Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ontario Ford Government’s Record on Climate Change & Environmental Protection has been Deplorable

. “Ontarians need to know that the government has done next to nothing to fight climate change the past four years and instead has made more of an effort to battle those who are taking climate action.”                                                                                                           – Keith Brooks, Programs Director of Environmental Defence

A Report from Environmental Defence, a citizens group advocating for our environment

Posted May 19th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

New report reviews Ontario’s poor track record on climate change over the past four years

The report argues that the province is not on track to reach its 2030 emissions reduction target 

Paving more paradise, even in a time of climate crisis

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – A report released today from Environmental Defence reviews the Ontario government’s last four years of climate change policy and argues that Ontario is not on track to meet the province’s emissions reduction target, despite recent modelling released from the provincial government. Continue reading

Remembering the Buffalo, New York Victims Before a Predominantly Gun-Happy, White-Supremacist America Flushes Them Down the Memory Hole

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

Posted May 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

One day after U.S. President Joe Biden travelled to Buffalo, New York to pay homage to the 10 victims of a murderous, white-supremacist driven rampage this past Saturday, May 14th and five days after it happened, it already appears that cable news channels in the United States are moving away from covering this massacre.

U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife and First Lady Jill visit a makeshift memorial to the victims of a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. “Hate will not win,” promised Biden. But in Trump’s America, it probably will.

That is not all that unusual. You can go back to the shooting slaughter of children at the Sandy Hook school in Connecticut a decade ago and all of the other mass shootings, they very quickly become little more than statistics in an America that prizes the right to purchase military-style assault weapons more than human lives. Continue reading

‘Lifeline’ Of Renewable Energy Can Steer World Out Of Climate Crisis – United Nations  Chief

“Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rises, ocean heat levels and acidification, all set new records during 2021, while some glaciers reached the point of no return.”

A New Report on the Need for Urgent Action on Climate Change from the United Nations

Posted May 18th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

How sad it is to think that Ontario voters are about to give Doug Ford and his party of climate laggards another four years in government

A little more than  two weeks out from a provincial election in Ontario – one in which a majority of Ontarians of voting age are showing through their continued support of Doug Ford’s Conservative government that climate change is not a crisis in the making that they take seriously – scientists from around the world, working under the umbrella of the United Nations, have released yet another ‘red alert’ report.

As Ontario seems ready to elected the Ford government to another four years of paving over our green lands for the sake of their big-money donor friends in the property speculation and building industry, my message to Ontario voters is this – Let’s please stop protecting that collectively we give a shit about the climate crisis and our children’s future.

Not when it appears we are about to vote Doug and his party of climate laggards back into power.

Now here is that latest UN report –

The  rural Niagara farmers who are members of a right-wing landowners coalition that hates wind and other forms of reneawable energy. They also oppose any efforts to keep people building on flood plains because they do not believe that climate change is a problem They would rather see us go on burning coal and gas.

Climate and Environment

Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rises, ocean heat levels and acidification, all set new records during 2021, while some glaciers reached the point of no return, according to the latest flagship report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), published on Wednesday. Continue reading

Niagara Falls To Be Illuminaaated In Orange In Memory Of Victims OfSaturday’s Shooting In Buffalo, New York

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

Posted May 17th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – The Niagara Falls Illumination Board will be illuminating both the American Falls and Canadian Horseshoe Falls in oraange tonight (this Tuesday, May 17th) from 11pm to midnight, in memory of the victims of Saturday’s tragic and senseless shooting in Buffalo, New York.

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

Provincial Liberals Release What They Claim to Be a Fully Costed Platform for ‘Growing Ontario’ in Years Ahead

Ontario Liberals Are Like the Deja Vu of Dalton McGuinty and Kalthleen Wynne All Over Again, And Who Wants That Culteru of Screw You, We’re in Charge Here in Ontario  Arrogance Back?

A Brief News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted May 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca was a dutiful member of the McGuinty’Wynne Liberal team. Now he wants us to believe he is an answer for our future.

Ontario Liberal Leader (why do I have to keep looking up his name) Steven Del Duca) released his party’s full platform this Monday,  May 9th.

The third party’s challenged communications gurus attempted to circulate a copy of the platform to news outlets today but, compared to news circulated by the governing Ford Government and NDP, information about the platform was hard to get to.

Perhaps that makes sense given the fact that going back to the earlier years of this relatively new century, when the Ontario Liberals were in power under the smug, dictatorial leadership of Dalton McGuinty and his sycophant Kathleen Wynne, almost anything resembling openness and transparency when it came to information the public had a right to know was in short supply anyway.

However, according to one Global News report, “ Continue reading

All Aboard! An Ontario NDP Government Will Make The GO train Stop In Grimsby

“People in Grimsby have been asking their government for a GO station for over a decade. They want and deserve better transit connections. … We’ll finally get the train to stop in Grimsby. ”       – Niagara West Riding NDP candidate Dave Augustyn

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP

Posted May 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

GRIMSBY — An NDP government will construct a Grimsby GO Station and make sure families get access to frequent and reliable GO train service, said NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Niagara West NDP candidate Dave Augustyn.

“People in Grimsby want and deserve better access to GO Transit to get to work, school or wherever else they need to go,” said Horwath.

“Families have been waiting for years for a GO station in Grimsby. Doug Ford and the Del Duca Liberals refused to give this community access to GO trains and reliable all-day service. An NDP government will invest in better public transit and make sure Grimsby families get the GO station they need to make their commutes easier.” Continue reading

Doug Ford Has Enlisted Climate Change Deniers in Bid to Crush Ontario Young People in Court

Ontario government relying on climate change deniers in court case against youth

Ontario’s chosen experts question basic climate science and dismiss Ontario’s responsibility to lower emissions

A News Release from Environmental Defence, a Canada-based citizens goup

Posted May 9th, 2022 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 solicited expert testimony from a known climate change denier to defend its poor record on climate action, in a court challenge brought from seven Ontario youth.

The youth are arguing that the Government of Ontario violated their charter rights when it rolled back targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The provincial government also solicited evidence from an economist who believes that Ontario’s actions have little to no impact on Canada’s overall emissions and, therefore, the province bears no responsibility for the damages caused by climate change. Continue reading

Top U.S. Court Orders American Women to Wear Burkas

Following the Supreme Court’s Draft Ruling on Abortion, Another Body Blow to the Rights of Women – Just in Time for Mother’s Day

A Brief One by Doug Draper 

Posted May 9th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

I admit that it’s been a while since I’ve been to a doctor to have my ears syringed but, but I thought I just heard on a television I have on in the background that the U.S. Supreme Court has ordered all American women to wear burkas when they are out of their homes.

Sorry, I made the mistake of assuming that this was U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and some of her female  members of her Democratic Party caucus covered in these burkas. But how are you supposed to tell? As it turns out,, no burkas  for American women yet,

The burka ruling comes just a week after a draft ruling was leaked showing that a majority of the mostly Republican-appointed Justices on the Supreme Court are moving to overturn Roe v. Wade, an almost 50 year old ruling from the Court that allows American women the right to have an abortion.

