Advocates for climate change gather in Spencer Smith Park

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

 

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 – https://fridaysforfuture.org/

Burlington Green – https://www.burlingtongreen.org/

Halton Environmental network – https://gsshaltonpeel.ca/

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

By Alan Harrington

September 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

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

BURLINGTON, ON

 

 

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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City of Burlington will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 as a holiday

By Staff

September 22nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, Sept. 30 as a holiday. To mark the importance of the day, City of Burlington administration buildings will be closed.

Residential school survivor Lorna Standingready (left) is comforted during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada closing ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, June 3, 2015.

Beginning Sept. 27, and leading up to Sept. 30, City employees will observe the holiday by focusing on educational events and opportunities that reflect on the nation’s past and recommit to understanding the truth of our shared history and advancing reconciliation.

We encourage residents to visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website for educational materials and event opportunities.

City Services open and closed on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021:
City Service Holiday Closure Information

Animal Services The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. remains closed to the public due to COVID-19. To report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit Burlington.ca/animal.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate a regular weekday schedule on Sept. 30. For real-time bus information and schedules visit myride.burlingtontransit.ca.

The downtown terminal at 430 John St. and Specialized Dispatch will be open.
City Hall The Service Burlington counter at City Hall (426 Brant St.), will be closed to all appointments and walk-in service on Sept. 30.

Many service payments are available online at Burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office All court proceedings will be closed on Sept. 30 and all matters that were scheduled for that day will be rescheduled.

Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will be open and operating with skeleton staff on Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Telephone and email services will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at: 905-637-1274 and burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca.

With the exception of the skeleton staff operations on Sept. 30, telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. All in-person services are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or online at Halton Court Services.

Parking Paid parking will be in effect on Sept. 30.

In Downtown Burlington, receive 90 minutes of free parking when you pay for parking at the pay station or using the HonkMobile app.

Parking in Downtown is Burlington is free after 6 p.m. and on weekends.

Recreation Programs and Facilities Drop-in recreation programs and rentals will run as scheduled on Sept. 30. Visit

Burlington.ca/dropinandplay or follow @BurlingtonParksRec on Facebook and @Burl_ParksRec on Twitter for the latest updates.

Registered recreation programs will be closed on Sept. 30. Participants impacted will be contacted with additional details.

Please note: In keeping with the provincial regulations and Ministry of Health guidance, effective Sept. 22, 2021, individuals entering indoor City facilities used for sports, recreational fitness activities, meetings, and events, will be required to be fully vaccinated (as defined in the provincial guidance) and provide proof of vaccination, along with identification (unless otherwise exempt). To learn more, visit Burlington.ca/coronavirus.

Roads, Parks and Forestry The administrative office will be closed on Sept. 30. Essential services will be provided as required.
Burlington is a City where people, nature and businesses thrive. As residents continue to rediscover many of their favourite spaces and activities in the city, City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at Burlington.ca/Enews and follow @CityBurlington on social media.

Quick Facts
• Sept. 30, 2021 will mark Canada’s inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation also known as Orange Shirt Day.

• In June 2021, the federal government passed legislation proclaiming Sept. 30 as a public holiday. The holiday is one of 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is intended to honour and commemorate Indian Residential School survivors and those children that did not make it home.

• Before it was a public holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was started in 2013 as “Orange Shirt Day” where Canadians would wear the bright colour as a sign of their allyship and support toward Indigenous communities.

Links and Resources
• Learn more about Orange Shirt Day and how you can contribute: www.orangeshirtday.org.
• Hear Survivor stories and read the Calls to Action at National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

 

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Lowville residents enjoy sneak previews at Thinkspot

 

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 22, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

 

Some 40 residents gathered in Lowville  at Walt Rickli’s Interactive Sculpture Garden last night; something they do each year to celebrate the fall Equinox.

The treat this year was two sneak previews from Lowville Festival.

The first was from dancer – Trevor Copp’s mime interpretation of Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals. The second was a 10-minute excerpt of the 2021 Lowville Festival video – A love letter… from Lowville to Burlington.

Attendees walked away from both previews pleased – both were seen as heartfelt and beautiful.

“I really enjoyed the motions and expressions, lots of talent, very beautiful,” said Claudia, a local attendant.

Carnival of the Animals

Trevor Copp

Copp provided quality entertainment with his Mime theater of animals such as chickens and elephants. Copp’s physical theater was incorporated with seductive dances and impressive animal mannerisms as well as the aid of classical music and rhyming poetry.

“Trevor is one of those gems in the community that is incredibly talented,” foundation president Deb Pickfield said.

Copp enjoyed the performance saying he had “Such a generous crowd.”

Copp has been put on the long list for the child’s writing award for the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors.

A love letter… from Lowville to Burlington

Walt Rickli in the studio he once had at the Nelson Quarry

The 10 minute excerpt of “A love letter… from Lowville to Burlington” was loved with particular praise for the video’s humour and beautiful photos.

The excerpt contained voice-over audio from Walt Rickli as well as unique videos and photos from its shooting location at the Mt Nemo Quarry.

