Reserve funds, those rainy day dollars, are in very bad shape. No plan for repairing them either

By Pepper Parr

November 4th, 2021



Municipalities cannot show a deficit. They can’t go broke either.

If their finances are suspect the province moves in and takes over.

What municipalities do is set aside money for those rainy days. Well run municipalities that are financially prudent, and the current finance leadership is prudent,  as is the City Manager who struggles to impress upon Council the need to be more responsible when it comes to protecting the reserve accounts..

Early in the current council’s term of office at least two of the city reserve funds took a hit.
Four million was taken from the Hydro Reserve fund to pay for the wave break needed at the LaSalle Marina.

During the 2022 Budget Overview that took place Wednesday Council was shown the condition of the reserve funds

These are not healthy numbers.

The practice in Burlington has been to put10 to 15% of net revenues into Stabilization reserve accounts.

Currently the best the city has been able to do is set aside just 10.4%

Municipal old-timers like Tim Commisso and Joan Ford know all too well how foolish this practice is.

Councillor Paul Sharman has in the past refused to vote for budgets that chip away at reserve accounts.

The five newbies don’t have enough experience to fully realize how dangerous the approach the current Mayor has chosen to live with.

To be short $60 million in the Capital Reserve fund borders on recklessness.

There are no words for Councillors that do not put in place a long term plan to cover the shortfall of more than $70 million on corporate and other reserve funds.

One suspects that some members of this council assume that at some point all those high rise towers that they swore they didn’t want to see get approved would some day bring home all kinds of commercial and residential taxes that would solve all the problems.

And we elected them – didn’t we?

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Ontario Expanding Booster Eligibility: Will Expand Gradually Based on Age and Risk to Delta Varia

By Staff

November 3rd, 2021



The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is expanding eligibility for booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to additional groups of high-risk individuals starting November 6, 2021, providing them with an extra layer of protection against the Delta variant. Over the coming months, Ontario is also prepared to gradually roll out booster doses to all Ontarians aged 12 and over.

While the province continues to report one of the lowest rates of active cases in the country and continues to make steady progress in vaccinating more individuals, offering the extra layer of protection provided by a booster dose will contribute to the fight against COVID-19.

“Keeping a low rate of infection in our communities and protecting our most vulnerable is how we can keep our schools, businesses and social settings as safe as possible while avoiding further lockdowns,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “To provide every individual the best protection while learning to live with the virus for the long-term, we are prepared to expand booster eligibility to all Ontarians pending clinical recommendations, with eligibility expanding this week to individuals who face a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.”

Based on the recommendation of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and in alignment with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s (NACI) recent recommendation, the province will begin offering booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the following vulnerable populations if at least six months have passed since their last dose:

• Individuals aged 70 and over (born in 1951 or earlier);
• Health care workers and designated essential caregivers in congregate settings (including long-term care home and retirement home staff and designated caregivers);
• Individuals who received a complete series of a viral vector vaccine (two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the Janssen vaccine); and
• First Nation, Inuit and Métis adults and their non-Indigenous household members.

Booster doses are being offered to these groups based on evidence of gradual waning immunity six months after receiving their second dose and a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Starting on Saturday, November 6 at 8:00 a.m., eligible individuals will be able to book their booster dose appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, select pharmacies, and primary care settings.

Eligible individuals can book appointments at a Halton Region Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic through Halton’s online booking system, starting Saturday, November 6, 2021.

Hospital-based health care workers are encouraged to reach out to their hospital employer to get vaccinated directly through their hospital’s vaccination program.

Locations and timing for booster doses may vary by public health unit based on local planning and considerations.

In addition, Ontario is once again supporting northern and remote fly in First Nation communities by launching Operation Remote Immunity 3.0, this time through the co-development of plans with Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, to support Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority and Weeneebayko Area Health Authority, First Nation health organizations, to administer booster doses in their communities with transportation and vaccine supply assistance from Ornge and local public health units.

While the COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective, the province is prepared to expand eligibility for a booster dose to all Ontarians over time. Based on Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout for first and second doses, expansion of eligibility for booster doses will be based on age and risk, with an interval of six to eight months from the second dose.

“Ontario is continuing the success of our vaccine rollout by expanding eligibility for a booster shot based on age and risk,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we continue rolling out our Last Mile Strategy to vaccinate as many Ontarians as possible, providing an extra layer of protection starting with our most vulnerable is critical as we continue to safely reopen and manage COVID-19 for the long-term.”

During the height of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, a large population of Ontarians received their first and second doses at a longer interval than indicated on the product monograph. This longer interval has now been shown to improve duration of protection, and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization now recommends an optimal interval of eight weeks between first and second doses.

“The expansion of eligibility for booster shots is one more step that our government is taking to protect Ontarians and keep our communities safe,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “As with the initial administration of COVID-19 vaccines, the phased rollout of booster shots ensures that vulnerable groups are prioritized and can easily access booster shots through pharmacies, clinics and health care providers.”

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for children aged five to 11 is subject to Health Canada approval. Ontario is working with public health units across the province to prepare to vaccinate children aged five to 11. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 is a distinct formulation at a lower dose and supply of vaccine that will be rolled out in parallel to booster doses.


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Budgets are a numbers game: which ones do you want?

By Staff

November 3rd, 2021



Budgets are a numbers game – for members of Council it is a real life situation that they have to deal with and then explain to the people that elected them.

