Police report that 37% of all tobacco now being sold is un-taxed and illegal

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 19th, 2019



Anyone buying illegal tobacco products is funding organized crime.

Cigarette profits aThat’s the message Crime Stoppers of Halton is delivering to the public through a promotional campaign to help combat the distribution of illegally manufactured cigarettes.

The initiative is also part of a campaign by several Crime Stoppers programs to create awareness and stop the sale of contraband tobacco products across the Greater Toronto Area.

“We want people to know they are helping finance organized crime activity such as drug smuggling, gun running and human trafficking,” said Detective Constable Jodi Richmond, police coordinator of Halton Crime Stoppers. “A lot of this criminal activity is organized by outlaw motorcycle gangs and the cost to taxpayers runs into the billions of dollars.”

Jodi Thomson Crime StoppersRichmond also said an increasing number of fire deaths in Ontario are now being blamed on illegal cigarettes which are made without self-extinguishing safeguards.

“So not only are people who buy contraband cigarettes helping organized crime to thrive, but they are also putting lives at risk,” she said. “It’s definitely not a victimless crime.”

Dave Bryans, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association said “The Ontario Convenience Stores are pleased to stand with Halton Crime Stoppers in fight against contraband tobacco that is infiltrating every community in Ontario.

“Today we see contraband reaching epidemic proportions at 37% of all tobacco now being untaxed and illegal with highs in Northern Ontario of 65% +. We are hoping the new PC Government will work with Crime Stoppers and the Convenience Store sector to address this issue and look for solutions to minimize the delivery system in Ontario.”

Related news stories:


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Land Acknowledgement statement to be read at every city council meeting - Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation flag to be raised in civic square.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2018



We basically took the land from the Indigenous people.

Some treaties were signed – we didn’t always live up to those treaties.

Canadians have begun creating a new relationship with the Indigenous people. The Halton District School Board has been reading a Land Acknowledgement statement at the beginning of each meeting for some time.

Starting this Monday Burlington city council will begin doing the same thing. Stacey LaForme the elected Chief of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, a graduate of the Osgoode Hall Law School and a member of the Ontario Bar will be a significant part of this ceremony this afternoon.


Stacey LaForme the elected Chief of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation,

In 2002, LaForme served on the Ontario Divisional Court panel that ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was a violation of their civil rights; his suggestion – that marriage be redefined – was subsequently adopted by the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

A member of the Mississaugas people, LaForme is the first appellate court judge in Canadian history with a First Nations background. He has served as the Commissioner of the Indian Commission of Ontario; as the Chair of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Land Claims; and – until his resignation in October 2008 – as head of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

He will probably be the most distinguished, qualified and accomplished person at the event.

Some Burlington high schools have been holding “blanket ceremonies”, an interactive way of learning the history most Canadians are never taught.

blankets - all the land

Blankets representing the territory of Canada – it all belonged to the First Nations before the Europeans arrived.

The Blanket Exercise is based on participatory popular education methodology and the goal is to build understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by walking through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Everyone is actively involved as they step onto blankets that represent the land, and into the role of First Nations.

By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise effectively educates and increases empathy.

Students learn the key terms and concepts behind the words Aboriginal peoples, First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Aboriginal peoples is the term used in Canada’s constitution, it has specific importance within a Canadian legal context.

Assimilation, Colonization, Discrimination, Doctrine of Discovery, Equity and First Nations which is not a legal term but replaces “Indian” in common usage. The term elevates First Nations to the status of “first among equals” alongside the English and French founding nations of Canada.

Less land left

The Blanket ceremony takes participants through the history that took away more and more of the land that the First Nations owned.

Indigenous peoples is a term for which there is no one definition because it is up to each Indigenous person to define themselves, something that for far too long has been done by others. However, Indigenous peoples all over the world have the common experience of being the original inhabitants of a territory and being oppressed by ethnic groups that arrived later.

A Mohawk (Kanienkehaka) person from Akwesasne who is a member of the Bear clan may choose any number of indentifiers. Others may identify themselves as members of one of the many other First Nations in Canada – Innu, Cree, Salteaux, Ojibwe, Haida, Dene, Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Blood, Secwepmec, etc., each with its own history, culture, and traditions.

On blankets reading to each other

The lnd that the First Nations owned ended up being reserves around the country.

In 1876 all the laws dealing with Indigenous peoples in Canada were gathered together and put into the Indian Act. The Canadian government used the Indian Act to attack the identity of Indigenous peoples. It limited hunting and fishing and made spiritual ceremonies like the potlatch, pow-wow and sundance against the law. This didn’t change until the 1950s. To this day, the Indian Act controls many aspects of Indigenous peoples’ lives.

From the 1960s to the 1980s, thousands of First Nations and Métis children were forced illegally from their homes and adopted or fostered, usually by non-Indigenous people. This period is known as the 60s scoop. Many of these kids experienced violence, racism and abuse and lost connection to their identity and culture. Like residential schools, the purpose of the 60’s scoop was assimilation.

Territory map

The land that Burlingtonians live on is represented in treaties; what is now Burlington is land that was given to Joseph Brant who in tern sold it off in bits and pieces. There isn’t as much as a square foot that belong to a descendant of the Brant family. But we named our main street after the man.

Treaties are internationally binding agreements between sovereign nations. Hundreds of treaties of peace and friendship were concluded between the European settlers and First Nations during the period prior to confederation.

These treaties promoted peaceful coexistence and the sharing of resources. After Confederation, the European settlers pursued treaty making as a tool to acquire vast tracts of land. The numbered treaties 1 through 11 were concluded between First Nations and the Crown, after Confederation.

Students - focused - girl

Some of the students were transfixed by the blanket ceremony. Far too many paid more attention to their cell phones as they texted each other.

For Indigenous peoples, treaties outline the rights and responsibilities of all parties to the agreement. In the traditions of Indigenous treaty making, these are oral agreements. In addition, they are “vital, living instruments of relationship”

In reading a Land Acknowledgement we are beginning to accept these rights and responsibilities.

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School boards in Halton are getting far less funding than comparable boards in the province - that shortfall is felt in the classrooms your children attend.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 17th, 2018



An Infograph is a graph that conveys information in a more effective visual manner.

The Halton District School Board released an infograph that showed how poorly the Region does in terms of provincial grants for education.
HDSB funding graphic 1

No one at the Board of Education can say quite why the Region gets less on a per student basis than others – the fact is Halton, which is Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills get less.

