Conservation Halton Watershed Report Card: Some A's and some C's

By Staff

March 22nd, 2023



What is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land drained by a creek or stream into a river which then drains into a larger body of water such as a lake. Everything in a watershed is connected. Our actions upstream can affect conditions downstream.

Why Measure?
Measuring helps us better understand our watershed. We can target our work determine where work is needed and track progress. We measured: Groundwater Quality, Surface Water Quality and Forest Conditions

What is a watershed report card?
Ontario’s Conservation Authorities report on watershed conditions every five years. The watershed report cards use Conservation Ontario guidelines and standards developed by Conservation Authorities and their partners.

Conservation Halton
Grades for surface water quality are based on chemical (phosphorus concentrations) and biological (benthic invertebrates) indicators of water quality across the watershed.
What Did We Find?

• Grades ranged from A (Excellent) to F (Very Poor).
• Subwatersheds with lower scores (D to F) tend to be in agricultural or urban areas.
• Subwatersheds with higher scores (A to C) tend to be in areas with more natural cover, including higher amounts of forest cover.
• Ongoing efforts to improve stormwater management and increase the use of low impact
development (LID) practices will help to improve water quality.
• 9 subwatersheds saw improvements, receiving a higher grade than they had scored in the 2018 Watershed Report Card.
• 9 subwatersheds had more degraded conditions, receiving a lower grade than in 2018.
• 6 out of the 11 water chemistry stations sampled over the last 5 years had chloride concentrations above the water quality objective. These stations were within Sheldon, Fourteen Mile and Sixteen Mile Creeks.

Conservation Halton
Grades for groundwater quality are based on concentrations of nitrate + nitrite and chloride levels at 10 groundwater wells across the Conservation Halton watershed. Wells have been monitored for the past 21 years

What Did We Find?
• Grades ranged from A (Excellent) to F (Very Poor) with mostly A grades, which represent the groundwater conditions at the well locations only.
• Groundwater quality can vary significantly from site to site and be influenced by geology, land use, human activities, etc.
• Two wells (W004-1 and W030-1) exhibit naturally higher chloride concentrations due to proximity to shale bedrock.
• Two wells (W336-1 and W005-1) are showing impacts from human activities such as road salting and agricultural activities as they are higher in both chloride and nitrogen concentrations.


As part of Conservation Halton’s Long-term Environmental Monitoring Program, staff have been collecting, analyzing, and reporting on environmental data for almost 20 years. Some of the most evident trends in our watershed include:

Water Quality:
Analysis of over 50 years of water quality data shows that chloride (salt) concentrations continue to increase across the watershed. In some watersheds, the values are more than double the limit considered safe for aquatic life. When snow melts, the salt applied to hard surfaces like roads and sidewalks in the winter enters waterways and groundwater recharge areas. Chloride can also be re-suspended during rain events, causing harmful effects into the summer months. Chloride, combined with the added stress of warming stream temperatures has an adverse impact on our streams, impacting habitat and stressing aquatic organisms. There is no current treatment for chloride removal from our environment.
Prevention is the key! Reducing salt application and protecting our waterways through streamside plantings and other nature-based climate solutions helps to reduce stream temperatures and protect water quality.

Invasive Species:
Ecosystems are under threat from invasive species. Invasive species are plants, animals, pests, and pathogens that out-compete native species when introduced to a new area. They often become predators, competitors, parasites, and carriers of disease for our native plants and animals. Analysis and results of forest health monitoring done by Conservation Halton at selected sites demonstrate that forests across the watershed are being drastically altered and damaged. Once established, invasive species are costly and difficult to remove. Planting native species, ensuring that plants and animals are not moved from one location to another and disposing of invasive species in the garbage (NOT the compost) protects biodiversity and helps to prevent spread.

There are many issues affecting our environment from climate and land use changes to local habitat impairments or alterations. One concerning issue is pollution of our streams.
Pollution Of Our Streams:

• Chemical and physical pollution, including the warming of waterways, has significant impacts on water quality, and the species, including humans, that rely on clean water.
• Pollution comes from various sources across urban, residential, and agricultural landscapes and results from choices we make, such as whether to apply fertilizers to our home garden.
• During rain or snowmelt, pollutants and soils run off fields, roads, and yards and enter streams or are absorbed into the groundwater.

Walk around a lake that is in pristine condition. When scientists explored the bottom of the lake they found evidence of early Indigenous settlements.

What Actions Can You Take To Reduce Pollution In Our Streams?
• Conserve natural landscapes, especially wetlands and streamside vegetation, that naturally aid in removing pollutants.
• Reduce nutrients from entering waterways by implementing best management practices on your property.
• Prevent stormwater from entering streams by using low impact development and redirecting water to lawns and gardens.
• Get out and explore Conservation Halton parks and the natural areas around you. Appreciating and exploring nature is the first step in making wise choices to help protect it.

