Online Gambling in Canada: The Good, the Bad and How to Win It All

By Clair Wood

August 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Gambling dates back to long before written history. The earliest dice date from around 3000 BC! Despite gambling stretching back for millennia, acts of gambling are still prohibited in various countries today, and many people believe there should be tighter restrictions in countries where gambling is legal. While the vast majority of people who enjoy gambling do so sensibly and only ever bet what they can afford to lose, purely as a form of entertainment, some gamblers become addicted and experience mental and financial problems. Many forms of gambling are legal in Canada. One area of concern for some is online casinos. Let us take a closer look at the good and the bad of online gambling in Canada.

The Legality of Online Gaming

Various forms of online gambling are legal in Canada, but the legislation surrounding online casinos is rather complex. In basic terms, casino operators cannot operate on Canadian soil but domestic players can legally play a wide variety of online gambling games like roulette and blackjack offered by offshore operators such as the excellent Casinoroom.com.

Some Canadians believe a good option would be to make homegrown online casinos legal in the country so that tighter regulations and rules could be implemented.

The Bad

A recent Canadian Atlantic Lottery Corporation report states that gambling has the ability to cause harm. Furthermore, the Responsible Gaming Council has recently stated that there should be a link to outline whether gambling addictions stem from specific paths. The report included an outline to help deploy frameworks and strategies that will assist gamblers in knowing when to stop. Unfortunately, neither report was published in full publicly. But we do know some of the concerns that the reports raise.

One of the biggest concerns is the ease of access that gamblers have to online casinos. Issues about mental health are also raised. Other highlights include the suggestion that young people, particularly males, are at high risk of facing gambling problems and that patterns of addiction could lead people to substance abuse. The reports also call for Canada to follow the United Kingdom’s approach to credit cards. In April 2020, the UK’s Gambling Commission banned the use of all credit cards for any form of gambling, both online and offline. The reason is simple: when people have access to credit, they could gamble more and potentially become addicted and also much more easily fall into debt.

The Good

While all of the above concerns are very valid and need to be carefully considered, there are already rules and programs in place in Canada to help prevent people from becoming addicted to gambling or running into financial problems because of their gambling. Though whether more could be done is still up for debate. Some Canadians believe a good option would be to make homegrown online casinos legal in the country so that tighter regulations and rules could be implemented.

Regardless, the conclusions and recommendations on the above reports state there is no evidence that online gambling poses a big risk that leads to problematic gambling. It does seem that only a few players are at risk in comparison to the huge number of people who simply enjoy playing casino games and betting online. Furthermore, the Finance Minister has pledged that online gambling funds forwarded by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation will be used to support people with mental health and gambling addiction problems. So, some good is undoubtedly happening in Canada due to raising awareness about the risks of gambling.

How to Win It All

Whilst everyone likes winning, it should not be your one and only purpose when gambling online. If it is, it could lead you down the path to obsession and addiction. Most people simply enjoy the many gambling activities that are available online, from sports betting to playing roulette. If you win, it is a bonus.

 

 

 

Return to the Front page

People's Party appears to have a foothold in Burlington

By Pepper Parr

August 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

People’s PArty – It was always about Mx

A usually reliable source and someone plugged into the political pulse of the city asked this morning if we knew of a person named “Jonathan Earl” who is reportedly running for the Peoples Party in the next federal election.

Anyone know the man and where we might find him?

 

Return to the Front page

2SLGBTQIA+: An acronym that does not help the Pride Community

By Pepper Parr

August 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The definition appeared in a media release from the city’s communications department.

I had never seen something like this before.

2SLGBTQIA+ (TwoSpirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual)

This expansion of the acronym to refer to the community has gone too far.

The symbols are important -let’s not demean them with acronyms that lead to ridicule.

The fight to get the Pride community the respect it deserves has been long and hard; it has taken decades to get to the point where the community is recognized and not shunned, dismissed, shamed and hurt.

The political leadership has once again gotten over-enthusiastic and in the process hurt the people she chooses to speak for.

The Pride Community can speak for itself.

Gazette readers are commenting – some examples.

Brave step – smart move. One in every ward in the fullness of time.

Agreed (name withheld).  “I do not have the time of day for this passive aggressive approach orchestrated by the mayor. She created the survey (not staff). Now there are 2 rainbow crosswalks in Ward 2 and not one of them is in front of city hall. She will hide behind the survey results but we all know what her goal was.”

Another reader wrote:  “I was surprised to see the latest permutation of inclusivity symbols in this article (2SLGB….+). While I am fully in favour of demonstrations of support for people struggling to find their identity, there is a danger of going to extremes to include more and more subsets until everyone finds their own personal home. And let’s not forget there is another axis of identity being explored these days based on race, heritage, language and age. At some point our whole view of our society becomes a jumble of alphanumeric compartments that render it meaningless, while activists in each group clamor for special attention. Thus we become divided, not united.”

What the Halton Regional Police Service did was dignified and appropriate.

Let’s continue to raise the Pride flag and when we see instances of discrimination personally do everything we can to put a stop to it.
Support the Pride Community the way you would like your community to be supported.

Why the city communications department went to the lengths it did is both surprising and disappointing.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

Return to the Front page

A Liberal thanks a Liberal for calling out a Conservative

By Staff

August 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca got it right when he congratulated the Prime Minister for stepping up and pledging a secure vaccination certification tool.

Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca

Del Duca, the leader without a seat in the Legislature, wants Doug Ford to immediately begin working with the federal Liberal Government to get this right.

“Ontario Liberals” said Del Duca, “have been fighting for this responsible public health measure for weeks while Doug Ford has pandered to his fringe anti-vaxxer supporters. This is about protecting our most vulnerable, stopping a fourth wave, and keeping Ontario open for good.”

 

 

Return to the Front page

Public asked to chime in on just what housing needs are in the city

By Staff

August 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

While the provision of housing, no matter what the price or rental rate, is not part of the mandate the city has – it is a Regional responsibility – Burlington is nevertheless developing a Housing Strategy be housing people is a top priority in the current city council.

All those white spaces represent new apartment buildings that are in the planning stage. Will people be able to afford to live in them?

The objective is to provide current and future residents with more housing options. The Housing Strategy is an opportunity to develop creative and innovative solutions for housing issues in Burlington that will build on and support the Region’s Housing Strategy.

The City is looking for resident feedback to help understand your experience finding a suitable, affordable, safe and accessible housing in Burlington through an online survey HERE

The survey is open now until Sept. 3, 2021.  It provides an opportunity to share your experiences, challenges and ideas to enhance understanding of housing in Burlington.

