Job Fair: Halton Region connects job seekers with local employers.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 18th, 2019



Halton Region is hosting a job fair to help connect job seekers with more than 90 employers in the local community. The event is being held on Tuesday, September 24 at the Oakville Conference Centre, located at 2515 Wyecroft Road in Oakville, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Region holds Job Fair at Burlington Convention Centre

Region holds Job Fair at Oakville Conference Centre, located at 2515 Wyecroft Road in Oakville

“Halton Region supports job seekers and employers through a variety of valuable services including training, career development and networking events,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “We are very fortunate to have a highly skilled talent pool here in Halton, and our job fairs provide a great opportunity for those seeking employment to meet in person with employers from our thriving business community.”

Employers at the September job fair will represent a variety of industry sectors including technology, government, advanced manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and healthcare.

Halton Region will also be accepting resumés and interviewing candidates for roles in its three long-term care homes. Job opportunities at the Burlington, Milton and Oakville homes include cooks, dietary aides, personal support workers, registered nurses, registered practical nurses and schedulers.

Each year, the Region’s Employment Halton staff connect more than 12,000 job seekers with more than 250 local employers by providing services such as training, job placement and access to online job boards.

Employment Halton staff also offer workshops and one-on-one sessions to help job seekers create resumés, prepare for interviews and ultimately find work.

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Mayor moves into Town Crier mode - spreading the word on needed information.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 17th, 2019



Town Crier - full height

Town Crier Dave Vollick

Mayor Meed Ward just might be thinking about becoming the Town Crier or getting a costume and sharing the job with Dave Vollick who has been doing a fine job for at least five years.

The Town Crier hollers out vital news.

Knowing whom to talk to at city hall when you have a problem is something vital for the person who needs help.

The Gazette has heard complaint after complaint about the city web site providing little in the way of needed information.

Meed Ward went into full Town Crier mode when she published a list of who does what and provided the email address to get in touch with them.

Why didn’t the city administrators do this – did they have to get prodded by the Mayor who may have given up and just done the job herself?

In a statement that came with the list the Mayor said:

“To keep serving you better, and to help get a resolution to your City-related issue as quickly and efficiently as possible, here is a list of City department emails that you can contact in addition to my office at

Also included beneath each email address are some of the issues that department looks after.

Don’t expect to get an instant response should you send an email.  It would be nice if city council issued a Direction to the city manager to have a policy that every email will get a response before staff leave city hall at the end of each day.


Freedom of Information requests. Requests can be made online at:

Animal Control – dog bites, barking dogs, enforcement of dogs off leash, dog licensing, cat microchipping

Wildlife – coyotes, raccoons, etc.

Bylaw enforcement (noise, nuisance, lot maintenance, property standards, talls grass/weeds)

Building permits – swimming pools, demolition, signs

Licensing – business, liquor and lottery


Leash free dog parks

Grading and drainage issues

Stormwater management – bridges

Environmental Assessments

Driveway widenings and curb cuts

Flooding – flood assistance

Road reconstruction

Parks and Open Space Projects – park planning, new splash pads and playgrounds, construction of city buildings

Love My Playground

Community Energy Plan

Construction management issues (parking for tradespersons, haul routes for trucks, cranes, material storage, port-a-potties, noise, signage, etc.)

Environment – climate change, air quality, idling

Utility locates

Inbox for general inquires.

Claims against the city for personal or property damage.

Claims can be submitted online at:

Agendas and Minutes – standing committees of council

Citizen advisory committees

Burlington Transit – Handi-Van, PRESTO, bus shelters

Crossing guards

Flag raisings

Festivals and events

Fee assistance for city recreation programs

Burlington Fire Department

Fire prevention and education, fire response times, fire routes, burn permits, requests for attendance at special events, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, emergency preparedness.

Recreation programs

General inbox for parks & recreation matters.

Parking – tickets, on-street parking, parking exemptions, enforcement

Planning and Development – site plans, zoning clearances/enquiries, heritage properties, committee of adjustment, Official Plan. List of current development applications in each city ward.

Taxes – tax assessments, appeals, pre-authorized payments

Facility and Park Rentals – city facility bookings

Forestry – requests for new city trees, city tree trimming

Road and sidewalk maintenance – potholes, trip hazards

Snow Removal – from sidewalks and streets

Adopt-a-Flowerbed program

Loose Leaf Collection

Litter and Clean ups

– grass cutting and maintenance

– control of Canada Geese population

– wasp nest removal on city property

– garbage containers in parks-trails-sidewalks

– graffiti and vandalism in parks

– light maintenance at parks and city facilities

– maintenance of parks-beach-playgrounds-sports fields-trails-flower beds-creeks-traffic islands-city cemeteries Tourism Burlington – visitor information, city pin requests for large groups travelling, city flag requests

Traffic Signals and Street Lights

Speeding – traffic calming and road safety

Transportation – planning, traffic operations, bike racks on sidewalks, street signs

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Burlington Green staffing up - last minute notice of job opportunities.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 16th, 2019



Burlington Green is staffing up.

Burlington Green logo largeThey are looking for three new dynamic team members:

• Program Coordinator (x2)
• Development Manager

If you are passionate about creating a healthier environment and shaping a more sustainable future for the charity, you are invited to check out the rewarding employment opportunities. Don’t delay.

Applications close September 16th at 5pm.

They are cutting it close with that announcement.

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Jim Young on alternatives to Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

opinionred 100x100By Jim Young

September 12th, 2019



Burlington City Council wants to eliminate LPAT (Local Planning Appeals Tribunals), formerly the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board). This matters because in Ontario, appeals to the LPAT/OMB undermine the ability of municipalities to reconcile growth targets with resident wishes. Appeals also cost municipalities, the province and developers massive amounts of money every year in delays and legal costs.

First, some history of LPAT/OMB and “As of Right Zoning”, the concept that governs land use planning in most Canadian cities.

The OMB was created in 1906 as the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board to expropriate land for the expansion of Ontario’s rail network. Renamed the OMB in 1936, it was revised again in 2009/10 as part of Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario. Given its genesis in land expropriation, it is little surprise it was perceived as a developer friendly body where builders could have unfavourable municipal planning decisions overturned.

Formed in 2018 to redress perceived OMB bias, LPAT was, supposedly, a more resident friendly land use appeals body. However, with the same provincial adjudicators and planning act rules, there was nothing “local” in Local Planning Appeals Tribunals.

In 2019, with little case history or jurisprudence, LPAT was drastically revised under Ontario’s More Homes More Choice Act (Bill 108), reviving the old OMB disguised under the friendlier sounding LPAT name.

It is worth noting that no other province or territory in Canada has a similar body adjudicating municipal land use planning or developer/resident disputes. Land use planning in most Canadian and North American municipalities is regulated and operates under a planning concept known as: “As-Of-Right Zoning.”

Prior the introduction of zoning in the 1920s, land-use regulation was hit or miss, planning occurred on a case by case basis. Some areas had use, height and density limits, others didn’t. Rules differed from area to area with no cohesive plan clarifying what could or could not be built. Decisions were subject to suspicion of corruption and influence by developers. Residents never knew what might be built next door to them in the future.

To resolve these conflicts a new concept for regulating urban land use was developed: “As-of-Right Zoning”. Municipalities were delineated as zones, subject to appropriate use and density rules as laid out in a city’s official plan. If developers stayed inside the zoning rules within that plan, they could build without further regulatory interference “as-of-right”. This provided certainty about what could be built and where. Developers avoided delays, unforeseen bylaws or messy public hearings which all added to the cost of housing. For residents, it meant no surprise strip clubs or bingo parlours next door.

Meanwhile in Ontario, the ability to appeal municipal land use plans and win at LPAT/OMB tribunals meant the final say on planning and zoning amendments remained firmly with developers. It forced municipalities to return to ad-hoc, project by project land use planning with all the concurrent legal costs and the knock on effect on housing affordability. It is understandable that municipalities, who shoulder responsibility for land use planning and have a better finger on the community pulse, resent the intrusion of LPAT/OMB and would like it rescinded, especially given the greater powers granted in Bill 108.

Critics worry that in the absence of an LPAT/OMB appeals process, who will adjudicate what constitutes reasonable development as opposed to NIMBYism from local residents? Won’t rescinding LPAT/OMB leave all parties without a means of conflict resolution? I suggest not necessarily.

Burlington already has three citizen advisory committees providing advice on land use planning. The Committee of Adjustment; appointed by Council considers applications for minor bylaw variances, land divisions and small project planning permissions.

Burlington’s Urban Development Advisory, a group of local planning, architectural, engineering professionals, provides impartial guidance to city and developers’ planning staffs on contentious land use and zoning bylaw amendments. The Sustainable Development Advisory advises council and developers on the economic costs and benefits of sustainability in land use and building designs.