What Can your Community do?
• Support initiatives to improve stormwater management.
• Adopt low impact development practices to help reduce runoff.
• Direct development away from areas of environmental significance.
• Minimize salt use and explore new alternatives.
• Protect and connect wetlands and other natural heritage features.
• Support monitoring and restoration initiatives to track environmental change and improve conditions

What can agencies do?
• Evaluate the effectiveness of their environmental programs
and take steps to green their operations
• Work together to manage natural systems to protect and enhance connected natural habitats on the landscape
• Protect and create more urban greenspace to reduce stormwater, cool temperatures and provide healthy outdoor living and recreational opportunities for people

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Preparing for Cross Country Moving: A Comprehensive Guide

By Steve Trustler

March 22, 2023



Moving to a new home can be a daunting task, especially if you’re moving long distance. Cross country long distance moving is an exciting but challenging journey, and proper preparation is essential for making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. To help Canadians make the transition easier, here are some packing tips to keep in mind when preparing for cross country moving day.

Start Early

When it comes to cross country long distance moving, it’s best to start early. Begin by purging your home of all unnecessary items – this will help reduce the amount of things you need to pack and transport. Additionally, starting early also gives you more time to research the best movers and find the most cost-effective way of shipping your possessions across the country.

Prepare – and have a plan

Begin With A Plan

Once you have an idea of how much stuff you need to move, create a plan that outlines each step of the process. Doing so will help ensure that nothing gets overlooked or forgotten during your move. This includes making lists of what needs to be packed and creating a timeline that specifies when each item should be completed (e.g., gathering packing supplies two weeks before move day).

Choose Quality Packing Materials

Quality packing materials are essential when it comes to cross country long distance moving; after all, they will protect your belongings during transit. Invest in sturdy boxes with lids (or plastic bins with lids) that are large enough to fit all your items – but not too large that they become difficult to handle or stack on top of one another. When it comes time to pack fragile items, use bubble wrap or foam peanuts for extra protection. Additionally, consider renting plastic crates from a moving company instead – this eliminates the need for boxes altogether!

You can a set of labels for pennies apiece online

Label Your Boxes
As much as possible, label your boxes with contents and where they should go in your new home (e.g., bedroom 1). This will make unpacking much easier since you won’t have any confusion about which box belongs where once everything arrives at its destination. You can also color code boxes by room if desired – this will make it easier for movers (or yourself!) if needed on move day!

Disassemble Furniture

If Possible Furniture takes up a lot of space when transporting across the country; thus, it’s important to disassemble them as much as possible before packing them up. Make sure you keep track of all screws and bolts so that reassembly is fast and easy once everything has been delivered at its destination!

Done! You’re in the new home and the boxes are all unpacked.

Pack An Essentials Bag

On move day itself, having an essentials bag handy will make life so much easier; this bag should contain essential items such as medications, toiletries, phone chargers, snacks/water bottles etc.. Have this bag easily accessible throughout the entire process so that these important things don’t get lost amidst all the other boxes during transit!

Moving can be overwhelming – especially if you’re going across the country – but with proper planning and preparation anything is achievable! By following these simple tips for packing up your belongings prior to cross country long distance moving day like labelling boxes properly, investing in quality packing materials, disassembling furniture when possible ,and packing an essentials bag , you’ll be well on your way towards achieving an efficient and successful move!

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Skills Competition takes place at MMR on the 30th

By Staff

March 22nd, 2023



The 31st annual Halton Skills Competition (secondary panel) has returned and will be held in-person on Thursday, March 30, 2023 at M.M. Robinson High School (2425 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington) from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. A dinner celebration begins at 4 p.m. and ends with an awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

Young women learning the craft of cabinet making – they will be at the Skills Competition

Approximately 150 Grade 9-12 secondary students will compete in a wide range of skills including 2D Character Animation, Baking, Cabinetmaking, Carpentry, Coding, Computer Aided Manufacturing, Culinary Arts, Electrical, Electronics, Graphic Design, Hairstyling, Horticulture and Landscape, Photography, Precision Machining, TV & Video Production and Welding.

Halton Skills Competition (secondary panel) has returned and will be held in-person on Thursday, March 30, 2023 at M.M. Robinson High School

“This unique Halton event is an amazing opportunity for students to become truly engaged in learning through technological education programs,” says Wade Richardson, OYAP and Pathways lead with the Halton District School Board. “Technological education is at the forefront of preparing our students for the careers of the future. Through the hard work and dedication of many teachers, the Halton Skills Competitions helps students hone their skills and compete in a friendly environment.”

A Career Showcase will take place during the day profiling representatives from the community, business, industry and education sectors.

Fully focused as he assembles a device.

Students from different cultures bring their skills to the competition.

“For student participants to see the tremendous industry and corporate support of their educational path, and the many educational and career opportunities available in post-secondary, is highly encouraging and motivating,” Richardson says.

Students successful in the competition will go forward and represent the HDSB at the Ontario Skills Competition in Toronto May 6-8. Those who qualify will move on to the Skills Canada National Competition.

Participation in activities like the Halton Skills Competition help students develop innovative strategies and connect learning to the real world by aligning with the ‘Equity and Inclusion’ and ‘Learning and Achievement’ areas of focus in the Halton District School Boards 2022-2024 Multi-Year Plan, which is designed to elevate student achievement.

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Different Drummer launches 2023 Book and Author series

By Staff

March 22nd, 2023


Ian Elliott has announced a new season at The Different Drummer; the bookshop burgeons with marvellous new books. And there’s more great news. He is thrilled to announce the Spring 2023


The bookstore will welcome nine more extraordinary authors presenting their wonderful new works over three splendid mornings.

The venue is the spacious main auditorium at Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Road West in Burlington.

