A picture is worth a thousand words - choose the ones you would use.

By Pepper Parr

March 3rd, 2024



In the world of politics – the photo op is just what they do.

Get your picture in the paper – any media will do – and the voters will see you as out there doing your job.  And that seems to be enough for most of the voters.

There are situations that are must be seen at events for every politician in every community.

You can never go wrong with the hospital, the Food Bank, BurlingtonGreen and Halton Women’s Place.  There are others.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward turned every member of Council into a Deputy Mayor and sends them out to do some of the photo ops.  A Council member out there cutting a ribbon is not the same is as a Deputy Mayor cutting that ribbon.

Think hard about those Deputy Mayors.  One, ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte, has managed to get something useful done – she was the driving force for a new Standing Committee – Pipeline to Permits.  Too early to know if they are going to make a go of it – but the signs are all good.

Oddly enough Stolte is probably the worst at the photo op game; no shame there sister.

The Mayor does do the photo op – from singing in a Smart Car to being on hand for a Halton Women’s Place event.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Isn’t it

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BurlingtonGreen looking to the city for $50,000 a year; they have received $773,500 from the Trillium Fund since 2017

By Pepper Parr

March 3rd, 2024


The Ontario Trillium Foundation advises that: The $615K grant was a Grow grant which are typically have terms of up to 3 years. The other 2 grants were Resilient Community Fund grants which had terms of 1 year and a maximum request amount of $150K.

OTF does not accept MPP letters of support nor are MPPs required to support grant applications.


Council will hear a request from BurlingtonGreen this week for an annual fee from the city for services they provide.

The Staff recommendation is to approve one time funding for 2024 in the maximum amount of $50,000 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund as a fee for services provided by BurlingtonGreen.

Direct the Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services to execute a Memorandum of Understanding between the City and BurlingtonGreen outlining the services to be provided in 2024, including performance measures in a form satisfactory to the Executive Director of Legal Services and Corporation Counsel; and

Consider an ongoing fee for services approach with BurlingtonGreen in the amount of $50,000 per calendar year during the Mayor’s 2025 budget process the period of 2024 – 2027.

This is where the rubber hits the road for the BurlingtonGreen people.  CleanUp-GrenUp

In 2023, BurlingtonGreen received $70,000 under the Recreation, Community and Culture’s Community Development program to deliver programs which support the City’s strategic directions related to sustainable transportation, urban nature priorities, climate change actions and zero waste.

The unfortunate part of the Staff report before City council this week is that there is no mention of the $ 773, 500. BurlingtonGreen has received from the provincial Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) that distributes profits from the lotteries.

Ontario Trillium Foundation Community Investments

Amount awarded$615,300.00


Delivering a project that builds on the success of a proven model or program with a $615,300 grant over 36 months to increase the number of people volunteering in community eco-action activities. Encouraging people to support a healthy and sustainable environment, this initiative is helping people and resource users take deliberate actions to benefit the environment, and has an impact on the lives of 6,300 people in the community.


In Burlington activities like this are part of the right of passage; an experience that stays with younger people forever.

Ontario Trillium Foundation Resilient Communities Fund

Amount awarded$78,400


Our organization, with a $78,400 Resilient Communities Fund grant over 12 months, will rebuild and recover from impacts of COVID-19 by engaging staff to create new, inclusive and safe volunteer opportunities, attract more diverse volunteer participation, and implement new volunteer fundraising strategies.

Ontario Trillium Foundation Resilient Communities Fund

Amount awarded $79,800


Three generation Clean Up crew – an annual event that draws thousands.

From 2017 through to 2023/24 BurlingtonGreen has received $773,500.00 from different OTF programs  that are financed by the proceeds from the different lottery  programs.

BurlingtonGreen has been operating in the community since 2007 and has a long history of partnering with the City. They took over the annual community Clean Up event from the City in 2011 (formerly organized by the Mayor’s office) and significantly increased participation as it has evolved into the annual Clean-up Green-up event, running over several months instead of just one week around Earth Day.

Forestry staff and BurlingtonGreen have partnered on several occasions to deliver tree planting, give aways and educational events. The City entered into a funding agreement with BG in 2021/22 to complete the community based Electric Mobility Strategy presented to Council in September 2022 (fifty percent of funding was provided by the provincial Ministry of Energy).

The Pump House that once brought in water from the lake to meet the city’s needs and is now used by BurlingtonGreen as an EcoHub. No word on how long a lease was signed or the rental rate.

In 2022, BG successfully made arrangements with the City to lease the Burlington pump house located on the Beachway. They transformed it into a community Eco Hub where they present climate related programs and actions, such as:

  • Home energy retrofits showcasing the air source heat pump installed at the Eco Hub;
  • Active and sustainable transportation given the location on the multi-use trail along with bike parking and a bike repair station; and
  • Electric mobility with the soon to be installed electric vehicle charging

The fee for services approach will help to supplement external funding and provide additional support for staff and resources allowing BurlingtonGreen to attract volunteers, develop and coordinate communications and successfully deliver activities noted above.

BurlingtonGreen has made a huge difference to the public perception of environmental issues.  Their reach starts with students at the elementary level through to grandparents.  The corporate sector is very comfortable and readily identifies with the group.

But there is a bigger question here that does not get raised in the Staff report – at what point does the City pick up all the costs of this organization.

There are other community organizations that deliver services to the community at no cost. The work done by Bfast has resulted in transit services that meet the needs of that part of the population that depends on public transit.

A neighbourhood tradition in Burlington – not a dime of public money.

The Food Banks provide services without financial support from the city.

The matter before Council should not be:  does the City keep providing and increasing ongoing financial support but rather at what point do taxpayer dollars get used to support community groups. There is a policy the city does not appear to be adhering to.

There is absolutely nothing in the Staff report on the BurlingtonGreen financials; how much they raise and what it gets spent on.

BurlingonGreen has an impressive public profile; it has close to Holy Grail status. Its reach within the community is both admirable and far reaching – the questions is how far should it be reaching into the public purse.

The 3711 taxpayers who signed a petition against the 7.5% 2024 tax increase have to be taken into consideration – their voice is as valid as the BurlingtonGreen supporters.

Past due property tax at the highest level in 5 years.

Transparency and accountability launched a political career.

Missing anywhere in the Staff report are the two pillars that said to be critical to what gets done with public money: transparency and accountability – a special interest group doesn’t use the words and City Council appears to be taking a pass on them as well.

We will return tomorrow with detail on what BurlingtonGreen has done in terms of its own fund raising and how it spends the funds it receives.  And we will look at that policy as well.




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Surge pricing a growing part of consumer experience,

By Staff

March 2nd, 2024



Brock University has attached itself to Burlington in a way that higher education institutions in the area have not.  Brock currently has one faculty using Burlington facilities for teaching and expects to move into a portion of the Robert Bateman Community Centre where they have leased all of the second floor.

The university also makes members of different faculties available for interviews on subject of public interest.

Food pricing is the focus of comments made by Eric Dolansky.  He said that:

“The public reacted swiftly this week when news spread that Wendy’s had potential plans to test run surge pricing in its restaurants.

Surge pricing practices,

“While the popular fast-food chain has since indicated it will not increase prices during the busiest times at its restaurants, the situation has shed light on both current and potential future surge pricing practices, says Brock University’s Eric Dolansky.

“The Associate Professor of Marketing with Brock’s Goodman School of Business says the thought of restaurants introducing dynamic pricing elicited public backlash because it “violates norms and expectations” for the food industry.

“As of late, the concept of surge pricing has been attributed mainly to transportation companies such as Uber, which use a dynamic model to moderate use by customers based on supply and demand.

“However, “surge pricing is a relatively new name for a fairly old concept,” says Dolansky, who studies behavioural economics, price perception and consumer estimations of value.

“Tying price to supply and demand is as old as classical economics, but the technological power needed to do it in real time and on a wider scale is more recent,” he says. “Even so, for decades companies have been altering prices based on either actual or expected demand.”

Dolansky points to the travel industry, where both airlines and hotels operate on dynamic pricing models — and have for some time.

