There Comes A Time When One Just Has to Say ‘Lost Cause’ – And Call It A Day

A Commentary by Doug Draper, publisher, Niagara At Large

Posted May 16th, 2017

Late this April, I walked in to the Niagara regional council chambers shortly after another meeting of the council started, and the ill-tempered, back-and-forth spitting on the council floor had already begun.

There was one regional councilor, then another taking their verbal jabs, then the chair up their with his gavel doing his usual; ‘That’s enough!” “You’re out of order!”, “Sit down. I don’t want to hear any more of this!”, or whatever.

Niagara regional chair Al Caslin with, to his right, Carmen D’Angelo, the recently hired CAO for the Region who was CAO at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. D’Angelo and the NPCA are parties to a lawsuit they launched a few months back against t. Catharines resident and retired Canadian Armed Force officer Ed Smith who they charge has defamed them with some of what they regard as baseless question and concern he has raised about NPCA operations. File photo by Doug Draper

Then I found myself doing something I have never done in all of the more than 35 years I’ve covered public meetings as a professional journalist. I found myself saying; “Jesus Christ,” as I sat watching this garbage, just loud enough so that people  sitting near me could hear. Continue reading

Greater Niagara Chamber  strongly objects to potential labour and employment standards reforms in Ontario

Changes would discourage investment, eliminate jobs and diminish economic opportunities in Ontario, especially among small business owners

A News Release from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce iin Niagara, Ontario

Posted May 15th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC), in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has sent a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne warning against potential changes to Ontario’s Labour Relations Act (LRA) and the Employment Standards Act (ESA), including the introduction of a $15 minimum wage.

The letter is cautioning that these reforms may have unintended consequences impacting job creation and competitiveness, as well discouraging investment in the province.

More Niagarans work in retail than in any other single industry, and retail will be hugely impacted by these changes. They will not only result in downsizing and layoffs in Niagara’s retail workforce, but the costs will be passed on to consumers, resulting in higher prices. Continue reading

Ontario NDP to Vote Against Lowering Electricity Bills

 NDP Leader Andrea Horwath wants to deny Ontarians                 up to 40-50% off bills

A News Release from the Ontario Liberal Government Caucus

Posted May 15th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Toronto – This May 15th,  NDP Leader Andrea Horwath announced her party would not support taking up to 40-50% off your electricity bills. 

Despite Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan helping families, businesses, and farms across the province – including in Niagara and surrounding communities– Horwath said the “NDP can’t and won’t vote in favour of this” during a press conference this morning.

This stunning admission should come as a shock to every Ontarian. Continue reading

Ontario’s New Democratic Party to vote against Wynne Hydro Hike

 “This is a $40-billion attempt to buy an election,”                  –  Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

A News Release from the Office of Ontario NPD Leader Andrea Horwath

Posted May 15th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Queen’s Park, Toronto  – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s new hydro deal will cause hydro bills to soar – which is why the NDP will vote against the Liberal borrowing bill.

Last week, leaked secret documents from Wynne’s cabinet showed that the Liberal government’s plan to borrow billions of dollars will cause electricity bills to shoot up sharply after the election, as ratepayers will be forced to pay back billions, plus interest. Continue reading

Niagara MP Hosting Public Consultation Meeting on Poverty Reduction

–         Tuesday, May 23rd, 4-6 p.m., Welland Civic Square

A Call-Out to All from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre MP Vance Badawey

Posted May 15th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Welland, Ontario – Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, is hosting a consultation on ‘Poverty Reduction’.

The Poverty Reduction Consultation will be on May 23rd from 4-6pm at the Welland Civic Square, Community Room. Continue reading

Victoria Day – Monday, May 22nd – Spring Songbird Migration Walk & Picnic

An Invite from Niagara Nature Tours

Posted May 15th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – Join Niagara Nature Tours fifth annual Victoria Day bird watching tour on May 22, with Jean Hampson and her husband Bob Highcock. Hampson who helped conduct a birding study in this same area in 2015 said, “We had a great day with twelve species of warblers, including Northern Waterthrush, Palm and Canada Warblers. Also, Veery, Indigo bunting and Ruby-throated hummingbird.  I was able to take photos of a Black-throated Green warbler and a Chestnut-sided Warbler. And happily I’ve seen these same species here ever since.” Continue reading

On This Mother’s Day – A Few Words for ‘Mother Earth’

A Brief One from Niagara Falls, Ontario resident Derek Jones

Posted May 14th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

I would like to take this opportunity to say Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there -but especially to Mother Earth who, in these troubling times, needs all of  the respect, love and support that she can get.

Since my own wonderful Mother passed away only a few short years ago, Mother’s Day has taken on a deeper, more profound meaning on a personal level.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let’s all remember that we have more than one Mother to celebrate, and cherish. For without our Mother Earth, we have nothing. I Love you Mother, with all my heart.

Here – in the photo above – is the moon rising over Thundering Waters Forest last night (Saturday, May 13th, 2017). Peace and Happy Mother’s Day.

Derek Jones is a Niagara Falls, Ontario resident and one of many Niagara area residents fighting to save 500 acres of woodlands, wetlands and savannah meadows in the Niagara River watershed known as the Thundering Waters Forest for sprawling urban development.

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders