Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan manages to top the list of Regional Council spenders

By Pepper Parr

April 10th, 2023



Members of city council are also members of Halton Regional Council where they earn $62,647.00 annually.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan

They are also reimbursed for expenses they incur attending conferences – the registration for the conferences is paid for by the Region

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan cost the Region $71,933 –

$62,647 in salary,

$5,356 in “other expenses”

and $3,930 in conference attendance.

No other Councillor took away more than $70,000 cumulatively or more in conference and other expenses.

Rory Nisan at a conference with MPP for Oakville North Burlington.

Nisan, who is now in his second term is as a City and Regional Councillor, got more in the way of Regional funds than anyone else on the 24 member Council, with the exception of Gary Carr who is Chair.

We have reached out to the Councillor for some detail on just what the “other expenses” were and which conferences he attended.

There has been no response to date


Return to the Front page

The Little Adventurers: Exploring the World of Mountain Bikes for Kids

By Paul Sebastian

April 10th, 2023



Mountain biking is a thrilling and adventurous outdoor activity that has become increasingly popular in recent years. While it was once considered a sport for adults, mountain biking has now become a family-friendly activity, with many parents introducing their children to the sport at a young age. This article explores the world of mountain bikes for kids’ adventures and highlights some of the benefits of this exciting and engaging activity.

Choosing the Right Bike

The right kind of bike at the right time will mean a lifetime of enjoying the sport.

One of the most important things about mountain biking for kids is selecting the right bike. Like adults, kids’ mountain bikes come in various sizes and models, and choosing the appropriate one for your child is essential. It’s important to consider the child’s age, height, and weight when selecting a mountain bike. Additionally, you should look for bikes with adjustable seat heights, easy-to-use brakes, and lightweight frames that are comfortable for the child to ride.

Benefits of Mountain Biking for Kids

Mountain biking is an excellent outdoor activity for kids because it has many benefits. Firstly, it allows children to get out and enjoy nature. Mountain biking allows kids to explore new trails, experience different terrains and environments, and appreciate the beauty of nature.

Furthermore, mountain biking can help improve children’s physical health by developing their cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and strength.

Moreover, mountain biking is an excellent way to develop children’s social skills. Kids can ride with friends and family, creating opportunities for social interaction, bonding, and teamwork. It’s also a great way to build self-confidence, as children can push themselves to take on new challenges and develop new skills.

Safety Tips for Kids

Helmets are a MUST. Make sure it fits properly.

When it comes to mountain biking for kids, safety is of utmost importance. Parents should ensure that their children have appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, knee and elbow pads, gloves, and sturdy shoes. Additionally, parents should teach their kids how to properly use their brakes and ensure that their bikes are in good condition before each ride. Children should also be taught the importance of staying on the designated trails and avoiding areas that may be too challenging for their skill level.

Mountain Biking Programs for Kids

Getting the kids off to a good start will result in safe biking.

Many communities and organizations offer mountain biking programs for kids. These programs are designed to teach children the basics of mountain biking, including proper technique, safety, and bike maintenance. These programs also allow children to meet and ride with kids with similar interests. Furthermore, some programs offer competitive opportunities for kids who want to take their mountain biking skills to the next level.


Mountain biking is an exciting and engaging outdoor activity that kids can enjoy. It provides an opportunity for children to explore the beauty of nature, improve their physical health, develop social skills, and build self-confidence. When it comes to mountain bikes for kids’ adventures, selecting the right bike and ensuring that children have appropriate safety gear are of utmost importance.

Furthermore, parents can enrol their children in mountain biking programs, which offer an excellent opportunity to develop their skills and meet other kids who share similar interests.

Return to the Front page

The scam scum are using trusted brand names to lure you in

By Staff

April 9th, 2023



The scam scum are using brand names that you know and trust to draw you into giving them personal information that gets them to the point where they can access your personal financial accounts.

Some have lost tens of thousands.

There is very little that is free on the internet – you are usually giving away personal information in exchange for a Google map or a picture of someone you were searching for.

The financial damage is severe – the banks are taking a beating; the law enforcement people cannot keep up with the avalanche of complaints.

YOU are the best line of defence. Always, always look at the address of the person sending you the email – if you don’t recognize it – take a pass.

Make a point of looking at the email address – very carefully – this one came from: Costco@techbumbles.com  – and that ain’t Costco.


Return to the Front page

Training is over; all the practices are done - it's now on to competitive Ringette for the Burlington Blast

By Pepper Parr

April 9th, 2023



The Burlington Blast are in Regina getting ready to play their first game of the National Championship Ringette tournament.

The Burlington team is in the U16AA category consists of 3 age groups:

Bake sales, clothing drives and a GoFundMe account – plus a lot of training got the team to Regina.

There are three teams representing Ontario for U16AA based on the results of our provincial championships. The provincial gold medalist is named “Team Ontario”
1. Ajax (Team Ontario)
2. Burlington
3. West Ottawa

The round robin games take place from Monday April 10 to Wednesday, April 12.

