Will Karina Gould get a promotion today?

By Pepper Parr

July 26th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Today is the day we will learn what role Karina Gould will play in the Cabinet the Prime Minister announces later today.

Karina Gould in the House of Commons when President Obama was speaking to a joint session of the House and the Senate.

Gould is a mother, and the youngest female cabinet minister in Canadian history, and described as a fierce advocate for her community. Born in 1986, she has been a politician since her first election in 2015. She studied at McGill University and at Oxford University.

There are numerous buttons that have to be pushed when forming a Cabinet.  Gender, ability, experience and energy level.

Performing is as a Cabinet Minister is a hard, time consuming job.  Gould has a young child and her family values call for her to be home.

Karina Gould with the Prime Minister wen she was sworn in as the Minister of families, children and social development.

Does the Prime Minister see her as ready for a front bench seat?  Ministry of Health is a possibility, but a long shot.

We may see the Prime Minister create new Ministries, or revise some of the current Ministries.

The top challenge for this government is the environment and Climate Change.  Where would Karina Gould fit into that frame?

Gould will know what her role is going to be; she will have met with the Prime Minister but the rules of the game are that you wait until the Prime Minister makes an announcement which is expected sometime before noon.

 

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The NEWS

 

“Around 500 newsrooms closed their doors across the country… and they will continue closing their doors…..The status quo is not working because the money is going to the tech giants.” Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez

By Ray Rivers

July 25th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

Is Canada’s news media under threat of extinction? Last year, Meta made more than US$23 billion in profit while Alphabet, Google’s parent company, made close to US$60 billion. Meanwhile news organizations, the vast majority being community based, are running out of cash. And even allowing for some new entrants into the business, the future for independent media is worrisome.

Both owned by the same corporation -they feed each other and control what you get in the way of information in a way that few understand.

Increasingly smaller generators of news content are not able to attract enough ad revenue to pay their staff. And to add insult to injury Google and Facebook news platforms don’t pay for the content they extract from the news providers and exhibit as their own. It’s a perfect way to make a profit. Lots of ad revenue, no serious competition and the content is free.

Some of the better known news outfits, like the Toronto Star or the Globe, have instituted paywalls. Some like CNN and the CBC keep their digital operations operating by cross subsidizing from their TV or other services. Some, like the Guardian, are begging for voluntary donations. And the rest are hanging on by a thread, laying off staff or shutting down completely.

Playing hardball with the federal government.

Buying subscriptions is a hard sell when there are a number of free news feeds around. And how many digital subscriptions can any busy middle class family afford and read? Polling indicates that 85 per cent of Canadians do not pay for online news subscriptions, and Canadians under the age of 64 usually check social media sites such as Facebook and Reddit first to get their news.

The federal government in 2021 introduced an income tax credit for subscribers of Canadian digital news organizations to help stem the bleeding. But, while a good idea in principle, it is too little and probably too late to make a difference. It is early days but this indirect subsidy is more like a small bandage on a large gaping wound, rather than a real solution.

Only online in the future ahead of us?

So this year the feds introduced the Online News Act. Based on pioneering Australian legislation, when fully implemented tech companies will be compelled, dragging and screaming, to make a deal and start paying for the content they get from news organizations like the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the Burlington Gazette. The details are still being sorted.

Facebook and Google are not happy. They have announced that once the new law is implemented they will stop hosting Canadian news stories. Google is threatening to eliminate Canadian sources in its search function. And Facebook, playing hardball with the government, has already cut some subscribers off Canadian news content.

This is becoming a game of chicken. The feds, Quebec and BC have retaliated by cutting off the advertising they do with Facebook. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the new legislation could inject around $329 million to the Canadian news industry. But that would only be the case were big tech to cooperate.

And they have mostly in Australia, with Facebook coming back to the table and offering compensation contracts to news content suppliers. However, as Australia is finding, their law is not a panacea. Big tech is paying for content based on the bargaining power of the news organization, more for Rupert Murdock and less for the smaller outfits.

Will newspaper coin boxes disappear?

There are a number of other options which could be taken. For example, given the sheer size of the tech companies in the market place, there could be restrictions on their uncompetitive behaviour. Governments could increase their advertising budgets and only advertise with the news makers proper. Perhaps the techs could be taxed out of the news business, allowing news to return to news providers and the tax revenue used as a direct subsidy, perhaps on some per-readership level or other criterion.

Under the current law the tech companies essentially become the employers as well as clients for the small news creators. How long will it be until big tech also dictates what they should be reporting, and more ominously what shouldn’t? Already, big tech uses algorithms to dictate what appears in your e-news in-basket.

Canadians might want to think about better supporting our own national broadcaster, the CBC, rather than relying for news on the big tech transnationals. The CBC has its problems related to programming and identity – what it wants to be when it grows up – but since 1936 the CBC has been an anchor and standard for news broadcasting on our airways. It is worrisome that the recent string of Conservative Party of Canada leaders keep talking about mostly eliminating the CBC.

“Democracy Dies in Darkness” is the motto of the Washington Post, a major US paper with a history going back to 1877. That’s not nearly as old as the Globe and Mail which started operation in 1844 and was printed on the first cylinder press in Canada West,. And there is the Halifax Gazette which began in 1752. Free and accurate information is one of the most important pillars of democracy.

Ray Rivers, a Gazette Contributing Editor, writes regularly applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers

Background links:

Australian On-Line –   Canada’s On-Line –   Digital Ad Revenue –  Shattered Mirror

Government Spending on Facebook –  Canadian News on Facebook

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That Holiday market initiative appears to have taken a pass on Burlington - good news

By Pepper Parr

July 25th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A posting by For the Love of Markets yesterday caught our eye.

“We have had some amazing vendor event this year, and more are yet to come! Some markets are already full – Apply today to be a part of our August, Fall & Winter 2023 event line-up!”

This was the group that brought the For the Love of Markets to Burlington in 2021.

