Fall Activities To Keep You Going before Winter Hits

By Staff

September 12th, 2023



Ok, so summer is officially coming to a close. But that doesn’t mean that all the fun has to end just yet. There are still lots of things that you can do in the neighbourhood and in your backyard to keep the family entertained and keep everyone going before the snow comes.

Fall colours – brilliant – to be enjoyed

People dread the end of summer, but fall can actually be the most beautiful and fun-filled season of all. The leaves changing colours and falling into big, rainbow-filled piles. Pumpkins growing in pumpkin patches, waiting to be collected and made into jack-o-lanterns. Hot cocoa that you can sip by a bonfire as the nights grow nippier. There are plenty of things that you can do to take advantage of fall and savor all that it has to offer. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular fall activities that people are taking on this season.

Halloween backyard party

Why not transform your yard into a Halloween paradise? Even if it gets a bit nippy at night in the fall, you can have a bonfire and set up a couple of heat lamps. Think about your decor: You can decorate your outdoor patio doors with spider webs, and cut out cardboard witches to hang from the trees. Use some old sheets to make ghosts out of, and hang them around the yard.

You can make your catering part of the decor, as well. Halloween dishes can be some of the most fun and creative that you put together all year. Make some dishes covered in “blood” using ketchup, or use olives to create “eyeball” hors d’oeuvres.

And of course don’t forget the pumpkins! There are tons of things you can do with pumpkins. First of all, make a jack-o-lantern carving contest part of your main event. You can showcase all the entries after the carving is complete, and the most creative entrant can win a spooky prize in the end.

Skeletons have always been a part of Halloween – get creative and think of the many ways they can be used in your home

If you’ve got a pool, why not bring it into the excitement? There are lots of ways that you can decorate your pool to give it a fall look. How about floating skeletons to add to your spooky theme? Maybe get a fog machine to provide a spiffed-up atmosphere?

All this will set the perfect stage for your guests. The array of costumes that fill the yard will provide photo-perfect moments. Just be sure you have your phone on the night setting!

Activities in the neighbourhood

Beyond your home, there are also plenty of ways to take advantage of fall around your neighbourhood. Collecting leaves, acorns, and other fall treasures is a favourite for many. Take the kids on a nature walk and see what you can collect. Once you’re done, there are some fun crafts that you can do to display your collections.

Gather pine cones in the fall and paint them to be used as decorations during Christmas.

Have you ever painted acorns and pinecones? This can be a great way to immortalize fall and add to your home decor until it’s time for Christmas. Find some fun colors that will give your collection a special glow, and arrange your pieces in an artistic display to keep in a special place in the living room.

Another fall favourite is making leaf prints. Find some plain paper – perhaps you can use several sheets to create a montage of images – and glue your leaves on in different arrangements. Try to use a variety of colours and leaf types to give yourself a nice variety.

A related craft is making leaf presses. This can be a way to keep your leaves for a long time, even after they get old. You’ll want to choose leaves that are relatively flat so they don’t crumble and lose important parts. Find a big, heavy book and lay the leaves carefully between two sheets. It is recommended to add moisture to the leaves before you insert them. If you use wax paper, this is the best method to preserve your leaves for a long time.

Apple picking

No fall would be complete without apple picking. You can take the family to the nearest orchard and fill up on whatever type each of you prefers. Once you’ve assembled your choice pics, there are lots of things that you can do with them.

Bobbing for apples dates back to the 14th century, and it has ties to courting rituals.

Part of your Halloween night can include bobbing for apples. This timeless tradition never gets old and is fun for all ages. You can also use apples to decorate other parts of your holiday scene, especially if you carve some of them to go with your jack-o-lantern display.

And, of course, there are countless dishes you can make with apples. Both apple and pumpkin pies will suit your hungry partygoers just perfectly. How about trying your hand at making your own apple cider? Hot or cold, it can be something that the whole family will love. Add a stick of cinnamon, and you’ve got the perfect complement to that evening party.

Don’t let fall slip by

Even though we all dread the end of summer, we shouldn’t let fall simply go by without taking advantage of all that it has to offer. There are countless activities, holiday traditions, and food ideas that you can take part in that will be fun for the whole family and give you happy times to remember.

So bundle up, if necessary, go out and pick your choice pumpkin, and think of the perfect Halloween costume!

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The Thrilling, Safe Experience of Playing Casino Games Online in Ontario

By Staffer

September 11th, 2023



In today’s digital age, online casinos have gained immense popularity, providing players with the convenience and excitement of gambling from the comfort of their own homes. Ontario is Canada’s most populous province, but can you play slots canada online there?

Understanding the Regulatory Framework for Online Gambling in Ontario

Online casinos are regulated in Canada by the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Online gambling in Ontario is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The AGCO oversees the province’s gaming industry and set guidelines to ensure fair play, player protection, and responsible gambling practices. Online gambling is legal in Ontario, allowing residents to partake in various casino games through licensed online platforms.

The AGCO ensures that online casinos operating in Ontario meet specific criteria, including secure and fair gaming systems, responsible gambling measures, and the protection of player funds. By adhering to these regulations, licensed online casinos provide a safe and trustworthy environment for players to enjoy their favourite games.