If the province is serious about reducing costs and, given Burlington’s commitment to reasonable growth and density, might we adjudicate land use planning conflicts via a combination of these existing committees?

If we increase developer and citizen participation on them we could create an effective and truly local planning reconciliation system to address the legitimate concerns of all parties.

Replacing LPAT in this manner would avoid duplication, eliminate delays (often years), reduce legal costs for developers, municipalities and the province while improving housing affordability and keeping taxes down. All worthwhile planning objectives.

Jim Young 2Jim Young is a frequent opinion writer for the Gazette. He has delivered some of the finest delegations to city council – seldom acted upon but important nevertheless for they are then on the record. Search the Gazette under Jim Young

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Public school board loves the idea of free transit on Burlington transit buses for their high school students.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 12th, 2019



When Mayor Marianne Meed Ward left a city Standing Committee earlier this week she had a nod from her colleagues to have the talk she wanted to have with the Halton District Board of Education about putting students on Burlington Transit buses with a pass that made the service free to use – 24/7

There are some 4500 students who live outside the area that would qualify them for passage on a yellow school bus. Meed Ward wants them on a Burlington transit bus using a student pass that would be free and usable 24/7.

She takes that view even further – she wants transit free for everyone – 24/7.

She goes much further – she thinks transit should be a regional issues and that it should also be free.

Her argument was compelling enough for the school board trustees to pass a resolution urging the trustees, when they are meeting as a Board to make it formal and pass a motion.

Meed Ward + scl bd chair

Halton District School Board chair Andréa Grebenc welcomes Mayor Marianne Meed Ward to the first committee meeting of the year.

The trustees were meeting as a Committee of the Whole where they cannot pass motions. They will meet on Wednesday of next week and in all likelihood pass a motion which will have the school board more on side for the free transit idea than the city. Burlington Councillors don’t meet as a Council until the 23rd when they will have the opportunity to “make it so” as they say on Star Trek.

Mead Ward, who was invited to speak to the trustees (that would have been brought about by Trustee Leah Reynolds asking that the Mayor be invited – the two go back some distance,)

The Mayor’s pitch was twofold: she believed that getting students on buses was an environmental and an economic plus for the city.

Meed Ward told the trustees that there were some 4500 students who lived outside the area that would provide them with school bus passage. As a result parents were driving the students creating traffic chaos at most of the high schools.

The Mayor’s pitch had another angle – giving students free passes was removing barriers now in place that kept students away from opportunities to get to part time jobs, take part in extracurricular events and use the bus to explore their city.

Meed Ward told of her grade 9 experience in Kingston when she got a pass that let her go wherever she wanted on a bus. “It was really empowering” she said. “I was my own person and could go wherever the bus would take me. It helped me grow as a young person to be responsible and to be inquisitive.” She added that the service in those days was 25 cents.

Sue Connor, Director of Transit for Burlington, attended with the Mayor. The Board of Education Superintendent Roxanna Negoi, responsible for transportation, was asked how much the Board spent on bus passes and said it was between $110,000 and $120,000.

Connor, never a slouch when it comes to numbers, opened her binder and said that the public school board spent $115,500 and the Catholic Board spent $10,500.

Mayor Meed Ward knew she was talking to people her understood her language when ward 5 school board trustee Amy Collar said “This has been a long time coming.”

Heather Gerrits - Milton trustee 2019

Milton trustee Heather Gerrits

The Board of Education is made up of representatives from the four municipalities in the Region. Donna Danielli, representing Milton, said there was a concern that some people would feel that their community doesn’t have free bus service – why should yours – and quickly added that the idea was an “incredible vision”. Heather Gerrits, also from Milton said she “loved the idea” and began talking about how she would advocate with both Milton Councillor Colin Best and Milton Mayor Gord Krantz to get Milton going on something similar.

Meed Ward said she would be happy to assist in bring the other municipalities around to the idea and would chat up the other Mayors at Regional Council meetings.

The school board trustees couldn’t do enough and the Director of Education Stuart Miller got onside by saying he would take direction from his board and believed he could have a report ready for early December that would set out what should be in the Memorandum of Understanding that would be put in place and what should be out.

Stuart Miller

Director of Education Stuart Miller.

He was thinking in terms of a high level report that would be ready for the lawyers by the end of the year.

Meed Ward said there “was no moss under our feet”. Amy Collard added “we don’t want this to sit idle”.

You could see where this was going. There is nothing a politician likes more than real forward momentum.

Now to get the public on side and to work out just where the money for those free passes is going to come from.

Sue Connor told the meeting that she has a bus that is about to be retired. She will have it done over with signage and make it an Orientation bus that will travel from school to school and be used for public education on how to use transit as well.

As the meeting was edging towards a close Meed Ward gave Connor that look that said: ‘We clinched this one’ – and indeed they had.

Someone in the room said: “Giddy Up”

Trustee Danielli added that when it come to a new idea “success begets envy”. The hope appeared to be that that envy would result in every municipality wanting free public transit.

Halton Hills unfortunately doesn’t have a transit service.

When Meed Ward moves to make transit a regional service – Halton Hills will be part of that package.

Burlington’s 2014-2018 city council could not get past their view that transit really wasn’t what people in the city wanted. They missed all the signs saying otherwise – or perhaps the signs of the times have changed.

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Friends of Freeman station find they have friends at city hall as well - the city will pay to have rolling stock moved.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2019



This one has been a long time coming – and very richly deserved.

The volunteers that made the restoration of the Freeman Station possible worked hard against some really unfortunate resistance from the city council at the time.

They had every reason to be smiling. Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

They were never BFF but then Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster stood up when it mattered. Here they pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

It was then Councillors Marianne Meed Ward and Blair Lancaster that stood up to be counted and were there every step of the way as the volunteers overcame one obstacle after another.

The Mayor at the time seemed mute; two Councillors came close to conspiring to ensure that it didn’t happen; a staff civil engineer was less than truthful when she said the structure might well fall apart if any effort were made to move it.

Despite all this – a location was found, the station was successfully moved and the renovations began to take place. Hundreds of people offered memorabilia.


Telephone used by station masters,

The collection of railway lanterns is close to embarrassing – they have half a dozen key sets as well.

They have one of the receipt books that lists every package that came into the station and was shipped out from the Station.

Don Smith tells people of the days when he was a boy and would go with staff from his Dad’s funeral home to pick up new coffins that were being shipped to the then town.

A short while ago the Friends of Freeman FOFS learned that a steam engine and a tender plus two railway cars were available for the right organization.

The Friends of Freeman jumped aboard that idea and did their homework; approached council asking for some help.

They needed financial backing which they would have liked to see in the form of a grant, but if that was not possible, they would do the fundraising needed to pay the City back. A letter from the City indicating this financial support to move the equipment would form a key element of their proposal and would make it very compelling.

Council agreed to provide up to $150,000 to transport the engine and rail cars from Morrisburg,  Ontario where they are a part of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) and are located at Crysler Park, near Morrisburg.

The SLPC has decided the equipment does not fit its mandate as it is too modern for the era they depict at Upper Canada Village, and they do not wish to restore it. They have put it out to tender with the proviso that it must go to a museum, municipality or other similar entity in Canada, for preservation. The equipment will be granted at no cost, except its removal and relocation.

It was a great opportunity with a relatively short time line. An application had to be in by October 4th. FOFS didn’t have that kind of money – they asked the city if they would backstop the funding requirement.

Freeman - close to final

The station sits on private property that is a hydro right of way. Rent is $1 a year. The city owns the station – the Friends take care of it.

The city was prepared to go further than that – the recommendation out of committee was to put up the $150,000 as a grant – and then they got really generous and said that it was about time the city bought the land the Freeman Station sits on.

It can’t be used for any development – most of it is beneath a hydro right of way.


The engine – believed to have been used on one of the runs into Burlington.


The tender carried coal used to create steam to drive the four truck engine.


A passenger car that is believed to have been used during trips to Burlington.


A baggage car that could also be refrigerated.

This equipment is extremely rare, and in relatively good condition, needing only cosmetic restoration. The passenger car is so rare it may well be the only one left of its type in Canada. The locomotive served the Burlington area at one time, the refrigerated baggage car was of a type, and may have been one, that served the Freeman Station fruit platform. The passenger car may well have served Freeman Station.

FOFS has assembled a team of restoration experts and has the volunteer and sponsor base needed to restore this priceless historic railway equipment and make it, along with the station, a showpiece of which the citizens of Burlington can be proud.

They also have the land to accommodate the additions. Having restored Freeman Station and raised almost $1 million in funds, services and labour to do so, they can demonstrate to SLPC that they are a worthy candidate to receive their valued artifacts. At the present time FOFS has $30,000 available for restoration work.

