With two integrity complaints against the Premier on the go the Commissioner has put one on abeyance until he gets the other one completed

By Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Marit Stiles Leader of the Opposition

The complaints sent to the provincial Integrity Commissioner by Marit Stiles Leader of the Opposition (there are two of them) are keeping the Commissioner busy. So much so that he has decided to put one in abeyance while he works on the other.

J. David Wake , the Integrity Commissioner said he is not prepared to dismiss Stiles’ second complaint “since there is an overlap to some extent with the issue being determined in her first request. Therefore I am placing it in abeyance until I have completed the investigation on the first.”

The second complaint was related to donations that were made to the “stag and doe” event for the Premier’s daughter.

The first complaint is related to the land swaps that were made in the Greenbelt area where there was a concern that developers were made aware of government plans before they were public.

Premier with Steve Clarke, Minister of Municipal Affairs in the Legislature.

In a newspaper report Wake said he has requested documents from government and non-government sources and is reviewing the material gathered so far. His final report will be made public, he said.

As long as the work being done isn’t dragged out for months the public interest will be met.

As for the first complaint the Integrity Commissioner has already said that “the gift rule … is very specific. It applies only to the member who receives the gift. It does not apply to gifts received from third parties to an adult child of the member or her spouse. Even the definition of ‘family’ in the act is restricted to the member, the member’s spouse and minor children.”

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Things to Do in Burlington, Canada – Entertainment Edition

By Sheroz Waheed

March 16th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON’

 

Things to Do in Burlington, Canada – Entertainment Edition

Lake Ontario offers sun rises and sunsets that sooth the soul

Burlington is a beautiful Southern Ontario city known for its stunning waterfront, outdoor recreation opportunities, and vibrant cultural scene. Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, plenty of entertainment options are available in Burlington.

In this article, we will explore some of the best things to do in Burlington, Canada, in terms of entertainment. Burlington has something for everybody – whether you prefer to chill out and watch a movie, play some casino slots, or get your entertainment out and about, Burlington’s got it all.

Waterfront activities

Burlington is located on the shores of Lake Ontario, making it the perfect destination for water lovers. Several waterfront parks and beaches throughout the city enable you to swim, boat, or relax and take in the views. While there, entertainment events are often running, ranging from singers to performing acts.

Spencer Smith Park is one of the most popular waterfront destinations in Burlington. In the heart of downtown, Spencer Smith Park features a beautiful promenade, picnic areas, and a playground for children. The park also hosts several events throughout the year, including the Sound of Music Festival, Canada Day celebrations, and the Burlington Ribfest.

Burlington Beach is another popular destination for waterfront activities. Located on the city’s eastern edge, the beach features a long, sandy shoreline, a boardwalk, and a variety of water sports rentals. You can rent paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes to explore the lake or relax on the beach.

Outdoor activities

Part of the Beachway Trail that leads to the canal where you might see a ship coming in from some far away place.

In addition to waterfront activities, Burlington offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. Several parks and trails throughout the city enable you to hike, bike, or simply enjoy the beautiful scenery.

The Royal Botanical Gardens is another popular outdoor destination in Burlington. The Gardens feature over 2,700 acres of natural areas, including wetlands, forests, and gardens. Visitors can explore the gardens on foot or by bike, and several guided tours and educational programs are available.

Arts & culture

The Joseph Brant Museum – a feature heritage point in the city.

Burlington has a thriving arts and culture scene, with several museums, galleries, and theatres throughout the city. Whether you’re interested in visual arts, theatre, or music, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

One of Burlington’s most popular cultural attractions is the Art Gallery of Burlington. The gallery features a variety of contemporary and traditional art exhibits, as well as workshops, classes, and special events. The gallery also hosts the annual Kaleidoscope Juried Art Show, showcasing local artists’ work.

Theatre & music

For theatre lovers, the Burlington Performing Arts Centre is a must-visit destination. The Centre hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including theatre productions, musical performances, and dance shows. The Centre also hosts several community events, including the annual Culture Days celebration.

Music lovers will also find plenty to enjoy in Burlington, with several music festivals and concerts throughout the year. The Burlington Sound of Music Festival is one of the most popular events, featuring over 100 free concerts and performances throughout the city over four days.

Shopping & dining

Restaurants that source local produce will be remembered by your palate for a long time.

Burlington also offers plenty of opportunities for shopping and dining. There are several shopping centres throughout the city, including the Burlington Centre Mapleview Mall where you can find a variety of shops and boutiques.

For a unique shopping experience, head to the Village Square in downtown Burlington. The Square features a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as a farmers’ market and a variety of community events.

