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

By Trevor Hurry

January 3rd, 2024



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

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

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

Understanding the Threats

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

Strong Passwords: Your First Line of Defence

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

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

Regular Software Updates: Closing Security Loopholes

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

Be Skeptical of Emails and Links

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

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

Protect Your Domestic Network

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

Educate Yourself and Others

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

Use Trusted Payment Methods for Online Shopping

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

Backup Your Data Regularly

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

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


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

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The story of that $503,026.66 that went missing from a city account is finally complete

By Pepper Parr

December 13th, 2023


The story was about the fraudulent vendor payment and recovery matter; told from the City’s perspective.

That isn’t the whole story.

In a city media release on May 23, 2019 the City discovered it was a victim of a fraud where a single transaction in the amount of $503,026.66 was made to a falsified bank account in response to a complex phishing email requesting to change banking information for an established City vendor. The transaction was in the form of an electronic transfer of funds made to the vendor on May 16, 2019.

Later in 2019, the Gazette had a conversation with a member of Council who told us at that time that the city was going to recover some of the money that was taken.  We were surprised that a Council member chose to discuss a matter that was discussed in a CLOSED session of Council – but these things do happen.

Another report made mention of the recovery of $100,000.00 by the City in November of 2023. This brings the total recovery in this case to $422,641.67 which was seen as most likely to be final recovery.

The City’s strategy to recover the defrauded funds included making a claim against the City’s insurance Cyber Crime Policy, commencing civil litigation proceedings, and negotiating a restitution order as part of the criminal proceedings in this case.

The following methods of recovery were utilized in this case:

(a)  Insurance Recovery:

A claim was filed with the City’s insurers under its Cyber Crime Policy, which had the maximum policy limit of $250,000, and was subject to a $50,000 deductible. Through negotiations with the City’s Legal Services staff, the City’s insurers, ultimately agreed to waive the $50,000 deductible, and made a payment to the City in the full amount of the policy limit, being $250,000.

(b)  Civil Litigation:

The City also retained the services of external legal counsel to commence a Statement of Claim in the Superior Court of Justice and to freeze the bank accounts into which the City funds were deposited and subsequently transferred to. The City was ultimately able to secure the recovery of $72,671.67 of those funds. The details of this litigation will be reported on separately as part of the City’s tri-annual litigation report.

(c)  Criminal Proceedings:

Milton Court House where criminal proceedings took place.

Initially, Halton Region Police Service laid charges against three individuals in connection to the fraud perpetrated on the City. Criminal proceedings were pursued against only one of the three accused individuals, and charges against the others were withdrawn.

The Gazette took part in one of the criminal hearings which, at the time, were done virtually.  One of the issues during the hearing was if the lawyers had been fully retained.  One of the accused had not, at the time, fully retained his lawyer.

The City made a request of the Crown seeking a restitution order in its favour as part of the criminal proceeding resolution. As a result of this request and successful criminal plea negotiations between the accused and the Crown, in November of 2023 the City received a recovery of a further amount of $100,000.00 in the form of restitution.

The total financial impact to the City to date is $110,406.85 which includes the unrecoverable amount plus legal and investigative expenses related to the recovery of the funds to date.

Nothing was ever done about the disclosure of background information to the Gazette.






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Ford on bail: You aren't going to get out on bail;  We're going to catch you and you're going to jail

By Pepper Parr

August 12th,2023



The Press event in Streetsville on Friday was about to ocme to an end when a reporter asked for “one more one more.”

Premier: Sure I’m I’m okay with a question. Go ahead, Joe.

The column I’m working on today’s six homicides in Kirkland Lake, drugs, bail crime.

I’ve never in my life heard of six homicides in a small town like that. It’s a crisis. It’s not headline news. I think that’s maybe your fault this week. But but it is very serious and I want to know what you’re going to do about it.

Premier: Well, first of all, my you know, my prayers and thoughts go out to the families that lost the loved ones.

I’ve been hammering this bill reform from from day one. I led the charge with all the premiers to put this forward to the federal government. I want to thank all premiers, all 12 premiers that signed off and I want to thank all the police for for sacrificing every single day going out there protecting our communities. So it’s sitting at the federal government right now in their lives.

I have all the confidence that the the new ministers Dominic LeBlanc will move this forward in a rapid fashion. But you see a lot of these people you know are out on bail. They get a slap on the wrist. Do you know what else is really ticking me off lately job or these home invasions on these car thefts to you know people are getting their car stolen and right left and center.

Now they’re so brazen. They kick kick the door in at four o’clock five o’clock in the morning imagine you being in your house and your family and you have a little one Joe, the panic, it goes through.

I have a message for these guys. We’re going to catch you and you’re going for going to jail and you’re gonna get a slap on the wrist. You aren’t going to get out on bail. We’ll do everything in our power provincially to keep you locked away as long as possible. And we’re going to put an end to that.

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Driving instructor nabbed speeding with student in the car

By Staff

August 3rd, 2023



The Halton Regional Police reported on a speeding event that really wasn’t funny

They started the news report with:

Picture of the speed camera that recorded what a driving instructor was doing.

Couldn’t make this up if we tried.

This morning at 10:30 am, a driving instructor was stopped 85/50 doing 85km in a 50 km zone, which was just 5 km short of stunt driving on Lakeshore Rd along the beach.

A student was in the passenger seat, having just failed a driving test.

$265 ticket with 4 points for the instructor who will be looking for a new job.

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How To Recognize A Scam Online

By Tonisha Parra

July 15th, 2023



The digital age has been a wild west of online crime, with new scams popping up every day. Emails, phone calls, text messages, and even ads on social media can be disguised attempts to trick you out of your personal details (and your money). Our best weapon against this sea of scammers is a solid understanding of cyber security, and the ability to design and implement our own cyber security strategies.

But what is cyber security? It’s safe to say that cyber security is still a new word to most of us. So knowing whether or not you’re actually safe online can come with a bit of a learning curve.

Thankfully, it is easier to engage with the basics of cyber security. And that’s usually all that most everyday web users need.

To help out, we’ll be outlining some great ways to recognise potential scams online, and what to do if you ever come across something a little dubious online.