The Benefits of Playing in Legal Online Casinos in Ontario

Playing in legal online casinos in Ontario offers several advantages for players. Firstly, it provides a convenient and accessible way to enjoy casino games. With just a few clicks, players can access their preferred online casino platforms from the comfort of their homes, eliminating the need to travel to physical casino locations.

Bonuses reward long term players and add some excitement to the experience.

Moreover, legal online casinos in Ontario often offer enticing bonuses and promotions to attract new players and reward loyal customers. These bonuses can enhance the gaming experience and provide additional opportunities to win. Additionally, licensed online casinos adhere to responsible gambling practices, providing tools and resources to help players maintain control over their gambling activities.

One of the other benefits is that you don’t need to comply with a vestiment-code, nor do you have to endure the cold weather in the Winter. So, even if playing in a land-based casino can be a very interesting and exciting experience, there are a few advantages about playing in online casinos that you have to keep in mind. But, if you want to have a safe experience, it’s very important that you play only in licensed casinos.

The Importance of Choosing Licensed Online Casinos

Do your homework and know who you are dealing with in the casino world.

While online gambling is legal in Ontario, it is crucial for players to choose licensed online casinos to ensure a safe and secure gaming experience. Licensed online casinos operate under the regulatory oversight of the AGCO, guaranteeing fair play, the protection of personal information, and secure financial transactions. Players should always verify the licensing and certifications of an online casino before engaging in real money gambling to ensure they are playing on a reputable platform.

It is important for players to do their due diligence and select licensed online casinos to ensure they are engaging in legal and secure gambling activities. By making informed choices and adhering to responsible gambling practices, players can enjoy the excitement and entertainment of online casinos while maintaining control over their gaming experiences.

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Benefits of using a local version of an online casino in Canada

By Sheldon McGrath

September 12th, 2023



Discover why playing at a Canadian-specific online casino like PinUp Casino offers a more tailored and enjoyable gaming experience. Explore optimized gameplay, necessary certifications, and exceptional customer support for Canadian players.

Why is it good to use a version of an online casino built specifically for the country you are living in?

Providing specific support services for people with different needs and requirements – language being an important one.

No one is going to deny the fact that online casinos have shifted the gambling industry because they opened up a door for a whole new audience of players. Thanks to the brands, like Pin Up Casino , it has become much easier for gamblers to access their favourite games, no matter where they are. But it is important to admit that at first, people were frustrated with such websites because they were not adapted for a specific market. It means there were only international versions of online casinos, but now, Canadian players can play games with the local variant of their favourite brand. There are a lot of reasons why it is good to do so.

Reasons to use a local version of online casino

There are several good reasons why the Canadian version of the PinUp Casino is better for local players. Here they are:Well Optimized For A Region. One of the first things people will admit about the Canadian version of the site – it is well-optimized for a specific region. This means people will find games, payment methods, and special rewards that were selected according to the statistics of the country and there are going to be boundaries in terms of the way people are able to play online. All promotions and payment methods will work clockwise.

The Canadian version of the Pin Up, it is a Curaçao license.

All The Necessary Certifications. For the online casino to operate in a specific country, it is very important to be regulated by the correct organizations. In the case of the Canadian version of the Pin Up, it is a Curaçao license. This is important for the best experience of players, as it means the website will work correctly, and it is an indicator that all games are fair and updated to the latest version of the software.

High-Quality Customer Support. Local online casinos often provide customer support services that are more attuned to the needs and preferences of local players. Players can expect to communicate with support agents who understand your language and are familiar with the specific challenges and inquiries you may have. Having access to dedicated customer support can be a game-changer when Canadian players encounter issues or have questions about the platform. Quick and effective support can enhance your overall experience and resolve any problems promptly.

These reasons alone should be motivational enough for people to register an account at PinUp and start playing without any restrictions. But it is important to admit that age restrictions are applied, depending on the specific province, where the player currently lives.

Pin-Up brand designed for the country you live and play in.

The best way to experience online casinos

People who are looking for a decent way of playing games online should start with a local version of the Pin-Up brand.  Such casinos are designed to cater to the specific needs of Canadian players. So, the next time people look for an online casino, they should consider choosing one that is built specifically for the country they are living in to enjoy a more personalized and enjoyable gaming experience.


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Plans to review the Regional - Municipal relationship on the delivery of services put on hold - might stay there

By Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2023



Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra

The province may not move forward with a review of six regions with both upper- and lower-tier municipal governments. In a statement released earlier today Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said he will be reviewing the move announced by his predecessor to appoint facilitators to assess regional governments in Durham, Halton, Waterloo, York and Niagara regions and Simcoe County.

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said today that he “wants to ensure the province’s approach supports the goal of getting homes built quickly in those fast-growing areas.

The previous minister, Steve Clark, said last month that the facilitators in the six regions would be appointed by today, but the change in plans comes a week after
Clark resigned amid the fallout of two scathing reports on Greenbelt land swaps.

