Council debating the budget for three days

By Pepper Parr

February 6th, 2023



Council begins the hard part of crafting a budget. They have set aside three days to get the job done.

Today’s meeting will reconvene on Tuesday, February 7 and Thursday February 9, 2023, if required.

The objective is to:

Approve the 2023 Operating Budget including any budget amendments approved by the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee to be applied against the proposed net tax levy amount of $217,352,545; and

Approve the 2023 Capital Budget for the City of Burlington, with a gross amount of $72,572,264 with a debenture requirement of $5,500,000, and the 2024-2032 capital forecast with a gross amount of $805,460,537 with a debenture requirement of $35,725,000 as outlined in a staff report and as amended by the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability Committee; and

Approve that if the actual net assessment growth is different than the estimated 0.60%, any increase in tax dollars generated from the City portion of assessment growth from the previous year be transferred to the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund or any decrease in tax dollars generated from the City portion of assessment growth from the previous year be funded from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund; and

Administer the debenture in the amount of $5,500,000 in 2023 as tax supported debt; and

Declare that, in accordance with sis. 5(1)5 of the Development Charges Act, 1997 and s. 5 of Ontario Regulation 82/98, it is Council’s clear intention that the excess capacity provided by the above-referenced works will be paid for by future development charges.

At some point they will move into a CLOSED session in accordance with the Municipal Act, 2001 to discuss Confidential legal services department memo regarding contingency reserve fund projections


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The Santa parade showing up in every ward in the city? That's what is being discussed

By Pepper Parr

February 6th, 2023



How does a debate on continuing the Holiday Market that took place in 2021 and 2022 turn into a discussion about the Santa Claus Parade?

That was an easy question to answer.

The Holiday Market wasn’t exactly a raging success – weather had more to do with the event’s failure to get real lift off.

Suddenly, everyone wants the Santa Claus parade in their ward. The Santa Claus parade has taken place for more than 45 years in Burlington. Organized by a citizens group that works out of the city’s Festivals and Events office it is the premier holiday event in the city.

It looks as if it was Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns who came up with the idea that the Holiday Market could take place at the same time as the Santa Claus Parade – which is held a little earlier in December when the weather had in the past decade been warmer.

There were of course all kinds of details to be worked out but the idea was getting a decent reception from Council members – until we learned that there was a movement to hold the parade in ward 1 and then also in ward 6

No one saw that coming.

The City’s Festivals department is now going to have to work out just what they are going to do with the Santa parade in 2023.

Santa had to get taken around in a fire truck during the worst of the pandemic.

In 2021 and 2022 the parade amounted to a fire truck roaming through the streets of the city with a Santa in the jump seat waving away.

Councillor Galbraith wants to see Santa tootling along Plains Road

Councillor Bentivegna wants to see Santa in ward 6. Hows that for delivering service to the residents?

As the debate was moving along Councillor Galbraith said that “he and Councillor Bentivenga “ have been approached by the Santa Claus parade. Group and there may be a Santa Claus parade moving to ward one and potentially Ward six in future years.

“So you may want to put when the Santa Claus parade runs through the downtown as a slight amendment to this direction. Because I don’t think it will matter if it’s running down Plains Road when the Holiday Market is going to be scheduled.

“So, I’m just going to say no.

“I assume that this direction is to align those two when the Santa Claus parade is downtown. I assume that’s if it’s scheduled anywhere else it doesn’t really matter right ?

Kearns popped up with: “My understanding is that when material changes occur to a previously approved festival or event that those changes have to come before Council. And I think we could explore that at that time. But we can defer that question to the to the director of recreation, community and culture if you wish

Councillor Paul Sharman brings up a possible force majeure

Councillor Sharman then piped in with: “I just have a couple items of feedback. I’m totally on board here. So dealing with that previous question about the parade. I didn’t have that in mind. It could be going elsewhere. But I think we just need to, perhaps a suggestion for councillor Kearns to modify the word contingent.

Because what if there’s like a force majeure with Santa Claus parade one year and then we can’t have the Holiday Market because of this staff direction so how about just requesting alignment or expecting alignments with the annual Santa Claus parade and then if it should come to pass that the Santa Claus parade moves, then we’re still bulletproof there. So that would be my first suggestion to Councillor Kearns.”

You could see where this discussion was going; a force majeure for the Santa Claus parade?

A force majeure clause in a contract releases a party from fulfilling their contractual obligations when circumstances beyond their control impede them.

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Family Day will be celebrated at the Performing Arts Centre - February 20th

By Pepper Parr

February 6th, 2023



Ontario created Family Day – an event in February of each year when the focus was on the kids and the family.

Some parents took their children to the office or the factory, others spent the day outdoors just having fun.

The Performing Arts Centre has made the day when performances that include Rock Bands for Kids, Illusion and Magic, and Glow in the Dark Puppetry.  There is something for everyone!

The Family Fun event also marks the second half of the Performing Arts season. It is a season that is doing well after a couple of years of dark stages.

