Crucial Tools for Business Success in Canada

By Ann Marie Lumsden

March 19th, 2024



Running a successful business in Canada requires more than just a great idea and hard work. In today’s dynamic market, entrepreneurs and business owners need to leverage various tools to streamline operations, enhance productivity, and stay ahead of the competition.

Let’s explore some crucial tools that support business success in the Canadian market.

Digital marketing tools are usually very cost-effective.

Digital Marketing Platforms:
In 2024, having a strong online presence is vital for business success. Digital marketing platforms, like social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO), allow businesses to connect with their target audience, build brand awareness, and drive customer engagement. Digital marketing tools are usually very cost-effective and offer an easy way to connect with the Canadian consumer base.

For example, imagine a local bakery in Toronto using Instagram and Facebook to showcase its homemade baked goods. The business may post on its social platforms, share stories with followers, and even increase brand visibility and engagement by creating polls to ask customers about what new flavors or treats they’d like to see in the bakery. This strategy not only attracts new clientele but also builds customer loyalty, translating into increased sales and a thriving business.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems:
CRM systems play an important role in addressing Canadians’ unique needs for CRM services by helping businesses tailor their strategies to the specific preferences, behaviors, and expectations of the Canadian consumer base. An efficient CRM can supercharge your growth and help you upsell and build customer loyalty according to Krishi Chowdhary, making it a must-have for any business that wants to succeed. Understanding and nurturing customer relationships is at the core of business success. CRM systems, such as Salesforce or Thryv, help businesses organize customer data, track interactions, and streamline communication. This tool is particularly beneficial for Canadian businesses aiming to deliver personalized experiences and build long-term customer loyalty.

Consider a retail business in Vancouver that uses a CRM system to track customer purchase history and preferences. The company will be able to see what their customers have bought in the past and tailor advertisements and sales with this data in mind in the future. For example, if someone repeatedly buys sweaters each fall, the CRM system may see this information, analyze it, and then send that customer a discount code for sweaters as fall approaches. With this approach, the customer gets what they want and the business also is able to encourage brand loyalty and repeat clients.

Understanding the financial data and presenting it in a way that makes the point is critical in every business.

Financial Management Software:
Maintaining accurate financial records is crucial for business sustainability, including small businesses and large businesses alike. Financial manageme­nt software can assist businesses in organizing the­ir bookkeeping tasks. Programs such as QuickBooks and FreshBooks allow use­rs to easily track spending, gene­rate invoices, and produce financial state­ments. By maintaining accounting records digitally, businesse­s can comply with Canadian tax filing guidelines. They can also gain use­ful information to guide important financial planning choices. For instance, vie­wing reports of past income and expe­nses might reveal patte­rns that could help decide how to allocate­ future funds.

For instance, a growing Canadian e-commerce business may choose to use QuickBooks to automate invoicing, streamline expense tracking, and generate financial reports. By using this software, the business would be able to make informed decisions about inventory and marketing budgets.

Project Management Tools:
Completing tasks on time and within budget requires solid proje­ct management. Tools such as Trello and Asana assist te­ams in organizing and deadline-setting. The­se tools also promote team collaboration and quality conversation. For Canadian businesses, this te­amwork approach is vital for reaching business targets.

For example, a marketing agency in Canada may choose to use Trello as a tool to streamline project tracking and enhance collaboration across the whole team. Using this tool will help everyone on the team stay organized and meet project deadlines as well as support clear communication between colleagues.

Getting products in the shopping cart is the challenge for every merchant.

E-commerce Platforms:
For businesses involved in selling products, having an e-commerce platform is vital. Platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce enable businesses to create online stores, manage inventory, and facilitate secure transactions. This is essential for Canadian businesses looking to tap into the growing trend of online shopping. E-commerce platforms can be used for physical goods but also for services, so they are applicable to a variety of business models.

Imagine a local Canadian boutique that has expanded its reach by launching a Shopify store. By launching a virtual store online, the shop will be able to reach a whole new audience. In addition, they will offer their current customers an easy shopping experience, accessible from home or on the go. Selling products in a physical storefront can be beneficial, however, combining it with an e-commerce site gives businesses two avenues in which to earn revenue.

Is this computer secure? Have staff been trained on how to protect your data from prying eyes?

Cybersecurity Solutions:
Protecting sensitive data from cyber threats is a top priority for businesses operating in Canada. Canada’s businesse­s give top importance to kee­ping sensitive data safe from online­ dangers. Cybersecurity tools, like­ antivirus programs, and firewalls, help defe­nd against possible security risks. They also he­lp stick to rules that protect data. This is really important be­cause more and more things are­ being done digitally today.

For example, let’s imagine a financial institution in Canada that uses robust cybersecurity measures to protect customer data and maintain trust. By using firewalls and antivirus software as cybersecurity tools, the institution will be able to protect its customer’s personal and private data. Not only will the customer’s data be protected, but the businesses will be, too. In addition, customers will feel secure in their dealings with this business and will likely return as repeat customers.

Human Resources (HR) Software:
Effective­ly managing a company’s human resources is crucial for employe­e satisfaction and the overall prospe­rity of the business. HR software applications, such as BambooHR or Gusto, can assist organizations in stre­amlining various HR processes from payroll manageme­nt to onboarding new team membe­rs. This type of technology is espe­cially beneficial for Canadian companies seeking to cultivate­ a positive work environment culture­.

If the Human Resources people get it right – a company thrives.

In addition, HR software has the potential to de­crease expe­nses in the long run by automating certain HR-re­lated duties, like bene­fits administration or time-off requests. While­ initial setup or training costs may be needed, automated systems can save mone­y over time by reducing the­ need for additional human resource­s staff.

Imagine a growing tech startup in Canada that decides to use Gusto or a similar HR software in order to automate its payroll processing system and its employee benefits program. By using HR software, the tech company will be able to ensure that its employees receive their wages on time and that they are accurate. In addition, the software program will be able to successfully manage the company’s benefits program, simplifying a normally tedious process. The employees at this company will enjoy prompt payments and the business itself will enjoy streamlined and efficient processes.

Collaboration Tools:
As remote­ work becomes more pre­valent globally, collaboration tools are rising in importance. Platforms such as Microsoft Te­ams and Slack help foster easy inte­raction and teamwork betwee­n members located in diffe­rent areas. This capability is vital for Canadian companies se­eking to adjust to flexible work sche­dules this year and in the future­.

Real estate is a great example of an industry that benefits from collaboration tools because agents are often either in the office, on the road, showing houses, or working from home. With a collaboration tool like Slack, agents can quickly share property listings, discuss client requirements, and coordinate appointments.

The Canadian busine­ss environment prese­nts opportunities and challenges for companie­s. Utilizing appropriate resources can he­lp businesses flourish. Whether digital marketing programs or cybe­rsecurity protections, each re­source serves an important purpose­ in strengthening how a company runs. Embracing these­ technologies allows Canadian businesse­s to set themselve­s up for continued advancement and achie­vement within a continuously changing commercial sce­ne. While tools provide be­nefits, it is essential that companie­s select options matched to the­ir own unique needs.



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Surge pricing a growing part of consumer experience,

By Staff

March 2nd, 2024



Brock University has attached itself to Burlington in a way that higher education institutions in the area have not.  Brock currently has one faculty using Burlington facilities for teaching and expects to move into a portion of the Robert Bateman Community Centre where they have leased all of the second floor.

The university also makes members of different faculties available for interviews on subject of public interest.

Food pricing is the focus of comments made by Eric Dolansky.  He said that:

“The public reacted swiftly this week when news spread that Wendy’s had potential plans to test run surge pricing in its restaurants.

Surge pricing practices,

“While the popular fast-food chain has since indicated it will not increase prices during the busiest times at its restaurants, the situation has shed light on both current and potential future surge pricing practices, says Brock University’s Eric Dolansky.

“The Associate Professor of Marketing with Brock’s Goodman School of Business says the thought of restaurants introducing dynamic pricing elicited public backlash because it “violates norms and expectations” for the food industry.

“As of late, the concept of surge pricing has been attributed mainly to transportation companies such as Uber, which use a dynamic model to moderate use by customers based on supply and demand.

“However, “surge pricing is a relatively new name for a fairly old concept,” says Dolansky, who studies behavioural economics, price perception and consumer estimations of value.

“Tying price to supply and demand is as old as classical economics, but the technological power needed to do it in real time and on a wider scale is more recent,” he says. “Even so, for decades companies have been altering prices based on either actual or expected demand.”

Dolansky points to the travel industry, where both airlines and hotels operate on dynamic pricing models — and have for some time.

The difference is the perceived value for consumers when it comes to purchases such as travel versus physical products, such as food items, for which customers expect relatively stable prices, he says.