In terms of dining, Burlington has something for every taste and budget. There are plenty of options, from fine dining restaurants to casual cafes and pubs. One popular dining destination in Burlington is the Water Street Cooker, which offers a variety of seafood, steak, and other dishes in a cozy atmosphere. Another popular spot is the Pepperwood Bistro, which features a menu of international and locally sourced cuisine.

Nightlife

When the sun goes down, Burlington’s nightlife comes alive. Whether you’re looking for a night out with friends or a romantic evening with a special someone, there are plenty of options.

Village Square: a quaint collection of shops and restaurants in the heart of the city.

For a cozy and intimate evening, head to The Dickens. This pub-style bar features a relaxed atmosphere and a variety of craft beers and cocktails. If you’re looking for something a bit more lively, head to The Poacher for live music and a positive atmosphere.

For a night of dancing, head to Club 54. This nightclub features eclectic music, from classic rock to hip-hop, and a spacious dance floor. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more laid back, head to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre for a variety of musical performances and concerts.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, Burlington, Canada, offers plenty of entertainment options. From waterfront activities and outdoor recreation to arts and culture, shopping, dining, and nightlife, there is something for everyone to enjoy. So next time you’re in Burlington, be sure to explore all that this vibrant city offers.

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Research and Planning on how to protect society for the next pandemic is being done at McMaster

By Staff

March 15th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We all know what they mean when they saw you have to lockdown and remain in place.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward on her veranda preparing to do a Facebook broadcast during the early stages of the Covid19 lockdown

Burlington, like every other community in the country did what had to be done to cope with a virus we knew little about.

It is still with us but we have a better understanding is as to what we are dealing with.

And we are planning to be better prepared for the next wave that is going to hit us.

Gerard Wright: Scientific Director, Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research

McMaster University will be taking a leading role in a new federal initiative designed to protect Canadians against future pandemics and emerging threats through the Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Hub (CP2H).

CP2H — co-led by McMaster and the University of Ottawa — is one of five major research hubs and part of a $10 million investment announced early in March 2 by François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of Health.

The multidisciplinary research hubs — funded through Stage 1 of the integrated Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF) — will accelerate the research and development of next-generation vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics and their commercialization, while supporting training to expand the pipeline of skilled talent.

“This funding for research, talent development and infrastructure projects is the foundation that will help us build a stronger, more robust domestic biomanufacturing sector in Canada that responds to the needs of Canadians for years to come,” Champagne said.

CP2H brings together more than 45 strategic partners from academia, industry, non-profit and governmental agencies from across the country to ensure Canadian discoveries are turned into the medicines of tomorrow in a cost-effective and timely fashion.

Its lead scientists are “academic entrepreneurs” who have organized national team projects and have led the design, building and acquisition of the specialized infrastructure that is key to the hub’s success.

McMaster is on the leading-edge of pandemic-related research at Canada’s Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats, said Karen Mossman, McMaster’s vice-president, research, adding that Hamilton — driven, in part, by the McMaster Innovation Park — is one of the country’s fastest growing life sciences clusters.

“We’re perfectly positioned to co-lead this initiative and work with our industry and academic partners to support both Canada’s and Ontario’s life sciences strategy, expand our innovation ecosystem and bridge the gap between lab and market,” Mossman said.

The Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats is central to the hub and will play a critical role in its success, said Gerry Wright, executive director of Global Nexus.

McMaster University has been the recipient of several donation from Michael DeGroote

“McMaster – through Global Nexus – will provide world-class talent and infrastructure to the hub’s partners to create a vibrant biomanufacturing sector that will increase the country’s life sciences capacity and ensure Canadians are fully prepared to prevent and respond to future pandemics,” Wright said.

Matthew Miller, scientific director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and a member of Global Nexus, will serve as CP2H’s inaugural co-scientific director. Mossman will chair the hub’s advisory board.

Little did Michael DeGroote know that his very large donations to McMaster would lead to something like this.

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Millcroft Greenspace Alliance documented as an early example of green infrastructure for stormwater management

By Staff

March 15th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Millcroft Greenspace Alliance (MGA) recently attended a series of seminars focused on Reaching Canada’s Protected Areas Target – The Role of Municipalities. The purpose of this initiative is to combat the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss.

MGA makes the point that “We are all observing the increasing impacts of climate change. The protection of our greenspace within the urban boundaries is critical for greenhouse gas mitigation, stormwater management, erosion control and to reduce the impact of urban heat islands among other benefits.

The Millcroft Golf Course property is documented to be an early example of green infrastructure for stormwater management including its significant mature tree canopy.

Millcroft Greenspace Alliance sent the information along to the City of Burlington highlighting the importance of protecting the stormwater infrastructure on the golf course.

They have the tools to accomplish the conservation of this land and we recommend that you join with us to show your encouragement.

