Rates and fees will be increased by 3% for almost everything - final decisions to be made December 13th at Council

By Staff

December 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The recommendation that came out of the Standing Committee earlier this week was to approve the 2023 rates and fees as outlined in finance department report effective January 1, 2023 unless otherwise indicated.

The debate on the fee increases was robust at the Standing Committee earlier this week.

Expect some changes to what is set out below.

The common thread throughout the report was to increase almost everything by 3% to align with inflation.

Marriage license fees were not increased – but that was about it on the no increase column.

City staff undertakes an annual review of rates and fees. The results of this review have been incorporated in the 2023 City of Burlington Rates and Fees. Many services are proposing an average of a 3% increase to rates and fees to balance the impact of inflation with the desire to keep rates affordable for residents and user groups who are also feeling the impact of inflation. Some areas have undergone a comprehensive fee review in 2022 resulting in increased rates, and as such are holding 2023 rates flat.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact many and several areas continue flatline fees to extend financial relief where possible.

Strategy/process
The rationale for charging user fees is that those who clearly benefit from a service should be the ones to pay for it. User fees form one of the most significant portions of revenue earned by the City after property tax revenues. To mitigate property tax increases, the City of Burlington has been proactive in ensuring that the services provided by the City reflect a high level of cost recovery to the greatest extent possible while balancing affordability and providing access to services.
A summary of the proposed fee changes for each service is listed below:

A City That Grows
Community Design and Development Review
A Comprehensive Fee Review was conducted in early 2022. As a result, a new fee schedule was implemented. The Site Plan Admin Fee, which was previously a standalone fee, is now captured in the Planning Application Fee. The new rates and fees are effective January 1st, with a proposed 3.0% indexation to offset the impact of inflation.

Building Code Permits and Inspections
The Building Code Act (BCA), 1992 provides municipalities with the authority to collect fees to fully recover the cost of administration and enforcement of the BCA and the Ontario Building Code (OBC). Regulations made under the BCA/OBC outline the details of what can be included as part of the cost including direct and indirect costs, and provisions for a reserve fund. The basic principle for providing building permit and inspection services is: “Fees for Service.”
Rates and fees within the Section 6.11 of the City of Burlington Building Permit By-law 66-2019 as amended, are indexed to the overall % increase for the total Human Resource expenditures as approved in the annual budget in relation to the Building Section and are to be adjusted annually on February 1st. Flat fee rates shall be rounded to the nearest dollar amount (increments of half dollar shall be rounded up). All other fees shall be rounded to the nearest cent.

City That Moves
• Transit
Cash fare will remain the same for 2023 at $3.50 for all age groups. Riders can take advantage of age-based concessions using a PRESTO card, which is the preferred fare payment method.
To align further with Metrolinx fare concessions, Burlington Transit is continuing to use the loyalty program. Instead of selling monthly passes, riders will be charged for each ride up to 39 rides. If they go beyond 39 rides, there is no additional fares taken for the month. This was identified as an enhancement to the fare payment program due to COVID-19 in March 2020. This approach ensures that riders are only charged for what they use.
The goal by 2024 is to align the loyalty program with Metrolinx, by which the number of rides required for loyalty will be 40 rides. Each year an additional ride will be added to the Loyalty rates.
In 2022, credit and debit card payment were added as a payment method for fare payments. Credit and debit card charges align with the cash fare fees.
The Conventional and Specialized Charter rates were increased by approximately 3% to $138.65 per hour to account for increased fuel and maintenance costs.

• Traffic Operations Management
A proposed increase of 3% in 2023 has been applied to all fees to account for inflation.

• Parking
Parking Services intends to review costs with the planned implementation of the City- wide permit system in 2023. As such, no increase to the Neighbourhood On-Street Parking Program (NOSPP) and Private Property Agency Officer fees are proposed at this time.

• Roads and Structures – Design and Construction
Tender Fees have increased by 2% to be in line with neighbouring municipalities while remaining competitive. The Trench Excavation and Driveway Modification Permits have increased by 3% to cover the increase in staff time required with the utility corporations. The Curb Cut permits have increased by 3% to cover the anticipated increase to the curb cutting contract and administrative support.

Fees associated with occupying space within the City’s right-of-way have been implemented to administer conditions for approval and compliance enforcement.

• Roadway and Sidewalk Maintenance
Upon completion of a market scan and to align with inflation rates, an increase of 3% in 2023 is proposed for the windrow program.

A Healthy and Greener City
Recreation, Community and Culture
With a focus on increasing participation and fostering a sense of belonging for all residents, rates and fees are determined by community needs, customer feedback, participation rates, and market trends and competition.

Rate owners performed a market analysis to determine Burlington’s competitive position. Rates were evaluated and compared to neighbouring municipalities such as Oakville, Hamilton, Halton Hills, Guelph, and Milton to ensure reasonability. For 2023, there is a continued focus on keeping rates affordable to encourage participation for everyone.
Proposed Rate Increases:
• 3% average increase for Music, Teen Tour Band & Student Theatre
• 2% increase for Festivals & Events
• 3 % increase for Arena Ice & Floor
• 3% increase for School Board amenities
• 3% increase for Sport Fields & Turf
• 2% increase for Older Adult Drop-In Programs
• 2% average increase for Aquatics Recreational Programs
• 3% increase for Outdoor Pool rentals
• 2% increase for Skate & 3% for Shinny
• 3% average increase for Youth, Teen & Preschool Recreational Programs
• 3% increase for Tyandaga Memberships & Green Fees
• 3% increase for Indoor space rentals (Meeting Rooms, Gyms, Auditoriums & Equipment)
• 2% increase in Advertising (Arena Boards & Flyer Slots)

New Rates
• Neighbourhood Park Events in Open Spaces for non-profit & commercial
• Destination Park Events in Open Spaces non-profit & commercial
• Elgin Promenade standard & commercial / non-resident Rate Delivery Changes:
• Youth, Teen & Preschool Recreational Programs have been replaced with an hourly rate structure to provide more programming flexibility. The overall cost of the program to customers remains unchanged
• Bistro Services shown at 100% cost recovery – the program is still offered, and prices change based on the fluctuating cost of food
• Discontinue Aquatics Leadership Practice drop ins and replace with existing Leadership Sessions which are proving to be more successful as they offer onsite Aquatic staff to support and coach candidates
• Discontinue Park rentals and replace with new rates Neighbourhood and Destination Park Events
• Discontinue Student Theatre Summer or Spring Salute & Senior Show Ticket and continue to offer show tickets in conjunction with BPAC partnership with rates based on time of purchase
• Discontinue Tyandaga golf lesson packages and continue to offer lessons through a third-party partnership
• Discontinue Tyandaga tournament and league play cart rates and replace with regular cart rate

Discontinued Rates
• Discontinue & remove Tyandaga 40 game and cart discount packages, larger discounts not required due to increase in overall demand

• Parks and Open Space Maintenance
An increase of 3% in 2023 is proposed for the adopt-a-bed program and the downtown planters. Rates had been flatlined during the pandemic, so the increase is necessary to account for an increase in material costs and inflation.

