Changing the way people view what has been a taboo subject - two women from Burlington appear to have made it happen

By Pepper Parr

April 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

How does change come about?

What makes people decide they want to change something that they think could be better.

Olivia Netto

Olivia Netto and Inman Nemar were both students at Nelson high school out riding their bikes and a situation arose that had them talking about those occasions when you really need a product there is nothing at hand.

The product in this instance was feminine personal hygiene products – a taboo for many people and something that young men just don’t know all that much about and are not comfortable asking questions either.  But for Olivia Netto and Inman Nemar it was a serious subject and they decided they wanted to try and bring about a change:  Getting free mental products in as many public locations as possible.

“Over the course of the past few years, we’ve noticed a lack of accessibility to feminine hygiene products both within the community and at schools. Our mission is to create a donation-based drive to cater to those in need. At school, in the workplace and in Burlington”, said Inman.

They took the view that offering free menstrual hygiene products in public washrooms is now considered as essential to the community as offering toilet paper, soap and paper towels.

Inman Nemar

Providing menstrual hygiene products in each of the public washrooms in the facility also provides a more inclusive approach to support the needs of transgender and non-binary individuals.

When they decided to try and involve the city they got a very good response.

Their focus was on Burlington – given the success they have had – they have their eyes on the Region, then the province and – why not the whole country.

They researched, they asked questions and they put together a presentation that went before city council.

They wanted the city to consider a pilot program

Olivia is studying Industrial design at Carlton University and Inman is studying Life Sciences at McMaster.

Asked how they can monitor the distribution and the take up Oliva said: “We have scouts out there.”

Why the apple? That’s something they will have to tell you. What they really want to talk about is their Pink Project.

There initiative is called the Pink Project; it was enthusiastically taken up by council – they approved the project as a pilot that will be in place until the end of the year.

Public response so far has been positive

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Receive up to $500 for a community grant through Love My Neighbourhood program

By Staff

April 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington’s Love My Neighbourhood grant program is back.

The city is prepared to fund people that organize events for their neighbours.

Residents or community groups can now apply for up to $500 to create a community event that promotes connections, strengthens relationships and builds support systems for neighbourhoods.

Community members can plan a one-time or weekly event. The events must be free and inclusive to the entire community within the specified area.

The Love My Neighbourhood program will also work with the applicants for road closure permits, park permits, indoor facility rentals and insurance.

To apply for a grant and to learn about what is eligible for funding, go to burlington.ca/neighbourhood. Applications are open now.

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture points out that as we recover from the pandemic “we need to build our sense of community and connections with our neighbours. This program is designed to help remove some barriers and build stronger connections among neighbours and communities by putting people together and having fun.”

Links and Resources

www.burlington.ca/neighbourhood

 

 

 

 

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Going to the Opener? Check the GO service changes

By Staff

April 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Blue Jays season will start on Friday night, April 8, at the Rogers Centre.

Metrolinx advises that both GO Transit and UP Express recently added more service. Though fans planning to take the Lakeshore West line to Sunday’s game (April 10) should be aware of construction that will limit train service. Metrolinx News has the latest guidance for getting to the game.
Opening night is always a big occasion for baseball fans and Friday’s game (April 8) will be even more special. The Rogers Centre will be open to full capacity for the first time

Been a while since we say those stands full. Photo by Mike Winterburn,

Improvements, which have been in place since Saturday, include 30-minute service or better – evenings and weekends too – on the Lakeshore West and Lakeshore

Going UP from Union Station
Additional UP Express trips have riders prepared for extra innings, with the last westbound trip of the night now departing Union Station at 11p.m. Departure times have changed, so riders should check the UP website for the latest schedule information.

Two Lakeshore West trains each way for Sunday’s game
While train service is generally increasing on Lakeshore West, construction on Sunday, April 10 will result in GO buses replacing most trains.

Two trips in each direction will be provided for Jays fans and others headed towards downtown Toronto on Sunday around game time.

