Thursday, March 31, 2011

St.Catharines Standard's Jim Bradley Fan Club workin' hard for Jimmy

Interesting to compare two stories in the St.Catharines Standard on Mar.31, 2011 - first story on page 2 by Don Fraser (Fruit, veggie growers get relief in budget) and the other story on page 3 by Marlene Bergsma (Ex-farmers seek another golf exemption). Note how at the end of Fraser's story, he writes that MP Rick Dykstra was unavailable for comment.
[Now wouldn't it be interesting for the Standard to tell us how many times, say, ohh... in the last three decades have they ever used that phrase when referencing provincial issues in which Liberal MPP Jim Bradley's comments would have been appreciated by readers? answer: not too FLICKING many...]
In fact, where was Liberal MPP Jim Bradley's OWN COMMENT in Fraser's story?! Fraser didn't say a damn word about Bradley, nor did Fraser tell us whether Bradley was available for a comment.
Funneee, eh?!
Fraser mentioned in his report that 'rising labour costs' were a significant factor in the farmer's concerns, but, isn't Bradley's Liberal government instrumental in setting and affecting labour rates in Ontario?
Why didn't Fraser attempt to contact Jim Bradley for a comment even on that specific issue; why didn't Fraser report that 'Bradley was unavailable for a comment' ?!!
Then look at Bergsma's story about the Kowaliks, former farmers whose lands were expropriated for the QEW-406 highway exchange, and whose remaining land is subject to highway salt damage, and is too small for viable farming; they can't sell the land for development due to "provincial greenbelt legislation".
Hmm: but whose government created this "provincial greenbelt legislation"?!?
Bergsma doesn't say.
Bergsma didn't even mention the word "Liberal" in this story!
Bergsma didn't bother to provide ANY comment whatsoever from local MPP Jim Bradley - who is Niagara's main cheerleader for the greenbelt!
Wow! Why... it's as if Good Ole Jimmy suddenly doesn't have anything to, um... do with the greenbelt!!! Or labour costs!! Or global-warming fear mongering!
Hey, there, JimmyBoyFanClub members: was Liberal MPP Jim Bradley "unavailable for comment"... or did y'all not even bother to ask?
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Andrew Gill vs. Jim Bradley - which Liberal is telling the truth?!

Further to the stories here and here...

...let's see whether McGuinty's Liberal MPP Jim Bradley can explain to Ignatieff's Liberal candidate Andrew Gill about Ontario's positions on corporate tax cuts and on building new jails!
That'd be fun to watch.
Will anyone from the St.Catharines Standard's JimmyBoyFanclub bother to ask Jimmy - or Andy - to 'splain themselves? Running the same Dewar cartoon in the St.Catharines Standard over and over isn't a substitute for real reporting, Ms.Bullis...
Seeing that Gill lives in Ontario, and seeing that his own local Liberal buddy MPP Bradley's government just handed down a Mar.29, 2011 budget which includes lowering corporate tax rates and building new prisons, will Gill swallow the pill and immediately and publicly lodge his protest to Bradley?!
Thought so... what Liberal hypocrisy.
Will Liberal Iggy publicly challenge and ridicule Liberal McGuinty about yesterday's Liberal budget, which stands in stark contrast to the Liberalism which Iggy preaches?!!
Thought so... what Liberal charlatans!
Dwight Duncan - McGuinty's Liberal finance minister, the Grit who wrote yesterday's budget (...ya know: with the tax cuts and jail-buildin') - nevertheless says he will campaign for Ignatieff  (...ya know, who is against tax cuts and jail-buildin'...!!)
The blatant partisan hypocrisy of these Liberal charlatans is exposed for all to see.
And speaking of charlatans, don't forget that our two-faced weasel Bradley himself doesn't really believe in tax cuts: during the Harris years, a sanctimonious Bradley made it abundantly clear that he opposed tax cuts!
But nowww...
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Don't forget Suzanne Aucoin

Shaun Francis wrote in "Ontario health care: constantly climbing cost; ever worsening service" (National Post, Mar.25, 2011):

"On Sunday, Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews reversed her ministry’s decision to not provide Herceptin, a cancer drug, to Jill Anzarut, a 35-year-old Toronto mother of two, as well as other people in Ms. Anzarut’s position. The reversal capped a remarkable two weeks that saw Ms. Anzarut pleading her case through such social media as Twitter and Facebook, as well as the mainstream press.
A regime of Herceptin costs approximately $40,000 a year. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan generally pays for herceptin only in those cases where a breast tumour is larger than 1 cm; and Ms. Anzarut’s was measured at only 0.5 cm. At first, Minister Matthews held firm to this position. “We cannot have a health system where the stories that land on the front page … determine our health-care policy,” she insisted, explaining why she absolutely, positively would not change her mind.
Others pointed out that the drug already was available for small-tumour patients in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, and on a case-by-case basis in Newfoundland, Quebec and Manitoba. And Ms. Anzarut had a gene that elevated her risk of cancer recurrence.
The front-page stories showed little sign of stopping. So after several weeks of opprobrium, Minister Matthews decided to provide Ms. Anzarut with herceptin. “This is the option that I think makes real sense to me,” she said, explaining why she now was presiding over — to cite her own words from a few days previous — “a health system where the stories that land on the front page … determine our health-care policy.”
Ms. Anzarut’s adventures in drug policy illustrate the arbitrary nature of our system. During last year’s debate over Obamacare in the United States, right-wing critics accused reformers of promoting “death panels” that would make life-or-death decisions about citizens’ health care. Obamacare defenders insisted that such a notion was ridiculous.
Yet here in Canada, “death panels” dictate our health care every day — even if that is not the name they go by.
Experts decide who gets what medicine, which medical scans, what treatments. How many other people are there in Ontario, or other Canadian provinces, who have been denied potentially life-saving treatments, but lack the ability to engineer a media campaign such as Ms. Anzarut’s?
Jill Anzarut did not choose her health insurance plan. Instead, our health-care system forced her, and everyone else, into a situation where government bureaucrats choose what is best for us. “Do not worry, citizens,” the bureaucrats intone. “We have your best interests in mind. We shall decide what is best for you.”
But these bureaucrats also must consider the costs their decisions will create for the public system. Which is why people find the idea of “death panels” so scary.
Why do we allow this system to continue? Perhaps because we think of health care as something the government provides to us for free, and that we’re lucky to get it. But that’s wrong. There’s nothing “free” about health care. We all pay for it with our tax dollars. The average Ontarian pays $3,799.62 annually for health care, according to the Fraser Institute. Across Canada, because of the progressive nature of our government’s revenue collection, better-paid tax payers contribute a lot more than that. A recent Fraser Institute analysis by Milagros Palacios and Nadeem Esmail indicates that the top 30% of Canadian taxpayers by income (those who claim income of $97,486 or more) pay annual health-care costs starting at $10,612. The top 10% of taxpayers pay at least $32,056 annually.
Effectively, our monopolist health insurer keeps jacking up our rates, while providing less service. Competition law in Canada forbids such behaviour in most corporate sectors … except when the government is the monopoly holder. Not only is it OK for government to be the monopoly — they go one step further and make it illegal for competitors to even exist. And then they try to tell us it’s for our own benefit. Competition is bad, they say. It’s immoral. Yet in almost every other sector of our economy, competition is what makes us thrive and be “competitive” as a nation. What a disconnect.
Health Minister Deb Matthews’ reversal in the Anzarut case is intended to show us how responsive a monopolist we have in Ontario. Well, in fact, perhaps it showed exactly the opposite. Health care is in trouble when media stories spur the health minister to micromanage who gets what drugs, and for which size tumours. The Anzarut case has shown how frightened the monopolist is of a little public outcry. It showed the system’s fragility. Perhaps this monolith is beginning to crack."
*
Remember Health Minister Deb Matthews just two weeks ago smugly pretending that she can't get involved with patient health-care?!?!
Looks like another Liberal lie to add to the list...
We need to understand that what Ontario's monopolist Liberal scumbags Dalton McGuinty and his current health minister Deb Matthews tried to do to Jill Anzarut was the same thing which McGuinty and his former health minister George Smitherman did to Suzanne Aucoin.
Deb Matthews was just hoping no one would notice the similarities.
'Suzanne Aucoin?' the left will say; 'Who's that? Why should we care about some anecdotal anomaly from the past?'
Does anybody out there remember - or care - what McGuinty's Liberal scumbags did to Suzanne Aucoin?
Have we all forgotten what Dalton's disgusting Liberals put her through?
Have we forgotten that McGuinty forced this cancer patient to go to the United States, because McGuinty's Liberal-run health-monopoly denied her cancer coverage here in Ontario!
Ask Liberal MPP Jim Bradley about it: this disgusting Liberal even went to Aucoin's memorial service - as if HIS OWN MONOPOLISTIC LIBERALISM  had nothing to do with what his own Liberal government did (or specifically, didn't do) when she was ill!!
The leftist single-payer-healthcare-monopoly-pushers DO NOT WANT anyone remembering what McGuinty's Liberals put Aucoin through.
Liberals want Ontarians to forget about Suzanne Aucoin.
McGuinty wants us to forget that Aucoin was a precedent for Anzarut.
The Liberals do not want Ontarians to ask about, or to remember, why Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin had to investigate the McGuinty government's pathetic behaviour in the Aucoin case: see Liberal Healthcare Duplicity: pages 8, 9, 45, 56, 62 ,69, 70, 71, 72 ,73 ,74, 75]
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Many Americans are fully aware of Obamacare's inherent death-panels: even New York Times writer and darling of the left, Paul Krugman, has already said death-panels and tax-increases are part-and-parcel of Obamacare. Krugman confirmed what Palin had been saying.
(...and by June 2013, Americans, too, would sadly come face-to-face with Kathleen Sebelius'  nightmare of state-run health-despotism in action, in their own country, foisted by their own government.
“Some people live. Some people die,” said Sibelius - and her government death panel decides! Tommy Douglas or Dalton McGuinty or George Smitherman couldn't have said it better themselves.)
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Obamacare's 15-person death panel is in the works: the official name for this Demon-cratic Star-Chamber of Health-care Cuts is the innocuous-sounding Independent Payment Advisory Boad (IPAB).
*
Then, in the Sept.16, 2012 New York Times, Steven Rattner, another darling of the left, wrote an article pleading to Obama 'we need death panels'! Too bad wikipedia and politicheck somehow can`t get the updates about their mythical 'myth of death panels' on their sites!!

Rattner and Krugman yearn for death panels, yet the smug liberal-left still stubbornly pretends that 'Palin was wrong'; still insists that somehow Obamacare isn't about the state attacking the elderly; the helpless.

Maybe Michael Den Tandt  will now grace us with some of his grand insightful criticism of Krugman's and Rattner's and Sibelius' positions!!

After all, look at the leftist garbage which Den Tandt was smugly spewing in the Mar.27, 2010 St.Catharines Standard (which, no doubt, the local Liberal Jim Bradley-voting morons giddily ate up):
"...Many Canadians, perhaps most, have been bemused by the tenor of the debate down south. Obama's plan extends health care to millions more Americans, but it is a far cry from a universal, state-run system.
To call it socialism, let alone a dictatorial abuse of power, or an invitation to "death panels," all terms being bandied about online and on the talk shows, is worse than stupid. These are grotesque fabrications and exaggerations ..." Really, Mikey???!!

Do ya, ummm... maybe  wanna revisit your own bullshit, worse-than-stupid assessment now?!
The "grotesque fabrications and exaggerations" being bandied about, were YOURS, Mr. Den Tandt!!

Or, maybe Mindy Jacobs or some other St.Catharines Standard lefty hack will now honour us with their smug criticism of Krugman or Rattner... eh, how about that, Wendy Metcalfe...?  (never happened; can't have that...)
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Some facts to temper Ignatieff's and Gill's Liberal rhetoric

We have seen Iggy, the Liberal carpetbagger, and Andrew Gill campaigning together in Niagara, trying out their talking points. Carmen Chai examines some of this Liberal rhetoric in "The Gritty Reality":

"On Monday, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff accused the Conservatives of being the highest-spending, most wasteful government in history, referring to a list of expenses from stealth fighter jets to the G8/G20 summits last summer. How thrifty were the Liberals when they called the shots?

- Corporate tax cuts

The accusation:
Ignatieff says the Conservatives' cuts to corporate taxes will drain the government of billions in annual revenue.

The facts:
The current corporate tax rate fell to 16.5 per cent, effective Jan. 1, 2011. The Liberals would raise it back to 18 per cent, last year's level. Based on their calculations, that would generate $6 billion annually.
Under Jean Chretien's Liberal government from 1993 to 2003, the corporate tax rate sat at 28 per cent. By 2003, the Liberals had brought those tax rates down to about 23 per cent.
The Canada Revenue Agency says tax rates were 19.5 per cent in 2008 under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and slowly decreased. The Tories have said corporate tax rates will be reduced to 15 per cent by 2012; the Liberals say they will not do this.
But Stephane Dion, who led the federal Liberals' 2008 campaign, pledged to cut corporate taxes below the 18.5 per cent rate that the Conservatives proposed.
Dion argued that lower corporate tax rates were "powerful" weapons in helping with investing, and job creation.

