Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thanks to Ontario’s Ford Government, Could Niagara Lose its Own Ambulance Dispatch Service – Again!

It Was Only Two Decades Ago – After Hard Lobbying – That Niagara Finally Got It’s Vital Ambulance Dispatch Services Back

Some Breaking News from CBC with Brief Commentary from Doug Draper on Niagara At Large

Posted April 16th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

According to a news report this April 16th on CBC Radio, CBC reporters have learned that Ontario’s Ford government is now considering plans to merge 59 ambulance services across the province (and Niagara’s regional government now operates one of those 59 services into just 10 for all of Ontario.

One of Niagara Region’s ambulances. Will Niagara again lose locally based emergency dispatch services for our paramedics?

“The Ford government intends to merge the 59 local ambulance services in Ontario into just 10, CBC News as learned,” reads the report that CBC posted online, shortly after 10 a.m. this April 14th. Continue reading


Brock University Proposal Sees A New Era For The Arts In Downtown St. Catharines

“A vibrant arts culture is crucial to the health and vitality of the entire Niagara region.” – Brock President Gervan Fearon

News from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted April 3rd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The historic Rodman Hall art centre in St. Catharines/Niagara

Niagara, Ontario – Brock University is committed to advancing its pledge to help grow vitality and development in downtown St. Catharines.

The University and community partners are therefore exploring a plan to preserve historic Rodman Hall, provide modern space for the Rodman Hall art collection, and help create a new arts and culture hub in downtown St. Catharines.

The plan is based on commitments that would give the local arts community expanded space and long-term stability in modern, climate-controlled facilities that are conducive to storing and showing works of art, this despite the University needing to find more than $15 million in budget savings after the province announced tuition cuts on Jan. 17. Continue reading

Canada’s Climate Is Warming Twice As Fast As Global Average

Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climage Change Catharine McKenna

“Climate change is real, and Canadians across the country are feeling its impacts. The science is clear, we need to take action now. Practical and affordable solutions to fight climate change will help Canadians face the serious risks to our health, security and economy, and will also create the jobs of tomorrow and secure a better future for our kids and grandkids.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

News from Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canada’s federal environment department

Posted April 2nd, 2019 on Niagara At Large

OTTAWA, Canada – Canadians are experiencing the costs of climate-related extremes first hand, from devastating wildfires and flooding to heatwaves and droughts. As the planet warms, extreme weather events will become increasingly common.

The knowledge provided by our scientists has helped us understand that climate change is real and driven by human activity. The Government of Canada will continue to work with Canadian scientists, by listening to their expertise and evidence-based advice to help us continue to take ambitious action to reduce emissions and fight climate change. Continue reading

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff Fighting to Make Life More Affordable for Drivers

Ontario Government announces the end of outdated Drive Clean Program and vows to continue to stand against the federal carbon tax.

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

Posted April 1st, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Grimsby- The Ontario government is putting people first and making life more convenient and affordable for drivers by ending Ontario’s ineffective Drive Clean program, while continuing the fight against the newly imposed federal carbon tax. “Our government promised to make life more affordable for the people of Ontario,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“The end of the outdated Drive Clean program will save people of Niagara West time, while saving the taxpayers of Ontario more than $40 Million a year.”

According to the Auditor General, on-road emissions have declined so steeply they are no longer the biggest contributor to smog. 75% of these reductions have come through stricter manufacturing standards, requirements for cleaner fuels and the natural retirement of older vehicles — not as a result of Drive Clean. Continue reading

We Could Use a Few More Climate-Fighting Politicians like AOC in Canada

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, champion of a Green New Deal for her country and the planet

If you can get the MSNBC news channel MSNBC on cable, try to tune in this Friday, March 29th at 8 p.m. to watch Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talking about the Green New Deal for fighting climate change

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

Posted March 29th, 2019

When I venture across the border to sane regions of America, which are about the only regions of that country I go to any more, I hear many people there speaking warmly of AOC.

For those who still don’t know, AOC is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest ever member of U.S. Congress from Queens, who worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in 2016 and who is now one of the champions of something called the Green New Deal to fight climate change.

