Thordon Bearings, as it celebrates its 110th anniversary this fall

By Staff

November 1st, 2021



Navies, shipowners, shipyards, and organizations have offered the best of birthday wishes to Canada’s Thomson-Gordon Group, the parent company of water-lubricated polymer bearing pioneer Thordon Bearings, as it celebrates its 110th anniversary this fall.

The Thordon team and some of the products they make.

Among several well-wishers, Claude Tremblay, Directorate General Maritime Equipment Program Management National Defence, Royal Canadian Navy, wrote: “Congratulations to Thomson-Gordon Group for 110 years of Canadian innovation and pioneering. We are proud to rely on your top-quality products. At this very moment, Thordon’s bearings are operating on RCN vessels around the world.”

Writing on behalf of Heddle Shipyards, Ted Kirkpatrick, Director of Business Development and Government Relations, said: “Thordon’s reputation for providing innovative and quality marine products as well as rapid field services are a critical part of our ability to serve our client’s needs and minimize vessel downtime. We are proud to work alongside Thordon Bearings and look forward to a bright future of shipbuilding and ship repair.”

Glenn Walters, Vice-President of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), whose first exposure to Thordon products was in the early 90s as an Engineering Officer aboard the submarine HMCS ONONDAGA, was another to send birthday greetings.

Sandy Thomson at the helm.

“I did not appreciate just how much Thordon’s technology has benefitted the maritime industry until I worked on the successful nomination of Sandy Thomson to the SNAME Fellowship in 2017, and the subsequent Elmer A. Sperry Award in 2019. On its 110th anniversary, we wish Thomson-Gordon Group continued success,” wrote Walters.

Reflecting on the company’s long and successful history, George (Sandy) Thomson, Thordon Bearings’ Founder and Innovator, said: “I believe our longevity is directly tied to the quality of both products and people. Both characteristics go hand-in-hand; the kind of people we attract and keep has much to do with their perception of how quality is valued by the company.

“I know that Anna Galoni, our current CEO and my step-daughter shares this passion for excellence and both of us know that many customers are prepared to pay a premium for the best. Ultimately they benefit because it translates into reduced maintenance and operations costs.”

Anna Galoni, our current CEO of Thomson-Gordon Group

Galoni, who was appointed CEO earlier this year, said: “I offer my sincere thanks to all our customers for their very thoughtful comments and support. The values set by the Thomson-Gordon Group remain at the very heart of our business and will continue to be for the next 100 years. We share a deep concern about the future of our planet and concern for the environment is at the core of our beliefs and everything we do.”

Thordon Bearings was incorporated in 1990, however, the family-owned company dates back to 1911 when Major George J. Thomson along with brother William started an industrial distribution business in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. By 1916, Earl Gordon had joined them in partnership and the Thomson-Gordon Group was born.

George and Earl steered their company towards manufacturing in a variety of applications before handing over the reins to George’s son, George J.V. Thomson, who later gave his son, George (Sandy) Thomson the chance to change the company’s direction and implement changes that would result in the Thordon Bearings we know today.

Two Coast Guard ships in dry dock, Hamilton, getting fitted with Thordon propeller bearings.

Thordon Bearings will be exhibiting a range of water lubricated and grease-free bearings and seals at Booth 1101, Europort, which takes place at Rotterdam’s Ahoy exhibition centre between 2nd and 5th November.

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The blame game begins: Is Goldring thinking of running for his old job in 2022 ?

By Staff

October 31st, 2021



Is former Mayor Rick Goldring getting ready to jump back into the political ring again?  He recently wrote an Opinion piece for the Local News (he was the founder of that online news source).

At this point the structure on the left has been approved by the Ontario Land Tribunal.

He came out pretty strongly against the Mayor Meed Ward about the Ontario Land Tribunal decision to permit the building of a 29 storey tower at Lakeshore and Pearl.  But he doesn’t tell the whole story.

His opinion.

“This week, the Ontario Land Tribunal (formerly the OMB — Ontario Municipal Board) ruled in favour of the developer Carriage Gate Homes for a 29-storey mixed-use condominium development on the northeast corner of Pearl and Lakeshore. The City of Burlington press release, along with the comments from

Meed Ward with then Mayor Goldring: the two never did get along all that well.

the mayor and ward councillor, had a strong tone of indignancy as result of the decision. It makes good politics to blame others and not look in the mirror to consider whether the mayor and council could have approached this differently.  Now council will have a closed session meeting in early November with City of Burlington planners and lawyers to hear what options they have in an attempt to remove seven storeys from the development. (The mayor and council have already voted to accept a 22-storey building on the site.)

“I am reminded of the  Nautique development application immediately to the east of the Carriage Gate site.

“Adi Development Group originally submitted an application for 28 storeys in 2014; they then reduced the height to 26 storeys and in 2016, council, with yours truly as mayor, rejected the application. Adi appealed the council decision to the Ontario Municipal Board and won the appeal in 2018. Council then asked for a review of the OMB decision to no avail.

The ADI Group had better legal talent in their corner and they were tougher. The city missed several opportunities to put forward a stronger case.

“When I look back on the process of the Nautique development application, council, led by me, made mistakes. The best way to deal with the situation politically is to fight the developer and application and that is just what we did, but that approach invariably does not (and did not) end up in a winning situation for the city.

“We would have been much better off to negotiate with the developer from the beginning. We could have saved the city time and money and we could have saved the developer time and money by reaching a compromise much earlier in the process. However, that approach is not good politics. Politically, it is better to fight and lose than compromise and look like you are acquiescing to developers.

“Based on previous development applications that resulted in 17-storey buildings (360 on Pearl and the Berkeley), the right approach with Adi back in 2014 was to push to compromise at 17 storeys (between the 28 that Adi wanted and the four to eight allowed in the Official Plan). This would have been defensible at the OMB even if Adi did not agree.

This small bus terminal on John Street that the Transit people wanted to demolish at one point has had a massive impact on the kind of development taking place in the downtown core.

“Fast forward to 2021, the current council will most likely decide to keep fighting the Carriage Gate 29-storey development when they already have approved 22 storeys, and for what purpose? To look good politically with an election coming next year? After all, looking good is much more important than making thoughtful decisions.”

What Goldring didn’t comment on was the way that  OMB hearing went.

The ADI Group took their case to the OMB because the city failed to make a decision within the required time frame.  How the city missed that deadline was never explained at the time.

Between the time that ADI filed their appeal and when the appeal was actually heard the ADI Group bought the small property to the north of the site they had acquired.

The dark shaded area was the area that ADI owned and made an application to build on. They later bought the house in the area to the north (marked as a 4 storey) and added it to their plans – making it a new development. The city had a chance to insist that ADI file a new application – but they let that opportunity get away.

And that purchase made it a totally different application – which had not been presented to the city.

The city could have advised the OMB member of that fact – but they chose not to do so and they were out-maneuvered by a lawyer who saw a loophole and made it work for her client.

That loophole was the transit station, smaller than some washrooms in the larger monster homes that got defined as a Mobility Hub (that’s what they were called at the time).  The words Mobility Hub were replaced with MTSA (Major Transit Station Area).

The blame for the Nautique rests on the Goldring Council.  It looks as if Goldring wants to place a layer of blame on Mayor Meed Ward for the Carriage Gate property at the corner of Lakeshore and Pearl – to be known as BeauSoleil.

Cute isn’t it.

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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Sees Big Investment in Culture and Recreation Projects

By Matthew Major

October 31st, 2021



Recently, the government has committed to investing around $5.2 million in three culture and recreation projects in Central Ontario and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

The impact of Covid stretches far beyond our health and hospitals. All areas of the local community have been affected by lockdowns, and families, businesses and communities across the country have had to make big changes to their way of lives. As a result of this disruption, the Canadian and Ontario governments are working together to support people and communities by ensuring that local infrastructure is safe and reliable. At the same time, the government is also looking ahead to see what else can be done in these unprecedented times.

Recently, Sven Spengemann, member of parliament for Mississauga—Lakeshore, announced a series of joint funding. This funding will be specifically for three culture and recreation infrastructure projects in the GTHA and Central Ontario. This announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities as well as Ontario’s Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. The move will see businesses receive some bonus funding for Covid support, but as Bonusfinder Canada explains, there can be restrictions to watch out for.

Who is Paying for These Projects?
The Government of Canada will be spending approximately $2.8 million on these projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream. The Ontario government alone will also be funding more than $2.3 million to these initiatives, while beneficiaries are investing a total of more than $1.9 million in their own projects.

Under the Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, Ontario will contribute roughly $320 million over the next ten years, while Canada will invest around $407 million.

What Is the Money Being Spent On?
This announcement comes after a wave of infrastructure spending is planned for the country in the wake of the Covid pandemic. The government is hoping that with increased spending, communities will be able to return to normal much faster once restrictions have been lifted. This funding will aim to support the building of new facilities and upgrades to existing facilities. All of the projects focus on improving community infrastructure and also include recreational venues and cultural spaces such as museums, theatres and more.

Upgrades to trail infrastructure in conservation areas in Caledon, Erin, Halton Hills, and Mississauga are among the projects that have been financed. They will improve public access to local greenspaces by better connecting trails with neighbouring towns and removing barriers. Trail improvements include the repair of four pedestrian bridges, the construction of three new pedestrian bridges, the expansion of paths by 2.8 kilometres, and the repair of 3.1 kilometres of boardwalk.

The Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre will also receive funding for the design, manufacturing, and installation of an indoor and outdoor children’s gallery, which will provide families with educational content to learn more about local history and culture. Upgrades to the Unionville Seniors Hub’s Community Centre in Markham will provide new programmes and services to meet the special requirements of seniors and their caregivers. These initiatives, once completed, will provide citizens with better access to recreation facilities for many years to come.