The information collected by this survey will be used to support statistical information, like the Statistics Canada’s Census, to help the City to identify housing issues, gaps and the housing needs of Burlington residents to support the development of a Housing Strategy.

Some of the data collected in the first survey

This is the second survey in the Housing Strategy project. In March 2021, as part of the Housing Strategy Launch, the first Housing Strategy survey was released. This initial survey collected information about housing concerns in Burlington and sought feedback on how stakeholders would like to be engaged throughout the Housing Strategy Project.

The feedback from the first Housing Strategy survey helped us understand people’s interest in housing issues in Burlington. The feedback from the first survey is summarized in the Housing Survey Launch Feedback Report presented to Council in April 2021. This information was used to inform the Housing Strategy project’s Engagement Plan.

Mark Simeoni, Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility is one of the more attuned to the community and its needs than most of the other Directors on the payroll. Burlington poached him from Oakville. The man listens and hears what people say. He will be a strong participant in the development of whatever the city comes up with.

Expect the Mayor to talk about the need for more affordable and attainable housing during the 2022 election campaign – that assumes she will be challenged.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has made housing both affordable and attainable an issue you can expect her to focus on during the forthcoming election campaign next year.  That assumes she is challenged.

“Affordable housing is one of the biggest crises of our time. That’s partly because affordability is no longer linked to income, and supply is taken up by investments. Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. We will do our part in Burlington using the tools we have. We will also need all hands on- deck, from other levels of government, the private sector, and the non-profit sector.

“No one entity, public or private, can solve the housing crisis alone. Our local Housing Strategy carves out the City’s role to ensure we do our part to the fullest. Our strategy will also identify partners and stakeholders critical to success, ensuring we don’t leave a single stone unturned in helping our current and future residents make one of the most important decisions of their lives and that’s finding a place to live.”

Mark Simeoni, Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility

Mark Simeoni, Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility is one of the more attuned to the community and its needs than most of the other Directors on the payroll. Burlington poached him from Oakville. The man listens and hears what people say. He will be a strong participant in the development of whatever the city comes up with.

Return to the Front page

No reason for a federal election this year - maybe not even next year

By Pepper Parr

August 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We ran a piece yesterday announcing the Green Party candidate whose people suggested that an election call might come as early as next week.

The next election isn’t due until sometime in 2023.

There is no valid reason to call an election at this time. The country is doing just fine with the current minority Liberal government.

The Conservative Opposition cannot get itself elected; the federal New Democrats couldn’t from a government in the very unlikely event that they did get elected.

The federal Green Party may not be a political party if they continue with the internal squabbles.

The only reason for an election is the Prime Minister wanting a majority government.

David Peterson called an unnecessary election in 1990 because he thought he would win. Ran a terrible campaign and lost.

David Peterson tried that stunt in 1990 and it cost him the government he had.

Governor General Mary Simon

Canada has a new Governor General – what little we have seen of Mary Simon suggests she might suggest that the Prime Minister go back to his office and think about it should he decide to pay her a visit asking that she dissolve parliament.

When the Liberal Caucus meets (virtually) are there Members of Parliament with the courage to tell the Prime Minister that an election now is a mistake.

Given the polls we are seeing there is no certainty that the Liberals could win a majority.

Ending up with another minority would be reason enough for Justin Trudeau to offer his resignation.

 

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

Return to the Front page

Burlington residents and businesses dealing with Covid well with logical action and strong optimism

Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington is a city full of young families which means I am always surrounded by selfless people willing to help each other in their time of need.

Many Burlington businesses are in a time of need, especially the hospitality sector. Others are glad to be back at work with an economy that is opening up and shifting away from the risk of having to shut down – again. Some don’t see another huge spike in Covid cases.

Value Village is back to where it was before the pandemic hit the city.

“We have been reopened since June 17… we are now back to business as usual,” said Value Village manager Beau Kowanetz.

In an attempt to help small businesses, the business Burlington Economic Development Team has supported business with website development and access to grants.

Clothing stores needed to adapt to online purchasing because all trade shows were shut down.

Carol Boyko, owner of the Bocana Boutique is putting in 16 hour days and learning to use the internet to advertise.

“We’re doing virtual zoom meetings to look at new clothing collections … that’s an issue on its own because you cannot feel and touch the merchandise,” said Bocana Boutique owner Carol Boyko.

Boyko has had to put in 16 hour days in order to keep her business alive while learning all about online advertising.

Though difficult as it was her resolve is better than ever and although she is praying and is optimistic about not going into lockdown again, she has contingency plans ready for if businesses are forced to close. .

The reason I think Burlington has done so well is because the people of this city have a great, rare universally shared mentality that I have not seen since visiting Argentina where I worked for a short period of time.

People in this city do not look for someone to blame for the problems; something that is easily done in societies that are divided by opinions. Burlingtonians don’t think of problems that have to be changed by someone but rather people in this city analyze the issue, ask what needs to be done to get through it and diligently and patiently surmount the issue without panic turning instead to hard work.

Being in Burlington means being in a place that is peaceful but also where my responsibilities are not too far away. Burlington is a city that lets me enjoy the seclusion of the country and wilderness but also where I can become more active in my community, find stable work and conveniently attend college.

Burlington as I see it is a city that has maintained its spirit, optimism and its joys; it shows the same spirits of the people who looks past excuses and focus on solutions.

When Covid hit Burlington the people were disappointed that our lives had come to a stop but they were not surprised; they watched the news and knew it was only a matter of time – unlike so many in the United States who rejected reality or looked for someone to blame.

The Burlington Food Bank provides food for families that have been financially damaged by the pandemic. Citizens donate to keep the operation going.healthy

I see Burlington as a city of people who give care to its family and support to those who need it and are doing everything that needs to be done to end the pandemic soon.

Burlington residents have found themselves coping quite well with the pandemic – they feel they have it better than most.

“I think we’ve been doing very well, said parent Amy Cohen.

“Parents are looking forward to in-class learning for their children in the fall and with a keen sense of returning to normalcy.

“Parents enjoy taking their children out to Orchard Community Park and allowing kids to play at the water parks and not wearing masks but still keeping socially distanced and limited people on playground at a time.

The Orchard as a community has pulled together to get families through a problem they never expected to have to deal with.

With people coming out to be vaccinated in large numbers and the city slowly but surely opening up, residents are seeing the end in sight believing the pandemic to be over soon.

