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What the planners think should be built in each of the MTSA's

By Pepper Parr

August 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

The magnifying feature has been used in this article

The boundaries for each of the MTSA’s has been set.

The task now for the planners is to define what they call precincts and determine what can be built in a precinct.

A precinct is an area given a boundary.

By what can be built they mean the height, the zoning and a number of other requirements assigned to a piece of property.

While the MTSA boundaries are set, the boundaries for some of the precincts might be changed and what can be built will probably see some changes as well.  Members of Council had some comments when they first saw the MTSA’s with precincts in place.

Set out below are images of each MTSA.

When you run your cursor over the image you will see a second screen pop up with a magnification of the image – which should make it easier to read the map.

The magnification applies only to the image in front of you.  As you move from image to image you can enlarge at each image.  You aren’t enlarging the type face.

The Aldershot MTSA with what the planners are currently calling the “preferred precinct” boundaries”

The Burlington GO MTSA with the boundaries showing what the planners are currently calling the “the Preferred Precincts”

The Appleby Line MTSA with the boundaries showing what the planners are currently calling the “the Preferred Precincts”

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Residential developments around the GO stations: what will the city look like in 2051 when the targets are reached

By Pepper Parr

August 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Part 2 of a series

They were first called “hubs”; at first there were four of them but that got cut down to three when the thinkers realized that a bus terminal that couldn’t hold a dozen people was just that – a rinky dinky bus terminal that the transit people thought of closing at one point.

They went through a name change and are now called MTSA’s:  Major Transit Station Area and have become the location where the bulk of the growth in the city will take place.

This was the original idea – until someone realized that the xxx was a bus terminal that couldn’t hold 12 people

By growth the consultant who prepared a report are talking about job growth and residential growth.  The market analysis was undertaken to establish the context for understanding future residential and non-residential development potential and prospects within Burlington’s MTSAs.

They were focused on where people would live and where they would work – and what kind of work would be available.

“In planning for MTSAs and other strategic growth areas, municipalities need to have regard for target sectors and to accommodate mixed uses in these locations, developing high-quality urban environments that provide for a mix of live/work opportunities, along with high-order transit and access to amenities. There is also a need to advocate for a more flexible planning approach and stronger integration with planning and economic development perspectives.”

This is city building at its highest level.  The conclusions the planners reach and present to Council will be used to create a housing strategy and the establishment of precincts – areas within the MTSA boundary that will accommodate different levels of intensification.

Included in that strategy will be what the city decides in wants in the way of Inclusionary Zoning – which is another way of saying the city will create and put in place rules that set out how much affordable housing is possible.

Add that that bit about affordable housing the phrase “attainable housing” – housing that people can afford to buy.

This article is part of a series on just what the impact of the MTSA’s is going to be for the city.

Let’s look at some of the numbers:

“The long-term outlook for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (G.G.H.) The population of the G.G.H. is forecast to increase from 9.5 million in 2016 to 14.9 million in 2051.

“This represents a population increase of 5.3 million people (153,000 annually), or 1.3% annually between 2016 and 2051.

“This represents an employment increase of 2.4 million jobs (69,000 annually), or 1.2% annually between 2016 and 2051.

The Region of Halton leads in employment growth – that is expected to continue. Now housing has to be built for these people.

“With an estimated population of 614,500 as of 2021, Halton Region is expected to grow to approximately 1.1 million people by the year 2051. Between 2021 and 2051, it is estimated that over 179,000 new households will be required across the Region, largely within existing and future urban areas.

“To accommodate future residents, there is also an increasing need to develop new and innovative approaches to housing development within areas that are pedestrian oriented and transit supportive.

“The availability of housing is a key factor in attracting and retaining people and businesses to a community. In an increasingly knowledge-based environment, the ability to cultivate, retain, and attract talented workers is increasingly important.

“Attracting and retaining people of working age and their families, which is necessary to support a broad range of employment opportunities, requires a diverse housing stock.

“Halton Region had a total of 208,601 occupied residential dwelling units. In 2021, 55% of housing was comprised of low-density dwellings (single and semi-detached) compared to 19% and 26% for medium- (townhouses, rowhouses) and high-density (condominium and rental apartments) units, respectively.

“Halton Region has a strong tradition of home ownership with approximately 76% (54,540 units) of housing units defined as owner occupied.[

“Over the 2021 to 2051 period, Halton Region’s housing base is expected to increase by 175,800 units.[12] Figure 4 provides a summary of Halton Region’s forecast growth in households by primary age of maintainer for 2021 and 2051. As shown, the primary age of household maintainer is anticipated to shift to a greater share of older households, with the strongest anticipated household growth expected for those aged 75+, accounting for 25% of household growth, followed by empty nesters/young seniors (65-74 age group). On an aggregate basis, approximately 40% of household growth over the 2021 to 2051 period is expected to be in households where the primary age of maintainer is 65 or older.”

If these numbers hold – planners have their work cut out for them.

“Growth is expected to be concentrated in the 25-44 age cohort, including couples with and without children with varying levels of income. The strong population growth in the 65+ age group is anticipated to be driven by the aging of the existing population as well as in-migration from this age group. These two demographic groups represent the strongest market segment for higher-density dwellings such as apartments and condominiums.

“Historical population growth rates for Burlington in accordance with Statistics Canada Census data. For comparative purposes, historical population growth rates have also been provided for Halton Region and the Province of Ontario. As illustrated, Burlington’s population base increased from 151,000 in 2001 to 187,000 in 2021. Over the past two decades, Burlington’s population base has increased by approximately 1,800 persons or approximately 1.20% per year, exhibiting a lower growth rate than Halton Region which increased at a rate of 2.95% annually over the same period. In contrast, the population base for the Province grew at a slower rate (1.23% annually) during the same time period.”

Burlington’s growth compares poorly with the Regional numbers – the growth is taking place in the other municipalities

“The City has experienced a steady rate of Census housing growth over the past 20 years. During this period, the City’s housing base has increased by approximately 28% from 57,340 to 73,180, which represents an increase of approximately 790 housing units per year. Figure 12 summarizes housing growth between 2001 and 2021.

“Burlington currently has approximately 23,000 housing units at various stages of the planning process to potentially meet the forecast need for the short term. Of this, approximately 43% (10,000 units) is located within Burlington’s MTSAs.

  • The Downtown Burlington UGC/Burlington GO MTSA has 4,046 units, while the Aldershot GO MTSA and the Appleby GO MTSA have 16% (3,554 units) and 11% (2,476 units) housing units, respectively.
  • Approximately 83% and 14% of the MTSAs’ housing units are in high-rise and mid-rise buildings, respectively. A limited share of the MTSAs’ housing unit supply is in low-rise buildings.

“Strong population growth is expected in Burlington over the next 30 years with the population forecast to increase by 38% to 265,000 by 2051, as presented in Figure 28. Over the same period, Burlington’s employment base is expected to expand to 125,000 by 2051, a 27% increase. With respect to housing growth, Burlington’s housing base is forecast to increase by 47% to 107,765 by 2051.”

“The forecast housing growth over the 2021 to 2051 period, the majority (80% representing 26,766 units) is expected to be in the form of high-density units (apartments), followed by 11% for medium density (rowhouses) and 7% for low density (singles/semis). An additional 2% of housing is expected to be in the form of accessory units.”

Those percentages are close to astounding

 

“A broad range of considerations related to demographics, economics and socio- economics is anticipated to impact population and employment growth trends throughout the Region of Halton and Burlington over the coming decades. These factors will not only affect the rate and magnitude of growth but will also influence the form, density and location of residential and non-residential development.”

All the planners have to do is get it right.

Asking the people in Burlington what they think – may not be the smartest thing the planners could do.  People don’t like change – asking for informed comments or putting together a focus group could work.

Whichever – the Burlington we have and know today will begin to fade away within a decade.

Part 1 of the series

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Each of the MTSA's has a character and profile of its own - as they mature expect them to offer different life experiences.

By Pepper Parr

August 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

First in a series on the impact and change the the MTSA’s are going to have on the city.

The three MTSA’s are very different.

All kinds of development has already taken place in Aldershot NTSA (Major Transit Service Area) where the ADI Development group has done a lot of building – they seemed to have forgotten that parks are supposed to be close to where people live.

The development sector did not get ahead of the demand that everyone knew was coming. They chose to let demand build up – then did the supplying.