Spengemann had the following to say about the funding “Ensuring residents have access to quality recreation infrastructure is vital for community well-being and development. Today’s investment for three culture and recreation infrastructure projects in the GTHA and Central Ontario will provide residents with access to modern, reliable, and even more accessible recreation facilities”.

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Is normal creeping towards us? City loosens up gathering rules

By Staff

October 28th, 2021



Following the Province’s announcement to lift capacity limits in select settings where proof of vaccination is required, the City of Burlington will begin to move towards gradually increasing capacities for recreation facilities and programs. Visitors and participants are asked for patience as the City works toward returning to pre-pandemic capacity as programming is expanded where possible. To accommodate the changes, some programs may have to change times, dates or locations.

Some drop-in programs will see an immediate increase in capacity. Pre-registration is still required for all drop-in programs.

Capacities for registered programs and community rentals at rinks, pools, meeting rooms and community centres will also begin to increase gradually.

All current regulations around proof of vaccination, screening, masking and physical distancing remain.

For more information on what to expect when visiting City of Burlington recreation facilities and programs, visit

City Hall
Service Burlington is open at City Hall. Residents can visit Service Burlington Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for:
• Parking permits and ticket payments
• Property tax payments
• Freedom of Information payments
• Garbage tag purchases
• Dog licenses
• Property information requests
• Recreation services payments

Marriage licenses and Commissioning services are also available at City Hall by appointment. Make your booking online at or

To connect directly with a member of the Service Burlington team, call 905-335-7777 or email

Hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Building and Bylaw Department Changes
The Building and Bylaw Department has seen a drastic increase in building permit and bylaw inquiries/complaints over the past 18 months. To help streamline the work, anyone looking for services regarding building permits, building inspections, licensing services or bylaw enforcement, can contact the City the following ways:

Service Area Contact them when…
Building Permits • Inquiries and complaints (e.g., permit application status, permit pickup, etc.)
• Telephone: 905-335-7731, ext. 7470
• Email:

Building Inspections • Inquiries and complaints (e.g. illegal construction, construction sites, unsafe buildings, etc.)
• Telephone: 905-335-7731, ext. 7470
• Email:

Licensing Services • Inquiries and complaints (e.g., business licenses, pool/sign permits, lottery/liquor licences)
• Telephone: 905-335-7731
• Email:

Bylaw Enforcement • Inquiries and complaints (e.g., property standards, nuisance/noise, lot maintenance, etc.)
• Telephone: 905-335-7731
• Email:


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Rivers: The Empire Strikes Back - Alberta facing a different federal government

By Ray Rivers

October 28th, 2021



Jason Kenny asked Albertans whether they think Canada’s regional equalization program should continue to exist.   He did this through a divisive referendum no less sneaky than Quebec’s René Lévesque had crafted when he mislabelled his plan for independence ‘sovereignty association’.

Kenny admitted the referendum was purely a political ploy, since even after the public responded as he had wanted them to (62%), Alberta has no authority to change the equalization program.  Equalization is entrenched in Canada’s constitution and administered by the federal government.

Jason Kenny: Will he be the Premier come the next election?

Of course this is all partisan theatrics. Mr. Kenny had been an influential senior minister in the Harper government.  Why didn’t he lobby his party leader for change when he was actually in a position to do so.?  And Kenny is alone, no other province shares his zeal to remove this pan-national program that has helped to glue the country together for more than half a decade.

Kenny complains that Albertans pay 15 billion dollars a year more in income and other taxes to the federal government than the province receives back from the feds.  Of that amount Kenny tells us that $3 billion gets allocated towards the 20 billion dollar equalization fund, which the federal government administers based on the program’s eligibility criterion.

But Mr. Kenny has somehow forgotten that Ottawa has been subsidizing the fossil fuel industry for over forty years, most of it centered in Alberta, and much of it to expand oil sands operations.  Some of the subsidies are direct payments for technology and infrastructure.  Some are tax credits, wage subsidies and write offs of one form or another.  And some are required to clean up the mess, the myriad of environmental legacies of orphan wells and tailing ponds.

The feds dole out somewhere between 3 and 18 billion dollars, depending on who you ask.  So by any measure Alberta has been doing pretty well from that pig trough they like to call federal government.  Kenny may not be receiving equalization payments, because as the wealthiest jurisdiction in the country Alberta is not eligible, but Alberta’s corporate interests have certainly been well fed by Ottawa.

That has to change if Canada is to meet its bold greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets of 40-45% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.  Coal, oil and gas have to be phased out and shut down for any of that to happen, since those are the major sources of GHG in the country.  And make no mistake Canada, being one of the worst global polluters has committed to this.

So, having recently renewed his mandate with an almost majority of seat in Parliament the PM has decided on action ahead of rhetoric.    Former Quebec Greenpeace activist, Steven Gilbeault, who had once been arrested for scaling the CN Tower, is Canada’s newest Environment Minister.  And the first order of business at the upcoming COP 26 Climate Change conference will be to announce that Canada will eliminate all subsidies to the fossil fuel sector by 2023, actually 2 years ahead of most other nations.

Steven Gilbeault, the man on the right is now the Minister of the Environment

This is not the first time we’ve seen that kind of promise.  Mr. Trudeau said he’d do that back when he ran in 2015…. but he didn’t.  In fact he ended up buying an oil pipeline for Alberta instead.  And it’s not just the Liberals who can’t seen to cut the cash flow, because Mr. Harper also promised to end the subsidies way back in 2009… but he didn’t either.

Shutting off the subsidy taps sounds easy but it’s really pretty complicated.  For one thing there is the regional political situation.  Still Canadians have clearly demonstrated over the last two elections that they want to see action on climate change.  And even voting Albertans and the petroleum sector are coming to that position.

Oil and gas contributes less than 10% to the country’s GDP.  But that sector is a critical source of income and employment for at least four provinces.  And most of us still drive gasoline powered cars and rely on fossil fuelled transportation for our goods and services.  So phasing out will require substantial adjustment and retraining.

And not everyone agrees on the definition of a subsidy.  In 2019 the Prime Minister requested his then-finance minister Bill Morneau to prepare a list of Canada’s fossil fuel financial supports.  By March 2021 that report was still “a work in progress”.  But they know where the low hanging subsidy fruit lies.

Subsidies, serve to lower the price of a commodity, since governments pick up some of the costs of production.  That is the exact opposite of what the national carbon tax is all about.  Why would we charge consumers more at the pump, for gasoline, and then help the oil companies reduce their costs and thus prices?   The last federal budget projected $18 billion spending over the next 5 years on climate actions.  Yet we gave the oil and gas sector as much as $18 B last year in subsidies.

The Prime Minister bought the pipeline to show the people of Alberta that he cared.

Mr. Trudeau purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline against his better judgement to show Alberta some love.  But he got no thanks in return.  By appointing long time climate activist Steven Gilbeault as Canada’s new environment minister, he is sending Mr. Kenny a message.  No more Mr. Nice Guy.  The Empire is striking back – Canada will be turning off its carbon rich taps, starting with the money that feeds the fossil fuel industry.

As for the troublesome Mr. Kenny, the most unpopular premier in Canada, one can only hope the voters in Alberta look long and hard at just what an asset he is for them and the province’s longer term economic health.  It is time to embrace the future.

Ray Rivers, a Gazette Contributing Editor,  writes regularly applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers



Trudeau’s – the Alberta Memo –  Alberta’s Claim –   $18 Billion Subsidy

Canada’s Carbon Tax –  Environment Minister

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Are there problems with the way Heritage Fund grants are awarded? Should members of the Advisory Committee be eligible for the grants?


By Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2021



Burlington has a Heritage Advisory Committee that has a colourful checkered past.

There was a time when it was a disaster.

Anyone who felt there was a chance their house would be designated had been led to believe by some in the real estate sector that the resale potential for their house was going to plummet.

There was a lot of ignorance and some pretty stupid people who did all kinds of dumb things to ensure that their house was not designated historically significant.

Jim Clemens: the Chair of the Heritage Advisory Committee who put it on a sound footing after years of dysfunction.

That began to change in 2013 when the membership of the Advisory committee was changed and a new chair working with an informed and realistic board took over.

When the bulk of their work was done city council, they came as close as they could to giving standing ovations.

Heritage now had a sound footing and was in a position to approve and recommend grants to people who wanted to improve their homes to make them worth designating and keeping them up to standard once they were designated.

The Advisory Committee could recommend that property owners be given grants of up to 25% of the total eligible restoration project costs to a maximum of $15,000.

It was city council that made the grant award based on the Advisory Committee recommendation.

A recent award to a resident was placed in the Consent section of the Standing Committee Agenda.

Consent items get little in the way of attention unless a member of Council asks to have it pulled so it can be discussed in open session.

The Gazette has a practice of going through everything on the consent agenda, if only to keep an eye on what Council is up to.

The item that caught our eye was detailed in the Staff report of September 7th, 2021 which was set out as a report responding to an application for a grant from the Community Heritage Fund.

By any standard this is a very handsome house.

The Staff report said:

The subject property known as 2411 Lakeshore Road is located on the north side of Lakeshore Road, between Market Street and St. Paul Street. It currently supports a three-storey residence in the Queen Anne style, as demonstrated by the characteristic architectural features including the irregular façade, multiple surfaces with intricate decorative wooden elements, multiple rooflines and gables, verandah, tall windows, bay windows, and tall chimneys. The subject property also contributes to the character of Lakeshore Road through its setbacks, historic architecture, mature trees, and massing.

The property at 2411 Lakeshore Road was designated under Part IV, section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act in 1995 through By-law 8-1995. The by-law also designates four other properties in the immediate area.

