Conservation Halton’s Climate Action Program for Newcomer Youth Receives $200,000 Grant from RBC Foundation

By Staff

November 20th,  2022



The Conservation Halton Foundation has found some financial support while the province hammers away at whittling down the role the Conservation Authority has in protecting the environment and the watersheds of the Region

Conservation Halton Foundation received a grant of $200,000 from RBC Tech for Nature for the Green Space Newcomer Youth Climate Forum.

This grant will support the next two years of Green Space—a climate action pilot that Conservation Halton’s Education Team launched in 2021.

Through monthly workshops and climate action events, Green Space helps youth enhance their climate literacy, gain practical skills to fight climate change, build new social connections and develop the knowledge and confidence to take on leadership roles in local climate initiatives.

“Our program is aimed at empowering youth to find their voice in the climate action movement,” said Brenna Bartley, Education Manager at Conservation Halton. “We’re so grateful to have the renewed support of the RBC Foundation towards this outcome.”

Through the Tech for Nature program, the RBC Foundation provided a founding grant in 2021 that launched the three-year pilot. With this new announcement of funding and program reinvestment, Conservation Halton looks forward to reaching dozens more youth each year and to seeing past participants return as peer mentors. As part of the grant, the program team will also develop an online climate hub to share local monitoring data and promote community climate learning.

“Climate change and the issues we’re facing connects us all as we work to build a better future,” says Jeff Bradley, Regional Vice President, Halton, RBC. “Through RBC Tech for Nature and our partnerships, we are committed to bringing the power of innovative technologies to address and scale solutions to face this crisis together.”


Climate change is a challenge without a precedent. It can feel overwhelming, but youth can make a difference with their skills, knowledge and experience! Conservation Halton launched the Green Space: Newcomer Youth Climate Forum in 2021 in partnership with RBC Tech for Nature. The program helps youth aged 14-29 learn more about climate change, gain practical skills to help their community to fight climate change, and make new friends. From November 2022 to June 2023, participants will gain volunteer hours and the knowledge and skills needed to take on leadership roles in their local climate action initiatives through two monthly workshops. Participants will also be able to engage in projects designed to give them additional skills in environmental monitoring, technology and innovation.

The RBC Tech for Nature program has enabled more than 100 charitable partners to implement new ideas, technology and collaborations that address the planet’s most pressing needs.

“We are proud of our pilot’s ambitions and successes one-year in. We are giving our diverse cohort of youth the ecological and climate change-related skills and knowledge they need to champion positive change in our watershed,” said Hassaan Basit, President and CEO of Conservation Halton.

The pilot’s partners and collaborators include Halton Multicultural Connections and Grandmother’s Voice. More than a dozen Conservation Halton scientists, educators and community guest speakers are expected to participate in the program’s 2022/23 workshops and events, which will include a new innovation module to introduce youth to emerging and cutting-edge technologies in climate adaptation and mitigation.

Conservation Halton is the community-based environmental agency that protects, restores, and manages the natural resources in its watershed. The organization has staff that includes ecologists, land use planners, engineers, foresters and educators, along with a network of volunteers, who are guided by a Board of Directors comprised of municipally elected and appointed citizens.

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Senior's group comes up with the cash to pay for a second Exercise Station - this one in Central Park

By Pepper Parr

November 18th, 2022




Central Park will be the home of new Seniors Exercise Stations and Social Space.

The exercise stations will have workout equipment that is built for seniors. In between gentle workouts, the seniors can rest and socialize at the seating benches under the shade of trees.

This project was made possible by a donation from the Burlington Seniors Community Programs and Services Inc. (BSCI). The BSCI donated the first Seniors Exercise Stations and Social Space in Burloak Waterfront Park in 2020. The success of that project prompted the decision by BSCI to build a second one in Central Park close to the Seniors Centre and the library.

The shaded location, in view of the children’s play equipment, so seniors can watch their grandchildren while exercising themselves and is also strategically surrounded by the Library, Music Centre, Arena and especially important, the Seniors’ Centre.

The Central Park project   will take place in two stages:

Construction of the concrete pad space in November/early December 2022

Installation of the exercise stations in April 2023.

Connie Price, the lead on this initiative, said: “All of the equipment has been especially chosen for seniors, to help them maintain mobility, strength and balance, as well as assisting with rehabilitation after injuries or operations. Its benefits have been proven at Burloak Lakeside Park. by the amount of usage by the public visiting the park, as well as The Passion for Parkinsons Foundation relocating their weekly Parkinsons in the Park Exercise Program to be able include this equipment. The response from the Parkinsons patients and their Physiotherapist Team have been extremely positive.”

Price added: ” I can’t say enough about how great it has been working with Peggy and the other City staff.  After three years we finally got to where we are.  She has been working so hard to get the pad installed before frost so that once cured, the three benches can be  installed for winter use, which was her idea.”

In its media release the city said: “The City of Burlington is very grateful of the generous donation from the BSCI. It will be a huge contributor to helping the Burlington seniors stay active and healthy.”

This project came about due to the hard work put in by a few people who had to convince the Parks and Recreation people that this was a good idea. Despite being invited to the meetings to get this project going, Parks and Recreation staff never did attend.

It was when the group happened upon a Landscape Architect who worked for the city and saw the value in having recreational equipment geared to seniors that things began to happen.