The difference is the perceived value for consumers when it comes to purchases such as travel versus physical products, such as food items, for which customers expect relatively stable prices, he says.

Eric Dolansky.: Associate Professor of Marketing with Brock’s Goodman School of Business.

For instance, with Niagara Falls being one of few places in the path of totality for the April 8 total solar eclipse, hotels raised their prices in anticipation of the celestial event’s ability to draw tourists.

“Staying in Niagara Falls around April 8 holds a great deal more value, for some consumers, than that same stay one week earlier or later,” Dolansky says. “Therefore, they are willing to pay more, and the companies involved are trying to capitalize on that desire.”

However, gift shops, tourist attractions and restaurants in the Niagara area wouldn’t normally change their prices based on an expected increase in demand, he says.

“If these businesses raise their prices, they need to convince customers it’s worth it.”

This may be done by providing an exclusive offering, such as a special menu, to increase the perceived value, he says.

Dolansky says businesses have to be careful that their pricing — not only the amount but the way prices are set and change over time — reflects the value that is perceived by customers.

“If customers don’t see a difference in value based on, for example, how busy a particular fast-food franchise is at a given moment, they won’t be willing to accept a higher price,” he says.

Dolanksy says it’s beneficial for businesses to research, innovate and test out different pricing models, but that they must be based on customer value.

“We inherently understand that if something is in greater demand, we may need to pay more for it,” he says. “But for food, in most situations in Canada, there is not the same scarcity — thankfully — so a model like this may feel artificial.”


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Rivers on Mulroney: a fish out of water in today’s conservative camps.

By Ray Rivers

March 2nd, 2024



I came to office as Prime Minister determined to place the environment at the top of our national priorities,”( Brian Mulroney 2019)

It must have broken his heart when his daughter, the first Attorney General in Doug Ford’s Ontario government, led the provincial legal case against Canada’s new carbon tax.  Brian Mulroney was too good a politician and father to criticize her but his praise of former federal environment minister McKenna said a lot about his views on climate change.

Brian Mulroney was a fish out of water in today’s conservative camps.  Unlike his federal Conservative Party compatriots today, who can’t even agree that climate change is real, he understood that one of the most important responsibilities of any government is stewarding the environment.  With that possibly in mind he argued that “In the final analysis, successful leaders do not impose unpopular ideas on the public, successful leaders make unpopular ideas acceptable to the nation.”

Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney leads the chorus in singing an Irish song on stage with his wife (Mila) and U.S. President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan at the conclusion of a gala performance in Quebec City March 17, 1985.

His record of achievement on the environment was impressive.  He initiated ongoing  bi-national efforts to clean-up the Great Lakes.  He negotiated the 1991 Acid Rain Accord with a reluctant American president.  He hosted and facilitated the 1987 Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, a landmark and successful global environmental treaty.  And he implemented the federal Green Plan in which every member of his Cabinet was charged with environmental responsibilities.   In 2006 he was recognized as Canada’s ‘greenest’ prime minister.

Some might say he was a leader before his time when it came to the environment.  But that would be in contrast to his fellow conservative provincial leaders, particularly those today in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.  Alberta is the dirtiest province in Canada when it comes to generating climate warming pollution.  And yet its upcoming budget bans the production of new clean energy and places a whopping tax on electric vehicles.  And the province is slashing spending on forest fires management in the mistaken belief that all the pollution they pour into the air will not come back to haunt them as it has in previous years.

Mulroney speaking to students at St. Francis Xavier University

Brain Mulroney began his career as a labour lawyer and became a skilled negotiator and the master of the compromise.  However he failed twice to convince Canadians to allow changes to our constitution in order to obtain Quebec’s signature.   The Meech Lake accord and, even more so, the Charlottetown referendum, involved just too many compromises for too many Canadians.

The inadvertent upshot of those initiatives and their failures was the creation of the BLOC Québécois separatist party and the enhanced popularity of the Reform Party, both of which contributed to the ultimate demise and disappearance of the political party of Canada’s first prime minister.  This was a sad ending to a party which less than a decade earlier had claimed the largest electoral victory in Canadian history, winning over 50% of both seats and the popular vote.  Mulroney had notably won a virtual sweep of seats in Quebec, something unheard of since the Sir John A. MacDonald government had hanged Louis Riel, nearly causing a civil war.

Mulroney came into office promising to better handle government financial management than Mr. Trudeau who had apparently lost his way among inflation, stagnation and stagflation.  But Mr. Mulroney’s government never came close to balancing the budget either.  In fact the deficit in the last budgets of both leaders were almost identical in real terms.   And Mulroney’s GST coupled with continued high interest rates precipitated one of Canada’s worst recessions since the 1930’s.

“In the final analysis, successful leaders do not impose unpopular ideas on the public, successful leaders make unpopular ideas acceptable to the nation.”

There was this darker chapter to Mr. Mulroney’s career, where his ill-advised dealings with a corrupt German lobbyist led to betrayal of the very ethics which he had once employed to discipline members of his own cabinet.  But we are all human and we all make mistakes, even prime ministers.  As Mr. Mulroney said in a 2011 TVO interview, nobody is perfect.  Still Brian Mulroney continued to be regarded with respect and called upon for his counsel, including by newly minted PM Justin Trudeau over renewal of the North American trade deal.

Brian Mulroney with Nelson Mandela

Perhaps his greatest international accomplishment was leading the fight to end Apartheid in South Africa and freeing Nelson Mandela, the man who would lead that country out of its miserable past.  Mulroney played hard ball by imposing sanctions on South Africa, then softer ball convincing Mrs.Thatcher and Ronald Reagan to join with him in securing a better future for the people of that country.  To this date, he is regarded as a hero by South Africans.

Mulroney was fond of saying that history judges people primarily by what they accomplished.   And he accomplished much over his two terms in office, particularly with regard to the environment.  One’s legacy is about what is left behind for future generations after their time.  And what could be more important to our children and grandchildren than the state of the planet we leave for them.   And in that regard Brian Mulroney left a legacy for which we should all be thankful.

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




Background links:

Climate Change –   Post Mortem –   Financial Management


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War Plane Museum annual model contest - registration open

By Staff

March 2nd, 2024



Canada’s greatest plastic scale model contest and sale.

Contest categories include Aircraft, Armour, Automotive, Ships, Figures, Space, Collections as well as Intermediate, Junior and Bantam entries.

The registration process for model entry closes March 19 at 11:59 pm.

No registrations will be accepted beyond this period or at the door.

Vendor tables – SOLD OUT.

Registration forms HERE

Check out the website


Students love the place – a location that every student should get to at least once.


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Federal Court rules against Federal Cabinet approval of CN truck-rail hub

By Staff

March 2nd, 2024



A break that municipalities seldom get the Federal Court of Canada ruled in favour of the Halton Municipalities with respect to CN’s proposed truck-rail facility in the Town of Milton. The Court found that the decisions of the Federal Minister and Cabinet failed to fulfill their duty to protect human health.

On March 1st, “The Court noted Federal Cabinet’s decision was flawed and unreasonable,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Our concerns about the health and safety of our residents have been heard loud and clear and we are very pleased with the Court’s decision.”

The hub would handle thousands of containers on a 24/7 basis.

The project cannot now proceed without going back to the Federal government for reconsideration, including a full evaluation of the effects of the project.

Orange is the hub foot print, red is the impact area.

“This has been a long battle to protect the health of our residents,” said Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz. “We are delighted that our concerns have been heard.”

In 2020, the Environmental Review Panel found that CN’s proposed truck-rail facility in Milton would have significant adverse effects on the health of Halton residents.

This is the only project ever subject to a federal environmental panel review found likely to cause significant adverse effects on human health. There are also additional concerns about safety due to the potential for increased traffic. The project site is located within one kilometer of more than 34,000 residents, one hospital, 12 schools, and two long-term care homes.

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Councillors to take part in a half day workshop on parliamentary procedure

By Pepper Parr

March 1st, 2024



Is someone kidding here?