Trains headed for Union Station will leave from West Harbour at 10:13 a.m. and Aldershot at 10:55 a.m. – making all stops in between – arriving at 11:30 a.m. and noon respectively.

Afterwards, trains will depart Union Station at 4:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m., reaching West Harbour at 6:03 p.m. and 6:33 p.m. (again, making all stops).

Burlington fans waiting to board a GO train on the way to a Jays game.

Lakeshore West customers planning to travel on Sunday at other times can find information about replacement buses here.

For those who haven’t been on GO Transit for a while, here are a few quick updates:

A weekend day pass for unlimited travel is available for only $10. The weekend pass is just $5 more.

At Union Station, the revitalized Bay Concourse offers more eating and retail options.

The new Union Station Bus Terminal is open, just south of the old terminal.

You will see seat belts on the newest GO buses. Please buckle up when seat belts are available – it’s the law.

 

 

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An Old Timer gets a message from a member of the family - it doesn't get better than this.

By Staff

April 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We don’t have a picture of the day section.

But we do get really heart-warming pictures pretty regularly.

This one had to be shared.

The picture was taken by Scot Cameron – an Old timer as well as a photographer.

It is of the Grey division Champions of the Burlington Oldtimers Hockey Club

Share it widely.

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City seeks six local artists for small public art projects

By Staff

April 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Plains Road at Waterdown Road

The public art program is once again opening submissions for its annual Local Artist Program. The program commissions local artists to create a variety of small to medium scale artworks throughout the community. The City is inviting local artists to submit their design ideas that will be installed on traffic control signal boxes throughout the city later this year. Six artists will be commissioned to create a unique design that will be used to produce the utility box vinyl wraps.

This is a design only commission as the City of Burlington will be responsible for the fabrication and installation of the vinyl wraps. Burlington artists may create a new artwork concept for this project or reformat an existing artwork. Successful artists will be required to submit a high-resolution digital file of their artwork concept (assistance is available upon request).

Applicants must be a resident of Burlington, Ont.

For deadlines and more information on how to get application help and/or apply, please visit www.burlington.ca/publicart.

 

Timeline:

Deadline Activity
April 4 to 29 Application assistance available upon request
May 13 Application deadline
By June 3 Successful artists selected; enter into a contract with the City of Burlington.
June through July Project development: Artists work with Public Art staff to refine designs, finalize artwork concept and create digital artwork file.
August Installation and online project launch (date TBD)

Regal Road Bridge

 

Artwork Locations

Location Nearby Landmarks
New Street & Shoreacres Road Nelson Recreation Centre
New Street & Appleby Line Appleby Square
Lakeshore Road Joseph Brant Hospital (parking garage entrance)
Prospect Street & Pearson Street Tom Thomson Public School
Upper Middle Road & Cavendish Drive Near Kingsbridge Court
Walkers Line & Thomas Alton Boulevard Alton Village

 

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Nelson Youth Centres (NYC) merges with ROCK

By Staff

April 3rd,  2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Nelson Youth Centres (NYC) and ROCK Reach Out Centre for Kids are now one agency – the merger was effective April 1st.

The merger will improve mental health service efficiencies for children, youth, and families in Halton Region.

ROCK will maintain the Nelson Youth Centres’ name for continued programming and ensure the legacy lives on. We honor all those that have been a part of this journey with Nelson Youth Centres over the past 44 years.

All services for both ROCK and NYC will continue to be accessed through our Halton Child and Youth Mental Health Access and System Navigation.

A lot more to this story – we will follow up.

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Will the city be able to get a refund? They didn't last very long

By Staff

April 1st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Trouble in paradise.

Those $10,00 Rainbow crosswalks are not faring very well.

Take a look.

Drury Lane

Plains Road

Wonder if there is a warranty on the work. Wonder too if we can get our money back.

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Here is what the consultants working for the city suggest as the preferred concept. Can we do better than this?