Burlington City Council had an item on a Standing Committee agenda with considerable detail and how the process of determining if administrative efficiencies could be achieved.

City Manager Tim Commisso – might not have to undergo a review of what his working relationship with the Region is going to be.

The overall framework and approach being recommended for developing a regional review strategy and resultant City of Burlington submission to the regional facilitator is based on the consideration of service delivery options or categories.

This may never come to pass which would make the We Love Burlington group happy.  They opposed the idea when it was before the public back in 2019

Related news story:

We Love Burlington

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Glitches and irresponsibility prevent public from hearing critical debate at city council today

By Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2023



Council Standing Committee news will be a little slower getting to the press room today. The city kept running into technical problems.  The communications systems must have gone rusty while council had all of August without any council meetings.

They started late and weren’t really back on line with both voice and video until pretty close to 11:00 am.

We contact the City Clerk and advised him – twice – there was no response.

Councillor Paul Sharman

We sent along a note to Councillor Sharman who is prompt just about all the time and he did get back to us.

The following is the email traffic between Sharman and the Gazette

10:14 Gazette to Sharman: There is no sound. I have confirmed it with two other people.

10:27 Sharman to the Gazette: The technical problem is a disappointment. The meeting needs to proceed because there is important work to be done. It is being recorded and that will be published with the minutes as soon as possible.

10:40:  Gazette to Sharman: That’s not acceptable.

The back and forth is a critical part of understanding the debate.  You were doing quite a bit of chatter with Laura Boyd

I will take a formal complaint to the City Ombudsman.

This borders on being recklessly irresponsible.

The meeting needs to be adjourned until the problem is resolved.

With the issues on this agenda – one would think there is something being hidden.

TIME Sharman back to the Gazette

As you wish Pepper.

Council chambers are open to the public and interested members are welcome to attend.

I appreciate that members of the public have become dependent on technology to listen in, however it was not regulated that technical difficulties should cause a meeting to be delayed. Schedules are already made and need to be maintained.

Personal attendance is more reliable. But, nothing is perfect.

At just after 9:30 the video portion was being broadcast – a nervous looking Chair kept glancing left and right.  An unhappy looking city manager said nothing.  The City Clerk was never seen until the very end.

During the difficult phase we would see messages on the screen:

It is our view that if voices cannot be heard then the City Clerk should have called for a recess until the technical problems had been resolved.

There have been consistent technical problems ever since the city moved to a hybrid format a the start of the pandemic.

The only way to describe the repeated technical problems is poor maintenance of the service being used by the city or just rank incompetence.

Quite why the City Manager has not ordered that the system be made fool proof – technical staff had all of August to repair, revise and test – is beyond any reason we can think of – he tends to delegate but this has become ridiculous.

Given the number of problems with the service one would think that the technical people would do a short test before the start of every meting.

During the meting there were a number of matters that are critical – the change in the way the budget is going to be debated and delivered now comes under the Mayor Strong Powers: it is no longer a council budget – it is the Mayor’s’ budget.  And given the difficulty Meed Ward has with financial statements and the tendency to spend the clearest possible public understanding is vital.

City Clerk Kevin Arjoon

When Councillor Sharman says “there is important work to be done” he is absolutely correct – which is all the more reason to ensure that the public is able to see and hear what is said.

When someone wants to take a complaint to the City level Ombudsman they must first put the concern before the City Clerk – we can then take the complaint to the Ombudsman.

We are waiting for a response from the City Clerk.

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You can be one of the people who decide who the next provincial Liberal leader should be.

By Staff

September 11th, 2023



Burlington provincial Liberals have now had an opportunity to listen to all five candidates for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.

The final leadership candidate, Adil Shamji,  spoke to the group on Sunday. His web site at HERE

Adil Shamji addressing Liberals in Burlington

Getting to the point where the election of the new leader takes place moves now into the debate stage.

Today, Monday September the 11th at 6:00 pm is the final opportunity to become a member of the Ontario Liberal party and be able to vote in the ranked ballot that will take place late in November.

The Ontario Liberal Party has an open membership – there is no fee, you must be at least 14 years of age and reside in the province.

To register – use this link

Related news story:

Being part of making a difference.

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Mayor announces newest Chief of Staff

By Staff

September 11th, 2023



Mayor Marianne Meed Ward announces the appointment of  Marie Nash as her new Chief of Staff.

Marie Nash: New Chief of Staff for Mayor Meed Ward

Marie has been a leader of more than 12 years in communications, public policy, and community engagement. She brings with her a strong business background, extensive knowledge of the functions of municipal governments and experience working with government stakeholders. These skills will serve our goal of promoting Burlington as open for business and are especially needed at a time when collaboration between all government levels is crucially important.

Marie was most recently the Chief Operating Officer at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, where she worked to further elevate the institution’s operations, communications, advocacy efforts, value proposition and engagement with all members of the business community, large and small. Working directly with the CEO and Board of Directors in developing and executing the organization’s overall short- and long-term strategies, she ensured the relevancy and longevity of the 178-year-old institution.