With the majority of residents vaccinated and plans to have their children vaccinated as soon as Covid19 vaccines are approved for younger ages.

“I think [the schools] are doing the best they can, given the amount of notice they have been given,” Cohen continued.

Max Bowder is a second year journalism student at Sheridan College.  He is part of a team with the Gazette on the Local Journalism Initiative funded by the federal government.  Before enrolling at Sheridan Max volunteered in a community in Argentina  where he worked with young people.  He is a Burlington resident who helps out on the family farm in Milton.

Return to the Front page

The Evolving New Democratic Party - with a new federal leader on the horizon

By Ray Rivers

August 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

It’s been sixty years since the New Democratic Party was formed. Surely that must make them the old democratic party by now. In all that time they only once become the second party in Parliament. And that was only after their charismatic leader, Jack Layton, had catered to the separatists, promising to ignore a Supreme Court ruling and let Quebec separate on a 51% sovereignty vote.

The NDP’s socialist roots go back to Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas, who introduced Canada’s first universal medical care system. Douglas’ party merged with the Canadian Labour Conference in 1961 to become the NDP which also made them a labour movement, at least for unionized workers.

NDP’s socialist roots go back to Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas, who introduced Canada’s first universal medical care system.

More recently the NDP has tried to become the other green party, despite the potential conflicts between environmental conservation goals and jobs in the resource and energy sectors. And after a half century of marriage between labour and the socialists other cracks have developed. Some labour leaders have become frustrated being tied to a a party which was unlikely to ever become government, and so shifted their support to the Liberals.

The party faced a major crisis in the 60s and 70s when a determined group of members, called the Waffle, sought a more aggressive policy shift towards socialism and economic nationalism in Canada. Fearing a loss of the Quebec NDP wing, they also called for greater accommodation for Quebec’s sovereignty demands. The Waffle was booted out of the party. Still some of its ideas found their way into Liberal government policy at the time, such as the Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA).

A little over a decade later the Mulroney government replaced FIRA with the more welcoming Investment Canada. The folly of that move became particularly clear last year when this country was struggling to find COVID vaccines. Toronto based Connaught Labs, which had been a world leader in the development and manufacture of vaccines was gone, it’s technical know-how exported and its trained research staff relocated elsewhere.

Much of what the Manifesto called for has taken place – except for the elimination of fossil fuels

The Leap Manifesto presented another milestone issue for the party. In 2015 about 60 representatives from Canada’s Indigenous rights, social, environmental, faith-based and labour movements came together over two days to identify 15 policy actions for the future. Though the initiative was non-partisan, it had been driven by social and climate activists Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein, both with deep roots in the NDP.

LEAP was so well conceived and written that, within a couple weeks of its creation, over 25,000 Canadians had endorsed it. Yet, during the 2015 federal election NDP leader Mulcair shunned the initiative, thinking it was too radical, even as his party was endorsing LEAP riding by riding. Today almost all of the LEAP demands have been adopted, at least in principle, by the current Liberal government and some are even accepted by the Conservatives.

He was a powerful leader of the Opposition – but did not have the vision the country wanted and lost an election he thought he had in the bag. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Tom Mulcair had been an effective opposition leader but his lack of vision set the party back from the break-though which early polling in the 2015 election had promised. Jagmeet Singh, who replaced him, is an articulate politician but has not been able to bring the party back from its third place, though his class baiting has won him some support.

Singh’s problem is that the Liberals have learned to overtake the NDP on some key progressive policies. For example, when Singh promised an NDP government would ban single use plastics by 2022, Trudeau announced he would start the process in 2021. It is hard to determine how much the NDP does in fact influence government policy, though the Liberals mostly have to rely on the NDP to keep them in office.

Even should the Green Party collapse within itself, as it appears to be doing, the NDP are unlikely to supplant the Liberals, at least so long as Mr. Trudeau avoids something like another sponsorship scandal. And while Trudeau’s image and likability may have become tarnished over his last five years in office, as happens to all politicians, Canadians do not seem in a hurry to replace him in these scary times we are living through.

The LEAP project, now retired, can claim credit for stimulating debate and placing so many of its priorities into action. It was ultimately endorsed by the NDP and its ridings, despite the concern of the Alberta contingent over the language on fossil fuels. Today the NDP is looking south of the border for its inspiration, and is trying to develop a Canadian Green New Deal.

Jagmeet Singh chose to prop up the minority Liberals; there wasn’t much else he could do.

Whatever else Mr. Singh has accomplished by propping up the minority Liberals over the last couple years, he has failed to get Mr. Trudeau to move forward on some key socially progressive priorities, like universal pharmacare, a basic annual income and proportional electoral representation. Unless his party improves its position in the upcoming federal election, his leadership may well be at issue.

A strong mind, an incredible political pedigree and now a willingness to run for public office.

Avi Lewis, one of the instigators of the LEAP project, has thrown his hat into the ring to run for the NDP in the upcoming election. Lewis hails from a political heritage, including his father Stephen and grandfather David, which rivals that of Justin Trudeau. If Lewis wins his seat nobody should be surprised to see him advance to leadership in the NDP and to challenge Trudeau for the top job in the country. Maybe the party could even change its name, dropping the amateurish sounding ‘New” given how long it has been around.

There was a time when Pierre Trudeau and Ed Broadband mulled a political merger between the parties. But that idea was anathema to the western NDP movers and shakers at the time and nothing came of it. So unfortunately for both parties in Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system, a vote for the NDP will end up being another vote on the left which the Liberals won’t get. And that makes it just like a vote for the opposition Tories.

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:

NDP –  

Leap –    More Leap –      Unions –      NDP Constitution

Jagmeet Singh –    Waffle –   Avi Lewis

Return to the Front page

Ryan O'Dowd now reports on the city he grew up in

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

April 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ryan O’Dowd is a second year student at Sheridan College studying journalism and is with the Gazette for the next 10 months working as a reporter.  We asked him to tell us about the Burlington he knows and how it is coping with the pandemic.  Here is the way Ryan sees the city and the situation we are facing.

I was born in Burlington and I’ve lived here nearly all my life, so many of my experiences are inseparable from the city.

When I walk the Spencer Smith Park beach with friends, I feel like I’m tracing my own footsteps from long ago visiting the beach with my family when my grandmother was in town and being treated to ice cream at the beachfront store.

