Sports Field Closures for May 16

By Staff

May 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The following sports fields are closed today (May 16) due to wet and unplayable conditions:

  • Nelson D1 – Casey Cosgrove
  • Millcroft – D1, D2 and D3
  • Ireland – D1, D2, D3 and D4
  • Maple D1 and D2
  • Central D1 and D2

All other fields are open.

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Tory candidate Natalie Pierre will be a No Show at the Chamber of Commerce event; a usually safe place for the PC's

By Pepper Parr

May 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Gazette had issues with the decision on the part of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce deciding that the New Blue Party did not qualify to participate in what is more of a question and answer session than a debate event that they sponsor for elections.

The New Blues may not be there – we expected that the candidates for the four main line parties would show up.

No so.

The party was putting up a strong presence after sort of hiding their candidate for the early days of the campaign.

Natalie Pierre will not be taking 0part in the Q&A. The Progressive Conservative party also chose not to set out their position on the issues the Chamber of Commerce thought were important to their membership.

Our source said Pierre had a previous engagement – what with a dentist?

It is clear that the PC’s have decided that Doug Ford is so far ahead in the pulls that his coat tails will be long enough for everyone to hang on to as they get carried towards being elected.

Natalie Pierre, on the right,, was the kind of candidate many Progressive Conservatives in Burlington have wanted for a long time.

What is disappointing and surprising is that Natalie Pierre is going along with the decision.

The very short interview we had with the woman was quite positive. She is smart, empathetic and we believed she would turn out to be a quick study and learn the ropes quickly – and we were convinced that she would be a strong voice in caucus and have the ear of the Premier.

At this point it looks as if the concern is about getting elected and personal integrity will have to come second.

Someone on the PC side hasn’t run the numbers.

The PC base has been waiting for a respectable candidate to represent them in the Legislature.

Natalie Pierre certainly looked like a good choice.

However, that PC base now has a place where the hard right members can cast their ballots.  The New Blue will eat into that PC base – how much – not one can say with much in the way of certainty.

Miriam Manaa, Liberal candidate

Miriam Manaa, the Liberal candidate, a part of Burlington’s Muslim community will certainly pull the Muslim vote.  If that vote turns out to be substantial it could make the difference for Manaa.

Andrew Drummond advertises who is friends are with election signs and messages from those friends

Andrew Drummond did exceptionally well last time out making him a definite contender running an even stronger campaign this time out..

Those Doug Ford coat tails may not be enough to get Natalie Pierre to Queen’s Park.

There may be more to the story – in time it usually all comes out.

Stay tuned!

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Rivers still sees this election as Doug Ford's to lose.

By Ray Rivers

May 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

Mike Schreiner – Green Party

There were a couple of political debates this past week. The four main party leaders met in North Bay to stake out their promises for northern Ontario. And there were no surprises, nobody fell on their face, and despite the odd jab there were no knock-out punches. If I had to pick a debate winner it would have been Green Party leader Mike Schreiner – methodical, pointed, passionate and considered – it is a shame he wasn’t leading a party with a better chance of winning seats.

On the topic of debates, I also tuned into the federal Conservative leadership debate. It was fun, a kind of cross between a political blood-fest and a gong show. The game show host, also known as moderator, had a lot of fun tossing out hoops for the contestants to step through.

But the contest is really Poilievre vs the Charest/Brown tag team.

And if ever there was a need for fact checking, it is the stuff that the eloquent Mr. Poilievre is spouting. For example, he seems to have discovered a ‘new economics’ which no reputable economist can agree with. To be sure he speaks with conviction and sounds credible – but it mostly is rubbish. Still, if you say a lie often enough, some people will believe it.

And if you were looking for how these wannabe leaders were going to handle climate change that was the wrong channel to watch. Even Jean Charest, my former boss when he was Canada’s minister of the environment in the Mulroney government, didn’t spend anytime on the topic.

And I know he understands the science – I had written a few of his speeches and briefing notes.

The Ontario leaders’ debate was set in the north, a geographical construct which has been afflicted with climate change induced forest-fires and floods. Yet, I had to listen hard to hear mention of… let alone any promises to mitigate climate change. True enough, the opposition parties talked about Increased public transportation and support for electric vehicles (EV). But there was little from the governing Tory leader, other than boasting about some new investment for manufacturing EVs.

Doug Ford – Premier of the province pointing to what he saw as positive Covid19 numbers,

Mr. Ford renewed his promise for a road to the ring of fire and its precious metals. But even as he was bragging about landing a $5 billion lithium car battery plant to Windsor, the company was contemplating cancelling for lack of an assurance of electric power. Following the debate Ford promised a billion dollar new electricity line to Windsor from somewhere. Perhaps he shouldn’t have cancelled all those renewable energy projects.

The Green Party delivered their detailed party platform this week, promising a whacking $65 billion in new spending to transition the province to a “new climate economy”. It’s easy to make promises if you’ll never have to deliver. The party also has plans to make the province’s top doctor independent, to provide more affordable housing and a spattering of other social policies. The party would reinstate the environmental commissioner, a position which Mr. Ford axed early in his administration. And to that end Dianne Saxe, the last commissioner, is running for the Greens in the Toronto riding of University–Rosedale.

