Fascinating shot of an eagle in full flight

By Pepper Parr

August 3rd, 2023



Russ Campbell in recuperation mode.

Russ Campbell who is recuperating at home from some serious surgery that kept him in hospital longer than he expected put a great photograph on his Facebook page.

We are sharing that with you.  The shot was done by Peter Burian, a retired insurance claims adjuster who was taking part in a half day Birds in Flight workshop near Simcoe, ON; in controlled conditions.

Picture was taken with   D800, AFS 200-400mm VR 2, ISO 1000, f/4 at 1/2500 sec

Patience , timing and a steady hand get photographs like this.

The real photographers out there will understand the lingo.

You can find Peter K Burian on Facebook – where he keeps a lot of outstanding examples of what good photography is all about.


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Advance Care Plan and Why does Everyone need one? Free Seminar

By Pepper Parr

August 1st, 2023



The Empowered Seniors Speaker Series continues with their next informative and free seminar, What is an advance care plan and why does everyone need one?

Takes place August 9th, 2023 at the Burlington Central Library (Centennial Hall), 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM.

The event is hosted by Burlington Realtor™ Marion Goard. If you would like more information on this ongoing series of seminars and panels designed to help seniors navigate retirement living and later-in-life concerns, please visit The Empowered Seniors Speakers Series website.

Nobody wants to spend a minute of their time thinking about an illness or emergency that may never happen. But during a decade as an ICU Registered Nurse, Carly Hickey saw first-hand how unprepared most people are for a debilitating illness, a sudden emergency, or death. She realized most Canadian families are caught off guard by medical emergencies and (un)expected death. Advance care planning is a process to help begin preparations and conversations while we are healthy so we don’t have to deal with these difficult transitions during a medical crisis. It’s better to be prepared than to make decisions under stress.

During this seminar, attendees will learn:

  • What is an advance care plan?
  • Who needs one?
  • How to build a plan that works for you and your family
  • What is the sandwich generation and their role in an advance care plan
  • Why advance care planning is important
  • The policies affecting advance care planning in Ontario
  • How the Advance Care & Emergency Planning Company will focus on your and your wishes
  • Who can and should attend an advance care planning meeting
  • Where can you continue learning about advance care planning

Reserve your free seat by visiting Empowered Seniors Speakers Series  www.empoweredseniors.ca or by calling 905-330-5201.

Presenter: Carly Hickey a former ICU Registered Nurse

About the presenter: Carly Hickey is a former ICU Registered Nurse who now co-owns Advance Care & Emergency Planning Company. ACE Planning Company delivers peace of mind through advance care planning services to clients and their families. Their experienced consultants engage in conversations about quality of life and care wishes and help clients prepare a guide for the future care for themselves or a loved one.



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Local podcaster gets booted from Instagram - because they are a news organization

By Pepper Parr

August 1st, 2023



Toronto Star reports that Meta, the conglomerate that owns Facebook and Instagram – the people who collect all kinds of information about you and then use that information to run advertising by you, says it is officially moving to end news access for Canadians on its Facebook and Instagram platforms.

The company says it is removing news for all Canadian users over the course of the next few weeks.

Meta was previously running a test that limited news for up to five per cent of its users, and now says it is moving out of the testing phase.

That means links to news articles and other content posted by Canadian publishers and broadcasters will no longer be viewable to people accessing the social-media platforms in Canada.

One source of news of significant interest to people in the 905 area is a podcast out of Hamilton that was told by Meta the information they were putting up on their Instagram page was no longer permitted because they were identified is as a news source.

Here is the way they explained what had happened:

“A few weeks ago, we received an alarming notification on our Instagram page. Meta would no longer be sharing our content in Canada, in retaliation against the Federal government’s Bill C-18.

“We had though that maybe we’d be too small to be affected by this move, however it turns out we were wrong. Instead we have found ourselves to be reduced to collateral damage in the fight between the federal government and two tech giants. So then, what are our options, and what can we do to protect ourselves going forward?”

Roland Tanner and Joel MacLeod broadcast their podcast frequently. This is not the place to comment on their content or the production values of what they do.
They have every right to broadcasting – for Meta to shut them out is just poor policy and the kind of thing that got the United States into the mess they are currently facing. Democracies need informed people. Shutting out a news source does more harm than good.

Google 905er and take a listen. Their situation is not a pretty story – something you want to concern yourself about

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Frankfurt added to destinations out of Hamilton Airport

By Staff

August 1st, 2023



The International part of the Hamilton International Airport got a little more correct with the announcement that Play Airline has added Frankfurt, Germany to the destinations out of Hamilton.

The first flight with PLAY to Frankfurt will be on December 14, and it will operate four to five times a week throughout the winter.

To celebrate the first flight with PLAY to Frankfurt, the airline has announced a limited-time flight sale, starting from as low as $259 exclusive of taxes and fees.

The flight out of Hamilton will land in Iceland where passengers will transfer to a flight to Frankfurt, the popular European destination they can go to without breaking their budget.

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Mina at her best: 'There’s an old man in Aldershot who just loves your shoes now!'

