Category Archives: Uncategorized

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. 

Continue reading

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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

Niagara Escarpment Environmental Protections Must Be Upheld – Niagara NDP Rep.

“The Niagara Escarpment is a unique and vital landmark running right through the heart of southwestern Ontario. Our communities rely on this conservation area for recreation, green space, and local wildlife protections.”                       – Jennie Stevens, NDP MPP for St. Catharine, Ontario

A News Release from the Constituency Office of St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted December 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

NIAGARA – The NDP’s Niagara area MPPs are calling on the Ford government to provide the funding and oversight needed to uphold environmental protections of the Niagara Escarpment.

Their call comes after the Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s 2022 Report (released this November 30th) found that the Niagara Escarpment has been virtually stripped of environmental protections, leaving it vulnerable to harmful development that have been ongoing quietly for years.

“The Niagara Escarpment is a unique and vital landmark running right through the heart of southwestern Ontario,” said Jennie Stevens, MPP for St. Catharine’s. “Our communities rely on this conservation area for recreation, green space, and local wildlife protections. Yesterday’s report revealed that there is effectively no protection for any of this land anymore, and no consequences to building on the Escarpment against the rules.” Continue reading

Stand Up for Our Greenbelt! Join A Rally in Grimsby, Niagara this Saturday, December 3rd

See details for place and time of the rally below

A Call-Out to All of Us  from Liz Benneian and Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, a coalition of individuals and groups advocating for the preservation of our natural heritage across the Niagara region

Posted December 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Message from Liz Benneian and Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara

 

 

 

So, Bill 23 passed on Monday but don’t get disheartened.

This fight is far from over.

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

Now is the time to steel our spines and to prepare ourselves for the organized resistance that must go on until the day this anti-democratic, science-denying, corrupt-to-the-core government is voted out of office.

And in the immediate term, we still have to fight to protect the Greenbelt.

Please know that I am in meetings with leaders of groups from around the Province, and they are working together like never before, bringing social justice and housing affordability advocates, labour leaders and municipal officials, environmentalists and citizens’ rights groups to oppose this government.

*You have made a difference.*

Continue reading

A Sad Farewell to Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie

A Brief One from Doug Draper

Posted December 1st. 2022 on Niagara At Large

Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac

For those of you who have been following Niagara At Large for a while, you know that I sometimes post something about a milestone moment – good, bad or sad – in the world of popular music and culture

This time it is a sad moment as news circulates about the passing this November 30th of Christine McVie, the keyboardist and primary songwriter and vocalist in the super group Fleetwood Mac, at age 79.

Sometimes a group, even one that has been around as Fleetwood Mac, can hang in their and put out one more album or do one more tour. But it is hard to see that happening here, withouth Christine McVie. She was that consequential to this band. Continue reading

Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse Presents its Annual Poinsettia Show

  *   Popular display is a must-see during the 40th Annual Winter Festival of Lights

  *   Extended holiday hours: open daily, from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

An Invite to All from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted December 1st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Photos courtesy of Niagara Parks

Niagara Falls, Ontario  – A fond holiday tradition in Niagara for over 75 years, the Annual Poinsettia Show is now open at the Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse. This iconic show features traditional holiday landscapes with modern touches of brilliant colours and lights that make the warmth and magic of the holiday season come to life, a special highlight not to be missed during the 40th annual Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights.

The Niagara Parks horticultural design team has selected the theme of Discovery for this year’s show, in a vibrantly coloured palette of red, green, orange, blue and lavender. The stunning arrangements feature more than 1,400 poinsettias, complemented by an additional 1,000 display plants including cyclamen, caladiums and orchids. Continue reading

Leading Ontario Architects Give Thumbs Down to Ford’s Greenbelt-Gutting Bill 23

“Bill 23 will encourage urban sprawl and undermine local democracy by effectively dissolving 50 years of regional planning in the Golden Horseshoe. This will certainly lead to a substantial conversion of farmlands, loss of green lands, and suburban sprawl.”                                                     – from an Open Letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his government from prominent Ontario architects in the fields of landscaping and urban design.

An Open Letter to from leading architects across Ontario

Posted November 30th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

On Friday (November 25th, 2022), over a dozen of Ontario’s most prominent architectural firms issued an open letter to Premier Ford and Minister Clark in response to Ontario’s Bill 23, which was passed on Monday, November 28.

The letter read as follows:

“We are writing to you as leading architects, landscape architects, and urban designers in Ontario.

The More Homes Built Faster Act, introduced on October 25, proposes extensive and significant legislative changes that would, if enacted, radically alter land use planning and city building in Ontario. The stated intention of this proposed legislation is to accelerate the construction of 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years to address our housing crisis.

We firmly believe that this legislation will not achieve its stated intent.

Continue reading

Auditor General’s Report Reveals Ford Government’s Failure on Flooding Risks, COVID Vaccines for Vulnerable Communities

“The Auditor General … found that almost half of southern Ontario’s remaining wetlands are at risk of being lost, the government has been MIA (missing in action) on confronting urban flooding risks, and that there is no environmental monitoring of the Niagara Escarpment.”

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

Posted November 30th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford gets his vaxxine, then has to throw millions of dollars of expired vaccine out because his government failed to promote and deliver it to communities in need.

QUEEN’S PARK — Interim Ontario NDP Leader Peter Tabuns said it’s shameful that Doug Ford has left Ontarians less healthy and less safe by turning his back on his environmental responsibilities and on vulnerable communities at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a report released Wednesday (November30th, 2022), the Auditor General (Bonnie Lysyk)  found several critical shortcomings in the government’s vaccination rollout. In addition to communication problems and wasted vaccines, nine high-risk neighbourhoods — including in Hamilton, Niagara, Peel and Windsor — were excluded from the government’s vaccine strategy for hot spots. Continue reading

Auditor General’s Reports Confirm Ford Government Is Not Interested In Protecting The Environment

Ontario’s Ford government “is failing to protect Ontarians from the risks of urban flooding, though the risks of flooding are increasing due to climate change. Additionally, wetlands are being lost at a record pace, and there is no provincial strategy in place to conserve them.”                                                                                 – one of several damning conclusions reached in  latest reports from Ontario Auditor Bonnie Lysyk

A Statement from Keith Brooks, Programs Director, Environmental Defence

Posted November 30th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Should Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – The Auditor General’s reports confirm what Ontarians already know: this government is not interested in protecting the environment, keeping Ontarians safe from the impacts of climate change, or in making evidence-based decisions.

Among the long list of grievances Ontarians already have, we can now add a number of others to the list:

Continue reading

Environmental Defence to Host Rally in Toronto to Save The Greenbelt and Repeal Ford’s Bill 23

Saturday December 3, 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm

A Call-Out from Environmental Defence, one of Canada’s largest citizen advocacy groups for protecting our precious natural resources

Posted November 30th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the

A mid-20th Century Neanderthal’s Vision of Ontario’s future, with less than a wit of concern for climate crises or the value of a healthy ecosystem.

Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – Following the recent passage of Bill 23, Environmental Defence is gathering concerned Ontarians to rally at Bay and College Streets in downtown Toronto on  Saturday December 3, 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

The rally will demand that Bill 23 be repealed and that the Ontario government cancel its plan to hand out 7,400 acres of Greenbelt land to sprawl developers. Continue reading

Citizens Across Niagara and Ontario Are Declaring War on Ford’s Drive to Gut our Natural Heritage

Join A Citizens Rally in Opposition to Ford’s Disastrous Greenbelt Gutting Bill 23 – This Saturday, December 3rd – 2 to 3 P.M., in the Niagara, Ontario Town of Grimsby

A Call-Out to All of Us from Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, a region-wide citizens coalition advocating for the protection and preservation of our natural heritage

Posted November 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

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

Giving the finger to all of the concerns raised by citizens, by municipalities and by conservation authorities and a host of other organizations across Ontario, Premier Doug Ford and his Tories charged ahead this November 28th with the passage of their infamous Bill 23.

