Police parking lot offered as a safe place to transact business. Really!

By Staff

July 20, 2021



The Halton Regional Police Service is pleased to announce the launch of our first Buy & Sell Exchange Zone.

A zone is an area the police set up that they deem to be a safe place.  Right outside police headquarters is probably as safe as you are going to get.

Why such a zone?  The Halton Regional Police explain:

Many people have become victims of crimes like robberies, frauds and thefts when attempting to buy or sell property online. The purpose of the Buy & Sell Exchange Zone is to provide some additional peace of mind to those who are buying, selling, or trading property online. If you are meeting new people while finalizing online transactions, we encourage you to use our Exchange Zone.

You can expect to be safe outside Police headquarters

The clearly-signed Exchange Zone is situated in the visitor parking lot of our 20 Division facility, which is located at:
95 Oak Walk Drive, Oakville, Ontario L6H 0G6 – Phone: 905-825-4777 ext. 2

If you are unable to meet at our Buy & Sell Exchange Zone, please consider completing your transactions in well-lit, public and popular locations to avoid being a victim of crime.

Tips to protect yourself during a buy and sell exchange:
• Complete your transaction during daytime hours only.
• Use the buddy system when possible. Bring a family or friend with you, or at the very least, let someone know who you will be meeting, the time, and the location of the exchange.
• To reduce the potential of falling victim to fraud, never complete a buy and sell transaction by mail.
• When meeting in person, always inspect goods you wish to purchase before giving money to the seller.
• Limit the amount of personal information you provide.
• Stop. Pause. Think. If something seems too good to be true, it likely is.

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Pole in the main walkway at Village Square precarious - could topple very easily.

By Staff

July 20th, 2021


There is a pole in the Village Square that is very dangerous – its condition is such that it wouldn’t take much of a push to bring it crashing down.

Right in the middle of the main passageway – where anyone pushing a cart could bump into the pole. Looks as if someone has done just that at some point.

Close up of just where the flaw is.

No one seems to know who is responsible for the pole. The ward councillor has been alerted
Given that city council is on a six week summer break it will be interesting to see what gets done and how quickly the serious safety concern gets tended to.
We will keep you posted on this one.
To get a sense as to just how dangerous this is check out the short short video – couple of seconds.

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Shift in the make up of the real estate market requires sellers to understand the new dynamic

By Rob Golfi

July 20, 2021


The pandemic era housing market has continued to climb to an all-time high over the past two years with the average selling price of $688,208 recorded this May, according to WOWA. The intense demand of homes during the pandemic has made prices skyrocket, creating a seller’s market. While the market activity was up 103.6% year-over-year, The Canadian Real Estate Association has noted a decline in national home sales by 7.4% on a month-over-month basis in May.

Data – Canadian Real Estate Association

With the high demand of homes and a shortage of properties, frantic bidding wars on low valued homes have become out of control. In March 2021, the peak of the pandemic market, out of 1304 homes sold 1116 sold at asking price or higher and in April 2021 sales were up 245% since April 2020. However, sale prices were down 11% in June with the inventory available at the end of the month dropping to 0.8% which was lower than May. I have noticed that seller expectations are being impacted from how things were in previous months” resulting in pandemic tunnel vision which is preventing people from being able to sell their homes.

Unfortunately, sellers are getting caught up in the previous numbers of the market or hear about a neighbour who sold their house for X amount of money a few months ago, and believe their house is worth the same or more. Many agents in the area are having trouble coaching and supporting both buyers and sellers. Although the market isn’t retreating to a stable level, it isn’t continuing to rise to the previous caliber of March and April. As a result many are realizing weeks later that they botched a great offer and regret becoming overly confident and unsatisfied with the offers they declined. It is difficult for sellers to understand that we are now in an adjustment phase of the market”. Ultimately, sellers need to disregard previous numbers from the peak of the market and realize that it is beginning to settle down.

All things considered, the market earlier this year is a great memory for those who sold, and for buyers it will catch up in 12 months and you will see your equity begin to flourish. However, in this moment it is crucial for sellers to comprehend the shift the market is taking to successfully sell their home, and refrain from being fixated on numbers that are no longer applicable.

Rob Golfi is the founder of RE/MAX Escarpment Golfi Realty Inc. A Real Estate Brokerage operating in Hamilton, Halton, Brantford, and Niagara. The firm has over 200 years of combined experience with more than 1000 five-star reviews on Google, Facebook, and Zillow. The Golfi Team is rated the 7th best RE/MAX team worldwide. The have being en in the top 100 Real Estate Teams for RE/MAX Canada since 2003.

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Ace wheel chair basket ball player going to Tokyo Paralympics

By Staff

July 20th, 2021


We first met Melanie Hawtin when she was playing wheel chair basketball at the Haber Recreational Centre.

What impressed us was not only the skill but her competitive nature.  When she wanted the ball – she went after it and usually got the ball.

