4 Ways to Live a Debt Free Life

By John Pallister 

February 7TH, 2022



Have you just recently paid off your debt by benefiting from debt relief Canada? If the answer is yes, you ought to know that you have achieved a massive milestone; however, the question is how to maintain a debt-free life.

The best way to live life is to live in the moment; however, you cannot apply the same rule to your finances. You might want to look at the bigger picture and start planning ahead when it comes to finances.

Before we jump into the list of tips, let us give you a little disclaimer: the change starts from within. You will need to shift your mindset and incorporate certain habits that will lead to a debt-free life. Certain financial and lifestyle habits can lead to long-term goals and help you maintain a debt-free life.

Read on to learn more!

Follow a Budget
Following a budget is one of the most crucial things that you can do to live a debt-free life. If you want to avoid debt for the rest of your life, never underestimate the power of following a budget. After setting your budget, you must get over the temptation of allowing the budget to lapse.

To make a budget, you must note your monthly income and set aside the amount spent on bills, groceries, and other necessities. Then set a certain amount aside that goes to your savings. By having a budget, you won’t only be able to track your spending habits, but it will also help you get rid of the habit of overspending. You will be on the right track to a debt-free life by following a budget.

Open a Saving Account
Set a budget and open an emergency savings account. Budgeting is one of the most dreaded nightmares for many people – it might look scary at first, but the benefits are long-term. By opening a savings account, you will be paying yourself first. In other words, you will be saving a fixed amount each month in your savings account.
Now, let us talk about the importance of having a savings account and why this is essential for a debt-free life. The amount in the savings account is not only your savings but also a contingency plan for situations where you will need emergency cash, such as home maintenance and car repairs.

By opening a savings account and transferring a fixed amount into the amount each month, you will have peace of mind that you are ready to deal with urgent situations and that you won’t have to fall back on debt again.

Curb Your Shopping Impulses
Sit down and understand which spending habits of yours cause debt in the first place. Are you an impulsive buyer? One of the primary reasons that people fall into debt are that they don’t set basic rules to curb their spending habits – as a matter of fact, this is one of the hardest rules to master.

You will have to break down your buying habits into two categories: the first category deals with your basic needs, such as food, bills, and clothing; the second category deals with your desires – things that you don’t really need, things that fall in the gray area, but, things that you spend on nonetheless.

Let us say you need a cellphone – you will have to check your budget. Instead of buying the latest iPhone, settle down for a phone that falls into your budget. You will find it easier to differentiate between your wants and needs by staying within a budget.

Plan For Your Future
Understandably, the best way to live life is to live in the moment; however, you cannot apply the same rule to your finances. You might want to look at the bigger picture and start planning ahead when it comes to finances.

A saving account for those special times.

You ought to understand that financial emergencies can occur at any time and anywhere. Apart from that, you will also need to think about future plans, such as your dream vacation, car insurance, Christmas presents, etc.

While it might be tempting to hit the easy road, pull out your credit card, and pay for everything on the spot, you ought to remind yourself about the objective of living a debt-free life. That said, keep the credit cards in your wallet, and plan with a budgeting and saving account for those special times where you will want to invest some money, preferably without inducing a debt.

Return to the Front page

Black History Month begins today: this is not a single day event.

By Staff

February 1st, 2020



In recognition of Black History Month in February, schools in the Halton District School Board have planned initiatives to celebrate and honour the contributions of Black Canadians, past and present.

This year’s theme February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day reminds everyone that Black history is Canadian history and lives beyond a single month.

A large graphic that would say: Black Lives Matter

“Black History Month is a time to commemorate the important achievements, contributions and excellence of Black Canadians, ” says Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “This month provides our educators another opportunity to teach and discuss the strength, brilliance and achievements of the Black community, to acknowledge the diversity within, and the extensive role Black Canadians have played and continue to play in shaping this country.

It is also a reminder of our ongoing commitment as outlined in our 2020-2024 Multi-Year Strategic Plan to identify and eliminate racism and discriminatory barriers that limit the inherent giftedness of Black students.

At the Halton District School Board, we will continue to educate about, empower students and staff with, and champion for equity and human rights.”

In honour of Black History Month, schools and classes across the HDSB will be highlighting the contributions of Black Canadians and the African diaspora. Some of the events taking place to celebrate are:

Canadian author Yolanda Marshall will take students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 on a literary adventure through storytelling every Wednesday throughout the month (Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23)

Renowned Canadian author Lawrence Hill will visit the Milton Public Library on Feb. 10 to discuss his newest children’s novel Beatrice and Croc Harry. Board schools will join the conversation virtually.

Sizzlin’ Halton will turn up the heat for secondary students with Chefs Wayne General and Delvon Greene as they explore the secrets and spices of Caribbean cooking on Feb. 15, 17, 22; this event is sponsored by the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton

International Spoken Word artist Dwayne Morgan returns this year, addressing students in Grade 6-12 about ‘Black Excellence’ through spoken word on Feb. 24

“Black History Month affirms Black identity in educational lessons and resources, as well as our collective duty to continue the learning and conversation beyond this month into everyday teaching moments within our schools and broader HDSB community,” says Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education, with a focus on Human Rights, Equity & Inclusive Education for the Halton District School Board.

Celebrating Black History Month aligns with the Equity and Well-Being goals outlined in the Halton District School Board’s Multi-Year Plan. The goal is to champion supportive and inclusive practices to ensure equitable access to positive opportunities and outcomes for all.

Return to the Front page

HDSB Director of Education Curtis Ennis launches his public participation event

By Staff

January 31st, 2020



In the Region of Halton it has become the practice for the Director of Education to create a program that is their reaching out to the community to involve the public ia a public education event with a focus they chose.

Former Director of Education Stewart Miller worked with Stephen Lewis and Jesse Wente and brought them to the community. Covid19 limited what Stephen Lewis was able to do.

Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

The new Director of Education, Curtis Ennis has put together a series of public participation event, the first being a Panel on , Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred and will take place on February 7th at 6 p.m. virtually at www.hdsb.ca

HDSB families, staff and community members are invited to the Director’s Panel Series on Identity, Inclusion & Human Rights to raise awareness on historical and contemporary issues of identity, inclusion and human rights. The first session in the panel series will be:

Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred
Monday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.
This will be a virtual event, with the livestream linked on the HDSB website (www.hdsb.ca).
Registration is not required.
Panel speakers include:

● Dr. Karen R. Mock, Human Rights Advocate and Educator
● Bernie Farber, Chair, Canadian Anti-Hate Network
● Rabbi Stephen Wise, Spiritual Leader of Shaarei-Beth El Congregation of Oakville
● Sharon Khavkine-Binstock, McMaster University student and former HDSB student
● Eszter Reti, Grade 12 HDSB student
● A representative from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)

Those interested in attending the event can submit a question to the panel before or during the presentation through this Google Form: https://forms.gle/L5AxQvpErhR9wpkG9

“Each session in the series will explore how issues of identity and inclusion intersect with education,” says Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

“This provides an opportunity to create awareness of multiple perspectives of insight and analysis on how individual identities can be reflected and engaged in the broader HDSB community. This panel series aligns with the Board’s commitment to raise awareness of diverse community perspectives and the need to broaden resources to support inclusion and student achievement, as reflected in the HDSB’s Multi-Year Plan 2020-2024 and the Human Rights Equity Action & Accountability Plan – The Way Forward.”

Future sessions in the series include Black Excellence, Transgender Awareness, Indigenous Perspectives on Decolonizing Education and Land and Perspectives on Islam. These sessions will take place in the coming months, with specific dates to be confirmed soon.

Related news story:

HDSB appoints new Director of Education; hails from Toronto Board

Return to the Front page

Performing Arts Centre re-schedules and re-opens - it all begins February 20th

By Staff

January 31st, 2022



“Live, Local and Open for Business” said Performing Arts Centre Executive Director Tammy Fox who sat down crossed her fingers and whispered “I hope we can live up to the claim.

The box office re-opens February 1; Performances return February 20

The City’s music and cultural hub season resumes with three performances in the Community Studio Theatre to delight BPAC patrons in-person and online.

