Burlington Man Proves Slots Can Be a Full-Time Job - Think YouTube

sportsgold 100x100By Mildred Austria

January 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

‘Who says you can’t have fun and earn a living at the same time? Brian Christopher from Burlington, Ontario, proves that it is possible to take gambling to a level that is more enviable than having a lucky streak. From classic to progressive slots, gambling has been more than enjoyable for the 39-year-old gambling enthusiast.

PAID Burl man at progressiveChristopher is not making money directly from winning at slot machines, although he occasionally earns some from them. He is having slots as his “full-time job” by being a YouTube who plays slots. He is now one of the leading YouTubers who specialize in videos about wagering.

Christopher did not plan any of his YouTube fame and money-making. It was in April 2016 when he posted his first ever video on the video sharing platform. He thought only his family and friends would consider giving his video the views. However, in around a month after posting his first video, he noticed his followers were growing rapidly. This led to him getting an invite to be part of YouTube’s partner program, allowing him to monetize the content he posts.

He said he decided he would record some of the instances he was enjoying slots after seeing others doing the same. It would be fun, he thought, and he was not seriously considering giving it a lot of effort. It was just about him filming for fun.

After seeing the growth of his channel and making money out of the videos he used to post without any thought of monetization, Christopher decided to make it his full-time job. He eventually planned trips to casinos where he can create his unique content. He also thought of posting videos daily since nobody playing slots was doing it at that pace.

Christopher thinks that his channel grew further because of the frequency he was posting videos. He was not doing something that is in a very narrow niche. It’s not the same as the content produced by many of the top YouTubers around. However, he managed to attract regular viewers of his videos because he was doing it daily, so he had something new to offer to his subscribers every time they visit his channel.

In an interview with The Star, the successful YouTuber expressed elation over doing something he enjoys. He said being a gaming-focused YouTuber is so much fun. He unapologetic ally professed his fondness for gambling and his desire to entertain people, two things he is able to do and make money from by being a YouTube video blogger.

On average, YouTuber content creators earn in the range of $3 to $5 for every 1,000 views their videos get. A single video with a million views in a month can already generate a hefty amount to pay for living expenses.

Christopher’s channel averages 207,000 views per day. Many of his videos are already above the 1 million view mark. As of January 6, 2021, his channel has already accumulated more than 201 million views and 314,000 subscribers.

Mildred Austria tracks and analyzes the any ways social media is used by several sectors.

Return to the Front page

Demonstrators want the Fearman pork processing plant closed during the lockdown

News 100 greenBy Staff

January 8th. 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A group of people who object to the slaughter of pigs at the Fearman plant in Burlington have shifted their focus just a bit and want to see the slaughterhouse shut down because they believe there are a number of people working in the plant who have become infected with the Covid19 virus.  They are demonstrating outside the plant

Their information, which could not be confirmed, was that 29 workers at the Fearman plant have become infected.

A 150 year old corporation that plays a significant role in the Burlington economy. Should a slughterhiuse be in this location?

A 150 year old corporation that plays a significant role in the Burlington economy is part of the Sofina Group that is close to the largest pork producer in Canada. 

The Public Health Unit reports on the number of new infections but they don’t break that data out with enough detail to know if there have been infections at the plant.

Fearman’s is a very large employer operating a plant that is said to process 10,000 pigs each day.

The torontopigsave group has organized a small demonst5ation at the plant that started at just after 9:30 am.

Trevor Miller told the Gazette that the small number of demonstrators (there are just five) was done for two reasons – they didn’t want their people to create a crowd that could spread the virus and they wanted to ensure that there was not a repeat of the Regan Russell tragedy.

Regan Russell save the pigs

Regan Russell, was run over by a truck transporting pigs into the Fearman plant last June

Ms Russell was run over by a transport truck that was getting ready to enter the plant  on June 19th, this year when the accident took place.

The demonstrators are asking why the business is continuing to operate during the lockdown while elsewhere in Canada and worldwide similar facilities are shut down to slow infections. Two days ago the City of Toronto released a report condemning the company for posing a significant risk to public health.

pigs - watered - girls

Save the pigs activist watering pigs in a transport truck while it was stopped at an intersection just before entering the slaughterhouse.

“There’s no reason to put the lives of slaughterhouse workers and their communities in harm’s way to produce non-essential products,” says Trevor Miller with Toronto Pig Save. “The 10,000 pigs who lose their lives there every day, along with the employees now contributing to overloaded hospitals and ICUs, deserve to be treated with the same privileges as granted to white-collar workers throughout this pandemic – the chance for healthy lives.

“Many employed in this industry are themselves members of vulnerable and marginalized populations and have found themselves forced into unsafe work spaces.”