Brian Dean

Peter John VanDyk and Brian Dean were pushing the event.  Dean who is the Executive Director of the Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA) who is responsible for helping local business people grow their business.  Some people wondered why Dean would be working with a group that was going to bring in vendors who would compete against local merchants during the best marketing time of the year.

The weather didn’t work in 2021 – high winds resulted in the closing of the event.

The following year the organization didn’t have the verve or the pizzazz that many expected and was poorly attended.

Meagan Madill,: a Rock Star

In a report to Council there was concern over what to do with the event.  When the organization and its leader Meagan Madill,  were introduced Mayor Meed Ward described her as a “Rock Star”.

There was some discussion of tying into the Santa Claus parade but there was nothing firm.

It appears that For the Love of Markets has given up on Burlington – it is not listed on their 2023 vendor opportunities.

The event that took place in 2022 is listed,

 

 

No word from ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns. This one might be better left alone.

Related news stories:

Will the Holiday Market get another chance?

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Mayor puts her spin on the 535 Brant, 26 storey development - a snow job on the part of Her Worship

By Pepper Parr

July 25th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor Meed Ward and ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns issued a joint statement late in the day.

It reads:

July 24, 2023 — The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) has approved the application for a 26-storey residential apartment with 259 units and retail on the ground floor at 535-551 Brant Street.

The city’s vision for this area in our new Official Plan [2020] is a maximum 11 storeys, with 3 storeys along Brant street setback for the first 20 metres, to maintain the Main Street character. Our new OP directs the greatest heights and densities to the area surrounding the Burlington GO Station.

Rendering showing the development from the Brant Street side- public parking at the rear and the No Frills parking area to the left.

At the time the applications were filed with the City, the property was within the city’s Urban Growth Centre (“UGC”) and within the Mobility Hub area of the John Street Bus Terminal. UGCs and Mobility Hubs are among the areas intended to be the focus for accommodating intensification. These designations have now shifted to the Burlington GO station. However the Tribunal assessed this application in accordance with the UGC policies that were in place at the time of the application, as required by the Province’s amended approval of Regional Official Plan Amendment #48.

While the 2020 OP may assist the Tribunal in understanding the City’s vision for the Downtown, the Tribunal noted “it is not a determinative policy document” as it is currently under appeal.

In their ruling released July 19 the OLT found that the proposed development “respects the existing Brant Street character, the surrounding built form, and uses” and “is compatible with the neighbourhood area without any unacceptable impacts on existing or future development.”

You can read the OLT decision on the city’s webpage dedicated to this project here.

We know the community will be very disappointed in this decision, as we are. It fails to appreciate staff, council and the community’s vision for this area, and to direct the highest buildings to our GO station areas.

It underscores the challenges we face in implementing our vision for managing growth in the city. We will continue to face these challenges as long as the OLT can override local council desires as expressed in our Official Plan and related documents.

Rendering of the development from the John Street lane way with the No Frills parking space to the right.

We want to thank everyone who took time to share your feedback with us on this development. Although the overall outcome is not what we hoped for a number of changes were negotiated through the process. Staff are reviewing options to seek a review of this decision. We will let the community know when we know more.

This is a remarkable spin on what happened and a refusal to deal with the facts.  Add that to the rather damning statement made by the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) that dealt wit the appeal that was made by Renimmob Properties:

The Tribunal finds that it would be an inexcusable error to evaluate and base its decision on the Applications using the policies or vision of the ineffectual and non- operative 2020 OP. The Applications are subject to, and must be evaluated against, the policies of the in-force COP.

The fact is that the Official Plan passed by Council is not in force – it has no impact on any application other than being what the city wants to do once the 2020 Official Plan gets through the 48 appeals at the OLT that are pending.

Mayor Meed Ward and Councillor Lisa Kearns need to be honest with the voters.  They may not like what is taking place but the OLT is sticking to the facts and not the political dreams of the current Council.

In a phrase – they are snowing you

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Lease renewal is said to be the issue that brought about the decision to close the Queen's head

By Pepper Parr

July 24th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

A great pub, a fine crowd of regulars. Closing appears to be related to issues related to renewing the lease.

It was built in 1860, originally known as the Zimmerman House, built by the Zimmerman family as a first class resting place for the weary traveller.

By the late 1800’s it was known as the Queen’s Hotel,

She stood the test of time. The site is a prime location and will have a new tenant soon. The owner may already know who the new tenant is going to be.

By the mid 1900s it was known as the Sherwood, and later became the Queen’s Head Pub.

This is the second of some of the great watering holes in the city.  Before the pandemic took over the city Craig Craig Kowalchuk put Emmas Back Porch into bankruptcy and walked away from a business he had put a lot of time energy and his own money into.

He could see the writing on the wall.

Shortly after ward 2 Councillor named him a Local Legend and gave him the equivalent of a plaque

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Queen's Head to Close - September 16 last call

By Pepper Parr

July 24th, 2026

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Here is a stunner for you.

One of the places downtown that is actually vibrant will close after more than twenty years of great customer service – the Queen’s Head Pub will close.

 

We are following up for more detail.

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“Wartime-Scale Effort” Needed As Several Ontario Cities Already Behind On Housing Goals - Burlington is one of them

By Staff
July 24th, 2023
BURLINGTON, ON

In early 2022, the Government of Ontario very publicly pledged to build 1.5M new homes across the province by 2031.

Roughly a year-and-a-half in, many municipalities are already falling far behind the monthly targets that would indicate they’re keeping pace with overall housing goals.

Mike Moffatt

Economist and Assistant Professor at Ivey Business School Dr. Mike Moffatt has compiled recently-released data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation that shows a dozen cities already well off the necessary rate of production required to meet their provincially-imposed housing targets.

Moffatt’s data presents housing completions and units under construction in 29 Ontario cities between January 2022 and May 2023, as well as each figure as a percentage of the municipality’s 10-year goal.