In order to explain what they are faced with Council members have a series of visuals that set it all out.

On the left they list four factors that impact the budget and tell you (the orange ball) what the impact on the budget is.

On the right they do the same thing with four other factors and use that orange ball to tell you what the impact is on the budget.

Then they add another graphic to show what the tax increase is going to be to that point.

They aren’t done yet. Consideration has to be given to the risks involved in running a city.   Three more factors are added and another orange ball to tell you what the impact is going to be on the budget.

Add in the cost of risk mitigation factors.

And there you have it – the final tax increase number. And with that you now know what the 2022 budget exercise is going to be all about.

What do you cut where to get a number Council can live with and still get re-elected and something the public will swallow.

No one seems to think that 5.45% increase will sit all that well with the voters.

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Halton Regional Police Service Launches Collaborative Anti-Hate Campaign

By Staff

November 3rd, 2021



The Halton Regional Police Service has announced a new annual collaborative anti-hate campaign called #NoHaltonInHalton. The inaugural campaign will run November 8 to 12, 2021.

Two young men captured on video putting up hate notices at city hall. It does happen in Burlington.

In an effort to stop hate and promote respect, equity and inclusivity in our community, the Halton Regional Police Service has partnered with the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, Conseil Scolaire Catholique MonAvenir, Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, Crime Stoppers of Halton, and other community stakeholders, to run this anti-hate campaign in over 180 schools and learning facilities across the region.

Eliminating all forms of hate in Halton region, and better supporting victims and communities impacted by it, is a key priority for the HRPS and its campaign partners. Of the hate and bias motivated incidents reported across the region last year, 42 per cent directly involved or impacted schools or school aged youth. The #NoHateInHalton campaign is one of many strategies and initiatives that supports the Service’s ongoing commitment to bring anti-hate awareness and education to school-aged youth and the broader community of Halton.

Video of a person walking away from a location where hate literature had been distributed,

This year’s campaign will aim to bring attention to the following topics within schools:

–        Eliminating hate and bias motivated incidents,

–        Encouraging individuals to report an incident that is motivated by hate or bias,

–        Building a sense of community within schools across the region,

–        Encouraging students and staff to work collaboratively to eliminate hate within the schools and support impacted individuals and groups, and

–        Reducing the stigma that is often associated with victims of hate and bias-motivated incidents and removing any barriers to reporting those incidents.

Posters will be posted at learning facilities across the region to heighten awareness of the campaign. Stickers featuring a QR code to Halton Crime Stopper’s website, where incidents motivated by hate or bias can be reported anonymously, will also be posted in high schools to help reduce any barriers to reporting incidents.

This campaign will also bring awareness to supports available to victims or those negatively affected by hate or bias motivated incidents. The campaign will also address factors that lead to individuals exhibiting hateful behavior and the impact of hate on community safety and well-being.

Members of the community can engage with this anti-hate awareness and education campaign by joining the conversation on social media with a post about how they are embracing respect and inclusion with #NoHateInHalton.

Members of the community can also visit the Hate and Bias Motivated Crime webpage on for information about Hate and Bias Motivated Crimes and the Halton Regional Police Service’s commitment to eliminating these types of incidents from our communities.

Every person has the right to feel safe in our community. Victims of hate or bias motivated crimes are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in Halton Region for victims of hate or bias motivated crimes:

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Memorial Service for the Late William Davis will be held live on Thursday.

By Pepper Parr

November 3rd, 2021



He was far from perfect but he ran Ontario the way it was supposed to be run – something that is sadly missed today.

Compared to what we have today – at both the government and opposition levels he was a giant.

Bill Davis had problems learning how to balance a budget; never really did learn.

If you’ve got nothing better to do on Thursday – give listening in some thought.

That the event is going to be live at the Roy Thomson Hall is a good sign – if we continue to behave the way we have been behaving that light at the end of the tunnel will continue to get brighter.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of the Honourable Premier William G. Davis, PC, CC, O. Ont, QC, will be held at Roy Thomson Hall at 11:00 a.m. on November 4, 2021. The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Premier of Ontario, Mayors of Toronto and Brampton, along with family members and friends, will pay tribute to the former Premier at the event.

Tickets are still available for members of the public to attend and join family, friends, and dignitaries in honouring the life of Premier Davis.

He turned “bland” into an art form.

Premier Davis passed away on August 8, 2021, at the age of 92. As the 18th Premier of Ontario, Premier Davis had a lengthy career in public service, leading the province from 1971 to 1985. During his tenure, Premier Davis is credited with creating Ontario’s community college system, the province’s first Ministry of Environment, and the province’s public broadcaster, TVO.
Members of the public who wish to attend the memorial can register to reserve a seat through Roy Thomson Hall. The event will adhere to current COVID-19 health and safety measures, including vaccination requirements.

They aren’t making them like this anymore. Gone perhaps but never to be forgotten.

For those unable to attend in person, the memorial will also be livestreamed on the Government of Ontario Youtube channel and will be available with closed captions. For members of the media, broadcast cameras will not be allowed inside the hall, the livestream feed can be used instead. Reporters wishing to attend must reserve a seat through the online booking system as well. Members of the public are also invited to share their messages of sympathy in the online book of condolences.



