Having a lawyer beside you in a Courtroom is worth every dollar you pay in fees

By Milos Kavalocker

January 25th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

How an Attorney Can Help You Avoid Harsh Penalties

Lawyers understand the laws you might have broken. You want one of them beside you in a Court Room.

Oft times, having legal representation can help you avoid serious penalties. They have experience handling all manner of cases and can explain to you your options as well as their repercussions.

An attorney can also help you avoid conviction by negotiating for leniency with the prosecutor and fighting charges to have them dropped completely.

Don’t Let a Careless Driving Charge Ruin Your Life

While reckless and careless driving are often misconstrued as synonyms, a conviction for either can carry serious consequences, including skyrocketing insurance premiums оr even policy cancellation.

Careless driving specifically, even іf іt results іn just fines and points, can lead tо long-term headaches – including significantly higher insurance rates. The good news? You don’t have tо face these challenges alone.

An experienced careless driving attorney can dissect your case, craft a strong defence, and fight tо get your ticket dismissed or, іf necessary, negotiate a favorable plea deal tо minimize penalties and protect your driving record.

Speeding and stunt driving are serious issues – the fines are high, you can be sent to jail. A lawyer with experience in this field is critical.

Don’t Let a Stunt Driving Charge Ruin Your Life

Stunt driving charges are nо laughing matter. One of the most serious offences under the Highway Traffic Act, a conviction can lead tо immediate roadside licence suspension, vehicle impoundment, staggering fines up tо $10,000, and even jail time.

Beyond immediate penalties, the impact оn your insurance іs significant. Stunt driving convictions stay оn your record for three years, potentially leading tо coverage denial оr skyrocketing premiums.

If you’re facing stunt driving charges, don’t delay іn seeking legal representation. While minor procedural errors іn the initial Summons might not always save your case, a skilled lawyer will meticulously review all evidence, explore legal precedents, and fight for the best possible outcome. Remember, the right legal guidance can make a world оf difference іn navigating these serious charges.

Those roadside DUI tests can be contested – experienced lawyers can often find a flaw in a police officers testimony.

Don’t Let a DUI Charge Ruin Your Life

Arrest and conviction of DUI can result in life-changing legal consequences that will remain with you for years to come, including financial fines, lost license suspension and increased car insurance rates – not to mention potential professional ramifications that may adversely impact your career or personal relationships.

DUI convictions appear on your criminal record and may become available to law enforcement, employers, schools and any other entity conducting background checks. A conviction will also have an adverse impact on your reputation and may impede efforts to rent a home or secure credit.

Once stopped by an officer, it may be tempting to try and explain your side of the story directly; however, it would be prudent to remain silent until you have an attorney present. An experienced legal representative could potentially help protect you by arguing that the officer misinterpreted or failed to follow proper procedure during your arrest and thus may help avoid lengthy jail terms and penalties for you.

Don’t Let a Traffic Ticket Ruin Your Life

Just about any traffic violation can have serious repercussions for your insurance rates and lead to license suspension and jail time, whether it’s just one minor infraction or multiple speeding tickets issued against you. Therefore, it is imperative that you fight these violations head on in order to reduce insurance rates and save money in the process.

Experienced lawyers keep up to date on the changes that take place in Courtroom decisions and appeals.

Many tickets issued by police officers are issued on the basis of subjective judgment by an officer that a driver violated the law, so in order to challenge such tickets successfully it may be beneficial to use eyewitness statements, diagrams depicting where the vehicle was relative to an officer, and other evidence against their observations.

An attorney with experience and a solid understanding of the Ontario Highways Act and the Criminal Code can help you avoid unnecessary penalties, save money on insurance premiums, keep your record clean, and possibly help avoid losing your license altogether. In serious cases, an attorney may even help to avoid criminal records altogether.

 

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Burlington Turns to AI to Speed Permitting Processes

By Ralph Weatherby

January 24th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As AI technology continues to offer tremendous benefits in different areas of life, many towns and cities worldwide are now turning to this technology to enhance the life experiences of their residents. Noteworthy, other spaces like the entertainment sector are also benefitting from AI’s abilities. In the movie industry, for instance, AI-powered tools have made tasks like rotoscoping, object tracking, and CGI generation to become more efficient. This technology streamlines workflows, automates repetitive tasks, and enables sophisticated scene reconstruction.

AI gives players options they could only dream of in the past. It is much more sophisticated and much more fun.

Moreover, technological advancements coupled with the internet’s popularity have transformed customer experiences by providing instantaneous access to information, services, and products. For instance, in the iGaming industry, online casinos now allow players to access different variations of casino games, like table games and slots, immediately from any place. The 24/7 availability of the games also allows gamblers to engage in their favourite games anytime without having to visit physical casinos.

With AI, it becomes possible to put together different pieces of information based on player behaviour and customize game features such as bonus rounds, free spins, and multipliers in real-time. And that is what Burlington stands to enjoy – quicker and real-time processes. The city became the second in Canada to integrate AI in a pilot program meant to speed permit issuance and reduce the red tape that slows down the permit procedure. The program began in July 2023 and was projected to be concluded by the end of the same year.

The Process

The program uses AI algorithms to digitize rules contained in the zoning bylaws about industrial-commercial buildings. After an applicant submits a proposed design, the platform evaluates the design against the digitized rules. At this phase, an understanding of the complexity of codes is established, and data is assembled to establish an assessment template for the AI.

Development applications printed on paper required more time to process than a digital document.

The algorithm then assesses the applicants’ submission to see whether it meets requirements for things like heights, parking ratios, setbacks, floor area ratios, and landscape areas. A prompt compliance report is made available to applicants with a summary of design aspects that have failed or passed. Furthermore, the platform was projected to enable checking for design compliance on all types of development.

Burlington’s executive director of digital services, Chad MacDonald, mentioned that, as part of its development, the AI algorithm would be subjected to iterative adjustments to enhance its results. The director further indicated that the city’s administration was committed to integrating innovative technologies to make the city work faster and smarter.

What Can Potential Applicants Look Forward to

Marianne Meed Ward, Burlington’s Mayor, stated that this AI-based program was one of their strategies to make building in the city easier. By leveraging AI’s ability in building, potential applicants will save time during application processes due to the reduced number of manual submissions between clients and the city’s staff.

A digital application makes it possible to run software against the document – that can cover small concerns quickly and at far less cost.

Furthermore, applicants can expect prompt feedback on proposals, allowing for faster submission adjustments. This AI technology will also shorten design time and improve the quality of design submissions. There are more benefits that applicants are projected to enjoy, including reduced costs due to reduced design revisions and improved transparency during the review process.

The adoption of AI into Burlington’s permitting processes is a clear demonstration of how different processes can be simplified with AI. AI technology offers dynamic benefits, so we can expect more AI integrations in different cities and industries to enhance life experiences.

