ontario. File photo by Doug Draper

“Today we remember and honour the many Canadians who have courageously served our country, in times of conflict and in times of peace, so that we may live in freedom and safety.

We express gratitude for the brave sacrifices of those who served and continue to serve, who have willingly faced great hardship and selflessly put the safety of others before their own.

I join all Ontarians in mourning those who have made ultimate sacrifice to safeguard peace and our shared values, and in honouring their loved ones who have endured so much. We will never take for granted their immeasurable contributions.

On Remembrance Day, we also recognize our duty as a province to care for those who have made extraordinary sacrifices for our country. Continue reading

Ontario Government Funding a New MRI Machine for Niagara Health

Investment Will Help Ensure Patients and Families Have Access to High-Quality Health Care

“As a local MPP, access to quality healthcare has been one of my top priorities.” -Sam Oosterhoff, Ford Government MPP for Niagara West.

A News Release from Ontario’s Ford Government

Posted November 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

An MRI machine, a vital medical tool for saving lives

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario – The Ontario government is taking further action to end hallway healthcare and address wait times for diagnostic imaging by investing in the operation of a new MRI machine at Niagara Health.

“As a local MPP, access to quality healthcare has been one of my top priorities,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“The investment in operationalizing a new MRI machine for Niagara is a key part of our government’s plan to end hallway healthcare, cut hospital wait times and build a better, more connected health care system that puts patients and their families first.” Continue reading

Ford Government is “Building Ontario” by Pushing Forward with Controversial  Highway 413

Government says New 400 series highway will relieve gridlock, create jobs, improve movement of goods, and save drivers commuting time

“This project is a key part of our plan that’s building Ontario.” – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A News Release from Ontario’s Ford Government
Posted November 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is highway happy. Let’s just go on building more and more highways through the province’s greenbelts. That ought to trigger more urban sprawl.

The Ontario government is moving forward with building Highway 413, a new 400-series highway and transit corridor across Halton, Peel and York regions.
The highway will bring relief to the most congested corridor in North America and play a vital role in the province’s plan for economic recovery, growth, and job creation.
“With Halton, Peel and York regions all set to grow at incredible speed, our government is saying yes to building the roads and highways that will keep these communities moving,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Highway 413 will create thousands of jobs while saving commuters hours of gridlock every day. This project is a key part of our plan that’s building Ontario.”

Continue reading

With Our Future Survival on this Planet at the Tipping Point, Ford’s Assault on the Environment Continues

Doug Ford’s vision for Ontario’s future

“Just days after (his Minister of Environment), returned from COP26 (the global climate change summit taking place in Glasgow, Scotland), (Ontario Premier Doug) Ford presented a plan to build more highways in Ontario, which will put more cars on the road and drive up emissions.”                             – Green Party of Ontario

News from Ontario’s Green Party

Posted November 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Climate emergency? What climate emergency? Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservatives show little or no sign that they are concerned

Last week (during the first week of November), Ontario Greens presented their plan for climate action to the world, at COP26 in Glasgow.

Deputy Leader Dianne Saxe joined Kitchener Centre Green MP Mike Morris for a talk about _Roadmap to Net-Zero: The Ontario Greens’ Climate Plan. and why it is critically important that we reduce carbon emissions now.

BUT DOUG FORD’S GOVERNMENT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION.

Just days after (Ontario) Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, David Piccini, returned from COP26, Ford presented a plan to build more highways in Ontario, which will put more cars on the road and drive up emissions.

                        Tell Ford we need climate action now

Saxe told COP26 attendees that if we don’t get serious about climate, the science says we’ll be facing more chaos, bigger challenges and much more suffering in the future.

Ontario Greens are working hard to create workable solutions to the biggest problem of our lifetime, but instead of taking it seriously, Ford wants to line the pockets of his developer friends.

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO STOP FORD’S ENVIRONMENTAL ASSAULT.

Hundreds of protesters rallied at Queen’s Park on the weekend. Just like you, they’re concerned that Ontario isn’t doing enough to combat climate change. To get Ford to take action, we need to make our voices heard.

Join us in telling Ford to take action and make a plan now to reduce emissions in Ontario, before it’s too late.

  • Green Party of Ontario

To watch Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s announcement this November 8th to construct even more highway lanes in the province to accommodate ever more low-density sprawl in the countryside, click on the screen immediately below –

A Footnote from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – Here is one last thought on all of this from one of the 20th centuries great thinkers, the late Lewis Mumford. I am sure that Doug Ford has never heard of him and may never understand what the quotation below means –

 

 

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 Citizens’ Call to Protect the Integrity of the Twelve Mile Creek Valley Ecosystem

A Commentary on Plans to Construct a Mountain Bike Racecourse for the 2022 Canada Summer Games in the Riverview ravine portion of the Twelve Mile Creek valley in       St. Catharines, Ontario

Commentary submitted to Niagara At Large by St. Catharines residents Helen Staal and Peter Ramm

Posted November 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Twelve Mile Creek, flowing through St. Catharines to Lake Ontario. It ‘s rich ecology has suffered many man-made assaults over the past 50 or more years. Do we really now need to cut a mountain bike race tracks through its wooded valleys?

(The following commentary was originally posted by Niagara At Large under an October 8th, 2021 piece we featured on this issue. NAL has decided to posted it again here as a stand-alone piece.)

We recently learned that the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) started a review of the 2022 Canada Summer Games mountain bike racecourse.

The NPCA stated that it was not previously aware of the construction of this course, that work had been done without a required permit, and that new trails had been cut in areas where there were no existing ones.

As local residents for almost 30 years, we are familiar with the area where this course is being built and with the environmental destruction that is occurring.

We have followed many of the online conversations from those who are opposed or in favour of the course. We would like to raise some information that is sometimes overlooked. Continue reading

Canada/US Border Communities Call for Scrapping Testing Requirement For Border Crossing

Test Targets Canadians and Americans that can least afford to travel

“Hockey stadiums are now open at 100 percent capacity but a fully vaccinated family of four faces an $800 testing bill just to drive over the border in their own car. This unscientific approach must end given that random testing over the past few months has demonstrated there is no risk to ending the pre-testing.”

A News Release from the Office of Buffalo, New York Area Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins, in concert with other officials form the United States and Canada

Posted November 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Peace Bridge crossing between Niagara, Ontario to Buffalo, New York. OThis November 8th, fully vaccinated Canadians can now cross after more than a year and a half of so-called “non-essential travelers being banned from crossing. But how many will, if they have to pay up to $300 for a COVID test?

OTTAWA, Ontario  – Today (this November 8th) , in a virtual press conference, four border city mayors – three Canadian and one American – along with New York District 26 Congressman Brian Higgins, and two voices of border businesses, celebrate the US opening of the land border, but call on the Canadian federal government to drop the unnecessary PCR test requirement for travellers crossing into Canada.

