Category Archives: Uncategorized

Major Canadian Environment Group Applauds New U.S. Prez for Saying No to Keystone XL Pipe

“Killing the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all is a clearindication that climate action is a priority for the White House.” – Environmental Defence

A News Release from Environmental Defence Canada

Posted January 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Statement from Dale Marshall, National Climate Program Manager, on PresidentBiden cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline

Thanks Joe Biden, no more climate ravaging tar crap from Alberta through an XL pipeline, Please!

Ottawa, Ontario – U.S President Joe Biden’s first move in office sends a clear signal that Canada needs to get serious about phasing out fossil fuels, ramping up action on climate change, and implementing a transition plan for workers and communities.

 Killing the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all is a clear indication that climate action is a priority for the White House. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

 Along with rejoining the Paris Agreement, President Biden is expected to undertake a number of climate initiatives. Continue reading

Shipments of COVID Vaccine to Niagara are Falling Short

“The interruption in supply is deeply disappointing and impacts on our plans to continue vaccinating Niagara Health staff and physicians who are on the front line against COVID-19,”                 – Lynn Guerriero, President and Interim CEO, Niagara Health

“It is frustrating that vaccines to Niagara are being reduced again, when we have only just started vaccinating.”                              – Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Health for the Niagara Region

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

Posted January 18th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Reduced Pfizer shipments result in changes to Niagara’s vaccine plan

Niagara, Ontario – Supply shortages of the Pfizer vaccine are resulting in changes to Niagara’s vaccination plan. We have received provincial direction that, effective immediately, all first doses of vaccine are to be used to vaccinate residents, staff and essential caregivers in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes

This is being done to ensure there is sufficient supply to vaccinate these individuals by Feb. 15.  As a result, there will be a pause in vaccinating Niagara Health’s staff and physicians.

“It is frustrating that vaccines to Niagara are being reduced again, when we have only just started vaccinating,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Health for the Niagara Region. Continue reading

Ontario’s Largest Public Employees Union Condemns Province’s Hospital Association Over Barriers to Vaccine Rollout

“It’s unbelievable that front-line workers at some hospitals are being told they have to use vacation or lieu time to get a vaccine shot.” – Ontario Public Service Employees Uniont (OPSEU/SEFPO) President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

A News Release from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (UPSEU/SEFPO),  the largest public employees union across Ontario

Posted January 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Public Service Employees Union leader Warren ‘Smokey’ Thomas

Toronto, Ontario – OPSEU/SEFPO is calling out the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) for not providing clear direction to hospitals that workers should be given time to get vaccinated against COVID-19 during work hours.

OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says it’s unbelievable that front-line workers at some hospitals are being told they have to use vacation or lieu time to get a vaccine shot.

Although the union appealed to the OHA to provide direction, there has, thus far been no action, Thomas said.

“It is duplicitous for the OHA to drag their heels and fail to show any leadership while claiming to be all-in on preserving healthcare capacity,” said Thomas. “The OHA claims to exist to preserve the integrity of our healthcare system, and then they treat our frontline heroes, who keep our health system running, with contempt.” Continue reading

Join Niagara Parks’ Virtual Black History Speaker Series

An Invite from the Niagara Parks Commission in Niagara, Ontario

Posted January 16th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Rosemary Sadlier, one of the key speakers for this online event, is a former president of the Ontario Black History Society and a key voice in estabishing Black History Month in Canada

Niagara Falls, Ontario – Niagara Parks will host a three-part virtual speaker series exploring perspectives on Black history and culture in Canada, delivered by leading historians and commentators.

The online events will be held on the last Wednesday of the month in January, February and March.

The three-part virtual series features an incredible line-up of speakers, including the return of acclaimed author Saladin Allah and renowned historian, Rochelle Bush, both of whom presented at Niagara Parks’ Black History Symposium last February. Joining them to kick-off the series on January 27th will be Order of Ontario recipient, Rosemary Sadlier.

The interactive online sessions will each focus on a unique topic related to Canadian Black History and Culture. Continue reading

Reconciliation Advances with Niagara’s Indigenous People Are ‘Truly Extraordinary’ – Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

“We need to encourage and support initiatives that are demonstrably making a difference by redressing the past and working to eliminate bias, prejudice, discrimination, racism, and violence against Indigenous peoples.”                                                   – Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre.

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre MP (federal) Vance Badawey

Posted January 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Larges

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey, file photo

“Five years since Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report and 94 Calls to Action, we need to encourage and support initiatives that are demonstrably making a difference by redressing the past and working to eliminate bias, prejudice, discrimination, racism, and violence against Indigenous peoples,” said Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre.

Among the principles established for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, mandated in Schedule “N” of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and representing a national commitment, was the need to have forward looking efforts “in terms of rebuilding and renewing Aboriginal relationships and the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.”

Many agencies of federal and provincial government as well as regional and municipal government, along with educational institutions and enlightened industries, acknowledge the need for dialogue and action but are often at a loss on how best to proceed. Continue reading

A Must-Read Globe and Mail Editorial on Ford Government’s Half-Hearted Response to COVID Pandemic

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it best: “The virus punishes half-heartedness. In Ontario, that’s an understatement.” – from an Editorial published recently in The Globe and Mail

Posted here by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

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

Is this man – Ontario Premier Doug Ford – and his Conservative government doing enough to get us through this hell?

Throughout the dark and troubling times we, the people  across Niagara, Ontario and the rest of the world are continuing to suffer through with this killer virus, there has been ongoing debate and discussion in Ontario over how well the Ford government has been addressing the most unprecedented health crisis we have faced in living memory.

Since the winter of 2020, when the first significant outbreaks of COVID-19 were confirmed in Niagara and other regions of Ontario, Niagara At Large has posted countless pieces of news and commentary on the pandemic and what steps the government in this province has been taking to address it. Continue reading

Moderna Vaccine May Be Better for a Niagara Urgently Needing COVID Protection – Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates

“We’re happy that the Ford government has finally realized Niagara is a hot spot region, but we’re in a race against time, and the Moderna vaccine is urgently needed.”                                         – Wayne Gates, NDP MPP for  Niagara Falls, Ontario

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted January 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Niagara, Ontario – NDP MPP Wayne Gates has released a statement following a meeting with Niagara Health to discuss the vaccine rollout in the region:

Gates: Niagara needs Moderna vaccine urgently to protect long-term care residents

“After two weeks of pressure from the Official Opposition NDP, Ford is finally sending the Pfizer vaccine to Niagara. Of course, any vaccines coming to Niagara is a good start but public health officials and Niagara Health are making clear that we need the Moderna vaccine,” said Gates.

The Moderna vaccines can be sent to long-term care homes much more easily to protect residents in these facilities that can’t go to a hospital site. In Niagara, the Pfizer vaccine is being stored in hospital freezers, which will be more challenging for public health to deliver into long-term care homes, possibly causing further delays. Continue reading

Ontario Liberals Launch Platform for Addressing Climate Change, Education Funding, Health Care Needs and Economic Growth

A News Release from the Liberal Party of Ontario

Posted January 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Liberal Leader Stephen Del Duca

TORONTO – Ontario Liberal Party Leader, Steven Del Duca has appointed the party’s 2022 Platform Co-Chairs – Don Valley East MPP, Michael Coteau and London North Centre candidate, Kate Graham.

The Ontario Liberal plan for the next election will be built on the following pillars:

  • * Growing an economy that ensures prosperity and dignity.
  • * Reinvigorating our publicly-funded education system, to guarantee future generations’ economic success and social progress.
  • * Putting patients and their families at the centre of our public health care system; Eliminating gaps in prescription medicine and mental health care; And protecting the safety and the health of our seniors as they age.
  • * Building a real plan to help Ontario families confront climate change and protect our natural environment.

Continue reading

To Possibly No One’s Surprise, Ban on ‘Non-Essential’ Traffic on Our Canada/U.S. Border Bridges Is Extended – YET AGAIN!