For those who don’t know what a burka is, it is a garment that covers a woman’s entire body and leaves her looking like some combination of a pup tent and a beehive keeper, which might make sense if we weren’t living through a time when bee populations are plummeting due to pesticide use, habitat loss and other climate-related causes. Continue reading

For Doug Ford, It Is About Building More Highways and Roads Across Ontario

Ford Boasts That He Is Not Going to Let Anything Stop Him From Pouring Pavement

On First Day of Ontario Election Campaign, Ford Says He Won’t Let Anything Get In Way of Cutting Thru Geenlands and Pouring Pavement

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted May 4th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

“We’ll cut through all the excuses, all the obstacles and delays and it’s time to start pouring the concrete.” – Ontario Premier Doug Ford on May 4th, 2022 election launch

Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford and his Conservatives now seem on their way, according to polls, to winning a second majority in this June 2nd’s provincial election.

And among other things, he is staking a big win on building more roads and highways, even through greenlands and wetlands.

Given Ford’s base, which includes a disproportionate number of older Ontarians who live in a culture of roads and highways and car dependency, he may very well be right to assume that their support is enough to win him a second term of government.

Here is Doug Ford’s opening election address, delivered at a site for a proposed Highway 413. To watch it, click on the screen below –

My fear is that Ford is right in assuming that a majority of Ontario voters will want more roads and highways, even if it means that the billions of dollars it will cost to build them will not go to other services.

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 Election Is Officially On and Polls Predict a BIG WIN for Ford

Do You Really Want Another Four Years of Ford Government?

A  Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

So far, it looks like Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservatives are laughing their way to a Big Win in this spring’s provincial election.

I know that there are more than a few people out there who put little stock in polls when it comes to predicting the outcome of elections.

Then there is that old line that the only poll that really counts is the one when the final votes are counted on Election Day. As hard a line it is to argue with, it is most often used by those who find the party they support running behind in the polls.

As a journalist who’s had a hand in covering more elections than I care to count, I have my issues with polls too – not least of which is what appears to the a practice of too many news outlets (especially in recent years) to substitute stories on polls for good, in-depth coverage of the candidates and their policies.

That being said, it is hard to ignore polls completely, just as it is hard to ignore the fact that over the years, pollsters have become better at forecasting elections with a high degree of accuracy. Continue reading

Thinking About Running In The 2022 Municipal Election?

A Reminder About an Online Workshop – This Tuesday, May 3d at 7 P.M.  – For You

Posted May 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

To read a related piece Niagara At Large posted on this event, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2022/04/28/join-a-workshop-on-how-to-run-for-municipal-office-in-niagara-and-win/

About A Better Niagara – A Better Niagara is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mandate to encourage civic engagement and municipal public participation in Niagara.

Formed by a desire to see transparency and accountability in municipal politics A Better Niagara is committed to a Niagara that is more democratic, more equal and more open.

For more on A Better Niagara, click on – https://www.facebook.com/betterniagara/

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

They Are ‘Our Great Lakes’ If We Can Fork Out the Money to Walk a Beach – No Money, No Beach!

In Niagara, the Message from Private Lakeshore owners and Local Municipalities  Seems to Be – Pay Up Or Get the Hell Off the Beach

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

Posted April 27th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

This is how those who don’t own land along the Great Lakes shores in Niagara are treated – ‘ No Tresspassing” or, for short, ‘get the hell out.’. So much for ‘Our Great Lakes’.

For more than four decades, this reporter – in my capacity as one covering environmental issues – has encouraged us all to do what we can to protect our Great Lakes.

But it is getting harder and harder for me to do that any more because these Great Lakes apparently do not belong to us.

They belong to federal and provincial governments that want to fill them full of fingerlings so that they may be exploited as a multi-billion dollar commercial and sport fishery.

And they belong to municipalities in Niagara and elsewhere that want to exploit them for revenue by charging residents in our region and other regions of the Great Lakes fees to walk on the beach. Continue reading

Ontario’s New Democratic Party Releases Comprehensive Platform for this Spring’s Election

NDP Platform –  Strong. Ready. Working For You – Focuses On Fixing And Expanding Health Care, And Making Life More Affordable

News from the Office of Ontariio’s Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted April 25th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

TORONTO — The (Ontario) NDP has released a comprehensive election platform that lays out a plan to fix the things that matter most to people — including expanding OHIP so people can get mental health care, dental care and prescriptions with their OHIP card, not their credit card.

“The last few years have been tough. People are waiting in pain because our health care system is on its knees. And folks are working harder than ever while the cost of living and the cost of homes makes it impossible to get ahead,” said Horwath.

“But it really doesn’t have to be this way. Ontario is the greatest place in the world to live, and together we can start to fix the things that have been broken — the things that matter most to everyday people.” Continue reading

Fighting To Save a Treasured Tract of Niagara’s Historical and Natural Heritage from Developers in Fort Erie

This April 25th an Ontario Land Tribunal Hearing Begins that May Decide the Fate of a Popular Green Place Known As Waverly Woods

A Commentary by Maria Featherston, a Fort Erie resident and member of Community Voices of Fort Erie, a citizen’s group now fighting a David vs. Goliath battle to save Waverly Woods

Posted April 23rd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Inside the tree canopy of Waverly Woods, a beautiful green area along the shores of Lake Erie in Fort Erie, Niagara, and a much beloved destination for people on both sides of the Niagara River. File photo by Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Four years ago, a small group named Community Voices of Fort Erie was formed to do battle over a beautiful piece of property named Waverly Woods.

They do not have great amounts of money or power; they are just ordinary citizens, like your neighbours, but they have a strong sense of purpose.

Starting Monday morning, April 25, their lawyer and team of experts will attempt to convince an LPAT (Ontario Land Tribunal) hearing that the planned subdivision with its condo should not go ahead.

What makes Waverly Woods so special?

It is a microcosm of Canadian history, beginning with indigenous history thousands of years ago on the site. During the War of 1812, Erie Beach/ Waverly Woods played a significant role, especially during the Siege of Fort Erie August 14-15, 1814, which was described by an American officer as “a great slaughter.” Continue reading

Prime Mnister’s Earth Day Message Stresses our Collective Responsibility to Protect the Environment

‘When we protect our planet, everyone benefits. We deliver clean air, we create good middle-class jobs, and we ensure our children and grandchildren can inherit the natural landscapes we are so proud of as Canadians.”                                                                                – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Posted April 22, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Earth Day:

“Today, we join the international community to mark Earth Day, which reminds us of our shared responsibility to protect our planet – for now and for the generations to come.

