Provinces releases new education initiatives on a Friday at the end of Spring Break when a lot of parents are away.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 18th, 21019



The province announced major changes in the way education is going to be delivered to elementary and high school students in the province.

They want to take the cell phones out of the hands of students.

They want to get ‘Back-to-Basics’ Math Curriculum, Renewed Focus on Skilled Trades and STEM – Science,Technology Engineering and Mathematics curriculum.

The Halton District School Board HDSB is more than a couple of steps ahead of the province. In September they will open the first part of the iStem program at Aldershot High School.  A total of 124 students have registered in a program that has taken two years to create.

Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education said “after extensive consultation with parents, staff, post secondary partners, industry leaders and students in the 2017-2018 year lead to the Innovation – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (iStem) Program at Aldershot. This past year we have been working closely with an outstanding Advisory Group consisting of post secondary partners, community organizations and industry leaders.

“The Engineer’s Toolkit in grade 9, the Entrepreneur’s Toolkit in grade 10 and the Global Innovator’s Toolkit in the senior years was developed in partnership with our ever growing Advisory Group. With a focus on Innovation (the “I” in iStem), students will contribute and thrive in our technologically intensive world through interdisciplinary learning opportunities connecting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Learning in the classroom will be paired with experiential learning and mentorship with the community and workplace.”

Blackwell and Miller at itsem Nov 2018

Halton District School Board Superintendent Terri Blackwell and Director of Education Stuart Miller at the first parent night announcing the program.

Blackwell added: “As part of the application process students were asked to respond to a number of questions: “What is one problem you would like to solve or big question you would like to explore as part of your learning in the iStem program?”.

“We were inspired by the responses from students and will continue to build learning opportunities with input from them.”

Director of Education Stuart Miller said: The Minister of Education has spoken previously about the need for more opportunities for students to pursue an iStem curriculum.

We are very proud at the HDSB that we have gotten out in front of the province’s direction. Almost two years ago we began the process of enhancing the program at Aldershot High School by focusing on iStem (i being for innovation) commencing in September 2019. Through the work of many staff, but in particular Superintendent Terri Blackwell we have forged relationships with post secondary institutions and some private companies in helping us develop it. We have had tremendous interest from not just the community, but also beyond and as a result we will see a large increase in the number of students attending Aldershot in September enrolled in iStem.

“More importantly we will be preparing these students to pursue many opportunities beyond High school related to all things iStem.”

The provincial media release on changes coming to education covered much more than iStem.

All the buzz words that the PR types the government has hired are in the province’s Media Release. “We will make sure our students are leaving school with the skills they need to build good lives, families and careers right here in Ontario, while ensuring the system is both fiscally sustainable and respectful of parents.”

lisa Thomson with sign

Minister of Education Lisa Thomson

“The new vision will modernize Ontario’s classrooms and provide students with more learning opportunities to prepare them for success in post-secondary education, apprenticeship and training, and the workforce. The plan would include:

Modernizing classrooms by expanding broadband, developing a new policy that will ban the use of cellphones during class except for educational purposes and modernizing the approach to assessment and evaluation with a renewed focus on equity across the province.

Introducing changes to education funding that keep resources focused on students in the classroom.

Supporting teacher mobility, greater transparency, fairness, consistency and accountability to school board hiring practices of teachers.

Maintaining class sizes for Kindergarten to Grade 3, establishing a consistent approach to class sizes for grades 4 to 8 and aligning secondary class sizes more closely with other Canadian jurisdictions, while introducing a new approach to e-learning and reducing pressure on school boards to put students in portables and split classes.
Undertaking curriculum reform that will include:

A new math curriculum that will focus on math fundamentals for all grades;

A renewed focus on STEM, skilled trades and financial literacy; and

A modern and age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that will keep students safe.

“There will be clear provisions for parents who wish to exempt their child or children from sexual health education, and online modules will be available for parents who want to discuss sexual health topics at home whenever they feel their child is ready.

“The government is committed to discussing the key elements of the proposed plan, including hiring practices and class sizes, through a consultation process that allows partners to provide the benefit of their expertise, experience and ideas.

Lisa Thomson

Minister Lisa Thomson

“We welcome conversation with any education stakeholder who is prepared to work with us in good faith to ensure our plan continues to serve the best interests of Ontario’s students in a way that works for families and school boards and is fair to our educators.” said Thompson.

Look carefully at some of the phrasing:

“…prepared to work with us in good faith to ensure our plan continues to serve the best interests of students…”

They don’t say they are going to listen.

“…establishing a consistent approach to class sizes for grades 4 to 8 and aligning secondary class sizes more closely with other Canadian jurisdictions.”

An increase in the number of students in classrooms.

“Supporting teacher mobility, greater transparency, fairness, consistency and accountability to school board hiring practices of teachers.”

Teachers aren’t interested in the kind of mobility the government is talking about. Transparency is a two way street.

The document was released on a Friday at the end of the Spring Break when what parents are about most concerned about is knowing that they are going to be able to get on a flight that gets them back so they can have the kids ready for school on Monday.

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Braithwaite: What I learned from magnetic stones: force and resistance.

opinionviolet 100x100By Alison Braithwaite

March 14th, 2019



I have these beautiful black, flat, polished stones that are magnetic. I believe it is called hematite. I love how they feel in my hand and I love that they are magnetic.

When I hold them I feel grounded.

Then I noticed something. I was playing with two of the stones the other day and I noticed something interesting. I was playing with their resistance.

You know how when you bring two magnets together the wrong way, you can feel the strength of their resistance? No matter how hard you push them together they resist.

Braithwaite UnearthedIf you push them past a certain point the magnetic forces them to either side of each other.

And you know how when you flip the magnets the other way there is a strong force that instantly brings the magnets together.

