BTTB to perform twice on April 2, at Performing Arts Centre

By Staff

March 25th, 2023



They will return to the city that is their home after a fabulous tour in Ireland where they won top prize as Best Band in both Dublin and Limerick, Ireland – that last one in driving rain.

The sliding glass doors on the east side of the Performing Arts Centre are opened wide allowing the BTTB to flow into the building celebrating the day they officially took up residence.

The Band will perform at the Performing Arts Centre on Sunday April 2nd, at both 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

The Band was formed in 1947 and has a very large alumni association; many members met while in the band, married fellow band members and raised kids that became band members as well.  It is something the city is very proud of – rightfully so.


There isn’t a major parade in North America the BTTB hasn’t taken part in.  They have performed around the world and serve as the true Ambassadors for the city.


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Ford Conservatives plan to reduce eye exam eligibility for seniors

 By Pepper Parr

March 25th, 2023


It was almost is as if the government was doing some pay-back to the optometrist sector.

Specialized equipment is expensive – optometrist were finding they were losing money on each examination – the result of not have a change in the rate paid by the government for 17 years.

Recall that a while back they stopped making appointments for people who wanted their eyes examined because they claimed the province was not paying them enough to cover all their costs.

After months of bickering the optometrists and the provincial government came to terms and appointments were being made.  Seniors were entitled to one examination every 12 months.

In the budget tables on Thursday the government got rid of an examination every 12 months to an examination every 18 months.

Looks like pay-back to me.

Marit Stiles. Leader of the Opposition at Queen’s Park said: “Seniors are having a hard enough time right now without having to go longer between eye exams, which are critical to seniors’ health.

“The Ford government reducing OHIP-covered eye check-ups for people 65 and older to every 18 months instead of annually will hurt seniors—preventative eye care is important to catching issues early and could impact seniors’ ability to live independently.

“Only seniors who can afford to pay out-of-pocket will be able to get more frequent eye exams. This announcement is yet another example of Doug Ford funnelling money out of our public health care system into private, for-profit care.”

Will this hurt the senior’s vote?  In three years many people will have forgotten what was done – and by that time the government will have a massive surplus and be able to spend like crazy.



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Jim Thomson to the Mayor: 'you are so full of it.'

By Jim Thomson

March 24, 2023



To: Mayor Marianne Meed Ward cc: City Council
Re: Due Process under the Procedures Bylaw

The following is a machine transcription of your remarks following the lunch break at the Council Meeting on March 21.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward: “We need to have flexibility along with our rules.

“For process preparation and advance notice to the degree possible, recognizing that we always want to be flexible for new issues that arise in committee and council. But I will note that this report was available to us 13 days prior to the discussion at committee. We had quite a discussion at committee on this item. There was another almost week between that committee and today’s council meeting. And we got the amendment actually during this council meeting at 1130, just before the break for lunch. So sometimes that happens. We’ve all been there.

“But to the degree possible, I strongly encourage council members to prepare their amendments so that they can be brought to the committee meeting for discussion, so that they can be circulated primarily to the public in advance, so the public can delegate and speak to them. We don’t have anyone able to speak to it today because the public was not aware of this. Again, that does occasionally happen.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward: “respectful to your colleagues, to staff, it is also respectful to the public and our process.”

“We need to have flexibility along with our rules. But to the degree possible, I strongly encourage folks that’s also respectful to your colleagues. It would not have necessitated the need for a recess. It’s also respectful to our staff. We didn’t have all the staff needed, we had to pull into the meeting. So, again, as much advanced notice as people are able to provide, that is much appreciated, that is respectful to your colleagues, to staff, it is also respectful to the public and our process.

“So, I just want to put in a little plug that whenever we are able, recognizing things arise in committee, things arise based on delegations. And that is okay.”

Mayor you are so full of it.

It was you that introduced the staff directions under discussion at committee on the March 2nd with no opportunity for the public to comment on them.

You also introduced the amended calendar at the December 5th committee meeting in violation of the Rules of Procedure and the Public Notice Procedure. There were no written records in the December 5th meeting for the public to comment on at the subsequent council meeting.

It appears that it is good to be the Mayor, no need to follow the rules.

Good to also be a friend of the Mayor. Councillor Nissan introduced his amendment with no advanced warning to the public. Why wasn’t he given a lecture about procedure?

Councillors Stolte, ward 4 and Kearns ward 2

I want to thank Councillors Stolte, Kearns and Sharman for crafting the amendment so that the public finally gets to find out what the process for Engagement on Bateman is going to look like.  I would also like to thank Councillors Kearns and Sharman for the amendment to the report from the workshop, that will ensure that there is also public engagement on the Procedures Bylaw.

