Category Archives: Uncategorized

City of Brampton Issues Apology To Former Chief Administrative Officer David Barrick

David Barrick – a former Niagara Regional Councillor and NPCA Executive  – Was a Highly Controversial Figure in Niagara Up to His Departure from the Area in Early 2019

A News Release from the City of Brampton, Ontario

Posted February 3rd, 2023 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Note from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

Many in Niagara may remember David Barrick, a Niagara regional councillor for the City of Port Coborne and member of what commonly became know as a “cabal’ at the Region under former Niagara Regional Chair Al Caslin up to the fall of 2018 when a municipal election brought sweeping changes around the council table.

Shortly before his dparture as the “interum” CAO at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority in early 2019, here is David Barrick at left with then NPCA board chair David Bylsma. File image.

Outside an NPCA board meeting in early 2019., some Niagara residents make it clear they want David Barrick to leave. File photo by Doug Draper

Before going to Brampton to serve as that city’s chief administrative officer in 1019 under the leadership of that city’s mayor, Patrick Brown, Barrick was also a controversial administrator at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority at a time when many citizens across the Niagara expressed concern that the NPCA had been steered away from its long-time mission as a green steward for our natural heritage.

Barrick’s performance in Brampton soon raised concern and controversy there and right  up to his ejection a year ago last March from the city’s CAO job. Continue reading

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Take Action To Protect Ontario’s Precious Wetlands

On This World Wetlands Day, Let’s Pledge to Stop the Ford Government from Needlessly Destroying More of our Wetlands

A Call-Out to All of Us from the Green Party of Ontario

Posted February 2nd, 2023 on Niagara At Large

This February 2nd, 2023, on World Wetlands Day, it’s more important than ever that we keep up the fight to save Ontario’s wetlands.

Our wetlands play a key role in protecting us from floods by soaking up stormwater runoff. They improve water quality, protect us from soil erosion, and provide habitat for threatened species.

But our wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate. And with Doug Ford’s disastrous Bill 23 – the More Homes Built Faster Act – we’re at risk of losing the few we have left. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Continue reading

St. Catharines Museum Celebrates Black History Month With Tours And A New Exhibit

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

Posted February 2nd, 2023 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre is celebrating Black History Month with several Freedom Seeker-focused tours and a brand-new exhibit opening.

 

 

Black History Month is celebrated every February and offers the opportunity for everyone to learn the stories and the many important contributions of Black Canadians.

Museum visitors are invited to take a 45-minute tour of On the Liberty Line on Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. or Feb. 25 at 11 a.m. Children and their families will explore early Black History in St. Catharines through the eyes of Freedom Seekers and Black community members during the Underground Railroad era and beyond. Continue reading

Land Developer Appears To Have Known About Ford Government’s Greenbelt Scheme Before It Was Made Public

Development Company Seems To Have Had Advance Knowledge Of Ford’s Greenbelt Plan Before It Was Made Public Say Ontario’s NDP

A News Release from Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democratic Party

Posted February 1st, 2023 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large – To date, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has insisted that his Conservative government did not tip off any development companies before the government introduced  egislation that allows   some urban development on Greenbelt lands in the Golden Horseshoe, was made public late last year.)

Marit Stiles, incoming Ontario NDP leader

QUEEN’S PARK – Marit Stiles, Incoming Leader of the Ontario NDP, revealed new information about the Ford government’s plan to carve up the Greenbelt, indicating that a land development company seems to have had advance knowledge of the plan before it was made public.

“The more information we uncover about Ford’s scheme to tear up the Greenbelt, the more concerned I become”, said Stiles. “Protected land became extremely lucrative overnight, and Ford donors seem to have benefitted enormously from land they had just purchased. Maybe they were just incredibly lucky. But something doesn’t seem right to me.” Continue reading

Trudeau Government’s ‘Voluntary’ Standards for Long-Term Care Homes Are a Joke

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

Posted February 1st, 2023 on Niagara At Large

One of many ceremonial grave yards in front of Ontario long-term care homes as deaths in homes across the province begin to spiike during pandemic.

As much as I hate them,  no wonder you have people driving around our Niagara region and others across the country with “Fxxk Trudeau’ flags and bumper stickers on their cars and trucks.

No wonder more and more Canadians seem to be losing respect for politicians and for government all together.

In the case of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberals, the release a day ago of “voluntary” standards – that’s right, not mandatory or legally-enforceable, but ‘VOLUNTARY ‘ for improving standards for protecting seniors across Canada in long-term care homes, is just one more example why so many people are losing faith in government. Continue reading

Tree Planting Partnership Invites Niagara Watershed Landowners to Participate in Trees For All Program

“Trees are essential to our lives: they capture carbon, improve air quality and support wildlife, and they are important allies in our fight against climate change.”                                                            – Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA)

Posted January 31st, 2023 on Niagara At Large

The Niagara Peninsula Tree Planting Partnership (NPTPP) invites private landowners to join collective efforts to bring millions of trees to the Niagara Peninsula watershed, in support of Canada’s goal of planting two billion trees.

The Government of Canada’s 2 Billion Trees (2BT) Program seeks to partner with governments and organizations to plant two billion trees – trees that will capture and store carbon from the atmosphere, improve air and water quality, help to restore nature and biodiversity, cool urban centres and create and support thousands of green jobs. Continue reading

One of Canada’s True Sport Legends – Bobby Hull- Dies

A Few  Brief Notes of Tribute from Doug Draper

Posted January 30the, 2023 on Niagara At Large

Canadian sports legend Bobby Hull dies

Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when I was still a wee little kid growing up in Welland, I was lucky enough to live in a neighbourhood where we still had woods and fields with ice ponds to skate on this time of year, and a street where we could play road hockey without having to worry very much about being hit by a car.

There were still only six teams in the National Hockey League back then and every Saturday night two of them would show up on ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ and dazzle us on a television screen.

As much as I did not go on to follow hockey as it became more of a spectacle of players punching each other until there was blood on the ice, in those days, for many young kids growing up in Canada, the players on those six teams – the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadians, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Chicago Black Hawks – were our sports heroes. Continue reading

Canada’s Prime Minister Pays Tribute to the Long-Serving Ontario Mayor They Called “Hurricane Hazel”

“We will remember (former Mississauga, Ontario Mayor Hazel McCallion) as a trailblazer whose career in politics and service to her community will remain an inspiration to all of us.”

A Statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Posted January 29th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

Justin Trudeau and Hazel McCallion sharing a moment captured by the cameras back in 2015

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the  death of Hazel McCallion:

“Today, I join Ontarians and Canadians in mourning the passing of Hazel McCallion, the former long-serving mayor of Mississauga.

“My dear friend Hazel was an extraordinary woman who wore many hats: a businessperson, an athlete, a politician, and one of Canada’s – and the world’s – longest-serving mayors. Nicknamed ‘Hurricane Hazel’ for her bold political style, she was unstoppable. Continue reading

Ontarians Won’t Be Ignored on Ford Government’s Infamous Ecosystem-Killing Bill 23

People of Ontario Are Standing Up To Environmental Deregulation

A Brief Message from Ontario Nature, a non-profit advocate for conserving our natural heritage

Posted January 29th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

The Provincial Government(of Ontario Premier Doug Ford)  is snipping the thoughtfully interwoven web of protections for our wetlands, woodlands and farmland that have been developed over decades.

Just some of the many Niagara citizens attending a ralling protesting Bill 23 in Pelham earlier this January 2023. They vow to keep the movement against the Ford government’s plans to pave over green lands growing. File photo by Doug Draper

Years of hard work – by both conservative and liberal governments – is being rapidly unraveled under the guise of “more homes built faster”.

