How to get casino bonuses every day

By  Manuela Muroni

December 13th, 2022



Casino bonuses are one of the best things when it comes to the prospect of playing casino games from the comfort of your own home. With every casino offering a plethora of enticing bonuses, gamblers usually find themselves feeling like a kid in a candy store. Although having so many options can sometimes make it difficult to choose, we still think it’s better to have too many options than not enough of them. Besides, since the possibilities are endless, you can get casino bonuses every day – and here’s how.

Understand the different types of bonuses
The online casino market started growing even before the pandemic, but it became particularly popular in the days of the lockdown. Even though we are still in the pandemic in a way, the lockdowns have subsided – but the appeal of online casino games hasn’t. With so many different types of bonuses and promotions waiting for you, why would you lose the desire to play with real money or cryptocurrencies?

Now, which types of bonuses a casino will have depends on the casino itself. Nevertheless, most casinos will offer a welcome bonus, no deposit bonus, and VIP or loyalty programs.

Welcome bonuses
As the most widespread and transparent bonuses out there, welcome bonuses are frequently used by most casino players. The premises are very simple – you sign up and receive free spins after making your first deposit. And according to Time2play many casinos will actually offer free spins for the first three deposits that you make.

Whether you are playing with Canadian dollars or the most used cryptocurrencies, you might first have to invest at some point.

But a word of caution is advised here – not all casinos will let you play all games with free spins. So if you have your heart set on a particular slot, it would be best to first check whether you can use those free spins. If not, there’s a plethora of other games waiting for you to discover them.

No deposit bonuses
While welcome bonuses are the most common ones, no deposit bonuses are definitely the most enticing of them all. With the casino paying the bets and the player taking the potential winnings, it’s easy to see why this is the kind of bonus you will be after. However, these also come with a few strings attached.
If you win, some casinos could demand that you make a deposit before being able to withdraw your money. Whether you are playing with Canadian dollars or the most used cryptocurrencies, you might first have to invest some to get some. Besides, casinos will usually place limitations on how much players can make through no deposit bonuses, as they want to ensure that the winnings aren’t too high. That’s why it’s wise to first look into the terms and conditions before getting ahead of yourself.

VIP or loyalty programs
The third frequently seen type of bonus refers to a collection of promotions, discounts, and benefits, all wrapped in the package of VIP or loyalty programs. These programs are a casino’s way to give something back to their most loyal clients who frequently invest money in various games. And even though gambling should never be viewed as anything more than just a form of entertainment, some individuals treat it as a side hustle.

VIP or loyalty programs are a casino’s way to give something back to their most loyal clients.

There’s no doubt that loyalty points and bonuses are great, but they can make you fully attached to one place. If you like to experiment and try your luck in different casinos, then being a VIP member might not be a good idea. This way, you’ll feel like you are missing out on loyalty points any time you visit another online casino, and that’s going to take all the fun out of gambling.

How to get casino bonuses every day?
And now for the fun part – how do you manage to track down these bonuses and enjoy them every single day? The first way is the most obvious one – by frequently signing up for new casinos and getting access to the welcome bonus. You can use the free spins and possibly get a few other bonuses that will be unique for that casino. Apart from allowing you to enjoy constant bonuses, this is also a great way to discover new games. Since online casinos have their own assortment of games, you will be able to play versatile ones and find out what suits you the most.

The second way to get casino bonuses every day is by signing up for a VIP or loyalty program. These programs oftentimes include seasonal and time-limited bonuses, so they are always keeping things interesting. These bonuses are oftentimes the most significant ones, as casinos want to make sure that their loyal clients are happy, constantly coming back for more.

However, there’s a big thing to remember here. In most cases, you will only be able to use these bonuses for slot games. There are many casino games that require a set of skills and a good strategy, upping a player’s chances of winning more. These games, such as Blackjack and Poker, are usually not in the bonus system. As an avid poker player, you shouldn’t hope for hefty bonuses.

The bottom line
If you want to get casino bonuses every day and make gambling more interesting, you have quite a few options. Apart from welcome and no deposit bonuses, you can also decide to become a VIP member at a casino of your choice, after which you would unlock a set of special promotions, deals, and benefits. And if you are not sure where to find the casinos that provide the biggest benefits for their clients, you can always do some research on the Internet. There are many review-style forums where people will leave comments, letting you get familiarized with a casino’s offer before signing up. Of course, it’s always best to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations, as they never go out of style. But if no one in your vicinity seems to enjoy gambling as much as you do, then feel free to turn to the online environment.

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Why are Staff and City Council not talking about any asbestos that might have been used in the construction of the Bateman High School.

By Pepper Parr

December 12th, 2022



There is an important word missing from the discussion about the “adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School”.

That word is asbestos.

Insulation was commonly used in the 50’s 60’s and early 70’s.

The city knows where asbestos was used in the life of the building that was constructed in 1969, with additions completed in 1973 and 2003.

There was nothing in the Staff report and the question didn’t come up during the lengthy discussions.

By 1985 asbestos was banned in Canada for use in acoustic coatings and sprays including textured ceiling or wall paints, ceiling tiles, drywall compound (joint compound), plaster used for walls & ceilings, vinyl floor tiles, vinyl sheet flooring, window caulks, window putty.

Several Gazette readers wanted to know how the asbestos concern was being handled.

One reader:
One more piece of information would be helpful if you could get it Pepper. Is the asbestos sprayed on? If it is it will be a lot bigger expense than the city would ever have expected.

Ceiling and floor tiles used to be made of asbestos until the product was banned.

Another reader:
I have scanned the article/phased workplan and don’t see where the costs of asbestos removal and remediation are included. I may simply have missed it but, if not, this is a fairly significant cost that can not be ignored. It also will have a significant impact on the project timelines.

The family of one council member has referred to the asbestos problem publicly. The question as to how much asbestos is there in the building was never asked at the Standing Committee last week.

It is safe, given the Mayor that we have, to conclude that she knows – there is no upside in telling and the way the delegations are structured a citizen cannot ask a direct question of council.

That to date no council member has asked about an asbestos problem is shameful

At some point in will come out – it usually does.

We asked the Director of Communications and Engagement  Kwab Ako-Adjei the following questions and will report what we get in response.
The word asbestos was not mentioned during the lengthy meeting when the “adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School” was being discussed at a Standing Committee.

My questions to you are:

Is there asbestos in Bateman High School that has to be removed ?

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 ?

Let’s see what the Communications people come back with.


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Great music while children inspect a room full of Christmas Trees

By Pepper Parr

December 11th, 2022



Christmas is for kids.

Christmas trees are for kids. The trees are put in place so that kids can wake up in the morning and experience the wonder of Santa somehow getting down that chimney and leaving all those brightly wrapped gifts.

What happens when kids find themselves in a huge room with brightly decorated trees all over the place.

This is what happens.

That early experience with a Christmas tree

He’s certain he will find something.

Wondering – no gift with her name on it.

These kids were at the Performing Arts Centre on Saturday listening to the My Pop Choir singing some of the seasonal favourites.


At full voice this was an exciting choir to listen to

Photo credits: Katelyn Goodwin

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Everything you wanted and need to know about turning Bateman into a community hub with tenants that pay rent

By Pepper Parr

December 9th, 2022



This is a long article – when you are spending more than $70 million there is a lot to be understood

The Staff ask was pretty clear:

Approve the overall proposed Phase 1 facility design/development program budget for the adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School inclusive of the following major elements and gross cost estimates based on Class B design estimates:

An aerial render of what the site is expected to look like when completed.

Base Building
Phase 1 Base Building Construction $41,700,000
Design and Engineering/Other Soft Costs $15,000,000
Total Base Building Construction Cost $56,700,000
Recommended Energy Reduction Incentives $5,250,000
Total Recommended Base Building 61,950,000
Optional Enhanced Energy Incentives (subject to confirmation of Senior Government funding application) $10,800,000

Total Gross Construction Estimated Cost $72,750,000

Approve the proposed Capital Financing Plan for the adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School inclusive of the following:

Proposed Net Capital Financing
Tenant Direct Capital Contributions (Cash). $7,100,000
Non-Tax Supported Debt Financing
Tenant recovery $11,750,000
Special Circumstance Debt (SCD) Financing $4,000,000
Tax Supported Debt Financing $45,900,000
Senior Government Funding (subject to confirmation by Senior Government) $4,000,000
Total Proposed Capital Financing $72,750,000

Direct the Executive Director of Environmental, Infrastructure & Community Services to proceed with next steps for prequalification of General Contractor and tendering of the phase 1 construction contract in Q1-2023 for the renovation to the Robert Bateman Highschool into a community hub; and

Direct the Executive Director of Environment Infrastructure and Community Services to report back in Q2 2023 on the process, timelines and estimated capital and operating costs related the Phase 2 facility development inclusive of the new City Community Center and other future community partner uses, the process for naming and branding inclusive of sponsorship opportunities of the new facility; and

Direct the City Manager and the Chief Financial Officer to report back in Q2-2023 with an update on the Multi-year Community Investment Plan (MCIP) inclusive of the capital costs, financing and estimated timelines for Phase 1 of this project, and consideration of a future Phase 2.