“Our 2021-22 Season was put on hold during the latest round of pandemic restrictions, so we went to work re-scheduling the amazing talent booked to play our stages and we’re proud to present our updated lineup that runs from local artists to musical legends.  Patrons can expect the same first-class entertainment we have delivered for the past 10 years, in an atmosphere where they can feel safe.”

February performances (listed below) will all be presented in BPAC’s Community Studio Theatre; each show includes the option of attending in person or live-streaming the performances from the comfort of your home. Please visit burlingtonpac.ca for show times and ticket pricing.

Ontario guidelines, require all patrons to show proof of COVID-19 double vaccination to be permitted entry into the facility. The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is pleased to accommodate our patrons at 50% capacity in our facilities at this time.

The Mark Lalama Trio hosts local talent as the Performing Arts Centre prepares to welcome their patrons into a venue that has been dark far too long.

The LIVE & LOCAL SERIES opens on Sunday, February 20, when STEVE STRONGMAN, JAMES OLIVER BILJAK and THOM ANTHONY join our musical hosts, THE MARK LALAMA TRIO. Experience the energy, spontaneity and magic of musical cross-pollination, as emerging and established homegrown talent combine with a house band made up of the area’s most highly sought-after touring and studio musicians.

Award-Winning Canadian blues man STEVE STRONGMAN is a versatile talent, and a restless one. By constantly pushing himself in new directions, he has kept himself vital. His talent is huge and impossible to miss, and it’s matched by his staggering musical ambition – as a guitar-slinger, songwriter or vocalist. The same structures and progressions that animate blues and roots music can also choke the air out of it, smothering it in caricature and cliche. But Strongman is a subtle shape-shifter who manages to slip that trap without betraying the music he loves. Throughout, he never sounds an inauthentic note or loses touch with the essence of the Blues.

JAMES BILJAK is The Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s own venue technician as well as an amazing musician, and his brother, THOM ANTHONY, is the frontman for the band Tenth Planet.

Thom Anthony

The MARK LALAMA TRIO consists of Mark Lalama on keyboards and vocals, Davide DiRenzo on drums and vocals, and Rich Moore on bass and vocals – all in-demand session and touring musicians who have played on hundreds of stages and studio recordings with top artists ranging from Tom Cochrane to Holly Cole and just about everyone in between. This trio is fast earning a reputation as one of the most engaging and intuitive bands around, and together they create a unique brand of incredible, genre-defying original music that never fails to inspire those who are there to take it all in.

March 11  STEVEN TAETZ brings his repertoire of contemporary roots, jazz, blues, swing and neo-soul music to BPAC on Friday, . As a lyricist and composer, he has written for many internationally renowned artists, and led a cross-Canadian collaborative project, where he co-wrote a concept album with JUNO-award-winners from each province of Canada. Since 2014, Steven returned to his training and early performance roots, focusing on the American Songbook and jazz standards, writing and recording traditional-pop, and swing originals. His musical style has been compared to greats like Roy Orbison, k.d lang, Norah Jones, and Chet Baker, and performances include innovative interpretations of classic hits, as well as signature originals co-written with top Canadian artists.

The LIVE & LOCAL SERIES returns to the Community Studio Theatre stage on Sunday, March 13, featuring Canadian music icon SUSAN AGLUKARK, as well as singer/songwriter and BPAC Board member PETE VAN DYK, with the MARK LALAMA TRIO expertly supporting this evening of musical collaboration.

Susan Aglukark – at the Performing Arts Centre this year as long as we can remain in Phase 2 of the Reopening Ontario Road map.

nuk singer/songwriter SUSAN AGLUKARK is one of Canada’s most unique artists and a leading voice in Canadian music. She blends the Inuktitut, Indigenous and English languages with contemporary pop music arrangements to tell the stories of her fellow people, the Inuit of Arctic Canada and her fellow Indigenous groups.

The emotional depth and honesty of her lyrics; her pure, clear voice and themes of hope, spirit and encouragement have captivated and inspired listeners from all walks of life. Susan was invited into the Order of Canada and was presented her Officer of the Order of Canada award in September of 2005 for her contribution both musically and as a workshop facilitator and mentor in the Indigenous community and was awarded the Governor Generals Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award in June of 2016.

21/22 WINTER/SPRING season continues with:

Sunday, March 13, 2022 LIVE & LOCAL Hosted by Mark Lalama Trio
Saturday, March 19, 2022 Classic Albums Live: CCR CHRONICLE
Wednesday, March 23, 2022 THE SEAN CULLEN COCKTAIL HOUR
Friday, April 1, 2022 Classic Albums Live: EAGLES GREATEST HITS
Wednesday, April 13, 2022 THE SEAN CULLEN COCKTAIL HOUR
Thursday, May 5, 2022 CHILLIWACK
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 THE DREAMBOATS
Thursday, May 12, 2022 JEREMY HOTZ: The Marquis de Sad Tour

21/22 Season Performances RESCHEDULED to the 22/23 SEASON:

Thursday, September 15, 2022 AIR SUPPLY
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 TOM COCHRANE with Red Rider
Thursday, September 29 & Friday, September 30, 2022 Love Someone – An Intimate Evening with JOHNNY REID
Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23 ACROSS THE POND: The British Invasion
Saturday, October 29, 2022 CANADIAN JAZZ ALL-STARS
Sunday, January 15, 2023 PIAF! The Show
Thursday, February 2, 2023 THE ORIGINAL WAILERS
Saturday, March 11, 2023 THE IRISH ROVERS

It has been a long, awkward and at times a very disappointing experience – but the curtains will open and the house lights will come down and the show will begin.

At which point Tammy Fox reaches for an adult beverage.

Covid19 changes everything – the Performing Arts Plans were scuttled and had to be re-scheduled. Here is what they plan for the 2023 Season. Hope does spring eternal – doesn’t it.

Return to the Front page

Keenleyside reports on state of affairs at Freeman Station

By Ed Keenleyside, President Friends of Freeman Station
January31st, 2022
A Report to All FOFS Directors and Members at Large
We’ve been closed for a variety of reasons: normal winter shut down; Covid-19 restrictions and accumulation of snow effectively eliminating parking at Freeman station. In spite of this a few projects continue to move along, and a couple of new projects have begun.

Ed Keenlyside, on the right, explaining a project to a citizen at a community meeting.

First of all, re: the restoration of the caboose… Before the cold and the snow closed down operations Ken Brooks and his dedicated team of experts replaced the windows in the cupola after reattaching it to the main frame. Simultaneously the station’s electrical system is being
extended to the rolling stock and ultimately to the three shipping containers at the back of the property. In preparation for next spring, tongue & groove lumber is being stockpiled in the station half has already been primed and painted and the remainder is being prepared as we speak.

Meanwhile inside our long-awaited video wall, which acts as a backdrop for the diorama, is nearing completion. Following closely behind, will be the installation of an a/v link from the basement to the waiting room to provide a visual connection for those people unable to use
the stairs. Both of these projects are being completed thanks to the generosity of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

This is what they started out with – Sitting on some “cribbing” with a sign badly in need of several coats of paint, the Freeman Station gets ready for its big move.

Now that we have completed the restoration of the station (in record time, I might add) it is time to look at an important component of the station that needs updating. That is our website. We have struggled to find a person who has the time and knowledge to manage this
valuable communication and fundraising tool. Over the years items have been added which had a temporary importance but which were never removed. One of the most common comments is that our website could be more user friendly. Well, work is now underway to
remedy that concern. The original company in St. Catharines has been contacted about resurrecting the site. With the pandemic lock-down, there are no visitors and thus virtually no donations. Therefore the sooner the website is fixed so that it encourages donations and
makes it super easy to donate, the better.

Settled in the new home – the task now was to complete the refurbishing and make it a destination for railways buffs.

On the fundraising side of our corporation, I am proud to tell you that due to your generosity, we had a successful campaign this fall. As they say on PBS “THANK YOU!” In addition, I have recently received good news from the federal government. Our application for a $10,000 grant has been approved and those funds will be soon deposited in our account. Being a 100% volunteer organization, we depend heavily on visitors for most of our donations. Since we have virtually been closed for two years, that has put quite a strain on our bottom line.

Another new project is just getting started, and this is a review of our By-Laws. Last October 2021 the Ontario Not-For-Profit Act was enacted. All corporations, like ours, must ensure their by-laws conform to these new regulations. Thankfully, all corporations have been allowed time to make any necessary adjustments.