They played at the White House twice – The Movers speaks to kids, not down to them

Monday February 20, 2023 at 4:00pm Imagination Movers will take the stage for a rocking great time. This 75 minute show is perfect for ages 3-8 but will captivate the adults as well with their music inspired by bands such as U2, REM, and The Beastie Boys.

The Imagination Movers are often compared to the Wiggles, boasting four positive male role models for young children. The Movers speaks to kids, not down to them, and encourages life skills and values such as teamwork, respecting others, and creativity. In problem solving and brainstorming, children learn that no idea is a bad idea!

Imagination Movers have played at the White House twice for the annual Easter Egg Roll, have won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Original Song, have been nominated twice for a Daytime Emmy and are supporters of the Down Syndrome Society as National Buddy Walk Partners.

Andy Griffiths  was put on this earth to play music for children – not to be missed.

Before the ticketed show begins, the BPAC Family Lobby will be full of fun and activities. Beginning at 2pm, join us for two FREE concerts by the amazingly talented, and local, Andy Griffiths who will perform at both 2pm and 3pm.

There will be a Photo Booth that parents and children can dress up in silly attire and take some memories home in photos! Do you feel like a pirate or a clown? Try out many hats (and boas and glasses and more) and have some fun as a family! Crafts and other activities will round out the afternoon.

Do you have plans to kick off March Break? The JASON BISHOP Show will be at BPAC on March 10th with two shows to entice the younger and older patrons alike. At 1:00pm, enjoy a slightly shorter show of illusion and intrigue. This education show is also open to the public and will be more appropriate for younger audiences. The evening show begins at 7:30pm and while this performance is family friendly will appeal more to older youth and adult audiences. This show is also longer in duration running 90 minutes.

Each performance of Jason Bishop’s exclusive grand illusions and elegant, agile sleight-of-hand magic are delivered with Bishop’s wry wit and engaging audience participation. From his stunning Double Levitation, new Hologram Illusion starring Gizmo the dog, to the astonishing close-up magic that is captured live and projected onto large projection screens, Jason gives the audience a clear view of very detail. Intelligent lighting together with countless costume changes by his skillful assistant Kim, make this an extraordinary theatrical experience.


Jason Bishop – an extraordinary theatrical experience.

Jason was handpicked by Live Nation to perform with Ke$ha, Matt & Kim, Paramore, Weezer, Drake and many other celebrities at multiple Bamboozle Festivals. He has traveled from LA to NYC, Mexico to Sweden and every US State and many countries in between. This tour brings Bishop to Canada and we are thrilled to be hosting him at BPAC.

A classic tale, reimagined, is brought to the stage on April 7, 2023 at 4:00pm (Good Friday) with Lightwire Theater: THE UGLY DUCKLING. This unforgettable theatrical experience is lined with electroluminescent wire and plays out on stage through a cutting-edge blend of puppetry, technology and dance. This performance that delivers dazzling visuals, moving choreography and a wide range of music from classical to pop, THE UGLY DUCKLING is brought into a new and brilliant light. This show is most suitable for ages 3-8 but will mesmerize audiences of all ages with it’s creativity and brilliance.

This unforgettable theatrical experience is lined with electroluminescent wire and plays out on stage through a cutting-edge blend of puppetry, technology and dance. This performance that delivers dazzling visuals, moving choreography and a wide range of music from classical to pop.

“Bringing family friendly and educational programming to Burlington is one of my greatest joys in developing our Season each year”, says Tammy Fox, Executive Director. “There is so much available to intrigue younger audiences and create new lovers of the arts in all genres from music and dance, to puppetry and even illusion. The BPAC Team is thrilled to engage our next generation of theatre-goers”.

Thank you to our gracious Sponsors, Mercedes-Benz Burlington (Season Sponsor), CIBC Wood Gundy (Family Day Sponsor), Gerry’s Roofing (The JASON BISHOP Show Sponsor) and Kelly Gleeson, CIBC Wood Gundy (Lightwire Theater, The Ugly Duckling Sponsor) for bringing these wonderful Family Friendly shows to our stage and our community this Season.


Performance times and ticket prices

Imagination Movers
Monday, February 20, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Main Theatre
Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 |
Tickets: Regular $35 / Members $30
VIP Regular $50 / Members $45
(includes a post show meet and greet)

Friday, March 10, 2023 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Main Theatre
Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 |
Tickets: Regular $59.50 / Members $54.50 (evening performance)
$20 (1 p.m.)

Livewire Theater: THE UGLY DUCKLING
Friday, April 7, 2023 at 4 p.m.
Good Friday!
Main Theatre
Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 |
Tickets: Regular $35 / Members $30

The full schedule of BPAC Presents events is available here:

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Ontario Liberals Don’t Just Want Mike Schreiner: They Want His Party.


By Ray Rivers

February 5th, 2023



The provincial Liberal party is Ontario’s green party. The last decade and a half of Liberal rule from 2003 to 2018 were the greenest years in Ontario’s history.