Burlington is the current focal point while Appleby has not seen very much in the way of development – the pressing matter in the Appleby MTSA is the Fearmans  pork processing plant.  The owners of the facility have grown to be a world wide pork providers – and have invested heavily.  Can that kind of facility exist in a city?

The Molinaro Group were the first to build the high towers. They chose to be close to the GO station. Sales support the decision they made. The final two towers of the five tower development are close to seeing shovels in the ground.

Downtown Burlington UGC/Burlington GO MTSA – The MTSA covers an area of 102 gross ha (253 gross acres) located immediately north of Burlington Downtown. The area has access to Highway 403 and the Q.E.W. via Brant Street and Fairview Street, respectively.

The area is served by the Burlington GO train station (Lakeshore West line). The area has a significant underutilized land base and is home to a population of 1,670 and an employment base of 2,680 jobs. Major employment sectors include retail trade, manufacturing and food and accommodation. Land abutting Brant Street and Fairview Street comprises largely retail commercial uses with some recent high-density residential development along the latter.

Lands along Plains Road are largely general industrial in nature. A low-density residential area is located south of Fairview Street, east of Brant Street.

The area is intersected by two CN rail lines which separate the area into two distinct areas to the north and south. With the exception of one condominium project (Paradigm Midtown Burlington) located in proximity to the Burlington GO train station, the area has experienced limited development activity over the past decade.

Appleby GO MTSA – The Appleby MTSA is located south of the Q.E.W. at Appleby Line, with excellent access to the Q.E.W., and is served by the Appleby GO train station (Lakeshore West

A 150 year old corporation that plays a significant role in the Burlington economy. Should a slaughterhouse be in this location?

Line). The area is occupied largely by mature employment uses that exhibit a general industrial character, with residential townhouse complexes and small apartment buildings on the south side of Fairview Street.

The MTSA covers an area of 179 gross ha (443 gross acres), and is home to a population of 1,140 and an employment base of 6,390 jobs. A large share of employment is in manufacturing, professional, scientific and technical services and finance and insurance. A significant share of land in the MTSA is underutilized or vacant. The area has experienced limited development activity over the past decade and has limited development activity identified through site-plan activity.

While it comes close to looking like “project” developments the community has yet to find itself.

Aldershot GO MTSA – The Aldershot MTSA is situated immediately south of Highway 403, west of the Q.E.W. and Highway 407. The area is intersected by Plains Road and Waterdown Road which serve as the two main roadways.

The area has excellent access to Highway 403 via Waterdown Road. The MTSA is serviced by regional commuter rail (GO train Lakeshore West line). With a gross land area of 86 ha (213 acres), the MTSA has a population of approximately 1,100, an employment base of 1,090 jobs, and comprises a mix of low-, medium- and high-density residential, retail/ service commercial, industrial and institutional development.

The area has experienced significant residential and mixed-use development over the past decade.

The Appleby GO MTSA has the highest overall existing utilization of lands, both with respect to building floor space index and employment base, followed by the Downtown Burlington UGC/Burlington GO MTSA and the Aldershot GO MTSA.

While the Aldershot GO MTSA is the most underdeveloped with respect to non-residential land uses, it has the largest population base and has experienced the most development activity over the past decade (largely residential and mixed-use development).

 

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First of four Jazz on the Patio sessions was a fine occasion

By Pepper Parr

August 13th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The weather was perfect – the setting was good.

The one hiccup with the sound system didn’t get in the way of a solid presentation from Amanda Martinez as she sang her way through an all Latin programme.

There was hardly a space to put a chair – this year there were tables set up on the sidewalk.

Tables were set up on the sidewalk creating more space for the several hundred that attended

There were people across the street sitting on benches and about 20 chairs were set up inside the Performing Arts Centre.

This was the 13th annual Jazz on the Patio programme that is put on and is free to everyone.

There are sponsors – this year it was the Burlington Downtown Business Association.

It was a good performance – soft, easy on the ears with just enough energy to appreciate the artists.

Martinez draws on her Mexican – South African roots …

Career highlights include headlining the Blue Note jazz club in NYC, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the Pan American Games in Mexico and Canada.

This afternoon she enchanted an audience that is getting used to not being in a rigid pandemic routine.

The band members were good – there was one especially nice session where the flugelhorn was put to very good use.

For many the afternoon was their first outing in a long time.

It was a quiet audience – on occasion there was a polite burst of applause.

Burlingtonians certainly show up for these events – but you never get the impression that the music has gotten into their bones.  No one danced in the space inside – and there was plenty of room.

A few people swayed to the music and one woman stood up and clapped and waved her arms in the air.

But that was about it.

This a decidedly seniors crowd – its always been that way for this event.

We left after the first of two performances.  Bumped into some friends, caught caught up on their lives and noticed that a lot of people were going to stick around for the second performance.  Given that seating is really limited – wondered is that fair.

This is a free public event – let’s let everyone get a seat at the table.

 

There are two performances on Sunday:

 

 

People stretched out – took in a nice lazy summer afternoon.

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Ontario Court Decision on CN intermodal didn't give the Region everything it wanted but it did take the rug out from under the CN's main arguement

By Staff

August 12th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

“On August 10, 2022, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its decision in a case between the Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton (the “Halton Municipalities”) and CN related to CN’s proposed Intermodal facility in Milton.

“The Halton Municipalities had commenced the application to protect the thousands of residents that live near the CN lands in Milton from adverse and harmful effects that would arise from CN’s proposed intermodal hub.

“The Court decision flatly rejected CN’s claim that as a federally regulated rail project, it was immune from over 60 provincial and local laws designed to protect people and the environment from adverse and harmful impacts that would be caused by the facility.

This was the same argument to Burlington Airpark owners used.  The city won the first case – they lost the appeal and decided to throw in the towel.  Had Burlington taken the case to a high court CN would have known that they didn’t have a leg to stand on

It will be interesting to see if the Region appeals.  They might want to chase down Ian Blue the lawyer who did a fine job for Burlington on a case that was very similar.

“While the decision did not grant the Halton Municipalities request for an immediate injunction, it did leave open the door for future activity by the Halton Municipalities to continue to enforce their laws in the public interest.

“The Halton Municipalities will continue to review the Ontario Superior Court decision and consider its options. In addition, the Halton Municipalities are continuing its litigation in the Federal Courts to review decisions by the Canadian Transportation Agency, the Federal Minister and Cabinet to approve federal aspects of the CN Project. The Halton Municipalities oppose CN proceeding with the truck-rail hub in Milton because it does not comply with applicable provincial and municipal laws and will cause significant harm to air quality and human health.

To view the Ontario Court’s decision and learn more about the Halton Municipalities’ position on the project, please visit halton.ca/CN.

Related news stories:

Region and its municipalities decide to take CN to court.

 

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DO FAMILIES FROM THE GREATER TORONTO HAMILTON AREA GAMBLE ONLINE?

By Frank P. Mickens 

August 14th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

As online gambling continues to break boundaries, it was only a matter of time before governments around the world bent to the wishes of their citizens. The penetration of online gambling has spread to Canada’s largest city, and residents of Greater Toronto are chasing in on the fun.

While the gambling regime in Canada was previously rippled with obscurity, the coast is much clearer now as provinces now have the leeway to enact regulations and issue licenses pertaining to the gambling industry within their territory. In exercise of this right, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation regulate the gambling scene in Ontario, which includes the Greater Toronto Area.

The gambling industry has recorded major success in Ontario, with several land-based casinos, race tracks, and slots providers available in the province. This love for gambling is also translated onto the digital scene as online gambling has become popular in many areas of the territory.

Today’s post is by Frank P. Mickens of https://ontariocasino.online/   a virtual casino review service in the province.

Gambling at an online location has a lot of advantages plus a fun experience.

How many people gamble online from the Hamilton area?
Recent surveys have shown that a large percentage of adult Canadians living in Ontario have at one time, or the other tried their hand at online gambling. The province’s population stands at a staggering 14 million people, representing a huge market for the online gambling industry.

This population strength and accessibility of gambling platforms have made it easier for most of the population to explore their gaming interests. Hamilton bears some interesting similarities to its mother province, Ontario. The city is home to a port which makes industries and commerce commonplace. The city’s population is just under 600,000, but that hasn’t stopped its inhabitants from gambling online.

