The real story behind the title 'Queen Elizabeth II' - relates to a train going through Burlington

By Pepper Parr

October 16th, 2021



Alan Harrington is an accountant, sometimes called a number cruncher, which isn’t really accurate either.

Harrington has a thing about dates, which are numbers.

He revels in dates that don’t mean a thing to most people.

Take last Thursday – for Harrington it was important because 70 years ago on that date Princess Elizabeth was in Burlington.  True!

Take the following with a grain of salt!

“October 1951: HRH Princess Elizabeth and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh arrive in Toronto to ride a ten-car Royal train made up of equipment provided by CN and CP.

“It included two government cars used by Elizabeth’s parents on the 1939 Royal Tour; the train was powered by CN Northern No. 6401.

“It departed Toronto for Niagara Falls early on the morning of October 14 most likely passing through Burlington. “I have vivid memories of my journey across the country in 1951,” she said of the trip.”

“OK she was only a princess at the time – and she was riding westbound at high speed past the station – at about 7:00 am so she probably didn’t even see it through her royal passenger car window.

“If she was looking – she would have seen a Union Jack Flag hanging there for her.

“Less than four months later, upon the death of her father King George VI, the princess became Queen Elizabeth II.

The Princess with her husband Duke of Edinburgh – were they stopped in Burlington?

“But “that second” at the Station must have been so dear to her – that even to this day – she still calls herself Queen Elizabeth “the Second”

The above was a “humorous” email to the members of the Freeman Station. The G&M newspaper is obviously photo shopped.

It is true the princess was in town on that day and many people showed up to see the train – but it sped past without slowing and all the curtains were drawn and people left disappointed.

That original Union Jack flag from the Station is STILL around and currently on display in the Fort Macleod museum in Alberta !!

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Art Gallery Soup Bowl fund raiser underway.

By Staff

October 14th, 2021



They have been doing it for years and weren’t about to let a pandemic get in the way.

The Annual Soup Bowl event is now underway.

Participation is easy: 1. Chose a Bowl, 2. Plan Your Pick-up, 3. Enjoy your soup! Bowl sales have BEGUN and the event runs from November 8th-30th.

The event is a favourite fundraiser – social distance style! One-of-a-kind bowls are fresh out of the kiln waiting to be filled with locally produced soups.

Five of the restaurants taking part are located in the Downtown Core.


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Early readership survey results show some surprises on how well the five new Councillors are thought to be doing in their first term

By Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2021



We are in the final ten days of running a readership survey.

Some interesting responses.

A few days ago we published a piece on what people thought about the size of the current city council.

Today – we want to show what readers thought when we asked which Council members had shown the most growth.

Those numbers might have a few council members re-thinking their chances of being elected Mayor going forward. At least two the Gazette knows have said they like the look of the Chain of Office.


The choices surprised us. We will need to match up which wards the responses came from to make the data more relevant. The Gazette’s view, garnered from more than four years of watching these people was quite a bit different.

The data we are showing here is from survey results collected in the first few days of the survey.

It will be interesting to see what there is in the way of changes once the survey is closed.

It would be very difficult for any one person to respond to the servery more than once – unless they used a different computer each time

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Community organizations can now submit applications for Regional funding

By Staff

October 14th, 2021



Community organizations can now submit applications to the Halton Region Community Investment Fund (HRCIF) for non-profit human service programs and initiatives that enhance the health, safety and well-being of Halton residents.

Applicants must describe how they will incorporate the latest COVID-19 public health guidance and how their program or initiative aligns with Halton’s overall approach to community safety and well-being.

“We are pleased to support the important work of local non-profits through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund,” said Regional Chair Gary Carr. “I would like to thank these organizations for delivering vital services to some of our most vulnerable residents and working alongside us to keep Halton a safe and healthy community.”

Funding is available in single year and multi-year grants through two categories:

Category One: Provides up to one year of funding, to a maximum of $30,000. Non-profit, charitable or unincorporated community organizations can apply to fund short-term, small capital and/or innovative projects.
Category Two: Provides up to three years of funding to registered charities for programs and initiatives.

Organizations that meet eligibility criteria may submit one application in each funding category. The initial application deadline for both categories is Monday, November 1, 2021 at 2 p.m.