• Urban Forestry
Forestry staff completed a comprehensive review of the private tree by-law in 2022 with changes to rates and fees coming into effect during the 2nd quarter of 2022. For 2023, a 3% increase to public tree permits is proposed.

• Cemetery
An increase of 3% is proposed for cemetery services to align with the increase in inflation.

• Surface Water Drainage
For 2023 it is recommended that the fees related to Site Alterations be increased by 3%. Fees related to Storm Sewer Discharge permits were established in June 2022 and are recommended to stay at the 2022 rate. Increases for these fees will be considered for 2024.

A Safe City
• Fire Emergency Response and Prevention
The objective of the rates and fees billed by Fire Protection and Prevention Service is to promote and support fire safety in the community, encourage Fire Code (O.Reg.
213/07) compliance, decrease emergency incidents, mitigate costs incurred due to non- compliance, additional costs incurred at an incident, and for any services or activities provided or done by or on behalf of another municipality (Municipal Act, 2001). There are no rate changes proposed for 2023.

• Animal Services
The primary reason for inflationary increases in Animal Services is to keep fees consistent with City administration and enforcement costs. Some fees have traditionally been adjusted annually for inflation while other fees have been more comprehensively reviewed against costs and market rates for equivalent service(s).
Fee increases vary by each service type and reflect a 3% increase, with some fees being rounded to the nearest dollar. This increase is in line with current inflationary costs due to economic pressures and the associated costs with obtaining supplies necessary to keep the shelter operating.

• Municipal By-Law Enforcement
No changes proposed for existing enforcement fees as major review was conducted in 2021 and fees were updated at that time.

• Licensing
Licensing rates and fees have been flat-lined to the 2022 fees to provide further financial relief to Burlington businesses still recovering post-COVID-19.

Good Governance
• Corporate Legal
In September 2022 the Community Benefit Charge (CBC) was adopted to respond to legislation. As part of the process, developers have the option to dispute the charge and seek a second appraisal. If the developer’s appraisal exceeds the City appraisal by 5%, the developer must select an appraiser from the City’s list of appraisers to perform a final binding (third) appraisal, with the owner being responsible for the full cost of the appraisal.
All other Corporate Legal fees remain unchanged for 2023.

Enabling Services
• Financial Management
Finance staff have reviewed fees to ensure that the City’s rates are reasonable, appropriate, and comparable to other municipalities. As a result, the Financial Management Service rates have remained unchanged for 2023, except for three fees, specifically; Tax Certificates has been increased approximately 3.00%, from $55.00 to $56.50, Administration Charge for Returned Payments (NSF) increased by 12.5%, from $40.00 to $45.00 and Administration fee for Ownership Changes increased by 14% from $35.00 to $40.00.

• Service Burlington
Clerks annually reviews fees across area municipalities to ensure the City’s fees are in line with other municipalities. As a result:
• Commissioning Services and Burial Permits: No proposed increase. These fees are in line with area municipalities.
• Marriage License Application: No proposed increase. These fees are in line with neighbouring municipalities

• Group Home fees has not been increased since 2012 and the city is significantly below area municipalities. Last year we proposed a 25% increase spread out over 5 years which resulted in a fee increase of 5% per year. This would be the 2nd year of the recommended 5% increase.
• Routine Disclosure: These fees are in line with fees charged through Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ACT. Clerks is not proposing any fee increases for these services.
• Certified true copies – new fee established to be in line with neighbouring municipalities. Added this year due to increased prevalence of public requesting charges and subsequent need for cost recovery, the clerk is required to provide certified true copies of city owned documents in accordance with the municipal act section 253(2), and Council may establish a fee.
• Legislated FOI fees (search, preparation, photocopy, external storage device, computer costs) added in accordance with MFIPPA Regulation 823 section 6 and
6.1. The fees have been added for formal Council authorization to charge the legislated fees prescribed under MFIPPA regulation, aligning with neighboring municipalities.

• Sign Production Service
An increase of 3% is proposed for sign production services to align with the increase in inflation. Six new fees are being added to satisfy customer demand and broaden the sign offerings to the public

• Geographic Information and Mapping
Where applicable, existing fees are proposed to increase by 3% for inflationary reasons. Printing services are no longer offered by this service area and have been removed.
Document retrieval of all plan types has been grouped into one activity.

• Corporate – City Wide Charges
Corporate fees reflect items charged across city services. Fees are centralized to ensure consistency in charging across the organization. There are no proposed fee increases to corporate fees for 2023.

Rates and fees are reviewed annually by City staff and adjusted where appropriate to reflect cost increases while ensuring that market conditions are suitable for the adjustments.

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Families in a part of Aldershot do not understand why an 11 storey building can be built when the bylaw says just six

By Pepper Parr

December 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

Earlier in the week four people from Aldershot delegated on a development proposal that was going to include an 8-storey mixed-use building with retail at grade and stacked townhome units along the rear of the property and a 9-storey and 11-storey mixed-use buildings connected by a 6-storey podium with retail at grade as well as stacked townhome units along the rear of the property

The properties were at 1010 Downsview Drive and 355 Plains Road East

This is what the developer wants to build – residents who delegated want the city to stick with the six storey bylaw.

The development straddles Downsview Drive and sit in the midst of singe family dwellings.

Every delegate didn’t understand why the bylaw that permitted six story structures was not being observed.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith asked the delegations what they would like to see – each answered: six storeys which the bylaw permitted.

We see this often. Property owners don’t fully understand the process developers go through to get their plans approved.

Index to the site plan

A developer will ask for a change to the zoning bylaw that sets out what can be built on a piece of property in Burlington or they will ask for a change in the Official Plan – both which they are allowed to do.

The city planning department is required to accept every development application and report to Council on whether or not they support the application.

Residents don’t understand the process – why should they – they bought a home, moved in and are busy living their lives, getting their kids to soccer games and to the library and just living their lives.

What is permitted and what the developer wants.

Then along comes a development application that has the potential to make their property worth less and suddenly they are expected to become instant experts on the planning game.

Few understand the fundamental change the GTA is going through and the need to build a million and a half homes in the next ten years. That just isn’t something that is top of mind for them.

During the delegations their ward Councillor Kelvin Galbraith asked them questions and he certainly understood how they felt.  Six storeys – just like the bylaw says.  He didn’t attempt to explain the provincial requirement that tens of thousands of home had to be built.

There is a better way to handle these situation. Marianne Meed Ward used it, and by the way changed the way residents are informed about changes that are taking place.

When she was Councillor for Ward 2 should would hold regular meetings for her constituents – on a number of occasions she set out card tables and put four people at each table giving them homework assignments – doing what she felt she had to do to understand how the people she represented were thinking.