Read on to learn how to recognize a scam online:

If you don’t recognize the email sender – best not to open it.

Check the sender
Don’t click the links
Take your time
Look for bad grammar
Is the price too good to be true?
Don’t take your boss’ word for it
Report fraud wherever possible

1. Check the sender
When you get an odd text asking for your bank details, postage address, or any other tidbits of personal info, the easiest thing to do is just look to see if they’ve messaged you before. With emails, you should also always look at the sender’s email address in full. Most spammers and scammers can’t get at official email addresses, so their best is something that appears as legitimate but on second glance, is definitely not.

For example, may become, or, or simply complete gibberish. Or your sender could have a company name for their email address but could be emailing from a generic or account, rather than from a company email.

Taking a closer look at the sender’s name, or using an email checker is always a good first step towards ascertaining the reliability of a message. But it’s not foolproof! Remember that even a legitimate address can be hacked or spoofed.

2. Don’t click the links
If you’re an avid online shopper like me, chances are your inbox is filled with completely innocuous emails. These are things like shipping updates, or news alerts – messages that have no intention of gathering your personal info. But even seemingly harmless messages can be a front for a devilish hyperlink.

Absent-mindedly clicking on a hyperlink could easily take you to a site that looks like an exact copy of Facebook, or anything else, that then asks you to login and confirm some details. The safest tactic is to avoid clicking on any link unnecessarily, and to just complete actions independently and through your own browser.

And if you do find a site you’re uncertain of, look for “https” (or the padlock symbol) in the URL bar of the pages you visit. The S stands for secure, and the padlock symbol also denotes a website with a secure SSL certificate.

3. Take your time
The best thing you can do for a scammer is to take things at face value. Scammers are masters at taking people by surprise, so it’s always better to maintain vigilance when assessing any digital communications.

Of course, staying vigilant and thinking critically about any message your way requires a little time to process what you’re reading. So scammers will also often try to put you under time pressure, just to ensure you don’t have the opportunity to think.

Scammers will often insert a call to action to get you to gloss over the less-than-reputable details in their communications. Phrases like Respond immediately, or your package will return to the depot. But how often does your bank, your mail service, or anything else online ask you for immediate action? Many institutions still run on snail mail, so half a minute of thought never hurts. Simply put, be wary of anybody asking you to ‘take action now’, because chances are they’re only requesting this urgency to lure you into a trap.

4. Look for bad grammar
Oddly enough, some scammers will purposefully add spelling mistakes and the like to their messages. They do this to filter out the keen-eyed readers, who will make for hard targets, allowing for them to focus on the more forgiving and innocent victims. It’s a cruel practice, but an effective one, especially if you’re tired. Whenever you see a misspelling, forgotten punctuation or notice strange wording from a supposed professional, you can bet it’s a scam – after all, reputable businesses triple check messages before sending them out.

And in some instances, scammers simply make mistakes. If you do find any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in messages that are supposedly from your bank, your school, or your local toll road service, then chances are it’s not from these bodies at all. It could easily just be an offshore scammer masquerading as these legitimate agencies.

5. Is the price too good to be true?
Finding a killer deal online is thrilling. And even when there’s no way they’re selling clothes, plane tickets, or a puppy for that price, you want to believe it, don’t you? That’s the very feeling digital thieves are trying to capitalize on.

But if the photos look unoriginal (try right-clicking, and “Search image with Google”), the site is new to you, or the details are strangely vague, then think again. It’s always best to do your due diligence when examining any offer online. Be sure to search for reviews and read through forums on other websites, just to see if people have been negatively affected by these offers, or the figure advertising these offers, in the past.

You should also ask for more details from the seller, and check whether the payment options are secure. PayPal, banks, and your credit cards will fight tooth and nail to keep from being ripped off.

6. Don’t take your boss’ word for it
One slimy trick is to find the names of business owners and their employees online, then pose as the employer to ask for a favor. Beware of messages that look just like this one:
Hey, Alex, we’ve got a client meeting in an hour, can you pick up $500 worth of Apple iTunes cards and send through the codes right quick, and I’ll pay you back after? Best, Joe Ceo.

You might not think that internet criminals would notice your small town medical practice, or target you at your accounting firm, but a specific target means they can trick you with real details. And real details will always increase their chances of success. Don’t let them win.

Be sure to ask for a phone call from ‘your boss’ or an email to confirm details. Chances are the scammer won’t be able to rise to this challenge and will move on to a more gullible target.

7. Report fraud whenever possible

Finally, even if you don’t fall victim to a cyber attack, it’s always best to report any cases you come across to your local cyber security authorities. One in twenty people will put in the time to report attempted fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or other digital crimes to the Canadian Center for Cyber Security. This number needs to increase. By reporting to these security agencies, you can aid and inform their work, which will ensure these bodies are better equipped to respond to security threats as they happen.

Your report can help prevent future cases, protecting your friends, neighbors, and all your fellow Canadian netizens. And if it’s only a minor incident or just a stray spam text, you can easily add a comment or a vote to online safety sites like

Remember – a cautious person is a scam artist’s worst enemy. So look closely, check with others, and hold your personal details close to your chest when accessing the web.

Every second spent learning and researching online, cripples your risk of being cheated out of your data and perhaps even your money. In short, a considerate approach to your cyber security is the most fierce protector you can have against online scams.

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Scum scammers have come up with yet another new angle

By Pepper Parr

July 15th, 2023



How could I not click on this? Doesn’t everyone think there is a long lost relative out there looking for me to claim what is mine?

This is what I got this morning.

Attn: Sir/Madam,
Greetings to you. There was a recent search conducted in our firm and your Surname / Last Name matched one of our deceased clients’ details.
Kindly get back to me with your full names to my private email: confirm If you are the beneficiary prior to providing you with further communications.
Thank you.
Dr. Andrew Bailey

I decided to take a pass and save the little I have for a rainy day

The sum scammers are out there – they never quit – basically because there are still hundreds of foolish people who think that what looks to be unbelievable luck is just unbelievable.

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SIU to handle the investigation related to two who fell from a balcony on Ghent

By Staff

July 9th, 2023



Ontario’s police watchdog is investigating after two people fell from a Burlington apartment.