Get a Charitable Tax Receipt

Millcroft Greenspace Alliance has formed a partnership with Small Change Fund, a registered charity. Your tax-deductible contributions to our project will allow Millcroft Greenspace Alliance to hire an experienced lawyer, and subsequently technical experts to argue our case against development on the Millcroft floodplain. Our need is urgent ahead of the next OLT meeting.

Please click below to donate today!

Click HERE to make a donation

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Burlington aerospace company picks up a $2.3 million federal grant

By Pepper Parr

March 15th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The federal government handed out $11 million to to the aerospace sector; $2.3 million went to a Burlington company.

RAMPF – modern factory in Burlington

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario announced a total investment of over $11 million yesterday, through the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI), for three businesses and one organization in southern Ontario’s aerospace sector. The Burlington recipient of this funding was RAMPF Composite Solutions Inc. (RAMPF)

The aerospace sector is a pillar of the economy and a driver of innovation in Canada. With products on virtually every passenger aircraft in the world, Ontario is home to world-class aerospace manufacturers. The Government of Canada is investing in aerospace businesses and the organizations that support them to help them grow, create jobs and contribute to future economic growth in a more sustainable way.

Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Member of Parliament for Oakville North–Burlington

Pam Damoff, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Member of Parliament for Oakville North–Burlington was with the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the MP for Hamilton West – Ancaster.

Of the $11 million that was handed out a contribution of nearly $2.3 million went to RAMPF, a Burlington-based manufacturer for the aerospace, defence, consumer products and medical sectors.

With this investment, RAMPF will purchase new equipment to reduce waste and increase processing speed, green its operations by reducing energy consumption, expand into new markets, such as urban air mobility, unmanned aerial vehicles and electric aircraft, increase revenue and create 15 new jobs in Burlington.

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5 Tips for Coping With Hearing Loss

By Paul Sebastian

March 15th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment. Suddenly, everything you’ve known to be normal has changed, and you must find ways to cope and adjust. The good news is that there are many strategies to help individuals cope with their hearing loss. In this post, we will share some of the tips on managing your hearing loss and leading a whole life despite this challenging diagnosis.

Many treatments and devices are available to help you cope with hearing loss

1. Get Professional Help
When first diagnosed with hearing loss, it is crucial to seek professional help from an audiologist. Many treatments and devices are available to help you cope with hearing loss, such as hearing aids or assistive technology. An audiologist can also provide advice and education on managing your hearing loss in everyday life.

Talking to a professional helps you understand the specific type and severity of hearing loss and allows you to explore your options. Companies like HearCanada have a team of audiologists and hearing care professionals here to help. The first step is to book a hearing test.

2. Connect with Others Who Have Hearing Loss
Talking to others with hearing loss can be incredibly helpful in managing your own experience. Many people find comfort in sharing their stories and experiences, as it helps them feel less alone on this journey. There are many organizations dedicated to providing support for those with hearing loss.

Joining a group or attending an in-person event allows you to connect with others and benefit from their knowledge and experiences. The sense of community and support can be hugely beneficial in helping you cope with hearing loss.

Understanding how the ears work is the first part step in educating yourself.

3. Educate Yourself About Hearing Loss
It is essential to learn as much as possible about your condition to better manage it in everyday life. Understanding the causes and effects of hearing loss, what treatments are available, and how to best use them can help you gain more control over your hearing health. Reading books, blogs, and articles about hearing loss can provide valuable insights into the condition and how to cope with it. It is also vital to stay up-to-date with news and research in the field so that you have access to the most accurate information available.

4. Practice Self Care
Living with hearing loss can be emotionally draining, and it is important to practice self-care to stay healthy. Developing a daily routine that includes rest, meditation or mindfulness activities, regular exercise, and eating nutritious meals can help you cope with the challenges of hearing loss. Taking time for yourself can also help reduce stress and anxiety about managing your hearing health. Additionally, staying connected to friends and family or joining social activities can help you stay positive and prevent feelings of isolation.

5. Find Strategies to Communicate Effectively
One of the biggest challenges of hearing loss is adjusting to communicating in different ways. Finding strategies that work for you and help you stay connected with your friends, family, and colleagues is essential. Using assistive technology such as captioning can be a great way to facilitate communication, as it allows you to read what is said instead of relying solely on your hearing.

If people have to shout at you to be heard – you need to find better ways to communicate.

It can also help to use visual cues such as facial expressions and body language when talking with others. Additionally, speaking slowly, ensuring everyone is in a well-lit room, and asking for feedback are all strategies that can facilitate communication with hearing loss. Being open and honest about your hearing loss can help create an environment of understanding and communication. If people know that you are living with hearing loss, they may be more patient when speaking with you or find solutions to make it easier for you to communicate.