Costs could change and timelines could be extended

All this without as much as a minute of community engagement.

The Chair of the meeting did point out that the decision they would make was just a recommendation that would go to Council on December 13th, 2022

The purpose of the Staff report was to present the results of the design developed by Architects Tillman Ruth Robinson and the November 2022 Class B Cost Estimate, prepared by a third-party Quantity Surveyor.

It was also to recommend proceeding with the prequalification of a general contractor, and a multi-year capital financing plan for the adaptive reuse of Robert Bateman High School which will support the construction and re-opening of this major new community hub in Q3 2024.

The existing building is a two-storey, 212,270 SF, brick-clad structure that was constructed in 1969, with additions completed in 1973 and 2003. The east side of the building contains community space and the Burlington Centennial Pool, which was recently renovated and will remain unchanged, and accessible to the community throughout the renovation of the former secondary school.
This is a multi-phase project, which will see extensive capital upgrades to implement net-zero carbon technologies, as well as providing shell space that will support future tenants on both the first and second floors.

Design features include:

• New front entrance, open collaborative corridors and seating connecting the front to the rear of the facility.
• New central staircase and elevator
• Meeting room spaces
• Refreshed gymnasium
• Library programs
• TechPlace Office spaces
• Halton District School Board adult program classrooms and administration spaces
• Brock University educational classrooms and administration spaces.

The project will draw-in visitors and engage the community by bringing together the community and other partner tenants within one space, capturing synergies between each group. Phase 1 will provide public access to Library and common spaces, washrooms, triple gym, existing change rooms, and the existing pool. Phase 1 will set the framework and building infrastructure for Phase 2.
Subject to Council approval to proceed, this project is currently scheduled to be constructed in two phases as follows:

Who will be using the space on the ground level.

Phase 1:
• Detailed design to renovate Robert Bateman and to accommodate the following tenants:
1. Brock University (36,700sf)
2. Burlington Public Library (13,820sf)
3. TechPlace (4,930sf)
4. Halton District School Board (26,850sf)
5. City of Burlington Operations & Recreation & Community Culture programs
involving the Triple gymnasium and amenities
• Upgrades to the base building systems, common spaces, and the main entrance.
• Site and parking adjustments to meet tenant and zoning requirements.

Items not Included in Phase 1:
• Upgraded site amenities (i.e. sports fields), or indoor space fit up related to future City community center programs (excluding the gyms).
• Upgrades to the existing facility change rooms.

A unit of Brock University will be on the second floor

Phase 1 Project Schedule
Construction schedule has the following milestones:
• Prequalify Contractor January 2023
• Site Plan Approval February 2023
• Building Permit Approval April 2023
• Tender contractor February to March 2023 – Contingent on Bldg. Permit Approval
• Mobilization construction April 2023
• Brock Handover (for their fit-up) May 2024
• Total completion of Phase 1 September 2024 (all Tenant spaces)

Architects were hired before some of the critical decisions were made; necessary if timelines were to be met.

Phase 1 is targeted to be completed by September 2024 at which time all above noted tenants will be operating within the renovated facility. Phase 2 timing will be dependent on community consultation and design work. Staff will report back to Council on the community engagement process as well as the future estimated capital costs and funding options for Phase 2. Upgrades to Centennial Pool are not included in either phase since it was recently renovated, as mentioned above.

Staff recommend completing the following recommended building upgrades related to energy and accessibility initiatives that are estimated at $1,200,000 as part of the base build construction cost:
• Gym Refresh – floor/walls
• All Washrooms
• Solar PV Rough-in only

In keeping with the City’s Climate Action Plan and in order to meet the carbon reduction strategies, Staff recommend that Phase 1 include expanded building systems and the additional upgrades under “Recommended Energy Conservation Inclusions”. If these items are not completed in Phase 1, then it will not be possible to integrate them post occupancy without a significant financial impact, as well as significant disruption to building tenants and the provision of service.

The following “Recommended Energy Reduction Measures” are estimated at
• Add second chiller/ Boiler Decarbonization
• Increased envelope insulation

Further “Enhanced Energy Conservation Features” are also being proposed for inclusion however, they are contingent on approval of a submitted senior government grant application.

These facility enhancements are optional for phase 1, meaning they could take place at a later date, and are estimated at $10,800,000. Should this application be successful the city will receive $4 million towards these works.
• Geothermal heating and cooling system
• High performance roof and insulation replacement of the entire facility

Phase 2:
The City will develop three (3) masterplan concept options (for Phase 2) for the overall site amenities that can be accommodated within zoning requirements. The City will also outline future City of Burlington community center programs and other community partner space that will be informed by extensive public consultation.
Public engagement is expected to be carried out for phase 2 work in Q2 of 2023. These future spaces will not be constructed under the current project or funding for Phase 1.

Staff have explored phasing the construction through construction management however due to tight project timelines, and continued challenges with industry pricing, a lump sum approach has been selected. A Class B estimate has been recently completed in November 2022 and a Class A will be completed closer to tender.

The Class B estimate carries a 10% contingency, and a 6% escalation from now until the end of March 2023. Escalation is tied to a scheduled tender process and Council approval in March. If this process is delayed, the costs could be impacted.

Staff have considered phasing the construction of the Burlington Public Library and TechPlace but do not recommend this approach, given the level of building envelope and infrastructure construction that would still be expected to be carried out under phase 1.

Property boundary

Costing Considerations
As Council is aware, most recently with the new Skyway Community Center tender, the City along with other municipalities are experiencing significantly, increased building construction costs of 20-30% in 2021 and 2022 due to global supply chain issues and extreme labour shortages during the COVID pandemic. These challenges are still being experienced in the construction market.

Staff reviewed various approaches for redeveloping the site. Re-using the existing building offered several benefits:

• Reduced waste to landfills.
• Maintain use of part of the facility for the HDSB

• Work towards Brock University Occupancy by September 2024.

Financial Matters:
Phase 1 as identified above, will design and retrofit the Bateman site for occupancy of the following tenants:
• Brock University
• Burlington Public Library
• TechPlace
• Halton District School Board
• City of Burlington Operations & Recreation and Community Culture programs involving the Triple gymnasium and amenities

To meet the Phase 1 construction timelines and have the facility ready for occupancy by tenants in September 2024, staff are seeking budget approval for the upset estimated capital construction cost of $72.75 million related to phase 1 retrofit of the above spaces. City Council has previously approved $3 million in funding (Capital Purposes Reserve Fund) towards design and preparing the project for tender.


Where the money to pay for the development is going to come from.

Total Financial Impact
The total budget for Phase 1 is anticipated to be $72.75 million, provided the City’s application for senior government funding is successful and Council supports proceeding with the optional energy conservation investment of $10.8 million. The recommended capital financing plan is shown below:
Table 2: Phase 1 Budget – Proposed Capital Financing

Proposed Capital Financing
Tenant Capital Contributions (Cash) $7,100,000

Non-Tax Supported Debt Financing
Tenant recovery $11,750,000
Special Circumstance Debt (SCD) Financing $4,000,000
Tax Supported Debt Financing $45,900,000
Senior Government Funding $4,000,000
Total Proposed Financing $72,750,000

Tenant Recoveries
Capital Contributions: Staff are in final negotiations of the lease agreements with Brock University and other tenants; Halton District School Board, Library, and TechPlace. Based on preliminary estimates, Staff anticipate a total cumulative one-time cash contribution towards Phase 1 construction of approximately $7.1 million. At this time, the financial components of the agreements contain provisions that cannot be confirmed until design is finalized, and construction is substantially complete.

