Shawna Stolte and the Integrity Commissioner

By Pepper Parr

October 21st, 2022



The Director of Communications for the city took exception to the views in this opinion piece maintaining that there were errors.  We replied to the Director in this article Differences of opinion and attempts to manipulate which you can read HERE

There are two issues when we talk about Shawna Stolte and her campaign for re-election as the Council member for ward 4

We covered what she has done and what she said she would do in a previous article.

The second issue with Shawna Stolte as an elected official is her behaviour as seen by the Integrity Commissioner.

The Integrity is in place to ensure that members of Council follow the rules they set out for themselves and a place citizens can register complaints

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan

Early this year two members of Council filed a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner over a statement Stolte made related to how much the city was going to pay to purchase the Robert Bateman High School site.

She said in a council meeting that the sum was in the order of $50 million dollars. Stolte did not release the exact number but she is believed to have been very close that whatever the number is.

The Integrity Commissioner accepted the complaints and did an investigation and came to the conclusion that Stolte did indeed reveal to the public information she learned of in a closed session of Council.

That is a no no – and Stolte admitted as much saying that she felt very strongly about the public’s need to know what kind of spending Council was talking about in CLOSED sessions of Council.

The Integrity Commissioner decided that an appropriate punishment was to dock the Council member five days pay.

Stolte accepted the decision and said later that if it took five days pay to get information before the public it was money well spent.

The Integrity Commissioner took exception to that remark and said later that if he had known there was little in the way of remorse he would have considered docking the Council member 30 days pay.

There was considerable difference of opinion on just what this should mean. Many thought that deciding to release the $50 million number was an egregious mistake while others saw it as a matter of principle.

Stolte did not benefit from the release of the information; the public interest was in no way damaged. The sale/purchase of the property was not impacted.

Agreed that Stolte made public information that was discussed in a CLOSED session of Council and It is important that Council members be fully aware of that.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte

She took the position that it was a matter of principle and that the public had a right to know.

One of the things that came out of the incident was the bringing in legal specialists who did a survey of the manner in which Council made public matters that were discussed in a CLOSED session and made more than a suggestion that Council tighten up the way it keeps the public informed.

That report, to a considerable degree, supports the principled decision Stolte made.

The second matter relating Stolte that went to the Integrity Commissioner should have never been accepted by those people.

Stolte did an interview with the Gazette in which she talked about what the first couple of years as a Council member was like.

One of the bumps she ran into was getting an administrative assistant. In Burlington every member of Council has an administrative assistant. None of the other municipal councils in the region provide that level of support to their Council members.

Stole didn’t name the person assigned to her. So what was the big deal?

Well the big deal was that the woman, who turned out to be Georgi Garside has worked for the city for more than 20 years. She was Marianne Meed Ward’s administrative assistant when she was the Councillor for ward 2.    Garside was not a recent city employee.

The two women are quite close and are reported to entertain each other in their homes.

Shawna Stolte with her father.

When Stolte learned of Garside’s concern she immediately offered to apologize. Quite why she would apologize is beyond me.

Where the error was made, we believe is that the Integrity Commissioner should have kept their sticky fingers out of the issue.

They did say that there was no breach of the Code of Good Conduct and they should have left it at that.

But they chose to get involved in the writing of the apology.

Where the City Manager, Tim Commisso was in all this defies understanding.

This was a Human Resources issue and there should have been a reprimand to Garside. Staff accept the assignments they are given and if they don’t like the assignment take their concern to Human Resources or look for another job.

The City Manager apparently said nothing.

However, Stolte said she would apologize and she was going to stand by that decision.

Then it got really silly and very very nasty.

Stole advised the Mayor and the Clerk that she would be reading her apology during the Comments part of the council meeting, which was her right.

The Mayor was having none of it. She decided she was going to re-arrange the Agenda, which was her right, and have Stolte read her apology into the record at the beginning of the meeting so that Garside, who was participating virtually, could hear what she had already read.

Had Stolte done that the matter would have become debatable and Stolte would have had to defend was took place to any member of Council that chose to question her.
Stolte was having none of it.

That is when the Mayor made a total fool of herself and damaged forever the reputation she had for being a decent person.

The Gazette has published her 14 minute shameful display of sheer nastiness many times. Click on the link to hear it for yourself. Listen to it several times to understand how controlling and manipulative your Mayor is.

We don’t want to appear to be commending Stolte for the principled decision she made. What it did was bring to the surface how treacherous Mayor Marianne Meed Ward can be.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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Kearns loves the photo op; difficult to find a bylaw she introduced and shepherded to completion.

By Pepper Parr

October 21st, 2022



Ward 2 is downtown Burlington.

Is has been undergoing massive high rise development.

The ward 2 Councillor has a significant impact on how issues roll out.

The consultants for the owners of the Waterfront hotel put it very well when they said that the intersection of Brant and Lakeshore Road is “ground zero” for Burlington.

That kind of hype can go to the head of a politician who doesn’t have a strong grip on what the real world that people have to live in day to day is all about.

The ward was represented by Marianne Meed ward from 2010 up until 2018 when she ran for Mayor.
Lisa Kearns is now the Councillor for the ward.

Lisa loves the photo op.

She defines herself as a policy wonk.

She thinks quickly, at times uses complex language to get a simple complex issue across. I still don’t know what she means when she talks about “the delta”.

In the first few years as Councillor she had a sense of humour and the ability to pop out one liners that were wickedly funny.

She can multi task like crazy.

Lisa also has one of the best brains working in the municipal sector that I have seen in some time.

She can see and work with the “big picture” ideas but has yet to come up with ideas, concepts or directions for the city.
It is difficult to find something she introduced and shepherded to completion.

And the truth is not always clearly defined in her hands.

An opportunity to take a principled position was missed.

An opportunity to take a principled stand was lost when the vote to proceed with the redevelopment of the Skyway Arena in the east end of the city was being voted on. The cost came in at $39 million which Councillor Stolte said was too high and something the city could not afford.

Kearns agreed with Stolte and said so but when it came to a vote – she went with the majority. Putting a vote behind the verbal support would not have put a halt to the project; instead of a 6-1 vote it could have been a 5-2 keeping the development alive but making an important point

Kearns tells people that actions speak louder than words – but there isn’t all that much in the way of measureable action to show for the four years she has been on the job.

She is going to ensure that the public gets value for the taxes they pay – how about keeping tax increases at the 3% to 4% level. The reality at this point looks like something that might be a double digit

Being a municipal Councillor is hard work – something the public doesn’t appreciate.

Does anyone understand why, in the middle of her first term, she agreed to be considered a candidate for the Burlington seat in the provincial Legislature?

She makes mention of a strong business community to have a “vibrant” downtown core. There is currently a group wanting to open what will be a pharmacy, massage and doctor’s office set up that is on hold due to a zoning issue.

There are literally dozens of seniors who would love to see a medical practice on Brant Street close to Lakeshore Road that they can walk to. Appeals to step in have been made to Kearns with nothing in the way of a response.

Being popular and being liked is nice – but most people would like to see results that make their lives more livable rather than a council member who wants to have her picture taken with them.

Unfortunately, Kearns is the best of the three candidates.

There is something unsettling with a politician who decides during a Zoom call to blurt out some information that was confidential that gets put out where it is public and then has an anxiety attack and asks to have the public comment taken down. And scrambling to talk to everyone about how to fix the goof on the part of the Councillor.

