Regional budget says goodbye to the days of zero budget increases

By Staff

January 25th. 2-23

BURLINGTON, ON

The data in this article comes from a Regional media release.  More detail will be provided once there is a chance to go through the Budget reports

On January 25, 2023, Halton Regional Council approved the 2023 Budget and Business Plan.

The Region works to deliver annual budgets that keep taxes at or below the rate of inflation while preserving Halton’s strong long-term financial position. The 2023 Budget is based on prudent, forward-looking financial planning principles, and includes investments in critical program enhancements and essential services to support residents and businesses.

The 2023 Budget includes:

  • 3.0 per cent increase in property taxes for Regional programs and services (excluding Police services);
  • 4.0 per cent increase in property taxes for Police services
  • 4.1 per cent increase in the combined water and wastewater rate.

Regional government offices are located in Oakville north of the QEW. The Police Services headquarters are at the same location

Property taxes

This table reflects the property tax impact of Regional services per $100,000 of a property’s Current Value Assessment (CVA).

2022 Actual 2023 Budget Change
Regional services $173.28 $178.47 $5.19 (3.0%)
Police services* $103.77 $107.89 $4.12 (4.0%)
Total Regional taxes** $277.05 $286.37 $9.31 (3.4%)
  • Schedule may not add due to rounding
  • * Approved by Police Services Board
  • ** Based on projected 1.7 per cent assessment growth

Water and wastewater rates

This table shows the average cost increase for a household using 226 m3 of water per year.

2022 Actual 2023 Budget Change*
Water and wastewater $1,023 $1,065 $42 (4.1%)
  • *Based on 0.0% consumption growth and 1.5% customer growth

Highlights

The Region tends to call the money they spend to keep the wheels going around  investments.  They are basically the operating budget

The 2023 Budget increases in priority areas previously identified by residents and Council. Some of the key items include:

Public Health: $344,000 investment to support emerging needs in the community post-pandemic.

Paramedic Services: $1.3 million investment including additional full-time paramedics to address pressures related to increased call volumes.

Services for Seniors: $1.6 million investment for additional personal support workers to provide increased direct care hours to residents in the Region’s three Long-Term Care homes.

Housing Services: $2.4 million increased investment to support assisted housing, rent supplement, and homelessness prevention programs.

Continued implementation of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Childcare Plan – known as $10/day childcare.

Halton Region Community Investment Fund (HRCIF): $250,000 increased investment to meet new and emerging community needs with services provided by non-profit organizations in Halton. The HRCIF now totals $4.0 million.

State-of-Good-Repair Program: $7.9 million increased investment to support the water and wastewater state-of-good-repair capital program, and $1.0 million increased investment to support the transportation capital program.

Return to the Front page

City selects Emilie Cote as new Director of Recreation, Community & Culture

By Staff

January 25th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

Emilie Cote appointed Director of Recreation, Community & Culture.

 

The City of Burlington announced today that Emilie Cote will be the new Director of Recreation, Community & Culture.

Ms Cote brings a passion for community service delivery and a strategic vision with more than 15 years of progressive municipal experience in operating departments within the City including Manager of Business Services, Manager of Fleet within Roads, Parks and Forestry and her most recent role as Manager of Recreation Services.

She has also been a key member of the City’s Covid-19 response team and numerous corporate initiatives including the Hybrid Workforce team and E-Government program.

Prior to joining the City of Burlington, Ms Cote was employed by the YWCA of Hamilton as Supervisor of Health and Wellness and as Head Coach for the Milton Heights Alpine racing Club.

Emilie will start in her new role on January 30.

Return to the Front page

Snow warning: City Facilities Closing at 2 p.m. today January 25

By Staff

January 25th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

Tandem team clearing Fairview – they will be out on the roads when the snow storm expected has moved on.

 

The City of Burlington’s recreational facilities, Sims Square, Downtown Transit Terminal and City Hall are closing as of 2 p.m. today.

All programs and rentals have been cancelled.

The City of Burlington makes every effort to keep our facilities open during regular business hours; however, when unsafe weather conditions occur, the City must close facilities.

Information regarding re-opening will also be posted as soon as possible.

Residents can still contact City Hall at 905-335-7777 or email city@burlington.ca.

Return to the Front page

Changes have taken place in how the creation of a park in the Escarpment will be determined; no longer a political issue - now in the hands of the OLT

By Pepper Parr

January 25th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

While City Council was debating parks and parking issues we learn that the biggest park the city is going to see in the not too distant future is no longer in the hands of a Joint Tribunal.

The current operational quarry is close to its life cycle.

The matter was before a Joint Tribunal which didn’t appear to be making much in the way of progress. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry referred the matter to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT). The Niagara Escarpment Commission will be meeting to do the same thing in February.

When the matter gets to the OLT the city of Burlington will have to defend its position before a tribunal that is driven for the most part by process.

Lost is an opportunity for the city to have some input on the shape of the park and the potential it offers.

A rendering of what a park created on a mined out quarry could look like.

 

The two shaded areas are where the Nelson Aggregates is seeking a license to mine. The white area is where they are have been mining for several decades.

Nelson Aggregates has a signed Letter of Intent for an operator to run the park once is has completed the mining of aggregate at the main quarry – no firm date for that mining to end other than that it is going to come to an end at which time Nelson wants to begin the process of turning the main quarry into a park and begin mining in a property to the west of the main quarry and another piece of land to the south.

More to come on this story.

Return to the Front page

A farce or a tragedy? It is certainly people playing fast and loose with the way staff are deployed.

