Exam Cram Is Back at Burlington Public Library


By Staff

January 23rd, 2023


Ryan Miller, handing out snacks during Exam Cram week. You might want to remember this guy – he runs a section of the Library known as the Maker’s Space. Check out the link below for what he does. Cool!

It is that time of year.  High school students are gearing up for exams. After a few unusual years of virtual and hybrid learning, many students are preparing for their first in-person exams. To support their studying, Burlington Public Library has brought back its popular Exam Cram program that was on hiatus during the pandemic.

“We expect this year might be extra challenging for students,” says Tammy Casjaghy, Manager of Programming & Partnerships at Burlington Public Library. “We want to make sure they know the library is a welcoming and safe space where they can prepare for exams.”

Students are always welcome to study at the library’s seven branches, but they have added few special features during the week of exams to make “cramming” bit more fun.

Study, Break, Repeat
Exam Cram runs at Burlington Public Library until Monday January 30th. Staff will be visiting students to hand out treats, and they will be offering brain break stations at each location where students can take a pause from studying and do a quiet activity.

Study space in a library – fondly remembered by every university student. Now all you have to do is graduate from high school – Exam Cram is in place to help

Individual and group study spaces are available at all branches, and they library has added extra seating in programming rooms and open spaces.

Destress With A Puppy Break
St. John Ambulance therapy dogs be visiting branches to help students minimize stress. No need to register or call ahead—just drop in. You can find details about these visits on the library’s website, bpl.on.ca.

Online Study Help
Students who prefer to study at home can still get help from the library. BPL offers a virtual tutoring service, called Brainfuse HelpNow. It can be accessed with your library card number and provides live, virtual tutoring, video tutorials, group study aids, essay review, and more. If you don’t have a library card, you can register for one for free at a local branch, or online.
And – they are handing out snacks as well


Related news story: Ryan Miller

The Maker’s Space

Return to the Front page

Mayor Meed Wards' political future

By Pepper Parr

January 23, 2023



The provincial Liberals will be meeting in Hamilton March for their Annual General Meeting during which time they will set out the rules and the timetable for choosing the next Liberal Party leader that they will go into the 2026 Ontario election.

The political pundits have already settled on four potential candidates and have made mention of a candidate many would like to see drafted.

There are four likely candidates who are actively courting Liberals across the province.


MPPs Mitzie Hunter, 51, (Scarborough-Guildwood) and Ted Hsu, 58, (Kingston and the Islands) as well as MPs Yasir Naqvi, 49, (Ottawa Centre) and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, 38, (Beaches-East York) are exploring leadership bids.

Ontario Big City Mayors posing for a class picture. Mississauga Mayor and Burlington Mayor Meed Ward are in the front row centre

Others are rumoured to be interested — there’s a quiet movement to draft Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, a former Liberal MP — but only these four are aggressively pushing their candidacies.

It’s shaping up as a diverse, well-educated and experienced field.  Burlington’s Mayor, Marianne Meed Ward has not been mentioned.

Every politician has a vision for the people they represent and a plan for their own political future.  At one point it looked as if Meed Ward had set her sights on being Premier of the province.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward greets Premier Doug Ford at the Joseph Brant Hospital

The budget that City Council settles on in February will not get her re-elected nor will the one she is likely to have to produce for 2024.  Not a problem – she doesn’t have to file nomination papers until 2026 and by that time she will have cut ribbons to open both the new Skyway Area and whatever the Bateman high school is going to be named.

She might have even found a way to have the LaSalle Park land that Hamilton owns brought back into the Burlington border.

At this point Meed Ward doesn’t look like a provincial leadership candidate.  She doesn’t have a seat in the Legislature but then neither does Bonnie Crombie, who once did have a seat at Queen’s Park.

Gary Carr as a goal tender before he became a politician.

In 2026 Doug Ford will look beatable – he looks beatable now.  The unions cut him down a peg or two when they got significant increase for 55,000 educational workers.  And, given what we have seen so far the Premier may be in way over his head on the land transfers that were made pulling wetlands into land that could be used to build the thousands of home we are going to need to accommodate big increases in immigration.

Mayor Meed Ward might have a shot at becoming the Regional Chair, assuming Gary Carr decides he is finally going to take his skates off.

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

Sound of Music has put out their Call for Artists - will we see some undiscovered talent.

By Staff

January 23, 2023



The Sound of Music has put out its 2023 Call for Artists

With winter still with us, hearing that Call for Artists from the Sound of Music reminds us that there is a summer coming our way.

Application are now open for the 2023 Sound of Music Festival and Club Series.

They are searching for local talent to round out the performance schedule at this year’s festival. Apply by completing the application form.

Submission deadline is March 10, 2023. All submissions will be reviewed by our team and successful applicants will be contacted in April.

The Free Festival, the largest in Canada, will take place on Father’s Day weekend, June 15-18, at Spencer Smith Park in beautiful downtown Burlington, ON.

The Festival is searching for local talent to round out the performance schedule. Click HERE for an application form.

Submission deadline is March 10, 2023. All submissions will be reviewed by our team and successful applicants will be contacted in April.