We didn’t know all that much about the woman – we just liked what we saw. She was once on the fast track to a promising career as a wheelchair racer. A native of Oakville, Hawtin started racing as a child and quickly became a decorated athlete within the sport with hopes of representing Canada at the Paralympic Games.

Melanie is part of the Canadian Team representing Canada at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics. We will report on how the Canadian Team does.

That dream was put on hold after surgery forced her to take a hiatus from the track. It was during that hiatus that Hawtin started playing wheelchair basketball. She began competing with the Burlington Vipers club before going on to represent Ontario at the women’s national championship in 2013.

As a former competitive track athlete, speed is Hawtin’s greatest asset and she quickly outmanoeuvres her opponents up and down the basketball court. She ultimately drew the attention of the National Team program and made the Senior Women’s National Team in 2014. She made her Paralympic debut two years later at Rio 2016, where Canada finished fifth.

In 2019, Hawtin underwent shoulder surgery and did not compete at the 2019 Parapan American Games.

When she is not training with the National Team, Hawtin is busy honing her skills at the wheelchair basketball National Academy in Toronto.

Off the basketball court, Hawtin spends time with family and has a genuine love for fashion.

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Online registration for indoor summer recreation programs opens July 24

By Staff

July 20, 2021


Burlington will open online registration for indoor summer recreation programs for adults 19+ and adults 55+ beginning Saturday, July 24 at 9 a.m.

Registration for swimming programs at Tansley Woods, Aldershot, Centennial and Angela Coughlan pools will also open on Saturday, July 24 at 11 a.m.
A complete listing of indoor summer programming can be found online at Burlington.ca/recreation.< Drop-in programs
Registration for drop-in recreational swimming and skating programs at indoor City facilities is required 25 hours in advance of the program start time. Drop-in swimming programs start today, Monday, July 19, and skating programs will resume Tuesday, July 20.
New self-serve option for withdrawing from drop-in programs

New this season, participants have the ability to withdraw from drop-in programs online by logging into their Live & Play account. More information about the new feature is available online at Burlington.ca/recreation.

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 Burlington.ca/screening before each session.

Individuals who have questions or require assistance can email live&play@burlington.ca or call 905-335-7738 between 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

• Recreation fee assistance funding is available to resident individuals or families who require assistance with the cost of City of Burlington recreation programs. For more information or to apply, visit burlington.ca/feeassistance. You can also leave a confidential voicemail message at 905-335-7738, ext. 8501 and staff will return your call to assist you.

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Is our Air Quality an issue? WHO says it is

By Staff

July 20th, 2021


The air quality in Burlington right now is the THIRD WORST in the World!

What? How could that be? And who made the statement and what evidence do they have?

The World Health Organization claims our air quality is six times worse than the accepted rate.

The cause is mostly due to the 100 fires burning in Ontario.

Alan Harrington, an inveterate Gazette reader brought this to our attention and suggests people may want to put those masks they may have put away backon.

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Technology from inventive minds helps RBG collect donations while you take a walk in the park

By Staff

July 19th, 2021



Like many not-for-profits, Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens saw a slump in donations during the pandemic. With their main garden areas and indoor spaces restricted they were forced to close due to COVID-19.

The tap to give technology helps RBG get through a slow period for donations.

The trails systems saw a significant increase in foot traffic, which is why they are there.

What RBG wasn’t able to do was solicit donations. They had no means of requesting donations from hikers and walkers.

Then Moneris and a start up brought out their idea.

You may not know Moneris – but they know you. In many places where you use your plastic to pay for something the transaction could be going through a Moneris terminal.

Moneris Canada and the start up, tiptap, helped to install a touchless solar powered device at the entrance of one of their trails.

The device allowed visitors to donate by simply tapping their credit or debit card before starting their walk.

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Life is getting closer to normal now that we are in Step 3 of the ReOpen plan

By Alexandra Vanquest
July 19th, 2021

After months of lockdown and restrictive measures, there is at last some good news for Ontario residents.

The province has moved into Step 3 of the Road to Reopen plan five days earlier than expected.

The new chief medical officer of health confirmed the news to reporters last week, saying that the acceleration of the timetable was, in large part, due to the large number of local citizens who are putting themselves forward daily to get vaccinated.

Step 3 of the plan has two main objectives – to expand what can happen in an indoor setting and to further expand outdoor activities.

Among the new changes for indoor locations:

• Up to 25 people at a time can attend indoor gatherings and public events;

Spaced out to meet social distancing requirements – people are now able to get out for an indoors meal.

• Indoor dining is now permitted with no capacity limits other than the proviso that tables should be at least two metres apart;

• More people are now allowed to attend religious services like weddings, funerals, and christenings;

• Indoor sport and recreational fitness facilities can operate at up to 50% capacity (with spectators capped at 1,000 people);

• Similarly, concert venues, theatres and cinemas can operate up to 50% capacity (up to the same limits); and

• Nightclubs and other places of entertainment can operate up to 25% capacity, with up to a maximum of 250 attendees allowed.