 

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Maximizing Financial Opportunity in Canada's Evolving Economy

By Soloman Smithers

January 24th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Canadian stock market, a key component of the global financial system, is a dynamic arena where retail and institutional traders buy and sell stocks. In this market, companies list shares to garner capital, predominantly through stock exchanges like the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). Investors can buy and sell these stocks to profit in the long run.

When a company goes public, it sells shares through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the primary market. Post-IPO, these shares are traded on the secondary market, allowing for public trading and investment diversification. The stock market typically refers to this secondary market where most trading occurs.

Before cell phones or fax machines trading was done between individual traders representing stock brokerage firms. It was hectic, noisy – busy as all get it. Exciting as well.

The Evolution of Stock Trading

Traditionally, stock trading was a physical, raucous affair with traders using hand signals and shouts. Now, it’s predominantly electronic. Opening an online self-directed brokerage account allows individuals to start trading within minutes. Alternatively, investors can seek the expertise of stockbrokers or financial advisors, offering guidance and execution of trades, albeit at a cost.

The stock market’s core is driven by supply and demand. Sellers set their “ask” price, while buyers have their “bid.” The difference, known as the spread, influences the stock’s trading activity. Modern trading largely relies on computer algorithms for price-setting, streamlining the process significantly.

Stock Market vs. Stock Exchange

While often interchangeable, ‘stock market’ and ‘stock exchange’ are distinct. A stock exchange is a part of the broader stock market, which can encompass multiple exchanges. Exchanges are crucial in managing orders, matching prices for trades, and ensuring transparency and fairness.

Canadian Stock Exchanges

Canada boasts five primary stock exchanges:

  • Montreal Exchange
  • TSX Venture Exchange
  • Aequitas NEO Exchange
  • Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)
  • Canadian National Stock Exchange (Canadian Securities Exchange)

The TSX, one of the largest globally, reflects Canada’s robust economic health and strategic role in international trade.

Global Trading for Canadian Investors

Canadian investors are not limited to domestic exchanges. Trading can occur on any global exchange accessible through brokerage accounts. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), with a market capitalization exceeding $32 trillion, leads the global list. In contrast, the TSX ranks within the top 10 worldwide.

Apart from stocks, various financial instruments find their markets. The money market caters to short-term investments, the bond market to government and corporate bonds, and the derivatives market to contracts linked to underlying assets like stocks. The forex market, where currencies are traded, is another significant sector.

Stock markets today are all digital with trades taking place digitally. A trader could be active in several market at the same time.

Market Volatility and Performance

Stock markets are inherently volatile. Indices like the S&P 500, comprising the 500 largest U.S. companies, serve as performance barometers. Historical trends, like the 2008 financial crisis or the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrate the market’s fluctuating nature, underscoring the importance of strategic investment.

Investors typically follow day trading or long-term investing strategies. Day trading focuses on short-term gains from daily price fluctuations, requiring time and expertise. Long-term investing, on the other hand, focuses on sustained growth and earnings over time, a strategy exemplified by investors like Warren Buffet.

Navigating the Canadian Market with Advanced Trading Platforms

In the intricate Canadian stock market, platforms like MetaTrader 5 are invaluable. This advanced trading platform caters to the diverse needs of modern traders, offering functionalities like auto trading systems, a wide range of asset classes, and detailed analytical tools. It facilitates informed decision-making in a market influenced by global and domestic trends.

In Canada, products like Contracts for Differences (CFDs) are relatively new and primarily unknown to investors. These instruments don’t have specific regulatory margin requirements or leverage restrictions, representing a unique aspect of the Canadian financial regulatory environment.

Within the unique financial landscape of Canada, Contracts for Differences (CFDs) are emerging as an intriguing and accessible instrument for traders of all skill levels. These derivative products allow traders to speculate on the price movement of assets without actually owning them.

There are two primary positions in CFD trading: long and short. A long position involves buying an asset with the expectation that its value will increase. In contrast, a short position is taken when a trader anticipates a decrease in the asset’s value. CFD trading is versatile, offering various strategies like day trading, swing trading, and scalping, each with its distinct approach and risk profile.

Moreover, CFD trading is cost-effective and facilitates hedging, making it an attractive option for Canadian traders looking to diversify their trading strategies and manage risks effectively.

A bull market!

The Canadian e-commerce sector, pivotal to the nation’s economy, is experiencing rapid growth. By 2025, it’s projected to double from 2021 levels, surpassing $90 billion. This surge is driven by an increasingly digital consumer base and a shift towards online shopping, highlighting the evolving nature of retail and investment opportunities in Canada.

Concluding Remarks

The Canadian economy, marked by robust stock exchanges and a burgeoning e-commerce sector, presents diverse opportunities for investors and traders. Understanding the intricacies of stock trading, the role of advanced platforms like MetaTrader 5, and the burgeoning e-commerce landscape are essential for navigating Canada’s dynamic market.

This perspective is crucial for anyone looking to maximize their financial opportunities in Canada’s evolving economic landscape.

 

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How will that bag of federal money given to Burlington be spent? Turns out we have already spent much of it

By Staff

January 24th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington received Federal funding from the Canada Community-Building Fund (CCBF) for 11 local projects between 2022 and 2023.

Here is where those dollars will be spent:

South Service Road Renewal

The South Service Road Renewal project located between Harvester Road and Century Drive replaced the existing asphalt surface. 1.3km of new concrete sidewalk was added to improve the pedestrian network in the area and improve active transportation connectivity in alignment with the Integrated Mobility Plan. Other improvements in this project included replacing existing street lighting with high-performance, energy efficient LED lights.

This project was completed Dec. 2, 2022.

Beachway Pavilion Renovation and Accessibility Improvements

Beachway Pavilion located at 1086 Lakeshore Rd., included repair and replacement of deteriorated wooden deck boards, guard rails, exposed roof elements as well as accessibility improvements to the public washrooms. The renovation provides a barrier-free path of travel to the beach and the water’s edge allowing for an all-inclusive waterfront experience to all visitors.

This project was completed May 30, 2022.

Bartlett Court Minor Reconstruction

Bartlett Court Minor Reconstruction project replaced the existing pavement and improved the surface drainage within the roadway. Minor storm sewer repairs were completed including the addition of two catch-basin structures to improve drainage in the area. The existing curbs were replaced and area sidewalks were improved.

This project was completed Nov. 30, 2022.

Autumn Hill and Palmer Drive

The Autumn Hill area and Palmer Drive Minor Reconstruction project was a joint City of Burlington-Halton Region project that included the storm sewer repairs, watermain and service replacement, repaving, curb/gutter repairs, and sidewalk replacement.

This project was completed in June 2023.