The border closure order was originally enacted 20 months ago and border communities, border residents and border businesses have paid the heavyiest price. With the border reopening, the border community leaders spoke passionately about the need to return to normal and the need to eliminate Canadian PCR tests that are unfair, expensive and not justified by science. Continue reading

Buffalo, New York Area Officials Welcome Canadians Back

Elected Officials and Economic Development Agencies Welcome Canadians Back to Buffalo Offering a Warm Welcome to Friends, Colleagues and Customers as Border Reopens this November 8th

A News Release from the Office of Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted November 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

“Buffalo Loves Canada”

Buffalo, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were joined by Patrick Kaler of Visit Buffalo Niagara, Tom Kucharski of Invest Buffalo Niagara and Mary Roberts of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House in welcoming Canadians back to Western New York as the border reopened to land travel after being closed for nearly twenty months.

Holding a “Buffalo Loves Canada”, from left to right are, Erie County Executtive Mark Poloncarz, Tom Kucharski, President of Invest Buffalo Niagara, Congressman Brian Higgins, Patrick Kaler, President of Visit Buffalo Niagara, and Mary Robert’s, Executive Director of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House

 

 

 

 

The event, held in the Greatbatch Pavilion on the Martin House estate, commemorated the long-awaited resumption of bi-national travel and commerce that officials had advocated on behalf for months.

“The interconnected relationship between Western New York and our Canadian neighbors cannot be overstated,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. Continue reading

Canada’s Prime Minister Pays Tribute to Civil Rights Icon Viola Desmond

A Statement by the Prime Minister on the 75th anniversary of Viola Desmond challenging racial segregation and discrimination

Posted November 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this November 8th) issued the following statement on the 75th anniversary of Viola Desmond challenging racial segregation and discrimination:

“On this day in 1946, Viola Desmond, a successful Black Canadian businesswoman, refused to leave the segregated whites‑only section of the Roseland Theatre in  New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Ms. Desmond simply wanted to watch a movie that day, and to do so in dignity. Instead, she was forcibly removed from the theatre, then jailed, convicted, and fined. Continue reading

Ontario Snoozes As The World Works To Address Climate Change

To Ontario Energy Minister Smith: It’s time to take climate change seriously and to give the IESO a firm deadline for ending gas power.

A Call-Out from the Ontario Clean Air Coalition a province-wide citizens group advocating for cleaner energy

Posted November 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

With climate change alarms screaming and  world leaders meeting in Glasgow in what may be our final chance to take  real action to avoid the  worst impacts of climate heating, Ontario Energy Minister Todd Smith decided to roll over and hit the snooze button on phasing out gas in the Ontario electricity system. 

In remarks to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the minister repeated some of most  over-the-top assertions from the IESO’s recent report on the feasibility of  phasing out gas in defence of not setting any sort of deadline for ending burning fossil fuels to produce electricity in Ontario.

In fact, the Minister said a gas phase-out would “paralyze” efforts to electrify our economy, seeming not to understand that the IESO’s plan to  ramp up gas use by 300-500% will hugely undermine the value of efforts to electrify homes, buildings and transportation. Continue reading

A Voice from Mesozoic Times Urges Us Not to Choose Extinction

A Brief One from Doug Draper at NAL

Posted November 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

As the first full week of the global COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland draws to a close, I want to bring back a new friend I discovered – I call him DINO the dinosaur of Flintstone fame –  to tell us something we all need to hear.

To listen to what Dino has to say, courtesy of a brief film produced by the United Nations, click on the screen immediately below –

PLEASE TAKE HEED. We are rapidly running out of time to take the action needed to save ourselves.

  • 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

Ford’s “Building Ontario” Plan Is Just More Pavement

“Paving over more wetlands and farmland to supercharge urban sprawl will only make the climate and housing crisis worse.”

A Message from Ontario’s Green Party

Posted  November 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ford says he’s “building Ontario,” but his plan paves over what makes our province special

This week’s Fall Economic Statement (tabled by the Ford government this November 4th) features more of the anti-climate, anti-affordability policy we’ve come to expect from the Ford government; an announcement that was as much a rally cry against the environment, as an economic statement.

Instead of giving Ontarians the climate action and affordable housing we so desperately need, Ford fully committed to funding Highway 413 and the Holland Marsh Highway (Bradford Bypass). Continue reading

St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens Pays Tribute to Canada’s Veterans

NDP Critic for Veterans, Legions and Military Affairs Jennie Stevens delivers Remembrance Day Statement on behalf of the Official Opposition

“It is an important pledge, and honourable pledge, to match the words of honouring our veterans, our military, our front line with acts that ensure they are better taken care of. We owe so many generations the promise of health care when they need it, shelter to avoid homelessness and a system of long-term care that honours the aging process with dignity.”   – Jennie Stevens, NDP MPP for Riding of St. Catharines, Ontario

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

Posted November 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario Official Opposition NDP Critic for Veterans, Legions and Military Affairs, Jennie Stevens, led her caucus (this November 4th)  to mark Remembrance Day at the Ontario Legislature, honouring veterans and reminding that recognition needs to include action:

“Today we honour the many Canadians who have fought for our country, serving overseas or closer to home….

We remember the women and men, families, and communities that were forever changed by the First and Second World Wars. And we acknowledge the bravery, sacrifice and heart of all who served our nation during all other wars, conflicts, peacekeeping and even within our borders against COVID-19. We must never take for granted the immeasurable sacrifice they made to serve our country, and never forget the tragedy of each lost life. Continue reading

Ford’s Fall Economic Statement is Road Map for More Highways & Sprawl

A Statement from Environmental Defence’s Programs Director, Keith Brooks, on Ontario’s Fall Economic Statement

Posted November 4th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – While the world is talking about “building back better” from the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario seems committed to building more highways and sprawling car-dependent communities, and creating a lot more pollution.

The fall economic statement commits $ 2.6 billion for highways and bridges, and specifically mentions the Bradford Bypass and Highway 413, though the full costs of these projects have still not been made public. It looks as though the government is trying to downplay those costs. Continue reading

Ontario NDP/Liberal Leaders Say Ford’s 2021 Economic Statement Fails to Address Needs of Province’s People

News Releases from the Ontario NDP Official Opposition Party and the Ontario Liberal Party

Posted November 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ford’s budget update has none of what Ontarians need now –  NDP

Horwath says she’ll never stop fighting for investments in people

“In a province where Mr. Ford’s buddies get whatever they want, Ontarians are getting none of what they need and deserve.”          – Ontario NDP Leader  Horwath.

Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath condemned Doug Ford’s budget update for including none of what people need now, and promised she’ll never stop  fighting for investments in people.

“It’s getting harder and harder for Ontarians to afford the life they’re working hard for as skyrocketing prices squeeze their budgets,” said Horwath.

“The cost of child care, auto insurance, gas, and groceries are rising, and pay cheques aren’t. And it was already getting tougher for everyday folks to get the health care they need, and to get their kids the education they deserve. Continue reading

Ford Government Releases ‘BUILD ONTARIO’ 2021 Fall Economic Statement


News from the Ontario Conservative Government of Doug Ford

Posted November 4th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford. file photo

TORONTO — Today (this November 4th), Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy released the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario.

