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

By Staff

September 3rd, 2021



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

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

City Service – Holiday Closure Information

Animal Services

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

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

The transit station on John Street WILL NOT be open.

Burlington Transit

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

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

City Hall

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

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

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Recreation Programs and Facilities

Drop-In Swimming and Skating

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

Tim Hortons Free Summer Swimming

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

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

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

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

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

Splash Pads

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

Book your tee time on line

Tyandaga Golf Course

Book your tee time at Tyandagagolf.com.

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

Roads, Parks and Forestry

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

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

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

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


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

By Karina Rybay

September 3rd, 2021



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

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

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

Frank Casino

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

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

Yako Casino

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

Betsafe Casino

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

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

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Will the hospitality sector begin standing up for their clients?

By Pepper Parr

September 2nd, 2021



So – there is going to be a vaccine passport. Took the Premier long enough to get a wiggle on. He is right however – why isn’t there a federally issued Covid19 Passport?

Being able to prove that you are vaccinated is critical. Getting everyone fully vaccinated is proving a little difficult but we are at close to 80% and with the need to have that passport to be able to get into a restaurant or an event will push the number to, ideally 95%.

Provision has been made for the exceptions.

For those who don’t want to get vaccinated there are limits to what they can do in a public setting.

The one that really galls me is this. I have to be able to show that I have been fully vaccinated but the person taking my order in a restaurant, but the person serving the food and the person cooking the food does not have to prove they are vaccinated.

I was in a restaurant in Guelph talking with the owner and he said that he could not ask his employees if they were vaccinated.


That restaurant owner wants me to have a meal in his restaurant but he isn’t prepared to ensure that his staff is Covid free.

I want to go to a restaurant that has the courage to put a sign on the front door saying all their staff are vaccinated.

Those that aren’t – tell them not to bother coming to work until they are vaccinated. What about their human rights? What about my right to stay alive?

There is something wrong with a set up that requires me to be vaccinated in order to be served but does not require the server to be vaccinated.

If the restaurants want our business, which many of us really want to give them, then let those restaurants step up and be bold enough to make it clear they are watching out for us.

Restaurants turned to the city for help and they were given help. A lot of taxpayer money was shoveled out the door to help the hospitality sector and most people were happy to see this done.

Our Council members urged us to support the hospitality sector and to begin shopping locally.

I’d like to see those in the hospitality sector looking out for me while I dine in their establishments.

I’d also like to see the Burlington Downtown Business Association counseling their members to care for the people that they want to attract.

There is a film crew using the third floor of the building my office is in.   I rent office space on the third floor.  Every member of the film crew is masked.

Juliana Robertson

Juliana Robertson, a paramedic by training, asked me to come to the table she had set up so that she could put a little stick up my nostril to ensure that I was not infected even though I told her I have been fully vaccinated.

Sorry she said – you have to do this. I surely had the right to go to my office and do my work.  I decided not to challenge her right to “invade my privacy” She asked me to wait 10 minutes for the results and then told me I was good to go.

Robertson runs Reel Medics in Motion – her market is the film production companies  doing their filming in Hamilton. She is the Medic/Covid Supervisor on the Ghosts of Christmas Past production.  She does the Covid testing and is the first responder for anyone hurt on the film set.

It would be really nice if the hospitality sector was as conscientious.


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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Parkinson's in the Park - exercising and socializing

By Staff

September 2nd, 2021



The Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation is excited to announce  that our Parkinson’s in the Park exercise programs  will be offered in Burlington as well as Mississauga-

These include –  Tai Chi and Walking/Pole Walking classes. These classes are designed to help those with Parkinson’s get moving , get outdoors and also provides a social environment. Our experienced instructors will ensure  everyone’s  health, safety and enjoyment.

The Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation is a non-profit corporation focused on fundraising to support and enhance the lives of individuals and families living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel. Our decision to form the PFPF facilitates our commitment to keeping the funds raised in our Community.

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Dupuis running a virtual NDP campaign in Oakville North Burlington

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 1st, 2021



The first thing Oakville/North Burlington NDP candidate, Lenaee Dupuis, told the Gazette in our interview was that this is an unnecessary election and that people are apathetic about it.

Lenaee Dupuis

Despite that, Dupuis spoke at length about running a virtual campaign while the community deals with a fourth wave of COVID; the need for respect in politics after NDP signs in her district were vandalized; immediately achievable climate change action, and the NDP’s efforts to create a more equitable society in areas of healthcare, education, senior care, and housing.

Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, Dupuis is not running a traditional campaign, participating mostly  in virtual events. Dupuis said she has heard from the public they are unhappy with candidates knocking on their doors, and criticized the candidates participating in traditional campaigning for putting volunteers and constituents at risk.

“This is an unnecessary election so I think because of that there is a bit of apathy around it, when I’m talking to constituents a lot of them ask ‘why are we having this election?’ We’re going into a fourth wave of the pandemic and my immune system is compromised so I want to be cognizant that not everyone wants to speak publicly. I’ve heard some complaints in my neighborhood that some of my opponents are actually walking the neighborhood and knocking on doors, and people don’t like it so I think the fact that the election has been called unnecessarily is probably one of the biggest things to keep in mind.

In a virtual campaign – this is about all you get.

“I feel that knocking on doors puts our volunteers at risk. It also puts our constituents at risk and I know if somebody were to knock on my door right now I wouldn’t answer it. I feel that it’s not necessarily the safest thing. I think people do not have the appetite for it right now and we are in a fourth wave and numbers are increasing. We chose not to have a campaign office. We are doing a lot of things virtually so for instance we’re doing some meet and greets virtually, we’re also doing some virtual meet and greets in parks as well, but it is with COVID protocols, masks on, we have hand sanitizer, we’re six to 10 feet apart from each other. So we had a really good one last weekend where we had probably about 25 people there, and people asking really good questions as well,” said Dupuis.

Dupuis was unconcerned her decision to abstain from traditional campaign canvassing put her at a disadvantage, the candidate focused on the positivity being generated from the events that are happening. She also thinks voters appreciate the responsibility of the decision. Despite the positivity Dupuis has felt around her campaign, two NDP campaign signs were vandalized, located on an Oakville supporter’s residential property, the words “NO COMMIES” spray-painted over them. Dupuis said the candidates have put their hands up for big jobs and spoke of the importance of running a respectful campaign.