They reappear every year – crowds taking part in the largest free music festival in Canada

Return to the Front page

How to Make the Most Out of Your MLB Betting Experience

By Janyl Gregorio

January 23, 2023



Baseball – a game that America brought to the world. Easy going with sudden rushes of excitement.

For most MLB bettors, the key to a successful MLB betting experience is knowing some tips up your sleeve to help maximize your chances of turning a profit. You can’t just rely on luck when it comes to sports betting, but you can use some savvy strategies and techniques to make the most out of your MLB betting experience.

With enough knowledge and grit, you may be able to turn this hobby into a lucrative money-making venture. So here are some ways you can make the most out of your MLB betting experience:

Understand the Odds
The MLB world series odds play a significant role in MLB betting. Before you place your MLB bets, it is essential to understand how odds work and how they can affect your chances of winning. MLB betting sites will often provide odds for each team playing in the series, so make sure to do your research before placing any bets. It would be best if you had a deeper understanding of the numbers to make better choices regarding your MLB betting.

If you understand how the odds work, you can make more informed decisions and increase your chances of making a profit. But if you’re new to the world of MLB betting, it’s always a good idea to start slow and familiarize yourself with the different types of odds. That way, you’ll be more confident in your MLB betting decisions and better able to pick the winners.

Will this pitch result in the crack of a bat sending the ball to middle field ?

Know Your Teams
Another critical factor when it comes to MLB betting is knowing your teams. To make the most out of your MLB betting experience, you need to be familiar with the teams playing in the series and understand their strengths and weaknesses. You should also pay attention to any injuries or suspensions that may affect a team’s performance.

In addition, it’s essential to stay updated on recent news and trends related to each team. Make sure to read the latest sports news, analyze specific statistics, and familiarize yourself with the players on each team. By doing this research, you can make better-informed decisions regarding placing MLB bets. You can avoid making a bad bet, and you’ll be more likely to make the right bets that will bring you success.

Manage Your Bankroll
It is essential for MLB bettors to manage their bankroll. You want to put only some of your money on one team or get too aggressive with your betting strategies. Instead, it would be best if you always bet with a goal and budget in mind. Make sure to set aside a certain amount of money for MLB betting each week or month, and never exceed that limit.

When it comes to MLB betting, you must evaluate each bet and ensure the reward outweighs the risk before placing any bets.

You also need to understand the risk-reward concept regarding MLB odds. You must know the risk involved if you’re betting on an underdog team. It is also essential to understand that betting on favorites may only sometimes bring you enormous rewards. When it comes to MLB betting, you must evaluate each bet and ensure the reward outweighs the risk before placing any bets.

Shop Around for Lines
Don’t just settle for one online sportsbook. Shopping around for different lines is critical to get the best value for each bet. Different sites may offer different lines and odds on a given game, so take time to compare the lines and shop around for the best value. It is imperative if you’re betting on an underdog team, as different sites may offer different odds.

By shopping around for lines, you can increase your chances of winning by taking advantage of the best possible odds. You can also use this strategy to hedge your bets, as you can spread your bets across different sites to minimize your risk. That will increase your chances of making a profit in the long run. And that’s precisely what you want when it comes to MLB betting.

Take advantage of any bonuses or promotions offered by online sportsbooks.

Take Advantage of Bonuses
Finally, make sure to take advantage of any bonuses or promotions offered by online sportsbooks. Many sites will offer bonus money and free bets for new players, so you should definitely take advantage of these offers. You can use the bonus money to get a head start on your MLB betting career and increase your chances of success.

By taking advantage of the bonuses and promotions available, you can maximize your profits and minimize your losses. That’s the key to successful MLB betting. You must ensure you’re betting with the right strategies and taking advantage of every opportunity available. If you do that, you’ll get to enjoy the thrill of a successful MLB betting career.

Final Thoughts
By following these tips, you can make the most out of your MLB betting experience and increase your chances of making a profit. With enough knowledge and determination, you may be able to turn this hobby into a lucrative money-making venture. So take the time to do your research and understand the game, and you’ll be well on your way to success.

Return to the Front page

It will be a battle royal before the lot use and possible historical designation issues are resolved

By Pepper Parr

January 21st, 2023


A rendering of the Camarro development proposal that was submitted with am application that is at the Ontario Land Tribunal. The city planning department is still trying to work with the developer.


There is a development proposal for the SE corner of Brant and Prospect that has gotten a lot of attention the past few months.

It is one of those developments that went straight to the Ontario Land Tribunal and was the subject of at least two Statutory Planning meetings – the developer, Camarro Developments, didn’t take part in either online event.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns has made it clear where she stands on this one – those views will be described as biased by the developer when there is an opportunity to do just that.

The development has also become the subject of a Historical designation that the developer doesn’t want but one the city seems want to put in place. Lots of money being spent on consultants who will advise if the building on the site now is worth a designation.

The objective of this article is to give the public a look at what the developer has in mind and how the proposed design will fit in with what else is planned for the intersection.

Looking north on Brant the Molinaro plans (tan coloured) are at the intersection of Ghent – one block south of Prospect where the Camarro development is located.

