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Greater Niagara Chamber Welcomes Federal Government’s Municipal Nominee Immigration Program

“The GNCC feels that this forward-thinking program will result in benefits for both local communities and immigrants. The former will be able to fill labour market gaps and grow their populations and their economies, while immigrants will be drawn to communities where their skills are in demand and where they will be welcomed.”                                                                – The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC)

A News Release from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Posted January 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – In his mandate letter, Prime Minister (Justin) Trudeau instructed Immigration Minister (Marcos) Mendicino to begin work on a program that would give local communities, chambers of commerce and labour councils a say in the selection of immigrants, helping them match newcomers with labour needs.

The GNCC has suggested such a program in the past, anticipating that allowing communities to target immigrants for skills and professions would help solve local labour shortages and allow businesses and local economies to grow. Continue reading

Niagara’s Chamber of Commerce Applauds Ontario Government’s Tax Cut for Small Business

“Under pressure from rising prices for labour, energy, and other essentials, not to mention increased municipal tax burdens from local governments with substantial infrastructure backlogs, this cut offers relief to small businesses.”                                                      – the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

A News Release from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Posted January 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park follows through with tax cut for province’s small businesses

Niagara, Ontario –  In welcome news, the Government of Ontario has announced that, effective January 1st of this year, it will reduce the small business Corporate Income Tax by 8.7 per cent, to a new rate of 3.2 per cent.

Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy. Almost all of Niagara’s businesses are small- or medium-sized enterprises, and nearly four in five (33,947 out of a total of 42,692 registered businesses) employ fewer than five people. Continue reading

Canada Should Say ‘No’ to Any Involvement in Trump’s War Ventures

‘Why would Donald Trump want Canada to come to his side? After all, he called us a “national security threat” as an excuse to put tariffs on our goods, something that cost thousands of jobs.’

A Comment by Linda McKellar, Fort Erie, Ontario, with a Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large  reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 6th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Foreword by Doug Draper –

One of the wisest decisions that former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien made during his 10 years in the office from 1993 to 2003 was not to join U.S. Bush-Cheney administration’s so-called “coalition of the willing” in a 2003 invasion of Iraq for a war that dragged on for years and cost thousnds of young Americans and countless thousands of Iraqis, including untold numbers of civilians, their lives.

Baghdad, Iraq lights up with thundering explosions as the Bush-Cheney administration launches its invasion of Iraq in March of 2003. One Iraqi woman told a British newspaper at the time that during the bombing; “My family would gather in one room, waiting for death.”

Everyone but a hopeless few, including major American media outlets that functioned like p.r. flaks for the Pentagon in the lead-up to that war, later admitted that the war was a costly mistake – based on false or fabricated information – that all sides are continuing to pay a heavy price for until this day. Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Public Forum on Youth and Mental Health Challenges and Services

Wednesday, January 8th at 8 p.m. at the St. Catharines Central Library in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario

An Invite to All from the Niagara District Council of Women

Posted January 6th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

At 8 p.m. on Wednesday  January 8th,  the Niagara District Council of Women   is holding an public forum  on ‘ Youth and Mental Health Changing Perspectives-Providing Services’  at the St. Catharines Central Library .

Our panel includes the advocacy  team, ‘Change the Perspective’, whose members  experienced   mental health challenges as youth,  and as adults are   successfully  living with mental illness.   Continue reading

Tripping Down The Road to Armageddon

Just What Trump and his Evangelical Followers Seem to Want

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted January 4th, 2020

“We took action to stop war, not to start one.”  – U.S. President Donald Trump


I’m already betting that this statement from Trump, made after he and what are left of the nutbars and sycophants in his administration took out Iran’s top general at an airport in Baghdad, Iraq this January 2nd,  will go down in history alongside such infamous lines as former U.S. President George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” only a few years in to a War in Iraq that is arguably dragging on to this day.

Then there is this one, stated by so many that no one seems to remember who said it first.

Laying dead in the muddy trenches of World War One. They were all “going to be home for Christmas.”