Additional opportunities to apply for HRCIF funding will be available in 2022 for programs and initiatives that help respond to emerging community needs.

For more information about HRCIF guidelines, upcoming virtual information sessions and the application process, please visit the HRCIF webpage on or call 311.

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4-Week Loose-Leaf Collection Program Begins Monday, November 8th

By Pepper Parr

October 12th, 2021



The City of Burlington’s loose-leaf collection program starts on Monday, Nov. 8. Residents are encouraged to check the leaf collection schedule and zone map and rake leaves to the curb, or edge of pavement if there are no curbs, before their pickup date.

Each collection zone will have only one pick-up.

Collection Schedule:
• Zone 1: begins Nov. 8 (1 week)
• Zone 2: begins Nov. 15 (1 week)
• Zone 3: begins Nov. 22 (2 weeks)

Map of loose leaf collection zones.

This crew will probably not be clearing the leaves from your property. They were working along New Street when this picture was taken.

Residents planning on using the service are reminded that this program is weather dependent. Freezing rain or snow can cause delays or even cancel the program. Always be prepared to bag your leaves for Halton Region’s Yard Waste Pick-up or mulch them to help your lawns and gardens grow.

If the collection is delayed or cancelled due to weather or other circumstances, residents can call 905-335-7777 for updated information. Updates will also be posted on as well as the City’s social media channels.

To ensure the safety of collection crews and avoid damaging equipment, please keep the loose-leaf piles free of debris and sticks. Leaves mixed with debris and waste will not be collected. Please help prevent flooding by keeping catch basins and ditches clear of leaves.

The time frames for getting all the leaves off the streets is tight. They want to wait until all the leaves are down and the snow hasn’t started.

To ensure a successful pick-up, residents can:

• Rake leaves to the edge of the curb or roadway in a loose pile
• Remove basketball nets, cars and other obstructions from the road during pick-up dates
• Clear leaves from sidewalks and walkways
• Avoid placing garbage bags, bins, blue boxes or green carts on top of loose-leaf piles
• Give crews room to remove the leaves when driving

After the collection program is complete, any remaining leaves should be placed in yard-waste bags for curb side collection by Halton Region.

As a greener alternative, residents can mulch their leaves with their lawn mower to help feed the soil for the spring.

Related news story:

The evolution of leaf collecting in Burlington

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TD Bank delivers BIG Thanks & 100 backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies to Beth Martin Snook

By Staff

October 12th, 2021



TD has launched its annual TD Thanks You campaign to personally recognize and reward outstanding customers whose community contributions have enriched the lives of those around them. The 2021 recipients have all demonstrated a commitment to spreading optimism and supporting their neighbours during these challenging times, without asking for anything in return.

Beth Martin Snook and Nick Podetz, TD District Vice President

This year, one of the TD Thanks You recipients is Beth Martin Snook from Burlington, Ontario. She noticed the struggles families were facing as kids went back to school amidst tough economic times, and many parents couldn’t afford all the supplies they needed.

So, Beth brought together local volunteers and organizations to create a backpack drive. As the hub of the effort, brokering support from local businesses and supporting everyone involved, Beth strives to keep the positivity going throughout 2021 – a year which schools have been gaining more returning students – and is hard at work to figure out how to make it happen.

Nominated by Nick Podetz, District Vice President at TD, Beth will receive 100 backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies to support her tireless work of making sure that every kid in her community is given the tools they need to succeed in school. The gift has been presented to Beth, and images from the surprise can be found here.

Related news story:

Putting more than food on the table


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What happened to civility? - When did words start losing their unifying potency and meaning?

By Staff

October 7th, 2021



Margaret Lindsay Holton, rely on her to do something different.

She has put together WHAT and calls it GROUP THINK; it has been in the works since the release of her second album, CANADADA: TAKE TWO, in 2017.

MLH explains:  GROUP THINK explores several issues that have been brewing since we’ve settled into this ‘new normal’. – How are we really doing?

And, are we really ready for time travel? Will we leave Nature behind, again? The primary focus though is on language. Across the media spectrum, our words have become increasingly volatile, vulgar, and violent. – Why? What happened to civility? – When did words start losing their unifying potency and meaning?

