Burlington Chamber of Commerce sets out its five priorities for 2023 and goes looking for new Board members

By Pepper Parr

December 20th, 2022



Burlington Chamber of Commerce Terry Caddo

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce speaks of a great first year under the direction of Terry Caddo who has sent out a call to the Burlington business community asking for responses from anyone interested in serving on the Board of Directors.

They are looking for senior level people with strength in Financial, IT, Large and Small Business and Corporate Communications.

The Chamber Board meets approximately 6-8 times per year with additional board subcommittee participation . The Burlington Chamber of Commerce board of directors is appointed annually at the Annual General meeting. The directors shall hold office for a term of one year to a maximum of six terms.

If you are interested in being a Burlington Chamber of Commerce board member and be part of a progressive, results-oriented and fiscally responsible Board of Directors – they want to hear from you.

The Chamber has set out its five priorities for the 2023 – 2024 (Roll your cursor over the graphic for a larger image)

All five priorities are defined as urgent.

Very significant changes were made in the Chamber Committee structure – that ruffled some feathers and led to some talk about how effective Caddo was as Presidnet.  The current committee structure is:

Member Experience and Engagement Committee
Policy and Advocacy Committee
Business Awards Task Force
Women’s Leadership Event Task Force
Golf Tournament Task Force


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Get a sneak peek at how popular fashion trends and technology are working together

By Alex Miller

December 20th, 2022



There’s been a revolution in the way people buy fashion. In the past, shoppers would head to high street stores and wait for sales to tempt them into splurging on luxury brands. But this process can be slow and laborious. With the rise of digital channels, buying fashions has become a much quicker and easier experience. If you look closely, trends have always played a big role in what people buy. From new style rules to the merging of departmental stores, fashions have changed over time as consumers have evolved and new ideas have taken root.

How do you put yourself at Fashion events without leaving your living room? NFT’s are one of the solutions being offered.

Today, more than ever before, we’re experiencing an era of disruption where old ways of doing things can’t survive if they aren’t adaptable and innovative. While we talk about trends and the world is proceeding towards a new dawn of digital transformation, here is a brand that has been a part of this revolution for a while now.  ice7 casino has a wide array of offerings to choose from and makes your free time worthwhile.

Luxury brands have increasingly ventured into the digital realm, exploring new means of introducing NFTs to their product ranges and marketing campaigns in an effort to stand out. Some prominent brands joining the bandwagon are Burberry, Gucci & Louis Vuitton.

In this blog post, you can discover some of today’s most prominent trends that are likely to impact the way you buy fashion in the future — as well as potential opportunities that come with each one.

Close ups of what the fashion world is planning.

What Is an NFT, and How Does It Relate to Fashion?
A non-fungible token is recorded in a blockchain and is cryptographically linked to a unique digital identifier. It is used to certify authenticity and ownership. With its advent, the fashion industry has been striving to win a piece of this exclusive piece of technology to increase its brand awareness and take the fashion game up a notch.

The Advent of Metaverse Fashion
With more and more immersive technology becoming available and the developer’s race to create newer digital products that enhance a user’s experience, it is no surprise that Metaverse is becoming quite a popular trend that fashion brands want to make use of. There was an NFT fashion show that was hosted sometime back, which showcased brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Karl Lagerfeld and Tommy Hilfiger in their glory. These brands took fashion design to the next level by collaborating with digital designers. This show was a success wherein these brands were able to get registered users to try out and buy NFT wearables for their digital avatars. Now, this is what is truly the next level of fashion.

The Rise of the E-Commerce Marketplace
More and more people are saving money by shopping online. In fact, one in three people says they regularly shop online, compared with just one in five people who said the same back in 2004 (Bank of America Research, 2017). This rise in online shopping has led to an era of exponential growth in the number of e-commerce start-ups. These start-ups have been creating innovative ways to reach consumers, including the use of artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and virtual reality, to name a few. Online retailers have become more than just places to buy: they’re also powerful marketing tools, driving brand awareness and securing future sales. E-commerce companies have also become more than just a Marketplace — they’re also data-driven businesses, tracking customer behaviour, shopping interests and more.

With an NFT you could be part of the fashion show audience seen on the left.

Exclusive and Unique Content
Exclusivity is up for grabs when it comes to NFTs in the fashion world. Brands like Gucci launching their Aria collection and NFTs named Gucci Grail – featuring 11 collections showcasing popular brand-inspired avatars like Cool Cats and more. Another notable mention is that of Adidas; they have executed a similar brand engagement strategy with collections like Punks Comic.

The Upgraded Video Game Collectibles
It was the first luxury brand to create a virtual album when Burberry recently launched Blankos Block Party, a game that features only luxury brands. Louis Vuitton created its own game in which players explore worlds and collect 30 embedded NFTs. There is a chance to win an ultra-rare NFT once players collect enough, and once they do, they can use it on social networks as a unique avatar.

Bottom Line
The digital transformation of the fashion industry is happening at a fast pace. The digitization of platforms and channels, as well as data management and profiling, are enabling brands to reach more customers than ever before. The future of fashion is in an exciting and significant phase of change, and it’s happening now. As the pace of change continues to accelerate, it’s important for retailers to be adaptable and nimble enough to keep pace with the times. There is so much potential for both new and existing retailers to profit from the future of fashion. Retailers can benefit from the increasing popularity of e-commerce, as consumers are more likely to shop from home if they know they can get great value and selection from the brands they love.