- The cost of international summits

The accusation:
Ignatieff points to the $1-billion price tag for 72 hours of G8/G20 meetings last summer and says he would have held both summits in the Huntsville, Ont., region and saved millions.

The facts:
Officials decided the region couldn't house world delegates and international media. So the G20 summit, in Toronto, ended up costing $679 million. About $574.6 million was spent on security.
Canada shelled out a lot more, however, than other countries that have hosted similar summits. The 2009 G20 summit, for example, set the United Kingdom back $20 million, with another $28.6 million spent on security, according to research out of the University of Toronto.
In a July 2010 report, the U of T researchers say that between $129 million and $200 million was spent on Canada's 2002 G8 summit in Kananaskis, Alta.

- Fighter jets

The accusation:
Ignatieff says the Liberals would cancel a contract for 65 F-35 stealth fighter jets, instead spending $16 billion on health care.

The facts:
Costs of the program vary widely, with the parliamentary budget officer using a figure closer to $30 billion for the jets.
The Tories, however, say the deal not only helps the Canadian Forces, but contributes to the economy. Joining the U.S.-led Joint Strike Fighter program has provided Canadian companies with access to $12 billion in potential work over a 40-year period, they argue.
The Liberals significantly scaled back military spending in the 1990s to balance the books, but the decision angered U.S. officials who complained that Canada wasn't doing enough to help fight terrorism and protect North America.

- Government spending

The accusation:
Ignatieff says the government is out of control, because federal spending under Stephen Harper grew by 18 per cent in his first three years as prime minister.

The facts:
Government reports on fiscal spending show that expenses under the Harper government jumped from $222.2 billion in the 2006-07 year to $274.2 billion in 2009-10 — an 18.9 per cent increase. During Jean Chretien's first three years as prime minister, spending rose a modest 2.39 per cent, from $162.4 billion in 1992-93 to $170.2 billion in 1995-96. In 1996-1997, expenses were slashed to $158.6 billion from $170.2 billion the fiscal year before.

- PMO spending

The accusation:
The Liberals point to an "explosion" in ministers' and the prime minister's office budgets under Harper.

The facts:
The annual cost of Harper's office was nearly $10 million in 2009-2010, a 30 per cent jump over the previous two years. In 2009-10, the cost to run Harper's office was $9.89 million — compared to 8.1 million the previous year and $7.5 million in 2007-08. Documents tabled in Parliament show the entire Conservative cabinet's costs had increased by 16 per cent since 2007-08, when records of such expenses were first documented.
However, figures on government spending when the Liberals were in power aren't published, so there's no point of comparison. It was the Tories' accountability legislation that made it possible to track office spending."

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Furthermore, it is really difficult to believe Iggy's sudden claim that he won't pursue a coalition in the future. That's an utter crock. With Ipsos putting the Conservatives at 43% support, the Grits 24% and the socialists at 16%, Iggy's best chance of power is through a coalition!
The Liberal and NDP pre-election charade will be to pretend that they are out to "win" an election as 'independent' parties; the reality is that with their existing combined 24%+16%, they are simply running to win a coalition, to take over government!!! [There's' your "Red Door" BACK DOOR analogy right back in yer face, Iggula]
The Cobblitionists' combined 40% vs. the Conservatives 43% makes Iggy's timing of this election call understandable - these are competitive numbers for them when seen this way: the upside is that the Libs could obtain a minority, being supported by Dippers (yeah, yeah, Ole Layton the "King Maker"...) and a separatist or two. So, that's the upside for Iggy, for pretending there is "no coalition"! The downside for Iggy is that the Conservatives obtain another minority, causing Iggy to do the whole Stephane Dion thing all over again - with Layton and a separatist or two!!
At that time, Iggy'll conveniently come up with a new nuance rationalizing his newly-changed-stance. Iggy'll tell us that a coalition, will... ahem... become 'a necessity', y'see, to 'save Canada from Harper' (or some such drivel) and that  'although we thought and said differently in March of 2011, in May 2011, things have changed, and so, we are 'forced' to enter into this coalition'... blah... blah...blah... y'see, how easy it will be for Iggy to do this?
The losers can get a win-win ! It's just that for the time being - until the election is over! - Iggy's gotta pretend that there's NO coalition! This would simply be a redux of Dion's 2008 gambit. The thing Layton and Iggy have learned this time around is to keep Duceppe out of it as long as possible.
We've seen a lot of Liberal liars; Iggy won't be the last to say one thing and do another,
We had the lying scumbag Dalton Pinocchio McGuinty in Ontario, with his 'I won't raise taxes' bald faced lies. Slimy Chretien with his GST lies and his free trade lies. Trudeau with his wage and price control lies. Even Stephane Dion was telling Canadians during the 2008 election that they couldn't have a coalition with the NDP; then, right after the election, lo and behold, Canadians found out the opposition had been contemplating coalition alliances as far back as the summer of 2008.
Trusting Ignatieff is just a waste of time. If Iggy and Layton want to merge their parties, and run under such a banner, then fine; but to carry on this subterfuge of  under-the-table alliances and shared-but-not-spoken interests while also pretending to be running as 'independents', is a charade.
An honest Iggy would have said - correctly - that the coalition option is always there in our parliamentary system (at a political price, though...); and that, he would consider it if conditions warranted it. (...and Dion's conditions included the Bloc...)
But, for Iggy to now outright deny any coalition, thereby boxing himself in after the election, is patently idiotic, and truly unbelievable, deservedly leaving Iggy open to yet more flip-flop-liar ridicule down the road.
This all shows that professor Ignatieff is not ready for prime-time and is in way over his head; his theoretical Liberalism doesn't resonate. The only way for Canada to move forward is with a Conservative majority, not another costly minority fiasco-in-the-making. This would give us stability, and pave the way for the necessary political housecleaning that obviously needs to happen in our federal dysfunctional parties.
The Liberals, under professor Ignatieff's tutelage, clearly still have not truly understood their post-Chretien lessons. The Libs 'time-for-reflection-in-the-political-wilderness' has not yielded any new-found purpose nor promise.
Ignatieff''s tiresome, sneerful bromides can't - and won't - lead this country.
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Iggy conveniently ignores McGuinty's prison plans

Ignatieff was on Newstalk 1010 with John Tory on Mar.28, 2011; a sanctimonious Iggy once again blathered about the Conservative federal government building "super-prisons"; yet, isn't that exactly what Iggy's Liberal colleagues Dalton McGuinty and Jim Bradley are doing in Ontario?!

Seeing that Liberal carpetbagger  Ignatieff is a (parachuted) Ontario MPP, has Iggy publicly advised his own premier, McGuinty, to stop building 'super prisons'?
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Jim Bradley still silent about wasteful Liberal eco-tax fiaso

When Liberal monopolists such as Jim Bradley, Kim Craitor, Dalton McGuinty, Dwight Duncan, Brad Duguid, and Deb Matthews deny coverage to cancer patients, close hospital emergency rooms, continue with health-care cuts and cancellations, underfund the health monopoly, cut previous supposedly-"universal" health-care coverage, and raise new health taxes while downloading costs to municipalities, it would be nice to see, oh, say, MPP Jim Bradley explain why it's all right for the Liberals to blow another $18 million on their eco-tax fiasco, as patients in the Liberal health-care monopoly suffer.
Funny how the St.Catharines Standard's Earth Hour GreenFear TM  spreaders conveniently can't find Jimmy or Kimmy to explain their wasteful ways.
Feh... what's 18 million, when Jim Bradley is Trying To Save The Planet?!
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

McGuinty's swan song

It's amazing how Alberta Liberal David Swann and his medicare-monopoly-pushin' buddies are agitating for a "public inquiry" into Alberta's health-care system; if only Swann would say the exact same thing about Dalton McGuinty's far-worse Liberal-run health-care monopoly in Ontario! Albertans just need to look at what Liberal scumbag monopolist McGuinty has done to Ontario to see the kind of disaster a Liberal future would bring.
Ontarians are heading to the polls in October of 2011, hopefully to get rid of McGuinty and his Liberal lies. Ontario - now a have-not province thanks to McGuinty - has to put up with McGuinty's Liberal bullshit until October; thankfully, this Gritty white-noise will be McGuinty's swan song.
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

What is Bradley's position on the federal election?

So the Toronto Star tells us that Dalton McGuinty will be campaigning for his federal Liberal brother David during this unnecessary federal election.
How can slimy Liberal Dalton McGuinty - who is promoting provincial corporate tax-cuts - in all honesty campaign for his slimy Liberal sibling, who doesn't believe in corporate tax cuts?! Guess one of them's lyin'; guess it depends on where they are, who they're tryin' to con at any given time, and which way the wind is blowing...
Wonder if the St.Catharines Standard will bother to contact Good Ole Liberal MPP Jim Bradley and ask the Savant of Secord Dr. whether Jimmy'll be campaigning for Liberal Andrew Gill or for Michael Ignatieff?!!
oh yeah... Jimmy can't be reached....
Isn't it also funny how Iggyite Liberals such as Andy Gill sneer at the idea of building prisons (crime? what crime?! ) while at the same time, McGuintyite Liberals such as Public Safety Minister Jim Bradley want to... uh... build more prisons in Ontario.
You can bet the St.Catharines Standard won't bother asking any Grit to explain that, either.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Beware: Ignatieff's "coalition if necessary, but not necessarily coalition" threat is still in play

Coalition Redux, a new/old political horror play directed by Michael Ignatieff.

Hilarious how, suddenly, Ignatieff and his Liberals are pretending that they didn't want an election!!! Wow...
Also interesting to see how Iggy is hiding and ignoring questions about his coalition plans. (Iggy? Hidden agenda? What hidden agenda, eh?!!!!)
All Canadians need to recall power-hungry Iggy's record of past pronouncements; we need to remember Iggy's veiled implied threats as he constantly re-iterated his "Coalition if necessary, but not necessarily coalition" rhetoric.
Remember that two-faced Liberal gobbledygook from Professor Iggy?
Well, Iggy - who purports that he is so trustworthy and honest - still will NOT clarify his 2011 coalition plans with Duceppe and Layton. Iggy simply walked away from a reporters scrum when asked to specifically and publicly clarify his exact stance on a new 2011 re-cobbled coalition. [...Son of Cobbilition, coming soon to a riding near you...!]
All Canadians must remember that Ignatieff was not only eagerly threatening to overthrow a newly-and-duly-elected Canadian government last time, he was also a willing participant in Stephane Bumbledore Dion's failed leftist junta.
After being appointed as Bumbledore's Liberal successor, Ignatieff continued using his "coalition if necessary, but not necessarily coalition" threats.
Now Michael Ignatieff bleats on about 'honest democracy' (!) - while hiding his plans to create his own sequel, Coalition Part Two, in  2011!
Canadians need to see and understand, right here, right now, right from the get-go, that Ignatieff's coalition is STILL in existence; it has not gone away.
Bye-bye Iggy. You can get a cheap flight back to Harvard on Porter...
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Airforce buzzes St.Catharines


Mar.22, 2011 @ 10:15 a.m. - a Canadian search and rescue transport aircraft is seen circling low over St.Catharines. The four-engine turboprop Lockheed CC 130 E H Hercules was in Niagara for a training mission.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

McGuinty's Liberals are a threat to Ontario

Jim Wilson (MPP Simcoe-Grey) wrote in "McGuinty government a threat to families": (Barrie Examiner)

  "Next week, the McGuinty Liberals will present this year's Ontario budget. In light of what Dalton McGuinty has done to household finances, nobody should believe a word that he says.
  Let's not forget the 2003 election when Mr. McGuinty said, "I'm telling Ontario families that their taxes will not go up tomorrow, or any day under a Liberal government."
  Seven months later, he brought in what was the single largest tax increase in Ontario's history when he implemented the health tax. This greedy tax grab has robbed $18 billion from families and seniors since being implemented -- so much for that pledge not to raise taxes.
  During his seven and a half years in office, Mr. McGuinty and his team have added a myriad of new taxes, fees and increased costs onto Ontario families.
  The Harmonized Sales Tax added 8% in new taxes to thousands of products and services including haircuts, home heating fuel, electricity and gasoline, just to name a few. All told, this tax will deplete our collective pocketbooks by about $3 billion per year, making it a bigger and even greedier tax grab than the Health Tax.
  The Green Energy Act, the $53 million hidden hydro tax, smart meters and time-of-use metering are the latest assaults on household finances. Since 2003, hydro rates have gone up 75%. Over the next 5 years, rates will rise by at least another 46%. That doesn't include Mr. McGuinty's decision to extend the Debt Retirement Charge by seven years, which amounts to $1 billion per year, plus HST.
  There have also been hikes in auto insurance rates, while coverage requirements were reduced. He applied the Land Transfer Tax on fractional ownership, implemented the Ontario Tire Stewardship Fee, and increased fees for various government services including Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration and driver testing.
  We have the highest tuition rates in all of Canada and the highest fines and penalties for seat belt, speeding and other traffic infractions. Mr. McGuinty increased taxes on beer, wine and spirits and even raised the floor price on beer, and let's not forget his sneaky eco-taxes that he slapped on electronics such as computers, TVs and iPods.
  Families now have to use their credit card instead of their OHIP card for eye exams, physiotherapy and chiropractic appointments. In fact, out of pocket health care expenses paid by middle class households jumped by 43% in the last 10 years.
  What affect do these endless tax hikes have on households? Well, we're working longer and harder than ever with less and less to show for our efforts. We spend more time on wait lists and lineups for services while the system wastes valuable resources, like at eHealth and Local Health Integration Networks.
  Personal bankruptcy figures for Ontario reveal that, in the first nine months of 2010, 37,462 residents declared bankruptcy and the number of consumer bankruptcy proposals filed increased by 26%
  Clearly, life in Ontario has changed. Mr. McGuinty has turned Ontario into a have-not province with have-not households.
  The Ontario PC Caucus, under the leadership of Tim Hudak, is calling on the McGuinty government to put families first in the Budget and put an end to government waste and abuse of tax dollars. We believe that families need relief for their pocketbooks and respect for how every one of their tax dollars are used.
  Families are being forced to make difficult decisions to balance their household budgets. Dalton McGuinty should do the same."
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That's a good starter list of McGuinty's Liberal failures; let's not forget that Dalton McGuinty's tax-happy Ontario Liberals are also a party of congenital liars, nanny-staters, interventionists, monopolists, health-care-cutters, and global-warming fear-mongers. These are the Liberal smug statists who believe they have a divine right to intervene in private business; who want a command-and-control sovietized economy.
click on photo to enlarge
above: Ontario soviet premier Dalton McGuinty rationalizes his disastrous Liberal ideology.
What is essential is that Ontarians get rid of Disastrous Dalton's Liberal regime.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The McGuinty-Craitor Liberal LHIN blame game

McGUINTY BLAMES THE LHIN; yet, also THINKS IT'S NORMAL THAT LIBERAL-MANDATED HOSPITAL BUREAUCRACY TAKES PRIORITY OVER PATIENT NEEDS!

