ECoB not permitted to distribute information provided by city hall at their ward level debates.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 21st, 2018



Penny Hersh is asking:

Penny Hersh

Penny Hersh, president of ECoB

Is this what the City has come to? A grassroots citizen group is unable to provide residents with voting information?

Hersh asked the City Clerk, Angela Morgan, who is also the Returning Officer for the municipal and Board of Education elections, if she could get copies of the notices the city had on the elections and distribute them to people who attended the debates they are running in every ward of the city.

Here is the response from the city,

“Penny, Danielle (a city staff member involved in the administration of the election) forwarded your request for printed information about voting locations from city hall for distribution at the ECOB organized debates.

“As the Returning Officer for the election, I fully support community organized debates however, my role is to ensure that all events association with the City of Burlington Clerks department are completely impartial.

“I have received numerous complaints and concerns from members of the public about the ECOB, specifically that they are not impartial and the organization is vocally supporting specific candidates.

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 is also the Returning Officer for the October 22nd Municipal election.

“Given these concerns, we cannot permit the City of Burlington logo or materials to be distributed at these events. Please ask members of the public to go to our election page (address below) to get all of the information that they need to ensure they are on the list and know where to vote.”

The Gazette wonders what steps the Returning Officer took to determine if there was any truth to the information they were given.

Would the Returning Officer care to share the complaints she was given?

A video of the entire ward 5 debate is available at CLICK HERE.  The city staff running the election would be well served to watch the event and determine for themselves if ECoB is an impartial organization.

There is not a single shred of evidence to even suggest that ECoB has done anything to favour any one candidate.  The bias against ECoB at city hall is both palpable and disturbing.

Angela Morgan has provided the public with the following information.

Are you on the voters’ list?

The voters’ list contains the names, addresses and school support for each eligible voter.
Elected positions include Halton Regional Chair, Mayor and members of City Council for the City of Burlington, trustees for the Halton District School Board and Halton District Catholic School Board and Conseil scolaire Viamonde and Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir.

To see if you are on the voters’ list:
• Go to
• Call Burlington City Hall at 905-335-7600, ext. 7481
• Visit Burlington City Hall at 426 Brant St., first floor, Clerks Department, or
• Visit any branch of Burlington Public Library.

Not on the list?
You can apply to the city clerk to add your name to the voters’ list or correct your information. If your name is not on the list or your information is incorrect, you can complete an Application to Amend the Voters’ List form.

Forms are available in the Clerks Department, first floor, Burlington City Hall, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or at the voting location on voting day. Forms must be completed in person and identification that includes your name and address is required.

Voter Information Notices
Voter Information Notices have been mailed. This notice includes your Voter Identification Number and provides dates, times and locations for voting, including Internet voting.

If you are on the voters’ list for the 2018 Burlington municipal election, you should have received your Voter Information Notice by mail by Oct. 1. If you did not receive your notice, or there are errors on your notice:

• Call the City of Burlington at 905-335-7600, ext. 7481
• Email, or
• Visit Burlington City Hall, 426 Brant St., from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Ways to vote

Voters have options for how, where and when to vot for the Oct. 22 election.
Online Registration and Voting (Oct. 1 – Oct. 17):
• Anytime
• Have access to the Internet? If yes, vote online from anywhere
• Use your Voter Information Notice (VIN) to register and vote at

Advance Voting (Oct. 13 and 17):
• 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
• Oct. 13, Mapleview Shopping Centre-food court, 900 Maple Ave.
• Oct. 17, Mapleview Shopping Centre-food court, 900 Maple Ave.
• Oct. 17, Tansley Woods Community Centre- community rooms 1 and 2, 1996 Itabashi Way

Election Day (Oct. 22):
• 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
• NEW in 2018 – Vote Anywhere your Ward
• Vote at any of the four locations in your ward.

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Halton public school board students are getting better math test results.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 20th, 2018



Today the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released results showing Halton District School Board (HDSB) students perform above the province in Grade 9 Academic and Applied Mathematics, and on the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).

Math infographicThe successful completion of the OSSLT is a requirement for graduation. These results are based on assessments completed in the 2017-2018 school year and show that HDSB students are well above the provincial standard (Level 3 & 4, or a B grade or above).

For Grade 9 Math, there are different assessments for students in the academic and applied courses. The Grade 9 Academic Math assessment results decreased by one percentage point to 91% – they remain above the provincial average of 84%.

There were 3,597 students enrolled in the Academic Math course in 2017-2018.

For the 616 students in Grade 9 Applied Math, results increased from 52% to 54% this year. This is nine percentage points above the provincial average of 45%.

The OSSLT results for 2017-2018 were also released today.

The HDSB’s success rate for students writing the test for the first time decreased by two percentage points from last year to 85%. This is similar to the drop in the provincial average from 81% to 79%. The overall results for the OSSLT demonstrate that students in the Halton District School Board continue to have strong literacy skills.

Boag DavidDavid Boag, Associate Director for the Halton District School Board said: “Last year, the Halton District School Board implemented a new Math strategy and this strategy is bearing positive results. We will continue to ensure math and literacy remain core areas of interest and focus as we continue to support all of our students.”

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Lisa Bull gives her side of the story on the Steve Cussons opinion piece.

opinionviolet 100x100By Lisa Bull

September 18th, 2018



Hello All – As the “accused” in the article that is linked below (and another PAR “expert” and Committee member) I thought it only fair that I have a chance to respond. Not that I expect to change any minds that have been made up about what “really” happened but to share my perspective. As most intelligent adults know, there are always multiple sides to every story and there is no such thing as a “true” account. Accounts can only represent the perspective of the person sharing them. So – here’s mine.