Ready to explore the future of fashion? Let’s get started.

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Art Gallery holiday hours and program offerings

By Staff

December 20th, 2022



The Art Gallery of Burlington holiday Hours are:

December 24: 10am – 3pm
December 25: CLOSED
December 26: CLOSED
December 27 to December 30: Regular hours
December 31: 10am – 3pm
January 1: CLOSED
January 2: CLOSED

Program offerings are:

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The challenge as we celebrate Hanukkah. and Christmas

By Pepper Parr

December 19th, 2022



As we approach a time of year when the spiritual part of our lives is more focused,  the words of a man that we lost during 2022, set out the challenge for we human beings.

Sacks was a member of the House of Lords but chose to use his title as Rabbi first when his name was being used.


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Ontario Place will be bigger, better and partly private when provincial government completes its overhaul

By Staff

December 17th, 2022


Some of the illustrations can be enlarged by rolling the cursor over them

The Government of Ontario is chugging along with its plans to overhaul Ontario Place, filing an official development application with the City of Toronto at the end of November.

The planning documents, which recently became available to the public, lay out details of what exactly the province has in store for the Toronto waterfront space. Notable changes and additions to the original design include more park space, a taller Budwiser Stage, and a more detailed plan for services that will be offered in the spa.

It will be a much different place when the work is completed. Cost is in the $300 million range.

The update comes after many month of criticism from residents, activists, and politicians alike, largely directed at the province’s decision to lease out large swaths of the 155-acre Ontario Place to private companies. The most controversial private partner was Therme Group, a Vienna-based firm tasked with building a $350M spa and waterpark for Ontario Place that visitors would have to pay to access.

The province appeared to address concerns of privatization in the planning documents, noting that “the proposed development ensures that approximately two-thirds of the parkland site is open to the public without cost,” which , of course, still means one-third of the parkland will be restricted. However, “100% of the waterfront is publicly accessible,” the planning documents say.

Therme Group’s waterpark and spa engulfs much of the West Island, but new updates to the plans now call for more park space to be included. Their section of Ontario Place will feature 12 acres of new public space, including parkland, a beach, and gathering places. Plans also call for a man-made wetland area that will help to manage water run-off into the lake.

A look at the site from a different angle.

“Over 25,000 square metres of aquatic habitat and wetland will be created across the West Island, including a new submerged reef at the East Headland and new wetland created along the inner lagoons,” the documents read. “The potential for additional habitat in Brigantine Cove is being considered through the advancing EA process, which may result in over 6 acres of new wetland across Ontario Place.”

Ontario Place – a much different destination when it is completed.

Therme’s 50,000 sq.-metre futuristic-looking glass structure that will house the spa and and waterpark will top out at nine-storeys (45 m) at its peak, with sloping green roofs covering much of the building. The facilities inside, which guests will have to pay roughly $40 to access for the day, will be divided into four main zones:

Genesis: Where the spa’s therapy services will be housed, including “curated sauna and steam room experiences.”

Elysium: The wellness centre with “individually tailored therapies to enhance well being including massages, light and LED therapy, cryo-saunas, and vitamin and mineral pools.”
Palm: The family relaxation zone with mineral baths, steam rooms, and a quiet area with pools for guests 16 years of age and older.
Galaxy: A family recreation area with water slides, a wave pool, relaxation areas, and steam rooms. This will be the largest component of Therme’s programming.

Over on the East Island, Live Nation will build an entirely new Budweiser Stage that can operate year-round — a big change for the currently seasonal venue. The new stage and seating bowl will both be taller than their predecessors, a move that the Province says will protect against future flooding.

20,000 people when set up as an outdoor venue – that is a crowd. Wonder who the first concert will be.

The venue’s capacity is set to increase to 20,000, although it will be less when operating as an indoor venue. Live Nation also has plans to build new service and pedestrian bridges to the mainland, a new gateway plaza, and a new hospitality building. But as the planning documents note, “The proposal remains at an early stage of development. A future rezoning submission will be required, which will provide greater clarity regarding the building design.”

The intention is to add to the science aspects and to link up with the Science Centre

The Province is also considering a “potential science-based destination” that would occupy the underutilized pods and Cinesphere. They’re working with the Ontario Science Centre to explore the opportunity, but are currently envisioning a new single-story mainland entrance pavilion, which would sit above the parking structure and add 21,000 sq. m of programming space to the pods and Cinesphere.

A collection of Islands.

Outdoor adventure programming and active recreation uses are also being considered, but no details were provided as of yet. An adventure park was originally planned for the updated Ontario Place, with private partner Ecorecreo Group set to build aerial obstacle courses, net-based aerial adventures, ziplines, and escape rooms. But in the fall, it was reported that Ecorecre pulled out of the project.

Parking to access all of the planned changes to Ontario Place will be largely consolidated in an underground garage that can also accommodate bus pick up and drop off. The garage will have 2,118 parking spots, with 632 of the existing surface-level parking spots also being retained for a total of 2,750. This will be a big change from the 1,270 spots that exist currently.

The development will have to go through the City of Toronto’s approval process before the province can get to work, which, if history is any indicator, will likely spur further changes to the proposed plans.