Connie Price

Burlington Seniors Community Programs and Services Inc. (BSCI) is an interesting organization.  At one time they ran The Bistro at the Seniors’ Centre and proved to be very efficient and profitable. The current executive includes:

Fred Hendriks- President
Penny Hersh – Vice-President
Connie Price- Treasurer
Mary-Lou Fenbow- Secretary
Jim Rennie- Director
Ralf Kuehnel – Director

When the group that was responsible for what happened to the BSCI funds found they couldn’t get any traction with Parks, Recreation and Culture they happened upon Peggy Lei, who is a Landscape Architect, overseeing Parks Design and Construction in the Engineering Department.  The result is going to be an additional exercise equipment location

Regional Chair Gary Carr and Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward give the equipment a workout

When the Parks and Recreation department decided to take over The Bistro the BSCI was told to pack up and took their profits with the m  -some $180,000  which wasn’t exactly chump change.

Burloak is a quieter park – a place to visit and reflect and have good conversations with friends. There is a very good playground as well

The BSCI has used those funds to pay for recreational equipment intended for seniors.  Their first step in this direction was paying for the exercise equipment at the east end Burloak Park – a location that equals what Spencer Smith provides.

The result is going to be an additional exercise equipment location.



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An Open Letter to Councillor/Deputy Mayor Lisa Kearns

By e-mail and twitter.

November 20, 2022

Lisa Kearns
Burlington Ward 2 Councillor, Deputy Mayor

Dear Ms Kearns:

We know we have had our disagreements over the past term.

However, the majority of Ward 2 residents who voted entrusted you to contribute to decisions that support their well-being and best interests and we must, therefore, forget past differences to bring you identified issues that negatively impact such decisions.

During the election you were made aware we determined that the city had revised its web site with a version that inhibited public access to governance material.

Anne and Dave Marsden ask Tim Commisso, Burlington City Manager and Deputy Mayor of Public Engagement Lisa Kearns, for the return of years of sets of minutes, agenda, reports and videos removed without notice from 2022 updated City of Burlington website.

Prior to the 2022 Nomination opening date we had full access to minutes, agenda, reports before Committees and Council from January 2009 through to June, 2016. Videos, minutes, and attachments July 2016 to present were available.

This gave the public unfettered research capabilities for city decisions made by council from January 2009 on. We did not have to remember the exact date a decision was made and were able to turn up the supporting governance material, including public input, and how council dealt with the information provided.

After 2022 Nominations opened we learnt this was changing in that we now would have to contact staff for any minutes etc. dated Jan. 2009 -June, 2016.

Given we often did not have a date and used the city web site to research what the exact date was, it is now impossible to obtain the appropriate set of minutes and video without a great deal of staff input.

Further, there was no council review of the 2015 Retention By-law to determine if it required update. A process that has certainly occurred in other municipalities many of whom have recognized the value of permanent public access to minutes, agenda and videos.

We stand to be corrected Councillor Kearns and ask that you direct us to an agenda, video and minutes in 2022 that covers such opportunity to publicly engage with council prior to the city making such a huge change in access to governance materials January 2009-June 2016.

What has been even more shocking was the loss of access to close to at least 18 months of minutes, agendas videos and associated reports from July 2016 – present. This being contrary to the city’s commitment and absolutely no notice to the public.

After being assured by Mr. Kwab Ako-Adjei – Director, Corporate Communications & Engagement at City of Burlington (who we found as helpful as he was able to be) that there was a glitch and everything would be worked out and back up on the city web site, weeks and months have gone by without this happening.

There were multiple unanswered questions as to when we could have access restored to governance materials that resulted in offers to provide a copy of the particular set of minutes, and sometimes the video we were attempting to locate. This confirmed the minutes and videos 2009- 2022 were still available to the city but had been made inaccessible to the public, without any prior warning.

November 17, 2022 Clerk Kevin Arjoon contradicts current city position since 2016 that Council/Committee minutes, agenda, reports and videos available for individual website access, claiming 2015 retention by-law requires removal from city website.

November 17, 2022 in response to one of many emails to city staff that included the Clerk, Deputy Clerks and at times City Manager, Tim Commisso, Clerk Kevin Arjoon notified us by email:

“Currently there are no plans to restore agendas, minutes and videos to July 2016”, which contradicts the city’s position since 2016.

We will send you by email a letter to Mr. Commisso that was sent by e-mail and then personally hand delivered for his personal attention on Friday, November 18, 2022. We were assured that Mr. Commisso’s assistant Jen Knight was fully informed that this letter for Mr. Commisso had been placed on her desk on Friday not long after 12 noon.

The purpose of this open letter is to request that as Deputy Mayor you urge Mr. Commisso to immediately address the need for a meeting with us and yourself to receive the City Manager’s assurance that the Clerk is mistaken in terms of his November 17, 2022 statement. Further, that access can and will be returned to the 2009 -June 2016 governance materials removed from the city website that now requires already overwhelmed staff to assist in public access to city archived records, rather than being able to research on a website at their leisure.

Appeal made to Tim Commisso, Burlington City Manager November 18, 2022, to return access to years of removed required governance material without further burdening Burlington staff.

These letters to yourself and the City Manager are our attempts to have access returned to governance material to those who it belongs to, including the elected council members. Rather than access being limited to city staff who can delay access as long as they like claiming the material is archived and thus will take some time.

This is exactly what has occurred to Downtown Business Association minutes that were requested through you as the city Downtown Association Representative on October 28, 2022. Brian Dean, Executive Director, BDBA, claims he cannot be provided before December 1, 2022, when it should be simply a matter of going to the archived minute book/file, scanning what we need and forwarding it along with the last two sets of 2022 meeting minutes. No minute books of such a small organization as this association should be outside their ability to check in less than a week.

Please confirm to us at our email address below any action you intend to take as a result of this letter.

