Hells a poppin - it's free popcorn at Cineplex theatres on National Popcorn Day

By Pepper Parr

January 11th, 2024



Did you know there is a National Popcorn Day?

Heck – why not – there is a day set aside for just about everything.

Here is one with a bit of a difference.

Popcorn is taking centre stage across all Cineplex theatres and for the in-home movie experience

They are celebrating the day by giving away a FREE bag of buttery popcorn to movie-lovers.

Scene+ Members who purchase a ticket to enjoy a movie in-theatre on January 19th can get a free small bag of popcorn in theatres while those enjoying a movie at home will get a free small bag with all Cineplex food delivery orders through Uber and SkipTheDishes.

They have certainly covered all the bases with this one.

Cineplex knows that nothing goes better together than movies and popcorn – whether it is for a solo night in or out or with friends and family.

In 2023, Cineplex guests nationwide enjoyed 34 billion kernels. The most popular topping being added butter, followed by a selection of seasoning flavours. Top flavours include Dill Pickle, White Cheddar, and Ketchup.

When attending a movie in person on January 19th, Scene+ members can visit the concession and scan their membership card to receive a free small bag of Cineplex’s famous popcorn to enjoy.

For those who can’t make it in person, Cineplex is offering a bonus bag of popcorn for all Uber Eats and SkipTheDishes food orders on National Popcorn Day. To claim the bag of free small popcorn, download the SkipTheDishes or Uber Eats app, search ‘Cineplex’, and order your favourite Cineplex snacks. A small bag of popcorn will automatically be added to your order. Learn more about this exclusive offer here.



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Understanding Pin Up Casino's Weekly Cashback - Advanced Guide

By Rostov Pushkin

January 11th, 2023



Pin Up Casino offers an incredible opportunity for players to recover part of their losses through the Weekly Cashback bonus. This guide details how you can take advantage of this bonus to improve your gaming experience and overall strategy.

Understanding Pin Up Casino’s Weekly Cashback

Pin Up Casino rewards its players with a cashback bonus every Monday, based on the previous week’s net losses. Depending on the amount lost, you can receive up to 10% back:

Losses of $50 or more: 5% cashback

Losses of $250 or more: 7% cashback

Losses of $1,000 or more: 10% cashback

The maximum cashout is 10 times the amount of cashback received.

Strategies to Maximize Cashback

Bankroll management

Manage your bankroll efficiently throughout the week to qualify for cashback without risking too much.

Game Selection

Choose games that have a good risk-reward ratio. Games with high volatility can offer higher winnings, but also higher risks.

Taking advantage of cashback

Use the cashback bonus to play in games where you feel most comfortable and which have a good chance of winning.

Practical example
Suppose you received a cashback of $100 and played with this bonus. If you win $10,000 after meeting the wagering requirements, a maximum of $1,000 ($100 x 10) will be credited to your main balance.

Important Tips
Pay attention to the conditions
Read the cashback terms and conditions carefully to fully understand the rules and requirements.

Plan Your Play

Use cashback as part of a wider strategy, considering when and how you will best use it.

Keep Control

Don’t gamble more than planned in an attempt to increase cashback. Remember to play responsibly.

In addition to the general strategies for maximizing Weekly Cashback at Pin Up Casino, it’s important to highlight one game in particular that has become very popular among players for using this bonus: Starburst.

Starburst: An Excellent Choice for Cashback

Starburst, a vibrant and colourful slot, is known for its engaging game-play and high chances of winning. This game has become a favourite choice for players who want to make the most of the cashback bonus due to its high return to player (RTP) rate and frequency of small wins, which can contribute to a prolonged gaming experience and more chances of recovering losses.

How to Take Advantage of Cashback at Starburst

Play Strategically: Understand the rules of Starburst and apply a strategic approach to each spin.

  1. Use Cashback Effectively: Take advantage of the cashback bonus to extend your playing sessions in Starburst, increasing your chances of hitting winning combinations.
  2. Bankroll Management: As Starburst is a game with high volatility, it’s crucial to manage your bankroll in order to take advantage of the cashback without unnecessary risk.
  3. By incorporating popular games like Starburst into your cashback strategy, you can increase your chances of a more profitable and entertaining gaming experience at Pin Up Casino.


Pin Up Casino’s Weekly Cashback bonus is an excellent way to recoup some of your losses and continue to enjoy your gaming experience. With strategy and responsible play, you can maximize this benefit.





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LIVE & LOCAL, Artist Development Initiative will perform at the Community Studio Theatre

By Staff

January 10th, 2024



Thom Anthony singer, songwriter and James Oliver, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist have come together to pursue and continue their shared passion for music.