“You know, my biggest thing is, we have all put our hands up for a really big job. So whether it be the incumbent like Pam Damoff, whether it be somebody relatively new like Bruno Sousa, in the Green Party I think all of us should respect one another, no matter what our political views are, no matter how people feel about signs. We’ve put our names in the hat, which those people that are vandalizing haven’t done. And you know, respect is how I live my life. I want people to respect me but I want to give the same respect back. And that’s really how I think it should all be because I respect all the people I’m running against very much,” said Dupuis.

Few houses like this are being built – the word affordable wasn’t used to describe them.

Dupuis addressed cost of living concerns with a focus on expanded health coverage and affordable housing. Dupuis championed universal Medicare and universal Pharmacare, and suggests more accessible health coverage in all areas will be balanced fiscally by reducing avoidable hospital and emergency visits. The NDP plan for affordable housing includes a 20% foreign buyers tax on the sale of homes to individuals who are not Canadian citizens and waiving GST/HST on the construction of new affordable rental units to expedite growth.

“We’re talking about Pharmacare for all and Medicare for all. So, in addition to Pharmacare to have dental in there, because I’m very aware of the linkage between poor dental care and heart disease, diabetes can be affected, several different things so that dental care is also under there. A lot of the time what is happening is we have Medicare, in the sense of people can go to the hospital, they can go to the emergency room, they get the prescription, but they can’t afford to fill the prescription. So, even, you know, if we had the prescriptions filled the additional cost that is put out for hospital visits and emergency visits will be reduced and everything will balance out fiscally.

“In the time that the Liberals have been in government, you can see the trajectory of housing prices going up over $300,000. You know I have a 15-year-old son and I am scared for him and his opportunity for having affordable housing in the future. That’s owning a house but rental prices are not attainable either so affordable housing is a priority. The NDP has the everyday person in mind, not, corporate, not the big polluters, not the big money makers, it’s the everyday person so the result is that the everyday person, benefits, not just the home builders, not just the big, big manufacturing companies, it’s the everyday person who will get the results of the NDP party,” said Dupuis.

Nursing homes like this experienced a death rate the could have been prevented were they in the hands of better managers.

Jagmeet Singh suggested Trudeau allowing for-profit long-term care homes to continue to cut corners for their financial bottom line resulted in Canadians living and working in the homes being hit hardest by the pandemic. The NDP are proposing to take profit out of long-term care homes altogether, Dupuis explains.

“So, along with affordable housing, pension plans, etc. We feel that seniors are one of the populations that need to get a little extra help wherever they can. You know, CPP hasn’t gone up over the years so we want to make life more affordable for seniors, so improving CPP, working towards getting better plans like PharmaCare dental care a lot of seniors don’t have dental care, because it’s not part of their benefits once they’ve retired. So those types of things will help to make them healthier and live longer, as well, long term care homes, you know, de-privatizing and making them more universal with stronger employed people upping the minimum wage so that we get better a better standard of people working in the homes as well,” said Dupuis.

It is going to take a lot more than bold statements to save this planet.

Fighting climate change is a passion for Dupuis, who has a background in environmental waste management from school. Dupuis thinks there are many changes Canada could immediately make in addressing climate change.

“There are simple wins like banning single-use plastics that’s one of our forefronts and I think it’s a quick win and low-hanging fruit. I think it’s something we could very easily do as a society. Trying to electrify along the transit systems that go through Oakville/North Burlington. It is a commuter area so encouraging more commuting, utilizing the GO train more, making it electrified. Additional pollination spots encourage more bumblebees. There are so many things that we could do that are quick wins. Making it mandatory for recyclable products for restaurants so instead of Styrofoam containers you have to use something that’s more biodegradable. There are little wins that we can get but then there are big ones like fossil fuels so, not giving subsidies to the big polluters, instead of making them pay for the impacts that they’re having.

“And also wreck retrofitting so when we’re when we’re building big apartment buildings or building more areas, or, you know, taking older apartments and making them more affordable for living, you know, retrofitting those buildings and having the big builders, doing things in a more green process, having them LEED-certified, etc.,” said Dupuis.

The NDP platform discusses working toward free tuition for Canadians, a plan that would require provincial government cooperation, but in the interim, Dupuis is advocating for an immediate stop to interest on federal student loans and elimination of $20,000 of initial debt per student.

Wearing the NDP colours – Dupuis mingles at a time when mingling was possible.

“One of the things I always like to say is that education is an equalizer in society. So no matter what socioeconomic background that you have been born into you can rise from that level. Canada, for instance, is a place where if you get an education, you can move outside of the background that you’re born into. And so the fact that our cost is so outrageous, and not everybody can pay needs to be fixed. I came from a home where my father had his grade nine education, but I have a degree, I have two degrees and a couple of post-secondary diplomas, and that was because I fought hard to get them. My parents also helped me, but they didn’t help all the way. So one of the things that we have announced as the NDP, is that we will eliminate any interest on loans and any tuition. We’ve also said that we would grandfather I believe it’s $20,000 so that you know we will kind of get rid of the initial $20,000 that you spend in debt. But we have to get elected for those things to be followed through,” said Dupuis.

Lenaee Dupuis is a mother, wife, and small business owner who has lived in Burlington for over 15 years. She is a human resources professional and has been for over 20 years. Dupuis has a biology degree and diploma in Environmental Waste Management.

Dupuis was the NDP candidate for Burlington in the 2019 federal election

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Oakville North Burlington Liberal Pam Damoff sets out why she should be re-elected

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 1st, 2021



Oakville North Burlington Liberal incumbent Pam Damoff spoke to the Gazette about her work representing the community, where she hopes to leave her mark on public service.

First elected in 2015 Pam Damoff is asking the people of Oakville North Burlington to send her back to Ottawa.

Damoff is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services. She was open and transparent about the Liberal administration’s shortcomings on boil-water advisories in Indigenous communities, the national conversation residential school discoveries have started, gun control as a public health concern, and the job she’s done so far.