Additional Resources
Registration to attend the Premier Davis Memorial at Roy Thomson Hall

Online Book of Condolences

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City of Burlington update on staff vaccination numbers: 88% fully vaccinated

By Staff

November 3rd, 2021



Burlington is providing an update on its staff vaccination numbers in accordance with the City’s COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Policy. This policy is applicable to all City staff, regardless of work location. All City staff are required to show proof of vaccination, with some exceptions for those who are legally entitled to accommodation.

As of Tuesday, Nov. 2:

• 97% of City staff have submitted their vaccination status as required by the City’s COVID-19 staff vaccination policy

• 88% of City’s total work force (includes full-time and part-time employees) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

This percentage reflects how many staff in our total workforce are vaccinated and not the vaccine status of only those staff who have supplied their vaccination information.

There is additional work underway to collect outstanding vaccination status submissions and up to date information will continue to be gathered.

Quick facts
• City staff who are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated are required to participate in regular Rapid Antigen Testing prior to entering the workplace.

• Starting Oct.4, required Rapid Antigen Testing was provided to unvaccinated individuals by the City. After Nov.26, the City will no longer provide Rapid Antigen Testing and an unvaccinated individual will be required to arrange and pay for their own

Rapid Antigen Testing.
• As part of the City’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace, employees are also required to complete an e-screening form prior to entering a City facility.
• There are 1500+ employees at the City.
• City Council has fully supported the City’s COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Policy. This policy also applies to members of City Council.

Tim Commisso, City Manager explains that: “The City, as an employer, has an obligation under Ontario law to take all necessary precautions to protect its workers. We continue to gather the vaccination status of staff to give us a clear and accurate picture of our total workforce and serve our community through this pandemic.”

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A Living Wage in Halton is reported to be $20.75 per hour; province set minimum wage for 2022 at $15 an hour

By Staff

November 3rd, 2021



The living wage is the hourly rate that ensures that a person working full time, full year, earns enough to participate in the normal life of their community. In Halton the rate has been calculated to be $20.75 per hour (2021).

CDH works in close partnership with the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) and since we last made calculations in 2019, new policies that provide support to families with children have been introduced by the provincial government. Combined with changing family demographics, it has become clear that expenses for a reference family of four is no longer the most representative for living wage calculations in Ontario.

New supports for families with children meant that living wage calculations were coming back with reductions over the 2019 rates. Yet we all know the cost of living has not gone down. Inflation has quadrupled since the beginning of 2019 and is at a 18-year high. Our calculation was no longer reflecting reality.

The 2021 calculations take into account a weighted average between a family of four, single parent with one child and a single adult.

Because of this change in the calculation process we are not able to easily compare calculations from 2019 to those updated this year. In some communities, living wage rates have remained close to previous calculations while other rates have increased more dramatically. The 2021 living wage rates reflect changing demographics in our province and increases in inflation. We believe they accurately reflect the realities of costs in Ontario. For more details about how Ontario Living Wage Network calculated this year’s rates visit

The province of Ontario announced this week that the minimum wage would rise to $15 an hour in January.


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Looking to book passenger road tests (class G2/G) ? You can at Burlington GO

By Staff

November 3rd, 2021



To help reduce the backlog of road testing due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Ontario government is using several GO station parking lots as temporary road test centres to help fill demand as pandemic limitations ease – including parking lots in your coverage area.

Those looking to book their passenger road tests (class G2/G) can now do so at Burlington GO, Mount Joy GO, East Gwillimbury GO, and Oshawa GO, which offer convenient locations – and ample space – to put their driving skills to the literal test.

Signs will be set up at each GO Station.


The testing in Burlington is taking place in the NORTH parking lot.

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Are the budget deliberations going to be the first skirmish in the battle for the Chain of Office ?

By Pepper Parr

November 2nd, 2021



Taxes are about politics – good government service comes after that.

The four year average amounts to 4.14% – nothing to brag about but with inflation hitting that level – might it be acceptable?

You get elected when you lower taxes and fake the delivering of service as best you can.

Burlington changed the way and frequency that it collects leaves and then citizens fight like crazy with those who want to cut down the trees so they don’t have to rake them up or they want to put in a swimming pool.

In the fourth year of a term of office the practice is to lower taxes just enough to show that you care and add a service or two that doesn’t cost all that much,

Some will argue that COVID19 changed those practices.

When the public sees just how much money the city got from the federal and provincial governments they will wonder why taxes are predicted to increase by 5.45% over last year.

The four year tax run for the current council is not encouraging.  Is this a tax and spend government?

Too early to tell.

Sharman will experience some indigestion

Mayor in waiting Paul Sharman will tell you, even if you don’t ask, that during his first year as a member of Council he pushed for a 0% increase – and got it.

Sharman will experience some indigestion over the Mayor in Waiting title; he’s not modest – just strategic.

How the rest of council are going to explain the increase will be interesting to watch.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. was seen as unbeatable when she ran for Mayor the first time – has the music changed? Will a budget be her undoing?

The Mayor has already staked out her position – the budget they will be looking at on Wednesday is a “staff wish list” – that’s what the Mayor is reported to have said during her CMHL 15 minutes of fame bit last week.

During this four-year period, the city’s budget included the 1.25% infrastructure levy to direct towards the growing infrastructure funding gap while at the same time provided significant investments in Transit, By-law Enforcement and Forestry.

Add to the mix interest former Mayor Rick Goldring has shown in matters civic.  This could be very interesting.


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Remembrance Day Ceremony will be Virtual

By Staff

November 2nd, 2021



The 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony will again be virtual and will be live-streamed at, beginning at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11. Please do not go to the Burlington Cenotaph.