“As Canadians, we are fortunate to have breathtaking forests, majestic mountains, and scenic lakes and coasts right in our backyards. Just as these gifts inspire us, they come with a tremendous responsibility to protect them. From preserving nature to fighting climate change and delivering clean air, Canada will continue to lead the way to a better future for everyone. Continue reading

On this Earth Day 2022, Young Voices Are Last Real Chance for Saving Our Planet

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Was it really just three years ago that a world-wide movement involving unprecedented millions of people to address the climate crisis was on a roll.

That movement, propelled by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teen activist bursting with purpose and determination, inspired tens of thousands of people to march in Montreal, and inspired people other cities across Canada, including Niagara, raising a voice for action.

One the signs from these marches that stayed has stayed with  me, held up by a young lady who, like Greta, appeared to be in her teens, was painted with the following words; “If You Don’t Act Like An Adult, We Will!” Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Niagara-Wide Earth Day Rally in Pelham on Saturday, April 23rd

A Brief One on this from NAL reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted April 21st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

What may be this year’s largest Earth Day Rally in Niagara, Ontario is scheculed to take place in the Town Square of the Fonthill community of Pelham this Saturday, April 23rd from 1 to 3 p.m.

The rally is  being hosted by a citizen’s group called Pelham Advocates for Trees and Habitat or PATH for short, which is dedicated to promoting and preserving urban forses, and educating the public on the value of trees.

PATH has reached out to other citizen groups and individuals across Niagara in the hope of making this Earth Day Rally as large as they come in the region, so please make a promise to yourself to be there if you can. Continue reading

Niagara’s St. Johns Pond Hosts First Community Outreach Day In Three Years With Opening of Trout Fishing Season

An Earth Week Invite to All from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

An Invite from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted April 21st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Children enjoying the annual trout fishing event at NPCA’s St. John’s Conservation Area. Photo courtesy of NPCA

This Saturday, April 23, the pond at St. Johns Conservation Area (in Pelham, Niagara’s Effingham area) will officially open for another trout fishing season, starting at 10 a.m.

Visitors are welcome to enjoy a spring outing in nature with family and friends at the first community fishing day held at St. Johns Conservation Area since the pandemic.

“We are excited to welcome visitors to St. Johns and look forward to engaging them in outdoor education and recreation, and the conservation of the native species that call this area home,” says Alicia Powell, Manager of Conservation Area Services at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA). Continue reading

New Canada-U.S. Citizens Network Organized to Advocate for Great Lakes for Next Fifty Years

“The goal of GLEN (the newly organized Great Lakes Ecoregion Network) is to generate momentum to strengthen the protection of water quality (in the Great Lakes).

An Introductory Message from the Great Lakes Ecoregion Network (GLEN)

Posted April 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Great Lakes, the largest source of fresh, drinkable water in the world, if we have the sense to look after them.

The Great Lakes Ecoregion Network (GLEN) is a new initiative to engage members of the basin-wide Great Lakes environmental community on issues related to the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA).

As the 50th anniversary of the signing of the GLWQA is celebrated later this (April), we call on the US and Canadian federal governments to renew and strengthen their commitment to water quality and ecosystem health in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.

The GLWQA, first signed by President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, on April 15th, 1972, was a groundbreaking step by the two nations to jointly manage a shared resource. It led to strategies to revive Lake Erie and tackle toxic pollution throughout the Basin. Continue reading

COVID-19 Activity Is Increasing In Niagara, Ontario’s The Hospitals

There Are Currently 90 Inpatients At Niagara Health Who Have Tested Positive In Our Care, Including Five In Our ICU.

“Unfortunately, our (hospital) staff and physicians are experiencing an increased number of disrespectful behaviours directed towards them. … Every member of our community has been impacted by the pandemic. People are exhausted and discouraged, and this includes our staff and physicians who continue to provide care for those in need.”

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

Posted April 20th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Health’s St. Catharines hopsital site

Niagara, Ontario – Since Thursday, April 14, seven patients from the Niagara region who tested positive for COVID-19 have died. Our teams are currently managing eight outbreaks at our Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Welland sites and in our Extended Care Unit (ECU) at the Welland Site. In addition, 372 Niagara Health staff and physicians are currently self-isolating.

We would like to reinforce the importance of wearing face masks and following other public health recommendations to protect against this highly contagious virus. We are working closely with regional and provincial partners to coordinate our efforts and provide safe, quality care to our communities. Continue reading

You’re Invited to an Earth Week Cleanup and Tree Planting at Mountain Locks Park in St. Catharines

Due to Forecasts of Rain, This Event has been Re-Scheduled to Friday, April 22md  from 8 A.M. until Noon

Please Be There!

A Brief Note on this from Doug Draper

Posted April 20h, 2022 on Niagara At Large

As overwhelming as issues like climate change or some of the more serious pollution problems still plaguing the Great Lakes may seem, we must never stop believing that there are things that each and every one of us can do to help heal this one and only planet we all call home.

On the very first Earth Day in April 1970, I held up a sign at a rally I attended with some of my high school classmates that read; “If You Aren’t Part of the Solution, You Are Part of the Pollution.” On this Earth Week, as we approach the 52nd Earth Day this coming Friday, April 22nd, I believe that the message on that sign is just as relevant today as it was then. Continue reading

Women’s Council Invites All of Us  to a Zoom Meeting on Indigenous History in Niagara

An Invite from the Niagara District Council of Women

Posted April 19th. 2022 on Niagara At Large

Featured speaker is Metis educator Michele–Elise Burnett

The Niagara District Council of Women  announces its zoom meeting on Wednesday April 20th : 7 p.m.  –  “Truths about Indigenous History in Niagara –the Challenging Present and the Way forward to Reconciliation”.

As part of a four year National Council of Women of Canada  program  on Missing and Murdered Indigenous  Women and Girls ,  the Niagara District Council of Women is holding a cross-country zoom meeting on Wednesday April 20th   regarding “Truths about Indigenous History in Niagara –the Challenging Present and the Way Forward to Reconciliation”.

The featured speaker is Metis educator Michele–Elise Burnett, co-owner of   the Kakekalanicks Indigenous Consulting company  which has developed  unique  arts and educational programs across Niagara, such as  the yearly ‘Celebration of Nations event, and Landscape of Nations, 360 0 Continue reading

Happy Easter as we Count Down the Hours to Earth Day 2022!

And Please Say a Pray for Victory and Peace for the People of Ukraine

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

Posted April 16th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
It may be as warm outside as we would like it to be for the middle of April, but I hope that doesn’t stop any of us from enjoying a nice Easter with some people and/or pets that we love.
This Easter comes five days before the 52 anniversary of the very first Earth Day on April 22nd, 1970 when we can get together with members of our communities and, through planting trees, cleaning up plastic and other waste from shorelines and roadsides, or other earth friendly acts, show our politicians that we demand more than just words out of them when it comes to the fate of our planet.

Continue reading

Niagara SPCA and Humane Society is Niagara’s Latest Certified Living Wage Employer

“We’re pleased to have on-going support from local employers who recognize the value and benefits of paying at least a living wage. Paying a living wage is direct action to address poverty and helps people afford the cost of living.”                                                  – Jennifer Gauthier, Vice Chair, Niagara Poverty Reduction Network.