Damoff spoke about lifting long-standing boil water advisories in Indigenous communities, a 2015 Trudeau campaign promise that  is  poised to be missed by years. Damoff was asked what message the Liberal government had for Indigenous people on the failure to lift long-term water boil advisories to reiterate their seriousness and commitment to the project. As with most comments on this topic so far by Liberal representatives, Damoff focuses on what has been accomplished rather than where the Liberals have come up short.

There are still boil water advisories in Indigenous communities.

“We’ve lifted 109 long-term drinking water advisories, right now there are 50 remaining in 31 communities. So, that includes 535 projects, 99 water treatment plants, and 436 upgrades that have been funded. So we’ve invested $4.27 billion to achieve clean drinking water. We prevented 188 short-term drinking water advisories from becoming long-term. So, we’ve done more than any other government in history to end long-term drinking water advisories.

“There is a plan in place for all of the remaining advisories to be lifted. One of the things that we want to ensure is that, first of all, we’re working with the community to the solution that they want for their problems. They are the ones that lift water advisories, not the federal government. So it’s up to the community itself to lift that long-term drink water advisory. And we’ll want to make sure that they also have the tools they need to ensure that when water advisories are lifted they have the people in the community to service, for example, water treatment plants. So it involves training, it involves working with the first nation to ensure that once they have clean drinking water that they can maintain that infrastructure. Every community has a plan in place to end their long-term drinking water advisory and a timeline,” said Damoff.

Damoff’s claim that it is the community who lifts water advisories, not the federal government, begs the question as to why Justin Trudeau would make such a promise in the first place. NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, was recently asked if he would write a blank check to solve boil water advisories and he asked if this question would even be raised if those without clean water lived in Toronto or Vancouver.

Canada has not legislated drinking water as a human right but has recognized a UN declaration on human rights to safe drinking water in 2012. Nine years later and there is a question of how valuable progress can be treated on what has been an abject failure.

Before the dissolving of Parliament, Bill C-230 was in progress to redress environmental racism, which encompasses boil-water advisories among other injustices, it would have been the first of its kind. Damoff said she planned to support the bill. The language of the bill called not only for urgent action against environmental racism but defined timelines and transparency. Due to the election call Bill C-230, which had made some progress, is dead and legislation will have to be re-introduced in the next Parliament.

Canada still needs to do better on Indigenous curriculum Damoff says, but adds the discovery of the mass graves in residential schools has opened the eyes of many Canadians and while the country has to do better going forward she says it has improved and young people are becoming more aware of Indigenous issues. Damoff alluded to reconciliation and discussed what that looks like in practical terms.

National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations addressing members of Parliament from the floor of the House of commons.

“I think listening to indigenous people, and recognizing that they are the first peoples of this country, and the days of the government determining what is best for indigenous people need to be over. We need to work in partnership with them and support them in the decisions they choose to make for their own people. So I think all of us can commit to learning more and being allies to indigenous peoples and supporting them. If you go back to the residential school site, each community just determines what is best for themselves, whether it’s searching for the graves, for example, whether it’s preserving residential school sites, which is what they’re doing at six nations at the former Mohawk Institute. In that situation, the government was able to provide funding to complete the restoration in partnership,” said Damoff.

When asked if all residential schools needed to be searched for mass graves Damoff said that is the decision of Indigenous communities and that she, and the government, will support them.

(Damoff asked the Gazette to include the residential school survivors phone number if we wrote about the topic, that number is: 1-866-925-4419)

Elsewhere, Damoff criticized the Conservative’s characterization of gun restrictions and said it’s time to treat firearms as a matter of public health. Damoff pointed to the gun lobby and member, Burlington Conservative candidate, Emily Brown, failing to take suicide into consideration among other alleged oversights.

“It’s time we start treating firearms as a public health issue and that’s what our government has been doing. 75% of people who died by firearms are dying by suicide. There are women that are terrorized by their partner, who has a firearm, who are often killed. There was a woman in North Burlington, if you recall, a few years ago who was killed by a former partner. The measures that we’ve taken include extended background checks, which will include social media history, a history of domestic violence, and several other measures.

“So, the Conservative’s focus is on guns and gangs, and we rightly need to take action on that so we restored funding that was cut under the Harper government.  We’ve also invested in police services and enhanced programs in the community to try to ensure that community organizations are in place to ensure people aren’t joining gangs in the first place.

Rifles seized by the Oakville detachment of the Regional Police

“So, a multi-pronged approach to preventing crime in the first place. Preventing guns from being smuggled in is an important part of that as is the ban on military-style assault rifles, like the kind used at the attack at École Polytechnique in 1989. One of the guns that we’re banning is the firearm that was used in that shooting, where women were targeted. And if you look up the perpetrator of that crime, he was a law-abiding gun owner. The man who killed people in the mosque in Quebec City had a legal firearm.

“So, you know, the rhetoric from the gun lobby, of which the Conservative candidate in Burlington is a part of, doesn’t take into account the devastating impact of firearms on families when someone uses their weapon to die by suicide. They will often say that well if you ban guns people will just use another method and if you talk to the emergency physicians, and people who deal with these things that are professionals in this area, they will tell you that firearms are deadly there’s no second chance. Most people who attempt suicide. If they’re not successful, they told us that they don’t try it again. So, you know, it’s just not true. The measures we put forward are supported by doctors and many others,” said Damoff.

Reflecting on her work serving the local community Damoff addressed COVID-19 response and support provided for residents, businesses, and not-for-profits. She also highlighted acquiring funding for summer jobs programs and cancer research.

Damoff has been a huge supporter of women who need help. She has a large group of young women who have worked in her Oakville office.

“During the pandemic, we provided support for residents and businesses who needed it. We provided support to not-for-profit organizations, like Halton’s Women’s Place and Goodfellow that help them to still be able to serve the public through an incredibly difficult time. Habitat for Humanity is another that I’m very proud to have in my riding and to support them. Funding for Canada Summer Jobs, when I was elected in 2015, because it was a new riding, the funding for Canada Summer Jobs that first year was only about $240,000 this past year it’s 2.5 million. We advocated strongly to get more funding for organizations and owners willing to support young people in their jobs. It’s a program that I’m proud of.

