Rivers: what role will education play in the provincial election? Think about the graduation rates.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

April 27th, 2018



The Liberals have been in power now for a decade and half, even though Kathleen Wynne has been premier for less than half that time. But people are saying it’s time to change, time for a change. They’re tired of the Liberals.

Doug Ford

Doug Ford

Doesn’t everything need to change at some point – it all eventually gets old and tired and needs to be replaced. It’s called transition and life – it’s normal, right? ‘Choose Change’ was the slogan Dalton McGuinty used when he whomped the tired old Ernie Eves Tories back in 2003 with an impressive 46% of the popular vote. That is the ballpark that Mr. Ford now finds himself in as he prepares to take over the reins of Ontario’s provincial government – the pre-emptive premier.

And there are so many reasons to give Premier Wynne the boot. Take education. Did you know that not every student who enters into secondary school graduates from it. Only 86.5 % of adolescents end up with a school leaving certificate in this province. Places like Ukraine actually score over 100% on some of their graduation statistics, though that may just be old Soviet-style statistics still at play.

86%Of course 86% is better than 69% , which was the graduation rate Ontario used to be so proud of back in the days when Mike Harris was in power. But a lot of things have changed. Ontario now has an early education program with universal junior kindergarten, so those little rug-rats can get into the learning mode earlier – something which will benefit them later in life all the experts agree. Although it’s a bit of a stretch to credit our improved graduation rate entirely to the relatively few early educated represented in this statistic.


Early education

Early education – for two-and-a-half year olds will mean a sea change to the notion of day care and child minding.

The latest Liberal budget would see children as young as two and a half be eligible for free, presumably, Montessori-style early education. Free early education for two-and-a-half year olds will mean a sea change to the notion of day care and child minding. Even the early educators themselves will need to be better educated. A big bonus is the extra pocket money saved by working moms and dads struggling to keep their financial heads above water.

Labour peace may also be a factor that has influenced this double digit climb in graduation from Ontario’s high schools. The last major teacher strike was back in 1997. It’s possible that happy teachers make better teachers and more motivated students. And it’s also possible that the stress of labour-government infighting took its toll on the desire of students to stay in school back then. After all, if your government has no respect for teachers…well… And Mike Harris and ‘create-a-crisis’ John Snobelen, having dropped out of university and high school respectively, may not have been the best role models in those dark days of the nineties.

Perhaps tuition-free university for those in financial need also has had an impact. Students who may have once thought…”what’s the point of finishing school, I can’t afford to go on to higher education anyway”… may have found new motivation to succeed. Apparently 235,000 students have benefited from free higher education, including 10,000 single mothers.

86.5% is just above the Canadian average in high school graduation rates, with only Nova Scotia and PEI slightly ahead of Ontario. Those provinces are also governed by Liberals, but then so is Quebec which is quite a way down the list. The gospel is that an improvement in Ontario’s education outcomes will lead to a more productive economy and more prosperous population. That will be critical as the province faces its future.

sex edThere has been a lot of talk about removing sex-education from the elementary school curriculum. It takes time away from other topics, like Lego or computers. Shouldn’t it be left to the parents to talk about something so sensitive? And hadn’t these children’s parents eventually figured it out on their own anyway, one way or the other. After all, it’s as natural as having a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. Your body will tell you what to do – right?

Sexual relationships are one of the most significant aspects of a young teenager’s development. So will getting the basics right help students better get on with/over with sex and leave more time and effort for concentration on their studies? The issue is a muddy pool teeming with education psychologists and the religious moralists each eating the other for lunch.

But teen pregnancies, which can increase school drop out rates, are on the rise in Canada and there is still inconclusive evidence that early sex-ed alone mitigates that effect – despite the logic of it all. Economics and economic opportunities seem to play a larger role in this matter, and fortunately for any new government today’s Ontario’s economy is booming. But perhaps even more importantly, young people, who don’t usually have a lot of pocket money, are now entitled to free pharmacare, so at least they can afford prevention.

We desire higher grad rates because that should deliver a more productive economy and a more prosperous society. And a better educated population should be expected to make better decisions, especially when it comes to election issues and elections. Many of those new grads will be eligible to vote or at least in a position to influence how their friends and family vote. And that may help determine whether there is a new Ford government which will have the choice of lifting the province’s grad rate closer to 100%, or letting it fall back towards the 68% the last time the Tories were in power.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.     Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

High School Graduation –    Teacher Strikes –    Disparity in Grad RatesTeen Pregnancies

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Earth Day - real spring weather and a movement to rid the planet of plastic straws.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

April 22nd, 2018



It is going to be a day when we can actually appreciate the day we were given.

We have been into spring for weeks – how any depends on which unit of measure you use to determine when spring starts and stops.

For those of us in Burlington spring has been toying with us – here for a bit then gone for a bit.
Earth Day has the sun shining and the promise of temperatures that will let one get to just a T-shirt. A day to do a check in on what we have done to this earth.

Plastic straw poterThe Earth Day Network organizers have chosen to focus on plastic – it is threatening our planet’s survival, from poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our streams and landfills.

This year, spring takes place between March 20 and June 21, if you use the astronomical method.
If you follow the meteorological calendar it runs from March 1 to May 31.

plastic - sea of

A sea of plastic – everything you see in this picture is plastic floating on the water.

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Museum awards a contract for the creation of the exhibit area of the transformed Joseph Brant Museum

News 100 redBy Staff

April 19th, 2018



Retainong wall for the wester side of the expanded museum

Transformation of the Joseph Brant Museum site.

