Burlington Arts and Culture Fund ready to accept applications: $75,000 on the table

By Staff

January 3rd, 2024



The City of Burlington is inviting artists to apply for the 2024 Burlington Arts and Culture Fund (BACF).

This is an annual grant program that provides $75,000 of total available funding to local artists, multicultural groups and arts and culture organizations to foster creativity and enrich how Burlington residents experience and engage with arts and culture.

Applications will be accepted until noon on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024 and will fund projects from April 2024 to March 2025. Successful grant applicants will be announced at the beginning of April 2024.

To be eligible for BACF funding, applicants must be located in Burlington and must be:

  • An incorporated not-for-profit arts and culture organization or a charitable arts and culture organization;
  • An individual artist or arts and cultural collective (defined as three or more individuals) that exhibit high achievement in arts and culture programming;
  • A multicultural group that fulfills a significant role in the Burlington community through the arts and culture.

Grants will be evaluated in part by a peer jury for artistic merit and by City staff for program merit and strategic initiative, citywide and community impact and economic impact.

To learn more about this fund, the jury opportunity and the application process join City staff and arts and culture professionals for a virtual information session on:

Date:               Monday, Jan. 15, 2024
Time:               7 to 8 p.m.
Location:        Microsoft Teams

Applications can be completed and submitted online at burlington.ca/artsandculturefund.

For more information, contact Angela Paparizo, Manager of Arts and Culture, 905-335-7600, ext. 7352 or email angela.paparizo@burlington.ca.

Burlington is a city where people, nature and businesses thrive. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at burlington.ca/subscribe and follow @CityBurlington on social media.

Emilie Cote, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture

Emilie Cote, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture

“Burlington’s Arts and Culture Fund fosters creativity at all levels and enriches how Burlington residents engage with arts and culture. It is important that diverse identities, perspectives, languages, cultures and various artistic practices be recognized, experienced and supported and this fund helps to do so. Since 2019, this grant benefits a variety of arts and cultural activities, adding vibrancy across Burlington.

Our city’s growing creative and culturally diverse community continues to create projects and evolve through this process. We invite any Burlington-based artists thinking about applying for the grant on Jan. 15, hearing about their ideas and receiving their applications.”

Links and Resources


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Who Is The Best Hockey Player To Come From Burlington?

 By Ewan Webb

January 3rd, 2024



Burlington, Ontario, is a hockey-crazed city just outside Toronto and a mere few miles west of the United States border. Burlington is known for its enthusiastic fandom of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a city that is home to many National Hockey League greats. These include Dale Hawerchuk, owner of 1409 points. However, it is essential to remember some hockey players that came out of Burlington specifically, not just the greater Toronto area. This article will look at the five best professional hockey players from Burlington.

5 | Shane Wright

Wright signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Kraken and has already made waves.

The topic of professional hockey players from Burlington may be buzzing more than usual, thanks to Shane Wright. The 19-year-old center from Burlington could be an NHL odds favorite to top this list in a few years. A gold medalist for the Canadian under-18 team in 2021, Wright was projected to be the #1 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Entry draft by many experts. However, he fell to the #4 overall pick, eclipsing Adam Creighton as the highest pick out of Burlington. Wright signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Kraken and has already made waves.

Wright was one of the last players cut from Kraken training camp and scored four goals and six points overall in his first seven games with Seattle’s top minor league affiliate. This included a streak of three consecutive games with a goal. He’s good enough that he needed an exception to avoid playing in juniors this season because his play was too advanced for the fellow teenagers he’d face in the Ontario Hockey League. He may not be a factor at the NHL level yet, but he will be soon.


Mark Reeds, known for his post-playing coaching career.

4| Mark Reeds

Known more for his post-playing coaching career, Reeds was born in Toronto but grew up in Burlington. He played his junior hockey with the Toronto Marlboros before moving on to the Peterborough Petes. The St. Louis Blues eventually drafted him in the 5th round of the 1979 NHL Entry draft.

Reeds spent nearly three full seasons with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles in the Central Hockey League before getting his shot in St. Louis, making the most of it. In four full seasons with the Blues, Reeds averaged a respectable 31 points per season, including a career-high 39 in 1984-85. After retiring, he spent 15 seasons as a coach between minor league hockey teams before being named head coach of the Owen Sound Attack. He won the J. Ross Robertson Cup in his final season before joining the Ottawa Senators as an assistant.

3| Ron Sedlbauer

Sedlbauer jumped between Vancouver, the Seattle Totems, and the Tulsa Oilers for nearly five seasons, even as he played at almost a full-time level in Vancouver.

No player on this list had a roller coaster career like Ron Sedlbauer. Born in Burlington in 1954 and drafted 23rd overall by the Vancouver Canucks 20 years later, Sedlbauer jumped between Vancouver, the Seattle Totems, and the Tulsa Oilers for nearly five seasons, even as he played at almost a full-time level in Vancouver. Despite his constant changes of scenery, Sedlbauer had a breakout season in 1978-79, scoring 56 points and 40 goals for the Canucks. He went on to play for the Chicago Black Hawks and Toronto Maple Leafs before calling it a career. He still lives in Burlington and is the Burlington Cougars Jr. A hockey club president.

2 | Josh Anderson

Columbus Blue Jackets took Anderson in the 4th round of the 2012 NHL Entry draft, where he spent six seasons.