And, while the 17-month timeframe puts Ontario 14% of the way through its 10-year target, 12 cities within the province are currently sitting under that 14% mark of progress toward their goal.

Based on the number of completions and units under construction, Burlington is just 4.4% of the way towards its goal of building some 29,000 new homes by 2031. Between January 2022 and May 2023, the city built just 333 new homes, and has fewer than 1,000 more currently under constriction.

Brampton is only slightly further along, at 5.4% of its goal, but it also has a higher overall target of 113,000 total homes. Ajax, meanwhile, is a meagre 6.3% of the way towards its goal of building 17,000 homes by 2031.

A Molinaro development in the west end of the city will eventually be completed.

Of the 12 Ontario cities that are falling behind the province’s overall pace — which also include Newmarket (8.0%), Guelph (8.7%), and St. Catharines (11.0%) — Mississauga has the highest housing target, at 120,000. As of May, it has completed just over 2,000 homes and has another 11,000 under construction, putting it 10.9% of the way towards its goal.

“We’re frustrated at the lack of progress across the province,” Moffatt, who is also the Founding Director of the PLACE Centre, told STOREYS. “The data really isn’t moving in the right direction.”

“It is certainly possible that the cities catch up — we are only 14% of the way through this 10-year period, so there is still time — but it’s going to take a wartime-scale effort. We need to start making pretty drastic changes in the province, especially in the 905 areas that are particularly lagging.”

In contrast to their suburban neighbours, some Ontario cities are making notable progress towards their goals.

Kingston is leading the way, having progressed 34.6% of the way towards its 8,000 housing target. Toronto, with its 285,000 housing goal, follows, at 29.9%. As of May, Toronto has completed more than 25,500 units, and has another 85,000 under construction. Vaughan (26.6%), Pickering (26.3%), and Brantford (25.0%) are also making good headway.

The best mid-sized Canadian city to live in may not have room for those who would like to move to Burlington.

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Has Burlington done well by the architects who design the high rise tower that exist and are planned?

By Pepper Parr

July 24th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

The city of Toronto now has a new Court House – it is a 17 floor structure with 73 courtrooms and a design that approaches the description stunning.

Colour dominates the entrance – doesn’t have the look of a Court House which was intentional.

It is a very good example of what architects can do when the get creative which begs the question: Is there any truly unique design in the buildings that are now under construction and will there be anything memorable in the 50 plus buildings that have to go up to accommodate the population growth that the city has to accommodate?

Are architects responsible to just the developers who pay their fees or do they have an obligation to the people who will live in the city for the 50, maybe 75 years the high rise towers will stand?

The social scientists and the architects know that people need space to live in and to keep their stuff in; storage space for linens, closets for clothing, a spot for the few tools that are kept in apartments.

What we are seeing now are units that are is as small is as 450 sq ft. There are very few three bedroom units and I doubt there isn’t one four bedroom unit being built.

Under construction on Guelph Line where the Black Bull was once located the building has taken the place of storage space that used to be part of where you lived.

What we do see are storage companies that will rent you space to put you bike in or your golf clubs during the winter. What used to be home, the place were are your stuff, was now a place where there are space limitations.

Burlington does have an Urban Design committee that gets to opine on the design of a development that is going through the application stage.  Without casting aspersions on the group – they are the same people that are designing the building that are before the Planning department.

The “Marilyns”, a pair of condos that have held their value and went for premium prices when they were first on the market. People wanted unique design.

There are examples of some fascination buildings in and around the GTA. The “Marilyns” in Mississauga with their curvy design sell at a premium because people want to live in distinct building and will pay extra for the privilege.

There was a developer who took a different approach to a series of building along the southern end of Woodbine where the race track used to be in the Toronto Beach commuity.

Some of his peers thought he was in the process of making an expensive mistake. The developer was described is as someone nearing the end of his career and wanted to do something that would be remember.

What has Burlington got coming its way?

While the ADI group has a well earned reputation related to some of their business practices – their designs are, to this writer some of the best we have seem. Their Nautique is good, their four storey condo on Guelph Line was very well done; their Link development on Dundas brought a much different look to a community that was boring at best.

Nick Carnicelli, principal of the Carriage Gate firm, has a thing about height. This project is his idea of what will be seen as the entrance to the city as you travel along Lakeshore Road from the east.

Carriage Gate has chosen to earn the reputation for the highest building – something that looms over the space it takes.

The two towers in the middle in the original design had curves that left the impression of a welcoming gate to the downtown core. For reasons unknown the design was changed.

The Molinaro Group had an exceptional design for three of the four corners at Ghent and Guelph Line. Towers on either side of Brant were originally designed to serve is as an entrance into the northern part of the downtown core – but for reason that were never clear they changed the design. An opportunity lost.

A rendering of how the high rise tower planned for Lakeshore and Brant on the north east side could look like – the vision was created by the city planning department. Owners of the property didn’t see it quite the same way.

They have a chance to make amends when it comes time to develop their holdings on Lakeshore Road between Brant and John Street. A rendering of what could be done on those lands appeared – turns out the rendering wasn’t prepared by the Molinaro people – someone in the city planning department had it done and put it out.

The Bridgewater development had a rough ride getting to the point where there were shovels in the ground.  When it opened it turned out to be well worth the wait.  It is a destination for pricey events.

The Molinaro’s were not impressed but decided at the time to make a comment.

The development in the east end _find out which it is – is mammoth. It will dwarf everything around it and unless all the residents use bicycles – the traffic jams will be something they will have to get used to dealing with.

The Bridgewater development was designed by the owners of the property – New Horizons was brought in to build it.

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Heritage Week will celebrate the city and its history - lots to do

By Staff

July 24th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

While July isn’t over yet, most people are looking forward to the next holiday weekend that begins August 5th.

MP Karina Gould: Is she in line for a different Cabinet role?

By that time many people expect the Prime Minister to have announced what his Cabinet is going to look like.  Will Burlington MP Karina Gould be moved to a new Ministry; she is currently the Minister of Families. Is she ready for a front bench seat?  We should know by the end of the week.