PAR banner

Collard and Miller

Ward 5 trustee Amy Collard giving Director of Education Stuart Miller the evil eye.

As anyone who followed the PAR process knows it was wrought with conflict, misinformation and confusion from the start. And, this continued right until the night of the final vote to determine which, if any schools in Burlington would be closed. The tension of the night was palpable – it was clearly felt by the Trustees and all of us who attended in the gallery. I came to the evening hopeful. I knew that our Trustee – Amy Collard – was planning on bringing forward a motion to introduce some alternate solutions to closing Robert Bateman (the full motion is posted on the Save Bateman Facebook site) I – like many of the community members were hopeful that the other Trustees might be willing to give this motion a chance. Ms Collard had shared her planned motion with her colleagues in advance of the meeting so they knew it was coming.

I thought her brave, innovative and courageous for wanting to try AGAIN to look at another option other than closing a school. However, it became clear very quickly that none of the other Trustees were interested in this. Much confusion began to take place as ms Collard tried to introduce her motion. The Chair was incredibly rude to Ms Collard during this process and other Trustees – including Leah Reynolds appeared to be working hard to vote against Ms Collard’s right to be even being able to introduce the motion. All of this can be seen on the video tape of the evening. As I sat with a friend and fellow Bateman parent – in awe of what was going on in front of us – we noticed that Councillor Meed Ward was furiously typing away on her I-Pad in front of us. She was making no attempt to shield her notes and we weren’t standing our our chairs or peering over her shoulder to read.

What she was writing was clear as day and right in front of us. Was she saying “CLOSE BATEMAN?”. Of course not.

But, what she appeared to be doing was providing very directive advice to Ms Reynold on how to stop Amy Collard’s ability to make a motion and then to stop the motion itself. At first, my friend and I couldn’t believe what we were reading.

While the photos posted on social media were a bit blurry, the messages we read Councillor Meed Ward typing were perfectly clear. They included:

Reynolds with Roberts rules

Was trustee Leah Reynolds getting instructions from PARC member and ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward. The evidence suggest that might have been the case.

” DON’T VOTE IN FAVOR! “(caps on in original) Let it go – done your job”

“Do not support (uphold) the Chair’s ruling to allow the amendment”

“Okay – you have done your job”

I still have the photos and am happy to share if someone wants to invest time in having them enhanced.

Maybe I’ll be proven wrong?

However, from our perspective, it appeared very clear that Councillor Meed Ward was a/ telling Ms Reynolds how to act, vote and speak and b/ that she was attempting to influence the outcome of a critical Board vote.

In my experience as a member of the PAR Committee I’d tried at least once to collaborate on an effort to stop all school closures. I’d tried to bring the whole Committee together to write a letter to the Provincial government as a group and while most all of the other school reps agreed to this, Ms Ward and the other rep from Central waited until the last minute and then decided not to work together with the Committee.

This lead me to believe that Councillor Meed Ward was focused solely on keeping Central open and had no interest in working with others to keep all schools open.

MMW typing

Marianne Meed Ward at her iPad.

I add this only to explain that I had every reason to believe that Ms Meed Ward was working with Ms Reynolds to shut down any attempt to save Bateman from closure.

Was I right in my assessment on the night of the vote? Councillor Meed Ward argues that I was not, She argues that she was merely trying to help Ms Reynold navigate Robert’s Rules. I can tell you that from what I saw, her notes appeared to go far beyond this. I suspect that the full “truth” will never be known.

I made the decision to share this information publically because I was shocked by what I saw. As someone who lives in Ward Two I was already incredibly disappointed in Ms Reynolds decision to go back on her campaign promise of “Close No Schools” and felt that the communication between her and Councillor Meed Ward was unacceptable.

I know that Councillor Meed Ward has a small but strong core of avid supporters who will defend her and her conduct until the end. And, in our democratic society they will soon have their right to show that support by voting for her. I, on the other hand, will show my support for leaders who I believe have demonstrated a commitment and a willingness to support to ALL citizens of Burlington.

Packed - it was that packed

Lisa Bull in the purple scarf – Steve Cussons is to her left – short grey hair at a packed public meeting on the closing of two of the city’s two high schools.

One final thought for you all. I’m currently dealing with a serious health issue. And, while all of the activity around PAR and the election seemed so important and so critical months ago and inspired so much passion, rage and anger I am learning – unfortunately the hard way – that these issues, while are important, are certainly not the most important things in life.

So I leave this discussion by genuinely wishing everyone all the best.




Related opinion piece:

The opinion piece Lisa Bull is responding to.

Meed Ward and Reynolds 2014 election nightEditor’s note:  The Gazette did ask Meed Ward for a copy of all the notes that were sent from her to trustee Leah Reynolds.  There was no response.  We are in the process of getting all the photographs taken and having them enhanced so that what was photographed can be seen by the public.

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Send the kids to Spy School on the October 5th PA day.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 19th, 2018



The next P.A. Day Camp being put on by the Museums of Burlington is on October 5

Spy school theme MuseumsThe theme is a “Spy School”

Space is limited.

Reserve your spot online or call 905.332.9888 and ask to speak with one of our Educators.