Why was she even talking about the amount of money that was being set aside for a legal defence?

No one outside of Council and the City Manager and the City Solicitor were supposed have access to that information.

The information was leaked at a meeting of the Burlington Downtown Business Association.

This was a case of someone showing off – loose lips sink ships and on this one her ship should sink.

Her council colleagues appear to have supported Kearns for what has been described as an unintended utterance – try that one the next time you are in traffic court. Quite how and why this was discussed in a Closed Session of Council is something we may never know..

The unfortunate part of Kearns’s candidacy is that she is the best of the three candidates-her community deserves a more mature individual who does not block people who want access to her social media simply because she doesn’t like hearing from them.

Maybe some growing up and a little less of the histrionics are in order. Some duct tape on the mouth would be a good start.
The really disturbing note with Lisa Kearns is that there is so much raw talent that isn’t being put to use; instead we are seeing someone who wants to be liked.

I’d like to be able to respect the woman.

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More than 500 celebrate two Distinguished Entrepreneurs last night

By Staff

October 21st, 2022



The event was a blast.

First chance in two years for people to congregate and get caught up on stuff.

Much more to tell – later in the day

For now let this picture be worth 1000 words

More than 500 people came out to celebrate and recognize two Distinguished Entrepreneurs

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Nisan confident he can hold his seat in Ward 3.


October 20th, 2022



Despite drawing some criticism in his rookie term on Burlington city council, Rory Nisan is confident he can hold his seat in Ward 3.

Rory Nisan in one of the few occasions he has been in the Council Chamber sine the onset of Covid19

Nisan said that in 2018 he campaigned on bringing a splash pad for children to Brant Hills Park, limiting growth in the downtown area and improving traffic flow and public transit in Burlington.

“I always said we should be doing whatever we can to move the growth from downtown to the areas around the GO stations,” he said.

He is pleased that the splash pad was approved in the first budget of his first term and completed in 2021.

“There are so many people there on warm days,” he said. “It has become a community meeting place for Brant Hills.”
Nisan said council has done everything in its power to move growth to the GO station areas.

“I wish we had more support from the Province,” he said. “I wish municipalities had more power to control their own destinies.”

The advanced traffic management which is on its way from the Region, he said, will make a big difference particularly during rush hour.

“It will allow us to leave green lights on longer to move traffic.”
Nisan said he’s proud that the City has purchased more buses and hired more bus drivers and handi-van drivers.

“But we still need to do more,” he said.

He considers the splash pad his greatest first-term achievement.

“My predecessor John Taylor said it couldn’t be done, my main challenger in the last election said it couldn’t be done and staff said it couldn’t be done because there was not enough room,” he said. “People were worried about softballs hitting the kids. I suggested putting up a bigger fence. We overcame the problem through some creative thinking.”

In 2018 Nisan polled 54.05 per cent of the vote, more than the combined total of runner-up Gareth Williams and three other challengers.

It was the first election in the ward following the retirement of John Taylor, who served on council for 30 years.

Nisan supports and said he will work to make the Bateman High school site a community centre. He has not supported a move to make the cost known to the public on a deal that was scheduled to close September 30th

If he is re-elected, Nisan said he will work hard to create a community centre at Robert Bateman high school, which the City is in the process of purchasing from the Halton District School Board.

Plans call for the City to lease space to both the school board and Brock University.

Protecting the Niagara Escarpment, which he described as the “jewel of Burlington”, is a primary objective as well as final implementation of a climate action plan.

Nisan said he also is looking forward to the arrival of inclusive zoning as part of council’s drive for more affordable housing.

“Cities now have the power to mandate that there be some affordable housing in all new developments,” he said.
Regarding his filing a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner, together with Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith, on statements made at council by Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte, Nisan said it hasn’t been an issue at the doors while he has been out campaigning.

“It’s all about accountability,” he said “We have only one avenue and that’s through the Integrity Commissioner.”

Nisan said he doesn’t believe any hard feelings remain.
“Even when we disagree as a group, we still manage to get things done,” he said. “Councillor Stolte and I have been on the same side of issues since then.”

On another point of contention, Nisan said he’s not concerned about critics who claim he is too much a disciple of Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

Rory Nisan: thinking it through

“People can say what they want but if they look at my record I’ve voted against the mayor many times,” he said. “Those who say otherwise are being lazy in their analysis.”

When a vote came up at regional council in the spring on lifting the mandate for citizens to wear masks, it carried by a margin of 23-1, with Nisan being the lone dissenter.

“I felt it was too soon to do it,” he said. “I took some flak but I also got a lot of support on it. I’m not afraid to take a stand on issues.”

Nisan still is on an unpaid leave of absence from his job as a foreign service officer for Global Affairs Canada.

If re-elected, he plans to be a full-time Councillor again.

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Aldershot resident is not looking forward to the incumbent Council member serving for four more years.

By Tom Muir

October 20th, 2022



It’s now days before the election and despite working for months on the conflict of interest issue, I am disheartened that it came to light so late – this information is not easy to get, and who will do anything about it? Whose job is it? l

I have experienced a loss of Ward 1 engagement and representation on important development matters, and particularly now, have to face conflicts of interest by Councillor Kelvin Galbraith.

Residents want to be part of the decisions made for their community

This experience goes back to the last election in 2018. The previous Councillor retired and left behind a quite elaborate structure of Ward 1 engagement with regularly scheduled meetings for South Aldershot, North Aldershot, Tyandaga, and a special group for the Eagle Heights development. Very often planning staff were present to provide information.

For the 2018 election there were 13 candidates, including Kelvin Galbraith. We learned that he was a business man, property owner, and developer with ties with EMSHIH, whose property surrounds his. His properties are located around Waterdown Road and Plains Road, in the Aldershot Main Street of Aldershot Corners in the evolving MTSA planning area.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith

He won the election and became the first Councillor in memory in Ward 1, to own property in the Ward, which he intended to development, and was sworn to uphold the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

A group of residents in Ward 1 had 3 meetings with him in 2018 and were concerned about several issues including what engagement and representation he had in mind. We asked him to maintain the structure that his predecessor had long established and maintained. Unfortunately for engagement and representation with residents, he did not meet our request, and let this structure die.

Of serious concern, given his property ownership situation, were possible conflicts of interest and how he was going the manage them. At the meetings, this potential was raised extensively.

However, while he promised to seek advice internally, from the Integrity Commissioner, and inform us of what he found, he never did this then, and we heard nothing back. We took him at his word about it and it was only in the last week (Oct 17) that we learned that he waited more than 3 years to go to the Integrity Commissioner, and he was advised that he was in conflict within the MTSA.

Before Oct. 17, I wrote several messages describing my analysis of the situation of concern – Ownership of Property and Conflict of Interest – to the Councilor. I described what I perceived as his contravention of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act by failing to declare a pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in several matters concerning his ownership of property in the Aldershot MTSA.

After my messages, I learned about the more than 3 years wait, till March 2022, to seek advice from the Integrity Commissioner. He didn’t tell anyone that I know of. It was only because I reached out to him that I found out, and even then I had to explicitly ask him to give me the report.

The Councilor denied in writing to me that he has a general conflict in the entire MTSA, but restricted his pecuniary interest to within 120 meters, contrary to the conclusion of the Integrity Commissioner report:

“Accordingly, we conclude that, now that the plans include reference to proposed designations affecting your properties, you are required to recuse yourself from the discussion and voting on consideration of the Aldershot GO MTSA.