In the early morning hours on Saturday, Halton Regional Police said officers responded to a call for reports of a man with a firearm at an apartment building on Ghent Avenue.

The Special Investigations Unit invokes its mandate usual when there has been local police involvement when. More to this story than anyone is saying at this point.

Police provided limited details in their release, but said as a result of their investigation, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) was contacted and will invoke its mandate.

A spokesperson for the SIU confirmed it is investigating after a man, 29, and a woman, 24, fell from an apartment balcony. The SIU said based on preliminary information, Halton police were called at about 10 p.m. on Friday.

When officers arrived at the apartment in relation to the 9-1-1 call about a man with a gun, the SIU said when they knocked on the door of the unit, nobody responded.


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Banning people who 'misbehave'. What the city is setting out to do - Part 2

By Pepper Parr

July 9th, 2023



On Tuesday the city wants to : Rescind the existing Zero Tolerance Policy.


Approve the Public Conduct Policy substantially in the form set out by the City Clerk in a report to Council.

Then they to:

Approve By-law (to be numbered once it has been passed by Council) substantially in the form attached as Appendix C to office of the city clerk report CL-08-23 and in a form satisfactory to the Executive Director of Legal Services and Corporation Counsel; and

Approve amendments to the 2023 Corporate Customer Experiences – Service Burlington fees as outlined in office of the city clerk report CL-08-23, effective July 11, 2023; and

Approve By-Law   to be numbered once it has been passed by Council)  substantially in the form attached as Appendix D to amend the Rates & Fees By-law 83-2022 to include the appeal fees as detailed in the financial matters section of office of the city clerk report CL-08-23 and in a form satisfactory to the Executive Director of Legal Services and Corporation Counsel; and

Fund any Public Conduct Policy and Trespass By-law investigations through the Contingency Reserve (#111460).

In short Council wants staff to be able to prevent a person from doing and saying things they don’t like to hear and using a complex process that would/could involved being charged under the Trespass Act to allow the city to call police and then charge the person a fee to be able to return to City Hall.

There was no Staff presentation – that meant that no one explained to the public what was being done.  The City would/could ask the police to lay charges under the Trespass Act.  For most cases of trespass, the trespasser will get a provincial offences ticket. They may be fined, but won’t go to jail.  The fine could be as much as $10,000

Would Jim Thomson be cited for misbehaving as he made physical gestures while Nick Leblovic was trying to defend comments he had made about a Conflict of Interest matter ?

Why are they doing this? To

Building more citizen engagement, community health and culture
Deliver customer centric services with a focus on efficiency and technology transformation

The background set out in the Staff report:

Various departments at the City of Burlington are, from time to time, required to manage difficult or inappropriate behaviour exhibited by members of the public. Such behaviour can occur in a variety of settings (in-person, electronically, by phone, etc.) and can be directed towards City staff, other members of the public, or City property (e.g. vandalism and trespassing). When difficult or inappropriate behaviour is observed or reported, staff may be required to impose consequences upon the offending individual.

Consequences can include issuing warnings, restricting access to City property or services, or banning individuals from entering onto City property and notifying the individual that if they do enter onto City property they may be prosecuted under the Trespass to Property Act.

However, at present, the only department at the City with a policy in place that guides its decision-making process and provides members of the public with a right of appeal when consequences are imposed is Recreation, Community and Culture.

The current policy in place within Recreation, Community and Culture is called the Zero Tolerance Policy, which policy was originally implemented in 2003 and was last updated in 2007 (prior to many of the court decisions and ombudsman reports that inform these types of policies across municipalities today). As a department-level policy, the Zero Tolerance Policy applies only to recreational facilities and programs at the City.

Rescinding the Zero Tolerance Policy and implementing a City wide Trespass By-law and Public Conduct Policy would provide the following benefits:

Establish clear expectations for staff and members of the public across all departments, facilities and programs
Clearly delegate authority to make decisions and issue restrictions in response to inappropriate behaviour
Reduce uncertainty and guard against arbitrary action
Allow the City to respond to improper behaviour in an appropriate, proportionate and fair manner
Infuse principles of natural justice into decision-making and appeal processes
Reduce/mitigate risk (risk of infringing a person’s rights, risk of arbitrary action, risk of court challenges)

If a complaint is made against a person  it is first reviewed by the department Director.  The Director’s decision can be appealed to an Executive Director.  There is a fee of $200 to file an appeal.

There were no delegations made when the policy was presented to a Standing Committee.

There was no Staff presentation – the Mayor and Councillor Nisan commented.

The Policy document is 13 pages long – we will publish excerpts from that document in the coming days,

Part 1

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Kiera's Law - changed the way Judges are expected to handle Intimate Partner Violence cases

Canada’s senate has passed a bill aimed at educating judges about the dangers of domestic violence and coercive control.

‘Keira’s Law,’ Bill C-233, was introduced by Anju Dhillon, member of Parliament for Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle in 2022 on the second anniversary of Keira Kagan’s death in Milton, Ont.

The legislation focuses on protection for children of abusive ex-partners via amendments to the Judges Act.

It adds continuous education for decision-makers on the finer points of violence and control in family relationships.

Additionally, justices are now expected to consider whether a release order for an accused is in the interests of the safety and security. Electronic monitoring devices can now be a condition of release.

Kiera Photo credit: Jennifer Viater

Keira Kagan was reported missing on Feb. 9, 2020 while spending the weekend with her father, 35-year-old Robin Brown.

Halton Regional Police later found Keira and her father dead at the bottom of a steep escarpment in Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area in Milton.

A coroner found the two had injuries consistent with a fall and referred the incident to the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee for a probe.

Jennifer Viater, Keira’s mother, believed it was a murder-suicide tied to court motions citing abusive behaviour. She was seeking to limit her ex-husband’s access to their daughter.

Despite finding evidence against Brown as “persuasive and compelling,” a judge said it was “not urgent” enough to prohibit contact with Keira.

“It means a lot to us that we you know that this has been successful and that … we’ve now solidified Keira’s legacy in Canada as a beacon of protection and safety for others,” Viater said in a presser on Wednesday hours after the bill passed.

Dhillon said she was “grateful and pleased” for the support from Parliament, Senate and stakeholders across Canada for the legislation.