What I noticed was that as a certain point the force that brings the stones careening together and the force of resistance that repels the stones feels the same.

I found this so fascinating.

Immediately, I thought of how this applies to life; how it applies to dealing with difficult situations.

We have all likely felt that resistance when we are pushing forward to achieve something. That moment when we think this is too hard, it’s taking too much effort, why can’t I get past this point, why don’t they understand what I am trying to do.

Then one magic step forward and everything opens up and starts to happen so fast and with so much ease.

And then there’s the other situation…

force and resistence - magnets

Force and resistance – shows with magnets – in life as well?

The situation where we keep pushing and pushing and the harder we push the more we are flung onto a different path. It can be exhausting.

If you find yourself constantly pushing with nothing to show for yourself
1. Take a moment to notice what’s happening.
2. Pause.
3. Assess the situation.
Ask yourself some questions

How long have you been striving in this situation?

• Sometimes we push ourselves too hard to change a situation or achieve a goal. We are so focused on pushing forward that we lose perspective and exhaust ourselves.
How are you physically, mentally and emotionally feeling?

• Sometimes we don’t pay attention to ourselves and how we feel. Yet we have this inner wisdom that knows exactly what our next step should be and that answer may be rest, regroup, think again.
What is the next right step?

• What is the next right step for you, not just for the situation? You are just as important as the situation.
Are you about to take the same step?

• Sometimes we do the same thing over and over again and expect something different. In order to come together, one of the hematite stones needs to be flipped right over and then instantly they are drawn together.
How can you flip yourself, your thinking, your beliefs and perspectives?

• What stories are you telling yourself about the goal, the situation and the people involved?

• What stories are you telling yourself about your abilities, your determination, your state of mind?

• How can you flip yourself, see things from a new and energizing perspective?

• What would it be like to create the opposite story, take on the opposite belief, talk to someone about where you are that you have never spoken to and in fact maybe avoided to get their perspective on things?

• Is there something that you need to accept about the situation or the people involved in order to realign yourself to who you are?
How can you flip the situation?

• This one might be a bit tougher to unearth. It means looking at the situation, the people involved, the beliefs that they hold, the stories they are telling themselves about the situation from as many perspectives that you can. What can you do to shift their perspectives, their stories, their beliefs? If you try to do it by force you will exhaust yourself.

• Somewhere in all of this is a point of leverage, where one person involves shifts and with that, the whole situation flips. And your story is key. There is something in your past experience that is key to what you believe. How can you tell your story or help someone experience what you have so that light bulb goes off inside them and their understanding flips?

Is it time to actually follow the other path?

• Don’t’ get fooled into believing the resistance you are feeling can just be pushed through.

• When you bring two magnets together and they resist, one gets thrown to the side, displaced, oriented differently. Perhaps it might be easier to follow the path in the direction you are being thrown. Just maybe things will open up for you if you walk that way.
Next steps:
1. Make a decision.
2. Take action.
3. Monitor the action and how you are feeling.
4. Adapt your approach. (So you feel like yourself).

Welcome into and expect ease and grace in your life. You and life will be so much more amazing if you do.

You can follow Alison HERE.

BraithwaiteAlison Braithwaite spent years in the corporate world – environmental services.  She was a member of the executive team of a North American wide aggregate, emulsion and environmental company where she was responsible for environmental performance and sustainability.  Braithwaite has a Master of Arts in Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching both from Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia.


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Fibre Arts demonstrations at the AGB this weekend.

artsblue 100x100By Staff

March 7th, 2019



This weekend at the AGB: John Willard Fibre Arts Resident Line Dufour is hosting two exciting demonstrations!

Saturday, March 9 | 11 – 4 PM: Tapestry Weaving Demonstration in the Brock Lobby

Sunday, March 10 | 11 – 4 PM: Felted Wool Balls Session in the Textile Studio

Felt artist Dufour

The John Willard AGB Fibre Arts Resident Line Dufour

The community is invited to make their own felted wool ball.

Participants can bring their own materials, including lopi or feltable yarn, a darning needle, pantyhose, 1 yard of non-feltable yarn (polyester, acrylic, cotton), and scissors.

Participants can also pay $5.00 to be provided with any materials needed!

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Governance training for the not for profit sector being offered by Community Development Halton.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 7th, 2019



Governance and the not for profit sector are not always that comfortable with each other.

Vision graphicThere are a number, far too many, organizations that are incorporated as not for profit corporations that has little, if any, understanding of just what the Directors are supposed to do and what they are not supposed to do.

We could use all our fingers to count off the organizations that are a mess when it comes to the quality of the work their Directors do.

Conflicts of interest and the tendency to get into the weeds of the organization.

Policy is the responsibility of the Board of Directors, operations is the responsibility of the Executive Director who is chosen by and reports to the Board.

Community Development Halton (CDH) has put together a half day course that every Director of a not for profit organization should be required to take.

The United Way funds many of the not for profits’ – they should make the receiving of any funding dependent on every Board member having been trained as a Director.

The Regional government should take the same position.

The wider community will be better served if these Directors are trained.

A brief description of what the CDH is offering:

GovernanceThis class will provide an overview of the role, scope of responsibilities, and understanding of key elements shaping the effectiveness of Boards of Directors in the not for profit sector.

Focused particularly on people who are new or considering becoming a Board member, the session will also serve as a “refresher” for those with experience on Boards and senior staff who are charged with providing support to the Board.

Facilitator: JODY ORR, runs the Chrysalis Group and has an extensive background working in and with the not for profit sector. She has a Master’s degree in Sociology and is a founding principal in an organizational and community development consulting firm.

time - dateJody worked for 17 years in the not for profit sector and has, since striking out on her own, supported not for profits, big and small, with a major emphasis on building capacity in a variety of areas, including effective governance. She was the lead staff person in two large voluntary social planning organizations and a Board member and President of a variety of not for profits.