Non-Tax Supported Debt Financing: Furthermore, as part of the lease agreements, the City will be collecting annual rent for 20 years from each of the tenants for their respective occupied spaces. The City will be using the annual rent from occupants to offset the annual non-tax supported debt financing costs of retrofitting the facility.

Considering, the present value of future cash flows with respect to rent recovery, the City will issue non-tax supported debt financing of $11.75 million over 15 years. As mentioned above, some lease agreements have not yet been finalized and as such the report will not disclose any specific estimated amounts as they relate to any specific tenants. It is important to note, these are best estimates at this time, and therefore subject to change.

Special Circumstances Debt Financing
The city currently holds a promissory note of $47.9 million with Burlington Hydro. The current rate on the note is 2.85%, providing the City with an annual revenue contribution of $1.36 million. The interest the city receives on the note plus annual dividends provides a steady stream of annual income, which benefits the City’s capital and operating budget. The Hydro reserve fund is most heavily relied on for the repayment of the City’s special circumstances debt which has funded significant large scale new and revitalization projects. The reserve fund also provides dedicated funding to the City’s asset management program. Based on an assessment of the Hydro cash flow staff feel that it is prudent to allocate Special Circumstances debt of $4 million towards the Bateman Renovation project.

Tax Supported Debt Financing
As per the above table, tax supported debt financing amounts to $45.9 million for the project. The annual debt repayment is approximately $4.4 million annually over 15 years, based on an estimated interest rate of 5%. Annual tax supported debt repayment results in a city tax rate impact of 2.3%. Staff will update the multi-year simulation to reflect this impact and consider debt phasing strategies with respect to this project to minimize the debt impact in any one year. It is important to note, this future impact is estimated based on information known and assumed at this time, significant drivers that will impact the above financing plan include final tender results, final lease agreements, timelines, approval of senior government grants and interest rate environment.

This is what the development is going to cost the taxpayers.

Debt Limit: The recommended capital financing strategy for this major community investment, results in the city exceeding the debt limit for two years (projected at 13.6%and 13.0%).
Whenever possible, it is important that the Council approved debt limit of 12.5% is maintained. However, the City’s debt policy reflects parameters for temporary overage in the City’s debt capacity for unique long-term funding commitments up to a maximum of 2.5%.

This overage is coupled with a maximum time period (3 years) to ensure that future operating budgets are not constrained and there is not undue pressure on the tax base. Based on the projected impact to debt limit over the next two years, it is strongly recommended that no further debt approvals for the remainder of 2022, or 2023 be undertaken beyond what is currently allocated to the ten-year capital program. Staff diligently monitor debt capacity and will evaluate the City’s debt position based on the interest rate environment and year-end net revenues and will report through the quarterly financial status report of any changes to the above projections.

The Provincial government recently released Bill 23, More Homes, Built Faster Act. The proposed legislation if passed will significantly reduce revenue collection from development charges, park dedication and community benefits charges. This will impact the City’s ability to provide for growth-related capital infrastructure in a timely manner and reduce the growth-related funding envelope resulting in increased pressure on the tax base, and debt financing in order to complete these projects. A reliance on debt financing for these projects will further impact the City’s debt limit going forward.

Senior Government Funding: Staff submitted an application to the Low Carbon Economy Challenge Fund earlier this year. The application was made for $10.8 million to complete works related to enhanced carbon reduction measures. The financing plan assumes the City is successful in its grant application and would recover $4 million. In the case the application is not successful, the financing plan would need to be revised in which the recovery from the grant is removed ($4 million), along with the costs associated with the enhanced energy incentives under which the application was made ($10.8 million). The total cost of project would be revised to $61.95 million, and the tax supported debt financing would be adjusted to $39.1 million, as per Table 3. This would result in an annual tax supported debt payment of $3.8 million, and a tax rate impact of 2.0%. This change would still result in the City exceeding its debt capacity, however, within the temporary overage parameters as defined above.
Staff will report back to Council in 2023 on the status of the grant application and will note changes to the financing plan if any as a result of the final decision.

Asset Management: As part of the City’s 2021 asset management plan, the City’s portfolio of assets is valued at $5.2 billion. The acquisition of Bateman is a new asset to the City of Burlington. Phase 1 will increase the replacement value of the City’s asset inventory, by approximately $72.75 million, thereby increasing the overall annual need.

Using an industry average reinvestment rate for facilities of approximately 1.7% the estimated annual capital needs to maintain this building in a state of good repair, will be approximately $1.2 million.

Keeping in mind, that after debt repayment on the facility is complete, annual tenant revenue and operating cost and maintenance recovery in the leases, will assist in supporting capital renewal of the facility.

Phase 2: Subject to further design and community consultation timelines, cost for phase 2 construction of a City community centre is not yet determined. The range for phase 2 is tentatively estimated at $15 to $20 million. If debt financing is considered as a funding option for phase 2, staff will need to consider available debt capacity within the City’s debt policy limits. Staff will look to maximize all capital funding opportunities in addition to debt for phase 2. In total, Phases 1 and 2 combined will result in the investment of approximately $100 Million in the adaptive re-use of the Robert Bateman High School into a new City-owned community hub.

Multi Year Community Investment Plan: Staff provided Council in April 2022, a multi year community investment plan providing a high level look at preliminary community investments over the next few years. At that time an estimate of the redevelopment costs of Bateman were included in the outlook provided to Council in the absence of detail costing and design. Staff will be reporting back on the multi-year community investment plan in 2023 and will include updated costing as it relates to phase 1 and phase 2 of the redevelopment when developing a revised outlook of costs.
Overall, the Bateman retrofit project represents a significant capital investment by the City to reconstruct to modern building standards, and own/operate a multi-faceted new community hub, coupled with a significant partnership with Brock University.

The investment is sizeable and as outlined above requires a financing strategy that maximizes the use of funding tools at the City’s disposable, inclusive of sponsorship opportunities, as well as ensuring our partners provide contribution to the space in which they will provide service to Burlington. After 15 years, when the debt on the facility is fully repaid (15 years), the tenant revenue will be repurposed towards capital renewal and upgrades to the facility as determined by the City’s asset management practices.

A corridor will run through the building giving people access from New Street or the parking lot in the rear of the building.

Other Resource Impacts

Operating Costs: Initial projections for annual operating costs for the facility are difficult to confirm in advance of completing design and construction, as more efficient modern systems are added to the facility. For estimating purposes only, staff has used a rate of
$8.50 per square foot annually which would equate to $1.8 million annual operating cost, approximately 50% of this cost will be recovered from tenants. For the 2023 budget, the City will be including additional utility, and ground maintenance costs of
$351,200 related to the acquisition of the property. Additional net operating costs for phase 1 and a future phase 2 will be incremental to the 2023 budget and will be included in future budgets. An Operational study will be done in 2023 when the full understanding of the design is complete, and building and operational requirements are determined for the needs of the building.

Engagement Matters:
Detailed engagement has occurred with key stakeholders and partners. As part of the scope of work to be completed by the Prime Architect, a public engagement plan will be developed and delivered in the future as a fundamental component of the environmental, design, and architectural and engineering services for Phase 2.

Climate Implications is published as a seperate article.

Impact of the development on the city’s finances will be done as a seperate article

This report provides an update and staff approach to continuing the redevelopment and execution of the phased adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School site.
The City will continue to seek senior government funding opportunities for this project.
Staff feel that this project is well positioned to provide increased economic prosperity and support community growth while supporting sustainable infrastructure. The proposed community hub design incorporates improved accessibility and inclusivity to align with the needs of our community. The recommendation put forward shows the City is committed to our net-zero carbon target of 2040 and is both a leader in the community and among municipalities.

Recommended Next Steps

Confirm Site Plan and Parking
Prequalify and Tender Phase 1
Report back to Council with Updates
Carry out Community Engagement for Phase 2 Amenities and Programs
Determine future facility Sponsorship Opportunities


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Covid19 cancels the early afternoon choir event at the Performing Arts Centre today. Late afternoon event will take place

By Pepper Parr

December 10th, 2022



Dear Friends.

We received the following early this morning from Sabatino, the Director of the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera group that was to perform at the Performing Arts Centre at 1:00 PM

“For tomorrow it looks like we will not be able to perform. Our Chorus numbers even for the Wednesday concert were down due to varying illnesses, we ended up with 40 Choristers instead of 50. This affects our numbers for tomorrow as I was counting on one of our Chorus soloists to perform with us. She was very happy to do so but I just received news that she just tested positive for covid. I was counting on her to perform some of the rep we had performed on Wednesday. I am so sorry about this and hope to make it up to you in some other way in the new year. I’m always one for participating in community events whenever asked. Hope we can make it up to you.

