Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Message to We Humans from Niagara’s Gunned Down White Wolf

Posted by Doug Draper on Niagara At Large

August, 5th, 2022

 

Click on the following link for full commentary on the tragic death of a great white wolf in Niagara – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2022/08/05/niagara-police-gun-down-arctic-wolf-in-port-colborne/

This spring, Ontarians – enough of those who even bothered to go out and vote – delivered another majority government to Doug Ford and his Conservatives who, earlier on, during their first four-year term, gutted endangered species protections for wild life in this promise.

To hell with Ontario’s green places. Let’s just keep paving what is left of them over for more highways and low-density sprawl. image from Council for Canadians

Shame on us for giving Ford another four-year mandate to deliver the greed-driven goods to his masters in Ontario’s God-awful development industry, and for a majority of us not giving a damn about what is left of our natural heritage.

  • 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

Niagara Police Gun Down Arctic Wolf in Port Colborne

“Rescued” Wolf Escaped From Enclosure This Past August 2nd, and Now, After Less Than 48 Hours of Freedom, It Is Gone

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

Posted August 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

When news first circulated this week that a snowy white Arctic wolf – supposedly rescued from somewhere in North Ontario and enclosed in a pen in Port Colborne- had dug its way to freedom and was now being looked for by Niagara Regional Police, I didn’t think it would come to a good end.

And sure enough, less than 48 hours after this majestic animal had snatched a little freedom, a police officer fatally shot it in circumstances where, according to an NRP report, a resident in the area sighted the wolf and feared it would attack his or her farm animals.

Thus ended the short dash for freedom of a majestic female wolf named ‘Boo.’ Continue reading

“May You All F—K Off and Die, “Says Anonymous Email to West Lincoln Councilors

Email Follows Councillors’ Reprimand of One of Their Own – Councillor Harold Jonker – For Continued Involvement in ‘Illegal” Ottawa ‘Freedom Rally’ Chaos

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

Posted August 4rth, 2022 on Niagara At Large

“It is disturbing and that’s putting it mildly,” West Lincoln Councillor William Reilly told me of the email that he and other fellow councillors received late this July from a party that did not have the courage to identify themselves.

The email, that called Reilly and fellow councillors “scumbag Canadians” who, in the online troller’s view, committed “disgusting,” and “shameful actions,” was an apparent response to the West Lincoln’s council to accept a report from its integrity commissioner that called fellow Councillor Harold Jonker out for continuing to participate in a ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest in Ottawa this past winter, even after it was deemed illegal by police authorities.

This vile email sent to these councillors has reportedly been forwarded to Niagara Regional Police and hopefully the NRP and any partner police agencies it may need to employ will use any forensic means possible to track down the source of the email. Continue reading

Niagara, Ontario’s Hospitals Are Facing “Serious” Healthcare Shortages

“Our staff and physicians are working full out to maintain service levels – including taking extra shifts and postponing their scheduled vacations and the regular time off they need to rest and recover after maintaining a gruelling pace since the pandemic began.”

News from Niagara Health in Niagara, Ontario

Posted August 4th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

An update to the community on hospital pressures and our response

This message is from Lynn Guerriero, President and CEO and Dr. Johan Viljoen, Chief of Staff, and Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs.

Niagara Health is experiencing a serious shortage of healthcare workers, on a daily basis, across our five sites and in all areas of the hospital.

Niagara Health’s West St. Catharines Hospital site.

Our staff and physicians are working full out to maintain service levels – including taking extra shifts and postponing their scheduled vacations and the regular time off they need to rest and recover after maintaining a gruelling pace since the pandemic began.

There is no fast fix, no one answer to address the cause, effect or solution to the challenges that have emerged from, or been exacerbated by, the pandemic. Continue reading

Ontario Election’s Over So Why Should Ford & Company Care About Our Hospital Crisis

Hospital, Health Care Horrors Won’t Stop Until Ford Repeals Bill 124, Takes Action

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted August 3rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Tories have just won another majority government for the next four years, so why should they give a damn about our health care?

Thanks to Ontario’s Ford Government and provincial governments before for it, and thanks to succesissive federal governments, including the current Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau, our once proud, universal public health care system is going to hell.

These governments would rather continue cutting  taxes for the upper 10 per cent and spending billions of dollars on new tar sands pipelines and on highways set  to make their donors in the land speculation and development business  even richer than invest enough in our health care systems to keep them sustainable for ordinary Canadians. Continue reading

Police Investigating Damage to Canada Summer Games Mountain Bike Course in St. Catharines

“Anyone caught intentionally damaging or altering the mountain bike course in any way that is dangerous to members of the public or Canada Summer Games athletes may be subject to criminal charges.” – Niagara Regional Police

A News Release from the Niagara Regional Police Service

Posted August 3rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Branches thrown across trail for Summer Games mountain bike event

St. Catharines, Ontario – In July 2022, Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) officers assigned to 1 District (St. Catharines / Thorold) commenced a mischief investigation after receiving reports of intentional damage to the Canada Summer Games Mountain Bike Course, located in the Glenridge / Western Hill area of St. Catharines.

  The course is situated on private property and has been made available to the Canada Summer Games by the Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Traditional Asian Water Lantern Ceremony  in Welland’s Chippawa Park

A Free Event on Friday, August 5th,  7:30 P.M. to 9 P.M. in One of Niagara, Ontario’s Nicest Public Parks

An Invite from Members of Niagara’s Folk Arts Festival

Posted August 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Free to attend. Come experience elements of a traditional Asian Water Lantern Ceremony, our Wishes on the Water.

Free to attend, this event is designed to address anti-Asian racism, by creating a safe space, using art to encourage dialogue, compassion and understanding. This quiet and personal reflective event is family-friendly and designed to especially accommodate those with mobility and sensory/auditory concerns.

Enjoy live traditional and modern Chinese music performed by Helen Huang on violin and Lion Dancers, scheduled to appear around 8pm. Be sure to stay for the Great Launch at dusk when all the lanterns will be floated upon the water at once. Continue reading

This August 1st Is Emancipation Day in Canada

“Emancipation Day falls on the day in 1834 that slavery was abolished in the British Empire. This historic day paved the way to freeing over 800,000 enslaved Africans and their descendants in Canada, parts of the Caribbean, Africa, and South America.”  – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

A Statement by the Prime Minister on Emancipation Day

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on

“Today (this August 1st, 2022), on Emancipation Day <https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/emancipation-day.html>, we acknowledge the painful history of slavery here in Canada and celebrate the strength and determination of Black communities, who fought – and continue to fight – for freedom, justice, and equality.

“Officially designated last year by a unanimous vote in the House of Commons, Emancipation Day falls on the day in 1834 that slavery was abolished in the British Empire. This historic day paved the way to freeing over 800,000 enslaved Africans and their descendants in Canada, parts of the Caribbean, Africa, and South America. Continue reading

On Climate Change, Our Only Choice Left is Between ‘Collective Action and Collective Suicide’

Let’s Keep Pushing Our Political Leaders, at the Municipal, Provincial/State and Federal Levels to Act Now or Face Defeat in the Next Election

A Brief One from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted July 29th, 2022

Just dne glance of wildfires destroying forests in Ontario in 2021.file photo

If you have been paying any attention to the news, you know about all of the catastrophic, life-threatening droughts, wildfires and floods we are facing again this summer across this continent and the world.

