Panhandlers have taken to the medians near busy intersections in Burlington to beg for money, making it even more stressful for drivers already faced with heavy traffic.

Supt. Al Albano of Halton Regional Police said panhandling is a difficult issue to address.

“I can’t say with certainty why this is increasing,” he said, “but an educated guess would be because they are successful in getting money from Burlington residents.”

“I spoke to two panhandlers in August of 2017 at Guelph Line and Fairview,” he added. “I had first watched these two individuals for a…

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MONTHLY COMIC

OPINION

When Canadians pick up pencils on October 21 and determine who will lead this increasingly fractious nation performance, policy and promises will factor into beside whose name an ‘X’ appears, but increasingly the 2019 federal election will evolve into a cult of personality.

The incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is dragging along a series of blunders, ethics and behavioural violations which in…

Monthly Editorial

When looking at the SNC Lavalin case, we see the clash of facts versus symbolism, and as any public relations practitioner will tell you, symbolism is by far the most powerful of the two. The facts are that it is not illegal to pressure a cabinet minister to do something she is legally entitled to do—i.e kill the upcoming corruption trial. It may look bad, it may fly in the face of Justin Trudeau’s sunny ways, but it is not illegal. Indeed the optics may be lousy, but the Prime Minister is within his rights to replace Wilson-Raybould with an Attorney General who is prepared to intervene in the SNC Lavalin case—and maybe he has already done that—we will see. There are many other facts—the potential for lost jobs—a very real concern, as Trudeau has pointed out. But the facts pale when confronted with the symbolism presented by Wilson-Raybould at her justice committee appearance last month. When you stack up the symbolism of Wilson-Raybould—an intelligent, well-prepared, calm Aboriginal woman—against the stammering, talking points-repeating, protestations…

Reading the news that legendary R&B performer Jackie Shane had died at age 78, brought back memories of the Toronto music scene in the early 1960’s. I was on hiatus from high school in Chatham having flunked Grade 12 and decided to join my brother in Toronto where he was working as a junior banker. The only job I could find was an evening shift with the CNR so weekends on the town were eagerly anticipated.

There was a unique after hours club scene in Toronto then, most notably the BlueNote at Yonge and Gerrard  where one could hear the best in Toronto’s Rhythm and Blues. It was a mixed race scene that became popular with major American R&B and soul performers when they were in town. The Bluenote later spawned the career of Canada’s George Olliver. Jackie Shane was a regular performer at the Sapphire Tavern, often with rhythm and blues band Frank Motley and the Hitchhikers . Another hot spot at the time was the Upstairs Club—around Yonge and King. It was there…

Sometime between 1996, when I left journalism, and 2008 when I returned to it, I must have written a cheque to an Ontario Liberal candidate. I can’t remember who or when, but I know I did somewhere along the line, based on the deluge of fundraising emails I started getting starting from the party this past summer and reaching a crescendo on New Year’s Eve.

At first it would be one or two emails a week, but the frequency began to build as New Year’s approached. New Year’s you see is the deadline for persons who want to claim a political donation as a tax deduction of 75 cents on the dollar. That’s right, the taxpayer foots the bill to the tune of 75 percent of all political donations by individuals, plus it provides the parties with more than $13 Million to divvy up based on votes received, (although Doug Ford is talking about scrapping the whole scheme).

So for me it started in earnest on Saturday December 29th with an email from former Provincial Treasurer…

Culture & Living

GREEN BOOK

Earning critical praise and awards (including Oscar) buzz, “Green Book” is collecting accolades for its simple buddy narrative spinning in a vortex of volatile racial turmoil. For reasons to be explained later, I have a personal interest in the film (my rating is five reels out of five).

A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver for an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960’s pre civil rights era American South. The mismatched traveling companions face continuous verbal and physical hardships throughout the segregated states.

It’s not the night/day visual disparity, but the cultural backgrounds of the two men which gives purpose to this very entertaining opposites-attract Civil Rights Era buddy road movie. The rough-hewn bouncer with a Calabrese-Bronx dialect Tony Vallelonga, known professionally as Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), is engaged by classical pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) as a bodyguard, chauffeur and valet for a concert tour in 1962. Tony, a likable Italian-American, who brushes shoulders with mob-types, also has a soft inner self, very protective of his wife and children. His racial bias, rooted in childhood innocence, keeps him somewhat open minded rather than harboring hard core prejudice toward Black American culture.

Ali portrays piano man Don Shirley with majestic reserve, impeccable manners and professorial intelligence. His speech, laden with literary perception, a contrast to Tony’s street lingo utterances, fuels much of the film’s humor. Yet, despite the disparity, there’s a sense of character camaraderie prompted by the casting esprit de…

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My favourite road trip of 2018 included two things things I love but are increasingly hard to find, a car with a manual transmission and a circus.

In May we headed to Ohio to see the Zoppé Family Circus. Our drive was…

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