Hamilton area families are gambling savvy and manage to find time out of their busy schedules for gaming and entertainment. Hamilton area families are also huge lovers of Bingo, which happens to be one of the most popular online gambling games of chance in Ontario.

Gambling Safely Online in Hamilton and Greater Toronto areas
As entertaining as online gambling may be, the foundation to having endless fun is the security of your data and funds. Since wagering is done online, customers are required to make deposits via bank transfers or card payments. So it is essential that you gamble on trustworthy websites only. Some of the ways to verify a website’s trustworthiness are by:

1. Licensing status:
Under Canadian law, operating casinos and iGaming businesses (whether virtual or land-based) is illegal without obtaining a federal or provincial license. If the gambling house has no license, it is safer to stay away to avoid falling victim to fraudsters. An operator’s licensing status also shows whether they have met the minimum financial requirement set by the government and are bound by Canadian laws or not.

2. Reviews
The reputation of a gambling house is also a key factor to consider. This is because offshore gaming platforms may still offer Canadians their services without obtaining a license. In such situations, it is advisable to read about the company’s services, terms, and the experiences of other users before plowing in. Fortunately, sites like ontariocasino.online help research these sites, so you don’t have to.

Protect your personal financial data by using Prepaid cards

3. Use Prepaid Cards
Even if you’re not conversant with the risks of virtual gambling today, entering your financial information online requires some caution. For this reason, it is advisable to use prepaid cards which are not connected to your bank account to make payments on these platforms. These cards have a preloaded fixed amount which you can top up via the issuer’s trusted channels. This helps to keep your funds and private information safe.

4. Encryption
Encryption software helps online casinos to protect their servers and customer data from getting hacked. As companies with large access to data, funds, and customer information, it is important that virtual gaming platforms are well protected. Encryption software ensures that your activities and exchanged data with online platforms stay private and invisible to third parties.

5. Accessibility and User Experience
A virtual gaming platform’s selling point is how easy it is to use and how well it adapts to the various devices of its customers. Thanks to the wide reach of online gaming today, you can access these platforms via smartphones, laptops, iPads, and many other internet-enabled devices. A good gaming website should have a friendly user interface that lets you enjoy the games seamlessly regardless of your device.

Make sure the location you are gambling at on line is fully registered and tightly regulated.

Residents of the Hamilton Area and Greater Toronto can look forward to more exciting games thanks to the current legal stand on gambling in the province. This comes at a time when lots of scrutiny and regulation are being channeled into the gambling industry to make it even safer and more enjoyable.

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Some members of the 2018 team that helped get the Mayor elected don't see her in quite the same light

By Staff

August 11th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The readers are what count.

In the direct correspondence, their emails and the comments they leave in the newspaper for others to enjoy they reflect ideas and thoughts of some of the people in the city and the several thousand that don’t currently live in Burlington.

One reader sent the following as a comment and we have “upgraded it to stand alone Opinion.

Mr. Parr asks the right question and, wisely, leaves the reader to arrive at their own conclusion. Here is mine and it is only mine. The context for the quote referenced in the article was Meed Ward’s response to the Ford pronouncement that he was proposing to give the Mayors of Ottawa and Toronto veto rights over their Councils.

Meed Ward (along with the Big City Mayors) was very quick to support “investigating” the broader application of this veto power and cited the remarkable synergy of the Burlington Council in support. ‘We’re a cohesive group anyways, are we not?’ Well, no, and the video clip attached to this article demonstrates more vividly than words could ever do, how dangerous such power would be if placed in the hands of any Mayor.

It is particularly worthwhile to watch the expressions of Council members (even Galbraith and Nisan) and the City Manager while our Mayor attempts her ‘ad hoc’ agenda management.

Marianne Meed Ward on election night in 2018

Whether you are one of her many followers, true believers in her brand of social media populism, or one of her detractors, often once part of the faithful who now view her with an open cynicism – Marianne Meed Ward is, I believe, a divisive figure; she polarizes. There are few in Burlington, if they draw breath and are on the right side of the grass, who don’t hold an opinion on Her Worship.

She is exceptionally charismatic; she can make someone feel that they are the only focus of her interest and commitment. She attracts followers as if by a force of nature. She is also resourceful, insightful and one of the hardest working politicians you are likely to meet. She picks the popular issues and rides them until they are exhausted. And she knows no “time out”. If she fails in something, it will never be because she has not put the time and effort into winning.

But she can also be, in my opinion, impatient, spiteful and self-absorbed. She does not appear to forget a slight or a perceived harm and she seems to lose perspective when an opportunity to “get back” presents itself.

Her treatment of Shawna Stolte is a glaring and shameful case in point. (Click HERE to view the video) So, does she work well with her Council? I would suggest that if the criteria are toleration of opposing views, natural ability to lead or a desire to selflessly mentor all subordinates equally, then the answer is a rather resounding “NO”. But this is only my opinion and my conclusion, of course.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward doing a Cogeco TV show with Blair Smith and Lynne Crosby

Blair Smith is a life long Burlington resident who has been active in representing the views of his peers.  He was part of the team that worked with Marianne Meed Ward to get her elected Mayor in 2018

 

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Jazz on the Patio - now an established annual event - August 13 to 14

By Staff

August 11th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Probably the best summer offering in the city.

The Performing Arts Centre has been pitting on their Jazz on the Patio for at least five years – it might be seven.

The talent they bring in is usually super.

JAZZ ON THE PLAZA – Four different acts over two days – taking place on the Performing Arts Plaza – all free – just get there early to get a seat.

WEEKEND OF AUGUST 13-14, 2022

Every summer, BPAC presents some amazing Jazz performers as part of our annual Jazz on the Plaza. This free outdoor event is attended by over 1,000 people annually.

Amanda Martinez will perform on Saturday August 13th at  4pm; Shuffle Demons will perform on the same date at 6pm

On the 14th Clerel will perform on Sunday August 14th at  2pm and Laila Biali will perform at 4pm

Amanda Martinez

Saturday,  August 13, 2022 at 4pm

Approx. 75 mins. No intermission.

Amanda Martinez a Toronto-based singer/songwriter whose music exultingly blends her unique Mexican and South African roots with flamenco soul.

Amanda Martinez is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter whose music exultingly blends her unique Mexican and South African roots with flamenco soul. Her solo CDs have garnered her multiple nominations for Latin Jazz Performer of the Year, and her songs have appeared on three Putumayo world music collections: Bossanova Around the World, Latin Dreamland and most recently, Cafe Latino. Her third and latest CD “Mañana” was helmed by GRAMMY-winning producer Javier Limón and is set for release in 2013. Limón, whose production credits include acclaimed singers such as Buika, Mariza and Diego el Cigala, hails Martinez as “one of the greatest voices in the world.”

Martinez has headlined at the legendary Blue Note jazz club, at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Festivities in South Africa, and at the 2011 PanAmerican Games in Guadalajara, and is now honorary co-chair of PanAm 2015’s Ignite program. She will be performing in a series of countdown concerts to the 2015 Games, as well as speaking at events connecting athletes and sports fans with musicians and art lovers.

“She captures the raw emotion and passion of Latin Music making us sit up and listen” – CBC Radio

SHUFFLE DEMONS

August 13th – 6 pm

These “demons” are energetic and move around when they perform. Lots of sound.

The Shuffle Demons are a high-energy Canadian band that blends virtuosic jazz and funk playing with eye-catching costumes and over the top stage antics to produce an incredible show. A hit at festivals all over the world, the Shuffle Demons are a crowd pleasing, full-on musical group that backs up wild stage antics with phenomenal playing by some of Canada’s most talented musicians.

The electrifying musical fusion that The Shuffle Demons brought to life almost 30 years ago has entertained audiences around the world with their genre bending sound. Saxophones, upright bass, and wild percussion backed up by incredibly solid musicianship and a highly entertaining show will leave you wanting more!

“It’s not every day you hear a band with three saxophones plus bass and drums with such solid energy that this band can serve.” – The WholeNote

CLEREL

Sun Aug 14, 2022 at 2pm

Approx. 75 mins. No intermission.

Clerel: A beautiful fusion of instrumentation layered with melancholic lyrics

Although he grew up singing with his grandmother, Clerel did not learn how to play an instrument until he was in University. We are thankful he picked up that guitar as he is now bringing us breezy and soulful music that earned him a spot on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show.

