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Changes in transit schedule - effective March 13th

By Staff

March 7th  2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Effective Sunday, March 13, 2022, Burlington Transit is

      • Increasing service on routes 6 and 10
      • Improving connections on routes 1, 3 and 12
      • Aligning route 48 to school bell times

Schedule information

Overview of Service

Peak service is between 5:30 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.

For more information or to get help, contact BT Customer Service at contactbt@burlington.ca, 905-639-0550

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Koogle looking to cast two roles in 'Into the Woods' production

By Staff

March 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Another production, another opportunity for young people to learn if the stage is where they were meant to be.

Into the Woods is a 2014 American musical fantasy film directed by Rob Marshall, and adapted to the screen by James Lapine from his and Stephen Sondheim’s 1986 Broadway musical of the same name.

The graphic below tells the whole story.

 

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How Are Online Casinos Regulated in Canada?

By Stephen Atcheler
March 8th, 2022
BURLINGTON, ON

The popularity of online gambling is steadily increasing in Canada, but bettors are concerned about the lack of unified regulations across the country’s ten provinces and three territories.

This post sets out to show where one can play online casino games in Canada and how these gambling businesses are regulated.

A Convenient Loophole

Gambling operators are not allowed to run Canadian online casinos, but they have found a loophole in this law installing all of their servers in Quebec’s Kahnawake reserve.

So, many online gambling providers like Cyber World Group, operator of the world’s largest online casino Golden Palace.com, have moved their servers to Kahnawake.

Online Casinos Are Thriving in Kahnawake

As all online casinos in Canada are in Kahnawake, they need to have all of their servers properly maintained 24/7. This is the job of a special company called the Mohawk Internet Technologie (MIT).

The MIT guys must be very busy because experts have estimated that 60% of the online gambling traffic passes through the servers they manage.

A Billion-Dollar Business

And while Canada’s online gambling legislation is still a work in progress, figures show that online casinos have generated revenues of over $12 billion in 2021.

When Quebec’s provincial government slammed Cyber World Group with a $2 million fine over two counts of illegal online gambling, the company wanted to minimize court expenses, pleaded guilty, and promptly paid it.

Kahnawake’s Online Gambling Regulator

This First Nations reserve is located on the south bank of the Saint Lawrence River and is classified as an offshore zone. It’s got its own gambling regulator – the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which grants licenses to online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks.

However, the motion against Cyber World Group has cast serious doubts on the commission’s authority to regulate online gambling in Canada.

Legal Contradiction

There seems to be a continuous tug-of-war between Canada’s federal government and the local authorities in Kahnawake reserve over the right to regulate online gambling businesses.

The Mohawk people have full title to their land and they govern their territory.

The country’s criminal code entitles provincial governments to license and regulate gambling activities, including those through the Internet.

However, the Mohawk people, represented by the Kahnawake band council, defend their right to housing online gambling servers in their lands, citing section 35 of Canada’s Constitution.

Who Regulates Online Gambling in Canada?

The above information makes it clear that the Mohawk Gaming Commission regulates online casinos through the band council.

Statistics show that the commission has so far licensed more than 440 online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites. However, Canada’s federal government seems to have become less tolerant of online gambling in the Mohawk territory.

No Taxes on Online Casino Winnings

The Mohawks’ strength to continue defending their rights to host online gambling servers in their reserves comes from Canada’s taxation code itself. It stipulates that gambling winnings are tax-exempt, as long as one is not gambling professionally.

The casino is a stunning piece of architecture.

If Canada’s provincial governments want to tap on the multi-billion-dollar online gambling sector, they have to either reach a legal agreement with the Mohawk people or fully legalize online casinos.

Once online casinos become legal, they will have to pay local and federal taxes, and will thus support the local economy.

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A program for seniors who need special care may get really rolling with Covid19 restrictions being eased.

By Pepper Parr

March 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

A program for seniors who need special care may get really rolling with Covid19 restrictions being eased.

You know him as the Council member for ward 5; the without a doubt, smartest member of Council – with ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns a very close second smartest council member.

Councillor Sharman has held two public sessions with Senior’s as part of his effort to understand their needs and develop policy that Council can put in place to serve this vital community. At most of the sessions Sharman’s Dad is often in the audience.

Sharman has always had a soft spot for the seniors, it is a sector to which he pays close attention.

During a conversation over what he was going to do next Paul Sharman would not say he was going to run again nor would he offer as much as a hint about possibly challenging to the sitting Mayor come October.