The map the Integrity Commission used in their letter to Councillor Galbraith

My own analysis in response to the Councillor argued that this general conflict was the case, and agreed with the Integrity Commissioner report. I also stated that as a businessman, investor and property owner, with a letter of intent with EMSHIH Developments, he would know that this is true. In his statement published in the Gazette recently he continues to deny he has a general conflict of interest in the MTSA.

So the facts of what has happened in my community indicate that Ward 1 lost the long-time informative public engagement plan already in place and let die, and has a Councillor that is in denial that he is in a conflict of interest due to pecuniary interest according to the conclusion and directive of the Integrity Commissioner.

This is not the kind of representation, engagement, and judgment on his conflict situation that I expect, and that I think is the duty of a Councillor sworn by his oath of office to maintain.

We don’t need 4 more years of this.

Tom Muir is an Aldershot resident who has played an active roll in requiring the Councillor for the ward to be accountable and transparent.

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Jeff Paikin, one of two people to be celebrated at the Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Entrepreneur Award event

By Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2022



The Burlington business community has always wanted to recognize and celebrate those who put their time, talents and aspirations back into the community.

The task was at one point done by the Economic Development Corporation – it is now in the hands of the Chamber of Commerce.

This year two men will be recognized at the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award Dinner taking place at the Burlington Convention Centre. The event is a sold out occasion – 531 people are going to gather to celebrate and enjoy a menu that one seldom sees in this city – a combination of Jewish and Italian food.

Jeff Paikin with partner Joe Giacomodonato. leveraged what they had to the hilt, took huge risks and benefited from some lucky breaks are now running a corporation that is looking at a healthy decade.

Jeff Paikin will be the 2021 recipient, Conrad Zurini will be the 2022 recipient.

Today I want to tell you about Jeff Paikin born in Hamilton, into a Reformed Jewish family where mother Marnie was more than a force of nature and at one point the president of the Anna Herskwitz Chapter of Hadassah.

Marnie and Larry Paikin

With Marnie for a mother and Larry as a father the two boys, Jeff and Steve, were wonderfully positioned to do well.

The family decision to send both boys to Hillfield Strathallan for both their elementary and secondary years so that they would both be exposed to French at a young age was another decision that positioned both men for strong futures. Jeff will admit that his French has slipped a bit.

Jeff’s brother, Steve Paikin, has done the TVO program Agenda for at least a decade. The two men are close. Steve will be speaking at the Award dinner.

Growing up and deciding what you are going to be – what you really want to do with your life and how you might leave your own mark, is an issue every young person faces.

Jeff graduated from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick where he studied business and was the kicker on the university football team. The attraction to Mount A didn’t have a lot to do with getting an education – Jeff was a star football kicker.

Doug Mitchell, who was a starting center on the 1972 Grey Cup champion Tiger Cats, was running the football team at Mount Allison and convinced Jeff this was a great place to get an education.

A degree in Business from university took Jeff home where he worked for the family business selling rebar to the development industry. Jeff will tell you that the rebar in the Skydome came from the family steel operation – Ennis-Paikin Steel.

Jeff puts his early impression of the construction industry this way: “When I saw the high-end cars in my clients’ parking lots I found myself thinking I could do what these men are doing. I could build homes, create community and help make homes for people and maybe drive one of those fancy cars as well.

Jeff Paikin with partner Joe Giacomodonato.

New Horizon Homes was formed in 1993 – the focus was on building high-quality single-family residences. It was while working on a townhome development on Headon Road in Burlington that Jeff met Joe Giacomodonato.

The two men recognized that their shared vision—“build it right and they will come”—could be made real by uniting their complementary skills for the long term. That was in 1997

They started out as New Horizon Homes and grew into New Horizon Development Group, when they started focusing on condo buildings about 15years ago -2007

The two built about 300 single family residences.

Homes wasn’t the only thing Jeff built. He was among the critical point persons behind getting the Bulldogs to Hamilton.

A group of about 20 put up the money to buy the farm team franchise from the Edmonton Oilers. Don Robertson had convinced the Edmonton Oilers to sell to a Hamilton group. Edmonton and Montreal were co affiliates with the Bulldogs.

That was in 2002

Ron Foxcroft chaired the large ownership group that included Paikin.

In 2002 Paikin convinced Michael Andlauer to invest in the team. He eventually took 100% ownership and moved the NHL farm team to Laval, Quebec where they are known as the Laval Rockets.

Foxcroft later played a major role in introducing George Gillett Jr., the man who helped turn Canadiens into a billion-dollar team, to Michael Andlauer to get him approved by the NHL as an owner and governor.

When Paikin had his office in Hamilton you could see a hockey stick leaning up against his office wall.

It was now very clear that Jeff Paikin could make things happen.

Getting to the point where the project became a building site took a long time. First saw the light to day in 1985. Jeff Paikin and his partner Jo Joe Giacomodonato. put shovels in the ground more than a decade later.



Getting to the point where the project became a building site took a long time. First saw the light to day in 1985. Jeff Paikin and his partner Jo Joe Giacomodonato. put shovels in the ground in 2018 . He moved into his unit in 2021

In 2013 Mayrose-Tycon Limited selected Mady Development Corporation to build the new Burlington waterfront hotel and residential condo.  Mayrose-Tycon principal Matt Jaecklein introduced the Mady Development Corporation as the primary builder for the new mixed-use waterfront development at Burlington’s Bridgewater site.

At the time Bridgewater development wasn’t yet a hole in the ground. Jeff and his wife took part in a sales presentation, liked what they heard and bought.

In 2015 the Bridgewater development on Lakeshore Road was in trouble. The owners of the land had to exercise a “reputation risk” clause in the agreement and went looking for a new builder.
Jeff Paikin at that time shared equal ownership of a unit with John Mehlenbacher who was with the Condo Store, the firm hired to sell Bridgewater Condominiums.

Mehlenbacher called Jeff and talked to him, asking how he felt about actually building the three buildings that had been approved. After confirming with his partner and the construction team that this was doable, Jeff excitedly confirmed. He and Mehlenbacher agreed Jeff could purchase the second half of the unit now that New Horizon could build his own house, so John purchased another unit in the building as did Jeff.

Jeff now lives at Bridgewater and his daughter lives in the second unit.

In early 2022 Jeff lost his wife, Andrea, a nurse, to cancer after a four year battle.

In the early days of growing New Horizon Jeff explained “every project was leveraged to the hilt. We were always one development away from failing”

They were in that stage for a couple of years and slowly grew to the point where they had enough in the way of assets that they could survive as a corporate entity if a development did not meet projections.

“We then got to the point where we would survive if two developments ran into problems adding that developers do run into serious problems for a variety of reasons. Markets change, the economy changes resulting in changes in interest rate – which is exactly where the development industry is today.

Two developments currently underway: Waterdown and Beamsville

There are risks at every level along with pressure to build housing that doesn’t have substantial margins at a time when costs are volatile making it difficult to price units and then build them and show a profit, both to ensure banks will finance projects and leaving funds to move on to a new project.

Jeff gives huge credit to the Molinaros who built a string of condominiums along Lakeshore Road that paved the way for the high rise developments Burlington is currently experiencing, revitalizing downtown Burlington with their efforts.