The orange structure is the newest proposed for the Prospect – Brant intersection. The tan structures are part of a Molinaro development that was given a lot of design attention with a view to making them the gateway to the northern part of the Urban Growth Centre

The lot that the Camarro  development sits on has an odd shape, one that the developer appears to want to use every square inch of. The historical designation issue for the Camarro development relates to the Ghent family farm house that is on the site now.

The planners and the historical types would like to see some of the farm house incorporated into the development.

It is a very odd shaped piece of property – Camarro, the developer appears to want to use every square inch of it – some public park opportunities if the two sides can get together.

Return to the Front page

Public gets a chance to opine on the Budget - 65 people take part

By Pepper Parr

January 21st, 2023



There weren’t that many people on the Zoom presentation but the 65 people that did take part seemed to be enough for Mayor Meed Ward.

The presentation that was given was pretty basic.

The Budget Book delivered to Council members is available on line – all 710 + pages.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman admitted that everyone was surprised when the early draft of the budget was very close to 8%. It did get whittled down a little by the time the public got to see the document. The 7.08 isn’t final.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman

There are a few Councillors who have some spending plans of their own. The procedure used has each Councillor filing a form suggesting where they would like to see cuts and where they would like to see some spending.  It looked like there were just two members of Council taking part – there were 18 staff people taking part which included the City Manager

But if you listened carefully there was some good news.

Burlington Transit will be doing an On Demand pilot service in 2023

Youth using transit increased in 2022

MPAC, Municipal Property Assessment Corporation is the organization that determines the value of your home. The taxes you pay are based on what the assessment value you of the house.

We learned that MPAC did not do any assessments during the pandemic – so the assessed value of your home will be what it was in 2020. That number appears on the tax bill.

While no one likes the 2023 budget number 7% the public learned that it won’t be much different in 2024.

Cities rely on assessment growth to increase how much tax they can collect, in Burlington the growth of the assessment base has been in a slump.

With the thousands of new housing units in the pipeline – which can run from something on a planners desk or waiting for a hearing at the Ontario Land Tribunal, assessment will grow – but it will tax at least three and maybe as much as five for that assessment to grow.

This Council has decided that it needs to spend now to be certain that the things people expect – the new Skyway Arena and the re-development of the Bateman High School property are in place. A lot of debt has been taken on and today’s population has to service that debt

A number of people wanted to know why the Master Cycling Plan that was approved by Council has not been funded. No one really got much in the way of a clear answer.

People tuned into the call learned that some work was being done on parts of the Cycling Plan buy that what Council approved is not part of the budget being debated now. Ward 3

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan has indicated that he would like to see more spending on cycling.

Councillor Rory Nisan has some ideas on what could be done; watch for those.

Mayor Meed Ward went to some lengths to polish the image of the Bateman property explain that the 200,000 square feet of space that will be available for public use is double the amount of space at Tansley Woods.

A plan in the budget is to add seven new bylaw officers over the next three years and to create a new department that will handle bylaw related matters.

There were some questions that were not answered – they just ran out of time – they will be answered in a follow up that should be ready early next week.

Return to the Front page

Kids can travel free on Burlington Transit - but will need a Presto Card - City giving away 1000 of them

By Staff

January 20th, 2023



Starting March 1, 2023, kids 12 and under will still ride free simply by tapping their PRESTO card or taking Burlington Transit with their parent or guardian.

This change will allow older children who travel on their own to be able to keep using Burlington Transit for free. After March 1, Burlington Transit bus drivers will ask all passengers to tap their PRESTO card as they board.

Pick up a free kids’ Presto card at the Downtown Transit Terminal, 430 John St.

The Presto Card has evolved – few realize just how much the service costs the city

This February, Burlington Transit is giving away 1,000 kids’ PRESTO cards!

Pick up a free kids’ Presto card at the Downtown Transit Terminal, 430 John St., and at various locations in the community.

Follow Burlington Transit on Twitter for PRESTO card giveaway location details. Please bring proof of age, such as a birth certificate, to get a free kids’ PRESTO card.

Have a PRESTO card and turning 13 soon?
Please change your PRESTO card from a kids’ card to a youth card so you are not charged the adult fare.

Travelling to Hamilton or Oakville?
A PRESTO card is required for all kids 12 and under when travelling on HSR in Hamilton and Oakville Transit.



Return to the Front page

School Board Announces that is has even more property that might become surplus.

By Staff

January 20th, 2023



The Halton District School Board announced today that community organizations and members of the public are invited to a virtual meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 at 1 p.m. to view a presentation on potential community planning and partnership opportunities within the HDSB’s existing schools and co-build opportunities in proposed new schools and facilities.

Community Planning & Partnership Meeting
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023
1 p.m.
Join the virtual meeting via Google Meet: https://meet.google.com/ixs-ytnz-seq

Following the presentation by Board staff, those interested in a future partnership with the HDSB are encouraged to reach out to the Planning Department to discuss their interest by completing an Expression of Interest Form and emailing it to Fred Thibeault, General Manager of Planning at thibeaultf@hdsb.ca.