Paul Sharman wanted to talk about PACE, a project on which he has done some work in the past and very much wants to do more on in the future ; he made it clear to me that he was talking about near future.

Last November he explained what PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) was about to a small group of seniors at the Wellington Tower in downtown Burlington.

Paul’s story was a very personal that resonated with his audience. He first learned about it during a conference he was attending in Detroit. Sharman was invited to visit a charitable organization that created an interesting program.  He and Rick Goldring, Burlington mayor at the time, went down and visited Presbyterian Villages and United Methodist Retirement Communities, that provided thousands of income-geared condo-style homes that were rented to people on limited incomes.

On the ground floor of all of this was a program called PACE. Other communities were served by standalone PACE centres.

The focus was on keeping older adults in their homes longer; Sharman wanted something like this in Burlington and was able to launch a first effort in January 2020 to provide comprehensive care for older adults as an alternative to long-term care facilities.

Paul Sharman’s quest to bring better care to seniors is a very personal story.  It began when his mother had to be moved to a long-term care (LTC) facility from a retirement home after apparently “assaulting” another community member while in distress. His mother was deemed violent even though she was frail.

An Earth Day event, where the lights were turned off for an hour, spooked Sharman’s mother, who was suffering from dementia, resulting in her pushing away the other community member when they approached her.

This unnamed LTC facility also had locked wards for residents who were considered “violent,” where younger residents with mental health and other issues were also located and would allegedly assault other residents.

Paul Sharman with members of his family at a community event.

After much advocacy by Sharman’s sister, their mother was eventually moved out of the locked ward to one mostly occupied by residents who had suffered from strokes. Eventually, she developed pneumonia, was unable to swallow antibiotics, and was then moved to a hospital. By then, her options were limited and she passed away in early 2015.

Paul Sharman: When he puts his mind to an issue he looks for the data and lets that lead him to the decision he makes.

“Long-term care is necessary but insufficient,” said Sharman. Sharman believes that things could have been better for his mother had there been more support services available in the community. His mother inspired him to look for ways to develop support groups for older adults so they could stay in their homes as long as possible and therefore have a better quality of life.

He and others got as far as setting up a non-profit organization that practices in condo towers and other places of congregate living.

The local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) was very engaged and interested and wanted to give them access to their services kit, meaning they would organize services for those people who needed help at home.

Healthcare system restructuring meant that CCACs were disbanded, which meant those services still existed operating under a different name, the future became unclear without the CCAC, and the program was suspended.

On the way back from Detroit, Goldring and Sharman talked about how the Presbyterian and United Methodist villages were able to pull together so many housing units with limited resources and what exactly made it work.

To help them think it through, Dr. Jennifer Mendez, a Toronto-based professor who taught geriatric care to medical students at Wayne State University in Detroit and an advisor to PACE in Detroit, was brought in to provide support for the Burlington project.  Mendez, now retired, has been involved with the American iteration for more than 25 years, first starting in Milwaukee.  Mendez says collaboration between all of the service providers is essential for the success of the program.

JBH president Eric Vandewall manages well and gets the job done.  The biggest problem he faces is a cultural one.  The problem existed long before Vandewall arrived.

Sharman’s team then presented the idea to a special meeting of 80 Burlington community leaders, including Eric Vandewall, President and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital, and Dr. Michael Shih of Emshih Developments, who specializes in the development of medical buildings and retirement homes.

When the presentation was over, Sharman asked the assembled leaders if anyone could think of any reason not to pursue this program going forward. The room was silent. People then asked what would be done next.

This resulted in Sharman and Goldring setting up committees to discuss how PACE might be established in Burlington. Vandewall and Shih were brought on to the volunteer committee and after about eight or nine months of talking it through, the program was moved into the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), as they had all the resources and connections necessary for it to work, coupled with Halton Community Housing, which owns and operates large housing properties for older adults.

Residents over 80 years of age in 2016 census it was 5.7% in Burlington and 9.2% over 75. The 2021 census has not provided Burlington yet, but Ontario is 4.6% over 80 and 7.8% over 75.

“I think this is the population that requires the most attention,” said Shih. “Social isolation is a problem.”  “Also because of the seniors living much longer now, in terms of care and [their] financial situation, everything needs more attention,” he added.

A solid strategic thinker who wonders just where the vision for the city is hiding.

Unfortunately, just after the pilot program launched last January, PACE couldn’t offer new services or group programs due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the organizations that were already working with residents were able to continue doing so.

The pandemic shed an extremely negative light on long-term care in the province, giving PACE a chance to stand out and continue to grow.

