Groundbreaking climate case against federal government gets one step closer to trial

Groundbreaking climate case against federal government gets one step closer to trial

A case bringing together 15 young people from across Canada, against the federal government for its failure to properly act on the climate crisis, is moving forward with an amended statement of claim. 

Environmental law experts believe that using courts around the world is the best strategy to hold governments and corporations accountable for the destruction of our planet and force them to act.



Migrant workers and modern slavery in Niagara

Migrant workers and modern slavery in Niagara

After two blistering reports on foreign temporary workers in Canada, stakeholders, including agri-business lobby groups on one side and advocates for the fair treatment of workers on the other, are anxiously awaiting an overhaul of the broken system by the federal government.



City of St. Catharines deploys shocking heavy-handed tactic to help powerful hotel industry fight B&B owners

City of St. Catharines deploys shocking heavy-handed tactic to help powerful hotel industry fight B&B owners

Without any direct notice, B&B owners across the city were stunned to find thousands of dollars in fines for operating their business after a new bylaw that requires certain conditions meant to control irresponsible short-term rental operations.

Residents are fine with the new rules but are fighting back against the draconian enforcement, determined to get their money back and their businesses reopened.



Mayor-elect Carolyn Parrish has already flashed the ‘charm and force’ that will define Mississauga’s new leadership

Mayor-elect Carolyn Parrish has already flashed the ‘charm and force’ that will define Mississauga’s new leadership

A veteran with all the scars and victories accumulated across five decades in political life, Carolyn Parrish promises to be the leader that will fight for Mississauga’s future at a critical time in its history. She vows to use her trademark no-nonsense style to advocate for her city, as it transforms from its suburban past into an urban identity. Fair share funding long denied to the country’s seventh largest city, for critical needs such as housing and social services, will be her immediate priority.  



Niagara Falls Council refuses to make decision on controversial 1,300-unit Lyons Narrows development

Niagara Falls Council refuses to make decision on controversial 1,300-unit Lyons Narrows development

The city’s elected officials used procedural tactics to avoid a decision on one of the largest development proposals in the history of Niagara Falls. More changes to Provincial planning legislation may preclude residents from being able to appeal the controversial development application to the Ontario Land Tribunal, which will likely render the final verdict on the proposed construction of 1,344 new homes.



A look at Niagara Region’s Standing Committee system, where most of the substantive decision making takes place

A look at Niagara Region’s Standing Committee system, where most of the substantive decision making takes place

Tens of millions of public dollars are allocated here, critical decisions on everything from Niagara’s future planning, the way people move across their communities to how its leaders accommodate demographic changes are debated here; but many residents seldom see the inner workings of the Region’s Standing Committee, whose elected members represent the needs and desires of their constituents. 



Advocates renew call for intimate partner violence declaration ahead of Queen’s Park recess 

Advocates renew call for intimate partner violence declaration ahead of Queen’s Park recess 

Advocates and survivors are demanding the PC government stop delaying and officially declare intimate partner violence an epidemic in Ontario. 

The move comes following the murder of a 58-year-old mother by her 25-year-old son in a Mississauga hotel room. 



Brampton council members forcing people from their shelter spaces should be ashamed

Brampton council members forcing people from their shelter spaces should be ashamed

While Toronto just committed to a human rights approach when dealing with people in encampments and other forms of shelter, and the Region of Peel just backed a similar strategy that is humane, placing our fellow residents at the centre of any response to the crisis they are coping with, the City of Brampton, led by Patrick Brown and one of his key council allies, Rowena Santos, is doing the opposite. 



Niagara Region government still dealing with criticism after shutting out Palestinian community

Niagara Region government still dealing with criticism after shutting out Palestinian community

The Region’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee grapples with its mandate and desire to deal with Anti-Palestinian racism… but not before having its meeting virtually hijacked. Meanwhile, Regional Council revisits its controversial January 25th meeting, behind closed doors.   