On March 7th, Council will meet in a Workshop setting to:

Review of fundamentals of parliamentary law

Review of commonly used motions and precedence of motions (ranking order)

Characteristics of an effective chairperson

Presiding practice – the fundamentals of parliamentary procedures

Elements of effective meetings/keeping meetings on track


The workshop will be facilitated by James (Jim) Lochrie, CPP-T Certified Professional Parliamentarian and teacher of parliamentary law and Doris Duni, co-presenter.  We can assume the two facilitators are being paid – there’s a sterling example of fiscal prudence.

The training they are getting is something they should be paying for out of their own pockets – will there be training on what a Council member should wear – there is more than one that could use some help from a decent consultant.

This Council is made up of seven people.  Five of the seven have served on term and are part way through their second.  The Mayor and Councillor Sharman have been in office since 2010!  And they haven’t leaned the fundamentals of parliamentary procedure?

The Mayor’s rant,  click HERE to watch, was just plain bad behaviour and the nursing of a grudge.  No amount of training can eradicate stuff like that.  You re-elected her – so it appears to be acceptable.

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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How does the value of your home determined - real estate does it one way - tax people do it another way

By Staff

March 1st, 2024



Yesterday we did a short piece on MPAC – Municipal Property Assessment Corporation and what they can tell you about your property.

We provided you with some data – there was more;  When you log into the MPAC web site you can learn:


There is a map that lets you zoom into property locations.  It’s a little on the tricky side to use – be patient.

Your home is the largest asset most people own.

Different types of property get assessed differently.  Golf courses and retirement homes are assessed under different rules.  The hospitality industry property assessment is based on the revenue potential.

Learn more about what you are being taxed based on the value of you home.  Know what the assessment is and how that determines what your taxes will be.

MPAC website HERE

Related news story:

Not much available to the $500,000 price range

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Nominations for 2024 Cheers to Volunteer award now open!

By Staff

March 1st, 2024



Volunteering is one of those win-win opportunities.

People who have time on their hands meet with a help people who need help getting through a day.

Serving a meal, having a conversation, running an errand.

Burlington has hundreds of these people.  The organization that helps match those who want to be volunteers and those who need a hand up have announced

Community Development Halton (CDH) and Volunteer Halton have announced that nominations for the 2024 Cheers to Volunteer award are now open!

The Cheers to Volunteers award offers organizations an opportunity to recognize the important contributions volunteers make to their mission and vission.  These awards are presented by CDH/Volunteer Halton to selected volunteers during 2024 National Volunteer Week celebrations (April 14 – 20).

Nominations are open to all nonprofits, charitable. voluntary, and grassroots organizations in Halton region.  CDH membership is not required to submit a nomination.  There is no limit on the number of nominations an organization can submit, however, each volunteer must be nominated separately.  See the attached flyer for all the award eligibility and criteria information.

Submit your nomination online at: https://forms.office.com/r/Pgsu34YPk5

Nominations close on March 25, 2024 and nominators will be notified if their nominee has been selected by March 28, 2024

Questions?  Contact Heather Johnson at volunteer@cdhalton.ca.


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Electors can present a petition asking Council to pass a by-law dividing or re-dividing a municipality into wards or dissolving the existing wards.

By Pepper Parr

March 1st, 2024


Part 1 of a series

Burlington has had a seven-member council since 1997, when Burlington had a population of 139,000. Since the last review, the population of Burlington has increased from approximately 160,000 in 2005, to approximately 186,948 in 2021, according to Census population data.

The Municipal Act, 2001, provides the legislative framework for municipalities to change its composition of council and review ward boundaries. A municipality is authorized to “divide or re-divide the municipality into wards or to dissolve the existing wards.”

The Act requires that a municipality provides public notice that a ward boundary by-law has been passed within 15 days after the by-law is passed. The notice must specify the last date for filing a notice of appeal. The Act states that within 45 days of the ward boundary by-law being passed, it may be appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal (Formerly the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, and the Ontario Municipal Board before that).

For any changes to be in effect for the 2026 Municipal Election, the by-law establishing new ward boundaries must be in force before January 1, 2026. This means if the by-law establishing new boundaries is appealed to the OLT, the notices of appeal must be withdrawn, or the Tribunal must have issued an order to affirm or amend the by-law before that date.

The Act also provides a mechanism where electors of a municipality can present a petition to Council asking them to pass a by-law dividing or re-dividing a municipality into wards or dissolving the existing wards. The petition requires the signatures of 1% of the electors in the municipality or 500 electors in the municipality, whichever is less.

If council does not pass a by-law in accordance with the submitted petition within 90 days of receiving the petition, any of the electors who signed the petition may appeal to the OLT to have the municipality divided or re-divided into wards or have the existing wards dissolved. The Tribunal is required hear the application and may make an order dividing or re-dividing or dissolving the existing wards. It is important to point out that in this scenario the Tribunal becomes the decision maker for establishing ward boundaries with little input from the municipality.

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Why progressive jackpot games at online casinos are often the first games players gravitate to.

By Sherry Blue

March 1st, 2024



The most popular games that online casino players tend to gravitate to the most are the progressive jackpot games. These are the ones with pooled jackpots that will keep on climbing until one lucky player wins.

You can play progressive jackpot games at regular online casinos using fiat currency. You can also now find a growing number of fully licensed and regulated online casinos that accept blockchain payments, meaning you can play progressive jackpot slots using your cryptocurrency balance.

Let’s dive straight in to explore the allure of progressive jackpot slots on crypto-accepting online casinos like 10bet, which can be accessed from any modern Wi-Fi/internet-connected smartphone, laptop, desktop computer or tablet device.

With progressive jackpot slots, everyone who plays these games automatically contributes a tiny percentage of each stake to the progressive jackpot, and there is no limit to how big they can grow.

Why are progressive jackpot slots at online casinos so popular?

There are two types of online slot machines – fixed coin jackpot slots and progressive jackpot slots. In a fixed coin jackpot slot, the top prize is capped at a certain amount and will never climb any higher.

In progressive jackpot slots, everyone who plays these games automatically contributes a tiny percentage of each stake to the progressive jackpot, and there is no limit to how big they can grow.

In December 2023, one lucky player netted an incredible €39 million jackpot playing a Mega Moolah jackpot slot from Microgaming/Games Global – the single biggest jackpot win in an online slot machine in the history of online slots.

The reason why progressive jackpot slots are so alluring is because they can literally turn players into instant multi-millionaires from just one spin, and the lucky winning spins can cost as little as $/€/£0.10 or $/€/£0.20.

Those are real numbers – it doesn’t happen every day – but it does happen.

Online slots are the most popular online casino games anyway, so when you add a multi-million-dollar jackpot to the mix, you can see why progressive jackpot slots are the first games most players instantly seek out when logging into their online casino account.

When a progressive jackpot is won, it will always reset to what is referred to as the ‘seed amount,’ which is hardly ever zero ($/€/£0.00).

In some of today’s most famous jackpot slots from Games Global, Playtech, NetEnt, and others, the seed amount might be $/€/£1,000.000.00 or $/€/£2,000,000.00. You can find several rewarding jackpot slots on 10bet casino right now, but you must be at least 18 to play them.

The progressive jackpots will then continue to climb as more people play them, and you can watch as the jackpot tickers grow in real time. It all adds to the excitement. The other thing that makes these games so popular is that progressive jackpots can drop at any time.

It doesn’t matter what stake you play with. Everyone stands a chance at winning. Additionally, most jackpot games are not ‘local’ to one online casino. They are often connected to vast networks of 100+ online casinos, which is why individual jackpots often climb so high in such a short time.

Additionally, some games, like the Daily Jackpot slots from Red Tiger Gaming, comprise an entire series of 20 or more slots. All of the Daily Jackpot slots from Red Tiger are connected to the same progressive jackpot.

What famous progressive jackpot slots can I play at 10Bet?

The progressive jackpot slots you can play at 10Bet will depend on which country you live in and, therefore, which 10bet domain you are legally permitted to visit (due to local online gambling laws and regulations in your country).

