Tag: michael chan

    Governments launch the Niagara Falls WEGO system into service

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    From the Government of Canada:

    The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Michael Chan, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Kim Craitor, MPP for Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Fort Erie and Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport (Tourism); His Worship Jim Diodati, Mayor of Niagara Falls; and Janice Thomson, Chair of the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC), today marked the launch into service of the Niagara Falls Visitor Transportation System – WEGO. Service officially began on August 20, 2012.

    ‘Blockbuster’ the name of the tourism game

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It used to be a video store, but “Blockbuster” is now the mantra of the tourism industry in Niagara and the province of Ontario.

    Get used to it.

    Blockbuster. Blockbuster. Blockbuster.

    At some point, the word became the catch phrase for the kind of events Ontario’s tourism industry wants to hang its hat on.

    It crept into the lexicon in 2010 when Celebrate Ontario, a provincially funded agency, created a program to support “blockbuster events” or one-time events “of a size and scope sufficient to draw visitors to Ontario’s communities.”

    In the past two years, “blockbuster” is the phrase everyone from Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan to Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati and Niagara Parks Commission chairwoman Janice Thomson has borrowed to set their sights on hosting larger-than-life events.

    Judging by some events this year and others that are on the calendar, both Niagara and Queen’s Park are on the same page.

    Wallenda sets sights on Grand Canyon

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    What do you do after successfully crossing Niagara Falls on a tightrope with the whole world watching?

    “I slept all night for the first time in three months,” said Nik Wallenda, addressing media at Edgewaters Restaurant one day after cementing himself in the record books as the first person to directly cross over the thunderous falls on a wire.

    Wallenda was joined by Niagara Parks Commision (NPC) chair Janice Thomson and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Chan to unveil two plaques dedicated in Wallenda’s honour.

    Both plaques will be placed on a walkway leading to the White Water Walk. One commemorates Wallenda’s historic feat while the other depicts the history of stunting in Niagara Falls.

    Wallenda getting second chance to woo Niagara Parks Commission

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    There are people on both sides of the Nik Wallenda fence, but everyone now seems to agree that it’s an international walk or no walk at all.

    Wallenda, the American aerialist who has proposed walking across the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope, is now waiting for a second meeting with the Niagara Parks Commission in hopes of getting the commission to reverse its earlier decision not to allow the walk.

    After meeting with Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan Friday, Wallenda said he was encouraged to hear the minister’s interest in the proposal, which would see Wallenda walk across the Horseshoe falls this spring or summer.

    Wallenda was denied permission by the NPC last month, and was hoping Chan would overrule that decision. While the minister didn’t reverse the NPC’s call, he did suggest a second meeting between the aerialist and the commission.

    Chairwoman Janice Thomson said Monday she would sit down with Wallenda for a longer meeting than the formal 10-minute forum he was given on Nov. 16.

    Wallenda needs Canadian approval or Falls walk proposal is dead: New York State Parks

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    So as the details of the Nik Wallenda/Michael Chan meeting were coming out, there were also reports that if this is going to happen at all, it has to happen as a walk between the two countries. Apparently New York State officials have said a walk solely on the US side is not an option. It would cost too much money. This doesn’t really make sense to me. One of the big things that Mr. Wallenda was promoting to the Niagara Parks was that it wouldn’t cost them anything, as he would cover the costs for everything. If he would do that here, wouldn’t he do that in the US?

    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It’s America to Canada — or bust — for Nik Wallenda, according to New York State Parks.

    In a statement sent to The Niagara Falls Review Friday evening, New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said she has reached out to the tightrope walker to inform him the agency can’t support a high-wire act limited to the American Falls.

    Wallenda has not been able to secure approval for an international crossing from Canadian authorities.

    “A walk limited to the American Falls is not what New York approved or envisioned in legislation authorizing Nik Wallenda to traverse the Niagara River Gorge from the United States to Canada,” Harvey said in the statement.

    “The costs to New York State of managing a walk only across the American Falls would exceed $1 million in direct state expenses, while, because of the physical topography of Niagara Falls and crowd-safety concerns, the number of people who could watch such a walk would be extremely limited.

    “As a result, despite the costs to New York State, the vast majority of people on the U.S. side would be turned away from the park and never see the walk.”

    Chan makes no promises to Wallenda

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    Here are a couple of articles from after the Nik Wallenda/Michael Chan meeting.

    Wallenda taking his case to tourism minister

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The Niagara Parks Commission slammed the door on Nik Wallenda Wednesday, but a day later Minister of Tourism Michael Chan opened it up just a bit.

    Speaking with the Niagara Falls Review Thursday, the Ontario tourism minister invited Wallenda, a seventh-generation aerialist who wants to walk across the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope, to come and speak with him.

    “My door is always open. I welcome the opportunity to meet Mr. Wallenda,” said Chan, who confirmed he had nothing to do with the NPC’s decision to reject Wallenda’s proposal. “This particular project is under the watch of many, many people. It has huge interest around the world.”

    Asked if he would stand behind the NPC’s ruling, Chan seemed to leave the door open, saying there are big issues at play.

    “One of the major factors is economics. These are uncertain economic times. Jobs are important, the economy is important. That’s why, my door is open to listen to people,” he said.

    Minister’s door open: Craitor

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    From Niagara This Week:

    The door to Tourism and Culture Minister Michael Chan’s office is always open and the minister will look at ways of increasing tourism in Niagara Falls, Kim Craitor said Thursday.

    Craitor, who represents Niagara Falls at Queen’s Park and who is also the parliamentary assistant to Chan, made the remarks in a telephone interview with former provincial Progressive Conservative party leader John Tory on Newstalk 1010’s The Live Drive program, Craitor.

    “The answer is the door is always open,” Craitor told Tory when asked if the minister would consider looking into getting the Niagara Parks Commission to change its decision to not allow a walk across the Niagara Gorge in front of the Horseshoe Falls by Nik Wallenda.

    “The minister will listen to ideas from anyone, including Mr. Wallenda, Craitor said.

    NPC appoints new chair

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    From Niagara This Week:

    After almost five months in the interim position, Janice Thomson has been appointed the chair of the Niagara Parks Commission’s Board of Directors.

    While the announcement was made by Tourism and Culture Minister Michael Chan on Wednesday, the appointment was actually effective Nov. 16. Thomson, executive director of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce & Visitor and Convention Bureau, also has experience as a sales and marketing consultant and a former owner and operator of a restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

    The Niagara Falls Review also had an article called Janice Thomson named permanent chair of NPC

    Ontario tourism minister didn’t force people-mover deal on Parks Commission: Niagara Falls MPP

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    From Bullet News Niagara:

    A pending deal between the City of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Parks Commission to create a new people-mover bus system to service the millions of visitors to the Honeymoon Capital each year was no shotgun wedding.

    While Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor acknowledges he and Ontario Tourism Minister Michael Chan were asked to help resolve an impasse in negotiations between the parties in recent weeks, the minister did not force a deal on the provincial agency, whose chairwoman Fay Booker continues to raise concerns about the impact the new system could have on Niagara Parks’ revenue stream.

    “No – I don’t think that’s true,” said Craitor, when asked if the ministry put pressure on Booker and the commission to get the deal done.

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