With the right strategies, managing your hearing loss can become much easier. Medical help, support from others, education, and self-care are all critical components in finding successful ways to live with hearing loss. By taking the time to understand your condition and its effects, you can gain a better sense of control and make it easier to live your life fully despite hearing loss.

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Canada has legalized gambling sports with the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act

By Alexander Raev

March 15th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Chad Beynon, a senior employee at Macquire Group, the Canadian sports betting market alone is estimated to be worth USD 2.2 billion by 2030.

This anticipation rides on the fact that Canada has legalized gambling sports after the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act has been passed. As a quid pro quo, huge markets for sports betting have opened up, triggering speculation among all.

With the betting sites online you can relax, try a few games and see how you do.

After Law Bill C-218 has been signed this year, single-sporting betting events in Canada is legalized. The legislation is all set for Canadian provinces to integrate locally. Ontario, being the largest Canadian province, is expected to be the first one to open a market that is anticipated to be double the size of its contenders.

Market experts also anticipate that the online Gaming sector will reap billions, considering the complete legalization of the market and expecting Canadians to spend $60 for sports betting and $75 on online casino games.

As per market experts, the Canadian gaming market, especially the online casino games, has huge potential that ranges in billions.

Online Casino Games Booming Canada’s Gambling Market

There can be several reasons why Canada’s gaming market is growing at an exponential rate, and online casino games are steering the wheel for it.

It is a concrete fact that Canadians love to play online games. From casino games to sports betting, they love it all. Games that promise fun and rewards work for Canadians predominantly. With recent revolutions in mobile gaming, the affinity for online casino games among Canadians has manifold.

Online gaming websites host mobile gaming apps. People generally download these apps on their particular devices and then relish playing these games anytime they want. This facility has shot up the reputation of online gaming in Canada. At present, there are numerous gaming portals in Canada, offering a plethora of games. Regardless of the variety available, casino games top the chart among all-time favourite games for Canadians.

Furthermore, the bonuses provided by online casinos also play a vital role for the uprising trend of online gambling in Canada.  Some sites reward their new players with a free welcome bonus. Such a bonus often comprises free spins and free cash. Often on the first deposit, some sites provide free bonuses too.

Predictions for Canada’s Gambling Sector

As per market experts, the Canadian gaming industry is anticipated to undergo exponential growth in the next few years.

Quite recently, Canada has been sanctioned the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act. This is a game-changer, not only for betting operators but for casino owners too.

As per Forbes forecast in late 2020, the gaming sector might exceed USD 200 billion by the end of 2023, and online gambling is anticipated to play a huge role in it. In Canada, these numbers could reach the USD 4.6 billion mark by 2030. All these reports clearly solidify the fact that the gambling sector of Canada is poised to experience significant growth. In other words, the future of Canada’s gambling markets looks bring and promising.

On account of the recent Law Bill C-218, significant attention has been roped into the Canadian gambling market. This new rule is expected to have a great impact on online and offline gamblers along with the casinos.

It is an undeniable fact that a significant part of the credit for the boost of the gambling sector should go to the online casinos. Before Covid-19, online casinos started gaining popularity, and during the lockdown phase, being trapped behind doors, have worked in great favour of online casinos and gambling on the internet.

Online Gambling is the “Next Big Thing” in the Canadian Gambling sector

It is not wrong to quote that the online gambling market in Canada is soaring high big time. It comes as a practical truth that online casinos are highly appreciated amongst the population in Canada and worldwide too.

People bet on the game while watching the game

These games entertain people and often make them extremely emotional towards it. These online gambling games are the perfect blend of anxiety-driven, fun, and excitement. Furthermore, these games are very good and trigger people to play quite more and use their luck for other different games.

One of the biggest credible facts about the gambling market of Canada is that it is the 8th largest gambling market across the globe. Hence, Canadians feel extremely confident when it comes to placing bets in the biggest gambling market across the globe.

Experts quote that the sudden spike in internet gambling, almost by 77% according to some estimates, could be because of the lockdown. Hence, online casinos are anticipated to emerge as a dominant form of gambling in Canada in the near future.

Surely, the offline casino and gambling industry has taken a hit due to the pandemic, the online casino games are now interpreted as the only compensation. If the online casinos keep functioning as they have been, it is quite possible that they may witness double the number of footfalls in comparison to the land-based casinos.

All in all, the trends for online gambling in Canada and across seem very promising. As per predictions, this form of gambling will grow exponentially shortly.

 

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Council seems prepared to hustle the 2023 Outdoor Patio Program - wants to push it through over a two day period. Where is the public engagement ?

By Pepper Parr

March 14th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is becoming a habit – and not a good one.

For a city that talks frequently about transparency and engagement one has to ask why matters are brought up at a Statutory meeting on March 20th then go to a Council where they get rubber stamped the following day ?