Outdoor locations are also opening up.

• With limited exceptions, up to 100 people can attend outside gatherings and organised events;

• Outdoor sporting and recreational facilities are now capped at up to 75% of the approved capacity, or 15,000 people, whichever is the lower;

• Casinos, museums, aquariums, galleries, fairs, and amusement parks are capped at 75% capacity or a maximum of 5,000, (which is the lower) for unseated events. In the case of mixed seating events, the crowd limit is revised upwards to 15,000 people.

Online casinos have always been available and are becoming more and more popular. You gamble when and where you want.

Of course, those interested in playing online are not limited to visiting physical casinos. There are many online versions available and some of the newest online casinos in Canada are listed here.

Provincial officials have confirmed that masks and face coverings will still be mandatory for indoor public events during Step 3, and that masks will be required in some public settings along with the observation of other public health protocols.

Getting to the 80% vaccinated level is what it will take to open things up even more.

Even where it is not obligatory, people will still be encouraged to wear masks over the coming months to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus.

It is expected that Ontario will remain at Step 3 for at least 21 days, and until at least 80% of those eligible – currently all those aged 12 and older – have received at least one anti-Covid vaccination and 75% have received two jabs.

If those targets can be met, then the provincial government has indicated that it is prepared to remove the majority of the remaining health and workplace safety measures, including lifting the capacity limits for both indoor and outdoor events.

Many Ontarians, fed-up with more than a year of restrictions on personal freedoms, will have their fingers crossed these thresholds can be met, and that life can finally get back to some sort of normal.

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Gazette comments feature disabled until design problems resolved

By Pepper Parr

June 19th, 2021


The comments section of the Gazette have been disabled for the immediate future.

There are technical problems that are yet to be resolved and some design changes that are going to be needed before we can operate the comments section.

Upgrades in the software we use were not compatible with the design theme we are using

It will return just as soon as the compatibility problems have been resolved.

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Rivers: Is the Pandemic Over or Is This Deja Vu?

By Ray Rivers
July 19th, 2021

The roller coaster ride with COVID has slowed down once again in this province. Our infection numbers have declined substantially since we peaked at over 4000 cases back a few months ago. Clearly the ‘stay-at-home’ and other public health restrictions have helped, though it’s the vaccinations that have really made the difference. And our governments deserve credit, the feds for securing vaccine supply and the province and local health authorities for rolling out the vaccinations.

Yet Ontario’s infection rate is still hovering in the triple digits and only about half of the adult population is vaccinated . But, the Premier is boasting about getting back to normal soon, much as he did last year. But chances are better than even that he is wrong again.

Normal is a long way off. Over the last few days the provincial infection numbers have either settled onto a plateau, or started inching back in the wrong direction. And Ontario’s new medical officer of health is now predicting another increase in infections come September, just as we saw last year.

If we look at the British and Americans. We see how they had mostly opened up their economies when their vaccination levels were similar to those in Ontario. But the results have been disastrous. COVID cases have soared over 90% across the UK such that their infection numbers are now back to those of last January, when they were in the grip of the Alpha (UK) variant and hardly anyone had been vaccinated.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is prepared to life all controls for the UK: covid19 infections are expected to rise while the PM goes into self isolation.

Medical officials in the UK have characterized Boris Johnson’s COVID policy of ‘living with the virus’ as just creating a breeding ground for new viral variants. In the US, the Delta variant has become the prime enemy of the people, with cases doubling every couple weeks and with increases in infections rising in every state. Authorities are laying the blame on the fall off in vaccination rates.

The virus and Delta variant may be the enemy, but those refusing the jab are its enablers. Just as in Canada, the virus in the UK and America is being spread primarily by the unvaccinated. So why aren’t more people rolling up their sleeves? US president Biden accuses social media of killing Americans by spreading anti-vaccine disinformation.

In France, when vaccinations started slowing down and COVID cases started rising, President Macron made vaccination mandatory for all health care workers. And then he made vaccine passports mandatory for access to congregate places, like bars and sporting events. That was a powerful incentive and a million people signed up almost immediately to get the shot in the arm.

Only two provinces in Canada are even considering issuing vaccine passports and regulating their usage. And Ontario isn’t one of them, despite calls from the mayor of Toronto and the business community to do just that. Premier Ford, while saying everyone should get the jab, keeps muttering about a split society, whatever that means. And also he refuses to mandate vaccines for health care workers.

Quebec chooses to use QR codes as vaccination passports.

It can’t be a constitutional rights or a privacy issue. After all, this is the same premier who instructed provincial police to block people moving across the provincial borders and to conduct random checks of vehicles and ticket those not travelling to a workplace. He is the guy who ordered COVID-safe golf and outdoor recreational tennis facilities and children’s playgrounds, shuttered under threat of thousands of dollars in fines.