By Pepper Parr

March 31st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

All kinds of activity on the waterfront.

The Waterfront Hotel Planning Study released their Preferred Concept for the site.

The city Planning department has announced that they are not approving the application that was submitted to the city.

Their report will be covered in a separate article.

Right now we want to show you want that Waterfront Study concept looks like.

In this concept the city did manage to get a 20 metre strip of land to add to Spencer Smith Park.

 

The structures as rendered are pretty brutal looking.

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Museum announces opening of summer camp registration

By Staff

March 31st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

It does look as if there is going to be a summer –

Museums of Burlington has set out their summer day camp program at Ireland House Museum and Joseph Brant Museum.

Camps are designed for children between the ages of 5-12 years old and run daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The cost is $250/week, or $55/day (Family Museum Members receive 10% off).

Week 1 | Medieval Times | July 4 to 8 at Ireland House Museum

Hear ye, hear ye… Calling all knights and princesses! While the Middle Ages may have been a dark period in history, we will be exploring the brighter side of things with fun crafts, foods and games. Our Medieval Times camp will include activities relating to castles, mythical creatures, fairs, and everything in between. Join us at Ireland House Museum from July 4 – 8 to begin the quest!

Week 2 | Extreme Planet | July 11 to 15 at Joseph Brant Museum

As hot as a volcano, and as cold as an iceberg! This week will explore all the extreme elements of Planet Earth. Join us as Joseph Brant Museum from July 11th- 15th as we explore Earth’s extreme temperatures, weather, sports, and animals. Campers will also get the chance to check out the newest travelling exhibit Beyond Human Limits LITE from Science North.

Week 3 | Holiday Extravaganza | July 18 to 22 at Joseph Brant Museum

Christmas in July?! Yes, you heard that right! This week will focus on 10 awesome holidays, each day filled with themed crafts and hands-on activities to help us celebrate. We will explore all the fun traditions that you know and love as part of your favourite holidays. Join us at Joseph Brant Museum from July 18 – 22 to participate in the festivities!

Week 4 | Ancient Civilizations | July 25 to 29 at Ireland House Museum

Take a step back in time as we explore ancient civilizations! Join us at Ireland House Museum from July 25 – 29 as we travel across the world from Ancient Egypt to the Inca civilization in South American. Learn to make and play some of the world’s oldest games, build ancient structures, and see what inventions have stood the test of time!

Week 5 | Movie Mayhem | August 8 to 12 at Joseph Brant Museum

Take 1, action! Join us at Joseph Brant Museum from August 8 – 12 to learn about how movies have become a treasured part of pop culture, and how they have advanced over the past 100 years. Explore how animators create movie magic in Disney, Pixar, and Marvel films through our daily crafts and activities. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show!

Week 6 | Children’s Classics | August 15 to 19 at Ireland House Museum

Dive into the world of classic children’s stories! Each day we will explore the works of famous children’s author. Make your own candy creation from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and create rainbow Oobleck inspired by Dr. Seuss. Join us at Ireland House Museum from August 15-19, and don’t forget to bring your sense of adventure and imagination.

Week 7 | Culinary Kids | August 22 to 26 at Ireland House Museum

Do you love cooking and baking? Time to dig out your chef hat! This week will tickle your taste buds as we prepare a variety of treats from Canada and beyond. Sweet, salty, savoury

and sour, we have it all! Join us at Ireland House Museum from August 22 – 26 to show us your culinary creativity!

What To Bring

  • Mask (optional)
  • Lunch and 2 snacks (peanut-free)
  • Sunscreen and sun hat
  • Closed-toed shoes
  • Water bottle

Please email museumeducation@burlington.ca for more information or if you have any questions.

You can register HERE

 

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Moms Night Out at the Joseph Brant Museum: Cocktail Creation

By Staff

March 30th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

This is not what I thought a Mom’s Night out was all about.