She also is the Coordinator of the Halton Not for profit network.


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It has been 50 years since graduation for the BCHS Class of 69 - party time!

eventsred 100x100By Staff

March 6th, 2019



If you started as a student at Burlington Central High School (BCHS) in 1964 or ended your time as a student in 1969 the Class of 1969 – 50 year Reunion want to hear from you. They are having a party!

It will take place at the Burlington Golf and Country Club on Friday, June 21, 2019

Mix and mingle, and see how many people you can recognize; 6:30 PM Buffet dinner – Cost $50 Contact: for more detail.


The Class of 69 wants to celebrate their 50th graduation anniversary.

Pass this message on to other grads that may not see this message. (We are still looking for email address and or contact information for our fellow students. If you can help please reply to our email address

For those of you planning to attend from out of town, the planning committee has secured a block of rooms at the Waterfront Hotel. Discount code is BCHS69.

It has been 50 years since graduation.

Alumni close to home, from distant parts of the country, and even the world, will gather to reconnect and share the paths their lives have taken.

Protesters PARC

They fought hard to keep their school open and they prevailed.


The tag line never changed.

Over the last several years, BCHS has been fighting for survival. The Halton District School Board voted to consider closing BCHS. Students, Alumni and parents of current students, rallied against this proposal and were able to achieve a stay of execution. Central could be around for another 50 years.

The 50 year event will take place at the Burlington Golf and Country Club, located at 422 North Shore Blvd. E., Burlington.

CHS, the first Burlington high school, celebrates its 100th Anniversary in 2022.

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Public school board looking for input on their 2019-2020 budget.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 6th, 2019



The Halton District School Board values input from parents/guardians, members of the community, staff and students concerning the development of the 2019-2020 budget.

Individuals are encouraged to provide input on the budget priorities for the upcoming school year online through a questionnaire on the Halton District School Board’s website at To access the questionnaire, follow the link from the homepage or directly here. Input must be received by March 19, 2019.

HDSB trustees

Trustees and Board staff welcome public input on budget matters.

Before providing input, individuals are encouraged to review the Board’s Multi-Year Plan 2016-2020, Special Education Plan and Operational Plan. A key objective of the annual budget process is to align the Halton District School Board’s financial resources with these important documents.

Community members are also able to delegate to the Board of Trustees. Please follow the Delegation By-law posted on the Halton District School Board website (found under the ‘Our Board’ tab).

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The community needs the regional government to invest in enough subsidized housing to reduce wait times for women at risk that can be measured in weeks - not years.

opinionred 100x100By Andrew Drummond

March 4th,  2019


HWP - City Council (2)

From the left: Councillor Bentivegna, Mayor Meed Ward, Councillors Paul Sharman and Lisa Kearns


Halton Women’s Place held their annual fundraiser gala recently. It was a delightful affair with 413 attendees including politicians of all levels and parties. Part of the event was a live auction where one of the “items” being auctioned off was an evening party with a number of gentlemen from the Oakville Fire Department. It was a touching gesture (which raised $3,000) and was a wonderful way for the department to give back to the community.

However, as the department’s spokesperson took the stage to extol others to bid on them, he told the crowd about some startling statistics about Halton Women’s Place and the work that they do and the constraints that they work under. The most alarming statistic was that the shelter only has 52 beds and that as a temporary shelter, the majority of their residents are being transitioned to a full time, safe housing. This process used to take six to eight weeks, but now can take up to six to eight MONTHS.

There is such a lack of affordable housing in Halton region that a woman fleeing violence with her children can wait up to eight months in a shelter.

HWP - GraphWithin the HWP annual reports, an even more troubling trend appears. In 2014, the shelter housed 270 women and 211 children for some period of time over the year. The report also noted that “766 women did not receive shelter due to capacity”. In 2014, the shelter only was able to serve 39% of the need in the region. Compared to 2018 however, 2014’s 39% was a success. As a result of the reduced availability of safe, affordable housing in Halton, in 2018, HWP was only able to serve 173 women and 183 children. They no longer list the number of women turned away in the annual report, but only being able to assist 74% of their 2014 number cannot be a good sign.

There are two critical issues then, which need to be addressed for our community to be able to successfully assist women fleeing violence and abuse. First need Halton Women’s Place needs a stable source of funding.

Second Halton Region needs to ensure there is adequate housing for women to transition into. From the chart below, over the last 5 years, the level of funding from government sources has increased at less than the rate of inflation (8.2% total). As a result, HWP has increasingly relied on private funds to make up the gap in funding.

Fortunately for the shelter, the public has responded (+45.4% over 5 years), but raising private money is time consuming and unpredictable and forces HWP to devote its efforts away from its primary focus – helping abused women.

The second critical issue to alleviate the pressure on HWP is to increase the availability of subsidized housing across Halton Region. On the Region of Halton website for subsidized housing, there is an ominous note about wait times for subsidized housing.

“It is not possible to provide a specific wait time. Criteria used to place individuals and families changes regularly. Halton Region must follow provincial government regulations, which means the date on your application is not the only information used for placement on our wait list. The waiting time can sometimes take several years for units highest in demand…”

Finding affordable housing can take years. Hundreds of women fleeing violence are turned away from shelters in our region because of overlong wait times for safe, subsidized housing. This is simply not acceptable.
Turning battered women away is one part of the issue, but the longer wait times also have an impact on the women who do get into the shelters. One of the most important things these women need at this time is stability. They and their children are rebuilding a life, and the months they have to wait to start it is a significant strain on everyone. Permanency is a requirement for building a stable new life.

