Category Archives: Uncategorized

In Trumpland, Death Count Is Now 100,000 and Counting!

Thank You Mr. Prime Minister, for Your Part in Keeping the Canada-U.S. Border Closed to Non-Essential Travel At Least Until June 21st

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

Posted May 26th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A profile of two “leaders” at U.S. Memorial Day services – Trump with no mask, and the Democratic Party’s presidential hopeful, Joe Biden, wearing one.

The United States has passed another tragic milestone in this time of COVID-19 – one that doesn’t appear to rattle – not even a wit – the millions of mask-shunning Trumpies across the “land of liberty” where, so the thinking seems to go; ‘To hell with the common good. I should be able to do whatever I want.”

“And oh, by the way, how is my investment portfolio doing?”

The startling front page of this Sunday, May 24th, New York Times. No pictures and the names of the COVID victims just goes on and on, spilling over to inside pages of the newspaper

Barely more than three days after a Sunday edition of The New York Times, under a headline that read; ‘U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, An Incalculable Loss’, and just two days after American cable networks broadcast split screen images of U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his wife Jill, wearing masks as they laid a wreath for Memorial Day in their home state of Delaware, and of Trump and his water boy, Mike Pence, at Arlington National Cemetery, not wearing one, the COVID death toll in America has, as of the afternoon of this May 27th, 2020 surpassed that grim six digit figure.

“One hundred thousand, “ read an editorial in the New York Times that accompanied four pages of the names, ages and short tributes to a mere 1,000 of the deceased.  “The immensity of such a sudden toll taxes our ability to comprehend, to understand that each number adding up to 100,000 represents someone among us just yesterday.” Continue reading

City of St. Catharines Council Waives Fees For Seasonal Patios In Bid To Support Businesses

“This is a simple way for the City to support our establishments who are being hit hard by this pandemic. We have to be proactive instead of waiting”                                                                                     – St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik.

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

Posted May 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario  – As the economy slowly begins to restart, St. Catharines City Council is directing support to local restaurants.

Downtown St. Catharines, where sidewalk patios have become more popular in recent years

Recognizing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses such as the restaurants in the City’s downtown core, on Wednesday Council voted to waive all fees associated with patios operated seasonally in outdoor areas adjacent to businesses. The decision will allow businesses with seasonal patios to be prepared once the Ontario government allows them to reopen. The process to apply for a patio remains the same. Continue reading

As Ontario Reopens, People Urged to Continue Following Public Health Advice

Face Coverings Now Recommended When Physical Distancing is a Challenge

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

“Now that we are in Stage 1 of our Framework for Reopening the Province, more people will be returning to workplaces, going to stores and parks, and using public transit. I strongly urge everyone to continue following the public health advice, such as physical distancing and restricting gatherings to five people or less. Although we are making progress, COVID-19 is still a risk that we must guard against. Please stay safe and protect yourself and others.”               – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A COVID-19 Update from the Office of the Ontario Premier

Posted May 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — As the Ontario government carefully and gradually reopens the province, those taking public transit, returning to work or going out shopping are being urged to continue to adhere to public health advice as the best line of defence against COVID-19.

To assist the public,Ontario  the Ministry of Health this week released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible, along with additional safety measures for provincial transit agencies. Continue reading

With U.S.-Canada Border Restrictions Extended, Buffalo, New York area Congressman Asks Governments to Examine Essential Travel Allowances

Congressman Brian Higgins Encourages Planning for a Reopening that Protects Public Health While Reinvigorating Commerce

Canada-U.S Governments Announce Decision This May 19th to Extend Border Closing to all but Essential Travel until last week of June

News from the Buffalo, New York Office of Democratic Party Congressman Brian Higgins

Posted May 22nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins

Buffalo, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), who serves as Co-Chair of the House of Representatives’ Northern Border Caucus is asking U.S. and Canada leaders to re-examine the scope of those provided essential travel status as communities on each side of the border begin reopening measures.

On March 24 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) imposed travel restrictions at Land Ports of Entry between the United States and Canada, limiting crossings to “essential travel” due to the ongoing pandemic. A second notice extended travel restrictions through May 20. Earlier this week the U.S. and Canada agreed to extend northern border restrictions through 11:59pm on June 22, 2020.

Under the current order, “essential travel” includes: Continue reading

‘Unconscionable’ – Ontario NDP Opposition Leader on Ford Blocking Long-Term Care Inquiry

Ford’s PC MPPs voted unanimously against NDP Leader Andrea Horwath Motion To Launch Find-And-Fix Public Inquiry

A Statement from Ontario NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted May 20th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Official Opposition and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement after the Ford government voted down an NDP motion (tabled this May 19th) calling for a full, independent public inquiry into Ontario’s long-term care system:

“It’s unconscionable for the Ford government to refuse to launch a full, independent public inquiry into how badly Ontario’s long-term care system has failed vulnerable seniors, and how to fix it.

“Voting no to a public inquiry is salt in the wound of families grieving the loss of loved ones to COVID-19 in long-term care, and for health care heroes who are run off their feet and still pleading for personal protective equipment. It is a cause for us all to worry that the painful, dangerous, decades-in-the-making problems in long-term care are not going to change. Continue reading

A Belated Goodbye to Wilma Morrison, a Niagara, Ontario Treasure

Wilma Morrison, a champion for heritage preservation, the go-to person on Black History in Niagara, and a beautiful human being, died this April. She was 91.

A Brief Tribute by Doug Draper, reporter and publisher, Niagara At Large

Posted May 20th, 2020

Wilma Morrison

I’m so sorry, Wilma, I am late again.

The first time I met this wonderful lady, more than 20 years ago, she was waiting for me in her beloved BME Church, Nathaniel Dett Memorial Chapel on Peer Street in Niagara Falls, and I was a reporter, still working for a daily newspaper in Niagara, assigned to do a story on Black History Month, and I was late.

I was late because the newspaper by then expected what few reporters they had left to do four stories at the same time, but when I got there and apologized for keeping her, Wilma Morrison greeted me with such a kind smile and said it was okay. Continue reading

New York State Turns Down Enbridge’s Fracked Gas Pipeline. Ontario Should Too

“It’s time for Ontario to take a page from the New York playbook and make it clear that a new gas supply pipeline through southern Ontario is going nowhere, permanently.”

Sign The Petition At The Bottom of This Post

A Call-Out from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, a non-profit citizens advocacy group for a clean environment

Posted May 20th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

New York State is giving Ontario a lesson in weighing the costs and benefits of new natural gas infrastructure.

The State just refused to approve a new fracked gas pipeline stating “New York is not prepared to sacrifice the State’s water quality for a project that is not only environmentally harmful but also unnecessary to meet New York’s energy needs.”

The exact same statement could be made about Enbridge’s proposal to build a new fracked gas pipeline through Hamilton, Ontario. Continue reading

Niagara’ Greater Chamber of Commerce Hosts Webinar On Future of Post-Secondary Education

Join the Webinar, in a Q&A Featuring the Presidents of Niagara College and Brock University, this Thursday, May 21st from 10 to 11 A.M.

An Invite to You from the host of this Webinar event, the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Posted May 20th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Participate in a Webinar  with Brock President & Vice-Chancellor Gervan Fearon and Niagara College President Sean Kennedy

The moderator of this webinar even is Niagara Greater Niagara Chamber CEO Mishka Balsom

Featuring: Brock University President & Vice-Chancellor Gervan Fearon and Niagara College President Sean Kennedy, and moderated by Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) President and CEO  Mishka Balsom.

