The flow of water from 17 creeks drops 250 metres over a distance of 12 km; much of it passes through the Millcroft community

By Staff

November 19th, 2023



The Millcroft Greenspace is an early, state of the art example of Green Infrastructure for stormwater management in Burlington, Ontario.  The floodplain, known as the Millcroft Golf Course, is currently designated as Major Parks/Open Space and was engineered to integrate creeks and naturalized ponds, allowing natural drainage from the nearby escarpment. The greenspace acts as a buffer before runoff continues through southern Burlington to Lake Ontario. The fairways are designed to be 2.5 metres below the rear lot lines of the neighbouring homes, which now benefit from decades of tree coverage and vegetation growth to slow the flow through the channels.

The infrastructure that drains this water in a controlled manner would be seriously disrupted, if not permanently damaged if additional development took place on a community that is currently a flood free place to live.


Preserving the mature tree canopy and turf of this greenspace, as well as preventing changes from a proposed infill development to grading and hardening of the surfaces, will help manage the increasing climate change impacts in the area, such as increased precipitation and wind damage. If protected,  this green infrastructure will also continue to manage erosion and clean storm water runoff before it enters Lake Ontario. The Millcroft Greenspace provides a carbon sink with a mature parkland tree canopy for the surrounding roads, rail line, and proposed high density housing development. Furthermore, the  lands have become a wildlife refuge.

The City of Burlington is a major infrastructure corridor (QEW, Hwy 407, CN, CP and GO transportation, Hydro and Enbridge Gas Pipeline).  Wedged between the top of the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario, significant stormwater drainage passes through the City in its 17 creeks. The area is also characterized by a significant drop in elevation of over 250m in only 12km.

Stormwater management and green infrastructure are essential strategies to address flooding issues identified by the Intact Centre for Climate Adaptation (University of Waterloo).  Currently, approximately 10% of Burlington homes experience flooding and the city  experienced one of the five worst Canadian floods in 2014.


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Two groups; same objective

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The Millcroft community flood concern is not limited to just the golf course area - everything south of it could flood as well

By Pepper Parr

November 13th, 2023



The Millcroft attempt to put a stop to any development in the golf course part of their community has been difficult for many to understand.

There are two community group opposing the development.

The names lead to a little confusion

MGA – Millcroft Greenspace Alliance- their concern is the storm water problem and the environment.

MAD Millcroft against Development does not want any development.

Millcroft Greens wants to develop a portion of the golf course and put in 98 new homes – that will be pricey




Both are involved as parties in the OLT hearing that is working its way through the Ontario Land Tribunal hearing scheduled for November of 2024.


Mike Cloutier, a member of the MGA Board,  spoke to the community last May explaining why MGA  – Milton Greenspace Alliance was doing what it is doing.

MAD Millcroft Against Development is the larger of the two and it appears to have the ear of the Mayor and the ward councillor Angelo Bentivegnia .

Daintry Klein has done more than 30 delegations on the Millcroft flooding issue. She is the president of the Millcroft Greenspace Alliance.

In May Daintry Klein (SP) lead a community meeting explaining how much money was needed to pay for the professional people who would represent them at the OLT hearing.

At that same public meeting Mayor Marianne Meed Ward told the audience that she was in direct contact with the province seeking a MZO (Ministerial Zoning Order) from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, which if granted would, at the stroke of a pen, bring the development to a halt.

The problem now is that the Ministry is a bit of a zoo with everyone scrambling to repair the damage done by former Minister Steve Clark who had staff from his office handing out changes to some properties that were within the Greenbelt boundary.  The letters MZO had become something that was not used in polite company.

It became difficult for Klein to ask for funds at a public meeting when the Mayor had just said she could wave a magic wand and make it all go away.

Klein points out that to date both the City of Burlington and the Region of Halton have supported the opposition to the development – but there has been nothing from the province on the request for a MZO..

At a community meeting in May, Mike Cloutier, a businessman and a member of the MGA Board, set out to explain the difference in the MAD position and the MGA position – he was quite convincing when he spoke to the community saying

“At the very beginning we had some movement that looked like there was an opportunity to work together, but as things evolved it became evident that it wasn’t going to work.

“There were a couple of things that we felt were necessary to do.

Mike Cloutier, member of the Millcroft Greenspace Alliance

“Our strategy has been different since the beginning: we had a two prong approach. Our first was to try and do everything we could to stop this development from moving to the OLT.  We put a lot of resource and energy into what we felt was the route to take but that element of our strategy was not welcomed by the other group.

“Secondarily, we also took a very focused and almost singular view of what the real issue here was: storm water and the environment.

“We’ve never been opposed to the concept of development or meeting the needs that the province and the city had ensuring that people have a place to live.

 “We have a very real concern, a singular concern about the storm water and the environment, no other issue. Our tactical plan related to our strategy has always been about that we’ve we  hundreds and 1000s of hours of research into that inserted us into the process purposely.

“We understand everything that has taken place in similar marketplaces and we our tactical approach, reinforces the strategy that we’ve chosen –  this is the road we’re going down.

“We have reached out to MAD on a number of occasions, as recently as the last quarter, to try and find a way to bring people together related to the strategy that we believe is the winning strategy, but that hasn’t been successful.

“There’s no animosity about what’s going on. Ultimately, we decided that if we are going to continue then two groups fighting for this, could have and should have value. We are determined and believe based on the history of what’s happened in other jurisdictions and the research we’ve done and the way we’ve inserted ourselves into the process are evident from the gains that we’re making in the process, that we’re on the right track.

“I think if you were in those shoes, and if you had a commitment and a view towards what the right thing to do was and what would be most successful. I believe that you would join us and stick to the guns of what we believe.