Eric Dolansky.: Associate Professor of Marketing with Brock’s Goodman School of Business.

For instance, with Niagara Falls being one of few places in the path of totality for the April 8 total solar eclipse, hotels raised their prices in anticipation of the celestial event’s ability to draw tourists.

“Staying in Niagara Falls around April 8 holds a great deal more value, for some consumers, than that same stay one week earlier or later,” Dolansky says. “Therefore, they are willing to pay more, and the companies involved are trying to capitalize on that desire.”

However, gift shops, tourist attractions and restaurants in the Niagara area wouldn’t normally change their prices based on an expected increase in demand, he says.

“If these businesses raise their prices, they need to convince customers it’s worth it.”

This may be done by providing an exclusive offering, such as a special menu, to increase the perceived value, he says.

Dolansky says businesses have to be careful that their pricing — not only the amount but the way prices are set and change over time — reflects the value that is perceived by customers.

“If customers don’t see a difference in value based on, for example, how busy a particular fast-food franchise is at a given moment, they won’t be willing to accept a higher price,” he says.

Dolanksy says it’s beneficial for businesses to research, innovate and test out different pricing models, but that they must be based on customer value.

“We inherently understand that if something is in greater demand, we may need to pay more for it,” he says. “But for food, in most situations in Canada, there is not the same scarcity — thankfully — so a model like this may feel artificial.”


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The Role of Data Analytics in Personalizing the Online Casino Experience

By Catalin Constantin

February 19th, 2024



Big data analytics is business’s closest ally and remains transformative in industries that make the most use of it.

Loads of data out there – finding what you need and putting those information nuggets to work for you is now possible.

It enables organizations to digest a lot of data in tiny pieces. It enables them to comprehend some attributes like what their clients are doing, their trends and how they interact with the enterprise.

Certainly, there are many advantages which may be received by an online casino if they can use big data for their benefit.

Personalized Services

Online casinos have used the technology to ensure they offer a level of rationalization as they look to keep players onboard due to the competitive nature of the sector. Although it is hard to pinpoint the actual number of options players have, there are thought to be thousands of sites all offering gambling activities, thus highlighting why there has been a focus on making things as personal as possible.

They can create unique experiences that are tailored to the player, as they can analyze their behaviours and playing patterns. For instance, they can create recommendations based on their location and the time they spend on the website, or even give them ways in which they can personalize their profile more, such as providing them with aesthetic features.

A customized selection of games can be offered

While there are thousands of game – the choices are overwhelming at time – the objective for the player is to have fun – and winning helps.

Although an online casino might have thousands of games available to pick and play from, they can use big data to make sure only the most relevant options are more visible to the player. Big data allows them to see which games are being enjoyed the most, which they can then ensure they continue to show on each visit.

By making the game library look more appealing because it is based on personal preferences, the casino will immediately become more appealing than other competitors that may not have any information or data about the visitor. This can help retain them and give them the competitive advantage that is so desperately needed in this saturated industry.

Personalized rewards and bonuses can be used

The online casino can also use big data analytics to allow its players to enjoy tailored bonuses and rewards. They can use the collected data to make personalized offers that they know will have a greater chance of being redeemed, thus allowing them to be more efficient and potentially increase their revenues.

An example of this might be offering a player a free spins bonus on a slot game that they have been enjoying. In doing so, a player might be more likely to use the bonus as it aligns with their interests and playing preferences. If they were offered a bonus on a game they have never shown an interest in, then it is likely they would avoid it.

Improve player and casino safety

Responsible gambling and safety have been huge areas of the online casino industry in recent years, with there having been a focus on these aspects externally. However, the use of big data analytics has allowed operators to do so much more than they were once able to, thus helping them promote a more positive experience.

Use the data to make sure players are better protected from potential threats to player and casino safety.

Big data has allowed the casino to track player trends and behaviours related to their gambling activities and their spending. They are better positioned to spot when a player may be in trouble, meaning they can act before it is too late. Additionally, they can use the data to make sure they are also better protected from potential threats to player and casino safety. They can use the data to prevent fraudulent activities, which can help to foster a sense of trust among its player base.

Big data’s highly influential impact on the online casino industry

As there are so many more aspects and elements in which big data analysis has had a positive impact in personalizing the online casino experience for players, it is clear that it is impossible to deny how crucial it has become for the industry.

With so many different options now available in the market for players to choose from, a level of personalization is needed nowadays to convince visitors that they truly value their custom. In doing this, they are better positioned to retain them and not lose them to a competitor.

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Smoke and Mirrors - this fancy financial dancing is the least efficient and most costly way to deliver provincial programs.



By Ray Rivers

February 11th, 2024


Spending under the Ford government has consistently been higher than it was under Wynne—whom Ford criticized frequently as a big spender during the election in 2018. Between 2017 and 2022, per-person spending (inflation-adjusted) has grown from $12,151 to $12,969.” (The Fraser Institute)

Ontario was already one of the most indebted jurisdictions in Canada.  According to the the conservative think thank, The Fraser Institute, last year we paid out over $12 billion in interest payments alone.  Even worse, that is projected to climb to over $15 billion annually by the time we head to the polling stations again.  That is close to a 25 per cent increase over that three year period.

Ontario’s debt is approaching $400 billion, more than double that of the US state of California which has a population about equal to that of all of Canada. There was a modest surplus during the first year of the pandemic, when Mr. Trudeau’s feds were paying for just about everything.  But Mr. Ford is planning to run deficits of almost $6 billion over the next two years, rivalling or exceeding those of the previous Liberal government.

According to the Fraser folks….”The irony for Ford, the deficit fighter, is that had he only maintained the inflation-adjusted per-person spending at the same level he inherited from the Wynne government, he would be closer to running a surplus today.”  Our growing economy has seen revenues increasing, but they have failed to keep pace with government spending.   Over $10 billion of new net debt was created last year alone and another $24 billion is expected to be created over the three year period.

So Mr. Ford has decided on a new gimmick.   He’s creating an infrastructure bank, along the lines of the federal infrastructure bank.  The province will ante up a few billion into the kitty and then the bank will rely on deposits from private investors. The money will be spent on provincial priorities like more long term care spaces, public transportation, etc.  But, it will be arms length so the decisions about those investments will be made by a board of governors rather than our elected officials.

The federal bank, established in 2017, has been anything but a success.  Then again, it was created to enable the federal government to participate in economic development for activities which might be argued are exclusively provincial or municipal.  That is not a constraint for Ontario.  Even so, Mr. Poilievre has called for the elimination of the Canada Infrastructure Bank.  So why does Mr. Ford think his provincial bank is such a good idea?

It’s really just sleight of hand, a shell game – a simple application of smoke and mirrors.  By pushing provincial spending into this new bank, he can take it off the provincial books,  And the new bank will pick up all that liability instead and shrink the province’s deficits on paper, but not in reality.  It’s kind of now you see it, now you don’t.

This scheme will not be cost free.  Private investors, who will provide the bulk of the funds being dispersed by the bank, will demand to be paid market interest, which will be higher than what the government is currently paying on its debt.  After all, this will not be provincial borrowing per se backed by the provincial government.  Thus, the risk to investors will be higher.  And to compensate for that risk, investors will want higher interest premiums than the government would normally have to pay.

Since more of the banks funds will thus be going into servicing the bank’s borrowing, less will be available for the various purposes for which it was created, such as funding long term care construction.  Additionally, there are the not insignificant costs of establishing and operating the new bureaucracy, as well as rewarding its highly salaried staff to run the bank.   Bottom line –  this fancy financial dancing is the least efficient and most costly way to deliver provincial programs.

It would be less expensive for taxpayers if Mr. Ford just used the existing resources of the provincial government to pay its bills, rather than hiving those bills off onto an another costly bureaucratic agency.   And of course, it certainly would be better if Mr. Ford simply reduced deficits and debt as he had promised to do back in 2018.

But that would involve revisiting taxation rates for some of the wealthiest Ontario residents.  And most importantly, it would involve cutting out costly ‘pet projects’ such as the proposed Highway 413 and relocation of the Science Centre.

Ray Rivers, a Gazette Contributing Editor, writes regularly applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

New Bank –    Why A New Bank –     Who Benefits –     Federal Bank –

Fraser Institute –      More Fraser –     Even More Fraser –     The Science Centre –

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Statistically Canadians show an increasing trend of downloading apps

By Dianne Hudson

February 2nd, 2024



Mobile technology has effectively given consumers a computer in their pocket or, for real tech lovers, tech that can be worn on a wrist or embedded in another peripheral. There are myriad reasons why we all love our mobile phones, but connectivity, security, and the sheer scale of options available to users are undoubtedly among the reasons that people have an interdependent relationship with their phone, tablet, or other smart device.

App revenue is going from strength to strength.