During the pandemic, Marie successfully created and executed programs and policies that addressed critical issues, such as the creation of Hamilton’s COVID-19 Concierge program, Ontario’s Vaccine Support Council, and the Rapid Testing for Business program. She also led the creation of multiple research projects and reports that resulted in significant recommendations on issues — such as women in the workforce, labour shortages and childcare — leading to measurable improvements in the community’s quality of life.

Marie also chairs and sits on multiple boards and committees, including Tourism Hamilton’s Music Advisory Committee, the City of Hamilton’s Physician Recruitment and Retention Steering Committee,


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1,600 sq ft with a basement for $500,000 - is he now smoking what he has been reported to have distributed in the past

By Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2023



Premier Doug Ford has a promise for young people in Ontario: an affordable home for under $500,000.

He has certainly gone out on a limb: Speaking to a  Kitchener crowd on Friday during his “carnival-style FordFest”, the premier finished his speech with a promise of building 1,600 square-foot houses across the province similar to the wartime homes — also known as the Strawberry box houses — built across Canada after the Second World War.

Built for veterans returning from WW II – thousands were built on large lots across the country. Beginning in 1941, a federal crown corporation called Wartime Housing Limited (WHL) built almost 26,000 rental housing units for war workers and veterans. It was a successful yet temporary phenomenon. Six years later, Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) absorbed and dismantled the wartime company.

The houses will have finished basements that owners can rent out, backyards with fences, paved driveways, and will be built on land made available through partnerships with municipalities, Ford said

And the total sum: under $500,000.

One can only imagine the reaction within the developer sector – never mind the gulps heard in Planning departments across the province.

For continued: “You can’t find a home for under $500,000 anywhere in this province, but as sure as I am standing here, we’re going to make that available to young people, people that are renting right now that have a dream of home ownership,” he said.

The fifteen minute speech was about housing with some divisive comments on how young people choose to identify themselves. It was the Premier take a shot at the province’s school boards, deciding to wade into a national debate about parental involvement.

“Most important is the parents’ rights to listen and make sure they are informed when their children make a decision. It’s not up to the teachers, it’s not up to the school boards to indoctrinate our kids,” he said.

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3.4 BILLION phishing emails that are sent out every day.

By Pepper Parr

September 10th,2023



Surprisingly, no one guessed the correct number of phishing emails that are sent out every day.

The actual number, as determined by Maleware Byte, an anti-malware software for Microsoft Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, Android, and iOS that finds and removes malware, is 3.4 BILLION.  With that kind of an onslaught the average person has to be very very vigilant.

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Is this the beginning of the end for Joe Dogs ?

By Pepper Parr

September 10th, 2023



After a decent summer break City Council gets back to the grind with Standing Committee meetings on two days of the week.

Approved at a recent OLT hearing for 27 storeys. Traffic will enter the underground parking from John.

One item that will get discussed is the 26 story tower that was approved at a recent Ontario Land Tribunal meeting recently.

It will have a major impact on one of the more popular watering holes in the city.

The NoFrills Plaza on the North side of the site will get developed at some point.  The thinking has been to move to supermarket closer to Brant Street with underground parking, some resident at the rear and a pathway along Rambo Creek which is on the eastern side of the site.

Mark Bales, the tough guy for most of the Carriage Gate developments is on the OLT appeal as representing Carriage Gate.

The development contemplates a mixed use development, including a 27-storey mixed use building (inclusive of a mechanical penthouse and elevator machine room) and a maximum of 259 residential units. The development includes retail / commercial / office uses on the ground floor and a maximum permitted height of 90 metres



This part of the city will look a lot different in five years. Someone will pick up the Joe Dogs site, it is owned by a pharmacist in Brampton whose interests are in renting properties – not in developing.

The tower will rise to the north of Joe Dogs – how they will manage to operate with construction taking place – not yards but literally inches away will be interesting.

Never one to miss a photo op, ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns lives a block to the west of the development site.

It’s a ward two development which will have Councillor Lisa Kearns all over the decision. Kearns sees that is as her turf – it will be interesting to hear what she has to say.

John Street, at the rear of the development, is not actually a street – officially it is a lane that some want to see pushed north right up to Victoria.

The two red lines show the boundary of the development. Joe Dogs isn’t inside those two red lines.

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Greenbelt protesters - not some rag tag group.

By Staff

September 9th, 2023



The Doug Ford government is doing every thing it can to convince the public that Greenbelt lands might be needed to achieve the 1.5 million new homes by 2031.

The public accepts that 1.5 million homes are needed – but they don’t buy into using Greenbelt lands to make it happen.

There isn’t an opportunity to cast a ballot until 2026 but there are opportunities galore to protest.

And protest they did:

This is not a rag tag crowd – this is one of those occasions where size does matter.

Some of the locations where demonstrations are taking place are set out below:

Tuesday, Sept. 12th
Barrie – Grace United Church – 7:00-8:30 PM
Featuring special guest speakers: David Crombie, former mayor of Toronto and former chair of Greenbelt Council; Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada; Margaret Prophet, SCGC; Franz Hartman, Alliance for a Liveable Ontario.
RSVP Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uniting-for-a-sustainable-future-public-forum-on-the-greenbelt-tickets-699659128287?aff=new

Thursday, Sept. 14th
Ancaster – Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre – 5:30-8:00 PM

Saturday, Sept. 16th
Toronto – Queen’s Park – 11:00 AM
This rally is part of a globally coordinated action to demand that governments end fossil fuels – fast, fair, and forever.

