A Response to Mosque Massacre from Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)

CIJA Horrified by Heinous Act of Terror Targeting the Muslim Community In Christchurch, New Zealand

“This is a very dark day for those of us who care about the rule of law, plurality, acceptance, and religious freedom.” – Jeffrey Rosenthal, Co-Chair of the Canadian-based Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs Board

From the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Toronto

Posted March 16, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Women mourn for loved ones in wake of mass shootings.

Toronto, Ontario – Yesterday (March 14th), forty-nine Muslims were murdered while at prayer at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Upon learning this, Joel Reitman and Jeffrey Rosenthal, Co-Chairs of the National Board of Directors of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following:

“We condemn this vile act of terrorism targeting the Muslim community in the strongest possible terms and trust those responsible for this crime will be subject to the full force of the law,” said Joel Reitman, Co-Chair of the CIJA Board. Continue reading


When Are We Going To Stop Imperilling the Future of Our Children?

There is No Time Left for Delay and Denial. Our Last Chance to Address the Climate Crisis is Here and Now!

Greta Thunberg, speaking at a United Nations climate conference in Europe last December

“We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules,” says 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a climate activist from Sweden, “because the rules have to be changed.”

A Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted March 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

At a United Nations conference on climate change last December, a remarkable 16-year-old girl from Sweden named Greta Thunberg, rose to the podium in front of an audience of greying adults and said the following –

“In the year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday,” she said. “If I have children maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act. You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”

The year 2078 may be way too late for Greta’s children to ask that question about us, if they are around to ask any questions at all. Continue reading

Ontario’s self-described “Government for the People” Plans Cellphone Ban in Classrooms, Larger Class Sizes & Less Sexual Health Education

‘Back-to-Basics’ Math Curriculum, Renewed Focus on Skilled Trades and Cellphone Ban in the Classroom Coming Soon to Ontario

News from Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s ‘Government for the People’

Posted March 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Minister of Education Lisa Thompson Unveils Government’s Vision for ‘Education that Works for You’

Toronto – Students and parents in Ontario can look forward to the implementation of stronger math, STEM, and financial literacy curricula, improved skilled trades opportunities, and a province-wide ban on cellphones in the classroom as part of the Government of Ontario’s sweeping new vision for ‘Education that Works for You,’ Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education, announced today.

“This is our plan to protect a sustainable world-class education system for the students of today and the future,” said Thompson.

“We will make sure our students are leaving school with the skills they need to build good lives, families and careers right here in Ontario, while ensuring the system is both fiscally sustainable and respectful of parents.”

The government’s plan, Education that Works for You,will modernize curriculum, modernize classrooms and empower educators to better prepare students for the realities of today’s modern world.

“Shortly after we came to office we did what the previous government had been afraid to do – and threw the doors open to real, meaningful public and parental input into our education system,” said Thompson. Continue reading

A Timely Message from Niagara’s Lord Mayor on Bullies and Bullying

Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Betty Disero

“Bullies use fear as a tool. They feed off of people’s insecurities and manipulate others to believe they are good.”

“Bullies may use a variety of threats, particularly when they themselves are feeling threatened: they will openly suggest that anyone who stands up to them will have to pay dearly for opposing their wishes.”

“Bullies don’t care about the common good, or a greater good, they care about one thing: themselves and their own personal interests.”

“The good news is, we don’t have to put up with bullies. And a first step to combating them is to recognize their tactics, and call out the strategies they use to intimidate, undermine and fear monger.”                                                                                                      – Betty Disero, Lord Mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Early in the last term of Niagara Regional Council, the Region’s then-chair, Al Caslin, appears in a photo op after a community group came to the council to promote a public campaign against bullying. The group’s message didn’t appear to get through to many members of that council.

(A Brief Foreword from Doug Draper, journalist and publisher, Niagara At Large – March 15th, 2019

I wish to thank a resident in Niagara-on-the-Lake for bringing what I consider to be this very timely and important message from one of Niagara’s political leaders to my attention because I may have missed it.

I say timely because, unfortunately, in the age we now live in, there is far too much of this bad behaviour around. And there are individuals in high places, like the current U.S. president Donald Trump, who personify bullying and embolden others to behave the same way.