A News Release from the Office of Buffalo, New York-area Congressman Brian Higgins, with a Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 12th, 2021 ion Niagara At Large A Foreword by Doug Draper at NAL –

This Peace Bridge – built in friendship to peoples on both sides of the Canada/U.S border – remains closed to most of us. Thanks to Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins to circulating a statement on it again. No thanks to our federal MPs on the Canadian side of the border for not releasing a statement on this … Shame on them, Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Once again, an extension the ban on non-essential traffic across the Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and other border crossing bridges is being circulated in a statement from a Buffalo, New York area Congressman, and not by any federal MPs on the Niagara, Ontario side of the border.

And the question is why are our federal MPs here in Niagara, Ontario not issuing a statement containing the kind of substance that is in the one issued by Buffalo-area Congressman below.

Does all of the cost and suffering – economic, social and otherwise – not matter to them as much too.

We are going through unprecedented times and I can say that at no time, during my more than six decades on this earth, have the border bridges bonding friends on both sides of the Canada/U.S border been closed for such a long time – almost going on a whole year now. Continue reading

Families Of Loved Ones In Long Term Care Homes In Niagara And Across Ontario Are Saying Enough Is Enough.

An ‘URBENT OPEN LETTER to Ontario Premier Doug Ford from Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Posted January 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Dear Premier Ford:

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Families of loved ones in Long Term Care homes in Niagara and across Ontario are saying enough is enough.

Nearly three thousand have now died in these facilities and the situation is clearly spiraling out of control as we hear from more and more families desperate to get the proper care they deserve during the pandemic.

Constituent Susan Park sent me an email about the deplorable conditions her 57-year-old sister is dealing with at Extendicare in St. Catharines. Staff are overwhelmed, many at home with Covid. Continue reading

Removal of Trump May Be Best Option Forward – Brock University Experts

“Canada has seen a steady rise of radicalized right-wing sentiments; albeit, these political sentiments have not always been prosperous in garnering widespread support. Right-wing populist moments are very much a part of Canada’s political landscape.”                                                                                                    – Ibrahim Berrada, a Brock University instructor in Canadian Studies and former Parliament Hill staffer

A News Release from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario
Posted January 7th on Niagara At Large
How should America move forward and properly react to Wednesday’s occupation of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump?
That’s the question being pondered by politicians, experts and observers around the world today.
Brock University Associate Professor of Political Science Paul Hamilton says the events in Washington were either “the last gasp of the Trump era or the beginning of the descent of American politics into political violence and anti-democratic populism.”

Continue reading

Niagara Health CEO “Sorry” He Vacationed in Southern Climes While Rest of Us Told to Sacrifice During DOVID Lockdown

Dr. Tom Stewart Resigns From Ontario Health Advisories on COVID-19.

Should Stewart Resign from CEO Job at Niagara’s Amalgamated System of Hospitals Too?

Dr. Tom Stewart, CEO of Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals, takes a vacation to the southern islands while the rest of us sacrifice and suffer.

“I regret this non-essential travel and I’m sorry. Everyone should be avoiding non-essential travel now, including me.” 

Dr. Tom Stewart, CEO of Niagara’s amalgamated system of hospitals, in a statement he released after he got caught taking a recent vacation to the Dominican Republic, while the rest of us in Niagara and all of Ontario were urged by health professionals to stay home.

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

Posted January 6th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

If those in positions of public leadership wonder why so many members of the public hold them in contempt or such little regard, here is one of the more recent and all-to-many reasons why.

This irresponsible character makes big money running Niagara Health, the region’s amalgamated system of hospitals

This time the example is of a medical doctor and one who is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by Ontario taxpayers – this one is Dr. Tom Stewart who is CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton and of Niagara Health’s amalgamated system of hospitals in our Niagara, Ontario region – taking a recent vacation to the sunny beaches of the Dominican Republic while the rest of us were encouraged to stay home during this second deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Stewart, along with the now former Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips and others, is but the latest elitist in a high-end public position to get caught going on a vacation down south while the rest of us were not only told to stay home, but to sacrifice spending time this Holiday Season with our beloved relatives and friends if they do not already live under our roof. Continue reading

Major Boost to Great Lakes Funding, Backed by Buffalo, New York Area Congressman, Becomes Law

U.S. Great Lakes Funding to Grow to $475 Million by 2026

This is Good News for Niagara, Ontario and for Millions of other Canadians who share the Great Lakes with Our American Neighbours Too

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

Posted December 6th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, based in the Buffalo, New York area, has been a strong voice for our shared Great Lakes.

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), a (Buffalo, New York area) member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, announced the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act (GLRI) has been signed into la, delivering a major increase in funding for the Great Lakes.

Higgins, an original cosponsor of the bill, said “Western New York’s identity and future is tied to the Great Lakes; we have the responsibility to protect this natural resource. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has demonstrated its worth through a decade of progress. Continued and expanded investment is good for the environment and the economy.”

In 2010, Congress amended the Clean Water Act of 2010 to create the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a multi-state, bi-national and multi-agency effort to provide federal resources for the Great Lakes ecosystem. Continue reading

Where is the COVID Safety Plan for Ontario’s Schools?

“If we want kids to start returning to classes in just one week, we need to make schools safer. That means action and investments, including a broad in-school asymptomatic testing program, and smaller class sizes so kids can physically distance better”               – Ontario NDP Education Critic Marit Stiles

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted December 5th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP calls for COVID safety plan, with one week left until kids return to classrooms

QUEEN’S PARK — Not one action has been taken to prepare schools and classrooms for kids’ safe return on Monday, said NDP Education critic Marit Stiles, who is calling for urgent action and investments to make kids safer.

“If we want kids to start returning to classes in just one week, we need to make schools safer. That means action and investments, including a broad in-school asymptomatic testing program, and smaller class sizes so kids can physically distance better,” said Stiles. Continue reading

Ontario’s Official Opposition Leader Calls for Removal of Ford Cabinet Minister

Andrea Horwath

“There Is A Pattern Of These Guys Behaving Like (COVID-19) Rules Don’t Apply To Them. From (Niagara West MPP) Sam Oosterhoff To (Finance Minister) Rod Phillips And (Premier) Doug Ford Himself.”                                                     – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

A Statement from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted December 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips (left), who recently flew off on a Caribbean vacation during province-wide lockdown, and Ford government rep and Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff who, last October had a large group in to a popular Niagara Falls, Ontario restaurant, flaunting COVID mask and social distancing rules. Makes for a perfect Ford government team, doesn’t it? They tell us to do one thing, then go off and do whatever the hell they want.

HAMILTON, Ontario  — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath Released The Following Statement In Response To Ford’s Decision Not To Punish Finance Minister Rod Phillips For His Two-Week Christmas Vacation In St. Barts (in the Carribean):

“While The Government Demands Sacrifice From Everyday Ontarians, Rod Phillips Chose To Ignore Public Health Advice, Jet Off To St. Barts, And Create An Elaborate Cover-Up On Social Media.

It’s Not Believable That A Senior Member Of Cabinet Didn’t Tell The Premier’s Office He Was Leaving The Country For Weeks During The Height Of A Global Emergency. If He Didn’t, That In Itself Would Be Enough Reason To Demote Him.

Because Of His Lack Of Judgment And Lack Of Honesty, Doug Ford Must Kick Rod Phillips Out Of Cabinet. Continue reading

Ford Government Runs Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes like Death Camps For Our Seniors

Ford’s Agenda – Let Corporate Interests Run LTCs Like Slot Machines, Shield Them from Any Legal Liability, and So What if the Seniors in them Die

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

Posted December 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently passed a law protecing privately owned and operated long-term care homes from any legal liability around their care for senior residents.

There was a time when those people now in their 80s and 90s were celebrated as members of “the greatest generation” – those who grew up and struggled their way through a great depression and a catastrophic world war from a century ago.

Now – quite apparently – in the measly, greedy minds of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the minions in his Tory Party, and the private-sector operators he continues to let manage so many of the province’s long-term care homes, they are now little more than basic income units – old gizzards that can easily be replaced by others, lined up to take their place, when they curl up in their soiled diapers and die.

Let’s not kid ourselves my fellow Ontarians.