For example, people living in the United Kingdom can access the .co.uk domain and will find progressive jackpot slots from Playtech, but when players from other countries visit the .com domain, they will see famous progressive jackpot slots from Microgaming/Games Global, Play’n GO, and Red Tiger Gaming.

The ten most famous progressive jackpot slots you can play today at 10bet.com are the following hit titles:

      1. Leprechaun Goes to Hell online slot from Play’n GO
      2. Major Millions online slot from Microgaming/Games Global
      3. Shamrock Holmes Megaways online slot from All41Studios/Games Global
      4. Aztec Spins online slot from Red Tiger Gaming (daily jackpot slot)
      5. Lucky Oktoberfest online slot from Red Tiger Gaming (daily jackpot slot)
      6. Rainbow Jackpots Power Lines online slot from Red Tiger Gaming (daily jackpot slot)
      7. The Wild Hatter online slot from Red Tiger Gaming (daily jackpot slot)
      8. Piggy Riches Megaways online slot from Red Tiger Gaming (daily jackpot slot)
      9. Beast of Wealth online slot from Play’n GO
      10. Gunslinger Reloaded online slot from Play’n GO

These games are playable from around as little as $/€/£0.10 up to usually no more than $/€/£20.00 per spin and are usually only available in the real money mode. However, some games may also be accessible in the free-play demo mode.

Honourable mentions

Other hit titles you can play today at 10bet include Bell of Fortune, Jewel Scarabs, Speed Cash, Gift Shop, Dice Dice Dice, Noble Sky, Legendary Excalibur, Golden Goal, and Break da Bank Again Megaways, to name a few.

Final note

Know your limits – and have fun.

Before playing progressive jackpots in the hope of winning an alluring sum of money, always remember to gamble responsibly by setting a reasonable budget before playing.

Don’t forget that not all online casinos like 10bet accept crypto as a viable payment method for deposits and withdrawals. At 10bet, it’s possible to play all of the jackpot games mentioned above using Litecoin (LTC), Tether (USDT), Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin (BTC).

Most major fiat currencies and traditional payment methods, such as Trustly, Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, Paysafe card, and many others, are also accepted for those who don’t like using crypto.

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Weather is not what it used to be - as seen from as downtown high rise

By Staff

February 29th, 2024



Climate change as viewed from a high rise.

Typical view.

Later in the day:

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Ontario communities experience a decline in homes under $500,000 

By Staff

February 29th, 2024



Ontario’s residential property landscape has continued to evolve over the last decade – communities with homes under $500,000 are becoming increasingly scarce. According to new data recently released by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation

The type of homes with a value less than $750,000 and where they can be found has also shifted.

As of December 2023, the median home value in Ontario was $765,000, with the median value in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) at $1,031,000.

The median value represents the mid-point of the range, meaning half of properties have a value above, and half have a value below.

MPAC, the  Municipal Property Assessment Corporation reports that “Looking across the province, our data shows increases in home values across Ontario – even in smaller communities outside the GTHA,” The reality is that current home prices are a reflection of various economic forces at play. Factors like supply and demand, increased construction and labour costs plus inflation are all part of what’s driving today’s house prices.”

 With year-over-year price increases driving buyers to look at communities farther outside the GTHA.

We will access more data and report later in the day.

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Sunday - Chilly Half Marathon - be aware of where the traffic will get messy

By Staff

February 29th, 2024



It’s race weekend in Burlington Downtown! As a reminder to those of you coming to cheer on your family and friends, there will be road closures, a free shuttle bus, lots of places to stop for a hot beverage, snacks and lunch at one of our many restaurants.

Here is the race route:

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Talk about diversity and the changes that will come with it - CDH sponsoring an in person event March 18th.

By Pepper Parr

February 29th, 2024



Whenever the 29,000 homes that have to be built for the 120,000 new residents that are going to become part of the population comes up one word always stands out – diversity.

The ethic make up of the city will change – where they come from is unknown – all we know is that they are coming.

Rishia Burke – Community Development Halton

Community Development Halton, (CDH) a regional organization, much changed in the past year when Rishia Burke was brought in as the Executive Director, has been hosting ZOOM sessions on diversity.

CDH has decided that it is time for an in person event that will take place on March 8th in Milton.

One of the things CDH did under Burke’s leadership was to move away from what was really a Burlington centric operation.

The “home” address is now in Action where they share space with a community church.

The event is free – but they need registrations no later than March 14th –  no later than 4:00 pm.

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Watching city staff and Council work through what will take place at RBCC when it opens in 2025

By Pepper Parr

February 28th, 2024



Earlier in the month Denise Bears, Senior Manager Community Planning with Recreation Community and Culture (RCC) reported to Council on what she had done to date on engagement on the former high school, the Live and Play Plan, and the Direct Delivery Program review.

Our focus in this report to readers is on the engagement that has taken place on the Robert Bateman Community Centre.  Beard said that “community sentiment and comments have been consistent regardless of what the community was being engaged on..

That same could not be said about how her dialogue with Council members went.  Beard reported that specific to the former high school staff held four community visioning sessions and attended Food for Feedback and the Appleby Line Street Festival to gather the community’s visions for the former high school. Staff also launched the Request for Expressions of Interest to assess what business or not-for-profit interest there might be for exclusive uses within the building.

There were 71 expressions of interest. More than 50 people attending in person sessions (which is really not an impressive number)  and 67 ideas added to the Get Involved page.

Denise Beard, Senior Manager Community Development

There were four public events:

  • August 22 at Appleby Arena,
  • August 23 at LaSalle Pavilion; and
  • October 18 at Tansley Woods Community Centre
  • October 19, 2023 virtual

Those who did attend the public sessions had a lot to say. They offered the following:

    1. Space for STEM programming
    2. Access to Tool Shop/Library
    3. Black Box Theatre (similar to Queen Elizabeth Park CC in Oakville)
    4. Theatre Rehearsal Space
    5. Indoor Bike Park
    6. Sports and Recreational Programming for Children and Youth
      1. Drop-in and Program
    7. Living Wall Atrium
    8. Repair Café
      1. Household items to be repaired by local makers/artisans.
    9. Pickleball Programming/Courts
    10. Apartments for the Homeless
    11. Dedicated Art Space/Gallery
    12. Open Gym Time for Youth
    13. Cooking Classes/Kitchen Space
    14. Flex Space for Community Use
    15. Newcomers Programming
    16. Craft Programming Space
    17. Art Programs/Classes
      1. Drop-in Studio for Youth/Children
    18. Soundproof Room
    19. Indoor Cricket
    1. Family Programs
    2. Inclusion Programming
    3. Art Collective
    4. Daycare Space
    5. 50+ Resources and Training Centre
    6. Community Job Café
    7. Dancing Lessons
    8. A Re-Use Emporium
    9. Kids Game Night
    10. Clay, Fibre, Drawing, Painting and Mural Art Space
    11. Community Garden Plots
    12. Extended Learning Centre
    13. Dog Training
    14. Squash Courts
    15. Office Space for Organizations
    16. Coffee Shop or Restaurant
    17. Alzheimer’s Support Spaces

Some of the ideas reflected program that were already being given at other city facilities; what was evident was that people had ideas – good ideas.

A rendering of the Robert Bateman Community Centre as seen from New Street

The challenge was how to make them work in the community centre that will open phase 1 in September of 2025 when Brock University students will show up for classes on the second floor of the building.

In a feature article we published earlier this week you get to read how members of city council dug in and talked about what they wanted and didn’t want.

It is a three part feature, the third on is lengthy – but if you want to get a really good feel for how council members think on the fly; how they begin to reveal what they want this city of yours to be as we work our way to the point where we have 29,000 new homes and, as Councillor Sharman said, 121,000 new people from around the world – do click on the links and read on.

Recreation, Community and Culture (RCC)  staff are not academics, they are not social scientists; they are bureaucrats (a word that is sometimes used as a slur – not in this instance).  They are working to make the community they live and work in better knowing that the rate of change is so rapid that it is hard to keep up.

Reacting on the fly and pressing council members to be clear on what they want the RBCC to do for the residents of the city.

