What is there to look forward to this week? Your Councillor wants to talk to you about the budget.

By Pepper Parr

November 12th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

So what is the next step on getting to the point where we know what the budget number is going to be ?

On Monday five of the six Councillors will be scurrying from meeting to meeting trying to convince their constituents that this is a good budget.

Councillor Sharman and the Mayor know what they are going to do – the Mayor has presented her Budget and now waits to see what the members of Council want to change.

They put forward by way of Motions what they want to propose – those motions are due in the Clerk’s Office on Monday.  They will be made public by the end of the week (or at least that is our understanding).

The following week, on the 21st and the 23rd Council will hear the Motions and debate them.

This is their opportunity to bring their changes to the budget – we will learn then if these people have the public interest and the will of the public at the heart of what they do.

When Councillor gets his teeth into something – he doesn’t let go easily. However, he is a pragmatic man and knows that his sails have to catch the wind.

Or will they all fold and give the Mayor and Councillor Sharman what they think is best for the city.

Councillor Sharman said at Council last week that the 2026 municipal election will be the first opportunity people have to decide if they have been well served by the current city council and should be returned to office.

That would suit Paul Sharman, all the bother and badgering that members of Council will have to put up is as people want to voice their opinions is not to Sharman’s liking.  Takes him way out of his comfort zone.

In a comment made by Wendy Fletcher she mentions “Someone forwarded me a copy of an exchange with Sharman today. They’d written him and the Mayor to protest this budget and let them know they wouldn’t be getting that households votes next election if they pushed forward with it. … He made it clear they wouldn’t be changing what they were doing.  …  He said the vast majority are able to pay and implied they were willing to.”

Having made up his mind – don’t expect Paul Sharman to change it at this point in time. Maybe, just maybe sometime later in the month – depends how much noise the citizens make.

Sharman is serving his fourth term as a Member of  Council; that will provide him with a decent pension and he can ride off into a sunset or perhaps gather with his friends under that tree where he made the decision to run for Council back in 2009.

He was elected the same year Marianne Meed Ward was elected is as the Councillor for ward 2

Back in 2010 and 2014 when Mead Ward was Councillor Paul Sharman was one of the councillors who gave Marianne a very very hard time. Sharman and Councillor Craven were quite prepared then to tar and feather the woman and ride her out of town on a rail.  Councillor Dennison decided that he wasn’t going to get in their way.

There was never any love lost between Councillor Lancaster  and Councillor Meed Ward.  Politics does make for strange bed fellows; a conclusion a British artist came to in 1899

Today Sharman is basically Meed Ward’s financial adviser and has more influence on her than the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Joan Ford.

The levels of animosity between the Mayor and Councillor Stolte along with Councillor Kearns (this despite the fact that Mayor  Meed Ward consistently  spout the line that this will be a collaborative budget.

Mayor Meed Ward leading a parade in Japan with City Manager Tim Commisso (Center) strutting his stuff.

If signs of emotion, glee and joy were permitted in the Council Chamber expect them to form a circle, hold hands and sing kumbaya with City Manager Tim Commisso dancing around knowing that it won’t be too long before he can leave this zoo and enjoy his retirement.

What could upset this pretty picture is an electorate that has people who feel the power they gave the Councillors when they were elected should be pulled back enough to make them listen.

Marianne Meed Ward was just a citizen when this picture was taken.

That will depend on whether or not enough people in the city can move from their complacency and require their council to be both transparent and accountable – a phrase that Meed Ward basically owned when she was running for office in 2009.

All this is really good opera – the down side is learning later just how much tickets to this farce are going to cost.

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

Not a word so far from the Mayor on the accident that took place at Bateman when asbestos was being removed

Well this is certainly interesting.

From a source that we have found to be reliable came the following:

The accident at Bateman happened on Thursday Nov. 9th at approx. 9am….

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has not posted a word on her private website and there has been no media release [posted on the City web site.

Council members have been told not to post to their social media accounts because the employees work for the contractor and it is the  Mayor  who speaks for Council.

What harm could the pablum Thoughts and Prayers statement really cause ?  Is this a case of an abundance of caution?

Was any asbestos released from the containment area?

It would appear anything to do with the Bateman project just gets screwed up.

 

 

Return to the Front page

Gould awards 21 Veterans from Burlington with King Charles Coronation Awards

By Staff

November 11th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a statement released earlier today Burlington MP, Karina Gould said:

On May 6, 2023, Canadians celebrated the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty the Queen Consort. This historic event, the first coronation of a Canadian Head of State and Monarch in 7 decades, allowed communities to come together and highlight themes that both King Charles III and Canadians hold dear, including service, the environment and sustainability, and our nation’s diversity.

As a constitutional monarchy and Commonwealth realm, Canada marked this milestone event with several national initiatives that celebrated the close ties between His Majesty and Canada, as well as the role the Crown plays in our system of government and our sense of identity.

Honourable Karina Gould, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Burlington.

Gould awarded 21 Veterans from Burlington with King Charles Coronation Awards. The award consists of an Honourary King Charles Coronation Pin which represents the Canadian Coronation Emblem and Honourary Certificates for each recipient. The Canadian emblem for the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III was created to mark the first crowning of a Canadian monarch in 7 decades, a historic occasion.

The Royal Monogram

The Royal Monogram (CIIIR) in the centre of the Emblem and the Royal Crown at the top are personal symbols of The King. The ring of triangular shapes evokes the image of a string of pennants displayed for a celebration. These 13 shapes allude to Canada’s provinces and territories, and their circular arrangement conveys the idea of inclusion for all Canadians. The circle is also an important concept for many Indigenous Peoples, symbolizing not only equity but also the cycles of the natural world. The green colour of the shapes is associated with the environment, which has long been an important cause for His Majesty, and it symbolizes hope and growth.