Living in Montreal, Clerel is Camaroonian born, a cultural influence heard and felt in his music. His music is also heavily influenced by American soul and jazz with deep roots in his experiences as an African immigrant living in the West. Experience the African drum beats coupled with guitar and trumpets in songs such as Lonely Dance. A beautiful fusion of instrumentation layered with Clerel’s melancholic lyrics.

LAILA BIALI

Sun Aug 14, 2022 at 4pm

Approx. 75 mins. No intermission.

Laila Biali – “ability to meld traditional jazz with contemporary pop so effortlessly that neither style seems out of place on the same record” – Spinner Magazine

Laila Biali takes the best of pop, rock, classical, world and soul, informs it with her expertise in jazz, and weaves it into her musical arrangements and original songs. Laila has presented her music at prestigious venues spanning five continents including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Tokyo’s Cotton Club, Peru’s El Festival Internacional de Lima, and Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The talented Biali is a multi-award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist and has toured with Chris Botti, Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega and recorded with and supported Sting. Her accolades include “SOCAN Composer of the Year” and “SOCAN Keyboardist of the Year” at Canada’s National Jazz Awards.

“It’s not every day you hear a band with three saxophones plus bass and drums with such solid energy that this band can serve.” – The WholeNote

 

 

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Stronger Mayors proposed for Toronto and Ottawa - if it works - will Burlington be next ?

By Pepper Parr

August 11th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

What the province is proposing:

“The Ontario government introduced legislation that would give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa more responsibility to deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities, including building 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years.

“If passed, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, would give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa the ability to move priority projects forward and get more homes built faster. Proposed changes include:

      • hiring the Chief Administrative Officer and municipal department heads, and create and re-organize departments
      • appointing chairs/vice-chairs for identified committees and local boards, and establish new identified committees
      • bringing matters for council consideration related to provincial priorities
      • vetoing bylaws approved by council if they relate to matters of provincial priority
      • proposing the municipal budget

Steve Clark,Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs has tabled legislation that would mean a much different form of local government.

If we are reading this correctly the Mayor – not Council would hire the CAO (City Manager)  It would the Mayor’s hand picked choice – the Mayor could hire the departments heads – a task that is the responsibility of the city manager.

Those are sweeping changes and in our view not the kind of power and control you want to put in the hands of the wrong kind of Mayor.

A Mayor could propose a budget – were this to happen any self respecting city treasurer would resign.

To us this looks like the thin edge of a wedge that would/could do a lot of damage.

“This legislation is an important tool to get more homes built faster, and is one of a number of initiatives being taken by the Ontario government to address the housing shortage.

“The reality is over one third of Ontario’s growth over the next decade is expected to happen in Toronto and Ottawa, and too many families are already struggling with housing and the rising cost of living.

“We need to support efficient local decision-making to help cut through red tape and speed up development timelines,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “While there is no silver bullet to addressing the housing crisis, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act is another step in the right direction to provide more tools to municipal leaders to deliver on their platform commitments to constituents. The province is actively deepening our cooperation on all fronts across all municipalities to get 1.5 million homes built over the next 10 years.”

“These proposed measures would allow council to have the ability to propose amendments to the municipal budget. Council would also be able to override the mayor’s veto of any budget amendments and by-laws related to provincial priorities with a two-thirds majority vote.

If passed, the proposed changes are intended to take effect on November 15, 2022 — the start of the new municipal council term.

This is a debate that needs close watching.

The proposal is to apply to Ottawa and Toronto.  Are smaller cities next?

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Is Choosing an eCommerce Agency a Great Idea? Know Why

By Andy Walker

August 12th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In the world of growing economies, business is one of the best ways to catch up. But opening an online business might sound burdensome to many people. You might have an idea, but the execution seems like a far future, next to impossible. In times like this, we have eCommerce agencies as your saviour.

An eCommerce site gives your business a world wide reach and lets everyone in your home market know who you are and what you do.

What Are eCommerce Agencies?
How do you start a business? First, you start researching a specific market. Suppose you want to know about new Ontario online casinos and you research about that and gather some information. Then you get your own idea and start a business. You can also search for business strategies online. But theirs and your ideas will contradict as they only provide you with a generalized plan which might not be effective in your case.

eCommerce agencies are specialized agencies that make customized plans for clients according to their needs and business goals for them to achieve the target sales. Since they know what they are doing, you do not have to think much about it and face trials and errors.

Why Will You Choose Agencies and Not an Employee?
Hiring an employee indeed sounds easier and more economical than hiring an agency. But what are the advantages of hiring an agency? Let us get into it.

1. Expertise
Agencies are experts in their fields as they know the latest trends in the market, new technologies and creativity in their approach. They will provide you with expert guidance. An employee cannot have expertise in all the areas; they need additional training for it.

2. Saving Time and Cost-Effectiveness
Time is valuable in business as is the proper amount of investment. Agencies will provide you with a fixed budget and they have manpower so they will do the job in time. It will save your money as well as your precious time. Employees, on the other hand, can strain your budget.

Creating a budget and staying within it is critical.

3. Building Your Site
eCommerce agencies are connected with technical platforms so they will help you build a site from scratch or can upgrade your new site according to your requirement. You won’t need another employee for that.

4. Digital Marketing Services
Agencies help with SEO, promoting your brand via social media, product presentation, content creation, jamming the site with viewers by running PPC promotions, SMS and email marketing, influencers, etc. Otherwise, you have to hire multiple employees.

5. Strategizing CRO
If you are in the business field, you should know how much CRO helps in growing the ROI of your site. CRO consultants will take time to deliver the result but agencies are faster and therefore, they will help prevent losses.

What Factors to Keep in Mind While Choosing Your Agency?
There are a few checkboxes to tick before you finalize an agency. Let’s checkout the following steps:

1. Authenticity and Review Check
There are lots of frauds going on online and you do not want to be a part of it. Hence, always check the site thoroughly to find any discrepancy that might be there. Then head over to the reviews section to see if they are positive or not. Check both the original site as well as review articles to judge the best option.

2. Budget and Negotiation
The main reason you want an agency is to optimize your budget. Some websites offer price calculations and for some, you have to mail and clarify. After clarifying the budget, you can negotiate with them.

3. Finding the Specialization You Need
Agencies have descriptions on their pages from where you can find what areas they specialize in. Some might be experts in web designs while some might work with social media marketing. You need to choose which one is the best fit for your business.

This is the reason you are in business. Creating an eCommerce extension gives you world wide reach for your product or service.

4. After-Sales Service Check
After-sales service is essential in case some problem arises with your site later. Make sure to check the reviews if they provide it or not.

The Bottom Line
Choosing a good eCommerce agency is like opening a door to success. It will determine your future growth. The modern business market requires advanced technology and innovation. So, to keep yourself up with the competitive market, you have to find the best option to realize your dream. Nothing is too far-fetched, it only requires a genie. Let an eCommerce agency be that for you.

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Poo, poo, poo - why so much shampoo

By Connor Fraser

August 11th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We have allowed powerful firms to created wasteful narratives. It’s time to push back.

How many times per week do you poo?

This past winter, I happened upon a regular schedule, nearly every day. Oh, and by “poo” I mean shampoo.

In December, my hairdresser recommended a new set of shampoo, conditioner and product specific to my hair style – instead of generic soaps found at the grocery store. I suppose it was more excitement at the prospect of taking better care and ownership of my body that caused me to embrace this daily routine. Recently, it has propelled me to think about how often I wash, and whether soaps are even necessary every time. They are not.

Proponents of the moderately famous “no poo” movement will argue that abstention from all commercial soaps is possible. There are people all over the internet who claim to have done so for 5+ years. While those claims are more than a bit ridiculous and I don’t plan to jump on their boat anytime soon, recently I have experimented with lathering up only every third day, and (maybe) rinsing for the remainder. And I haven’t noticed any difference. If anything, my hair is healthier than before.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Europeans get away with much less – they shampoo roughly half as often as North Americans. My friends and family who recently returned from vacation in France, Spain or Italy all reported a great experience. They didn’t mention anything about slippery streets or having to throw out clothes after brushing into someone’s head on the subway.

The push to have long flowing curly hair is a feature of advertising in North America

In fact, regular use of shampoo arrived only in the 20th century, when large-scale advertising campaigns “showered” people with the idea. They painted an image whereby buying and using their product was a ticket to gaining social acceptance. Those who remained on fringe were medieval.