Controversial development returns to Niagara Falls City Council, with not much changed, prompting rare recommendation to reject it

Controversial development returns to Niagara Falls City Council, with not much changed, prompting rare recommendation to reject it

The Lyons Narrows development, which would go a long way toward the City of Niagara Falls meeting housing and population targets, has been met with public opposition.

With a possible fight ahead at the Ontario Land Tribunal, staff point to a lack of justification by the applicant.   



Carbon capture is a man-made scheme for a man-made problem being used to make pollution worse

Carbon capture is a man-made scheme for a man-made problem being used to make pollution worse

Environmental groups have criticized governments for allowing the fossil fuel industry to claim the use of carbon capture and storage technology is justification for the continued burning of fossil fuels. Experts say its potential benefits are miniscule.

University of Ottawa professor Handan Tezel says while carbon capture is viable, and increasingly becoming cheaper, it should not distract governments from investing in the best solutions. 



Bradford Bypass is a blatant misuse of public funds

Bradford Bypass is a blatant misuse of public funds

The PC government is moving ahead with its controversial Bradford Bypass highway through the provincially significant Holland Marsh, despite omitting key studies and refusing to consider any alternatives. 



Developer converting St. Catharines’ contaminated GM site into homes ‘not prepared’ to pay for critical studies, delaying municipal plans for 1 year 

Developer converting St. Catharines’ contaminated GM site into homes ‘not prepared’ to pay for critical studies, delaying municipal plans for 1 year 

Pointing to changing market conditions, the developer that purchased the former GM site has halted work on the contaminated lands where future residents will move in.

Efforts by the municipality to revive the Ontario Street corridor have also been paused due to the developer’s sudden decision, citing financial concerns as the cause for delaying required studies, including an environmental assessment of the property, where toxic industrial chemicals were used for decades. 



National Day of Mourning recognized throughout Niagara Region

National Day of Mourning recognized throughout Niagara Region

Ceremonies were held across Niagara to mark the United Nations’ World Day for Safety and Health at Work, or as it is more widely known in Canada, the National Day of Mourning.

Memorial services take place nationwide every year on April 28th to remember and honour those lives lost or injured as a result of their employment.



Inquest into deaths of three women made recommendations to prevent intimate partner violence; why are the PCs dragging their feet?

Inquest into deaths of three women made recommendations to prevent intimate partner violence; why are the PCs dragging their feet?

The PC government made the surprise move of supporting an NDP private-member’s bill to declare intimate partner violence an epidemic in Ontario—something it has repeatedly refused to do. But instead of approving the bill, it has been referred to the justice committee for study ahead of an official declaration. It has some worried that the PC support was just a delay tactic that could continue to leave women and gender-diverse individuals at risk across Ontario. 



Citizens of St. Catharines’ Facer Street come together for their own future

Citizens of St. Catharines’ Facer Street come together for their own future

Facer Street, a historic St. Catharines community, is set to be transformed by the twinning of the Garden City Skyway, and maybe not for the better.

Residents are collaborating to ensure they are involved in the project process and that any changes as a result of the massive infrastructure project will be positive for the community.



Mayor Annette Groves & CAO at centre of Caledon’s scheme to circumvent public planning for 35K homes; PCs say it doesn’t conform with 413 Highway plan  

Mayor Annette Groves & CAO at centre of Caledon’s scheme to circumvent public planning for 35K homes; PCs say it doesn’t conform with 413 Highway plan  

Nathan Hyde, the Town’s top bureaucrat—hired by Annette Groves who hand-picked him using her Strong Mayor powers in Caledon—has not explained how a secretive scheme to push through the largest development plan in the municipality’s history was put together.

Their disturbing conduct has been described as “anti-democratic” by residents demanding the ill-advised plan, which would create billions of dollars in value for developers, be scrapped. The PC government has criticized what Hyde and Groves have done, raising concerns over the lack of conformity to overriding provincial and regional policies.    