The Molinaros were not at all certain that what they were building would sell. Their first development at Maple and Lakeshore Road was a unique blend of town houses and a high rise that was a first for the city in that area.

Buntins Wharf, Harbour View, the Baxter and 360 on Pearl were the development base that today has a number of projects with shovels in the ground or in the planning approval stage.

When the Molinaro’s put up Harbour View and Buntin’s wharf to the east they ushered in a new level of development that Burlington is still experiencing

Jeff is now well established as a successful developer with enough in the way of property holdings to allow him to think as far forward as a decade – he has begun to bring members of his family and members of partner Joe Giacomodonato’s family into the company.

Jeff’s daughter completed a Bachelor of Business Administration at Bishop’s University and joined the New Horizon team in 2018 to oversee their sales and marketing division.

Jeff Paikin on a construction site – his feet on the kind of rebar that got him into the industry.

Natasha oversees all the touch points that New Horizon has with their potential and current clients, including sales and marketing, the décor center, interim occupancy, closing and after-closing services.

Jeff has continued to draw on the lessons and examples of his parents about the concept of giving back

Philanthropy at any level is a lesson learned in the Paikin household – he has yet to determine where he wants to continue to direct his support and resources.

If his parents are the example he follows expect to see help given where it is most needed; perhaps in medicine, maybe in the arts or even education.

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Help is Available for Those Struggling with Substance Use

By Staff

October 20th, 2022


Recovery from drug and alcohol use is possible. While it may seem difficult, it’s encouraging to know that others around Canada have gone through what you may be experiencing.

Below are stories to inspire and motivate you to seek help.

There is a web site (Click here to link) with tonnes of information and places you can turn to for support.

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Re-electing Paul Sharman - why wouldn't you - he is the strongest member on this council

By Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2022



For a time it looked as if ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman was going to be acclaimed.

Days before nominations were to close four names popped up on the city’s candidate nominations screen and Paul Sharman had to run for election.

It was not something he was looking forward.

Paul Sharman: Defending his view of development planned for the east end.

When challenged – he is not at his best. He reverts to being defensive and loses the ability to listen.

Is this what a “bit of a snit” looks like

Sharman can be folksy with people but he isn’t really a people person. He can be very abrupt, short and at times quite cranky when he isn’t getting his way.

What he has going for him is a solid grasp of what the issues are and a mind capable of pulling all the small pieces together and making sense of it and passing his knowledge along to others.

He is an educated, cultured individual who understands how both the corporate culture and the minds of the bureaucracies work. He was once a part of a very large corporation that unfortunately lost its way.

If one asked Paul Sharman if he was a “happy camper” pleased with the cards life had dealt him I suspect he would say no.

He tends to use the lack of data as the reason for not making a decision. On that level he can always win – Burlington’s administration does not yet champion the gathering of the kind of data that is needed.

What Paul Sharman brings to the table is the best background on what takes place in the city. He and Mayor Meed Ward have served on Council for the same length of time but he has a command of the workings of the city hall that Meed Ward just never picked up in her career path.

There hasn’t been a lot of development in the east end.

A rendering of a development proposed for ward 5

The shabby, won down at the heals plaza in the eastern side of ward 5 has been in need of a major makeover for a long time.

The property owner was reluctant to do very much despite the efforts Sharman made to get them to actually do something

When the outline of a development was brought to the table it was overwhelming – seven structures that brought out the nimby streak in every community.

At this point that development is on hold.

The arena that is just to the north of the proposed development had reached the end of its life cycle. The ice making system no longer met the building codes and was shut down and turned into space for the Forestry department.

While the city didn’t have the money to rebuild they never the less prepared plans and Council approved a decision to borrow what was needed and shovels went into the ground.

While shaky as a financial decision it would help in rebuilding a more vibrant community and there was no way Sharman was going to vote against it.

Sharman chose not to appear at an ECOB debate

Sharman’s interest in working with community organizations he doesn’t control is lower than 0. In the 2018 election he refused to take part in the ECOB debate but shifted his position and did take part in a debate run by a different group sometime later when he felt his re-election was more certain.

The railway grade separation at WHERE that was badly needed in the eastern part of the city (GET NAME) experienced a massive cost increase. We are not sure just how big a role Sharman played in ensuring that Metrolinx didn’t pass along the increases to Burlington He gets a feather in his cap for that one,

A development planned as part of the large plaza on Appleby and New Street. The infrastructure needed to service the buildings was not in place at the right time.

The restructuring of the Appleby Mall and the application for the development of two high rise units got put on hold when it was realized that the infrastructure needed to handle the increased population was not in place. What did Sharman do?

Sharman was the deputy Mayor during the weekend in August of 2014 when parts of the city were seriously flooded. He managed that crisis very well but was unable to do anything for the residents who had experienced severe damage to their homes.

The compassionate side of Sharman was very evident when he pleaded publicly for the support his constituents needed.

Asking if Sharman should be re-elected is just plain dumb. None of the candidates running against him bring much, if anything, to the table.

There was a point at which Paul Sharman gave some thought to running against Marianne Meed Ward.  He sensed that ether was a lot of dissatisfaction with the direction she had taken things and the way she managed several council members who chose to follow her lead and serve as acolytes.

Meed Ward’s command of the fundamentals of fiance were a concern but in the end Sharman decided he wasn’t up to all the photo ops, glad handing and being in the public eye all tat much wasn’t for him.

Paul Sharman: Was he a possible Mayor? That wasn’t the way Sharman saw his career evolving.

And, truth be told, the Council that will be sworn in at the end of the year needs the likes of Paul Sharman. The city is in for a very rough time financially – he will bring some much needed experience to the table.

And he will be there.

The fear is that should serious cost cutting be required Sharman will want to go after the transit service

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Condos getting smaller, detached homes getting bigger

By Staff

October 20th, 2022



Ontario condominiums are 35% smaller on average than they were 25 years ago, while the average detached home is 25% larger.

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), which tracks property data across the province, is watching to see if this decades-long pattern continues.

In the mid-1990s, the average condominium in Ontario peaked at approximately 1,100 sq. ft. The most recent MPAC data shows the average condo today is about 700 sq. ft.

“As land values increase, we see more units on a single property, which means many of those individual units are smaller,” says Greg Martino, MPAC Vice-President and Chief Valuation and Standards Officer. “Because condos are traditionally a major entry point for first-time home buyers and investors, the market for the smaller units has remained quite strong.”

A similar trend toward smaller units is also evident in the townhouse market, with stacked townhouses – multiple units constructed vertically on a single lot – being built instead of traditional row townhouses.

In markets where land is relatively affordable, larger family detached homes are being developed. For example, single family detached homes were approximately 2,000 sq. ft. in the mid-90s and today a typical single-family home is around 2,500 sq. ft.

“These are long-standing trends that will likely continue,” Martino says. “It will be interesting to see whether the change in consumer preferences and behaviours over the last couple of years, coupled with recent economic drivers, like inflation and rising interest rates, will alter the pattern,” he continued.

Currently, amongst Ontario’s major urban centres, the average condo size in Toronto is 850 sq. ft. – the smallest in Ontario. Windsor is next with an average of 854 sq. ft., followed by Kitchener (884 sq. ft.) Richmond Hill (892 sq. ft.) and Hamilton (907 sq. ft.).