Welive in a province where we now have a Ford government supported by a critical mass of our fellow citizens, and where previous Ontario governments, going back through the Dalton McGuinty/Kathleen Wynne Liberals, and the Mike Harris government of the late 1990s,  have never given (forgive my language or not) much of shit aoubt  the way our elders are treated in long-term care homes. Continue reading

Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party Demands Accelerated Vaccinations Across Province

NDP Calls on Ford Government to Publicly Release  Detailed Plan for Vaccinations

. “Vaccine supplies have been available in Ontario for more than two weeks, yet instead of an urgent mobilization to get the vaccine into the arms of people who need it most, we’re seeing the government struggle to figure out how to move this life-saving vaccine out.”                                                                                                – Ontario Opposition Party Leader Andrea Horwath

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted December 28th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Party Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario — Despite having 90,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines ready to go in Ontario, the Ford government has only vaccinated about 11,000 people, according to the government’s website.

Now Andrea Horwath and the NDP are calling for the province to accelerate vaccinations urgently, and publicly release the full vaccination schedule and detailed plan.

“It’s disheartening and frustrating to know that tens of thousands of life-saving vaccine doses have been sitting in freezers,” said Horwath. “Vaccine supplies have been available in Ontario for more than two weeks, yet instead of an urgent mobilization to get the vaccine into the arms of people who need it most, we’re seeing the government struggle to figure out how to move this life-saving vaccine out.

“How many more people will get sick or die from COVID-19 as a result of these delays? How much further will the spread get?” Continue reading

U.K. Super Virus Strain Has Made It To Ontario

Ontario Government Confirms First Cases of COVID-19 UK Variant in Ontario

To Help Stop the Spread Ontario Entered Provincewide  Shutdown Beginning Today

A News Release from the Government of Ontario

Posted December 26th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — Today (this December 26th, 2020), Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced the first two confirmed cases in Ontario of the COVID-19 variant first identified in the UK.

This variant has now been detected in multiple countries beyond the UK, including Denmark, Belgium, Australia and the Netherlands.

With inbound international travel, it is not unexpected to have identified the new variant in Ontario. Ontario is the first province to identify this variant thanks to the proactive work of the Public Health Ontario Laboratory.

The cases are a couple from Durham with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts. Both individuals have been informed and are now in self-isolation as per public health protocols.

“This further reinforces the need for Ontarians to stay home as much as possible and continue to follow all public health advice, including the provincewide shutdown measures beginning today,” said Dr. Yaffe. Continue reading

Ontario Gov. Welcomes Health Canada Approval of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccine Is More Mobile and Can Be Taken Directly to Various Settings

News from the Office of Ontario’s Premier

Posted December 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO, Ontario ― Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement following Health Canada’s approval of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine:

“This is phenomenal news for Ontarians and Canadians – yet another life-saving COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for safe and effective use in the province and in the country. We are taking another step towards ending this terrible pandemic.

The federal government has allocated approximately 53,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for Ontario in December 2020, and they will be delivered before the end of the month. These are the first of 40 million doses Canada will be receiving through its agreement with Moderna.

The Moderna vaccine is a real game changer as it does not need to be stored at extremely cold temperatures and is more mobile. This means health staff can administer this vaccine onsite in our long-term care homes, retirement homes, congregate care settings, rural and remote locations, and other places where our most vulnerable populations live. For the first time, we can take the vaccine directly to our priority groups. Continue reading

Niagara’s Health System to Manage COVID-Ravaged Long-Term Care Home in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Niagara Health to Provide Temporary Management Support to Privately Owned and Operated Oakwood Park Lodge in Niagara Falls, Ontario

“Our hospital team is taking immediate action to contain the virus and protect residents and staff. Their health and wellbeing is our most important priority.”                                                              – Niagara Health President Lynn Guerriero.

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

Posted December 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Effective (late this December 22nd), Niagara Health will provide temporary management support through a voluntary contract with Oakwood Park Lodge, a long-term home in Niagara Falls that is in a home-wide outbreak of COVID-19.

The Oakwood Place Long-Term Care facility in Niagara, Falls, Ontario

The outbreak was declared on December 12, 2020. A total of 97 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Sadly, eight residents who tested positive have passed away. In addition, 91 staff have tested positive as part of surveillance testing.

“Our hospital team is taking immediate action to contain the virus and protect residents and staff. Their health and wellbeing is our most important priority,” says Niagara Health President Lynn Guerriero. Continue reading

MPP Demands More Action on Huge Outbreak at Niagara Falls Long-Term Care Home

NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) is demanding immediate action at Oakwood Park Lodge long-term care home in Niagara Falls

A News Release rom the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls Constituency Office of NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted December 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates. File photo

NIAGARA FALLS —NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) is demanding immediate action at Oakwood Park Lodge long-term care home in Niagara Falls, where an outbreak of COVID-19 has infected at least 90 residents at the 153-bed facility, as well as 60 staff members, and nine lives have already been lost.

“I am hearing from residents, staff and worried family members about what’s happening at Oakwood Park Lodge. It’s clear the Ford government needs to step in immediately and take over this home. Lives are at stake and there isn’t a minute to waste,” said Gates.

Gates says he has received complaints of chronic understaffing, inadequate PPE and lack of communication from the owners of the home, Conmed, a for-profit corporation. Continue reading

Ford Putting Big Buck Interests of “Big-Box CEOs” Ahead of Smaller Local Businesses

Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Leader says Longer Deeper, Broader Lockdown the Result of Ford Putting Politics And Big Business Ahead of Health

“A lot of folks are already on the brink. This lockdown means more people are facing the collapse of their business and loss of their job.”                                                                                                         – Ontario Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

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

Posted December 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

NDP Leader says longer deeper, broader lockdown the result of Ford putting politics and big business ahead of health

HAMILTON, Ontario  — People will need much greater financial supports to make it through this lockdown, while more public health supports will be needed to make it effective, said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who also said Ford has been putting politics and big-box CEOs ahead of public health.

Big Box chain stores like Walmart, along with chain grocery and pharmacies saw great profits during the first lockdown, and and are expected to do well in this one. What about all of the smaller, local, independently owned businesses?

“It should never have come to this. We are facing a longer, deeper, wider lockdown because Doug Ford caved to politics in his caucus. He caved to the demands of the CEOs of big-box giants.

And he sat on billions in COVID-19 funding because he didn’t want to spend it,” said Horwath. “Once again, Ford is scrambling to catch up, and it’s Ontarians that now have to pay the price for that.” Continue reading

Brock University in Niagara Prepared For Province-Wide Lockdown

‘With Niagara being moved into the lockdown classification, Brock will move into its Stage 1 effective Thursday, Dec. 24 at noon.’

A News Release from Brock University in Niagara, Ontario

Posted December 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Brock University, with the original old ‘Brock Tower’ in the background.

Further steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 were announced by the Ontario government on Monday, Dec. 21 with a province-wide lockdown coming later this week.

Effective Saturday, Dec. 26, the Niagara region will join the rest of the province in moving into a lockdown under Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework. This will be effective for at least 28 days until Friday, Jan. 22.

Brock University had previously announced it was moving into Stage 2 of its own Stages of Response and Recovery plan<https://brocku.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/216/Stages-for-Pandemic-Response-and-Recovery-Report.pdf> effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Dec. 21 to align with the government moving Niagara region into the Red (Control) classification. Continue reading

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey Announces Funding Support for Legions

A News Release from the Niagara Centre Constituency Office of Federal Representative Vance Badawey

Posted December 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

Welland, Ontaro – This December 21st, Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey announced $32,535.15 in funding from the Government of Canada to support the Rose City Legion, Thorold Legion, and Port Colborne & Humberstone Legion, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.

This funding will assist our local veteran organizations with their operational costs so they can continue providing important support for Veterans.

The Veterans Organizations Emergency Support Fund is part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to protect jobs, provide emergency support and keep businesses afloat through the pandemic. Organizations such as our Legions, play a critical role in the well-being of Veterans, their families and the community. Continue reading

New Visitor Restrictions at Niagara Health Emergency Depts. and Urgent Care Centres

“We regret any inconvenience this may cause patients and their loved ones, but these measures are in place for everyone’s safety.” – Derek McNally, Niagara Health’s Executive Vice President of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive.

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

Posted December 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Health is implementing new restrictions for visitors at our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres, effective this just-past Monday, December 21st at noon.