A News Release from the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network

Posted April 11th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network is pleased to announce that Niagara SPCA and Humane Society has become a certified living wage employer at the Champion level.

The Niagara SPCA and Humane Society serves eight municipalities in the Niagara region, as well as Haldimand County and the Mississauga’s of the New Credit. They operate three shelters, one low cost animal clinic, and two mobile animal hospitals that travel throughout the province. Continue reading

Should More of Our Natural Heritage be Sacrificed for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games?

You Have an Important Role to Play in Stopping the Destruction of 12 Mile Creek Ravines in St. Catharines/Niagara

A Call-Out from Friends of 12 Mile Creek, a Niagara-based citizens group

Posted April 7th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Twelve Mile Creek is a study in contrasts – in some areas, one of the most natural, and in other areas, one of the most altered watersheds in Niagara.

The ravine behind Riverview Blvd. is in an altered area, however, it is a quiet and peaceful place of Creekside trails and woodland slopes.

Sadly, this ravine is being destroyed by a plan advanced and supported by the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games and the Mayor of St. Catharines for the construction of a mountain bike racecourse. Continue reading

Niagara College Joins Ontario Colleges To Support The Ukrainian Crisis Fund

“This tragedy has affected everyone on our campuses and created a strong desire to help.”

A News Release from Niagara College

Posted March 31st, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Student Anastasia Bobrova, who is from Russia, pens her message of support for Ukraine at NC’s Welland Campus with a powerful message “We are all one family. Ukraine, we are with you.”

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara College has partnered with a number of colleges across Ontario to make a joint donation of $200,000 to UNICEF’s Ukraine emergency fund<https://www.unicef.org/ukraine/en>.

“Niagara College stands with the people of Ukraine,” said NC president Sean Kennedy. “We are proud to contribute to a fund that will help provide vital necessities and services for Ukrainian families who are experiencing hardship and loss.”

Donations to the Ukraine emergency fund will support the organization’s ongoing programs and response to the escalating need in Ukraine by providing communities with safe water, urgent medical aid and health-care services, child protection and education. UNICEF has been working in Ukraine since 1997. Continue reading

Ontario Moving to Next Phase of Reopening on February 17

Effective March 1st, Ford Government Will Lift Proof of Vaccination Requirements for All Settings

A News Release from the Office of the Ontario Premier

Posted February 14th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — With key public health and health system indicators continuing to improve, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously and gradually easing public health measures sooner, with the next phase of measures being eased on February 17, 2022 at 12:01 a.m.

“Given how well Ontario has done in the Omicron wave we are able to fast track our reopening plan,” said Premier Doug Ford. “This is great news and a sign of just how far we’ve come together in our fight against the virus. While we aren’t out of the woods just yet we are moving in the right direction.” Continue reading

REDress Project – Brock U, Niagara College Invite All of Us to a Special Online Event 

Virtual event, weeklong display to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people

An Invite to Us Al from Brock University and Niagara College

Posted February 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Red dresses will be hung throughout the campuses of Brock University and Niagara College next week to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people.

The REDress Project, an annual initiative that sees red clothing displayed in public spaces, began as an art installation by Métis artist Jamie Black at the University of Winnipeg in 2011. It has since been replicated in communities across Canada, including at Brock University and Niagara College in recent years.

The empty red dresses are meant to signify the loss of thousands of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit, lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (2SLGTBQQIA) people over the past 40 years to colonial violence. Continue reading

Niagara Health to Reopen Fort Erie Urgent Care Centre And Gradually Resume Other Services

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

Posted February 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

The Fort Erie Urgent Care Centre will fully reopen to provide 24/7 service beginning on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 8 a.m.

In addition, consistent with recent changes in provincial direction, Niagara Health will proceed with the gradual resumption of surgical, procedural and outpatient services beginning next week.

“We are pleased to be in a position to start reopening services for patients, and appreciate the community’s understanding during this challenging fifth wave when we had to make difficult decisions to prioritize care for patients needing critical, emergency and acute care services,” says Lynn Guerriero, Niagara Health President and CEO. Continue reading

Ford Government Forging Ahead with Privatizing Ontario’s Health Services

You Are Invited to a February 15th Online Summit To Help Stop Health Care Privatization

A Call-Out from the Ontario Health Coalition, a province-wide citizen advocacy group for quality, public health care

Posted February 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Last week Doug Ford’s Health Minister (Christine Elliott) announced that she is bringing in *private hospitals*.

  • They are midstream in *privatizing 18,000 LTC beds* for the next 30-yrs.
  • They passed legislation to *privatize* the last remaining public parts of *home care*.
  • They are *privatizing vaccines and COVID-testing*, and more.
  • They are planning *billions of dollars in permanent cuts* to public services post-election…*

… if we don’t stop them.* 

It Stops *Now* EMERGENCY SUMMIT II Health Care Privatization & Cuts Launch the fight back for Long-Term Care, Hospitals, Home Care & more.

 Join us on *Tuesday, February 15 at 7pm* via Zoom to beat back privatization & austerity, and to force improvements in LTC, hospitals and home care. Continue reading

NPCA Looking for Citizen Ambassadors for One of Niagara’s Major Wetlands

‘The Wainfleet Bog (in Niagara, Ontariio) is a provincially significant wetland and is the largest least disturbed bog remaining within the Carolinian region of Southwestern Ontario.’

A Call-Out from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted February 3rd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The NPCA is in the process of establishing the Wainfleet Bog Advisory Committee and applications are now being accepted at https://getinvolved.npca.ca/wainfleet-bog-advisory-committee until Feb. 28 at 4 p.m.

This committee will provide collaborative perspective, guidance, and expert advice in the review, revision and implementation of the Wainfleet Bog Management Plan and other site strategies for the Wainfleet Bog Conservation Area. Continue reading

Ontario Government Further Strengthening Response to Omicron

Additional measures to slow the spread of Omicron variant as province accelerates booster dose rollout

News from the Ontario Government of Doug Ford

Posted December 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — In response to the rapidly-spreading and highly transmissible Omicron variant, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is applying additional public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity and social gathering limits.