The My Pop Choir will be performing at 3:00 pm

We are as disappointed as many of you will be.

The pandemic is not over yet.

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Mayor poses for a 'class' picture

By Staff

December 9th, 2022



OBCH – Ontario Big City Mayors are asking Premier Ford to lighten up on his plans to give Mayors more power allowing them to over-ride the wishes of a city council and fire the city manager as well as other staff members.

And they want him to re-think his plans related to development charges – major cash source for the city.

Those Big City Mayors posed for a “class” photo and there was our Mayor front row and centre.

There was a great line in the film “The Producers” where Zero Mostel mouths the words “Flaunt it Baby, Flaunt it”.

Enjoy the clip and ask the Mayor to autograph the picture for you.  It’s a keeper!



Can you identify the Mayor of Burlington?

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Best 3 WordPress Hosting Options in Canada

By  Debashrita Majhi

December 9th, 2022



Online business opportunities are becoming more numerous in Canada, and web hosting providers are always competing to provide clients with sustainable and reliable solutions. Against this background, it can be difficult to choose between hosting options on WordPress in Canada. This guide provides details about the best web hosting companies in the country.

1. GreenGeeks
GreenGeeks is an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly web hosting provider founded back in 2008. The company is renowned for using wind energy effectively. They use it to put their energy consumption threefold back into the national power grid.

GreenGeeks has very reliable web hosting services with high-capacity servers worldwide. Even their most affordable plan comes with unlimited disk space and other extras.

GreenGeeks has shared hosting plans, reselling, and WordPress hosting plans. The responsive and qualified support team is available 24/7/365. You can get in touch with them by phone, live chat, and email. You can also search for your query in their Knowledge Base.

GreenGeeks offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unhappy with their services. This is not likely as each of their hosting plans features a list of free default settings, such as free CDN, free SSL, a free domain name, impressive security, rapid SSD storage, and website migration at no cost.

Their data centers are located in Toronto, Phoenix, Chicago, and Amsterdam. You can choose the one nearest you.

Websites powered by GreenGeeks run comparatively quickly because the company uses solid-state instead of traditional hard drives. Their LiteSpeed web servers are much faster than analogs like NGINX and Apache. Their proprietary caching technology, PowerCacher, improves loading time further by making additional power available. This function improves user experience by ensuring high application loading speed.

2. Hostinger
One key benefit of the second choice is low prices, which is an important consideration for any startup or small business on a budget.

Hostinger also features satisfactory performance, servers worldwide, a clean and intuitive control panel, and a friendly and professional customer support team, who is available by live chat or email around the clock.

Hostinger disposes of modern server technology, a caching engine, and a broad server location choice. The engine guarantees high speed.

The control panel is very easy to use. It is custom-made and developed in line with the golden cPanel standard. You get a modern interface along with all the basic features.

This hosting provider’s response time is around 510ms, which is above the industry average. They have a fast, modern web server, LiteSpeed, as well as the latest PHP version.

If you choose Hostinger, you’ll enjoy optimal performance, lots of great features, and an intuitive control panel. What’s more, they offer unbeatable value for money.

3. Bluehost
The third choice is well-known all over the world, including in Canada. Its web hosting is affordable, user-friendly, and WordPress-focused. The company emphasizes user experience and manages websites using the latest and most efficient tools on the market. Intuitiveness and functionality are on a superior level. It’s very easy to get a domain, install WordPress, and choose a theme for your website.

You can use the control panel to manage databases, create emails, and perform other more advanced tasks. This means experienced users will find Bluehost a good choice as well, although it mainly targets beginners.

WordPress websites hosted by Bluehost are equipped with a staging area and management panel with global and performance settings for plugins and comments. The support team is available by phone and live chat around the clock.

In general, Bluehost is a great hosting option with rich and inclusive plans. It takes several minutes to cache content, which guarantees high loading speed all over the world. The hosting provider features great value for money, excellent performance, and an intuitive dashboard.

Final Thoughts
Hopefully, this guide on the best hosting providers in Canada has been useful and will make your choice easier.

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Big debt, nice building: public engagement after the big decisions are made

By Pepper Parr

December 9th, 2022



We know who the players are.

Brock University

Burlington Public Library


Halton District School Board

City of Burlington Operations & Recreation and Community Culture programs involving the Triple gymnasium and amenities

We know that the price is well over $70 million and that a significant amount of debt is going to be taken on.

We now know that the track at the back of the property is going to be turned into a walking trail – space is needed for parking.

So far there has been little in the way of public engagement – that is planned for sometime in January.

What does the place look like?

Pictures are worth a thousand words.

We will get back to the details.

Some impressive changes are planned for what the building will look like when it is completed. During a full half day of discussion the word asbestos wasn’t heard once.

Lounge area at ground level – stairs to Brock University space

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Rates and fees will be increased by 3% for almost everything - final decisions to be made December 13th at Council

By Staff

December 8th, 2022



The recommendation that came out of the Standing Committee earlier this week was to approve the 2023 rates and fees as outlined in finance department report effective January 1, 2023 unless otherwise indicated.

The debate on the fee increases was robust at the Standing Committee earlier this week.

Expect some changes to what is set out below.

The common thread throughout the report was to increase almost everything by 3% to align with inflation.

Marriage license fees were not increased – but that was about it on the no increase column.

City staff undertakes an annual review of rates and fees. The results of this review have been incorporated in the 2023 City of Burlington Rates and Fees. Many services are proposing an average of a 3% increase to rates and fees to balance the impact of inflation with the desire to keep rates affordable for residents and user groups who are also feeling the impact of inflation. Some areas have undergone a comprehensive fee review in 2022 resulting in increased rates, and as such are holding 2023 rates flat.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact many and several areas continue flatline fees to extend financial relief where possible.

The rationale for charging user fees is that those who clearly benefit from a service should be the ones to pay for it. User fees form one of the most significant portions of revenue earned by the City after property tax revenues. To mitigate property tax increases, the City of Burlington has been proactive in ensuring that the services provided by the City reflect a high level of cost recovery to the greatest extent possible while balancing affordability and providing access to services.
A summary of the proposed fee changes for each service is listed below:

A City That Grows
Community Design and Development Review
A Comprehensive Fee Review was conducted in early 2022. As a result, a new fee schedule was implemented. The Site Plan Admin Fee, which was previously a standalone fee, is now captured in the Planning Application Fee. The new rates and fees are effective January 1st, with a proposed 3.0% indexation to offset the impact of inflation.

Building Code Permits and Inspections
The Building Code Act (BCA), 1992 provides municipalities with the authority to collect fees to fully recover the cost of administration and enforcement of the BCA and the Ontario Building Code (OBC). Regulations made under the BCA/OBC outline the details of what can be included as part of the cost including direct and indirect costs, and provisions for a reserve fund. The basic principle for providing building permit and inspection services is: “Fees for Service.”
Rates and fees within the Section 6.11 of the City of Burlington Building Permit By-law 66-2019 as amended, are indexed to the overall % increase for the total Human Resource expenditures as approved in the annual budget in relation to the Building Section and are to be adjusted annually on February 1st. Flat fee rates shall be rounded to the nearest dollar amount (increments of half dollar shall be rounded up). All other fees shall be rounded to the nearest cent.

City That Moves
• Transit
Cash fare will remain the same for 2023 at $3.50 for all age groups. Riders can take advantage of age-based concessions using a PRESTO card, which is the preferred fare payment method.
To align further with Metrolinx fare concessions, Burlington Transit is continuing to use the loyalty program. Instead of selling monthly passes, riders will be charged for each ride up to 39 rides. If they go beyond 39 rides, there is no additional fares taken for the month. This was identified as an enhancement to the fare payment program due to COVID-19 in March 2020. This approach ensures that riders are only charged for what they use.
The goal by 2024 is to align the loyalty program with Metrolinx, by which the number of rides required for loyalty will be 40 rides. Each year an additional ride will be added to the Loyalty rates.
In 2022, credit and debit card payment were added as a payment method for fare payments. Credit and debit card charges align with the cash fare fees.
The Conventional and Specialized Charter rates were increased by approximately 3% to $138.65 per hour to account for increased fuel and maintenance costs.

• Traffic Operations Management
A proposed increase of 3% in 2023 has been applied to all fees to account for inflation.