In its recent 2019 budget, the Region of Halton proposed a 1.9% tax increase for regional services. Regional Chair Gary Carr has taken to social media repeatedly to boast of “delivering an average property tax increase of 0.7% for Regional Services from 2007 to 2018, while maintaining or enhancing core services.” All of these increases fall below the rate of inflation. In other words, overall, Halton is collecting less tax to provide services and the end result has been, wait times for subsidized housing increasing year over year.

HWP - Room Shot (2)

Community level support was evident. Can’t say that much for the support from the Regional government.

The question is then, why is sufficient safe, affordable housing for our community’s most vulnerable people not considered a “core service”? There is clear evidence that the region is providing far less than what is required by its citizens and yet tax increases are still being kept below the rates of inflation. There is hope however, in 2018 Burlington elected a slate of progressive city councillors that are determined to work to support the more vulnerable among us.

But the effort needs to come from all levels of government. Our community needs the provincial government to increase shelter funding to at least the level of inflation. Our community needs the regional government to invest in enough subsidized housing that the wait times can be measured in weeks and not years. And our community needs the city to live up to its commitment to its most vulnerable.

In 2017 in Halton there were 3,156 police calls for domestic violence. And in Halton we only have 52 shelter beds for the women who made those calls.

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Youth Art Mural Project - workshops in March.

artsorange 100x100By Staff

February 28th, 2019



The City of Burlington is pleased to launch a new youth mural project. Lead by professional artists, youth will get a hands-on opportunity to make a mural that will be unveiled as part of Youth Week (May 2019).

young artists graphic

The city is looking for youth ages 14 – 18 to help create a mural that will be part of the City of Burlington’s public art collection.


• Youth participants are invited to attend one of 3 meetings on their area to learn more.
• Each meeting is 2-3 hours long and includes a dinner break (food and refreshments provided)
• The meeting includes hands-on art making activities; each participant will take home their own graffiti art inspired poster
• The workshops will take place at the following locations:

Meeting 1 Burlington Seniors’ Centre, 2285 New St. Tuesday, March 19 from 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Meeting 2 Haber Community Centre, 3040 Tim Dobbie Dr. Wednesday, March 21 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Meeting 3 Mountainside Community Centre, 2205 Mount Forest Dr. Thursday, March 22 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Attend any ONE meeting to meet the Artist and discuss the project. Dinner provided.

Project team meeting: Week of April 1-5, Student Theatre Centre 2131 Prospect St. – exact date and time TBD

Production: April 15-30 unveiling and launch Saturday, May 4, during National Youth Week.

How to Participate:

About the Artists

Jimmy Baptiste is a youth educator/facilitator, graphic artist, curator and muralist raised in Montreal, Quebec. His aim is to develop and provide his clients a unique approach to education through the arts. He promotes the use of murals as graffiti vandalism deterrent, engages people of all ages in positive skill-building experiences while simultaneously supporting local arts and culture, and enhancing a neighbourhood’s beauty for residents and visitors.

In 2015, Jimmy received the P. Lantz Bursary as an artist-in-residency from the Department of Integrated Studies and Education (D.I.S.E) of McGill University in Montreal. He as collaborated with various organisations like Mikw Chyiam as artist in residency in first nation communities, A’Shop, Under Pressure Graffiti Festival branding, Cossette Media and the Educational Program of Place des Arts in Montreal.

Hans Schmitter  is a US born, Montreal-based artist with over 20 years experience with spray can art and graphic design. He has worked on countless commercial projects and painted hundreds of murals, large and small, in many locations around the world. He has worked as a solo artist and in collaboration with other artist and team members, in every capacity, from assistant to creative director

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Public Board of Education Looking for Comments.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 26th, 2019



Bureaucrats at almost every level want to know what the people they serve think – so they do surveys.

The Halton District School Board is inviting students, parents, staff and community members to participate in the online engagement survey: Have Your Say. Topics for feedback include learning opportunities, communication, involvement in schools, technology use, equitable and inclusive learning environments, and transportation.


Student comment gathered in a 2017-18 survey. Was there nothing negative gathered?

The surveys are open for all groups from Feb. 1 to March 29, 2019. The information gathered from the survey will help the Board continue to create a positive learning environment to help shape school improvement and well-being plans. The survey will be available at, or via the Board’s website at The survey is available in six additional languages: Arabic, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Punjabi, and Urdu.

The Have Your Say survey will provide the Board with feedback regarding the goals and targets in the Halton District School Board’s Multi-Year Plan (2016-2020).

The Board will share a summary of the information collected with all stakeholders in June 2019.  This data continues to support school and system improvement planning.

The Have Your Say survey is completely anonymous and the questionnaire will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Individual responses will be grouped together for analysis.

Stuart Miller

Stuart Miller, Director of Education

“As partners in education, your input is valued and appreciated,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. ”The Board is committed to engaging our community and building relationships to continually improve the educational experience for all students. We recognize your involvement is critical to student success, which is why we’re inviting you to complete this online survey. With your feedback, we can help guide meaningful change to improve student learning, well-being and success.”

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Application has been made for a retail cannabis operation on Fairview, east of Walkers Line.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 26th, 2019



An application for a retail cannabis store in Burlington has been received by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Written comments due by March 6

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (ACGO) has received an application for a retail cannabis store in Burlington at 103-4031 Fairview St.

Cannabis location

Proposed location for a retail cannabis operation. On Fairview east of Walkers Line.

Written comments about the proposed location at 103-4031 Fairview St. will be received by the AGCO until March 6, 2019 and may be submitted online at The AGCO will accept submissions from:

• A resident of the municipality in which the proposed store is located
• The municipality representing the area in which the proposed store is located and/or its upper-tier municipality.