The major issue is the cost of moving these large and heavy pieces to Burlington. FOFS has contacted four highly qualified and experienced movers of heavy equipment and asked each for a proposal. Three of the four have been to look at the equipment. All have given FOFS preliminary cost estimates ranging from $100,000 to $300,000. FOFS is now waiting on formal quotes and will meet with each to negotiate.

Freeman - scaffold outside platform windows

Volunteer working on the outside of the station.

The Freeman Station renovation is now virtually complete and is accepting visitors, and school trips. The station has proven to be a popular addition to the public spaces in Burlington.

They are now open Saturdays and Public Holidays and have visitor numbers typically between thirty and one hundred, with much larger crowds when they have a special event such as Doors Open. The addition of this rare railway rolling stock will add greatly to the attractiveness of Freeman Station and make it a more significant tourist attraction.

Freeman with stop and car in place

The challenge is going to be – where will the rolling stock go – they don’t want to block the view of the station.

It will draw visitors from far and wide and add to the educational experience provided by the station.

To make their proposal to SLPC credible by the deadline of October 4th, FOFS needs to demonstrate that they have the financial capability to move the equipment. Expect this to be approved at the council meeting on the 23rd.

Mayor Meed Ward may well drive to Morrisburg to present the application herself.


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Rainbow street crossings on the way - maybe something really spectacular if Councillor Sharman has his way.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2019



With 1500 plus people attending a very inclusive event at the Art Gallery it was not unusual to see city council decide that it too could make a difference and get its inclusivity colours out there.

Councillors Galbraith and Kearns got together to decide they would ask their colleagues to support their decision to put in a “rainbow” crosswalk.

Heck, Hamilton has one – we could do the same thing – and we might even go several steps further.

The city wants to be aboard the emerging focus on the LGTBQ2IS+ community. This year the City raised the Pride flag for the month of June. This fall, the Art Gallery of Burlington’s new exhibit “The Gender Conspiracy” opened. Burlington’s Inclusivity Advisory Committee, at their June 2019 meeting, supported working on Pride events for June 2020 with staff and citizens.

HRPS cruieser with rainbow stripes

The Regiomal police were one of the first to show their colours.

An area where numerous municipalities are also showing their support for Pride and the LGTBQ2IS+ community is installation of rainbow painted crosswalks at controlled intersections. It is an important public statement of welcome and inclusion that will be available year-round in our City.

In discussions with staff, Galbraith and Kearns felt it was time for the City to initiate a rainbow crosswalk. A staff direction was needed now so that the crosswalk could be painted in the spring in time for Pride 2020. They recommend the following staff direction:

“Direct the Director of Transportation Services to work with Councillor Kelvin Galbraith and the Aldershot Community in determining the most suitable location(s) to install rainbow crosswalks in the City of Burlington in recognition of Pride and inclusivity; and,

That the installation(s) be completed prior to Pride Month 2020.”

Well, they went quite a bit further than that. Director of Transportation Vito Tolone said there was enough money in the budget to put in at least two rainbow crosswalks.

He was given thee task of coming up with a list of all the places a rainbow crosswalk might be suitable.  Opposite the Art Gallery is a sure bet.

Four way - all way pedestrian crossing

A four way – all way crosswalk – where all traffic is stopped and the public uses the space for a couple of minutes and then it reverts to traffic. Sharman saw the stripes as being rainbow.

It then became a bit of a contest to see which wards would have the first rainbow crosswalk.

Councillor Sharman blew the debate wide open when he suggested: “Why are we limiting ourselves to just one crosswalk taking people from one side of the street to the other.?”

Sharman suggested the city consider installing a four way – all way rainbow crosswalk.  He didn’t get a round of applause for that one – but if this idea has legs you just might see something like that in front of city hall joining it to the two 23+ story condominiums that are going to be in place on the other side of the street in the next  four years – by about the end of the term of this council.

During the debate Councillor Kearns read into the record requests for rainbow crosswalk(s), were delivered to her office by local high school students, residents, and in direct conversation with constituents. The purpose is to show visibility and awareness to the ever evolving 2SLGBTQ Rainbow Community.


“On September 6th, I attended as an Ally with over 1500 people at the Art Gallery Burlington for The Gender Conspiracy: An Open Letter to the Trans and Gender Diverse communities.  It was an evening of contributing artists & community partners who are supporting a dialogue addressing human rights advocacy. 


“The purpose of a rainbow crosswalk here, just like the one presented at the United Nations which has been painted in the rainbow colours associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or two spirited movement is a reminder to local and world leaders that the fight for equality continues. This is not a gesture of special rights, it is acknowledging the battles that this community has faced historically around the world. I respect that this is a private matter for many, but it is right to honour those who have fought for rights in society – Harvey Milk, Larry Kramer, Sven Robinson, and the LGB youth who have a 14 times higher risk of suicide than heterosexual counterparts. We have to believe that we are part of ending this legacy and that we believe inclusivity means celebrating people for their accomplishments and merit only. 


Kearns at Rainbow crossing

Councillor Kearns with the kind of side walk crossing lines she would like to see. The first might be in Aldershot.

“This has been a tough staff direction to bring forward. It is bold to open an emotional, objective, personal conversation in a very public forum. I personally have stretched my education, understanding and empathy to be certain that this work is meaningful. 


“I know that the optimal location would be in the downtown and I fully support that. But at this time  with the onset of construction, there are unintended consequences that will project negatively on this initiative. Councillor Galbraith has stepped up to propose a location on Plains Road on the other side of Wolf Island Bridge – an entrance to Burlington, this signals that individuals are entering a safe & inclusive city. 


“Our commitment to inclusivity as a City is strong, it brings us together, it does not divide us. 

“We know this by the symbolic raising of our Pride Flag in June, by having Halton Regional Police Service as a recognized leader for its award-winning efforts to reach out to the diverse communities it serves, and by Burlington’s Inclusivity Advisory Committee working towards Pride events for June 2020 with staff and citizens.


“Our commitment to inclusivity as a City is strong. We are making life more welcoming, to creative inclusive space, and to show that love is love.”

As the committee was getting ready to move on to the next item she advised her colleagues that Tuesday was National Suicide Day.

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Nelson high school expansion finally gets the funding to proceed - opening September of 2020 is a stretch.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 10th, 2019



The Halton District School Board can finally put the Nelson High School addition out to tender.

Collard and Miller

Ward 5 trustee Amy Collard glaring at Director of Education Stuart Miller who went ahead to close Bateman High School. She was livid.

Director of Education Stuart Miller told the Gazette last week that “everything was ready” but the tender could not be put out until funding was in place. Yesterday the money rolled in.

The funding included a child care retrofit at Frontenac Public School.

For the construction of an addition at Nelson High School, the Board will receive $15,184,482. This project includes a new library and cafeteria to support the consolidation and closure of Robert Bateman High School in Burlington.

The Board will receive $1,028,508 to construct a two room stand-alone child care retrofit at Frontenac Public School that will accommodate 15 toddler and 24 pre-school spaces. The Lord Elgin YMCA Child Care Centre will move from Robert Bateman High School to Frontenac Public School in Burlington. Design phases are complete and the new space is expected to open in September 2020.

The funding of the additional space at Nelson puts the final nail into the closing if Robert Bateman High school.

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Culture days

artsblue 100x100By Staff

September 1st, 2019



The City of Burlington’s public art program has selected seven professional artists and artist teams that submitted proposals for temporary art installations throughout the city. Many of these installations are interactive – those  artists want public participation.

The first of these opportunities is at the Lowville School House on Sept. 5,6, 9 and 10 in Lowville Park. Artist Thomas Sokoloski is looking to record stories about Lowville.

All seven temporary art installations will be unveiled as part of the Burlington’s Culture Days event, later this month on Sept. 27 – 29, 2019. The installations will be exhibited for one-month, running from Sept. 27 – Oct. 25, 2019.

Sharman with Angela Papxx

Angela Paparizo in conversation with Councillor Paul Sharman

Angela Paparizo, Manager of Arts and Culture for the city explains the bigger picture:  “These temporary art installations will be interesting and captivating. Sculptures, stories, treasure hunts, murals and photos will create a sense of intrigue and hopefully encourage people to seek out these installations and start a conversation. Launching at Culture Days is a great way to kick off the weekend as well as the installations’ month-long viewing.”

Her is a list of the Artwork Concepts


Lowville school house – talking walls.

Lowville Park – artist: Thomas Sokoloski
The expression “If these walls could talk…” comes to life with “Listening to the Walls”, a site-specific interactive installation inspired by the memories of the Lowville community. In the tradition of a community ‘barn-raising’, residents are invited to participate in a ‘memory-raising’ to build and structure an oral history about their experiences. Adorning the upper walls of the barn will be photographic portraits of these storytellers, and below them designated areas where the public can listen to walls tell these stories from within.

Sokoloski is looking for people’s stories about the Lowville. He will be at the Lowville School House on Sept. 5, 6, 9 and 10 to record people’s stories. Residents with an interesting story to share, are encouraged to contact Thomas Sokoloski at or call 905-548-0111 to schedule a time.