At one of those meetings I recall Meed Ward saying very loudly: “I just love this job” And she did love her job.

At one point the city clerk at the time had to tell Meed Ward that she had spent all the money she had in her budget to pay for coffee and Timbits – and she wasn’t yet half way through her term.

That isn’t the Marianne we see these days but that is another story.

Meed Ward paved the path to superb community engagement. She held meetings and listened.

Galbraith found himself unable to explain to his constituents why the development application is eventually going to be approved.

Quite why Galbraith did not hold a meeting and explain to the people in a part of his ward that was going to be impacted;  what they were up against and what they could do and not do.

He has a budget for getting mail out to people. And letters were sent to more than 500 people by the city.  Those letters tend not to get much attention – they are seldom clear to most readers.

He could have explained to those four delegations what was likely to happen. He didn’t. He fully understands the need to build that million and a half homes in ten years and loves being a part of that process.

At heart Galbraith is a builder.

And that is where Burlington has a significant problem in the way members of Council work with their constituents.

Lisa Kearns has in the past held pretty regular meetings but tends to use of most of the time talking instead of listening.

She has been very good at setting up meetings that are attended by people in the room and those taking part virtually – they worked. All people had to do was put up with an hour of Kearns talking before there was a chance to ask their questions.

Most people listen to the weather reports before they go to bed or first thing in the morning to get a sense of what they are facing.

Now if he could learn how she did it – he too might become Mayor. Hasn’t that been the game plan for some time?

Members of Burlington’s city council might try becoming weather reporters and telling people what they are facing when a development application comes in.

The Council members know what the planning department has received long before the public becomes aware.

There was a time when those elected to office were there to serve. That understanding doesn’t seem to be the fashion these days.

Galbraith is very close to the Mayor – he might want to ask her – how did you do it ?

The Marianne I used to know was once very very good at listening and serving the needs of her constituents.

Kelvin Galbraith is smart enough to learn – all he has to do is realize that he was elected to serve the interests of everyone in his ward and teach them what they need to know in a world that is changing very quickly.

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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Ward 2 Councillor chats up the Chief of Police

By Staff

December 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Councillor and the Chief.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns spent a few minutes with Halton Regional Police Chief Steven Tanner and had this to say:

“Great conversation with Chief Tanner about the efforts that make Halton Region an enviable place to work, live and play.

“Halton remains the SAFEST place to live in of all Canadian municipalities with a population of 100,000 or more.

“Through the work over 1000+ members of Halton Police Services, it has maintained its position of having the lowest Crime Severity Index (CSI).

“Certainly there are evolving challenges and terrific opportunities ahead as we look to this new term of Regional Council.”

No mention of the size of the police budget and how it will impact the budget Kearns is going to have to pass early in the New Year.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns with Regional Police Chief Steven Tanner

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Three month investigation results in 11 arrests and recovery of millions of dollars in property and $600,000 cash

By Staff

December 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

After a the three-month long investigation Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) today announced that it has recovered an estimated $2 million dollars in stolen goods and currency after a lengthy investigation, dubbed Project Kingfisher

The investigation resulted in the arrest of 11 people and the laying of dozens of criminal charges. Project Kingfisher took aim at an organized retail theft ring operating in Halton and the surrounding regions.

A variety of retailers were targeted by this group operating under the name “Buynsel”. Items stolen from stores were then sold via an online platform. Stolen items include electronics, power tools and beauty/ personal care items.

On Tuesday December 6, 2022, investigators executed warrants at more than a dozen locations in the City of Brampton, including a warehouse, five residences, and multiple storage lockers. Investigators seized stolen goods estimated by police to be worth in excess of $1.5 million dollars. Attached to this media release are photos of one of five trucks packed full of stolen items seized by police. Investigators also seized more than $600,000 in cash.

Police carted away two truckloads of recovered property

Satnampal Chawla (34) of Brampton and Shabani Luthrta (32) of Toronto have both been charged with:
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Exceeding $5000;
• Trafficking of Property Obtained by Crime Exceeding $5000;
• Participate in a Criminal Organization.

Renata Szarkeziova (36) of Brampton, Jesika Abkarovicova (24) of Brampton, Zakelina Balazova (30) of Brampton, Sandra Balazova (26) of Brampton, Leonardo Rafael (24) of Brampton, Martin Fatak (44) of Brampton, Roman Stojka (46) of Brampton, Rene Stojka (32) of Brampton, and Sabel Lakatasova (23) of Brampton have each been charged with the following:
• Theft Exceeding $5000;
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Exceeding $5000;
• Trafficking of Property Obtained by Crime Exceeding $5000;
• Participate in a Criminal Organization.

In addition to the charges listed above, Renata Szarkeziova, Jesika Abkarovicova, Zakelina Balazova, and Sabel Lakatasova have also been charged with Unauthorized Use of Debit Card.
Police are still seeking an additional suspect.

“Retail theft is not a victimless crime. These thefts cost Canadian retailers billions of dollars a year, costs that are passed on to consumers when they go shopping. It’s also a near certainty that people purchasing these items online had no idea they were buying stolen goods”, said HRPS Superintendent Bob Gourley. “I’m extremely proud of the work done by the officers involved in Project Kingfisher. The group we arrested were extremely well organized, and a tremendous amount of time and resources were dedicated to this investigation.”

Project Kingfisher was conducted by the HRPS Frontline Support Office and the Retail Theft Units and was a joint project with the Peel Regional Police. The HRPS would also like to thank the Waterloo Regional Police Service and Brantford Police for their assistance in the project.

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Standing Committee to debate the adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School

By Staff

December 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Standing Committee will be asked to approve Phase 1 facility design/development program budget for the adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School inclusive of the following major elements and gross cost estimates based on Class B design estimates:

Base Building
Phase 1 Base Building Construction

$41,700,000

Design and Engineering/Other Soft Costs

$15,000,000

Total Base Building Construction Cost

$56,700,000

Recommended Energy Reduction Incentives

$5,250,000

Total Recommended Base Building

61,950,000

Optional Enhanced Energy Incentives (subject to confirmation of Senior Government funding application)

$10,800,000

Total Gross Construction Estimated Cost

$72,750,000

Approve the proposed Capital Financing Plan for the adaptive reuse of the Robert Bateman High School inclusive of the following:

Proposed Net Capital Financing

Tenant Direct Capital Contributions (Cash).

$7,100,000

Non-Tax Supported Debt Financing

Tenant recovery

$11,750,000

Special Circumstance Debt (SCD) Financing

$4,000,000

Tax Supported Debt Financing

$45,900,000

Senior Government Funding (subject to confirmation by Senior Government)

$4,000,000

Total Proposed Capital Financing

$72,750,000

Direct the Executive Director of Environmental, Infrastructure & Community Services to proceed with next steps for pre qualification of General Contractor and tendering of the phase 1 construction contract in Q1-2023 for the renovation to the Robert Bateman High school into a community hub.