Steven Del Duca hoping to revive the Liberal Party fortunes

The Liberals released their platform earlier in the week with some interesting sound bites primarily intended for the ear of those struggling McDonalds-frequenting working class folks. After all, if buck-a-beer got Ford elected…. Del Duca plans to raise the HST exemption, or at least the provincial portion, on fast foods up to $20. He will also offer $1 a ride transit across the province for a limited time and will take the $10 billion the Tories have allocated for Hwy 413 and spend it on renovating schools. He would cap all class sizes to a maximum of 20 students and hire a bunch of teachers to make that happen. Like the other opposition parties the Liberals would end for-profit private long term care and guarantee all workers 10 sick days a year as well some kind of employee benefit package.

The NDP were the first party to actually lay out a complete policy platform and their plans dive deep into what they consider has been broken in the province since they last were in government. So rent control is back with a vengeance. Horwath is promising equity in auto insurance rates and to speed up implementation of the new child care agreement. Her party would be adding more renewable energy, fixing long term and other health care, and even speeding up development of the ‘ring of fire’. The NDP detailed election platform is only a little easier to read than War and Peace, which means that most voters will not bother. Still in the small print on page 85 there is a promise to “create a Mixed Member Proportional Voting system”.

Andrea Horwath _leader of the New Democrats

The Tories consider their last budget, implementation of which was deferred until after the election, as their policy platform – that and odd sporadic announcements they’ll make throughout the campaign to keep/bring voters in their camp. And given that their poll numbers haven’t moved much since they called the vote, they’re probably safe in doing that. Ford’s main promises include more privately operated long term beds, more highways and more auto manufacturing in the province.

The Ford nation is headed for another strong majority if the polls are right. So, Mr. Ford couldn’t be blamed for spending these nice warm days till election day at his cottage, confident he’s got it in the bag. Not that I am saying he’s doing, that mind you. And, of course, that could all change with the final leaders’ debate this Monday night. But I wouldn’t bet the farm on that.

With a candidate in every riding this new party is doing surprisingly well – they could eat away at some of the PC core vote

Then there are the other two even more right wing parties, Jim and Belinda Karahalios’ ‘New Blue’ and Derek Sloan’s ‘Ontario Party’. Together their polling is close to that of the Green Party, so they could be a insignificant factor if the radical/reactionary conservatives shift their support away from the Tories to the ‘real’ right wing. Still these are fledgling political outfits and it’ll be amazing if they end with more than the one seat each they have today. But nobody should forget the success of the Reform Party.

One of these four will be Premier – could it be a government with just a minority of seats in the legislature?

On the other side of the ideological aisle the Liberals, NDP and Greens all compete for pretty much the same political base but each with their own fine tuned refinements. And with three parties on the left and three on the right, perhaps it is time to consider proportional representation after all. But you’d have to vote for the NDP or Greens to see that happen this election. In any case it is unfortunate that these new ‘bluer than Ford’ parties have not been invited to all the electoral debates during this election. They are putting a lot of effort and money into winning hearts and souls of the voters and we should be able to hear what they are proposing even if they are new to the political game.

Ray Rivers is a retired federal civil servant who has been politically active in the Burlington community.  He has a degree in economics and has been writing a column for the Gazette for the past seven years.  when the election is over he will return to writing his second book

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Burlington Chamber of Commerce seems to have forgotten the reason for having democratically elected legislators

By Pepper Parr

May 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In an earlier news report we asked: Why did the Burlington Chamber of Commerce decide the Burlington candidate for the New Blue Party would not be permitted to take part in the Chamber’s Question and Answer session on May 19th?

We now know why.

They were told that they did not poll at least 5% of the vote in the last election.  True – they didn’t exist in the last election.

They do not have a member sitting in the Legislature – not completely true.  The New Party is represented in the Legislature by Belinda Karahalios  who was at one point a member of the Progressive Conservative Party.

Belinda Karahalios was elected as the MPP for Cambridge.  In July of 2020 she was expelled from the PC caucus after she voted against Bill 195.

The bill was in its third reading, and would allow the government of Premier Doug Ford to extend or amend some emergency orders a month at a time for up to two years without consulting the legislature.

When she was booted out of the PC party,  Karahalios crossed the floor of the Legislature and declared herself a member representing the New Blue Party.   Crossing the floor is nothing knew – it happens federally and provincially.

The spirit of a democratic  society is to accept a party that is representative of the community; the New Blue party has 124 people nominated and running election campaigns across the province.  To put it more bluntly – the New Blue have a candidate running in every riding in the province as do the New Democrats and the Progressive Conservatives.  The Liberal Party has 122 candidates.

Allison McKenzie: New Blue candidate for Burlington,

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce needs to take another hard look at the decision they have made and welcome Allison McKenzie, candidate as the candidate for the New Blue Party in Burlington.

Personally, I am not a fan of the party and most of the positions they have taken.

I am a fan and a strong believer in fairness and openness.  The New Blue belong at the table.

