Another survey - this time on a street parking permit initiative

By Pepper Parr

January 28th, 2023



The City wants to create a new residential parking permit program for residential on-street parking.

If you just heard 100 people shout out: Halleluiah, the sound came from the Orchard where parking is a real problem.

City hall wants feed back and is asking residents to take a short online survey no later than Monday, March 6, 2023. The information gathered from the survey will be used to inform City staff.

Link to the survey is HERE

They will use the information to:

• Create an on-street parking permit program;
• Balance on-street parking with safety, road use, enforcement and emergency vehicle access;
• Create consistent rules and regulations city-wide and
• Create a residential on-street parking permit that meets residents needs based on changing conditions

Parking in the Orchard community has been a problem from the very beginning. Planners at the time were going to ensure that transit service to the community would lessen the need for vehicles.

As parking needs change in Burlington, the City is working to offer residents parking options to manage parking needs and the growth of our city through development. Residents are encouraged to take the survey to let staff know how to best serve residents. The goal of the on-street parking permit program is to provide a permit program that works safely and maintains emergency vehicle access.

The parking permit survey opened on Thursday, Jan. 26 and closes on Monday, March 6, 2023. Staff will present a report with the survey results and a permit program to the City’s Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility Committee and City Council this summer.

Katlan Edgcumbe, Manager of Integrated Mobility explains:

Katlan Edgcumbe, Manager of Integrated Mobility

“Parking in our city has seen a lot of changes over the years. Now we need to offer you parking options to help you manage new ways of working, your changing family and the growth of our city through development. This survey is your chance to let us know how we can best serve you, our residents.
These changes look different for all of us and there are numerous factors to consider. For some, adult children and parents may be living at home, for others that live in tighter neighborhoods – parking may be an issue due to the design of the community.
We want to know what is ideal for all of our residents so we can provide a permit program that works safely and maintains emergency vehicle access.”


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Zellers Launches Nation-wide Poll to Bring Back Canada’s Favourite Zellers Diner Delicacies for Food Truck Experience

By Staff

January 28th, 2023



Food Trucks Will Appear for Throwback Event, Then Hit the Open Road

The Zellers sign comes off the store in the Burlington Mall. The brand will re-appear as in-store operation inside the Hudsons Bay locations

Zellers has convinced themselves that Canadians are craving a taste of nostalgia and they plan to dish it out.

As the country gets ready to reunite with the Zellers experience within select Hudson’s Bay stores, the retailer has heard loud and clear the call for the restaurant return!

Although an in-store diner just isn’t possible in a 10,000 sq ft footprint, Zellers is mobilizing a fleet of food trucks to greet customers at its first locations opening this spring. Set to appear
over a series of days, the Zellers Diner on wheels will pull into various locations and serve shoppers with some fan favourites from the fondly remembered Zellers Family Restaurant. And while Zellers is tuning the engines and pumping the tires, Canadians have been tasked with building the menu.

Starting today, Zellers has launched an Instagram poll @zellersofficial listing 10 menu items; 9
from the original restaurant (adding one new veggie option for good measure).

For one week, people can weigh in on their favourites and the top five will make the cut. Following the initial stops at the store locations – and if customers embrace the comeback – the Zellers Diner on wheels will gear up to head out for its cross-Canada debut. Tour dates and locations to be shared at a later date. And of course, with the launch of, customers from coast to coast will have access to the Zellers experience from day one.

Now Polling: The Zellers Diner Menu Items

1. Big Z Burger
2. Fries and Gravy
3. Hot Chicken Sandwich
4. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
5. Onion Rings
6. Quesadilla
7. Poutine
8. Hot Dog
9. Chicken Fingers
10. Veggie Burger

Visit @zellersofficial and let your taste buds do the talking.

Food Trucks have proven quite popular in Burlington. Hudsons Bay and its brand Zellers hope to make some marketing mileage out of the nostalgia.

Now a Hudsons Bay brand, Zellers holds a special place in Canada’s maple leaf-shaped heart. And now, with a brand spankin’ new website and 25 locations (to start!) within
Hudson’s Bay stores across the country, customers can expect a helpful, playful shopping experience packed full of low prices day in, day out. With a core focus on design and value – and
a hint of the nostalgia that Canadians know and love – Zellers is gearing up to become the new go-to, from lifestyle to home and almost everything in between.

