Region decides to appeal the decision on the CN hub - taking it to the Federal Court

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 20th, 2021



Stunned by the federal government decision to approve the CN rail hub that is proposed for the southern part of Milton, Regional Council announced on Friday they would make an application to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of federal decisions by the Minister and Cabinet resulting in federal approval of the CN truck-rail hub in Milton.

“We understand how important this effort is to our communities and our goal is to overturn this decision through the legal system,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “The fact that the Federal Government approved this project while ignoring the significant adverse effects on health identified by the expert panel it appointed is beyond disappointing. We will continue to fight for the health of Halton residents.”

Since the project was announced, community opposition has centered around the significant adverse effects on air quality and human health, in addition to concerns about safety in the surrounding areas due to the potential for increased traffic. The project will be within one kilometer of more than 34,000 residents, one hospital, 12 schools, and two long-term care homes.


The development that will bring few jobs to the community has the potential to do significant ongoing environmental damage.

While seen as a Milton area issue the number of trucks that would travel the roads in Burlington is significant – the estimate is for 1,600 truck trips a day – every day. This is to be a 24/7 operation with shipping containers brought in by rail and transferred to trucks that would delivery to locations throughout the GTA.

“The Federal Government has approved a project that will have a significant detrimental impact on the health of Halton residents that its expert panel said cannot be mitigated,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. “Cabinet owes our residents an explanation.”

The communities and local representatives at the provincial and federal levels have come together and have been a strong voice against this ill-conceived proposal that is off-side what this Region and Province approved for the CN lands. Regional Council thanked Liberal MP Adam van Koeverden, for his continued opposition to the CN plan.

Following its multi-year review, the federal panel concluded that this Project’s significant health effects cannot be mitigated. Even after mitigation there will still be significant problems. These effects result from the release into the air particulate matter (PM2.5) that is dangerous at any level of exposure and causes an array of health effects on the community.

The CN facility in Milton would not create a significant number of jobs, or provide the kind of investment Milton or Halton Region has planned for and approved in Regional Official Plan Amendments.

Although the Project’s significant adverse environmental effects on air quality and human health are paramount, the Project’s permanent adverse effects on anticipated employment, investment, and municipal finances are also significant. There is a belief that the economic and capacity benefits desired by CN could be achieved by modernizing its existing Brampton facility.

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Regional Public Health Unit Passes on what the Province Dictates

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 19TH, 2021



We  asked the Regional Health Unit for an update on who will get vaccinated first.

We received the following:

“Preparations are underway to vaccinate additional priority populations identified by the Province, including adults 80 years of age and older and recipients of chronic home health care. We will be providing an update to the community in the coming days with additional details as they are confirmed.

Understanding that these groups may have barriers to accessing information and appointments, we are also working with our local partners who will support us in targeted outreach to these populations.”

The link provided in the quote is important.

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A Confidential Issue on the City Operating Budget ? Why?

budget 2021By Pepper Parr

February 19th, 2021



Have you ever seen something like this before?

BAR confidential

BAR forms (Budget Action Requests) are documents Councillors use to bring forward changes they would like to see made in the budget Staff have put forward.

The Gazette has learned that the Clerk has informed a member of Council that the item that was put forward must be treated as confidential.

Confidential matters are determined and governed by the Municipal Act and usually relate to matters that involve a named individual or a property matter.

There is much more to this story.

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Mayor sued for $1 million by Sean Baird - 11 others included in the Statement of Claim. City will pick up the Mayor's legal expenses

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

February 18th, 2021



CORRECTION: The $2150,000 for malicious and high handed conduct should have been $250,000


Sean Baird has instructed his legal counsel to file a Notice of Action and has delivered a Statement of Claim to the following

Meed ward election night 1

Marianne Meed Ward on election night.

Adam Atkinson – with CHCH
Sharon Balcaran-Grantham
John Bkila – Communication person in the Mayor’s office
Kelly Childs – owner of a cup cake shop
Lynn Crosby – citizen and manager of the Mayors 2018 election campaign manager
Georgie Gatside, City of Burlington employee
Victoria Hughes Al-Samadi – Chief of Staff for the Mayor
David Lea – journalist for Torstar
Marianne Meed Ward – Mayor of Burlington
Don Mitchell – with Global News
James Burchill – operates the Smart Car Confidential blog
Pepper Parr, publisher of the Burlington Gazette

The Mayor and I are finally involved in a law suit where we are on the same side.