City Council will be sitting during part of August – traditionally the month is holiday time except for the few days they attend the AMO conference which this year is in London from the 20th to the 23rd.

The rest of us get to just enjoy the month and celebrate Burlington’s history during Heritage Week Aug. 5 to 12, 2023.

St. Luke’s Anglican Church built on land given to Joseph Brant

A sub-committee of Heritage Burlington is established each year to work in conjunction with the Burlington Historical Society, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington Public Library, Burlington Museums, Friends of Freeman Station, Burlington Halton Black History Awareness Society, Beach Canal Lighthouse and David Craig of History Pix, along with a growing list of other area organizations.

All events are free. Events that require registration will open for registration from July 10 to 28 or until events reach limit capacity. Burlington celebrates its 150th – referred to as its Sesquicentennial year.

The week will begin with an event at the 1834 St. Luke’s Anglican Church property with Indigenous Spiritual Healer White Eagle and Town Crier David Vollick taking active parts.  A quartet from the Burlington Symphony Orchestra will be playing music. The orchestra is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

At the close of the opening ceremonies Alan Harrington of the Burlington Heritage Society will provide a memorable walking tour of the historic area surrounding St. Luke’s. The tour will highlight places of interest and the stories of several Burlington’s residents who left a lasting legacy with the community. 

The church was built on land that was part of the land grant given to Joseph Brant for his service to Canada during the a war in the United States.

Open doors has a number of locations that will be open to the public on August 12th.  We will list them all closer to the 12th,

Among the events taking place during the week are;

 

Currently, the Burlington Model Railway Club (BMRC) — established in the early 1980s — owns and operates model railways in three different scales. The club includes men, women and families from Burlington and the surrounding area who share a common interest of model railroading — in N scale, HO scale, and/or G scale — with skill levels varying from “beginner” to “expert.” The club is located at 1137 Hidden Valley Road.  It will be open to the public on August 12th from 10 am to 2:00 pm on August 12th

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Begin thinking about what the redesign of the adaptive reuse of the recently acquired Robert Bateman High School should look like

By Staff

July 24th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City has announced dates for visioning exercises on the redesign of the adaptive reuse of the recently acquired Robert Bateman High School.  The events are being called Community Visioning Workshops.

Dates are

August 22,  Appelby Ice Centre  7:00 -9:00

August 23, LaSalle Park  1:00- 300

Don’t expect to see council members at the event unless they are going to drive back to Burlington from London where most are expected to take part in the three day annual AMO conference.

The city now owns the property- they have rented out much of the space to the HAlton District School Board and Brock University.

The city has asked people to register to attend:  use  –  getinvolved@burlington.ca to register

Additional events are scheduled for October 18, Tansley Woods  7:00-9:00 and a Zoom events October 19 at  7:00 pm

An alert Gazette reader points out that community engagement was expected to take place in  Q2 2023.  The reader added that Phase 1 of the project was expected to be complete in September 2024 not September 2025.

 

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Environment Canada issues Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Halton Hills and Milton: torrential rainfall expected

By Staff

July 23rd, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Conservation Halton advises that approximately 20 to 35 mm of rain has fallen over the past couple hours in the upper reaches of our watershed along Highway 401. Environment Canada has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Halton Hills and Milton, citing that nickel size hail and torrential rainfall with totals between 50-80 mm is possible.

Widespread flooding is not anticipated, however fast flowing water and flooding of low-lying areas and natural floodplains may be expected.

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to keep a safe distance from all watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers. 

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream and weather conditions and will issue an update to this Watershed Condition Statement –Water Safety message as conditions warrant.

This Watershed Condition Statement will be in effect through Tuesday July 25, 2023.

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Burlington Liberals meet with leadership candidate Ted Hsu

By Pepper Parr

July 23rd, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

We were advised today that there is a fifth candidate: Dr. Adil Shamji.  Our apologies for missing that.

The campaign for a new Ontario Liberal party leader reached Burlington on the weekend. Ted Hsu, currently the MPP for Kingston and the Islands, wants to lead the party and is crisscrossing the province to meet people who will be part of the process when a leadership convention takes place early in December.

Voting for the new leader will be a ranked ballot event instead of a convention at which the delegates choose.

Ted Hsu, one of four candidates for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party

Ted Hsu has been the MPP for Kingston and the Islands since the 2022 Ontario provincial election. He formerly served as federal Liberal MP for the Kingston and the Islands riding from 2011 to 2015, but chose not to run for re-election so he could spend more time with his family.

Hsu officially launched his Liberal leadership campaign late in May. He was joined on stage by guitarist Rob Baker of the Tragically Hip.

In a telephone interview Hsu took me though his views on key issues: energy, long term health care, protecting the Greenbelt and ensuring the homes that are going to be needed are built.

Hsu takes a strong policy view to running the province if he gets the opportunity but is realistic enough to know that policy doesn’t get you very far when it comes to votes.  He knows that getting in front of people and pressing the flesh is the way elections are won.

He doesn’t have a quickly recognized profile that he can rely upon.  The group he met with in Burlington was small, it’s summer time, people want to enjoy the weather and do family events.

Hsu said he thinks we are going to have to rely more on nuclear for the energy the province needs and that Ontario needs to “marshal the resources it has” and make the tools and technology that is in place available to the private sector who will create the jobs needed to grow the economy.       

Hsu was very firm on the creation of  gas plants – “We need to avoid going that route – fossil fuels are not a solution – they are the problem.

Ted Hsu with Ancilla Ho Young and local party president Lisa Mayeski

Hsu takes the approach that voters are going to have to trust the people they choose to lead them.  He spoke of the ‘Ring of Fire’, a northern area 540 km northeast of Thunder Bay Ontario where the unproven mineral deposits lie underneath the  carbon-rich peatlands of the James Bay Lowlands.