Photo of  recent rally at Niagara Regional headquarters by Doug Draper

Among other things, and under a highly-questionable claim of building more affordable housing in the province, this legislation threatens to allow urban sprawl to cover what Ford would call “chunks” of our food-producing lands in the Greenbelt, further weaken the role our Conservation Authorities play in the environmentally sound management of our watersheds, and deprive our municipalities of collecting fees for building new infrastructure from the province’s development syndicate and therefore slamming significant tax hikes on current property owners. Continue reading

‘Unconscionable’ – NDP slams Ford’s Underfunding Health Care Amid Health Crisis

“In shortchanging health care funding by $859 million, Doug Ford is sending a clear signal that his government doesn’t want to spend the money to fix the crisis in our hospitals. We should be investing more to ensure people get the care and treatment they need, when they need it.”

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party

Posted November 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario NDP Finance critic Catherine Fife responded to the Financial Accountability Office’s latest report on government spending, which shows shocking underspending in key areas like health:

“It’s unconscionable that, in the middle of a health care crisis, the Ford government is choosing to underspend on health care by almost $900 million. Pediatric ICUs across the province have been overwhelmed. Surgeries are being cancelled. Families with sick children are waiting upwards of 10 hours for care. Continue reading

Ford’s Bill 23 Will Unleash a Firestorm of Environmentally Destructive Rural Sprawl – It Must Be Repealed

“The legislation is likely to result in fewer and more expensive homes, higher costs of services, less energy efficient construction, increased car dependency and transportation expenses for residents, and increased property taxes.”                                              – Environmental Defence, a Canada-wide citizens advocacy organization for protecting and preserving our environment

A Statement by Phil Pothen, Ontario Environmental Program Manager, Environmental Defence

Posted November 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

By forcing passage of Bill 23, the “More Homes, Built Faster Act”, Ontario’s government has lit the fuse on an explosion of expensive sprawl that will destroy much of the remaining wetland and wildlife habitat in Ontario’s most sensitive ecoregions.

Moreover, while the Ontario government has attempted to defend Bill 23’s dismantling of flood and habitat protection, regional planning and green building standards by framing it as a measure to address the province’s housing shortage and lack of affordability, it is likely to have the opposite effect.

The legislation is likely to result in fewer and more expensive homes, higher costs of services, less energy efficient construction, increased car dependency and transportation expenses for residents, and increased property taxes.

Bill 23 must be repealed.

Continue reading

Ford Government’s Green-Gutting Bill 23 is an Attack on Biodiversity, Our Health and Our Ability to Grow Our Own Food in Ontario

“ Bill 23’s erosion of the Greenbelt, which intersects the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere from Niagara to Tobermory, is effectively an attack on biodiversity and on the capacity of our natural areas and farmlands to provide ecosystem benefits, human physical and mental health benefits, and in this time of food insecurity, the ability to feed ourselves. …

“If we learned one thing from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that the best prevention for future recurrence is biodiversity and people’s ability to immerse themselves in open spaces.”

A Statement from the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network, a grassroots coalition of Ontario groups and communities dedicated to protecting and preserving the Niagara Escarpment as a Globally Significant Biosphere

Posted November 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his party, including Niagara West MPP Sam, Oosterhoff, today (this November 28th) passed this greenbelt gutting bill.

(As Niagara At Large was preparing to post this statement from the Network, it was reported that Ontario’s Ford government passed Bill 23 this Monday, November 28th afternoon. This vote makes it clear that Ford and his minions, including Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, could give a damn if we have any green lands or food-growing lands left for our children. Will enough Ontario residents rise up to fight this? We hall see.)

The Niagara Escarpment Biosphere represents an extensive stretch of forested land in south-central Ontario which includes two major biomes, boreal needleleaf forests and temperate broadleaf forests.

The Biosphere remains one of Ontario’s most scenic landscapes and offers a mix of both natural and urban environments.

The main goals of the Biosphere are to preserve the region’s ecological diversity, to encourage stakeholders to use sustainable practices, and to uphold socio-cultural relationships through educational programs and tourism. Continue reading

Niagara’s Regional Government Raises Flag for ‘Elimination of Violence Against Women’

News from Niagara Regional Headquarters  

Posted November 26th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – This past Friday, Nov. 25th  marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the launch of 16 days of activism against gender based violence, ending on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day.

With Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley (left) looking on, a flag for eliminating voilence against women is raised at the Region’s headquarters in Thorold, Ontario

This November 25th, we raised the Wrapped in Courage and the “No More Stolen Sisters” flags, which will remain raised for 16 days to show our support, build awareness, and promote advocacy to end gender based violence. Continue reading

Ontario NDP Asks Auditor General to Investigate Ford’s Greenbelt Carve-Up

NDP MPP is asking the AG to investigate who will benefit from Doug Ford’s scheme to remove thousands of acres from the Greenbelt

News from Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democratic Party

Posted November 25th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — Marit Stiles, NDP MPP for Davenport, has written to the Auditor General to ask for an investigation into how much property owners stand to benefit from Doug Ford’s scheme to remove thousands of acres from the Greenbelt — and whether it’s in the public interest.

Should Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk and her team get involved in investigating who may be profiting from the Ford government’s plans to carve up the Greenbelt for urban sprawl?

Stiles’ request comes on the heels of investigative reports that have revealed the suspicious timing of recent purchases of Greenbelt land by powerful landowners with donor and political ties to the Ontario PC Party.

To read Ontario NDP’s Letter to Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk, click on – (https://mcusercontent.com/353019c4e982ae7eb8ea53150/files/d7e323fe-5127-e1e5-5943-8ece8409122c/2022_11_24_Stiles_AG_Letter.pdf) .

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

New Regional Council Follows Ford Gov. Order to Reappoint Jim Bradley Chair

Inaugural Meeting has Many Councillors Resigned to Idea that Ford’s Assault on Municipal Government Decision-Making will Prevail

In an Interview, Niagara Regional Chair Assures Niagara At Large his “first responsibility will continue to be to the people of Niagara.”

Niagara citizens rally for local democracy and for saving our greenl lands against an assault on both by the Ford government as Niagara Region’s new council met this November 24th for its inaugural meeting.

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

Posted November 24th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – After walking into Niagara Region’s headquarters today, passed more than a hundred citizens holding up signs scorning the Ford Government’s assault on local democracy and on what are left of our precious farmland, wetlands and other natural places, a majority on the newly inaugurated regional council said yes to Ford reappoint Jim Bradley as Regional Chair.

Photos of rally at Niagara Regional headquarters by Doug Draper

The only ones who voted no to a straight-out reappointment of Bradley without the usual voting process that the Region’s council goes through for the Chair’s position were recently elected St. Catharines regional councillor Haley Bateman and second-term Welland regional councillor Leanna Villella.

Haley Bateman was specific in her views for saying no to simply following Ford’s order, making it clear it had nothing to do with her respect for Jim Bradley, but everything to do with the Ford government marching in to Niagara and dictating who will be our municipal leader. Continue reading

Doug Ford Stomps on Local Democracy in Niagara and Elsewhere in Ontario

Ford  Reappoints Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley as his Man to Get Things Done  For Him  in Our Region

“The Ford government’s Bill 39 will … allow the government to override local decision-making and handpick regional chairs in Niagara, Peel, and York.”

A News Release from the Official Oppostion New Democratic Party in Ontario

Posted November 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Doug Ford has spent weeks disrespecting democracy

QUEEN’S PARK — As MPPs debate the government’s Bill 39, legislation that would give Doug Ford permission to bulldoze local decision-making and handpick the heads of regional councils, Ontario NDP Interim Leader Peter Tabuns said that in recent weeks, Ford has trampled democratic freedoms in Ontario multiple times.