The plan lays out how the government will build the foundation for Ontario’s recovery and prosperity by getting shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure, attracting increased investment, and restoring leadership in auto manufacturing and other industries.

The plan also protects Ontario’s progress against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we continue to protect the hard-won progress against the pandemic, our government is looking forward with our plan to build a better and brighter future for families, workers and businesses in Ontario,” said Minister Bethlenfalvy. Continue reading

NCPA’s 2022 Grant Program Aims at Improving Water Quality in Wildlife Habitat in Niagara

Restoration & Water Well Decommissioning Cost-Sharing Grant Programs Aim To Improve Water Quality

News from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted November 4th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is seeking applications for its Restoration and Water Well Decommissioning grant programs for projects in 2022.

Selected projects will help improve water quality and wildlife habitat as part of ongoing efforts to restore and preserve the Niagara Peninsula watershed’s natural heritage and water resources.

“The Restoration Grant Program is one of several ways the NPCA works to improve the health of the Niagara Peninsula watershed’s natural features, as research has shown it is highly degraded,” says Geoff Verkade, Senior Manager of Integrated Watershed Planning and Information Management at NPCA. Continue reading

Ontario Opposition Leader Slams Ford’s Refusal To Mandate Vaccines For Health Workers

A Statement from Ontario Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted November 3rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

This is outrageous. At this point in a pandemic that has killed more people in a year and a half across Canada and the United States than we lost soldiers in the First and Second World Wars, any health care worker in Ontario who still refuses to get vaccinated for the good of the patients they are sworn to serve SHOULD BE FIRED!

Shame on the Ford government for not not showing enough care for the health and safety of the rest of us to do it.

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement in response to the Ford government’s refusal to mandate vaccines for health workers: Continue reading

Ontario Government to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

Government working for workers by enhancing wages and take-home pay

News from the Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Posted November 2nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

TORONTO — As part of the 2021 Fall Economic Statement, the Ontario government will introduce legislation that, if passed, would raise the general minimum wage from $14.35 to $15.00 per hour effective January 1, 2022.

Under the proposed changes, the special minimum wage rate for liquor servers would be eliminated and they would be entitled to the general minimum wage. Students under 18, homeworkers and hunting, fishing and wilderness guides would also see an increase in their special minimum wage rates.

Details were shared today by Premier Doug Ford, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. Continue reading

Canada’s New Environment Minister Seem to Have Made All the Right Enemies

If Climate Laggards Like Canada’s Conservatives and Alberta’s Tar Sands Premier Jason Kenney Don’t Like Steven Guilbeault, Maybe He’s the Right Person for the Job

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

Posted November 2nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The late Mel Swart, a long-time NDP MPP for Niagara and a champion for working people, made all the right enemies.

When Mel Swart – a true champion for social justice and one of Niagara’s most progressive politicians, serving as an NDP member in the provincial legislature – passed away in 2007, some of his political colleagues and friends, including then Niagara Centre NDP MPP Peter Kormos and then St. Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley (now Niagara’s Regional Chair) eulogized him by saying he made all the right enemies.

And Mel Swart certainly did that.

Mel Swart found himself facing opposition from almost every individual or organization working to defend a status quo that favoured the rich and privileged or that exploited people, communities and our natural heritage for short-term gain.

And what made Mel Swart such a bonafide working-class hero is that he never let the opposition stop him. If anything, he wore it as a badge of honour.

That brings me to the subject of Quebec Liberal MP Steven Guilbeault and his recent appoint as the Canada’s new Minister of Environment and Climate Change in the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau. Continue reading

A Passionate Plea to Us from One of the World’s Great People – Sir David Attenborough – to Do Whatever is Necessary Now to Save Ourselves

Posted this November 1st, 2021 by Doug Draper on Niagara At Large

One of the world’s most dedicated environmentalists and making of films about our atural world, Sir David  Attenborough, said everything that needs to be said about the climate emergency rocking our planet today this November 1st 2021 at the global climate summit (COP26) now underway in Glasgow, Scotland.

I urge you to please listen to his address by clicking on the screen immediately below –

 

Saving natural areas like Waverly Woods in Fort Erie from urban sprawl should be a priority in any climate action plan for our Niagara region. It is time to tell the rogues and bottom feeders in the development industry that enough is enough.

Now do what you can to contact our municipal representatives in Niagara, Ontario and our provincial and federal representatives and urge them to do whatever is necessary to prevent any further paving over of what is left of our wetlands and woodlands and other natural heritage places in this region.

These green places, scientists around the world will tell you, play a vital role in absorbing the excessive carbon that is wreaking havoc on the climate and of cushioning us in so many other ways from damaging weather conditions.

  • 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

Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Urges Canada to Drop COVID Test as Requirement for Fully Vaccinated People to Cross Border Bridges

Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

“The cost to being tested varies depending on location and federal, state, provincial, and local policies – in some cases, the tests required to gain entry to Canada can cost over $300 CAD with no guarantee of appointment availability. … The expectation that fully vaccinated Canadians and Americans will be able to afford multiple tests … for the indefinite future to go about their business ignores the economic reality and is financially unsustainable for working families.”                                    – Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins, in his letter to Canada’s Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman

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

Posted November 1st. 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Peace Bridge crossing between Niagara, Ontario to Buffalo, New York. On November 8th, fully vaccinated Canadians will be able to cross after more than a year and a half of so-called “non-essential travellers being banned from crossing. But how many will, if they have to pay up to $300 for a COVID test?

In Letter to Ambassador, Congressman Higgins Asks Canada to Consider Dropping COVID Testing Requirement for Travelers Crossing the Northern Border

Higgins Says Testing for the Vaccinated is Redundant & Impedes Binational Economic Recovery

As the United States prepares to welcome Canadian neighbors back across the border on November 8, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is urging the government of Canada to drop its COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers crossing the Northern Border. Continue reading

Hail, Hail, Carole King – One of the All-Time-Great Singer/Songwriters of Our Time

The Queen of the Great Album ‘Tapestry’ Once Again Gets Her Just Due

A Brief Tribute (I Just Can’t Help Myself When It Comes to this Great Human Being) from Doug Draper

Posted November 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Carole King’s Tapestry, one of the biggest selling albums of all time, celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year.

This past Saturday, October 30th, Carole King, one of the greatest singer-song writers of the past 50 or more years, received yet another just reward with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a performer.

She has previously been inducted in the same Hall of Fame, based in Cleveland, for her songwriting power, along with her late husband, Gerry Goffin, for countless classics that have been covered by every artist from The Beatles to you name the individual artist or group.

This latest award was great to see for her talent as an on-stage performer.

Here she is in what , in my opinion, is one of her hottest live performances, doing a song she and her husband originally wrote for a popular girl group from the early 1960s called The Chiffons. Click on the screen below to hear it and check out what a totally hot piano player she is while you are at it –

In Case you don’t know, Carole King as consistently been a strong voice over many years for environmental protection and for other issues around making life better for people and other species on this planet.
She is one of the very good ones – Doug Draper, NAL
For more on Carole King, click on the following links – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/02/24/celebrating-50-earth-moving-years-of-tapestry/

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

“We Urge You to Face Up To The Climate Emergency. Not Next Year. Not Next Month. Now!”