The model used for school bus funding has not changed since 1998 which is what has led to the near crisis is recruiting bus drivers.  The boards have not been able to pay the drivers a decent rate.

Comparative funding graph


The funding shortfall impacts what the Board does at many levels – Special Education suffers; the Halton Board has to find $20 million to cover Special Education needs which are higher than the average student.Growth and Spec Ed funding


The needs are very real, unfortunately the local school boards are totally dependent on the province for a significant part of the funds needed to operate the schools.

Trustees and the Board administrations work to determine where the needed funds are going to come from at  a time when we now have a provincial government that thinks aloud in terms of “efficiencies” and talks in terms of reducing spending by as much as 4% (at least that is what the public heard during the recent provincial election).  Education and health are two of the biggest spending items in the provincial budget.

Just how provincial funding for school boards works isn’t fully understood by the public. Property taxes and development fees cover just a portion of the cost.

How are sch bds funded

Because the funds come from the provincial government the Boards and trustees would like to see pressure put on the newly elected members of the provincial legislature.  For Burlington this means appealing to Jane McKenna who has been returned to the Legislature.  McKenna was first elected to Queen’s Park in 2011, lost to Eleanor McMahon in 2014 and defeated McMahon in the election held earlier this month.

During the election debates it was clear that McKenna was going to follow the path set out by Doug Ford who talks in terms of getting better value for the dollars spent.  Burlington parents with children in local schools are the people who know where efficiencies exist.

Given that those same parents elected the government we have now – they have to live with the consequences of the election.

There are two problems with those conclusions.  A majority of those who voted didn’t choose this government and just 58% of those with the right to vote bothered to troop out to the polls on election day.

Results data box

Salt with Pepper is the musing, observations and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette.

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It took a vision, a persuasive argument and a team to make the Pauline Johnson 50th anniversary happen.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 15th, 2018



What makes a community work?

Things just don’t happen – they don’t just fall off the back of a truck.

Someone has an idea, there is something someone wants to do.

Sometimes a person doesn’t like the way something is being done and they want to have it changed.

Other times people see an unfortunate situation and they want to make it better.

Burlington is a community with a lot of wealth. There are people who are not wealthy but overall the city is financially comfortable.

Some describe the city as complacent.

Others see something that isn’t happening and they think something should happen and they mobilize and make it happen.

Carie DeMunck

Carie DeMunck

Carie DeMunck, a parent with children at the Pauline Johnson (PJ) public school, was touring the Frontenac public school that he daughter was to attend next year. Pauline John public school is a K to 8; Frontenac is a Middle school.

While touring Frontenac Carie learned that they had celebrated their 50th Anniversary in May of 2017

In September of 2017 Lori Waugh was appointed as the new school principal. She told the Parent Council meeting later that month that the school would celebrate their 50th anniversary the following year.

“Nobody really jumped on it” said Carie . “It was brought up again at the November Council meeting when the principal recommended putting a committee together to mark it in some way. It was then that we learned there were time capsules that were marked for opening, which the majority of us on Council, including myself, had been completely unaware of until that point.

“Initially we all shied away from it because we all knew what a big job it could be and the event /fundraising planning always seems to fall on the same four or five people. It’s difficult to get people on board and motivate parents to volunteer and be leaders within Council.

“By the November meeting I had already started looking up news articles for our school to see what was in the local history and general interest articles. That’s when I jumped in and said to myself – I’ll do it.”

Carie met with Dave Woodward, a 1968 staff member at PJ who returned to the school in the 70’s as principal.

Trips to the library to dig out whatever the Historical Society had on the school.

With her mind made up and he best friend beside her Carie headed for a meeting with the principal to sell the plan to her.

DeMunck - air duct

Carie DeMunck pointing o where the two time capsules were stored – no one knew.

With the concept thought through and the team in place Carie was ready to put it in front of principal Waugh.

I was thinking a formal assembly and tree planting was a fitting tribute especially for working in a time capsule reveal, and doing a public reunion on a Saturday which would require the principal to be totally on board.

Carie is one of those people who can use words to paint a picture.

“So picture this” she said. “Do you remember that picture of Merkel and Trump at the G7?

Well I was Merkel and Waugh is sitting there like Trump and we presented the ideas. I said I would run the whole thing and she said Ok.”


Chiefwoods the Pauline Johnson ancestral home.

She took her kids on a tour of Chiefwoods, the Pauline Johnson family home in Brantford to get a deeper idea as to just who Pauline Johnson was and came away with a much better understanding of just what Canada has in the way of an Indigenous population and how Canadians have related to them – not always that well.

The Indigenous people have been given a bad rap said Carie. “We need to open up our minds and become more aware of our colonial past and begin to collaborate with the First Nations.

Carie didn’t make the two day 50th anniversary celebration happen all by herself. Her 11 years on the school’s Parent Council meant she had all kinds of contacts and a network of her own she could call upon.

Along with principal Lorie Waugh and Parent Council Chairs, Patty Chanda and Jenn Cooper-Cabral stepped up when there was a need and ran the student volunteers and bought the cake and helped with decorating and attended all planning meetings.

“ Patty is my right hand, without being asked, she’s cool and collected, organized, doesn’t get her feathers ruffled, lets me vent to her when I’m frustrated, is highly objective, not overly opinionated, steps in when she sees a need, she doesn’t like the spotlight either.” The two have been close friends for 10 years.

Next for the team that made the celebration happen?  Well all those posters and picture the students put together have to be put into a 50th anniversary time capsule to be opened on perhaps the 75th anniversary.  Carie has found the containers she want to use.  No stopping this lady.

Mary Alice Looking - with smile

Mary Alice St. James, retired Pauline Johnson public school principal.

Mary Alice St. James, a former and now retired PJ principal speaks glowingly of Carie DeMunck. “She epitomizes the positive impact of volunteerism in a school. With 17 years of involvement at PJ where she saw her three children Jessica (Nelson High School), Ryan (Frontenac Public School) and Emilie (Pauline Johnson Public School) pick up the first part of the education she made a positive difference. As a School Council Member Carie learned leadership skills that served her well as she coordinated Pauline Johnson’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

In a small neighbourhood school, volunteering is welcomed. It makes a huge difference. Carie liaised with many to begin and follow through with a vision of inclusion, involvement and reflection of the impact of life particularly in a small community has made to many over the past 50 years.
Carie humbly says that the successful two days of events are due to her team of parent volunteers, the PJ Staff current and past, the students and their families both current and past. True, everybody assisted BUT it was Carie who led the team, developed the vision and ensured its meaningfulness and celebratory feeling.

