Views on Bail and why it is made available differ significantly: Criminals see it as a got out of jail free

By Pepper Parr

January 16th, 2023



In a number of recent news reports on people who were arrested for drug or human trafficking offences Gazette readers expressed alarm and concern over some of the people whowere released on bail.

There is a gap between what people think bail should be and what it actually is. The John Howard Society produced a short video on how the bail system, referred to as “conditional release” works.

The view the John Howard Society has and the views of the criminal community are some distance apart.

Bail conditions vary. They are reviewed regularly.

Many of the criminals have no intention of showing up – they keep failing to appear until a Judge decides to not agree to bail.

One of the problems is that the provincial government doesn’t want to cover the cost of keeping people who have been arrested in a jail – it is very expensive.

View the video and then think about what you would like to do. Should the process be changed – if that’s what you think – tell your MP and press the government to make sure you are safe on the streets of you community.

About the John Howard Society

Provides for the effective integration into the community of those in conflict with the law and provides, or encourages others to provide, services to those in contact with, or affected by the criminal justice system;

Promotes changes in the law and the administration of justice which will lead to the more humane and effective treatment of individuals;

Promotes citizen awareness of the problems of crime and its causes, acceptance of responsibility to respond to these problems and involvement in the delivery and management of justice related programs;

Promotes the fair and humane treatment of all incarcerated persons and seeks to ensure that all forms of detention and imprisonment comply with relevant legal and human rights standard

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Gas company finances the distribution of carbon monoxide alarms.

By Staff

January 16th, 2023



Enbridge Gas, the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council  and Burlington Fire Department announced they are working together to improve home safety and bring fire and carbon monoxide-related deaths down to zero in Burlington.

The Safe Community Project Zero is a public education campaign that is providing alarms to residents in 50 municipalities across Ontario. Through this project, the Burlington Fire Department has received 438 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

It is indeed the law – yet we still have terrible loss of life .

In 2022, Enbridge Gas invested $250,000 in Safe Community Project Zero, and over the past 14 years, the program has provided more than 76,000 alarms to Ontario fire departments.

The alarms provided to Burlington will be distributed through a combination of public events, the Alarm Assistance Program and response calls when needed.

When properly installed and maintained, combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms help provide the early warning to safely escape from a house fire or carbon monoxide exposure. Carbon monoxide is a toxic, odourless gas that is a by-product of incomplete combustion of many types of common fuels.

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New Democrats jump all over the Premier's private clinic plan

By Pepper Parr

January 16th, 2023



Marit Stiles will be confirmed as the leader of the NDP on February 4th after being acclaimed as the Leader of the Party earlier in the year.

Well that didn’t take very long; before media could tell the full story about what the provincial government is putting forward in the way of private clinic services, the NDP was out with a statement that was the equivalent of “Not so fast Big Fella”: saying

“This was Doug Ford’s plan all along. He has spent years starving our health care system of resources, demoralizing health care workers with his wage-capping Bill 124 and leaving Ontarians desperate for care and frustrated by his games.

“We want to be clear – he will not get away with this. People will end up paying out of pocket and face longer wait times in our hospitals, as his plan drives healthcare workers from our public system. At every turn, he proves that he doesn’t care about ordinary Ontarians – just making profits for his donors and friends.

“The Ontario NDP will use every tool available to protect our publicly funded healthcare system. We want to live in a province where everyone has access to affordable mental and physical health care. We want Ontario to be a province for everyone to live, work, and feel supported by a system that works for them, not against them. We want to work together for a province we’re proud of.”

I don’t really need to feel proud of the province – but I would like to get my cataracts problem taken care of. The outfit I was sent to has asked for $500 for each eye to do a really accurate measure of what I will need once things get to the surgery point.

Related news story:

The plan.

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By Staff

January 16th, 2023



Hate – it has become an issue. It has lways existed but we are seeing more and more of it.

Burlington recently had two young men, masked and putting up signs on the doors of city hall late at night.

Two young men approaching city hall with hate literature they pasted on the front doors.

On Wednesday February 22nd, 2023 at 1pm, Ontario Tech University Centre on Hate, Bias, and Extremism will be hosting a virtual webinar featuring Kimberly Cato of True Roots Counselling Service and Kara Hart of the John Howard Society of Peel-Halton-Dufferin, who will open a window into the reality of hate crime and incidents in the Halton region and the effect hate has on victims and the community.

The findings of a community research project studying the prevalence and impact of hate in Halton Region will be presented and participants will be provided with information regarding tools and actionable, evidence-based ideas that can help reduce hate crime in the region and mitigate the impact of hate on victims and equity deserving communities.

This event is free and registration is available through Eventbrite: Click HERE to register for this free and important event.


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Ontario government set out a three step process that will mean big changes in the delivery of surgical procedures

By Staff

January 16th, 2023



The Ontario government is making it easier and faster for people to access the publicly-funded surgeries and procedures they need by further leveraging community surgical and diagnostic centres to eliminate surgical backlogs and reduce wait times. As the government significantly expands the number of surgeries being done through community surgical and diagnostic centres, it will do so with measures in place to protect the stability of health human resources at public hospitals, including requiring new facilities to provide detailed staffing plans as part of their application and requiring a number of physicians at these centres to have active privileges at their local hospital.

“When it comes to your health, the status quo is no longer acceptable,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Our government is taking bold action to reduce wait times for surgeries, all while ensuring Ontarians use their OHIP card to get the care they need, never their credit card.”

Community surgical and diagnostic centres have been valuable partners in responding to the pandemic and addressing the pandemic-related backlog in surgeries. Increasing community delivery of surgeries has proven to increase patient and provider satisfaction and reduces the risk of a rescheduled appointment. Surgeries performed at these centres will be publicly-funded.
Ontario has a three-step plan that better integrates and uses these state-of-the-art facilities to speed up how quickly people are able to get surgeries and procedures using their health card.