By Pepper Parr

August 1st, 2023



In the Lives Lived section of the Globe and Mail of today’s date. We have copied the article and set it out below. Enjoy.
Mina would never in her life think that she would be remembered this way.


Born Oct. 4, 1967, in Brighton, England; died April 4, 2023, in Hamilton, of hemorrhagic stroke; aged 55.

Charity begins at home – and Mina Wahidi was most at home when it came to charity. Wilhelmina Devoy was the age of 3 when she arrived in Canada with her Irish parents, who came seeking better economic opportunities. Her siblings, Desmond Jr., Dympna Jr., and Kieran, were born later in Canada.

Kindness came easily to Mina. Like any teenager, she enjoyed going to dances and acting in plays at her high school in Brampton, Ont. But she also loved to visit seniors’ residences, never wanting anyone to be lonely.

At 18, during a trip to Haiti where she worked as a volunteer, her worldview changed forever when she saw an infant die in front of her.
Her family noticed a change in her upon her return. She became more focused on how she wanted to give back and was more socially conscious.

In 1992, she became an auxiliary police officer with Peel Regional Police. She enjoyed working patrol during parades, making school visits and helping with domestic violence calls.

Mina met Farid Wahidi while working as a security guard at a Brampton mall. He was an Afghan refugee working at a rug shop. Not only was Farid handsome, but she was drawn to his Omar Sharif-like charm, as well as his maturity and caring nature. In 1998, they married. Their first child, Sarah, was born a year later, and two more children, Mariam and Bilal, came to round out the family she loved.

Mina taught her children to help those in need but she was also “the silliest person you would ever meet. She would make the best jokes at the worst times,” Sarah recalled. She was always there for Bilal’s soccer games – even if, after five minutes, she might fall asleep on the sidelines because she was so tired. Her children remember how hard she worked to help solve their problems, even if it meant staying up until 1 a.m. to find a solution.

Apart from her children, Mina’s lasting legacy is the Compassion Society of Halton Region, which began in 2000 as a single rack of donated clothing in the basement of her home. When the clothing collection outgrew her basement, it moved to a stand-alone facility in Burlington. To this day, the charity offers not only clothing to those in need but also food, toiletries and jobsearch help.

“She was what we needed in this world,” said Sarah, speaking to a Compassion Society gathering after Mina’s death.

But Mina could get a little caught up in her charity work. Once, her brother left a pair of shoes in her hallway. When he went looking for them the next morning, Mina’s eyes bulged in surprise. She had donated them. “Oh, Desmond,” she said. “There’s an old man in Aldershot who just loves your shoes now!”
In 2009 Mina was voted Burlington Citizen of the Year, and in 2012 was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for her volunteer work.

In 2021 she helped found Halton Refugee Help Centre. That winter, she collected coats for Afghan refugees to help them endure their first Canadian winter and blew past her goal of 1,000 coats.

Despite her sunny outlook, Mina did have her own mental-health issues. She struggled with the loss of her mother, her marriage and the effects of a concussion. She considered suicide – but her chihuahua Royce caught her attention at just the right moment and she took him for a walk instead. Mina decided soon after to open up about her struggles.

Earlier this year, she collapsed in the lobby of her Oakville apartment building. In the hospital that evening, Sarah told her mother she could rest now.

For a woman who provided comfort in a time of need to so many, it was time for her to go home.

The article was written by her brother

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Parents will now know what teachers are going to learn on their PD days

By Staff

August 1st, 2023



There was another announcement from the Ministry of Education – this one had to do with the Professional Development Days teacher get each school year.

Excerpt from the Halton District School Board for the 2023-24 school year – PD days on a Friday were abused at times

School boards will soon be telling parents what teachers are learning on professional development days.

The government is mandating that boards post details of educators’ PD activities to the ministry as well as parents, starting this fall.

This is not to beat up on teachers – most work very hard, often in difficult circumstances.

What has always bothered us is the number of PD days that take place on a Friday.

Knowing what teachers are going to do on the day that is set aside for them to improve their skills is welcome news.

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Real Estate company chooses to invest in Black students with a scholarship opportunity.

By Staff

August 1, 2023



RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust and BlackNorth Initiative have partnered to offer a Canadian Real Estate & Trades Bursary for Black high school students. Launching this July, funding will be dispersed for the upcoming fall 2023 semester.

The Well was a Sonshine initiative. It is more than a collection of buildings and stores—it’s a dynamic and fluid experience that puts the things people want most within easy reach. Here, residents and visitors will find an inspired mix of fashion, fitness, beauty, health, entertainment, arts and culture, home decor and services.

In a statement from the company they said: “By investing in the Black leaders of tomorrow, RioCan continues to work towards its commitment to the BlackNorth Initiative CEO Pledge. The bursary, amounting to $21,200, will provide financial support for students entering post-secondary programs within the commercial real estate field at accredited schools. The investment will be key to creating a new generation of Black leaders in the real estate sector.

“The cost of post-secondary education can be a major barrier, which limits upward mobility in the employment journey. This bursary will help level the playing field for Black youth with less secure financial backgrounds, leading to diverse and inclusive workplaces from interns to leadership,” says Dahabo Ahmed-Omer, BlackNorth Initiative’s Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to working with RioCan, a BlackNorth Initiative signatory, to support Black students and foster their future careers in real estate.”