The Toronto Star, Jan.26, 2010, had a CP story, "McGuinty defends closure of Fort Erie hospital emergency room":

   "Premier Dalton McGuinty is defending the decision to close the emergency room in Fort Erie, saying the province can't afford to provide every service in every community.
   McGuinty says he doesn't want to pre-judge the outcome of an expected coroner's inquest into the death of Reilly Anzovino following a Boxing Day car accident.
   The 18-year-old died as the ambulance carrying her was travelling more than 40 kilometres to Welland because the emergency department in Fort Erie had been closed.
   The Ontario Health Coalition says the teen's death raises questions about whether closing the emergency room in Fort Erie led to an avoidable fatality.
   McGuinty says it was the local health integration network that advised the government to close the Fort Erie emergency room.
   He says hospital funding has increased 43 per cent since the Liberals came to power in 2003, but the government must decide which services it can afford to provide in which communities.
   The premier also says there's nothing unusual in hospitals deciding to postpone elective surgeries until after their fiscal year end to avoid running deficits, which are illegal under Ontario law."

*
There's 'nothing unusual' in postponing elective surgeries (because they're not really important, eh?) in order to satisfy some Liberal politician's accounting edict?!

ARE YOU FLICKING KIDDING, DALTON??

YOU CREATED THESE ILLEGAL DEFICITS!!

YOU RUN THE HEALTH MONOPOLY!!

It is this kind of ignorant, smug, wrong-headed comment that is indicative of McGuinty's failing Liberal health care ideology.

Think about it: McGuinty, unbelievably, sees it as quite normal that elective surgeries are on a lower priority than politically-mandated accounting details!

McGuinty sees NOTHING UNUSUAL in putting a real patient's need below that of the state's accounting decrees! That McGuinty sees this as just a plain ole' truth, just a regular ole' way of doin' things, is WHY THESE LIBERALS ARE INCOMPETENT.

And, though the Star claims McGuinty doesn't want to "pre-judge the outcome" of the coroner's inquest, that's exactly what McGuinty has already done, as seen in a Jan.27, 2010 St.Catharines Standard story by Jonathan Jenkins (see here): whatever the coroner may recommend, McGuinty's already saying he won't change his mind!!

And don't forget McGuinty's above statement that THE PROVINCE CAN'T AFFORD TO PROVIDE EVERY SERVICE IN EVERY COMMUNITY. Read that again: did you ever hear Liberal scumbag health-monopolists such as McGuinty, Craitor, Bradley, Duguid, Matthews, Duncan, etc. say this BEFORE their last election?!?! They were PRETENDING that the OPPOSITE was true!! They were pretending that Ontario's health-care was peachy-keen EVERYWHERE in the province!

So, in the Jan.26, 2010 Star McGuinty admitted that his Liberal health-care monopolism is asymetrical, un-even, and skewed. Yet: the Liberals will not allow patients to look after their own needs privately. McGuinty's Liberal scumbags purposefully prevent Ontarians from pursuing non-government-reliant health care, on none other than ideological grounds. (see Lorne Gunter's column "Public health care has no claim to moral superiority", National Post, Mar.23, 2011)

And lastly - let's remember what McGuinty also said in the Jan.26, 2010 Toronto Star, as I outlined in red above.

Note how McGuinty first blamed the LHIN: McGuinty said that the LHIN advised the government to close down the Fort Erie ER. But then, McGuinty also said that the government must decide which medical services would be provided and where this would be. In other words, the LHIN's "advice" wasn't "real" "advice": the LHIN was only regurgitating WHAT THE LIBERALS HAD ALREADY TOLD THEM TO SAY!!

In other words, McGuinty's Liberal government had already decided which medical services and  facilities would be cut; the LHIN's job (as obedient state-apparatchiks) was to present this pre-ordained Liberal political decision as if they came up with this advice all on their own!

Therein lies the McGuinty Liberal government's health-care duplicity, writ large, for all to see.

And let's remember: Liberal loony MPP Kim Craitor is quite happy with the Niagara LHIN and its outgoing boss Gledhill !! So: compare that to McGuinty telling us that the ER closures in Niagara were (ostensibly) due to the LHIN's advice!!!

Do y'all see the incongruous realities being spun here by the Liberals?!

To blame the LHIN; to not blame the LHIN... hmm... which is it??!  A Liberal will spin this, depending on the particular day, and the particular circumstance. Does Craitor agree with his own Liberal leader: that the LHIN is to blame for closing the Fort Erie ER?! McGuinty blames the LHIN [which, by the way, is why Smitherman designed the LHIN's!]; yet Kim Craitor supports the LHIN, and blames the NHS !!!!

Do y'all now see how inconsistent, how all over all the map, how out of touch, how utterly hypocritical Craitor and his Liberal health-care monopolists are on all this?!?!

It was McGuinty's Liberal monopolist government which closed the hospital emergency rooms; the LHIN and the NHS  - as agents of the state-run monopoly - were forced  to carry out George Smitherman's Liberal-mandated cuts.

Now, disgusting Liberal health-monopolists such as Jim Bradley, Craitor and McGuinty will do anything to pretend that someone else - not them - was responsible !!
*

McGuinty Liberals steal from health-care to overpay for "green energy" fiasco

Toby Barrett wrote in "Dalton McGuinty gambling with expensive energy experiments":

 "Ontario's Opposition has revealed that, at a time when Ontario families are having trouble paying their hydro bills, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is spending $1.05 million per year more than they need to for power.
Ontario families learned earlier this year that the OLG has become the largest consumer in Canada of Bullfrog Power - a green energy provider. Eight of their locations are now paying a premium of three cents per kilowatt hour for the energy they use to power all of their bright lights and slot machines. And Ontario families are stuck with the bill. To date, the McGuinty government has paid $5 million more than they needed to for energy through the OLG and other deals with Bullfrog.
QUICK FACTS:
• On January 20, 2011, OLG announced that they have become the largest consumer of Bullfrog Power in Canada by paying to offset eight of their facilities. These commitments mean that publicly funded OLG is spending more money on renewable energy than the richest private sector consumers of Bullfrog Power in Canada.
• To date, the McGuinty government has paid $5 million dollars more than they needed to for energy through this OLG deal and other deals with Bullfrog. Going forward, they will pay $2 million annually in premiums above and beyond the base cost of energy."
*
Millions are being OVERPAID for the McGuinty-Smitherman Bullshit Power fiasco, with the unaccountable OLG conspiring to fold in with this rigged green game. Why is the OLG not mandated to provide its "service", such as it is, at the best cost, which is not the 'rigged-by-the-house' politically-fashionable "green" cost? [...anyone looking into what McGuinty's other cosy monopoly, the LCBO, is doing?]
Maybe Kim Craitor can explain to Niagarans why his Liberal government thinks its OK to steal multi-millions from their under-funded health monopoly, and simply waste it on greenshevik energy?
Why doesn't proud Liberal MPP Kim Craitor explain why his own kyodiot Liberals steal from Tommy Douglas to pay for George Smitherman's energy fiasco?! Niagara's EMS ambulance service  is now strained due to Craitor's Liberal health-care cuts and emergency-room closures, yet Craitor and McGuinty chortle with glee as they blow millions on over-priced Bullshit Energy, while patients suffer.
Oh, sure... Liberal MPP Jim Bradley could also try to explain this to his constituents, as well.
But will any local reporters or editors from the St.Catharines Standard or Niagara This Week bother to get off their liberal-lickin' asses and ask these Liberal FLICKERS to explain their perverted political priorities?
The one sure bet is that won't happen here!
The press can't gamble making their local Liberal idols look like hypocrites.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Craitor: just another Liberal hypocrite


George Lepp in his above letter (Mar.17, 2011, Niagara This Week) reveals Liberal hack Kim Craitor for the duplicitous hypocrite which he is.
In fact, it is Liberal MPP Craitor and his Liberal McGuintyites who have 'crossed the line' with their health care cuts, tax-increases, and lies.
Liberal monopolists such as Kim Craitor and Liberal MPP Jim Bradley ARE the problem.
Remember, Craitor just finished telling us what a  FLICKING great job  Gledhill and her LHIN have done!  Craitor wasn't "upset" about that!!! Funny, eh?!
So, when Lepp mentions how duplicitous Craitor 'called for an investigation into the LHIN', that is hard to believe on the face of it: Craitor PRETENDED that he wanted a LHIN review, but only in the context of being able to slam Harris (via the NHS)!
Y'all got that?
Not clear yet? Then see how Craitor was spinning this in Ray Spiteri's report here from last year, where Craitor says "Unfortunately, here in my riding the LHIN has been tarnished by what's transpired over at the Niagara Health System".
So there it is: this is all it's ever been for Craitor: to slam the NHS, but never slam the Liberal created LHIN; to spin it that the NHS "tarnished" the poor ole LHIN, as if the LHIN had nothing to do with overseeing the NHS!
Forget the fact that the NHS takes its marching orders directly from the McGuinty-government-appointed, directed, and funded LHIN!  Conveniently, Craitor just... umm... seems to NOT UNDERSTAND this connection! Or, more plausible, this Liberal weasel is desperately trying to hide this chain of command. Craitor wants to take our attention away from the failed McGuinty-Smitherman  LHIN disaster, by blaming the NHS - which [repeat!!] gets its orders FROM THE LIBERAL-CONTROLLED LHIN !
Y'all now get how Craitor is spinning this circle of deception?!
Craitor's political mission is to cover up for his Liberal-created LHIN by attacking the NHS.
Craitor will NOT call for any independent investigation into his Liberal-created LHIN, because that would put into question the McGuinty Liberals' entire single-payer health-monopoly. The Grits DO NOT WANT that.
So, despite what Lepp wrote, Craitor did not call for any "investigation" into the LHIN; as seen in Spiteri's report, there was NO call for any kind of independent investigation - at best, it was just a petulant jab at McGuinty's  slick decision to ...umm... POSTPONE his own REVIEW (not "investigation") of the LHIN.
[Don't forget: that was another Liberal lie coming from McGuinty - promise a LHIN review, and then just slough it off and forget about it - and, no-one's asked about it since!]
Craitor hasn't made a peep about any LHIN "investigation" since - for him, it's all about blaming the NHS.
It was all a charade.
The LHIN did a GOOD JOB Kimmy now sez - what with all the cuttin' and closin' goin' on!
As far as Kimmy sees it, Harris  - not McGuinty - did all this!!!! [...and Lepp says Kimmy's "out of touch" !!!!... man - what a drool understatement!...]
For Kimmy, the NHS, one fine day, decided to make all these cuts and restructurings, all on their own!! Yep... and the LHIN was doin' such a fine job, that they, umm... ahh... only found out about all this years later!!
Yep: Kimmy wants us to believe that the LHIN had nothin' to do with anything that happened at the NHS!! hahahaha!
Yep, as far as Kimmy's concerned, George Smitherman and McGuinty's Liberal cabinet had nothing at all to do with any of this!!!!
Somehow, the NHS... uhhh... "underfunded" themselves!!! Yessirre!
Liberal monopolist politics  had nothin' to do with it!!
As far as Craitor's concerned, someone else - the NHS... Harris... someone - did all this, not the Liberals, not the Liberal-run LHIN!
Why, next thing ya know, Craitor will be pretending that he's not even a Liberal !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

F.C. Burroughes Furniture

above: the F.C. Burroughes Furniture store on Queen St., Niagara Falls Ont., Oct.4, 1964.
above: same view, Mar.30, 2010, the same building with Burroughes now long gone; new sewers are being installed out front along Queen St.
above: interior ground-floor view of the former Burroughes Niagara Falls showroom on Queen St. Note the center two-storey open mezzanine.
above: Burroughes Furniture Niagara Ltd. had an outlet at 45 James St. in St.Catharines, as seen in this 1963 invoice for a Kroehler sofa,  made in Stratford, Ont.