Pepper Parr

January 24th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

Let me set the stage for you.

When you have finished this article you can decide if this is a farce or a tragedy.

In May of 2020, I personally did an interview with ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte on how had she found the first couple of years as a city councillor.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte at a community meeting.

Councillor Stolte with Georgie Gartside while she was serving as the Administrative Assistant

During that interview Stolte mentioned a situation she had with the administrative assistant that had been assigned to her. The woman, who was not identified, told Stolte she didn’t want to work as an Administrative Assistant. Sometime later she was reassigned.

When we published the story, Georgie Gartside complained that anyone who read the story would know that she was the person Stolte was talking about. Basically Gartside self-identified herself

Stolte, being a decent person (my opinion) immediately apologized to Gartside, which apparently wasn’t enough.

A complaint was taken to the Integrity Commissioner who said they did not see it as something they needed to investigate and deliver an opinion on but they added, according to Stolte, a formal apology would be in order.

The Integrity Commissioner did not say Stolte had to apologize – just that they thought she should – which she did.

That apology is another story which is a tragedy. Mayor Meed Ward took it upon herself to attempt to force Stolte to apologize during a Council meeting last June.

Stolte said she would not do that – but she would apologize during the comments section of the meeting which takes place at the end of a Council meeting. Which she did.

Georgie Gartside, has worked at city hall for at least two decades.

As reporters we were stunned by the Mayor’s behaviour and produced a segment that took readers through what happened at City Council in June. Here is a link to that 14 minutes of “I can’t believe this” behaviour.

Prior to what we will call the apology incident Councillor Stolte said at a Standing Committee meeting how much it was going to cost the city to purchase and renovate the Bateman High School which had been declared surplus.

The Mayor very much wanted the city to buy the building and make part of it a community Centre which she felt was needed in that part of the city.

There was a fear in the city that the property would be bought by developers and turned into a field of condos.

Now that the important decisions have been made the city is going to ask the public what they want to see done with the 200,000 square feet of space that will be available for public use.

Stolte broke a serious rule when she spoke publicly about an issue that had been discussed in a CLOSED session of Council.

Two council members (Nisan and Galbraith) filed a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner who found that Stolte had broken a serious rule and docked her five days’ pay.

Stolte took the view and said publicly that it was worth losing five days’ pay to make the information public.

Sometime after city council brought in a law firm to advise them on their CLOSED door meetings policy. They advised Council that some changes were necessary, which was the position Stolte had taken all along. And changes were made – the public gets to learn a lot more about what is discussed in CLOSED parts of Council meetings.

The city was approaching an election in October of 2022. Stolte wasn’t sure she would run. There were very few candidates for council seats that brought much in the way of experience

In March of 2022 Councillor Galbraith met with the Integrity Commissioner asking for advice on possible Conflicts of Interest he faced as a result of property he owned in his ward. The Integrity Commissioner told Galbraith that he would be in a Conflict of Interest and that that he was required to declare that conflict whenever Council was discussing property developments that were near his land holdings.

Kelvin Galbraith talking to constituents weeks after being election to Council in 2018

Galbraith did not tell his constituents about the advice he had been given by the Integrity Commissioner.

However, an Aldershot resident who followed council meetings very closely began to dig around and learned of the advice Galbraith had been given by the Integrity Commissioner.

He made that information public – about ten days before the October 2022 election. The result: Galbraith was re-elected because the people in Aldershot just didn’t know about the Conflict of Interests problem.

The Aldershot resident who made the Integrity Commissioners’ advice to Galbraith public learned the hard way that there are consequences when you go up against city hall. He received a note from Galbraith, the city councillor, that his office would no longer be sending information to the constituent. That one is going to come back and bite Galbraith in the rear end.

Aldershot residents learned early in December, well after the election, that there were problems in Galbraith’s city hall office. His Administrative Assistant moved on – to greener pastures?. No one knows.

It took a bit for Galbraith to get a new Administrative Assistant.

Last week Galbraith welcomed Georgie Gartside as his new Administrative Assistant.

The reaction was immediate from those who follow city council.

Why would she take a demotion” said one reader. Previously Gartside had been Clerk to one of the Standing Committees.

She was also the Administrative Assistant to Meed Ward when she was councillor for Ward 2 and she was at one time Administrative Assistant to Rick Goldring.

Another asked WHY.

Blair Smith a former Assistant Deputy Minister and a volunteer on the first Meed Ward election campaign said in a Gazette comment:

“I think the point here is that the practice of not responding to difficult questions or critical observations is condoned if not encouraged by she who sets the tone for the administration. The irony of this should escape no one; a populist mayor who took the chair on a wave of transparency, accountability and engagement promises. One phrase that I remember from my many campaign meetings in 2018 was that she was going to “open the windows of City Hall and fill in the moat around the castle”. Four years and two elections later there is nothing to show except the appointment of a hapless, enabling Clerk and a virtually absent City Manager. The Communications Department is the only sanctioned voice of the administration; a carefully controlled single throat to choke. These are only my observations of course but I would be pleased to debate the state of “open government” and true citizen empowerment in Burlington with anyone from either the Council or the staff bureaucracy.”

The connection between Gartside and Meed Ward goes back some distance. It is unusual for an Administrative Assistant to be politicized in this manner.

That seems to be the way this city council works.

City Manager Tim Commisso at a city council meeting. He has a decidedly different management style and sees this job as the best he has ever had in his career as a municipal civil servant.