While back hoes and cement truck work across the property transforming what was a single structure that we knew as the Joseph Brant Museum a company called Kubik is thinking through what there will be in the way of exhibits and interpretive features that will be installed in the large xxx foot space that will be underground.

Fort York

A view of the Fort Henry museum that Kubik did some work on.

Kubik has been awarded the contract to provide the interpretive design, fabrication and installation at Joseph Brant Museum. The company has done work on the Fort York Visitor Centre, Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Wild Weather (Science North), Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Canadian Museum of Nature – Canada Goose Arctic Gallery.

Edwardiam costumes - exhibit

An illustration of some of the dresses in the collection at the Brant Museum.

Kubik has presented a concept design that will feature central, charismatic, and dramatic exhibit hubs, timeline exhibits that will connect to central displays, over-sized interactives and immersive displays. The museum staff thinks they “ may even have a “fashion runway” in the costume gallery.

We can’t wait for that feature.

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Shuttleworth first Burlington resident to announce intention to seek a public school board trustee seat.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 18th, 2018



Margo Shuttleworth, a candidate for the Ward 4 Halton District School Board trustee position in 2014 announced today that she will seek the seat currently held by Richelle Papin in the October municipal election.

Shuttleworth was a consistent observer of the HDSB Program Accommodation Review that resulted in the closure of two of Burlington’s seven high schools.


Margo Shuttleworth

She has been, actively involved in community engagement during her seven years as a Burlington resident: a member of the Burlington Charter Action Team, Healthy Kids Steering Committee member, Parental Involvement Committee member (PIC), Healthy and Safe Routes to School Co-ordinator, Parent Council Executive, Age-Friendly Community Chair Founding Board Member and Small Fry Skating Vice-President.

As a mother of children in the HDSB school system Shuttleworth describes herself as being committed to continuing to fight for the students of Ward 4.

You can reach Margo Shuttleworth at:
shuttleworth.m.a@gmail.com or call 289-838-4078

Related news story

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Critical Forum on the quality of Burlington's transit service to take place on Saturday at the Seniors' Centre

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 16th, 2018


Bfast, Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit, is holding their fourth annual Transit Forum this Saturday, April 21st from 10:00 am to 12:30 at the Seniors’ Centre on New Street.  Free continental breakfast for the early birds.

Bfast event AprilBurlington’s new transit director Sue Connor, a woman with a real transit pedigree will outline her plan of action for repairing and improving the system when she speaks at the Fourth Annual Transit Users’ Forum Apr. 21.

Following her report, she’ll be part of a panel that will answer questions from the audience and discuss the issues that transit users raise. Panel members will be Jim Young and Glenda Th

Sue Connor was appointed to the job less than a year ago, but has already taken decisive action to make the system safer and more reliable. She helped to secure more than $1 million in new funding from City Council to hire more drivers, supervisors and mechanics to make Burlington Transit legally compliant and more reliable.

While the extra stopgap funding is welcome, Burlington Transit needs a greater commitment from City Council and a strong, sustained funding base, said Doug Brown, chair of Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit (BFAST), one of more than a dozen community groups that support and sponsor the annual transit forum.

Connor Sue

Sue Connor, recently appointed Director of Burlington Transit.

“We’ve made progress over the past year and Sue Connor’s appointment is a sign of that,” Brown said. “But we need to do more in order to bring Burlington’s transit funding in line with the rest of the GTHA.”

Connor, Chair of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, is well known for her success in transforming Brampton’s transit system, which has posted ridership gains in the double digits over the past few years. Burlington’s ridership showed double-digit declines over the same period due to the underfunding of transit services by Council.

Sue Connor, who is described as open, honest, frank with a real concern with solving riders’ problems, will speak to the riders of Burlington Transit,” Brown said.

This year’s Transit Users’ Forum will also feature the third transit users’ report card. Last year, more than 100 users rated the system and this year’s Forum participants will also determine Burlington Transit’s marks.

Community organizations participating in the Forum include:

• BFAST (Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit)
• Burlington Age-Friendly Council
• Halton Environmental Network
• Burlington Seniors’ Advisory Committee
• Engaged Citizens of Burlington
• Voices for Change Halton
• Community Development Halton
• Burlington Seniors Community Inc.
• Canadian Association of University Women, Burlington
• Burlington Green
• Poverty Free Halton
• North Burlington

The Forum is supported by the Burlington Gazette and Burlington Transit.

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Dance students will use spoken word poetry and reimagine the messages into dance movements.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 16th, 2018



April 26th, 270 Grade 6-8 students from the Halton District School Board will gather to perform and celebrate International Dance Day.

It is the 13th annual celebration and will be held at the New Street Education Centre (3250 New Street, Burlington), from 9 a.m.-2:15 p.m.

Different silhouettes of various dance poses

Different silhouettes of various dance poses

Students will use excerpts of spoken word poetry as source material and will reimagine the messages as movement to a shared piece of music.

The day will be divided into two sections. In the morning, students will participate in workshops led by professional dancers from across southern Ontario. Workshops include bhangra/bollywood, Caribbean jazz, contemporary, flamenco, hip-hop, musical theatre, tap and urban.

Dance hip hop

Hip hop dance

In the afternoon, Halton District School Board teachers will lead students in creative movement workshops based on the curriculum expectations and the creative process.