Yet despite last month’s disappointing news that the Government of Ontario ignored thousands of voices and passed Bill 23, people are not standing down. Continue reading

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates to Host “Emergency Town Hall” for Public on Health Care Concerns

Be There – At the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Thursday, Feb. 9th from 6:30 to 8 P.M.

A Call-Out to All of Us from Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted January 28th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

Our health care system is in crisis. I want to hear from my constituents, the residents of Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, on their health care concerns.

I am hosting an emergency healthcare townhall on Thursday, February 9th from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m at the Gale Centre (5152 Thorold Stone Road, Niagara Falls, L2E 0A2) in the Memorial Room.

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

We will be featuring a panel of health care experts & front-line workers to discuss the crisis, our concerns with the continued growth of privatization, and listening directly to the concerns and stories of residents.

This event is open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. For the safety of all community members, we ask that folks wear a mask indoors.

If you have questions or want more information, please contact my office at (905)357-0681 or wgates-co@ndp.on.ca 

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

Say No To Healthcare Profiteering in Ontario

“The (Ford) government’s plan to bring new for-profit surgical facilities to Ontario can only make our healthcare crisis worse.”

A Statement from the Green Party of Ontario

Posted January 28th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

It seems like everywhere we turn, (Ontario Premier) Doug Ford is busy helping private companies profit from a public resource – the Greenbelt, Ontario Place, and now our healthcare system.

The government’s plan to bring new for-profit surgical facilities to Ontario can only make our healthcare crisis worse, diverting scarce resources into the pockets of shareholders while public hospitals reel under the impact of years of under-investment.

Independent Health Facilities undertaking routine surgical procedures can play a role in helping alleviate the strain on our hospitals, allowing them to focus on more urgent and complex operations. Continue reading

Federal NDP Calls Canada’s PM, Environment Minister To Stop Ford From Bulldozing Greenbelt

NDP Launches Petition Calling On Federal Government To Act

A Call-Out from Canada’s New Democratic  Party

Posted January 27th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

Only Prime Minister Trudeau and Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault can stop Doug Ford from bulldozing the Greenbelt — and Canada’s NDP is calling on the federal Liberal government to do that urgently.

“Only Trudeau and Guilbeault have the power to stop Doug Ford from bulldozing the Greenbelt, and time is running out to act,” said NDP Ethics critic Matthew Green (Hamilton Centre).

“The Greenbelt grows our food, cleans our water and prevents GTA homes from flooding. For Trudeau and Guilbeault, it should be a simple choice now between protecting people’s food and our future, or letting the floodwaters rise up into our homes and our communities.”

Continue reading

Radioactive Waste Should Not Be Stored On The Edge Of Lake Ontario

“Continuing to use conventional warehouse structures to store deadly waste and building more of them right on the edge of the lake is not taking the safety of millions of residents seriously.”

A Call-Out from the citizens advocacy group, Ontario Clean Air Alliance

Posted January 25th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

Surely Niagara West and Ford government MPP Sam Oosterhoff – in keeping with Premier Doug Ford’s zeal to f continue generating nuclear  energy – would be pleased to  accept a facility for storing nuclear waste in his riding.

(A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper – If we need to store nuclear waste anywhere in Ontario, perhaps the good people in the Niagara West Riding represented by Ford Government MPP Sam Oosterhoff would be willing to take it.

The MPP is very popular and appears vitually unbeatable in the rural riding of Niagara West and he most certainly supports his Premier Doug Ford’s desire to continue generating nuclear energy. In that spirit, there is land around the Smithville area in his riding that may be available, sine farmers seem willing to sell it to developers anyway.

And at least it is further inland from the Great Lakes.

Certainly Mr. Oosterhoff’s loyal Doug Ford  constituents would embrace this. Better than more of those wind farms, right? – Doug Draper)

The aging Pickering Nuclear Power Plant on the north shores of Lake Ontario.

This  Thursday, January 26, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) will be seeking permission from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to continue to store high-level radioactive wastes at the Darlington Nuclear Station in conventional warehouse buildings on the shore of Lake Ontario; and build new waste storage buildings even closer to the edge of the lake. Continue reading

Doug Ford, His Sidekick Steve Clark and Their Shameless Assault on Our Natural Heritage

If They and Their Pals in the Development Industry Win, The Biggest Losers Will Be Our Children and Grandchildren

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted January 24th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

.Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, shown here, and the premier belong together.

When it comes to full-out, in-our-face exhibitions of ignorance, insults and disrespect for democracy and the rights of citizens to speak out for the common good in their communities, I did not think that anyone in Ontario’s  so-called “Progressive” Conservative Government could hold a candle to that government’s boss hog, Douglas Robert Ford Jr..

I have to admit that I was wrong.

Enter Stage Right – and I mean really far right – is Premier Doug Ford’s cocky Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the dishonourable Steve Clark.

Clark, a former three-term mayor of Brockville, Ontario who was inflicted on the rest of us by voters in that area of the province, is Ford’s lead bully and bouncer when it comes to shoving through Bill 23 – an infamous piece of legislation, cynically cloaked as a measure to create more affordable housing, yet  aimed at weakening rules and silencing voices for protecting what are left of our food-growing lands and natural heritage, and at eliminating charges developers would pay for water and wastewater lines and other new infrastructure, all as gift to the Ford government’s partners in crimes against our communities in the development industry. Continue reading

Building All of Ontario, Including More Housing in Rural, Farming Communities

Ford Government’s investments supporting economic growth, protecting jobs and building infrastructure in rural communities

“We’re making sure every inch of Ontario benefits from our investments to support economic growth and protect jobs, including by building infrastructure in rural communities.”                                                                        – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A News Release from Ontario’s Ford Government

Posted January 24th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large – Despite growing opposition across the province to the Ford Government’s plans to allow urban development to sprawl into the countryside, this news release makes it clear that Ford and Company are bulldozing ahead with these plans, as mapped out in the government’s infamous Bill 23.)

TORONTO — The Ontario government is working with its rural municipal partners to build housing, encourage economic growth and development, reduce red tape, strengthen the agri-food sector and promote rural municipalities as great places to live, work and do business.

Will ever morelow-density urban sprawl cover ever more of the green lands above?  Ford says yes- keep building over what is left of our contryside.

“Our government has a plan that’s building all of Ontario,” said Premier Doug Ford. “No matter the size of your community or where you live, we’re making sure every inch of Ontario benefits from our investments to support economic growth and protect jobs, including by building infrastructure in rural communities. We want every part of Ontario to be the best place to live, work and raise a family.” Continue reading

Environmental Groups Taking Ford Gov. To Court Over Attack on Greenbelt and Hamilton’s Official Plan

Environmental Groups Taking Ford Gov. To Court Over Attack on Greenbelt and Hamilton’s Official Plan

Ontario Government Served With Legal Notice Over Carving Up Greenbelt Lands

“The province’s attempt to allow uncontrolled sprawl outside (of)  urban boundaries forms part of a wider move to undermine environmental protections by stripping conservation authorities of their powers under Bill 23 and opening up large swathes of the Greenbelt for development.”                                               – Laura Bowman, lawyer, lawyer for the non-profit legal group, Ecojustice

A News Release from the citizen groups Envrionmental Defence and Ecojustice

Posted January 23rdh, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

I was determined to post this news before our Niagara At Large site suffered technical difficulties – possibly due to hacking – earlier this January because it should raise some hope that the fight to save Ontario’s natural heritage from the forces of ignorance and greed is gaining some real steam.