Questions that get asked are:
Did Galbraith ask for Gartside to serve as an Administrative Assistant? What role did the Mayor play in all this?

The placing of staff in whatever position they serve in is an administrative matter that is controlled by City Manager – did he approve of the transfer from the position of a Clerk of a Standing Committee, which calls for a very deep understanding of the rules that are followed at Council to being an Administrative Assistant ?

It has to be said that Gartside has been a very good Committee Clerk, probably the best one the city has. She frequently finds herself advising the City Clerk on procedural matters.

What we are seeing is people playing fast and loose with what is important – how the city is administered. It doesn’t do very much for morale at city hall.

Lay this one at the feet of the City Manager.

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

Federal government funds a two year upgrade in capacity at the Hamilton Airport

By Staff

January 23rd, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

A two year, $46.9 million infrastructure project will increase cargo capacity at Canada’s largest overnight express cargo airport

John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport announced to say a Gateway Expansion and Sustainability Project that will enable the Airport to continue serving as a global gateway in a strategic transportation and trade corridor.

The National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) investment will alleviate current constraints being experienced on domestic and international trade and ensure just-in-time goods are moved from coast to coast without delay.

The Hamilton Airport will continue serving as a global gateway in a strategic transportation and trade corridor. Cargo being loaded at the airport.

“Today’s announcement from the federal government is an important step towards strengthening the efficiency and resiliency of the national supply chain by adding capacity and alleviating constraints at the largest domestic overnight express cargo airport in Canada,” said Cathie Puckering, Vice President and Head, Canadian Network with Vantage Airport Group.

“These investments at Hamilton International will improve the fluidity, reliability, and safety of critical transportation infrastructure, while enabling economic growth, creating jobs, and ensuring essential goods are accessible to all Canadians.”

The federal funding will cover part of the cost of upgrading and adding to the de-icing equipment.

The Project will strengthen and rehabilitate key airport infrastructure, such as aprons and taxiways, improve stormwater management systems, and construct a dedicated roadway for cargo operations over the next two years, starting in 2023.

Ron Foxcroft, Chair of TradePort International Corporation.

Ron Foxcroft Chair Tradeport International Inc. added that “the Federal Government has chosen to make a significant investment to help John C Munro Hamilton International Airport increase the infrastructure capacity, and grow the market.

“It also recognizes that the airport is part of the Economic Engine that drives Ontario.”

The Project investment will involve four major elements, including:

Airfield and de-icing capacity expansion: to increase common-use gate capacity by 125% and de-icing capacity by 250%, as well as widen taxiways to alleviate critical capacity restrictions and ensure unrestricted airfield access for expanding fleets and aircraft sizes.

Airfield strengthening: to strengthen and improve infrastructure supporting the main apron, including taxi lanes and taxiways.

De-icing water treatment: to improve stormwater management processes, including treating glycol residual onsite.

General Service Equipment road: to reduce delays by constructing a new, dedicated service road parallel to a major taxiway to separate aircraft and equipment’s conflicting use.

The total project cost is $46.9 million, and Transport Canada’s NTCF investment will contribute $23.4 million, with remainder being privately funded and managed by the airport operator, TradePort International Corporation, as part of its capital investment plan. The airfield work will be completed in phases over the next two years to ensure uninterrupted operations to existing 24/7 operations.

“Hamilton International, Canada’s third largest cargo airport by payload, serves as a global gateway in a strategic transportation and trade corridor, and is an economic engine generating significant jobs, industry activity, and GDP.

This support from the National Trade Corridors Fund will enable Hamilton International to advance investment to expand and strengthen its airfield and critical assets, create new full-time jobs, generate additional economic activity, and ensure that existing infrastructure under pressure today will be ready to support current and emerging growth well into the future,” said Cole Horncastle, Executive Managing Director, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport.

Front and center: Ministers Alghabra and Tassi in conversation.

Hamilton International is a significant economic contributor for the City of Hamilton and the surrounding region. Its latest Economic Impact Study demonstrated that, in 2021, the Airport generated 4,720 jobs in the region (35% increase since 2017), labour income of $339.7 million, and industry activity of $1.5 billion.

Through the investment announced today, this Project will create approximately 460 construction jobs and an additional 1,830 full-time jobs by 2025, representing an additional $142.6 million in labour income.

The Airport anticipates that the NTCF investment will support the Airport in generating approximately $2.1 billion in total economic activity annually by 2025.

“On behalf of Hamilton International’s board of directors, employees and business partners, I extend a sincere thank you to the Government of Canada and the Honourable Minister Omar Alghabra for supporting this critical investment to enable continued growth in our region and support for Canada’s national supply chain,” said Horncastle.

About John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport
John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is a growing international gateway for affordable travel and the largest overnight express freight airport in Canada. The Airport is owned by the City of Hamilton and managed under an agreement by TradePort International Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vantage Airport Group – an industry leading investor, developer, and manager of airport assets.

This allows Hamilton International to incorporate best-in-class practices from around the world into its operations. As an efficient facilitator of cargo and passenger operations, John C. Munro Hamilton International is an economic engine and responsible community partner. Its strategic location and uncongested 24/7 operations make it an attractive option for both passenger and cargo carriers looking to serve the Southern Ontario market.

Return to the Front page

Exam Cram Is Back at Burlington Public Library

 

By Staff

January 23rd, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

Ryan Miller, handing out snacks during Exam Cram week. You might want to remember this guy – he runs a section of the Library known as the Maker’s Space. Check out the link below for what he does. Cool!