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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Fund raiser for the Ukrainian refugees held on Saturday

By Pepper Parr

May 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The community is going to have to get used to supporting those Ukrainians who arrive in Canada for some time.

Most arrive with their papers and a single suitcase with children in tow.

Canada may accept as many as 10,000 refugees, some will stay and become Canadian citizens.

For the immediate future we are going to have to give them the essentials, support them while they adapt and adjust.

And that requires federal support, provincial support, municipal support and cold hard cash that can be handed out.

Saturday afternoon a small crowd filled barely half of the pews at St.Christophers xxx Church on Guelph Line to listen to:

Jeff Madden, who starred as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys and Kevin in the ensemble cast of Come From Away, showed was a consummate professional can do.  Andrea Battista is a violinist with the Burlington Symphony Orchestra and Chair of the Burlington Arts and Culture Council of Burlington accompanied Jeff Madden on the piano.

Cozens playing the accordion while Maier actually got a pleasant sound out of a saw.

Charles Cozens and Colin Maier are the duo, JoyRide. Cozens, a renown accordionist performed while Maier, who plays 14 different instruments, including a household saw bought at a Home Hardware store.  He pulled an interesting version of Ava Maria out of the piece of metal and a bow string.

A young child plucks out a tune with members of a six part ensemble.

GuZheng Group presents young people on the Chinese Zither, a harpsichord-like instrument. Dressed in traditional costumes, this ensemble is amazing to watch.

Several Ukrainian churches have pulled together a choir to perform.

A Bandura duo performed on the traditional Ukrainian lute-like instrument.

The closing act was the the young company of the Tyrsa Ukrainian Dancers. They make your blood run faster.

A young woman playing the Zither.

The event raised $1500 – every little bit counts.

The audience was asked to remain masked during the performances

There will be other events – and in time, when the Ukrainians fighters prevail and the Russians leave the country – the world will have to pull together and help rebuild the country. The devastation is almost beyond imagination.

Right now we have to take care of the people who have arrived in Canada.

The Saturday event was put on by One Burlington in co-operation with the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Holy Protection of the Mother of God.

One Burlington has been presenting events since 2017. It is dedicated to bringing people together to learn more about each other to create understanding and acceptance. Their website is at oneburlington.net

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Is it Kate or Kathleen? Both JBH nurses were recognized by their peers and given Celebrating Excellence Awards

By Staff

May 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We all know just how hard the nurses work, how critical they are to a solid recovery  but if asked to name two  most people would not have an answer

In honour of #NursesWeek2022, the Joseph Brant Hospital has announced the recipients of the  Celebrating Excellence Awards.

The nursing community recognizes that everyone at JBH works together to contribute to the care of their patients and to the patient experience.

Kathleen and Kate were nominated by their peers

Is this Kate or Kathleen ?

Is this Kate or Kathleen?

1️⃣Kathleen went above and beyond to ensure the best possible patient care for a very sick young patient who required a transfer to a hospital in Toronto. We were short-staffed on night shift and received notice shortly before shift change that a hospital in Toronto had a bed available for this patient who had been waiting several days for the transfer for specialized surgery. Kathleen worked a 17-hour shift, staying late to transport the patient to ensure that they received the care they needed. She knew the patient well, and provided continuity of care and reassurance to the family by seeing them through to the next steps in the patient’s care.

2️⃣Kate is a strong leader on the unit in two areas. Her approach with patients with challenging behaviours is calm, compassionate and therefore she is able to connect to them. This positively influences their patient experience here at JBH. She is an amazing role model to others with patients and families see this compassion as well.

Secondly, Kate is a leader with staff by supporting them throughout the shift, offering help and building the team to complete all the patients care needs by the end of the shift. This team work positively influences the patient experience.

The format in which the pictures came to us didn’t say who was 1 and who was two.  Maybe the readership can help us out.  Kudo’s to both women!

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Repair Cafe partners with Burlington Green to make a Saturday a very sustainable day for everyone

By Jason Octavo

May 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With just a little funding from the city the Repair Café has managed to serve people in a really very useful way. They fix broken household items.

Their fourth, or was it their fifth Repair Café event, this one as part of a joint effort with Burlington Green at the Burlington Centre Hub, they GET DATA

Man with girls fixing “the Claw toy” is Gary Kirkwood. – Fixing blinds is Mike Rooks. Blinds are not are usual repair item. Lady was thrilled to have one set repaired at the April 9th session, she brought in another.

The idea for a repair Café came out of the Netherlands about 15 years ago. There are now more than 2000 Repair Cafes operating – Burlington started in 2029.

Once a month, the project operates in a different location within the city to attract new residents.

Lawson Hunter, organizer of the Repair Cafe events explaining what the groups manages to get done.

They are always on the lookout for people who are handy with a screw driver – people can volunteer by going to their Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/Burlington.Canada.

Repair Cafe can be reached by email at – burlingtonrepaircafe@cogeco.ca.

15 items were brought in, 10 repaired.

BurlingtonGreen invited the Repair team to take part in what was an their Electronics Recycling Drive Thru.