Wicklow Road and Belfast Avenue Reconstruction

The Wicklow Road and Belfast Avenue Reconstruction project consisted of new water-main, sanitary sewer, storm sewer repairs, asphalt, curb, sidewalk, and street lighting.

This project was completed in June 2023.

Rexway Road Reconstruction

The Rexway Drive Area phase two project was a joint City of Burlington-Halton Region project that included the storm sewer repairs, watermain and service replacement, repaving, curb/gutter repairs, and sidewalk replacement.

This project was completed in August 2023, with minor maintenance works to take place in summer 2024.

Local Road Resurfacing Program

The Local Road Resurfacing program is an annual program to resurface asphalt roadways before minor wear-and-tear spots become significant damage spots. Not maintaining the roads can lead to the weakening of the road substructure and a higher cost of repairs. Road resurfacing was performed on pavement surfaces in need of treatment within the Central Neighbourhood and Millcroft Neighbourhood.

This project was completed Nov. 24, 2023.

Pine Cove Bridge Replacement and Lakeshore Road Resurfacing

The Pine Cove Bridge Replacement and Lakeshore Road Resurfacing project included road resurfacing, minor curb and sidewalk repairs, street lighting improvements and full replacement of the Pine Cove Bridge.

This project was completed in November 2023.

Plains Road Bikeway and Resurfacing

This project included Burlington’s first series of protected bike intersections, road resurfacing construction of new bikeways, a rain garden, curb and sidewalk replacement, driveway and landscape improvements, new transit stops, hydro pole relocations and streetlight upgrades.

This project was completed in November 2023.

Burlington Transit Conventional Vehicle Repair and Renewal

This project supported transit operating expenditures, including Burlington Transit’s conventional bus repair and renewal program and the City’s transit capital program. Burlington Transit used the funding to operate and improve transit by repairing and renewing existing transit vehicles to ensure transit service levels are maintained.

Burlington Transit Conventional Vehicle Replacement

This project supported Burlington Transit’s conventional bus replacement program and the City’s transit capital program. Burlington Transit used the funding to buy transit vehicles.

This project was completed in November 2023.

About the Canada Community-Building Fund

The CCBF, formerly the Federal Gas Tax Fund, is a permanent source of federal funding earmarked for community infrastructure projects. It is provided up front, twice-a-year, to provinces and territories, who in turn flow this funding to their municipalities to support local infrastructure priorities.

In Ontario, the Fund is administered by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, who deliver the CCBF to 444 municipalities.

In 2023, the City of Burlington received $6,066,607. In 2022, the City of Burlington received $5,813,832.

I don’t quite get this – why is the city announcing money that has already been spent?

Was all this just another excuse for a photo op?

 

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Back to Basics now being applied at the kindergarten level.

By Staff

January 23rd, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario government is taking continued action to emphasize their Back to Basics approach to educating students at the kindergarten level.

Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

Back-to-basics learning has been focused on the new kindergarten curriculum“It’s critical that our youngest students develop core foundational skills earlier on in their lives,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “That is why we are introducing a new kindergarten curriculum that will help to lay the foundation for strong reading, writing and math skills from day one. Our government will continue to relentlessly advance back-to-basics education that restores the focus on academic achievement, common sense and excellence in literacy and STEM disciplines.”

The changes and supports, which will be in place starting in September 2025, are the next step in Ontario’s plan to modernize the curriculum and ensure every student has the skills to succeed in the classroom and prepare them for whatever path they choose.

A picture that will gladden the heart of every librarian and lead these students to the joy of reading

Combined with hands-on and play-based learning, this new kindergarten curriculum will ensure students entering Grade 1 across the province have the foundational skills in literacy and math and intellectual growth that will help set them up for long-term success.

All students will soon benefit from evidence-based clear and direct instruction in literacy for the first time to build their vocabulary and instil a passion for reading and writing.

New and mandatory learning will include the understanding of sound-letter relationships, developing phonics knowledge and using specific vocabulary. For example, as children are constructing a house with building blocks and other materials, the educator would intentionally use new words to build student vocabulary.

Nothing high tech about this approach to teaching fractions.

New learning expectations are also being added to the kindergarten curriculum. In math, clear and direct instruction in foundational numeracy skills will be provided to all students in addition to daily opportunities to explore math concepts through regular classroom activities. All students will start to learn about fractions, coding and patterns earlier in their education. These new lessons will build foundational math concepts and skills that are the gateway to the disciplines of science, technology and engineering, as well as construction, skilled trades and architecture.

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Just how does an Ontario Land Tribunal operate - who are the players?

By Staff

January 23rd, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is some confusion in the community regarding roles at Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) hearings.

The Millcroft Greens, the company that wants to develop some of the golf club property, did not get the decision they wanted from the City planning department and appealed to the OLT for a decision.

OLT hearing have very clear rules on who takes part.

There are Parties and their are Participants; a clear understanding of the differences between Parties and Participants is important.

The City of Burlington, Conservation Halton, The Region of Halton, Millcroft Greenspace Alliance and Millcroft Against Development (MAD)  are the only parties. All parties have legal representation and expert witnesses to discuss the merits of the development application. Witnesses can only speak within their field of knowledge.  MGA is the only community group that has registered stormwater issues for the Tribunal.  For MGA flooding and storm water management is THE issue

The following information came from the OLT website.

What is a party?

Parties are fully involved in the proceedings before the OLT, and are expected to file submissions, present evidence at the hearing, question witnesses and fully understand the issues in dispute. They may also request adjournments, seek costs or a review of the decision at the end of the hearing.

What is a participant?

Participants have a limited role in the appeal, except as provided for by legislation. They do not fully take part in the proceedings and may only provide written submissions to the OLT.  Participants may not request costs, adjournments, or a review of the decision.
The first really important meeting of an OLT hearing is the Case Management Conference (CMC), the Member(s), that is the person who will make the decision based on the evidence they heard and were presented with.  The Ontario Land Tribunal is made up of a group of people who are assigned to a hearing.  The same person does not necessarily preside at every Tribunal meeting.

Bruce Kruselnicki at a City of Burlington public meeting.

Confusing, yes to the average person.  The lawyers who work regularly in this legal sector are very experienced and very much in demand.

The author of the very first textbook on how these Tribunals work was Bruce Krushelnicki, former Director of Planning for the City of Burlington. His book was based on what was at the time the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  He went on to become the Chair of the Land Tribunal and is now retired.

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Why are the washrooms in the John Street transit terminal for Staff only?

By Pepper Parr

January 22, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Jimmy Sissons was part of the city staff for 42 years.

He worked in transit for 12 years and 30 years in public works tending to the streets of the city.

He was hired by Mayor Harrington on a part time basis and later brought on full time by Mayor Roly Bird. He is now retired  – when he was out on the streets he didn’t miss much.  He still doesn’t miss much.