One more aspect of our heritage train station is to complete an accurate inventory of all items we own. Since we are a small museum, we are unable to store unused items, and we have only limited space to display other items. This has led to the establishment of a Collections Policy and a Collections Committee. This group is headed up by the hard-working Dave Ellis.

Currently they have spread out a large number of tools and other items at the station. Some of these will go into the eventual FOFS workshop in one of the three containers at the back of the property. Other items that are not needed will be sold or disposed of. The remaining items will then be properly identified and added to a comprehensive FOFS inventory.

The year 2022 also marks another milestone in the FOFS history. At the end of the year our land-use agreement with the Solenis Chemical Company will expire.

Contact has already been made with their manager in order to facilitate an extension of that contract. We are fortunate to be a partner with the city and Solenis in maintaining and operating this valuable heritage site for future generations. With the City of Burlington owning the building and Solenis owning the land we are indeed in good hands.

The pandemic has been a real challenge to your Board of Directors as well as the community we serve. The immediate future is uncertain from a health and safety point of view. We have been very careful with Covid restrictions, and so far, it has paid off. We will continue to make your health and safety our number one priority.

Please continue to support this wonderful architectural gem that has undergone a miraculous transformation in a few short years. From a utilitarian train station built in 1906 for less than $2,000, it has cost many times that amount to bring this historic piece of Freeman and
Burlington history back to life.

Please continue your support and encourage your friends to become FOFS members.

Return to the Front page

Lions Park sold to the city - Club Hall and ROCK facility not part of the sale

By Pepper Parr

January 29th, 2022



City of Burlington purchases Lions Club Park property

There are two parts to this story.

Part 1: The news that the City has completed an agreement with the Burlington Lions Club to purchase part of their downtown property located on Pearl Street which is known as Lions Club Park. The purchased land is approximately 1.8 acres.

Part two:  Why was the land sold at this time?

That is an interesting story.  Service clubs, at this point in time, do not have growing memberships.   The men and women who would normally become members don’t have the kind of time for their personal growth and community participation activities – times have changed.

I had a good conversation with a member of the Lions club who was able to explain how and why the property was sold and what they will do with the funds – which were substantial.

In the media release the city said: “The acquisition of this property means that acres of green space will remain in public hands in perpetuity. Preserving and expanding parks is a key strategic land priority for the City of Burlington in developing and implementing our parks master plan.

“The sale to the City of Burlington does not include the property that houses the Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK) and the Lions Hall.

“The name of the park will remain Lions Club Park.

“The Burlington Lions Club was chartered in 1925, and has served Burlington and area ever since. Lions provide community services, such as the Farmers’ Market, and make donations to youth sports clubs, student awards, hospitals, other health providers, community services like food banks, and much more. Its motto has been, is, and always will be: “We Serve”. New members and volunteers with a desire to help their fellow citizens are always welcome to join us.”

The Farmer’s Market has served the community for decades.

The property is in ward 2d Councillor Lisa Kearns said: ““Residents continuously advocate for preserving and increasing green space, this agreement with the Lions Club shows we are committed to maintaining a sustainable and livable Burlington. As the area Councillor, I share this remarkable achievement with everyone involved to protect and grow green spaces, especially in our downtown  .

‘Many may be just learning that this was privately owned land, the City’s acquisition of this property will now preserve Lions Club Park for residents to enjoy indefinitely. I would like to thank the Burlington Lions Club for their continued partnership, their work in our community and support of the City’s goals through this sale.”

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, who lives a stone’s throw from the park said: ““The city’s purchase of Burlington Lion’s Club Park preserves this vital urban green space for our residents now and in the future, and it provides an investment to the Lion’s Club that they will return to the community from proceeds of the sale. This purchase ensures the Lion’s Club, now in its 97th year, can continue serving our community, and the surrounding green space will be protected – a win-win for everyone.”

Bob Hilton, Chair of Lions Negotiating Committee added: ““Burlington Lions are extremely proud of the far-sighted Lions who purchased this property back in 1929, and of our members’ determination to be good stewards of it for the 92 years since.

“This agreement enables the Lions Club to provide expanded service to the community for many years to come. It also ensures that the area will remain as a park for future generations to enjoy, as envisioned by Council in 1991 and by Lions continuously since 1929. As with all agreements between Lions and the City of Burlington, this is a win-win-win for both parties and for all citizens of Burlington.”

• An agreement with the City of Burlington leading up to the sale was put in place in 1991, followed by a further agreement in 2002 on a formula that specifies a substantial discount from the appraised value at the time of sale to the City.

Now owned by the city – it will remain a park forever.

The Lions have been serving the citizens of the city in some really interesting ways.  Perry Bower talked of the time when the Lions paid for tonsillectomy procedures for children of families who could not  afford it.

The Lions, being the very prudent stewards they are began to think about what they would do with the funds.  They talked with the Burlington Foundation about having them manage the funds and came to the conclusion that the Foundation model didn’t serve their needs and have decided that they will invest the funds and use the interest those funds earn to fund new projects.

Perry Bowker

At this point Perry Bowker said he had no idea what they might decide to do.  “We might decide to increase the awards that are given to high school students – whatever we do will be decided by the Board.

The Lions no longer sponsor bingo games, the hall rentals have been nil for the past two years.  The Farmers’ Market produces revenue but that too is changing.  The produce sales business has been heavily impacted by Covid19.

The Cenotaph might need some work in the future.  Bowker was quick to add that he was talking as a member of the Lions Club – “the board makes all the decisions”.

There are 75,000 Lions Clubs around the world with more than 100 in the GTA.  The organization has five focus areas.  Sight, an initiative that goes all the way back to Helen Keller who had an immense impact on how the blind were served; health issues, children’s cancer; diabetes, and other youth programs.

The $700 award given to high school students – both Catholic and Public might be increased.  The award is sent to the high school and they decide who should get the funds.  The Lions don’t intrude – they let the high school make the decision.

Bowker did mention that the Burlington Lions had experienced a small bump in membership recently.

Return to the Front page

The Joseph Brant Museum re-open February 1st: True or false ?

By Staff

January 27th, 2022



With the Phase 2 Roadmap to Reopen Covid19 restrictions due to be lifted on February 1st – the Joseph Brant Musem announced the opening of True or False? The Fun Science Exhibition on February 1.

This exhibition invites visitors to use their critical senses to examine three principal categories of information: nature and animals, humans and food, and science and technology. Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis. Monday is the day with the highest number of heart attacks. An ostrich eye is larger than its brain. True or false? Visitors will have to watch and listen to evaluate the information and meet the challenges presented through various interactive stations.

The exhibition was produced by the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science and made possible thanks to the financial contribution of the Museums Assistance Program of Canadian Heritage, the Jardin des animaux, Tim Hortons (Estrie) and Amgen Canada.

Chris Selman, Curator – Museums of Burlington explains: “True or False contains lots of fun, interactive elements and also presents its content as a game that folks have to work their way through. Importantly, though, it asks visitors to use their reasoning skills to assess a range of topics in order to separate fact from fiction. I really think that it’s this element that makes True or False a timely show for the Museums of Burlington.” –

True or False? will be on view at Joseph Brant Museum Museum from February 1 to May 21, 2022. Museum hours of operation are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 3:30pm. In accordance with COVID-19 protocols, the Museums of Burlington has procedures in place to allow the public to safely enjoy the galleries and exhibitions currently on view.

Visitors to the Museum are asked to pre-pay admission online for a designated entry time. Entry times are available on the 1/2 hour. Walk-in visitors will be accommodated space permitting.


About Museums of Burlington
Museums of Burlington encompasses Joseph Brant Museum and Ireland House Museum.

Return to the Front page

It is not exactly wide open - but a step in the right direction. You can get out for a beer on the 31st

By Staff

January 27th, 2022



Provincial government is exiting Modified Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopen. The city can now adjust its plans and reopen the city on January 31st. The plan is to stay with the reopen plan until February 21st when it will be reviewed again.

Recreation Facilities and Programs
When City of Burlington recreational programs, services and rentals resume, occupancy will remain at 50 per cent of room capacity for rentals, events and programs.

