The Reasons Behind Mobile Gaming's Popularity

By Melinda Smith

May 31st, 2023



You can be playing the same game with the person sitting beside you – then compare how you each did.

There’s no denying the fact that mobile gaming has surged in popularity over recent years. No matter where you go, you’ll see someone tapping away on their smartphone, trying to defeat an enemy or solve a puzzle. From casual games to complex titles, for many, their phone is their primary source of entertainment.

Game developers have taken note and prioritized releasing games for mobile devices. The titles deliver immersive experiences that were once only possible on a PC or console. Still, that doesn’t explain why mobile gaming is so popular. Keep reading to learn some of the reasons behind the growing trend.

Huge Catalog of Games
One of the biggest reasons why mobile games are so popular is the wide variety of titles available. For example, casino games are some of the most frequently played in the world. People no longer have to organize friends for games nights or travel long distances to play at a brick-and-mortar facility. Instead, technological advances have made it possible for websites like PokerStars Casino to offer all sorts of fun titles that can be played from home. 3 Secret Cities, Ashoka, and Book of Captain Silver, for example, are just a few of the slots titles players can choose from to keep themselves entertained.

Similarly, if battle royale games are more their style, then they only a few taps away from playing games like Fortnite and Apex Legends on their mobile devices. Every video game genre is available for mobile devices, and technological advances have made many of the top games just as fun to play on smartphones and tablets as on consoles and PCs. From puzzles to platformers, there’s something for everyone.

You take the game you want to play with you. This mobility has made mobile  gaming the most popular form of entertainment for millions of people.

On the Go Gaming
Once upon a time, if you wanted to play a video game with decent graphics and sound, you had to do it at home with a console plugged into your TV or PC. Saying a lot has changed over the past couple of decades would be an understatement.

Today, you can take your games with you wherever you go, which is one of the biggest drivers behind mobile gaming’s popularity. If you’re planning a trip, your cellphone is one of the technological devices you won’t leave home without.

There’s no need to make room in your suitcase for your PlayStation 5 or carry your laptop when you can play great games on your phone. Mobile gaming gives people access to entertainment wherever they go, 24/7, and that’s one of its biggest draws.

When you compare mobile games to PC and console games, the price of entry is extremely low. Thanks to the freemium model, you may not have to pay anything to play. If you have a cellphone, you can download one of the top titles for Android from the Google Play Store or browse Apple’s App Store for iPhone games. Once downloaded, you start playing immediately.

Even if you decide to pay for a top-quality mobile game, you probably won’t spend more than a few dollars on it. On the other hand, the latest titles for consoles and PCs could set you back more than $60. Moreover, mobile gaming doesn’t require players to invest in expensive hardware, saving you even more money. Technology is constantly improving, and we’re getting to the point where almost any game can be played on a smartphone.

Multiplayer Gaming
Gaming was a solitary hobby in its early days. The only way to experience multiplayer fun was to invite friends or family over to your home to play with your extra joysticks. The internet made massively online multiplayer games popular, with many gamers preferring to play in groups instead of completing a campaign on their own.

Mobile gaming has taken this to the next level, allowing people to connect with others from around the world on their phones. Many look for games with a social factor, preferring to compete against others and climb leaderboards.

Whether you play Candy Crush Saga or Fortnite on your mobile device, you’re in for a social experience.

Return to the Front page

It's Official - 6.07% of the wards 1&2 voters elected Robbie Brydon as their trustee

By Staff

May 30th, 2023



The City of Burlington has declared the official results from the by-election for the seat of School Board Trustee for Halton District School Board (HDSB)  – Burlington, Wards 1 and 2.

Of the 36,119 eligible voters in Wards 1 and 2 in Burlington, 2,193, or 6.07per cent, voted in the by-election.

In accordance with the official by-election results, Robbie Brydon has been elected to the position of Halton District School Board Trustee  – Burlington, Wards 1 and 2.

Return to the Front page

Public getting to know a little bit more about what takes place in CLOSED sessions of Council

By Pepper Parr

May 30th, 2023



Nancy Shea Nicol: Burlington Corporate Counsel, has rarely been in favour of making legal matters public.

They are getting better at doing their jobs.

For the longest time Council has gone into a CLOSED session and saying precious little about what they are going to talk about.

Pressure from ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns and others appears to have brought about the needed change.

Later this week Council will go into a CLOSED session to talk about:

Confidential legal services department report regarding a litigation matter for 720, 735, 740 Oval Court (L-33-23)

Pursuant to Section 239(2)(e) of the Municipal Act, litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board.


This is the development that has their attention.  It is a whopper of a development.

Is Burlington ready for this kind of concentration and height.  Beginning to look like Mississauga ,

One could bet the mortgage payment that most people know that developments like this are going to be built in Burlington.

Return to the Front page

Plan B group want to see the Waterfront Hotel development plan go back to one of the preferred concepts

By Staff

May 30th, 2023



It’s final. Or at least the folks at Plan B think it is.  They sent the following statement.

The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) recently reaffirmed its January 3rd, 2023 decision that the Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc.’s application was not grandfathered by ROPA 48. While no official withdrawal of the application of 30 + 35-storey towers atop a 6-storey podium development has been made, it is unlikely to proceed without its’ heavy reliance on historical downtown intensification arguments.

So, it’s back to the drawing board for Vrancor!

During the January 27th, 2023 OLT Case Management Conference, Goodmans LLP (Vrancor’s lawyers) stated that they would be reaching out to the City to see if a compromise solution could be negotiated. Our sense is that these discussions have commenced, or will soon.

Where should the City start?

The Plan B people are prepared to live with the Preferred concept that was put forward in March of 2022.

Citizens’ PLAN B strongly believes that any negotiation should begin with Preferred Concept 2022 (PC 2022), which was developed as part of the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study (WHPS) and published on March 26th, 2022. It featured 22-storey (East, tiered) + 21-storey (West) towers both with 3-storey podiums, the latter with a critical 20-meter setback from the West property line (bordering Spencer Smith Park).