The Royal Canadian Legion and veterans are asking residents to stay home and stream the ceremony online. Only those directly involved in delivering the ceremony will be at the Cenotaph.

To view the live streaming, go to at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. The ceremony will also be available for viewing afterward.

The 35-minute ceremony will include a colour guard, two minutes of silence, music performed by some members of the Burlington Teen Tour Band and a reading of In Flanders Fields.

The 9 a.m. ceremony at the Naval Monument in Spencer Smith Park is open to the public.

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Grace period given for children under 12 yrs old who have not completed their vaccinations

By Staff

November 2nd, 2021



The Regional Municipality of Halton Medical Officer of Health amended Instructions that were issued on October 19th to include:a grace period of 12 weeks for children turning 12 years old, to allow a reasonable opportunity for their vaccination to be completed.

Fully vaccinated – please.

On October 19, 2021, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Dr. Hamidah Meghani, issued a letter of instructions to indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to implement vaccination policies that require all eligible individuals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate in organized sports and recreational fitness activities in these settings.

The amended letter of instructions released today adds a grace period of 12 weeks for children turning 12 years old, to allow a reasonable opportunity for their vaccination to be completed.

Halton’s MOH, Dr. Meghani, reminds all residents that while Provincial regulations have recently changed to remove capacity limits and requirements for physical distancing in facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, other important public health requirements remain in place. These include requiring proof of vaccination, screening, masking, contact tracing, cleaning/disinfection and safety plans to describe the measures and procedures implemented to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Dr. Meghani also strongly encourages facilities (including facility operators and permit holders) to continue to implement physical distancing for all children 11 years and younger (who are not eligible for vaccination at this time) participating in organized sports and recreational fitness activities, or activities of any kind in which masking may be inconsistent.

To read Dr. Meghani’s amended instructions for businesses/organizations with indoor facilities used for Organized Sports and Recreational Fitness Activities or for additional public health information and guidance, please visit

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Ron Foxcroft: Be Smarter and more innovative - and have smaller governments.

By Staff

November 2nd, 2021



Ron Foxcroft, a well known Hamilton based entrepreneur and Burlington resident who was named Citizen of the Year in 2015 for his work on flood relief in 2014, said recently that we need to: “Be smarter and more innovative” if we are going to get through the inflationary jump we are into.

Statistics Canada reported on Oct. 20 that the consumer price index (CPI), a key inflation gauge that measures change in how much Canadians are paying for goods and services, jumped again in September. It was up 4.4 percent compared to September 2020, the “fastest pace” of increase since 2003.

Canada’s CPI has now exceeded the Bank of Canada’s inflation-control target range of 1 to 3 percent for six consecutive months, while the U.S. CPI was up 5.4 percent in September year-over-year.

Foxcroft said some elected officials’ suggestion of taxing the rich more doesn’t solve problems.

“The so-called rich are the people employing people [and] carrying charities,” he said, so in taxing them more “you’re going to have unintended consequences.”

While cautioning that there is no quick fix, he proposed reducing the size of government to cut costs and addressing the labour shortage by prioritizing getting the skilled labour force back to the required level.

“Let’s promote, and let’s come up with programs to attract, maintain, and keep and reward people that are going into the skilled trades,” he said.

He also suggested reducing dependence on imports by building up domestic manufacturing capacity in Canada, with an emphasis on greater diversity of products.

“Being smarter and more innovative, like we do in the private sector, is the way you solve problems,” Foxcroft said.

Foxcroft recently published a book: The 40 Ways of the Fox that has now been released in the United States.

Related news story:

Smaller government.

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Did the GO train screw ups impact you? Here's what happened


By Staff

November 2nd, 2021



Did the GO train schedule screw up impact you this past weekend – Oct. 30 and 31?

Metrolinx explains what happened.

There is never a good time to shutdown the busiest commuter rail line in the country.

This past Saturday (Oct. 30) was particularly rough with the combination of Halloween festivities, sporting events, and concerts all drawing people to downtown Toronto.

So, what happened? During a routine track inspection, GO Transit crews discovered a section of the tracks between Port Credit and Clarkson GO stations was unstable, so much so that trains could no longer pass through the area safely.

The transit agency made the difficult decision to shut down that section of track.

This huge hunk of equipment was brought in to smooth and stabilize the tracks which then had to be tested to ensure the tracks were stable. It could have been worse and happened during rush hours.

Making the fix

Behind the scenes, transit experts at Metrolinx drew up a plan to keep people moving and got started immediately on the repairs. Extra GO buses were called in to shuttle people between Port Credit and Clarkson, and Lakeshore West train service was reduced to hourly to avoid further delays.

The team initially estimated it could take up to 24 hours to complete the repairs but crews worked through the night – during the rain – on Saturday to get the repairs done as quickly as possible, in hopes of reducing the impact to people on Sunday.

Once the initial repairs were made, a large machine known as a DynaCAT was brought in to smooth and stabilize the tracks. Finally, GO had to run a test train over the repaired section at slow speeds to make sure everything was good to go.

In the end, the teams got the job done in time for regular GO train service to resume on Sunday morning.


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Budget deliberations begin: Mayor doesn't appear to like what is to be presented

By Pepper Parr

November 2nd, 2021



Work to determine the City of Burlington’s 2022 budget continues. An overview of the budget will be presented to Council at a virtual Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 9:30 a.m. The overview will include a look at the proposed 2022 operating budget as well as the 2022 capital budget and forecast.