Return to the Front page

Festival Lights Might be on for a Bit Longer - Smart Idea

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 7th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Will the lights be on forever?

Lights festival BTTBWell maybe not forever – but there are reported to be lighting the evening skies until the end of the month with a number of people wanting to see them on until March.

One of our sources said he “posted a mention on two Facebook pages and in less than 24 hours got 200 likes.”

The lights have been a festival season feature for more than 25 years.

Given the mood of the city and the oppressive feelings keeping the lights on would be nice.

Return to the Front page

Body Positive - a Different Way of Looking at What Woman Look Like

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 6th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At the beginning of a year people make resolutions.

Losing weight is one that is at the top of many resolution lists.

We care about the way we look.

Some people care much more than others and go to great lengths to change their natural appearance

Emily Lauren Dick, Burlington author, graduated from Wilfred Laurier University where her focus was on Women’s Studies. She began to learn about the intense focus on what women should look like.

The fashion world set the tone, the media picks it up and men were persuaded that THIS is what an attractive woman looks like.

Billions of dollars were poured into the marketing of what women had to look like – the pressure on young women – girls actually, is intense.

For many young people it was not a pretty picture.

Anorexia was prevalent as early as the middle years of school.

Body book cover Dyck

Interviews with 75 women about what they look like and what, if anything, they want to do about it.

Emily’s book, Body Positive,  is made up of a lot of pictures and interviews she did with more than 75 women who came in all shapes and sizes.

It’s not easy being a girl today. We live in a culture in which Average Girls feel bad about themselves for being unable to achieve society’s ideal standards of beauty. The media makes it nearly impossible for girls to develop a positive body image. Many of you may feel alone in your struggle with your body image. But you should know that your experience is . . . well, average.

Some of the quotes from the interviews actually hurt:

“The media pressures girls of all ages to be perfect and cool-looking, from having the newest Barbie when they’re young to having the perfect everything when they [are] elementary-school age and older. It’s ridiculous because people get teased . . . about their appearance— not even their personality, but their appearance—and it’s so hard not to get wrapped into it. People usually do. I know I do.”
—Madeleine

“The media is the biggest reason for my being anorexic.”
—Alli

“Perfect skin, long eyelashes, big eyes, pink lips . . . I don’t know, I just think it’s pretty. That’s always shown in films and in magazines and stuff. I just love the look I can’t do. I’m just ugly, and I can’t be [bothered] to do makeup—don’t have much money for makeup anyway.”

The book tends to focus on younger women – because Emily feels that is where the most help is needed. “This is the age most impacted by anorexia”, she said.

The objective is to teach people to be who they are and that who they really are is perfectly alright.

This is a book you work with – the pictures themselves say a lot about different sizes and shapes – it is the comments and the questions that are out to readers that makes it worth the time and effort for those who question what they look like and go to some length to change that look.

You can order online anywhere that sells books – specifically Amazon Canada, Chapters Indigo, Amazon US, Bookshop, Indiebound, Books-A-Million, Barnes and Noble, Workman!

Return to the Front page

CondoGuide Available from Province - Best Information Source for Condo Buyers

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 6, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Buying a house is something most people know a little bit about.

The Baxter was a very successful condo development; seen as a prime location and an attractive building to boot. The proposed structure for Brock and Elgin is anything but attractive if the drawings are any indication of what they want to build.

The Baxter was a very successful condo development; seen as a prime location and an attractive building. 

Not the same with a condominium. The rules are a little different for the condo world.

The province has released a CondoGuide that sets out just what the buying process is and what you need to know. The Guide was developed by the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) and approved by the Minister as a helpful resource for the buyers of residential pre-construction/new condo units.

Realtors are required to give you a copy of that guide and to allow a ten day cooling off period once the paper work is completed.
The Condo Guide equips prospective buyers of residential pre-construction/new or resale condo units with information on condo ownership and the condo purchase process.

It also contains various topics including moving into a residential pre-construction/new condo unit, condo living, and how condo owners can resolve issues.

Although the Condo Guide is primarily written for condo buyers, if you have recently purchased a unit, or even if you are a long-time condo owner, the Condo Guide may also be of interest to you as it covers many topics relevant to condo ownership.

You can access a copy of the CondoGuide HERE

Return to the Front page

Seventy units proposed for a small lot in the Dundas Appleby area. Public meeting #2 - virtual

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 6th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is a smallish development put forward by one of the premier developers in the city.

The application is under review.

Second community meeting to take place virtually Thursday evening.

Zoom coordinates are:

Webinar ID: 944 0610 6407
Passcode: 917193

Turnberry - rendering of structures

Rendering of what the development would look like when completed.