And with the help of vaccines, the program has been back up and running for about six months and has been granted approval from the Burlington Ontario Health Team (OHT), operating out of Joseph Brant Hospital, to scale up and continue its work.

Halton Community Housing has also committed $1 million for renovations on the ground floor of Wellington Terrace to better house PACE and its programs.

There is a lot more to this story.  The big question is: can Paul Sharman get PACE off the ground and be Mayor at the same time?

 

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Mayor really wanted to hear what the Minister of Housing was going to tell the development industry - convinces Committee Chair to recess for a couple of hours.

By Pepper Parr

March 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was a small item at the very end of the agenda for the Standing Committee meeting last Thursday.

11:40 a.m. (recessed). 2:30 p.m. (reconvened)

Those watching the web cast had been advised that the agenda would be revised – that usually happens when there is a CLOSED Session of Council and the city shifts things around to accommodate any outside people taking part.

We actually slipped up on this one – rather than wait and listen to the Chair read into the record what part of the Municipal Act was being used to go into Closed meeting we logged out expecting to return at 2:30.

As committee Chair Kelvin Galbraith had the authority to recess a meeting – the standard is to get agreement from council members. Mayor Meed Ward and Councillor Galbraith share the Red Carpet Task Force work – they work well together.

Chair Kelvin Galbraith had advised viewers that there would be a break from 11:30 to 2:30

There were two other important items on the agenda: leaf collection and a revision to the Private Tree Bylaw – always contentious issues in Burlington.

Turns out – there was no closed session

Council members switched venues and went to the West End Home Builders Association event at which the Minister of Housing was speaking to the people who give council all kinds of grief.

Was Mayor Marianne Meed Ward blushing when she met with the Premier at a Joseph Brant Hospital event?

No word yet from anyone on just what was said during the event.  Our source said there was some expectation that the Premier might show up.  Doug Ford usually takes every opportunity he can to talk to developers.

We understand that Council Sharman attended as well.

What bothered at least one council member was that even though two members of Council (and possibly three) left the meeting there was still a quorum (4 out of the seven members constitute a quorum) and the meeting could have continued.

Chair Galbraith told the Gazette that anything to do with trees in Burlington should have the attention of every member of Council.  It was his call to make, which he did.

 

 

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People gather publicly for the first time in years

By Pepper Parr

March 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When people gather in public places there is always an interesting dynamic.

Some people are very earnest in what they say and do; others are quite passive – just there to see what’s taking place.

Pete Ward – Mayor’s husband, was on hand to take pictures and make new friends.

Orysia Foster nee Nebesny., wearing a bright headdress and full Ukrainian costume

Some of the people who were in front of City Hall Sunday afternoon caught the attention of our camera lens.

The strikingly attractive Ukrainian women in full cultural garb were everywhere.

The Mayor’s husband was taking pictures and making new friends.

The Mayor was mixing with people – fully engaged in conversation with some.

The leadership from within the Ukrainian community was issuing orders and getting flags up, donations boxes in place.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward in conversation with a resident during the Ukrainian Rally

It was a place to do a little politicking, to meet old friends and to be around hundreds of people and not HAVE to wear a mask.  Many did.

 

If you didn’t know where you were supposed to go – this woman, Natalia Nebesny, was making sure you did know.

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Where the growth is going to take place in Aldershot

By Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

The Recommended Preferred Precinct Plans for Aldershot have been released.

While the hot development action has always been south of Caroline in the downtown core and clustered along Lakeshore Road, brand new communities are going to grow around the three GO stations that are now known as MTSA’s – Major Transit Service Areas – that will have GO service, local transit service, as well as anything else that transports people, coming together in the same spot.

What has been released to this point is the precinct boundaries.  A precinct is a boundary line within which various levels of development will be permitted.

Unfortunately, at this point, no data or description as to what can be built within each precinct has been provided.

What we do know is that each of the MTSAs will see new communities created.  Of the three MTSAs: Burlington, Appleby and Aldershot – the most developed is Aldershot.

Residential development will be significant with clusters that include, 5, 6, 7 or even 8 high rise towers and all the social amenities.  Get used to a new one: linear parks which is another phrase for a path with some grass.

The Recommended Preferred Precinct Plans for the Aldershot GO station set out above identify the name of the precinct they are in but provide no detail on what the zoning is for each precinct. Presumably that will follow.  What you get at this point is a pretty graphic.

Set out below is one of the residential unit the ADI Development Group completed.

