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Ford Government has Almost Halved its Share of Funding to Niagara’s Conservation Authority

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted April 17th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

At a meeting of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors this April 17th, Interim CAO for the NPCA, Gayle Wood, seated to the left of the board’s Vice Chair and Pelham Regional Councillor Diana Huson, talks to board about funding cut from the Ontario government.

On top of other deep cuts to Ontario’s environmental protection programs, the Ford government has also taken an axe to the funding the province transfers to Conservation Authorities for protecting people and their properties from climate-related hazards like flooding.

NPCA’s Interim CAO Gayle Wood

At a meeting of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors this April 17th, Gayle Wood, the NPCA’s Interim CAO, told board members that concerns that last April 11th’s provincial budget would mean significant cuts in funding from the province to Conservation Authorities across Ontario have been confirmed.

Wood said annual funds the province transfers to the NPCA will be cut from about $174,000 to $90,000 – almost half of the money the province gives to the Conservation Authority each year for core services like flood management.

The cut may not be much of a blow to the NPCA’s budget this year, she said, because some money is being saved “due to a number of (recent) staffing gaps,” but next year they could prove “extremely challenging.” Continue reading


Doug Ford’s “Open For Business” Balderdash

And What’s With Ford’s Incessant Use of this Totalitarian Trope “Government for the People”

Doug Ford unveiling another ‘Open for Business’ billboard at Ontario’s borders

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher  Doug Draper

Posted April 16th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Unless you have been living somewhere far away from the province over the past 10 months, it probably comes as as no news  to you that Doug Ford wants to make Ontario “Open for Business”.

That apparently means that Ontario’s premier and his self-described “Government for the People” are bent on making the province a more friendly place for private companies to do business in.

As of the release of his ‘Government for the People’s first budget this April 14th, Ford may want to amend that “open for business” call-out to say that Ontario is open for business just so long as your business is willing to stick whatever propaganda his government wants on or near a product you are selling, or face a steep fine!

A copy of one of the possible stickers the Ford government will force gas stations to display on their pumps.

As much as that is what you might expect from a government in a totalitarian state, Ford and his army of MPPs are now looking at making it mandatory for private companies that sell gasoline in their oh-so “open for business” Ontario to place a sticker on their gas pumps, telling customers that they are paying an extra four to five cents per litre for a federal “tax” on climate polluting carbon.

If owners of gas stations don’t put these stickers on their pumps where prospective customers can see them, they could face a $10,000 fine.

What Ford and his minions choose to call a “carbon tax,” by the way, which is more realistically a price the federal government is trying to impose on highly damaging carbon pollution in an effort to address climate change by reducing our country’s carbon footprint, is a hell of a lot less than the 25 or so cents slapped on to a litre of gas through provincial taxes. Continue reading

Ford Government to Axe Ontario’s Ambulance Services

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario shocked by Ford’s eliminating 42 of 52 land ambulance services

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

Posted April 16th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Queen’s Park — NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath was deeply troubled to learn Tuesday that Doug Ford’s cuts to frontline healthcare will include axing 42 of the province’s 52 land ambulance services in a massive cut to essential emergency services, according to an internal memo from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).

“With each passing day, it’s clearer that the Ford Government’s reckless and dangerous cuts to frontline health care are going to hurt families across Ontario,” said Horwath. Continue reading

 Niagara College Many Hands Project raises more than $40,000 for Pathstone Mental Health 

Funds raised will support play therapy for children who have experienced trauma 

News from Niagara College 

Posted April 16th, 2019 

Niagara, Ontario – As a result of this year’s Many Hands Project, $40,800 was donated to Pathstone Mental Health<> – a community-based organization that provides innovative and effective treatment for all children in Niagara diagnosed with mental health issues.

Students in NC’s Event Management program present the cheque for $40,858 to Pathstone Mental Health, the grand total raised from their fundraising efforts as part of NC’s 2019 Many Hands Project.

 The funds were announced at a Many Hands Project reveal ceremony held at Branscombe Mental Health Centre in St. Catharines on April 15. The donation included $35,858 raised by NC student fundraisers and $5,000 from Canadian Tire Bank, a sponsor and long-time supporter of NC’s Many Hands Project. Continue reading

Ford Government Launches Court Action Against Efforts to Put Price on Climate Pollution

How Much Will Ford’s Court Crusade for Carbon Polluters Cost Ontario Tax Payers? How Much Will It Cost Our Future?

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

Posted April 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Well, of course. Why not?

Less than two weeks after the release of an alarming report by scientists for Environment and Climate Change Canada, concluding that Canada’s climate is warming twice as fast as the world average, and just a few months after a team of the world’s climate experts warned that we only have about a dozen years to prevent what could be an unbearable future for generations to come, what does Ontario’s premier, Doug Ford, and his government decide to do?

They decide to go to court this week to fight a federal government move to slap an extra four to five cents on a litre of gasoline as a way of putting a price on climate-altering carbon pollution on the grounds that it is “unconstitutional.”


That argument is coming from the same Ford government that is now threatening to force owners of private gas stations to put a sticker on their pumps warning of this so-called “carbon tax” or face a heavy fine.

How constitutional is that?

Hopefully, the courts will give the Ford government’s case (launched at Ontario taxpayers’ expense) the thumbs’ down it deserves. And hopefully enough people across the province will come to the conclusion that doing whatever we can do to avert a climate catastrophe not too many years down the line is worth more than four or five cents extra for a litre of gasoline. Continue reading

A Tragic Fire in Progress in Paris, France

“Walking at random through the streets, we came by chance upon the Cathedral of Notre Dame. I shall long remember my first impression of the scene within. The lofty gothic ceiling arched far above my head and through the stained windows the light came but dimly – it was all still, solemn and religious.”          – Bayard Taylor, an American journalist from thew 1800s

A Brief One from Doug Draper 

Posted April 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

You don’t need to be Catholic or religious in any way to feel terrible about this one.

As I post this, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris France – a masterpiece of gothic architecture and one of the most iconic heritage buildings in the world – is engulfed in flames and parts of its out structure, including its towers, are reported to be crumbling.

It you care anything at all about heritage or cultural history, the scenes of this grand place burning on cable news channels are devastating to watch. Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Special Meeting about Protecting and Preserving Our Trees in Niagara

Executive Director and Advisor for the Ontario Urban Forest Council Speak in Thorold – Wednesday April 17th at 7:00 p.m.

An Invite to All from the Thorold Garden Club 

Posted April 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large 

Peter Wynnyczuk, executive director of Ontario Urban Forest Council, to speak at Thorold meeting. If you care about protecting and preserving trees in our region, don’t miss this meeting

This Wednesday, April 17th.  the Thorold Garden Club is holding a free meeting for the public on a topic that is very timely, given all the recent concern and controversy over the cutting down of trees in Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Fort Erie and other municipalities in the region. 

The meeting, to begin at 7 p.m. in the Holy Rosary Hall, 35 Queen Street S., in Thorold will feature two guest speakers who are both respected representatives of the Ontario Urban Forest Council.   Continue reading