What I hope that you take the time to read here is encouraging news that major public-interest organizations in Canada like Environmental Defence and Ecojustice are joining with more local networks of individuals and groups like the Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee in Niagara, Environment Hamilton and with citizens in other regions across Ontario in raising a strong, unified voice against Ontario’s Ford Government’s campaign to destroy some of the best food growing lands we have left in the province’s Greenbelt and to gut measures for protecting our natural heritage resources for generations to come. Continue reading

Niagara MPP, Welland Mayor Blast Niagara Health System for Closing Beds, Services at Welland Hospital

“Make no mistake, your proposed changes, if implemented will almost certainly result in the avoidable deaths of people in our community. It is abhorrent to think that such drastic changes could go forward at all, much less without community consultation or clear communication and discussion with locally elected officials.” 

– From a January 20th, 2023 Open Letter sent to Niagara Health System President & CEOLynn Guerriero by Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch and Welland Mayor Frank Campion

An Open Letter to Niagara Health’s CEO from Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch and Welland Mayor Frank Campion

Posted January 20th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword to this Open Letter from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

Niagara At Large is continuing to work its way through some serious technical difficulties as a result of what may have been a case of hacking of our online news site.

Niagara Health System continues closing walls in on Welland Hospital Site. File photo by Doug Draper

Nevertheless, I feel I need to try now to get this very strong and urgent Open Letter from two of Niagara, Ontario elected leaders on as soon as possible given what is at stake around the health care of Niagara residents, especially in our region’s southern tier.

I also wish to say this. And I say it in all due respect to the many dedicated nurses, doctors and other health care staff who work in the system. Continue reading

This Could Be The End for Niagara At Large

A Message from Doug Draper

It Appears that the Niagara At Large site may have been hacked or compromised by some unknown party.

I have been trying to get NAL back online, so far without success.

I have been operating this site out of nothing more than passion, as a journalist and as someone who continues to care about the health of our community for current and future generations, and I have so far done it for more than 12 years for no monetary compensation.

It is sad that this is the thanks that you get.

I apologize, once again, to the many good visitors to the Niagara At Large site, and there are more than I could ever have imagined that fall into that group. However, the majority out there – I fear – do not give a damn about the serious issues that impact our communities and the natural environment we all depend on for survival. Most do not even care enough to votte.

So one wonders if it makesany sense to go on trying to engage more people to become actively involved in the welfare of our communities, or would one’s time be better spent playing a guitar or reading a good novel.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Niagara At Large Will Be Back

A Message from NAL publisher/reporter Doug Draper

Niagara At Large is experiencing technical difficulties. We will be back as soon as possible.

Sorry to our many dedicated visitors and readers.

Hamilton City Council Unanimously Wants Repeal Of Ford Government’s Anti-Conservation, Anti-Green Lands Bill 23

Hamilton Council Promises Additional Actions To Oppose It

News from Hamilton, Ontario-based ‘Citizens At City Hall,” known by many in Hamilton area simply as CATCH

Posted January 9th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

(Hamilton, Ontario City) Councillors appear fully united in their anger at the provincial Progressive Conservative government’s Bill 23.

An initial response (decrying the financial impacts of the legislation was approved unanimously. It was accompanied by vows that council will also tackle the environmental, social and democratic implications.

The initial missive demands that the Ford government repeal changes that will shift costs from developers to local taxpayers. These include the imposition of “mandatory discounts” on development charges, cuts to other DCs, and to required fees for new parks. The motion was drafted by staff and moved by ward 5 councillor Matt Francis, and seconded by Ward 10 rep Jeff Beattie.

In response, other councillors gave notice they want much more action on what downtown councillor Cameron Kroetsch called “an unprecedented situation” that demands an “absolutely unprecedented response”.

Kroetsch noted the provincial law will “degrade and destroy our natural infrastructure”.

Continue reading

Canada, U.S. and Mexico Stand Up for Brazilian President Who Is Fighting to Amazon Save Rainforest

A Joint Statement by U.S. President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,  and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Brazil

Posted January 9th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s new President and a friend of the Brazilian Rainforest is being attacked by his Trump-friendly, fascist  predecessor Jair  Bolsonero

Ottawa, Ontario – “Canada, Mexico, and the United States condemn the January 8 attacks on Brazil’s democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power.

“We stand with Brazil as it safeguards its democratic institutions. Our governments support the free will of the people of Brazil.

“We look forward to working with President Lula on delivering for our countries, the Western Hemisphere, and beyond.”

Continue reading

The Tragic Shooting in Niagara of a White Wolf Named Boo

Why Can’t We Do A Better Job of Living With Other Life On This Planet?

Another Year-Ender Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted January 6th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

A year or two before the beginning of the COVID plague, at The Earth House, one of my favourite stores for aging hippies on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I picked up a bumper sticker that reads; “My Species Disappoints Me.”

Unfortunately, the words on that bumper sticker –displayed to this day on a wall above the bar in the family room of my home in Niagara – ring truer and truer all the time.

The great white wolf Boo

When I look back at 2022, the year that has just past, some of the sadder moments involve the way far too many of our fellow humans have failed – whether trough ignorance or a drive for dominance or greed – to care more for and live in harmony with other species we are blessed to share a short period of time with on the only planet in our universe that supports life.

I could start with the continued moves by Ontario’s Ford government to weaken measures to protect endangered species in this province which continue into the New Year with legislation that threaten the precious woodlands and wetlands vital to the survival of a host of wildlife.

And in n Niagara, I am still haunted by the tragic story of Boo, a magnificent-looking, female white Arctic wolf who, around the first or second day of last August, escaped from a cage or fenced-in compound in Port Colborne/Niagara – a place totally foreign to her natural environment. Continue reading

Retired Niagara Nurse Slams Ford’s Treatment of Ontario Nurses

A Commentary from Linda McKellar, retired Niagara nurse

Posted January 6th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

(The following is a response retired Niagara nurse Linda McKellar shared with Niagara At Large to a piece we posted on NAL on the underpaying of Ontario nurses.)

I can’t even bother with rational comments about this any more.

How do you kill something? Don’t feed it.

How do you destroy the health care system? Don’t pay the nurses, the lifeblood of the system. Hell, they only save lives.

Maybe if they were athletes playing games they could make a few million a year!

Do people really think doctors are monitoring and watching over their patients at 3 am on a Sunday morning or holiday?

Many doctors haven’t seen their own patients in 3 years due to the pandemic (except ER doctors and clinic). Continue reading

At Long Last, A New Consolidated Transit System Has Been Launched In Niagara

A News Release from a now fully merged Niagara Transit Commission and Niagara Region Transit System

Posted January 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper At Niagara At Large –

Well here we finally are in Niagara!

More than 20 years after Waterloo Region which, like Niagara, works with a two-tier system of local and regional municipal councils, amalgamated a  public transit system that proved to be highly successful, Niagara has at long last done the same.

How frustrating it has been for public transit supporters in Niagara over the past two or three decades to watch so many politicians and bureaucrats in Niagara, pandering to parochial interests void of vision for our region’s future, do everything they could to deprive us of a fully-consolidated public transit system.

As the tired old saying goes though, better late than never. Continue reading

Underpaying Ontario Nurses, Wasting Taxpayer Money

It’s The Same Old Ford in 2023

A Call-Out from the Green Party of Ontario

Posted January 5th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

Late last week (over the Holiday Season), while most of us were spending time with our loved ones and celebrating the end of a troubling year, the Ford government was plowing ahead with its business-as-usual disrespect for Ontario’s healthcare workers.