John Street Transit Terminal washrooms are now for Staff only.  Why?

He reported today that the washrooms that used to be available in the Transit terminal on John Street now have Staff Only signs on the washroom doors and bright No Entry tape to keep people out -– and Jimmy wanted to know why.

He tried calling the ward Councillors office – got nowhere with the Councillors new Admin Assistant (is that a surprise) but caught up with Lisa Kearns at an event and asked her to follow up.

Lisa doesn’t use public washrooms and didn’t put the problem on her priority list.

But it was on Jimmy’s priority list.

There was a time he said when there was one male washroom and one female washroom.

When Covid took over our world the set up was changed to a Unisex washroom and a Staff only washroom.

A plastic door with barrier tape keeps the public out of the area where the washrooms are located.

Now there are two Staff Only washrooms. People can’t even get into the area where the entrance to the washrooms are located

Not a big deal – until you have to go.

I recall an occasion when City Council spent more than an hour determining how many public washroom locations they could open during the Covid lockdowns.

Then went so far as to create a map locating the public washrooms.

Related news story:

During Covid the city opened up every washroom it could find

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Space to Spoon: how space technology benefits Canadian farmers - a War Plane Museum event

By Staff

January 22, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Space to Spoon exhibit is a hands-on experience, with stunning graphics and interactive elements for visitors of all ages.

The science, technology, and innovation that transform satellite images into agricultural applications are showcased in a way that encourages informal science learning among school groups as well as general audiences. Space to Spoon demonstrates how space technology benefits Canadian farmers and sustainable agriculture.

It also highlights the Canadian Space Agency’s Earth observation satellite, RADARSAT-2, and its cutting-edge successor, RADARSAT Constellation.

February 8 to May 20, 2024

Time: Wednesday to Sunday – 9 am to 5 pm

Admission: Exhibit is FREE with admission. Regular admission rates are Adult (18 – 64) $16, Senior (65+) $14, Student (13 – 17) $14, Youth (6 – 12) $11. Free admission for museum members and children 5 & under.

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A must attend Zoom course for those involved in the Not for Profit world

By Pepper

January 22nd, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you are involved in any way with a Not for Profit organization there is a Zoom course you need to take.

The price is peanuts ($30.00)

The rules for NFP’s have changed and you should get an update.

More importantly – if you are involved as a Board member, a committee member with administrative responsibilities – this is for you.

If you are thinking that you might want to be a Board ember for a NFP – they will, or should, require that you take the course.

Ben Miller is top notch at this stuff.

Something local: Rick Burgess, a retired Burlington lawyer, was one of the people that advised the provincial government on the changes that were made

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Did You Get Your Carbon Tax Rebate?

By Ray Rivers

January 22nd, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you are a taxpayer in Ontario and have checked your bank account recently you should see a deposit.  That is your quarterly carbon tax rebate.  It may or not be shown as CAIP (climate action incentive payment) depending on the banking institution.  But it is tax-free money from your federal government and intended to offset the so called federal carbon tax.

The federal government argues that it’s not properly a tax since, as a kind of revolving fund, the carbon levy is revenue neutral.  Everything collected is returned to tax filers less some small amount for administration.   The point of the tax is to make the costs of fossil fuels increasingly more costly so Canadians will switch to non-carbon alternative energy sources.

Though the carbon levy was originally introduced as a climate change policy, it has in fact also turned out to be a good income equity measure.   The carbon tax rebate, which, in Ontario is now approaching one thousand dollars a family annually, makes Mr. Trudeau look like Robin Hood.

According to a 2023 Statistics Canada report, 94 per cent of households with incomes below $50,000 received carbon tax rebates that exceeded their carbon-tax costs in 2023.  About half of these households netted out between $20 and $40 per month.

Increasing the cost of fossil fuels is a step in the right direction towards rectifying the historical distortion in resource pricing.  The federal and provincial governments have been subsidizing the petroleum sector with the handouts of tax payers’ money for at least half a century, and that hides the true cost of your gasoline and heating fuel.

Ontario, for example, is now spending millions of our tax payer dollars to cap its legacy oil wells which continue to leak methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.  The landscape of Alberta and Saskatchewan is dotted with old unused orphan wells.  Some 170,000 or almost 40% of all the wells are in Alberta need to be capped.  And it has been left up to governments to clean up this mess.

Alberta was the first jurisdiction in the country to impose a carbon tax of sorts on its industries, back in March 2007.   Quebec followed with a broader consumer tax and B.C. brought in an even broader one, covering  roughly 70% of provincial greenhouse gas emissions.  Quebec and Ontario then had implemented a cap-and-trade emissions program which exempted them from the federal carbon tax, but Doug Ford axed Ontario’s along with all new renewable energy projects as one of his government’s first acts.

The Canadian federal carbon tax was implemented in 2019.   It is a progressive tax, similar to the programs in Quebec and B.C.,and  increases each year in hopes that the consumers get the message.  This year it’ll be 17 cents per litre of gasoline and 15 cents per cubic metre of natural gas.  That works out to roughly $80 per tonne of CO2.  But, the tax will more than double by 2030.

Mr. Trudeau dealt the credibility of carbon pricing a blow when his government decided to help homeowners by removing the carbon tax from heating oil.  This lapse in policy stinks of partisan politics.  Moreover, that has given Mr. Poilievre ammunition in his quest to completely axe the carbon tax should he win the next election.   And given the polls that is exactly what will happen in 2025 if not sooner.

Pierre Poilievre hammering the Trudeau government in the House of Commons.

Most folks I’ve asked recently have not noticed receiving their clean air incentive (CAIP) in their bank accounts, even though they likely have.  And that ignorance, may be why Mr. Poilievre is gaining so much traction with his misinformation campaign about the carbon tax.

Perhaps the federal government needs to reconsider using less expensive direct deposit for the CAIP.  After all, nothing communicates the truth to taxpayers better than a government cheque in their hands.

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

 

Background links”

Climate Action Pricing –   Carbon Rebate –    Lower Incomers –    Industry Legacy

 

 

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A policy that needs another look prevailed, residents are going to get $4,335.000 worth of sidewalk they don't want

By Pepper Parr

January 21st, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

After two city council meetings; one that heard 13 delegations, who for the most part were opposed to a Staff report that called for placing sidewalks on one side of several streets in a community that wanted nothing to do with sidewalks.

The community was well organized – better than the city.  They met as neighbours – they got petitions signed and they went door to door asking people what they wanted.  The chart below is pretty clear.

Tough numbers to argue with – nevertheless City Staff stuck to their guns and a majority of Council went along with the policy.

One Street that was exempted from the final decision was Maureen Ct, a street with two houses on it that led into Bromley Park.

A Court leading to a small park has just two houses. Council decided to exempt the Court from the policy.