“The message is clear, we all agree that more needs to be done to protect women and their children who are also victims of domestic violence,” Dhillon remarked.

The bill will now seek royal assent and is expected to come into effect 30 days following the process.

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Lessons from a Rural Inquest:  Renfrew County

By Staff

June 16th, 2023


A decisions that came out of an Inquest that took place in Renfrew County in September 22, 2015, is sen by many as the event that brought about a change in the public perception of violence against women by their intimate partners.

The County of Renfrew is a Municipal Government stretching west from Ottawa to the northern tip of historic Algonquin Park. Founded in 1861, Renfrew is the largest county in Ontario and is made up of 17 communities.

The facts the Inquest dealt with and the actions that came out of the Inquest are set out HERE

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Intimate partner violence has killed 22 women in the last 40 years in the Halton Region

By Pepper Parr

June 16th, 2023


This is a story about delegations that were made at city council recently. It was about an epidemic – something the delegations referred to as IPV.

It is a long article – that was edited for brevity.

IPV is intimate partner violence – domestic abuse.

Halton Deputy Police Chief Jeff Hill told Council that police make an arrest a day in Burlington alone.

There were four delegations on the issue.

Jennifer Kagan, a physician and advocate against gender based violence in all its forms, delegated to council on the resolution that proposed Burlington declare intimate partner violence an epidemic in the city. .

Jennifer Kagan, a physician and advocate against gender based violence.

Kagan said “this recommendation stems from the 2022 Renfrew County inquest into the deaths of Carol Collington Anastasia Cusick and Nathalie Warmerdam. (A link to a seperate article on what happened in Renfrew Councty is included at the end of this article.)

“It is something I hear about from women in the Region every single day. Women who fear for their lives and their children’s lives. Women with nowhere to turn because systems that are supposed to protect them are failing. Women who are fearful to engage with many systems because this can often make things worse for them and their children. The numbers are staggering.

“We are seeing an unprecedented increase in the need for domestic violence related services. This has only been exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic; this dovetails with my perspective on the ground as an advocate for survivors of violence and with my own experience.

“I was a victim of domestic violence and coercive control in a previous relationship. While I was able to leave the relationship fleeing with only a few essential items, I sought protection for our nine month old daughter, Keira via the courts. Keira was failed by many judges, child protection services and was ultimately killed at the age of four by her father in February 2020.

Dr. Kagan’s experience resulted in the passing of Kiera’s Law

According to the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, a woman is killed somewhere in Canada every other day on average; 30 to 40 children a year in Canada are killed by a violent parent.

“One is too many. Those who work with survivors of violence see the impact that lack of resources has on the lives of women and children fleeing violence. I commonly hear from colleagues looking to find shelter space for abused women; they cannot find it and that police cannot meet the unprecedented demand for services.

“By declaring intimate partner violence an epidemic it will ensure the city can better meet the needs of women and children fleeing violence. It will also raise awareness about the scourge of domestic violence so that survivors and children living with violence and escaping violence know that they are not alone. Passing this resolution will save many lives and I am in strong support of it.”

Councillor Nissan asked Dr. Kagan if she had anything “on a wish list for us at the municipal level? W hat are the next steps after this resolution comes forward?

Kagan: “Training is a very large focus of our advocacy. Educating the students and teachers as well would be two items if I could think just off the top of my head.”

Halton Police Service Deputy Chief Jeff Hill

Deputy Chief Jeff Hill of the Halton Police Service spoke virtually regarding the same item saying “I very much wanted to be a part of this discussion and humbly submit is of the utmost importance, and needed desperately to help combat and intimate partner violence.

“I’m going to be concise, and paint the picture from a policing perspective of the surveillance of intimate partner violence in the city of Burlington. Regionally speaking to the rise, in intimate partner violence in 2015 we responded to 2757 calls and laid 1145 charges.

“Last year we responded to 3500 calls and doubled our charges, laying 2141 charges.

“That’s effectively responding to 10 incidents of intimate partner violence a day. Specifically speaking to the city of Burlington, of those 3500 occurrences 1346 of them were in the city of Burlington.  Stemming from those occurrences we made 341 arrests; that’s basically an arrest a day.

“As of last week, we have already attended 544 incidents of IPV in Burlington.

“I’ve seen the statistics and I’m aware that this largely an under reported crime.  We believe that only 30% is actually reported to us.

“Halton police has a dedicated 24 members, intimate partner violence unit, that partners with such entities as Women’s  Place and the mentoring  members of the Halton Violence Prevention Council. We’re doing everything we can in the areas of risk intervention, incident response prevention and social disorder, social development. Our Victim Support Unit reaches out to every victim of intimate partner violence that is reported to us. Even with all those resources being dedicated, the number of incidents that we respond to has remained steady since 2020, with a number of arrests rising year after year.

“Let me be clear, however, that the police alone are not the solution to this issue and we will not arrest our way out of this epidemic. If we don’t do something different, the  problem will continue to grow. Intimate partner violence cannot be a private issue. We cannot be silent about the violence that is occurring. The resolution before you is a start but we must do something to raise community awareness and education on the surveillance of the issue with the necessity for a holistic approach from the community as a whole; one entity cannot do this alone. As you heard from Dr. Kagan, every six days in Canada, a woman is murdered by her partner.

“I want to leave you with this final statistic, the last 40 years the Region alone has seen 22 women murdered at the hands of their partner, a woman murdered every other year in our region alone. This absolutely has to stop.”

Councillor Bentivegna asked the Deputy Chief:  “Is there something that you can share with residents throughout the region of things that as neighbours we could be doing. Are there  signs out there that you can share that say hey, you know, this doesn’t look right. I don’t know whether we should approach the individual or maybe make a call to halt and say, you know, here’s what I’ve seen, or are there clues out there?

Deputy Chief Hill: “I think it’s just the awareness that this is happening around us. I think it’s the need for people to know, and not be willing to turn a blind eye to it. I’ve often made the comment,  I’m not a social media person, but what ironically happens is what I even alone advocate for, you know, violence against women –  to speak to it – I actually tend to lose followers. It’s like people don’t want to speak about it. And it’s something that we have to bring to the forefront, the entire community has to bring it to the forefront. We have to watch out for our neighbours.