Key areas of focus for the proposed 2022 budget
Each year, during the City’s budget process, decisions are made to ensure an appropriate balance between affordability, maintaining service levels and financial sustainability over the long term.

The proposed 2022 budget focuses on:

  • Mitigating the financial impacts of COVID-19
  • maintaining service levels
  • ensuring city assets are maintained in a good state of repair
  • continuing to provide strategic investments aligned to the City’s work plan, 2018 to 2022: Vision to Focus
  • upholding legislative requirements while ensuring competitive property taxes.

Proposed capital budget
The proposed 2022 capital budget is $77.3 million, with a ten-year program of $829.5 million. From this total:

  • 68.5% is for infrastructure renewal
  • 15.1% goes towards growth-related projects
  • 12.8% is for new/enhanced projects
  • 3.6% goes towards green projects which support the City’s climate goals.

Proposed operating budget
The proposed 2022 operating budget is $284.8 million and includes new funding to support:

  • Sustaining city services ($685,333)
    • Additional funding for on-going recreation facility maintenance to meet lifecycle requirements and reduce risk
    • One-time funding to support a Gypsy Moth spraying program in 2022
    • One-time funding to extend the contracts of two bylaw officers
  • Enhancing services ($199,130)
    • Funding to make the free transit for seniors pilot a permanent program
    • Operating expenses to support the new Orchard Community Hub
  • Modifications to services to address COVID-19 ($332,733)
    • Funding to make the bus cleaning pilot program permanent
    • Dedicated operations space for building inspection and bylaw enforcement staff.

There was a time when citizens met and discussed the budget options – COVID19 is being used as the reason for not being able to do that this year.

Proposed tax increase
When combined with the estimated regional and education tax levies, the overall projected tax increase for a Burlington homeowner in 2022 is 3.18% or $24.76 per $100,000 of assessment. For example, homeowners with a home assessed at $500,000 would pay an additional $123.80 per year or $2.38 per week. This represents a 5.45% increase to the City’s portion of the tax bill.

In a statement reported to have been made by Mayor Meed Ward last week the budget and its tax increase was described as a Staff wish list and would not be passed.  Staff do not appar to have gotten that memo.

A copy of the proposed budget for 2022 will be available online.

Public Input

To gather feedback from residents about how municipal services are valued and which ones are a priority for residents, the City hosted an online budget survey from July 5 to Sept. 30, 2021. A total of 539 responses were received.

Survey results:

  • 71.7% indicated they are satisfied with the services provided by the City of Burlington
  • 64.5% rated the value they receive for their tax investment as good or very good
  • 70.3% said it is important to them for funding to be put aside for infrastructure renewal
  • 86.3% said it is important to them to set aside additional funding to address potential future emergencies like a pandemic or natural disaster.

Get Involved Burlington also features an interactive budget simulation tool where residents and taxpayers can show the City how they would balance the budget. Users can increase and decrease funding for different City service areas as they see fit while still maintaining a balanced budget.

Virtual 2022 Budget Town Hall – Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. – Save the Date

An additional opportunity for public input on the 2022 budget will be held on Monday, Nov. 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. during a virtual town hall hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. The live, online meeting provides residents an opportunity to learn more and ask questions to City staff about the proposed 2022 budget priorities.

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Applications to run an outdoor neighbourhood ice rink available now

By Staff

November 1, 2021


The City is encouraging neighbours to come together to maintain outdoor community ice rinks this winter. Applications for the Neighbourhood Rink program are available now at and are due by Nov. 12, 2021.

Champions have started out on rinks like this – thousands of kids learned to skate at places like this. Create one in your community.

Groups looking to organize a neighbourhood rink will need a minimum of six people from their community to maintain the rink. Volunteers who are approved to move forward with their rink will need to agree to the terms and conditions set out in the Neighbourhood Rinks program, agree to complete training and agree to keep maintenance records of the rink and provide their own water source.

City staff will install rink boards, hoses and tarps in each requested location and provide a training manual with tips on ice maintenance. As the colder weather arrives, each neighbourhood group will flood the rinks to get them ready for a first skate and then maintain them throughout the winter.

Neighbourhood rinks are open to all community members to skate for free.

For more information, visit



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GO Vaxx bus to be at Mapleview Mall on Wednesday

By Staff

November 1st, 2021



If you haven’t been fully vaccinated yet, here’s your chance!

GO-VAXX bus coming to Burlington

The Go-VAXX bus will at Burlington’s Maple Park (750 Maple Avenue) in Burlington on Nov. 3, 11am to 7pm

No appointment is necessary and anyone born in 2009 and before is eligible to get vaccinated.

Which vaccine you will get

The GO-VAXX buses are administering the Pfizer vaccine.
What to bring with you

If you would like to get vaccinated at a GO-VAXX bus mobile clinic, remember to:

• bring your health card — if you do not have a health card or if it’s expired, bring another form of government-issued photo identification such as a driver’s license, passport, status card, or birth certificate
• eat and drink something before you arrive at your appointment to prevent feeling faint or dizzy while being vaccinated
• dress for the weather in case there is a line-up
• wear clothing that allows for easy access to your upper arm, such as a loose-fitting top or a t-shirt
• wear a mask that covers your nose, mouth and chin

Do not visit the GO-VAXX bus if you have symptoms of COVID-19covid 19.