As a journalist who covered the last term of Niagara Regional Council under the helm of then-chair Al Caslin, I had a regular front-row seat to this kind of behaviour and, fortunately, most of those on that council who engaged in it were defeated in last October’s municipal elections, or they did us a favour and decided not to run again.

The good news is that the current Regional Council with Jim Bradley sitting in the Chair’s seat and individuals like Betty Disero (who is serving her first term as NOTL’s Lord Mayor and Regional Council member) sitting around the horseshoe, any and all signs of that ugly behaviour is virtually gone. And let’s hope it stays that way.

What a difference an election can make. The new Niagara Regional Council, sworn in last December, and chaired by Jim Bradley (with NOTL Lord Mayor Betty Disero as one of its members), seems a world away from the bad conduct so frequently witnessed on the Caslin council.

That is not to say that there aren’t still many bullies out there among us, in public office, in places of employment, out there on the school yard and, most certainly, on social media where many of us who cared to share our views on a topic have become targets of cyber bullies at one time or another. Continue reading

A Call-Out for Working Together  to Restore and Protect Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands

Niagara residents gather at one of many rallies in recent years to save wetlands in Niagara Falls’ Thundering Waters Forest from sprawling development

“Wetlands in the Great Lakes basin improve water quality in a variety of capacities (such as nutrient and sediment sequestration, flood retention, regulation of water temperatures) and provide many social, cultural and economic benefits to society. Yet they continue to face threats and stressors and a significant amount of wetlands have been degraded or lost throughout the region.”                                          –     – an excerpt from the International Joint Commission article   below

By John Wilson, for the Canada/U.S. International Joint Commission’s newsletter, Great Lakes Connection

Posted March 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Wetlands provide vital benefits to lakes and other waterways.

They serve as the home for a wide diversity of plants, insects, reptiles, animals and aquatic species, reduce erosion, trap and filter sediment and pollutants, and absorb nutrients that otherwise would flow directly into lakes, rivers and streams.

One of the provincially significant wetlands in the Niagara watershed of the Great Lakes, now at risk due to plans for urban development in the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, Ontario

A recent webinar explored challenges and opportunities to achieving a “net habitat gain” for Great Lakes coastal wetlands.

Wetlands in the Great Lakes basin improve water quality in a variety of capacities (such as nutrient and sediment sequestration, flood retention, regulation of water temperatures) and provide many social, cultural and economic benefits to society. Continue reading

Federal Funding for Brock Research on Brain Function and Health in Aging

“The current increase in life expectancy and our ever-expanding waistline goes hand in hand with the emergence of common age-related chronic diseases.” – Rebecca MacPherson, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences, Brock University

News from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario

Posted March 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Rebecca MacPherson was awarded a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) to purchase equipment for her research on the interactions between metabolism, diet and exercise.

It’s a common notion that people seem to become more forgetful as they get older, leading many to conclude that memory declines with age.

But Brock University Assistant Professor of Psychology Karen Campbell aims to counteract that view by showing that something else is happening in the brain that mimics memory loss.

Meanwhile, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Rebecca MacPherson is concerned about rising rates of obesity and how diet and exercise — or lack thereof — affects people as they age.

To aid in their investigations, MacPherson and Campbell will be purchasing state-of-the-art equipment thanks to funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). Continue reading

Ontario’s Self-Described “Government for the People” a ‘Strong Advocate’ for Women

“Ontario Shows Leadership on Women’s Issues At the United Nations

Minister Lisa MacLeod joined the Canadian delegation at the Commission on the Status of Women

A News Release from Ontario’s “Government for the People”

Posted March 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues

New York City — Ontario’s Government for the People is strongly advocating for gender equality with a commitment to end violence against women and sex trafficking.

The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, joined the Canadian delegation in New York City this week at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to highlight the inequities faced by women and girls at home and abroad.

“I was proud to speak up for equality with my fellow Ministers,” said MacLeod. “We need strong women to support vulnerable women but just as importantly we need strong men to support vulnerable women.” Continue reading