Category Archives: Uncategorized

Niagara’s Wetlands Deserve at least 30 Metres of Protection from Bad Planning and Greed

The Provincially Significant Wetlands in Thundering Waters Forest – in the long-troubled waters of our Bi-National Niagara River Watershed – Should Not Be Paved Around At All!

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

Posted February 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Let me segue into yet another call for saving Thundering Waters Forest and the rich abundance of wetlands inside this jewel of a place in our bi-national Niagara River watershed this way.

A look inside the wetlands-rich Thundering Waters Forest in the Niagara River watershed.

At a meeting this past February 12th of Niagara Region’s planning and economic development committee, Wayne Redekop, a member of the committee and Mayor of the Town of Fort Erie, said the following before the committee was about to defer any decision on a request by Ontario’s wine industry to relax rules over what then can do on Niagara Escarpment lands – some of which are designated, through the United Nations, as a globally significant “biosphere reserve.”

Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop believes that in this age of climate change, our region has to do everything possible to save what is left of our natural heritage

“Our interest is obviously in ensuring that we have a vibrant economy,” Redekop told fellow members of the committee. “But we also have an interest in ensuring that we protect natural heritage features.”

“And for as long as I have been here,” he added, “we have heard people talk about what a great area Niagara is to live, to do business and to raise a family. And I am trying to get my head around how do we do that if we don’t have some regard for what people really do think is significant about Niagara. And that is our natural heritage.”

“With all of the stuff that is happening with respect to climate change, the Fort Erie mayor concluded, “with the significance of biodiversity, I am really not supportive of …eroding the natural heritage area that we’ve got in Niagara, whether it is NEC, whether it is the greenbelt, whether it is the wetlands in Fort Erie.  I think we’ve got to keep our eye on the ball.” Continue reading

This Black History Month, Ontario’s Niagara Parks is Hosting its First Black History Symposium

Saturday, February 29th from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m, at the Historic Queenston Chapel

An Invite to All from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted February 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Park’s Queenston Chapel on 29 Queenston St., in Queenston, Niagara-onthe-Lake, Ontario, where the symposium will be held

Queenston, Ontario – Niagara Parks will host its first Black History Symposium at the historic Queenston Chapel on Saturday, February 29 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., bringing together leading community historians and commentators specializing in black history and culture.

Learn how the Niagara region played host to some of Canada’s most poignant stories of courage and freedom through three different perspectives: Continue reading

2019 Second Hottest Year on Record for our Planet, United Nations confirms

“Unfortunately, we expect to see much extreme weather throughout 2020 and the coming decades, fuelled by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”                     – Petteri Taalas, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas 

Breaking News from the United Nations on the Climate Emergency our Planet is now facing

One of the signs at a “Climate Action” rally held in St. Catharines/Niagara last September, 2019, while world leaders gathered at the United Nations for a climate summit. File photo by Marie Cipryk

Posted January 15th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

2019 was the second warmest year on record after 2016, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

“The average global temperature has risen by about 1.1°C since the pre-industrial era and ocean heat content is at a record level,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.  

 “On the current path of carbon dioxide emissions, we are heading towards a temperature increase of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by the end of century.”  Continue reading

Brock U. To Join National Moment Of Silence For Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752

News from Brock University in St. Catharines/Niagara

Posted January 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – On Wednesday, January 15th at 1 p.m., Brock University will join other post-secondary institutions across the country in a moment of silence to remember the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752.

Universities across Canada will mark one week since the devastating crash that claimed the lives of 176 people, including 57 Canadians and many from the country’s university community.

Brock held a vigil on Friday and lowered the flags in front of Schmon Tower to half-mast, and on Wednesday, the community will join in remembering the victims with a moment of silence during a brief ceremony in the Rankin Family Pavilion starting just prior to 1 p.m.

Some of the faces of those who perished in the crash.

We realize not everyone will be able to attend, so Brock encourages faculty, staff and students to consider honouring the moment of silence in classrooms, offices or wherever you are at that time.

 

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

 

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

 

For More News And Commentary From Niagara At Large – An independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara Region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at  www.niagaraatlarge.com .

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

New Poll Finds Canadians Do Not Trust Nuclear Energy and Reactors

“The Emergency Alert about an incident at Pickering Nuclear Generating Station brings home how vulnerable people and our environment are to nuclear contamination and how unprepared the public is to respond to a real nuclear accident in Canada.” – Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Canada

Ontario’s Pickering Nuclear Power Plant, along the north shores of Lake Ontario near Toronto

News  from Friends of the Earth Canada

Posted January 14, 2020 on Niagara At Large

The false alert that had countless thousands of people rattled for a little while this January 12th. There are some calls for a full investigation of this incident

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada  – In a national poll administered this month to over 2000 Canadians, Friends of the Earth Canada finds strong concerns over the threat of contamination by nuclear reactors and nuclear energy to local drinking water and neighbourhood safety and security.