Going to the Sound of Music Festival in my teenage years, my face beet-red when the Ferris wheel attendee mistook my boarding with a cute girl for a first date. My face was red for three reasons, firstly I’m horribly afraid of heights, secondly, I badly wanted the operator to be correct about the status of my not-date, and thirdly my Irish complexion means my face is typically beet red.

The Ferris wheel etched an experience into the O’Dowd memory –

Suspended above the city and being too cowardly to make eye contact with my not-date I surveyed Burlington as the tangerine twilight faded into deep blue night and the festival sparkled the colors of a carnival.

To the untrained eye, not a lot has changed over the years for the city of Burlington, you have to know where to look, the benefit of spending your whole life in this city is that you do. Since I found myself suspended over the city in my teens the promenade changed, erecting a peculiar flashing tower(that I suspect will one day establish contact with extraterrestrials) upon an extender pier, businesses and restaurants came and went in the downtown core, the Sound of Music Festival split into paid and unpaid events, and I ended up several belt sizes larger.

Lakeshore may have changed and the Pier is certainly a new addition but not much of Brant Street has changed for O’Dowd.

The city of Burlington has changed throughout my lifetime; in March of 2020, along with the rest of the world, it changed into  something unfathomable that we’ve since grown to understand, adapt to, and get very annoyed by.

Now we arrive on the precipice of something new once more, a potential life after the pandemic. We don’t know what that looks like yet but we know the hardships are not over.

A store manager, operating from Burlington Center, cautioned, tired as we are of COVID-19 guidelines they still need to be followed and urged patience in the face of our current infection upswing.

“Many stores are working with reduced staff/payroll hours to offset the losses of the past two years,” he said, “I know everyone wants this to be over but take a deep breath, be patient and be kind to one another.”

A father of two young children, who requested he be described as “an unusually handsome local man,” offered a father’s perspective on the pandemic.

“Trying to work from home with two small children can be challenging and stressful but being able to see them more often is a major plus,” the unusually handsome local man said, “having said that, I can’t imagine how single parents or people with more kids do it.”

As we prepare for another stage in this otherworldly 18 months it will be important once more to carry the context of what came before, for the city and for us.

Ryan O’Dowd likes to get out into the country – where he came across an abandoned site – interesting stone work,

When you’ve lived somewhere long enough a city can become an excavation site, on every street corner something is buried and you know it’s there if you dig. A trace of a memory, a closed Blockbuster video store you would go to with your family every Friday night to pick a movie with great ceremony.

Your childhood home with the long driveway where you used to play street hockey but one day moved because a growing city is no place for a large property with modest-sized houses when land developers come to turn it into a construction site. Local arenas where your parents let you play youth hockey with BLOHMA even though you weren’t any good and it’s the most expensive sport this side of hunting man.

Trick-or-treating on a cool and dark autumn night by the light of a pale moon, wearing a Scream mask because that was popular even though you’d never seen the movie. Some buried memories are joyous, others are painful, others burn with a pang of nostalgia so happy and elusive that they sting. Such is any lifetime in a city.

It’s the familiarity with Burlington amidst the unfamiliar providing my bearings. My experiences living in Burlington will not guide me as I report to you, no more than opinion or bias will, but they will afford me a broader context. This is not the part where I tell you I love this city, I am not a politician, what I will say is, I am familiar with Burlington, and it is meaningful to me.

I look forward to playing what small part I can in chronicling Burlington’s story with the Burlington Gazette.

Return to the Front page

Heat warning issued for Aug. 11-13: Libraries open as cooling stations

By Staff

August 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

An extended heat warning has been issued by Halton Region for Aug. 11-13, 2021.

When a heat warning is issued by Halton Region, residents can stay cool at all open Burlington Public Library branches.

Heat warnings are issued by Halton Region when temperatures are expected to be at least 31°C and overnight temperatures are above 20°C for at least 3 days or humidex is at least 40 for at least 2 days.

Cooling Centre information:

• Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the heat warning
• Community members can use for 1-hour increments
• Screening for COVID-19 upon arrival
• Measures in place to ensure physical distancing
• Non-medical face coverings required

Central Branch
2331 New St.
905-639-3611

Aldershot Branch
550 Plains Rd. E.
905-333-9995

Alton Branch
3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.
905-634-3686

Brant Hills Branch
2255 Brant St.
905-335-2209

New Appleby Branch
676 Appleby Line
905-639-6373

Tansley Woods Branch
1996 Itabashi Way
905-336-5583

Return to the Front page

Online gaming is a major phenomenon today: who leads the present and future of mobile gaming?

By Isaac Talmer

August 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Online gaming is a major phenomenon today. Its audience base and unparalleled revenue growth challenge other forms of entertainment, such as the film, music, and traditional sports industries. According to Newzoo, its global market was worth $152 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $196 billion in 2022.

Online gaming’s is going through undeniable and unstoppable growth.

Many factors and key figures contribute to online gaming’s undeniable and unstoppable growth. Yet the most notable of them all is mobile gaming, known as the largest gaming platform responsible for $68.5 billion from the $152 billion revenue in 2019. That along with 2.4 billion people playing mobile games, it is certainly the future of the gaming industry.

So, the more important question now is, who leads the present and future of mobile gaming? Let’s have a look at the five biggest players in the world. Read on about their background and developed games, and see whether or not they are available on the best esports betting site.

1. Activision Blizzard | California, U.S.
Founded in July 2008, Activision Blizzard is a Santa Monica-based video game holding company that owns and operates studios like Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and High Moon Studios.

In just a decade, they have produced best-selling and globally renowned video games. Ranging from the first-person shooter (FPS) and massively multiplayer online role-playing (MMORPG) to free-to-play puzzle matches, all of these are available on various platforms, including mobile phones. To give you an idea, below are some of their notable works:

● Call of Duty
● Candy Crush Saga
● Crash Bandicoot
● World of Warcraft
● Hearthstone.

2. Tencent | Shenzhen, China
With a market worth $44,263 million, China is the home to some of the world’s largest video game companies and most number of video gamers. Hence, it’s called the ‘Games Industry Capital of the World’.

After the Chinese national government lifted the ban on video game consoles in 2015, conglomerates like Tencent Holdings dominated the mobile gaming market with titles like Arena of Valor and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) port. The latter’s Chinese mobile versions topped the global mobile gaming chart by revenue in 2020.

3. Google | California, U.S.
Of course, we wouldn’t want this list to miss out on Google. The multinational tech company has covered almost every aspect of the tech industry. They have their own app shop, namely, Google Play, where users may download programmes similar to those found in Apple’s app store.