Have a listen to these musical ‘sound thoughts’ and read my notes on the album.

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Flags at city hall - when do they get lowered?

By Staff

October 7th, 2021



A reader wrote asking why the flags at city hall were always lowered – it seemed that way to him.

City has a policy for lowering flags.

It goes like this:

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What does cipher and encryption mean? A fascinating exhibit that will appeal to students with a bit of a science bent

By Staff

October 7th, 2021



There is a fascinating exhibit coming to the Joseph Brant Museum – this is one for both parents and the older children.

What ciphers are and the role they play in encryption is explained very well.

Cipher | Decipher, a new exhibition developed by Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation, in partnership with the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) will open on October 15th providing visitors with a rare and exciting opportunity to view an authentic Second World War Enigma cipher machine.

Cipher | Decipher breaks down communications encryption: what it is, how it works, and how it affects our lives. The 500-square-foot exhibition showcases a wide range of historic communications encryption artifacts on loan from the CSE, and contains both hands-on and digital experiences, as well as custom illustrations that visually demonstrate key processes in cybersecurity, and making and breaking ciphers.

You will be able to encrypt a message with the wheel.

Visitors will be able to scramble their own messages using a cipher wheel, see how an Enigma cipher machine works, and tackle puzzles to learn if they have what it takes to work in the field of cryptology.

The exhibition runs from October 15, 2021 to January 8, 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.

This is the kind of exhibit that will fascinate – especially those students who are taking the iStem program at the Aldershot High school.


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Thanksgiving - have you thought about how you want to share?

By Staff

October 4th, 2021



It just takes your breath away.

The colours of the leaves on the trees are changing.

The mornings are just a little on the crisp side.

The season is changing on us.

And now we head for Thanksgiving – a time when we will have to decide just how we are going to celebrate and with whom we will celebrate.

If you have a relative who has chosen not to vaccinate – what do you do? Let us know when you figure that one out.

For some a fulsome Thanksgiving celebration may not be in the cards – there is an opportunity to help out if you are so inclined.

St. Matthews Church on Plains Road has been collecting foods and school supplies for those whose budgets aren’t what they used to be.

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Why online casino revenue has increased in 2021

By John Seolink

October 4th, 2021



Online casino revenues have been growing over the last few years but they are seeing a big increase this year. This is obviously due in part to the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has kept many of us at home and limited our ability to do our usual activities – at some points in the past year, we haven’t even been able to travel outside of our communities. While it has been difficult, this time has encouraged us to find virtual substitutes or alternatives to our favorite activities, including gambling. But what other reasons can we attribute this growth to?


Everything is now on-line – which can be a plus.

In today’s world, we have access to a huge variety of entertainment options. With streaming services for films and television, e-readers and audiobooks for print media, and the endless possibilities of the internet, we have become very used to having a lot of choice. Traditional casinos, especially smaller venues, are not always able to fulfill our desire for options. Online casinos, however, are perfectly designed for our option-hungry society, offering us hundreds, if not thousands of casino games to play. To take one example, gives users the choice of more than 1,000 slot machine games and dozens of live casino games. With so many options, it’s easy to see why more and more gamblers are turning to online instead of traditional casinos.

Rise in mobile gaming

The on-line gambling sites may not have the buzz of the live casino – but they are safe and you don’t have to leave the house.

As mobile gaming has become more popular, it has influenced other industries as well. Since many online casino games are very similar to mobile games, it makes sense that this increase in popularity would extend to them. The monetization of mobile games, either through the freemium model, microtransactions or subscriptions has made users more comfortable with the concept of paying real money to play a virtual game. This has helped to make playing online casino games more widely accepted.


While most casinos have fantastic security inside, casinos and the gamblers leaving them are still targets for robberies. Large-scale heists – think Ocean’s Eleven style – are very rare but they do still occasionally happen, like the 2017 armed robbery at the Emerald Resort Casino in Vanderbijlpark. More common are attacks on individuals after they have left the casino – a frightening possibility. Online casinos remove this risk since you can remain safe at home while gambling, and instant payout casinos transfer winnings directly to your bank account or debit card so there’s no worry about carrying around large quantities of cash.


