Monthly Archives: November 2015

Lessons Learned Along The Way

Guest Post by Cathy Berkhout-Bosse, Co-Founder of  the myNiagara Online Community Platform (composed of, &

(A ‘community platform’ celebrates its 6th anniversary. The author of this piece writes about some of the lessons learned along the way, from then to now.)

1) Social Entrepreneurship while Valued is Largely Misunderstood

The multitude of definitions that exist for social enterprise have served to make the term more of an exercise in academic understanding than a rallying cry for a movement. As a society we embrace enterprising Non-Profits who create businesses to help fund their operations and we applaud For-Profit businesses that operate according to socially responsible principles.

However, there is a continuing void in Ontario regarding the creation of alternative business structures that may be better suited to facilitate social-purpose entities such as our community platform. The recent creation of a new category of share capital corporations in British Columbia, known as a “Community Contribution Company” (C3) is a good harbinger that the winds of change will soon flow east in Canada.

2) A Social-Purpose Business demonstrates Altruism in Action

The driving force behind our community social platform is the belief that everyone who participates benefits from the opportunity of having a common audience to share their messages with.

The amount of time that we currently invest to post and promote community content is a labour of love. Our ultimate goal is to generate sustainable revenue so that the future operators of our sites can earn a living wage and continue to deliver our services for the greater good of our community.

3) Reciprocity is a Learned Behaviour

One of the absolute keys to growing our network is the concept of ‘sharing #LocalLOVE’.  We encourage our community to shout out about their local experiences and facilitate posting of unsolicited customer testimonials in support of our local businesses.

We recently introduced a ‘How You Can Help Us’ Tip Card for the various Non-Profit groups that receive complimentary promotion via our community calendars, newsletter and social media mentions. It has been an interesting learning curve to realize that it is necessary to provide direction about how best to reciprocate and participate as a partner in our community building initiative.

4) The Digital Divide clearly exists with our current Generation of Small Business Owners

It has been our experience that the majority of established businesses do not have a fully developed online strategy or an adequate budget set aside to invest in digital marketing. The flip side of this conundrum is that young start-up entrepreneurs who understand how to “do” their own social marketing are reluctant to pay to advertise and promote their content via local online networks.

5) Passionate Idealists are Catalysts for Change

Although we have faced many challenges implementing our collaborative vision our commitment to inspiring a common social platform in Niagara is unwavering.  Every thank you that we receive – and there are many- fuels our desire to improve our level of service so we can attract more partners to expand our network to include all of myNiagara Online.

6) Community Development happens despite the Status Quo

We are in awe of the many incredible community-building initiatives that exist within Niagara and are keenly aware of the struggles change makers face everyday. It may seem trite but we’ve learned that patience is indeed a virtue and there can be no experience of change without the existence of the status quo.

7) Connecting Positivity attracts and inspires more Positivity exponentially

The launch of has solidified our confidence in the value of our platform as a means to communicate civic pride.  It has been our great joy to participate in the #ItsAllWellandGood movement and play a role in supporting the positive, collaborative voice that is emerging in the Rose City.

8) Your Tribe is your Lifeline

We are grateful for the tremendous support we have received from our Community Sponsors, Partners, Contributors, Subscribers and Social Followers. We know that we are not alone in our belief in the power of connectivity to improve the quality of life in Niagara. Thank you sincerely for your willingness to share your #LocalLOVE and be part of our myNiagara Online collaborative adventure.

(Cathy Berkhout-Bosse is also a Real Estate Broker, Team Berkhout Bosse – Remax Welland Realty Ltd.)

High School Hoops: Tip Off Thoughts

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By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

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Mike Rao

WELLAND – Notre Dame senior boys basketball coach Mike Rao is asked for some early bounce about the upcoming Tip Off Tournament, at Notre Dame Friday and Saturday of this week.

He does so by writing a story, about the tournament’s history, its meaning over the years and its place in the hearts of coaching staff and players.

Watch for it Wednesday on the blog.

Bulletin: City Shorts Now Twice Weekly!

city shorts

WELLAND – Now you can try City Shorts on for size twice a week!

City Shorts, a collection of Welland briefs, will appear twice weekly on the blog!

The popular feature ran on Fridays. But, starting this week, City Shorts will appear Wednesdays and Saturdays.

One of the reasons: the Yule season is upon us, and with it a ‘flurry’ of community  seasonal events. Watch for it here tomorrow, Wednesday, November 25.

Does Climate Change Weigh On Your Mind?

DSC_1996 (3).JPGBy Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – Climate change and ecological justice will be the focus of an address by Joe Gunn, executive director, Citizens for Public Justice when he visits Welland.

Gunn is guest speaker for St. Kevin Parish’s 2015 Distinguished Speaker Night, tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 23.

His address is titled: Living Faithfully Into a New Climate – Christian Responses to Ecological Justice at the Paris Climate Summit.”

Timing of the address in Welland could not be more perfect. It is only days before the Paris climate conference opens and not long after release of the Pope’s encyclical letter, Laudato Si’ (Praise Be To You) so the topic should be high profile.

Gunn is well versed on ecological justice, the encyclical letter and the climate summit. He has written pieces for various publications about them and in addition, ecological justice is a focal point of CPJ.

Citizens for Public Justice is an ecumenical, non-profit organization that promotes justice in Canadian public policy through research and analysis. Their current work is focused on poverty reduction, ecological justice, and refugee rights. CPJ defines Public Justice as the political dimension of loving one’s neighbor, caring for creation, and achieving the common good.

Distinguished Speaker Night is open to the community, no tickets are required.