In 2019, as a condition of approval of the current property owner’s application for consent to sever the westerly portion of 2411 Lakeshore Road, the designation by-law was updated to come into conformity with a 2005 amendment to the Ontario Heritage Act.

Background on the Community Heritage Fund and Grant Application
The Burlington Community Heritage Fund (CHF) was established by Council in 1985 to encourage the preservation of structures designated under the Ontario Heritage Act by providing financial assistance to property owners in the form of loans and grants. It was also an objective of the CHF to encourage the designation of properties of cultural heritage value or significance under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The CHF was amended in 1993 and 2014 and now provides grants of up to 25% of the total eligible restoration project costs to a maximum of $15,000, subject to specific guidelines. Loans may be provided for up to 50% of total eligible restoration project costs to a maximum of $15,000.

The requested grant on the agenda at the September 7th meeting represents 25% of the total project cost of $3,616.00. The property owner originally obtained quotes from two tradespersons to complete the work and elected to retain the more economical option.

Staff support the applicant’s request for a grant from the CHF in the amount of $904.00 as it aligns with the CHF eligibility criteria by constituting “work which conserves or enhances elements specified in the by-law”.

There was a sentence in the Staff report that made mention of previous grants made for improvements to the same property.

Funds were provided to replace some of the decking on the western side of the house.

The Gazette decided dig a little deeper and learned that the recommendation was made for a grant to an individual who was a member of the Heritage Advisory and that this grant was not the first but the fourth grant made. Technically this item was not a grant but it was a decision that we believe was necessary for the Committee of Adjustment to proceed.

The very first was recommended on July 10th, 2019

From the Heritage Advisory Committee Minutes:

David Barker declared an interest in Item 7.1 b. – consent and minor variance application for 2411 Lakeshore Road – as he is the owner of the property. He refrained from discussion and voting on this item.

From the minutes:

Consent and minor variance application for 2411 Lakeshore Road

Danika advised that 2411 Lakeshore Road is designated by By-law 8-1995 which protects heritage attributes on the front (south) and side (west) elevations of the building. The owner proposes to sever the westerly portion of the property to create an additional lot, allow variances to support the severance and demolish the existing detached garage located on the proposed severed parcel. Danika provided an overview of the variances for the retained and severed parcel and asked the Committee to consider whether they would have an impact on the heritage value of the property.

Members discussed and feel there are no issues from a heritage perspective. Motion – Heritage Burlington supports the requested consent and minor variances for 2411 Lakeshore Road under the assumption that any new development on the proposed severed lot is sited behind the existing heritage home.

Danika is the Staff planner assigned to the Heritage Advisory Committee

The second application made by David Barker was on October 9, 2019. From the Heritage Advisory Committee minutes:

A garage was demolished and a severance of the western section applied for – granted by the Committee of Adjustment.

Declarations of Interest:
Consent and minor variance application for 2411 Lakeshore Road

Danika advised that 2411 Lakeshore Road is designated by By- law 8-1995 which protects heritage attributes on the front (south) and side (west) elevations of the building. The owner proposes to sever the westerly portion of the property to create an additional lot, allow variances to support the severance and demolish the existing detached garage located on the proposed severed parcel. Danika provided an overview of the variances for the retained and severed parcel and asked the Committee to consider whether they would have an impact on the heritage value of the property.

Members discussed and feel there are no issues from a heritage perspective. Motion – Heritage Burlington supports the requested consent and minor variances for 2411 Lakeshore Road under the assumption that any new development on the proposed severed lot is sited behind the existing heritage home.

The third application made by David Barker was on September 16th, 2020.

David Barker, Trisha Murray, Alan Harrington and Rick Wilson did not attend the meeting.

From the Minutes of the Heritage Advisory Committee meeting

Grant from Community Heritage Fund for 2411 Lakeshore Road

Danika provided an overview of the original application, received in September 2019, for a grant from the Community Heritage Fund to financially assist the owner of 2411 Lakeshore Road in replacing rotten deck boards on their porch verandah in the amount of $375. Since that time, the applicant has advised that the scope of work increased to include the replacement of additional deck boards.

Based on final cost receipts, the applicant has now applied for an additional grant in the amount of $673.15.

Committee discussed and supported the application. Motion – Approve the grant application for 2411 Lakeshore Road for an additional amount of $673.15. – CARRIED

The house has kept much of its rural roots with the deck on the side probably leading into the kitchen. This house should be on the next Heritage Tour

On September 7th, 2021 a fourth application was made in the amount of $904.00

The minutes of the meeting note that:

David Barker declared an interest in Item 7.1 b. – Heritage permit and Community Heritage Fund applications for 2411 Lakeshore Road – as he is the owner of the subject property. He refrained from discussion and voting on this item.
The minutes of the Standing Committee reported that:

Grant from Community Heritage Fund for 2411 Lakeshore Road (PL-45-21)

Moved by Councillor Stolte

Approve the grant application for restoration work to front verandah, including sanding, filling and painting to the support columns and sun motif, at 2411 Lakeshore Road in the amount of $904.00 to be funded by the Burlington Community Heritage Fund.

Mayor Meed Ward lives in a house that she had designated long before she became Mayor.

On the vote Mayor Meed Ward commented that “it was great to see residents of designated homes investing in the upkeep of their property” adding she wanted to see more of this – we do have a grant program that will help so keep those applications coming.”

The item that was voted on was in the Consent section of the Standing Committee agenda. These items, as noted earlier, seldom get any attention.

Our issue is not with the grant – it is with the way council chose to handle the matter.

To be fair, the work done with the funds that were awarded was sterling. The house on the north side of Lakeshore Road between Market and St. Paul is a handsome addition to the inventory of historically significant houses.

Mr. Barker is known by every member of Council. He is an active participant in civic matters. He has contributed opinion pieces to the Gazette.

Where we have an issue is with a member of an Advisory Committee benefiting financially as the result of a decision made by the committee. Recusing oneself from the discussion and not voting isn’t enough.

Also, where was Council on this? The Staff report made mention that Barker had been given grants in the past.

However, Council members didn’t apparently read the report.

Someone (Who?) put the item on the consent agenda aware that the item would not have been given any attention.

While the sums involved are small there is a large matter of principal.

David Barker delegating before Council

The Gazette believes there are some gaps in the Governance protocols and will be asking Integrity Principles, the council advisors on matters of protocol and governance, to look into this matter with the suggestion that changes be made to ensure that an individual does not personally benefit financially from an Advisory Committee they serve on.

A reasonable question to ask is: Should Mr. Barker resign from the Heritage Advisory Committee or at a minimum should the rules be changed to prevent this from happening in the future ?

Colourful background

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City of Burlington looks to challenge Ontario Land Tribunal Ruling on Lakeshore and Pearl Street 29 storey development

By Staff

October 28th, 2021



Yesterday, the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) released its decision on Lakeshore Inc.’s proposal at 2069-2079 Lakeshore Rd.

The City strongly disagrees with and is shocked by the ruling, which allows for a 29-storey building at that location.

It’s tall – but not THE tallest development in the works. There is a developer with a 32 storey idea for Brant Street.

It’s This decision is not at all reflective of the planned context for the Downtown as expressed in the new Official Plan. It not only ignores the citizens of Burlington and Halton Region, and their Councils, it has ignored the stated intent of the Minister of Municipal Affairs to change the planning context by adjusting the Urban Growth Centre (UGC) boundary.

City Planning and Legal staff will review the decision in more detail to determine if a review of the decision by the Tribunal or a Court should be pursued, including their findings on the City’s motion regarding the impact of the Urban Growth Centre (UGC).

At a special meeting of City Council on Nov. 3, staff will present these potential options and next steps in-camera.

Burlington’s revised new Official Plan (OP) was approved by Halton Region on Nov. 30, 2020. The new OP includes stronger protections for green space, heritage, jobs, the rural community, established low-density neighbourhoods and a special focus on preserving the character of the downtown. The modifications presented in the final Notice of Decision address the issues of non-conformity, changes to Provincial Plans and policies, and Official Plan Amendments and the need to balance Regional and Provincial conformity requirements. In addition, the modifications capture endorsed policy modifications related to two areas identified by Council for re-examination and refinement. The policies of the Official Plan with the recommended modifications establish a comprehensive policy framework to a planning horizon of 2031.

Things are getting crowded downtown. A number of developments in the talking and planning stages are not shown.

At the hearing, the City argued that Lakeshore Inc.’s proposal for 29-storeys was not appropriate for that location for a number of reasons, including the fact that the proposal far exceeded the height limits of 17-storeys allowed in that area, the City’s vision and planned context for the downtown as expressed in the new Official Plan, and the proposed building’s height and mass were not compatible with or provided appropriate transition to the surrounding area. In its decision, however, the OLT states that the development should be allowed as because provincial policy in the Growth Plan directs new residential growth to the Urban Growth Centre in a significant or ‘optimized’ manner.

The decision underscores the importance of the future boundary adjustment of the UGC to the Burlington GO station and the need for the new downtown policies in the new OP to be determined and brought into force. The OLT stated “The Tribunal finds that there is no evidence of negative impact or any other justification for the modifications as advanced by the City to support a 22-storey tower instead of the 29-storey tower under the Lakeshore Proposal. Moreover, there is also no basis for the resultant substantial reduction in the number of residential units stemming from the City’s proposed modifications. The height reduction alone would eliminate between 63 and 77 residential units. Reducing the tower floorplate to 690 m2 as proposed … would eliminate a further 64 to 80 residential units.”

The City further argued that it is on track to meet or exceed provincial growth targets and regardless, the number of residential units should not result in a development that is incompatible with the existing area.