“In recent weeks, the Ford government seems to be dead set on flouting democracy at every turn,” Tabuns said. “Ford used the sledgehammer of the notwithstanding clause to override workers’ constitutional right to strike, he limited the usual public consultation at committee hearings and he’s pushing to allow the mayors of Ontario’s largest cities to rule their councils by minority. Continue reading

Ford Government’s Destructive Bill 23 and Waverly Woods in Fort Erie, Niagara

“Destruction of endangered species habitat and important historical items will be happening soon at Waverly Woods. I know we are all heart-broken. But things are about to get worse for all of Ontario if Bill 23 passes on Monday November 28.”         – Marcie Jacklin, a Fort Erie, Niagara resident and a champion for saving Waverly Woods along the Lake Erie shores

A Call-Out for Citizens to Rise Up Against Bill 23 from Marcie Jacklin

Posted November 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Marcie Jacklin, Fort Erie, Niagara

Dear friends

Destruction of endangered species habitat and important historical items will be happening soon at Waverly Woods. I know we are all heart-broken. But things are about to get worse for all of Ontario if Bill 23 passes on Monday November 28. 

This Bill has been designed by the development community.  Continue reading

You Are Invited to the Annual Meeting of Friends of Richmond Street Forest in Thorold/Niagara

Thursday, November 24th, from 6 to 7:30 PM, at Thorold Public Library

Guest Speaker, Anne Yagi, wildlife biologist and president of the Niagara- based 8 Trees Inc.

Members of Friends of Richmond Street Forest, supportser and Thorold City Council gather at a tree planting recently to save frog pond from urban developement. More on this success in the days ahead on NAL. Photo by Doug Draper

An Invite from Friends of Richmond Street Forest

Posted November 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

On Thursday November 24. 2022, Friends Of The Richmond Street Forest Will Be Holding Their Annual AGM At The Thorold Library From 6pm -7:30pm. Please Attend For A Chance At Winning A Tulip Tree (Two Being Donated, Purchased From A Local Nursery) And Wildflower Seeds Along With A Few Other Door Prizes. Continue reading

One of Niagara’s Longest Standing Land Preservation Groups Calls Ford’s Bill 23 a “Dire Threat” to Our Farmlands.

“Premier Ford’s sudden determination to break  an earlier promise to leave the  permanently protected Greenbelt lands alone … is inexplicable!”                                                                                 – Gracia Janes, a Niagara citizen and a founding member of the Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society

A News Release from the Niagara-based Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society (PALS)

Posted November 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Gracia Janes, a Niagara resident and a founding member of The Preservation of Agricultural Lands Socieity

The Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society  calls out  Premier Ford for  sudden provincial policy leap backward  that will make  protection of Niagara’s unique fruit land harder and harder, with the very possible “elimination of the viability of the Niagara fruit belt!” !

In a letter to the Premier (this November 21st)  PALS President Doug Woodard   warned that Bill  23 “More Homes Built Faster act 2022”, along with  the planned  “ Amendments to the Greenbelt Plan,” and the “Greenbelt Area Review”,  pose  a dire threat  to the best farmlands in Canada,Niagara’s unique tender fruit and grape lands, and the farm industry which is a significant economic driver in Niagara. Continue reading

Niagara Falls MPP Tables Motion To Ensure Key Test For Prostate Cancer Fully Covered Under OHIP

“Early detection is critical for prostate cancer, and the PSA test is a simple and effective way to help people get diagnosed and access care before their prognosis gets worse.”                                 – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

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

Posted November 22nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

QUEEN’S PARK – Wayne Gates, MPP for Niagara Falls, tabled a motion today to ensure PSA testing for early detection of prostate cancer is eligible for coverage under OHIP.

“A cancer diagnosis is frightening news to receive but testing for prostate cancer can make all the difference when it comes to treatment,” said Gates. “I am proud to support the campaign to extend OHIP coverage to make PSA testing available when requested by a physician.”

One in eight Canadian men are expected to receive a prostate cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed  – https://cancer.ca/en/get-involved/advocacy/what-we-are-doing/psa-testcancer amongst Canadian men and has disproportionate impacts among Black men, including those of African or Caribbean ancestry, and those with a family history. When prostate cancer is found early, almost 100 per cent of men will survive five years or more. Continue reading

Join a Citizens Rally in Front of Niagara Regional Headquarters in Support of Saving our Greenbelt and Natural Heritage Lands from Ford’s Urban Sprawl Plans

Rally to Take Place this Thursday, November 24th from 9 to 10 A.M., Just Before the Inaugural Meeting of the New Niagara Regional Council

Read Details Immediately Below

Posted November 22nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The following has been circulated by the Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee of Niagara, a region-wide coalition of individuals and citizen groups dedicated to protecting and preserving or natural heritage –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You turn off Isaac Brock Way onto Schmon Parkway and then turn right intothe parking lot behind the building. The East entrance is on the parkinglot side of the building. That’s where we will meet.

We will welcome new and re-elected Mayors and Regional Councillors andremind them that:

* We want them to stand up to the Ford government which is defying good planning and citizens’ rights to be involved in the planning of our communities.

* We care about protecting the Greenbelt, Natural Heritage Systems & Conservation Areas;

* We are deeply concerned about the climate crisis and we want to see action on reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions including by limiting sprawl;

* We expect sound urban planning that concentrates on developing new housing on already designated land within existing urban boundaries;

* We want to see more affordable housing built and incentivized within our urban areas where transportation, infrastructure and amenities exist;

* We want more park land not less.

This November 22nd at 12 noon, following a brief  summary of the daily news, CBC Radio Noon – 99.1 FM on your radio dial 0 – will host a one-hour phone in on the Ford government’s controversial plans to allow urban sprawl on our Greenbelt. PLEASE TUNE IN.

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

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

Ontario Health Coalition & Advocacy Centre for the Elderly Launch Court Action Against Doug Ford Law Forcing Elderly Patients Into Long-Term Care Homes Against Their Will

Groups Call Law “an Egregious Violation of (elderly hospital patients’) Charter Rights”

“Under this law, hospitalized senior’s personal health information can be sent to any long-term care home without their consent, breaching a fundamental right to privacy over health information that every other Ontario citizen enjoys.”            – Jane Meadus, lawyer and institutional advocate at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly (ACE)

A News Release from the Ontario Health Coalition, a citizen advocacy group for access to quality public health care in the province

Posted:November 21st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Toronto –The Ontario Health Coalition and the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly launched a Constitutional Challenge this this November 21st  in response to the Ford government’s new law that forces elderly hospital patients into long-term care homes against their choice.

The two groups will be co-applicants to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in what is known as a Charter Challenge, seeking a court ruling to strike down the law as a violation of the fundamental rights of the patients affected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

On Sunday November 20, regulations under Bill 7, the euphemistically titled More Beds Better Care Act (2022) came into effect, requiring hospitals to charge elderly patients $400 if they refuse to go to a long-term care home or other service against their will. Continue reading

Ford Bars Ontario Municipalities from Speaking to Provincial Standing Committee on Controversial Green Lands Gutting Bill

Ontario Premier Doug Ford bars Niagara Region and other municipalities from speaking to provincial standing committee on controversial Bill 23

“The legislation will create serious risks to the environment and human health at a time when the impacts of climate change are evident and urgent,” warns the submission The proposed changes to how municipalities approve development and manage where and how growth occurs signal a move away from environmental protection when it is needed most.”                                                                                         – A Statement from the Association of Ontario Municipalities representing Niagara Regionand 443 other municipal governments across Ontario

News from the Hamilton, Ontario-based group Citizens at City Hall (CATCH)

Posted November 21st. 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ford government to municipalities in Niagara and across the province on Bill 23

In a highly unusual move, the Association of Ontario Municipalities have been refused permission to speak to the committee examining Bill 23.

