Give the money back says Andrea and be gracious about it

By Pepper Parr

August 20th, 2021



NDP leader Andrea Horwath told Premier in a brisk fashion to day that when you get caught with your hands in the cookie jar you let the cookies in your hand drop back into the jar.

A number of people received what was clearly marked as an invoice from the Progressive Conservative Party when they had not bought anything from them.

It  became quickly evident that a fund raising  organization came up with the idea of using an invoicing format to spur people into making a donation.

Crude but that has been an operational pattern for the PC party.  There has never been a lot of class with that crowd.

NDP Consumer Protection critic Terence Kernaghan also called on Ford to return any money collected through his fake invoice scam, and quickly contact all recipients to let them know they don’t have to pay up.

“It would have been an upsetting shock for some folks to get a $300 or $1,000 official-looking invoice from the governing party. Some might have that fake invoice in their bills-to-be-paid pile, causing them stress and anxiety,” said Horwath. “People deserve so much more than a half-hearted apology, signed by no one.

“They deserve Doug Ford to come out of hiding. Apologize. Make it clear that there are consequences for the people who pulled this scam. And then urgently take steps to make it right — including returning any money collected.”

Kernaghan said everyone who received a fake invoice should get a phone call and follow-up letter, letting them know they don’t need to pay, adding that a large fundraising campaign is always approved at the highest level of the party. “Sorry isn’t enough. Consumers need to be protected, and that means ensuring there are consequences for the senior officials in Ford’s offices who signed off on this scheme.”

Andrea Horwath and the Official Opposition NDP have contacted the authorities, concerned that Ford or his team may have violated federal law. The Solicitations by Mail Regulations require anything that looks like an invoice, but isn’t, to carry a large warning on it notifying people they’re under “no obligation to make any payments.” Failing to do that may be an indictable offence.


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City hall is losing some of its bench strength - not a healthy situation

By Pepper Parr

August 20th, 2021



During the past year Council has heard regularly about serious staffing issues – with frequent mention of people who are about to retire.

Vito Tolone retired this month as Director of Transportation

Vito Tolone retired this month, Christine Swenor left in June. There are a good half dozen that are on the edge of retiring.

There are people who were given opportunities to move up the leadership leader and chose to stay where they are.

The more troubling issue is the number of younger people, several with exceptional skills and really solid work ethics.  They were their to make a difference.

Danielle went to Cambridge where she is now Clerk, Rosa left Burlington to become Director of Planning at another municipality.

There were two other women, I call them the Andreas – one worked in the Clerk’s Office and the other was in Planning and moved on to Information Technology at City Hall.

Both are now working in the City of Hamilton; one is now the Clerk in that city.

I knew both women quite well; always had huge respect for the way they handled themselves and the work they did. Both were excited about the work they were doing and brought very strong work ethics to their jobs.

And I found myself wondering – how did these two women get away. They were the backbone on which the new civic administration was going to be built.

While I personally wish the very best for all four women – they will be missed and the city is much the worse for their deciding to leave, there is that lingering concern – where is the bench strength.

Our Staffing issues are not yet resolved.

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Scouts Canada had zero transmissions of covid19 cases; continue to run a safe program

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 20th, 2021



With students heading back to school in the fall,  parents are also looking for extra curricular activities their children can take part in.

Parents are  searching for programs that offer social connection, a sense of normalcy and fun in an environment that puts safety first.

Scouts Canada which is a non-profit youth service organization that helps children of all ages get in touch with nature, have great adventures, learn outdoor skills and care for the environment as well as be good and helpful members of their community.

“Scouts Canada is a youth serving organization, each section … is designed for the age group kids get to choose what interests them and then help lead their own adventures,” Andrea McLoughlin, customer service.

Getting Scouters outdoors where they understand nature and lean to care for the environment.

The organization has operated for close to 115 years and  currently has 50,000 youth participating all around Canada supported by 12,000 volunteers.

Scouts Canada did not shut down during pandemic with the exception of putting a short hiatus during emergency breaks and continued to operate while in the pandemic although needing to scale back in person activities, put mandates in place and have virtual programs.

Scouts Canada has had great success in its programs with no reported transmissions of covid-19 cases.

They have ensured the health and safety of the scouting community by implementing a 5-stage reopening plan which provides members and families with clear easy to follow guidelines to ensure safe in-person adventures.

Some provinces are even in Stage Five, which effectively lifts internal restrictions for all Scouting activities while deferring to all municipal and provincial public health restrictions.

Some of the guidelines includes indoor gatherings up to 25 people and outdoor gatherings up to 50 people, cohorts (Patrols) of a maximum 8 youth, and overnight camping allowed in cohorts only, with tents or shelters preferred, Face coverings and physical distancing are required.

Orienteering – learning to use a compass and know where they are in the woods and the direction they need to go – a great Scouting experience.

“Our mission really is creating well rounded youth who are active members of the community, who care about the environment, who have faith and life skills … who can take on any adventure and be prepared for it,” said youth program specialist Siobhan Ward.

Registration for January to December 2022 Scouting opens on September 1 for existing members, with registration for new members starting September 15th. New members who join before 2022 will benefit from free participation in Scouting for the remainder of 2021.

Executives of Scouts Canada worked fast to go in different direction when covid slowed them down in March but when members turned to virtual meetings, they came up with new strategies which they say came organically despite not meeting in person for almost a full year and ran incredible programing.

Scouts Canada also sponsors the Program No One Left Behind which subsidizes costs for families experiencing hard ship.

“Providing a safe environment for young people in Canada to connect with their peers and get outdoors is our number one priority this fall,” said Executive Commissioner & CEO, Andrew Price.

Chopping wood, learning to light a camp fire and how to put it out properly. Before they do that the marshmallows get roasted.

The virtual programs still give children the experience of scouts Canada even from their houses by giving kids exercises and explore their local communities.

Scouts Canada is looking for volunteers to help fill a number of rewarding roles including running Section meetings, as well as positions focusing on finance, administration, teaching first aid and outdoor skills, leadership, communications, fundraising or property management.

Adults of all ages can sign up at,

Max Bowder is a second year journalism student at Sheridan College.  He is part of a team with the Gazette on the Local Journalism Initiative funded by the federal government.  Before enrolling at Sheridan Max volunteered in a community in Argentina  where he worked with young people.  He is a Burlington resident who helps out on the family farm in Milton.

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West Nile virus positive mosquitoes found in Burlington and Milton

By Staff

August 20th, 2021



A batch of mosquitoes trapped this week in Milton has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).

This is the first batch of WNV positive mosquitoes in Milton this year. Two other batches of mosquitoes testing positive for WNV were found in Burlington this year.

“Halton is committed to reducing West Nile virus in our communities through both education and preventative programs like larviciding,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Until the hard frosts of fall set in, Halton residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites.”

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires that hold water.
Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

• Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.

• Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.

• Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects, where possible. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.

Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.

• Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.

Locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied this year is available on the West Nile Virus page on
For more information about West Nile virus or to report standing water at public facilities, please visit, call 311 or email

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Rivers on the Torys: The Compromise Party

By Ray Rivers

August 20th, 2021


Ray Rivers has done a background piece on two of the political parties; this is his third with a fourth to come.

Erin O’Toole isn’t just fighting Justin Trudeau and the other federal leaders. In many respects, he’s also battling many in his own party – which is never good at election time. (Gary Mason, Globe and Mail)

The Conservative party is almost twenty years old, but like any teenager it hasn’t figured out what it wants to be when it grows up. It was born out a desperate compromise between prairie libertarians and eastern red Tories. And the reds got the short end of the stick.

Disgraced in the minds of some; revered in the minds of thousands

It wasn’t the first marriage of convenience for the Tories and the birthing of a new political entity. Western progressives had joined with this party back in 1942. Conservatives have deep roots in the founding of Canada and had been led by the now mostly disgraced John A. Macdonald and their strength was in the east. The merger helped bridge a national east-west political divide thus creating a truly national political party to rival the Liberals.

Today, ironically the new Conservatives are more western but less progressive than they ever have been. Stephen Harper, the father of the new right wing Conservative party had a clear focus on his adopted province of Alberta and its oil, and paid precious little attention to the rest of the country. And his successor Andrew Scheer did his best to further divide the nation, mainly on energy matters.

Erin O’Toole – leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition

Erin O’Toole is an eastern boy, born in Montreal and raised in Ontario where he sits as an eastern Ontario member. From a western perspective he’s another one of them easterners, just not as bad as Trudeau. They will vote for him but only because he represents their tribe and they have no other preferred option. Even O’Toole’s catering to the right wing of the party with promises of restoring assault weapons, killing the CBC and allowing MPs to introduce anti choice legislation has not made him more acceptable.

And O’Toole’s turnaround on the carbon tax must have hurt. Only a matter of weeks after the court decision he proposed a kind of loyalty card, actually rewarding people for using hydrocarbons, instead of taxing them. It is an insult to anyone who seriously understands and cares about global warming. But it sure looks like a carbon tax, and the oil sector must be worried about what is coming next.

The Tories are the only political party which is still obsessed with how and what women do with their bodies, O’Toole’s personal pro-choice stand must confound his membership, especially the evangelicals. Yet, strangely, he is willing to let MP’s propose anti-choice legislation.

Mr. O’Toole has put on his skates when it comes to mandatory vaccines for key sectors (health, education workers) and activities (travel, dining). He has adopted the line of the country’s conservative premiers that individual rights trump collective health and safety. He would like everyone to get vaccinated but he’d settle for an occasional test if they aren’t. Is a swab up the nose less invasive than a jab in the arm?

Former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper

But it is perhaps on the economy where deficit fighting Conservatives, like father Harper, are shaking their heads. His campaign is promising to print more money than the other parties combined, though it’s hard to say since the platform has not been costed. Imagine a Tory promising to cancel the GST, pay half the salary of new workers with tax money, refund restaurant customers half the cost of their meals.

And O’Toole and Andrew Sheer were part of the minority government all party agreement to dump the billions of new spending on wage subsidies and other pandemic relief over the last two years. All the parties own the deficit and the new debt now. Still, it’s not the first time this party, which claims the title of ‘fiscal hawks’ is dishing out money to win the hearts of the electorate, just like those nasty ‘tax and spend’ left of centre parties.

Former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney

Brian Mulroney never once balanced his budget. And Harper ran the biggest pre-COVID deficit in history, constructing an artificial lake on the shore of Lake Ontario with some of the money. And there were the pre-election handouts by Mike Harris ($200) and Ralph Klein ($400) paralleling the $500 Trudeau doled out to seniors recently.

O’Toole would axe the federal child care program which has already got the support and signatures of 8 provincial and territorial partners. He’d replace it with another tax credit which is of little use to someone on minimum wages, for example. As usual, tax credits favour those who are better off, even if the credits are graduated as he proposes.

It is a telling moment that the new premier designate of Nova Scotia, Tim Houston, a self confessed red Tory had not joined the federal Conservatives, and had shunned any linkages to the party’s federal leader or help from the party. His was an upset victory, overturning the incumbent Liberals in that province and providing evidence that we can have safe voting during a pandemic election, and that not all incumbents get returned,

And that pretty much sums up Erin O’Toole, a compromise candidate representing a compromised and conflicted political party. There is nothing wrong with compromise per se. And all of the parties have had some share of challenges managing themselves. Just look at the Green Party today.

So the question voters need to ask is whether this Conservative party can best deal with our national priorities. In order to get back towards some kind of pre-COVID normal, we know that anyone who can, should be vaccinated or isolated until this is over. O’Toole’s trade off between individual rights and collective public health will just prolong the epidemic, rather than shorten it.

On the biggest existential threat facing humanity, global warming, what he is proposing is too little and too late. For example his carbon tax would max out at $50, well before what the other parties are promoting. Canadians cannot solve the global climate crisis by ourselves, but as a member of the wealthiest club of nations, we have to show leadership and do our part.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – fighting for a majority government – is it within his grasp?

And finally on the economic plan, O’Toole has some very interesting public funding ideas which would benefit some who have been disadvantaged by the COVID crisis. It is hard to judge these in a vacuum to ensure we are not just constructing another artificial lake.

For probably the first time ever, the public has greater confidence in the Liberals ability to manage the economy and recovery than the Tories, according to a recent poll. Perhaps it has to do with the troubled times we’re in. And maybe it’s because Mr. Trudeau, better than Mr. O’Toole, has got his act together, has more experience, or has his Liberal team working with ,rather than against him.

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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School days - school days - pretty soon. Public school board well prepared

By Pepper Parr

August 19th, 2021



The Back to School advertising almost assures you that everything is going to work out.

Many parents aren’t all that sure.

The province changes the rules almost daily sewing confusion rather than clarification in the minds of parents.

The Halton District School Board will be holding an on-line Town Hall Meeting on August 26th at 7:00 pm.
Anyone can participate. The Gazette will pass along the coordinates just as soon as we have the details.

HDSB Superintendent Terri Blackwell will handle the setting up of the process that will allow parents to change the mode of teaching they want for their children. In a classroom on on-line virtually.

Board Superintendent Terri Blackwell is stick handling the event that will have the Halton Medial Officer of Health Dr. Hamidah Meghani answering questions live.

People will have an opportunity to send in their questions; the event is to be recorded and available the day after for those who are out of town.

The Board of Education Trustees will hold a meeting on September 1st – this will be the first time the public gets to see the newly appointed Director of Education Cedric Ennis who is spending his time meeting with people in the Region and getting the feel of the District and its schools.

Parents will decide how they want their children taught: In a classroom on virtually on-line.