In 2014 Ontario became one of the first jurisdictions anywhere to phase out its reliance on coal fired dirty electricity generation – the number one historical cause of global warming. That was also the single biggest reduction of carbon emissions in Canada, ever!

Ontario became Canada’s leading jurisdiction in implementing clean passive solar and wind renewable energy.

In its place Ontario became Canada’s leading jurisdiction in implementing clean passive solar and wind renewable energy. By the time they had been replaced as government, more than 92% of all the electricity in the province was being generated without using fossil fuels. Ontario led the rest of the country in wind capacity adding 5,060 MW of wind capacity between 2005 and 2019. And with 2,670 MW installed, Ontario had about 97% of Canada’s solar capacity in 2019,

The Liberals established an emissions trading regime to efficiently facilitate industrial carbon emission reductions and avoid the requirement for a carbon tax. They brought in powerful incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles (EV) and created the framework for an extensive network for EV charging across the province, including in apartments and condos. And the Liberals created the Greenbelt in 2005, the most extensive protective barrier to urban sprawl anywhere in the world.

It is questionable that the Greens or NDP could have practically done more to transition the province towards energy sustainability and on the path to reducing Ontario’s carbon footprint. In fact the changes the Liberals introduced so threatened the dyed-in-the-wool conservatives, those with vested interests in oil and gas, and the climate change deniers, that they were booted out by the elect-Doug-Ford dinosaurs.

For those that read my columns leading up to the last provincial election you’d remember that Mike Schreiner won the debates hands down. He hit the points the Liberal and NDP leaders only slept through, and took Ford to task, not only on his environmental policies but health care failures as well. So he is not only a good leader for the Greens but, if debates mean anything, would probably be a great leader for Ontario as well.

Change the colour of tat sign to red – and it will do just fine in the next provincial election.

Hasn’t anyone in the Green Party woken up to reality and smelt the coffee. In last June’s election, that party scored only 6% of the vote, whereas the Libs and Dippers split the rest (about 25% each) of the non-Ford vote, allowing Ford a free pass to a four year virtual dictatorship. The Green Party is acting like the Ralph Nader of Ontario politics. Left of centre Nader stole enough votes from Gore to help Bush steal the presidency in 2000.

There was a letter from some 40 prominent Liberals inviting Schreiner to come over and lead their party. In response some 75 Greens penned a response saying that the Libs should join them Greens. It’s a brilliant idea. As someone famous once said, ‘a rose by another name would smell as sweet’.

So call it the Liberal Greens or the Green Libs or whatever, but get your collective act together and stop Doug Ford before he does even more damage to this province than he already has. If you love this province, that is.

Ray Rivers, a Gazette Contributing Editor, writes regularly applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers

Background links:

Family doctors

Those gas plants

Greens think Liberals are trying to steal their leader

National Post thinks pursuit of green party leader is a new low for Ontario Liberals

Eight reason why Schreiner is a good fit for the Liberals

Ford for got what he learned when he was a municipal councillor


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Leisa Way does a tribute to Dolly Parton at the Performing Arts Centre

By Staff

February 5th, 2023



Leisa Way as Dolly Parton in the RHINESTONE COWGIRL.

There are some shows that attract good audiences because they are fun to watch. They keep your toes tapping and you leave feeling glad that you attended.

Leisa Way created the RHINESTONE COWGIRL, her tribute to Dolly Parton – you will leave the theatre smiling

Much loved for her spectacular Patsy Cline concerts, Leisa Way literally erupts onto the stage in a flurry of feathers, fringe and bejewelled finery.

The one-liners and commentaries that Way delivers throughout the tribute are entertaining and hilarious. However the real magic lies in hearing Way sing Dolly’s songs.

Backed up by a terrifically talented band, Way performs hits from every era of Parton’s career including “9-5”, “I Will Always Love You”, “Two Doors Down”, “Coat of Many Colours”, “Jolene”, “Here You Come Again”, “Islands in the Stream” and “Why’d You Come in Here Looking Like That?”.

This fabulous concert is designed to leave audiences amazed, hugely entertained and clamouring for more. What a band, what a concert, what a lady! This concert has played at over 50 theatres across Canada.

A fabulous concert is designed to leave audiences amazed, hugely entertained and clamouring for more.

Leisa Way stars in her own production with Fred Smith & Nathan Smith (Kenny Rogers & Porter Wagoner)

Dates and times:

Thu Feb 23, 2023 at 7:30pm

Fri Feb 24, 2023 at 7:30pm

Sat Feb 25, 2023 at 2pm & 7:30pm

Sun Feb 26, 2023 at 4pm

Venue: Community Studio Theatre

Ticket Prices

Regular: $49.50 (All-in)

Member: $44.50 (All-in)

Telephone:  905-681-6000


Keep up to date on what is scheduled CLICK HERE




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Hockey All Star Game will take place in Toronto in 2024

Pepper Parr

February 5th, 2023



It was George Armstrong, Captain of the Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team (they called it a club in those days) who scored the winning goal and accepted the Stanley Cup on behalf of his team mates

George Armstrong, Captain of the 1967 Toronto Maple Leaf hockey team

The sixth game in the playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens was a thriller after which Frank Selke, who went on to become a General Manager of both the Maple Leafs and the Canadiens, said it will be a long time before people see a game like that again. Little did Selke know just how long that would be. Toronto hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since that marvellous win in 1967

In accepting the Stanley Cup Armstrong said when asked if he ever had doubts about winning, “You have to have confidence and we believed we could win, even if we had to go back to Montreal for the final game”.

