Liberals clean up in Halton - win in Burlington, Oakville North Burlington and Milton.

federal election 2019By Pepper Parr

October 22nd, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is little doubt where the people of Halton sent their vote.

Damoff in the House

Pam Damoff more than held her seat in Oakville North Burlington.

Gould - wide moth touching finger

Karina Gould held her seat.

Adam van K H&S

Adam van Kovererden won mote than 50% of the vote in Milton.

It was a solid Liberal vote in Burlington, Oakville North Burlington and Milton where Karina Gould won the seat. Pam Damoff did much better than we expected in Oakville North Burlington and Adam van Koeverden got more than 50% of the vote to send Lisa Raitt home for a long rest.

The Liberals didn’t do quite as well nationally. They will have to work with the New Democrats who took 24 seats 7.1% of the vote if they are to succeed in keeping the confidence of the House of Commons. The country can expect another election within two years – 36 months at best.

The Liberals needed 170 seats to form a government – they won 154. They need 16 seats from somewhere. They aren’t going to get anything from the BLOC who won 32 seats in Quebec.

Where to from here?  Expect the government to come though with a change in the way we choose the winners – we may have seen the last First Past the Post election in this country.

The Trans Mountain pipeline extension will get built and we should see some changes in the way health care is covered.

 

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Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund program opens: deadline for submissions is February 24, 2020.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 22nd, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington has a Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund (NCMF) with up to $10,000 available for each project.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 24, 2020.

Created to inspire residents to champion community-led projects, the goal of the NCMF is to improve neighbourhoods by creating a sense of belonging and community pride, while building meaningful connections.

Burlington residents, brought together by a common goal or neighbourhood boundaries, are encouraged to submit ideas that help make our City a better place to live and play. Inspired by the unique needs of residents and community groups, projects can increase walkability, promote beautification, encourage recreational activity, build social connections and improve safety or accessibility.

Anyone interested in applying for funds is encouraged to visit burlington.ca/matchingfund to learn more about the application process, guidelines and past projects.

Lakeshore ball park - matching grant winners

Griffen Gervais, second from the left, explains to his pals what has to be done to fix up the local ball park.

How the fund works
The NCMF provides up to $10,000 in city funding to support selected neighbourhood and community group led projects in Burlington. Approved projects receive up to 50 per cent of the funding for the project from the City. The neighbourhood or community group will match this funding with an equal contribution made up through any combination of volunteer hours, donated services, donated materials and supplies or other funds raised, such as cash donations.

Some very good projects have been funded using the NCMF program. There is a ball diamond that was in really rough shape next to Lakeshore Public school. Griffen Gervais and a bunch of his friends (with a lot of help from their parents) approached the city and got the funding they wanted.

Backstop Lakesh PS

It was a pretty rough looking ball diamond – Griffen Gervais and his buddies did the work needed to get city funding.

The program does work; the amount available has been increased and staff within Parks and Recreation come close to bending over backwards to make what people want to do possible.

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Can Burlington have better elections? Can the candidates improve their game?

federal election 2019By Pepper Parr

October 21st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The electioneering is over.

Now the citizens of the country get to choose who should lead at the federal government level.

May and Justin debating

This is what a debate is about. Why can’t we have stuff like this in Burlington during our elections?

I suspect that we are in for a bumpy ride and some big surprises – which should come as no surprise.
What do we know now about the candidates that wanted to represent Burlington in Ottawa? Not much more than they wanted to tell us unfortunately because for the most part we really didn’t grill these men and women.

There were no debates – we did the usual Burlington polite thing.

Burlington doesn’t appear to be very comfortable with holding people accountable for what they do.

Debates, when they are moderated properly, give audiences a chance to see the candidates in action; see how they respond to the thrust and parry of a debate.

Candidates and potential candidates need to know that there is a bar of expectations they have to reach. You have to be good, really good, if you want to represent Burlington in Ottawa.

Debates bring out the best in candidates and they put a spotlight on the flaws. The public is entitled to that level of transparency. If someone believes they have what it takes to represent the public – show us.

Unfortunately, Burlington has never had an organization that will take on that role. Cogeco doesn’t want to offend anyone – all they want to do is ensure that their cable TV license is never put at risk.

The Chamber of Commerce isn’t much better – they seem proud of their Q&A approach to candidates: Never rock the Boat, and for heaven’s sake don’t disrupt – bad for business.

ECoB debate at Baptist on New

Church halls were filled – the public wants to hear what candidates have to say.

ECoB has done some very good work. They televised the municipal events that took place and drew crowds that filled church halls. It was evident that the public wanted more.

The ECoB events made it clear that it was time to look for stronger moderators; people with more depth and the capacity to push the candidates.

What isn’t immediately evident is that you get better representation when you push. A look at what Burlington has at the provincial level and what it has been offered at the federal level on the Conservative side of the political spectrum xxx

One can only wonder what John Robarts, probably the best Premier the province has ever had, would think of what we have done to the Conservative reputation.

A long time Gazette reader told us of a time when there were “ratepayer” groups throughout the city that communicated with the school board and city council. Those parents aged and their children grew up and the world changed.

The pressure on households is much different these days; parents don’t have as much time. In most households both parents work, and there are a lot more single parent families. Also, government is much more complex and the needs of the community are greater.

Students face an environment that is a lot different than the one their parents experienced. We also have a community that was nowhere as large as it is today – the baby boomers are moving into retirement and the millennials have made it clear that at least some of them expect to be at the table.

The bureaucracy is different as well – it doesn’t respond the way it used to; the pace is different, development is much more aggressive and the relationship between the electors and the elected isn’t what it could be.

These are changing times – and we are going to have to adapt. How well we adapt will determine whether Burlington really is the “best place to raise a family. It is a city where people, nature and businesses thrive.”

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Can innovative farming technology make a difference to the agriculture sector in Burlington?

News 100 greenBy Daniel St George

October 21st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is the Escarpment we are talking about. Our country, our rural country - forever.

This is the Escarpment where there are farms that thrive. Enough to make farming viable ? No one really knows.

Burlington has a large rural area that makes up close to half of the city’s geographic area – much of it is excellent land that could support profitable and sustainable agriculture. Much of it is owned by developers who rent it out on terms that are not all that beneficial for farmers.

Despite those limitations there are a number of very productive farms that can make use of some of the innovative technologies to make farming better, smarter, and more efficient.

When used in the right way, it can also help drive transformational change across the food value chain to address the most challenging agriculture and food problems facing our planet. At least that is the promise from most of today’s ag-tech companies.

The biggest risk is that this promise, is just that, a promise. Technology today is not moving the needle far enough to meet farmers’ expectations and address the biggest challenges our planet is facing now and in the future. Challenges such as climate change, population growth and changing consumer demands.

Farming tractor ancient

Tractors like this were used across Canada. There was once a huge debate on whether or not rubber tires could replace those steel wheels. This machine was driven by steam fired by a wooden furnace.

Innovation in agriculture has helped farmers and growers throughout time, from horse-drawn tilling machines to automated tractors. The rate of this innovation over the last 10-20 years has exploded, and the number of agribusiness start-ups has followed suit.