It is that time of year.  High school students are gearing up for exams. After a few unusual years of virtual and hybrid learning, many students are preparing for their first in-person exams. To support their studying, Burlington Public Library has brought back its popular Exam Cram program that was on hiatus during the pandemic.

“We expect this year might be extra challenging for students,” says Tammy Casjaghy, Manager of Programming & Partnerships at Burlington Public Library. “We want to make sure they know the library is a welcoming and safe space where they can prepare for exams.”

Students are always welcome to study at the library’s seven branches, but they have added few special features during the week of exams to make “cramming” bit more fun.

Study, Break, Repeat
Exam Cram runs at Burlington Public Library until Monday January 30th. Staff will be visiting students to hand out treats, and they will be offering brain break stations at each location where students can take a pause from studying and do a quiet activity.

Study space in a library – fondly remembered by every university student. Now all you have to do is graduate from high school – Exam Cram is in place to help

Individual and group study spaces are available at all branches, and they library has added extra seating in programming rooms and open spaces.

Destress With A Puppy Break
St. John Ambulance therapy dogs be visiting branches to help students minimize stress. No need to register or call ahead—just drop in. You can find details about these visits on the library’s website, bpl.on.ca.

Online Study Help
Students who prefer to study at home can still get help from the library. BPL offers a virtual tutoring service, called Brainfuse HelpNow. It can be accessed with your library card number and provides live, virtual tutoring, video tutorials, group study aids, essay review, and more. If you don’t have a library card, you can register for one for free at a local branch, or online.
And – they are handing out snacks as well

 

Related news story: Ryan Miller

The Maker’s Space

Return to the Front page

Mayor Meed Wards' political future

By Pepper Parr

January 23, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The provincial Liberals will be meeting in Hamilton March for their Annual General Meeting during which time they will set out the rules and the timetable for choosing the next Liberal Party leader that they will go into the 2026 Ontario election.

The political pundits have already settled on four potential candidates and have made mention of a candidate many would like to see drafted.

There are four likely candidates who are actively courting Liberals across the province.

 

MPPs Mitzie Hunter, 51, (Scarborough-Guildwood) and Ted Hsu, 58, (Kingston and the Islands) as well as MPs Yasir Naqvi, 49, (Ottawa Centre) and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, 38, (Beaches-East York) are exploring leadership bids.

Ontario Big City Mayors posing for a class picture. Mississauga Mayor and Burlington Mayor Meed Ward are in the front row centre

Others are rumoured to be interested — there’s a quiet movement to draft Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, a former Liberal MP — but only these four are aggressively pushing their candidacies.

It’s shaping up as a diverse, well-educated and experienced field.  Burlington’s Mayor, Marianne Meed Ward has not been mentioned.

Every politician has a vision for the people they represent and a plan for their own political future.  At one point it looked as if Meed Ward had set her sights on being Premier of the province.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward greets Premier Doug Ford at the Joseph Brant Hospital

The budget that City Council settles on in February will not get her re-elected nor will the one she is likely to have to produce for 2024.  Not a problem – she doesn’t have to file nomination papers until 2026 and by that time she will have cut ribbons to open both the new Skyway Area and whatever the Bateman high school is going to be named.

She might have even found a way to have the LaSalle Park land that Hamilton owns brought back into the Burlington border.

At this point Meed Ward doesn’t look like a provincial leadership candidate.  She doesn’t have a seat in the Legislature but then neither does Bonnie Crombie, who once did have a seat at Queen’s Park.

Gary Carr as a goal tender before he became a politician.

In 2026 Doug Ford will look beatable – he looks beatable now.  The unions cut him down a peg or two when they got significant increase for 55,000 educational workers.  And, given what we have seen so far the Premier may be in way over his head on the land transfers that were made pulling wetlands into land that could be used to build the thousands of home we are going to need to accommodate big increases in immigration.

Mayor Meed Ward might have a shot at becoming the Regional Chair, assuming Gary Carr decides he is finally going to take his skates off.

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

Sound of Music has put out their Call for Artists - will we see some undiscovered talent.

By Staff

January 23, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Sound of Music has put out its 2023 Call for Artists

With winter still with us, hearing that Call for Artists from the Sound of Music reminds us that there is a summer coming our way.

Application are now open for the 2023 Sound of Music Festival and Club Series.

They are searching for local talent to round out the performance schedule at this year’s festival. Apply by completing the application form.

Submission deadline is March 10, 2023. All submissions will be reviewed by our team and successful applicants will be contacted in April.

The Free Festival, the largest in Canada, will take place on Father’s Day weekend, June 15-18, at Spencer Smith Park in beautiful downtown Burlington, ON.

The Festival is searching for local talent to round out the performance schedule. Click HERE for an application form.

Submission deadline is March 10, 2023. All submissions will be reviewed by our team and successful applicants will be contacted in April.

They reappear every year – crowds taking part in the largest free music festival in Canada

Return to the Front page

How to Make the Most Out of Your MLB Betting Experience

By Janyl Gregorio

January 23, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Baseball – a game that America brought to the world. Easy going with sudden rushes of excitement.

For most MLB bettors, the key to a successful MLB betting experience is knowing some tips up your sleeve to help maximize your chances of turning a profit. You can’t just rely on luck when it comes to sports betting, but you can use some savvy strategies and techniques to make the most out of your MLB betting experience.