Inclusion and togetherness are also represented by the white spaces between the green shapes, which resemble paths leading to a central meeting place. The entire white space can be seen as a sunburst, symbolizing innovation and new ideas.

The Emblem was designed and painted by Cathy Bursey-Sabourin, Fraser Herald at the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

The 21 Recipients of the King Charles Coronation Awards:

Ceremony during which pins were presented to armed forces people.

 

1. James Farraunto CD SSM is a retired Warrant Officer and acted as an Engineer Mechanic in the Royal Canadian Navy.
2. Micheal Honcharenko CD is a retired Master Corporal and was responsible for transport in the Canadian Army.
3. Manual J Alfau is a retired Sgt. And was a Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer in the Canadian Army.
4. Burns MacLeod served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army.
5. Robert Ingram is a retired Sgt. And served in the Canadian Army.
6. Micheal (Mick) Jackson is a retired Sgt. And served as a Mechanical Engineer in the British Army.
7. Mike Vencel served as an Electrician in the Royal Canadian Navy.
8. Andrew Barber served as a Visual Communicator in the Royal Canadian Navy.
9. Doug Dicker served as a Naval Fireman in the Royal Canadian Navy.
10. Bill Thomas was responsible for surface weapons in the Royal Canadian Navy.
11. Don Arthurs served as Radar Operator in the Royal Canadian Navy.
12. Ralph Edwards served as a Stewart/Diver/Fire Fighter in the Royal Canadian Navy.
13. Michael Traina served as a Radio Technician in the Royal Canadian Navy.
14. Bill MacDonald served in Search and Rescue in the Royal Canadian Navy.
15. Peter Lorimer served as an Engineer Mechanic in the Royal Candian Navy.
16. Hank Wensley served as an Engineer Mechanic in the Royal Canadian Navy.
17. Gordon Schottlander served as a Captain in the British Army and is a D Day Veteran.
18. Jim Holmes served as a Sonar Operator in the Royal Canadian Navy.
19. Matt Black CSM is a Sgt. Major C.D. in the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.
20. Nicholas Roadhouse CD is a Major in the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.
21. Joseph Daniel Lauzon is a retired Sgt. And served in the Canadian Army in an Infantry Airborne Regiment.

Return to the Front page

Petition to STOP the Proposed 2024 Property Tax Increase - working its way to its target

By Pepper Parr

November 11th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

They are getting there.

There are now 2488 signatures on the petition that asks Council to stop the proposed tax increase.

What is interesting and confusing.  While the number of signatures increased – there isn’t exactly a rush ti sign on.

We have since learned that the 501 represents all the people that signed a petition. The Tax Protest is one of a number of petitions on the Change.org site.

What we are seeing in there is certainly a lot of interest – since the last report we published 36 hours ago 501 people have logged in.  They logged in – but they didn’t sign.

Getting the petition read into the public record turned oust to be easier said than done.  City Clerk Keven Arjoon rejected the request to delegate and then changed his mind and Wendy Fletcher made her delegation.

Ensuring that it appeared in the Minutes of Council took a little more effort – someone had to call the Clerk and point out that the petition was not yet on the City Web site.

Why all this fuss over a petition – people are permitted to speak – surely that comes home to us on Remembrance Day.

 

 

Return to the Front page

In Flanders fields the poppies

Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium. Born in Guelph, he is best known for writing the famous war memorial poem “In Flanders Fields”. McCrae died of pneumonia near the end of the war.

Return to the Front page

Secrets of successful betting on 1win: A complete guide to sports betting

By Liran Smith

November 10th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

Want to know how to bet on 1win?

From the basics to advanced strategies, our guide will tell you everything you need to know to successfully bet on the popular platform.

Betting on sports is not only an exciting activity, but also an opportunity to turn your knowledge of sports into real profit. And if you decide to join the world of sports betting, choosing the right bookmaker is key. Let’s look at how to bet on sports on the 1win bookmaker website.

What you need to know before you start betting on sports

Before plunging into the world of sports betting, it is extremely important to choose the right platform for your bets. Having studied many bookmakers, many professional players and beginners come to the conclusion that 1win is the ideal place to bet. Why? Let’s figure it out.

  • Bookmaker reliability. The most important criterion for choosing any service where money is circulated is its reliability. 1win has established itself as an honest and reliable partner. All payments are made on time, and the rules of the game are transparent and understandable even for a novice player.
  • Favorable odds. 1win offers some of the highest odds on the market. This means that your potential winnings will be significantly higher compared to other bookmakers.
  • Wide selection of events. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of football, basketball, tennis or exotic sports – at 1win you will find a bet for every taste. Even if you want to bet on a little-known event, you will most likely be able to do it here.
  • Innovation and convenience of the platform. The age of technology requires bookmakers to keep up with the times. 1win is on par with the industry leaders, providing a fast and user-friendly interface, as well as mobile applications that allow you to place bets even on the go.
  • Player safety. 1win uses advanced encryption technology to protect its customers’ data. The office also provides advice on responsible gambling, helping players keep their bets under control.
  • Educational materials. For those just starting out in the world of betting, 1win provides useful educational materials to help you understand the basics and intricacies of betting.

So, if you’ve decided to start betting on sports, 1win is the perfect place to start. Among other things, the office regularly pleases its clients with promotions, bonuses and special offers, making the betting process even more profitable and exciting.

Registration 1win: the first and important step before betting

Before plunging into the exciting world of sports betting on the http://1win-canada-bet.com website, the first priority is registration. This is not just a formality, but also a key stage that ensures the safety and comfort of using the platform. Let’s figure out why registering on a bookmaker site is so important and what benefits it provides.