The RCC department, led by Executive Director Emily Cote, who directed Denise Beard, as she worked her way through meetings where the sentiment was not always clear.

There was some good work done – I urge to take the time to read all three parts – the pilot program is not the kind of thing one sees at the municipal level very often.  No idea how it will work out.

We get told on occasion that we put too much attention on insisting members of council and city staff be both transparent and accountable.  They were certainly transparent when they talked their way to a point where they realized the work was not yet done.  This is one of those Receive and File reports you can expect to see a lot more of.

Link to the article

Part 1 Early engagement

Part 2 – The pilot project plans.

Part 3: Figuring out what they wanted and didn’t want.


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Integrity Commissioner Rejects Conflict of Interest Complaint against Councillor Kelvin Galbraith

By Pepper Parr

February 28th, 2024



A complaint that ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith had a Conflict of Interest that he did not declare related to the 1062-1072 Cook Boulevard was dismissed by Principals Integrity.

There have been 39 occasions when the Integrity Commissioner has met with a member of Council.  Most were the Council member asking for advice on a matter that could have Conflict of Interest concerns or Council Governance Code of Conduct matters. Councillor Galbraith met with the Integrity Commissioner more than any other member of Council.

Mayor Meed Ward and Councillor Nisan have met with the Integrity Commissioner as well.  Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte was sanctioned by eh Commissioner and docked five days pay.

The most recent complaint was that on January  8, 2024 Councillor Galbraith participated in consideration of a development proposal at Committee of the Whole relating to 1062-1072 Cook Boulevard. The complaint argued that in doing so Galbraith was in a conflict of interest.

In a disposition report Principles Integrity, the Integrity Commissioner hired by  the City of Burlington said:

“The complainant argued that Galbraith’s ownership of 3 properties at the northwest corner of Plains Rd. West and Waterdown Rd properties would raise a conflict of interest contrary to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (the ‘MCIA’).

“As part of our review process, and in accordance with the tenets of procedural fairness, we forwarded your complaint to the Councillor for his response. We have now had an opportunity to obtain and review that response as well as to review a map of the area delineating the area covered by the required Planning Act notice from the property at 1062-1072 Cook Boulevard. We are attaching that map to this disposition, for clarity.

“Our past advice to the Councillor regarding managing perceived interests created by his ownership of the Plains Rd./Waterdown Rd. properties has been that the planning notice distance of 120 m can be used as a proxy (a rule of thumb) for when a disqualifying interest arises (a conflict of interest).

“The Councillor’s properties are located at 15 Plains Road West, and 1016 and 1018 Waterdown Road.


“Our analysis, regarding allegations of conflict of interest arising out of property ownership by a member of Council, focuses on the potential for pecuniary interest, as contemplated by the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA). Any matter which has likely financial impact (positive or negative) on the Member’s own property constitutes a pecuniary interest to the Member. A pecuniary interest, although not defined, is understood to mean a financial impact.

“The MCIA does not provide guidance on how to recognize an interest arising on planning applications in relation to the Member’s own properties. Each conflict of interest must be assessed on its own merits, and such assessment requires a close review of the facts. There is a significant body of case law which guides Integrity Commissioners on the proper interpretation.

“Out of that case law has evolved the reliance on the 120 m notice distance mandated under the Planning Act – the distance from any planning application within which all properties lying in that radius receive notice of the application. This distance is utilized because, for planning legislation purposes in Ontario, it has been historically accepted that properties within that radius might reasonably be financially impacted by the development. This is the basis for using the 120 m distance as a proxy for whether a member whose property is located near a planning application is considered to have a pecuniary interest in the matter.

“It must be recognized that the 120 m distance has been arrived at through case law consideration of the MCIA; departing from this ‘rule of thumb’ requires some justification based on particular facts which can be considered to countermand its applicability.

“One of the leading cases dealing with recognizing a pecuniary interest in circumstances of property ownership is Greene and Borins1.

“In that case, member’s father and family had been assembling properties for some years, in anticipation of redevelopment (along Yonge Street in North York). The nine (9) properties had been acquired over the preceding years, which stood to be significantly impacted by redevelopment of the Yonge Street corridor. Some of their properties were adjacent to and abutted some of the lands subject to the development proposals for the Yonge Street corridor.

“The court determined that the member’s participation on the large and comprehensive development proposals on the Yonge Street corridor triggered a conflict of interest for the member, even beyond 120 m, for which the member had failed to obtain advice and failed to declare an interest.

“Certainly, where a member has a significant investment (in that case, 9 properties) in a land assembly awaiting redevelopment (as in Greene and Borins), and those properties are immediately adjacent to and abutting a large and comprehensive development proposal, it would be reasonable to consider that a strict reliance on the 120 m distance is countermanded.

“The facts in this complaint are significantly different. One of Councillor Galbraith’s 3 properties is the building from which he operates his fitness business. While it might be fair to characterize the other two as awaiting redevelopment, they hardly constitute a sizable land assembly. They are not immediately adjacent to the development application; and the development application cannot be characterized as a large and comprehensive redevelopment proposal. Finally, and significantly, Councillor Galbraith has sought, obtained and relied on the advice of the Integrity Commissioner in regard to conflicts of interest.

“The nearest of his properties is beyond the 120 m ‘as the crow flies’ to the property subject to the development application in which he participated on January 8, 2024. This can be confirmed by looking at the site map provided. A cursory review of the map reveals that the Councillor’s  property which lies nearest to 1062-1072 Cook Boulevard is beyond the radius delineated by the 120 m planning notice distance, and on the opposite side of Waterdown Road. It is also evident that there are 4 intervening properties which lie between the farthest point of the 120 m radius and the nearest of the Councillor’s properties.

“Although you may not agree with application of the planning notice distance of 120 m as the ‘rule of thumb’, and while there may well be circumstances in which it is not appropriate to rely on that rule of thumb, we are satisfied that the facts of this case do not support a finding of conflict of interest.

“Your complaint asserts the common law concept of conflicts of interest which is captured by reference in the Burlington Code of Good Governance. The common law does extend the statutory concept of conflicts of interest by recognizing, through case law and judicial inquiries, that it may not be necessary to identify a pecuniary interest (direct or indirect) under the MCIA in order for there to be a perception that there exists an interest sufficient to disqualify the member from participating. For example, if the member’s best friend were the applicant, the member would be expected to recognize a disqualifying interest (a conflict of interest) based on the relationship, regardless of the member having no personal pecuniary interest in the matter.

“The common law concept does not, however, change the jurisprudence and, in our view, it would be an error to determine that, despite the clear establishment of a pecuniary interest for proximity to a development application being 120 m, the common law allows Integrity Commissioners to arbitrarily establish a different distance.

“Finally, while there is no doubt that the Councillor’s property may benefit from redevelopment in the downtown area, these benefits would accrue to most if not all property owners across the downtown and therefore we would consider that to be an interest in common as defined by the MCIA and as interpreted by the case law.

“In our view, the Councillor did not breach the MCIA in participating on consideration of this application. Applying the ‘rule of thumb’, his properties are not sufficiently proximate to the property subject to the development application to trigger a conflict of interest.

“We are satisfied that the Member has adhered to best practice in regard to obtaining and following the advice of the Integrity Commissioner. Accordingly, we will be closing our file. Our disposition will be shared with the Member.”

The complaint was taken to the Integrity Commisioner by Pepper Parr, the publisher of the Burlington Gazette.

In May of 2023 the Gazette published an article on the same Galbraith properties (on the east side of Waterdown) which are directly across the street from 1029 – 1033 Waterdown Road where a 29 storey development application has been made.  That development is currently before the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Link to that story is HERE




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We know a lot more now about what RBCC will look like inside and what you can expect to be able to do - still a lot to be learned.

By Pepper Parr

February 28th, 2024


Part 3 of a three part series on engagement about Robert Bateman Community Centre

Denise Beard, Senior Manager of Community Development at Parks, Recreation and Culture spoke to Council recently asking: “We would like to hear if there’s anything you do not want to see in this facility because our next steps are really to start to work with the community to prioritize those indoor uses.”