Sunday, Sept. 17th
Newmarket – Intersection Yonge and Mulock – 11:00 AM – 1:00pm
Marching to MPP Gallagher Murphy’s office to deliver letters and petition for government to take better action to stop climate change.

Saturday, Sept. 23rd
Richmond Hill – Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park – 1:00-3:00 PM

Facebook Event Page:

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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What's the average number of Phishing emails sent per day?

By Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2023



The call it phishing.

A process that has someone trying to trick you into giving them some of your personal data and getting you to open an email that will do you nothing but harm.

How many of these do you get – and do you recognize them for what they are.

There is now some data on just how many of these things get sent out.
Malware Bytes, a service that we use to protect the Gazette web site.

Phishing is a type of cybercrime where hackers and cybercriminals trick others by pretending to be trustworthy sources to steal sensitive information like passwords or credit card details. They do this through fake emails, websites, or messages that look real.

Phishing uses tricks to manipulate people into sharing private information. To stay safe, it’s important to be aware of phishing tactics and verify requests to avoid falling for scams.

Send your guess to: publisher@bgzt.ca (that my address at the Gazette).  I’ll tally the answers and report back to you on Sunday.  The BGZT domain is an abbreviation for Burlington Gazette


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What does all the Greenbelt kafuffle mean to Burlington - not much unless a developer decides to get an MZO to build north of Dundas

By Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2023



Wham, wham, wham, and wham and wham again.

Auditor General’s report
Integrity Commissioner’s Report
Premier and his Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing stand tough.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing resigns
And the continued drip, drip, drip from the media is as they look for a Mr. X.

What does it all mean to Burlington? Immediately not all that much – the City Planning department could use a solid definition of just what affordable housing is and what is meant by attainable ? With that information some thinking and whatever creativity there is at Planning, Council and within the community can emerge.

None of the 15 sites that were taken out of the Greenbelt were within Burlington boundaries. However, there are a number of sites in Burlington that are cleared for development – but there isn’t a shovel with in a kilometre of a GO station – which is where this City Council wants to see the growth taking place.
In what the Mayor calls he Pipeline to Permits collection of data she said:

Burlington is committed to doing our share to meet the challenges of the housing crisis – so young people, newcomers, families, seniors, and everyone can call our fine city home. Burlington has an unprecedented 38,219 units in our development pipeline — everything from pre-consultation with developers for their land, up to approved units. Of note: there are currently 3,642 approved units, with another 3,112 waiting for site plan applications from builders. There are an additional 7,948 tied up at the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Currently, the City of Burlington has under active building permit review, a total of 1,863 housing units.

Does the number of appeals at the OLT add up to a good excuse for the delay in developments seeing shovels in the ground?

The CSL site to the west of the Burlington GO station has some small site plan issues that need resolving.

There were no Official Plan problems with the application – no zoning issues either. Site plan differences are supposedly holding this one up.

The Molinaro development at the intersection of Brant and Ghent has yet to see any equipment on any of the properties.

Will the need for housing result in any movement on the Eagle Height opportunity?

What about the Bronte Meadows site where Upper Middle Road become Burloak Road – will there be any movement on that site?

Will the Emshie property at Guelph Line and Harvester Road be looked at differently?  Dr. Shie has been looking for a way to develop that site for a long time. We wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t already held a meeting with his planning consultants to consider what there might be in the way of options now that the Premier and his new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has said this is a crisis and we are determined to build that 1.5 million homes by 2031.

Premier Ford with Mayor Meed Ward: He did say she was a good person but that the City’s development record was dismal.

Burlington was singled out by the Premier for its dismal development performance. The Mayor and the Premier were going to have a conversation – no word on how that went from Mayor Meed Ward.

All the players are saying that going forward decisions will be based on planning principles – not politics. Development in Ontario is now a political issue – that has to be resolved if Doug Ford expects a third term in office.

Will the changes that are going to take place give Mayor Meed Ward an opportunity to reshape her public profile and find a way to depend less on photo ops and be in a position to make announcements that can polish and restore the image ?

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing wants to see development now so that the 2031 target of 1.5 million new homes can be met. Can Burlington help?

After listening to Paul Calandra, the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing did a Q&A with Queen’s Park media one couldn’t help with the sense that any idea that is reasonable will be warmly welcomed and whatever rules or regulations are holding things up – will get a more than a hug from the province.

The provincial government needs a couple of wins and Burlington just might be where that win takes place.

In one of her statements Meed Ward said: “This is the reality on the ground in Burlington that isn’t reflected in the housing permit numbers from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Developers are investing in Burlington in record numbers. We’ll do our part to ensure planning and permits are in place so they can build.

“Council has unanimously adopted the Province’s housing pledge of 29,000 units by 2031, and I have no doubt that we will be able to issue permits for that amount, given what’s in our pipeline.