The event is to take place at the Joseph Brant Museum on May 6th.

Guests will enjoy an interactive and relaxing evening learning the art of mixology, cocktail creation, and the fascinating world of tea.  Monarch Tea Co. owner and Certified Tea Sommelier, Katie Cyr will lead guests through creating three mocktails/cocktails.

Ticket price includes admission to Joseph Brant Museum should guests wish to browse our exhibitions. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the workshop begins at 7:00pm, all supplies are included.

No mention if they are providing designated drivers.

Tickets are $55/person,

You can book an event HERE

 

 

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Government eliminating fees for police record checks for volunteers

By Staff

March 30th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Another good news story – something that should have been done years ago – the Government eliminating fees for police record checks for volunteers

The Ontario government is eliminating the cost of police record checks for volunteers of all ages looking to give their time and skills to the causes they care about. This includes Criminal Record Checks and Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Checks, which are commonly required by organizations that work with volunteers.

Beginning April 1, 2022, amendments to the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015 will remove the fee for these two types of police record checks, making it easier for Ontarians to support animal shelters, food banks, emergency response initiatives, and many more organizations in their communities. Volunteers can also receive up to five copies of these types of police record checks for free, making it easier to apply to multiple volunteering positions.

This change will make it easier than ever to participate in initiatives like Volunteer Corps Ontario, which is currently recruiting and training volunteers to help their communities during emergencies like natural disasters.

Milton MPP Parm Gill

“Removing the cost of these essential police record checks is one way our government is making it easier for people across the province to embrace the Ontario Spirit and volunteer in their communities,” said Parm Gill , MPP for Milton and, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “It is our hope that this initiative will make it easier for non-profit organizations to attract committed and talented people to help those who need it most.”

Quick Facts
• A police record check is a search of police database records about an individual and is often used as part of a screening process for employment, volunteering, education, professional licensing, rental housing, insurance, adoption, child custody, foster care and other purposes In Ontario. The Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015 governs the types of record checks that can be conducted for screening purposes.

• These changes are intended to encourage volunteerism. They exclude people who perform a service in exchange for a form of credit, such as an academic credit. Students who have completed their full academic volunteer requirements and go on to additional non-credit volunteering will become eligible.

• Prospective volunteers will still need to pay any fees charged by police services for Vulnerable Sector Checks, which are considered the most thorough type of police record checks and require a comprehensive search of national and local police databases.

• These amendments expand the Lieutenant Governor in Council’s regulation-making authority to prescribe requirements for how police services conduct police record checks for volunteers, and how long a police record check for a volunteer for a

 

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Free Menstrual Products in 90 Public Washrooms

By Staff

March 30th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This was a good decision – one of those “about time” things.

Olivia on the left and Iman on the right..

The credit for this belongs to the two woman who delegated so very well at city council.

The result of their delegation is:

Free menstrual product pilot project in Burlington’s public washrooms

The City of Burlington will begin offering free menstrual products in 90 public washrooms throughout 19 City recreational facilities, including City Hall as a pilot project for the remainder of 2022.

City staff will monitor usage and engage feedback from users and report back to City Council later this year.

Through extensive research, data collection, done by the Pink Project who collaborated with the city municipalities, school boards, local institutions will be providing free menstrual hygiene products in public washrooms.

These products are now considered as essential to the community as offering toilet paper, soap and paper towels.

Early in 2023 the data collected on the take up of the products will be evaluated and a decision will be made to make the service something that the city just does.

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Relive the days when the Brant Inn was the hottest spot in town. Dancing and Dining to take place at the Joseph Brant Museum

By Staff

March 28th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is probably the most storied location in the city.  There is a bronze marker along the north edge of Spencer Smith Park that identifies the spot.

The Compas area, lower center, was where the Brant Inn was located with an open air deck where dining and dancing was a regular feature.

Every day hundreds of people walk by the compas spot on the Naval Promenade in Spencer Smith Park without realizing it was once on of the most jumping spots in town.