With enough knowledge and grit, you may be able to turn this hobby into a lucrative money-making venture. So here are some ways you can make the most out of your MLB betting experience:

Understand the Odds
The MLB world series odds play a significant role in MLB betting. Before you place your MLB bets, it is essential to understand how odds work and how they can affect your chances of winning. MLB betting sites will often provide odds for each team playing in the series, so make sure to do your research before placing any bets. It would be best if you had a deeper understanding of the numbers to make better choices regarding your MLB betting.

If you understand how the odds work, you can make more informed decisions and increase your chances of making a profit. But if you’re new to the world of MLB betting, it’s always a good idea to start slow and familiarize yourself with the different types of odds. That way, you’ll be more confident in your MLB betting decisions and better able to pick the winners.

Will this pitch result in the crack of a bat sending the ball to middle field ?

Know Your Teams
Another critical factor when it comes to MLB betting is knowing your teams. To make the most out of your MLB betting experience, you need to be familiar with the teams playing in the series and understand their strengths and weaknesses. You should also pay attention to any injuries or suspensions that may affect a team’s performance.

In addition, it’s essential to stay updated on recent news and trends related to each team. Make sure to read the latest sports news, analyze specific statistics, and familiarize yourself with the players on each team. By doing this research, you can make better-informed decisions regarding placing MLB bets. You can avoid making a bad bet, and you’ll be more likely to make the right bets that will bring you success.

Manage Your Bankroll
It is essential for MLB bettors to manage their bankroll. You want to put only some of your money on one team or get too aggressive with your betting strategies. Instead, it would be best if you always bet with a goal and budget in mind. Make sure to set aside a certain amount of money for MLB betting each week or month, and never exceed that limit.

When it comes to MLB betting, you must evaluate each bet and ensure the reward outweighs the risk before placing any bets.

You also need to understand the risk-reward concept regarding MLB odds. You must know the risk involved if you’re betting on an underdog team. It is also essential to understand that betting on favorites may only sometimes bring you enormous rewards. When it comes to MLB betting, you must evaluate each bet and ensure the reward outweighs the risk before placing any bets.

Shop Around for Lines
Don’t just settle for one online sportsbook. Shopping around for different lines is critical to get the best value for each bet. Different sites may offer different lines and odds on a given game, so take time to compare the lines and shop around for the best value. It is imperative if you’re betting on an underdog team, as different sites may offer different odds.

By shopping around for lines, you can increase your chances of winning by taking advantage of the best possible odds. You can also use this strategy to hedge your bets, as you can spread your bets across different sites to minimize your risk. That will increase your chances of making a profit in the long run. And that’s precisely what you want when it comes to MLB betting.

Take advantage of any bonuses or promotions offered by online sportsbooks.

Take Advantage of Bonuses
Finally, make sure to take advantage of any bonuses or promotions offered by online sportsbooks. Many sites will offer bonus money and free bets for new players, so you should definitely take advantage of these offers. You can use the bonus money to get a head start on your MLB betting career and increase your chances of success.

By taking advantage of the bonuses and promotions available, you can maximize your profits and minimize your losses. That’s the key to successful MLB betting. You must ensure you’re betting with the right strategies and taking advantage of every opportunity available. If you do that, you’ll get to enjoy the thrill of a successful MLB betting career.

Final Thoughts
By following these tips, you can make the most out of your MLB betting experience and increase your chances of making a profit. With enough knowledge and determination, you may be able to turn this hobby into a lucrative money-making venture. So take the time to do your research and understand the game, and you’ll be well on your way to success.

Return to the Front page

It will be a battle royal before the lot use and possible historical designation issues are resolved

By Pepper Parr

January 21st, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

A rendering of the Camarro development proposal that was submitted with am application that is at the Ontario Land Tribunal. The city planning department is still trying to work with the developer.

 

There is a development proposal for the SE corner of Brant and Prospect that has gotten a lot of attention the past few months.

It is one of those developments that went straight to the Ontario Land Tribunal and was the subject of at least two Statutory Planning meetings – the developer, Camarro Developments, didn’t take part in either online event.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns has made it clear where she stands on this one – those views will be described as biased by the developer when there is an opportunity to do just that.

The development has also become the subject of a Historical designation that the developer doesn’t want but one the city seems want to put in place. Lots of money being spent on consultants who will advise if the building on the site now is worth a designation.

The objective of this article is to give the public a look at what the developer has in mind and how the proposed design will fit in with what else is planned for the intersection.

Looking north on Brant the Molinaro plans (tan coloured) are at the intersection of Ghent – one block south of Prospect where the Camarro development is located.

The orange structure is the newest proposed for the Prospect – Brant intersection. The tan structures are part of a Molinaro development that was given a lot of design attention with a view to making them the gateway to the northern part of the Urban Growth Centre

The lot that the Camarro  development sits on has an odd shape, one that the developer appears to want to use every square inch of. The historical designation issue for the Camarro development relates to the Ghent family farm house that is on the site now.

The planners and the historical types would like to see some of the farm house incorporated into the development.

It is a very odd shaped piece of property – Camarro, the developer appears to want to use every square inch of it – some public park opportunities if the two sides can get together.

Return to the Front page

Public gets a chance to opine on the Budget - 65 people take part

By Pepper Parr

January 21st, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There weren’t that many people on the Zoom presentation but the 65 people that did take part seemed to be enough for Mayor Meed Ward.

The presentation that was given was pretty basic.