This year’s creative workshop theme is ‘resilience’. The students will meet at the end of the day to showcase their creations in an ensemble presentation.

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There are some school board trustees who are at risk in the October municipal. election

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 10th, 2018



Of the eleven Halton District School Board trustees, four are elected by the public school supporters in Burlington.

Two of the four are at risk.

Trustees Andrea Grebenc and Leah Reynolds have said they were not prepared to make any comment on their election plans at this point in time.

The Gazette did not get a response from Papin.

Miller in a huddle with Grebenc

Trustee Andrea Grebenc talking to Director of Education Stuart Miller.

Grebenc, who is now chair of the school board, is not likely to be forgiven by the Pearson high school crown for her vote to close the school. She is proving to be a chair with growth potential and a much needed different level of energy.

We will find out if she has the political smarts to come to terms with some very unhappy constituents once the campaign gets underway.  She does have her work cut out out for her

Richelle Papin

Trustee Papin

Richelle Papin has not managed to win the favour of the ward 4 school parents. The fit as a trustee just wasn’t all that good. She may choose not to run again.

Reynolds was seen as the heir apparent for the ward 2 city council seat when (not if – when) Councillor Meed Ward announces she is running for the office of Mayor. The Reynolds star has dimmed recently. If she chooses to run for the city council seat when it becomes available the people in the ward may choose to reward her for the work she did to keep Central high school off the closing list.

MMW + Leah Reynolds

Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward with Leah Reynolds at Meed Ward’s 2014 election announcement meeting. Reynolds went on to ge elected the trustee for the ward.

She would be re-elected as a school board if that is where she chose to remain – which is probably in her best interests.

There is a much stronger woman that is likely to run for the city council seat – she hasn’t declared yet – and no we are not going to say who it is other than that she could serve the people of the ward and the city rather well

The one star trustee has been Amy Collard from ward 5 – she has been a bulldog in the way she has held the Director of Education accountable. She has been acclaimed each time she ran as a school board trustee.

Collard and Miller

Ward 5 trustee Amy Collard giving the Director of Education a very hard look during the debates on closing high schools in Burlington.

She has expressed some interest in city council – she would certainly give the incumbent Paul Sharman a run for his money.

There are a couple of trustees from the other municipalities in the District that could consider retirement.

All the action isn’t at city hall.

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

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Director tells trustees a non-decision on the location of a new administration building is not an option.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 6th, 2018



Halton District school board Director of Education Stuart Miller told board trustees Wednesday evening that he was pulling his report on a new administration building from the agenda.

He has moved to a plan B – and he isn’t at all certain what that plan will be.

Miller pulls the report Apr 4-2018

Director of Education Stuart Miller telling the Halton District trustees that he is pulling his administration building report from the agenda.

Miller has explained to the trustees he is accountable to the trustees and has a duty to advise them on what is needed to deliver the program to students. A new administration building is one of the things he needs and for the most part the 11 trustees agree with him. What they don’t seem to be able to agree on is where that building should be located.

Trustees Danielli, Amos, Harvey Hope and Collard were prepared to ask that debate on a new building be deferred until there was more information available.

Harvey Hope talked of the traffic challenges in getting to the Board offices in Burlington. Others pointed out that the bulk of the student population is no longer in Burlington; it is north east of the city. They seemed to feel that the administration offices should be closer to the bulk of the student population.

Miller doesn’t disagree with that position but points to the hard realities he has to deal with. The Board owns the land the current site is located on along with a large piece of land immediately south of the current structure and east of M.M. Robinson high school.

street view of the site

Intersection of Upper Middle Road and Guelph Line – a suggested location for a new administration building. Land is owned by the school board.

Buying land for a new building would be prohibitively expensive and the board doesn’t’ have anywhere near enough in its reserve funds to buy new land and construct a new building.

In his initial report to the trustees Miller pointed out to them that a report from a real estate company made it clear that there really wasn’t anything available in the way of the kind of land needed anywhere in the Region.

The trustees have told Miller to look harder.

It is hard to imagine a real estate company passing up a chance to find an appropriate piece of property and then negotiate the purchase of the land. If it was out there – would they not have found it?

Miller is up against a second reality. The building the Board administration is in now has to be made AODA compliant by 2025 – and that will be very expensive. Added to that – the cost of making the space on New Street AODA compliant adds to his woes.

Miller points out that this issue has been before the trustees since 2005. More than 13 years. He told the trustees on Wednesday that a “non-decision is not an option” and added that at some point the board has to make a decision.

Miller said that he would bring the report back sometime in 2019 – in January or February. Milton trustee Danielli noted that Miller might be dealing with a significantly different board after the October municipal election.

Perhaps those trustees who have been sitting on their hands since 2005 and done nothing about this problem will choose to end their careers as trustees or have the public bring those careers to an end.

One of the critical jobs these trustees have is to be financially prudent; there is enough money in the reserve fund to pay for the construction of a new administration building on and the board owns in Burlington.

Miller also added that it will take three to five years to get all the permissions and permits in place before construction could begin and that AODA date of 2025 is not that far off.

aerial of site

A new board administration building could be located at the north west intersection of Upper Middle and Guelph Line.

Miller has said that he will “explore some other geographical areas, and be back at the Board probably early in the New Year and they will have to decide if they want a new building or renovating this one.”

Miller also pointed out that the public needs to know what the board of education is up against.

Time for the trustees to get on with the job they were elected to do.