We have municipal elections in Niagara this fall. Please make sure you vote for only those candidates who promise to save what are left of our woodlands, wetlands and food-growing lands,  and who take this climate emergency we are now suffering seriously.

NO MORE URBAN EXPANSIONS AND NO MORE CUTTING ROADS THROUGH WETLANDS AND WOODLANDS. NO MORE BUILDING VANITY CONDOS AND FAKE COMMUNITIES ON CHERISHED NATURAL HERITAGE LANDS LIKE WAVERLY WOODS AND THUNDERING WATERS. Continue reading

Ontario ERs Facing Closure Due To Longstanding Nursing Issues-  Brock Expert

Ontario ERs Facing Closure Due To Longstanding Nursing Issues-  Brock Expert

‘The entire system needs to be reformed’. …”Even if we increase the workforce, there still needs to be amenable work conditions as an incentive for RNs to stay in Ontario.”                                          – Connie Schumacher, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Brock University

Connie Schumacher, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Brock University.

A News Release from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted July 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Situation critical. Recent news that many Ontario emergency departments (ERs) are on the brink of closing due to nursing shortages is dire but not surprising to Connie Schumacher.

“The ER is usually the first to signal a warning, and ER overcrowding has been an issue that has not been adequately addressed in decades,” says the Assistant Professor of Nursing at Brock University. Continue reading

New Lawsuit from Polluting Industries Tries to Hinder Canadians’Ability to Protect Themselves from Plastic Waste

Canada’s Plastics Industry Seeks To Block Federal Regulations That Ban Single-Use Plastic

“These irresponsible companies just want to continue profiting from forcing their garbage on us. Disposable plastic has led to a pollution crisis in Canada and around the world.”                          – Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence.

A News Release from Environmental Defence, a Canadian-based public advocacy group for environmental protection

Posted July 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – In a move that should shock and enrage Canadians and people around the world, a group of plastic companies that include DOW and NOVA Chemicals, have filed a legal action to block the federal government from implementing a ban on several non-recyclable single-use plastics.

The application for Judicial Review [https://environmentaldefence.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/T-1468-22_Notice-of-Application_July-15_2022_20220715151302.pdf] filed in Federal Court seeks to block the implementation of the government regulations and allow the continued sale of the banned items. Continue reading

Prime Minister, Pope Discuss Hot-Button Issues on Residential Schools

‘They discussed the need for the Church to take concrete action to repatriate Indigenous artifacts, provide access to residential schools documents, address the Doctrine of Discovery, and ensure justice for Survivors.’

A News Release from the Office of Canada’s Prime Minister

Posted July 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(This Wednesday, July 27th), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with His Holiness Pope Francisand the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the  Citadelle of Quebec.

Prime Minister Trudeau thanked Pope Francis for visiting Canada to engage with Indigenous Peoples on their ancestral lands, acknowledge the truths about the residential school system, and recognize its painful legacy for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada. Continue reading

New Global Research Reveals Protection of Greenbelts Now More Critical Than Ever- International Report

Greenbelts Play Vital Role in Adapting to the Growing Threat of Climate Change

Report Examines Eight Greenbelts Around The World, Ranging From Brazil To Denmark, To Shine A Light On The Threats And Opportunities They Face

A News Release from The Greenbelt Foundation in Ontario

Posted July 27th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large I post the following piece less than two months after roughly 18 per cent of eligible voters in Ontario who bothered to vote elected a second majority government for Doug Ford and his Conservatives in the province for the next four years.

Ford has promised to build and expand multi-lane highways through the Greenbelt that will encourage more car and truck traffic and low-density sprawl. He was also caught on video in the past, promising developers that he would be willing to allow “chunks” of the Greenbelt to be paved over for housing.

So here we go. Thanks to those who voted this Ford government back in and to those who couldn’t bother to vote, we  stand to lose more of our green heritage in an era of climate emergency.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large)

TORONTO, Ontario — The protection and enhancement of greenbelts around the world is more important than ever to the future of the cities and regions in which they exist. That is one of the key findings of a new report that shows how greenbelts, or natural areas with protected land-use policies, are evolving globally to respond to current and emerging conditions. Continue reading

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Urges Ford to Prevent Closure of Fort Erie’s Urgent Care Health Care Service

An Open Letter from Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates to Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Posted July 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

RE: Immediate action required to meet Niagara’s health needs

Niagara Falls Riding NDP MPP Wayne Gates

‘I am writing today (this July 26th, 2022) regarding the alarming closure of emergency rooms across Ontario. As you well know, in the last COVID wave Niagara was allowed to be under-resourced which led to the unacceptable decision to cease services at Douglas Memorial Urgent Care in Fort Erie. Today’s urgent letter is a request to avert that situation from occurring again.

I am writing today to ask you to immediately direct Ministry of Health staff to connect with Niagara Health, assess the staffing situation in Niagara and take measures immediately to ensure that the people of Fort Erie are not once again left without their urgent care centre. I am also requesting your offices ensure the people of Fort Erie will not lose their healthcare services again. Continue reading

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey in Alberta for Pope’s Apology

Vance Badawey file photo

Badawey – a Member of Canada’s Metis Community and Liberal Government’s Parliamentary Seeretary to Indigenous Services –Paid Own Way to Historic Event

Did the Pope’s July 25th Apology Go Far Enough?

A Brief News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted July 26th 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre Liberal MP Vance Badawey was among the many thousands gathered near a mass grave for a former residential school in the outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta this past July 25th when Pope Francis issued his much-anticipated apology for the Catholic Church’s role in those infamous schools.

Vance Badawey, right, with two other members of Canada’s Indigenous community at gathering in Alberta this July 25th for Pope’s historic apology for his church’s role in residential schools. Photo courtesy of Niagara Centre constituency office

Like so many others, Badawey, who is also a member of Canada’s Metis community, no doubt found an apology that has been a long time coming heartfelt on the Pope’s part and moving.

Other than that, I will not make the mistake of putting any words in Badawey’s  mouth or anyone else’s in the Indigenous community except to say, fromwhat has been reported, that feelings were mixed. Continue reading

‘Citizen Scientists’ Now In Second Summer of Surveying Niagara’s Great Lakes Shorelines

VAST (Visual Assessment Survey Tool) Benefits for Great Lakes Shoreline Resiliency from Community Coastal Monitoring

Niagara’s Visual Assessment Survey Tool (VAST) is expanding this year to monitor the success of local restoration projects improving coastal resiliency. Coastal communities and visitors can get involved today, becoming active participants in the protection of their shorelines.

A News Release from the Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative

Posted July 22nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Launched in the summer of 2021 by Niagara Coastal, VAST engages coastal residents, visitors, community groups and other local organizations in collecting data to fill knowledge gaps across our Great Lakes shorelines.