What: A webinar interview and Q&A with the presidents of Niagara’s post-secondary institutions on the impact of COVID-19 on their operations, on Niagara, and on the future of post-secondary education.

When: May 21st, 2020, 10am-11am.

Where: The webinar can be accessed here (https://connect.gncc.ca/e2t/sc2/Mm-nFbjTcKwW7brW8j8B6rddW7VkCZD9dMQ_3W6B8Qgr5NpBb2f1HVPN203 ) . Attendance is free and open to anyone. Continue reading

Canada-U.S. Border Remains Closed to Non-Essential Travel

Prime Minister Announces Border Will Remain Closed for at least Another 30 Days

Canada-U.S. border crossings like this will remain this void of traffic now until at least the last week of June

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

Posted May 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Major border crossing like the Peace Bridge have been closed to all but essential, mostly commercial trucking traffic since the last week of March

With less than two days to go to the latest May 21st deadline, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced during his COVID news briefing this May 19th that an agreement has been reached with the United States to keep the shared border closed to non-essential traffic for at least another 30 days.

That now takes us to on or about June 21st – a full three months after the border crossings were first closed to all but essential, mostly commercial-oriented traffic – before the earliest possible re-opening of the Peace Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge and other border crossings to those of us who would like to go back to visiting our friends and relatives, and some of our favourite places in each other’s countries.

I don’t know about your thoughts on this (and if you want you can share them below), but I have my own mixed feelings. Continue reading

A Look at the Rich Beauty of Our Wetlands and Why We Must Work to Preserve Them

Protecting Snapping Turtles and Other Wetland Species

By Jocelyn Baker, a professional in the field of conservation, living in Niagara, Ontario

Posted May 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Wetlands are beautiful habitats where many unique species of animals can be found. We are all able to help protect and conserve these critically important ecosystems.

We are still fortunate enough to have some provincially significant wetlands in the Niagara River watershed. We need to work together as communities to protect and  preserve them for future generations.

In Ontario, most of our important wetlands have been mapped and are protected through various regulations. Wetlands that support critical habitat and species are called Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSW) and are protected from development and disturbance.

However, simply drawing a line around a wetland and saying it is “protected” is not enough to ensure the protection and survival of the species it contains. Continue reading

Ontario Government Announces Independent Commission into Long-Term Care

Government Commits to Improving System Following COVID-19 Outbreak

News from the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care, with an Afterword from Niagara At Large reporter Doug Draper

Posted May 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — This Tuesday, May 19th Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, issued the following statement in response to the impact of COVID-19 in Ontario’s long-term care homes:

“Our government has been clear that we will review the long-term care system to get a better understanding of the impacts and responses to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Today (this May 19th), I am announcing that we will be launching an independent commission into Ontario’s long-term care system beginning in September. Continue reading

FINALLY – Some Good News for Our Neighbours in the Buffalo, Western New York Area

Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Governor Cuomo Announces Sixth Region Hits Benchmark to Begin Reopening (this May 19th)

New York State Governor brings some hopeful news to the Buffalo area during a news conference at Roswell Park Hospital this May 18th

News from the Office of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

Posted May 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

Buffalo, New York – State Department of Health has Granted Erie County Medical Center a Waiver to Restart Elective Procedures.

  • Announces New Efforts to Bring More Tests to Nursing Home Facilities to Help Meet New Guidelines Requiring All Nursing Home Employees Be Tested Twice Per Week
  • Encourages Major Sports Teams to Plan Reopening Without Fans
  • Confirms 1,250 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State – Bringing Statewide Total to 351,371; New Cases in 44 Counties

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo announced that Western New York has met all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state’s regional phased reopening plan starting tomorrow, joining the Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley Regions. Continue reading

Trump, COVID-19 and a Profile In Naked Madness and Stupidity

Featuring a Video Produced by The Atlantic called; ‘Donald Trump – A Study in Leadership’

Letting loose between toilet tweets

A Brief Commentary, followed by a Video that is a Must-Watch for all Canadians Wondering If And When We Should Re-Open the Canada-U.S. Border  

Posted May 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

The Atlantic has recently come out with what should be a disturbing video to many in his own country and around the world titled; ‘Donald Trump – A Study in Leadership.

Not a very flattering portrait of the self-describe “stable genius,” but a very generous title, in Canadian border area resident’s view. Continue reading

An Urgent Lesson for Niagara on How Destroying Nature’s Biodiversity Promotes Pandemics

Watch The Interview Below, Then Try to Make the Case for Urbanizing Havens for Biodiversity in Niagara Like Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls and Waverly Woods in Fort Erie

A Few Words of Introduction from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Award-winning science reporter and her 2016 book Pandemic. She makes the case for why we have to save places like Thundering Waters and Waverly Woods in Niagara, Click on the link for the interview below.

This May 17th , on his weekly CNN program, GPS (an acronym for Global Public Square), American journalist and political scientist Fareed Zakaria featured as one of his guests Sonia Shah, an investigative journalist who has spent years covering infectious diseases and pandemics, and whose 2016 book ‘Pandemic’ should have been a warning call to our political leaders before the nightmare of COVID-19 came along.

During her interview with Fareed Zakaria, Sonia Shah spent time talking about how the loss of natural habitat and biodiversity promotes the spread of infectious diseases like the one that is ravaging the health and economies of the world now. Continue reading

A Proud Cross-Canada Flyover for Snowbirds Turns Tragic

“For the past two weeks, the Snowbirds have been flying across the country to lift up Canadians during these difficult times. … Their flyovers across the country put a smile on the faces of Canadians everywhere and make us proud.”                                     – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper followed by a Statement issued this May 18th, 2020 by Canada’s Prime Minister

Posted May 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

A Commentary by Doug Draper

I’ve never been much for shows of military or para-military strength. Often, they have even repulsed me, and even if it is our own Canadians forces, have left me with thoughts like; “Okay, this sure looks awesome. But what if some leader with an authoritarian bent decides to turn it on us? It’s not as if there aren’t truckloads of historic precedence for that.”

Canada’s Golden Hawks, flying over the lower Niagara River, sometimes more than 50 years ago.

Yet, I have to make a confession. Since I was a wee little kid, there has always been a proud spot in my heart for Canada’s great air show or aerobatic teams which like it or not, were military based.

My introduction to the great Canadian air show was an Air Force team of breathtaking daredevils, soaring through the skies in Korean War-vintage Sabre Jets, called ‘The Golden Hawks’. Continue reading

A Statement by Canada’s Prime Minister on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves the rainbow flag as he attends the annual pride parade in Montreal, Sunday, August 14, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

“Today, … we join Canadians and people everywhere to support LGBTQ2 rights, and speak out against the stigma, discrimination, and violence that continue to affect LGBTQ2 communities here in Canada and around the world.”                         – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Posted May 17th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia:

“Today (this Sunday, May 17th), on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, we join Canadians and people everywhere to support LGBTQ2 rights, and speak out against the stigma, discrimination, and violence that continue to affect LGBTQ2 communities here in Canada and around the world.

