Niagara News Bulletin
by PV Niagara Bureau
* Welland food banks are reporting that they are getting 200-400 more people per month, 30% of them children, than they were designed for and it's expected to get worse this winter as EI runs out for those recently laid off from profitable plants allowed to shut down and move equipment out of Canada because of a lack of anti-plant-closing legislation with enforcement.
* An educational concert remembering the Underground Railroad, “human smugglers” of the 19th century who went through Niagara and lead in part by St. Catharines's Harriet Tubman, is being performed in Welland. Stephen Harper wants to criminalize the “human smugglers” of today's underground railroad.
* Despite Ontario appointing a supervisor to take over the local hospitals, who has already said he won't undo any of the re-structuring decisions such as selling off public hospital sites, Niagara Falls City Council and Port Colborne's Mayor are joining activists in pressuring the supervisor to re-open local emergency rooms and review the re-structuring plan. Meanwhile a coroner's inquest has started into the death of a teenager who was in a car crash shortly after local emergency room closures and had to be driven over half-an-hour away by highway.
* The District School Board of Niagara is looking at merging or closing local schools because of lower enrollment instead of decreasing class sizes.
* A local video-game company touted as the next “GM” for the region's “new” economy, which received $4 million in federal loans plus another $4 million in provincial grants and was highlighted by St. Catharines Tory MP Rick Dykstra as an example of delivering for the riding, announced it is laying off over half of its workforce, like the “old” economy. The company president had said the funding would have a “profound and long-lasting” effect only last year.