They convene at 9:30am each morning, on these dates–all Tuesdays–

April 25, May 16, June 6

Among the illustrious guests scheduled to appear this season:

Harriet Alida Lye, Kyo Maclear, C.S. Richardson, Harley Rustad,

Julian Sher, and Kai Thomas.   More to be confirmed!


Series admission, one ticket for all three dates, is $60.

To purchase your tickets:

Buy through PayPal, at this link;


Author signing books at Different Drummer launch.

Send us an etransfer, to;


Purchase over the telephone, at (905) 639 0925;


Stop in and see us at A Different Drummer Books, 513 Locust Street in Burlington.

A Different Drummer Books



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Federal Minister for Environment decides to study land close to properties where developers want to build home homes

By Staff

March 22, 2023



The federal government has climbed aboard the drive to reverse the land swaps and the Greenbelt Land Grab the Ford government announced in December of 2022.

Minister Guilbeault’s action are being described as a key step on a path to victory for Ontarians working to protect the Greenbelt in perpetuity.

Steven Guilbeault, not yet a politician got himself arrested for climbing the CN Tower. The man clearly knew what a photo op is supposed to be.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault announced a new regional environmental study on the impacts of housing developments planned by the Ford government near the Rouge National Urban Park.

Guilbeault has a flair for the dramatic and his intervention certainly won’t hurt in the push to ensure that the Greenbelt is protected in perpetuity.

Today’s Federal announcement is described as a direct result of Ontarians speaking up about the broken Greenbelt promise.

The federal announcement adds to the work being done by Environmental Defence and the several complaints being looked into by Ontario’s Auditor General and the provincial Integrity Commissioner.

Properties that are targeted for development..

Support for the Greenbelt is said to be well understood.  In August 2022 an EKOS poll commissioned by the David Suzuki Foundation found that 75 percent of voters in Toronto’s suburbs wanted municipal election candidates to offer more protection to the Greenbelt

A group working out of Guelph. Greenbelt Promise Campaign, used dramatic language to describe what the issue is and why it is important. Ontario’s Greenbelt created in 2005 has become land that developers have been acquiring.  Residents of Ontario are said to understand that greenbelts are created as guarantees to protect the environment and farmland from profit-driven developers.

“In December 2022, Conservative MPPs betrayed Ontarians when they chose to undermine the environment and the will of the people by selling out the Greenbelt to wealthy developers.

“The Ford government is being pressed to reverse the decision that gave developers permission to send bulldozers into the Greenbelt.

“The Ontario’s environmental community congratulates Minister Guilbeault for this timely intervention to protect farms, forests and wetlands.”


The threat is real – there are specific solutions.

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Mayor explains rules at the start of every Council meeting - the rules do not appear to apply to her behaviour.

By Pepper Parr

March 21st, 2023



At the beginning of each Council meeting the Chair reads out a Land Acknowledgement and explains what to do if a fire alarm goes off and how people are expected to behave.

In the last couple of months the language and tone that the Chair uses has changed.

Delegates are told they have a choice to delegate in person or remotely.  “Delegates who are participating remotely are listening to the meeting from a separate room and will be joining us virtually as I call upon them to delegate. As with in person delegations in council chambers delegates will have five minutes to provide comments. We will use the time clock in council chambers to keep track of your time which is also available on the screen so you can see when you have when you’re winding down your last minute. Once you are done, please remain as there may be questions that members may have for you.

Jim Thomson delegating on his concerns over the soccer pitch at the former Bateman High school site. Would that T shirt be defined as a placard and therefore unacceptable at a Council meeting ?

“And as a reminder to all the delegates, they are required to adhere to the procedure bylaw, to speak only to the report and item on the agenda. And also be mindful of the procedure bylaw provisions regarding public conduct at committee and council meetings to which only members and authorized city staff are can proceed beyond the speaker’s podium.

“Public attendees must maintain order and will not display signs placards applaud heckle or engage in telephone or other conversation or any behaviour that may be considered disruptive.

“No person will use indecent offensive or insulting language or speak disrespectfully to anyone in council chambers.”

These instructions were read out by the Mayor during the Council meeting today.  At a June Council meeting Mayor Meed Ward  had this to say about Councillor Shawna Stolte

She  closed with the following: “And we ask electronic devices to be switched off. Any person who contravenes any provision of this bylaws section may be expelled from the meeting by the chair.

“I know we won’t have to do that today. But always good to let folks know the expectations as outlined in our bylaw.”

The Gazette has heard from two people who individually made mention of the Mayor’s behaviour to City Manager Tim Commisso who is reported to have said it wasn’t the Mayor’s best day.


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Perhaps the leading health issue for young people in the Region: HDSB holding Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions

By Staff

March 21st, 2023


The Halton District School Board is hosting additional Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for parents/guardians this Spring.

Covering specific topics based on feedback from parents/guardians, each session will be led by a mental health expert in that area who will share their knowledge and provide helpful information and resources.

Sessions include: 

  • Making the Invisible, Visible: Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness – Tuesday, March 28, 2023 from 6 – 7 p.m.
  • Navigating the Mental Health System for your Child – Tuesday, May 2, 2023 from 6 – 7 p.m.

Note: An additional session will be available in May. More information will be available regarding this session in the coming weeks.