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The Rowdymen will take to the Stage February 11th

By Pepper Parr

January 27th, 2023



What do you get when you combine a rock and roll guitarist with an orchestral percussionist and an accomplished musical theatre performer?  You get The Rowdymen, a band devoted to sharing the music of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Come From Away, the smash-hit musical based on the true story of 7,000 stranded airline passengers on September 11, 2001 who were welcomed and cared for by the people of Newfoundland.

The Rowdymen are professional guitarist Gerry Finn, east-coast musician Greg Hawco, and Canadian musical theatre stalwart George Masswohl, who have come together to keep the beloved music from the acclaimed musical Come From Away alive, while treating audiences to traditional and contemporary music and culture from “the rock”.

In no particular order: Gerry Finn, Greg Hawco, and George Masswohl,

Come From Away, the smash-hit musical based on the true story of 7,000 stranded airline passengers on September 11, 2001 who were welcomed and cared for by the people of Newfoundland, was created by David Hein and Irene Sankoff and produced by Michael Rubinoff. The musical has toured around the world and the songs such as “Welcome to the Rock” and “Screech In” have found a special place in hearts and homes across the globe.

These songs, as well as many other traditional Newfoundland classics and some original work will reverberate through the Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Main Stage Theatre on Saturday February 11, 2023 at 8:00pm.

“Introducing The Rowdymen to the people of Burlington is such an enormous pleasure and privilege for me”, says BPAC Executive Director Tammy Fox.  “I have known both George Masswohl and Greg Hawco for many years, personally and professionally, and I leapt at the opportunity to include their exciting new project in our 22/23 Season.

Come From Away creators David Hein and Irene Sankoff have given their blessing to The Rowdymen to include songs from their musical into the band’s repertoire, which I know our patrons will love, however any fan of traditional east coast music is guaranteed a high-energy, rollicking good time!”.

The Rowdymen guarantee to impress.  George Masswohl, originally from St. Catherines, Ontario, played Mayor Claude in Come From Away in Toronto.  The pandemic shut down the show but Masswohl went back to Newfoundland and led a guided tour company, sharing many of the actual sites and even people that inspired the musical.  It is in Newfoundland that Masswohl and two others formed The Rowdymen.  As George Masswohl says “We formed this band to play Newfoundland music but in a new way.  Our sensibilities all come together and create something different”.

Originally from Bell Island, NL, and now a resident of Hamilton, ON, Greg Hawco, brings eclectic percussion, mandolin and bouzouki to the group, along with his passionate east-coast vocals.  Hawco is well established as a musician and composer and his music has been enjoyed on shows such as ‘Republic of Doyle’ (starring his brother Allan Hawco) and ‘Caught’, and his classical compositions have been performed around the world.  Greg performed in the live band during the Toronto run of Come From Away.

Jerry Finn

Juno Award winner and multiple nominee, Gerry Finn, has been playing guitar across the globe for over 25 years.  He has received multiple gold and platinum album awards here in Canada and abroad.  Some of the bands he has shared the stage with include; Killer Dwarfs, David Usher, INXS, Iron Maiden, Bruce Cockburn, Burton Cummings and more!  Originally from St. John’s, NL, he’s known for his powerful heavy-metal guitar skills, which energize the East Coast sounds of The Rowdymen.



Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 8 p.m.

Main Theatre

Tickets: Regular $39.50 / Members $34.50

Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone  Box Office

The full schedule of BPAC Presents events is available HERE


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City taking a timid approach to its sesquicentennial anniversary

By Staff

January 27th, 2023



2023 marks Burlington’s 150th anniversary; A journey that began in 1873 when the villages of Wellington Square and Port Nelson merged to become the Village of Burlington. The Village of Burlington became the Town of Burlington in 1914 and the City of Burlington in 1974.

Naval Memorial on the Promenade at Spencer Smith Park

The King Edward VII Memorial Fountain was made in Hamilton. It once sat at Brant/Water Streets and later Spencer Smith Park. It spent time in storage until being restored by the Optimist Club of Burlington and relocated to City Hall for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The event, a sesquicentennial anniversary, is not one anyone at city hall is getting very excited about. The plan at this point is to, throughout the year, add features to help commemorate the anniversary. These will be marked with a new identifier for the occasion.

