ServiceMaster Restore of Niagara is Niagara, Ontario’s 20th Certified Living Wage Employer

“As three young owners who have come up through the ranks in the restoration and construction industry, we understand the importance of earning enough to get by.” –  ServiceMaster Restore of Niagara co-owner Justin Callon

News from the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network

Posted May 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network is pleased to announce that ServiceMaster Restore of Niagara <> has become a certified living wage employer.

ServiceMaster Restore of Niagara now certified as a “Living Wage Employer in the Niagara region.
Photo courtesy of the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network.

ServiceMaster Restore of Niagara is a full service restoration company that provides property owners and insurance companies with the highest quality emergency restoration services. They have been serving the Niagara region for over 50 years. Continue reading


Ford to Reward Ontario’s Hunters with Free Hats for Blowing Away Animals and Turning In Pelts

Turn in an animal hide to Ford government authorities and get your made-in-Ontario hat!

Province’s  “Government for the People” is Making Ontario More Open for Destroying Wildlife

“Our government supports Ontario’s hunters and recognizes that they are good stewards of our resources. … Hats for Hides supports thousands of hunters across Ontario, by making life easier and reducing waste.” – some of the most recent garbage coming out of the mouths of Ford government MPPs

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

Posted May 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

“Hey, Bungalow Bill
What did you kill
Bungalow Bill?”

  • from The Beatles song, ‘The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill’

Let me begin by asking  my fellow Ontarians something.

Not the 2.3 million people across the province who voted for Doug Ford and his extreme right-wing band of crazies in last June’s provincial election. They knew what kind of bully and ignoramus Doug Ford was, or at least they should have from his highly publicized Ford Nation days in Toronto, before they voted for him. So they deserve everything they get.

Let Ford and his morally bankrupt caucus and cabinet gut all of their health care services if they want to cram money back in their pockets.

Just please leave the rest of us alone!

Continue reading

Niagara Centre MPP says Ontario Needs to Act now on Climate Change and Not Ignore It

“Carbon pricing creates a financial incentive to reduce our emissions. There is no economic cost to carbon pricing. … “The cost of climate change (on the other hand) is high and escalatin, (and the Ford) Conservatives are offering no alternatives.”           – Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

Posted May 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

The following is from a statement Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch delivered in the Ontario legislature at Queen’s Park this May 14th –

Mr. Jeff Burch: ”A discussion on climate change must include a discussion on carbon pricing. Carbon pricing, Speaker, is the most effective, convenient and least expensive means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. That is a fact.

“This government claims your cost of living is about to soar. They call it the ineffective, job-killing carbon tax. Those are falsehoods-no different from the fake news that caused perverse outcomes in the 2016 Brexit referendum and the US presidential election. Continue reading

Ontario’s Official Opposition Party Moves to Declare a Climate Emergency in Ontario

“Therefore the Legislative Assembly calls on the Ontario government to declare a climate emergency in order to officially recognize climate change as a real threat to our environment, our people and our economy.” – from the motion Ontario Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath and her NDP tabled for possible passage this May 13th, 2019 in the provincial legislature.

A News release from Ontario’s Official Opposition/NDP Party

Posted May 14th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on all MPPs to vote to make Ontario the first province in Canada to declare a climate emergency.

On Monday May 13th), Horwath will bring forward a motion to recognize climate change as an imminent threat to Ontario’s environment, people and economy, and declare a climate emergency in the province.

“Climate change is not tomorrow’s problem,” said Horwath. “This is not a problem we can punt down the road, and leave for our successors — our children — to tackle. Climate change is happening now, and it is an emergency.” Continue reading

Ontario Court Rules That Niagara Can Have Up To 27 Members On NPCA Board

Superior Court Justice James Ramsey Rules in Favour of Motion Put Forward by the citizens watchdog group, A Better Niagara

“Now, it’s up to the three municipalities (Niagara, Hamilton and Haldimand County) to decide how many members each municipality should have. It’s important for all of Niagara’s citizens to know what we are entitled to given that all of our population and all of the Region’s land is within the NPCA.”         – from a statement released by A Better Niagara

Ontario Court Judge renders ruling on how many people Niagara can have represented on this Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board. File photo by Doug Draper

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

Posted May 13th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Liz Benneian, executive director of A Better Niagara, the citizen watchdog group that one the ruling from the Ontario court. The group has been keeping a close eye on operations at the NPCA

As members of A Better Niagara stated on its website this May 13th, “it’s settled.”