“Easing the financial burden for Black students interested in commercial real estate starts to tackle some of the systemic barriers that Black students have historically faced in Canada and can contribute to increasing representation in the industry,” says Jonathan Gitlin, President and CEO at RioCan. “RioCan is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive industry and workplace. Our commitment to the BlackNorth Initiative is unwavering, and we are proud to support the next generation of Black real estate professionals as they begin their careers.”

The bursary goes beyond a financial investment. RioCan will also offer recipients mentorship and internship opportunities, providing the foundation and skillset to build upon throughout their real estate careers. This investment expands RioCan’s existing DEI scholarship program, launched in 2021, which supports students identifying as historically disadvantaged at Toronto Metropolitan University and the University of Alberta.

Edward Sonshine, Non-Executive Chairman of the RioCan Board of Trustees

Up until very recently Edward Sonshine was the force, the energy and the lead thinker behind RioCan.  This initiative is one he would be very proud of – he is still leading.  I once had office space in one of his buildings where he had his office.  A funny guy at times who was well grounded. He was the founder of RioCan and currently serves as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Trustees

About BlackNorth Initiative
The BlackNorth Initiative is on a mission to end anti-Black systemic racism throughout all aspects of our lives by utilizing a business-first mindset. We are committed to the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians. For more information, visit: https://blacknorth.ca/ and follow us on social media @blacknorthca.

About RioCan
RioCan is one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts. RioCan owns, manages and develops retail-focused, increasingly mixed-use properties located in prime, high-density transit-oriented areas where Canadians want to shop, live and work. As at March 31, 2023, the portfolio is comprised of 191 properties with an aggregate net leasable area of approximately 33.5 million square feet (at RioCan’s interest) including office, residential rental and 11 development properties.

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Some large malls in the GTA are undergoing huge changes - anything like this possible in Ontario?

By Pepper Parr

August 1st, 2023



An article came to us via a trusted source yesterday. It was about what owners of large malls are doing to change their business model. Are there opportunities for the owners of malls and some plazas in Burlington?

For more than 60 years, a beige and brown — and bland, by today’s standards — one-storey shopping centre has stood nestled at the corner of Highway 427 and Dundas Street West in Etobicoke. Set on 32 acres, the mall hosts flagship tenants like Winners, an abundance of mom-and-pop shops and a food court.
Cloverdale Mall has served the surrounding community well — but it won’t be around much longer, not in its current form, anyway.

Over the next decade — assuming the city of Toronto approves its development application — the mall is slated to undergo a massive transformation, with the introduction of 10 residential towers ranging from 17 to 48 storeys, 185,000 square feet of retail space, some 23,500 square feet of community amenities (including a daycare and community centre) and 3.8 acres of parkland.

Massive change expected to take place at the Cloverdale mall.

Where could that work in Burlington. There are two malls; Burlington Centre and Mapleview Mall. Both are going through some changes. Both have large parking lots.

There are a number of plazas that offer some opportunity for a change in the model they use.

Mapleview has very large spaces waiting for cars to park. And there are occasions when you can’t find a spot to park. There is little doubt that the people responsible for the profitability and the return earned on the asset are being carefully monitored.

The plaza at New and Guelph Line has potential is as well, however the units are individually owned and it would take a lot of work to get every one of them to sign on.

Not just hats – check out those gloves.

Change is afoot. Take a second look at those women wearing those hats. Can you even imagine something like that today?

What do the people of Burlington imagine will take place at the two large malls?  And are there any opportunities for changes at some of the smaller plazas?

Parking spots waiting for cars – seldom filled.

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Details on Loan program to help homeowners recover energy efficiency upgrade costs now available - call if you're interested

By Staff

July 31st, 2023



The first mention of the Better Homes Burlington (BHB) pilot program to help homeowners understand options, available incentives and with the cost of doing home energy upgrades to improve energy efficiency was on June 12th when a Standing committee debated the issue. The next day Council approved it

To connect with City staff or learn more about funding, visit burlington.ca/betterhomes or email betterhomes@burlington.ca.

Homes that are more energy efficient use less energy, save the homeowner money and produce less greenhouse gases.

Starting in September, homeowners will be able to apply for an interest-free loan from the City of Burlington for up to $10,000 for the purchase and installation of an air-source heat pump. This is a pilot program with just 20 loans available. The application process will be open until January (unless the maximum number of loans have been approved prior to January).

An air pump. In summer, a heat pump will move heat out of your home and release it outdoors. In fall and winter, it brings heat into your home from outside, even when it’s cold outside.

What is an air-source heat pump?
Acting as a high-efficiency air conditioner in the summer, and a heater in the winter, an air-source heat pump uses a refrigerant that responds to temperature. In summer, a heat pump will move heat out of your home and release it outdoors. In fall and winter, it brings heat into your home from outside, even when it’s cold outside.

Air-source heat pumps are more energy efficient than air conditioners.

Lynn Robichaud, Manager, Environmental Sustainability

Lynn Robichaud, Manager, Environmental Sustainability explains:
“The Better Homes Burlington pilot program is one of the many ways the City is working with residents to reduce our collective greenhouse gas emissions. Making your home more energy efficient is a win for everyone. Our coordinator is ready to help you with the process and including applying for the various financial incentives available.”