4. Supercell | Helsinki, Finland
Supercell was one of the world’s leading mobile gaming companies in 2019, where they were valued at an impressive $10 billion. Albeit being a fairly new name in the industry in 2010, their astonishing growth was due to their most notable titles like Clash of Clans and Hay Day.

Nintendo has been around for a long time – and have been deeply involved in the gaming business.

5. Nintendo | Kyoto, Japan
Nintendo remains a major powerhouse in the gaming sector since their inception in 1889. They continue to venture into the new scene by annexing their classic and best-selling games into mobile gaming applications. Examples include Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Super Mario Run, and Dragalia Lost, among others.

This 2021, however, the news reported that they are bringing Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon into esports at the high school level.

While you may not find them at the best esports betting site, they are certainly a much-awaited project.

Return to the Front page

Green Party announces their candidate for the federal election they suggest could be called next week.

By Staff

August 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Federal Green Party Association is pleased to announce that Christian Cullis will be the Green Party’s candidate for Burlington in the next federal election. In a membership vote last month, Christian was elected as the party’s standard bearer for a widely anticipated federal election that could be called as early as this week.

“I’m honoured to have earned the support of my fellow Greens for the next election,” Cullis said. “We’ve seen many records broken the last few years in Canada, none of them good – hottest temperatures, unprecedented numbers of forest fires, extreme storms and flooding, worsening air quality, and Canada continuing to be one of the top ten global emitters of GHGs. We can do so much better than we have on climate change, and I believe that’s what Burlingtonians want.”

Christian Cullis will be the Green Party’s candidate for Burlington

Cullis is an Aldershot resident who graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science, and a Masters in International Relations. He grew up in Burlington just a few blocks away from the world-famous Royal Botanical Gardens, and holds protecting Burlington’s spectacular natural beauty as one of his core values. Christian’s passion for climate action has seen him volunteer with activist organizations such as Extinction Rebellion, which focuses on increasing awareness and engagement by Canadian youth on voting and climate change. During the pandemic, he has been employed as a landscaper, and prior taught students English in South Korea and tutored after school here in Burlington.

Now focused on representing Greens in Burlington, Cullis promises to run a full campaign. “Climate change is the most critical issue for my generation and for our collective future,” he asserts. “We can’t afford half-measures or government backsliding anymore, and that will be my message on the debate stage and on the doorstep. The Green Party offers a robust and practical climate policy to meet Canada’s emissions targets, but we are much more than a one-issue party. We have real solutions to the other crises Canada faces, such as housing affordability, spiralling income inequality, the impact of the pandemic on Canadians, or the stuttering pace of Canada’s reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. I’m looking forward to offering Burlingtonians who want real action on these issues an opportunity to mark their ballot with confidence for the Green Party in the next election.”

Christian Cullis invites all Burlingtonians to reach out and get involved by contacting burlington@greenparty.ca for volunteer, donation, and platform inquiries.

Email: burlington@greenparty.ca

We will learn more about Mr Cullis when there is an opportunity to interview him.

Return to the Front page

Why are we at the point where a fourth Covid wave is expected?

By Pepper Parr

August 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

I keep hearing about the “expected fourth wave” as if it a certainty.

What would make a fourth wave certain? Because not enough people are fully vaccinated – that’s something we control isn’t it.

You get vaccinated – if you’re not vaccinated you can’t enter a supermarket; you can’t go to work.

No one has the right to decide they are not going to be vaccinated when it is now clear that vaccination stop the spread of the virus.

There is a lot of chatter about privacy and human rights. We are all for free speech – but that doesn’t give someone the right to stand up in a dark theatre and cry out Fire! Fire and leave people scrambling to get out.

There are limits.

During the Second World War men were drafted into the armed forces. They may not have wanted to go to war but their country forced them to go.

There were an unfortunate few that chose to desert – when they were caught they were shot by a squad of Canadian soldiers ordered to shoot them

Tough times called for tough decisions. That’s what governments are in place for.

When a restaurant looks like this – you are seeing dashed hopes and a dismal future for the owners and the employees.

A fourth wave will do huge damage to the hospitality sector. Will office workers be able t return to their buildings?

I shudder to think what it will do to the children who will be returning to classrooms in September

I put the following questions to the Chair of the Halton District School Board:

Does the Board have a policy that requires everyone working in a school, whatever the capacity, to be fully vaccinated before they return to work in September?

Will the Board make any exceptions and if they do – what are the exceptions?

Andrea Grebenc was quick with her response:

“The Board does not have the power to do this. We can’t even ask the vaccination status for the COVID-19 vaccination.

“This has to be a provincial mandate. (MMR. Diphtheria, Tetanus are shots that are mandated, but there are exemptions.

“I assume” said Grebenc “that since the Education Worker Unions pushed so hard in the spring for priority vaccination, that we do have a high percentage of all staff vaccinated.

“Halton has one of the highest vaccination rates in the province (83% one dose and 74% double vaccinated for 12+).”

All true and the infection numbers for Burlington look pretty good (if a disease with the capacity to kill can be described as looking good) but the numbers province wide are not good – we are back where we were in June and nearing the 21 day period for phase 3.
The province is going to want to say something positive – difficult to do when many are talking about the expected fourth wave.

These are the numbers from the Regional Public Health Office for Burlington on August 9th

No word either on just what we are going to do once the kids are back in the classrooms where colds are part of the business.

Andre Picard, Globe and Mail columnist who has been doing sterling work on the Covid19 crisis passed along a phrase he got from a colleague who is Chair of the federal Covid19 immunity Task Force who said ”Nasty fall ahead”.

Is this what we are sitting here waiting for that fourth wave to happen?

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

Return to the Front page

Public school board starts to prepare for the return to classes in September

By Staff

August 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Halton District School Board, Andrea Grebenc, isn’t pleased with the provincial plans for the start of school in September.

Halton Public School Board chair Andrea Grebenc adjusting her head set during a virtual Board meeting.

She was frustrated to see “guidance in the plan that encouraged boards to pivot to remote learning around inclement weather days (snow days and extreme heat). It demonstrates the lack of understanding of equity issues. Every family does not have a device for each child, nor a strong internet connection, nor parents that can drop everything to facilitate at-home remote learning.

“The direction to easily pivot comes from a very privileged vantage point; if you can’t afford to have a device for each of your children and a great broadband connection, your children don’t get to learn while others progress. Also, many young students end up with grandparents or in daycare situations on these types of days so they will also not be learning remotely.