Mr. F.C. Burroughes, photo at left, arrived in Canada from England with his parents as a young boy. He apprenticed in the woodworking shops of fine furniture maker Jacques and Hay.













F.C.opened his first shop in 1887 on Queen St. W. in Toronto, a block from Queen and Bathurst St. (Photo of shop is seen below, though I'm not sure of its exact address on Queen. It looks to have been a corner location)
F.C. later bought Potter and Co. which stood at the s-e corner of Queen and Bathurst, then later bought the old Jolliffe stand which had been at 585 Queen St.W. In the mid 1890's F.C. Burroughes owned a house not too far away from Queen and Bathurst, at 21 Henry St. buying it from his brother William, who was a plumber.

In 1907 Mr. F.C. Burroughes incorporated his firm into the 'F.C. Burroughes Furniture Co. Ltd.', and then built his new 7-floor showroom and head-office at 641 Queen St. W. (the building is still there, now renovated, and now the address is 639 Queen St. W.; from 1949 to about 2002 this was the King Sol army surplus place, I remember that store well, having been in it many times - it was huge inside, many floors were vacant, and not very well maintained.)
As F.C. Burroughes' business grew, they soon built a large warehouse behind the Queen St. store, connected with a bridge over the laneway, and in 1910 added an addition to the 'new' store at its east side, along Queen St. (photo above shows the original showroom building at the far right, with the newer addition, seen in the center of photo).

Eventually the firm covered the area from Queen to Richmond St., and also had a large frontage facing onto Bathurst St. as well! (This all must have grown to the south of the hotel which now stands directly on the s-e corner of Queen and Bathurst [the former Big Bop, former Holiday Tavern]; when this building was built, I'm not sure, but the Potter and Co. building on that corner must have been torn down earlier at some point.)

Mr. F.C. Burroughes died in 1917, leaving his sons to run the business: the eldest, B.C. Burroughes, became president of the firm; while C.R. Burroughes became VP.
                                     above: B.C. Burroughes
                                     below: C.R. Burroughes
They launched an expansion of the firm, opening a new location in North Toronto at 2436 Yonge St., and also opened a chain of branches: in Brantford (at 314 Colborne St.); in London Ont., in a new 3-storey showroom (at 303-307 Dundas St.); in St.Catharines (in the 1960's Burroughes Furniture was at 45 James St.), and in Niagara Falls, Ont., covering a good portion of southern Ontario.

The F.C. Burroughes' company presence in Niagara Falls began when they bought the stock of the T.Badger company in 1927, in a 7,350 square-foot building on Queen St.

In 1933 they purchased another building at 554 Queen St. (former location of Northcott's) and remodelled it into a 15,000 sq. ft. showroom. (see here; here for more photos)

In 1937, Mr. M. McBride was Burroughes' Niagara Falls store manager.
*

Monday, March 14, 2011

McGuinty's sicko Liberal health-care: 'Come back when you're sicker'

Matt Gurney wrote in "Ontario tells patient to come back when she's sicker" (National Post, Mar.9, 2011):

"That the Ontario health-care system is under pressure isn’t news. But every so often another case comes along that proves, yet again, just how dysfunctional it is.
   Jill Anzarut, a 35-year-old mother of two young children, has had the misfortune of becoming the latest Canadian whose story speaks to the system’s broader problems. Anzarut detected a lump in her breast and tests determined the lump was indeed a cancerous tumour — an aggressive kind. Worse, Aznarut’s genes mean she is at high risk of her cancer reoccurring. There is a drug, already used in other provinces and in some cases in Ontario, that has been shown to reduce the likelihood of the cancer returning. But Aznarut can’t get it in Ontario: She had the misfortune of catching her cancer too early to qualify.
   Anzarut has fallen afoul of a quirk in Ontario’s policies on the use of the drug in question, Herceptin, which can cut in half the odds of cancer returning after a successful treatment. In Ontario, the drug can be prescribed for cases where the tumour is more than one centimetre in diameter. Anzarut, having caught it very early, has a tumour smaller than that.
   How can this possibly be justified? How much money has been spent on public health campaigns stressing the importance of women performing self-exams for cancer, following up on any abnormalities and getting regular mammograms as a precaution? After all that effort, a young mother does everything exactly right, immediately seeks medical care and is told … sorry, you’re not quite sick enough to get the medicine best able to treat you. Perhaps she should go home and wait while the cancer cells invade her body, then come back later and hope she qualifies. Welcome to Ontario, where we value early warning so long as it’s not too early. You really gotta straddle a fine line with these life-threatening diseases, ya know.
   For most of us, the absurdities of state-monopoly health-care usually mean inconvenience, delays and sometimes, added pain. For Anzarut, the cold inefficiencies of a ration-based system could cost her far more. But all is not yet lost, there is a review panel that can examine her case and grant an exemption. God knows if there was ever a case warranting an exemption, she’s it. If so, that will be good news not only for Anzarut, but the 100 or so women estimated to find themselves in a similar situation every year.
   Some Ontario patients have been able to access Herceptin because they’re lucky enough to have some coverage under a private insurance plan. If the only way to survive in the public health-care system is to come packing private insurance, is that not a sign that the public system isn’t working?"

*
Yes - this is the health-care monopoly run by disgusting Liberal scumbags such as Jim Bradley and Kim Craitor.
This is their Liberal health-care duplicity exposed for all to see. Come back when you're sicker, say the sicko Liberals who control Ontario's sicko state-run, single-payer health-care monopoly.
Of course, this is just the kinda scenario that Ontario's smug Liberal scumbags loved to fearmonger about: you know, that... uh... "Harris did all this" [!] when of course we see it is McGuinty and his Lying Liberals who are actually doing what they claimed Harris would do! Y'all got that?!
Feh - it's only a 'hundred or so' women a year who find themselves in this situation: therefore - as Liberals love to say - they're just anomalies!
Who cares about them, when McGuinty's, Bradley's, Craitor's, and Deb Matthews' main priority is to serve Tommy Douglas' dead socialist ideology?!
These Liberal scumbags force Ontarians to pay for elusive health-care promises; then, when these promises turn out to be a monopolist political fraud, they also ban Ontarians from obtaining their own health care privately.
That should be criminal.
*

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another Niagara health-care horror? Just don't ask Jimmy 'bout that...

Read this and weep:
                                                   CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE!

So here's another Niagara health-care horror story: it took FOUR DAYS for an Ontario patient to finally receive surgery after one of his fingers was almost severed in a work-related accident.
Yawn.
Who cares?
What whiners.
This is just another minor anecdote, a minor little hiccup, just a little misunderstanding, which cannot blemish the Great Glory That Is Tommy Douglas' Shining Medicare Future. (Well, that's what McGuinty's Liberals will tell ya...)
There's no traction in this story which can be used to blame Harris, y'see... therefore, no one will give a damn.
Even though Reg McLean's above letter appeared in Niagara This Week on Mar.10, 2011, neither editor Williscraft nor any reporter followed-up with an actual report on this shocking health-care failure right in Niagara.
Even though Christina Blizzard talks about how funny Good Ole Jim Bradley is, no one in the media will EVER demand that Jim Bradley provide an explanantion for what happened to this patient in the Liberal-run health-monopoly hospital in Bradley's own back yard.
Liberal MPP Jim Bradley couldn't give a damn.
Neither could Liberal Kim Craitor.
As for Liberal Deb Matthews: why, she's very proud of what her Niagara health monopoly is doing.
There's no problem here, folks... Father McGuinty would like you sheeple to move on along now...
Amazing that there was this combination of no surgeon and/or no facilities being available for this patient anywhere in Niagara. Why wasn't this patient told to just go across the river to the States: Buffalo, thankfully, is fifteen minutes away: that's better than waiting four days in Liberal Ontario's health-scare monopoly. Just don't tell Michael Moore, though...
I guess in Liberal McGuinty-stan, the patient-sheeple must do their best to stay within the demands of the monopoly, and only get sick or hurt during normal business hours, whatever those are...
Funny how on New Year's Eve thousands of people were gathered in Niagara Falls Ont. for a concert - what kind of health-care capacity was planned and available had a major calamity occurred there?
Why isn't anyone in the Ontario press asking James J. Bradley about this?
Bradley, frighteningly, is McGuinty's Public Safety minister, after all:  isn't this a public safety issue? Bradley's Liberal-run health monopoly couldn't even handle this one patient's needs - what would they have done if a major multi-trauma emergency had happened in Niagara Falls, Ontario?!
Why isn't secretive Liberal Jim Bradley answering any questions regarding this patient's situation, and how it related to the Niagara health monopoly's hospital preparedness in general during this timeframe of  Dec.29, 2010 - Jan.2, 2011?
Why didn't Liberal Jim Bradley and Niagara Falls (Liberal) mayor Jim Diodati issue a public warning advising visitors to Niagara Falls, Ontario that the possibility of getting health care was severely compromised?
Did these officials neglect their duty to warn visitors that health-care MIGHT NOT BE AVAILABLE on the Canadian-side of the Niagara region?
Or do these clowns think that forcing one patient to wait four days to have his hand sewn back together is no big deal?
Why didn't Niagara's Regional health officer issue any kind of public warning or concern, that health care services may be compromised, may be MEAGRE-TO-NON-EXISTENT in Niagara?
Will Niagara Regional Council bother to demand that their health officer investigate this incident?
Will Liberal hack Jim Diodati call for an ombudsman's inquiry into the health-care failure in his own city?
Will St.Catharines mayor Brian McMullan take his hand off his multi-million-dollar-spending-bulldozer to demand answers about the failures in the Liberal under-funded health care monopoly in his city?
Are Niagara's officials so utterly blase about the pathetic state of monopoly health care, that they cannot even bring themselves to question Liberal MPP's Jim Bradley and Kim Craitor, who are the political perpetrators of this single-payer horror?
So dear sheeple, please don't ask Jim Bradley to explain anything! (Unless it's obliquely meant to blame the Conservatives, in which case Ole Jimmy'll be glad to answer...) .
We certainly can't expect Niagara This Week or the St. Catharines Standard to dare ask Jimmy 'bout any 'o dis stuff - especially when Jimmy's busy helping his Liberals get re-elected!
So watch closely folks: watch as your elected officials circle their wagons to protect their Liberal friends and their failed Liberal ideology; watch as they completely ignore Reg McLean's letter; watch as they solemnly DO SWEET F*CK ALL to explain the systemic single-payer failure that is Niagara's and Ontario's pathetic health care monopoly.
Watch as Niagara's polticians and Niagara's lap-dog leftist press pretend that nothing happened here... and ... uh... if something did happen, well, then, it was nothing that couldn't be cured with  just a bit more socialism...
*
'How many other horror stories are out there?' McLean asks - well... Jim Bradley and Kim Craitor will never tell you -
see:  No burn unit available in Ontario
see:  Jim Bradley's horrific health-scare monopoly
see:  Another St.Catharines health-care horror story
see:  Liberal health-care duplicity
*