Content for this article came from Storeys, a web site dedicated to news for the development sector.

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Halton Public School Student EQAO grading was above average for the 2021-22 school year

By Staff

December 16th, 2022



Despite the chaos on attending classes during the academic year the Halton District School Board the Ontario Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) were very good.

Students writing exams

Grade 3, Grade 6 and Grade 9 students performed above the provincial average based on assessments completed in the 2021-2022 school year. These results on EQAO (hdsb.ca) demonstrate that HDSB students are well above the provincial standard (Level 3 & 4, or a B grade or above) in Grade 3 and Grade 6 Reading and Writing, as well as Grade 9 Mathematics and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

In Grade 3 assessments, the HDSB outperforms the province by eight to nine percentage points. In Grade 6 assessments, the HDSB exceeds the provincial average by six to eleven percentage points with 91.5% and 90.6% of Grade 6 students meeting the provincial standard on Reading and Writing, respectively.


In Grade 9 Mathematics, the HDSB outperforms the provincial average by 9 percentage points.


In primary classrooms, HDSB staff continue to focus on sustaining effective Comprehensive Literacy Programs which include assessment for learning, differentiated and guided instruction and methods of monitoring student achievement. The Board continues to apply responsive support for all learners.

EQAO assessment results expand upon the current knowledge about student learning, and serve as an important tool for improvement at the individual, school, school board and provincial levels. The Board uses this data at the school and Board level, along with a variety of other student assessment data, to focus efforts toward continuously improving student achievement.

In high school math is very much a hands on subject.

While students in the HDSB perform well above the provincial average, the Board continues to prioritize Mathematics as an area for improvement. This work includes a focus on professional learning to support teachers in mathematics instruction and assessment, and supports an investment in high-quality resources and training in every school.

Our revised Math Plan is reflective of the new Math Curriculum. It provides opportunities for staff learning and involves developing learner profiles, using effective instructional and assessment strategies and resources to support Math learning.

“We are very proud of the HDSB’s EQAO results as the Board exceeds the provincial average on all assessments,” says Tina Salmini, Associate Director for the Halton District School Board. “After several challenging years, this success is attributed to the hard work, flexibility and dedication of our staff, students and families.”

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Hamilton Airport Does it Again - Best Canadian Growth Numbers in 2021 with 2022 looking even better

By Staff

December 15th, 2022



The Hamilton airport people report that they have done it again. Statistics Canada data.

Their growth numbers were the best in Canada for the year 2021 according to Statistics Canada.

Hamilton International facilitated more than 156,000 tonnes of cargo in 2021, which reflects a notable 59 percent increase as compared to 2017 and as compared to an average three percent decline across Canada in the same period.

A Lynx Air plane arriving in Hamilton on its inaugural flight.

“This steady growth in cargo activity can be attributed to the accelerated shift to e-commerce, alongside the increased demand and movement of a variety of essential medical supplies during the pandemic,” said Cole Horncastle, Executive Managing Director of Hamilton International. “As the largest domestic overnight express cargo airport and the third largest cargo freight airport in Canada, Hamilton International is a key economic driver and vital transportation hub for the Hamilton region and across Ontario.”

Hamilton International’s 2021 Economic Impact Study, completed by ICF International Incorporated, found that Hamilton International delivered 4,720 jobs and $1.5b in total economic output, with 2,770 jobs and $1b of that directly attributed to its cargo business. Cargo operations at the Airport have experienced a 29 percent growth in all areas, including employment, labour income, value added and industry activity, over the past five years:

Hamilton International offers cargo partners significant advantages, including its strategic proximity to Ontario’s 400-series highways, the Greater Toronto Area, and the U.S. border. The Airport also has 24-hour landing capability, a dual runway system of 10,000ft and 6,000ft, and dedicated Canada Border Services Agency staff on site, all of which support quick turnarounds for cargo carriers. Hamilton International was also designated as a Foreign Trade Zone Point in 2020 Ontario – providing businesses that import/export goods or manufacture products in Hamilton access to direct support on a range of duty deferrals and tax exemptions.

“Hamilton International is a thriving multi-modal hub and has become one of the fastest growing cargo airports in Canada. We are proud to work with numerous cargo partners to ensure Ontarians can ship and receive the goods they need reliably, safely, and efficiently,” added Horncastle. “The Airport is a vital gateway in Southern Ontario’s strategic transportation corridor and looks forward to continuing to grow cargo and passenger activity in the years to come.”

Ron Foxcroft: Chair of the city owned John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport

Chair of the city owned Hamilton Airport, Ron Foxcroft said: “Management and Stakeholders are delighted with the success of John C Munro Hamilton International Airport achieved in 2021.  He adds that: “We have our numbers for 11 months of 2022 and expect to exceed budget for the year.   We are kicking serious butt at the airport, because we have a Championship Management Team.

Personal, vacation and business travel increased as passengers resumed post pandemic travel. Customers were happy with the friendly and efficient    service levels  minus gridlock flying out of Hamilton.    In 2023 passengers levels have the opportunity to exceed pre pandemic levels, as ultralow cost carriers continue to grow in Hamilton.   John C Munro Airport is the fastest growing overnight express cargo airport in Canada.   World class cargo operators at Hamilton, see continued growth in 2023.   Leadership at Hamilton with Cathie Puckering, Cole Horncastle , Dina Carlucci, and their team with the help of the shareholder Vantage Airport Group, plan to exceed budgets and forecasts in 2023.”