Most of us access the vast majority of information on our smartphones through apps rather than via web browsers, and in Canada, they are increasingly popular. In a time of economic slowdowns and external pressure on finances, app revenue is going from strength to strength. Unlike many other sectors, there seems to be no shrinkage of the market here.

Initially, market analysts wondered if this was another market boosted by the COVID-19 effect. While some sectors like hospitality and airlines saw massive contractions in the period, other online businesses saw their businesses really take off. The value of the app sector rose from $1.6 billion in 2019 to $2.8 billion in 2021. With so many people restricted to their homes, this could have been expected. However, as the world returned to normal, the sector remained buoyant, and while revenue was down to $2.7 billion in 2022, it is significantly larger than it was pre-pandemic.

The growth is meeting a demand.

Statistics show that in January 2023, Canada had 31.2 million smartphone users and apps were downloaded 1.2 billion times. In 2022, the average Canadian spent 4.6 hours on their mobile device daily, up from 1.4 hours in 2019. Social media makes up for a considerable amount of time passed on our mobile phones, but this landscape is constantly changing. Where Facebook once dominated, TikTok became the most downloaded app in 2022. It was not just the most popular social media app but the top-grossing app in Canada overall. TikTok generated $43.6 million and recorded 4.4 million downloads.

However, people are not only spending all their screen time on social media. Gaming apps are also top-rated. The first gaming app to go viral was, arguably, Flappybird. Forbes magazine even described it as the Justin Beiber of gaming apps, and at the height of its popularity, it was raking in $50,000 a day. While no other game has since captured the collective imagination in such a way, Roblox has been a firm favourite for many years. In 2022, the app was downloaded almost 55,000 times for Android devices alone. However, according to statistics, the most popular Android app game in 2022 was Stumble Guys, which clocked up an impressive 198,758 downloads.

Canadians love to have a flutter; recent poll revealed over half of the population claimed to have gambled within the last month.

Gaming apps are not child’s play. The audience for games on smartphones crosses all demographics. Even people you would not traditionally think of as gamers find a few minutes every morning to battle with the New York Times puzzle app and pit their wits against The Daily Crossword, Wordle and the app’s latest title, Connections. Wordle players are 51% female, 47% male and 2% non-binary. A poll of American Wordle players found more than half of them were Millennials; a quarter were Gen Xers, and the balance were Gen Zs and Baby Boomers.

Mobile gambling and casinos are another sector where apps have captured the public’s imagination. Canadians love to have a flutter and a recent poll revealed over half of the population claimed to have gambled within the last month. There are over 19 million active online gambling accounts in the country, and the sector has been boosted by Ontario opening its fully regulated commercial market, making all forms of gambling in the province legal.

Whether players choose online slots, poker, roulette or other casino games, a wide selection of apps exist. If you talk about the best casino apps for real money, Spin Casino is the one, so writes Hannah Cutajar from Jackpot City and Play Ojo also score very highly for excellent game selection, chances to earn cashback on every bet and the sheer size of their jackpots.

As well as catching up on socials and playing games, there are also more serious uses of apps on mobile devices. Banking and payment apps are also up there with the most downloaded and used apps. There was considerable reticence around online banking security when the concept was first mooted, but improved safety protocols have removed much of these earlier fears. 87% of consumers use their banking app at least once a month. While millennials are the most frequent users, accessing bank accounts using mobile apps is prevalent from Boomers to Gen Zers.

Unique to the Canadian market.

The apps that have skyrocketed in usage in recent years are e-wallets, including ApplePay, GooglePay, PayPal and the like. Many people now do not even consider taking a plastic card or cash with them on a night out or a trip into town to buy a meal at their favourite bar or restaurant. Everything they need is on their phone. No wallet full of dollar bills, just a charged-up phone, and they can pay for everything with a tap and a little bit of face recognition wizardry. Canadians are also fond of using Interac e-transfers to move money around. This service allows them to send and receive money instantly after registering with an email address or mobile phone number. It is so familiar to Canadians that it is sometimes surprising to remember that it is unique to the Canadian market.

Apps are leading the way in accessing information.

Apps are used for every walk of life. You can book a holiday through Airbnb and check the weather in your hometown or on the other side of the world. Video and music streaming apps are now how we expect to access films and TV shows or listen to our top music artists and podcasts. If we do not know what song is playing, we can switch to Shazam to get the artist’s name, song title and lyrics. Apps are the key to endless entertainment and information, and we have not even brushed on retail opportunities in this article.

If there is something you want to do on your mobile, the chances are someone will have created an app for it.




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Dragons' Den is auditioning Entrepreneurs with the next great idea

By Staff

January 26th, 2024



The CBC’s hit television show DRAGONS’ DEN is hosting open auditions in Toronto, looking for the next big ‘thing’ in Canadian business!

Entrepreneurs from across the country have a fresh chance to enter DRAGONS’ DEN in a bid to score some high-powered financial backing for their business ventures.

DRAGONS’ DEN gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of wealthy Canadian business moguls – the Dragons. Successful pitchers will have a chance to earn real investment – from the Dragons’ own pockets!


CBC Toronto (25 John St.)

Saturday, February 10, 2024 | 10am – 5pm

Interested applicants can apply here:

On Thursday February 8th, they will be hosting Dragons’ Den market. This is a chance to meet entrepreneurs who have previously been on the show.





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Getting to be the main attraction is hard hard work

By Staff

January 21st, 2024



Getting to the point where a performing artist stands in the middle of a big stage with hundreds, sometimes thousands of people in the audience takes time and a lot of hard, hard work.

Tammy Fox, the Executive Director of the Performing Arts centre, has worked both sides of the business: she marketed talent and grew performers from promising beginners to the point where they were the main attraction.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (‘BPAC’) is invested in nurturing and supporting emerging artists in our community through our artist development initiatives.  BPAC’s ‘Live & Local’ Artist Development Initiative supports the development of local artists by providing them with professional support and performance opportunities in our world-class venue, while also offering mentorship by connecting them with established industry professionals.

Emm Gryner part of the Live and Local program at the Performing Arts Centre

Emm Gryner appears at the Community Theatre on January 26th, is part of the ‘Live & Local’ Artist Development Initiative that Fox has made part of the operation saying: “BPAC is committed to taking the lead in supporting the growth of local artists and arts organizations as part of our mandate. Many of these groups are unable to afford the high costs of facility rentals and their attendant production costs, so a more flexible and creative partnership is necessary to support this critical type of community cultural development.

She adds: “BPAC plays a major role in supporting the development of local performing arts organizations and artists. By providing a state-of-the-art facility, superior customer service, organizational infrastructure and technical expertise, we provide an opportunity for Burlington’s arts organizations to grow artistically and to develop audiences. BPAC also takes an active role in supporting local organizations by offering marketing support as well as more targeted artistic development initiatives.

“BPAC has had a profound impact on the artistic growth and development of our local performing arts community. BPAC’s LIVE & LOCAL series allows local performers to increase their creative capacity, reach new heights of artistic excellence, deliver richer and more diverse performances and ultimately grow their audience.

Gryner will be on stage  in the Community Studio Theatre on Friday  Jan 26, 2024 at 7:30pm. Ticket Prices:Regular: $39.50(All-in); Member: $34.50(All-in)

As part of BPAC’s mission to nurture and support local arts producers we have launched an Artist Development Initiative which will provide performance opportunities for local artists and arts organizations to showcase their talents to BPAC’s established and growing audience base by including them in our Presents Series programming under the ‘Live & Local’ banner.

Many local emerging professional and non-professional arts organizations are looking for opportunities to perform at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, but cannot afford the rent and production costs, and may not attract an audience large enough to financially sustain a performance in the theatre. The creation of alternative performing spaces such as the Community Stage in the Lobby, and use of the outdoor plaza for programming opportunities, enhances the experience of audiences and provides increased exposure for local artists.

BPAC’s 23/24 Live & Local Series is sponsored by Daniel Durst of Desjardins Insurance.






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Comprehensive Guide to Reviewing the Deal or No Deal Experience at Minimum Deposit Casinos

By Miranda Hough

January 21st, 2024



The world of online casinos is a vast and dynamic landscape, offering a plethora of options for players seeking excitement and entertainment. As the popularity of online gambling continues to soar, the importance of casino reviewing becomes paramount. This article aims to guide players through the intricacies of casino reviewing, offering insights into what to look for when evaluating a casino’s suitability. As we navigate this journey, we’ll delve into the unique offerings of the Deal or No Deal Casino, particularly within the context of minimum deposit casinos.

Understanding the Essentials of Casino Reviewing:

Licensing and Regulation

    • Verifying the platform’s licensing and regulatory credentials is a crucial starting point for any casino review. Reputable casinos, including those operating with minimum deposits, obtain licenses from recognized authorities. The Deal or No Deal Casino Ontario, featured in some minimum deposit platforms, should adhere to strict regulatory standards, ensuring a safe and secure gaming environment.