Pro Bono Health, Safety and Access Advocates 308-1425 Ghent Ave.
Burlington, L7S 1X5
905-467-2860, @LetVotersSpeak
11Work for the well-being of the city to which I have sent you.” Jeremiah 29:7


Related content:

Part 1

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City of Burlington partnering on young tree planting study

By Staff

November 19th, 2022



As part of the Greening the Landscape Consortium, the City of Burlington is partnering with industry leaders at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and Lallemand Plant Care on a three-year study to assess the beneficial effects of fungi and bacteria that are added to the soil in a granular form of transplanted young trees.

Burlington Green has always been heavily involved in the planting of trees and shrubs.

The goal is to show the improved growth and survival rates of young, planted trees with fungi and soil supplements compared to trees planted without the fungi and bacteria soil supplements.

The study will be done on Tremineer Avenue and Juniper Avenue in south-east Burlington over a three-year timeframe.

Periodic updates will be posted to

Why is this being done?
There is a common misconception that bigger trees grow faster and can survive a transplant better than smaller trees. This is not true.

Getting new trees into the ground is what it is always about.

Smaller trees that are transplanted recover from the stress of the transplanting faster than larger trees. This allows them to establish faster, often with higher rates of survival compared to large trees. By planting trees with beneficial organisms like bacteria and fungi, the likelihood of recovery from transplant stress is much higher, and so is the likelihood of success and rapid growth.

Planting trees that will survive means the City’s forestry section will not have to return to a recently transplanted area to remove a dead tree and replace it with another. This will save time and money and will help the city grow our tree canopy faster.

What is being added to the soil?
A mycorrhizal fungus and naturally occurring bacteria will be added to the planting area soil. Both additives are naturally found in the soil and not harmful to plants, animals, people or the environment.

The fungus, which can form a mutually beneficial relationship with the tree roots and expands the trees access to water, is naturally found in undisturbed, non-urban soils.

The bacteria help to unlock additional nutrients in the soil to help tree root development and recover from transplant shock.
About the Greening the Landscape Consortium

The Greening the Landscape Consortium is an inter-disciplinary group made of members from all different areas of the urban tree value chain, including nurseries who supply the trees for out planting, industry partners that develop soil amendments, municipalities who want to improve their urban forests, and industry groups, among others. The Consortium leads urban greening research by setting priorities reflecting industry needs and supporting economic success for plant growers, urban foresters, and plant healthcare professionals. As consortium members,

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre will be responsible for ongoing tracking, statistical analysis, and communication of the study findings to other consortium members; Lallemand Plant Care will be providing the beneficial bacteria product for testing; and the City of Burlington will be responsible for site and species selection as well as act as an ongoing liaison with members of the local neighborhood.

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry explains the initiative this way: “Planting trees is an important part of any Urban Forestry program. Ensuring these trees survive the transplant process to become established is even more important. If this is successful, we will adopt this practice for all trees planted by the City. Ensuring our transplanted trees succeed will save us money and time, and help us establish strong, mature trees more quickly.”

Links and Resources


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Dr. Samir Sinha,: 'The thousands of deaths that occur in long-term care in a typical flu season does not bode well for the months to come.'

By Staff
November 18th 2022


A regular Gazette reader saw the following in the Globe & Mail and passed it along.

Our observation is that those who are ill find that they are bedridden for more than a week.

The data available on the Covid19 portion of the Regional web site looks like this:

Many of the people with an infection are self isolating at home and may not be counted by the Region.  The Gazette is aware of dozens of people who are at home and very very ill.

Wendy Moraghan, a retired Regional police officer, said, as she “lay in bed on day 12 of covid” that she cannot understand why “our Mayor still thinks it’s necessary to have a “media event” swearing in of the same council as last time. One of those CouncillorCovid herself ??boggles my mind.

Return of seasonal flu, RSV and other viruses could spell disaster for older Canadians.

At Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, emergency physician Don Melady, who specializes in the care of older adults, has not seen the same surge in respiratory infections that is overwhelming pediatric hospitals across the country – at least, not yet.

But since influenza and other seasonal respiratory viruses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), tend to cause most severe illness among those at the opposite ends of the lifespan, Dr. Melady is concerned about how he and his emergency department colleagues will manage in the coming months with a potential influx of sick older patients.

“We are understaffed, burned out, tired, under-resourced. So I am worried about any additional strains on our health care system at this point,” Dr. Melady said. “Our best hope is just to have as fully vaccinated a population as we can have.”

As the return of seasonal respiratory viruses, which were suppressed early in the pandemic by COVID-19 control measures, has sent exceptionally high numbers of young children to hospital, some experts are bracing for a similar spike in older adults. Even before the pandemic, influenza caused an estimated 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths a year in Canada, with many of those deaths occurring among residents of long-term care.

Now, with fewer health care workers to look after the sick and the persistent risk of COVID-19, some anticipate this cold and flu season will be especially precarious for older Canadians.

“I think it will be a potential disaster,” said Donald Vinh, an infectious disease specialist at McGill University Health Network.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam told reporters on Thursday that cases of RSV and influenza have now risen above seasonal levels. Meanwhile, thelatest federal datashow nearly 300 COVID-19 deaths per week, and more than 6,000 hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients daily – roughly four times the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations a year ago.

Repeating her advice from earlier press conferences, Dr. Tam recommended that Canadians get their COVID-19 boosters and flu shots, wash their hands and wear masks indoors, and stay home if they have symptoms.

If preventative measures aren’t taken, Dr. Vinh foresees a disaster that unfolds in two parts. In the short term, he predicts a rise in viral respiratory infection-related deaths, and in the long term, a worsening backlog in the health care system. That’s because even when they recover from infection, older adults and those with underlying conditions who require hospitalization often become deconditioned, losing their strength and vitality. They may not be able to return home and will need to be placed in care, he said.