These measures will help curb transmission and continue to safeguard Ontario’s hospital and ICU capacity as the province continues to rapidly accelerate its booster dose rollout. Continue reading

As Omicron Variant Spreads, Niagara Falls MP Urges Ford Government to Deliver More Vaccine Booster Shots to Niagara

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

“Having spoken with our pharmacies it is clear that Niagara is not being given enough booster doses to meet capacity at our pharmacies and primary care providers. Some pharmacies are finding that the doses they are receiving are considerably less than the doses they’re ordering. This means that they’re forced to book booster dose appointments well into 2022. This is not acceptable for Niagara and lives depend on your quick action to rectify this.”                                                                        – from an Open Letter Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates sent this December 13th to Ontario’s Health Minister

An Open Letter to Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Health Minister from Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates Posted December 14th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

To Ontario Health Minister and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott

RE: Immediate need for doses at pharmacies and primary care providers in Niagara

I (Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates) am writing to you today (this December 13th)  to urgently request that your Ministry release additional booster shot dosages to pharmacies and primary care providers in Niagara. As you likely know, Niagara Region Public Health has made the understandable decision to focus their vaccination efforts on children aged 5-11 years old for the next few weeks. As Public Health tells us, children have three times higher rate of getting COVID-19 than any other age group, and they have not yet had any chance to be vaccinated. Continue reading

All I want for Christmas is to Save Waverly Woods

The Citizens’ Effort Continues to Save this Beloved Island of Green in Fort Erie, Niagara from being Paved Over

A Call-Out from Marcie Jacklin, a Fort Erie resident and leading member of the citizens’group, Community Voices of Fort Erie

Posted December 9th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

From Marcie Jacklin –

Marcie Jacklin

Hello everyone

Do you need a special Christmas gift? Check out our unique guide to the Birds of Waverly Woods. 60 colour photos. Only $13.
To order email waverly2021@gmail.com or call 905-871-4681. 

And for that special someone that has everything? Give a gift for generations to come by donating to https://www.forterievoices.org/donation 

Inside Waverly Woods – now a target for urban development

* Share the petition with others https://www.change.org/p/ten-story-condo-going-up-in-waverly-woods Can we get to 8900 signatures by December 31st?  If you prefer not to sign the petition an alternative is to join our email list by sending your email and name to cvferie@gmail.com .

* Please donate to help us cover our legal and expert costs.

Go to this link https://www.forterievoices.org/donation or send a donation to Community Voices of Fort Erie, P.O. Box 273, Fort Erie, Ontario L2A 2S0. Continue reading

A Brief Remembrance of the Night John Lennon Was Shot

December, 1980 – Forty-One Years Ago This December 8th

By Doug Draper                   

Posted December 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

John Lennon, as he looked during his ‘Fab Four’ days with The Beatles

Forty-one years ago this December 8th, I was a young cub reporter at The St. Catharines Standard, driving back to the newsroom to write a story out of a meeting I was covering in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

I barely sat down at my desk in the newsroom when one of the editors, checking some of the news coming in from around the word, said; “Oh know. Someone shot John Lennon.”

“Is he dead,” another in the newsroom asked. “It doesn’t say,” was the response. “This is just a first bulletin coming in.”

This Beatles fan, who was a particular fan of John, decided to write whatever story I had to write as soon as possible because I had a feeling that the next bulletin coming in would not be good, and it wasn’t. Continue reading

St. Catharines MPP Re-Tables Bill to Provide Long-Term Care to Ontario’s Veterans

“My bill would honour (our veterans’) sacrifice and service by making sure they can access care as soon as they need it.”               – Jennie Stevens, NDP MPP for St. Catharines

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

Posted December 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPP Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) re-tabled her bill Wednesday that prioritizes veterans for long-term care beds, making sure veterans and their families can access care when they need it.

“Seniors who need the support of a long-term care home should be able to quickly find one in their community. That’s especially true for the many veterans who have sacrificed so much for their country, who are now languishing on long waitlists to be able to get the care they need,” said Stevens.

“My bill would honour their sacrifice and service by making sure they can access care as soon as they need it.” Continue reading

Ontario Government Extending COVID-19 Paid Sick Days

Support for workers and employers will continue until July 31, 2022

News from the Government of Ontario

Posted December 7th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO – The Ontario government is extending its Worker Income Protection Benefit program, which provides paid sick days, until July 31, 2022 to continue keeping workers safe and ensure they do not lose pay if they need to miss work for reasons related to COVID-19.

Employees can continue to access this paid leave to get tested, vaccinated, self-isolate, or care for a family member. Should the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit be extended, workers in Ontario have access to the most generous paid sick days program in Canada. Continue reading

St. Catharines Museum Mitten Tree Campaign Kicks Off Saturday, December 4th

“This is one holiday tradition we never want to miss, no one should ever go cold over winter.” – Kathleen Powell, Supervisor of Historical Services and St. Catharines Museum Curator.

A Call-Out to All from the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre

Posted December 2nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines/Niagara — Giving the gift of winter warmth is a holiday tradition worth keeping at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre.

This Saturday, Dec. 4, the museum will kick off its Annual Mitten Tree Campaign, inviting the public to come out and donate new, or gently-used winter wear such as mittens, gloves, scarves and toques.

The donated items will be used to decorate the Mitten Tree set up in the museum lobby, and ultimately will help those in need through Community Care St. Catharines and Thorold; and Start Me Up Niagara’s Out of the Cold Program. Guests can stop by the museum during open hours from Dec. 4 to Jan 8 to make their donation. Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS – Niagara’s Regional Council Votes Overwhelmingly to Support “Option 3C” – A Higher Level of Protection for our Region’s Natural Heritage

News from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large

This image courtesy of citizen-based Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara

Posted December 1st, 2021

The Niagara Regional Council meeting was tonight – this December 1st – and the vote went in the right direction for our environment.

This story will be updated this December 2nd.

To watch the meeting and the excellent delegations from citizens across Niagara who went before the council and spoke up for Option 3C, click on – https://www.niagararegion.ca/government/council/council-meetings.aspx?q=Committee+of+the+Whole

What Option 3c is about

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 Paid Millions of Dollars in COVID-19 Support to Ineligible Businesses

“I understand that the government was dealing with an unprecedented (pandemic) crisis. But even in a crisis, systems should be in place to make sure that only eligible businesses receive taxpayer dollars, and program funds reach those who need it most.”                                                                                               – Bonnie Lysyk, Auditor General of Ontario

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

Posted December 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO – Provincial economic aid to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic was provided without consultation or good criteria, and resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars going to ineligible recipients, while there was no help for others that needed it, says Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk in her 2021 Annual Report.

“The province wrote off $210 million of Ontario Small Business Support Grants paid to ineligible recipients,” said Lysyk.

“Given the amount of money, the absence of better controls or assessment processes is troubling.”

Continue reading

Ford’s Sam Oosterhoff Champions Health Care Funding for Homeless in Niagara

Ontario Government Supports Expansion of Care to Individuals Experiencing Homelessness in Niagara

“This new funding extends care to marginalized and homeless members of our community who do not have a doctor.”                       – Sam Oosterhoff, Conservative Government MPP for Niagara West Riding

A News Release from Ontario’s Ford Government

Posted December 1st. 2021 on Niagara At Large

A new helper for Niagara’s homeless people marches to town in the name of Niagara West PC MPP Sam Oosterhoff

ST. CATHARINES – The Ontario government is supporting high-quality and compassionate health care for individuals experiencing homelessness in Niagara through an Alternative Funding Plan (AFP) partnership with the Shelter Health Network and REACH Niagara.