Mining that part of the province was an issue in the 2022 election.  There are outstanding questions about the Ring of Fire that that Hsu believes have to resolved first with the Indigenous community who Hsu said have a veto.

Hsu said he feels people elected to office need to bring a level of humility to the work they do and to constantly check on the work they do. “We need to be constantly testing and checking the impact of the decisions they make.

Asked if he thought the Ontario Liberals need to do what the federal Liberals did in the 60’s  when they held a national conference in Kingston on what the country needed in the way of a social policy.

Few would argue that Ontario desperately needs a distinct social policy; Hsu was non-committal on such an approach but he certainly knew what the 60’s event was all about and the role it played in creating many of the federal government programs in place today.

Re-earning the trust of voters was a phrase Hsu used often – “let them ask the hard questions, Hsu wanted the public to be able to poke and prod, he said he felt politicians had to be bold and fearless and risk losing some votes.

“We have to work at changing the culture” he said.

Ted Hsu was born in Bartsville, Oklahoma and moved to Canada when his father got a job teaching at Queen’s University. He graduated from Queen’s and pursued graduate studies at Princeton University, where he completed his PhD in physics in 1989. Hsu worked as a researcher and trader in Paris and Philadelphia for Banque Nationale de Paris, and as an executive director in the Tokyo office of Morgan Stanley, a global investment bank.

There are currently four people running for the leadership: Ted Hsu, Yasir Naqvi, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Bonnie Crombie and Dr. Adil Shamji

Ted Hsu meeting with local Liberals: Answering questions – building trust

September 5 is the deadline for the Ontario Liberals leadership candidate registration. Candidates must have an entry fee of $100,000 and a refundable $25,000 deposit.

September 11is the final day for new members to join the party and be eligible to vote in the leadership election, except for members of student clubs, who have until September 26.

November 25 to 26 Party members will cast their votes by ranked ballot. The  Liberal members voted to scrap the party’s use of delegated conventions and instead use direct voting with a ranked ballot.

December 2 the Ontario Liberals will announce the round-by-round results.

 

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Joe Dogs just got a new neighbour - the relationship will be interesting

By Pepper Parr

July 22nd, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Tough future ahead for the group that owns Joe Dogs – the buildings next door are going to disappear and be replaced by a 26 storey structure that will have 226 units

The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) decided that the development could proceed. Getting to this point was messy. The developer, Renimmob Properties, chose not to work with the city’s Planning department and took their case directly to the OLT.

Rendering of site with Brant Street in the foreground, the public parking lot shown in green and the parking space in front of the No Frills on the right.

Rendering of the eastern side of the proposed development with the public parking lot in green and the No Frills parking space on the right. Site address is 535 Brant.

 

No word at this point on when shovels will be put into the ground. The barber shop, the convenience store, the tire replacement location and the branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia will be demolished to clear the site for development.

A development to the north, on the opposite side of the street gives a view of how Brant Street will change

The statement that jumps out during a casual skim of the decision is this:

The Tribunal finds that it would be an inexcusable error to evaluate and base its decision on the Applications using the policies or vision of the ineffectual and non- operative 2020 OP. The Applications are subject to, and must be evaluated against, the policies of the in-force COP.

The Applicant, Renimmob Properties, advised the Tribunal that the Applications were modified in December 2022 to address comments resulting from a peer review of the Applications conducted by Mr. Hannay. The revisions include:

a. A relocated vehicular access from Brant Street to John Street that allows for a continuous active frontage along Brant Street;

b. Road widenings of 3.55 m and 2.50 m provided along Brant Street and John Street, respectively;

c. A reduced tower floorplate from 797 m2 to 749.4 m2;

d. An increased tower stepback from the podium to a minimum of 4.28 m along John Street and 5.57 m along Brant Street;

e. A 12.73 m tower setback from the west property line and 13.18 m tower setback from the east property line;

f. A reduced underground parking footprint to accommodate the proposed road widenings;

g. An overall reduction in vehicular parking from 253 spaces to 226 spaces; and

h. An overall increase in bicycle parking from 36 spaces to 88 spaces.

The Applications were submitted and subsequently revised to facilitate the development of a 26-storey residential apartment with retail on the ground floor on lands municipally known as 535-551 Brant Street

Since the initial application was filed in December 2020, the pattern of heights in the Downtown area, particularly along Brant Street, has continued to transition, including many existing, approved, and proposed developments. Some examples are:

an 18-storey mixed use development, with ground floor commercial uses and residential uses above, at 409 Brant Street (approved by the Tribunal);

a 23-storey mixed use building, with ground floor commercial uses, office uses on the second floor and residential uses above, at 421-431 Brant Street (approved by City Council);

a mixed-use development, with two towers of 18 and 25 storeys with ground floor commercial uses and residential uses above, at 774-782 Brant Street (under City review);

a 31-storey mixed use development, with ground floor commercial uses and residential uses above, at 789-795 Brant Street (under City review);

an existing mixed-use development of 22 storeys, with ground floor commercial uses, and residential uses and hotel suites above, at 2042-2054 Lakeshore Road;

a 26-storey mixed use building under construction at 374 Martha Street (approved by the Ontario Municipal Board); and

a 29-storey mixed use building, with ground floor commercial uses and residential uses above, at 2069-2079 Lakeshore Road and 383-385 Pearl Street (approved by the Tribunal).

With all this development is there a place for what Joe Dogs brings to the city?

Winter never did much for Joe Dogs.

Summer – ah a great opportunity for a photo op that ward 2 Councillor takes advantage of. Will she be on hand when the site closes?

Central to the submissions by the City was City Council’s adoption of a new official plan in 2018 that was modified by the City in September 2020 and approved by the Region in November 2020 (“2020 OP”).

The 2020 OP was subsequently appealed to the Tribunal by 48 appellants and is not currently in effect. Nevertheless, it is the City’s position, and the opinion of their witnesses, that the Tribunal ought to give significant weight to the 2020 OP in evaluating the Proposed Development given the considerable public input and studies that led to its adoption.