Mayor Meed Ward wants this project which means she has the votes of Councillors Galbraith and Nisan. The school is in Ward 5, home turf for Councillor Sharman, so we know where his vote is going to go; maybe he will surprise us.

That’s the four votes needed to carry it to Council on the 13th where the final decision gets made.

Will Angelo Bentevegna and Councillor Stolte stand their ground and ask hard questions? Will Councillor Kearns get wobbly and the knees and decide being liked matters most and votes for it; expect a photo op to follow.

We get to see if the words fiscal prudence mean anything to this council later today.

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Is Public Opinion Research a career opportunity ? Angus Reid partnering with University of Ottawa on a course offering

By Staff

December 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In the field of Public Opinion Research the name of Angus Reid is the gold standard

Angus Reid has been the gold standard in public opinion research for more than a decade.

The Angus Reid Institute has partnered with the University of Ottawa on Survey Research Summer School May 1-12, 2023.

During the 2 weeks, students will undertake all the necessary stages required to undertake a public opinion survey, from the selection of research questions and topics to cover, to the development of survey questions, their programming, analysis, and their public communication.

This program is tailored for professionals and graduate students who want to acquire skills in survey research. Over the two weeks, participants will acquire the necessary knowledge to conduct and analyze their own survey.

Angus Reid Group staff will help to lead the program:

The Microprogram in Survey Research and Public Opinion attracts professional candidates working particularly in the fields of civil service, public policy, and market research.
For more information, or to register:

Link to registration and details:

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How Will Online Gambling Develop in Canada?

By Charles Brown

December 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Canadian Online Casino: The Peculiarities of the Industry Development
The world of gambling is very popular. This is due to the quality of services provided in the Canadian online casino, their legality, and the safety of the processes. But the gambling industry is constantly developing, and the changes will not leave anyone indifferent. Read below what awaits the gamblers.

On line sites are very safe in Canada and very welcoming as well.

The Future Of The Gambling Market
The industry in Canada is legal, so online gambling for real money is in great demand among risk-takers. If previously it was possible to spend time only in land-based casinos, then everything has become much easier with their transfer to the online environment. But there is still some division in the preferences of players. For example, the older generation goes to play in land-based establishments. Gamblers of younger ages (up to 35 years), on the contrary, prefer choosing the best online casinos in Canada and having fun at any convenient place.

However, the pandemic has made its adjustments. Due to the ban on visiting public places, even older gamblers switched to playing at online establishments. Some of them got involved, and even after the cancellation of restrictions, they stayed in the best online casino Canada, where a wide range of entertainment is offered. Due to the increased flow of players, gambling establishments are taking measures to attract new users. They offer:

● excellent playing conditions;
● numerous bonuses for gamblers;
● a wide range of entertainment;
● a variety of currencies and payment systems;
● the opportunity to bet from mobile devices.

If you want to try your fortune, choose the institution from the top online casinos in Canada, looking at the most acceptable options. At the same time, evaluate several criteria that are important for the fairness and safety of the processes. For example, the presence of a license and modern encryption systems for data security. If there is no time to study the information on your own, then take a look at the best online casinos review and get up-to-date details about honest venues.

Analysts predict that the online gaming industry will expand so much that total annual revenue worldwide will exceed $180 billion. And Canada will play a huge role in the increase in profitability. This is due to innovation and growth in demand for the virtual segment. At the moment, casinos in Canada bring in an average of $31 billion a year.

Casino Regulation Is Getting Stricter

Supervision is strict with each province overseeing what takes place in their jurisdiction.

Supervisory authorities pay great attention to the activities of the Canadian online casino, gradually introducing stricter rules. This is due to their concern for the comfort and safety of the visitors of the virtual institutions. The work of land-based clubs is equally important. Due to the additional restrictions, not only the players win, but also the state. It receives more income from taxes which will positively affect the development of infrastructure facilities.

The concern of regulatory bodies is a possible gambling addiction. That is why specialists are developing separate legislation. It regulates the responsible growth of the sector and a competent approach to online gambling for real money on the part of virtual institutions and visitors.

Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is a modern technology that penetrates deeper into all spheres of activity. And the gambling industry is no exception. The gambling world is being improved with innovations, and new game concepts are being introduced. This increases the segment’s attractiveness, and the number of customers in the Canadian online casino will grow steadily every day.

Virtual reality gambling has become the central idea of developers. Providers organized a real race to be the first to present a project based on a unique technology. The symbiosis of gambling platforms and virtual reality will be a real breakthrough. The idea is potentially profitable for the developers of the safest online casino Canada and maximally interesting for newcomers and experienced gamblers. The breakthrough will probably occur in the live game segment because they are harmoniously combined with virtual reality.

After the creation of new projects, visitors to the best online casino Canada will have to buy special equipment. For example, virtual reality glasses. However, there is no consensus at the moment about the use of technology in the real world. Nevertheless, its development will be a real sensation.

Crypto Casinos
Virtual institutions based on blockchain technology are becoming increasingly popular. This is due to their reliability and security. Decentralized sites will be perceived as a top online casino because every gambler is worried about the safety of funds and personal information. A big advantage is that crypto institutions provide access to bitcoin games. There is also no need for data verification before the withdrawal.

As long as you understand what block chain technology is about – crypto currency can be useful.

It is equally important that while using the services of top online casinos in Canada, bonus offers are not cancelled. Some clubs launch exclusive promotions for those who transfer money using cryptocurrency services. Other advantages of using blockchain technology include the following:

● instant transfer of funds;
● minimum or no commissions for deposit and withdrawal;
● maximum data protection and absence of interference from third parties.

Analysts predict that soon there will be many safest online casino Canada with the possibility of transfers using cryptocurrency. This will allow gamblers to enjoy the usual methods of making financial transactions.

Mobile Gaming Trends Are Becoming Popular
Gambling is becoming as comfortable as possible for visitors to virtual sites. This is due to the development of the mobile segment, including entertainment in a browser or an application. If you can’t constantly be at your computer, then choosing the best online casinos in Canada that support games from your smartphone or tablet is a great idea. The advantages of mobile sites are as follows:

● the opportunity to run the slot in any convenient place;
● exclusive bonuses for those who play from a tablet or smartphone;
● automatic adjustment of content under the diagonal screen.

All casinos support browser-based versions for “pocket” devices. But only some of them provide a downloadable application. To understand whether there is software in the selected institution, familiarize yourself with its functionality. If you have no time, it is enough to look at the best online casinos review to get answers to your questions.

With the help of mobile applications and browser-based versions for smartphones, the coverage of users is increasing. Now everyone can play online gambling for real money anywhere, including the comfort of a home or a stylish office. You can also have a great time on a long trip.

FAQ

Winning is fun – just remember to set limits and discipline yourself.

1. What are the conditions offered to players at the best online casino Canada, and why do they attract attention?

The first thing that attracts gamblers to the virtual institutions of Canada is the legality of the activity. The range of games, the availability of bonuses, and the high level of refunds are no less important.

