Financial Accountability Office Reports: Provincial spending $6.4 billion less than expected through third quarter of 2022-23

By Staff

March 1st, 2023



The provincial government Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released its Expenditure Monitor 2022-23: Q3 report. The report provides an update on the Province’s 2022-23 spending plan and reviews actual unaudited spending by the government over the first three quarters of the 2022-23 fiscal year (April 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022).

As of the end of the third quarter, December 31, 2022, the Province’s total spending plan was up $209 million, reaching $193.2 billion. By sector, in the third quarter, the ‘other programs’ spending plan increased by $1,137 million, followed by health ($183 million), children’s and social services ($146 million), justice ($42 million) and education ($3 million). These increases were partially offset by a $1,302 million transfer from the Contingency Fund.

Does this mean the province will begin to spend the money it has collected in taxes?

In order to manage and monitor its program spending during the fiscal year, the Province divides its spending plan into expected spending by quarter, which reflects historical spending patterns, seasonality and other factors. Over the first three quarters of 2022-23, the Province expected to spend $129.2 billion. However, actual unaudited spending was $122.8 billion. This was $6.4 billion (5.0 per cent) less than expected. All sectors spent less than expected, led by ‘other programs’ (-$3,534 million), health (-$1,251 million), education (-$844 million), children’s and social services (-$458 million), postsecondary education (-$175 million), justice (-$88 million) and interest on debt (-$87 million).

Compared to the previous year, spending over the first three quarters of 2022-23 was $2.9 billion (2.4 per cent) higher than during the same period in 2021-22. The largest year-over-year spending increase was in health ($1,119 million), followed by education ($852 million), interest on debt ($762 million), children’s and social services ($737 million), postsecondary education ($165 million) and justice ($51 million). Conversely, ‘other programs’ spending was $818 million less than during the same period in 2021-22.

Quick Facts:

Metrolynx projects eat up hundreds of millions – some projects take longer than others.

Key programs with lower-than-expected spending include Metrolinx and municipal infrastructure projects (-$1,197 million), electricity subsidy programs (-$665 million), Ministry of Infrastructure capital programs (-$644 million), public health (-$605 million), Metrolinx and municipal transit operating funding (-$462 million), social assistance programs (-$453 million), elementary and secondary education programs (-$432 million) and child care programs (-$396 million).

Programs with the largest year-over-year spending increases include child care ($762 million), payments to physicians ($518 million), drug programs ($422 million), the operation of hospitals ($353 million) and the operation of long-term care homes ($342 million).

The Province started the 2022-23 fiscal year with a total of $4.6 billion in unallocated funds in the Contingency Fund. In the second and third quarters, the Province transferred $373 million and $1,302 million, respectively, from the Contingency Fund to various programs. This results in a remaining balance in the Contingency Fund, as of December 31, of $2.9 billion.

About the FAO:

Established by the Financial Accountability Officer Act, 2013, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) provides independent analysis on the state of the Province’s finances, trends in the provincial economy and related matters important to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Return to the Front page

Councillor appears to take a pass on Conflict of Interest Advice from Integrity Commissioner

By Pepper Parr

March 1st, 2023



Council met is as a Standing Committee on Tuesday – it was a long day with a complex agenda.

Heritage and the designation of properties took up a lot of time which we will report on else in the Gazette.

At the beginning of each meeting the Chair asks if there are any Conflicts of Interest that Councillors may have. The practice is for Council members to declare that they have an interest and to recuse themselves from the portion of the meeting at which the item is to be discussed.

The Tuesday session has morning, afternoon and evening meetings.

During the evening session a development application for a two tower project – 32 and 30 storeys, was discussed.

The proposal is to facilitate the redevelopment of the subject lands with two high-rise mixed-use buildings with heights of 30 storeys to the south and 32 storeys to the north, connected by a shared podium with a height of 6 storeys fronting Cooke Boulevard and Masonry Court and 3 storeys to the rear. Overall, the development includes a total of 809 residential units and 2 retail units. A total gross floor area of 49,743 square metres is proposed with a FAR of 9.51. The gross floor area of the ground floor retail is 581 square metres. A total of 641 parking spaces are proposed within two levels of underground parking as well as ground floor parking, of which 118 are visitor spaces and 523 are residential spaces.

The concern heard from the two delegations was about the lack of parking space.

The orange structures are the Camerro Group buildings, the three towers to the left are part of the ADI development that have yet to be built. The space to the left of the ADI buildings is park space

No one declared a Conflict and it wasn’t until the evening session that it became evident to this reporter that ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith appeared to have a conflict.

The practice is for the member of Council to make the declaration.

The Gazette asked Councillor Galbraith for some comment on how he handled himself during the Tuesday evening meeting.

He said: “My advice from the Integrity Commissioner was to declare a conflict when the final MTSA policy work and implementing land use policies are completed by city staff and being recommended to council for approval.

“As for individual applications I was advised to use a general rule of thumb of 120 meters from my properties to trigger a conflict of interest.  Last night, the application was 550 meters from my property.”

In a follow up question we asked Galbraith:

“When did you get the advice you refer to in the comment you sent me this morning ?  To be more specific – have you met with the Integrity Commissioner since your meeting in March 2022 on the Aldershot MTSA developments ?”

Galbraith responded: “I had met with the Integrity commissioner a few times as I had declared conflicts on 2 MTSA developments as per his advice dating back to 2019.  I have not met with him on any MTSA developments specifically since the Advice memorandum provided in March 2022.”

In March of 2022 Galbraith met with the Integrity Commissioner, explained his property interests and was given clear and explicit instructions is as to the procedure he should follow.
Tuesday evening, while Council was discussing a development application that would result, if approved, in the construction of two towers; at at 30 storeys and the other at 30 storeys. Both were on Cooke Blvd where it meets Masonry Road.

The proposal is to facilitate the redevelopment of the subject lands with two high-rise mixed-use buildings with heights of 30 storeys to the south and 32 storeys to the north, connected by a shared podium with a height of 6 storeys fronting Cooke Boulevard and Masonry Court and 3 storeys to the rear. Overall, the development includes a total of 809 residential units and 2 retail units. A total gross floor area of 49,743 square metres is proposed with a FAR of 9.51. The gross floor area of the ground floor retail is 581 square metres. A total of 641 parking spaces are proposed within two levels of underground parking as well as ground floor parking, of which 118 are visitor spaces and 523 are residential spaces.

In March of 2022 the Integrity Commissioner advised Galbraith:

This is in response to our conversation and your inquiry of February 24, 2022 regarding whether you might have a conflict of interest if you participate in consideration of planning changes affecting properties you own within the area known as the Major Transportation Study Area (MTSA) for the Aldershot GO, in Burlington.

You have advised that you own two properties along Waterdown, 1016 and 1018 Waterdown Road and one property located at 15 Plains Road West from which you operate your business, The Fitness Firm.

These three properties effectively book-end, abutting at the rear, the property which sits directly at the corner of Waterdown and Plains Roads.

You have advised that the two Waterdown Road properties were formerly residential dwellings, which were removed a number of years ago, and that your future plans include integrating them into a larger development through land assembly.

The relationship of your properties relative to the MTSA Aldershot Hub area as presently delineated is depicted on the following map view:

The yellow line indicates the location of the Galbraith properties

The Integrity Commissioner provided a map to help explain specifically where the Conflicts are.