Notwithstanding the 2020 OP provisions for the Subject Property requiring a maximum height of 11 storeys and a tower setback of 20 m from Brant Street, both Mr. Lowes and Ms. Jay proffered that a 17-storey building with a 17.32 m tower setback from Brant Street would be appropriate for the Subject Property.

The Tribunal found this position conflicting. On the one hand, the City’s witnesses urged the Tribunal to rely on the provisions of the 2020 OP given the significant efforts that led to its adoption and the risk of setting a precedent for the area that was not consistent with the new policies. On the other hand, they also opined that deviating from the 2020 OP policies on the Subject Property was appropriate.

The Tribunal finds that it would be an inexcusable error to evaluate and base its decision on the Applications using the policies or vision of the ineffectual and non- operative 2020 OP.

The Applications are subject to, and must be evaluated against, the policies of the in-force COP. While the 2020 OP may assist the Tribunal in understanding the City’s vision for the Downtown, it is not a determinative policy document. This is supported by the opinions provided by the City’s witnesses suggesting that certain policies of the 2020 OP need not be adhered to in this instance.

Further, it should also be noted that the appeals of the 2020 OP may lead to modifications of the prescribed policies or revocation of the stated provisions for development.

The Panel, having regard for the evidence and submissions presented by the Parties, notes that there is no real dispute that intensification and development of the underutilized Subject Property are appropriate. The main issues at hand relate to the appropriate height and built form of development on the Subject Property, and specifically:

1. What height is appropriate for the Subject Property?
2. Is the proposed tower setback from Brant Street appropriate?
3. Is the Proposed Development compatible with adjacent properties and the surrounding context?

The upshot was …
The Tribunal accepts and prefers the evidence of the Applicant’s expert witnesses and finds that the Subject Property is suitable for the proposed intensification and density, and that the Proposed Development is consistent with the policies of the PPS, conforms to the policies of the Growth Plan and the ROP, and conforms to the intent of the COP.

The outdoor space at Joe Dogs. It will be tough to relax and enjoy a brew with construction taking place next door

What’s next: The developer gets on with construction, determining of course when the market will be ready for what the developer will offer.

And the group that owns Joe Dogs has to decide if they should stay where the are and find a way to operate while the construction of a 26 storey tower takes place yards to the north of the property they rent.

To the immediate south of Joe Dogs is  Culaccino Bar & Kitchen, to the south of that is a branch of the Bank of Montreal. At some point those properties will be assembled (if that hasn’t already taken place and another 26 story tower (perhaps two) will rise on the east side of Brant Street.

Joe Dogs will never be the same. Is that location and the other two shown going to be the next development on the east side of Brant?

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Blood donors needed this weekend to ensure patients have the blood they need

By Staff

July 22nd, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Canadian Blood Service is asking donors to book and keep their appointments  – inventory has reached levels of concern

They are asking Canadians to come together this weekend and book appointments to donate blood.

Giving back in a very real way – donations are needed now – inventory is low.

The latest blood inventory levels going into the weekend are concerning, and many blood types are needed, especially O-Negative, O-Positive, B-Negative, A-Negative and A-Positive.

Current inventory levels can be tracked on www.blood.ca. The need for blood products never stops, and we’re asking Canadians to make all the difference by booking and keeping lifesaving appointments to donate blood.

Ontario currently needs to fill 5,000 appointments to meet sufficient inventory levels for the rest of July.

Cancer patients, accident victims, and people with immunodeficiency, autoimmune and neurological disorders rely on blood, platelets, and plasma donations every day.

Appointments are required. Same day appointments are available every day at many donor centres and community events across the country.

Book now on blood.ca, use the GiveBlood app or call 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236-6283).

New and returning donors are asked to book and keep their donation appointments.

If you are unable to make it to your appointment, please cancel it so that someone can take your place or re-book into the following month.

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Skyway Closed for the weekend - 40 Food Trucks in Spencer Smith Park

By Pepper Parr

July 21st, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There are two things to look for and be aware of during the coming weekend.

This ramp, along with others, will be closed for the weekend.

The full closure of Niagara-bound traffic on the QEW Burlington Skyway for critical repairs, beginning Saturday, July 22 at 10 p.m. to Sunday, July 23 at 11:30 a.m.

Advance signing and notification will be provided to motorists so they can plan an alternate route.

Travellers can visit http://511on.ca/ or @511Ontario for updates on work and traffic impacts.

The QEW Burlington Skyway will remain open during the August long weekend.

Expect good crowds at the Food Trucks set up in Spencer Smith Park this weekend.

Then – there are 30 Food Trucks that will set up in Spencer Smith Park this weekend.

Burlington Food Truck Festival is BACK FOR 3 DAYS! 30 Food Trucks will be serving up some of the best food from the country, this is a festival you won’t want to miss! Show some of your Burlington love by bringing your friends and family. Oh and don’t forget, there will be FREE ADMISSION, cold beer, delicious food, and local performers.

Jul 21: 5pm – 10pm
Jul 22: 12pm – 10pm
Jul 23: 12pm – 8pm

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With a reported $22 billion in excess funds stashed away - ER rooms are being closed on weekends - go figure

By Staff

July 21st, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition

Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, calls for support for the eight known emergency rooms (ERs) being forced to temporarily close or limit services this weekend across the province due to the Ford Conservative’s staffing crisis.

“We’ve seen closure after closure of Ontario’s emergency rooms this year. This weekend is no exception,” said Stiles. “From Durham to Nipigon to Walkerton, this week, there will be eight ERs across Ontario that will need to close or limit services due to a lack of resources. That’s eight communities and thousands of people that may be left with limited access to timely, nearby care. That’s completely unacceptable—but Ford wants you to think its normal.”