The City’s Bromley Road Area Reconstruction project is estimated at $4,335,000. This includes:

  • Bromley Road, Linwood Crescent and Maureen Court, as mentioned plus
  • road reconstruction to:
    • Broughton Crescent – this road has sidewalks, both sides
    • Verhoeven Road – this road has sidewalks, both sides
    • Brewer Court

If the project was not approved there was a possible additional $1,170,000 if there were delays that meant the work that had to be done by the Region could not be done when the city work was being done.

The driving force in the Staff report was IMP

The recently approved Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) recognizes that everyone is a pedestrian at some point in their trip, if only between their bus stop or parking place and their front door. This makes walking or using a mobility device a critical activity, both as a stand-alone mode and as a connection to other modes of transportation. The IMP sets the walking mode share target at 9.0% by 2051. Achieving this target will require improvements to pedestrian facilities and environments across the city. Policy direction through the IMP supports:

  • The creation of a complete and connected pedestrian network;
  • Improving pedestrian safety;
  • Enhancements to the pedestrian experience; and
  • The City’s commitment to building a walkable

Policy 2.1 of the IMP requires that the City examine every opportunity to fill in gaps in the existing pedestrian system and work with partners to extend the pedestrian network to new areas when the opportunity is presented. Implementation and expansion of the pedestrian network is to be achieved through the following approaches, as applicable:

  • As part of new development, through the development review process;
  • As part of street construction/reconstruction projects;
  • As part of a retrofit project to fill in “missing links” of an existing pedestrian network; and
  • As part of other capital

It is through the lens of the Council-approved IMP that staff have recommended the inclusion of sidewalk infill as part of this capital project.

The city’s existing Sidewalk Warrant and Installation Policy has been in place and utilized by Transportation Services and Engineering Department staff for over 15 years. Its purpose is to determine the need for sidewalks based on a number of technical factors, then provide a recommendation with respect to the need and placement of sidewalks.

Three critical factors are assessed to determine if a sidewalk is warranted along a local street:

  • Traffic Volume
  • Number of Dwellings; and
  • Pedestrian Volume

Council didn’t seem to be able to accept the wishes of the residents: Every vote taken was a 4 wanting sidewalks put in and 3 not wanting sidewalks put in.

The arguments for no sidewalks were sound; the Policy was the problem.

The residents didn’t want sidewalks and there was never enough evidence put forward to justify the need for sidewalks. Policy beat what the residents wanted.

When it got to voting on a decision things got acrimonious.  Unfortunately ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns didn’t understand the question that was being voted on – that vote was struck.  When the vote was taken a second time the result was a 4-3 vote not to install to install sidewalks on Linwood Crescent.

Councillors Galbraith, Kearns, Nisan and Stolte voted for the Staff Direction.

This is the community that residents didn’t think needed sidewalks. It is as good as suburbia gets.

Two things surprised us.  The number of delegations that made their views and wishes very clear.  And that fact that the Councillors, except for Stolte, were not anywhere near the community.

Traditionally municipal councillors tend to go with the wishes of the ward Councillor.

Councillor Galbraith, who represents the Aldershot community where there are miles of streets that do not have side walks was nevertheless prepared to vote for sidewalks.

This was a very hard loss for Councillor Sharman.  A bit less so for the Mayor.  Councillor Bentivegna tends to go along with Sharman on the rights and wishes of residents.

It is an even harder loss for the citizens who live in the community who thought their views would prevail.  Isn’t that what local government is all about?

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Getting to be the main attraction is hard hard work

By Staff

January 21st, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Getting to the point where a performing artist stands in the middle of a big stage with hundreds, sometimes thousands of people in the audience takes time and a lot of hard, hard work.

Tammy Fox, the Executive Director of the Performing Arts centre, has worked both sides of the business: she marketed talent and grew performers from promising beginners to the point where they were the main attraction.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (‘BPAC’) is invested in nurturing and supporting emerging artists in our community through our artist development initiatives.  BPAC’s ‘Live & Local’ Artist Development Initiative supports the development of local artists by providing them with professional support and performance opportunities in our world-class venue, while also offering mentorship by connecting them with established industry professionals.

Emm Gryner part of the Live and Local program at the Performing Arts Centre

Emm Gryner appears at the Community Theatre on January 26th, is part of the ‘Live & Local’ Artist Development Initiative that Fox has made part of the operation saying: “BPAC is committed to taking the lead in supporting the growth of local artists and arts organizations as part of our mandate. Many of these groups are unable to afford the high costs of facility rentals and their attendant production costs, so a more flexible and creative partnership is necessary to support this critical type of community cultural development.

She adds: “BPAC plays a major role in supporting the development of local performing arts organizations and artists. By providing a state-of-the-art facility, superior customer service, organizational infrastructure and technical expertise, we provide an opportunity for Burlington’s arts organizations to grow artistically and to develop audiences. BPAC also takes an active role in supporting local organizations by offering marketing support as well as more targeted artistic development initiatives.

“BPAC has had a profound impact on the artistic growth and development of our local performing arts community. BPAC’s LIVE & LOCAL series allows local performers to increase their creative capacity, reach new heights of artistic excellence, deliver richer and more diverse performances and ultimately grow their audience.

Gryner will be on stage  in the Community Studio Theatre on Friday  Jan 26, 2024 at 7:30pm. Ticket Prices:Regular: $39.50(All-in); Member: $34.50(All-in)

As part of BPAC’s mission to nurture and support local arts producers we have launched an Artist Development Initiative which will provide performance opportunities for local artists and arts organizations to showcase their talents to BPAC’s established and growing audience base by including them in our Presents Series programming under the ‘Live & Local’ banner.

Many local emerging professional and non-professional arts organizations are looking for opportunities to perform at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, but cannot afford the rent and production costs, and may not attract an audience large enough to financially sustain a performance in the theatre. The creation of alternative performing spaces such as the Community Stage in the Lobby, and use of the outdoor plaza for programming opportunities, enhances the experience of audiences and provides increased exposure for local artists.

BPAC’s 23/24 Live & Local Series is sponsored by Daniel Durst of Desjardins Insurance.

 

 

 

 

 

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Trudeau: where is the Canadian consensus on immigration headed, believes Liberal job is to protect that consensus

By Staff

January 21st, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Excerpts from an excellent interview by Toronto Star reporter Susan Delacourt who met with the Prime Minister in Guelph on January 12, 2024.

Who does Trudeau seek out when times get tough, as they have so often over the past year?

“Define ‘tough times,’ because that sounds like Monday to me,” Trudeau said when he sat down with me for a wide-ranging, one-on-one interview last week. “Every day is tough. We’re running a country in a really, really complex time.”

Canada is in the midst of a housing and affordability crisis, which Trudeau’s critics — and there are many of them — are all too eager to pin on him.