Some facts.  Mr Baird was charged under the criminal code for fraud over $5,000 and Used forged documents.  He was also charged under the Municipal Elections Act.  The Crown withdrew the Criminal Code charges against Sean Baird.  The municipal elections Act charges have yet to be heard in a Courtroom.

Sean Baird is now suing for damages to his reputation.

The Statement of claim is for $1 million for libel plus $250,000 for malicious and high handed conduct.

Many of those served with the Statement of Claim are employees of a national newspaper operation who will cover the legal costs.

The City will cover the legal costs of the Mayor, her staff and city employees. That expense will be buried in the legal department budget.

In the covering letter that accompanied the Statement of Claim and the Notice of Action counsel writes.

“You are invited to make inquiries with respect to these matters, and to publicly apologize to Mr. Baird with respect to the contents contained in these pleadings. On a without prejudice basis, I will thereafter seek instructions from Mr. Baird for dismissal of the claim against you on a without cost basis.”

More to this story.

Related news stories:

Sean Baird charged with fraud

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

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Council and Staff are in agreement on 27 changes to the budget - Stolte doesn't hop on that band wagon - asks for a 10% cut in the Council payroll

budget 2021By Pepper Parr

February 18th, 2021



They are referred to as BAR (Budget Action Request), forms that each Council member can submit asking for an increase or a decrease to the budget brought forward by Staff.

At this point – before there is a serious debate on the budget, the increase is 4.99% over what the city taxes were last year. Mayor Meed Ward told Staff that she wanted them to come back with a budget that had a 3.99% increase over last year – and to include some ideas on how to get to that point.

There was something quite a bit different this year many of the 29 items were submitted by all the members of Council. In previous councils a member would push for an item they wanted to deliver to their ward – re-election for this crowd is just 20 months away, not a lot of time in the world of politics.

The following list of items, requested by Councillors on the BAR forms.

BAR 1 of 4

BAR 2 of 4

BAR 3 of 4

BAR 4 of 4

Are the changes asked for enough to bring the tax increase down to that 3.99% the Mayor wanted – maybe even lower?

Each of these will be debated, with Staff on hand to advise. Note that for many of the items Staff is in agreement with what a majority of the Council members want to do.

Of note is this.  Ward 4 Councilor Shawna Stolte did not join her colleagues on the BAR items they put forward but did put forward three of her own – all were suggesting decreases in salary for the Members of Council.  She wanted members of Council to take a pass on the annual increase they get each year and to take a 10% cut of the salary they currently get for 9 months.

The sum total for the two BAR amounts to $629,000.

There are two situations where Council asked that funds be added to the budget.  Stolte wanted $110,000 added to the Capital Works budget while Kearns, Nisan and Meed Ward wanted $15,000 added to the Heritage Property Tax rebate program.

Look for the Mayor wanting to take a victory lap when the budget is approved in March.

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Regional Public Health Unit Ready for the day the COVID19 vaccines arrive

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 18th, 2021



The day the COVID19 vaccines arrive, expect the Prime Minister to make an announcement on how well his government is doing ensuring that Canadians are getting the Covid19 virus protection they need.

Dr. Hamidah Meghani at the Regional Public Health unit will move the people who have been hired to give us that needle into position and wait for the province to tell her exactly when the vaccines are going to be in the inoculation centres ready for use.

COVID big pic 2 phase

The administering of the vaccine is a three phase program.

Earlier this month Dr. Meghani and her team met with General Rick Hillier,  former Chief of the Defence Staff , now retired, who is overseeing the distribution of the vaccines that were purchased by the federal government for distribution to the provinces.

The Halton Regional plan was approved – now Meghani and her colleagues are waiting for the word – the vaccines are here.

So – when the vaccines arrive does that mean we all scoot over to the inoculation centre? Not quite.

We learned yesterday that there will be just four inoculation centres in Halton. One will be at the Oakville Trafalgar Hospital that will handle all the front line people – which at this point are those in the medical field.

Regional Council members wanted to know if the people who work in the supermarkets will be considered front line. Dr. Meghani said she did not know, that that has yet to be determined.

We know now that there will be a process to register for a jab of the needle.

The province is in the process of creating a computer application (app) that people will use to register.
Nothing more than that at this point.

The province has not been able to launch that application; it is apparently in trials at this point.  It will be on a program called COVAX.
What has become very clear is that the province is calling all the shots – the Public Health units follow the directions they are given.

Meghani expects to be inoculating people before that provincial app is ready – she has a backup plan in place.

Covid roll out phases

The time line – who is expected to be vaccinated when. Asked when does this all start – Dr. Meghani said – the day after the vaccines arrive.