Emergency rooms that are facing temporary closures or limitations this weekend include:

• Chesley ER CLOSED Thursday, July 20—Monday, July 24
• Durham ER CLOSED Friday, July 21—Monday, July 24
• Hamilton General Hospital is diverting ICU patients.
• Kapuskasing’s Sensenbrenner Hospital is seeking urgent ER locum for Tuesday, July 25—Sunday, July 30
• Mount Forest’s Louise Marshall ER CLOSED overnight Thursday, July 20—Friday, July 21
• Nipigon District Memorial Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre CLOSED Wednesday, July 19—Tuesday, July 25
• South Bruce Grey Health Centre is undertaking ambulance by-pass to divert patients
• Walkerton ER CLOSED Saturday, July 22—Sunday, July 23

The Ford government’s systemic starving of the public health care system is leading to longer wait times for emergency rooms and ambulance offload times. In May, just 28% of Ontario patients were admitted within an 8-hour target time. In Ottawa, ambulance code zeroes (no ambulances available) more than doubled in 2022. Essex County declared a state of emergency in 2022 over no ambulances available.

“We are calling on the Ford government to stop privatizing our health care and to instead invest in the public system,” said France Gelinas (Nickel Belt), NDP Health critic. “Our dedicated health care workers are overwhelmed and burnt out. They’re doing their best to keep the lights on, but the situation is just not sustainable.”

Wow! What a stretch. Incredible statement.

Among the Ontario NDP’s solutions to reduce wait times and keep ERs fully resourced:

• Stabilize the workforce by stopping the appeal repealing Bill 124
• Respect health care workers
• Fund our public hospitals to keep operating rooms and ERs running on evenings and weekends

Yesterday, Ford’s Conservatives announced $44 million for 165 high-volume and smaller emergency departments—break it down, and that’s an average of less than $267,000 per hospital.

“That’s a drop in a very leaky bucket,” Stiles said. “Ford’s stashed away $22 billion in ‘excess funds’—public money—while denying Ontarians access to the health care they need.”

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Is this who we are? Apparently.

By Pepper Parr

July 21st, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As people we seem to have problems discussing and facing issues that we find uncomfortable.

There are four that I want to put in front of you –

The Mounties
Intimate Personal Violence
The women who are believed to be buried in a garbage dump
The refugees sleeping on the streets of downtown Toronto.

Nothing pretty about any of them.

In Easter Canada we applaud the RCMP when they perform their musical ride and show up in the thousands when watch the Sunset Ceremony; The time-honoured tradition features an impressive flag lowering ceremony at sunset, and a participatory singing of the national anthem.

RCMP Musical Ride on its way to Parliament Hill.

The 32 member cavalry perform the Music Ride at events across the country.

In western Canada where the RCMP serve as the provincial police the picture is very different. The municipality of Surrey, BC is planning on creating its own police service and dumping the Mounties. And far too many female RCMP officers report sexual assaults and harassment that involved officers from the highest ranks of the RCMP, including the GET THIS

Halton Regional Deputy Chief Wilkie told a city Council meeting that every time he mentions Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)his social media the readership drops off. No one wants to talk about the women who get punched in the face by their husbands. Those women have in the past not gone to the police – fearing that nothing will happen – and they will end up getting punched in the face again.

Polite society doesn’t want to talk about stuff like this. Premier Ford chose not to declare an IPV Emergency and do something.

Toronto’s new Mayor Olivia Chow chose to be very public and talked about the violence her father rained down on her mother that didn’t come to an end until Chow was able to move her mother into the basement apartment she had.

Men have to begin talking to men who are violent and push them into therapy where they can come to terms with their violent behaviour.

The sign is a crying out – while governments squabble over who will pick up the cost.

Did your heart not cry out when you heard family members say publicly she didn’t think children should have to stand at the edge of a garbage dump to visit and pay their respects to their mothers.

The Premier of Manitoba said digging through those dumps to see if there are bodies buried there was too expensive.

So much for the Truth and Reconciliation deal we have with the Indigenous people – we aren’t prepared to help them respectfully bury their dead.

When Air India Flight 182 crashed into the Atlantic in 1985 with 268 Canadians aboard $130 million was spent on investigations and prosecutions that lasted almost twenty years. It was the most expensive trial in Canadian history,

Why are the Indigenous people not getting the same level of care, concern and understanding?

They came to Canada looking for a better life – we need them to fill the jobs that will be created as we build a million and a half new homes – it hasn’t been a particularly warm welcome.

Lastly, do you remember the pictures of the Prime Minister greeting refugees from Syria that Canada accepted? There was the Prime Minister with toys and winter coats and hugs for all of them. It made for a great photo op.

Those refugees camped out in downtown Toronto with nothing but green garbage bags to protect them from the rain didn’t get much in the way of help until it became public.

Is this who we are?

Apparently.

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5 Ways to Build Your Wealth and Get Financial Stability

By Patricia Lee

July  20th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It takes time, patience, and perseverance to build money, but the road is worthwhile in the end. It is mainly something people with children constantly think about and try to achieve. However, it takes a lot of discipline to achieve this, from sacrificing that cup of coffee to controlling your moments of impulse buying. The duration required to reach a stage where you witness the rewards relies on your income and your proficiency in the endeavour. Below is a concise compilation of actions that can aid in wealth accumulation and attaining financial stability.

Setting and reviewing goals

Set Financial Goals
Without clear objectives, it becomes challenging to recognize when you exceed your spending limits or make or unwise decisions. Moreover, the potential for entering a perpetual debt crisis, characterized by escalating credit card debt, looms large. While the future remains unpredictable, devising a plan to navigate unforeseen circumstances is possible. Establish both short-term and long-term goals to solidify your financial standing. Regularly reviewing these goals, whether every few months or annually, ensures you remain on track and enables necessary adjustments.

Reduce Expenses
Your capacity to put off gratification by cutting back on expenses is one of the essential tactics for increasing your wealth and securing your financial future. By transitioning to solar power for your home, you can effectively reduce your expenses. Invest in tools and learning skills to help you maintain your home. Repairs and handymen come at a hefty cost, especially if the repairs are minor. You can learn how to do most minor repairs and only call in a professional when necessary.