It was the place to be on a New Year’s Eve.

The Joseph Brant Museum is hosting a joyful glimpse into the past for an elegant night of hors d’oeuvres, drinks, dancing, and live musical entertainment.

Guests will also be able to admire a view of the lake while enjoying dessert from the “Sky Club” on Joseph Brant Museum’s rooftop terrace. Come dressed to the nines for An Evening at the Brant Inn!

Ticket are $78.00 per person(includes the taxes)

May 28th 7 – 11 pm

Reserve early – space is limited

Tickets HERE

Related news stories:

Remembering the Brant Inn

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A blistery day for a famous race: Around the Bay took place on Sunday

Getting a much needed drink of water.

By Staff

March 28th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It happens every year.

Well just about every year.  The 2020 race did not take place due to Covid19 The 2021 race was run virtually.

It has been happening since 1894

The Around the Bay Road Race on Sunday, March 27, 2022 was a cold day that called for hearty runners to complete the 30 km event,

Hamilton’s Around the Bay Road Race is the oldest on the continent, first run in 1894, three years before the Boston Marathon. Rich in tradition, it has been won by the best from around the world, including Boston Marathon winners and Olympic gold medallists. Become part of the continuing tradition by running this challenging course around Hamilton’s natural harbour!

They will do it again on March 26, 2023

Each runner chooses what they will wear. Quite a difference between these four.

Photographs by Denis Gibbons

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41st edition of MUSIC HALL opens at Drury Lane

By Staff

March 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

After being dark for more than 500 days, Drury Lane opened their 41st edition of MUSIC HALL and are back making live audiences smile, laugh and cheer.

“For 47 years, Drury Lane Theatrical Productions has enriched the cultural life of community by providing art that people can indulge in,” said MPP McKenna. “Having staged 136 productions over its storied history, Drury Lane’s musical productions impact artists, musicians, volunteers and audiences from Halton, Hamilton and
Niagara.

After being dark for more than 500 days the Drury Lane theatre reopened for their 41st production of Music Hall

The Ontario government recognizes the important contributions of theatre and the arts in our community. The $50,000 grant provided to Drury Lane by the province’s Community Building Fund will help ensure live theatre in Burlington for years to come.”

Normally presenting four productions per year, Drury Lane was forced to close its doors, like so many community groups and small businesses. Drury Lane’s primary source of funding – ticket sales – was eradicated. Thanks to the $50,000 grant, Drury Lane was able to pay for the things necessary to resume its activities and use their savings to pay the bills associated with having their own building, nicknamed The Loft, on New Street.

Now that the group can sell tickets again, it can return to being a vibrant member of the Burlington Arts & Culture community.

“The Community Building Fund grant was critical to allow Drury Lane to exist and continue to do what it does best,” said Carol MacKenzie, Artistic Director of Drury Lane Theatrical Productions. “Theatre’s primary source of revenue is ticket sales. Without that, we can’t survive. The grant kept us going and allowed us to return to providing a stage for local artists to perform and for Burlingtonians to enjoy and laugh along with others in a live audience.”

Celebrating its 47th Season as Burlington’s premiere musical theatre company, Drury Lane Theatrical Productions, a charitable organization, plays an important role in Burlington’s Arts & Culture community. In a normal year, Drury Lane impacts over 10,000 patrons, artists, and volunteers, providing the joys of stage musicals.

Matinées at 2:00 PM: March 27, April 3, 10, 2022

Evenings at 8:00 PM: March 18, 19, 25, 26, 31, April 1, 2, 8, 9, 2022

Tickets HERE

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

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AGB: dramaturgy - a theatrical art form - something to be experienced

By Staff

March 25th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is the last month to see The Characters: Act III by Erdem Taşdelen at the Art Gallery of Burlington.  Closing April 16th, the The Characters: Act III is the final act of a three-part audio installation.