Comments submitted to the AGCO should relate to the following matters of public interest:

• Protecting public health and safety
• Protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis
• Preventing illicit activities in relation to cannabis.

After March 6, the AGCO will consider all written comments and available information to decide whether the application for the proposed store location will be approved.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has been an advocate for retail cannabis operations. During the election campaign she said she was surprised at the resistance to retail locations in the city.

When it came to a vote at city council Councillors Shawna Stolte, Ward 4 and ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentevegna voted to not have retail outlets.


Mayor Meed Ward supports the opening of a retail cannabis site: two of the six Councillors were not n side with her.

The Mayor said: “This is the kind of location where it is appropriate for accommodating retail cannabis stores in our city. It is more than 150 metres from any school or any of the other locations of particular concern, including parks, pools, arenas, libraries or recreation centres. And it is also along transit routes and near the QEW/Hwy. 403.

She added that the city “won’t be submitting comments to the AGCO on this application given its suitability. The public can submit their comments by March 6 to the AGCO’s website. Burlington City Council is in the process of creating a task force to develop a set of standard comments we would provide to the AGCO, when applications come forward, that reflect community perspectives on where these should be located.”

Meed Ward has been appointed as one of four members of a working group at the Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), part of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, that will work to develop similar guidelines for suitable locations. The working group includes mayors of two municipalities that opted in and two that opted out of allowing cannabis retail stores, recognizing that our concerns are similar. The guidelines we create will be shared with the AGCO and our municipalities.

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Tuck, Ryerson, Pauline Johnson and Tecumseh as well as Frontenac to undergo a boundary review.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 25th 2019



The Halton District School Board (HDSB) is currently reviewing the boundaries of Frontenac Public School along with the following Ward 4 elementary schools: John T. Tuck, Pauline Johnson, Ryerson, and Tecumseh.

This review will not impact current high school boundaries. That means students currently residing in the Nelson HS catchment will continue to be directed to Nelson HS.

Paraded in a row Pauline Johnson PS

Pauline Johnson PS has a number of portable to accommodate the student population

Boundary reviews are necessary when student enrollments are imbalanced. When populations exceed school capacity, portables are necessary. When individual school populations are consistently low (under 60% utilization), school closure conversations (otherwise known as a Program Accommodation Review) can be triggered.

The school board publishes an annual report on the current and long term enrollment predictions for all schools in Halton. This report is called the Long Term Accommodation Plan

The Boundary Review Committee (BRC) consists of a superintendent, a trustee, and two parent representatives from each school in the affected communities. BRC meetings will take place at the New Street Education Centre (3250 New Street), also known as Gary Allan HS, from 7–9 p.m. on February 26, April 9, and May 14. The public is welcome to attend, as observers, at any of the BRC meetings.

The public is invited to participate in the Boundary Review Public Consultation meeting being held on April 30 at the same location and time as above. Here, the public may view the options being considered and ask questions of the HDSB staff and Boundary Review Committee members in attendance.

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AGB Spring and Summer program registration begins March 13th.

artsblue 100x100By Staff

February 23rd, 2019



We are going to get through this winter.

AGB Spring summer registrationThe people at the Art Gallery are so certain that we will they have announced “ officially “ that Spring + Summer Program Registration opens Wednesday, March 13!

You can register online at , by phone at (905) 632-7796, or in person at our Brock Lobby Front Desk!

The people who pump out the news at the AGB have said that: “If you heard that registration was starting on another date, ignore those rumours! In order to give you the best registration experience possible, we moved the time. We’re so sorry for any inconvenience this change may cause!

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Trumpeter swans take center stage at LaSalle Park on Family Day.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

February 19th, 2019



The weather was great!

Liz and ward 2

Michael Jones talks to Liz Benneian about the turnout for Family Day – it was great.

It had been a tough weekend weather-wise but it changed for Family Day and particularly for those who took the opportunity to gather at LaSalle Park and watch the Trumpeter swans and walk among them.

people swans bridge

People walked about the swans while those with impressive camera equipment were clicking away.

The swans were at one point on the very edge of extinction and in some communities they are still at risk.


At feeding time the birds cluster and poke away at the food. The birds with light brown colouring are younger birds.

But at LaSalle Park on Monday they were out there for all to see. Liz Benneian stood at the entrance telling anyone who would give her two minutes more than they ever thought they would know about the swans and the problems and victories that the Trumpeter Swan Coalition have experienced.

The Gazette sponsored a photo contest with the Coalition. There wasn’t very much in the way of lead time but at the end of the day there were more than a dozen entries with more to come.

There are some stunning pictures that will be shared once the judges have done their job.

Forever the advocate

Liz Benneian uses every opportunity she gets to tell the swan story.

The Coalition shares the waterfront space with the Marina – that relationship gets stiff from time to time. With changes on city council there appears to be a much better relationship coming to the surface.

wings up

A swan about to take flight.

The public participation was good – and the people on hand to tell the swan story were exceptionally well informed.

mate for life

They mate for life and swim around in pairs much of the time. Is there a lesson here for the rest of us?


The swans gather in a small cove at the eastern end of the waterfront park.

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What Are Snapchat Emojis And What Do They Mean

News 100 yellowBy Larisa Wong

February 18th, 2018



One of the most popular social media platforms is Snapchat. It has grow in popularity ever since launching and it is particularly a hit with young adults and teens. If you use Snapchat, then you probably see many emojis, but do you actually know what they are and what each one means? Don’t worry because the rest of this article will go into more depth about what they are and what some of them mean.

What Are Snapchat Emojis
Snapchat emojis tracks the way you and your friends on the platform interact with one another. The emojis that show up on your friends tab can be affected by various factors, such as how often you and your friend send one another snaps, the length of time you’ve been friends and other users you interact with. These are the main factors.