Sophia Kathe

SOPHIA KATHE – Sophia is an up and coming musical artist with raw talent that shines through in the songs she writes. Drawing inspiration from rock bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. She has graced local stages and theatres carving out a niche for herself with her powerful and soulful vocals and lyrics.

Kevin Fox

KEVIN FOX – Halifax native Kevin Fox is a revered multi-instrumentalist, sought-after composer/orchestral arranger/music director and innovative recording artist. Between recording and performing his own music Kevin tours the world as a member of the Steven Page Trio.

 Sun Jan 28, 2024 at 4pm

Community Studio Theatre


Regular: $39.50 (All-in). Member: $34.50(All-in) Click HERE








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Is there a new role for current city manager Commisso after June 30th?

By Pepper Parr

January 10th, 2024



Included in the list of items that Council was going to discuss in a CLOSED session was the following:

Confidential verbal update regarding the city manager recruitment process

City Manager Tim Commisso – will end his current contract with the City on June 30th.

City Manager Tim Commisso advised Council last year that he was not going to seek a renewal of his contract and would leave the city on June 30th, 2024.

The decision surprised many, especially coming days after the city had awarded Commisso a $63,000 annual increase in salary.

Every City Manager brings a management approach that is theirs – they are the only person a City Council actually hires; everthing else is delegated to the City Manager who builds the staff and the administrative procedures he or she thinks best – all the while working within the policies Council has approved.

In my time covering City hall I have dealt with four men serving as City Manager.  Each had their own operating style; two were dismissed and two left before their contracts were completed.

Burlington is currently experiencing significant changes on several levels.  Council has committed to creating 29,000 new homes by 2031 – there are not very many shovels in the ground at this point.

Staff has grown, especially in the Planning and Information Technology departments where the demands for changes and improvements have created both tension and some disruption.  Taxpayers are having difficulty with the tax increases. are

The provincial government has a Legislative Committee doing a review of the municipal structure for a number of Regions.  Halton is one of them.

It has become clear that the province wants to see changes.  Tim Commisso is in the tick of groups of municipal CAO’s who are trying to determine what should be done by a municipality and what should be done by a Region.

Planning is now a municipal responsibility which means that Burlington no longer has to comply is as closely is as it was required to do with Regional policies.

Tim Commisso, City Manager explaining the big picture.

Commisso would be very good at that kind of thing; the BIG picture is a comfort zone for him.

However, the new city manager might not bring the same skill sets and feel for devolving from a two tier organizational model to a single tier level of local government.

Our guess is that city council is talking to Commisso about a different contract – one that would have him being retained as a consultant to handle the evolution from the form of local government we have now to what will come out of the Legislative hearings.

On Thursday of this week Mayor Meed Ward will be delegating to the Legislative Committee on what Burlington would like to see happen to local government.

We don’t know that – but Council didn’t go into a CLOSED session to talk to Commisso about what kind of gold watch he will be given when he leaves city Hall on June 30th



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Has nepotism, a social rot, taken root at City Hall?

By Pepper Parr

January 10th. 2024



Lisa Kearns earned the right to put the letters ICD.D  behind her name from the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management.

Ward 2 City Councillor Lisa Kearns

She has been trained in what it means to be a Director of a corporation – and the city of Burlington is a corporation.

Ethics is a large part of what Corporate Directors are taught.

It appears however that Ms Kearns has forgotten the ethics part of her training.

This realization on our part came about when Dania Thurman posted a note on social media announcing the job change.

Announcing that she was now working for the City of Burlington as the Ward 2 Councillor Administrative Assistant and Community Liaison.

Thurman was one of a small group that was very active in the fight to keep Central High School open when the Halton District School Board announced that it was closing two of the city’s seven high schools.  Central was on the to be closed list.

Thurman was also an active volunteer in the breakfast program at elementary schools in Burlington.  She went on to become the Executive Director of one of the organizations that runs breakfast programs at schools in the Region.

Dania Thurman and ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns at an election information sharing event.

Thurman and Kearns are close.

When we read the Thurman announcement two things popped up for us?

Why was Thurman announcing her new job?  This task is usually done by the ward Councillor and is followed by a statement from the new Administrative Assistant and Community Liaison person on how excited she is about being able to serve the residents of ward 2.

We asked the City Communications people to clarify just how Administrative Assistants are hired.

City Hall was in the process of closing down for the holidays and some communications staff were not available.

When they did get back to us they said:

In response to your second question, job opportunities for City staff positions are shared in the careers section of the City’s website at burlington.ca/careers. The application and interview process is coordinated by Human Resources.