Jim Thomson is an Aldershot resident who has delegated frequently in the past couple of years.

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The Jaundiced Eye

Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy commenting to Premier Ford on their way into the Legislature on March 23rd to deliver the 2023 budget.


Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy commenting to Premier Ford on their way into the Legislature to deliver the 2023 budget.


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The support this part of the universe gets isn't anything to be proud of - individually we have work to do

By Pepper Parr

March 24th, 2023



Communities around the world are expected to support Earth Hour on Saturday, March 25 from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. Every year, since the inaugural event in Australia in 2007, at 8:30 p.m. on the last Saturday of March, people across the world unite, taking action on and raising awareness of the issues facing our planet.

Will things get to the point where human beings as we know them will not be able to live on the earth?

Earth Hour draws attention to biodiversity loss, climate change and the need for cooperation to secure a bright tomorrow for all people and the environment. HDSB schools are encouraged to spend at least 60 minutes on Friday, March 24 doing something positive leading into Earth Hour , including:

• Learning about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including #7 – Affordable & Clean Energy, #6 – Clean Water and Sanitation and #13 Climate Action
• Exploring the connection between climate and social justice
• Exploring water issues, using the UN Conference on Water as a starting point
• Commit to taking action on ensuring clean water access and water conservation
• Planning campaigns around sustainable transportation, energy use and litter clean-ups leading into April and Earth Day

Participation in Earth Hour supports the Halton District School Board’s continued commitment to environmental leadership and taking action for a sustainable world ⎼ one of the five areas of focus in the Halton District School Board’s 2020-2024 Multi-Year Plan.

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It is ugly, despicable, life destroying behaviour and it takes places in our community – to our children.

By Pepper Parr

March 24th, 2023



It is ugly, despicable, life destroying behaviour and it takes places in our community – to our children.

The Halton District School Board (HDSB) is now providing families with information and resources to address and prevent sex trafficking.

Students live on their cell phones where they can be manipulated.

The vast majority of sex trafficking victims are under 24 years of age and approximately 30 per cent are reported to fall between 13-18 years of age. This is why the Ontario Ministry of Education is requiring school boards to educate students and staff about sex trafficking and promote safety by taking meaningful, culturally-responsive and consistent action to prevent and respond to issues of safety and inappropriate behaviours.

Teachers are in touch with their students every day – they spot changes in behaviour – the first sign that something could be wrong.

Due to almost daily contact with students, teachers and other education staff are well placed to educate on prevention and promote healthy relationships, notice troubling changes in behaviour, and connect with students as caring adults. By training staff to recognize the signs of sex trafficking, they will be better equipped to identify the cues and safely intervene if they suspect a student is being trafficked or involved in trafficking. Education can also serve as a key factor in helping survivors of trafficking heal and rebuild their lives, helping to prevent re-victimization and resetting students on a healing trajectory towards positive outcomes.

The HDSB’s Anti-Sex Trafficking webpage has resources and information about the important steps being taken in our Board to recognize, prevent and respond to sex trafficking. Families can find video resources that cover three important topics:

• Anti-Sex Trafficking Awareness for Parents/Guardians
• Interview with Parent of an Anti-Sex Trafficking Survivor
• Student Personal Devices and Online Safety

The webpage also includes the Halton Anti-Sex Trafficking School Board Protocol, Administrative Procedure: Anti-Sex Trafficking and information about annual staff training and education in the HDSB.

The Gazette urges parents to be part of educating your children.  It is an ugly subject – help your children understand and save them from that experience.

Jennifer Fowler, Superintendent of Education – Safe Schools.

“The HDSB is committed to upholding and championing human rights and this is embedded in so much of what we do every day. Through the HDSB’s 2020-2024 Strategic Multi-Year Plan, we incorporate principles of equity and inclusive education into all aspects of our operations, structures, policies, procedures, guidelines and practices, consistent with the principles of the Ontario Human Rights Code,” says Jennifer Fowler, Superintendent of Education – Safe Schools.

“As a Board, we have been actively partnering with community groups and school boards across the region to address the unique and specific needs of our Halton community. Action by schools, families and community partners together will help prevent, identify and recognize sex trafficking to act quickly to ensure appropriate interventions.”

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Long term care got better funding, kids coming out of foster care got the break they needed - your food budget didn't get any help

By Pepper Parr

March 23, 2023


A quick summery of the provincial budget

Getting to a balanced budget was the priority.

Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser said he was “shocked” the Tories made balancing the books a priority over helping families coping with inflation.

The Doug Ford government has opted for balancing the budget and having a huge surplus they can spend in 2026 when they will ask us to vote them them again.

“They didn’t balance people’s lives,” said Fraser.

“Families are hurting right now. Rents have gone up, gas has gone up, utilities have doubled,” he said.

It will pass, and probably well before we see lower food costs.

As for that drive to build 1.5 million new homes over the next decade — the rationale for Ford’s controversial opening up of 7,400 acres of protected Greenbelt lands to development — have been dealt a setback.

Thanks to rising interest rates and other market factors, the government projects just 80,300 new housing starts this year, far below the 150,000 needed annually to achieve Ford’s target.

For next year, an estimated 79,300 new homes are expected to be built, rising to 82,700 in 2025.

Legislative pages delivering copies of the budget to the Members.

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Educators in the Region given an opportunity to learn how to include the story of the Indigenous community in their classrooms

By Staff

March 23rd, 2023



Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip left a mark on this country. The final months of his life were a demonstration of both nobility and bravery.

Gord Downie’s remarks to the crowd included an exhortation to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who attended. People across the country are praising Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie for using his televised concert in Kingston, Ont., to campaign for Canada’s North.   He also showed his esteem for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and called on the crowd to hold the PM to account.  We’re in good hands, folks. Real good hands,” Downie said on Saturday, as the camera showed Trudeau in the crowd at the Rogers K-Rock Centre, clad in a Hip T-shirt. “He cares about the people way up north. That we were trained our entire lives to ignore.

His calling out the Prime Minister at a concert in Kingston is the kind of thing not often seen. There are still hundreds of Indigenous communities that are still on water advisories.

One jet plane would cover the cost – but we Canadians don’t see the Indigenous community quite the way they see themselves.

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF), is working with the Burlington Performance Arts Centre to put on an Indigenous Cultural Competency Training session for Educators of all grades.

Through an informative “Reconciliation in the Classroom” presentation facilitated by Lisa Prinn & Sabrina Angeconeb will include a live music performance and a speaking engagement with Tom Wilson.

Educators will learn more about the Legacy Schools program and how to incorporate the unique interests, rights, and perspectives of Indigenous peoples into everyday learning.

Monday April 24, 2023 at 10am to 12pm
All Grades
$25 (All-in)
To register for this event, contact the Education & Outreach Coordinator:
Isabelle Trask
905-681-2551 ext. 6302



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Hospital ignores public concern over health quality issues: transparency, accountability and trust take big hit

By Pepper Parr

March 23rd, 2023



This is a very disappointing situation.

Last weekend the Hamilton Spectator published a front page feature that ran for four pages inside the newspaper on serious problems at the Joseph Brant Hospital.

Since then – not a word to the public except for this article on Dr. Douglas Belton, Chief of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging at Joseph Brant Hospital.

The hospital has hundreds of people that can be described as dedicated health practitioners who have brought their skills, empathy and care to thousands of people.

When you are in a hospital care really really matters.  Hundreds of people will tell you it is there at Jo Brant in spades.

Those people deserve our respect and admiration.

At the same time the public respects a newspaper that has been published daily for far longer than Joseph Brant hospital first opened its doors.

For the Hospital Foundation to decide to tell the really interesting story about Dr. Belton yet never say a word about the newspaper story, tests the trust people have for their hospital.

Dr. Douglas Belton, Chief of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging at Joseph Brant Hospital.

Dr. Belton played Division I college basketball for Hampton University (Virginia, USA).”While it was great to play against future NBA stars such as Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison, it was obtaining firsthand knowledge of team building and creating a culture of winning” that transformed his approach to life.

“I saw firsthand how to build a team, how to nurture it to get the most of out everyone,” he said. “I have carried this over to my current role.”

It was the team and some of the innovative thinking and approaches to healthcare that inspired Dr. Belton to take on his current role at JBH.

“When I came for my interview, I saw the Pandemic Response Unit, which clearly put the community and patients first,” said Dr. Belton. “The Complete Breast Care program is another example of an innovative program that our community is lucky to have and deserves.”

For Dr. Belton, “diagnostic imaging is central to the healthcare system and provides a truly unique opportunity to work collaboratively with other departments toward the success of the entire organization.

This hospital was built for the public, paid for by the public and has a responsibility to be forthcoming and transparent when dealing with public matters.