The Recommended Preferred Precinct Plans for Burlington can be seen HERE. The Appleby Line plans will be published tomorrow.

 

 

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Walter Mulkewich: An appreciation.

By Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I don’t remember exactly where I first met Walter.  It was about the time that he and the late John Boich submitted their Shape Burlington report to city council.  It wasn’t very well received.  Some senior staff wanted parts of the report re-written.

I do remember the many times we had coffee, the occasions when we had him over to the house for dinner, and BBQ’s at his house in Aldershot.

Walter once took me on a long walk along the Waterfront Trail from the hotel to the canal and pointed to some of the plans that were talked about along the trail.  There was going to be some kind of a science exhibit structure along the way close to the canal at one point.

Walter knew everyone and once told me that anyone who wanted to do something in the city paid a call on the Mayor.

Walter loved the job of being Mayor.

He took me up Brant Street once and showed me exactly where the Freeman Station once stood.

He was part of a group of former Council members who decided it would be nice to get together once a month for lunch.

Joan Little, a former member of Council, former Mayor Mary Munro, former Councillor Linda Pugsley, Walter, and I would gather at whatever restaurant Joan Little chose.  I was the only person who had not been elected to office.  I did run for school board trustee in Scarborough – lost by 17 votes.

Later, after he retired from public office John Taylor joined the group.

The conversations were ripe.  There was a time when Burlington had 17 members of Council, meetings would still be taking place well after midnight.  The rule was that what got said at the lunch table stayed at the table.

Ever the gentleman, Walter never had comments on current members of Council.

Mary Munro, having some fun at Walter’s expense,  regularly asked him if what is now the Bridgewater development was approved on his watch.

Walter could always be relied upon for sage advice.  He listened carefully and even if he didn’t agree with you, there was that pleasant smile and you knew that you had to rethink your idea.

This afternoon people took part in the visitation.  We attend these things with heavy hearts and want the family to know they are being supported.

This afternoon was particularly difficult. Consoling a daughter who carried her grief and sorrow in her eyes; strong enough to hold back the tears knowing that Dad wasn’t a phone call away anymore.

Rest in Peace Walter – you have served so very well; you will be deeply missed.

The funeral takes place on Monday at the Burlington Baptist Church on New Street, at 10:00 am.  It is a by invitation only that will be streamed live by Smiths Funeral Home.

The link to watch the service via video is HERE

Related news story:

Joan Little on her dear friend Walter Mulkewich

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Ukrainians Rally in front of city hall

By Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They were out on the street, doing what they could to draw attention to the plight of their fellow countrymen.

They lined Brant Street smiling when horns were honked – a couple of hundred taking part in a Rally that was being repeated across the country.

The whole world knows; the whole world waits, praying that a peaceful end will be found.

For the 250 to 300 people who gathered on Brant Street – they didn’t seem to have a permit to use Civic Square and didn’t really care.

They wanted people to know and they wanted to be able to gather and draw what energy and hope was there for them.

Many of the politicians were seen – quite why the MPP was asked to speak was hard to understand. She was brief.

The priest from the Ukrainian Catholic Church said a prayer – different to see hundreds of people crossing themselves as the prayer was spoken.

He may not have fully understood the language but he was there nevertheless with his parents supporting a country he may not even know.

Orysia Foster nee Nebesny was everywhere – wearing that smile and letting is see what a Ukrainian dress looks like. So much colour.

Quite a few people wore their bright cultural clothing – one can’t call them costumes. Would that Canada had a history as colourful to display – the best we can do is a hockey sweater.

The event was put together on very very short notice by people from a part of the community who are quiet, hard working – industrious.

They take part in Canada Day fully aware of how fortunate they are to be in Canada and while their home country has had its problems, none of them thought it would come to what we are experiencing today.

The best they can do is gather, support each other and raise badly needed funds.  And hope.

 

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Halton District School Board releases findings from Student and Staff Census

By Staff

March 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board is releasing the findings of the Student and Staff Census conducted in the 2021-2022 school year in a phased approach between March – September 2022.

At this point we know how many students participated.

The release will begin with data on the identities of students and staff including language, ethnicity, race, Indigeneity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

At the March 2 Board meeting, a presentation of Phase 1 data of the Staff and Student Census was made to Trustees.

The HDSB conducted the voluntary Student Census from January to June 2021, and Staff Census from April to June 2021, as required by the Anti-Racism Act, 2017 and Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan to gather and report identity-based data. The Student Census was completed by 78 per cent of elementary students and 84 per cent of secondary students. The Staff Census was completed by 75 per cent of staff.