To help mark the occasion, a graphic identifier has been designed to highlight events and opportunities for residents to celebrate Burlington’s anniversary the city created an Identifier, designed to capture the complexity and beauty of the land and the people.

The symbol is in recognition of the Indigenous history of the land that goes beyond 150 years, honouring the diverse Indigenous peoples that have lived in this area.

The identifier uses four shapes and colours to represent Burlington:

Green represents nature and the land.
Yellow symbolizes unity and our multi-cultural community.
Light blue symbolizes freedom as we continue to live in peace and harmony
Orange represents commitment to Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation.

That the city is doing this much is due to the persistent pressure from a resident who had to remind city hall that the anniversary was taking place this year. Anne Marsden delegated on this but got little in the way of response at the time.

There is now a much more public recognition of the role the Indigenous community played in the creation of the city – heck it was their land before we arrived and basically took it from them.  What the city doesn’t have yet is something that stands out, a statue perhaps of Joseph Brant.  All we have at the moment is Sweetgrass park hidden away close to a school that now has the same name.

We have more work to do.

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What could $3.5 million do for 2,200 hectares? Cootes, a paradise that is not going to be a parking lot

By Staff

January 27th, 2023



Parks Canada has announced a contribution of more than $3.5M to Conservation Halton and partners in support of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System.

Funds will be used for collaborative efforts to restore ecological corridors between Cootes Paradise and the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton and Burlington. The contribution to the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System is funded by the Parks Canada National Program for Ecological Corridors.

The program was launched in 2022 and this is the first initiative that it has funded. The funding announcement was made today by the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister, along with Dr. David Galbraith, Head of Science at the Royal Botanical Gardens of Burlington and Hamilton, Ontario.

A massive undertaking that gets a little bit better every year.

The Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark is 2,200 hectares of natural area, including forests, wetlands, creeks and shoreline, which is protected by a partnership of government and not-for-profit groups, including Conservation Halton, Hamilton Conservation, Royal Botanical Gardens, Bruce Trail Conservancy, Halton Region, City of Burlington, City of Hamilton, Hamilton Naturalist’s Club and McMaster University. As a partner, Conservation Halton uses sustainable practices to protect, preserve, and restore this area, support the ecosystem services it provides and promote responsible appreciation of nature.

A walking trail: This is what a wetland is supposed to look like

“We are proud to be a partner in the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System and to receive this funding from Parks Canada,” says Hassaan Basit, President & CEO, Conservation Halton. “For nature to thrive, especially in complex regions like ours where development needs to be in balance with the area’s rich biodiversity, it needs to be connected. Conservation Halton has been working with diverse community groups to help prepare our environment and communities to be more resilient to climate change and we are honoured to have the federal government’s support on this important initiative. Minister Karina Gould has been a champion for this project for close to a decade and the collaboration we have had with all of our partners is what turns ideas like these into reality.”

Protecting and restoring natural areas plays an important role in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss, but for these efforts to be most effective, the areas must be strategically planned, located, and connected, like the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark. Ecological corridors support the movement of plant and animal species between natural areas, and allow other natural processes, like pollination, to take place. This approach to conservation also provides more opportunities for community members to access, enjoy, and appreciate nature.

There may not be a count of the number of birds in the Cootes Eco Park

Conservation Halton is the community-based environmental agency that protects, restores and manages the natural resources in its watershed. The organization has staff that includes ecologists, land use planners, engineers, foresters and educators, along with a network of volunteers, who are guided by a Board of Directors comprised of municipally elected and appointed citizens. Conservation Halton is recognized for its stewardship of creeks, forests and Niagara Escarpment lands through science-based programs and services.

While federal funding is important, even more important are the changes the Ontario government is making.

In a massive overhaul of urban development planning, the Ontario government looks to take power away from the agencies that help prevent flooding — again.

The legislation will repeal 36 specific regulations that allow conservation authorities to directly oversee the development process. If passed, it would mean Ontario’s conservation authorities will no longer be able to consider “pollution” and “conservation of land” when weighing whether they will allow development.

The government is also seeking to force the agencies to issue permits for projects that are subject to a “Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator,” a new tool that allows the province to expedite zoning changes. It will limit authorities’ ability to weigh in on developments to issues of “natural hazards.”

Ontario’s planning system has many players: the provincial government, 444 regional and local municipalities and 36 conservation authorities. Of these, the ones most directly tasked with looking out for animals, land and environment during the planning process are conservation authorities.