“The vast majority of patients will require some sort of imaging during a typical hospital visit,” he says. “I want to work with my colleagues to provide the best possible care.”

There is some doubt that the hospital will ever respond to what the Spectator published.  They behaved the same way when close to 100 people died at the hospital as a result of an outbreak of  C difficile .

Trust is a huge factor – it is what people rely upon when they are asked by the Hospital Foundation to donate.  Quite why that trust is being squandered is beyond this writer.

Related news stories:

Spectator headline “Don’t come here to die” get no reaction from hospital

The c difficile outbreak is reported to have cost the hospital $9 million

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‘outa sight….outa mind' Maybe not for long - there is a solution in sight

By Pepper Parr

March 22, 2023



A Burlington couple remind us once again about people that dump their garbage behind commercial locations in the Guelph Line – Upper Middle Road area.

Who owns the donation bins. Security cameras would solve this problem.

“Here we go …still again. This is a disgusting lack of community well being. It seems many folks will just ‘Dump” their garbage here as it costs them nothing, or they are too darned lazy to dispose of it properly.

Another selfish case of ‘“outa sight….outa mind”

Shame on them….

Turns out there just might be a way to catch the culprits.  We will let you know how it might work out.

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City now accepting applications for 2023 spring and summer temporary patio permits

By Pepper Parr

March 22nd, 2023



The city is now accepting applications for the 2023 temporary patio program.

Patio takes up parking spaces – restaurant pays for that space

Business owner/operators that would like to install a temporary patio on municipal property in the downtown during the 2023 patio season are encouraged to apply online at as soon as possible.

Application fees for the 2023 temporary patio program are being waived once again this year.

City staff are committed to reviewing temporary patio program applications and working collaboratively with applicants to help local restaurants and businesses understand how they can safely operate an outdoor patio during the 2023 patio season.

At Council on Tuesday, March 21, a start date of April 15, 2023 for the continuation of the temporary patio program in 2023 was approved. The temporary patio season for 2023 will run from April 15 to Oct. 31, 2023.

The unfortunate part about his decision is that there was zip public engagement. The city and the hospitality sector could have benefited from the views of those people who get out and enjoy the restaurants. There are some that don’t think city property should be made available – but our guess is that most are pleased to see more in the way of activity on city streets.

A lost opportunity.

Jamie Tellier, Acting Director, Community Planning said: “We are happy to once again offer local restaurant owners and business operators a way to expand their outdoor dining space on public or private lands for the 2023 spring and summer season. This initiative is a great way to support our local businesses and bring customers unique outdoor dining experience that add to the vibrancy of our city.

“Whether you are a returning participant from last year’s program or a new applicant, please apply for a temporary patio permit and we will evaluate your application through a streamlined process to get back to you as soon as possible.”

In 2021, City Council approved an expedited approval process for previous temporary patio permit holders that allows for past permits to be renewed based on previous approvals.

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Conservation Halton Watershed Report Card: Some A's and some C's

By Staff

March 22nd, 2023



What is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land drained by a creek or stream into a river which then drains into a larger body of water such as a lake. Everything in a watershed is connected. Our actions upstream can affect conditions downstream.

Why Measure?
Measuring helps us better understand our watershed. We can target our work determine where work is needed and track progress. We measured: Groundwater Quality, Surface Water Quality and Forest Conditions

What is a watershed report card?
Ontario’s Conservation Authorities report on watershed conditions every five years. The watershed report cards use Conservation Ontario guidelines and standards developed by Conservation Authorities and their partners.

Conservation Halton
Grades for surface water quality are based on chemical (phosphorus concentrations) and biological (benthic invertebrates) indicators of water quality across the watershed.
What Did We Find?

• Grades ranged from A (Excellent) to F (Very Poor).
• Subwatersheds with lower scores (D to F) tend to be in agricultural or urban areas.
• Subwatersheds with higher scores (A to C) tend to be in areas with more natural cover, including higher amounts of forest cover.
• Ongoing efforts to improve stormwater management and increase the use of low impact
development (LID) practices will help to improve water quality.
• 9 subwatersheds saw improvements, receiving a higher grade than they had scored in the 2018 Watershed Report Card.
• 9 subwatersheds had more degraded conditions, receiving a lower grade than in 2018.
• 6 out of the 11 water chemistry stations sampled over the last 5 years had chloride concentrations above the water quality objective. These stations were within Sheldon, Fourteen Mile and Sixteen Mile Creeks.