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Welland Canal vista

(click on any photo to enlarge!)
above: the frozen Welland Canal as seen on Mar.4, 2010. This part of the canal was not fully drained over the winter of 2009-10, so the ice is seen high up to the canal banks. In the distance is the St.Catharines Garden City Skyway, built in 1963, which carries the QEW highway over the canal.
above: this is the same view, just twenty days later, on Mar.24, 2010! The ice is all gone, and the canal is almost at its normal water level. The Homer draw bridge is seen in its raised position in the distance, waiting for Nadro Marine's tugboat Vigilant 1 to pass on its way southbound up the canal, towards Lock 3.
above: same view, a typical summer vista of the Welland Canal, in July of 2010.
above: Jan.9, 2011 - this winter (2010-11) the canal was drained. Quite a difference from the previous photo, showing the width of the Big Ditch.
(See more photos at Welland Canal re-filled)
above: Mar.7, 2011, the water in the canal is being allowed to slowly rise again back up to its normal levels, in readiness for the shipping season set to begin in the third week of March. The section seen here was opened in 1932 as part of the fourth incarnation of the canal; the first three routes of the canal joined Lake Ontario at Port Dalhousie in west St.Catharines; this current fourth canal route joins Lake Ontario at Port Weller, in east St.Catharines. The Welland Canal opened in 1829, making this its 182nd shipping season.
above:  Mar.23, 2011 - here the canal is seen at its full operating level. Yesterday, on Mar.22, 2011, was the opening of the canal, with the Peter R. Cresswell (formerly the Algowest) being the first ship to head up (south-bound) towards Lake Erie from Lake Ontario. The Algoeast was the first downbound ship of the 2011 season.
above: Apr.18, 2011 - the Homer Bridge is raised as the Eylul K from Istanbul makes her way up the canal on this cold, snowy day.
above: May 3, 2011 - the Algolake from Sault Ste. Marie heads south up the canal.
above: May 8, 2011 - the southbound Federal Schelde from Bridgetown heads up the canal.
above: Jul.11, 2011 - the Cedarglen of Montreal heads north under the Skyway.
above: Aug.12, 2008 - the Nordic Helsinki from Oslo seen heading north, down the canal, passing underneath the St.Catharines Garden City Skyway.
above: May 19, 2011 the Kurt Paul from St.John's heads up the canal with a load of containers.
above: May 20, 2011, the Algocanada from St.Catharines heads south towards the Skyway.
above: May 20, 2011 - here's a nice view of the Algocanada cruising in still waters...
... and below is my watercolour postcard titled 'Fishing by the Algocanada', showing some kids fishing on a hot August day along the Welland Canal, as the Algocanada looms in the distance:
! Click on any photo to enlarge !
above: Jun.6, 2011 - the BBC Orinoco of St.John's, heading southbound, is tied off at the dock on the west-side of the Welland Canal, just south of the Homer Bridge. A load of wind-turbine blades is seen strapped to her deck. The Orinoco is waiting for a northbound ship, the Atlantic Huron (seen at the far right distance) to make her exit out of Lock Three.
above: Jun.9, 2011 - MCT Arcturus of Monrovia heads southbound towards the Skyway and Lock Three in the distance. The MCT stands for Mega Chemical Tankers.
above: Jun.12, 2011 - the MCT Arcturus  is seen heading back northbound, having just passed under the Skyway, seen at the far right distance. Note the ship had sat deeper in the water on her way south, and after unloading her cargo, is now sitting higher on the way back north.
above: Aug. 26, 2008 - the Robert S. Pierson of Nanticoke heads northbound, just after passing under the Skyway. This view is looking north-east.
above: Aug.10, 2008 - the Edward M. Cotter from the Buffalo Fire Department shows its powerful spray while visiting from the United States during the Canal Days festival in Port Colborne. Port Colborne is at the southern terminus of the Welland Canal. This view looks eastward across the Canal, from a point just north of where the Welland Canal meets Lake Erie. Lake Erie is just off to the right, out of frame.
above: Mar.10, 2008 - the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin sits frozen into place in the same area where the above photo with the E.M. Cotter was taken. The Martin was tied off here during the winter of 2007-08 along the east-side of the Welland Canal in Port Colborne, just slightly north from the also-frozen-over Lake Erie.
above: Mar.4, 2011 - here the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is seen berthed at the Port Weller Drydock during the winter. This drydock is located right on the Welland Canal immediately south-east of  Lock One.
below: Mar.4, 2011 - a wider view shows the shiny Paul. J. Martin at the right; while at the left sitting in the drydock is Algoma Central Marine's  John B. Aird of Sault Ste. Marie. Note the canal bed in front of the drydock doors is dry. This area seen in the foreground is the turning basin for the ships as they manoeuvre in and out of the drydock.
above: the same view, as it was earlier on Jan.6, 2011, showing the Martin on the right and the Aird at the left, with the canal full of water in front. Compared to the previous photo, it looks like the Martin was about to get a new paint job.
above:  here's the same view, as it was on Jan.29, 2010, looking at the Port Weller Drydock. The CSL Assiniboine, can be seen in the drydock at the left, and the Peter R. Cresswell is seen at the right. Note that the canal bed at this time is dry. The CSL Assiniboine was christened by Jocelyn Hyndman-Goettke (CSL CEO Stuart Hyndman's daughter) at the Port Weller Drydock in June of 2005. The Assiniboine was a remanufactured ship, in that it was formerly the Jean Parisien, which had a new forebody attached to it at the drydock. At the time, this was the fourth ship in CSL's renewal program to have such a forebody replacement.
above: Mar.4, 2011 - a view of the rear of the Port Weller Drydocks, showing the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin  at the left, and the the John B. Aird at the right.
above: Mar.28, 2011 - the John B. Aird still sitting in the Port Weller drydock
above: Jun.13, 2011 - the John B. Aird  heads northbound, having just left Lock Three, which is seen in the upper-right distance.
above: Mar.21, 2011 - the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is now sitting back in the canal after being let out of the drydock.
above: Apr.22, 2011 - the Algorail now sits in the canal alongside the Port Weller Drydock building. Note the ship's wheelhouse is at the bow.
above: Mar.28, 2011 - the Canadian Coast Guard ship Cape Roger is tied off along the east-side of the canal, just south of Lock One, beside the Port Weller Drydocks, seen in the rear.
above: Dec.1, 2009 - at the Port Weller drydock (Seaway Marine and Industrial), the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Samuel Risley is seen tied off in the canal at the right, while at the left, the Assiniboine is inside the drydock.
above: Jan.29, 2010 - looking south towards the north-gate of Lock Two on the Welland Canal; note an excavator working to clean up an area where a large chunk of the concrete-topped pier along the west-side collapsed into the canal.
above: Jun.14, 2011 the Algowood of Sault Ste. Marie, having just entered the Welland Canal from Lake Erie, heads northbound underneath the raised Clarence St. liftbridge (Bridge 21) in downtown Port Colborne.
above: Jun.15, 2011 - the Eider of Hong Kong is ready to leave Lock Three, heading southbound. A tiny part of the St.Catharines Garden City Skyway can be seen in the far left distance.
above: Jun.17, 2011 - the Vega Desgagnes from Quebec arrives into Lock Three, heading northbound.
above: Jun.16, 2011 - the Presque Isle of Duluth MN. is seen inside the Port Weller Drydock.
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below: Jun.17, 2011 - this close-up shows how tight a squeeze these ships have in order to get in and out of the locks. Here the northbound Heloise of Panama is seen exiting Lock Three with merely inches to spare.
above: Jun.17, 2011 - the northbound Heloise seen leaving Lock Three
above: Jun.17, 2011 - the Heloise heads north after leaving Lock Three, with the St.Catharines Garden City Skyway in the distance. The two arms of the Homer Bridge (a draw, or bascule, bridge) are seen in the process of being raised in preparation for the Heloise's passage.
above: Jun.20, 2011 - here the southbound Algowood is just about to enter Lock Three.
above: Jun.18, 2011 - the southbound Canadian Enterprise (L) is sitting alongside the west-wall of the Welland Canal, just north of Lock Two. The Enterprise had pulled over to wait for the northbound Rosaire A. Desgagnes of Bridgetown to be lowered and to leave Lock Two. Here the Desgagnes (R) is seen heading north after leaving Lock Two, passing by the waiting Enterprise, which then continued southbound to enter Lock Two.
above: Jun.20, 2011 - the southbound Pacific Huron of St. John's is seen exiting Lock Two under the raised Carlton St. drawbridge.
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below: two historical markers, located near Lock 4,  about the Welland Canal and the Twin Flight Locks:
 (click on any photo to enlarge!)
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above: Jun.19, 2011 - the Norman McLeod  heads southbound, just north of the Glendale Bridge
above: Jun.19, 2011 - McAsphalt Marine Transportation's Norman McLeod of Toronto passes southbound under the raised Glendale Ave. liftbridge (also known as canal Bridge 5)  approaching Lock Four. The McLeod is being propelled by a separate tug, the Everlast of Toronto, which is seen attached at the stern of the McLeod.
above: Jun.21, 2011 - a barge with the identity A390 is seen passing under the St.Catharines Skyway, heading south towards the Homer Bridge and Lock Three. This barge is being propelled by the tug boat Barbara Andrie, which is seen attached at the barge's stern.
above: Jun.21, 2011 - the Algoma Spirit of St.Catharines heads north after exiting Lock Two. This ship was once based in Nassau, as can be seen in the painted-over steel raised-letters at the stern.
above: Jun.22, 2011 - looking south from Lock Three: at the left, heading south, is the Victoria of St. John's, which had just exited Lock Three. The Victoria is passing the Algoma Navigator of Toronto, seen at the right, which is angling northbound to enter Lock Three. The Glendale Ave. liftbridge is seen raised in the distance.
above: Jun.29, 2011 - the Peter R. Cresswell heads south under the Skyway towards the Homer bridge.
above: Aug.27, 2011 - the southbound Peter R. Cresswell is seen exiting Lock Three.
above: Jun.29, 2011 - the Federal Patroller of Limasoll heads north under the Glendale bridge.
above: Jun.29, 2011 - the above two shots show the Federal Patroller continuing north (keeping close to the west-side of the canal) as another ship, the Birchglen of Montreal, heads south towards the Glendale bridge.
above: Jun.29, 2011 - the Birchglen (formerly known as the Canada Marquis, Federal Mackenzie, and Federal Richelieu) passes under the Glendale bridge; note the puff of black smoke coming from her smaller front stack (seen in the center-right distance)
above: Jun.30, 2011 - the BBC Orinoco (formerly called the Beluga Generation) heads north after exiting Lock Two.
above: Jun.30, 2011 - the northbound Captain Henry Jackman of Sault Ste. Marie is being lowered in Lock Three.
above: Aug.12, 2011 - the northbound Captain Henry Jackman has just entered Lock Two; note that the southend lock doors have not yet started to close, and that the Carlton St. drawbridge is being lowered back down so that waiting cars can cross the canal.
above: Jun.30, 2011 - Niagara Police cordon off a portion of the canal pathway as an orange bodybag lays on the grass. Earlier in the morning, a man jumped off the Skyway into the canal. The St.Catharines Standard reported on Jun.30, 2011:
It's not something police generally want to discuss publicly.
But when two people jump to their deaths from Niagara bridges about 12 hours apart in public settings, it's difficult for them not to acknowledge the tragedy of suicide.
Ontario Provincial Police had to shut down the Niagara-bound lanes of the QEW Wednesday about 8:30 p.m. for several hours after a man jumped from the Niagara St. overpass and was killed.
Thursday morning shortly before 9 another man jumped from the Niagara-bound side of Garden City Skyway.
His body was recovered from the Welland Canal by Niagara Regional Police divers.
One lane of the highway and a section of the pedestrian pathway next to the canal were closed for about three hours as police investigated the death.
"It's a coincidence that we had two incidents back to back. There's nothing to indicate otherwise," said Staff Sgt. Jan Idzenga, commanding officer the Niagara OPP.
Niagara Regional Police were involved in both investigations and said foul play is not suspected.
NRP spokesman Const. Nilan Dave also said there appears to be no connection between the deaths.
Both men were residents of St. Catharines — one in his fifties and one in his sixties.
above: July 1, 2011 - the southbound Shannon Star of Valletta stops and waits along the west-side of the canal, just south of the Homer bridge, while in the right distance, another ship, the Esta Desgagnes of Quebec, exits north out of Lock Three.
above: July 1, 2011 - the Esta Desgagnes heads north towards the raised Homer drawbridge and the Skyway.
above: July 1, 2011 - the southbound Chemtrans Oste of Monrovia has just entered Lock Five.
above: Jul.5, 2011 - at the left, docked at the west-side of the canal, north of Lock One, is the barge St.Mary's Cement II; passing by is the southbound Richelieu.
above: Jul.5, 2011 - the southbound Richelieu is about to enter Lock One. This ship was formerly the Federal Ottawa from Antwerpen. The St.Mary's Cement II is seen in the far left distance.
above: July 5, 2011 - the southbound Mapleglen is about to enter Lock One. This ship was formerly the Federal Maas of Antwerpen. The St.Mary's Cement II is seen docked in the far left distance.
above: July 7, 2011 - the southbound Commencement of Majuro is about to enter Lock Two
above:  Aug.22, 2011 - the southbound Songa Sapphire of Majuro enters into Lock Two.
above: July 5, 2011 - the southbound barge St.Mary's Cement II is about to enter Lock Three.
above: Jul.5, 2011 - the barge St.Mary's Cement II is propelled by the tugboat Sea Eagle II, with the tall wheelhouse. Both vessels are from Edmonton, Alberta - one of the hardest ports to reach from the Great Lakes!!
below two photos: Aug.31, 2011 -  the southbound barge St.Mary's Cement sits raised in Lock Three, ready to exit; this barge is propelled by the tugboat Petite Forte of Hamilton.