Links and Resources

Related news story:

Heat pumps were a logical alternative.

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What’s open and closed at the City of Burlington for the Civic holiday on Aug. 7

By Staff

July 31st, 2023



City of Burlington administrative services will be closed for the Civic holiday on Monday, Aug. 7. For a list of which City services and facilities are available on the long weekend, please see the summary below or visit burlington.ca.

Fireworks reminder
Fireworks are not permitted to be set off on the August Civic holiday. As per the City’s bylaw, family (low-hazard) fireworks can only be set off on Canada Day and Victoria Day. For more information regarding who to contact if you have a personal safety concern related to the use of fireworks, visit burlington.ca/fireworks.
City Service Holiday Closure Information

Animal Services The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. will be closed to appointments on Monday, Aug. 7. To report an animal control related emergency on a holiday, please call 905-335-7777.

Transit on the Sunday Schedule for the 7th

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate on a Sunday schedule on Monday, Aug. 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 Monday, Aug. 7.

City Hall Service Burlington and the Building, Renovating and Licensing counter on the main floor of City Hall at 426 Brant St., will be closed to all appointments and walk-in service on Monday, Aug. 7.

Many service payments are available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices

For online development services:
MyFiles can be used by residents who have applied for Pre-Building Approval after April 24, 2023. Once an account has been created, applicants can check the status of their files at burlington.ca/MyFiles.

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will be closed on Monday, Aug. 7.
Except for the Civic holiday 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. Payment of Provincial Offences fines is available 24/7 at www.paytickets.ca.

You now have to pay for parking at the Beachway on weekends. You get a permit if you live in the Region.

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 the Civic holiday on Monday, Aug. 7.

• The Waterfront parking lots (east and west at 1286 Lakeshore Rd.) 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
Paid parking is in effect at Beachway Park (1100 and 991 Lakeshore Rd.) on weekends only (including holidays) using HONK Mobile
Please make an online reservation using Park Pass to visit Lowville Park on weekends. Reservations are free and available in three-hour time slots

Recreation Programs and Facilities Drop-In Swimming
Nelson Pool and Splash Park, Mountainside Pool and Splash Park, and LaSalle Wading Pool and Splash Park are open for swimming through the weekend and on the Civic holiday (weather permitting). Outdoor pool lap swims and recreational swims are walk-in only, with no reservations.

Indoor pools swims vary over the weekend, including a free swim presented by Access Storage on Saturday, Aug. 5, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at Centennial Pool (5151 News St.). Pre-registration is recommended. Registration opens online at burlington.ca/dropinandplay for residents seven days in advance. Walk-ups are welcome if capacity remains.

Drop-In Skating
Appleby Ice Centre is open on Saturday, Aug. 5 for drop-in skating and recreational hockey programs. For schedules and registration please visit burlington.ca/dropinandplay.

This is a large part of what Burlington is about. Easy evenings at the Band shell listening to music. Now if taxes can be kept reasonable – you might be able to continue living in the city.

Concerts in the Park
Head over to the Central Park Bandshell on Sunday, Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m. to enjoy an entertaining evening of music. Bring your own lawn chair and blanket. The concert series runs each Wednesday and Sunday evening from 7:30 to 9 p.m. (weather permitting). For more information including performer listings visit burlington.ca/concerts.

Splash Pads
The City’s nine splash pads are located throughout the city and are free to use. To find a splash pad near you visit burlington.ca/splashpads.

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.
• picnic site reservations for La Salle or Hidden Valley Park
Find out more at burlington.ca/outdoorplay.

Good golf course – but why is the city paying for some of the upkeep? Link to that story https://burlingtongazette.ca/taxpayer-funds-are-expected-to-support-the-golf-course-going-forward/

Tyandaga Golf Course is open for the season and tee times can be booked online at tyandagagolf.com or by calling 905-336-0005, ext. 2.

Play Lending Library
Our Lending Library has a variety of outdoor and indoor play equipment available to borrow in time for the long weekend at no charge. From archery to wiffle ball, and Kanjam to pickleball. Lifejackets in various sizes are also available for your next outing on the water. Check out 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.
Customer service is also available:
• By email at liveandplay@burlington.ca
• By phone at 905-335-7738, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (including Aug. 5, 6, 7).

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

Links to related stories:

Public money paying for maintenance of the golf course


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CDH - a Community Organization that learned to stop spending money it didn't have - a lesson City Council could learn.

By Pepper Parr

July 31st, 2023



Community Development Halton has moved.  The organization has been providing social planning and volunteer centre services and capacity building support in Halton for almost 40 years.

Rishia Burke with Ted McKeekin. A former Ontario government Cabinet Minister and a leader in the creation and early growth of Community Development Halton. Burke is the Executive Director of Community Development Halton.

On July 1, 2023, the staff team moved out of the location on the South Service Road in Burlington to two anchor locations, one in the south and the other in the northern portion of Halton.