An Open Letter to World Leaders from Young Climate Activist Greta Thunberg and Three Activist Friends

Niagara At Large Urges You to Please Read This and Consider Signing Your Name to Their Appeal for Action

Posted November 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

“Betrayal.”

That’s how young people around the world are describing our governments’ failure to cut carbon emissions. And it’s no surprise.

We are catastrophically far from the crucial goal of 1.5°C, and yet governments everywhere are still accelerating the crisis, spending billions on fossil fuels.

This is not a drill. It’s code red for the Earth. Millions will suffer as our planet is devastated — a terrifying future that will be created, or avoided, by the decisions you make. You have the power to decide.

As citizens across the planet, we urge you to face up to the climate emergency. Not next year. Not next month. Now:

Continue reading

This Halloween, A Looming Climate Meltdown Haunts Us

Scientists Warn We Are Right On The Edge. Will The World Act Before It Is Too Late?

Posted October 31st. 2021 on Niagara At Large

We cannot afford to have climate laggards holding federal, provincial and municipal office. In every election from here on it, vote for real climate action.

In Niagara, contact your mayor and your regional councillors as soon as possible and urge them to vote for Option 3C – the strongest option now under review by our Niagara Regional Council for protecting what is left of the woodlands, wetlands and other natural places we have in Niagara to help in the fight against climate change.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

For more information on the need for Option 3C to protect and preserve Niagara’s Natural Heritage system and contact information for your members of Regional Council, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/05/07/niagaras-regional-council-on-cusp-of-deciding-the-fate-of-our-natural-heritage-for-generations-to-come/ .

This image courtesy of  Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, a large coalition of concerned citizen groups and conservation-minded individuals across the Niagara region.

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 Message to Humans – ‘Don’t Choose Extinction. Save Your Species Before It’s Too Late’

“Going Extinct is a Bad Thing.”

This Message is from a Dinosaur, through an Ad produced and circulated world-wide by the United Nations

Posted October 29th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at NAL –

This dinosaur has a critical message for all of us.

It is as apparent to me as it may be to you that after more than a year and a half of this pandemic, there is a good deal of fatigue out there.

You can see and hear it in the faces and voices of people you encounter in a grocery store or the few other places you go. And I feel the fatigue too, especially when it comes to all of the COVID-19 related news and all of the politics around it. It sometimes is all that one can do to keep from turning all of this news off and leaving it off.

One thing we dare not tune out though is the global climate emergency that is unfolding all around us –right now.

As countless numbers of scientists around the world are now warning us, we are on the verge of crossing the point of no return and for our sake and the sake of generations to come, we must build up all the will we have left to take action.

On the verge of a global conference on climate this November in Glasgow, Scotland, the United Nations produced the following ad which is already going viral around the world and which I will leave you with at the end of another week where we have been battered with so much COVID-19 and, in Ontario, pre-election related B.S. from politicians.

I urge you to watch the U.N ad by clicking on the screen immediately below –

A QUICK UPDATE FROM NIAGARA AT LARGE – To watch an unedited version we found of of the dinosaur delivering his message,  click on the screen below –

 

To read about the United Nation’s ‘Code Red’ report on the climate crisis, released this past August, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/08/09/united-nations-sends-a-code-red-warning-to-the-world-on-climate-crisis/ 

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 Government Introducing  What It Bills as “New Legislation to Fix Long-Term Care”

New measures would help ensure residents get the care they deserve

A News Release from Ontario’s Ford Government with Critical Replies from the province’s NDP Official Opposition Party and the Ontario Health Coalition

Posted October 28th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — The Ontario government is introducing legislation that would improve the well-being of residents in long-term care and retirement homes, and ensure they get the care they deserve.

If passed, the Providing More Care, Protecting Seniors, and Building More Beds Act, 2021 would repeal the current Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and create the Fixing Long-Term Care Act, 2021. The Bill also includes proposed amendments to the Retirement Homes Act, 2010.

“Ontario has listened to the advice of the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission and the Auditor General — as well as residents, their families, the public and those working in the sector,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care. “After decades of neglect and underfunding by previous governments, we are fixing long-term care. Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS – Ontario Accepting Proposals to Build the New South Niagara Hospital

New Hospital Will Improve Access to High-Quality Health Care in the Niagara Region

“This is great news for South Niagara. With this new build, and the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital rebuild in West Niagara, the Niagara Region will have a significant number of brand-new health care facilities, which will ensure patients and their families receive the best possible care.”                                                        – Sam Oosterhoff, Ford Government MPP for Niagara West

News from the Government of Ontario

Posted October 28th, 2021

The long-standing billboard sign off the QEW at the southwest corner of Niagara Falls where the so-called “South Niagara” hospital will go.

NIAGARA FALLS — The Ontario government is continuing to support the development of a new state-of-the-art hospital for patients and families in the Niagara region as part of its comprehensive plan to end hallway health care and protecting our progress by building a better connected health care system for all Ontarians.

Once complete, the new hospital will add more hospital beds and bring together acute care services, improving access to high-quality health care and making it easier for patients to receive the care they need closer to home.

, Ontario Premier Doug Ford greenlights moving ahead with “South Niagara” hospital build

“It is this government’s mission to fortify hospital capacity and ensure that Ontarians can receive world class health care, wherever they live in the Province,” said Premier Doug Ford.

“This new hospital gets us closer to providing the people of the Niagara region with direct access to the quality of health care they deserve and a hospital that will fit the needs of its growing population.”

With the Ontario government’s support, Infrastructure Ontario and Niagara Health have invited teams to respond to a request for proposals to design, build, finance and maintain the new South Niagara Hospital. This initiative is in alignment with our government’s largest infrastructure investment in schools, hospitals, public transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history. Continue reading

Ontario’s Endangered Black Ash Trees Need Immediate Attention

No time for delay amid  mass extinction

‘Ford’s Ontario government is now proposing to further delay protections for another two years. During this time, activities harmful to the species and its habitat would be allowed to occur, without legal repercussions.’

A Call-Out to All of Us from Ontario Nature, a province-wide public advocacy group for our natural heritage

Posted October 28th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A call to save Ontario’s endangerd black ash trees before it is too late.

A year ago, in October 2020, the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO) determined that black ash was endangered in Ontario.

Yet the species and its habitat are not yet protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act (ESA). Worse, the provincial government is now proposing to further delay protections for another two years. During this time, activities harmful to the species and its habitat would be allowed to occur, without legal repercussions.

Contrary to the claims of the (Ontario) Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) the delay is not needed to gather more information about threats to the species. In fact, these threats are already well understood and documented by scientific bodies such as COSSARO and the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Continue reading

Canadian-Born Pioneer of Modern-Day Political Comedy Dies

Mort Sahl Dies at Age 94

“Are there any groups I haven’t offended?” … If you were the only person left on the planet, I would have to attack you. That’s my job.”                                                                                                                            – Mort Sahl, whose number-one target was always hypocracy

A Brief Tribute from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted October 28th, 2021.