  • Personalize the experience. After completing the registration procedure, you receive your unique account. This allows the system to “remember” you, provide personal bonuses, and also save the history of your bets.
  • Security and privacy. Registration protects your account from unauthorized access. Indeed, in addition to login and password, many platforms, including 1win, offer two-factor authentication.
  • Access to full functionality. Without registration, you are deprived of the opportunity to place bets, receive bonuses and participate in promotions. The account opens up all the capabilities of the site to you.
  • Ease of use. A registered account allows you to quickly deposit and withdraw funds, monitor your balance and control active bets.
  • Player support. If you have problems or questions, the support team can quickly identify your profile and help resolve problems.

Registration on the 1win website is a simple and quick process. This usually only takes a few minutes. You must provide your basic information, create a username and password, and pass a basic security check. After this, the whole world of sports betting opens up before you, and 1win will become your reliable partner on this exciting journey.

Top up your account: your start in the world of betting

Placing bets without funds in your account would be similar to going to the store without your wallet. Therefore, before making your first bet on the 1win bookmaker’s website, you need to top up your account. Let’s take a closer look at this process and its features.

  • Replenishment methods. 1win provides a wide selection of payment systems for replenishing your account. Whether it’s a bank card, e-wallets or even cryptocurrencies, every player will find the most convenient way for themselves.
  • Speed and safety. One of the main advantages of 1win is the speed of transactions. In most cases, the money arrives in your account instantly. In addition, thanks to modern encryption methods, all financial transactions are absolutely safe.
  • Minimum and maximum limits. 1win sets flexible deposit limits, making the platform accessible to both beginners with a small budget and experienced players who are ready to invest large sums.
  • Transparency of the process. Each transaction is displayed in your account history, making it easy to track all financial transactions and control the status of your account.
  • No commissions. It is important to note that most 1win deposit methods do not involve additional commissions from the bookmaker.

Funding your account is not just a necessary formality, but also the first step to successful betting. Many aspects of your game on the bookmaker platform depend on the correct choice of the deposit method and understanding the features of this process.

Let’s start betting 1win: learning the difference between live and line

When entering the betting section of any modern bookmaker, a beginner may encounter two key terms: “line” and “live”. These words are often used in the context of sports betting, and understanding the differences is critical to a successful starting experience on the 1win platform.

The line, sometimes called the pre-match line, refers to bets placed before the start of a sporting event. This is a classic type of bet, where the player analyzes statistics, team news, lineups, based on this information, makes a decision and places a bet. The time for thinking with this approach is almost unlimited: you can study information, consult with experts, or even wait for a certain moment to place a bet, for example, when the odds become most profitable.

On the other hand, live betting (real-time betting) provides the opportunity to place bets after the match has started. They require the player to react quickly, be flexible, and be able to make decisions on the fly. After all, the situation in a match can change every minute, and this affects the odds. Live betting allows you to use up-to-date information about the progress of the game, which can be extremely useful if you know how to quickly analyze what is happening and predict further events.

Thus, the choice between line and live largely depends on the individual preferences of the player and his playing style. If you prefer a calm, balanced approach based on deep analysis, then the line is for you. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush and are willing to trust your intuitive understanding of how the game is going, live betting will open up a world of new possibilities for you.

1win provides its users with access to both types of bets, while offering high odds and a variety of betting options for each event. Thanks to an intuitive interface and high-quality live broadcasts of matches, players can get the most out of the betting process, regardless of their preferences.

Types of sports betting: single bets, express bets, systems and optimal choice

In the world of sports betting, there are many ways to participate in gambling and try to guess the outcome of an event. Among the most popular and widespread betting formats are single bets, express bets and systems. Let’s take a closer look at each of them and determine which of these formats may be most profitable for different categories of players.

  • Single bets are perhaps the simplest and most understandable betting format. You just need to choose one event and decide the outcome. For example, team A will defeat team B in a football match. The advantage of this format is its simplicity: you analyze only one event, which makes forecasting easier. However, the odds on single bets are usually not as high as in other formats.
  • Express bets are a combination of two or more events in one bet. In order to win by express, it is necessary that all the events you have chosen take place. This format is attractive because it allows you to get a significantly larger win if the outcome is successful. However, the risk also increases as the probability of losing increases with each additional event in the bet.
  • Systems are an advanced version of express bets, where the player makes several combinations of bets within one overall bet. This allows you to insure yourself against possible failures and get a win, even if some of the events did not go through. The systems are more difficult to understand and require more advanced skills, but they also provide additional opportunities for winning.

Now the important question is: which of these formats should you choose? The answer depends on your experience, strategy and risk appetite. Beginners are often advised to start with single bets as this is the easiest and safest way to get into the world of betting. Those who are looking for an opportunity to win big and are willing to take risks can pay attention to express bets. Advanced players who want to maximize their chances of success can explore the systems.

However, in any case, do not forget about the main rule of betting: never risk what you are not ready to lose. Always bet wisely and consciously.

The most profitable sport

When choosing a sport to bet on, many bettors wonder: which one can make the most money? The answer to this question is individual and depends on many factors, including knowledge of a particular sport, experience and, of course, luck. However, there are several sports that are traditionally considered the most profitable.

Football

Football is without a doubt the most popular sport in the world and this makes it one of the most preferred sports for betting. The multitude of leagues, teams and players create countless betting opportunities. In-depth analysis of matches, knowledge of team compositions and current form can significantly increase the chances of success.

Basketball

Basketball attracts many with its dynamic nature and highlights. NBA, Euroleague, national championships – each event provides a ton of betting opportunities. A feature of basketball betting is the frequent change of leadership during the match, which creates additional moments for live betting.