Niagara Health regularly reviews and updates its safety measures based on COVID-19 activity to ensure the hospital remains a safe environment. Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centres are busy areas of the hospital and these additional measures are necessary to maintain proper physical distancing. These changes have been made in collaboration with our Patient Partners. Continue reading

A CODE RED Message from St. Catharines’ Mayor – Wear Face Covering, Whenever Possible, Stay Home!

St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik

“This second wave of COVID-19 is overwhelming our healthcare systems and has had a serious impact on our long-term care homes in Niagara. We are on the verge of losing the battle against COVID-19 in Niagara – and if we do not get everyone – every family and every business – focused on removing the opportunities for the virus to move about our city, more people will become sick, more people will die.”                                                                                          – St. Catharines, Ontario Mayor Walter Sendzik

A Statement from St. Catharinges, Ontario Mayor Sendzik on Niagara Region moving into RED category of the provincial COVID-19 response framework

Posted December 21st. 2020 on Niagara At Large

Downtown St. Catharines in Niagara, Ontario. File photo by Doug Draper

Niagara, Ontario – This past Friday, December 18th, the Ontario government is placing Niagara Region – along with a number of other regions, into the RED category of the provincial COVID-19 response framework.

This means, that effective Monday, Dec. 21, there will be a number of broader-scale measures and restrictions<https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open#red> across multiple sectors – to stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes changes to the City’s recreation programs and facilities.

Please see www.stcatharines.ca/covid19<http://www.stcatharines.ca/covid19> for information on City programs and services, and watch the page regularly for updates.

This second wave of COVID-19 is overwhelming our healthcare systems and has had a serious impact on our long-term care homes in Niagara.

We are on the verge of losing the battle against COVID-19 in Niagara – and if we do not get everyone – every family and every business – focused on removing the opportunities for the virus to move about our city, more people will become sick, more people will die and more healthcare workers will suffer the stresses of a system-wide breakdown.

While the province is suggesting tighter restrictions may be announced next week, we need to continue to take a bundled approach to keep our community safe regardless of any future announcements.

We must act quickly and aggressively to stop the spread of COVID-19. To achieve this we MUST do the following:

  *   Maintain physical distancing

  *   Wear a face covering

  *   Wash your hands frequently

  *   Stay home

The only way to flatten the curve is to reduce points of contact. This means – no private house parties, no hosting dinner parties, and do not have your children or teenagers attending large gatherings in anyone’s house. These measures will greatly reduce points of contact and help to drive down COVID-19.

As we head into the final week before Christmas, please limit any travel in the community. Support small local businesses in any way you can, but also try to limit your points of contact. Curbside pick up, gift cards and pre-ordering products is a great way to both support local businesses and limit your own exposure to COVID-19.

Check out www.loveSTC.ca<http://www.loveSTC.ca> for some great ideas.

We are months away from a level of vaccinations that would be able to combat the spread of COVID-19. Now is not the time to let up and let other people do the heavy lifting of protecting our community. The greatest gift we can give each other right now is to stay home.

In the wake of Red Zoning in Niagara, Ontario, The Town of Lincoln circulated the following release on new restrictions in that Niagara municipality. To read the release, click on – https://mailchi.mp/e0a59d604302/statement-from-mayor-sandra-easton-and-chief-administrative-officer-michael-kirkopoulos-on-recent-cases-of-covid-19-in-lincoln-12973674?e=6d96d8ed62 .

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

Long-Term Home Care Staff Continue Getting the Shaft from Ontario’s Ford Government

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch Responds for NHS staff and Niagara LTC staff, who continue to inform him about be ing unpaid for self-isolation when exposed to COVID-19 at work.

An Open Letter to Official Opposition Critic for Municipal Affair, Hon. Christine Elliot. Ontario Ministry of Health from Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

Posted December 21st/ 2020 on Niagara At Large

OPEN LETTER

Dear Minister Elliot,

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

I am writing to you today as a follow-up to my original letter sent to you on November 19, 2020, to which I have yet to receive a reply.

Dozens of health care workers have reached out to my office since the original letter, pleading for assistance. Nurses working in hospitals and long-term care homes are reporting that when their employers or health and safety officials direct them to isolate due to COVID exposure, they are not allowed to take sick days or get paid.

One nurse was exposed to COVID by a person in their bubble. OCC Health mandated them to stay home until they received a negative test, but said they could not take sick time or be paid. Continue reading

Dear U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi- Please Lift America Above the Moral Morass It is In – American Folk Singer Legend and Activist, Joan Baez

From Joan Baez to Nancy Pelosi, on Joan Baez’s Facebook Page

Posted December 21st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Joan Baez

(A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – Why am I posting this? Well because Joan Baez remains one of the greatest living activists for world peace and justice of our times. That is why. She was on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the early 1960s when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech and she was there for his funderal after he was assinated by a bullet of intolerance and hate in 1968. Love and peace to you Joan. Long may you live on. – Doug Draper.)

Thank you, Speaker Pelosi, for not mincing words about the 126 Republicans who joined the lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General. As you said: “Instead of upholding their oath to support and defend the Constitution, they chose to subvert the Constitution and undermine public trust in our sacred democratic institutions.”

But in these virulent times are words enough? Continue reading

Niagara Falls, Ontario Hospital Hit With Another COVID Outbreak

COVID-19 outbreak declared on Greater Niagara General Trillium Unit

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

Posted December 16th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Health has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Trillium Unit at the Greater Niagara General Site in Niagara Falls.

The outbreak was called after four patients and two healthcare workers tested positive for COVID-19. All of the cases are healthcare associated.

“The safety of everyone at our hospital sites is our top priority, and our Infection Prevention and Control experts, working with our Occupational Health and Safety team and Niagara Region Public Health, is monitoring this situation closely,” says Derek McNally, Niagara Health Executive Vice President Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executives. “We have taken immediate steps to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and physicians.” Continue reading

COVID Case Count in Ontario Hits Another Record High

With Daily Count Hitting 2,275, Province’s Official Opposition Leader Says ‘Just Waiting for a Vaccine is a Dangerous Plan’

A Statement from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted December 15th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Horwath responds to exploding COVID case numbers as Ford waits for vaccine

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Party Leader Andrea Horwath

HAMILTON, Ontario — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement in response to today’s (this December 15th, 2020) daily COVID-19 case numbers surging past the 2,000-mark to a record-high 2,275:

“Today’s exploding COVID-19 case numbers in Ontario are the biggest alarm bell yet that just waiting for a vaccine is a dangerous plan.

Doug Ford has been withholding $12 billion in COVID-19 funding, and it would be wrong of him to keep sitting on it.

As we head into the holidays, Mr. Ford is condemning families to more pain and suffering because he just doesn’t want to spend the money, so instead he’s waving a white flag in the fight against COVID. Continue reading

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Launches Country-Wide Plan to Plant Two Billion Trees

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan

“Planting two billion trees is more than a plan for climate action. It’s a plan for creating thousands of good, green jobs. We’re confronting the urgency of climate change and getting trees in the ground starting this spring.”                                                     – Seamus O’Regan, Federal Minister of Natural Resources

“The federal government’s commitment to fighting climate change, protecting forests, and creating good jobs – particularly through planting two billion trees across Canada by 2030 – is good news.”                                            – Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario/Forest Recovery Canada

News from Natural Resources Canada, followed by a response from Forests Ontario and Forest Recovery Canada

Posted December 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

OTTAWA, Ontario  – This December 14th, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, launched the Government of Canada’s plan to plant two billion trees over 10 years, with an investment of $3.16 billion. Meeting this commitment will help Canada address climate change by reducing carbon pollution and is a key part of Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

There is no path to net-zero emissions that does not involve our forests. Planting trees is a natural climate solution that reduces emissions while providing other benefits such as improved air and water quality, particularly in urban settings; decreased risk of wildland fire to rural communities and support for biodiversity. It also provides spaces for recreational opportunities that improve quality of life and form part of our Canadian identity.

Canada’s plan to plant two billion trees over the next ten years is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 12 megatonnes by 2050. It will create up to 4,300 good jobs. Continue reading

COVID-19 Outbreak Declared at Welland Hospital Site

Welland Site’s Extended Care Unit Confirms One Positive Case

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

Posted December 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario’s Welland Hospital site confirms COVID-19 outbreak.

