The two Michaels - when will the Governor General name them as Members of the Order of Canada ?

By Pepper Parr

September 27th, 2021



Many in Burlington have been patiently waiting for the federal government to announce that Terry Fox will be on the next version of the five dollar $5.00 bill.  They aren’t ready to announce yet.  The wheels turn slowly.

Hopefully they will not be as slow when the Office of the Governor General, where the Order of Canada awards and announcements are made, decide that the two Michael’s are to be made Members of the Order of Canada.

There is a process of course and it has to be followed – but is this not a very special situation ?

Michael Kovrig on the left, Michael Spavor on the right

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor spent more than 1000 days in wretched jail cells,  cooped up with others because the Chinese government wanted to force the Canadian government to let one of their citizens return to China.  We are not going to name the Chinese citizen – enough attention has been wasted on her.

All she had to do was admit what she eventually did admit she had done.

The Michaels are different – they stood strong during a very hard situation.  Now they have to adjust and learn about all the things they missed.  Their credit cards have to be renewed; do they have places to live?  Do they have jobs?  Is their mental health good?

Both men are going to need time to adjust – they will need as much privacy as media and the public in general can give them.  In the immediate future though, there is an opportunity for their government to formally recognize their contribution to making this country what it is.


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Advocates for climate change gather in Spencer Smith Park

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 26th, 2021




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Environmental organizations to join:

Fridays for future –

Burlington Green –

Halton Environmental network –

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One road to more affordable housing in Burlington is a closer look and some action on Inclusionary Zoning

By Staff

September 25th, 2021



Inclusionary zoning (IZ) is a relatively new strategy in many Canadian municipalities that specifically allows municipalities to require affordable housing units to be provided in new residential development projects.

There is little value for IZ in areas where, due to the lack of market demand, significant measures and incentives are required to attract development. In these circumstances, more direct measures such as funding construction of affordable housing units through non-profit organizations may be more efficient at addressing affordable housing needs.

Young families have been driving the population growth in the reason; that growth is threatened by the high cost of housing,

Halton Region has a higher proportion of family households than most other areas of the province. Across Halton 78.4% of the dwellings are family households, compared to 71.3% across the GTHA and results in a lack of available detached or semi- detached single-family dwellings.

By 2041, the percentage of family households is projected to decrease to 75.8% of Halton’s housing mix. After 2021, intensification in Halton was planned to be pursued aggressively with 90% of the growth in built-up areas being in the form of condominiums and apartments, and just 10% in the form of ground related housing.

If Halton wants to attract younger generations to support its aging population, it will need a proper housing mix including condominiums and apartments to do so.

Younger families have been the bedrock of Halton’s growth and are the most likely to stay in the region long-term and multi-generationally. If these families have to drive further to find the quality and price of home they expect, Halton will be left with an aging population that has a higher demand on local services such as health care, without a stable and growing tax base to offset and support that increased usage.

Inclusionary zoning should be based on a partnership model. The costs of establishing affordable housing units should be shared among the province, municipalities, development industry, non-profit housing sector, housing advocates, as well as the public.

This is one f the last single family dwellings projects in the city. No more land

When determining what areas would benefit from inclusionary zoning, it is important to assess the specific housing types targeted for affordable housing, target groups where policy efforts should be focused, potential developments that may be exempt from IZ, and examples of how IZ would work in practice and how potential measures and incentives would apply to a given development.

Burlington has a Housing Strategy Working group led by ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stole that happens to have a wide range of people involved in housing issues taking part.  Some deep discussion on how to create an Inclusive zoning category for Burlington (it would have to be Region wide) and maybe even a recommendation to both the city and the Region.

This article along with several others came out of a Dispatch released by Community Development Halton – it is one of the best CDH has produced in some time.  The work was done by Rachel
Ferry, a McMaster University placement student.


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The number of cars on Burlington streets isn't being looked at properly

By Pepper Parr

September 24th, 2021



Mayor Marianne Meed Ward once said that fireworks were something she heard about from residents almost as much as parking.

Parking – where do the people driving put their cars when they want to shop, or visit or dine?

Back up a bit and ask – where are all the cars coming from?

Back up a bit more – when a development application is filed with the Planning Department one of the reports that must be included is a traffic study.

Look at any number of those studies and they will all say that the number of cars that might be added to the flow of traffic in the city is “acceptable”, or words along those lines.

The people who write these reports are seen to be professionals who know their craft very well and their evidence is accepted as true.

The traffic reports get an OK from the planners.

And – the OK for that single traffic study might be very valid.

But there is a bigger picture that has to be looked at – and at this point no one is looking or asking the question.

All the traffic from the underground garage will exist on to Elizabeth, shown on the left. To the left of the development is the site for whatever the Waterfront hotels site ends up looking like for the site

The hundreds of cars coming out of the Bridgewater Development will exit the development onto Elizabeth street and then can continue north or go right or left on Lakeshore Road.

The hundreds of cars that are expected to come out of the proposed redevelopment of the Waterfront Hotel site also empty onto Elizabeth Street and then can continue north or go right or left on Lakeshore Road.

While this is, at this point in time, a Ward 2 concern it will become an issue elsewhere when the large developments along Fairview and in the east end of the city come online.

We challenge Councillor Kearns to look for a way to require traffic studies to focus on the impact the single development will have (they are already required to do that) AND to provide a report that sets out the impact their development will have on new developments already approved within a 120 metre radius.

The planners can work out the specifics; the objective is to have information that sheds light on that bigger picture.

It is the bigger picture – everything happening within a specific radius that isn’t being looked at.

The city planners don’t ask – they aren’t required to.

We don’t quite why Heather MacDonald, Chief Planner doesn’t go before council and point out that they are not asked to report on the bigger picture – and ask Council to give them a Staff Direction to do just that.

At some point someone has to get ahead of the problem and ask the bigger question.

If we don’t the phrase in the Official Plan that has Burlington as a “City that Moves” will have to add – moves very very VERY slowly.

To Lisa Kearns and Heather MacDonald – the ball is in your court.