“The reality is by the time a lot of these issues get to the police they are at the point of crisis in the cycle of violence. So we need people to intervene earlier – we need to help talk about it. We need funding for the people that we are going to speak to next. I think the very beginning of it is just a recognition that we’re all in this together. This is not a women’s issue. This is not an individual issue. This is a community issue.

Lori Hepburn Executive Director of Halton Women’s Place was one of the several delegations. Speaking  about the intimate partner domestic abuse crisis in Burlington.

Laurie Hepburn Executive Director of Halton Women’s Place

She said the Halton Violence Prevention Council plays a leading role in supporting and empowering survivors of intimate partner violence and domestic violence. “I stand before you to discuss a pressing matter that requires our collective attention  – declaring intimate partner violence an epidemic within our community to emphasize the urgency and significance of this declaration to examine the findings of the Renfrew County inquest, a recent and notable case that sheds light on the severity of the issue.

“The inquest was conducted following the tragic deaths of three women who were victims of domestic violence. Its findings revealed a series of system failures, missed opportunities and service provision gaps that could have saved these women’s lives. The number one recommendation of the inquest is for the province of Ontario to declare intimate partner violence as an epidemic. Women’s Place provides refuge and support for several hundreds of women and children each year who are escaping abusive situations.

“Last year in our community, Halton Woman’s Place supported 126 women and children through safe shelter, and over 6061 women through our community outreach programs, and we received over 2200 crisis calls to our support line, approximately 25% of the women who access our services identified coming from the City of Burlington.

“These are alarming statistics. And they aren’t just numbers, but they translate into the lives of real women and children whose lives are being derailed by intimate partner violence. The Renfrew County inquest serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of intimate partner violence and the need for comprehensive proactive measures to address this epidemic.

“IPv is no longer an issue that can be ignored, kept behind closed doors.  Declaring intimate partner violence as an epidemic the City of Burlington can signal its commitment to implementing these measures that prevent similar tragedies from occurring within our community.

Seating area just inside the doors of the Halton Women’s Place located in Burlington.

“In March 2023, Mayor Mead Ward stated that the city of Burlington must stand by and be prepared to provide the services needed that reflect our community’s commitment. Stand by one another, come together in collaboration to ensure every single Burlington resident feels respected, safe and supportive, in alignment with the values upheld by the City of Burlington.

“Last year, the Halton Regional Police responded to over 3500 intimate partner violence calls, which translate to approximately 10 calls a day. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Many survivors suffer in silence and do not seek assistance due to fear, stigma or lack of resources. It is the under reported violent crime that makes this problem an epidemic. The City of Burlington acknowledges the harsh reality faced by survivors in our community, recognizes that this issue extends beyond isolated incidents – it is deeply ingrained in our society.

“This declaration acts as a call to action demanding that we come together as a community to address the root causes of violence and support survivors and their journey towards protection, healing and safety. Furthermore, this declaration demonstrates our commitment to data driven decision making.

“By acknowledging the prevalence of intimate partner violence we can more effectively allocate resources and implement evidence based strategies to prevent further harm. By intentionally changing our actions, we shift the narrative of dismissiveness towards IPv and step into the messiness and say to the individuals facing intimate partner violence, we see you, we hear you and we are driven by the courage, resilience and bravery of our survivors to fight for change in our local community.

“For the City of Burlington to declare intimate partner violence as an epidemic within our community, together, we can break the cycle of violence, support survivors, foster community that prioritizes safety, respect and equality for all.”

Councillor Nissan asked: “Laurie do you have suggestions for how the city of Burlington can follow up on this declaration and work with both yourself as well as the Halton Violence Prevention Council ? I see Halton Region as one of the partners which is really important, but how can the City of Burlington fit in to the to the plans?”

Hepburn: “I think Burlington can fit into the plans –  helping with community awareness. That’s part of the biggest piece that’s missing with domestic violence is it’s typically been something that has been hidden. There’s so much fear and stigma around speaking about domestic violence, and that’s part of the cycle of control. Having somebody who feels powerless and doesn’t feel that they can share what’s happening to them –  there’s so much judgment out there. We need to make sure that we’re normalizing these conversations about domestic violence adding that Councillor Bentivegna shared a really great point – let us know the signs about domestic violence.

“These things are happening to our neighbours, friends and families in the community. Hepburn added that “We’ve applied for a grant to have an educator getting the word out to the community; the goal is to have 20 presentations – lunch and learns – for businesses in North Halton because we know there’s a need out there. Creating awareness and making sure our communities are educated – we cannot do the work alone, we need our entire community to be talking about domestic violence and have a zero tolerance for domestic violence.

“We are looking at putting purple benches throughout the Region to signal to survivors of domestic violence that we see, we hear and we believe you and want you to know we are going to be here for you if you need support.”

Kirk and Sonya Robinson sat in the public gallery of the Senate when Kiera’s Law was passed.

Kirk and Sonya Robinson were the final delegation.  It was not easy to hear what they had to say.

Kirk started by saying “my wife Sonia and I sat in the Senate public gallery and listened while Kiera’s Law was passed. It is now a federal and provincial law. Relatives of IPV played a significant part in this with along with the unwavering support of our mayor and council here in Burlington. Our family and most likely 1000s of families will benefit from your support. We’re thankful for the opportunity today to delegate and tell our story with the hope of increasing awareness of intimate partner of domestic abuse.

“In April we were in Ottawa for the final reading and vote in the Senate for Kiera’s Law. Sonya and I met many survivors of intimate partner domestic abuse. We shared stories back and forth. When I met and spoke with them, I was overcome with many emotions ranging from grief to guilt, thinking about how we as a society can sit back and allow this to happen. We have great respect for the courage of survivors to continue to fight for change.

“One of the survivors I met was beaten by her husband so many times that she feared she would die. If she did she feared he would take her baby. She devised a plan to make a hiding spot for the baby under the stairs and put a note in her pocket so the police could find her baby when they found her body.

“Another survivor I met was there with her daughter. I learned that her husband had attempted to put one of their  daughters in human trafficking, and she fought to save her. I learned that some of her encounters with law enforcement tended to favour her husband.