Registration is required for these sessions as limited spots are available. Parents/guardians can register by completing the Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions

Registration Form. Sessions will be held on Google Meet, where closed captioning is available in various languages. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the session. Sessions will not be recorded.

Parents/guardians will have the opportunity to submit questions when completing the registration form or during the session. The Board’s Mental Health & Well-Being webpage has information for parents/guardians and students on mental health, ways to support positive mental health and well-being, and how to get additional support at school and in the broader community.


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Council gets to hear about some of the Engagement Plans for the Bateman High School site.

By Pepper Parr

March 21st, 2023



The pushing, the delegations, the email and the consistent public comment on not hearing anywhere near enough about that was actually happening with the former Bateman High School site finally got some results.

Kwab Ako-Adjei,  Director of Communications and Engagement

Council had  Kwab Ako-Adjei,  Director of Communications and Engagement, in the Council Chamber telling Council what was in the works.

Kwab has been a busy man – he just wasn’t sharing was being done by his team.  They were in fact meeting that very afternoon to suss out some of the plans.

One is a mail out to every taxpayer in the city (it might be every household) that wasn’t very clear.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns, supported by ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte put forward amendments that look is as if they were going to pass – Council recessed for about an hour after which they will continue with what Kwab has to say.

Parks, Recreation and Culture are going to be involved with what will be done outside the building and what would be done inside what Councillor Kearns is calling a Community Hub.

Mention was made of possibly meeting with people during the Under the Stars, community film nights that take place in the summer and asking people what they thought.

Kwab assured Council that he would have a fully developed Engagement Plan for Council in May and that he thought there would be both in person public events is as well is as virtual events.

Jim Thomson delegating on what he would like to see done with the football pitch at the rear of the former Bateman High School site.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman pressed the point that what was planned for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the development be included.

All the Councillors wanted everything that was being thought about on the table where the public could read and be aware of and then have an opportunity to delegate and comment.

Kearns, who is the Deputy Mayor for Engagement, made the point that the purchase of the Bateman school property was the biggest thing council was doing – but that the public wasn’t being given a chance to speak.

While Kearns wasn’t wearing the Deputy Mayor Engagement badge quite yet – she was certainly doing the “giddy up” council dance today.

About time.

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Council will determine today how it wants to proceed with Deputy Mayor role and changes to the Procedural Bylaw

By Pepper Parr

March 21st, 2023



After a full day of discussion and debate City Council agreed on how the work they did on Procedural Bylaw revisions will come back for REVIEW. They will:

Direct the City Clerk to bring an amended Procedure By-law to the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee by the end of Q3 2023, incorporating feedback from the February 27, 2023, Council Workshop Committee meeting;

Lisa Kearns doing her daily photo op at a Regional Council meeting, was not able to attend the Workshop at which her role as Deputy Mayor for Citizen Engagement was discussed.

That could be as late as September.

How Deputy Mayors will do their work will come back by the end of June.

Direct the City Clerk to report back to the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee with proposed Deputy Mayor with Portfolio guidelines by the end of Q2 2023.

There has yet to be any public discussion on either of these initiatives. While they aren’t exactly interesting or subjects that are easily understood they are important.

The do pale when compared with the cost of food and what home owners are having to cope with when their mortgages come up for renewal.

One wonders if this council is relying on a lack of public interest.

What is on the agenda has to be passed by this Council today. Changes do get made but not that often.

It will be interesting to hear what ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns has to say. She was not able to take part in the Workshop for personal reasons. She has the capacity to spot the weak spots in an argument and will no doubt put forward trenchant remarks. Word is that she has amendments she wants to put forward at the Council meeting today.

The unfortunate part is this council has lost the ability to work together in a meaningful, useful way.

The Mayor chairs Council meetings and has the ability to do some agenda management. The last time she did that it blew up in her face.

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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Supporting Local Businesses: A Look at the Thriving Entertainment Scene in Burlington

By Staff

March 22nd, 2023



You may have a vacation planned already for 2023, but don’t forget there is so much to see and do right here in Burlington! We believe it is more important than ever before to support our local businesses and pay a visit to some of the incredible entertainment venues, restaurants and bars right here in the city. There’s a seriously thriving entertainment scene in Burlington, so whether you’re a local resident or a brand-new visitor – let’s dive into some of the best local spots!

Entertainment is Everywhere

In today’s fast-moving society, it is easier than ever before to access entertainment wherever you are in the world.

Ontario recently regulated the online gambling industry, meaning that you can enjoy yourself at an online casino as you make your way around Burlington. If Burlington is just one stop on your trip around Canada, you can still enjoy yourself at a Canadian instant withdrawal casino as you travel. There’s never been a better time to start playing, as some of the top Canadian sites have a massive range of games, and there’s something to suit everyone.”

Burlington has an extensive stretch of public beach that is a five minute drive from the downtown core. Great walking trails.

You can also find your own entertainment by spending time in some of Burlington’s beautiful local beauty spots – the Lake Ontario shoreline is a stunning place to relax or play games with friends. Entertainment is all around us here in Burlington, and local businesses have been working hard to provide a range of different options to those looking for fun.

For those who enjoy the arts, Burlington is home to a thriving cultural scene. The Burlington Performing Arts Centre hosts an eclectic variety of performances throughout the year, including theatre productions, concerts, and dance performances. The centre also offers educational programs and workshops for people of all ages, making it a treasured hub for creativity and learning in the community.