As a student of business, I appreciate that firms exist to harness (hopefully for good) the most basic human instinct which is self-interest. Optimally, appropriate checks and balances would be in place to control the worst impulses of owners to, among endless possibilities, commit fraud or abuse their employees. But there is nothing illegal about pushing a product which people don’t really need, or at a greater frequency than is actually necessary.

I wonder whether Canadians are guilty of sleep walking into this trap. People, myself included, love stories. We crave simplification and narratives, and marketing departments at most large multinationals have evolved into history’s most successful storytellers. The problem arises, however, when the stories we are told do not end up creating value for consumers. Business, like politics and life, is a game. We must be vigilant to keep competitors honest and fight tooth and nail to avoid being coaxed out of our hard earned savings of real and social capital.

Over-usage of shampoo is but one example. What about laundry & dishwasher detergent? For the past year, I have washed my clothes with Tide. Despite always pouring the smallest suggested measure of detergent, even for heavy loads, I have never experienced dirty clothes. Moreover, my family always splits the bar of dishwasher detergent in half. Literally zero difference.

What about cellphones? Is it fate that everyone on the planet should have a portable phone, or rather did executives in Silicon Valley conspire to cook up another great narrative which we have all embraced without an afterthought? While I’m being crude, there is plenty of truth here.

You’ve seen a lot of these.

Because we live in an increasingly digital age where advanced marketing tactics have given firms the upper hand, so too must we arm consumers, and particularly young consumers, with the tools they need to defend themselves. When I was in elementary school, I recall my teacher briefly explaining to the class why it’s important to constantly question the messages behind advertisements.

That was one lesson, in 4th grade. For the most part, myself and my classmates were left to fend for ourselves. One opportunity might be to revitalize Ontario’s media literacy curriculum such that it rigorously prepares tomorrow’s generation to become more responsible and critical consumers. Additionally, consumer protection groups might accelerate verification of claims made by companies to ascertain whether they are backed by objectivity and science. Perhaps there is a rationale for increased funding towards federal watchdogs such as the Office of Consumer Affairs.

In the meantime, I encourage you to think about what products and services you consume as part of your routine, with an eye for identifying which are truly adding value, and which are freeloading. Consider sharing your findings and perspective with a comment below – I’m excited to learn what you discover!

Connor Fraser is a long-time resident of Aldershot.

In 2020, he completed undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, with a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science and a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

He has returned to U of T to enroll in the dual Master of Global Affairs and Master of Business Administration program.

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Major changes in structure of volunteer committees at Chamber

By Pepper Parr

August 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We had heard there would be changes in the structure of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce Volunteer committees – they were to be reduced to two from the seven that were in place.

There were those with the view that the Volunteer  groups had far too much clout and that changes were necessary.

In a statement put out today Terry Caddo is confirming that changes have been made and invited people to volunteer within the new structure.

He said:

Burlington Chamber of Commerce President Terry Caddo

“Thank you for your ongoing support and dedication to the Chamber and the local Burlington Community. We would like to express our gratitude and thank our volunteers from our current and historical committees, who have selflessly contributed their time to drive Chamber initiatives.

“As we implement our new strategic plan, there will be a few changes with the composition and structure of our committees moving forward.

“As we align with our strategic pillars of; Connecting Leaders, Active Advocacy and Creating Opportunities, we will be reducing the number of committees to the following:

Membership Experience and Engagement, and Policy and Advocacy. This restructuring will result in increased diversity within the two committees to allow for a greater representation of the Burlington business community.

The Burlington Chamber will be able to create impactful opportunities for our members, as we will be able to have committees that are truly reflective of our membership.

The Member Experience and Engagement committee will provide insight and support to the Burlington Chamber of Commerce on membership recruitment, engagement, and retention, and serve as the organizing centre for Chamber events. This committee will directly align with the strategic plan pillars: Connecting Leaders and Creating Opportunities.

Taskforces will be created within the committee as needed to help support with signature events such as the Business Excellence Awards, Wonder Women Conference, and the annual Golf Tournament.

The Policy and Advocacy committee will actively advocate and influence on local, regional, provincial, and federal issues and policy affecting Burlington businesses and will directly align with the Active Advocacy pillar. This committee will be the go-to source for business discussions in the community and be successful in creating a strong community of businesses and other agencies that support each other.

As we move forward, we ask that you complete the below application to participate in these new committees. We encourage current and past volunteers to re-apply. Please use the link below to complete your application.

Link: https://bit.ly/3BMHFjG.

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Last week Council went for a $39million spend to build a new Skyway Arena - Stolte chose fiscal prudence and voted no.

By Pepper Parr

August 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

This is a long article.  It focuses on one new arena but sets out how this council is going to spemd to provide the infrastructure it thinks the city needs.  See it as a cautionary tale.

Council met on Thursday to decide if they were going to go forward with the construction of a new Skyway arena in ward 5.

Referred to as the Skyway Arena – the structure in place now was taken out of commission WHEN because it no longer met the rules related to Freon.

The rink was small.

The city did a lot of planning on this project – it was to be carbon free, solar panels on the roof, two regular size ice pads, pickle ball courts, community rooms and a walking track.

The new Skyway arena will be to the north of the proposed 6 story Lakeside Plaza development. Not a word was said about the development plans during the decision to spend $37 million

Way back when Councillor Paul Sharman was first elected he tried, in vain at the time, to get in touch with the owner of the plaza that had seen better days. It took a couple of years but eventually there was a development proposal that included eight structures.

During that time the Burloaks Park was completed – it is one of the better parks in the city that is seldom crowed that way Spencer Smith Park is.

The community amenities will include pickle ball courts, meeting rooms and a Walking Track.

This is the background behind the decision to spend twice as much as was originally planned on the Skyway arena.

The decision was to a contract for the construction of the new arena to Norlon Builders London Limited for $37,021,769.55

Staff asked that Council

Approve the revised total budget of $39,433,100 with revised financing proposed.
Authorize the additional funding of $2,000,000 from Tax Supported Debt; $403,000 from the Corporate Accessibility Implementation Project and $4,710,100 from the infrastructure renewal reserve fund.

Significantly looking structure for an arena – walking track, community meeting rooms and pickle ball courts make it more of a community hub. Something badly needed in the community.

What makes the development awkward is that it is a 1.4 km and a quarter away from the Bateman high school site that the city is in the process of buying – the public will not know much about the cost until sometime in September when the deal is expected to close.

The figure of $500 million was mentioned by Councillor Stolte, who was sanctioned by the Integrity Commissioner for revealing information that was discussed in a closed session of Council. The figure Stolte made public was, as she explained it, an approximation.

The Bateman and the Skyway arena are all about creating more in the way of space for a growth in population that will add three new communities to the city around the GO stations.

The Bateman and the Skyway development are in the south east sector

Lisa Kearns Councillor for ward 2 asked a procurement question, wanting to know how far into the process was the tender?

Staff had already decided who should be getting the job – all they needed was approval from Council to go forward.

Jennifer Johnson on the left, listening to a resident when public feedback was being gathered about the residential plans.

Jennifer Johnson, the staff member who oversaw the redevelopment of the WHICH ONE explained that three compliant bids and were ready to give the contract to Nolan for $37 million plus.

Given that Councillors are in the middle of an election Kearns wanted to be seen as being on top of everything said: “I’m looking to understand or hear what within the bid tender document and or agreed upon by those compliant bids would potentially help the city in a situation where the vendors work fell short or compliance with specs was not met. Those types of things. I want to understand what our insurance plans are, so to speak, so that we can be very much guaranteed that we have the best quality for our you know, the best quality when this work gets undertaken?

Johnson explained that “through our pre-qualification, we went through two rounds for general contractors where we asked them to qualify, electrical, mechanical and landscape because those were a very big component of the project. So they actually had to name the consultants they were using and had to close the bid with them. So through the pre-qualification process, we knew who those trades were, they were local trades, good trades. And basically, we pre-qualified five general contractors prior to even releasing the tender documents.

Solar panels on the roof will cover a lot of the electricity costs?

“Our specifications were very tight, because we tried our best to include designs that were all locally sourced. We also went through a review process with the consultants to ensure that all the equipment that we included in the design and specifications were still able to be sourced without you know, extended lead times. Contractors, are obligated to fulfill their contract under that lump sum.