The only current player on this list, Anderson was born in 1994 and spent his early days playing both hockey and baseball. He was eligible to be drafted in the 2010 Ontario Hockey League Entry Draft, but every team passed over the undersized 16-year-old. Two years later, the Columbus Blue Jackets took Anderson in the 4th round of the 2012 NHL Entry draft, where he spent six seasons. Since 2016-17, he has averaged 59 games per season and scored 208 points, including 126 goals. He had a career year in 2018-19 for a playoff-bound Blue Jackets team, scoring 47 points, the 4th most on the team.

1 | Adam Creighton

Adam Creighton had hockey in his blood.

Until Wright’s selection in the 2022 draft, no player from Burlington had been selected higher in the NHL Entry draft than Creighton, and for good reason. Born in 1965 to former NHL center Dave Creighton, Adam had hockey in his blood. Taking after his father, Creighton played center well enough to be drafted #11 overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. Creighton immediately found his way onto the ice as an 18-year-old, playing seven games the year he was drafted and scoring two goals. By 1988, he had become a regular, but Buffalo traded him to Chicago that same year. The following season, he played in all 80 games and scored a career-high 70 points with 34 goals.

To date, no player from Burlington has scored more points than Creighton. After his last professional tournaments in 1999, Creighton became a scout for the Boston Bruins.

What Kind Of Hockey Town Is Burlington?

Toronto is known for the Maple Leafs, and while it’s a suburb, Burlington shares that identity. The hockey pedigree of this town is strong, with Creighton leading the charge and Wright moving up the ranks. Burlington should continue to grow that resume. Look out for Wright in Seattle these next few seasons, and expect to hear more about Burlington when he begins to make an impact.

Somewhere in that crowd you can bet there are people from Burlington.

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Canal bridge closed until late March

By Staff

January 3rd, 2024



The Burlington Canal Lift Bridge will close Jan. 2 to all car, bike and walking traffic and is not expected to reopen until late March.

The closure will allow ongoing rehabilitation of the bridge, which lifts to allow shipping traffic into the harbour and also provides a road link across the canal between Hamilton’s beach strip and Burlington.

Typical day at the Canal that separates Burlington from Hamilton

The latest $21-million overhaul is meant to extend the life of the lift bridge for decades, with major work including replacement of the bridge deck.

The bridge is supposed to reopen March 20, a few days before the 2024 edition of the Around the Bay road race that runs along the waterfront.

The race is slated for March 24.

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Why publish an on line newspaper when media just isn't what it used to be. The Gazette isn't just media - it is Essential Reading

By Pepper Parr

January 27th, 2024



You got here when you clicked on the Essential Reading graphic.  Let me make the decision you made to click worthwhile.

When people ask me what the Gazette is, I tell them it is Essential Reading for people who live in Burlington and want to know what’s going on and what your City Council is doing.  We make that point when we say: Informed people can make informed decisions.

Ensuring that the people you elected are kept transparent and accountable happens when there is fact based media, supported by informed opinion keeping an eye on them.

Who is out there helping you understand what is happening?.  Recall the people who spoke bluntly about the tax increase the city put in place?  You would have read about their delegations in the Gazette

There is a major change in the patio program the city has put in place; what started out as three patios has grown to more than 20 that will pop up on the streets of the city. They are changing the city streetscape with little comment from the public.

The Gazette has been publishing for 12 years.  We are members of the National Newsmedia Council; an organization we are accountable to.

We are experimenting with different ways for readers to interact with the news and opinion we publish because that is what Essential Reading is all about.


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History was made when the first PWHL took to the ice today

By Pepper Parr

January 1st, 2023


New York scored the first goal against Toronto – then added three more in the first game for the new PWHL

It was history in the making as the first game of the Professional Woman’s Hockey League, (PWHL)  faced off at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in the Maple Leaf Gardens that used to be home to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto, one of the six teams in the PWHL, was playing against New York. The other teams are Ottawa, Boston, Montreal and Minnesota.

First goal scored was against Toronto, same with the first penalty.

Billie Jean King dropped the ceremonial puck.

The play-by-play is different, the talent on the ice is professional.

It has been a long time coming.

It was 1-0 against Toronto – here in the second half Toronto misses a chance to even up the game.

There is a Burlington angle to this story. Two of the women who play in the league are Burlington natives. But more importantly, sitting in the stands were a  number of current and former Barracudas watching this monumental moment for women’s hockey.

Will Short, president of the Burlington Girls Hockey Club said: “It is incredibly important for girls to see women playing hockey at the professional level and to be able to aspire to one day do the same.”  He added that he is looking forward to “working with the City of Burlington to balance the ice allocation between the boys and girls hockey associations and to improve existing facilities and build new state of the art multi use facilities to give all Burlington kids a better recreational experience.”


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2024 - How much can we get done this year ?

By Pepper Parr

January 1st, 2024



It’s now ours – 2024.  What are we going to do with it?

Much of it is up to us but let’s start the year with people we care about.

Use the day to reflect on what we have managed to get done and what we can achieve during the year we are into.

Look at our relationships and figure out how we can make them stronger.

Covid seems to have taught us one thing – we need each other.

They served a purpose at the time – but this isn’t the way people were meant to gather.

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Are you aware of the significant drop in living standards the country is facing

By Pepper Parr

December 30th, 2023



While what is local impacts us the most there is a bigger picture that needs to be understood and reacted to.

The top news story in 2023 from Policy Options, a Canadian Think Tank, is disturbing.

The causes of the low productivity of Canadian companies are well known and documented: they invest little, spend less on research and development than those in other rich countries, and have a low propensity to innovate. These behaviours tend to limit their productivity gains and, consequently, restrict the growth of the Canadian economy.