The truth is that this pandemic will not be over until everyone, who is able to, gets fully vaccinated. It’s how we eliminated smallpox and for a time, measles. It’s either that or we social distance it into oblivion as New Zealand has done successfully so far. And it is likely too late for that.

With an election coming up next year, one would think Mr. Ford would want to ensure that Ontario’s economy is opened up as quickly and safely as possible – not another false start. Getting everyone vaccinated is the best bet for that to be possible.

After the turbulent series of confusing and often counter-productive provincial policies over the last year and a half, this might demonstrate that Mr. Ford is actually capable of learning on the job and responding to the public will. Otherwise it’s deja vu.


Background links:

Step Three and COVID –   French Experience –  

The Next Wave –  Ford Opposes –    Ontario Medical

Mandatory Vaccinations –   England Threat to the World

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Tug boat chug chugs from Halifax to Hamilton where it will be used for

By Staff

July 18th, 2021



Alan Harrington has been tracking the progress of the tugboat Theodore for weeks.

Theodore TOO entering Hamilton harbour

It was a long arduous trip with numerous stops along to way – from Halifax to its new home in Hamilton where it will be  refitted to do environmental work.

It was bought by McKeil a Burlington marine  company.

The boat has a crew of four.

Harrington made sure he was at the canal to capture the picture of the tug entering Hamilton harbour with a police marine unit escort.

It sailed alone from Halifax a few weeks ago and entered the canal with escorts from the police marine unit and a ship from the Coat Guard.







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Ron Foxcroft: Turns out he was a lot more than a pretty face with a whistle in his mouth.

By Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2021



Turns out he was a lot more than a pretty face with a whistle in his mouth.

He turned a piece of plastic into an international product that has shown some leading marketers what it means to extend a product into new markets.

Then he took a trucking company that was in trouble and turned it into a vibrant operation with a decent market share in the GTA market.

The content and value will surprise many.

This time he has turned his hand to sharing what he has learned as a successful business person. A lot of this kind of book is someone with a lot of money clapping himself on the back.

Foxcroft is tough on himself and is remarkably candid about his family. As you read through the “40 Ways of the Fox” you see some of your own shortcomings and realize that Foxcroft knew his limitations and overcame them.

I always thought Foxcroft stopped going to high school because he knew they were going to kick him out. Turns out he “negotiated” his leaving high school.

Foxcroft is a story teller – he needed help putting that story on a printed page – Mike Ulmer, a Dundas based free lancer put the stand-up speech into a book.

Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, receives Colonel Ronald Foxcroft (Honorary Colonel) at Buckingham Palace in London.

The story Ron tells has been heard by Queen Elizabeth II, and of course he pulled a whistle out of his pocket and gave it to her.

He tells the same story to new Canadians when he is presiding at a Citizenship Court where he usually runs over the allotted time as he tells people how great a country they are becoming a part of.

Irrepressible, yes, not all that good at saying no when someone is putting the squeeze on him.

Member of the Order of Canada. Was the Honorary Colonel of the Argyll Sutherland Regiment in Hamilton which he thought was going to be fun on the occasions he got to wear a kilt.

The tragic death of Corporal Nathan Cirillo who was shot by a terrorist while doing sentry duty at the National War Memorial in Ottawa in 2014 required Ron to suddenly have to lead a regiment that was grieving the loss of one of their own.

Ron wasn’t a military person but he stood up and got that Regiment and the city of Hamilton through a very tough day that saw the biggest parade seen on the streets of Hamilton in some time. .

The parade through the streets of Hamilton was one of the largest the city had seen in time. Foxcroft was the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment at the time.

In one of the 40 Thoughts (and we aren’t going to take you through all of them) Foxcroft positions Santa Claus as a lesson at being on point all the time. That thought will teach you a lesson that will stay with you as long as you are a leader or want to be one.

Foxcroft was one of the very few Canadians that served as a basketball referee at every level of the NCAA men’s basketball and the NBA during a 23 year career and was awarded the Golden Whistle for his contribution that included an Olympic Men’s final game.
Foxcroft has been named the Citizen of the Year in Burlington and probably can’t tell you how many Boards he has served on in his career.

They include:
Chair of Tradeport International, Operators and Mangers of John C Munro Hamilton International Airport. The largest Cargo Express Overnight Airport in Canada. National Association of Sports Officials. Wisconsin, 29 years.
Arbeter Sports Inc., a sport technology company. Completed 400 million transactions in 2019.
Ontario Excavac Incorporated, a pneumatic excavation and environmental recycling company in Vaughan Ontario.
Board Member of Burlington Community Foundation and past Chair.
Board Member of The Hamilton Club, and past Chair.
Board Member of the Hamilton Board of Approved Basketball Officials.
Past Chair of the Argyll Regiment Senate and Foundation, and Past Honourary Colonel.
Board Member of the Canada Basketball Veterans Committee, currently vice chair.

The proceeds of the book are being donated to CityKids and Liberty for Youth

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Sober Carpenter bring organic beer to Burlington

By Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2021



The brand name for the beer was catchy – learning that the beer was the first organic beer in the country was news.