The Budget Book delivered to Council members is available on line – all 710 + pages.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman admitted that everyone was surprised when the early draft of the budget was very close to 8%. It did get whittled down a little by the time the public got to see the document. The 7.08 isn’t final.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman

There are a few Councillors who have some spending plans of their own. The procedure used has each Councillor filing a form suggesting where they would like to see cuts and where they would like to see some spending.  It looked like there were just two members of Council taking part – there were 18 staff people taking part which included the City Manager

But if you listened carefully there was some good news.

Burlington Transit will be doing an On Demand pilot service in 2023

Youth using transit increased in 2022

MPAC, Municipal Property Assessment Corporation is the organization that determines the value of your home. The taxes you pay are based on what the assessment value you of the house.

We learned that MPAC did not do any assessments during the pandemic – so the assessed value of your home will be what it was in 2020. That number appears on the tax bill.

While no one likes the 2023 budget number 7% the public learned that it won’t be much different in 2024.

Cities rely on assessment growth to increase how much tax they can collect, in Burlington the growth of the assessment base has been in a slump.

With the thousands of new housing units in the pipeline – which can run from something on a planners desk or waiting for a hearing at the Ontario Land Tribunal, assessment will grow – but it will tax at least three and maybe as much as five for that assessment to grow.

This Council has decided that it needs to spend now to be certain that the things people expect – the new Skyway Arena and the re-development of the Bateman High School property are in place. A lot of debt has been taken on and today’s population has to service that debt

A number of people wanted to know why the Master Cycling Plan that was approved by Council has not been funded. No one really got much in the way of a clear answer.

People tuned into the call learned that some work was being done on parts of the Cycling Plan buy that what Council approved is not part of the budget being debated now. Ward 3

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan has indicated that he would like to see more spending on cycling.

Councillor Rory Nisan has some ideas on what could be done; watch for those.

Mayor Meed Ward went to some lengths to polish the image of the Bateman property explain that the 200,000 square feet of space that will be available for public use is double the amount of space at Tansley Woods.

A plan in the budget is to add seven new bylaw officers over the next three years and to create a new department that will handle bylaw related matters.

There were some questions that were not answered – they just ran out of time – they will be answered in a follow up that should be ready early next week.
.

Return to the Front page

Kids can travel free on Burlington Transit - but will need a Presto Card - City giving away 1000 of them

By Staff

January 20th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Starting March 1, 2023, kids 12 and under will still ride free simply by tapping their PRESTO card or taking Burlington Transit with their parent or guardian.

This change will allow older children who travel on their own to be able to keep using Burlington Transit for free. After March 1, Burlington Transit bus drivers will ask all passengers to tap their PRESTO card as they board.

Pick up a free kids’ Presto card at the Downtown Transit Terminal, 430 John St.

The Presto Card has evolved – few realize just how much the service costs the city

This February, Burlington Transit is giving away 1,000 kids’ PRESTO cards!

Pick up a free kids’ Presto card at the Downtown Transit Terminal, 430 John St., and at various locations in the community.

Follow Burlington Transit on Twitter for PRESTO card giveaway location details. Please bring proof of age, such as a birth certificate, to get a free kids’ PRESTO card.

Have a PRESTO card and turning 13 soon?
Please change your PRESTO card from a kids’ card to a youth card so you are not charged the adult fare.

Travelling to Hamilton or Oakville?
A PRESTO card is required for all kids 12 and under when travelling on HSR in Hamilton and Oakville Transit.

 

 

Return to the Front page

School Board Announces that is has even more property that might become surplus.

By Staff

January 20th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board announced today that community organizations and members of the public are invited to a virtual meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 at 1 p.m. to view a presentation on potential community planning and partnership opportunities within the HDSB’s existing schools and co-build opportunities in proposed new schools and facilities.

Community Planning & Partnership Meeting
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023
1 p.m.
Join the virtual meeting via Google Meet: https://meet.google.com/ixs-ytnz-seq

Following the presentation by Board staff, those interested in a future partnership with the HDSB are encouraged to reach out to the Planning Department to discuss their interest by completing an Expression of Interest Form and emailing it to Fred Thibeault, General Manager of Planning at thibeaultf@hdsb.ca.

The full list of facilities available for community partnerships, along with the Community Planning and Partnerships Policy, can be viewed on the HDSB website on the Community Planning and Partnerships webpage.

 

Standard bureaucratize – but the outcome of those situations when the school board decides it no longer needs a school and declare it surplus – it is open to others to buy the property and put it to good use.

It will be a much different place when it reopens in – well no one is really certain when it will open.

When the HDSB decided to close two of its seven high schools that started a process that had Burlington buying the former Bateman High School and turning it into a community centre that will also have tenants.

Parents demonstrated against the closing of their school – it made no difference.

 

Return to the Front page

Is heritage something the city should be paying attention to or has it become a tool some council members want to use to bring developers closer to the table?

By Pepper Parr

January 20th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The business of heritage building in Burlington is getting a little sticky.

Some members of Council want to require developers who have a property that could have heritage significance to integrate original structures into a new development. Others feel that using the power the city has is a misuse of that power used to gain what some see as heritage that should be kept is certainly not a best practice.

A study is a good idea – it does mean more spending at a time when tax increases suggest the city is going to have to cut back somewhere.

In the meantime:
Burlington is launching the Downtown Heritage Study and is looking for feedback from the community and stakeholders.

Anyone interested in the project can visit the getinvolved part of the city web site to take a heritage survey, pin suggested heritage features on a map and learn more about the study.

This property on Brant has heritage significance but the way both the developer and the city ave handled the difference leaves a lot to be desired. The city feels very strongly about keeping at least some of the facade – the developer isn’t answering email requests.