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District school board appoints new Superintendent of Facility Services - where will she build the needed administration building?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 6th, 2018



The Halton District School Board has appointed Maia Puccetti as Superintendent of Facility Services. She replaces Gerry Cullen who retired recently.

Maia Puccetti 2018 - photo

Maia Puccetti appointed Superintendent of Facility Services for the Halton District School Board

Puccetti is expected to start her new role this spring. As Superintendent of Facility Services, Puccetti will lead capital projects, facilities, maintenance, rentals, environmental and sustainability projects and plant operations.

Puccetti is currently the Superintendent of Facilities Services for the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), a role she has held since March 2011, where she is responsible for capital, school renewal, maintenance, operations and security, sustainability, energy management and accessibility. She is also the Acting Associate Director of the TCDSB. Previously, Puccetti held the role of Senior Coordinator of Renewal and Energy and Senior Manager of Renewal with the TCDSB.

Puccetti holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Environmental Design and a master’s degree in Architecture. She has served as the Capital Planner for Toronto Community Housing Corporation and as an Architect with MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects.

Puccetti has some interesting challenges ahead of her: re-purposing what the Board does with Lester B. Pearson and Bateman high schools; making a new Bateman fit into Nelson high school and building a new Board administration office once the trustees decide where it should be located.

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Inspire awards handed out to staff who support students and their achievements from Milton, Oakville and Burlington

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 5th, 2018



Each month the Halton School Board Trustees recognize staff from the schools across the Region with an Inspire Award.

The Inspire Award is for people who go above and beyond to support students in the Halton District School Board.

Everyone in the Halton District School Board community can nominate or be nominated – families, neighbours, related organizations, staff, students and school volunteers.

The Inspire Award is given to an individual or group that is formally or informally associated with the Halton District School Board, who support our students and their achievements through exemplary caring, initiative, innovation and creativity.

Inspire Apr 4-2018

Inspire Award recipients: L -R Rachelle MacLeod, Jessica Goodwin, Jason Adams, Sarah Cronin. On the extreme left trustees Grebenc and Graves; on the right Director of Education Stuart Miller and trustee Danielli.

Sarah Cronin, Special Education at Milton District HS
Sarah is the Department Head of Special Education at Milton District HS. She demonstrates passion, commitment and a long-standing dedication to ensuring students have equitable learning opportunities. Through workshops and various assistive technologies, Sarah enables students’ self-discovery, perseverance and autonomy. She helps students build confidence and develop life skills to help them succeed in high school and beyond. Sarah promotes equitable learning by engaging students, encouraging self-advocacy for learning differences and by ensuring students can approach their learning in ways that make sense to them. Her ongoing support and advocacy for youths with special education needs inspires students and staff.

Jason Adams, teacher at Ryerson PS
Jason is a special education teacher to gifted students at Ryerson PS. He is a support to students with learning differences and assists them with social skills, attention and behaviour. Jason is committed to understanding individual student needs and learning differences to provide equitable and enhanced learning opportunities for students. He takes the time to go above and beyond to make students feel comfortable and supported and ensures parents are involved and updated with their children’s learning. His dedication has helped students with learning differences begin to love school.

Jessica Goodwin, volunteer at Lester B. Pearson HS
Jessica is a volunteer at Lester B. Pearson HS. She has put significant time and effort into working with a special needs student and has demonstrated unwavering support and patience. She has been flexible and understanding and has gone above and beyond to support the student’s success both in school and outside of school. Jessica’s commitment and dedication has provided consistency to a student with learning challenges.

Rachelle MacLeod, teacher at Irma Coulson PS
Rachelle is a teacher at Irma Coulson PS. Her leadership of the Breakfast Program at the school enables the program to run seamlessly for students and volunteers. Rachelle has put significant time and effort into ensuring all students at Irma Coulson have access to healthy food so they continue to learn, grow and succeed. Students, staff and volunteers are grateful for Rachelle’s continuous support.

The following Inspire Awards recipients will have their awards presented at a location of their choosing (school, workplace, etc.):

Sean Marks, principal at Glen Williams PS
When Sean became the Principal of Glen Williams Public School he quickly established a relationship with the students, parents and the community. His ability to connect with students allowed them to feel important, appreciated and successful. He creates an atmosphere in the school that enables children to succeed in their learning, parents to feel welcome and community members to feel valued. The lasting relationship he established with parents and community members strengthened the community and created an atmosphere where people feel welcome, valued and connected.

Cindy Jeffers, volunteer at Palermo PS
Cindy has been volunteering in the HDSB for more than 10 years. She has served as Secretary, Fundraiser, Treasurer, Co-Chair and Chair on Parent Council. She volunteers in the school library every week and helps with pizza days each Friday. Cindy is a constant and welcomed figure in the school. With her support, students experience many events throughout the year. Her continuous dedication to the school is appreciated by students and staff.

Torey Craig, teacher at Sir. E. MacMillan PS
Torey is a French Immersion teacher at Sir E. MacMillan Public School. She takes the time to provide each student with the encouragement and support they need to succeed. Her attention to detail and her commitment to making the curriculum engaging enables students to reach their potential and succeed. Torey’s commitment to supporting individual student needs and involving parents in their children’s learning builds student confidence and improves well-being.

Gloria Vivolo-Nerby, teacher at Gary Allan HS
Gloria is a teacher at Gary Allan HS who goes above and beyond to provide support to all students in the school. She provides ongoing and comprehensive academic and emotional support to all students. Gloria demonstrates professionalism and is an inspiration to her colleagues.