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Burlington READS - a library program you won't want to miss

eventspink 100x100By Staff

September 19th, 2018



Burlington READS is an author & book talk series that runs in the fall and spring. The library features three celebrated and thought-provoking Canadian books and invite local readers to come together to meet the authors and discuss the titles. Presented in partnership with A Different Drummer Books and Art Gallery of Burlington

Meet the Author: Tim Cook, Vimy: The Battle and the Legend – SOLD OUT

We mention this event to give you a sense of the quality of the programs being put on by the library.

Date: Wed September 19
Time: 7-8.30pm
Place: Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Room, 1333 Lakeshore Road

Tim Cook talks about Vimy: The Battle and the Legend, and his 10th and newest book released on Sep 18, The Secret History of Soldiers: How Canadians Survived the Great War.

A bold new telling of the defining battle of the Great War, and how it came to signify and solidify Canada’s national identity. Tim Cook, Canada’s foremost military historian and a Charles Taylor Prize winner, explores why the battle continues to resonate with Canadians a century later. Vimy is a fitting tribute to those who fought the country’s defining battle. It is also a stirring account of Canadian identity and memory, told by a masterful storyteller. (excerpted from

Meet the Author: Plum Johnson, They Left Us Everything

Date: Tue October 23
Time: 7-8.30pm
Place: Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Room, 1333 Lakeshore Road

They left us everything COVERAbout the book
After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents, author Plum Johnson and her three brothers have finally fallen to their middle-aged knees with conflicted feelings of grief and relief. Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home. Plum thought: How tough will that be? I know how to buy garbage bags. But the task turns out to be much harder and more rewarding than she ever imagined. They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past, and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future. (excerpted from

Meet the Author: Tom Wilson, Beautiful Scars: Steeltown Secrets, Mohawk Skywalkers, and the Road Home

Date: Sun December 9
Time: 2-4pm
Place: Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Room, 1333 Lakeshore Road

Steeltown book coverAbout the book
Raised in the rough-and-tumble world of Hamilton, for decades Tom Wilson carved out a life for himself in shadows. He built an international music career and became a father, he battled demons and addiction, and he waited, hoping for family secrets and lies to cease and the truth to emerge. It would. And when it did, it would sweep up the St. Lawrence River to the Mohawk reserves of Quebec, on to the heights of the Manhattan skyline. Tom writes with unflinching honesty and extraordinary compassion about his search for the truth. It’s a story about scars, about the ones that hurt us, and the ones that make us who we are.

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Burlington Green to hold a debate for Mayoralty candidates - Schnurr to moderate.

News 100 greenBy Staff

September 119th, 2018



Burlington Green asks you to mark the date for the Municipal Election All-Candidates Event on October 3, 2018

BG Our VoiceThey will be hosting an All-Candidates Event and Mayoral Candidates Debate in partnership with Nuvo Network ahead of the Municipal Election. The event will be held on Event Wednesday, October 3, 2018 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Nuvo Network, located at 1295 North Service Road, Burlington – at the Intersection of Kerns Road.

BurlingtonGreen Executive Director Amy Schnurr with the bike Mountain Equipment Coop donated to the drive to get votes to win as much of the Jamieson Vitamins Call for the Wild Contest. There was $100,000 to be divided between five organizations.

BurlingtonGreen Executive Director Amy Schnurr will moderate the Burlington Green Mayoralty debate.

The format of the event is a Mayoral Candidates Debate that will be moderated by Amy Schnurr

There will also be an opportunity for the ward candidates to engage and interact with the crowd before the debate Mayoralty debate takes place.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman, who has said he will not take place in the debate to be held in his ward this evening but that he would take place in the Burlington Green debate.

Problem with that is there is no debate for the ward level candidates – which Councillor Sharman knew.

Burlington Green asks that: “If there is a local environmental issue that concerns you that requires immediate attention, please let us know. Or, if you are someone with an interest in environmental issues who likes to follow local politics, we can use your help and invite you to learn more about our volunteer Advocacy Team.

The Mayoralty debate is part of Burlington Green’s Advocacy initiative. Working under the tag line Our Voice the environmental group sets out subjects they have focused on.

Protect Burlington’s Trees
Plan Effective Transit
Preserve Greenspace
Conserve Natural Habitat
Trumpeter Swans
Save Farmland

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An open letter to Burlington Residents regarding incorrect info being promoted about Marianne Meed Ward & Leah Reynolds regarding school closures in Burlington.

opinionred 100x100By Steve Cussons

September 17th, 2018



With the Municipal Election looming and the volume of untruths in this election I find myself compelled to present my expert opinion on this issue. I say expert as I was a very active member of the PARC representing Aldershot HS and community and attended every single meeting including those at the Board after the vote was made.

The first untruth is that Marianne Meed Ward had an unfair influence during the par process because of her position as Councillor. I can emphatically state the she had no more influence than myself and the other 12 community members of the PARC. In fact her professionalism added important value to an otherwise difficult process. More importantly the committee as a whole had no real power in the whole process other than to provide recommendations to Board.

PARC with options on the walls

Members of the Halton District School Board PARC committee meeting in a formal session.

Unlike some committee members Marianne always kept her composure even when being attacked by fellow committee members. She was elected by the school council where her children attend just like six other members that were put on the committee. Marianne disclosed up front to the Board of her role as Councillor in the city and was told she was still quite welcome to join the committee. The other seven community members like myself were randomly chosen by the Board as we had put our names in the hat to be part of the PARC. Our mandate was to represent our respective communities and to bring forward to the committee ideas comments and concerns of our respective communities. I know each of us did exactly that, no more no less and this included reasons for not closing schools and reasons for closing various schools.