Where will the inoculation centres be located in each community? Not yet determined. They know where they want them to be – now to work out the details with the municipalities or the school boards.

We did learn that the Region will pick up whatever there are in the way of costs at the local level.

We learned too that the Region has hired 200 nursing people and will be hiring an additional 200 for a total of 400 people in place.
Interviews are taking place in the evenings and on the weekends.

Halton CAO Jane McCaskill mentioned that the Region has spent an additional $1 million and has invested heavily in Information Technology upgrades.

Dr. Meghani said that the Region will have a backup system in place. This woman doesn’t leave very many stones unturned.

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Regional government is staffed and ready to go the minute vaccines arrive - the concern is that the Covid variants will get here first.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 17th, 2021



During an in depth meeting at which Dr Hamidah Meghani and Halton Region CAO Jane McCaskill took Regional Council through where things were with the current Covid infection rate and the plans to begin immunizing residents, we learned that Dr. Meghani was concerned, she actually said “startled, when she saw an early version of a report that will be made public on Friday about the rate at which the COVID19 variants are growing out in the community.

Covid cases to date

The lock down we just came out of worked – the number of infections has been much lower – many think it should have been even lower before ending the lockdown.

She said on more than one occasion that she could see a possible third wave, using the word “likely”.

Regional Councillors got a solid briefing with Chair Gary Carr saying that the problem Halton is going to have is not enough in the way of supply to do the job that has to be done if we are to get ahead of the virus.

COVID org structure

A very sophisticated and well staffed Regional Vaccine Committee is in place – everyone is just waiting for the arrival of the vaccines.

Sometime in January Chair Carr and Burlington Mayor Meed Ward were on to the province demanding that they  deliver on what had been promised so that the Region could vaccinate the people in Long Term Care Centres.  Hot spots in Toronto got what was supposed to come to Halton.

Watching Gary Carr when he is angry is not a pretty picture.

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A New Scam - Aimed at People Who Buy a lot Online

Crime 100By Staff

February 17th, 2021



This scam is perfidious – deceitful and untrustworthy.

Many of us have resorted to buying on line and the people who sell and then ship to us tend to use whatever is available.

FedEx and UPS appear to be swamped at time.

The packages are frequently late but they do get there.

This note appeared in my mail box.  I knew the moment I saw it that it was a scam – but that is due to a large degree because I see literally dozens a day.

Take a look at this:

Scam delivery failed

My first reaction was that I had not bought anything from the company – but maybe one of the companies I did buy something from was using a different delivery service.

The address it was supposedly sent from could be real.  When I thought it about it – it just looked too fishy.  Then I noticed the address they used to reach me I realized that was not a name I would ever use.

Cardinal rule:  If in doubt – don’t.

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Charges Laid Against Halton Regional Police Service Officer

Crime 100By Staff

February 17th, 2021



A uniform member of the Halton Regional Police Service has been charged with offences under the Criminal Code of Canada following an external and independent investigation into an incident that took place in the Town of Oakville on April 8, 2020.

On that date, four Halton Regional Police Service officers responded to the area of Third Line and Dundas Street West in Oakville for reports of a male loitering in the area. An interaction ensued between the officers and the male.

Police officer assaulting man in Oakville

Police officer assaults young man while three other stand by taking no action.

Immediately upon learning of this incident, the officer who made direct physical contact with the male was suspended from duty with pay, which is the only option available to a police service as prescribed by the Police Services Act (PSA). Further, to ensure transparency, Chief Stephen Tanner requested that the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) commence a criminal investigation into the incident.

Concomitantly, the other three officers who were in attendance at the incident were re-assigned to administrative positions pending the outcome of the investigation by WRPS.

As a result of that external and independent investigation, Constable Jason Mathers has been charged on this date with the following:

• Assault with a Weapon
• Mischief Under $5,000

He has been released and is scheduled to appear (virtually) in court on March 9, 2021. He remains suspended with pay, which continues to be the only option under the PSA.

Now that the criminal investigation has concluded, an internal disciplinary investigation into the actions of all four officers under Part V of the PSA will be completed.

Halton Regional Police Services Chief Tanner wants to tweet with you.

Halton Regional Police Services Chief Tanner.

Chief Tanner on behalf of the Halton Regional Police Service said:  “We recognize that the actions of our officers at this incident have the potential to undermine public trust in our Service, and in policing as a whole. We remain committed to fostering and maintaining a very positive relationship with the community we serve.

It is of paramount importance that any investigation into the actions of a police officer is not only thorough, but also unbiased, transparent and fair. We are grateful for the assistance of the Waterloo Regional Police Service in this matter and for their investigation into this incident.”