Participating citizen scientists complete surveys and submit standardized, repeatable images to monitor coastal stressors.

These images and data are used to advocate for policy changes, guide coastal management decisions, and identify local actions that communities can take to improve their shorelines.

In its first year of operation, over 1,800 photos from 70 different sites across the Great Lakes shoreline were submitted to the VAST platform. The monitoring season reopened this year on April 15 and is well underway. Citizen scientists have already submitted over 660 images of the coast, volunteering 180 hours of their time to support shoreline protection. Continue reading

Niagara, Ontario’s Lakeside Park Carousel Featured in Souvenir Canada Post Stamp

“We are very excited to have our beloved carousel showcased on a Canadian stamp.”                                                                                     – Kathleen Powell, Supervisor of historical services and curator of the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canal Centre.

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

Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2022

St. Catharines, Niagara’s most treasured carousel animal, the Looff lion, is being prominently featured on a stamp released by Canada Post this July 21st.

The St. Catharines issue is joined by four other stamps in the series that display Canadian vintage carousels – The Bowness Carousel in Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary, Alberta, the C.W. Parker Carousel No. 119 in Burnaby Village Museum in B.C., the Roseneath Carousel at Roseneath Fairgrounds in Ontario, and LeGalopant located in La Ronde in Montreal, Quebec.

Each of the popular merry-go-rounds has one of their animals featured on their own individual stamp. Continue reading

Strongman Ford Moves to Create “Strong Mayors” With Draconian Veto Power Over Municipal Councils

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

Posted July 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Well here we go with the first jack boot hitting the ground in the dictatorship Tory Premier Doug Ford is going to impose on Ontario, a mere six weeks after winning a majority government thanks to a pathetic 18 per cent of the province’s eligible voters.

But never mind such a  tissue thin mandate that might cause others to lead the province with a little humility.

Thanks to an Ontario election this June that drew the lowest voter turnout  in the province’s history, Ford and his Conservatives managed to win a majority of seats which allows them, if they want, to run a dictatorship for the next four years. Continue reading

Brock Students, Volunteers Uncovering St. Catharines’ Maritime Past At Local Dig

New discoveries are already being made at the historic Shickluna Shipyard in downtown St. Catharines — and volunteers are being invited to join in the experience.

A News Release from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted July 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Shickluna Shipyard in downtown St. Catharines . Photo vintage 1860s. Brock U. archives

The second season of the archaeological dig near Twelve Mile Creek got underway last week after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to return to the Shickluna Shipyard and share in the experience of exploring local historical and maritime archaeology with our Brock University students and the wider Niagara community,” says archaeologist Kimberly Monk, Adjunct Professor with Brock University’s Department of History.

The 2022 field school is building on the success of the 2019 season<https://brocku.ca/brock-news/2019/07/public-tours-to-be-held-at-excavation-site-of-historic-shickluna-shipyard/>, with further excavation of two key locations: a worker’s cottage and a boathouse.

The site was first used as a shipyard by Russell Armington from 1828 to 1837 and then by Maltese immigrant Louis Shickluna from 1838 to 1880. Joseph Shickluna was the last to run the shipyard from 1880 to 1891 before it was leased to the St. Catharines Box and Basket Company until 1901. Continue reading

Canadian Crown Corporation’s Targets for Addressing Climate Change Are Woefully Weak

“For years, the crown corporation has been fueling climate disaster by providing billions each year to oil and gas companies.” – Julia Levin, Environmental Defence

A Statement from Julia Levin, National Climate Program Manager for Environmental Defence, on Export Development Canada’s New Climate Targets

Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – The new climate targets released this July] by Canada’s export bank, Export Development Canada are a disappointment.

 For years, the crown corporation has been fueling climate disaster by providing billions each year to oil and gas companies.

The only responsible thing to do is to end public financing to the fossil fuel sector but even as people are fleeing their homes and dying from climate disasters, Export Development Canada has put forth weak promises that fail to really decrease fossil fuel financing.

A message climate activists have been sending out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government in recent years as they continue to spend billions of dollars of Canadians ‘tax ,money – moey that could be used for health care or for clean energy projects – on tar sand pipelines like the Trans Mountain pipe to the west coast.

This plan also, unfortunately, buys into the debunked myth that fossil gas is a “transition” fuel, instead of directing investment to genuine climate solutions.

To read more on the details in  Export Development Canada’s latest climate report, click on – [https://www.edc.ca/en/about-us/newsroom/edc-net-zero-2050-update-2022.html]

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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 NDP calls Ford’s Health Care Cuts Dangerous Amid Rash Of ER Closures

Ontario NDP calls Ford’s Health Care Cuts Dangerous Amid Rash Of ER Closures

Official Opposition NDP says it is unbelievably callous and dangerous for the Doug Ford Conservatives to have shortchanged health care

New FAO report reveals underspending across the board – including $1.8 billion in health care

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted July 19th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — The Official Opposition NDP says it is unbelievably callous and dangerous for the Doug Ford Conservatives to have shortchanged health care by $1.8 billion as the province grapples with a rash of ER closures amid an ongoing staffing crisis.

In a report released today, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario revealed that the Ford government withheld $1.8 billion earmarked for health care as part of $7.2 billion in mid-year cuts for 2021-22. Continue reading

Help a Fort Erie Citizen Group Fund the Fight to Save Waverly Woods

Citizen Activists Holding a Fund-Raising Yard Sale this coming Saturday, July 23rd – See Details Below

A Call for Help from the Community Voices of Fort Erie, a group of citizens dedicated to saving one of the most beloved wooded areas along the Lake Erie shoreline from the forces of greed

Posted July 18thy, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Inside the verdant tree canopy of Waverly Woods. file photo by Doug Draper

(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – If you have never been to Waverly Woods, it is a beautiful tract of green space for wildlife and for people who are drawn to it as a haven for walking and for finding peace of mind in a world where peace of mind is often hard to come by.

Yet no body of government, from the Town of Fort Erie to Niagara Region and the provincial and federal governments, have seen fit to save it from being  vandalized and destroyed forever by the indiscriminate forces of urban development.

At an Ontario Land Tribunal Hearing this spring, it was abundantly clear that the only party that really cared was a group of citizens called the Community Voices of Fort Erie. This group spent an enormous amount of volunteer time and funding for a lawyer to fight the developer and its enablers at the town, and it did manage to win some significant concessions to save at least some of this wonderful place. Continue reading

NPCA Invites You to Nominate ‘Conservation Heroes’ in Your Community for Special Award

Award Of Merit Recognizes Achievements Of Conservation Heroes

An Invite to Make Your Nominates from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted July 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

At their 31st annual Conservation Awards this September, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) will celebrate the accomplishments of hundreds of volunteers who give of their time, energy, and resources to make the Niagara Peninsula watershed a better place to live.

The pandemic made volunteering difficult in many ways, but volunteers remained engaged while assisting with NPCA’s cultural heritage and outdoor education programs, and community stewardship and citizen science initiatives. Continue reading

‘Citizen Scientists’ Gather Vital Great Lakes Water Quality Data for Niagara Residents

Niagara Coastal’s Community-based Water Monitoring Program will Improve Access to Beach Water Quality Data for Niagara Region Residents

“Community-based initiatives are extremely valuable as they establish a foundation for watershed residents to become actively involved in the health of their coast.” – Annie Michaud, Professor of Environmental Studies at Niagara College.