Game Variety and Software Providers

    • The games’ diversity and software providers’ reputation are vital elements in any casino review. Minimum deposit casinos that feature the Deal or No Deal Casino should offer a broad spectrum of games inspired by the popular television show. Assess the quality of graphics, the responsiveness of the platform, and the variety of gaming options available.

User Experience and Interface

Deal or No Deal – the TV show.

    • A user-friendly interface is pivotal for an enjoyable gaming experience. The ease of navigation, loading times, and overall design contribute to the platform’s user-friendliness. Whether accessing the casino on desktop or mobile, players should feel at ease while exploring the Deal or No Deal Casino offerings within minimum deposit platforms.


Security Measures

    • Security is a paramount concern for players engaging in online gambling. Minimum deposit casinos featuring the Deal or No Deal Casino should implement robust security measures, including SSL encryption, secure payment gateways, and fair play certifications. Ensuring the safety of personal and financial information is fundamental to a positive casino review.

Payment Options and Payout Speed

    • Diverse payment options and efficient payout processes contribute significantly to player satisfaction; in the context of minimum deposit casinos, accessibility to various payment methods, including cryptocurrency options, maybe a key consideration. Assess the transparency of the payment policy and the speed of withdrawals when reviewing the Deal or No Deal Casino.

Bonuses and Promotions

    • Evaluate the terms and conditions of these bonuses, including wagering requirements, to determine the overall value for players engaging with the Deal or No Deal Casino.

      The bonus structure and promotional offerings are essential components of any casino review. Minimum deposit casinos often strive to provide attractive welcome bonuses, loyalty programs, and ongoing promotions. Evaluate the terms and conditions of these bonuses, including wagering requirements, to determine the overall value for players engaging with the Deal or No Deal Casino.

Customer Support

    • Responsive and efficient customer support is a key aspect of a reliable casino. Minimum deposit platforms featuring the Deal or No Deal Casino should offer support through various channels, such as live chat, email, or a comprehensive FAQ section. The availability and effectiveness of customer support contribute to a positive player experience.

Mobile Compatibility

    • The prevalence of mobile gaming necessitates a review of a casino’s mobile compatibility. Minimum deposit casinos, including those with the Deal or No Deal Casino, should offer a responsive and enjoyable mobile gaming experience. Assess whether a dedicated app is available and the overall functionality of the mobile platform.

Navigating the Deal or No Deal Experience at Minimum Deposit Casinos:

Deal or No Deal-Themed Games

    • Minimum deposit casinos featuring the Deal or No Deal Casino should provide players access to a unique array of games inspired by the famous television show. Assess the variety and creativity of these themed games, enhancing the overall gaming experience for players engaging with smaller deposits.

Themed Promotions

    • The Deal or No Deal Casino, particularly within minimum deposit platforms, may introduce themed promotions and bonuses that resonate with the iconic show. Examine the diversity and appeal of these promotions, as they add an extra layer of excitement and exclusivity to the overall casino experience.

Interactive Gameplay

    • Beyond traditional casino offerings, the Deal or No Deal experience should encompass interactive gameplay elements. Minimum deposit casinos should offer games that capture the essence of the television show and engage players with unique and entertaining features.

Community and Social Elements

    • Live chat features, community forums, or social media integration can foster community among players engaging with smaller deposits.

      Minimum deposit casinos featuring the Deal or No Deal Casino may incorporate community and social elements to enhance the gaming experience. Live chat features, community forums, or social media integration can foster community among players engaging with smaller deposits.

Exclusive Deal or No Deal Features

    • Seek out any exclusive features or game modes related to the Deal or No Deal theme within minimum deposit casinos. Whether it’s a particular bonus round, a unique twist on traditional casino games, or exclusive promotions, these elements contribute to the overall appeal and exclusivity of the casino.

As players navigate the vast landscape of online casinos, the art of casino reviewing becomes an invaluable skill. The Deal or No Deal Casino, featured within minimum deposit platforms, adds a unique flavor to the online gambling experience. By considering crucial factors such as licensing, game variety, security measures, and the unique offerings tied to the Deal or No Deal theme, players can ensure a satisfying and secure gaming experience, even within the constraints of smaller deposits.

In the end, casino reviewing is about finding the right balance of elements that align with individual preferences, ensuring an immersive, enjoyable, and potentially rewarding journey within the Deal or No Deal Casino at minimum deposit platforms.


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Safe Betting: How to Spot Secure Betting Websites


By Ralph newsome

January 18th. 2024



In the era of surging online betting popularity, prioritizing the safety and security of your betting experience is of utmost importance. The expansive digital landscape is teeming with a plethora of betting platforms, making it imperative for enthusiasts to discern secure and reliable websites from potential pitfalls.

With the proliferation of online betting options, verifying the legitimacy of platforms becomes a critical step in safeguarding financial transactions and personal information. As the industry evolves, maintaining a vigilant approach to choosing reputable and secure online betting platforms ensures a seamless and worry-free betting experience for enthusiasts.

Licensing and Regulation

When you’re diving into the world of online betting, one key sign that you’re on a secure platform is checking for proper licensing and regulation. Trustworthy betting websites operate under the watchful eye of well-known gambling authorities. Keep an eye out for licenses from reputable organizations like the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority.

These regulatory bodies play a crucial role in making sure that the betting site sticks to rigorous standards, creating a safe and fair space for users. For more detailed insights, you might want to check out this handy guide on betting sites for 2024—it could clear up any lingering questions and help you navigate the exciting realm of online betting.

SSL Encryption for Data Protection

Secure betting websites prioritize the protection of user data through the implementation of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. You can identify SSL-secured websites by the presence of “https://” in the URL and a padlock icon in the address bar. This encryption technology safeguards your personal and financial information, ensuring that it remains confidential and inaccessible to unauthorized entities.

Transparent Terms and Conditions

A trustworthy betting website is transparent about its terms and conditions. Before signing up, carefully review these terms to understand the rules governing the platform. Pay attention to aspects such as withdrawal policies, bonus terms and any restrictions on user activities. Transparent and clear terms contribute to a positive user experience and indicate a commitment to fair and honest dealings.

Secure Payment Options

Secure betting websites offer a variety of reliable and secure payment options. Look for platforms that support reputable methods such as credit/debit cards, e-wallets (e.g., PayPal, Neteller) and bank transfers. Additionally, the inclusion of cryptocurrencies adds an extra layer of privacy to transactions. A diverse range of secure payment options reflects the platform’s commitment to providing users with flexible and secure financial transactions.

Comprehensive Customer Support

Quality customer support is a hallmark of secure betting websites. Reliable platforms offer multiple channels for customer assistance, including live chat, email and phone support. A responsive customer support team addresses queries promptly and efficiently, ensuring that users have a positive and trouble-free experience on the platform.

Positive User Reviews and Reputation

User reviews and the overall reputation of a betting website are valuable indicators of its security. Explore independent review platforms, forums and social media to gauge the experiences of other users. Consistent positive reviews, timely payouts and a solid reputation in the online betting community signal that the platform is trustworthy and reliable.

Industry Partnerships and Certifications

Secure betting websites often form partnerships with reputable industry organizations and obtain certifications that vouch for their integrity. Look for certifications from independent auditing bodies such as eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance). These certifications validate the fairness and security of the platform’s operations.

Responsible Gambling Measures

A commitment to responsible gambling is a crucial aspect of a secure betting website. Look for platforms that provide tools for users to manage their gambling activities, including options for setting deposit limits, self-exclusion and access to resources for responsible gambling. This proactive approach demonstrates the platform’s dedication to promoting a safe and enjoyable betting environment.

Multifactor Authentication for Account Security

Enhanced account security is a key feature of secure betting websites. Platforms that offer multifactor authentication (MFA) provide an extra layer of protection for user accounts. MFA typically involves a combination of passwords and additional verification methods, such as one-time codes sent to mobile devices, adding an extra barrier against unauthorized access.

Regular Audits and Security Updates

Secure betting websites prioritize the ongoing security of their platforms. Regular security audits and updates ensure that the website is resilient against evolving cyber threats. Look for platforms that communicate their commitment to security through regular updates on implemented measures and improvements made to fortify the website against potential vulnerabilities.

Accessible Privacy Policy

A secure betting website has a clear and accessible privacy policy that outlines how user data is collected, processed and stored. Before registering, review the privacy policy to understand how the platform handles your personal information. A commitment to user privacy is a positive sign of a platform’s dedication to maintaining a secure online environment.

Educational Resources on Safe Betting

Secure betting websites often provide educational resources on safe betting practices. These resources may include information on recognizing signs of problem gambling, tips for responsible betting and links to external support organizations. A platform that prioritizes user well-being by offering such resources contributes to a safer and healthier betting community.