This decision is not indicative of the best planning outcome for Burlington residents or City of Burlington planning goals.
Burlington is a City where people, nature and businesses thrive. As residents continue to rediscover many of their favourite spaces and activities in the city, City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority.

The 29 storey development will be marketed under the name BeauSoleil

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns had this to say in a prepared statement they rel;eased jointly:
“This is a devastating and shocking decision imposed on our community, which completely disregards the vision of residents, council and staff for this area. And so, Council will be examining all of our options for a review of this OLT decision.

This decision completely dismisses the considerable feedback from residents in opposition to this file – and their valuable suggestions for what would be appropriate. This decision ignored over 100 people who took the time to attend a community meeting, delegate to council, and write pages of letters. There was no acknowledgement of our community’s voice in this decision.

We once knew it as the Pearle Street Cafe – those were the days.

The decision highlights the inappropriate application of Provincial Planning Policies to justify over development and underscores the importance of a speedy decision from the Minister to remove the Major Transit Station Area designation from downtown and adjust the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre to the Burlington GO Station, where this scale of development should be. We will continue to work to defend our plan and put growth where it belongs.”


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Mayor describes the tax increase of 5.45 % as a staff wish list that won't pass

By Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2021



Tom Muir, a regular Gazette reader and commentator said he “ saw the Mayor on CHCH TV this morning and the budget was covered. She said 5.45% is a wish list, is too much, and will not be approved.”

In the budget discussions we have heard so far not a peep from the Mayor on what she thought was an appropriate level of tax increase Council could accept.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward reported to have described the 5.45% budget increase as a “staff wish list” that would not be passed.

To say publicly that the budget is a “Staff wish list” is disrespectful and condescending in the extreme.

Joan Ford and her crew work hard on the budgets and they look for ways to trim costs where they can.

Ford, who fully understands how municipal budgets work, struggles to get this Mayor to understand that reserves are in place for a reason and they are to be respected.

How Meed Ward convinced herself that more than $4 million could be taken from the Hydro Reserve fund and used to pay for a wave break at the LaSalle Marina.  The decision was so egregious that City Manager Tim Commisso said aloud that he would begin looking for ways to group the Reserve funds so that it wasn’t so evident just how much money was kept for extreme situations.

There are still those recovering from the flood of 2014.  The city had reserves in place then that allowed immediate spending to clear up the creek beds and repair the bridges that had been damaged.

Staff takes their lead from Council.  To have people in the finance department working their tails off only to learn that their efforts are seen as a “wish list” hurts.

An apology might be in order.

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Burlington Man Charged with Human Trafficking Offences

By Staff

October 27th, 2021



The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has made an arrest and laid multiple charges after a human trafficking investigation in Oakville.

Frank Yeboah of Burlington: charged with Trafficking in Persons

On Monday October 25, 2021, investigators arrested 25 year-old Frank Yeboah of Burlington. He has been charged with the following:

  • Trafficking in Persons
  • Adult Procuring
  • Sexual Assault (x2)
  • Extortion

Yeboah was held in custody pending a bail hearing in Milton.

Police believe there may be additional victims and ask that anyone with information contact the Human Trafficking Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 5331.

The Halton Regional Police Service firmly believes that every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Victims of violence and/or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in our region for victims of violence and/or sexual assault:

  • Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777 ext. 5239 or by email at
  • Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
  • Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)
  • Radius Child & Youth Services 905-825-3242 (Oakville) or 1-855-744-9001
  • Kid’s Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (24-hour crisis line)
  • THRIVE Counselling 905-845-3811 or 905-637-5256

Signs / Indicators of Human Trafficking

  • Not being allowed to speak for themselves;
  • Not having control of their own money or cellphone;
  • Suddenly having a new or second cell phone with a secret number;
  • Being controlled by others and escorted at all times;
  • Not being allowed to contact family or friends;
  • Withdrawing from family and friends;
  • Providing rehearsed answers to casual questions;
  • Being secretive about their activities;
  • Showing signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc.
  • Having a new boyfriend, girlfriend or friend who they won’t introduce to friends/family; and
  • Having new items (clothing, jewelry etc.) outside their financial means.

What Should I Do if I Think Someone is a Victim of Trafficking?

If there is immediate danger or if you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 9-1-1.

You may also call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24/7 to connect victims and survivors with social services, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as receive tips from the public. The hotline uses a victim-centered approach when connecting human trafficking victims and survivors with local emergency, transition, and/or long-term supports and services across the country, as well as connecting callers to law enforcement where appropriate.


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What happened to the Waterfront Hotel study that got mentioned in 2005 ? It doesn't seem to have a timeline - however, the owner of the hotel site has a timeline

By Pepper Parr

October 26th, 2021



This is one of those chicken and egg situations – which came first ?

We’d like to revise that just a little bit and ask – which should come first?

The public was recently treated to a pre-application presentation by Bousfields, the planning consultants hired by Vrancorp to re-develop the Waterfront Hotel site.

The twin towers would change more than the skyline of the city.

The designs that were made public were stunning – but much of the public reaction was less than enthusiastic – what stunned them was the idea of putting two towers on Lakeshore Road, one that would be the highest in the city.

Nice buildings but not in Spencer Smith Park, was the predominant comment.

The two towers were proposed for what the planners called the iconic ground zero location – the intersection of Brant and Lakeshore Road where a 35 storey and a 30 story tower were to replace the nine storey hotel.

The site has been the focus point for a lot of planning – some of it going back more than a decade.

An agreement had been put in place to have a study done on how best to develop the hotel site and have it compliment Spencer Smith Park and the Promenade.

The area to be covered in the Waterfront Study that started back in 2005. At this point there isn’t a completion date – there is a report that is scheduled to go to Council in 1Q of 2022

Vrancor, the corporation that owns the hotel, is reported to have put up the $150,000 to have the study done. They are understandably upset. They paid for the study but the study was not completed. The city doesn’t have a planner assigned to the study – the most recent word is that the planning department will be getting something to council in 2022.
This may be one of those times when the horses are out of the barn and it’s too late to close the door.

In June 2018 Council went along with a revised Work Plan for the study that was to be completed by Q1 of 2019, (This was before Meed Ward became Mayor.)

The re-thinking of what could be done with the site goes back to 2005 with a follow up report in 2006.

There was a subsequent site-specific policy requiring that a planning study process be completed prior to any redevelopment of the subject site.

Residents at a workshop setting out their ideas with planner Thomas Walker.

The 2018 report called for a high quality of urban design reflecting the landmark nature of this site, that “shall be contingent upon the completion of a master plan to the satisfaction of City Council.”

Public meeting to consider what the waterfront area should include.

In 2015 Council approved the terms of reference for the Waterfront Hotel Lands Planning Study.

In 2017 the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study was publicly launched, beginning with a pair of visioning workshops in May.

In November of 2018 the site’s significance was affirmed at the Planning and Development Committee meeting, evidenced by a number of delegations that presented a varied set of interests and development concepts.

A series of drawings that got whittled down to two Preferred Concept – and that as far as the study of the Waterfront Hotel site has gone.

At this point, 2018, the public had a series of drawings that resulted in two preferred concepts for development.

A group known as Plan B inserted itself into the process with their position that a thin red line be drawn beyond which there would be no development west of the hotel site.

Despite extensive engagement opportunities, a clear consensus on direction had not yet been achieved. Staff then built upon the consultation work done through three community workshops (a total of six sessions); what came out of the Planning and Development Committee held on November 28, 2017, and significant contributions from the Vrancor Group and the Plan B Citizen Group; they created key policy directions to move forward.

The key policy directions were intended to align with the vision statement, accommodate an iconic landmark building, and reinforce the site’s unique location as a major gateway to the waterfront.

One of two renderings of what the site might look like. The entrance to the development would be from John Street not Brant


Early concept didn’t have the height that was shown in the pre-application presentation.

The key policy directions have been organized around the study’s three frameworks and guiding design principles of Land Use and Built Form, Public Realm, and Mobility and Access, as follows:  Land use and built form and Public Realm are important and it is vital that everyone share the same understanding as to just what this means.

Land Use and Built Form
1) Create building frontages along Lakeshore Road and Elizabeth Street with building placement that establishes a defining street wall and frames the street zone.
2) Provide active uses at grade along Lakeshore Road and Elizabeth Street.
3) Achieve active and animated edges adjacent to Spencer Smith Park, with a requirement for retail and service commercial uses at grade:
a. Built form next to the south property line shall activate and animate this edge, respect the existing grade, and be scaled to the waterfront trail with higher levels stepping back as necessary.
b. Built form next to the west property line shall activate and animate this edge, respect the existing grade, and be scaled to Spencer Smith Park with higher levels stepping back as necessary.
4) Require a minimum of two uses within buildings and where feasible, encourage three uses.
5) Establish an iconic landmark building on the site subject to the following:

a. A new public, pedestrian space is provided at the foot of Brant Street where public views to the Lake and Pier are enhanced;
b. The iconic landmark building must contain a destination use or function;
c. The iconic landmark building shall enhance the City of Burlington’s image/identity.
6) Require design excellence in all matters of architecture, landscape architecture, sustainable and urban design and require that all public and private development proposals on or adjacent to the site be evaluated/reviewed by the Burlington Urban Design Advisory Panel.

An unobstructed view of the Pier from Brant Street was objective number 1 for almost everyone.