Individuals interested in a job opportunity can submit their application online. Once the application period for a job posting has closed, interviews are conducted with eligible candidates and a selection is made.

The job posting for the Ward 2 Councillor Assistant and Community Liaison position was posted from Oct. 27 to Nov. 5, 2023.

The new Ward 2 Councillor Assistant and Community Liaison started with the City on Dec. 18, 2023.

With that information we wondered if Councillor Kearns was involved in the selection process and when she was told that Thurman was going to be her new Administrative Assistant and Community Liaison. .

There is no mention of Dania Thurman becoming her new Administrative Assistant in the most recent ward 2 newsletter.

We wondered as well if Kearns did not advise the Human Resources staff that it would not be appropriate for a close friend to be hired as her assistant.

One of the worst things that can happen to any organization is for nepotism to creep into who gets what from the city.

Kearns had an obligation to advise the city that this was inappropriate – that’s what the ICD.D  behind her name stands for, being ethical.

Kearns can’t say she didn’t know – she was trained to know.

We also ask why the City Manager Tim Commisso didn’t step in and direct Human Resources to have a different Administrative Assistant work for Kearns.

Recent photograph posted by Dania Thurman on social media

Add to all this the question: Is Dania Thurman the person to do the delicate job of listening to what ward 2 residents are concerned about and to work on their behalf and keep the ward Councillor fully briefed.

In comments from Gazette readers two have said they see a bigger picture.  The scuttlebutt in the nail salons and hairdressing locations is that Kearns intends to run for Mayor in the 2026 municipal election and that Thurman will run for the ward 2 Council seat.

Jaws dropped when that bit of gossip got out.  One well informed Gazette reader told us that the “real news” is spread at nail shops and hairdressing salons.  Same thing happens in barber shops.

Is it too late for a change?  Thurman started work on December 18th. She could be assigned to a different member of Council.

Is this a matter to be brought up with the university that issued the ICD.D designation?

Is there a conflict of interest?

There is certainly something behind the odour on the upper floors of City Hall.

Related news stories:

Thurman announcement

Kearns earns impressive designation

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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The Rise of Live Dealer Games in Canadian Online Casinos: A Closer Look at The Interactive Experience

By Kris Olson

January 10th, 2024


The Rise of Live Dealer Games in Canadian Online Casinos: A Closer Look at The Interactive Experience

Digital casino gaming offers a whole different stream of entertainment to online players.

Since its emergence, online casino gaming has become a pretty widespread gambling and entertainment option in Canada. This has given rise to a great number of online casinos, which make the gambling scene very accessible and decentralized. You can easily find top-selected options on https://casinorix.com/ca/.

Altogether, these online casinos were preceded by the evergreen wonders of traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, which are still the base of Canadian casino gambling. However, Today’s digital casino gaming offers a whole different stream of entertainment to online players. Principal among these fresh entertainment streams is the inclusion of live dealer games in many Canadian casino portfolios.

Going forward, we are exploring the all-round interactive experience, which follows live dealer gaming at Canadian online casinos.

Evolution Of Online Casinos in Canada

Canada has a pretty long history with casino gambling in particular. From its first legal form of gambling in 1969, to the invention of the Internet, and subsequently the creation of online casinos in the 1990s. As of 1994, the first recognized online casino was created in the state, which featured mid graphics and average internet speed and services.

Gaming can be done anytime from anywhere; just fire up the iPad and your in the casino.

With time, the Canadian online casino scene got better, and demand went up alongside. This in turn has brought about an organic increase in the number of casino providers around. More so, the progression from traditional land-based casinos to online platforms in Canada was seamless. Whilst the two offer pretty much the same gambling services, online casinos just came with a whole new level of accessibility and a broader range of games.

The Live Dealer Experience

In today’s casino gaming scene, live dealer games are essentially gambling games where the players get to interact in real-time, with the dealers and dealing process. There is no mistaking it for the traditional casino experience. That is because live dealer games at online casinos feature real-time broadcasts that aid players to interact with dealers, on a designated software. In essence, think of it as a stream-as-you-play kind of affair, which offers players the same real-time advantage as a brick-and-mortar casino.

Over a short period, the live dealer casino experience has gone from an ordinary live-stream affair to an all-immersive involvement. This features a proper replication of the standard casino gaming environs, simulations, professional dealers, etc. In a nutshell, standard online casinos are up for creating a live dealership experience that is as authentic as possible.

Technological Advancements

As stated earlier, live dealer games have become a big deal over a considerably short period. This advancement is primarily traced to several technological edges that make most standard games stand out. From the high-definition cameras involved in the video streaming to the multi-angle coverage, there’s a lot of tech that goes into making these live game sessions colourful.