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Burlington Recreation Programming Slowly re-opening Safely.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 17th, 2021


Recreation facilities welcome back participants in recreation programming that will start to re-open with a phased approach starting the week of Feb. 16.
Not all programs and facilities will be opened immediately; re-staffing and facility preparation is underway.

All Adult Virtual Fitness, Learning and Music Registered Programs already running until March 26 will continue as is with no change at this time.

Drop-in skating, lap swims, recreation swims and Aquatic Fitness will start to re-open this week and programs and locations will increase over the next two weeks. All programs can be viewed and registered for at

Restrictions for City facilities and recreation as a result of moving in the Red (Control) Phase in the Province’s COVID-19 framework include:

• 10 people maximum for indoor programs such as ice pads, gymnasiums, etc.

If you didn't get to strap on the blades this winter - you're out of luck. Rink closes at 10:00 pm this evening.

Outdoor events limited to 25 people at a time

• 25 people maximum for outdoor programs

• Drop-in recreation programs will have a maximum capacity of 10 people, this includes skating and Aquatic Fitness

• Pool capacities for drop-in recreational swimming and lap swims will be reduced to ensure physical distancing can be maintained

• Bistro Express Curbside Pickup will again be accepting phone orders and providing nutritious home-style cooking for reheating at home. Pickup at Seniors Centre Main Entrance. Tap payment only accepted

• In-person instruction, including Learn to Swim and Aquatic Leadership courses will have a maximum capacity of 10 people

• Indoor pickleball activities are cancelled. Outdoor pickleball is available in Optimist and Leighland parks, weather permitting

• No spectators permitted at sports and recreational fitness facilities except for parent/guardian supervision of children
These restrictions will impact program providers in the following ways:

The students on the Bateman High School football team would love an opportunity to play in the rain. According to their side of the story they are not being given the chance they feel they deserve.

Team sports are on hold.

• For all team sports, indoor and outdoor game-play is not permitted

• Teams in City facilities and on City fields can adjust their programming to training and skill development with a maximum of 10 people indoors, up to two coaches and 25 people outdoors. Program participants are encouraged to reach out to their organization for additional information

• If you are a participant in a non-City program or team sport, please connect with your organization to understand how this may impact you

• No spectators permitted at sports and recreational fitness facilities except for parent/guardian supervision of children

• Parents/guardian must maintain 3-meter distance while in facilities

• No contact permitted for team or individual sports

The Ten Tour BAnd won't be in the FAmily room at the Performing Arts Centre but there will be kids running all over the place. Some will get to tickle the keys on the Grand Piano in the Main Theatre.

Public performances – including at the  Performing Arts Centre are not taking place. .

Limit duration of stay in a City facility or on City fields to 90 minutes (does not apply to sports)

• Require active screening, contact information and attendance for all patrons

• No live performances. Performing arts rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcasted event permitted

• Singers and players of brass or wind instruments must be separated from any other performers by plexiglass or other impermeable barriers

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One student in one Burlington public school was found to be infected yesterday - numerous infections found throughout the Region

News 100 redBy Staff

February 17th, 2021



It should come as no huge surprise – COVID19 infections are being reported at several schools in the Region.

Mohawk GArdens Public school

A single student was infected and the class was closed – the school remained open.

Just the one infection reported in Burlington at the Mohawk Public school where the classroom has been closed.
Classes resumed at schools this week.

How many infections are there likely to be? No one has any idea. At this stage everyone is keeping a very close eye and readying for whatever they think could happen and be ready to respond.

It is going to be stressful week – we know why the infection took place – someone without the infection came in contact with someone who was infected.

The virus is in the community. How deep is infection rate likely to be ? We don’t know yet.

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An all Canadian Silver Lining - Done Right Without Government Support

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

February 17th, 2021



In even the darkest days of our lives, and 2020 has been the darkest I can remember, there are some silver linings. For example, on-line sales have never been better. Naturally, Amazon is the first thing we think of but other companies have also done well in this area.

While searching out a source of respirators on-line, I located a company selling Canadian made n95 surgical masks for less than $5 each. Mikhail Moore, a Vancouver engineer got together with some like-minded entrepreneurs and health specialists from McMaster University to design and manufacture respirators last summer. And in a matter of months he had ramped up a manufacturing facility and was turning out a million Vitacore face masks a month, including the highly effective n95 which had been in short supply only a few months earlier.