The Board policy and plans this years’ is to give parents an opportunity to change from one mode to another on September 9th.

Parents have until September 16 to decide if they want to change modes.

The actual change will take place on October 12.

The Board has to take the data they receive and re-jig the distribution of teachers and prepare for the change.

“We’ve done this before” said Superintendent Blackwell,” it’s just a matter of moving resources around.”

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Meet Burlington NDP candidate Nick Page

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

April 18th, 2021



Burlington NDP federal candidate, Nick Page, championed universal basic income(UBI) as the most impactful solution to Canada’s wealth gap in his interview with the Gazette. Page’s campaign will focus on a more equitable society for all members, he discussed building back a better Canada post-COVID-19, UBI’s role in combating poverty as well as how it benefits the economy, expanding healthcare, as well as electoral reform and how it may be the path to meaningful climate change action.

NDP candidate Nick Page wants Canadians focusing on re-thinking social security to avoid continued difficult economic times in the face of COVID-19 and whatever else the future holds.

Page began with his vision for a post-pandemic Canada, focusing on re-thinking social security to avoid continued difficult economic times in the face of COVID-19 and whatever else the future holds.

“So the big thing for me, for building back better, is finding a way to make sure that everyone has access to the resources they need to have, food and shelter, without needing to worry about having a job that might go away to the pandemic or automation or to whatever is coming in the future. I am very interested in seeing a universal basic income of some kind implemented so that no matter what happens, everyone at least has the safety net they need to survive no matter what the outcome is,” said Page.

As of today, UBI is not on the NDP official party plan, instead what the party proposes is to “build toward” guaranteed livable income, which is not only less committal but also describes a different system.

A guaranteed liveable income establishes a baseline of earnings deemed “liveable,” if someone is not meeting that baseline their income will be supplemented, this process would essentially expand on existing social safety nets. UBI is much more comprehensive, as Page explains, and aims to cycle the money distributed to all citizens through the economy, theoretically helping not just those below the poverty line but small businesses as well.

“UBI should be just a flat amount of money for everyone regardless of how much money you make. So it’s really simple, you don’t have to worry about jumping through hoops to apply. It’s a really difficult thing to get on social support in this country, and just having it be easy and simple would save a lot of bureaucracy and make people’s lives better.

“So the great thing is when everyone has access to the money to buy food and shelter and to spend a little bit on extras like maybe going to a movie once a year, kind of thing, you’re just spending that money. It’s money that’s going from the government to people, to businesses and it’s circling. It’s taking money that is sometimes just spent sitting in offshore bank accounts from the really rich and the corporation’s and just getting it moving, it lets small businesses benefit because there are more people in the community to spend money on small businesses, instead of having to go through Amazon,” said Page.

Nick Page talking with supporters – social distance and masks.

As for how Canada would afford such measures, Page alluded to taxing the super-rich which the NDP official party platform identifies for their current agenda, without UBI, as a one-per-cent wealth tax applied to all households with assets exceeding $10 million.

Page discussed the importance of expanding our healthcare system to cover such areas as dental, optometric, and pharmaceutical. Tying benefits to employment in the current system “screws” the lower class, said Page.

“Right now you can go to the dentist if you have a good job but if you don’t have a good job you neither have dental coverage or the money to pay the dentist, so you’re screwed. If you don’t have a good job, you don’t have optometry coverage in Ontario. And so by decoupling those from jobs, from having a good job, you help everyone out. You also help the businesses not have to pay for insurance employees like that, which is a big expense for some companies like smaller companies who still need to pay benefits to their employees. That’s a cost they don’t need to have, they only really have it because the government doesn’t come through. And it’s interesting because that came about from wage tax in the US back in World War Two. It was a way to get around wage taxes by giving people more benefits, and then it just kind of became how we do things,” said Page.

One of Justin Trudeau’s most often maligned broken election promises was his vow that the 2015 election would be the last under the first past the post system. Page puts forward a case for a proportional representation system which would lead to federal representation more accurately reflecting the popular vote. Page also alludes to the use of ranked ballots which would theoretically diminish so-called “strategic voting,” particularly in conjunction with proportional representation. You would rank the candidates in order of preference so you don’t need to be dictated by who can win, and your vote would be more meaningfully represented in government.

“You have some of the people who are elected to government assigned to specific districts, and some of the people elected to government are assigned from a party list. And you do the normal voting in a district, probably with ranked voting to figure out who represents that district. And then you use the country-wide proportional ballots. So if, for example, the Green Party gets 8% across the country, it doesn’t all have to be focused on their one riding in Vancouver, or Victoria river is exactly to get a seat, they could have 8% votes across the country, and they’d get 8% of the seats, we would bump them up off their party list, and that way that 8% of people in our country would actually be listened to, they have a voice in government, as opposed to right now, where if after the 2015 election Trudeau only had, votes from like 38% of people, but he got to make all of the decisions because of how first past the post, but he should have had to work with people to make decisions after 2015,” said Page.

Page noted proportional representation may be the best opportunity to implement a government to deal with climate change.

“I don’t think any party with a majority would do what needs to be done to deal with climate change so I think proportional representation or some sort of voting change is what it’s going to take to get the environment under control,” said Page.

Standing in the Gazebo at Spencer Smith Park is photo op at its best.

In the 2019 federal election, the Green Party received 6.6% of the popular vote and scored 3 seats out of 337, based on the methodology outlined in the 2016 report of the House of Commons Special Committee on Electoral Reform under a proportional representation system the Green Party would have scored 22 seats from the same percentage of the popular vote.

If we accept more Green Party seats at the table correlates to more climate change action then Page’s correlation between electoral reform and environmental action may have merit.

NDP candidate Nick Page has a Math degree in Computer Science and Combinatorics & Optimization from the University of Waterloo, Nick has worked in data analysis, online content creation on Twitch, and is now doing tech consulting in the board game design industry.

There are no campaign events scheduled as of today for the Burlington NDP candidate but the Gazette will monitor this as it proceeds.

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Martha Street, south of James location for an 11 storey tower

By Staff

August 18th, 2021



The thickening of the downtown population continues.

An 11 story structure that will be made up of 130 units with 157 parking spaces and 88 bike racks.

Four levels of underground parking with access of Martha

Location is 407 Martha – well south of where James and New Streets converge.

Mattamy has plans for a large tower just to the north of this proposed development.  The Mattamy development is before the Ontario Land Tribunal.

A required Statutory Public meeting is to take place on September 14th at 6:30 pm.

A Staff report will be available the week of the hearing. Staff are reported to be asking for more time to complete the review of the application.

There are creek issues in the immediate area.

There is also a development application for a tower of about the same height on the opposite side of Martha Street.

Some of the early homes were built along Martha.

The character and location of those homes attracted a number of local artists.