“The guidance also assumes that a whole day of lesson plans meant for the classroom easily flip to a remote setting.”

Grebenc has always been of the view that the province does not include the Directors of Education when they do their thinking – they aren’t as plugged in to what actually happens in a school and its classrooms.

Grebenc said: “We don’t have all the information from the Ministry yet. Hopefully more information will be coming soon as classes begin in 4 weeks.

There is still a concern about vaccination and how Covid issues will be dealt with when they occur – and the expectation is that they will occur.

Board staff are organizing a Q & A session along with Medical Officer of Health for Halton, Dr. Meghani, towards the end of the month for the community.

Parents will be able to submit questions that will be answered during the session. More on just how that will roll out is expected as we get closer to the actual return to school.

Return to the Front page

Humane Society gets hit by two criminal acts at two locations

By Staff

August 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was an upsetting weekend for Burlington Humane Society.

Both the animal shelter at 740 Griffith Court, and The Animal Aid Attic, its second-hand store at 479 John Street, suffered setbacks.

Property was stolen at the Griffith Court location where a lone thief stole a heavy-duty utility wagon. The wagon is valued at over $200.00. Surveillance cameras caught images of the thief as he stole the wagon.

“It was obvious that the thief knew what he wanted. He rode his bicycle directly to the shelter’s back patio where the wagon was kept,” said Doug Shirton, Burlington Humane Executive Director.

“He immediately took the wagon and rode off. The whole incident took about three minutes.”

The wagon is an essential piece of equipment that is used daily to move items to and from a back storage shed as well as carting away animal waste to a back dumpster. “We hope this theft is not the start of a campaign of theft from our premises.”

The second-hand store, The Attic, was vandalized late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Police notified Burlington Humane early Sunday morning that someone threw a rock through the front window. Clean up began immediately and through Sunday morning.

Shirton later learned that there were several businesses vandalized by a rowdy group that night. The huge plate glass window will cost several hundreds of dollars to replace.

Return to the Front page

Comic book design classes at the library - virtual - Registration full - get on the waiting list

By Staff

August 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Next Saturday, August 14th, is Free Comic Book Day, and we’re celebrating by learning about comic design with Intro to Drawing Comics.

What a neat idea – the Library deserves kudo’s for this program.

The sad part is – registration is full – there is a waiting list.

Learn the basics of comic design from artist Christopher Chamberlain in this virtual program.

Use the link to get yourself on that waiting list.

Return to the Front page

The Foundation for the province we have today was put in place by a man who said: 'Bland can be Beautiful'

 

By Ray Rivers

August 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

If he hadn’t been politically assassinated by his own caucus, Patrick Brown might have become the 26th premier of Ontario and perhaps formed it’s first truly Progressive Conservative government since Bill Davis.

Bill Davis: A moderate conservative in his time and what the province needs in these troubling times.

Davis, referred to himself as bland. He was a moderate conservative from all accounts. He seemed more comfortable with colleagues like Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien, Pierre Trudeau, John Tory and Bob Rae, than right wingers from his own party like Mike Harris or Doug Ford, for example.

Davis was a careful master of compromise between progress and conservation. He understood that when it comes to policy, it’s more important to do what in the public interest than to defend your ideology. And he clearly believed when it came to delivering his messages that bland beat bragging and bravado hands down.

Davis will always be the education premier to me, even though he was education minister proper only during my formative years of schooling. But he was far more than the person who modernized and expanded the provincial education system. To those who remember him, he was considered one of Canada’s best loved provincial premiers, vying for that spot with Alberta’s Peter Lougheed.

The Davis decision to kill the construction of the Spadina Expressway into the downtown core of Toronto was a brilliant political stroke.

Davis also expanded health care, implemented regional government, initiated GO service, killed the Spadina Expressway, and made the Ontario civil service bilingual. Moreover Davis played a key role in repatriating Canada’s constitution while doing more than his part keeping the country together during those early years of living with Quebec’s separatist government.

Cardinal Gerald Emmett Carter and Bill Davis met often. The Cardinal and the Premier, according to provincial myth decided to extend catholic schools into high school over cognac and good cigars.

Trying to please all people usually means that you displease some. Davis’ decision to enable full secondary schooling by the Catholic church upset more people than it satisfied, and his successor lost the next election because of that error in judgement. His rationalization of Ontario’s municipalities led to an unprecedented level of urban sprawl which today is choking Ontario’s roads.

Building coal-fired electrical power plants was a mistake that took several decades and a change of government to correct. And in all his 13 years in office Davis never managed to balance his budget, even during relative boom times, averaging $2 billion in dept annually as the net debt to GDP grew from 2% to 15.2% during his tenure.

But Davis’ leadership style is what perhaps made him such a respected, if not loved, premier. There was no ‘we ‘or ‘they’ in his world, and he imparted a positive vibe of optimism to us all. He showed that it is possible to govern progressively, to meet the needs of an evolving society even when you are a conservative. And for that alone we should all take a moment to remember him.

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:

Remembering Davis –      Bill Davis     Big Blue –

Return to the Front page

Artscape fund raiser for the hospital gets very close to the $37,500 target at first showing of Maple Leaf Art

By Ryan O’Dowd; Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON,  ON

 

Large crowds gathered for the Burlington Artscape Leaf Walk today to celebrate Burlington frontline workers and artists in support of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation (JBHF).

Event-goers, of which there numbered fifty to a hundred at a time, walked among fifty-one 4 foot tall leaf canvasses on the yard. The paintings in all manner of style from realism to abstract are unified by the theme of the love of Burlington. The canvasses are available for sale for $750 per canvas, over 30 have already sold with 100% of proceeds going to JBHF.

It was a community event with art scattered all over the Grace United Church lawn. The work was done by local artists as a fund raiser for the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.

Jodi Harrison, Burlington Artscape founder, said she had been working on the idea for the project prior to the pandemic but that COVID-19 created immediate demand.

Megan Hazen, new to Burlington and only beginning to discover the city, made this visual statement of how she feels about the city.

“I got a phone call from the JBHF and they said we are in dire need and we need help. And a lot of artists have found sanctuary in their paintbrush and their canvases in being able to express themselves. I thought what a great synergy, what a great way to do this. With COVID it’s natural to want to help the hospital and to get the community involved, we’re all in the same boat and all striving for the same things,” said Harrison.

Harrison spoke about the love of Burlington theme which called upon artists to create Burlington-inspired works.