Related news story.

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Meed Ward has her Smart Car Coffee Confidential conversation with Burchill.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 15th, 2018



Now that the province is beginning to get used to the Premier designate and the city can get on with enjoying the Sound of Music and weather that ranges from pleasant to stinking hot.

Next up is the municipal election that will take place October 22nd.

James Burchill, the lad that drives around town in a Smart Car getting out for coffee and a conversation.
He interviews all kinds of people including the three candidates for the Office of Mayor.

He did interviews of the current Mayor, Rick Goldring, then an interview with Mike Wallace, a former city Councillor and a former MP for Burlington.

The most recent, which is set out below for your viewing pleasure, is Burchill’s interview with Marianne Meed Ward.

Three very different people. We have provided links to the Goldring and Wallace interviews – gives you a chance to see who wants to lead the city. You are the one who gets to decide.

The 2018 election is going to be a lot different than the 2014 election when every member of the 2010 Council was returned to office.

Burchill has an easy, natural conversation style and lets the person being interviewed do the talking.  Goldring and Wallace seemed a little apprehensive.  My take on the Meed Ward interview is that Burchill was flirting with her – but have to be the judge of that.

Bookmark this story and come back to it in October.  Which one do you think can best lead the city

The other interviews:

Goldring interview

A Wallace interview

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Trades students at The Centre completing the first of what they hope will be many Tiny Homes.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 14th, 2018



The Centre for Skills Development and Training has partnered with the Oakville Trafalgar Rotary Club on a Tiny Homes initiative.

These Tiny Homes are being built by students at enrolled in different trades courses at The Centre. The students, supervised by fully qualified instructors, get hands on experience. Rotary gets a product they plan to sell and make available to disadvantaged communities.

What is a Tiny Home?

It is a little little home that has wheels. It’s not a toy, it is real accommodation.

The units are 24 feet long, 8 feet wide and 14 feet high.

They are set up to handle  50 amp electricity, plumbing, and ready to take a gray water tank.

Propane or gas for heating. The units are insulated to an R32 standard

The lower level is one large space with the bathroom set up as a separate space.

There are two small lofts

The units are built by students-and-volunteers at The Centre in Burlington.


An example of what students are building at The Centre in Burlington, ON

They will be on display at the Oakville Ribfest which takes place on Friday, June 22nd starting at 4pm at Sheridan College’s Trafalgar campus, and will run until Sunday, June 24th at 7 pm.

Rotary would love for people to see the home, and meet some of the people who cooked up the idea, and actually built it.

The new Tiny Home will be on display, and also available for purchase. Offers start at $40,000, all of which will be used to support Rotary’s charitable initiatives in Halton and beyond.

Rotary money to The Centre

Cheque presentation from the Oakville Trafalgar Rotary to The Centre where the Tiny Home is being built.

“We really feel that this program addresses multiple issues now affecting communities around the country” said Oakville Rotary Club executive Lauri Asikainen, “Not only will it provide valuable skills training for students, but the homes they create have tremendous value, not just as affordable housing, but as green living spaces, or for people downsizing, adventure traveling, vacationing, or just trying to lead a simpler life.”

Ken Coulter, past president of the Oakville Trafalgar Rotary explained that they provided some of the materials funding and that much of the insides have been donated.

The first unit will be on display at the Oakville Trafalgar Ribfest on June 22nd to 24th.

How did the idea get started? The Oakville Trafalgar group was having lunch at their usual location one meeting and talking about new fund raising ideas. Mention was made of maybe building a Tiny Home; the waitress suggested that the Rotary talk to people at The Centre – and an idea suddenly had legs and before long, in typical Rotary fashion, something was happening.

A trailer base was donated, windows were donated, and Canadian Standards Association approval was obtained.

It all leads to the first of what the Rotary hopes will be a couple of buildings a year.

Rotary International happens to be meeting in Toronto the same weekend as the Rib Fest in Oakville. More than 100 District Rotary governors will be bused out to the Rib Fest to chow down on some ribs and have a look at the Tiny Home.

For more information slip over to – www.rcot.ca You can communicate with someone at TinyHome@rcot.ca

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Regional first responders take part in a large-scale emergency training exercise.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 13th, 2018



You practice, you practice and then you practice some more – and in time there is a team of people who know each other, know how to work with each other and able to deploy very quickly.

Early in June the Burlington Fire Department, Halton Regional Police Service, Halton Region Paramedic Services, and Oakville Fire Department joined forces at the Oakville Training Campus for Emergency Excellence, as part of a large-scale emergency training exercise. These are the first responders on Halton collaborating on a large-scale emergency exercise


First responders collaborate to assist an accident victim as part of the June 5 emergency exercise at the Oakville Training Campus for Emergency Excellence.

Like everything that is military or para-military in nature it has an acronym: JESOAG – Joint Emergency Services Operational Advisory Group.


First responders work together to ensure an accident victim can be removed safely from a damaged vehicle, as part of the June 5 emergency exercise.

Greg Sage, Chief, Paramedic Services, Halton Region explains: “This emergency exercise helps to ensure a coordinated, efficient and safe response from all three emergency services… By participating in these large-scale exercises, Halton Region and its partners are better prepared to protect the safety of our community during a real emergency.”

The training exercise involved over 40 first responders from the four participating emergency service agencies. The exercise was a large-scale bus collision scenario, which required emergency responders to assist and rescue 50 patients, with a wide range of injuries.

JESOAG meets regularly and promotes training exercises to proactively address emergency response from all three emergency services: fire, paramedics and police. Members include:

• Burlington Fire Department
• Halton Hills Fire Department
• Halton Regional Police Service
• Halton Region Paramedic Services
• Milton Fire Department
• Oakville Fire Department
• Ontario Provincial Police



The Halton Regional Police Service Mobile Command Unit was one of several emergency vehicles on site for the emergency training exercise.

Related article:

Two mobile command units – what’s inside.

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Pauline Johnson public school opens two time capsules - prepares material for a third.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2018



It was the schools 50th anniversary and something the community wanted to celebrate.

The vision came from the mind of Carie DeMunck, a parent and lead organizer for the event.

The community wanted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pauline Johnson elementary school that was named after the celebrated Indigenous poet, author and actress who in her time was a major writer and entertainer.

DeMunck was able to contact the founding principal and a number of the teachers who opened the school, which at the time, was one of the first fully open concept schools in the province.