PC 2022 was both a reasoned and reasonable design, based on significant input gathered over 5+ years from professional urban planners such as the Burlington Urban Development Panel, the community, and the property owner himself.

The development proposal would have brought a six level podium very close to the edge of Lakeshore Road making that part of the city feel like New York City or worse still Toronto.

You may recall that the WHPS facilitator, The Planning Partnership effectively “mothballed” this report by claiming that they had been coerced by City staff to limit tower heights (still unproven to our knowledge). This does not diminish the merit of PC 2022, in the least. At our request, Ramsay Planning Inc. subsequently & independently computed the development potential of this property with similar parameters to be exactly 21 + 22 storeys. Humm!

PC 2022 actually yields a greater measure of intensification than permitted for the Waterfront Hotel property (FSI of 6.81 versus 5.0, for those technically-minded). This provides an argument to further reduce heights, as does the elimination of a downtown rapid transit hub, and the Burlington OP 2020 permissions of 11-15 storeys on neighbouring properties just across Lakeshore Road. The More Homes Built Faster Act (Bill 23) may have another affect.

This will be a complex negotiation.

Let’s hope the City chooses a negotiator as competent, creative and motivated as the “top gun” lawyer (Osler’s Chris Barnett) they engaged to handle this application at the OLT.

We at Citizens’ PLAN B remain available to assist!

Please leave your comments on our Facebook page or visit the website!

Web site:

Facebook page:

Related news story:

What happens to the Waterfront hotel site now?


Return to the Front page

Waterfront Hotel site – now what ?

By Pepper Parr

May 30th, 2023



In January of this year Goodmans LLP, legal counsel for Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc., wrote the Ontario Land Tribunal asking for a review of a decision they had made relating to the Waterfront Hotel site.

The owners, Vrancorp, filed an application to develop the site. The city refused the application as incomplete.

The Vrancorp people appealed the city decision to the OLT.

The OLT found for the city.

That resulted in a request that the decision be reviewed.

To cut to the chase on this. The Tribunal dismissed the request for a review of the decision.

Why was it dismissed and what was legal counsel for Vrancorp expecting ?

This is important for the simple reason that this is the first time the city has won a major case at the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Vrancorp blew it when their planning consultant failed to get all the required documents in on time.

During the time between when the development application was first filed and when the last of the required documents was received the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) issued a statement approving the Regional Official Plan which included the location of the Urban Growth Centre.

Those boundaries were moved further north to include the Burlington GO station property.  The Urban Growth Centre boundaries change was effective immediately.

That decision meant the Waterfront Hotel site was no longer within the UGC boundary.

An application to develop is not complete until all the documents have been received and the fees that are due paid.

There were a few documents that had not been submitted. The city refused the application as not being complete.

Unfortunately for Vrancorp, the MMAH statement meant the Waterfront Hotel location was outside the boundary.

The timing issue is well explained by the OLT when they released their response to a request for a review.

Through the Applications, the Requestor (Goodmans – counsel for the developer) seeks amendments allowing the construction of a new two-tower mixed-used building with maximum tower heights of 35 and 30 storeys and a 6-storey podium at the subject property. The property currently contains a six-storey hotel with restaurant and associated surface parking lot. Prior to the Minister’s decision, the property was within the Downtown Burlington UGC.

The Requestor submitted initial materials to the City in support of its Applications on October 22, 2021 before the date of the Minister’s decision, but failed to include all materials identified in the pre-consultation checklist.

The Requestor then submitted its fees on October 26, 2021. The City subsequently notified the Requestor, on November 23, 2021, that the Applications had been deemed incomplete on the basis that not all the information and materials required by the Planning Act and the Burlington OP had been submitted.

The Requestor then filed the additional information and materials on December 17, 2021 after the date of the Minister’s decision. City Council, at its meeting of January 18, 2022, deemed the Applications complete as of December 17.

A document called a “Disposition” letter contains the following:
Having reviewed the Decision, as well as the record before the Tribunal, I find that the Tribunal clearly and carefully considered the evidence and submissions of all parties before making a determination as to the correct interpretation of Policy 80.3. The Tribunal provides lengthy reasons, addressing the key points of law and chronology of events raised by the City and Requestor, and ultimately agreeing with the City’s position. At paragraph 50 of the Decision, the Tribunal finds:

The hotel is going to be around for some time.

The Tribunal concurs with the City’s interpretation of the complete application requirements in the Planning Act which underscores the critical nature of the moment in time that a complete application is received. The Tribunal agrees that until an application is complete the Municipality will not have sufficient information to make an informed decision. Before that moment, the application is neither complete, made, nor received.

The Tribunal addresses the meaning of the word “made”, within the context of Policy 80.3, throughout numerous additional references throughout the Decision, including at paragraph 24:
The City submitted that “received” and “made” are different words and that it is impossible for an application to be “made” before it is “received” by a Municipality. The City states an applicant cannot “made” an application until the Municipality “receives” the materials in support of the application.

The interpretation of an official plan is not a factual matter to be decided based on opinion evidence from planners, but rather a question of law. It is the Tribunal’s duty to interpret an official plan in any case before it.

The Tribunal is not bound to accept the evidence of any of the planning experts who appear before it and may come to its own conclusions as to how an official plan is to be interpreted.

The Tribunal simply preferred the position of the City and made a determination as to the interpretation of an official plan, as is within its authority.

The hearing is meant to be a final determination of a matter, subject to the rights of review. A request for review is not an opportunity to rehear the evidence or to relitigate the matter. I see no merits to the claims that the Tribunal made errors of law in interpreting the ROP and Planning Act. Accordingly, these grounds of the Request are dismissed.