Globally, investments in the agribusiness and food sectors have tripled since 2004. Agriculture technology has become a global phenomenon, with start-ups growing by over 80 percent each year since 2012.

In Canada, farm income has risen each year since 2003, except for a brief downturn in 2018. In a recent study by RBC in Canada, the study found that the sector could contribute up to $51 billion to the economy by 2030, through boosting technology investments, building new skills and addressing labor shortages.

The real question is not necessarily how we can get more and better technologies into the hands of farmers. Instead we should ask ourselves how we can better aggregate these technologies across farms at scale, combine disparate data sets and drive insights to improve key metrics such as yield, and to improve crop planning and variety, including growing conditions such as soil quality.

However, Innovation is also a double edged sword
Every day farmers are bombarded by offers of new technological advances and innovative solutions. These include everything from farm management systems to soil sensors and innovative farm machinery.

tractor automatedThis ongoing innovation is increasing the complexity of purchasing decisions and farmers are often wondering whether the value is really there. Not to mention, many of these technologies are often too expensive, especially for farmers who own small to medium sized farms. In addition, many farmers find they do not get the full value from these technologies as they often only utilize a small portion of the functionality that the solution is capable of.

For example, in a recent research paper in the journal for Agriculture Systems, it mentions that data collected by farm technologies is heavily under-utilized, and there are significant challenges with data quality and availability, as well as a lack of integration between technologies.

A recent comment by a farmer who uses an automated self-drive tractor says, “It hasn’t really improved productivity on the farm, and it hasn’t allowed me to relax because I still have to keep an eye on it. It’s a lot harder than we think to apply technology to farming in a way that truly helps farmers. That’s the challenge.”

Large companies are squeezing margins and farmers are feeling the pinch. The food value chain has become a fragmented set of silos with different players all wanting a piece of the pie. And farmers are the ones who are suffering. Without an economically sustainable farm, many of the global challenges we face today will never be addressed.

How do we then overcome this problem? How can we utilize technology to move the needle further and do farmers bear responsibility for driving this change? What role do other organizations play such as cooperatives, food manufacturers, governments and trading companies?

Innovation paired with foresight can yield world-changing results
The world faces a challenge in providing enough food to feed its growing population. The current rate of agricultural productivity is not sufficient to feed a predicted population of 9.1 billion people by 2050.

To solve this and other future challenges, agriculture needs orchestrated innovation. When used in the right areas and for the right purposes, innovation can move the needle significantly to address these fundamental macro-challenges.

Farm supermarket shelf

The problem facing the farm community is getting their product onto these shelves in a sustainable, profitable way. The farm and the supermarket operate in separate silos.

Traditionally, the food value chain has resembled a relatively linear model, from research (e.g. seed and varieties) and production to harvest, process, packaging, distribution, and sales. The value chain is made of companies who play specific parts within the system but often not across its entirety.

Often, these companies don’t share information and compartmentalize expertise and knowledge along the value chain. This lack of collaboration limits their insight.

When innovators’ focus narrows, the technology they invent might end up hurting farmers and consumers or only help a select few, rather than helping achieve a greater good. Innovative foresight to leverage technology and apply it in the right areas to drive value is critically important.

A three-pronged road to innovation grounded in data, collaboration, and sustainability.

How can agricultural innovation ensure that new technology minimizes the risks and maximizes the benefits?

The answer lies in three fundamental areas:

1. Connecting disparate data sets across the value chain to drive greater insights—such as digital farming platforms.

2. Creating ecosystems of organizational partners to share data and best practices and to work together on uncovering exponential rates of productivity and farming yield using ecosystem-driven business models.

3. Designing business models that drive value back into the farm, while at the same time being sustainable and economically viable—with a focus on farmers and growers.

Who can address the macro-challenges we face globally and what are digital farming platforms?

What types of ecosystems do we need and how can we develop a more vertical-integrated value chain?

And who is going to get it all started?

Daniel St. George

 

 

 

 

Daniel St. George is a Senior Managing Consultant, Digital Strategy in the Agribusiness Sector.

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Mayor and City Manager dance through the streets of a Japanese city.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is just one thing you have to do today.

Well, actually two.

First get out and vote and hope that we get it right and get a government that can solve the mammoth problems ahead of us.

Second – enjoy the photograph set out below.

It is of Mayor Meed Ward and some city staff who are currently in Japan – as part of a mundialization delegation.

Commisso and Mayor in Japan

City manager and the Mayor dancing through the streets of Japan.

It looks as if they are dancing through the street – City Manager Tim Commisso, the man in the middle staring into the camera, looks very uncomfortable.

Tim Commisso is never going to forgive me for publishing the picture.

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Jane Michael - the most divisive federal candidate seen in several decades who could win the seat.

federal election 2019By Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

What to say about Jane Michael, the Conservative Party candidate whose name will be on the ballet you are handed on Monday?

Jane Michael

Jane Michael

Jane Elizabeth Michael chose not to take part in the BurlingtonGreen all candidates debate; she chose not to participate in the videos that were done about each candidate, she chose not to take part in the session at Nelson High School where all the candidates met with the students.

We are advised that she did take part in the Chamber of Commerce question session where she is reported to have had difficulty with several of the questions and asked to have more than one of them repeated to her.

The Gazette has had more than two dozen comments made on Michael and more than five separate emails from people who were very concerned about the candidate and her past performances while a member of the Halton District Catholic School Board where she served as Chair for a period of time.

Michael was sanctioned by that Board for behavior that was never set out.

Her federal nomination was described as questionable by a number of people who wanted a nomination meeting – not a decision by the federal party on who the candidate should be.

There is a very damaging couple of paragraphs in Patrick Brown’s book Take Down in which he explains why Michael did not get the provincial nomination when he ran against Jane Michael.

Michael from Brown book

Photograph of the page from Patrick Brown’s book Take Down.

Her public position on and votes against initiatives to stop bullying against LGBTQ kids and vaccinating young girls for HPV is a matter of public record as are the bankruptcies.

The hard line social conservative stance on homosexuality, politicizing it and dividing the community with it are consistent worrying concerns brought up again and again.

The Gazette runs into people at different events who are politically active – we have yet to hear one person have anything positive to say about Jane Michael. Many of these people are lifelong dyed in the wool Conservatives.
Michael would not make herself available for an interview with the Gazette.

Our past experience with Michael led us to the conclusion that she is a very strong Catholic with views that are some distance from the mainstream.

Described as homophobic by some, and a right to life advocate on the issue of abortion.

Political candidates are supposed to have views they are prepared to debate and support publicly.

There are those who will claim that Burlington is a Conservative community and that 40% of the vote- which is often more than enough to win the seat, goes to the Conservative party almost automatically.

Most of those in the other political parties’ will never say publicly that they fear that silent Tory vote will tick off Michael name on the ballot just because it is there.

There is a lot of gossip on line – Reddit seems to be where most of it sits – that stuff has to be taken with more than one grain of salt. However, we’ve never seen this much written negative comment about one candidate.