Think of Snapchat emojis as other emojis that are commonly used on social media sites, but they are slightly unique.

What Do They Mean
Here is what the most popular emojis mean:

baby face emojiThe Baby Face– Do you see this emoji? If so, then you’ve just added someone new to your Snapchat’s friends list. If you just joined Snapchat, then this emoji will be shown frequently. Think of the baby face emoji symbolizing that you are brand new to the site or that you have new friends on Snapchat, if that makes sense.

The Birthday Cake Emoji– If the birthday cake emoji pops up near one of your friends as you’re scrolling your list, then you can probably guess what it means. If not, it means it’s their birthday. When a person signs up to Snapchat, they provide their date of birth and on that date is when the emoji will appear near their name. Don’t forget to wish them a happy birthday if you notice this emoji near their name.

Fire– Have you been snapping with a friend for at least three days in a row? If so, then you’ll see the fire emoji on your list. The number next to the flame will represent how many days your streak is. If it’s four days, then the number for will be next to the fire emoji.

Hourglass– This emoji means that your streak is about to end with the person that it is next to. All you have to do is send them a quick snap. After you do this, your streak will continue, but do remember that chatting along won’t keep the streak going. This is why you’ll want to take snap selfies via the selfie camera.

Grimace– The grimace emoji appears when you share a best friend with the friend that the emoji is showing next to. It indicates that the person interacts quite a bit with the friend you interact with regularly. The more you interact with specific users, the more likely you’ll end up seeing the grimace emoji appearing.

smile emojiThe Smile Emoji- This emoji means the users is one of your good friends because of how frequently you interact with them. It also means they send you many snaps and so do you, but it does not indicate they are your number one best friend. The more active you are on Snapchat, the more of a chance you have of spotting this emoji.

The 100– This is one of the best emojis on Snapchat. Make sure you take a screenshot of it if you come across it because it means that you are on a huge streak. To be more specific, it means your streak with a specific person has hit the 100 day mark, which is quite impressive.

Purple Zodiac Sign– When you click on a user’s name to view their profile and you see a purple Zodiac sign near them, it means they have entered their birthday. The Zodiac symbol for that month shows up. If you ever get curious about who has entered their date of birth and what their Zodiac symbol is, then click on people’s profile.

Gold Heart- The gold heart emoji indicates that you and the person are best friends on Snapchat. It means you have sent this person many snaps and they have done the same. In fact, it means you’ve sent them the most and they’ve sent you the most.

sun glasses emojiSunglasses– The sunglasses emoji means you and the person share a close friend. A close friend does not mean they are one of your best friends, but it is a user who sends you snaps on a regular basis. Don’t be surprised to see this emoji pop up regularly as you become a more frequent user of the platform.

Now you know what Snapchat emojis are. You also have an idea of what some of them mean. With that said, if you’re not using emojis on Snapchat, then you should start.

Larisa Wong is a recognized expert on the use and meaning of emojis She works out of  the Murcia region of  Spain which borders on the Mediterranean Sea.

Related link:

More on the Snapchat people.

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Second information session on private tree bylaw to take place February 26 - bylaw becomes effective March 1st in Roseland community.

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 11th, 2019


Second information session on private tree bylaw to take place February 26 – bylaw becomes effective March 1st in Roseland community.

The City of Burlington’s second public drop-in information session on the Roseland Private Tree Bylaw pilot is set for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Central Arena’s auditorium.

The first drop in session took place at LaSalle Park, about as far away as one could get from where the impact of the bylaw is going to be felt.

The Private Tree Bylaw will come into effect on March 1, 2019, only within the Roseland community area, for two years. Later this year the city will begin the process of public engagement on the possibility of implementing a citywide private tree bylaw.

Appleby Village - trees on Pineland

These trees in the east end of the city are at the edge of land that a developer wants to put two apartment towers on – the trees would be cut down and replaced.

The pilot project aims to protect private trees with diameters larger than 30 cm, historic and rare tree species from damage or destruction.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to attend to learn more about how the bylaw will protect Burlington’s tree canopy and how it will impact their homes and businesses.

Businesses such as landscapers, pool companies, homebuilders, general contractors and tree companies are also encouraged to come and learn about the bylaw.

The first information session was held earlier in the month specifically for Roseland residents. Approximately 25 people attended the session.

Tree Guelph line close up -no name

Private property – private tree. This type of thing would not be possible under a private tree bylaw – without something in the way of consequences.

About the Private Tree Bylaw
No person can injure, destroy, cause or permit the injury or destruction of a tree with a diameter of 30cm or greater or of a tree of significance (historic or rare).

To read the full bylaw, including information on permits, exemptions and fines, visit

Examples of exemptions include:

• Trees with a diameter of less than 30cm
• For the purpose of pruning in accordance with Good Arboricultural Practices
• For emergency work
• If the tree has a high or extreme likelihood of failure and impact as verified or confirmed by an Arborist or the Manager
• If the tree is dead, as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate
• If the tree is an ash tree (due to the Emerald Ash Borer), as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate
• If a tree is within two metres of an occupied building
• For more exemptions, visit

Willow tree wood

This will tree was taken down in |Spencer Smith Park because it was thought to be diseased and in danger of falling down. No permit was needed.

A person wanting to remove a tree with a diameter larger than 30 cm or of significance can apply for a permit online by visiting

Minimum fine is $500. Maximum fine is $100,000.

Public Information Session
Residents and businesses are invited to attend an information session on the Private Tree Bylaw pilot on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Central Arena (auditorium), 519 Drury Lane, Burlington.
The session will allow residents and businesses to learn about the Private Tree Bylaw and how it will impact their homes, business and neighbourhood by speaking with city staff including members of the Forestry Department.