2. What innovations are waiting for gamblers?

Some of the innovations have already been implemented by the developers in the safest online casino Canada so that the gamblers feel confident during the game. We are talking about the use of cryptocurrency and the introduction of mobile applications. The only thing left to add is virtual reality.

3. What causes the popularity of mobile games?

Mobile slot machines offered in Canadian online casino attract attention to their accessibility. With an Internet connection, you can play anywhere you want.

4. How safe is the use of cryptocurrency in the best online casino Canada when depositing and withdrawing winnings?
Cryptocurrency payments are decentralized. They cannot be tracked at the state level. That is why transactions are as safe as possible and do not depend on the situation inside the country.

5. Why is strictness in gambling industry regulation necessary?
The stricter the legislation, the higher the level of services provided. Besides, the risk of gambling in fraudulent Canadian online casino is reduced, which guarantees the safety of your funds.

Conclusion
The gambling industry is constantly evolving. To have a great time, find the best online casino Canada with awesome bonuses and a great range of games. Don’t forget about modern trends like the use of cryptocurrency or the introduction of mobile apps.

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Management group made it clear: anyone with Christmas lights up will receive a letter and have to deal with Corporation's solicitor

By Staff

December 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A Gazette reader, Kevin (the balance of his name is not being released)  sent along the following:  Hard to believe but quite true.

I thought this issue might deserve some attention so I wanted to bring this news tip to your attention.

I currently rent a condo in a condo development off Masonry Court in Burlington. The development appears to be being built by ADI developments, some of the emails I have received in the past have also indicated their name was Halton Standard Condominium Corporation No. 726. Currently the property appears to be managed by Larlyn Property Management Ltd.

In any case, the story is pretty straight forward. As we enter the holiday season, some people have put up Christmas lights affixed to the outer balconies of their units. In emails sent on November 28th, Dec 2nd, and Dec 5th, Larlyn Property Management has told these people that they must remove the lights and that having these decorations is a violation of the rules and regulations of the Corporation. They claim that the lights could result in damage to the doors, balconies, railings and exterior walls. This seems hard to believe since the balcony railings are made of metal and glass, I don’t see how a zip tied cord of Christmas lights could cause damage.

In the most recent email, the Corporation made it clear that anyone who still has Christmas lights up will receive a letter and the matter will be taken up by the Corporations solicitor to ensure compliance, with the unit owner responsible for the fees. The language in section 3.1 (b) make it clear that in some cases permission could be granted to hang decorations on the units, so it appears to me this is a matter of interpretation regarding what is or is not allowed and exceptions could be made for the season.

Click on the small type to enlarge it for easier reading

The management group sent three emails – this was the first. Pretty heavy handed.

Unrelenting – not a word from the ADI Group who built the development, which has yet to see any parkland. ADI recently settled with a provincial Tribunal on sales practices that were deemed to be unacceptable.

I personally do not have any lights hanging from my unit, so this does not directly affect me except for when I go for walks in the evening. Since it gets dark shortly after 5, it was nice to see these decorations hanging from the sides of people’s balconies or doors. The difference is also stark when I walk into other neighbourhoods and see houses with their lights up. This isn’t something I’ve thought about before but I would be pretty upset if I bought a condo and later found out that this is how the rules are being interpreted.

Masonry Court units in their final stages of construction.

 

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The Bistro at the Seniors Centre was once a thriving, popular and profitable location - not anymore and we can't blame covid

By Penny Hersh

December 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At the council meeting Monday evening recommendations came forward from staff regarding the proposed increase in charges that are being recommended for various city venues.

Emilie Cote, Manager of Recreation Services indicated that there should be 100% recovery from The Bistro at the Seniors Centre.  When asked about the revenue generated this past year Emilie indicated $34,000.00 and that 15% was not recoverable.

Presently staff are involved in the running of the Bistro along with volunteers who set up what is being offered and making tea/coffee.  Bistro hours are 10-2 Monday-Thursday and self-serve coffee only from 10-12 on Fridays.

The Bistro, the heart of the Seniors’ Centre and the focal point for many of the administrative problems.

Both the Mayor and Councillor Bentivegna spoke in defence that the Bistro was much more than simply a service that needed to be able to support itself fully. For some it could be the only full meal they would have that day.  It was a way of having a very inexpensive meal that they could share with friends. Isolation is a very serious issue for many seniors, and this was an essential component in operating the Bistro.

Presently what is available are 2 wrapped in saran chocolate chip cookies, a few saran wrapped muffins, butter tarts and 1 type of square, along with tea/coffee.

Nothing healthy is being offered. At the very least soup and sandwiches should be available. The seniors attending classes along with the volunteers have asked repeatedly for more healthy food choices.

When the volunteer Board of Management was operating the Bistro, it was open from 8:30-3:30 pm, Monday-Friday.  We offered homemade soups, made to order sandwiches, salads, along with an interesting and healthy lunch special for $4.00. We also provided home baked scones, squares, fruit breads and rice pudding.

We had one paid staff – the chef, everyone else were volunteers, who worked alongside him to help with prep, serving and the washing of the dishes, taking orders and payment and serve the seniors.

Total revenue from the Bistro in 2014 was $ 92,685.00

Total revenue from the Bistro in 2015 was $112,958.00

Total revenue from the Bistro in 2016 was $105,326.00 (this was from Jan-Nov 30th only)

To be fair we did not pay rent for the use of the facility or for any utilities and the city was responsible for the deep cleaning. The kitchen was available for outside rentals in the evenings and on weekends.

In 2016 the city took control of the Senior Centre, and the Bistro.  The first thing they did was hire back the chef that the board was fortunate enough to hire.  Michael Gris is a Red Seal trained chef. I have been led to believe that he is presently not available.

The kitchen in the Bistro would rival any restaurant. All the upgrades – redesigned stainless-steel cabinetry and counter tops, additional refrigerators/freezers, commercial stoves, convection oven, etc. were paid for by the board of management along with donations from the Boutique Ladies and Club 9.  A Horizon grant in the amount of $25,000.00 that we received to start up our Soup Project paid for a lot of the upgrades in the kitchen.

The Bistro was more than self-sustaining. It was profitable.

I realize that Covid did play a part in some of the changes that needed to take place.  This once bustling lounge where people would have to look for a seat is EMPTY.  A commercial grade kitchen remains unused.

The city needs to change its current model to not only be profitable, but to provide a much needed service for the seniors who attend classes at the Burlington Seniors Centre.

 

 

 

 

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Burlington Foundation announces new President - CEO

By Staff

December 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Catherine Brady, Chair of the Burlington Foundation Board of Directors,  announced today that Megan Tregunno will join the Burlington Foundation as its new President & CEO, commencing January 3, 2023.