Burlington has five people running for the seat in the House of Commons – they fear that Michael just might have enough in the way of baked in party support that will get her to the House of Commons.

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The Gazette's prediction for the three Burlington seats: Gould, Raitt and Weir

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

So who is it going to be?

There are three constituencies representing the people of Burlington.

Milton, which covers parts of wards 3 and 6 – the northern part of the city

Oakville North Burlington which cover part of eastern Burlington and part of Oakville.

Burlington is where the bulk of the people in the city will vote

Maps of all three are set out below.

Where is the vote going to go? Some of the best political minds in the country don’t know; what seems to be pretty certain is that we will have a minority government. The Conservatives believe they will form that government – the Liberals are just as certain.

The NDP and the Greens aren’t going to form a government – but one of them will probably hold the balance of power.

Our take on the candidates:

Sean Weir

Sean Weir for the Conservatives in Oakville North Burlington

Gould as a bandit

Karina Gould for Burlington

Lisa Raitt - blonde

Lisa Raitt for Milton.

Burlington where the candidates are: Karina Gould, the incumbent; Gareth Williams – Green Party; Lenaee Dupuis – NDP; Peoples Party – Peter Smetana and Jane Michael – Conservative.

The Gazette sees Karina Gould as the best choice – although Gareth Williams has done a superb job for the Greens even if he didn’t put in as much time as he should have campaigning. How and why Jane Michael ever got the Conservative nomination has astounded most of the Conservatives we talked to.

The candidates in Milton are: Lisa Raitt – Conservative; Adam van Koeverden – Liberal; Eleanor Hayward – New Democrat; Farina Hassan – Green Party and Percy Dastur – People Party

In Milton, new comer Adam van Koeverden has a chance – we think Lisa Raitt will hold her seat.

The candidates in Oakville North Burlington are: Sean Weir – Conservative; Gilbert J. Jubinville – Peoples Party; Pam Damoff – Liberal; Nicolas Dion – New Democrat and Michael Houghton – Green Party

In Oakville North Burlington Sean Weir could beat Pam Damoff. She hasn’t been that strong a Parliamentarian.

We will learn just how serious people in the Halton Region are about Climate Change when we see what the vote count for the Green Party is – the surge in the New Democrat vote is yet another sign that in

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.

Milton federal boundaries

The portion of Burlington that is in the Milton constituency

Oakville North Burlington

Oakville North Burlington

Boundaries for voters in Burlington. Provincial Liberals in Burlington gear up for an election they think they can win – after 40+ in the wilderness.

Boundaries for voters in Burlington.

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Damoff faces a stiff race in Oakville North Burlington.

federal election 2019By Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Oakville North Burlington – the constituency that is neither Oakville nor Burlington.

Damoff with LiberaL sign

Pam Damoff left the job of Town Councillor to run for the new riding of Oakville North Burlington when the nominee dies suddenly.

The incumbent, Liberal Pam Damoff, has had to struggle to create a strong profile that she can identify with.

She was a Town Councillor in 2015 when she sought the nomination when the man, Max Khan, nominated for the new seat died suddenly.

Damoff came out of a successful career in the private sector and was doing just fine in Oakville where she created and nurtured the growth of community organizations. The Terry Fox Run is what it is in Oakville because of her years of effort.

Damoff polar ear dip

Pam Damoff in the center – If she could take the cold waters of Lake Ontario on January 1st – it was assumed she could take the heat in the House of Commons.

She ran into Lake Ontario on a January 1st to create the Polar Dip.

She was an effective Town Councillor serving two terms until she resigned to run for the federal nomination. During her time as a Town Councillor Damoff was effective but didn’t put down the kind of roots that would take her to a higher level.

The split between two communities was a divide hard to manage. There was a Canada 150 event when the Burlington MP, the Mayor of Burlington and Pam Damoff were involved. Damoff had to remind everyone that they were in her riding.

Damoff’s job wasn’t made any easier with having a young, popular colleague in Burlington who was made a Cabinet Minister, the youngest woman ever to be given a Cabinet position.

Damoff decided to play to her strengths and began to work with women’s groups proving to be a critical factor for woman new to Canada who needed help understanding what their government could do for them.

She was also deeply involved with getting younger women involved in public life. For those young girls Damoff was a terrific role model.

Damoff with Miin Health

Damoff in discussion with the Minister of Health.

Her work in Ottawa took a bit of time to find its niche. She was the vice-chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.

She ends her first term as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health; a demanding job headed up by a Minister with an agenda.

Working with the media wasn’t one of the Damoff strengths. We never were able to actually do an interview with Damoff; time constraints

to her schedule seemed to get in the way.

The Gazette did not get a response to a request for an interview with the Conservative candidate Sean Weir

The other Oakville North Burlington candidates are:

New Democrat candidate: Nicolas Dion

Green Party candidate: Michael Houghton

Peoples Party – Gilbert J. Jubinville,

Related news stories:

Rip snorting speech given by Damoff in the House of Commons.

Damoff wins the Liberal nomination for a new constituency.

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Interactive Art Installation - Invites visitors to engage with a 10ft long, handmade waste receptacle.

artsorange 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

From October 22-25 from 1-5 pm each day, The Hobbyist will be performing on site maintenance, collecting and documenting trash in the area, and conducting a short survey with participants.

The city invests a considerable amount of money in public art and throughout each year contests are held that allow artists to pitch their ideas for what is referred to as “installation” art; something that is not permanent and is often work that can be interacted with.

The city announced seven installation art locations that were to be launched along with Culture Days which took place late in September.

A communications glitch got in the way of our publishing and promoting these events. The Senior Manager Strategic Communications prevented us from talking to the Manager of Cultural Services for some clarification. The answers the Senior Manager Strategic Communications gave us were not clear and we didn’t have the time to do the back and forth that was required to get clear answers.

Cobalt Connects, the Hamilton based organization that manages the selection of artist’s process, made what appears now available and we share it with you.
With information that is clear we can now share with you what the city made possible.

These installations were available on September 27 and will be on display until October 27, 2019. There are seven Temporary Art Installations

These artists transformed spaces across Burlington with temporary public art installations. By placing art in unexpected spaces such as parks and community centres, the Public Art Lab brings contemporary art to new audiences. All installations are free of charge! The Public Art Lab is produced by the City of Burlington’s public art program.

The art is pretty well distributed throughout the city – except for Aldershot – they got stiffed.

There are two installation in Spencer Smith Park.  Arianna Richardson (AKA The Hobbyist), holds a Garbage Party that is a Mixed Media Sculpture + Performance

Art image spencer smith 2

Now that is a garbage can!

Garbage Party is an interactive project that invites visitors to engage with a 10ft long, handmade waste receptacle as its physical form would suggest: as a fully functioning garbage bin with a wide variety of collection categories.

This installation prompts the public to consider their own relationships with waste and recycling, presenting a playful and absurd site in which to engage in conversations about our consumer society and the impact of the waste it generates.

From October 22-25 from 1-5pm each day, The Hobbyist will be performing on site maintenance, collecting and documenting trash in the area, and conducting a short survey with participants.