Mort Sahl, as many with roots going back to the 1960s, remember him.

If you are under the age of 50, there is a good chance that you don’t even know Mort Sahl because he came of age as a stand-up comedian during the dark years of black-listing and the War in Vietnam in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Yet every comedian from Lenny Bruce and George Carlin to Bill Maher and countless cast members on Saturday Night Lived, who have dared to wade into the treacherous waters of political humor, owe a great deal to Mort Sahl, who was born in Montreal in 1927 and spent his adult life living and working in the United States, where he died this October 26th.

“Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions,” he once said, and “conservatives feel they deserve everything they’ve stolen.” It is an observation that may be more relevant today than when Mort Sahl first shared it all those years ago.

To get just a little taste of Mort Sahl, on the Smothers Brothers TV show in the late 1960s, click on the screen below –

To read an obituary Rolling Stone magazine has posted on Mort Sahl, click on – https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-news/mort-sahl-dead-obit-1248681/

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

Enough is Enough: A Key Year Ahead in Protecting Ontario’s Environment

An Ontario: Yours to Protect Community Webinar. Hosted by Environmental Defence Canada – This Thursday. October 28th at 6:30 P.M.

 

 

A Call-Out from Environmental Defence Canada to All of Us to Join the Webinar Conservation

Posted October 27th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

On Thursday, October 28th at 6.30pm, Environmental Defence will host a special online evening with David Crombie, former Mayor of Toronto and ex-chair of the Greenbelt Council, and Loreena McKennitt, singer-songwriter and environmentalist, to talk about how we can stand together to protect our province’s future – before it’s too late. Continue reading

The Climate Crisis Won’t Wait. Call On All Federal Parties To Cooperate On Climate Action

For More Information on Signing a Letter to Canada’s Federal Leaders, Please Keep Reading this Post

An Urgent Message from the David Suzuki Foundation, a Canada-based advocacy group for our planet

Posted October 26th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper – This message from Canada’s time-honoured Suzuki Foundation comes just days ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26 and as the Glasgow Conference, where world leaders, including Canada’s Prime Minister and U.S. President Joe Biden, gather together for what may be one last chance to collectively sign on to a bold action plan before it is too late.)

Now here is the Message from the David Suzuki Foundation –

A majority of Canadians voted for climate action in this federal election. We now have another minority government that must work across party lines to address this emergency.  

Top climate scientists issued a “code red for humanity” recently,  warning that this is our last chance to implement the transformational changes necessary to keep warming below 1.5 C and avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate chaos.   Continue reading

Niagara, Ontario’s Hospital System to Require Mandatory Vaccination for all Staff and Physicians

‘At a later date, Niagara Health will also be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for visitors.’

Niagara Heath’s mega-hospital site in west St. Catharines

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

Posted October 26th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Effective January 27, 2022, all of our staff and physicians will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to work at Niagara Health, with very few exceptions.

“Mandating full vaccination is in the best interest of our hospital and community,” says Lynn Guerriero, President and CEO at Niagara Health. Continue reading

Canada’s Prime Minister Announces New Cabinet

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“Canadians need a strong and diverse Cabinet to deliver on their priorities and keep Canada moving forward for everyone. This team will finish the fight against COVID‑19, deliver on $10-a-day child care, help Canadians find a home of their own, tackle the climate crisis, and continue to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Together, we will work tirelessly to build a better future for all Canadians.”     – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

News from the Office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Posted October 26th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this October 26th , 2021)  announced the members of Cabinet following this fall’s election, when Canadians chose to keep Canada moving forward. Continue reading

Ontario Government Creating a Better Future for Workers

Province to Introduce Legislation to Help Make Ontario the Best Place to Work, Live and Raise a Family

Need a hike in the minimum wage in Ontario? Here’s an extra ten cents an hour.

“This proposed legislation would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in Canada to make it easier for people to relax and spend quality time with their loved ones. By requiring employers with 25 employees or more to develop disconnecting from work policies, Ontario is prioritizing workers’ mental health and family time.”                                                          – Monte McNaughton, Ontario Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development

News from Ontario’s Ford Government

Posted October 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note  from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – Excuse me, but is Monte McNaughton the same Ontario Ford government cabinet minister who, just four weeks ago, had the nerve to slap workers in this province across the face with a ten-cents-per-hour increase in the minimum wage?

All at a time when the wage gap between the upper 10 per cent and most of the rest of us continues widening and the cost of living, including the cost of securing an affordable apartment or home, continues spinning out of control.

It sounds nice that the Ford government now wants to give workers employed by businesses with 25 employees or more a break from being exploited during their off hours via a computer device. And how come I can already see businesses finding clever loopholes or, if they happen to have, as an example, 28 or 32 employees, laying a number of workers off so they are below the 25-employee threshold and, therefore, can go back to exploiting their workers 24/7.

But then maybe this is just me being a little too negative. What do you think?)

Now here is the News Release from the Ontario government –

TORONTO — The Ontario government is introducing legislation today that, if passed, would better protect, support, and attract workers to the province. Continue reading

We Humans – If We Choose To – Can Be Heroes for Fellow Critters on this Planet

Here is a Short Story that May Restore Some Hope for Humanity

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper, followed by a Good Story

Posted Monday, October 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Okay, so they are no way as cute as a puppy or kitten, but looks aren’t everything

I thought it might be nice to begin the week with a little good news for a change.

Last week I began with a commentary about one of the latest lists of species that have gone extinct, often due to human activities that despoil or destroy the environments they need to survive.

This time I would like to share a short story I received from an old friend in Massachusetts on her Facebook page about people coming to the rescue of a desperately injured Opossum found fighting for its live.

As I said in a note to my friend, this is the kind of story that helps restore some of your hope for humanity.

Here is the story about the rescue of that opossum –

The rescued opossum on the mend

“He (the opossum) had been attacked by another animal and managed to escape. He sustained injuries to his face and right eye. Continue reading

Bad News Aside, Harriet Tubman Still Brings Out Much Good In People

You Can Help Replace Harriet Tubman Statue at Historic Salem Chapel in St. Catharines

The bust of Harriet Tubman was pulled of its pedestal at the Salem, Chapel British Methodist Episcopal Church this past Thanksgiving weekend. The bust was  damaged beyond repair.

A Brief Comment by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by a Call to All of Us to Help Replace Vandalized Bust of Iconic Civil Rights Activist Harriet Tubman at Historic British Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Catharines/Niagara, Ontario

Posted October 23rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

By Doug Draper, NAL

The news earlier this month that one or more people went on to a historic Afro-Canadian church in Niagara and smashed a bust of the legendary Harriett Tubman was as depressing for me as it was for so many of you who embrace the idea of an inclusive, peace-loving Niagara.

