Category Archives: Uncategorized

How far will new hospital funding go to offer  south Niagara health care sites a stay of execution?

And will a new south Niagara hospital ever get built?

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted July 12th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – This July 11th, Jim Bradley, the Ontario government’s veteran MPP for the north Niagara riding of St. Catharines, joined Niagara Health system representatives in announcing more than $1.6 million in additional funding to upgrade the system’s aged sites in the region’s south end, including the 57-year-old Welland Hospital.

St. Catharines’ Liberal MPP Jim Bradley (centre) joins representatives of Niagara Health, the region’s amalgamated hospital system, this June 11th for funding announcement. Photo from Niagara Health news release.

“By investing in renewing hospital infrastructure, the provincial government is helping to ensure our hospitals can continue to meet the needs of patients in comfortable, healthy and safe facilities for many years to come,” said Bradley during a gathering of Niagara Health representatives at the system’s newest and largest hospital site in St. Catharines.

“This investment brings the total to more than $8.5 million in Hospital Infrastructure Renewal Funding in the last four years which was used for building maintenance and upgrade projects,” added Angela Zangari, Niagara Health’s Executive Vice-President Finance and Operations and Chief Financial Officer. “Thank you MPP Bradley and our partners at the LHIN (Local Health Integration) for your ongoing support of healthcare in the region, and for working with us towards our vision of a Healthier Niagara.”

Left unsaid was any mention of the next provincial election, now less than a year away,  and any possibility that announcements like this may help the governing Liberals draw votes away from Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats as they face, what is shaping up to be, a tough, heavily funded fight with Patrick Brown’s Conservatives. Continue reading

Join citizens who are ‘standing up’ our Great Lakes

A Call-Out from the Alliance for the Great Lakes, a U.S.-based citizens group

Posted July 7th, 217 on Niagara At Large

It seems like we keep hearing bad news about the Great Lakes lately.

Our Great Lakes – the largest source of fresh water in the world – from space. Where are you in this picture?

Major budget cuts to critical Great Lakes programs. Asian carp found just 9 miles from Lake Michigan. Huge harmful algal blooms in parts of the lakes threatening public health.

It’s easy to get down when you only hear bad news.

But, you know what? The Great Lakes region is 40 million people strong, and we won’t be deterred by the headlines. Our summers are the time when we celebrate water. And there is no better time than now to stand up for  the lakes, clean water, and the future of our communities. Continue reading

Say it ain’t so! Is this really going to be the year Record Theatre goes down?

Short of some last-minute miracle, the days are now numbered for our cross-border region’s last iconic store from the golden age of record buying

By Doug Draper

Posted June 29th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

This year is turning out to be the roughest one yet in more than a decade of rough years for record stores and for those of us who love shopping in them for music.

It was almost 10 year ago to this day, on June 30th, 2007, to be exact, that one of the most iconic record stores in Canada – Sam the Record Man’s flagship store on Yonge Street in Toronto – closed its doors for the last time after close to 50 years of spawning a chain of Sam outlets in St. Catharines, Welland and numerous other communities across the nation that were all gone by then.

Record Theatre’s main retail area, taken just around opening time recently, before things got busy. Photo by Doug Draper

Seven years later, in 2014, the last of the original Sunrise Records stores, including a very good one at the Pen Centre plaza in St. Catharines, Niagara closed, leaving just one major competitor, HMV, hanging on until early this year when it filed for bankruptcy and proceeded to close all its stores, including its last remaining outlet in this Niagara region.

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At Niagara Regional Council – They Just Keep on Keepin’ On with the Piling On

A Brief One from Doug Draper with more to come later

Posted June 9th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Andy Petrowski’s seat in the Niagara regional council chambers may have been empy this June 8th, but in many ways that are not pleasant or productive to deal with, the St. Catharines regional councillor was still very much there.

Andy Petrowski. File photo

Somewhere in the range of 20 or 40 minutes of time that should be used focusing on the real chances Niagara faces was taken up once again at the June 8th meeting with Petrowski’s shocking and unacceptable conduct and what to do with it.

Petrowski, as many Niagara resident who still follow the news by now no doubt know, decided or agreed late this May (we aren’t sure which because no one is saying) to take a leave of absence from his councillor duties after a communication device he was responsible for was used by someone (Petrowski claims it wasn’t it) to send a photo of a nude woman to more than 100 people. Continue reading

Nuclear Expert to Speak on Possible Cross-Border Shipments of Highly Dangerous Radioactive Waste through our Greater Niagara Region

An Invite from the Niagara District Council of Women

Posted June 8th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – On Friday, June 16th, the Niagara District Council of Women is bringing highly respected nuclear expert, Dr. Gordon Edwards, to Niagara as our guest speaker.

Are the Canadian and U.S. governments secretly shipping highly dangerous radioactive wastes across this Peace Bridge or other area border crossings? And are they doing it without even telling emergency responders on the Ontario and New York sides of the border?


Dr. Edwards will respond to concerns and questions about the potential shipments of liquid high level, extremely dangerous, nuclear waste containing Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) by road through Niagara.  There are many questions that have not been answered by the federal government or the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission:

  • What is the nature of the liquid radioactive material to be trucked over our roads?
  • Has highly radioactive liquid of this kind ever been transported before? Why now?
  • How dangerous is this material in case of a major accident?
  • Can leakage occur?
  • Are there practical and affordable alternatives that would make these shipments unnecessary?

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Lake Ontario Flood Waters won’t stop Canada Day Fireworks in Port Dalhousie

News from the City of St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted June 8th, 2017on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The record-breaking high water levels of Lake Ontario won’t stop fireworks from lighting up the sky in Port Dalhousie on Canada Day.

The Port Dalhousie Lions Club normally sets off its dazzling Canada Day fireworks display from Lakeside Park but will be unable to this year due to safety concerns associated with the record water levels in Lake Ontario. Instead, the Lions Club will set off its annual Canada Day fireworks from Henley Island. Continue reading