“I sat next to the daughter while listening to the Senators debate the bill that was before them.  I could not help but wonder what this girl had seen or had been exposed to or how sad it was that someone was not there to help her when she needed it most.  I learned recently of a suicide attempt in her family and I have no idea if it was her sister.

“Another survivor of child exploitation, drug use and drug sales by the father told of being interviewed by Child Protective Services  worker  and told that she had to wait for clarification on some issues that would take weeks, if not months. In the meantime the mother had to answer her seven year old daughter’s question. ” I thought the lady was here to help me. Why didn’t she help me?

Kirk said he had many more stories adding “you get the point. It has been my experience that the police services do not have the resources they need to get ahead of this and save those that fall through the cracks. Burlington has led the resolution supporting Kiera’s Law – let’s be a leader again supporting our police services who work tirelessly to save us from intimate partner domestic abuse.”

Mayor Med Ward followed with: “It’s important for us to listen – it is very very hard to hear those things. Thank you for all that you do, on behalf of all my colleagues. We are deeply grateful for your efforts.

Background links:

The Renfrew County Inquest

Kiera’s Law



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Scam scum are at it again. They keep doing this because it works for them. Be vigilant.

By Pepper Parr

June 16th, 2023



We have heard about the scams that rob decent people of their hard earned money.

Thousands of people are being robbed of their hard earned money by people who are basically crooks. Pay close attention to any email you get that even looks suspicious – deal with people you know.

We have reported on many of these in the past.

One of the more common, and very treacherous ones is the request from someone who has a name similar to a name of someone you know.

Here is an example of what we are talking about.
Start reading from the bottom.

The name the writer uses is almost identical to someone I know very well.  I trust that person – so when I saw the name I responded.

Thanks for your response, I need to get an APPLE GIFT CARD for a friend of mine who is diagnosed with stage 4 mesothelioma cancer, She lost her only daughter to the disease (COVID-19).it’s her birthday but I can’t do this now because I’m currently out of town.I tried purchasing it online but unfortunately I got no luck on that. Wondering if you could get it from any store around you I’ll pay back when I get back. Kindly let me know if you can handle this.

Thank you

On Thu, Jun 15, 2023 at 11:43 PM Pepper publisher <> wrote:

Who are you and what do you want?


Sent: June 15, 2023 5:37 PM
Subject: Checking on you


How are you ? Hope you are keeping safe?

Are you available via email? I need your help.


There are news reports of people who have lost significant amount of money – thousands of dollars – because they were duped.  Pay close attention – if you find you are in doubt – don’t.

Report the scam or fraud to your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

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Everything You Need to Know About a DUI Arrest in Canada

By  Milorad Radak

May 17th, 2023



DUI refers to any offence related to driving under the influence, be it from alcohol, drugs or anything that impairs judgment and dexterity.

If you have been charged with DUI in the U.S., this can make entering Canada difficult even if your conviction was expunged or sealed. There may be ways around this however; including applying for Criminal Rehabilitation and getting a Temporary Resident Permit.

DUI arrest in details can be complicated and there are many potential consequences for those who are convicted. It is important to understand your rights and the consequences of a DUI charge in order to make informed decisions about your case.

What is a DUI Arrest?

The RCMP can pull you over and ask you to step out of the car and ask you to walk a straight line. If they are not satisfied they can issue you a ticket or call a tow truck and put your car in a car pound.

DUI (driving under the influence) arrest is an offense in Canada and conviction will result in criminal records, fines and jail time – in some cases even your driver’s license could be suspended or even cancelled.

Criminal convictions can make entering Canada challenging, even if you have since made amends and committed no further offenses. Canada takes DUIs or driving under the influence offences seriously and often deny entry to foreign nationals who have had such convictions in their past.

At Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), any conviction of DUI, DWI, OWI, or DWAI on your record – regardless of when it occurred – can prevent entry to Canada despite being admissible. An experienced admissibility lawyer can help those individuals obtain either a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation to gain entry.

What Happens During a DUI Arrest?

DUI (driving under the influence) in Canada is an extremely serious crime that may lead to jail time or other severe penalties, including fatalities and injuries every year from impaired drivers. Border agents recognize this problem and often inquire if US citizens have been arrested or convicted for drunk driving in the past year or so. When answering such inquiries honestly is key – being dishonest will only aggravate matters further.

DUIs and similar charges can take various forms, including DWI, OUI, OWI or DWAI charges in Canada. No matter their name or classification, DUI is often an offence which renders an American inadmissible due to criminal considerations.

Police in Canada are very strict about DUI driving. Scenes like this are very frequent, especially during holiday weekends.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police or RCMP can detect DUI arrests and convictions from American records, even if the arrest or conviction took place years ago. They can look back as far as 40 years to see what crimes have been committed.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI Arrest?

DUI penalties in Canada can be severe; indeed, they often make entry difficult if there’s been an arrest for this offence. Border officials have complete discretion in their decision about granting entry based on how old the conviction is and can make their decision depending on how old it is.

As long as your DUI offence occurred more than 10 years ago, it is possible to enter the country with one. You will need either to secure a Temporary Resident Permit or be found Criminally Rehabilitated before entering. Since this can be a lengthy process, having a professional lawyer guide you is highly recommended.

Failure to do the breathalizer test will mean immediate arrest and the impounding of you vehicle.

Canadian courts will impose both fines and jail sentences upon repeat offenders who cause no injuries; even first time offenders who cause no physical damage could face imprisonment if circumstances escalated further. You could lose your driving privileges and may need to install an interlock device after conviction.

What Can I Do After a DUI Arrest?

Many Americans may be shocked to learn that even minor DUI offences such as traffic tickets can prevent entry to Canada despite having been misdemeanours, since Canadian laws define DUI as “dangerous operation”, not simply alcohol or drug intoxication. This means someone could be stopped at the border even if they do not intend to drive; similarly civil DUI infractions like DWAI or OWI may prevent entry as well.

Criminal Rehabilitation can also prevent admittance into Canada. Although there are ways around this restriction, such as applying for a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation permit, both are time consuming processes which require advance planning in order to be successful. It is advisable that legal representation handle these processes from start to finish to meet all their stringent requirements successfully.