“If you require hospitalizations, you’re not just sitting in the bed and then as soon as you finish your infection, you stand up and out the door you go,” he said.

Typically, RSV season starts among children, Dr. Vinh said, spreading first through schools and child care centres before it’s transmitted within homes and to adults. It then spreads to older adults in long-term care, as people visit and take care of those residents, he said.

Dawn Bowdish, a professor and Canada Research Chair in aging and immunity at McMaster University, said she is particularly worried about the coming holiday season, since that tends to be a time when children and young people transmit viruses to older relatives.

The good news is that older Canadians have the highest levels of influenza vaccination uptake in the country, Dr. Bowdish said. And even though COVID-19 outbreaks continue to occur in long-term care, the fatality rate in these facilities has plunged from around 30 per cent early in the pandemic to less than 1 per cent, owing, in large part, to the timing of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, administered at the beginning of waves to maximize immune protection, she said.

However, Dr. Bowdish explained, unlike COVID-19 vaccines, which work in almost all older adults even with complex medical conditions, the flu vaccine tends to be “hit or miss.” This is why vaccinating the rest of the population, especially children, against the flu is critical for preventing further spread of the virus, she said.

Since there is no vaccine for RSV, masks are an important layer of protection, she added.

Dr. Sinha, is also director of geriatrics at Sinai Health and the University Health Network in Toronto.

Samir Sinha, director of health policy research at the National Institute on Aging think tank, said he does not anticipate the same level of devastation in long-term care that occurred during the first COVID-19 wave, when residents of these facilities and seniors’ homes accounted for more than 80 per cent of all reported COVID-19 deaths in the country. But, he said, staff shortages remain a problem, which worsen during outbreaks as infected workers are required to stay home, and in many places, long-term care residents still share rooms, allowing for viruses to spread among them.

In spite of the crisis early in the pandemic, “I don’t think things have fundamentally changed in our long-term care systems,” said Dr. Sinha, who is also director of geriatrics at Sinai Health and the University Health Network in Toronto.

Dr. Sinha said he also worries that the thousands of deaths that occur in long-term care in a typical flu season have become “normalized,” which does not bode well for the months to come.

“So what are we in for?” he said. “I’m expecting a rough season ahead, particularly for older people.”

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Fox40 whistles getting a major workout in the Grey Cup game - family in the stands, son on the field

By Pepper Parr

November 18th, 2022



Grey Cup for the Foxcroft Family is an all hands on deck event.

This year the family will gather in Regina, sit outside on classic cold Canadian winter day and take in the game.

CFL referee Dave Foxcroft call a football game

Ron Foxcroft who made fame and fortune on the basketball court and still does Replays and Coaches Challenges at NBA games. He worked the Miami Heat game before flying to Regina to take part in the presentation of Grey Cup Rings to the Grey Cup Game Referees.

Foxcroft said: “This is the 25th season I will present the Grey Cup Game Referees with their Grey Cup Rings.

It all started with Ron and the whistle he invented

Son Dave will be the Referee for the 109th Grey Cup game. This is his 21st season as a refer; his 343rd game and his 6th Grey Cup.

Son Steve is working the Chain Crew at the Bills Sunday

Burlington Residents Jason Maggio, and Dave Gatza are on the officiating crew. Jason 6th Grey Cup, Dave Gatza his 3rd Grey Cup.
The entire crew has refereed 174 CFL season games, worked 3,104 games, and 49 Grey Cup Games.

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Drinking water protection agreements now in place.

By Staff

November 18th, 2022



On November 4, 2022, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks approved updates to the Halton-Hamilton Source Protection Plan to ensure that municipal drinking water sources are protected for communities in both watersheds. This update, which came into effect on November 18, 2022, is the first comprehensive revision to the Halton-Hamilton Source Protection Plan since it was first approved in 2015.

The update included four years of technical work to ensure that surface water intake protection areas for Hamilton (Woodward) and Halton (Burlington, Burloak, and Oakville) are properly mapped and the risks to sources of drinking water are accurately identified. This technical work was also conducted for the protection areas for municipal wells in Hamilton (Freelton, Carlisle, and Greensville) and Halton (Campbellville, Kelso, and Walkers Line).

There are 13 creeks that feed through Burlington and into Lake Ontario. Some of those creeks are shown here. Several of them rose over there banks during the 2014 flash floods.

“To protect municipal drinking water sources, it is important to do regular, comprehensive updates of the local source protection plan to make sure the plan is up-to-date and reflects the latest science and changes on the landscape,” says Martin Keller, Senior Manager, Watershed Planning and Source Protection, Conservation Halton. “We have updated the plan to make sure communities can be confident that their sources of municipal drinking water are protected.”

The update also includes new and revised policies to address implementation challenges and reflect provincial changes under the Clean Water Act (2006). The Halton-Hamilton Source Protection Committee, which is comprised of representatives from municipalities, business, industry, farmers, landowners and other stakeholders, was formed under the Clean Water Act.

The process of updating the Halton-Hamilton Source Protection Plan included public consultation with members of the public and stakeholders throughout 2021. If you would like to learn more about the changes, visit

The Halton-Hamilton Source Protection Program is directed and funded by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks in partnership with municipalities. Conservation Halton and Hamilton Conservation Authority work together to administer the program and provide technical and communication support for the planning process. Conservation Halton is the lead authority for the Halton-Hamilton Source Protection Region, which is one of 19 source protection regions in the province.