Pic 1 Spencer Smith Park

Spencer Smith Park – waste management as an art form.

Spencer Smith Park – Artist: Arianna Richardson
Arianna Richardson, performing as The Hobbyist, will create an interactive installation and performance art project called “Garbage Party”. The installation consists of a gigantic, absurdly over-decorated, re-imagined version of waste infrastructure. “Garbage Party” prompts the public to consider their own relationships with waste and recycling, presenting a playful and absurd site in which to engage in conversations about our consumer society and the impact of the waste it generates. From Oct. 22-25 from 1 to 5 p.m. each day,

The Hobbyist will be performing on-site maintenance, collecting and documenting trash in the area, and then conducting a short survey with participants.

Gazebo - new location

The new Gazebo.

Spencer Smith Park – Artist: Troy Lovegates
Troy Lovegates is an internationally prolific street artist who works in a variety of mediums, including murals, screen-printing and woodcarving. For this project, Lovegates will create “Hide and Seek,” a series of folk art wood sculptures that have been hidden throughout Spencer Smith Park. Park visitors are invited to participate in a “scavenger hunt” to find the sculptures and collect a stamp at each location.

Visitors can pick up a map with clues from the birdhouse box located beside the gazebo and start their adventure. The first 100 people to turn in their completed map will receive a special prize!

Brant Hills Community Centre – Artist: Jimmy Limit
Jimmy Limit will create a large-scale photographic mural entitled “Photos from Brant Hills Community Centre.” Inspired by the functions and surroundings of Brant Hills Community Centre, Limit will photograph materials associated with sports, the gym, library and materials found in the natural park surroundings of the community centre. By using the language built around commercial photography and advertising, Limit’s images document unlikely assemblages, which cause the viewer to question the motives of the imagery when placed in the public realm.


Burloak Park is now much more than a concept.

Burloak Park – Artist: Tyler Muzzin
Tyler Muzzin will create a floating sculpture entitled “The Great Dark Wonder”. The sculpture is a 1:2 scale mobile research station floating between the breakwater and the shore of Burloak Waterfront Park. Using cellphones, visitors can listen in on a dialogue between two fictional ornithologists who are eternally confined to the research station by unknown forces.

Muzzin’s installation explores ideas of the “Natural” through the lens of ecocriticism. The installation focuses on the representation of physical environments and the ways in which these environments are depicted and, in turn, consumed by mass culture.

Norton Park - mural

Norton Park, one of the most active in the city already has some permanent public art.

Norton Park – Artist: Lambchop
Lambchop will create a large-scale text installation entitled “Typographic Fencing.” The installation defines space and prompts conversation by creating large-scale text in areas where it is not expected— around the edges of parking lots, near ravines, off divided highways, around a fenced-in playground. These temporary installations are woven out of flagging-tape, a simple, inexpensive material used to mark boundaries. Squares in chain-link or vertical-bar fences become pixels on a screen or canvas, the medium for messages.

The messages are installed anonymously and removed without ceremony. By transforming large-text into large questions, aim to spark a dialogue.

Tansley Woods

Tansley Woods will be getting a “sound” treatment.

Tansley Woods Community Centre – Artist: Kristina Bradt
Kristina Bradt will create “Intersection,” a soundscape projection installed in the lobby of the Tansley Woods Community Centre. Bradt visited the facility at different times throughout the season to collect sound using a field recorder. By capturing the sounds of the activities, events and people that move through the space, Bradt captured that which often goes unnoticed.

Bradt then uses these recordings to create a large-scale floor projection that features bright, abstracted imagery that has a contemporary feel and brings a sense of wonder and curiosity directly inspired by the energy and livelihood of those who inhabit the space. What you see is the artists’ interpretation of the sound data, turned visual art.


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Cellphone Restriction in Classrooms to Take Effect this Year

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 29th, 2019



The question that comes to mind is – what took so long?

Ontario’s Minister of Education announced plans to move forward with restricting the use of cellphones and other personal mobile devices in classrooms beginning November 4, 2019.

student on cell phoneThe restriction applies to instructional time at school, however, exceptions will be made if cellphones are required for health and medical purposes, to support special education needs, or for educational purposes as directed by an educator.

During the consultation on education reform in fall 2018, 97 per cent of parents, students and teachers who participated said that cellphone use should be restricted in some way.

In response to this feedback, the Provincial Code of Conduct has been updated to include this restriction. It sets clear standards of behaviour and requires that all school boards ensure their own codes of conduct are up to date and consistent with requirements.

“When in class, students should be focused on their studies, not their social media,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “That’s why we are restricting cellphones and other personal mobile devices in the classroom, while making sure technology is available to help students achieve success in the digital economy and modern workforce.”


To ensure that parents and guardians are clear on the new guidelines, including the exceptions, the following resources are available:

• Parents’ Guide to the Provincial Code of Conduct

• Cellphones and Other Personal Mobile Devices in Schools – Questions and Answers for Parents and Guardians.

In our travels as journalists we have, on far too many occasions, watched students chit chat with each other during a classroom presentation.

There are occasions when a cell phone is a useful tool and should be permitted in a classroom.

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HDSB Director of Education is still a little short of cash but did get more than last year - he also got 800 more students.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 28, 2019



The start of a new school year has parents busy getting their children ready, getting the clothing and supplies that are needed and wondering what their children are going to learn in the school year ahead.

While parents ready the family, the school board administrators ready the schools, classrooms and teaching staff in a climate where the provincial funding is at times ‘iffy’.

Miller with students Mar 7-17

Stuart Miller, talking to students during the difficult days when high schools were being closed.

Stuart Miller, Director of the Halton District School Board, has worked through several months of dealing with the Ministry of Education and is still waiting for approval to send the plans for an addition to Nelson High School to take in the students who will leave Bateman High School when it closes.

“The design has been approved, the funding has been approved but we don’t yet have permission to issue the tender”, said Miller.

“I’m not sure I am going to have classrooms ready in time.”

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

Bateman high school may be kept open a little longer than expected – forever? Not likely.

Keeping students at Bateman for a little longer isn’t going to hurt anyone – there are some that might see it as a sign that perhaps the move will never be required.

Funds aren’t flowing the way they have in the past added Miller. The HDSB did get an additional $1.5 million but they also got an additional 800 + students this year; the final number will be known when the doors open next week.  This increase would translate to over an additional $20 M in costs.

The HDSB has always felt it was getting the short end of the financial stick from the province.

The new school being built in Oakville might be ready but Miller won’t guarantee that all the paint will be dry when the doors open.

Blackwell and Miller at itsem Nov 2018

Superintendent Terri Blackwell with Director of Education Stuart Miller the day that hundreds of parents showed up to register their children in the iStem program at Aldershot high school.

Miller will be at Aldershot High School next Wednesday to formally welcome the first iStem students to the facilities that have been built for a different approach to high school educations.  The Board spent about 1.4 M on upgrades to Aldershot.

iStem was one of the positive things that came out of the Program Administrative Review (PAR) that saw Lester B. Pearson and Bateman High School closed – which amounted to two out of the seven high schools in the city.

Proteau at desk

Claire Proteau in her office – where she is open and engaging with her students.

The merging of the Pearson students into M. M. Robinson went exceptionally well due in no small measure to the superb direction from MMR principal Claire Proteau and the decision to move the Pearson vice principal into MMR.  Cost of  transitions/moving LBP to MMR – about $175,000.

The HDSB trustees are going to have to grapple with losing $6.8M from a funding source called Local Priorities. This money was not in the budget for this year( it was provincial funding from last year).

All the union contracts come up for renewal this year.  Miller feels confident that there won’t be any impossible situations at the local level – what happens at the provincial level is something he wouldn’t even hazard a guess at.

The International Baccalaureate program that was moved from Bateman to Central takes root this year with pre-grade 9 and a pre-grade 10 offering.  Miller expects about 100 students to register at Central for the program.  He expects about 600 to register at White Oaks high school for the program there.

With streets crowded with students come Tuesday,  let’s hope the the police crack down on irresponsible drivers will have an impact so we can have a traffic accident free week.



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Pin ball machines will be operational at the Brant Museum on October 6th.

eventsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 28th, 2019



We now know when the first SPECIAL EXHIBITION will take place at the transformed Brant Museum.  PART OF THE MACHINE: ROCK AND PINBALL begins October 6 through to January 12.

It is these special events that are expected to pay the freight for the operation of the transformed facility. The million and a bit that the city is pumping into the space will only go so far.

pin ball machines

Fun galore on dozens of pin ball machines that will be free to use.

Before the pinball machines get plugged in there will be an opening of the Museum for the public on September 15th – noon to 4:00 pm with no entry fee.