Cameron - Mayor - Miller

Founding principal Doug Campbell with Mayor Rick Goldring and Director of Education Stuart Miller

There were no walls, no corridors just one large open space. It was like one of those traditional one room schools in the rural parts of the province. Doug Campbell said that he had two hats; one as principal of the school and the other as tour guide. Every senior educator in the province wanted to see what an open concept school looked like and how it operated.

The open concept idea lasted five years – then the school began to expand and is now at the point where it has three portables at the back of the building.

Campbell was pretty curt with his comments on the decision to revert to a more traditional school set up. The open concept sounded as if it was the highlight of his career.

DeMunck explained to the Gazette when she was first in touch with us that “Our School is having its 50th Anniversary Celebration on Friday June 8th and 9th of this year. There was to be an official opening of the two time capsules, and a tree dedication.

Past principals, the Mayor of Burlington, and members of Six Nations were part of the audience.

The school gymnasium was filled with the elementary level students who were surprisingly quiet and well behaved.

A student choir sang one of the Pauline Johnson songs: The Land of the Silver Birch.

25th anniv time capsule

The 25th anniversary time capsule.

Time capsules

The two time capsules open during the Friday celebration of the schools 50th anniversary.

The opening of the time capsules was a highlight. However it was what the students wanted to put in the time capsule that was going to be created on the celebration of the 50th anniversary.

Students from each grade level trooped to the front of the audience and read out or displayed what their grade wanted put in the capsule. It was going to be considerably more robust than what had been put in on the 25th anniversary and by the millennial students.

Large large poster

Several students with their poster telling the Pauline Johnson story as they understand it.

Studens - black - teacher

Teacher holds up the Pauline Johnson poster prepared by a class of older elementary school students.

The two capsules were at one point placed outdoors, then moved inside the building where they were placed in an air duct where they gathered dust but were certainly kept dry.  Schools in Ontario for the most part do not have corners stones.

Students at tree dedication

Pauline Johnson public school students taking part in a tree dedication to mark the 50th anniversary of their school.

On Saturday there was a BBQ and a public reunion for alumni who have attended the school since the opening in 1968.

Background link:

Who was Pauline Johnson?

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Public safety threat made realted to Hayden Recreational Centre and Hayden high school. Social media run amok.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 6th, 2018



On Monday June 4, 2018 and Tuesday June 5, 2018, the Halton Regional Police Service investigated two false reports of threatening incidents in the City of Burlington.

Both incidents involved the Dr. Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School and the Haber Recreation Centre. Both of these facilities are attached in the same building complex located at 3040 Tim Dobbie Drive, Burlington, Ontario.

Alton has a spanking new high school with air conditioned classrooms; the envy of every high school student in the city. The school is part of a complex that includes a library and a recreational centre.

Hayden Recreational Centre

On Monday June 4, 2018, some unsubstantiated rumours began to be put forward that there was a threat of someone attending the school with a gun the following day. The school received calls from concerned parents as the rumours were apparently on a social media site. A citizen contacted a media outlet about these rumours.

School officials investigated the rumours in conjunction with the Halton Regional Police Service. The rumours involved a specific named person and the investigation concluded that this information was false and vexatious. The school sent a message out to parents, guardians and students advising them of the investigation and providing them information that there was no evidence of any kind of an actual threat was made. School activities were not impacted due to these rumours.

On Tuesday June 5, 2018, at approximately 8:00 pm, staff at the Haber Recreation Centre received an anonymous telephone call. The caller eluded that about an hour later there was going to be a bomb threat at the centre. The recreation centre is comprised of a library and a hall and staff elected to have the premise evacuated under an abundance of caution.

The Halton Regional Police Service attended and conducted a thorough search of the centre and found no threat or cause for any concern. The recreation centre was closed to the public for about 2.5 hours and then reopened for public use.

Nothing anywhere near something like this in any part of Burlington. Alton has charted new territory in the way neighbourhoods are developed. This set of buildings will house a Recreation Centre, a high school and a public library with a large series of parks right across the road.

Frank J. Hayden Secondary School when it was under construction

In both investigated incidents the vague threats were deemed to be false and vexatious in nature, clearly intended to cause alarm to members of the public. At this time it is not clear if one or more persons are responsible for both of these incidents.

School officials and the police want to reiterate to students, parents and guardians that there is no cause for any concern for students attending school on Wednesday June 6, 2018.

Anyone with information on these crimes is encouraged to contact the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2316.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See Something? Hear Something? Know Something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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Pauline Johnson Public School to open time capsules on Friday to celebrate a 50th anniversary and the Indigenous author the school was named after.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 5th, 2018



She was half white and was neglected as part of the indigenous culture that was beginning to be recognized when Margaret Atwood wrote Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature in 1972.

At its publication, Atwood said she could not find Native works. She mused, “Why did I overlook Pauline Johnson? Perhaps because, being half-white, she somehow didn’t rate as the real thing, even among Natives; although she is undergoing reclamation today.

The Pauline Johnson Public School in Burlington was opened in 1968 at a time when schools were being built to accommodate a growing population. This Friday the school will celebrate its 50th anniversary by opening two time capsules; the  25th Anniversary capsule laid down in 1993 and the Millennium Year capsule laid down in 2000.

Pauline in native dress

A successful writer and performer who was forgotten for a period of time Pauline Johnson is once again being fully recognized.

Emily Pauline Johnson (also known in Mohawk as Tekahionwake –pronounced: dageh-eeon-wageh, literally: ‘double-life’, was born in March 1861. Commonly known as Pauline Johnson, she was a Canadian writer and performer popular in the late 19th century. Johnson was notable for her poems and performances that celebrated her Aboriginal heritage; her father was a hereditary Mohawk chief of mixed ancestry. She also drew from English influences, as her mother was an English immigrant. One such poem is the frequently anthologized “The Song My Paddle Sings”.

Her poetry was published in Canada, the United States and Great Britain; she was one of a generation of widely read writers who began to define a Canadian literature. While her literary reputation declined after her death, since the later 20th century, there has been renewed interest in her life and works.


Chiefswood, Johnson’s childhood home is now a National Monument in Brantford, Ontario

Pauline Johnson was born at Chiefswood, the family home built by her father in 1856 on his 225-acre estate at the Six Nations reserve outside Brantford, Ontario. She was the youngest of four children of Emily Susanna Howells Johnson (1824–1898), a native of England, and George Henry Martin Johnson (1816–1884), a Mohawk hereditary clan chief. His mother, Helen Martin, was of partial Dutch descent and born into the Wolf clan; his maternal grandmother, Catherine Rolleston, was a Dutch girl who became assimilated as Mohawk after being taken captive and adopted by a Wolf clan family.