Also top on the list is the deployment of Augmented Reality (AR) to blend the real and virtual worlds, creating a very immersive and engaging experience. Together, these tech innovations go a long way in creating an enhanced but organic gaming experience.

Popular Live Dealer Games In Canada

Throughout the Canadian casino scene, there exists a plethora of live casino games with the best dealerships in circulation. These mostly include table and card games that require real-time betting. Here are some of the most prominent options to look out for;

The wide variety of games ensures all kinds of players always have something to explore, always.

Blackjack; The cards and table game is one of the most popular live game options, featuring its standard 8-deck and 52-card gameplay.

Poker; Poker is well suited to the live dealership scene, as it can feature multiple players and a unit of dealers. More so because the game comes with multiple variants. Some other prominent live casino options include Sic Bo, Craps, Roulette, etc. There’s a wide variety, which ensures all kinds of players always have something to explore, always.

The Future of Live Dealer Games

In all, live dealer real-time gaming is obviously on the rise, as it brings the vibe of both land and online casino gaming. And whilst there is still a level of reservation on the player’s end, with exploring live casino games, the trend seems to be an upward one. More so because of the influx of highly optimized gadgets and devices, capable of streaming game sessions seamlessly.

Overall, the growth plot of online casinos in Canada is a rampant one. As such, it is best to stay tuned to our updates and reviews to keep up.

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Internet access was not available to us - working at catching up.

By Pepper Parr

January 9th, 2023



Internet access was not available to us for more than 13 hours.

Working to get caught up.

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Awkward change, no measurable benefit other than giving the Mayor tighter control

By Pepper Parr

January 9th, 2024



City Council now works just a little differently.

Instead of scheduling the Standing Committee meetings (there are three Standing Committees) on different days of the week, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, using her Strong Mayor powers, decided to use a Committee of the Whole approach.

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna serving as the Chair of a Committee of the Whole (CoW)

A Committee of the Whole (CoW) includes every member of Council and in the past the Chair has been a specific Councillor; more often than not Councillor Angelo Bentivegna did that job.

Not anymore.  The Mayor Chairs the meeting and during the meeting invites the Council member that is the Chair of a Standing Committees to do what they did in the past.

The difference is that when the CoW moves to a Standing Committee format people have to sit in different places in the Council Chamber and that means what they call “resetting the room”.

Council playing musical chairs.  Councillor Lisa Kearns moving from her ward 2 seat at the Council horseshoe to the position used by the Chair of the Cow meeting.  Are you confused?  They were.

The Standing Committee Clerk instructs the person that will serve as the Chair to leave where they were sitting as a member of Council and takes the spot where they will sit as Chair.

Any Staff members taking part in the meeting have to move from where they were sitting to another seat; the Clerk has to move the name plates that identify the person sitting in a particular seat.

Then the A/V people have to be certain that the equipment being used is running properly – in the Burlington Council Chamber that is never a given.

So for a few minutes you have people scurrying from seat to seat.

That happens three times as each of the Standing Committed takes their turn doing their work under a CoW format.

What difference does using a CoW approach mean, what benefit  is there – none that we could see – except the Mayor controls the whole thing.

To be fair, we don’t quite how the meeting that started on Monday will end today on Tuesday.

The meeting was recessed at just after 4:00 pm and will reconvene this morning at 9:30 am.


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Free Winter Fun Day:  Rotary Centennial Pond Jan. 13

By Staff

January 9th, 2024


Cogeco events team will be on-site with free hot chocolate and coffee, along with cookies and prizes for attendees.

The City of Burlington and Cogego are inviting everyone to the Winter Fun Day at the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond, 1340 Lakeshore Rd., on Jan. 13, 2024, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature free Cogeco skating from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., refreshments and prizes, weather permitting.

The event will kick off with official remarks from Cogeco and City staff at 11:30 a.m.

The Cogeco events team will be on-site with free hot chocolate and coffee, along with cookies and prizes for attendees. The City of Burlington events team will also be on-site with outdoor Play Lending equipment for everyone to use.

The Pond is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Skate Lending

Skate Lending is located at the lower level of Discovery Landing at the Pond and is available:

  • 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.
  • Skate patrol staff are on duty during Skate Lending hours.
  • Visitors must sign out the skates for use at the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond. Skate sizes are limited and given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Emily Beijes, Senior Manager, Recreation Business Services said: “We’re thankful to have a community partner like Cogeco who has sponsored the winter skating program at Rotary Centennial Pond. Their sponsorship means we can offer even more value to the community, improving conditions for participants with items such as additional skate aids and skate friendly flooring in heavy traffic areas. Ensuring recreation opportunities like skating are accessible, low cost or even free to everyone is a priority for the City of Burlington.”