The full list of facilities available for community partnerships, along with the Community Planning and Partnerships Policy, can be viewed on the HDSB website on the Community Planning and Partnerships webpage.


Standard bureaucratize – but the outcome of those situations when the school board decides it no longer needs a school and declare it surplus – it is open to others to buy the property and put it to good use.

It will be a much different place when it reopens in – well no one is really certain when it will open.

When the HDSB decided to close two of its seven high schools that started a process that had Burlington buying the former Bateman High School and turning it into a community centre that will also have tenants.

Parents demonstrated against the closing of their school – it made no difference.


Return to the Front page

Is heritage something the city should be paying attention to or has it become a tool some council members want to use to bring developers closer to the table?

By Pepper Parr

January 20th, 2023



The business of heritage building in Burlington is getting a little sticky.

Some members of Council want to require developers who have a property that could have heritage significance to integrate original structures into a new development. Others feel that using the power the city has is a misuse of that power used to gain what some see as heritage that should be kept is certainly not a best practice.

A study is a good idea – it does mean more spending at a time when tax increases suggest the city is going to have to cut back somewhere.

In the meantime:
Burlington is launching the Downtown Heritage Study and is looking for feedback from the community and stakeholders.

Anyone interested in the project can visit the getinvolved part of the city web site to take a heritage survey, pin suggested heritage features on a map and learn more about the study.

This property on Brant has heritage significance but the way both the developer and the city ave handled the difference leaves a lot to be desired. The city feels very strongly about keeping at least some of the facade – the developer isn’t answering email requests.

The study will run until next fall and will look at eight individual properties with potential heritage value. There are also six groups of properties that may qualify as potential “cultural heritage landscapes”. A “cultural heritage landscape” is a term for a group of heritage features such as buildings, trees, landscaping, views and spaces that have significance as a group that is different from their individual parts.

The planners have created six clusters within which they are touring and looking for properties that could be determined to be of heritage significance.

Residents are invited to join City of Burlington staff and a heritage consultant at virtual and in-person public consultation meetings to learn about the City’s Downtown Burlington Heritage Study and Engagement Program on:

January 23, 2023
Virtual stakeholder meeting – 10- 11:30 a.m.
Click here to register.

January 25, 2023
Virtual stakeholder meeting – 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Click here to register.

Public Meeting #1: Monday, Feb. 13, 2023 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Room, 1333 Lakeshore Rd.

Staff will share information about significant places, stories, buildings and landscape features in the study area. Attendees are asked to submit questions in advance and share their ideas about heritage conservation in Downtown Burlington.

By the end of the Study, Burlington City Council will receive a staff report to decide if any of the properties or areas assessed in the study have heritage merit and should be protected through a heritage designation.

The three properties shown in this image are yards away from the home of the ward Councillor: possible conflict problems?

Designation is only one tool to conserve historical character. Other conservation strategies will be explored with property owners and stakeholders during the engagement process. Based on study findings, Council will also consider whether the 26 properties added to the heritage register at the July 12, 2022 City Council meeting and the Sept. 20, 2022 Council Meeting should continue to be listed on the heritage register or removed.

There is more information Click HERE   This page also contains project background reports, policy documents and guidelines, a map, historical resources and videos and an option to subscribe for project updates. Residents can connect with the City’s Heritage Planner at heritage@burlington.ca or 905-335-7777, ext. 7427.

Heritage consultants have been retained to conduct historical research, inventory sites in the downtown, and host a series of engagement sessions with property owners, stakeholders, and the public. The team will be in the downtown heritage study area to photograph buildings, sites, and streetscapes, or to visit local archives.

Return to the Front page

Story of the Trail Blazing Canadian Women - at the Brant Museum

By Staff

January 20th, 2023



What has it meant to be a woman in Canada throughout its 150-year history?

A nationally travelling exhibit, created and toured by the Waterloo Region Museum, explores how women have transformed Canadian politics, work, and everyday life. Trailblazing highlights the experiences of women – mothers, sisters, daughters, partners, and friends – from all walks of Canadian life.

The Trailblazing: Women in Canada since 1867 exhibit will be on view at Joseph Brant Museum February 7 – May 27, 2023.

Hopefully the Boards of Education will do what they can to have grade 10 students visit the Museum.

Parents will be doing the children a favour if they make it a family event.

Return to the Front page

The heat is on the Ford government: Two investigations into property deals & some nosing around by the OPP Rackets Squad

By Pepper Parr

January 20th, 2023


Ontario has an Office of the Integrity Commissioner, it’s located in Toronto and run by the Honourable J. David Wake

Integrity Commissioner: Honourable J. David Wake

The leader of the New Democrats wrote him a letter early in December pointing out that Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing proposed to remove 7,400 acres of land from Ontario’s Greenbelt plan, encouraging housing development on what is, at present, protected land.

“I am requesting an opinion on whether this government acted improperly with respect to these proposals.

“I am alarmed by the ongoing media reports that outline curious timing of recent purchases of Greenbelt land by powerful landowners with donor and political ties to the Ontario PC Party.