“It’s my favourite joy, watching people enjoy art,” Walt Rickli said.

Collaborators of the film, including executive director Garner Beckett said it was a pleasure watching the crew work.

ThinkSpot’s Debra Pickfield

Conservation Halton Foundation is still deciding when to release the full film,  Pickfield says the foundation is considering October – December as a window for the projected release date. Pickfield also said she might consider releasing the film in stages throughout the rest of the year.

 

 

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City council will decide on the 21st if there is to be a Holiday market in the downtown core in December

By Pepper Parr

September 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It looks as if there will be a Christmas market in the downtown core from December 9th to December 12th.

It was a hotly debated issue at a Standing Committee meeting earlier this week.

Planned schedule for the first Burlington Holiday Market.

What was rather stunning was the item being placed on the Consent Agenda – this is where items that are not very significant and don’t call for that much debate get placed.

Any member of Council can ask for an item on the Consent Agenda to be pulled and set down for debate – which then takes place at the end of the meeting.

That something as vital as what takes place downtown in terms of commercial interests at a time when a number of commercial operations have had to give the keys back to the landlord startled this reporter.

We were advised by a person who asked not to be identified that the decision to have the item on the consent agenda came from the Mayor.

Brian Dean, top toff at the Downtown Business Association was out drumming up business for his members.

The Burlington Downtown Business Association –lobbyist for the interest of the business sector, had surprising little to say.  It began to sound as if the BDBA had lost control of their agenda – and that Sound of Music had eaten it.

One would expect any event that was all about merchants and their interest would have BDBA fingerprints all over it.

A call the Gazette made to the BDBA offices when the event first came to our attention got a “we don’t know who is behind the event” which turned out to be somewhat disingenuous.

Turns out that the people behind the event are folks from the Sound of Music – they – not the BDBA, will be running the show.  SoM will be involved – the event planner will handle the actual organizing.

The event

During the debate all kinds of information floated to the surface.

Getting permission to hold an event on public property is handled by the city’s Festivals and Events department.

One makes an application and that department has the delegated authority to approve or not approve the event.

Once approved the event can run forever or until the Events people decide that it has served its purpose.

There was a time when every event came to council – they delegated that authority to the Festivals and Events people who do a debriefing every time an event takes place.  If everything is in order and all the commitments have been met the event usually gets approved for the next year.

Described in the report to council as:

This first of an annual Burlington Holiday Market will bring a blend of different foods, music, experiences and shopping moments to the city core. Inspired by the Christmas markets of Germany, the first annual holiday event will delight all five senses and inspire the community to come together, in a way that will create lasting memories for all that attend.

The Staff report went on to say:

Using parking lot # 1 which abuts this easterly section of the Promenade as ground 0 – the event will sprawl over a street they hope to close (parts of Martha) and a parking lot.

The event is anchored at Parking Lot 1 (431 Elizabeth Street) which includes temporary vendor stalls and entertainers and envisions a sprawling market across multiple locations and footprints (public and private). Working closely with the Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA) to engage business owners and showcase to them how they can be a part of this inaugural event. The Burlington Holiday Market will be made available for all ages, with certain aspects of the event targeting specific age groups, with targeted attractions for different customer segments.

Pending sponsorship, event components may include a full-size stage highlighting high profile entertainment if revenues are secured in 2021, if not, plans would be to grow the event to include these event elements in 2022.

In 2022, the event may wish to include alcohol sales and would secure a Special Occasions Permit from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and follow all necessary rules and regulations surrounding the permit and the City’s Municipal Alcohol Policy.

In addition to Lot 1, the event wishes to utilize the Elgin Promenade, the new Promenade expansion area that will connect Lot 1 to the Centennial Trail and a one-day, single block road closure adjacent to Lot 1 along Pearl Street between Pine and James Streets.

Parking lots are not typical event spaces, but the City has previously allowed events to use parking spaces and lots as locations. Due to the time of year and potential for snow, a hard surface lot provides the opportunity for snow and ice clearing without damage and a safe surface for accessibility and pedestrian needs. Parking Services has noted that Lot 4 is highly used by consumers of the downtown area.

Staff recognize that the organizing committee is still in the planning phase of the proposal and many details for the overall event area remain to be solidified. It is anticipated that the event will use a combination of parking spaces/lots and promenade space along with a one block street closure as the core event footprint, with participation sprawling to downtown merchants and restaurants. To move forward with the planning, the organizing committee requests Council’s approval of the event in their desired location. Staff would then work with the organizing committee through the Special Event Process managed by the multi-functional Special Events Team made up of staff from the region and various departments will work together to ensure a safe event for all attendees.

We learned from ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns that should council approve the event at the September 21st meeting it will become an “in perpetuity event”.

We learned from Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan, who is seen by many as a “stalking horse” for the Mayor has been a non voting member of the committee set up by people who are heavily involved in the Sound of Music for the past two years.

Peter VanDyck, an insurance executive and a major player at SoM – has been working on this Holiday Market idea for several years.