Frédéric Perron, President, Cogeco Connexion adds: “At Cogeco, we’re lacing up our community spirit as proud supporters of the City of Burlington’s Winter Fun Day. We look forward to seeing you on the 13th for a day filled with skating, warm beverages, treats and prizes. We’re delighted to bring people together on the rink this season.”


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Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety 

By Staff

January 8th, 2024



Conservation Halton advises that Environment Canada and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) Surface Water Monitoring Centre (SWMC) are forecasting that a winter storm will occur on Tuesday January 9, beginning late in the morning and continue into the evening. Currently, forecasts indicate that 5-10 cm of snow may fall before changing to rain, possibly bringing upwards of 20 mm additionally. Given that local soil conditions are partially frozen, the snowmelt runoff combined with the rainfall will likely result in elevated water levels in rivers and streams within our jurisdiction.

Swiftly moving water can be very dangerous for young children

Widespread flooding is not anticipated, however, fast flowing water and flooding of low-lying areas, natural floodplains, and areas with poor drainage may be expected.

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

 Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream and weather conditions and will issue an update to this Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety message as conditions warrant.

This Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety will be in effect through Thursday January 11, 2024. 

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A new year and a city council with a new structure: Mayor holds all the reins

By Pepper Parr

January 8th, 2024



They will answer the Roll Call when they meet at 9:30 this morning.

Last Council meeting in 2023: Usually an occasion to send season greetings to those watching – not this year. Just seven glum faces.

Hopefully they will be less grumpy than they appeared when they held their last Council meeting for 2023 on December 14th, 2023.

The new agenda set up will be revealed; Councillors will meet  as a Committee of the Whole with the Mayor in the Chair.  She will hear reports from each of the Standing Committees.  It seemed a little awkward when set out on paper – but let’s see how it works out.

The Gazette will be there watching on your behalf.

Dania Thurman with ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns: joined at the hip?

We are also watching for a response from the Communications people is as to just who is the Administrative Assistant for ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns.

Dania Thurman announced via social media that she was delighted to be the new Administrate Assistant.  Those announcements are usually made by the ward Councillor.  So far nothing from Kearns.



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Trumpeter Swan is now the Official bird of the City.

By Pepper Parr

January 8th, 2023



Getting caught up on some of the smaller decisions made by Council.

A number of years ago, before Covid,  the Gazette sponsored a photo competition on Trumpeter Swans – we asked the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program to do the judging.  We provided the prize money and a framed copy of the winning entry was presented to the City.

Winning entry: Amada Kerr

The city was presented with a framed copy of the photograph. No idea where  the picture is displayed.

City Council caught up with us when they unanimously agreed to the selection of the trumpeter swan as the city’s official bird

The “Official Bird” selection process was conducted by Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington, through a public poll in early 2022 with the trumpeter swan, northern cardinal and black-capped chickadee coming in first, second and third place, respectively.

Burlington was certified by Nature Canada as a Bird Friendly City in April 2022, and part of its requirement includes the selection of an official city bird. Through public engagement and a unanimous Council decision the trumpeter swan is the city’s bird.

There was a time in the 1930s in Canada when the number of known trumpeter swans dwindled to 70. They swans had disappeared from Burlington and the rest of the province – shocking to think, since it is indigenous to North America. Hunting for swan meat, skins and feathers came close to eliminating the birds.

The trumpeter swan is the largest swan species in the world.

The Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program, which was established in the early 1980s, led to Pig Pen, the first trumpeter swan to nest in Ontario in 200 years, re-establishing the migration route of them in Burlington in 1993.

LaSalle Park is now home to more than 100 trumpeter swans from December to March and has a dedicated group of volunteers from Trumpeter Swan Conservation Ontario that work tirelessly toward the continued conservation and restoration of the species.

Link to winner:


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Punch Needle Embroidery Course at the Art Gallery.

By Staff

January 7th,  2024



Beth Martin with her two biggest supporters.

Beth Martin, the woman who created Burlington Together, one of the most effective community communications services that connects people with each other with information and community support.

The size of the group allows Burlington Together to get a message out to a very wide audience that responds quickly.

Beth Martin has branched out and is now giving craft Punch Needle embroidery course at the Art Gallery.

“Come learn from me! I promise it’ll be fun!

The classes take place on Wednesday evenings at Art Gallery of Burlington with a  February start date.