Downtown Is The Place to Be

We have to give an honourable mention to the beating heart of our city – downtown Burlington. After spending a morning on the natural lakefront beach at Beachway Park, there are so many amazing local businesses here on the stunning waterfront which can satisfy all your shopping and dining cravings.

Paradiso Restaurant for a Mediterranean feast,

For a classic lunch, we’re huge fans of Downtown Bistro & Grill for their unmissable burgers and charred calamari. For an evening meal, there is a huge range of local restauranteurs here serving up incredible global food – head to Paradiso Restaurant for a Mediterranean feast, to Rayhoon Persian Eatery for a family-friendly experience, or to Mikado for arguably the best, most authentic sushi in town.

The downtown area is now also very pedestrian-friendly, making it easy to explore on foot and enjoy the buzzy atmosphere at your own pace. From boutique shops to trendy restaurants, there is something for everyone in downtown Burlington. For more information, check out the Burlington Downtown Business Association – a local non-profit organization which promotes our thriving business community in downtown Burlington.

Small Business Shopping

The Village Square – unique setting with shops and good restaurants.

Whether you’re looking for a unique, hand-crafted gift for a friend or are simply on the market for a little personal retail therapy – there are countless creative and independent local shops to choose from when shopping in Burlington. Pay a visit to the Village Square in Downtown Burlington, and you’ll find a whole host of independent shops and even a regular farmer’s market for fresh local produce.

Burlington After Dark

It’s never been a better time for Burlington’s nightlife. Now that our best-loved bars and nightclubs are thriving again, there are so many fantastic spots to choose from. There’s something for everyone here in Burlington – whatever your style. One of the city’s most treasured and iconic pubs, The Dickens on Elizabeth Street, is a great choice for those seeking that traditional British pub experience. The venue is well-loved for regularly hosting local bands every Friday and Saturday night, and it also has a weekly trivia night on Tuesdays for those who prefer their entertainment to be a little more intellectually challenging!

When it comes to partying in Burlington, we have seriously got to celebrate many of our incredible local businesses and bars.

Walk out to the end of the Pier and just while away half an hour.

The Queen’s Head next door to city hall is one you don’t want to miss – fine traditional British food and a great crowd at the bar.  Another spot, minutes away is the Pearle Hotel and Spa with a fine selection of places to eat and the best view of the lake from the Outdoor Patio where you can walk over to the Pier and out to the end where you can sit and relax and just while away half an hour.

Festivals and Events

These days, there is a wide range of public events, themed days and festivals in Burlington all year round – there’s something for everyone! On July 1, there are some pretty exciting Canada Day celebrations held right here in Burlington – last year’s celebrations hosted a range of activities, local stalls and food vendors, and the day ended with an awesome fireworks display. The festive season here in Burlington means the annual Santa Claus Parade, which showcases local businesses on its floats and has become a firm family favourite for that fuzzy festive feeling. The Sound of Music Festival is one of the most popular cultural events in Burlington – this thrilling festival takes place every June and features live music from both local and international artists.

Annual Antique Car Show takes place on Brant Street – the main thoroughfare.

We’ve only really scratched the surface of the thriving entertainment scene here in Burlington today. There are so many awesome small businesses and projects to celebrate – Burlington’s bars, restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues have so much to offer, whether you’re a local resident or just passing through. In our fast-paced modern world, it is so important to remember to slow down and support local businesses, so we hope you’ve found some new favourites today. So get out there, and enjoy everything Burlington has to offer!

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The Impact of Cryptocurrencies, Mobile Gaming, and AI on the Future of Online Poker in Canada

By Janis Viksne

March 21st, 2023



In recent years, the popularity of online poker in Canada has skyrocketed. This is partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, throughout which Canadians have looked for new ways to entertain themselves. But this surge in popularity can also be attributed to the wide range of options available to poker players on virtual platforms.

Canadians have access to many different variations of poker. While Texas Hold’em is recognized all of the world as the most popular variation of the game, there are many other ways to play poker. Most online casino sites also offer other variations of poker, including Omaha, Razz and Stud, as an option to players.

Poker is a simple game to learn these days. There are several websites and forums that encourage communication amongst poker players and have amassed a wealth of poker information over time. The whole online poker community gives players access to useful information as well as a welcoming setting where they may meet others who share their interests and create enduring relationships. Players of all skill levels can progress together in forums like TwoPlusTwo by staying informed about new advancements and exchanging strategies with other players.

Steely eyed and very focused – attributes of winning poker players.

Yet, eventually, learning the fundamentals of the game is a requirement for anyone hoping to break out on the professional poker scene. This includes the ability to explore winning poker hands and understand the various strategies employed in winning a game of poker. Anyone who is persistent enough could boost their chances of success by studying the strategies used by more skilled poker players. Nevertheless, maintaining consistent strategies and advancing your skills are more powerful than just beating other players.

While understanding the principles of online poker is a key requirement for success, players should also consider the security of their financial transactions. This is where cryptocurrencies prove useful.

The Rise of Cryptocurrencies in Online Poker
Getting involved in online poker has never been simpler, in part because of cryptocurrencies. The pandemic significantly altered a number of businesses, including the gaming sector.