Games are played at the Cooperators Centre in Regina where there are six regulation-size ice surfaces, 32 dressing rooms and a capacity of 1300 people

The Blast play 5 games in the round robin over three days. The results of those games determine when who they play on Thursday.

Thursday, April 13 are the play-in and quarter final games
Friday April 14 are the semi finals
Saturday April 15 are the gold medal games.

Burlington Blaze Ringette team days before they left for Regina to participate in the National finals.

The players are staying at local hotels.  The turnaround of only a month, between provincials and nationals meant the players booked their own flights – so there isn’t a picture of a team heading west with hopes of returning with Gold medals.


Return to the Front page

Daniel Oke running for Burlington Wards 1&2 school board seat 'to repair damage done during past three years'

By Pepper Parr

April 9th, 2023



Daniel Oke is a ward 1 resident, who runs a martial arts school and wants to become the Halton District School Board trustee for the Burlington wards 1&2 seat.

His Mother was a teacher for 33 years in Oakville schools, his father was in a PhD program. He has a masters in western history, completed his PhD studies but never wrote a PhD thesis as he wanted to get into the work world and start a family.

Oke who has some strong views on public issues.

Oke has never attended a Board of Education meeting but did say he has friends who do attend and they have kept him informed.

Daniel Warren Oke -candidate for the Burlington Wards 1 & 2 HDSB seat.

His top two issues are what he calls a “broken education system” and “repairing the damage that was done during the past three years.”

The Halton School Board is in the process of reviewing its budget. Oke wants to be sure that the taxes collected go into what the students need and not “expensive lunch room furniture for teachers” He describes teacher as “well paid and protected”

Oke refers to what is done in school now as a “factory style” approach that requires students to sit at a desk for seven hours a day; “boys are not wired to be able to sit at a desk for seven hours a day”

Asked what the current board of trustees are doing wrong Oke said “there have been some shifts in direction but they caved into the union demands when they were threatened with personal legal action” The Halton District School Board has gone along with the masking policy put out by the Regional Medical Health Officer.

Oke does not think the pandemic lock downs should have been imposed; he described what was done to students as “child abuse” and “probably not permitted under the criminal code.”

“Masks cause bodily harm and never worked” and were not safe to wear, said Oke.

Daniel Oke’s web site is HERE

Return to the Front page

A viewpoint on virtual citizen ship appointments: 'Don't do it' - you cheapen the process of a person becoming a citizen

By Staff

April 8th,  2023


It will be some time before we become fully aware about what changed us forever as a result of the pandemic.

Now into our fourth year the restrictions are much less onerous.  But the scientists seem to believe that this one isn’t over yet.

New Canadians being sworn in at a Burlington Canada Day event. In the lower left corner former Former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario – The Late Lincoln Alexander and wife Marni Beal Alexander.

For much of the pandemic we had to meet virtually and for many of those occasions it made sense to do just that.  People found that Zooming could cut down a lot of the travel time involved in pulling groups of people together.

Many organizations chose to use the pandemic as an opportunity to change the way business and some commerce is done.

The City of Burlington chose to make all their council meetings virtual events – it was mandatory at first but now it is described is as an opportunity to choose what is most efficient.

The city of Burlington seems to have adopted the hybrid approach – live or virtual – whichever you prefer – the result being that if the weather was not favourable you could stay in your PJ’s and attend the meeting on line.  One Council member attempted to Chair a meeting from his living room.

The City Manager decided that some staff members could be permanently virtual – coming into the office for just the Christmas Party.

The Late Peter Appleyard serving as a Citizenship Judge was a British–Canadian jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, and composer. He died in 2013

One Burlington resident got very miffed when he spotted what he took is as an attempt to turn the Citizenship ceremonies into virtual event. He spoke up about the ‘virtual citizenship’ idea and was horrified to find that the government was putting together plans to eliminate in-person citizenship ceremonies, apparently to “clear the backlog”.

He asked MP Karina Gould to “please persuade your government to abandon this travesty saying that Citizenship ceremonies are a cherished, important step of becoming Canadian” and then added that he would “volunteer my time and effort to perform such a ceremony in my area. I am in no way a judge, or Order of Canada recipient, but I am retired, have the time, and certainly the willingness to preside at such an event if there is a way to be deputized for this purpose.”

The federal government had already said they had “resumed in-person ceremonies and are also offering a  virtual option for faster, more accessible services for our clients.”

Staff from the Office of MP Gould wrote that they are “… are all ears on our proposed changes to the Citizenship Act to give applicants access to self-administer the Oath of Citizenship, without the presence of an authorized official.”

A citizen responded: “Our citizenship is so much more than a legal status. It is our daily acts and the duties and responsibilities that come with them that make us Canadians.

The proposed regulations on self-administration, citizenship applicants would not require a witness.