Looking forward to listening to what you put before Council on this one.


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

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Renovictions: A nasty little procedure for getting rid of a tenant - then upping the rent

By Staff

September 23rd, 2021



Earlier this week Community Development Halton put out a very good report. It was lengthy – so we decided to break it down into several segments.

There is a nasty process that some landlords use to evict their tenants – make some upgrades to the property and then put it back on the market – at a significant rent increase.

The market for rental housing is very very tight.

The process is known as renovictions

Organizing and fighting back. Does it work?

There has been a drastic increase in the number of renovictions in the past few years. Landlords are allowed to end tenancy if major renovations are required to a tenant’s unit by issuing a N13 (notice of termination for renovation or repair).

Eviction notices like the N13 or N12 (terminating a tenancy for landlord’s own use), are not the same as an eviction order but a tactic used by landlords to regain control of the unit.

In Ontario, the only way to legally evict a tenant is through a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board. If after receiving the N13, a tenant decides if they want to challenge it. Their next step is an LTB hearing, in which an adjudicator listens to both sides, considers the evidence and then makes a decision.

The majority of these cases never reach the LTB and therefore this becomes an illegal eviction strategy that is used to increase rental costs.

It is becoming increasingly common for landlords to evict tenants and then re-list the same unit a couple of months later, with a few to no renovations completed at all. If the tenant decides to move out without going through the LTB process, they have the right to move back into their unit once the renovation is completed. The landlord cannot increase the rent – generally they can only raise it according to the percentage mandated by the province’s rent increase guideline.

According to a November 2019 report from the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, over the past four years in Toronto there has been a 294 per cent increase in N13 applications and an 84 per cent rise in N12 applications.

However, since landlords need a building permit to evict tenants, the city could use that as a leverage tool if they find out that the permit has been used fraudulently (the work was never done, or the tenant never got the right of first refusal).

The renoviction practice takes place in the area. – this was in Hamilton.

The landlord should then get another permit moving forward. Challenging an eviction notice is a lengthy process that requires a lot of maneuvering through a complicated system. And for a lot of tenants, the stress of a potential eviction is reason enough to start looking for a new home.

The current provincial government has placed a temporary ban on evictions during the pandemic and landlords are encouraged to work with tenants to establish fair arrangements to keep tenants in their homes, including deferring rent or other payment arrangements.

However, back pay in rent is piling up and many are still getting eviction notices which leads to an uncertain future for many when it comes to where they will live once the eviction bans are lifted.

Related news story:

Affordable housing – how can it be made to happen?

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

By Staff

September 23rd, 2021




Hayley Verall,

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

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

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

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What is being done to address the issue of housing affordability ?

By Staff

September 22, 2021



The evidence is in, and it is overwhelming. The cost of housing has grown much more quickly than household incomes. The past year has seen housing affordability discussed frequently as the impact of COVID-19 on changing work arrangements has created different opportunities for where people are located. This Community Dispatch will look at what is being done to address the issue of housing affordability.

Based on the belief that every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable home, The National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10 year, $70-billion plan that the federal government has put in place to create a new generation of housing in Canada that is affordable and inclusive. The NHS is designed as a toolkit to address challenges across the housing continuum and spectrum of housing needs, with its initial focus on vulnerable Canadians including women and children fleeing violence, Indigenous peoples, seniors, and newcomers to Canada. The National Housing Strategy will result in up to 100, 000 new housing units and 300, 000 repaired or renewed housing units creating an entirely new generation of housing in Canada.

Using a mix of funding, grants, and loans, the strategy will create affordable, stable, and livable communities that are mixed-income, accessible (located near amenities and transportation), and sustainable. Rising house prices have made home ownership more difficult. Additionally, Canada’s rental housing supply is aging, many buildings are in poor shape and in need of costly repairs, and the overall supply is not keeping up with the needs in many cities. Therefore, by bringing together the public, private and non-profit sectors, the NHS can create new affordable housing supply by increasing the capacity of the community housing sector, increase funding for building new affordable shelters and supportive housing, encourage construction of sustainable rental apartments using low-cost loans, and utilize surplus lands and buildings to create socially inclusive housing that provides solutions to housing challenges. However, recent analysis of the NHS by the Parliamentary Budget Officer has found that the impact on housing need has been limited over its first three years.

Housing is a federal issue.

While ambitious in its targets, the NHS’s program design is not beyond critique. Its centrepiece financial instrument, the Rental Construction Finance Initiative (RCFI), for example, is ostensibly designed to address rental stock gaps by providing housing developers with quicker access to loans, thereby accelerating housing supply. Critics have argued that the RCFI – which is receiving 85% of the total increase in the NHS budget – may help increase housing supply for “middle income renter demand,” but the inflated income thresholds used in its framework impedes it from providing significant affordable housing solutions (see CURE Brief, Review of RCFI, Jan, 2021).

The government of Ontario is supporting the goals of the National Housing Strategy through the Community Housing Renewal Strategy and the Housing Supply Action Plan. 56% of renter households in Ontario cannot afford the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment ($1,266). Rising housing costs have a significant impact on low-income households, and many require some form of assistance through the community housing system.

The Community Housing Renewal Strategy outlines how the government of Ontario will work with community partners to stabilize and grow the community housing sector. It is proven that when people have the housing they need, they have better health, education, and employment outcomes.

The province needs to show serious leadership if the number of new affordable housing are to be built.

When housing is affordable and in areas near transit, schools, workplaces and amenities, individuals have the opportunity to manage their lives and raise their families. Community housing provides a home for people working in low-income jobs, for seniors, those living on social assistance, and for individuals with developmental disabilities, mental health and addictions challenges and for people who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, or human trafficking. Community housing provides homes to over 250,000 families and individuals across Ontario.

In order to increase the supply of market housing, the Ontario government is developing a detailed Housing Supply Action Plan to create more affordable and good quality places to live. During an online consultation, more than half of the submissions from the general public said their top criteria when looking for a home were affordability, followed by transit, schools, and services located nearby. By making the most of infrastructure investments and encouraging more density around major transit stations the plan will make it easier to build the right types of housing in the right places and help Ontarians find a home that meets their needs and budget.