 

Following the release of identity data, perceptual (how students perceive their school experiences) and disaggregated data showing trends and patterns in special education, academic achievement and student experiences, will be shared between now and September 2022.

“The findings of the Student and Staff Census are intended to support every community to ensure we are meeting the needs of all students and staff in the HDSB,” says David Boag, Associate Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

“This data provides us with new information about who our students and staff are to fully understand the needs of all staff, students and families. This will help support success and well-being, identify and eliminate discriminatory practices, systemic barriers and bias to provide equitable opportunities and outcomes, and allocate resources to support students and programs where the need is greatest.”

With the findings of the Student and Staff Census, the HDSB will continue to examine disparities and disproportionalities in opportunities and outcomes for students and staff, prepare action plans that align with the HDSB Multi-Year Strategic Plan 2020-2024 and continue to engage with stakeholders.

 

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Mildred Austria on Ensuring that you never get too carried away when playing casino games

By Mildred Austria

March 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When it comes to casino games, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy balance, ensuring that you never get too carried away when playing. While casino games can be a lot of fun — and more accessible than ever thanks to online casino gaming — it also opens up the potential to fall into a downward spiral.

Let it be known that casino games at its core are meant to be enjoyed in moderation.

Let it be known that casino games at its core are meant to be enjoyed in moderation. Many people like to throw terms around such as gambling addiction when talking about casinos, but it doesn’t mean everyone falls victim. In fact, you can maintain a perfectly healthy balance while still enjoying your favorite casino games. All you have to do is keep a few tips in mind so you can make the most out of your opportunities.

Understanding slot machines

Perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of casino gaming involves slot machines, as it’s one of the most popular games — while also being entirely luck-based. It’s not something you can win out with skill, which means you have to be careful when going for slot machines.

One of the best ways to maintain a balance is to set a quota for slots. You can limit yourself to a certain number of tries, ensuring that you don’t get too carried away. There are also plenty of slot simulators out there that can show you just how likely you are to lose (or win) on any given day. It’s all about trying your luck, and the crucial bit is not to push your luck too hard.

Slot machines: They can be fun; they are a game of chance – set a limit and walk away when you reached that limit.

Want to win? Focus on a game

The thing about casino games is many of them are based on your skill and ability to read the table. Slots are the only ones that rely entirely on luck, which means it’s up to you to make the difference when trying other games. If you want to boost your chances, it’s better to focus on a single game to help increase your odds of winning. Learning the ins and outs of a game will help you learn about how to win, especially when watching the experts play. You can look into fantastic jackpot games at CasinoDays, giving you every opportunity to learn your favorite casino game.

 

Understanding when to fold

This hand isn’t going to take you anywhere. Fold.

Last but certainly not least, there’ll come a time when you’ll have to cut your losses and try again another day. The slots can teach you all about not pushing your luck, but the same thing applies to most other casino games. Even if you happen to be on a winning streak, it’s better to stop while you’re still on top. It can be tempting to go for even bigger winnings (and it’s not an impossibility), but you’re very likely to go home with nothing if you do. Learn when to fold, and you’ll have won half the battle.

Maintaining a healthy balance when playing casino games is all about maintaining discipline. There’s no need to listen to anyone warning you about the dangers of gambling if you know how to discipline yourself.

 

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Recommended Preferred Precinct Plans for the Burlington MTSA - means what they plan to build around the GO station

By Staff

March 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The hot development action has always been south of Caroline, clustered along Lakeshore road.

The long term growth of the city is going to be around the GO stations that are now also known as MTSA’s – Major Transit Service Areas – that will have GO service, local transit service, as well as anything else that transports people coming together in the same spot.

The Recommended Preferred Precinct Plans for the Burlington MTSA.

Residential development will be significant with clusters that include, 5, 6, 7 or even 8 high rise towers and all the social amenities.  Get used to a new one: linear parks which is another phrase for a path with some grass.

The Recommended Preferred Precinct Plans for the Burlington GO station set out above identify the name of the precinct they are in but provide no detail on what the zoning is for each precinct. Presumably that will follow.  What you get at this point is a pretty graphic.

A rendering of what the Burlington GO station now looks like. The housing that will be built in the immediate area will be in the 3500+ population range

The Recommended Preferred Precinct Plans for Aldershot and Appleby Line will be separate articles

 

 

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Drury Lane Theatre Productions: on stage March 18th to April 10th

By Pepper Parr

March 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The pent up energy and creativity in the community is slowly coming out of the restrictions imposed by various levels of government

Drury Lane Theatrical Productions will revive their annual Music Hall at The Loft at 2269 New Street, running March 18th to April 10th, 2022.