I note that the Requestor brought a motion to the Tribunal with respect to this matter as early as December 22, 2021. Had the Requestor employed similar urgency with respect to the MFIPPA (Freedom of Information) request, it may be that the records would have been available to the Requestor in advance of the November 2022 hearing. Nevertheless, I have carefully reviewed the records and have concluded that they would not have affected the outcome of the decision.

None of the records proffered appear to address when an application is “made” (i.e., the question which was before the Tribunal), but instead, in some instances, describe the application process (which is well-known and was before the Tribunal) and, in other instances, refer to some individuals’ opinion or belief as to whether Policy 80.3 applied to the subject property.

As noted by the Requestor, the City (and other parties of like interest) did not submit any opinion evidence with respect to the interpretation of the ROP and, as a result, the Tribunal did not rely on the opinion of City staff or experts in making its Decision. The proffered records can be of little consequence, given that there was no opinion evidence to be contradicted or impeached. The Requestor has failed to demonstrate how this information “call[s] into question the City’s submissions”, which were based on the factual record and law, or how the information would have affected the final decision.

Ultimately, it is the Tribunal’s duty to interpret the official plan in any matter. The Tribunal did so here, after carefully considering the submissions of the Requestor and other parties. I do not believe the information outlined in the Request meets the standard of new information which could have affected the result of this decision under Rule 25.7(e), and I, therefore, dismiss this ground of the Request.

For the reasons above, I find that the Request fails to raise a compelling and convincing case that one of the grounds enumerated under Rule 25 is present in the Decision.

The Request for a review was dismissed.

The Decision OLT-22-003866 remains in full force and effect.

What happens next? The ball is in the Vrancorp’s hands.

Will they file a new application?

The Plan B people had something to say about this.

Related news story:

OLT dismisses Waterfront Hotel review request.


Return to the Front page

Robbie Brydon wins seat on Halton District School Board

By Pepper Parr

May 30th, 2023



Robbie Brydon won the Burlington wards 1 &2 trustee seat yesterday with 64% of the vote.

His first run at local politics the economist should prove to be a welcome addition to the 11seat Halton District School Board Board of Trustees.

Robbie Brydon elected as trustee for Burlington wards 1&2

The unofficial results put Brydon so far ahead of the other six candidates that waiting for the official results isn’t going to change anything.

Brydon walks into a Board that will be reviewing the budget for the 2023-24 school year at the June 15th meeting of the Board.  It will be interesting to see how well prepared he will be.

The school board caters to 64,000 students attending elementary schools and high schools.

Trustees are not paid a salary but receive an honorarium of about $16,000 a year.  The Chair earns about $24,000


Return to the Front page

Tourism gets a bit of a boost from a federal grant - hard to tell how much of the money will work its way to the local hospitality sector

By Pepper Parr

May 29th, 2023



The federal government pumped $300,000 into the tourism sector with the money being delivered through the Tourism Relief Fund.

Two organizations in Burlington were on the receiving end

An additional $5 million was provided to Regional Tourism Organization 3 (RTO3) to support businesses which included this region.

No word yet on what those two organizations will do with the funds received.


Return to the Front page

Too many Aldershot residents have chosen to be uninformed, uninvolved and have failed to hold the council member they elected accountable

By Pepper Parr

May 29th, 2023



Remembrance Day and The Battle of the Atlantic Sunday have always been important to me.

I was a Sea Cadet  as a youth and then served in the Canadian Navy – I was an Able Seaman aboard HMCS Haida that is now tied up in Hamilton.

In 1914 and 1939 we sent young men and women into war; thousands didn’t return and many of those who did, were damaged for life.

Hundreds gather at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day to honour those who served, remember those who did not return and treasure the democracy they defended.

Every November 11th, hundreds of Burlington residents gather at the Cenotaph to remember those we lost, honour their sacrifice and celebrate what we gained – we are a democratically fee nation.

We have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we elect our representatives at the Federal, Provincial, Regional and Municipal levels. As a nation, we have fought to have the fundamental right to freely select those who will govern us. It is both our privilege and our responsibility to make informed choices and vote.

Over the last two weeks we have highlighted the way the Councillor for Burlington ward 1 manages his personal financial interests and the way he has chosen to represent the people who elected him.  We feel that he is unable to represent his constituents in an open and unbiased fashion. Despite our journalism efforts there is no indication from Kelvin Galbraith that there will be any change. He simply does not seem to understand his conflicted position. There also seems to be an equal problem with his constituents and opponents holding him accountable.

Kelvin Galbraith swearing an oath to serve his constituents.

In the 2022 municipal election the candidate in ward 1 did not tell the voters that he had been advised by the Integrity Commissioner that there would be occasions when he would have a Conflict of Interest due to the location of some of his business interests.  The other 2022 candidate in the ward became aware of the Integrity Commissioner’s report 11 days before the election but decided not to advise voters. To do so would not have been playing ‘dirty political games’ or ‘hitting below the belt’. Rather it was his duty to ensure that the constituents of ward 1 were properly informed before they made their choice. He failed to do so.

The information was made public by a resident who keeps a close eye on civic matters and has made repeated but unsuccessful efforts to hold Councillor Galbraith accountable. He has been confronted with apathy, indifference and, we believe, systemic incompetence.

What Burlington seems to have difficulty with is taking the time to ensure and insist that the men and women they elect are accountable and transparent. We wait until the situation becomes intolerable or uncomfortable, for whatever reason, and vote for wholesale replacements.  It is an all or nothing scenario repeated every 4 years. Or so it seems.

The Gazette has published five articles on election campaign donations.  Those articles have been read by thousands of people.  The Aldershot Insider, a Facebook page, carries a number of comments on the issue – non favourable to the Council member.

The Councillor for ward 1 has chosen not to comment and we were informed that he was advised to not respond.   It’s an old issues management truism that when you have a fiery issue you don’t provide it with oxygen. Stay silent and it will pass; people always forget.