“We’re not opposed to any idea around joining forces or doing things, together but we will not water down the strategy that we’ve chosen. We have a tactical plan that we believe will win because there are historical precedents around why these things.  So that’s why we’re committed to doing this; it is our belief, and we think this is the important cause and the right way to approach it.

These are the Millcroft Greenspace Alliance fund raising numbers – they have a long way to go.

“We’re not suggesting that any other approach might not work, might not be important and might not be helpful, but we know what we’re doing is right. And we know it’s the approach that we believe will win the day and so that’s why we continue to press on with what we believe and hope that you’ll support that and join. You get to vote with your pen. You get to vote with your credit card, and you get to decide whether you want to be a part of this process. But I’m telling you that we firmly believe this is the right approach and the right way to go.”

The MGA strategy has always been focused on stopping the proposed development before the OLT hearing, we believe our research and findings regarding the application by Millcroft Greens may need to be presented in the event that an MZO is not received. 

The next OLT meeting is in November of 2024 when witness selection will take place.

There has been a meeting at which a Statement of Fact was put forward – there was some squabbling on that issue – MGA was concerned about too much focus on past legislation and not enough on the facts.

Sites A and B are thought to impact the communities due south – those residents have an interest in what happens in Millcroft.

While the potential for serious damage to the Millcroft community is what keeps residents on edge the concerns with insurance coverage are heard more often.  The Red Cross recently had people going door to door distributing pamphlets on how to handle things should there by serious flooding.

Daintry Klein who has taken part in 30 delegations points out that while the focus is on Millcroft the communities due south are also at serious risk.  Any water flow from the A and B developments will work its way south and impact houses in the Appleby Line part of the city have flood water.  They too have an interest in how this works out.

Another issue is the hard look the insurance industry is taking on flood coverage.  Some communities may find that they can’t buy coverage.

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Public School Board holds 4th Human Rights Symposium - December 8th and 9th

By Staff

December 3rd, 2022



The Halton District School Board is hosting the fourth annual Human Rights Symposium on Thursday, Dec. 8 and Friday, Dec. 9, 2022 to engage in vital conversations and challenge thinking.

This year’s theme is Environmental Rights, which explores the interconnectedness of globalization, environment, Indigenous Rights, human rights and our collective responsibility to protect our planet.

The symposiums were introduced when Stuart Miller was the Director of Education; they had a bumpy start with Covid19 interesuptions – the event is niw a important part of the zzz that the Board of Education delivers to the community.

The Human Rights Symposium will feature two keynote speakers and will be a virtual event for HDSB students (Grade 7-12) and staff. Registration is not required and information on how to access the event will be shared with students and staff.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier a member of the indigenous Inuit of Arctic Canada, Watt-Cloutier began her career working for social institutions that served Inuit communities. This led to a lifetime of activism and advocacy for the rights of Inuit people, and the realization that the survival of Inuit people and culture is inexorably linked to the survival of their Arctic environment, especially its cold climate.

Keynote speaker on Dec. 8 (9 – 10:30 a.m.): Sheila Watt-Cloutier is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, climate change and human rights advocate, TEDx speaker, author, former Canadian President and International Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. Sheila speaks with passion and urgency on the issues of today — the environment, the economy, foreign policy, global health and sustainability — not as separate concerns, but as a deeply interconnected whole.

Kehkashan Basu, founder of the Green Hope Foundation, says the transition to renewables creates opportunities to provide electricity to countries and communities that are not well served by existing utilities and grids. “It’s just kind of logical to use clean energy as a tool to help empower them instead of going the usual route of fossil-fuel powered electricity,” she says. “In this way, we’re leaving no one behind and we are creating a positive impact on the planet.

Keynote speaker on Dec. 10 (9:30 – 10:30 a.m.): Kehkashan Basu, global influencer, educator, environmentalist, champion of women and children’s rights, TEDx speaker, Climate Reality Mentor, author, musician, peace and sustainability campaigner. Kehkashan is the
Founder-President of global social innovation enterprise Green Hope Foundation, which works at a grassroots level in 26 countries, empowering over 400,000 young people and women in the sustainable development process through education.

Throughout the week, students and staff are encouraged to share what they are learning on social media with the hashtag: #EnvironmentalRightsHDSB.

“The Human Rights Symposium supports the Board’s Environmental Leadership and Indigenous Perspectives and Awareness work, two key areas of focus in the HDSB Multi-Year Strategic Plan 2020-2024 and our Human Rights Equity Action & Accountability Plan: The Way Forward,” says Curtis
Ennis, Director of Education for the HDSB. “The important work underway at the annual Human Rights Symposium serves as a reminder of the value of bringing students, staff and community partners together to address common issues.”

“The HDSB is proud to celebrate and recognize Environmental Rights at the Human Rights Symposium,” says Margo Shuttleworth, Chair of the HDSB. “The Trustees are honoured and excited to encourage you to engage, question and reflect on conversations surrounding environmental rights. Through proactive engagement in vital conversations, we are able to challenge traditional thinking and engage in focused learning about environmental rights and sustainability.”

“Environmental Rights and protection is our collective responsibility,” says Jennie Petko, Superintendent of Education with responsibility for Human Rights, Equity, Inclusive Education and Indigenous Rights. “This year’s Human Rights Symposium provides an opportunity for our HDSB community to discuss issues related to environmental preservation, Indigenous Rights and the interconnectedness of our planet.”

“We recognize the importance of participating in vital discussions to challenge our thinking. The Human Rights Symposium provides an opportunity for educators and students to come together to examine important issues and drive actionable change.”

Trent University students on an environmental field trip

The HDSB Human Rights Symposium (Dec. 8-9, 2022) aligns with Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, which is observed annually to recognize the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The principles originally enshrined in the Declaration are still relevant today.
If you want to follow up on this event reach out to the Board at

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