• Parking
Parking Services intends to review costs with the planned implementation of the City- wide permit system in 2023. As such, no increase to the Neighbourhood On-Street Parking Program (NOSPP) and Private Property Agency Officer fees are proposed at this time.

• Roads and Structures – Design and Construction
Tender Fees have increased by 2% to be in line with neighbouring municipalities while remaining competitive. The Trench Excavation and Driveway Modification Permits have increased by 3% to cover the increase in staff time required with the utility corporations. The Curb Cut permits have increased by 3% to cover the anticipated increase to the curb cutting contract and administrative support.

Fees associated with occupying space within the City’s right-of-way have been implemented to administer conditions for approval and compliance enforcement.

• Roadway and Sidewalk Maintenance
Upon completion of a market scan and to align with inflation rates, an increase of 3% in 2023 is proposed for the windrow program.

A Healthy and Greener City
Recreation, Community and Culture
With a focus on increasing participation and fostering a sense of belonging for all residents, rates and fees are determined by community needs, customer feedback, participation rates, and market trends and competition.

Rate owners performed a market analysis to determine Burlington’s competitive position. Rates were evaluated and compared to neighbouring municipalities such as Oakville, Hamilton, Halton Hills, Guelph, and Milton to ensure reasonability. For 2023, there is a continued focus on keeping rates affordable to encourage participation for everyone.
Proposed Rate Increases:
• 3% average increase for Music, Teen Tour Band & Student Theatre
• 2% increase for Festivals & Events
• 3 % increase for Arena Ice & Floor
• 3% increase for School Board amenities
• 3% increase for Sport Fields & Turf
• 2% increase for Older Adult Drop-In Programs
• 2% average increase for Aquatics Recreational Programs
• 3% increase for Outdoor Pool rentals
• 2% increase for Skate & 3% for Shinny
• 3% average increase for Youth, Teen & Preschool Recreational Programs
• 3% increase for Tyandaga Memberships & Green Fees
• 3% increase for Indoor space rentals (Meeting Rooms, Gyms, Auditoriums & Equipment)
• 2% increase in Advertising (Arena Boards & Flyer Slots)

New Rates
• Neighbourhood Park Events in Open Spaces for non-profit & commercial
• Destination Park Events in Open Spaces non-profit & commercial
• Elgin Promenade standard & commercial / non-resident Rate Delivery Changes:
• Youth, Teen & Preschool Recreational Programs have been replaced with an hourly rate structure to provide more programming flexibility. The overall cost of the program to customers remains unchanged
• Bistro Services shown at 100% cost recovery – the program is still offered, and prices change based on the fluctuating cost of food
• Discontinue Aquatics Leadership Practice drop ins and replace with existing Leadership Sessions which are proving to be more successful as they offer onsite Aquatic staff to support and coach candidates
• Discontinue Park rentals and replace with new rates Neighbourhood and Destination Park Events
• Discontinue Student Theatre Summer or Spring Salute & Senior Show Ticket and continue to offer show tickets in conjunction with BPAC partnership with rates based on time of purchase
• Discontinue Tyandaga golf lesson packages and continue to offer lessons through a third-party partnership
• Discontinue Tyandaga tournament and league play cart rates and replace with regular cart rate

Discontinued Rates
• Discontinue & remove Tyandaga 40 game and cart discount packages, larger discounts not required due to increase in overall demand

• Parks and Open Space Maintenance
An increase of 3% in 2023 is proposed for the adopt-a-bed program and the downtown planters. Rates had been flatlined during the pandemic, so the increase is necessary to account for an increase in material costs and inflation.

• Urban Forestry
Forestry staff completed a comprehensive review of the private tree by-law in 2022 with changes to rates and fees coming into effect during the 2nd quarter of 2022. For 2023, a 3% increase to public tree permits is proposed.

• Cemetery
An increase of 3% is proposed for cemetery services to align with the increase in inflation.

• Surface Water Drainage
For 2023 it is recommended that the fees related to Site Alterations be increased by 3%. Fees related to Storm Sewer Discharge permits were established in June 2022 and are recommended to stay at the 2022 rate. Increases for these fees will be considered for 2024.

A Safe City
• Fire Emergency Response and Prevention
The objective of the rates and fees billed by Fire Protection and Prevention Service is to promote and support fire safety in the community, encourage Fire Code (O.Reg.
213/07) compliance, decrease emergency incidents, mitigate costs incurred due to non- compliance, additional costs incurred at an incident, and for any services or activities provided or done by or on behalf of another municipality (Municipal Act, 2001). There are no rate changes proposed for 2023.

• Animal Services
The primary reason for inflationary increases in Animal Services is to keep fees consistent with City administration and enforcement costs. Some fees have traditionally been adjusted annually for inflation while other fees have been more comprehensively reviewed against costs and market rates for equivalent service(s).
Fee increases vary by each service type and reflect a 3% increase, with some fees being rounded to the nearest dollar. This increase is in line with current inflationary costs due to economic pressures and the associated costs with obtaining supplies necessary to keep the shelter operating.

• Municipal By-Law Enforcement
No changes proposed for existing enforcement fees as major review was conducted in 2021 and fees were updated at that time.

• Licensing
Licensing rates and fees have been flat-lined to the 2022 fees to provide further financial relief to Burlington businesses still recovering post-COVID-19.

Good Governance
• Corporate Legal
In September 2022 the Community Benefit Charge (CBC) was adopted to respond to legislation. As part of the process, developers have the option to dispute the charge and seek a second appraisal. If the developer’s appraisal exceeds the City appraisal by 5%, the developer must select an appraiser from the City’s list of appraisers to perform a final binding (third) appraisal, with the owner being responsible for the full cost of the appraisal.
All other Corporate Legal fees remain unchanged for 2023.

Enabling Services
• Financial Management
Finance staff have reviewed fees to ensure that the City’s rates are reasonable, appropriate, and comparable to other municipalities. As a result, the Financial Management Service rates have remained unchanged for 2023, except for three fees, specifically; Tax Certificates has been increased approximately 3.00%, from $55.00 to $56.50, Administration Charge for Returned Payments (NSF) increased by 12.5%, from $40.00 to $45.00 and Administration fee for Ownership Changes increased by 14% from $35.00 to $40.00.

• Service Burlington
Clerks annually reviews fees across area municipalities to ensure the City’s fees are in line with other municipalities. As a result:
• Commissioning Services and Burial Permits: No proposed increase. These fees are in line with area municipalities.
• Marriage License Application: No proposed increase. These fees are in line with neighbouring municipalities

• Group Home fees has not been increased since 2012 and the city is significantly below area municipalities. Last year we proposed a 25% increase spread out over 5 years which resulted in a fee increase of 5% per year. This would be the 2nd year of the recommended 5% increase.
• Routine Disclosure: These fees are in line with fees charged through Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ACT. Clerks is not proposing any fee increases for these services.
• Certified true copies – new fee established to be in line with neighbouring municipalities. Added this year due to increased prevalence of public requesting charges and subsequent need for cost recovery, the clerk is required to provide certified true copies of city owned documents in accordance with the municipal act section 253(2), and Council may establish a fee.
• Legislated FOI fees (search, preparation, photocopy, external storage device, computer costs) added in accordance with MFIPPA Regulation 823 section 6 and
6.1. The fees have been added for formal Council authorization to charge the legislated fees prescribed under MFIPPA regulation, aligning with neighboring municipalities.

• Sign Production Service
An increase of 3% is proposed for sign production services to align with the increase in inflation. Six new fees are being added to satisfy customer demand and broaden the sign offerings to the public

• Geographic Information and Mapping
Where applicable, existing fees are proposed to increase by 3% for inflationary reasons. Printing services are no longer offered by this service area and have been removed.
Document retrieval of all plan types has been grouped into one activity.

• Corporate – City Wide Charges
Corporate fees reflect items charged across city services. Fees are centralized to ensure consistency in charging across the organization. There are no proposed fee increases to corporate fees for 2023.

Rates and fees are reviewed annually by City staff and adjusted where appropriate to reflect cost increases while ensuring that market conditions are suitable for the adjustments.

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Families in a part of Aldershot do not understand why an 11 storey building can be built when the bylaw says just six

By Pepper Parr

December 8th, 2022



Earlier in the week four people from Aldershot delegated on a development proposal that was going to include an 8-storey mixed-use building with retail at grade and stacked townhome units along the rear of the property and a 9-storey and 11-storey mixed-use buildings connected by a 6-storey podium with retail at grade as well as stacked townhome units along the rear of the property

The properties were at 1010 Downsview Drive and 355 Plains Road East

This is what the developer wants to build – residents who delegated want the city to stick with the six storey bylaw.