And that is where we have a real problem. It appears that the truism is 100% true. The reason that our elected representatives are not transparent is that they don’t have to be. In fact, it’s a serious disadvantage to them if they are. The reason that they are not accountable is that we don’t hold them to account.

As citizens we need to exercise our democratic responsibilities – be informed, be actively involved and vote. In the final analysis, Galbraith is the self-made problem of the people of Ward 1.

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.

Return to the Front page

Getting to 100 is significant - more than 2300 people will gather for four days to celebrate what Burlington Central High has meant to their lives.

By Pepper Parr

May 28th, 2023


The pandemic changed almost everything including the 100th anniversary of Burlington Central High School. The pause hasn’t made much of a difference.

Celebrating 100 years of existence is a big deal.

That is what Central High School will be doing between June 1st and 4th

In 1922, William Lyon MacKenzie King was the Prime Minister of Canada, Ernest Drury was the Premier of Ontario, and Frederick Banting & Charles Best developed insulin treatment for diabetes. Lincoln Alexander was born in Hamilton in ‘22 – he would become Canada’s first black MP and Cabinet Minister and eventually the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

At the same time, what was then known as Burlington High School welcomed its first students to a building that had five classrooms open for fewer than 100 students. Over the years, the school’s name has changed several times, but the strength of the community has not.

It was a big deal when it first opened. It was a bigger deal when there was a move to close it – and it is an even bigger deal for the 2300 plus people who will take part in the reunion events

For the more than 2300 people taking part in the reunion event, it might be the first time they have seen each other since the 75th anniversary. More than a two decades of catching up to do.

The Central Reunion is much more than a catching up. They are celebrating a unique institution that was a critical part of the evolution of the city.

The four day event is packed with activities.

Thursday will include sports activities, Career Day and social events for current and former staff. The sports events are a reflection of how change takes place – the pickle ball event is now closed – all the court time has been taken up.  Pickle ball hardly existed when the graduates met last for the 75th anniversary.

Dinners have been set up for four different time frames – one can imagine the conversations that will take place.

Teri Ruf, former principal of Burlington Central High School and co-coordinator of the 100th anniversary reunion.

The Reunion work is headed up by Terry Ruf and Todd Ford; both were staff members at Central before they retired; one a principal and the other a department head. They head up a team of 24 people that field all the questions and make sure that things that weren’t quite right the first time are right the second time

Central has what every first high school in any community had – it drew from a catchment area that included students from farm families on Maple as well is as those who lived in what we call the downtown core today.

In the beginning schools were a municipal responsibility; when new space was needed they had to appeal to what was then a Town Council – and they didn’t always get what they asked for.

Burlington was of course a much small community.  The QEW didn’t even exist then

There is an event, takes place on the Friday, called the Alumni Career Day, where graduates who went on to build a business will be on hand to tell students what it was that made them the success they became. Wonder what Steve Cussons will have to say to these students about the printing business – a sector of the economy that has changed as much as the high school. The best advice any successful business or professional person can give these days is:  be nimble.

What would become, for a period of time, as the transit service for the city, started when C. H. Norton used what might have been a truck to transport rural students to the new high school.  The story goes that he eventually bought a Pierce Arrow limousine that could carry seven passengers and grew that into the first transit service the city had.

A wall on the second floor of the school memorializes those who were lost.

One of the unique aspects of Burlington Central is the board and portraits on the second floor that commemorates those former students who served in the two World Wars -particularly those who perished during their service.

Some will perhaps feel a connection because the name of a parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle is memorialized on the Board of Honour, or you may just want to honour those brave men and women for their service.

On the closing day of the four day event there will be a ceremony at the Cenotaph in Veteran Square to celebrate the memory of a very special group of Burlington Central alumni.

Burlington’s population shot up in the mid to late forties with immigrants from war torn Europe coming to Canada.  Central was for a time an ESL – English is as a Second Language school.

Over time it became a school that had a strong drama department that has continued to grow.  There is now a tradition, more than just a tradition in the hearts of the students who are on stage or backstage building sets or promoting an event  – a sense that they are carrying that tradition forward and enriching it each year.

But the history of the school and what it has done is not what the reunion is about. It is about the people who attended and were shaped by two building that were mere yards apart.

For those who attended Central Public School and then moved on to the high school meant, for thousands, spending at least ten years of their lives in a very small area.  Add in JK & SK and you get to 12 years – no wonder memories are so strong.

Mature trees frame the front entrance of the oldest high school in the city.

Those who put themselves in the 40 to 50 cohort will have the most to look back on, reflecting perhaps, on how well they did and how well their children are doing.

Expect a lot of rejoicing, remembering and reflecting.

Marriages, divorces and deaths will be part of the conversations as people who have, for the most part, done well.

Will anything be different when it is all over? You never know with human beings do you

2,300 people have registered for the event.  Co-coordinator Terry Ruf expect that number to rise to 2500 before things begin June 1st.

Day by Day


Career Day for current students featuring alumni speakers

Co-Ed Alumni Athletics:

    Golf Tournament  (now closed)

    Hockey  (now closed)

    Volleyball  (now closed)

    Basketball  (now closed)

    Pickleball  (now closed)

Former & Current Staff Social        


Friday, June 2

Friday Evening Marquee Tent Event

Music Theatre Performance


Saturday Daytime School Events

    Opening Ceremony

    School Open House (call for memorabilia)

    Family Fun Fair & Lunch

    Meet the Staff

    Music Theatre Matinee  

Saturday Evening Decade Events






Sunday Memorial Event – 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Cenotaph in Veteran Square

Breakfast – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria

Many will take part in the Sunday breakfast recovering from the Saturday evening events. They will want to once again join their friends and take one more tour of the school for “old times’ sake”.

Closing Ceremony – 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Auditorium

The concluding celebration of the 100th Anniversary Reunion is a chance to say goodbye until we they come together again in 2047 for Burlington’s Central’s 125th Anniversary!