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Michael Paletta and his wife Laura donate $5 million to hospital Mental Health and Addictions program

By Staff

January 16th, 2024



From left to right: Joseph Brant Hospital CEO Eric Vandewall, Michael Paletta, Laura Paletta and Anissa Hilborn, Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation President & CEO.

“Our family has felt firsthand the impact of mental illness, and understands the value of innovative and lifesaving care,” said Michael. “Laura and I firmly believe that this campaign has the ability to transform lives and help make Joseph Brant Hospital a world-class provider of mental health and addictions care right here in Burlington.”

This gift recognizes an urgent and growing need to redevelop JBH’s Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) program space to create therapeutic facilities that ensure a dignified, respectful, person-centred experience.

The three core elements of the redevelopment project include a relocation and expansion of the Inpatient Mental Health and Addictions Unit with the addition of a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), a relocation of some of the Outpatient Mental Health Unit, and the addition of a new Child and Youth Mental Health Day Hospital.

“We are truly honoured and grateful to have received this gift. Michael and Laura’s support, passion and commitment to improving mental health and addictions care in our community is inspiring,” said Anissa Hilborn, Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation President & CEO. “In recognition of this transformational gift, once complete the new unit will be named the Michael & Laura Paletta Mental Health & Addictions Unit.”

Mental illness affects all Canadians at some time either through their own experience, or that of a family member, friend or colleague. In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health illness, and by age 40, about 50% of the population will have had or being living with a mental illness.

JBH has a vision to build a modern, person-centred facility that is purposefully designed to instill hope and support healing, and that is consistent with the program philosophy to provide the safest and most dignified care to patients.

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MP's deliver $21 million to spur the development of new housing in Burlington; builders are focused on the downtown core

By Pepper Parr

January 15th, 2024



The builders like it.

Federal MPs Pam Damoff and Karina Gould announced the City of Burlington will receive $21 million in Federal Funding through the Housing Accelerator Fund.

This funding will assist Burlington with their ambitious housing pledge of building 29,000 new homes over the next decade. Through CMHC, the Housing Accelerator Fund provides incentive funding to Burlington that is tied to the number of new housing starts the municipality can facilitate.

Downtown core development – nothing affordable about these two developments on Lakeshore Road and Martha. ADI on the right is nearing completion, Carriage Gate on the left is just a hole in the ground.

CMHC states the funding is to support “the development of complete, low-carbon and climate-resilient communities that are affordable, inclusive, equitable and diverse”.

The West End Home Builder’s Association (WE HBA) welcomes this federal investment in Burlington. “The City of Burlington and the development industry have been working under a renewed close partnership to facilitate the more than doubling our current rates of housing construction with a strong focus on bringing more units from the development pipeline through to the permit process.” noted CEO Mike Collins-Williams.

“This is a monumental task that requires collaboration between all three levels of government and the private sector. WE HBA is pleased to see the federal government coming to the table a significant amount of money to help us collectively facilitate the construction of significantly more homes”.

Burlington’s housing supply crisis means too many people are unable to find a home that meets their needs and budget. Addressing this crisis means ensuring more supply is built and is readily available. The Federal Housing Accelerator Fund will help fund infrastructure and remove barriers to the construction of new housing units.

ADI development nearing completion.

Carriage Gate development next to ADI development is just a hole on the ground. Nothing affordable about either development.

“The federal dollars will enable the City of Burlington to accelerate planning and permit approvals and upgrade infrastructure for new home construction in Burlington” WE HBA CEO Mike Collins-Williams noted. “This will enable our members to deliver on the ambitious city objective of 29,000 newly constructed homes over the next ten years.” The announcement will help set Burlington on the right path for ensuring more Burlingtonians can find a place to live, work, and raise a family.

Only time will tell if the federal money (that came from the pockets of taxpayers) will make a difference.  At this point Burlington doesn’t have much in the way of shovels in the ground.

Later today we expect there will be an announcement from the Mayor on how this new money will be put to work.


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Betting Strategies: Successful Bets with Pin Up Bookmaker

By James Weatherland

January 12th, 2024



Explore the world of strategic sports betting with our comprehensive guide. Discover betting tactics at Pin Up and enhance your approach to successful betting.

Choosing a winning strategy for betting on sports

Sports betting is becoming increasingly popular every year. If you’re a novice in betting, hurry up to discover what opportunities Pin Up bookmaker offers to win and emotional fulfillment. But it’s crucial to create your strategy to navigate through the world of betting. Having a well-thought-out plan helps you win and have a whale of time.

Opting for the optimal strategy for betting

Bets can be placed from your hand held.

An essential element of profitable sports betting is employing effective betting tactics. Here are a few of them:

  • Handicap strategy. Its purpose is to reduce risk and boost the likelihood of success. A player selects a bet with a handicap and wagers on it, understanding that it’ll win.
  • Martingale strategy. After every bet that loses, the player raises his stake to make up losses if he wins. Caution and capital restrictions are necessary for this method.
  • Arbitration strategy. Gamers exploit the variance in odds several bookmakers offer to secure a victory. It calls for speed and meticulous attention to detail.
  • A betting strategy for different results. To ensure victory regardless of the result, the player wagers on various probable outcomes of the exact match. The variety of Pin-Up Bet Sportsbook betting possibilities might make using these techniques easier.

These are only a few instances of betting methods. Each has benefits and drawbacks of its own. Gamers ought to select the approach that best fits their objectives and style of play.

Vital aspects of betting on sports

Before beginning to play, players must grasp various factors that make up the fundamentals of sports betting:

  • Thinking through every step you take will bring a smile to your face. Think – don’t let your emotions gets the best of you.

    It’s vital to select the best bookmaker. Pin Up, a trustworthy and authorized platform, guarantees competitive odds and fair playing circumstances.

  • It’s essential to understand the many kinds of bets offered, such as win, total, handicap, and many more. Every type of wager has unique attributes and guidelines for calculating payouts. For example, Pin-Up Bet provides various bet options, including live bets and accumulators.
  • Knowing the coefficients is the second crucial component. If the stake is successful, the odds specify the potential rewards. Players need to understand how odds operate and impact their chances. The betting odds on Pin-Up Bet in Canada offerings are pretty high. The range for well-attended events is 1.85–1.87.

Picking the best strategy requires matching individual objectives and betting preferences.

Before making a stake, analyze the teams, players, and statistics. You may make better judgments and have a higher possibility of winning.

Examining tactics such as arbitrage, martingale, handicapping, and various betting methods clarifies the complex nature of successful sports betting. These strategies provide ways to reduce risk and boost chances of success. Nevertheless, picking the best one requires matching individual objectives and betting preferences. Pin-Up sports betting offers a chance for well-informed and calculated betting due to its assortment of options and competitive odds.




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Understanding Pin Up Casino's Weekly Cashback - Advanced Guide

By Rostov Pushkin

January 11th, 2023



Pin Up Casino offers an incredible opportunity for players to recover part of their losses through the Weekly Cashback bonus. This guide details how you can take advantage of this bonus to improve your gaming experience and overall strategy.

Understanding Pin Up Casino’s Weekly Cashback

Pin Up Casino rewards its players with a cashback bonus every Monday, based on the previous week’s net losses. Depending on the amount lost, you can receive up to 10% back:

Losses of $50 or more: 5% cashback

Losses of $250 or more: 7% cashback

Losses of $1,000 or more: 10% cashback

The maximum cashout is 10 times the amount of cashback received.

Strategies to Maximize Cashback

Bankroll management

Manage your bankroll efficiently throughout the week to qualify for cashback without risking too much.

Game Selection

Choose games that have a good risk-reward ratio. Games with high volatility can offer higher winnings, but also higher risks.

Taking advantage of cashback

Use the cashback bonus to play in games where you feel most comfortable and which have a good chance of winning.

Practical example
Suppose you received a cashback of $100 and played with this bonus. If you win $10,000 after meeting the wagering requirements, a maximum of $1,000 ($100 x 10) will be credited to your main balance.

Important Tips
Pay attention to the conditions
Read the cashback terms and conditions carefully to fully understand the rules and requirements.

Plan Your Play

Use cashback as part of a wider strategy, considering when and how you will best use it.

Keep Control

Don’t gamble more than planned in an attempt to increase cashback. Remember to play responsibly.

In addition to the general strategies for maximizing Weekly Cashback at Pin Up Casino, it’s important to highlight one game in particular that has become very popular among players for using this bonus: Starburst.

Starburst: An Excellent Choice for Cashback

Starburst, a vibrant and colourful slot, is known for its engaging game-play and high chances of winning. This game has become a favourite choice for players who want to make the most of the cashback bonus due to its high return to player (RTP) rate and frequency of small wins, which can contribute to a prolonged gaming experience and more chances of recovering losses.