As a Member of the Council you are subject to subsections 5(1) and 5(2) of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (“MCIA”) Those sections require that you not take part in discussions or voting on a matter, or attempt in any way before, during or after a meeting, to influence the voting on a question related to the matter when you have a direct or indirect interest in the matter. Those sections also require you to disclose the general nature of the interest, and where the matter under consideration takes place in a forum not open to the public, to not be present.

Where a member … has any pecuniary interest … in any matter and is present at a meeting of the council … at which the matter is the subject of consideration, the member, shall, prior to any consideration of the matter at the meeting, disclose the interest and the general nature thereof; shall not take part in the discussion of, or vote on any question in respect of the matter; and shall not attempt in any way whether before, during or after the meeting to influence the voting on any such question.

A matter which has likely financial impact (positive or negative) on your own property constitutes a pecuniary interest to you.

Your properties all fall clearly within the area being contemplated as the study area, and which will be subject to policy amendments to support and guide future development under the relevant official planning document.

Accordingly, we conclude that, now that the plans include reference to proposed designations affecting your properties, you are required to recuse yourself from the discussion and voting on consideration of the Aldershot GO MTSA. This includes refraining from participating and attempting to influence the outcome during the open house and other occasions at which the public, staff and Members of Council are contemplating proposed policies affecting the Aldershot GO MTSA.

Any time consideration of the matter is before Council or any of its committees, your specific declaration might go something like this:

As the owner of several properties within the study area which will be affected by the proposed land use designations being contemplated, I have a pecuniary interest and will be recusing myself from participating in or voting on this matter.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith discussing the development during a Statutory meeting on Tuesday February 28th, 2023

The Camerro development in orange; the last part of the ADI development on the other side of Masonry Court.

At no time during the evening meeting at which the matter was discussed did Galbraith declare a conflict. He spoke directly about the development on at least two occasions and was the Council member who moved the motion.

Related news stories:

Integrity Commissioner advises Councillor Galbraith

Galbraith statement on his conflicts

Return to the Front page

Some movement on the 409 Brant development - council talking about a solution in a Closed session

By Pepper Parr

March 1st, 2023



There is seldom much information about just why council decides it has to go into closed session. There is a little more information – usually the address of the issue when it is a property matter.

This morning the address was 409 Brant, the location of the former Elizabeth Interiors that was bought by Reserve Properties.  In the event that the development does move forward – the city might be looking at the end of Kelly’s Cup Caked.

Across from City Hall and next to The Gallery, the Carnacelli development that is under construction.

Mayor Meed Ward said, just before Council slid into the closed session,  that she wanted to thank staff for all the work they had done and adding “we are at a good place on this one.”

The information on file on the city web site is as follows:

The purpose of the application is to amend the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw to permit a 24 storey building, including 1 storey of ground floor commercial, 22 stories of residential and a one storey roof top amenity area.

The proposed building would include:

597 square metres of ground floor commercial and 227 residential units

five (5) levels of underground parking

car access from John Street

commercial units with front windows facing onto Brant Street, James Street and John Street

The developer, Reserve Properties had taken the development to the Ontario Land Tribunal but withdrew their application

In the early days of the development application members of the Goldring Council had taken the position that they would live with 17 storeys.

Glen Wellings is the Reserve Properties planning consultant.  It would apppear that he has come up with a solution that keeps everyone happy.

Time will tell.

Return to the Front page

Director of Communications and Engagement is not all that engaging with the Gazette

By Pepper Parr

February 28th, 2023



In May of2020, the Gazette published a story on Shawna Stolte’s experience is as a newly elected member of city council. There is a link to that story at the bottom of this article.

On February 28th of this year the Gazette published an opinion piece with the title is this a Farce or a Tragedy. A link to that opinion piece is also set out below.

Shortly after the Opinion piece was published we got an email from Kwab Ako-adjei, Director of Communications and engagement, complaining about statements I made in the Opinion piece which he said were false.

His note to us said:

“If you see something happening at the City and you have questions, reach out, you know you will get a response.

“Articles like this do nothing but harm people’s reputation, especially when it turns out to be false.”

This was followed by some back and forth with Kwab.

Kwab Ako-adjei, Director of Communications and Engagement,

Kwab: “This is what needs to be corrected. Because what you’re writing/musing is not true. You can’t use opinion pieces to make things up, thereby hurting staff’s reputation and leaving it out in the public that this was all some sort of plan that was hatched”

I responded: “The interview I did, which was taped, makes no mention of a staff rotation. There is nothing that requires me to ask anyone if what Stolte said was true or not.”

“Further, to take someone as experienced as Gartside to provide staffing for a new councillor and call it a staff rotation is to me a real stretch.”

I added: “As you know, the Mayor embarrassed herself and the position of Mayor with her rant in June of 2022

“I think what you are doing is trying to limit the damage. There is nothing I did that harmed Gartside – she identified herself. We didn’t.

In a following note from Kwab he said:
“You might want to go back and look at this quote from one your articles where a “home job” is mentioned:

Kwab refers to an article I did some time ago where I mentioned that Staff have what are referred to is as “home” jobs from which they are from time to time rotated from to some other job to gain additional experience.

Kwab then says: “This clearly points to job rotations and how staff have “home positions” when they go on those rotations. This is about getting the facts straight and not fishing for stories and ruining reputations.”

Not so fast my friend.  I have a problem believing that a two decade employee who is an excellent Committee Clerk would be sent out as an Administrative Assistant is as part of a job rotation.  She may have been filling in for someone but that is not what Shawna Stolte said during the interview.

Kwab: “At the City we have job rotation opportunities where staff go can to different departments to work, this was a case of that happening.”

I had a problem with believing that a two decade employee who is an excellent Committee Clerk would be sent out as an Administrative Assistant is as part of a job rotation.

He asks: “So again, will you correct the record?

What is there to correct?

Realize that we did not know that Georgie Gartside was the person who had been assigned to Stolte.  Gartside was not identified by the Gazette – she self-identified after which the Mayor took up her cause to have Stolte make a public apology. And we all saw how that went.

At one point it was not clear to me which article Kwab was unhappy with.

He cleared that up by saying: “it was the Opinion piece of January 24th adding that “Even the title is problematic.”

“Again, if you had reached out to me or anyone in communications we would have told you what I said before.  Those staff moves at the Clerks Office and Customer Experience had nothing to do with demotions.

(We never said there was a demotion. A Gazette reader in a comment raised that issue)

Specific to Georgie Gartside, Georgie’s ‘home position’ is as a Councillor’s Assistant, she was on a job rotation in the Clerks Office as a Committee Clerk. That Committee Clerk opportunity was available because that person was also on a job rotation.

“These job rotations usually have end dates and that’s what happened in this case. The rotations ended, which meant everyone had to return to their ‘home positions.’
In our interview with Stolte she made no mention of the person assigned to her (who turned out to be Gartside) was there on a rotation.

Rotations are a process used to give Staff members experience in different roles. Gartside had been around for some time; she served is as the Assistant to Rick Goldring when he was a Council member, she worked with Mayor Meed Ward during her first term of office

Kwab continues: “Even though it’s an opinion piece, journalist standards would still mean you could reach out for comment or clarification instead of musing about what could be taking place. In doing so, you yet again tarnished someone’s reputation for something that wasn’t even true. It was simply the end of a job rotation, that’s it.