Return to the Front page

A flood plain that no one knew much about impacts development applications at the intersection of Brant and Ghent

By Pepper Parr

May 28th 2023



The City of Burlington recently completed a Phase 1 Flood Hazard and Scoped Stormwater Management Assessment for downtown Burlington and the Burlington GO Major Transit Station Area (MTSA).

The Phase 1 study revealed a flood hazard in the Lower Rambo watershed that is greater than previously understood.

A Phase 2 study is currently underway to further refine the flood hazard mapping, but the Phase 1 study is considered the best available information for decision making when development is contemplated in hazardous areas.

Under Ontario Regulation 162/06, Conservation Halton regulates all watercourses, valleylands, wetlands, Lake Ontario and Burlington Bay shoreline, and hazardous lands, as well as lands adjacent to these features.

Map that came out of the Phase 1 study.

The purpose of the regulation is to protect people and property from the risks associated with natural hazards and to prevent worsening of existing hazards or the creation of new hazards. Conservation Halton’s regulation now applies to identified flood (i.e., floodplain and spill areas) and erosion hazards, as well as a 7.5 metre regulatory allowance, in the Lower Rambo Creek watershed.

Permission is required from Conservation Halton to develop in these areas.

The Molinaro Group have a development before the Planning department to build on three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent.. The issue of a flood plain that few new much about is now relevant with climate change impacting almost everything.

This matter came before Council some time ago but there has been no news since.

The developer with the most risk is Molinaro who have a development that is located on three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent.

At a Standing Committee meeting the Molinaro planning consultant said the Molinaro people were aware of the Phase 1 report and believed they would be able to do whatever was necessary for their project to be safely completed.

Every one is waiting for the Phase 2 report.

Return to the Front page

Introducing Cartoon Bob and his take on the Councillor for ward 3 who lives in ward 2 - it's complicated

May 28th, 2023


From the keyboard of the Publisher:

Cartoon Bob makes his first appearance as a regular contributor in the Gazette this Sunday.

He will appear every Sunday with his perspective on Burlington’s people, places and key “actors”.

Look out world – here he comes.

Return to the Front page

75% of Canadian Household Debt Comes From Mortgages: CMHC

By Staff

May 27th, 2023



Canada is drowning in more debt than any other G7 country, with the escalated cost of mortgage borrowing to blame for three-quarters of the country’s total household debt burden.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported on Tuesday that the country’s very high levels of household debt — which has edged past its GDP — “makes the economy vulnerable to any global economic crisis.”

Unsurprisingly, the elevated interest rate environment is to blame.

“Over time, these higher interest rates translate into higher mortgage payments for households when those on fixed five-year terms renew at higher rates,” writes CMHC Deputy Chief Economist Aled ab Iorwerth. “Those facing the most challenges are those with variable rate mortgages who see higher interest rates immediately.”

Unsurprisingly, the elevated interest rate environment is to blame.

The report also draws attention to “distributional concerns” — more specifically with respect to lower-income households, which tend to be more highly indebted and “disproportionately” implicated by economic downturns and rising housing costs. socialpoll id=”2885215″

Mitigating Canada’s debt pressures will hinge on restoring housing affordability, says CMHC, which is certainly no simple feat.

Limited labour force, higher lumber and concrete expenses and borrowing costs that have risen – combine to limit the number of homes that can be built – at a time when they are needed most.

“Reestablishing affordability means less debt will need to be taken on by first-time homebuyers,” continues ab Iorwerth. “By lowering the share of income spent on housing and creating more options, increased housing supply is key in this respect. Renewing and rebuilding Canada’s rental stock to be modern and attractive will help prevent Canadians from being compelled to be homeowners.”

CMHC’s latest report comes on the heels of the agency’s latest housing market outlook, released in late April, which revealed insights to a similarly bleak tune. In addition to slashing any hope that Canadian home prices will revert to pre-pandemic levels, the agency forecasted a drop-off in housing starts through 2025, citing labour shortages and elevated material and project financing costs.

That said, CMHC Chief Economist Bob Dugan alluded to a light at the end of the tunnel in that same report, saying that once inflation returns to the Bank of Canada’s 2% target, mortgage rates will gradually decline, “supporting both housing demand and a recovery in the construction of new housing supply.”

This article appeared in STOREYS and was written by Zakiya Kassam, a staff writer with STOREYS.

Return to the Front page

Central High School 100th Reunion: Local generosity helped lower ticket prices

By Staff

May 27, 2023



It was the generosity of many people that resulted in the Central High School 100th Reunion being able to surpass their original target of $100,000  – they have raised over $103,000 to date that will help offset the significant costs of the reunion and allow them to lower the cost of ticketed events making them more affordable for the 2,300 people registrar so far.

Burlington Central High School – A long and very admirable role played in the evolution of the city.

Platinum Level

The Curow Family
Robert and Margaret Donaldson Family Foundation
Smith’s Funeral Homes (Don Smith)
Sutherland Development Group (Scott & Craig Sutherland)

Gold Level

Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore
Donnell Insurance
Dr. David Fielding & Linda Fielding
The Heersink Family
In Memory of Mendy Jennings (Kelly Jennings)
Gerry Kavanaugh
Terry & Kathy Ruf
Kelly Tilson Graphic Design

Silver Level

Ian Brisbin – Personal Injury Lawyer, Velolaw
Cranberry Hill Dentistry (Aaron Langdon)
Davies General Contractors (Mark Davies)
Long & McQuade
Yurincich Family (Dave Yurincich)

Trojan Level
3 D Lawn Care (Massey Family) (The Herriot Family)
BCHS Class of 1969
Burlington Taxi (Scott Wallace & Sara Rams)
David H. Coons Insurance (Chris Coons)
Brian Cross
Dee Signs
A Different Drummer Books (Ian Elliot)
Nolan Duke
The Ford & Forbes Family
Halton District School Board
Hess Millwork
IntelliStaff Medical (Samantha & Julie White)
Joe Dog’s Gasbar Grill
La-Rose Wellness and Basketball
David & Janis Leslie
Greg MacPherson
Markay Homes
Mark McLelland
Molinaro Group
Gwynneth Richardson
Victor Roy
Ward Russell
Wealth Stewards (Tyers Family)
The Sutherland Family
Richard Szymczyk
Dr. Roy Tanaka
Taylor Moving
Rick Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament
Brian Thorpe
Triess Properties Ltd. (David Perrott)
Jeff Turk
Katherine Vyse
Larry Zavitz

Return to the Front page

Have you opened the envelope that has your tax bill inside it.