Burlington’s favourite and longest running review show returns as the 41st Music Hall premiering on March 18th and will again showcase the great music of today and yesterday and the talents of members of our community in a celebration of Music Theatre.

From left to right: Anne Kelly, Carrie Mines, Sheila Flis Photo credit – Merise Designs

With Direction from Gregory Flis and Music Direction by Donna Dunn-Albert, you’ll laugh and sing along with our talented cast of Misses (Sheila Flis, Anne Kelly, Carrie Mines, Stacey Tiller and Jennifer Welosky) and Misters (Randy Bridge, Bill Everett, Don Montgomery, Evan Delvecchio-Williams and Chairman Gregory Flis).

Join them as they celebrate the return to live performance after months of darkened stages with recognizable classics from Adele to Sondheim to the Old Tyme British Music Halls of the Victorian era.

Drury Lane’s Artistic Director, Carol Mackenzie explains, “Artists are aching to get out of Zoom rooms and onto a real stage where they can stretch their artistic muscles and experience the true joy of performance and connection with an audience. And audiences are starving for laughter and the energy of communal experience.  There is no better place to do that than the theatre – and at Drury Lane’s Music Hall.”

An audience member described one of our past shows saying, “Music Hall is like a “kitchen party” with music you live by, love with, cry because of, laugh at and sing along with. Music Hall is a belly laugh married to a tear rolling down your cheek.”

Buy Tickets and learn more about Music Hall at www.DruryLane.ca or call our Box Office at 905-637-3979. Follow us on Instagram (DruryLaneTheatre) and Facebook for more fun and information.

Celebrating its 47th Season as Burlington’s premiere musical theatre company, Drury Lane Theatrical Productions, a charitable non-profit organization, plays an important role in Burlington’s Arts & Culture fabric. In a normal year, Drury Lane impacts over 10,000 patrons, artists, musicians and volunteers providing the joys of stage musicals.

 

 

 

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Statesman like, and straight spoken, but with a common touch, he was very popular, earned respect, and was always the affable gentleman.

By Joan Little

March 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Walter Mulkewich , former mayor of Burlington, died Monday, leaving our city with a big hole in its heart.

I first met Walter around 1970. I knew him by reputation – all good. He was known as a solid individual, forward thinking, and well educated – a former Oakville high school teacher of history and geography, and later a business man. He had been active in the community and his church, taking on the tough jobs, and getting them done. He’d also run for the NDP, faring very respectably in Tory blue Burlington.

Much credit goes to his late wife, Bev, whom he met at the age of 16, They were childhood sweethearts who became soul mates, both with strong character, both exceedingly smart and capable – adventurous, even. Their three daughters – Sharie, Jane and Miriam were close knit, and each has excelled in her world.

They loved traveling, the outdoors, and adventurous trips. That started early. Bev and Walter had talked about seeing northen areas, and in 1968 he accepted a one-year teaching assignment in Inuvik, in the Arctic.

When I was elected in Ward 2 in 1973, I didn’t know them, but knew of them. A year or two later, I met Walter, was impressed, and urged him to run for council, but suspect he’d already thought of it. In those days it was a part-time job. I think the salary was $5,200 a year, plus about the same amount extra if you sought the city/regional seat – hardly a big money-maker!

In 1976, he won in Ward 1, defeating an incumbent. He had a commanding, yet gentle presence, and was a great orator, always in the vanguard of thinking. In those pre-internet days nomination day was exciting. City staff used to mount easels in the Brant Street City Hall window, and post and update candidate lists. Traditionally candidates gathered there at 4:00 to see who was running, and where (because some registered at the last minute). We two couples sometimes stayed downtown for a convivial dinner afterwards.

My husband Lloyd Allingham died suddenly in 1978, and Walter was the first colleague on our doorstep. I remarried in 1981, and the couples friendship resumed. After I retired from council in 1988, Walter frequently dropped in on his way home from City Hall.

Walter Mulkewich with Stephen Lewis – both gifted orators.

There’s a story connected with his 1985 re-election. Local Tories persuaded George Harrington to run against him. (George was Mayor when I was elected, but defeated in 1976 by Burlington’s first woman mayor, Mary Munro). You have to know the city’s culture of that time – predominately Tory, predominately male. But Walter surprised all, retaining his seat with 78 per cent of the vote! The ‘Old Boys’ network was losing ground.