“This year’s theme in Canada, ‘Family support is essential: Send love to your LGBTQ+ relatives,’ recognizes the importance of support networks for LGBTQ2 individuals who continue to face stigma and discrimination for simply being themselves. Continue reading

Happy Birthday To One of Niagara’s Most Decent Public Servants

Happy Birthday Bill Hodgson

A Brief Tribute and Happy Birthday Wish to former public school board member, then former Lincoln mayor, then former Niagara regional councillor for Lincoln, and a former member of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors, censored by the former NPCA board of Sandy Annunziata, but remembered in the eyes of Niagara’s public at large as a board member of high principle – BILL HODGSON

From Doug Draper

Posted May 16th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

So courtesy of those pop-up Facebook messages I receive, which I normally find quite annoying because, on so many levels, I don’t like Facebook has done to real newspapers and to the civility of public discourse, I am going to let Sylvester, one of my all-time favourite cats, out of the bag, and wish one of my all-time favourite public servants in Niagara, Ontario a Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday, this May 16th, to Bill Hodgson. And Bill, I have no idea how old you are but, in this journalist’s view anyway, you are never too old to take a run for another term in any public office you choose.

I am sure that many Niagara residents who care about honesty and decency in public office would welcome you back. Continue reading

What A Fucking Evil Madman Trump Is!

Some of You Dispute My Argument That We Canadians Should Keep The Canada-U.S. Border Closed Indefinitely?

Just Watch The Video Below. I Rest My Case

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper, Niagara At Large

Posted May 15th, 2020

I’ve had more than a few comments already to a commentary I put on Niagara At Large earlier today, almost pleading to our Prime Minister that he keep the Canada-U.S. border closed, possibly until the end of this year.

Not till the end of the year, some have responded to me. I want to cross.

My response is so do I, but I’m more worried about the Trump nuts that don’t give a shit about social distancing and might come over here, to Canada, and trigger an outbreak of this nightmare again.

The self-described “stable genius” in the White House, gives those of us who choose to disagree with anything he says or does the you know what.

If you think I am wrong, just watch this recent madness from Donald Trump, talking about moving forward with business – pandemic or no pandemic – and actually speaking out against testing because testing my reveal that there are more COVID-19 cases.  

To watch something far less funny than Dr. Strangelove and far more dangerously insane, yet remains something that the millions of screwballs in America who continue support this nut actually see as perfectly okay, click on the screen below –

A Footnote from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large – Here is the link to the Commentary I posted on NAL earlier, on the need to keep the Canada-U.S. border indefinitely closed – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/05/15/dear-mr-prime-minister-please-keep-the-canada-u-s-border-closed-all-year-if-necessary/

Further to this, and if you need any further information on how dangerous the United States has become under Trump, in this age of COVID-19, here is a piece I saw on the MSNBC pr0gram this Friday, May 15. Later on, Linda Babb posted it on her great Niagara area onside Facebook page, The Peoples’ Platform.

Please watch it right through to the end so you can here what a renown expert on international affairs, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University in New York City has to say, and once again, I rest my case on my plea to keep the Canada-U.S. border closed.

To watch the Morning Joe segment, click on the screen below –

Okay, now come tell me we shouldn’t keep the Canada-U.S. border closed to Trumpies.

We need to keep our entrance ways to Canada from Trumpland closed.

There is no damn way that Canadians, who have sacrificed so much over the past many weeks to drive the Coronavirus curve down, should allow people who think this killer virus is some kind of a hoax or joke to drive it across our border.

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

Dear Mr. Prime Minister, Please Keep the Canada-U.S. Border Closed All Year, If Necessary!

We Don’t Need America’s Trumpies Driving More of the Killer Virus Up Here.

“While there is no end to the peril, dozens of U.S. states are planning to reopen this month, undaunted by a steep trajectory of newly sickened people. …. This is a threat to Canada.”                  – from a May 9th Editorial in The Globe and Mail, titled; ‘Dear America – You’re Sick. Don’t Visit Us’.

If you are with this guy – the virus is a “hoax,” it’s nothing more than a “mild flu,” trying injecting disinfectant” while I “liberate your states,”  and real Americans don’t need to get tested or wear masks – then please don’t come visit! If you want to set yourselves up for a second, possible more deadly wave of this plague, keep it over there.

A Call-Out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted May 15th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Dear America, you’re sick alright.

A proud “Trump girl” joins the protests against protective measures.

Whatever ‘Make America Great Again’ may mean, you’ve got the largest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 of any nation in the world and the largest number of deaths, with more than 85,000 as of this posting, and expected to surpass 100,000 before the end of this month.

And yet more than half the states in the U.S. are hanging up ‘Re-Open for Business’ sign, swinging open doors to bars, restaurants, casinos, gun shops and so on, even while the case counts and death counts related to Coronavirus continue to climb.

It is party time again in packed bars in Wisconsin, which is just a few hours drive away from the Canadian border. Do we really want these people coming up here in the middle of a pandemic?

“Whoo-eee,” shouted one big, bearded guy in a packed bar in Wisconsin when the shutters were removed the doors after a Republican dominated state court ruled against the governor’s desire to extend the shutdown. Raising an arm and hand to his mouth as if he were about to guzzle a mug of beer, the same guy, yelled; “America is back!”

America is back? What in hell does that mean?

Continue reading

Ontario Government Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen in Niagara and other Regions of Province

Additional Seasonal, Retail and Household Businesses Must Follow Public Health Guidelines

News from the Constituency Office of Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Posted May 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

With other ministers standing behind him, Ontario Premier Doug Ford continues to announce a slow re-opening of businesses and other venues across the province

BEAMSVILLE, Ontario – This Thursday, May 14th, the Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government’s reopening framework.

The workplaces opening as part this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services. Continue reading

Ontario’s NDP calls for Committee to Ensure a Safe Return to Work

“As Ontario develops a recovery plan and workplaces start to re-open, the provincial government must take urgent action to better protect workers.” – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

News from Wayne Gates Niagara Falls Constituency Office and Ontario’s Official Opposition New Democrats

Posted May 13th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates in Ontario legislature

MPP Jamie West, NDP Critic for Labour Relations and MPP Wayne Gates, NDP Critic for Workplace Health and Safety, are calling on the Ford government to create a Workplace Safety Readiness Committee responsible for ensuring Ontarians can return to work safely.

“As Ontario develops a recovery plan and workplaces start to re-open, the provincial government must take urgent action to better protect workers,” said Gates.

The Workplace Safety Readiness Committee would be empowered to provide strong recommendations that could be immediately implemented to facilitate a safe transition back to a fully functioning economy. It would allow Ontarians to be confident that when workplaces re-open, they will have the tools, resources, and PPE they need to stay safe and healthy. Continue reading

New Data Shows Majority of Ontarians Believe Mental Health Crisis Will Follow COVID-19 Impact

‘Nearly everyone (90 per cent) is concerned about COVID-19’s impact on the economy and 69 per cent of Ontarians are concerned about the impact the outbreak has on their personal finances’.                                                                                                        – from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario report

News from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario

Posted May 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Toronto, Ontario – Seven out of 10 Ontarians (69 per cent) believe the province is headed for a “serious mental health crisis” as it emerges from this pandemic and nearly eight out of 10 (77 per cent) say more mental health supports will be necessary to help society, according to new poll results released today.

This data comes from the first of three polls Pollara Strategic Insights is conducting on behalf of Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division.