The success of the National Housing Strategy also requires collaboration with municipalities to empower communities to create strategic plans and locally informed approaches to curb and reduce homelessness while creating new housing opportunities for vulnerable residents. The Comprehensive Housing Strategy, initiated in 2014, serves as the Region’s 10 year housing and homelessness plan that strives to encourage and protect affordable housing in Halton. In 2019, Regional Council endorsed the Comprehensive Housing Strategy Update 2014-2024 – Five-year Review, which provides updated actions and targets for the CHS. These include creating a range and mix of new housing across the housing continuum to meet the needs of the Halton community; protecting existing rental housing so that it continues to be available to residents; and, providing coordinated services to Halton residents who need support to obtain or maintain their housing.

The State of Housing Report is prepared annually to provide a review of housing supply and demand and is used to inform the Comprehensive Housing Strategy.

Halton is a community of more than half a million people with some of the most expensive housing in the province – creating affordable and attainable housing is proving to be a challenge.

Halton’s vision includes advancing the supply of an adequate mix and variety of housing to meet differing physical, social, and economic needs. The report also assesses the Region’s success in achieving its Regional Official Plan housing targets that call for at least 50% of new housing units produced annually in Halton to be in the form of townhouses or multi-storey buildings, and at least 30% of new housing units produced to be affordable or assisted housing.

Halton’s Housing Model gathers various information including household income, household spending, housing costs, and average rents in the region from a variety of data sources including Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Statistics Canada, and Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).

An analysis is then conducted on this data that generates thresholds based on household income and housing cost and that calculation is undertaken for both the assisted and affordable (non-assisted) segments of the housing continuum. A table showing the income and housing cost thresholds in included below.

Income and Housing Cost Thresholds table from the State of Housing Report 2020, Halton Region

Lasting impact of COVID-19
According to the Oakville Resiliency Report of 2020, the pandemic has also made the task of finding affordable housing more difficult. Cost of housing including rentals have fluctuated and many congregate living situations have become dangerous due to the difficulty of physical distancing. Long-term care facilities were hit the hardest by the pandemic with overwhelming outbreaks among residents and staff.

Emergency shelters were also impacted by the pandemic, having to reduce their capacity to abide by social distancing guidelines. Within Halton, a new shelter for families and single women was acquired, while the Lighthouse Shelter was transformed to a men’s only shelter with targeted mental health supports. As well, hotels were being leveraged as needed to address surge demand.

According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board Market Watch, as of August 2021 the average sale price for a home in Halton was $1,206,016, an increase of 17% from the previous year.

The pandemic has created extra challenges and exacerbated others. For women in abusive relationships, there was increased risk when stay at home orders were implemented and violence escalated. According to Halton Women’s Place, shelter capacity decreased based on Covid guidelines, leaving many fleeing violence unable to secure space. As a result, women were waiting longer to come. It is anticipated that there will be a surge after the pandemic ends.

Evictions during the pandemic rose – then there was a ban – but the ban ended.

Changes to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) in the context of the pandemic have also impacted low- income and otherwise marginalized tenants and brought awareness to inequalities and accessibility concerns moving towards online hearings, as documented by Ontario Legal Clinics. Access to technology is highly unequal and the LTB cannot assume that all individuals have equal access to computers, internet connection, phone minutes, or the private space to participate meaningfully in hearings. Additionally, accessing legal assistance or advice during the pandemic when many legal clinic staff are working remotely is challenging especially with short timelines and delays in processing of important documents electronically. With these changes, the LTB has a responsibility to ensure that its response to COVID-19 does not unfairly exacerbate homelessness or the effects of the pandemic on racialized, Black, and Indigenous communities, or renters living in poverty.

This Community Dispatch was produced by Community Development Halton, a not for profit organization that focuses on community development for the Region.

Related news stories that will be published in the near future are on: Inclusionary Zoning; newer forms of housing arrangements and Renovictions – a rather nasty practice some landlords are  using.



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

By Staff

September 22nd, 2021



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many service payments are available online at

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recreation Programs and Facilities Drop-in recreation programs and rentals will run as scheduled on Sept. 30. Visit or follow @BurlingtonParksRec on Facebook and @Burl_ParksRec on Twitter for the latest updates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Former Burlington Elementary School Teacher Charged with Historical Sexual Assault

By Staff

September 22, 2021



The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has arrested a male in relation to a sexual assault that occurred at a Burlington elementary school in 1982.

It has been ranked as the best elementary school in Burlington.

In July, 2021 a former female student at John T. Tuck Elementary School in Burlington, contacted the HRPS to report that she was sexually assaulted by a teacher when she attended the school in 1982.

Michael O’Grady (72) of Burlington, has been charged with:

  • Indecent Assault to a Female

O’Grady was released on an Undertaking.

O’Grady taught at various schools within the Halton District School Board and police believe there may be additional victims.  Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Constable Carly Irwin of the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit, at 905-825-4747, ext. 8976, or by email at

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at

Every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Victims of sexual assault and witnesses 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 sexual violence:

  • Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777
  • Halton Women’s Place 905-878-8555 (north) or 905-332-7892 (24-hour crisis line)
  • Halton Children’s Aid Society 905-333-4441 or 1-866-607-5437
  • Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
  • Thrive Counselling 905-637-5256 or 905-845-3811
  • Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)



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How and why was the Rambo Creek diversion chanel built

By Eric Chiasson

September 22, 2021



For those of you who live or work in the downtown Burlington area or who enjoy spending time there, you might be familiar with a quiet little creek running through the downtown neighborhoods bringing plenty of small wildlife like foxes, possums, and countless birds and reptiles to our backyards – it is known as the Rambo Creek.

Its headwaters come from north of the QEW passing through several box culverts under the highway and parallels Brant Street to the east zigzagging its way through town to Lake Ontario.