That’s his view. Kwab seems to want us to call him up and say: “I’m doing an Opinion piece on job rotations that were done recently – can I get some input from you.”

Kwab gets more specific:
“I’ll point out some things below that were part of your article:

Questions that get asked are:

Did Galbraith ask for Gartside to serve as an Administrative Assistant? What role did the Mayor play in all this? –

Kwab said: “The Mayor has no role in this.”  The placing of staff in whatever position they serve in is an administrative matter that is controlled by City Manager

(Technically everything that happens is ‘approved by the city manager. He would not have been directly involved but given the sensitivity that now surrounds almost everything Gartside does (am I damaging her reputation here?) the City Manager would want to be briefed.

Who approved the transfer of Gartside is as the Assistant to Councillor Galbraith ? We suggested that the Mayor would have been involved – but not in any official capacity.

Kwab says: Again, not true. All you have to do is ask and not assume or infer.

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

Kwab: “Again, not true. This was the end of a staff rotation that affected many staff. These staff rotations happen all the time at the City.”

Kwab has chosen to make this series a tempest in a tea pot issue (a small problem or event that has been blown out of proportion.)

Kwab: “This is what needs to be corrected. Because what you’re writing/musing is not true. You can’t use opinion pieces to make things up, thereby hurting staff’s reputation and leaving it out in the public that this was all some sort of plan that was hatched.

What we have found during the past three years are continued efforts on the part of  Kwab Ako-adjei, the Director of Communications and Engagement to influence the direction and tone a story takes.

That is his job. Members of Council bristle when they are given a script to read when they are chairing a Standing Committee meeting.

Kwab takes the position that all we have to do is call and he will get us an answer. That’s not what journalism is about.

Kwab may not like what we do. We don’t do what we do to make Kwab happy.

We are not all that keen on the how Kwab does his job. We have had comments from members of Council and from people who are very active volunteers; they don’t sing out praises.

Kwab adds that: “that, as City Manager, Tim wanted me to make it clear to you and to your readers that Georgie has performed exceptionally well in both positions and is a valued, respected and long-serving employee of the City.”

This is what communications staff are paid to do – put the best possible spin on whatever is being sent out.

The complete story on the two Gartside job rotations will probably never come out. But some light was shed this week on just how intrusive some of the direction coming from Kwab’s office is and how unhappy some members of Council are.

We will get back to you on that one..

Kwab asks: “Now that you have the facts behind what happened I would expect a correction to your article. Feel free to use the contents of this email for the correction.”

Well, that didn’t happen.

Related news and Opinion articles:

The Opinion piece

The Stolte interview

Return to the Front page

In the near future the public will know how members of Council voted on issues at the Standing Committee level.

By Pepper Parr

February 27th, 2023



Council has been in a Workshop mode all morning – this is something that people who used to read the Yellow Pages liked.

However – they did do something that should have been done a long long time ago and that is record how Councillors vote when they are meeting is as a Standing Committee.

All the minutes show is that an item carried – not what the actual vote was. A 6-1 vote does not carry the same weight as a 4-3 or a 3-4 vote.

It was a time when Marianne Meed Ward would force Council to vote on matters she felt needed to be recorded.

In her first term is as a member of Council Meed Ward would call for recorded votes regularly – in one meeting she called for 8 recorded vote which in those days called for members of Council to stand to vote.

In those days former Councillor John Taylor used to sit beside Councillor Meed Ward and rolled his eyes when Meed Ward got to the 7th recorded vote.

Knowing how Council members voted at the Standing Committee stage is important – it gives the public an opportunity to know just what their council member is doing and time to contact them before the Council meeting at which a recommendation is made final.

At this stage all Council members are doing id discussing changes in the Procedural Bylaw – it will be a month or so before this is cast in stone – but it certainly looks like it will be the way business is done.

Good on them – finally.

Councillor Kearns sent her regrets and did not attend – Councillor Nisan chose to take part virtually which at times made it difficult for him to keep up with what was taking place.

Return to the Front page

School Boards are in place to educate and protect students: Full Stop

By Pepper Parr

February 27th, 2023



Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, CM, is founder, executive director of Rainbow Faith and Freedom and senior pastor emeritus of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto commented recently on the transgendered teacher working at an Oakville High School.

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes,

Speaking to the problem in front of the Halton District School Board trustees Hawkes said: “Whatever your opinion on this issue, it’s crystal clear that the public conversation around it is on the wrong track.”

“Prioritizing the safety and well-being of transgender people — including this educator — and all students is the clear objective.

Rev Hawks has failed to understand that the school board is in place to educate students and to protect them while they learn and grow into adulthood.

The rights of teachers are important and the transgendered community needs understanding and acceptance but not at the expense of the students.
Hawkes maintains “those objectives have been brushed aside. A recent direction to implement a “professionalism policy” (at the relevant school board) threatens to worsen this situation.”
Hawkes added: “In my experience, this conversation requires everything it has lacked thus far: sincerity, civility and calm, trust in those institutions working to find solutions, and faith in reasonable debate.

Parents are offended with what they are seeing.

“To be clear this case is about human rights. So, anyone entering into this conversation, must check their assumptions at the door and listen, first, to those whose rights are at stake.

“As a community, the urgent question we must ask, therefore, is how to make this conversation not easier, simpler, or magically expedient, but more civil, compassionate, and clear in purpose.”

While all the above are important – the students are the responsibility of the society they live in – and at this point my view is that the rights of others, not the students, which is what matters most.

Rev Hawkes had played a major role in helping the wider community understand people who face huge barriers in living their lives. He is to be commended and has been recognized for the work he has done.

Hawkes adds: “Many of our fellow Canadians are depending on us to find this answer. We have found it before, let’s find it again.”

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.

Return to the Front page

Conservatives meet and hear a solid argument for teaching young people financial literacy

By Pepper Parr

February 27th, 2023



It is interesting to watch a group of people discussing fervently the way they would like to see the country run.

It was an attentive audience.

These are not wackos, they are people who, yes, do have a political orientation: they are Conservatives who talked about every subject you could imagine. The Convoy, the tax regimen we have, doing something to make young people financially literate. Crime, poverty, self-reliance, love of country, family values.

There were two retired police officers in the room bringing a perspective that is not often seen.

Younger people, older people, politically astute people. People who ran for office and won, people who ran for office and didn’t win.

People who ran elections and people who are probably going to run elections again.

Lianne Roon, Trevor Parry, Geoff Turner and Malika Dolaty didn’t disagree with each other and brought solid background information to a gathering of Progressive Conservatives on Saturday.

The reason for people being at the event was to talk about affordability and housing.

They painted a grim picture.

There were no clear cut answers.

There were several good explanations.

Many of the people in the room were prepared to blame the government in office now; that’s part of what politics is all about.

But this group was not bashing the government – many certainly did think the government has got it all wrong and believe the federal government is borrowing far too much money to pay for the services they deliver.

They did agree that the spending the Liberal government did during the worst of the pandemic was money that had to be spent and of course they good have done a better job – the benefit of hind sight.