“We have trails, we have the beautiful community, the wonderful downtown core. We have so much inspiration for artists and there is so much to capture so what greater gift to artists than to say ‘go ahead, paint your love of something,’” said Harrison.

Many of the local artists were in attendance and spent time speaking with the public about their leaves.

Some were long time Burlington residents, like Ron Greig who contributed “Turtle Crossing,” inspired by a unique turtle crossing sign he drives past once a day. He saw a snapping turtle on the trail one day and rendered it by the crossing in exquisite detail. “Turtle Crossing” has already sold.

One of the 50 painting created to financially support the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.

Greig also provided a portrait of his daughter-in-law, who is a doctor and was assigned to work in long-term care facilities during the pandemic. Entitled “Thank You,” the painting is a tribute to frontline workers. In Greig’s note displayed by “Thank You,” he wrote about finding his inspiration when challenged by the pandemic and discovering it in the frontline workers.

“It’s been difficult not to focus on the negative. When I finally got back into my studio I wanted to paint something related to current times and if I could, help out in some way,” wrote Greig.

If “Thank You” is sold $3000 of the proceeds go to the JBHF.

Other artists such as Megan Hazen were new to Burlington and only beginning to discover the city. Hazen painted “the Garden,” (which has also sold) a vibrant and colorful visage of a fox, deer, and butterflies in a bed of flowers as a bird soars above against a blue sky. She said the wildlife was the continuity from her more rural former home that’s backyard was frequented by wildlife visitors to finding them again in Burlington’s parks, trails, and waterfalls.

“It’s great to give back to the hospital now that I’m here and meet so many other amazing artists in the community because it’s been hard the last couple of months,” said Hazen.

And just as people found Burlington in different ways with different relationships to the city so to were the artists assembled from disparate artistic backgrounds. Some of the artists were established and others were newer to the scene, some of them were contacted by Burlington Artscape, others answered online postings about the event, others found out through the grapevine of the art scene but they all call Burlington home and many have personal connections to Joseph Brant Hospital.

Student volunteers assisted with the event and musical artists from Mohawk College performed.

CIM metals, a local family-owned Burlington company, crafted the leaves.

Numerous sold pieces will remain on display, depending on the buyer’s preferences, for the subsequent leaf walks.

Harrison said while there are no concrete plans for the future of the Burlington Artscape she didn’t rule out a similar event in the future. Based on the success of the fundraiser it’s not hard to imagine a continuation.

Dwayne DiPasquale, Director of Development at JBHF, was optimistic about the prospect of working with Harrison and her team.

“They’re so committed to the hospital there will be fundraising again with them. We’re lucky, we have this incredible concept,” said DiPasquale.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward mugs for the cameras during the display of the 50 maple leaf shaped canvases that were actually made of aluminium and given to 50 local artists to put the “love for Burlington”

The remaining artwork is available for purchase now as Burlington Artscape moves towards its goal to raise $37,500. 100% of proceeds will go to support the critical needs of the hospital.

Today’s Leaf Walk ran from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, subsequent leaf walks will take place on August 15th and 22nd at Grace United Church (2111 Walkers Line).

You can view much of the artwork @burlingtonartscape on Instagram but I recommend you go out and see it yourself and experience the Leaf Walk. After 18 months of pandemic-induced Netflix marathons experiencing art, entertainment, celebration and community make for a welcome change of pace.

Mayor Meed Ward was in attendance and lauded the success the event has already had on its first of multiple August dates and praised those involved while speaking to the Gazette, adding that “Over 30 paintings have sold already and I’m sure they’ll all go by the end. It’s incredible to see people coming together.”

 

Return to the Front page

On line, in person or by cell phone - which will be first for you ?

By Jeannie Longford

August 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

You’ve been waiting all year for it, and it’s finally here. Online casinos on websites like https://games.netent.com/ca/ have been the customers’ number one choice during the lockdown, but they are finally getting some well-deserved competition. They can offer hundreds of online casino games with a no deposit bonus, free spins and more. However, Ontario casinos are quickly preparing to reopen. Recently the Province surpassed the guidelines that were in phase two. They have officially moved into the third phase of their reopening procedure.

Ontario casinos spent most of the year shut down; until now, the Province has finally given them the green light to reopen. But there are a few things you should know.

What you can expect during phase three ?

Masks will be required during phase 3 in Ontario

With Ontario being in the final phase, casinos will only be open at 50% capacity. Although reservations are no longer required, some things you can expect are plexiglass barriers, contact tracing, and covid screenings. Casino staff must have Covid-19 health and safety training. While employees and customers will have to wear masks, sanitize, and use physical distancing. Signage has been increased to remind employees and customers about their health, safety and keep common areas risk-free.

The news of Covid-19 cases steadily declining is well received by people ready to return to normal. These are people who missed the vibrant and bustling environment that an in-person casino provides. Thousands of employees can return to work after months of waiting, and casino owners are hard at work getting everything prepared for the influx of people.

WhIch casinos are still closed?

Ontario casino doors were allowed to open on the 16th, and Great Canadian Gaming Corp opened 11 of its casino locations. But some are reopening slower than others. Caesar Windsor, Fallsview Casino Resort, and Casino Niagara will first open this Friday, the 23rd, while Casino Rama is set to wait until the 29th.

Fallsview Casino Resort is a very popular destination – you will never tire of looking at the falls.

A few of the casinos will close at two in the morning instead of staying open 24 hours. Other casinos are still waiting to open table games and amenities later through July as restrictions continue to loosen. You might have to wait longer for the famous casino buffets and the tracks as well. However, casinos have dining options that follow guidelines, available if you get hungry while hitting the slots.

What if you need something more?

Many people are excited to line up at their doors to try their luck at winning millions, much like the pair of best friends that recently won the Lotto Max Grand Jackpot in June of this year.

On-line is a choice many like because of how easy it is to play for a couple of hours without having to leave home.

But if you’re feeling wary about returning to the casino, you still have options. You might think the new Covid restrictions are too much or too lax. If you still want to gamble, online casinos could be an option for you. Canada allows online casino and gaming that is safe and well regulated. You can still win big prizes from the comfort of your own home. There is also a rise in using casino apps on your phone or tablet.

Whether you go to the casino, play online or on your phone, you’ll hopefully be winning.

So which are you going to play first?

Return to the Front page

City and the Region got their clocks cleaned at the most recent Land Tribunal hearing.

By Ryan O’Dowd, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

August 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Member of the Ontario Land Tribunal and the 40+ people and organizations appealing the adopted but not in force Official plan wanted to see time frames and firm commitments from the City of Burlington and Region of Halton in order tom bring the appeals to a conclusion.