The purpose of the second public meeting is to present and discuss the latest revisions to the proposed residential development at 2273 Turnberry Road. Since the last meeting with the community in March 2020, Branthaven have been working with City of Burlington staff to refine the concept for the property to address a number of the comments heard from the residents as well as municipal and other agency comments.

The original plan has been resubmitted to the City after substantial discussions with staff, and has been included on the Committee of Adjustment agenda for January 20, 2021.

Turnberry site

The site is currently a vacant lot. Proposed configuration appears to be the same as the houses to the right.

Turnberry - site plan

Quite tight.

It’s currently a vacant lot, fronting onto Appleby Line, backs onto Turnberry Road, and abuts Taywood Drive to the north, and a Private Condo Road to the south.

Proposed 70 townhouse units.
Overall heights include 2- and 3-storey units, with basements.
18 visitor parking, including one Type-A Barrier-Free space.
Zoned: RM3-104 – Townhomes permitted use under current Zoning By-Law.
Land Use Designation: Residential – Medium Density.

Not that much in the way of information on what took place at the March meeting. Unusual for a development to be before the Committee of Adjustment and the Planning department at the same time.

Return to the Front page

Tell me about Burlington – Part 2

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 6th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

“So you live in Burlington” you were asked. Nice place? As a city does it work?”

Tell me more about what the civic administration is like.

Burlington wants a Stage 2 designation.

Burlington looking west.

Well, you might answer – Elections in Burlington can and have made a difference.

The 2010 election brought Rick Goldring in as the Mayor – that got rid of Cam Jackson who wasn’t a bad Mayor – people didn’t like his style and Goldring was a nice guy, responsible and respected. He didn’t have a vision when he began to wear the chain of Office; he wasn’t Cam and that was what mattered.

He didn’t do anything wrong nor did he do anything.

Marianne Meed Ward was just a citizen when this picture was taken - now she is on the other side of the podium, sitting as a Council member. Should make for greay political theatre when the Medicca One zoning matter comes before committee.

Marianne Meed Ward was just a citizen when this picture was taken – she of course went on to become a Councillor and then Mayor.

His eight years as Mayor was all the time Marianne Meed Ward, then a Councillor for ward 2,  needed to position herself for a job she aspired to from the day that she ran against Rick Craven in Ward 1 in 2006.

The day after the 2018 election Rick Goldring was still trying to figure out why he lost.

Meed Ward had a clear objective: she was going to change the way development was done in the city.

She had made numerous much needed changes as a City Councillor and she was really sure that she had the job in the bag.

The City Manager, who Meed Ward fired the day after the was sworn in, is reported to have said to a person who worked at city hall that, if Meed Ward won he was “toast”.

At the final meeting of the 2014-18 council Meed Ward showed just what she was going to be able to achieve.  Using a “point of personal privilege” she ripped into comments that were made by defeated members of Council, saying that this kind of behavior would not be tolerated.

She set out to take the steps needed to get an Official Plan the city badly needed.

It’s not a perfect plan but it is a very good plan that puts in place the tools the city needs to shift where the development takes place.

The developers would have preferred to be able to continue putting up structures that have begun to reach the 30 storey level but they will build wherever they can build.

Burlington is a great market to develop in. The fact that the province is pushing to increase the rate at which the population grows has helped the developers. Their dream is to be able to eventually build north of Dundas and Hwy 407.

Few fully understand what Meed Ward has been able to achieve. In two years she has changed everything at the development level and at the same time given the developers areas within the city that they can build in.

Football

That football shaped area, lower right, was always ripe for development. Once some land assembly was completed development proposals rolled in with heights well above 20 storeys.

The downtown core will have a number of high rise buildings. Will Meed Ward manage to save the “football” – it is going to be a challenge, there are major major dollars that have been invested and those kinds of dollars have a voice.

SaveOurWaterfront- Meed ward

The water front was a focus point for Mayor Meed Ward when she first ran for the ward 2 seat.

Way back in the beginning of the Meed Ward run for the Office of Mayor the waterfront was her focus – never forget that.

The Planning department that she has always wanted is beginning to come together. She has a City Manager with whom she works well.

The Official Plan should make it through the appeal stage because it is a good plan that a mayor made happen.  Sure she had a Council that was compliant – five of the seven were so new they had to learn how to be Councillors and leave the heavy lifting to the Mayor.

This is part of what Burlington is.

Tell me about Burlington – Part 1

Return to the Front page

Transparency and accountability get walloped by the Clerk's Office

background graphic redBy Pepper Parr

January 5th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It will be a Receive and File report – no action will be taken unless there is a council member who asks for a change.