The patio takes up a couple of parking spaces.

In this case the matter is the Outdoor Patio Program for 2023 – the city want to continue doing what it permitted in 2022

Statutory public meetings are held to present planning applications in a public forum as required by the Planning Act.

Some significant changes were made in the 2022 program.

The streetscape of the city underwent changes that some people thought were a little on the generous side.

The report is 20 pages in length – it is up on the city web site.

During the pandemic summers – people seemed to prefer to be outside where air flow was better.

Most people don’t regularly check in to see what Council is up to but most people do want the opportunity to comment and put their views and concerns forward.

The hospitality sector appears to like the changes – and to be fair they have gone through a very rough three years – they see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Is there something so very urgent about approving the 2023 patio program – and if there was, why wasn’t a report brought to Council months ago.

Why the hustle – to push, crowd, or force forward roughly ?

There are other similar situations that people have complained about and are preparing to take the the City Ombudsman in the way of a formal complaint.

This is a really shoddy practice – that looks like it is becoming the norm for this Council.

More on just what the public can expect later in the week.

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The surplus part of the 2022 budget isn't known yet. Are there some surprises ?

By Pepper Parr

March 14th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We haven’t seen the last of the most recent city budget.

At the end of the fiscal year the city reports on what there was in terms of a surplus – and then decides where that surplus will go.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns did her best to run a meeting that was focused and able to move briskly through the agenda. Council members tended to talk too much.

We have yet to see a report on what that surplus number is – it is due to be released at a Council Standing Committee meeting on March 29th, quite a bit later than normal.

If the surplus is a large number the public might, quite rightfully, want to know why there was a such a large tax increase if there was a surplus from the previous year.

If the surplus proves to be small; so small that funds had to be taken from reserve accounts to maintain a balance different questions will be asked.

Whatever we learn – let’s hope it doesn’t get blamed on the pandemic

The 29th is three days before April 1 – and we all know what that date is sometimes called.

Are they making fools of all of us.

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Weather systems are changing - flooding on a massive scale - Burlington has experienced what happens

By Staff

March 14th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We all know about Climate Change; it’s now part of every decision make.

Cyclone Freddy – the Earth’s longest-lived tropical storm.

Watching news from around the world there are reports from Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi where a cyclone has hovered for weeks; where 99 were killed at least 8,000 people displaced and close to 2 million people affected in Mozambique alone.

Mozambique has experienced a year’s worth of rainfall in the space of a few weeks as Freddy swirled between the African mainland and Madagascar, raising the risk of a worsening cholera outbreak in the region.

Burlington saw this kind of rainfall in the 2014 floods that were experienced in the eastern part of the city.

This kind of weather is increasing – the changes taking place are not yet fully understood.

Cyclone Freddy was already the Earth’s longest-lived tropical storm. As Freddy made landfall in central Mozambique for a second time in the space of a few weeks, lashing a stretch of southern Africa with heavy rains and winds, it also may have solidified its status as one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed in the southern hemisphere.

Weather is local – all part of the Climate Change we are experiencing. Are we taking the precautions that are needed ?

That’s the growing assessment of the world’s meteorological community, as Matthew Cappucci reported that Freddy emerged around February 6 off the coasts of Indonesia and Western Australia, transited thousands of miles west across the Indian Ocean before striking the island of Madagascar on February 19 and then making landfall in Mozambique on February 24, where it flooded towns, devastated crops and plunged communities in darkness.

It looped back over the Mozambique Channel and picked up energy again over its warm waters before returning to the African mainland.

The world is seeing and experiencing massive changes in the way weather systems develop.

While this is a national news story – we realize now that weather is local – and there are huge changes taking place that we do not fully understand.

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Ford directing public dollars to a for-profit clinic instead of public hospital

By Pepper Parr

March 13th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This looks like the way it is going to be.

Marit Stiles, leader of the Opposition at Queen’s Park was in Kingston today asking the government to provide Ontarians with answers on why they are using public tax dollars to fund private, for-profit health care providers. She was joined by Ross Sutherland from the Kingston Health Coalition.

Stiles called for transparency following Kingston Health Services Corporation contracting out eye surgeries to Focus Eye Care, which is a private, for-profit clinic.

Marit Stiles, Leader of the Opposition at Queen’s Park

All we’re asking from Doug Ford is for some transparency. We don’t know the details of this specific deal and we just need some answers from the government,” said Stiles.

“Why are they using public tax dollars to line the pockets of wealthy shareholders rather than use that same money to fund Kingston’s public hospital when we know that it costs the government about $100 more per patient to do surgeries at a private clinic than at a public facility?”

Cataract eye surgery.

In contrast to public hospitals, for-profit clinics run on a profit motive increasing the opportunity of putting shareholder profits and the bottom line ahead of quality patient care.