Announced today by Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, additional support from the province will increase the annual base funding to up to $935,000 for eight to ten new service sites in St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara Falls to provide primary care services to 1,500 patients in 2021/22.

The commitment from the province includes an additional $425,000 in 2022/23 for two to three additional service sites to support another 500 unique patients.

A collaborative effort to increase access to primary care, REACH Niagara partners with local physicians and nurses, community health clinics, family health teams, as well as Niagara Public Health, Niagara EMS, and local shelters, to treat marginalized communities and individuals experiencing homelessness with dignity, kindness and respect. Continue reading

Ontario Liberals Will Scrap Ministerial Zoning Orders

Doug Ford has weaponized MZOs and is abusing his power to attack our environment and reward the well-connected few.

A News Release from the Liberal Party of Ontario

Posted November 30th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO – Under the cover of a pandemic, Doug Ford has been abusing his powers and recklessly using MZOs to push through a list of rewards for his rich buddies over environmentally-sensitive land. Today, Ontario Liberals are releasing their plan to eliminate MZOs and bring in strict rules to ban Doug Ford’s abuses of power.

“Doug Ford has weaponized MZOs and is abusing his power to attack our environment and reward the well-connected few,” stated Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca. “Ontario Liberals will scrap MZOs and bring in strict rules to protect our environment while responsibly building communities.” Continue reading

Decision Day for How Far Our Regional Councillors Will Go to Protect Niagara’s Natural Heritage is Almost Here

Regional Councillors Will Meet this Wednesday, December 1st at 6:25 p.m. To Decide Fate Our Green Places

A Call-Out from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large to all Niagara residents to contact their mayors and regional councillors ASAP and urge them to vote for the highest level of protection for our precious natural places on the table – Option 3C

Posted November 30th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

For  details on this issue and contact information for your mayors and regional councillors, please click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/11/29/call-your-mayor-and-regional-councillors-now-and-urge-them-to-vote-for-a-healthy-future/ .

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

Remembering George Harrison – Twenty Years On

A Brief One by Doug Draper

Posted November 29th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

It was 20 years ago this November 29th that the youngest member of The Beatles – George Harrison – died following a battle with cancer.

Here are some of his friends performing one of his great songs at a tribute concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England a year or so after his death.

To watch, click on the screen below

Rest in Peace George.

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

Dave Augustyn Gets High Five from NDP Members in Niagara West to Run Against Ford Incumbent Sam Oosterhoff in Next Spring’s Provincial Election

A News Release from the Campaign to Elect Dave Augustyn

Posted November 28th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Dave Augustyn nominated NDP candidate for Niagara West

Former Pelham mayor, regional councillor running for the Ontario NDP in the Niagara West Riding

PELHAM – NDP members in Niagara West haven officially selected Dave Augustyn to be their NDP candidate for the 2022 provincial election at a local nomination meeting on Sunday. The former three-term mayor and regional councillor released the following statement:

“I’m grateful to have the trust of our local NDP members and for the privilege to run to represent my community here in Niagara West.

Families across Niagara deserve so much better than the Ford government. They deserve to have their voices heard at Queen’s Park, and to have their families put first. Continue reading

Niagara At Large Wishes Happy Thanksgiving to Our American Friends and Readers

Posted November 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Brief One from Doug Draper –

This Thursday, November 15th is Thanksgiving Day for our American neighbours – a day that means more too many of them, from what my American friends have told me, than Christmas.

That’s because it is just a day for families and friends to get together around a dinner table and enjoy each other’s company.

Old Sea Pines Inn on Cape Cod in Brewsters, Massachusetts. photo by Doug Draper

For the better part of the past 30 years, my family – even though we are Canadians – were honoured to be invited to a beautiful in on Cape Cod, called Old Sea Pines, where a large gathering of friends came together each year to celebrate Thanksgiving until we got a little old to do a gathering that large and folded it with a lot of beautiful memories.  

One of the traditions at the Inn, on Thanksgiving Day, was to play that oh so very long story song by Arlo Guthrie (son of the legendary Woody Guthrie) called Alice’s Restaurant.

As a tribute to all of my American friends, here it is, as performed by Arlo. You can watch 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

Join Niagara’s Conservation Authority in Celebrating the Return of the Annual Ball’s Falls Holiday Trail

An Invite to All from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted November 24th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is excited to welcome the community to the 2nd Annual Ball’s Falls Holiday Trail<https://npca.ca/events> this winter season.

The NPCA is thrilled to announce the return of a cheerful and bright holiday tradition at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area, with thousands of sparkling lights along its trails, a skating rink, and immersive activities.

The Ball’s Falls Holiday Trail will run each evening, from November 26 to January 9, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It will be closed on December 24, 25, 26, and 31. Continue reading

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Slams Ford’s Electric Vehicle ‘Flip-Flop’ as ‘Weak’ and ‘Late’

 “He (Ontario Premier Doug Ford) still refuses to have electric vehicle incentives or rebates, and refuses to commit to putting back the charging stations he took away.”                                            – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates, followed by a News Release from Ontario’s Ford Government

Posted November 17th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates. file photo

QUEEN’S PARK — Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls), the Official Opposition NDP critic for Auto Strategy, released the following statement in response to Premier Doug Ford’s press conference on electric vehicles:

“Doug Ford’s sudden flip-flop on electric vehicles is late, weak and badly incomplete. He still refuses to have electric vehicle incentives or rebates, and refuses to commit to putting back the charging stations he took away.

Doug Ford literally had electric vehicle charging stations ripped out of the ground. He cancelled incentives for people to buy electric cars. He refused to try to save Oshawa’s GM jobs, saying ‘They’re gone. They’re done,” – and the workers proved him wrong. He was more interested in cutting than in attracting auto jobs and building up Ontario into an electric vehicle leader.

The Liberals had 15 years. Katheen Wynne and Steven Del Duca didn’t deliver an electric auto strategy when they had the chance, either. Continue reading

Time Running Out To Save Provincially Significant Wetlands in Thorold

Tell Niagara Region to Stop Extension of Merritt Road through Wetlands

A Call-Out from Liz Benneian, a director of Biodiversity and Climate Change Niagara, a large coalition of individuals and conservation-related groups across Niagara Posted November 16th, 2021 on Niagara At Large Your last chance to have your say on whether the Region should destroy Provincially Significant Wetlands to extend and widen Merritt Road in Thorold will be on Wednesday, December 1st, at 6 p.m. To join the online presentation go to: https://niagararegion.ca/projects/regional-road-37/ on the day of the event. The Regional study team has rejected all other possibilities and is solely focused on this plan which will destroy acres of woods and wetlands.