“Sorry”, said our citizen “not good enough. What is proposed is as sterile as getting a license plate at Service Ontario, unworthy and disrespectful of a new citizen who has dreamed and worked hard to become one. And I don’t like the idea of a citizen being thought of as a ‘client’, and I hope Minister Gould doesn’t either.”

So if you are ‘all ears’, please hear this: Don’t Do It !


Return to the Front page

Transit Supervisor running for seat on Halton District School Board

By Pepper Parr

April 8th, 2023



Anthony Hoyes is one of five people running for the vacated Ward 1&2 Burlington seat on the Halton District School Board.

He is a ward 5 resident who works for Burlington Transit as a Supervisor where he feels his experience in dealing with people is the strength he brings to the table.

Anthony Hoyes; running for the ward 1&2 Burlington seat on the Halton District School Board

His two major issues are bullying and diversification in the Halton schools; student equity matters to Hoyes who saw the issue with the teacher at an Oakville High School in attire that many thought was very inappropriate.

Hoyes saw any decision the trustees made about the teacher as a double edged sword. The students had to be protected and the views of the parents listened to – and at the same time strong union support for the teacher was difficult to deal with when the union took the view that the rights of the teacher could not be forgotten.

He would like to see the school board he wants to sit on returning to the reason why children have to attend school – teach them the basics and do so in a safe environment and stop distracting them from issues that are not part of what they need to help them thrive.

Hoyes has never attended a school board meeting, wasn’t fully aware that the meetings are open to the public

He had no views on the Board of Education budget and has not done the public survey the board puts out. He wasn’t aware that it set out on the HDSB web site.

He was open and transparent on what he knew and didn’t know about board of education matters – believing that he would learn on the job

“This is my first time running for public office – “I’m still learning” he said.

Nominations for the by-election close on April 14th

Return to the Front page

Clean Up and Green Up - Annual BurlingtonGreen event

By Staff

April 8th, 2023



It is once again Clean Up – Green Up time

Be a part of the growing number of Burlington residents, groups, schools and businesses signing up to participate in Community Clean Up Green Up 2023!

FREE supplies available, get your clean up event posted to our map and enjoy the outdoors while you help to keep our shared community clean and green and beautiful.

Thousands of communities across the province hold events like this:  Burlington just seems to do it a bit better.  On occasion BurlingtonGreen has been able to entice a company from the hospitality sector to put on a BBQ event, usually at city hall where hundreds of people turn out.

Click on the link to sign up and join the groups already in place.

Return to the Front page

Lots of big plan thinking taking place: citizen involvement is getting a lick and a promise

By Pepper Parr

April 8th, 2023



Burlington now has a Lands Partnership – an idea that was brought forward by City Manager Tim Commission to put the city in a position where it would have access to the land it would need in the future.

The need for park space is going to be very severe once the high rise towers that are in very stages of the approval process are built.

A lot of these single story elementary schools were built more than 50 years ago to meet the first significant wave of population growth as the city became more urban.

The city doesn’t have that much land left – what the City Manager is looking at very carefully are elementary school sites that may not be needed in the future.

On February 16, 2021, City Council approved a recommendations for a new organizational structure called the Burlington Lands Partnership (BLP) and approved funding in the amount of $250,000 from the Strategic Plan Reserve Fund to support the Year 1 operations. A second $200,000 was later allocated.

The Lands Partnership was to be focused on strategic lands related to the following priorities:

Maximize business development opportunities and advance future economic growth and job creation.

Implement major city building projects that enhance the quality of life for all citizens.

Deliver increased supply of attainable/affordable housing through proactive long- term strategies and innovative partnerships.

There are a lot of unknowns on precisely how the former high school is going to be used and just how much space is going to be allocated to the different groups. A lot more work to be done at this level.

One project supported by BLP was the adaptive reuse of Robert Bateman High School; they did the preliminary business case justifying the decision to acquire the site for adaptive reuse into a City owned and operated new community hub and Brock University campus.

On April 6, 2022, Council received the City’s multi-year community investment plan that highlighted the major community land and facility initiatives over the short and medium term.

The report outlined the total of all community investment opportunities amounts to a preliminary best estimate of $374.5 million, over the period 2023-2030, comprised of the following:

Delivering Enhanced Community Benefits ($120 million): includes potential future investments in strategic land, related city community, recreation and cultural facilities, and site amenities to address projected community growth to year 2051 including the provision of City services related to future development in the three Major Transit Station Areas (MTSA).

Acquisition of Strategic Lands ($105 million): includes future land investments for City-wide parkland needs, future site specific needs for community facilities and amenities with the three MTSAs and other non-City related land priorities, including but not limited to the provision of City owned land for the purpose of increasing the supply of attainable housing in the City.

The city is going to need an additional fire station in the downtown area.