Lianne Rood MP, Lambton, Kent, Middlesex said she was elected to listen to people and that meant hearing what the protesters who shut down Ottawa for a period of time had to say.

Lianne Rood MP, Lambton, Kent, Middlesex gave a different view on the Convoy that shut down parts of Ottawa in January. She said she walked about the protesters and listened saying she was sent to Ottawa to listen and she left her walk about with a different understanding about what people thought when they used the word Freedom.

Rood is a potato farmer, she and her family run a potato farm and gave the audience of about 50 people a different view of what it is like to sell produce to the supermarkets. She no longer sells to that sector.

She has some views on the protection some of the agricultural sector get. Eggs, milk, chicken are all managed markets – tight rules on what products can be sold for and how much can be produced. Supply management is not the best idea from her point of view.

Malika Dolaty works for a large finance company. Her passion was the failure to make young people financially literate – young for her starts is as low is as five years of age.

She put up some numbers that made is very obvious that if younger people were not financially literate they had little chance of being home owners in the future.

Geoff Turner, tax lawyer and the candidate of record for Etobicoke Centre believed that the approach the federal government has taken to the deficit is wrong.

Geoff Turner, tax lawyer and the candidate of record for Etobicoke Centre believed that the approach the federal government has taken to the deficit is wrong. He said for the federal government to use a GDP to debt ratio as the guideline for what the government can afford to borrow is never going to see a balanced budget which he felt was vital. He had solid data that was difficult to fathom in the amount of time he had to explain it all.

Trevor Parry – a lawyer and a tax minimization expert said he would love to run for office but a young family and a wife that wants him to be home meant public service was not going to be part of his career going forward.

He described Canada today is as a “banana republic with snow”; that family does not matter to this government; that former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney is a Communist and that health services are over managed.

He was entertaining.

Emily Brown, the federal candidate for Burlington in the last election was the moderator who kept things on track.

Emily Brown, the federal candidate for Burlington in the last election was the moderator who kept things on track and added that there will be a Town Hall meeting on Seniors in the future along with Town Hall meetings on Public Safety and another on Energy.

It was a good meeting, attendance for a cold Saturday was satisfactory.


Return to the Front page

With the title Deputy Mayor Councillors will now debate just what the job description is

By Pepper Parr

February 25th, 2023



Now that they have the title – Council is going to discuss the job description.

Here is what we know about the process they will go through on Monday:

Deputy Mayor with Portfolio


  • A new model of governance to make the best use of the diverse experience and background of Council
  • To deliver on the Vision to Focus Strategic Plan and ongoing initiatives and priorities
  • Results in new positions for this term of Council based on the skills and strengths of each Councillor
  • Deputy Mayor for Business and Red Tape Reduction – Kelvin Galbraith
  • Deputy Mayor for Community Engagement & Partnerships – Lisa Kearns
  • Deputy Mayor for the Environment – Rory Nisan
  • Deputy Mayor for Housing – Shawna Stolte
  • Deputy Mayor for Strategy & Budgets – Paul Sharman
  • Deputy Mayor for Recreation & Community Services – Angelo Bentivegna

Proposed Principles

  • Deputy Mayors works in collaboration with Mayor’s Office;
  • Deputy Mayors work will advance key city initiatives as defined through the V2F Work Plan or other corporate documents;
  • Deputy Mayors are assigned an executive lead by the City Manager for ongoing dialogue and resource needs;
  • Deputy Mayor role does not replace the City’s governance structure. All decision-making still rests with all of Council by vote;
  • Council can direct or endorse actions of Deputy Mayors.

This was the road map used the last time Council peered deeply into the Strategic Plan and then set out what the Focus would be for the term of Office. The road map for the next Focus has yet to be set out.

Proposed Roles

The role of the Deputy Mayor with Portfolio is to:

  • Raise awareness and support the advancement of strategic initiatives.
  • Bring forward to Council and sponsor policy and city related legislation proposals.
  • Participate in intergovernmental meetings and delegations on portfolio items and other advocacy work.

Q & A

What else do you want to know about the new Deputy Mayor with Portfolio role?

Reflecting on Deputy Mayor with Portfolio Model

  1. What aspects of the Deputy Mayor with Portfolio model are clear? What is not clear to you?
  2. What excites you about the new Deputy Mayor with Portfolio model?
  3. Does anything concern you about this new leadership structure?
  4. What implications will this new model have on how Council does its work? Will this model impact or change Council process and if yes, how?
  5. What changes will be required to ensure the Deputy Mayor with Portfolio model is a success?

Reflecting on Deputy Mayor with Portfolio Model

Proposed Principles

  • Deputy Mayors works in collaboration with Mayor’s Office;
  • Deputy Mayors work will advance key city initiatives as defined through the V2F Work Plan or other corporate documents;
  • Deputy Mayors are assigned an executive lead for dialogue;
  • Deputy Mayor role does not replace the City’s governance structure. All decision-making still rests with all of Council by vote;
  • Council can direct or endorse actions of Deputy Mayors.

What else should be considered and added?

Reflecting on Deputy Mayor with Portfolio Model

Proposed Roles

The role of the Deputy Mayor with Portfolio is to:

  • Raise awareness and support the advancement of strategic initiatives.
  • Bring forward to Council and sponsor policy and city related legislation proposals.
  • Participate in intergovernmental meetings and delegations on portfolio items and other advocacy work.

What else should be considered and added?

Reflecting on Deputy Mayor with Portfolio Model

Commitments to Each Other

What commitments can Council members make to each other to ensure this new model is effective and efficient?

Return to the Front page

The right to speak to your municipal government might be limited and micro-managed by senior Staff

By Pepper Parr

February 25th, 2023


This article is about the wording of documents that relate to the way the public gets to speak to the people they elected.  It doesn’t have all that much in the way of good news.  Words set out in blue should be read very carefully – these are your rights that are being debated.

We are still here – now you know why.

City Council will meet on Monday in a Workshop setting where they will go through a 108 page document that includes a robust review of the existing Procedural Bylaw and debate just what the newly created Deputy Mayor positions mean and how whatever they are supposed to be doing will be explained to the public.

It will be interesting to see how the members of Council jockey for positions that give them more influence than that have had in the past over matters that are more Staff related than Council matters.

The wording of some of the sections in the procedural Bylaw could be seen as red flags.

Documents that set out rules are always number so that they are easily found and referred.

This report includes those number along with references to various Act of the Provincial legislature – try to ignore them for the moment.

The following refer to how the Chair of a meeting manages the behaviour of Council members:

43.2       Where a member has been called to order by the Chair for disregarding the rules of procedure and the member persists in such conduct, the Chair may order the member to vacate the meeting place. If the member apologizes, the Chair may permit the member to retake their seat.

43.3       If the member called out of order does not apologize and will not leave their seat, the Chair will recess the meeting and request that the Clerk contact security.

Councillor Paul Sharman

Councillor Lisa Kearns

Councillor Kelvin Galbraith

That’s a pretty heavy hand.

The Public doesn’t get treated much better.


  1. Public Conduct at Council and Committee Meetings

44.1       Only members and authorized City staff will be allowed to proceed beyond the speaker’s podium without permission of the Chair or Clerk.

44.2       Public attendees must maintain order and will not display signs or placards, applaud, heckle, or engage in telephone or other conversation, or any behaviour that may be considered disruptive. No person will use indecent, offensive, or insulting language or speak disrespectfully to anyone in Council Chambers.