Map of downtown Burlington – alignment of Rambo Creek and Rambo Creek Diversion Channel

It wasn’t always a quiet little creek.  There was a time a while back when it would overflow and sometimes flood during big rain falls eroding its banks causing damage in the downtown area.  In the 1990’s, however, the Rambo Creek Diversion Channel and its associated flood control structures were built to stabilize the creek and protect downtown from flooding (Hager-Rambo Flood Control Facilities Study Report 2020 – Wood).

Over the past half century Rambo Creek has been getting more crowded with urban development.  Parking lots and buildings have been built up against it, and in some cases, right over it!  A good portion of the creek is buried in box culverts carrying its waters through town mostly unseen.  Following it through town from Highway 403 all the way to its outlet to Lake Ontario near Lakeshore Road and Torrance Street can be challenging because it moves sporadically from forested open creek beds to long underground culverts.  It winds between apartment buildings and hides behind strip malls.  In some locations, it meanders through residential backyards.  If you’re close by and you pay attention, you’ll hear its natural sounds a running water.
Rambo Creek flowing through downtown residential backyards (left), between buildings and parking lots and diving under roads (right)

Over the years, attempts have been made to stabilize the creek bed by means of concrete retaining walls, gravity stone walls, boulders, and culverts, and have all been subject to significant maintenance and repairs especially during rainy seasons.  As much as we try to control water, its damaging affects through erosion are as inevitable as gravity.  So, to mitigate the risk of flooding and damage to downtown infrastructure, a diversion channel would be needed to control the volume of water going through Burlington’s historic neighborhoods, which was eventually built in the 1990’s.  The channel was funded by multiple levels of government and is maintained and operated by Conservation Halton to reduce the risk of local damage due to flooding (

The creek would need to be intercepted high enough to go around the more densely developed downtown area but low enough to maximize the flow reduction through town.  And then a less developed route for the channel would have to be chosen.  Its starting point would be near the intersection of Fairview Street and Brant Street, and the water would be carried safely southwest to the Hamilton Harbor thereby significantly reducing the volume of water going through downtown.

Rambo Creek Diversion Channel near its starting point next to Fairview Road
The diversion channel today consists of a long concrete paved channel approximately 2.5 km long with steep slopes diverting flows from the Rambo Creek itself, and runs southwest parallel to Fairview then curves south through residential neighborhoods under several roads until it goes under Maple Avenue.  This location is one of the best places to watch the channel in action after a big rain fall with deep water being diverted from downtown.

Then the channel runs between Maple View Mall and Maple Park then through a large triple-barrel culvert under the QEW connecting to Indian Creek where a large energy dissipation structure was built to avoid damaging Indian Creek during heavy rains, and flows down Indian Creek’s natural creek bed large enough to carry the water safely to the Hamilton Harbor.
Downstream end of the diversion channel with energy dissipation structures (beautifully garnished with local artwork)
At any given time, there is always some water flowing through both Rambo Creek and through its diversion channel.  During rain falls, however, the volume of Rambo Creek itself increases only slightly accommodating more local runoff form the downtown area, but you’ll notice the flow in the channel increases significantly taking on the majority of the upstream flow from the rains saving downtown from severe damage.

Without this amazing, critical, and unassuming piece of infrastructure, the Rambo Creek would constantly be trying to erode the banks of our historic Burlington neighborhoods.  So next time we get a heavy rain fall in the area, thank the Rambo Creek Diversion Channel and the people who built it for keeping the downtown core safe from being washed away.


Eric Chiasson is a civil engineer by training and a construction manager by trade.  Having built many infrastructure projects throughout Canada and the United States over the past 25 years he has become a subject matter expert in infrastructure and construction.  Eric is driven by his curiosity to learn more about how things are built and how they work, encouraging others to join the ranks of those who design and build the infrastructure that makes living in our cities possible.

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Lowville residents enjoy sneak previews at Thinkspot


By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 22, 2021




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

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

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

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

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

Carnival of the Animals

Trevor Copp

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

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

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

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

A love letter… from Lowville to Burlington

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

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

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

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

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

ThinkSpot’s Debra Pickfield

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



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Public can now get a look at what the developer wants to do with the Waterfront Hotel site

By Pepper Parr

September 21st, 2021



On the evening of September 8th, there was a virtual pre-application presentation given by Bousfields, planners for Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc. , which is the company expected to make the application.

It was the first look at what the property owners had in mind for the re-development of the Waterfront Hotel site.

Two things about the images shown below – we were able to show a bit of what the developers have in mind last week.

I think the design is superb.

But I don’t think that design is what the people of Burlington want. It is some distance from the slightly quaint look of the downtown core, which isn’t all that big. It is my belief that there isn’t all that much vibrancy to it. But that’s my personal view.

The decision that gets made about this development is to be made by the people of Burlington.

Unfortunately the people of Burlington didn’t get to see the presentation.

There were just over 100 people participating in the virtual presentation – of which at least a dozen were city staff.

During the Q&A part of the presentation the Gazette asked how we could get a link to the presentation which was recorded.

No one had an answer so on September 11th, I reached out to the Director of Communications Kwab Ako-adjei with the following:


I think you will have taken in all of the pre-application virtual meeting on Wednesday.

Quite a show.

As you know it was recorded and the developer didn’t raise any objection on it being made public – what wasn’t clear was –

Thomas Walker (I erred and used the wrong last name – it is Douglas) was asked and didn’t seem to know where it would be located nor did he leave me with the sense that it would actually be put on the city web site.

Would you follow this up for us please.

I address this to you because we intend to follow how the request is handled and want to be on record as having reached out to the head of the Communications department.

Stay well

I later got a reply from Carla Marshal, who is one of the Communications Advisers with the city.

Good morning, Pepper.

Please take a look at this information, which should help to clarify the City’s role in the development application process: Understanding the Development Application Process – City of Burlington

The meeting was led by the developer so the developer owns the recording of the event. The City does not own the recording; the developer does. It is at the sole discretion of the developer, in this case, Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc. c/o Bousfields Inc., if and where the recording is posted; it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website:

Shortly after there was a response from Suzanne Vukosavljevic,  who was filling in for Marshall..  She said:

The City posts its own meeting recordings on the City site but in this specific case you are asking about, it was not a City meeting so therefore, the City is not posting the recording.