“In 2019 I was able to procure $115 million for cancer research and the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network. The federal government collaborates with the Terry Fox Research Institute and provides matching funding, the government’s contributing $150 million to that. And that’s a roadmap to cure cancer which is quite exciting. In the 2021 budget, there was $30 million for childhood cancer research and that was something that I’ve worked with families and survivors to, to provide funding for the number one killer of children,” said Damoff.

The implementation of a national affordable childcare program is where Damoff wants to leave her mark on public office if re-elected. Damoff wants to see through the fight against COVID-19 and combat the growing cost of living concerns in the community that is seeing housing become untenable.

Damoff, centre, has in the past taken part in the New Year’s Day Polar Dip – part of a climate change initiative.

“I really want to see implement a national affordable childcare program, Ontario is one province where we don’t have an agreement. But we know that childcare that costs $10 a day is not only good for the family but it’s good for the economy. And it will allow women to fully participate in the economy, and it will increase our GDP. So it’s good for everyone. And something I feel strongly about is affordable housing that was announced in our platform. I hear from a lot of young people who want to leave the community because they can’t afford to live here. So that’s something and then also finishing the fight against COVID-19 We’re not done.


“I know that climate change is top of mind for residents who I speak to, and one of the reasons I got into politics. So I think climate change needs to be top of mind, as does gun control, and childcare,” said Damoff.


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Canada’s Largest Ribfest is back this Labour Day Weekend

By Staff

September 1st, 2021



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Temporary Drive Test Centre to be opened at Burlington GO September 7th

By Staff

August 30th, 2021



In the coming weeks, the Ontario government will open additional temporary road test centres in Burlington to increase the number of passenger road tests (class G2/G) available in areas where demand is highest.

These temporary road test centres will help increase testing capacity across the DriveTest network and help people who need a road test book sooner.

The province finally opened up additional Testing Centres. Burlington GO station is the location for the temporary location. Register on-line.

Throughout efforts to clear the backlog, the health and safety of DriveTest customers and staff will be of utmost concern. Customers will be required to wear face masks inside centres and during road tests, sanitize their hands, complete the Patron/customer screening developed by the province and share their “passed” results prior to the road test or admittance to the centre.

Starting Tuesday, September 7, 2021, DriveTest will offer class G2 and G road tests seven days a week between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., at temporary locations at Burlington GO Station

These sites are in addition to the temporary road test centres that opened in August 2021.

To book your road test, please visit DriveTest.ca – the only official channel for booking a road test. You should never give your driver’s licence to a third party or an unknown website. DriveTest will never charge you an additional fee to book or reschedule a road test.

The inability to complete road tests to qualify for their driver’s has been a serious issue for far too many young people who have found jobs but need to be able to drive.

The province failed to notice the significant increase in demand.

Finally some action.  The demand will be heavy expect delays.

Quick Facts

  • In addition to opening temporary centres, Ontario is hiring an additional 251 temporary driver examiners, extending weekday operating hours for passenger road testing and offering passenger road tests on Saturdays and Sundays at select locations to clear the backlog of road tests.
  • Because of the high demand for road test appointments, we are unable to prioritize customers with cancelled appointments. As measures to address capacity are implemented, additional road test appointments will be made available. Please continue to check DriveTest.ca for new blocks of road test appointments.
  • If your road test was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, you will have a credit on the system to rebook your test.
  • Road test applicants may be required to provide a contact phone number should contact tracing be required. Applicants may be required to keep vehicle windows open to ensure proper airflow.
  • All DriveTest staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment when serving customers, and driver examiners will also be equipped with face shields, sanitizer packages and seat covers when conducting road tests.
  • For inside services and road testing for other licence classes, customers will need to visit a permanent DriveTest location.
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Rivers on the role Canada has played in getting Afghan citizens out of the country before the Taliban gets their hands on them

By Ray Rivers

August 30th, 2021



“I want to take this opportunity to speak with our brothers, the Taliban,” said Monsef. “We call on you to ensure the safe and secure passage of any individual in Afghanistan out of the country. We call on you to immediately stop the violence, the genocide, the femicide, the destruction of infrastructure, including heritage buildings.” (Maryam Monsef, August 2021)


Maryam Monsef

The media and social media frenzy that followed that address by the federal minister responsible for the Status for Women, Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Maryam Monsef, was horrific.   She clearly had been chosen to speak to the new government in Afghanistan, given her Afghan Canadian nationality, as well as the special role she plays looking out for women and their human rights.

But it didn’t take long for Conservative Leader O’Toole and the conservative media to attack the minister for using the term ‘brothers’ which has a cultural significance they obviously don’t understand.   And of course it is election time.

To be clear, Canada ended its combat role in 2011 and it’s training role in 2014.  There were seven years since then for Afghans and Canadians in that country to leave.  Anyone living there should have understood the inevitability of a Taliban victory once Donald Trump demonstrated his ‘art-of-the-deal’ in February 2020, which sealed that country’s fate.

Canadian immigration officials admit they might have acted sooner or faster to short cut screening rules and allow more people to migrate here.  But what would be the public reaction had an ISIS-K terrorist slipped through the cracks?  Regardless that we rescued 3700 people, many Afghans were disappointed they couldn’t be airlifted.  Still, Canada has offered to eventually take in over 20,000 more refugees, making us one of the largest host nations.

Canadian armed forces were reluctant participants in Afghanistan – their role was to train the Afghan Army.

And we must remember that this was not Canada’s war of choice.  We only went there because the USA invoked NATO’s Article 5 following 9/11, albeit on the thinnest of rationales.    Still that demanded collective reaction by NATO.  And it was America that changed the war from a retaliatory strike against al Qaeda to the doomed nation-building project which mostly ended up as waste of time, money and lives.

And it was the Americans who managed the panicked exodus of extra-nationals and those Afghans who had helped them in the war effort, once the Taliban seized Kabul. Canada was a bit player and, no sooner had commercial flights stopped operating we, along with other minor players, were signaled to end our humanitarian evacuation.  And the situation as we have seen became increasingly dangerous as time went on.

The Taliban has committed before 98 nations that it will respect human rights, including the right for its citizens to be able to leave the country.  Once the US Marines leave the airport, commercial flights may resume, though few people expect the Taliban to stick to the letter of that agreement.