They are now at:

St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, 662 Guelph Line, Burlington on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and

The Roxy Center, 6 Mill Street E, Acton on Mondays, and Wednesdays


As a community development organization focused on social research, dialogue and action on social justice issues and civic engagement, being present and connected with the community they strive to walk alongside is now core to they way they want to work.

With this move they will experience a renewed opportunity for connection and partnership with the many non-profit organizations, grass roots groups and citizens of Halton.

Although addresses are changing, their email addresses and phone numbers have not. You can reach them at their general mailbox at office@cdhalton.ca and by calling toll-free 1 (855) 395-8807 or locally at 905-632-1975.

Rishia Burke – thinking it through.

For more information about Community Development Halton please see www.cdhalton.ca or follow us on social media @ComDevHalton (Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIN) and @cdhalton (Instagram).

Rishia Burke, Executive Director Community Development Halton

How does this relate to Burlington city council? 

CDH stopped spending money it didn’t have. 

It chose to go out to the community and listen whereas Burlington city council has chosen to spend millions of dollars it doesn’t have, moving the borrowing past the limit put in place.



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Conservation Halton would like any comments people can provide on the flooding around Hole 3 - Berwick on the golf course

By Staff

July 31st, 2023



Conservation Halton(CH) completed a East Burlington Creeks Flood Hazard Mapping Study.

Millcroft Against Development (MAD) said the “Observational information from residents helped “ground-truth” the study findings and strengthen CH’s understanding of the flood hazard in the Millcroft Golf Club area.

CH staff reviewed the information provided in MAD’s July 6th, 2023 report as well as emails with observations and feedback from 2022 and 2021 when the study commenced. Specifically, engineers from CH’s floodplain mapping team have evaluated the comprehensive feedback from Millcroft residents relative to the draft flood hazard modelling and mapping from the study.

Only riverine flooding that is associated with a flood hazard of a watercourse is regulated by CH and was mapped as part of CH’s study. The reported observations of riverine flooding in this area are generally consistent with study modelling, which considered flooding associated with a range of storm events including more frequent storms to very rare events such as the August 4, 2014 storm, the 1:100 year storm, and the Hurricane Hazel Regional Storm.

However, in the area around Hole 3, a reported observation of flooding along a fence does not align with the draft flood hazard modelling and mapping from CH’s study. To confirm whether this observation may be related to riverine flooding, CH floodplain mapping program staff would appreciate an opportunity to meet with any residents who provided flood observations related to the Hole 3 area on their properties, to gain a clearer understanding of their observations.

The Millcroft Against Development (MAD) Admin team would appreciate your assistance in connecting residents who provided the observations related to flooding around Hole 3/Berwick with Conservation Halton.

Please email the Admin team at admin@millcroftagainstdevelopment.ca with your contact information.

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Mapleview Mall uses its roof top to grow garden vegetables, herbs and flowers that go to the Food Bank

By Staff

July 31st, 2023



Mapleview Shopping Centre, in collaboration with Micro Habitat, has transformed its rooftop into an urban garden oasis – an initiative aimed to reduce the shopping centre’s environmental footprint and promote local biodiversity.

From the roof top to the table.

Micro Habitat, the organization the mall is partnered with on this initiative, installs urban farms across properties in North America. In this case, Mapleview worked with Micro Habitat to introduce a garden full of vegetables, herbs and flowers directly on the rooftop of the mall.

These vegetables and herbs from the mall will then be donated weekly to the Burlington Food Bank.

The rooftop garden boasts an assortment of vegetables, flowers and herbs, which are harvested on a weekly basis throughout the summer and fall seasons. As part of Mapleview’s commitment to giving back, all the fresh produce harvested each week is donated to the Burlington Food Bank and proceeds from each urban farm developed contribute to supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada. 

In addition to this sustainability initiative, Mapleview will unveil a captivating visual art installation this August, managed by public art consultant Cobalt Connects, featuring talented local artist Stylo Starr kicking off the series.  Stylo Starr is a Jamaican-Canadian collage artist whose work centers nature, fantasy, and notions of the Afrofuture. 

Stylo Starr is a Jamaican-Canadian collage artist whose work centers on nature and fantasy.

Located in the North Wing across from Sporting Life, the art pieces will revolve around themes of community, diversity and inclusion, providing guests with an enriching visual experience during their visit to the centre that showcases the vibrant artistic community in Burlington. 

“We are deeply committed to implementing community-driven and environmentally conscious programs,” said Rita Donnelly, General Manager, Mapleview. “Through these summer initiatives and together with our partners, we hope to inspire our guests, nurture local talent, and create a positive impact on our community.” 

Mapleview Shopping Centre has implemented sustainability initiatives year-round to reduce its ecological footprint. The shopping centre has received accreditation from the BOMA BEST program, offers 19 electric vehicle charging stations on its premises, utilizes energy-efficient LED lighting contributing to reduced energy consumption, and provides tenants, retailers and guests with convenient recycling options, among other ongoing programs. 

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Is email to the City Clerk requesting to delegate before City Council being diverted ? The evidence suggests this may be the case.

By Pepper Parr

July 31st, 2023



This is not a nice story.

The information set out is disturbing. There are two parts to this story.  One about the belief that email to the City Clerks office is being diverted.  The other is that  the city is using authority it does not have when it comes to the matter of Trespassing on city property.