Peter VanDyck, a senior member of PV&V, an insurance company and a driving force at SoM did all the talking and answered most of the questions during the delegation.

He, along with Meagan Madill, owner of an Event Planning and Production agency, operating under the name of Curated by M, will be handling the actual running of the event.

Meagan Madill – an event planner with an impressive client list was described by the Mayor as a Rock Star

Madill was called a Rock Star by the Mayor who couldn’t say enough about the woman who handled an event for the Conservation Authority that was described as a huge success.

Councillor Kearns had been approached to sit on the committee but declined explaining that her responsibility to her constituents and that she wanted to be unencumbered by any allegiance to the group that would be at odds with what her constituents would wish.

More on the specifics of that debate in part 2

Related news story.
A new special event market coming to the downtown core.

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City launches free Wi-Fi in Spencer Smith Park

By Staff

September 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City in partnership with Cogeco, has launched free, public-facing Wi-Fi in Spencer Smith Park

The Wi-Fi network is open to all park visitors daily and is available throughout most of the park.

The Mayor calls this the

Park visitors can access the internet using a Wi-Fi-enabled device such as a laptop computer, tablet PC, or smart phone. The City’s Wi-Fi signal will display as “City of Burlington_Guest”. When accessing the Wi-Fi at this location, users will be presented with, and required to accept, the “Terms of Use of the Wireless Network and Disclaimer.”

Chad MacDonald, the newly appointed Chief Information Officer said: “This project is just one of the ways we are modernizing the delivery of the City’s services to help everyone stay connected, access public services and enjoy a better park experience.”

Quick Facts
• In 2015, free Wi-Fi was installed at Millcroft Park (4250 Millcroft Park Dr.) as part of a pilot program with Cogeco, to provide internet access within certain areas of the park.

• Currently, there is free Wi-Fi access in over 15 city facilities, including City Hall, arenas and recreation and community centres.

 

 

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Reader takes exception to language used on part of the city web site

By Perry Bowker

September 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Mr Bowker sent us a note, saying: “I finally lost my temper. You are welcome to publish my thoughts.
Perry had received a note from the Get Involved section of the city web site, probably because he asked to have his name placed on a list of people who wanted regular updates.

I was dismayed to see the authors of this e-letter carelessly parroting the social media falsehoods about Ryerson. I know it is fashionable to jump on the bandwagon to lynch this man in absentia, but I expect more from representatives of my city.

The name of the school will be changed.

To wit, “mass graves” – this phrase deliberately invokes the image of bodies piled into a hole in the ground. Even the indigenous people are careful to describe what has been found as multiple unmarked graves, and caution against assuming they are all indigenous children who were killed at the schools.

Next: “Ryerson was also instrumental in the design of Canada’s residential school system.” Hardly. Ryerson was instrumental in designing the Ontario public education system, for the benefit of all Ontarians including the indigenous band of which he was an honorary member.

He was long dead before later governments of the day created residential schools as we now know them.

This careless and casual misuse of known historical facts does no credit to our collective efforts to reconcile with our indigenous fellow Canadians.

My vote. Rename, or more properly, re-launch Ryerson Park with proper respect for what the man stood for and where we are today.

Related news story:

HDSB trustee rationale for changing the name of a school

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The winter equinox will be celebrated in Lowville the day after the federal election - there is a message of some sort in there

By Staff

September 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On the 20th o September the country will choose the leader it hopes will steer us through the pandemic we are experiencing.

The the sun crosses the celestial equator and Lowville takes to the country roads.

On the 21st, the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night are of approximately equal length and the people of Lowville will once again celebrate.

The Lowville Festival, north Burlington’s “festival of all the arts for the artist in all of us”, is excited to share a Fall Equinox interlude on Tuesday September 21st from 6:15pm to 7:15pm.

We are inviting guests to two Sneak Previews…  First, a  ten-minute excerpt from our 2021 virtual festival video  “A Love Letter… from Lowville to Burlington”, to be launched in the very near future.

Trevor Copp will be doing an inspired interpretation of Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals .

And second,   celebrated Hamilton mime artist ’s “Carnival!”, a thirty-minute family and child-focused entertainment inspired by Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals .

The “sneak preview” is short – a very talented mime will strut his stuff.  Waiting to learn when the full performance will be available.

You are invited join the assembly of Special People at ThinkSpot, located in the Walt Rickli Sculpture Garden across from Lowville Park.

Register at Eventbrite through links below, as reservations are required for the event and for parking.  Guests are welcome to bring chairs and blankets to sit on the grass: parking is available at Lowville Park (Parking reservations are mandatory).

The RSVP is complimentary and guests will be notified by 4:00 pm on September 21st if the weather is not cooperating and the event is cancelled.

Lowville Festival is supporting Conservation Halton Foundation and would appreciate donations (cheque or cash) at the event.  We will have pre-printed donor envelopes available at the event and donations $20 or more will receive a charitable donation receipt from Conservation Halton Foundation.  COVID guidelines will be strictly observed.