For those who are unable to attend, more information can be found at

In comments from the Office of the Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “I know from talking to residents that there are many people in our city who are passionate about our trees. Their benefit extends far beyond the beauty they provide. Their ability to mitigate flooding and absorb pollution is tremendous. They are a critical part of Burlington’s green infrastructure; we need to protect them and that’s what we believe this Private Tree Bylaw will accomplish.”

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry explains that: “Every tree matters. Our trees are under constant threat from climate change, weather-related storm events, invasive insects and diseases, as well as people. The benefits trees provide to all of us are critical such as air quality, shade, and carbon sequestration. We are working hard to protect trees, including encouraging preservation and replanting to restore lost canopy. It takes decades for the lost benefits of one mature tree to be replaced. Together, we can keep Burlington green and healthy which benefits us all.”

GreenUp 2017 tree plant

When large numbers of new trees have to be planted scores of volunteers show up.

There are those that are having problems accepting that the city can tell them what they can do with trees on their property. Understanding that a tree is not a person’s property but a piece of nature that they have become stewards of while they are owners of the property. As a steward their role is to do everything they can to ensure the tree is cared for and allowed to grow to its full maturity and serve the environmental needs of the wider community.

One can no longer cut down a tree just because one no longer wants to rake the leaves up in the fall.

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Family Day - the 18th - Include the Trumpeter Swans at LaSalle Park.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

February 6th, 2019



They are the largest swans in the world, native only to North America and they have made an amazing comeback from the brink of extinction. On Family Day, Monday, February 18th, come to LaSalle Park, in Burlington, to meet the Trumpeter Swans and hear their amazing story of conservation success.

Trumpeter swan - Family DayThe event will be held between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. when members of the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Group and the Trumpeter Swan Coalition will be on hand to introduce you to these magnificent birds that have fought their way back from extinction with the help of a group of dedicated volunteers. Hear the Trumpeter Swans’ amazing stories and learn more about them from the team of women who band and tag the birds.

The event will be held along the shoreline of Lasalle Park, 831 Lasalle Park Road. Booths will be set up near the boat launch. Banders and taggers will be working in the beach area. LaSalle Park is the largest over-wintering site for Trumpeter Swans in Ontario. Between 125 to 200 Trumpeters gather near the harbour from December to March.

The event is free. All ages welcome. Dogs make the Trumpeters nervous so please leave your pets at home.

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Black history a big part of Burlington's Heritage month.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 5th, 2019



February is Heritage Month in Burlington.


Empire Loyalist Union cemetery in Aldershot. The Ghent’s were a significant family when Burlington was known as Wellington Square.

The City of Burlington’s Heritage Committee has been busy planning another exciting Heritage Month, Topics and events will include Black history, First Nations, Freeman Station, Burlington architecture, movies, panel discussions, stories and more. The full calendar listing is at and

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “Great cities aren’t made overnight. Our connections to the underground railroad, First Nations, the industrial revolution and, of course, our contributions to the great wars are well documented. Thanks to the efforts of the Burlington Heritage Month Committee and Heritage Burlington, they are also becoming well-told.”

Howard Bohan, Chair, Heritage Burlington had this to say:

“We are proud to offer such interesting and diverse historical and educational opportunities. Special thanks to the Burlington Heritage Month Committee and to Martha Hemphill of the United Empire Loyalists Association for her leadership.”

Black History Month is bringing the African and Caribbean immigrant experience to this city.

Ancilla Ho Young

Ancilla Ho Young takes part in an unveiling of noted Black citizens. She is with Mayor Meed Ward and an unidentified person.

Burlington Caribbean Connection, in partnership with the City of Burlington, Halton Regional Police Service, both Halton school boards and the Halton Multicultural Council, is staging its third annual Black History Month Celebrations with two events in February.

The play Once On This Island, is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) at Nelson High School.

Once On This Island is a Caribbean version of Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of the Little Mermaid. It’s described as a colourful musical tale of love, loss and redemption performed by a group of Caribbean peasants as they wait out a violent storm.

The story tells of a young peasant girl who leaves her village in search of her love. It is the peasants’ version of what became of her, filtered through faith and imagination, music, drama, love and race.

Admission to the event is free but a donation box will be available to help fund events for next year. If you would like to attend but did not receive an invitation, call 905-332-9098 to reserve a seat, or send an e-mail to:

The Halton District School Board celebrates Black History Month as a tremendous opportunity for our students to learn more about, and for our schools to highlight, the very significant contributions Black Canadians have made to the very fabric of Canada,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

Viola ten dollar bill

The $10 bill was released by the Mint to celebrate the contribution Viola Desmond made to progress for Black people in the Maritimes. The Halton District School Board named a school after the woman

“In addition to the teaching that takes place all year, the month of February provides students even greater exposure and deeper learning into the many achievements of African Canadians. As a Board, we are so proud to have two of our elementary schools named after individuals who courageously stood up for civil rights in Canada (Viola Desmond PS) and bravely brought freedom to thousands of people escaping slavery through the Underground Railroad (James W. Hill PS).”

Some of the events taking place at Halton schools to celebrate Black History Month include:

• Robert Bateman HS (Burlington): Dwayne Morgan, a spoken word artist and motivational speaker, will visit the school on Feb. 21. He will conduct a Black History Jeopardy workshop where students can answer a series of Black History questions.

• Anne J. MacArthur PS (Milton): Students and staff will be led through a lively assembly on Feb. 5 by the organization Stay Driven, in which students and staff will learn about Black Canadian history.