Niagara, Ontario – An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at the Extended Care Unit, Welland Site, effective this past Sunday, December 13th.

One staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 following routine surveillance, which meets provincial guidelines to call an outbreak in a long-term care setting. This is a community-acquired case. The staff member is isolating at home and contact tracing has taken place.

“We are taking all necessary steps to create the safest possible environment for the residents and staff,” says Derek McNally, Vice President, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive. Continue reading

Of Course the Canada-U.S. Border Crossings Will Remain Closed

Ten Months In, Border Shutdown Remains for All But “Essential Traffic” Extended Until At Least January 21st, 2021

So Why Is It That Thousands of ‘Canadian Snowbirds’ Get to Fly Down to a COVID-19 ‘Death Zone’ Like Florida?

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

Posted December 13th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Since March of this tyear, when Canada-U.S. border crossings were first closed due to the pandemic, crossings like the Peace Bridge have remained a bridge too far for all but essential (mostly commercial) traffic.

Given the horrific numbers of people now dying and being tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States, it goes without saying that Canada’s Prime Minister would announce, once again, that the Peace Bridge and all other Canada-U.S. border crossings here and from sea to polluted sea have been closed for at least one more month now.

The border crossing ban, for all but “essential,” mostly commercial traffic, began last March when the first serious outbreaks of Coronavirus began, and probably few of us believed that governments – mostly the “It will disappear like a miracle Trump nut show – would handle it all so badly, that we would still be hear with a border ban today.

“Oh, it will probably only be a few months,” I recall many saying of the border restrictions back then. Continue reading

Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake Wins Prestigious Heritage Award

Niagara, Ontario Town Receives National Trust’s 2020 Prince of Wales Prize

News from The National Trust, a Canada-wide organization that encourages and honours communities that engage in heritage stewardship

Posted December 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

One look at Queen Street in the old town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Niagara, Ontario

Recognized for its sustained commitment to heritage conservation over time, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a compelling example of resilience grounded in built heritage.

It is the recipient of the National Trust’s 2020 Prince of Wales Prize, which recognizes communities and their local governments for the successful heritage stewardship of a town, city, First Nations reserve or community, rural region, or district.

Niagara-on-the-Lake is a community that is proud of its past. Founded in the late 18th century, it is a living illustration early 19th century Upper Canada.

A National Historic Site of Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake boasts an extraordinary collection of residential, commercial, ecclesiastical and institutional buildings, many on their original sites close to the street. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford/Oosterhoff Regime Renders Another Blow to Our Natural Heritage

Ontario Government Betrays People of Ontario in Favour of Bad Developers with the Passage of ‘Schedule 6’ in 2020 Budget Bill

A New Release from the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, Land Over Landings, Ontario Nature, Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, Wilderness Committee

Posted December 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Now that Ontario has passed Bill 229 and its attack on Conservation Authorities, the job of protecting wetlands, forests, drinking water and quality of life falls to ordinary citizens

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Tory minions, including Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, turn their back on us. They have chosen the side of the worst of the worst in the province’s development industry. Our natural heritage can go to hell.

Toronto, Ontario  – This December 8th, the Ontario Government ignored a deafening chorus of expert warnings, to instead reward the worst developers and land speculators by incapacitating the system that protects source water and guards Ontarians against flooding, landslides and other environmental disasters.

Members of the Greenbelt Council, non-partisan regulators, legal analysts, municipalities, NGOs and farmers, together with tens of thousands of Ontarians of all political stripes and walks of life, have warned the government of the dire consequences of “Schedule 6” amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act.

These changes will let developers dump, build and excavate largely unchecked in high-risk areas, risking impaired water quality, property damage, and environmental degradation, and endangering public safety across the province. Continue reading

Brock Prof’s ‘Love Actually’ Spoof Goes Viral

Professor’s Video Aimed At Staying Connected With Students During Pandemic

“It’s just insane. I think it resonated with people doing online teaching right now and struggling to make that connection, especially now as the holidays are approaching,”                              – Brock Prof Lori MacNeil says of online reaction to video

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

Posted December 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Brock University Lori MacNeil goes viral with video featuring a staying connected message to students

Niagara, Ontario – Brock University Biological Sciences Assistant Professor Lori MacNeil prides herself on connecting with students and making them feel engaged in the classroom.

So, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced her third-year genetics course to go fully online, she wanted to make sure that connection didn’t get lost.

Since the start of the Fall Term, MacNeil has been making increasingly complex introductions to her weekly BIOL 3P51 lesson videos. They have ranged from a brief magic show from Arrested Development’s Gob Bluth to her starting the class with a ‘press conference’ in front of the Four Seasons (Total Landscaping).

But her most recent intro topped them all, with MacNeil recording a holiday-themed mashup video<https://twitter.com/loriamacneil/status/1334181798612508674?s=21> with clips from the famous doorstep scene in the movie Love Actually. MacNeil replaces the character Mark with herself, using paper signs to silently tell Juliet (played by Keira Knightly) about how she hopes they’ll be in a classroom together again soon … but how in the meantime, Juliet still has to watch one more lecture, and study for an upcoming exam. Continue reading

Ford/Oosterhoff Government Passes Bill to Gut Conservation Authorites

Despite  Opposition from Countless Thousands of Citizens Across Ontario, the Infamous ‘Schedule 6’ in Ford’s 2020 Budget Bill – Was Rammed Through this December 8th

Bill Passage Also Means Conservation Authority Boards Will Be Raped of Citizen Members, and Environmental Protection Role Will Be Castrated

A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by a News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted December 8th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservative minions, including his puppet in the Niagara West riding, Sam Oosterhoff, have now made it clear where they stand on environmental protection – and it isn’t on the side of our kids and their future. We have got to turf them out.

It may come as little or no surprise to anyone that Ontario’s Ford government – in bed with the most morally bankrupt and corrupt members of the province’s land speculators, farmers and developers as it is – would ultimately pass a 2020 budget, bill with a schedule built into it, to destroy any powers that the province’s 36 Conservation Authorities have to speak out for what is left of our natural heritage.

Why in hell would you want to protect what is left of our natural heritage when some greedy bastard with chainsaws and bulldozers can make another buck paving it over?

For this veteran journalist, who began work as a full-time environment reporter at The St. Catharines Standard 40 years ago, I have been witnessing this Ford government destroy at least that many decades of environmental protection progress by so many dedicated citizens in this Niagara region and others, and it is heartbreaking.

I know that there are many others in this Niagara region and others, in the development industry, in corporate agriculture and in land speculation, who won’t give a shit about my heartbreak or anyone else’s, but here we are. Continue reading

You Are Invited to ‘A BETTER NIAGARA’ Online TOWN HALL on Child Care

Join Us On Tuesday, December 8th at 7 P.M.

An Invite from Better Niagara director Liz Benneian

Posted December 7th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

 

 

 

I am so excited to be sharing this news with you!

Every municipality across our country is working on recovery plans to aid us as we get through the pandemic. Child care has long been an issue for families, so I hope you will join us on Tuesday for @a Better Niagara’s first Facebook LIVE.

FACEBOOK LIVE On Tuesday, December 8 at 7 PM A Better Niagara will be hosting a virtual Townhall discussing the importance of child care.

Continue reading

Renown Ontarian, Chair of Province’s Greenbelt Council Resigns Over Ford’s Ongoing War on Our Environment

Former Toronto Mayor David Crombie – Also a former Federal Conservative MP and Cabinet Minister – Has Long Championed Environmentally Sustainable Development in Ontario

David Crombie quits as Chair of Ontario Greenbelt Council in protest and out of principle. We need more profiles of courage like this in provincial and municipal leadership.