The applications propose the redevelopment of the site into an 11-storey residential building consisting of 130 units, resulting in a density of 407 units per hectare. The development proposes a total of 167 vehicle parking spaces within four levels of underground parking and 88 bicycle parking spaces, and vehicular access to the site is proposed to be from Martha Street. The application proposes indoor and outdoor common amenity area at the ground level and through terracing of the building.

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Biggest drug haul in the history of the Region - valued at $5 million

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 18TH, 2021



The biggest drug bust the Regional Police have ever handled resulted in a $5 million dollar haul and 12 arrests.
It all started with a single tip of one individual and grew to involve police from Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, London, Mississauga , Toronto, Markham, Woodbridge, Caledon and Etobicoke.

Code named Project Icarus, after the sun god from Greek mythology, the investigation took place over a 10-month period starting in October 2020 and resulted in what the Halton police are calling the largest drug seizure in Halton Regional Police history.

The size of the drugs, weapons, and cash haul

“I’m extremely proud of the work done by all officers involved. Our members continue to demonstrate that if you choose to participate in organized crime in our region threatening safety of our community, we will aggressively target you and arrest you,” said Deputy Chief Hill.

Halton regional police service investigators executed warrants at 14 residential locations and 2 business locations all around the GTA on July 21, July 29th and August 12th resulting in 12 arrests and dozens of kilograms of cocaine, ecstasy, other Illicit substances, weapons and vehicles being seized.

A gun with bags of bullets – not toys.

“Though hard work and collaboration our dedicated officers turned a small investigation of a single suspect into a significant project. Project Icarus has removed drugs, guns and criminals from the streets of not just Halton but the entire GTA,” said Halton regional police service Deputy Chief Jeff Hill.

Several drugs, weapons were seized which include:

• 27 kilograms of cocaine.
• 15 kilograms of ecstasy.
• Over 1000 kilograms of cannabis.
• One .40 caliber Glock handgun.
• One 9mm Glock handgun.
• Prohibited magazines.
• One 12-gauge shotgun and 1,100 rounds of ammunition.
• More than $100,000 in currency, jewelry and motor vehicles
• Illicit opioids (0.5 kg fentanyl, oxycodone and morphine)

Police say the amount of drugs seized add up to an estimated street value of over $5 million.

Inspector Dave Constantini

“I think it doesn’t just impact our region I think it impacts GTA wide,” said Inspector Dave Constantini.

The following people have been arrested and charged:

Cash and a counting machine

• James Ferrier (27) of Toronto
• Terrance Hancock (45) of London
• John Byard (40) of Mississauga
• Trevor Harwood (42) of Etobicoke
• Jile Cai (34) of Etobicoke
• Anthony Mason (39) of Hamilton
• Brian Aguiar (32) of Burlington
• Ana Antunes (30) of Burlington
• Crystal Giang (30) of North York
• Thanh Ma (31) of Newmarket

All accused are facing various drug, firearm and cannabis offences.

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Meet Chris Cullis, the Green Party candidate for Burlington.

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 17th, 2021



For Chris Cullis, the Burlington Federal Green Party candidate, climate change is the definitive issue of our time and one requiring immediate attention.

Chris Cullis

In his interview with the Gazette, Cullis was quick to point out the Green Party is not a one-issue party touches on key issues in the early stages of the campaign including the Trudeau administration’s failings, COVID-19, affordable housing, and Indigenous issues.

For many voters, climate change is all too often made difficult to understand, or represented in a way that doesn’t highlight the immediacy of its impact. Cullis, by contrast, simply points out his window and says this is happening now, he saw it in action with a river in his backyard that didn’t freeze all winter.

“Next year is going to be hotter than this year and the year after is going to be hotter than that. This is what climate change looks like. It’s not going to get better unless we get our act together, and even then there’s going to be a delay during which time, food is going to be more expensive, there are going to be climate refugees, flooding.

“We will start to feel the effects of decades of kicking this can down the road,” he said.

Cullis retained his candor speaking of the current Liberal administration’s failings to combat the issue of climate change.

“The day after the International Panel on Climate Change issued a report saying that this is a crisis and code red for humanity the Liberal Minister for the Environment defended the purchase of an oil pipeline. Saying that we need that revenue to pay for climate change initiatives which to me is like finding yourself in a burning building and thinking, well if I throw gasoline everywhere and the building burns down faster I won’t be trapped in a burning building anymore,

“It’s not a matter of not having the money to pay for climate change because clearly, controlling this and getting on top of it is in everyone’s best interest. And if the argument is well there’s no money for it, well, money is an idea of what is worth what and there is nothing more valuable than having a sustainable future,” said Cullis.

When asked what these necessary changes look like practically Cullis suggested an appointment of a chief climate science officer to guide Canada’s policy in the same way disease prevention worked under COVID.

“There’s this one overarching crisis which we are all concerned with. We need to make sure that everything is on the same page and working together. Why are we purchasing oil pipelines when oil is what got us into this mess?” asked Cullis.

On COVID-19 Cullis emphasized the importance of a successful pandemic recovery, and also suggested a post-pandemic world may be an opportunity to reshape society.

Managing a post Covid world is something we are going to have to learn to do.

“COVID-19 is the biggest international event since World War II.  We had a post World War II world, we had a post 911 world, we’re entering a post COVID world. And not to say that we won’t still have masks that there aren’t still precautions and safety measures to take but we have a chance to reorder society.

“It’s not going back to the way things were, there is a real chance to build something better in terms of working from home, society, and gas. Like, there are so many benefits from working from home in a four day workweek. Can we try that now? Like what was the holdup before that, having this moment to pause. We can reevaluate what society we want to live in and make that happen. So let’s,” said Cullis.

Elsewhere, the Green Party is asking Justin Trudeau to declare a national housing affordability and homelessness emergency requesting Parliament adopt a national moratorium on evictions during the pandemic and to create a residential arrears assistance program. Cullis acknowledged that although the pandemic has worsened the situation, the lack of affordable living was already a developing problem.

Affordable housing is a way we have run our economy.

“Affordable housing is more fundamentally a way we have run our economy, they stopped making land, everyone would like, you know the suburban two-car garage, lawn backyard, etc, but there’s only so much space and there are more and more people. How do we, and this is a larger question, how do we want our economy, what do we value and how do we, and how do people get that in a fair and equitable way?” asked Cullis.

On the subject of Indigenous issues, both environmental and those on reconciliation, Cullis stressed the importance of listening to Indigenous communities.

Cultural exchange at the dedication of the construction of an enhanced Brant Museum.

“Reconciliation is a complicated process where largely I think my job is mostly shutting up and listening. The underlying fundamental principle though is these are issues of human rights. And rather than say ‘oh it is merely a, an issue of white and indigenous and finding these divisions between us,’ it’s about getting society to a point where we’re all on the same page, where it is equitable for everyone,

“There are communities without access to clean drinking water, and everyone in Canada, who is a Canadian citizen or not, should have clean water, and whatever barriers have prevented that fundamental necessity being provided to people need to go. Whatever government office is in charge of this needs to stop dragging their feet. Let’s fix it,” said Cullis.