Your questions have been answered by staff below.

Thanks for your interest.

The city provided the following:

As the communications advisor for Planning, I have worked with staff to provide you with the following information:

From Thomas Douglas, Senior Planner, Community Planning:

Pre-Application Community Meetings are hosted by the proponent of a development, not the City. If/when the proponent proceeds to submit a development application to the City for their proposal, as part of their application they must provide minutes from the Pre-Application Community Meeting, a written summary of public input received at the meeting, and an explanation of how public input has been addressed and reflected in the submitted application.

In cases where a Pre-Application Community Meeting occurs virtually, this may be done using the City’s or the applicant’s teleconferencing program. When the City’s technology is used, staff will record the meeting and provide the recording to the proponent to aid them in documenting meeting minutes and public input received. The City does not post the recording on the City’s website, and it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website.

I will inform the proponent of the 2020 Lakeshore Road development proposal that the Gazette has expressed interest in obtaining a copy of the recording.

I hope this helps!

I didn’t feel my request had been met and responded:

Actually it doesn’t help very much.  I then set out more specifically what I was looking for: Carla’s responses are short – set in red.

Does the city have a copy of the event that was recorded? No
Pre-Application Community Meetings are hosted by the proponent of a development, not the City.

If not – does the city intend to obtain a copy?

and where will the copy be located on the city web site

The meeting recording will not be located on the City website; it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website –

Further: whose technology was used – re: using the City’s or the applicant’s teleconferencing program. When the City’s technology is used, staff will record the meeting and provide the recording to the proponent to aid them in documenting meeting minutes and public input received.
The applicant has the recording.

Further – who would make the decision to not post the recording, should it become available on the city web site.
it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website

I reached out to the planner Bousfields and asked where we could get a link to the presentation. And waited.

This morning there was a response from the Bousefields planner with a link to the presentation.

And later in the day there was a link from Thomas Douglas with the same link.

That’s a lot of back and forth – but we did get what we were asking for. Why the difficulty is beyond me.

There are two images below. They are of what the building will look like from Lakeshore Road and what it will look like from the Lake.

A rendering of what the development might look like from Lakeshore Road. Commercial space will exist at grade.


A rendering of what the site will look like from the Lake. Each tower will sit on a four storey podium and then rise to 30 storeys and 26storeys.

In part 2 – there is more in the way of visuals and comment on how the virtual event went and what was learned.

The developer can now submit an application.

When and if they do – they are expected to show how they responded to some of the issues and concerns that were raised.

Bousfields added: Note that the plans are not final and are subject to modifications as we move forward. No formal applications have been submitted at this time, and the public meeting was simply to gauge public interest and explain the proposed intent for the site prior to submission of formal planning applications.


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A suspect on an attempted murder charge has been found deceased

By Staff

September 21st, 2021



The Halton Regional police were looking for David Lavoie (37) of Hamilton as a wanted in connection with a shooting in City of Burlington on September 9, 2021.

Lavoie was found deceased on the evening of Monday September 20, 2021, in Burlington.

Police are not searching for any suspects related to his death and it is not deemed suspicious.

Lavoie was wanted for the charge of Attempt Murder.

The shooting took place at a residence in the area of Maple Crossing Boulevard shortly after 6 pm on September 9, 2021. One victim was transported to hospital and is currently in stable condition.

The police confirmed that the victim and the suspect are known to one another.

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Karina Gould keeps the Burlington seat; Emily Brown was never able to attract the Conservative vote

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 21st, 2021



Relieved at having won the seat Gould talks to media. She held the seat without a visit from the Prime Minister – unusual for this constituency.

Karina Gould will be the MP for Burlington. Will she be back in Cabinet, and which portfolio, are unanswered questions.

Her share of the vote was basically what it was in 2019. The election derided as unnecessary materially changed nothing.

Gould said she didn’t see the night as disappointing and framed the results as an endorsement from Canadians of the work the Liberals have been doing. Late last night after victory could be safely declared Gould arrived to greet volunteers at the Poacher.

“It’s a great night. We’re still in government. And you know, and we’re still moving forward, Canadians have said, we want to continue in this direction. We want to continue taking bold climate action, we want to continue making life more affordable. We want to pursue a $10 a day daycare. And even more importantly, that we want to stand up for inclusivity, women’s rights, fight systemic racism stand up for LGBT individuals. I think that what we were looking for in this election was to say, ‘hey, Canadians, is this the path you want us to continue on?’ And Canadians have said ‘yes,’” said Gould.

Gould said this was the nastiest campaign she’s been part of. Gould didn’t mention Conservative candidate, Emily Brown, by name but at a pre-election Chamber of Commerce debate, she said Brown was the first candidate she’s encountered who “brazenly misled people.”

“It was a bit nastier of a campaign. I’ve never had a candidate put up signs directly attacking me before. We’ve always run a very positive and respectful campaign. I think it’s upsetting because that’s not how this community is portrayed. I’m really grateful for the people that know we’re not going to go down that negative route, we’re going to be positive and hopeful,” said Gould.

Gould sent a letter to Burlington constituents telling them it would be a tight race but she ended up winning fairly comfortably. Gould received 45% of the vote down 3% from 2019, Brown scored 38%, bettering her 2019 counterpart, Jane Michael, by 5%. NDP candidate, Nick Page, held the NDP to steady results between 2019 and 2021. The Green Party’s Chris Cullis had a forgettable night scoring 2% of votes down from 6%. Michael Bator of the People’s Party won 4%.

(Note: result numbers are accurate as of 10:30 am with 243/244 polls reported)

The Burlington race did tighten but it was far from Gould’s nail-biting victory over Mike Wallace to first win her seat in 2015.

Karina Gould addressing her supporters in the parking lot outside the Poacher.

Gould and campaign staff did their jobs in this campaign, and still despite a solid performance the mood around the election night party was bittersweet. The election was called with visions of a majority Liberal government and a rapturous election night celebration, instead, results came in and were met with sighs of relief.