Conservation Halton
Grades for groundwater quality are based on concentrations of nitrate + nitrite and chloride levels at 10 groundwater wells across the Conservation Halton watershed. Wells have been monitored for the past 21 years

What Did We Find?
• Grades ranged from A (Excellent) to F (Very Poor) with mostly A grades, which represent the groundwater conditions at the well locations only.
• Groundwater quality can vary significantly from site to site and be influenced by geology, land use, human activities, etc.
• Two wells (W004-1 and W030-1) exhibit naturally higher chloride concentrations due to proximity to shale bedrock.
• Two wells (W336-1 and W005-1) are showing impacts from human activities such as road salting and agricultural activities as they are higher in both chloride and nitrogen concentrations.


As part of Conservation Halton’s Long-term Environmental Monitoring Program, staff have been collecting, analyzing, and reporting on environmental data for almost 20 years. Some of the most evident trends in our watershed include:

Water Quality:
Analysis of over 50 years of water quality data shows that chloride (salt) concentrations continue to increase across the watershed. In some watersheds, the values are more than double the limit considered safe for aquatic life. When snow melts, the salt applied to hard surfaces like roads and sidewalks in the winter enters waterways and groundwater recharge areas. Chloride can also be re-suspended during rain events, causing harmful effects into the summer months. Chloride, combined with the added stress of warming stream temperatures has an adverse impact on our streams, impacting habitat and stressing aquatic organisms. There is no current treatment for chloride removal from our environment.
Prevention is the key! Reducing salt application and protecting our waterways through streamside plantings and other nature-based climate solutions helps to reduce stream temperatures and protect water quality.

Invasive Species:
Ecosystems are under threat from invasive species. Invasive species are plants, animals, pests, and pathogens that out-compete native species when introduced to a new area. They often become predators, competitors, parasites, and carriers of disease for our native plants and animals. Analysis and results of forest health monitoring done by Conservation Halton at selected sites demonstrate that forests across the watershed are being drastically altered and damaged. Once established, invasive species are costly and difficult to remove. Planting native species, ensuring that plants and animals are not moved from one location to another and disposing of invasive species in the garbage (NOT the compost) protects biodiversity and helps to prevent spread.

There are many issues affecting our environment from climate and land use changes to local habitat impairments or alterations. One concerning issue is pollution of our streams.
Pollution Of Our Streams:

• Chemical and physical pollution, including the warming of waterways, has significant impacts on water quality, and the species, including humans, that rely on clean water.
• Pollution comes from various sources across urban, residential, and agricultural landscapes and results from choices we make, such as whether to apply fertilizers to our home garden.
• During rain or snowmelt, pollutants and soils run off fields, roads, and yards and enter streams or are absorbed into the groundwater.

Walk around a lake that is in pristine condition. When scientists explored the bottom of the lake they found evidence of early Indigenous settlements.

What Actions Can You Take To Reduce Pollution In Our Streams?
• Conserve natural landscapes, especially wetlands and streamside vegetation, that naturally aid in removing pollutants.
• Reduce nutrients from entering waterways by implementing best management practices on your property.
• Prevent stormwater from entering streams by using low impact development and redirecting water to lawns and gardens.
• Get out and explore Conservation Halton parks and the natural areas around you. Appreciating and exploring nature is the first step in making wise choices to help protect it.

What Can your Community do?
• Support initiatives to improve stormwater management.
• Adopt low impact development practices to help reduce runoff.
• Direct development away from areas of environmental significance.
• Minimize salt use and explore new alternatives.
• Protect and connect wetlands and other natural heritage features.
• Support monitoring and restoration initiatives to track environmental change and improve conditions

What can agencies do?
• Evaluate the effectiveness of their environmental programs
and take steps to green their operations
• Work together to manage natural systems to protect and enhance connected natural habitats on the landscape
• Protect and create more urban greenspace to reduce stormwater, cool temperatures and provide healthy outdoor living and recreational opportunities for people

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Preparing for Cross Country Moving: A Comprehensive Guide

By Steve Trustler

March 22, 2023



Moving to a new home can be a daunting task, especially if you’re moving long distance. Cross country long distance moving is an exciting but challenging journey, and proper preparation is essential for making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. To help Canadians make the transition easier, here are some packing tips to keep in mind when preparing for cross country moving day.

Start Early

When it comes to cross country long distance moving, it’s best to start early. Begin by purging your home of all unnecessary items – this will help reduce the amount of things you need to pack and transport. Additionally, starting early also gives you more time to research the best movers and find the most cost-effective way of shipping your possessions across the country.