Luca Bucci, CEO of the Ontario Homebuilders Association. Mr. Bucci was the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“I am additionally concerned with reports of improper lobbying on the part of Luca Bucci, CEO of the Ontario Homebuilders Association. Mr. Bucci was the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing from January 2021 to April 2022. In June of 2022, Mr. Bucci became the CEO of the Ontario Homebuilders Association, an organization with strong ties to developers across the province.

“I would request that your office investigate improper lobbying and whether sections 2 and 3 of the Members’ Integrity Act have been breached by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“I would be happy to discuss the matter with you in greater detail and look forward to your response.”

The Integrity commissioner was not the only person Marit Stiles wrote to.  She also wrote to Bonnie Lysyk, the Auditor General of Ontario who responded

Bonnie Lysyk, the Auditor General of Ontario

“I am writing in response to your joint letter dated January 11, 2023 requesting my Office conduct a value-for-money audit of the financial and environmental implications relating to the government’s recent decisions affecting the Greenbelt.

“This issue has garnered significant public attention over the past few months and has been repeatedly raised during question periods in the Legislature. We have received considerable correspondence on this issue. While there are a number of factors we take into consideration in determining our audit work each year, we do pay attention to matters of interest to the public and issues discussed in the Legislature.

“While requests from individual members of the Legislature and the public are assessed and factor into our audit work, a letter requesting us to conduct work in a specific area jointly signed by the leaders of all Opposition parties of the Ontario Legislative Assembly is a request of high significance.

“I have subsequently been in communication with the government and we will have their, and the relevant ministries, full cooperation during our audit.

“Accordingly given all of these factors, I would like to confirm that my Office will be conducting certain audit work on this issue commencing within the next few weeks.”

So let’s add all this up:

Leader of the Position at Queen’s Park: Marit Stiles

Integrity Commissioner has said he will be looking into the issues Maria Stiles brought to his attention.  The Auditor General has said she will have staff looking into the financial and environmental implications relating to the government’s recent decisions affecting the Greenbelt.

Premier Doug Ford on a difficult day. There are more of those coming his way.

And – don’t forget the telephone calls the OPP Racket Squad is making to the people who made complaints.

This is not looking good for Doug Ford.  One has to wonder who is whispering in his ear and what are his advisers doing for him.

Unions from across the country gathered in Toronto a number of months ago to press the government to give 55,000 educational workers a decent salary deal – the government was able to read the writing on the wall with that issue.

There is a lot of private money on the table with the land transactions.  Several developers thought they had finally found a way to develop land they had purchased.

Those dreams may have been dashed.

Return to the Front page

Funds to purchase instruments for a lending library provided by Ontario Trilium Fund - your lottery ticket money working for you

By Staff

January 20th, 2023



The Ontario Trillium Fund has given Bandology a $39,400 grant to purchase additional music instruments that they loan to people who can’t afford the somewhat expensive instruments.

In their announcement Bandology explained that they have until May of 2023 to purchase instruments for a new musical instrument lending library.

“Bandology has been looking to build a lending library of instruments for a while now,” says Peter VanDuzer, President and co-founder of Bandology. “So many kids are interested in music but are unable to practice due to a lack of resources. Our hope is to bridge that gap by lending instruments out to those who need them most.”

Bandology’s lending library will comprise a variety of instruments, largely those relating to concert band, including woodwinds, brass and percussion instruments.

Bandology has gathered some instruments through donations, but this capital grant will make a huge difference and allow the non-profit to further their mandate of more music for more kids.

This is a really happy picture – kids along with their parents at a Bandology Camp

“Something like a guitar is relatively easy to find,” says Lisa Michaels, Executive Director and co-founder of Bandology. “A tuba on the other hand – or a bari saxophone – is expensive and logistically difficult to transport. With the lending library, Bandology will be able to bring all sorts of instruments to those who are interested in music.”

Bandology is a Canadian non-profit dedicated to more music for more kids via education, collaboration and community. Based in Oakville, Ontario, it provides young musicians with more opportunities to play, learn and be inspired. Learn more about Bandology’s programs and services at bandology.ca.

Return to the Front page

Integrity Commissioner and Auditor General to open investigation into Ford government Greenbelt actions after NDP complaints

By Staff

January 16th, 2023



These wet lands are a critical part of the way storm water is handled and how wild animals find the habitat they need.

So the bureaucracy is taking a closer look at just what the provincial government did when they opened up some of the wetlands in the Greenbelt.

That action added to the sniffing around the OPP Rackets Squad is doing just might get the Premier to walk back the decisions that were made.

Marit Stiles, Incoming Leader of the Official Opposition, released the following statement in response to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario and Office of the Auditor General of Ontario opening an inquiry:

“I am relieved to see that this matter is being treated with the seriousness that it deserves and pleased to see this response from the Integrity Commissioner and the Auditor General.

“Ontarians are owed answers about the Greenbelt, and I am confident that today is a step in the right direction to understanding what happened.

“I am hopeful that Ontarians will be able to get answers in a thorough, timely manner because of these investigations.”