• James W. Hill PS (Oakville): On Feb. 6, Inspiration Republic will host three performances at the school featuring the life stories of historical African Canadians: James W. Hill, Viola Desmond, Mary Ann Shadd, and Elijah McCoy.

• Ethel Gardiner PS (Halton Hills): On Feb. 7, Babarinde Williams will lead Grade 3-8 students and staff through a presentation about Black Canadian heroes. Kindergarten to Grade 2 students will participate in a drumming workshop, led by Williams.

Celebrating Black History Month aligns with the Equity and Well-being goals contained in the Halton District School Board’s Multi-Year Plan. The goal is to ensure every student learns in a respectful culture of high expectations that values diversity, and that students will see themselves reflected in their learning.

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Musem announces more of the program offering planned for the Brant Museum which is due to re-open this summer.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 31st, 2019



The Joseph Brant Museum will re-open this summer.

One of the three permanent galleries will feature an interactive, hands-on space designed for future engineers, mathematicians & scientists!

Museum STEAM zone

The words say it all

It will be called the STEAM Zone, which appears to be picking up on the new program being offered by the Halton District School Board that starts an iSTEM program at Aldershot High School next September.

The school board people weren’t at all sure that the public would go for the program – the first registration – information night the high school was packed.

It would appear that both the Museum and the school board are onto something.

Retainong wall for the wester side of the expanded museum

Western retaining wall in place – museum addition scheduled to open in the summer.


Architect rendering of what the renewed museum will look like.

Construction at the Museum appears to be on time and hopefully on budget.  They are going to need more in the way of staff for the program offerings – nothing much in the current 2019 budget review that is being considered by Council

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Do working seniors continue to work in the same occupation after retirement? CDH publishes a focus paper

News 100 redBy Staff

January 26th, 2019



Community Development Halton, an community agency funded in part by the Hamilton Halton United Way and the Region of Halton regularly delivers a series of research papers on issues that matter to the health and social welfare of the Region.

Community lens banner

The most recent paper focuses on the number and proportion of working seniors.

This sector of the working population continues to increase. Over one in five (22%) seniors in Halton worked at some point during 2015 compared to about 16% ten years ago (2005). The number of working seniors grew from 9,000 to 16,700, a 86% increase. Working seniors between 65 and 74 years old increased by 91%.

Do working seniors continue to work in the same occupation after retirement? Is there any difference between senior men and senior women? What are the most common occupations for working senior men and women?

Community lens male labour

For working senior men, the most popular occupation is sales and service (e.g. insurance, real estates and financial sales, retail salesperson and cleaners). About one in five (20.5%) seniors aged 65 to 74 and almost one in four (24.4%) seniors aged 75 and over are in that occupation. This occupation only accounts for 15% of older men working between 55 and 64 years of age.

Management is the most common occupation for men aged 55 to 64 years and is also a popular occupation for seniors aged 65+ (e.g. senior managers in various industries). About 17% of working senior men (65-74 years) work in trades, transport and equipment operator occupations. Many work as motor vehicle and transit drivers (e.g. taxi, limousine, bus drivers, and transport truck drivers).

For working senior women, the most popular occupation is business, finance and administration (e.g. general office workers, administrative officers, office administrative assistants – general, legal and medical). About 33% of working senior women aged 65 to 74 and 37% aged 75 and over are in that occupation. This is also the most common occupation for women between 55 and 64 years old.

Community lens Female labour

Sales and service is the next popular occupation (e.g. retail salesperson and insurance, real estates and financial sales). Almost one in three (30.4%) working senior women aged 75 and over work in this occupation.

Over one in ten working senior women are employed in education, law and social, community and government services. Many work as secondary and elementary school teachers and educational counsellors, home care providers and elementary and secondary school teacher assistants.

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Trevor Copp doesn’t just do Marceau – he has extended the art of mime.

artsorange 100x100By Pepper Parr

January 25th, 2019



The works of that famous mime artist Marcel Marceau are lost to most of us.

Copp as Marceau

Trevor Copp as Marcel Marceau

Trevor Copp is developing his skills and does an incredible Marceau performance. Copp doesn’t just do Marceau – he has extended the art of mime.

Marcel Marceau was a French actor and mime artist most famous for his stage persona as “Bip the Clown”. He referred to mime as the “art of silence”, and he performed professionally worldwide for over 60 years. He died in 2007.

Copp has picked up the art form and will be doing a performance on February 1st and 2nd at the

LIVELab ofMcMaster University; February 1 and 2 @ 7:30pm

Tix $15/$10 students. CLICK HERE for tix.

Directions/Parking Details – CLICK HERE

Copp has done this show before more than 8,000 people in the last year; audiences keep asking for more.

Reviews for TBT’s Mime Theatre

“A master of contemporary theatre….there is a sensitivity to the performance, an indefinable sense of risk taking that signals the true artist”
– Gary Smith, The Hamilton Spectator

“…inspirational cross-training for the soul… there is a deep seated need for this kind of physical art that people don’t even realize they have anymore. In the age of Netflix and downloads, return to the campfires of our primitive ancestors and feel how theatre first stirred our souls. And as a bonus, feel the incomparable magic of the man in the box bit done by someone who studied at the Marcel Marceau School in Paris and clearly knows what he’s doing.”
– Diane Lachapelle, Apt. 613 Blog

“He moves with beautiful fluency…simply too creative for words. Highly skilled….a fresh fusion between acting and modern dance”
View magazine

Searching for Marceau is the story of a budding young artist trying to make sense of his two fathers: the real one raising him and the far away Marcel Marceau. The imaginary and the real battle in this theatre/mime piece that reinvents Marcel Marceau’s Mime tradition for the 21st Century.

Some examples of a Copp performance – short clips

Movement study: a bird flapping wings.

The old standard. I still get more requests for this than anything.

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