For those seeking more living space, Barrie, Burlington and Oakville are all municipalities with some of the largest average condominium sizes, at more than 1,000 sq. ft.

MPAC is an independent, not-for-profit corporation funded by all Ontario municipalities, accountable to the Province, municipalities and property taxpayers through its 13-member Board of Directors.  Their role is to accurately assess and classify all properties in Ontario in compliance with the Assessment Act and regulations set by the Government of Ontario. They are the largest assessment jurisdiction in North America, assessing and classifying more than five million properties with an estimated total value of $2.96 trillion.

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What has ward 4 Councillor Stolte managed to do during her first term; does she deserve to be returned to office ?

By Pepper Parr

October 19th, 2022



There are two Shawna’s.

The social worker who wants to make things better and help people and the woman who finds herself realizing that something isn’t right and has the courage of her convictions to do what she thinks is a matter or principal

I will write about Shawna Stolte and her problems with the Integrity Commissioner before the end of the week.

Today I want to focus on Stolte as a member of council serving the people in ward 4

Stolte isn’t a fast talking person – at times she stumbles and has to look to the Standing Committee Clerk for direction.

She is a people person, she isn’t comfortable putting herself out there to have her picture taken. She tends not to lead a parade but she is like a drummer setting the beat to which those in the parade can keep in step and get to where they want to go.

While she might appear a little on the soft side and tends towards caution in most situations which fits in well with her fiscally conservative point of view.  You don’t spend what you don’t have.

Stolte asked her colleagues to agree to require staff to use a climate lens whenever they were writing a report. While it may seem like small matter, its impact was profound.    She wanted reports that set out what impact any decision would have on the climate.

When the city was looking at the cost of what was described as an Enterprise level software set of programs commitment that was going to cost $12 million Stolte wanted as much detail as they could give her . No one else asked for detail.

The price $39 million just wasn’t right: Stolte wanted some cuts.

When the Skyway Arena rebuild was being voted on Stolte took the position that the city was going to borrow money that would take 15 years to repay at a time when everyone knew there would be strains on the budget. She voted against the project – the only ember of Council to do so.

When affordable housing was top of mind for council she wanted to take a different approach and pushed staff to go along with the creation of a committee that council did not control and had membership that came from people who volunteered and wasn’t going to work from an agenda given to them.

One of the marvellous things to come out of that experiment was the committee realizing they were going in the wrong direction and changed.

The membership had people from the Region, from the development industry and from people we had never heard of before who had informed views and made a difference.

The community level work Stolte has done is hard to appreciate or evaluate. She has consistently held meetings at a local food store where there was a coffee section; people could just show up and talk about an issue. She at times shared the event with the school board trustee.

Getting out into the community and helping people help other people.

When there was a desperate need for food at the Food Banks she told her constituents that she would pick up bags or boxes of whatever they wanted to get to the food bank. She filled her can on a number of occasions.

In the early days of the Covid19 lock owns she was distributing handmade face masks at a time where there wasn’t much commercially available.

She has yet to learn how to work effectively with media, seldom makes statements, seldom makes a position known.  She realizes that it is difficult to use media with a small council and a communication department that insists on controlling everything.

Mistakes there certainly some. Did they leave a dent; not really.

She is reported to have been approached by a group that wanted her to run for Mayor; after thinking it through and some anguished consideration she decided that this wasn’t the way she wanted to help shape the direction the city should go in.

She had her run ins with the Mayor, she had her run ins with the Councillors Nisan and Galbraith and was deeply hurt when the two of them, decided to take a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner about a decision she made to pass along some information that came out of a Closed meeting.

The real Shawna Stolte was evident at the end of the ward 4 all candidate Q&A that took place in Roseland Stole said:

Shawna Stolte

I don’t lie, I don’t pander and I don’t pretend.

I’m a straight shooter, I’m a hard worker, I’m willing to dig deep and represent the good of the community even when the going gets tough.

I treat everyone with equal consideration and respect and I am not swayed by lobbying for self-serving interests.

If you are looking for a representative who is real, genuine, honest, hard working and has proven their commitment to the residents of Burlington then you need not look any further.

If you are looking for something other than that…then your choices are here before you tonight.


That is who she is – she left it for the voters to decide if this is what they want.

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Hospital Foundation announces a sold out event that most people didn't even know about.

By Pepper Parr

October 19th, 2022



It looks like a great event.

Scheduled for mid November – I could lose some weight and be able to fit into the tuxedo I haven’t worn for years.

The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation had announced that the highly anticipated J Soirée is sold out!

We didn’t even know it was taking place.

They are excited to celebrate on Friday, November 18, 2022, at The Pearle Hotel & Spa, Burlington’s newest waterfront venue.

The venue is superb – the event sounds delightful.

All the rest of us get is to know that it is taking place.


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Workshop for gardeners who want to put to create beautiful, healthy gardens that help manage rainwater, use less energy and resources

By Staff
October 19th, 2022

Work with nature to create beautiful, healthy gardens that help manage rainwater, use less energy and resources, build better soil, increase biodiversity & benefit water quality in the  area.


Getting Started: How “Rainscaping” Can Protect Your Property – Oct. 13, 2022

Learn how water is managed to protect you and your home from flooding as well as environmentally friendly gardening techniques to help you solve water issues on your property. Local funding opportunities that can help you get started and provide the resources you need to create beautiful low-cost garden projects will also be discussed.

The Dirt on Soil: Composting and Building Healthier Soil – Oct. 20, 2022

Mycorrhizae, what’s that? Attend to find out what mycorrhizae is and the role it, and soil play in the food web. Learn how soil connects to climate change, how it absorbs carbon, and how you can effectively compost to build better soil in your garden. Presenters will also discuss the urban soil’s effect on trees, and fungal identification tips for some common wood decay, and mycorrhizal fungi.

Putting your Garden to Bed: Winterizing your Yard and Being Salt Smart – Oct. 27, 2022

Did you know that gardens still need attention in the winter? Learn how to put your garden to bed naturally and create fall/winter interest in your yard. Receive guidance on how to better use leaf mulch and compost and how to get native plants. Find out how salt impacts your garden and how you can be salt smart to keep your garden beautiful and healthy year-round

In Person Workshop

Designing Your Native Landscape Workshop – Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022 | 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Mountsberg Conservation Area, 2259 Milburough Line, Campbellville

Learn from experts about native plants and eco-landscaping. Discover why landscaping with native plants matters, how to choose the right plants for your yard, and how to harvest and clean seeds, all while exploring the latest trends, designs, and techniques in eco-gardening.

Did you know?

You can maintain your property using low impact landscaping where you work with nature to create beautiful, healthy gardens that help manage rainwater, use less energy and resources, build better soil, increase biodiversity, and benefit water quality in the surrounding area.

Registration and Contact Information

Register for the virtual series or the in-person workshop at

For further information, please contact Sasha at

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Two Men Convicted in Human Trafficking Investigation

By Staff

October 19th, 2022


Two men have received prison sentences after a Human Trafficking investigation in Halton.

On November 11, 2018, the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) responded to reports of a female being held against her will at hotel in the city of Burlington. The 22-year-old victim was located and a male, Karl Augustin (28), was arrested for human trafficking. The investigation revealed that a second male, Andrew St-Armand (24), was also involved in exploiting the victim and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

On December 5, 2018, St-Armand was arrested in Quebec and transferred to the custody of Halton Police.