Prepare – and have a plan

Begin With A Plan

Once you have an idea of how much stuff you need to move, create a plan that outlines each step of the process. Doing so will help ensure that nothing gets overlooked or forgotten during your move. This includes making lists of what needs to be packed and creating a timeline that specifies when each item should be completed (e.g., gathering packing supplies two weeks before move day).

Choose Quality Packing Materials

Quality packing materials are essential when it comes to cross country long distance moving; after all, they will protect your belongings during transit. Invest in sturdy boxes with lids (or plastic bins with lids) that are large enough to fit all your items – but not too large that they become difficult to handle or stack on top of one another. When it comes time to pack fragile items, use bubble wrap or foam peanuts for extra protection. Additionally, consider renting plastic crates from a moving company instead – this eliminates the need for boxes altogether!

You can a set of labels for pennies apiece online

Label Your Boxes
As much as possible, label your boxes with contents and where they should go in your new home (e.g., bedroom 1). This will make unpacking much easier since you won’t have any confusion about which box belongs where once everything arrives at its destination. You can also color code boxes by room if desired – this will make it easier for movers (or yourself!) if needed on move day!

Disassemble Furniture

If Possible Furniture takes up a lot of space when transporting across the country; thus, it’s important to disassemble them as much as possible before packing them up. Make sure you keep track of all screws and bolts so that reassembly is fast and easy once everything has been delivered at its destination!

Done! You’re in the new home and the boxes are all unpacked.

Pack An Essentials Bag

On move day itself, having an essentials bag handy will make life so much easier; this bag should contain essential items such as medications, toiletries, phone chargers, snacks/water bottles etc.. Have this bag easily accessible throughout the entire process so that these important things don’t get lost amidst all the other boxes during transit!

Moving can be overwhelming – especially if you’re going across the country – but with proper planning and preparation anything is achievable! By following these simple tips for packing up your belongings prior to cross country long distance moving day like labelling boxes properly, investing in quality packing materials, disassembling furniture when possible ,and packing an essentials bag , you’ll be well on your way towards achieving an efficient and successful move!

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Skills Competition takes place at MMR on the 30th

By Staff

March 22nd, 2023



The 31st annual Halton Skills Competition (secondary panel) has returned and will be held in-person on Thursday, March 30, 2023 at M.M. Robinson High School (2425 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington) from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. A dinner celebration begins at 4 p.m. and ends with an awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

Young women learning the craft of cabinet making – they will be at the Skills Competition

Approximately 150 Grade 9-12 secondary students will compete in a wide range of skills including 2D Character Animation, Baking, Cabinetmaking, Carpentry, Coding, Computer Aided Manufacturing, Culinary Arts, Electrical, Electronics, Graphic Design, Hairstyling, Horticulture and Landscape, Photography, Precision Machining, TV & Video Production and Welding.

Halton Skills Competition (secondary panel) has returned and will be held in-person on Thursday, March 30, 2023 at M.M. Robinson High School

“This unique Halton event is an amazing opportunity for students to become truly engaged in learning through technological education programs,” says Wade Richardson, OYAP and Pathways lead with the Halton District School Board. “Technological education is at the forefront of preparing our students for the careers of the future. Through the hard work and dedication of many teachers, the Halton Skills Competitions helps students hone their skills and compete in a friendly environment.”

A Career Showcase will take place during the day profiling representatives from the community, business, industry and education sectors.

Fully focused as he assembles a device.

Students from different cultures bring their skills to the competition.

“For student participants to see the tremendous industry and corporate support of their educational path, and the many educational and career opportunities available in post-secondary, is highly encouraging and motivating,” Richardson says.

Students successful in the competition will go forward and represent the HDSB at the Ontario Skills Competition in Toronto May 6-8. Those who qualify will move on to the Skills Canada National Competition.

Participation in activities like the Halton Skills Competition help students develop innovative strategies and connect learning to the real world by aligning with the ‘Equity and Inclusion’ and ‘Learning and Achievement’ areas of focus in the Halton District School Boards 2022-2024 Multi-Year Plan, which is designed to elevate student achievement.

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Different Drummer launches 2023 Book and Author series

By Staff

March 22nd, 2023


Ian Elliott has announced a new season at The Different Drummer; the bookshop burgeons with marvellous new books. And there’s more great news. He is thrilled to announce the Spring 2023


The bookstore will welcome nine more extraordinary authors presenting their wonderful new works over three splendid mornings.

The venue is the spacious main auditorium at Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Road West in Burlington.