It is difficult to understand why our companies are reluctant to engage in activities that are central to success in comparable countries, or why the federal government continues to let it happen when the result is that the Canadian economy has fallen behind.

There is an urgent need to act because the consequences of inaction are enormous. In 1981, Canadians enjoyed a $3,000 higher per capita standard of living than the major Western economies (adjusted for inflation and currency fluctuations). Forty years later, Canada was $5,000 below that same average. If the trajectory continues, the gap will be nearly $18,000 by 2060. Canada’s Department of Finance has also reported these alarming projections.

In examining why Canadian businesses are so reluctant to invest and innovate, the Centre for Productivity and Prosperity – Walter J. Somers Foundation (CPP) concluded that the problem is a lack of internal competition. Competition among Canadian companies is too weak and simply does not generate the incentives that would normally boost their competitiveness.

Canadian firms operate in small, highly dispersed markets that are very segmented economically and legislatively. They therefore compete much less with each other than American or European firms, which operate in two large, highly unified and integrated domestic markets that provide an adequate level of competitive pressure. This is not the case here: Canadian companies do not need to invest and innovate as much to stand out and maintain their market share. As a result, they are not competitive enough to compete in foreign markets. Growth suffers and the country’s economy stalls.

What makes this problem particularly embarrassing is that the Macdonald Commission clearly identified it in the early 1980s. It even proposed viable solutions – many of which are still applicable.

A free trade agreement, and then… nothing

Unfortunately, our policymakers chose only one solution: a free trade agreement with the United States. Once that agreement was in place, interest in the other options quickly faded and the government of Canada failed to move forward with the required reforms. The consequences of this inaction have been particularly damaging to Canada’s competitiveness and its ability to make the economy grow.

While Canadian exports benefited greatly from the free trade agreement with the United States in the 1990s, this “success” was largely due to the depreciation of the Canadian dollar rather than to the quality and quantity of Canadian investment and innovation. And in the early 2000s, when the Canadian currency began to appreciate against the U.S. dollar, companies from emerging economies quickly outperformed Canadian ones. Our country, inadequately prepared for competition, began its downward spiral, unable to take advantage of global market integration.

Is this what Canadians expect their standard of living to provide? And can this be done with the current competitive policy – protecting business first.

Canada now remains stuck in an interventionist logic dedicated to protecting the immediate interests of Canadian companies. Successive governments have failed to move on from protectionist reflexes and impose the necessary reforms: they should have adjusted the regulatory framework to stimulate the competitiveness of Canadian companies in the domestic market. Instead, Canadian companies continue to operate within an outdated institutional framework that does not value competitive forces.

An OECD index, which assesses the impact of government policies on competition, shows how outdated Canada’s regulatory framework is: Canadian government intervention in economic activity causes more distortion than elsewhere in the West. In addition, barriers to entry in Canada are more numerous and significantly more constraining, and the overall regulatory framework is more restrictive. In other words, Canada will have to work twice as hard to make up for lost time and establish a true competitive culture.

To reverse this downward spiral, the federal government should put competition back at the heart of Canada’s economic strategy. The priority should be to tackle whatever is holding back the development of a strong and resilient domestic market. There are too many regulatory barriers to inter-provincial trade.

When making decisions on competition, Canada should prioritize the interests of consumers rather than the interests of business. That statement should be made twice. If you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce make sure they get the message

No matter how many trade agreements our governments make, growth will remain inadequate and our standard of living will continue to quietly decline unless we put competition back at the heart of Canada’s economic strategy.

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Bringing 2023 to a close - what do we want to achieve in 2024?

By Pepper Parr

December 30th, 2023



As we get ready to close out the year what can we point to as an achievement other than saying we got through the year?

COVID has become a member of the family, the young adults, the people who were expected to be the future leaders, are beginning to realize that unless their parents can help with the down payment on a house, their chances of owning a home are limited.

We have two wars taking place. Everyone is entitled to an opinion on what is taking place in Ukraine, but I know whose side I am on; everyone is aghast at the tragedy taking place in Gaza.

Think the public was looking for a little more than a Declaration

And we aren’t exactly winning on the Climate Change Challenge.  Former Liberal Cabinet Minister Catherine McKenna said: We are 6 years out from 2030 when we need to have reduced emissions by half and we are far off track. But hard things are hard. And we have the solutions.

So – what do we want to do is as we slip into 2024?

I want to be local and look at the challenge we face at the food banks.

Food4Life recently appointed a new Executive Director; she came to Burlington via Hamilton Share, a food distribution network that is partially funded by the City of Hamilton.

The Burlington Food Bank and Food4Life don’t get a nickel from the City of Burlington.  Those organizations are seen is as part of the social support system we have that is the responsibility of the Regional government.  Explain that to the people who have empty shelves in the cupboards.

I don’t recall every hearing Burlington City Council talk about financial support for the food banks nor have I ever heard then speak as a group about the need for support from the Regional government.

This food was the result of what one citizen decided to do. Daryl & Hannah Fowler standing behind the bins. He operates Flashe Gas – check him out

We seem to have chosen to be glum about the challenges we face rather than reaching down for the boot straps and pulling them up.

We tend to look to government for the answers, not fully realizing that we are the government.  The power to make changes is our – we give that power to those we elect and expect them to discern the will of the people and make the choices.