Step One: Ontario is urgently tackling the existing backlog for cataract surgeries, which has one of the longest waits for procedures.

New partnerships with community surgical and diagnostic centres in Windsor, Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa will add 14,000 additional cataract surgeries that will be performed each year. This number represents up to 25% of the province’s current cataract waitlist, and accounts for the estimated COVID-related backlog of cataract surgeries. These centres will perform the 14,000 additional surgeries with existing health human resources.

Ontario is also investing more than $18 million in existing centres to cover care for thousands of patients, including more than 49,000 hours of MRI and CT scans, 4,800 cataract surgeries, 900 other ophthalmic surgeries, 1,000 minimally invasive gynecological surgeries and 2,845 plastic surgeries such as hand soft tissue repair. Surgical wait lists are anticipated to return to pre-pandemic levels by March 2023, barring operational issues.

Step Two: To further reduce wait times, Ontario is expanding the scope of community surgical and diagnostic centres to address regional needs with a continued focus on cataracts, as well as MRI and CT imaging and colonoscopy and endoscopy procedures. To start as early as 2023, these procedures will be non-urgent, low-risk and minimally invasive and, in addition to shortening wait times, will allow hospitals to focus their efforts and resources on more complex and high-risk surgeries.

Step Three: Early detection and diagnosis of a health issue has an immense benefit on a patient’s quality of life, prognosis and treatment path. As a next step, the government will introduce legislation in February that will, if passed, allow existing community diagnostic centres to conduct more MRI and CT scanning so that people can access publicly funded diagnostic services faster and closer to home.

Starting in 2024, this next step will also expand surgeries for hip and knee replacements. Legislative changes will also, if passed, strengthen oversight of community surgical settings so that patients can continue to expect to receive the world class care they know and deserve and provide the province with more flexibility to continue to expand access to more surgeries and further reduce wait times. As the province expands the role of community surgical and diagnostic centres, Ontario Health and the Ministry of Health will continue to work with system partners and clinical experts to put in place the highest standards for quality and safety.

“Timely and convenient access to surgery and diagnostic imaging is critical to keeping people healthy,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This plan will boost the availability of publicly funded health services in Ontario, ensuring that Ontarians currently waiting for specialized surgeries will have greater access to the world class care they need, where and when they need it.”

As the government shortens wait times using community surgical and diagnostic centres, Ontario Health will ensure that these centres are included in regional health system planning. Funding agreements with new community surgical and diagnostic centres will require these facilities to work with local public hospitals to ensure health system integration and linkages, including connection and reporting into the province’s wait times information system and participation in regional central intakes, where available. Community surgical and diagnostic centres will also coordinate with local public hospitals to accept patients that are being referred, ensuring people get the surgery they need as quickly as possible.

Related news story:

Premier’s media conference:

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Premier explains the health care changes - a lot of unanswered questions

By Staff

January 16, 2023



Premier Doug Ford is expected to unveil reforms clearing the way for Ontario to do more surgeries at clinics outside hospitals to clear a backlog from the pandemic.

The controversial plan — which Ford telegraphed last week — comes amid concerns it will result in doctors, nurses and other medical professionals leaving hospitals that are already short-staffed after three busy years of the pandemic.

Premier with Minister of Health at a media event

Procedures at registered independent health facilities are expected to include hip and knee replacements and cataract surgeries.

Ford and his officials have said the reforms will enable doctors and others to work in clinics in their “spare time,” and pledge “safeguards” to protect staffing levels in hospitals.

Assurances that the private clinics are not “stealing” hospital personnel was reported to be a serious concern.

The Premier and the Minister of Health speaking at a media event  Click here – they are talking about YOUR health

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Parks and Recreation ran into some heavy questioning on the way they engage sports facility users

By Pepper Parr

January 16th, 2023



The Parks, Recreation and Culture department is in the process of bringing in a new Director. Chris Glen who served in that role for close to a decade before choosing retirement: He is still working for the city on other assignments.

At a recent Council meeting a letter from the Burlington Eagles hockey team (the letter was not made public) expressed concern over how the city facilities were allocated.

Beard: “Parks, Recreation and Culture is a complex business.”

Denise Beard,  Manager of Community Development Services responded to questions from ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna on the delivery of services by the Parks, Recreation and Culture department which Beard said “ is a complex business.”

Touching on the delegation, Beard said the concern was about the engagement section: they felt that they weren’t engaged in the conversation and wanted to know what the process is that gets reports from staff about engagement from these participants?

“These are partners that we have throughout the city. There are different levels of programs for the children; with respect to engagement in this report, we were really not bringing forward any recommendations at this point. It’s really an overview just letting you know and letting the public know about the project that we’re about to embark on in this review” explained Beard.

“They’ll definitely be consultation as we go throughout. Our approach is engagement. I feel like we are usually pretty good at this – we typically go to our partners and let them know of items coming up that are of interest to them.

“In this case. I did not engage because the document was more of an overview report. Hopefully that answers your question.”

Bentivegna: “It does, I just want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to participate in terms of the discussion and whatever that form may take. How it comes back to us is important. So that the information that we’re receiving is brought in from the users of whatever that sport may be. ” Adding – “the question for me- do we take into account the age group, when we are determining who gets what ice time? Is that taken into account presently?”

Denise Beard: “We do and we don’t.”

“We do and we don’t said Beard who added that “we did a lot of consultation on the framework when it was implemented. All the user groups were engaged, and they were all part of the conversation. It’s been about a five year process to get to that point and then council approved it in the spring of 2019, just before the pandemic.

“Council was also engaged in that because we talked about some of these situations. We talked about this, some of these situations where we were focused on fundamental skill level development.

“The vast majority of people learn the basic physical literacy skills and or arts and culture skills, to have general recreation and we felt when we approved the framework that general tax supported entity should support the greater context a greater number of people through fundamental skill development, and that was the opportunity there.