The development straddles Downsview Drive and sit in the midst of singe family dwellings.

Every delegate didn’t understand why the bylaw that permitted six story structures was not being observed.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith asked the delegations what they would like to see – each answered: six storeys which the bylaw permitted.

We see this often. Property owners don’t fully understand the process developers go through to get their plans approved.

Index to the site plan

A developer will ask for a change to the zoning bylaw that sets out what can be built on a piece of property in Burlington or they will ask for a change in the Official Plan – both which they are allowed to do.

The city planning department is required to accept every development application and report to Council on whether or not they support the application.

Residents don’t understand the process – why should they – they bought a home, moved in and are busy living their lives, getting their kids to soccer games and to the library and just living their lives.

What is permitted and what the developer wants.

Then along comes a development application that has the potential to make their property worth less and suddenly they are expected to become instant experts on the planning game.

Few understand the fundamental change the GTA is going through and the need to build a million and a half homes in the next ten years. That just isn’t something that is top of mind for them.

During the delegations their ward Councillor Kelvin Galbraith asked them questions and he certainly understood how they felt.  Six storeys – just like the bylaw says.  He didn’t attempt to explain the provincial requirement that tens of thousands of home had to be built.

There is a better way to handle these situation. Marianne Meed Ward used it, and by the way changed the way residents are informed about changes that are taking place.

When she was Councillor for Ward 2 should would hold regular meetings for her constituents – on a number of occasions she set out card tables and put four people at each table giving them homework assignments – doing what she felt she had to do to understand how the people she represented were thinking.

At one of those meetings I recall Meed Ward saying very loudly: “I just love this job” And she did love her job.

At one point the city clerk at the time had to tell Meed Ward that she had spent all the money she had in her budget to pay for coffee and Timbits – and she wasn’t yet half way through her term.

That isn’t the Marianne we see these days but that is another story.

Meed Ward paved the path to superb community engagement. She held meetings and listened.

Galbraith found himself unable to explain to his constituents why the development application is eventually going to be approved.

Quite why Galbraith did not hold a meeting and explain to the people in a part of his ward that was going to be impacted;  what they were up against and what they could do and not do.

He has a budget for getting mail out to people. And letters were sent to more than 500 people by the city.  Those letters tend not to get much attention – they are seldom clear to most readers.

He could have explained to those four delegations what was likely to happen. He didn’t. He fully understands the need to build that million and a half homes in ten years and loves being a part of that process.

At heart Galbraith is a builder.

And that is where Burlington has a significant problem in the way members of Council work with their constituents.

Lisa Kearns has in the past held pretty regular meetings but tends to use of most of the time talking instead of listening.

She has been very good at setting up meetings that are attended by people in the room and those taking part virtually – they worked. All people had to do was put up with an hour of Kearns talking before there was a chance to ask their questions.

Most people listen to the weather reports before they go to bed or first thing in the morning to get a sense of what they are facing.

Now if he could learn how she did it – he too might become Mayor. Hasn’t that been the game plan for some time?

Members of Burlington’s city council might try becoming weather reporters and telling people what they are facing when a development application comes in.

The Council members know what the planning department has received long before the public becomes aware.

There was a time when those elected to office were there to serve. That understanding doesn’t seem to be the fashion these days.

Galbraith is very close to the Mayor – he might want to ask her – how did you do it ?

The Marianne I used to know was once very very good at listening and serving the needs of her constituents.

Kelvin Galbraith is smart enough to learn – all he has to do is realize that he was elected to serve the interests of everyone in his ward and teach them what they need to know in a world that is changing very quickly.

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

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Ward 2 Councillor chats up the Chief of Police

By Staff

December 8th, 2022



The Councillor and the Chief.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns spent a few minutes with Halton Regional Police Chief Steven Tanner and had this to say:

“Great conversation with Chief Tanner about the efforts that make Halton Region an enviable place to work, live and play.

“Halton remains the SAFEST place to live in of all Canadian municipalities with a population of 100,000 or more.

“Through the work over 1000+ members of Halton Police Services, it has maintained its position of having the lowest Crime Severity Index (CSI).

“Certainly there are evolving challenges and terrific opportunities ahead as we look to this new term of Regional Council.”

No mention of the size of the police budget and how it will impact the budget Kearns is going to have to pass early in the New Year.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns with Regional Police Chief Steven Tanner

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Three month investigation results in 11 arrests and recovery of millions of dollars in property and $600,000 cash

By Staff

December 8th, 2022



After a the three-month long investigation Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) today announced that it has recovered an estimated $2 million dollars in stolen goods and currency after a lengthy investigation, dubbed Project Kingfisher

The investigation resulted in the arrest of 11 people and the laying of dozens of criminal charges. Project Kingfisher took aim at an organized retail theft ring operating in Halton and the surrounding regions.

A variety of retailers were targeted by this group operating under the name “Buynsel”. Items stolen from stores were then sold via an online platform. Stolen items include electronics, power tools and beauty/ personal care items.

On Tuesday December 6, 2022, investigators executed warrants at more than a dozen locations in the City of Brampton, including a warehouse, five residences, and multiple storage lockers. Investigators seized stolen goods estimated by police to be worth in excess of $1.5 million dollars. Attached to this media release are photos of one of five trucks packed full of stolen items seized by police. Investigators also seized more than $600,000 in cash.

Police carted away two truckloads of recovered property

Satnampal Chawla (34) of Brampton and Shabani Luthrta (32) of Toronto have both been charged with:
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Exceeding $5000;
• Trafficking of Property Obtained by Crime Exceeding $5000;
• Participate in a Criminal Organization.

Renata Szarkeziova (36) of Brampton, Jesika Abkarovicova (24) of Brampton, Zakelina Balazova (30) of Brampton, Sandra Balazova (26) of Brampton, Leonardo Rafael (24) of Brampton, Martin Fatak (44) of Brampton, Roman Stojka (46) of Brampton, Rene Stojka (32) of Brampton, and Sabel Lakatasova (23) of Brampton have each been charged with the following:
• Theft Exceeding $5000;
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Exceeding $5000;
• Trafficking of Property Obtained by Crime Exceeding $5000;
• Participate in a Criminal Organization.

In addition to the charges listed above, Renata Szarkeziova, Jesika Abkarovicova, Zakelina Balazova, and Sabel Lakatasova have also been charged with Unauthorized Use of Debit Card.
Police are still seeking an additional suspect.

“Retail theft is not a victimless crime. These thefts cost Canadian retailers billions of dollars a year, costs that are passed on to consumers when they go shopping. It’s also a near certainty that people purchasing these items online had no idea they were buying stolen goods”, said HRPS Superintendent Bob Gourley. “I’m extremely proud of the work done by the officers involved in Project Kingfisher. The group we arrested were extremely well organized, and a tremendous amount of time and resources were dedicated to this investigation.”

Project Kingfisher was conducted by the HRPS Frontline Support Office and the Retail Theft Units and was a joint project with the Peel Regional Police. The HRPS would also like to thank the Waterloo Regional Police Service and Brantford Police for their assistance in the project.

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Standing Committee to debate the adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School

By Staff

December 8th, 2022



The Standing Committee will be asked to approve Phase 1 facility design/development program budget for the adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School inclusive of the following major elements and gross cost estimates based on Class B design estimates:

Base Building
Phase 1 Base Building Construction


Design and Engineering/Other Soft Costs


Total Base Building Construction Cost


Recommended Energy Reduction Incentives


Total Recommended Base Building


Optional Enhanced Energy Incentives (subject to confirmation of Senior Government funding application)


Total Gross Construction Estimated Cost


Approve the proposed Capital Financing Plan for the adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School inclusive of the following:

Proposed Net Capital Financing

Tenant Direct Capital Contributions (Cash).


Non-Tax Supported Debt Financing

Tenant recovery


Special Circumstance Debt (SCD) Financing


Tax Supported Debt Financing


Senior Government Funding (subject to confirmation by Senior Government)


Total Proposed Capital Financing


Direct the Executive Director of Environmental, Infrastructure & Community Services to proceed with next steps for pre qualification of General Contractor and tendering of the phase 1 construction contract in Q1-2023 for the renovation to the Robert Bateman High school into a community hub.