Tennis

Tennis has its own individual character. It all depends on the two players on the court. This makes analyzing an upcoming match easier than team games, but requires a deep understanding of the characteristics of each tennis player, as well as the characteristics of the court surface.

League of Legends

Cybersport

The modern world cannot be imagined without e-sports. Disciplines like Dota 2, CS:GO and League of Legends attract millions of viewers. Betting on eSports requires a special approach, since knowledge of the game’s meta, team tactics and the current form of players are important here.

Other sports

There are many other sports that can be profitable for betting: hockey, baseball, handball, volleyball and many others. Each of them has its own characteristics and nuances. The main thing is to find your niche in which you feel confident and follow your strategy.

Increase your bet winnings with 1win bonuses

Bonus programs at bookmakers are not just a nice addition for players, they are a real tool for increasing their chances of winning. 1win is one of the market leaders when it comes to providing varied and generous bonus offers, which makes betting on this site even more attractive.

One of the most popular offers is the first deposit bonus. For beginners, this is an excellent opportunity to increase their initial capital, which allows them to place more bets or risk a larger amount on a specific event.

Equally important is cashback or the return of part of the amount of lost bets. This gives players additional confidence, reducing the risk of losses and giving them a chance to recover from a losing streak.

It is also worth mentioning thematic promotions and promotions that are held at different times of the year or in honour of major sporting events. For example, during the World or European Football Championships, players can count on special offers, increased odds or even free bets.

Another interesting point is the loyalty program. Regular players who place bets on the 1win website can count on various bonuses, gifts and even exclusive offers. All this together creates ideal conditions for increasing your chances of winning and making bets even more profitable.

Making successful bets on sports is a difficult but interesting task. Thanks to modern bookmakers like 1win, everyone has the opportunity not only to enjoy watching sports events, but also to turn their knowledge and intuition into real income. Particular attention should be paid to all aspects of the process: from choosing a sport to using bonus offers. And remember that the main thing in betting is the pleasure of the game and the opportunity to feel the atmosphere of a real sports festival. Good luck!

Return to the Front page

Over 2M Mortgage Holders Expected To Face

By Zoe DeMarco

November 10th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

In 2024 and 2025, an estimated 2.2 million mortgage holders will face “interest rate shock” as they reach renewal in a significantly higher rate environment. The figure represents roughly 45% of all outstanding mortgages in Canada, or over $675 billion.

More than 290,000 fixed-rate borrowers already dealt with such shock in the first half of 2023, according to new research from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

From 2018 to 2020, interest rates hovered between 1% and 2%. Following the onset of the pandemic, the Bank of Canada (BoC) slashed rates to 0.25%, and promised to keep them “low for a long time.” But, in March of 2022, the BoC began an onslaught of rate hikes which brought the overnight rate to its current 5%.

When homeowners renew their mortgages over the next two years, they could see a 30% to 40% increase in their average monthly payments. For example, for a $500,000 mortgage with a five-year fixed-rate term and a 25-year amortization period, a rate increase from 1.94% to 5.45% would result in a $950 jump in their monthly payments.

Rather than “low for a long time,” mortgage holders are now faced with a “higher for longer” reality. Larger payments may put borrowers in “more precarious financial situations,” the CMHC warned, which in turn will make the economy more susceptible to negative shocks and downturns.

“Homeowners had gotten used to low interest rates. While mortgage rates around 6 to 7% have been common in Canadian financial history, the mortgage holders of today are facing the fastest and largest increase in interest rates to this level in over four decades,” the CMHC said.

“This steep interest rate hike is coinciding with a time when households are facing historically high levels of debt and higher cost of living.”

Despite high interest rates and growing debt-servicing costs, mortgages in arrears have been stabilizing at historically low levels for the past 16 months. But delinquency rates amongst auto loans, credit cards, and lines of credit have been rising continuously for over a year, indicating that a growing number of Canadians are struggling under the weight of their debt.

As well, mortgage debt has continued to grow despite a slowdown in mortgage activity. Over the first half of 2023, chartered banks reported a 44% drop in mortgages for the purchase of property compared to the same period a year prior, as high interest rates led to slowing sales. As of August 2023, residential mortgage debt stood at $2.14 trillion, up 3.4% from a year prior.

With the BoC leaving further interest rate hikes on the table, mortgage holders’ hopes for imminent cuts have faded. This is evidenced by a drop in the number of mortgages with terms of less than three years during the first half of 2023.

Meanwhile, amortization periods have grown longer as homeowners seek to lower their monthly payments. In the first half of 2023, nearly two-thirds of newly-extended mortgages had an amortization period longer than 25 years, compared to only half in 2020.

The tactic is one solution offered up by the CMHC to the growing number of Canadians staring down the barrel of mortgage renewal. Other options to “make ends meet” include cutting back on savings, delaying major purchases, reducing the consumption of non-essential goods and services, prioritizing mortgage payments over other loans and credit cards, and preemptively selling your home.

 

Return to the Front page

Two well known Burlington voices looking for a better way to choose who sits on city council

By Staff

November 10th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When things get worse and worse in the minds of people they begin looking for new and different ways to solve the problem.

This is what the world of politics is all about.

The public gives the power they have (expressed most vividly at the ballot box) to people they elect and expect them to act in the best interest of the people who voted for them.

The really brilliant politicians have the capacity to discern what their public wants. They truly love the people they represent and in return get elected again and again.

For some reason that doesn’t happen in Burlington.

The low voter turnout and the lack of active local groups in different communities has resulted in a city council that doesn’t feel it has to be accountable. The current lot was returned to office and feel they must be doing something right.