About John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport
John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport is owned by the City of Hamilton and managed under an agreement by TradePort International Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vantage Airport Group – an industry leading investor, developer, and manager of airport assets.

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When will the Public Participation and Engagement in the Robert Bateman 'Adaptive Re-use' Project Take Place?

Jim Thomson

December 14th, 2022



In a presentation to council yesterday, in the Engagement Matters, there is no mention of there having been any public engagement or input into this project. Public engagement is something that is planned for later when it will be too late for the Citizens of Burlington to have their say on the project and the expenditure of $80 million dollars.

Jim Thomson: less than impressed with the way public engagement is taking place on the Bateman High School “adaptive reuse” project that is going to cost $70 million plus. Much of that will come out of the taxpayers pocket.

This is not in keeping with the Burlington Community Engagement Charter

There was no “Early and Widespread Notification” of the magnitude and scope of this project.

Well you now have a complete report isn’t it time to have a public information session to explain the project and allow the public to ask questions of staff.

There is plenty of time between now and when the actual price comes back to council for approval.

You have kept the public in the dark for over a year.

Time for Council to step up and ensure that “Engagement” actually happens on this project.

In addition to the Code of Good Governance the Corporate Policy is that ” the City of Burlington will engage stakeholders throughout the decision-making process which will be open, visible and transparent to the public.

It doesn’t say that stakeholders will be consulted later, it says throughout the process.

So it’s time to have real public engagement about this project.

Editor’s note: The city at times does not see the public as stakeholders; the school board, Brock University, the Library and Tech Place are seen as the stakeholders.

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Break a leg Ray - four days to master the script and be able to sing as well.

By Staff

December 14, 2022



He was at first swamped – learning lines for a play that opens on Friday.

That put an end to the dropping by for a drink and picking up a dozen eggs

The play is being performed in Stoney Creek. All the details are HERE



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Ultimate Road Trip Safety Guide For Families Travelling During the Holidays

By Abbie Clark

December 14th, 2022



This isn’t the average family taking a trip – but can you imagine the fun they will have?

Are you planning on taking your family on a road trip during the holidays? Whether it’s across Canada or just to visit relatives in another city, highway travel can be fraught with worry and danger. In order to ensure that both you and your loved ones stay safe while making memories together on the road, it’s important that you follow all of the necessary safety measures before embarking on your journey. This article will provide an ultimate guide for Canadians travelling by car this season, helping to make sure everyone is kept safe throughout the entire trip.

Check the tire pressure before you start your trip

Before you set out on your road trip, it’s important to check your vehicle and make sure everything is in working order. Start by checking all of your fluid levels, brakes and tires. If necessary, top off the fluids or make sure to bring extra in case you need to add more on the go. If your brakes are showing signs of wear or tear, make sure to get them inspected by a mechanic before heading out. Check your tire pressure and tread levels to make sure they’re up to standard.

1. Prepare your vehicle for the trip – check fluid levels, brakes, and tires

Before you set out on your road trip, it’s important to check your vehicle and make sure everything is in working order. Start by checking all of your fluid levels, brakes and tires. If necessary, top off the fluids or make sure to bring extra in case you need to add more on the go. If your brakes are showing signs of wear or tear, make sure to get them inspected by a mechanic before heading out. Check your tire pressure and tread levels to make sure they’re up to standard.

You’ll also want to make sure your vehicle is insured, and that your insurance policy covers long-distance travel. Cars with low insurance rates might not cover long-distance trips, so you’ll want to double-check your policy before setting out.

GPS systems have been known to fail and to be wrong – take a paper map.

2. Plan your route and make sure to take into account rest stops, gas stations, and food options
While travelling during the holidays, it is important to plan your route ahead of time and factor in rest stops, gas stations, and food options. Taking a few short breaks is a great way to help you stay mentally and physically alert behind the wheel. It’s also important to take into account your car’s gas tank capacity so that you don’t end up running out of fuel on the highway.

3. Make sure everyone in the car knows where the emergency exits are and how to use them
In the event of an emergency, it’s important that everyone in the car is familiar with the location of the exits and how to use them. All exits should be marked clearly, and everyone should understand the importance of following these markers in the event of an emergency. Additionally, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the route so that you can find your way back to the car in case of an emergency.

4. Pack snacks and drinks for the drive, as well as a first-aid kit
Food and drinks are essential for long road trips, and you’ll want to have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand in case anyone gets hungry or thirsty. Keeping everyone in the car hydrated and energized will help to keep them alert and focused on the road. You should also pack a first-aid kit in the car, just in case anyone gets hurt or ill while on the road.

5. Keep an eye on weather conditions and plan your route accordingly
Weather can be unpredictable, especially during the winter months. You’ll want to keep an eye on weather forecasts and plan your route accordingly. If there is a risk of inclement weather, be sure to check the state of roads before heading out and adjust your plans as necessary. You should also keep an eye out for road closures or accidents that could affect your trip.

Create a itinerary and leave one with family or friends – take one with you – it will probably change

6. Don’t forget to pack a map!
Technology has made it easier than ever to navigate on the go, but you should still pack a map in case your phone or GPS fails. It’s also a good idea to keep a few printed-out directions handy in case of an emergency.