Trudeau has said repeatedly that he doesn’t intend to walk away from his job or any of these challenges, so we didn’t waste a lot of time in this interview talking about whether he would — or should — pack it in.

Trudeau is concerned about where the Canadian consensus on immigration is headed, for instance, as people start to make connections between the influx of newcomers and demands on an already overloaded housing market and health-care system.

“I’ve long said that one of the most important responsibilities of any Canadian prime minister of government is to protect that consensus,” he said. “We are facing a real challenge around that right now.”

This is why Poilievre has been talking about tying immigration levels to housing, and why Immigration Minister Marc Miller has been talking about putting more stringent conditions on the inflow of foreign students and temporary workers.

However, Trudeau added, “One of the challenges around getting more housing built is having more construction workers. And one of the challenges we have around wait times in our health-care system is getting more health-care workers. We know that shutting down immigration would not even be a theoretical answer to that.”

In other words, it’s complicated.

Last spring, Trudeau made a remarkable admission — or, at least, one you don’t hear prime ministers make that often. He acknowledged that there are Canadians out there who aren’t going to take his word for anything, no matter what he says.

So in this interview, I asked him what he was going to do about that — or whether, in fact, there was anything he could do about it.

“First of all, there are people who don’t listen to anything any politician is going to say, and that is certainly increasing,” he said. It goes hand in hand, Trudeau believes, with the fragmentation of the media landscape and the decline in traditional journalism. “If you don’t believe politicians, you don’t believe a prime minister, you don’t believe all the assembled newspapers and media outlets that are recording what the prime minister is doing. It becomes harder and harder to break through.”

A thoughtful long-time Liberal said to me last year that Trudeau and his team had a full grasp on all the antagonism out there toward them. How could they not? Trudeau is dogged by those angry protests everywhere he goes.

This Liberal, however, was worried Trudeau doesn’t appreciate the apathy and indifference toward the government and how people may be tuning out whatever they say after eight long years in office.

“I certainly get the indifference,” Trudeau said. “The challenge of the Liberal party as a centrist, a centre-left party, is that we don’t have those fringes within the party on the far left, or on the far right, that are mobilized and activated about politics all the time.”

It’s the old dilemma of being in the middle — it’s hard to fire people up about standing in the centre. Trudeau does believe, however, that Liberals are up against something relatively new in this climate, which he calls opinion-as-identity politics.

“I don’t think that was a feature too much of other times in politics–where what you think about something actually creates the circles and the people that you actually associate with, and it defines who you are.”

He also believes that there’s a worldwide shift under way within conservatism and on the right, both in Canada and on the larger world stage. Traditional conservatism leaned a lot on respect for institutions and expertise and authority, Trudeau said, but “this particular brand of conservatism that seems to be spreading … doesn’t seem to be much about respecting institutions or protecting institutions … It’s almost anti-institutionalism; it’s anti-expertise, it’s anti-authority.”

Many prime ministers, especially the longer they serve in office, say they pay no attention to the media or the polls. Jean Chrétien, for instance, said he never watched the news before bed and Stephen Harper made no secret of his antipathy to the parliamentary press gallery.

Trudeau says he still is a consumer of the media, although he counsels all newcomers to politics to pay little attention to social media.

“But it really is important to be aware of how people are feeling out there … because it does impact your ability to do the job — not how you feel about the job, but how you’re able to actually succeed in the projects that you’re putting forward.”

He said he is not too fussed about all the talk of his unpopularity. “I think there’s a lot of people who are just rightly grumpy at the world right now … I think there’s all sorts of things that are happening that are difficult, (so) it’s got to be the prime minister’s fault.”

Trudeau also notes that he’s had a lifetime of training in ignoring personal attacks — and flattery. “I grew up in a situation where I had to brush aside people who hated me because they didn’t like my dad. But I also had to learn how to brush off people who loved me, because they loved my dad. Neither of those are necessarily real.”

Delacourt writes a regular column in the Toronto Star. An online subscription is available at:

 

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Comprehensive Guide to Reviewing the Deal or No Deal Experience at Minimum Deposit Casinos

By Miranda Hough

January 21st, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The world of online casinos is a vast and dynamic landscape, offering a plethora of options for players seeking excitement and entertainment. As the popularity of online gambling continues to soar, the importance of casino reviewing becomes paramount. This article aims to guide players through the intricacies of casino reviewing, offering insights into what to look for when evaluating a casino’s suitability. As we navigate this journey, we’ll delve into the unique offerings of the Deal or No Deal Casino, particularly within the context of minimum deposit casinos.

Understanding the Essentials of Casino Reviewing:

Licensing and Regulation

    • Verifying the platform’s licensing and regulatory credentials is a crucial starting point for any casino review. Reputable casinos, including those operating with minimum deposits, obtain licenses from recognized authorities. The Deal or No Deal Casino Ontario, featured in some minimum deposit platforms, should adhere to strict regulatory standards, ensuring a safe and secure gaming environment.

Game Variety and Software Providers

    • The games’ diversity and software providers’ reputation are vital elements in any casino review. Minimum deposit casinos that feature the Deal or No Deal Casino should offer a broad spectrum of games inspired by the popular television show. Assess the quality of graphics, the responsiveness of the platform, and the variety of gaming options available.

User Experience and Interface

Deal or No Deal – the TV show.

    • A user-friendly interface is pivotal for an enjoyable gaming experience. The ease of navigation, loading times, and overall design contribute to the platform’s user-friendliness. Whether accessing the casino on desktop or mobile, players should feel at ease while exploring the Deal or No Deal Casino offerings within minimum deposit platforms.

 

Security Measures

    • Security is a paramount concern for players engaging in online gambling. Minimum deposit casinos featuring the Deal or No Deal Casino should implement robust security measures, including SSL encryption, secure payment gateways, and fair play certifications. Ensuring the safety of personal and financial information is fundamental to a positive casino review.

Payment Options and Payout Speed

    • Diverse payment options and efficient payout processes contribute significantly to player satisfaction; in the context of minimum deposit casinos, accessibility to various payment methods, including cryptocurrency options, maybe a key consideration. Assess the transparency of the payment policy and the speed of withdrawals when reviewing the Deal or No Deal Casino.

Bonuses and Promotions

    • Evaluate the terms and conditions of these bonuses, including wagering requirements, to determine the overall value for players engaging with the Deal or No Deal Casino.

      The bonus structure and promotional offerings are essential components of any casino review. Minimum deposit casinos often strive to provide attractive welcome bonuses, loyalty programs, and ongoing promotions. Evaluate the terms and conditions of these bonuses, including wagering requirements, to determine the overall value for players engaging with the Deal or No Deal Casino.

