Category Archives: Uncategorized

Niagara Falls MPP presses Ontario’s Wynne government to stand up for auto industry

 News from the Office of Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates

Niagara Falls Riding MPP Wayne Gages in Ontario legislature. File photo

Queen’s Park, Toronto  – During question period this September 21st, NDP Transportation critic and Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates questioned the Liberal government regarding the ongoing strike at the Ingersoll CAMI automotive plant, which has raised concerns about automotive jobs leaving the province for production sites in Mexico.

“There are close to 3,000 CAMI auto workers who have been on strike in Ingersoll since last week. I visited them last night,” said Gates. “It’s obvious this province has no auto strategy, which means companies across Ontario can close and move production to Mexico, simply to maximize their profits. This hurts workers and the communities they live in.” Continue reading

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Significant Wildlife Declines revealed across Canada in new World Wildlife Fund study|  

Read this report and think Thundering Waters

One of the actions we need to take to stop the decimation of wildlife, according to the study – “Expanding Canada’s network of protected areas” – not gut or reduce them!

We have to quit focusing on writing these obituaries for nature,” she added. “Because what we really need is to start problem solving.” – Julia Baum, a marine biologist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia

An Alarming Report from World Wildlife Fund – Canada

Posted September 14th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword to this report from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – While you are reading through the findings and recommendations in this disturbing report, think about natural places like Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara – a sanctuary, now under assault, for some of the last remaining wetlands, forests and savannah grasses, and one to a diversity of birds, amphibians and other wildlife in our region of Ontario – and think about the all too many elected leaders in Niagara who are prepared to gut this area in the name of growth and prosperity.

One of the many frogs those camping in and visiting Thundering Waters Forest earlier this August spotted in the wetlands. Photo courtesy of Owen Bjorgan

Think about the fact that we can and should elect leaders that have the will and vision to bring growth and prosperity to our Niagara region without gutting what is left of our precious places for nature and wildlife.

One of the recommendations in this World Wildlife Fund-Canada report speaks to the need across Ontario and the rest of the country for more “citizen-based conservation,” and goes on to read – “By helping to monitor wildlife as citizen scientists and protect and restore habitats, individuals taking action collectively will help reverse the decline of wildlife.” Continue reading

Health-Threatening Antidepressant Drugs Found In Fish Brains In Niagara River, Great Lakes Region

“The drugs enter rivers and lakes in Great Lakes region from treatment plants and sewage overflows, threatening aquatic life, University of  Buffalo scientists say

A News release from Charlotte Hsu, University of Buffalo

Posted September 5th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note to this from NAL reporter and publisher Doug Draper – Recurring  discharges of pollution  to the Niagara River this summer from Niagara Falls, New York’s municipal wastewater plant, news I’ve heard in recent years of a possible increase in toxic chemicals in fish and freshwater mussels downstream from major toxic waste dumps along the Niagara River, and now the following disturbing news I hope you all read from researchers at the University of Buffalo.

Unfortunately, all of this takes me back to my first years, more than 35 years ago, as a reporter covering emerging pollution issues in the Niagara River and Great Lakes.

And just as unfortunately, this time out we seem to have government bodies on the Ontario side of the Niagara River that are supposed to have some responsibility for environmental protection and conservation apparently  MISSING IN ACTION.

Stay tune to much more about these issues in Niagara At Large in the days and weeks ahead.)

BUFFALO, New York.— Human antidepressants are building up in the brains of bass, walleye and several other fish common to the Great Lakes region, scientists say.

In a new study, researchers detected high concentrations of these drugs and their metabolized remnants in the brain tissue of 10 fish species found in the Niagara River. Continue reading

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

And will a new south Niagara hospital ever get built?

A News Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted July 12th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

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

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

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

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

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

Join citizens who are ‘standing up’ our Great Lakes

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

Posted July 7th, 217 on Niagara At Large

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Doug Draper

Posted June 29th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

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