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‘Should We Unplug Our Kids?' - Statements on Screen Time for Children

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

April 6th, 2018



How much time should your children spend before a screen?

And how do you get them away from that screen when they have been in front of one for far too long?


The problem –

The Community & Parent Partners for Kids (C.A.P.P. for KIDS) is presenting the event that begns at 7:00 pm and runs to 8:30 p.m. at the New Street Education Centre (3250 New St., Burlington). There will be community displays from 6:45-7 p.m.

Parents are invited to attend the free evening presentation on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 aimed at addressing the appropriate amount of screen time for young people in a society increasingly dominated by technology.

Called ‘Should We Unplug Our Kids? Reflections on the revised Canadian Paediatric Society Position Statement on Screen Time for Children’, the presentation will highlight the current trends, research and recommendations related to screen time.

screen time asleep

How much screen time is appropriate – and how does a parent come up with rules that work?

Child experts Maria Ramos and Linda Bell will lead the presentation. Both are experienced Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologists with advanced skills in facilitating the development of language and emergent literacy in preschool children. Their role includes coaching parents and service providers as well as offering community presentations on a variety of related topics.

C.A.P.P. for KIDS is a partnership between Halton Region, Halton District School Board, Halton Catholic District School Board, Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK), Our Kids Network, Halton Regional Police Service, Ontario Early Years, Burlington Public Library, City of Burlington, and the Halton Multicultural Council.

For more information about this event, email mailto:capp4kids@gmail.com.

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Two Males Arrested for Distraction Thefts Throughout the Halton Region

Crime 100By Staff

April 5, 2018



On Tuesday April 3rd 2018, two males were in Food Basics stores in the towns of Georgetown, Milton and the city of Burlington.

At each location the two males, acting as a team, used distraction techniques to steal a purse from unsuspecting elderly females. One male engaged the elderly females in conversation asking for assistance. During this distraction, the other male stole the purses. Cash and credit cards were taken from the stolen purses and the purses were discarded.

The two males used the stolen credit cards at multiple stores close to the location of each theft. The cards were used immediately after the theft of each purse.

At 1:35pm on Wednesday April 4th 2018, the same males again attended the Food Basics in Georgetown. Alert employees recognized the suspects and quickly contacted police. The suspects left the scene in a motor vehicle. Witnesses obtained the licence plate information and police connected the vehicle to a Brampton address.

Detectives from the one district criminal investigations bureau were able to stop the motor vehicle and at 4:10pm arrested the occupants as they attempted to return to their residence.

One adult and one young offender, who cannot be named under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, are facing three counts of theft under.

Bogdan DYMITER, 20 years of Brampton and a 17 year old young offender were held pending a bail hearing.

The investigation is continuing into these offences and further charges are expected.

What you can do to protect your self: Click here

Halton Police wish to thank the alert Food Basics employees who quickly contacted police and obtained vital information necessary to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion.

Police would also like to remind members of the public to be cognizant of the techniques used in these types of thefts and be on guard keeping personal possessions safe, secure and away from view in public places.

Anyone who may have additional information concerning this investigation can contact Detective Derek Moyes of the One District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext: 2114.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222- 477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

Persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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A summary of the Impaired Driving Offences within Halton Region

Crime 100By Staff

April 5th, 2018


Police are still laying far too many charges for Impaired driving.

How man of these charges result in convictions?

What does a conviction mean to insurance rates?

What does the Court do in terms of punishment?  Fines?  How much?

A summary of the offences:

On March 30, 2018 shortly before 1:30 am, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Maple Avenue and Brush Road in Milton. As a result of an investigation, Obaid Mujtaba (24), of Milton was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80mgs.

On March 30, 2018 shortly before 8:30 am, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Main Street South and Park Avenue in Halton Hills. As a result of an investigation, Richard Fox (34), of Stoney Creek was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80mgs.

On March 30, 2018 shortly before 10:30 am, Halton Police officers responded to the area of Robarts Drive and Dills Crescent in Milton, in response to a citizen-initiated traffic complaint. As a result of an investigation, Jeremy Dixon (22), of Milton was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80 mgs.

On March 31, 2018 shortly after 11:30 am, Halton Police officers initiated a traffic stop near the intersection of Princeton Crescent and Sunnydale Drive in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Lance Atchison (50), of Burlington was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80 mgs.

On March 31, 2018 shortly before 8:00 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Fairview Street and Maple Avenue in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Ali Mohammed (33), of Burlington was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80mgs.

On March 31, 2018 shortly after 9:00 pm, Halton Police officers responded to the area of Maple Avenue and Norrington Place in Milton, in response to a citizen-initiated traffic complaint. As a result of an investigation, Clark Stewart (45), of Milton was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80 mgs.

On April 1, 2018 shortly before 11:00 am, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Speers Road and Bronte Road in Oakville. As a result of an investigation, Ryan Whey (22), of Mississauga was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80mgs.

On April 1, 2018 shortly before 9:00 pm, Halton Police officers initiated a traffic stop near the intersection of Main Street and James Street in Milton. As a result of an investigation, Rui Pinto Verdugo (45), of Milton was charged with driving over 80 mgs.

On April 1, 2018 shortly after 10:30 pm, Halton Police officers were conducting a mobile R.I.D.E. initiative in the area of Cornwall Road and Chartwell Road in Oakville. A traffic stop was conducted and as a result of an investigation, Jennifer Lawrence (44), of Oakville was charged with driving over 80mgs.