We have no word on what the entry fee  for the Museum is going to be on a day to day basis nor do we have a schedule on what the Museum hours of operation will be.

An observant Gazette reader advises us that:

General admission is:
$10.00 ADULT
$6.00 CHILD
3-12 years

Under 3 years

Up to 2 adults/seniors and up to 4 children


And that the hours of operation are:

Mon / Closed
Tues / 10:00am-4:00pm
Wed / 10:00am-4:00pm
Thurs / 10:00am-7:00pm
Fri / 10:00am-4:00pm
Sat / 12:00pm-4:00pm
Sun / 12:00pm-4:00pm

We do know that the new Executive Director or is it Director, different titles are coming out from the museum media people, will take the helm on September 9th.  Kimberly Anne Watson was named to the position effective September 9th

The first special exhibition in the Showcase Gallery at the Joseph Brant Museum, is being billed as the Canadian premiere of Part of the Machine: Rock & Pinball from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

The interactive exhibition features rock-themed, playable pinball machines alongside merchandise and artifacts related to artists and bands.

COST: Included with regular Museum admission. What isn’t made clear is whether or not pinball machine players have to come with pockets full of Loonies or Toonies.

Not much in the way of history about a pin ball machine – but it could be fun.

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Province will approve two new cannabis stores in Burlington: Mayor wants to nix one of them - too close to a high school.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 23rd, 2019



Burlington has learned that it can expect two more potential cannabis retail stores; one at 1505 Guelph Line and another at 1025 Plains Rd. E.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission requires these new locations to provide proof of lease and the potential location for the store.

Once the Province gives notice that the opportunity for commenting is open, the City of Burlington will submit its feedback.

Meed Ward H&S profile

Mayor has always been a staunch supporter of cannabis stores.

In a Statement release by the Mayor’s Office earlier today she explained that, “previously proposed stores have been more than the Provincially-mandated 150 metres away from a school or other locations of concern, including parks, pools, arenas, libraries or recreation centres. They have also been located along transit routes and near the QEW/Hwy. 403.

“Of the two newly proposed locations, the one at 1025 Plains Rd. E. continues to meet the Province’s requirements and the City’s approved criteria.

New cladding roof MMR

High school is considered too close to the proposed cannabis store.

“The other newly proposed location, however, does not. While the proposed address of 1505 Guelph Line is more than 150 metres from nearby M.M. Robinson High School, it does not meet the set of criteria for locations and other considerations regarding cannabis stores we approved at Burlington City Council, nor the resolution brought forward by the subcommittee of the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) that I sit on with three other mayors – two from jurisdictions that do not allow cannabis stores, and two that do.

“That resolution recommended changes to provincial regulations to give municipalities greater control over locations and proliferation of stores and was approved by LUMCO and forwarded to the province.

“Both documents mentioned above state that a store should strive to maintain a minimum 500 metres buffer distance from sensitive land uses like schools. The potential location on Guelph Line should not be one where we have a cannabis store in our city.”

Meed Ward has always been a staunch supporter of cannabis retail stores and “continues to support regulated cannabis stores in Burlington to give our residents safe, legal access to this product, and help combat black market sales.

“In consultation with the Halton Regional Police Service during the decision-making process, I learned that cannabis products purchased outside a regulated market are sometimes laced with illegal drugs, such as opioids. I also heard directly from residents, including many seniors, who have switched to cannabis for pain management and have gotten off opioids that are highly addictive and lethal.

“Nevertheless, myself and other mayors across Ontario will continue to advocate for additional regulatory controls over the location and number of stores within our cities. The City of Burlington will continue to monitor and report on any newly proposed locations as they arise.”

Shawna Stolte - smile

Shawna Stolte – voted against cannabis stores

Angelo B

Angelo Bentivegna voted against cannabis stores.

The Burlington council cannabis vote was: Mayor Meed Ward, Councillors Galbraith, Kearns, Nisan and Sharman voted for the motion – Stolte and Bentivegna voted against.

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Bylaw enforcement officers making us look like a dumb backward city.

News 100 greenBy Doreen Nicol

August 20th, 2019


The Gazette became aware of this situation earlier today.

You won’t know whether to laugh or cry. When things go amuck at city hall – they really go amuck.

The Mayor and much of Council is in Ottawa at the AMO conference – the Deputy Mayor is your best hope at this point to put a stop to this stupidity. Send an email to the Deputy Mayor and ask her to put a stop to this bit of nonsense.

On April 23, Burlington city council unanimously passed Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan’s motion to declare a climate emergency.

“By declaring a climate emergency, Burlington City Council is recognizing the magnitude of the challenge we face in combating climate change,” Nisan said in a press release. “But it is only one step. Through the declaration, we have requested a comprehensive climate action plan by the end of the year and that plan is where we will begin to make real, practical change for Burlington.”

According to local environmentalist Vince Fiorito, “Given the context of the city declaring a climate change emergency, noisy, smelly, green house gas emitting lawn mowers and leaf blowers should be discouraged.”

But a Burlington resident and her family are finding that the city is not living up to its promises. The resident in question has cultivated a naturalized garden area in their front yard to encourage genetic diversity, support native species, and create a supportive habitat for a variety of insects and local wildlife.

Doreen article pic - Altheia's milkweed

A natural garden has the by-law enforcement people doing their duty.

Fearing retribution from neighbours, I was asked to not use this resident’s real name so we’ll call her Antheia, after the goddess of flowers.

Antheia says, “I have been maintaining a naturalized area since 2015 and the City of Burlington has repeatedly told me I am in violation of the by-laws despite the by-laws allowing for naturalized areas. Every year they mischaracterize my naturalized area as a lawn and demand that I cut everything down to less than 8 inches or they will come and do it themselves and charge me.”

When the city inspected Antheia’s property in 2015, it took no action. In 2016, the city inspected the property again and issued a non-compliance notice. Antheia informed the city that she was maintaining a naturalized area as defined by bylaw No. 12-2011 as, “a yard or a portion of a yard containing vegetative growth that does not form part of a natural garden that has been deliberately implemented to produce ground cover, including one or more species of wildflowers, shrubs, perennials, grasses or combinations of them, whether native or non-native, consistent with a managed and natural landscape other than regularly mown grass.”

Antheia was informed by email and phone that the city could not qualify her property as a naturalized area, and that municipal employees would cut her plants to the required height for lawns of less than eight inches.

When city workers arrived to cut Antheia’s naturalized area, she called the police. The attending officers asked the workers to leave Antheia’s property. The officers left without incident and no further action was taken that year.

Then in 2017, without any notice, the city trespassed on Antheia’s property while she was not home and decimated the entire naturalized area. Milkweed, wild flowers, native species — many of which were perennials — and a bush were all cut to the required height for a lawn of less than eight inches. This effectively destroyed the portions of the garden needed by monarch butterflies, pollinators, birds, and small animals.

In 2018, the city made significant changes to the lot maintenance bylaw and replaced the law under which Antheia’s garden had been decimated, No. 12-2011, with new bylaw No. 59-2018. Antheia retained a lawyer to tell city workers to understand that she was maintaining a naturalized area. That summer the city took no action.

Things were looking good for Antheia’s case in 2019 after a bylaw enforcement officer deemed her property a naturalized area. But just a couple of weeks later, a second bylaw enforcement officer issued a non-compliance notice that mischaracterized the naturalized area as a lawn. Antheia was once again threatened with the destruction of her entire naturalized area.

Through discussions with a supervisor, Antheia was assured her property could be maintained as a naturalized area and was in fact in compliance. Yet, one month later, after allegedly receiving many complaints from neighbors, the city sent Antheia a letter demanding she cut everything — all the same plants that were in her yard when the city had deemed it in compliance — to less than eight inches.

Supported by countless research studies and anecdotal observations from native species gardeners, Antheia is absolutely right when she asserts, “Natural deep-rooted plants, like the ones on my property, are vital to helping the climate crisis. The deep roots from perennial species bring the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere down into the soil where it is locked away and stored. Each year I have seen many monarch butterflies drinking the nectar from, and laying their eggs on, the milkweed on my property. At a time when pollinator species are at risk, the city should be encouraging naturalized areas not trying to destroy them.”

Lawns are butterfly and pollinator deserts. But Canadians have been indoctrinated to believe that only a high maintenance manicured lawn of grass with a few strategically placed continuously flowering, non-native plants is acceptable landscaping.

Fiorito points out, “Landscape design is an art form. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects our right to freedom of artistic expression. The lawn and garden industry creates perceptions of problems where none exist to sell us their expensive solutions, many of which are real environmental problems.”

According to Fiorito, it’s hard to justify protecting lawns and not naturalized areas, “Given the current global biodiversity crisis and the fact that none of Halton Region’s 48 species at risk of extinction require grass to exist and thrive. Supporting lawns that take up space that could be better used to create habitat for local endangered species is hard to justify.”