Vitacore masks

Purely Canadian

One problem Mr. Moore encountered was that Canada doesn’t even have standards for respirators. We simply adopt the US NIOSH standard, but for a Canadian that means one can only get certification if the product is manufactured in the USA. So Vitacore had to work with the National Research Council and Health Canada in order to obtain an interim certification order to meet the US standard.

Canada is apparently nearly self-sufficient in PPE now, according to the PM. But that doesn’t answer the question about why we were so unprepared at the beginning of the pandemic. Following the SARS outbreak two decades ago, Dr. Teresa Tam, currently Canada’s chief public health officer, authored the Canadian manual on pandemics. That included a call for a 16 week stockpile of personal protection equipment (PPE) in order to cover potentially two waves of a pandemic in this country.

But over the years, and over the last two governments, the stockpile had diminished. Then, in early February last year, the health minister shipped the last 16 tonnes of PPE to China to help them with their COVID fight. The government obviously believed the risk of an outbreak here was minimal. And for that reason neither did they initially close the border to prevent travellers from China and elsewhere bringing the virus with them.

And then a month or so later our hospitals were becoming overwhelmed and long term care was in such a mess that the army had to be called in. And, of course, the PPE we all needed was in critically short supply. Our traditional supply from the US had been blocked by Donald Trump. The hapless bureaucracy at Health Canada ignored offers by companies like Honeywell to send us masks from their factory in Mexico. And shipments from China had to be discarded as unsafe.

So health care workers re-used their disposable masks, and made their own cloth ones, or got sick, and possibly infected even more people in the community. And Dr. Tam shamelessly delivered a barrage of mixed messages about masks, including her initial comments that people were safer without one, as health officials everywhere debated what should have been obvious.

PPE graphic

The Atlanta based Centre for Disease Control provides information and specifications for PPE.

And unfortunately it wasn’t just about PPE. Canada’s entire record on this epidemic is abysmal. Whether it’s the federal government failing to secure our borders from day one or the provincial premiers lessening restrictions too soon. And now the question is whether these jurisdictions can get us vaccinated before another variant shows up and possibly renders the vaccine irrelevant.

Australia has announced that they will be manufacturing their own AstraZeneca vaccine and therefore have more control over its supply than we do. Of course, the Aussies, with near zero COVID transmission, don’t have to be in a hurry. Still, at least we Canadians now have affordable Canadian-made face masks. And if we used them we should be able to protect ourselves and our children, at least until the vaccines do arrive and get jabbed into our arms.

Vitacore mask prod line

Face masks coming off the Vitacore production line.

Vitacore has already moved forward to develop an even more efficient n99 mask and is anticipating the potential export of their products. The company is also embarking on a timely recycling program for used/soiled PPE in cooperation with McMaster University. They are setting up drop-off stations in Vancouver and will be sanitizing and palletizing the material for reuse in road building.

And another silver lining when we consider all the money the governments have been spilling, is that Vitacore has not needed federal or provincial subsidies to make their business model work. I wonder whether Vitacore president Mikhail Moore has ever thought about running for public office. We certainly could use some of those leadership skills.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers, born in Ontario earned an economics degree at the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s degree in economics at the University of Ottawa.  His 25 year stint with the federal government included time with Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, Agriculture and the Post office.  Rivers is active in his community; has run for municipal and provincial office.


Background links:

Vitacore –     PPE for China –    Canada’s PPE

Turning Down Masks –    Government Mess –    Standards

Nearly Self-Sufficient –    Canada’s Plan


CAN95 Respirator – Health Canada Authorized – 30 Units/Box

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Public school board trustees gearing up to choose the next Director of Education

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

February 16th, 2021



Sometime between now and the end of August the Halton District School Board trustees are expected to decide on who the next Director of Education will be.

Stuart Miller H&S

Stuart Miller, current Director of Education, to retire in August.

Stuart Miller has served as the Director for the past five years. He submitted his resignation to the Board late last year.

Every member of the Board of Trustees will serve on the Selection Committee where the objective is to reach a consensus.

There are at least two of the current roster of Superintendents, (both female) that are certainly qualified.

Miller in a huddle with Grebenc

Grebenc, (left) and Miller have worked well together

Consultants are being brought in to guide and direct the trustees through the process.

Board Chair Andrea Grebenc will Chair the Selection Committee, the vice chair of the Board Tracey, Ehl Harrison, will serve as vice chair.

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Where are the best online gambling bonus sites

sportsgreen 100x100By Matt Jones.