On April 3, 2018 shortly before 10:00 pm, Halton Police officers responded to the area of Derry Road and Sixth Line in Milton, in response to a citizen-initiated traffic complaint. As a result of an investigation, Janusz Uramowski (66), of Mississauga was charged with care or control while impaired and care or control over 80 mgs.


Survey closes on Friday – April 6th – Takes two minutes to complete.

The Halton Regional Police Service remains committed to road safety through prevention, education and enforcement initiatives.  Members of the public are reminded that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a crime in progress and to call 9-1-1 immediately to report a suspected impaired driver.

The Service’s Twitter and Facebook accounts should not be used for this purpose as they are not monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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National Newsmedia Council statement

The Burlington Gazette is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.
When the Gazette was covering a meeting of the Halton District School Board we made an error and attributed a statement to one of the trustees from Milton when it was made by one of the trustees from Oakville. The two sit side by side during school board meetings. We corrected the error but not to the complete satisfaction of the trustee. The NNC requires the Gazette to publish their report on how they respond to a complaint. That report is set out below.

April 3 2018
The National NewsMedia Council has upheld a complaint about accuracy and errors correction in the Burlington Gazette.

The March 22 2018 article reported on a Halton District School Board meeting, where part of the discussion was about a new administration building.

The complainant, Kim Graves, stated that two statements in the article were untrue.

The first cited inaccuracy was that “The Oakville and Milton trustees didn’t like the distance they would have to drive to get to Board meetings if they continued to be held in Burlington”. No trustees were named in the article but Graves, a trustee from Milton, objected that she did not make that statement.
Graves said the second untrue statement is that trustees “are queasy” about discussing the new administration centre. She said the statement implied all trustees are queasy, and is untrue because she is not queasy about having the discussion.

In its response, The Burlington Gazette said it did not refuse to make a correction, but that it would review the three-hour video of the meeting web cast.

Subsequently, the news outlet published a correction stating that in an “earlier version of this news story we said that Milton trustee Kim Graves had complained about the distance she had to drive to get to school board meetings” and that it was the trustee beside her who made the comment.

That correction also stated “we said ‘… they were a little queasy about having this matter on the table…’. It would have been more correct to say that some were queasy.”

The complainant objected to the first part of the correction as inaccurate. She noted the original article did not name her as making a statement, but did incorrectly imply she made a statement.

Based on the above, Council upheld the complaint about an inaccurate statement. It also upheld the complaint about the correction, because it incorrectly conveyed the original statement and drew unwarranted attention to the complainant. It is worth noting that the original statement implied six trustees were of the same view, but the correction admitted to misattributing a comment to just one.

The complainant also raised questions about the news media’s approach to making a correction. While it is reasonable for the journalist to double check the audio video recording, and to ask for a quote on that or another issue, it is also the prerogative of the trustee or any other interviewee to decline to comment. A correction should not be contingent on providing a further quote.

The news outlet defended its request for further quotes, and stated it “wanted to see a statement that was clearer” than the complainant’s earlier comments.

As a general comment, Council noted that tension between the media and institutions is normal and part of the accountability dynamic of a healthy democracy. However, journalistic standards of accuracy, opportunity to respond, attribution, citing reliable sources, and willingness to make prompt and meaningful corrections are essential in a reputable media. Similarly, government and institutions have a role in allowing media access to information, and those in public office must expect a higher degree of scrutiny and less privacy than those individuals in private life.

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Google could have everything you ever said on a cell phone, could have everything you ever wrote and where you travelled. It is not easy to keep their nose out of your business.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 31st, 2018



The headline read: Want to know everything Google knows about you?

It was part of a Saturday morning CBC radio program Day 6. Incredible, frightful and not really a damn thing you can do about it.

They know it all – and they will sell it to anyone who will pay the price. That includes political organizations; national brand advertisers and literally every police or security authority out there.

We have set out a transcription of the conversation that is to be broadcast.

Day 6 GoogleIt is between Ireland-based data consultant and web developer Dylan Curran  and Day 6 host Brent Bambury, who is interviewing Curran, who explains,  step by step, how anyone can check what information Google has on them — from where they’ve travelled to their political views and even which stickers they’ve used online.

The broadcast of course doesn’t have any visuals.  Those can be seen at this link:

You can follow Curran on Twitter at: @iamdylancurran

It’s no secret that Facebook and Google collect data from people who use their services. But Curran was shocked by just how much he found about himself on Google.

He talks with Day 6 host Brent Bambury about why companies like Google store so much personal data, and what it could mean for the future.

CBC Day 6 with BrentBrent Bambury: What prompted you to look into how much data Google has collected about you?

Dylan Curran:I was on Twitter one Saturday, a little bit hungover — I have a life — and this person had essentially posted a thread, which was very similar to mine, but all they were going through was the Facebook data rather than the Google data as well. They showed that Facebook was storing your phone text messages or phone call records, and these collections are external to Facebook so they were storing things that they didn’t need to store. And then after seeing that, and seeing the shock that so many people were experiencing, I decided to go in and do a little bit of investigation myself and compile it into something that people could easily read.

Brent Bambury So what other types of information were you able to find out had been collected about you online?