Ford waited until the eleventh hour, when he thought nobody was looking, to appeal the Superior Court decision that ruled Bill 124 unconstitutional – making it crystal clear that he doesn’t care about healthcare workers or the millions of Ontarians who raised their voices in opposition to thisharmful legislation. Continue reading

Canadian CEO Pay Soars To A New All-Time High Due To Inflation: Report

100 highest-paid CEOs now make 243 Times More Than Average Workers

“ Less than an hour after the first working day of the year begins, Canada’s highest-paid CEOs will have already made $58,800 or what it will take the average worker the entire year to make. That’s by 9:43 a.m. on January 3, 2023, to be precise.”      –  David Macdonald, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A News Release and a New Report from Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Posted January 4th, 2023 on Niagara At Large

OTTAWA—Canada’s 100 highest-paid CEOs broke every compensation record on the books in 2021, according to a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

In Breakfast of Champions: CEO Pay in 2021, CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald shows that those 100 CEOs, who are overwhelmingly male, got paid an average of $14.3 million in 2021, smashing the previous record of $11.8 million in 2018 and setting a new all-time high in our data series.  Continue reading

Ontario Ford Tories ‘Lose Sight of What Canada Stands For’

Ford and Company Working to Diminish the Democratic Right and Freedoms Fought for with Blood and Treasure by Generations of Canadians

From Doug Draper, with Excerpts from a December 30th, 2022 Globe and Mail Editorial

Posted January 3rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

This past November 24th, the date of the Inaugural Meeting of the 2022-2026 edition of Niagara’s Regional Council, marked the first time in decades that the Region’s Chair (meaning its lead elected leader) was not chosen by councillors and mayors that we, the people, elected to serve on the Council.

Doug Ford’s appointed Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley may be a lame-duck municipal leader from the get go. Ford is bringing in a “facilitator to help run things at Niagara Region.

Instead, Jim Bradley, who served as the Region’s Chair during the last four-year term, was appointed to a second term by Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservative Government – a move that received little more than a shrug from a majority of councillors and mayors at the Inaugural meeting.

Bradley stated later that he accepted no conditions from the Ford government ahead of the appointment and he vowed in interviews with Niagara At Large and other area media outlets that his first priority will remain attending to the interests and concerns of the people of Niagara.

However much I believe him – Bradley has always struck me as a person of  honesty and integrity in a world of politics where those attribute are all too rare – how much of a say in Niagara affairs will he and others on the Council really have?

How much will they have with a Premier who so obviously to want to rule municipal governments across Ontario like King Henry the Eighth or like that 20th Century fascist Mussolini? Continue reading

Supporting The Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region

Join In Steve McNeil’s 1926 National Skate Day Challenge.- Saturday, January 14, 2023

See Details Below

A Call-Out from The Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region

Posted January 2nd, 2023 on Niagara At Large

Steve McNeill invites you to support him as he skates to raise funds to assist those with Alzheimer’s Disease.

For over 10 years, Steve McNeil, an Etobicoke mail carrier has been skating 19 hours and 26 minutes at rinks across Canada to pay tribute to his mother who was born in 1926 and passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. His skates also honour all the caregivers who continue to care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Previously, Steve has skated up to ten Marathons each year, including skating in Niagara at Gretzky’s Estates Winery in 2020 and 2022. This year he will be doing one skate on January 14, 2023 in Kingston and is asking Canadians from coast to coast to join in and hold their own fundraising 1926 Skate Challenges.

Neighbourhoods across the Niagara Region are encouraged to host their own 1926 Skate Challenge to raise awareness and to fundraise for Alzheimer Society Niagara Region. Continue reading

Niagara Falls To Go Blue For Damar Hamlin And The Buffalo Bills

Check Out the Blue at the Horseshoe and American Falls, This Tuesday Night from 9 to 9:15 P.M.

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

Posted January 3rd, 2023 on Niagara At Large

The Horseshoe Falls in blue. Photo courtesy of Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin

Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Niagara Falls Illumination Board will illuminate both the American Falls and Canadian Horseshoe Falls in blue tonight (this Tuesday, January 3rd) from 9:00 to 9:15 p.m. in support for Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills, and the City of Buffalo.

Buffalo Bills’ player Damar Hamlin was transported to a Cincinnati hospital during the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game last evening. Niagara Falls’ thoughts are with Hamlin, his team, and the City of Buffalo.

A Statement by Buffalo, New York-Area Congressman Brian Higgins

Continue reading

In 2023, People Power Must Prevail Over Ford’s Assault On Our Environment and Democracy

“Fascism – a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people.” – Britannica Dictionary

A New Year’s Message from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Re-posted and Updated January 1st, 2023

In the weeks and days leading up to this past spring’s provincial election, there were at least some Ontarians out there, including columnists for the mainstream news media, who argued that Doug Ford was a man who has evolved for the better as a human being.

The pandemic matured him in ways that made him seem warmer  and more open and transparent, they said. In other words hewwas  no longer the bombastic, overbearing thug he was when he road shotgun for his late brother Rob,  the late Toronto mayor,  back in the days when they were both wreaking havoc on Toronto city council.

Well guess what!

Here we are – some seven months after that provincial election – and Doug Ford has ripped off the sheep’s coat, only to expose himself as the same bully and thug that he used to be. Only rhis time smothered over in a thick, smoldering sauce  of Mussolini-style fascism. Continue reading

Ontario Premier Doug Ford Shares New Year’s Greeting

“I’m particularly proud of the progress our government has made implementing our plan to build Ontario.”

A News Release from the Office of Ontario’s Premier

Posted January 1st, 2023 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note from Niagara At Large – We are posting this on NAL for our readers’ entertainment, with one warning. You may not want to read it on a full stomach. By the way the photo art for this post was chosen not by the Premier”s Office obviously, but by Niagara At Large.)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford,

TORONTO — Today(this January 1st, 2023), Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement to mark the start of the New Year:

“As we turn over the calendar to begin a new year, it’s important to take a moment and reflect on just how far we’ve all come over the past twelve months.

I have been so proud to see the Team Ontario spirit on full display as the people of this province got back together and back to business. As Premier, I’m particularly proud of the progress our government has made implementing our plan to build Ontario. Continue reading

In 2023, People Power Must Prevail Over Ford’s Assault On Our Environment and Democracy

“Fascism – a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people.” – Britannica Dictionary

A New Year’s Message from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted December 31st, 2022

In the weeks and days leading up to this past spring’s provincial election, there were at least some Ontarians out there, including columnists for the mainstream news media, who argued that Doug Ford was a man who has evolved for the better as a human being.

The pandemic matured him up in ways that made himseem warmer  and more open and transparent, they said. In other words hewwas  no longer the bombastic, overbearing thug he was when he road shotgun for his late brother Rob. the late Toronto mayor,  back in the days when they were both wreaking havoc on Toronto city council.

Well guess what!

Here we are – some seven months after that provincial election – and Doug Ford has ripped off the sheep’s coat, only to expose himself as the same bully and thug that he used to be. Only rhis time smothered over in a thick, smoldering sauce  of Mussolini-style fascism. Continue reading

Farewell to One of Canada’s Folk Music Legends

Ian Tyson of the Iconic Folk Duo ‘ Ian and Sylvia ‘

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted December 30th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ian Tyson with then wife and fellow singer/songwriter Sylvia. Together, as Ian and Sylvia they put a big stamp onthe revival of folk music in the 1960s.

In his later years and for most of his adult life, Ian Tyson became known – and thrived – as a singer and writer of cowboy and country songs, which has almost always been a bridge too far for this music lover whose taste in music is pretty wide range.