Have you seen these road signs? They are installed by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the City of Hamilton to mark the location of drinking water vulnerable areas and the need to protect drinking water sources. Spills along roads can contaminate our sources of drinking water. If a spill occurs in a vulnerable area, emergency responders will be reminded to inform the Spills Action Centre

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Family Room at the Performing Arts Centre will come alive on November 26th - 30 Christmas trees wil be on display

By Staff

November 18th, 2022



It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the Burlington Performing Arts Centre will be aglow with its 6th Annual Festival of Trees, once again sponsored by Canadian Tire – Burlington Stores, from November 23rd to December 17th.

Local businesses have sponsored and generously decorated 30 6-foot, pre-lit artificial trees, which will light up the Family Lobby for four weeks, until their silent auction ‘winners’ take them home for the holidays. Trees may be viewed during regular box office hours, which are Monday to Saturday from 12pm to 4pm, as well as one hour prior to each live performance.

Along with the Festive Trees, the Burlington Gazette has organized several choirs that will perform on December 10th at both 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm

There are numerous My Pop Choirs in the GTA area. They meet once a week to sing. The Burlington group will be at the Performing Arts Centre on December 10th. If you want to experience th pure joy of song – bring the whole family, view the 30 trees and listen to Christmas Carols

The My Pop Choir is sending up to 20 of their members to perform at 1:00 pm. This is a very robust choir that will delight you with some of the seasonal classics. They might call upon you to join them in some of the carols.

At 3:00 pm SOLO (Southern Ontario Lyric Opera) will perform. A little more classic in their approach – their rendition of O Holy Night will take your breath away

Solo will also be performing Home for the Holidays on the Main Stage on December 7th, 7:30 pm

The Performing Arts Family Room will be decorated with 30 Christmas Trees.

Patrons can take home one of 30 beautifully decorated trees, including all decorations and ‘gifts’ by entering the Silent Auction. Place your bid by 8pm on Saturday, December 17th. The minimum bid for one of these festively decorative trees is $10, and all proceeds support the efforts and initiatives of the charitable, not-for-profit Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

“No bid is too generous, when it comes to supporting the arts and local talent,” says BPAC Executive Director Tammy Fox. “This year, more than any other, we will benefit from music, laughter, art, and drama to celebrate the holiday season, as we emerge from the pandemic. This is a chance to help artists and arts audiences flourish in our community. Thanks go to the local businesses who have generously sponsored trees this year. They are all stepping up to support the arts in our community and we hope that our patrons will in turn support their businesses this holiday season and beyond.”

The 2022 Festival of Trees Sponsors:
Aldershot Village BIA; American Women’s Club of Southern Ontario; Bubbles and Blow Beauty Bar; Burlington Gazette; Burlington Today; Frederikse Law; Gem Limousine; Get in the Loop; Gifford Insurance; Global Citizen; Joe Apps Technology; Joelle’s; Laurel Steel; Long & McQuade; Molinaro Group; Mercedes-Benz Burlington; Museums of Burlington; PV&V Insurance Centre; Royal Botanical Gardens; Son of a Peach Pizzeria/The Sunshine Doughnut Co.; Spa in the Village; Team Logue Realty; Teen Tour Band; The Cover Guy; Thrive Massage Therapy and Wellness; Winning & Associates IG Private Wealth Management.


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City View Park Field Closures, Nov. 18-20

By Staff

November 18th, 2022



Now the biggest park the city has – and the furthest from the bulk of the population. Weather concerns have closed it for the weekend.

Due to the weather, the fields at City View Park are unsafe for use.

Fields F1, F2 and F3 remain closed Nov. 18, 19 and 20. Affected users have been notified.

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Halton Student Transportation Services experiencing shortage of school bus drivers; shortage causing service delays

By Staff

November 17th, 2022



Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) advises that a shortage of school bus drivers is impacting school bus operations and delays in Halton Region, like many school boards in Ontario.

HSTS is a transportation consortium providing home to school transportation services to students of the Halton District School Board and the Halton Catholic District School Board.

Buses: drivers needed

HSTS is working closely with bus companies to minimize the impact on students. Although school bus companies have been actively recruiting and training new drivers, they continue to face service challenges related to the shortage. HSTS is encouraging interested applicants to apply to become a school bus driver.

As HSTS strives to ensure that all students are safely transported to and from school with professional drivers, the patience and support of students and families is greatly appreciated.

“We are fortunate to have more than 400 caring professional school bus drivers in Halton,” says David Colley, General Manager of Halton Student Transportation Services. “We hear from our drivers about how school bus driving is a very rewarding and fulfilling part-time career. Thousands of Halton families rely on our school bus drivers to deliver their children to and from school safely. The positive impact they have on our community is truly remarkable.”

“If you enjoy working with children, this could be the perfect, secure, part-time job for you,” adds Colley.

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With the confusion and chaos a gap year for students sounds like a good idea. Check it out.

By Pepper Parr

November 17th, 2022



The private sector does know how to spot an opportunity and make the best of it.

Students are having a very difficult time of it in Ontario.

The inability of the provincial government to settle with the educational workers has parents wondering just what they are going to do next week.

The violent events at some high schools is a direct result of young people who are unable to cope with the changes that are before them.

The issues are significant for parents – profound for students.

Discover Year, an organization with a certified Canadian post-secondary program is hosting an online presentation in four locations, one of which is in Burlington

Their annual Open House experience puts a focus on the needs of students, parents and educators from across Canada and the United States — during a uniquely challenging time.”