News from The Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative

Posted July 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – With provincial government ministries and agencies, historically responsible for environmental and natural ecosystem protection missing in action and often  unwillingly to openly communicate with the public and media about  concerns in these areas – except through a  lens contaminated by political interests – it is becoming more and more important that we have partnerships and projects like this.

In an age when government agencies are shamelessly letting us down, citizen-based initiatives, working in partnership with learning institions likeNiagara College and Brock University (to the extent those institutions are willing to involve themselves in projects that may  upset the political powers that be, appear to be the wave of the future.

It is becoming ever more clear that citizens have to play the lead role in protecting and conserving our environment. At a time when every region of the world, including ours,  is vulnerable to damaging and deadly climate-related disasters, we can no longer count on government-based bodies to do it.)

Now here is the News from Niagara Coastal- 

For three years, the Niagara Hub has been collecting low-cost, timely, and reliable recreational water quality data for beaches across Niagara’s Lake Erie north shore. Continue reading

Niagara Falls MPP Gets Key Role as Voice for Seniors

“We have thousands of seniors who need supports to stay in their homes as long as they can. Once they need care, they need to know the care will be there for them.”   – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic (NDP) Party

Posted July 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large 

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

QUEENS PARK —NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls, Fort Erie & Niagara-on-the-Lake) was recently given a major portfolio within the NDP caucus

 Gates will now be the party’s leading voice on long-term care, homecare and retirement homes as the Official Opposition critic.

“It’s no surprise this is an issue that’s close to my heart. I’ve been saying for years long-term care was broken in Ontario – but the pandemic really showed us how bad it was,” said Gates.

Continue reading

Approval of COVID Vaccine for Ontario’s Children Is “Monumental Step” Forward – Brock U. ImmunologistAdam MacNeil

“As a parent of an under-five-year-old myself, and someone who has dedicated significant time to studying immunity at its most fundamental level, I will absolutely be vaccinating my child,” MacNeil says.

News from Brock University in St. Catharines Ontario

Posted July 18th,. 2022 on Niagara At Large

Brock University immunologist Adam MacNeil.

The recent approval of a COVID vaccine for infants and preschoolers is a boost needed in Canada’s ongoing battle with the pandemic, says Brock University immunologist Adam MacNeil.

Health Canada announced this past July 14th that the Moderna vaccine has been approved for children between six months and five years old.

“This is a monumental step toward maximizing the vaccine layer of protection across our communities as we continue to wrestle with the evolution of one of the most transmissible pathogens in human history and learn more about its long-term impacts on health outcomes,” says MacNeil, Associate Professor of Immunology.

The children’s vaccine works in exactly the same way as the adult version, he says, with very mild — and no serious — side effects reported to date. Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Webinar Presentation on How to Turn Your Lawn and Gardens into a Haven for Biodiversity

Join This Free Webinar Event on Thursday, July 14th at 7 P.M

News of this Event was Shared by Liz Benneian, a leader of coalition of Earth-friendly groups and individuals across Niagara called the Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee – Niagara

Posted July 12th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Everyone is welcome to a free Zoom webinar on Designing For Biodiversity: turning yards and gardens into habitat.

The presentation focuses on how people can help protect and enhance biodiversity through plant choices, garden design and adding habitat elements from water sources to wood piles. Continue reading

Ford and his Enablers in Politics and Ontario’s Development Industry Just Keep On Paving Over Our Farmland

A Message from the Green Party of Ontario

Posted July 6th, at Niagara At Large

Ontario is losing farmland at an alarming rate.

New data from The Ontario Federation of Agriculture says Ontario is losing farmland at a rate of 319 acres per day.

That’s 319 acres of family businesses, 319 acres of land that protects us from the harmful effects of climate change, and 319 acres of land used to grow your food – all gone.

The pirates in Ontario’s development industry couldn’t give a damn about saving farmland and that is okay with the Ford government. So take what is on the left side here and turn it into more of what is on the right. Then where do we get locally grown food, as if they give a damn. It is all about money in their pocket, and nothing more

The culprit of this devastating loss? Sprawl. It needs to stop now.

Doug Ford’s disastrous plan to pave over precious farmland with supersprawler projects like Highway 413 and The Bradford Bypass threatens the security of the province’s $50 billion food and farming sector. Continue reading

Trudeau Government Not Doing Enough to Address Great Lakes Plastic Pollution

As the Great Lakes Surpass the Oceans in Plastic Pollution, Environmental Defence Is Urging the Government to Do More to Protect the Freshwaters We Need to Survive

A News Release from Environmental Defence, a leading Canadian advocacy group for protecting our environment

Posted July 6th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg,Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – This Plastic Free July, Environmental Defence is highlighting that plastic pollution is not just an oceans problem.

More than 10,000 tonnes of plastic are dumped into the Great Lakes every year—they now have a higher concentration of plastic pollution than the ocean garbage patches. The Great Lakes are drowning in plastic and the federal government must act urgently.

“The Great Lakes contain 84 per cent of North America’s surface water, essential for the survival of millions of people, animals and plants,” said Michelle Woodhouse, Water Program Manager at Environmental Defence.

“But the lakes are very much threatened by plastics,” added Woodhouse. “The only way to save the Great Lakes from plastic pollution is to reduce plastic production altogether. Continue reading

Niagara Coastal’s Community-based Water Monitoring Program will Improve Access to Beach Water Quality Data for Niagara Region Residents

“Community-based initiatives are extremely valuable as they establish a foundation for watershed residents to become actively involved in the health of their coast.”                                                     – Annie Michaud, Professor of Environmental Studies at Niagara College.

News from The Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative

Posted July 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

For three years, the Niagara Hub has been collecting low-cost, timely, and reliable recreational water quality data for beaches across Niagara’s Lake Erie north shore.

Taking samples of water for testing off the Great Lakes waters of Niagara, Ontario

This year, funding from the Niagara Community Foundation and a partnership with Niagara College will expand the community-based monitoring hub to include sites across Lake Ontario. Continue reading

Cave Springs Conservation Area Enhancement Project Underway

 “Through this enhancement project we aim to improve access to greenspace and opportunities for people to connect with nature, protect and highlight the site’s ecological and cultural significance, and showcase our commitment to sustainable practices.” – Adam Christie, Director of Conservation Areas, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA).

Cave Springs Conservation Area from the sky. NPCA photo

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted July 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large06.22.2022

An exciting project is underway to enhance access to thCave Springs Conservation Area, while maintaining the site’s significant natural and cultural aspects.

The outcome of this project will include a completed Cave Springs Management Plan, and enhancements to the conservation area such as a new parking area and improved accessible trail, a new trail system, wayfinding, and educational signage. Continue reading

Now That There’s a Dip in Housing Prices, We Should Invest in Community Land Trusts for Good

“Now it is time to fast-track CLTs to the top of the affordable housing priority list in our communities and across Canada.”

A Guest Column by y Colin Bruce Anthes

Posted July 5th on Niagara At Large

This May Canadian house prices finally fell for the first time in two years, a period during which the average house price had skyrocketed by an astonishing $300,000.

The spiral at one point saw the House Price Index increase by 29 per cent in a single year.

An unprecedented amount of recent purchasing has been made by private speculators and the mega-landlord initiatives called REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts), pushing much of the working class off the metaphorical and literal turf. Continue reading

Could This Be America’s Last Independence Day?

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper, publbisher, NAL

Posted on the Fourth of July, 2022 on Niagara At Large

You don’t have to follow he news from the American side of the border too much to arrive at the conclusion that the country, which  has long branded itself  “the world’s greatest democracy”,  is sliding down a slippery, slimy slope to full-fledged fascism.

Despite all the damaging evidence coming out about Trump and his cult followers at those Jan. 6 Congressional hearings, the common wisdom among pundits on all sides of the political spectrum in the U.S. is that the Republicans, which have become the party of Trumpism, will win this coming November’s mid-term elections.

That means that by the beginning of next year the ‘Party of Trump’ will hold a majority of seats in the U.S. Congress and Senate which will put an end to the current President, Joe Biden, and his Democrats passing anything else in the way of progressive form. Continue reading

This Canada Day, Share a Peace Sign, Be Kind to People

A Brief Message from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted on Canada Day, July 1st, 2022

Suffice to say, there is a good deal of ugly out there these days.

Whether we want to blame it on how easy social media sites make to trash people, on a growing crisis of confidence in government and our public institutions, on the pandemic, on a Trump cauldron of anger and hate metastasizing through not only bodies of Americans, but the bodies of at least some on our side of the border too, or on a combination of all these and more, it is hard to deny that we are in a darker place than we were even a decade or so ago.

In Niagara alone, there have been attacks of vandalism on the properties of some of our elected representatives, nasty encounters with our front-line health care workers, the repeated acts of damage and defacement done to statues and busts of civil rights heroine Harriet Tubman, including the spray painting of a swastika on a sidewalk outside of a school bearing her name, and recent assaults on the property of people expressing support the people of Ukraine by displaying a Ukrainian flag. Continue reading

Cassidy Hutchinson – An American Hero!

A Brief One by Doug Draper

Posted June 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Twenty-Five Years old and threatened with everything up to and including bodily harm  by Trump Republicans, what a profile in courage she is!!!!!

Niagara Region Climate Summit – Tuesday June 28th

Will It Lead to Any Meaningful Change in Niagara in Addressing the Climate Crisis?
Posted June 26th, on Niagara At Large
A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large publisher and veteran environment reporter Doug Draper –
It appears that this so-called Climate Summit has been planned mostly for and by members of the business, including development industry sector. There seems to be little interest in engaging ordinary citizens.
Therefore we, the people, need to consider having a climate summit of our own and most importantly, we need to consider making sure that we vote in people in this fall’s municipal elections that truly care about protecting and preserving our environment.
– Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
To learn more about the corporate climate summit, click on https://niagaraclimatechangesummit.ca/
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Buffalo, New York Area Congressman Slams U.S. Supreme Court on Abortion Ruling

A Statement by Buffalo, New York-area Congressman Brian Higgins on Supreme Court Decision Overruling Roe v. Wade

Posted June 24th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) released the following statement in response to today’s ruling by the Supreme Court:

“The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a devastating and dangerous theft of women’s rights. This takes us fifty years backward, stripping away the personal freedom for all who are pregnant to make medical decisions that impact your body and your life.

“It will limit access to and criminalize reproductive health services in states across the country. This extreme infringement by the conservative court doesn’t reflect the views of a majority of Americans and sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the continued erosion of decades of progress on equal rights.”

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Warning – Buffalo, New York is Now a Free Zone for Nuts Wanting to Carry Guns in Public

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted June 23rd on Niagara At Large

Thanks to new U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Any Screwball Can Carry a Gun into a Movie Theatre, Grocery Store, Shopping Mall – Anywhere They Want!

A Supreme Court in the United States that is largely controlled by Trump and by Facists that Call Themselves Republicans, carrying a gun in public is now just plain dandy anywhere in the United States, including border communities like Niagara Falls and Buffalo, New York.

That means that virtually any angry male – and they are mostly males of the Trump persuation – can run around with guns and if they get angry, then it is up to them what happens next.

The June 23rd Supreme Court rulling comes less that two months after an 18-year-old white supremacist entered a Top’s grocery store in Buffalo and killed and wounded more than 10 people with a military-style assault weapon that he purchased legally – but apparently most Americans couldn’t give a shit because their rights to own these weapons mean more than human lives.

As a Canadian speaking to others on our side of the border, do you want to cross over and take a chance on that?

And why aren’t our federal representatives speaking out and warning us about this?

Why aren’t they looking at closing the Canadian borders to Americans on the grounds that they are okay with carrying guns? They should be given that stastistics in Canada have shown for years now that a majority of the guns used in deadly acts of violence here come from the United States.

It appears that Americans place free and easy gun ownership and use above human live, but why should we?

It’s time to close the border down to gun-totting Americans.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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Niagara At Large is Experiencing Technical Difficulties

A Message from Doug Draper

Posted June 23rd on Niagara At Large

For the past number of days Niagara At Large has been experiencing serious technical glitches related to the software used to post news and commentary here.

I am not a computer technician or a website expert so I am doing my best to correct the problems so we can get back in business.

I do not make any money for doing this site either so I try to avoid spending more time and money out of pocket to keep this online site going. That’s just the way it is.

I beg your patience while I try to work through the website problems here.

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

Happy First Day of Summer

Happy First Day of Summer

By Doug Draper

Posted June 21st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

I don’t mind saying I am a warm weather person – no cross-country skiing for me- and I’ve been looking forward to this first day of summer since that monster snow storm that covered our region with ice and snow this past January.

However, in these times of climate crisis its likely things will get too warm, as in record heat waves that can trigger heat strokes and lead to respiratory breakdowns due to all of that extra carbon-fuel related smog we are breathing.

So try to stay cool and here is some music from John Sebastian and The Lovin’ Spoonful to ring in summer that you can hear and watch by clicking on the screen below –

Happy Summer and Stay Cool, Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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Paul McCartney Turns 80 – UNBELIEVABLE

“You say it’s your birthday. …. We’re going to have a good time. … Happy birthday to you.”                                    – lyrics from The Beatle song,  and one primarily penned by Paul McCartney

A Brief One by Doug Draper

Posted June 18, 2022 on Niagara At Large

I was barely in my teens when a rock group called The Beatles crossed the Atlantic from Britain ignited music mania with their first big appearance on an American television show that received record-breaking ratings that night.

That was 1964 and Beatle member Paul McCartney was still in his 20 when, three years later, he wrote a song for the group’s Sgt. Pepper album called “When I’m Sixty-Four,” leaving his fans trying to imagine him, along with the rest of us, ever getting that old.