Beard: “Whether you are an older adult or youth, a baby, it doesn’t matter”

“So whether you are an older adult or youth, a baby, it doesn’t matter – if you’re just learning a new skill, you should be able to do that in a tax supported facility. As we go up the skill level, we then say we’ll offer whatever space we have available – for whoever – youth or adult, it’s all about the skill level it wasn’t necessarily about the age.

“There was a big flip that was made during that framework discussion where we talked about fundamental skills versus your physical age.”

Bentivegna: “I can speak for hockey.”

Bentivegna responds: “I appreciate what you have said about the skill level process. Each of these organizations whether it be swimming, baseball, soccer, or hockey, the skill level starts at a very early age.

“I can speak for hockey – at three or four or five years old, they have programs where they just sort of have learned to skate, learn to play hockey.

“There are no leagues; the private sector organizes that. Once they know what to do, in terms of skating skills they then become part of a program, governed by another body that gives them guidelines as to what time they should be playing ;that’s where some of the unknowns are.

“How will we see some of that in the report that we’re going to see later on ?”

Bentivegna: “Again when are we going to get that report ?”

Beard – “In the report on space allocation, you’ll see that information but it is not on the table right now, not on this agenda.”

Bentivegna: “Again when are we going to get that report ?  Before June?”

Beard, “Definitely before June.”


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Meaning of Home contest for grades 4,5 & 6 students is now accepting submissions

By Staff

January 15th, 2023



Home – a word that Habitat for Humanity understands – it defines who they are describes what they do.

The contest for 2023 is on – thousands of students from across the country will write about what Home means to them.

In 2007, students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 were invited to share what home means to them in a national writing contest that is now open for the 2023 contest.

Submissions are being accepted by mail or online at from today until February 24, 2023.

Housing continues to be an important concern for all Canadians, including children, who understand how housing can provide their family with a safe place – a place to study, pursue their dreams and build a better life.

Every student who enters the contest will help Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin build safe and affordable homes because every entry earns a $10 donation towards their local Habitat for Humanity.

Three grand prize winners will each receive a $30,000 grant to help a local Habitat for Humanity build a place to call home for a family in need of affordable housing. In addition, nine runners up will receive a $10,000 grant for their local Habitat for Humanity. Winners will be announced by June.

Founded by SagenTM 1, the Meaning of Home contest has raised over $2 million to help local Habitats across Canada build decent and affordable housing. Last year over 13,000 entries were received, the largest number of submissions Habitat Canada has ever received for this contest and raised over $311,000.

Writing an essay is not a simple task. Given an opportunity to write about something that is very important to them – elementary students often surprise us.

Our local affiliate has been fortunate to have many winners over the years, including Rylan from Oakville’s grand prize win in 2022 and two winners in 2021: Kara from Orangeville and Mya from Georgetown.

“Since 2016, the Meaning of Home contest and the youth who have participated have generated over $150,000 to our affiliate to serve more working low-income families in our communities”, says Eden Grodzinski CEO Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin.

For some children there is no such thing as home.

“It is so wonderful to see the enthusiastic response each year from parents, teachers and especially the children, who enter this contest and share what home means to them in their own words,” says Julia Deans, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “We know that having a safe and affordable place to call home helps people build better lives and stronger communities.”

“As a founding sponsor of this contest, we continue to be amazed at the creativity of each student who participates,” says Stuart Levings, President and CEO, Sagen. “We are proud to see how this contest provides students with an opportunity to learn more about the importance of housing and give back.”

The Meaning of Home contest would not be possible without the generous support of Founding Sponsor SagenTM and Awards Sponsors Urban Systems Foundation, Face to Face Games, and Home Trust.


A 2018 Habitat for Humanity project

About Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga-Dufferin
Habitat HMD is a charitable, non-profit housing provider that serves the communities of Halton, Mississauga and Dufferin. Since 1999, we have built a total of 69 affordable homes. Our mission is “to empower lower income, working families to build strength, stability, and independence by providing affordable housing that enables financial equity and lasting change.”

Our housing model fills an important gap in the housing continuum – it provides a “pathway to home ownership.” It helps lift people (who no longer qualify for government-assisted housing but have nowhere to go) out of community housing. And it provides a viable alternative to market rental housing, which does not generate any wealth for tenants. By providing families with access to equity-generating affordable housing options, Habitat is making vital efforts to help combat the housing crisis in Canada. Please visit our website for more

About Habitat for Humanity Canada
Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national charitable organization working towards a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. Habitat Canada brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers, Habitat homeowners and 48 local Habitats working in every province and territory, we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. Habitat for Humanity Canada is a member of Habitat for Humanity International, which was established in 1976 and has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries.

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Canada is buying 88 of F35 fighter jets for $19 billion, with deliveries starting in 2026. 

By Ray Rivers

January 15th, 2023



Stephen Harper first announced he was pursuing a non- competitive bid to procure 65 F-35s to replace Canada’s aging 80 McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornets back in 2010.  The plane was brand spanking new and its projected cost then was estimated at C$15 billion all-in.  Deliveries would have started in 2016 but he ran into trouble selling the public advanced fighter jets at a time when nobody really thought we needed them.

The decision to begin replacing these CF18 Hornets was made in 2005 with delivery to start in 2016

Some critics claimed the real cost could have been as high as $25 billion.  There were concerns that the plane, unlike the CF-18 it would have replaced, came with only a single engine.   Some test pilots reported that the plane was sluggish, slower and less manoeuvrable in an aerial dogfight compared to other jet fighters.  Dogfights are not just the legends of Snoopy and the Red Baron or the movie Top Gun.  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was marked by some spectacular aerial acrobatics until Russia lost too many of its own planes.