Expanding City Operations & Services ($149.5 million): includes investments in strategic land and related operational facilities to support growth and ensure efficient and effective delivery of direct city services, including Transit, Roads, Parks and Forestry (RPF) and Fire services. Specific future major facility investment includes the expansion and/or upgrades to both the existing RPF Operations Center and Burlington Transit facility on Harvester Road; potential new Fire Station #9 (downtown); relocation/construction of Fire Station No. 4 (Appleby) and Fire Station No. 3 (Aldershot). All facility expansions will be informed by master plans and/or related strategies which will be presented to Council for their consideration and approval.

On December 13, 2022,  Council endorsed and directed the Chief Financial Officer to consider one-time funding of $200,000 as part of the 2023 budget to support the 2023 external due diligence and project management needs of the Burlington Lands Partnership.

The report also directed the City Manager and the Director of Community Planning to schedule a Council Workshop for Q2-2023 on attainable housing and partnership options; and direct the City Manager and the Executive Director of Legal Services and Corporation Counsel to report back in Q4-2023 with a Strategic Land Policy and strategy that includes a municipal policy directive on surplus school sites which will inform the multi-year community investment plan. Subsequent to the approval  the following has occurred:

The BLP funding for 2023 has been approved in the 2023 Budget by Council.

A Council workshop on attainable housing and partnership opportunities has been scheduled in Q3 2023 to accommodate other priority workshops already scheduled in Q2.

The Strategic Land Policy remains on track for completion in Q4 2023 and that timing also aligns with a revised timing for the update of Multi-year Community Investment Plan (MCIP).

Strategy/process includes recognizing the critical importance of strategic lands to the future growth and development of Burlington and the potential for partnership opportunities. The BLP structure is intended to assist in building internal capacity and integrate all required due diligence activities.

The Big picture – a Strategic Plan that sets out where the city should be going in the next 25 years. It isn’t a magic wand.

The BLP fits into the Strategic Plan that will be fully reviewed this year  A review of the larger picture gets done and then the Vision To Focus, which is the part of the Strategic Plan that will be set out.  Tied into this is the GO Investment Corridor which was approved in July 2022.  Burlington Economic Development and its role of supporting Land Readiness and Attractiveness is another part of what is taking place.

Burlington’s remaining greenfield employment land sites are fewer today and come with multiple constraints resulting in a lower supply of investment ready land to reach our business growth goals. In addition, the city must shift from greenfield development to redevelopment, intensification and to the creation of mixed use, amenity rich employment hubs that meet the needs of current and future businesses.

Upcoming Council Engagement
In order to support the due diligence work on land partnership opportunities, BLP has planned the for the following touch points with Council:

Council consists of seven members: Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan does not attend in person – choosing instead to take part virtually.

Regular individual updates with the Mayor, Deputy Mayors and Ward Councillors on land due diligence projects.

Sept. 18, 2023 – Council Workshop on attainable housing and partnership options

Q4 2023 – Update on BLP 2023 performance/accomplishments, confidential land opportunities, and recommendations for future strategic land management and another look in Q4 at the   Strategic Land Policy and Strategy that includes a municipal policy directive on surplus school sites which will inform the multi-year community investment plan

Given the nature of the BLP activities being focused on land related opportunities, in keeping with the provisions of the municipal act, the update reports do encompass a closed session component to provide Council with pertinent and confidential land related information.

Tim Commisso is the man carrying the ball on much of what is before Council – he has never come across as a big believer on citizen participation. The Gazette has yet to hear him push council to involve the public.

As specific land related opportunities evolve, Council and staff will endeavour to make information on land opportunities available publicly at the appropriated time both for purposes of information and engagement and prior to final decisions where possible.

In terms of citizen engagement this sounds like a lick and a promise and not much more

Jim Thomson puts what e wants to say on his chest: don’t forget the soccer pitch at Bateman.

Staff believe they were able to demonstrate that the Robert Bateman High School acquisition and related partnerships with the HDSB, Brock, Burlington Public Library and TechPlace was successful due in part to the dedicated early stage due diligence resources made available and administered through BLP.  Citizens managed to bring to the attention of Council that parking was going to be a problem and they questioned changes to the soccer pitch.

Both Staff and Council seem to feel they can take a pass on genuine citizen engagement. Everyone is the poorer from that approach.

This comes back to Council on April 18th.

Return to the Front page

And having said this he breathed his last.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said , “I thirst.”

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

Return to the Front page

Founder of Compassion Society of Halton – Mina Wahidi passed on April 4th

Mina Wahidi’s died on April 4th 2023.

Mina Wahidi was the founder of Compassion Society of Halton – a charity that she founded 23 years ago out of a place of need and one that has grown today into a hard-wired community hub where anyone who is struggling and going through a hard time is welcome – regardless of color, faith, race/ ethnicity, gender, nationality and/ or political affiliations.