Let’s go through the details we have about email being diverted.  The first email sent by Ann Marsden to the Clerk’s office is set out below:

First email

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Anne Marsden <anneandave@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2023 at 09:57
To: <clerks@burlington.ca>

Please register Anne and Dave Marsden Health, Safety and Access Advocates to speak in Council Chambers to:

12.2 Public Conduct Policy and Trespass By-law Office of the City Clerk.

12.4 Civic Square

We are travelling home from up North and will not have internet/email access for most of today after 12 noon so please confirm as soon as possible and provide a contact phone number in case we hit any snags travelling home.

Anne and Dave Marsden
308-1425 Ghent Ave
L7S 1X5

This was Ann Marsden seeking permission to delegate to city Council.  She had asked for confirmation.

City Clerk Kevin Arjoon did not respond to the request for confirmation that Ann Marsden was going to be delegating..

Email # 2
———- Forwarded message ———
From: Anne Marsden <anneandave@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2023 at 10:59
To: Arjoon, Kevin <Kevin.Arjoon@burlington.ca>, <clerks@burlington.ca>

Kevin and Clerks – can you please provide this confirmation asap as we will lose our email connection as previously explained In Council delegations.

12.2 Public Conduct Policy

12.4 (f) Civic Square

Anne and Dave Marsden
Health Safety and Access Advocates
308-1425 Ghent Avenue
L7S 1X5

This was the second email requesting permission to delegate.  While they did not get a confirmation Ann decided to go to city hall prepared to delegate.

They showed up ready to delegate with a prepared script Ann would read and give a copy to the Committee Clerk to ensure they met all the Procedural By-law delegation requirements.

Dave goes for an agenda – there were none left. They beckon to Debbie Hordyk, the Committee Clerk, who gets them a copy of the agenda. Ann notices that they are not listed on the agenda. She asks Hordyk why they did not receive the confirmation requested and gives her a copy of the first email addressed to: clerks@burlington.ca

They also question whether they are on the delegation list. The Clerk did not respond to this question and instead commented “I wonder why I did not get this” ?

Hordyk advised she only needed the one email sent at 09:57 and left the Marsdens to return to the Council Table

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte, serving as a Deputy Mayor, in the absence of the Mayor Chairs the Council meeting.

Deputy Mayor Stolte approaches them and thanks them for attending and confirms she is chairing the Council meeting.

The Marsdens presumed they were on the delegation list especially after the Deputy Mayor thanked them for coming. They were shocked and resisted the urge to correct what was happening. 

Councillors Bentivegna and Stolte move the Motion to accept what they understood to be unregistered delegations.

The Council meeting gets to the point where delegations are going to be heard and Chair Stolte says there is some delegation management to be done and that she needed a Motion to waive provision in the procedure bylaw to permit people who were not registered to delegate to do so.  She asked for a Motion to allow three unregistered delegations to speak to Council  which included Anne and Dave Marsden.

A three second pause and Councillor Bentivegna moves the Motion which Councillor Kearns seconds. The motion to waive the procedural by-law passes unanimously.

Anne, with Dave by her side, read heir first delegation.  After their first delegation was read into the record and while getting her papers ready for their second delegation she commented to Stolte: “I did understand that I had registered to delegate before noon yesterday. “ to which Deputy Mayor Stolte responded “Noted”. What is not yet known is if Stolte brought the matter up with the City Clerk and if she did what the City Clerk had to say in the way of response.

It takes guts for the Marsdens to go before Council and say what they expect will likely be ignored by council and print media as well.

So – what happened? Was this just an example of sloppy work in the Clerk’s Office? Anne and Dave Marsden don’t see it that way.  They  believe emails to the City Clerk, City Manager Tim Commisso and City Solicitor Blake Hurley are not getting to them directly.

Ann Marsden making her delegation related to the Public Behaviour Trespass by law that was listed as a Consent item and approved by Council without a word of debate.

They believe they are being diverted.

If the Marsdens are correct – there is a very serious problem at City Hall.

Ward 1 Councillor, Kelvin Galbraith, decided he didn’t like what ward 1 resident Tom Muir was legitimately saying and doing and advised Muir that he would not receive any service from Galbraith’s office in the future.

What is becoming evident is the level of rot that has set in at City Hall.

It gets worse. Tomorrow – city decides to use authority it does not have

Related news story.

The Marsden delegation.

The Public Behaviour Trespass Bylaw

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Resident asks: 'Why do our spendthrift Mayors always think they need to build a monument to themselves?'

By Pepper Parr

July 31st, 2023



Phil lives close to Nelson High School. He and his wife are retired and they don’t understand why the Mayor is raising taxes the way she is, nor does he understand why all this money is being spent on the Bateman High School re-purposing, or why so much on the refurbishing of Civic Square.

He sent a note to the Mayor and the members of council and then, at his wife’s urging, sent a copy along to us.

Hi Marianne, I saw in The Burlington Post that you are putting forward a plan to renew Burlington’s Civic Square.

East end resident doesn’t see the need for a new Civic Square.

How much will this cost Burlington taxpayers?