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Town Hall meeting on level of crime in the community; ties in with new government bail initiative

By Pepper Parr

April 28th, 2023



There is a Town Hall meeting taking place on Saturday at the Mainway Arena – the topic is the level of Crime in the Community.  The event is sponsored by the Burlington Conservative Association. A recent provincial government announcement ties in with what concerns the public.

Town Hall meeting

The Ontario government is investing $112 million to immediately strengthen the province’s bail system and ensure that high-risk and repeat violent offenders comply with their bail conditions. The funding will be used to support new technology, establish violent crime bail teams, expand the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement Squad and provide prosecutors with the resources they need to conduct complex bail hearings.

“As the country and our province face rising crime rates and people are feeling increasingly unsafe in their communities, this funding will help ensure anyone out on bail is following the rules and high-risk, repeat offenders are kept in jail,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We can’t have a justice system where violent criminals are arrested one day and back out on the streets the next. We’re doing our part to fix a broken bail system and look forward to working with our federal partners to finish the job.”

Specifics of the investment include:

The creation of a new Bail Compliance and Warrant Apprehension Grant

$24 million will be made available over three years to help the OPP and municipal and First Nations police services establish dedicated bail compliance teams. Teams will also assist prosecutors with gathering evidence and assessing public safety risk during the bail hearing stage.

Grant funding may also be used to acquire bail compliance technology or support a network that police services could use to share bail offender information.

Expansion of the OPP Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement (ROPE) Squad

$48 million to create a dedicated Bail Compliance Unit within the OPP’s Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement Squad. This new dedicated, provincewide, Bail Compliance Unit will apprehend high-risk provincial offenders who have broken their bail conditions or are unlawfully at large.

Establishment of Intensive Serious Violent Crime Bail Teams

$26 million to create Intensive Serious Violent Crime Bail Teams within the courts system to ensure that there are dedicated prosecutors and subject matter experts to prepare for and properly conduct the often lengthy and complex bail hearings.

Rollout of the Bail Compliance Dashboard

A new province wide bail monitoring system to allow police services to monitor high-risk offenders with the most accurate data possible.

“When it comes to keeping people safe and addressing crime in our communities, we’ll stop at nothing,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “This funding will help police and justice sector partners address issues of bail compliance by expanding the resources needed to monitor and apprehend high-risk repeat offenders violating bail conditions. It will also help to ensure that both sentencing and bail processes work to reduce violent acts and keep our communities safe.”

Today’s announcement follows months of advocacy from all of Canada’s premiers for the federal government to amend the Criminal Code and implement meaningful bail reform to prevent violent and repeat offenders from being released back into communities. The federal government has signalled its willingness to work with all provinces and territories to identify and implement meaningful solutions. Ontario will continue to be a partner in this work and looks forward to these changes being made.

“As part of our ongoing efforts with the federal government to reform the broken bail system, we are adding new resources to support our work to make Ontario’s bail process stronger,” said Attorney General Doug Downey. “These investments will immediately help to address serious, violent and repeat offenders by providing more resources to police to investigate and apprehend these accused persons and to prosecutors and courts to conduct complex, time consuming bail hearings with the best evidence possible.”

Quick Facts
On March 10, 2023, federal, provincial and territorial Attorneys General and Ministers of Justice and Ministers of Public Safety met to discuss Canada’s bail system. The federal government agreed to take action through amendments to the Criminal Code that would target repeat violent offenders and serious offences committed with firearms and other dangerous weapons.

Ontario experienced a 57 per cent increase in serious violence and weapons cases before the courts between 2018 and 2021. (Ontario Court of Justice)

Toronto Police Service report that over the last two years in the city of Toronto, 17 per cent of accused charged with shooting-related homicides were already out on firearms bail at the time of the alleged fatal shooting.

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Citizens discussing the level of Crime in the Community

Open to all!  No registration needed.

Join a group of people who are concerned about public safety issues affecting our community for a panel discussion and speakers who know the issue very well.

Panel Speakers:

MP Shannon Stubbs of Lakeland AB, Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, previously Shadow Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Halton Chief of Police Stephen J Tanner, Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS)

Marcell Wilson, founder of the One by One Movement, a think tank to decrease extreme acts of violence across the globe beginning with the GTA

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The Scam Scum are busier these days - seeing more than usual of their attempts to steal your money

By Staff

April 23, 2023



The scam game appears to be ramping up.

The scam scum are still using the Costco brand name is as a way to pull you in – it must be working for the people who want to steal your money – they keep using it.

Others are using the Microsoft brand and for those that are really gullible someone is now using the International Monetary Fund.

The rule is always the same – look at the email address the information came from – if it looks fishy – it probably is – ignore it and delete it.

The Microsoft message “might” be legit – not certain about that one but I’m not in the market for refurbished items.

When in doubt – DON’T

Costco is such a trusted brand name – people feel comfortable and recognize the corporate name. Always look at the address the email came from – that’s where the clues are hidden in plain sight.


Microsoft – another trusted corporate name. Much of what makes your computer work is made by Microsoft. This one looked very fishy to me – I didn’t touch it. Others will.



Again – look at the email the message came from. Also the IMF works to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for all of its 190 member countries. It does so by supporting economic policies that promote financial stability and monetary cooperation, which are essential to increase productivity, job creation, and economic well-being.

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Public Safety to be the focus of a Town Hall next Saturday - sponsored by the Conservative Association

By Staff

April 22, 2023



Local political associations have varying degrees of community involvement and reach out taking place.

The Conservative are the most active – they have set out a series of Town Hall events, the second of which will take place in a week at the Mainway Recreation Centre where the focus will be on Public Safety; an issue that is easy to get reaction on.

A complex subject with few simple answers.  Halton has an enviable record when it comes to crime – there isn’t that much of it.  With a well funded police service that responds well to public needs and has solid public support the community is seen as very safe – something the Regional Chair Gary CArr never fails to mention when he speaks publicly.

The federal Liberals haven’t done much. The public seems satisfied with MP Karina Gould who is seen and appreciated. The provincial Liberals have been quiet on the surface as they head for  their Leadership convention where the mood seems to be Crombie on 1 – a reference to Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie who is expected to in the race. Once the Liberals have a leader things will be quite different at Queen’s Park.