7. Let your loved ones know where you are and when to expect you
It’s always a good idea to let your loved ones know where you’re going and when to expect you. This will help to ensure that everyone is kept safe and accounted for during the trip, and will provide extra peace of mind.

Although winter road trips can offer some challenges, they can also be great fun for the whole family. By following our safety tips and preparing your vehicle ahead of time, you can help ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for everyone involved.

So gas up the car, buckle up, and enjoy the ride!


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Pressing need for lifesaving blood and plasma donations, yet only 1 in 10 plan to give over the holidays

By Staff

December 13th, 2022



While 6 out of 10 eligible donors in Canada believe donating blood or plasma over the holidays is important, only 1 in 10 plans to book an appointment before Dec. 31.

There are people who donate regularly -have been doing it for decades.

Those are the findings of a new Ipsos survey, and they are especially worrisome now. The national inventory of several blood types is far below optimal. At the same time, respiratory illnesses including RSV, flu and COVID are making it more difficult for us to staff donor centres and donation events, and for donors to keep their appointments.

“Winter cold and flu season is upon us, our cancellation rates have jumped significantly, and we’re heading into the toughest weeks to collect blood and blood products. Winter storms could further impact collections, and more than 25,000 open appointments must be filled across Canada by Dec. 31. Booking an appointment and donating will make all the difference,” says Rick Prinzen, Canadian Blood Services’ chief supply chain officer and vice-president of donor relations.

O-negative blood donors are especially needed because this blood type can be transfused to any patient. In times of emergency or for newborn patients, O-negative blood, the universal blood type, makes a lifesaving difference.

One blood component, platelets, has a shelf life of only seven days

Regular blood donations are also needed to ensure platelets are available. Platelets are a vital blood component with a shelf life of only seven days. One of the most common uses for platelets is to treat cancer patients.

Winter is a challenging time for blood and plasma collections. Weather impacts and illness are inevitable, so patients are counting on donors to keep their appointments whenever possible.

“Late cancellations and missed appointments make it challenging to collect blood products. If you make an appointment, please try to keep it. If you are unable to make it to your appointment, please cancel it as early as possible so someone else may take your place,” says Mr. Prinzen.

A sharp decline in the number of regular donors
As reported earlier this year, the number of people who donate regularly has decreased by 31,000 since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Patients’ needs are still being met by the smallest donor base in a decade, but this is not sustainable. Patients across Canada need new and returning donors more than ever to give lifesaving blood and plasma. Right now is the time to book an appointment. Your donation could help bring someone home this winter season,” says Prinzen.

It is an essential service – that will be when and if you need blood.

Your donations matter. They help people be there for their families, give back to their communities and improve the lives of others. When you donate, you help ensure Canada’s Lifeline is strong, and you shape someone’s tomorrow.

Patients are waiting for new and returning donors to make all the difference today and throughout the winter months. Cancer patients, accident victims, and people with rare, life-threatening, chronic, and genetic conditions rely on blood, platelets, and plasma donations every day.

Thousands more new plasma and blood donors are needed across the country. Book your appointment online at blood.ca, on the GiveBlood app, or by calling 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

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Can political influence play into decisions made by the Integrity Commissioner ?

By Staff

December 13th, 2022



The following is a Letter to the Editor that appeared in the Hamilton Spectator today. It was written by Burlington resident Penny Hersh.


There have been some conflict-of-interest issues that have arisen in Burlington concerning Councillor Kelvin Galbraith’s ownership of property that surrounds some of the proposed developments, including those that abut the MTSA.

In Joan Little’s column she mentioned the possibility of a conflict-of-interest and as a result was asked to justify this- which she did. This was followed by a comment sent by Mayor Meed-Ward, Councillors Galbraith, Nisan, and Sharman refuting this and indicating that no conflict-of-interest had taken place. All this was done prior to receiving the report from the Integrity Commissioner. A complaint concerning this issue had been filed by a Burlington resident.

Burlington resident Penny Hersh

After doing some research I discovered that the Integrity Commissioner is hired and on a contract that is paid for by the City. There does not seem to be any term limit and presently in Burlington this contract has been renewed.

I learned that in some municipalities it is the region that hires the Integrity Commissioner. Personally, I feel that this is a better way of handling the hiring of a third party that may have to prepare a report that finds the city/councillor to be in error.

The Integrity Commissions report is simply that. It falls to council to decide to accept the recommendations or to simply ignore them. Why bother going through this exercise at all?

Can political influence play into this when Council members go public with defending a councillor prior to a report being issued?

Where in this process are resident’s rights protected?

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When the violence has everyone in a court room trust is broken and is exceptionally hard to heal.

By Staff

December 13th, 2022



Intimate Partner Violence results when a relationship does not have the strength and resiliency to handle new and higher levels of stress.

The rise in the cost of living and the changes taking place in the mortgage market are extremely hard to handle.

A relationship that was in a bit of trouble finds itself unable to cope – anger rises and people lash out.

Men are physical, women use words that cut like razor blades.

People get hurt, the police are called. Arrests take place.

The Ontario government is investing over $2 million to help break the cycle of intimate partner violence and keep communities safe. The funding is being delivered through the Partner Assault Response (PAR) program and will support specialized group education and counselling for people who are mandated by the courts to receive it.