But way back in the 1960s, he and his then-wife Sylvia were among a handful of Canadian artists, including Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell, who fueled what was then celebrated as a “modern folk music revival” bursting out of places like Yorkville in Toronto, Greenwich Village in New York City and the Newport Folk Festval in Neport, Rhode Island.

Ian and Sylvia came to prominence with songs like Four Strong Winds, You Were On My Mind (also turned in to a huge hit by an Austrailian group called We Five), Someday Soon and a great cover version of Gordon Lightfoot’s Early Morning Rain. Continue reading

Niagara Region ends State of Emergency in Niagara, Ontario

A Message from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted December 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

With the lifting of the states of emergency in the Niagara municipalities of Fort Erie, Port Colborne and Wainfleet, the Niagara Region will also end its State of Emergency effective Dec. 29, 2022.

Niagara Region, local Niagara area municipalities and partner organizations will continue to monitor changing weather conditions and support those areas effected by this recent Winter Storm. Continue reading

Town of Fort Erie, Ontario’s STATE OF EMERGENCY LIFTED

Posted December 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Town of Fort Erie has lifted the State of Emergency as of 12:00 noon on December 29, 2022.

 

The Warming Centre at Fort Erie Leisureplex has  end operations as of 2:00 pm. This December 29th.

Town crews and CNP continue to work in areas impacted by the storm.

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

Hey Alberta, If You Don’t Like Canada, Leave!

Good Riddance to a Province Of Tar Sands Filth, Cowboy Costumes and Chuck-Wagon Pile-Ups That Is Making Us Look Like Climate-Denying Red-Necks Around the World

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

Posted December 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Alberta Premier and Canada hater Danielle Smith pushes for sovereiignty for her province.. Let her and the many Albertans who supporter have it.

Just when one hoped Alberta’s domineering Conservative government might be entering a 21st Century age of enlightment with the ejection of its climate denying, king-of-the-tar-sands premier Jason Kenny, the party that rules this  province like a …… ushers in Premier Danielle Smith – Alberta’s answer to one of America’s most powerful wing-nuts – Marjorie Taylor Greene.

In Danielle Greene – Sorry for the confusion. That’s Smith, not Greene – Alberta is embracing a premier that has made a mockery of science-based measures that were recommended and when times were necessary, were  mandated for keeping as many Canadians as possible from becoming seriously ill and dying from COVID-19.

She went so far as to say that members of her province who were and still are anti-vaxxers were more discriminated against than Canada’s indigenous people. Continue reading

Hearts Go Out to Our Neighbours in Buffalo & Erie County, New York

A Brief Message from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted December 26th, 2022

As of this posting, we at Niagara At Large heard a report of Buffalo’s Channel 4 News that even all of the Wegmans grocery stores in the Buffalo area are closed due to this violent snow store – and they are usually never closed.

That is one more confirmation of how bad things are for our neighbours and friends in the Buffalo/Erie County, New York area.

The Peace Bridge also reportedly remains closed which is also unheard of, except in the wake of some of the worst disasters. Continue reading

A Favourite Depiction of Santa Claus

A Brief Comment from Doug Draper

Posted December 26th on Niagara At Large

Not everyone loves Santa Claus – even kids!

I have known plenty of children in my own family and others who take one look at the  “Jolly Old Elf with the beer belly and big white beard in some shopping mall somewhere, and scream!

Yet the zombies who passed as their parents insist that they join the line to sit on Santa’s lap anyway, just so they can get a picture of the moment (just before the screaming started) to send to Uncle Ernie and the rest of the family. Continue reading

A Holiday Season Message from Canada’s Prime Minister

“We’ve been through a lot as a country, but through it all Canadians have demonstrated the true meaning of generosity, kindness, and hope….. No matter your beliefs, these are values you can bring as you celebrate the season.”

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on Christmas:

Posted December 25th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

“Merry Christmas, everyone!

“Like millions of Canadians, my family is excited to gather around the Christmas tree and spend some quality time together. It’s the time of year when things slow down a little bit, when Christmas movies – including Die Hard – are on repeat, when some of us keep an ear out for the sound of reindeer on the roof, and when we all take a moment to appreciate those who make our lives special. Continue reading

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley Expresses Thanks For Community Well-Wishes And To Niagara Health Staff

A News Release from Niagara’s Regional Government in Niagara, Ontario

Posted December 25th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

After receiving treatment for issues related to a respiratory illness, Regional Chair Jim Bradley was discharged from the St. Catharines hospital on Wednesday.

The Chair wishes to thank the many residents across Niagara who shared messages of encouragement. The words of support from the public were sincerely appreciated.

The Regional Chair also wants to thank the staff at Niagara Health for the care he received while in hospital. Chair Bradley witnessed first hand some of the challenges that the health care system is currently managing and wishes to both acknowledge the severity of the situation and commend the staff for their dedication and commitment during this difficult time.

In accordance with medical advice, Chair Bradley will continue to rest comfortably at home in the short term before resuming his daily activities.

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

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

Niagara Region Joins Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Wainfleet in Declaring State of Emergency

“After speaking with the mayors in Niagara’s southern communities, and in consultation with our emergency operations team, I have declared a state of emergency for the Region.”          – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

A News Release from Niagara’s RegionalGovernment in Niagara, Ontario

On Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, Niagara Region declared a State of Emergency.

Due to the continuing dangerous weather conditions in the southern end of the region, Niagara Region has declared a State of Emergency.

 

Many municipalities in Niagara continue to have blizzard-like conditions including blowing snow, white out conditions, and at times zero visibility. These conditions, combined with wide-spread power outages have created treacherous conditions in many parts of the Region. Continue reading

‘Twelve Acts of Destruction’ – A ‘New Holiday Classic’ With a Stocking Full of Coal for Premier Doug Ford and his Greenbelt-Gutting Enablers

Produced and Performed by Members of Environmental Defence –a Canada-wide citizens advocacy organization for a healthy planet

Posted December 24th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Please listen, by clicking on the screen immediately below –

 

A Brief Afterword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – Opposition to the Ford government’s assault on our natural heritage and on our democracy is growing province-wide.

In 2023, let’s do all we can to stop Ford and his minions from destroying what is left of Ontario’s natural heritage, including our precious food-growing lands, and from robbing us of our right to live in a free and democratic country.

Let’s do everything we can to repeal the pieces of legislation Ford and company are using to assault our democratic values and our natural treasures and to drive him and his Tory enablers out of government.

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

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

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

The ‘Storm Bomb’ Is Finally Here – Please Stay Safe and Stay Home

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted December 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

For the better  half than two hours now in part of north Niagara where my wife Mary and I live, temperatures have been plunging drastically, turning the rain waters that fell over the past 16 or so hours in to hard sheets of ice treacherous for walking.

And the wind is now whistling ever more wickedly through the branches of our trees while we watch fewer and fewer cars and trucks passing on our usually busy street, hopefully making a mad dash home from where ever they were to home.

This ‘Storm Bomb’, as some meteorologists have taken to calling it, is predicted to get worse in the 24 or more hours ahead and virtually all of the tourist attractions, schools up to and including college and university, and other venues have sent out news releases, have announced that they are closed. Continue reading

Ford Shows True Colours By Ignoring Public Opposition To Greenbelt Scheme

“It’s despicable that (Ontario Premier Doug Ford) is bulldozing ahead with Greenbelt carve-ups anyway, paving the way for land speculators to cash in.”