How to Take Advantage of Cashback at Starburst

Play Strategically: Understand the rules of Starburst and apply a strategic approach to each spin.

  1. Use Cashback Effectively: Take advantage of the cashback bonus to extend your playing sessions in Starburst, increasing your chances of hitting winning combinations.
  2. Bankroll Management: As Starburst is a game with high volatility, it’s crucial to manage your bankroll in order to take advantage of the cashback without unnecessary risk.
  3. By incorporating popular games like Starburst into your cashback strategy, you can increase your chances of a more profitable and entertaining gaming experience at Pin Up Casino.


Pin Up Casino’s Weekly Cashback bonus is an excellent way to recoup some of your losses and continue to enjoy your gaming experience. With strategy and responsible play, you can maximize this benefit.





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The Rise of Live Dealer Games in Canadian Online Casinos: A Closer Look at The Interactive Experience

By Kris Olson

January 10th, 2024


The Rise of Live Dealer Games in Canadian Online Casinos: A Closer Look at The Interactive Experience

Digital casino gaming offers a whole different stream of entertainment to online players.

Since its emergence, online casino gaming has become a pretty widespread gambling and entertainment option in Canada. This has given rise to a great number of online casinos, which make the gambling scene very accessible and decentralized. You can easily find top-selected options on

Altogether, these online casinos were preceded by the evergreen wonders of traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, which are still the base of Canadian casino gambling. However, Today’s digital casino gaming offers a whole different stream of entertainment to online players. Principal among these fresh entertainment streams is the inclusion of live dealer games in many Canadian casino portfolios.

Going forward, we are exploring the all-round interactive experience, which follows live dealer gaming at Canadian online casinos.

Evolution Of Online Casinos in Canada

Canada has a pretty long history with casino gambling in particular. From its first legal form of gambling in 1969, to the invention of the Internet, and subsequently the creation of online casinos in the 1990s. As of 1994, the first recognized online casino was created in the state, which featured mid graphics and average internet speed and services.

Gaming can be done anytime from anywhere; just fire up the iPad and your in the casino.

With time, the Canadian online casino scene got better, and demand went up alongside. This in turn has brought about an organic increase in the number of casino providers around. More so, the progression from traditional land-based casinos to online platforms in Canada was seamless. Whilst the two offer pretty much the same gambling services, online casinos just came with a whole new level of accessibility and a broader range of games.

The Live Dealer Experience

In today’s casino gaming scene, live dealer games are essentially gambling games where the players get to interact in real-time, with the dealers and dealing process. There is no mistaking it for the traditional casino experience. That is because live dealer games at online casinos feature real-time broadcasts that aid players to interact with dealers, on a designated software. In essence, think of it as a stream-as-you-play kind of affair, which offers players the same real-time advantage as a brick-and-mortar casino.

Over a short period, the live dealer casino experience has gone from an ordinary live-stream affair to an all-immersive involvement. This features a proper replication of the standard casino gaming environs, simulations, professional dealers, etc. In a nutshell, standard online casinos are up for creating a live dealership experience that is as authentic as possible.

Technological Advancements

As stated earlier, live dealer games have become a big deal over a considerably short period. This advancement is primarily traced to several technological edges that make most standard games stand out. From the high-definition cameras involved in the video streaming to the multi-angle coverage, there’s a lot of tech that goes into making these live game sessions colourful.

Also top on the list is the deployment of Augmented Reality (AR) to blend the real and virtual worlds, creating a very immersive and engaging experience. Together, these tech innovations go a long way in creating an enhanced but organic gaming experience.

Popular Live Dealer Games In Canada

Throughout the Canadian casino scene, there exists a plethora of live casino games with the best dealerships in circulation. These mostly include table and card games that require real-time betting. Here are some of the most prominent options to look out for;

The wide variety of games ensures all kinds of players always have something to explore, always.

Blackjack; The cards and table game is one of the most popular live game options, featuring its standard 8-deck and 52-card gameplay.

Poker; Poker is well suited to the live dealership scene, as it can feature multiple players and a unit of dealers. More so because the game comes with multiple variants. Some other prominent live casino options include Sic Bo, Craps, Roulette, etc. There’s a wide variety, which ensures all kinds of players always have something to explore, always.

The Future of Live Dealer Games

In all, live dealer real-time gaming is obviously on the rise, as it brings the vibe of both land and online casino gaming. And whilst there is still a level of reservation on the player’s end, with exploring live casino games, the trend seems to be an upward one. More so because of the influx of highly optimized gadgets and devices, capable of streaming game sessions seamlessly.

Overall, the growth plot of online casinos in Canada is a rampant one. As such, it is best to stay tuned to our updates and reviews to keep up.

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Navigating the Web Safely: Be cautious, secure your network, stay informed and backup regularly

By Trevor Hurry

January 3rd, 2024



Navigating the Web Safely:
Strategies for Avoiding Scams and Online Menaces

Once a scammer has access to your data they can pick and choose what they want to take: your bank account, other online services you use. Then they can sell your ID to others who will do the same thing.

In the ever-expanding digital universe, the internet has become a fundamental part of our daily lives. It offers a wealth of information, facilitates global communication, and provides endless entertainment. However, this vast network is also a breeding ground for scams and online menaces. From phishing emails to identity theft, the risks are ever-present. Thus, it’s crucial to arm ourselves with knowledge and tools to navigate this digital landscape safely. This blog post aims to provide comprehensive strategies to help you avoid scams and protect yourself online.

Understanding the Threats

Before diving into protective measures, it’s essential to understand the common types of online scams. Phishing scams, where fraudsters impersonate legitimate entities to steal sensitive information, are increasingly sophisticated. Malware, which includes viruses and ransomware, can infiltrate systems and compromise data. Identity theft, often resulting from data breaches, can have long-lasting impacts. Lastly, online shopping scams exploit consumers through fake websites and fraudulent offers. Awareness of these threats is the first step in defence.

Strong Passwords: Your First Line of Defence

A group of consecutive numbers is not a password; it is an invitation for scammers to steal your data.

Strong passwords are one of the easiest yet most effective ways to safeguard your online accounts. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols instead of common words and phrases. Password managers and other similar tools are useful for creating and safely storing complicated passwords. To add a degree of protection, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever it is feasible.

Regular Software Updates: Closing Security Loopholes

Keeping your software updated is a critical defense against cyber threats. Cybercriminals often target vulnerabilities in outdated software, making it imperative to update your operating system, browsers, and applications regularly. These updates frequently include patches for security loopholes that hackers exploit. To ensure you don’t miss these crucial updates, enable automatic updates on your devices. This ensures that you’re always using the latest, most secure versions without having to remember to manually update each time. Additionally, it’s advisable to regularly check for updates on software that doesn’t update automatically, as this maintains a robust defense against emerging cyber threats.

Be Skeptical of Emails and Links

Password security is something you need to pay attention to; the cost if you don’t could clean you out.

When it comes to digital communication, having a healthy skepticism might work wonders for you. Phishing schemes, which deceive people into disclosing private information, are getting more sophisticated. Emails and texts that look strange or request personal information should be avoided, especially if they instill a sense of urgency or offer extraordinary rewards. It is advisable to confirm the sender’s identity before replying or opening any links. Don’t download attachments from unidentified or suspicious sources as they can be infected with malware. Always keep in mind that if an email or link looks shady or too good to be true, it probably is. When in doubt, go with your gut and use care.

Protect Your Domestic Network

Your home Wi-Fi network is a gateway to your personal and financial information. Ensure it’s secured with a strong password and WPA2 or WPA3 encryption. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection, especially when using public Wi-Fi.

Educate Yourself and Others

In today’s digital age, staying updated about online threats is crucial for internet safety. Regularly following reputable technology news sources and cybersecurity blogs can keep you informed about the latest scams and protection strategies. Participation in cybersecurity awareness programs, either online or in your community, can further enhance your understanding and preparedness. Additionally, sharing this knowledge with family and friends, particularly those who are less familiar with digital nuances, is vital. This includes educating them about recognizing phishing emails, the importance of secure passwords, and avoiding suspicious links. By spreading awareness, you contribute to creating a safer online environment for everyone.

Use Trusted Payment Methods for Online Shopping

Online shopping, including activities like playing online slots, requires cautious financial transactions. To ensure safety, always opt for secure and trusted payment methods. Credit cards are generally a safer choice compared to debit cards due to their fraud protection features. Be vigilant about where you input your card details, whether purchasing goods or engaging in online slots; look for signs of website security such as HTTPS in the URL and a padlock symbol. Avoid payment methods that lack transparency or traceability, such as wire transfers or gift cards. Additionally, consider using payment platforms that offer additional layers of security. Remember, cautiousness in payment methods is a key defense against financial fraud in online shopping.