The purpose of the report in terms of the city’s current focus on its Vision is to:

• Building more citizen engagement, community health and culture
• Deliver customer centric services with a focus on efficiency and technology transformation

The report from the Clerk’s Office states that: “Accountability and transparency are key drivers in the Clerks Department. In working towards greater transparency there are small initiatives that have been completed during 2020 with respect to Council meetings.

“As these items touch upon how Council business is conducted, an information report has been provided to apprise Council and the public. The enhancements to accountability and transparency focus on the following areas:

Staff Directions – new public reporting process, with dates assigned to all deliverables.
• Declarations of Interest – creation of an online register.
• Increasing Clerks Department open data sets.

The Gazette will be doing an article on each of the three and will start with the approach the city is taking to the matter of declarations of pecuniary interests.

Galbraith slight smile

Councillor Galbraith is consistent in declaring his conflicts however we have not heard him say that he sent a notice to the Clerk.

The City is required by the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to maintain a publicly available registry of all declarations of pecuniary interest made by members. The registry must include the original written declaration provided by the member of Council. At present, the City of Burlington maintains a register, however it is not posted publicly and is only available upon request.

That the city has basically hidden the public information on declarations of pecuniary interest and in the process appear to have defined their view of transparency and accountability.

The Council of 2010 and 2014 liked it that way, particularly the member for ward 4 at the time.

“The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, members of Council and local boards to declare any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in relation to a matter under consideration. A pecuniary interest relating to a matter is one where there is a reasonable likelihood or expectation of financial loss or gain by the member or related persons as defined in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

“The onus to declare a pecuniary interest rests with the member, and there is time dedicated for these declarations on every meeting agenda. Members must complete a written statement of pecuniary interest and submit it to the Clerk. All declarations of pecuniary interest are recorded in the meeting minutes.

Enhancements Planned
“Staff have made enhancements to the declarations of pecuniary interest process to improve customer service, ensure greater accountability and transparency and comply with legislation.

“Currently the statement form is a word document that must be printed and completed or completed electronically and emailed to the Clerk. Moving forward the statement form will be automated and made available through the City’s website as an online form.

“Completed forms will be sent directly to the Clerk, reducing time delays and manual intervention. Conflicts will be filed in the City’s agenda management system and will be publicly available following each meeting in a conflicts registry, available to the public by way of the City’s website, will improve customer service and public access to the information.”

We all know how easy it is to find what you are looking for on the city’s web site.

“The new process is expected to be implemented in January. Further communication of the process will be provided to members of Council and local boards. Previous declarations made from the beginning of the term will be reflected in the registry.”

Will there be an announcement when the Registry is up and running? Don’t hold your breath waiting for that one.

Kevin Arjoon

Kevin Arjoon City Clerk

Kevin Arjoon, City Clerk said: “Accountability and transparency are key drivers in the Clerks Department. In working towards greater transparency some smaller initiatives were completed in 2020. As they are associated with Council and the meeting process, staff have provided a report to inform Council and the public of the program changes.”

What’s missing in the Clerk’s department is a passion for really serving the needs and interests of the public. Does the phrase: “How can I help you”, ever pass over their lips.?

Return to the Front page

Online Payments Currently Unavailable

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 5th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Online payments for the services listed below are currently unavailable:

Parking Ticket Payment
• Parking Permit Renewal
• Dog License Applications/Renewals
• Freedom of Information Requests
• Property Information Requests
• Business License Renewal.

Return to the Front page

How did a three story building with a classic look end up being a squat ugly two story hair salon

background graphic redBy Pepper Parr

January 5th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Alan Harrington is a bit of a history nut. He has spent a lot of his spare time with the Historical Society and decided recently that he wanted to tell more of the Burlington story.

He chose a building many walk by if we are heading to Spencer Smith Park

He tell us that: “Viewers of CHCH television Evening News are informed at the end of each broadcast ,that the anchor gets “her hair done in Burlington at the corner of Lakeshore & John”.

“Often that is the ONLY mention Burlington gets on CHCH out of Hamilton. But, what building is at the corner of Lakeshore & John? – and how old is it?

Waldie himself

John Waldie, former Reeve of Burlington when it was a town, a member of the federal Parliament at a time when Sir John A McDonald was Prime Minister.

“The original store was built by W. Bunton in early 1830 and bought by John Waldie in 1847.

“Waldie was one of Burlington’s greatest entrepreneurs and benefactors. He was Reeve of Burlington for five years, and sat as a Liberal for Halton in the Dominion Parliament from 1887 to 1891.

“Waldie rebuilt the building in 1860 / 1865 to become his General Store which sold “everything”; probably in order to supply needs for his thirteen children.