above: July 7, 2011 - the southbound Federal EMS of Limassol is seen just after exiting Lock Seven.
above: July 7, 2011 - after exiting Lock Seven, the Federal EMS  (R) continues southward; while the Atlantic Erie (L) passes by, heading north towards Lock Seven.
above: July 7, 2011 - the northbound Atlantic Erie is just about to enter Lock Seven.
above: Jul.5, 2011 - the northbound Sten Aurora of Bergen is seen arriving into Lock Seven.
above: Jul.5, 2011 - seen from the stern, the northbound Sten Aurora is almost fully into Lock Seven.
above two photos: Jul.13, 2011 - bow and stern views of the Paul J. Martin heading south just before the Skyway.
above: Jul.7, 2011 - the northbound Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is approaching Lock Two.
above: July 6, 2011 - the Birchglen (formerly Federal Richelieu) is making her northbound approach towards Lock Two. Note the puff of black smoke coming from her forward stack.
above: Jul.7, 2011 - the Canadian Olympic of Toronto heads north under the Skyway.
above: Jul.7, 2011 - the Algobay heads north after leaving Lock Four. Note the railroad bridge in the right distance is being lowered. The St.Catharines Glendale General Motors plant is in the left distance.
above: July 8, 2011 - the Quebecois of Toronto is seen heading southbound, just before the Skyway. This ship's wheelhouse is at the bow.
above: Jul.10, 2011 - the John D. Leitch of Toronto heads north from Lock Two.
above: Jul.13, 2011 - the Gordon C. Leitch  (formerly the Ralph Misener) heads south under the St. Catharines Skyway. I didn't know at the time, but it turned out that 2011 would be the last shipping year for this vessel. It was built in Montreal in 1968, and was decommissioned at the end of the 2011 season. It was then renamed the Don for its final trip, where it was towed across the Atlantic ocean, in Aug. 2012, to Turkey to be scrapped. So this is one of the last photos taken of this ship in Niagara.
above: Jul.13, 2011 - the northbound Pineglen arriving into Lock 3. Note the Canada geese non-chalantly paddling in the lock as the ship approaches; and note the seagull in the upper right corner.
above: Sept.9, 2011 - the Pineglen heading south towards Lock Two.
above: Jul.13, 2011 - the southbound Songa Sapphire of Majuro is ready to exit Lock 3.
above: Jul.13, 2011 - the northbound Algocape is being lowered in Lock 4; meanwhile the railroad drawbridge is raised prior to the ship's exit.  (I didn't know it at the time, but this was the final year that Algocape would be in the Welland Canal; by Dec.2011 she was retired, and by Aug.2012, she was being cut up for scrap in Aliaga, Turkey. Built in Lauzon, Quebec in 1967 as the Canada Steamship Line's Richelieu, the 225.5m ship was renamed as Algoma's Algocape in 1994.
As an aside, what's kinda weird is the above photo of the Algocape, and the previously-above photo of the Gordon C. Leitch, were both taken on the same day, on Jul.13, 2011, within minutes of each other. The Algocape was heading north from Lock 4, while at the same time, the Gordon C. Leitch was heading south towards Lock 3; so, these two soon-to-be-doomed ships - which would both end up as scrap in Turkey - actually passed each other that day!) 
below: Oct.5, 2011 - here is a closer view of how the above railroad draw bridge across the Welland Canal looks like when it is raised. There are two sets of tracks on this bridge.
above: Sept.28, 2011 - the southbound Algolake of Sault Ste.Marie cranks her engines approaching Lock Seven.
above: July 12, 2011 - the barge John J. Carrick heads south towards the Skyway, being propelled by the tugboat Victorious of Toronto.
above: Jul.14, 2011 - the southbound CSL Laurentien is seen docked at the west-side of the Welland Canal, north of Lock One.
above two photos: Jul.14, 2011 - a closeup of the Algomarine as she exits north out of Lock Three; and a wider photo showing the Algomarine, loaded with 25,000 tons of salt bound for Toronto, approaching the Homer Bridge in the distance, which is seen in the process of being raised.
above: Jul.14, 2011 - the northbound Algosteel approaches the entrance to Lock Two.
above: Jul.14, 2011 - the northbound Vancouverborg heads towards the raised Homer Bridge.
above: Jul.17, 2011 - the northbound Canadian Enterprise heads into Lock Two.
above: July 22, 2011 - the southbound English River from Montreal is docked along the west-side of the canal, north of Lock One.
above: Jul.18, 2011 - the southbound barge Alouette Spirit leaves Lock Seven
above: Sept.8, 2011 - here the Alouette Spirit is heading south towards the Skyway, being propelled by the tug Wilf Seymour.
above: July 22, 2011 - in the distance, the Peter R. Cresswell heads north, passing by the Algoma Spirit of St.Catharines, which is docked along the west-side of the canal, slightly north of Lock Three.
above: Jul.21, 2011 - the southbound barge Endeavour is docked just north of Lock Three.
above: July 23, 2011 - the northbound Tuscarora from Monrovia inside Lock Two, waiting to be lowered.
above: July 24, 2011 - the southbound Thalassa Desgagnes of Quebec is tied off along the west-side of the canal, slightly north of Lock Two.
above: Aug.10, 2011 - the Federal Fuji of Nassau exits southbound out of Lock Two. The raised Carlton St. bridge is seen at the left.
above: Aug.14, 2011 - the southbound Algoeast of Toronto is about to enter Lock Two.
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below: Aug.17, 2011 - the northbound Tim S. Dool approaches the entrance to Lock Two.
above: Aug.17, 2011 - the northbound Tim S. Dool has almost fully entered Lock Two.
above: Aug.18, 2011 - the southbound Nordport of Limassol is about to exit Lock Three.
above: Aug.21, 2011 - looking northwards along the canal, standing just north of the Glendale Bridge. The ship at the left is the Canadian Transport of Toronto, heading northbound towards Lock Three, after having just passed under the Glendale Bridge. At the right, the Algobay passes by heading southbound, having just left Lock Three.
above: Sept.13, 2011
above four photos: top two photos taken Sept.13. 2011; lower two photos taken Aug.18, 2011 - showing bow and stern views of the northbound Montrealais of Toronto, after passing under the Garden City Skyway.
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below: Mar.1, 2011 - looking southwards into Lock Three. Repairs on the lock were made during the winter shut down of the canal. Concrete is being piped down to workers,who are seen at the bottom of the lock, where the north door of Lock Three normally closes.
below two photos: Aug.26, 2011 - fore and aft views as the northbound CSL Niagara of St.Catharines passes under the St.Catharines Skyway, heading towards Lock Two.
below: Aug.26, 2011 - the southbound Chestnut of Limassol is seen exiting Lock One.
above: Aug.26, 2011 -  the Chestnut continues south towards Lock Two, after having just left Lock One; in the far right distance another ship is seen inside Lock Two - this is the northbound CSL Niagara seen earlier on Aug.26, above.
above: Aug.27, 2011 - the southbound Orsula of Majuro (formerly named the Federal Calumet) exits Lock Two.
above two photos: Aug.31, 2011 - fore and aft views as the southbound Sarah Desgagnes of Bridgetown approaches the Skyway.
below: Sept.6, 2011 - the Canadian Coast Guard ship Limnos is docked at the west-side of the Welland Canal, slightly north of Lock One, in St.Catharines. Also docked here, seen in the left distance, is the Canadian Multi-Role Patrol Frigate HMCS Montreal.
above: Sept.6, 2011 - closer view of the 134.1 metre-long Halifax Class Frigate HMCS Montreal FFH 336. She stopped in St.Catharines and was open two days for tours.
above two photos: Sept.6, 2011 - looking towards the bow of the HMCS Montreal; this view faces south, in the distance is Lock One.
above: Sept. 6, 2011 - aft view of the HMCS Montreal docked in St.Catharines
above: Sept.7, 2011 - the barge Norman McLeod, propelled by the tug Everlast, is seen with the HMCS Montreal in the distance.
above two photos:  top, Sept.8, 2011; bottom,  Sept.15, 2011 - the ESSROC Stephen B. Roman of Toronto heading south approaching the Skyway.
above: Oct.6, 2011 - the Stephen B. Roman heads north, about to leave the canal into Lake Ontario; the Port Weller 'lighthouse' seen in the right distance.
below: Sept.9, 2011 - the northbound Federal Pioneer arrives at the mouth of the Welland Canal from Lake Erie; at the far left, sitting along the east-side of the canal, is the Canadian Leader, which is being scrapped.
below: Sept.9, 2011 - the northbound Federal Pioneer has just entered the canal from Lake Erie, and is approaching Port Colborne's Clarence St. bridge. Tied off at the west side of the canal is the tall ship Niagara.
below: Sept.9, 2011 - the northbound Catherine Desgagnes of Montreal is tied off along the west side of the canal in Port Colborne.
above: Sept.9, 2011 - the Federal Pioneer of Limassol heads northbound under the raised Clarence St. lift bridge in Port Colborne; in the left distance is the Catherine Desgagnes from above. The huge structure in the left distance is the Robin Hood flour silo.
below: Sept.9, 2011 - the northbound Algoma Transfer of Toronto is docked at the east-side of the canal, just north of the Robin Hood silo in Port Colborne.
above: Sept.9, 2011 - the  southbound St.Mary's Cement II is docked along the east-side of the canal, across from the massive Robin Hood silo in Port Colborne.
above: Sept.28, 2008 - two views of the BBC Elbe southbound at Lock One, carrying wind turbine parts.
above: Jul.14, 2010 the northbound Redhead sits in Lock Two.
above: Jul.22, 2011 - the Cape Rescue at the west-side of the Welland Canal, north of Lock One in St.Catharines.
above: Sept.14, 2011 - the Algo Discovery sits inside the Port Weller drydock.
below: Sept.15, 2011 - the downbound Spruceglen of Montreal is exiting Lock Three.
above: Sept.15, 2011 - stern view as the downbound Spruceglen - formerly known as the Selkirk Settler out of St.Catharines, the Federal St.Louis (Nassau), and the Federal Fraser (Panama) - continues northbound out of Lock Three. The Skyway and Homer Bridge are in the distance.
above: Sept.15, 2011 -  the Spruceglen pulls over to dock at the west-side of the canal, just south of the Homer Bridge, which is seen in the distance. A crewman is seen being lowered down by hoist onto the dock in order to tie the ship to the bollards. A lasso just won't do here.
above: Sept.14, 2011 - the southbound Cedarglen waiting in Lock Eight while taking on supplies.
below: Sept.22, 2011, approx. 6pm - the Cedarglen (formerly the Ems Ore, rebuilt later to become the Montcliffe Hall, and later the Cartierdoc) here is heading northbound out of Lock Three, carrying a load of coal to Quebec city.
above: a closer view of the Cedarglen's bow shows that it was once called the Montcliffe Hall, of Hall Corporation Shipping, Toronto.
above: Sept.22, 2011 - the northbound Cedarglen's wheelhouse passes through the Lock Three exit
below: also on Sept.22, 2011, at about 2pm, the Heloise of Panama was heading southbound up the Welland Canal, here seen on her way towards Lock Two.
below: Sept.22, 2011 - at the same time as the southbound Heloise was approaching Lock Two, the northbound Algoma Guardian of St.Catharines was inside Lock two, being lowered.
below: Sept.22, 2011 - by 6pm, the southbound Heloise had made it out of Lock Two, and is now seen in the distance passing under the Homer Bridge (coming towards the camera), while the northbound Cedarglen , at the right, is seen just leaving Lock Three.
above two photos: Sept.22, 2011 - show the southbound Heloise, at the left, still moving, keeping close to the west side of the canal, while the Cedarglen passes by, continuing north.
above: Sept.22, 2011 - at 6:20 pm, the southbound Heloise is about to enter Lock Three, while in the distance the northbound Cedarglen is seen passing the Homer Bridge.
above two photos: Oct.5, 2011 - the Federal Yoshino of Majuro heads south after leaving Lock Two
above two photos: Sept.28, 2011 - the southbound Algosoo of Sault Ste. Marie approaches the Skyway and the Homer Bridge.
above: Oct.11, 2011 - the northbound Mississagi of Nanticoke as she approaches the Homer Bridge
above two photos: Oct.8, 2011 - the Algoma Guardian of St.Catharines (formerly named the Omisalj, and then the Goviken of Nassau) heads north out of Lock Two.
below: Oct.27, 2011 - the Barbro of Valetta heads southbound, approaching Lock One; she is passing by two ships seen docked at the left, at the west-side of the canal. Closest to the camera is seen the aft of the north-facing tug Petite Forte, which is connected to and which propels the barge St.Mary's Cement.  Farther in the left distance is seen the south-facing Lyulin.
above: Oct.27, 2011 - closer view as the southbound Barbro heads into Lock One.
above two photos: Oct.28, 2011 - the northbound barge Niagara Spirit is seen entering Lock Two, propelled by the tug John Spence of Hamilton. In the upper shot (barely seen in the far right) the English River is heading southwards towards the Skyway.
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below: Oct.28, 2011 -  the southbound Canadian Enterprise is seen leaving Lock One; just across the canal (to the right of the ship's bow, out-of frame on the east-side of the canal) is the location of the Port Weller Drydock.
above: here is the same bow-side view of the Canadian Enterprise, as seen on Dec.8, 1979, the day of the ship's christening by Maureen McTeer, Prime Minister Joe Clark's wife. The Canadian Enterprise was actually built at the Port Weller Drydock! Photo from the Niagara Falls Library archives.
above: Aug.1, 2010 - the Lynx, a Baltimore Clipper reproduction tall ship, takes on visitors at Port Colborne, Ontario.
above: Dec.11, 2011 - the upbound CSL Saguenay is raised and ready to exit Lock One, waiting for the bridge to open. The Lakeshore Rd. drawbridge (or bascule bridge), with its massive counterweight, is seen reflected in the foreground ice.
above: closer view of the Saguenay (formerly the Federal Thames) with the drawbridge structure in the foreground.
above: Dec.11, 2011 - the southbound Saguenay exits Lock One.
above: Dec.11, 2011 - the Saguenay continues south, passing the northbound Canadian Olympic, which was waiting to enter Lock One.
below: Dec.11, 2011 - the Canadian Olympic heads into Lock One, while the southbound Saguenay is seen in the far right distance.
above: Dec.11, 2011 - the northbound Canadian Olympic of Toronto enters Lock One.
above two photos: Dec.15, 2011 - fore and aft views of the northbound Algoma Navigator of Toronto (formerly named the Canadian Navigator) entering Lock Two. Note, at the left, some construction work being done beside the Carlton St. drawbridge; the crane would be used that day to unload a pre-fab building off a truck and place it beside the bridge.
below: Dec.16, 2011 - the pre-fab building seen in place, just on the south-side of the Carlton St. bridge; the little buidling was installed on Dec.15, 2011.
below: Dec.13, 2011 -  in the foreground, the site is being readied for the pre-fab building. (the St.Mary's Cement barge is heading south in the distance) 
above: Dec.16, 2011 - the same view, after the new building was craned into place.
above two photos: Dec.16, 2011 - fore and aft views as the southbound Algoeast of Toronto (formerly the Texaco Brave 1976-86; Le Brave 1986-97; Imperial St.Lawrence 1997-98) exits Lock Two. below: the original welded raised letters of the Texaco Brave can be seen beneath the current painted letters.