Special thanks to the City of Burlington for its generous support for our 2021 virtual Festival video.

Please click on links below

EventBrite Reservation CLICK HERE

VideoDescription of Carnival CLICK HERE

Parking Reservations CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

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Tim Hortons® Smile Cookie Campaign is Back September 13th to 19th

By Staff

September 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank believes that the best way to get the support you need is to create collaborative relationships.

He works with a number of organizations to source the food he needs to help people who need help. The pandemic changed the way Food Banks work.

The need is much higher – while there are some people who are not impacted financially by Covid19 – there are many who don’t have the money needed to put food on the table.

The Food Bank has been there week after week for more than 18 months – helping out those who need help.

Tim Hortons restaurant in Burlington are donating 100% of proceeds from sales of Smile Cookies to the Burlington Food Bank.

This year in Burlington, local Tim Hortons restaurant owners and guests will be raising money to support the Burlington Food bank. Burlington Tim Hortons owners have been supporting the Burlington Food Bank for many years and this event is a major fundraiser raising $69, 249.00 during the 2020 campaign. The funds will be used to help with the snack program for school aged children in Burlington along with purchasing healthy nutritious food for individuals and families than need some help throughout the year.

“Everyone at the Burlington Food Bank is thankful for the incredible community support we receive through this great initiative and it allows us to serve our neighbours, thank you so much to all of the Burlington store owners and their customers!”

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School board will rename Ryerson school - city will rename the abutting park

By Staff

September 7th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board wants ideas from the public on the renaming of Ryerson Public School.

The city wants idea from the public on renaming the park that abuts the school.

Could they not create a joint committee and come up with a single name ?

Not on your life – there is too much political upside for all the politicians to share this one.

The school will be renamed – as will the park that abuts the property.

The decision to dump the name of Egerton Ryerson was done very very quickly – basically on one delegation from an Indigenous parent.

The statue of Ryerson was toppled shortly after it was splattered with paint. The head of the statue ended up on an Indigenous reserve at the end of a pole.

There is tonnes of research on just what Ryerson did and didn’t do but those documents aren’t going to get much attention.

This is classic rush to judgement and lets pile on a good thing.

Community members are encouraged to submit a suggestion for the new name of the school by Sept. 24

In a media release the HDSB said: “Ryerson Public School was named after Egerton Ryerson for his contributions to the Ontario education system, however, Ryerson was also instrumental to the design of Canada’s residential school system.

Students, families and community members are encouraged to submit suggestions for a new name for the school between Sept. 7 – 24, 2021.

The HDSB recognizes the significance of naming a new school as an opportunity to:

• reflect the geography, history, local environment, culture or traditions of the community;
• consider equity, diversity and inclusion in the school community;
• name a renowned person of historical significance to the Halton community, or a real person whose contribution to society or humanity is recognized and valued across Canada.

Suggestions can be made:

• By completing the online form
• By fax — 905-335-4447
• By mail — Communications Dept., Halton District School Board,
PO Box 5005 STN LCD 1, Burlington, ON L7R 3Z2

Suggestions will be accepted until Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Each name that is submitted will be reviewed by a committee which will include parent/guardian representation. A shortlist of names will be prepared and presented to the Board of Trustees who will select the final name at one of the regularly scheduled Board meetings in November 2021.

The selected name for the school will be announced in a news release and posted on the HDSB website (www.hdsb.ca) and social media.

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

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What will be open and what will not be open - weather is expected to be good - watch for pop up events

By Staff

September 3rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City of Burlington administrative services will be closed on Labour Day, Monday, September. 6.

*Important information regarding COVID-19: The information provided below is accurate as of Aug. 31, 2021. In the event of any changes made by the Province of Ontario to current COVID-19 public health measures the Gazette will report them.

City Service – Holiday Closure Information

Animal Services

The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.

To report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit Burlington.ca/animal.

The transit station on John Street WILL NOT be open.

Burlington Transit

Burlington Transit will operate a Sunday schedule on Sept. 6. For real-time bus information and schedules, visit myride.burlingtontransit.ca.

The downtown terminal at 430 John St. and Specialized Dispatch will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6.

City Hall

The Service Burlington counter at City Hall (426 Brant St.), will be closed to all appointments and walk-in service on Monday, Sept. 6. To submit a customer request to the City’s contact centre, please email city@burlington.ca.

Many service payments are available online at Burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office

Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6.

With the exception of the Labour Day closure, telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. All in-person services are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or online at Halton Court Services.

Parking enforcement officers will be out there – looking for you.

Parking

Free parking is available downtown, on the street, in municipal lots and in the parking garage (414 Locust St.) on weekends and holidays, including Labour Day.

NOTE:  The Waterfront parking lots (east and west at 1286 Lakeshore Rd.) do not provide free parking on statutory holidays.
Paid parking, on weekends only, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Beachway Park (1100 Lakeshore Rd) is in effect, using HONK Mobile.

Residents of Halton Region can apply for 10 days of free parking at Burlington.ca/parkingexemption.
LaSalle Park Community Marina trailer parking fees are in effect on holidays.