Although both their families were opposed to Emily and George Johnson’s marriage, and the couple were concerned that their own mixed-race family would not be socially accepted, they were acknowledged as a leading Canadian family. The Johnsons enjoyed a high standard of living, and their family and home were well known. Chiefswood was visited by such intellectual and political guests as the inventor Alexander Graham Bell, painter Homer Watson, noted anthropologist Horatio Hale, and Lady and Lord Dufferin, Governor General of Canada.

performance dress

One of the native costumes Pauline Johnson wore on stage.

Emily and George Johnson encouraged their four children to respect and learn about both the Mohawk and the English aspects of their heritage. Because the children were born to a Native father, by British law they were legally considered Mohawk and wards of the British Crown. But under the Mohawk kinship system, because their mother was not Mohawk, they were not born into a tribal clan; they were excluded from important aspects of the tribe’s matrilineal culture. Their paternal grandfather John Smoke Johnson, who had been elected an honorary Pine Tree Chief, was an authority in the lives of his grandchildren. He told them many stories in the Mohawk language, which they comprehended but did not speak fluently. Pauline Johnson said that she inherited her talent for elocution from her grandfather. A sickly child, Johnson did not attend Brantford’s Mohawk Institute.

postage stamp

Postage stamp issued to honour Pauline Johnson

At the age of 14, Johnson went to Brantford Central Collegiate with her brother Allen. She graduated in 1877.

During the 1880s, Johnson wrote and performed in amateur theatre productions. She enjoyed the Canadian outdoors, where she traveled by canoe. In 1883 she published her first full-length poem, “My Little Jean”, in the New York Gems of Poetry. She began to increase the pace of her writing and publishing afterward.

Shortly after her father’s death in 1884, the family rented out Chiefswood. Pauline moved with her widowed mother and sister to a modest home in Brantford. She worked to support them all, and found that her stage performances allowed her to make a living. Johnson supported her mother until her death in 1898.

Brant was always pretty good at getting grants from the British, but this Council probably isn’t going to hear his argument.

“Ode to Brant” was written to mark the unveiling in Brantford of a statue honoring Joseph Brant.

Johnson promoted her identity as a Mohawk, but as an adult spent little time with people of that culture.

In 1886, Johnson was commissioned to write a poem to mark the unveiling in Brantford of a statue honoring Joseph Brant, the important Mohawk leader who was allied with the British during and after the American Revolutionary War. Her “Ode to Brant” was read at a 13 October ceremony before “the largest crowd the little city had ever seen.

The poem sparked a long article in the Toronto Globe, and increased interest in Johnson’s poetry and heritage. The Brantford businessman William F. Cockshutt read the poem at the ceremony, as Johnson was reportedly too shy.

Evening gown

Pauline Johnson used both native dress and traditional gowns in her stage performances.

Johnson retired from the stage in August 1909 and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to continue writing. In 1911, to help support Johnson, who was ill and poor, a group of friends organized the publication of these stories under the title Legends of Vancouver. They remain classics of that city’s literature.

One of the stories was a Squamish legend of shape shifting: how a man was transformed into Siwash Rock “as an indestructible monument to Clean Fatherhood”. In another, Johnson told the history of Deadman’s Island, a small islet off Stanley Park. In a poem in the collection, she named one of her favourite areas “Lost Lagoon”, as the inlet seemed to disappear when the water emptied at low tide. The body of water has since been transformed into a permanent, fresh-water lake at Stanley Park, but it is still called “Lost Lagoon”.

native beauty

Pauline Johnson was a remarkably beautiful woman who made a lasting contribution to our understanding and appreciation of Indigenous culture.

Johnson died of breast cancer in Vancouver, British Columbia on 7 March 1913. Her funeral (the largest until then in Vancouver history) was held on what would have been her 52nd birthday. Her ashes were buried near Siwash Rock in Stanley Park. In 1922 a cairn was erected at the burial site, with an inscription reading in part, “in memory of one whose life and writings were an uplift and a blessing to our nation”.

In 1961, on the centennial of her birth, Johnson was celebrated with a commemorative stamp bearing her image, “rendering her the first woman (other than the Queen), the first author, and the first aboriginal Canadian to be thus honored.

Johnson was one of the five finalists of significant women to be featured on Canadian banknotes, a contest eventually won by Viola Desmond.

Burlington’s Pauline Johnson Public School is one of four on Ontario to bear the name of this famous Canadian.

On Friday afternoon the students, staff, alumni and local dignitaries will take part in the opening of the time capsules and honouring the author. Members of the indigenous community will take part in the event.

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Lester B. Pearson high school holds its final public goodbye.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 3rd, 2018


Revision:  We have been advised that ward 4 trustee Richelle Papin was at the Saturday afternoon event at Lester B. Pearson high school.  We didn’t see her but have been told she was there.

There is a strange feeling when you are in a room with a lot of people who know that a place that was once a large part of their lives is going to be brought to an end – their high school is being closed. The trustees they elected to office decided there was no point in keeping the school open.

LBP crest + 1st and last

At the podium on the right are current principal Loraine Fedurco and founding principal David Katz.

The Lester B. Pearson high school was holding it last public event.

During a Saturday afternoon event the schools’ first principal David Katz and its last Loraine Fedurco were on the stage convincing the large audience that it would not be forgotten.

No one knows what the long term prospects are for the building. In the immediate future the school will be used by the Catholic School Board for a short term. It will be awhile before it is declared surplus. When that decision is made the property can be sold.

Creating the Lester B. Pearson high school involved not just the school administration but the city as well.

There was space that was defined as community space and for a period of time there was community programing in place.

Designed as an Open classroom concept at a time when that was being done in Ontario high schools Pearson reverted to the standard classroom approach.

The school took on not only the name of the former Prime Minister but much of the spirit Pearson brought to his public service, quiet, with a public service orientation, was reflected in the school program.

LBP close audience

It was a quiet audience – not a word about the why and how their school was closed – just appreciation for the time they spent in classrooms

During the three hour event there wasn’t a word of anger or disappointment heard about the decision to close the school. The school board trustee who represented the school didn’t attend; she did vote not to close the school. A school board trustee, the chair of the board who attended Pearson high school did vote to close it, did attend – she was in the choir.

David Katz LBP principal

David Katz, the founding principal.

David Katz, the founding principal told the audience that the school didn’t have a football team. “That was a deliberate decision made when the school was founded in 1976.