Ending long-standing boil water advisories in Indigenous communities was a 2015 election promise from Trudeau he has failed to keep.

Chris Cullis wants to be a different kind of politician, he doesn’t want to make promises he can’t keep, he wants to be authentic and yes, he’s aware of how inauthentic that sounds.

“There is so much I want people to know about me that you can’t get across on a webcam that in a press release, . I’m a human being. I’m 28 years old. I’m an ex-atheist, my favorite food is Korean fried chicken. I spent a year teaching in Korea. I have a master’s in international relations,

“I want people to know that I’m the real deal,” said Cullis.

In his eagerness in candor, it’s hard not to believe him.

Cullis was elected as the Green Party’s representative in a membership vote last month.

Cullis grew up in Burlington and graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science, and a Masters in International Relations.

You can see Chris Cullis along with Green Party of Ontario leader/MPP for Guelph Mike Schreiner in Burlington at 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 19th,  at the Grow for Change urban farm(corner of Brant St. and Ghent Ave.).

Cullis and Schreiner will be available to chat with attendees at the event.



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Citizens want to be at the table when Waterfront development gets back on Council agenda

By Pepper Parr

August 17th, 2021



Dozens of developments are in the hands of the Planning Department and the Ontario Land Tribunal

Those at the Tribunal are related to the Interim Control Bylaw the city imposed two years ago and the 2018 edition of the Official Plan that has been adopted but is not yet in force.

Waterfront Hotel on the right at the bottom of Brant Street.

A development project that has been in various states of review and considerable public debate is the plans to re-develop the Waterfront Hotel site.

The city planners have known for more than a decade that the hotel would be demolished and something quite a bit larger put in its place.  The early thinking was to look west along the Promenade and use some of the land that was created with landfill that extended the property out into the lake.

Referred to as the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study it began in  March 2017 and was put on hold in June 2018.

The first view the public got of the thinking going on in the Planning was called the Emerging Preferred Concept.   It was not a pretty picture in the minds of a group of downtown people who labelled themselves Plan B.

It was the two emerging concepts that resulted in the creation of Plan B.

could not take place.  Their view was that there had to be a line drawn beyond which development could not take place.  They felt that the public had to have a clear view of the lake from Brant Street.

There was a second Emerging Preferred concept that Plan B didn’t think was all that much better

The thin red line would allow both Brant and John street to funnel into Spencer Smith Park and still leave for plenty of room for a development that would be zoned mixed use which would allow for some street level retail along the south side of Lakeshore Road.

The buildings would have lower height on the south side and not overwhelm the lake. Also – the elevation is considerable lower as you walk into the park – the height suggested would not impact Lakeshore Road.

The last public communication on the status of the study came through Staff Report in May 2020.

“Staff has had preliminary discussions with the representatives for the property owner and are working to create a revised plan to complete the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic and other project delays have caused the timing of this work to shift farther into 2020. Staff will provide a report with a proposed revised action plan by Q4 2020.”

The city’s communications people reported that “The role (planner) responsible for leading this study is currently vacant. We are in the hiring process now, and the successful candidate will be charged with re-initiating the work as soon as possible.

The lead consulting firm is The Planning Partnership (TPP).

This news has the Plan B people ticked, which puts it mildly.  With no planner on the file – nothing gets done.

When the Plan B people saw the Emerging Preferred Concept they surveyed the community and came forward with a plan they felt would do justice the the waterfront and the view of the lake from Brant Street.

Their “red line” was crucial.

With Covid providing a good cover for no movement within the Planning Department the Plan B people want a seat at the table.

Burlington they feel has grown to the point where citizens should be in the room when the discussions take place and note just the planners, developers and the developers consultants.

There are precedents for this.

The look of the properties adjacent to Spencer Smith Park are too important to be left in the hands of the commercial interests.

Watch for some healthy public discussion that is open and really transparent.

The city hired The Planning Partnership (TPP) to conduct a number of public sessions – there wasn’t a consensus nor was there much in the way of respect for the public participation.  Speakers were shut down, discussion was limited -many felt they were being pushed around by the consultants.

The studies that are being done are paid for by the developer who has input but certainly doesn’t determine the outcome.

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Federal election - just what's at stake?

By Staff

August 16th, 2021



Just like that, Canadians are heading into a federal election.

We turn to the The Centre for Policy Alternatives for a viewpoint that doesn’t come from the mouths of the candidates and their political parties who want your vote and will say what they think you want to hear.

The Centre is an evidence-based, non-partisan analysis through a progressive lens—because there is much at stake and important decisions to make.

What’s at stake?

Fire like this are becoming the new normal – brought on by conditions we created. Scientists are describing our behaviour as a “force of nature”

This has been a summer of climate change reckoning. It’s beyond clear that, unless our governments take urgent and meaningful action, Canada will not meet our Paris Agreement commitments.

Governments were caught unprepared for a global pandemic after decades of funding and service cuts. And workers, families and communities paid the price.

And let’s not forget extreme income, racial, and Indigenous inequality, which our research shows is at a historic high with no signs of disappearing on its own.

These are just some of the urgent challenges of our time; challenges that threaten to further polarize us, to worsen inequality, to diminish the chance that our children and grandchildren will have access to a better quality of life.

The Centre is committed to:

Ryan O’Dowd: Gazette federal election reporter

Facts: Deliberate misinformation campaigns can threaten our democratic process and polarize us in elections. CCPA experts bring you #FactCheckFridays, where we sort out fact from fiction for the week’s key issues and give you talking points for those awkward conversations with someone who is unwittingly spreading misinformation.

The Gazette will supplement this with a report on what our election reporter Ryan O’Dowd learns while he in the field following the candidates and interviewing them.




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PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) Franchise replaced with Free-to-Play eFootball

By Dink Delorme

August 17th, 2021



Fans religiously waiting for a new iteration of the famed PES franchise will not see a PES 22.

The 26 years of football and competing with the FIFA franchise is over.

Konami shut down the PES and created a new game. The silver lining is that the new game eFootball will replace PES in the fall – it will be free-to-play. What will be free for the fans on start is still unknown, and so are the possible upgrades and items you can buy with in-game purchases.

Major change in the way a brand is being marketed – free to everyone.

Will Konami Just Change the Name of the Game?
Huge Japanese game developer was synonymous with “real” football, while fans of the PES franchise mocked FIFA.

Konami developed a strong brand from the football game and sold a ton of merchandise and millions of PES games. Knowing that Konami produces hundreds of video slots, it’s weird they didn’t make the PES slot game.

The title and monetization are not the only things changed for the new eFootball game. The upcoming football game will be the first for Konami on Unreal Engine 4. So far, they have developed PES on Fox Engine, which they created for the Metal Gear Solid game franchise.