HRPS Human Trafficking Unit investigators learned that between September and November of 2018, the victim was callously controlled, transferred, exploited and forced within the sex industry by two men. The exploitation occurred in the city of Burlington and nearby jurisdictions.

HRPS Human Trafficking Unit investigators learned that between September and November of 2018, the victim was callously controlled, transferred, exploited and forced within the sex industry by both men. The exploitation occurred in the city of Burlington and nearby jurisdictions. Both men were subsequently charged with several Human Trafficking offences.

On June 16, 2022, after a lengthy trial, a jury found Augustin guilty of human trafficking, procuring, advertising sexual services, receiving a material benefit from human trafficking, and receiving a material benefit from procuring.

St. Armand, was found guilty of human trafficking, procuring, and advertising sexual services.

On October 14, 2022, Augustin (now 32), and Armand (now 28) were sentenced in Superior court for their involvement.

Augustin received an 8-year custodial sentence while St. Armand was sentenced to 5 years.

HRPS Deputy Chief, Jeff Hill.

“These significant custodial sentences represent the dedication of the service in pursuing these predators and ensuring the safety of the community that we are entrusted to serve.  Human Trafficking is a heinous crime that transcends jurisdictions and we remain committed and thankful to our community and policing partners who assist us in the fight. I thank and am grateful for our members’ efforts in bringing this case to a successful conclusion” said HRPS Deputy Chief, Jeff Hill.

The Halton Regional Police Service firmly believes that every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

What seems to have been forgotten in this criminal case is that the abuse of these women took place in Burlington.  What is about the city that makes it a place where human traffickers can benefit from what these women are forced to do.

Victims of violence and/or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in our region for victims of violence and/or sexual assault:

  • Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777 ext. 5239 or by email at
  • Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
  • Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)
  • Radius Child & Youth Services 905-825-3242 (Oakville) or 1-855-744-9001
  • Kid’s Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (24-hour crisis line)
  • THRIVE Counselling 905-845-3811 or 905-637-5256

Signs / Indicators of Human Trafficking

  • Not being allowed to speak for themselves;
  • Not having control of their own money or cellphone;
  • Suddenly having a new or second cell phone with a secret number;
  • Being controlled by others and escorted at all times;
  • Not being allowed to contact family or friends;
  • Withdrawing from family and friends;
  • Providing rehearsed answers to casual questions;
  • Being secretive about their activities;
  • Showing signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc.
  • Having a new boyfriend, girlfriend or friend who they won’t introduce to friends/family; and
  • Having new items (clothing, jewelry etc.) outside their financial means.

What Should I Do if I Think Someone is a Victim of Trafficking?

If there is immediate danger or if you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 9-1-1.

You may also call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24/7 to connect victims and survivors with social services, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as receive tips from the public. The hotline uses a victim-centered approach when connecting human trafficking victims and survivors with local emergency, transition, and/or long-term supports and services across the country, as well as connecting callers to law enforcement where appropriate.


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Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith issues a statement on his Conflict problems.

By Staff

October 19th, 2022



Kelvin Galbraith provided the following Statement to the Gazette

I would like to clear up some misinformation that has been written about me with regards to my conflicts of interest and the ability for me to be an effective councillor for Ward 1 here in Burlington.

In the Gazettes first article (Oct. 18) which stated that I said “ I was never in a conflict of interest situation” is a completely false statement.  I have declared conflicts several times during the course of my term on development applications that were in close proximity to my personal residence and my business on Plains Road.  I had stated when elected in 2018, that I would seek the advice of the integrity commissioner whenever an application or issue arose that affected my personal or business properties and I took an oath of office to confirm this.  I have stayed by my word and sought the advice of the integrity commissioner several times and publicly declared conflicts of interest whenever those items were listed on the agenda for decisions.

Kelvin Galbraith meeting with constituents shortly after being elected in 2018

To date, the only items that have required me to declare conflicts were:

1085 Clearview/Masonary Court – proximity to my house within 50 Meters

This development is 50 metres from a commercial property Galbraith owns on Plains Road  It is one of 16 development applications in the ward at various stages of approval.

1029-1033 Waterdown road – within 50 Meters of my business property

On March 3/22, staff advised of the follow dates regarding project milestones for MTSA work( which has subsequently changed )

As promised, here are a list of the key dates of the MTSA Area Specific Planning Project for your information:

  • April 14th – release of Area Specific Plans (ASPs) and draft OPAs publicly
  • April 28th – Aldershot GO MTSA PIC/Open House
  • May 10th – Statutory Public Meeting for the Area Specific Plans and draft OPAs
  • June 7th – Adoption of OPAs
  • June-December – Implementation Stage
    • There will be a series of meetings/approval points with respect to:
      • Zoning By-law Amendments
      • Urban Design Guidelines
      • Inclusionary Zoning
      • Other implementation measures as needed

The Advice memorandum that was prepared by the Integrity Commissioner on March 8/22, was initiated by myself due to upcoming agenda items for 1. 1029-1033 Waterdown Road on April 5th,22 and 2. The above schedule of MTSA key dates including the Statutory Public Meeting on May 10/22 where a decision point from council would be required.

Since being elected in 2018 I had been prepared to seek the advice of the integrity commissioner on any MTSA discussions but the project had been put on hold from 2018 to late 2021, due to work on the “Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown” project.  Previous MTSA discussions were general in nature and did not require me to declare a conflict as per the advice I received.  As stated in the advice memorandum, now that the discussions were going to be more granular in nature, it was time for me to recuse myself from further discussions.

Subsequently, all dates that were provided by staff with regards to MTSA discussions have been delayed or postponed so I have yet to need to declare a conflict on the MTSA work.  The May 10/22 workshop was cancelled by staff and there has been no ASPs or OPAs released formally or informally nor has there been any decision-making processes on the MTSA project, only a staff report tabled in July 2022 containing a project update and no decision point. There has been no meeting to discuss the details or decision point with regards to the MTSA  detailed technical work.

I had no issue sharing the Integrity Commissioners report that I initiated, with a constituent as it can be used by myself to explain my position if/when that item returns to an agenda at some point in the future.    Why it was shared with the gazette in an attempt to tarnish my reputation and hurt my election potential is an example of just how targeted councillors can be during the election period.  It is truly a shame that articles would be written about this situation during this time that are false and misleading.

It has also been stated that there is a group of residents that share concerns about my conflicts of interest.  I have heard no such concerns from any group nor the close to 4000 doors that I have canvassed during the election period.  My ability to make decisions on behalf of the city of Burlington and represent my constituents has, in my opinion, not been compromised by the 3 items mentioned above.

Should I be re-elected, I will continue to be completely transparent about my conflicts and continue to seek the advice of the integrity commissioner as I have done throughout my term.

If any community member has any concerns about issues raised above then please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Map provided by the city showing the developments underway or planned for ward 1





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There is now a real campaign issue for the voters in ward 1: Does the incumbent have a Conflict? Candidate Radway steers clear of the problem

By Staff

October 19th, 2022



Robert Radway: Now he has an issue he can campaign on

Ward 1 candidate Robert Radway released a statement saying “the issue of potential conflicts of interest that Councillor Galbraith appears to have are a concern for everyone in the ward.

“Moving forward I want all residents of Aldershot to have the best representation possible in all matters concerning development.