When an act of vandalism like that occurs, I don’t think it is that out of the way to wonder what kind of community or society we live in. After all, we know there are people out there who’s hearts have been poisoned with rage and intolerance toward others. Continue reading

Ford Releases Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term

Ontario Government unveils gradual, cautious approach to manage COVID-19 now and moving forward

“Thanks to our cautious and careful approach to re-opening, we are now in position to gradually lift all remaining public health measures over the coming months.”                                                                                   – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

News from the Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Posted October 22nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword Note from Doug Draper at NAL –

Call me someone who has grown a bit too cautious during this COVID-19 nightmare, or call me suspicious.

But almost every time a Premier in Canada or Governor in the United States has made moves to phase out health protection measures and move to open everything up, people have ended up paying for it with more sickness and more damage to local economies and communities. Continue reading

Niagara Region’s Council Docks Bylsma Week’s Pay for “Alarmingly Invasive” Conduct

West Lincoln Mayor & Regional Councillor David Bylsma Calls Integrity Commissioner Ruling Against Him “Biased” and “Flawed”

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

Posted October 22nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

West Lincoln Mayor and Niagara Regional Councillor Dave Bylsma pays a bit of a price for using social media to ask about the status of a young woman’s menstrual cycle in the wake of her taking the COVID vaccine

Following through on Niagara Region’s interim integrity commissioner Michael Maynard’s recent report, recommending that David Bylsma be docked seven days of the pay he gets for serving on the council for using social media earlier this year to ask a young woman in the region if taking the COVID vaccine has interfered in some way with her menstrual cycle seems like a no brainer.

So that is exactly what the Region’s council voted to do this October 21st when the recommendation was placed on the table.

For his party, Bylsma argued that at the time he used Facebook to make the inquiry to Niagara resident Emily Spanton about the status of her menstrual cycle in the wake of taking the vaccine there was all kinds of information circulating around on Facebook and other venues about negative impacts the vaccine might be having on a woman’s reproductive system. Continue reading

Niagara Region’s Move to Drive More of Us to Recycle Reaps Dividends for Environment

Organics and recycling up one year after change to every-other-week curbside collection

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

“We are making our communities a better place for today and for future generations by using our Green Bins, recycling properly and minimizing the amount of garbage we put at the curb.

Thank you to everyone for doing their part and let’s keep improving our use of the Green Bin and Blue and Grey Box.”                                         – Jim Bradley, Niagara Regional Chair

News from Niagara, Ontario’s Regional Government, with a Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted October 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

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

File Photo

One year after Niagara’s Regional Government reduced the amount of garbage a householder could leave at curbside to one container every other week, the move is already working green magic

During a media event at Niagara Region’s Glenridge Naturalization Site this October 21st  –  called to celebrate the first anniversary of every-other-week garbage collection – Niagara’s Regional Chair Jim Bradley and other regional representatives announced double-digit increases in the volumes of waste residents are now putting in their green compost bins and recycling boxes.

It has been enough to divert or  reduce  the amount of waste going to landfill sites, or what we once called garbage dumps, just as significantly. Continue reading

Canada Announces Standardized COVID-19 Proof Of Vaccination For Travel

“We are working to ensure that those who travel have access to a reliable, secure way to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccinations, both at home and abroad.”                                                                             – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

News from the Office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Posted October 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Vaccination is the best way to keep Canadians safe and healthy, get back to enjoying the things we love, and prevent future lockdowns. As new travel requirements roll out in Canada and around the world, the Government of Canada has been working closely with provinces and territories on a standardized proof of vaccination that facilitates international and domestic travel.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this October 21st, 2021)  announced that, in collaboration with provinces and territories, a standardized Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination is now available to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon, and will be available in the other provinces soon. Continue reading

Niagara Falls MPP Demands Action from Ford Government on Niagara MRI Crisis

“There are 5,000 Niagara residents today waiting for an MRI. These scans could be the difference of life or death and people are sitting at home in stress waiting 255 days to get scans they need.” – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Wayne Gates, NDP MPP for the Riding of Niagara Falls, Ontario

Posted October 21st. 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

QUEEN’S PARK –  MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) called on Doug Ford to immediately provide Niagara Health with the necessary operating funding to clear the growing MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) backlog during question period on Wednesday.

“Today in Niagara, only six per cent of Niagara residents have received their MRI within the provincial benchmark of 28 days, compared to 46 per cent of Ontario residents who have their scan within that time,” said Gates.

“The current wait time for an MRI in Niagara is 255 days, well above the provincial average of 141 days. Will you provide the necessary funding to ensure residents of Niagara have fair access to MRI scans – yes or no?” Continue reading

Hello West Lincoln – Come Next Year’s Municipal Elections, Do Niagara a Favour and Fire David Bylsma!

In A Region Facing Enough Serous Challenges, David Bylsma and his Screwball Antics Pose a Distraction We Can’t Afford

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher              Doug Draper

Posted October 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

West Lincoln Mayor and Niagara Regional Councillor David Bylsma. His screwball antics are a waste of our time and money – especially at a time when Niagara has so many other more important challenges to address

Even as Niagara finds itself facing ballooning costs for policing and for hosting the 2022 Canada Summer Games, and a host of other issues around skyrocketing housing and rent prices, along with a serious shortage of affordable housing, not to mention an ongoing opioid epidemic, we have West Lincoln Mayor and Niagara Regional Councillor David Bylsma popping up again, just  in time for Halloween.

This time it is because of an October 8th report that has just surfaces from Niagara Region’s integrity commissioner, stating  the obvious about Bylsma’s  bone-headed move a few months back, to use social media to ask a young Niagara woman, Emily Spanton, he hardly knows, except that she is vaccinated for COVID-19,  if the vaccine was disrupting her menstrual cycle.

The Regional Government’s integrity commissioner, Michael Maynard, concluded that  Bylsma’s inquiry to the woman –apparently driven by unfounded conspiracy theories he  embraces about COVID vaccines– was “arguably insulting, “irresponsible,” and “alarmingly invasive.”

No kidding! Continue reading

St. Catharines NDP MPP Urges Ford To Save Seniors From Illegal Evictions

“The housing crisis is worsening all around Ontario under Doug Ford’s watch, and St. Catharines seniors are being forced to bear the brunt of it.” – St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

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

Posted October 19th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharnes NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

ST. CATHARINES, Ontario – MPP Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) demanded action from Doug Ford in question period on Tuesday regarding the rise in illegal renovictions affecting seniors in several apartment buildings in St. Catharines. She released the following statement:

“Seniors in St. Catharines are being forced out of the homes they have lived in for decades because greedy speculators are buying up rental buildings and issuing mass eviction orders under the guise of needing people to move so they can renovate.

Many of these seniors have no internet access and are unsure about how to fight back against illegal renovictions at the Landlord and Tenant Board. They are being bullied by landlords who just want them gone. Continue reading

Federal and Provincial Governments Vowing to Improve Water Quality and Farming Practices Around Lake Erie

“The Great Lakes are vitally important to everyone in Ontario – from farmers to businesses and the millions of people who live in communities near these vast bodies of water.”