Backup Your Data Regularly

Regular data backup is an essential practice in safeguarding against digital threats. In the face of malware attacks, such as ransomware, having a backup of your essential files can mitigate the damage. Utilize reliable cloud services or external storage devices for backups. This should be done consistently; set a schedule for regular updates of your backup. Cloud services often offer automated solutions, while external hard drives provide physical copies. These backups are not just a shield against cyber-attacks; they also protect against data loss due to hardware malfunctions or accidental deletions. Remember, regular data backup is a critical step in comprehensive digital security.

You want to understand what Identity Theft can do to you and take appropriate action to protect yourself.


Navigating the internet safely requires a proactive approach. By understanding the risks, using strong passwords, updating software, being cautious of suspicious emails and links, securing your network, staying informed, using trusted payment methods, and regularly backing up data, you can significantly reduce your vulnerability to online scams and menaces. Remember, in the digital world, your best defence is your awareness and preparedness. Stay safe and explore the internet with confidence, knowing you’re well protected against lurking dangers.

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When a local newspaper folds - everyone takes the hit - city has an opportunity to step in and support the existing local media

By Pepper Parr

January 3rd, 2024



There wasn’t much in the way of notice.

The last print edition of the Burlington Post was printed on September 15th.  The public got the news a day before.  The Post is one of 70 local newspapers that are part of Metroland.

What does all this mean to Burlington?

John Best, a colleague who publishes the Bay Observer put it very well when he said: “Locally, the biggest danger is in a community like Burlington, where on a good day there would have been one or two people at the media table at City Council or Board of Education meetings—now maybe none.

“Burlington Council with only seven members is already more or less devoid of any real debate, its seven members apparently in broad agreement on almost everything, or if they don’t, they hash it out somewhere else. The small size of the council is a factor that makes it easier to keep members in line, and the lack of media scrutiny outside of online disruptors like the Burlington Gazette have led to a country-club atmosphere. This is a council that put its heads together in 2022 and decided to keep the $100 million cost of the Bateman Community Centre Project a secret until after they were all safely re-elected. Media scrutiny has diminished in Burlington right at the time when a whole lot more is needed.”

Loosing a print media is significant and a clear understanding of just what happened to the Post and the other Metroland newspapers matters

Nordstar Capital LP owns the Toronto Star which is struggling. The Toronto Star owned Metroland.  “Metroland was losing money;  working furiously to find a solution but realized they were at a  point where they simply couldn’t pay their expenses.  Torstar chief executive officer Neil Oliver said at a creditor meeting held in November. That “Metroland is not out of the woods with the proposal, we believe it gives the remaining team and properties the opportunity to be viable for the long term.”

Metroland cited the challenging economic environment for newspapers – particularly the steep decline in print advertising revenue – for its financial troubles. The company’s papers have faced a “sizable loss of readership” and revenue has fallen more than 10 per cent each year for the past three years, according to Grant Thornton, an accounting firm.

Metroland said in mid-September that it planned to make a proposal pursuant to Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, and it followed up in mid-October with the plan.

In his report to creditors, Grant Thornton trustee Jonathan Krieger recommends a “Yes” for the vote scheduled for Tuesday, which would give unsecured creditors 13 cents on the dollar for their claims. Key to this analysis, of course, is just how much Metroland’s assets are worth.

The news business has changed.

Among those creditors were the news reporters who no longer have jobs.

“There was no discernible enterprise value for a business that has lost $10-million in the past year alone” adding that Metroland “held numerous M&A discussions with prospective buyers over the past year and could not procure a successful cash bid for any of the newspapers,” he said. The $20-million in equity stakes are undisclosed because they are “subject to confidentiality provisions.”

However, unlike other corporate reorganizations where the stockholders get wiped out in order to pay creditors, Torstar will emerge from this process maintaining its 100-per-cent ownership of Metroland, with all of its assets.

It would not be incorrect to say that there are some shady issues surrounding how the Star managed to dump the Metroland employees, offer them pennies on the dollar and try to get some federal money for them.

If the creditors had said No to the proposal that was before them they would have been given five cents on the dollar, not 13 but Metroland would have been bankrupt – dead.  But because the offer was accepted by the creditors Metroland is in receivership which means it is still operating.

The plan was recommended by an independent trustee employed by Grant Thornton, charged with operating in the interest of all the stakeholders in the matter. Some observers felt the trustee’s report was thin on details to make creditors wonder whether they have enough information to make an informed decision.

Creditors of insolvent newspaper chain Metroland Media Group Ltd. voted to approve a proposal on Monday that would see the company pay pennies on the dollar to restructure its debt and avoid bankruptcy.

Metroland sought creditor protection on Sept. 15 with liabilities totalling more than $78-million. The publisher laid off 605 employees, nearly two-thirds of its work force, without paying severance or termination pay, while other employees who took voluntary buyout packages earlier this year had their salary continuance payments cut off.

A restructuring proposal like the one filed by Metroland allows a troubled company to address its debt and avoid a bankruptcy filing. Had creditors voted against Metroland’s proposal, the company would have been deemed bankrupt under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

Accepting the proposal meant that Metroland was kept alive while the 600+ employees looked at empty wallets.

The amount to be paid to creditors is not finalized. Metroland intends to apply to the federal government’s Wage Earner Protection Program, (WEPP) which offers payment to former employees stemming from a bankruptcy or receivership.

If WEPP is approved, former employees will receive 17 cents on the dollar for the balance of their claims, in addition to other payments. Other unsecured creditors would receive the same repayment percentage.

Lawyers for Metroland scheduled a court date to seek WEPP in late November, but the Department of Justice indicated it would oppose the motion. Metroland is still an operating company, and not in bankruptcy. The company then arranged to have a receiver appointed over its inventory, which could aid in its WEPP application.

“We believe that the likelihood of WEPP being eligible for this company is likely enhanced by virtue of that receivership,” Grant Thornton partner Jonathan Krieger said at the creditor meeting on Monday.

What does this mean to the communities across the province that relied on their local newspaper for news on current events..

Burlington had to decide recently where it would place notices they are required to publish under both the Municipal Act and the Planning Act.

Burlington is currently served by four online newspapers.  The Gazette, which was the first online paper to be recognized by what was then the Ontario Press Council in 2010.  The Post has become an online newspaper, the Bay Observer serves the Burlington market as does Burlington Today, a recent addition to the Burlington market.

The ceasing of the print publication of The Burlington Post has multi-faceted impacts on how the City provides public notice.

Whereas the Municipal Act, 2001 allows municipalities for more flexibility, other legislation is very specific as to the manner in which notice is given.

Staff have undertaken a review of the City’s Public Notice Policy and are seeking to make amendments where publication in a newspaper is not a prescribed requirement under the Municipal Act, 2001. Amendments to the Public Notice Policy are based on the findings summarized below:

Based on the above definition and the definition included in the policy, The Hamilton Spectator has been determined as the paper of record for the City of Burlington in the absence of a local newspaper such as The Burlington Post. The Hamilton Spectator is a daily newspaper with 4,673 subscribers in Burlington compared to The Toronto Star at 1,152 subscribers.

The Public Notice Policy provides minimum notice standards and encourages the public notice authors to consult with Corporate Communications & Engagement staff to ensure all appropriate tactics are used when providing notice to the public. The City has a dedicated News and Notices section with 1,065 current subscribers, where all City notices are posted in one centralized location.

By removing the requirement for printed media notices, where not statutorily required, the policy provides more flexibility while ensuring legislative requirements are met. In instances where newspaper notices are required, such as the Publication of Financial Statements, election notices, or notices required under other legislation including the Planning Act, the City will use The Hamilton Spectator based on the general circulation requirement, in addition to notices posted to the City’s website and digital publications. Many other municipalities have moved towards the publication of notices on their websites either exclusively or with a hybrid approach given the changing media landscape.

What this really amounts to is the city walking away from the concept that they really want to keep the public informed.  Transparency and accountability took another punch in the head.

Financial Matters:

Costs will be incurred depending on the type and frequency of notice. If a legislative requirement to post notice in print media exists, the associated cost is unavoidable. Below is a cost comparison for comparable ads in The Hamilton Spectator versus The Burlington Post. These are the preferred rates for the City as provided by Communications staff. This price list is not extensive and meant to show cost differences.

Approximate size of ad Burlington Post The Hamilton Spectator
5” x 5” $372.50 $895
10” x 5” $696 $1,650

Whereas the cost to post notices in the Hamilton Spectator are nearly triple than The Burlington Post, the frequency of the required notices under the Municipal Act, 2001 can be expected to decrease. In some instances of notices required under the Planning Act, those costs are forwarded onto the applicants.