Many members put forth recommendations to close schools other than their own based on feedback from their community. So to suggest that Marianne had any more ability to move a certain objective forward than any of the other members is just plain false.

MMW typing

PARC member Marianne Meed Ward typing on her computer.

The other major untruth being circulated for months and I believe will be ramped us as the election draws closer is that on June 07 the night of the final vote to close Bateman &Lester B Pearson Marianne Meed Ward and Trustee Leah Reynolds colluded to help close Bateman. This is an outright lie and I am an expert as I sat beside Marianne that evening and was in discussion with her about the motion on floor which had nothing to do with the vote to close Bateman but a different motion all together.

The rules were so uncertain that not only did the board require some guidance from legal counsel and then actually had to go in. private session to try and sort out the protocol.

Marianne provided Trustee Reynolds with her interpretation of the ruling as she saw it as Trustee Reynolds was an active participant in the motion. What bothers me more is that Lisa Bull the PARC Representative sitting right behind Marianne and myself took the totally unethical first step of capturing images of Marianne’s private laptop screen she was using to capture the texting.

Reynolds with Roberts rules

Leah Reynolds being observed by HDSB vice chair Kim

Then to take it one step further posts it on social media suggesting the conversation was about how to vote to close Bateman and plying Trustee Reynolds with direction. I am appalled the a fellow member would stoop to such low and yet the media has never question the ethics of this. I have a timestamp of the moment the images were snapped and they were at least an hour before the vote to close Bateman.

It was confirmed that all the Trustees that evening were receiving mobile communications from constituents and others for various reasons and I input and this was a normal practice allowed at these meetings. The fact they needed very specific lawyers experts in procedural matters to assist in deciphering what the was the correct process and then have to go into private session should be obvious why someone like Marianne with years of this type of process being City Council would be stepping in to assist Trustee Leah as she happened to be the Trustee in the ward she represents on City Council and the Trustee of the school where her children attended.

Lisa Bull shocked

Lisa Bull

There was no collusion but there was certainly unethical behaviour by Lisa Bull a fellow PARC member and then to be exaggerated and pushed as truth in social media by many others in the community unhappy with the decisions.

In summary it is sad that we have had to close to schools but to defame individuals that continually put out an earnest effort to help our communities in so many ways is so wrong. I am not running for any office, my school did not close but I pride myself in ethical behaviour and will stand up when I factually know untruths are being made to hurt others I respect.

I am ready to debate any one on the facts of the PARC process and the specific night of the vote to close two schools.


Steve Cussons AldershotSteve Cussons is an Aldershot resident and a business man who operates a modern printing company..

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Public school board to host a human rights symposium in December; nationally recognized and respected indigenous leaders to take part.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 12th, 2018



The Halton District School Board is proud to be hosting a Human Rights Symposium this year to bring together educational and community partners to engage in vital conversations focused on Indigenous Rights and the current realities faced by Indigenous Peoples. The Symposium will take place on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre (3063 South Service Rd., Burlington).



Jesse Wente


Susan Aglukark

A full day of learning is planned with breakout sessions. The symposium is highlighted by two keynote speakers – Canadian singer songwriter Susan Aglukark, followed by CBC broadcaster, film and pop culture critic Jesse Wente. An agenda and list of workshop presenters can be viewed here.

Registration for the Human Rights Symposium opens Tuesday, September 11, 2018. Registration includes breakfast, lunch, keynotes and workshops. To register now, click here.

blankets - all the land

A blanket ceremony done by Nelson high school students. The ceremony is a powerful depiction of the shrinking land mass that the First Nations used to have,

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Human Rights is the work and responsibility of all members of society,” says Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education for the Halton District School Board. “As such, we’re looking forward to bringing educators and community partners together to listen and engage in focused learning about Indigenous rights and actions to move us forward in a good way.”

“The Halton District School Board recognizes the importance of engaging in vital conversations to challenge our thinking,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “The Human Rights Symposium provides an opportunity for community partners to gather together to examine important issues connected with implementing the National Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action.”

For event details or support with the registration process, please email

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Applefest; a family event that celebrates the end of the harvest season takes place at Ireland House this weekend.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

September 11th, 2018



There is that fall festival hymn:

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;

farnfest tractor + stage

Loads of things for the younger ones to do.

Burlington’s rural roots made farming a part of our DNA. The folks at Ireland House do an annual event that takes a stab at experiencing the tradition this Sunday, September 16, 11 am to 4 pm.

Meet baby farm animals (bunnies, goats, ducklings & chicks!)

Burlington Horticultural Society – make a fall floral arrangement in a mason jar

Fallfest hay maze

The hay maze is a challenge – hopefully someone explains where the hay came from and what farmers do with it.

Face painting

Children’s crafts

Fair-style games: can stacking, ring toss, horseshoes

Historic house tours and demonstrations

Hay maze

Pony rides

Vendors’ market

Main stage entertainment

Applefest Fall Fair is part of the Museums of Burlington program that takes place with the assistance of  many volunteers.

Admission is FREE, courtesy of our sponsor, The Rocca Sisters Team.

Parking is available at MM Robinson High School, 2425 Upper Middle Road.

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Ben - a Nelson Youth Centre success story.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 6th, 2018



The staff at the Nelson Youth Centre tell the story about Ben, a young boy who was rapidly losing his way.

He was 13 years old with a long history of failures when he came to the Centre. He was very angry and defensive and was not about to trust anyone. Ben had no friends and too many people had let him down in his young life. In addition, his teachers and school were not feeling hopeful that he would be able to continue in the main stream. His mom loved her son but was at loss on how to help him. We knew that Ben desperately wanted to fit in and have a friend of his own but lacked the skills and confidence to make this happen.