Parking exemptions are required to park overnight on city streets and for longer than five hours. Visit Burlington.ca/parkingexemption.

Recreation Programs and Facilities

Drop-In Swimming and Skating

Drop-in swimming and skating times vary over the long weekend. Outdoor pools are open on Sept. 6 for the last day of the season, weather permitting.

Tim Hortons Free Summer Swimming

Tim Hortons presents free swimming for the community on the following dates:

– Friday, Sept. 3 at Tansley Woods Pool, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

– Saturday, Sept. 4 at Nelson Pool, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

– Sunday, Sept. 5 at Mountainside Pool, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Pre-registration for all swims is required. Online registration opens for residents 25 hours prior to the start of a swim. Visit Burlington.ca/dropinandplay.

Splash Pads

Cool off at one of the city’s splash pads. See locations at Burlington.ca/outdoorplay.

Book your tee time on line

Tyandaga Golf Course

Book your tee time at Tyandagagolf.com.

Follow @BurlingtonParksRec on Facebook and @Burl_ParksRec on Twitter for the latest updates.

Roads, Parks and Forestry

The administrative office will be closed on Monday, Sept. 6. Essential services will be provided as required.

This morning, Friday September 3rd, the province reported there were 870 new infections of which 624 were people who had not been vaccinated.

We are in this 4th wave because people chose not to be vaccinated.

If you know people who have chosen not to get vaccinated – talk to them.

 

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Frank, Yeti, Yako and BetSafe - Top 4 Best Online Casinos in Canada

By Karina Rybay

September 3rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Playing casino games is a great form of entertainment. Not only do you stand the chance of winning fantastic prizes, but you can also have fun playing the various games that are popular online. Canada is home to some top online casinos, like www.pinkcasino.com/en-ca/.

Pink Casino is an excellent newcomer to the Canadian online casinos market. LeoVegas is the owner and operator of this casino, which was established in 2020. Apart from Pink Casino, there are many other fantastic online casinos. Here is a short overview of the top four.

There are a number of quality on-line casino gambling locutions Check them out.

Frank Casino

Frank Casino has been online since 2014 and is available on your desktop or mobile device. You can play a wide variety of casino games from top developers. There’s also a sportsbook for you to place bets on your favorite sporting types. Apart from these, you also have the option of playing in the live casino with interactive dealers. Frank Casino offers a variety of bonuses and promotions to add to the fun.

Yeti Casino
Established in 2017, Yeti Casino offers a massive portfolio of fun casino games. You’ll find the best gaming developers on the list of game providers. Yeti Casino is available in English and French, and you can get support in both these languages. You can also play on both your desktop or mobile device.

Yako Casino

Yako Casinos offers near-perfect integration across various platforms. You can switch from desktop to mobile seamlessly. The casino also offers an extensive portfolio of popular games from big names in the igaming world. The site is secure, and the casino has third-party safety testing certificates, indicating that the casino is fair. Customer support is available in live chat or email format and you also have the option of contacting the casino via its hotline.

Betsafe Casino

Betsafe Casino is a well-known brand among online casinos. With a track record for safety and security since 2006, Betsafe offers excellent games along with a sportsbook. Betsafe also provides incredibly high withdrawal limits of up to $50,000 per day, which you can make on any one of a long list of payment methods. Customer support is available in a variety of languages, however, French isn’t on the list.

You can have fun playing with any of these top online casinos. Each has a unique offering in terms of website design and feel. These online casinos also offer fun bonuses and promotions for loyal players, adding to the entertainment value. If you’re looking for a new hobby, give online casinos a try.

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Canada’s Largest Ribfest is back this Labour Day Weekend

By Staff

September 1st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

While it may not be a mantra for Rotary – “doing what you can with what you have” is what makes it possible for them to run a Labour Day weekend Ribfest, a fundraising initiative of Rotary Burlington Lakeshore

The event will help people to wrap up the summer with another drive-thru bbq event at Burlington Centre, this Labour Day September 6th , 2021.

The public is invited to the Burlington Centre parking lot, at 777 Guelph Line from 10am to 7pm to experience Ribfest in a safe, socially-distant way. “We have been working closely with The Halton Health Department to bring the fun and flavor of the Labour Day tradition, in a safe and responsible format.

The Drive Thru Ribfest works – it isn’t the same as the real thing but it works. Support it.

The safety of our guests, vendors, and volunteers is top priority.” said Jay Bridle, Co-Chair of Canada’s Largest Ribfest. Over the course of 25 years, through Canada’s Largest Ribfest, Rotary Burlington Lakeshore has raised over $4.5 million for local, national, and international charities.

All kinds of wishes for the day that we can line up for our ribs. Not this year. Next year?