Burlingtonians often get described is as complacent, but in 2018 they were anything but. Then Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward was running for Mayor and four newbies were running for office, along with Paul Sharman who held the ward 5 seat and Angelo Bentivegna who beat Blair Lancaster by a slim 48 votes in the 2014 election.

ECoB packed the Baptist Church on New Street

The public turnout at the ward level debates put on by ECoB was an outstanding success. Unfortunately ECoB was unable to build on the success, partly due to the leadership and the failure of residents in the different wards to help make ECoB a city wide citizen organization.
There is now a population that is looking for new leadership.

If what Blair and White are thinking of is ever going to happen citzens are going to have to be involved.

Steven White and Blair Smith have both been active in the politics of the city but have never run for office. They also bring different political philosophies to their thinking.

They share a view that something has to be done to get a better grade of politician; people that will listen to the public and ensure that the city hall administration delivers on the will of Council

In a comment in the Gazette earlier this week Blair Smith responded to another resident saying:

“Your voices are strong and true and focused on exactly the right issues. Unfortunately, you fight from a position of great disadvantage. Literally, the Mayor, Council and COB senior management control both the media and the message. And the results are totally predictable.

Blair Smith flanked by Lynn Crosby and Mayor Meed Ward on a cable TV program.

“Perhaps, it is time to consider how citizens can regain a degree of control by offering a clearer choice – an open alternative that allows issues to be simply stated and positions to be compared; that provides a selection of Ward and Mayoral candidates who represent a common philosophy of fiscal and social stewardship; and who are all truly responsive to local issues first and foremost.

“This is certainly not my brainchild. Several of us have started to ‘ponder’ what a “slate” of candidates might look like for the 2026 election. How they would be selected? What the selection and vetting criteria might be? How to position ‘a list of candidates’ within the boundaries of the Municipal Election Act?

Obviously, there are many dimensions to be investigated and many logistical issues to be addressed. Perhaps 2026 is too soon for an operative approach.

But, I believe that the basic idea needs consideration. It might address the weak candidate, ‘best of a bad lot’ and ‘the devil we know’ conditions that have plagued (arguably) every election (2018 excepted) since 2002.

It would introduce the benefits of a common, well-articulated platform to our current municipal environment – not a party per se but a “slate of common interest”.

Stephen White

Stephen White added in a Gazette comment he made:
“You can call it a slate, a party, a coalition, a “slate of common interest’ or whatever. Whatever name you apply, the reality is we need to do something very different in this City because the present arrangement of municipal engagement by concerned residents clearly doesn’t work, and no one at City Hall appears to be listening.

Stephen White: “We need to get off this “hamster wheel”

“The recent budget discussions highlight two distinct realities: 1) the present arrangement of electing independent Councillors who are responsive to voters’ perspectives isn’t effective; 2) there are no effective checks on the actions of Council and the public service, and no mechanism to hold them accountable.

“More than anything else I think we need a clear statement or platform on what citizens want regarding transportation, development, affordable housing, finances, public transit, etc. This City has a lot of bright, talented, educated people, and I’m confident we could forge an effective coalition that would present a common front on what is needed.

“We need to get off this “hamster wheel” of continually responding to municipal issues and bouncing from crisis to crisis. Not only is it ridiculously time consuming but it’s frustrating and unproductive.

It’s time residents took control of the agenda and stated clearly and unequivocally our expectations of this Council and its public service. A good place to start is with the budget, and anything in excess of 2-3% certainly doesn’t cut it.

Return to the Front page

Disabled home owner came very close to loosing $20,000

By Pepper Parr

November 10th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is still happening.

Fast talkers taking advantage of people who don’t think through what people they don’t know are asking them to do.

On Wednesday, a Clark Avenue Gazette reader reports that a neighbour was conned out of $20,000 to repair a non-existing problem.

Our reader said he was “able to get the neighbour to his bank and put a stop payment on the cheque he had written.

“I want people to know these crooks are in town….An English man, “Mike”, & a Scot, “Peter” came to his door, & bamboozled their way in. They have what turns out to be a fake roofing company, & a great line of HOOEY.

“The police are taking our report today.”

 

 

 

Return to the Front page

Kyle Hutton selected as the Green Party candidate for the federal seat in Burlington

Pepper Parr

November 10th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Does Kyle Hutton know something the rest of us don’t know ?

He has been selected as the Burlington Federal Green Party candidate.

Jane Jenner, Communications person for the Burlington Greens said she was “thrilled to introduce our candidate for the next federal election” which is scheduled for 2025 but could be sooner – at some point many expect the NDP to pull the support they have given the Liberals consistently since the last election..

Kyle Hutton: Green Party candidate running for the Burlington federal seat.

Hutton is no stranger to the political junkies in Burlington; he was part of Karina Gould’s first run at politics when she beat Mile Wallace for the federal seat.

In his statement Hutton said:  “I am excited once again to represent and share my Green values here in Burlington,” said Hutton, who previously ran for the Ontario Greens in the June 2022 provincial election.

“Growing up in Burlington and spending the last decade and a half knocking on doors here, I’ve heard a single consistent message from the community: we need to do more. We need to do more to make living here affordable; to prevent the catastrophe of climate change; to prepare for an economy where many more of today’s jobs will be automated; to create a more equitable and humane society with opportunities for all to thrive.”

“The Green Party recognizes that Canadians don’t need more empty slogans and attack ads – we need long-term solutions and a vision of the future worth voting for. My campaign will focus on providing both whenever the election comes.”

Kyle Hutton is a long-time Brant Hills resident, small business worker, and engaged community advocate. He has been active in local politics for over a decade, and has been part of the successful movement to keep sprawl out of Ontario’s Greenbelt and support affordable housing within Burlington’s urban boundaries.