I would have thought after dinging Burlington’s residents with a 7%+ tax increase this year and possibly like increases in the years going forward, you would be a little more responsible with our tax dollars, especially in these times of high inflation and interest rates.

The $100 million price tag was too much for Phil and his wife Kim.

With the Brock University/Bateman plan, that you have been less than honest about the costs, do we really need to be wasting tax dollars on Civic Square right now?

The original $29,000,000 cost to convert Bateman are now rumoured to be in the neighbourhood of $100,000,000.

Can you please give us an honest accounting of the conversion please?

Why do our spendthrift Mayors always think they need to build a monument to themselves?

Reader thinks building the Pier was a dumb idea – does he know that it ended up costing twice the original amount?

I remember Rob McIssac’s famous Burlington Pier monument to stupidity. Are you trying to follow his example?

Perhaps the Civic Square renewal should wait until residents weather the economic upheavals being experienced from the Covid-19 strains, the poor economy, high inflation/interest rates, this year’s tax increases and the Carbon Tax imposed on residents by the Federal Government. Also, wasn’t City Hall’s interior just renovated?

Burlington residents are looking for elected leaders to tackle problems, including affordability and keeping taxes low, not expensive make-work vanity projects that result in higher taxes for residents.

Burlington needs an austerity council not a bunch of spendthrifts. Please feel free to share with your fellow City Councillors.

Phil Steinberg, Kim Berry
Burlington, Ontario.

We gave Phil a call – he had more to say.

“This city hall is out of touch”.  He wants to know what city hall has done to cut costs.  He wants the pain that people are experiencing to be felt at city hall as well and he wants to see an austerity budget.  He feels there is a lot of mismanagement as well.

Asked what his neighbours felt, Phil was quick to say “He is blown away by it all.”

Phil understands that population growth is going to have to take place but “this council seems to just spend and spend.”  There is a new Civic Square, a new Bateman, a new Skyway arena that will need borrowed funds to complete.

Phil explained that he and his wife don’t go downtown all that often – “we are east enders” he said.

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Province gives itself new authority to set binding priorities on school boards

By Staff

July 30th, 2023



Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement:

Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education,

“Today, our government implemented the first set of regulations following the passage of The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act. These new measures will focus on getting back to the basics of education: strengthening reading, writing and math, and other STEM disciplines.

We are following through on our commitment to parents through new measures that will better refocus school boards on academic achievement and the development of life and job skills.

Students keying data into computers during a survey.

These reforms include the new authority for our government to set binding priorities on school boards that focus on boosting student achievement focused on reading, writing and math. This sends a clear signal to Ontario’s school boards we’ve listened to the priorities of parents putting common sense at the centre of our education system.

To improve school board transparency, school board plans will be benchmarked against system-wide performance indicators.

I am confident that this first set of measures will better focus Ontario schools on student achievement, offer greater accountability and transparency to families, improve safety and create more opportunities to hire highly qualified teacher candidates to support student success.”

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Asbestos removal at former Bateman site well underway - word asbestos now being used UPDATED

By Staff

July 29th, 2023



This article had material added after it was first published.

A reader has advised us that: The U.S. Department of Labor as well as the U.S. EPA and Oregon DEQ define an ACM as “any material containing more than 1% asbestos.”

An update on the work being done at the former Bateman High School site.

Some readers will recall the difficulty Alan Magi had speaking the words “asbestos removal”, – suggesting, we thought at the time, that it wasn’t that big a problem.

The builder who won the contract to refurbish the former high school and the company that is removing the asbestos have their signs at the entrance gate.

Well the signage on the site now makes it pretty clear that the removal of the asbestos is a dangerous job and everyone is warned to Keep Out.

Construction seems to be well underway but we didn’t actually see anyone doing any work. There were some people gathered around jury-rigged drafting table and there were a bunch of very large white bags with the letters ACM in red. Anyone know what might be in those bags?

The lettering on the bags suggests it could have something to do with the asbestos removal.

Site is a cancer and lung disease hazard. Keep out

The city has located its Sign Production Services  in one of the spaces that will eventually be leased by the Halton District School Board. 

There are signs at almost every entrance to the work site warning of the dangers from asbestos – cause cancer and lung damage.  During Standing Committee meetings the words asbestos was basically verboten.

What used to be the entrance to the high school

Eastern end of the site

At a cost of $100 million, according to the Mayor, this is what the community hub, that has yet to be given a name, will look like.

Related news content:

Some tough questions asked by Sharman on how decisions were made.


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Environment advises - it is going to be a wet weekend.

By Staff

July 29th, 2023



Date: July 29, 2023

Time: 11:00 A.M.

Conservation Halton advises that up to 50 mm of rainfall has fallen within parts our jurisdiction this morning, with the heaviest amounts located within the City of Burlington.

Environment Canada has issued a further rainfall warning for our watershed area indicating that rain, heavy at times, will continue until this afternoon before ending.

Widespread flooding is not anticipated, however fast flowing water and flooding of low-lying areas and natural floodplains may be expected. Intense rainfall may also cause water pooling on roads and underpasses.

When heavy rains fall creek water flow rises, and on occasion overflows the natural bank.