An exercise in dramaturgy and dystopian reflection, the works are based on the narratives of 30 stock characters and performed by voice actors from scripts developed by the artist.

These fictional characters are recognizable archetypes representing a specific set of behaviours or thoughts. Their defining traits are borrowed from the work of Theophrastus, a Greek author of the 4th century BCE, who produced the first known set of character sketches in history, describing types of people such as “The Pennypincher,” “The Faultfinder,” and “The Grouch.”

Peculiarly, all these 30 types, together titled The Characters, depict negative traits.

Some scholars have speculated that a supplementary volume comprising positive types must also have existed, or at least been planned. In the absence of these, however, Taşdelen’s reading takes on a comical and poignant quality through its rather bleak representation of human nature. Curated by Natasha Chaykowski, the first two acts of The Characters were presented in Calgary, Alberta at The Bows (formerly Untitled Art Society) in partnership with EMMEDIA (2019) and in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at AKA Artist-Run (2020).

Hours:
Tuesday – Friday 12 PM – 5 PM
Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday & Monday CLOSED

 

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Mary Hill explains why she should be permitted to comment in the Gazette

By Mary Hill

March 20th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Mary Hill, a person we have not succeeded in satisfactorily identifying, took exception to our decision to restrict her commenting privileges in the Gazette because it looked like she was commenting using two different names.  She asked if she could write, in a respectful manner, a comment to what you today published stating a different point of view to yours.  The following is what she wrote:

The Gazette is in the process of putting in place a set of rules tat should prevent this type of thing from happening in the future.

“Hello, I am Mary Hill. I am not Margaret Riley. Margaret (Maggie) is my life partner. Not that that is anyone’s business. Though the Gazette seems to have made it everyone’s business.

I am writing this in response to the two Gazette pieces that have put Maggie and me through the wringer

Contrary to the thoughts of the Gazette’s editor/publisher, and I am sure some of its readers, Mary and Maggie are not one and the same.

Having straightened that out I must ask what would it matter if Mary and Maggie were indeed just one individual using two different identities to make comments in the Gazette? I don’t understand what the problem would be.

The editor/publisher is correct. Other publications do require authentication of who you are, as do many on-line retailers when one wishes to change account settings for example. Authentication is generally achieved by one of two methods. 1. via sending an email to the account holder’s designated email address. That email may either have an “authenticate” button or provide a code to be entered on the application. 2. via a need for the user to pick out of a line up of six pictures all those pictures that have a common feature.

Why do they require the authentication? In the email check cases it is a security check to ensure the account provider is indeed dealing with the account holder. The picture line up method is there to ensure the site is dealing with a warm bodied human and not a bot.

In neither circumstance does the account provider seek to confirm the identity being used is the actual legal identity of the account holder. Even providers like OLG allow for alternative identities to be used.

So why is that? The simple answer is to allow the account holder to maintain their complete privacy. What is the difference in placing a bet with OLG, or buying product from Amazon, or making a comment to the Burlington Gazette as either Steve Smith or James Jones. There is no difference.

The editor/publisher has said in his article he “needs to know” who the individual actually is. What’s the individual’s legal name, phone number etc. I ask the editor/publisher to explain here to the Gazette’s readers just why he needs that information? Does it have a bearing upon the validity of the comment submitted? Is there a legal requirement? I think neither. The Gazette’s editor/publisher can contact the commentator by email to assure himself the person is a real human and not a bot.

Even using my real name of Mary Hill exposes me to trolling, harassment and unwanted attention. I have heard stories of Gazette commentators not only getting hate mail through their email but also through the Canada Post mail. How does someone get a personal address? Generally it’s quite easy if one has a land line phone. Just go to the 411 look up website, put in the name and city, and bingo addresses pop up. An example:- an advocate for real names only appears to be Cathy Lanc, who commented righteously on both Gazette articles. Cathy I believe know where you live and your phone number. Does that concern you? Not that I would, but it would be easy to troll you. Maggie and I do not publish our phone numbers or our address in any “phone book”.