CMHA Ontario is looking to evaluate how Ontarians’ perceptions of their mental health are changing as they come out from underneath the pandemic. Two more surveys will follow in the coming months as restrictions loosen around COVID-19 and the economy continues to re-open. Continue reading

A Few More Thoughts on the Fragility of Democracy on the 75th Anniversary of the Victory in Europe

A Commentary by Gary Screaton Page, a resident of Fort Erie in Niagara, Ontario

Posted May 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

World War II was a tragedy on so many fronts. On so many levels the human cost was incalculable!

So, too, the cost to our humanity. Little understood is how a nation that once birthed great music, art, writing, theology, and philosophy could so crumble to the point of raising a Hitler.

We must be vigilant. Democracy is fragile.

In spite of our pride in our nation, we are not immune in Canada to what happened in Germany in 1933, after the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act of 1933 in March that year giving expanded authority, Hindenburg had previously appointed Hitler as Chancellor on 30 January 1933 after parliamentary elections and much backroom intrigue. Continue reading

A Message that Sums Up the Madness in Trump’s America

A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper (with a little help from Joe Biden)

Posted April 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate for the U.S. presidency – the most powerful office in his country if, no longer, in the world, thanks to its current occupant – said in a Twitter message yesterday that he “can’t believe” what he felt he had so say in it.

It is truly breath-taking and speaks to how insane politics and the human condition has become in the United States, that Biden came out with a message like this.

As one who has covered politics as a journalist for some 40 years now, I certainly never dreamed that a candidate for a major office in any democracy around the world would feel compelled to send out a message like this. It is truly breath-taking.

Here it is –

And I think that just about speaks for itself. I had my say in a spoof piece I wrote and posted this April 24th on this madness.

If you missed it, here is the link  – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2020/04/24/looking-for-a-covid-cure-try-swallowing-a-flashlight-and-washing-it-down-with-some-windex-or-lysol/

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post, along with your name (not a pseudonym), in the space immediately below the Bernie Sanders quote.

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

You Can Still Catch Earth Day Live – The Virtual 50 Anniversary Call-Out for Our Planet. Watch It Here

If You Missed This Inspiring Event, Please Click On It Below

Posted by Doug Draper, Niagara At Large on April 23rd, 2020

If you missed this wonderful event streaming live this April 22nd, you can still watch it.

The 50th annual Earth Day may have come and gone this April 22nd, but it is still Earth Week in Canada, the United States and other countries around the world all week, until this April 2y6th.

So while you are home, staying safe, take a little time out to watch this.

Watch it and make a pledge to yourself and to others across our communities that coming out of this pandemic, we are going to be kinder to our life-giving natural resources.

We are going to stand up and vote ‘yes’ for our natural heritage, and we are going to vote out of office political Neanderthals like Donald Trump in the United States, Jason Kenney and Doug Ford on the provincial stage in Canada, and the Jim Diodatis right here in Niagara.

Let’s make a promise to ourselves and each other that we are going to work together to  build a greener, healthier and more prosperous future for ourselves and for generations to come.

You can watch the global Earth Day celebration, featuring some of the great minds on climate and other issues, and a host of musicians and others, by clicking on the screen immediately 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

Will COVID-19 Finally Force Canada To Crack Down On Tax Havens?

“The federal government has so far refused to deny (COVID-19) support to companies that operate in tax havens. … We’ve called on the federal government to deny funding to corporations that abuse tax havens to avoid Canadian taxes.”                                       – Canadians for Tax Fairness

A News Release from Canadians for Tax Fairness

Posted April 23th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

(Niagara At Large is posting this News Release with KUDOS to this citizens group, Canadians for Tax Fairness, for demanding that Canada’s federal government stop giving our tax dollars to corporations that either refuse or don’t want to pay taxes here.)

Pressure is mounting on governments to ensure COVID-19 funding doesn’t go to companies that exploit tax havens or use public funds to pad their profits.

They suck as much out of Canada and Canadians as they can stuff in their safes, then they take it down to a haven where they don’t pay one plug nickel in taxes. Now these deadebeats want a bailout during this pandemic. Tell Trudeau and his Liberals not to give it to them.

The government of France has just joined Denmark and Poland in not allowing corporations that operate in tax havens to benefit from its COVID19 bailout fund.  France and Denmark are also restricting corporate recipients of state aid from using funds to pay dividends and buying back their own shares.

Three weeks ago, Canadians for Tax Fairness called on the federal government to apply similar restrictions, to increase transparency and accountability over these funds, and to recover amounts that are ultimately not needed through measures such as an excess profits tax. Continue reading

Where is COVID-19 Testing for the Rest of Ontario’s Population?

A Comment from Doug Youmans, a veteran journalist living in Niagara, Ontario

Posted April 14th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword Note– Doug Youmans’ comment was originally posted in Niagara At Large this past April 10th as a response to a News Release circulated by the Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, headlined; Ontario Significantly Expanding COVID-19 testing. A link for that News Release is available below Doug Youman’s remarks)

By Doug Youmans – 

I realize the Premier made a big show (at a COVID-19 press briefing recently) of his outrage over the lack of testing, but wasn’t he the one at the controls of who got tested, how many tests were in circulation, and how much funding was in place to ensure those things were happening. Continue reading

Ontario Government Extends Business Closures to Stop Spread of COVID-19

Additional Measures Necessary to Protect the Health and Safety of the People of Ontario

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

“We are facing a critical moment in the fight against COVID-19 and we must do everything in our power to keep everyone safe and healthy and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed.”                                                                                            – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

A COVID-19 Update from the Ontario Government

Posted April 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close.

This measure is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the people of Ontario, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available.

The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.

Ontario moves to tighten its list of “essential services” to remain open. New temporary closing effective Saturday, April 4th at 11:59 p.m. Click on the ‘here’ link directly below for the updated list.

The updated essential businesses list can be found here.

“We are facing a critical moment in the fight against COVID-19 and we must do everything in our power to keep everyone safe and healthy and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed,” said Premier Ford. Continue reading

Niagara Health – Region’s Amalgamated Hospital System – Offers Temporary Free Parking at All Sites

News from Niagara Health in Niagara, Ontario

Posted April 2nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – To enhance safety and mitigate the financial burden placed on families during this time, all patients, staff and physicians now have free parking at all Niagara Health sites. This temporary measure will continue until further notice.

Parking fees have been temporarily suspended at all Niagara Health sites, including this hospital in Welland

 The decision to place a moratorium on parking fees: Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS – Niagara Region Public Health declares COVID-19 Outbreak at Retirement Home in Welland

‘Seasons Retirement Community in Welland is committed to the health and safety of  their staff and residents. They are working diligently with Niagara Region  Public Health and Emergency Services to control the outbreak.’

News from Niagara’s Regional Government in Niagara, Ontario

Posted March 27th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services is declaring an outbreak of  COVID-19 at Seasons Retirement Community in Welland after a second case of  COVID-19 was confirmed at the facility.

The first case at this facility, a resident in their 80’s, developed respiratory symptoms on Wednesday, March 18 and is currently in the hospital in stable condition.

The second resident became  symptomatic on March 23, and was subsequently taken to the hospital and tested  for COVID-19.

Seasons Retirement Community in Welland is committed to the health and safety of  their staff and residents. They are working diligently with Niagara Region  Public Health and Emergency Services to control the outbreak.