They convene at 9:30am each morning, on these dates–all Tuesdays–

April 25, May 16, June 6

Among the illustrious guests scheduled to appear this season:

Harriet Alida Lye, Kyo Maclear, C.S. Richardson, Harley Rustad,

Julian Sher, and Kai Thomas.   More to be confirmed!


Series admission, one ticket for all three dates, is $60.

To purchase your tickets:

Buy through PayPal, at this link;


Author signing books at Different Drummer launch.

Send us an etransfer, to;


Purchase over the telephone, at (905) 639 0925;


Stop in and see us at A Different Drummer Books, 513 Locust Street in Burlington.

A Different Drummer Books



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Federal Minister for Environment decides to study land close to properties where developers want to build home homes

By Staff

March 22, 2023



The federal government has climbed aboard the drive to reverse the land swaps and the Greenbelt Land Grab the Ford government announced in December of 2022.

Minister Guilbeault’s action are being described as a key step on a path to victory for Ontarians working to protect the Greenbelt in perpetuity.

Steven Guilbeault, not yet a politician got himself arrested for climbing the CN Tower. The man clearly knew what a photo op is supposed to be.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault announced a new regional environmental study on the impacts of housing developments planned by the Ford government near the Rouge National Urban Park.

Guilbeault has a flair for the dramatic and his intervention certainly won’t hurt in the push to ensure that the Greenbelt is protected in perpetuity.

Today’s Federal announcement is described as a direct result of Ontarians speaking up about the broken Greenbelt promise.

The federal announcement adds to the work being done by Environmental Defence and the several complaints being looked into by Ontario’s Auditor General and the provincial Integrity Commissioner.

Properties that are targeted for development..

Support for the Greenbelt is said to be well understood.  In August 2022 an EKOS poll commissioned by the David Suzuki Foundation found that 75 percent of voters in Toronto’s suburbs wanted municipal election candidates to offer more protection to the Greenbelt

A group working out of Guelph. Greenbelt Promise Campaign, used dramatic language to describe what the issue is and why it is important. Ontario’s Greenbelt created in 2005 has become land that developers have been acquiring.  Residents of Ontario are said to understand that greenbelts are created as guarantees to protect the environment and farmland from profit-driven developers.

“In December 2022, Conservative MPPs betrayed Ontarians when they chose to undermine the environment and the will of the people by selling out the Greenbelt to wealthy developers.

“The Ford government is being pressed to reverse the decision that gave developers permission to send bulldozers into the Greenbelt.

“The Ontario’s environmental community congratulates Minister Guilbeault for this timely intervention to protect farms, forests and wetlands.”


The threat is real – there are specific solutions.

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Mayor explains rules at the start of every Council meeting - the rules do not appear to apply to her behaviour.

By Pepper Parr

March 21st, 2023



At the beginning of each Council meeting the Chair reads out a Land Acknowledgement and explains what to do if a fire alarm goes off and how people are expected to behave.

In the last couple of months the language and tone that the Chair uses has changed.

Delegates are told they have a choice to delegate in person or remotely.  “Delegates who are participating remotely are listening to the meeting from a separate room and will be joining us virtually as I call upon them to delegate. As with in person delegations in council chambers delegates will have five minutes to provide comments. We will use the time clock in council chambers to keep track of your time which is also available on the screen so you can see when you have when you’re winding down your last minute. Once you are done, please remain as there may be questions that members may have for you.

Jim Thomson delegating on his concerns over the soccer pitch at the former Bateman High school site. Would that T shirt be defined as a placard and therefore unacceptable at a Council meeting ?

“And as a reminder to all the delegates, they are required to adhere to the procedure bylaw, to speak only to the report and item on the agenda. And also be mindful of the procedure bylaw provisions regarding public conduct at committee and council meetings to which only members and authorized city staff are can proceed beyond the speaker’s podium.

“Public attendees must maintain order and will not display signs placards applaud heckle or engage in telephone or other conversation or any behaviour that may be considered disruptive.

“No person will use indecent offensive or insulting language or speak disrespectfully to anyone in council chambers.”

These instructions were read out by the Mayor during the Council meeting today.  At a June Council meeting Mayor Meed Ward  had this to say about Councillor Shawna Stolte

She  closed with the following: “And we ask electronic devices to be switched off. Any person who contravenes any provision of this bylaws section may be expelled from the meeting by the chair.

“I know we won’t have to do that today. But always good to let folks know the expectations as outlined in our bylaw.”

The Gazette has heard from two people who individually made mention of the Mayor’s behaviour to City Manager Tim Commisso who is reported to have said it wasn’t the Mayor’s best day.