Arianna Richardson is a sculptor, performance artist, and mother from Treaty Seven territory (Lethbridge, AB).  Richardson most often works under the pseudonym, The Hobbyist, employing hobby-craft techniques to work through an investigation of ubiquitous consumption, gendered labour, waste, excess, and spectacle.

More at: ariannarichardson.ca

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Rivers on dastardly deeds:

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 19th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Raitt thumbs up

Conservative candidate Lisa Raitt describes the current campaign as the nastiest since Kim Campbell.

“Isn’t this the nastiest campaign” I asked, and Milton’s Conservative MP, Lisa Raitt, completed my thought with “since Kim Campbell”?

Andrew Scheer’s campaign started out short on policy but long on name calling and character assassination. He has taken the offensive in every sense of the word, hurling insults like ‘phoney and fraud’, ‘criminal’ and ‘liar’ at the prime minister. And his campaign has been involved in creating and disseminating so much disinformation, it makes the Russian troll factories look like amateurs.

Leaflets falsely claiming Liberals were going to apply capital gains tax on your primary residence. Adverts in the Chinese language media that Trudeau was going to legalize hard drugs. Rumours that Trudeau had been fired from his former teaching job; a} because he’d had an affair with a student; and b} because he had an affair with a student’s mother.

Catherine McKenna

A “Climate Barbie Doll”. Really?

Scheer’s campaign manager is Hamish Marshall, a former corporate director and contributor to ‘The Rebel,’ an ultra right-wing medium which has been soft on white supremacist stuff and/or anything sympathetic to the red neck crowd. The Rebel attempted to discredit Canada’s environment minister, labelling her Climate Barbie, until she faced them down for their pathetic attempt at character assassination.

The Conservatives started the campaign saying Trudeau is ‘not as advertised’. Indeed the Aladdin costume stunt did surprise/shock many of us, but older Canadians would have watched Justin grow up as son of one of Canada’s most flamboyant and longest serving prime ministers. We actually know a lot about the Trudeaus. And after four years as prime minister it is hard to understand how ‘not as advertised’ even makes sense.

But Mr. Scheer is that proverbial fella in the glass house throwing stones. He tried to lie about his work experience – neither a broker nor having met accreditation criteria to be one. He tried to conceal his firm position against a woman’s right to choose. He refused to apologize for his earlier anti-LGBT same-sex marriage rants. And he tried to hide his dual nationality, while attacking other party leaders and a former governor-general for theirs. And he must/might have broken US law by crossing the border without using a US passport.

ustin Alladin

Regrettable – it did take place 20 years ago when he was a much younger man.

But Mr. Trudeau apologized for his ethics violation, for having worn an Aladdin costume and for having mismanaged the SNC prosecution issue. Scheer had never accepted ownership for his past mistakes, has shown no remorse, and appears not to have learned from those experiences. And that just makes him look even nastier.

And it seems to be contagious. Jagmeet Singh has caught the bug. Making things up as he goes along, he has been taking shots at his Green Party opponents, trying to align them with the ‘nasty’ Conservatives. Then as his poll numbers started to climb he turned his attack onto the Liberals, claiming they are in the pockets of the corporate giants, playing the offended sympathy card. His pitch for Pharma care, which all three left-of-centre parties are promising, included erroneous claims that drug prices are rising, when generic drugs have, in fact, fallen over the last decade starting back in the Harper years.

May and Justin debating

Elizabeth May scolding the Prime Minister.

But unlike Mr. Trudeau, Elizabeth May has strenuously fought back against these false accusations. At the outset, Trudeau had pledged not to campaign on wedge issues, but the Liberals have now started to fight back, though it is probably too late. Mr. Scheer has been effective at tearing down Trudeau’s character – and in this election of personalities that seems to be all that matters. And the debates just made that all the easier.

kim-campbell

Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell’s 1993 campaign gets the prize for scraping the bottom of the barrel, and there have probably been other ugly ones before that. It is hard to believe that two seemingly likeable people, Kim Campbell and her campaign manager John Tory, would do such a dastardly thing. But desperation makes us behave in unpredictable ways. So take heart if you don’t think this has been the nastiest campaign yet, there are still a few days to go.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, 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;

Kim Campbell –    Dirty Campaign –     Lies About Drugs

Conspiracy Theories –    Rebel Media –    Scheer Campaign

School Affair Lies –     NDP Lies –     Scheer US Travel

Scheer More Lies –    Scheer Angry –    Not the Nastiest

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Have we seen this movie before? Will the ending be different?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 19th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was the fall of 1972. I had cast my ballot in Orangeville, where I’d been working as purchasing agent, then hit the road for Ottawa. I’d been offered a better career job with the federal government.

On route one of our vehicles lost its electrical system just outside of Ottawa and we spent the night in a motel watching the election results that night. When the dust had settled I was left wondering whether I would still have a job. The Trudeau Liberals had lost their solid majority and had fallen into the uncertainty of minority government.

PET

Pierre Trudeau.

It had been a tough election. The over-riding issue during Pierre Trudeau’s first term was national unity. Trudeau had ended the immediate threat of separatism by introducing the War Measures Act, eliminating the terrorist organization, the FLQ. But Quebec’s quiet revolution would ensure that the demand for equality in the federation was far from over. So the Liberal government introduced official bilingualism, a concept at least as politically divisive as today’s carbon tax. Though fifty years later there is no longer any debate – it was the right thing to do.

Baby boomers had been pouring into the job market in record numbers, competing for scarce employment with still growing numbers of US draft dodgers arriving across the border. And the economy was recovering from the downturn of the late sixties. New grain markets had been opened up in China. Canadian cultural industries were on the move. Economic growth was projected to exceed by over 6% and the federal budget was close to being balanced. Indeed the land was strong.

So Pierre Trudeau somewhat arrogantly decided to run on his record rather than lay out a new vision for the future. But nobody was reading the fine print and that almost put an end to his vision of the just society. Voters are human after all. They want to know what’s in it for them.

So when Justin decided to run on his record he followed his father’s footsteps and polls show will end up much like his father did, if he is lucky. Andrew Scheer and Jagmeet Singh on the other hand have promised affordability, and suddenly their polls are swelling. Affordability? This is the number one issue for Canadians, more important than protecting our survival and the planet’s climate.

NA-TRUDEAU-EDBOARD5 The editorial board met with Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau on April 5, 2013. CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR

Justin Trudeau

Yet Canada’s economy has never performed better – doesn’t that mean affordability? And this performance is largely the result of policies enacted by the Liberals after 2015, when the nation was teetering on the brink of a recession. Close to a million people, including 300,000 children have been lifted out of poverty, exceeding the government’s own projections and making this the lowest rate of poverty ever in Canada’s history.

Employment is at a record high and unemployment is the lowest since we started recording those numbers. Inflation is at historic low rates as are interest rates, and economic growth is among the best in the G7. Affordability? What else would one expect of a government? Well there is the matter of house prices and the still growing gap between the wealthy and the rest of us.