Return to the Front page

Burlington 5th in a list of 35 cities for November rent increases

By Staff

January 18th, 2023



Gas prices came down, food prices didn’t – and rents went crazy.

Average monthly rents have surpassed $2,000 in Canada with no signs of slowing down, according to the Rentals.ca and Urbanation latest National Rent Report.

Average rents rose 12.4 per cent year over year in November to $2,024, increasing 2.5 per cent from October and up 4.9 per cent in the last three months.

Burlington finished fifth on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in November for a one-bedroom at $2,155 and 10th for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $2,541.
Year over year, average monthly rent in November for a one-bedroom in Burlington was up 17.9 per cent and up 11.7 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Toronto finished second on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent in November for a one-bedroom at $2,532 and second for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $3,347.
Year over year, average monthly rent in November for a one-bedroom in Toronto was up 23 per cent and up 20.7 per cent for a two-bedroom.

Among major markets in Canada with populations over 1 million, average rents for purpose-built and condominium apartments increased fastest in November for the most expensive cities. Toronto finished second on the list with average rents up 23.7 per cent to $2,864. One-bedroom rents averaged $2,551 in Toronto, while two-bedroom rents averaged $3,363.

Among medium-sized markets, purpose-built and condominium rents rose the highest over the past year in several Greater Toronto Area (GTA) cities and areas, including Brampton (up 28 per cent to $2,430), North York (up 25.8 per cent to $2,470), Etobicoke (up 24.5 per cent to $2,568), Scarborough (up 22.9 per cent to $2,301) and Mississauga (up 19.2 per cent to $2,452).

Ontario finished third in the provincial category for average rents for purpose-built and condominium rents in November with rents rising 15.3 per cent annually. One-bedroom rents averaged $2,156 in Ontario in November, while two-bedroom rents averaged $2,638.

The data collected is now being analyzed and the report written by Urbanation. Urbanation is a Toronto-based real estate research firm providing in-depth market analysis and consulting services since 1981. 

Second, all the data from the digital rental platform Rentfaster.ca has been incorporated into this report. Comparisons and analyses are based on the new and bigger dataset.

The National Rent Report charts and analyzes monthly, quarterly and annual rates and trends in the rental market on a national, provincial, and municipal level.

With immigration expected to bring more than 400,000 people into the country rents will continue to rise while the province struggles to get housing built.

We are probably looking at a decade of very troubled housing markets.

Return to the Front page

Whatever City of Burlington service you are looking for, they are ready to help

By Staff

January 18th, 2023



No matter what city service you are looking for during the construction to revitalize City Hall, the City of Burlington is ready to help with a variety of service options, including in-person, online, email, or phone. Now, in addition to in-person service at Service Burlington, members of the public can visit the Development Services counter in its temporary location on the second floor of City Hall, at 426 Brant St., Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Choose the in-person option that works best for you.

Service Burlington
Visit Service Burlington at its temporary location on the third floor of 390 Brant St., beside City Hall, for services related to:

• tax payments
• commissioning
• marriage licenses
• parking permits
• parking tickets
• registration for City programs
• general information

Development Services counter
Visit the Development Services counter at its temporary location on the second floor of City Hall for services related to:

• pre-building permits
• building permits
• zoning clearance
• the Committee of Adjustment
• business, personal, lottery and liquor licenses
• pool permits
• sign permits

Other ways to connect with us
Call Service Burlington at 905-335-7777 Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Send us an email at city@burlington.ca.


Visit Service Burlington in its temporary location on the third floor of 390 Brant St, beside City Hall, or visit the Development Services counter in its temporary location on the second floor of City Hall. The bus terminal at 430 John St. and recreation facilities are also open and ready to serve you.

Some in-person Service Burlington services such as marriage licences and commissioning require an appointment. Visit burlington.ca or call 905-335-7777 to arrange a time.

You can connect with us virtually via Microsoft Teams. Call 905-335-7777 to set up a time.

If you are coming in to City Hall, please be aware of the following:

  • During construction, please access City Hall through the entrances on Brant Street or Elgin Street. The Locust Street entrance is closed.
  • The drop box located at the Locust Street entrance has been moved to 390 Brant St. The box is located on the side entrance to this building on Elgin Street, between Coffee Culture and SB Prime restaurant.
  • The spiral staircase in the atrium, between the first and second floor, is closed. Please use the elevator in the lobby to reach the second floor.
  • As with most construction projects, there will be some periodic noise, dust and dirt in the building.

This is all very useful information  Buy why has it taken so long to publish it – the refurbishing of city hall has been taking place since before the October election.

Return to the Front page

Musicians look back fondly on the decade of decadence with their latest work: Dreaming of the 80s,

By Staff

January 18th, 2023



This is one of those advanced notice pieces the people who are going to be on stage are exceptional enough to be given advance billing.

Acclaimed pianist, composer and multi-instrumentalist with Barenaked Ladies, Kevin Hearn, and JUNO award nominated violinist, Hugh Marsh look back fondly on the decade of decadence with their latest work, Dreaming of the 80s, Saturday, March 4th, 2023 7:30pm at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

The new collection unites a diverse group of the decade’s classics hits and deep cuts in the duo’s uniquely atmospheric and ethereal sonic environment. This will be the opportunity to be one of the very first to enjoy this album live. Tickets are now on sale.