“Canada is at a crossroads. We can either espouse resolutely progressive, sustainable policies to address the affordability and climate emergencies, or go down the same old destructive path of boom and bust promised by the NDP-backed Liberals and the Conservatives,” said Jonathan Pedneault, Green Party Deputy Leader. “As a Green MP, Kyle will be a strong advocate in Parliament, offering concrete solutions to address Burlington’s immediate and long-term needs.”

Kyle welcomes opportunities to speak with Burlington residents and businesses about what matters to them, and can be reached at kyle.hutton@greenparty.ca.

Karina Gould is the current MP for Burlington.

 

Return to the Front page

Think of yourself as a Helping Hand and reach out to the United Way

By Pepper Parr

November 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

 

The United Way Halton & Hamilton announced the launch of the annual Holiday Helping Hand program, a community- driven initiative aimed at supporting local agencies and families during the holiday season. This program not only spreads holiday cheer but also helps alleviate the immense stress placed on local community agencies due to increased demands and limited resources.

As the holiday season approaches, United Way Halton & Hamilton invites individuals and businesses to take part in the Holiday Helping Hand program and make a positive impact in the lives of those who need it most. Whether it’s helping pack stockings at a local agency, adopting a family in need, or contributing to a gift drive, participating in the Holiday Helping Hand program brings joy and hope to our community.

All volunteering opportunities are listed on the United Way Halton & Hamilton website. Registration for volunteer projects is first-come, first-served, so please be sure that each member in your group registers to reserve their spot. The deadline for adopt-a-family and gift drive is December 8. All adopt-a-family and gift drive items must be dropped off to the Community Donation Warehouse in Burlington, on December 11 and 12, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional details will be provided with registration confirmation.

Brad Park

This year, there are well over 100 families in our local community who require support. “We are confident that, together, we can rally and ensure that these families have a joyous and happy holiday season,” added Brad Park.

To participate in the Holiday Helping Hand program or make a donation, please visit uwhh.ca. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our community.

About United Way Halton & Hamilton

United Way Halton & Hamilton (UWHH) is committed to leading measurable, impactful change by identifying the most challenging issues in our community, and bringing together people and resources to address those issues. We connect volunteers with local needs, and offer training and operational support to local charities. Along with our network of partners and experts, UWHH conducts research and works with key stakeholders to generate support for the not-for-profit sector. Each dollar raised is invested right back into the community to address the long-term recovery of its vital social safety net. Last year, UWHH helped 143,562 residents across Halton and Hamilton, who relied on 106 United Way-supported programs for life changing services.

 

 

Return to the Front page

City Executive Director sums up what Staff set out to do -

By Pepper Parr

November 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

During the closing minutes of a two day session on what Staff had determined was needed in the way of additional resources, Executive Director Sheila Jone, who chaired the meeting said:

Our priority as municipal government is to serve our local community in the most effective and efficient way possible and in doing so deliver the highest possible quality of life to our citizens.

Executive Director Sheila Jones

To do to do this, our own resources must keep pace with the growth and changes in our community. As this is the strongest way in which we can deliver on the key strategies and the master plans guiding that growth and change.

We continue to work on phasing in operational yet foundational processes and systems to maintain and sustain our valuable human capital as much as we need to maintain and sustain our physical and virtual infrastructure. Though we have continued to deliver services such that in 2021 95% of our community is satisfied with with our municipal services, and 89% of our community has a positive outlook on the quality of life.

The past has caught up with us and we are not as stable as we should be.

Sheila Jones: “These these sessions were designed to be directly aligned to your decision making process.”

Today we covered off the key investments related to vision to focus area to providing the best services and experiences and focus area for driving organizational performance.

These these sessions were designed to be directly aligned to your decision making process not only for the 2024 budget, but for the future years as we take this multi year approach knowing that decisions that you make today, we’ll have a cumulative impact on the future operations of the city.

Return to the Front page

STOP the Tax Increase - Demand that the Mayor use her Strong Powers in the interests of the people who elected her

By Pepper Parr

November 10th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

STOP the Proposed 2024 Property Tax Increase

It is your city spending your tax money and you have a right to tell them what you want them to do.

Tomorrow we will remember them

The Last Post will be played by a trumpeter and we will reflect on what those men and women did.

The Reveille will be played.

And our hearts will rise again – we can overcome.

This morning at 7:45 there were 2438 signatures on the petition to

Keep that number inching forward.  The petition will be in place until the end of December. 

If you want to nudge it along HERE is where you can do your part.

 

 

Return to the Front page

Workers injured when ceiling collapses at Bateman during asbestos removal

By Pepper Parr

November 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Sign that appears on the door to every entrance to the building.

From our colleagues at the Bay Observer:

Workers say a ceiling collapsed at the Robert Bateman Community Centre project as they were removing asbestos from the former school. The accident Thursday morning resulted in injuries to four workers.

The asbestos removal is being conducted prior to the commencement of renovations on the facility. Police say rescuers had to don protective gear before entering the facility to rescue the workers.

The Ministry of Labour will be conducting the investigation into the incident.

Company that won the bid to do the asbestos removal.

The work is part of a $100 million project to convert the former school into a community centre that will house a Library branch, Brock University, Tech Place and community recreational facilities.

What makes this interesting is that for months the city made no mention of any asbestos and when they did they came up with a convoluted name that Executive Director Alan Magi could not easily pronounce.

Return to the Front page

Lakeside Plaza is becoming a desert - all the retailers are leaving

By Pepper Parr

November 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is not good news.

This is a community location that is falling apart. There are “plans” for huge developments; there is a new ice rink and community space under construction.