You can watch the first ever game of a professional womans’ hockey league game on Monday. Streamed on CBC GEM – free

Creating the rainbow sidewalks was a good decision but we didn’t have to put them all in place in a single year.  Flag raising is important – in Burlington we seem to do a different flag each week.  They have become photo ops for Council members.

If you want to really start 2024 on a positive note tune into the first-ever regular season Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) game will kick off on January  1 between Toronto and New York.  It is being streamed on the CBC Gem channel – free


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What is the most fascinating thing you learned this year ?

By Pepper Parr

December 29th, 2023



What is the one thing you learned so far this year that fascinated you the most?

While listening to Bob McDonald of Quirks and Quarks on CBC Radio I heard a population expert say that the first person to reach the age of 150 in Canada has already been born.

Use the comments section to share what you learned.

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Food for Life supports four thousand homes each week

By Staff

December 28th, 2023



The New Year is just a few days away.

Food4Life sums up what they have managed to get done before they say goodbye to 2023.

Food4Life Executive Director. Karen Randell

The appointment of a new Executive Director. Karen Randell, who was interim CAO at Hamilton Share before replacing Graham Hill.  She is a graduate of George Brown College who sums up what she has learned in her first six weeks at Food4Life is the talented team they have and the number of volunteers working with them. “We have a different group in here every day” she said.

The Food4Life mission is to rescue as much food as possible from being wasted.  They have equipment on site that converts food that cannot be eaten that converts it to high grade compost.

Ensuring access to healthy, fresh food to neighbours across Hamilton and Halton they have

  • Supported 4,000+ households each week through Food for Life programs and agency partners helping many of our neighbours feel more food secure and live with reduced stress.
  • Prioritized the well-being of people and the planet by ensuring that quality GOOD food is rescued and redirected to people, diverting 7 million kgs of greenhouse gas to protect the planet.
  • Collaborated for deeper impact alongside community and agency partners to align resources, strengthen partnerships, and ensure neighbours are well supported with the resources they need to better their lives.

These are just three of the many impacts you helped make possible in 2023.

All this happens because people support Good for Life financially.  Every $10 donated allow them to rescue and share $62 worth of good food and groceries

Plus, The Sprott Foundation will match all donations made by December 31, 2023 up to $100,000. That means you will have 2X the impact!


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Mayor used her strong Mayor powers to reorganize the way council will work in 2024

By Pepper Parr

December 29th, 2023



They are back at it on the 8th of January.

City Council will be sitting for the most part as a Committee of the Whole with the Mayor in the Chair.

It isn’t all that clear as to how the Committee will handle what used to be done by the three Standing Committees that were in place.

Not a smile on the faces of any of them Council as they adjourned at the last meeting of 2023. Several of them didn’t say a word during the comments part of the meeting; their opportunity to wish their constituents well as they went into the holidays.

It looks as if the Committee of the Whole will hear from the Chairs of the former Standing Committees – and sort of morph into a Standing Committee that is rolling Staff reports up to the  Committee of the Whole.

Question then is – what will a City Council meeting do?

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Will the mayor use her Strong Mayor powers and approve what was done at Committee of the Whole?

This new process will do nothing to encourage people to delegate – who will they be appearing before.

Again – something from the Mayor or an individual Council member would be useful.

Sound confusing?  It is – and there hasn’t been a word, not a single word from any of the former chairs of those Standing Committees is as to how this is going to work out.

What we do know is that the Committee of the Whole will meet for two days – January 8th and 9th.  They have cut the meetings down to two days each cycle.  I suspect they will have difficulty with that but I think we are going to have to wait and see how it works out is as we get into the New Year.

Oanh Kasperski: Director of Corporate Communications and Engagement.

Not a word from the Mayor – so far she hasn’t made a year end statement, which is unusual for her.

There hasn’t been anything from the City Communications department – also unusual given that they recently appointed Oanh Kasperski as the new Director of Corporate Communications and Engagement.  She started her job on December 11th.  No word yet from her.

This Council did not cover itself with is as much is as a fig leaf in 2023.  The last meeting of Council early in December dismal – I’ve never seen such a glum looking group of people in the 12 years I have been cover Burlington’s City Council.

Under the new legislation, O. Reg 180/23 as of July 1, 2023, the Mayor’s powers include:

  • Appoint and dismiss the City Manager as well as the head of any division or the head of any other part of the organizational structure (except statutory municipal officers i.e. City Clerk or Deputy, Treasurer or Deputy, Chief Building Officer and Fire Chief); *
  • Determining the organization structure of the City; *
  • Create committees of Council, assign their functions, and appoint the Chairs and Vice Chairs of committees of Council; *
  • Propose the City’s budget subject to Council amendments, a Mayoral veto, and a Council override process;
  • Submit matters for Council’s consideration, or veto by-laws, if the Mayor believes it will advance a prescribed Provincial Priority; and
  • Direct City staff in writing.

Decision # 7  made on 31st day of October 2023.