There is an app for almost everything. You get to choose where you want to spend your time.

Especially during the pandemic, people have been trying to find ways to do what they enjoy without leaving the house. Concerts are being livestreamed, new movies are released on streaming services and video calls let us meet up with friends while staying home. The rising popularity of online casinos is part of this trend. Though for some people the bright flashing lights and noises of the casino are a big part of their appeal, being able to play your favorite gambling games from the comfort of home is a major draw. This convenience means more people play more often.

Live casino games

Up until recently, online casinos were mainly associated with slot machine games and similar games that were more like mobile games than actual casino games. For gamblers who enjoyed table games such as poker and blackjack, online casinos seemed like a poor substitute. Live casino games have changed that and therefore have attracted more users to online casinos. These games feature a real dealer and are streamed in real time. While regular online casino games are solitary, live casino games are more social – some even have chat functions to allow players to have conversations with the other people ‘at their table’, just like in a traditional casino.

By offering what is essentially a simulation of the table game experience, online casinos are able to increase their profits despite the added costs associated with these games. This is impressive, considering these costs include expenses like floor space for livestreaming the tables, dealer salaries and the cost of the technology that allows players to interact with the dealer and the cards on the table. Being able to carry these costs and still see an increase in revenue shows just how important table games are in attracting new users to online casinos.

Playing online casino games provides a great break from our daily lives. Their popularity is seen in their steadily increasing revenues. It will be interesting to see how online casinos develop in the coming years.

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The Rising Gambling Scene in Ontario

By Alex Windsor

September 28th, 2021



While the digital revolution has put many industries to the test, others like public services have thrived, such as the police who can take notes electronically when on duty. The development of new and emerging technologies has seen the success of the gambling industry skyrocket in recent years. Today, it is thought that 76% of Canadians take part in some form of gambling activity, whether that be a national lottery, visiting a casino or playing online.

Toronto – capital of Ontario – the province with interesting and exciting sports gambling locations.

In many countries across the world, gambling has traditionally been a taboo subject that has been frowned upon. As a result, many places including Canada have had restrictive gambling laws that have prevented the industry from growing. Yet, as attitudes towards gambling have become more progressive and laws have been altered to reflect this, the gambling industry is once again beginning to thrive in Canada.

Below, we’ll take a look at the thriving gambling scene in Ontario and investigate some of the best land-based and online gambling places where people can go to enjoy their favourite casino games.

Gambling law ambiguity across Canada

There are many different gambling laws and regulations in Canada. Canada’s first forms of legal gambling appeared in 1969, in which a variety of landmark casinos were developed. These casinos brought tourism and a steady economy to cities across Canada after years of gambling being illegal.

For the citizens of Ontario, online gaming complements the already thriving gambling scene.

By the early 2000s, online gambling was growing rapidly as more and more households gained access to computers. However, the law states that any casino venue operating in Canada must be licensed by the regional authorities. Since many online gambling providers were operating from another country, this meant that they weren’t bound to the laws set by the Canadian authorities.

This loophole has meant that up until today, Canadian citizens can enjoy gambling at online venues, as long as the provider is offshore. This grey area in the law means that Canada is missing out on a significant economic opportunity as they do not benefit from online gaming taxes or fees from licenses at all. However, for the citizens of Ontario, online gaming complements the already thriving gambling scene.

The best casinos in Ontario

As the most populous province in Canada, Ontario has a thriving gambling scene with some of the nation’s best Casinos. The most popular casinos include:

Shorelines Casino – Thousand Islands

The Shorelines Casino chain has three casinos located in Ontario, however it is their Thousand Islands venue located on the outskirts of Gananoque that is one of the most popular. The venue is home to over 450 slot machines and various gaming tables for visitors to enjoy.

Shorelines casino are well-known for hosting various table games from blackjack, roulette to a variety of poker games including 3-card poker and ultimate Texas Hold’em. Those who want to get in some practice online before trying their luck at the casino can try real money poker at 888 Poker. Players will get a chance to hone in on their strategy and practice their poker face before going up against the big players at Shorelines.

Casino Rama Resort

Located near Orillia, Ontario, Casino Rama Resort is known as one of the region’s best casino resorts. Guests to the resort can benefit from a fully serviced hotel, a spa and health club, and a top-class casino with over 2,200 slot machines and 6 gaming tables.

