Canada’s Prime Minister Announces Increased Support For NATO

“When it comes to NATO, Canada has always pulled its weight. Our engagement in NATO has only expanded over the years, and with good reason: it reflects Canadian values, and is essential in preserving the rules-based international order.” – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

News from the Office of Canada’s Prime Minister

Posted July 13th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, concluded (this July 12th) his participation at this year’s NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, where he announced increased support for NATO. These contributions underscore Canada’s commitment to play an active role in the Alliance and advance international peace, security, and stability.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holding a press conference at a previous NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium

While in Latvia earlier this week, the Prime Minister announced Canada will extend its contribution to NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence through Operation REASSURANCE for another four years and increase the number of personnel taking part in this mission from 455 to 540. Continue reading


St. Catharines Celebrates Bright Lights And Energy Savings From LED Upgrade

Switch to LED Lights Save City $726,000 in 2017 Alone And it is a Big Plus for our Environment!

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

Posted July 13th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The City’s investment in LED street lights has paid off with brighter roads and improved energy consumption.

Downtown St. Catharines. file photo

The LED conversion project started in November 2015 and wrapped up May 2018, seven months ahead of schedule. Out of the 14,791 street lights in St. Catharines, 13,823 are now LED, or roughly 93 per cent of all street lights in St. Catharines. Continue reading

Questions About Hiring Of Niagara Region’s CAO Won’t Go Away Just Because A Majority of Regional Councillors Say So

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

Posted July 11th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

I often find myself driving home from meetings of Niagara regional council, haunted by at least two questions.

The first question is this; ‘How many people out there are paying attention to the disturbing things going down at these meetings?

It’s a question that almost always comes to mind because so much of what goes down at these meetings is dark, divisive, dis-spiriting and, most certainly, disturbing.

This sign, fastened to the walls of Niagara Region’s council chambers months ago, seems ever so appropriate. Only who is its target audience – members of the public or the council?

The second question is this; ‘How many people care?’

If the answer to both these questions is not many more than the handful of good people who show up in front of the Niagara regional headquarters with protest signs then, in all due respect to those good people, I might just as well stop wasting my time writing these commentaries and spend more of it learning a few new songs to play on my guitar.

Then low and beholden, I go to my inbox and find a whole bunch of messages from people across Niagara, noting that they have shared whatever disturbing story I happened to go home and write about from these meetings with their friends and associates on social media.

Even more encouraging are the comments I receive for sharing with our growing Niagara At Large audience from people I don’t even know – comments like the one I wish to highlight below, which contains a list of questions that still need to be asked about the findings a Toronto lawyer, hired by Niagara’s regional government, reached about the hiring, in the fall of 2016, of Carmen D’Angelo to the $230,000 a year job as the Region’s chief administrative officer (CAO).

Niagara Region’s chair Al Caslin with CAO Carmen D’Angelo to his right

The lawyer, Marvin Huberman, told Niagara’s regional council at its July 5th meeting that there was nothing wrong or tainted with the way the Region ran a hiring process that led to D’Angelo winning the job over a field of candidates. Continue reading

Ontario’s Entire Hydro One Board Is Clearing Out In Wake Of Ford’s Government Settling In

“After years of rising electricity bills, this is a step towards our main goal—bringing down electricity rates for all Ontarians. Help is here.” – Doug Ford’s new Minister of energy, Northern Development and Mines, Greg Rickford

News from Ontario’s PC Government

Posted July 11th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Toronto, Ontario  — Today (July 11th) , Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford released the following statement:

“Our government was elected on a promise to lower electricity bills for the people of Ontario. This included a promise to address governance at Hydro One.

Sure enough, ‘They’re Done!’ Now who is the Ford government going to appoint and how much is that going to cost?

Today (this July 11th), Hydro One has informed us that Chief Executive Officer Mayo Schmidt is retiring from the company, effective immediately. Continue reading

Time To Vote Out Politicians Who Opt For ‘Damaging Development’ over ‘Environmental Protection’

Vast Majority of Great Lakes Residents Opt for Environmental Protection , says International Joint Commission Survey

A Comment from Carla Rienzo, a Niagara resident and community activist

Posted July 11th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

“A whopping 88 percent feel it is essential to protect the Great Lakes from a variety of threats,” according to a survey just released by the International Joint Commission of Canadian and U.S. citizens living around the Great Lakes.

In the coming October 22nd municipal elections, vote for more regional and local council members who will work to protect wetlands like this one in the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, located in a Niagara River watershed that is vital to the health of the lower Great Lakes.

Which means that the other 12 percent were our current regime of politicians, city planners, “Conservation Authorities” and the developers to whom they are pandering because who else but the above-mentioned sociopaths (and there are, notably, a very few but outnumbered exceptions within these groups) could argue that our Great Lakes and associated watersheds are not worth protecting and restoring? Continue reading

St. Catharines Will No Longer Sell Water in Plastic Bottles at City Facilities

“I’m proud of the direction City Council is taking . …Other cities, institutions and businesses have taken action to limit plastic waste and it’s time for us to take a step and do our part.”               – St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik

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

Posted July 11th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – In another move to protect the environment for future generations, the City of St. Catharines will no longer sell water in plastic bottles at City arenas, community centres and other City facilities.

At Monday night’s (July 9th, 2018) City Council meeting, Council voted in favour of removing water sold in plastic water bottles from vending machines and concessions at most City facilities.

Drinking water is always available free of charge at water fountains and water filling stations at City facilities. As part of this plan, the City will also install more water filling stations at municipal facilities. Continue reading

International Joint Commission Poll Shows Canadians, Americans Feel Great Lakes Protection is Critical

Citizens in both Countries view Great Lakes  as Valuable for Recreation, Drinking Water and Essential to Region’s Economy

“It is clear that the Great Lakes community cares deeply about the resource, is prepared to accept increased costs to protect it, and recognizes personal responsibility to be part of the solution,” David Ullrich, U.S. Co-Chair of the  International Joint Commission’s  Great Lakes Water Quality Board 

News from the Canada/U.S. International Joint Commission

Posted July 10th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Eighty eight percent of respondents in an International Joint Commission poll believe protecting the Great Lakes is highly important and are willing to pay more to ensure their restoration, according to the second large survey conducted on public perception of the world’s largest freshwater system.
The International Joint Commission (IJC) sponsored the survey, which was completed by its Great Lakes Water Quality Board in January 2018 and is summarized in the poll report released today. Continue reading