Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ontario’s Ford Government Opens Up COVID-19 Testing Across the Province

Strategy Expands Testing for General Public, Frontline Workers, First Responders and Workplaces

A COVID-19 Update from the Offfice of Ontario’s Premier

Posted May 29th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — As the province carefully and gradually reopens the economy, the Ontario government is implementing the next phase of its COVID-19 testing strategy to detect and quickly stop the spread of the virus. Testing will now be available to more people in more locations across the province.

Today, Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, released the next phase of the province’s COVID-19 testing plan, Protecting Ontarians Through Enhanced Testing, which includes three branches of testing: Continue reading

In Trumpland, Death Count Is Now 100,000 and Counting!

Thank You Mr. Prime Minister, for Your Part in Keeping the Canada-U.S. Border Closed to Non-Essential Travel At Least Until June 21st

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

Posted May 26th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A profile of two “leaders” at U.S. Memorial Day services – Trump with no mask, and the Democratic Party’s presidential hopeful, Joe Biden, wearing one.

The United States has passed another tragic milestone in this time of COVID-19 – one that doesn’t appear to rattle – not even a wit – the millions of mask-shunning Trumpies across the “land of liberty” where, so the thinking seems to go; ‘To hell with the common good. I should be able to do whatever I want.”

“And oh, by the way, how is my investment portfolio doing?”

The startling front page of this Sunday, May 24th, New York Times. No pictures and the names of the COVID victims just goes on and on, spilling over to inside pages of the newspaper

Barely more than three days after a Sunday edition of The New York Times, under a headline that read; ‘U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, An Incalculable Loss’, and just two days after American cable networks broadcast split screen images of U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his wife Jill, wearing masks as they laid a wreath for Memorial Day in their home state of Delaware, and of Trump and his water boy, Mike Pence, at Arlington National Cemetery, not wearing one, the COVID death toll in America has, as of the afternoon of this May 27th, 2020 surpassed that grim six digit figure.

“One hundred thousand, “ read an editorial in the New York Times that accompanied four pages of the names, ages and short tributes to a mere 1,000 of the deceased.  “The immensity of such a sudden toll taxes our ability to comprehend, to understand that each number adding up to 100,000 represents someone among us just yesterday.” Continue reading

City of St. Catharines Council Waives Fees For Seasonal Patios In Bid To Support Businesses

“This is a simple way for the City to support our establishments who are being hit hard by this pandemic. We have to be proactive instead of waiting”                                                                                     – St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik.

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

Posted May 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario  – As the economy slowly begins to restart, St. Catharines City Council is directing support to local restaurants.

Downtown St. Catharines, where sidewalk patios have become more popular in recent years

Recognizing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses such as the restaurants in the City’s downtown core, on Wednesday Council voted to waive all fees associated with patios operated seasonally in outdoor areas adjacent to businesses. The decision will allow businesses with seasonal patios to be prepared once the Ontario government allows them to reopen. The process to apply for a patio remains the same. Continue reading

As Ontario Reopens, People Urged to Continue Following Public Health Advice

Face Coverings Now Recommended When Physical Distancing is a Challenge

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

“Now that we are in Stage 1 of our Framework for Reopening the Province, more people will be returning to workplaces, going to stores and parks, and using public transit. I strongly urge everyone to continue following the public health advice, such as physical distancing and restricting gatherings to five people or less. Although we are making progress, COVID-19 is still a risk that we must guard against. Please stay safe and protect yourself and others.”               – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A COVID-19 Update from the Office of the Ontario Premier

Posted May 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — As the Ontario government carefully and gradually reopens the province, those taking public transit, returning to work or going out shopping are being urged to continue to adhere to public health advice as the best line of defence against COVID-19.

To assist the public,Ontario  the Ministry of Health this week released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible, along with additional safety measures for provincial transit agencies. Continue reading

With U.S.-Canada Border Restrictions Extended, Buffalo, New York area Congressman Asks Governments to Examine Essential Travel Allowances

Congressman Brian Higgins Encourages Planning for a Reopening that Protects Public Health While Reinvigorating Commerce

Canada-U.S Governments Announce Decision This May 19th to Extend Border Closing to all but Essential Travel until last week of June

News from the Buffalo, New York Office of Democratic Party Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted May 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

Buffalo, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), who serves as Co-Chair of the House of Representatives’ Northern Border Caucus is asking U.S. and Canada leaders to re-examine the scope of those provided essential travel status as communities on each side of the border begin reopening measures.

On March 24 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) imposed travel restrictions at Land Ports of Entry between the United States and Canada, limiting crossings to “essential travel” due to the ongoing pandemic. A second notice extended travel restrictions through May 20. Earlier this week the U.S. and Canada agreed to extend northern border restrictions through 11:59pm on June 22, 2020.

Under the current order, “essential travel” includes: Continue reading

‘Unconscionable’ – Ontario NDP Opposition Leader on Ford Blocking Long-Term Care Inquiry

Ford’s PC MPPs voted unanimously against NDP Leader Andrea Horwath Motion To Launch Find-And-Fix Public Inquiry

A Statement from Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted May 20th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Official Opposition and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement after the Ford government voted down an NDP motion (tabled this May 19th) calling for a full, independent public inquiry into Ontario’s long-term care system:

“It’s unconscionable for the Ford government to refuse to launch a full, independent public inquiry into how badly Ontario’s long-term care system has failed vulnerable seniors, and how to fix it.

“Voting no to a public inquiry is salt in the wound of families grieving the loss of loved ones to COVID-19 in long-term care, and for health care heroes who are run off their feet and still pleading for personal protective equipment. It is a cause for us all to worry that the painful, dangerous, decades-in-the-making problems in long-term care are not going to change. Continue reading

A Belated Goodbye to Wilma Morrison, a Niagara, Ontario Treasure

Wilma Morrison, a champion for heritage preservation, the go-to person on Black History in Niagara, and a beautiful human being, died this April. She was 91.

A Brief Tribute by Doug Draper, reporter and publisher, Niagara At Large

Posted May 20th, 2020

Wilma Morrison

I’m so sorry, Wilma, I am late again.

The first time I met this wonderful lady, more than 20 years ago, she was waiting for me in her beloved BME Church, Nathaniel Dett Memorial Chapel on Peer Street in Niagara Falls, and I was a reporter, still working for a daily newspaper in Niagara, assigned to do a story on Black History Month, and I was late.

I was late because the newspaper by then expected what few reporters they had left to do four stories at the same time, but when I got there and apologized for keeping her, Wilma Morrison greeted me with such a kind smile and said it was okay. Continue reading