Announcements made before or after a hockey game are big productions today.  They were a lot different in 1967.

Today NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said when announcing that Toronto would be the l0cation of the 2024 All Star hockey game. “Toronto is the centre of the hockey universe” There’s so many things that we can do in Toronto to celebrate the Annual All Star

The Leafs held the inaugural NHL All-Star game in 1933, a fundraiser for injured star Ace Bailey that pitted the Stanley Cup champion Leafs against an assembly of the best players in the rest of the league.

Similar fundraisers were held in ensuing years until the All-Star Game itself was institutionalized in the 1947-48 season. Maple Leaf Gardens held the event seven times and the Scotiabank Arena – back when it was called Air Canada Centre – held it once in 2000, when the format pitted all-stars from North America against players from Europe.

“We haven’t had an all-star event (in Toronto) since 2000,” said Daly. “Obviously, the league’s grown a lot since, and they’ve expressed an interest over the last number of years. It’s their turn.”

The Leafs are on a blazing winning streak this year and will play in the finals – but that 5-2 loss to Boston last week reminds people that while Montreal is always a challenge – Boston often turns out to be an even bigger challenge.


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The Hospitals are not For Sale - A Town Hall

By Staff

February 4th, 2023



The state of the health system and access to good hospital care is a concern for many.

The Ontario Health Coalition: Halton is holding a Town Hall meeting Wednesday, February 22nd at 7 pm.

The meeting will address ways to Stop the Privatization of Hospitals in Ontario.

Do take part.  Register to attend the online event.



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Mike Schreiner as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party - could he beat Doug Ford ?

By Pepper Parr

February 4th, 2023



A group of about 40 people who belonged to the Liberal party , sent a letter to Mike Schreiner, Green Party member of the Legislature inviting him to run for the leadership of the Liberal party that is now down to eight members sitting in the Legislature.

Mike Schreiner on the campaign trail

Schreiner at first said he had not seen the letter and later said that he needed some time before accepting the invitation.  He wanted to talk to his party members.  Oh to be a fly on the wall where those conversations took place.

The provincial Greens and Liberals are now in a state of excited frenzy: the Greens are saying if you want Mike as your leader join us.

The Liberals are saying that there are more things that both parties agree on than they disagree on and that the province would be a better place if they had a leader like Mike who would attract the voters the Liberals badly need.

There are some that claim sending a letter to Schreiner dissed the four people who have already declared themselves as leadership candidates that will run for the Liberal leadership.

The Liberals, both federally and provincially have always poached the best that the socialists had and are now quite prepared to do the same thing to the Greens.

Jagmeet Singh, federal New Democrat leader, is keeping the Liberals in office and at the same time getting new programs for Canadians that the Liberals talk about but never quite deliver on.

Back in 1970 Pauline Jewett, a federal Liberal until Pierre Trudeau brought in the War Measures Act became a New Democrat that the Liberals always hoped they could coax back into the party.  They didn’t know the real Pauline Jewett; a woman of strong views and stronger convictions.  Not the first feminist the country has seen but a woman who made a real and lasting difference.

Doug Fisher, an MP for eight years who went on to become a celebrated journalist and columnist for the Toronto Telegram and then the Toronto Sun, knew more about Canadian politics than many other members of the House of Commons.  He was always near or part of conversations about merging the New Democrats with the Liberals federally.

“I chose to lead the Green Party of Ontario because we do politics differently. We are committed to honesty, integrity and making decisions that put people first.”

Didn’t happen back then and probably won’t happen with the Greens either.  Because politics is and always will be about power and what you can do with it – the provincial Liberals might convince themselves that Mike is their man.  What the Liberal party approach to government would do to the heart and soul of Mike Schreiner is an interesting question.

The Greens love him – they should, he is the only person who managed to win an election as a Green candidate.  Some members of the Green party have said they would hate to lose Mike but if he runs as a Liberal and loses – they will take him back as a Green. That is certainly showing the love.

The provincial Liberals meet in Hamilton early in March for their AGM – that’s when they will set out the date and rules for choosing the next leader.  If Mike runs it may well be a coronation – recall what happened to John Turner when he returned to politics.

Schreiner once said: “I chose to lead the Green Party of Ontario because we do politics differently. We are committed to honesty, integrity and making decisions that put people first.”

Had do you decide to run for the Liberal leadership and walk back a statement like that?