February 16th, 2021



How to find the best online bonuses for Canadian casinos

With more online casinos than ever opening in recent years – the total number of online sites now numbers in the many thousands – this space has become incredibly competitive. In fact, if recent industry reports are anything to go by, the global online gambling market is expected to reach a staggering $127 billion by 2027!

Much of this competition centers around the need for online casinos to not only attract new customers to their platform but to keep them playing there in the long run.

But with so many options available to both new and old players, this is no easy task!

Online casino Canada

There are reliable online casinos that cater to the Canadian market.

One of the most popular methods online casinos use to ensure they can attract new players to their platform is to lure them with enticing welcome bonuses. These come in many different shapes and forms, but the end result is much the same; they provide you with a little bit of an incentive in the hope that you will keep on playing with them.

With so many online casinos out there these days, there is understandably a huge variety when it comes to what kinds of bonuses are available. Although choice is always a good thing for consumers, an unfortunate consequence of having so many options is that it can become quite difficult to choose a casino to play with. For newer players in particular, this can sometimes be a daunting task – and this time of year often sees an influx of new and inexperienced players. People who are searching for some indoor leisure activities to wait out the usual heavy snowfall in February.

But what are some of the main things we need to keep in mind when looking for a new online casino platform to start playing with, and how can we identify and take advantage of the best casino bonuses on offer?

Know your bonuses

Before you start trawling through pages of Google search results looking for the best bonus out there, you first need to understand the different types of casino bonuses that are offered by online casinos.

Not all casino bonuses are created equal and there is significant diversity in terms of who can avail of them, how easy they are to use and how lucrative they might be.

Generally speaking, the main types of bonuses that online casinos will offer you are cash bonuses, deposit bonuses and free game bonuses.

As you might have guessed, cash bonuses typically involve the online casino in question giving you an amount of money, credited to your account, simply for opening an account with them. You will usually be able to use this on any game type you like, unless they specify that it can only be used on certain games. Similarly, a deposit bonus involves the casino giving you a certain percentage of any deposits you make to the platform, as a bonus. This will usually have some wagering conditions attached to it that you have to hit before you can withdraw any funds you win using the deposit bonus. You will generally be able to use deposit bonus funds on any game, with the bonus credited straight to your account once you meet the initial requirements. In contrast, the free game or free spin bonuses are limited to specific games and will, once again, be subject to wagering requirements.

Of these, the deposit bonuses tend to be the most lucrative, as online casinos will typically offer you a full match, up to a specific amount, on your initial deposit. Unfortunately, however, deposit bonuses are usually only available to new users signing up for the first time, which limits their availability for more seasoned players.

How to find the best online casinos?

As mentioned earlier, the huge number of online casinos bursting onto the scene in recent years has made it a difficult space for individual users to navigate. When a simple Google search can potentially yield millions of results, finding the right online casino to use can often be a discouraging task.

According to the trusted Canadian casino portal, however, this is exactly where their services come to the rescue. Using a review aggregator portal such as SuperLenny allows you to compare and contrast a wide variety of online casinos in one centralized location, without the need to trawl through pages and pages of search results.

bonus gambling graphic

The main types of bonuses that online casinos will offer you are cash bonuses, deposit bonuses and free game bonuses. Read the rules carefully and understand your limits.

This means you can spend less time searching the darkest reaches of the internet looking for the best possible deal, and more time doing what you love – settling in for an exciting online casino gaming session! It also has the benefit of allowing you to directly compare the type of bonus offered, without the need to navigate directly to the website in question.

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Budget time for the Public School Board

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 16th, 2021



The schools may not have been as open as parents would have liked but the bills still have to be paid – which means putting together a budget.

Getting that job done is going to be a challenge for both the Staff and the trustees. Doing things virtual is not fun – ask any classroom teacher.

Have your say logo HDSBHalton District School Board values input from parents/guardians, members of the community, staff and students concerning the development of the 2021-2022 budget.

Individuals are encouraged to provide input on budget priorities for the upcoming school year online – a questionnaire can be found on the Halton District School Board’s website at Input must be received by March 5, 2021.

Before providing input, individuals are encouraged to review the Board’s Multi-Year Plan 2020-2024,

Special Education Plan and Operational Plan. A key objective of the annual budget process is to align the Halton District School Board’s financial resources with these important documents.

Community members are also able to delegate to the Board of Trustees. Please follow the Delegation
By-law posted on the Halton District School Board website (found under the ‘Our Board’ tab).

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Here is what your city is all about.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

February 16th, 2021



We have had a lot to say about the Burlington Food Bank – as publishers it is one of those stories that just doesn’t stop giving.
Sometime it’s same old, same old – people collecting food to help out but from time to time there is a twist.