Over time while attending the program and with the support of the Centre’s staff Ben was able to figure out who he was and what he wanted. Ben found his voice. During the 6 months he was in the program, Ben began to connect with his peers and express himself in a healthy and socially acceptable way. He was also able to connect with his teacher in a way that allowed him to benefit from the learning environment. He was finding hope and a place for himself in this world.

Ben was given the task of mentoring new children coming into the program; he now had a purpose and a way to share with others what he had learned about himself and what he needed to be successful. He successfully graduated from the Centre’s program and was unrecognizable as the boy who first came to our door. Ben was now seen as a leader in school, had multiplied his friends, and was moving in a positive direction.

A year later, in high school, Ben returned to the Centre as a volunteer. Nelson Youth Centres had made such a difference in his life, connecting him to school, family and friends he wanted to pay it forward. Ben was able to help others a see a future as bright as own!

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Nelson Youth Centre celebrates 40 years of working with youth in the community.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 6th, 2018



It was forty years ago when Ron Gardner founded the Nelson Youth Centre.

It has been serving the children and youth ages 6 to 18 in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills.
Nelson Youth Centres is an accredited children’s mental health centre.

The occasion is being celebrated with a party on September 15, 2018, 10:30 to 3:00 at our home base on New Street.

Current and Past Board Members will be taking part; they include Burlington philanthropist Susan Busby (retired school principal), Chris Lawson (Halton Regional Police Services), Martin Venema (Sr Director RBC), Ron Gardner (Founder, Funding Innovations). Activities for the day include tours of the newly renovated building.

Nelson house from air

The Nelson Youth Centre on New Street in Burlington,

Nelson Youth Centers started out in a community room in Port Nelson United Church in 1978. The Church provided a space to turn our vision into reality for youth and children in our community. In 1982 with the support of the City of Burlington Nelson Youth Centres moved into our current home on New Street, where they are able to offer group therapy. The Centre has developed an After School Treatment Program.

Cincy McClure Nelson YouthOver the next 40 years and with the generous and ongoing support of our community, the Centre expects to expand their services. The Centre now has thirteen full time staff members.

Every year, the Centre changes the lives of over 300 children.

Nelson Youth Centers started out in a community room in Port Nelson United Church in 1978. The Church provided a space to turn the vision into reality for youth and children in our community. In 1982 with the support of the City of Burlington Nelson Youth Centers moved into their current home on New Street.


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Award winning author to speak about how Canadian soldiers survived the first World War.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 6th, 2018



Different Drummer books is sponsoring Tim Cook, multiple award winning, nationally revered historian and author The Secret History of Soldiers, How Canadians Survived The Great War on Wednesday September 19 7pm at Art Gallery of Burlington

Tim Cook - Secret history poster

Dr. Cook will discuss The Secret History of Soldiers in a riveting presentation in the Shoreline Room at The Art Gallery of Burlington on Wednesday September 19 at 7pm.

Admission is free, but space is limited–please register for the event at this link or by contacting us at (905) 639 0925 or

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Interactive Maps and Open Data services not available Sept. 6-7, 2018

notices100x100By Staff

September 5th, 2018



The city is upgrading the mapping and open data technology application.

You will not be able to  upgrade, interactive maps and open data will not be available on Thursday, Sept. 6 and Friday, Sept. 7.

These services will be available again on Saturday, September 8.


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Concerns over the quality of the drinking water at local schools are nothing to worry about: The Board has a policy to ensure that the water is safe and they keep parents informed.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 5, 2018



A Gazette reader advised us that parents were getting notices about the amount of lead in the water in Halton Board of Education schools.

We asked Director of Education Stuart Miller the following questions:

What’s with the lead in the water at MMR?

How bad is it?

When did the Board learn about it?

What is the Board doing about it?

The Board of Education has it all under control.

David Boag, Associate Director of Education told that Gazette that lead testing occurs throughout the school year in all our schools.

Boag David

David Boag, Associate Director of Education at the Halton District School Board

In each school testing occurs at several locations (different fixtures) within the school. This testing occurred this summer and in some schools, lead concentrations were above allowable limits. Where this occurs, we inform families. This often occurs in the summer when water is allowed to sit in pipes and our regular flushing routine is not in effect at many sites.

Wherever there is a lead exceedacne, flushing occurs and the water is tested again. If the fixture where the test was done does not pass after flushing, the fixture is taken out of service and further maintenance or replacement occurrs.

All other locations must achieve a passing test for the fixture to be put back in service. Prior to school coming back for September we resume our daily water flushing to ensure water quality for staff and students in our schools.

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks requires all sites to be tested annually between May and October. The Halton District School Board hires an independent, certified third-party to gather water samples and send to a certified laboratory to perform the analysis. Under the regulation, if an exceedance is detected, the lab is required to inform the Ministry of Environment Spills Action Centre, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Halton Region Public Health Department, the Ministry of Education and the school board.

If a fixture’s standing sample laboratory test results indicate an unacceptable concentration of lead and the flushed sample shows acceptable lead concentration levels, staff at the school perform a five-minute daily flush of every water line, and a ten-second flush at every fixture before school starts. This ensures the standing water condition does not occur. If a fixture’s flushed sample laboratory test results indicate an unacceptable concentration of lead, water supply to the fixture is shut off.