Those baking trays are a clue to how local Megan Tregunno is  – her grandmother, Norma Bidwell, was the longtime Recipe Editor at the Hamilton Spectator. “She was one of the first mentors in my life — growing up with her was a pretty special experience,.”

Megan joins the Foundation having held executive leadership roles in community and healthcare philanthropy for the last two decades, with a special focus on women’s health, research, and mental health. Megan has led organizations and teams through periods of transformational growth and championed the
missions behind some of Canada’s most iconic charitable organizations, such as Women’s College Hospital Foundation.

Megan holds a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation and has been celebrated for her leadership contributions to the philanthropic sector through the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. Megan is a life-long Burlington resident, where she and her family currently reside and are actively engaged.

In early 2022, the Board announced that long-time President & CEO Colleen Mulholland was retiring from the Foundation at the end of the year and began a formal recruitment process to search for the next executive leader. The Board is immensely grateful to Colleen for her outstanding leadership of the Foundation over her 11-year tenure. Two notable accomplishments include growing assets under management from $SM to $25M and leading the $2.7M Burlington Flood Relief efforts in 2014 on behalf of the City of Burlington. The Board celebrates the tremendous contributions Colleen has made to the Foundation and to the

 

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Team Logue will be using a White and Navy Blue theme for their Tree at the Performing Arts Centre

By Katelyn Goodwin

December 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Real estate service Team Logue is one of this year’s tree sponsors for the 6th annual Festival of Trees taking place at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre through to December 17th.

Makayla, the staff member I spoke to, explained that  Team Logue is a community based real estate service company with an ‘outside the box’ approach offering expertise in Burlington, Milton, Oakville, and the surrounding areas-mainly the Millcroft area.

They have been involved in community-based events before, and Makayla told me this was another great opportunity for them to contribute to another.

This is their first year sponsoring and decorating a tree. The company decided to decorate a tree to be part of getting people into the spirit this holiday season.

Sarah Logue is the broker of record and a huge lover of the Christmas season.  The group decorating the tree have yet to decide quite what they want to do in terms of decorations; they do know that the theme will be white and navy to go with Logue’s brand colours.

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New online guide available to help navigate tree protection and tree permits in Burlington

By Staff

December 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City has created a “Guide to Tree Protection” to help property owners and applicants navigate tree protection and the City’s tree by-laws, with a focus on the Private Tree By-law. The free guide is available online at burlington.ca/forestprotection.

Information in the Guide includes:
• What rules are in place to protect trees?
• Which trees are protected under the City’s tree by-laws?
• When do I need or not need a tree permit?
• How do I work around trees without hurting them?
• What do I need to get a Private Tree Permit?

The Guide also features helpful illustrations that highlight key points to working around trees and aspects of the permit application. These illustrations will help applicants understand what is needed when applying for a tree permit.

What is the Private Tree By-law?
The Private Tree By-law protects trees on private property within the City’s Urban Planning Area Boundary. If you live within the Urban Planning Area Boundary, you will need to apply for a permit to injure or remove a tree 20 cm in diameter or greater measured at 1.37 m from the ground. Heritage trees and endangered, threatened, and at-risk species are also protected and may require additional approvals in addition to your tree permit.

View the Private Tree By-law (040-2022).

What is the Public Tree By-law?
The Public Tree By-law regulates publicly owned trees. You will need to apply for a permit to injure or remove any tree of any size anywhere on public property. The Public Tree By-law is applicable city-wide which includes both the Urban and Rural Planning Area Boundaries.

Contact the City before submitting a permit to remove a public tree at 905-335-7777 or city@burlington.ca.

View the Public Tree By-law (068-2013).
For more information on tree by-laws, to apply or to view the guide, visit burlington.ca/forestprotection.

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry explains: ““Submitting a complete and accurate tree permit application can save you time and money. It is our hope that as people plan their spring or summer renovations and construction, this guide will give applicants the extra information they need to ensure there are no errors or missed items on their application.”

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Never Mind the Number of High Rise Towers - What About the Number of Buses on the Streets.

By Pepper Parr

December 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At the first really heavy duty Standing Committee yesterday Council listened to plans to significantly change the location on Harvester Road where aaa and Transit are currently located.

Council was presented with six options that were going to come in at a cost of $20 million – nothing was going to happen today – they were looking at a 30 year plan.

One bit of data that gave more than a clue as to the kind of growth that is going to take place was the projections for transit.

There are construction crews on several sites in the city but few will serve the needs of the average family the city is expecting to call Burlington home.

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna commented on the size of the agenda they had to cope with – 400 pages plus.

The agenda for the Standing Committee that meets today will deal with a 700 pages plus agenda.

The one thing that didn’t get much in the way of discussion was the size of city council – the seven member, serving six wards isn’t working all that well now and can’t be expected to work at all going forward.

That is an issue this council is going to have to give serious consideration to – that should be fun to watch.

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Sounds of the Season at the Performing Arts Centre on Saturday

By Staff

December 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Gazette has partnered with the Performing Arts Centre, the My Pop Choir and the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera (SOLO) to sponsor an afternoon of Christmas Music at the Performing Arts Centre on December 10th.

The 20 member Choir from SOLO will be performing at 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm and doing two sets.

The 33 member My Pop Choir will perform between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm and do two sets.

This is Christmas at its very best – the popular music and some of the hymns that we all recall.

Make the time to stroll through the Family Lobby , look at the trees and listen to the choirs.

This is a free event

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A Compassionate Community Takes Care of Those in Need

By Staff

December 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Compassion Society has been serving the needs of those who need a hand for a decade.  Times are tough for many – here is an opportunity to help out.

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Do Housing Prices Drop During A Recession In Canada?

By John Palliser

December 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A buyer or a new investor, waiting to make their first ever property purchase, has one concern; “how much do the prices fall during the recession in Canada?”

With the financial crisis that Canadians faced in 2008, followed by the harsh times during 2020 (due to the pandemic), people are concerned about their finances more than ever.

Investors, who have had real estate holdings in their portfolio have been concerned about this as well. If the current economic condition persists, i.e. recession, how will it impact the housing market?

Moreover, if the situation resolves but a recession hits back within the next 6 months, what shall one expect? An assessment of the situation is crucial, to develop strategies that can help the housing businesses and investors sustain through these times.

Recession affects the prices of the housing market by an average of about -10.0%.

You can look at different predictions by financial experts. But predictions without data are not worth it and have no value.

According to the data of the previous years, it is concluded that recession affects the prices of the housing market by an average of about -10.0%. Moreover, the prices of the nominal houses also decreased by almost -14%.

Setting aside the 2020 time period, as it was a global health emergency, if we assess the condition of the housing market during the recession; it has had a very negative effect overall.

A Recession impact homeowners wealth in Canada
Housing prices fall during recessions. In the worst cases, according to strawhomes.com your home’s value could drop 25%.

But Not necessarily.

Canada’s housing market has been less volatile. Since 2008-09, the housing market has recovered well. Home prices are near 2008 highs. Housing starts aren’t meeting demand.