“I just want Ford to give the people of this province a straightforward answer on why they are choosing over and over again to use public tax dollars to fund private clinics instead of our public hospitals.

“We know what the solutions are to Ontario’s health care crisis – stop cutting health care and staff up. The government can literally do this today, but they are making an intentional decision to siphon funds away and invest them in private clinics. And we just want to know why,” said Stiles.

 

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Opposition Motion to give condo owners a place to go for negligence, unfair fees lost after debate.

By Staff

March 13th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Given that condominiums are going to be the form of of home ownership that is going to be what most of the people moving into new houses in the next decade the New Democrats thought it was time to push for a change in the legislation that governs condo.

This is what housing is going to look like for a lot of people. Owners want more protection – expecting government to change the rules.

NDP Housing critic and University–Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell has introduced a motion to expand the jurisdiction of the province’s Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT), so that condo residents have a place to turn for issues like unfair condo fees or negligent building maintenance.

The motion was debated, the question was put to the Legislature and was lost on March 8.

“Ontario’s 1.3 million condo residents deserve to live in safe, well-maintained homes,” said Bell. “The failure of the Ford government to properly regulate Ontario’s condo sector means that currently, residents have nowhere to go but court with problems like unfair condo rules, poor maintenance of common spaces, or conflicts of interest with condo board governance.

“No resident should have to spend thousands of dollars taking a developer to court just to get an issue like a common room repaired. This bill gives them another place to turn.”

Bell discussed her bill at a press conference last week.  She was joined by NDP MPP Tom Rakocevic, critic for Consumer Protection, and condo owners living without heat and other amenities, and fighting unfair maintenance fees.

That, in the opinion of this House, the Government of Ontario should expand the jurisdiction and enforcement power of the Condo Authority Tribunal so the tribunal can hear, rule and resolve the issues that most impact condo residents, including condo board governance and elections, condo rules, property management performance, condo fees, maintenance and repairs, reserve funds, and short-term rentals.

In 2020, Ontario’s Auditor General released a damning report of the province’s condo sector, calling for legal and regulatory changes including expanding the reach of CAT. Since her report, the Public Accounts Committee has provided a clear road map for what the Ontario government should be doing to strengthen government oversight over the condo sector. Bell’s motion would authorize CAT to adjudicate common complaints related to condo board governance, fees, repairs in common areas, short-term rentals, and reserve funds.

“The jurisdiction of the Condo Tribunal must be expanded so condo residents have a fast, affordable and fair way to have their concerns heard and addressed, without spending thousands of dollars and years of their life stuck in court,” Bell said.

The current government has not been too keen on promoting legislative initiatives that come from the Opposition.
We will watch and report on how this bill makes its way through Queen’s Park.

Shudeshna Nag, a condo owner said: “We are left feeling unsafe, and uncared for in our own homes. We are asking for basic rights of dignity, and security. I have written repeated letters to management which have gone unanswered. I am shocked to find how little accountability condo managers and boards have to residents, when they are managing impressive heaps of our monthly maintenance fees.”

Another condo ownerLina Kazakova added: “I strongly believe that Tribunal jurisdiction be expanded. Almost all the issues related to the compliance with the condo acts must be handled by the Tribunal. As it stands, condo owners in Ontario are completely unprotected. We had to hire a lawyer and pay more than $110 thousand in legal fees just to have an AGM.”

 

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Jefferson Salamanders gets King Road closed so they can make babies on the other side of the road.

By Staff

March 13th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

 

He is coming back

A sure sign of spring: King Road closed for annual migration of the Jefferson salamander

In its media release the city advised that “we are closer to the arrival of spring, which means a section of King Road will be closed to allow for the annual passage of the endangered Jefferson salamanders during their breeding migration.”

Starting on Thursday, March 16, King Road, from North Service Road to Mountain Brow Road, will be closed so the salamanders can cross the road safely.

This creature should be the Official Mascot of the city. He does get a road closed in the Spring so that he can cross to the other is during mating season.

You do know why he is crossing the road don’t you?

Local traffic for all properties between North Service Road and the escarpment will be maintained. King Road will reopen for through traffic on Wednesday, April 12, once the salamanders are expected to finish their annual crossing.

Since 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road for the salamanders to cross. They are a nationally and provincially protected endangered species.

Sarah Harmer

In Burlington the salamander has shown considerable political clout.  It was the argument that the Jefferson Salamander was a protected species that prevented the Nelson Quarry from getting a permit to expand the quarry on # 2 Road.  Burlington’s own Sarah Harmer made the case very convincingly at the time.

If you are really into this slimy little creature click HERE

About the Jefferson salamander

This little creature was the reason Nelson Quarry didn’t get their permit to expand approved.