Dylan Curran:  Oh God, so much. Number one was that they were storing Google incognito history. So if you were using private browsing, where they don’t track your data, they did actually store it. So, say your wife wouldn’t be able to see what you are doing in Google incognito, but Google will. And number two, they were mapping out your location every time you turned on your phone. So if your location setting is turned on, Google will log your location every time you turn on your phone. They store that and then they’ll basically put it into a big database and you can go onto maps.google.com/timeline and see where you’ve been for the last four or five years.

Brent Bambury At the end of six hours how many gigs of information did you have that Google had on you?

Dylan Curran

Dylan Curran: We don’t have the lady’s name.

Dylan Curran: Facebook has 600 megabytes and Google had 5.5 gigabytes — which, for context, is about three million more documents.

Brent Bambury Now, if Google is storing that amount of data for every person who uses a Google product or a Google app, that’s a lot of raw data. How is it all stored?

Dylan Curran:  I did an estimation where around 2.2 billion people — 70 per cent of the internet— use Google, and this is conjecture, but I would say [they are storing] on average maybe one gigabyte per person. So if they have 2.2 billion gigabytes, that’s 2.2 exabytes. That’s three per cent of the world’s online storage.

Just try and keep in mind that everything you do online does leave a footprint and it will be kept forever.

Brent Bambury  How much does it cost to store three per cent of the world’s online information?

Dylan Curran: Because of economies of scale, it’s quite easy for them to store. Google makes on average $12 per person for their information, and the cost of storing it, I would say, is less than a fraction of a cent.

Brent Bambury  You said that Google’s making $12 per person through our data. How did they monetize it into a profit?

Dylan Curran:  What they essentially do is they take your information and then they build an advertising profile based on you. Advertisers pay to use that advertising profile to target you with the products and services that they want to sell you.

Brent Bambury People were shocked by the amount of information that you uncovered that Google had on you. What are the implications of all of this, of these private companies having so much data about so many people?

Dylan Curran: My problem really is that we don’t know the implications. So I have no doubt that Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, etc., aren’t doing anything too nefarious with the data. I don’t think that’s what’s happening. It’s just that they are cataloguing all of this information. So if Google has information on a third of the population on the planet, down to everything they’ve done for the last 10 years, that does have a lot of negative connotations for the future. Especially in an ever-changing world. I do strongly believe that it’s safer just to not have that kind of potential bomb available. I think it can be a little less extensive.

Brent Bambury:  But there doesn’t seem to be a clear way of opting out. I mean, even if people change their privacy settings, is there any way of escaping having your data collected by Facebook or Google?

Dylan Curran: No, that’s the thing. These are free services, and I don’t have any problem morally or ethically with them collecting information in return for using the service. They’re companies and they’re trying to make money. What the issue is, really, is that they’re just collecting too much. They’re going too far.

What people can do is just be a little bit careful online. I’m not suggesting to delete Facebook or delete Google or anything like that. Just try and keep in mind that everything you do online does leave a footprint and it will be kept forever.

CBC radioThe transcript has a note saying: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The full Day 6 broadcast can be heard on CBC Saturday morning at 10 am and then found on the CBC archives.



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Gazette has been around for seven years - started out as Our Burlington - When do people read the Gazette?

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2018



The Gazette is now in its seventh year of publication.

We first hit the streets, via the Internet, in October of 2010 – that was an election year.

For a short period of time we were known as Our Burlington – I didn’t choose the name.

The paper came out of a friendship with the late John Boich who was working with a number of people on creating a better way to deliver local news. In the early stages the people behind that initiative were thinking in terms of getting low frequency radio license – that wasn’t something I was interested in.

The Shape Burlington report had just been published – Boich and former Mayor Walter Mulkewich were the authors of hat report which, in part said:

Engagement: Transform the City Hall culture to promote active citizenship and civic engagement

Promoting active citizen engagement and meaningful public dialogue requires a culture shift at City Hall. A crucial first step is the development an Engagement Charter – a plain language policy document developed with public involvement that incorporates benchmarks and accountabilities, and describes the value, purpose and opportunities for citizens to influence city policies.

The charter would explain how to navigate City Hall and its services. It should stipulate best practices for various kinds of public consultation and affirm the city’s commitment to inform citizens and respond to their ideas and contributions. t would address the question of reaching out to a diverse population.

The charter would incorporate an early notification system to provide citizens and groups information about meetings, events and issues, and to allow reasonable amounts of time to understand, discuss and develop positions before decisions are made.

I managed to convince Boich that a newspaper on line was the route to go – the Executive Director of the non-profit he had set up wasn’t a newspaper person. Boich asked me if I would put together a business plan –

I did – and he said – great – make it happen.

And that was how Our Burlington came to be.

I soon realized that “Our Burlington” was not a fit name for a newspaper and chose the name Gazette for two reasons: Burlington once had a print newspaper called the Gazette and the first photograph I had published as a boy 12 was on the front page of the Montreal Gazette – I also delivered that newspaper as a boy.

When I started the Burlington Gazette I was pretty sure the editorial model I had in mind would work – but it needed to be tried to be certain. The model works.

We have had our ups and downs but the readership growth has been consistent; not massive but consistently incremental.

So who reads the Gazette?

As many readers know we are in the midst of running a readership survey. The practice going forward will be to do a new survey every month – shorter next time; three maybe four questions.

Here is what we can tell you about when the Gazette is read:

Gazette readers story

Just over 40% of our readers are daily readers. We notice that during the winter a decent number of “snowbirders” read us from the United States – we don’t know which state they are reading from – just US of A.