The Burlington OPEN HOUSE will take place at the Halton Industry Education Council-Career Centre located at 5230 South Service Road, Burlington, ON

Arielle Gatotos,  a Burklington resident who took part in a Discovery Year will be attending and presenting at the event. Arielle was born and raised in Burlington and graduated from the Discover Year program in 2020. She is now a Discover Year Ambassador and attending the University of Ottawa for communications studies.

Discover Year supports young adults to gain the life skills and experience needed to thrive in school, work and beyond, through structured and meaningful gap year programming that includes: workshops, mentorship, service initiatives, work terms and travel.

Some of the literature on the Discover Year is not as complete as it could be. There is an OPEN HOUSE taking place in Burlington

“The past two years have had a significant impact on young adults, many of whom have lost critical connections, opportunities, skills, and experiences,” adds Gosselin. “As a result, the option of a structured gap year to help students recapture dormant skills, ease the transition between high school and post-secondary studies, and prepare for their future careers — is vital.”

Discover Year has held Open House events that welcomed students, parents and educators from across Canada and internationally during its Fall Open House.

During the 2022 Fall Open House, attendees will be able to meet and learn from current Discover Year students, mentors, parents, staff, and alumni, through small-group discussions, networking opportunities and presentations — both in-person and virtually.

Applications for admission to Discover Year’s 2023-24 program will begin following the Fall Open House.

Discover Year is a one-year life skills program that helps young adults better understand what they want in life and build the skills they need to go out and get it. Through essential skills workshops, work terms, travel, mentor-ship, and community service, our students build stronger self-awareness, confidence, communication skills and resilience to thrive in whatever education or career path they take.

More information


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Tickets to Raptors and Maple Leafs are up for auction - closes Friday at 10:30 pm

By Staff

November 17th, 2022



Don’t miss out on your chance to bid on incredible items like Toronto Maple Leafs tickets, Toronto Raptors tickets, New Year’s in Vegas and so much more!

Auction closes at 10:30 pm on Friday, November 18, so make sure to start bidding on the amazing items HERE: 

Proceeds from the J Soirée online auction will support the urgent priorities at Joseph Brant Hospital.

Start Bidding!

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Councillor thanks his constituents for their support - makes no mention of his conflict issues

By Pepper Parr

November 17th, 2022



I don’t know the kind of thinking that is behind a statement like this – sent out by Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith, the day after he was sworn in as a City Councillor for Ward 1.

Councillor Kelvin Galbraith being sworn in for his second term of office

I would like to thank all of those who supported me in the most recent election and I look forward to serving you all again for the next 4 years. The past 4 months was a great opportunity to touch base with as many Ward 1 constituents as possible. Door knocking and face to face conversations are the most effective form of communication with people on the issues that face our community and how the city may resolve them. I really enjoyed making many new connections and look forward to seeing you all at future events and public meetings as they return after a few years of pandemic restrictions limiting all social events.

No mention whatsoever about the issue currently before the Integrity Commissioner. The details of the meeting Galbraith had with the Integrity Commissioner in March of this year are public knowledge.

Galbraith supplied them to a resident who pressed him for several months for more information on what many believed was a conflict of interest on the part of Galbraith.

The Gazette is aware of one complaint that has been filed and a second that is being completed.

The Integrity Commissioner has said that his office requires six to ten weeks to complete an investigation before he can make report to Council and make a recommendation.

Does Kelvin Galbraith think that he just has to wait it out until there is a report from the Integrity Commissioner and once council has it that they will ignore any recommendation ?

This is a very unhealthy situation for a council that has just begun its second term of office.

Related news stories:

The Integrity Commissioner report.
Muir is like a dog with a bone

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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City approves securing a $5 million line of credit - just in cash they run short. In the past reserve funds were used as a funds source

By Staff

November 16th, 2022



Council was asked earlier in the week to approve the by-law to authorize the temporary borrowings of monies from the Royal Bank of Canada to meet the ordinary expenditures of the corporation for the 2023 fiscal year; and have them execute the security agreement

The Finance department explains that at various times during the year, it may be necessary to arrange short-term loans from the City’s banker to meet the current ordinary expenditures of the municipality.

Joan Ford, the city’s Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

There are times in the year when cash flow is at the lowest point and operating expenditures must be covered during the period just prior to the collection of the property taxes. In previous years, we have borrowed from our Reserve Funds during this time and will continue to do so as necessary in 2023.

Borrowing arrangements with the Royal Bank provide us with a $5,000,000 line of credit at the prime-lending rate minus 3/4%. At the current time, prime stands at 5.95%. It has not been necessary to access this credit line during 2022 or prior years nor is it anticipated to be needed for 2023. The by-law is prepared to meet the requirements of the banks.

The City also has borrowing arrangements with Scotia Bank to provide a credit facility of up to $2,000,000 for administering the City’s purchase card program. In 2022 and prior years, this credit facility was paid off monthly and the City anticipates that the facility will be used in the same manner in 2023.This borrowing agreement does not require a security agreement.

That security agreement is really sweet.

NOW IT IS AGREED by the Corporation that in consideration of the Bank advancing or providing the said sum or sums to the Corporation that all the revenues of the Corporation of whatever nature and kind are hereby charged to and in favour of the Bank, as security for payment of the moneys so advanced or provided by the Bank and any interest thereon and any other charges in connection therewith and the Bank shall have a lien upon all such revenues until the charge hereby and by the said By-law or Resolution created is satisfied.

The Corporation represents and warrants that the whole or any part or parts of the revenues of the Corporation are not subject to any prior charge, except as disclosed to the Bank in writing.

Those are your tax dollars that are being pledged

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An early warning sign from Community Living

By Pepper Parr

November 16th, 2022



See what is set out in the piece below as one of those early warning signs.