A number of websites have now embraced cryptocurrencies as a way to simplify financial transactions for their player base. Online poker players utilise cryptocurrencies as a convenient way to deposit and withdraw funds on their accounts.

For players of online poker, cryptocurrency provide a number of advantages. For starters, players may transfer money between accounts quickly and securely thanks to cryptocurrencies. For people who respect their privacy and prefer to stay anonymous, cryptocurrency also provides anonymity, which is crucial.

The ability to play from any location in the world is also made easier by cryptocurrencies since they are not bound by any one particular legal system. In short, they are quick, provide anonymity, and lower transaction costs, benefits valued by players and online poker venues alike.

Mobile Gaming and AI in Online Poker
Mobile gaming is already a staple in the gambling industry, with many online casinos offering their services through mobile applications. The majority of Canadians own smartphones so mobile applications are a convenient way for these players to enjoy the game of poker on the move. In 2020 alone, the mobile gaming market generated over $98 billion in revenue worldwide. The industry has only grown since then, with further growth project for the years ahead.

Online poker rooms are increasingly taking payments made in crypto currencies.

Future developments in online poker are predicted to involve a significant amount of artificial intelligence (AI). Numerous other businesses now use AI technology to increase efficiency and accuracy, and the online poker community may soon follow suit.

Analyzing gameplay data with AI might be an intriguing use. The ability to uncover trends in player behaviour using insights from AI analysis could greatly enhance decision-making. AI might also swiftly offer players recommendations for enhancing their methods, which would be helpful for newer players who might not yet have a firm grasp of the game.

The Future of Online Poker in Canada
Online gambling in Canada appears to have a promising future. Online poker rooms are increasingly taking payments made in cryptocurrencies.  A growing need for simple and secure payment options in the online gaming business is one factor driving this trend. Furthermore, players can now access their preferred games whenever and wherever they want thanks to the development of mobile poker apps within a thriving mobile gaming market. New opportunities and difficulties will arise in the game as cryptocurrency adoption and AI technology progress.

The way Texas Holdem is played online.

The best and most successful poker players today are thought to be Canadians. The capacity to continually strive for success by Canadians like Mike McDonald, Jonathan Duhamel, and Daniel Negreanu has made them household names all over the world. This has led to an increase in the game’s popularity throughout Canada. Poker played online is here to stay. As more and more Canadians turn to online poker as a convenient way to socialize and engage with others, the number of active players hoping to follow in the footsteps of their countrymen is only growing.

Looking ahead, Canadians’ favourite pastime and competitive sport will undoubtedly be online poker for a very long time.

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The silence has been deafening: Nothing from the Mayor or the hospital on issues that have been made public

By Pepper Parr

March 20th, 2023



The silence has been deafening.

The Saturday issue of the Hamilton Spectator published a four page feature on problems at the Joseph Brant Hospital. It was not a pretty picture and it isn’t the first time that the hospital has been the object of seriously negative news.

There was no comment that I am aware of from the hospital; there was no comment from the Mayor; we did ask for one early this morning.

Mayor doing a photo-op a three minute walk from the hospital – not a word on the problems at JBH

The Mayor spent part of the day viewing the Indigenous art that was on display at Spencer Smith Park. She later took part in a photo-op in front of the Joseph Brant Museum; all she had to do was look over her shoulder to see the hospital.

Angelo Bentivegna: Fresh cut lawn and displaying my favourite lawn sign from Joseph Brant Hospital . Order yours lawn sign Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation!

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna places a Support the Hospital sign on his lawn. Good. But a lawn sign doesn’t cut it when there is a serious concern within the community about the Spectator news feature.

I don’t expect the Mayor, or ward Councillor Bentivegna, who is the city’s representative on the hospital Board, to solve the problem.

But could we not expect the Mayor to make a statement that she has asked Bentivegna to report to Council on what the hospital response has been to the news feature in the Spectator ?

Council meets on Tuesday. Perhaps the Mayor will make a statement

The public expects its political leadership to be aware and respond to citizen concerns

Related news story:

Spectator publishes a four page feature on hospital problems

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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Why is the current in force version of the Procedural Bylaw not readily available?

By Pepper Parr

March 20, 2023



City Clerk Kevin Arjoon

City Council is in the midst of reviewing the Procedural Bylaw. Dry is as dust to most people – except the city clerk – he gets excited about the document.

He is, for the most part, well versed in its contents – however he is often slow to ensure that it is acted upon and enforced.

There are a number of elements in the draft revised version being discussed that do not appear to be in the best interest of the public. There are discussions about not permitting people to delegate because they are deemed to be disruptive. They haven’t done something like that – but they did try to keep a candidate – Keith Demoe – from delegating.

We heard that it was not possible to find the current Procedural Bylaw on the city web site and learned there were others who could not find the document.

We sent a note to the City Clerk asking:

Where on the city web site can a citizen find a copy of the Procedural Bylaw that is in force now – March 20th, 2023.

We are fully aware that you are in the process of amending that bylaw – but where can people find and read the existing bylaw.

We would like to know exactly where it can be found.

Here is the answer we got:

At present, folks need to use the by-law manager. We have by-law 31-22 posted under agendas and minutes, but it does not include the three amendments, these can be found using the bylaw manager.

That is close to inexcusable. There is no good reason for making it difficult for people to access the document – especially when it is the subject of much concern and interest.