Sober Carpenter’s organic session IPA is available in Burlington at the following locations: The Beer Store 5051 New Street, The Beer Store 2020 Appleby Line, as well as Sobeys, Metro and Goodness Me.

We’ll let you know what we think.

For the beer purists the technical description is:
Malts: Pale, Crystal, Cara; Hops: Galaxy; International Bitterness Units (IBU): 30; Calories: 80

Launched earlier in July in Montreal, Canada’s first 100% organic non-alcoholic beer was launched by Quebec-based craft microbrewer, Sober Carpenter.

The beer is said to have the tropical and bright aroma of Galaxy hops, the large, light head and lacing along the glass speaks to the beer’s quality. Lastly, consumers will notice a crisp and slightly bitter taste on the palate.

The company’s master brewer has created a full line of beers with unique flavour profiles including, an Irish red, a light and fruity Belgian white, and a blonde ale, along with the company’s most popular beer, a potent IPA.

“Non-alcoholic beer is very much coming into its own,” explains Nicolas Gagnon, CEO of Sober Carpenter. “The old, tired idea the non-alcoholic beer is boring is just plain wrong. We set out with a mission to create beers that are every bit as delicious, complex, unique, and easy to enjoy as any beer. We work hard to brew a full range of non-alcoholic beers that anyone, no matter their lifestyle, can enjoy. Our new organic session IPA is the latest step in that process. Session IPAs are less hoppy than regular IPAs, they are smooth and full of aroma.

Until July 31, 2021, for every case of Sober Carpenter Session IPA sold, one dollar will be donated to Tree Canada. The organization is the country’s leading tree planting charity. A sober carpenter thinks about the long-term sustainability of their lifestyle, not just the trees they’ll need today.

They are sending a tasting kit our way – we’ll let you know what we think.

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Quarry expansion opponents to gather at the front gates next week

By Pepper Parr

July 17th, 2021


An upgrade on the membership of the group that supports a quarry in rural Burlington.  We are advised that the membership has written more than 2000 letters of support.

For the community group opposing the expansion of the Nelson Quarry in rural Burlington the next step is to demonstrate and get their message out.

The application by Nelson Aggregates to expand their open pit mine is a long and slow moving process.

City Council has come out against the expansion, there is a small group for the expansion:  they don’t appear to have much in the way of community support.

On July 20th, CORE Burlington, PERL and Wellington Water Watchers will be outside the gates of Nelson Aggregates on the 2nd Side Road for  A Morning on Mt.Nemo.  They will be joined by Shane Philips of Wellington Water Watchers as he continues his ‘Ear to the Groundwater’ walking tour with a visit to the gates of Nelson Aggregate’s open-pit gravel mine, followed by a hike to the scenic brink of Burlington’s Niagara Escarpment.

Why: To raise awareness of the devastating effect open-pit gravel mines have on communities and the environment. Shane will connect the dots between the local and the global issues, and show how gravel mining helps fuel the climate crisis, and how Doug Ford’s agenda for new highways and more urban sprawl will devour our future.

When/Where: Tuesday, July 20th, 10am at 2462 No. Two Sideroad Burlington. Across from the gates of Nelson Aggregate’s 540-acre open pit mine on Burlington’s Escarpment: part of an UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

A rendering of what Nelson Aggregates wants to do with the land when they have completed their mining of the available aggregate.

Order of Events:

10:00am – 10:30 Speakers, Mike Balkwill, Wellington Water Watchers; Janet Turpin Myers, CORE Burlington; Sarah Harmer, PERL; and Shane Phillips. As a special treat, Sarah will also perform ‘Escarpment Blues’.

10:30 – 11:45  Drive to Mt. Nemo Conservation Area (a few minutes away) for a hike to the brink of the Escarpment, and back again (about a 20 minute walk on an easy trail each way)

NOTE: The Conservation area requires advanced reservations to enter. We will reserve tickets for our group, which we expect will number about 20-30. If you plan to come along for the hike, please RSVP by responding to this email, no later than Monday, July 19th by 9am. This will help us to calculate how many reservations to make.

If you choose not to hike with us, please do join us for the first portion of the morning.

For more information contact: coreburlington@gmail.com

About CORE Burlington: www.coreburlington.com

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Federal provincial funds allow for the completion of several projects

By Staff

July 17th, 2021



Burlington is to receive provincial and federal funding from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure -Program (ICIP)  that will help fund four projects:

  • Elgin Street Promenade, Stage 4
  • Design and Construction of Palmer Trail
  • City Hall Customer Service Window Renovation
  • Roads, Parks and Forestry Operations Centre Renovation

In total, the City will receive $852,200 of funding, $681,760 from the Federal Government and $170,440 from the Provincial Government.