44.3       All electronic devices must be turned off or switched to silent during Council and Committee meetings. Photography and video should be kept to a minimum during a meeting and will only be permitted so long as it does not interfere with the meeting in any way. At any time during the meeting, at the discretion of the Clerk, use of electronic devices may also be prohibited if it is believed that the use is interfering with any audio or video broadcast of the meeting.

44.4       Any person who contravenes any provision of this section may be expelled from the meeting by the Chair.

  1. Presentations

45.1       Presentations addressing matters relevant to the City and seeking to provide  information, or receive input from Council, or Committee will be permitted from any  local board or similar authority including relevant agencies, boards, commissions as  well as other levels of government and City staff.

45.2       Presentations of a maximum of ten minutes will be permitted provided that the presenter, or their representative has requested and been granted status from the  Clerk before the agenda is published.

45.3       Council may limit or extend the time allowed for a presentation by a majority vote.

Vanessa Warren, one of the best delegators the city has.

Gary Scobie

Anne and Dave Marsden

  1. Delegations

46.1       Requests to delegate at a Committee meeting and Council must be submitted to the Clerks Department prior to noon the day before a meeting. If the meeting is held on a Monday, delegations must register by 12 noon the Friday before the meeting.

46.2       Any person, group of persons, or organization may request to speak to an item listed on the agenda provided that the subject matter of the delegation directly relates to the item on the agenda. All requests to delegate must be made in writing to the Clerk, outline the nature of their request, and include any additional material (i.e. PowerPoint) by the deadline stated in section 46.1.

46.3       If a delegate requests to speak regarding a matter not listed on the agenda, they must have a member of Council sponsor the item by way of a motion memorandum to the Clerk no later than Wednesday at 12:00 pm (noon) the week the agenda is prepared.

46.4       All delegations will be heard at Standing Committee. Where a delegate has spoken at Committee, a further delegation request by the delegate, or a related party, will not be permitted on the Council agenda unless the delegation is bringing forward new information. Only the new information will be heard.

46.5       The Clerk will provide the Chair with all requests to delegate submitted after the deadlines stated in section 46.1, for Council consideration. A majority vote is required to permit the delegate to speak.

46.6       Delegations will be permitted without prior registration during any public meeting as required by sections 17 (19.2), 34 (14.2) and 51(20) of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990,

  1. P.13. Delegations are strongly encouraged to register before the standard delegation registration deadline and will be asked to fill in an attendance form to fulfill legislative notice requirements.

46.7       Delegations will be permitted to speak for a maximum of ten minutes at Committee and five minutes at Council. The allotted time includes any audio or video presentations but does not include answering questions from members. If there are numerous delegates taking the same position on a matter, the Clerk will encourage them to select one spokesperson to present their views within the time allocation.

46.8       The speaking time for a delegation may only be extended by majority vote of the members present.

46.9       Delegations must abide by the rules of procedure and public conduct at meetings. They will accept any decisions of the Chair and not enter into cross debate with members, other delegations, or staff. Any discourse between members and the delegation will be limited to members asking questions for clarification and obtaining additional, relevant information only.

46.10     Where the City Manager or the Clerk determines that a person requesting to delegate is likely to engage in unreasonable or offensive conduct, make unreasonable or offensive statements or demands, repeatedly speak on a subject matter that is not within the City’s jurisdiction, or otherwise misuse the privilege of addressing Committee or Council, the person will not be permitted to appear as a delegate at the meeting.

46.11     At the discretion of the Mayor/Chair, City Manager or City Clerk, written delegation material may be requested in advance of the meeting prior to confirming registration as a delegation. Upon review of that material by the Mayor/Chair, City Manager or City Clerk, if it is deemed not applicable to the business of Council or Standing Committee, the delegation will not be registered to speak at the meeting.

46.12     If a request to delegate has been denied in accordance with section 46.1, the City Manager or the Clerk will:

  1. a) Notify the requester that they will not be permitted to appear as a delegate and provide reasons for the decision; and
  2. b) Inform the members of the decision to deny the request.

46.13     Delegations are not permitted at Council Workshops.

During the municipal election last October the City Clerk did in fact unilaterally decide that a person running for office would not be permitted to speak.  That is as authoritarian as a government can get.  These are the people you elected.

City Clerk on the left – City Manager on the right.. Councillor was not present at Council for much of the pandemic; he has since returned to the Council Chamber. The debate on Monday should be interesting.

Stuff like this doesn’t get much attention until a person finds that when they have an issue their access to their council is limited.

Is it naive to expect that governments, federal, provincial, regional and municipal are in place to protect your right?


Return to the Front page

How Buying A House Today Differs From 1990


By Zoe Demarco

February 24th, 2023



The belief in Burlington is that parents want to get their kids into the housing market as early as possible. Home ownership is almost part of a Burlingtoners’ DNA.

Zoe Demarco, a stff writer for Storeys, a Real Estate Newsletter puts home ownership into perspective.

Today’s first-time homebuyers hear a myriad of stories about the ease at which the last generation was able to enter the real estate market.

Whether you believe it has become easier or harder, there certainly exists vast differences in buying a home today compared to 30 years ago. To determine just how much times have changed, real estate agency Zoocasa analyzed a number of important factors, including average prices and mortgage rates, comparing their current status to what was seen in the early 1990s.


In 1989, the average resale price in Toronto was a healthy $254,197. But as the early 1990s recession set in, inflation and unemployment rose. By 1995, the average price in the city had dropped to $195,311, a 23.2% decline. Thanks to the ensuing “long slump,” prices didn’t surpass the 1989 figure until 2002.

Nationally, the average resale price increased 8% from 1990 ($142,091) to 1997 ($154,768). Between January 2022 and January 2023, the national average sale price declined 18.3% to $612,204.

“The current housing landscape is still in a period of recovery after staggering price gains during the pandemic followed by rapid interest rate growth that restricted buying power,” Zoocasa noted.

Although salaries have risen since the early ’90s, they have not kept pace with the increase in home prices. There are only five major cities in Canada where a single person earning the median income can afford to buy the average home.


According to data from Statistics Canada, the number of people aged 25 to 34 years was smaller in the ’90s than it is today. The age group makes up the vast majority of first-time buyers and, without them, there was less momentum to drive the market forward.

While the age group is larger today, many have been sidelined by high prices, rising interest rates, and declining affordability. Instead, investors swooped in to take their place.

Mortgage rates

Historical data from shows that the five-year fixed mortgage rate was around 14% in 1990. It dropped to about 7% in January 1994, but had risen back above 10% by July of that year.

Over the past decade, the five-year fixed rate has hovered between 5.3% and 4.6%. The lower rate has made buying a home in Canada “more attractive and feasible,” Zoocasa said. Although the Bank of Canada has incessantly raised interest rates over the past year, the current five-year fixed rate of 6.49% is still well below levels seen in the ’90s.

House type and location

Single family units are now quite close to high rise towers in many Canadian communities.

The 1990s were characterized by suburban expansion, with, according to Statistics Canada, the majority of new homes built in low-density “peripheral neighbourhoods” outside city centres. Housing starts declined throughout the first half of the decade, but began to slowly rise in 1996, led by construction of single detached homes.