The location is fantastic; the prices out of this world: Sunrise Suite $ 5575 CAD a day.

Dreaming of the 80s was conceived on the spectacular Fogo Island Inn off the eastern coast of Newfoundland, Hearn and Marsh were invited to play for New Year’s Eve 2018, and decided to pepper their set with a few covers. Among them were “Heaven” by The Psychedelic Furs, Lou Reed’s “Rooftop Garden,” and “Cemetery Polka” by Tom Waits – all written and recorded in the 1980’s.

“We decided to keep going down the road of exploring songs and artists from the ‘80s,” he explains “Once a week or so, we would convene at my place and work on two songs at a time. For the most part, they were performed live as a duo in my living room, and later embellished to varying degrees.” Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” Kraftwerk’s “Computer Love,” and Alphaville’s “Forever Young” all benefit from a subdued and aptly dream-like treatment that keeps their respective hooks and charms intact, whereas others adopt an added dimension thanks to some gifted guests and friends.

On the album, which will be released in Toronto on February 17th, esteemed opera singer Michael Colvin elevates the aforementioned “Cemetery Polka” while new wave icon Carole Pope adds complementing vocals to a fresh take of Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face.” Hearn’s fellow Lou Reed accompanist Fernando Saunders seemingly warps time on Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” and Sun Ra Arkestra trumpeter Michael Ray lends his touch to a medley of tunes from his former bandleader.

The colourful album cover features Kevin’s Dad who is now in his 80’s. “In 1981, with my portable Kodak camera, I snapped a photo of my dad ‘dreaming’ in the ‘80s, wrapped in a quilt that was hand-made by my mother. A quest began to find the quilt so that we could re-stage the photo, and my friend, artist Don Porcella, hand-crafted the cube with pipe cleaners so that it could float above Dad’s head. My dad was quite chuffed by the whole thing. He also recites the Sun Ra poem “New Horizons,” which opens that medley.

We hope this little collection offers a glimpse of how thrilling and diverse the musical landscape was throughout the decade,” Hearn shares in closing. “There were so many amazing artists creating, innovating, and shaping the musical future. This record was a joy to make for all of us, and I trust that’s apparent in the result. Like, totally.”

Kevin Hearn

About Kevin Hearn
A gifted composer, in-demand collaborator, and ever-active musical force with zero interest in creative stagnancy, Hearn cut his teeth collaborating with the likes of Look People, Corky and the Juice Pigs, and revered art-rock outfit Rheostatics before formally joining Barenaked Ladies in 1995. As the group’s profile swelled in the ensuing years, he explored new sonic ground with a series of innovative and imaginative solo albums. One of the most respected and sought-after Toronto musicians of the past 30 years, Hearn’s projects always attract brilliant collaborators including Ron Sexsmith, Dan Hill, Michael Ray of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Carole Pope, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Alan Doyle, The Persuasions, Violent Femmes, Colin Hay and drummer Rob Kloet (the Nits).

One of the great bands. Expect the March event with Kevin Hearn and Hugh Marsh to be sold out. Reserve your tickets now.

One of his most rewarding creative and personal relationships of all was with the legendary Lou Reed, for whom Hearn acted as musical director and keyboardist from 2007 until his passing in 2013. Hearn was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2018 as part of Barenaked Ladies. He released his ninth album, the captivating and compelling Calm and Cents, which was nominated for Instrumental Album of the Year at the 2020 JUNO Awards. Hearn also re-released his entire solo catalogue, which dates back to 1997’s debut Mothball Mint, and included a first time digital release of the sold-out 2019 Record Store Day Canada project Kevin Hearn & Friends Present: The Superhero Suite, nominated by the JUNO Awards for Album Artwork of the Year.

About Hugh Marsh
You may not know the name but you have likely heard the sound of master violinist, Hugh Marsh on various albums and in many film scores alike. Having been referred to as ‘a sound poet’ and a ‘sound bender’ Hugh refers to himself as ‘a musical conversationalist’. Juno Nominee, four-time winner of the Jazz Report Award, three-time winner of the Canadian Jazz Awards for Fiddle /Violin Player of the Year and Canadian Screen Award Nominee for Film Scoring. Marsh has released six of his own albums, has played on over 250 albums and has performed with some of the biggest names in the music industry. Marsh toured for years with Bruce Cockburn, and has performed with greats such as Bonnie Rait, Robert Palmer, Iggy Pop, Barenaked Ladies and more. Since 2015 Marsh has been a member of the Toronto based band the Rheostatics.

Return to the Front page

Zellers is returning to the Burlington Centre - no date on the opening yet.

By Staff

January 18th, 2023



Zellers is going to return to Burlington. It will be one of 25 Zellers store experiences within Hudson’s Bay.

The brick-and-mortar locations will complement the first-ever Zellers.ca ecommerce site, ultimately bringing Zellers to nearly every community in Canada.