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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Karina Gould claims Opposition is making a mockery of people suffering, instead of supporting them

By Staff

February 3rd, 2023



Burlington MP Karina Gould gave the House of Commons a piece of her mind earlier in the week when she said:

Burlington MP Karina Gould in the House of Commons

“Mr. Speaker, what the members opposite are doing is absolutely shameful.

“They are making a mockery of people suffering, instead of supporting them when we are putting important measures on the table.

“After eight years, there is one thing that Canadians have learned. When they are in trouble and when they need help, they cannot count on the Conservatives. The Conservatives are not there for them.

“If they cared about low-income renters, they would have supported us with our support for renters.

“If they cared about low-income Canadians, they would have supported us when we lowered taxes on the middle class, and they would have supported us when we increased the Canada child benefit.

However, they did none of that.”

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Where will the poop go?

By Pepper Parr

February 3rd, 2023



The plans to build thousands of homes to meet the rising population planned for the province puts pressure on the  infrastructure that will have to be built to manage the waste water. Flushing the toilet is just the start – that waste has to get to a wastewater treatment plant that may not have been built yet.

There is another electronic newspaper that is doing some very good news reporting.  Narhwal, a publication that started in British Columbia recently created an Ontario office where they have done some exceptionally good work on the property transactions that have plagued the Ford government.

On one particularly good series they partnered with the Toronto Star

In a recent article writer Fatima Syed reported that: “In York Region, the population is set to double by 2051. That means moving tens of millions of litres of more water from the Lake Huron watershed every day,” Fatima told me.

“Where would that wastewater go, exactly? The answer to that question has been a pressure point for 14 years. After over a decade of debating whether to build a new treatment facility, the province finally decided last fall to move more water down south to an existing treatment plant on Lake Ontario instead. To do so, it’s eyeing the protected Oak Ridges Moraine, through which it wants to expand a network of pipelines.

“Moving water from one Great Lake watershed is known as an intra-basin transfer, and it’s a big deal.  For Lake Huron — and Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe, which flow from it — it means a loss of water, at a time when levels are already often low. For Lake Ontario, it means absorbing more wastewater: treated wastewater, yes, but the water body is also coping with an unprecedented number of sewage spills, and facing other environmental pressures.

“One leak in a pipe, and there’s poop in your drinking water!” Fatima said jokingly. “Well, not exactly, but the chemicals that treat sewage could put a strain on the drinking water for the region — and we don’t want that to happen.”

“And it’s not just a question of sewage or its possible impacts on Ontario’s environment.

“It’s also about an international agreement signed in 2005 by Ontario, Quebec and eight U.S. states which explicitly bans the movement of water from one Great Lake basin to another.

“At the heart of the agreement is the health of the Great Lakes — one of the most unique water ecosystems on the globe, they hold 85 per cent of North America’s surface freshwater. Great Lakes experts told Fatima they worry Ontario’s decision will lead other signatories to wonder why they should honour the agreement when the whole region is facing intense development pressures.

“The consequences could be so dire, with two watersheds in the Great Lakes and a protected area, we have to start thinking about it now,” wrote Fatima Syed.

“If the Ford government wants to put shovels in the ground as quickly as it’s indicating … we have to start planning properly for our poop.”

The Narwhal has shown that with the right kind of funding the public will get to learn a lot more about what the various level of governments are doing.

Narwhal has managed to get funding from a number of Foundations including the Metcalf Foundation, the McConnell Foundation and the Echo Foundation.

The editorial staff is decidedly female which draws support from those who want to see more women in lead roles in the news business.

As for the waste water: Some of it might be headed for Lake Ontario; source of our drinking water.  Thanks Doug

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City Of Burlington Formally Opposes the Millcroft Greens' Development Application

By Staff

February 3rd, 2023



Millcroft Against Development (MAD) and the Millcroft Greenspace Alliance learned yesterday that the city had formally decided to oppose the Millcroft Green development application that would significantly change what a close to 40 year community would look like and, many believe, have a significant negative impact on storm water management. The application is now on the Ontario Land Tribunal schedule.  Dates for hearings have not been announced.

Both organizations have party status at the OLT hearing along with the Regional government and Conservation Halton.

Council made the decision on December 13th – advised the two organizations yesterday.

The unanimous decision opposed Millcroft Greens’ application, except for Parcel E, which is the proposed low-rise on Dundas Street.

Launched together with the Millcroft Golf Club course in 1986, the Millcroft project in Burlington was a Monarch Development flagship community for more than a decade.

It was designed as a community that would be built around a golf course. Residents loved it.

The 650-acre community already includes more than 2,400 single-family houses and townhouses, which wind their way around the rolling greens of the golf course. And as the community moves toward the 20-year milestone, Monarch launched the final phase of executive, single-family homes in the community, called Classic Greens.

They comprised of 166 houses on large lots. Some will back on to the 18-hole, semi-private golf course, and others will have basement walkouts. Homes will range from 2,051 to 3,778 square feet, and lots will be 50 and 60 feet wide.

This is the community the residents want to maintain – a developer saw an opportunity to add close to 100 houses.