For you your interest HERE is the link to the document

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Burlington Chamber of Commerce Announces 2023 Business Excellence Award Finalists

By Staff

March 20th, 2023




After months of interviews, meetings and deliberations, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce has announced the finalists for its 2023 Business Excellence Awards, presented by RBC.

The Chamber has named 24 local organizations as potential winners of awards in a variety of categories. Award nominations are based on overall business excellence and the criteria include excellence in business leadership, community contributions, entrepreneurship, environment, employee welfare, innovation, and market growth.

The finalists are:

Employer of the Year Award
• Ritestart Limited
• LJM Developments
• Continuum II Inc.

Food, Beverage & Tourism Award
• Backed By Bees
• Boston Pizza Burlington North
• Mandarin Burlington

Heritage Award
• Winner To Be Announced

Not-For-Profit Award
• Burlington Public Library
• Burlington Soccer Club
• Drury Lane Theatrical Productions

Retail & Wholesale Award
• Bocana Boutique
• glamjulz
• She’s Got Leggz

Service – Small Award
• Bartimaeus Inc.
• Hearing Well Matters!
• Oakstone Wealth
• Shifra Homes Inc.
• The Dance Station

Service – Large Award
• Baumer Canada
• Carson Law Office Professional Corporation
• Spectrum Airways
• The Healing Path Chiropractic and Wellness Centre

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Councillor Nisan wanted Authority - has to settle for Stature as a Deputy Mayor

By Pepper Parr

March 20th, 2023


This is a multi-part series on what members of Council thought about becoming Deputy Mayors with a Portfolio.

Late in February members of city council and some city staff took part in a day long review of the Procedural Bylaw – the document that sets out how Councillors have to manage themselves and work with each other as municipal politicians.

They used an hour and a half of the day to talk about just what being named a Deputy Mayor – something Mayor Meed Ward did earlier in the year.
Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan seemed to have a different understanding of just what the role was about.

Ward 3 Councillor on one of the few days he actually attended a Council meeting in person. His practice has been to attend virtually.

Nisan said:
“I do agree with the mayor and think her response was good. I’m glad we’re talking about it. I think the parts that I would highlight would be the authority that comes with the title because after all, we are talking about a title right?

“We’re not really talking about a different function. per se, but the title so the title is authoritative so when you’re with staff or with the community, people will understand that the title of Deputy Mayor holds some authority to it that would allow your voice to be highlighted in a way that it wouldn’t be if it was a council lead.”

Nisan added that “leads to the second one, which is the intuition around the title. So it’s intuitive that a deputy mayor has authority that a council lead or a councillor may not have to the same degree. So if I’m the Deputy Mayor for the environment, then I go to an Environmental Conference … people understand Oh, okay, so he’s kind of the second in charge for environmental issues. He’s got that leadership role.”

He further added that he didn’t think a lot more explanation would be required and people wouldn’t necessarily understand the authority.
Nisan then said: “And then the last piece which hasn’t been mentioned, although I do agree with the other points is a degree of retention. I think the mayor is in many respects devolving degree of her power to the rest of us by allowing some elevation of our positions, which will make the role more desirable for future candidates, which would in the long term, improve the quality of the councillor around the table.”

Mayor Meed Ward then made it very clear – there is no power, there is no veto.  She said: “I am pretty invested in that title, I think it conveys the kind of stature and authority whilst I think it elevates you … you are acting for the whole city, not just in your councillor role.

“So there’s there’s a certain responsibility that comes with the with the title of Mayor and also deputy mayor that when you are acting in that role you are acting with the city’s interests in mind the community’s interest in mind. And that means putting aside a little bit of your own  personal agenda for lack of another word to think about what has council approved as a whole.

“Each of us still retain an independent voice as an individual member of council but when we act in those roles with those titles, it carries a whole different responsibility.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte preferred stature over authority.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte didn’t see the role of a Deputy Mayor is as one with much in the way of authority.

She said: “I’d like the opportunity to see if we could embed some of the wording that the mayor used because I really liked taking out the word authority and putting in stature and responsibility. I think that sounds more appropriate.”

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman – talking about stature versus authority.

Quite a bit later ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman said: “I want to start off by talking about stature versus authority. This is my fourth term. And the first three terms. I felt like I didn’t know what was going on.

Because something would be going on and staff would be talking to the mayor who either told us or not. And so that was debilitating. Because we’d find out things that we might have known about earlier.

“I see the value here of the stature, that suddenly I have that staff want to talk to me. You know, they always would but it was more kind of we better talk to each of these individual councillors, these people who make up this panel, but we have talked to them on an equal kind of way.

“And so what that allows us then as deputy to have some stature that deserves some sort of engagement in something that is pertinent to the role they’ve been given.

“With respect to authority, I think authority is well defined by the municipal act. So I’m not concerned about that at all. In fact, I think the way this has been spelled out is actually completely correct.”

Related news stories:

Part 1 – What the Mayor was setting out to do.

Part 2:  Figuring out what the job was



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Community Clean Up is on - sign up

By Staff

March 20th, 2023


It is an event that makes the city part of what it is – people getting out and helping clean up and Green Up their community.

Burlington residents, groups, schools and businesses are already signing up to participate in this impactful city-wide opportunity.

Get involved today and help us achieve our goal of 15,000 participants this year to celebrate 15 years of making a difference with BurlingtonGreen.