Under Bill 3, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022, which amended the
Municipal Act, 2001,
Effective January 1, 2024, in accordance with subsection 226.6 of the Act, I Marianne
Meed Ward, Mayor of the City of Burlington, herby dissolve the following standing
committees as prescribed in the City’s Procedure By-law no. 31 -2021, as amended:
• Committee of the Whole
• Community Planning , Regulation & Mobility Committee
• Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services Committee
• Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability Committee; and
Effective January 1, 2024, in accordance with subsection 226.6 of the Act, I Marianne
Meed Ward, Mayor of the City of Burlington, hereby establish a Committee of the Whole
and Budget Committee with functions assigned as follows:

Committee of the Whole
I. Responsibilities
The Committee of the Whole shall be responsible for considering all matters that
do not properly fall under the jurisdiction of any other existing Standing
Committees. The Committee of the Whole agendas are divided into the following
sections, with a Chair and Vice Chair assigned to each section:
Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility
The Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility section will include matters
relating to:
a) Matters under the jurisdiction of Community Planning, Regulation and
Mobility including; Community Planning, Building, By-law Compliance,
Transit, and Transportation departments;
b) Public hearings pursuant to the Planning Act, RSO 1990, c. P.13, as
c) Matters arising from the following boards and advisory committees:
• Aldershot BIA
• Burlington Chamber of Commerce
• Burlington Downtown Business Association
• Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC)
• Committee of Adjustment
• Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee
• Integrated Transportation Advisory Committee (ITAC)
• Burlington Cycling Advisory Committee
• Burlington Agricultural and Rural Affairs Advisory Committee (BARAAC)
• Downtown Parking Advisory Committee
• Property Standards Committee
Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services
The Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services section will include
matters relating to:
a) Matters under the jurisdiction of the Environment, Infrastructure and
Community Services including; Engineering Services, Recreation,
Community and Culture, Roads, Parks & Forestry, and Fire, Assets and
Sustainability departments;

b) Matters arising from the following boards, committees and advisory
• Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee (BMC)
• Burlington Sustainable Development Committee (SOC)
• Art Gallery of Burlington Board (AGB)
• Burlington Mundialization Committee
• Burlington Museums Board
• Burlington Performing Arts Centre
• Burlington Public Library Board (BPL)
• Burlington Seniors’ Advisory Committee {BSAC)
• Tourism Burlington

Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability
The Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability section will include
matters relating to:
a) Matters under the jurisdiction of the City Manager’s Office, Office of the
City Clerk, Corporate Communications and Engagement, Strategy, Risk
and Accountability, Customer Experience, Finance, Human Resources,
Burlington Digital Services, and Corporate Legal Services departments;
b) All public meetings under the Development Charges Act, 1997, S.O. 1997,
c. 27;
c) Burlington Strategic Plan and Vision to Focus workplan;
d) Matters arising from the following board and advisory committee:
• Burlington Hydro Electric Inc. (SHEi)
• Burlington lnclusivity Advisory Committee (BIAC)

II. Composition
The Committee of the Whole shall be comprised of all members of Council.

Ill. Reporting
The Committee of the Whole reports directly to Council.

Budget Committee

I. Responsibilities
The Budget Committee is responsible for hearing public presentations, receiving
financial reports from staff, and providing advice to the Mayor on the operating
and capital budgets; and making recommendations to Council on any operating
or capital budgets in which the Mayor has a pecuniary interest.

II. Composition
The Budget Committee shall be comprised of all members of Council.
Ill. Reporting
The Budget Committee reports directly to Council.
Dated at Burlington, this 31st day of October 2023.
Original Signed by
Mayor Meed Ward

Decision # 8 ,  31st day of October 2023.

References: MO-03-22 Appointments to standing committees, boards , committees, agencies and Deputy Mayors , December 13, 2022 *with changes

CL1823 Standing Committee Structure Options, October 17, 2023

Mayoral Decision 07-23 To establish a Committee of the Whole and Budget Committee

Under Bill 3, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022, which amended the

Municipal Act, 2001 (the Act); and

Effective January 1, 2024, in accordance with subsection 226.6 of the Act, I Marianne Meed Ward, Mayor of the City of Burlington, hereby appoint the following Councillors as rotating chairs of Committee of the Whole and Budget Committee for remainder of the 2022-2026 Term of Council as established by report MO-03-22: ** Chair changes are bolded, they align the Deputy Mayor of Strategy and Budgets portfolio to the Chair of Budget, with subsequent position changes to ensure equity.

Committee of the Whole

The Mayor shall preside as the Chair for Committee of the Whole for all agenda sections, with rotating Councillors appointed as section chairs and section vice chairs for Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services and Corporate Services, Strategy , Risk & Accountability regular items.

Committee of the Whole Community Planning Regulation & Mobility

Regular Agenda

Year Chair Vice Chair
2024 Shawna Stolte Lisa Kearns
2025 Lisa Kearns Kelvin Galbraith
2026 Kelvin Galbraith Rory Nisan


Committee of the Whole Environment Infrastructure & Community Services Regular Agenda
Year Chair Vice Chair
2024 Lisa Kearns Kelvin Galbraith
2025 Kelvin Galbraith Shawna Stolte
2026 Shawna Stolte Kelvin Galbraith
Committee of the Whole Corporate Services Strategy Risk &

Accountability Regular Agenda

Year Chair Vice Chair
2024 Rory Nisan Kelvin Galbraith
2025 Kelvin Galbraith Paul Sharman
2026 Rory Nisan Lisa Kearns


Budget Committee
Year Chair Vice Chair
2024 Paul Sharman Kelvin Galbraith
2025 Paul Sharman Rory Nisan
2026 Paul Sharman Shawna Stolte

 Dated at Burlington, this 31st day of October 2023.

Original Signed by

Mayor Meed Ward

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We are not getting value for money.

By Pepper Parr

December 29th, 2023




In 2022, there were 219,942 homes completed, according to federal data. That same year, according to the Immigration Department, 437,539 permanent residents were admitted.