I have attached the comments Biodiversity and Climate Action submitted to the Planners back in June. Please feel free to use them in your comments. Comments can also be submitted directly to Maged.Elmadhoon@niagararegion.ca or Jeff.Suggett@woodplc.com

To read the entire message on this issue, click on –  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=598837254902330&id=114688909983836

About Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara – Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara (BCAN) is a collective of Niagara’s environmental groups and citizens that advocates for proven municipal best practices and policies that protect and enhance local biodiversity and combat climate change.  For more about this citizen’s coalition, click on Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee – Niagara

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 NDP Urges Deal on $10-a-day Child Care as Ford Continues to Hold Out

“Ontario parents with little ones deserve so much better than the sky-high child care fees being charged under the previous Liberal government, and now the Ford government. They deserve universal, public and non-profit high-quality $10-a-day child care.” – Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Early Learning and Childcare critic Bhutila Karpoche

News from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted November 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Early Learning and Childcare critic Bhutila Karpoche are calling on the Doug Ford government to stop holding up a $10-a-day child care deal with Ottawa as Alberta signs its deal, leaving only Ontario (holding out).

Horwath and Karpoche released the following statement:

Continue reading

Ontario Community Groups To Hold “Day of Action” to Protest Ford Government’s Highway Expansion Plans

“Greenbelt, NOT Asphalt” Protest Scheduled for Saturday, November 13th

“Communities along the proposed route for the 413 and Bradford Bypass are saying “no” to paving over their natural environments, Greenbelt, and productive farmland. Ontarians are saying no to creating more car-dependent communities and spending billions on these highways that will enrich a few wealthy developers at the expense of the rest of the province.”        – Keith Brooks, Environmental Defence

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

Posted November 11th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – On Saturday, November 13, 2021, concerned residents in communities near the proposed routes of two new highways poised to destroy farmlands and sections of the protected Greenbelt are holding a Day of Action to demand “Greenbelt NOT Asphalt.”

If built, Highway 413 would run from the Highway 401/407 interchange in Halton to Highway 400 in Vaughan. The highway would pave over farms, forests, wetlands and 400 acres of the Greenbelt and cost Ontario taxpayers upwards of $6-10 billion. Highway 413 would also add over 17 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, at a time when cutting emissions is more urgent than ever. Continue reading

Will Ford Say Yes to a Mid-Peninsula Highway in Niagara Next?

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

Posted November 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

It has been on the books for more than two decades now – a plan to build a so-called “Mid-Pen Highway,” above the Niagara Escarpment and through some of the heart of Niagara’s rural lands from the Hamilton-Burlington area to the Fort Erie, Ontario-Buffalo, New York border crossing.

So while Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservatives seem to be on a roll now with saying yes to one controversial highway plan in the Greater Toronto Area – all in the name of “Building Ontario” – why not dust off and give a green light to the Mid-Peninsula Highway plan too.

In other words, why stop now if Ontario’s future involves paying over more green lands for highways and the low-density development to accommodate more cars and trucks on the road?

Why don’t we just finish it up?

Continue reading

Trudeau Government Urged to Scrap COVID Testing Requirement at Canada/U.S. Border Crossings

Come this November 8th, how many Canadians will want to go back to crossing  border bridges for a day in the Buffalo area if they have to pay up to $300 for a COVID test on top of showing proof of vaccination?

Canada’s Travel Rules Punitive for Middle-Class Families – Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable

Mandatory pre-departure PCR testing for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers is proving prohibitively expensive for Canadian families

Travel & Tourism Roundtable calls on the federal government to remove the pre-departure PCR test and amend the discriminatory child policy for travelling minors

A Brief Foreword  from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

For more than a year, and a half bridges like this – the Rainbow Bridge between Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York – have been closed to most traffic.

As this coming Monday, November 8th approaches for re-opening border crossings to so-called “non-essential” Canadian travellers for the first time in more than a year and a half, we learn that community leaders in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York are preparing to hold a media event on the morning of the 8th, welcoming their Canadian neighbours back.

That welcoming event seems nice on the surface but political and business leaders on the American side may be in for a letdown because Canada’s federal government is continuing to insist that any Canadian returning to their home from a trip to, let’s say, Buffalo, is not only going to have to show they are fully vaccinated. They are also going to have to show that they have tested negative for COVID-19. Continue reading

Ford Government’s $15 Minimum Wage Hike Hits Businesses Without Notice or Consultation

Wage Increase Could Harm Businesses at Critical Time When They are Still Struggling to Recover from Pandemic

A Statement from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce CEO Mishka Balsom

Posted November 2nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Mishka Balsom, CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Niagara, Ontario – Today (November 2nd), Mishka Balsom, CEO of Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, released the following statement regarding the Government of Ontario’s proposed legislation that, if passed, would raise the general minimum wage effective January 01, 2022.

“We support fair wages, and we recognize that workers have been impacted by the pandemic and an increased cost of living.

“However, two months is not enough time for businesses to plan for and implement such changes, especially when many will have already set their budgets for next year. Continue reading

Billionaire Space Cadets Should Focus on Saving Earth – Prince William

“We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on repairing this planet. Not trying to find the next place to go.”       – Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and now second in line to the British Throne

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

Posted October 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

While some of the world’s richest people like Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Elon Musk – people who don’t pay a penny of taxes down here on earth – play around with rocketing tourists into space, at least some wonder the following.

They wonder if these top of the Fortune 500 plutocrats might consider investing some of their fortune to make things better down here on planet earth.

I am not the biggest fan in the world of the British monarchy, but I would like to give Prince Williams two big thumbs up for being one of the latest to come out and say that in a BBC interview that there is something about these billionaires playing around with space toys that is way out of whack when we are facing a catastrophic climate emergency earth side. Continue reading

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving

A Holiday Weekend Message from Niagara At Large

Posted October 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Here we are going through the second Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in a row with this killer pandemic at large.

Every piece of factual information I read and hear tells me that this nightmare we are collectively suffering through  did not have to be this prolonged if more people followed the health measures and got vaccinated.

If you have not gotten vaccinated yet, please do so for the sake of yourself, your friends and family, and for the common good of all.

And please stop  – if you happen to  fall in this stream of information consumers   – relying so heavily on Facebook and mostly other right-wing venues for misinformation about what still remains a word-wide health catastrophe.

Thank you for visiting Niagara At Large for the news and commentary we post on this independent site, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  • 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

Ford Government Working to “Fix” Long-Term-Care Homes – Niagara West Conservative MPP Sam Oosterhoff

A Statement by Niagara West Ford Government MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Posted October 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara West and Ford Government MPP Sam Oosterhoff

“One pillar of our government’s plan to fix long-term care is increasing staff so they can provide more, high-quality care to residents.

“That is why, the Ontario government is providing long-term care homes across the province with $270 million to hire more staff to increase direct care for residents from 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours, per resident by the end of this fiscal year. This will make Ontario a leader in direct care.

“Every long-term care home in Ontario will benefit from this funding as it will allow them to hire more staff and these staff will deliver increased care to residents. Continue reading

Now – Possibly More Than Ever – We Need More Brave Heroes in This World like Frances Haugen

“You Are A 21st Century American Hero and We Owe You a Debt of Gratitude.”