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Drury Lane Theatre showcasing a tour of Music Halls - 12 performaces

By Staff

January 27th, 2023



Carrie Mines

Drury Lane takes us on a worldwide excursion of Music Halls; venturing to Vaudeville in New York City, Cabaret in Paris, Kabarett in Berlin and Music Hall in London while enjoying the flavour of this art form past and present.

Drury Lane Theatre embraces British and American versions of this popular live entertainment.  However, the attraction to this comedic musical variety form also has strong roots in Glasgow, Warsaw and several other European cultures.

This compilation is strongly oriented to the stylings and methods utilized from 1890 to 1950.

However, the music is both a tip of the hat to that earlier era but adds a modern flavour by incorporating the music from contemporary Broadway and Movie Musicals.

SHOW DATES 2023 (12 performances)

Evenings 8 PM Mar. 3,4,10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 24, 25, 2023

Matinees 2 PM Mar 12, 19, 26, 2023


Jennifer Welosky, Michael Belton, May Farquhar, Shane Brenton, Greg Porter, Sheila Flis, Melody Rasmussen, Margaret Moir (Back Row L-R) Carrie Mines (Centre Front) Photography byHeather Pieorazio

Greg Porter, Shane Brenton (L-R)

Drury Lane Theatrical Productions Inc. as a charitable (Charity # 88649-198-RR0001) non-profit organization, plays an important role in Burlington’s Arts & Culture fabric. Drury Lane normally impacts over 10,000 patrons, artists, musicians, and volunteers providing the joys of stage musicals.

This year Drury Lane Theatrical Productions will mount three theatrical productions. Subscription Season

Tickets make up a significant part of our patronage and we regularly appeal to multi-generational audiences from the Halton, Hamilton and Niagara Regions. All our shows are presented at “The Loft” ,our term of endearment for The Drury Lane Theatre located in the heart of Burlington’s downtown cultural and dining scene.

We excel in musical storytelling and fun, humorous musical variety entertainment.

Online Ticket Purchases

Box Office: 905-637-3979

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A 50 hectare piece of property is expected to be the location of some of the Commonwealth Games Infrastructure

By Pepper Parr

January 26th, 2023



When City Council agreed earlier this week to affix the Mayors signature to a letter to the Premier of the province supporting the idea of having the 2030 Commonwealth Games take place in the Burlington Hamilton area, as well as in eight other municipalities, few appreciated what events were being proposed for inclusion in the Games or where those events will be hosted. However, this information has been publically disclosed representing over a year of work by a committee of international experts and the solicitation of expressions of interest from public and private sector stakeholders.

As it pertains to Burlington, Lou Frapporti, Bid Chair, has been meeting with all the stakeholders including council and city staff and the Premier of Ontario and former Sport and Tourism Minister MacLeod over a period of months in relation to the venues available to the City of Burlington. They include gymnastics, ESports (Digital Gaming) and the athletes village.

Those discussions have proceeded on the basis of the private sector assuming the cost and risk of delivering these venues as needed in the community in any event and then being subsequently used by the Games’ bid should it come to Ontario. Such private sector investment has been put forward as an innovation in the Games delivery model aimed at ameliorating demands for taxpayer funding. Further benefits might include transitioning some portion of the athletes village to affordable housing.

These venues would be located on a 50 hectare piece of land at 1200 King Road that stretches west to the Aldershot GO station with highway 403 on the north side and the GO tracks on the south side owned by developer Alinea.

A drone photo that shows the site from King Road, looking west towards the Aldershot GO station. No buildings, just a clean slate of potential.

Communities clustered around GTA West that will be taking part in the Games

A number of major benefits will be an extension of the South Service road through the property proving an additional access to the Aldershot Go Station.

The province and federal government are on the eve of a decision around supporting the Games bid with a decision expected by the UK Commonwealth Games Federation on where they will be held in November; Burlington-Hamilton is seen as both the leading choice and the favourite given that the original Games took place in Hamilton in 1930 when they were called the British Empire Games

The Games Federation has some hard and fast rules: there must be Track and Field events and there must be Aquatics – after that it is up to the hosting community to determine what will take place.

The Federation looks for hosts that include other communities. The BID committee has been meeting with eight municipalities and two Indigenous organizations.