Rental and program participants must come to the facility dressed and ready for their activity and leave the facility promptly following the activity. As a result of the capacity restriction, change room and dressing room space is also limited to 50 per cent and may not be available. Spectator seating areas are also limited to 50 per cent, and occupancies will be posted.

Proof of vaccination with an enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code is required for entry into City recreational facilities. Individuals can save the electronic version of their certificate with a QR code to their phone or print a paper copy. Both paper and digital versions of the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code will be accepted. Medical exemptions and clinical trial exemptions will require a certificate with a QR code. Physician notes will no longer be accepted.

Download your enhanced vaccine certificate at ontario.ca/getproof.

In addition to proof of vaccination, requirements for screening, masking and physical distancing remain in place for all recreation facilities.

Parents and/or guardians may enter a facility for a maximum of 15 minutes to drop off and pick-up a participant for a program, without showing proof of vaccination. Parents who are required to stay in the facility for the duration of the program must be fully vaccinated.

Facility Rentals and Program Providers
• Recreation facility renters and program providers will be able to resume scheduled rentals in City and school board locations starting Jan. 31. Organizations and individuals have been contacted directly by staff for rental contract adjustments.

• Booking requests for winter and spring rental times are now being accepted. For more information visit burlington.ca/rentals or email requests to rentals@burlington.ca.
In-Person Registered Recreation Programs

• Winter 2022 courses with program dates within the closure period up to and including Jan. 30 will be cancelled or rescheduled where possible. Registrants are being notified directly for refunds and credits.

• Courses that were intended to start in early January and program dates extend beyond Jan. 30 will resume with the first scheduled date on or after Jan. 31.

• Swimming lessons will resume with the first scheduled date on or after Feb. 5.

• Registrants are being notified directly and credits issued for classes cancelled during the shutdown.

• Recreation courses with dates starting on or after Jan. 31 will run as scheduled. Registrants will be contacted directly by staff if a change is required.

• There are still spots available in upcoming courses with start dates through February and March, including March Break Camps, and March Break swimming lessons. Browse and register online at burlington.ca/recreation.

Drop-In Programs and Book-A-Court
• Drop-in recreation programs for Jan. 31 onwards are now viewable online at burlington.ca/dropinandplay.
• Registration opens for residents 25-hours before program start time.
• New for this season, Drop-in programs for Adults will open for registration seven days before the program start time. Adult drop-in programs will resume on Feb. 7.
• Pickleball Book-A-Court times will be available for booking online starting Jan. 31 at burlington.ca/pickleball.

Recreation Passes
• Recreation passes were put on hold during the closure, and pass holders who wish to return can request to reactivate their pass by contacting customer service at liveandplay@burlington.ca or 905-335-7738. Please allow two business days to reactivate.

• Recreation passes will be available for purchase online starting Jan. 31 at burlington.ca/memberships.
Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond

• Outdoor skating at Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond will require pre-registration for skate times up to and including Jan. 30. Completing COVID-19 screening is required for all skaters and those using indoor washroom.

• Starting Jan. 31, pre-registration and screening will no longer be required. Skating times will be open for casual drop-in daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. conditions permitting.

• Residents are encouraged to call the ice conditions hotline, 905-335-7738, ext. 8587 before leaving their house, to make sure that the Pond is open.

Recreation customer service can be reached at liveandplay@burlington.ca or 905-335-7738 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

Impacts to other city services

Service Burlington
The Service Burlington counter at City Hall, at 426 Brant St., is open to the public to offer in-person services beginning Feb. 1, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

A reminder that Service Burlington is temporarily located on the second floor of City Hall during construction for the City Hall Modernization Project. Please enter City Hall through the Brant Street entrance and proceed to the second floor using the lobby elevator.

Service Burlington accepts payments for:
• Parking permits and tickets
• Property taxes
• Freedom of Information requests
• Garbage tags
• Dog licenses
• Property information requests
• Recreation services

Electronic payment methods are preferred.

Commissioning and marriage licensing services are also available by appointment. Please visit burlington.ca/marriage, burlington.ca/commissioning, or call 905-335-7777 to book your appointment.

Residents can also visit burlington.ca/onlineservices to access a variety of City services online. Service Burlington is available to answer questions by phone at 905-335-7777 and email at city@burlington.ca.

For more information on the City’s COVID-19 response, visit burlington.ca/coronavirus.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said:
“The gradual reopening is a step in the right direction. While this pandemic continues to throw us curveballs, we must now turn our minds to how we can go about our daily lives while still protecting our health, safety, mental health and hospital capacities.

“Public health protection measures and protocols can also help our local businesses and schools remain open, and the City continue to offer the programs and services you depend on and enjoy. Thank you again to all of you who have been doing, and continue to do, your part.”

Return to the Front page

Increase in demand for crypto casinos in Hamilton

By Akhila Komma.

January 27th, 2022



Increase in demand for crypto casinos in Hamilton
The online gambling industry in Canada as a whole is really growing. Especially now that we are in a global pandemic, many people are looking for alternative activities to keep busy. For example, in Ontario, Hamilton, it has been reported to have a high number of local gamblers.

The introduction of crypto casinos has also played a significant role in the rise of online gambling activities in Hamilton.

But there are so many iGaming sites making it hard for users to know exactly where to play. So, it’s always good to go through comparison sites to get an overview of the best online crypto casinos. For example, Fairspin Review covers all the basic information you need to know before joining the website.

Why Hamilton residents are joining online crypto casinos

Simple signup process- the best thing about online crypto casinos is that they have an easy sign-up process. You will only have to provide a few key details, and you are good to go. The registration form mostly asks for name, email address, date of birth, physical address, and payment method.

Better bonus offers- every Hamilton punter wants to enjoy bonus offers. So, to make the experience more exciting, the online Bitcoin casino operators offer a variety of player bonuses. For example, there are new player bonuses, reload bonuses, daily/weekly bonuses, cash back offers, VIP programs, and more.

Accessible via mobile devices- being able to play any online crypto casino game on the go sounds fun. For that reason, most online casinos in Hamilton are fully optimized for mobile phones. So, it’s easy for any punter to access the websites from wherever they are on any portable Android or IOS device.

A plethora of casino games- the best iGaming websites have a huge games lobby. In most cases, you will get to play crypto slots, table games, jackpot slots, provably fair games, and live dealer games. This ensures that all players’ tastes and preferences are taken care of.

Secure gambling environment- online Bitcoin casinos are known to use the latest software encryption for data protection. So, you are assured that all your account details will always be secure at a crypto website. Also, blockchain technology ensures that all your transactions are safe from any third-party intrusions.

Quick payment processing- you can be sure of a quick deposit or withdrawal process when using cryptocurrencies. Unlike other payment methods, it only takes a few minutes for the transactions to be completed. What’s more, there are zero transaction fees making them ideal for people who prefer to save up on every penny earned at an online crypto casino.

Hamilton online gambling laws
Online gambling is legal in Canada. But, different provinces are allowed to come up and enforce their own gambling laws. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, normally known as OLGC, regulates gambling activities in Hamilton. But there are also online gaming sites that operate in Hamilton that gaming commissions outside of Canada regulate. Some include the UK Gambling Commission, Kahnawake Gaming Commission, and the Malta Gaming Authority.

In conclusion, the online crypto casino industry in Hamilton is growing. This is as a result of the casinos offering more than just the usual gambling experience. You get to enjoy anonymity, amazing bonus offers, and a huge selection of casino games. Especially now with Covid, there is limited movement, and people are forced to stay indoors. So, if you are looking to keep busy and at the same time make some money, you should consider joining an online cryptocurrency casino.

Return to the Front page

Well - there goes the neighbourhood! Draft housing report suggests not protecting 'character' of neighbourhoods and permit 4 storey apartments anywhere

By Staff

January 26th, 2022



Marcello Alaimo, operator of Exquisite Living released some comment on the draft of the Housing Task Force that is expected to release the report and its 58 recommendation at the end of the month.

The task force that was asked to find ways to make Ontario housing more affordable wants to do away with rules that entrench single-family homes as the main option in many residential neighbourhoods, according to a draft report.