“It’s unfortunate not to be able to host our Labour Day weekend event for the second year now, but it means that next year when we return to Spencer Smith Park, it will have to be the biggest celebration of the summer we’ve thrown thus far!” remarked Canada’s Largest Ribfest Co-Chair, Brent Paszt. Rotary Burlington Lakeshore President Dean Williams stated that, “Our Drive-Thru Rib Events enable us to
continue to support those charities and individuals who need it most, this year more than ever. Proceeds from this event, along with those generated from our previous Drive-Thru Ribfests, will enable us to continue that financial contribution that our charitable friends rely on.”

Guests are asked to enter Burlington Centre from the Fairview Street entrance and remain in their vehicles for the duration of their visit. Food vendors will take orders and payment (cards preferred) and will deliver each completed order to your vehicle. Gloves and masks will be worn by all staff, vendors, and volunteers. We are welcoming back four award-winning rib teams, including Camp 31 BBQ, Billy Bones BBQ, Silver Bullet BBQ, and Sticky Fingers BBQ.

Additionally, there will be food offerings from Blaze Pizza, Ontario, Corn Roasters, and Tiny Tom Donuts.

Special thanks to the continued support shown by our returning sponsors, Burlington Centre and Cogeco. Also, to The City of Burlington’s Arts & Culture Fund, for aiding us in bringing back the Emerging Artist Showcase, an opportunity to give a live platform to local up-and-coming performers. We are grateful for the support from the community, as it means helping Rotary Burlington Lakeshore raise funds for their meaningful work.

 

 

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Parks4People want Regional government to support turning the quarry into a park - in a couple of decades.

By Pepper Parr

August 30th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is a Battle Royal taking place between two community groups where the focus is on what happens to the quarry on #2 Side Road west of Guelph Line.

The quarry has been there for decades during which time it provided the aggregate needed to build Burlington.

Nelson Aggregate has gone about as deep as they can go on the current site.

The quarry has reached the point where the open pit mine is close to being mined out.

Nelson Quarry has made an application to extend the area they can mine. People in the area are opposed.

Nelson Quarry took a significantly different approach to this second application. In 2012 their application was turned down based on the impact a new mine would have on the Jefferson Salamander.

The quarry people have identified an area that is a breeding ground for the salamander that is to be set aside for just that purpose.

The CORE group are opposed and they have worked diligently to raise finds and fight the good fight.

A second community group – Parks4People want the city to accept the offer of land that will be donated to the city when the extension of the land is also mined out.

THAT eventuality is decades away.

Both Parks4People and CORE are gathering signatures. The Parks4People have 3000 plus signatures – no word on what CORE has but it is understood to be quite close to the Parks 4People number.

The Gazette has done a number of story’s on the CORE group. Their web site is at: https://www.coreburlington.com/

Parks4People put together a presentation that is online at: https://www.parks4halton.com

Their argument is that –

Our parks are already packed

They provide a map that shows park use in Halton on an average weekend. The red shows maximum capacity.

They claim “ our park resources are already stretched thin” adding that with population projections through to the 2040’s “ set to explode” – “where will our children and their children play?”

If the data is correct – there would appear to be a problem on the horizon.

They want to see a plan for how Halton will meet the growing need for green space.

Nelson Aggregates has offered to turn the land over to the city and create a 1,000 acre park.

Turning a mined out quarry into a park is a great idea – it was done in St Mary’s Ontario and turned out to be very popular. The crunch comes when the details are made public,

The Parks4People claim “the mayor has rejected the offer outright. The local councillor has said Halton “doesn’t need a big park.”

Parks4People want Regional council to vote “yes” to parks.

Healthy debate and discussion over different views is a good thing.

The final page of the People4Parks ends with a Call to Action.  They want you to click on that box and support their position.  Something really interesting happens if you click on the box to show your support.  That’s a follow up story.

That little box is there for you to show your support. Interesting thing happens when you do click.

The final decision on this matter will be made by a Joint Tribunal that has a clear process and a time line.

 

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Black, African and Caribbean folk strut their stuff at the Pier

By Staff

August 29th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The third and last event put on by Bling Events International took place in Spencer \smith Park Saturday night.

You had to be there to get the full vibe – the pictures taken by Mozelle tell some of the story .

These live music events were in recognition and celebration of Black, African, Caribbean, Canadian appreciation month – which was a proclamation Carlene Ling (Event Organizer) requested and received through the Mayor’s office.

The events were not heavily promoted – people who were part of the communities being celebrated knew and they took part.

The objective was for people to get out and have some fun but not draw large crowds where the needed social distancing would become difficult.
.
Bling International put on a great show Saturday night at the Burlington Pier. Fun was had by all.

 

 

Good crowds but not huge crowds milling about in the cool evening air.

This looks like a Congo Line.

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Trying to interview Emily Brown, Conservative Candidate for Burlington

By Pepper Parr

August 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We ran a piece on Burlington Conservative candidate Emily Brown that generated a lot of blow back from several of our readers.

Burlington Conservative candidate Emily Brown

As publisher I asked Ryan O’Dowd to send me a list of all the contacts he had with Ms Brown and her responses to his email and telephone calls.