The most significant change in game play will come on a rebuild one-on-one system named Motion Matching, where all players will have unique reactions and some of their signature moves.

What More We Know so Far
The Unreal Engine-powered eFootball will be a free game available for most systems, including PS5, PS4, Xbox Series x, Xbox Series S, Xbox One and PC. In addition, the game will supposedly have cross-platform play, and after the release, there will be eSports tournaments.

In the game trailer, we saw Lionel Messi speaking about his passion for football. After that, Konami brought more big names to the game and used motion capturing on former Barcelona and Spain national team star Andres Iniesta. Gerard Pique is another player showcased in the trailer.

PES had problems with licencing clubs and players throughout its illustrious past, and for eFootball, we know there will be Manchester United, Barcelona, Arsenal, Bayern and Juventus. The Italian club will be exclusively in eFootball and will not appear in Electronic Arts FIFA. Another two Seria A clubs will be solely on eFootball: Napoli and Roma.

There is no information about other clubs and leagues, which leads us to monetization.

What Will Players Get in a Free-to-Play Game?
All biggest licenced clubs will be available at launch to the players. However, some speculate eFootball will come out as a barebone game, and you will have to pay for additional game modes, like career and others.

The game will probably have a battle pass system that offers rewards. For example, match Pass will enable new items or unlocking certain things in-game. In addition, there will be an option to buy the items without finishing challenges.

In the eFootball official reveal trailer, we saw little game play from the match. Still, plenty of close-ups focused on facial expression and natural player movement in various attacking and defending situations.

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Relay and Reprogramming - the thieves appear to have the upper hand - and your vehicle in it

By Staff

August 17th, 2021



In 2021, the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) reported a significant increase in both relay and re-programming thefts of high-end vehicles with keyless entry and push-start technology.

Since January 2021, there have been a total of 52 vehicles stolen from Milton and Halton Hills (Oakville and Burlington will get targeted soon enough) that have been attributed to the use of relay or reprogramming technology.

In the majority of these thefts, the vehicles are being stolen from residents’ driveways during the overnight hours, with most thefts typically taking less than one minute.

Stunning just ho much technology the thieves have access to – they get it online, pay a hefty price and see that price as a good investment.

What is a relay theft?
Thieves will use technology called a “relay device” to find a key fob signal from inside a residence. The thieves do not need to enter the residence in order to find the signal.

The signal is then amplified which allows the thieves to unlock, start and steal the vehicle. The vehicle owner discovers their vehicle has been stolen, even though they are in possession of their key fob.

What is a reprogramming theft?
Thieves will first gain entry to the vehicle by mechanical means (breaking in by using a tool). They will then access the vehicle’s diagnostic port and reprogram a blank key fob which allows them to start and steal the vehicle.

The HRPS is applying significant resources to investigate these occurrences. In spite of recent arrests, it is important that the community be aware of this trend and takes preventative steps to ensure their property remains secure from theft.

Special attention should be given by those members of the community who own the specific vehicles described here as they are most commonly being targeted for theft.

These carts once stolen leave the country in days – look for them in the war torn countries of the Middle East. The terrorists love the SUV’s and the pickup trucks.

What types of vehicles are being targeted?
While many different makes and models of high-end vehicles are being targeted, over 55% of these thefts involve Lexus RX350, Toyota SUV and Honda CR-V models.

What can residents do to protect themselves from these types of thefts?
There are measures that residents can take to mitigate the risk of having their vehicle(s) stolen:

• Park your vehicle in a locked and secured garage
• Install an on-board diagnostic blocker
• Install a steering wheel lock device
• Combine the above measures with an aftermarket GPS tracking device
• Place vehicle key fob inside a radio frequency shielding bag when not in use
• Lock your vehicle at all times
• Equip your vehicle with an alarm
• Install home security cameras that capture the exterior of your residence, including the driveway
• Take steps to conceal the Vehicle Identification Number (V.I.N.)

Additional tips and information, including an educational video, can be found on our website:

Crime prevention is a shared responsibility. Call 911 if you witness a crime in progress. Call 905-825-4777 if you see suspicious vehicles or persons in your neighbourhood.

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

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Helping those who need help and taking care of ourselves - we can all get through this pandemic

By Staff

August 16th, 2021



Got this from people who are in the business of helping people.

Does the feeling expressed represent what most – maybe just many – feel?

There’s this tension everywhere right now – we’re all expecting another covid infestation and another shut-down – our worst fears.

But we’re all LOVING this opportunity to feel free again.

They follow this up with

“… reminding people to enjoy this great weather while it lasts, get out for a walk and enjoy this great City. With the Pandemic still hanging on we all know what we can do to try to protect ourselves and our neighbours – just follow the basic covid protocols we’ve heard so often – keep it up.

You can find a wealth of information about Mental health and COVID-19 at the Halton Region website here –

For-Residents/Public-Health/Mental-Health COVID-19 is affecting our lives in many different ways.

It might sound stupid – maybe even too simple – but when the anxiety builds up and your worried, confused maybe even a little afraid – just take deep deep breathes. Your body and your mind will settle down.

It is normal to feel stress and concern. Remember to take care of your mental health, just as you would take care of your physical health. While physical distancing is important to help limit the spread of COVID-19, we can still find ways to stay connected through technology and practice self-care.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a colleague, friend, loved one or health professional if you need support.

St.Matthews Church on Plains Road is reminding people that there are students who could use some help.

And the good people at the Food Bank remind us: If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help, PLEASE have them email us at or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at their door or make arrangements to pick it up through our curb-side pickup option. If you are a resident in Burlington, we are all here to help. Don’t struggle – give us a call

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Online registration for fall recreation programs opens August 28 - preview August 20th

By Staff

August 16th, 2021



Parks and Recreation will open online registration for fall Adult, Youth and pre-season Aquatic Leadership programs beginning Saturday, Aug. 28.

Adult registration will open at 9 a.m. and Youth and pre-season Aquatic Leadership program registration will open at 11 a.m.
Programs will be viewable online at on Aug. 20, 2021.

Swimming lessons and additional Aquatic Leadership programming will be announced in September.

All City programs will continue to follow public health guidance when required, including physical distancing, capacity limits and wearing masks or face coverings. Individuals participating in an in-person program will be required to fill out the mandatory health screening form at before each session.

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture said, hopefully: “Another season, another great set of recreation choices for residents to participate in for fun, exercise, learning or social opportunities. Our catalogue of programs is always changing to add new and interesting options on top of our traditional favourites that you’ll see every season.”

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Mobile vaccinations teams to park at or near schools to encourage taking the needle

By Staff

August 16th, 2021



The snap call of a federal election will muddy up the radar screen and get in the way of news that is critical to people – especially parents who want to know more about just what kind of an environment their children will be walking into when they return to school on September 7th

The public Board of Education will be meeting this evening and we should get some idea from them what the plans are.