“It is now clear that the (Ford) Government’s direction under Schedule 6 of Bill 229 (of its 2020 Budget Bill, due to be passed as soon as Monday, December 7th) disastrously assaults (and cuts out the heart of integrated watershed planning and management; severely cripples the Conservation Authorities in the pursuit of their historic stewardship of environmental issues, and now with the grossly expanded use of Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZO) and other procedural revisions, essential public discussion and debate will be stifled or shut down.”                                                                                                                            – from Ontario Greenbelt Council Chair David Crombie’s December 5th’s letter of resignation to Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A News Release from Environmental Defence, followed by a response to this resignation from Ontario’s Official Opposition Party

Posted December 6th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada

Statement by Environmental Defence’s Executive Director Tim Gray, on  resignation of David Crombie, Chair of Ontario’s Greenbelt Council, in protest of the Ontario government’s attack on wetlands, flood protection and future prosperity

It is a great shame and a loss to the people of Ontario that David Crombie, the Chair of the provincially appointed Greenbelt Council, had no alternative but to resign today. His resignation comes as a direct result of Minister Steve Clark’s refusal to listen to the Council’s advice and remove Schedule 6 from Bill 229 (the budget bill).

In the words of Mr. Crombie: “It cuts out the heart of integrated watershed planning and management; severely cripples the Conservation Authorities in the pursuit of their historic stewardship of environmental issues, and now with the grossly expanded use of Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZO) and other procedural revisions, essential public discussion and debate will be stifled or shut down.”

Mr. Crombie and the Council have been key thinkers and advisors to the Ontario government on how to best protect farmland, natural features and economic prosperity. It is tragic that their impartial advice has been ignored and overridden by the self-serving demands of developers. Continue reading

Niagara’s Conservation Authority Working With Partners to Gift Our Region More Trees

Partners Plant Trees In Fort Erie & St. Catharines Thanks To TD Friends Of The Environment Foundation Grant

Initiative will have a positive impact on Habitat Restoration and Urban Reforestation

News from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted December 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – On Friday, November 13th, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) completed the planting of 128 trees across the Niagara Peninsula watershed.

Thanks to funding from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF), partners and volunteers planted trees and shrubs to benefit the local community and improve wildlife habitat.

The TD Tree Days grant of $8,000 supported the planting of eight large trees and twenty shrubs at Ferndale Park in Fort Erie, six trees at the Niagara Chapter Native Women’s office, four trees donated to Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre and an additional 110 trees, which were planted at homes owned by two native housing corporations. Continue reading

Ontario Failing to Take Effective Action on Climate Change

A New Report from Environment Defence shows that despite the Ontario government’s claims, the province has failed to take meaningful action on climate change or reduce greenhouse gas emissions

 

 

A News Release from Environmental Defence, a Canada-wide citizens advocacy group for environmental protection

Posted December 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

These two individuals – Ontario Environment Minister Jeff Yurek (left) and the province’s Premier Doug Ford – and their Conservative government are not doing enough to meaningfully address the climate emergency we face.

Toronto, Ontario – This past Friday (November 27th), Ontario Environment Minister Minister Jeff Yurek outlined his government’s progress on its Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and claimed to be lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental Defence’s new report Yours to Recover:

A Progress Report on Ontario’s Climate Change Actions [https://environmentaldefence.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/YoursToRecover_OntarioClimateProgressReport_EnvironmentalDefence_FINAL.pdf] presents evidence that Ontario’s emissions are rising as a result of government inaction.

After two years, the Ontario government has largely ignored its own Made-In-Ontario Environment Plan and failed to take meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading

Buffalo, N.Y. Area Congressman Asks Biden Administration to Prioritize Canada/U.S. Border Strategy

U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins hopes the new Administration will work quickly to take Coronavirus seriously and rebuild the working relationship between our two ally nations to the mutual benefit of the cross-border economies.

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

Posted December 2nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

Buffalo, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) Co-chair of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus, is appealing to the incoming Biden Administration to make coordination between the United States and Canada a top priority, including development of a reopening plan at the northern border and the expansion of technology that provides for improved border crossing efficiencies over the long-term.

In a letter to Alejandro Mayorkas<https://higgins.house.gov/sites/higgins.house.gov/files/12-1-20%20Higgins%20Letter%20to%20Mayorkas%20Northern%20Border.pdf>, who has been named by President-elect Biden to serve as U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, Higgins writes, “The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the daily operation of our shared border with Canada. Restrictions on non-essential travel at our land ports of entry first imposed in March 2020 have frustrated many of my constituents in completing their routine activities.” Continue reading

Niagara West MPP’s Compassionate Care Act Becomes Law in Ontario

Parties and Stakeholders Work Together to Improve Access and Quality in Palliative Care

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Posted December 2nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, and member of Ontario’s Ford Government

Queen’s Park – Today (this December 1st), Bill 3, the Compassionate Care Act passed Third Reading unanimously in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.  Originally tabled in 2017, MPP Sam Oosterhoff’s first Private Member’s Bill will become a law upon Royal Assent. This follows the re-introduction of the bill in July 2018 during the 42nd Parliament of Ontario.

Public committee hearings took place on November 23 and 24, during which 40 stakeholders testified in favour of the bill, including the Ontario Medical Association, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, ALS Canada, and health professionals from across the province.

Witnesses at the hearings stressed the timeliness and importance of the Compassionate Care Act, which mandates the creation of a provincial framework to improve access to palliative care in hospitals, long-term care homes, hospices and home care. Continue reading

Habitat for Humanity Niagara Urges Us All to Join the ‘Giving Tuesday’ Movement

This Giving Tuesday – December 1st, 2020 – We Can Help Make a Difference

A Call-Out from Habitat for Humanity Niagara in Niagara, Ontario

Posted December 1st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Today (this December 1st)  is Giving Tuesday which marks a day of giving and gratitude, and a reminder to all of us to think of others and our communities as well as ourselves.

The (world-wide) Giving Tuesday initiative encourages families and individuals to join the movement in giving and volunteering in whatever ways matter to them.

Please join the movement by:

Continue reading

In These Times of COVID-19, Remembering Another Lethal Epidemic on World AIDS Day

 

“In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of  community and has shown us that no one is safe until everyone is safe. This  year’s World AIDS Day theme, ‘Global solidarity, shared responsibility, recognizes that, like COVID-19,  fighting HIV and AIDS requires global cooperation and united commitment.”                                                                        – Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

A Statement from the Prime Minister of Canada

Posted December 1st, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario –The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on World AIDS  Day – December 1st, 2020

“Today (December 1st), on World AIDS Day <https://www.unaids.org/en/World_AIDS_Day>, we show our solidarity with people living with HIV and AIDS, here in Canada and around the world. We mourn the loved ones we have lost, and renew our commitment to supporting those who live with HIV and ending this epidemic and the stigma that surrounds it.

“In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of  community and has shown us that no one is safe until everyone is safe. This  year’s World AIDS Day theme, ‘Global solidarity, shared responsibility’ <https://spark.adobe.com/page/OdpIRTRApOghp/>, recognizes that, like COVID-19,  fighting HIV and AIDS requires global cooperation and united commitment. Continue reading

Urgent Help Needed for Niagara’s Struggling Small Businesses

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates Tells Ontario’s Ford Government  to Provide Emergency Support for Niagara’s Small Businesses Before THEY LOSE EVERYTHING!

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted December 1st,  2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara NDP MPP Wayne Gates

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) told the Ford government Monday (November 30th) that struggling businesses in Niagara need urgent financial assistance if they are to stay afloat after new restrictions were introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

“It has been two weeks since I told the premier that Niagara’s medical officer of health instituted an additional regulation to try to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“It has been two weeks since I told the premier that Niagara’s medical officer of health instituted an additional regulation to try to stop the spread of COVID-19 which has put restaurants and bars, the tourist sector, operators and the wineries in a very tough spot financially,” said Gates during question period at the Ontario legislature. Continue reading

Environmental Groups Sue Ford Government To Keep Ontario Wetlands Protected

 “Wetlands are delicate ecosystems that pay for themselves many times over both ecologically and economically. Their estimated economic value in southern Ontario alone is $14 billion per year. Yet in the Toronto area 85 percent  of our original wetlands. (About the same percentage of wetlands have already been lost forever in Niagara, Ontario.) When is enough, enough?”                – Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature’s Executive Director

A News Release from Environmental Defence, Ontario Nature and Ecojustice, three of Canada’s largest environmental groups

Posted November 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Toronto, Ontario – Environmental groups are taking the Ontario government to court over its unlawful use of a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) to force through development on the provincially significant Duffins Creek wetlands complex.