“Our government is helping to relieve immediate financial and service pressures that are due, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an increase in intimate partner violence cases across the province,” said Attorney General Doug Downey.

“Addressing the root causes of violence is an important part of keeping victims safe and reducing the likelihood of further violence. By investing in the PAR program, we’re taking decisive action to ensure service providers can continue to support victims.”

PAR is a court-mandated program that helps accused people understand intimate partner violence and learn strategies and skills to engage in healthy relationships. The program also supports victims and their families by reducing their isolation and helping them make informed decisions about their safety and relationships with the accused.

“Today’s funding will help make our communities stronger and safer by addressing the issue of intimate partner violence and supporting victims and their families,” said Charmaine Williams, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity.

“This additional funding is welcome news for PAR providers across Ontario and is a positive step towards helping more clients access the program in a timely fashion,” said Vivien Green, Coordinator of Strategic Projects and Chair of the Board for Counterpoint Counselling and Educational Cooperative. “COVID-19 and the increase in intimate partner violence offences in Ontario has created new challenges in service delivery, but we are hopeful that this additional support will assist in our work to break the cycle of intimate partner violence.”

The bigger problem is that when the violence has everyone in a court room trust is broken and is exceptionally hard to heal.



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There will be service on Dec. 25-26 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1.

By Pepper Parr

December 13th, 2022



It would be nice if they could get it right the first time.

Collin Gribbons., part of Bfast, the people who keep a close eye on all things transit advises us that:

“We have received confirmation from Burlington Transit that there will indeed be service on Dec. 25-26 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1.

The service advisory applies only to the downtown terminal and specialized dispatch services.

“If you check their website, you will find that they’ve revised the notice to state clearly that transit service will be provided throughout the holidays.

“Catherine Baldelli, Director of Transit, told us they would provide a clarification.”

The Gazette went with the notice the city sent out.

The information on the Transit web site could have been clearer.

To be clear – the service is the same.  Holiday/Sunday Service schedules will be in place it is the location – Downtown terminals that will be closed and the Dispatch service that will not operate.

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So now we know that they did know - they just didn't want you to know. ASBESTOS

By Pepper Parr

December 13th, 2022


UPDATE:  The Hazardous Material (Asbestos) Abatement is included in the construction contract estimates included in the staff report. Timing will be at the beginning of the construction project along with demolition and removals.

Our tanks to the putz – the nom de plume created for a very smart Gazette reader who directed us to the 85 page report that was prepared for the Halton District School Board in November.

The Board of Education knew all along what they were buying and the members of Council knew as well.

The report is dated November 2022

They just didn’t want to tell the public and seemed loath to mouth the word asbestos.

We will find time later today to read through the 85 pages and learn just what there is in the way of asbestos and learn as well if there were plans in place to remove the stuff and what the cost is and who will be picking up that cost.

If this kind of stuff matters to you – the link is HERE:

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Canada's Casino Legislation Updates in 2022

By Samuel Heller

December 14th, 2022



iGaming, or online gambling, launched in Ontario, Canada, in April 2022. It opens the door for online gambling companies to apply for licenses from the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission. Compared to the heavily controlled gambling industry in the past, this is a huge shift for Canada.

Except as expressly permitted by individual provinces, gambling is banned across Canada. Therefore, commercial gaming and betting can only be allowed if regulated by state or local governments. Accordingly, it must adhere to the local rules, varying from province to province, to create a casino in Canada.

Provincial governments do not set up casinos; instead, they grant licenses to private enterprises to run online gaming sites and other associated services. For this reason, each province has its gaming authority in charge of licensing and regulating the industry inside its borders.

Competition from internet gaming providers based outside of Canada makes an already difficult situation for Canadian businesses even more so. Companies based outside of Canada that offer gambling services to residents of that country are not required to register with the Canadian government.

The combination of these challenges makes it difficult for gambling businesses to set up shop in Canada and make a profit there. While this is true, the country has relaxed some rules and streamlined several registration processes during the past few years. In 2021, for instance, the Canadian government will allow the sale of single-game wagers.
In this piece, we describe Ontario’s latest iGaming plan in depth and present a summary of the critical rules of each province in Canada. You’ll get the information you need to operate a gambling website in Canada legally.

Businesses looking to enter the Canadian market must pay close attention to the rules and regulations.

The Criminal Code
Gambling services are unlawful under Canadian law when not supervised or performed by a province. Businesses looking to enter the Canadian market must pay close attention to the rules and regulations that relevant Canadian authorities enforce.

What Are the Local Regulations?
Although there are many similarities between the Canadian provinces, their regulators and laws (such as who is authorized to operate, how to register, etc.) are not the same.

If you click on the links below, you can learn more about the laws in each province that govern which businesses are eligible to register to offer gaming services. Each link also details the registration process and any associated fines for noncompliance.

Find a full list of the provincial organizations that handle such matters here.

Organizations with a religious or philanthropic objective are the only ones eligible for registration as gambling service providers with the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission. Besides that, only one legal online casino is included in the ranking of Casino Reviewers in the province, and it’s called PlayAlberta.ca. The Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Act lays out the primary guidelines for businesses in this industry to follow.