The Zellers sign comes off the store in the Burlington Mall. They are returning and will be part of The Bay and located inside those stores,

Customers will be greeted with a thoughtful selection of design-led products across home decor, toys, baby, apparel and pets, housed within Zellers’ signature red and white that will guide customers along in their retail journey.

To stay in the loop, beginning today shoppers can sign up for updates on Zellers.ca – the future home of Zellers’ fully integrated e-commerce platform.

At launch, the Zellers experience within Hudson’s Bay will be between 8,000 – 10,000 sq ft., depending on location. The Zellers in-store experience and Zellers.ca are planned to launch simultaneously.

A lot has changed since the Zellers sign was seen on a building in a Burlington Mall – the place has been named and is now the Burlington Centre.

Return to the Front page

Twitter: what it has meant for civic discourse and the project of liberal democracy.

By Staff

January 18th, 2023



In a book about social media and the way it has changed how politics is done Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former US President Donald Trump and the word Truth appear on the cover. That seemed like something worth taking a look at.  A kind of gotta read for the political junkies.

The author, is a senior fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto, is a former Ottawa and Washington bureau chief of the Toronto Star and served as director of communications for Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Christopher Dornan in a review of the book writes: “But the prospect of a world without Twitter had been broached, prompting us to consider anew what the platform has become to us, and what it has meant for civic discourse and the project of liberal democracy.

“Because unlike Instagram or Pinterest or Medium, Twitter has assumed a centrality of place in the political theatre, becoming over the span of a few short years, the main stage on which the cut and thrust of partisan duelling plays out. What Etsy is to people who make jewelry at home, Twitter is to the political flame wars waged between worked-up citizens bunkered in their basements.

“Which begs the question of how Twitter has managed to entwine itself so fixedly in the political nervous system. If a magazine dies, there are other magazines to take its place. If an airline goes bankrupt, people still fly on airplanes. If a telecom company goes out of business, it does not shut down telecommunications. But if Twitter were to disappear, politics as we know it would undergo a seizure. There would be a rupture in the supply chain.

“There is a reason it’s Twitter and not Facebook that is mentioned so prominently right in the title of Trump, Trudeau, Tweets, Truth, despite the fact that Facebook is by far the larger platform. Worldwide, Twitter has 206 million daily users. Facebook has 1.98 billion. Twitter doesn’t even make money. On $5-billion in revenue in 2021, it lost $221-million (albeit an improvement over 2020, when it lost $1.1-billion).”

Interesting read.


Return to the Front page

The link between residents who vote and how informed they are is most pronounced in ward 1

By Pepper Parr

January 17th, 2023



Is there a link between voter turnout and the how well constituents in a ward are informed?

A map produced by the city gives a graphical view of voter turnout in each of the six wards.

Turn out is high for those wards south of the QEW – except for ward 1 where residents have for some time complained that they don’t see enough of their ward Councillor.

One resident was told by the ward Councillor that he would not be getting any more information from the Councillor’s office.

When the constituent complained to the Mayor he was told there was nothing she could do.

That is what happens when discourse, conversation, engagement that includes transparency and accountability are part of social fabric.

The turnout in ward 1 was very poor.

The community has a service that provides information intended for seniors; the person responsible for the content will not include anything that is political; but does promote the need for supplies at the Food Bank. She then expects the Gazette to publish her posters. She was recognized in the Queen’s 70th Jubilee.

Informed people can make informed choices, but they do have to be informed.

The best Burlington seems to be able to do is be led by a city council that talks about being transparent and accountable and prepared to leave it at that.

The people of ward 1 didn’t know that the Integrity Commissioner hired by the city had advised the Councillor how to handle his conflicts of interest. The ward Councillor chose not to inform people in the ward – but was forced to do so by a diligent and persistent resident.

That was the resident who was told he would not be getting any information from the office of the Councillor.

And there wasn’t a peep from a single member of Council on the ethics of what the ward Councillor had done.


Return to the Front page

City seeking input from the public on the future of a lobbyist registry - survey is now available

By Staff

January 17th, 2023


This article has been revised.  Survey is now available

The City is seeking input from the public on the future of a City lobbyist registry. Feedback can be shared through an online survey, available at getinvolvedburlington.ca until Feb. 6, 2023.

In January 2022, the City launched a trial online lobbyist registry designed to document interactions between individuals who lobby members of  City Council. Data from this trial online registry, along with the community’s input, will help determine how to improve the registry. The input will also be used to help shape City Council accountability measures over the next four-year Council term (2022 – 2026).

A report to Council about the future of the lobbyist registry is scheduled for early Spring 2023.

There are three types of lobbyists that exist in Burlington:

Consultant Lobbyist – an individual who lobbies for payment on behalf of a client (another individual, a business or other entity).

In-house Lobbyist – means an individual who is an employee, partner or sole proprietor, and who lobbies on behalf of his or her own employer, business or other entity.

Voluntary Unpaid Lobbyist – means an individual who lobbies without payment on behalf of an individual, business or other entity for the benefit of the interests of the individual, business or other entity.




Return to the Front page