Harper never got to buy his planes because Mr. Trudeau won the 2015 election and cancelled the purchase on an election promise.  But seven years later he’s now changed his mind and we’re buying 88 of them for $19 billion, with deliveries starting in 2026.  Confidence in the aircraft no longer appears to be an issue as Canada will be joining a number of western nations moving to this plane including Germany, Japan and Australia.

And it sounds like a good deal since, even after 13 years, the cost of each plane has only risen by about 7%.  That is if you can believe any of these numbers.  Canada was a partner in the original design of the aircraft and some Canadian content should sweeten the deal.  And this time the military had run some kind of competition among potential suppliers.  And the F-35 beat out the underdog Swedish SAAB jet fighter.

Clouds of war made buying the F35 the best choice. It has become the NATO choice – but delivery doesn’t start until 2026.

Besides, the pressure is on for Canada to get up to its 2% of GDP defence spending NATO commitment – and this will help.  The F-35 is pretty much becoming NATO’s go-to fighter anyway.  Technology sharing, and common architecture are important factors, especially with our primary ally, the USA.  But most importantly, while in 2010 we were still dining-out on the so-called peace dividend, today the clouds of war are all around us.

The world order has changed.  Russia has broken every international rule nations had all agreed on post WWII and is committing exactly the kind of imperialist aggression the creation of the UN was intended to prevent.  Tomorrow it’s expected to be China, with a much more dangerous agenda as it invades Taiwan and takes on the USA in the process.  Then there is North Korea.

Canada is an expansive nation with a long coast line in need of defending, but these stealth birds are way beyond overkill when it comes to border patrol, at least compared to less expensive drones and good old fashion radar.   In fact the F-35 is best suited to the battlefield.  It’s what we have been doing as part of NATO’s efforts in Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.

Aside from the billions of dollars needed to buy these birds, there is the huge environmental impact of these and all war planes.   The F-35 burns 22 gallons of jet fuel per minute, 1,340 gallons of fuel and over two tonnes of CO2 emissions per flying hour.  Training flights from one US airbase alone emitted between 50 and 100 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of 10,000 to 20,000 passenger cars.  So much for the carbon tax and meeting our climate change commitments.

President Joe Biden seems pleased – Canada is signing on to the F35 – Prime Minister Trudeau doesn’t seem as assured.

To be clear the F-35 is considered the best stealth fighter jet out there today.  And Canada is a wealthy nation, one of the G7, so affordability should not an issue.  I’m a pacifist, a ‘let’s melt our swords into plow shares’ kind of guy so I’d rather see the money spent on a basic income program, a cross country high speed rail system, EV charging stations everywhere, investment in major renewable energy infrastructure, and of, course, a badly needed overhaul of our health care system.

But I’m also a big fan of being prepared and collective security.  I’m reminded of the naivety of the Ukrainian leaders shortly after the Soviet empire collapsed.  They were convinced to scrap their nuclear arsenal, the third largest at the time on paper promises that their territorial integrity would be respected.  We all know how that story ended.

There is a lesson to all that.  We are not as civilized as we’d like to think.   You may love your neighbour but you’re never sure how far you can trust him/her when push comes to shove.

And, with the acquisition of these advanced aircraft, well, good fences make better neighbours.


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Burlington Homicide Investigation - Male Arrested

By Staff

January 14th, 2023


On Friday January 13th 2023, at approximately 11:30 a.m. police were called to a residence at 695 Regency Court; a female in an apartment unit was reported to be unconscious . Officers located the female victim in her residence who was determined to be deceased.

While conducting this investigation, police arrested a 70-year-old male in relation to this incident. This individual was taken into custody and charges are pending. The Halton Regional Police Homicide Unit has taken carriage of the investigation and an update with additional details will follow at a later date.

This incident was isolated to the apartment unit, police are not looking for additional suspects, and there is no related threat to public safety. At the request of the victim’s family, police will not be releasing the name of the deceased female.

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Tight times for some with Variable Rate Mortgages

By Zoe Demarco

January 13th, 2023



As interest rates rise and monthly payments soar, an increasing number of Canadians could be at risk of defaulting on their mortgage.

While the national mortgage delinquency rate is at a historic low of 0.14%, the Bank of Canada (BoC) is poised to raise interest rates yet again on January 25. The expected 0.25 increase would be the eighth rate hike in 10 months, and would bring the overnight lending rate to 4.5%. Less than one year ago, it sat at 0.25%.

Variable-rate mortgage holders have seen their payments soar over the last year, with some paying upwards of $1,000 more per month than they were in early 2022. Those up for renewal on a fixed-rate mortgage in 2023 can expect to increase their monthly payments by several hundred dollars.

Experts are explaining that the changes in the bank interest rate are painful game changers for some families.

Although variable-rate holders with fixed payments have been, comparably, unscathed, a growing number are staring down their trigger point, meaning their monthly payments will only cover interest, not principal. In some cases, lenders will automatically increase mortgage payments.

Toronto-based mortgage broker Ron Butler tells STOREYS that the BoC’s impending rate hike could tip thousands of borrowers over the edge and possibly into default. Earlier this week, Dave McKay, President and CEO of RBC, said that more than 50% of the bank’s variable-rate mortgage holders will have a trigger impact.

Butler pointed to several groups he says are particularly vulnerable to default, including people who have multiple properties with variable-rate mortgages, people with large balances on home equity lines of credit, and people who are involved with private mortgages and alternative lenders.

“There is definitely going to be a rise in defaults in Canada. By the spring, we’ll hear about more people who lost their houses,” Butler said. “I don’t think it will be a systemically dangerous level of default, but it’s one piece in the puzzle that could drive Canada into a recession. It only takes a few forced sales in one area to pull property values down.”