Public Realm
7) Protect public view corridors to Lake Ontario from Brant and Elizabeth Streets, and where possible John Street.
8) Enhance the Brant Street view corridor to frame views to the Brant Street Pier, and require a significant building setback from the west property line.
9) Create new and enhanced publicly accessible green/open space, which would include new north-south pedestrian connections between Lakeshore Road and Spencer Smith Park (mid-block and along the site’s edges).
10) Minimize changes to the existing grade along the southern edge of the site and enhance the interface with Spencer Smith Park.
11) Integrate a public washroom within the future redevelopment; with an entrance that is accessible, highly visible and within close proximity to Spencer Smith Park.
12) Identify opportunities for the placement of public art on and adjacent to the site.
Staff was to continue with background work and in early 2019, re-start the process with a refreshed look and feel building on the above policy directions. This will include a revised work plan and new public engagement plan which leverages the city’s newest communication and engagement software and tools.

Changes to the existing land use designation and permitted building height are not included in the new Official Plan – as it was in the then current Official Plan – not the one that the new Council adopted in 2019.

The process would involve a site-specific amendment to the Official Plan at such time as the study is completed by the City and approved by City Council.

What muddies up a clear understanding was the existence then of a downtown mobility hub, that problem was resolved; then a change in the Urban Growth Centre boundary.

The ICBL – Interim Control By Law was imposed and then the world was hit with a pandemic brought about by the Covid19 virus.

We are now at the point where a sense or normality seems to be returning.

Add to that a frenetic increase in the development applications that required the city to hire more than a dozen new planners.
Then along comes the planner for the hotel site owner saying they were tired of waiting and did a pre-application presentation that shocked many.

That pre-application is the beginning of a process that has a ticking clock.

The towers are closer than many realize – closer to the street than the hotel on the site.

So back to that first question:  which should come first – the completion of the Waterfront Study or the accepting of a development application.

There is an important connection between this Waterfront Study and the City’s new Official Plan, the Downtown Mobility Hub Area Specific Plan, the City’s Transportation Plan, Cycling Master Plan, Community Trails Strategy, the Transit Plan and the Tall Building and Downtown Streetscape Guidelines, all of which are necessary to ensure that redevelopment of the subject property meets the City’s urban design and growth management goals, as well as enhances the adjacent public space and waterfront.

People began asking – what about the Waterfront Hotel Study and wondering how a pre-application presentation could be done before the study was complete.

There is a lot riding on what is to be built on the hotel site; people are getting anxious.

Will the downtown core begin to look like the Toronto waterfront where a lot of the land south of the Gardner Expressway is studded with towers that limit the view of Lake Ontario?

Not much is being heard from the politicians – they have taken the view that they can’t say much at this point without being accused of being biased.

The point at which they feel they can comment is when planning staff produce their report that either recommends that a development proceed, or that the development not proceed or that they should continue working with the developer.

The stickler at this point is this: the city has 120 days to produce their report to council – something that is close to impossible for a development of this size.

Once the 120 point has been met the developer has the right to go to the Ontario Land Tribunal to ask for permission to proceed with the development.

Burlington has not done very well at the tribunal level, partly many feel because of the direction that comes out of Burlington’s legal department.

With all those agencies commenting the project begins to create some momentum that it might not be possible to hold in check.

The Gazette has made the telling of this story a mission.

The people of Burlington are going to have to make it a mission to ensure that Council hears what they think and feel.

In the next 13 months we are going to go through a provincial election and a municipal election.  The strategy for those who care about where growth takes place and the kind of growth that takes place should be a mission as well.

Related news stories:

The pre-application presentation

Is there a different approach to how the site can be used?  A land swap perhaps?



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Council needs to take responsibility for the tax levels it sets and not use 'funny ' numbers to disguise the real tax hit

By Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2021



The cat is out of the bag.


Financial people are expected to put forward a budget asking for a 5.45% increase over last year.

That didn’t come as a big surprise.

In the media release from city hall they explained that “This represents a 5.45% increase to the City’s portion of the tax bill.”

The statement is totally true.

In the beginning she was all about transparency and accountability. Something changed.

The media release also said: “When combined with the estimated regional and education tax levies, the overall projected tax increase for a Burlington homeowner in 2022 is 3.18% or $24.76 per $100,000 of assessment. For example, homeowners with a home assessed at $500,000 would pay an additional $123.80 per year or $2.38 per week.

That statement is totally true as well.  The point that never gets made is this:  The city collects taxes for the education sector and the Regional government but has absolutely no impact on the amount taxes levied by the Boards of Education and a minimal impact on the Regional taxes levied.  Burlington has just 7 of the 24 votes at the Regional level.

The combined tax level tends to make the Burlington 5.45 % look better, the reality is that the city is taxing its citizens at a level well above inflation.  Two percent increases are not going to be seen for a long time.

Citizens looking over a budget document that they have next to no chance of changing. Better that they be given a piece of cake.

As for the public having any impact – the numbers are all but cast in stone well before the public gets to see them.  For Mayor Meed Ward to say she wants the public to “ assist City Council in the budget process” and “to share their input and tell us what services are important to them.”

To what end?  Adding insult to injury this Mayor does not appear to be doing anything to find ways to let tax payers meet in a live setting and express their views.  She would rather have you “join in the conversation at the November 22 virtual town hall that she will be hosting.

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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Councillor uses a hybrid approach to meeting with constituents - seems to work quite well

By Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2021



Each member of Council finds their own way to meet with constituents.

When she is on a roll – Kearns is a dangerous lady with a microphone.

Lisa Kearns (ward 2) has the most active ward in the city, although the folks in Aldershot would differ with her on that.

She has broken the meeting mold that most members of Council are using and is now meeting with her constituents both virtually and live. She held her second hybrid meeting last week and found herself spending most of the two hours explaining what was happening on the development side of things.

It is hectic and it is complex.

Council decided recently to proceed with the hiring of about 15 additional planners who will be needed to cope with the development applications that have kept the planning department stretched to the limit.

Councillor Kearns suggested she might take constituents on a walking tour of the developments in her ward.

Kearns put together a map of where the development is taking place in her ward and the status of a number of those applications.

Brant Street is on the right hand side and Prospect is on the left side. Prospect curves around the development.

A pre-application from Camarro Developments for the proposed development at Brant and Prospect had already been appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal – it has been there for some time.

It took a number of questions to get the people giving the pre application presentation to say just how tall the building is going to be.

The plan is for 293 units with 275 parking spaces in the four underground parking levels.  61 – 3 bedroom; 100  – 2 bedroom, and 132  – 1  bedroom.

There will be retail at grade level.  It wasn’t clear just what would be in the 7 level podium.

During their presentation last week we got some detail on what is going to be a 31 storey structure with a seven level podium with 25 storey’s on top of the podium – which sets a new record for height in the city.

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Caregivers and Support Persons Required in Joseph Brant Emergency Room NOW!

By Tamara De Dominicis

October 25th, 2021



When you go to the emergency room of the hospital, you are at your most vulnerable. No matter the reason that you need to see a doctor, something prompted you to seek out medical attention and you need help. At Joseph Brant Hospital, current rules state that patients visiting the emergency department may only have a caregiver or support person under “special circumstances, such as for patients with cognitive, mobility or language difficulties” (Joseph Brant Hospital). This is unacceptable for numerous reasons, which I will outline below.

The necessity of a support person in emergency should not be limited by Covid 19 protocols says resident.

Let us first review the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Burlington, Ontario at the end of October 2021. At present, there are 5 active cases of COVID at the hospital, with 120 cases reported in the entire City of Burlington in the last 30 days (Joseph Brant Hospital) (Halton Region). Vaccination rate is 84% for the eligible population in Halton and with the system of vaccine passports in place, it is possible to access nonessential services (Hennessey and Rosella). That is, one can eat indoors at restaurants, go to movies, concerts, or games, use sports and recreation facilities, and even go to nightclubs (Ministry of Health).

If you decide to go to a restaurant, all you must do is provide your name and information for contact tracing to the host, then show your proof of vaccination and identification. But if you try and go to the hospital to support your spouse, family member or child, you are not permitted to do so unless that person isn’t able to advocate for themselves at that moment, regardless of whether you are vaccinated or inhabit the same household as the patient in question.

I understand the need to limit the spread of COVID-19; however, the pandemic is not the only medical concern that affects Burlington citizens. A year and a half into the pandemic medical professionals are busy, overworked, and exhausted (Science Table COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario). Wait times in the emergency room are long and the waiting area is unattended by medical personnel (Joseph Brant Hospital). Arriving at emergency, the person who determines the patient’s capacity to communicate their medical needs is not a medical practitioner at all but rather a volunteer. I do not believe that a person who possesses no medical training or licensing should be permitted to give medical advice that must be followed. Furthermore, a critical medical situation can change rapidly, with a patient perhaps being able to advocate for themselves when they first enter emergency, and their health changing so that they are no longer able to do so.

Burlington MP Karina Gould, centre, with Minister of Defence Harjit Singh Sajjan looking through a scrapbook with a veteran at the hospital.

I have personally witnessed several situations that illustrate the necessity of a support person in emergency. One patient insisted they did not need a caregiver; the person who accompanied them then informed the volunteer their parent had dementia. A father brought his teenage son for care after a concussion who was also told to leave; he refused, the patient’s symptoms worsened, and he was not able to explain his medical history without his father’s help. An elderly woman fell in the washroom and spent 15 minutes on the floor despite her daughter calling repeatedly for help. How much worse would these situations have become without a person present to advocate for the patient?

Other hospitals in the Halton and surrounding area have recognized the need for caregivers to attend their loved ones in the emergency room. At the hospitals included in the Halton Healthcare Network, emergency room patients are permitted two support people (Halton Healthcare). It is time for Burlington’s hospital to support both its staff and its citizens by allowing caregivers and support people in the emergency room.

Works Cited

Halton Healthcare. Emergency Department. 2020. Web. 23 October 2021.

Halton Region. Halton Cases By Neighbourhood. 22 October 2021. Web. 23 October 2021.
Hennessey, Melanie and Louie Rosella. Tracking the COVID vaccine rollout in Halton.