The high school had numerous sporting successes. Known as the Pearson Patriots, the school won a Halton title in men’s hockey in 2006. The men’s basketball team has had success with back to back Halton titles in 1992 and 1993, three repetitive Halton titles from 2005–2007 and one in 1988, with three Peel-GHAC championships and subsequent appearances at the OFSAA provincial championship tournament in 1988, 1993, 2006 and 2007.

The rugby team had OFSAA appearances numerous times for both senior girls and boys. In 2009 the Junior Boys Basketball Team won the Halton Boys Regional Basketball Championship. In 2011, the Senior Girls soccer team won the Halton Girls Championship and placed third at the 2011 OFSAA Championships. The Junior Girls Volleyball also won their championship in the same year. Also the Sr. Boys Rugby Team went to OFSAA for a 2nd year in a row and getting their first OFSAA win in a friendly match. In 2012, the Senior Boys Basketball, Senior Boys Volleyball, and Varsity Boys Rugby won championships in their respective sports.

In 2002 the men’s baseball team won Pearson’s only OFSAA triple A championship at Skydome in Toronto.

With the opening of Dr. Frank Hayden high school to the north in 2013 Pearson’s population dropped to 300+ students. The elementary schools that fed Pearson were re-directed to the new high school which meant the end for Pearson. Starved of students the school had to be closed.

Blackwell +

On the right, school board Superintendent Terri Blackwell chats with parents. Scot Lambert is on the far left.

Founded in 1976, the school is named after former Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. It was one of the first “Action” High Schools in the province; a concept that didn’t take. Pearson was intended to be open concept – that too didn’t hold.

The school wasn’t big enough to have an auditorium or a cafeteria – it did have a Cafetorium

The school also had a triple sized gymnasium, with one intended for community use.

There was a self-contained community nursery.

There was a horseback riding club, a Tai Chi club and a social justice group.

Pearson was a high school built for a bungalow community in a Burlington that was expanding north of the Queen Elizabeth highway that bisects the city.

Grad with dredlocks

The graduates went off in their different directions to be who they wanted to be.

It was always intended to be a small high school – a much larger high school was a 15 minute walk to the west which is where the former Pearson students will attend in the fall of 2018.

Much of what teachers did at Pearson was experimental, new ideas and a different approach to integrating school and community.

The school was a brave, bold innovative idea that the decision makers gave up on.

Looking over the year book

Looking over the year book – is that us?

Mom showing her class

Mom showing her husband and children her graduating class picture.

What it did have was a strong school spirit, something that still exists. There are parents that believe the fight to keep the school open is not over yet – they are looking for a way to elect trustees that will make a different decision.

The school also produced graduates that have gone on to make consistent contributions to what is a fine community.

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PRIDE - it has taken decades to get to this point - celebrate the achievement.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 2, 2018



It took some time to get to the point where there is a PRIDE month.

The bathhouse raids took place in Toronto in 1982.

People lost their jobs because of their life style choice.

HRPS cruieser with rainbow stripesStudents coming to terms with their sexual identity needed time to figure out what was happening. For far too many years the best much of society could do was bully and shame these boys and girls.

It all took time but June is now PRIDE month.

Doug Ford, who wants enough of us to vote for him and make him Premier of the province next Thursday has yet to commit to marking in the PRIDE parade in Toronto. Not there yet

The acronym PRIDE stands for Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education.


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Leah Reynolds decides to stick with the school board seat she can win - city council will have to wait.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 21st, 2018



Leah Reynolds looked at the number of people running for the city council seat in ward 2 and decided that if she wanted to hold public office it was safer to run again as a school board trustee.

Meed Ward and Reynolds 2014 election night

Meed Ward and Reynolds – 2014 election night

Reynolds was seen by any as the heir apparent to Marianne Meed Ward who is giving up the seat n her run for the Office of Mayor.

In her media release said she is running as the trustee again because “there is much to do”.

She also said that “As a member of the board of trustees, I supported Burlington high school amalgamations to improve the future of education for all Burlington students. These amalgamations were necessary in creating equitable access to the best and most appropriate learning environments for the individual needs of Burlington high school students. Our children’s futures are heavily influenced by what they are exposed to in school. I believe that having a variety of course selections, including skilled trades, in every high school is a paramount step in exposing students to as many career pathways as possible.”

Reynolds is the first trustee who has used the word “amalgamation” to describe the closing of two of the city’s seven high schools.

Leah Reynolds with students

Leah Reynolds with students during a public PAR meeting.

“I am running” said Reynolds “to ensure that the changes and transitions for special education students, including the creation of two comprehensive schools (MM Robinson HS and Nelson HS), deliver on the expectations set out by the Director of Education and community.

The Board of Education plans for the implementation of the new I-STEM program at Aldershot high school and the International Baccalaureate program that was moved from Bateman to Central High School are initiatives that Reynolds wants to be around to ensure that both receive the resources they need.

Reynolds refers to her more than 20 year involvement with public schools as a passionate community member and mother.

You can learn more about Reynolds in her newsletter at: https://madmimi.com/p/25cc3c

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Blackwell: We don’t know where we are going to land yet but we are making sure we get it right the first time.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 17th, 2018



Terri Blackwell, a Superintendent with the Halton District School Board, gave a report last night on the progress of the creation of a new kind of high school that will be made operational within the existing Aldershot High School in September of 2019.

She has a tight schedule to work within and, as she out t in her presentation to the trustees last night, “we don’t know where we are going to land yet”.

Blackwell + Tuffen as a team

Superintendents Blackwell and Truffen

Blackwell and her team, which includes Superintendents Truffen and Hunt Gibbons, are in the process of figuring out “what the learning will look like”. “What will there be in the way of specialty classes” How will the classroom space be configured?

The Board learned that $1.475 million has been allocated for renovations to some of the space at Aldershot high school.
The program Blackwell and her team are creating is being called iStem – Innovation – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics that will be focused on a problem solving approach to learning.

In a really instructive video that Blackwell and her team use to make their point they argue that there haven’t been many changes in the way education is delivered.

Hunt Gibbons

Julie Hunt Gibbons making a point during the Mercedez Benz workshop.

The Board has decided they want to create a curriculum and a location that will be a first step in changing the way high school educations will be delivered.

The idea was a sort of last minute thought that came out of the difficult, painful process of deciding to close two of the city’s seven high schools.

Blackwell reported that there are already teachers asking to be part of the process.

M Benz event istem poster

The objective is clear – now the path has to be chosen.

A full day workshop with more than 70 people was held at the Mercedes Benz dealership on the North Service Road where the classic cars were on display. The setting was apt.