Beard was talking to Council about the meetings she had with people who were interested in using space at the Robert Bateman Community Centre (RBCC).

“The reason we’re doing this right now is because the design of phase two really needs to be determined now; it will be us working with the partners and the business owners in the not for profit sector on how they’d like to see the space used as we start negotiations. So it’s important for us to know this now so we can be ready for the official opening.

Robert Bateman Community Centre – a work in progress. Ambulances on site after an accident.

Beard said she needed to have those discussions now and prioritize now to help us design for phase two. We like the idea of trying to run a social anchor pilot at Tansley Woods. We are intrigued with the idea of watching what can happen and “eager to see how that takes off and in hopes that we meet community demand in the in the future at Bateman.”

Beard added: “We will be also be launching the engagement on outdoor uses of the site in the next quarter, to talk to community about their visioning of the outdoor spaces. What does that look like? Where do they have influence, where do they not have influence? We will be doing a few things this spring with the community prioritizing the indoor uses and then also talking about the visioning of the outdoor spaces all to help influence the next round of phase two design for (RBCC)

At that point Beard began to listen to what Council members thought.  It was surprising to learn just how little Council Members knew about what was being done in terms of engaging with community groups and how the space will be used. The mood was that it was going to be great – everyone would love it.

We know what the outside of the Community Centre is expected to look like – the inside – not so clear yet. The ground floor area is expected to be wide open and adaptable to a number of different uses.

For those who felt nothing was happening in terms of community engagement – a re-think is needed. There is work being done by the Parks and Recreation people – it just isn’t as public as some people might like it to be. What did people want in terms of engagement?  Loads of people meeting in a huge space listening to others talk at them?– or going the route Denise Beard and her colleagues have taken;listening carefully and picking up on the good ideas..

Taking part in the Committee meeting virtually Senior Manager Community Planning Denise Beard had a lot of ground to cover.

Explaining to Councillor Sharman what the space was going to mean for people  Beard said: “We want the space to be flexible and accommodating so that they’re not specifically built for something in particular; that you have opportunities to adapt and flex as a community’s needs and interests change. So we don’t want to be too specific on the purpose built pieces.

“There were some themes that council or committee may consider – that they want us to look at that are specific , but overall I’d say we like flexible, adaptable spaces. That’s really what we’re hearing in the Live and Play plan and that’s what we’re hearing also in community through the community engagement on this project.”

Mayor Meed Ward asked: “I’m wondering about diversity, equity, inclusion being part of all of this. I’m sure you’ve heard it. I’ve heard from groups that are new to Burlington or even the country; in some cases people who’ve lived here a long time like our indigenous residents who are looking for possibly dedicated space but none of the groups that I’m aware of have the capacity to be able to do an RFP or fund or rental or do any of that. So the way arts and culture in the report are described seems to be very much on sort of performance culture or, creative arts as opposed to more generally culture which is how I understand diversity, equity inclusion; I think that’s a missing piece. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts around how that would be included in this space.

Beard: I agree with you 100%. It wasn’t really captured; we need to figure out that balance, as you said, some of these emerging groups are just coming to a more formal arrangement. I would agree with you that maybe we ensure that there’s certain spaces available, flexible, accommodating to drive that kind of desire and need into this community center because we didn’t hear it through the engagement. But I think there’s definitely an interest. When I’m out in community talking I need to make sure we’re open enough to include that as we move forward because it is an emerging area. We are open to having those conversations as groups approach us.”

Renting space to commercial interests were heard during the engagement with the private sector. A dentist wanting to open an office was one example. Mayor Meed Ward made her feelings known. “That would be a hard no for me.”

Councillor Bentivegna liked the idea of space being available for small groups that just want a place to be able to meet – right now they are meeting in coffee shops.

Counsellor Bentivegna: There’s things on the website that has Mums groups that meet just because they want to meet and talk about common interests; things to do with their one or two year old that can’t go to school. Can’t go to babysitters. They can sort of make their own little program.

Councillor Kearns who was Chairing the meeting, mentioned a “memo we got back in 2022 looked like it allocated about 42,000 square feet. I think it is for lobby area corridor space. These are supposed to be passive/interactive/community building spaces. And yet we’re being asked in this report, I believe, to comment on phase two, which is quite simply just 11,000 square feet.

“That entails the westerly part of the floor plan, which is the old shops, that are a kind of an icky area to be honest, and then maybe some additional passive use when we can have it which is the gymnasiums..  I didn’t know we gave up all three, but those represent 11,000 square feet as well. So if I don’t know what’s been determined for phase 1 how might I comment appropriately for what should be prioritized in phase 2 ?”

Beard: “The gyms are not part of the 11,000 square feet. Those were those are outside of the 11,000. The three shops are not included in the 11,000 either, so you have fairly significant spaces within the building right now. You’ve got the three shops which could be shops or not shops moving forward. You have the gyms that are not included in the open space.”

What was never made clear was:  How much gym space has been allocated to Brock and how will whatever balance there might be get shared?

Beard continued: “There is this vast open space that you’re referring to as a communal courtyard area or lobby area, it is a significant footprint that we have the opportunity to shape and style up however we choose to –  if we wanted to have a black box or if we wanted to have a gallery – there’s lots of space still available to have those discussions in addition to that lobby space.

Executive Director Alan Magi appears at times to be the lead on the refurbishment of the former Bateman High School. He has had problems in the past using the word asbestos.

Executive Director Alan Magi added: “There is considerable lobby space and that’s meant to be more of a social interacting space that is non exclusive. In general terms there could be an event or something like that, that takes up some of that space, but it’s meant to be sort of a mixing area between the different uses that are there between Brock students, library users, people that are coming to use the gym, maybe mom and dad  jumping on the food theme. That space is intended to be a flexible area. That is gives us a lot of potential for programming in the future.”

Kearns: “Can we have a map at some point to identify the progress in terms of programming?  This report is putting in scope the three shop areas which are on the westerly side of the of the property, and kind of icky and then the 11,000 of the potential 42,000 square feet of community space which is that open flex space. I don’t know if that means? Can use 500 of that for a community pantry?  If we’re building in any sort of space that’s just going to be open space with programming.  I just feel like I need to see two maps or two floor plans with where these potential pieces are. And I’m especially concerned about the gym space because we’ve encouraged the community to talk a lot about what gym facilities and gym activities they want to see without the benefit of technically having jurisdiction over deploying the use of that. I don’t know when and how much we’ve given to Brock. I don’t know if we’ve seen that – I don’t know that. So I feel like the expectations are high from the community and I’m not able to appropriately scope the first phase nor can I determine much about the second phase. I don’t have the the information I need –  Why?”

Allan Magi  – Yes, certainly. We can come back with plans that that show that you know the different space areas and as you get a better appreciation spatially where these are,

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte brings a cautious approach to what the programming at the RBCC will be – wants to be assured that special interests don’t take over the space.

Councillor Stolte wanted to be sure she fully understood what they were being asked to decide. “Are you asking us as to decide whether or not we want to proceed with no exclusive use. Is that what you need some clarity on? And do you need clarification on restricted space with the gyms?  There are already some promises made to Brock based on that space.

“Are you looking for feedback from us as to what proportion you would like some direction on as far as 50% exclusive use and 50% open flexible space, or 70/30?  What is it that you’re looking for at this point? Some direction on the proportion that council thinks the community is looking for?

Beard: “Great question. I’m not looking for a percentage but I would like your instincts on that.  We don’t want it 100% exclusive or licensed out – we do want some guidance  but we’re not looking for hard and fast numbers. What is your gut  saying? No, we’d like this open flexible space idea that’s accommodating can meet, evolve with the community. I would like that kind of direction moving forward?

Recreation, Community and Culture Director Emily Cote added:  “It is a bit of a shell game right now,as you know.  I don’t have to explain to council you’re quite smart. The balance between exclusive use which is guaranteed revenue, and then the balance between ad hoc rentals, which is not as guaranteed. Finding the balance between the two in terms of the social enterprise with a certain percentage of guaranteed revenue which you get from an exclusive use.