Not allowed to speak – 

Municipalities are particularly affected by Bill 23 changes being pushed forward by the provincial Progressive Conservatives. But in a highly unusual move, the Association of Ontario Municipalities (AMO) have been refused permission to speak to the committee charged with detailed examination of the legislation.

AMO’s purpose is to represent the province’s 444 municipalities. It has a memorandum of understanding with the provincial government to provide “input and reaction to provincial policy ideas.” More specifically, the province is to consult with it “on matters that are of a federal-provincial nature that could affect municipal services and finances.” Continue reading

More Than 100 Niagara Residents Brave Snowstorm to Rally for Our Green Lands

Citizen Opposition Is Growing to Plans by Ontario Premier and his Enablers in Politics and the Development Industry to Gut More of our Natural Heritage for Urban Sprawl

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

Posted November 20th, 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

Niagara, Ontario – Neither icy roads nor blowing snow stopped more than 100 Niagara residents from picketing outside of the Beamsville constituency office of Ontario Ford government MPP Sam Oosterhoff in support of saving what is left of our natural heritage from Ford, Oosterhoff and their pals in the province’s money-grubbing development syndicate.

Based on messages Niagara At Large received this past weekend, far more people would have joined the November 19th, Saturday afternoon rally from places like Port Colborne, Fort Erie, Niagara-on-the-Lake and  the northern end of St. Catharine’s had the lake-effect impacts of the storm not made driving to Beamsville more hazardous.

One thing seems for sure though.

Neither rain, sleet nor snow is going to stop the opposition to the Ford government’s horrific Bill 23, which calls for selling off what Ford has called “chunks” of our Greenbelt and what is left of our conservation lands to the worst of the worst  in the development industry.

Continue reading

New St. Catharines City Council To Be Sworn In At Inaugural Meeting

City of St. Catharines will celebrate the start of the new term of City Council with a special Council meeting.

News Release from the City of St. Catharines

Posted November 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines incoming Mayor, Mat Siscoe

The community is welcome to attend the inaugural meeting of the 2022-2026 term of City Council on Monday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul St. The inauguration of the 140th St. Catharines City Council will be taking place in Partridge Hall.

Taking the oath of office and being sworn in will be Mayor Mat Siscoe and City Councillors Dawn Dodge, Carlos Garcia, Matt Harris, Joe Kushner, Jackie Lindal, Robin McPherson, Greg Miller, Bill Phillips, Mark Stevens, Kevin Townsend, Caleb Ratzlaff and Bruce Williamson. The evening will also feature an inaugural address by Mayor Siscoe, performances by the Strong Water Singers and a drumming group from Niagara Regional Native Centre, as well as remarks by guest speaker Julie Christiansen.

Continue reading

Don’t Let Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Willing Enablers Destroy – FOREVER -Our Precious Greenbelt

David Suzuki

“The Greenbelt has the potential to ensure healthy and vibrant ecosystems, provide fresh air and drinking water, locally sourced and high quality agriculture, and access to beautiful natural recreation sites…. It is only through bold commitment in the decisions we make today that we can ensure that the Greenbelt establishes a legacy of sustainability to be passed on to future generations.”                                     –  Renown Canadian Scientist and Earth Advocate David Suzuki and the David Suzuki Foundation

An Important  Message for all of us living in  and around the Greenbelt in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe from the David Suzuki Foundation, a non-profit advocacy group for biodiversity on our planet

Posted November 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ford Government and its scoundrels in development industry are once again aiming to pave over “chunks” of our world-renown Greenbelt

By protecting some of our most valuable natural systems, the Greenbelt (in Niagara and around tHamilton and the  Greater Toronto Area) has the potential to ensure healthy and vibrant ecosystems, provide fresh air and drinking water, locally sourced and high quality agriculture, and access to beautiful natural recreation sites.

In addition to these benefits, the Greenbelt’s forests, wetlands, and agricultural soils offer valuable climate change mitigation services through the capture and storage of carbon. Continue reading

Join a Citizens Rally for Our Natural Heritage – This Saturday, Nov. 19th, 2 to 3 P.M in front of Niagara West Ford MPP Sam Oosterhoff’s Constituency Offce in Beamsville, Niagara

A Call-Out from Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, a region-wide coalition of individuals and organizations advocating for the preservation of Niagara’s natural heritage

Posted November 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – A Pop Up Protest against the Ford government’s Bill 23, Greenbelt land removals, forced municipal sprawl and the proposed sell off of Conservation Areas is being held on Saturday, November 19th from 2 to 3 p.m. at MPP Sam Oosterhoff’s office which is in a plaza at 4961 King St, Beamsville, Ontario.

The Ford government’s recent announcements are an unprecedented assault on Ontario’s environment, on good planning and on citizens’ rights. It is urgent that citizens speak up now. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Stands Up for Jim Bradley Serving Another Term as Regional Chair Without a Democratic Vote from Niagara Region’s Council

Ford Government Has –Without Any Consultation from Niagara Citizens – Simply Reappointed Bradley to Another Four Years as Regional Chair

“I’d like to know why Jeff Burch doesn’t support a great parliamentarian like Jim Bradley.” – Ford Government Minister Steven Burch, in Support of Bradley and in Response to Questions from Niagara Centre MPP Jeff  Burch about the Ford government cancelling elections for Niagara Regional Chair

Ontario Legislature Hansard Featuring Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch asking the Ford Government Why It Is Upending Niagara Regional Council’s Long-Standing Process for Electing a Regional Chair

Posted November 17th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Mr. Jeff Burch: Speaker. Through you to the Premier: Yesterday, in a move no one asked for or recommended, this government, with absolutely no consultation, tabled a bill that would allow them to appoint regional chairs in Niagara, York and Peel.

Just four years ago, in the middle of the municipal election campaign, this government cancelled regional chair elections in these regions, elections in which citizens were electing their chairs at large. They didn’t trust citizens with free and fair elections.

Now, they don’t even trust democratically elected councillors to choose a chair. Now the Premier is going to handpick who he wants to rule in his stead as he hands them additional powers to do his bidding. Why is the Premier showing such disdain for municipalities and turning local democracy into his own personal sandbox?

The Speaker (Hon. Ted Arnott): Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley and former Ontario parliamentarian that Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch apparently hasn’t got enoughrespect for,according to
Doug Ford Tories who just reappointed Bradley to another four year term as Niagara Regional Chair.

Hon. Steve Clark: I’d like to know why Jeff Burch doesn’t support a great parliamentarian like Jim Bradley.

The Speaker (Hon. Ted Arnott): I’m going to ask the minister to refer to his colleagues across the floor by their riding as opposed to their personal name.

Hon. Steve Clark: Premier Ford made it crystal clear to Ontarians that the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act was just the start, that we wanted to ensure by the time those two new mayors were sworn in in Ontario’s two largest cities, Toronto and Ottawa, he made it crystal clear that that was the start.

So the announcement yesterday in Bill 39, which it was pretty obvious that New Democrats don’t support-just to add to the litany of housing initiatives this government has done. We’ve done over 90 since 2018, and every single time we try to increase housing supply and actually provide an opportunity for a young person to realize the dream of homeownership, New Democrats vote against it. So it’s no surprise, Speaker, that this member and their party under the leadership of Marit Stiles is going to not support. Continue reading

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley Embraces Ford Government’s Decision to Reappoint Him for Another Four Years

Bradley Applauds “All Options” by Ford Government to Address Housing Crisis

A Statement from Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley on Ford Govewrnment’s Introduction of ‘Better Municipal Governance Act’

Posted November 17th,2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley offered the following statement regarding the provincial government’s introduction of the Better Municipal Governance Act:

“The Regional Municipality of Niagara, like all other municipalities across Ontario, are creatures of the province. As such, I fully respect the province’s authority over local governments and their ability to make decisions they feel are in the best interest of the people of Ontario.