A Statement from Marit Stiles, newly elected Leader of Ontario’s Official Opposition NDP Party

Posted December 22nd, 2022 on NIagara At Large

Rallying for or the preservation of Niagara’s natural heritage this December 14th, 2022. Photo by Doug Draper

QUEEN’S PARK — Marit Stiles, next leader of the Ontario NDP, issued the following statement in light of reports that the Ford government is plowing ahead with plans to remove land from, and gut protections for, the Greenbelt, ignoring broad public opposition:

“The government’s own consultations show a public response that is unequivocal: Doug Ford should leave the Greenbelt alone.

People don’t want Ford removing vast tracts of farmland, forest and wetland from the Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine. They don’t want him gutting environmental protections for this invaluable green space. They don’t want him jeopardizing the farmland we need to grow food and the wetlands and forests we need to protect wildlife and combat the impacts of climate change. Continue reading

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgs Urges All of Us to Stand Up for Ukraine

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky Delivers a Stirring Address to Joint Meeting of U.S. Congress

Buffalo, New York area Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins has been an ongoing advocate for a common-sense return to Canada-U.S. border crossing requirements, including putting an end to the ArriveCAN requirement.

A Statement from Buffalo, New York Area Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins on Visit to U.S. by Ukraine President Zelenskyy

Posted December 22nd. 2022 on Niagara At Large

 “Putin’s unwarranted attack on the innocent people of Ukraine is not only a threat to that nation but to the world.”      – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins from across the border in Buffalo, New York

On December 21, 2022, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine visited Washington, D.C. for meetings with President Biden and to address a joint session of Congress. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), a member of the bipartisan Congressional Ukrainian Caucus<https://twitter.com/RepBrianHiggins/status/1498866583409676293>, released the following statement regarding the visit: Continue reading

Niagara Falls to go Dark, then Yellow and Blue,  in Support of Ukraine

See it this Wednesday, Dec. 21st at 7 P.M from the Canadian Side of the Falls

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

Posted December 21st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – Tonight (this Wednesday, December 21st), both the Canadian Horseshoe and American Falls will go dark at 7 p.m. for one minute in support of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Following the minute of darkness, Niagara Falls will be lit in blue and yellow for 15 minutes.

Niagara Falls will join landmarks across the world in a powerful visual tribute to Ukraine and to raise awareness of blackouts affecting the country, as well as to support the appeal to raise funds for electrical generators for hospitals. The campaign is using the hashtag: #LightUpUkraine

The Horsewhoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario and New York lit up iin the colours for Ukraine on an earlier occasion following Russia’s unjust and deadly invasion

All special illumination requests are reviewed and approved by the Niagara Falls Illumination Board, which has financed and operated the “illumination of Niagara Falls” since 1925. The Niagara Falls Illumination Board is made up of representatives from the City of Niagara Falls Ontario, City of Niagara Falls, New York, Ontario Power Generation Inc., New York Power Authority, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and The Niagara Parks Commission.

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

Wishing You All Warmth and Peace This Holiday Season

And Here is to Warm Memories of all those Love Ones in Our Lives Who Have Come and Gone

A Message from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted December 22, 2022

Well here we are – another Holiday Season and another ushering in of a new year with farewells to this one.

One of those wonderful natural areas that many of us have come to love visiting even more during the pandemic, and one that Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Tories and pals in the development syndicate are all to willing to destroy

At this time of year, I do what so many of us do and wish most everyone I come into contact with a happy this or a merry that, with the jingling bells and Prancer and Dancer and all of the rest in mind.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not making light of it – not at all. It is meant sincerely and who doesn’t look back to their earliest memories as a child when the holiday season for most of us – though sadly, not all – was filled with brightly coloured lights and magic.

Yet as time goes by, the holiday season also becomes a time when our memories and thoughts drift back  to all of those we have loved –humans and non-humans in our circle of family and friends – who have come and who, all too soon, have gone. Continue reading

Join A Wide-Open Citizens’ Requiem for Niagara’s Greenbelt and Natural Heritage

 Tuesday, December 20th, 2022 at 7 P.M. in the the Town of Beamsville in Niagara, Ontario

An Invite from Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, a region-wide coalition of individuals and citizens fighting to save what is left of our precious natural heritage in Niagara

Posted December 19th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

 

 

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper, reporter/publisher, Niagara At Large –

Those citizens rallying along Hwy. 20 in Fonthill were met with choruses of honking horns from passersby supporting them.

The Ontario Government of Doug Ford, Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff and the rest of the Conservative Party clan have been ramming through legislation – on a pretense that they care about building more affordable housing – that will gut more of what is left our our precious food-growing lands, and the woodlands and wetlands we need to live in health and harmony with our natural environment and other living creatures on this planet.

Ford/Oosterhoff and company are allowing this assault on our green space in concert with the worst of the worst in the development syndicate in Ontario – a rancid bunch so greedy that they would probably pave over the graves of their own parents and grandparents if they could rake in more bucks. Continue reading

Holiday Winter Wonderland Is Back At Ball’s Falls in Niagara, Ontario

Illuminated trails, live entertainment, holiday crafts, s’mores, and more! Runs to January 8th (see all details for times and dates below)

An Invited from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted December 19th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Ball’s Falls Holiday Season. Photo courtiesy of Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Niagara, Ontario –The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is excited to welcome the community to the 3rd Annual Ball’s Falls Holiday Trail (Holiday Trail) this winter season. This family holiday tradition returns brighter than ever, with thousands of sparkling lights along the trails, live musical entertainment, and immersive activities at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area. 

The Holiday Trail is an evening trail walk experience featuring a 1.5 km (round trip) illuminated path through natural areas along the Niagara Escarpment and Twenty Mile Creek, and the 1800s heritage village of Glen Elgin. Continue reading

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley Hospitalized

A Brief News Piece Posted by Doug Draper

Posted on Niagara At Large on December 19th, 2022

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradleyl

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley – who was MPP for St. Catharines for many years and a cabinet minister for former Ontario Liberal governments – has reportedly been admitted to hospital with a respiratory illness.

A spokesperson for Bradley said he is resting comfortably, undergoing routine tests and is expected to back to work at the Region soon.

As of this post no official statement on the Chair’s status has been released by the

Regardless how we may feel about Jim Bradley’s politics or any of the issues at the regional and provincial level going down now, let us all hope so.

Here is wishing Jim Bradley a speedy recovery and good health for many years to come.

  • Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

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

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

 

Climate Change Action Network Holds Inaugural Meeting

“The creation of a Niagara Climate Change Action Network reinforces Niagara Region’s commitment to make changes and investments necessary to combat the effects of climate change before it’s too late.”                                                                                        – Jim Bradley, Niagara Regional Chair

A News Release from Niagara Region

Posted December 19th,2022 onNiagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Climate Change Action Network held its inaugural meeting this past Dec. 1, 2022, putting action to the call to action that was signed at the Niagara Climate Change Summit in June 2022 and launching a commitment to form partnerships, share critical data and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Niagara.

Four local organizations – Niagara Region, Brock University, Niagara College and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority – worked together to establish the Niagara Climate Change Action Network. Over 50 individuals from educational institutions, environmental groups, Indigenous organizations, municipalities and businesses from sectors including energy, agriculture, development and engineering attended the kick-off meeting as members of the network. Continue reading

Former Niagara MPP Cindy Forster Slams Eke’s Callous Remarks About Homeless People

A Comment from Cindy Forster, former NDP MPP for the Niagara, Ontario Riding of Niagara Centre

Posted December 17th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Cindy Forster, former NDP MPP for Riding of Niagara Centre and former mayor of Welland

(A Brief Foreword Note from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – The following comment by former Niagara Centre MPP Cindy Forster was shared by her on Niagara At Large’s Facebook page in response to stories posted here and in The St. Catharines Standard this December 16th by David Eke, a Ford government appointed member of the Niagara Regional Police Services Board, who floated the idea to the police board that homeless people believed to be suffering from mental illness should be locked up or institutionalized.