Waldie store

The location when it was the Waldie General Store.

J Waldie & Co. General Store below featuring distinctive three second storey windows in this drawing from 1877.

After prohibition ended in 1927, the Brewers Retail (Beer Store) began operations and the building was opened as a Brewers Retail store.

Evolution continued in 1960 when the building became Burlington Motors.

When it was insurance

A fire resulted in the top floor being taken off – how often does an insurance company office file an insurance claim?

In 1966 it was renovated again to serve as three retail outlets and then changed further in 1973 with new tenants and new windows being installed as insurance against inclement weather.

Times have changed and now the building is shown as it is today as a hair salon.

Why did it go from three storeys down to just two? Did they want “a little off the top” ?

Actually a fire in 1973 resulted in the destruction of the upper floor while CAIG Insurance was its occupant.

Current look

Corner of John and Lakeshore today. Property is one of the Molinaro holdings.

 

 

 

Alan Harrington, when he was President of the Historical Society with then Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward checking out an historical marker on the waterfront.

Return to the Front page

The expensive field unit at Joseph Brant will begin taking in COVID-19 patients this week

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 4th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We fully expected that expensive tent put in place between the parking garage and the hospital would eventually be used.  While expensive – the construction was a prudent move.

Plans were announced by the Joseph Brant hospital today to open the Regional Pandemic Response Unit to provide space for COVID-19 patients from the Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Norfolk, Brant and Burlington (HNHBB) region.

field hospital - installed April

Building the unit was a prudent if expensive decision. How well the public follows the lock-down rules will determine how much use it gets. This is as serious as it gets.

This week, hospitals will begin identifying and working with patients who have progressed in their care and could receive care in the PRU, a state-of-the-art, all-season field hospital located on JBH grounds.

Hospitals have had to cancel elective surgery and focus on the pressure created by the number of people infected by the virus and needing a higher level of care.

The infection levels are hovering at the 3000 new infections daily – with the number of deaths rising as well.

“The Pandemic Response Unit was built to care for COVID-19 patients whose condition has stabilized but require support that cannot be provided at home, such as oxygen therapy and medication, as well as ongoing monitoring of their symptoms and some personal support,” says Dr. Ian Preyra, Chief of Staff at Joseph Brant Hospital.

“Transitioning these individuals to the PRU allows them to complete their recovery in an inpatient unit that is specifically designed to provide the type of care they need.”

The healthcare teams working in the PRU comprise of physicians, nurses, patient care assistants, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, home and community care coordinators.

field hospital - long look

The space will have everything needed to comfort patients who will be very very sick people when they get to this point.

The PRU is a key component of a regional strategy developed by HNHBB hospitals to meet the rising demand for COVID-19 care during Wave 2, while helping to minimize potential disruptions to scheduled and community care. The strategy is being led by the HNHBB Hospital Incident Management Structure (IMS) team, which includes representation from all regional hospitals, including CEOs and clinical leadership.

Under the plan, the PRU serves as a regional resource that can receive patients from four hospitals that are providing acute COVID-19 care: Joseph Brant Hospital, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton Health Sciences (Hamilton General Hospital) and Niagara Health. Any transfers will be determined based on care needs and in consultation with patients and their families.

“Our healthcare system is being stretched to its limits,” says Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences and IMS co-chair and a former Burlington Mayor. “Opening the Pandemic Response Unit is a necessary step in our continued efforts to preserve critical hospital capacity for the sickest patients. All of the region’s hospitals are working closely together to ensure that care can be delivered safely with limited disruption to patients.”

JBMH president Eric Vandewall is reported to be working on his schedule and aking tme to meet with the city. Dinner with senior city staff was a good start.

JBH president and CEO Eric Vandewall brought the building of the PRU ahead of schedule – he realized immediately that the city would at some point in the future need the facility.

JBH’s Infection Prevention and Control team was closely involved in the design of the PRU, leveraging current research and best practices in the care of COVID-19 patients. Its features include a filtered, negative pressure ventilation system, allowing for treatments that may generate aerosols to be safely performed. It also has durable, easy-to-disinfect surfaces, as well as other features to provide a comfortable environment for patients, such as natural light, portable laptop tables and free WiFi to connect with their loved ones during their stay.

The 16,000-square foot structure was constructed in April 2020, after the Ontario government requested that hospitals implement capacity plans at their sites. It was built as a collaboration amongst Joseph Brant Hospital, community-based health care providers, the City of Burlington, and Halton Region.

Return to the Front page

Capital budget goes before Council next week - looking for approval to spend $72 million +

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

January 4TH, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We learn next week how city council wants to handle the budget request for $13,306,000 in Capital spending.