Best of all, the casino resort is just a 90-minute drive from Toronto, making it an ideal weekend getaway from the city.

Elements Casino – Brantford

Elements casino offers a great variety of popular games, including over 500 slot machines and over 55 table games with Blackjack, Texas Hold’Em Poker and Roulette amongst the offerings.

Sports betting in Ontario

On the 27th of August, single event sports betting became legalized and was officially launched across Canada. Currently, there are 71 casinos in Ontario that now offer sports betting and in addition, Ontario has now made single-game sports betting available online through the Ontario lottery and the gaming Corporation’s PROLINE website.

The gambling scene in Ontario will now be able to thrive as the industry continues to grow

While this is a monumental moment for Ontario’s gambling scene, residents of Ontario are also able to take advantage of the many offshore online casinos available to them. The move to legalize sports betting in Ontario means that several sports betting vendors in the Northern US could now be looking to expand into Ontario, offering even more variety in the region.

The future of gambling in Ontario

The recent easing of restrictions for gambling across Canada means that the gambling scene in Ontario will now be able to thrive as the industry continues to grow. These changes demonstrate the appetite for gambling across the region, in which many northern American influences are moving into the Ontario region. From sports betting vendors to US casino chains, cities like Toronto are becoming even more of a hotspot for betting shops and casinos.

However, online gambling is more popular than ever, meaning that the footfall to physical gambling venues could decrease over time – as can be seen in countries like the UK. As technologies become more affordable, many people are opting for the convenience and freedom that online gambling brings.

Overall, over the past year, there have been many positive changes across Canada that support the growth of the gambling industry. As Canadians views of gambling become more progressive, it will be interesting to see how the market develops and whether physical casinos will stand the test of time.

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The city was listening. Ottawa was listening. Will they act?

By Ryan O’Dowd

October 1st, 2021



Hundreds attended an Every Child Matters Truth and Reconciliation Day ceremony yesterday afternoon in downtown Burlington.

People parading along the Beachway Trail towards Spencer Smith Park

The event, hosted at Spencer Smith Park, was by turns celebratory and somber. Music, dancing, education, and prayer made for a lively afternoon; the speakers reminded everyone why they had gathered.

Residential schools and other systemic injustices were at the forefront of the discussion.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns with an Indigenous dancer

The event was punctuated by a resounding plea that events like these aren’t enough, real action must follow. Some speakers issued pointed warnings to the politicians in attendance, recently re-elected Minister Karina Gould and Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

Speaking to the Gazette event organizer, Amber Ruthart, reiterated the need for reconciliation to be a constant consideration and not a trend.

“Today has been a very beautiful outpouring of support from the City of Burlington, and the community. A lot of people are here and they’re asking the right questions. It’s unfortunate how mass graves had to be discovered for this to happen but in a way, it’s bringing our community together, awareness of it.

“I hope that education continues and is not just a trend. Also, we hope to be doing more indigenous awareness social events in the future here in Burlington,” said Ruthart.

Family members with Residential School survivor

In the afternoon’s most emotional moment, a speaker, White Eagle, brought her mother, a residential school survivor, to the stage. Overcome by the moment White Eagle paused a long while to collect herself before introducing her mother, fighting back tears.

The politicians in attendance were called out by some speakers, demanding they turn their words into actionable change. Minister Gould, who’s Liberal party has been the target of scorn for shortcomings on Indigenous matters, watched stoically.

Dancers preparing to perform at the foot of the Pier

“We all live together. This is what reconciliation is about and I challenge the government to honor her word with the Indigenous peoples in this land,” said a speaker.

MP Karina Gould talking with one of the hundreds of people who took part in the event.

Gould would not say if her presence at the event indicated she would be working in a hands-on capacity with Indigenous issues. Clarifying that Indigenous issues are considerations in every portfolio.

“Today was important and inspiring. It grounded people in why we’re here,” said Gould.

Social distancing and politely listening on a wonderful autumn afternoon

Audio was played of Orange Shirt Day (the basis for Truth and Reconciliation Day) founder, Phyllis Webstad, sharing her story.