The Skyway arena is in ward 5, Sharman territory. He said: Just slightly more than half of this cost is more than the city expected, but this is not a unique situation- that’s happening to everything. The question raised from time to time is should we wait for things to get better? The Staff report concludes that it’s going to be at least five years before the current pressure on costs decreases.This is not going to get better. If we don’t do it now.

It’ll just get worse and where does that leave us? It raises all sorts of concerns about improving the infrastructure in the city and increasing the infrastructure in the city. And we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. But for now, I believe that we’re doing something that is badly needed by the city. We need the ice pads and the community rooms and the walking track.

Bateman won’t solve the ice pad problem, it won’t provide the walking track for the seniors who live in the immediate arena. And the pressure to build the pickle ball courts. So we’re going to be there. This is a wonderful addition to our recreation facilities in Burlington. Much needed, much appreciated. And we can just hope that cost isn’t going to be with us as a problem for ever.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte took a much different position. “I’ve certainly brought up concerns before about the commitment to projects located 1.4 kilometers away from each other. We’ve made a huge commitment to debate and project and I just feel very uncomfortable with as Councillor Sherman has brought up the increasing cost of this which I know is realistic. I know that costs are going up across the country. We’re all aware of that. But the reality is too is that by utilizing the limited funds that we have available to us and the limited room that we have in our debt capacity limit, we’re committing most of our eggs into two baskets that are in the southeast corner of Burlington and I’m just not convinced that that’s an appropriate decision for us to be making at this time.

That walking track and a community rooms would be nice. I think that we could scale this project back to ensure that we have the ice rinks and I think that we could make sure that we have transportation options available to seniors to get them up to the proposed community rooms that we hope to have at the maintenance project. And that would leave us some funding available to ensure that we are able to take care of other infrastructure projects and that we have other opportunities to use our debt capacity limit because there certainly are a lot of a lot of other projects around the city that need attention. I wasn’t in support of this before. I’m still not. I know that it would be a great project if money were no object, but money is an object and I won’t be able to support this today.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan said: “This is a higher price than we anticipated. No doubt about it. We’ve made the Skyway a priority for a long time. I believe we can still pursue upper level government funding and I’m sure we will but we can’t just bring everything to a standstill.

Ward 1 Councilor Kelvin Galbraith said: “I’m in support of this. I am part of the ice user group that knows there is a big need for another ice rink. It’s the ice users have been hurt for the last couple of years now that Skyway has been taken out of the inventory and replacing it with a full size rink is very important and will be very valuable to the ice user groups.

“I think the city needs more of these type of facilities and the longer we wait, the more expensive it will get. I think the time is now and I’m prepared to support this today.

Lisa Kearns put her financial concern, chase down the details spin on the building of a new arena.

Lisa Kearns joined what was now a majority of Council and said: “I think the whole conversation we’re having here is really reflective of the petulance that I’m starting to see around some of these really, really big ticket items. We know that we’ve already committed to prioritizing Skyway community centre and it feels a lot like this is one of those projects that we’re so far into that is difficult to turn around in, in response to escalating prices. Now, in my view, there are two things to look at here. One is of course the community value which we can’t put a price tag on it’s clear we do need more ice rinks. And in fact, we need the type of ice rinks that can host and hold tournaments and things of that nature so that we can really capitalize on those additional tourism dollars especially in light of having our municipal accommodation tax now ushered in so we do need to look at this really big picture.

“It’s one thing to award a tender. It’s another thing to award a tender with really strong terms that despite escalating costs still puts the city in the driver’s seat around ensuring the diligence used around those funds. Those are many types of causes like clawback clauses, there’s the dispute resolution, there’s payment terms certainty of terms limitations of liability. I want to be really really sure that when we are embarking on projects this high visibility and this high of a price tag we have covered all our bases.

The table below shows the change to the Total Project Cost over the last three years. The lowest compliant bid has resulted in an increased construction cost to $36.7 million, including soft costs, and project contingency, the new total project cost is estimated at $39.4 million (including the parks revitalization component). This is an increase of 22% from the Class A, most recently completed in March 2022 or $7.1 million.

It’s really important that we don’t have bumps along the way from today’s meeting where we’re proving this to when we can actually open the doors and welcome our residents across the city into a facility like this. I do want to also put on record and echo the comments of Councillor salty in that I am worried about our debt limit and our debt threshold. We still have a really big ticket in very similar proximity that hasn’t even had its capital costs disclose to the public yet. And that will no doubt require some support from our tax base and of course from our infrastructure renewal reserve fund so that fun will quickly be dwindling and it’s I’m hopeful that they’ll be a lot left for some of the other areas where we are really putting a focus on growth.

I am supporting this today with caution. And you know putting everyone involved in this in this project on notice that we want it to be an absolute and true success and we want it to be handled with the greatest level of diligence as possible.

The project was short 7 million – they dug into reserves and pushed $2 million onto the backs of the taxpayers – by taking out a 15 years debenture at 4.5%. Don’t you wish you could get that interest from your bank

Councillor Sharman added later in the meeting before the vote saying he recognized that his comments about money were made the way they were said because I think that it’s just a fact of life that cost is increasing. The arena had to be closed because the Freon system became illegal. Otherwise, we would have continued to have Skyway arena open, but it was grossly inadequate. It was built in the 60s. It was no longer up to standard in terms of installation and efficiency and effectiveness and it was undersized so it needed to go. So it’s going to be built. I think that’s one point with respect to money or No, I have a fairly reasonable understanding of money and my view of the world is very oriented towards future cash flow and where it’s coming from.

Paul Sharman: “I have no concerns about money.”

“I have no concerns about money, it will be resolved and especially in Parkland dedication, even if I do think it’s a bit rich it’s going to pay for a lot of stuff. We will still be building within the urban boundary. We will have the cash to pay for the facilities we need for another 70,000 people in the course of the next 30 years. And if anybody’s thinking differently than I ask you to talk to me, because planning and cash flow forecasting is an important way of thinking and I have no concerns about the money. And that’s about it for me. I’m delighted that we’re getting on with this.

Mayor Meed Ward decided it was her turn to take a kick at the can. “I am really looking forward to the ground-breaking in October. We know that we need more community facilities for our growing population period full stop – we are at capacity, we are bursting at the seams. This will be a facility that is used and loved by people from across Burlington the ice pads the community meeting space the parkour out front and also it will be really the future of how we build community facilities in Burlington. It will have solar panels on the roof. It will be a low carbon building, that is the future and we are not done yet. Our community amenities our parks or community centers have not kept up with the growth that we have seen in population in Burlington – this is one more opportunity to not only refresh what was there before, but expand it. The Walking Track is was really important.

It’s not so much about what we spend, it’s what we spend on and this there’s no question in my mind that this has been a priority. And so we just need to get on with it. We need to because the price isn’t gonna get any cheaper. And the cost escalation that we have seen is due to factors that are outside of the city’s control for sure and there’s no time like the present to get going.

This will put us at 11% debt ratio, our city imposed ratio is 12 and a half so we’re still well below that. The province imposes a debt ratio of 25%. Tax supported debt is only one of many sources of funding. We have reserved funds – revenue from users that will come back to us. I know the pickle ball courts will be very well used and played.

We have just increased and really level set the development charges that we will be charging for new growth and our Parkland dedication fees we were way behind, leaving money substantial amounts of money on the table.

I’m enthusiastic about finally getting on with this centre and we will mean we need more we’re not done we are not done yet with parks and community centres. Because we still have a lot more growth coming and we still have some catching up to do. And we have the money. We have the money to do it.

We do need a recorded vote on this. So I will turn it over to our clerk to take the recorded vote.

Councillor Bentivegna had some interesting questions and concerns about what was going to happen to the taxpayer.  His views will be covered in a seperate article later in the week.

Councillor stuck to her guns; the only Council member to talk about fiscal prudence.

City Manager Tim Commisso sat in on the meeting – didn’t say a word

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Is the city now asking people to file a Freedom of Information request and pay a fee to get what in the past has been on the city web site and available to anyone ?

By Pepper Parr

August 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On the matter of it getting harder to get public information from city hall – try this one.

A citizen who is active in civic matters; has delegated at city hall, appeared at Ontario Municipal Hearings and knows his way around public issues.

He wanted to check on something related to a former development application; there was some information related to wind studies and traffic projections that he wanted to review again. That information was online at the old city web site. Is there a reason why the same information wasn’t on the new web site? And if there is a reason, when is the public going to get wind of it?