Mayor Meed Ward wants this project which means she has the votes of Councillors Galbraith and Nisan. The school is in Ward 5, home turf for Councillor Sharman, so we know where his vote is going to go; maybe he will surprise us.

That’s the four votes needed to carry it to Council on the 13th where the final decision gets made.

Will Angelo Bentevegna and Councillor Stolte stand their ground and ask hard questions? Will Councillor Kearns get wobbly and the knees and decide being liked matters most and votes for it; expect a photo op to follow.

We get to see if the words fiscal prudence mean anything to this council later today.

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Is Public Opinion Research a career opportunity ? Angus Reid partnering with University of Ottawa on a course offering

By Staff

December 7th, 2022



In the field of Public Opinion Research the name of Angus Reid is the gold standard

Angus Reid has been the gold standard in public opinion research for more than a decade.

The Angus Reid Institute has partnered with the University of Ottawa on Survey Research Summer School May 1-12, 2023.

During the 2 weeks, students will undertake all the necessary stages required to undertake a public opinion survey, from the selection of research questions and topics to cover, to the development of survey questions, their programming, analysis, and their public communication.

This program is tailored for professionals and graduate students who want to acquire skills in survey research. Over the two weeks, participants will acquire the necessary knowledge to conduct and analyze their own survey.

Angus Reid Group staff will help to lead the program:

The Microprogram in Survey Research and Public Opinion attracts professional candidates working particularly in the fields of civil service, public policy, and market research.
For more information, or to register:

Link to registration and details:

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How Will Online Gambling Develop in Canada?

By Charles Brown

December 8th, 2022



Canadian Online Casino: The Peculiarities of the Industry Development
The world of gambling is very popular. This is due to the quality of services provided in the Canadian online casino, their legality, and the safety of the processes. But the gambling industry is constantly developing, and the changes will not leave anyone indifferent. Read below what awaits the gamblers.

On line sites are very safe in Canada and very welcoming as well.

The Future Of The Gambling Market
The industry in Canada is legal, so online gambling for real money is in great demand among risk-takers. If previously it was possible to spend time only in land-based casinos, then everything has become much easier with their transfer to the online environment. But there is still some division in the preferences of players. For example, the older generation goes to play in land-based establishments. Gamblers of younger ages (up to 35 years), on the contrary, prefer choosing the best online casinos in Canada and having fun at any convenient place.

However, the pandemic has made its adjustments. Due to the ban on visiting public places, even older gamblers switched to playing at online establishments. Some of them got involved, and even after the cancellation of restrictions, they stayed in the best online casino Canada, where a wide range of entertainment is offered. Due to the increased flow of players, gambling establishments are taking measures to attract new users. They offer:

● excellent playing conditions;
● numerous bonuses for gamblers;
● a wide range of entertainment;
● a variety of currencies and payment systems;
● the opportunity to bet from mobile devices.

If you want to try your fortune, choose the institution from the top online casinos in Canada, looking at the most acceptable options. At the same time, evaluate several criteria that are important for the fairness and safety of the processes. For example, the presence of a license and modern encryption systems for data security. If there is no time to study the information on your own, then take a look at the best online casinos review and get up-to-date details about honest venues.

Analysts predict that the online gaming industry will expand so much that total annual revenue worldwide will exceed $180 billion. And Canada will play a huge role in the increase in profitability. This is due to innovation and growth in demand for the virtual segment. At the moment, casinos in Canada bring in an average of $31 billion a year.

Casino Regulation Is Getting Stricter

Supervision is strict with each province overseeing what takes place in their jurisdiction.

Supervisory authorities pay great attention to the activities of the Canadian online casino, gradually introducing stricter rules. This is due to their concern for the comfort and safety of the visitors of the virtual institutions. The work of land-based clubs is equally important. Due to the additional restrictions, not only the players win, but also the state. It receives more income from taxes which will positively affect the development of infrastructure facilities.

The concern of regulatory bodies is a possible gambling addiction. That is why specialists are developing separate legislation. It regulates the responsible growth of the sector and a competent approach to online gambling for real money on the part of virtual institutions and visitors.

Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is a modern technology that penetrates deeper into all spheres of activity. And the gambling industry is no exception. The gambling world is being improved with innovations, and new game concepts are being introduced. This increases the segment’s attractiveness, and the number of customers in the Canadian online casino will grow steadily every day.

Virtual reality gambling has become the central idea of developers. Providers organized a real race to be the first to present a project based on a unique technology. The symbiosis of gambling platforms and virtual reality will be a real breakthrough. The idea is potentially profitable for the developers of the safest online casino Canada and maximally interesting for newcomers and experienced gamblers. The breakthrough will probably occur in the live game segment because they are harmoniously combined with virtual reality.

After the creation of new projects, visitors to the best online casino Canada will have to buy special equipment. For example, virtual reality glasses. However, there is no consensus at the moment about the use of technology in the real world. Nevertheless, its development will be a real sensation.

Crypto Casinos
Virtual institutions based on blockchain technology are becoming increasingly popular. This is due to their reliability and security. Decentralized sites will be perceived as a top online casino because every gambler is worried about the safety of funds and personal information. A big advantage is that crypto institutions provide access to bitcoin games. There is also no need for data verification before the withdrawal.

As long as you understand what block chain technology is about – crypto currency can be useful.

It is equally important that while using the services of top online casinos in Canada, bonus offers are not cancelled. Some clubs launch exclusive promotions for those who transfer money using cryptocurrency services. Other advantages of using blockchain technology include the following:

● instant transfer of funds;
● minimum or no commissions for deposit and withdrawal;
● maximum data protection and absence of interference from third parties.

Analysts predict that soon there will be many safest online casino Canada with the possibility of transfers using cryptocurrency. This will allow gamblers to enjoy the usual methods of making financial transactions.

Mobile Gaming Trends Are Becoming Popular
Gambling is becoming as comfortable as possible for visitors to virtual sites. This is due to the development of the mobile segment, including entertainment in a browser or an application. If you can’t constantly be at your computer, then choosing the best online casinos in Canada that support games from your smartphone or tablet is a great idea. The advantages of mobile sites are as follows:

● the opportunity to run the slot in any convenient place;
● exclusive bonuses for those who play from a tablet or smartphone;
● automatic adjustment of content under the diagonal screen.

All casinos support browser-based versions for “pocket” devices. But only some of them provide a downloadable application. To understand whether there is software in the selected institution, familiarize yourself with its functionality. If you have no time, it is enough to look at the best online casinos review to get answers to your questions.

With the help of mobile applications and browser-based versions for smartphones, the coverage of users is increasing. Now everyone can play online gambling for real money anywhere, including the comfort of a home or a stylish office. You can also have a great time on a long trip.


Winning is fun – just remember to set limits and discipline yourself.

1. What are the conditions offered to players at the best online casino Canada, and why do they attract attention?

The first thing that attracts gamblers to the virtual institutions of Canada is the legality of the activity. The range of games, the availability of bonuses, and the high level of refunds are no less important.

2. What innovations are waiting for gamblers?

Some of the innovations have already been implemented by the developers in the safest online casino Canada so that the gamblers feel confident during the game. We are talking about the use of cryptocurrency and the introduction of mobile applications. The only thing left to add is virtual reality.

3. What causes the popularity of mobile games?

Mobile slot machines offered in Canadian online casino attract attention to their accessibility. With an Internet connection, you can play anywhere you want.

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Management group made it clear: anyone with Christmas lights up will receive a letter and have to deal with Corporation's solicitor

By Staff

December 7th, 2022



A Gazette reader, Kevin (the balance of his name is not being released)  sent along the following:  Hard to believe but quite true.

I thought this issue might deserve some attention so I wanted to bring this news tip to your attention.

I currently rent a condo in a condo development off Masonry Court in Burlington. The development appears to be being built by ADI developments, some of the emails I have received in the past have also indicated their name was Halton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 726. Currently the property appears to be managed by Larlyn Property Management Ltd.

In any case, the story is pretty straight forward. As we enter the holiday season, some people have put up Christmas lights affixed to the outer balconies of their units. In emails sent on November 28th, Dec 2nd, and Dec 5th, Larlyn Property Management has told these people that they must remove the lights and that having these decorations is a violation of the rules and regulations of the Corporation. They claim that the lights could result in damage to the doors, balconies, railings and exterior walls. This seems hard to believe since the balcony railings are made of metal and glass, I don’t see how a zip tied cord of Christmas lights could cause damage.