That covers the cost of roads, buildings and the spaces used to run the city.

The budget breaks this amount into three parts.

New/Enhanced facilities – $566 million

Infrastructure renewal – $12,684,000

Growth – $56 million

In the graphic below the city’s finance department also sets out what they expect to be require in the way of Capital Spending through to 2030 INSERT GRAPHIC FROM PAGE 27

Capital budget 2021 + summary

The bottom three entries for each year set out the category of spending falls under.

The Capital spending the city does has to be put in context. The forces driving the expenditures and the requirements of the Municipal Act.

The city put a 25 year Strategic Plan in place in 2015. Council working with Staff created what they call V2F – Vision to Focus which boils down to which parts of the Strategic Plan this council will focus on.

Five focus areas were created:

1: Increasing Economic prosperity
2: Improving Integrated City |Mobility
3: Supporting Sustainable Infrastructure
4: Building more citizen engagement
5: Delivering Customer Centric Services

The 2021 budget process began with a Budget Framework Report. This was presented to Council for consideration and
approval in September 2020, after which staff began the preparation of the budget.

process followed for capital

The next step was a comprehensive review of the budget by internal staff teams. The capital budget was reviewed by
the Corporate Infrastructure Committee which is made up of the Asset Category leads and members of the Finance team.

This review ensured the proposed budget was submitted and aligned with the City’s financial policies and that capital
projects were prioritized according to the City’s Asset Management Plan and coordinated across asset categories.

Following the internal staff reviews, the budget was then forwarded to the Leadership Budget Review Team where
it was reviewed from a corporate perspective.

Then Public Engagement.  There are weaknesses on both sides of the engagement issue.  The city has yet to come up with a way to put the information out in a format that truly engages the public.  That is not because they aren’t trying – they just haven’t come up with a way to make the review something that draws the public.

Citizens gather for budget discussions. This meeting involved a number of city firemen who were attentively listened to by Councillor Craven, on the right in the blue shirt.

Citizens gather for budget discussions. This meeting involved a number of city firemen who were attentively listened to by then Councillor Craven, on the right in the blue shirt. There was a time when budget public meetings drew large audiences.

On the other side – few people really care – those that do argue that the decisions have already been made – the public engagement events that take place amount to the city asking questions and looking for approval.

It is interesting to note that the city has numerous Advisory Committees but does not have one related to budget matters.

The City says it is continuously looking for ways to improve and increase transparency for the public. Staff continue to use the City’s website as a communication medium through videos, webcast and online surveys.

The City will be hosting a Virtual Budget Town Hall on Jan. 20, 2021. This event will allow residents, organizations and business owners to learn more about the 2021 budget.

The “Budget Basics” video continues to be available on the website which explains how the City develops its budgets.

In addition, a revised version of Burlington Open Budget, on the City’s website, is available to the public to allow residents to view the 2021 budget data in an intuitive and illustrative form.

Burlingtonians will show up for public meetings and take an active part in any discussion - but they have to be given background briefings and decent oportunity to study and prepare.

Burlingtonians will show up for public meetings and take an active part in any discussion – but they have to be given background briefings and decent oportunity to study and prepare.

Budgets are long, complex documents – far too much to be taken in at one gulp.

The Gazette will follow up with detail on:

Where does the money come from – yes – it all eventually comes from the pockets of the tax payers.

Where are the pinch points?

Specific examples of Capital spending.

Return to the Front page

Mayor celebrates a birthday as she prepares for a New Year

News 100 redBy Staff

January 4th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Meed Ward at BSCI

The birthday girl!

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, back from several days of R&R, steps into city hall and celebrates a birthday.

A year older and probably a year wiser. The last two years have been a wonderful ride for her and the city she now leads.

Her plans for the week we are into are set out below.

Her plans for the month are to tackle the budgets that are now before Council.

Her plans for the year?  Build on what she has achieved and plan for the next election.

That’s less than two years away and while there is no one on the current council who can take the job away from her – one never knows what other interests in the city would like to see her removed.

Were she to slip at all – Councillor Sharman is ready and quite willing to wear that Chain of Office.

MMW Jan 4-10 part 1
mmw JAn 4-10 part 2

Return to the Front page

Tell me about Burlington - part 1

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 4th, 2021,

BURLINGTON, ON

Part 1 of a series

If someone asked you to “tell me all about Burlington” , “what makes the city work”, what would you say?

The Gazette has observed and reported on this city for more than a decade now. Like all media we have watched closely as the city has dealt with the pandemic – in some situations remarkably well and in others less so.

We have watched how the provincial government lost the credibility it once had through the stupid, selfish actions of a few while the vast majority of the people in the province did what they were asked to do.