23 October 2021. Web. 23 October 2021.

Joseph Brant Hospital. COVID-19. n.d. Web. 23 October 2021.

—. Emergency Department. n.d. Web. 23 October 2021.

Ministry of Health. Proof of Vaccination. 15 October 2021. Web. 23 October 2021. Science Table COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario. “Burnout in Hospital-Based Healthcare
Workers during COVID-19.” Science Briefs (2021): 1-24. Web.

Tamara De Dominicis (she/her) is a poet in ceaseless conversation with the natural landscape. Her two poetry collections, “Where the landscape listens” and “wayward weeds” communicate the parallel and sympathetic concerns of people and the natural world while excavating the connections of memory and place. She is the founder and editor of Wildflower Press, a small digital press with the aim of giving voice and distribution to local talent. Her pandemic project, The Window Zine, brought together art and artists of different mediums to convert creativity into funds for community organizations. She lives in Burlington, Ontario with her spouse and their pets.


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Tax hit from the city set at 5.45% increase over last year. Town Hall to hear from the public November 22nd

By Staff

October 25th, 2021



Shaping Burlington’s 2022 budget: key meeting dates coming up, including a virtual town hall with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward on Nov. 22

Work to determine the 2022 budget continues. An overview of the budget will be presented to Burlington City Council at a virtual Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 9:30 a.m. The overview will include a look at the proposed 2022 operating budget as well as the 2022 capital budget and forecast.

Key areas of focus for the proposed 2022 budget
Each year, during the City’s budget process, decisions are made to ensure an appropriate balance between affordability, maintaining service levels and financial sustainability over the long term.

The proposed 2022 budget focuses on:

  • Mitigating the financial impacts of COVID-19
  • maintaining service levels
  • ensuring city assets are maintained in a good state of repair
  • continuing to provide strategic investments aligned to the City’s work plan, 2018 to 2022: Vision to Focus
  • upholding legislative requirements while ensuring competitive property taxes.

City plans to add more bylaw enforcement officers.

Proposed capital budget
The proposed 2022 capital budget is $77.3 million, with a ten-year program of $829.5 million. From this total:

  • 68.5% is for infrastructure renewal
  • 15.1% goes towards growth-related projects
  • 12.8% is for new/enhanced projects
  • 3.6% goes towards green projects which support the City’s climate goals.

Proposed operating budget
The proposed 2022 operating budget is $284.8 million and includes new funding to support:

  • Sustaining city services ($685,333)
    • Additional funding for on-going recreation facility maintenance to meet lifecycle requirements and reduce risk
    • One-time funding to support a Gypsy Moth spraying program in 2022
    • One-time funding to extend the contracts of two bylaw officers
  • Burlington Transit will want more buses to continue with the free for seniors service.

    Enhancing services ($199,130)

    • Funding to make the free transit for seniors pilot a permanent program
    • Operating expenses to support the new Orchard Community Hub
  • Modifications to services to address COVID-19 ($332,733)
    • Funding to make the bus cleaning pilot program permanent
    • Dedicated operations space for building inspection and bylaw enforcement staff.

Proposed tax increase
This represents a 5.45% increase to the City’s portion of the tax bill.

When combined with the estimated regional and education tax levies, the overall projected tax increase for a Burlington homeowner in 2022 is 3.18% or $24.76 per $100,000 of assessment. For example, homeowners with a home assessed at $500,000 would pay an additional $123.80 per year or $2.38 per week.

A copy of the proposed budget for 2022 will be available online at

Pre Covid19 there were meetings with staff where questions could be asked. Now it’s all virtual.

Public Input

To gather feedback from residents about how municipal services are valued and which ones are a priority for residents, the City hosted an online budget survey from July 5 to Sept. 30, 2021, at A total of 539 responses were received.

Survey results:

  • 71.7% indicated they are satisfied with the services provided by the City of Burlington
  • 64.5% rated the value they receive for their tax investment as good or very good
  • 70.3% said it is important to them for funding to be put aside for infrastructure renewal
  • 86.3% said it is important to them to set aside additional funding to address potential future emergencies like a pandemic or natural disaster.

Get Involved Burlington also features an interactive budget simulation tool where residents and taxpayers can show the City how they would balance the budget. Users can increase and decrease funding for different City service areas as they see fit while still maintaining a balanced budget.

Virtual 2022 Budget Town Hall – Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.
An additional opportunity for public input on the 2022 budget will be held on Monday, Nov. 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. during a virtual town hall hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. The live, online meeting provides residents an opportunity to learn more and ask questions to City staff about the proposed 2022 budget priorities. More details about the link to join the virtual meeting will be available on in the coming days.

Marianne Meed Ward has never shied away from budget increases. Her approach reflects the Red Liberal in her.

 Mayor Marianne Meed Ward explains: “The budget process is one of the most important exercises the city undertakes each year.  Determining key spending priorities in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is challenging as COVID continues to present significant financial impacts.

“To assist City Council in the budget process, we want residents and taxpayers to share their input and tell us what services are important to them. Please join in the conversation at the Nov. 22 virtual town hall that I will be hosting. We know our citizens expect us to maintain a high quality of services as our city continues to grow and evolve and we want everyone to share their feedback with us, so we can continue to deliver on their expectations.”

Joan Ford knows her numbers inside out.  She gives council the facts and advice when they ask.  They don’t ask very often.

Joan Ford, Director of Finance gives her side of the budget story:  “The City’s annual budget process provides an opportunity to review existing operations and make investments in key City programs and services. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to provide significant financial challenges for the City, the 2022 budget process will focus on maintaining the city’s financial position, addressing corporate risks, and ensuring residents continue to receive the programs and services that provide a high quality of life in Burlington.”


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Spooktacular at Burlington Centre went off without a hitch.

By Ryan O’Dowd

October 24th, 2021



Burlington Centre’s Spooktacular Finds and Drive-In weekend has been a big success so far.

The Mom’s Market Collective hosted Spooktacular Finds at the Burlington Centre on Saturday.

Twenty-two vendors set up shop in the mall corridor between the south entrance and the food court. Trick or treating was encouraged in the market decorated with bright orange and black balloons draped in spider webs. Beside the giant bowl of chocolate and Halloween candy was a raffle for prizes. Founder Amy Thompson was thrilled with how the event went.

Mom’s Market Collective Founder Amy Thompson

“it’s been great. We’ve had loads of heavy shoppers and a bunch of kids came to trick or treat, which is great. It’s been a great day,” said Thompson who talked about returning to the Burlington Centre, “we will be back the first weekend of December for a holiday-themed market.”

The vendor’s wares took all kinds of forms from wellness and beauty, mom-centric items such as baby clothes belonging to a fall collection in monochromatic seasonal orange, yellow and earthy hues. Elsewhere were nick-nacks, clothes, and home decorations cozy and seasonal or with year-round appeal.

Vendors were in good spirits, many of whom were appearing at their first market and were eager to register for subsequent events with the Mom’s Market Collective.

The Mom’s Market Collective is a group of women founded by Amy Thompson and Jasmine Ancona promoting and platforming women-led small local businesses. They have established a relationship with Burlington Center, appearing earlier this week on Thursday at an event called A Night Off, and will continue their partnership with upcoming holiday events in December.

Vendors were stretched out along the wide corridor – sales were respectable.

The Mom’s Market Collective has set up shop in 19 locations across Canada, including 12 in Ontario. Between the market’s success and Burlington Centre’s ongoing interest Burlingtonians should expect to see a lot of the Mom’s Market Collective.

The Halloween fun didn’t stop when the market wrapped up at Burlington Center; a sold-out Drive-in audience of a whopping 100 cars screened Raya and the Last Dragon.

The sold-out Drive-In Spooktacular returns tonight to show the Adam’s Family(2019) at 6:30 pm.

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PUBLIC ALERT - Overnight Cluster of Overdoses

By Staff

October 22nd, 2021



Halton Regional Police Service is issuing a Public Alert after responding to five non-fatal, unintentional overdoses overnight (October 21-22, 2021).

This is the largest cluster of suspected overdose-related calls since the beginning of the pandemic. In the month of October, HRPS has attended 33 overdoses; 13 in the past week alone.

Four of the drug poisonings occurred in Oakville and one occurred in Burlington.

Fentanyl is believed/known to have been involved in three of the five overdoses. More specifically, purple fentanyl contributed to two of the overnight drug poisonings.

Naloxone and CPR were administered by police and/or bystanders to revive two of the victims. As a result of these lifesaving efforts, including those provided by our EMS and Fire first responder partners, these victims were successfully revived. Every life saved today is an opportunity for recovery tomorrow.

Advice for People Who Use Drugs
Never use alone. Use one at a time. Don’t use drugs alone, and don’t let those around you use alone either. If you are using with someone else, don’t use at the same time. If an overdose occurs, having another person nearby can save your life. If you must use alone, we encourage you to download the Brave App. The Brave App is designed to connect people at risk of overdose with help they need: an ally you can talk to, a human supporter to help you stay safe, and digital monitoring technology to help you when you’re in danger. The Brave App is not a substitute for calling 911.

Know your tolerance and always use a small amount of a drug first to check the strength. Remember that any drug can be cut with, or contaminated by, other agents or drugs (e.g. fentanyl), which in very small amounts can be harmful or fatal.

Carry naloxone, a drug that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose. Naloxone is available free-of-charge in Halton at Halton Region clinics (in Acton, Burlington, Georgetown, Milton and Oakville), Halton Region Needle Exchange Program (Exchange Works), and some local pharmacies. To find a pharmacy that distributes naloxone, visit the Ontario government’s web page.