above two photos: Dec.13, 2011 - the tug boat William J. Moore of St. John's Nfld., which is mated to the orange barge McCleary's Spirit, are seen docked along the east side of the canal, in front of the Port Weller Drydocks.
above two photos: Dec.22, 2011; top - the northbound Federal Yukina is seen after exiting Lock Three; the big climb (and descent) which the ships travelling the Welland Canal must make to negotiate the Niagara Escarpment can be seen by looking at the elevation of the Escarpment in the center left distance. Bottom - the Yukina is about to pass by the Homer Bridge.
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below: Jan.4, 2012 - the Welland Canal's 2011 shipping season officially ended on Dec.26, 2011, where ships were given until until Dec.30 to exit; the last ship to travel the canal was apparently a coast guard ship. Draining of the canal was started the next day; below is the view on Jan.4, 2012, looking south towards the Skyway, where the banks of the big ditch are being revealed again. The center of the canal isn't yet frozen, but at the banks ice has formed, which cracks and drops as the canal water levels slowly drop beneath it.
above:  Jan.5, 2012 - same view, next day: the canal water level continues to drop; the ice which was seen along the bank edges over water yesterday, is today seen laying on the muddy canal bottom, as the edge of the stream has significantly receded towards the center..
above: Jan.5, 2012 - the canal is drained using control gates located at the sides of the locks; here, looking northwards, is the sluice gate which is at the east side of Lock One. The water level in the portion of the canal north of  Lock One is essentially at the level of Lake Ontario.
above: Jan.5, 2012 - this view looks northwards at the south-end gate of Lock One; the north-end gate is seen in the far distance.
above: Jan.5, 2012 - in the foreground the canal bed is seen drained; sitting in the drydocks for the winter are three vessels: at the right is the orange barge McCleary's Spirit of Hamilton; at the left in the distance can be seen the white wheelhouse of the English River, and in front there is a tug, probably the McCleary's tug William J. Moore.
above: by mid-March 2012, the water in the canal has been refilled. The three ships are still inside the drydock. The shiny McCleary's Spirit has been repainted, and looks more red now, whereas before was more orange.
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below: date not known, pos 1970's; looking at the south-side of the Homer bridge. The canal is drained and an excavator is working down in the canal bed. Note that only one wing of the bridge is raised.
                               above photo from Niagara Falls library photo archives
above: Jan.10, 2012 - same view; the canal has been drained, and again, as is the case every year, heavy equipment excavators are sent in to dredge and shore up portions of the canal.
 above: looking east across the canal as the excavator dredges the canal bed; the Skyway is at the left and the Homer Bridge is at the right.
above two views: Jan.10, 2012 - looking southwards towards the Homer Bridge, as equipment dredges the canal bottom.
above: looking northwards as heavy equipment dredges the canal bed, just north of Lock Three.
above: Jan.10, 2012 - a look into the drained north-end of Lock Three. The workers seen standing at the bottom show the cavernous scale of the lock.
below: Feb.4, 2012 - looking northwards at the south-gate of Lock Two, as construction work takes place around the massive lock doors. You can see the deep drop into Lock Two at the upper left. The steel beams of the Carlton St. bridge deck are seen running along the top.
above two views: Jan.11, 2012 - winter maintenance continues throughout the drained Welland Canal; here is the view looking southwards from the deck of the Carlton St. drawbridge, which is located directly south of Lock Two. Crews are working on the canal bed; at the right, a large concrete saw is cutting into the wall. Note the long wooden pier which runs along the right (west) side here; the same pier area is seen in the next photo below:


above: Jan.11, 2012 - Some of the thousands of wooden supports which make up the piers along the canal are seen reflected in the pools of water remaining in the drained canal bed. This is the same area as seen in the previous above photo, along the west side of the canal, just south of Lock Two. Northbound ships, heading here into Lock Two, will often align their approach by scraping their bows along the top of the piers, as can be seen by all the scuff marks running along the top.
below: Dec.13, 2011 - looking (in a NE direction) at the area directly east of  Lock Two, where the sluice gate 'pond' area is located. Here the pond is seen filled, at its normal working level; while on the east-side of the pond, crews are seen, busy hammering home a line of new steel casings:
above: Jan.11, 2012 - this is the same view of the same Lock Two sluice pond, now drained. The now-exposed control gates are seen at the left; and those new steel casings which were seen being installed last month, are now fully hammered into place, and just the tips of the new steel shoring can be seen running in a row along the top right.  Now that the water has been drained, the slope of the shore has been revealed, and crews are installing new steel mesh in place to stabilize the slope.
above: Jan.11, 2012 - looking in a NW direction: Lock Two runs at the far left of the photo, beyond the building; in the center of the photo are the east-side sluice gates. Workers are seen fastening the mesh to stabilize the slope. The tips of the new row of steel pilings are seen along the right.
above: Feb.4, 2012, same view -  a cover of rubble stone has been placed on top of the steel mesh; the mesh is connected to the new steel pilings by heavy steel chains.
above: same view, by mid-March, 2012 - the water in the canal has been refilled; the tips of the steel pilings have now been covered with concrete capping, and a new steel safety railing has been added at the right.
below: Jan.17, 2012 - here is the view, looking north-east, while standing at the south-end of Lock Seven; as can be seen at the right (to the south), the canal is still full of water here. There are three barriers seen here: at the right bottom, this first safety barrier is stopping the water from heading north into Lock 7. Further to the left, the lock cavity is seen drained; there is a second pie-shaped safety-wall seen at centre-left, with its tracks visible at the bottom; and a third barrier is at the far left, also with its tracks visible.
above: Jan.17, 2012 - this is the same Lock 7 safety barrier seen previously; this view looks south, showing that the canal water-level south of the safety barrier has remained at its normal level. This safety barrier does not move or swing away, and is not there during the operating season - its component beams are craned and bolted into place for the winter season.
above: looking eastwards across the canalway, in the foreground is the now-drained access into Lock 7. That temporary first safety wall is at the right; the pie-shaped second safety-barrier is at the left. This pie-shaped barrier gate is a permanent part of Lock 7, but it is not normally used during the regular summer shipping season, it usually remains open, tucked into the sides of the concrete lock walls. The yellow pipe at the far side running up the wall is a temporary sump pump outlet which is draining the lower areas.
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below: Jan.17, 2012 - looking a bit farther to the left - that pie-shaped barrier gate can be clearly seen at the right (this is the east-side wing). It is seen on its trackway, protruding out from where it normally resides, recessed in the concrete wall. A bit of the opposite west-side wing gate is seen along the left of the photo.
above: July 7, 2011 - this is the same view as previously, while the canal is under operation. The same control tower is seen in the distance. Only the tips of the lock gates, which are now tucked into the canal wall while the ship passes, can be seen above the water. The northbound ship that is about to enter Lock 7 is the Atlantic Erie of Halifax.
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below: Jan.17, 2012 - at the left is the west-side wing of the pie-shaped barrier gate; it is seen sitting within its recess, out of the way, as it normally does during the regular season. In the centre can be seen the south-end doors of Lock Seven, these are the actual working lock doors which operate during the shipping season. The east-side lock door (at the right) is open, parallel with the sides of the lock; while the west-side lock door is seen protruding into the lock cavity. You can see that just beyond those doors, the floor-level drops off significantly, as that is where the ships sit while being lowered/raised on their passage. The north-end doors of Lock 7 are in the far distance.
above: July 7, 2011 - this is the exact same view as previously above; the same pie-shaped gate is seen at the bottom left in both above photos. This is the normal operating water level for northbound ships which enter Lock Seven. The water is being held at this level by the north-end gates of Lock Seven, which are in the far distance.
above: Jan.17, 2012 - a closer view of the west-side pie-shaped barrier at Lock Seven. The normal water level here during the regular season would be slightly below the catwalk floor, as seen previously above.
above: Aug.28, 2012 - same view as previous five above photos; here, the northbound Laurentien is seen lowered way down within Lock Seven, while the water level is at this time being held back by the south-end lock gates. The same pie-shaped barrier is seen at the bottom left.
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below: Mar.7, 2012 - slowly the water is trickling back into the Welland  Canal (check out the same view, as it was exactly a year ago, on Mar.7, 2011, earlier in this post)
above: Mar.14, 2012 - same view; the canal water level continues to rise, with just several feet more to go.
below: Mar.7, 2012 -  looking eastward across the canal, where in the distance the shallow pond area is dry.
above: Mar.14, 2012 - same view, the rising water level of the canal has covered the shallow area.
above: Mar.22, 2012 - the Cuyahoga of Nanticoke heads southbound out of Lock Three.
Today was the opening day of the 2012 Welland Canal shipping season, marking the canal's 183rd year of operation. (First opened on Nov.30, 1829)
On Mar.22, there were two ships - both heading downbound - which were named as being the "first" of the year to pass through the canal: Capt. Rob Dominaux of the barge/tug Alouette Spirit/Wilf Seymour, received the ceremonial Top Hat at Lock 3; yet, at Lock 8, another Top Hat was presented to Capt. Sean Jowsey of the barge/tug John. J. Carrick/ Victorious.
below: Mar.22, 2012 - after their Top Hat recognitions, the Alouette Spirit and the John J. Carrick continued northbound down the canal. Here, just after noon, the Alouette Spirit, festooned with flags, is seen heading northbound, approaching Lock One.

above: Mar.22, 2012 - by 4;30 pm. the John J. Carrick, also festooned with flags, is seen heading northbound, approaching Lock two.
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below: July 5, 2012 - the upbound Ojibway leaves Lock Two.

above: Apr.14, 2012 - the downbound Arubaborg of Delfzijl angles in for her approach into Lock 2.
above: Apr.25, 2012 - at the right, the Algosteel sits in the drydock at Port Weller; while at the left, sitting low, is the HMCS Athabaskan, which arrived in late March for an extensive overhaul.

above: Jun.23, 2012, the upbound Songa Jade passes under the Garden City Skyway, heading towards the Homer Bridge and Lock Three.
above: Jun.30, 2012 - looking southwards along the Welland Canal, from the top of the Garden City Skyway. In the foreground, the upbound Saguenay from Montreal is just squeezing herself into Lock Three. Further in the distance the Glendale Lift Bridge can be seen crossing the canal, and further back, the steps of Locks 4, 5, and 6 rise up as they take the canal up the Niagara Escarpment.
above: Apr.25, 2012 - the southbound Algosea passes under the Glendale Lift Bridge, approaching Lock Four
above: Aug.13, 2012 - HHL Amazon of Monrovia heads south, approaching the Glendale Lift Bridge.
above: Aug.7, 2012 - the Edenborg of Delfzijl heads north towards the rising wings of the Homer Lift Bridge.
above: Aug.10, 2012 - the upbound Algosoo of Sault Ste.Marie passes under the raised Homer Lift Bridge, heading towards Lock 3, while the Spruceglen is seen in the right distance, heading north, having just exited Lock 3.
above: Aug.28, 2012 - the northbound barge Great Lakes, with its tug Michigan in the rear, sit tied off on the west side of the Welland Canal, directly north of Lock Two.
above: Aug.28, 2012, the upbound Sichem New York of Singapore heads into Lock One.