The nine-member Housing Affordability Task Force, chaired by Scotiabank CEO Jake Lawrence, wants to “create a more permissive land use, planning, and approvals systems” and throw out rules that stifle change or growth — including ones that protect the “character” of neighbourhoods across the province.

The wide-ranging 31-page draft report, which is making the rounds in municipal planning circles and could look much different when it’s officially released Jan. 31, makes 58 recommendations.

Zoned commercial, spitting distance to the QEW, minutes from downtown – owner wants to rezone and make it residential.

It includes discussions on speeding up approval processes, waiving development charges for infill projects, allowing vacant commercial property owners to transition to residential units, and letting urban boundaries expand “efficiently and effectively.”

It also calls for all municipalities — and building code regulations — not to make it just easier for homeowners to add secondary suites, garden homes, and laneway houses to their properties, but also to increase height, size and density along “all major and minor arterials and transit corridors” in the form of condo and apartment towers.

© Kate Porter/CBC One of the task force’s recommendations is to create rules that would bypass community opposition to adding density in existing neighbourhoods. 4-storey complexes in all neighbourhoods.

But perhaps the most controversial recommendation is the one to virtually do away with so-called exclusionary zoning, which allows only a single-family detached home to be built on a property.

Built by the ADI Group – this four storey could be placed anywhere in the city if the Housing Task Force makes it through the legislature.

Instead, the task force recommends that in municipalities with a population of more than 100,000, the province should “allow any type of residential housing up to four storeys and four units on a single residential lot,” subject to urban design guidance that’s yet to be defined.

According to the report, Ontario lags behind many other G7 countries when it comes to the number of dwellings per capita. And housing advocates have long argued that more modest-projects — duplexes, triplexes, tiny homes and townhouses — are needed in established neighbourhoods, especially if the environmental and infrastructure costs of sprawl are to be avoided.

But neighbourhood infill and intensification is often a hard political sell.
“While everyone might agree that we have a housing crisis, that we have a climate emergency, nobody wants to see their neighbourhoods change,” said Coun. Glen Gower, who co-chairs Ottawa’s planning committee. “So that’s really the challenge that we’re dealing with in Ottawa and in Ontario.”

After last week’s housing summit with Ontario’s big city mayors, reporters repeatedly asked Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark if he supported doing away with zoning for single-detached homes, as other jurisdictions like Edmonton and major New Zealand cities have done.

Clark said he’d heard the idea but did not give a direct answer one way or the other.
© CBC Coun. Glen Gower is the co-chair of Ottawa council’s planning committee. He welcomes the discussion about housing affordability in the task force report, but concedes that allowing four-storey, four-unit dwellings in every neighbourhood could be a hard sell.

Reduce construction barriers, approval requirements
Many of the recommendations revolve around making it easier and faster for builders to construct homes.

According to the draft report, not only would a streamlined process allow dwellings to get on the market faster, but reducing approval times would also save developers money which, in theory, could be passed onto residents.

The report cites an Ontario Association of Architects study from 2018 showing that costs for a 100-unit condo building increase by $193,000 for every month the project is delayed.
That’s why, for example, the task force is recommending that any “underutilized or redundant commercial properties” be allowed to be converted to residential units without municipal approvals.

The draft report also calls for quasi-automatic approval for projects up to 10 units that conform to existing official plans and zoning, and goes so far to recommend that municipalities “disallow public consultations” for these applications.

The report speaks to reducing what the task force characterizes as “NIMBY” factors in planning decisions, recommending the province set Ontario-wide standards for specifics like setbacks, shadow rules and front doors, while excluding details like exterior colour and building materials from the approval process.

The task force would even eliminate minimum parking requirements for new projects.
Politicians say more than just supply needed

The report touches on a number of subjects it believes unnecessarily delay the building of new homes, including how plans approved by city councils can be appealed.

It recommends the province restore the right of developers to appeal official plans — a power that was removed by the previous Liberal government.

And in an effort to eliminate what it calls “nuisance” appeals, the task force recommends that the fee a third party — such as a community group — pays to appeal projects to the Ontario Land Tribunal should be increased from the current $400 to $10,000.

© CBC NDP housing critic Jessica Bell supports doing away with exclusionary zoning, but says many more measures, including building more affordable homes, are needed.

That doesn’t sit well with NDP MPP Jessica Bell, the party’s housing critic. who said “My initial take is that any attempt to make the land tribunal even more difficult for residents to access is concerning,” said Bell, adding the NDP is asking stakeholders and community members for feedback.

The tribunal can overturn a municipal council’s “democratically decided law,” she said, “and I would be pretty concerned if it costs $10,000 for a third party to go to the land tribunal and bring up some valid evidence.”

While she was pleased to see the task force address zoning reform to encourage the construction of town homes, duplexes and triplexes in existing neighbourhoods — the so-called “missing middle” between single-family homes and condo towers — Bell said increasing supply is not enough to improve housing for all Ontarians.

“We need government investment in affordable housing,” she said. “We need better protections for renters, and we need measures to clamp down on speculation in the housing market … We need a more holistic and comprehensive approach than what we are seeing in this draft report right now.”

(While the task force was directed by the province to focus on increasing the housing supply through private builders, it acknowledges in the report that “Ontario’s affordable housing shortfall was raised in almost every conversation” with stakeholders.)

© CBCGreen Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner says he’s opposed to the task force’s recommendation to allow urban boundaries to expand.

Expanding urban boundaries another concern
From his first reading of the report, Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner agreed with the zoning recommendations but said streamlined processes need to be balanced with maintaining public consultations and heritage designations.  “One of my concerns with my very quick read of the draft report is that it talks about expanding urban boundaries … and I’m opposed to that,” he told CBC.

Everything to the left of the red line along Hwy 407 and Dundas are part of the rural boundary.

“We simply can’t keep paving over the farmland that feeds us, the wetlands that clean our drinking water [and] protect us from flooding, especially when we already have about 88,000 acres within existing urban boundaries in southern Ontario available for development,” he said.

Schreiner said he’s also “deeply concerned” that the report discusses aligning housing development with the province’s plan for Highway 413 in the GTA.   “I simply don’t think we can spend over $10 billion to build a highway that will supercharge climate pollution, supercharge sprawl, making life less affordable for people and paving over 2,000 acres of farmland


Return to the Front page

An addiction: everyone has something they are addicted to - know your limits and stick to them

By Susan Henry

January 28th, 2022



Addicts are everywhere. Maybe you’re one of them. Even if you think that you’re clean and nothing triggers you, there must be something that you’re interested in that you can spend the rest of your life doing. Have you ever met someone who’s an online gambling addict? What do you think about those people? Are they ridiculous to be addicted to something like that?

We all jump to conclusions and judge those people in the wrong way. But what if they have their reasons and they are convincing! Addiction is dangerous no matter what people are addicted to, but that doesn’t mean that addicts are totally out of their minds. Here is a list of the reasons that make online gambling very attractive to get addicted to, but before getting into it read about the best online casinos in Canada.

Online gambling means you can play from wherever you are located and there is a cell tower nearby.

Source of money
Right in your home, on your comfortable couch, having fun and gambling online without making any effort. If you are good, you’ll be able to bet your money and take it back in addition to what others have a bet. What a life, having fun and playing with earning money simultaneously. This thing alone is a trigger for addiction, but the list is still long.

They’re games, and they can’t be but fun and entertaining—the entire engagement between you and your mobile phone screen until you achieve winning. The fun is unstoppable, and it increases with every new game, win or lose.

If you don’t have money, you can play. If you don’t have a laptop, you can play. Whenever you want, you can play. It’s accessible and always available for everyone, no matter who and where they’re. When something is that close and accessible, you can’t help but take advantage of it.

Reality escapism
When you have hard times, your mood is down. You don’t have the energy to talk to people; your online casino is opening its hand wide open to give you a big hug and get you out of that reality that’s killing you.

Free time
Online gambling is an entertaining option to spend your free time. But what if someone doesn’t have anything but free time. No job, no study, no life. Has the world’s time and doesn’t know any way else to spend it but by gambling online. Free time is a problem when filled out with the wrong things.

“Play for three days and get this reward, play for a month in raw and get something free” there’s always something like that in all games. Online casinos are no different. In this way, they’ll encourage people not to think about leaving the website, not even for a single day.