I respect the advice the Integrity Commissioner gave Councillor Galbraith

I appreciate the civic engagement of Mr. Muir for holding Councillor Galbraith accountable on this issue.”

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Ward 1 Councillor in a bit of a bind: he is in a Conflict situation and did not tell his constituents.

By Pepper Parr

October 19th, 2022



The news that ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith has been in a conflict of Interest with properties within the MTSA boundary.

A number of people in a group of about 20 people have been claiming this for some time but were never able to have a meeting with Galbraith to voice their concerns.

They believed that their council member was not going to be in a position to represent their interests because of the Conflict.

What happens now?

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith

We have put a number of questions to the Councillor; we have not heard from him yet.

There are three people who have told the Gazette they will file a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner and realize that complaints are never heard during an election’

If the Integrity Commissioner finds against Galbraith what are the options? At the worst he can have Galbraith removed from office which would mean the calling of a by-election for ward 1 – and those things are not cheap.

Will the news of the Integrity Commissioner’s report have an impact on the election?

Will Robert Radway find a way to alert the Aldershot voters and swing public sentiment?

What does Galbraith do now? Assume he can continue campaigning?

Would he consider bringing his campaign to a halt?

Heck of a mess isn’t it ?

The Gazette wonders why Galbraith did not advise Council that he was in a Conflict and doubted that he could fully represent his constituents.

Galbraith told the Gazette very recently that he was not in a Conflict and that he had met with the Integrity Commissioner – what Galbraith did not tell the Gazette was that he had a report in hand that said very clearly that he was.

Councillor Galbraith will not be permitted to discuss developments in this part of the ward due to his conflict of Interest.

Galbraith said on or before May 14th that he was going to run for re-election – knowing that he had advice from the Integrity Commissioner that he was in a Conflict of Interest when any property within the MTSA boundary was being discussed.

Related news story:

Ward Councillor fails to tell his constituents that he is running – at a time when he knew he was going to be in a conflict situation

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.


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Seniors turn our to vote at the Advance Polls - respectable numbers

By Katelyn Goodwin

October 19th, 2022



Yesterday I concentrated my Man on the Street interviewing outside two of the Advance polls: Tansley Wood and the Appleby Ice Centre

I then covered the plaza a short block away from Tansley Woods Centre.

There was a short line up at Tansley, at Appleby people were able to just walk in.

My count at both locations was something more than 200 people.

I noted the ward the person lived in, an approximation of their age and what there issues were.

Except for one young couple the people I interviewed were all 60 and over.

Their comments went like this:

Ward #6
This lady’s main ward concern is the Millcroft and golf course development. She and other residents in the area are against it, but it continues to be built.
Her main city concern is housing and the price of it

Ward #6
Male, Female
This couple’s main ward concern is the Milcroft development. The man says they have neighbours that will be affected by the golf course being developed. He also noted there were elderly people in the neighbourhood that will be affected by the golf course development in general.
Their city concern is overdevelopment of buildings

Ward #5
Male, Female
Their main concern in their ward is the safety of residents, and the number of wild animals such as foxes or coyotes they have seen around

Ward #5
This young man didn’t have too many city or ward concerns other than transportation and getting around in general

Ward #5
Male, Female
This couple’s main ward concern was the condo development; they feel the amount of them being built is getting to be a bit much
Their main city concern is overdevelopment of buildings and how they are taking away from the environment. The man noted he liked how the city used to have a good amount of space between houses with a lot of grass/fields before high rises and condos began going up in those spaces.

Ward #6
Male, Female
This couple’s ward concern is the development of the golf course
Their main city concern is overdevelopment. Especially the overdevelopment that doesn’t ‘jive’ with the green or environmental spaces in the city. The woman noted the less amount of green in the city compared to what it once was.

Ward #5
This lady’s ward concern is the high-rise they are trying to put up on the corner of Appleby where seniors who are already paying a lot for housing are. It will cause a gas station there to be taken down and it is a station a lot of seniors in the area use, including a couple of her neighbours.
Her city concern is the overdevelopment of buildings and the condos going up everywhere.

Ward #6
Female, Male
This couple’s ward concern is the Milcroft development. They are against it as are other residents in the area as it will affect many people living there.
Their city concern is the slowness of delivery at city hall when applying for city related services as well as the money being paid for said services

Ward #5
This man’s city concern was the number of tall buildings going up everywhere and overdevelopment in general

Ward #5
Female, Male
This couple shared a one-time event that happened in their neighbourhood. Someone was illegally owning a breed of Pit bull dog while possibly being involved in other illegal activity involving the breeding of dogs which caused a commotion involving assault weapons when word got out though thankfully nobody was killed or injured. They wished people in the neighbourhood had been notified sooner rather than later by authorities for safety reasons. Especially when taking in the children who live in the neighbourhood.

Other than that incident they have issues with coyote sightings and people letting their dogs off leashes in places where they shouldn’t such as sidewalks or streets. Anywhere besides parks.
For their city concern, while they were pleased with what happened with the waterfront, they don’t want too much overdevelopment not unlike many other city residents.

Ward #6
Her main ward concern is healthcare and affordable housing for the elderly
Her city concern is that she believes more roads need to be paved, especially with the development of buildings with the lack of streets to support them

Ward #6
Male, Female
This couple’s ward concern was the reliability of the services in the ward such as stores, gas stations, etc. and that the area is getting busier.
Their city concern is density, construction, and traffic

Ward #6
This man’s ward concern was the housing for seniors-he says there isn’t enough, and it isn’t affordable for everyone
His city concern is density and the number of high-rises going up

Ward #2
Female, Male
This couple just moved into the city and doesn’t have any immediate concerns thus far, though they did do enough research to vote in the municipal election

Ward #6
Male, Female
This couple’s ward concern was the amount of busy traffic
Their city concern was how busy it is on both Appleby and Guelph line. The lady believed they weren’t the best streets for pedestrians in terms of crosswalks either because of that business.

What was clear was that people were getting out to vote.  Seniors have always been voters in Burlington.  Where those votes go will be evident Monday night.

Katelyn Goodwin is a graduating student at Sheridan College.

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Integrity Commissioner advice on Conflicts of Interest given to Councillor Galbraith

By Pepper Parr

October 19th, 2022



In February of this year Councillor Kelvin Galbraith met with the Burlington Integrity Commissioner to seek advice on any Conflicts of Interest he might have.

In March of this year the Integrity Commissioner gave Councillor Galbraith the following advice:

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

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

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

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

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

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

If we have omitted or incorrectly stated any material facts please advise as it may cause us to alter our advice to you.

In order to fully understand the potential land assembly we have enlarged a part of the map.

A is the location of the Galbraith Fitnes Firm, B is the garage at the intersection that Galbraith does not own, C and D are properties that Galbraith acquired and E is a Tim Hortons location within a small plaza.


Municipal Conflict of Interest Act

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

The relevant provision is as follows:

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

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

Planning Notice as an indication of financial impact

Proximity to a property under consideration is a ‘flag’ to members of Council, to stop and consider whether they may have a conflict of interest in participating in the matter. Distance alone is not the determining fact, but can be used as a reasonable ‘rule of thumb’ to determine potential for a possible financial impact arising from development applications.

With respect to the determination of a specific distance beyond which a member of council who owns a property would not be considered to have a conflict of interest, although there are no hard and fast rules, we consider that the distance utilized for Notice under the Planning Act provides reasonably good guidance for determining the appropriate distance beyond which impact might be considered ‘remote and insignificant’ for most planning and development applications.