Today, though, high-rise condos and apartments account for the majority of housing starts across Canada. Buyers’ growing desire for an “urban lifestyle” has led to an influx of construction in downtown cores.

While average home prices were lower in the 1990s, buyers dealt with significantly higher interest rates and lower salaries. The first-time buyer of today faces fiercer competition than they would have a generation ago, and their housing prospects have dwindled along with affordability.

“There’s no question the housing environment and trends of today have changed drastically since the 1990s – for better and for worse,” Zoocasa concluded. “Only time will tell what the future market brings.”

Zoe Demarco is a Staff Writer at STOREYS and was formerly the Urbanized Editor at Daily Hive. Born and raised in Toronto, she has a passion for the city’s ever-changing urban landscape.


Return to the Front page

Director of Education to lead series of on line panels focused on mental health, environmental leadership and the Indigenous perspective

By Staff

February 24, 2023



Every Director of Education takes on the job with a belief that they can move the needle, bring about changes that leaves the school board a better place while they are in place.

Curtiss Ennis Halton District School Board Director of Education

Curtis Ennis has chosen to focus on the Boards’ Multi-Year Strategic Plan as it relates to mental health, environmental leadership and the Iindigenous perspective on issues the community faces

HDSB hosts Director’s Panel Series on Bringing the Multi-Year Strategic Plan to Life

The first session will be Normalizing Mental Health in Everyday Speech on March 2 at 6 p.m. at

HDSB families, students, staff and community members are invited to the Director’s Panel Series on Bringing the Multi-Year Plan to Life to raise awareness about the commitments outlined in the HDSB’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan (2020-2024). Panel speakers at the sessions will include HDSB students, parents and subject-matter experts to explore issues and themes and share knowledge relating to key areas of focus in the Multi-Year Plan including mental health and well-being, environmental leadership and Indigenous perspectives and awareness.

Sessions will be led by Director of Education Curtis Ennis and Human Rights & Equity Advisor Pardeep Nagra.

The first session in the panel series will be:

Normalizing Mental Health in Everyday Speech

Thursday, March 2 at 6 – 7:30 p.m.

This will be a virtual event, with the livestream linked on the HDSB website (

Registration is not required.

Normalizing Mental Health in Everyday Speech provides the foundation for students across the HDSB to acknowledge and begin their own mental health journey.

Panel speakers at the Normalizing Mental Health in Everyday Speech session include:

  • Mira Backo-Shannon, HDSB parent
  • Michelle Bates, HDSB Manager & Mental Health Lead
  • Jasmeet Chagger, Founder of SOCH Mental Health
  • Maneet Chahal, Founder of SOCH Mental Health
  • Sree, HDSB Grade 8 student
  • Eileen, HDSB Grade 8 student
  • Chase, HDSB Grade 8 student
  • Sabrina, HDSB Grade 11 student
  • Chloe, HDSB Grade 12 student
  • Piper, HDSB Grade 12 student

Those interested in attending the event can submit a question to the panel before or during the panel discussion through this Google Form:

Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. explained: “Each session in the series will explore issues and themes outlined in our Multi-Year Plan from various perspectives, including student voice”.

“We look forward to listening and learning from students, families, staff and community members as we work toward our collective goals as a Board. Over the next three months, we will dive deeper into the work we’re doing to advance Mental Health and Well-Being, Environmental Leadership and Indigenous Perspectives and Awareness, as reflected in the HDSB’s Multi-Year Plan 2020-2024 and the Human Rights Equity Action & Accountability Plan – The Way Forward.”

Future sessions in the series include:

Environmental Leadership (Tuesday, April 18 at 6 – 7:30 m.)

Indigenous Perspectives and Awareness (Tuesday, May 16 at 6 – 7:30 m


Return to the Front page

Scammers are at it again - using brand names to gain your confidence

By Staff

February 24th,2023



This is about as bold as you can get.

Again – the scammer is using a reasonably well know brand name that I think we used about a decade ago.

Thinking that we will recognize the service provider and approve the amount they want.

The moment you do that – they have banking data which they will exploit and perhaps even sell that information to someone else.

These false claims are costing the banks a fortune – the technology to change the way identity information is handled is out there  – no one seems to want to taake the lead and institute the changes.

Until that happens – be vigilant and watch the address the email comes from/

Invoice ID- BS812476



Dear Customer

Customer Support – 1-(833)-812-1621

Thanks for choosing our services

Kindly find the details of the opted Basic support plan for 3 pc, devices with (6 yearly on-site service) added with Network Security.

Your account is debited with $629.99 successfully

Note- The charge will come up/reflect in your account in 48 Hrs.

Subscription Details:

ORDER # : 407-0353423-8824727
Item/Plan: Basic support plan for 3 pc
Net Amount: $629.99
Transaction Date: 24 Feb. 2023
Item number- 2897653AYP


The payment mode used in the past is debited and it will be charged within 24 hours
In order to cancel the subscription or auto charge please contact  1-(833)-812-1621
If you have not placed this order please contact within 24 hours at 1-(833)-812-1621
What you get– Unlimited telephonic support via remote session
All issues that do not not involve a failed hardware or parts replacement will be covered
The devices connected to this computer are also covered under this plan. Any hardware changes would involve an extra charge.

Thank you for being a valued customer

Premium Virtual Support

Consumer ID:18113744

Privacy Policy | Report Spam | Unsubscribe

To ensure delivery to your inbox, add the sender to your contact address book.

3415 1st Street MI MI 48064 All rights reserved

You don’t want to go anywhere near the address or the telephone numbers they provide.

Return to the Front page

Vote For Your Favourite Burlington Library Bookmark

By Staff

February 24th, 2023



Staff at the Burlington Library are excited.  One of their pet project drew 270 entries – a record for them/

It’s time to vote for your favourite contenders in Burlington Public Library’s (BPL’s) annual Burlington Bookmarks contest. The library received a record number of entries this year—over 270—and they need your help. Librarians selected four finalists in each age group, and now it’s up to the public to choose the winners. The winning bookmark from each age category will be printed and distributed at BPL branches while supplies last.

16 Finalists
This year’s theme is “be inspired by your favourite book.” Artists got creative with this prompt and submitted bookmarks inspired by children’s books, novels, and even self-help titles. Among the 16 finalists are bookmarks based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Finalists for the 5 and under category

Finalists for the 6 – 12 category

Finalists for the 13 to 17 category


Finalists for the 18 and over category

How to Vote
You can vote on BPL’s website .

Select your favourite bookmark from each age category and submit your ballot. Only one ballot will be accepted for each IP address. Voting closes March 1st, and the winners will be revealed soon after.

Pick Up a Placeholder for Your Book
The four winning bookmarks will be professionally printed and distributed to library branches for customers to enjoy in their next great read. These bookmarks are always a hot commodity, so make sure you don’t miss out. Keep tabs on the contest by checking the library’s website and social media channels (@BurlOn) to be the first to know when the bookmarks are available.


Return to the Front page

IDENTITY THEFT: How they steal your private data and then lurk you into giving them even more

By Pepper Parr

February 24th, 2023



In the world of Identity theft and phishing there is a cycle.

The public learns that an organization has been hacked and a lot of data stolen. Yahoo got hacked, a large Ontario based insurance company got hacked. One of the hospitals got hacked.