Thousands have already fled the borders to Pakistan or one of the other bordering nations.  That is how most people vacate a war zone, much as Minister Monsef’s family fled to Iran during the Soviet invasion, before ending up in Canada.

The ignorance of the critics damning the Minister for her use of the cultural term ‘brothers’ is indicative of how democracy in this country has deteriorated, particularly since the advent of social media where many people now look for their news.  And as the more traditional media has become politically polarized, alternated facts and outright mis-information, have made truth whatever you want it to be.  Yet, a democracy cannot continue to function in the absence of a well informed public – information is perhaps the most important pillar of our system of governance.

It was a big lie by the former president that the 2020 US election was stolen, which set off an insurrection, siege and the occupation of the US Congressional assembly, the heart of American democracy.   The image of a violent mob ransacking and defacing public buildings in places all around the world is not new – but this had never happened before at the Capitol.

It could have been a scene from Tehran or Kabul.  But it is what is becoming more commonplace in America precipitated from both the political right as well as the left.  Intolerance and disrespect have led to the breakdown of the great American society.  Society has been fractionalized along artificial lines of we and they, right and left, Republicans and Democrats.

With more protesters than supporters on hand for a visit to Bolton, ON – the Prime Minister’s handlers asked the OPP to escort their bus out of town.

And now we see civil discourse turning to confrontational, angry, violent protest here as well.  Hate charged articles in the Rebel and Toronto Sun are picked up and translated on social media so as to drive the wedge among all of us.  Erin O’Toole, to his credit, has spoken against these kind of demonstrations, but the people who support him were in the crowds in Bolton and Cambridge.  They made it a point to shout obscenities and racial insults and violently heckle to the point that one of the events had to be cancelled for the safety of the public.

And finally the Honourable Maryam Monsef, who has been beaten up by a highly partisan mob media may well lose her rural riding because of the bad press.  And that will just demonstrate that some of us anyway are no better than those people in that hell hole from which her parents saved her.  It just shows that you don’t have to be a woman in the Taliban’s Afghanistan to become a victim of hatred.

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



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

By Pepper Parr

August 30th, 2021



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THAT eventuality is decades away.

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

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

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

Their argument is that –

Our parks are already packed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By Staff

August 29th, 2021



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

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

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

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

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



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

This looks like a Congo Line.

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This election is all about power - the voters get to decide who wields it

By Pepper Parr

August 29th, 2021



Elections are about power.

Those who have it want to keep it.

Those who don’t sometimes think they can get it and they do their very best to win power.

The current Prime Minister wanted a majority which would give him the power he wants to run the country the way he wants.

Karina Gould has a seat in this house – Emily Brown wants that seat – you the public get to decide which woman will represent you best. Remember they both take an ideology with them.

There was no need for this election but the Governor General decided to agree to his request to form a new Parliament.

Karina Gould wants to be part of that government Emily Brown thinks she can win the seat.

The public will decide – our role is to do what we can to ensure that the voting public is well informed.

The candidates may not like what we write – we aren’t writing for the candidates. We are writing for people who are going to decide who they want to represent them

Emily Brown brings a lot to the table. She thinks she can win and should she do so – she will want to be a Member of Cabinet.

The Conservatives see an opportunity and they are going to fight as hard as they can to win the seat.

Both Karina Gould and Emily Brown have impressive educational achievements.

This country had a tradition of politicians meeting with media.

The argument that she is too busy organizing her campaign office to meet with media is spurious at best.

Ms Brown speaks of supporting traditional family values – truth, honesty and decency.

Ms Brown was the child of a military family. One would have thought she would be defend the values her Father put on a uniform to ensure we kept the democracy we have.

The power is always in the hands of the people.  Those who want that power are obligated to to be transparent and accountable.  Going door to door is part of the process, meeting with media is another part.

We wish her the best – and hope that she chooses to be what she is telling us she is.

Should she win the seat and find herself sitting in the House of Commons she will be a force to contend with.

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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Public Pensions are still Banking on Fossil Fuels

By Staff

August 28th, 2021



Everyone on a pension or people who rely on the investments to live comfortably – will want the best investment they can find.

If you belong to a public sector pension plan you want them to make wise investments.

Is investing in the fossil fuel industry a good investment?

The dividends are good and the share price is holding.  If the biggest issue we face as a society is climate change how does that square with investing in the fossil fuel business

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives had some comments to make on this conundrum saying that Canada’s biggest public pensions are still banking on fossil fuels.

Two of Canada’s biggest public pension plans could lead the way toward a global transition to a greener, more sustainable economy, but their commitments to climate action may be more talk than walk. The Canada Pension Plan and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec say they are serious about tackling climate change, however, they continue to bank on fossil fuels, this Corporate Mapping Project report shows.

The Canada Pension Plan has increased its shares in fossil fuel companies since Canada signed the Paris Agreement in 2016 and while the Quebec plan has slightly decreased its fossil fuel shares in the same period, it has over 52 per cent more fossil fuel shares than the Canada Pension Plan. The investment patterns of both plans do not reflect the urgent action needed to address the scale of the climate crisis. Both are heavily invested in member companies of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which has a history of obstructing the necessary transition away from fossil fuels required for Canada to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

The authors question why the fund managers of these public pension plans are investing in companies that are actively derailing necessary climate action.

The report includes recommendations for Canadian public pension fund trustees and investment boards and for the federal and provincial governments regarding how Canadians’ pension funds should be invested.

Full report

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New police SUV recognizes the Black Community

By Staff

August 28th, 2021



Pride is breaking out everywhere; this time it is within the Black community that took part in the presentation of a police SUV that was decorated with images that came from the community.

The Regional Police have decorated another SUV – those colours are certainly West Indian.

Earlier today the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) Black Internal Support Network and community partners gathered at Police Headquarters to unveil the HRPS Black Heritage Police Cruiser.

Colours just burst from the cruiser.

The cruiser design was conceived by the Queen of Heaven Catholic Elementary School’s Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism and Equity (iDARE) Committee, comprised of Bonnie Wiltshire, Valerie Nelson, Sokomba Effiong, Gabriella Ball, Margaret Keats, Andrea Domenico, Jane Thomas, and Amos Olujide. The group submitted the design as part of a design contest held in February 2021.