In the most recent email, the Corporation made it clear that anyone who still has Christmas lights up will receive a letter and the matter will be taken up by the Corporations solicitor to ensure compliance, with the unit owner responsible for the fees. The language in section 3.1 (b) make it clear that in some cases permission could be granted to hang decorations on the units, so it appears to me this is a matter of interpretation regarding what is or is not allowed and exceptions could be made for the season.

Click on the small type to enlarge it for easier reading

The management group sent three emails – this was the first. Pretty heavy handed.

Unrelenting – not a word from the ADI Group who built the development, which has yet to see any parkland. ADI recently settled with a provincial Tribunal on sales practices that were deemed to be unacceptable.

I personally do not have any lights hanging from my unit, so this does not directly affect me except for when I go for walks in the evening. Since it gets dark shortly after 5, it was nice to see these decorations hanging from the sides of people’s balconies or doors. The difference is also stark when I walk into other neighbourhoods and see houses with their lights up. This isn’t something I’ve thought about before but I would be pretty upset if I bought a condo and later found out that this is how the rules are being interpreted.

Masonry Court units in their final stages of construction.


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The Bistro at the Seniors Centre was once a thriving, popular and profitable location - not anymore and we can't blame covid

By Penny Hersh

December 6th, 2022



At the council meeting Monday evening recommendations came forward from staff regarding the proposed increase in charges that are being recommended for various city venues.

Emilie Cote, Manager of Recreation Services indicated that there should be 100% recovery from The Bistro at the Seniors Centre.  When asked about the revenue generated this past year Emilie indicated $34,000.00 and that 15% was not recoverable.

Presently staff are involved in the running of the Bistro along with volunteers who set up what is being offered and making tea/coffee.  Bistro hours are 10-2 Monday-Thursday and self-serve coffee only from 10-12 on Fridays.

The Bistro, the heart of the Seniors’ Centre and the focal point for many of the administrative problems.

Both the Mayor and Councillor Bentivegna spoke in defence that the Bistro was much more than simply a service that needed to be able to support itself fully. For some it could be the only full meal they would have that day.  It was a way of having a very inexpensive meal that they could share with friends. Isolation is a very serious issue for many seniors, and this was an essential component in operating the Bistro.

Presently what is available are 2 wrapped in saran chocolate chip cookies, a few saran wrapped muffins, butter tarts and 1 type of square, along with tea/coffee.

Nothing healthy is being offered. At the very least soup and sandwiches should be available. The seniors attending classes along with the volunteers have asked repeatedly for more healthy food choices.

When the volunteer Board of Management was operating the Bistro, it was open from 8:30-3:30 pm, Monday-Friday.  We offered homemade soups, made to order sandwiches, salads, along with an interesting and healthy lunch special for $4.00. We also provided home baked scones, squares, fruit breads and rice pudding.

We had one paid staff – the chef, everyone else were volunteers, who worked alongside him to help with prep, serving and the washing of the dishes, taking orders and payment and serve the seniors.

Total revenue from the Bistro in 2014 was $ 92,685.00

Total revenue from the Bistro in 2015 was $112,958.00

Total revenue from the Bistro in 2016 was $105,326.00 (this was from Jan-Nov 30th only)

To be fair we did not pay rent for the use of the facility or for any utilities and the city was responsible for the deep cleaning. The kitchen was available for outside rentals in the evenings and on weekends.

In 2016 the city took control of the Senior Centre, and the Bistro.  The first thing they did was hire back the chef that the board was fortunate enough to hire.  Michael Gris is a Red Seal trained chef. I have been led to believe that he is presently not available.

The kitchen in the Bistro would rival any restaurant. All the upgrades – redesigned stainless-steel cabinetry and counter tops, additional refrigerators/freezers, commercial stoves, convection oven, etc. were paid for by the board of management along with donations from the Boutique Ladies and Club 9.  A Horizon grant in the amount of $25,000.00 that we received to start up our Soup Project paid for a lot of the upgrades in the kitchen.

The Bistro was more than self-sustaining. It was profitable.

I realize that Covid did play a part in some of the changes that needed to take place.  This once bustling lounge where people would have to look for a seat is EMPTY.  A commercial grade kitchen remains unused.

The city needs to change its current model to not only be profitable, but to provide a much needed service for the seniors who attend classes at the Burlington Seniors Centre.





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Burlington Foundation announces new President - CEO

By Staff

December 7th, 2022



Catherine Brady, Chair of the Burlington Foundation Board of Directors,  announced today that Megan Tregunno will join the Burlington Foundation as its new President & CEO, commencing January 3, 2023.

Those baking trays are a clue to how local Megan Tregunno is  – her grandmother, Norma Bidwell, was the longtime Recipe Editor at the Hamilton Spectator. “She was one of the first mentors in my life — growing up with her was a pretty special experience,.”

Megan joins the Foundation having held executive leadership roles in community and healthcare philanthropy for the last two decades, with a special focus on women’s health, research, and mental health. Megan has led organizations and teams through periods of transformational growth and championed the
missions behind some of Canada’s most iconic charitable organizations, such as Women’s College Hospital Foundation.

Megan holds a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation and has been celebrated for her leadership contributions to the philanthropic sector through the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. Megan is a life-long Burlington resident, where she and her family currently reside and are actively engaged.

In early 2022, the Board announced that long-time President & CEO Colleen Mulholland was retiring from the Foundation at the end of the year and began a formal recruitment process to search for the next executive leader. The Board is immensely grateful to Colleen for her outstanding leadership of the Foundation over her 11-year tenure. Two notable accomplishments include growing assets under management from $SM to $25M and leading the $2.7M Burlington Flood Relief efforts in 2014 on behalf of the City of Burlington. The Board celebrates the tremendous contributions Colleen has made to the Foundation and to the


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Team Logue will be using a White and Navy Blue theme for their Tree at the Performing Arts Centre

By Katelyn Goodwin

December 6th, 2022



Real estate service Team Logue is one of this year’s tree sponsors for the 6th annual Festival of Trees taking place at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre through to December 17th.

Makayla, the staff member I spoke to, explained that  Team Logue is a community based real estate service company with an ‘outside the box’ approach offering expertise in Burlington, Milton, Oakville, and the surrounding areas-mainly the Millcroft area.

They have been involved in community-based events before, and Makayla told me this was another great opportunity for them to contribute to another.

This is their first year sponsoring and decorating a tree. The company decided to decorate a tree to be part of getting people into the spirit this holiday season.

Sarah Logue is the broker of record and a huge lover of the Christmas season.  The group decorating the tree have yet to decide quite what they want to do in terms of decorations; they do know that the theme will be white and navy to go with Logue’s brand colours.

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New online guide available to help navigate tree protection and tree permits in Burlington

By Staff

December 6th, 2022



The City has created a “Guide to Tree Protection” to help property owners and applicants navigate tree protection and the City’s tree by-laws, with a focus on the Private Tree By-law. The free guide is available online at

Information in the Guide includes:
• What rules are in place to protect trees?
• Which trees are protected under the City’s tree by-laws?
• When do I need or not need a tree permit?
• How do I work around trees without hurting them?
• What do I need to get a Private Tree Permit?

The Guide also features helpful illustrations that highlight key points to working around trees and aspects of the permit application. These illustrations will help applicants understand what is needed when applying for a tree permit.

What is the Private Tree By-law?
The Private Tree By-law protects trees on private property within the City’s Urban Planning Area Boundary. If you live within the Urban Planning Area Boundary, you will need to apply for a permit to injure or remove a tree 20 cm in diameter or greater measured at 1.37 m from the ground. Heritage trees and endangered, threatened, and at-risk species are also protected and may require additional approvals in addition to your tree permit.

View the Private Tree By-law (040-2022).

What is the Public Tree By-law?
The Public Tree By-law regulates publicly owned trees. You will need to apply for a permit to injure or remove any tree of any size anywhere on public property. The Public Tree By-law is applicable city-wide which includes both the Urban and Rural Planning Area Boundaries.

Contact the City before submitting a permit to remove a public tree at 905-335-7777 or

View the Public Tree By-law (068-2013).
For more information on tree by-laws, to apply or to view the guide, visit

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry explains: ““Submitting a complete and accurate tree permit application can save you time and money. It is our hope that as people plan their spring or summer renovations and construction, this guide will give applicants the extra information they need to ensure there are no errors or missed items on their application.”

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