When the Fire department gave up on collecting electronic waste Burlington Green saw an opportunity to fill a community need.

The next Repair Cafe will be in conjunction with the Aldershot BIA Outdoor Markets Tuesdays June 7, July 5, and August 9 from 3pm to 7pm at Whiteoaks Plaza 195 Plains Rd. E.

The Repair Cafe took place at The Hub, a space within the Burlington Centre is made available to community Groups.

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Just how is Burlington going to create the housing people can afford? There is a process and it is complex

By Pepper Parr

May 13th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Part 1 of a four part series

Every month the Rocca Sisters Team sends out a report on housing sales – both condominiums and ground based homes.

Their most recent report was published earlier this week.  See the link below

Housing is all about dollars for the buyers and the sellers and the real estate community.

The Rocca people are at that ground level where people feel what is taking place.

The bureaucrats and the politicians, the people who create policies, make changes to the Official Plan and the bylaws that set out what can be built where and by whom.

That level is quite a bit more complex.

This development did not require approval by city council – it met the Official Plan requirement and applicable zoning bylaws. The city does have site plan approval and the right to include inclusionary zoning rules which cannot be appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal

Burlington is going through provincially mandated intensification.

The planning department staff has mushroomed to double what it was a year and a half ago.

Development applications at one point overwhelmed staff – so much so that the city had to create an Interim Control Bylaw which halted all development in the Urban Growth Centre – that boundary that has very few straight lines and changed frequently.

The Interim Control Bylaw is no longer with us, the Urban Boundary is now cast in stone and the bureaucracy runs much more smoothly.

Don’t take that to mean there isn’t all that much happening.

Alison Enns, planning lead of a team of planners putting together a Housing Strategy that will be presented to Council in June.

There is a Steering Group made up of Senior Staff who serve as oversight with what gets done at the Housing Strategy Group that is headed up by Alison Enns. This is the group that has been holding virtual on line meetings for close to a year; they also love surveys. They have gotten into the habit of doing very small mini surveys during the virtual events to get a sense as to how their audience is reacting to the work they are doing.

The work is very technical, complex and necessary. Building a community is a lot more than cement trucks, steel girders and cranes arriving at a construction site.

There is also a Working Group on Housing. This group is radically different than the Housing Strategy Group – it is made up of volunteers that were screened before being part of the Group. They do quite a bit of their work offline – they have in the past limited public participation in some of their events..

Those three levels are the basics of how plans for creating the housing that has to be built actually gets done.

At the very bottom of the hierarchy of groups involved in housing is the work being done by the planners who are putting the final pieces together for the MTSA sites. Major Transportation Service Areas are basically the GO stations.

The critical important element in the MTSA’s is the ability to include inclusionary zoning.

These were first call transportation hubs – and there were four of the. The one located in downtown Burlington at the bus terminal was not much more than a place where people could buy bus tickets. It was enough for a developer with a smart lawyer to convince the then OMB that the developer should be permitted to build a 26 story structure that is currently going up floor by floor.

Inclusionary zoning, also known as inclusionary housing, refers to municipal and county planning ordinances that require a given share of new construction to be affordable by people with low to moderate incomes.

Inclusionary zoning typically creates housing for households earning too much to be eligible for social housing but not enough to be able to afford market rents or prices. These “low- to moderate-income households” generally fall between the 30th and 60th percentile of the income distribution.

All three are about 1000 yards from each other.

The developers have focused on high end condominiums on choice close to the lake properties. No affordable housing those buildings.

Public pressure and a lot of concern on the part of anyone who is looking for a place to live has brought Burlington to where it is in terms of creating housing people can afford.

This is part 1 of the series the Gazette is doing on the progress that has been made to resolve the housing problem

There is more to come.

Related news stories:

The Rocca SIsters – price report

How a transit station resulted in a high rise no one wanted.

CORE gets to build in a site that could have been a spectacular location.

 

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NDP candidate Andrew Drummond expects to win this election in Burlington

By Jason Octavo

May 13th 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The race for the provincial seat in Burlington is being hotly contested.

Andrew Drummond, who has been the NDP candidate for the last three provincial elections, believes that based on the last election results (he got 29% of the vote) he is the man to beat this time out.

Andrew spent his childhood in Kingston where he attended high school and went on to earn a degree in history at University of Waterloo.

Door to door – harvesting votes

He is currently the product manager for Rogers Cable where he markets the business product coast-to-coast. He is responsible for ensuring distribution and sales to small and medium businesses that want a basic cable internet solution.

Realizing that Drummond is now in fill election mode he said that Burlington needs the NDP a strong community voice. “I think local representation really matters,” said Drummond. “We need someone who’s going to both stand up for Burlington at the government table and get the things that Burlington needs.”

Jane McKenna, the current MPP, has decided to run for the Regional Chair. Drummond pulled in a strong 29th against the Progressive Conservative candidate.

Andrew got 29% of the votes four years ago. This time, he has high hopes that he will win this election. “The candidate for a riding should be the best available for the job. “To be perfectly honest, the way things are going here we expect to win this one.”