For more detail and registration click HERE


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NDP claims corruption costs 48,000 jobs; Tories claim nearly 120,000 jobs were created in 2023 - figure that one out

By Staff

January 7th, 2024



Ontario Achieves Strong Job Growth and Investments in 2023
NDP: Conservatives’ corruption, chaos costs Ontarians 48,000 jobs

Which statement do you want to believe?

Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli presents the 2019 budget as Premier Doug Ford looks on at the legislature.

Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued this statement following today’s monthly employment release by Statistics Canada, which showed that while employment in Ontario decreased last month, nearly 120,000 jobs were created in 2023, including over 22,000 jobs in the province’s manufacturing sector.

Over the last three years, Ontario attracted more than $27 billion in new investments from global automakers, parts suppliers, and electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturers.

In 2023, Ontario secured new auto investments from companies including Volkswagen Group’s historic $7 billion investment to build its first overseas EV battery cell manufacturing plant in St. Thomas.

“And, to further strengthen our end-to-end auto supply chain, we launched the fourth round of the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program, partnering with 26 parts suppliers that invested almost $9.6 million and created 111 new, good-paying jobs across the province”, said Fedelli.

$7 billion investment to build EV battery cell manufacturing plant in St. Thomas.

“In the auto sector and across all sectors, our government is supporting small and medium-sized businesses and creating the conditions for jobs to grow.

“While 2023 was a great year for job creation in our province, we cannot take this success for granted. In 2024, we’re going to continue with our targeted and responsible approach to ensure Ontario remains one of the best jurisdictions in the world for companies to invest, grow and create jobs.”

The New Democrats pointed to different numbers to make their point:

MPP Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre), Official NDP Opposition critic for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, released the following statement after Ontario lost 48,000 jobs in December:

““Every single one of these jobs represents a person whose life was upended and just found it even more difficult to make ends meet. While some other provinces are seeing an increase in jobs, Ontario is on a notable decline.

“It’s no wonder Ontario is losing jobs – Ford and the Conservatives are too busy covering up their own corruption scandals and rearranging dinner party fundraisers for their wealthy insiders.

Health Care workers protesting job losses.

“We can’t solve the housing or health care crises while we’re losing thousands of good people and jobs in those sectors.

“The Ontario NDP are proposing real solutions to solve the affordability crisis and create jobs – like our plan to get the province back in the business of building housing, and reopening emergency and operating rooms by investing in health care.”

Quick facts

In December 2023, Ontario lost:

  • 20,000 jobs in construction
  • 7,400 jobs in manufacturing
  • 7,400 jobs in health care and social services

The unemployment rate now stands at 6.3% in Ontario.


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Chief Librarian reports that 1,255,000 books have been borrowed from the libraries

By Staff

January 7th, 2024


If you have a library card- this article will not be new to you – the Chief Librarian Lita Barrie will have sent it to you.

Chief Librarian Lita Barrie reports to members

With our new year just a few days old, I’d like to share some highlights from this past year at Burlington Public Library. We wouldn’t be the library we are without your ongoing use and support, and we’re deeply grateful to everyone who visits the library, in person or online, as part of your routine.

So, how did you use your public library in 2023? Here’s a quick look!

How You Used Your Library in 2023

BPL members borrowed over whopping 1,225,000 books in 2023! One family of eager readers saved over $27,000 by using the library in 2023! You can view your estimated annual savings at the bottom of your printed receipt when you check out books. We added this feature to our receipts this year and it has been a great way for customers to see what they are saving by using their library.

The most popular non-book items borrowed were MiFi Hotspots, Chromebooks, and iPads. When introduced in June, jigsaw puzzles were a huge and immediate hit with library members. This new collection will grow again in early 2024. Watch the shelves!

This year’s most popular event was Burlington Literary Festival’s riveting evening with R.H. Thomson, author of By the Ghost Light. And thousands of kids also came to the library to shake their sillies out at 1,367 storytimes this year—with some regularly attracting crowds of 80-plus children and their grown-ups!

Burlington Public Library’s Commitment to Accessibility

The library belongs to everyone in our community, and we are committed to making our services and collections accessible to all. With that in mind, we worked with various partners to launch new offerings this year.

Visitors to the library can now pick up sensory kits to use in any of our branches. These were developed in collaboration with Autism Ontario.

We also expanded our collection of supportive reading materials to include decodable books geared to people with dyslexia, and WonderBooks and Vox Books that read aloud while you turn the pages.

Our staff are ready to welcome and support you no matter your needs—our 2023 Staff Development Day centred on training all staff to provide accessibility support and resources.