Pure clear water – tested regularly

The water supply is not turned back on until two consecutive tests are conducted and the results show the lead concentration within the water is safe to drink. Adjacent water fixtures are also tested to ensure the issue is not present within the supplying water line. If subsequent test results show unacceptable concentration levels, the fixture is either removed entirely or replaced and retested. In the event that there has been an exceedance, flushing will occur daily for a period of two years as a precaution. This applies to both standing and flush test results.

The drinking water at schools within the Halton District School Board follows stringent water testing in accordance with Ontario Regulation 243/07 and under the direction of the Ministry the Environment, Conservation and Parks. All sampling, testing and any remediation is completed before school commences to ensure the health and safety of students.

They’ve got this one under control.

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MM Robinson high school opens for the former Pearson high school students - a lot of effort was put into making the integration work.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 4th, 2018



They will stream into the school by the hundreds.

The changes to the outer appearance of M. M. Robinson will be noted and the students transferring in from Lester b. Pearson high school will settle into their new surroundings.

New cladding roof MMR

M. M. Robinson high school being “spruced up”.

The building was looking a little worn – it was time to spruce the place up a bit. Some of the work was done during the summer- the balance will get done before the end of the year.

Getting to this point has been a huge task that pulled on most of the resources that exist at the senior levels of the Halton District School Board.

Blackwell +

Superintendent Terri Blackwell talking to Pearson high school during the formal school closing.

Several of the Superintendents were on call; Terri Blackwell was leading the drive to ensure that Pearson fit into MMR perfectly; that every possible and reasonable need was met.

Many of the teachers from Pearson came over with the students.

The closing of Pearson was contentious and might well result in at least two of the trustees losing their seats in the October municipal election.

School closing are not the concern of Claire Proteau, the principal at M.M. Robinson high school. Her job is to make the school work and ensure that each student gets the education they need and deserve.

She brings both an eclectic and colourful background to the task. She is not your cookie cutter idea of a principal. Very very hands on with an understanding that students today are different and that the world they are going into is equally different.

Claire outside the school

Claire Proteau stands outside her high school while students take part in a program run by the Halton police.

Claire graduated from high school and went to a community college because, as she put it, her marks were not good enough to get into university. She studied behavioural sciences at community college and went to teachers college as a mature student.

Claire treats her students as young adults and works with them at whatever level they are at. She has bounced around the Halton District School Board and worked in some challenging situations. She was at the Syl Apps Youth Centre, a 48-bed, Secure Residential Forensic Mental Health Facility for Ontario male and female youth. The Halton District School Board provides the educational component.

That job pulled on Claire’s experience in the federal correctional service – penitentiaries – where she found the inmates to be people she could work with. “It was the custodial staff – guards – that I couldn’t take. It wasn’t where I wanted my career to begin and end.”

Life in Kingston came to an end – Claire and the family moved to Burlington where she joined the Halton District School board.

She was on staff at Bateman when the Elgin/Brock students were integrated into the new school.

She worked at Central high school where she was a vice principal.

The opportunity to move to MM Robinson was too good for Claire to miss – she asked for the job and got it.

That’s when the challenges began – integrating several hundred students from Pearson which was a very small school. They are coming into a school that you can actually get lost in. It is the largest high school in the HDSB system.

It is a composite school – offers everything.

It has a student body that is defined by the part of the city they live in; north of the QEW east of Tyendaga. Middle class families in a quiet neighbourhood.

MMR has two vice principals, 50 teachers and 26 educational assistants.

There is a Community Pathway Program at MMR that is visible, the CPP students are fully integrated.
Students who have mobility challenges are helped by other students. While it is a big school with a large student population everyone seems to know everyone else.

Proteau at desk

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

There is a very healthy relationship between the student body and the Pathway program. It’s one big family.
The administration offices are on the second level of the school with an awkward set of stairs that gets you to that space. There is a small gallery, almost a balcony that let’s Claire look out over the gathering area inside the front doors where the students meet and lounge around.

The gallery area let’s Claire see what is going on – she has a very keen eye. Is there a principal that doesn’t have eyes in the back of their head?

A high school is a big operational challenge. Young people finding themselves, figuring out who they are and what they think they want to be is a big task in itself.

Every year new students arrive and go through that process of fitting in.

This year the Pearson students are added to the mix.

Given the discord that surrounded the decision to close Pearson and moving students from a small school to a really big school adds to the challenge.

How do you make that work?

The prep that was done to get to this point was huge. Pearson students visited the high school many times; parents met with MMR staff – every question asked had to get a satisfactory answer; the students and the parents had to know that Pearson students were going to a new home that would include their character and values.

Two of the Boards Superintendents were assigned to ensuring that everything went smoothly.

statue outside MMR

MM Robinson high school is the only one in the city with formal art work at the entrance to the school.

Claire decided that the Student Theatre should be renamed and called the Pearson Theatre. Some students objected – Claire asked them what the name of the Theatre was now – they weren’t able to tell her. The theatre is on the left hand side of the main lobby just inside the entrance doors to the school. Pearson students will know the moment they walk into the building that part of their heritage has been transferred to MMR.

The new home for the Pearson crowd is a lot different than the small school they left; it is bigger, offers far more in the way of program and has its own culture.

The MMR space is organized as hallways; there is the French hallway – the space where the French classes take place, a hallway for English, Math, science, phys ed, the arts.

Students move from hallway to hallway – they meet with their friends who are taking math in that part of the school and meet with their friends in the phys ed hallway.

It’s a little different – but it works.