Housing prices are a function of demand and supply. But there are serious physical limits to increasing supply in our sprawling communities. Only Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party has a viable short term plan – reduce demand, cut off the number of immigrants coming here – the number of people looking for new housing. But his policy is simply dismissed as Donald Trumpian racism. And there may, indeed, be some of that among some of his candidates.

Humanity is almost never satiated, that is both our weakness and our strength. When the times are good as they are now, or as they were when PET arrogantly trotted out ‘The Land is Strong’, those who now have more want to know why they can’t have even more. Pierre Trudeau ended up losing his majority thanks in part to a brilliant campaign by the NDP’s David Lewis and his catchy refrain ‘Corporate Welfare Bums’. Why can’t we have some of theirs?

All of the opposition parties today are claiming to cut corporate welfare, though nobody seriously believes that would happen with the Tories. Even their lower class income tax cut will benefit the wealthy more than the middle class. And aren’t they promising to restore those unfair tax breaks for the business sector? And seriously, have we forgotten Stephen Harper and Doug Ford?

jAGMEET

Jagmeet Singh

Jagmeet Singh may be a newbie in federal politics but he is a quick learner. He knows that if you want people on-side you simply tell them what they want to hear. As the third party he knows he won’t have to deliver at the end of the day. And look how Mr. Scheer’s false promises have been working for him. He started his campaign by telling everyone he would put more money in their pockets.

Singh has pulled a page out of David Lewis’ campaign book and is telling people he’ll make their lives better and more affordable by guillotining the heads off the rich and using them to feed the disadvantaged. Steal from the rich and give to the rest of us. Now isn’t that more appealing than just saying ‘The Land is Strong’?

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, 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:

Comedy or Cringe –    !972 Budget

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The Great Dark Wonder at Burloak Waterfront Park

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city invests a considerable amount of money in public art and throughout each year contests are held that allow artists to pitch their ideas for what is referred to as “installation” art; something that is not permanent and is often work that can be interacted with.

The city announced seven installation art locations that were to be launched along with Culture Days which took place late in September.

A communications glitch got in the way of our publishing and promoting these events. The Senior Manager Strategic Communications prevented us from talking to the Manager of Cultural Services for some clarification.

The answers the Senior Manager Strategic Communications gave us were not clear and we didn’t have the time to do the back and forth that was required to get clear answers.

Cobalt Connects,  the Hamilton based organization that manages the selection of artist’s process made what appears now available and we share it with you.

With information that is clear we can now share with you what the city made possible.
These installations were available on September 27 and will be on display until October 27, 2019. There are seven Temporary Art Installations.

These artists transformed spaces across Burlington with temporary public art installations. By placing art in unexpected spaces such as parks and community centres, the Public Art Lab brings contemporary art to new audiences. All installations are free of charge! The Public Art Lab is produced by the City of Burlington’s public art program.

The art is pretty well distributed throughout the city – except for Aldershot – they got stiffed.

The installation at Burloak Waterfront Park has Tyler Muzzin using a cell phone for his installation: The Great Dark Wonder which is a cross using Sculpture + Audio Play

Art Burloak image

The Great Dark Wonder – a cross between Sculpture + Audio Play

Using cellphones, visitors to Burloak Waterfront Park can listen in on a dialogue between two fictional ornithologists who are eternally confined to the research station by unknown forces.

Muzzin’s installation explores ideas of the “Natural” through the lens of ecocriticism. The installation focuses on the representation of physical environments and the ways in which these environments are depicted and, in turn, consumed by mass culture.

Tyler Muzzin holds an MFA from the University of Lethbridge (2019). Recent exhibitions include Flower Arrangements for the Hillcrest Mine Disaster Cemetery, a solo project at the Iceland Academy of Arts (2019), and Of Surroundings, a group exhibition at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, Alberta (2019). A folio of photographs from the series Sentinel was selected for publication in Spring 2019 by 89books, Palermo, Italy.

More at: tylermuzzin.net

 

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A piece of visual art depicts the different sounds from activities at the Tansley Woods Community Centre.

theartsBy Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city invests a considerable amount of money in public art and throughout each year contests are held that allow artists to pitch their ideas for what is referred to as “installation” art; something that is not permanent and is often work that can be interacted with.

The city announced seven installation art locations that were to be launched along with Culture Days which took place late in September.

A communications glitch got in the way of our publishing and promoting these events. The Senior Manager Strategic Communications prevented us from talking to the Manager of Cultural Services for some clarification.

The answers the Senior Manager Strategic Communications gave us were not clear and we didn’t have the time to do the back and forth that was required to get clear answers.

Cobalt Connects, the Hamilton based organization that manages the selection of artist’s process, made what appears now available.  With that information we can now share with you what the city made possible.

These installations were available on September 27 and will be on display until October 27, 2019. There are seven Temporary Art Installations.

These artists transformed spaces across Burlington with temporary public art installations. By placing art in unexpected spaces such as parks and community centres, the Public Art Lab brings contemporary art to new audiences. All installations are free of charge! The Public Art Lab is produced by the City of Burlington’s public art program.

The art is pretty well distributed throughout the city – except for Aldershot – they got stiffed.

Kristina Bradt has done Intersection which is a Soundscape Projection  installed in the lobby of the Tansley Woods Community Centre.

Bradt visited the facility at different times throughout the season to collect sound using a field recorder. By capturing the sounds of the activities, events, and people that move through the space, Bradt captured that which often goes unnoticed.

Art image Tansley Woods

The different sounds from activities at the Tansley Woods Community Centre got transformed into art.

Bradt then uses these recordings to create a large-scale floor projection that features bright, abstracted imagery that has a contemporary feel and brings a sense of wonder and curiosity directly inspired by the energy and livelihood of those who inhabit the space. What you see is the artist’s interpretation of the sound data, turned visual art.

Kristina Bradt is an artist and public art enthusiast living in Windsor, Ontario. Bradt earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Windsor (2017) with a focus in Sculpture, Drawing and Digital Media.

Her interest in 3D printing inspired her research into art that depicts the visualization of sound over the past 2 1/2 years and led her work at Artscape Gibraltar Point for her first residency this past February (2019).

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Gareth Williams: a Liberal who became a Green.

federal election 2019By Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Gareth Williams ran in the 2018 municipal election. He put up a good fight but despite having the incumbent, who was retiring, working with him he was unable to win the seat.

Williams has been an active citizen; served on the city’s Sustainability Advisory Committee for six years – as the Chair for the last two years.

He is knowledgeable; works in the IT field at McMaster University where his focus is on the property security side.

Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams after the Burlington Green election event.

Williams was seen as a Liberal – active, to some degree. He has always been an environmentalist. As climate change began to occupy more of the public’s attention Williams began to become disenchanted with what the Liberals were doing.

He was never a fan of Justin Trudeau; he supported Stephane Dion in 2006 when he ran for the Liberal leadership.He was aghast when the federal government bought the Transmountain Pipe line and argues that when they put the pipe in put in the ground it is going to be there for fifty years with the expectation that it will carry oil from Alberta. He doesn’t believe that they will stop transporting oil once Canada doesn’t need it – Williams adroitly points out that the oil leaving Alberta will be going west and exported to the Japanese.