Map showing where the developer wants to locate the expansions. Block E is a low rise unit that will face onto Dundas and is not seen as something that will impact the sense of community the residents enjoy

The City will formalize its opposition in the appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

MAD is also a party to the appeal, with Weir Foulds representing the community as legal counsel.

A rendering of how new homes would be jammed into the area shown as Block B elsewhere in this story.

Marianne Meed Ward, Angelo Bentivegna, and Shawna Stolte are expected to bring a resolution to Regional Council requesting the province to declare a provincial interest in preserving Millcroft’s green space.

This has been a long grinding process for the Millcroft community and it is far from over.  The good news and the upside is that there won’t be any changes to the golf course layout until there is a decision from the Ontario Land Tribunal.



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A ten second reader response to a contest certainly surprised us.

By Pepper Parr

February 3rd, 2023



The speed with which information moves in the electronic world is at times astonishing.

The folks at the Drury Lane Theatre offered us two comp tickets to the Music Hall 2023 production that starts March 3rd and runs for 12 performances.

We decided to turn the free tickets into a contest and ran a story offering the tickets if people could tell us what the name of the retailer is that will be opening up in the Burlington Centre (formerly the Mall) later this year. Our hope was that people would use the search feature of the Gazette to dig out the information

We posted the story at 10:09 am.

At 10:19; ten seconds later a winning entry came in.

The Zellers sign comes off the store in 2012. Zellers returns to Burlington Centre later this year as a unit inside The Bay location.

We were stunned and realized that what we should have done is taken the winning entries, put the names in a hat and asked the people at Drury Lane to draw a name and that person would be given the two free tickets.

Ten seconds to get a response from Gazette readers: That is going to be part of the story we tell advertisers when we open up the newspaper to advertising later in February.

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February 3rd, 2023


On January 27, 2020, The Burlington Gazette wrote and published an article related to a matter before the Burlington City Council. The article’s headline read “Private sector planner pushed the acceptable boundaries a little too far – Mayor offended”.

In the body of the article, The Burlington Gazette named Glenn Wellings as the Planner referred to in the headline and reported that he had sent a letter directly to a consultant hired by the City of Burlington, rather than to City of Burlington staff. While the body of the article stated that in doing so Mr. Wellings “appeared“ to have crossed the line of acceptable limits of the profession, the headline contained no such qualifying language.

The article also contained a reference to another individual – Sean Baird – who faced criminal charges relating to attempting to influence an election. The Burlington Gazette  was in no way suggesting a parallel between the two individuals or that Mr. Wellings’ actions were of a criminal nature.

The Burlington Gazette acknowledges that Mr. Wellings is a member in good standing at the Ontario Professional Planning Institute, which maintains strict ethical standards. The Burlington Gazette is not aware of any complaint having been made in respect of this conduct to the Ontario Professional Planning Institute, or of any finding of misconduct.

The Burlington Gazette acknowledges that the article may have been misconstrued as indicating otherwise.

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Provincially regulated gaming sites have done very well in the Ontario market.

By Staff

February 2nd, 2023


The comments made by readers of the Gazette were appreciated. I made the decision to cease publishing very early – at around 3 in the morning, when I had to come to the conclusion that I just did not have the financial resources that were needed to continue. A number of people congratulated me on “my retirement.” This was not a retirement.

The runway had come to an end – continuing with the financial resources available was no longer possible. Readership grew almost every month.

Since the announcement, a number of people have asked: How can we help ? So there will be conversations in the days ahead. I am required to keep the newspaper “in print” for a number of days; so whatever I was doing in the past I will be doing for a little longer.

Last Thursday, iGaming Ontario (iGO) released its Q3 revenue report. shared the following information

The province is now into regulating online Gambling in Ontario – it has proven very lucrative business for the gambling site operators.

In the period between Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2022, online casinos and sportsbooks collected $11.53 billion in wagers, a 91% increase over Q2 (July 1 – Sept. 30, 2022) and does not include promotional wagers or bonuses.

Total gaming revenue in Q3 was $457 million, a 71% quarterly increase.

The online Ontario market went live on April 4, 2022 after decades of grey market operations. Since then, 36 operators and 68 sites have launched as part of regulated gaming and sports betting.

There was a 45% quarterly increase in active player accounts, bringing the total to 910,000, with an average monthly spend of $167 on each account.

It looks like even with a decades-long history of a billion-dollar grey market, fully legal regulated gaming in Ontario is only going to get stronger as the market matures.

For the full story, please visit: Ontario iGaming and Sports Betting Numbers Up Sharply To End 2022 (


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Burlington MPP Natalie Pierre to hold a Meet & Greet at the Joseph Brant Museum on Saturday.

By Pepper Parr

February 2nd, 2023


The comments made by readers of the Gazette were appreciated. I made the decision to cease publishing very early – at around 3 in the morning, when I had to come to the conclusion that I just did not have the financial resources that were needed to continue. A number of people congratulated me on “my retirement.” This was not a retirement.

The runway had come to an end – continuing with the financial resources available was no longer possible. Readership grew almost every month.