above: Sept.3, 2012 Canadian navy ships HMCS Moncton (in left distance) and HMCS Summerside head north out of the Welland Canal into Lake Ontario.
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below: Dec.11, 2008 - the northbound Federal Katsura of Panama enters Lock One.
above: Dec.11, 2008 - the Federal Katsura heads north into Lock One, past the Port Weller Drydock in St.Catharines. Looking closely at the center right, you will see the engineless-remains of the doomed ship Windoc sitting inside the drydock. The Windoc was built in 1959 in Hamburg, W.Germany, and was originally named the Rhine Ore.
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below: Dec.11, 2008 - looking at the Port Weller drydock: this is the Windoc sitting inside the drydock, seen with her stern removed.
above: Dec.11, 2008 - a closer view of the Windoc, looking at her cross-section.
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           ABOUT THE ILL-FATED SHIP "WINDOC"
above: Sept.9, 2011 - three ships are seen tied up at the mouth of the canal in Port Colborne, along the east-side wall, directly north of Lake Erie.
At the far left is the Canadian Leader, (see video).
In the center, tied off to the Canadian Leader, is a rusty smaller blue-painted vessel, the K. R. Elliott.
Interestingly, the Canadian Leader's red chimney stack was at her rear, but her wheelhouse was way up at her bow: it is seen in the center of the photo, behind where the smaller K.R. Elliott is.
From this angle, though, that wheelhouse (which belongs to the Leader) looks as though it might be part of that third ship, whose bow is seen at the very far right, facing Lake Erie - but actually, that third ship has no wheelhouse whatsoever!!
This is because this ship is the infamous doomed Windoc, whose wheelhouse was sheared off in a disastrous collision with the Allanburg Bridge on Aug.11, 2001!
In the next photo below, the Windoc, still in the same place, is seen from a different angle: this photo looks at the ship from the east, from the mosquito-infested Nickel Beach. Clearly, looking at the right, the Windoc's stern has been totally removed.
This is a ship graveyard.
[What is also eerily interesting about my above photo is that there is an uncanny tie between the Canadian Leader and the Windoc, which now both sit here at the scrapyard dock.
The connection is that the Canadian Leader was the FIRST SHIP in line to go through the temporarily-raised Allanburg bridge, two days after the Windoc accident!!
As coincidence would have it, the Canadian Leader happened to be the first of 25 ships that were backed-up waiting at various points of the canal to get through the bridge. The further irony is that the Canadian Leader passed by the Windoc, which would have been still-smouldering and grounded in the canal. The Windoc was never to work again, while the Leader still remained a working ship for some time longer - yet both have ended up beside each other in the same place, ten years later, as scrap!!]
(click on photos to enlarge!)
below: Sept..9, 2011 - a closer aft view of the Canadian Leader
 
above: Sept.9, 2011 - a closer view of the K. R.Elliott, which is the blue ship tied off the starboard of the Canadian Leader. The ship Canadian Leader was built in Collingwood in 1967 for the Papachristidis Shipping line. It was originally known as "Feux-Follets" until 1972, when Papachristidis sold it to Jackes Shipping, and the name was changed to Canadian Leader. 
below: Aug.31, 2011 - a bit of the K. R. Elliott's bow is seen at the far left; at the right is a closer view of the Windoc's starboard, showing large sections of steel being been cut out and removed from her hull.
above: Aug.31, 2011 - a closer view looking towards the bow of the Windoc, as workers are seen on the deck dismantling the ship.
above: a closer view of the bows of the K.R. Elliott and the Canadian Leader.
above:  Skip Gillham writes about the Windoc in the May 21, 2011 St.Catharines Standard.
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below: Aug.12, 2001, photo by R.Bobak: here is the Allanburg Bridge (also called Bridge 11) of the Welland Canal, the day after the Windoc hit it - or more precisely, after the bridge was lowered onto the moving ship.
This is looking at the south-side of the bridge; the Windoc was heading northbound (to the right) as the bridge was unexpectedly lowered before she fully passed and cleared the bridge. (As this picture was being taken, the Windoc was still smouldering and grounded along the west-side of the canal, a bit further off to the right.)
Here a small boat is seen making its way under the bridge while engineers on the boat inspected the girders. Considering the spectacular nature of this collision, it is amazing that the damage, as seen in the center of the bridge, was not worse; the bridge survived, but the Windoc's wheelhouse was destroyed.
above: this is the same view of the Allanburg Bridge, on an icy Feb.10, 2010. If you walk to the center of the bridge, some scarring can still be seen in the steel beams on the southside. The damage to the bridge was set at about $780,000; the bridge was repaired and reopened to traffic on Nov.16, 2001.
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below: Aug.12, 2001, photo by R.Bobak - while the inspectors were examining the bridge, as seen in the previous shot, at the same time, farther down the canal on the north side of the bridge, the Windoc was still burning - a day after the crash.
This photo looks north, while standing in front of the Allanburg Bridge, on the east-bank of the Welland Canal. The bridge is directly to the left, just out of frame.
The Windoc is seen in the centre-distance with smoke pouring out of her while fire crews kept hosing her down. The ship, after having had her wheelhouse completely destroyed by the bridge collision the day before, had continued to float - out of control - for about a mile north until she finally grounded, on fire, along the west bank of the canal. Here a continuous crowd of spectators made their way down the east-side of the canal path to watch the spectacle.
above: the same view looking north, Mar.17, 2011; the bridge is just to the left, out of frame.
above: an Aug.1978 aerial view of the Allanburg Bridge, looking from the west-side of the Welland Canal towards the east-side in the distance. The Windoc was heading north, which is towards the left in the above view. After the collision with the bridge, the Windoc grounded along the west-side of the canal further out along the left, out of frame. Photo from the Niagara Falls Ont. library archive.
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You must have seen the You Tube video of the Windoc event - if not, see how it happened !!!!
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By Jan.10, 2003, the Niagara Falls Review summarized what happened on the night of the Windoc collision, after much of the subsequent legal wrangling subsided:

Operator on pain killers, wine when Windoc struck, investigation finds

The operator who lowered a Welland Canal lift bridge into a passing freighter setting off a devastating crash was likely impaired by prescription drugs and alcohol, says the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Seventeen months after the Windoc smashed into the Allanburg bridge Aug. 11, 2001, the safety board released its report Thursday on its investigation into the fiery collision.

Investigators determined human error of the lone bridge operator - not a mechanical malfunction of the bridge or an error of the ship's crew - was a primary cause for the disaster, which closed shipping on the Welland Canal for two days.

"The Windoc was visible from the control room of the bridge. It is likely that the operator's performance was impaired at the time of the accident," investigator Paul van den Berg said at a news conference in Thorold.

Welland resident Rheo Dagenais, the bridge operator on duty the night of the crash, couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.

Before being called in to work an overtime shift Aug. 11, the bridge operator had taken pain killers for a recurring back ailment and consumed between two and four glasses of wine, the safety board said in its report.

"The investigation revealed that the bridge operator was on his scheduled day off," said van den Berg. "He had taken Darvon-N tablets that morning to relieve back pain. He had also consumed several glasses of wine around lunch time."

The operator received the invitation to work an overtime night shift between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., but made no mention of the medication or alcohol he had consumed, said the report.

But authorities couldn't state conclusively whether the operator was impaired because no drug or alcohol testing was conducted after the collision.

Investigators had no reason to initially suspect intoxication as a contributing factor, said Camille Theriault, safety board chairman.

"However, more and more as they got into the investigation there were definitely some signs that pointed toward the possibility of impairment and that it was a factor in this accident," he said.

Shortly before he dropped the bridge into the Windoc's path, the operator's speech was slurred in taped telephone conversations he had with the controllers in the Seaway's Traffic Control Centre, according to the report.

The operator accidentally called the control centre at 8:50 p.m. while trying to reach staff at Lock 7, but had trouble understanding he'd made the mistake. This exchange was conducted over a speaker phone, and before hanging up, the two controllers on duty made comments about the way the operator sounded.

"Less than two minutes later, the accident occurred," the report states.

Van den Berg said the master of the Windoc sounded a few blasts of the ship's whistle to alert the bridge operator and called the traffic control centre.

But it was too late.

The collision sheared off the wheelhouse and funnel. A fire ignited inside the ship moments after the crash and burned for 22 hours, destroying the engine room and crew quarters.

None of the 22 crew was injured, including the helmsman who remained inside the wheelhouse as it was ripped off over his head.

The collision closed the Welland Canal to shipping traffic for two days and put the Allanburg Bridge out of commission for three months.

Immediately after the crash, the bridge operator seemed unable to comprehend the severity of the incident, according to the safety board report.

When he first was contacted by seaway traffic controllers minutes after the accident, the operator indicated a vessel had struck the bridge.

It took traffic controllers several more attempts to reach the operator by phone 10 minutes later. When asked whether the Windoc was on fire, the operator reported there was "a small fire" aboard the ship, said the report.

The first Niagara Regional Police officer on the scene and the seaway area co-ordinator found the bridge operator sitting in his darkened control room apparently in shock.

The bridge operator's likely impairment wasn't the only safety deficiency singled out by the Transportation Safety Board.

Investigators determined the seaway hadn't properly identified "safety-sensitive positions" to make certain they were staffed with capable personnel.

"The system in place to ensure that these individuals occupying those positions were competent and fit for duty was inadequate," said van den Berg.

In addition, it wasn't uncommon for bridge operators to complete an entire 12-hour shift without ever speaking to a supervisor in person.

"Bridge operators spend a significant amount of time working alone and with little opportunity for management to ensure they can consistently perform their job function in an appropriate and safe manner," said van den Berg.

The seaway needs to bring in backup monitoring systems - such as infrared technology to detect the presence of vessels beneath bridges - to prevent future collisions, Theriault said.

The safety board also criticized the seaway's initial handling of the canal disaster. "The corporation's response to the accident was conducted in an ad hoc basis, which hampered co-ordination and deployment of responding personnel and equipment," said van den Berg.

Seaway spokeswoman Sylvie Moncion said she couldn't discuss the safety board's report because of the corporation's court battle with N.M. Paterson and Sons, the former owner of the Windoc.

However, she said the seaway is planning to review its safety- sensitive positions to ensure "all of the people in those jobs meet the requirements."

As well, she said management have developed a workplace alcohol and drug policy that has been endorsed by the Canadian Auto Workers union, which represents Seaway employees.

"It doesn't include mandatory drug and alcohol testing, but if we feel there is an employee who has a problem, then we would be able to take appropriate measures at that point," she said."
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 Bill Currie of the St.Catharines Standard reported in 2001 on an ironic twist between an earlier ship also named Windoc, which had also been owned by the Paterson Co., and which also hit a bridge on the Welland Canal, back in 1938, eerily similar to what would happen to the next Windoc in 2001:

"For the second time in the 171-year history of the Welland Canal, a lift-bridge has lowered onto a ship.

Both were Paterson ships.

Both were called Windoc.

The original Paterson-flagged ship called the Windoc collided with Bridge 20 in Port Colborne on Oct. 2, 1938. The 1,300-ton rail bridge came down while the ship was passing beneath it, smashing a large section of the stern tower, the stack, one of its masts, the lifeboats and causing a fire.

By uncanny coincidence, the Allanburg lift-bridge did similar damage Saturday night to the latest Windoc, also owned by N. M. Paterson and Sons Ltd.

Both incidents resulted in no crew injuries, but extensive damage to the stern sections of the ships.

Great Lakes shipping historian Skip Gillham, who recently co- authored a book on the Thunder Bay-based Paterson company, said it has been the only shipping firm to have experienced this kind of collision with the centre section of a lift-bridge.

"Can you imagine being in the pilot house and seeing the bridge coming down?" Gillham said. "I just thought the coincidence was absolutely incredible."

A Standard account of the 1938 crash said the bridge operator lowered the Canadian National Railway bridge because he thought he saw the lights of an approaching train. Meanwhile, the Windoc captain decided to increase the speed of the ship to try and avoid the collision, but struck the bridge hard as it fell. The bridge crushed the superstructure into a twisted mass of metal.

Gillham has a picture of the aft section of the original Windoc after the collision.

"It's just a tangle of stuff," he said.

This weekend's collision sliced the top of the wheelhouse and a fire burned out the stern section well into Sunday before it was extinguished.

In both cases, Gillham said it would have been impossible for the vessels to avoid the collisions by slowing or reversing engines.

While there have been many ship accidents in the canal -- although no others where a bridge came down on a ship -- the weekend collision recalls one of the most serious accidents in which a vessel collided with a lift-bridge.

On Aug. 25, 1974, the U.S. ore carrier Steelton struck Bridge 12 in Port Robinson. The bridge was being raised too slowly as it was struck by the bow of the Steelton. Half of the bridge toppled into the canal. The bridge was never replaced.

The latest ship to carry the name Windoc was built in 1959 by Schlieker-Werft in Hamburg, West Germany. It was launched as the deep-sea ore carrier Rhine Ore for Transatlantic Bulk Carriers Inc., of Monrovia, Liberia.

Eighteen years later, Halco, Ltd. of Montreal bought the vessel and had it rebuilt for Great Lakes service at Davie Shipbuilding in Lauzon, Que. The cost to rebuild the ship with a lengthened bow and cargo section was about $9 million.

As part of that reconstruction, the mid-ship pilot house was moved to the stern and it was re-named Steelcliffe Hall.

The Steelcliffe Hall joined the Paterson fleet in 1988 when she was renamed Windoc and it served as a grain and ore carrier.

The original Windoc was built in 1899 by Globe Iron Works in Cleveland, launched as the M.A. Hanna for Cleveland Steamship Co. It was sold to Interlake Steamship Co. in Cleveland in 1916 and renamed Hydrus. Paterson Steamship Ltd. purchased the ship in 1926 and renamed it Windoc. It served the company until 1967 and was scrapped in Italy the following year.

Paterson now owns a fleet of seven vessels and as a result of the consolidation within the Canadian dry bulk industry, the company finds itself with almost 20 per cent of the straight deck bulker fleet under its flag."
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The Windoc's strange tale continued:

Eventually, by early September 2001, the Windoc was finally pulled north by four tugs, out of the Welland Canal into Lake Ontario, and towed to Hamilton Bay, where she sat moored at Pier 8 over the winter - but on Mar.9, 2002, a storm hit Hamilton, with winds reported up to 120 kph and waves at 2.5 m. Astoundingly, the Windoc - unmanned, empty and without any power, like a ghost ship - broke free of her moorings and was cast adrift during the night, rolling around Hamilton Bay, until she finally grounded in a sandbar!!
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...and so, ten years after the Windoc's fateful collision, by the summer of 2011, both the Windoc and Canadian Leader were sitting side by side in Port Colborne, waiting to be scrapped.
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Thanks for visiting Right In Niagara; see also my related post, Welland Canal Refilled.
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