In August 2020 the Federal Government announced adjustments to the ICIP program to help provinces and territories and ultimately municipalities to deal with the financial pressures brought on by COVID-19. This new stream of funding is designed to deliver more infrastructure projects during the pandemic by increasing the types of eligible projects and accelerating approvals.

Funded Projects

When completed – the promenade will complete the trail from Brant Street to the Centennial Trail.

Elgin Street Promenade, Stage 4

    • – A 4m-wide fully accessible pedestrian and cycling trail located in the downtown core. Approximately 75 per cent of this trail is complete. This is the final phase of this four-part construction project and represents a vital link to connecting the downtown to an existing 8km trail that links to the broader community.
  • Palmer Trail – A 3m-wide fully accessible pedestrian and cycling trail located the heart of the City. Phase 1 was constructed in 2019. Approximately 50 per cent of this trail is complete. This proposed work is to complete the final phase, providing a key north-south link connecting neighborhoods to the larger trail system. The proposed width of these new trails will easily accommodate physical distancing between people passing each other and also allows for people to walk side by side.
  • City Hall Customer Service Window Renovation – The existing City Hall service counter requires a renovation to facilitate physical distancing and customer service requirements. Funding will be used towards the reconfiguration of the existing counter location to allow for customer privacy and an adequate queuing area away from the common traffic flow area.
  • Roads, Parks and Forestry (RPF) Operations Centre Renovation – A reconfiguration of the existing floor plan at the operations centre is necessary to accommodate RPF service requirements. The renovation will allow for supervisors and staff to work and collaborate efficiently and will also provide for additional physical distancing for staff and contractors through controlled queuing areas.
Related news story:
Final phase awaits funding


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Memo to Council: Region decides to hold budget increase at 2%

By Pepper Parr
July 15th, 2021


On July 14, 2021, Regional Council approved Halton’s 2022 Budget Directions Report. The Report provides guidelines to staff to maintain existing service levels for Regional programs while supporting the community’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It also establishes a target property tax increase at or below the rate of inflation (2.0 per cent).

“The 2022 Budget Directions Report is an important step in the development of our next Budget and Business Plan,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “It lays a foundation to help us preserve our strong financial position, keep property taxes low and support our community as more residents get vaccinated and Halton gradually reopens.”

The Report identifies priorities for Regional investments in 2022 to ensure residents have access to essential services while providing for critical program enhancements to address community growth. It also ensures next year’s Budget aligns with the strategic themes, objectives and outcomes outlined in the 2019–2022 Strategic Business Plan.

Seven of those smiling faces represent Burlington – if they voted to hold the 2022 tax increase to 2% for the Region – can’t they do that for the City?

Financial pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine rollout are also identified in the Report. Staff are closely monitoring current and potential fiscal impacts as they develop plans for 2022. The Region will continue to address program pressures, reallocate resources to priority areas and maintain service levels to help achieve a property tax rate increases at or below the rate of inflation.


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City awards $25,200 for community projects, through the Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund

News 100 greenBy Staff

July 15th, 2021



The City of Burlington announced the names of the 2021 Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund recipients today.

A community investment of $25,200 will go towards three community projects, focused on enhancing infrastructure amenities within parks, gardens, buildings on public lands or on lands that are accessible to public.

2021 marks the fifth year the City has provided the program.

The projects funded for 2021 include:

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Food Bank talking to Adria Cehovin at the Urban Farm on Brant at Ghent.

Grow for Change Urban Farm Community Therapeutic Programs ($10,000)
This project will provide the community with access to a new temporary green space near Brant Street and Ghent Street, as well as therapeutic horticulture programming for adults and youth, to promote positive social and mental health.

The Orchard Community Garden Project ($10,000)
This brand-new community learning garden at the Trail Head Parkette (5401 Redstone St.), will include eight large garden boxes with fruits and vegetables and native pollinating flowers and plants. Food and plants harvested from the garden will be shared with the community and donated to the local food banks.

Community Garden in Roseland ($5,200)
This community garden in Roseland, at Port Nelson United Church, will be an accessible space for relaxation, reflection or a neighbourhood meeting. The space will feature numerous seating areas; herbs; perennials that support and encourage the pollinator population; and a ‘Peace Pole,’ an internationally recognized symbol of hopes and dreams that stands for peace on earth.

The successful projects have one year to complete their projects and must comply with the current public health regulations and provincial framework during development and implementation.

We never thought that the Roseland community needed public support for a community garden.

Our understanding was that the “farm” on Brant Street was being funded by the Molinaro Group who owned the land. When Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns first announced the project she made no mention of public money being used.

Quick Facts:
The Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund was created in 2016 to inspire residents to champion community-led projects.

The goal of the fund is to improve neighbourhoods by creating a sense of belonging and community pride, while building meaningful connections.

Through the fund, Burlington residents are encouraged to submit community-led project plans that help make our city a better place to live and play.

• For 2021, the Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund focused on small projects that enhance infrastructure amenities within parks, gardens, buildings on public lands or on lands that are accessible to the public that meet the goal of the fund.