There are examples galore where an employee, prospective employee has, in my view unfairly, lost their job due to posting material on-line, sometimes years previously, that sat counter to how their employer saw the world. Using a pseudonym eliminates that concern.

As a result of the Gazette’s original article, both Maggie and I have had our personal lives made way more public than we would have liked. It is now obvious that we share more than an internet connection. Our status was our private concern. The Gazette has made it quite public. I question has the Gazette overstepped PIPIDA by publishing our names, email addresses and IP address without our consent. I have no desire to rake the Gazette over the coals, but it just shows how one’s identity and privacy can be easily exposed and potentially cause other issues. It shows how important it is to protect that personal information.

Our social environment is so completely different today from what it was just a few years ago. In the old days you write a letter to the editor of the G&M. It got published. But once hard copy newsprint in which it apperaed had been tossed into the garbage, it to all intents and purposes was gone from public scrutiny. Now, it is on the web forever. Even if you have a change of heart you cannot erase it.

So those are my views. But I think what is more important than my views is for the editor/publisher to explain or justify just why “he needs to know” the personal identity of a commentator.

  • What benefit does the Gazette or its readers get by the editor/publisher knowing the commentator is Jim Smith and not John Smith or James Jones as submitted with the comment? Answer, absolutely none.
  •  Why does the editor/publisher find the use of a nomme de plume or pseudonym, a practice used extensively in literary and journalistic realms for donkey’s years, to cause him an issue in this day and age. Answer, I have no idea.

All the editor/publisher has said is

“I still do not know if Mary is not the same as Maggie; just saying they are is not enough.  I need to KNOW that they are.”

Why is it not enough?

Why does he need to know?

What is his justification for that need?

He does not say.

I doubt he will. Why do I doubt that. Simple. Because there is absolutely no justification he can give.

Editor/publisher please provide your reasoning. Just saying you need it does not make it a valid need.

Editor/Publisher, please reinstate Maggie’s and my commenting privileges.”

Will you publish it?

 

 

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City Bird poll winner to be revealed Monday evening

 

By Dave Tourchin

March 20th, 2022

BURLINGTON,

 

The Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington team will announce the winner of their recent online public poll to select a City Bird, at the monthly “Bird Studies Group” virtual event hosted by the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club on Monday evening.

Are these swans meant to be the bird that reflects what Burlington is all about?

A guest speaker from the Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington team, Barry Coombs, will give a presentation on the group’s efforts to get Burlington and Hamilton certified under Nature Canada’s “Bird Friendly City” Program:

“A Certification Story – Designating Hamilton and Burlington as Bird Friendly Cities”

March 21, 2022, 7:30 pm – 9 pm   A virtual event open to everyone

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86797267165

The announcement of the public’s choice of City Bird for Burlington, and also for Hamilton, will be made near the end of the presentation.

The Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington team was founded in December of 2020. Its primary goals are to help protect our wild birds, and to get Hamilton and Burlington certified under Nature Canada’s “Bird Friendly City” program, but the work won’t stop with certification. Learn about the status of certification and the many ongoing and future projects of this group that is dedicated to bird advocacy.

Related news stories:

Does the city need or wan an Official Bird

What are the options if there is going to be a city bird

 

 

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Foundation created to identify and fully fund creative arts and exercise programs for those living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel.

By Tamara Boaden

March 18th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation is a non-profit corporation . Our primary objective  is to identify and fully fund creative arts and exercise programs targeted specifically to enhance and support the lives of those  living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative movement disorder affecting 25 new people daily in Canada.  Next to medication, exercise is the most beneficial therapy for managing this disease.

My husband was diagnosed with  Parkinson’s in 2011 and I have experienced what this debilitating disease does and understand how important these programs are for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

In May 2021, we  launched Parkinson’s in the Park ™which offered weekly walking, exercise, and Tai Chi programs in various parks In Mississauga.