The data that was stolen gets sold on what is called the “dark side” of the internet. There is a brisk trade in the information that was stolen.

The buyers of the information pay nickels or dimes – but when you are buying 1 couple of million names – it adds up. The people selling the information will sell it to anyone who pays.

The people who buy the information then use it to communicate with you and try to convince you to give them the kind of information they need to get into your bank account or convince you to send them money.

We are now seeing numerous emails telling us that there is an offer we won’t want to refuse; a notice that there is an account balance that is due, shipping instructions. They get quite creative.

Here are several of the messages we got. You might be getting them as well.

This is the address the email came from:

Costco <

Clearly not a Costco email address



Another example

Tim Hortons has a massive audience – it is a trusted brand and people have seen offers from the brand before.  Remember Roll Up the Rim.

Another example:

This one was supposed to have been sent by WaImart>

The scammers have bought your email address and using the names of brands that you know and tend to trust are using to pull you im

You need to pay attention – look very closely at the address the email came from. If you don’t recognize it – don’t click on it.

If you are suspicious – respect your sense of being suspicious – you are probably tight.


Return to the Front page

The History and State of Gambling Laws in Canada

By Nick Raffoul

February 23rd, 2023



Gambling, an activity as old as civilization itself, has been present in Canada since the early settlers from Europe brought it with them. Throughout the centuries, gambling has had periods of both legality and illegality depending on the particular jurisdiction. In this article, we explore the legal history of gambling in Canada and its current state.

Gambling, an activity as old as civilization itself.

An Overview of Canada’s Gambling Law History

Canada has a long and complex history when it comes to gambling laws. From the early days of Canada, where there was an official ban on betting, to today’s more relaxed attitude, it has been a bumpy ride. The first provinces in Canada that provided legal forms of gambling were Quebec and Nova Scotia in the late 18th century. Then, in the 19th century, provinces such as Ontario followed suit. All three provinces opened up various venues for regulated gambling activities, such as betting houses and lotteries.

The Origins of the Canadian Criminal Code and Its Impact on Online Gambling

The foundation for modern-day gambling law enforcement was laid out by the creation of the Canadian Criminal Code back in 1985. This code is mainly responsible for regulating all aspects of gaming throughout Canada’s ten provinces and three territories, including matters involving wagering over internet networks such as those found at offshore online casinos outside Canadian borders or even home computers connected through telephone lines with foreign sporting books. Interesting to know that such Canadian casinos offer competitive no deposit bonuses.

Largely thanks to this law, most online casino websites based outside Canada cannot be accessed directly by Canadians without having bypass techniques put into place which makes things difficult for players while also sending a clear message that these types of activities are discouraged by authorities within the nation’s borders.

A Comparison of Canadian Gambling Laws to Other Countries

The Canadian landscape regarding legislation surrounding gaming is quite distinct compared to other countries around the world. Unlike many European countries or Australia, online casinos are not legally allowed in Canada, with their only availability being through licensed offshore sites. Meanwhile, there are states within regions like Europe that provide much more liberal laws and regulations which allow residents access to a multitude of online casino games and even mobile applications that facilitate wagering activities at physical settings like horse tracks or casinos.

It seems clear that due to its smaller population size compared to these larger jurisdictions, Canada takes a much stricter approach concerning gaming legislation not to be overwhelmed by potential problem gamblers if everything was made more accessible from inside the country.

Today, technology plays a significant role when it comes to Canadian gambling legislation as governments are tasked with keeping up with new technologies.

How Has Technology Influenced Gambling Legislation in Canada
As technology advances, so does how people can play and access games, which has forced lawmakers to adjust their laws and regulations surrounding gaming activities continually.

Today, technology plays a significant role when it comes to Canadian gambling legislation as governments are tasked with keeping up with new technologies such as blockchain-based currencies, virtual reality casinos, and betting apps connecting players with international platforms.

These advancements have made it difficult for provincial governments to keep track of legal and illegal gaming activities occurring within their respective jurisdictions. At the same time, there are those who argue that more liberal regulations should be implemented in order to capture revenue from what is now a global industry where most bets are placed offshore without any money going back into the Canadian economy. This issue is still unresolved today, but technological advances will continue to shape how legislators regulate gaming activities in the country.

Examining Different Types of Casinos and Their Licensing Requirements in Canada
Canada is home to a variety of casino venues, ranging from large-scale casinos attached to resorts to small local gaming businesses. Each type of casino is governed by different sets of legislation and licensing requirements that must be followed by their operators before they can open the doors for business.

For instance, land-based casinos, which are usually connected to resort facilities, are typically covered under provincial gambling laws, which require them to obtain a license from their respective province or territory before they can start offering services.

Meanwhile, current and new online casinos, whether based in Canada or offshore sites, are subject to Canadian criminal law, which makes their presence clear through regulations like the Canadian Criminal Code prohibiting excessive gambling activities throughout the country.

All Canadian gambling establishments must adhere to the laws and comply with their respective licensing requirements if they want to continue operating within their jurisdictions.

Assessing Risk Factors Involved with Online Gambling Platforms in Canada
Online gambling platforms have become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing players to access a wide range of casino games and eSports tournaments right from the comfort of their own homes. Although online gambling provides an easy and convenient way for Canadians to participate in gaming activities, there is still risk involved with these platforms.

Risk, like reward is a part of gambling.

As mentioned, the Canadian Criminal Code prohibits any form of Internet gambling that is not licensed by provincial governments resulting in risks such as player funds being lost or seized by authorities. Furthermore, online casinos may lack adequate security measures, which could lead to players’ personal information and data being leaked or stolen.

With these risks in mind, it is important for individuals who are looking to engage in online gambling activities to assess all the potential risks ahead of time before committing and ensure that the platform they are using is properly secured and regulated accordingly.

The history of gambling laws in Canada shows a gradual emergence from strict regulations to more liberal ones. From local and provincial governments who had previously banned all forms of gambling, to the current federal government that has allowed for more leniency for certain activities, it is clear that attitudes have shifted over time. As technology advances and individual provinces take steps towards legalizing online gambling, the landscape of regulations surrounding this industry will continue to change in the years to come.

With these changes come an array of potential risks that must be addressed by players, regulators, and other stakeholders so that Canadians can engage in gaming activities safely and responsibly.

Return to the Front page

A year of war in a country that was invaded by the Russians - who are now finding they could lose the war they started

By Pepper Parr

February 24th, 2023



The vast majority of Canadians do not know what war is; they have never experienced war on our land and those who fought wars elsewhere in the world are now few in number.

The war in Ukraine is a war being fought for every Canadian. If that war is lost to the Russians – Canada will find itself involved in a war on our far northern borders.

Russian bombing has destroyed thousands of residential structures – 8 million people have left the country.

The Chinese and the Russians have eyes on the North West Passage, buoys that collect data were discovered in the Passage recently – they were put there by the Chinese

The support is needed – and it needs to be more than just wearing a ribbon.

The Ukrainians are winning this war but the Russian President is not able to give in at this point.

This is a very treacherous time for the world. Today, the first anniversary of the fight in Ukraine their President  Volodymyr Zelenskyy said:

“It was a year of pain, sorrow, faith and unity. And this is a year of our invincibility. We know that this will be the year of our victory!”