In 1991 Roly Bird announced that he wouldn’t seek re-election. Walter considered Roly a friend, and wouldn’t run against him, but this changed things. Walter stopped by to say he was contemplating running for Mayor. Would we help? We both offered to do anything needed.

He asked me to be campaign manager. I told him I lacked real campaign experience, so was hesitant. (I’d only run two campaigns in my 15 years, the rest were acclamations). He said he’d guide me, and assembled a crackerjack team, garnering support far and wide. Working with so many talented people with the same mission was stimulating. When asked today what I think my biggest contribution to the city was, it was helping elect the city’s best mayor!

Bev was his biggest supporter, and it was a joy to watch them in those nail-biting days – one day optimistic, the next worried. Two noteworthy opponents – one a councillor – were both Conservatives in Tory Burlington, but Walter won. His campaign was based on two principles: environmental protection and fiscal accountability. As expected, his opponents used the “NDP socialist” strategy, but by then he’d been on council 15 years, and proven his mettle.

Statesmanlike, and straight spoken, but with a common touch, he was very popular, earned respect, and was always the affable gentleman. Non partisan, he was admired by colleagues and staff, many of whom became lasting friends. He established the first seniors’ advisory committee.

Very thoughtful, he researched issues and new ideas thoroughly. When he met with developers, there was always a staff member present.

Why did he want the mayor’s job? Garbage! Halton Region had been looking for a landfill site for years – a very costly exercise that required looking at the entire region, then eliminating areas for different factors, like transportation, location, water table, agricultural capability, etc.

Regional staff finally recommended a preferred site – Site A on North Service Road, with Site F (on Tremaine Road in Milton) the runner-up.

The Burlington contingent on Regional council was able to convince a majority of colleagues to support them. This would go to a hearing. If we lost, we’d be back to square one, with no site.

Meantime Halton’s garbage was being shipped to New York State. How long would that last? For the minor cost difference, better to take both sites to the hearing.

Walter had led an environmental committee examining issues on Site A, and was convinced it posed more environmental problems than Site F. He was proven right. Site F (the current site) was found to be superior.

He won reelection as mayor handily in 1994, but in 1997 dropped by with bad news. He’d been diagnosed with Leukemia, and advised not to run. And things worsened. Bev was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and deteriorated quickly until her untimely death in 1998, which devastated him.

In 2015 he wrote an autobiographical book, primarily for family. It was never available publicly, so I treasure my copy. It begins when his parents emigrated from Byelorussia, and farmed near Waterford. He was born in 1940, met Bev in 1956, and began their life journeys.

His girls held a 75th birthday party for him. By then my husband had died and I was delighted that former councillor Linda Pugsley, her husband Stewart and I were invited – the only ‘political’ guests. Linda, Walter and I were part of a small group who, until Covid, met monthly for lunch to discuss current affairs.

Walter sold their lovely Aldershot home last year, moved to a retirement home, and I saw a change in him. This is a huge loss for the city. Would-be candidates will miss him too, because many, many sought his advice on how to be an effective candidate and councillor. While I’ve lost a good friend, Burlington has lost a great ambassador.

The funeral is scheduled, (by invitation only because of Covid) on Monday at 10:00, with visitation Sunday. Arrangements are by Smith’s Funeral Home on Brant Street.

 

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Stand with Ukraine Rally - City Hall Sunday March 6th

By Staff

March 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A demonstration at the intersection of James and Brant – supporting the BLM movement. The Ukrainians deserve as much.

A couple of years ago young people from across the region marched along New Street and gathered  at city hall to tell the community that Black Lives Mattered.

On Sunday, the hope is that an even larger community will gather at Civic Square and tell the world that Ukraine matters and that the democracy  we enjoy matters even more.

Today there are men and women with precious little in the way  of weapons are fighting thousands of Russian tanks that have descended upon that country.

They need support, they need money.

This is your opportunity to provide both.

Sunday, March 6th at 2pm

Burlington City Hall, 426 Brant Street

Donations to assist humanitarian aid in Ukraine can be made by clicking the DONATION LINK button below.

DONATION LINK

A woman runs as she flees with her family across a destroyed bridge in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 2

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Looks like the Sound of Music is going to fill the air in June

By Staff

March 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With the Covid19 restrictions being lifted and the new infections numbers and hospitalization getting lower and lower – is there not a good reason to begin thinking about the Sound of Music?

They have put out their call for volunteers which means they are working on a boffo program for the summer.

Imagine the Sound of Music floating up from the lake and lower Brant Street packed with visitors.