The Board is tightly bound by what the provincial Ministry of Education determines. A report from that Ministry earlier today sets out how they see things working out.

This is what it is all about.

The Ontario government is working with public health units and publicly funded school boards to plan and host vaccination clinics in or nearby schools.

Clinics are expected to run before school starts and during the first few weeks of school. The program is part of the province’s last mile strategy to target those who have yet to receive a first or second dose

. “As part of the last mile campaign to reach as many students and staff as possible and to keep schools as safe as possible, we are requiring school boards and public health units to roll out clinics in or close to schools. By making vaccines more accessible, and with a cautious reopening in September following the expert advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, we will further bolster our fight against COVID-19 and variants.”

As of August 15, more than 69 per cent of youth aged 12 to17 have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 56 per cent have received a second dose. School-focused vaccination clinics will support increased uptake for eligible students, as well as education staff, and a safer return to school in the fall.

With respect to consent at school-focused clinics, COVID-19 vaccines will only be provided if informed consent is received from the individual, including eligible students, and as long as they have the capability to make this decision.

Health care providers, the school, and families must respect a young person’s decision regarding vaccination. Parents and guardians are encouraged to discuss vaccination with their children prior to attending a school vaccination clinic.

Students waiting for their turn to be vaccinated.

All vaccines delivered as part of Ontario’s vaccine rollout provide high levels of effectiveness against hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and its variants, including the Delta variant. During July 2021, unvaccinated individuals were approximately eight times more likely to get infected with COVID-19 compared to those who were fully vaccinated.

The growing number of people 12-17 who are vaccinated is encouraging – but being in the 55-60 % area isn’t good enough – not when we get reports of 500 + new infections daily and learn that the vast majority of those people have contracted the Delta variable that infects much faster and does serious damage to those infected.

Deaths are lower – but surely that is not a reason for not getting vaccinated.

Many jurisdictions are taking the position that if you are not fully vaccinated you cannot return to work.

Why the province is not making full vaccination mandatory is beyond this writer.

The upside is a safe, prudent choice – the downside will become evident the day we learn that a child has died.

Pressure from parents is what makes this government move.


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Gazette reporters and pundits in place to cover federal election

By Pepper Parr

August 15th, 2021



And they are off!

The Prime Minister met with the Governor General this morning and she granted his request that the 43rd session of Parliament be dissolved and a federal election take place on September 20th, this despite voting with in May with nearly all MPs against a pandemic election saying at the time “nobody wants an election before the end of this pandemic.”

The Gazette now has a team that will cover the election in a way we have not been able to do in the past.

Contributing editor Ray Rivers will comment regularly on how the election campaign plays out while Ryan O’Dowd and Max Bowder will be in the field covering candidates from at least four political parties in the three constituencies that make up Burlington.

Prime Minister takes the family to ask the Governor General to dissolve Parliament. How could she say no to the wife and kids?

The Prime Minister wants a majority – does his political career came to a close if her doesn’t get one? And who would replace him?

Big questions, big issues.


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Gazette reporter covering northern part of the city gets a mixed reaction to a possible election call

By Staff

August 14th, 2021


Part 2 of a two part story on what the people of Burlington feel about an election call

With the whiff of an election in the air, the Gazette decided to send a team of reporters out into the streets to hear what the public had to say.

The team, made up of Max Bowder and Ryan O’Dowd, covered all six wards and approached people asking:

Do you think there should be a federal election?

Depending on the answer they followed up with:

Why or why not.

Bowder covered the Northen part of the city – everything north of Fairview.

We asked the team to get as many responses as possible – we wanted some depth to what people thought – thus the length.  Some people didn’t want to give names; some locations were better than others.  Bowder was asked to leave the library where he was interviewing people

The responses Bowder got were:   Good idea to call for an election: 7

Bad idea to call for an election: 28

No opinion: 7

Individually here are his results.

No, I don’t think it is necessary and I won’t vote for him – male

No, we have enough problems – Steve, male

When looking for man/woman on the street interviews you go to where there are people – supermarkets and LCBO outlets.

No, when the election is called, it takes priority away from covid and instead on what’s best for the candidate … with low vaccine rates it is not a good time and we should want to wait until 90% of the country is vaccinated – Samir, male

No, with everything else going on, it’s just the wrong timing – Male

I don’t know if it’s the best time for it because I think there is still two years before they are required call an election, so I guess no – female

I don’t really have an opinion on it – female

No because I think it’s a political maneuver on his part (Justin Trudeau), I just heard on the news how much it will cost for the election, 610 million dollars! I mean, we are in huge debt as it is – female

Absolutely he should – female

That would be nice, politically it’s something I don’t really … I could go on for a long time with this so that why I can’t give you a straight answer for that one to be honest … I just don’t argue about politics with other people – Dave, Male,

No, I’m not really sure – female

No, I think he (Justin Trudeau) thinks he could win; I’m worried he could win again. – female

No, I feel like he (Justin Trudeau) will lose if he does it. – male

No, there’s enough going on right now, we don’t need to go to the polls. – female

No, I think he should do something else, focus on getting people back on track. We’ll see what happens, I wouldn’t be surprised because He’s taking advantage of the opportunity and again why not?  – Gabe, female, ward 5

No definitely not – female

Uh its ok – female

No, too many things going on – Chris, male

I don’t know I guess so? You know what in all honesty I don’t know about that – Christina, female

No, our intent should be trying to get us out of this – female

Sure, not really, I think it’s time for change, I don’t know if he will win – female, Oakville

No, because there is too much going on, there’s too much covid and everything – female

Yes, actually I think he should be governing … but if Hes (Justin Trudeau) trying to win back a majority, I don’t know … my personal feelings, I hope he gets voted out- Julius, male, North Carolina

I don’t know enough to comment. For politicians it is [for liberals] think they will get a majority, that’s what I’m guessing – Ray, male Oakville

Uuuhhhhhh no, I don’t know – male

No, too expensive no question … he (Justin Trudeau) should focus on the economy you know, we gotta get people back to work – Mark, male

Doesn’t matter, I’m indifferent – Donna, female

No, Well I’m a conservative sooo, in the middle of a pandemic it does make a whole lot a sense to the prime minister, it’s a waste of twenty million dollars. – Dave, male

No, sorry I don’t understand – female

No, He’s (Justin Trudeau) only calling an election at this time because you know He’s kinda favored right now and he doesn’t get my vote – Victoria, female

I do, I think that what He’s done in over the pandemic and uh just what he has been doing as a prime minister I think gives him the right to say what he sees happening and I trust his judgement on that, and I think what are people waiting for? I don’t understand that, for things to get better? For things to get smoother? for the pandemic to go away. I don’t believe that’s going to happen I think if the newspapers could stop talking about the fourth pandemic, I think things are going to go into more and more chaos, I think H

He’s really done a great job. He’s made mistakes of course he has but who the hell is going to take over for him (Justin Trudeau)!? –  Margo, female, ward 4