“This design concept seeks to lay a foundation for healing and a path forward for the Black Halton community and the HRPS working together with a common understanding and a common purpose,” says Bonnie Wiltshire, Chair of the iDARE Committee, the winning design team.

“The intertwined ribbon design on the cruiser weaves the narrative of enslavement of Black Peoples in North America to the resilience as they fled to safety, whose stories became footprints of success on the landscapes of both Halton and Canada. The words inscribed along the ribbon are just merely some of the ways the Black community in Halton and Canada have contributed to the very fabric of these communities and paved the way for others,” adds Wiltshire. “Further, the ribbon is symbolic of the strong threads that bind the Black community and their allies together as we create new paths to success and strengthen our community as a whole. The ribbon is composed of the colours that represent both Black History Month 2021 and the HRPS to further emphasize those symbolic connections.”

The cruiser also features a quote from Jean Augustine that resonated with the design team for its overarching message about the celebration of Black history. The quote reads, “Black History is not just for Black People. Black History is Canadian History.”
The vision for the HRPS Black Heritage Police Cruiser was created by members of the HRPS Black Internal Support Network and funded by African and Caribbean organizations, who have graciously provided a one-time $2,500 academic scholarship to the winning design team.

The iDARE Committee has presented St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School graduates, Vanessa Broomfield-Bryce and Alisa Robinson, a Queen of Heaven High School Graduate Scholarship in the amount of $1250 each, with the funds from the contest. The two students will use this to help support their post-secondary studies.

The HRPS would like to thank the following community partners for their support:

• African Caribbean Council of Halton
• Black Mentorship Inc.
• Burlington Caribbean Connection
• Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton
• Caribbean and African Coalition of Canada
• Halton Black History Awareness Society
• Halton Regional Police Association
• I am. I can. I will.

These partnerships represent relationships both new and old for the HRPS, and we are eager for the opportunity to learn from their lived experience, not only through this initiative but also through future endeavours.

“I am so proud  says

Jean Augustine – first African Canadian Women to be elected to the House of Commons.

Dr. Jean Augustine, the first African-Canadian to be elected a Member of Parliament, who paved the way for Black History Month in Canada was proud   to “participate in the unveiling of the HRPS Black Heritage Cruiser where the message is around who we are as a community,”

“From police services, to community groups and educators, this work around diversity and inclusion is an important message for people to see. Black history is Canadian history and we all need to recognize that.”

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A fascinating science project turned out to be a great wager

By Jelena Direct

August 27th, 2021


When Derek Muller had first started his YouTube channel Veritasium, he had no idea it would go viral and that a more significant sum of money could get involved. At the end of the video there is a fascinating discussion, and someone has to pay. No spoilers.

Big Money in Question

Derek Muller: A Physics Prof Bet Me $10,000 that I was Wrong

“Derek, can you just turn Veritasium into a gambling channel where scientists with opposing views put money on the table and face off to try to convince one another of the true answer? I’d watch that.” – is the text of the comment that got 74k likes under Muller’s YouTube video about a physical experiment.

Moves faster than the wind – with no engine

Spicing things up is always fun, right? Although excitement as this science bet on the favourite YouTube science and education channel doesn’t sound as exciting as sports betting, this was not an ordinary bet. Alex Kusenko, a physics professor from UCLA, has challenged Derek Muller to prove that his experiment works and the discussion went viral and brought out a bet from a scientist. However, Derek Muller went for a chance to have its 10 thousand dollars multiplied. That is a lot of money, but probably Muller couldn’t have said no to Kusenko while he claimed his YouTube channel was terrific.

It started in May when Muller published a video in which he is driving the Black Bird, a car powered only by the wind with no motor and no batteries. Additionally, Black Bird has a propeller at its back end. The propeller connects to the wheels over a gear system, and it turns the opposite way of the wind direction.

Fan Mechanism

The propeller on the Black Bird pushes air backward, so it functions as a fan. The wind is driving the propeller, but the wheels are turning. Because of this, it moves in the opposite direction to how the wind is pushing it. That accelerates the car.

Once Muller gets up to wind speed, there is no visible, apparent wind on the vehicle. If the propeller were spinning like a windmill, this would mean that there can be no more thrust. But, since it is operating as a fan, it can accelerate air backward, generating thrust.

The key to this car experiment is that the power is being harvested at a higher speed with lower force and deployed at a lower rate, higher strength. It’s possible due to the existence of a tailwind, and it wouldn’t have worked in still air.

Science Is (Not) All Fun and Games
Science videos are golden Internet content – they can be educational, inspirational, and motivating. Veritasium is one of those channels. That is probably the reason it has got more than 9.5M subscribers on YouTube.

Most people who had watched the first video with the Black Bird just had to watch the latest one, where the severe bet is in question.
When a respected scientist like Alex Kusenko challenges an idea (and the formula), and when he is a big fan of the channel, how could anyone say no to that?

Science can be fascinating, as well as profitable. Muller’s video is the best proof of that. However, when money gets involved, there is always a certain kind of tension. Watch the video yourself, and see for yourself how it all went.

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Not sure what Emily Brown will do for Burlington unless it comes to a shootout somewhere then she is the obvious choice

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 26th, 2021



Emily Brown is running a unique platform as the first Burlington candidate to bring gun rights and crime to the forefront of her concerns.

Brown has been unable to make the time to speak to the Gazette; we will be profiling the candidate and her campaign as comprehensively as we can with the resources available until we have the opportunity to actually interview the candidate.

As the Conservative candidate for Burlington she has appeared on conservative-centric youth shows and repeatedly hit out at the Trudeau administration for failing to be tough on crime and “attacking” law-abiding gun owners.

Emily Brown has won awards at numerous levels – a respected member of the gun community.

Brown, a long-time sport shooter, sits on the Board of the Ontario Provincial Sharpshooting Association, the Ontario Council of Shooters, the Canadian Trapshooting Association, as well as the Canadian University Shooting Federation, and has been endorsed by the National Firearms Associations as an advocate for the gun owning community.

Brown has lived in Burlington for the eight years and teaches mathematics at the Pilon school where her focus is on Business Math, Business Calculus and algebra.