In September 2021, we  expanded the walking and Tai Chi programs to Burlington.

Based upon our success and seeing the difference it made to our Parkinson Community, beginning April 2022, we are offering  and fully funding Arts and Exercise programs in Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington. Flyers are attached.

We plan to further  expand  our programs to Brampton and Milton by 2022/23.

We need your help to increase our community reach to attract new participants, volunteers, and financial supporters. Any assistance you can offer (i.e. share with your social media feeds, post flyers/brochures on community boards.

 

 

 

 

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Who are we hearing from - and does it matter? It does

By Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier this month I made the decision to hold comments sent to us from a specific Internet Protocol address that was being used by two different names.

We suspected the two names wwere being used by the same person.

Our comments section is populated with boisterous, well informed people who comment at length. Frequently there is an exchange of views that goes on for a week or two.

We also get offensive, even libelous comments which we delete.  We have, on a few occasions, taken away the opportunity to comment.

Many online publications that have a comment section ensure that they have identified the writer and are satisfied they are real people.

I am always dismayed when a writer does not have the courage of their convictions and chooses to use a phony name.

Many of the comments made are from people who strongly support a particular viewpoint; we welcome those.

Some commentators take us to task for an article they feel was unfair or biased, we welcome those as well.

The general rule is: know your client – it applies to almost everything.  People who comment in the Gazette are not clients but we feel it is important that we know who they are – our concern is not with what they wish to say.

I don’t know Maggie or Mary.  One of them claims that there are a number of people writing under a nom de plumes – that may be true – we just don’t have the resources to track down every person who comments nor is it our objective.

We did on one occasion allow a person to identify as anonymous.  The person was commenting on a position the City Manager at the time had taken on how he would support his Staff during a very contentious municipal election.

The writer took exception with the City Manager’s position because the writer held a very senior position in another level of government, and was not authorized to speak for that level of government: the person could not use their own name.

Senior bureaucrats are discouraged from taking public positions.

In one comment made by Mary an adjective was used that we didn’t see as offensive. The person being referred to saw it differently.  They claimed it was a hate comment and wanted a criminal investigation.

The writer of the adjective apologized and we saw the matter as closed.

We however are still in the position of not knowing who the writers are.  We did reach out to talk to them – we do that frequently with names we are not certain are legitimate. Mary did not take up the chance for a discussion

It  got messy.

In the past I have come close to closing down the comments section.  While I think it is critically important, vital even, that people have a place where they can say what they think and where their peers can respond, monitoring the comments is a significant draw on our limited resources.

There are readers who ask:  “Does this really matter?  Loads of blogs on social media are not the real names of the authors.”

True enough, but the Gazette is not a blog; it is a credentialed on line newspaper that has been publishing for more than ten years.

A reader added: “Younger readers and bloggers often use pseudonyms, it’s no big deal. People are just having their say. Many actors, rappers and people with maiden names even though they are married, use different names and surnames.

“These women may be in some sort of relationship. There is also Anne and David Marsden, two people under one name. How do you know who it is commenting on the article, is it Anne or David? Now there is a comment on here just from David. Do David and Anne have the same IP address? If so, how can they be allowed to use the same IP address?”

The difference is that we know that David Marsden is real and we know that Anne Marsden is real.

“This could be an identical situation” said the writer, “some people have separate email addresses and some use a joint address.

“Lives are changing, we should all try to change or at least acknowledge changes. “… a good editor means keeping up with the changing times. I’m sure as I get older I may find it more difficult, too.”

I still do not know if Mary is not the same as Maggie; just saying they are is not enough.  I need to KNOW that they are.

There is no discrimination here.  Convince me that you are who you say you are and I am a happy camper.

I publish the Gazette, pay for it out of my pocket, and I am responsible for the content.

I would hope that those who choose to comment be responsible enough to properly identify themselves.

 

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