Stay safe, stay healthy and be grateful.

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City witnesses unable to agree on the facts; part of the reason the city lost at a Land Tribunal hearing

By Staff

October 31st, 2021



Tribunal hearings are based on evidence given by people who are shown to be experts.

The hearings are dry, close to boring and one sometimes wonders if there is a purpose behind it all.
In arguing the merits of the case one of the questions that was set out was:

The numbers before each section used to identify a comment made.

The City is the City of Burlington.

Lakeshore refers to Lakeshore (Burlington) Inc., the corporate name for the Carriage Gate development at the north east corner of Lakeshore and Pearl.

The developer wanted 29 storeys; city said it could live with 22 – developer won. The Tower in the center will be three storeys higher than the one on the right that is currently under construction.

Does the Lakeshore Proposal fail to conform to the City’s Official Plan due to ‘Negative Impacts’ and Lack of ‘Compatibility’ stemming from the 29-storey tower design?

Lack of Shadow Impact

[39] Ralph Bouwmeester testified on behalf of Lakeshore with respect to the shadow impact issues raised by the City. He is a professional engineer and the Principal of R. Bouwmeester and Associates and has over 40 years of experience in urban development and municipal servicing design. Mr. Bouwmeester has provided expert testimony regarding sun/shadow position modeling in numerous proceedings before the Tribunal and various Courts in both Canada and the USA. He was duly qualified before the Tribunal in this proceeding without objection to provide opinion evidence on the same matters.

[40] Mr. Bouwmeester’s views as expressed in his WS, Reply WS and in oral testimony before the Tribunal were:
(a) New net shadows from the proposed development on the surroundings are limited and do not result in unacceptable shadows within the context of a downtown urban environment;

(b) The proposed Development meets the purpose and intent of the Shadow Impact Criteria of the City as set out in its Shadow Study Guidelines and Terms of Reference (June 2020);

(c) The resultant new net shadow resulting from the Development is limited and therefore the floorplate size of the proposed 29-storey residential tower is appropriate from a shadowing perspective;

29 and 26 storeys on this block; across the street and one block west 22 storeys, another block to the west there is a development proposed that would have two towers – one at 35 and the other at 30 storeys.

(d) The City’s shadow studies do not meet the requirements of the City’s Shadow Study Guidelines and Terms of Reference (June 2020) (“Shadow Guidelines”). For example, these studies do not include the dates and hourly test times required by the Shadow Guidelines nor do they include the required sun/shade area calculations necessary to determine the Sun Access Factor targets stipulated in the Shadow Guidelines. The City’s shadow studies are based on test dates and times (only 3 per day) that the City required prior to the adoption of the current Shadow Guidelines and are not supportable;

(e) Despite there being a limited cumulative shadow on the townhouse garage roof deck and rooftop amenity areas adjacent to the Development, the degree of impact meets the purpose and intent of the Shadow Guidelines;

(f) There is no additional morning shadow on the roof decks and rooftop amenity areas on March 21 caused by Lakeshore’s 29-storey proposal as compared to the City-supported 22-storey alternative. There is minor additional shadowing on the roof decks and rooftop amenity areas at 12:00,1:00 and 2:00 PM over small areas for short periods;

(g) There is very little difference in the shadow impact of 22 storeys versus 29 stories on the townhouse development adjacent to the Development. In any event, the degree of impact meets the purpose and intent of the Shadow Guidelines; and

(i) Therefore, the Proposal meets the City’s goal “to promote high-quality development proposals that ensure adequate access to sunlight is maintained for the enjoyment of public and private spaces alike”.

[41] Interestingly, the City chose not call testimony from an outside engineering expert to offer opinion evidence on shadow impacts. Instead, Mr. Todd Evershed, who is currently employed by the City as an urban designer, purported to provide such evidence. Mr. Evershed is not an engineer, nor does he have any experience in providing expert analysis concerning shadowing beyond his contributions to the development of the City’s Shadow Study Guidelines and Terms of Reference (June 2020). He is a Registered Professional Planner and has worked in various roles as a City employee since 2013

[42] Counsel for Lakeshore objected to the notion that Mr. Evershed could be qualified to provide opinion evidence on sun/shadow matters concerning the Development, and the City’s counsel did not seek to achieve that. Instead, he requested that Mr. Evershed offer urban design opinion evidence only, and the Tribunal qualified him solely for that purpose.

[43] As pointed out by Lakeshore’s counsel, the ‘sun/shadow’ issue initially raised by Mr. Evershed as a design issue was his contention that the proposed development would: “…result in excessive and inappropriate shadow impacts on the adjacent public realm and nearby residential properties…”.

BeauSoleil is the marketing name given to the development.

44] However, during his testimony, Mr. Evershed’s concerns had narrowed to the question of the possible shadow impact on one block within the live-work townhouse project directly behind the Development – referred to as the “West Block”. Mr. Evershed focused on the cumulative shadow impact on elevated decks above the at-grade parking spaces for each of the live-work units.

[45] Mr. Evershed insisted that because those decks did not meet the minimum Sun Access Factor (“SAF”), the Lakeshore Proposal fails to meet the City’s Shadow Guidelines and, therefore should be rejected and redesigned to ensure that the SAF is met. Instead, the Tribunal accepts and agrees with the contrary analysis of sun/shadow matters provided by Mr. Bouwmeester as detailed in paragraph [39] above. As noted, his evidence was the only expert opinion available to the OLT.