Williams admires Karina Gould – that admiration doesn’t stretch as far as the Prime Minister.

When it became clear that Climate Change was going to be the issue in the federal election Williams decided it was time for him to leave the Liberals and become a full fledged Green.

Williams described himself as a Green Liberal

The decision to make the move did have a timing problem. Williams had planned a vacation to British Columbia with his wife the week the Greens held their nomination meeting. He took part via Skype and won the nomination.

Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams: Is he electable ?

The Greens had just the one seat in the House of Commons, they got a second seat through a by-election and expect to win four, perhaps five more seats in the October 21st election.

The chances of a win for the Greens in Burlington are slim – some would say slim to none.  Williams doesn’t see it that way. He is running to win even though he is not able to take time off work to campaign.

He scurries back to Burlington at the end of each work day to canvas. He does the door to door thing in the evenings and on weekends.

The Green campaign is very very thin on the ground. The “team” consists of four people with very little money for signs or literature.

Williams does have some strong support. Former Mayor Rick Goldring has gone door to door with him and former ward 3 Councillor John Taylor is providing solid support.

During the municipal election we found Williams a little wooden; stiff, slightly awkward with people.

He has grown as a politician since last October. He more than held his own during the Burlington Green debate and gave a stronger closing statement than Cabinet Minister Karina Gould during the Chamber of Commerce Q&A.

The other three candidates who participated read from prepared statements. One had to follow the lines of the page she was reading from with her fingers.  Williams spoke extemporaneously and did very well.

Gareth Williams 2

Gareth Williams: a politician who has grown.

The big, fundamental, over riding question for Williams, and all those who have dedicated themselves is – can we reverse the climate change trajectory ?  Have we reached a tipping point where we are not going to be able to save this planet?

A wise woman once said on a CBC broadcast that this earth has experienced extinctions before – I think she said that there were four – the species that is facing extinction this time is us. Are we intelligent enough to know that we have gone too far and that changes have to be made now?

Gareth Williams wants to be part of a government that ensures we do change and that we do survive.

 

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We get to make the decision as to who leads us - let's try and get it right.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Meed ward election night 1

Did we get it right?

A year ago today we all woke up and headed for the polling station during the day and elected ourselves a new city council.

Did we get it right?

Most people appear to think that we did. There are certainly some who think mistakes were made but on balance we have seven people who have a clear vision as to where they want to go.

Next Monday we get to go to the polls again.

Let us try and get it right.

There is a lot of small minded bickering and pettiness being voiced.

Is the dual citizenship that Andrew Scheer has really that big a deal?

Is it what the creation of a government is decided on?

Parliament hill crowds

The people, you and I get to decide who runs that |House of Commons. Think really hard about who you send there to do the job.

The Black face was and is a big deal – but it was 20 years ago. Has Justin Trudeau grown up? Has he learned a lesson?

Do we trust him?

That applies to all of them – do you trust them?

There are some very big, fundamental issues before us. If we don’t get them right – we are in serious trouble.

iceberg

When this falls apart – we all fall apart. It will not be a pretty picture.

There is a tipping point, a point at which we cannot go back.

Are we there yet?

How close to that tipping point are we and do we really want to test it.

If we are wrong – there really isn’t a future.

There is some hard hard thinking to be done.

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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September transit changes get tweaked - some revisions to be implemented November 3rd.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 17th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The major transit schedules change that were put in place at the beginning of September are now being tweaked.

November 3 Schedule Changes

In September, Burlington Transit implemented many improvements to its service routes, including:

• An increase of 20-minute service on many routes
• Extended bus service in Aldershot to Aldershot High School
• Increased service in the area of Lakeshore Road and Burloak Drive.

Sue Connor said that hearing what riders thought and some of their ideas have brought about minor changes. Connor made a point of thanking the riders who have shared their feedback on the changes.

In response to their input, effective Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, Burlington Transit will be making some additional changes as they continue to work towards a “Better Transit” for Burlington.

Effective Nov. 3, 2019:

TRansit changes Nov 3

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Burlington's Cabinet Minister claims not to have been aware that Petro Canada paid a $1 billion bribe to the Libyans.

federal election 2019By Pepper Parr

October 17th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

During the interview the Gazette did with Burlington MP, Karina Gould – Ray Rivers, our political columnist, asked Ms Gould how she squared the position the federal government had taken on the SNC Lavalin issue with the bribe Petro Canada paid the Libyan government in 2009 or 2010.

The SNC Lavalin issue was the paying of a bribe to the Libyan government for the right to do business with that government. Canadian corporations cannot pay bribes to foreign governments.

The federal prosecutors were preparing to put SNC Lavalin on trial.  The argument we’ve heard is that the Prime Minister’s office pressured the Minister of Justice to consider using the newly minted DPA (deferred prosecution agreement) as a more appropriate punishment for the company’s wrong doing.

A DPA is the instrument of choice by European and American justice departments to administer punishment for these kinds of offences and includes 1. Admission of guilt; 2. a change in corporate culture; 3. commitment to not do it again; 4. a hefty financial penalty and perhaps some other restrictions.

Were SNC Lavalin charged and found guilty in court they might not be able to bid on federal government contracts for ten years.

Col Quadaffi

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi

“The New York Times reported (in March of 2011) that in 2009 “top aides to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi called together 15 executives from global energy companies operating in Libya’s oil fields and issued an extraordinary demand: Shell out the money for his country’s $1.5 billion bill for its role in the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 and other terrorist attacks.

If the companies did not comply, the Libyan officials warned, there would be “serious consequences” for their oil leases, according to a State Department summary of the meeting.  Many of those businesses balked, saying that covering Libya’s legal settlement with victims’ families for acts of terrorism was unthinkable. But some companies, including several based in the United States, appeared willing to give in to Libya’s coercion and make what amounted to payoffs to keep doing business, according to industry executives, American officials and State Department documents.

The New York Times article also reported that Petro-Canada, a large Canadian oil company, was one of those companies which made a $1 billion payment in order to obtain a 30-year oil exploration license from Libyan officials, according to diplomatic cables and company officials.

Petro-Canada along with SNC also sponsored an exhibit of a Gaddafi family  member’s paintings after museums refused — ridiculed by Canadian critics as “lurid” and a “triumph of banality“ and a point of discussion during the justice committee hearings into the matter earlier this year.

The episode and others like it, the officials said, reflect a Libyan culture rife with corruption, kickbacks, strong-arm tactics and political patronage since the United States reopened trade with Colonel Qaddafi’s government in 2004.

As American and international oil companies, telecommunications firms and contractors moved into the Libyan market, they discovered that Colonel Qaddafi or his loyalists often sought to extract millions of dollars in “signing bonuses” and “consultancy contracts” — or insisted that the strongman’s sons get a piece of the action through shotgun partnerships.

“Libya is a kleptocracy in which the regime — either the al-Qadhafi family itself or its close political allies — has a direct stake in anything worth buying, selling or owning,” a classified State Department cable said in 2009, using the department’s spelling of Qaddafi.