Drummond loves going door to door and meeting people face to face. “It’s the best way to have a conversation,” said Drummond. “The only way you’re going to understand what people are actually worried about in this community is if you go and talk to them.”

Drummond was born into a political household. His parents managed Flora McDonald’s campaigns in Kingston. He grew up spending days in playpens in campaign offices. Starting from the 1999 provincial election, he grew into thinking about the NDP. And then in 2006, he was certain this was the party that really represented him and the people’s values of Ontario.

Spencer Smith Park is photo op central for the political set.

For the last four years, his message in the articles he has written is to highlight things that often fall under the radar. A good example of this is a piece he wrote about Woman’s Place. He had attended their Gala. However, after he looked at their financial records, he learned that government funding was going down, and they needed to hire private professional fundraisers in order to make up that gap. He wanted to make sure that people, especially women fleeing abusive relationships are properly protected.

Running as NDP, Andrew finds his biggest struggle is the split between federal and provincial branches.

In order to improve his chances in winning this year’s election, he started working the day after the election he lost. “When I lost that election, I realized if I have the time, the effort and the money to do this, I can win this riding and I’ve spent the last four years talking to people setting up events, writing articles, meeting with community groups advocating for different causes, and most importantly, building the team and getting the fund raising in place – very necessary to run a proper campaign,” said Drummond.

We’ll find out if the NDP is going to get those votes on Election Day.

NDP candidate Andrew Drummond expects to win this election in Burlington

 

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Two weekend events taking place that will support Ukrainian refugees

By Staff

May 13th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The federal government has chartered three aircraft to bring Ukrainian refugees to Canada.

Across the country local groups are holding events to raise funds.

Tyrsa Ukrainian Dancers.

This weekend there will be a One Burlington event, the group that celebrates faith, culture and embraces diversity; they are hosting a fund raising concert for Ukraine

The event will take place at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church on Saturday, May 14, 2022 – 2:00 pm

Several Ukrainian churches have pulled together a choir to perform. .

A Bandura duo will perform on this traditional Ukrainian lute-like instrument. The closing act will be a presentation by the young company of the Tyrsa Ukrainian Dancers.

The funds raised will go to the Canada Ukraine Foundation.

On Sunday, May 15th, 2022 resident at a Mapleview condo are exhibiting art work; the proceeds will be donated to Ukrainian refugees.

Lynda Jones, part of that group that painted aluminian cut outs of the maple leaf with different designs.  They sold out all of them at $750 each.

The event on Sunday is being put together by the same people.  They have about 150 painting that will be sold with every penny going to the Ukrainian Council of Canada.

The group have been putting poster up all over town promoting the event.  They were delighted when Starbucks took in a poster. “We spend an hour a day handing out posters said Jones who added that “the painting on sale are priced well below the rate they would normally get.”

There is a security gate at the condo – just press the button – tell security you are going to the art show in the party room.  There is outdoor parking for about 50 vehicles.

 

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Repair Cafe to set up at the Burlington Centre on Saturday.

By Staff

May 12th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Repair Café

This Saturday, May 14th from 10am to 2pm in conjunction with BurlingtonGreen, at the Burlington Centre (Mall), in the community room they call The Hub.

Burlington has hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who took early retirement or put in their 25 years and stopped punching a clock – and are looking for something to do that appeals to their better selves.

Some serve on committees, others join service clubs and others come up with an idea of their own and look for ways to make it happen.

That s what resulted with the Repair Cafe.  With a little bit of seed money the team is able to rent some space and invite people to bring in their broken household appliances which they team does their best to fix free.  All the person with that broken hair drier has to do is pay for any parts.

 

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Lots going on in ward 1- Councillor Galbraith opens the kimono a little

By Pepper Parr

May 12th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Galbraith meeting with constituents shortly after being elected

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith met with his constituents last night – it’s been literally years since he held a meeting.

Corvid prevented anything live so he did nothing.

Other members of Council did ward meetings that were hybrid – ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns led that way with regular meetings for her ward.

Bentivegnia has chosen to hold open door session and talk to whoever shows up.

To the best of our knowledge ward 3 Councillor Nisan has not met with his constituents but he is out knocking on doors.

Ward 3 Councillor Nisan

His personal and family health views keep him at home participating virtually in all city matters.

The Mayor has relied on Cogeco TV and radio to reach out to the public. She has so far not held an event where she can be held directly accountable.

Galbraith did quite well last night – a more detailed follow up on that meeting will be published – we are still waiting for a copy of his presentation.

He did come out with a statement on the status of LaSalle Park which certainly surprised us.

The Marina issues were another matter – the best Galbraith could do was assure those taking part in his meeting was that city hall is doing everything they can to resolve the insurance cover concern.

There is still some critical and vital information on that insurance mess that the public isn’t being made aware of at this point.

The property, the marina and the city of Hamilton are a toxic mix that could explode at any time despite the efforts being made at several levels to keep a lid on it all.

How this property line came about is an interesting story

The city currently has a long term lease with the city of Hamilton for the LaSalle Park property – the rate was $1.