Councillor Stolte: ” I would hate to see it exclusively designated for exclusive use. I think that would be a shame based on what we’ve heard from the community. There  could be a little bit more exclusive use; if we were to use that flexible space and create some really interesting spaces – maybe do what some churches and our faith communities do – have family rooms that have couches and coffee tables that could be used for kids games nights, it could be for community groups that want to use it. It could be rented out by a family who wants to hold a baby shower or a family reunion. It would be a different kind of space than what we have at a Tansley Woods where it’s more of a just a big empty room with some chairs.”

Mayor Meed Ward: “I think where we are hung up is on this use of the words exclusive use. When I think about arts and culture exclusive use, I think about a blackbox studio that anybody could rent.  It’s exclusively for people that want to record stuff. So exclusive use in that way. But anybody who wanted to go and record a Christmas album “and I won’t be doing that”  could rent that space – it’s more than just an empty classroom with with chairs and a table it actually is a purpose built space.

“If what you are intending is a single theatre group would be given the arts and culture space to run their programs – I don’t want their programs.  I’m a little less comfortable now with this set of categories because I thought you were asking us about what would you like the space to be used for.  Anybody, should they choose, could participate in that activity.  I love social services stuff. I love the skills trades. People coming in using those workshops, you know booking arts and theatre for  whatever they want. So I need to understand what it is you’re asking of us right now because that will change my feedback as well.

Meed Ward added: “I’m not looking for more revenue here. We’ve got tons of capital and revenue already coming in from the other parts.”

Beard: “That’s exactly the questions we need from you. We have had theatre groups say they want the space for themselves. I will just use the black box as the example because it just keeps coming up. They want the black box for themselves. But if Council and other theatre groups coming forward saying  – I don’t want exclusive use of the black box, but I want one available to use it for rehearsals or try something in a sound booth to do recordings.

“If if council or committee doesn’t want exclusive renters that’s one thing and that’s one question that we have here around these expressions of interest because that’s those are people saying to us, I want exclusive space dedicated to me. I will pay you a lease to run it so I can run my program versus we want to see a black box in this area and anybody but we want it to be available and open for anybody to use it. You don’t have to be affiliated with a certain organization to be able to permit that black box.”

Mayor Meed Ward: Okay, and so I’m leaning towards the latter part there. We would just rent it out on an allocation basis the way we do to various groups that use our current community centers.  I feel a lot more egalitarian about that part.

Councillor Kearns asked: “At what point can we see if any commitments have been made thus far for the phase one versus the phase two, so that we can get a better and stronger sense of what we can fit where and the types of overlays?

“I wish we could have seen something and maybe this is available or not that you can give to counsel to say, here are 10 styles, can you rank what is most important to you? And that would be things like is it revenue generating?

Pickleball players are expected to want significant use of gymnasium space

“Is it more play for more people or more access for more people? The pickleball folks, please do not freak out, you know, a whole gym for an hour with four people if it were only be for pickleball players versus a whole gym for two basketball teams playing each other. As an example. Is the guiding principle more play for more? Looking back at the financial matters, nowhere in here does it talk about how we’re looking to stream out cost cost offsets for operational costs and or potential capital. And if that’s something you’re asking Council to take into consideration I need to know more about that.

“If we had another overlay again on the particular areas that have already been committed  and what that flex space could look like; how we’re actually planning to program with partners, so you know, the whole piece about the childcare I mean, that is a big conversation to even see in a report like this. That’s a whole strategy and financing plan and operational plan with the region. If that’s the case. I can give you one very easy hard no and that’s quite simply not to any commercial folks. Work with our business development people and we’ll find you something and no, you won’t get a cheaper rate just to work for profit. So I mean, if that’s something we can agree on –  great.

“I’m not comfortable with this report. I think we’re getting portions of it. But from a holistic view, I think I need more to be comfortable to say. Yes. Let’s take the next steps. I’m not quite there yet. So I can’t refer it back to staff because we’re in committee. But I might think about doing something like that to get that next piece and bring those pieces closer together. So those are those are my thoughts at this point. Feeling very hesitant about it, but also extremely encouraged by how exciting the community is asking for new new opportunities to connect with each other. It just feels so huge  – is a referral to staff back to bring us back a part two.

“What do you actually want us to prioritize a possibility or would that be helpful?

Emily Cote Director Recreation, Community and Culture.

Emily Cote: “We’ve employed the same process and allocating space and then and community engagement that we typically do when we create a new building. First we say who’s interested in exclusive use, then we kind of go okay, what kind of interest do we get? What do we get for the community and it is a bit of allocating of space also, while we’re figuring out that design, which is a huge component here. We can’t really build if we don’t know what the interest is. So it is a bit of a balance. We’re still in that balance stage. None of those things have been committed. They’re all for phase two. So when you know Councillor Kearns, you ask what does that 500 square feet get used for? Can it  be for the food pantry? We don’t know yet. We’re just starting to have those conversations. The expression of interest was literally an expression of interest. There’s no contacts, no financials, none. No business plans were submitted from any of those folks. It was just like, hey, do you have an idea? It is very so conceptual. So, you know, in the interest of wanting to move forward I will ask Denise to kind of jump in – perhaps agreeing that no offices, no, you know, professional services. Let staff carry on with that and then perhaps report back in the same timeline as the outdoor engagement. We can be a little bit more concrete on what is starting to shape out. I just want to table that and then see if Denise wants to jump in.

Senior Manager Community Planning, Parks, Recreation and Culture

Beard: The point of this report was what was community’s vision we’re just sharing with you what we heard from community and what we heard from potential service providers. And if there are non starters, if there’s a non starter opportunity that’s been presented here that you would like us not to pursue.  That’s the start of the conversation if there’s something on the tables, we’re hearing commercial entered enterprise offices as a not, like an area we don’t want to explore we’ll make sure that when we talk to community about prioritization, because that’s our next step, that everyone understands. We’re asking council or committee right now. What don’t you want to see?

“And then we’ll take that off the table when we go out back out to community. That helps us to prioritize the space that’s remaining and asking the community  – what is the most important. You need to help us figure out what the most important exercise looks like? We will be reporting that back – community is going to help us prioritize what we can and cannot fit within the building and then start to design it from there. This is all very high level conceptual at this stage.  That’s that’s helpful feedback.

Sharman: “Thank you very much. For all of this: no offices, no businesses. No commandeering space for locked in usage forever. That said we’ll figure out the money in the budget and we’ll figure out fees and we’ll work all that out. I’m not stressed about that. At the moment. I’m thinking about how we build a community that is suitable for the human beings who will be coming here. And with 120,000 people, many of them will be immigrants and they’ll be from all over the world. So diversity in culture is going to be dramatically needed and we need to be on top of that and thinking about stimulating it.

“I think of the library doing more with respect to technology, you know, because books may be less of interest than perhaps the use of technology. And you know, we live in a world where the whole very, very world that we live in our intellectual capital and our knowledge and the way we communicate, you know, is changing.

“My point is we do need to have facilities in there for people to be able to do those kinds of things. We do need to have those facilities in there that people can cook if they wish to and have cooking lessons. So without taking over all the space but maybe we could have ideas of use by by by invent investing in some of the kinds of amenities that we need that to make it viable but yes, seniors and yes us. You know, we’ve got to have something flexible and usable and people can book it. By the way, I think he did a great job. This is the right way play. So well done.

Mayor Meed Ward:  “I’m wondering about the recommendation which directs you to explore and excute exclusive use space to a limited number of categories and I’m not there so I’m just wondering if we should either take that language out entirely or and just receive and file this.  The report is now a Receive and file – no action is being  taken.”

Meed Ward continues: “I think it’s really important to distinguish between uses and users. And that’s where I get hung up on uses.  I want to see a broad range and some of it can be very specific use.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has been THE cheerleader for the project – says there is all kinds of money available.