The city communications people have explained that: “we are still in the process of updating these development webpages and configuring our website. Some site configurations, like the development projects pages, can’t be fully completed in a staging\testing environment so they need to be done on the live site. We are in the process of migrating supporting documents for applications, this is a extensive process as there are almost 60 application pages with at times over 20 large documents for each application.

“If you require specific documents please reach out if you do not yet see on the site.”

What we are getting from the communications people is reasonable – it would have been more professional of them to have alerted both the media and the public on what to expect as the changeover to a new web site design takes place.

What we are getting from the communications people however is not what the public is getting when they call their friends in the planning department.

In the back and forth communications set out below we are not identifying the city planner or the Gazette reader.

We don’t believe the planner is telling people on his own that the public should use FOI’s to get information. Our belief is that the planners have been told to explain this to the public

Our reader put in a call to a planner that he thought he had a decent working relationship with – and finished the call wondering what was going on.

In a nut shell he was told that if he wanted information on a development he could file a Freedom of Information request.

His comments about the state of engagement with city hall were blunt and direct – “It’s a sham.”

From the planner who was explaining how to use the FOI process.
https://www.burlington.ca/en/council-and-city-administration/freedom-of-information.aspx

The Gazette reader learned from the old city web site that: Most requests for information can be resolved without the formal use of the Act. We release certain types of records in response to an informal request as part of our routine disclosure. Fees for requests for information under routine disclosure are based on our Rates and Fees Bylaw (By-law 061-2021).

The Gazette reader wonders if the by-law and ” Fees for request for information under routine disclosure has been changed and adds that “If you follow the suggested process to find readily available planning docs you get the following:

“Information and material that is required to be provided to the City under the Ontario Planning Act is available to the public.
“You can request records with the Committee of Adjustment by phone at 905-335-7777, ext. 7629. You can direct all other planning record requests to 905-335-7777, ext. 7642 or planning@burlington.ca.

“Applicable fees will apply.

The Gazette reader: “I think this may give you everything you may need without me sharing my source. The question that comes to mind immediately is: Who is telling planners to stop being helpful and direct them somewhere else?

“Does this mean that public data is going to require an FOI request – for which I will pay a fee?’

It had a very very short term impact: City Hall didn’t like it and wanted changed made. Council voted unanimously to Receive and File the report

Burlington has been down this path before. In 2010 former Mayor Walter Mulkewich and the late John Boich wrote a report that was called Shape Burlington.

Current Councillor Paul Sharman was on the committee that wrote the report.

A link to the report is set out below.

The issues in 2010 were about city hall not providing the information the public wanted. Nothing changes – there is a mindset within the municipal sector that has them believing that they do not have to respond to what the public wants. And with Council members that do not make it clear to the city manager that staff are in place to serve the public nothing is ever going to change.

Link to the Shape Burlington Report – 2010

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Halton Region Public Health confirms rabies in a bat found in Oakville

By Staff

August 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Covid19, then Monkey Pox, then close to unbearable weather and now bats have been found in Oakville with rabies.

Just seeing one of these would case death by fright

Halton Region Public Health confirmed that a bat tested positive for rabies. The bat was found in the West Oakville neighbourhood, south of Speers Road and east of Fourth Line. This is the first confirmed case of animal rabies in Halton Region this year.

Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe damage to the brain and spinal cord and, if untreated before symptoms appear, can lead to death.
The virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal such as a raccoon, skunk, bat, dog, fox, or other wild animal, usually through a bite or scratch. Rabies illness in humans can be prevented by the use of a rabies vaccine, which is extremely effective, but only if it is administered before symptoms occur.

Although rabies in bats is rare, bites from rabid bats have caused almost all human cases of rabies in Canada over the past several years. Bats have small, needle-like teeth, and their bites easily go undetected. If you have been bitten, scratched or exposed to bat saliva, wash any wounds thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.

It is not always possible to identify if a bat has rabies, however rabid bats may move slowly, lose the ability to fly, remain active during daylight hours or be unresponsive to loud noises. If you find a bat in your home, do not attempt to move it and contact your local Animal Control Services.

There are a number of ways you can protect your family and pets from rabies:

• Wash bite or scratch wounds from any animal with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.
• Report all animal bites or scratches to Halton Region Public Health by calling 311.
• Warn your children to stay away from any wild, stray or aggressive animals.
• Do not touch, feed or move wildlife, including young, sick or injured animals.
• Avoid animals that are behaving strangely.
• Do not keep wild animals as pets.
• Do not touch dead or sick animals.
• If you find a stray animal, report it to your local Animal Control Services.
• Make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.
• Keep your pet on a leash when off your property.
• Have your pet seen by a veterinarian if it has come in contact with a bat or other wild animal.
• Animal-proof your home by filling any holes that could allow animals to enter.

 

 

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Milton Mayor faces an unknown in the October municipal election

By Pepper Parr

August 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is now official.

Milton Mayor Gord Krantz sitting in his office – which is just off the entrance to the Town Hall – little in the way of security. Krantz doesn’t think he needs any security.

Milton Mayor Gord Krantz is going to have to run a campaign but it won’t be against a member of his Council.

Saba Ishaq has announced she will be running for the office of Mayor.

As the incumbent Krantz has a very strong head start.

When you attach the word “incumbent” to Krantz you are talking about decades.

We weren’t able to learn very much about Saba Ishaq during our short call earlier today.

A sleepy voice answered the phone and said that yes she was running for Mayor – could we call back tomorrow or in the evening.

And that was it.

Other than a reference to a place of employment:

“Saba Ishaq. Director. 9 years of consulting experience, working with both senior executives to define strategic direction and team leaders to implement …”

there isn’t much more at this point.

We were not able to obtain a recent photograph of Saba Ishaq

For Ms Ishaq to have even a chance she is going to have to run a whirl wind of a campaign and hope that a fairy with a magic wand is on her campaign team

Gord will still be out there doing what he does quite well – telling the people of Milton what he has done for them.

 

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Remembering to drop off some needed items at the Food Bank will help

By Staff

August 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Tummies don’t don’t know how to take vacations. Shelves are close to bare the the Food Bank.

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The Region may have a very low crime rate - but there is still a lot of crime taking place. High end car theft is close to rampant in Oakville

By Staff

August 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We reported yesterday that the Region of Halton had the lowest ranking on the Crime Severity index in all of Canada and that Halton has held that position for the past 24 years.

A lot of the reasons behind that statement is the geography and the social makeup of the city.

A lot of poor people in Hamilton – a lot of crime as well

Peel Region to the east of Halton has a very mixed diversity which often has high rates of crime.  Not always.

Population mix, income and education levels are critical measures.  The COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact Canada’s economy, health care system and society in general throughout 2021, changing how people interact, socialize, learn, work and consume. Overall, while police-reported crime in Canada, as measured by the Crime Severity Index (CSI), was virtually unchanged in the second year of the pandemic, there were notable shifts in the nature of reported crimes.

For the first time since 2006, the year-over-year changes in the Violent and Non-Violent CSIs moved in opposite directions. These shifts provide important insight into the way in which crime in Canada changed following the onset of the pandemic.

The Violent CSI rose 5% in 2021, reaching a level higher than that before the beginning of the pandemic. The increase in violent crime compared with 2020 was attributable in part to higher rates of level 1 sexual assault, harassing and threatening behaviours, and homicide, among others.

Additionally, the number of hate-motivated crimes reported by police increased by 27% to 3,360 incidents. Higher numbers of hate crimes targeting religion, sexual orientation and race or ethnicity accounted for the majority of the increase.

In contrast, the Non-Violent CSI—which includes, for example, property offences and drug offences—continued to decline (-3%), after a 9% drop in 2020. These two consecutive decreases follow five years of increases. Much of the decline in 2021 was because of lower rates of breaking and entering (-10%) and theft of $5,000 or under (-4%).

The overall CSI changed from 73.9 in 2020 to 73.7 in 2021. This follows a 7% drop in the CSI in 2020, the first decrease after five years of successive increases. The CSI measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime in Canada and has a base index value of 100 for 2006. The police-reported crime rate, which measures only the volume of crime, was 5,375 incidents per 100,000 population in 2021, up 1% from 2020.