Niagara-on-the-Lake to consider MZO for development rejected by Region; motion proposed to increase councillor salaries 

Niagara-on-the-Lake to consider MZO for development rejected by Region; motion proposed to increase councillor salaries 

Will the Region’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee take on anti-Palestinian Racism? Elected officials at the upper-tier local government continue to face accusations of blatant discrimination for shutting out voices calling for support to help bring an end to the devastation in Gaza. 



Canada hosts global plastics negotiations; petrochemical industry is here too

Canada hosts global plastics negotiations; petrochemical industry is here too

Global leaders are in Ottawa this week for the fourth round of negotiations toward a global plastics treaty, with environmental organizations demanding that policies include strong guidelines for national legislation and not be watered down by the influence of corporations that continue to pollute the planet.



‘People Against Littering’ wants to clean up Brampton’s problem with public trash

‘People Against Littering’ wants to clean up Brampton’s problem with public trash

The City of Brampton has for years faced challenges with litter accumulating around intersections, off highway ramps, in parks and along public spaces where residents are supposed to enjoy the great outdoors.

A group called People Against Littering is working to change this. Focusing on grassroots action, members want to inspire residents to take control of their city’s public spaces, to make sure unsightly debris does not become “normal” in Brampton. 



Mississauga MPP Kaleed Rasheed vows to clear his name from PC Greenbelt scandal, but won’t explain how

Mississauga MPP Kaleed Rasheed vows to clear his name from PC Greenbelt scandal, but won’t explain how

After leaving the PC caucus in September in the wake of an integrity commissioner investigation into the PC government’s Greenbelt land swap scandal, Mississauga East—Cooksville MPP Kaleed Rasheed has vowed to clear his name and rejoin his PC colleagues at Queen’s Park. But he refuses to provide further details about his involvement in the $8.3 billion land deal, which was ultimately reversed by the PCs after their backroom dealings with developers were exposed. 



Niagara Falls Mayor & council members reject direction from Ombudsman; maintain exorbitant $500 fee to complain about their own conduct

Niagara Falls Mayor & council members reject direction from Ombudsman; maintain exorbitant $500 fee to complain about their own conduct

A controversial, excessive $500 filing fee to make a Code of Conduct complaint against a Niagara Falls Council member continues to be criticized by Ontario’s Ombudsman but, with the exception of one member, Niagara Falls Council does not care.



‘They sat in silence’: PCs ignore heart wrenching abuse of deaf & blind students, block AG audit of Ontario schools where they continue to suffer

‘They sat in silence’: PCs ignore heart wrenching abuse of deaf & blind students, block AG audit of Ontario schools where they continue to suffer

The PC government has once again declined to take action to improve Ontario schools for the deaf and blind. On Monday at Queen’s Park the NDP attempted to accelerate the process for an audit of the school board which has been plagued by accusations of sexual abuse of students and ongoing mismanagement for years. 

Without any explanation, the PCs voted the request down, delaying any audit until at least 2025.



Highway 413 cannot proceed if federal government ‘does its job’, says environmental group

Highway 413 cannot proceed if federal government ‘does its job’, says environmental group

A new agreement between the federal and provincial governments has many Ontarians worried the environmentally damaging Highway 413 has been given the greenlight.

While questions are swirling about a new “working group” being established to study and minimize the proposed highway's environmental impacts, there are numerous pieces of federal legislation still standing in the way of construction. 



After blocking delegations, Niagara councillors sparked months-long feud with local Palestinian community  

After blocking delegations, Niagara councillors sparked months-long feud with local Palestinian community  

Through a series of meetings, Niagara Region councillors have blocked residents from speaking, used unorthodox tactics to remove items from agendas and stayed silent amid accusations of racism and discrimination. 

Today, the Region’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee will once again hear concerns from the local Palestinian community about the failure of elected officials to show any sign of support or empathy amid a bloody international conflict. 