It is imperative that you ensure timely payments for your credit card and mortgage – have a back up access to cash.

Plan for Possible Late Payments
Sometimes, things can happen that can drain your finances more than you expect, and these can delay critical payments like your mortgage, credit card or other loans. It is imperative to ensure timely payments for your credit card and mortgage to safeguard your credit score, which proves beneficial during challenging periods.

Establishing a strategy can be advantageous in promptly repaying debts while awaiting your paycheck. One clever method to achieve this is to have a location where you can apply for a payday loan, like My Canada Payday, but you must be eligible. This means that you must have a good online banking record, an income so they can plan for it, and the required documents.

Invest What You Save
You have to invest what you save in opportunities to ensure it grows faster than the rate it is losing value. You need to reach a point where your money is working for you even while you sleep. Each time you save, you are getting closer to your objective. Stocks and real estate are two areas you might invest in that do not require regular monitoring, allowing you to continue concentrating on your job. When investing, you must understand the risk involved, as more profits usually mean higher risk.

Explore Opportunities With YouTube
YouTube is the largest online video platform, with billions of videos, users, and creators, which means it is teaming with opportunity. Despite the distinct niche you intend to explore, the enormous number of artists implies that you will probably face competition.

You can stand out from the competition by making an investment in the creation of your content. With a solid strategy, compelling content, and superior video quality, you can captivate subscribers and accumulate views, eventually leading to substantial returns within a few years. One simple hack to break into the industry is creating content on something you know well.

Endnote
Building wealth and getting to financial stability is a journey that requires you to be committed to your financial plan. You have to take steps to manage your monthly and daily expenditures and plan for tough times. You must also invest what you save to grow your money and then look for other alternative sources of income like a YouTube channel or freelance writing.

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Are there problems providing breakfast for school children? MP Gould gets scolded by the Breakfast Clubs of Canada

By Pepper Parr

July 21st, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We don’t hear about problems in ensuring that public school children are not properly fed a breakfast each day.

However, Burlington MP Karina Gould, who is also the Minister of Families, appears to be having problems with the Breakfast Club of Canada

Burlington MP Karina Gould with Breakfast Clubs of Canada leadership

“We are hoping to maintain that rhythm for the rest of the year,” said Judith Barry co-founder and director of government relations for the Breakfast Club of Canada. “What we’ve been discussing so far, since January, is really the need for the federal government to not only advance the development of a national school food policy, but invest in the … program implementation for that policy.”

The Breakfast Club of Canada, which co-ordinates approximately 3,500 school nutrition programs across the country, took the top spot as the most active organization in federal lobbying between January and June.

During that time, the club filed 228 communication reports, based on a search of the federal lobbyists’ registry on July 20. That number of communication reports nearly reaches the club’s total for all of 2022, which was 233.

Driving the heavy lobbying activity for the club is a push for the federal government to follow through on a promise to implement a pan-Canadian policy to help more children receive nutritious food at school. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) made a commitment in the 2021 federal election campaign to invest $1-billion over five years towards a national school nutritious meal program, but the Liberals “still haven’t invested anything,” according to Barry.

Breakfast being readied for students at a Burlington public school.

We have not seen, or heard of any problems in Burlington, let’s see what the Gazette readership has to say.

Related news story:

Kids are getting good breakfasts

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Do the different departments at City Hall bother to talk to each other?

By Pepper Parr

July 21st, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On Tuesday of this week I sent a note to Blake Hurley, the newly minted City Solicitor. I had some concerns with just how a very draconian by law was passed without a Staff report on the document and nothing in the way of questions from members of Council.

I wrote:

City Solicitor Blake Hurley

The Trespass Act gives school boards the right to issue Trespass notices. It also gives the City of Toronto the right to issue Trespass notices on Nathan Phillips Square, which is land I believe is held in Trust by the City of Toronto.

Did the province ever give Burlington the right to issue Trespass Notices, and if it did, when was that right given?

Also, when the Public Conduct Policy bylaw was before the Corporate Services Strategy Risk and Accountability Standing Committee on June 26th Staff did not make a presentation. While the report came out of the Clerk’s Office, it was written by a member of your department. Is there a reason why there was no public presentation of the bylaw?

Finally, as Corporate counsel, did you review a draft of the bylaw before it was passed along to the City Clerk?

Pepper Parr, Publisher Burlington Gazette

We didn’t get a response from Hurley but we did get a response from the Communications department.

Kwab said

Kwab Ako- Adjei Director of Communications and Community Engagement

Pepper – Report CL-08-23 that recommends approval of the Public Conduct Policy and Trespass By-law was a report written by the City Clerk, not City Legal staff, and was on the regular agenda and approved by Committee and Council in public session. However, all reports are reviewed by Legal Services. And not all reports have staff presentations.

Kwab is correct – it was on the June 26th Standing Committee Agenda where it got less than three minutes of air time. When it got to the City Council meeting on July 11th,  it was listed as a Consent item and not a word was said. It was passed along with a number of other items.

What both the Communications people, that being Kwab Ako- Adjei and the Legal department, now under the command of Blake Hurley were not aware of is that at the June 26th Standing Committee City Clerk Kevin Arjoon said:

Burlington City Clerk Kevin Arjoon

“ I just want to say that clerk’s office has six reports on this agenda. We outsource this one. So Robert Ryan in legal services, he’s one of the solicitors there, did a lot of the drafting for this. a lot of the work, a lot of the consultation internally with staff as well. He’s done a lot of great work and you can see that in this report. So I just want to take a shout out for Robert. He did the balance of the most of those reports. So it wasn’t clerks really but just want to clarify that. Thank you, Robert.

We reported recently on just what that bylaw does. A link to that report is set out below as well as a scathing delegation by Anne Marsden.

Say what you will about Marsden, she has been on more than one occasion been very right in the past.

Related news stories:

Marsden delegates – scathing comments.

What does the Public Conduct Policy mean ?

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