“We’re developing a plan to accelerate our permits. We’ll have more details to come on that.”

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United Way gears up for the launch of its 2023-24 campaign.

By Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2023



Next Saturday the United Way will hold their Big Pull – it’s the Kick Off event for the 2023-24  fund raising campaign.

At this point there are 15 groups registered for the event that has each group pulling a 200,000 lbs Airbus 50 yards along the tarmac at the Hamilton International Airport.

Brad Park, President & CEO OF United Way Halton & Hamilton.

Brad Park, President & CEO OF United Way Halton & Hamilton and his team are geared up for what will be a multi-month fund raising drive.

Brad points out that one in every six people in the Region have used a United Way service; that amount to 143,000 people who have had their lives impacted in some way by a United Way service.

Everyone knows about the United Way – it is almost taken for granted – which is part of the problem. Is as recognized is as the organization it – the funds that are needed to deliver those services don’t just fall off the back of a truck.

United Way is seen is as the service that holds communities together.

Seven years ago a decision was made to merge all the local United Way groups in the Halton Region – Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills and Hamilton into what is now known is as UWHH  –  United Way Hamilton Halton.

Pulling all these individual units together into one large organization meant that the back end services were combined: payroll, basic administration, grant distribution were now one – that resulted in lower costs and in the end better administration.

Park said that at first he wasn’t sure the amalgamation was the best opportunity to streamline the services. At the time he headed up the then Oakville United Way. It didn’t take Park long to realize the upside benefits with relatively few downside problems.

Brad Park, left, with Milton Mayor Gord Krantz

Park now heads up that single administrative organization – he is working within a much bigger picture. The problems in Burlington are not the same is as those in Milton – but the solutions are much the same. Resources from a bigger organization can be moved from community to community with a focus on just where they are needed.

The smaller administrative units didn’t always have the skill sets they needed. With the one organization – there is now much more depth.

“Scale has made a difference” said Park who has been part of United Way in some shape or form for 28 years. He started out giving his Mother a hand – she was part of United Way when he was a boy. “I was stuffing envelopes at the age of 10” he said.

Park did an Arts degree at Guelph University – majored in economics and expected to work somewhere in the corporate sector. Finding a job when he graduated was not is as easy is as he expected. His Mother suggested he help her out and he never left.

He started out in 1995 at the United Way of Cambridge and North Dumfries; spent a good decade as Campaign Director and went on to lead the Brant United Way as Executive Director in 2010 for two years, then took on the CEO of United Way Oakville in 2012, prior to amalgamation. In 2017, an amalgamation  brought Milton, Halton Hills, Burlington, Oakville and Hamilton into one United Way.  Park was appointed CEO of that entity in 2017. “So currently, this is my 29th year with United Way. Between my mother and I, there is almost 70 years of service to the community through United Way.”

Coming out of a pandemic “the UWHH is at the threshold of a new chapter in the community’s journey as they approach the launch of the 2023-2024 Campaign.”

Fifteen people need to pull the plane 50 yards.

The Plane Pull event symbolizes the collective strength and determination as teams come together to pull an airplane. Cogeco Inc. and TD are sponsors of the event this year.

Park said that “Through the 106 local programs and services, we have touched the lives of over 143,562 families and neighbours, providing crucial support and guidance. By focusing on local needs and basing our strategies on evidence, we mobilize our partners to create coordinated, connected, and seamless programs and services that address needs at their source.

“The crucial social services and resources across our local communities have been stretched beyond capacity with ever-increasing demand. we need your support and partnership to make a lasting difference.

“With every dollar raised this year, we create a ripple effect of positive change, improving the lives of those in need and ensuring a more equitable and thriving future for all.”

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One Charitable Organization Supporting Others - Performing Arts spreads its wings

By Staff

September 7th, 2023



This is a little different.

Register HERE

They’ve chosen the largest open space at the Performing Arts Centre – the paid bar makes the event attractive to some.

Performing Arts Centre Executive Director Tammy Fox explains what she has put together this way: “I am always thinking of new ways to engage the community, to support causes that are important to the social fabric of our society and to increase awareness of The Burlington Performing Arts Centre and our incredible line-up of performers. Imagine my excitement in launching a brand-new initiative that accomplishes all three goals at once!

The Dare to be Youth people have a laudable mission message.

We will follow up with group and learn more about their what and why.

Tickets to the event are free: Register HERE



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Karina Gould: 'Stop by, say Hi

By Staff

September 8th, 2023



Burlington MP Karina Gould has a few words for her constituents:

Dear friends, I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer and while the return to school and parliament are on the horizon, I was pleased to get to spend so much time in Burlington the past couple of months. I was delighted to host my annual Seniors Symposium, welcoming over 100 seniors in Burlington to share their thoughts on issues that matter to them as well as hear from experts and engage with community partners.

Burlington MP Karina Gould on her way to the Swearing in ceremony where she was named Government House Leader in the House of Commons.

I am very pleased to confirm that the Electoral Boundaries Commission listened to the voices of Burlingtonians and will not be changing the boundaries of our riding in the next election. Good work, Burlington and thank you to all who spoke up and participated!