Click here and become part of the party

The Sound of Music takes place the week leading up to Father’s Day! This year, our Club Series kicks off on Sunday, June 12th and the festival in Spencer Smith Park runs from Thursday June 16th to Sunday June 19th, 2022

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Visitation for Walter Mulkewhich:Sunday March 6: 2:00 to 5:00 pm and 7:00 to 9:00 pm

By Staff

March 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Visitation will be at Smith’s Funeral Home, 485 Brant Street, (one block north of City Hall), Burlington (905-632-3333), on Sunday, March 6 from 2 – 5 p.m. & 7 – 9 p.m.

The funeral will be Monday, March 7 by invitation only. All are invited to view the livestream.

Please see Smith’s Funeral Home website for livestream details.

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Police Officer injured during arrest attempt

By Staff

March 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) is appealing for witnesses or dash cam footage of an arrest attempt that took place in Burlington.

On Monday February 28, 2022, at approximately 2:45 pm an officer attended a parking lot located at 963 Francis Road in Burlington (in the area of Plains Road East and the QEW).

The officer began an investigation into a stolen vehicle parked at that location, and attempted to make an arrest of a suspect inside the stolen brown pickup truck. The suspect resisted and set the truck in motion dragging the police officer a short distance. The officer suffered minor injuries. The suspect’s truck also struck a cruiser and an uninvolved parked car during its escape. Police did not pursue the pickup after it fled the parking lot.

Through further investigation police identified and arrested the suspect.

Timothy Burt (35) of Milton has been charged with the following:

  • Dangerous Operation
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
  • Failure to stop after accident
  • Assaulting peace officer with weapon or cause bodily harm

Any witnesses, persons with dash cam footage of the occurrence or anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Constable Jason Lin at 905-825-4777 ext. 7355.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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Council meets for three hours on an item about election rules - with no public participation

By Pepper Parr

March 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They spent something more than two hours going through, in detail, what the rules were gong to be for anyone who planned to run in the October municipal election.

The Staff report, which didn’t appear to be part of the information package that was on the agenda, had a number of amendments.  Some were staff reported – others were not.

The documents that appeared on the screen certainly weren’t in the information package.

One of nine amendments that Mayor Meed Ward brought forward suggesting changes to municipal election rules Burlington has in place.

The item was not in the original agenda – it was described as a “walk on report” which meant that there was basically no notice to the public.

Quite how the seven members of council can decide to devote close to three hours of their time and not permit any delegations, is unknown.

Every member of council mouthed the words that they wanted to ensure there was a level playing field for people running for office who were not members of Council.

They are still at it – once they finished this item, they go into a Closed Session – yes another one!

We will provide a link to the item – disgraceful, shameful – the elected determining what the rules will be with no opportunity for new candidates to delegate.

There could have been delegations – if people had known about the meeting.  But they didn’t know – because they were not informed.

Walk on items are usually done to cover exceptional situations.

The office of the Clerk has known for a couple of years that there was going to be an election and that some changes needed to be made in the rules.

Anne Marsden has announced her plans to run for Mayor – she would have wanted to be aware of this meeting. Did she even know about it?

Anyone out there who is thinking about running for public office wants to howl with real anger over the meeting taking place.

Throughout the meeting changes were being made to the rules – line by line.  For the average person – it is of little importance – for those that want to run for office – they have a major complaint.

Can’t wait to hear what Anne Marsden has to say on this one.

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Transit is about to lose the best Director they ever had

By Pepper Parr

March 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Director of Transit – Sue Connor – plans to retire – no date set yet.

She was the best Director of Transit the city ever had.

She was one of the best transit people in the province.

For a short period of time she took on one of the Executive Director roles for someone who wanted to spend less time at city hall.

Sue Connor decided to retire and has advised the city manager that her time has come

It is going to be a challenge to replace her.  She ran a good shop; staff loved her and she supported them consistently.

There was a city staffer who worked at city hall; smart guy but not all that happy with the job and the environment.

He got himself a transfer to transit.  A number of months later I bumped into him – huge smile on his face – clearly enjoying the new position.

Sue Connor was very good in public settings – she explained what was likely to happen – people trusted her.

I mention this to Sue – didn’t want to identify the person but after explaining what the man was doing Sue Connor smiled and said.  I know who you are talking about – yes he is happy at transit and I’m glad he is with us.

Sue Connor knew her people and her people knew her.  She showed the city that transit could be made to be effective and a good choice for getting around town.

She understood as well the challenge in moving from diesel to electricity – she just won’t be here to make it happen.

Our loss

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