Rising interest rates force home buyers to save for mortgage payments. Mortgage lenders are warier. This could affect consumer loans and credit card debt.

With more renters, prices rise. Consumers may reduce spending to avoid debt, hurting the real economy.

Western Canada housing prices have been strong for a decade. Recent years have seen new competitors. Recession and falling commodity prices caused a correction.

2008 Canadian Housing Market Recession
Canada avoided the worst of the last recession. A more regulated, government-backed financial system helped housing consumers weather the crisis.

Housing has recovered. Prices are near 2008 highs. The economy is still struggling. In coming years, the economy will slow. The Bank of Canada expects a recession in Canada in 2022.

Housing prices contribute to negative wealth, according to the Bank of Canada. This will reduce GDP growth by 2.5%. Low borrowing costs also fuel pent-up demand.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation predicts a 5% drop in home prices by mid-2023. Model includes scenarios. Worst case, prices drop 25%.

Canadian recession may crash housing market. The recovery is strong but temporary.

Will a recession drive down house prices?
The Canadian housing market is affected by several factors. Near-record home prices. Recessions change the housing market.

Recessions lower home prices. Increased home sales are expected. Increased foreclosures. This means fewer buyers and longer listings.

Interest rates rise during a recession. This will make mortgage payments harder. If you’re considering buying a home, you should know the costs involved.

Home buyers need a stable job. Unstable employment can make a cheap home purchase difficult.

High unemployment marks recessions. Recessions increase foreclosures. This can create more affordable homes.

Rising rates can also lower home prices. The Bank of Canada is hawkish amid high inflation.

Now, based on the data collected through the previous recessions, can we understand the impact it will have in future recessions? Yes. As of now, experts state that future recessions can impact the market till a -24.2% decline and a nominal decline of 11.7% can be experienced. The best scenario that the investors or anyone in the market can pull off, would be 12% real appreciation and 9% nominal appreciation.

Although we cannot and should not make decisions based on uncertain happenings, preparing for the worst case situation is always a smart choice to make. Planning a risk management strategy for the recession period can be extremely helpful and therefore, understanding the impact recession has had in the previous scenarios is important.

Should I Buy a House in a Recession in Canada?
During a recession, buying a home can be difficult. Before deciding, weigh the pros and cons.

The recession isn’t a one-time event. Unemployment will rise in the coming years. Recessions reduce home buyers, lowering prices.

Recessions lower interest rates. Prime rate is 0.25 percent, which can help you get a better mortgage rate. This can lower prices and boost ROI.

Recessions make lenders tighten loan requirements. This lowers default risk. Home buyers can rejoice.

If you’re buying a home, check your credit. You’ll want a stable job before moving. You should also know how much home ownership will cost. Including down payment and closing costs.

Interest rates are still rising
Canada’s interest rates are rising despite recession fears. The Bank of Canada is trying to control inflation. They’re raising rates by a half-point. This may be the beginning, depending on the economy.

Canada’s rising rates are cause for concern. They affect savings, investment, and borrowing rates. They can slow the economy. If inflation rises, Canadian wages may fall.

Higher interest rates cause higher inflation, says the Bank of Canada. It’s important to monitor how these changes affect your savings and investments. Avoid making large purchases.

The BoC aims for 2% inflation. The bank may take stronger action if inflation rises. If inflation falls, the Fed won’t need to raise rates further.

Home Prices Fell At The Fastest Rate Ever in 2022
During Canada’s 1990s housing boom, prices soared. Rich people with mortgages wanted bigger homes as prices rose. Low rates fueled the boom. Sub-prime mortgage crisis caused 2008 financial crash.

Canada is recessionary. Most of Canada’s major cities are seeing falling home sales, according to CREA. Housing market stabilization will slow the decline.

Rising interest rates are cooling Canada’s frothy housing market. Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal have cooled. Increasing interest rates limit affordable housing in the GTA, where the 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit a 20-year high in late October.

September GTA home prices fell 3.0%. Toronto’s benchmark home price is C$1.12 million. Still 7.7% above last year.

Will the housing market crash if there’s recession?
You need to know how a recession will affect your real estate investment, whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seller. Recessions can lower demand and prices. Recessions can affect interest rates, making it hard for home buyers to afford mortgages.

The economy is the biggest predictor of recession home effects. A recession is a slow economic decline that hurts consumer spending. Slowing growth will raise interest rates.

Market supply and demand can also predict a crash’s effects on your home. When supply is low, home buyers drop. This won’t crash a healthy market. When demand drops, sellers must lower prices to sell.

CMHC and OECD reported on house prices during four recessions. The worst-case house price crash scenario is a 25% drop.

Market supply and demand can also predict a crash’s effects on your home

Recession or a coming financial crisis?
Investors must stay calm during a recession or financial crisis. Large-scale economic imbalances cause most recessions.

Recessions last 2-18 months. They can last years, affecting consumer confidence, stock prices, credit scores, and unemployment.

The Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy aggressively. Inflation and economic growth are expected to rise. The effects will hit U.S. consumers and businesses.

Two-thirds of economists predict a recession in 2023, per the Financial Times. IMF forecasts global recession.

IMF Economic Counsellor Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas says the US faces a global recession. War in Ukraine, a pandemic, and China’s economic slowdown are major causes, he says.

A recession is two or more consecutive quarters of declining GDP, according to the NBER. Recessions last between two and 18 months, according to experts.

Conclusion

To conclude, the longer the recession period, the more the economy suffers. As investors, it is critical that you develop strategies to mitigate risks and manage the recession period efficiently.

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Bubbles and Blow invite you to hear two choirs singing at the Performing Arts Centre on Saturday

By Katelyn Goodwin

December 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Performing Art Centre’s 6th Annual Festival of Trees is on now.

On Saturday, the 10th, there will be two choirs performing at a free event. Not something you want to miss.

Hair salon Bubbles and Blow is one of the local businesses sponsoring a Christmas tree this year. Owner and tree sponsor Nikki had quite a bit to say about her company’s involvement this year. Inspired by her love of hair.

Nikki’s salon Bubbles and Blow offers the healthier alternative to traditional extensions of the Habit Hand-Tied Method and is the first salon in the GTA to use this method.

She opened the salon after immigrating to Canada from New York, during the pandemic and found the people in downtown Burlington were very supportive.

Nikki does as much as she can for the community including taking part in the Festival of Trees which she thinks will draw people to the Performing Arts Centre.

This will be her business’s first year sponsoring and decorating a tree for the festival, with Nikki being inspired to do it this year by her visit to the 5th annual festival last year. She said she enjoyed seeing all the cute trees with their own unique themes and decorations and saw sponsoring one herself this year as an opportunity to further contribute to and be an even bigger part of the community.