Well, the pages of the calendar seem to have turned faster than a whirligig in a wind storm and here we are this June 18th with Paul McCartney at 80.

Believe it Beatle fans. It’s true.

We’ve gone a long way down that long and winding road.

As a toast to Paul, here is another one of the songs he was the primary composer of, along with a little help from fellow composer John Lennon and The Beatles. You can watch and hear them perform it – one of the group’s biggest of all the big hits it had – following a bit of fun banter from the group by clicking on the screen below –

Here is one more for the road, featuring Paul and one of his touring bands performing live sometime over the past few decades –

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

Okay, So Maybe I Should Have Said Niagara At Large Will Ramp Up Later This Week – Or Maybe Even Later

A Brief Message from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted June 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

That post-provincial election depression is still with me so let me amend my message from late last week.

It will be late this week when Niagara At Large begins to ramp up again, to the extent that it matters at all in this world of over information.

Sometimes, I wonder if it matters at all.

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

Mask Mandate To Remain in Place at Niagara Health

Niagara Health is Maintaining Our Masking Requirement for Everyone Inside Our Hospitals

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

Posted June 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Health west St. Catharines hospital site

Although provincial masking mandates will change on Saturday, June 11, Niagara Health will continue to require everyone who comes into any of our hospital sites to continue to wear a face mask, including when visiting at a patient’s bedside.

Hospitals care for vulnerable patients who are at heightened risk of infection. Continuing to follow masking is an effective infection prevention and control measure against COVID-19. Masking helps us to maintain a safe environment for our patients and their loved ones, and for our staff, physicians and volunteers, by limiting the risk of infection transmission and outbreaks. Continue reading

As Projected from the Beginning of this Election, Ford Government is Back with a Big Majority

Conservative Sam Oosterhoff Wins in Niagara West, NDP Incumbents Wayne Gates, Jennie Stevens and Jeff Burch win in Ridings of Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Niagara Centre Respectively

A News Commentary by Doug Draper at NAL

Posted June 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The slogan Doug Ford and his Ontario Conservatives flashed around the province in this election was “Get It Done.”

Well, they sure did get it done alright, because this was decisive win for the Ford forces that has all but buried the opposition under the asphalt of one of the new highways they are promising to build through swaths of Ontario’s greenbelt.

Fortunately that burial did not include three very good and hard-working NDP incumbents in Niagara – Wayne Gates in the Riding of Niagara Falls, Jennie Stevens in the Riding of St. Catharines and Jeff Burch in the Riding of Niagara Centre. Continue reading

‘A Message for People Thinking of Voting for Doug Ford

Do Yourself and Do All of Us a Big Favour. Vote for Anyone Else!

A Brief Foreword Note from Doug Draper

Posted June 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The following video, featuring a message from a fellow Ontario citizen and writer named Paul Chato, was sent to Niagara At Large earlier today by one of our readers.

In order to protect the innocent, I will not identify the reader by name. However, I thank her for sending this important message and I urge anyone who is thinking of voting for Doug Ford and his Conservatives to hear it before they go to the polls this Thursday, June 2nd.

It might just make you consider changing your mind as we face the possibility of suffering through four more years of a Ford government that will continue to wreak havoc on the quality of life in our community, on our public services and on our environment.

To watch and listen to the message, click on the screen immediately below –

 

Our feature and the future of generations of Ontarians to come is on the line in this provincial election – Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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

In this Ontario Election, Let’s Paint Niagara Orange

Let’s Have a Full Slate of New Democrats to Raise a Voice for Us in the Face of Four More Years of Ford Government

 Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted June 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

As I write this commentary there are less than 24 hours left before voters go to the polls in this Ontario election.

And I am going to begin by repeating something that I know some of you out there have told me you don’t want to believe or hear. Every poll out there is projecting, just as tracking polls have since this election officially began a month or so ago, that Doug Ford and his Conservatives are going to win another four-year term as a majority government.

The question we have here in Niagara is do we want to replace one or more of the three NDP MPPs we have – Jeff Burch in the riding of Niagara Centre, Wayne Gates in the riding in a riding of Niagara Falls that includes Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Jennie Stevens in the riding of St. Catharines – and add NDP candidate Dave Augustyn in a riding of Niagara West now held by Ford Conservative Sam Oosterhoff? Continue reading

Ontario Ford Government’s Record on Climate Change & Environmental Protection has been Deplorable

. “Ontarians need to know that the government has done next to nothing to fight climate change the past four years and instead has made more of an effort to battle those who are taking climate action.”                                                                                                           – Keith Brooks, Programs Director of Environmental Defence

A Report from Environmental Defence, a citizens group advocating for our environment

Posted May 19th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

New report reviews Ontario’s poor track record on climate change over the past four years

The report argues that the province is not on track to reach its 2030 emissions reduction target 

Paving more paradise, even in a time of climate crisis

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – A report released today from Environmental Defence reviews the Ontario government’s last four years of climate change policy and argues that Ontario is not on track to meet the province’s emissions reduction target, despite recent modelling released from the provincial government. Continue reading

Remembering the Buffalo, New York Victims Before a Predominantly Gun-Happy, White-Supremacist America Flushes Them Down the Memory Hole

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

Posted May 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

One day after U.S. President Joe Biden travelled to Buffalo, New York to pay homage to the 10 victims of a murderous, white-supremacist driven rampage this past Saturday, May 14th and five days after it happened, it already appears that cable news channels in the United States are moving away from covering this massacre.

U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife and First Lady Jill visit a makeshift memorial to the victims of a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. “Hate will not win,” promised Biden. But in Trump’s America, it probably will.

That is not all that unusual. You can go back to the shooting slaughter of children at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut a decade ago and all of the other mass shootings, they very quickly become little more than statistics in an America that prizes the right to purchase military-style assault weapons more than human lives. Continue reading

‘Lifeline’ Of Renewable Energy Can Steer World Out Of Climate Crisis – United Nations  Chief

“Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rises, ocean heat levels and acidification, all set new records during 2021, while some glaciers reached the point of no return.”

A New Report on the Need for Urgent Action on Climate Change from the United Nations

Posted May 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

How sad it is to think that Ontario voters are about to give Doug Ford and his party of climate laggards another four years in government

A little more than  two weeks out from a provincial election in Ontario – one in which a majority of Ontarians of voting age are showing through their continued support of Doug Ford’s Conservative government that climate change is not a crisis in the making that they take seriously – scientists from around the world, working under the umbrella of the United Nations, have released yet another ‘red alert’ report.

As Ontario seems ready to elected the Ford government to another four years of paving over our green lands for the sake of their big-money donor friends in the property speculation and building industry, my message to Ontario voters is this – Let’s please stop protecting that collectively we give a shit about the climate crisis and our children’s future.

Not when it appears we are about to vote Doug and his party of climate laggards back into power.

Now here is that latest UN report –

The  rural Niagara farmers who are members of a right-wing landowners coalition that hates wind and other forms of reneawable energy. They also oppose any efforts to keep people building on flood plains because they do not believe that climate change is a problem They would rather see us go on burning coal and gas.