Police-reported metrics include only those incidents that come to the attention of police, either through reporting by the public or proactive policing. As a complementary measure, results from the 2019 General Social Survey (GSS) on Canadians’ Safety (Victimization) showed that just under one-third (29%) of violent and non-violent incidents were reported to police. Similarly, just over one-fifth (22%) of incidents perceived to be motivated by hate were reported to police.

Across the provinces and territories, there were contrasting annual changes in the CSI. From 2020 to 2021 in Canada, six provinces and Nunavut reported increases in their CSI, while the other provinces and territories reported decreases. Among census metropolitan areas (CMAs), or large cities, 22 of 35 reported increases, while the remainder reported decreases or no change in their CSI.

Among the provinces, Quebec (+5%) and Ontario (+1%) reported increases in their CSI in 2021 and therefore had the largest upward impact on the change in the national CSI. The rise in Canada’s two largest provinces was because of relatively large increases in level 1 sexual assault, as well as growth in general fraud in Quebec and an increase in homicide in Ontario.

In contrast, the CSI in the provinces of Alberta (-7%) and British Columbia (-5%) had the largest relative downward impact on the national CSI. The violations driving these decreases were breaking and entering; theft of $5,000 or under; and, to a lesser extent, general fraud. As was the case at the national level, both provinces also reported relatively large increases in level 1 sexual assault.

Sharp rise in the rate of police-reported level 1 sexual assault

The rise in Canada’s Violent CSI in 2021 was primarily driven by an 18% increase in the rate of level 1 sexual assault. This rise accounted for over one-third of the increase in the Violent CSI. In contrast, the rates of police-reported level 2 and 3 sexual assault decreased 5% and 13%, respectively. In total, level 1 sexual assault accounted for 98% of police-reported sexual assaults in 2021.

Sexual assault is classified in the Criminal Code in three separate categories, depending on the nature and severity of the incident: level 1 involves assault of a sexual nature that violates the sexual integrity of the victim; level 2, sexual assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm, involves sexual assault with a weapon, with threats to use a weapon or causing bodily harm; and level 3, aggravated sexual assault, involves sexual assault that wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the victim.

Overall, there were 34,242 police-reported sexual assaults (levels 1, 2 and 3) in 2021, representing 90 incidents per 100,000 population. This marks the highest rate since 1996. Before a decrease in 2020—the first year of the pandemic—the rate of sexual assault had risen steadily for five years. All provinces reported an increase in 2021, whereas all territories reported a decline. Similarly, of the 35 CMAs, 29 reported increases.

Despite considerable public discussion of issues around sexual violence in recent years, the number of sexual assaults reported by police is likely a significant underestimate of the true extent of sexual assault in Canada, since these types of offences often go unreported to police. For instance, the most recently available self-reported data from the 2019 GSS on Victimization show that 6% of sexual assault incidents experienced by Canadians aged 15 and older in the previous 12 months were brought to the attention of police.

Pandemic-related lockdown conditions, particularly in the first year of the pandemic, could have exacerbated the underreporting of sexual assaults. Inversely, the later easing of restrictions might have led to an increase in reporting to police, either by victims or by third-party individuals or services.

Through constant and continued public warnings and the offering of places people who are threatened can call and turn to for help – Halton has been able to keep a bit of a lid on some of the more violent incidents and keep the public aware that there are options that wil get them out of dangerous situations.

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5 Canadian Side Hustles - Worth Looking Into

By Eszter Ivan

August 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Looking for the next money-making side hustle you can utilize while in Canada? Look no further, in today’s article are going over the top 5 Canadian side hustles you should consider today!

The ultimate side hustles in Canada that can amount to up to $22 an hour.

Food Delivery
Food delivery has become one of the ultimate side hustles in Canada that can amount to up to $22 an hour. That’s pretty good considering in the best Canadian cities you can even complete deliveries with just a bicycle.

Although quite the physical task to do on a bike it’s the best way to maximize profits. Motorbikes are the second best alternative but will require fuel costs and a licence apart from an actual motorcycle. Besides that, the next alternative would be to do it by car but this has its own problems like getting stuck in traffic and parking issues.

Overall food delivery services are quite easy to get started, sign up with companies such as Uber eats and boom you’re pretty much ready to go after acceptance. Plus you get to work your own hours with such companies and basically, you’re your own boss.

Professional Gambler
Although this sounds like more of a gamble than a hustle, gambling can actually be a fun way to make a quick buck. Today finding an online casino in Canada is quite simple, making a profit is the hard part.

Many have heard the phrase the house always wins, but what if you’re not playing against the house? Games like poker do not involve the house in any of the gaming done except for the dealer and cards provided.

Poker is a game played against other players on the table, finding a live online casino table can also mean having a real-life dealer handle the cards instead of RNG.

Arts
A lot of “intellectual” politicians will argue that art produces no monetary value, while at the same time purchasing pieces of art for almost stupid prices in packed rooms at Art Galleries.

Poppies stained glass piece highlights the red leaves on the tree outside the studio.

Art has always been thrown down the well when it comes to money talks and has always been tough to monetize. Since art is based on taste, what looks great to me and inspires millions of others can look horrid and dissatisfying to look at.

Thankfully today artists no longer require the use of Art galleries to get famous, although art galleries will still hold massive importance in the art communities today many artists can create digital art and sell it for a profit online.

Photography
Not much to be said in this chapter, just like physical art, photography has long been thrown under the bus. Thankfully today in the digital era where content and marketing are essential the need for photographs has risen drastically.

Thankfully today many companies also pay a pretty penny for photos that can be used on wallpapers and other home decors.

Leaf raking and yard clean up is a repeat business that is assured by great customer service

Landscaping
Landscaping in Canada is a huge untapped market. Although typically done by the younger generation with little investment this side hustle can turn into a full-on business. The job will usually entail mowing grass lawns and cleaning up the trees and bushes found outside the home. In Canada, landscaping service needs spike up during winter times due to snow and the need for snow to be ploughed!

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If there is ever going to be affordable housing decision makers need to know more about where people are living now.

By Staff

August 3rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Community Development Haltom is a non-profit organization that focuses on community wide issues within the Region of HAlton.
They provide data that aids decision makers at the Regional and municipal level.

The number of people living in a household, i.e., household size, can have various social and economic implications. For example, smaller households will increase the demand for more housing, most likely in the form of apartments or condominiums, and more household items like furniture and appliances. Financially, smaller households can have fewer wage earners and possibly lower household incomes. The opposite is true for larger households. In addition, members in larger households can enjoy some household economies of scale in the consumption of goods and services.

For decades, households were getting smaller due to lower fertility rates, higher separation and divorce rates, and more people remaining single.

However, there are signs that the decline is slowing or even levelling off.

The growth has taken place in Milton – they had greenfield land left. Now that the housing growth will be in high rise – there may be changes in where the growth happens. Burlington is going to create three new communities in the next two decades around the GO stations.

In Halton municipalities, with growth and demographic changes, household size trends might vary from the provincial or national patterns. The average household size for Halton Hill and Oakville has been at 2.9 for the last two decades. Burlington’s household size dropped in 2006 and levelled off at 2.5. Milton’s household size rose from 2.9 in 2006 to 3.3 in 2021.

The share of households by size varies among the local municipalities. In 2021, Burlington had the highest proportion of 1- person and 2-person households and the lowest proportion in the other categories.

Milton had the highest proportion of 4- and 5+ person households accounting for over 45% of all households within the municipality.

Large families were in houses – as high rise apartments appear – where will the large families live?

The following chart shows the percentage of the population in various sizes of household. In all municipalities, less than 10% of the population live in

This data is what is going to have to be fully understood – what is it telling us?

1- person households. Over one quarter (27%) of Burlington’s residents live in 2-person households. In Milton, only 4% of Milton’s population live alone. About one-third (33%) live in 4 person households compared to 16% in Burlington. Milton also has the highest share of the population living in 5+ households.

This data cannot remain the same – there aren’t going to be any new single family dwellings in Oakville and Burlington.

About 80% of Halton’s households lived in houses as compared to Ontario’s 68% and Canada’s 64% respectively. These percentages change with the size of households reflecting the affordability and availability of housing. For example, among the 1-person households, over 60% lived in houses in Milton and Halton Hills, 50% in Oakville and only 40% in Burlington (60% in apartments).

Community Development Halton/Source: Statistics Canada, 2021 Census Table 98-10-0040-01

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