That single paragraph explains the mess we are in – when you add to it the steps the federal government took to get us through Covid (making money cheap) which drove up demand.

One has to wonder – do the different departments at the federal level not talk to each other?  Nothing wrong with increasing immigration – but ask –  where these people are going to live ?

A degree in rocket science isn’t needed to figure this stuff out.

Bad enough that the federal government didn’t look around at what the impact of their decisions would be – where were the provinces – they needed to be standing on their hind legs and barking.

Ontario’s Big City Mayors Meet with Regional Chairs and Provincial Ministers at Association of Municipalities of Ontario event. They are all on the public payroll.

And – what did the municipal sector do?  Basically nothing.  Mayor Meed Ward prides herself on being Chair of the Ontario Big City Mayors – a group of people who have made the photo op a skill set.

These are the people that didn’t have to go anywhere near their offices from basically Christmas Eve until the 2nd or 3rd of January.  A significant number won’t show up in the office until January 8th.

We are not getting value for money.

We elected them – we need to learn how to look for better candidates.


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Clean Air Alliance wants Ontario to go green – and go big.

By Staff

December 29th, 2023



The government isn’t going to do it – not unless we push them.

Doug Ford’s government doesn’t have a Climate Change policy.  They seem to think the Climate isn’t changing.

There can be all kinds of world level conferences – but most people realize the change is going to be made by US – doing what we now know has to be done.

Stop burning coal, use less oil and look for every possible alternate source of energy: wind, solar – we know about these.

Some places have found they can harness the tide to generate energy.

The EV’s will be what we will use – just make sure the charging stations are in place.

We know what direction the automotive sector is going in – the challenge seems to be ensuring that there are enough charging stations in place for the EV’s we are going to be driving.

Believe it or not there are developers today that have plans on the drafting board or shovels in the ground that have not included roughing in the electrical lines that will allow charging stations to be installed in the underground garages at a later date.

Do you think maybe the current city council will find a way to make this necessary and maybe push the province to upgrade the building code to ensure that the electrical part is in place.

Ontario is finally ready to feel the power of the sun and the wind once more. Five years after tearing up 758 renewable energy project contracts, the Ford Government has announced that it is going to join the rest of the world in tapping into our lowest cost sources of new electricity supply – wind and solar.

There is an organization – Ontario Clean Air Alliance – that is pushing the provincial government to to make sure that it prioritizes the cleanest and lowest cost options to keep our lights on, instead of polluting gas and high-cost nuclear power.

Some people don’t like them – but they work and they are part of the solution.

Not so sure they have got it right when it comes to nuclear – but let’s at least have the debate.

There is plenty of evidence that the Ford Government is not a big fan of renewable energy. Can a leopard change its spots?

That is going to depend a lot on our ability to demand a level playing field for themost intelligent energy solutions. Which is why your support for the Ontario Clean Air Alliance matters: We made the Ford Government’s refusal to consider renewable energy an issue the government could no longer ignore.

Let’s make next year the start of something great in Ontario. Work to ensure Ontario goes green – and goes big.






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Deputy Police Chief Jeff Hill: 'Last year we responded to 3500 calls and doubled our charges, laying 2141 charges'

By Pepper Parr

December 29th, 2023



Pam Damoff, the MP for Oakville North Burlington puts out a media release almost every week.  The most recent had two pieces that we wanted to pass on.  One on a National Action Plan to end Gender Based violence.  The other was on creating safe places for young people involved in sports.

Burlington City Council was debating these issues last June.  One of the participants in the discussion was Deputy Chief Jeff Hill who made a stunning comment when he took part in a virtual council meeting.

He explained that Councillor Angelo Bentivegna that he wasn’t a social media type he has at times advocated for prevention and made the point that when he does the number of people who follow him on social media drops off. . It’s like people don’t want to speak about it. And it’s something that we have to bring to the forefront, the entire community has to bring it to the forefront. We have to watch out for our neighbours.

Deputy Chief Jeff Hill of the Halton Police Service

Deputy Chief Jeff Hill of the Halton Police Service spoke virtually saying: “I very much wanted to be a part of this discussion and humbly submit is of the utmost importance, and needed desperately to help combat and intimate partner violence.

“I’m going to be concise, and paint the picture from a policing perspective of the surveillance of intimate partner violence in the city of Burlington. Regionally speaking to the rise, in intimate partner violence in 2015 we responded to 2757 calls and laid 1145 charges.

“Last year we responded to 3500 calls and doubled our charges, laying 2141 charges.

“That’s effectively responding to 10 incidents of intimate partner violence a day. Specifically speaking to the city of Burlington, of those 3500 occurrences 1346 of them were in the city of Burlington.  Stemming from those occurrences we made 341 arrests; that’s basically an arrest a day.

“As of last week, we have already attended 544 incidents of IPV in Burlington.

“I’ve seen the statistics and I’m aware that this is largely an under reported crime.  We believe that only 30% is actually reported to us.

“Halton police has a dedicated 24 members, intimate partner violence unit, that partners with such entities as Women’s  Place and the mentoring  members of the Halton Violence Prevention Council. We’re doing everything we can in the areas of risk intervention, incident response prevention and social disorder, social development. Our Victim Support Unit reaches out to every victim of intimate partner violence that is reported to us. Even with all those resources being dedicated, the number of incidents that we respond to has remained steady since 2020, with a number of arrests rising year after year.