We need to more than hope so.

They need our support and we need to give it to them.

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.

Return to the Front page

Town Hall on the Housing Affordability problem - many see it as a crisis - taking place on Saturday

By Pepper Parr

February 24th, 2023



The sign of a healthy society can be seen when groups of people hold events to explain changes taking place in the way things are done and inform people on what action they can take.

The informing and engaging is usually done by the elected officials who are put in office to guide and direct.

When the elected fail to deliver – people in a healthy society come forward to do the job.

On Saturday there will be an event at the New Street branch of the Burlington Library on Affordable Housing.  Not much of that in Burlington but to be fair municipalities are limited in just what they can do.  The responsibility rests at the Regional level.

The event on Saturday is free – just walk in.



Return to the Front page

All City facilities and programs are open today

By Staff

February 23rd, 2023



All City of Burlington facilities and programs are open Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

Service Burlington customer service and response is also available by phone: 905-335-7777 or by email:

Halton Court Services (HCS) if also available by email: or by phone: 905-637-1274 for remote services.

For Burlington Transit updates, please check for real-time bus arrival and route planning info. Transit customer service can be reached by email at Need to load funds on your PRESTO card? Visit

Return to the Front page

How US Online Gambling Industry Influenced the Canadian Market

By Graziella Calleja

February 23rd, 2023



The American gambling industry has has considerable influence on the Canadian market.

As the US online gambling industry continues to expand, many in Canada are left wondering how it will impact their gambling practices.

You may be interested to know that the US online gambling industry has already had a profound influence on Canadian players and businesses.

In this blog, we’ll explore exactly how this is happening and what it means for Canadian gamblers.

Impact of US Online Gambling Industry on Canadian Market

The US online gambling industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. It is estimated to be worth around $40 billion and counting, with about 56 million players playing different casino games or betting on sports. Since the US has many states with legal online gambling, it is natural that this industry would have considerable influence on other countries, including Canada.

It all starts with how they are connected geographically: for instance, Ontario shares a border with two US states that have legalized online gambling in their jurisdiction (Michigan and New York). This makes it easier for residents of both countries to access games legally, as there are more avenues which they can possibly use when trying to play casino games or bet on sports.

The influence of the US extends further beyond just providing easy access—recent surveys and studies have shown that up to 16-17% of Canadian gamblers now play at offshore sites approved by US jurisdictions. This means that Canadians have become more comfortable with playing at offshore casinos since they trust the regulated ones approved by US gambling authorities—such as Nevada and New Jersey—over their own country’s gaming laws.

This increases competition among current and new Canadian online casinos and sportsbooks in order for them to remain competitive in an increasingly crowded market. As such, Canadians can benefit from improved bonuses or promotions offered by these operators so that they can stay ahead of competition from American-regulated sites entertaining players from neighbouring countries like Canada.

The long Canada USA border has tens of thousands crossing the border to gamble in both countries.

Canadian online gambling regulation has changed significantly over recent years due to increased pressure from not just its neighbour – but also due to safety standards set by operators based in the United States that follow strict gaming regulations, which ensure better financial protection for customers who use their services. Therefore, the players who take part in international gaming markets are now assured better protection than before, thanks to these regulations, which continue to evolve as technology advances over time.

Factors Driving the Growth of US Online Gambling Industry

The US online gambling industry is growing rapidly due to increasing numbers of people logging in to participate in real-money games, such as sports betting and casino gaming. The industry is also benefiting from increased legalization across numerous states, federal efforts to remove barriers for Indian tribes and operators to enter the market, relaxed regulations for cryptocurrencies and other payment options, as well as technological advances like virtual reality.

With the growth of the US online gambling industry comes an opportunity for Canadian operators to expand their presence in this lucrative market. Some operators will likely be using cross-border collaboration with US operators and macroeconomic forces driving expansion to enhance their market share presence.

Furthermore, Canadian operators can use cutting-edge technologies and strategic marketing techniques, such as search engine optimization for US markets, to drive traffic and grow their businesses. By leveraging their existing customer bases, brand recognition and networks in Canada, they can replicate their success story south of the border. Additionally, investments by major casinos into mobile apps add a further layer of convenience and appeal which could be adopted by online gamblers in both countries, benefiting the overall market size growth further enhanced by currency exchange advantages between Canada & US$.

Strategies Adopted by US Online Gambling Industry to Enter Canadian Market

The US online gambling industry has multiplied over the last few years, and the Canadian market is an increasingly attractive one for these operators. To get around the laws in certain provinces and give their players access to legal gaming websites, US gambling companies have adopted a variety of strategies.

One of the most common is partnering with provincial government agencies such as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to offer online services through their platforms. This strategy allows companies to legitimately offer real-money casino games while complying with all provincial laws in Canada. Such partnerships have taken off in Ontario, allowing US gambling companies such as 888 Casino and PokerStars to offer their services in the province under OLG’s platform.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and the province signed an amendment to the Gaming Framework Agreement.

In addition, US-based gambling operators have also sought to partner with First Nations bands who held legal rights over land and gaming operations on them. This strategy allowed them access to markets that were otherwise closed off due to restrictions in certain provinces, such as Quebec and British Columbia which prohibited real money gaming sites for all but government-backed corporations. Striking deals with First Nations tribes and providing customers access through these agreements allowed companies a much more significant foothold into Canadian markets than they otherwise would’ve been able to get.

Finally, many US companies have invested heavily into advertising campaigns aimed at Canadian players both in local media outlets (print media, TV commercials) as well as digital channels (online banners on websites, paid search). This cutting-edge strategy helps build awareness and recognition of online casinos among customers who may not be aware that such services are available at all or don’t know if they are available legally or not. As a result of this push by betting sites for customers south of Canada’s border, most major cities now have numerous ads for offshore gaming destinations vying for attention from Canadians seeking an alternative from domestic offerings or from abroad competition looking to lure Canadian clientele away from local sites.


In conclusion, the US online gambling industry has had a significant and lasting influence on the Canadian market. Over the years, American developers have brought both technological advances and marketing expertise to Canada — giving Canadian players access to a greater variety of games, more sophisticated platforms and bigger bonuses.

Return to the Front page

Ribfest will be in Spencer Smith Park Labour Day weekend - no more winding through the parking lot

By Staff

February 23rd, 2023



Tough on a day like today – when you are scraping the windshield of the car, to think about sitting outside in the sunshine licking your fingers clean of the sauce you put on your fibs. .

Will Ribfest attendance set a new record in September?

Canada’s Largest Ribfest Returns to Spencer Smith Park Labour Day Weekend 2023 !!

No more driving through a parking lot to get those finger licking Ribs.

Canada’s Largest Ribfest, a fundraising initiative of Burlington Rotary Lakeshore, is excited, as well they should be, to announce that they will be back in Spencer Smith Park from Friday September 1- Monday September 4, 2023.

It was an obstacle course that went very well – the community turned out in droves.

The hope is – maybe? they could set a new attendance record.

After a two year pause due to the pandemic, Ribfest plans on a triumphant return to Spencer Smith Park in 2023

Over the years, Canada’s Largest Ribfest, a fundraising initiative of Rotary Burlington Lakeshore, has raised over $4.5 million for local, national l, and international charities.



Return to the Front page