With the concept approved, the needed funding in place the hard part begins – making sure they get it right the first time.

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Transparency and accountability could not be found during a Board of Education meeting.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 17th, 2018



Be it resolved that the Halton District School Board approve the resolutions from Private Session, May 2, 2018, respecting Property Matters. The motion was carried unanimously.

These motions are not unusual – they usually have to do with the purchase or sale of property for a school site.

The following day the Board of Education issued a media release advising that the Board had entered into a leasing agreement with the Halton Catholic District School Board for the about to be closed Lester B. Pearson High School.

The motion made in a closed session of the HDSB was suddenly a much different story.

The closing of the Lester B. Pearson High school was a very contentious decision that has the likelihood of at least two trustees losing their seats in the October election.

What is galling is the way the trustees handled the matter. They all had an opportunity to make a comment – none took the opportunity.

Miller in a huddle with Grebenc

School board chair Andrea Grebenc conferring with Director of Education Stuart Miller.

Chair Andrea Grebenc had an opportunity to explain to the public how the opportunity to lease a building the school board was not going to be using came about.

Stuart Miller, the Director of Education, who is a very hands on person, had an opportunity to take the public through the time line and use the opportunity to settle a very upset community.

Board staff are working very hard, so far successfully, to integrate the Pearson high school students into M. M. Robinson high school. Something like this takes people back to a decision that was very very hard for them to accept.

There are those in the community who are convinced the leasing deal was always in place – they two school boards were just waiting for the dust to settle before the papers were signed.

What is missing in all this is true transparency, true accountability.

Chair Grebenc had a responsibility to speak to the public – be candid, look directly into the camera during the web caste and explain the full story to the public.

The Director of Education had a responsibility to give the public all the details.

Based on what the Gazette has been able to learn – there was nothing to hide. The Catholic board needed some space for their Assumption high school students while their high schools was being renovated.

Why this Board and the Director of Education chose to let it slide by and hope no one noticed is troubling.

That not one trustee chose to say a word suggests collusion between the trustees and the Director to dummy up and say nothing.

The public deserves better. These trustees should be ashamed.

It really is all about trust – the Halton District School Board trustees betrayed the people they asked to vote them into office.

trustees 2018

Halton District School Board in session.

Salt with Pepper is the opinions, reflections and musings of the Gazette publisher.

Related news story.


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Trustee: Why did the Ministry insist on utilizing public meetings during the an accommodation review when emotions are potentially high.

opinionandcommentBy Tracy Ehl Harris

May 16th, 2018



In the spring of 2017, the Ministry of Education placed a moratorium on any new Pupil Accommodation Reviews in the province until such time as they could consult with stakeholders and update the existing Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline (PARG, released March 2015).

After two rounds of consultation in the fall of 2017 and winter of 2018, the Ministry released the updated PARG in April 2018. Boards must now develop/revise their own Pupil Accommodation Review (PAR) policies to be in conformance with the new PARG. At the heart of the policy, is serving students in the best and most effective way possible.

Boards undertake annual pupil accommodation planning processes (in the HDSB this is called the Long Term Accommodation Process, LTAP, and it is available each spring) that identify growth, decline and status quo scenarios for each school, area, and the district as a whole. Through the LTAP, each year existing and foreseeable pupil accommodation issues are highlighted, and community consultation is undertaken. Potential Pupil Accommodation Reviews (PARs) are also identified. These reviews must follow the PARG established by the Ministry, and the Board’s own PAR policy.

HDSB Trustees provided comments to the Ministry during the consultation timelines noted above for the new PARG. I want to highlight three concerns related to the new PARG:

1) A PAR is initiated by the submission by staff and approval by the Board of Trustees of an initial staff report identifying the accommodation challenge to be addressed and the scope of the review, among other things. In the 2015 version of the PARG, the initial staff report to the Board of Trustees was to contain a recommended scenario (that is a preference for solving the identified accommodation challenge). In the 2018 PARG update, this changed. The initial staff report is now to contain a recommended scenario and at least two alternative scenarios.

PARC with options on the walls

Members of a Halton District School Board PARC meeting.

This new approach likely does not solve the issue associated with publishing a preferred option (and alternatives) at the start of a PAR process. Boards ask communities to provide their best wisdom and guidance on how to solve a specific accommodation problem. It is very difficult to engage in a problem-solving exercise when it appears that there is already a predisposition for a preferred solution(s). Some school communities may feel attacked, while others may feel that the issue doesn’t involve them.

Processes start in a trust deficit and it is very hard to recover. Why aren’t Boards given the choice about whether a preferred scenario and alternatives are appropriate for their context? Ideally, proponents would be encouraged to start a PAR process just where the LTAP leaves off, with a report about a specific accommodation challenge and the related implications and then move to consider possible viable solutions in a consultative manner.

2) “School boards are required to consult with local communities prior to adopting or subsequently amending their pupil accommodation review policies.” (Section IV of the new PARG) One critical factor in engaging communities is that there is the opportunity to build and/or sustain a trust relationship. This can be fostered by appropriate consultation and communication. In section IV, the broad term “consult” is utilized, appropriately giving boards the latitude to utilize consultation methods that best suit the community audience and can garner meaningful input that supports trust building and good, local decision making. In Section X it is stated that ”the school board must arrange to hold a minimum of three public meetings for broader community consultation on the initial staff report.” It also states that “in addition to the required public meetings, school boards may use other methods to solicit community feedback.”

Why, during an accommodation review when emotions are potentially high given that specific scenarios are being considered, does the Ministry insist on utilizing “public meetings.” This is but one method, and it may or may not be the most appropriate one.

This is a dated and limited construct of what consultation can and should be. The International Association for Public Participation states, “public meetings are often selected when another approach might work better.” Further, they say, “public meetings can escalate out of control if emotions are high.” Predictably, this is what happens when people are discussing education in general, and specifically as it relates to one’s children and the schools they attend.

HDSB Parents at PARC 1 Jan 26-17

Parents at a public PAR meeting.

This narrow construct (i.e public meetings) can be a hindrance to meaningful consultation and the eventual outcomes. Again, why can’t boards choose the type of consultation that is most appropriate for their context and the needs of the communities they serve?

3) There appears to be a lack of clarity and consistency regarding roles of various parties throughout the PARG. For example, Section XI, states “School boards will determine how best to involve secondary school students in the pupil accommodation review process”.