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to keep a safe distance from all watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

This flood message replaces the current Watershed Condition Statement – Water Safety that was previously issued on July 26, 2023. Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream and weather conditions and will issue an update to this Watershed Condition Statement – Flood Outlook message as conditions warrant.

This Watershed Condition Statement will be in effect through Sunday July 30, 2023.

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Care Clinic now part of the Headon Road Shoppers location, one of three in the province

By Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2023



In 1962 a man named Murray Koffler, a pharmacist opened up a drug store named Shoppers Drug Mart; he went on to create a national organization of pharmacies without sacrificing the personalized service of the local community pharmacist.

Murray Koffler with his. wife Marvelle

Koffler passed away in 2017 but the belief that personalized service was both important and possible took another step forward on Thursday when the Pharmacy Care Clinic  opened at the Headon Road location.

Shoppers has led the way in creating a a national organization; there are now more than 1300 locations in Canada.  They stopped selling tobacco products in 1921; they entered into a contract with Canada Post to set up postal stations inside many of the Shoppers locations.

They automated the delivery of pharmaceuticals and created a service that allowed doctors to send prescriptions directly to the pharmacy. When a prescription was ready for pick up Shoppers would send an email to the customer.

Pharmacists are taking on roles that doctors used to handle. It was more efficient and cost effective to have a pharmacy giving Covid19 vaccinations.

The provincial health Ministry now works closely with the senior Shoppers executive team to create services that can be done at the local level, almost on a walk-in basis.

The sign direct people and makes the point that this is a Clinic.

They use some pretty slick language – Check In is referred to as Customer Concierge; an effort to make the point that the customer is the focus.  The signage is good – this new service is right beside the pharmacy with comfortable seating space and people who are there to listen to you.

The Clinic can often resolve a problem or a concern, or if there is a serious situation be on to the doctor’s office immediately.

The Clinic was a place where an anxious child could be taken to for a vaccination.

Vaccinations will now be done at Pharmacy based Clinics.  There are a lot of parents who have gone through a trip to the doctors office with a child that is terrified of that needle.  Shoppers decided that problem could be resolved if the child could be distracted.  There is a television set with videos that cater to the interests of the child.  They went one step better.  To the left of the TV screen there is a small panel with six buttons, each a different colour.  The pharmacist will ask the child who is still looking at that needle if they would like to change the colour of the lights in the room.  The child presses one of the button and the light colour changes – to blue, to green, or to red.  The pharmacist now has a distracted child who stops crying and gets vaccinated.

In most pharmacists there is a Drop Off counter where you drop off the prescription you want to have filled and another that you Pick Up your prescription.  The Pharmacy Care Clinics will have just the one counter, a bigger one where tere are several people to serve you.  The counter is also quite a bit lower.  No more two line set ups.

Designed for better service delivery; lockers are being tried to see if they can save time.

Another interesting approach.  If you use the app that Shoppers created and have indicated you would like your medication put in a locker where you can pick them up you get an email giving you a code or when you get to the locker you use your cell phone to read the QR code and then enter the number you were given and a door opens and you take your prescription.  The billing is already done because they have the information they need on file.

The intention is to save time wherever possible.

Nitu Singh, Senior Director of Pharmacy and Operations, who is a pharmacist and at one time operated on the Shoppers pharmacy, explains that the two new Care Clinics, with one more to be opened, will be carefully monitored to learn what is working and what isn’t working.

The focus of the Care Clinic is to allow people to talk to a pharmacist about ailments and approaches to better health.

We now have an aging population who rely more on medications and fewer doctors.  Shoppers has a strong trusting relationship with the Health Ministry. On occasion Shoppers will take an idea to the Ministry or the Ministry will ask Shoppers to suggest some approaches that can take the load of the doctors offices.

The Covid19 vaccine booster are nor done at the pharmacy level; expect the same with flu shots.

The public now has a place they can turn to for advice from people who are well qualified and know when there is a problem that needs to be taken to a doctor.

Murray Koffler knew what he was doing when he formed the chain of pharmacies, he may have had no idea just how involved it would become with the customers but he would smile when he saw what was being done.  Koffler was made a member of the Order of Canada.

Shoppers is now owned by the Loblaws organization.




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City looking for input on renewing the playgrounds at Nelson Park and Millcroft Park

By Staff

July 28th, 2023



The City is getting ready to renew the playgrounds at Nelson Park and Millcroft Park.

First step will be to look for neighbourhood and city-wide input on the types of playground equipment residents would like to see in the two parks.

Online survey for both parks are open until Sept. 1.  Each member of the household is encouraged to submit their own survey. 

City staff will be collecting feedback at 8 p.m. in Nelson Park on Aug. 6 for Movies in the Park with Councillor Stolte before the movie begins at approximately 9 p.m. The movie playing will be Turning Red.

City staff will be at a Park Pop-up at Millcroft Park on Aug. 17, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. with Councillor Bentivegna to collect community feedback on the types of playground equipment residents would like.

A final concept will be created with the input gathered from the surveys and in-person feedback opportunities. Construction is expected to begin and be completed in 2024.

For more information on park renewals, or to complete the surveys, visit getinvolvedburlington.ca/yourparks

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