[46] As noted in paragraph [39], Mr. Bouwmeester conducted a careful and detailed evaluation of the shadow impacts on these same private elevated decks and also completed a SAF analysis in accordance with the City’s Shadow Guidelines. While his analysis does demonstrate that these elevated decks fail to receive the minimum SAF on March 21st, this does not mean that these decks never receive sun at other times of the year. In fact, Mr. Bouwmeester demonstrated that the townhouse decks received receive considerable amounts of sun during the summer months. Moreover, he concluded that the Lakeshore Proposal meets the purpose and intent of the shadow impact criteria of the City’s Shadow Guidelines. The Tribunal reiterates that it accepts Mr. Bouwmeester’s opinion evidence on this matter, which was not successfully challenged during cross-examination.

[47] Interestingly, when questioned about the need to balance his claimed shadow problems as against other planning objectives, Mr. Evershed stated that such a need was a matter for evaluation by the City’s Planning Expert Mr. Paul Johnston. Yet, for his part, Mr. Johnston conceded during cross-examination that he no longer was of the view that the Lakeshore Proposal will cause unacceptable shadow impacts – or any negative impacts whatsoever.

[48] Based on the significant admissions of Mr. Johnston and Mr. Evershed as described above in paragraph [47], and in light of the expert opinion evidence of Mr. Bouwmeester all as described in this Part 3 (a), the Tribunal found that the City has failed to demonstrate that the Development will cause any unacceptable sun/shadow impacts.

If the city witnesses can’t agree on the facts – don’t expect favourable decisions from a Tribunal.

The city blew this part of the hearing

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The blame game begins: Is Goldring thinking of running for his old job in 2022 ?

By Staff

October 31st, 2021



Is former Mayor Rick Goldring getting ready to jump back into the political ring again?  He recently wrote an Opinion piece for the Local News (he was the founder of that online news source).

At this point the structure on the left has been approved by the Ontario Land Tribunal.

He came out pretty strongly against the Mayor Meed Ward about the Ontario Land Tribunal decision to permit the building of a 29 storey tower at Lakeshore and Pearl.  But he doesn’t tell the whole story.

His opinion.

“This week, the Ontario Land Tribunal (formerly the OMB — Ontario Municipal Board) ruled in favour of the developer Carriage Gate Homes for a 29-storey mixed-use condominium development on the northeast corner of Pearl and Lakeshore. The City of Burlington press release, along with the comments from

Meed Ward with then Mayor Goldring: the two never did get along all that well.

the mayor and ward councillor, had a strong tone of indignancy as result of the decision. It makes good politics to blame others and not look in the mirror to consider whether the mayor and council could have approached this differently.  Now council will have a closed session meeting in early November with City of Burlington planners and lawyers to hear what options they have in an attempt to remove seven storeys from the development. (The mayor and council have already voted to accept a 22-storey building on the site.)

“I am reminded of the  Nautique development application immediately to the east of the Carriage Gate site.

“Adi Development Group originally submitted an application for 28 storeys in 2014; they then reduced the height to 26 storeys and in 2016, council, with yours truly as mayor, rejected the application. Adi appealed the council decision to the Ontario Municipal Board and won the appeal in 2018. Council then asked for a review of the OMB decision to no avail.

The ADI Group had better legal talent in their corner and they were tougher. The city missed several opportunities to put forward a stronger case.

“When I look back on the process of the Nautique development application, council, led by me, made mistakes. The best way to deal with the situation politically is to fight the developer and application and that is just what we did, but that approach invariably does not (and did not) end up in a winning situation for the city.

“We would have been much better off to negotiate with the developer from the beginning. We could have saved the city time and money and we could have saved the developer time and money by reaching a compromise much earlier in the process. However, that approach is not good politics. Politically, it is better to fight and lose than compromise and look like you are acquiescing to developers.

“Based on previous development applications that resulted in 17-storey buildings (360 on Pearl and the Berkeley), the right approach with Adi back in 2014 was to push to compromise at 17 storeys (between the 28 that Adi wanted and the four to eight allowed in the Official Plan). This would have been defensible at the OMB even if Adi did not agree.

This small bus terminal on John Street that the Transit people wanted to demolish at one point has had a massive impact on the kind of development taking place in the downtown core.

“Fast forward to 2021, the current council will most likely decide to keep fighting the Carriage Gate 29-storey development when they already have approved 22 storeys, and for what purpose? To look good politically with an election coming next year? After all, looking good is much more important than making thoughtful decisions.”

What Goldring didn’t comment on was the way that  OMB hearing went.

The ADI Group took their case to the OMB because the city failed to make a decision within the required time frame.  How the city missed that deadline was never explained at the time.

Between the time that ADI filed their appeal and when the appeal was actually heard the ADI Group bought the small property to the north of the site they had acquired.

The dark shaded area was the area that ADI owned and made an application to build on. They later bought the house in the area to the north (marked as a 4 storey) and added it to their plans – making it a new development. The city had a chance to insist that ADI file a new application – but they let that opportunity get away.

And that purchase made it a totally different application – which had not been presented to the city.

The city could have advised the OMB member of that fact – but they chose not to do so and they were out-maneuvered by a lawyer who saw a loophole and made it work for her client.

That loophole was the transit station, smaller than some washrooms in the larger monster homes that got defined as a Mobility Hub (that’s what they were called at the time).  The words Mobility Hub were replaced with MTSA (Major Transit Station Area).