Register your event HERE

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Hamilton Spectator publishes scathing feature story on Joseph Brant Hospital

By Pepper Parr

March 20th, 2023



How does a city respond to a front page story on the local hospital that takes up an additional four pages of news – none of it good?

What do you do with a headline that reads: “If you’re dying don’t come here”?

Burlington’s Mayor is usually one of the first to respond when there is an issue. Before becoming Mayor Marianne Meed Ward served as the city’s representative on the hospital board and spoke very positively about the way the hospital board worked – at one point saying that they were a model she wished Burlington could follow.

No response from the Mayor so far on the Spectator reporting.

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Real news or scuttlebut on the restaurant scene ?

By Staff

March 19th, 2023



From a reader who keeps an eye on the restaurant scene in the city:

Does the T shirt tell us what direction Craig Craig Kowalchuk will be going in?

Love your digital magazine.  I keep looking for updates to Burlington’s restaurant scene, but nothing recently.

I note that a new Greek restaurant, NISI Greek Taverne has replaced Lock Side, and a new Black Swan will replace Wendel Clark’s on Brant.

Also, Di Mario’s Italian restaurant is under new management.

Finally, Emma’s Back Porch is supposed to open this summer.

Emma’s Back Porch to reopen?  Who will manage the place.  Is Craig going to be behind the bar.  Not if the T shirt he is wearing is any indication.

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Six Deputy Mayors: Figuring out just what the job meant and how they would perform - look for some unintended consequences as this goes forward

By Pepper Parr

March 19th, 2023


This is a multi-part series on what members of Council thought about becoming Deputy Mayors with a Portfolio.

In part 1 of this ongoing series about the six members of Council being made Deputy Mayors, facilitator Suzanne Gibson had five questions:

Suzanne Gibson guiding members of Council through an understanding of what they would so as Deputy Mayors

Gibson explained that the “intention behind those five questions is to get you to dig into the into the new model, to think about the implications, to share your concerns, to share what excites you.

“We’re going to dig into these a bit and see if we want to add more clarity because you know you’re starting with something new. The more clarity around principles and roles, the more effective and efficient the process will work. So I’m going to let you speak to how these came up both the principles and the roles.”

Each member of Council was given an opportunity to talk about the role was  as they saw it and how they would serve as Deputy Mayors.

Meed Ward had explained earlier that serving as Deputy Mayors meant they would be focused on the interests of the city and not just their ward, using the lens of their portfolio is as a guide.

The questions they were asked to reflect on was – just what does it mean to you to be a Deputy Mayor ?  During my discussions with two of the newly elected Council members in their term in office they talked about how they saw their future in municipal politics: both said they could see themselves serving as Mayor at some point.

How would council members, working as Deputy Mayors, determine what they could and could not do?  Those principles were set out and debated.. This “bigger picture” role for Deputy Mayors will be interpreted differently based on their individual past experiences and their levels of sophistication.  Expect some unintended consequences as this goes forward. .


City Clerk Kevin Arjoon and his staff were taking notes that would be used in the report they would bring back to Council later in the year.

It did sound somewhat complicated but as the council members worked their way through the hour and a half they had it began to come together.

An added objective was a commitment Council members would make to each other.

Suzanne Gibson directing council members through a complicated process. She managed to keep them on topic – most of the time.

How were the council members to work out their differences as they went through each part of the process Gibson had put in place ?  She introduced a five finger vote approach to get a sense as to just where each member of council stood on working through the proposed roles and principles.

Gibson wanted to steer clear of majority votes and used the five fingers to see where some change in position might be possible – and for the most part it worked.

It sounded complex but as the conversations continued one could get a pretty good idea as to how each member of Council was going to carry out the role of Deputy Mayor.

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna: No magic wand

It was clear that each Council member had taken to the idea of being a Deputy Mayor.  Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna said he found that many people he talked to thought all a Council member had to do was wave a magic wand and what they wanted would be done. “I had to explain to people that that wasn’t the way this was going to work”. he said

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith was pumped about the new role and commented that he was already talking to people about issues that were city wide.

The next step in this series is to look at what each member of Council had to say as they worked through what their portfolio was, what the principles were, what the proposed roles would require of them and how well they handled the commitment they were making to each other.

Using the five finger vote had a caution – when it was a one finger vote – which finger would they be using.

Next we will cover what Councillors Nisan and Galbraith had to say, followed by Sharman and Bentivegna and then Kearns and Stolte

It was quite an exercise – we heard more about how the Councillors see themselves performing than was heard during the election that put every one of them back in office for a second term.

Some people will say: If I only knew then what I know now.


Related stories:

Part 1 – What the Mayor was setting out to do.


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The Burlington Teen Tour Band in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day

By Pepper Parr

March 18th, 2023



The Burlington Teen Tour Band marched through the streets of Dublin on St. Patrick’s day, part of a twelve day tour the band is on in Ireland.

The TV footage Is impressive – the Irish certainly know how to put on a parade.

Watching the parade and seeing young people from Burlington with vert serious looks on their faces was quite something.

Six big tubas with the name Burlington in red letters – the Irish certainly know who we are now.

Content is courtesy of Ward 2 Council member Lisa Kearns – was she up watching the event? Didn’t think she was Irish.

You can watch the parade by clicking HERE

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