Ecojustice, on behalf of Environmental Defence and Ontario Nature, filed the legal application to maintain protections on this special area, which the Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs has approved as the future site of a warehouse facility.

Provincially Significant Coastal Wetlands, such as the Lower Duffins Creek complex, are of huge importance to local communities, helping to mitigate flooding, store carbon, filter water and provide habitat to wildlife. Continue reading

We Need To Stop The Assault On Our Natural Heritage

A Call-Out from Ontario Nature, one of Canada’s premier advocates for protecting and preserving what are left of our green places

Posted November 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Across the Greater Golden Horseshoe developers and land speculators are lobbying local governments to allow sprawl-style development on precious natural areas and farmland.

We can continue to grow and prosper without turning the green space on the left into more of the low-density sprawl on the right.

They’re using COVID-19 as a smoke screen saying these developments are necessary to get us through the crisis. Continue reading

Ford Accused of Covering Up COVID-19 Info on Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes

NDP Calling On Ford Government To Immediately Release All Documents That Have Been Requested By The LTC (Long-Term Care) Commission

“People living in long-term care continue to suffer and die, while Doug Ford’s government plays politics with information that could reveal changes that need to be made to protect people. ”       – Ontario NDP Long Term Care critic Teresa Armstrong.

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted November 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — The NDP is calling for the Ford government to immediately release all documents that have been requested by the LTC Commission, following revelations by Queen’s Park Briefing that the commission itself says the government has refused to cooperate.

This past July, Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates, left, with St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens immediately to his right, and over at the right side of the photo, Niagara Health Coalition leader Sue Hotte, call on Ford government for  more public resources for long-term care homes. File Photo by Doug Draper

“A government that truly wants answers doesn’t work this hard to hide the facts,” said NDP Deputy Leader John Vanthof, who made the demand in question period on Monday.

“People living in long-term care continue to suffer and die, while Doug Ford’s government plays politics with information that could reveal changes that need to be made to protect people,” said NDP Long Term Care critic Teresa Armstrong. Continue reading

Join A Free, Online Event, Celebrating Treaties with Niagara’s Indigenous Community

Niagara College hosting We Are All Treaty People, a Living Library event on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

An Invite from Niagara College’s Indigenous Education Department

Posted November 30th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

On the heels of Treaties Recognition Week, Niagara College is hosting its first-ever Living Library event to help educate the community about the historical and cultural significance of treaties, and the role they continue to play in the lives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Ontario.

We Are All Treaty People, a free online event hosted by NC’s Indigenous Education department and the Library and Learning Commons in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, will be held on Tuesday, December 1 from 2 to 4 p.m. and the community is invited to join the live remote conversation via Zoom. Continue reading

Join the Citizens’ Campaign to Stop Ford from Gutting Ontario’s Conservation Authorities

Stop Ontario Bill 229 Schedule 6 and Save One of Niagara, Ontario’s Great Pieces of Natural Heritage – Waverly Woods

A Call-Out from Marcie Jacklin and Community Voices of Fort Erie

Posted November 27th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Hello Everyone

It seems nature is under threat by the government of the province of Ontario. Please take some time to respond to these initiatives.

Bill 229 Schedule 6

Buried in the (Ford government’s recently tabled) budget bill for the province is Section 6 which threatens to destroy Conservation Authorities by not allowing experts to be on the Board.

The Board would be composed entirely of politicians whose mandate would be to serve their communities (not the mission of the Conservation Authorities). Continue reading

Wishing Our American Friends and Neighbours a Safe and Peaceful Thanksgiving

A Brief Message from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher      Doug Draper

Posted November 26th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Along with all of our readers in Niagara and other regions of Southern Ontario, Niagara At Large is pleased to say that we have regular visitors to this news and commentary site from the Buffalo, New York area and other regions in the United States.

With those NAL readers across the border in mind, I want to wish all of them on this American Thanksgiving – November 26th, 2020 – a warm and peaceful Thanksgiving, and a safe and healthy one during times unlike any most of us have ever experienced before. Continue reading

Ontario’s Premier Angered Over COVID-19 Criticisms in Auditor General’s Report

Doug Ford Says Ontario Continues to have some of lowest per-capita COVID case counts on Continent

A Brief One Posted by Doug Draper on Niagara At Large

Posted November 25th, 2020

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

At a news conference this November 25th, Ontario Premier Doug Ford lashed out at a report by the province’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, accusing his government of being slow on the draw and not as transparent as it should be on responding to the COVID-19 health crisis confronting us.

Ford addressed the Auditor General’s critical report, released earlier this November 25th, after he and his Health Minister, Christine Elliott, discussed some recommendations on how citizens should navigate the coming Christmas holidays during this second wave of the pandemic, and funding his government is providing to support small businesses.

To watch the news conference, click on the screen immediately below –

To read a news piece posted on Niagara At Large earlier this November 25th on the Ontario Auditor General’s report, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/11/25/ontarios-ford-government-response-to-pandemic-slow-compared-to-other-provinces/ .

To watch Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s press conference on this issue, click on the screen immediately below –

Okay, so what do you think? Ontario citizens make up the judge and jury on this one.

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 Ford Government Response to Pandemic ‘Slow’ Compared to Other Provinces

Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Faced Systemic Issues and Delays

‘Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health did not fully exercise his powers under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to respond to COVID-19.’                                                                                 – Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk

A News Release from the Office of Ontario Auditor General Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Faced Systemic Issues and Delays

Posted November 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk releases critical report on Ford government’s response to COVID-19

Toronto, Ontario –  Ontario’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk says the province’s response to COVID-19 in the winter and spring of 2020 was slower and more reactive relative to other provinces.

The audit looked at three areas: emergency management and pandemic response; outbreak planning and decision-making; and laboratory testing, case management and contact tracing.

It found a number of contributing factors leading to this slower pandemic response, including outdated provincial emergency plans, insufficient staff and significant changeover in leadership at Ontario’s Provincial Emergency Management Office (EMO), as well as systemic issues such as the lack of lab surge capacity and outdated IT systems. Continue reading

Welcoming America Back to the Climate Fight – And Not A Second Too Soon!

“Climate change is the number one issue facing humanity.”           – U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted November 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Finally!

The world has someone taking over the White House’s Oval Office in the New Year who sounds very much like he takes the climate emergency facing life on this planet seriously.

And it could not come a moment too soon!

Most experts around this world agree that climate change is an existential threat that could have catastrophic consequences for all of us if we don’t take significant, decisive action to address it – NOW. Continue reading

City of St. Catharines Moving to Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles deliver environmental boost and cost savings

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

Posted November 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – New City fleet investments aren’t just delivering savings for taxpayers, they are saving the environment. This fall the City purchased its first fully electric vehicles, three 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EVs.

Manager of Equipment Maintenance Jim Thompson showcases one of three new 2020 Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicles purchased by the City, marking the first fully-electric additions to the City fleet. Photo courtesy of City of St. Catharines

The purchase of the vehicles, which replace the trucks that were utilized by Municipal Works supervisors, comes as the City continues efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to the fight against climate change. Continue reading

Documentary Photo Project Highlights Urgent Need to Protect Lake Erie

“When Lake Erie’s health is impacted, so are the lives of the people who live near and love the lake. We wanted to show that through this project.”                                                                                  – Keith Brooks, Programs Director with Environmental Defence

Two Niagara Region residents are featured in a new documentary photo exhibit, North of Long Tail , which explores people’s connections with Lake Erie

A News Release from Environmental Defence Canada and Documentary Photographer Colin Boyd Shafer

Posted November 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Our Lake Erie from space. For many decades now, it has faced serious environmental challenges. It is ultimately up to us and our governments to restore this great freshwater body to full health

Toronto, Ontario – Two people from Niagara Region are part of a new documentary photography exhibition, launched today online, which showcases Canadians’ deep personal connections with Lake Erie and highlights why the lake needs to be protected.

North of Long Tail , a collaboration between Environmental Defence and documentary photographer Colin Boyd Shafer, contains 20 stories from the north side of the lake.