Galbraith said last night that it was his hope that Hamilton will see their way to putting that current lease back in force for another 25 years.
The way things were done 25 years ago is not the way things between municipalities are done these days.

When former Mayor Rick Goldring took a shot at annexing part of Waterdown during the 2018 election Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberg didn’t take all that kindly to the suggestion.

Former Burlington city manager James Ridge listening to former Hamilton city manager Chris Murray who apparently said no to a sweet deal lease renewal for LaSalle Park

When James Ridge was city manager he started talks with then Hamilton city manager Chris Murray – but they didn’t get very far.

Awkward set of circumstances in play – it will be interesting to see how it works out.
Will Mayor Meed Ward slip over to Hamilton and take Eisenberg out for dinner and see if something can be worked out?

Is anyone lobbying the members of Hamilton city council – that’s the level at which the rubber is going to hit the road.

Related news story.
How former Mayor, the late Walter Mulkewich did the deal that had the city renting for 25 years

What does it cost to operate LaSalle Park?

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Green candidate Kyle Hutton looking for 15% of the popular vote in Burlington

By Jason Octavo

May 12th 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

My task for the day was to interview Kyle Hutton, candidate for the Green Party in the upcoming election.

Kyle went to high school at M.M Robinson. He was there until Grade 10 before he dropped out due to circumstances as a teenager. However, he did complete a GED at Gary Allan High School. Afterwards, he went to Sheridan College at Oakville for the GAS program. He has lived in Brant Hills for about 20 years.

Kyle believes the key to a better economy is to lower taxes and gas prices. “Get down those costs, so that the next time we’re faced with a situation where our gas is going up to $2 a litre,” said Hutton. He also believes the amount of rental and housing laws that we’re facing is absurd. “For somebody just coming out of the pandemic, they can’t afford to live here,” said Hutton.

This is the first time that Kyle is being nominated as a leader of a party. So he may not have the experience as a candidate. However, as a full-time worker, he believes he can use his struggles in affording to live in this city to bring attention to these issues. And to finally have somebody in office who’s going to really talk about them and provide solutions.

Kyle believes the key to a better Ontario is by tackling the climate crisis. “Climate change is the crisis of the century,” said Hutton. “It’s killing our planet and its killing people. Kyle is worried that people are expecting future generations to deal with climate change; the time to deal with climate change is now.

“I love meeting people at their door, even if they’re just saying something like, oh, thank you very much and they just take the election literature.
said Hutton. “I think the interactions are good – people in Burlington are extremely polite”.

The Greens are focused on building a sustainable and renewable economy. “This economy that we’re living in right now, we have polluters continuing on their merry way, and we have a gas economy in the country that’s focused on propping up lots of new roads while everybody’s trying to get off to them,” said Hutton.

The Green Party is the only one right now that’s admitting ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) is actually in poverty. “The only solution we can do to lift people out of poverty is to double ODSP,” said Hutton. “They have laws around ODSP, if you make more than $200 for a job, ODSP gets clawed back.”

Kyle says that public transit is worked around poorly. “When I was going to college at Sheridan, I would have to get on the bus. Go down to the GO Station probably waited 15 minutes for the train to arrive. And then I’d go to Oakville, wait for the buses there to go to Sheridan College. Overall, that took me 45 minutes to an hour to get from Brant & Upper Middle to Trafalgar,” said Hutton.

Kyle is tired of receiving decades of empty promises from governments. He has been living long enough to be around all three parties in power in this province. He is confident that not much has changed.

Kyle is hoping to aim for between 15 and 20 percent of the votes. If his party begins to really catch fire, he’ll go as far as intending to win.

We’ll see if the Green Party can make deeper inroads as the election moves forward.

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Chamber limits which political parties can take part in their all candidate event.

By Staff

May 12, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce will be holding an all candidates event on May 19th, 2022.

It starts at 7:30 am – will take place at the Holiday Inn.

The Chamber has sponsored this event for all the federal and provincial elections for decades.

It isn’t an actual debate – those attending can write out a question which gets screened – the objective is to merge similar questions.

The Gazette learned late yesterday that the New Blue Conservative party had asked to take part in the event and were turned away.

Progressive Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats and the Green Party are understood to be taking part.

 

The political party that didn’t get invited

It was too late in the day to ask questions of the Chamber.

Our question is: Why?

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Brynn Nheiley announced as Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility

By Staff

May 12, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington announced the hiring of Brynn Nheiley as the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility.

Nheiley has nearly seven years of public sector experience, including three years at the City of Burlington as the Manager of Development & Design in the Community Planning Department.

Brynn Nheiley

As the Manager of Development & Design, Nheiley led a number of initiatives that has led to improvements in development planning that support better outcomes for Council, residents and staff; these include:

Establishing a two-stage reporting strategy in order to provide Council with the opportunity to make a decision on an application within the legislated timeline, while also enabling the flexibility for staff to work with applicants to create the best planning outcome for development applications.