That list is set out below:

On August 17th I received the contact information for Emily Brown. I received it at the same time I received Karina Gould’s contact information and I sent emails to both candidates on August 17th, 20 minutes apart from each other. Here is the email I sent Emily:

 “Good morning, Emily,

 Ryan O’Dowd with the Burlington Gazette here, I’m hoping we can meet for an interview sometime this week to discuss your platform and the key issues of the election.

I look forward to speaking with you, let me know the time and date that works best.

Thanks for your time,

 Ryan”

On August 18th I followed up by phone. I called Emily Brown three times and did not receive an answer.

On August 19th I spoke to Emily Brown and she could not commit to a time period(I tried to arrange an interview that afternoon) but she asked for interview questions to be emailed to her and said she would provide her availability, she did not.

I sent her the following shortly after the phone call:

“Good morning, Emily,

 Ryan here with the Burlington Gazette, we spoke on the phone this morning. I’m hoping I can drop by the office for a brief chat this afternoon if that works for you.

I look forward to speaking with you.

Thanks,

Ryan”

I called to follow up on August 24th, she answered on my second attempt.

Brown said she could not take an interview all week as they were discussing strategy at her office. I asked her about the following week and she made no firm commitment.

I said I would follow up with her next week and fully intend to but at this point we needed to begin covering Emily Brown so my publisher made the decision to go ahead with what we had.

We will talk to Emily Brown whenever she chooses to make herself available.  Our belief is that informed people can make informed decisions; our role is to inform people.

As credentialed media we adhere to the view of the National Newsmedia Council that a strong democracy is possible when those who strive to lead are transparent and held accountable.

 

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Was our reader wrong ? City hall thought so.

By Pepper Parr

August 26th,2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We ran a story last week on small events that were taking place in the downtown core that were not very well promoted.

A trusted reader provided the information.

The Communications unit at city hall took exception and asked us to correct the story.

Their view was that:

None of the events in your post was organized by the Mayor or her office. The Mayor was also not at the Aug. 21 event and did not “open” the event as your post claims.

  • CRAFT Live Marquis Music Series is an extension of a Community Support Fund project which took place virtually over the winter on YouTube and YourTV. Bling Events International presented these live music events in recognition and celebration of Black, African, Caribbean, Canadian appreciation month – which was a proclamation Carlene Ling (Event Organizer) requested and received through the Mayor’s office. This means the Mayor endorsed it but was not the organizer
  • The event for Indigenous people was not promoted because we were in a different stage of the pandemic and there were very restrictive gathering numbers
  • The Islamic prayer was organized by the mosque with a three-day turnaround time. There was no time for a wide promotion

Most of these events are listed as “pop-up events.” The nature of pop-up events is that they are not intended to have a large promotional campaign and not intended to draw large crowds. These work quite well for our pandemic situation and precautions.

The communications people added:

About the Community Support Fund

The Community Support Fund program will join existing programs to provide financial support to residents and community groups who want to enrich and connect the Burlington community through sport, recreation, art and cultural experiences. The combined fund will simplify the funding process and make it easier for Burlington residents and community groups to access financial supports to enhance their community’s well being. The amalgamated Community Support Fund brings the Love my Neighborhood, Community Development Fund, The Neighborhood Matching Fund and the Arts and Culture Fund together temporarily during COVID-19 and is intended to create a sense of community.

This fund will help a variety of sport, recreation, art, and cultural events, programs and projects in Burlington neighbourhoods and communities. The fund supports two types of applications:

  • Community gatherings/Neighborhood parties/Health and fitness classes and similar events for an amount of up to $1,500 per application
  • Special projects for an amount of up to $5,000 per application

Applicants can apply for funding one-time per year. The program is designed to recognize the importance of supporting Burlington’s communities during these challenging times. By providing access to funding, the City is looking for innovative ideas to connect and enhance our community; events/activities that can offer exciting and meaningful opportunities to strengthen and nourish community spirit.

Did we get it wrong?  Was our reader misinformed.  We have worked with this reader for some time.

Here is what we published on the 23rd:

It appears that the Mayor is sponsoring or holding events in the downtown core but not telling very many people about them

That has some residents ticked.

Mayor Meed Ward just may be doing the right thing.

The Caribbean Association was giving it a go –

What the city doesn’t need is large crowds of people gathering to take part in an event. Tough to maintain social distancing under those circumstances.

Holding small pop-up type events does help give people something to do.

Our reporter toured the downtown area and on up to the Orchard and then on over to Bronte Creek Park and found few people outdoors – they heat was surely part of the reason for people staying home.

The Mayor opened Black/Caribbean month. Residents are complaining that no one was notified. “The only way I found” said our reader, “about last night was chatting with one of the girls involved. I was watching the BPAC music and she said I should come to City Hall on the 21st for a party. I asked if she was sure and she said Yes – the Mayor is putting it on.

“That’s when I went to the tourist office to dig a little deeper. They send out happenings in Burlington all the time.

“Marianne told me the last time, they didn’t want to advertise the prayer celebration for the indigenous kids, prayer for the Muslim family (hundreds of attendees), pride party… so as to keep the numbers down.

“Is that not selfish to the rest of Burlington?