The cover of the latest April 1st, 2019 edition of Time Magazine

AOC is only 29 years old and I’ve heard more than a few of my American friends and neighbours say – ‘Too bad she isn’t old enough to run for president.’

You have to be at least 30-something to run for the U.S. presidency, and some day she will be. The future belongs to young people like her, if we don’t destroy it first.

This Friday, March 29th at 8 p.m., on the cable TV network MSNBC, she will be on for an hour talking about that Green New Deal which, in a federal election year in Canada, we Canadians should be talking about too.

For the sake of our own futures, and certainly for the sake of younger people, we have only years left to head off a global climate catastrophe that will make the severe weather episodes we are already experiencing look like ‘singin’ in the rain’.

We have no choice, if we give a damn about a decent future on this planet, to take bold steps NOW to address the root causes of this climate crisis.

Please watch this MSNBC program this March 29th;

And take a few moments out now to click on the screen below to hear what AOC had to say in the U.S. Congress just days ago –

Meanwhile, back in Ontario, here is the latest news on the climate-denying premier, Doug Ford, who was gifted to us in the 2018 provincial election, mostly by an aging, disgruntled, stuck in the middle of the 20th century  generation of baby boomers who would rather have cheaper gas for the oversized trucks and cars –

Ford gives climate change-denying former Conservative MP a seat on energy system operator

A News Release form Ontario’s Official Opposition and New Democratic Party

March 29th, 2019

Ontario’s ‘What? Me worry about climate change?’ premier, Doug Ford. Watch Canada’s aging baby boomers vote for Ford’s buddy, Andrew Scheer, for  prime minister of Canada next.

QUEEN’S PARK — Peter Tabuns, Ontario NDP critic for Energy and Climate Change, released the following statement in response to the Ford Conservatives’ appointment of Joe Oliver to the board of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO):

“Doug Ford has handed out yet another golden ticket on his gravy train. It is deeply troubling to see Ford give coal-loving, climate change-denying former Conservative MP Joe Oliver a seat at the table of Ontario’s energy system operator.”

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

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

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


As Niagara Municipalities Face Possible Amalgamation ….

Brock University Policy Brief Explores Governance Options For Niagara Municipalities

The brief argues that past amalgamations have not saved costs or reduced taxes, but there are reasons other than cost savings why area municipalities might wish to merge.

News from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted March 28th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

How will Niagara’s municipal map look four years from now? If Premier Doug Ford has its way, it could look very different and the number of municipal councillors representing Niagara’s citizens could be much smaller.

To merge or not to merge? That is one of the many questions Niagara and eight other Ontario regions will be grappling with as the province studies how to make municipalities more efficient.

Two advisors appointed by the Ontario government are addressing nine questions related to how decisions are being made, and services being delivered, in two-tier systems. Residents have been asked to provide feedback by April 23, and the advisors’ report is expected to be submitted early this summer.

To help Niagara navigate the issues, Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) has released its policy brief, Under the Knife & Under the Gun: An Overview of Regional Government in Niagara.

How many municipal councillors does a region like Niagara need?

“The purpose of the brief is to provide factual information to inform the discussion on this important issue,” says David Siegel, Professor of Political Science and author of the policy brief. Continue reading

Ontario’s Official Opposition Party Tables Two Bills in Honour of Late Welland MPP Peter Kormos

One NDP Bill Aimed at Increasing Organ Donations. Other Would Prohibit Replacement Workers during Walkouts/Strikes

The late Welland MP Peter Kormos became a political icon across Ontario, and one of the leading voices for the rights of working people

News Releases from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted March 28th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

NDP Health critic France Gélinas Tables Bill To Increase Organ Donation

The bill is named after Welland MPP Peter Kormos, who was passionate about organ donation. Kormos died March 30, 2013.

Queen’s Park — NDP Health critic France Gélinas has re-introduced the Peter Kormos Memorial Act (Trillium Gift of Life Netwoark Amendment), which would change organ and tissue donation in Ontario from an opt-in system to an opt-out system.

“This bill will take people off transplant wait lists,” said Gélinas. “It will help not only save lives, but help transplant recipients live longer, more productive lives.” Continue reading