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey to former Facebook employee and whistleblower Francis Haugen who testified before a U.S. Senate committee this October 5th, 2021 about the dangerous and destructive operations of Facebook

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

Posted October 5th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Former Facebook employee and now whistleblower Frances Haugen warns the world about this out-of-control corporate monster

“I’m here today (before a U.S. Senate committee this October 5th) because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy. … Yesterday (this past October 4th) we saw Facebook taken off the internet. I don’t know why it went down, but I know that for more than five hours, Facebook wasn’t used to deepen divides, destabilize democracies and make young girls and women feel bad about their bodies.”                                                        – former Facebook employee, now whistleblower Frances Haugen

The late American civil rights leader Martin Luther King once said that bad things in this world happen when good people don’t speak out.

King said that more than 50 years ago and there has always been a problem of not enough good people speaking out but these days, good people not speaking out is all too pervasive. Continue reading

No More “Hollow Apologies,” Mr. Prime Minister. Give Us “Concrete Action” – RoseAnne Archibald, National Chief of Canada’s First Nations

A Brief Commentary byNiagara At Large reporter and publisher  Doug Draper 

Posted October 4th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

First Nations Chief RoseAnne Archibald

Two thumbs up for RoseAnne Archibald, National Chief of the First Nations across our country for pinning the tail on the donkey.

In this case, the donkey is Canada’s all-sweet-talk-and-little-in the-way of action’ Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

As many if not most of you know by now, Trudeau performed like the arrogant little rich kid he is this past September 30th – a day that just happened to be Canada’s first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to commemorate indigenous children who suffered and died at residential schools – to take a little family vacation at a swanky looking beach house in British Columbia. Continue reading

Observing National Day For Truth and Reconciliation in Niagara

A Statement from Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

Posted September 24th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – As (Niagara Regional) council is aware, September 30 has been declared the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Next Thursday (September 30th) will be an opportunity for all Canadians to acknowledge the devastating effects of the residential school system on Indigenous peoples, and to reflect on ways we can better advance our reconciliation efforts to build a better future for everyone.

It is my understanding that Niagara’s Indigenous communities will be observing this day as a time of reflection and mourning. I believe September 30th is a chance for us all to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples across the country. Continue reading

In Niagara, All Four Federal Incumbents Are Back in the Saddle Again

Liberal MPs Vance Badawey of Niagara Centre and Chris Bittle of St. Catharines, and Conservative MPs Tony Baldinelli of Niagara Falls and Dean Allison of Niagara West Have All Been Re-elected

By Doug Draper

Posted September 21st, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey wins for a third time in the riding since 2015. File photo

At the end of this ill-timed federal election, there is no change in the four ridings making up the election map in Niagara, Ontario.

Although tracking polls showed the federal Liberals and Conservatives running neck and neck in the Liberal-held ridings of Niagara Centre and St. Catharines, the two Trudeau incumbents, Vance Badawey and Chris Bittle, began inching ahead of their rivals during the final days of the campaign, and this Monday night, they prevailed.

Working with an impressive campaign team that was out there, on the phones and on the ground, spreading the word about their candidate, Badawey defeated second-place Conservative Graham Speck by more than 2,000 votes, with the NDP finishing third and the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) and Green Party finishing a distant fourth and fifth. Continue reading

A Lake Erie Success Story – Lake Trout Naturally Reproducing For First Time in 60 Years

“This phenomenal Great Lakes story of recovery is a testament to the perseverance of the researchers and biologists from DEC and partner agencies who worked tirelessly to help restore this fishery.”                                                                                                            – New York State Department of Environment Commissioner Basil Seggos in a news  release

Some Good News about Lake Erie from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Posted September 15th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –

A look at Lake Erie at its worst. Toxic algae – a product of pollutants running off from rural and urban areas around the lakes – smothers fish populations and makes the water virtually unusable in so many other ways

With all of the disturbing news about our environment we are facing these days, how welcoming it is to receive some good news every once in a while.

On that score, here is a report from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, issued this past August, that for the first time in 60 years, there is solid evidence of Lake Trout reproducing in Lake Erie.

One of the reasons I wanted to cover environmental issues at The St. Catharines Standard when I was hired by the newspaper in 1979 was the ongoing reports that Lake Erie, as a healthy body of fresh water and a sustainable  ecosystem for fish and birds and a host of other species, was literally dying from the phosphorus pollution suffocating the lake. Most of that pollution was coming from municipal wastewater outfalls and from farmlands in both Ontario and U.S. states, including Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York State. Continue reading

Ontario Premier Ford Condemns Anti-Vaxxer Protests In A Tweet

Posted September 13th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Ontario’s Premier condemned the continued harassment of health-care workers and in and out-going patients by anti-vaxxer fanatics at hospitals across the province with the following statement he issued on his Twitter page.

“The protests we’re seeing outside of hospitals are selfish, cowardly and reckless. Our health care workers have sacrificed so much to keep us all safe during this pandemic. They don’t deserve this kind of treatment — not now, not ever. Leave our health care workers alone.” – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

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-Based Community Coastal Monitoring Program Will Inspire Stewardship Of Shoreline Resiliency

“Climate change is causing significant and far-reaching impacts on the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes region. The coastal areas of the Great Lakes are exposed to many stressors and … a new, integrated approach, VAST, has been established to understand these stressors and their cumulative impacts, so that actions can be taken to remediate and protect this valuable resource.”             – Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

A News Release from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Posted September 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Coastal Community Collaborative (Niagara Coastal), Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), and Niagara College have partnered to launch a community-based monitoring program to engage the coastal communities of Lake Erie, in the stewardship of shoreline resiliency and healthy coastal ecosystems.

The sandy shores of Lake Erie in the Fort Erie/Port Colborne, Ontario area. Photo courtesy of Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.

This partnership provides a framework to facilitate collaboration on future restoration projects through the NPCA Restoration Grant Program, implementation of Niagara’s Visual Assessment Survey Tool (VAST), and planning of future efforts towards shoreline resiliency across the Niagara Peninsula watershed. Continue reading

Ontario NDP Calls On Ford To Stop War On Environment After Court Rules He Broke The Law – AGAIN!

“It looks like Mr. Ford will do anything his buddies (in the development industry) want — no matter what it costs the rest of us, or how legal it is.”

A Statement from Sandy Shaw, Ontario NDP critic for Environment, Conservation and Parks

Posted September 8th, 2021 on Niagara At Large 

In Doug Ford country, getting Ontario back in business again means paving over anything

HAMILTON, Ontario  — Sandy Shaw, Ontario NDP critic for Environment, Conservation and Parks, released the following statement in response to a court ruling finding Doug Ford and his government broke the law when it passed Bill 197:

“Doug Ford’s war on the environment is dangerous for everyone, and our kids and grandkids will pay an especially high price. Not that we needed any further proof, but we now have confirmation from the courts that Mr. Ford broke the law yet again with this assault on the environment.

“It looks like Mr. Ford will do anything his buddies want — no matter what it costs the rest of us, or how legal it is. Continue reading