According to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, November 2022 saw the highest number of Canadian insolvencies since the onset of the pandemic. To mitigate the risks stemming from high household debt, Canada’s banking regulator has proposed a number of new mortgage lending restrictions, including loan-to-income and debt-to-income restrictions. If implemented, the measures would limit what some borrowers qualify for.

A foreclosure is a tragedy for the people living in the house. The emotional damage can last a lifetime.

Butler said he went three years without a power of sale on his private mortgage portfolio, but has had two in the last seven months. More clients have preemptively sold their homes or chosen to refinance.

To avoid default, Butler advises borrowers to contact their lenders if they get into trouble with their payments or are approaching their trigger point. They can offer solutions to remedy the situation and help keep you in your home, he says.

“When people lose their homes, it is genuine human tragedy,” Butler said. “No one wants to explain to kids why they are being forced to move.”

Zoe Demarco is a Staff Writer at STOREYS and was formerly the Urbanized Editor at Daily Hive. Born and raised in Toronto, she has a passion for the city’s ever-changing urban landscape. If you want to follow Real Estate development link to:

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Kindergarten registration for Fall 2023 open now at the Halton District School Board - Families are asked to register their child before Feb. 1, 2023

By Staff

January 12th, 2023



The Halton District School Board (HDSB) is now accepting registrations for Junior (Year 1) and Senior (Year 2) Kindergarten for September 2023. Families are advised to call their local elementary school to find out which dates have been established for Kindergarten registration in their area. Registration will be by appointment only (in-person and/or virtual).

Registration forms are available online on the Registering for Kindergarten webpage on the HDSB website (

The start of a whole new world

To determine your home school, use the Find My Local School tool on the HDSB website.

Families should contact the HDSB Welcome Centre to book an appointment if they hold a work permit and are registering their child with the HDSB for the first time, or if either the parent or child has a Study Permit/Visa, or the parent is a Permanent Resident applicant on visitor status.

Please have the following original documents when registering:

● Proof of address (any two of the following current documents): lease or deed, car registration, utility bill, residential telephone bill, moving bill, property tax bill, bank statement, credit card statement, correspondence with a government agency
● Proof of age: birth certificate or passport or baptismal/faith record for your child
● Proof of citizenship: birth certificate or passport, Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Permanent Resident card
● If you are not the child’s parent, or if you have sole custody, please bring proof of custody (court order).

To register to begin school in Fall 2023, Junior Kindergarten (Year 1) children must be four years old by Dec. 31, 2023, and Senior Kindergarten (Year 2) children must be five years old by Dec. 31, 2023.

Because …

To learn more about the Halton District School Board’s Kindergarten Program, visit the HDSB website at (search: Kindergarten).

At, future students can explore a Kindergarten classroom to see what their classroom might look like next September. There are videos to watch, pictures to view and fun activities for kids. Parents/guardians can learn about the Kindergarten program at the HDSB, play-based learning, community resources in Halton and before-and-after school care. Families can also sign-up to receive a welcome package from the HDSB including a free children’s book.

Parents/guardians who require language assistance to register their child for school can contact the Halton Multicultural Council at (905) 842-2486.

Parents/guardians who require accessibility accommodations to register their child for school can contact the Principal/Vice-principal of the school.

For additional information, contact:
Nick Frankovich, Superintendent of Education Halton District School Board
905-335-3663 | Toll-free 1-877-618-3456
@HaltonDSB | @HaltonDistrictSchoolBoard | @HDSBschools

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An arrest, a lot of drugs, menacing weapons but no identity other than to say the 50 year old male was released on bail

By Staff

January 13th, 2023



This is not something we see very often.

An arrest report that includes a large amount of different drugs and some very menacing weapons but the person arrested is not identified other than to say he is out on bail

The police report said: The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) 3 District Street Crime Unit has completed a drug investigation in Burlington with one arrest and multiple charges.

Through the course of the investigation, officers observed the suspect conduct drug transactions within Halton.

On Thursday January 12, 2023, investigators arrested a 50 year-old male from Burlington. He has been charged with the following:

• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Fentanyl)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Methamphetamine)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Hydromorphone)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Benzodiazepine)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Amphetamine)
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000
• Weapons Dangerous
• Possession of Prohibited Weapon
• Breach Weapons Prohibition Order

Investigators also executed a search warrant at a residence in Burlington and seized the following items:

Items seized following an arrest.

• 11 grams of Fentanyl
• 26 grams of Cocaine
• 12 grams of Methamphetamine
• Large quantity of Hydromorphone, Benzodiazepine pills
• 2 knives
• 1 machete
• 2 pairs of brass knuckles

Five cell phones, three knives and knuckle busters, already out on bail and gets released a second time.

The accused was released on an Undertaking.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Detective Scott Heyerman at 905 825 4747 ext. 2342.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at

This would appear to be an active investigation – more to come perhaps. Those weapons are menacing.

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Do these phobias describe Friday the 13th ? paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia

By Staff

January 13th, 2023


Long considered a harbinger of bad luck, Friday the 13th has inspired a late 19th-century secret society, an early 20th-century novel, a horror film franchise and not one but two unwieldy terms—paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia—that describe fear of this supposedly unlucky day.

Suspicions in plain sight

The Fear of 13

Just like walking under a ladder, crossing paths with a black cat or breaking a mirror, many people hold fast to the belief that Friday the 13th brings bad luck. Though it’s uncertain exactly when this particular tradition began, negative superstitions have swirled around the number 13 for centuries.

While Western cultures have historically associated the number 12 with completeness (there are 12 days of Christmas, 12 months and zodiac signs, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 gods of Olympus and 12 tribes of Israel, just to name a few examples), its successor 13 has a long history as a sign of bad luck.

The ancient Code of Hammurabi, for example, reportedly omitted a 13th law from its list of legal rules. Though this was probably a clerical error, superstitious people sometimes point to this as proof of 13’s longstanding negative associations.

Will you walk under a ladder today ?