The day takes place in September because that is the month during which Indigenous children were taken to residential schools.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward spoke during the day.

Mayor Meed Ward delivered a speech, and land acknowledgment, discussing residential schools, systemic injustices, and praising the courage of the Indigenous women who organized the event.

“Today is meant to be about listening and learning and working towards healing, to understand what happens in our country, the truth of what really happened. There are issues that still face indigenous people, coast to coast, and right here in the city of Burlington, the discoveries of the mass and unmarked graves at residential school sites, shocked many Canadians and for many, It was the first time that they have learned this evil history,” said Meed Ward.

Drummers with an attentive audience

Education of Canadians on the truth of Indigenous relations was a recurring topic. This came a day after the province announced Indigenous curriculum will be expanded to cover grades one through three.

The ceremony began in song and ended in traditional dance. A song was proceeded with a call and response exercise where the performer taught the audience how to say “I love you” in several native tongues.

Before the ceremony, a memorial walk took place along the promenade. Young people led the way carrying signs reading “every child matters.” They smiled and celebrated along the way, sun danced through foliage and warmed the crisp autumn afternoon. It was a hopeful image on a day about hope. The orange-clad parade passed a surprised wedding party in Spencer Smith Park and shouted well wishes to them. They walked past Joseph Brant Hospital, a hospital with an Indigenous namesake serving the community as the backdrop to Indigenous peoples feeling undeserved by the community.

Several speakers called the ceremony the first Indigenous event in Burlington.

Pop-up storefronts sold “Every Child Matters” T-shirts worn by almost everyone at the event. Orange shirts could be spotted all around the downtown core.

Event organizer, Ruthart, said her native name translates into “loud voice,” her message was loud and clear today. The city was listening. Ottawa was listening. Will they act?


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Did we see a lot of Truth yesterday?

By Pepper Parr

October 1st, 2021



With the first Truth and Reconciliation Day celebrated I find myself asking – just how much truth do I have today that I didn’t have yesterday?

Dancing that reflect centuries of a culture we are now learning much more about.

As I listened to people who know far more about this than I do I heard one woman say: Truth and Reconciliation – yes. But let us make sure, she said, that Truth comes before Reconciliation because without Truth there can be no Reconciliation.

I didn’t hear yesterday anything I didn’t already know.

We know information exists that will shed much light on what really happened, and we know there are people who hold that information very close to their chests for to let it out into the public domain will severely damage their interests.

The churches, the Catholic churches for the most part, have the names and numbers but they aren’t releasing that information.

They should be able to tell us how many cemeteries there were, where they are precisely, and the names of the children they laid to rest.

Why we are making the various tribal bands spend thousands of dollars with specialized radar scanning equipment that can see below the surface is beyond me.

I did hear some statements made by students at schools that were impressive and inspiring. One school wrote a Call to Action asking the province to make the day a paid holiday for every Aboriginal person who is a teacher whose parents were sent to Residential schools.

Another young man wrote a poem that took the breath away from the broadcaster who was doing the interview.

There were a lot of tribal dances, colourful headgear and much singing and drumming which are nice to see and hear. But surely there is more to Truth and Reconciliation than this?

It was a start – we owe those people much more than we are ever going to be able to give them. What we can give them, something we can individually demand, is that it be given and that it is the cold hard truth.

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Burlington Group Creates a Help Centre for expected immigrants from Afghanistan

By Staff

September 30th, 2021



Sarah Wahidi is part of a group that has created a Help Centre for recently landed refugees. The aim is to help those who have recently entered Canada, including those who have arrived from Afghanistan.  Their intention is to provide food, clothing and referral/support services to those in need.

They have a location in Burlington at 895 Brant street, on the corner of Fairview and Brant. They will be holding an Opening Celebration on Saturday, October 2nd.

They are accepting donations and will begin a donation pick up schedule for those who may not be able to bring anything to the centre. “The community has given us tremendous support so far with almost 20 bags of donations. It’s really fulfilling to see how many people really care about making change and welcoming these individuals and families escaping their country”, said Wahidi.