British Columbia
British Columbia’s Ministry of Finance’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch grants licenses to businesses that meet its requirements. The gambling sector in British Columbia is regulated by the Gaming Control Act of 2002. Like Alberta, British Columbia only has one legal online casino, and it’s called PlayNow.

The legitimacy of established businesses – making sure they are fair.

The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation govern services related to gambling in Manitoba. In addition to registering businesses, the authority is responsible for protecting the fairness of gaming and lottery operations inside the province. In addition, it researches the legitimacy of established businesses.

New Brunswick
New Brunswick’s Department of Public Safety’s Gaming Control Branch is in charge of licensing operators of gambling establishments. The lottery operator license entitles the holder to create, organize, undertake, conduct, and manage lottery programs on behalf of the provincial government. The Gambling Control Act of 2008 is the primary legislation in the province addressing this issue.

Newfoundland and Labrador
Regarding gambling in Newfoundland and Labrador, the ball is in the court of the Consumer Affairs Division under the Consumer and Commercial Affairs Branch of Service NL. The province has no land-based casinos. However, bingo, lotteries, and card games are all legal forms of non-profit gambling.

Province of Nova Scotia
Service Nova Scotia’s Division of Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel, and Tobacco is responsible for licensing casinos and other gaming businesses. The institution also governs disputes and complaints. The law governing the United States casinos from 1994–1995 is strictly enforced here.

Ontario’s gambling industry is regulated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Because of its abundance of land-based casinos, the province enjoys the fewest gambling restrictions in Canada. The province’s availability of iGaming service providers has increased since the market’s launch.

iGaming in Ontario
The government of Ontario declared its intention to establish an iGaming market, which would be governed by the Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario, in November 2020. (AGCO).
Companies were first allowed to register with iGaming Ontario in the fall of 2021, and the market went live in April of the following year.

iGaming Ontario serves as a watchdog in the industry.

iGaming Ontario has allowed third parties to offer their services to the general public, provided they first register with AGCO and sign a contract with the group. Introducing this new method into the gambling business will have far-reaching effects. Even so, Ontario cannot endorse the autonomy of every third party. As a result, iGaming Ontario serves as a watchdog in the industry.

Prince Edward Island
The Lotteries Commission governs casinos and internet gambling services in Prince Edward Island. This province’s primary piece of legislation is the Lotteries Commission Act. The Commission can create, organize, undertake, conduct, and oversee provincial lottery schemes with the backing of the Lieutenant Governor in the Council.

The Quebec Lottery Corporation and the Regie des alcools, des courses et des Jeux are the two government agencies responsible for overseeing the province’s gambling industry. The first deals with drinking, gambling, public lotteries, and horse racing. The second is devoted to casinos, lotteries, and bingo parlors. The province is home to both traditional casinos and online gaming businesses.

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority oversees the province’s gambling industry. Regarding the province’s regulatory framework, the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation Act of 1997 is the most important law.

Northwest, Nunavut, and Yukon
Only one casino and no online gambling sites are legally allowed to operate in the three Canadian territories of Nunavut, Yukon, and Northwest. People can freely gamble on offshore sites from anywhere in the world.

Casino’s in Canada respond rapidly to changes in provincial regulation.

Current Developments
The gambling sector in Canada is gaining acceptance. An excellent example is the current iGaming initiative in Ontario, which aims to reduce barriers to entry for new players in the sector.

Furthermore, in 2021, Canada passed Bill C-218, that legalized sports betting on a single event. As a result, the governments of British Columbia and Ontario respectively declared that they would launch online betting services.

The gambling laws in Canada are constantly changing, making it essential for businesses to be abreast of the latest developments in each province. Consequently, a reliable Know Your Customer solution should be implemented. This will provide operators an edge over rivals by allowing them to respond rapidly to changes in provincial regulation.

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It takes courage to stand up and ask the hard questions; that courage would appear to be thin at the city council level.

By Pepper Parr

December 12th, 2022



We, unfortunately, hear frequently from different readers about “those people who are always whining” about issues in the city.

The really naive tout that statement that city hall communications people come up with – Burlington being the greatest city in Canada to live in.

We tend to forget those who have the courage of their convictions to step forward and speak “truth to power”. The first time I heard that phrase was when Marianne Meed Ward, running for the ward 2 seat in 2010, used it to describe what she was setting out to do.

Now that she has power – the truth seems to be getting a rough ride.

Ralph Nader

Does anyone remember what Ralph Nader did for the public ? He gets direct credit for the American enactment of the Freedom of Information Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Clean Water Act, Consumer Product Safety Act, and Whistleblower Protection Act.

Do we remember Daniel Ellsberg, the man who gave who gave the Pentagon papers to the New York Times. They spent a small fortune publishing the information and fighting all the way to the US Supreme Court to argue that they had a right to publish the document.


That courage to stand up and speak out is a hallmark of a civilized society.

We wrote last week about that missing word – asbestos – the one that didn’t appear anywhere in the Staff report to city council on the“adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School”.   There is an impressive use of public relations speak.

While many people knew about the existence of the asbestos in the Bateman High School not a single member of this freshly elected city council ever asked the question – what about that asbestos ?