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MM Robinson High School was named after him - why? He made a huge contribution to sports - a legacy that could be repeated

By Pepper Parr

January 12th, 2023



In her book, The Growing Years, Dorothy Turcotte wrote: Have you ever wondered what M.M. Robinson did to have a secondary school named in his honour?

Melville Marks Robinson was a native of Peterborough. Almost everyone knew him as M.M. or Bobby. He left school at 13 and took a job at the Toronto News as an office boy in the circulation department. Later he became assistant sports editor at $8.50 a week.

In 1910 he was hired as sports editor at the Hamilton Spectator at $15 a week, and later became city editor of the paper.

This was the dress code for Commonwealth Games. Note the seal in the lower right corner – making the photograph official

One day in 1927, he was chatting with a colleague who had been director of athletics at the University of Western Ontario. They were deploring the fact that Canadian runners lacked the competition they needed to develop into top athletes in their fields.

The colleague mentioned the Empire Festival, which had been held in England in 1911.

As a builder, Bobby was known in athletics circles for getting things done. He was a Sports Editor at the Hamilton Spectator from 1908 to 1931.

Bobby came up with the idea of having a track and field competition that involved athletes from nations within the British Empire. This led to Bobby founding the British Empire Games (now known as the Commonwealth Games) that was first held in Hamilton in 1930. He managed the 1934 team.

Bobby Robinson took up the idea immediately. He began lobbying for the establishment of the British Empire Games, which he wanted to be held in Hamilton.

In 1928, he went to Amsterdam as manager of the Canadian Olympic track and field team, and took the opportunity of selling the idea of the Empire Games abroad.

In order to develop the necessary facilities for such games, Hamilton had to have a stadium and indoor swimming pool.
T.B. McQueston, then chairman of the Hamilton Parks Board who was subsequently instrumental in the founding of th Royal Botannical Gardens in 1932, convinced the city council that it would be worthwhile to spend the money needed.

As a result, Civic Stadium and the Municipal Pool were built at a cost of $160,000.

Bobby Robinson went abroad to approach other countries in the Empire. They were all enthusiastic, except for one. When Robinson met with Lord Derby in England, Derby insisted that the games weren’t practical due to the Depression and lack of funds.

Robinson is reported to have said to Derby: ”If Britain won’t play with us, we will turn south — to the United States.”

That convinced Lord Derby that Britain should compete. The British Empire Games (BEG) were held in Hamilton in 1930, and are still being held. In 1958 they were renamed the Commonwealth Games.

Percy Williams – did Track at the 1930 games

The program for the first British Empire Games that took place in Hamilton in 1930. Will the Games return in 2030?

The Amsterdam Olympics provided Robinson with a venue for the contacts he would need to sell the idea of holding British Empire Games in the “spirit of friendly competition”. The first British Empire Games were therefore held in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1930.

As founder of the Games Robinson continued to manage the Canadian Olympic and B.E.G. track teams until 1938.
Lt. M. M. Robinson, served as a Lieutenant 86th Machine Gun Battalion

Sports and education were the two fields in which he made a mark.

Robinson was a sports person and an educator. He left school at the age of 13 and came to realize that having an education mattered. In 1920, Robinson was elected to the Hamilton Board of Education where he helped promote the city as a leading centre for track & field in Canada. He also played an active role in the creation of the Canadian Legion, a non-profit Canadian veterans’ organization

Robinson knew the value of learning and was a champion of education. He served for many years on a various school boards.

In 1959 he became the first chairman of the newly-amalgamated City of Burlington’s Board of Education.

Bobby played an active role in the creation of the Hamilton Olympic Club, becoming the first Club President in 1926. He was the manager of the 1928 and 1936 Olympic teams.

He was later appointed to the board of Burlington High School, serving from 1940 to 1963, including as its president from 1950 to 1963. Upon his retirement, a new school, M. M. Robinson High School, was named in his honour.

He died in Burlington on June 6, 1974 at the age of 86 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Burlington

Robinson clearly knew how to lobby and convince people what a good idea looked like and then get them to act on the idea.
Last week the eight Chambers of Commerce that make up the Hamilton 2030 Commonwealth Games Bid wrote the Premier to express their support for hosting the 2030 Commonwealth Games in the Golden Horseshoe Region. The group that signed the letter included eight municipalities and two First Nations.

They were advocating for a one-time, multi-year, pan-community building opportunity that boosts Ontario’s economy, drives private sector investments, delivers economic Impacts and legacies, and helps achieve several Ontario government mandates (accessibility, affordable housing, environment, indigenous affairs, community infrastructure, sport, culture, tourism, and trade.)

A proposed investment of $440M from the Ontario Government that catalyzes federal and private sector funding, will result in a $1.2B+ boost to regional GDP including 16K+ new jobs, and $400M+ in Games contracts for local businesses. In the lead up to and for years following the Games, national and international sport events, festivals, tradeshows, and conventions hosted in Ontario will more than double, benefiting the tourism and hospitality sectors. Owing largely to private sector leadership, a trade program will result in new deals with key Commonwealth countries worth hundreds of millions of dollars, forge new international partnerships, and fuel growth across the Golden Horseshoe Region.

Hosting these Games
• brings reality to the Made in Ontario narrative, with Ontario producing raw materials and manufactured products showcased in all development projects – showing the world what Made in Ontario means and that Ontario is Open for Business.

Melville Marks Robinson – everyone called him Bobby

• provides a platform for showcasing environmental and sustainability best practices, improving people’s and business sustainability habits and behaviors for the long term and is a powerful enabler in achieving Ontario’s commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

• has support from a broad range of business, community and sport organizations, and 8 municipalities and acts as a connector between all levels of government and the private and public sectors, resulting in an increase the confidence and pride of all Ontarians for generations to come.

It sounded like Melville Marks Robinson lobbying for a sports event he brought to the area close to 100 years ago.