Bringing together staff from key departments to collaboratively build a development review process that gives applicants a single point of contact, and single application to satisfy multiple pre-approvals, from multiple departments, which are required before a building permit can be applied for.>

Bringing together a management team that included staff from building, planning, forestry, site engineering and Information Technology Services departments in order to launch an entirely digital review process for all forms of development applications. The result was that the City’s development review process was delayed by less than two months from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to working at the City of Burlington, Brynn worked for the City of Hamilton as a Senior Planner and as the Acting Director of Planning and Building Services for the Town of Antigonish in Nova Scotia.

Brynn has a Masters of Planning from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Architectural Science from Ryerson University.

 

 

 

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Ward 1 Councillor Galbraith to face his constituents this evening.

By Staff

May 11th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith – wearing a smile seldom seen.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith is holding a hybrid ward meeting this evening – starts at 6:30

The event is to take place at St. Matthews on Plains Road.

May 11, 2022 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

In – Person: St. Matthews on Plains, Lower Level, 126 Plains Rd. E,

Virtual – on Zoom

 Zoom Meeting Link

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82716602776?pwd=QWxjbmNqeWhMdGFodjJ5NWxkcVYxUT09

 Meeting ID: 827 1660 2776

Passcode: 63JvEs

The potential for a boisterous meeting is certainly there: the Maria issue, development at Eagle Heights and concerns from Aldershot resident about how unavailable they feel Galbraith has been.

It will be interesting to see how he handles him.

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This is your Burlington!

By Staff

May 11th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is your Burlington!

Jason Octavo  is doing some election coverage for the Gazette.

He is new to Burlington. He did a short interview at a restaurant and then headed for Spencer Smith Park – he’d never seen the place before.

The size of the open grounds, the Naval memorial and the Pier was not what he expected to see.

The Cherry Blossom trees were in full bloom.. The proper name for the trees is – Sakura trees. He took a number of pictures which we are sharing with you.

I wonder if the man who donated the cherry blossom trees ever knew how much they are enjoyed.

In 1989, a twinning agreement was signed between Burlington and Itabashi, Japan the two cities and the relationship has since developed through regular citizen visits, official delegations and anniversary celebrations.

Mayor Goldring recognized Mr. Enomoto, the man who donated the trees many years ago,  for his unwavering spirit of generosity and commented on the long-standing friendship between Burlington and Itabashi.

Every year they blossom for a very short period of time, then the blooms fall away.

When the blossoms are blooming Spencer Smith Park is a destination

This is your Burlington.

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There goes the football and the opportunity to do some spectacular planning

By Pepper Parr

May 11th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

WHERE   While much of the recent attention has been on the ongoing saga related to the Waterfront Hotel site, under the radar there has been a lot happening at the Ontario Land Tribunal.

The Lakeshore (Burlington) Inc.(referred to as a Carnicelli development) that would be built on the east end of the football.

Within two hours of city council announcing publicly that it intends to oppose the Lakeshore (Burlington) Inc. application for a high-rise building at the easterly tip of the Old Lakeshore Planning Precinct (“the Football”), the Ontario Land Tribunal issued its decision for the 27-storey high rise development proposed by CORE  Development applications, immediately next door. We find it odd that the public was not advised by city council that a hearing was being held for the Core applications yet now makes public statements about another appeal.

How did this one get away?

The city went to some lengths last week to explain how and why they were appealing the Ontario Land Tribunal decision on the Carnicelli (Lakeshore (Burlington) Inc.)  development on the eastern side of where Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road meet.

There are a lot of questions to be asked about how the opportunity got away.

There was the hope as far back as the 2010 election that something unique would be built in this space. Instead developers bought up the properties and sought to develop high rise towers. This was the second lost opportunity in this part of town.

Later in the day while Council was debating a decision from the OLT on the Carniceli development the OLT released their decision on the CORE development.

The two are side by side in the football.  That brings to an end any opportunity to do something smart and spectacular with the space between the Old and the current Lakeshore Road.

In its decision, the Tribunal states:

This isn’t what citizens were expecting. It appears to be what they are going to get.

“The Tribunal finds that the proposed instruments [applications] constitute good planning. It finds that they facilitate development that is compatible with the existing and planned context and will make a positive contribution to the area in terms of improvement to the public realm, access to the waterfront, and built form, while optimizing the use of under-utilized lands through appropriate intensification for the area. Taking these factors into account, the Tribunal finds that the proposed instruments are in the public interest.”

In addition, the tribunal was not convinced by the testimony of the special planning consultant hired by the city to oppose the development or the city’s urban designer.

A Gazette reader described the decision:  “The failures at the Ontario Land Tribunal keep adding up for Mayor Meed Ward. We are not aware of a single hearing the city has won since she became mayor. What has become clear through several decisions from the tribunal is that the new Official Plan that the mayor boasts about has no legal status at appeal hearings because it has been appealed. Consequently, the evidence put forward by the city is based on the old Official Plan — the same one that has been confirmed to be out of date and non-compliant with existing provincial policies. In other words, the city’s witnesses have no real defence and are left blowing in the wind without approved policies to support them.”

How is that idea going at this point.

“How will the city fare at the Lakeshore (Burlington) Inc. hearing? Only time will tell, but it will certainly be a rough ride.