It is without doubt that The Compassion Society would not be what it is today – had it not been for Mina’s contributions and hard work in its earlier stages. From her beginnings in her basement, then a church basement and onto a small storefront in White Oaks plaza on Plains Road and on, until recently, through several of the units at the ‘Bingo’ Plaza on Plains Road. Today Compassion Society has its home on 1881 Fairview Street Burlington and helps and supports over 3000 Halton residents with food, clothing, self-care and hygiene items, basic needs for their children and families through special programs and community referrals to many other services in the community.

For this and more, Mina Wahidi was recognized and acknowledged by the City of Burlington through the Burlington Citizen of the year award in 2005. She also received a Queen’s Jubilee medal and the Paul Harris Fellow Award, a prestigious Rotary Club Honor. A champion of the most vulnerable amongst us – with lived experiences of hardship and vulnerability – Mina never shied away from helping others no matter what. No one ever saw her without a smile on her face and the passionate positive energy that she always emanated was contagious.

What Mina has started at Compassion Society is a phenomenon of continuous charity that continues to support and help individuals in need beyond her life and time on this Earth – for this every blessing and gratitude that the patrons of Compassion Society feel every time they come to the charity – Mina will forever be rewarded and cherished.

On behalf of the Compassion Society board of directors, staff, volunteers and clients we honor her memory and offer our deepest condolences to her family – especially her three young children. Wishing them peace and patience in these trying times.


A GOfundme site has been established Click here:


Return to the Front page

Region to borrow $154 million - more than half of that is money Burlington is going to have to pay back

By Staff

April 6th, 2023



When a municipality has to borrow large sums of money to be paid over a long period of time they work with the Regional government who do the borrowing for everyone at the same time.

This time around they are going to the market for $154,647,000 in 2023.

As shown in the following table, the combined debt requirement in 2023 for the Region and the Local Municipalities is estimated at $154,647,000, and represents the maximum amount of debt that would be issued in 2023.

The final decision will be made at the time of the market issue. Of the $154,647,000, $54,647,000 relates to the Region and reflects borrowing of up to that full amount related to the 1 District Facility in Halton Hills for the Halton Regional Police Service.

Burlington has borrowed to cover the costs of turning Bate into a Community Hub.  The public still doesn’t know how much that venture is going to cost.


Return to the Front page

Tyandaga Golf Course opening Saturday, April 15 - tee-time bookings open Tuesday the 11th

By Staff

April 6th, 2023


The City of Burlington’s Tyandaga Golf Course will open for the 2023 season on Saturday, April 15.

Tyandaga Golf Course will begin taking tee-time bookings on Tuesday, April 11. Tee times will be available starting at 7 a.m. each day and can be booked by calling the Pro Shop at 905-336-0005, ext. 2 or in-person at the Pro Shop. Members will be able to book 14 days in advance.

Golf course will be groomed and ready for the golf carts. Tee times can be made on April 11th.

For any questions regarding opening and the course, please email tyandaga@burlington.ca or call 905-336-0005 or visit tyandagagolf.com.

Return to the Front page

It is Put your Money where your Mouth is Time.

By Pepper Parr

April 6th, 2023



In January more than 150 wrote to say there has to be a way to keep what one reader called the only credible source for community news and information about public events in Burlington. It has served a very important role.

We all know that the internet is not “free”. It’s just that the price people pay can often be hidden or indirect; such things as disclosure of personal data and market preferences that allow companies to target their publications to specific audiences. Almost all online newspaper now have ‘paywalls’ – restrictions to what you can read and how much. Most, also have a restriction on who can comment, as in only the subscribers who can access the posts and read the content.

For many years the Gazette has been truly “free”. Unfortunately, that can not continue if this on line, accredited news source is to continue publication.

When we considered ceasing publication at the end of January the responses from the community were loud and clear: “tell us how we can support you”.

“I Just read your comment to a comment above….how about starting a subscription service. I for one would gladly contribute.”

“Thanks for your service. This is very sad news for those of us who relied on you for news about our city. The Gazette will be missed.”

“Who will keep the Mayor and Council honest now?”

“Please add my name to those who appreciate the service you’ve provided to the Burlington community. You helped enlighten folks who may not have known otherwise about an important local issue.”

“…we didn’t always agree, but at least you brought salient Burlington issues to our awareness, since the “major” Canadian media companies haven’t seen fit to service a 200,000 population market.”

“… this is sad news for those of us who have relied on you and the Gazette for the details and insights that others couldn’t (or wouldn’t?) provide. Many times when developing delegations, the Gazette was a major resource for the backstories and details that were necessary to make a case. And sometimes to remind Council of their promises, statements and actions. Your tireless work all these years is greatly appreciated.”

“The Gazette was the only credible source for community news and information about public events in Burlington. It served a very important role, and will be truly missed by its readers and supporters.”

Several people offered immediate financial support and this allowed us to stay afloat while we developed a ‘go forward’ business plan that incorporates “… ongoing funding from the community that has said it wants to support you and develop[s] a creditable advertising sales program.”

As a result, we are now working with Patreon, a company that assists content creators to elicit financial support from the people that read what we write.