The City of Burlington decided on Tuesday, on a unanimous vote to support the Games. This decision was preceded by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement of the opportunity.



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Snow Control Update, January 26, 9 a.m.

By Staff

January 26th, 2023


The view looking south in lot 4 off John Street

Snow Control Update, Jan. 26, 9 a.m.

Crews plowed primary and secondary roads throughout the night. Residential roads, sidewalks and bus stop clearing is underway.

There is no parking until the event is declared over.

Find out what’s been plowed by visiting the Burlington Plow Tracker.  Use the + key to enlarge the map

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The morning after a snow fall in rural Burlington

By Staff

January 26th, 2023



After a real winter snowfall, a fireplace to take the chill out of the room is part of living in rural Burlington.

Courtesy of a rural Burlington resident

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A Living Library in the Art Gallery - why not, there is some great art in the library

By Staff

January 26th, 2023


Image: Natalie King


As an educational organization, the Art Gallery of Burlington understands the important role libraries play as a site where everyday knowledge, experiences, and literacies are valued. Living Library program is a year-long initiative with rotating and overlapping artists and authors’ projects, which provides free and equitable access to events, a maker space, books, and room to sprawl.

Like a library, it encourages the exchange of a broad range of human knowledge, experience, traditions, and ideas in a welcoming and supportive environment. It promotes the sharing of resources and stories through resting, writing, reading, listening, and looking.

Living Library is an all-ages, flexible space designed to foster connectivity and meet the changing needs of Burlingtonians. The space is activated by regular contributors, such as artists, cultural workers, community organizers, and audiences. Living Library is built with the explicit intention of creating space in the institution wherein people want to spend more time resting and creating. It strives to build connections and make new friends.

The space consists of tables, nooks, plants, rugs, seating, vessels, a chalkboard, and shelves full of books to read and materials to create with. It is sophisticated, yet playful, in design to be inviting for multiple generations and comfortable for a diverse range of learners. Opening its doors on January 25, the Living Library welcomes visitors with artworks by artists Erika DeFreitas, Jeffrey Gibson, and Natalie King.


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City Facilities will be open today; snow clearing schedule underway

By Staff

January 26th, 2023



The city announced that all City of Burlington facilities will be open Thursday, January 26, 2023.

The city appreciates those residents that kept their vehicles off the road to allow City plows to clear the roads completely.

Sidewalk snow clearing

We begin to clear snow from sidewalks when snow accumulation reaches five cm (or two inches).

We aim to have sidewalks cleared within 48 hours after the end of snowfall. Off-road pathways (high-volume paths only) are cleared within 72 hours after the end of the snowfall.

When snow accumulation is more than 30 cm, we aim to clear sidewalks as soon as possible but it may take longer than 48 hours.

Ice control – brine, salting and sanding

Before a winter storm, we apply a mixture of salt and water (called brine) to roadways to reduce snow and ice from building up and sticking to the road. This makes roads easier to plow and reduces the amount of salt used later. We apply brine to roadways anywhere from several days to several hours before the start of a storm, as conditions allow.

We apply salt, which effectively controls snow and ice conditions, to roads and sidewalks when surface freezing occurs. We primarily use salt when the temperature is above -10 degrees Celsius. When it is below -10 degrees Celsius, we mix salt with an additive to allow it to remain effective.

We apply sand on roadways to increase traction during slippery conditions. We primarily use sand on local roads, rural roads, sidewalks and during extremely low temperatures when salt is less effective.

Types of ice control used in each condition

Primary roads when a winter storm is coming – Brine
Primary and secondary roads with snowfall between one to four cm – Salted with sand used as an alternative
Primary and secondary roads with more than five cm of snowfall – Plowed and salted, with sand used as an alternative
Residential roads with more than 7.5 cm of snow – Plowed and sanded
Sidewalks, multi-use pathways and transit stops with more than five cm of snow – Plowed after all roads are cleared (which can be up to 72 hours after snowfall has ended)


One of the more than 25 pieces of equipment out clearing the primary roads.

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The data that the Regional Budget is based on - it is a very healthy part of the province

By Pepper Parr

January 26th, 2023



On average, few people understand that the Regional government actually does.