Tomorrow’s will be the 18th Distinguished Speaker Night at St. Kevin’s. Previous guests have included journalists Joe Fiorito and Michael Valpy, theologians and social justice activists Father Bill Ryan SJ, and Mary Jo Leddy, and Merton scholar and academic Michael Higgins.

(Joe Barkovich, a former reporter and city editor, lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City.)

Flu Activity in Niagara Region

(Source: Niagara Region, public health)

The Flu (Influenza) is a highly contagious infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by the influenza virus. It can be a serious illness for some people.

Niagara Region monitors the spread of flu and flu-like illnesses on an on-going basis. During the months of October to May, activity will be reported.

Only laboratory confirmed cases are reported. Most people infected with influenza do not get laboratory testing and so actual infection numbers are likely much higher.

Weekly Flu Activity (Updated Each Friday)
Week of Influenza A Influenza B Total
Nov 15-21 0 0 0

Totals include lab confirmed cases in the community and cases associated with outbreaks in health care facilities such as hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Total Cases by City/Town
Town/City Influenza A Influenza B Total Five Year Average
Fort Erie 0 0 0 12
Grimsby 1 0 1 21
Lincoln 1 0 1 19
Niagara Falls 0 0 0 29
Niagara-on-the-Lake 0 1 1 19
Pelham 1 0 1 5
Port Colborne 0 0 0 11
St. Catharines 1 1 2 62
Thorold 0 0 0 10
Wainfleet 0 1 1 2
Welland 0 0 0 27
West Lincoln 0 0 0 13
Total 4 3 7 230


Institutional Outbreaks (Updated Each Friday)
Week of Influenza A Influenza B
Nov 15-21 0 0

Chambers’ Corner: Covering Trudeaumania!

trudeau crowd

When Pierre arrived he stepped into a frenzied, pushing, emotional crowd, trying everything to get a hand on him, or an autograph, a picture and often even a firm kiss. In the days before motor-drive cameras I was lucky to capture this perfect kiss. Note, we can see just one camera held by a spectator, today there would be dozens. (All photos by Bob Chambers)

By Bob Chambers

This is Chambers’ Corner ….. the occasional occupant of a corner of this blog, where Bob Chambers, an Evening Tribune photographer from 1957 to 1970, will present some of his photographs from that era …… Readers are asked to please comment!

This Chambers’ Corner is about the excitement concerning the campaign for Prime Minister by Pierre Trudeau in 1968.

It’s hard to believe it was 47 years ago. I decided to stay completely away from the fray during the current federal campaign, but now that the dust has settled here goes. The fever, this time, over Justin (Pierre’s eldest son), was bland compared to the “Trudeaumania” of the late spring and early summer of 1968. Yes it was practically the only word used by both Liberals and others, to describe the pandemonium that’s urrounded the man when he came to town.

Here are two of my pictures of the scene, taken just days before the June 25th election, at a rally for all Niagara area Liberal candidates at Fairview Mall in St Catharines.

Oh, and a quick quiz. Who is Canada’s youngest PM?

Imagine a politician of today having their face printed on girl's mini-skirts. Well, Here's Don Tolmie, the well-liked Welland lawyer looking for his second term as an MP. I think the Trudeaumania girls were all from Welland.

Imagine a politician of today having their face printed on girl’s mini-skirts. Well, Here’s Don Tolmie, the well-liked Welland lawyer looking for his second term as an MP. I think the Trudeaumania girls were all from Welland.

We jump ahead two years to my favourite picture of Pierre Trudeau. I took it in 1970, also in St. Catharines, at the Third World Rowing Championships. Just a face in the crowd, but he exudes charm, warmth, confidence and class. And believe me I've never voted Liberal in my life. AND... who is Canada's youngest PM ?... 39 year old Joe Clark, in 1979. OK, he turned 40 the next day, But still much younger than 44 year -old-Justin, or his 49 year-old-father.

We jump ahead two years to my favourite picture of Pierre Trudeau. I took it in 1970, also in St. Catharines, at the Third World Rowing Championships. Just a face in the crowd, but he exudes charm, warmth, confidence and class. And believe me I’ve never voted Liberal in my life.

AND… who is Canada’s youngest PM ?… 39-year-old Joe Clark, in 1979. OK, he turned 40 the next day, But still much younger than 44 year -old-Justin, or his 49 year-old-father.

Bob Chambers, Tribune photographer 1957-1970

Your comments are invited and appreciated by the photographer/author. Comments can be posted on the blog.

(Chambers’ Corner is a recurring feature on the blog.)

THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings in Welland

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 Weekly Meetings
Nov.23 ’15
5:00 PM – Welland Recreational Canal Corporation Board Meeting
LOCATION: WRCC Board Room, 8 Merritt Island.
Nov.24 ’15
6:00 PM – Special Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole In-camera (Closed to the Public), in the Council Ante Room, to discuss the following:

  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees;
  • Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board; and
  • Receiving of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose.
    – Welland Recreational Canal Corporation Governance Review.


– Special Council Meeting, in Open Session, at approximately 7:30 p.m., in the Council Chambers.

Nov.26 ’15
7:00 PM – Public Open House re: Non-rooftop Solar Project Proposals
Room 108.


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 City of Welland Jobs
Nov.27 ’15
4:00 PM – Municipal Parking Enforcement Officer
Qualified applicants are encouraged to submit a current resume by no later than 4:00 p.m. Friday, November 27, 2015
Jan.8 ’16
4:00 PM – Volunteer Firefighter
The Volunteer Orientation session will be held on Saturday, November 28, 2015, at the 18 Rose Avenue Fire Hall starting at 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Completed applications, must be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m., Friday, January 8, 2016