The people who use Patreon to support artists, musicians, writers, publishers, craft people – the list is almost endless – are called “patrons”. We are asking you, as informed readers and supporters of independent journalism, to become patrons of the Burlington Gazette.

How do you become a patron: Click on the link

There will be many perks and benefits to becoming a patron. One is the ability to comment.

If you wish your voice to be heard through the Gazette, please join the ranks of our patrons and subscribe. After April 10th, only people who are patrons will be able to comment.

Learn more about what Patreon does and how you can become a patron Click HERE

Return to the Front page

A Seven Branch Library System that uses Customer Feedback to determine Future Growth

By Pepper Parr

April 6th, 2023



Seldom is there an opportunity to run a report that has no quibbles, complaints or observations on what could be better.

Lita Barrie. Chief Librarian for a system that has seven branches.

Lita Barrie has made a good library system a better library system.

She followed on the heals of Maureen Barry who saw the system go through very significant growth.

The list of improvements and changes is impressive: Doing a poetry pop up in Civic Square;  the creation of the Makers Space where people get a chance to use some high tech equipment and experiment with 3d printing and using a laser to cut a pattern.

The Library Speakers Consortium brings in, virtually a range of talks from bestselling authors and thought leaders.

In her report to the community she said: “Each and every day the team strives to meet the needs and interests of our customers and our community.

It would be wonderful if there were someone leading what is offered to the Seniors in the city.

The activity level and the innovations were enough to get the the Library on the list of Chamber of Commerce finalists for the 2023 Business Excellence Awards.

“It’s wonderful to have that work recognized by the Burlington business community with this nomination”, she said.

Barrie bases the decisions she makes on the feedback she got from the 2022 Customer Satisfaction Surveys.

She said “it was clear that BPL’s collections and borrowing remain the most important service we provide. While you love the opportunity to take home a wide variety of materials—from books to birding kits—you identified frustrating gaps with wait times, missing items, and lack of selection in some categories.

At the end of 2022, we began a collections project to:

A library is still all about books. Gaps in the collection are being improved.

create ‘missing lists’ of items that were listed in our catalogue but not on our shelves

purchase new copies of items that had gone missing

and fill gaps in series we carry.

“We want to make sure our collection is accurately reflected in our catalogue and we are getting closer to that goal.

“We are also looking for creative solutions to increase your access to material. Last month, we were delighted to add Kingston Frontenac Public Library to our growing “More to Borrow” partnership, which gives you access to e-Books from our five partner libraries. We also recently posted a how-to article about searching for books that are available to borrow immediately.

Ryan works with a woman using some of the equipment available to the public in the Makers Space on the top floor of the Library

“Several other themes emerged from our survey. Many of you are looking for more space for meetings, gatherings and private study and more availability in our popular programs that fill up quickly.

“We hear you. We are exploring solutions to improve in each of these areas, while acknowledging that our customers sometimes have competing needs and preferences.

“Another clear theme from your feedback is that we need your help to spread the word. You mentioned low awareness of some of our services and resources. We recently updated our RESOURCES webpage to better highlight what we offer and are working on a similar upgrade to other parts of our website. We are also highlighting a featured resource in our branches and online each month. With so much information competing for public attention, we’d love your help to get our message out there.

Lita Barrie managed to continue to serve the reading needs and interests of the public during a pandemic that called for that extra effort.

“Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Thank you for continuing to talk about BPL and highlighting the ways you use your library with your friends, family, and social circle.

“Make sure you aren’t missing our emails! With recent changes to spam filters on popular email platforms (particularly Gmail), some customers are missing our holds ready notices and newsletters. If you want to ensure our communication makes it into your inbox, consider adding BPL as a contact, or moving our emails to your “Primary” folder.

The changes in technology has changed the way information is made public.  It’s all there – on line.  What will libraries look like in a decade;  what will Lita Barrie do with the library branch that is expected to be part of the Bateman High school site redevelopment ?

Return to the Front page

Photo Ops - Pablum when the public wants protein. Can Burlington kick its habit and do away with the addiction

By Pepper Parr

April 6th, 2023



The photo op has become something the Burlington area politicians and the city administration have become addicted to.

Rather than speak to why an event is taking place and help the public understand the issue – city staff and or an elected official (frequently both) show up to have their picture taken.

One would struggle to see the value in all the time spent to make this photo op happen. Where was the benefit ?

Two examples are set out – and lead us to asking – Where is the value in these people gathering to have their picture taken?

How many hours were spent setting up the photo op; in travel time to and from the office to the location where the picture was taken ?

Assuming they didn’t go home after the camera shutters were snapped

In opting for the photo op the people participating deny the citizens of the city an opportunity to engage in some dialogue about what took place. Going that route stunts the level of information people have.

How does one change this regrettable practice?

The change would have to come from the very top.

The Mayor could make a statement that she would rather talk to people than have a picture taken.