Two students were assigned the task of taking a Gazette reporter on a tour. We asked that students handle the tour – it was their school and we wanted their take on the place.

Group of students MMR

Students catching up on what’s going on in the school lobby.

We went from classroom to classroom: the phys ed set up is great; the photography class still uses film, they recycle the silver that is part of the celluloid. The money earned from the sale of the silver is rolled back into a fund that is used to purchase new equipment.

The automotive shop had just as many females as males in it.

Claire has worked to ensure that the school was not a collection of silos – with one group having no idea what another group was doing.

Her approach was to run a school that was as open as she could make it; as much a school that was totally focused on students – a place teachers come to each day to serve and meet the needs of the students.

Not always easy – something every parent can attest to.

The Angela Coughlan Pool is attached to the school and used by the school but is more a city facility that the school makes extensive use of.

Noted was that the high school does not seem to have a stellar swimming team. Nor does it have a student council.

Claire walkin cones in lobby

Students taking part in a police class where they learn what the influence of substances does to their ability to drive a vehicle. Principal Proteau take part

Discipline is always a problem in a high school setting – one could well expect Claire to be a very strong disciplinarian – she isn’t. She is a strong believer in second chances – and third chances if that is appropriate. She is there to listen to the students and understand where they are coming from and what they are dealing with.

Rules are necessary but Claire doesn’t treat them as the end all and be all.

She has a sense of humour and is there to be approached and engaged by her students – and her staff.
Some members of the staff chaff a little at Claire’s approach – but they too adapt or they look for a situation that better meets their approach to teaching high school students.

Claire waving in courtyard

Claire Proteau in the courtyard waving to students. A lot is riding on how well the Board of Education staff have prepared for the integration of the former Pearson high school students.

Will it work? It will work, if only because of the commitment Claire and her staff have made to merging the two student bodies. MMR isn’t Pearson but part of the heart and soul of Pearson will be in the building and the students that graduate will be the

Closing a school is never easy for the Board administration, always difficult for parents and hard for some students to understand.

Claire Proteau is doing what has to be done to make it work. You can bet on this one.

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Fibre content - an art form on display at the Art Gallery.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 3rd, 2018



The Art Gallery of Burlington is hosting Fibre Content: a community event that features the best of contemporary Canadian Fibre Art.

Event logoShowcasing works in fabric, paper, yarn, thread and mixed media materials, the goal is to raise the profile, awareness and acceptance of Fibre Art as an art form.

The event takes place from Saturday September 8 through to Saturday September 15


Floating in Blue – Triptych, Gunnel Hag




Spring Thaw, Tracey Lawko

One Stitch at a Time
Lecture by Tracey Lawko | 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Her Enduring Love of Surface Design
Lecture by Gunnel Hag | 2 to 4 PM

Playful Abstract Creations
Workshop with Albert Cote | 2 to 4 PM


How I Do What I Do – When I Don’t Know What I’m Doing
Lecture by Mita Giacomini | 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Her Unique Use of Wash-Away Water Soluble Film
Lecture by Pat Hertzberg | 2 to 4 PM

Eco Printing on Paper and Rust / Tannin
Workshop with Chandra Rice | 2 to 4 PM


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Provincial government wants your views on how effective and efficient the programs they deliver really are.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 3rd, 2018



The Government of Ontario is going to the people for their views on government programs – they want to make the programs in place more efficient and effective.

Queens ParkCalled a Consultation the document is on-line and requires about 15 minutes to complete.

The government has said they will report back on what they heard during the consultation in fall 2018.
Closing date: September 21, 2018

The Ontario government provides a wide variety of programs and services for Ontario residents, businesses and organizations directly or through service partners or third-party service providers.

They want to know, based on your experience, how effective are the government programs and services.

CLICK HERE to get to the survey.

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64,000 students, 6,507 teachers will be back in public schools on Tuesday.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 31st, 2018



The Halton District School Board will be welcoming approximately 64,000 Kindergarten to Grade 12 students on the first day of school on Tuesday.

The Board’s 6,507 teachers, 3,117 non-teaching and support staff, and 222 principals and vice-principals are outfitting classrooms, tending to sports fields, polishing floors, cleaning buildings and organizing schedules to prepare schools for another productive and memorable school year.

New cladding roof MMR

New cladding on the sides of the high school and repairs to the roof are part of the work done at MMR during the summer.

The controversial transferring of Lester B Pearson students to M.M. Robinson High School starts on Tuesday as well. During the summer, MMR underwent some renovations to improve the educational experience for all students as the two schools merge into one community. The school’s Community Pathways Program (CPP) space has been re-constructed, new locker bays installed throughout the building, the theatre’s facade re-designed and renamed the Lester B. Pearson Community Theatre and new cladding added to part of the outdoor front facade, in addition to other improvements.

Students, staff and parents/guardians will also walk into many other Halton schools that underwent various renovations and upgrades this summer. Approximately $25 million worth of construction projects were completed at dozens of elementary and secondary schools. Work included roofing improvements, ventilation, new entranceways, windows, doors, flooring and washrooms, and more.

Over the summer, the HDSB transitioned to a new Student Absence Reporting system called SchoolMessenger. Families can register for SchoolMessenger through the website ( or the HDSB Mobile App. Resources and training videos to support parents/guardians with the transition to SchoolMessenger are available on the HDSB website ( by searching “SchoolMessenger”.

This new system enables parents/guardians to receive app notifications, text messages, emails and phone calls from schools and the HDSB. Families will now be able to report absences for their child using the HDSB Mobile App, the SchoolMessenger website or a toll-free phone number.