Honestly, he (Justin Trudeau) has to call it sometime so why not tomorrow? – Racheal, female

I don’t know, probably not because of covid it’s not worth it even if he gets a majority – Cindy, Female Oakville

I think so, Hes (Justin Trudeau) in a good position to… if he can do it, he should – Stu, male

Yea it is, he should try to get a majority – male

I wouldn’t think so with all of this happening do you really think people are in the mood to go out and vote? – female

No timing is not the best … well there’s the pandemic and everything’s really confusing – Debbie, female,

Um for him (Justin Trudeau) it’s the right choice – Dick, male

No, there is more pressing issues like the huge amount of debt the government has put on the country’s books, both for your generation and mine, none of the political parties are discussing how to pay back the debt, – Tom, male

Either way probably not, no great concerns, I just don’t know that it is necessary, that’s more than the whole thing. I think things are going as well as they can given the, excuse my language, shit storm. We’re just in survival mode as a country and a civilization. – Steve, male

No, there’s bigger issues going on right now, Steve(different one), male

No, not the time Eyaz, male

No, I think its just poor timing with covid and everything and I’m not the fan of our prime minister, I don’t agree with a lot of what he’s done – Paul, male

I haven’t really thought of it – female

Uh that’s a good question I don’t know, at this point no, probably not. I don’t know why they are doing it well I do know but its up to them I guess. – female

No because I think there is too much going on right now. – Jennifer , female

No, its not the time. – female

We have a follow up report on what Ryan O’Dowd learned in the Southern part of the city.

Max Bowder reporrts: “Most people feel that this is not the best time to have an election while in the middle of COVID and there are other things The Prime Minister can be focusing on such as the economy. Many also believe the Prime Minister is only calling this election, hoping win back a majority government for his handling of the pandemic.”

Max Bowder is a second year journalism student at Sheridan College.  He is part of a team with the Gazette on the Local Journalism Initiative funded by the federal government.  Before enrolling at Sheridan Max volunteered in a community in Argentina  where he worked with young people.  He is a Burlington resident who helps out on the family farm in Milton.


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Citizens in southern part of the city speak their minds on a possible election call

By Staff

August 15th, 2021


Part 1 of a two part story on what the people of Burlington feel about an election call

With the whiff of an election in the air, the Gazette decided to send a team of reporters out into the streets to hear what the public had to say.

The team, made up of Max Bowder and Ryan O’Dowd, covered all six wards and approached people asking:

Do you think there should be a federal election?

Depending on the answer they followed up with:

Why or why not.

We asked the team to get as many responses as possible – we wanted some depth to what people thought – thus the length.  Some people didn’t want to give names; some locations were better than others.

If you want to get a cross section of opinion in Burlington Brant and Lakeshore is as good a place as any.

Ryan O’Dowd covered the southern part of the city to learn how the public felt about an expected election call.

In a separate story we published the results of what Max Bowder learned in the area north of Fairview.

Here is what Ryan O’Dowd learned:

I’m fairly ambivalent about it but it’s clear Trudeau is trying to get the election in before the economy tanks.- Roy

I think the tail end of a pandemic is a bad and weird time for a power grab. But it gives me a chance to vote out a Prime Minister I quickly soiree on after initially voting for him.-Alex

This isn’t the time to focus on an election, I worry about what will happen if a fourth wave is handled poorly.-Jira

I get what he’s trying to do, he’s trying to present a united front on COVID and get everyone on the same page. But the countries debt is already an issue before election spending.-Cathy

No, it’s just a power grab.-Bruce

Seems like an election call right now would be a power grab by Trudeau. But we’re all screwed anyway so who cares.-Kevin

Any other politician would do the same, I’m not a Trudeau fan but this is hardly reason why.-Lisa

I support it, it’s a bit soon but people have been revisiting their values during the pandemic, so people may want something else from their government.-Gabriel

No, I don’t trust any of the candidates and were in a pandemic.-Drew

I think it’s wise on his part considering people following his guidelines and being financially supported outweighs people who challenged his direction. Although the dark parts of Canadian history recently brought to light and alot of people aren’t agreeing with his response. I personally wouldn’t vote for Trudeau but if it happens he’s got a good shot.-Taylor

I wouldn’t support an election and I don’t think they will go through with the plans. No one is happy about it and COVID numbers are up.-Mark

There’s a lot of reasons to criticize Trudeau, that he’s calling an election when he thinks he can win is not one.-Michelle

Finding people to interview led reporters to shopping locations – Appleby Mall proved to be very good place to meet people.

There is no good reason for an election, I can’t support a power grab during a pandemic- Kim

No, I don’t like any of the candidates and probably won’t vote- anonymous

I don’t support a federal election call at all because it’s a waste of resources that could be used in a more productive manner.-David

I do, we need to vote Trudeau out to stop more lockdowns and vaccine passports-Jean

If the election takes place during a fourth wave it will blow up in Trudeau’s face- Megan

No, Trudeau is threatening people’s health to win- Mike

It’s irresponsible to have an expensive election given our debt and it will be dangerous- Karen

Opposition to the election is partisan, if conservatives thought they could win they’d be all for it, but they aren’t confident- Raheem

No and I hope all parties lose.- anonymous

Yes. People criticize Trudeau for calling it as a power grab but how Canada does post-COVID is incredibly important. It seems like a good time to reevaluate the countries leadership.-Ed

No, it’s a waste of time, there are much more important things to focus on right now.-Jacqueline

I don’t support the election, people are still scared of COVID, it’s their number one priority. Trudeau is using that as a power grab and it’s not right.-Mina

Why not? Conservatives want to lift mandates, they want the country to be open just not for an election they’ll likely lose. Making this an issue of safety now is convenient. It’s a power grab but that’s nothing new.-Carol

No. I’m worried the election will politicize the pandemic even more. I don’t want people to think being anti-vax or mask is a political stance as opposed to just being anti-science. I’m worried this will come up alot.-anonymous

No. Things are hard enough right now, I don’t have time to pay attention to politics.- Devon

I think it’s a pointless election but I can’t blame Trudeau for capitalizing on weak opposition. That these other parties have poor leadership is something they should worry about rather than complaining about the election.-Austin

No. He’s just trying to get people on CERB to vote to keep it going, and we can’t afford that.-Sam

No, mostly because I don’t like any of the candidates. Trudeau never follows through on anything and the current conservative party is a mess.- Mark H.

 Across Burlington reactions to the election call were mixed. Many were unhappy about the election citing economic issues and safety concerns, but above all people were put off by the optics with what many dubbed an opportunistic power grab. And while many found the calling of the election unnecessary, most recognized it’s importance.

Ryan O’Dowd is a Sheridan College journalism student who is part of a federally funded Local Journalism Initiative that will have him reporting for the Gazette well into 2022.  He is a Burlington native who plays the guitar.

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