There is more in the way of readership from Hamilton and Toronto than we expected.

survey04The data show in the graph above is “raw” in that we don’t tell you which ward those readers live in.  we will include that data in the full report which we will publish when the survey is  closed.  We wanted the survey open for at least 15 days.  The Sunday readership is always quite high and we want to keep it open beyond the Easter holiday.


Related news stories:

The Shape Report

The city’s Community Engagement Charter

Why the Gazette?

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Former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change will address Burlingtonians at Mayor Goldring's next Inspire event.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

March 28th, 2018



Mayor Goldring is holding another of his Inspire Burlington series late in April.

Goldring has invited Glen Murray, Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, and former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change for Ontario to speak on transit-supportive development that works to create multi-modal, and sustainable cities.

Mayor Inspire - Murray speakingThe talk will take place at the Royal Botanical Gardens April 25th at 7:30 p.m in the main auditorium; admission is FREE and all are welcome.

The talk takes place a couple of days after the Bfast 4th annual Forum of transit – might be some interesting questions that can come out of the Form for Mr. Murray

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More than 900 students from across the Region take part in a two day Band Extravaganza.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

March 28th, 2018



Two solid days of students and their instruments learning a new piece of music and then coming together as a massed band to perform what they have learned.

The event is part of what the Halton District School Board calls a Band Extravaganza taking place in Burlington Tuesday and Wednesday.

Girl with trombone

The students paid close attention tot he instructions they were being given.

Listening to the students as they warm up with their instruments and get instructions on instrument specific clinics from instructors that were donated by Long and McQuade.

Girl with base sax

There was this beautiful deep sound that just enveloped the room. Then the other instruments joined in.

Being in a room with 15 to 40 students who are being directed by an experienced musician learning to get the best sound possible from the instrument is quite an experience. The rooms were on the small side where the sound bounced off the walls.

Boys with clarinets

Boys being boys – talking up what they were being taught?

Students start each day with a concert by the Halton Junior Jazz Band. Afterwards, students go to breakout clinics specific to their instrument. Later they convene for a massed band rehearsal, with guest conductors on both days.

Getting the instrument ready

Concentration and getting it just right.

The board has commissioned two original concert band compositions for the event: The Call to Adventure by composer David Marlatt, and The Conquest by Ryan Meeboer, a teacher at Alexander’s Public School in Burlington.

The pieces will be directed by the composers and played for the first time by Halton students.

Rebecca MacRae, the board’s instructional program leader (the arts, K-12) is overseeing the event.

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Pearson high prepares for the formal closing early in June.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 25th, 2017



The closing of a high school is never a pleasant experience particularly when many in the community were opposed to the closing.

At the Lester B. Pearson High School they are calling the occasion a Celebration that will take place over two days: June 1 and 2, 2018


The Pearson high school students were always an active bunch: during a teacher strike they protested the bill before the provincial legislature.

The people organizing the event want to know who is interested – past and present students, alumni, and former staff are being asked to an interest survey by April 7

A full slate of engaging activities are being organized to celebrate Lester B. Pearson High School (1976-2018) on Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2, 2018. Events are planned for students, alumni and staff, both past and present, to celebrate the school’s 42-year history. Lester B. Pearson High School will close at the end of June 2018, with students moving to nearby M.M. Robinson High School.

All events will be held at Lester B. Pearson High School (1433 Headon Rd, Burlington). The two-day celebration will include a number of activities to recognize and honour accomplishments over the decades of students, staff and the wider Pearson community.

Friday, June 1, 2018 – Patriot Generation Sports Tournaments and Pep Rally with world renowned Burlington Teen Tour Band, food trucks and entertainment, play and watch ball hockey, basketball, touch football, soccer, volleyball, and enjoy socializing with longtime friends.

Saturday, June 2, 2018 – Open House with Decades Showcase, Tours and Closing Ceremony with Lester B. Pearson’s granddaughter, Patricia Pearson, and founding principal, David Katz, along with music, videos and representatives speaking about the decades. Reception to follow.

To assist with planning, everyone attending the celebrations is encouraged to complete the Lester B. Pearson Celebration: Save The Date Survey and learn more about the planned events. The survey will remain open until Saturday, April 7, 2018 and will help event organizers confirm what activities are of interest to attendees and how many people to expect.

So far, approximately 300 surveys have been completed, with more than 650 attendees expected to attend, including students and staff from the 1970s through to current day.

survey04To learn more about the celebration activities, like and share the Celebrate Lester B. Pearson High School Facebook page, follow @CelebrateLBP on Twitter, visit www.CelebrateLBP.com or email celebrateLBP@hdsb.ca.

For additional information, contact: Loraine Fedurco, Principal, Lester B. Pearson High School: 905-335-0961

It will be an occasion filled with mixed emotions.

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Afternoon tea at the AGB this afternoon

eventspink 100x100By Staff

March 25th, 2018


Little did we know.

Our original headline on this story read: High tea at the AGB this afternoon.

We got our ears boxed when the CFUW advised us that – Please note that the phrase “high tea” refers to the evening meal of the working classes in Britton, sometimes even just referred to as “tea”. What University Women are holding is “afternoon tea”.  The correct spelling for Britain is <

The Canadian Federation of University Women is holding a 40th anniversary March Hare fund raiser this afternoon at the Art Gallery from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

The CFUW is an organization that is dedicated to fellowship, advocacy and education. They have in the past sponsored debates during election campaigns and have a scholarship program.

March Hare

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Art Gallery of Ontario 1333 Lakeshore Rd. Burlington ON

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