By Pepper Parr

May 27th, 2023



Have you opened up that envelope from the city yet?

The one with your tax bill in it?

Have you gone through your household finance papers and compared the current tax bill with what you were paying last year ?

A lot of questions there – and reasonable people should be asking questions is as well.

What is the tax money being spent on? There is a brochure along with the tax bill – look at carefully. This is how your tax money is being spent.

The tax bill you got this week is higher than the tax bill you are going to get next year. And, if the city projections are correct, it will not be until the tax bill you get for the 2025 city fiscal year when you can expect to see a reduction in the taxes you are paying.

Every municipality has some tough decisions to make.

The pandemic that is now seen as an endemic – we are now getting a better idea on just how much damage was done during the two years plus that we were wearing masks and living with lock downs.

The housing issues are at the critical point but we have yet to see a really sound policy from the provincial level other than making wet lands available to the development community and requiring municipalities to sign a pledge to build a specific number of new homes within a specific time frame.

The city can’t do much on its own. However …

The city of Burlington own a significant amount of land. The Gazette would like to see a Council member with the courage to move a Staff Direction for a report on just how much land the city owns and is there any city owned land that can be used for affordable housing.

At this point the policy seems to be waiting for school board property to become available.

There are seven people who determine what your taxes will be. Press them to be more creative and explain just what they are spending your money on. The brochure isn’t good enough.

In her regular newsletter to the community Mayor Meed Ward makes mention that Council Approves 2023 Tax Levy Bylaw but says nothing about the impact the increase is going to have on households and what has been projected in the way of tax increases for the next two years.

Not a word other than to say there is some relief for people who are already under serious financial pressure.

Mayor Meed Ward is on the left almost across from the Minister of Health who was at a meeting of the Ontario Big City Mayors. She is beside Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie who stepped down as Chair while she is considering a run for the Liberal Part leadership.

We did learn that Meed Ward is now the Chair of the Ontario Big City Mayors group; they lobby the province and the federal government on municipal issues.  Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie stepped down and is expected to announce her plans to run for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.  Crombie is expected to be named the Leader of the party at a leadership meeting in December.  Her changes of defeating Premier Doug Ford are better than good BUT in the world of politics nothing is ever certain.

Return to the Front page

Monday, May 29 is Election Day for the Halton District School Board School Trustee By-Election for Burlington Wards 1 and 2

By Staff

May 26th, 2023


 Monday, May 29 is Election Day for the Halton District School Board School Trustee By-Election for Burlington Wards 1 and 2. This is the last opportunity for eligible voters to cast their vote. To date, 1,519 eligible voters in Wards 1 and 2 have cast their vote, either by voting online (1,226) or at an advance poll (293) earlier this month.

Voting locations in Wards 1 and 2 are open on Monday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for in-person voting. Locations include:

Eligible electors can vote at any voting location.

What to bring when you vote

Before heading out to a voting location on Election Day, remember to bring:

  • your Voter Information Letter – if you do not have a Voter Information Letter, you can still vote.
  • one piece of identification that has your name and address on it. Photo identification is not required. See a list of accepted forms of identification at

Voting results

  • The City Clerk declares the official by-election results as soon as possible after voting day on May 29.
  • Unofficial results will be shared at on election night.
Return to the Front page

Health Coalition holding referendum vote on Friday & Saturday - Burlingtonians will miss out - they couldn't find any volunteers

By Pepper Parr

May 26th, 2023



They call themselves the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) and they are doing everything they can to keep the hospitals as public places where people can go to for the health services they need.

The provincial government tabled a Bill in the Legislature – Bill 60 – that has resulted in private clinics being set up where people can go to for surgeries and pay for a service that is free if you have an OHIP card.

The Ontario Health Coalition hopes they can gather a million votes and present those numbers to the government then demanding that the government change their policy.

Unfortunately there will not be any voting stations in Burlington. The organizers weren’t able to find any volunteers who would take on the task. That says more than you want to know about the people of Burlington.

The OHC is setting up voting station around the province that will be offering people a ballot they can fill in

It’s a bold move – the teachers did something similar when they ran into problems with the way the province was paying educational assistants.

It is being called the People’s Referendum to stop the privatization of Ontario’s public hospitals – and it takes place on Friday and Saturday.

Referendum voting locations

Look for the signs at the almost 1000 voting stations that will be staffed by thousands of volunteers in a massive effort to force the Ford government to respect democratic process and input on their hospital privatization plans; just don’t expect to see any in Burlington..

Vote counting & results announcement information listed here

Online voting is also available for all Ontario residents at

Voting closes on Saturday, May 27 at midnight.

At time of writing, more than 160,000 votes have been received online and in advance polls.

Province-wide results will be announced outside Queen’s Park on Wednesday May 31 at 10 a.m.

A massive pile of ballots from the people’s referendum will be brought in from across Ontario and piled in front of the Legislature to be delivered to the government. Local health coalitions across the province will be counting ballots on Saturday evening May 27 or Sunday, May 28 as listed below and announcing results locally on Tuesday, May 30 as listed below.


Return to the Front page

Time to end violations of Canada Health Act with illegal fees for service

Time to end violations of Canada Health Act with illegal fees for service

If you’re covered by OHIP, all medically necessary hospital and physician services must be provided without extra user charges.