The study will run until next fall and will look at eight individual properties with potential heritage value. There are also six groups of properties that may qualify as potential “cultural heritage landscapes”. A “cultural heritage landscape” is a term for a group of heritage features such as buildings, trees, landscaping, views and spaces that have significance as a group that is different from their individual parts.

The planners have created six clusters within which they are touring and looking for properties that could be determined to be of heritage significance.

Residents are invited to join City of Burlington staff and a heritage consultant at virtual and in-person public consultation meetings to learn about the City’s Downtown Burlington Heritage Study and Engagement Program on:

January 23, 2023
Virtual stakeholder meeting – 10- 11:30 a.m.
Click here to register.

January 25, 2023
Virtual stakeholder meeting – 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Click here to register.

Public Meeting #1: Monday, Feb. 13, 2023 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Room, 1333 Lakeshore Rd.

Staff will share information about significant places, stories, buildings and landscape features in the study area. Attendees are asked to submit questions in advance and share their ideas about heritage conservation in Downtown Burlington.

By the end of the Study, Burlington City Council will receive a staff report to decide if any of the properties or areas assessed in the study have heritage merit and should be protected through a heritage designation.

The three properties shown in this image are yards away from the home of the ward Councillor: possible conflict problems?

Designation is only one tool to conserve historical character. Other conservation strategies will be explored with property owners and stakeholders during the engagement process. Based on study findings, Council will also consider whether the 26 properties added to the heritage register at the July 12, 2022 City Council meeting and the Sept. 20, 2022 Council Meeting should continue to be listed on the heritage register or removed.

There is more information Click HERE   This page also contains project background reports, policy documents and guidelines, a map, historical resources and videos and an option to subscribe for project updates. Residents can connect with the City’s Heritage Planner at heritage@burlington.ca or 905-335-7777, ext. 7427.

Heritage consultants have been retained to conduct historical research, inventory sites in the downtown, and host a series of engagement sessions with property owners, stakeholders, and the public. The team will be in the downtown heritage study area to photograph buildings, sites, and streetscapes, or to visit local archives.

Return to the Front page

Story of the Trail Blazing Canadian Women - at the Brant Museum

By Staff

January 20th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

What has it meant to be a woman in Canada throughout its 150-year history?

A nationally travelling exhibit, created and toured by the Waterloo Region Museum, explores how women have transformed Canadian politics, work, and everyday life. Trailblazing highlights the experiences of women – mothers, sisters, daughters, partners, and friends – from all walks of Canadian life.

The Trailblazing: Women in Canada since 1867 exhibit will be on view at Joseph Brant Museum February 7 – May 27, 2023.

Hopefully the Boards of Education will do what they can to have grade 10 students visit the Museum.

Parents will be doing the children a favour if they make it a family event.

Return to the Front page

The heat is on the Ford government: Two investigations into property deals & some nosing around by the OPP Rackets Squad

By Pepper Parr

January 20th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

Ontario has an Office of the Integrity Commissioner, it’s located in Toronto and run by the Honourable J. David Wake

Integrity Commissioner: Honourable J. David Wake

The leader of the New Democrats wrote him a letter early in December pointing out that Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing proposed to remove 7,400 acres of land from Ontario’s Greenbelt plan, encouraging housing development on what is, at present, protected land.

“I am requesting an opinion on whether this government acted improperly with respect to these proposals.

“I am alarmed by the ongoing media reports that outline curious timing of recent purchases of Greenbelt land by powerful landowners with donor and political ties to the Ontario PC Party.

Luca Bucci, CEO of the Ontario Homebuilders Association. Mr. Bucci was the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“I am additionally concerned with reports of improper lobbying on the part of Luca Bucci, CEO of the Ontario Homebuilders Association. Mr. Bucci was the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing from January 2021 to April 2022. In June of 2022, Mr. Bucci became the CEO of the Ontario Homebuilders Association, an organization with strong ties to developers across the province.

“I would request that your office investigate improper lobbying and whether sections 2 and 3 of the Members’ Integrity Act have been breached by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“I would be happy to discuss the matter with you in greater detail and look forward to your response.”

The Integrity commissioner was not the only person Marit Stiles wrote to.  She also wrote to Bonnie Lysyk, the Auditor General of Ontario who responded

Bonnie Lysyk, the Auditor General of Ontario

“I am writing in response to your joint letter dated January 11, 2023 requesting my Office conduct a value-for-money audit of the financial and environmental implications relating to the government’s recent decisions affecting the Greenbelt.

“This issue has garnered significant public attention over the past few months and has been repeatedly raised during question periods in the Legislature. We have received considerable correspondence on this issue. While there are a number of factors we take into consideration in determining our audit work each year, we do pay attention to matters of interest to the public and issues discussed in the Legislature.

“While requests from individual members of the Legislature and the public are assessed and factor into our audit work, a letter requesting us to conduct work in a specific area jointly signed by the leaders of all Opposition parties of the Ontario Legislative Assembly is a request of high significance.

“I have subsequently been in communication with the government and we will have their, and the relevant ministries, full cooperation during our audit.

“Accordingly given all of these factors, I would like to confirm that my Office will be conducting certain audit work on this issue commencing within the next few weeks.”

So let’s add all this up:

Leader of the Position at Queen’s Park: Marit Stiles

Integrity Commissioner has said he will be looking into the issues Maria Stiles brought to his attention.  The Auditor General has said she will have staff looking into the financial and environmental implications relating to the government’s recent decisions affecting the Greenbelt.

Premier Doug Ford on a difficult day. There are more of those coming his way.

And – don’t forget the telephone calls the OPP Racket Squad is making to the people who made complaints.

This is not looking good for Doug Ford.  One has to wonder who is whispering in his ear and what are his advisers doing for him.

Unions from across the country gathered in Toronto a number of months ago to press the government to give 55,000 educational workers a decent salary deal – the government was able to read the writing on the wall with that issue.

There is a lot of private money on the table with the land transactions.  Several developers thought they had finally found a way to develop land they had purchased.

Those dreams may have been dashed.

Return to the Front page

Funds to purchase instruments for a lending library provided by Ontario Trilium Fund - your lottery ticket money working for you

By Staff

January 20th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario Trillium Fund has given Bandology a $39,400 grant to purchase additional music instruments that they loan to people who can’t afford the somewhat expensive instruments.

In their announcement Bandology explained that they have until May of 2023 to purchase instruments for a new musical instrument lending library.

“Bandology has been looking to build a lending library of instruments for a while now,” says Peter VanDuzer, President and co-founder of Bandology. “So many kids are interested in music but are unable to practice due to a lack of resources. Our hope is to bridge that gap by lending instruments out to those who need them most.”

Bandology’s lending library will comprise a variety of instruments, largely those relating to concert band, including woodwinds, brass and percussion instruments.

Bandology has gathered some instruments through donations, but this capital grant will make a huge difference and allow the non-profit to further their mandate of more music for more kids.

This is a really happy picture – kids along with their parents at a Bandology Camp

“Something like a guitar is relatively easy to find,” says Lisa Michaels, Executive Director and co-founder of Bandology. “A tuba on the other hand – or a bari saxophone – is expensive and logistically difficult to transport. With the lending library, Bandology will be able to bring all sorts of instruments to those who are interested in music.”

Bandology is a Canadian non-profit dedicated to more music for more kids via education, collaboration and community. Based in Oakville, Ontario, it provides young musicians with more opportunities to play, learn and be inspired. Learn more about Bandology’s programs and services at bandology.ca.

Return to the Front page

Integrity Commissioner and Auditor General to open investigation into Ford government Greenbelt actions after NDP complaints

By Staff

January 16th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

These wet lands are a critical part of the way storm water is handled and how wild animals find the habitat they need.

So the bureaucracy is taking a closer look at just what the provincial government did when they opened up some of the wetlands in the Greenbelt.

That action added to the sniffing around the OPP Rackets Squad is doing just might get the Premier to walk back the decisions that were made.

Marit Stiles, Incoming Leader of the Official Opposition, released the following statement in response to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario and Office of the Auditor General of Ontario opening an inquiry:

“I am relieved to see that this matter is being treated with the seriousness that it deserves and pleased to see this response from the Integrity Commissioner and the Auditor General.

“Ontarians are owed answers about the Greenbelt, and I am confident that today is a step in the right direction to understanding what happened.

“I am hopeful that Ontarians will be able to get answers in a thorough, timely manner because of these investigations.”

Return to the Front page

Burlington 5th in a list of 35 cities for November rent increases

By Staff

January 18th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Gas prices came down, food prices didn’t – and rents went crazy.

Average monthly rents have surpassed $2,000 in Canada with no signs of slowing down, according to the Rentals.ca and Urbanation latest National Rent Report.

Average rents rose 12.4 per cent year over year in November to $2,024, increasing 2.5 per cent from October and up 4.9 per cent in the last three months.

Burlington finished fifth on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in November for a one-bedroom at $2,155 and 10th for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $2,541.
Year over year, average monthly rent in November for a one-bedroom in Burlington was up 17.9 per cent and up 11.7 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Toronto finished second on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in November for a one-bedroom at $2,532 and second for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $3,347.
Year over year, average monthly rent in November for a one-bedroom in Toronto was up 23 per cent and up 20.7 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Among major markets in Canada with populations over 1 million, average rents for purpose-built and condominium apartments increased fastest in November for the most expensive cities. Toronto finished second on the list with average rents up 23.7 per cent to $2,864. One-bedroom rents averaged $2,551 in Toronto, while two-bedroom rents averaged $3,363.

Among medium-sized markets, purpose-built and condominium rents rose the highest over the past year in several Greater Toronto Area (GTA) cities and areas, including Brampton (up 28 per cent to $2,430), North York (up 25.8 per cent to $2,470), Etobicoke (up 24.5 per cent to $2,568), Scarborough (up 22.9 per cent to $2,301) and Mississauga (up 19.2 per cent to $2,452).

Ontario finished third in the provincial category for average rents for purpose-built and condominium rents in November with rents rising 15.3 per cent annually. One-bedroom rents averaged $2,156 in Ontario in November, while two-bedroom rents averaged $2,638.

The data collected is now being analyzed and the report written by Urbanation. Urbanation is a Toronto-based real estate research firm providing in-depth market analysis and consulting services since 1981. 

Second, all the data from the digital rental platform Rentfaster.ca has been incorporated into this report. Comparisons and analyses are based on the new and bigger dataset.

The National Rent Report charts and analyzes monthly, quarterly and annual rates and trends in the rental market on a national, provincial, and municipal level.

With immigration expected to bring more than 400,000 people into the country rents will continue to rise while the province struggles to get housing built.

We are probably looking at a decade of very troubled housing markets.

Return to the Front page