The HDSB Mobile App, rolled out earlier this year, consolidates important information for parents/guardians and students into one easy-to-access location. Report absences, receive school and Board news, social media and calendars all in one place. The HDSB Mobile App is available for download on the App Store and Google Play by searching “HDSB”.

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A strong, direct statement on what one citizen feels is wrong with city hall as people begin to think about who the next city Councillors should be.

opinionred 100x100By Stephen White

August 28th, 2018



The Burlington Community Engagement Charter is not the Ten Commandments, and the last time I checked James Ridge was not Moses. Uttering a collection of sanctimonious pronouncements and expecting that suddenly things will change for the better or be done differently is not only naive but is foolhardy and absurd in the extreme.

Real engagement is not about a slick website with colourful pictures, or pretty PowerPoint presentations, or holding public meetings feigning interest while citizens rail on about the latest development proposal desecrating neighbourhoods. It is about real communication based on a respect for and an appreciation of the benefits that come from joint problem-solving, articulation of divergent viewpoints, and the search for viable solutions. Most importantly, it is a dialogue and sharing amongst equals.

The city holds budget review meetings that draw 50 people sometimes - seldom more. Putting questions about the budget on line and letting a panel of 5,000 people respond would give city hall a much bigger picture. They may not like the response they get - then what do they do?

Citizens at a budget meeting, reviewing a budget that has already been decided on. White wants that to change to a process that involves public input before the budget is cast in stone.

What we have in Burlington is a power imbalance that works for the benefit of a few against the interests of many. We have a Mayor who has really proven powerless to lead over the past four years, and who keeps trying to appease everyone with platitudes but really ends up pleasing no one. We have a Council who, despite multiple appeals and admonitions to the contrary over the past two years. has pushed their bloody-minded OP and Mobility Hubs agenda over the objections and against the wishes of residents.

All of this has played out against a backdrop of the business community, supported by the Chamber of Commerce and developers, who keep telling us, figuratively at least, to just shut up and drink the Kool-Aid, and whose grandiose promises extolling the virtues of development are over hyped while the negative externalities (e.g. traffic congestion, too few parking spaces, lack of green spaces, etc.) are dramatically under-reported. And watching it all from the sidelines are municipal public servants whose contribution to this circus performance is to continually prattle on about how we all need to “Grow Bold” and “intensify” while producing copious amounts of communications drivel intended to mollify an increasingly militant and wearisome public, all done in the name of “engagement”.

We can change our Mayor, and we change our Council, but those actions, in and of themselves, will not yield change post October 22nd. What we really need to change is the process and the players who manage it.

Beachway meeting April7-15 full house

Citizens gather for a public meeting on what should be done with private homes in the Beachway. Their views were not included in the final decision. The Region will buy every house when it comes on the market.

Consultation and dialogue needs to occur from the outset, not as an afterthought. We need dedicated resources at City Hall, not aligned with developers, who will aid citizens and support neighbourhoods when mounting objections to development proposals. We need City Hall support to create and sustain neighbourhood and ratepayers’ associations as a non-elected counter-veiling force to challenge developers and as a conduit to meaningful citizen engagement.

We need advisory panels whose members are reflective of the community, and not populated with special interest advocates. We need to build in the concept of engagement and communication into every business process that is conducted municipally, and not just some pious Engagement Charter that gets framed and hung on a wall somewhere and is essentially meaningless.

CHAT group photo

Members of ChAT – the Charter Action Team responsible for ensuring that the Engagement Charter is actually complied with.

Those who manage the process need to be evaluated and held accountable on how well they actually do it.

And finally, we need to open up a serious discussion around the continued employment of several municipal public servants whose past derisive comments and behaviour don’t exactly connote with the concept of “engagement”.

Related news story.

The Engagement Charter.

The Shape Burlington Report

Stephen White is a Burlington resident who lives on the east side of the city.  He comments from time to time on how well the city is run.

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Another hot, hot HOT day. Head for the mall if you want to get in some walking exercise. The lake water will cool you off as well.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 27th, 2018



It is hardly news anymore. Excessive heat warnings from the Regional government. It is the new normal and seniors, people with breathing problems and very very young children need to take notice.

As a result of extreme heat and humidity, Environment Canada has issued a Heat Warning for Halton Region starting Monday, August 27. This warning is issued when forecast temperatures are expected to reach at least 31 degrees Celsius with overnight temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius for two days, or when a humidex of 40 or higher is expected for two days.

Beaches are an option – take sun screen.

Burlington Beach aerial

The city doesn’t have quite this much beach any more – weather has eroded quite a bit of it. But it is still a place to cool down.

Especially at risk

• older adults (over the age of 65), infants and young children, people who work and exercise in the heat, people without adequate housing and those without air conditioning
• people who have breathing difficulties, heart problems, kidney problems or take heat-sensitive medications
Prevention tips
• stay cool
• avoid strenuous outdoor activities
• seek shade from the sun
• spend time in air-conditioned places, such as shopping malls and community centres
• drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water
• visit friends and neighbours who may be at risk and never leave people or pets in your care unattended in a car

People exercising in a mall

Mall space could be put to very good public service use.

With these significant differences in weather people are going to need to find different places to get some exercise.  Some malls in North America have taken to running exercise programs.  There are two malls in Burlington who could put some of their space to a really good public service use.

If you or someone in your care experiences rapid breathing, headache, confusion, weakness or fainting, please seek medical attention right away.

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