Seasons Retirement Community on First Avenue in Welland, Ontario

As this is an evolving situation, we continue to remind everyone the importance of using credible sources to stay informed. We update our website frequently as new information is confirmed.

We encourage all Niagara residents to visit our Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage  <https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/default.aspx>.

For information regarding travel, please visit the Government of Canada website  <https://travel.gc.ca/>.

Visit Ontario’s website​ <https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus> to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Niagara At Large will have more updates as new information comes in. Stay Tuned.

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

No Visitors Permitted at Niagara Health Hospital Sites Effective this March 19th at 8 p.m.

“This is a necessary measure to protect the health and well-being of our patients, reduce traffic in the hospital, and practice social distancing.” – Derek McNally, Executive Vice President of Clinical Services & Chief Nursing Executive for Niagara Health

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

Posted March 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Health’s St. Catharines hospital site

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Health is implementing a no-visitors policy effective today at 8 p.m. as part of our ongoing efforts to maintain a safe environment for our patients.

“We understand how difficult these decisions can be for our patients and families,” said Derek McNally, Executive Vice President of Clinical Services & Chief Nursing Executive for Niagara Health. “This is a necessary measure to protect the health and well-being of our patients, reduce traffic in the hospital, and practice social distancing.” Continue reading

Upcoming Public Information Centres on Tree Protection Regulations in Niagara Temporarily Cancelled

Coronavirus Outbreak Places Public Sessions on this Important Issue on Temporary Hold

A Message from Niagara’s Regional Government

Posted March 19th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Region will be back with new dates for public to meet on review of its tree protection rules.

Niagara, Ontario – Due to recent events and the temporary closure of event facilities, please note that the Public Information Centres (PICs) previously scheduled for March 24, 25, 30 and 31 have been cancelled.

Our website<https://www.niagararegion.ca/culture-and-environment/woodland-bylaw-review/default.aspx> and social media have been updated to reflect this change and newspaper notices regarding the cancellation have or will soon be published. Updates regarding rescheduled PICs, if applicable, will similarly be advertised. Continue reading

Buffalo Area Congressman Calls on Trump’s Coronavirus Czar to Urgently Provide Test Kits to Communities

Western New York is Quickly Running Out of Tests

News from the B uffalo, New York Office of U.S. Democratic Constressman Brian Higgins

Posted March 18th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York – In a letter to Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services and Coronavirus Czar, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is demanding the Administration address the urgent need for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test kits.

Higgins writes –

“This Administration should be acting in a proactive way to help communities plan to address this crisis responsibly. It is horrifying that at this time we must instead beg for your attention.  Our nation is already significantly behind the curve in our response to this public health crisis, and we cannot afford further delays in testing.”

Yesterday Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, in public communications and in discussions with Congressman Higgins, expressed concern about the dire shortage of COVID-19 testing kits.  New York State was able to provide an additional 200 tests, but that will only get the County through the next couple days. Continue reading

Looking After Our Pets During a Pandemic

A Message from the Lincoln County Humane Society (LCHS) in Niagara, Ontario
Posted March 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Lincoln County Humane Soceity (LCHS) is reminding people to remember their pets when preparing for dealing with any potential implications of Covid 19.

As this situation develops and we receive information from all forms of social media it is important to determine what arrangements should must be made.

Specifically, the LCHS reminds people to prepare for the care of their pets. Continue reading

Coronavirus Triggers Three-Week Closing of Publicly-Funded Schools in Ontario

Elementary and Secondary Schools in Province will be closed March 4th thru April 5th

“We recognize the significant impact this decision will have on families, students, schools, as well as the broader community, but this precaution is necessary to keep people safe.”                               – from a Statement issued this March 12th, 2020 by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott and Education Minister Stephen Lecce

News from the Office of the Ontario Premier

Posted March 12th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

TORONTO — Today (this March 12th), Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement in response to the impact of COVID-19 on publicly funded schools as March Break approaches:

“The health and well-being of Ontarians is our government’s number one priority.

Since we first learned of COVID-19 as an emerging public health issue, Ontario has been diligently monitoring the developing situation to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians.  We have also taken decisive action to ensure the province’s health care system is positioned to be ready for any scenario. Continue reading

Ford Tories Move to Cut Funding for Ontario’s Rape Crisis Centres

How Much Lower Can this Premier and his Conservatives Sink?

And How Many Women Are There In Ford’s Government? Shame On Them For Not Speaking Out On This One!

A look at the huge turnout at the Women’s March in Toronto in the winter of 2019. Wonder how many votes Ford and his Tory caucus members will draw from the Ontario citizens who were here?

A Statement from Ontario NDP Women’s Issues Critic Jill Andrew

Posted March 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

NDP slams Ford’s cruel cut to support for survivors

Now Ford and his government are moving to cut funding for rape crisis centres in Ontario.

QUEEN’S PARK — Jill Andrew, Ontario NDP Women’s Issues critic, released the following statement in response to news that the Doug Ford government is cutting $1 million in funding for rape crisis centres:

“Doug Ford is making a cruel cut to funding that helps rape crisis centres support survivors with services like free counseling when we know the need is only growing.”

“The Liberals waited until they were on the cusp of an election to react to #MeToo and the surge in survivors seeking support, and now Doug Ford’s Conservatives are taking things from bad to worse for survivors of rape and sexual violence. Continue reading

If You Care About Our Wetlands in Niagara, Here Is A Go-To Event For You

You Are Invited to a Community Sustainability Science Café hosted by the Brock University United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

A Free Public Gathering – This Monday (TODAY), March 2nd, 6:30 p.m. at the Welland Public Library in downtown Welland, Ontario

Posted March 2nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large

For more details, view the poster 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 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

You Are Invited to Public Forums in Niagara on Long-Term Care Challenges

An Invite to All from the Work The Hope group

Posted February 27, 2020 on Niagara At Large

If you are regularly following the news in Ontario, you already know we have challenges around having enough affordable long-term care services across Niagara and the province.

If you are interested or concerned about this issue, you may want to attend one of the following free public forums in Niagara, beginning with one at the Niagara Falls Library at 6;30 p.m. this Thursday, February at 6:30 p.m. (tonight).

Please see the poster for details immediately 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 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

Ontario’s Niagara Parks Requests Band Applications for 2020 Summer Concert Series

Applications for musical entertainment are being accepted now and up to Saturday, March 4

Got a hot band? Apply to perform at Niagara Park’s summer concert series.

A News Release from Ontario’s Niagara Parks Commission

Posted February 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls, Ontario – Niagara Parks is looking for bands to perform during its annual summer evening concert series held in Queen Victoria Park overlooking both the American and the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

The free outdoor concert series sponsored by Coca Cola provides an excellent opportunity for visitors and Niagara residents alike to experience live, family-friendly entertainment by the Falls throughout the summer months. Continue reading

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

Remembering Rush Drummer Extraordinaire Neil Peart

He Grew Up in Port Dalhousie, Niagara and went on to become a brilliant song lyricist and one of the highest-ranked drummers in the history of popular music

Drummer, Song Lyricist, Book Author and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Peart Died January 7th, 2020 at Age 67

Neil Peart at the drums where few in the world of music could match him

A Brief Tribute from one of Neil Peart’s big fans, Samuel McAdorey

Posted January 12th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

In the 2003 film School Of Rock, Jack Black’s character Dewey Finn finagled his way into a job as a private school teacher.