Add-on suites and tiny homes could be part of the solution to St. Catharines’ housing crisis

Add-on suites and tiny homes could be part of the solution to St. Catharines’ housing crisis

A city that has, in recent decades, looked past modern urban design, is looking for new ways to deal with a new reality.

As the housing crisis continues and younger consumers embrace modern attitudes about how they want to live, unaffordable prices are driving stakeholders to rethink the types of housing that should be built. 



Niagara-on-the-Lake passes 6.75% operating budget increase—highest of region’s lower-tier municipalities

Niagara-on-the-Lake passes 6.75% operating budget increase—highest of region’s lower-tier municipalities

After months of back-and-forth, Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved its 2024 operating budget, the last of Niagara Region’s 13 municipalities to do so.

The stiff increase comes as high inflation and overall affordability continue to create pressure on many homeowners.



Fort Erie staff opposed to decade-old development seeking MZO outside of the urban boundary; Niagara Falls denied housing funding from feds 

Fort Erie staff opposed to decade-old development seeking MZO outside of the urban boundary; Niagara Falls denied housing funding from feds 

A development application that has been on the books in Fort Erie for over ten years might finally move forward through a Ministerial Zoning Order. Town staff do not support the move which cuts the public out of the process. 

Niagara Falls hopes the federal government will reconsider critical housing funding after its application was denied. 



‘They need to develop a bit of a backbone’: Can Justin Trudeau resist knee jerk responses & wishy-washy climate policy?

‘They need to develop a bit of a backbone’: Can Justin Trudeau resist knee jerk responses & wishy-washy climate policy?

As Prime Minister Trudeau’s popularity continues to decline, his environmental commitments are being challenged. The federal Conservatives are making false claims about the impacts of policies such as the carbon tax. Will Liberals walk into the trap and alienate many of their core supporters, or hold strong on positions that many Canadians prioritize? 



Niagara fears crush of eclipse crowds on April 8; hopes for tourism revival

Niagara fears crush of eclipse crowds on April 8; hopes for tourism revival

April 8th’s solar eclipse is a once in a lifetime celestial event.

With Niagara Falls in an ideal location to observe the natural phenomenon, local tourism looks to recapture some of the foreign visitation lost during the pandemic, while the Niagara Regional Police prepare for the possible influx of 1 million people, under a “State of Emergency” declaration that was just issued by the Region.   



Niagara Falls residents continue to push for transparency on aggregate operations

Niagara Falls residents continue to push for transparency on aggregate operations

Some Niagara residents have increasing concerns about the inner workings of the aggregate industry which is seldom held accountable for the damage and residual impacts of its operations across the environmentally significant region. 



Chasing tornadoes across the Great White North 

Chasing tornadoes across the Great White North 

The Northern Tornadoes Project is doing the heavy lifting to provide a better picture of just how many tornadoes touch down across Canada, and where. 

This knowledge will prove critical as weather patterns are altered by climate change, informing the creation of valuable life-saving tools. 



Ontario’s big cities are failing to reach their climate goals, but a lack of reporting makes it impossible to know by how much 

Ontario’s big cities are failing to reach their climate goals, but a lack of reporting makes it impossible to know by how much 

The City of Toronto has admitted it is not on track to reach its goal of being net zero by 2040. It is not alone, as big cities like Brampton struggle to reach critical targets under a PC government that has pushed policies counter to green municipal goals. A recent study by University of Waterloo researchers concluded many cities are not even reporting their progress on sustainability commitments.



Celebration of Sikh Heritage Month will include alcohol-free challenge & substance abuse awareness campaign 

Celebration of Sikh Heritage Month will include alcohol-free challenge & substance abuse awareness campaign 

The Drug Awareness Society of Toronto wants to address the link between youth who are exposed to alcohol and drugs at a young age and adults who are dependent on substances. Working for more than a decade to raise awareness around the dangers of alcohol consumption and substance abuse through seminars at schools and Gurdwaras, the organization is once again challenging Punjabi-Canadians to confront an all-too common problem.