And the City Manager could advice senior staff levels to look for better ways to inform the public – think in terms of giving them protein instead of Pablum.

Will that happen in Burlington? Certainly not from the Mayor – there is some hope for the City Manager.

Why were all these people on hand to cut a ribbon? Where was the benefit to the public..

The public has been fed a diet of photo ops and doesn’t know that there are issues they need more information on.

The citizens can of course make it clear to their elected officials that they don’t have much respect for the photo op and would rather hear what the politicians have to say.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns conducting a Walking Tour

The poor election turnout is due partially to the public not being aware of what the issues are. Being aware is having material they can read and opportunities to talk to their Council member is what engagement is all about. A photo op is not engagement – it is the person in the picture saying – look at me – remember my name and let’s leave it at that.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns does a very good job of bringing her constituents up to date on development issues with her walking tours. She also runs the best ward meetings – other members of Council would do well to follow her example.

We are waiting for Kearns to take her crowd on a walking tour around the Burlington GO Station – say walking between Guelph Line west to Brant and up Brant for a block or to – that’s where the heavy growth is going to take place.

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

Return to the Front page

With the talent that took part in the Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair the future can only look bright

By Pepper Parr

April 6th, 2023



With the world almost falling apart politically and the prospect of war more real than many realize – one can say that the future is bright and that there are young people who are in the process of being prepared to take on leadership roles in science.

Once again, Halton District School Board students performed well during the 63rd annual Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair (BASEF), which was held last week at Mohawk College in Hamilton.

As a result of the generous participation of dozens of sponsors and charitable donors, approximately $175,000 worth of cash prizes, awards and scholarships were given to students participating; HDSB, took 105  prizes, awards and scholarships were presented to 52 HDSB projects for their submissions.

Primary Fluid Systems Pinnacle Third Best in Fair, Canada-Wide Science Fair Awards:

Anthony Efthimiadis, Grade 8 student at W. H. Morden Public School, for the project, Development of an AI Convolutional Neural Network for Diagnostic Screening of Basal Cell Carcinoma.

• Anthony Efthimiadis, Grade 8 student at W. H. Morden Public School, for the project, Development of an AI Convolutional Neural Network for Diagnostic Screening of Basal Cell Carcinoma.

Canada-Wide Science Fair Awards (May 14 – 19, 2023 in Edmonton, Alberta):

• Maya LeBlanc, Grade 10 student at Abbey Park High School, for the project, “Nitrous Oxide Reduction in an Industrial Wet Scrubber Utilizing NosZ Reductase and P. denitrificans”

• Jacob LeBlanc, Grade 8 student at Pilgrim Wood Public School, for the project “Sustainability Metrics For Consumer Products Using Open Source Data, Python and QR Code Technology”

• Siqi Tan & Yuewen Li, Grade 7 students at W.H. Morden Public School, for the project, “CRISPR: Ensuring a Memorable Future”

• Imran Allarakhia, Grade 7 student at W.H. Morden Public School, for the project, “Social Robots in the Classroom: Detection and Active Support for Student Emotions”

• Brian Yin, Grade 10 student at Iroquois Ridge High School, for the project, “Student Engagement Rewards System”

Jacob LeBlanc, Grade 8 student at Pilgrim Wood Public School, for the project “Sustainability Metrics For Consumer Products Using Open Source Data, Python and QR Code Technology”

• Siqi Tan & Yuewen Li, Grade 7 students at W.H. Morden Public School, for the project, “CRISPR: Ensuring a Memorable Future”

• Maya LeBlanc, Grade 10 student at Abbey Park High School, for the project, “Nitrous Oxide Reduction in an Industrial Wet Scrubber Utilizing NosZ Reductase and P. denitrificans”

Imran Allarakhia, Grade 7 student at W.H. Morden Public School, for the project, “Social Robots in the Classroom: Detection and Active Support for Student Emotions”

Brian Yin, Grade 10 student at Iroquois Ridge High School, for the project, “Student Engagement Rewards System”

Visit basef.ca for more information.

Return to the Front page

City Service Holiday Closure Information

By Staff

April 6TH, 2023



Animal Services
The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. will be closed to appointments on Friday, April 7 and Monday, April 10.
To report an animal control related emergency on a holiday, please call 1-888-264-3135.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate on a Sunday schedule on Friday, April 7. For real-time bus information and schedules visit myride.burlingtontransit.ca.
The Downtown Transit Terminal, at 430 John St., and Specialized Dispatch will be closed on Friday, April 7 and open on Monday, April 10.

City Hall The Development Services counter, temporarily located on the second floor at City Hall (426 Brant St.), will be closed on Friday, April 7 and Monday, April 10.

If the weather is nice this trail will be a busy place; maybe there will be a ship going through the canal when you get to that point.

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will be closed on Friday, April 7 and Monday, April 10.
With the exception of the Easter closures, telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. All in-person services are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or online at Halton Court Services.