The blame for the Nautique rests on the Goldring Council.  It looks as if Goldring wants to place a layer of blame on Mayor Meed Ward for the Carriage Gate property at the corner of Lakeshore and Pearl – to be known as BeauSoleil.

Cute isn’t it.

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Do you know how many members there are in the newly created federal Cabinet ?


By Staff

October 30th, 2021



We had the election no one wanted , at least not the people paying for that event.

Then the Prime Minister gathered together the team he needed to run the country.

The number of people in his Cabinet was a bit of a surprise.

There are 39 of them, each being paid the full salary that a Cabinet Minister gets along with staff and, we believe a car and driver when they have to be transported.

The annual salary is $88,700, with a car allowance.

There are numerous additional tasks for which there is an additional remuneration.

A Caucus Chair for a political party would get an additional $12,800; Parliamentary Secretaries would get an additional $18,100 per session. The list is extensive.

The 2021 Cabinet for the government of Canada – 39 members

Right Hon. Justin Trudeau Prime Minister
Hon. Chrystia Freeland Minister of Finance
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay Minister of Veterans Affairs
Hon. Carolyn Bennett Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
Hon. Dominic LeBlanc Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos Minister of Health
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Hon. Mélanie Joly Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier Minister of National Revenue
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan Minister of International Development
Hon. Carla Qualtrough Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
Hon. Patty Hajdu Minister of Indigenous Services
Hon. François-Philippe Champagne Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
Hon. Karina Gould Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Hon. Ahmed Hussen Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Hon. Ginette Petitpas Taylor Minister of Official Languages
Hon. Seamus O’Regan Minister of Labour
Hon. Pablo Rodriguez Minister of Canadian Heritage
Hon. Bill Blair President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
Hon. Mary Ng Minister of Economic Development
Hon. Filomena Tassi Minister of Public Services and Procurement
Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Natural Resources
Hon. David Lametti Minister of Justice
Hon. Joyce Murray Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Hon. Anita Anand Minister of National Defence
Hon. Mona Fortier President of the Treasury Board
Hon. Steven Guilbeault Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Hon. Marco Mendicino Minister of Public Safety
Hon. Marc Miller Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Hon. Dan Vandal Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada
Hon. Omar Alghabra Minister of Transport
Hon. Randy Boissonnault Minister of Tourism
Hon. Sean Fraser Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Hon. Mark Holland Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Hon. Gudie Hutchings Minister of Rural Economic Development
Hon. Marci Ien Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
Hon. Helena Jaczek Minister responsible for Federal Economic Development Agency, Southern ON
Hon. Kamal Khera Minister of Seniors
Hon. Pascale St-Onge Minister of Sport

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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Sees Big Investment in Culture and Recreation Projects

By Matthew Major

October 31st, 2021



Recently, the government has committed to investing around $5.2 million in three culture and recreation projects in Central Ontario and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

The impact of Covid stretches far beyond our health and hospitals. All areas of the local community have been affected by lockdowns, and families, businesses and communities across the country have had to make big changes to their way of lives. As a result of this disruption, the Canadian and Ontario governments are working together to support people and communities by ensuring that local infrastructure is safe and reliable. At the same time, the government is also looking ahead to see what else can be done in these unprecedented times.

Recently, Sven Spengemann, member of parliament for Mississauga—Lakeshore, announced a series of joint funding. This funding will be specifically for three culture and recreation infrastructure projects in the GTHA and Central Ontario. This announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities as well as Ontario’s Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. The move will see businesses receive some bonus funding for Covid support, but as Bonusfinder Canada explains, there can be restrictions to watch out for.

Who is Paying for These Projects?
The Government of Canada will be spending approximately $2.8 million on these projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream. The Ontario government alone will also be funding more than $2.3 million to these initiatives, while beneficiaries are investing a total of more than $1.9 million in their own projects.

Under the Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, Ontario will contribute roughly $320 million over the next ten years, while Canada will invest around $407 million.

What Is the Money Being Spent On?
This announcement comes after a wave of infrastructure spending is planned for the country in the wake of the Covid pandemic. The government is hoping that with increased spending, communities will be able to return to normal much faster once restrictions have been lifted. This funding will aim to support the building of new facilities and upgrades to existing facilities. All of the projects focus on improving community infrastructure and also include recreational venues and cultural spaces such as museums, theatres and more.

Upgrades to trail infrastructure in conservation areas in Caledon, Erin, Halton Hills, and Mississauga are among the projects that have been financed. They will improve public access to local greenspaces by better connecting trails with neighbouring towns and removing barriers. Trail improvements include the repair of four pedestrian bridges, the construction of three new pedestrian bridges, the expansion of paths by 2.8 kilometres, and the repair of 3.1 kilometres of boardwalk.

The Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre will also receive funding for the design, manufacturing, and installation of an indoor and outdoor children’s gallery, which will provide families with educational content to learn more about local history and culture. Upgrades to the Unionville Seniors Hub’s Community Centre in Markham will provide new programmes and services to meet the special requirements of seniors and their caregivers. These initiatives, once completed, will provide citizens with better access to recreation facilities for many years to come.

Spengemann had the following to say about the funding “Ensuring residents have access to quality recreation infrastructure is vital for community well-being and development. Today’s investment for three culture and recreation infrastructure projects in the GTHA and Central Ontario will provide residents with access to modern, reliable, and even more accessible recreation facilities”.

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