The New Democrats have a new leader who has been very visible across the province but has yet to appear locally.

The Greens have never been a force in Burlington

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Province spending millions on upgrades of surveillance equipment

By Staff

September 16th, 2022



Some people have a problem with a surveillance society – where almost every intersection in cities has camera posted that are monitored 24/7.

The technology is now at a point where anything anywhere can be under surveillance. Does it every get abused – Sometimes.

Ontario Investing in Video Surveillance Systems and funding for new equipment and improved technology that will enhance police efforts to prevent crime, especially gun and gang violence.

The moment police mention gun and gang violence – the public all too often says – how much do you need?

The Ontario government is investing almost $1.8 million to help 20 police services across the province expand video surveillance systems and better protect communities from the threat of gun and gang violence.

The Region of Halton isn’t getting any of that money – it already has some of the most sophisticated technology – but they don’t appear to be making much use of street level cameras (CCTV)

The funding is being delivered through the Ontario Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Grant Program and will be used to replace outdated equipment, expand or enhance current technology, and install new or additional CCTV surveillance cameras in areas where gun and gang violence and correlated crimes, such as drug and human trafficking, are most prevalent.

“Our government is determined to provide police services with the tools and resources they need to keep Ontarians safe,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “CCTV surveillance systems are an important part of local police work to detect, prevent and deter criminal activity, especially in areas of gun and gang violence and other serious crimes. This funding will help police services strengthen CCTV capacity and improve crime prevention efforts to better protect communities.”

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Arrests made in Drug and Gun Investigation

By Staff

August 29th, 2022



On August 26th, 2022, members of the Halton Regional Police Service Drug and Human Trafficking Unit (DHTU) concluded a two-month investigation in relation to a drug trafficking network based in the Town of Halton Hills that spanned across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Between August 25th and 26th 2022, three Controlled Drugs and Substances Act Search Warrants were executed at residences in Georgetown and Toronto. Investigators seized:

• A loaded 9mm Taurus G3C handgun.
• A loaded fully automatic 9mm Glock 26 handgun
• Three additional loaded magazines which included a prohibited capacity magazine.
• 290 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
• Approximately: 330 grams of Cocaine, 80 grams of Fentanyl, 95 grams of Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth), 332 Oxycodone pills, 260 Xanax pills, 30 Hydromorphone pills, and 8 grams of crack cocaine.
• Bundled Canadian Currency estimated at approximately $15,000.

“The modified fully automatic nature of the firearm seized in this investigation illustrates a disturbing trend in the lengths individuals will go to protect their illicit drug trafficking networks. This investigation illustrates our officers’ dedication in interdicting these firearms and drugs, and holding those engaged in these reprehensible acts accountable,” says Inspector Dave Costantini, Halton Regional Police Intelligence, Drugs and Human Trafficking.

Six individuals were subsequently arrested and charged for their alleged involvement. The following individuals have been charged:

Aristotle Berlanguet (20) of Georgetown
• Careless use of a Firearm
• Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
• Possession of a Restricted Firearm with Ammunition
• Trafficking a controlled substance (Cocaine)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (6 counts)
• Unauthorized Possession of a Prohibited Device
• Possession of Proceeds Obtained by Crime Over
• Fail to Comply with Release Order

Adam Griffin (20) of Georgetown
• Careless use of a Firearm
• Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
• Possession of a Restricted Firearm with Ammunition
• Possession for the purpose of trafficking (7 counts)
• Fail to Comply with Release Order

Gabriel Kopcsanyi (40) of Toronto:
• Careless Use of a Firearm
• Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
• Possession of a Restricted Firearm with Ammunition
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (8 counts)
• Careless Use of a Firearm
• Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
• Possession of a Restricted Firearm with Ammunition
• Possession of Proceeds Obtained by Crime Under $5000

Gabor Horvath (42) of Etobicoke:
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
• Possession of a Controlled Substance (Cocaine)

Bill Chantzopoulos (57) of Toronto:
• Possession of a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl)

Virginia Dos Santos (62) of Toronto:
• Possession of a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl).

Berlanguet, Kopcsanyi, and Griffin were held pending a bail hearing. Horvath, Chantzopoulos, and Dos Santos were released on an undertaking with future court dates.

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Vehicle Theft Investigation Leads to More Than 50 Charges

By Staff

August 26th, 2022



Investigators with the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau have made two arrests and laid more than 50 charges in connection to an investigation that began after an auto theft in Burlington.

On June 5, 2022, police were contacted regarding the theft of a vehicle parked at a gym on Brant Street. The victim’s keys along with other personal items were taken from the locker room of the gym and the car was stolen. This began a lengthy investigation that has lead to the identification of a pair of suspects and more than 50 charges.

On August 16, 2022, Taylor Gillard (23) of no fixed address and Michael Salverda (36) of Brampton were arrested in Cambridge.

Gillard has been charged with the following:

• Unauthorized Possession of a Weapon (3 counts)
• Possession of a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl)
• Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine)
• Fail to Comply being on Release Order (2 counts)
• Theft of Motor Vehicle (6 counts)
• Possession of Break & Enter Instruments (2 counts)
• Fraudulent Use of Credit Card (3 counts)
• Theft Under $5,000 (6 counts)
• Possession of Automobile Master Key
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000 (3 counts)

Salverda has been charged with the following:
• Unauthorized Possession of a Weapon (3 counts)
• Possession of a Controlled Substance Methamphetamine (3 counts)
• Fail to Comply with Probation
• Fail to Comply with Undertaking
• Possession of Break & Enter Instruments (2 counts)
• Fraudulent Use of Credit Card
• Theft Under $5,000
• Possession of Automobile Master Key
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000 (3 counts)

Both accused were held in custody pending a bail hearing.

During the investigation police recovered a large quantity of stolen property including cell phones, laptops, wallets and credit cards. Efforts are being made to return the items to the rightful owners however if you had property stolen from a gym in Burlington or Milton in the past number or weeks you are encouraged to contact Detective Constable Lanaya Greco of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4777 ext. 2316.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at

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