 In regard to Minister Clark’s announcement that he is reappointing the Regional Chairs in Niagara, York and Peel, I can affirm my steadfast commitment to the people of Niagara and my readiness to continue serving as Regional Chair. I also want to share my enthusiasm for working with the next term of Council and getting back to work in early December. Continue reading

Ford Government Proposes to Re-Appoint Jim Bradley as Niagara Regional Chair for Next Four Year

Legislation Just Tabled by Ford Government May Also Lead to More Urban Sprawl On To Green Lands, and Amalgamation of Municpalities across  Niagara

“The proposed legislation would allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to appoint the Regional Chairs of Niagara, Peel and York regions for the current term of council. If these proposals are passed, the Minister intends to re-appoint the existing regional chairs – Jim Bradley in Niagara, Nando Iannicca in Peel, and Wayne Emerson in York. This approach will provide continuity and stability at the regional level as facilitators consider how best to extend strong mayor powers to existing two-tier municipalities that are shovel-ready and committed to growth and cutting red tape.”                                                                                                             – from a News Release circulated this November 16th, 2022 by Doug Ford’s Ontario Government

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large followed by a News Release from Ontario’s Ford Government

Posted November 16th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

While so much for any further speculation about who will be elected or re-elected Niagara’s Regional Chair by the Region’s soon-to-be-sworn in new Regional Council if this latest legislation, so hastily tabled by the Ford government this November 16th, is passed which – given the government’s majority – probably will be.

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley may get the Chair’s job back without a vote from the Region’s Council, but at what cost?

If this legislation, allegedly focused on building more affordable housing – is passed, Jim Bradley will automatically serve a second term as Niagara’s Regional Chair which, by the way, this journalist has no problem with.

But the big question is this – At what cost to our current system of municipal government and to our man-made and natural heritage, and the quality of our local services and our property taxes?

On that front, we just don’t know. And given the Ford government’s tilt toward serving rich and privileged interests that have supported it with their campaign donations, etc., that is frightening.

There will obviously be much more to say about this in the days and weeks ahead as the truth and consequences around this latest bombshell piece of legislation come to light.

  • Stay Tuned! Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Now here is the News Release from the Ford Government –

Ontario Taking Next Steps to Expand Strong Mayor Powers and Tackle the Housing Supply Crisis

Province introduces further measures to deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities – November 16, 2022

Continue reading

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch Drills Ford Government on Plans to Build Housing on Ontario’s Greenbelt

“Will the Premier tell the people of Ontario the true nature of his motives in putting their farmland, food security and conservation lands in jeopardy when his own experts are saying that we have plenty of land available for development?”                – Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, from Hansard in the Ontario Legislature, November 15th, 2022

Posted November 16th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Mr. Jeff Burch: “Speaker, through you to the Premier: Despite promising the people of this province not to quote “touch the Greenbelt,” this government has put forward a plan to remove 7,400 acres of land from the greenbelt, claiming they need more land to build housing.

“Yet the province’s Housing Ability Task Force reported that a lack of land was not the problem. We have already had all the land we need for housing. The Greenbelt was created to preserve valuable farmland and connect the forest and wetland ecosystems. Every expert is saying that removing parts of it threatens all of it. Continue reading

Ford’s Municipal Downloading Could Lead To Service Cuts, Tax Hikes for Niagara Residents

“It just adds insult to injury that (the Ford government) wants people in Niagara and St. Catharines to pay the price for his scheme to help wealthy developers get wealthier.”                                         – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates and St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

Speaking to the Growing Province-Wide Opposition to Ford’s Bill 23 and its Assault on Municipalities and Our Natural Heritage

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

Posted November 16th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

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

QUEENS PARK — NDP MPPs Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) are sounding the alarm over concerns raised by the Niagara Region and St. Catharines city councils that local families could face service cuts or tax hikes if Doug Ford takes away funding used to pay for municipal services.

In his so-called housing legislation, Ford is taking away the funding municipalities use to pay for local infrastructure like community centres and roads. The province’s Fall Economic Statement shows that their so-called housing scheme has already failed, as the Ford government forecasts that fewer new homes will be built than it has previously projected. Continue reading

You Are Invited to  an Online Public Meeting on Poverty in Niagara

Hosted by the Niagara District Council of Women – This Wednesday, November 16th, 2022 at 7:30 P.M. Find link for registering for this Public Meeting below

Posted November 14th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Press Release from The Niagara District Council of Women

On Wednesday November 16th  @ 7:30 p.m. The Niagara District Council of Women   (NDCW)  will  hold a public zoom meeting regarding :

Niagara, Ontario – Poverty’s  impacts on Niagara residents   and the potential   for  local and region-wide  programs  and  advocacy  to make a positive difference in  these  difficult times and the years ahead?” Continue reading

Ontario’s NDP Slams Ford’s Fall Economic Statement for Baking in Worsening Hospitals Crisis

Official Opposition vows to keep fighting for investments as Conservatives sit on billions

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

Posted November 14th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario’s NDP is vowing to keep fighting for urgent investments in health care and education, as well as cost of living help, as Doug Ford puts forward a Fall Economic Statement that bakes in a worsening hospitals crisis and leaves families to struggle with skyrocketing bills.

There is not a single new penny in the government’s economic update for nurses and health care workers as a staffing crisis shakes Ontario’s hospitals. The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) confirmed today that the government will spend around $400 million less than needed in education this year. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Delivers Progress Report and Advances its Plan to Build

Ontario’s 2022 Fall Economic Statement takes action in a time of economic uncertainty and global inflation

News from the Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Posted November 14th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — Today (Nov. 14th, 2022), Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy released th2022 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review – Ontario’s Plan to Build: A Progress Update.

It includes the government’s first-ever progress report on its plan to build Ontario, as well as new targeted measures that advance its plan to build the economy, address the province’s labour shortage and help families and businesses keep costs down. Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government To Cut Gas and Fuel Taxes For Additional Year ​

Government Providing Ongoing Relief for Businesses and Families During Uncertain Times

“I am proud that I am part of a government, under the leadership of Premier Ford, that continues to lower the cost of living in our region and across the province by putting money back in the pockets of working families.”                                              – Niagara West Ford Government  MPP Sam Oosterhoff

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

Posted November 14th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO – As part of its plan to help keep costs down for Ontario families and businesses, the government’s 2022 Fall Economic Statement will propose legislation that would, if passed, extend the current gas and fuel tax rate cuts to December 31, 2023.

Niagara West ConservativeMPP Sam Oosterhoff

“At a time when inflation has reached the highest levels in over four decades, we know families are feeling the pressure from rising prices on everything from gas to groceries,” said Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario.

“To continue providing real relief, our government is proposing to extend the gas tax cut for another year to put more money back in peoples’ pockets where it belongs.”

The proposed extension of the gas and fuel tax rate cuts for an additional year would save Ontario households $195 on average between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023.  This extension follows legislation passed this spring that cut the gas tax by 5.7 cents per litre and the fuel tax by 5.3 cents per litre for six months, from July 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022. Continue reading

Canada’s PM Announces Additional Military Assistance For Ukraine And  Additional Sanctions Against Russia

“This additional military assistance will support Ukrainians as they bravely continue Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion, while these new sanctions will put added pressure on those who support these acts of war.”                                                                           – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

An Announcement from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Posted November 14th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

As Russia continues its brutal, unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, Canada will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian people and our allies, in defence of our shared values of peace, democracy, and human rights.

We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to support Ukraine and hold Russia accountable.