New Funding from Governments Said to Protect Great Lakes

Our Great Lakes from space

News from Canada’s Federal Government and Ontario’s Ford Government

Posted October 19th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $2.58 million to protect the province’s lakes and water sources by helping farmers implement sustainable farming practices that build more resilient farm operations.

Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the final Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS) initiative intake, will support on-farm projects that improve soil health and reduce the risk of nutrient losses on their farms while improving water quality in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watershed areas. Continue reading

Ever More Species On Our Planet Keep Going Extinct. How Much Do We Really Care?

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

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?”David Attenborough 

“Here we are, arguably the most intelligent being that ever walked planet Earth, with this extraordinary brain, yet we’re destroying the only home we have.”                                                 Jane Goodall

One of our world’s most iconic mammals – the polar bear – is among countless species struggling to survive in these times of climate crisis.

Posted October 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The US government is declaring the Bachman’s warbler and 22 more birds, fish and other species extinct

Late this past September, CBC broadcast news that should upset anyone concerned about the health of our planet.

The news was released by an American agency in a report that began like this – “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove 23 species from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to extinction. Based on rigorous reviews of the best available science for each of these species, the Service has determined these species are extinct, and thus no longer require listing under the ESA.” Continue reading

Ontario NDP Forces Vote To Stop Ford From Giving Licenses To Disastrous For-Profit Nursing Homes

“The Ford government is preparing to reward some of the for-profit companies with the worst performance records during the first and second waves of the pandemic with 30 year licences and millions of dollars in public funds.”

A News Release from the Office of Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted October 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK – On Monday (October 18th) , Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will force a vote on a motion to stop Doug Ford from giving new or renewed licences to the for-profit long-term care corporations that devastated seniors during the pandemic.

The Ford government is currently considering 30-year licence renewals for many for-profit homes, including Orchard Villa, where hundreds were infected and 70 people died in horrific conditions.

“During the pandemic, thousands of our precious parents and grandparents suffered through a humanitarian disaster. Nearly 4,000 of them died. Some literally died of neglect — hungry, thirsty and in pain. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the disaster lurking in long-term care. But the problems didn’t start or end with COVID-19,” said Horwath. Continue reading

At Long Last, Border Bridges Will Re-Open to Fully-Vaccinated Canadians on Monday, November 8th

By Doug Draper

Posted October 16th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

It has been 19 long months since Canada and the United States closed our border bridges to all but essential travel – the longest closure of the border to citizens of both countries in our lifetime.

For more than a year, bridges like this – the Rainbow Bridge between Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York – have been closed to most traffic. Now it looks like we are going to get going again.

And now the U.S. government has finally announced a date for allowing fully vaccinated Canadians to cross the Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and other land border crossings since they were closed in March of 2020.

That date is Monday, November 8th – more than three months after Canada opened the border to fully vaccinated Canadians this past August. Continue reading

Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre Condemns Vandalism of Harriet Tubman Statue

“This racist act of vandalism can strongly impact the mental health of many BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and other people of colour) people in our community.”

A Statement on the Desecration of the Harriet Tubman Statue  from the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre

Posted October 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The bust of Harriet Tubman was pulled of its pedestal at the Salem, Chapel British Methodist Episcopal Church this past Thanksgiving weekend. The bust may be damaged beyond repair.

The Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre is extremely disheartened by the act of vandalism that took place this weekend at the St. Catharines BME Church. The damage happened at about 9 p.m. Sunday when a man intentionally pushed the statue of Harriet Tubman off of it’s pedestal.

Not only is Harriet Tubman an important figure of St. Catharines heritage, but her legacy an important part of Canadian heritage and Black history. Harriet Tubman escaped slavery from Maryland in 1849 and helped others in their journey to freedom. Eleven of the freedom seekers were brought to St. Catharines in 1851 and joined what is now the BME church.

We strongly condemn this act of vandalism as the Harriet Tubman statue served as a way for people to commemorate and learn more about Black history in Niagara. The damage of the statue is a significant blow to the BME Church and to all those who have worked extremely hard and have been dedicated to celebrating Black History in St. Catharines.

Based on the October 14th statement from Global News & Niagara Regional Police,  the concrete chest of Harriet Tubman to be “intentionally damaged” originating from a person with no fixed address and the NRPS claims there was no reason that it appeared to be a hate related incident. Continue reading

Suspect in Smashing of Harriet Tubman Bust in Niagara has been Arrested and Charged

Now the same Historic Afro-Canadian Church – the Salem Chapel British Episcopal Church in St. Catharines – has been Assaulted Again

A Brief Update and Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted October 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Salem Chapel British Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Catharines/Niagara, one of the most historic churches of its kind in Canada.

If you have been following the disturbing story about a bust of the Underground Railroad icon Harriet Tubman virtually destroyed this past Thanksgiving weekend at  the historic Salem Chapel British Episcopal Church in St. Catharines, a suspect in that act has been arrested and charged.

Niagara At Large will post the Niagara Regional Police news release on the arrest below.

What is just as disturbing, there are reports that “two girls” were caught on video later this week going on the same church property and ripping away at a cherished berry tree near the spot where the Harriet Tubman bust was pulled of a pedestal. Continue reading

Niagara Seeks Business and Community Feedback For a New 10-Year Economic Development Strategy

“I encourage all Niagara businesses to engage with this process, and I look forward to working with all our local area municipalities as we chart Niagara’s path toward an economy that is healthy, sustainable and adaptable.”                                          ~ Jim Bradley, Niagara Regional Chair

News from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted October 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara businesses and community stakeholders are being asked to share their feedback to guide the region to long-term economic health and sustainability.

 From now until Nov. 12, businesses can take a short online survey <https://niagaracanada.com/about-us/strategic-plan/> to help inform the creation of Niagara’s new 10-year economic development strategy. Continue reading

Showing Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated Should Be Enough to Cross Canada/U.S. Border Bridges

Continuing to Also Require a COVID-19 Test – At a Cost of Up to $199 plus Tax Per Person – Will Likely Discourage Many from Crossing

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted October 14th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Earlier this week, news surfaced that after 19 months of being closed to so-called non-essential travellers, the U.S. Biden administration will open border bridges to Canadian visitors sometime this November.

The U.S. administration’s decision comes two months after Canada’s Liberal government opened the border bridges with two key conditions attached – first that any U.S. citizen entering Canada can show proof to border officers that they are fully vaccinated, and second, that they also provide a test showing that they are free of the virus.

The news from the Biden administration was joyously received by political leaders on the U.S. side, including Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins, who was lobbying for a re-opening for many months. Continue reading

What Is the Issue with Civil Rights Icon Harriet Tubman in St. Catharines?

“We feel awful … “It’s horrible. We no longer have a Harriet Tubman statue.” –  Rochelle Bush, historian, Salem Chapel British Episcopal Church in St. Catharines, Ontario, following the smashing of a bust of the civil rights icon by one or more perpetrators on the church’s property  

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

Posted October 14th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Nazi swastika sprayed on a sidewalk in front of Harriet Tubman Pubic School in 2018 where a statue of Tubman sits at the entrance to the school

It appears that at least a few people in St. Catharines, Ontario have anger management issues around the Iconic Underground Railroad emancipator and humanitarian Harriet Tubman.