A reader told us this morning that they were in the Shoppers Drug Mart at the Lakeside Plaza (east end of the city)

We were just at the Shoppers Drug Mart located at Lakeside Plaza to mail a package.  We know the Post Master.  He informed us that the post office at this location will be closing Nov 23 and the entire store will be closing Nov 30. 

The shelves were bare and empty with stock being delivered to the new location at BurlOak and Rebecca which will open sometime soon. 

There WILL NOT be a postal outlet at this location.  Residents will have to go to the New Street and Appleby Shoppers Drug for mail, stamps, etc. 

Too bad for those nearby who used to walk to the plaza for necessities and now we will have to drive, taxi, or bus. 

Not the vision Burlington had in mind to encourage people to walk or cycle to nearby shops.

 

 

 

Return to the Front page

Assessing Risk: Designing and Evolving our Organization (DEOO)

By Pepper Parr

November 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

Risk Assessment: Part 3 of a 6 part series

Designing and Evolving our Organization (DEOO) is perhaps what City Manager Tim Commisso will be remembered for most.  He along with Executive Directive Sheila Jones put this together and convinced Council to fund it.  It is human resources management at its best when done well.  Do they get it right?  Not all the time but they were very right when they introduced the approach.

Since 2019, the City has taken a corporate-wide strategic approach to refine its functional design and organizational structure through Designing and Evolving our Organization
(DEOO).

The body language was better than the words City Manager Tim Commisso used on this occasion.

As Council is aware, the City of Burlington has reached its tipping point where the ability to provide effective and quality services at current staffing levels is not sustainable.

DEOO has allowed the City of Burlington to continue to evolve to meet the changing environment to address the strengths and weaknesses of the organization in a strategic and comprehensive manner and most importantly prepare for the future.

Management is working across and throughout the organization to stabilize and enhance our competency, capability and capacity through resource needs — from people, process and technology — to be a customer-centered organization and to effectively deliver on our commitments.

Annually, DEOO includes the following process:

Assessing current state of resources based on risks and service needs

Updating the plan including resource rationalization and process improvement

Presenting the plan for review and approval in principle

Recommending Council consideration and approval of updated DEOO Plan and related budget implications

Sheila Jones brought in significant changes when she was the City Auditor – she continued the bringing in changes as an Executive Director working with City Manager Tim Commisso on the DEOO file.

By following these steps, DEOO has become a part of our natural process of aligning our resources to the achievement of strategic objectives and effective and efficient service delivery while managing risk. Through this process, resource needs are identified and prioritized, giving consideration to rationalization where it makes sense and process improvements. These decisions are reflected in an annually updated DEOO plan and incorporated into the budget.

Included within the 2024 Financial Needs and Multi-Year Forecast, additional staffing requests are reflected in the recommended Key Investments under the category of Sustaining City Services and are supported by business cases.

It was Jones who introduced Staff to the concept of the requirement to make a business case when asking for additional funding.

While serving as the City Auditor she did a survey on just how many people held a City credit card.  There were fewer when she completed that assignment

Return to the Front page

There aren't many opportunities for taxpayers to say what they think - other than at the ballot box

By Pepper Parr

November 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Between now and November 21st, City Councillors will be meeting with their constituents to get their position on the budget the Mayor is going to put forward later in the year.

Because the Budget will come from the Mayor the schedule is quite a bit different.

Earlier this week Staff presented reports to Council on what they had proposed in the way of spending in 2024.

One item that raised more than a few eyebrows was the creation of two new departments and a lot of new staff hires – all necessary for a city that is at the front edge of a massive growth in population.  Mayor Meed Ward explains every opportunity she gets that the city is committed to creating 29,000 homes by 2031.

Citizens are permitted to delegate to Council – they just don’t seem to be able to get their point across – on occasion they are chastised by the Chair of a meeting that they should not have said what they just said.

The Gazette has a comments section that is very “robust”.

Wendy Fletcher had this to say about the DEOO – Designing and Evolving our Organization

“People are very upset about all the new hires and rightfully so imo. 200 new people when the Bank of Canada rate has increased 10x since March 2022 and people are struggling to not lose their homes bc their 500-750K mortgage just went from 2% to 6.5-7.5%. I know people who have 9K mortgages terrified about this property tax increase. The Bank of Canada and CHMC currently considering their positions because of the anticipated impact of interest rates on the flux of mortgages expected to come due next year.

Mayor Marianne Meed Wad – not missing a beat

“But here’s the Burlington Mayor and council who don’t miss a beat in telling you how their costs are all increased because of inflation and commodity costs fluctuating because of the ongoing war in Ukraine. Yet when it comes to them having the foggiest about the impact of them hiring 200 new people on the lives of Burlington citizens, they are either too daft to get it or they are just that cold hearted and lacking in all compassion and empathy. I truly am not sure which. Given the ease with which they make false statements to the press, I have to think the latter.

“The DEOO(Designing and Evolving our Organization)  isn’t new. This mayor and council came up with it 3-4 yrs ago. 2019 I think. It’s probably what they spent much of covid on. With months long delays in things and unable to get any service for months, they certainly didn’t seem like they were working very hard. The rest of the world was working. Yet city hall didn’t start answering phones again until, late 2022 I think? Uncalled for. And now council has decided it will by a completely hybrid work system. Taxpayers didn’t agree to that, just like they didn’t ever agree to implementing the DEOO

Mayor Meed Ward responding to a Staff comment at a Standing Committee meeting.

“But MMW and council have made it clear that they don’t care what taxpayers think or want.

