Saturday, February 15, 2014


Great article in the Globe and Mail today.


From the article:

"Add the effects of new passport requirements, border slowdowns and a high dollar, Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati laments, and the effect has been “devastating.” Jim Thibert, the head of economic development for Fort Erie, recalls when his town across the river from Buffalo drew more than 80 per cent of its visitors from the United States; today it is less than 20 per cent, and not because of an increase in domestic ones."

So, for a national news article, Jim Thibert explains the effect of the loss of US tourism dollars. It differs from what he told council in his budget request. There he cited the lack of job skills for Fort Erians as the reason the unemployment is so high. He stated that jobs are available but Fort Erie workers do not possess the technical skills needed.

Yes, we knew that all along here in Fort Erie. We knew that Fort Erie has relied heavily on US tourism and investment dollars for over a century. Sure, the most recent losses can be attributed to the passport regulation and the US casinos, but I think that another factor is the anti-Americanism as expressed by certain locals.  The part time summer residents pay year-round taxes and utilities, yet, when they speak up about an issue that is important to them, they are told to go back to the States - or worse.

Finally, the article gets to the meat of the issue: the parochialism of the twelve municipalities that make up the Niagara Region.

"Phil Ritchie, a developer who has been central to efforts to revitalize downtown Niagara Falls, goes so far as to suggest the best thing Ontario could do for the region would be some manner of amalgamation that forces communities to get past their parochialism."

Oh dear, the cat is out of the bag!  I believe it will happen and it needs to happen.


  1. edit as you wish ...

    Digging in the dirt

    Holier than thou much ? Nothing humble and certainly no humility there !
    Volunteers a gift to the community … cue the movie sound track for the gun slinging noble ‘volunteer’

    He who holds up a benevolent act only to hide behind it and insult a fellow member of the community
    What a god damn contradiction ! And the member clan won’t even recognize it in the mirror
    So blinded by greatness is our ‘volunteer’

    There is something odd about the way we volunteer these days
    Do we who volunteer really give freely of ourselves to our neighbor ?
    Honestly and humbly and truthfully without expecting anything in return ? nothing in return ? really Seth ?
    Without the need to call attention to our mythic heroism amongst mere mortals ?
    Without the need to be recognized as above and separate and apart from others ?
    As a member of an elite exclusive club entitled to a greater proportion of the benefits available in the community ?

    Does your vote matter more than mine ?

    Long serving ‘volunteers’ do not have the right to hold themselves above the rest
    We are not more entitled or more privileged than everyone else
    How utterly self important that a ‘volunteer’ feels better and more deserving than the rest
    What arrogance to hold up honor, compassion and loyalty as exclusive to the acknowledge ‘volunteer’ clan

    A sorry state if this is the culture of charity we nurture in this community absent leadership
    The whole point of service, volunteering and charity missed
    Militant ‘volunteers’ beat everyone else over the head with their goodness
    Charity with a forked tongue …

    Such vitriol toward another member of the community
    The mark of truly charitable folk inspired by the higher calling of service
    Would be kindness and compassion to someone difficult to be kind to
    Or do we ‘volunteer’ only for those folks we find agreeable and deserving ?
    Are we thoughtful only for those for whom it is easy to be thoughtful for ?

    Selflessness …
    Is the main point of being a ‘volunteer’ to find my place in a community ?
    Is membership all about MY personal growth and where I might find affiliation
    Movers and shakers … people making it happen … ego … self
    What about those among us who are really really hurting ?
    There’s an emergency here and we’re all puffed up with our own greatness

    Sad that the good name of the service club has been co-opted to the ends of the ninja
    Somehow I doubt the tirade is consistent with the club’s reason for being
    The good founders of the club would more likely have been reaching out and building bridges
    Rather than defending member rights to hate and bully

    And yes … yuck yuck yuck
    Members can draw close around the warm glow of fire in the belly
    Slap each other on the back and say what … ?
    Good job buddy ... you really snuffed her out ? you bullied and humiliated her good ?
    Well done boys ! All for one and one for all (of us members)
    Who-ha lads – pile on ! Revolting

    I wish our collective wisdom reached beyond what we learned at the arena
    The taste of brass

    Quick quick splash out your ‘volunteer’ cred people
    Lest you be lynched as the pure of heart ‘volunteers’ rise up !

    For the record … Sharon does volunteer for the Salvation Army

  2. I found that account of Volunteerism disgraceful. Of course some volunteers may be in it for their own gratification. But what's wrong with feeling good after helping others?
    A Volunteer gives up their precious time without personal financial gain. Some volunteer to enrich their community by presenting high quality free musical concerts, 5 km. events that include children's races, supply food to needy families at Christmas or even try to save a public beachfront for future generations to enjoy.

    1. And, as you might know, those volunteers have been trashed and bullied by Mr.-I'm-a-member-of-a-service-club. Does anyone really think that me and many others who are in the fight to save our beachfront property are doing so because we think we're going to get rich? Hell no. I'd like to think that future generations will appreciate our efforts while they enjoy a nice park at the beach. All the nastiness and the lawsuit against the four councillors is because Doug Martin, Stephen Passero and Rick Shular wanted to give away the beachfront to a high ride developer and the four, who were elected by the voters, wanted otherwise. So, if one were to follow the money, where do you think it would lead? Do the people realize these lawsuits are going to cost the taxpayers millions of dollars? For what?

  3. How many business's have Moved out of Fort Erie since; ” Jim Thibert, the head of economic development for Fort Erie" got hired and moved into town?

  4. does an article dealing with Ecnomic revitalization of a region/town turn into digging in dirt on a completely different topic in no ay related to the article and Meg doing the same?

    Hey we all have issues, that is evident, but how bout staying on topic

  5. as much as I would love to kick out the old boys club that has screwed this town for their own selfish purposes forever........and I concede that 1 less layer of government would be far cheaper.......a large centralized regional municipality would benefit the north peninsula far more than the south as it already has, more or less, since the Region came to be about 4 decades ago......

    To Volunteer,....... totally agree with your very well written piece, some join service clubs to do good and others join to do good for themselves, unfortunately. I love your statement about........ whoa ha piling on......nails the unthinking, follow the idiot attitude prevalent with the dark side of this town.

  6. To Concerned Citizen: people speak as they will and I publish most comments. Sorry that they strayed off topic. No blog police here.

  7. Fort Erie Firefighters were featured on the news tonight for rescuing two horses that fell through the ice. I hear that they are also busy at the Ice Caves since they are becoming dangerous. Good work!

    Sorry to be off topic, I was just ticked after reading the previous rant.
    We do get along pretty well on this blog, I refuse to read the other nasty one.

  8. The Fort Erie VOLUNTEER firefighters have been busy today. The Toronto News featured them rescuing two horses that fell through the ice in a pond in Fort Erie and I have been told that they have been at the ice caves helping out because the caves have become dangerous. I appreciate all that the firefighters do that at times is very dangerous.

    I am not sorry to be off topic, it happens here and we are treated with respect at this blog.


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