Well, let’s hope it is just a few

Earlier on, in the winter of 2018, parents with children attending Harriet Tubman Public School in St. Catharines were greeted with a Nazi swastika – one of the world’s starkest symbols of white supremacy and racial hate – sprayed on a sidewalk outside the school where a beautiful state of Tubman is on display.

And this past Thanksgiving weekend, the latest reported act of desecration against this legendary African American who made St. Catharines her home for a time in the 1850s, occurred at the historic Salem Chapel British Episcopal Church located in the city’s downtown area, on Geneva Street. Continue reading

Students Urge Us To Sign Petition On District School Board of Niagara’s Sexual Assault and Harassment Policies

Niagara At Large is pleased to Post the Following Petition on behalf of Niagara secondary school students concerned about this issue

Posted October 14th, 2021

DSBN Sexual Assault and Harassment Policies

The Student-Launched Petition – “The DSBN (the District School Board of Niagara) has made it very clear that they refuse to hear our concerns and deny them despite the protests and real stories that students have shared regarding their experiences when coming forward about sexual assault and harassment in DSBN schools.

Niagara students at a recent walk-out over the sexual harassment issue.

“There is an inhumane lack of seriousness shown towards allegations within DSBN schools, and they will never be able to sit comfortably behind our silence again. Continue reading

Ontario Government Opening Temporary Road Test Centre in Niagara Falls

Province working to clear backlog of road tests due to COVID-19

News from Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation, with a response from Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted October 14th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

NIAGARA FALLS – The Ontario government is opening a temporary road test centre in Niagara Falls to increase testing capacity and help clear the backlog of road tests due to COVID-19.

“Opening a temporary road test centre in Niagara Falls will help increase testing capacity across the DriveTest network and help local residents book a G2 or G road test sooner,” said Sam Oosterhoff, Member of Provincial Parliament for Niagara West. “Our government has a strategic plan to reduce the backlog of novice road tests, and I am pleased that we are delivering additional testing for people in Niagara.” Continue reading

Canada/U.S. Border Will Reopen to Fully-Vaccinated Canadians This November

More Details On Date of Reopening And Rules For Crossing Coming Later Today. Stay Tuned.

A Statement  from the Office of Buffalo, New York Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted October 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

We will soon be back to scenes like this again at border crossings like the Peace Bridge connecting Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York

“At long last (19 months after the border crossings were closed to so-called “non-essential” travellers), there is action by the United States to open the doors and welcome back our Canadian neighbors.

“A robust cross-border exchange between the United States and Canada is fundamental to our binational relationship and mutually beneficial to our nations’ citizens, businesses and economies. Strong vaccination rates in Canada made the continued border shutdown absurd and unjustifiable. Continue reading

Could Our Buffalo, NY Neighbours Soon HaveTheir Very First Black Female, Democratic Socialist Mayor? Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker Michael Moore Sure Hopes So

A Commentary by Michael Moore, from his Facebook Page
Posted October 12th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Friends,

Buffalo, New York Mayoralty candidate India Walton. If she wins, she will be Buffalo’s first female mayor.

In June of this year, India Walton shocked the political world by defeating the four-term incumbent mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown, in the Democratic primary, setting the table for her to become the favorite to win the Mayoral race in November because it’s a heavily Democratic city.

She would be the first democratic socialist to be elected mayor of a major American city in more than half a century, and the first woman — and first Black woman — to lead New York’s second-largest city. India Walton is a registered nurse, a union member and organizer, a community activist, a single mother of 4 boys — and come November, we’ll start addressing her as “Mayor.” Continue reading

St. Catharines Regional Councillor & Niagara Parks Chair Sandie Bellows Dies Following Battle With Cancer

“Our thoughts are with Councillor Bellows’ friends and family as they mourn this significant loss.”                                                               – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley on Behalf of the Regional Council

This News filed with Statements from Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted October 12th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines Regional Councillor and Niagara Parks Commission Chair Sandie Bellows

Sandie Bellows, a St. Catharines resident who has served for years in municipal politics and for the last two years as the provincially appointed Chair of the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC), died this past Sunday, October 10th following a long battle with cancer.

Bellows, who was 60, was first elected to St. Catharines City Council in 2014, and made a successful run in the city for Niagara Regional Council in the fall of 2018.

In the spring of 2018, she ran as a provincial candidate for the Doug Ford Conservatives in a St. Catharines Riding held for decades by Liberal Jim Bradley. That race ended with both Bellows and Bradley conceding to now NDP MPP Jennie Stevens.

The following year – in early 2019 – the Ford government appointed Bellows to serve as Chair of the NPC. Continue reading

Political and Business Leaders on American Side Stress “Urgent Need” to Reopen U.S. Border to Canadians

With Existing Shutdown Extension Deadline Less Than Two Weeks Away Border Community Says Another Holiday Season Without Our Canadian Neighbors Would be Devastating

A News Release from the Office of Brian Higgins, U.S. Congressman for the Niagara Falls and Buffalo, New York area

Posted October 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins speaking on American shores of Niagara River about need to let Canadians cross border bridges again

Niagara Falls, New York – Business and community leaders in Niagara Falls, New York are calling on the United States government to reopen its land border to Canadians.

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino joined leaders and members of the Niagara USA Chamber to emphasize the devastating impact extended border restrictions are having on the City of Niagara Falls and communities across the greater Western New York region which typically see millions of people cross the Buffalo-Niagara land border annually.

The U.S. Travel Association reports the U.S. economy is losing $439 million a month as a result of the extended border shutdown.

In the City of Niagara Falls, sales tax revenue collected from local hotels, shops and restaurants decreased by 26% in 2020 compared to 2019 levels. Continue reading

Protect and Keep Niagara’s Twelve Mile Creek Ravines Alive. Stop its Destruction! 

“The Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games (CSG) is building a brand-new mountain bike racecourse, which is resulting in significant environmental destruction of the Twelve Mile Creek woodland and watershed. ….This new mountain bike racecourse and playground trails are being developed right now and built without any oversight of environmental authorities.”                                                                                                – Friends of Twelve Mile Creek

Twelve Mile Creek, flowing through St. Catharines to Lake Ontario. It ‘s rich ecology has suffered many man-made assaults over the past 50 or more years. Do we really now need to cut mountain bike race tracks through its wooded valleys?

A Message and a Petition for You to Consider Signing from Friends of Twelve Mile Creek, a citizens-based group in Niagara, Ontario

Posted October 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

The Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games (CSG) is building a brand-new mountain bike racecourse, which is resulting in significant environmental destruction of the Twelve Mile Creek woodland and watershed.

The contractor, the Niagara Trail Maintenance Association (NTMA), has been executing the CSG mission for this new mountain bike “racecourse” since the beginning of August 2021. This Twelve Mile Creek watershed of forest, natural vegetation, creeks, valleys, wetlands, steep hills, ridges, and wildlife habitats are being cut, removed, excavated, dug, disrupted, and permanently altered.   Continue reading