Total Financial Impact

On average, there have been 250 ads placed throughout the year, but that number does fluctuate. In 2022 the print costs totalled $131,103 with the Burlington Post. Staff will monitor the increased advertising costs closely in 2024 and mitigate the financial impact where possible. Should an increase to the City’s advertising budget be required, staff will identify the need as part of the 2025 Financial needs and Multi-year Forecast for the Mayor to consider for inclusion in the 2025 Proposed Budget.



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The changing tides of nicotine enjoyment

By Maria Gregory 

December 26th, 2023



The quest for a smoke-free lifestyle is one that many have embarked on in recent years, with an ever-growing array of options for those looking to steer clear of traditional tobacco. Here in Burlington, we’re noticing a trend of adults turning toward assorted smokeless products, which bring a completely different experience to the table. This shift isn’t just about moving away from smoking; it’s about embracing new ways to enjoy nicotine responsibly, like the discreet zyn pouches, which neatly fit into this modern narrative with their tobacco-free contents.

Gathering without the smoke in our community

Spencer Smith Park overlooking Lake Ontario

Imagine this: you’re walking through Spencer Smith Park, the air is crisp, and the lake shimmers without a haze of cigarette smoke tainting the view. It’s becoming reality as more residents in our community are choosing smokeless alternatives. These choices aren’t just individual preferences; they carry a collective benefit, enhancing the calmness and cleanliness of our local hangouts. Stories of smokers turning a new leaf are not uncommon—conversations about health kickstarts at coffee shops, or friends swearing by their new tobacco-free routines at backyard barbecues. They’re part of a larger narrative where people no longer have to step away to enjoy nicotine, and they’re doing so with a keen awareness of their surroundings.

Fresh air and cleaner choices

Opting for tobacco-free alternatives like oral nicotine pouches isn’t just a personal health decision; it’s a choice that resonates with the wider push for environmental sustainability. Without the need to light up, these pouches contribute to cleaner air and reduce the litter of cigarette butts—both significant concerns in our urban spaces. For Burlington, a city that prides itself on its beautiful parks and green initiatives, such choices are more than just a nod to personal well-being; they’re a commitment to maintaining the pristine quality of our shared natural environments.

A taste of innovation in nicotine enjoyment

The smell of food being cooked outdoors and the only smoke comes from the BBQ

Flavors matter, especially when it comes to something you taste multiple times a day. The variety of tastes available in tobacco-free options could be seen as a buffet of sensory experiences, each designed to cater to a distinct preference. From refreshing mint to savory coffee, these flavors are key in supporting people’s transition away from smoking. They contribute significantly to the enjoyment factor—providing an indulgent experience minus the smoke.

Supporting cessation with modern alternatives

Traditional methods for quitting smoking have been challenged by innovative products that offer a myriad of strengths and flavors to ease the process. Accessibility is crucial—as essential as the support systems and community programs aimed at cessation. We hear stories around town of locals who’ve replaced their pack-a-day habit with convenient, clean, and discreet pouches, and their pride in this achievement is palpable. The availability of a less harmful option is a game-changer, not just for the individuals making the switch but for the whole Burlington community as it moves towards a smoke-free future.

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Sylvite Cultivates Hope in Local Communities with $30,000 Donation to Food Banks

By Staff

December 19th, 2023



When a $30,000 donation to local food banks is announced – people listen.  This donation represents Sylvite’s third consecutive year helping communities meet the challenges they face.

The donation will be distributed directly to the communities where Sylvite operates. Each branch will select preferred local food banks, guaranteeing that the contribution directly supports neighbors in need.

In 1983, Hugh Loomans, B.S.A. ’76, purchased Sylvite, a fertilizer distribution business focused primarily on agricultural products, from Alex Henry and Don Rutherford OAC ‘51. Today the company has four divisions: agri services for direct to farmer sales; wholesale agricultural supply; transportation and logistic services across North America; and an industrial chemical division. Now Cassandra is shadowing her father in his role as Sylvite President and CEO.

Hugh Loomans, President and CEO of Sylvite, expressed the company’s dedication to making a meaningful impact, sharing, “in our role within the agriculture supply chain, we believe it’s our responsibility to help feed the communities we serve. Supporting the 15 communities where we operate is not just a duty—it’s a privilege. And by doing so, we’re planting seeds for a stronger, more resilient community.”

Sylvite is in the business of transporting, warehousing and distribution for the agriculture supply chain.

Sylvite warehouse on Corporate Drive

“In a year that saw a 40% rise in visits to Hamilton food banks, with an astonishing 34% of users being completely new to the emergency food network, the demand for assistance can’t be ignored,” highlights Radhika Subramanyan, CEO of Hamilton Food Share. “As we observe a growing need to provide for families in Hamilton, contributions like Sylvite’s are essential—they enhance our capacity, allowing us to meet these challenges head-on.”

Emphasizing the vital role of local food banks, Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank, stressed, “As the need for food support continues to rise, it’s essential for local businesses to take action. Even full-time, employed families are grappling with providing the basics. Sylvite’s continued support is rooted in the understanding that every contribution plays a vital role in ensuring food security for those encountering difficulties in our communities.”

Sylvite continues to uphold its commitment to the belief that collaborative efforts are vital for fostering positive change within the communities where we operate.

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One-bedroom units starting at $499,990 - 70% of condos less than $700K

By Staff

December 15th, 2023



The Greater Toronto Area isn’t exactly known for being an affordable place to buy a home, and Burlington is no exception. But an upcoming condo development is looking to bring more affordability to the area.

Planned for 490 Plains Road East, NORTHSHORE is a mid-size condo development from National Homes, rising eight storeys in height and bringing 153 new residential units to the Aldershot area. Plains Road has seen a revitalization of sorts in recent years, thanks in large part to its proximity to the GO train and its accessibility to both the waterfront and downtown. But with the average home in Burlington selling for over $1M — and the average condo going for roughly $725K — prices aren’t exactly affordable for many would-be buyers.

Enter: National Homes, who are hopeful that the upcoming NORTHSHORE project can help bridge the gap by offerings one-bedroom units starting at $499,990.

“The demographic research that we did showed, obviously, a lack of supply in the market for more affordable product,” said Jason Pantalone, President and CEO of National Homes. “Over the last 10 years, we’ve been focusing on transit-oriented development at affordable price points, so when we saw this opportunity become available, we were intrigued.”

As is to be expected, prices will vary from unit to unit, depending on size, number of bedrooms, features, and the like, but Pantalone says about 70% of the condos at NORTHSHORE will be less than $700K — markedly below the average Burlington condo price.

Although there’s certainly demand for it, units at this price point are often difficult to pull off, due to high land costs all across the GTA.

“Unless someone has owned the land for a long time and is sitting on land holdings, then yes, I could see it, but to come into the market today and to buy land, and be able to come out of that price point, I think will be challenging,” Pantalone added.

National Homes acquired the Plains Road East property — currently occupied by a one-storey commercial plaza — more than five years ago, when prices were significantly lower than in today’s market. Now with the plans complete for their sleek, modern build, they’re ready to get the ball rolling with pre-construction sales launching in the spring.

Those who do buy at NORTHSHORE will have access to a slew of amenities, including a large fitness room, a party room, a kids’ play area, and a co-working space, to accommodate those who work remotely. Outside, there will be a parkette, and up on the roof, a large terrace overlooking the Burlington Golf Course and Lake Ontario.

“We have unobstructed views to the south, which is going to be beautiful,” Pantalone said.

On the ground floor of the development will be some retail space, which Pantalone says they plan to lease to services that will benefit the building’s residents, like a coffee shop.

With its more accessible prices, Pantalone hopes that NORTHSHORE will be able to provide housing to older homeowners looking to downsize and first-time buyers alike.

“We’re looking at the first-time homebuyer that has lived in Burlington their whole life and doesn’t want to commute or doesn’t want to leave the community that they grew up in, and now has an opportunity to buy at an affordable price.”


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Canadians will finally adjust to the disappearance of low interest rates in 2024: price appreciation during second half of the year

By Staff

December 15th, 2023


After years of unpredictability, the Canadian housing market may find some sense of normalcy in 2024. And with it, higher prices.

According to Royal LePage’s Market Survey Forecast, the aggregate price of a home in Canada will reach $843,684 in Q4 2024, a 5.5% annual increase. At the same time, the median price of a single-family home will rise 6% year over year to $879,164, while the median price of a condo will jump 5% to $616,140.

The forecast brings home prices back in line with the pandemic peak seen in Q1 2022. However, as the increase will have taken place gradually over nearly three years, it won’t deliver the same affordability shock as 2021’s price run up did.

The majority of the price appreciation will be seen in the second half of 2024 — modest quarterly increases of less than 1% are expected in Q1 and Q2. Meanwhile, quarterly increases of 2.3% and 1.7% are forecast for Q3 and Q4, respectively.

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