New Library Services Launched in 2023

What else were we up to? We opened our new Reading Garden at Central Branch where you can enjoy a good book in the fresh air during warmer months. Your local history is now just a click away with the Burlington Digital Archive—an online trove of maps, photos, and historical documents. This digital portal went live in the fall thanks to the incredible work of our Digital Resources & Collections team.  And, for Burlington readers looking for a good book recommendation—and we know there are lots of you—give Handpicked For You a try. We launched this service to give customers personalized picks from our expert library staff.

It was an outstanding year for Burlington Public Library, and we couldn’t have done it without the continued enthusiastic support of our community and our dedicated and talented staff, who work hard to deliver the best library service possible every day. Thank you for making BPL part of your story in 2023.

We look forward to seeing you at the library in 2024! To get a jump start on your reading list for the new year, check out my favourite reads of 2023.

Happy reading!


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City has new lobbyist registry - is lobbyist clearly defined? Is the data easy to access? How often is the data updated?

By Staff

January 7th, 2024



The City of Burlington will have a new lobbyist registry ByLaw effective Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. The new bylaw is said to provide transparency about individuals and organizations who lobby City of Burlington public office holders.

The lobbyist registry was updated through a bylaw approved by City Council on July 11, 2023 and includes:

A move from volunteer to mandatory registration of applicable lobbying activities. All lobbyists must file a registration for each matter they intend to lobby prior to the lobbying, or within fifteen days of the initial communication.

An expanded definition of lobbying communication that includes a formal meeting, email, letter, phone call or meaningful dialogue or exchange that materially advances a matter that is defined as lobbying, whether in a formal or an informal setting.

The addition of the Burlington Leadership Team as a part of the lobbyist registry, along with City Council, as public office holders.

The appointment of the City Clerk as the Lobbyist Registrar to centralize and improve efficiency of registry administration.

Limited enforcement of the bylaw: Where a person has contravened any of the provisions in the bylaw, they will be prohibited from lobbying activities until an information and education meeting with the Lobbyist Registrar is held. For a second offence, lobbying activities will be prohibited for 60 days.

The City’s lobbyist registry is available online at burlington.ca. A new registration form and web page updates will be made to reflect the bylaw once it takes effect in January 2024.

Deputy Clerk Kevin Klingenberg, City of Burlington explains: “The new Lobbyist Registry ByLaw will help ensure greater transparency in the local government decision-making process. Lobbying is a legitimate activity. It benefits lobbyists, public office holders and members of the public. This new registry ensures the process is transparent, centralized for cost-effectiveness, and easy to access by the public.” —

Quick Facts

In January 2022, the City launched a trial online lobbyist registry designed to document interactions between individuals who lobby members of Burlington City Council. Data from this trial, along with the community’s input from a survey completed in January 2023, helped shape the new Lobbyist Registry ByLaw.

report [CL-03-23] about the development of the new lobbyist registry was presented to City Council in June 2023.

To learn more about the lobbyist registry, and other tools and processes the City has in place to ensure accountability and transparency in local government decision making, visit burlington.ca/accountability.

View the new Lobbyist Registry ByLaw.

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What can Ontario expect from Liberal leader Bonnie Crombie in the nest 60 days?

By Pepper Parr

January 6th, 2024


Ontario Liberal leader Bonnie Crombie.

Ontario Liberal leader Bonnie Crombie


She wins the Leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party, takes the Chair at a Mississauga City Council meeting and uses her Strong Mayor powers to to direct planning staff to allow fourplex housing as a right across the city.

With the Leadership in her pocket she works the telephone and pulls in $1,280,000 + in the way of donations to give the party some getting around money.

Meets with the other candidates to learn what they would like to see happen, we know that she had a one hour meeting with Ted Shu, member for Kingston and the Islands.

While Bonnie Crombie has not come out and said she is going to run for a seat in the Legislature she has dropped more crumbs is as hints than Gretal did when she was lost in a forest.

She has met with her Caucus and has begun to talk about the Strategy they will work from once the MPP’s  return to the Legislature in February.

She has to recruit a Chief of Staff; our guess is she already knows who she wants.

Three members short of being recognized as a political party at which point the Liberals will have access to research and staffing funds. The provincial Liberals would very much like to find a way to have access to those funds. There are five independent members of the Legislature – most of them have too much baggage to be worth recruiting.

Bonnie Crombie meeting with her Caucus at Queen’s Park

Are there New Democrats who might be enticed to cross the floor?  Could the Greens decide to become Liberals – just until the 2026 election takes place?

Politics is the art of compromise and if the Liberals are going to make their point they are going to have to get very creative and be seen is as a party that can get things done.

That process takes place starting January 16th, the day after Bonnie Crombie takes off the Mississauga Chain of Office for the last time.  It will be an emotional experience.