When Gould arrived following the election results she did manage to rally the troops and make it feel like a celebration.

“It’s such a privilege. I can’t thank the people of Burlington enough. I know this is a progressive community. I know more people want to move forwards not backward. But of course, I serve everybody. And so I’m looking forward to continuing to do that. But I just have to say a huge amount of gratitude to the people of Burlington for placing their trust in me once again, for a third term and I’m committed to continuing to deliver for them,” said Gould.

Gould said her top priorities going forward were daycare, affordable housing which she said she heard about at the door constantly and acting boldly on climate change which was the reason she got into politics in 2015. When asked what we could expect her federal portfolio would look like Gould said she had no idea.

Gould will begin her third term following her second re-election, first claiming the seat in 2015 then defending it in 2019. Gould was the former Minister of International Development and Minister of Democratic Institutions.

Gould’s decisive win suggests she’s endeared herself to the people of Burlington. Gould was highly visible running her campaign and said she and her staff knocked on over 60,000 doors and made over 30,000 phone calls.

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Rivers: An Unnecessary Election?


By Ray Rivers

September 21st, 2021



By law there has to be an election four years following the last one, except when there is a minority government. Mr. Trudeau had a choice. He could call an election when the polls favoured him, as Jean Chretien once did. Or he could wait until the opposition ganged up and forced an election, as happened when Jack Layton pulled the rug out from under Paul Martin.

That is what politics is all about – trying to get and keep the most seats in Parliament. Indeed Mr. Harper did exactly that in 2008, even after introducing Canada’s fixed election law. Does anyone remember the media calling that an unnecessary election?

The lineups were long – in Toronto Fort York people waited for an hour and a half. Fewer polling stations and an upset public wanting to express their dissent.

That we are in the midst of a pandemic can be a problem. Longer lines and fewer polling places can be frustrating for the voter. But mail-in ballots and advance voting had been available. And the good news is that there have been no reports of transmission or COVID outbreaks during the campaign. Indeed being in a polling station is likely as safe as a vaccination clinic, except for the long lines in some locations.

Elections cost money, this one came in at about $600 million. All that cash goes to pay for poll clerks, polling supplies, room rentals, travel by electoral officials, and communications services. Some of it will be returned to the treasury in the taxes collected from these activities.

Like CERB and the wage subsidy this is an infusion of money into the community. But unlike the wage subsidy the money flows into the community and not into the corporate director’s pockets. Of course there is always a better use for $600 million, including paying down debt.

At this point in the election Justin Trudeau realized he was in the fight of his political life. It came very very close – even thought the Liberals are now saying it was a win.

Holding an election at this time wasn’t in the Liberal’s election platform but from all the noise one would think that was all the Liberals stood for. The real issues, like climate change, mandating vaccines and passports and national child care somehow got lost in the noise.

This was a nasty campaign by comparison to all others, including violent protesters throwing stones at a sitting PM. And it was cursed with a dysfunctional English language debate. Almost from the start Mr.Trudeau became the target of just about everyone.

Despite propping up Mr. Trudeau since the last election, Mr. Singh complained that the Liberals did nothing over all that time. Ms. Paul claimed Trudeau couldn’t possibly be a feminist or respect indigenous rights since he removed his former justice minister from the Liberal caucus. And Mr. O’Toole appeared to blame Trudeau for the COVID crisis in Alberta.

The election bill came in at $600 million – was there a value proposition in there somewhere.

But the voters weren’t convinced. And election night they have returned the PM and his party pretty much where they had started out – back into a minority situation. Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party is still seatless, though he surpassed the Green Party in popular support. The Greens have actually gained a new seat and lost an old one, but are still without a leader to represent them in Parliament.

Either the Bloc or NDP will be needed to prop up the new minority government once again. But barring a successful non-confidence vote Mr. Trudeau will have another four years of government before him. And nobody should think the Liberals will go back to the people again before those four years are up – unless they can show Canadians that it is really necessary.



Ray Rivers, a Gazette Contributing Editor,  writes regularly applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

Harper’s Unnecessary Election –

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It was Casey's evening - friends gathered at Cosgrove field to celebrate # 19

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 20th, 2021



It is said that having empathy for others is a very common trait in most people, but very often the virtue of true selflessness is something that most of us lose as we get older. There are very few who throughout adulthood can maintain the purity of heart until the very end. Two people come to mind:  Terry Fox and Casey Cosgrove.

Dozens of people went to Nelson Park baseball diamond in order to play rounds of soft ball, enjoy burgers, hotdogs and drinks and remember Casey.

Bryna Cosgrove

“Genuine, he was known for being genuine, he was known for a special gift for people and making anybody he was talking to feel special and the only person in the room,” said widow Bryna Cosgrove.

Family, friends, students, and many more came out to the diamond wearing commemorative team Casey T-shirts with the saying: “This disease will not take away my disability and wish to inspire,” Casey, 2017.

When I asked about who Casey was, everyone said almost the exact same thing: that he was a man who wanted to be involved, that he could connect with ANYONE in a way that no one else could and was unapologetically funny and would be the first person to make fun of himself.

The undisputed biggest trait being said about Casey was he was a man who wanted to be involved. Being involved can mean so many things but in Casey’s view there wasn’t any kind of involvement that was in bad taste. It means doing the girly things with his young daughter such as trying on nail polish or taking her to a Justin Bieber concert, both wearing pink sweaters.

The name says it all.

He way so caring, he just wanted to be involved,” said friend, Amy.

The Terry Fox Run was a mission for Casey Cosgrove.  The Fox Foundation pumped millions into cancer research that paid for the many drug trials Casey took part in.  When he was first given the diagnosis, his doctors thought he had 18 months: he had a full seven years and accomplished a lot.

Casey was a person who only wanted positive energy around him – he would always manage to turn any negative situation into a positive outcome. A man who was so self-deprecating that during a treatment he would post a blog while playing “Knockin’ on heaven’s door.”

Casey was a driving force behind getting this Marker Monument to Terry Fox in place.