In Twitter exchanges, Brown claimed “she is the gun lobby” and unequivocally stated gun control does not impact criminals.
“I have been a sport shooter for over 47 years. I AM the gun lobby. I know how ineffective gun control, bans, more legislation will be. Stand down.” Brown tweeted in a dispute on November 13th, 2020.

“The Liberal government and particularly this ‘public safety’ Minister have left Canadians unsafe in their homes and communities. Gun control does NOT impact criminals. Time to get tough on crime!” Brown tweeted on December 16th, 2020.

The Halton Regional Police Service announced recently that Halton region has maintained its position of having the lowest Crime Severity Index (CSI) of all Canadian municipalities with a population of 100,000 or more.

Brown stands with Conservative leader Erin O’Toole on repealing Bill C-21 and the OIC firearm bans, both have been bashed as punishing law-abiding gun owners by the Conservative representatives.

O’Toole objected to Trudeau’s proposed gun legislation as an attack on the rights and freedoms of Canadians saying it was a fact that the legislation would not save a single life. O’Toole proposed steering the conversation around guns to those illegally purchased and used this as an example of Trudeau being divisive, Brown has done the same.

Dismissing any effectiveness of gun owner legislation Brown instead has raised concerns about 3D printed firearms and firearms smuggled across the border. While Canadians share Brown’s concerns about smuggling most don’t have qualms with the banning of “assault-style weapons,”( a term O’Toole dismissed as “misleading” and “loaded,” but the one used for the available polling data) in a Global News poll from 2020. 9% of Canadians disagreed with the ban and an equal number strongly disagreed with the ban while over half strongly agreed with the ban and a total of about 80% agreed with the ban on some level.

Passionate about guns, Brown describes herself as the gun lobbyist in Ontario

Brown is passionate about gun owner rights but it remains to be seen how interested voters will be in this as a primary concern of their potential representative.

Brown speaks as well to a rise of crime in Burlington as well as human trafficking, calling it “rampant.”

“Human trafficking is rampant in Burlington, and happens right under citizens’ noses. I will be addressing it as the federal Conservative candidate here, and am happy to see your focus on it too. Conservatives at work for Canadians!” tweeted Brown on May 20, 2021.

The question of how important Burlington citizens see Brown’s focus on guns will likely extend to her safety concerns for the city. In a city often ranked among Canada’s safest citizens surely want to keep it that way but may have trouble identifying with Brown’s concerns, crime is increasing in Burlington at a moderate level.   The Halton Regional Police Service achieved an all-time high Weighted Clearance Rate of 56.41 per cent. This score is tops among Ontario’s ‘Big 12’ police services.

Brown’s claims about rampant child trafficking in Burlington could not be verified.

Brown wants to restore Canada’s international reputation.

Brown says she decided to run because she is really concerned about the state of Canada.

Among her other biggest issues are the economy on which she has reiterated O’Toole’s party message to balance the budget within ten years and championed the need for well-paying and reliable jobs for Canadians while supporting small businesses. Brown says when people earn good money they will be willing to spend which promotes activity and growth in the economy.

Divisiveness is a key concern, Brown says this is because she has friends who talk about separation as an option.

Brown also wants to restore Canada’s international reputation. She has hit out at Canada taking vaccines from third world countries through COVAX, a program in which her Burlington opponent, Liberal representative and Minister for International Development, Karina Gould is directly involved.

Emily Brown is a professor of Mathematics at the Pilon School of Business, Sheridan College, and obtained her Master’s degree in Calgary.

We hope to speak with the candidate soon and hear her expand on her platform so we can provide a more comprehensive picture.

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Liberal candidate for Burlington Karina Gould had a lot more to say about what the government did in the last Parliament

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 25th, 2021



In the second part of her interview with the Gazette, Burlington Liberal candidate, Karina Gould said she looks forward to what Canada can expect if the Liberal administration wins re-election.

Karina Gould rousing her troops on the campaign trail.

Gould discussed the snap election call, pandemic recovery, vaccine mandates and what the country will look like for those who refuse the vaccine, government role in internet censorship, Bill C-10, the cost of living, and environmental racism in Canada.

Much has been made about Justin Trudeau’s decision to call a snap election, surveys conducted by Gazette field reporters returned mixed reactions skewing negative.  The Leader of the Opposition blasted the decision as everything from a cynical power grab to a dereliction of duty. Gould defends the election call, assuring Canadians the dissolving of parliament will not hinder the response to a potential fourth COVID-19 wave or Afghanistan evacuation. Gould also thinks this is an important time for an election.

“It’s been a year and a half that we’ve been in the pandemic, our systems are in place, whether it’s income supports, we’ve extended those right through to the end of October. So everything is in place to respond at the federal level, the Public Health Agency of Canada is continuously involved with the provinces and territories in terms of pandemic response. And whether it’s the recovery hiring benefit, whether it’s the recovery benefit for people who still can’t go back to work, or whether it’s the rent subsidy, those programs already exist and are working and are extended beyond the election. So there’s nothing preventing us from responding to the fourth wave.

“When it comes to Afghanistan, Minister Garneau, Minister Mendicino, Minister Sajjan, and I are working on it on a daily basis. We also put together before the election the policy on bringing in 20,000 Afghan refugees, we already had our airlift set up. So there’s not a lot of major policy decisions that need to happen because that infrastructure was already in place before the election was called. Canada continues to be engaged and involved, and we’re still responding. And we’re responding very quickly to things as they’re evolving on the ground.

Chaos and fear at the Kandahar airport in Afghanistan while thousands wait for an airlift out of the country.

“I actually do think it’s an important time to have an election. There’s been a lot that’s happened over the last two years that was not anticipated. When we went to the polls in 2019. We brought in a whole lot of new programs that no party ran on in 2019. And so it’s a moment to say to Canadians ‘okay, we’ve turned the corner and the pandemic, you know, we’re the most vaccinated country in the world, yes, we’re concerned about a fourth wave. But we also want to set ourselves up for recovery. And these are the plans that we’re putting forward for recovery. Is this what you agree with? Is this what you want us to be doing right now?’ And so those are the questions that we’re asking Canadians,” said Gould.
Vaccine mandates are quickly becoming a dominant election issue with Justin Trudeau eager to paint Conservative leader Erin O’Toole’s suggestion regular testing would be adequate for those who refuse the vaccine as dangerous. Gould took a bipartisan approach when speaking of what the future of Canada looks like for those who refuse vaccination without medical justification, pointing to Thursday’s dismissal of a Conservative MPP for refusing vaccination. Vaccine mandates will allow people to choose not to get the vaccine, but the choice to abstain will lead to fewer choices elsewhere.