This is the country Petro-Canada paid $1 billion.   So the question is, if it was acceptable for Petro-Canada to pay what amounts to a billion dollar bribe why is the federal government so vigorously pursuing SNC Lavalin for doing basically the same thing for about $50 million?

Montreal based SNC was charged in 2015 while Mr. Harper was PM.  But there has been no action with respect to Calgary based Petro-Canada.  Why is that? One has to wonder if this represents a bias reflecting a government with a PM based in the West rather than in Quebec?

Gould - electoral reform

As Minister for Democratic Institutions it was Gould’s job to bring something to the public that would change the way we elect our federal leaders. That proved to be impossible – the necessary co-operation and consent from the other political parties was just not on the table.

Gould and Justin

Karina Gould with the Prime Minister before she was made a Cabinet Minister.

Ms Gould, who supports the Prime Minister’s position to have SNC Lavlin be given a DPA (deferred prosecution agreement) which would mean there would not be a trial but there would be financial consequences that would save some 9000 jobs.

Ms Gold told the Gazette that she was not aware of the bribe Petro Canada paid the Libyan government.

That statement was, at best, a real stretch.

Petro Canada was formed in 1975 and was, until 1991, a Crown Corporation.  Suncor Energy bought the company from the federal government.

The full, lengthy New York Times story can be found HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What the candidate for the Burlington seat think about the threat to local autonomy.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 17th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We Love Burlington – odd name for a local advocacy group.

We love logoDespite the name – they are an effective voice for the community and what they perceive as an attempt by the province to drastically change the the way the residents of not only Burlington but Milton, Oakville and |Halton Hills – all part of the Region of Halton.

The province held a Provincial Review, the report hasn’t been made public yet – the fear is that all the local municipalities will sort of disappear and become parts of what get called the Municipality of Halton with the three local communities becoming departments.

The fear is real – Premier Doug Ford tore the city of Toronto apart electorally when he reduced the size of that city council by 50% – right smack in the middle of an election.

The We Love Burlington people have turned to the people running for the Burlington federal seat for their views. We pass them along to you.

The “lovelies” recently appeared on Your TV with Burlington Mayor Meed Ward. If you can find the episode on that cable channel – it might be worth a listen.

The “lovelies” put their case this way in their most recent Facebook update…

WeLoveBurlington asked the five federal Burlington candidates the following question:

Recognizing that municipalities are the creatures of the provincial government and almost totally under provincial control, what could you do, as Burlington’s federal government representative, to ensure that the City retains a strong identity with a resonant local voice?

We asked this question for several reasons. First, because we feel it is important that our local federal candidates consider and explain what they can do for us on a very close-to-home level. While municipal governance is definitely under provincial control, the federal government still can and should assist municipalities – the government that is closest to the citizens. In fact, we believe our highest level of government (thus actually the most removed from the citizen) still has a duty to exert its authority and influence, where and when needed, to protect all Canadians from the adverse impacts of policies generated by the more proximate levels of government. At the end of all the politics and all the platforms, there is just one taxpayer, frequently confused and even more frequently dismissed. Secondly, we believe that it is a fundamental obligation of all levels of government to co-operate in the interests of the citizen. Too often warring philosophies and battling polemics leave citizens as unwilling and unwitting refugees. So, we ask what can you do to avoid this?

Finally, if the local interests are not a primary consideration for the federal candidates, then why do we have this elaborate electoral system based on population and geography? Would it not be much simpler, cheaper and entertaining to have the leaders of each party fight it out in a caged ring with winner takes all?

These candidates were invited to appear at the October 3 debate hosted by Burlington Green, and this is where we first submitted the question, then followed by emailing all five candidates directly.

We have received answers from the Liberal Party, the Green Party and the NDP party candidates for Burlington. Note these were also the only three candidates to appear at the debate. Their responses are below.

Gould

Karina Gould

Karina Gould, Liberal Candidate for Burlington (October 9)

The majority of the issues that I hear about are municipal as municipal government is what people interact with on a daily basis. Our Liberal government recognizes how important of a role municipal government’s play. That is why we are committed to working with municipalities – advocating on local initiatives, working with the City of Burlington to hear their priorities and investing in and building infrastructure.
I have been proud to be a champion for our community these past four years and will always stand up for Burlington.

Since 2015 we have, introduced the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to help communities prepare for climate change through more resilient infrastructure, invested $2 billion in the Low Carbon Economy Fund through the Canadian Federation of Municipalities; invested $40 million in the Atmospheric Fund for the GTHA which will enable cities to retrofit and build a low carbon future; and doubled the Gas Tax Fund in Budget 2019, providing a one-time injection of $2.2 billion (including $5.5 million for Burlington). We have also invested $20 billion in public transit across the country, including over $2 million in Burlington Transit.

If re-elected we will ensure that unspent infrastructure funds from older, inactive programs are transferred to municipalities through the Gas Tax Fund to continue to support local infrastructure priorities, especially if the province tries to sit on the funds like Ontario’s current government.

If re-elected we will ensure cities are provided with predictable transit funding that they need to plan for the future by investing an additional $3 billion more in stable funding. We will also require all provinces and territories to identify and approve all of their long-term infrastructure priorities within the next two years. Funds that are not designated for specific projects by the end of 2021, we will reinvest directly in communities through a top up of the federal Gas Tax Fund. This will ensure communities are not waiting on delays from provinces.

If re-elected, I will continue to work with the City of Burlington, and local partners, to advocate for the issues that matter most to residents and invest in our community to deliver a better quality of life for people, no matter where they live. I love this community, it is my home and it is where I grew up and am raising my family. I will always stand up for Burlington.

Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams, Green Party Candidate for Burlington (October 13)

I am a proud 20+-year resident of Burlington with a strong record of community involvement, working to build a safer and cleaner future for Burlington families. For over a decade, I have been active with many local grassroots organizations dedicated to protecting the environment and helping the vulnerable, including BurlingtonGreen, Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit (BFAST), and the Halton Environmental Network.

In 2011, I joined the City of Burlington’s Sustainable Development Committee, serving as a member and then Chair over six years to encourage the adoption of tougher sustainability standards for buildings, public transportation, and to set a goal of carbon neutrality for city operations. Most recently, I ran for City Council, and my decision to stand as the Green Party candidate for Burlington comes from the same deep commitment to the city I chose as my home.

The Green Party is well-positioned to support municipalities like Burlington and advocate for their citizens. First of all, we are committed to treating municipalities like equal partners in governance, because the simple fact is that they are, no matter what Doug Ford says. Municipalities are the first level of government Canadians typically deal with, and they have a big impact on our daily lives. Greens believe it’s time to act like communities matter. As a government, we would give municipalities an equal seat at the national policy making table through a Council of Canadian Governments, and we will encourage the adoption of City Charters for greater autonomy. We would create a permanent Municipal Fund (a repurposing and doubling of the current Gas Tax Funds), which will ensure a predictable, reliable stream of funding for municipalities, independent of the provinces. And we will allocate one per cent of GST to housing and other municipal infrastructure on an ongoing basis to provide a consistent baseline of funding.