By Natalie Mehra

Fri., May 26, 2023

Last month, a friend was told by his doctor it would take a year to have a colonoscopy performed in his local hospital. (A highly dubious claim.) Then, he was told he could have it done in the same physician’s private clinic faster … if he pays $75.

That is an outright violation of the Canada Health Act.

A Toronto woman wrote on May 7:

“I just had cataract surgery at a private clinic. I was not warned until I got to the doctor’s office that it would cost me just under $2,000. I asked the referring ophthalmologist why I was charged so much. She said I could have asked to waive the fees. But I was not offered that by the doctor who performed the cataract surgery.”

Last week, a man in Southwestern Ontario told me he has to pay for laser cataract surgery because it isn’t covered by OHIP. (It is.)

When Premier Doug Ford announced plans to expand private clinics, he promised patients would never have to pay with their credit card. Yet, existing private clinics in Ontario, already force — or manipulate — patients into paying outrageous extra costs. And the clinics are extra-billing with impunity.

The Ford government used its majority to pass Bill 60 earlier this month. This new law expressly enables the transfer of surgeries and diagnostics from public hospitals to for-profit clinics. It puts foundational principles of our public health system — that people get care based on need, not wealth — in real and urgent danger.

Patients need to know two things:

First, patients have a “Bill of Rights” under the Canada Health Act. If you’re covered by OHIP, all medically necessary hospital and physician services — including cataract surgeries, colonoscopies and MRIs — must be provided without extra user charges, whether in a public hospital or private clinic.

To be clear: No amount can be charged to a patient for medically necessary lenses and eye tests, nor for the premises, equipment or personnel.

Second, private clinics generate profit from “upselling” to patients — pushing a dizzying array of add-ons that are medically unnecessary.

Bill 60 does not ban this practice. Shockingly, it actually invites the new private clinics to lay out their plans for upselling to the government. If they are not stopped, can anyone doubt it’s only a matter of time until we’re being manipulated into paying thousands of dollars for “extra-special” joint replacements and more?

What is most appalling is that this privatization puts our public health care at risk for no reason. We categorically do not need private clinics to cut surgical wait times. Virtually every public hospital has operating rooms that are closed evenings, overnight and on weekends. They should be funded and staffed to open to full capacity to clear backlogs.

Lest anyone believe we can’t afford it, Ontario funds its hospitals at the lowest rate in Canada.

Our public hospitals have been developed over a hundred years. Communities built hospitals to care for victims of the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-20. Veteran’s memorial hospitals were built after the world wars. Over generations, Ontarians volunteered, fundraised and built our hospitals. They are ours: our public assets, our inheritance, our legacy.

With no democratic mandate whatsoever, sixty-eight MPPs voted to pass Bill 60, privatizing the core of our public hospitals.

In response, the Ontario Health Coalition is organizing a massive volunteer-run referendum. More than 150,000 people have already voted online and in advance polls. Community votes across Ontario will be held outside local businesses and public spaces on Friday and Saturday.

When governments take away our democracy and threaten what is ours, we have to find ways to empower people to have their voices heard. And, if we speak in large enough numbers, the Ford government will ultimately have to listen.

Natalie Mehra is executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition

Return to the Front page

Flood hazard mapping for Tuck, Shoreacres, Appleby, and Sheldon Creeks

By Staff

May 26th, 2023



Conservation Halton (CH) is updating flood hazard mapping for Tuck, Shoreacres, Appleby, and Sheldon Creeks that cross through parts of East Burlington and southwest Oakville.

Flood hazard mapping is an important tool that supports CH’s regulatory and planning and flood forecasting and warning programs, as well as municipal emergency management, flood mitigation, and infrastructure design. “Flood hazard” means an area near a river or stream not ordinarily covered by water that is flooded during extreme storm events.

To learn more about CH’s East Burlington Creeks Flood Hazard Mapping Study and updated draft flood hazard mapping, we are inviting the public to join us for a virtual public engagement session on June 6, 2023 at 7:00pm.

This is an opportunity for those looking for further information to learn more and ask questions. To register for the virtual public engagement session, please visit and click on “East Burlington Creeks Flood Hazard Mapping Study”.

Draft mapping and reports, as well as a recording of the public engagement session, will be available online for comment until July 6, 2023.

After the public engagement session and 30-day public review period, CH will review all feedback received and make any necessary revisions to the draft flood hazard mapping. It is anticipated that the final draft mapping and study will be presented to CH’s Board of Directors for their approval and inclusion in CH’s online Approximate Regulation Limit (ARL) mapping later this year.

To register for the virtual public engagement session, please click here:

An important exercise to better understand how the several creeks that run through the city have to be monitored now that we are undergoing a climate change.

Should you have any questions about the study or upcoming Public Engagement Session #2, please contact CH via email at or call (905) 336-1158 ext. 2296.

Return to the Front page

Robbie Brydon: Candidate for ward 1 & 2 trustee: The residents will be lucky and well served if he is elected

By Pepper Parr

May 25th, 2023



There is a by-election taking place in the city.

The Halton District School Board needs a new trustee for Ward 1 and 2; the incumbent resigned.

There are eight candidates.

Of the eight six live in Burlington

Of that six, three live in either ward 1 or 2

Robbie Brydon: Candidate for the Halton District School Board Burlington ward 1&2 seat.

They are:  Robie Brydon, Ross Montgomery and Daniel Warren Oke

While many think the school board trustees are small potatoes – if they do their jobs they can have a significant impact.

Education is directed by the Ministry of Education.  They call the shots and local trustees have to abide by whatever the province requires them to do.

Many Boards of Trustees cave into the Ministry of Education – but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Former Chair of the HDSB  Trustee, Andrea Grebenc showed what can be done.  She managed to become a focal point for many trustees across the province who wanted to take on the Ministry of Education.

Of the three candidates that should be considered there is one that is outstanding.