Finding that some of his students had real musical talent, Finn started moulding them into a rock band. To inspire the drummer, Finn gave him a copy of the album 2112 by Rush, with orders to listen to Neil Peart’s drumming technique.

Such was the stature of Peart, who went from growing up in St. Catharines to becoming the most influential rock drummer of his and following generations. To other drummers he was known as The Professor, in honour of his inventive and intricate drumming style.

To his legions of fans around the world, he showed that drumming was about much more than simply establishing the tempo.

His fills in the music of Rush filled the spaces that lead guitarists normally would fill in other bands, and his song lyrics captured the imagination of so many fans who were looking for more than reminders of the banality of everyday life.

A true visionary has passed.

Rest in Peace, Neil.

Samuel (Uel) McAdorey is a Niagara, Ontario resident and a serious follower of good music who is also a big fan of the band Rush

On the Late Show with David Letterman in 2011, showing the world why he was already ranked by music critics as one of the best drummers in the world –

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

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Needs A Chair That Takes Climate Change Seriously

In 2020, Niagara’s Conservation Authority needs leadership that has a firm understanding of and unwavering determination to address one of the most serious threats  our ecosystem faces in the 21st Century

It’s Time for David Bylsma to Hang Up his Hat as the Conservation Authority’s Chair

Parent’s citizens group for climate action says it is time for David Bylsma to say goodbye to his seat as Chair of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors

A  Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher          Doug Draper

Posted January 11th, 2020 on Niagara At Large 

A new Niagara-based group of young people and their parents, calling themselves ‘For Our Kids Niagara’ and flagging a tagline; ‘Connecting Parents to Climate Change’, has publicly put out a call (along with a petition you can click on below) to members of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s (NPCA’s) board of director to not  re-appoint West Lincoln Mayor David Bylsma as the board’s Chair.

NPCA board chair David Bylsma’s Christian Heritage Party calls the the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary on climate change, produced by former U.S. vice-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner and climate action activist Al Gore, an example of “seriously distorted propaganda campaigns.”

The key reason the group gives for making this call is that Bylsma, who is also president of Canada’s Christian Heritage Party (CHP), a fringe political party that openly discards any idea that human activities play a significant role in climate change, and that goes on to accuse those who make a case for human activities playing a role in climate change of perpetuating a  “phoney crisis.” 

“As party member and national president of the Christian Heritage Party (CHP),” states the group For Our Kids in its petition calling on the NPCA board to elect a new Chair, “Bylsma has stated publicly that CO2 emissions do not pose a threat to the environment, and that the science of the (United Nations’) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (the largest global collaboration of climate scientists) is illegitimate.”

In a world facing a  climate emergency that needs to be taken seriously by all of us, says the group. the NPCA and its board need a Chair “who is in touch with the realities of a changing climate. … We have no time left to play host to politicians who delay action on climate change,” insists the group. “We need leadership now!” Continue reading

Demanding to Know ‘True Cost’ of Ford Government’s War on Wind Energy

Ontario Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

Ontario’s NDP Leader  calls on Ford to let province’s Auditor General probe cost, justification for ripping down wind farm

“Ontarians deserve to know the truth. And we need it quickly. Doug Ford’s war on the environment is putting us all in danger, and everyday Ontarians are footing a massive bill for it.”                                         – Ontario’s NDP and Official Opposition Party Leader Andrea  Horwath

A News Release from Ontario’s Official Opposition Party

Posted January 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Ontario  — Andrea Horwath, Leader of the province’s Official Opposition New Democrats, is calling on Doug Ford to allow Ontario’s Auditor General to examine the true costs and justification for his government’s decision to tear down the Nation Rise Wind Farm in North Stormont.

Peter Tabuns, NDP critic for Energy and the Climate Crisis, wrote to the Auditor General requesting an urgent investigation into all the costs associated with the decision to scrap the Nation Rise project that was just months from completion.

The Auditor General confirmed that she will audit the costs of cancelling the wind farm in her annual report. But she also confirmed that she is willing to conduct a special investigation into the Nation Rise cancellation, and cannot proceed without a mandate from the government. Continue reading

This Year, Niagara’s Town of Lincoln is Celebrating its 50th Anniversary

To Learn a Little More about the History of Lincoln and the Celebratory Activities to come, Read On

A News Release from the Town of Lincoln

Posted January 9th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the the Town of Lincoln. In 1970, three communities came together to form Lincoln – Louth Township, Clinton Township, & Beamsville. Since then, we have become a community of communities to include Jordan, Vineland, Beamsville, Campden, Tintern & Rockway.

This year, to mark this important occasion, the Town is excited to celebrate & showcase our community through our many upcoming community events, culture & arts activities & beautification of our common spaces. It’s our year-long birthday and we invite you to join!

In every community, its history, its sense of belonging, is its people. To kick off this year’s celebrations at the New Year’s Levee, we launched a video of residents who shared various stories of what made them come to Lincoln, made them stay in Lincoln, made them do business in Lincoln. Enjoy!

To stay up to date on this year’s activities, follow us on social media, subscribe to our digital newsletters ([uuid-link:node:2d352848-f26f-4fff-ad3b-3a7d4da596de]) , or keep checking back to our celebration web page ([uuid-link:node:bd6d8214-36be-466c-b2fb-9f1b6c5eead6]) .

For businesses or community organizations interested in using the celebratory logo, wanting to promote a 50^th^ anniversary community event, or find out how to get involved, please contact our planning committee via email (mailto:info@lincoln.ca) .

Grow, Prosper, Belong – Celebrating 50 Years of Lincoln!

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

Trump’s Threat to Destroy Irreplaceable ‘Cultural Site’ in Iran Should Abhor All of Us

Under International Agreement, Deliberately Destroying “Cultural Sites” is a War Crime

Trump Tweets out his threat to make cultural sites in Iran a target of U.S. attacks

“By threatening cultural sites in Iran, the president fails to consider the broad value of these places, not just to Iran, but to the world more broadly. … Iran’s losses would be a tragic for all of us.”                                                                                                             – Elizabeth S. Green, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at Brock University

A News Release from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted January 7th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The ancient city of Persepolis is significant tourist attraction in Iran

Niagara, Ontario – The threat by U.S. President Donald Trump against Iranian sites of cultural importance has archaeologists concerned.

“While the destruction of monuments and the looting of sites was a frequent feature of ancient combat, modern efforts strive to preserve heritage in recognition of its value beyond the national level,” says Elizabeth S. Green, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at Brock University. “By threatening cultural sites in Iran, the president fails to consider the broad value of these places, not just to Iran, but to the world more broadly.

“Iran’s losses would be a tragic for all of us.”

Continue reading

History Made in U.S. this Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 – Trump Is Impeached

A peak at the “bulldog edition” or earliest pressing of the front page of the New York Times, sure to be a collector’s item and available on newstands everywhere on Thursday,, December 19, 2019

US. Congressman Brian Higgins, a Democrat from the Buffalo, New York area, among those voting to impeach

“There is no joy in impeachment, but the President’s actions demand it.  Inviting foreign interference in U.S. elections is a threat to our security and democracy.”              – U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, Buffalo, N.Y.