With Bubbles and Blow offering a friendly, laid-back experience for clients complete with an atmosphere of pastel hues, the tree being decorated by them will aim to give off such a friendly, upbeat, and relaxing vibe. The theme will be pink and gold with champagne pieces used to decorate it reminiscent of the glasses of bubbly served to clients during their appointments as part of their relaxing services.

Related news story:

Seasonal music – the best you will hear in Burlington

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On Saturday the 10th, in the afternoon, two choirs that will warm your hearts will entertain at the Performing Arts Centre

The Burlington Gazette has partnered with the Performing Arts Centre, the My Pop Choir and the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera (SOLO) to sponsor an afternoon of Christmas Music at the Performing Arts Centre on December 10th.

The 20 member Choir from SOLO will be performing at 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm and doing two sets.

The 33 member My Pop Choir will perform between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm and do two sets.

This is Christmas at its very best – the popular music and some of the hymns that we all recall.

More than 30 trees have been sponsored and decorated by Burlington retail and services organizations.

Make the time to stroll through the Family Lobby, look at the trees and listen to the choirs.

This is a free event

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SOLO will be on stage in Burlington December 7th at the Performing Arts Centre doing Seasonal numbers with a 50 member chorus.

By Staff

December 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A big big sound.

On stage at the Performing Arts Centre on December 7th

The Southern Ontario Lyric Opera company will be featuring Seasonal music along with two short classic operettas by Measha Brueggergosman-Lee

Seldom does Burlington get an opportunity to exceptional voices supported by a very large orchestra.  For those who want to nibble at opera – this is an event worth the time.

 

In May La Traviata (The Fallen Woman) an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave will be presented.

It is based on La dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas.

 

 

Tickets at the Box Office

The event is produced by the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera

 

 

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What Euthanasia Has Done to Canada We call it MAID - Medical Assistance in Dying

By Pepper Parr

December 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

One of the pleasures of the life I live is a newspaper that gets dropped off at the lane way of the house I live in. The Sunday New York Times is, in my world, about as good as it gets.

There was an opinion column that I want to share with you.  It was written by Ross Douthat, a regular NYT columnist

“La Maison Simons, commonly known as Simons, is a prominent Canadian fashion retailer. In late October it released a three-minute film: a moody, watery, mystical tribute. Its subject was the suicide of a 37-year-old British Columbia woman, Jennyfer Hatch, who was approved for what Canadian law calls “Medical Assistance in Dying” amid suffering associated with Ehlers Danlos syndrome, a group of disorders that affect the body’s connective tissues.

“In an interview quoted in Canada’s National Post, the chief merchant of Simons stated that the film was “obviously not a commercial campaign.” Instead it was a signifier of a public-spirited desire to “build the communities that we want to live in tomorrow, and leave to our children.”

“For those communities and children, the video’s message is clear: They should believe in the holiness of euthanasia.

“In recent years, Canada has established some of the world’s most permissive euthanasia laws, allowing adults to seek either physician-assisted suicide or direct euthanasia for many different forms of serious suffering, not just terminal disease. In 2021, over 10,000 people ended their lives this way, just over 3 percent of all deaths in Canada. A further expansion, allowing euthanasia for mental-health conditions, will go into effect in March 2023; permitting euthanasia for “mature” minors is also being considered.

“In the era of populism there is a lively debate about when a democracy ceases to be liberal. But the advance of euthanasia presents a different question: What if a society remains liberal but ceases to be civilized?

“The rules of civilization necessarily include gray areas. It is not barbaric for the law to acknowledge hard choices in end-of-life care, about when to withdraw life support or how aggressively to manage agonizing pain.

“It is barbaric, however, to establish a bureaucratic system that offers death as a reliable treatment for suffering and enlists the healing profession in delivering this “cure.” And while there may be worse evils ahead, this isn’t a slippery slope argument: When 10,000 people are availing themselves of your euthanasia system every year, you have already entered the dystopia.

“Indeed, according to a lengthy report by Maria Cheng of The Associated Press, the Canadian system shows exactly the corrosive features that critics of assisted suicide anticipated, from health care workers allegedly suggesting euthanasia to their patients to sick people seeking a quietus for reasons linked to financial stress.

“In these issues you can see the dark ways euthanasia interacts with other late-modern problems — the isolation imposed by family breakdown, the spread of chronic illness and depression, the pressure on aging, low-birthrate societies to cut their health care costs.

Final moments

“But the evil isn’t just in these interactions; it’s there in the foundation. The idea that human rights encompass a right to self-destruction, the conceit that people in a state of terrible suffering and vulnerability are really “free” to make a choice that ends all choices, the idea that a healing profession should include death in its battery of treatments — these are inherently destructive ideas. Left unchecked, they will forge a cruel brave new world, a dehumanizing final chapter for the liberal story.

“For anyone on the right opposed to Donald Trump and the foulness around him (most recently at his Mar-a-Lago dinner table), the last six years have forced hard questions about when it makes sense to identify with conservatism, to care about its direction and survival.

“One answer turns on which dystopian future you fear most. Among those NeverTrumpers who have left the right entirely, the overwhelming fear is of an authoritarian or fascist future, a right-wing threat to democracy requiring all possible resistance.

“But in the Canadian experience you can see what America might look like with real right-wing power broken and a tamed conservatism offering minimal resistance to social liberalism. And the dystopian danger there seems not just more immediate than any right-authoritarian scenario, but also harder to resist — because its features are congruent with so many other trends, its path smoothed by so many powerful institutions.

“Yes, there are liberals, Canadian and American, who can see what’s wrong with euthanasia. Yes, the most explicit cheerleading for quietus can still inspire backlash: Twitter reactions to the Simons video have been harsh, and it’s vanished from the company’s website.

“But without a potent conservatism, the cultural balance tilts too much against these doubts. And the further de-Christianization proceeds, the stronger the impulse to go where the Simons video already went — to rationalize the new order with implicit reassurances that it’s what some higher power wants.

“It’s often treated as a defense of euthanasia that the most intense objections come from biblical religion. But spiritual arguments never really disappear, and the liberal order in a dystopian twilight will still be infused by some kind of religious faith.

“So I remain a conservative, unhappily but determinedly, because only conservatism seems to offer a stubborn obstacle to that dystopia — and I would rather not discover the full nature of its faith.”

To put this in a Canadian perspective the following CBC news report.

Four — perhaps even five — Canadian military veterans were given the option of medically-assisted death (MAID) by a now-suspended Veterans Affairs Canada caseworker, the country’s veterans minister told a House of Commons committee late Thursday.

Lawrence MacAulay said the matter is now being turned over to the RCMP for investigation and his department’s internal review is ongoing.

“We expect all Veterans Affairs candidate employees to interact with veterans with care, compassion and respect and the actions of this one employee is simply disgusting,” MacAulay told the veterans affairs committee. “And I condemn this behaviour in the strongest terms.”

MAID has become a handy procedure for removing from society those who are to expensive to care for.  That wasn’t the intention when MAID was first introduced.

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