Food Bank - PalmerJulie & James Neal along with their son Emmett and friends, Jamie Kozub from the Burlington Dads and TJ Tobin worked the Palmer – Tansley community.

There was one of the rather nice short videos – never more than two minutes – done by Scot Cameron that celebrated the more than $7,500 that was collected.

The Neal’s started a bottle drive 4 weekends ago and after the first weekend, they had raised $733. Soon afterwards they began sharing the event on social media, going door to door in the neighbourhood with flyers, and then some friends started to help out.

Barra Fion and Gator Teds then lent their cube van to the bottle drive when they realized the team were going back n forth so often with their empties.

Julie posted results to date and other media helped out with some promotion. They ended up with $4,000 in the last weekend adding to a grand total of 2,070 lbs of food along with $8,015 from bottle returns/donations.

In Julie’s words, this event brought a full community together, Palmer-Tansley Woods, to make it happen.

The really beautiful part was the last couple of seconds of the video – a hand reach is from the left side of the screen.

Take a look. The Video

That’s what your city is really all about.

“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 live in Burlington, we are here to help. Don’t struggle – give us a call.”


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Ontario Working with Municipal Partners to Improve Social Assistance

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 16th, 2021



The new provincial plan will ensure people are getting the right supports at the right time.

In an announcement last week the province said it is now “working with its municipal partners to better connect people to the supports they need as the next step in the province’s plan to modernize the delivery of social assistance. As part of its plan, frontline workers will have more time to focus on connecting clients with supports such as job-readiness programs, housing, childcare, skills training, and mental health services. At the same time, the province will gradually take on more program administration to make it easier for people to navigate the system.”

casework papersWelfare and social services for Halton are administered at the Regional level, however the impact could be significant.

“Ontario is facing deep economic challenges brought on by COVID-19,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “Our government is taking action by developing a sustainable social assistance program that takes the administrative burden off local front-line workers, so they can spend more time helping their clients connect to community supports that will get them ready for jobs.”

“As part of the Recovery and Renewal Plan announced last fall, the province worked with municipalities to design a Vision for Social Assistance Transformation to ensure people are getting the right supports at the right time so they can re-enter the workforce. The vision outlines plans for a new social assistance delivery model that allows frontline workers to focus on results for people rather than paperwork. Based on a 2018 study, caseworkers spent approximately a quarter of their day – about 400 hours a year – filing and organizing paperwork.”

Under the new delivery model:

• The province will focus on overseeing social assistance applications and payments making it quick and easy for people to access the system while safeguarding program integrity. Currently, 47 agencies at the municipal/District Social Services Administration Board level co-fund and manage delivery of social assistance in Ontario.

• Municipal partners will use their expertise to deliver person-centred casework and knowledge of local supports to help people get back to work and access supports to stabilize their lives such as housing and health care.
In acknowledgement of the unique needs and priorities of First Nations communities, the Ontario government will continue working with First Nations partners towards a separate plan to renew social assistance for First Nations communities.

“Ontario finds itself at a significant crossroad,” said Minister Smith. “We must continue our work to renew the social assistance system during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the province’s economic recovery and helping the people of Ontario find financial independence and stability. Our plan for a transformed social assistance system will help us achieve that.”

Work on social assistance reform is already underway and will be phased in over the next several years. The province continues to build on this work which includes centralized intake and prototyping a streamlined applications process to continue to free up staff time so they can focus on client support.

Sounds great in principle – let’s see how the Regions react to the program.

Right now the Regions are up to their ears coping with a massive vaccination program that has been plagued with delivery problems.


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Out of lock down and into a snow day - nothing moves

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

February 16th, 2021



The irony of it all.

The province puts everyone in a lock down mode – restaurants are closed – no place to go – nothing to do but get out for long walks.

The lockdown gets lifted – and then the snow begins to fall and it keeps falling.

snow plows

Traffic will move on the major highways – getting out of the driveway will be the challenge

The only thing one can do is find the shovel and begin moving the stuff.

snow on bench

No picnic today

There is an upside – today is also Shrove Tuesday, a Christian celebration marking 40 days before Lent.  The day is celebrated by serving pancakes.

Probably the best thing you can do today – pancakes, maple syrup and butter – with 15 cm + of snow.

About as Canadian as you are going to get today.

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Is it time to at least think about looking for a different Prime Minister ?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

February 15th, 2021



We are for the most part proud of the country we live in. Most of us were born here, many chose to come and many were invited to be here.