Their Facebook page will be launched next week.  They can be contacted at their email account:


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Public School Classrooms will be Focusing on the Meaning of the Truth and Reconciliation reports

By Staff

September 28th, 2021



In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, Sept. 30, the Halton District School Board and individual schools will be honouring this important day with a number of acknowledgments and learning opportunities, in addition to lowering the Canadian flag at all schools and Board offices.

Traditionally, this day has been commemorated as Orange Shirt Day. Inspired by the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, Orange Shirt Day is held annually on Sept. 30. Phyllis was a student at St. Joseph Mission Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C. Orange Shirt Day is inspired by her experience on her first day at a residential school.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation seeks to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis residential school survivors, their families and communities, and to ensure that public commemoration of their history and the legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Stuffed animals were placed in front of the former Kamloops Residential School Monday in a community vigil that encouraged attendees to wear orange, a Canadian tradition that aims to raise awareness for the atrocities of residential schools.

“As we recognize this day, we must ensure that we go beyond wearing orange shirts,” says Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education. “Creating meaningful learning opportunities that centre Indignenous voices, focus on Indigenous rights, contributions, histories, truths and contemporary realities that are rooted in colonization helps create a more complete picture of the historical truths and realities of First Nations, Métis and Inuit. We all play a part in upholding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.”

“In upholding our responsibility to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action #62 and #63, resources have been shared with staff leading up to Sept. 30 and will be a part of ongoing learning throughout the school year.”

In many classrooms, a week of learning is planned for students and staff, which has included resources from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. As the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has stated, education holds the key to making things better.

Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board, has shared a video message for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.


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Memorial Walk Will Take Place on Thursday Starting at the Western End of Spencer Smith Park

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 28th, 2021



Burlington will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this Thursday with a memorial walk at Spencer Smith Park.

The event begins at noon and runs until 6 p.m. on September 30th.

The memorial walk from Beachway Park to the gazebo begins at 3:30 pm and will be followed by a ceremony at 4:30 pm. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange.  Beachway Park is an extension of Spencer Smith Park – they come together at about where the Brant Museum is located.

City employees will observe the holiday from Sept. 27th through Sept. 30th by focusing on educational events and opportunities reflecting Canada’s commitment to understand the truth about Indigenous relations and advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Unidentified graves at a Residential school IN Western Canada

In June 2021 the federal government passed legislation to proclaim September 30th a public holiday. The holiday was created to honor Indian Residential School survivors and to remember the lives lost there. The implementation of the holiday was one of 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation originated with “Orange Shirt Day ” in 2013, where Canadians would wear orange shirts to signal their support for Indigenous communities, this year is the first time the day will be observed as a holiday.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action urged all levels of government-federal, provincial, territorial, and aboriginal-to work together to change policies and programs to address the harm done by residential schools and move toward reconciliation.

The calls to action are divided into two parts: legacy and reconciliation. The legacy calls to action are those seeking to address ongoing structural inequalities marginalizing Indigenous people, intentionally or not. Reconciliation calls to action are meant to advance the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in various sectors of society, educate Canadians about the truth of Indigenous relations, and affirm Indigenous rights.

The 94 calls to action were released in 2015, as of the Yellowhead Institute’s (a First Nations-led research center based in Ryerson University) 2020 report – only 8 had been followed through on to date

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Advocates for climate change gather in Spencer Smith Park

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 26th, 2021




The Burlington/Oakville Climate event was held in Spencer Smith Park yesterday to raise awareness of Climate Change with the mission of raising awareness and educating people on how to make a difference with the environment.

“We want to have people come, learn something about climate and have hope,” said event organizer, Aki Tanaka.

The event had a line up of two children’s choirs, a singing performance by Hayley Verrall, and powerful speeches. One such speech by Liana De Sousa was captivating and called for politicians to take immediate action against climate change.

Environmental groups such as Grand(m)others Act to Save the Planet, Burlington Green, Fridays for Future, and others came to the park hoping to convince people that climate change needs to be taken seriously and what they can do to limit their effects on the planet.

Grand(m)others Act to Save the Planet is a community group started by grandmothers but open to everyone with the purpose of making the planet livable for their grandchildren and everyone else. They have been operating since 2019, advocating to all levels of government and organizing community petitions and rallies.

Sign board at the climate change event held in Spencer Smith Park

Local and federal environmental organizations at the park explained the dangers of climate change and several ways they can make a difference in very large and impactful ways and small things regular people can do everyday.