Wasn’t much of a crowd..

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns got wind of the event and sent out a late notice. Our reader thought this should have been “virtual”

“Pretty much like all the rest of MMW’s “events”. If we can’t celebrate CANADA DAY (except virtually), how is it we can celebrate all these other days outdoors?

Our writer though that the downtown business people might have been able to benefit as well had there been more notice.

“Two Saturday ago”, continued our reader (who chose not to be identified) the same thing. Party at Spencer Smith Park put on by the mayor and nothing advertised so that we could all attend. I found out after the fact.

“I’m not sure if you are aware, but next Saturday it’s back at Spencer Smith again.”

There are times when the Mayor can’t win for trying. Managing public expectations is not a simple task.

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Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives identifies the Care Economy as something critical and in need of changes

By Staff

August 25th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Gazette has decided to look to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for guidance on just what the issues are in the election that is underway.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice.

Founded in 1980, the CCPA is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates.

Seniors have earned the right to respect and dignity as they enter retirement.

There are important choices to make during this election. The CCPA sends us the best information they have based on their ongoing research.

“The big question they suggest  is whether we all, by default, revert to the “same old, same old” after the pandemic crisis. Or will we seize the opportunity to build back better, recognizing that this last mile will be the hardest?”

They identify what the define as the Care Economy as a major issue.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a well-overdue conversation to the forefront: In times of crisis, who gets sidelined? And what must our governments do to protect the most vulnerable?

The CCPA team has spent the last year publishing research that highlights the impact of COVID-19 on Canadians.  Their conclusion? Without significant policy changes and significant investments in the care economy, it’s likely that seniors, care workers, women, and marginalized people will continue to be sidelined, with devastating consequences.

As we dive head first into this election season, all political parties will need to show how they will make sure that no one is left behind.

Seniors: To better protect seniors, who experienced the most devastating impacts of COVID-19 in the first few waves, Canada needs to transition away from for-profit care models.

The pandemic has taught what we were doing that was wrong with those in long term care. The profit motive has to be removed.

The Care Economy: COVID-19 has shown us how essential care work is to our economy, from child care to long-term care. We need more publicly led services.

Women’s Return to Work: Women need to be prioritized in the post-COVID recovery, with more affordable, publicly funded child care options, a safer and more inclusive work environment, and decent work opportunities.

Tackling Discrimination: Now that we’ve uncovered the inter-sectional impacts of COVID-19, it’s time that all political parties dismantle barriers to full participation in society.

Something to think about as we listen to what each of the political parties have to say as they vie for our votes.

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Shop Small Crawl gets a mixed response from downtown merchants - runs through to September 5th

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 26, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Brant street is home to numerous small businesses that have fought hard to stay alive as business entities during the Covid Pandemic.

To encourage customers to continue shopping at these businesses the Burlington Downtown Business Association created a late summer promotion called the Shop Small Crawl that has over 35 businesses participating in the down town area with gifts ranging from free $50 gift cards to $500 grand prizes.

“It’s a great multi level networking concept so all the businesses are really together,” said ODDSPOT store manager Rich Marcone.

The promotion in its earliest days was said to bring in lot of eager customers from both in and out of Burlington attracting age groups from teens to mid 40’s.

Its reaching clients from a larger area and not just local,” said Natasha Farley of lingerie D’Amour.

The Shop Small Crawl has been running since August 21st and will continue until September 5th.

“Definitely the first day, I saw a lot of people interested in it the first day (August 21st),” said Julia Smith of Cento Gardens.

After the weekend passed businesses were expecting the promotion to keep bringing in more customers but due to Covid paranoia as well as most people keeping busy with work throughout the week, business in stores has slowed down to the pace it was at before Shop Small Crawl happened.

Some businesses say that the promotion had little effect on the traffic that comes through their area; most rely on their local and loyal customers.

“I haven’t necessarily seen a huge uptick in clients in association with it,” said Burlington Physiotherapy & health clinic employee Kate Reeds.

Despite the low turn outs, the Brant St. businesses are still optimistic about the campaign bringing in more business while others feel that the campaign was effective for a little while but not strong enough to bring big turnout after getting to the middle of the week.

“It’s a great benefit for everyone involved,” said Joe Dogs Gasbar Grill manager Adona Brown.

Businesses such as Cento Gardens continue to promote the Shop Small Crawl with social media promotions.

“We are putting it on our Instagram,” said Jennifer Klassen of Cento Gardens.

All Brant Street businesses say despite the staggering success of the campaign it was a very good way to support small, local businesses and hope that the Burlington Downtown association create make more programs like this in order to keep small businesses afloat during the Covid pandemic.

“We always support these programs because its downtown and all the businesses downtown work together on this … anything related to downtown we will support,” said Klassen.

Clothing stores in the Brant street area are having continued success with their online offerings selling to loyal customers.

“We’ve had online business that helped quite a bit,” said Ally Tesoni of Joelle’s.

Brant street businesses have felt connected to each other not only because of the program; they are all struggling to not go bankrupt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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