Think about the War Brides, or the Syrians who arrived at the airport to be greeted by the Prime Minister who was handing out winter coats.

We do not show our pride the way our friends to the South do. We seldom choose to wear a flag but we enjoy the feeling we get when we see those Olympians walking into a stadium bearing that flag.

We are for the most part a tolerant people. We respect the government that leads us and are quick to boot them out when they don’t live up to what we expect of them.

Justin Trudeau handiing out a coat tp Syrians

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau handing out winter coats to families arriving as refugees from Syria

So what to make of the Prime Minister we have? His lineage excited most of us – another Trudeau – that would be nice. Yes, there were and still are many who did not share my view of what Justin Trudeau was going to be able to do.

There are now reasons, too many of them, to ask – what happened.

We are going to get the vaccines we need – the when is the question and where they are going to come from is a huge concern.

It sounded as if every pharmaceutical country in the world had a contract with the government of Canada. We had so much in the way of vaccines in the pipe line that we were deciding who we were going to let have some of the vaccine we wouldn’t need.

COVAX, an organization Canada was part of putting in place a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and others. (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX.)

It was in place as a distributor of the vaccines that would be made available to the third world countries.

Goulds in House defending ranked

Karina Gould as a newly minted Minister for Democratic Institutions defending a decision not to go forward with a different approach to federal elections.

Karina Gould, a Member of Cabinet and currently serving as the International Development Minister was left carrying the ball again as she did her best to explain what COVAX was, the role Canada played in its creation and assuring Canadians that what Canada draws down at this point would be returned when we had a surplus.

Recall that Minister Gould once had to defend not going forward with something other than First Past the Post in future elections.  She had been Minister of Democratic Institutions for less than a month when she has handed that ball.

Now we learn that Canada is going to have to draw down some of the vaccines we need from COVAX. That is so embarrassing.

This gets added to the list of embarrassments that is getting pretty long.

There was that unfortunate trip to India, there was the shameful way MP Jody Wilson Raybould and Jane Phillpot were treated when they showed the courage to stand up for what they believed to be right and got tossed out of Cabinet for it. Turned out they were right as well.

Add to that the need now to find another Governor General because a mistake was made in the failure to fully vet the one we had.

Kevin Sneader McKinsey

Former McKinsey Consulting, Global Managing Partner Kevin Sneader now the Ambassador to China. Another example of poor vetting.

And, the latest, learning that our Ambassador to China was the top man at McKinsey Consulting, Global Managing Partner Kevin Sneader.  The firm that agreed to pay a $6 million fine for advising on how to best sell prescriptions of OxyCodone , the addictive drug that has been the responsible for the death of hundreds of young men and women from over dosing.

What is so galling is that we get told almost every time he speaks that we are going to have all the drugs we need and that everyone will be vaccinated by September.

Are we absolutely certain those vaccines are going to be in the hands of the provinces so that they can pass everything along to the provinces who will in turn get it into the hands of the Public Health Units who will oversee that actual vaccinations.

Did the people in Ottawa who were overseeing the purchasing of the vaccine take the steps needed to ensure that we had the supply we needed. Did they not realize that the vaccines being manufactured less than a half day drive way – in Detroit – were going to go to Americans. Goodness knows that country really really needs all the help it can get to dig themselves out of the hole their then President put them in.

Chrystia Freeland and PM

Chrystia Freeland, currently the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister.

Did someone not ask if there would be problems with the European Union that determines what goes where in Europe?

Was there not a risk analysis done – looking really hard at just what we were up against?

There is going to be a federal election soon. Justin Trudeau will look for a time when his image is going to be as good as he can make it and then we will be asked to re-elect him.

The choice for the Liberals is to hold a leadership convention very soon and choose Chrystia Freeland as Prime Minister and have her face the public.

She’s running the country now as it is.

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

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The flow of information on who will get vaccinated when is almost as bad as the rate at which vaccine doses are being delivered

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr,

February 15th, 2021



I learned this morning that sometime soon – which probably means sometime in March, the Priority list that sets out who is going to be vaccinated, and when, is going to be updated and this time will include all those who are over 80 years of age.

bull hornThat caught my attention because I fall into that category.

When do I go to get my needle – don’t know.

Where will I go? – don’t know.

How do I find out – not sure. Spent way too much time wading through the Halton Public Health web site. Lots of information but nothing that relates to my situation.

When I go – what do I need to take with me? I assume my OHIIP card – anything else? Don’t know.

Will I be given something that confirms I have been vaccinated? Hope so – want to put it on a T shirt.

There just has to be a better way to communicate with an anxious public.

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