Due to Cindy Forster’s long-time stature in the Niagara community, both as a provincial member of the legislature and as a health care nurse, Niagara At Large is re-posting her comment here.)

This suggestion of Dave Eke (Co-Chair of the Niagara Regional Services Police Board) is totally unacceptable and deeply disturbing to me for to those hundreds of thousands of people awaiting mental health services many of which are homeless because they cannot access the care they need. Continue reading

Heartless Jerk on Niagara’s Police Board Calls for Locking Up Homeless People

Ford Appointee David Eke –  Empty-Headed  Windbag That He Is – Should Be Fired Off Niagara’s Police Services Board

A News Commentary by Niagara At Large Reporter and Publisher Doug Draper

Posted December 16th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Regional Police Board  Board C-Chair  Doug Ford Appointee David Eke suggests intitutionalization for homeless people

I found myself barely able to stop a blood vessel from bursting this morning when I picked up a copy of The St. Catharines Standard to a front-page story with a headline that read; “Eke suggests locking away homeless people.”

Who is David Eke?

His full name is David Eke and he was a former Niagara-on-the-Lake town councillor and eventually a Lord Mayor who also sat on Niagara’s Regional Council going back about a decade ago.

He was a rather affable fellow when you met in one on one, but never the brightest light on the tree, and he had a cringe worthy reputation at regional council meetings of getting up and pontificating for very many long minutes on end. And at the end of all that pontificating, many were left saying ‘we will never get that time back.’ Continue reading

Sam Was a No Show, But Greenbelt Ralliers Were Blown Away with  Honks of Support from Passersby

“Judging by all the car honks and thumbs up (our) group got, I would say most folks support our position that Bill 23 (legislation assaulting Ontario’s natural heritage) needs to be repealed and Doug Ford needs to keep his promise to protect the Greenbelt.”     –  Liz Benneian, Chair of Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, a region-wide coalition of individuals and groups advocating for the protection of our natural heritage

Niagara citizens rallying for protection of the Greenbelt and other natural heritage lands gather this December 14th, 2022 to greet Niagara West Ford government MPP Sam Oosterhoff – photo by Doug Draper

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

Posted December 15th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Those citizens rallying along Hwy. 20 in Fonthill were met with choruses of honking horns from passersby supporting them.

So what if you heard that Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff – one of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s loyal soldiers – was going to meet with members of the local media at the Legion Hall in Pelham and you were an advocate for Niagara’s Greenbelt who wanted to confront him with your concerns there.

Then you and more than 40 other citizens from across the region scramble together this past Wednesday afternoon to encounter him and he fails to show up.

“What a coward,” said one of the citizens when it became obvious Oosterhoff was going to be a no show at the Legion Hall. “I’m calling him ‘Slipper Sam’,” said another.

As it turned out, Oosterhoff, an enthusiastic supporter of his Ford government’s controversial Bill 23 and its potential to sprawl onto Greenbelt lands, allegedly for the purpose of building more affordable housing, was at another meeting in the Fonthill area, meeting in an undisclosed location with what he described later, in a note to Niagara At Large, as “community leaders.”

“I was invited to meet with some local community leaders in Pelham, and I did so today (this December 14th),” the Niagara West MPP said in response to a note I sent to him, asking why he did not show up at the Legion Hall. Continue reading

Environmental Defence. Democracy Watch Call for OPP Investigation of Possible Insider Information leaks to Sprawl Developers in Advance of Greenbelt Land Removals

“Removal of thousands of acres of legally protected farmland, forests and wetlands from the Greenbelt threatens us all. A government doing so in a manner shrouded in secrecy that appears to benefit a select group of property owners, including recent purchasers, needs to be thoroughly investigated by the OPP.”                                                                                                                   – Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence.

A News Release from Environmental Defence and  Democracy Watch Canada

Posted December 14th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

One of the more than 100 Niagara citizens rallying this November 19th in support of saving our green lands. Photo by Dahlia Steingberg

Toronto  – Today, (this Dec. 14th, 2022)  Environmental Defence and Democracy Watch called on the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate whether the provincial government’s apparent leak of secret plans to allow residential development on 15 specific areas within the Greenbelt amounted to a criminal breach of trust by a public officer.

It seems very likely that before any authorized public disclosure of the province’s plans to remove these specific lands from the Greenbelt, some government official, government MPP or employee leaked that information privately.

Recent investigative reporting by the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, The Narwhal, and CBC, has revealed multiple transactions to purchase Greenbelt land conducted prior to the November 4th announcement of the plan to remove 15 parcels of land from the protected Greenbelt. These transactions would seem to have been irrational if all the parties were unaware that these Greenbelt lands would be proposed for removal. Continue reading

Niagara Health Offering Free Parking For Patients And Visitors Over The Holidays

A News Release from Niagara Health, Niagara, Ontario’s amalgamated system of hospitals Posted December 13th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

Before I post this news below, let me just say this – What a magnanimous gesture on our system of hospitals’ part. How nice that during the end-of-the-year holiday season, they offer free parking at their hospital lots across Niagara for patients and their families. What about the rest of the year when they employ obscenely high hospital fees to us as one of a number of a growing battery of user fees inside their hospitals to make up for our federal and provincial governments continuing to underfund our hospitals in the wake of fake tax cuts. Continue reading

Ford Falling Short on Helping Recovery of Ontario’s Tourism Sector

“These businesses and workers have been through so much in the past few years, and they need to know that we have their backs.” – Jennie Stevens, NDP MPP for St. Catharines

A News Release from the Constituency Offices of Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates and St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted December 13th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates and St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

QUEEN’S PARK – A new report reveals Ontario’s tourism industry is not expected to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic until 2025. NDP tourism critic and St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens is pushing for a plan to protect local businesses and workers, and ensure that Ontario’s tourism sector can thrive.

“The Ontario tourism sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stevens. “Local businesses have faced an incredibly difficult few years and now the skyrocketing cost of living is making it more challenging for workers to remain in or return to the sector. The tourism sector continues to feel the pinch, and workers and businesses need support.” Continue reading

Ontario and Canada Invest in Clean Energy Production in Thorold/Niagara

Funding will help establish Canada’s only renewable natural gas facility – located here in Niagara – to exclusively use woody by-products

News from the Governments of Ontario and Canada

Posted December 13th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

THOROLD, Ontario  – The governments of Ontario and Canada are investing more than $11.3 million to expand CHAR Technologies’ facility in Thorold to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) and biocarbon – creating the largest facility of its kind in Canada, and the only RNG facility in the country to exclusively use woody biomass. Expanding CHAR’s Thorold facility will create close to 40 new direct and indirect jobs, as well as 20 construction jobs.

“This new facility will produce clean alternative fuels and increase sustainability in the forest sector through new and emerging uses of renewable forest biomass,” said Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “Our investment in CHAR Technologies is an investment in Ontario, which will boost productivity, create jobs and support a thriving forest economy that communities throughout the province depend on.” Continue reading

Niagara Citizen Coalition Urges Federal Government to Take Whatever Steps Necessary To Stop Ford’s Gutting of Ontario’s Environment

“Bill 23, forced municipal boundary expansions, greenbelt removals, “strong” mayors’ legislation and Conservation land sell offs are a betrayal by the Ford government of its citizens.”      –  Liz Benneian, chair of Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara

Niagara citizens at Regional Headquarters for November 24th Inaugural meeting of council. Photo by Doug Draper

News from Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, a region-wide coalition of individuals and organzations advocating for protecting and preserving Niagara’s Natural Heritage

Posted December 12th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Ford government’s recent legislation is an unprecedented assault on Ontario’s environment and Niagara’s citizens are asking for the federal government’s help in thwarting these destructive policies.