Sikh activist allegedly targeted for assassination by Indian government says its ban of CBC documentary is the latest example of its autocratic rule

Sikh activist allegedly targeted for assassination by Indian government says its ban of CBC documentary is the latest example of its autocratic rule

The Pointer speaks with Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the Canadian-American Sikh independence activist who was the target of an alleged assassination plot by the Indian government.

He calls out India’s BJP government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for its spiral into alarmingly anti-democratic rule.



Ottawa to remove Impact Assessment designation from Highway 413 project, a dark day for environmental protection

Ottawa to remove Impact Assessment designation from Highway 413 project, a dark day for environmental protection

In a joint consent order filed to federal court Wednesday, the federal government and Ontario government have asked the courts to cancel the federal environmental assessment for the proposed Highway 413 project.

The news has sent shockwaves through environmental organizations who say there was no need for such a rash, politically driven decision. The decision by the Liberal government comes a week after Premier Doug Ford sent a letter to the Prime Minister requesting the removal.



The State of Emergency that may never end: Niagara Region grapples with mental health, homelessness & opioid addiction 

The State of Emergency that may never end: Niagara Region grapples with mental health, homelessness & opioid addiction 

Despite cautions from staff at the time, Niagara Regional Council passed three declarations on social issues that may never truly be eradicated and are not like traditional emergencies.

A year later, Council has no metrics to determine what success looks like or when the States of Emergency should be lifted.



Doug Ford’s developer-driven sprawl plan will have mental health impacts on future generations

Doug Ford’s developer-driven sprawl plan will have mental health impacts on future generations

Since forcing Bill 23 on the province, Doug Ford’s government has come under fire from housing and environmental activists for promoting sprawl. Ignoring the growth of sustainable communities, according to a University of Waterloo study, could have profoundly negative consequences for young people.



Report shows ‘a perfect storm’ is brewing as Ontario falls further behind on wages in child care sector

Report shows ‘a perfect storm’ is brewing as Ontario falls further behind on wages in child care sector

A workforce shortage is limiting access to affordable child care.

A report from the Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare — the province’s central advocacy group for a universal early childhood education and care system — shows that Ontario has fallen behind most other provinces on wages in the sector. 



Niagara Mental Health Summit hunts for solutions through lived experience 

Niagara Mental Health Summit hunts for solutions through lived experience 

Bringing residents, politicians and advocates together, Niagara’s fifth Mental Health Summit offered an opportunity for dialogue on the dire situation facing those battling mental health and addiction issues in the region. 

Event organizer Steven Soos aimed to provide a chance for those who are typically voiceless, to finally be heard. 



Governments need to step up; finance clean, efficient energy for Canada’s most vulnerable, experts say

Governments need to step up; finance clean, efficient energy for Canada’s most vulnerable, experts say

As Canadians face increasing cost of living pressures, some are having to choose between keeping the lights on and putting food on the table.

While energy poverty has hit different demographics for decades with little in the way of response from government leaders, organizations are now demanding the issue be addressed in conjunction with the clean electricity transition, to make energy accessible and affordable for everyone.



In loco parentis: what does duty of care mean for our schools during a climate crisis?

In loco parentis: what does duty of care mean for our schools during a climate crisis?

Dr. Ellen Field, a professor of education at Lakehead University has been granted funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada to implement climate change education into teacher training programs.

As the consequences of climate change are magnified, Field sees an opportunity for schools to serve as a place to foster skills and habits for both teachers and youth.



‘Unreasonable, unjust, and wrong’: Ombudsman investigation highlights Ontario’s long-term care system collapse during pandemic 

‘Unreasonable, unjust, and wrong’: Ombudsman investigation highlights Ontario’s long-term care system collapse during pandemic 

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across communities, devastating countries worldwide, those residing in long-term care homes were among the hardest hit, revealing very quickly the harrowing reality of how unprepared Ontario was. A recent investigation by Ombudsman Paul Dubé revealed the Ministry of Long-Term Care “took limited steps to enforce compliance with legislative requirements,” as its inspection system collapsed during the first wave of the pandemic. 