• All projects are to be planned, led and implemented by, and for the community in a public setting.

• Approved projects receive up to 50 per cent of the funding for the project from the City, to a maximum of $10,000. The community groups selected match this funding with an equal contribution made up through any combination of volunteer hours, donated services, donated materials and supplies or other funds raised, such as cash donations.

• For more information about the Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund, visit burlington.ca/matchingfund

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Lady of The Lakes getting frequent shampoos

News 100 greenBy Staff

July 15th, 2021



We have a reader who I lives directly across from the Fountain at Spencer Smith Park.

She tells an interesting story about some “shampooing” that has taken place recently.

“A number of times last year the fountain was “shampooed” resulting in a foam party down at the park.

Foam for the lady

Lady of Lakes has been getting shampoos frequently. The Park maintenance people do not appear to be amused.

“I watched as City workers arrived each time to clean up the “mess”. It appeared that each time they needed to drain the fountain and clean it and refill it. It also appeared to take quite a few workers and quite a bit of time and effort to restart the fountain.

“A few days ago (I think last Saturday) I noticed during the day that the fountain was once again shampooed with foam bouncing about the park – quite a few people noticed it and were having a bit of fun chasing bubbles.

“They drained the fountain and have not performed any work to restart it – I’m guessing that perhaps they’ve had enough and have decided to leave it dry – but I’m not sure. It’s a shame but I do get it.”

“The photograph is one from last year’s shampooing from my front window view.”

The city might want to have one of the Park Ambassadors to be on the look out.

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Joan and the Mayor: Columnist taken to task

background graphic redBy Pepper Parr

July 15th, 2021



It is difficult at times to follow an argument when both sides are not in front of you.

This morning the Hamilton Spectator published a piece written by Mayor Mead Ward who takes Joan Little, a Spectator columnist, to task.

We have published both the Little column and the response from Meed Ward.

Joan Little column of July 7th in the Hamilton Spectator:

Tough council decisions exposing rifts in unity

When writing my last column, I got a rude awakening about how some things are done today in Burlington. I had questions about a city report on the Regional Official plan, so e-mailed a senior planning person to check that my understanding was accurate. The reply came from a name I didn’t recognize. Too late I realized it had been filtered through the communications dept – read PR people!

Because I watch committee and council meetings, I seldom request additional help about issues. This reply was filtered through PR people, an insult to highly capable specialists in their field. Citizens would thank communications staff if they improved the city’s dreadful web site, which offers several hundred (mostly irrelevant) results for any search.

The Adi development on Lakeshore is underway, a constant intrusion on neighbours’ lives.

Disclosure – I live nearby. The worst problem is that the Ford Government has overridden reasonable hours of work bylaws. Burlington’s, like many, is 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Ford’s is 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, seven days a week. Ironically many other businesses faced restrictions.

Adi simply wants too much development on a tiny lot. City staff refused it, as did council, but OMB chair Susan Schiller (now a full-time vice-chair of the new Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) approved it. Note – New legislation rolled five tribunals into one super-tribunal – the OLT. It handles land use, environment, conservation review (heritage), expropriation, mining, etc.

Because Adi wants 26 storeys on such a small lot, they’ve had to excavate seven floors to meet minimum parking standards – probably deeper for elevator shafts. This, within a couple of hundred meters of the lake. The site ponded regularly. They hit bedrock early, so have jack-hammered for months, from 6:00 am. And this small deep hole magnifies sound, like an echo chamber.

It there any chance that months of daily jack-hammering could weaken foundations of nearby buildings? Do cities ever do stress tests to ensure neighbouring buildings aren’t compromised by development activities?

Recently Coun. Lisa Kearns had hosted a virtual meeting with Adi to answer questions. There were few answers. A subsequent Adi communique made excuses about a “complex” project.

Surely they knew the deep parking garage (deepest in the city) required a larger excavator? That simultaneous activities could create problems? They did however provide a number to call when problems arose (905) 335-2929. With affected neighbours on all sides, calls could be numerous.

Council faces a tough 2022 budget that projects the city portion of total taxes (city, region and education) could rise 5.57 per cent, with an overall increase of 3.33 per cent.

The last council meeting exposed chinks in Mayor Marianne Meed Ward’s grip on council.

When this council was sworn in almost three years ago, only the mayor and Paul Sharman had experience. Five were new, and tended to “follow the leader”. Now they think for themselves.

The issue was Rainbow crosswalks. Burlington installed its first one last year for about $10,000, with consensus that the program would continue. Recently the mayor presented a motion to install six (three this year) and directed staff to address options on rainbow benches and banners.

Councillors Kearns, Sharman and Shawna Stolte supported one a year, because the mayor’s motion meant using unbudgeted dollars from reserve funds this year, and future capital budgets.

Meed Ward’s motion carried four to three. Then she issued a statement thanking the three who supported her, perhaps leaving the impression the other three did not support Pride.