More than eight out of ten (82%) Canadians are concerned about nuclear spills that would contaminate drinking water and almost eight out of ten (77%) cite concerns about neighbourhood safety and security risks close to nuclear plants.

Ontario’s Ford government would rather have more than this than wind energy farms, which it is working to tear down

Respondents were asked if the provincial governments of Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan were on the right path by selecting small modular nuclear reactors to deal with climate change.  Seven out of ten younger respondents (70%), aged 18-34, said it is the wrong path while more than six out of ten (63%) Canadians aged 35-64 also said it’s the wrong path.

“The Emergency Alert about an incident at Pickering Nuclear Generating Station brings home how vulnerable people and our environment are to nuclear contamination and how unprepared the public is to respond to a real nuclear accident in Canada,” says Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Canada.  “Our polling results show that a majority of Canadians feel the small nuclear option is the wrong path to deal with climate change.”  

Oracle Poll Research conducted the 2,094 person national poll on behalf of Friends of the Earth Canada in January 2020 (margin of error for total N=2094 sample is ± 2.1%, 19 times out of 20).

Friends of the Earth Canada (www.foecanada.org) is the Canadian member of Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest grassroots environmental network campaigning on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues.

For a more detailed report on the poll results, click on – file:///C:/Users/owner/AppData/Local/Temp/FOE%20Omnibus%20Report_Jan13.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 Reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For More News And Commentary From Niagara At Large – An independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara Region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at http://www.niagaraatlarge.com .

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

Ford’s Tories Continue to Make Ontario’s Autistic Kids and Their Families Wait and Wait and Wait for the Help they so Urgently Need

“Your government seems to have no sympathy or understanding for the incredible strain that it (autism) puts these families under, both emotionally and financially.”                                       – Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch, in an Open Letter to Ontario Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Todd Smith

An Open Letter from Niagara Centre’s NDP MPP Jeff Burch, with  Foreword and Afterword Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter Doug Draper

Posted January 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Foreword by Doug Draper

Since taking the oath of office in June 2018, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly boasted that he was going to run a “government for the people.”

Indeed, Ford has used the mantra “for the people” so often in front of the word “party” or “government,” that you almost have to be reminded that it is the old “Progressive Conservative Party” and it is a “Progressive Conservative Government” that is very light on the “Progressive,” that he is actually talking about.

And exactly what “people” Ford is talking about when he brags about running a “government for the people” continues to be a subject of debate.

It certainly doesn’t seem to include adults and children struggling to get the assistance they need to deal with a diagnosis of autism in their families, and make sure there is adequate and reliable coverage for the therapy a diagnosed child requires to live a happy and productive life.

For most of the past 12 months Ford’s Conservatives – his so-called “government for the people” – have been in power in Ontario, all families living with autism in their family have been getting is stories about cuts and changes to programs to help people with autism, as if with this issue, like so many others, Ford’s Tories never really had a coherent plan to begin with.

Joe Serianni of Welland and his four-year-old son Ashton, who was diagnosed a year ago with autism. Like thousands of other families across Ontario, the Serrianni family is still waiting for funding assistance from the province for urgently-need therapy for addressing the developmental challenge.

One of the many thousands of families across Ontario facing this government-manufactured mess is the Serianni family in Welland who have a four-year-old son Ashton, who was diagnosed with autism close to a year ago when he was still three, and has been receiving therapy at Bethesda Services, an agency in neighbouring Thorold that provides therapeutic services to children and adults with developmental challenges.

According to Ashton’s dad, Joe, the services Bethesda is providing have been very helpful, but the problem for the Serianni family, like so many others across the province, is this.

The Seriannis have so far been paying out of their own pockets – as much as they say they now can – for Ashton’s therapy, and almost a year after he was diagnosed and began his therapy sessions, they still haven’t received a single penny of assistance from Ford’s ‘government for the people’. Continue reading

Niagara-on-the-Lake Citizens Group SORE Scores Decisive Win in Battle Over Controversial Development

“This (court) decision is a watershed moment for NOTL generally and in particular for the many hundreds of residents appalled by the Marotta Randwood proposals and the decimation of landscape features last November by the Marotta group.”              – Save Our Rand Estate (SORE)

News from A Better Niagara, a Niagara-based citizens watchdog group

Posted January 13th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The citizens’ group Save Our Rand Estate (SORE) and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, have won a big victory over the Marotta development group. Read what SORE had to say about Friday’s (January 10th, 2020) Superior Court ruling below.

Once again, having good people elected to Council (NOTL was one of the Region’s municipalities that saw significant turnover during the 2018 municipal election), and having engaged, organized citizens, has proved to be an effective one-two punch in wresting control of how our communities develop away from private interests. Congratulations to Council and to the citizens who gave their support to SORE. Continue reading