Trustees are not opposed to having a new HDSB administration centre built - but they don't agree on where it should be located.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 22, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

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.  It was trustee Anne Harvey Hope who made the comment – the two women sit beside each other at board meetings.  In the same article 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 Gazette regrets these errors.

Most of the trustees said last night that the Halton District School Board needed a new Administrative Building – but they didn’t want to see it located in Burlington.

There are 11 school board trustees – four represent Burlington; four represent Oakville and two represent Milton. One represents Halton Hills.

Kelly Amos

Need the building said Kelly Amos – but it shouldn’t be in Burlington.

Anne Harvey Hope

Driving to Burlington for 6 pm meetings is terrible – but we do need a new administration centre – Trustee Harvey-Hope

Oakville trustee Ann Harvey Hope said it was a “nightmare” to get to Board meetings from the east side of Oakville. Two of the 11 trustees were not in physical attendance – they took part on-line.

None of the trustees were opposed to the idea of putting up a new structure – some were a little queasy about having this matter on the table less than a year after closing two of the city’s seven high schools.

Director of Education Stuart Miller was adamant in saying that there was no link between the closing of the two high schools and the need to build a new building for administrators.

And he said, for the umpteenth time, that funds gained from the sale of a school property could not be used to build an administrative centre.

Trustees - Sams - Reynolds - Collard

Trustee Leah Reynolds, centre wanted the dust on school closings to settle before a new administrative Centre decision was made. Trustee Collard, on the right wanted any decision deferred. Trustee Grey, on the left represents Halton Hills – she made her comments by a telecommunications link.

Ward 1 and 2 Burlington trustee Leah Reynolds said making a decision now would be “ill timed” and that the Board should “wait for the dust to settle”.

Amy Collard, Burlington ward 5 trustee wanted to see a decision on a new building deferred but couldn’t find a seconder for her motion.

Why now was the question Reynolds had. Miller explained that this is an issue that has been in the talking stage for years – the building was defined as inadequate in 2005.

Stuart Miller

Stuart Miller

He added that the Board offices have to be AODA compliant by 2025 and that it would cost millions to bring the Singleton centre up to AODA standards.

He estimated that there would be a savings of $8 to $12 million if the Board approved the decision to proceed with the construction of a new build on land that they already owned.

The trustees agreed that a new building was needed – they just didn’t want it to be in Burlington. The problem was that land was very expensive and there really wasn’t much that was available.

The Board did have talks with the Region about using some of the land on Bronte Road north of the QEW – those talks went nowhere.

Miller is thinking in terms of the location having  a cafeteria, maybe a day care and he is open to the idea of renting space to organizations that are aligned to the values of public education.

Pickets during the first admin bldg

Protesting the $1 million expansion of the Halton Board of Education administration centre more than 20 years ago – four parents picket the centre; in Burlington; yesterday. They are Bill Johnson of Milton; defeated New Democratic Party candidate in Halton-Burlington; Betty Fisher and Christine Louth of Halton Hills; and Lillian Kilpatrick of Oakville.

The real estate consultant they hired advised that the amount of land they needed was scarce.

Miller sees the Board facing a very difficult and expensive problem. He needs a building that is AODA compliant. The building he has does not have the space he needs. He has property yards away from where the existing building is located.

His trustees are not going to help him out of this one.

The matter comes back to the Board April 4th.

Related new storey.

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Milton public school named after Viola Desmond, first black woman to appear on Canadian currency.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 22, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We were a different people then.

Harder, harsher less tolerant of others and the differences between the races.

A world war had ended and people were adjusting to a different world but still suffering from the hardships brought on by that war.

Desmond $10 billIn New Glasgow, Nova Scotia Viola Irene Desmond went to a movie theatre and sat in a part that was reserved for white people. She was ejected from the theatre by security people, arrested and placed in a jail cell and charged with a minor tax violation for the one-cent tax difference between the seat she had paid for and the seat she used which was more expensive.

Desmond’s case is one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history and helped start the modern civil rights movement in Canada.

That was in 1946. In 2010, Desmond was granted a posthumous pardon, the first to be granted in Canada. The government of Nova Scotia also apologized for prosecuting her for tax evasion and acknowledged she was rightfully resisting racial discrimination.

In 2016, the Bank of Canada announced that Desmond would be the first Canadian woman to be featured on the front of a banknote; that honour went to Agnes Macphail, who appeared along with three men on a 2017 commemorative note marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Agnes Macphail was the first woman to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1921.

In late 2018 Desmond will be the first Canadian-born woman to appear alone on a $10 bill which was unveiled by Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz during a ceremony at the Halifax Central Library.

The Halton District school Board decided last night to name a public school in Milton after Viola Desmond.