A very very wide variety of games that can be played online.

You think that you know all the gambling games in the world, you’re mistaken. There’s a great number of different games online. You’ll constantly be challenged to learn the new game and get to know its rules and how to win in it. Fun never ends

You get into the online casino, you do your best and try every possible option to win, and you win. This thrill that you’ll feel is not something you want to feel once in a lifetime. You’ll continue playing to win over and over again. Or let’s say you did everything, but you had bad luck, and you want to make up for that. You won’t be relieved until you win many times after that loss, which will take forever.

It’s not all a game of chance – you need to be able to think about how the cards have been played.

Online gambling is not only a way to win or lose money as you spend some time online, and it’s a lot more. Studies have shown that online gambling improves memory, math skills, and decision-making skill. When first starting to gamble online, a person is not the same after a while. He’ll be smarter, and no one will ever feel that he has gotten enough intelligence. They think that there’s more by time, so they never stop.

Addict or not an addict. We’re all human beings, and we’re subjected to turn into any version of us, good or bad. We should support those who are struggling with a bad habit because they don’t need a new burden. If you’re not planning to join the addicts’ group, manage your time and know when to stop.

Return to the Front page

City purchases 1200 Fox40 whistles - Councillor to try one out

By Pepper Parr

January 24th, 2022



The east end of the city has had a coyote problem for close to ten years – the critters seemed to have taken a liking to the downtown core – which has a lot of people getting a little edgy.

They are now being seen in ward 2

Ward 2 Councollor Lisa Kearns wants something done and is taking steps of her own to serve her constituents.

Kearns seems to have all kinds of clout.

The Burlington Animal Service Department just ordered 1,200 Classic Fox 40 Safety Whistles – 600 blaze orange, and 600 yellow.

Fox40 whistle – Coyotes do not like the sound of these things.

Ron Foxcroft, the inventor of the Fox 40 whistle, said recently that “Someone at the City is very smart to think of this. Kudos to the City”.
Will we soon see Councillor Kearns on the street with a whistle of her own?



Return to the Front page

Will you be happy another year happened, or happy that another year passed?

By Athena Zhuang

January 24th, 2022



A year washed to the shore,
Revealing shells from visiting the globe and building sandcastles for new relationships,
But the clock hits zero,
And instead of one, we start at two.

To consider traveling is to consider new friends: new hands to meet, new cultures to touch.
Where do your eyes go this year?

A cell phone as the world during quarantine,
Of diving with the dolphins and swinging with the monkeys
Where we transport to anywhere
And build a world from a screen, until our planet burns down

To raise a glass of your voice,
To spill a jar with your sounds,
And to reveal your stories
On why we must change the world

To see change is one, to enact is two.
To demand for action is three.
Let us do all.

Papers flying not as planes but as ambitions,
Soaring through the air in Straight Lines of As
And of becoming the stellar pupil the stars adore.

Books and courses at my mouth,
Consuming Shelley, Dickens, McQuiston, and Hemingway
Of self exploration from calculus to philosophy
Of a non-linear world of imperfection in numbers but perfection in curiosity
Of sparkling eyes filled with stars of education.

When the clock strikes midnight, and it is over,
Will you be happy that another year happened,
Or happy that another year passed?

Athena Zhuang is a grade twelve International Baccalaureate student from Burlington. “As a child, I created mind-maps to record my New Year’s resolutions. This year, I used a new medium: poetry.

“The poem depicts my goals for 2022. It discusses how I, as a teenager during quarantine, hope the upcoming year will unfold. I reveal my dreams for traveling before going to university, making new friends in the virtual world, my advocacy for the climate, and more.”

Return to the Front page

Canada's Online Casino Market In 2022

By Cirillo Ambrossi

January 25th  2022



If you are on the lookout for amazing gambling sites in Canada, you have plenty of options. The online gambling market is growing rapidly. This means that the number of people who play online casinos is increasing every day.
As far as Canada goes, the situation is not much different. According to Statistics, Canadians spent over $1 billion on online gambling every year. That is about three percent of their total spending budget.

Why Are Canadian Online Casinos So Popular?
In 2022, more and more Canadians are seeking out online casinos because of their benefits. The casinos offer a wide variety of games and bonuses. They are convenient, affordable, and they offer more value for your money.

You can play interactively on some gambling sites

Nothing beats the ability to enjoy your favorite games from the comfort of your home. You can play 24/7 without having to worry about time or location restrictions.

Online casino games are not affected by weather conditions as you don’t need to travel to physical casinos. In addition, you can deposit and withdraw money through electronic banking methods.

There are different types of online gambling Canada. Casinos are classified based on whether they provide real cash or virtual currency (such as points). Therefore, there is something for everyone. If you are a new player, you have the chance to try out new games without putting your money on the line.

What Do You Need to Know When Playing Canadian Online Gambling?
Before signing up with any new site, there are several things that you should know. Having the relevant information will improve your experience.

Know Your Limits
First, you need to know your limits. Before registering with a particular online casino, it’s important to understand the amount you can afford to lose. Base it on your playing experience and the size of your bankroll.
For example, if you’re a novice gambler, you might only want to wager $5-$10 per game. On the other hand, experienced players might prefer betting $50-$100 per spin.

 Know Which Games Are Available
Once you decide on the kind of games you’d like to play, you need to look into the options offered by the online casino. This may mean checking out reviews and ratings for each casino.

Also, pay attention to how often they update their database. One of the biggest benefits of online casinos is that they bring you a wide variety of games. You shouldn’t miss out on this benefit by choosing the wrong online casino.

Some bonuses can be very attractive

Find Out About Bonuses
All reputable online casinos offer bonuses for both new members and loyal players. However, not all bonuses are created equal. Make sure that you find one that gives you a decent amount of free money. Researching about bonuses is important even when you have a huge bankroll.

Emerging Trends in the Canadian Casino Market.
In 2022, the casino market in Canada has been experiencing a shift. The industry is growing fast, and many new names are already cropping up. Here are a few trends to look out for:

The Use of Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies are becoming mainstream. The number of Bitcoin ATMs has increased by over 50% since 2017. This means that people can now buy bitcoins without having to go through an exchange or bank account. Other cryptocurrency exchanges are growing rapidly as well. There are currently over 1,000 cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide.

The reason behind the growing popularity of Bitcoin among online gamblers is its anonymous nature. You can make transactions without having to provide any personal information. Furthermore, there are no limits on how much money you can transfer or withdraw from the casino. Transactions are pretty fast as well.

The Breakthrough of VR
Even though VR is a pretty costly technology, it is fast making its breakthrough in Canadian online casinos. Although there is still a long way to go, many online casinos are already adopting it. VR casino games take your playing experience to the next level.

It is the responsibility of the gambler to play responsibly.. Know your limit and stick to it.

Focus On Responsible Gambling
Online casinos in Canada are working on strategies to promote responsible gambling. The Canadian government announced new measures to protect players from online gambling addiction. These include:

• A ban on advertising or promoting gambling products to minors
• A minimum age requirement of 18 years old for all online gaming sites
• A ban on accepting wagers from Canadians who live outside of Canada
• A ban on accepting wager from Canadians with an income below $50,000 per year

The Canadian government will be monitoring the industry to ensure compliance with the new rules. According to the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), they will be looking at ways to make sure casino games are not being used by people who have trouble controlling their gambling habits.

They are also considering how to prevent underage gamblers from accessing online gaming sites. The CGA is concerned about the impact of online gambling on vulnerable groups such as youth, seniors, and those living with mental health issues.

Increased Growth of ESports Betting
The popularity of esports games among Canadian audiences is increasing fast. Currently, the audience is in hundreds of millions. There are plenty of competitions and tournaments to bet on, and studies suggest that esports could be getting more popular than traditional sports. It is only a matter of time before they pull audiences as big as in traditional sports like basketball and football. It is no surprise that almost all of Canada’s top bookmakers are including esports in their offers.

esports betting is expected to grow into an $8 billion market

Live Dealer Games
Live dealer games in Canada are already popular. In 2022, however, they could be getting a bigger share. Players are interested in the human experience, and live dealers offer that without compromising the online experience. In 2022, there will be more live dealer games. Casinos that didn’t already offer them may start doing so.