A Statement by U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins representing the Buffalo, New York Area

Posted December 18th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Supporting Articles of Impeachment Against President Trump

Today (this December 18th, 2019), Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) released the statement below following his vote supporting articles of impeachment against  President Trump –

“The only things standing between a democracy and a dictatorship is the separation of powers and the rule of law.” Continue reading

Hail Hail Greta Thunberg – Time Magazine’s 2019 ‘PERSON OF THE YEAR’

Greta Thunberg, speaking at a climate rally in Vancouver, B.C. earlier this 2019

“I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic and act as if the house is on fire.”                     – 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg

“People are dying! And all you can talk about is money & fairy tales of economic growth. How dare you!”                 – Greta Thunberg, to a large delegation of world leaders at climate summit hosted by the United Nations in New York City earlier this year

 

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

Posted December 11th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

OK Boomers.

OK all of you mostly older conservative-minded people out there who vote for the likes of climate deniers and laggards of the likes of Doug Ford, Andrew Scheer and Jason Kenney in Canada and Donald Trump and his ilk in the United States, and who grumble about paying a few more pennies on a litre of gasoline to drive down the emissions of climate-ravaging carbon pollution.

It took an intelligent, passionate, highly articulate  16-year-old girl from Sweden – Greta Thunberg – to finally mobilize multi-millions of people her age and older around the world to cry out for action on possibly the number one threat to life on this planet in the 21st century. Continue reading

U.S. Congress Approves Bill for Protecting Great Lakes Communities from Impacts of Climate Change

Measure Introduced by Buffalo, New York-Area Congressman Brian Higgins Addresses Algal Blooms in the Great Lakes

Flooding along the American shores of Lake Erie. Scenes like this on both sides of the border have become more commonplace.in recent years.

News from the Buffalo, New York Office of U.S. Congressman      Brian Higgins

Posted December 10th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Buffalo, New York-area Congressman Brian Higgins

Buffalo, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved the Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Act (H.R. 729), a bipartisan package of legislation protecting Great Lakes and Coastal communities from the impacts of climate change.

The bundled legislation included an amendment submitted by Congressman Higgins directing United States Geological Survey research to include the impacts of harmful algal blooms, nutrient pollution, and dead zones on Great Lakes fisheries.

Congressman Higgins, a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force said, “The Great Lakes are one of this country’s most overlooked and underappreciated natural assets, representing the largest source of fresh water in the world.  Climate change is impacting the health of our lakes and will continue to impact the health of our communities if we don’t act with urgency.” Continue reading

A Sober Message for Black Friday and the Holiday Season

“Consummerism = Climate Crisis” – from Greenpeace

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

Niagara At Large, November 29th, 2019

A banner reading “Consumerism = Climate Crisis,” written in spanish and displayed on a banner hung from a store in a shopping district  in Spain by the environmental group Greenpeace. Give it some serious thought

Consummerism can also equal mass madness and violence toward others we don’t even know. Click on the screen below.

Somewhere between the Three Wise Men bringing the Baby Jesus a few gifts, and what we’ve got going on now, something has flown seriously off the rails. It works well for the money lenders though.

This Holiday Season, make peace with Mother Earth. Be a minimalist!

Continue reading

Climate Change: Another Year Of Record Gas Emissions, Warns UN Meteorological Agency

‘Future generations will face increasingly severe impacts of climate change include rising temperatures, extreme weather, water stress, sea level rise, ocean acidification, disruption to ecosystems.’ – United Nations

Some Critical News about the Health of Our Planet from the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization

Posted November 25th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Levels of the three main heat-trapping gases emitted into the atmosphere – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide – have reached yet another high,  the United Nations’  meteorological agencyWMO, said  this Monday, November 25th.

In an appeal to Governments to do more to reverse countries’ reliance on producing energy from fossil fuels, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalaswarned that “the future welfare of mankind” was at stake.

To vew a video the World Meteorlogicala Orgaization put together on the news that greenhouse gas concentartions have hit a new record high, please click on the screen below

“We have again broken records in carbon dioxide concentrations and we have already exceeded 400ppm level which was regarded as a critical level,” he said, in reference to the 407.8 parts per million reading for 2018. “That happened already two years ago and this carbon dioxide concentration continues and continues, and last year’s increase was about the same as we have been observing in the past 10 years, as an average.” Continue reading

You Are Invited to a Free Film Festival in Niagara on Improving the Places Where We Live

A Film House presentation – BETTER CITIES FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAM – Saturday, November 30th, from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at The Film House in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario

Hosted by The Film House in St. Catharines and Better Neighborhoods Inc. Niagara, Ontario –

The best one-day short film festival on placemaking is coming to St. Catharines! The Better Cities Film Festival collects, curates and presents the very best shorts from international filmmakers on the theme of improving the places we live.

This afternoon session offers a customized selection of films on the topics of housing, mobility, urban design and placemaking to consider the question; “How will we build a better St. Catharines?”

Free screening sponsored by Better Neighbourhoods Inc., St. Catharines. Continue reading

A Young Canadian Water Protection Activist We Should All Be Proud of and Listen To

15-year-old Autumn Peltier is Canada’s own Greta Thunberg

“When there is no clean water left, our tears will fall as oil.”          – Autumn Peltier

Greta Thunberg (left) and Autumn Peltier, taking their turns at the United Nations, speaking for a healthy environment and their future. How many of us older people out there are ready to heed their call for action?

A Brief Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher        Doug Draper
Posted November 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

15-year-old “water warrioer” Autumn Peltier, another heroic champion for our planet.

Except for those who have spent the past year or two on another planet or not paying attention to the news, most of us have heard of Greta Thunberg.

Greta Thunberg is the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden who has made headlines around the world with her passionate  pleas for climate action to world leaders at the United Nations and at other international venues, and who has ignited tens-of-millions of people– including more young people than ever before – to stand up for their future and demand more action from their elders.

Then there is 15-year-old Autumn Peltier.

Continue reading

Ontario’s Ford Government Taking Next Steps to Integrate Health Care System

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

“In order to bring our world-class health care system into the 21st century, we need to get rid of the inefficiencies and back office duplication. This is how we are continuing to put patients first and ensure sustainability for future generations.”                   – Ontario Premier Doug Ford

News from Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his Conservative Government

Posted November 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Changes will Protect Uninterrupted Access to Patient Care

TORONTO — Ontario is taking the next steps in its plan to better integrate the province’s health care system to help end hallway health care.

On December 2, 2019, five provincial agencies will begin transferring into Ontario Health while the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) have been clustered into five interim and transitional geographic regions.

The Hamilton, Niagara, Hadlimand, Brant LHIN (Local Health Integration Network), still outlined with thin black border lines on this map, is now being clustered with other LHINs to form an interim West region stretching west to Windsor and northward along the shores of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Map courtesy of Ontario government


This is an administrative step only and not a merger of the LHIN boundaries. Further, there will be no impact to patients’ access to home and community care or long-term care placement as Ontarians continue to receive the care they need from the care providers they have built relationships with at the 14 LHINs. Continue reading

Niagara College Ranks Number One in Canada for Applied Research Activity

News from Niagara College

Posted November 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Niagara College will mark its 20th year of applied research activity with the honour of earning the number one spot in all of Canada for research.