One of the main events that made Casey who he was occurred when at thirteen he ran down the street with his hero Terry Fox.

Years after Terry had passed, he was instrumental in getting Terry’s Marker Monument put up in Spencer Smith Park.  Casey raised more money than anyone else.

It’s hard to imagine one man being able to accomplish so much from being a husband and father while coaching several baseball teams at once, with the ability to plunk down on the couch or the Lazy Boy and watch endless Seinfeld episodes in order to create more self-deprecating jokes and drinking everlasting amounts of coffee that always seemed to end up on his shirt.

A man who went to Starbucks so many many times – when he passed away Starbucks sent a floral bouquet. It’s hard to imagine one person having that much of an effect on you, let alone a business.

More people at the BBQ stand than at the T-shirt stand.

Among Casey’s many interests was politics. He ran as an independent for several Burlington positions: both as a Councillor and gave a lot of thought about running for Mayor.

An interest in politics was passed on to his son Jack who believes it is time to see changes in politics as well as not keeping it a quiet conversation; he sees the election taking place to day as a good place to start but had no comment on what the outcome might be – just hoping change will come soon.

When Casey passed away in 2017 the whole community came together to help his family. According to his son Jack they did it by “being involved” just like Casey used to be and to communicate with one another.

Hanging around the bullpen with a pickup game in progress.

Everyone at the park on Sunday, whether you were close to him or not, can say that when you walked away from him you felt like he had made a real connection.

“His parents always had an open door policy (for anyone who wanted help),” said childhood friend, Lisa Rodwin.

The family continues to be honored by Casey’s memory not only with last night’s event but with the baseball diamond being named after him as well as the Casey Cosgrove Memorial golf tournament held at Hidden Lake in 2018.


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41st annual Terry Fox Run kicked off on Sunday - dozens of teams running and walking to meet targets

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 19th, 2021



Terry Fox passing through Burlington 41 years ago on his Marathon of Hope

It all began that April day in 1980 – when Terry Fox was on his Marathon Of Hope.

That event continues to inspire the people of Canada as hundreds of organizers participants and humble observers came to the 41st Terry Fox Run at Spencer Smith Park.

Thanks to Terry’s efforts and sacrifices the Terry Fox Run has raised over $851 million making it the worlds largest one day fundraiser for cancer research.

The Run has always had teams of people out for the Run Day. The pandemic has limited what can be done – but the event takes place nevertheless. Last year – the 40th anniversary was one of the Best Burlington had in terms of raising funds.

The Cedar Springs, Kick some ASSphalt and many more came out to participate in the run by setting high goals with some as high as 3K – 5K runs.

There is a lot of history in this picture: The Terry Fox monument in the middle; the plaque commemorating the Brant in that was once on the edge of the lake where people danced under the stars and the Brant house in the background.

During the day those out for the Kick Off gathered around the Terry Fox monument in Spencer Smith Park to cheers and applause with mineral water drinks being served in exchange for requests to donate to the Terry Fox foundation.

“I’m so impressed with our community, I think it has led to a tremendous impact,” said organizer Shannon Calsey.

“It’s great – our group goal is to raise $1500: we’ve already raised $1300,” Calsey continued.

The Terry Fox marker monument – none like it anywhere in the country – it was paid for by citizen donations.

Several participants felt connected in the run with many telling similar stories of having a loved one diagnosed with cancer or having lost someone to cancer and are willing to come out and support the cause to make sure the funds needed to pay for the research are there.

Although the crowd of onlookers was not as big as organizers hoped, they feel it has been more than made up in donations received with a goal set of raising $150,000 and getting $110,000 raised before the event even started.

Among the volunteers at Spencer Park was retired Canadian football great Tony Gabriel telling great stories to anyone who would listen.

Gabriel has had many run-ins with cancer. His father dying from lung cancer at the age of 57 and his brother being diagnosed with cancer and passing away within weeks.

Gabriel also shared how his son, Shane Gabriel was diagnosed with Leukemia and credits the Terry Fox Foundation for helping save his son’s life because of the advancements made in cancer research.

Coincidentally, Gabriel’s son today is exactly the same age as the Terry Run at 41 years old.

Gabriel told stories about him meeting Terry Fox and finding out after several years that Gabriel, the football player was an early role model for Terry along with Bobby Orr and Darryl Sittler.

“I was very fortunate to meet Terry Fox… 40 years later I found out I was one of Terry’s heroes!” said Gabriel.

Every year a large Dedication board is set up – people who are running or walking to commemorate someone special write a note. Tony Gabriel is explaining how much the Board means to so many people.

Gabriel has also pushed hard in petitions to put Terry Fox on the $5 bill feeling it would be appropriate not only as a national hero but also with the issues of Indigenous people being brought to light because Terry Fox does have indigenous ancestry through his Maternal Grandmother.

The chair of the Burlington Terry Fox committee, Craig Gardener, spoke of how unique the Terry Fox run is compared to other causes and how this was all started by just one man leading to people surviving much longer than expected given their diagnosis.

“It’s had great impact, I mean I know several people who have survived,” said Gardener

In Burlington Terry Fox usually gets the last word.

“I know one fellow who was given 18 months, survived 7 years on Terry Fox research money,” Gardener added.
Gardener’s father died of colon cancer in 2007.

Craig Gardner has been a volunteer for 15 years; when his father passed he found that he wanted to do more and eventually become the chair of the committee. In four of the last six years as Chair of the Terry Fox Run in Burlington they have raised over $100,000.

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Region Community Investment Fund: Applications due November 1st.

By Staff

September 19th, 2021



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

It’s a Region wide program.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Region will host three virtual information sessions to help community organizations learn about the HRCIF and the application process:

  • Friday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Wednesday, September 29 from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 5 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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


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Give the Liberals a minority - and hope the Liberal Party will find the leadership needed when Justin resigns.

By Pepper Parr

September 18th, 2021



Many of us have already voted – hopefully a really significant number of Canadians will turn out to cast a ballot in this very important election.