“Let me be clear, however, that the police alone are not the solution to this issue and we will not arrest our way out of this epidemic. If we don’t do something different, the  problem will continue to grow. Intimate partner violence cannot be a private issue. We cannot be silent about the violence that is occurring. The resolution before you is a start but we must do something to raise community awareness and education on the surveillance of the issue with the necessity for a holistic approach from the community as a whole; one entity cannot do this alone. As you heard from Dr. Kagan, every six days in Canada, a woman is murdered by her partner.

“I want to leave you with this final statistic, the last 40 years the Region alone has seen 22 women murdered at the hands of their partner, a woman murdered every other year in our region alone. This absolutely has to stop.”

Damoff, in speaking of the National Action Plan to end gender based violence, said:

More than 11 million people in Canada aged 15 and over have experienced intimate partner violence at least once and, gender-based violence disproportionately affects Indigenous women and girls; Black and racialized women; immigrant and refugee women; Two-Spirit and 2SLGBTQI+ people; people with disabilities; and women living in northern, rural, and remote communities.

Since 2021, the Government of Canada has committed $1.14 billion to advance the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, including $539.3 million over five years to support provinces and territories in their efforts to implement the National Action Plan. This funding will help frontline workers, prevent violence from happening in the first place, and provide culturally relevant support to survivors of gender-based violence.

Last Friday, Parliamentary Secretary Hepfner, on behalf of Women and Gender Equality Minister Marci Len, made the 13th and last announcement of agreements to be signed under the National Action Plan. This historic milestone signifies that all 13 provinces and territories have signed their agreements to help advance ending gender-based violence in Canada.

Our government made a promise to help women and children fleeing violence – and we have delivered on that promise by signing agreements with every province and territory to get support to those who need it most. Gender-based violence has devastating impacts on individuals, families, communities, and society, and we will continue working to end it.

Oakville North Burlington MP Pam Damoff

Damoff had more news to pass along – we have all read about abuse in the sports world.  A program to build places that are safe is part of another federal government initiative.

Sport builds communities, stimulates economies and contributes to the overall well-being of Canadians and our country. It’s also a source of national pride and resilience. However, without sufficient safeguards and accountability, sport can also do harm. This is why, last week, Sport and Physical Activity Minister Qualtrough announced actions our government is taking to continue addressing maltreatment in sport and to ensure all participants enjoy a safe, inclusive, and welcoming experience.

This includes the creation of the Future of Sport in Canada Commission that will conduct an independent and forward-looking review of Canada’s sport system. Over the course of 18 months, it will engage and seek input from a broad array of stakeholders, including survivors and victims of maltreatment in sport, to bring to light lived experiences, support healing and engage broadly on how to improve the sport system in Canada. This process will be trauma-informed, survivor-centered and human rights-based. Further details regarding the composition of the Commission will be announced early in the New Year.

Government intervention at the federal, provincial and municipal levels is important.  What is really important is keeping a watchful eye and when you think there is a problem give the 24 member police unit that is dedicated to putting an end to behaviour that just isn’t acceptable.

Question now is – how many people stopped reading when they got to the words “Gender Based violence “ in the first paragraph?



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This was not a day to go swimming: police pull a suspect out of the water after finding him hiding inside a pipe

By Staff

December 27th, 2023



Update on what brought all the fire trucks and police vehicles to the edge of Lake Ontario Spencer Smith Park.

Firemen and HRPS Tactical Unit, Hamilton Police Service’s Marine Unit pull a suspect out of the water where he had concealed himself inside a pipe.

On Wednesday, December 27 at approximately 9:30 am, Halton Regional Police Service received a call regarding a 35-year-old male, allegedly, in breach of court conditions and having possession of a stolen vehicle in the area of Spencer Smith Park in Burlington.

As officers arrived, the male attempted to evade police by jumping into Lake Ontario and concealing himself within a pipe. With the assistance of the HRPS Tactical Unit, Hamilton Police Service’s Marine Unit, Burlington Fire Department, and Halton EMS, the individual was safely removed from the water, placed under arrest, and transported to a nearby hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

The incident was concluded at approximately 12:00 pm and the area remains open to the public.

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Major fire department and police presence at Spender Smith Park

By Pepper Parr

December 27th, 2023



One of the dozens of Gazette readers who pop us a not when they see something newsworthy.

This morning we got this:

Not sure what’s going on but there are 8 police cruisers, 3 police supervisor cruises, 3 full-sized fire trucks, 1 EMS crew & 1 EMS supervisor.

It looks like someone or someone’s body is being fished out of the lake.

Can anyone expand on this?

This does not look like good news.



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The difference of opinion at this point is over whose agenda will be used

By Pepper Parr

December 27th, 2023



Anne and David Marsden decided that they would set out to arrange a meeting with City Manager, Tim Commisso, Blake Hurley, City Solicitor and Interim Executive Director of Human Resources Sue Evfremidis, to see if they could resolve the problems the Marsden’s were having with emails that were being re-routed to the Office of the City Clerk.  There were also problems with access to reports that were several years old.

The Marsden’s were asking for a two hour meeting and expected her Agenda to be used.  She had also planned to have a note taker in the room.

How is it that going so far?

Decide for yourself.

Ann Marsden delegating before City Council

Anne Marsden was were very specific with their needs, however, so far it has not worked out that way they had hoped.

Evfremidis replied:

Interim Executive Director of Human Resources Sue  Evfremidis,

We are unable to extend the January 24 (2:30pm-3:30pm) meeting to 2hrs due to Mr. Commisso’s schedule. An agenda, along with room details, will be shared prior to the meeting, however I can assure you that one of the topic items will be the diversion of emails.