And it only took Ontario Superior Court Justice James Ramsey about five minutes in a Welland courtroom earlier this May 13th to rule in favour of A Better Niagara’s contention that, under the province’s Conservation Act, Niagara Region and its 12 local municipalities can have up to 27 individuals sitting on the board of directors of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NCPA).

That was the ruling Judge Ramsey came to that fast, and despite requests from lawyers for Niagara Region and the City of Hamilton, which along with Haldimand County has representatives on the NPCA board, for an adjournment so the councils for Niagara and Hamilton would have more time to consider their positions in the case.

After the case was over, Liz Benneian, executive director of A Better Niagara, stressed in a brief interview with Niagara At Large a point that the Niagara-based citizens watchdog group has been making clear since Niagara, Hamilton and Haldimand made appointments to what is overwhelmingly a new board of the NPCA more than four months ago. Continue reading

The More-Cool-Than-You-Think Doris Day Dies at Age 97

One of the Very Last of the Pop Icons Whose Star Rose During the Big Band Era of the 1940s and Continued To Shine for Decades to Come

“Que será, será
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que será, será
What will be, will be.” 

– Lyrics from what became, for better or worse, Doris Day’s signature song

A Brief One by Doug Draper, Niagara at Large

Posted May 13th, 2019

Before I even begin this one I can just imagine all or most people under the age of 40 who might visit this site saying; “Doris Day? Who the hell is Doris Day, and why would knowing who she is even matter?”

And even people who do know who she is may say; “Hey Doug, I have read the odd tribute you have posted on this site on a rock star, or on a soul or a blues or a jazz artist, but Doris Day? I thought you were a little cooler than that?”

Doris, a little later on, around the time when she was still starring in her own TV show, The Doris Day Show, in the 1970s

Back in the 1960s, when I was still going to school and living at home with the parents, I thought I was at least a little bit cooler than that too. I’d be listening to records by bands like The Rolling Stones, Cream and The Kinks, and my parents would start listening to an old Doris Day song and I would say; “Hey, mom and dad, how un-cool is that?

It wasn’t until later that I found out that Doris Day, who died this May 13th at age 97, had far more gravitas to her than what, in my teenage eyes, that too-squeaky-clean-for-her-own-good image of her portrayed.

One of those entertainers who started out as a big band singer during the late 1930s and 40s (one of her first major hits was a song called “Sentimental Journey” that went over well with young lovers during the Second World War years), and who had enough talent and stage presence to make it in the movies and that then new medium called television, Doris Day emerged as one of the super stars of her generation. Continue reading

Our Trees and Forests – Ensuring that the ‘Lungs of the Planet’ Keep us Alive

Five  things you need to know about forests and the United Nations

“Despite the central role forests play in protecting the environment, only two per cent of funds available (globally) for climate change mitigation are available for efforts to reduce deforestation.”

News from the United Nations

Posted May 10th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Photo by Olga Lavrushko – My favorite place by Olga Lavrushko, Ukraine. One of the winners of the International Forest Photograph Contest.

(A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

Waverly Woods in Fort Erie. Now a possible target for developers unless citizens can save it.

While you are reading this  important, and for those of us who live in Niagara and Ontario, very timely report from environmental representatives for the United Nations, think locally as well as globally.

Those of us who care about protecting any kind of a healthy future on this planet, have got to get together and fight like hell to keep the Ford government in Ontario from cutting programs for planting trees, as it is now doing, and stop it from weakening planning and environmental rules to make it easy for developers to destroy vital areas like the Waverly Woods in Fort Erie and Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls.

More on all of that later on Niagara At Large.

Here is news from the United Nations on how vital trees and forests, and reforestation are to the health of our planet.)

Climate Change

Forests are vitally important for sustaining life on Earth, and play a major role in the fight against climate change. With the 2019 session of the United Nations Forum on Forests wrapping up on Friday in New York, we delve deeper into the subject, and find out what the UN is doing to safeguard and protect them.

  1. Forests are the most cost-effective way to fight climate change

Arguably, protection and enhancing the world’s forests is one of the most cost-effective forms of climate action: forests act as carbon sinks, absorbing roughly 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.  Sustainable forest management can build resilience and help mitigate and adapt to climate change. Continue reading