Customer Support

    • Responsive and efficient customer support is a key aspect of a reliable casino. Minimum deposit platforms featuring the Deal or No Deal Casino should offer support through various channels, such as live chat, email, or a comprehensive FAQ section. The availability and effectiveness of customer support contribute to a positive player experience.

Mobile Compatibility

    • The prevalence of mobile gaming necessitates a review of a casino’s mobile compatibility. Minimum deposit casinos, including those with the Deal or No Deal Casino, should offer a responsive and enjoyable mobile gaming experience. Assess whether a dedicated app is available and the overall functionality of the mobile platform.

Navigating the Deal or No Deal Experience at Minimum Deposit Casinos:

Deal or No Deal-Themed Games

    • Minimum deposit casinos featuring the Deal or No Deal Casino should provide players access to a unique array of games inspired by the famous television show. Assess the variety and creativity of these themed games, enhancing the overall gaming experience for players engaging with smaller deposits.

Themed Promotions

    • The Deal or No Deal Casino, particularly within minimum deposit platforms, may introduce themed promotions and bonuses that resonate with the iconic show. Examine the diversity and appeal of these promotions, as they add an extra layer of excitement and exclusivity to the overall casino experience.

Interactive Gameplay

    • Beyond traditional casino offerings, the Deal or No Deal experience should encompass interactive gameplay elements. Minimum deposit casinos should offer games that capture the essence of the television show and engage players with unique and entertaining features.

Community and Social Elements

    • Live chat features, community forums, or social media integration can foster community among players engaging with smaller deposits.

      Minimum deposit casinos featuring the Deal or No Deal Casino may incorporate community and social elements to enhance the gaming experience. Live chat features, community forums, or social media integration can foster community among players engaging with smaller deposits.

Exclusive Deal or No Deal Features

    • Seek out any exclusive features or game modes related to the Deal or No Deal theme within minimum deposit casinos. Whether it’s a particular bonus round, a unique twist on traditional casino games, or exclusive promotions, these elements contribute to the overall appeal and exclusivity of the casino.

As players navigate the vast landscape of online casinos, the art of casino reviewing becomes an invaluable skill. The Deal or No Deal Casino, featured within minimum deposit platforms, adds a unique flavor to the online gambling experience. By considering crucial factors such as licensing, game variety, security measures, and the unique offerings tied to the Deal or No Deal theme, players can ensure a satisfying and secure gaming experience, even within the constraints of smaller deposits.

In the end, casino reviewing is about finding the right balance of elements that align with individual preferences, ensuring an immersive, enjoyable, and potentially rewarding journey within the Deal or No Deal Casino at minimum deposit platforms.

 

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Does public health work? My day was great

By Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This will be a quieter news day.

Life got in the way.

The first of the two cataract surgeries I was to undergo took place this morning.

Up at 5:30- to be at the Same Day Surgery Centre; St. Joseph Community Health Centre in Stoney Creek f0r 7:30.

The intake was incredibly smooth.

They wanted all kinds of information – the file needed to be updated and the needed to know what I was on in the way of medications and what the dosages were.

I don’t know who males of the names for these drugs – I think they spend too much time on Wordle.  I know them by their size and colour.

But that got worked out.

My son drove me out and because I thought it would be hours before anything happened I suggested he go home and I would give him a call when I was ready.

This piece is about the quality of the service and the way I was taken from station to station.  Most people who read the Gazette know how I feel about Joseph Brant Hospital  – I will leave it at that.

No worse for the surgery – better than the picture on my passport

Someone calls my name out after a 15 minute wait and within half an hour four different people were asking questions clarifying information.

Half an hour after that there I was flat on my back staring into the face of Dr. Ann Beattie, my ophthalmologist. She looked different behind that mask.

A squirt of something to freeze the area around my right eye and in she went to cut open a space above my eye and insert a new lens that actually has a serial number.  Less than half an hour and I was out of the operating room and twenty minutes after that they were ready to let me go.

They called my son and he came to pick me up.

The scope of the medical health we have in this country is astounding.  Why the Americans can’t make something like this happen in their country is beyond me.

We grouch,, bitch and complain – pause for a bit and figure out what we would all do if we didn’t have the public health system we have now,

Yes, we have a government that would like to privatize much of what we have.

I don’t there is enough public support for the Ford government to pull that off.

The biggest impression I got was the tone and the attitude of the staff.  They were more than pleasant, they were polite and they knew how to slow you down and ask if you’d like a few minutes.

There was never any sense if being rushed.

I had to go back in the mid afternoon to have someone check the eye and make sure there was no swelling. They did a pressure check on the eyeball and said I could go home and report to Dr. Beattie’s clinic next week for a full post op checkup.

Dr. Beattie has an office in Hamilton.  If cataract surgery is in your life – remember her name.  She hails from Picton and is a Habs fan.  You won’t get a better deal than that.

If you want to know just how good a deal I got – we had to get a parking ticket from the machine but we never had to actually pay for parking.  Not a dime.

Let me know when you get a deal like that at Jo Brant.

 

 

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The 14th is not that far away - brownie points to be made.

By Staff

January 18th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They have been doing it for a long time.

Operating as a registered charitable community choir, founded in 1994, the Burlington Civic Chorale is 35 voice SATB community choir, with volunteer singers of all ages and backgrounds from the region.

Under Artistic Director and Conductor Gary Fisher, and Accompanist Jennifer Goodine, the choir annually presents an exciting variety of concerts in the classical, baroque, operatic and contemporary folk music genre. The Burlington Civic Chorale is a member of Choirs Ontario.

Burlington Civic Chorale in rehearsal

The Chorale is celebrating its 30th season of presenting high-quality performances from its home base at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in the City of Burlington. The choir’s repertoire is often accompanied by professional soloists and/or a chamber ensemble. The informal post-concert reception gives patrons and members an opportunity to socialize after each concert. Ticket prices are always kept affordable for families to enjoy the choral experience.

Over the years, funding has been provided by Performing Arts Burlington, City of Burlington, Burlington Community Foundation, the Trillium Foundation, the Leggat Foundation, Hager Industries, the Scott Family Foundation, the United Way of Burlington & Hamilton and from patrons, members and business donors. The choir  presents a Valentine Cabaret and Silent Auction fundraising concert each season.

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Skating hours and rental free equipment

By Staff

January 18th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With all of us now in the grip of winter – time to remember as Canadians we love the outdoors.

The rink at the edge of the lake is something to keep in mind when you want to get the kids out or just go for a skate yourself.

Great for small children – not enough room for people to speed skate.

Ice Conditions Hotline: 905-335-7738, ext. 8587. This line will be updated when regular hours of operation are altered due to ice conditions.

Skating Hours (weather conditions permitting):

  • Daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Skate Lending Hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Friday, 5 to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sunday and during school breaks, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sizes and styles are subject to availability. First come, first served. Skate aids are available.