Climate and Environment

Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rises, ocean heat levels and acidification, all set new records during 2021, while some glaciers reached the point of no return, according to the latest flagship report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), published on Wednesday. Continue reading

Niagara Falls To Be Illuminaaated In Orange In Memory Of Victims OfSaturday’s Shooting In Buffalo, New York

A News Release from the Niagara Parks Commission in Niagara, Ontario

Posted May 17th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Niagara Falls Illumination Board will be illuminating both the American Falls and Canadian Horseshoe Falls in oraange tonight (this Tuesday, May 17th) from 11pm to midnight, in memory of the victims of Saturday’s tragic and senseless shooting in Buffalo, New York.

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

Provincial Liberals Release What They Claim to Be a Fully Costed Platform for ‘Growing Ontario’ in Years Ahead

Ontario Liberals Are Like the Deja Vu of Dalton McGuinty and Kalthleen Wynne All Over Again, And Who Wants That Culteru of Screw You, We’re in Charge Here in Ontario  Arrogance Back?

A Brief News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted May 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca was a dutiful member of the McGuinty’Wynne Liberal team. Now he wants us to believe he is an answer for our future.

Ontario Liberal Leader (why do I have to keep looking up his name) Steven Del Duca) released his party’s full platform this Monday,  May 9th.

The third party’s challenged communications gurus attempted to circulate a copy of the platform to news outlets today but, compared to news circulated by the governing Ford Government and NDP, information about the platform was hard to get to.

Perhaps that makes sense given the fact that going back to the earlier years of this relatively new century, when the Ontario Liberals were in power under the smug, dictatorial leadership of Dalton McGuinty and his sycophant Kathleen Wynne, almost anything resembling openness and transparency when it came to information the public had a right to know was in short supply anyway.

However, according to one Global News report, “ Continue reading

All Aboard! An Ontario NDP Government Will Make The GO train Stop In Grimsby

“People in Grimsby have been asking their government for a GO station for over a decade. They want and deserve better transit connections. … We’ll finally get the train to stop in Grimsby. ”       – Niagara West Riding NDP candidate Dave Augustyn

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP

Posted May 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

GRIMSBY — An NDP government will construct a Grimsby GO Station and make sure families get access to frequent and reliable GO train service, said NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Niagara West NDP candidate Dave Augustyn.

“People in Grimsby want and deserve better access to GO Transit to get to work, school or wherever else they need to go,” said Horwath.

“Families have been waiting for years for a GO station in Grimsby. Doug Ford and the Del Duca Liberals refused to give this community access to GO trains and reliable all-day service. An NDP government will invest in better public transit and make sure Grimsby families get the GO station they need to make their commutes easier.” Continue reading

Doug Ford Has Enlisted Climate Change Deniers in Bid to Crush Ontario Young People in Court

Ontario government relying on climate change deniers in court case against youth

Ontario’s chosen experts question basic climate science and dismiss Ontario’s responsibility to lower emissions

A News Release from Environmental Defence, a Canada-based citizens goup

Posted May 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – The Ontario government solicited expert testimony from a known climate change denier to defend its poor record on climate action, in a court challenge brought from seven Ontario youth.

The youth are arguing that the Government of Ontario violated their charter rights when it rolled back targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The provincial government also solicited evidence from an economist who believes that Ontario’s actions have little to no impact on Canada’s overall emissions and, therefore, the province bears no responsibility for the damages caused by climate change. Continue reading

Top U.S. Court Orders American Women to Wear Burkas

Following the Supreme Court’s Draft Ruling on Abortion, Another Body Blow to the Rights of Women – Just in Time for Mother’s Day

A Brief One by Doug Draper 

Posted May 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

I admit that it’s been a while since I’ve been to a doctor to have my ears syringed but, but I thought I just heard on a television I have on in the background that the U.S. Supreme Court has ordered all American women to wear burkas when they are out of their homes.

Sorry, I made the mistake of assuming that this was U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and some of her female  members of her Democratic Party caucus covered in these burkas. But how are you supposed to tell? As it turns out,, no burkas  for American women yet,

The burka ruling comes just a week after a draft ruling was leaked showing that a majority of the mostly Republican-appointed Justices on the Supreme Court are moving to overturn Roe v. Wade, an almost 50 year old ruling from the Court that allows American women the right to have an abortion.

For those who don’t know what a burka is, it is a garment that covers a woman’s entire body and leaves her looking like some combination of a pup tent and a beehive keeper, which might make sense if we weren’t living through a time when bee populations are plummeting due to pesticide use, habitat loss and other climate-related causes. Continue reading

For Doug Ford, It Is About Building More Highways and Roads Across Ontario

Ford Boasts That He Is Not Going to Let Anything Stop Him From Pouring Pavement

On First Day of Ontario Election Campaign, Ford Says He Won’t Let Anything Get In Way of Cutting Thru Geenlands and Pouring Pavement

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted May 4th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

“We’ll cut through all the excuses, all the obstacles and delays and it’s time to start pouring the concrete.” – Ontario Premier Doug Ford on May 4th, 2022 election launch

Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford and his Conservatives now seem on their way, according to polls, to winning a second majority in this June 2nd’s provincial election.

And among other things, he is staking a big win on building more roads and highways, even through greenlands and wetlands.

Given Ford’s base, which includes a disproportionate number of older Ontarians who live in a culture of roads and highways and car dependency, he may very well be right to assume that their support is enough to win him a second term of government.

Here is Doug Ford’s opening election address, delivered at a site for a proposed Highway 413. To watch it, click on the screen below –

My fear is that Ford is right in assuming that a majority of Ontario voters will want more roads and highways, even if it means that the billions of dollars it will cost to build them will not go to other services.

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

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

Ontario’s Election Is Officially On and Polls Predict a BIG WIN for Ford

Do You Really Want Another Four Years of Ford Government?

A  Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

So far, it looks like Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservatives are laughing their way to a Big Win in this spring’s provincial election.

I know that there are more than a few people out there who put little stock in polls when it comes to predicting the outcome of elections.

Then there is that old line that the only poll that really counts is the one when the final votes are counted on Election Day. As hard a line it is to argue with, it is most often used by those who find the party they support running behind in the polls.

As a journalist who’s had a hand in covering more elections than I care to count, I have my issues with polls too – not least of which is what appears to the a practice of too many news outlets (especially in recent years) to substitute stories on polls for good, in-depth coverage of the candidates and their policies.

That being said, it is hard to ignore polls completely, just as it is hard to ignore the fact that over the years, pollsters have become better at forecasting elections with a high degree of accuracy. Continue reading

Thinking About Running In The 2022 Municipal Election?

A Reminder About an Online Workshop – This Tuesday, May 3d at 7 P.M.  – For You

Posted May 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

To read a related piece Niagara At Large posted on this event, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2022/04/28/join-a-workshop-on-how-to-run-for-municipal-office-in-niagara-and-win/

About A Better Niagara – A Better Niagara is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mandate to encourage civic engagement and municipal public participation in Niagara.

Formed by a desire to see transparency and accountability in municipal politics A Better Niagara is committed to a Niagara that is more democratic, more equal and more open.