How much of the Burlington that people want to keep will make it through the Ontario Land Tribunal where developers are looking for heights above the 25 storey level.

There is considerable doubt that this will happen.

Member is the title of the person presiding over a hearing. On occasion a Member may “seize” a case which means they are the presiding member every time the appeal is heard.

On most occasions the presiding member is whoever is available.

Counsel for the city and an assistant city solicitor balked at having to go through 54 pages of issues that are part of the ongoing appeals.  There are two sets of appeals; those appealing the Interim Control Bylaw that was put in place two years ago and the appeals against the new adopted but not yet in force Official Plan.

Two examples of issues are set out below:

This was an early version of the thinking coming out of the Planning department for the Waterfront Hotel site more than five years ago. A serious loss at the Tribunal might permit something like this.

Vrancorp asked:
5. Does the revised Downtown Urban Growth Centre (the “UGC”) boundary identified in the New OP conform to the direction of the provincialGrowth Plan (2019) and the mapping provided by the Province, as required by section 3(5) of the Planning Act?

6. Does the revised Downtown Burlington UGC boundary identified in the New OP conform to the direction of the Halton Region Official Plan (1995) and related mapping?

The developer offered to keep the Carriage Gate restaurant in place – believing it would be seen as a plus by the public.

Another example asked by Core FSC Lakeshore GP Incorporated, the developer who wants to put up a 25 + storey development in the football shaped space between Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road.

8. Are the policies establishing maximum heights, densities, stepbacks, setbacks, view corridors, transitions, dedication requirements, environmental policies, separation distances for tall buildings, and other performance standards in the Old Lakeshore Precinct:

a. excessively rigid and contrary to the Growth Plan (2019), the Provincial Policy Statement (2020), and fail to give regard to matters of provincial interest?

b. incorporate and impose guidelines, policy and study requirements that have either not received final approval or which represent an overstep of the City’s authority to administer these requirements?

c. have appropriate regard for the amount of parkland that the City can require to be dedicated as set out in the Planning Act, and are these policies ultra vires Section 42 of the Planning Act?

d. given an adequate review or consideration by the City before adoption?

e. Is it appropriate for the City to pass off its study of these policies to applicants?

These are not minor matters – the decision that will eventually be made by the OLT will be determined by how strong the city case is.

So far the city and the Region are looking irresponsible and showing little regard for the timelines and requirement to deliver information in a reasonable amount of time.

The city has to answer the questions and there are hundreds of them.

The city and region were supposed to provide a consolidated list of issues related to the new Official Plan by July 23rd, but they failed to do so. In the Case Management Conference meeting held last Wednesday morning City and Regional staff said it simply was not possible to meet the July 23rd deadline.

The list of consolidated issues is now expected on September 8th and will be discussed at the next case management conference in October, a timeframe the Member deemed relatively expeditious – not everyone saw it that way.

The city had offered to lift portions of the Interim Control Bylaw that had been put in place – that bylaw effectively put a hard stop to any progress on the numerous development applications that had been filed with the city planning department that were within the proposed new Urban Growth centre boundary.

The bylaw froze everything for one year with the option to extend the freeze for an additional year.

The city then took the position that they could not lift the freeze until all the appeals related to that Interim by law were resolved.

At the Wednesday meeting the city said it was prepared to lift the freeze on some of the development projects.

Much of the disagreement was about the delay in bringing the ICBL before the tribunal for appeal. The current interim control by-law “freezes” development around the MTSA (Major Transit Service Area) and within the Urban Growth Centre (UGC).

The old, and currently in force, UGC was focused on the downtown core.

The new UGC is focused on the Burlington GO station area.

The profits on development around the GO station are not as rich as those in the Caroline down to Lakeshore Road part of the city.

The Urban Growth Centre boundary is now much further north than it was when the 2014-18 Council changed the Official Plan.

For their part the city’s legal counsel said they would work toward lifting the freeze on areas unaffected by the new zoning by-laws, they expected this to please the developers – this also proved unsatisfactory.

Counsel for West End Home Builders Association (WEHBA) Denise Baker said the appeals process keeps getting “punted down the road.”

Representatives challenged the city’s suggestion of lifting the freeze as vague, lacking substance and a time frame.

Baker was critical of the city failing to schedule a hearing on interim control by-laws.

The ADI Nautique development got approved when a lawyer managed make a link between a bus terminal and the kind of development that was needed.

Denise Baker, some will recall, was counsel for the ADI Development Group when they appealed the decision on the property at Lakeshore and Martha Street where a 26 storey tower is in the process of going up.

Baker was brilliant when she argued that the bus terminal on John Street was an MTSA – which is the designation it had been given even though it is a room that wouldn’t hold 10 people.

The presiding member at the hearing bought the argument and that was enough to approve the ADI development even though they were asking for height on Lakeshore the city had never seen before.

Baker argued on Wednesday that: “At some point, we have a right to have a hearing on the appeals that have now been outstanding for an extended period of time.

She added that “It is absolutely within the tribunal’s jurisdiction to schedule hearings. The “only two months” was part of the ruling on January 14th, and the “only three months” was part of the ruling on April 26th to get to the August 4th date was just not acceptable to Baker who didn’t want to settle for another “only two more months” when it will be dealt with expeditiously.

“ I don’t have a commitment from the city that they will in fact be bringing such a motion” said Baker who added: “They just said they received some instructions to lift the freeze, but no commitment on how they are going to do it or when they’re going to do it.”

The OLT met largely to determine if all the matters the ICBL and the new Official Plan would be heard together.  The best that came out of the meeting to push to get the city asnd the Region to get a wiggle on and produce a document that consolidates the 70 pages of concerns and complaints from the development community that is necessary before the actual hearings can begin.

Whenever the hearings do take place it will be quite a zoo if it has to take place virtually.

Burlington has always claimed that it seldom got a fair shake at these tribunal hearings.

The failure to meet deadlines and to move the files forward is not helping.

With Council on a six week vacation there has been no word from the Mayor, who is usually quick to make a comment through at least one of her 17 communication platforms.

One has to wonder as well  if there are conversations between the City Manager Tim Commisso and the City Solicitor on just what the problem is.

Ryan O’Dowd is a Sheridan College journalism student who is part of a federally funded Local Journalism Initiative that will have him reporting for the Gazette well into 2022.  He is a Burlington native who plays the guitar.

Return to the Front page