Continued Market Growth
The surest thing about Canada’s online casino market in 2022 is that it will continue to grow. Although the pandemic was a major contributor to its growth, many other factors make online casinos popular. The advancement of mobile gaming, unique bonuses, and better payment methods significant contributor as well.

Return to the Front page

Ontario's Auditor General Addresses Criticism on iGaming Report

By Pierre Garner

January 21, 2022



Towards the end of last year, the office of the Auditor General in Ontario released a report highlighting the possible legal issue that might arise from the proposed online gaming model. The model is aimed at the privatization of the iGaming industry, which has been under the wing of the Provincial government.

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk

In the 15-page report, “Internet Gaming in Ontario,” Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk puts to question three major issues; the legality of the model in light of the Criminal Code, the integrity and fairness of a privatized iGaming market in Ontario, and the provincial governance structure of internet gaming.

However, the report has received a lot of criticism, especially from industry folks with vested interests. In response, the office of the Auditor General has noted that it is not against the idea of having a regulated iGaming market. Its only concerned is the technical legalities of the proposed model.

“Ontario remains committed to launching a competitive internet gaming market to help protect its consumers. The province has already designed the online gaming model to achieve this objective in compliance with the Criminal Code,” wrote Natasha Krtajic, the parliamentary advisor and press secretary of the Attorney General.

Background Info on the Status Quo
To understand the allegations made in Lysyk’s report and the reason for criticism, we need to first comprehend the proposed enhancement to the present Ontario online gaming offerings.

PROLINE+ the sole provincially operated legal provider of online gaming services in Ontario.

Currently, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, a province-run entity, is the sole legal provider of online gaming services in Ontario. This corporation runs the only legal online bookmaker in the province, PROLINE+.

In light of the Ontario online gaming model, the government has appointed the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and its subsidiary, iGaming Ontario to vet and review applications made by private online casinos and sportsbooks operators.

According to the president of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), Paul Burns, it’s speculated that the iGaming market in Ontario will be opened up to the private sector by the close of the first quarter of 2022. CGA happens to be the national trade association representing top suppliers and operators in Canada’s eSports, sports betting, lottery, and gaming industries.

With the biggest betting events (Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics) around the corner, the pressure to open up the market for private operators is mounting on Ontario’s government. Fortunately for punters, there are already some online casinos that operate in Ontario as stated by Online-Casino.com.

A Breakdown of the OAG’s Report
According to the report, the government’s plan to privatize the market presents several legal problems. These problems are noted as follows:

Delegation of Decision-Making Powers

The proposed model is designed to pass business risk and decision-making power to private operators. According to the OAG’s report, this delegation of responsibility might fail to satisfy the “conduct and manage” requirements on commercial gambling. The provincial governments are tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding these requirements under the Criminal Code.

“The issue of whether the provincial government has illegally delegated its “conduct and manage” mandate in commercial gaming to a private operator has been a recurring legal subject in Canada,” the report reads.

The Regulatory and Governance Risk
Lysyk mentions that the function of a regulator is different from that of an operator. She also notes that there is an overlap in involvement between the province regulator and the operators in terms of internet gaming in the current situation. That being the case, Lysyk writes that “the model or vehicle itself is what we consider a problem.”

To address the problem, the report recommends that the Ministry of the Attorney General transfers the operating and governance responsibilities of the iGaming Ontario from AGCO, its parent entity. The report further suggests that should iGaming Ontario’s business model meet the “conduct and manage” requirements, its reporting relationship with AGCO should be transferred.
The IGO’s Governance Structure Poses a Potential Problem

The Auditor General expressed concerns that the entity is not well-structured to verify and ascertain the integrity and fairness of games. The report recommended that the IGO inform the Legislature on how it plans to address the issue of integrity and fairness before launching the iGaming market.

In rebuttal, through the Ministry of the Attorney General, the government insisted that the AGCO has well laid out standards for the iGaming market – inclusive of integrity concerns. All online games will have to be third-party tested and certified by an independent lab, and the AGCO has its iGaming Compliance Unit for compliance oversight purposes.

Lysyk’s Response to Criticism on the Report
CGA’s president and CEO, Paul Burn, dismissed the OAG’s report as a mare opinion when recently commenting to The Parleh. When asked about the industry pushback that the report has been receiving, Lysyk challenged the idea that the report’s content is just an opinion.

She holds that what was outlined in the report was nothing but solid facts that have been vetted for accuracy.

“We have no vested interest in the outcomes of this agenda. Our position is unbiased, independent, and objective of the benefits of iGaming in Ontario. The report is factual and free from vested interest,” noted Bonnie Lysyk.

The Auditor general’s office is not oblivious to the benefits of having a regulated privatized iGaming market in Ontario. No. The benefits are difficult to argue against. The report was not suggesting that the model lacks economic legs.

By viewing the report objectively, it becomes clear that what the office of the Auditor General was trying to say is, “We are not completely sure and confident as to how you want to go about this.”

“Our point is that at this point, there are several issues that we need to identify and address. At the end of the day, the iGaming revenue will provide additional revenue for social services such as health. We are not saying that the iGaming market is a bad thing. All we did was question the integrity of the model and how our consumers will be protected once the market launches,” noted the OAG.

On-line gambling has grown significantly – it is now a very big business. Fair and reasonable regulation should be in place.

Bottom Line
Lysyk is completely aware that big money will always remain a big topic. Noting that the report’s biggest critics are individuals who have heavily invested in anticipation for the new market, she requests them to remain objective and conscious of consumer interests.

Return to the Front page

Catholic school board reverses its decision and will now fly the Pride flag

By Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2022



After hours of rancorous debate the Halton District Catholic School Board voted 5-3 to allow the flying of a Pride flag outside schools in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills during the month of June – Pride month.

The inability of many of those taking part in the debate to follow rules of procedure and the attempt to revise the agenda was a sad example of how adults resolve their differences.

Those opposed to the flying of the Pride flag were argumentative, petty, and disruptive but failed in their effort to keep the flag off the flag poles.

The students were very good in making their point.

It was not a debate for the board to be proud of – the beliefs might have been strongly held but that does not excuse the behaviour seen last night.  It was most unfortunate.

The 5-3 vote in favour of flying the Pride flag was necessary.

Voting for the motion: Trustees Brenda Agnew, Patrick Murphy, Nancy Guzzo, Peter DeRosa and Janet O’Hearn-Czarnota.  Trustees Tim O’Brien, Helena Karabela and Vincent Iantomasi voted against.

Return to the Front page

Blanchard street residents find several feet of snow at the end of a driveway they shoveled out the night before

By Staff

January 18th, 2022


This is a problem that has plagued seniors for some time.

When packed down this is very hard snow to remove

After shoveling for hours yesterday, a Blanchard resident was faced with a four foot bank of snow across the driveway this morning. The other side of the street had nothing. This wall is down the entire South side of the street. The resident cannot remove this hardened wall of compacted snow and is unable to leave the driveway should the need arise.

A disappointing scene after shoveling out the driveway.

This has been an ongoing issue over the years but none as bad as this.

They have sent off emails and pictures to the mayor, and public works.

“I want the city to clean this up! Now!”

The solution might be to turn to your neighbours for the needed help.


Return to the Front page

Dress Warmly: Top 5 Ideas for a Fun Winter in Burlington

By Amy Hogan

January 14th, 2022



Winter in all its glory

In countries and cities where winter is in all its glory, it is impossible to deny yourself the pleasure of having fun, enjoying a huge amount of entertainment, and the beauty of nature. Burlington is one such place.

Well, a huge number of people strive to go on vacation to warm regions to bask in the sun, lie on the white beaches and rent Ferrari Dubai to ride at full speed to the main attractions. Especially considering that rental services are in demand today more than ever and everyone can rent even a dream sports car for a reasonable price.

However, many locals are in no hurry to buy air tickets. Here you can find a lot of entertainment that will appeal to every person, both young and old. The only condition is to dress warmly so that, standing in the cold, you do not hasten to return home as soon as possible.

In this article, we’ll show you how to have fun in this wonderful city.

Many people often cannot stay at home for a long time, even though it is always warm and cozy there. Many people crave adventure and active pastimes.