In response the three dissenters took the unusual step of issuing their own statement, outlining costs associated with the mayor’s position. They claimed it would cost taxpayers up to $50,000 this year, and upwards of $100,000 plus, in unplanned future funding. Our mayor is capable, but my observation is that when she wants something, budgetary caution suffers.

It will be interesting to watch council as we approach 2022’s municipal election. Will the chinks become large chasms?

Freelance columnist Joan Little is a former Burlington alderperson and Halton councillor. Reach
her at specjoan@cogeco.ca


Meed Ward opinion piece in the July 15th, Hamilton Spectator:


Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Thank you to columnist Joan Little for her recent roundup of Burlington issues, particularly the recent 4-3 vote on funding additional rainbow crosswalks to show our city’s support for our 2SLGBTQIA-plus community.

There are several factual errors in the column that must be corrected, especially on such an important topic. I recognize these errors come from a statement on social media by several council members, which also contained inaccuracies. Accurate information can be found in the minutes or recording of meetings, all available online. (See June 8 minutes, item 5.5)

I brought a motion at committee to add three additional rainbow crosswalks in 2021, using the appropriate reserve fund, with consideration for three additional crosswalks to be discussed and funded during the 2022 budget discussions. Those discussions are still to come, and council will determine the source of funding at that time. The cost to date is an upset limit of $50,000 (not $100,000, as noted in the column).

Six crosswalks would provide one per ward throughout the city, something we heard was important from several councillors and the community. Doing multiple crosswalks now provides the potential for bulk savings on paint and contracted services.

It’s been said a council’s priorities are found not so much in the words of their strategic plan, but in the actions of their budget. We fund what we value.

The motion also provided consideration for rainbow benches and banners, with a report back from staff on cost and feasibility. That motion carried 5-2 at committee and 4-3 at council.

Only one alternative motion was presented at committee and supported by three council members.

The column stated councillors supported one rainbow crosswalk “per year” — that is incorrect. Per the minutes of the meeting, the actual motion tabled was for one additional crosswalk in 2021, and removing consideration for three additional crosswalks during upcoming budget discussions. If approved, that would have limited additional crosswalks to one and done. That motion failed 4-3.

I thanked those who supported the original motion. The three councillors who voted against it issued a statement explaining their vote, which is welcome. In the interest of transparency and accountability councillors are encouraged to explain to residents how they voted and why, whether in the majority or minority. I have regularly done so myself in my monthly newsletter, as both a councillor and now as mayor, including the vote count.

The characterization (and headline) that the 4-3 vote on this matter “exposed chinks” in the mayor’s “grip” on council, does a disservice to every member of Burlington council.

All members of council are fully capable, independent thinkers who have made decisions from the start of their terms based on the evidence presented, the merits of discussions and what they believe is best for their constituents. These decisions are done regardless of who puts the motion on the floor. Please respect that — and them.

I’m immensely proud of the careful thought and compassion they bring to each discussion. During this term, we have had 7-0, 6-1, 5-2 and 4-3 votes. That’s as it should be. I can’t imagine any council anywhere in the world that has unanimously passed every motion brought forward to them, nor is a 4-3 vote to be avoided. We welcome different viewpoints. When we disagree, we aim to do so respectfully.

On July 8, at committee, councillors unanimously supported a motion I brought forward to embark on renaming Ryerson Park, out of respect for Indigenous residents and as part of our path to reconciliation.

If reported on (and I hope it is), I hope this unanimous vote won’t be characterized as the mayor now regaining a “grip” on council.

Rather I hope coverage would focus on the importance of renaming the park as part of our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, and the unanimous vote as reflective of the deep commitment of every member of council to reconciliation and action.

I hope these clarifications are helpful to your readers’ understanding of what took place.

Marianne Meed Ward is mayor of Burlington.

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New city auditor announced

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 14, 2021



The City of Burlington announced the appointment of Maciej Jurczyk as the City Auditor starting August 16.

The City Auditor reports directly to the Audit Committee, a standing committee of Burlington Council. The Audit Committee is comprised of both City Council members and citizen members, of which three members were directly involved in this hiring process.

city auditor

Maciej Jurczyk: newly appointed city auditor

Maciej brings over 20 years of internal audit and organizational performance experience. He has worked in both the public and private sectors. More recently, Maciej was with the City of Brampton in various audit and business improvement capacities as well as Director Internal Control & Organizational Performance for Niagara Region. Maciej was a member of the City of Burlington Audit Committee for four years as well as a member of the Halton Region Joint Audit Compliance Committee.
City Auditor role

The Office of the City Auditor is an independent office. The City Auditor sees the whole of the organization and supports the City in the achievement of its strategic, department and service-oriented goals and objectives. The work of a City Auditor includes:

• assessing how risks are managed
• providing recommendations to increase the certainty of achieving goals and objectives
• looking at operations through a continuous improvement lens to support enhancements
• advising and consulting management and staff during the development of new opportunities and projects to enhance internal controls and minimize risk.

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