Since the announcement, a number of people have asked: How can we help ? So there will be conversations in the days ahead. I am required to keep the newspaper “in print” for a number of days; so whatever I was doing in the past I will be doing for a little longer.

No shadow – Spring will be early?

Wiarton Wille didn’t see his shadow earlier this week, that must have been signal enough for MPP Natalie Pierre to come out as well and hold a Meet & Greet at the Joseph Brant Museum on Saturday.

Natalie Pierre reading a Motion into the record last December

The Constituency office is located on Harvester Road at 3027 in suite 306.

There is no mention of the Meet & Greet event on Pierre’s Facebook page.

On December 19th, the Legislative Member for Burlington read a Motion into the record asking for mandatory Mental Health education for high school students. She was given a standing ovation by the members of the Legislative assembly.

Pierre has not been seen all that much in the community other than a few events – one in particular at the Art Gallery.

The Gazette has not been able to do an interview with Pierre. We did have an opportunity to spend five minutes with her before she was elected.

Related news story:

When Natalie Pierre was running for office she was polite and empathetic but didn’t say all that much

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Seniors’ care first. Bickering later. The long term care crisis subject of a Zoom call on Friday

By Pepper Parr

February 2nd, 2023



The Baby Boomers – They are the generation that changed everything as they went from babies to teenagers to parent to grandparents and now as people that need care in their waning years.

The Baby Boomers have always been noisy, they forced change and they now want better service from the governments that taxed them.

A community based Long Term Care Coalition has said it has to be: Seniors’ care first. Bickering later.

We were told in 1996 how big the problem was going to be – 30 years later governments are not yet ready.

In 1996  Boom Bust and Echo became a national phenomenon that demonstrated the power of demographics to help us understand the past and forecast the future. The book was on the Canadian best-seller lists for over 3 years and sold more than 300,000 copies. Boom, Bust & Echo revealed Canada’s demographic profile at the beginning of the 21st century, as a new population shift had profound implications for our economic and social life.

People want a comprehensive seniors’ care plan, using the law to combine principles and enforceable standards into health care funding.

This call is going to be the subject of a ZOOM call on Friday, February 3, 2023, 9:30am ET

Zoom link:

Seniors’ having dinner at a Waterloo area long term care home.

Mike Perry, co-founder, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes Long-Term Care Coalition will be joined by Dr. Amit Arya, a Palliative Care Physician working in long-term care.  Laura Bulmer, RN, Chair, Canadian Association of Continuing Care Educators: CACCE and founder – HSPAOntario:

WAith them will be Dr. Joseph Wong, Founder of Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care; Yee Hong annually serves more than 15,000 individuals across the Greater Toronto Area. It is the largest non-profit nursing home in the country, providing a full continuum of community care and supportive housing services.

This group is calling for a true national plan for seniors’ care, with transparent, measurable and mandatory conditions that are enforceable, securing improved services in long-term, home and palliative care. With a new wealth of front-line staffing in decent working conditions, the Health Care Transfer can be the core foundation of healthcare across the nation.


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Pair of FREE tickets to Music Hall 2023 - skill testing question

By Pepper Parr

February 2nd, 2023



Two free tickets to what is always a smash hit at the Drury Lane Theatre.

The cast to Music Hall 2023.

Music Hall 2023 runs from March 3rd to the 26th   and we have a pair of free tickets.

There is a skill testing question:

What is the name of the retailer that is returning to a Burlington mall later this year

The answer is part of a Gazette news story in January.  Use the search feature on the web site to find it – if you don’t already know

Send you answer to with the words Free tickets in the subject line.

We need an email address and a telephone number that we pass along to the ticket people at the Drury Lane Theatre who will work out which date you want to attend and which seat/table you want.

The first person we hear from wins the tickets. We will determine who was first with the correct answer from the time line on the email.

The name of the winner will be sent to the communications people at Drury Lane Theatre – they will be in touch with you to choose the date you want to attend.

Go quickly – tickets are probably going to sell out.

Related news stories:

Music Hall 2023 very close to half way to SOLD OUT

Music Hall – 2023 production

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Drip, drip, drip - over time it can wear away a stone. New Democrats are like a dog with a bone - and they are not letting go.

By Staff

February 2, 2023



Drip, drip, drip – water can wear away stone. Information on just who bought land and when did they know the government was going to change policy on Greenbelt land use.

Drip drip.

When there is a leak in an eaves trough or a bucket – water seeps out drop by drop – drip by drip.

Let that dripping go on long enough and you can wear away a stone.

Marit Stiles, Incoming Leader of the Ontario NDP, revealed new information about the Ford government’s plan to carve up the Greenbelt, indicating that a land development company seems to have had advance knowledge of the plan before it was made public.

“The more information we uncover about Ford’s scheme to tear up the Greenbelt, the more concerned I become”, said Stiles. “Protected land became extremely lucrative overnight, and Ford donors seem to have benefited enormously from land they had just purchased. Maybe they were just incredibly lucky. But something doesn’t seem right to me.”