With inflation and affordability on everyone’s mind these days, I’m pleased to share two important initiatives from the Federal Government that helped ease the burden on households in our community: the one-time Grocery Rebate, up to $467 for a family of four that went out on July 5th  and the increase to the Canada Child Benefit that took effect on July 20th.

This year, eligible families can receive up to $7,437 per child under that age of 6. I understand these are difficult and anxious times, and while inflation is impacting the whole world, the Federal government is acting to help with the high costs of living for Canadians right now.

July also saw a job change for me! While I adored my time as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development – and couldn’t be prouder of delivering affordable childcare for Canadians – the Prime Minister has asked me to take on a new role as the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. This will see me focused on delivering the Government’s legislative agenda and continuing to improve the lives, livelihoods and well-being of Canadians through legislation.

I hope to see you around town over the coming weeks with lots of community events in September. Please stop by to say hi and share your thoughts with me.

Karina announced earlier this year that she is pregnant with a second child – due sometime in January.

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Burlington Bulls were the Triple A 8U OBA Champions

By Pepper Parr

September 8th, 2023



With a 35-5-1 on the season the Burlington Bulls were certainly doing something right.

They played just is as well – even better – when they got to the Ontario Baseball Championships played out during the Labour Day weekend.

This is a group of boys that deserve to be watched. Great scoring record this season.

OBAs are the best 16 teams in Ontario competing for the championship. Played in Toronto all Labour Day weekend.

They beat Kitchener 8-5 in the final

The Bulls are A Triple A baseball team – 7 and 8 year old kids(2015 birth years) coached by 21 year old non-parent coach Phill Jankulovski

The team won all 3 tournaments they played in(including the OBAs)

Clearly a team to watch.

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Environmental Defence and Other Groups in Ontario to Rally Against Greenbelt Removals

By Staff

September 7th, 2023



In early November, 2022, the provincial government announced Bill 23 (“More Homes Built Faster Act”), the rollback of forward-thinking municipal plans in Halton and Hamilton, and the removal of 7,400 acres of protected land from the Greenbelt to build sprawl.

Public opposition to these attacks on Ontario’s environment is surging. Following the revelations by Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner, and those of the Auditor General earlier this month, activists across the province began organizing another round of rallies to emphasize the urgency for protecting Ontario’s forests, farms and wetlands.

Local Activists will hold a rally during Ford Fest on Friday, September 8th to loudly voice opposition to removals of land from the Greenbelt and other issues. More rallies in the province will take place in the days following this action, with a full list below. Interviews can be arranged with local activists upon request.

WHAT: A series of “Hands Off The Greenbelt” rallies across the province, including the Premier’s Ford Fest in Kitchener, Queen’s Park in Toronto and MPP Christine Hogarth’s Office in Etobicoke. New events are being registered every day.

WHERE: A map of all events, with additional information about each event, is available here: https://environmentaldefence.ca/handsoffthegreenbelt/

WHEN: September 8th-23rd. Exact times and dates vary by location.

Friday, Sept. 8th

Kitchener – 425 Bingemans Centre Drive – 4:00 PM
Greenbelt Rally: Unions, teachers, nurses, political parties, health coalitions and environmental groups will be there.

Saturday, Sept. 9th

Etobicoke – MPP Christine Hogarth’s Office – 2:00-3:00 PM

Tuesday, Sept. 12th

Barrie – Grace United Church – 7:00-8:30 PM
Featuring special guest speakers: David Crombie, former mayor of Toronto and former chair of Greenbelt Council; Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada; Margaret Prophet, SCGC; Franz Hartman, Alliance for a Liveable Ontario.

RSVP Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uniting-for-a-sustainable-future-public-forum-on-the-greenbelt-tickets-699659128287?aff=new

Thursday, Sept. 14th

Ancaster – Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre – 5:30-8:00 PM

Saturday, Sept. 16th
Toronto – Queen’s Park – 11:00 AM

This rally is part of a globally coordinated action to demand that governments end fossil fuels – fast, fair, and forever.

Sunday, Sept. 17th

Newmarket – Intersection Yonge and Mulock – 11:00 AM – 1:00pm
Marching to MPP Gallagher Murphy’s office to deliver letters and petition for government to take better action to stop climate change.

Saturday, Sept. 23rd

Richmond Hill – Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park – 1:00-3:00 PM

Facebook Event Page:

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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New Minister changed name plate on his office door - got away before he had to deal with an awkward Coroner's report that said 4335 residents and 13 LTC staff died from Covid19

By Pepper Parr

September 7th, 2023



We have now heard from the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing – he used to be the Minister of Long Term Care.

New Minister – Paul Calandra – During his media event yesterday – no one asked a question about how well he did at Long Term Care. Coroner’s report suggests he did a terrible job.

How well did he do at that job.