We are still in the midst of a pandemic and we have to deal with that fact.

Community Living, an agency that is committed to meaningful inclusion in our community of people who have a developmental disability, reports that they are currently experiencing a challenging respiratory illness season. There are several viruses circulating in our community including COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza. We are seeing an increase in illness from RSV compared to previous years and influenza season began a month earlier than expected.

The healthcare system is reporting an increase in severity of illness from these viruses. We are also seeing a huge spike in COVID-19 cases for our employees and the people we support.
As we have done for over 2.5 years, we will continue to use all layers of protection to keep all stakeholders safe.

These layers include:

: Masking at all times
: Daily screening
: Rapid antigen testing of employees 3 times a week
: 10 day isolation when someone (staff or person supported tests positive)

The flu vaccine is designed to protect against strains of the influenza virus that are circulating during influenza season. The vaccine stimulates the body’s immune system to build antibodies against influenza, making it stronger and ready to fight off the illness before it starts. This year’s vaccine appears to be a good match to the circulating strain of the virus. Everyone can receive the flu vaccine at no cost by booking an appointment at their doctor’s office, or a local pharmacy, or a walk-in clinic.

Children under 2 years of age must visit their doctor to receive the flu vaccine. Flu vaccines do not provide protection against COVID-19 virus.

COVID-19 Vaccines: Bivalent vaccines are readily available and we strongly recommend that everyone gets this extra blanket of protection.

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Doug Ford wants to do to the Regions what he did to Toronto city council - decimate them

By Pepper Parr

November 16th, 2022



This shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The Ontario government is introducing new legislation that would, if passed, take decisive action to address the housing crisis by assessing how best to extend strong mayor powers and reduce municipal duplication in order to deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities – primarily the building of 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years. The proposed changes would also provide an additional tool to the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa to deliver on these shared priorities.

The Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022 includes proposed changes to the Municipal Act, and other Acts, to help large, urban municipalities better meet the needs of their rapidly growing communities.

Explore the Expansion of the Strong Mayors Tools in Certain Regions

Premier Ford laying it out in the provincial Legislature

As the province considers how to best extend the tools provided for in the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act to some of Ontario’s fastest-growing municipalities, provincially-appointed facilitators will assess the regional governments in Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo and York. They will be tasked with determining the best mix of roles and responsibilities between the upper and lower-tier municipalities in those regions, and ensuring they are equipped to deliver on the government’s commitment to build 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years in order to address the housing supply crisis.

Establish Regulation-Making Authorities for the New By-law Power

The proposed legislation, if passed, would allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe the provincial priorities for which the new mayoral by-law powers could be used. The proposed legislation would also allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to make regulations that establish rules related to the by-law power.

The government plans on making accompanying regulations to set out current provincial priorities. These priorities could include building 1.5 million new homes in 10 years to address the housing supply crisis, and the construction and maintenance of infrastructure, such as transit and roads, to support new and existing housing development.

Three years after abandoning a push for regional reform, Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark has tabled legislation Wednesday that would revamp how that layer of government works in the regions of Peel, York, Durham, Halton, Niagara and Waterloo.

The We Love Burlington group taking their case to Queen’s Park

Clark said the proposed moves — which are designed to eliminate bureaucratic duplication between regions and the cities within them — are needed for the Tories to keep their campaign pledge to build 1.5 million new houses in Ontario over the next decade.

“These bold actions are necessary if our government is to keep its commitment to Ontarians and remove the obstacles standing in the way of much-needed housing,” said Clark.

Premier Doug Ford

“That’s why we are again taking decisive action to provide municipal leaders the tools they need to plan for future population growth and get more homes built faster.”

To that end, the province will appoint “facilitators (to) work with local governments to assess the best mix of roles and responsibilities between upper and lower-tier municipalities.”

Halton will elect their chairs for the new council term that ends in 2026.

The Better Municipal Governance Act is sure to be contentious in some quarters.

It would allow Queen’s Park “to prescribe the provincial priorities for which the new mayoral bylaw powers could be used,” suggesting local councils could have even less power than thought.



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Mayor announces appoinment of Deputy Mayors at the Inauguration.

By Pepper Parr

November 16th, 2022



During the Inaugurations of the 2022-2026 city council last night Mayor Marianne Meed Ward announced the creation of Deputy Mayors with each member of Council having a specific portfolio.

She likened these to federal Cabinet level portfolios

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith being sworn in

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith will be responsible for the removal of red tape, better delivery of permits and working with the agricultural community to ensure a robust agricultural economy.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns has been given the Community Engagement and Participation portfolio where she will review the current community engagement model and the Advisory Committee model. Working with the Recreation portfolio Deputy Mayor is included in the work Kearns is expected to do.

Rory Nisan is Deputy Mayor for Environment will focus on the role of Conservation Halton, overseeing the Climate Emergency matters and transit.
He will wok on the Climate action plan and restart conversations with the Boards of Education on free transit for students.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte has the Affordable Housing portfolio which is a natural extent ion to the work she did during her first term. She will work on the implementation of the housing strategy and liaise with the Region on affordable housing.

Paul Sharman, Councillor for ward 5 will handle the Budget and Vision to Focus, which is the four year focus on the 25 year Strategic Plan. He will also focus on KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and other measurements on how will the city is doing. Multi year budgets will also be part of that portfolio,

Councillor Bentivegna will be Deputy Mayor for Recreation and community service and the city’s relationship with the hospital. He will also oversee the Recreation and Culture Master Plan which Council expects to complete this year.

What Mayor Meed Ward did not expand on is how the work each Council member does as a Deputy Mayor will be integrated into how Council operates and how they will work with Staff.