So, it’s time that environmentalists, naturalized gardeners, and those people who want to leave a better world — one where there is hope for a future — to take a stand. Let the City of Burlington know that being given the distinction of being declared the No. 1 city in Canada by Maclean’s comes with responsibilities. Those responsibilities include living up to its commitment to address the climate emergency. Accepting and encouraging residents to embrace naturalized gardens — with their low carbon footprints, genetic diversity, and supportive ecosystems — is one small step towards fulfilling that commitment.

For everyone who wants to help save Antheia’s naturalized area before the city cuts it down on August 20 and for those who want to nudge Burlington closer to meeting the meteoric goal of taking a first step to putting the brakes on the climate crisis, here is the email address for the Deputy city manager – she may be the only person at city hall able to do something this week.  Tanner can be reached at:

To inspire those of you who may be hesitant to help out, read my blog from last July when readers from across the country came together to let Burlington know that I shouldn’t have to remove my milkweed from my garden. One week later, the bylaw in question was changed.

Doreen Nicol - Raise the HammerDoreen Nicoll is a freelance writer, teacher, social activist, and member of several community organizations working diligently to end poverty, hunger and gendered violence.  she has had her share of run ins with the city.

Related news story:

Writer beats back city efforts to remove milkweed from her garden.



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An astonishing record of public service.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 19th, 2019



A picture is said to be worth 1,000 words – How about $84,000?

Gift of Giving Back 2019

Food and funds – The Gift of Giving Back is both a lesson in civility and an opportunity to help others for Burlington students.

That’s the amount raised by the Gift of Giving Back, a program that has been part of Burlington since 2005 and is now the largest such program in the country.

The total along with the presentation cheque and the obligatory photo op was sent out by the Mayor today.

Kudos to the people that make the program work.

Gift giving back by year

An astonishing record of community service on the part of the young athletes who do all the grunt work.

Originally launched by the Burlington Eagles, the campaign has grown to include more than 85 male and female youth hockey teams from: The Burlington Girls Hockey Club (Barracudas), Burlington Eagles, as well as the Burlington Gymnastics Club.

Teams will be out in neighbourhoods across Burlington in the fall dropping off their iconic blue bags. If you receive one, please give generously as the food goes right to people in our community in need. Athletes are also tagging at various grocery store locations and can be identified with the Gift of Giving Back signs.

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Eco-friendly trends: how to become more eco-friendly.

News 100 greenBy Clare Nash

August 15th, 2019



In recent times, the use of the word “eco-friendly”, otherwise known as “nature-friendly”, has popularly increased on commercials, talk shows and product packaging. It is, however, important to get an insight into the word eco-friendly, hence, enabling us to implement the practices necessary for a healthy living for the planet and its inhabitants. According to, eco-friendly is defined as the means of having a beneficial effect on our environment or simply by not causing harm to the environment. This goes beyond just an idea but expands to the practices that impact how individuals, products, communities and businesses behave themselves.

How to become more eco-friendly
Being eco-friendly or nature-friendly is very crucial to preserve all our resources and to promote environmental sustainability. It is not only beneficial to the environment but also of great advantage to us. To become more eco-friendly, you need to identify first how your choices impact the environment. There are three steps to becoming eco-friendly which includes: learning how to consume things that cause little or no harm to the environment, striving to encourage people to produce a sustainable and eco-friendly environment, and discovering and lessening your carbon footprint on the environment.

The 3Rs of wastage hierarchy is one way of becoming eco-friendly, this means Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – reducing what is manufactured and produced, reusing items for other purposes instead of disposing of it, and recycling items like paper, aluminium cans to form new items to preserve our environmental resources. Additionally, saving water and electricity also makes us eco-friendly, and this can be done by turning off lights when not in use, proper insulation, fixing leakages, etc. Other ways include planting trees, driving less and walking more, using energy-efficient products, buying recycled products, etc.

bamboo clothing

Clothing is now being made from bamboo which is hypo-allergenic and UV resistant.

Eco-friendly trends
Most people now realize how being eco-friendly can greatly impact on our environment. In the fashion world, most brands are tending towards eco-friendly fashion wear, which helps to promote sustainability and ethical practices. Researchers and every citizen of Mother Earth are coming up with new ideas and eco trends to counter the problems and help to preserve our environment. In 2019, some eco-friendly trends have been geared towards environmental consciousness and sustenance. Most countries are putting an end to the use of plastic, and are producing alternative materials from waste as a result of the effect of dumping plastics in oceans.

turbines at Wolfe Island

Turbines at Wolfe Island near Kingston.

Furthermore, most Europe countries are going green with affordable alternatives and renewable energy options like solar or wind energy. Also, minimalism and anti-consumerism mindset are an eco-friendly trend. Most people are moving towards a simple environmental lifestyle like buying less, having a smaller home, and no waste mindset.

Additionally, electric and self-driving vehicles are economically friendly because they use less fuel and decrease overall pollution. Most hotels now incorporate eco-friendly trends due to the rise in demand for green lodging. This trend includes a reduction in energy, waste management, water consumption and conservation.

Benefits of being Eco-friendly

Every habitat on planet earth needs a clean environment to survive and live a healthy life. So, it is important that we keep our environment clean for healthy living. Eco-friendly products promote green living that helps to prevent air, noise and water pollution as well as conservation of energy. Eco-friendly won’t only benefit your environment; it also saves cost. For example, using products from recycled materials or reducing air travel and organising conference call meetings instead of physical meetings. Being eco-friendly and engaging in its practice needs to be considered as it is beneficial to the planet and its inhabitants.



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Voices from across the city needed to help refine the policies in Burlington's adopted Official Plan

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 13th, 2019



They want your point of view and they are prepared to go to considerable lengths to hear what you have to say.

Earlier this year, Burlington City Council directed City staff to re-examine the downtown policies in Burlington’s adopted Official Plan, including the height and density of buildings. A vote to endorse any changes to the policies that will guide development in the downtown until 2031 will be made by City Council by March 2020.

Closer look graphic

Taking a closer look at the downtown: Voices from across the city needed to help refine the policies in Burlington’s adopted Official Plan that will guide development in the downtown

To include as many voices as possible in this important conversation about the future of the downtown, the City will host a series of public engagement opportunities designed to give the community the chance to provide meaningful input, both online and in person.

How to Participate
Residents and others interested in the re-examination of the downtown policies in the adopted Official Plan are encouraged to:

1. Visit to:
• Learn more about the re-examination of the downtown policies in the adopted Official Plan
• Read the engagement and communications plan supporting this project
• Sign up to receive project updates.

2. Lend Your Voice
To help identify what matters most about downtown Burlington, the City will host two Citizen Action Labs on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. At these in-person, public sessions, participants will work in small groups to discuss and identify what is most important to them about downtown Burlington. The feedback gathered will be used to inform the creation of two concepts of what the downtown could look like in the future. These concepts will be shared with the public in October for further review and input.

LAdy with post it -

Citizens taking part in a workshop that was looking for ways to better engage people.

Citizen Action Labs: Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown
Thursday, Aug. 22
1 to 3 p.m.
7 to 9 p.m.
Art Gallery of Burlington, 1333 Lakeshore Rd.

3. Participate online
An online survey will be available until Aug. 30 at to share input about what matters most about downtown Burlington.

4. Drop by a pop-up event
Throughout the month of August, City staff will be visiting a variety of locations and events in the community to talk with residents and identify what is most important to them about downtown Burlington. A full list of locations and times will be available on

A copy of the engagement and communications plan that will be used to guide the community conversation about the re-examination of the downtown policies in the adopted Official Plan will be available to the public at

Blair Smith talking to planner Heaher MacDonald

Chief Planner Heather MacDonald talking to citizens advocate Blair Smith at a developer presentation.

Heather MacDonald, Director and Chief Planner, Department of City Building emphasizes that:  “The City is committed to engaging people on issues that affect their lives and their city, and this commitment is reflected in publicly releasing the engagement and communication plan that will guide the conversation about the downtown policies in the adopted Official Plan.

“We know the planning structure is complex when it comes to long-term planning for the downtown. The engagement plan is designed to not only provide a roadmap of the engagement activities that will take place over the next few months but also highlight and clearly define which aspects of the downtown policies the City and public can influence, so that we can have productive dialogue and provide meaningful input about changes to the downtown policies.

“The downtown is the core of our city and we would really like to hear from as many different voices as possible, from right across the city, to help us identify what matters most about downtown Burlington.”

Quick Facts
• An Official Plan (OP) is a statutory document that describes the city’s long-term land use and infrastructure strategy, dealing with issues such as the form and location of new housing, industries, offices, shops and elements of complete communities like parks and open space.

In April 2018, City Council adopted a new Official Plan for Burlington.