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

Sometimes, where a member of council owns a property which is within an area affected by a decision of council, that member may be deemed to have an interest in common. This may be the case where the member’s property, although likely to be affected by the decision, will be no differently affected than hundreds of other similarly-situated properties.

Interest in Common

Section 4(j) of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA) provides an exception for a member’s interest where the pecuniary interest is an interest in common with electors generally. In relevant cases the duty to comply with s. 5, MCIA, to declare and refrain from participating and voting, does not apply.

“Interest in common” as used in section 4(j) has been interpreted by the Courts in such a way that the interest need not be an interest in common with all electors of the municipality, but can be an interest in common with all other similarly situated residents.

For example, where all residents of a particular area would be impacted by a particular council decision, and the individual member’s interest is no different from the other affected electors who resided in the same area,1 that too would be considered to be an interest in common.

This reasoning of “interest in common” was applied by the court in Murphy v. Foster, where a member of council participated in and voted on a decision to designate an area of environmental protection in a new official plan, making it more difficult to obtain development approval on lands adjacent to the subdivision where that member owned property. The member was found to have an interest in common.

It should be noted that where the courts have found that the pecuniary interest is different not by degree, but by nature (kind) from that of the other ratepayers in the area under discussion, it will be more difficult to find an “interest in common”. An example we often use is the example of a gravel road hard-topping (road paving) program which affects, say, one hundred properties in the same manner, varying the actual property value impact of the paving program on the abutting properties only by the width of the frontage involved. Regardless of the actual dollar-value impact, each of those 100 properties would have an interest in common, varying only by degree. If one of those properties, however, were required to have a sliver of frontage expropriated for the paving, that property interest would differ in kind and the interest in kind exception would no longer be available.

Cases which differentiate a member’s property interest as distinguishable from other property owners affected, found that the member stood to benefit in a particular manner, through development of property which would flow as a result and by virtue of the council decision, and therefore the interest was not an interest in common.2

Based on the original map of the study area, which merely delineated the boundary of the MTSA Aldershot GO area but did not identified any proposed changes to the land uses, it would have been reasonable to consider your interest as an interest in common. However, in light of the more granular level of detail now under review, which includes proposed changes to land uses which have a direct affect on the potential uses for your properties, and which will affect your properties differently –in degree and in nature – from other properties throughout the study area, we would not consider your interest to be an interest in common any longer. This is underscored by the fact that two of your properties are, in fact, vacant and you are awaiting planning changes to enable redevelopment, with possible land assembly to enhance the opportunities. It would be reasonable to characterize you as an investor in the area, whose investment return will be realized through redevelopment, and for this reason, your interest could not properly be considered an interest in common.

Remote or Insignificant:

While it is often relevant to consider whether an interest could be considered “remote or insignificant” as referenced in the MCIA, s. 4(k), we would not consider this exception to be relevant in your circumstances. The applicable test to determine whether a member has an interest that is so remote or insignificant in its nature such that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence the member is set out in Whiteley v. Schnurr (1999), 4 MPLR (3d) 309. The question to be asked is as follows:

Would a reasonable elector, being apprised of all the circumstance, be more likely than not to regard the interest of the councillor as likely to influence that councillor’s action and decision on the question?

In many of the cases determining a councillor’s pecuniary interest to be remote and insignificant, the interest arises out of an indirect pecuniary interest resulting from the pecuniary interest of a member of the councillor’s family, business relationships or other memberships. In the current circumstances, because the interest arises from your ownership of three properties within the study area, two of which are destined for redevelopment which the re-designations will enable, a pecuniary interest for you would not be considered remote or insignificant.

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

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

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


1 In Re Ennismore (Township) where a decision to build a communal water supply system affected an area of the township, and the council member had a commercial establishment in the study area, his pecuniary interest was an interest in common; even though his interest was affected to a greater degree, it was not different in kind from other affected electors.

2 Graham v. McCallion, 1982 CanLII 2014 (ON SC); Re Greene and Borins, 1985 CanLII 2137 (ON SC); Jafine v. Mortson, 1999 CanLII 14775 (ON SC).

We would be pleased to discuss our advice with you at your convenience.

Related news stories:

What the Aldershot MTSA is all about and what can be built within the boundary.

Reshaping Aldershot

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Gould on what the Liberal government wants to pass in the way of new legislation

By Staff

October 18th, 2022



Karina Gould in the House of Commons

Burlington’s Member of Parliament rose in the House of Commons yesterday and told the Speaker that there were all kinds of things the Conservatives could do t help Canadians.

“Conservatives have an opportunity to demonstrate that they care and want to help low-income Canadians. They have several opportunities in fact. They could support the bill for dental care for low-income children to get their teeth fixed.

“They could support the bill that would put $500 into the pockets of low-income renters. They could support the bill that would provide a disability benefit for Canadians with disabilities.

“There are lots of opportunities for Conservatives to demonstrate in the House how they care for Canadians. I just do not understand why they will not.”

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Police Make Arrest in Grandparent Scam that took place in Burlington

By Staff

October 18th, 2022



It took a little longer than we expected – but there was no doubt that at some point a person who was being pulled into one of those Emergency Grandparent Scams that the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) would be involved and able to make an arrest.

Often people are embarrassed by being taken advantage of – they don’t call the police – they don’t want anyone to know.

This week an arrest related to a “grandparent ” or “emergency” style scam being operated in Burlington. This scam is a type of fraud that has been an ongoing trend across Halton resulting in many community members being victimized.

On October 17, 2022, HRPS officers were made aware of a scam in progress. Police attended the residence and arrested Kevin Murenzi (24) of Gatineau, QC.

The suspect attended this location in order to collect $9,000 cash from a victim for the alleged and fabricated bail of her child. This is a theme often used by fraudsters throughout the GTA.

The suspect was placed under arrest by investigators and charged with Fraud Over $5000 and Obstruct Peace Officer.

Investigators are asking anyone who has information or may have also been victimized to contact the Regional Fraud Unit – Intake Office at 905-825-4777 ext. 8741.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at

Emergency (Grandparent) Scams
These types of scams typically involve the victim receiving an unsolicited phone call regarding a loved one being in distress. The perpetrators falsely identify themselves as a loved one, or impersonate a police officer and/or other participants of the criminal justice system (such a lawyers, bailiffs, and “bondsman”), falsely claiming that the loved one is in police custody as a result of a specific incident. They request a larger sum of money to have the supposed loved one released from custody, or to pay for associated bills/fines accrued as a result of the alleged incident. The funds requested can be in the form of a direct cash payment, bank transfers, various gift cards, and digital currency. While the scam is ongoing, and the payments are being made, the perpetrators will on occasion use the threat of a fictitious “gag order” to prevent the victim from discussing the matter with anyone else.

Tips to protect yourself
• Attempt to verify the caller’s identity – do not volunteer any information, and further ask very specific probing questions about the caller.
•Request to call back the initial caller – then independently find the number of the police service (or other purported agency in question) and call them directly to clarify the situation. If unsure, call your local police service and ask them for assistance.
• Attempt to directly call the loved one in question and clarify the matter with them.

Remember – Fraudsters will count on your good will to act quickly and help a loved one. Take your time and use above noted tips to protect yourself.

Additional information on frauds and scams can be found here, or through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.

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