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City wants residents to participate in Street-Side Tree Planting program

By Staff

January 18th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington is relaunching its Street-Side Tree Planting program for the 2024 year. Burlington residents can now submit a request to the City to have a tree planted on the right-of-way in front of their house, on City property.

A street with a right of way that already has a tree.

Getting involved in the Street-Side Tree Planting program is easy, hassle-free and just three steps:

  1. Contact us! Residents can call the City at 905-335-7777 or email city@burlington.ca and mention that they would like to participate in the program.
  2. Forestry Investigator Visit: An investigator will visit to assess the property and help select the right tree.
  3. Planting: If the right-of-way is a good candidate for a tree, staff will add the address to the list of planting locations for the upcoming planting season.

Requests for 2024 tree plantings are accepted between January and April. Residents can indicate the tree species preference at the time of submission. Staff will try to accommodate resident requests; however, species choice is not guaranteed.

Scheduling of tree planting will be determined by the location, suitability and availability of the chosen tree species, as well as the current number of requests.

To learn more about the City’s program and other forestry initiatives, visit: getinvolvedburlington.ca/urban-forestry

  • Protecting and improving the natural environment and taking action on climate change is one of the four main focus areas in Burlington’s Plan from Vision to Focus 2022-2026. The Street-Side Tree Planting program supports the City’s objective to establish sustainable, low-carbon and climate resilient communities through growing and sustaining a healthy tree canopy. This program is a great way to integrate more tree canopy coverage in existing neighbourhoods and is one of the ways the City is working towards it’s goal of increasing Burlington’s tree canopy to 35 per cent by 2060.
  • In 2022, the City of Burlington planted over 4,000 trees, with 2,450 trees being planted through Community Supported planting Initiatives.
  • In 2023, the City of Burlington planted approximately 3,600 trees, with 2,100 through the City’s Street-Side Tree Planting program and 1,500 trees being planted through community supported planting initiatives.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward adds her comment: “Protecting and improving the natural environment and taking action on climate change is a focus area in the City’s Vision to Focus four-year work plan. The City is committed to using a climate lens for our work. City programs like the Street-Side Tree Planting program are a great way to support this focus area. This program helps us engage residents in a collective way to build a greener and more climate resilient community for today and for future generations.”

Can’t wait for the photo op; the Mayor planting a tree outside her house.

 

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What a crock - whatever the reason the Mayor's explanation didn't pass the smell test

By Pepper Parr

January 18th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

Mayor Meed Ward made a structural change to the way council meeting are run – no clear reason why – the explanation she gives what a crock.

Mayor Meed Ward once spoke of the 17 platforms she has to reach the public.  Add in the photo – ops and you have a well exposed politician with great reach into the community.

In her Mail Bag platform she posed the following question:

QUESTION:

“Three Burlington standing committees were merged into a single Committee of the Whole – why the change?”

Her answer was about as self serving as it could get and nowhere near the truth.

Why Mayor Meed Ward Merged the Standing Committees into the Committee of the Whole she created is something we don’t have an answer for.  It was something she was able to do given the Strong Mayor powers that were given to many Mayors last July.

The Mayor maintains the City of Burlington’s Committee of the Whole meeting is part of a new standing committee structure intended to help streamline Council business.

The change does not streamline the structure; if anything it makes the process awkward and leaves the Chairs of the Standing Committees look like bumbling idiots as they figure out where they are supposed to sit.

The Chair of a Committee sits in the seat intended for the person leading the meeting.

Committee of the Whole is chaired by the Mayor who opens the meeting and closes the meeting.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns taking her seat as Chair of a Standing Committee, while a committee staffer (on the left) removes her name plate. This is stream-lined?

The three previous standing committees: the Community Planning, Regulation, and Mobility (CPRM) Committee; the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk, and Accountability (CSSRA) Committee; and the Environment, Infrastructure, and Community Services (EICS) Committee are now tucked into the Committee of the Whole but doing exactly what they did previously.

Meed Ward explains that the Committee of the Whole meetings will be comprised of distinct sections reflecting the previous three standing committees.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will open the meeting, oversee any delegations, complete all consent items, and then pass the gavel to the Councillors who continue to serve as Chairs of the segments of the meeting dealing with CSSRA, CPRM and EICS regular agenda items.

True enough but before the gavel can be passed the “room has to be reset”, which means the person serving as the Chair has to move from their seat to the Chair position while the Committee Clerk moves the name plates that identify members of Council and senior staff.

Mayor gets to sit beside the City Manager during the Standing Committee part of Committee of the Whole meetings.

The Mayor has to find a seat for herself – to date she has chosen to sit beside the City Manager.

The A/V people have to reset the software that records the meetings and allows for the projection of reports and illustrations that are part of every meeting onto the several large screens set up in the Council Chamber..  The software the city uses for its hybrid meeting approach never seems to be up to the challenge – but that is another issue.

There is nothing streamlined about Rory Nisan leaving his council seat with papers, cell phone and coffee cup in hand and making his way to the Chair seat while the Committee moves his name plate to where he is now sitting.  Same thing happens to each of the Standing Committee Chairs.

There appears to be a reason for the change.  The explanation the Mayors gives doesn’t make the reason clear.

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

 

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Call for Design only Commissions to create welcome signs for the Waterfront Parking Garage

By Staff

January 18th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The most recent Local Artist Program is open for submissions until February 16.

This program commissions local artists to create a variety of small to medium scale murals throughout Burlington. The City is inviting local artists to submit their design ideas for three unique locations:

Odd location for public art.

Lampman Park, 1691 Lampman Ave.
Award:
  $1,000
This mural will be printed on a vinyl wrap that will cover a small water system safety cover box. The artwork must cover all four sides plus the top of the box.

Great location fr the right message. It will be interesting to see what comes in in terms of messages. How creative are the independent artists in the city?

Waterfront Parking Garage, 414 Locust St. exterior wall
Award:
  $1,000
This mural will replace the large exterior banner facing Lakeshore Road. The artwork will act as a “Welcome to Burlington” sign and will be reproduced on a large-format vinyl banner.

Waterfront Parking Garage, 414 Locust St. interior wall
Award:
$6,500
A new mural is being commissioned for the interior of the parking garage on the ground floor. The artwork will be reproduced and printed on a vinyl wrap.

This location will be a challenge. Driver are more concerned about negotiating the tight space.

All three projects are design only commissions: the City of Burlington will be responsible for the fabrication and installation of the vinyl wraps. Burlington artists may create a new artwork concept for this project or reformat an existing artwork. Successful artists will need to submit a high-resolution digital file of their artwork concept (help is available upon request). Applicants must be a resident of Burlington, Ont.

Applications are due by Friday, February 16, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. For more information and to apply online, please visit the Calls for Artists page.

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