Dealing with the pandemic on a daily basis has shown the city and its administration for what it is – committed people working under difficult circumstances.

There is legitimate concern for the mental health of those several hundred people who have to work from home juggling their cell phones with their keyboards to meet the demands for information and policy directions.

Today and during the balance of the week we will report on stories that point up how the population and the people who lead them have acted and responded.

Today we want to tell you more about the Burlington Food Bank and the superb job it has done under trying circumstances.

Bailey Food Bank March 31-20

Bailey makes one statement – every day. “If you need help getting the food you need – call us, we are here to help.”

Led by Robin Bailey who serves as Executive Director, and a collection of volunteers who make one statement – every day.  “If you need help getting the food you need – call us, we are here to help.”

Bailey does a short video almost every day highlighting where food is coming from and also what he needs in the way of food to meet the daily need.

The Food Bank has on occasion delivered food to more than 70 homes in a single day.

Margo - thank you

Neighborhood in the city hold a local food drive.

That food comes from a wide variety of sources. A neighborhood in the city will hold a local food drive that has dozens, sometimes hundreds of people dropping off bags of food that is then taken to the Food Bank.

There are dozens of locations around the city that have large bins at which that food is left – every supermarket has one, there are bins at the fire stations, and in the churches.

Bailey has access to funds that he can use to buy items that didn’t get to him through the voluntary food chain.

Bailey works within the eco-system that exists at both the federal and provincial levels where people who are at the front-line level exchange views and share solutions to problems while at the same time keeping tabs on just how big a problem the food banks are in place to handle.

Food bank - three young men

They just show up with large bins or boxes filled with food.

Each day a couple of dozen volunteers show up at the food bank to handle the food that has arrived and put in into the short quarantine that all food gets put in.

It then gets placed on shelves where the people who are putting together the food baskets turn to to make up a food package.

There are drivers who take turns picking up food from the many drop off points as well as delivering the food to those in need.

Bailey, who works with Scot Cameron who produces the daily web cast, gets the message out in a short, direct video that rarely runs more than two minutes.

On an almost daily basis people just show up with large bins or boxes filled with food.

The system works with not a dime from the city or the regional government that is responsible for social welfare.

This is just citizens knowing that there is a need and doing what has to be done to fill that need.

The is part of what Burlington is.

Return to the Front page

What would the fortune cookie predict for 2021?

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 2nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Little did we know how prescient the first page of a section of the Globe and Mail last January 4th would be.

G&M logo

January 4th,, 2020

G&M section 2

Change did indeed come.

 

We can be very surprised by what is around the corner for us.

A good time to think about what this year could bring.

Return to the Front page

Arrest Made After Shooting in Appleby GO Station Parking Lot

Crime 100By Staff

January 2nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police had a major case on their hands New Year’s Day.

appleby-go-station

Shooting took place at the Appleby GO station parking lot.

Report of a shooting in the parking lot of the Appleby GO station some time before 1 p.m. on January 1, had the Halton Regional Police Service tending to an individual who appeared to have been shot in a vehicle in the Appleby GO station parking lot in Burlington.

Police officers had been directed to a woman in a vehicle suffering from head trauma that appeared to be the result of a gunshot. A male suspect was arrested at the scene. The female was transported to hospital, where she is receiving care for serious injuries. A weapon was recovered at the scene.

The male and female are known to each other. No additional suspects are outstanding and there is no ongoing threat to public safety.

For the protection of the privacy of the victim, the suspect will not be named at this time, and no additional details will be provided to media.

CrimeStopper_LogoPolice are appealing for any witnesses who may have observed any suspicious activity at the Appleby GO station between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday, January 1, 2021, or anyone who may have information about this incident, to contact police at 905-825-4777 ext. 8799.

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

Return to the Front page

It is our core values that will get us through 2021 - do we know what those values are?

opinionred 100x100By Pepper Parr

January 1st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

graphic 2021

It is going to be a tough year.

It will be a long haul.

There is of course much hope but there is also a lot to think about.

The way we have failed to take care of those seniors who live in long term care facilities is shameful. The lady in my life said this morning that it must be terrible for an older person who “has all their marbles” to sit in their room realizing that there aren’t enough people to really take care of them.

Lurking behind this is the fact that demographically there is a huge wave of people who will find themselves in long term care facilities who should be asking if they are going to be taken care of.

The look of their “sunset years” has been painted out for them – it is not a pretty picture.

The vaccines are now being produced and people are being vaccinated – why there isn’t more assurance as to when the needle will be put in their arm is disturbing.

The eve of the New Year has traditionally been a time to celebrate and look forward to great things ahead.