For more on A Better Niagara, click on – https://www.facebook.com/betterniagara/

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

They Are ‘Our Great Lakes’ If We Can Fork Out the Money to Walk a Beach – No Money, No Beach!

In Niagara, the Message from Private Lakeshore owners and Local Municipalities  Seems to Be – Pay Up Or Get the Hell Off the Beach

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

Posted April 27th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

This is how those who don’t own land along the Great Lakes shores in Niagara are treated – ‘ No Tresspassing” or, for short, ‘get the hell out.’. So much for ‘Our Great Lakes’.

For more than four decades, this reporter – in my capacity as one covering environmental issues – has encouraged us all to do what we can to protect our Great Lakes.

But it is getting harder and harder for me to do that any more because these Great Lakes apparently do not belong to us.

They belong to federal and provincial governments that want to fill them full of fingerlings so that they may be exploited as a multi-billion dollar commercial and sport fishery.

And they belong to municipalities in Niagara and elsewhere that want to exploit them for revenue by charging residents in our region and other regions of the Great Lakes fees to walk on the beach. Continue reading

Ontario’s New Democratic Party Releases Comprehensive Platform for this Spring’s Election

NDP Platform –  Strong. Ready. Working For You – Focuses On Fixing And Expanding Health Care, And Making Life More Affordable

News from the Office of Ontariio’s Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted April 25th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

TORONTO — The (Ontario) NDP has released a comprehensive election platform that lays out a plan to fix the things that matter most to people — including expanding OHIP so people can get mental health care, dental care and prescriptions with their OHIP card, not their credit card.

“The last few years have been tough. People are waiting in pain because our health care system is on its knees. And folks are working harder than ever while the cost of living and the cost of homes makes it impossible to get ahead,” said Horwath.

“But it really doesn’t have to be this way. Ontario is the greatest place in the world to live, and together we can start to fix the things that have been broken — the things that matter most to everyday people.” Continue reading

Fighting To Save a Treasured Tract of Niagara’s Historical and Natural Heritage from Developers in Fort Erie

This April 25th an Ontario Land Tribunal Hearing Begins that May Decide the Fate of a Popular Green Place Known As Waverly Woods

A Commentary by Maria Featherston, a Fort Erie resident and member of Community Voices of Fort Erie, a citizen’s group now fighting a David vs. Goliath battle to save Waverly Woods

Posted April 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Inside the tree canopy of Waverly Woods, a beautiful green area along the shores of Lake Erie in Fort Erie, Niagara, and a much beloved destination for people on both sides of the Niagara River. File photo by Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Four years ago, a small group named Community Voices of Fort Erie was formed to do battle over a beautiful piece of property named Waverly Woods.

They do not have great amounts of money or power; they are just ordinary citizens, like your neighbours, but they have a strong sense of purpose.

Starting Monday morning, April 25, their lawyer and team of experts will attempt to convince an LPAT (Ontario Land Tribunal) hearing that the planned subdivision with its condo should not go ahead.

What makes Waverly Woods so special?

It is a microcosm of Canadian history, beginning with indigenous history thousands of years ago on the site. During the War of 1812, Erie Beach/ Waverly Woods played a significant role, especially during the Siege of Fort Erie August 14-15, 1814, which was described by an American officer as “a great slaughter.” Continue reading

Prime Mnister’s Earth Day Message Stresses our Collective Responsibility to Protect the Environment

‘When we protect our planet, everyone benefits. We deliver clean air, we create good middle-class jobs, and we ensure our children and grandchildren can inherit the natural landscapes we are so proud of as Canadians.”                                                                                – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Posted April 22, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Earth Day:

“Today, we join the international community to mark Earth Day, which reminds us of our shared responsibility to protect our planet – for now and for the generations to come.

“As Canadians, we are fortunate to have breathtaking forests, majestic mountains, and scenic lakes and coasts right in our backyards. Just as these gifts inspire us, they come with a tremendous responsibility to protect them. From preserving nature to fighting climate change and delivering clean air, Canada will continue to lead the way to a better future for everyone. Continue reading

On this Earth Day 2022, Young Voices Are Last Real Chance for Saving Our Planet

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Was it really just three years ago that a world-wide movement involving unprecedented millions of people to address the climate crisis was on a roll.

That movement, propelled by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teen activist bursting with purpose and determination, inspired tens of thousands of people to march in Montreal, and inspired people other cities across Canada, including Niagara, raising a voice for action.

One the signs from these marches that stayed has stayed with  me, held up by a young lady who, like Greta, appeared to be in her teens, was painted with the following words; “If You Don’t Act Like An Adult, We Will!” Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Niagara-Wide Earth Day Rally in Pelham on Saturday, April 23rd

A Brief One on this from NAL reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted April 21st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

What may be this year’s largest Earth Day Rally in Niagara, Ontario is scheculed to take place in the Town Square of the Fonthill community of Pelham this Saturday, April 23rd from 1 to 3 p.m.

The rally is  being hosted by a citizen’s group called Pelham Advocates for Trees and Habitat or PATH for short, which is dedicated to promoting and preserving urban forses, and educating the public on the value of trees.

PATH has reached out to other citizen groups and individuals across Niagara in the hope of making this Earth Day Rally as large as they come in the region, so please make a promise to yourself to be there if you can. Continue reading

Niagara’s St. Johns Pond Hosts First Community Outreach Day In Three Years With Opening of Trout Fishing Season

An Earth Week Invite to All from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

An Invite from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted April 21st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Children enjoying the annual trout fishing event at NPCA’s St. John’s Conservation Area. Photo courtesy of NPCA

This Saturday, April 23, the pond at St. Johns Conservation Area (in Pelham, Niagara’s Effingham area) will officially open for another trout fishing season, starting at 10 a.m.

Visitors are welcome to enjoy a spring outing in nature with family and friends at the first community fishing day held at St. Johns Conservation Area since the pandemic.

“We are excited to welcome visitors to St. Johns and look forward to engaging them in outdoor education and recreation, and the conservation of the native species that call this area home,” says Alicia Powell, Manager of Conservation Area Services at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA). Continue reading

New Canada-U.S. Citizens Network Organized to Advocate for Great Lakes for Next Fifty Years

“The goal of GLEN (the newly organized Great Lakes Ecoregion Network) is to generate momentum to strengthen the protection of water quality (in the Great Lakes).

An Introductory Message from the Great Lakes Ecoregion Network (GLEN)

Posted April 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Great Lakes, the largest source of fresh, drinkable water in the world, if we have the sense to look after them.

The Great Lakes Ecoregion Network (GLEN) is a new initiative to engage members of the basin-wide Great Lakes environmental community on issues related to the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA).

As the 50th anniversary of the signing of the GLWQA is celebrated later this (April), we call on the US and Canadian federal governments to renew and strengthen their commitment to water quality and ecosystem health in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.

The GLWQA, first signed by President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, on April 15th, 1972, was a groundbreaking step by the two nations to jointly manage a shared resource. It led to strategies to revive Lake Erie and tackle toxic pollution throughout the Basin. Continue reading