• On Feb. 7, 2019, Burlington City Council voted to re-examine the policies in Burlington’s Official Plan, adopted in April 2018.

pink shirt in council

It is a council that certainly knows what a photo op is.

• On Monday, March 18, 2019, City staff and members of Burlington City Council discussed the scope of the work for further study at a Committee of the Whole workshop. Through the discussion, it was identified that while Council supports many of the policies in the adopted Official Plan, an area that requires targeted reconsideration is the Downtown Precinct Plan.

• On May 27, 2019 Council approved the work plan report and the terms of reference for the scoped re-examination of the adopted Official Plan.

• On June 11, 2019, A Committee of the Whole workshop was held to assist in the creation of a community engagement plan for the re-examination of the adopted Official Plan.

Links and Resources
Follow for updates and information about how to participate in the re-examination of the downtown policies in the adopted Official Plan


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Clerk’s Office apparently revised election spending record without due notice or notation; a 'shocking, lack of oversight'.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 12th, 2019



Elections are the way the public gets to choose who will lead them – who will make the critical decisions; who will determine the tax rate.

Money plays a large part in how those men and women get elected.
In the October municipal election a lot of money was raised, from a surprisingly low number of people.

Who they were and who they donated to is of public interest.

Provincial legislation requires the City Clerk to not only administer the election but also to sign the documents that declare who the winner is and receive reports on who spent what.

When that data became available two Burlington residents who concern themselves with civic affairs began to pour over the campaign contribution reports that were filed with the Clerk and the document the Clerk provided to city council.

Election 2018That is when the two, Blair Smith and Lynn Crosby begin to find that some of the numbers just didn’t add up. Donations they knew for a fact were given were not recorded and there were numerous and quite obvious errors.

When questioned by the Gazette, they explained;

“We have been looking very carefully at the financial statements of all candidates for council for the Burlington 2018 election. One of the things we noticed was that the audit committee received a report from the Clerk on June 4, with an Appendix of all contributions over $100 for all candidates.

We immediately saw that this list seemed much too small and could see that there was a lot missing. We then went through all the candidate financial statements posted on the City website, created our own list and then compared the two. They were not a close match. We know that errors do occur and that our analysis is only as accurate as our source data, in this case the candidates’ audited financial statements.”

The two put together a letter to the City Manager, the Mayor, Council and the Clerk setting out their concerns.

In their July 30th email they said:

“Under the Municipal Elections Act, the duties and responsibilities of the Clerk are summarized as:
(a) preparing for the election;

(b) preparing for and conducting a recount in the election;

(c) maintaining peace and order in connection with the election; and

(d) in a regular election, preparing and submitting the report described in subsection 12.1 (2). 1996,

c. 32, Sched., s. 11 (2); 2009, c. 33, Sched. 21, s. 8 (7).

We believe that the Clerk is the critical steward of the most fundamental of our democratic processes, the election of our municipal representatives, and that such responsibilities should be discharged with care, diligence, lack of bias and a regard for maintaining an accurate public record.
As such, we were surprised by the 2018 Municipal Election report listing Campaign Contributions that was submitted by the Clerk to the Compliance Audit Committee on June 4, 2019. A quick review of the document posted on the City website revealed that there were numerous omissions and inaccuracies.

In fact, the record is both incomplete and misleading. We are unaware of any competing or undisclosed policy that informed the structure of the record as presented and would appreciate learning if such is the case. Otherwise, we note the following that we consider to be serious flaws in the record, requiring explanation and correction.

1. The total amount of contributions on the Clerk’s Report adds up to $313,588.52. On page 11, there is a line that simply says “Supplementary List”, $3,950. Adding that undocumented amount in, the total would be $317,538.52. In our review of all candidates’ financial statements, our total is $550,134. (Note our total includes a few donations that were returned, which may not be required to be included).

2. The entire list of Mayor Meed Ward’s contributions is missing.

3. Several of Ward 2 councillor candidate Roland Tanner’s contributions are missing. (Maria Adcock, $1200; Karina Gould, $200; Robert Loney, $250; Ed McMahon, $200; Jack O’Brien, $500).

4. One of Ward 2 councillor candidate Kimberly Calderbank’s contributions is missing (Mark McCrory, $400), as is one of Ward 3 candidate Gareth Williams (Collin Gibbons, $200).

5. Both of Ward 6 councillor candidate Xin-Yi Zhang’s contributions are missing as are the lone contributions of Ken White, Tayler Morin and Greg Woodruff.

6. None of the mayoral or councillor candidates’ own or spousal contributions are included.

7. Several first names are missing, even though they appear on the relevant candidate Forms.

8. Some names are transposed and therefore do not appear correctly and wouldn’t be easily found. For example, the second name should read Abdelaziz Guergachi, not the reverse. In that same entry there is another random name there also, Leila Tijini. Why?

9. In some cases there appear to be double entries which are there in error because they only appear once on all candidate forms, or cases where entries appear three times when they should appear twice. (E,g., Lynn and Chris Anstead, $200; Doug Brown, $200; Nick and Diane Leblovic, $250; Edda Manley, $300; David and Linda McKay, $200; John and Bonnie Purkis, $300; Mary Woodward $1,000; Stephen Woodward, $1,000).

10. Some names are spelled incorrectly, though we note Rick Goldring’s list of names and amounts is in some cases practically illegible.

11. Entry for Schuler should say “Michael” as first name and the amount shows $700. $200 was returned so this should say $500.

12. Looking at the candidate forms, there are errors that we would have thought should have been flagged by the Clerk to be corrected. Perhaps this is not the Clerk’s purview and it is instead up to citizens to look at the documents and raise these things instead. If so, that seems like a flawed system. In any event, such things include: no dates of contributions received are listed (as required) on any of Mike Wallace’s contributions; post office boxes being listed as addresses where Full Addresses are required; the very illegible form submitted by Rick Goldring as noted above.

We believe that these errors are serious enough that the record, as presented, does not provide an accurate and true picture of the 2018 Campaign financials. As such the public record, in this instance at least, is too flawed to remain uncorrected. We would request that either you provide an explanation of why the statements presented to the Compliance Audit Committee are accurate, addressing the deficiencies noted above, or correct the record and resubmit noting publicly the reason for the resubmission.”

Crosby and Smith got a response from the City Manager, Tim Commisso, almost immediately. He referred the matter to the City Clerk. The Mayor also provided a quick response supporting the need for an investigation and correction if required. The City Clerk, Angela Morgan, replied to Smith and Crosby on July 31st indicating that their concerns would be reviewed. Then, on August 6th, she made a more fulsome reply:

City Clerk Angela Morgan fails to ensure media alerted to Special Council meeting. Her communications people dropped the ball as well.

City Clerk Angela Morgan going over the results of the 2010 election.

“Lynn and Blair, thank you for your e-mail and detailed review of the candidate financial document attached to the Clerks report that was considered by the Election Compliance Audit committee on June 4. The Municipal Elections Act requires the Clerk to prepare a report for the election compliance audit committee, this report is limited to reporting on contributors who contributed more that $1200 to any one candidate or more than $5000 to all of the candidates for Council.

“To prepare the report, I reviewed all of the candidates financials individually and highlighted those that had over-contributed, this information was included in individual reports to the committee which were included on the agenda for the June 4th meeting (which can be found at)

“Following that review, staff combined the lists into one large list to present to the Committee as information. This was done through copy and paste from the candidates lists and therefore, any spelling of names is identical to the spelling on the candidates paperwork. In reviewing the attached listing, I did note that the list of contributors to Mayor Meed Ward’s campaign was not included in the final list although it was reviewed by myself in preparing the report on over contributions noted above. In addition, contributors are listed multiple times on the list because they contributed to more than one campaign, so they are listed each time they were found to have contributed (i.e. if they contributed to 4 campaigns, they would be listed 4 times), in some instances, it is the same contribution amount. The list does not include the amount that an individual candidate or their spouse contributed to their own campaign as this is outside the scope of my review.

“We have reposted an amended list to reflect the contributions that were missed from the original posting. This did not affect the overall conclusion in my report which indicated that 2 contributors, contributed more than $5000.

“This review is a new provision in the Municipal Elections Act and as a result, this is first time this list was prepared. We are learning from this election and will be making some improvements in 2022 to ensure the report and its attachments are completed in a more user friendly manner. Thank you again for your comments.”

Smith and Crosby were not satisfied with the response they were given and responded to the Clerk on August 7th:

“Thank you for your response yesterday to our email of Tuesday, July 30th. It helps to explain some of the anomalies that we noted in the material presented to the Compliance Audit Committee on June 4th but, unfortunately, not all. It also raises a rather serious new issue.