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Perhaps the leading health issue for young people in the Region: HDSB holding Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions

By Staff

March 21st, 2023


The Halton District School Board is hosting additional Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for parents/guardians this Spring.

Covering specific topics based on feedback from parents/guardians, each session will be led by a mental health expert in that area who will share their knowledge and provide helpful information and resources.

Sessions include: 

  • Making the Invisible, Visible: Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness – Tuesday, March 28, 2023 from 6 – 7 p.m.
  • Navigating the Mental Health System for your Child – Tuesday, May 2, 2023 from 6 – 7 p.m.

Note: An additional session will be available in May. More information will be available regarding this session in the coming weeks.

Registration is required for these sessions as limited spots are available. Parents/guardians can register by completing the Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions

Registration Form. Sessions will be held on Google Meet, where closed captioning is available in various languages. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the session. Sessions will not be recorded.

Parents/guardians will have the opportunity to submit questions when completing the registration form or during the session. The Board’s Mental Health & Well-Being webpage has information for parents/guardians and students on mental health, ways to support positive mental health and well-being, and how to get additional support at school and in the broader community.


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Council gets to hear about some of the Engagement Plans for the Bateman High School site.

By Pepper Parr

March 21st, 2023



The pushing, the delegations, the email and the consistent public comment on not hearing anywhere near enough about that was actually happening with the former Bateman High School site finally got some results.

Kwab Ako-Adjei,  Director of Communications and Engagement

Council had  Kwab Ako-Adjei,  Director of Communications and Engagement, in the Council Chamber telling Council what was in the works.

Kwab has been a busy man – he just wasn’t sharing was being done by his team.  They were in fact meeting that very afternoon to suss out some of the plans.

One is a mail out to every taxpayer in the city (it might be every household) that wasn’t very clear.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns, supported by ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte put forward amendments that look is as if they were going to pass – Council recessed for about an hour after which they will continue with what Kwab has to say.

Parks, Recreation and Culture are going to be involved with what will be done outside the building and what would be done inside what Councillor Kearns is calling a Community Hub.

Mention was made of possibly meeting with people during the Under the Stars, community film nights that take place in the summer and asking people what they thought.

Kwab assured Council that he would have a fully developed Engagement Plan for Council in May and that he thought there would be both in person public events is as well is as virtual events.

Jim Thomson delegating on what he would like to see done with the football pitch at the rear of the former Bateman High School site.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman pressed the point that what was planned for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the development be included.

All the Councillors wanted everything that was being thought about on the table where the public could read and be aware of and then have an opportunity to delegate and comment.

Kearns, who is the Deputy Mayor for Engagement, made the point that the purchase of the Bateman school property was the biggest thing council was doing – but that the public wasn’t being given a chance to speak.

While Kearns wasn’t wearing the Deputy Mayor Engagement badge quite yet – she was certainly doing the “giddy up” council dance today.

About time.

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Council will determine today how it wants to proceed with Deputy Mayor role and changes to the Procedural Bylaw

By Pepper Parr

March 21st, 2023



After a full day of discussion and debate City Council agreed on how the work they did on Procedural Bylaw revisions will come back for REVIEW. They will:

Direct the City Clerk to bring an amended Procedure By-law to the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee by the end of Q3 2023, incorporating feedback from the February 27, 2023, Council Workshop Committee meeting;

Lisa Kearns doing her daily photo op at a Regional Council meeting, was not able to attend the Workshop at which her role as Deputy Mayor for Citizen Engagement was discussed.

That could be as late as September.

How Deputy Mayors will do their work will come back by the end of June.

Direct the City Clerk to report back to the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee with proposed Deputy Mayor with Portfolio guidelines by the end of Q2 2023.

There has yet to be any public discussion on either of these initiatives. While they aren’t exactly interesting or subjects that are easily understood they are important.

The do pale when compared with the cost of food and what home owners are having to cope with when their mortgages come up for renewal.

One wonders if this council is relying on a lack of public interest.

What is on the agenda has to be passed by this Council today. Changes do get made but not that often.

It will be interesting to hear what ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns has to say. She was not able to take part in the Workshop for personal reasons. She has the capacity to spot the weak spots in an argument and will no doubt put forward trenchant remarks. Word is that she has amendments she wants to put forward at the Council meeting today.

The unfortunate part is this council has lost the ability to work together in a meaningful, useful way.

The Mayor chairs Council meetings and has the ability to do some agenda management. The last time she did that it blew up in her face.

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

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