Don’t run. Call 9-1-1. An overdose is a medical emergency. Know the signs of an overdose and call 9-1-1 right away. Our frontline officers, and other first responders in Halton, carry naloxone and we want to assist. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides broad legal protections for anyone seeking emergency support during an overdose, including the person experiencing an overdose. This means citizens, including youth, will not be charged for offences such as simple possession for calling 9-1-1 in an emergency.

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Engagement Plan that is detailed and filled with information that hasn't been discussed yet at MTSA meetings

By Pepper Parr

October 20, 2021



This Background piece is on the long side.  It is the first time we have seen such a comprehensive engagement plan with so much detail and really relevant information.  While we are surprised we also want to thank the Communications people for being this candid.

Burlington is in the next phase of city-building as it approaches full build-out of the urban area. The undertaking of area-specific plans (ASPs) for Burlington’s Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) represents the City’s continuing implementation of its vision for appropriate intensification and the protection of established neighbourhoods by focusing future population growth to key areas, and in particular, a focus around higher order transit.

Way back in the beginning the GO stations were called Mobility Hubs and at that time the bus terminal in the downtown core was included a Hub. That mistake made it possible for a developer to put up a 26 storey tower which opened things up for other developers.

This is a big big deal – it involves something in the order of 20,000 people and or jobs in what will be a small village of its own.  It will take decades to get through it all and it may well change in some form going forward.

The city has put together an Engagement Plan – it runs 13 pages long – with a lot of surprising information.

Area Specific Plans for the properties within each MTSA  have to be created.

This work started out as a Mobility Hub study which was placed on hold in Q1 2019 to allow for a shift in focus to emerging planning priorities, including the Region’s Municipal Comprehensive Review, the scoped re-examination of the adopted Official Plan and the Interim Control Bylaw Land Use Study.

There are a number of key differences that resulted in significant changes to the scope and considerations of the work that had to be done including the completion of all required technical studies, further public and stakeholder engagement and the completion of three (3) area-specific plans, as well as the associated implementing Official Plan and Zoning By-Law amendments and other implementation strategies which may be required to get everything before Council.

Citizens will show up for a meeting if you make it interesting enough and promote it effectively. We will have to wait until we are out of Covid19 rules for events like this to take place

The Engagement Plan highlights the points in the process at which engagement will take place, who will be engaged, and the level of engagement. The plan also clearly defines which aspects of the process the City and public can influence throughout the discussion.

Decision Statement
At the beginning of an engagement process, it is helpful to know, “what is the decision to be made?” A decision statement clearly identifies:
• what decision needs to be made;
• who is the decision maker; and
• when the decision is required.

The decision statement for the MTSA ASP project is as follows:

“By June 2022, Burlington City Council will vote to adopt amendments to the Burlington Official Plan, 2020 to incorporate Protected Major Transit Station Area (MTSAs) area-specific plans to guide development and investment around the Burlington, Appleby and Aldershot GO Station Areas.

“Amendments adopted by Burlington City Council will then be forwarded to the Region of Halton for approval.”

Summary of Stakeholders

A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest or concern about a specific topic. To identify the stakeholders for the MTSA ASP Project, a mapping process will be used to confirm all the people who are affected by this work, those who have influence or power over the work and those that have an interest in its outcome, based on the stakeholders previously identified through the Mobility Hubs Project. It is expected that various individuals and groups will be identified across the following categories:

• Residents and resident groups (including newcomers, young families and young people) • Community organizations; special interest, advocacy, and activism groups
• Government and public service providers (internal and external) • City Advisory Committees and arms-length city agencies
• Indigenous Communities • Development industry
• Businesses and business groups • Major facilities1 within or adjacent to study areas
• Private and non-profit community service providers • Elected officials
• Media

Once the stakeholders and interested or affected individuals and groups have been confirmed, the engagement milestones in this plan will be refined to reflect the tactics and level of engagement required for each party throughout the MTSA ASP Project.

Objectives of Engagement
The following objectives provide a clear understanding of what the public engagement will strive to achieve through the community discussion about the MTSA ASP Project:

• Provide relevant information about the project, decision-making process, and how the public can provide input and feedback;

• Work with City communications and engagement staff, as well as consultants, to provide a coordinated approach to engagement, communication and evaluation of the MTSA ASPs and their implementing policies.

• Provide multiple channels for people to provide meaningful input virtually and, if possible, in-person at appropriate decision points;

The Getting Involved web site has loads of information and is the place documents are stored for quick retrieval. It takes some practice to get the hang of it all – but it works.

• Create an ongoing record of what is said during engagement opportunities and make it available to the public throughout the process, so they can track the progress of the project, including reports back to the community that highlight how feedback was or was not incorporated into the final recommendations to Council;

• Gather meaningful input from members of the community whose voices are historically underrepresented in conversations about city issues;

• Establish a project page on as the main online platform for up-to-date information about the project and upcoming engagement opportunities;

• Use clear, plain language in the delivery of the Engagement Plan to inform the public about what can and cannot be influenced through the MTSA ASP Project.

Project Stages and Engagement Milestones
At a Special Meeting of Council on June 8, 2021, City Council [modified/endorsed] the work plan for the MTSA ASP Project. The key project stages and associated engagement milestones are presented below. For each project stage, the engagement plan identifies where public input will take place, who will be involved in the engagement and what level of engagement will occur.

The strategies that will be used for public involvement in the MTSA ASP Project reflect the feedback provided to the City in the May 17, 2021 Council Workshop. Relevant feedback from related projects has also been considered, including the new Burlington Official Plan, the Scoped Re-Examination of the Downtown and the Interim Control By-Law Land Use Study. These strategies will be further refined by the MTSA ASP Project Steering Committee.

Policies and Factors That Cannot be Influenced
In every public engagement process, it is important to be aware of the things that cannot be influenced: either because they are beyond the City’s control (for example things that are required by regional or provincial policy or law), or because they are outside the scope of the project as set out in the Council-approved work plan. In discussing the Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) Area-Specific Planning (ASP) Project, the following aspects are considered ‘givens’ and will not be included in engagement activities:

1. Planning policy at the local municipal level is informed by legislation, policies and plans such as the Planning Act, Provincial Policy Statement, Growth Plan, Halton Region Official Plan, Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan and others.

2. City Council can adopt proposed amendments to the Burlington Official Plan, but Halton Region is the designated approval authority. Halton Region may modify City-proposed amendments prior to approval and, if appealed, the approved amendments may be subject to further change through the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, (Now named the Ontario Land Tribunal) except for PMTSA policies and zoning regulations protected from appeal under the Planning Act.

3. The proposed Area-Specific Plans and associated implementing mechanisms will be prepared for the Burlington Official Plan (2020), not the Burlington Official Plan (1997).

4. This study is focused only on the Downtown Burlington Urban Growth Centre/Burlington GO MTSA, Aldershot GO MTSA and Appleby GO MTSA. MTSA boundaries and the corresponding minimum growth targets are being set by Region of Halton through its Municipal Comprehensive Review. Draft Halton Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 48 proposes updates to the Regional Structure and includes formal boundaries for each of the MTSAs within Halton Region. Once approved by the Province, these boundaries and targets cannot be appealed.

5. Urban Growth Centres (UGCs) are strategic growth areas that are planned for greater population and job growth and higher rates of development than other areas in the City and Region. Provincial policies set out minimum density targets for these areas, which are implemented through the Regional Official Plan, and then through the Burlington Official Plan. Draft ROPA 48 includes an adjusted boundary for the Burlington Urban Growth Centre (UGC). If approved by the Province, the adjusted UGC boundary will center around the Burlington GO Station Area.

6. In 2017, a new policy framework for “Protected Major Transit Station Areas” (PMTSAs) was established in the Planning Act, R.S.O 1990. PMTSAs are a municipal tool used to support Higher Order Transit infrastructure around Major Transit Station Areas by establishing minimum density targets and transit-supportive land uses which are protected from appeal. In accordance with Planning Act section 16(16), once identified in an upper-tier municipal official plan and approved by the Province, PMTSA policies cannot be appealed.

Similarly, once implementing policies and zoning have been enacted at the lower-tier municipal level, the prescribed policies cannot be appealed.

PMTSAs may also require Inclusionary Zoning to support affordable housing objectives. Specifically, official plan policies may authorize Inclusionary Zoning by authorizing the inclusion of affordable housing units within buildings or projects containing other residential units, and by providing for the affordable housing units to be maintained as affordable housing units over time.

7. This project will refine and build upon the draft precinct plans developed through the former Mobility Hubs Study in 2018. However, as these plans were released as preliminary and were neither endorsed nor approved by City Council, they are subject to change based on further public engagement and the completion of technical studies.

8. Certain aspects of this project will be informed by the outcome of various technical studies, many of which are required by legislation and policy. These technical studies are undertaken in accordance with established criteria and completed by qualified experts.

9. The Burlington MTSAs are complex, previously developed areas with multiple landowners. The City does not have control over the speed of change related to development. Property owners decide when and if they will develop or redevelop their property.

10. The implementing Official Plan Amendments must be adopted by City Council by June 2022.

11. The implementing Zoning By-Law Amendments must be approved by City Council by December 2022.

Kwab Ako-Adjei, Director, Corporate Communications & Engagement at City of Burlington, has set out a demanding criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the Engagement Plan. Burlingtonians haven’t seen an approach like this before.

How the City Will Collect and Respond to Feedback
Throughout the engagement process, City staff will diligently collect and record all input provided by stakeholders. All input will be recorded by theme into response tables, showing in detail how the comments were considered and how they did or did not shape the study process, the Area Specific Plan and their associated implementing Official Plan amendments recommended to Council, and why.

Evaluating the Engagement Process
Throughout the MTSA ASP Project, City staff will capture interim feedback on the engagement process through measures such as feedback/satisfaction surveys. This will allow for ongoing and incremental evaluation of engagement efforts and will support an iterative process where feedback may influence the engagement process throughout the project.