This year our thoughts may well be asking how we are going to get through what we are experiencing and perhaps looking more closely at our core values.

Reading that the Ontario Minister of Finance slipped out of the country to enjoy a vacation and basically lied to the public about where he was, and the Premier seems to have covered for him, points out just how big the divide is between the haves and the have-nots.

Rod Phillips is the Minister who is responsible for the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee – the one that is going to get the provincial economy back on track; his ‘follows his own rules’ attitude doesn’t leave us with a surge of confidence.

There are more questions than answers at this point. The challenge for us is to find the core values that make us the people we are and then to ensure that they prevail.

Return to the Front page

2020 didn't work out all that well. Let's see what we can do in 2021

Now that we are into 2021 let’s figure out how we are going to get through it – safely.

Take care of each other and stay safe.

Happy New Year !

2021 NY graphic

Return to the Front page

Has the postal service forgotten to report the Covid infections ?

News 100 redBy Staff

December 31st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

UPDATE:  Eight people are isolated,  one confirmed infection in Burlington.   Parcel service and letter mail started coming in again today  with reduced volumes.  

Reports of problems at the Canada Post main depot in Burlington are coming in.

Not able to reach anyone at Canada Post for confirmation but one resident reports there has been no service to his address for four days.

The chaos due to a case of COVID.

Our source, who works at one of the several depots in the city that gets mail from Canada Post for redistribution, reports that:

“Parcels at the depot are backed up several days. We have had limited deliveries since Xmas, which prompted a call by myself to the depot to find out why. I was notified shortly thereafter that one of the delivery personnel, which we have a good idea who it is, is infected. He is young so should recover. He delivers only parcels to our outlet and also other locations from the Burlington depot.

Canada Post vehicle

At least one truck drivers suspected of testing positive.

“According to subsequent conversations with other delivery people, five people are in isolation that work with the one person who has tested positive. To make matters worse one of the delivery guys told me shortly thereafter that there are additional cases in Hamilton. Likely Stoney Creek depot (but I don’t know for sure), which is where most of our letter mail comes from. Since we have not had nearly any letter mail since Xmas that makes sense.

“We have had numerous people coming in to pick up parcels that should have arrived yesterday or today but are still showing in transit since Dec 24. I suspect there will be a significant delay for at least the next week or so.

“Burlington residents should expect limited mail service and parcel deliveries for the next few days.”

A cause for concern.

Return to the Front page

Framework will guide vaccine prioritization - THIS is not what the public needs to hear

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 31st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

I am sure the ethical frame work, released by the province yesterday,  within which the distribution of vaccines will be distributed is important.

Did the public not expect that there would be one in place? This is not what the public wanted  to know.  People want to know when they will be getting their vaccinations.

long term care - meal

Are the long term care residents first?

People understand that the people working the front lines in the hospitals and those in long term care facilities are high, very high on the list.

I would not want to be the one who had to choose which came first.

It is after those two groups that the vast majority of the public fall into.

When does the 90 year old in good heath get vaccinated?

And where will she go for that vaccination?

We read that there is a shortage of nurses who will do the inoculation and that the people making the decisions are calling in retired nurses and students.

We are just doing that NOW?  That is work that should have been done months ago.

There is no rocket science in this.  We have population data and we know how many people can be vaccinated in an hour.  Do the math.

Halton has a very good student immunization rate - 93% of students are immunized.

Where are the young people on the schedule ?

The public understands that it takes time to set things up – the bureaucrats and the medical community have had the time to get this work  – March, April, May, June and July – when they knew there was going to be a second wave, and when it was becoming clear that a vaccine was going to be available.

Being told that the Ontario government has released an Ethical Framework for COVID-19 vaccine distribution which was developed in partnership with the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force to guide further vaccine prioritization and distribution across the province doesn’t quite cut it in terms of keeping a public informed.

long term care workers

Where are the front line workers on the inoculation schedule; the people at risk working for not much more than the minimum wage.

“This ethical framework is a clear demonstration of our commitment to Ontarians to be transparent,” said General Rick Hillier (retired), Chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. “We know that people are eager to get vaccinated and this framework helps ensure that we do it in an ethical, effective and compassionate way.”

“Phase One of Ontario’s three-phase vaccine implementation plan began on December 15, 2020 at two hospital sites, and increased to 17 additional sites the following week, with the delivery of 90,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses. With Health Canada’s recent approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, the province can expect about 50,000 additional doses before the end of the month.”

Couple of questions:  How many phases are there going to be and what are the dimensions of each phase ?

The people leading the program to get us all vaccinated as quickly as possible are not generating much in the way of public confidence.

We can do better than this. And we should be doing better than this.

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.

Return to the Front page