Mayor Meed Ward after being sworn in. City Clerk Kevin Arjoon on the right and Justice of the Peace Mark Curtis

She did say that there will be close collaboration between her and the Deputy Mayors.

Meed Ward has worked to create stronger roles for the members of Council. During her first term she was not able to get the support she wanted from the members of Council who seemed to see being Deputy Mayor as the first step to eventually becoming Mayor.

Her announcement is an interesting evolution of the role members of Council play in the creation of policy and program initiatives.

The Inauguration was actually a meeting of Council that was certainly not what the public has been used to seeing. The Burlington Teen Tour Band led the parade of Councillors in the Main Theatre of the Performing Arts Centre and led them out when the meeting was adjourned.

Hayley Verrall sang the National Anthem – it was very well done.

The 2022-2026 City Council. Councillor Shawna Stolte was absent, taking part virtually while she recovers from Covid18

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Interested in making something - there is a place where you can tinker away to your hearts delight.

By Pepper Parr

November 15th, 2022



There was a time when libraries were about books.

Today you can borrow videos and you can now book some time in what is known as the Makers Space – a shop on the third floor of the library.

Not a book in see.

Large format printers; 3D printers, embroidery machine and laser cutter – all in a library

There are two laser cutters, there is a 3D printer, and there is software galore along with two printers – one a large format.

Ryan Miller on the right working out a problem with a “customer”.

Who uses the Maker’s Space – anybody and any one. Some people come in knowing precisely what they want to do said Ryan Miller the man who co-ordinates everything.

Others he added have an idea and they need some help figuring out how to do it – not knowing just what there is in the way of equipment.

The creative stuff runs the gamut from making buttons that you pin on to an embroidery pattern that you want to cut into a piece of plastic or wood.

While it works better for everyone if you make an appointment – the hours of operation are:

Monday, Friday and Saturday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

There are no fees.

Ryan Miller: brings a quiet, reserved approach to helping people figure out the best way to solve a problem.

The Maker’s Space is really for the imaginative. There are some inquisitive kids that would spend the rest of their lives in the place – trying ideas that have never been done before.
Those that walk in are evenly split in terms of gender; run from five to 55 and beyond.

Walk into the place with an idea and you may well come out with a finished product.

Make sure you bring a memory stick with you – you will probably take some software files you created and want to work with at home.

This is a place where every parent would love their kids to spend time at.

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Population growth for Burlington set at 124,390 by 2051 - that's why all the high rise towers are being built.

By Pepper Parr

November 14th, 2022



At a city council meeting last week a resolution was put forward asking the provincial government to give municipalities more time to consider and review items that came out of the two announcements made last Friday.

The first announcement came out at 2 pm; the second just after 4 pm.

Bill C23 (More Homes Built Faster) was introduced and ROPA49 (Regional Official Plan Amendment) was approved (with significant changes) by the Minister

Combined the two will change the way the municipal sector does business.

Someone at city hall knew that the two were huge in terms of how the city would handle the changes and how they would prepare the responses.

No one said who rang the bell to get all hands on deck but starting Friday evening through to late Monday Staff turned out high level reports for council and gave their best solutions to what was in front of the city.

The province had given the municipal sector 30 days to respond – the city passed a resolution asking that the 30 day commenting deadline be bumped up to 60 days – even then Staff knew they had a mammoth task in front of them.

The Minister of Housing had signed off on ROPA49 – which was not appeal able.  That document opened up all kinds of land that is currently Employment Lands.

Here is what we know so far.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith finds that two areas in his ward will now get a much different look. – Eagle Heights and the Bridgeview development now that those properties are going to be brought into the urban boundary.

Up until the changes the Region was working on population numbers out to 2041 – the province changed that and sent out numbers for what the population growth was going to be through to 2051.

The 2041 number for the Region was ; 240,050

The number for 2051 is now 265,160.

Burlington’s share was, for 2041 114,330 – that has been bumped up to 124,390 by 2051.

Managing these changes and understanding the unintended consequences as well as the intended consequences is hard work

The Planning department is swamped.   The graphic below sets out what planning staff have to cope with.

In an attempt to deal with the workload and the amount of time available the city passed the following Resolution:

WHEREAS; the both the Provincial and Federal governments have initiated conversations on how all three levels of government can collaborate to solve the housing crisis;

Changes brought in by the province are going to bring about mammoth changes – City Manager Tim Commisso said: “We will make it work.

WHEREAS; the current timing for input on these substantial changes in legislation and regulations is not adequate for the municipal sector to provide fulsome, effective, and constructive feedback or to identify the unintended consequences and serious implications that may arise from these changes that may ultimately frustrate the Provincial Government goal

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Burlington City Council requests that the Province of Ontario extend the comment period for all 30- and 31-day postings for feedback on potential legislative, regulatory, policy and other changes, to 66-day postings, to allow for fulsome municipal consultation.

The Resolution will be sent to everyone who can read in the municipal sector, to the government, the political parties and every stake holder they can think of.

The West End Home Builders Association had already put out a media release saying they were onside and will work with everyone to make it possible.

How this will happen is something no one really knows.  City Manager Tim Commisso told Council that Toronto is looking for 30 planners adding that “we will make this work”

Work is the operative word in all this.


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Outdoor Tennis Courts, Pickleball Courts and Mobi-Mats are packing it in for the winter

By Staff

November 14th, 2022



As of today, outdoor tennis courts and outdoor pickleball courts are closed for the winter and will re-open in the spring.

The outdoor season has been brought to a close

Mobi-mats at Beachway Park have also been removed for the winter and will be re-installed in the spring

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