In its annual report “Top 50 Research Colleges,” Research Infosource Inc. has announced that Niagara College has secured the top place in the country, based on total research funding numbers for 2018. The listing also demonstrates NC’s steady standing as a leader in research in Canada, as this represents the fifth year in a row of being in the Top 10.

On November 12, Niagara College announces its number one ranking in Research Infosource Inc.’s Top 50 Research Colleges.  President Dan Patterson (front right) and VP Research, Innovation & Strategic Initiatives Marc Nantel (front left) hold up a banner announcing the good news as they gather with staff members from NC’s  Research & Innovation division.

“A great year for Niagara College research,” said Ron Freedman, CEO, Research Infosource Inc. “Not only in terms of research income – number one in the country – but research partnerships, where Niagara ranks number three among large colleges.” Continue reading

Ontario Government Bows To The Aggregate Industry, Moves To Block Municipal Efforts To Protect Groundwater

Groups say the Ontario Government is putting the aggregate industry ahead of people. The province needs to go back to the drawing table, and consult with communities and environmental groups, rather than give industry free rein

A News Release from Environmental Defence Canada, Ontario Nature, Wellington Water Watchers and Gravel Watch

Posted November 12, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Some of the Ontario residents protesting what they charged was a secret meeting earlier this year between representatives of the province’s Ford government and quarry owners and operators to discuss the possibility of some deregulation of quarries

Toronto, Ontario – With the introduction of Bill 132, the Ontario Government is rolling a boulder in front of municipal efforts to control groundwater impacts from aggregate pits and quarries and taking aggregates policy in the wrong direction.

Proposed changes to the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) will prevent municipalities from addressing the impacts of pits and quarries on groundwater by outlawing the use of municipal zoning bylaws to
prevent aggregate operations from digging beneath the water table. This change poses a dangerous threat to local groundwater supplies and quality.

The provincial government is also proposing to stop municipalities from
implementing zoning restrictions on aggregate development on Crown Land within their boundaries. This change impacts many communities across Ontario.

Meanwhile, the government’s proposed amendments would make it easier for aggregate operators to make changes to their operations with a poorly defined “permit by rule” system that allows changes for unspecified “low risk” activities. It would also prevent consideration of road damage from haulage in deciding on license approvals. Continue reading

Niagara Residents Deserve Real Justice Out of D’Angelo-Caslin Administration Hiring Controversy

The Consequences for any Wrongdoers Should Fit Whatever Wrongdoing Ontario’s Ombudsman Finds

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

Posted November 1st, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dube’s long anticipated report on all of the controversy surrounding the hiring of former Niagara Region CAO Carmen D’Angelo is now within weeks of being released

The long wait is almost over.

After 14 months of investigating, Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dube is now two weeks away from letting members of Niagara’s Regional Council get their very first, behind-closed-door peak at his office’s draft report on a hiring controversy that has shaken public trust in our regional government for at least three years.

Indeed,  it was exactly three years ago this past October that Al Caslin, who was  Niagara Regional chair at the time, alled a snap meeting of  council  where, at the end of it, a majority of councillors agreed to hire Carmen D’Angelo – who already had, in the minds of many members of the public, a chequered record as CAO at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) – as the chief administrative officer (CAO) at the region – a job that  involves enormous responsibility and commands an annual salary of $230,000 plus benefits.

D’Angelo’s hiring  drew questions and concerns right from the start, and over the next two years they intensified as members of the public read one media expose after another about the circumstances surrounding it.

Now former Niagara regional chair Al Caslin and the Region’s former CAO Carmen D’Angelo, when they were still running the show two years ago. file photo by Doug DraperThere were reports of allegations thabefore he was hired, D’Angelo had  received from someone working in or around Caslin’s office a list of other candidates running for the CAO job – information that no candidate for any public servant position should be given access to. There were reports that he allegedly received access to at least  some of the questions he would be asked during his job interview. Continue reading

X-Rated Insults And Ignorance Are All Deniers & Laggards Have Left In Their Bid to Block Climate Action

Catherine McKenna and Greta Thunberg are favourite targets of fossil fuel junkies and climate denying trolls

A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted October 30th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

When it becomes more and more obvious that those who chose to deny or doubt climate change do not have facts and science on their side, the only recourse they have left, short of voting for politicians like Doug Ford, Andrew Scheer, Jason Kenney and Donald Trump, come down to this – shamelessly showcasing a wilful ignorance of the facts and science, and hurling insults, right up to and including vulgarities that are not fit for prime time, at those advocating for more action on climate change.

Some one sprayed this Vulgar word on the campaign office window of Canada’s Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna, shortly after this October 21st’s federal electoin

That proved to be the case again this fall, just a day or two after this October 21st’s federal election, when the mostly female volunteers working in Catherine McKenna’s Ottawa, Ontario campaign office arrived to find the C-word (yes, that c – – t word) sprayed across a poster of McKenna’s face on the office’s front window. Continue reading

Scheer’s Federal Conservatives Say ‘No’ to Legislating Carbon Emission Reductions that Line Up With Keeping Warming Below 1.5°C – A Paris Agreement Target

Leading Canadian Environmental Organizations Release Responses from Federal Parties on 10 Environmental Priority Questions

A News Release from Environmental Defence Canada, a citizens’ advocacy group for our environment

Posted October ??, 2019 on Niaggara At Large

Ottawa, Ontario – This October 1st, Canada’s leading environmental organizations released the answers to a Federal Party Survey on Environmental Platforms that address the climate change, biodiversity, toxics and waste crises harming our country.

The survey was distributed to the six main political parties in July 2019 and responses were received from five of them: the Bloc Quebecois, Conservative Party of Canada, Green Party of Canada, Liberal Party of Canada and New Democratic Party. The People’s Party of Canada did not respond.

The survey represents the collective priorities of the 14 environmental organizations and outlines required actions to address the environmental protection, economic justice and human rights issues facing Canadians. Continue reading

Ontario NDP Leader Calls on Ford to Come Out of Hiding and Face Parents After Narrowly Avoiding Strike

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

“While parents across Ontario have worried about what’s happening at their schools, Doug Ford has gone into hiding: avoiding parents and being unavailable to media at Queen’s Park.” – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

A Statement from  the Office of Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted October 7th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, whose popularity numbers have tanked over his first year in power, and in the wake of cuts to education and other public services, closed down the provincial election before his partisan federal Tory pal Andrew Scheer bean is current run for prime minister, and will not re-open the legislature until the federal election is over.

Queen’s Park – Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says Doug Ford needs to come out of hiding following a narrowly averted education workers’ strike that would have closed schools across Ontario.

“Doug Ford did everything he could to pick a fight and move ahead with an agenda of cuts and chaos. Yesterday, while parents were left wondering whether classes would be on, he was missing in action,” said Horwath.

Ford’s education cuts have already had a devastating effect on schools: education work positions and 10,000 teaching positions are being eliminated, high school students have seen course options vanish and schools are cutting back on everything from library time for students to cleaning in kindergarten classrooms.

While parents across Ontario have worried about what’s happening at their schools, Doug Ford has gone into hiding: avoiding parents and being unavailable to media at Queen’s Park. Horwath called on Ford to come out of hiding and reverse his education cuts.

“The Premier gave himself five months off, but recess is over,” said Horwath. “It’s time for him to stop denying the impact of his education cuts, reverse them today and work with the people who make our schools work instead of attacking them.”

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