That was the message sent to (Canada’s)  Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau), key federal Ministers, and other political leaders, by members of Biodiversity and Climate Action Collective Niagara, on Wednesday.

Niagara resident and environmental aactivist Liz Benneian, a leading member of Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara

The letter, signed by the collective’s 22 group members and 80 individual members, called for the government to consider all measures, from denying federal funding for infrastructure projects to extending Federal protection to critical natural features, as well as other suggestions.

“Bill 23, forced municipal boundary expansions, greenbelt removals, “strong” mayors’ legislation and Conservation land sell offs are a betrayal by the Ford government of its citizens,” said Liz Benneian, chair of BCAC.

“These policies will cause innumerable harms to current and future generations, all for the benefit of a handful of wealthy developers.”

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Thanks So Much for All the Kind Notes about our Cat Alice

A Brief Message from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted December 9th, 2022 

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” – Albert Schweitzer

Just a quick note to thank so many of you out there for all of the kind emails, and comments on NAL’s Facebook site and main online site following the death this past Tuesday, December 6th of our family’s furry, feline girl Alice.

Alice who, like all of the cats I’ve ever known, was an expert at finding a spot in the house where she feels competely comfortalbe. File photo by Doug Draper

For anyone who know who knows what it is like to live through the loss of a beloved cat, dog or other treasured pet in our family, it is never easy to say goodbye to these wonderful characters.

Here it is  four days later, am I am still expecting our cat Alice to jump up on the bed beside me during the middle of the night and again this morning, I caught myself reflexively looking over at a spot in the kitchen where she usually waits for a little food before reminding myself, ‘wow, she’s not going to be there anymore.’

I’ve gone through that same phantom experience with other cats from the past in our home – Woody, Jessica, Dylan and Dexter, and now Alice. It never gets any easier to live with the fact that as precious the time is that they are with us, they are too soon gone.

Our beautiful kitty Alice  Photo by Doug Draper

So the nice notes meant so much to us, including my daughter Sarah, who, so many years ago, rescued Alice from a shelter and introduced us to our home. Many of those notes came from people who have experienced the love and the loss of a beloved pet themselves, and I reach out to you with an embrace for your non-human friends and family members too.

For Alice and for all of the great cats out there – living or gone – I leave you with a great song   that you can listen to (play it as loud as you can)  by clicking on the screen below –

An Afterword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – NAL will be back in the days ahead  with more of the usual news about what politicians, bureaucrats, pirates in the development industry and others are doing to mess up this earth for future generations of humans and other living creatures.

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

 

Urge St. Catharines City Council Not to Approve Opening of Reptile Zoo in Niagara

“The Niagara Region has a long history of unregulated zoos, wildlife menageries and animal attractions, including in St. Catharines. Most of them are now gone. The City should not move backwards by allowing new unregulated exotic animal attractions within its boundaries.”

A Call-Out to Residents of Niagara, Ontario from ZooCheck Canada, a Canadian-based international wildlife protection charity established in 1984 to promote and protect the interests and well-being of wild animals.

Posted December 8th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Most of you probably already know that the Reptilia exotic animal business is coming back to St. Catharines City Council on December 12th to seek an exemption to the City’s animal control Bylaw 95-212.

Reptilia tried three times earlier this year but they pulled back each time.

That was because so many people, just like you, in St. Catharines and elsewhere, took the time to say NO by emailing, calling councillors and/or by signing up to speak to Council in opposition to the Reptilia exemption request.

Your help is needed again. If you’re a resident of St. Catharines (or the Niagara Region),  you have a ton of influence – probably far more than you might think.

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We Lost Our Sweet Feline Girl Alice. Niagara At Large Will Be Back Later

A Brief One from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

Posted December 6th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

I am sorry to say I have to take a few days away from Doug Ford and all of the other bullshit going on around us in Niagara and the rest of the world here.

Our household has lost a sweet feline member of our family – a beautiful black Bombay named Alice – all of a sudden this December 6th.

Our beautiful Alice hasw suddenly lfet us. Niagara At Larkge mY VW ODDLINW DOE dwq sYA.

Our daughter Sarah brought Alice into our home in Throld  years ago, after she came back with this cat she loved following a breakup with a partner in Florida.

Alice immediate loved it here, especially a door in a bedroom window that took her out to a cat house I built in the backyard, where all of the felines we ever had could get some sunshine and enjoy the fresh air, but could not wander free onto neighbourhood roads where far too many cats get hit by cars and die. Continue reading

Stand With Us to Stop Doug Ford & Company from Destroying What Makes Our Communities Healthy and Affordable

“Premier Ford and his developer friends have started a war against Ontario’s future. Now it’s our turn to start working together for a livable Ontario.”

See Details Below. Join In Signing A Letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A Call-Out from The Liveable Ontario Committee, a province-wide coalition of individuals and organizations standing up against Doug Ford’s efforts to pave over what’s left of our food-growing lands and  natural heritage

Posted December 5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Dear fellow Ontarian,

Niagara citizens at Regional Headquarters for November 24th Inaugural meeting of council. Photo by Doug Draper

We need your help to stop Premier Ford’s attack on affordable and liveable communities and local democracy. As you may have heard on November 21st, over 125 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of Ontarians, released a damning statement <https://yourstoprotect.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/11/Big-Tent_-Statement-on-Bill-23-and-Greebelt-Land-Removal_Nov21.pdf> about Bill 23 and the Greenbelt land grab.

*This release got great news coverage around Ontario and nationally. It shows what a massive number of unlikely groups can do when they work together. 

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Canada’s Food Price Report 2023 Predicts Canadian Families Will Spend Up To $1065 More On Food Next Year

“We haven’t seen food prices increase this high in Canada for over 40 years.”                                                                                                   – Simon Somogyi,University of Guelph campus lead and co-author of the Food Price Report

A News Release from the Dalhousie Faculty of Management in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted December5th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Canadians will continue to feel the effects of high food inflation and insecurity

HALIFAX, NS – Consumers can expect food prices to continue to rise. Canada’s Food Price Report 2023 predicts a 5% to 7% food price increase in 2023, with the most substantial increases in vegetables, dairy, and meat. The report forecasts that an average family of four, including a man (age 31-50), woman (age 31-50), boy (age 14-18), and girl (age 9-13) will spend up to $16,288.41 per year on food, an increase of up to $1,065.60 from what was observed in 2022. 

“To say that it’s been a challenging year for Canadians at the grocery store would be an understatement,” says Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, project lead and Director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.

“Consumers will continue to get smarter about grocery shopping as they navigate through this so-called food inflation storm.” Continue reading

One of the Good Ones – Brian Heit from St. Catharines – is Returned to Niagara Regional Council

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

Posted December 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines’ Brian Heit iis finally back on Niagara Regional Council

It should not have happened this way for Brian Heit, but at least it happened.

This Thursday, December 1st, Brian Heit – a veteran Regional Council who, earlier on, also served on St. Catharines city council and as a deputy mayor for the city – was finally sworn in and returned to his seat on the Region’s council.

Why the delay, amounting to a full week after the other 31 or so regional councillors were sworn in at a November 24th Inaugural Meeting?

The reason is this. In this October’s municipal elections, Heit polled 7th in a fairly large field of candidates running for the Region’s council in St. Catharines, and the city is only entitled to six seats on the body. Continue reading