In Canada, the Jefferson salamander is found in Southern Ontario in select areas of deciduous forest, mostly along the Niagara Escarpment.

Jefferson salamanders spend most of their lives underground. As the weather warms up and the spring rains begin, the salamanders emerge and migrate to breed in temporary ponds formed by run-off, laying their eggs in clumps attached to underwater vegetation. Adults leave the ponds after breeding. By late summer, the larvae lose their gills, become air-breathing juveniles and leave the pond to head into the surrounding forests.

Adult salamanders migrate to their breeding ponds during wet rainy nights. They show a strong affinity for the pond in which they hatched and can be very determined to reach it, sometimes causing them to cross busy roads.

  • The Jefferson salamander is protected at both the provincial and national levels. It was added to Ontario’s endangered species list in 2011.
  • Jefferson salamanders have a grey or brown-coloured back, with lighter under-parts. Blue flecks may be present on the sides and limbs.
  • Adult Jefferson salamanders are 12 to 20 cm long. The long tail makes up half this length.
  • Unlike most small animals, Jefferson salamanders can live a very long time; up to 30 years of age.

 

 

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Is it better to leave a snowy road alone or put up with the blocked driveways ?

By Pepper Parr

March 12th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is Canada and we get snow – we learned this past week just how much we can get in a short period of time ?

The farmers love it – they need that moisture in the Spring.

The folks on the residential street don’t see it quite the same way.

The driveway is blocked with snow that has become a wall of solid ice – very hard to shovel away.

One Gazette reader set out the issue and the concern:

“I guess we should be thankful that the city plows even secondary roads promptly, but they did me no favour last night. Our  neighbourhood awoke today to find a half meter wall of nearly solid ice across each driveway (as well as the access from sidewalks to cross a street).

“I don’t have a solution to offer, except there must be a way to judge whether it is better to leave a snowy road alone than to give so many (often elderly) citizens a major challenge to dig out.”

The people who drive the trucks with snow plows on the front have an issue – the people that don’t bother to park their cars off the street.

Is there a solution ?

Let’s see what readers have to say.

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You, Your Kids and the Internet

By Pepper Parr

March 12th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

This is the first in an ongoing series about how parents can teach their very young children about the Internet, what it can do for them and the perils that lurk in many of the messages that the child will receive.  You will quickly learn that the child may know a lot more than you do technically.  The parent role is to focus on values and keep your children safe.

Children will pick up online habits from their parents

When was the last time your family had “The Tech Talk”?

 Like any other aspect of parenting, providing kids with safer and more joyful experiences online is often more complicated than it seems, but you’re not alone. The more frequently families talk about online safety and the role of the internet in their lives the easier it becomes. Your first Tech Talk will likely be far from perfect, but it won’t be your last and learning together with help from trusted sources can go a long way.

Be prepared to learn that your child will know more about the technical side of being on line.  They will not know how to spot the danger signs.

Data tracking and the role that big tech companies play online:

Data tracking is most concerning for parents in the U.S. and least for parents in the U.K. When it comes to big tech companies, a larger number of parents in the U.K. don’t believe tech companies have their children’s best interests in mind when compared to the U.S. and other countries surveyed. In fact, research has found that by the time a kid is 13, more than 72 million pieces of personal data has been captured about them. The sites and apps your family visits on the web are very telling to the companies and third-parties that are harvesting data.

They can infer where you live, the hobbies you have, and even the products you buy.

 

Part 2: Coming:

Finding the equivalent of helmets for kids who go online

 

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Some people didn't get the memo - everything was closed in the city on Friday - but there was a hockey game to be played

By Pepper Parr

March 12th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The notice came from City Hall:

The City of Burlington’s recreational facilities, Sims Square, Downtown Transit Terminal, Halton Court Services and City Hall are closing as of 3 p.m. today, Friday, March 10. All recreation programs and rentals have been cancelled.

The snow storm was well underway and most people buckled down for a night at home. Hockey players are not “most people”.

The Burlington Cougars were to play the first game of the season finals and were scheduled to play the Markham Royals at the Central Arena.

At around 2:00 pm on Friday the 10th, the Cogeco camera crew arrived at Central Arena to set up their equipment to broadcast the game over the Cogeco Cable Network.

The doors to the Arena were locked. Banging on the doors brought the two city staff members to the door who explained that the Arena was closed and they were on their way home.

There was a Cougar volunteer in the small office the team has at the Arena was very surprised to learn that the arena wasn’t going to be open.

The several hour frantic process of ensuring that the arena would be open began.

The two city staffers couldn’t reach their supervisor, he (or she) was away for the next few days and they didn’t have the authority to do anything.

Calls were put into the Markham team who were in the process of loading their bus to get to Burlington for the 7:00 pm game.