“We don’t need to earn revenue from this.  I see this as a public service. It’s a community center. It’s a public service, we’ve already subsidized it, not looking to get more revenue. One of the biggest requests I get, and I’m sure you do too, is for free meeting space. I am completely cool with that. Maybe we have one or two rooms. Those are the rooms for if you’re if you got a group and you want to meet and get together, knock yourself out do it.

“Same with some of our nonprofit sports organizations, our Hall of Fame group looking for for a home but but I don’t want dark space. That’s why you know if you do exclusive use and somebody only needs it two days a week it’s blocked and dark for the rest of the time. We don’t want that.

“Been really eye opening talking to you Emily recently and hearing just how much unused capacity we already have in facilities – the barrier is cost. People can’t or don’t want to you know pay when they’re just trying to get a group of friends together to talk about whatever they want to talk about. So anyway, I think you’ve heard us loud and clear – , there’s a lot of creative ways to use this space. And we shouldn’t limit ourselves to those that are able to sign a lease and give us revenue that that’s the least of our concerns.”

Councillor Stolte: “I’m glad that we’re distilling this down. It’s less about exclusive use. And it’s more about themed spaces that can be used, whether that be performance space, whether that be community kitchen space, it’s themed spaces that can be used by a variety of different organizations. The only one that I kind of still can’t wrap my head around is not giving a bit of exclusive use to, and maybe this is part of the workshops, is I was really keyed in when I was part of the community engagement sessions was about the Repair Cafe and the reuse Emporium because those really speak to our environmental goals that we’re trying to reach as far as having some exclusive use where people who have broken appliances rather than going to the dump, if they still want to use those appliances, they can come and have them repaired and take them home again. If they have no use for them. They can donate them they can be repaired and then put into this reuse Emporium for somebody else to use. So I do like the idea of a tiny bit of space that’s designated for certain other goals that we’re trying to reach like that.

Councillor Lisa Kearns chaired the meeting that saw all kinds of ideas and viewpoints on the table.  She got the meeting to the point where it would end as a Receive and File – with a lot more work to be done.

Councillor Kearns:  “I think it’s really a huge demand that we’re trying to satisfy for trying to be everything to everybody. And I think that we can do that with very, very careful planning and proper sequencing, which is why it was first between phase one versus phase two. We heard a lot about this flex space and it’s sounding like we’re adding more empty space which is not what we want to do, to the Counsellor Stolte point  – you know, can we find little cabinets that can be you know, for Repair. Can we find that living wall atrium? Absolutely?  And then you have a drop in horticulture group that learns about it.

“Can we have the cooking areas one of the biggest challenges with the food banks is that once people get the food, they don’t know what to do with it. So if we want to actually tap into some of those systemic issues around community health and well being we need to teach people bring them along, as you said, break bread build culture. That’s how you do it. Seasonal cooking classes can help really maximize that.

“I don’t want to have a huge conversation around free, pure free, because I think you still have to add some value. I find that if people get something for free, they don’t value it. So very, very low accessible cost I think is as more the line that I want to see. Sometimes on Facebook marketplace, you can’t give something away for free you make it $2 And someone is banging down your door in 10 seconds. It doesn’t make any sense but that’s human nature. I like the ideas of the open gyms I really want to understand how much gym space we have. And if I were to be able to share my number one priorities it would be around you know, health and well being; mental health, physical health and community connections.

An indoor outdoor connection to a community garden, the Repair Cafe piece, super important.  Arts and culture, whether it’s passive art and again this is why I wanted to see the footprints because we can have passive art that people can engage with and then we need active art and understand how that interplays with our own arts and culture here and the art gallery, and then around that, that last piece of you know, where do we go from here?

I think we need a lot more discussion. And I’m glad that it’s a receiving file. This is not our final blessing on this yet. I think we need to do a little bit more to scope it and get the guiding principles set in place and then encourage those operators to fall in within those guiding principles. So that’s it. Thank you,

Councillor Galbraith didn’t have much to add to the ideas that were being floated – he did however mention an Aldershot area program that could be repeated at the Robert Bateman Community Centre.

Counsellor Galbraith: “Lots of great ideas being thrown around. In Aldershot we have a community kitchen where chefs go and train once a day. I think it’s every Saturday you can go for a community breakfast for $2; knowing that you’re getting a chef and training cooking for you but it’s a community social space and they do lots of events that are that. I think something like that would be ideal just in hearing the conversation here.

“In a location like this, it brings the community together and they you know a lot of the food they make and training they donate to food banks and churches to hand out so something like that would be a great idea. I think we’re headed in the right direction and keep up the good work.”

Chair Kearns got them to voting to Receive and File – there is more work to be done – good progress was made – the public has been involved in getting to this point and Council has made it very clear what they want and don’t want.

It became clear that there is still a lot Council doesn’t know.  The use of the property at the rear of the site; a decent set of floor plans with detail – council members were not sure as to what was going to be possible and where.

A lot of open space and a willingness to try new ideas to learn what works and what doesn’t work.  It was a decent half days’ work.

Related news stories:

Part 1 Early engagement

Part 2 – The pilot project plans.








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Tax Adjustments Applications

By Staff

February 27th, 2024



 Property owners in Burlington may apply to adjust their taxes to reflect a significant change in their property under Sections 357 and 358 of the Municipal Act, which governs property tax adjustments.

Can you get property taxes reduced? Might be worth a try.

How to apply

To apply, download and complete the City of Burlington’s Tax Adjustment Application Form. Submit your completed form to us by email at propassmtmb@burlington.ca, by fax to 905-337-7877, or by mail at:

City of Burlington
PO Box 5080, 426 Brant St.
Burlington, ON L7R 4G4

Download Tax Adjustment Application Form (PDF)


We must receive applications under Section 357 by the last day of February of the year following the change.

We must receive applications under Section 358 between March 1 and Dec. 31 for taxes in one or both of the two years preceding the application year.


Examples of eligible criteria include:

  • Changes in how you use the property, which may change the tax classification
  • Changes in how you use the property, so the lands have become exempt from taxes
  • Fire or demolition has razed or damaged structures
  • There has been a “gross or manifest error” in the assessment
  • You are repairing or renovating the property to prevent you from using the land normally for at least three months

We give consideration only to clerical or factual errors resulting in overcharges and not to errors in judgment in assessing the property.


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Oakville students elected as HDSB trustees

By Staff

February 27th, 2024



Kaitlyn Hou and Charlie Ochu were elected by their peers as Student Trustees for the next school year (2024-2025).

These students were the successful candidates elected to the role by their peers through an online election that took place on Thursday, Feb. 22. This year’s election included 24 candidates and a total of approximately 5,400 students casting votes – nearly doubling the number of votes cast last year.

Hou is a Grade 10 student at Abbey Park High School and Ochu is a Grade 10 student at Oakville Trafalgar High School in Oakville. The new term of office officially begins on Aug. 1, 2024. In recognizing the results of the Student Trustee election, Trustees of the Halton District School Board welcomed Hou and Ochu to their roles as Student Trustees for the 2024-2025 school year. Hou and Ochu shared the following thoughts about their upcoming terms as Student Trustee.

Kaitlan Hou; Abbey Park High School student.

“What drew my heart into campaigning for the role of student trustee was not only the prospect of advocating for thousands of student voices, but the desire to empower more students to advocate for themselves,” says Hou. “In running for this position, I aimed to be a voice for my younger self – the girl who was unfamiliar with the concept of a trustee, harbouring many ideas without a platform to express them. By giving every HDSB student a platform to engage in decision-making regarding their education, I hope to increase engagement, embody the change I wished to see and ensure that every student has a say in their education.”

Charlie Ochu; Oakville Trafalgar High School student.

“When I first heard of the Student Trustee role, I was enthralled with the idea of being able to speak on behalf of 67,000 people and change schools for the better,” Ochu says. “Ever since I was elected, I’ve been on cloud nine. I’m waiting for someone to say “Gotcha!” and reveal that this was all an elaborate prank.

But until that happens, I will do my absolute best in this prestigious role. I’m excited to work with Kaitlyn, the board, and my fellow students to leave Halton in an even better state than our predecessors left it while fulfilling my promises to the students who put their trust in me.”



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