Why anyone who does not live in the ward, know the landscape, understand the needs of the parents and actually knows where the schools are located seat would run for a seat on the Board of Trustees is beyond me.

Anyone who lives in the Region can run for a Burlington seat.

Online voting took place the week of May 15, the advance polls are open today, May 24. Election Day is Monday, May 29.

This stuff matters.  By now parents should know that – they were the ones who had to put up with their children being home during the pandemic.

They were the ones who had to deal with teachers that were not prepared to handle virtual classrooms and attempt to manage their households when classes were on, then they were virtual then they were back on.

Don’t blame the teachers – they had no idea what they were going to have to do day to day.

It was chaotic and to some degree parents are still dealing with the damage the pandemic did to the way educations are delivered.

The Halton District has to members who have earned doctorates – hard to see all that much in the way of value to the public from those two.

There is one trustee who serves her ward exceptionally well – she should give serious consideration to running for a seat on city council.

Some of the trustees have been trustees for far too long.

To the candidates:

Daniel Warren Oke does not appear to understand what trustees can and cannot do.  He has a personal agenda that includes support for the Convoys that shut down the nation’s capital for the best part of two week.  I question is ability to work collaboratively with fellow trustees and Board staff

Robert Montgomery has no public experience; he is just out of high school and wants to represent the student voice.  The Halton Board already has student voices sitting with the trustees.  Those student voices are chosen by high school students from across the Region – some of those who have served in the past have done superb job.

Robbie Brydon brings a truckload of experience to the job.

Research Coordinator

McMaster University

Sep 2017 – Present5 years 9 months

Department of Health, Aging & Society
• Project lead for income and health research project: Develop and execute scoping review of all articles on cash transfers and health in high-income countries. Develop research project to explore effect of Canadian cash transfers (child benefits, OAS, disability) on health.
• Coordinator for evaluation of Ontario Basic Income Pilot, contributing to study design, data analysis and project management
Homeward Trust Edmonton

Manager, Data & Analytics

• Oversee data management/analysis and evaluation of funded agencies, leading a team of four
• Develop integrated model to forecast caseload and budget
• Brief senior leadership on policy and advocacy implications of research and evaluation findings

Research and Evaluation Analyst

• Execute evaluation framework by writing program to produce dashboard results from database
• Process results of 2014 point-in-time homeless count and write report for broad public consumption

Lead Consultant, Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment

Mercy Corps


• Develop methodology in consultation with staff and stakeholders
• Hire, train and manage field staff

Engineers Without Borders Canada

Karamoja, Uganda

• Coach field staff and management on market facilitation methodology and implementation
• Support staff in gathering, managing and analyzing data
• Help adopt, adapt and create profitable pro-poor business models

Research Intern

C. D. Howe Institute

Manage large databases and conduct econometric analysis
Author and co-author policy papers based on analyses
Provide research support to colleagues for presentations and publications
Research topics include: income support programs, housing prices and credit, patent regulation, school quality, apprenticeship regulation, business cycle indicators and trade in services

Research Analyst

Ministry of Infrastructure, Ontario Public Service

Construct inter-jurisdictional comparison of infrastructure investment
Research details of each jurisdiction’s figures to assess and present level of comparability

Consultant, Evaluations of UNICEF’s Programme and Work in Relation to Adolescents

Kartini International

Design and administer surveys in English and French
Code and analyze qualitative and quantitative results
Interview UNICEF country representatives, partners and staff


McMaster University

Master of Arts (M.A.)Economic Policy

University of Toronto

Honours Bachelor of ArtsEconomic / International DevelopmentWith high distinction


  • English
  • French

Brydon has been door to door canvasing and meeting the people he wants to represent.  The residents of wards 1&2 would be lucky to have Brydon speaking for them.

Related news stories:

Robbie Brydon

Daniel Warren Oke

The Gazette was not able to reach Ross Montgomery.

There is a news story on Montgomery here

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.




Return to the Front page

Federal funding goes to YMCA to enable young people aged 13-30 years of age support in developing effective coping skills

By Pepper Parr

May 25, 2023

Burlington ON

Federal funding goes to YMCA to enable young people aged 13-30 years of age support in developing effective coping skills

Social isolation, virtual learning challenges, job insecurity, and financial hardship worsening their mental health and well-being; all part of the pandemic have had disproportionally impacted young people

Burlington MP Karina Gould out in the community

Burlington MP, Karina Gould, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced a grant of $237,557 directly with an additional $50,000 through centralized resources and supports to the YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford.

The funding will support the scaling up and expansion of the “Y Mind” and “Mind Medicine” evidence-based, youth-informed, early intervention programs across Canada.

The programs are intended for young people aged 13-30 years of age who are experiencing mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression and aim to support the development of effective coping skills and improvements to participants’ overall well-being.

Y Mind introduces them to evidence-based tools and connects them with peers and experienced professionals. Mind Medicine, an adapted version of Y Mind, has been developed specifically for Indigenous young people, and will be implemented in partnership with Indigenous-serving organizations and communities.

This announcement is part of a $100 million investment provided in 2021 Budget to support projects that promote mental health and prevent mental illness in populations disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Burlington added: “Mental health is health, and supporting young people in our communities is a top priority. With leaders like the YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford, we are setting youth up with the essential tools, resources, and support they need to live a healthy life.”

Manny Figueiredo, President & CEO, YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford

Manny Figueiredo, President & CEO, YMCA of Hamilton|Burlington|Brantford explains what the grant has made possible: “Extended periods of isolation during the pandemic created lasting impacts on the mental health and well-being of youth in our communities.

The Y Mind program introduces new early intervention supports for youth with mild to moderate anxiety and depression. We must support youth with the skills and tools they need now for their mental health and we’re grateful to the Public Health Agency of Canada for this important investment which will improve accessibility and help more young people receive the support they need.”

Return to the Front page