“Maybe someone can explain to me how, as a customer, I’m getting this great customer experience they’re claiming, when there aren’t people at city hall to meet me, in person, when its convenient to me? Which means if I have time to go in on the fly, someone in that dept, is there right then. Not make an appointment for when its convenient to *them*. That’s not customer service. Further, what is the point of spending 6.5m on renos for it to be half empty, all the time? Or 1.32 m of taxpayer $ on Civic Garden?

“Oh wait, I forgot. Can we get a pic for the mag for the next edition of Best Place in Canada to Live?

“As a taxpayer, I have quite a bit of animosity towards all the money being wasted so MMW and council can have this grandiose illusion of what city hall at destination Burlington should look like.

“Just be sure to tell them to keep the cameras off the buses. They’re pretty being so shiny and new but as there’s no one in them, people will think its a ghost town they’re coming to. Of course it will be bc nobody can afford to live here anymore. They all went bankrupt from the 2000 city hall employees they had to support.”

Ted Gamble started with:

Here is my rant:

“A few of the positions are intuitively needed by their descriptions. Has the City ever recently undertaken steps to review, flow chart, modernize job descriptions and possibly amalgamate positions to cap the total employee count. Not a big fan of consultants generally despite hiring them extensively however some management consultants are worth their value. I suggest a cap on total employee numbers. Many organizations I have worked with had to do this multiple times or worse.

“Proceed with Top Priority only, re evaluate semi annually.

“A new department in 2024? Why?

“Scrap the onerous tree by law, associated staff and in my opinion is an infringement on my rights as a residential property owner. Use some of those funds to properly prune and keep hydro lines from falling! Clear invasive species and replace and encourage homeowners as well to plant native plants.

The province permits a municipality to borrow as much as 25% of a previous year’s Net Revenue. If interest rates come down enough borrowing could be a wise strategy.

“Increase borrowing so that needed infrastructure for massive condo’s towers are paid for by those who are supposedly coming.

Borrow as needed to keep tax increases 1% below inflation. Apparently we borrow to a level of half of what we can. While laudable, these times call for a different approach.”

Councillor Paul Sharman made the following comment at the close of the two day session where Staff made their pitch for funding when he said:

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman: “We will find out in the next two years how bad we are.”

“Because of the circumstances I would prefer to provide services funding programs to support those people who need it, rather than for the people who don’t need it. I didn’t want to see us coming back with another 7.6 next year or 8% next year or the year after. I think that would be a disaster. We’re not going to do that I can tell you right now it will have will be back to cut, cut, cut cut.

“I’m just hoping that what we tried to set up two years ago we can actually aspire to doing and make it happen. Now having said that. I’m not sitting here saying we’ve done bad.

“We’re not finished yet. We will find out in the next two years how bad we are.”

Indeed with a municipal election taking place in 2026 the public can decide if this Council should be re-elected.

 

Return to the Front page

Petition Still active: STOP the Proposed 2024 Property Tax Increase

By Pepper Parr

November 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The headline reads:

STOP the Proposed 2024 Property Tax Increase – City of Burlington

It is part of a petition a taxpayer put up asking people to voice their objections to a tax increase Council is currently debating.

At 9:30 am, November 9th, there were 2379 signatures on the petition.

Because Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has chosen to use the Strong Mayor powers she, along with about 50 other municipalities, was given July 1st – it will be the Mayor who has the final word on what the tax rate will be.

Wendy Fletcher, created the petition and has watched it build slowly but consistently.

If you wish to be part of the protest click HERE and have you say.

The petition will be in place until the end of the year.

Return to the Front page

Burlington MPP congratulates Regional Police on their Cram-a-Cruiser event

By Staff

November 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington MPP Natalie Pierre speaking at Queen’s Park

We don’t know exactly when Burlington MPP Natalie Pierre stood up in the Legislature to read a statement.  She was congratulating the Halton Regional Police on their Cram-a-Cruiser event supporting the Burlington Food Bank telling her colleagues that is was  a major success!

“Together with the community on a rainy Saturday morning we were able to raise $1150 and over 950 lbs of food! It was very heartwarming to see the generosity of Burlington residents.

Two police officers were in the gallery to hear the MPP

You can watch the performance HERE

 

Return to the Front page

Provincial Leadership candidates will take part in a Roundtable on Health issue

By Pepper Parr

November 9th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

A group with the name Ontario Health Coalition has been doing a fine job nipping away at the heals of the provincial government.

They have scheduled a public event; Liberal Leadership Candidates Q & A Roundtable on Public Health Care in Ontario

The Ontario Liberal Party will announce the membership election of its new party leader is electing its new leader early in December

We coalition wanted to find out how the candidates are thinking about the key health care issues. All the candidates have agreed to join a public roundtable Q & A session.

All are welcome to attend. Here is the information:

Monday, November 13, 12 p.m. (noon)

You can join to watch and send your comments:

Zoom – register here and Zoom will email you the link to the event: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtc-uvqzgpG9VhNVZ2ZydAKl6V1cQQ4fy6

Facebook – go to https://www.facebook.com/ontariohealth at 12 p.m. on November 13 and you will see the Livestream

Twitter – go to our Twitter at @OntarioHealthC at 12 p.m. on November 13 and you can join the Twitter Space by clicking on the icon (and we will tweet out the link) to hear the Q & A

All are welcome. If you are joining the Zoom please register soon; they are limited to 1,000 people only.

Bonnie Crombie, Nate Erskine-Smith, Ted Hsu and Yasir Naqvi (invited, has not yet confirmed)

Candidates will respond to questions about their commitments and plans for Ontario’s hospitals, home & community care, long-term care, public health, EMS and primary health care.

The Ontario Health Coalition is a non-partisan public interest and advocacy organization dedicated to safeguarding and improving our public health care under the principles of equity and compassion that are foundational to our system of health care for all.

 

Return to the Front page