Marsden comes back with:

“As I am sure you are aware your response is very disappointing.

However, we will just have to do our best to have the city work towards resolution at this one hour meeting that we are going into without any indication that the meeting is an appropriate effort to avoid an expensive Ombudsman Report.”

Is anyone aware of a complaint taken to the Ombudsman that came back with comments that the city could do better?  We have heard from a number of people who are working on a complaint.  Ann Marsden is unhappy with the city decision to have all her email to people at city hall routed to the Office of the City Clerk where they decide who the email will be sent along to,

Marsden adds in a note to Evfremidis: “I am sure you are aware, the privilege of setting the agenda of a meeting, we called is ours.   The agenda will be circulated one week prior to January 24, 2024.

They meet on the 24th – will it actually take place?  Only time will tell.

Marsden has to be given credit for reaching out and asking for a meeting.  Will there be a resolution that keeps Marsden happy?

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The changing tides of nicotine enjoyment

By Maria Gregory 

December 26th, 2023



The quest for a smoke-free lifestyle is one that many have embarked on in recent years, with an ever-growing array of options for those looking to steer clear of traditional tobacco. Here in Burlington, we’re noticing a trend of adults turning toward assorted smokeless products, which bring a completely different experience to the table. This shift isn’t just about moving away from smoking; it’s about embracing new ways to enjoy nicotine responsibly, like the discreet zyn pouches, which neatly fit into this modern narrative with their tobacco-free contents.

Gathering without the smoke in our community

Spencer Smith Park overlooking Lake Ontario

Imagine this: you’re walking through Spencer Smith Park, the air is crisp, and the lake shimmers without a haze of cigarette smoke tainting the view. It’s becoming reality as more residents in our community are choosing smokeless alternatives. These choices aren’t just individual preferences; they carry a collective benefit, enhancing the calmness and cleanliness of our local hangouts. Stories of smokers turning a new leaf are not uncommon—conversations about health kickstarts at coffee shops, or friends swearing by their new tobacco-free routines at backyard barbecues. They’re part of a larger narrative where people no longer have to step away to enjoy nicotine, and they’re doing so with a keen awareness of their surroundings.

Fresh air and cleaner choices

Opting for tobacco-free alternatives like oral nicotine pouches isn’t just a personal health decision; it’s a choice that resonates with the wider push for environmental sustainability. Without the need to light up, these pouches contribute to cleaner air and reduce the litter of cigarette butts—both significant concerns in our urban spaces. For Burlington, a city that prides itself on its beautiful parks and green initiatives, such choices are more than just a nod to personal well-being; they’re a commitment to maintaining the pristine quality of our shared natural environments.

A taste of innovation in nicotine enjoyment

The smell of food being cooked outdoors and the only smoke comes from the BBQ

Flavors matter, especially when it comes to something you taste multiple times a day. The variety of tastes available in tobacco-free options could be seen as a buffet of sensory experiences, each designed to cater to a distinct preference. From refreshing mint to savory coffee, these flavors are key in supporting people’s transition away from smoking. They contribute significantly to the enjoyment factor—providing an indulgent experience minus the smoke.

Supporting cessation with modern alternatives

Traditional methods for quitting smoking have been challenged by innovative products that offer a myriad of strengths and flavors to ease the process. Accessibility is crucial—as essential as the support systems and community programs aimed at cessation. We hear stories around town of locals who’ve replaced their pack-a-day habit with convenient, clean, and discreet pouches, and their pride in this achievement is palpable. The availability of a less harmful option is a game-changer, not just for the individuals making the switch but for the whole Burlington community as it moves towards a smoke-free future.

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Let there be Peace on the Land

By Pepper Parr

December 24th, 2023



With the Eve upon us we turn to family and friends to enjoy  a significant event; the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Gazette will use the time to rest, reflect and think about the year we are going into.

We will return on Boxing Day with a look at the year we have been through.

Enjoy the holiday and take care of each other.

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Part of a development site not completed: turned into a parking lot.

By Pepper Parr

December 23, 2023



This is one of those – on again – off again stories about a parking lot.

In July of 2021  Carriage Gate had not yet started construction of what was planned for the southern part of the site.  They eventually put shovels into the ground and named the condominium the Berkeley.

It was one of three structures on a block bound by Caroline on the north, John on the West and Elizabeth on the East. The City recently announced that there was now a new “temporary” parking lot on John Street.  That space  was north of the Berkeley which was completed and occupied.

No word from anyone is as to who approached who to turn what was a pretty rough patch of ground used by trades people who were working on the Berkeley and the garage that was underground

The proposed medical building on the right, the garage in the middle and what is now the Berkeley condominium on the left. 

There was to be a parking garage in the middle and an eight storey building on the north end.  First mention was that it was to be a medical building.

It was space used by trades people to park their pickups and for construction material delivery. With the Berkeley complete there was no need for the parking lot.

 New parking lot at 515 John St.! This new, temporary lot only takes mobile payments using HONK. Officers will check that you’ve paid using your license plate. Please pay for weekday parking b/w 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Free after 6 p.m., on weekends & holidays!

A thick layer of asphalt turns unused space into a parking lot with a revenue stream. Not a word about the several story parking lot that was planned.

Who approached who with the idea of turning the space into a temporary parking lot – and how long is temporary?

Will the City share the parking lot revenue with Carriage Gate; who will get how much. the city?

Related news story:

The Carriage Gate development had problems from the very beginning

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