Pack warm clothes and go towards new achievements. Before visiting the chosen place, make sure that entertainment will be available for visiting during the pandemic.

Snowboarding in the winter is a challenge.

If you enjoy spending time actively with your friends or family, then you should go to Glen Eden. Here you can experience the drive and extreme as much as possible, as well as enjoy the winter beauty of the surrounding area.

Don’t know how to ski or snowboard? No problem. Here you will easily learn everything you need to know about winter sports. If you go here with children, then you have a great opportunity to instill in them a love of active sports. Qualified professionals will take you under their wing and teach you everything you need to know.

People who have already snowboarded or skied more than once will be able to truly enjoy the number of slopes of an increased level of difficulty.

If sport is not for you, then you have a great opportunity to just come here and ride tubing on safe slopes, where nothing will threaten your health. Happy smiles and laughter are guaranteed to you!

Walks in the winter snow – something that is basic in Burlington on the Escarpment

In such a great city, it is not necessary to take part in energetic activities. Many people can truly enjoy a stroll through the breathtaking scenic spots. Lovers of a quiet pastime can go for a walk along the huge number of hiking trails that are laid throughout the city.

You get the opportunity to explore the most untrodden places that you might not have seen, even if you have lived here your whole life. Surprisingly, there are so many striking places where you can spend weeks exploring your city and the surrounding area.

You can choose trails for a stroll or those that go up steep slopes and hills, trails that are considered difficult for beginner hikers. Many go for these bike rides, but you will find that you will stop every few minutes to enjoy and admire the charming view.

Put out a bird feeder and spend hours watching dozens of different types of bird dive down to feed. Watch the Blue Jays push the Cardinals away,

Burlington is renowned for being home to a large number of rare birds. Near Lake Ontario, where a large concentration of birds has been recorded, you will get the opportunity to see them with your own eyes.

Sometimes it even happens that the rarest species of birds catch the eye of the most ordinary inhabitants who explore this area. While professional bird watchers can research for many hours in anticipation of a desired species of bird, you may become an unwitting participant in such an event.

This is a great way to instill in your children a love for nature and all amazing species of animals.

Located in a mountainous area, you cannot deny yourself the pleasure of climbing a cliff in this city. This activity can be done throughout the year at any time. However, in the winter, you can see the beauty that you will not see in the summer. Snow-capped mountain cliffs, a beautiful view of the city, as well as a lot of positive emotions and adrenaline await you.

Those for whom easy tasks seem boring can truly enjoy climbing in winter. Since in the cold there are special difficulties that must be overcome with the help of your professionalism, skills, and ingenuity.

You don’t necessarily need to travel to other countries to find entertainment. Burlington has a ton of fun activities ranging from active to restful. Head to the slopes for skiing or snowboarding or opt for a relaxing time enjoying and exploring nature. In any case, you will be satisfied.






Return to the Front page

GWD Foundation for Kids gifts $3.42 million to Burlington Foundation

By Staff

January 13th, 2022



The GWD Foundation for Kids announced a $3.42 million major gift that will continue the legacy established by  supporting the education, health, development and betterment of challenged children, youth, and their families.

After 21 years of supporting philanthropic work through The GWD Foundation for Kids, Gary W. DeGroote and his fellow trustees, are deepening their relationship with Burlington Foundation entrusting the respected organization to serve as good stewards ensuring that this generous donation endures in the community for generations to come.

Since 2001, The GWD Foundation for Kids has provided over $1.945 million in gifts to several charitable organizations effecting positive change on the lives of thousands of young people in our communities.

“The GWD Foundation for Kids is focused on breaking down financial barriers and nurturing the dreams of our children and youth, empowering them to be all that they can be,” says Gary W. DeGroote. “I am incredibly grateful to my fellow trustees, Joseph C. Monaco, Keith Strong, Rob MacIsaac, Devin DeGroote, and our financial advisor from RBC, Kevin Walker, for their passion and commitment over the past two decades and look forward to Burlington Foundation now guiding and stewarding the legacy that we began.”

Since its inception in 1999, Burlington Foundation has been dedicated to supporting the health and wellness of vulnerable children and youth, helping to establish pathways to success for our young people.

“With the unified goal of ensuring a better, brighter future for all children and youth, we are honoured to receive this significant gift of $3.42 million from The GWD Foundation for Kids,’ says Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO, Burlington Foundation. “We are privileged to draw on our expertise, knowledge and community relationships to ensure that positive outcomes are realized, forever.”


Return to the Front page

Sweetgrass to be the name of the former Ryerson Park

By Pepper Parr

January 14th, 2022


Ryerson Park was to be renamed.

Egerton Ryerson was no longer in fashion and the Mayor saw merit in renaming the park, which was adjacent to the elementary school of the same name.

Based on a Motion brought to the Standing committee, the recommendation was to approve Sweetgrass Park as the new name for the park formally called Ryerson.

In July of 2021 council supported a Motion Memorandum from the Mayor which included the following staff direction:

Direct the Director of Recreation, Community and Culture to initiate the renaming process for Ryerson Park in keeping with our naming policies, ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion is reflected in the new name, and report back to committee with a recommendation for a new name by November 2021.

Staff completed a three-phase engagement process with the Community and worked with a small group comprised of the Chair of the Inclusivity Committee,

Stephen Paquette

Stephen Paquette, resident and Indigenous elder, ward Councillor Shawna Stolte, and Denise Beard, Manager of Community Development were named to the committee to review community suggestions.  The Trustee for the ward also attended the meeting to observe the process.

Using the Naming of Corporate Assets Policy, the small group reviewed the policy to determine which criteria would be weighted higher than other items. For example, the group felt that a name that reflected a sense of place and supports diversity and inclusivity, was more significant than honoring a person, persons, a family group living or deceased who have made a significant contribution to the community.

A field of sweetgrass

After coming to consensus of the evaluation matrix, and streamlining the list of names to remove duplications, or names that violated the policy, each member of the small team completed an individual rating and ranking of the suggested names.

At a consensus meeting the small group supported the following themes

Head of the Lake Park

Unity Park

Truth and Reconciliation Park

It was through that discussion that Stephen suggested a pause to consult with an Indigenous linguist to see if there was an appropriate Indigenous word that might best reflect the theme.  Also, during the same discussion, Paquette educated the group on “Sweetgrass”, one of the sacred medicines to many First Nations. It is used as a purification medicine in ceremony to purify ourselves and to heal.

Single strands are not very strong but when woven together the grass is very strong.

Many indigenous communities weave baskets out of sweetgrass

The planting and use of sweetgrass is widespread by most Indigenous cultures in this area. This transcendence and the use of sweetgrass resonated with the group.

After the meeting Stephen sought the advice of an Indigenous linguist to find the right word.  Sweetgrass was added to the list of names.

Community voting took place through the Get Involved page on the city web site. Over 1,600 votes were cast by Burlington residents.

The results are:

Heat map showing where the cotes for the new park name came from.

Name Percentage of Votes

Head of the Lake Park 16.1%

Unity Park 39%

Truth and Reconciliation Park 5%

Sweetgrass Park 40%

Committee had many options to consider:

  1. Use the most voted name by the community which supports the community engagement process.
  2. Combine the most popular names for example – Sweetgrass Unity Park.
  3. Give the park the same as the recently announced re-named school

Ryerson Public school has been renamed Makwendam Public School.

Makwendam Public School. Pronounced muck-kwen-dum, the Indigenous word for “to remember” in the Anishinaabemowin language.” This would provide consistency between the two properties but did not honour the public engagement process.

Replacement signage reflective of the truth and reconciliation – speaking about the past and why the name change and the City’s aspirations for Truth and Reconciliation by re-naming the park – would cost about $5,000.

Despite creating the system of publication education in Ontario Egerton Ryerson has been set aside to make room for a much needed change in the public acceptance to the damage done at residential schools operated for the most part by Christian churches

Staff are also looking at the installation of a medicine wheel or healing circle in the park as well as sweetgrass plantings. Staff have had some preliminary discussions with a potential donor to support the capital investment for the medicine wheel or healing circle. The donor would look for their donation to be matched by the City.

More than 500 suggestions were submitted; once whittled down to four names, the community cast over 1,600 votes



Return to the Front page