Reader reaction in the past few days has sparked spirited response from readers. They are all part of what some people call the “whiners”.  We are lucky to have them.   Some samples:

Knows the rules:

“Except, after purchase COB must follow Section 10 of O.Reg. 278/05 – Owner’s Responsibility before requesting tender or arranging work – requires that an owner shall have an investigation carried out in order to determine if materials, that are likely to be handled, dealt with, disturbed or removed during the alteration of a building, are asbestos-containing and, if so, whether the asbestos-containing material is friable or non-friable and to identify the type of asbestos in the material. Section 10 also requires that the owner shall have a report prepared detailing the investigation findings which is to be provided to any prospective constructor.

“The absence of any mention of asbestos by COB, and the associated costs is nothing short of alarming.”

Female – a parent:
“We definitely all knew during the PAR process about the asbestos at Bateman. In fact one day at the very early stages, I was placing a Save Central sign on a lawn when a worker at a nearby home came to ask me what this was about. He then told me that he worked on the construction when Brock moved to Elgin and it became Bateman and asked if I was aware of the huge amount of asbestos there, the worst he’d ever seen. This was later confirmed by the HDSB.

“It is unacceptable that staff and council don’t have an entire section on Asbestos in their reports with detailed plans and costs about its removal, and that this wasn’t discussed in detail in the public meetings. How can they even have agreed on a price for the building without such a specific plan? It’s laughable how they keep touting transparency. Oh right, we can give input (like that is ever listened to), without all the information, after the decisions have been made.

“Are they planning to not remove it? I certainly hope not. Now is the time. Asbestos can be inadvertently exposed during even minor renovations or maintenance, which could happen any time. I’ve heard of this happening recently at another school. Dangerous to students and staff and costly to fix urgently.

“Of course when you’re dealing with politicians who care so very much about photo ops at a shiny new building, I suppose they don’t want to talk about nasty negatives like dangerous and costly asbestos? They even tried to blame Stolte for telling the public about it back during the infamous complaint. Even our hired gun commissioner threw that out, saying this is common knowledge. Telling though. Will they get Kwab to speak for them – again? Can council members ever speak for themselves, and without spin? Kwab must be the busiest person at COB.”

A regular delegator:
“Another major example of failed transparency in terms of their duty to make all decisions in the best interests and well-being of Burlington residents. Newbies is no longer a credible excuse. Transparency was a huge deficiency of this Council, 2018 – 2022 and during the election. It will remain, along with lack of accountability until enough of the electorate begin to use the tool we have been given by the Procedure By-laws – the petition and the Municipal Act – Judicial Review. Unfortunately to get a Judicial Review on the table you have to have councillors willing to expose the issues that require such review. We have yet to see a desire to do the right thing for our city from our Council. Or the need from any media except the Gazette. We are ready and willing to lead such a venture but we need committed signature collectors from among the ranks of those who ran against such Council deficiencies, to make it work.”

Male, deep government experience:
“If the staff report is silent on the costs and logistics of asbestos removal/remediation, this is a significant and actionable omission. It is always difficult to state with total confidence what someone knows and at what time. However, given the many, many times that the existence of asbestos in the Robert Bateman building has been raised, recently in posts related to the proposed sale and at least as far back as the discussions around which High School(s) would be closed in Burlington, it is difficult to believe that any member of Council is ignorant. And given the role played by our current Mayor in both endeavours, to believe that she does not or did not know begs a massive “willing suspension of disbelief”, in my opinion. Mr. Ako-Adjei had best be most careful and most diligent in his response to your direct and reasonable questions.”

From the FAQ on Bateman
“What is the plan for the asbestos at Bateman?

“The City and HDSB are both fully aware of presence of asbestos and this has been factored into the due diligence process by the City and is also addressed in the negotiations between the parties relative to the purchase price.”

“The “due diligence” didn’t include a plan , yet somehow it was factored into the purchase price.”

We asked the Director of Communications and Engagement the following questions:

Was asbestos used when the building was first constructed in 1969

Was it used during the 1973 addition and was it used in the 2003 addition.

Was any asbestos ever removed from the building.

Where in the financial parts of the Staff report is the cost and timing of the removal of any asbestos mentioned.

He did say he would get back to us and he usually does. It would be useful if the information were available before the 13th – Oh – that’s tomorrow – not a hope.

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Tough for the people who want to visit with family on Christmas Day

By Staff

December 12, 2022



Schedule for transit services during the holidays.

The city has gone back to the old schedule where you couldn’t go anywhere by transit on Christmas Day.

This isn’t what most people understood as inclusive.

The people who use transit for the most part don’t have a choice. They will have a tough time visiting with family.

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Christmas Dinner Fixings for those who may have empty playes

By Staff

December 12th, 2022



It is the time of year when going without is harder than ever.

The avalanche of advertising pounds away at those who can afford very very few of the things advertised.

The St. Matthews on-the-Plains Anglican Church has created an opportunity to help out if you can.

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Federal support of $500 for low income renters can now be applied for

By Staff

December 12th, 2022



Rents are still very high – it will probably be some time before they return to historic averages.

The federal government has created a one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit program that aims to help low-income renters with the cost of renting.

You may be eligible for a tax-free one-time payment of $500 if your income and the amount that you pay on rent qualify.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers this one-time payment. To apply for this new federal one-time payment, you do not need to receive other housing benefits such as the Canada Housing Benefit, which is co-funded and delivered by the provinces and territories.

Applications are open until Friday, March 31, 2023.

All the information you need is on the application form which can be found HERE


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