The organizational chart shown below sets out what the Region does

The Region is responsible for a number of roads – but not all.  The 2023 Road Operations Budget includes a total of $15.0 million, an increase of $528,000 from the 2022 Budget, in road maintenance contracts with the local municipalities and Regional contracts to address growth in the Regional road network. A major driver of the increased road maintenance cost since 2016 is the increase in lane kilometres to support growth in the Region. Between 2016 and 2023, the Region’s transportation network system has been in a state of accelerated growth with an estimated increase of 57 lane kilometres. The following table shows the growth in the Regional road network over the past several years. 50.



The data above is a big picture look at what the Region has going for it and the growth that is being planned for through to 2051.


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Handweavers and Spinners exhibiting at the Art Gallery

By Staff

January 25th, 2023



The Art Gallery of Burlington is proud to partner with the Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild (BHWSG) to present this collaborative exhibition of ceramic and textile. The use of the collection as a catalyst to connect multiple art and craft mediums is an exciting way to launch this year’s celebration of the Permanent Collection’s 40th anniversary.

Members of the BHWSG were asked to select a piece from the AGB’s Permanent Collection to act as a source of inspiration for new work. The spark ranged from colour palettes to personal connections with the ceramic artist. Each project pushed members to expand beyond their current practice and try something new – from technique to material to subject matter. The resulting works not only speak to the original collection piece, but also provide insight into how pieces can be viewed from different perspectives.

Image Credits: (L-R) DaNisha Sculpture, Starry Night, 1997. Earthenware, stains, glaze. 1998.054.0.1. Donated by Joan Bennett, 1998. Photo credit: Kat Williams. Lois Wyndham, Night Shades, 2022. Handweaving, rep weave.

The Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild are a dynamic community of local fibre enthusiasts who work, play, and create with fibre to make beautiful things. While most Guild members weave or spin, many also share diverse but allied interests, such as dyeing, basketry, knitting, felting and needle felting, braiding, beading, tatting, and bobbin lace making.

CURATOR: Christine Saly-Chapman

ARTISTS that are participating are: Melanie Bailey Cox, Lorraine Bissell, Fran Boisvert, Cathy Disbrow, Jennifer Earle, Marilyn Fish, Lawson Hunter, Linda Johnson, Vicki Lynch, Nancy Mazzetti, Jennifer Neve, Colleen Nolan, Hitoko Okada, Barbara Ozog, Nancy Rose, Susan Stasiuk, Ruth Thoem, MargaretJane Wallace, Lois Wyndham

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Snow Event Declared, Jan. 25

By Pepper Parr

January 25th, 2023



Having announced that city hall would close at 2:00 pm, it was safe to assume that the city would get around to declaring a snow day. They did just that in an announcement that arrived at the newsdesk as 5:04 pm.

Yup – it’s a snow day.

A Snow Event has been declared Jan. 25, effective immediately. All on-street parking is prohibited until the event is over.
Vehicles parked on-street during a Snow Event may be ticketed or towed.

Crews are working to clear primary and secondary roads. Once they have been cleared, crews will begin to plow residential roads throughout the night.

Residents can assist in the quick and efficient removal of snow from our streets and sidewalks by removing cars parked on the street during or after a snowfall and by giving snowplows distance to clear the snow and ice when driving.

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Regional budget says goodbye to the days of zero budget increases

By Staff

January 25th. 2-23


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

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

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

The 2023 Budget includes:

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

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

Property taxes

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

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

Water and wastewater rates

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Staff

January 25th, 2023


Emilie Cote appointed Director of Recreation, Community & Culture.


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

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

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

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

Emilie will start in her new role on January 30.

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

By Staff

January 25th, 2023


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


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

All programs and rentals have been cancelled.

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

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

Residents can still contact City Hall at 905-335-7777 or email

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

By Pepper Parr

January 25th, 2023



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

The current operational quarry is close to its life cycle.

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

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

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

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


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

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

More to come on this story.

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

Pepper Parr

January 24th, 2023



Let me set the stage for you.

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

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

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte at a community meeting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The reaction was immediate from those who follow city council.

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

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

Another asked WHY.

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

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

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

That seems to be the way this city council works.

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

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

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

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

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

Lay this one at the feet of the City Manager.

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

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

By Staff

January 23rd, 2023


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ron Foxcroft, Chair of TradePort International Corporation.

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

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

The Project investment will involve four major elements, including:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Front and center: Ministers Alghabra and Tassi in conversation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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