“Lake Erie is more than just a body of water. So many people rely on the lake for so many things — to support their business, for drinking water, recreation, or just a place to unwind and relax,” said Keith Brooks, Programs Director with Environmental Defence. “When Lake Erie’s health is impacted, so are the lives of the people who live near and love the lake. We wanted to show that through this project.” Continue reading

Citizens Alliance Urges Incoming Biden/Harris Administration to Focus More Attention on Great Lakes and Clean Water

‘We look forward to working with President-elect Biden to create a Great Lakes region with thriving, healthy ecosystems and communities.’ – the Alliance for the Great Lakes

A Statement from the Alliance for the Great Lakes, a U.S.-based citizens coalition in the Great Lakes region

Posted November 24th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Our Great Lakes from space.

Engaging in the democratic process is one of the most powerful ways people throughout the Great Lakes region can have a voice.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes congratulates President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Now that the votes have been counted, we must respect the vote and the work of election officials who have led a fair and transparent process.

President-elect Biden, in partnership with the Great Lakes region, has the opportunity to place safe and clean water at the center of our communities and make them healthier and more equitable than before. Continue reading

You Are Invited To A Virtual Conference on Contamination Concerns at Former GM Site in St. Catharines

Join Us On Wednesday, November 25 At 7 PM. For A Virtual Public Information Session About The Situation At The Former GM Site.

Once a major industrial force and source of good-paying jobs in St. Catharines, Niagara, what is left of the General Motors plant off Ontario Street in that city, has become an unwelcome eyesore for neighbours and may also  be a source of pollution to the area, including the nearby Twelve Mile Creek, a tributary  Lake Ontario

Hosted by the citizen-based Coalition for a Better St. Catharines

Posted November 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Call-Out from the Coalition for a Better St. Catharines

St. Catharines, Ontario – We’ve Learned A Lot About Conditions At The Former GM Site And Why It’s So Important To The Community To Clean It Up Now. We’ll Be Sharing That Information With You At A Virtual Information Session On Wednesday, November 25 At 7 P.M..

Dozens Of Highly Toxic Industrial Contaminants Are Present On And Under The Former GM Factory Site On Ontario Street. Recent Evidence Has Indicated That Some Of These Industrial Chemicals Including Pcbs And Asbestos May Be Leaking Off The Site And Possibly Exposing The Community To A Dangerous Health Hazard. Continue reading

A Big Call-Out to Trudeau Government to Strengthen Canada’s Toxic Pollution Laws

More Measures  Urgently Needed to Protect Canadians From Poisons in Commercial and Industrial Products

A News Release from Beautycounter, Breast Cancer Action Quebec, Canadian Association Of Physicians For The Environment, Canadian Environmental Law Association, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Foundation For Resilient Health, Nature Canada And Women’s Healthy Environments Network

Posted November 23rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Virtual Hill Days call on federal government to keep its promise to strengthen toxics and pollution law Environmental, health and clean cosmetics groups ask for immediate reform to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Ottawa, Ontario – Parliament must prioritize reform of the outdated Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), says a coalition of environmental, physicians, women’s health and clean cosmetics advocacy groups.

The groups are organizing Virtual Days on the Hill for a Toxic-Free and Healthy Environment this week. Hundreds of concerned citizens are joining forces to call on the federal government to fulfil its promise to reform the country’s two-decade old pollution prevention and toxic chemicals law. Continue reading

Ford Rewards Ontario’s Front-Line Health Workers With No Pay if they are Exposed to COVID-19

So much for the Ontario Premier’s B.S. Rhetoric about ‘Front-line Heroes’

“Sending front-line workers home without pay shows flagrant disrespect for their work, livelihood, and safety.”                             – from an Open Letter from Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch to Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Health Minister Christine Elliot

An Open Letter to Ontario’s Ford Government from Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Posted November 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

OPEN LETTER

Dear Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot,

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott. How would Elliott and her Tory cronies  like it if they were sent home with no pay if they were exposed on their job, or whatever it is they do, to someone who tested positive with COVID-19?

I am writing to you today (November 19th, 2020) regarding an urgent ongoing situation within the Niagara Health System.

It has come to my attention that NHS staff are being sent home without pay when exposed to COVID-19.

It is my understanding that your Ministry has directed this change and that Niagara Health can no longer do straight pay for staff directed by the employer to go into isolation.

This practice is a marked departure from the province’s direction during the first wave, where staff in self-isolation would continue to receive their full pay.

We have heard from front-line hospital staff who report that after being exposed to COVID in the line of duty, they are sent home without pay. Continue reading

Citizens Not Getting Enough Information & Time to Respond to “Environmentally Significant Proposals – Ontario Auditor General

‘Province’s Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Needs to Lead by Example When It Comes to Protecting Ontario’s Environment’

A News Release from the Office of Ontario’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysy

Posted November 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO, Ontario – The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks needs to do more in leading by example on the environmental front by supporting, promoting and administering the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR Act) in a more fulsome manner, concluded Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk in her 2020.

Annual Report of Environmental Value-for-Money Audits and the Operation of the Environmental Bill of Rights. The report found examples by multiple government ministries of non-compliance with their responsibilities under the EBR Act that prevented its effective operation in 2019/20.

The report states some ministries are still not posting environmentally significant proposals on the Environmental Registry or giving the public enough time to respond when they do. Continue reading

Auditor General’s Report Confirms Ford Tories’ Will Destroy Climate as a Favour to Their Insiders

“(Ontario Premier Doug) Ford’s wilful ignorance about the imminent dangers of the climate crisis is already making all Ontarians less safe, and the consequences for future generations – our children and our grandchildren – will be unbearable if we don’t change course now.”                                                                       – Ontario NDP Climate Crisis Critic Peter Tabuns

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted November 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, right, and his Tory pal from Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney, favour the tar sands over addressing a potentially catastrophic climate emergency.

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario NDP Climate Crisis critic Peter Tabuns and Environment critic Ian Arthur released this statement in response to the Ontario Auditor General’s report of the Ford government’s handling of the environment:

“The auditor general’s report puts into stark terms the disturbing reality that Ontarians face under the Ford government: we have a premier dragging us backwards in the fight against the climate crisis. Doug Ford is willing to destroy the environment in his quest to do favour after favour for insiders.

Ford has tried to pave over the Greenbelt three times. He cancelled Ontario’s cap and trade program illegally, and his government continues to use the pandemic as cover to ram through laws and Ministerial Zoning Orders that attack environmental protections.

Continue reading

Ontario’s Auditor General Takes a Blow Torch to Ford Government’s Deplorable Environmental Record

r Doug Ford’s Tories are continuing to spend large sums of tax dollars fighting the Ottawa’s efforts to place a price on climate ravaging carbon emissions

‘This (Ford) government has axed practically every climate program in Ontario, taken the federal government to court to block climate action, violated the Constitution with their misleading carbon tax stickers, and failed to deliver on any elements of their environmental plan intended to reduce emissions.’

‘Not only is the Ford government failing to protect natural spaces and endangered species, but they are moving to kneecap Conservation Authorities, so developers can build warehouses on wetlands.’

A Statement from Environmental Defence’s Programs Director, Keith Brooks, on the Auditor General’s scathing report on Ontario’s track record on the environment

Posted November 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk issues scathing report on Ford government’s environment record

Ontario continues to play pretend with its Made-In-Ontario Environmental Plan, while its actions – and lack thereof – show that the province has no intention of actually protecting the environment.

Not only is the government failing to protect natural spaces and endangered species, but they are moving to kneecap Conservation Authorities, so developers can build warehouses on wetlands.

When it comes to climate change, to say the achievement of Ontario’s 2030 target is at risk is putting it very generously. Continue reading

New COVID-19 Restrictions Announced for Welland Hospital Site

Extended Care Unit taking additional measures to protect residents

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

Posted November 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Health’s Welland, Ontario hospital site

Niagara, Ontario – With the Niagara region in the Orange-Restrict category of the Ontario Government’s five-stage COVID Response Framework, general visitation is no longer permitted for residents in the Extended Care Unit (ECU) at Niagara Health’s Welland Site.

This is a necessary measure to protect the safety of our residents in the long-term care home.

Recognizing the importance of our residents having support from their loved ones, families may now designate up to two Essential Caregivers per resident. Essential Caregivers provide direct care or support to the resident in the home. Continue reading