It was that oft-repeated line that reportedly comforted so many at the head of what turned out to be one of the most devastating wars in history, World War One – “The war will be over by Christmas.”

When I first heard a clip of Trump uttering the words; “We took action to stop war, not to start one,” I was immediately reminded of a scene in the 1964, satirical, anti-war film ‘Dr. Strangelove’ when Peter Sellers, playing the U.S. president, came across one of his generals involved in a fist-a-cuffs with a Russian ambassador in a military command centre – “Gentlemen, you can’t fight here. This is the war room.”

For sober-minded sanity, I turn to some words spoken this January 3rd by U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders who, in the early 2000s, was one of the few members of the U.S. Senate and Congress to oppose his country’s invasion of Iraq.

“That war (the one that the Bush-Cheney administration authored in Iraq) was the worst foreign-policy blunder in the modern history of the United States,” said Sanders. “I’m going to do everything I can to prevent a war with Iran, because if you think the war in Iraq was a disaster, my guess is that war in Iran would be even worse… So let’s work together and prevent that war, and if people want to criticize me for that, go for it, that’s OK, I don’t apologize to anybody.”

U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders


And let’s pray that Canada is not foolish enough to get involved in any war ventures with a U.S.  president who has clearly shown a lack of regard for past allies like Canada and other democratic countries  as he cuddles up to totalitarian thugs in haunts like North Korea, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The November, 2020 U.S. election cannot come soon enough.

For more on “Mission Accomplished” and by now former U.S. president George W. Bush’s later “regrets” after thousands of young Americans were already dead and wounded and countless tens-of-thousands, if not hundreds-0f-thousands Iraqi civilians had died, click on the screen below –

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A Reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

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“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

Some Final Holiday Season Thoughts for All the Wonderful Animals in Our World

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – the late French poet, journalist and novelist Anatole France

A Brief One for the Animals by Doug Draper

Posted January 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

One of the first road signs that greets you wen you cross the border from upstate New York State to Massachusetts

If you drive due east from Niagara, Ontario and Buffalo, across the whole 300-some-odd- mile distance of the New York State Thruway, the first town you enter when you cross the border from New York to Massachusetts is West Stockbridge.

Nestled in the picture-perfect Berkshire Hills, this quaint little New England town hosts a population of about 1,600 people and up to March of 2017, one remarkable feline named Felix, known affectionately by town folk as “everyone’s pet cat.”

My wife Mary and I met Felix, or rather he met us, one sunny afternoon in June of 2016 after we stopped to take a short walk through the town before continuing our drive back  home to Niagara after visiting friends on Cape Cod.

Felix, walking the sidewalks of his home town of West Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 2016, file photo, Doug Draper

We had just left a nice old bookstore and were about to cross a bridge spanning a river flowing through the town when we looked down and there, walking just a few feet in front of us and looking back from time to time, as if to see if we were still coming, was this yellow-haired cat with long, lanky legs and not much more than a stub for a tail

This photo of Felix, looking down the main street of his town of West Stockbridge was posted on social media. He was one remarkable cat.

He kept walking a few paces in front of us as if he was the town’s ambassador, proudly taking us on a tour, and if we stopped for a moment to look in a shop window, he would wait patiently until the three of us would walk on together again. That was the way it was until we arrived at a store on the main street to get some of those great sandwiches we heard they make there for our trip home.

Inside the store, I asked about the cat, and someone said with a big smile; “Oh, you just met our town cat Felix. He loves to show people around.” Continue reading

High CEO Pay in Canada Shatters Previous Records, Now 227 Times More Than Average Worker Pay

Payrolls for chief corporate officers are so massive they account for at least 40% of some companies’ losses

A Special Report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Posted January 2nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario — Canada’s 100 highest paid CEOs made 227 times more than the average worker made in 2018, surpassing all previous records, according to a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). That’s up from 197 times average worker pay in 2017.

“Put another way, by 10:09 a.m. on January 2, the average top CEOs will have made as much money as the average Canadian worker will make all year. That’s the earliest time on record in the 13 years we’ve been tracking these numbers,” said report author and CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald.  Continue reading