Large things people can do is get involved in any of the organizations at the event such as Burlington Green and the Halton Environment Network.

These organizations work at raising awareness, particularly amongst  young people with the hope of “teach our children the wonders of the natural world.”

Other things people can do include calling on their local Member of Parliament (MP) and making sure they are aware of their concerns. The other thing is to get involved in any environmental group that does good and effective work in protecting the environment.

Small things people can do include recycling and limiting their consumption of meat and dairy products, together they contribute a total of 50% of all foods contributing to climate change. Planting trees also makes a difference.

Liana De Sousa was captivating – calling for politicians to take immediate action against climate change.

Several youth speakers raised awareness at the event with powerful words calling for immediate action against Global Warming saying we only have six years before we reach a point that can’t be undone making it a climate emergency.

“Dear Politicians, Everyday you continue to refuse to take action, you’re actively stealing the futures of your children, your grandchildren and every generation to come.” – Liana DeSousa

De Sousa is 17 years old and has been involved in public speaking for a few years including giving speeches at other events and at Hamilton city council meetings. DeSousa says there is much more to be done to bring carbon emissions down to zero and she will continue to advocate for the environment.

“We are continuing to do the fracking and old brick logging that needs to be stopped,” DeSousa said.

Event organizers had trouble getting stared with the event – delays due to high winds at the beginning and rainfall nearing the end. Despite the weather event organizers are happy with the way the event turned out.

Many people left the event feeling strongly about environmental action. Many also felt that not enough is being done on the federal level saying they are trying to please everyone, subsidizing fossil fuel extraction that contributes to carbon emissions and not raising the carbon emission taxes high or fast enough.

Environmental organizations to join:

Fridays for future –

Burlington Green –

Halton Environmental network –

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Fleet of model boats to take to the water on Centennial pond

By Alan Harrington

September 24th, 2021



Spencer Smith Park is a wondrous place that offers a little something for everyone.

Beneath the balcony at Spencer’s Restaurant lies the 10,000 sq ft Centennial Pond.

A model of the Canadian Coat Guard tub Spencer

Not just a reflecting pool, but space that over the past 15 summers has been where model boat displays take place.
Once that pond is filled in June, many RF modellers bring their creations down to get wet.

Some boats are hand-made out of wood, while others are kits with specially designed motors, propellers and electronics.

Everything from tiny pleasure craft to a huge Canadian Coast Guard ship.

There are sailboats, tugboats, fishing boats, navy ships – including a 3 foot black submarine.

Even an old wooden Alligator boat once used for logging in Northern Ontario

Referred to as “Alligator” boats these were used for logging in Northern Ontario

These boats can run from $200 to $1000+ depending on what’s in them and how long they took to build.

Batteries last about 30 minutes to an hour and they are controlled remotely with an RF handset.

The modellers are from Burlington and Hamilton and as far away as Mississauga.

The little boats are quite amusing and many people enjoy sitting by the pond to watch their interplay among the waves.

As the pleasant summer fades away and it gets darker earlier, there is one last show where the boats are lit up.

Last night was the night when about 18 model boats got dressed up with all-lights-a blazing to ply the waters.

The model boat fleet on the Centennial Pond water – drop by – the kids will love it.

One was a rowboat complete with a tiny yellow rower in a raincoat pulling on the oars.

Tug boat with the city flag

Spencer Smith Park is the ONLY place around this area with a suitable outdoor pond.

The boaters still come out until the day the pond is drained (ready to become an ice rink) so you may still be able to drop by and watch.

Anyone can bring their own boats down but be cautious of speedboats.

The boaters respect each other’s space and sometimes the boats do get close together.

Drop by this weekend.

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Climate event - Spencer Smith Park, Saturday - the job now is to continue telling the story

By Staff

September 23rd, 2021




Hayley Verall,

There will be musical performances including Burlington singer Hayley Verall, two  children’s singing groups, various speakers which include some youth in the community, a couple of storytellers, a local drumming group, and others.

They will also have a community art activity and some information boards on climate change facts and solutions to educate the public.

This is an opportunity for people to come together to support the need for climate change action!

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