To assist in measuring how the public participation contributed to the final project decision to be made, the following will be used to evaluate the overall public participation process.

1. Once the project is complete, measure the degree to which community members felt they:

a. Understood the project’s process and its limitations
b. Understood how the feedback they provided influenced the outcome of the City Council approval.

2. Evaluate each form of engagement. How did each of the engagement approaches used help to achieve the engagement objectives?

3. Analyze how the feedback received about the forms of engagement informed new or alternative approaches to the overall public participation process as the project moved forward.

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How editorial choices get made and how differences are resolved. 

By Pepper Parr

October 22nd, 2021



The Gazette is a member of the National Newsmedia Council. In a recent report from the Council they set out how editorial choices get made and how differences are resolved.  We strive to follow those guidelines

Over the past two months, the NNC received more than 50 complaints, and dozens more phone calls, from people who expressed their concerns about a front-page layout of an August 26th edition of the Toronto Star. Readers were incensed over the front-page presentation of a story featuring strongly-worded tweets about people who chose not to get the COVID vaccine. The front-page tweets were, in many readers’ words, “divisive and hateful.”

That day’s edition of the Toronto Star featured an article about public attitudes towards unvaccinated people, citing a poll that suggested many vaccinated Canadians had “no sympathy for those who choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine and then fall ill.” The article pointed to strongly worded tweets from people who felt similarly, and the tweets were prominently displayed on the front page of the paper.

One tweet included on the front page read, “I have no empathy left for the willfully unvaccinated. Let them die.”

While the Toronto Star’s public editor published a column about the issues with the front-page display in the following days, the significant outcry from readers underscores the need for clarity and consideration when presenting complex issues, particularly when they are given the weight and focus of a front-page display.

In this case, the NNC heard from many complainants who were concerned that the comments expressed harmful views, sowed further division, and were not clearly identified as tweets from individuals.

Take, for example, some of the criticism we heard from complainants:

“This is a prime example of the divide the media has caused…This newspaper is fanning the flames of hatred and division.”

“To see such words of hate plastered across a front page is not only outrageous and unacceptable but also utterly irresponsible in these volatile times.”

“We are already so fractured as a society that this headline does nothing but fuel the divide.”

“Everyone has a right to their opinion but a newspaper has an even greater responsibility to the community to ‘draw a line’. That front page article is down right scary and absolutely promotes hate, discrimination, misinformation and fear towards fellow human beings.”

One individual pointed out, “There are others who by means of exemption are unable to be vaccinated either due to religious beliefs or medical conditions,” and “Being that it is the front page, many people will see these hateful remarks and have no context unless they read the article.”

Even among those who recognized the comments as tweets, many felt it was difficult to discern this fact and that the comments were given undue weight. As one complainant put it, “The newspaper quotes someone from Twitter…and promotes it on their front page in a way that suggests they agree with it. The fact it comes from another person is in very small characters, and the text is placed without quotation marks.”

In addition to the general outrage over the front-page display of the story, some complainants took the opportunity to express their views on vaccination. A number of complainants simply wanted an apology from the news organization about how the newspaper chose to highlight these tweets.

Most complainants immediately contacted the NNC with their concerns. Some told us they even reached out to their local police with concerns about hateful language and were referred to the NNC.

The NNC reviewed each of the complaints and listened to their phone calls. As is our process, we encouraged them to try to resolve the matter, first, with the news organization directly and allow reasonable opportunity for the news organization to address their concerns.

On August 28, the public editor of the Toronto Star published his findings in a column in response to reader concerns. The Star had received thousands of messages from concerned readers who found the front-page display “confusing, hurtful and inflammatory.”

As noted in the column, “Many readers thought the statements were the Star’s view, like a front-page editorial; others thought it was the headline to the story.” The public editor noted that there were no quotation marks around the tweeted comments, that the tweets lacked context, and the source of the comments was not clearly identified.

The column included comments from the editor of the Toronto Star, who acknowledged the “power” and “responsibility” of a front page. She apologized for the fact that the particular front-page display did not meet their usual standards.

As noted in the column, the public editor found that “greater care should have been taken” in this case, and that “The Star wound up stoking the very divisions it sought to write about.”

Throughout the pandemic, the NNC has received a number of complaints and phone calls from people concerned with polarization and ‘divisiveness’ in reporting on COVID, and especially, COVID vaccines. In many of these cases, people want to see another side of the story reflected, even if the evidence does not support it.

Whether covering vaccine hesitancy or people’s response to vaccine hesitancy, reporting on unfounded, offensive, or even extreme views can be newsworthy and serve important journalistic purposes, so long as those views are treated with appropriate care. That means providing appropriate attribution and context, including verifiable evidence and information about sourcing.

In this particular case, the NNC recognizes that the complaints were primarily directed at the front-page layout of the story, and not the story itself, which in fact aimed to provide context and shed light on the attitudes expressed in the strongly-worded tweets.

In reviewing complainants’ concerns and the news organizations’ response to the matter, the NNC agreed with the news organization that the comments should have been more clearly labelled. It also agreed that in this case, the display of the tweets on the front page fell short of journalistic standards around context and attribution.

At the same time, the NNC found that the public editor’s findings and thorough report on the matter both acknowledged and addressed reader concerns about the lack of context, inadequate labelling, and divisive nature of the comments.

While apologies typically fall outside the mandate of the NNC, we would note that the chief editor’s comments and apology for the front page’s shortcomings, as quoted in the column, go a long way to addressing reader concerns, particularly of those who wished to see recognition of the wide-reaching impact of the newspaper’s front page.

In light of the published findings by the Toronto Star public editor, the NNC considered this matter resolved due to corrective action.

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1st annual Burlington Literary Festival launches in November

By Staff

October 22, 2021



Booklovers and writers, take note!

The 1st annual Burlington Literary Festival launches in November, just in time for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.

“During this month-long celebration of literature, we welcome authors, celebrate books, and (virtually) visit with local and national literary treasures.

“All sessions are online this year due to the pandemic. We look forward to hosting in-person and virtual festival events next year. Please bookmark this page and follow #BurlLitFest to get the latest festival news.”


How to Research with Denise Davy, investigative journalist, social issues advocate & author

A Bookseller’s Perspective with Ian Elliot, A Different Drummer Books owner

National Novel Writing Month with Brian Henry, writer, creative writing instructor & former book editor

Digital Publishing with Mark Leslie Lefebvre, author, former bookseller & e-publisher

The Art of Writing Memoir with Dr. Ellen Ryan, pyschologist, professor emeritus, McMaster University

Story Development with Lynda Simmons, author & creative writing instructor

Haiku for Remembrance Day with Kimiko Horne, published haiku writer & teacher


Lana Button, children’s author, educator & entertainer

Tonia Evans Cianciulli, soprano, singer-songwriter & author

Ian Hamilton, crime/mystery writer & former journalist

Terry O’Reilly, author, broadcast producer & CBC Radio One podcast host

Zoe Whittall, poet, novelist & TV writer


AGB presents About Prison Libraries with Kirsten Wurmann and Ashley Huot, Prison Libraries Committee of Manitoba

HPO presents Composing Literature-Based Music with Abigail Richardson-Schulte, Composer-in-Residence

Treaty & What it Means to the Law of the Land presented by Elder Garry Sault, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation

Participating partners

A Different Drummer Books
Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB)
Burlington Mundialization Committee – Itabashi
Burlington Writers Group
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO)
Harper Collins Canada
McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA)
Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
Southern Ontario Lyric Opera Company (SOLO)

Related links

REGISTER for BurlLitFest events – registration opens Oct 25, 12pm


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Library services limited during a software system upgrade, Nov 2 to 18

By Staff

October 22nd, 2021



Burlington Public Library will start a major move to a new library software system and service provider on Tuesday.November 2.

“The new system, designed to manage our collections and customer information, brings many improvements to help us serve you better. Still, we regret that there will be limited services while all our data relocates to its new home. We expect to complete all work and be back to business as usual by November 18.

“We need to minimize any data changes to make sure no information gets lost between the old and new systems.”  Here’s what to expect during the transition and important changes to note:

1. NO online catalogue access; CHECK OUT only.

  • No searching or browsing the online catalogue.
  • No access to your My BPL account.
  • No placing holds. Holds already waiting for you won’t expire. No new holds will be available for pick-up.
  • No renewals.
  • No returned items will be checked in. You can still return items but they will not show as returned in your account until after Nov 18.
  • No payments will be taken for fees or other financial transactions.
  • Check-out kiosks will be unavailable.
  • No online self-registration for a library card.
  • Some digital resources may be temporarily unavailable during the transition. This information will be posted on our website as needed.

You will be able to:

  • Check out books and other items available on our shelves.
  • Check out eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines and stream movies and music directly through the resource’s website (for example, OverDrive, Hoopla, Kanopy) or the resource’s app (such as Libby, Hoopla, Kanopy etc)
  • Register in person at any branch for a library card.
  • Register to attend virtual library programs.
  • Use public computers, printers, and free wireless access at all locations.

2. NEW – PIN reset
During the data migration, your PIN will be reset to the last four digits of the telephone number we have on file for you. You can reset your PIN after Nov 18.

3. NEW – Borrowing history
BPL now retains the borrowing history on all customer accounts to serve you better and bring collections of the highest interest to our community. We will use the data to understand our general use trends; we will not access information at the individual level. If you wish to access your borrowing history, you must enable this feature in your My BPL account. Library staff will only access your borrowing history with your permission.

We encourage you to contact us online, stop by and talk with our staff, or give us a call at 905.639.3611 if you have any questions.








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