“We’ve seen the Ontario Conservative Party saying, ‘if you’re not vaccinated, and you don’t have a legitimate medical reason, then you’re not part of our caucus.’ We saw one MPP, who was ejected from caucus on Thursday, said that if you’re not vaccinated without a legitimate medical reason, then you can’t come into work. So these are the kinds of questions that we’re asking ourselves, Canadians have stepped up in a huge way, right here in Burlington, I think over 80% of our population who’s eligible has gotten their vaccine. And so people have really stepped up to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their community, and they want to get back to doing the things that they want to do.

The drive now is to get the unvaccinated to go for their needle .

“But we’ve seen that this is really becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. We put in a mandate at the federal level to have all federal employees vaccinated to say, ‘if you’re going to take a train or a plane, you know, where you are in close quarters with other people, you need to be vaccinated.’ It’s everybody’s choice at the end of the day, whether they want to get vaccinated or not. But there may be some things they might not be able to do because they might be putting other people at risk. And that’s not fair to those people who have really done everything they can to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” said Gould.

Bill C-10 has been the subject of Conservative criticism for infringing on free speech through internet censorship.  Gould says the bill is “nothing of the sort”. And adds that Conservatives supported Bill C-10, which she says is about updating the Broadcasting Act to include the internet and protect cultural identity, until they decided to take the line of censorship which “wasn’t even entirely accurate.”

Independent of Bill C-10 Gould didn’t dismiss the government playing a role in internet censorship, lamenting the lack of protection from hate speech online.

“When the conservatives were in power, they got rid of section 13 of the Human Rights Act. And section 13 protected Canadians from hate speech online. We think we need to bring something back, that protects people from hate speech online, you’re protected from hate speech, out on the street, right? In communal settings. But for some reason, there’s differentiation with what happens online. I think that’s a really old way of seeing things because, for people who’ve grown up with the internet, there’s no difference between what happens online and what happens offline. And so we’ve been hearing calls, particularly from minority groups, from Jewish groups, Muslim groups, black Canadians, Indigenous Canadians, the list goes on and on and on, that they need those protections for hate speech online because we’re seeing a rise in hate rhetoric. And so this is a really important conversation and debate to have. And you know, we already have those provisions in the offline world, there’s no reason we shouldn’t apply what we wouldn’t accept offline to be happening online,” said Gould.

Housing that people can afford is critical across the country.

Cost of living is always at the forefront of the national conversation for Canadians, O’Toole has called it a crisis, Gould pointed to a number of areas the Liberal government is helping combat growing affordability concerns. Gould mentioned the 2017 $40 billion National Housing strategy in response to Conservatives taking the federal government out of housing when in power. She alluded to building affordable units in Halton and making it easier to put a down payment on a home in metropolitan areas where the cost of living is higher. In the rental market, Gould pointed to foreign buyers tax on properties to potentially steady the soaring costs of rent. Gould also spoke about the $10 a day childcare, and as many of her Liberal colleagues she sees economic benefits in the investment.

“We’ve signed agreements with eight out of the 13 provinces and territories for $10 a day childcare. In our community, you can be paying between $1500 and $2000 a month for childcare for children, one to four, right. And so, on top of your mortgage, on top of your grocery bills, on top of all of these things, you basically are paying for a university education and the first four years of your child’s life, right?

“We’re helping out families, we’re getting more women into the workforce. And it’s really good for the economy. So this is a super, super important program. Unfortunately, the conservatives said if they get elected, they’re going to scrap it entirely. Once again, they’re demonstrating they’re not there for kids, they’re not there for families, and especially not there for women,” said Gould.

Bill C-130 to redress environmental racism made some progress under the Trudeau administration and if passed it would be the first of its kind. Gould spoke about how important it is to acknowledge environmental racism, which is particularly rampant among Indigenous communities who still suffer from boil water advisories, and exposure to unsafe environments such as Sarnia’s chemical valley where 60 chemical plants and oil refineries sit in a 15-mile-wide section outside town and cancer rates are high.

The Black Lives Matter statement was painted on the sidewalk in front of city hall. It was important.

“It’s hugely important. And I think it’s another lens that you have to put on policy, that and laws that you’re putting forward. The past year has brought racism to the forefront in a big way, which is good because we have to be dealing with it. It’s terrible that we’re still dealing with the realities of racism in 2021, but we’ve had a completely different conversation. And we need to have that conversation because it cannot be acceptable anymore. And it needs to be part of the conversation and every policy that we’re putting forward. And that’s why our government does gender-based analysis that looks at the inter-sectional discrimination that happen through all of our policies, and so whether it’s environmental, whether it’s economic, whether it’s social, we need to be taking all of that into account,” said Gould.

Gould’s final message to voters was that the Liberal government has had their backs through the pandemic and will have their backs through recovery.

“I think the most important thing they should have on their mind is that we need a government that’s going to be there for them for the recovery. We were there for them throughout the pandemic. We have their backs, and we’re going to have their backs as we get through to recovery. I really hope I can count on their support on September 20. I’m so passionate about Burlington, I love this community. I’m so proud of how we have responded to the pandemic here. I’m, like, blown away by the kindness, the generosity, the resilience of this community. And I really hope that I’ve earned their trust to continue serving them for the years,” said Gould.

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Was our reader wrong ? City hall thought so.

By Pepper Parr

August 26th,2021



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

A trusted reader provided the information.

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

Their view was that:

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

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

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

The communications people added:

About the Community Support Fund

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

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

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

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

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

Here is what we published on the 23rd:

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

That has some residents ticked.

Mayor Meed Ward just may be doing the right thing.

The Caribbean Association was giving it a go –

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Is that not selfish to the rest of Burlington?

Wasn’t much of a crowd..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Staff

August 25th, 2021



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 26, 2021



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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









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