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Top 5 Reasons Why Going Solar Puts You In The Advantage

By Janyl Gregorio

January 12th, 2023


Renewable energy sources are always an advantage. In fact, governments around the globe build power plants to channel these sources on a larger scale. Thus, supplementing non-renewable energy sources to cover everyone’s consumption.

Furthermore, on a smaller scale, having access to inexhaustible sources like solar energy can also put you ahead of everybody. As such, going solar can provide you with long term benefits and would greatly impact your energy consumption, financial budgeting,and peace of mind. In line with this premise, here are some facts to give you more understanding about your edge for going solar.

Provincial and Federal Incentives
Going solar provides you with perks from the government. They allocate incentives to those who choose to tap sustainable energy consumption. Thus, solar panel as an alternative, if not the main source, of electrical energy not only lets you enjoy lower bills but also allows you to take advantage of certain credits given by the state.

Installation is done quickly and requires next to nothing in the way of maintenance.

For instance, Ontario solar incentives brought by Green Homes Loan offers $40, 000 worth of funds. It is interest-free and would allow you to do retrofits needed for your home energy usage. These perks will help you start your solar journey and provide you with options that better fits your budget.

Increase In Savings
As one of the long term outcomes of choosing solar energy, an increase in savings is the most beneficial. Imagine receiving an electrical bill with a lesser amount compared to previous years. It only means that investing in renewable energy is worth it.

Little by little, the accumulated savings you get from consuming less of commercial electricity will grow in amount in hindsight. You will later be able to allocate more budget on insurance and emergency funds. Hence, you can live peacefully without worrying about your finances.

Energy Independence
Another notable advantage of going solar is the energy independence. It means you no longer have to consume energy brought by non-renewable sources. It also means lesser carbon emission and will result in minimal greenhouse gasses sent into the atmosphere.

The sun as your main source of energy allows you to not only save for the rainy days but also contribute positively to the environment. Give it a thought. Going solar will do you more good than harm. It’s not even called “harm”. It’s called investment.

A house with solar has a selling advantage

Added Market Value
Going solar also adds significant value to your home. Houses with solar panels are by far more expensive than a normal residential house. If you are thinking of selling your property and you happen to have solar panels installed, it will become an added value. Thus, gives you an edge of closing that sale.

Think about it. Installing solar panels gives you more than what you paid for. Basically, your return of investment is inevitable. All you need to do is consider going solar and have the patience in waiting for the fruit of your labour to be harvested over time. It might not be upfront but with time in play, you’ll wake up one day living without paying electrical bills anymore.

Solar energy is now so valuable – corporations have created solar farms where electricity is harvested and sold to energy grids.

By-products of power plants and factories are a huge contributor to air pollution and water pollution. Toxic waste is produced and carbon emission is increasing exponentially.

How does going solar help lessen these environmental problems? As mentioned earlier, owning solar panels will give you energy independence. It keeps you away from being dependent on power plants. Thus, one less carbon contributor.

If more people rely on renewable energy sources, the day will come where power plants will no longer use fossil fuels or nuclear energy. It will be non-toxic and renewable. We breathe fresher air and will have a cooler atmosphere.

“leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind…”

There are several advantages of going solar. The list above are just among the many benefits you get for relying on renewable energy sources. Bear in mind, installing solar panels to your homes or establishments is a wise choice. It gives you a chance to save money in the long run and helps lessen air pollution by not relying on non-renewable energy sources producing electricity.

The best takeaway you can get from all these is the fact that you can always turn things around for the greater good. A better life is always ahead and a more liveable environment can be materialized. You are just one decision away from doing so. Remember, life is full of decision-making. It is meant to be lived forward and forward you should go. As a line in a song from Nickelback states, “leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind…”

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Clever scam using the Interac brand. This one is going to fool a lot of people.

By Staff

January 12, 2023



This scam is really dangerous.

People trust the Interac service – we use it several times a day.

The give away on it is the address it comes from.  But far too many people see the money and click on the image.

Here is what it looks like

The address the email came from:

Nothing about the Canadian government in that address. The address used tells you it is phony. Too many people see the $432.00 part of the email. It is cleverly done.

Then there is the part of the email that instructs you how to have the funds deposited directly into your bank account using the Interac service

Note the date on the image.


The rule you need to follow: If in doubt – DON’T!

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Councillors Sharman and Bentivegna want Community development-Neighbourhood Capacity Building Strategy included in the budget

By Pepper Parr

January 12th, 2023



This is the first Motion that has gone to Council from a Councillor based on their status as a Deputy Mayor with a portfolio.

In this situation it is Councillor Sharman presenting the Motion with support from Councillor Bentivegna

Councillors Sharman and Bentivegna talking through some council business

The two are asking Council to Consider:

Direct the Director of Recreation, Community and Culture to report back by Q3 2023 on the development and advancement of the City’s Community development-Neighbourhood Capacity Building Strategy including the following elements:

Vision, purpose, and goals to increase and build overall community capacity for the long-term-benefit of the city. This element should build on work, resourcing and funding that has been ongoing since 2013.

Clarity of scope including definition of Community Development and Neighbourhood Capacity in relation to events, initiatives and activities.

A proposed organizational design and structure to support the strategy implementation to be integrated into the 2024 and future years Designing and Evolving the Organization (DEOO) process.

Integration of the goals and outcomes of the strategy into various affected service business plans, business processes and budgets, including but not limited to: Recreation, Arts & Culture, Parks Design and Construction; Community Design and Development Review, By-law Enforcement and Licensing, Corporate Communications & Engagement, and Parks and Open Space – Maintenance. Such changes may also require amendments to various City master plans.