This section and others seem to be silent in terms of engaging staff. Section XII which speaks to transition planning does not mention students but does mention parents/guardians and staff. These inconsistencies could be cleared up by identifying all stakeholders prior to the beginning of the process and identifying how they will be engaged in meaningful ways.

Further, there is lack of clarity around membership and functioning of the PAR Committee members. For example, Ministry expectations are unclear about what is meant when a Trustee is an ad hoc member of this committee.

Here is a summary of next steps provided by the Ministry.

“To ensure consistency in pupil accommodation reviews across school boards, the Ministry of Education will work with education and municipal stakeholders and partner ministries over the coming months to develop supports such as templates to assist boards. This includes templates for the initial staff report and the economic impact assessment.

The ministry will aim to release these supports by fall 2018. While these supports are being developed, there will continue to be no new pupil accommodation reviews, unless they are required to support a joint-use school initiative between two coterminous school boards

PAR processes can be difficult under the best of conditions. Perhaps these supports/templates will assist Boards in supporting students in effective and efficient ways. The PARG states that “School boards are responsible for managing their school capital assets in an effective manner. They must respond to changing demographics and program needs while being cognizant of the impacts of their decisions on student programming and well-being, school board resources and the local community.” Boards should have the right balance of prescription from the Ministry and latitude to run strong context specific processes, AND students should be the focus and at the heart of everything.

The source document is: www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/reviewGuide.html)

Tracey-Ehl-2-x150Tracy Ehl Harris is a Halton District School Board trustee for Oakville and is the current vice-chair of the Board. Tracey is a registered professional planner, certified master public participation practitioner and certified professional facilitator.

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MacRae: “I do what I do because of the students - the ongoing question for me is - Is this good for the students?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 16th, 2018



When the Gazette covered the Halton Music showcase with over 600 students and their instruments in almost every nook and cranny at the Seniors’ Centre then reviewed the very large display of student art at Gary Alan high school and then learned of a dance competition, we found ourselves asking – Who organizes all these events and what part do the arts play in the education children are getting.

Turns out that Rebecca MacRae, lead arts coordinator with the Halton District School Board keeps all the parts moving.

Getting the instrument ready

Getting it just right – the first time.

The Board has over 200 music teachers at the elementary and secondary levels.

Dancer in wire

This is the work of an elementary school student.

MacRae wasn’t able to tell us how any students she interacts with on a weekly basis but did say later that “It’s more than I realized.” Her student contact is spent observing their workshops, and helping with the logistics of large events and rehearsals.

Rebecca MacRae

Rebecca MacRae

MacRae is in place to oversee the arts offerings in the schools, a job she has been doing since September. She has been with the Board of Education for 18 years always in music and drama. She studied at McMaster University, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and Mohawk College.

Sculpture - curvy

From the hands of an elementary student.

The world of music for MacRae began when she saw a piano with her grandmother and knew then that she “wanted to play one of those.”

Jazz and classical are her preferences; she has written some music but is reluctant to call herself a composer

Her job is that of an administrator where time management is her biggest challenge. “I do what I do because of the students and the ongoing question for me is ‘Is this good for the students’”. And to reports to Superintendent Julie Hunt Gibbons .

Girl with trombone

Listening attentively.

A large part of the job is ensuring that there’s a real world connection to what is being taught in the classroom where the students learn from each other.

Circuit city

An artistic interpretation of a circuit board.

Students get to see that music, art, drama and dance are crafts and one of the ways they can earn their livings
Asked what difference she is going to make she says it is important for her to understand what’s going on and realizing that there’s not just one way to do things.

“I am in place to build relationships and to do right by the students”, said MacRae. “These students are the future leaders.”

When MacRae gets going she will tell you that “A complete education includes the arts where students get to understand their own personalities and get to do drama, dance and music with other students. There is a level of creativity that isn’t as evident in some other subjects. Students get to explore, use their imaginations and develop ideas. The arts bring emotions to the surface giving students a chance to reflect on their feelings and experience the joy of producing something that gets shared with others. We want children to feel what they are doing.”

Music for MacRae is personal. She doesn’t play professionally – and wishes there was more time to play at home.

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Ireland House - one of the best museums in the Region - admission free on Friday.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

May 15th, 2018



Ireland House freeFriday is International Museum Day.

Ireland House is going to be admission FREE for the day from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.

It is a superb little museum with excellent programs. If you’re looking for something to take the kids to – this is well worth the time.

The gift store focuses on all things local from small batch honey to custom tea blends and kettle cooked popcorn.

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A transformed Brant Museum is taking shape.

News 100 redBy Staff

May 10th, 2018



Brant museum - May 2018 pouring concrete

Concrete being poured for supporting columns

They pour more concrete each day.

The western wall of the Brant Museum site that is being transformed is in place.

Much of the northern wall is in place.

The house sits in steel beams on the northern side – it gets moved around as construction and concrete pours are done elsewhere on the site.

Brant western wall

Much of the western wall is now in place.

Completion date: 2019 – exactly when – depends on the weather.

What will there be in the way of program once the site is completed? No word yet – the Museum staff are being tight lipped about what the opening offer is going to be.

The city has hired an international exhibition design firm to create what the public will see. Kubik, a multi-national corporation has been awarded the contract to provide the interpretive design, fabrication and installation at Joseph Brant Museum.


Architectural rendering of what the Brant Museum is to be transformed into.

A local firm took part in the competition – they weren’t impressed with the process. They had to chase the museum people to learn who the contract had been awarded to.

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How do I become... The Centre for Skills Development and Training holding information sessions

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

May 10th, 2018



The Centre for Skills Development and Training is in the business of training people for good jobs and then helping them get those good jobs.

They are holding information session during the month for people who are interested in becoming a Machinist & Millwright, Home Renovation General Contractor or Electricians

Centre How do I graphic

The information sessions take place at their North Service Road location: 3335 North Service Road, Unit 102B. The location isn’t all that well marked – and the classes are at the back – up the driveway.

These are interactive events, no cost; a chance to meet and talk with employers, trades people, job developers and graduates.

How to start a skilled trade’s career: The current job market and labour demands for trades.

How the Centre can prepare you for an apprenticeship including an introduction to employers in the various trades

What trades companies are looking for when hiring

Training and funding incentives to help you start a skilled trades career.

The accelerated per-apprenticeship training can have you job ready in 22 weeks,.

The Centre supports diversity in the skilled trades and encourages anyone interested to attend. They have strategies for men, women, youth and newcomers to Canada.

May 14, 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Register HERE


Home Renovation General Contractor
May 22, 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Register HERE


Machinist & Millwright
May 28, 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Register HERE

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