With climate change one of the most significant threats to our health, prosperity, and stability, both globally and at the community level, the Greens’ comprehensive 20-point Climate Action Plan, Mission: Possible, contains a number of strategies to help cities. Burlington has recently declared a climate emergency. If elected, I will make it a priority to support the City of Burlington in its climate action plan. Through a dedicated energy efficiency retrofit financing program, we will help Burlington residents and businesses reduce costs while contributing to a net zero carbon future.

All of these strategies will help ensure that Burlington gets the federal support needed to keep our city strong and afford it a measure of independence when it comes to planning and decision-making. And importantly, unlike other federal parties, the Green Party does not whip votes. This means that Green MPs have the freedom to put their constituents first. As the MP for Burlington, my first priority will always be to represent my fellow Burlingtonians and speak up for their interests. It would be a privilege to serve the Burlington I love.

Dupuis 2 LARGER

Lenaee Dupuis,

Lenaee Dupuis, NDP Party Candidate for Burlington, October 15

I love Burlington as well and want to ensure collaboration with the Mayor and City Council on their initiatives and areas where they believe that they require an additional voice at the table. I believe that by working together we can meet the common goal of remaining the best city in Canada to live in.

I have already met with Mayor Meed Ward to hear about where there may be opportunities to assist or collaborate and I am engaged to continue to do this if I am in the incumbent. Building relationships makes for a better city, and a place that all of us can call home.

WeLoveBurlington Appearance on Your TV

We Love and the Mayor

Marianne Meed Ward with Blair Smith and Lynn Crosby at the Your TV studio

On September 19, two members of WLB taped an episode of Burlington Matters with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, which airs on Yourtv Halton. We very much appreciate Mayor Meed Ward’s continued support and the opportunity to speak about our group and the concerns we have about amalgamation and a potential megacity of Halton. The show aired this past week and is available for viewing: https://yourtv.tv/node/211031

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If you make a bundle gambling on line - do you have to pay taxes on what you win?

News 100 blueClaire Nash

October 17, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Gambling - accounting papers

No need to do any tax accounting for your on-line wins

We won’t be exaggerating if we state that taxes are every Canadian’s worst nightmare! And when it comes to online gambling, an immediate question asked by every player is – are they required to pay taxes on their winnings at such platforms?

Well, the good news is that you don’t need to pay any taxes on such winnings if you are only a recreational player and a Canadian resident.

So, I could sign up to www.casino.com to play the desert treasure slot, win a huge sum and get to take the entire win home, without paying anything to the exchequer.


Why casino players aren’t required to pay any taxes.
Canadian government can’t tax any gambling activity because it doesn’t serve as a regular source of income, and doesn’t originate from property, employment or any other regular earning means. Gambling also isn’t considered a type of business and majority of Canadians don’t live off their gambling winnings. In the eyes of the law, taxing such events will not be fair. Here’s more on the peculiarities of gambling in Canada.

Are Canadians required to pay any taxes on gambling winnings?
No, there is no need for Canadians to pay any taxes on winnings from gambling activities like lotteries, sports betting, horse racing, online casinos etc. however, you must declare any interest earned on these winnings in the T5 form. Any such interest is taxable in nature and you could be fined if you are caught not paying taxes on it.

Are professional Canadian gamblers required to pay taxes?
Anyone who gambles full-time, whether off-line or online, and makes a living from the activity, must pay taxes on their winnings. Hence, professional blackjack players, poker players or anyone who calls themselves a professional gambler, will be perceived as a running a freelance business, the income from which is taxable in Canada.

However, there’s a catch. The Canada Revenue Agency has been very slow in assessing and auditing people whose primary source of income is gambling. Why this is so is because these people are essentially operating the business and the profits earned from the business are taxable.

Gambling tax calculator

No calculations to be done.

But the same business can lead to major losses, reducing overall income. If the Canadian revenue agency starts taxing these professional players in a forceful manner, it could have a very bad domino effect throughout Canada.

This doesn’t mean that if you are a professional gambler, you should avoid paying any taxes. It’s only information that you should be aware of.

Furthermore, a court ruling in 2012 stated that gambling losses aren’t tax write-offs.

Gambling wins in Vegas or US as a Canadian citizen
Anyone who visits Las Vegas or United States to gamble and comes back with the winnings, must pay close to half of their winnings exceeding US$ 1200 as taxes to the government. If you thought you could just avoid declaring any such income, well, think again! When you walk up to cash out your winnings at the booth, 30% is deducted as tax at source there and then!

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Jeff Hill sworn in as new Deputy Chief of Halton Regional Police Service,

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 17th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In August 2019, former Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah, joined Peel Region as the new Chief of Police.

That meant finding a new Deputy for the Halton Regional Police Service.

Jeff Hill, a Superintendent with the HRPS ,was sworn in as the Halton Regional Police Service’s new Deputy Chief yesterday at a ceremony at the Burlington Convention Centre.

HRPS Jeff hill - SM (003)

From the left: Deputy Chief Jeff Hill, Chief Stephen Tanner and Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie.

The formal swearing-in ceremony was attended by MPPs, the Halton Police Board (Chair and board members), community leaders, faith leaders, local and regional councillors, Halton Regional Police Service Senior Commanders, and a number of uniformed and civilian members of the Service.

Deputy Jeff Hill joined the Halton Regional Police Service, from the Toronto Police Service, in 1998 and was assigned Uniform Patrol in the Town of Oakville. As a Constable, he served in both the Town of Oakville and the City of Burlington and as a Coach Officer for several new recruits. Over the years, Deputy Chief Hill has served in a number of progressively senior roles, including Sergeant with Uniform Patrol in the City of Burlington, Detective in Charge of the Robbery portfolio in the Burlington Criminal Investigation Bureau, Staff Sergeant and Platoon Manager in 2 District, Staff Officer to the Deputy Chief, Detective Sergeant and District Operations Inspector, and Inspector where he assumed the role as the Commander of Human Resources and Training.

As Inspector, he led the restructuring of Human Resources and Training resulting in an increased organizational capacity and improved customer service, and led the drive to implement a Regional wellness strategy resulting in stigma reduction and increased employee wellness.

Since being promoted to the rank of Superintendent in October 2015, Deputy Chief Hill has provided exceptional leadership to the Halton Regional Police Service’s Regional Investigative Services, overseeing the Domestic Violence, Forensic Identification, Child Abuse and Sexual Assault (CASA), Homicide, Drugs and Human Trafficking, Intelligence, Internet Child Exploitation (ICE), Tech Crime, Regional Fraud, Polygraph, and Victim Services.

In his new role, Deputy Chief Hill is responsible for the following areas of the Service:

• Regional Investigative Services
• Intelligence
• Drug and Morality Unit
• Human Trafficking
• Polygraph
• Technological Crime
• Domestic Violence
• Child Abuse and Sexual Assault
• Homicide
• Forensic Identification
• Frauds
• Corporate Services
• Facilities
• Finance
• Fleet
• Purchasing
• Support Services
• Communications
• Courts and Records
• Human Resources
• Training
• Emergency Services
• Victim Services

Deputy Chief Hill will serve the community alongside Chief Stephen Tanner and Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie.

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