Marita Stiles – will become the leader of the New Democrats at Queen’s Park later this month.

Three days before the announcement to tear up the Greenbelt was made public, Rice Group, a land development company, told the Mayor of King Township that a parcel of land could be provided for a nominal fee for a local project. At the time, that land was a protected part of the Greenbelt. Just three days later, the Ford government announced their intent to make the land available.

“This finding indicates to us that somebody knew something”, said Stiles. “I am confident that the Integrity Commissioner will review this information and provide Ontarians with the answers they deserve about the Greenbelt”.

The Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario opened an investigation on January 18, 2023, after finding “reasonable and probable grounds” to investigate Ford’s actions to carve up the Greenbelt. Stiles submitted additional evidence last week.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has amended the Greenbelt Area boundary regulation to add 13 new Urban River Valley areas and lands in the Paris Galt Moraine in Wellington County and remove 15 areas of land. Add lands in the Paris Galt Moraine in Wellington County to the Greenbelt Area Remove or re-designate 15 areas of land totalling approximately 7,400 acres from the edge of the Greenbelt Area that are serviced or adjacent to services and will be used to build housing in the near term. The investigative reporters want to learn more about who bought the lands that are being taken out of the Greenbelt and how much did they know before they bought ?


  • November 24, 2022 – Stiles wrote to the Auditor General requesting an investigation into the Ford government’s decision to open up 7,400 acres of Greenbelt land for development.
  • December 8, 2022 – Formal Integrity Commissioner complaint filed.
  • January 12, 2023 – Stiles and the other opposition leaders sent a letter to Auditor General requesting both a value-for-money audit and an environmental impact assessment of the government’s decision to remove lands from the Greenbelt.
  • January 18, 2023 – Integrity Commissioner and Auditor General confirm they will be conducting investigations.
  • January 27, 2023 – Additional information is submitted to the Integrity Commissioner.

Drip, drip, drip.

Related news stories:


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Spring recreation programs and summer camp registration opening soon

By Staff

February 1st, 2023


Mark your calendar as the City Spring 2023 recreation programs for preschool, youth and teens and Summer Camps are opening for online registration Feb. 11.

Both the spring session and summer camps will provide a variety of fun, interesting and active options. Programs are available for viewing now.  Adult Spring 2023 programs for ages 19+ and 55+ will be viewable March 1, and open for online registration March 11.

Registration Dates and Program Highlights
Date Time Program

There is no age limit for summer camp.

Saturday, Feb. 11 9 a.m. • Spring programs for preschool, youth and teens including swimming lessons, aquatic leadership, PA Day programs and more.

Burlington Teen Tour Band at Performing Arts Centre

• Summer camps including S.N.A.P., youth, music, theatre, individuals with disabilities.
• Youth interested in joining the Junior Redcoats or Burlington Teen Tour Band can email for more information.
• Log in and register at

Saturday, March 11 9 a.m. • Spring Adult programs for ages 19+ and 55+ including:
Non-resident registration opens Feb. 17 for Youth programs, and March 17 for Adult programs.

Assisted Registration

Residents who need extra support or do not have online access to register for programs, can call 905-335-7738 for staff-assisted telephone registrations starting Feb. 11 and March 11 at 9 a.m. The Recreation customer service team is also available through email at Phone and email support is available Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In person registration is available starting Monday, Feb. 13 at the Tansley Woods Community Centre

In-person registration is available starting Monday, Feb. 13 at the Tansley Woods Community Centre and starting Monday, March 13 at Burlington Seniors’ Centre.

For more information on how to set up an account or register online, visit

Recreation Fee Assistance
Recreation is for all, regardless of financial situation. Recreation Fee Assistance is funding made available to resident individuals or families who need help to pay for City of Burlington recreation programs. For more information or to apply, visit

Links and Resources – Click on the link


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Music Hall 2023 - Twelve performances - 46% sold. This could be sold out before opening night

By Staff

February 1st, 2023



Carrie Mines

Tickets to take in the 2023 Drury Lane Theatre edition of Music Hall are now on sale

Ticket sales started last week and at this point they have sold 46% of the 1656 seats available. That 46% indicates the production is selling faster than normal given they are a month away from opening!

If this is something you were thinking of taking in – move quickly – they just might reach sold out before opening night.

Drury Lane takes you on a worldwide excursion of Music Halls; venturing to Vaudeville in New York City, Cabaret in Paris, Kabarett in Berlin and Music Hall in London while enjoying the flavour of this art form past and present.

The production embraces British and American versions of this popular live entertainment. However, the attraction to this comedic musical variety form also has strong roots in Glasgow, Warsaw and several other European cultures.

This compilation is strongly oriented to the stylings and methods utilized from 1890 to 1950.

The Pearlys – Jennifer Welosky, Michael Belton, May Farquhar

Related news story:

Music Hall 2023.

March 3-26th -12 performances over a 27 day time frame.
Drury Lane Theatrical Productions
C: 289-260-7169

Online ticket purchases

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