Parking Free parking is available downtown, on the street, in municipal lots and in the parking garage (414 Locust St) on weekends and holidays, including Good Friday and Easter Monday.
NOTE: The Waterfront parking lots (east and west) do not provide free parking on holidays.
Parking exemptions are required to park overnight on city streets and for longer than five hours. Visit burlington.ca/parkingexemptions.

Recreation Programs and Facilities Drop-In Recreation Activities
Angela Coughlan Pool at 2425 Upper Middle Rd is open on Good Friday, April 7 and on Easter Monday, April 10 for recreational and lap swimming.
Drop-in swimming, skating and other program times vary for the long weekend. Drop in or reserve in advance. For schedules and online reservations, visit burlington.ca/dropinandplay.

Outdoor activities
Burlington has a wide variety of outdoor activities to enjoy with your family during the long weekend including:
• trails and multi-use paths
• parks and playgrounds

Lending Library
Our Lending Library has a variety of indoor and outdoor play equipment available to borrow at no charge. Visit burlington.ca/playlending for details.

Customer Service
Recreation, Community and Culture customer service is available to assist you:
• In person at recreation facility counters during program times (April 8 and 9)
• By email at liveandplay@burlington.ca (April 8 and 9)
• By phone at 905-335-7738 (April 8 and 9)
• Phone and email support is closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Roads, Parks and Forestry The administrative office will be closed on Friday, April 7 and Monday, April 10.
Essential services will be provided as required.

Service Burlington The Service Burlington counter, temporarily located on the third floor at 390 Brant St., beside City Hall, will be closed to all appointments and walk-in service on Friday, April 7 and Monday, April 10.

Connect with Service Burlington online at burlington.ca/customerservice.


Return to the Front page

Bid on a pair of tickets to watch the Blue Jays take on the Detroit Tigers - April 12th

By Pepper Parr

April 5th, 2023



If taking in a Blue Jays game interests you there is an opportunity for you to get your hands on a pair of tickets without having to deal with a scalper.

Thanks to the generous support from Route 56 General Contracting, Community Living Burlington went live with our first online Blue Jays auction earlier this week.

Every month from April to September, they will be hosting a silent auction or raffle for your chance to win a pair of tickets to see the Toronto Blue Jays in action.

The tickets are for the Detroit Tigers at the Toronto Blue Jays, Wednesday, April 12th at 7:07 pm. Tickets are located in the TD Clubhouse – Section 226, Row 8.

This experience comes with in seat service, a private entrance and a beautiful lounge to enjoy drinks and food before and during the game.

It’s not too late!! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to support Community Living Burlington!

Place your bid at https://trellis.org/bluejaytickets

Bidding closes at 5:00 pm on Friday, April 7th. The winner will be contacted at that time.


Return to the Front page

Dedications matter - they are more than photo ops.

By Staff

April 5th, 2023



It took far too long but finally there is a sign at the base of LaSalle Park where Trumpeter Swans winter each year telling the story.

It will be a wonderful day for Bev Kingdon and volunteers with Trumpeter Swan Conservation Ontario at the dedication of the new Trumpeter Swan sign.

Graceful creatures that we hunted to extinction and then worked hard to bring them back

The event will take place on Saturday, April 29th at 2 p.m. in front of the sign which is located between the parking lot and the boat launch. The address for the event is 831 LaSalle Park Road, Burlington.

Trumpeter Swans, the largest swan in the world, native only to North America, were hunted out of existence in Ontario with the last one shot by a hunter in Long Point in 1886.

By the 1930s, it was thought only 69 individual Trumpeters remained in the western U.S. but then a small flock in Alaska was discovered and the U.S. decided to restore the species, banning hunting, and preserving habitat.

Nothing happened here in Ontario until Harry Lumsden, a retired Ministry of Natural Resources biologist decided to start a restoration program in the early 1980s. He received permission to get eggs from the Alaskan flock and then recruited families to raise the birds in captivity until they could be released.

Bev, and her husband the late Ray Kingdon, who owned a 200-acre property in Chisholm Township, were some of the earliest volunteers with the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program. The couple also had a home in Burlington and were elated when Pig Pen, a Trumpeter born to captive-raised parents, became the first trumpeter in more than 100 years to migrate south, coming to LaSalle Park in 1993.

Bev Kingdon among the Trumpeter swans at LaSalle Park

Now, more Trumpeters over-winter at LaSalle Park than in any other location in Ontario.

Continuing the work of the restoration program are the many dedicated volunteers with Trumpeter Swan Conservation Ontario who will be present at the sign dedication and will talk about their important work and answer any questions the public may have about the Trumpeters.

A large three-panelled sign, telling the story of the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program, was erected at the park this year by the City of Burlington in cooperation with Ontariogreen Conservation Association.

An opportunity to celebrate the hard work done by dedicated people who brought more than 2,000 Trumpeters back to our province — a truly wonderful story of conservation success.


Return to the Front page