Lack of government transit investment misaligned with green policies, promotes wrong type of housing, new report argues

Lack of government transit investment misaligned with green policies, promotes wrong type of housing, new report argues

A new report from Environmental Defence and Equiterre models how Canada can double public transit use and decrease single occupancy vehicle use by 35 percent.

Transit service levels would have to roughly double, and the federal government has to step up to achieve this goal, which aligns directly with Ottawa’s current emissions reduction commitments.



Now rejected twice, they will not be silenced: Niagara’s Palestinian community & supporters fight to be heard by municipal officials

Now rejected twice, they will not be silenced: Niagara’s Palestinian community & supporters fight to be heard by municipal officials

Niagara Region Council members are feeling more pressure to explain their differential treatment, after refusing to provide the same support to Palestinian community members as they did to the area’s Ukrainian community after the Russian invasion.

Advocates are demanding explanations for what they describe as obvious discrimination after the latest disturbing efforts by regional elected officials who once again went out of their way to deny voices from being heard inside the local legislative chamber. 



Liberals’ draft Clean Electricity Regulations won’t get sector to net zero by 2035, experts say

Liberals’ draft Clean Electricity Regulations won’t get sector to net zero by 2035, experts say

The federal government has taken a step forward in establishing Clean Electricity Regulations to oversee the national transition to low or no carbon electricity systems.

But while the goal of achieving a net zero electricity grid by 2035 is critical to mitigate atmospheric harm, the draft regulations released by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change last fall, and updated last month, will not reach the lofty goal, experts say.



Safe consumption site set to open in Peel but PC delays put municipalities in a chokehold as opioid crisis worsens

Safe consumption site set to open in Peel but PC delays put municipalities in a chokehold as opioid crisis worsens

As opioid-related deaths continue to climb and accidental overdoses become more frequent, more municipalities are looking at Supervised Consumption Sites, like the one anticipated to open at 10 Peel Centre Drive, a stop-gap to the harm occurring on city streets.

Despite the increasing number of deaths, the PC government has halted any new site approval after a deadly shooting near a Toronto facility in July. Evidence has shown these sites actually reduce harms associated with drug injecting and minimize risks to the communities around them. 



Housing, mental health & cost of living crises pulling youth from climate movement, activists say

Housing, mental health & cost of living crises pulling youth from climate movement, activists say

Younger generations are seemingly becoming more disengaged, with less activists showing up for climate strikes and participation in other facets of the movement. Facing pressures around affordability and housing and a range of other forces pushing in on them including those that impact their mental health, many young Canadians are struggling with how much is on their plate, which often turns climate activism into a privilege. 



St. Catharines council says no to pausing tax increases; Council lets the horse out of the barn on rent control …again

St. Catharines council says no to pausing tax increases; Council lets the horse out of the barn on rent control …again

Homeowners, landlords and tenants across St. Catharines could be in for more pain as significant property tax increases in the city could for the second year in a row lead to much higher bills for homeowners, large property managers and tenants, whose rent could go up dramatically alongside any tax hikes for 2024.



‘A slap in the face’: PCs dismiss documented cases of sexual abuse, discrimination against deaf, blind students as ‘opposition rhetoric’ 

‘A slap in the face’: PCs dismiss documented cases of sexual abuse, discrimination against deaf, blind students as ‘opposition rhetoric’ 

MPPs, parents, students and teachers within Ontario schools for the deaf and blind still have no answer as to why the PC government refuses to address numerous allegations of abuse, discrimination and ongoing mismanagement—all of which is documented in lawsuits, Ministry of Labour investigations and accounts from parents and teachers. 

The current government sees it as nothing more than “opposition rhetoric” and despite overwhelming evidence of failed leadership, the PCs “remain steadfast” in supporting these schools.