There was no reason for this election to even take place and it is our belief that we will end up with basically the same thing when all the ballots are counted: A minority Liberal government.

Justin Trudeau does not deserve to be given the majority he wants.

There is hard work to be done: Covid19, the economy, housing – do we need a list longer than that?

The current problems aside – there is still the SNC Lavalin issue and the loss of a two female members of the Liberal caucus.

The embarrassing trip to India

The embarrassing trip to India

The WE matter

Two pronouncements from the Ethics Commissioner.

The hopes were high

The hopes were high when Justin Trudeau first ran for the leadership– another Trudeau was going to lead the country – but it hasn’t worked out that way.

That happens in politics. Let Justin Trudeau work with whatever the public gives him on Monday.

Politics being the blood sport it is – the knives will be coming out and the Liberals will begin to look for a new leader – expect to see that in 18 to 24 months.

There is a shift taking place in the way different segments of society expect their political leadership to perform.  The People’s Party of Canada is growing at a disturbing rate; the Greens are failing to grow at a disturbing rate and both the Liberal and Conservative party leaders are learning that they aren’t really as in touch with the members as they should be.

The Liberal Party polls higher than the leader of the Party and the Conservative leader is not able to impress upon his own membership that getting everyone vaccinated is critical if we are ever going to get ourselves from a pandemic to an endemic state with Covid19.

We will be watching closely Monday evening – we might be up very late or we might know as soon as the pools open in the Prairies.

The mess in Alberta – it’s actually a tragedy, that could have been avoided.  Hundreds will die unnecessary death because of decisions Jason Kenny made.

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The Holiday Market looks like a done deal - with nothing in the way of public input

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Pepper Parr, Publisher
September 17, 2021


Local business owners are divided over the potential benefits of an expanded Burlington Holiday Market patterned after the very successful Christmas Market held in Germany.

The Grey Cup takes place in Hamilton on the 12th

Members of the Burlington Downtown Business Association generally seemed on board with the expansion but felt very much out of the loop – they just didn’t know all that much about an event that could significantly change the holiday season that brings in 20% of their annual revenue. The result has been some notable push-back.

The Agora Marketplace owner shared his enthusiasm with the Gazette, saying he has been asked to take part and while the details are yet to be finalized he isn’t under the impression any additional fees will be required for his wares to feature in the market.

“It’s great and I want to be a part of it, it should last even longer, all through December,” he said.

The Odd Spot manager and business partner replied similarly but noted no one has been in touch with them about the market expansion.

“No one has reached out to us personally but it’ll be great, it’s always a good time,” he said.

Garden area of Centro market on Brant Street

A number of owners were hearing about the market expansion for the first time and didn’t have anything to say positively or negatively, including Centro Market, Bush’s Men’s Wear, Book Nook, and Mirella’s Lady Boutique (which will close permanently before the holiday season due to COVID-19). Unfortunately the Gazette was unable to reach Joelle Cooling, one of the city’s smartest marketers, for comment prior to going to print.

Jason Pepetone, owner of Centro Market, is usually plugged-in to the city happenings but was blindsided by the holiday market when the Gazette reached out to him for comment.

“No ,the [Burlington Downtown Business Association] haven’t contacted me, I know nothing about it,” said Pepetone.

Other business owners had negative views of the proposed expansion.

Bocana Boutique owner, Carol, said she heard about the Christmas market but had to send an email to find out more. Carol didn’t see the appeal for local businesses and raised COVID-19 concerns.

“I don’t think we need to bring lots of people down here in the middle of the pandemic. We don’t need to open this up to other cities, we should be supporting our own right now. We didn’t have Sound of Music, we didn’t have the Rib Fest, because of the pandemic so why are we doing this? It also takes up parking a week before Christmas,” said Carol.

The proposed Burlington Holiday Market would take place between December 9th-12th. The downtown Burlington business association (DBBA) had little to say during a standing committee earlier this week other than to say they would play a supportive role to ensure that BDBA member interests were protected.. A potentially hands-off approach by the DBBA was reflected by the lack of awareness amongst local business owners.

While some mentioned the DBBA and touching base with Brian Dean, Executive Director, there was no awareness of the Zoom meeting where the DBBA had some fifteen local businesses take part.

The folks at the Poacher love the idea – takes place close to their doorstep.

Management at the Poacher is fully on board, they are in constant communication with Dean. This is little surprise as they will be participating in the Holiday Market in some capacity, restaurants out of the loop will surely view plans less favourably.

Council earlier in the week approved a motion to:

  • Moved by Councillor Kearns

    Approve an event called the Burlington Holiday Market as outlined in Recreation, Community, and Culture Department report RCC-12-21 for 2021 and 2022, and report back in Q2 2022 on the economic impact of local businesses, cultural impact, and parking/active transportation impact of the new event; and

    Authorize the Director to Recreation, Community and Culture to implement the specific details required to support the various components of the event that are to be hosted on city property.

    Moved byCouncillor Stolte

    Refer recreation, community and culture department report to the Council meeting on September 21, 2021.



    Moved by Councillor Nisan

    Amend the motion as amended to remove the words ‘two year pilot’, replace the words ‘for 2021 and report back in Q2 2022’ with the word ‘annually’ and add the words ‘to be reviewed in 2024’ at the end.



    Moved by Councillor Nisan

    Amend the amendment to remove the words ‘two year pilot’.


That recommendation will be heard by Council on Tuesday September 21st and passed unless one of the four people who voted for the recommendation chooses to put forward an amendment that would require a two thirds majority to pass which is unlikely.

Councillors Lisa Kearns, Angelo Bentivegna, Shawna Stolte voted against the recommendation. Mayor Meed Ward, Councillors Galbraith, Nisan and Sharman voted for.  One of these four would have to move for a reconsideration.

In order to reverse this two (Sharman and Galbraith) would have to change their vote.

Nisan is too tightly tied to the Mayor to change and Galbraith is very much onside with the Mayor.  He wondered why the matter was even pulled from the Consent agenda.

Councillor Sharman is said to have taken the position that he will support the merchants but he has to hear from them before he can do anything.

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