The announcements she makes on the 16th will be interesting.

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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Re-purpose your Christmas Tree - Royal Botanical wants 2000 of you to do just that

By Staff

January 5th, 2024



The annual tree collection returns! RBG needs a maximum of 2,000 trees in order to strategically place them in critical zones. Community members are asked to pre-register their donation(s) ahead of their drop-off to ensure we receive the desired amount for the project at hand. Are you up to the calculated challenge? Let your tree continue to work for nature even after it’s done its traditional duty.

For well over a decade, RBG has relied on the generosity of the public to deliver their trees to aid us in various stream-restoration projects around aquatic ecosystems. Since this project began, over 175,000 trees have been repurposed and placed into the banks of the Chedoke and Grindstone Creeks. Once placed, their branches begin to collect and retain suspended sediment which helps form a riverbank, something previously demolished by invasive Common Carp. As the years go by and more trees are added, the riverbanks become fortified and stabilized, which help channel the flow of water during high-water events. The placement of trees also helps by creating essential habitat for birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, amphibians and most importantly a strong soil bed where native plants can take root and begin to sprout! What life have you seen around the berms as of late?

Sincere thanks go out to all the people who have helped see this project through. Not only do we have the solo tree drop offs, we have witnessed individuals organize neighbourhood pickups and deliver dozens of trees, and businesses deliver by the truckload! The generosity is magnificent, and the evidence is in the wetlands. Thank you only scratches the surface, or in this case adds to it!

Please Pre-Register to Donate Your Tree

Register your tree HERE

Royal Botanical Gardens appreciates the generosity of its community members that take the time to donate their Christmas trees each year. Used Christmas trees assist our conservation efforts in re-building creek channels on our waterways. These channels facilitate the regrowth of marsh plants and create habitat for native fish and wildlife.

This year we require a maximum of 2,000 trees for our restoration and are asking that you please register your tree prior to dropping it off. Though we greatly appreciate the overwhelming enthusiasm in support of this project, we are only able to use 2,000 trees to effectively achieve our goal.

  • Drop off between December 28 to January 9
  • Please do not drop off your tree without pre-registering
  • Drop off will be at an un-staffed location close to the border of Hamilton and Burlington. Specific drop-off instructions and location details will be provided via email to registrants.
  • Remove all decorations and ties
  • Spruce and fir species are preferred
  • Drop off only; RBG does not provide pickup services


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NDP claims Premier Ford ignoring alarm bell on cancer surgery delays

By Staff

January 5th, 2024


NDP urges Conservatives to stop withholding billions from health care 

Longer wait times for diagnosis and surgery are a result of a system stretched by chronic government underfunding.

Ontario NDP Health critic France Gélinas said Ontario is hearing another alarm bell from the province’s overrun health care system, a new Ontario Health report that shows that just over half of the most aggressive cancers were treated through surgery in the recommended time frame. She is urging the Ford government to act.

“This troubling report from Ontario Health makes clear that the staffing crisis in our health care system is having a direct impact on patient outcomes, on matters of life and death,” Gélinas said. “Early detection and timely access to surgery is vital for those diagnosed with cancer, especially aggressive forms.

“Longer wait times for diagnosis and surgery are a result of a system stretched by chronic government underfunding and the exodus of overworked, underpaid workers, yet the Ford Conservatives continue to act like the crisis doesn’t exist.

“We have the money to fix the problem. The government is sitting on billions of dollars—$5.4 billion, to be precise—of unspent funds that should be going to our hospitals. Ford must treat the crisis with the urgency it warrants and stop withholding billions from health care.”

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Pop Album of The Year performer Emm Gryner will be at BPAC this month

By Staff

January 05, 2024



Emm  Gryner has been an independent recording artist for 25 years. Her albums “Asianblue” and “Girl Versions” were nominated for Pop Album of The Year at the Juno Awards. She appears on albums by David Bowie, Def Leppard and Rob Zombie.

Emm  Gryner

She will be at the Performing Arts Centre on January 26th, at 7:30pm in the Community Studio Theatre

In 2013, Emm helped make the first music video in outer space when she helped arrange a new version of “Space Oddity” for astronaut Chris Hadfield. The song was recorded partly on earth and partly aboard the International Space Station. This collaboration has received more than 200 million views on YouTube.

In 2023, Emm was sought out by Def Leppard to contribute her cover of “Pour Some Sugar On Me” to their Drastic Symphonies album featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Emm contributes lead vocals to the track and performed the collaboration on BBC’s Piano Room programme.


Regular: $39.50 (All-in). Member: $34.50(All-in)

Reserve a ticket HERE

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