Today (November 14th, 2022), at the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that Canada will provide $500 million in additional military assistance for Ukraine, to assist the Armed Forces of Ukraine in defending their country against Russia’s brutal and unjustifiable invasion. Continue reading

Niagara Doesn’t Need Doug Ford Backing Off Protecting Our Natural Heritage When We Already Have Such a Feckless Conservation Authority in this Region

Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority is Proving Weak on Protection What is Left of Niagara’s Wetlands

A Message from Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara – a region-wide coalition of individuals and citizen groups advocating for  protecting and preserving our natural environment

Posted November 13th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Why worry about Ford dismantling our Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) when some board members seem eager to do the job themselves.

That is the only conclusion that can be taken following (the NPCA’s recent) governance committee meeting where they recommended a policy that could result in zero buffers for some wetlands.

At issue was a section of the Authority’s proposed new policy on non-Provincially Significant (non-PSWs) Wetland buffers. Continue reading

Ford Government’s Bill 23 Spells Disaster for Farmland, Conservation Authorities, Wetlands and Democracy

Demand that the Government of Ontario revoke amendments likely to weaken the protection of farmland and natural heritage, and uphold the role of the public, conservation authorities and regional municipalities.

A Call-Out for Your Voice from Ontario Nature, a time-honoured public advocacy group for our natural heritage

Posted November 13th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Bill 23 Spells Disaster for Farmland, Conservation Authorities, Wetlands and Democracy

With Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, the Government of Ontario is proposing sweeping changes to the province’s natural heritage and land use planning legislation and policy.

Ontario Premier and his supports believe that gutting more of this in our region and province will help solve the housing crisis.

This omnibus bill would amend many laws (e.g., the Planning Act, the Conservation Authorities Act), removing and weakening environmental protections and cutting out the public from meaningful involvement in land use planning and decisions affecting their communities (refer to Schedule 2 and Schedule 9 – ERO# 019-6141 and ERO# 019-6163). Continue reading

A Few Songs that Wish an End to War

A Brief Comment from Doug Draper

Posted November 11th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

While Remembrance Day is so rightfully set aside as a time for honourng the sacrifices of those who fought in past wars, I always felt that a little bit of that time should also be set aside for a discussion on how we, as a human species, can work to prevent war from ever happening again.

I’m not saying that some discussion of “NEVER AGAIN’ doesn’t happen, but I sure don’t remember much of it back in the 1960s and 70s when I was going to school.

Of course, there are times when there is no choice but to fight back, as the Ukrainians are so bravely doing, against a brutal psychopath like Russian leader Vladmir Putin, but then Russians should be asking why so many of them support a warring monster like Putin. Continue reading

On this Remembrance Day, Are We Still Doing Enough to Honour Our Veterans?

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

A memorial to Canada’s soldiers in Chippawa Park in Welland, Niagara

Posted this Remembrance Day – this Friday, November 11th – on Niagara At Large

The Environment Canada weather reports for this Remembrance Day call for a bit of rain so it may be a good idea for those wishing to visit a Cenotaph at the 11th hour of the 11th day of this November to bring along an umbrella.

This Remembrance Day – as corny or as melodramatic as it might sound – I cannot help but think that some of the raindrops that may fall will be tears from all of those young Canadians who fought and, in too many cases, died in past wars.

There may be tears enough over the carnage of war but there may also be tears for how little that far too many of us are now doing to honour their sacrifice for democracy by doing our part to actively participate in the democratic process. Continue reading

A Call-Out Against Ford’s Plan to Gut  7,400 Acres of Our Previous Farmland and Natural Areas for Urban Sprawl

Ford Government’s Bill 23 (so-called ‘More Homes Built Faster Act’) “will undermine the Greenbelt and do nothing to build affordable homes for people who need it the most in communities near existing transit, services and jobs.”                                                  – Ontario Greenbelt Alliance

A Statement from Ontario Greenbelt Alliance Steering Committee regarding the Provincial Announcement to Remove Lands from the Greenbelt

Posted November 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Late (last)  Friday (November 4th) afternoon,, the Ontario Government announced its intention to remove 7,400 acres of precious farmland and natural areas from Greenbelt protection as a purported “solution” to the housing crisis and to add new land to the Greenbelt to make up for the loss.

The housing crisis requires immediate action. That’s why Premier Ford’s government should make it easier to build housing on the 86,500 acres across the GTHA that are already zoned and ready for development in communities close to existing transit and services. Continue reading

Keep Your Promise, Doug Ford. Keep Your Hands Off The Greenbelt

“Ford’s legacy of environmental destruction gets worse every day. And once these environmentally sensitive lands are gone, they are gone forever.”

Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner

A Statement from Ontario Green Party Mike Schreiner

Posted November 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Remember when Doug Ford looked straight into the camera  and said this: “THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN – WE WON’T TOUCH THE GREENBELT . . . THAT’S IT.”

So do I – but that was then (in the year 2018 when he was first running for premier.)

Late last week, while everyone was watching Ford and Lecce stumble into a disastrous standoff with education workers, the government quietly announced its PLAN TO OPEN UP 7,400 ACRES OF PROTECTED GREENBELT LAND TO DEVELOPERS. Continue reading

Ford Government’s Proposed 7,400 Acre Giveaway to Land Speculators Is A Death Sentence for the Entire Greenbelt

“Removing land from the Greenbelt, taken together with the Ontario government’s Bill 23 attack on Conservation Authorities, the Growth Plan, the Planning Act, the Endangered Species Act and other important legislation, dismantles decades of slow progress toward protecting Ontario’s environment and creating more sustainable communities.”

 

A Statement from Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager, Environmental Defence

Posted November 6th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – This afternoon the Ontario government announced that it intends to break its loudest, clearest election promise, by inflicting a fatal 7,400 acre wound on the vital and wildly popular Greenbelt.

It is clear that this attack would end the critical role the Greenbelt plays to stop sprawl and protect farmland, forests, and the source of our drinking water, as well address climate change. The government should be ashamed and the people of Ontario should be outraged.  

Promises by the government to “swap” in 9,400 acres of land in other locations will do nothing to mitigate the damage to the Greenbelt system. Continue reading

Ontario’s NDP calls on Ford to Stop His Latest Attempt to Punch Holes in Greenbelt

A Statement from Ontario’s Official Oppostion NDP on the Ford government’s Move to Sell off ‘Chunks’ of our farmlands to developers

Posted November 7th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — Peter Tabuns, Interim Ontario NDP Leader and Climate Crisis critic, released the following statement in response to the Ford government’s latest scheme to remove protected land from the Greenbelt:

“It’s disturbing that Doug Ford is taking another run at punching holes in the Greenbelt. Continue reading

Ford Government and Vandals in Development Industry Now Threatening Ontario’s Greenbelt

Now Ford and his Pirates Go After Our Most Precious Food-Growing Lands.

What’s Next? Selling Off the Fresh Waters in Our Great Lakes?

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

Posted November 4th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

As if raping our wetlands and woodlands for urban sprawl is not enough, now Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Tories are aiming at our province’s world-renown Greenbelt.

Ford Government and its scoundrels in development industry are targetting our world-renown Greenbelt

In a news release this Friday, November 4th afternoon that can be otherwise called a “Friday afternoon dump” –the kind of news scoundrels release just before a weekend, hoping it won’t get much attention – the Ford government says it is going after Greenbelt lands to build sprawling suburbs. Continue reading

At Final Meeting of the 2018-2022 Niagara Regional Council, Council’s Chair Jim Bradley Sums Up Challenges and Achievements

“In the past, I have avoided commenting on the legacy of turmoil we inherited from the previous term of council (under the chairmanship of Al Caslin). ….But I think it is worth remembering how far we have come. … I am honored to work with a team of councillors who took immediate action to set a new tone and reestablish Niagara Region’s character and standing in the community.”

– Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley, Nov. 3rd, 2022, at final session of 2018-2022 Council

Jim Bradley, a former St. Catharines MPP, is sworn in as the new Niagara Regional Chair in front of a new council in 2018/ File photo by Doug Draper

Posted November 4th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – In the wake of this October’s municipal election and the final meeting, this November 3rd, of the current Niagara Regional Council before a new council is sworn in, I thought it would be of some value to post the complete text of the opening remarks the Region’s Chair, Jim Bradley, delivered to the outgoing council and to any members of the public listening in.

In this final session of council, many concerns were also raised about proposals by Ontario’s Ford government to change and, more to the point, weaken rules and systems for protecting and preserving what is left of Niagara’s natural heritage to build more housing at any cost to that heritage.

Niagara At Large will have more news and commentary on that issue in the days ahead. Please stay tuned.)

Chair’s Remarks to Council
November 3, 2022

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

“I want welcome everyone this evening for what is the final meeting of this term of council.

I want to begin my comments by stating that serving as Regional Chair has been one of the great honours of my life, and it is a position that I continue to hold in the highest regard.

I consider myself fortunate to have worked with such a dedicated and committed group of individuals, each of whom brought their own unique experiences and talents to this chamber in an effort to represent their constituents and advocate for the betterment of the Niagara region. Continue reading

Let Us All Support Ontario’s Education Workers

Don’t Let Doug Ford and His Tories Use Thuggish, Draconian Tactics Beat Hard-Working People Down!

A Comment from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted November 4th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Many thousands of people across Niagara and the rest of Ontario who work every day of the school year to keep our schools clean and safe and functioning for young people have been fighting hard for more livable wages and benefits.

 

 

They have been answered by a Ford government in Ontario that came to power more than four years ago with an expressed hatred for unions and a zeal to keep wages as low as possible for everyone working in this province. Continue reading

Niagara NDP MPPs Won’t Back Down from Advocacy for Students, Parents, Education Workers

“Our education system is at stake right now, and we know it’s worth fighting for. We are proud to stand up for what is right.”    – Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates, St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens and Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, Member’s of Ontario’s New Democratic Party

A News Release from the Niagara, Ontario Constituency Offices of NDP MPPs Wayne Gates, Jennie Stevens and Jeff Burch

Posted November 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara NDP MPPs stand with students, parents, and education workers

QUEEN’S PARK – Niagara NDP MPPs Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines), and Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) released the following statement after their ejection from Queen’s Park for refusing to back down from their advocacy on behalf of Ontario students, parents, and education workers:

From left, Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates and St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

“Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce can prevent disruption in our schools right now by getting back to the bargaining table and respecting education workers with a fair deal. If Ford and Lecce continue their attack on education workers, their actions will have one result—driving more and more caring adults out of our Niagara classrooms and leaving our kids with less support in school. Continue reading

Niagara Centre MPP Tossed from Legislature for Calling Ontario’s Premier Thug and Dictator a “Thug” and “Dictator”

Apparently it is “Parliamentarian” in Ontario to Tell the Truth

Breaking News Commentary from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted November 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

If you ever met Jeff Burch, you might be struck by the Niagara Centre MPP’s mild-mannered voice and smile.

He seems almost too nice for the rough and tumble of today’s political arena.

And indeed, he would hardly strike you as the kind of person who could be ordered by Ontario’s Speaker of the Legislature to leave the chambers if he did not withdraw remarks about the province’s premier that were deemed to be parliamentarian.

Yet thrown out he was this November 2nd morning, along with more than a dozen other members of Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party, including Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates and St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens,  for hurling words considered improper at Premier Doug Ford over Ford and his government moving to use draconian measures in the name of a “notwithstanding clause” to order unionized public school workers to remain in school despite what they consider to be a breakdown in negotiating what they consider to be a fair  pay increase with the government. Continue reading

Ford Government’s Bill 23 is a Wrecking Ball! It Means More Urban Sprawl, Fewer Wetland

Doug Ford and His Ontario Tories – Wording Hand in Hand with Developers – Are Posed to Destroy What is Left of Our Natural Heritage

To Learn More, Join a Webinar Session this coming Monday, November 7th,  from 12  p.m to 1 p.m.

Hosed by Environmental Defence, a non-profit advocacy group for protecting and preserving a quality environment

Posted November 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

To learn more about the dangerous environmental effects of Bill 23, please register for: Bait and Switch: Understanding Bill 23, The ‘More Sprawl, Fewer Wetlands’ Act

Ontario Bill 23 – which the government refers to as the “More Homes Built Faster Act “– is a complex policy and legislation package which changes zoning rules, wetland evaluation, conservation authority powers, regional planning power and more. 

Environmental Defence is hosting this panel discussion to review the destructive impacts of this bill and discuss how people who care about Ontario’s environment can fight back. 

Register today to join this essential conversation!

Details:
When: Monday, November 7th, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. (ET)
Where: Online webinar – Register today for access details

Host:
Lynda Lukasik, Ph.D., Executive Director, Environment Hamilton

Panelists:
Anne Bell, Ph.D., Director of Conservation and Education, Ontario Nature
Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager, Environmental Defence

If Ford and his Tories and the vandals in Ontario’s development industry have their way, place like thisin  Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, Ontario – wetlands and woodlands that we need to support clean air and water and biodiversity and to fight climate change, will be gone, not in the name of affordable housing but  in the name of reckless, ingorance and greed. File photo by Lori Monroe

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.

For the official invite from Environmental Defence on this, click on Environmental Defence Canada

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

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

Ontario’s Housing Bill is Actually a Trojan Horse for Environmentally Catastrophic Rural Sprawl

“(The Ford government’s) Bill 23 ….  is an attack on Conservation Authorities, woodlands and provincially significant wetlands that aims to enable destruction of wetland habitats and conservation lands:” – Environmental Defence Canada

A Statement and Detailed Analysis of Bill 23 from Phil Pothen, Ontario Environment Program Manager, Environmental Defence

Posted November 1st. 2-22 on Niagara At Large

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – The Ontario government’s Bill 23 “More Homes Built Faster Act” includes only tepid measures to enable more badly needed home construction in existing cities, while diving deep into dangerous attacks on wetland habitat, woodlands and other conservation lands and encouraging even more of the expensive rural sprawl that caused Ontario’s housing crisis.

The most glaring feature of Bill 23 and its associated policy proposals is an attack on Conservation Authorities, woodlands and provincially significant wetlands that aims to enable destruction of wetland habitats and conservation lands:

Continue reading

Niagara Parks Iconic Floral Clock Damaged by Vandalism

  *   Iconic Floral Clock was vandalized on the evening of October 27

  *   Significant damages to the clock and surrounding landscaping occurred, with repair costs estimated to be more than $10,000

  *   Investigation by Niagara Parks Police is ongoing to identify perpetrator(s)

The iconic Floral Clock along the Niagara Parkway in Niagara, Ontario. Photos courtesy of Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

A News Release from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted October 31st,2022 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note from Doug Draper – Why would anyone do this to this nice site in our region? The Floral Clock may be dated and all-to quaint compared to the more jazzy places many tourists now like to visit a little further up the road in Niagara Falls. But it still holds a warm spot in many hearts and it is still a place where I’ve seen so many people stop and take a fond look. Continue reading

Niagara’s Lone Tory MPP – Sam Oosterhoff – Applauds Ford’s Nature-Gutting ‘More Homes Built Faster Act’

Among a Host of Assaults on Ontario’s Natural Heritage and Municipal Taxpayers, Act Proposes Paving Over Conservation Areas, Woodlands and Wetlands, and Weakening Role of Conservation Authorities in Protecting and Preserving Our Precious Watersheds.

A mid-20th Century Neanderthal’s Vision of Ontario’s future, with less than a wit of concern for climate crises or the value of a healthy ecosystem.

A Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper, followed by a News Release from Niagara West Tory MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Posted October 31st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Foreword by Doug Draper –

At a time when growing numbers of us – especially during this awful pandemic – have grown to appreciate how much a walk through nature areas means to our mental and physical health, and the mounting evidence that protecting and preserving our wetlands and woodlands all of the biodiversity they host can protect us from the impacts of climate change, Ontario has a jackass in the Premier’s Office who has proven, once again, that he could give a damn.

Ontario’s Tory Premier Doug Ford and his caucus of puppets have just tabled a piece of legislation they call the ‘More Homes Built Faster Act’ which they have the nerve to say will address a very real affordable housing crisis we face in Niagara and elsewhere across the province. Continue reading

NPCA Responds to Ford’s Proposals for Trading Off Nature Protection for Urban Development

Among the Ford Government’s Proposals –

  • A Proposal to remove terms ‘conservation of lands’ and ‘pollution’ as considerations in permit decisions and changes to the definition of watercourse.

  • A Proposal that Conservation Authorities identify potential conservation lands that could support housing development.

A Statement From the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority On Changes To The Conservation Authority Act

Posted October 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Earlier this week, the (Ontario) Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing outlined the next phase of Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, the “More Homes Built Faster Act.”

Inside the Woodend Conservation Area in Niagara. A favourite place in the region for Nature walks.  Should some of this natural land be parcelled off for urban development?

 As part of the plan, the government proposes new legislative changes that will impact Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and other Conservation Authorities (CAs) across Ontario.

Key changes being proposed that impact conservation authorities include:

Continue reading

Last of Legendary Rock Pioneers is Gone – Jerry Lee Lewis Dies at 87

A Brief One from Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted October 29th, 2022

Jerry Lee Lews in his prime.

Little Richard and Chuck Berry left us not that long ago. Roy Orbison left a few decades ago and Elvis Presley left the building what now seems like a long time ago.

Now Jerry Lee Lewis, about the last man standing, if not the last of these legencdary rock & roll pioneers from the 1950s has died too at age 87.

To quote signature lines from o one of his biggest hits .’ goodness, gracious great balls of fire.”

Here he is performing another big hit with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band during his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in the mid1990s. You can watch and hear it by clicking on the screen below – 

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

Ford Government Continues to Change Roles and Responsibilities of Conservation Authorities

“We need to make sure mechanisms are still in place to ensure that we balance growth with a healthy environment.”                     – Angela Coleman, General Manager, Conservation Ontario

A News Release from Conservation Ontario, representing the NPCA and 35 other Conservation Authorities across the province

Posted October 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Angela Coleman, General Manager, Conservation Ontari

Newmarket, Ontario –  In a bid to address the housing supply, the Ontario government released a series of new proposed legislative changes, many of which impact Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities.

Among them, the Province proposes to prevent municipalities from entering into agreements with conservation authorities to review planning applications on their behalf, proposes exemptions from natural hazard permits for select municipalities where Planning Act approvals are in place, remove ‘conservation of lands’ and ‘pollution’ as considerations in permit decisions, to put a freeze on development fees and to possibly tap into conservation lands to support housing. Continue reading

Town of Lincoln Thinks Globally, Acts Locally to Address Climate Crisis

Lincoln’s Fall Tree Giveaway and Rain Barrel Sale continues to make a sustainable impact

“One of the four pillars of our (Lincoln) Council Priorities is to be a resilient community, and as part of that pillar, we have set out the goal to adapt and respond to a changing climate, and collectively we demonstrate our commitment.”                                  – Sandra Easton, Mayor, Town of Lincoln

News from the Town of Lincoln in Niagara, Ontario

Posted October 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Town of Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton

Lincoln, Ontario – The Town successfully hosted the second Tree Giveaway and Subsidized Rain Barrel Sale on Saturday, October 22, 2022. The Town gave away 450 free native trees to residents and local schools and 131 subsidized rain barrels at the drive-through event.

The additional opportunity was in response to the community’s interest in the inaugural event held in the Spring of 2022.

When the trees are fully grown, the trees and rain barrels will mitigate approximately 1.2 million L of stormwater annually from entering the stormwater system and remove the carbon dioxide equivalent of 11,000L of gasoline. Continue reading

NDP Slams Ford for Sitting on Tens of Billions While Health Care Crisis Worsens

“Doug Ford needs to allocate these massive historic contingencies to prevent shortfalls in the services that Ontarians count on.”

News from Ontario’s Official Opposition NDP

Posted October 27th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, slammed for holding back on funding health care services in a growing crisis

QUEEN’S PARK – Catherine Fife, NDP Finance Critic, slammed the Ford government for sitting on $44 billion in contingencies as the health care and other crises worsen in Ontario, revealed by the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) report.

The bombshell figure comes from the FAO’s 2022 Fall Economic and Budget Outlook. In it, the FAO is forecasting a $40 billion shortfall across all programs over the next six years, including: Continue reading

Niagara Parks Foundation Receives $400,000 TD Bank Investment for Stewardship Work at Dufferin Islands

  *   Niagara Parks Foundation to receive $400,000 over three years from TD Bank Group, toward new Visitor Experience and Ecological Enhancement Initiative at Dufferin Islands

News from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted October 27th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, ON – Through collaboration with the Niagara Parks Foundation, TD Bank Group has committed $400,000 over the next three years, to launch the Dufferin Islands Visitor Experience and Ecological Enhancement Initiative.

Inside Dufferin Islands near the brink of theHorseshoe Falls in Niagara FAlls, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Niagara Parks Commission

This multi-phase project, funded through the TD Ready Commitment, will strengthen the overall environmental sustainability of the site. In addition, the project will continue to support meaningful experiences for guests of all ages and abilities, who visit this treasured public park.

Dufferin Islands Visitor Experience and Ecological Enhancement Project

The Dufferin Islands nature area represents a unique active-use, natural urban park, located adjacent to Niagara Falls, and just steps away from the upper Niagara River. Continue reading

Buffalo, N.Y.-Area Congressman Urges Action on “Critical” Canada/U.S Border Issues

“The United States must lift its border restrictions to encourage a return to pre-pandemic levels of travel and economic activity.”    – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins

Congressman also wants two countries to work expeditiously and collaboratively to address the massive backlog of NEXUS application cases

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

Posted October 27th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

Ahead of bilateral meetings between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Canadian Global Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is asking the leaders to address several key issues especially important to communities and economies positioned on either side of the border.

In a letter to Sec. Blinken<https://higgins.house.gov/sites/higgins.house.gov/files/10-26-22%20Higgins%20Letter%20-%20Sec%20Blinken%20-%2010.26.22.pdf>, Higgins writes, “As you well know, the relationship between the United States and Canada is unique, and discussion of our binational priorities prior to a multilateral meeting serves great purpose in achieving mutual goals. I write to bring Northern Border issues, including current COVID-19 border restrictions, the NEXUS backlog, and their economic impacts, to your attention, so they may be addressed during your upcoming discussions.” Continue reading

If You Didn’t Vote, Then Shut Up! You Have No Right To Complain

Shame On the Seven Out Of Every Ten of You for Not Voting in These Municipal Elections

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

Posted October 26thj.2022 on Niagara At Large

You can turn on the cable news any day of the week to reports of  people in countries like Ukraine or Iran fighting for their lives to save or secure the kind of democratic freedoms we have here in Canada.

Countless millions of people around the world can only dream of having the right we do to go out and vote for the candidates we want serving us in government.

This residential area in Thorold gives the impressiion that interest in this October 24th municipal elections was high. Yet in this municipality, only 25 per cent of the eligible  voters bothers going to the polls. The voter turnout in other Niagara municipalities was not any better. photo by Doug Draper

And yet when it came to exercising that previous right during these October 24th municipal elections, roughly 70 to 75 per cent of eligible voters across this Niagara region (and about the same percentage across the province) decided to give the right to vote a pass.

That, in a word, is SHAMEFUL! Continue reading