Leader of the Opposition Marit Stiles wasn’t impressed and shared the following:

The Ford government failed Ontario’s seniors during the pandemic; the latest Ombudsman report confirms, finding that Ontario’s Long-Term Care inspection system “collapsed during the deadly first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls riding), NDP critic for Long-Term Care (LTC), released the following statement:

“Ford’s absolute failure to protect seniors during the pandemic contributed to an unconscionable wave of deaths in Long-Term Care. Today, we learned that many of these deaths were preventable.

“The safeguards meant to protect seniors failed entirely. Under this government’s watch, inspectors did little or nothing to hold these homes accountable. And thousands of our friends, parents and grandparents died.

“Make no mistake – the Ford Conservatives axed the level of LTC inspections when they took office, leaving the system already strained when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. They failed to respond to the clear crisis with the appropriate level of urgency and commitment. They also passed legislation to protect LTC operators from facing consequences.”

Paul Calandra was the Long Term Care Minister at the time.

The Ombudsman found that 4335 residents and 13 LTC staff died between March 2020 and April 2022.

Read the Ombudsman’s report on LTC here. 

The Ombudsman’s report found that the Ministry of Long-Term Care:

During this crisis, Ford passed the LTC file like a hot potato from Merrilee Fullerton to Rod Phillips, and finally to Paul Calandra (who has just been promoted to Housing Minister). None of them were able to work on serious solutions.

A quick peak at how Calandra was depicted by media:

Paul Calandra as the new Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs – a critically important file in the middle of a housing crisis with little in the way of relevant experience other than being infamous for misdirection.

Calandra’s qualifications as deflector-in-chief include:

  • In 2012, he was Stephen Harper’s shield from the Senate Scandal (Calandra’s non-answers gained so much notoriety they inspired a joke generator of meaningless talking points)
  • In 2014, he refused to answer so many questions about Canada’s involvement in Iraq, the Globe and Mail’s exasperated response was: “to call Mr. Calandra a clown is to do a disservice to the ancient profession of painted-face buffoonery”
  • In 2015, CBC’s Peter Mansbridge coined Calandra’s non-answers as ‘The Full Calandra’, following an interview about Mike Duffy’s trial


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Brock University expert shares children’s mental health tips for new school year

By Staff

September 7th, 2023



As children head back to school this week, Danielle Sirianni Molnar says it’s important to ensure they have more than just the proper school supplies.

The Brock University Associate Professor of Child and Youth Studies and Canada Research Chair in Adjustment and Well-Being in Children and Youth says the changes that come with returning to school can lead to varying outcomes for children’s mental health.

A close watch on changes in a child’s behaviour helps parents understand when a child is having a difficult time.

“For some kids, back to school impacts them in a positive way, as they enjoy school, its routines and seeing their friends and teachers,” she says. “However, for others adjusting to being back in school is difficult and can negatively impact their mental health, especially for children who may not feel comfortable with their peers, have difficulties meeting the school’s academic expectations or have pre-existing mental health problems such as anxiety or depression that can hamper the ability to adapt to significant changes in their lives.”

For children who find the return to school more challenging, Sirianni Molnar says there is a key strategy they can use to maintain their mental health during the school year.

“One important strategy kids can use is to create routines that work for them that include eating healthy meals at regular intervals throughout the day, maintaining a healthy and consistent sleep schedule and scheduling consistent times for extracurricular activities and homework,” she says. “Routines are important for all kids because it gives them a sense of security, but they are particularly helpful for kids who are experiencing anxiety because routines reduce uncertainty, which fuels anxiety.”

While children are encouraged to pay attention to their routines, Sirianni Molnar says parents also play a critical role in providing positive mental health support by looking for changes in their children’s behaviour for a sustained period of time, including alterations in eating, sleeping and physical activity levels, or if they are engaging less with friends, family or activities they were once passionate about.

“It is especially important to recognize if these changes are affecting their academics, relationships with family and friends or their participation in their extracurricular activities,” she says. “Parents should also be on the lookout for pronounced increases in irritability, sadness, worry or anger as these may be a signal that a child is struggling with their mental health.”

Along with identifying if their child is struggling, the second step parents can take is regular communication, though this can be uncomfortable at first, Sirianni Molnar says.

“One suggestion for parents is to try and lessen the directness of the conversation by bringing up the topic of mental health when engaged in another activity,” she says.

For example, rather than sitting down face to face and having a formal discussion at the table, it may make the child feel less self-conscious by talking while going out for a hike, doing a household chore like folding laundry or for young children, playing with toys.

Playing with a child creates an opportunity to ask questions in a round about way to draw out any concerns, fears, issues the child might have at school.

“It is key that parents are approachable and ensure their children know that they are cared for and that they matter at all times,” she says. “Often, parents want to solve all of their children’s problems for them, but sometimes it is important for parents to simply listen and validate their children’s concerns.”

With these strategies in mind, Sirianni Molnar says a final step is for parents and kids to always seek additional help when it is needed.

“If parents have urgent concerns about their child’s mental health, they should reach out for professional help as soon as possible, such as local health-care providers or hospitals to ensure the safety of their children,” she says.

Danielle Sirianni Molnar

Danielle Sirianni Molnar, Brock University Associate Professor of Child and Youth Studies and Canada Research Chair in Adjustment and Well-Being in Children and Youth.

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