While Meed Ward ran on a populist, anti-development platform promising the world to the public, her ability to deliver on her promises is nothing more than a dismal and complete failure.

Related news stories:

The development on the eastern end.

The idea that CORE development brought to the table

 

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Price of everything is going up: Food Bank donations are not rising - but the need is

By Pepper Parr

May 10th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The squeeze is on – everywhere.

Gas prices are sucking up more of the budget than usual and it doesn’t sound as if they is going to change for a while.

Food prices are higher – you see that every week when the cashier ask if that is debit, credit or cash?

Households that usually picked up an extra jar of peanut butter or cans of salmon, peas or corn don’t do that as frequently

This crew just showed up one day with a vehicle full of food asking – where do we put it?

The drop offs at the Food Bank are not as frequent.

What hasn’t changed is the need from those less fortunate or those whose employers are still coping with Covid19 restrictions.

Things were approaching the normal we all wanted – then food and gas prices reached new highs.

The war in Ukraine has something to do with it – most people don’t understand just what the link is.

The Ukrainian community is out fund raising as well – and if anyone needs some help – the Ukrainians certainly do.  That war is one we cannot lose

All the food that comes in has to be put through COVID19 procedures – then onto shelves where it gets picked to be put in hampers that go to households. It runs pretty smoothly by volunteers who have everything down pretty pat.

All this cascades on to Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank, who has to find that balance between what comes in as food donations and what he has to buy with his very limited resources.

Bailey thinks there might be an opportunity to involve students in the drive to get food into the shelves at the food bank ready for distribution.
Giving is natural, people just give – Bailey hopes there is an opportunity to involve students who may donate as little as a can of peaches – it has to start somewhere.

Let’s see how that idea pans out. It certainly has merit.

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Rocca Sisters on Real Estate: It is still a sellers market but things are begin to open up for buyers

By Staff

May 10th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Rocca Sisters have been on the front line of residential property sales for at least a decade.

They monitor and analyze each market in Burlington and present updated data every month.

Their Market Insight Report for residential properties documents what has taken place – it has been a wild ride.

During April 2022 for Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, and Greater Hamilton, the market has continued to change.

Understanding how to navigate this transition to get the best results whether selling or buying is crucial.

The Rocca Sisters have the real estate market transitioning from an overheated market to currently a Sellers market and what is a balanced market on the horizon.

Inflation continues to be high, interest rates continue to rise, our province has moved into a new world of “normal”, people are living, travelling and rethinking their plans. The unrest of what will happen in the world with Russia and Ukraine is still looming over us, which puts most people in a questionable state. What we know is that there are still great opportunities for Sellers and finally options and opportunities for buyers.

During the month of April, we have continued to see a shift in the market. The average price for a freehold property in Burlington was $1,510,482 last month and was $1,476,711 at the end of April, however still 18% higher than April 2021 when we saw the average price at $1,248,805 and year over year average sale price is still up 23%. During the month of April, properties sold for 106% of the listed price down from 116% last month and in 8 days, on average, up slightly from 6 days last month, but down year over year from 10days in 2021. Inventory has increased 53% from March to April, which of course plays a role in this adjusting market, regardless, we are still ahead year over year.

During the month of April, the average price for a condo apartment in Burlington was $739,000, down from $797,000 last month, however up 21% from $609,000 the same month last year. The price per square foot was down in April at $770, compared to $791 last month, however up almost 22% from the same month last year. In April, properties sold for 105% of the listed price, down from 111% last month. Days on market are up slightly from 8 to 11 days but down from 14days year over year. Like the Freehold market, the condo market has begun to shift. Although, like all markets, inventory levels still lend to a Sellers market, the condition and results show we continue to transition into a balanced market, but are still in a strong Sellers market.

 

What Does All of This Mean

This month we have witnessed bigger changes in the marketplace, however when we put it all into perspective and analyze it as a whole, we are still in a very strong market. One where Sellers can still capitalize on values we would have never seen 2 years ago, let alone 12 months ago.

Buyers are finally getting a break with inventory options – and although we have 4x more inventory then we did a couple of months ago, the inventory levels still dictate a Sellers market. What is happening and what is going to happen you ask? Well, we all knew our overheated market was not sustainable, this was to be expected.

The market is transitioning and of course there are several factors playing a hand in this as well; interest rate increases, the unrest of the looming War, high inflation, and of course the media which has made some people pause and question what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. We are reaching new levels of “normality”, people are being called back to the workplace, and of course with the market changes, some buyers are reconsidering where they are going or what they are doing for the interim.

What we must all keep in mind is that Sellers still are farther ahead today then a year ago, they are still in a great Sellers market, and one that will definitely continue to transition with time so capturing that now is key. For Buyers, well I don’t know any Buyer that tried to time the market and was successful, if it happens organically great, but the reality is that Buyers are in a way better position with more options, less competition and possibly a bit of negotiating power than they were a couple months ago. Why wait — one thing we know for sure is that historically, when our marketplace shifts, it is typically 60days on average before it begins to upswing. We may see some ironing out between now and mid-late summer, but the opportunities for buyers are now.

 

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