Through strategy formulation an implementation plan will also be required including but not limited to such areas as:

Community capacity – meeting with neighbours during a car free Sunday on Appleby Line

Associated city policies/bylaws to facilitate the strategy implementation. For example, policies/bylaws to include associated park rental and other fees, fee waivers and requirements for staff time charge-backs

Review of risk management requirements for neighbourhood events and activities

Integration and alignment of the strategy, with city volunteer management program

Update on existing and proposed future city grants model and other available funding opportunities (e.g. corporate sponsorships) to support neighbourhood events. In developing options for future city grants, consideration to be given for both start up and ongoing annual events.

What does all that mean and just what is the Community Development/Neighbourhood Capacity Building Strategy?

The Motion Directs the Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services to provide a brief update for the budget sessions in February 2023 on the requirement for any incremental 2023 one-time funding to support the preliminary work on strategy development (e.g. external consulting support, workshop speakers etc.)

That sounds like another bump to a budget that starts with a 7% increase.

One of the key strategic pillars identified for the City of Burlington is An Engaging City- Community where members are engaged, empowered, welcomed and well‐served by their city. Culture and community activities thrive, creating a positive sense of place, inclusivity and community. Key outcomes and goals include an engaged community where culture, civic activities, neighbourhood initiatives and recreational activities help to enhance and grow the sense of engagement, community, place and unity.

The Appleby Line Car Free Sunday  – part of what Community Capacity Building is all about.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman

For many years, the City administered a Facility Fee Waiver Program and the Community Development fund to support local not for profit organizational development. Recognizing a great need for neighbourhood connections, Council and staff have since 2013 focused on the development and implementation of a number of specific neighbourhood programs in support of this priority including but not limited to:

• neighbourhood connectors,
• neighbourhood community matching fund,
• annual Council member funding to assist sponsor community events ($5K towards initial startup).
• love my neighbourhood program,
• community hub program,
• neighbourhood outdoor rinks and
• approval of the Community Investment Policy.

As part of reporting back in Q3 2023, staff have advised of the need for ongoing incremental multi-year budget support related to any enhanced strategy development and implementation. Specifically, the need exists through the 2024 and future years DEOO process for building a staff team with dedicated staff resources within each quadrant of the city responsible for executing the various strategic actions including:

• completing the ongoing community connection work;
• building trust with the community by building and
• strengthening relationships, especially with newcomers and marginalized populations.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman at his persuasive best,

Councillor Sharman is very direct when he said: As Burlington grows primarily through increased density, it is absolutely critical that all residents are afforded opportunities to feel engaged and connected particularly in the areas that directly impact quality of life and community health and well-being.

Councillor Sharman is moving the motion along with support from Councillor Bentivegna, recognizing that community capacity building falls under his Deputy Mayor portfolio as it relates to recreation and culture. The motion will require 2/3 support as it is time sensitive and has been submitted following the agenda deadline.

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Charges Laid in Yet Another Human Trafficking Investigation

By Staff

January 12th, 2023



A Human Trafficking Investigation initiated in January 2023, the Halton Regional Police Service – Human Trafficking Unit has formed grounds to charge 40-year-old Steve Coelho of Toronto.

Police believe there are additional victims in regards to this investigation and are asking anyone who has come into contact with Steve Coelho (alias names of “Nikolai” or “Nik”) or who has information to please contact D/Cst. Moss of the Human Trafficking Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 4961. A photo of Coelho is attached.

Steve Coelho, 40 of Toronto

Steve Coelho has now been charged with the following offences:

• Trafficking in Persons
• Material Benefit from trafficking in persons
• Withhold or destroy documents
• Material Benefit resulting from sexual services
• Advertise Sexual Services
• Procuring

He has been held in custody pending a bail hearing.

The Halton Regional Police Service firmly believes that every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Victims of violence and/or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in our region for victims of violence and/or sexual assault:

• Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777 ext. 5239 or by email at
• Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
• Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)
• Radius Child & Youth Services 905-825-3242 (Oakville) or 1-855-744-9001
• Kid’s Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (24-hour crisis line)
• THRIVE Counselling 905-845-3811 or 905-637-5256

Signs / Indicators of Human Trafficking
• Not being allowed to speak for themselves;
• Not having control of their own money or cellphone;
• Suddenly having a new or second cell phone with a secret number;
• Being controlled by others and escorted at all times;
• Not being allowed to contact family or friends;
• Withdrawing from family and friends;
• Providing rehearsed answers to casual questions;
• Being secretive about their activities;
• Showing signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc.
• Having a new boyfriend, girlfriend or friend who they won’t introduce to friends/family; and
• Having new items (clothing, jewelry etc.) outside their financial means.

What Should I Do if I Think Someone is a Victim of Trafficking?
If there is immediate danger or if you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 9-1-1.

You may also call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24/7 to connect victims and survivors with social services, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as receive tips from the public. The hotline uses a victim-centered approach when connecting human trafficking victims and survivors with local emergency, transition, and/or long-term supports and services across the country, as well as connecting callers to law enforcement where appropriate.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at


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Covid19: The XBB.1.5 variant is helping the virus better bind to cells and thus be more transmissible.

By Staff

January 12th, 2023


The XBB family of variants emerged a few months ago and caught virologists’ attention because it contains more mutations to evade immunity than any other variant. The XBB.1.5 variant has a mutation virologists believe is helping the virus better bind to cells and thus be more transmissible.

The latest Covid19 news has to do with a new variant XBB.1.5

The details: XBB.1.5 is “the most transmissible” variant yet, which means even people who are vaccinated or have gotten covid19 before are getting infected.

What else to know: There’s no evidence so far that XBB.1.5 is making people sicker or that it evolved because of vaccines.

So what now? Vaccination, high-quality masks and avoiding crowds are your best bet at protection.

The link to the Regional data dashboard so far doesn’t have a word about the new variant.

This pandemic is far from over – why has the data coming out of the Medical Officer of Health not made any mention. Keeping the public as fully informed as possible is THE MoH mandate.

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