Angela Morgan, City Clerk 2018

We understand the duties of Clerk, as specified under the Municipal Elections Act, are only to produce a report of contributors who were in violation – and there were only two (2) by your reckoning. It is somewhat confusing then that the Appendix to the report presented to the Compliance Audit Committee was so extensive going to 11 pages and including contributors who were completely ‘out of scope’. If the intent was to provide a complete and comprehensive picture of all contributions made during the campaign, the numerous errors and omissions that we noted undermined that purpose. The list has now been changed consistent with some of the corrections and additions that we suggested were needed. However, it is still inaccurate. For example, the following errors, omissions and oversights still remain:

• though Mayor Meed Ward’s entries are now included, there are still about five missing, and some of the dollar amounts are incorrect

• there are still a few names transposed (these names are not transposed on the candidate forms)

• there are still 8 instances of missing first names, all of which do appear on the candidate forms

• the entries we noted that were missing from Kimberly Calderbank’s and Gareth William’s forms are still missing

• we understand some people donated multiple times and their names should appear more than once; however, there are eight entrees that seem to be doubled in error

• though the missing Roland Tanner entries have now been added, Karina Gould was incorrectly listed as Maria Gould and Robert Loney’s surname is misspelled

• there are several names misspelled and contrary to your explanation, they are not misspelled on the candidate forms (again with the caveat that Rick Goldring’s form is almost illegible); we are referring to names from other candidate forms

Wallace Form 1 sample

Sample of the form required to be completed.

• how can one be certain the Mike Wallace contributions were donated in the proper time frame (May 1 – December 31) when he did not include any dates as required? Is this not a rather serious contravention?

The corrected list is now available on the City website –

Wallace no date data

The form the Wallace auditors submitted: There are no dates shown.

However, it is included as a part of the original agenda package of the June 4th meeting of the Compliance Audit Committee. As such, it gives the impression that it is the list originally presented and approved by that committee. It is not. So, the public record has been altered with no indication that such is the case and that the report that was actually approved by the Compliance Audit Committee is not the report that is presented on the City Website.

We believe that this is tantamount to altering the public record after the fact and is a serious contravention of appropriate information protocols. We believe that the amended report should be resubmitted for approval. Indeed, one should never be able to unilaterally change the public record.

There should always be some form of independent approval and notification process. What was the approval and notification process involved here and was Council aware? Additionally, there must be some indication that this is not the original report approved by the Committee and the reasons for the re submission and re posting. If you recall, we had requested that the report be resubmitted with the reason for the re submission clearly stated. Such has not occurred and this is unsatisfactory.

You say “This review is a new provision in the Municipal Elections Act and as a result, this is first time this list was prepared. We are learning from this election and will be making some improvements in 2022 to ensure the report and its attachments are completed in a more user friendly manner.”

Smith and Crosby

Lynn Crosby and Blair Smith, both Burlington residents with a passion for open and transparent civic government. Crosby was trained as a para-legal; Smith served as an Assistant Deputy Minister wit the Ontario government.,

Our request had nothing to do with “user-friendliness” and everything to do with accuracy and data integrity. Both were lacking. We remain concerned with the apparent absence of due diligence and appropriate oversight. It is also, perhaps, a happy coincidence that your report of donation violations was accurate despite the absence of the Mayor’s donors; in part a function of the fact that Mayor Meed Ward, unlike the other candidates, would not accept donations from individuals associated with the development industry. Regardless, the original errors of accuracy and oversight now pale in comparison with the apparent ability of the Clerk’s Office to alter the public record without notice or notation.

We would appreciate an adjustment to the public record clearly stating that the list, as published on the City website as part of the agenda package, is a corrected one, not the original version. Attached for comparison are the original and amended versions of the list.
… Lynn Crosby and Blair Smith”

As of the time of publication, we are advised that there has been no response from the City Clerk. However, the Mayor responded with clear direction, indicating that she recognized the need to maintain the integrity of the public record, that the existing record should be annotated to note that is has been amended, that all amendments should be appropriately marked and that any further corrections needed to the record should be so noted.

For Crosby and Smith the fundamental issues remain. They explained;

“We are concerned with the competence and integrity of the Clerk’s Office. People will probably think that we are “stirring the pot” or nit-picking but, perhaps, they don’t truly understand the role of the Municipal Clerk and its importance. Arguably, the Clerk is the most important link between the provincial bureaucracy and that of the city or town. Not the most important official or the most influential bureaucrat but the most essential and integral connection between the two levels of governance.

“Amongst many other roles, the Clerk is the official records-keeper of the municipality with a duty under the Municipal Act “to record, without note or comment, all resolutions, decisions and other proceedings of the council”. So, errors in this duty are serious and have impact. The appendix that was originally submitted as part of the agenda package for the Compliance Audit Committee on June 4th was seriously flawed. The number and nature of the errors was shocking, as was the obvious lack of oversight.

“The fact that the appendix was not a statutory “requirement” does not mitigate the issue. More serious, however, is the fact that the Clerk’s Office has now apparently revised the public record without due notice or notation. Quite simply, this is a completely unacceptable contravention of information practice and protocol, particularly for one entrusted with maintaining the integrity of the official record. The public record must always be historically and contemporaneously accurate. It reflects the information material that elected officials used at the time to make decisions affecting all citizens and interested parties. How else can those officials be held accountable? If allowed to present an amended record as if original then the Clerk’s Office has been permitted to ‘change history’ and give a different picture of the decision-making process than actually occurred.

“If this is acceptable information policy and practice within the City of Burlington, then it needs to be changed immediately. And perhaps we need to look at what else is accepted practice that contravenes the tenets of open, transparent and accountable government.”

OPINION: Salt with Pepper

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Community Development reaching out for comments and possibilities as they prepare for a different future.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

August 2nd, 2019



With a change of leadership in the months ahead, Community Development Halton (CDH) has begun the process of re-examining and re-inventing itself. They want to hear from the community (that is YOU) on which community development services to continue and EXPAND upon.

Edwardh Joey talking to Goodings

Executive Director Joey Edwardh talking with supporters at an annual meeting.

Executive Director Joey Edwardh has resigned after two decades of service.

The Board asks: “If you used any of their services and resources such as boardroom/ meeting room use, volunteer positions promotion, volunteer referrals, featuring your organization, building capacity through volunteerism, research and data analysis, age-friendly initiatives, empowering seniors workshops, educational sessions/workshops, neighbourhood development, social planning, asset mapping, publications such as Our Halton Reports, Community Lens, Community Dispatch, or consulting with their staff, they want to hear your voice to help shape the future of CDH.
CDH Cafe graphic

They are encouraging you and your staff  to make time to come to ONE of the following sessions.

      Milton: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 9:30 am – noon

      Bob Rumball Centre, 7801 Side Rd. 5, Milton


Oakville and Burlington: Thursday, August 15, 2019 9:30 am – noon
Halton Regional Centre South Auditorium, 1151 Bronte Rd., Oakville

Halton Hills Friday, August 16, 2019 9:30 am – noon
Hillsview Active Living Centre, 318 Guelph St., Georgetown.

Those from Burlington are to take part in the Oakville event.  They shouldn’t expect a caravan of supporters to make the trek.

The Possibility Café process will be facilitated by Jody Orr from The Chrysalis Group, and Coordinator of the Halton Nonprofit Network.

CDH staff or board members will not be present. This will allow an open and honest conversation among community members, associates, partners, and friends to take place.

Please R.S.V.P. at

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Weather reports are not what they used to be - the climate has certainly changed.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 18th, 2019



The heavy rains that we are experiencing, sometime in just pockets of the Region, create serious flood potential.

The old approach to weather is a thing of the past – all the weather people can do is issue notices and monitor what is taking place tightly and keep the first responders a phone call away.

Flood watch graphicThe latest information provided by the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) indicates that Lake Ontario reached a mean daily water level of 75.80 m on July 14th, declining just under 1cm per day during the preceding week.

The latest water level is 12 cm below this year’s peak level (recorded on June 15th), but remains 78 cm above average and continues to be a record level for this time of year. Record high outflows (equivalent to the peak releases during June to August of 2017) continue to be released to lower the lake level and provide some relief to shoreline stakeholders, while also considering the effects of higher flows on interests in the St. Lawrence River.

Lake Ontario levels are expected to continue to slowly decline in the coming days, with the resumption of drier conditions combined with the continuation of record-high outflows. Notwithstanding, water levels will remain elevated for the next several weeks and well into the summer months as record inflows from Lake Erie are expected to continue.

All shoreline areas should be considered dangerous during this time. Localized flooding combined with the potential for waves to overtop break walls and other shoreline structures continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Conservation Halton is asking all residents to exercise caution around Lake Ontario shoreline areas and to alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

This Flood Watch – Lake Ontario Shoreline message will remain in effect until July 31st. Conservation Halton will continue to monitor Lake Ontario wind conditions and lake levels closely and will either terminate this message or issue further updates as necessary.

The Conservation Authority has a Flood Duty Officer whose job it is to keep a close eye on what is taking place and ensure that the people who take care of us are in the loop.


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