A resourceful few made calls to the other arenas, Appleby and Mainway, where they were able to find two people (it was not clear if they were city employees or volunteers) who were prepared to keep the Central Area opened providing they were paid time and a half.

Our source, a Burlington resident who is “around” the hockey community and wanted to tell the story of what he thought was a monumental screw up.

The people doing the scrambling and making phone calls to whoever they felt they could reach wondered where “Ange” was, certain that he could solve the problem. “Ange” was Angelo Bentivegna, the ward 6 city Councillor who has been around hockey for is as long is as he has been in Burlington.

Close attention as to just where the puck is.

No one apparently tried to call him, nor did they put in a call to the Mayor or the City Manager.

The city was in the middle of a major snow storm and the city had shut down.

The Markham team managers said they had to leave no later than 3:00 pm if they were to get to Burlington on time – if they couldn’t the game would have to be cancelled.

The Cougars had home ice advantage and they didn’t want to lose that – and no one knew quite how the playoff schedule could revised if the game was cancelled.

So they did everything they could to keep the arena open – which they did.

At around 7:00 pm people began showing up – a total of about 300 people were on hand for the game –which the Cougars won.

 

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Spring Forward - Fall Back

By Staff

March 11th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Daylight Savings Time:

As part of this time-honoured custom, the majority of Canadians will move their clocks forward by an hour on Saturday before they turn into bed, with the time change taking place at 2 am and clocks jumping ahead one hour to 3 am.

In Canada, daylight saving time (DST) is observed in nine of the country’s ten provinces and two of its three territories—though with exceptions in parts of several provinces and Nunavut.

Residents living in Yukon, most of Saskatchewan, and some parts of northwestern Ontario, BC and Quebec don’t have to do anything, as they stay on standard time year-round.

The yellow locations are parts of Canada that do not change to Daylight Savings time

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Feedback from the readership matters - we can't change what we don't know needs changing

By Pepper Parr

Match 11th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city does a lot of surveys.  At any given time there can be two or three going on at the same time.  One occasion the city will extend a survey; usually because there aren’t enough responses for the survey to be valid.

The Gazette tries to survey at least once a year.  The current survey will close on March 15th; if you have don’t done the survey – it isn’t very long, please take a moment to do it now.

It helps us determine what we are doing right, what needs improvement and where we are getting it wrong.

The result at this point on several of the questions are interesting.

Pretty clear here – members of Council don’t quite see it this way. Heck they were all relected – they must be doing something right.

The size of city council is becoming a concern for those who pay attention to what happens at Council. Any change in the size of this Council would have a negative impact on some of the members of Council.

With two thirds of the respondents unhappy or disappointed – the Museum leadership should be reaching out to learn what the public wants.

Get Involved is the portion of the city web site where updates on different programs are saved. Very close to half the people who responded to the question don’t use it or don’t know it exists.

To complete the survey – please click HERE

There were some surprises – places where we realized we had to make some changes.

The survey will close on the 15th. If you haven’t done the survey – we would really appreicta your taking the time to help us direct where we need to improve.

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Millcroft doing the homework needed to make their case at the OLT - fundraising time

By Staff

March 11, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario Land Tribunal is ultimately responsible for the decision on the outcome of the Golf Course, . That decision will be made at the end of the 10+ hearings that start in April,  2024

Millcroft Greenspace Alliance (MGA) was a Party for the community at the Case Management Conference held last week.

“these lands will remain as permanent open space, since portions of these lands contain creek features which are part of the storm water management for the Community.”

Each party is required to submit an “Issues List”. Based on the research Stormwater Management and Climate Issues are the distinct focus. The issues lists are pretty much locked at this point.

MGA will now continue the work to protect this important greenspace. They will be hiring appropriate professional representation to build the case for the community.

The Gazette is running a readership survey that will end on the 15th. Click HERE if you haven’t completed the short survey.

They must have their evidence and case organized by November to present to the other parties.

Due to the size and complexity of Millcroft Greens (the developers) application, the preparation will take months.  MGA hopes the community will show their appreciation for the countless hours the volunteers have committed to this cause and make their donations early so they know that they have in the way of resources needed to do the job.

This is where the rubber hits the road:

Millcroft Green Alliance is an incorporated  as a not for profit.  They have put an arrangement in place with an organization that can accept donations and issue tax receipts.

There are about 3000 homes in the community – at $100 each the financial requirement can be met.  Residents can see this as an investment in maintaining the value of their property and a significant step in convincing developers that some properties are not suitable development locations

 

Click HERE to make your donation.

 

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Cars flipping over - not used to winter driving yet eh!

By Staff

March 10th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Several cars in front of the house one of our free lancers live in.

He won’t be going out today?

 

 

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