Gavin Milton #10

Principal of what was, until last night, Milton PS # 10. The Board of Education named the school Viola Desmond Public School. It will open in September of 2018

The Board believes  it is the first school board to name a school after the woman who started the fight for racial equality in Canada. Milton PS # 10 will now be known as the Viola Desmond Public School.

A significant event in the long hard fight in Canada for racial equality, that isn’t over yet, took place in Nova Scotia in 1946.

School principal was on hand at the school board meeting to watch the vote take place.

The school will open in September of 2018 and offer Junior Kindergarten ‐ Grade 7 with Grade 8 English Program to be added in September 2019.

French Immersion Program offered in 2018-2019:   Grade 2 with each grade added in subsequent years.

 

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Public school board trustees will be deciding on a recommendation to build a new administration building - $23 million +

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 20th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The easiest way to get this story out is to report that after deciding to close two of Burlington’s seven high schools the trustees will decide on Wednesday if they want to go forward with the building of a new administrative building at a cost of $23 million plus some ongoing financing that will have to be taken on.

The recommendation the trustees are going to debate is:

Be it resolved that the Halton District School Board direct the Director of Education to initiate the construction of a new administrative building on the J.W. Singleton Education Centre property, pending Ministry approval.

Stuart Miller

Director of Education Stuart Miller has put forward a staff recommendation to construct a new Board administration building.

In a report to the trustees Director of Education Stuart Miller set out the conclusion that he and his Superintendents arrive at goes like this:

The Halton District School Board is the largest single employer in the entire Halton region. With more than 8000 full and part time employees serving 65,000 students and their families, it is clear the Halton District School Board is a very significant part of the Region of Halton. Moreover, dozens of Halton-based businesses employing a multitude of Halton residents do business with and provide services to the Board, its students and its staff. With a budget of more than $760 million, it is also apparent the Board and its employees contribute greatly to the local economy.

aerial of site

If the trustees follow the staff recommendation Burlington will see a new multi storey structure at the north west intersection of Upper Middle Road and Guelph Line.

The staff who currently work in the J.W. Singleton Education Centre, New Street Education Centre and the Milton Learning Centre are vital to the work of the schools. Halton students and graduates are served very well by their teachers, educational assistants, school administrators and all school- based support staff. Indeed, Halton District School Board students perform consistently at or near the top when compared to other boards across the province.

This cannot occur without the support of those who work in the various Board offices. Vital operations such as information technology, payroll, human resources, purchasing, facility services, library services, academic consulting, student services (special education), financial services, senior management and the functions of the Board of Trustees all occur centrally. Each of these services, and more, provide essential support for both the achievement and well-being of the Halton District School Board’s students. The role of all central support staff is crucial to the continued success of all Halton District School Board students.

Current offices

Photographs of current administrative offices at the Singleton Centre on Guelph Line.

The current facilities that accommodate these staff are inadequate. There is insufficient space and the condition of the current buildings are found wanting. To meet the current needs, including AODA compliance, would require a significant investment of millions of dollars. In addition, retrofitting or renovations would result in the displacement of hundreds of personnel and several school operations.

The need for an administrative centre that provides a modern, efficient building that is fully accessible and adaptable to future needs, will have a positive impact on professional relationships, operations and ultimately student learning and well-being.

In the fall of 2017 the Halton Regional Police Services moved into a new headquarters on North Service Road. The building itself cost $54 million and was built on Region-owned land. This new headquarters will serve the police services and ultimately the citizens of Halton well into the future.

A new Halton District School Board education centre will serve the same purpose for the tens of thousands of students we serve, well into the future.

New HQ

New Regional Police HQ – due to be opened in the very near future.

Like the Halton Regional Police Services headquarters, which was situated on regional land, the new HDSB administrative centre would be placed on Board property. This will result in a savings of approximately $5.6 to $8.8 million dollars, as land would not have to be purchased. It is also more efficient and would allow the project to be started and completed in a shorter time period.

It is for these reasons staff are recommending a new education centre be constructed on the site of the current administrative centre, subject to the required approvals.

How did the Board get to this point and have you heard anything about it from your school board trustee?

The Halton District School Board has grown to 65,000 students, an increase of 35% in student population during the past 10 years. This has resulted in a corresponding increase in staff across the system. There are currently 388 staff assigned to both the J.W. Singleton Centre and New Street Education Centre. This number has increased during the years and will continue to increase, as enrolment grows, in order to provide support and oversight to ensure schools operate effectively.

Because of this growth, staff have been engaged in a study of accommodation needs of central administrative Board staff.

Five level bldg

Architects schematic of what would go where in a new School Board administrative building.

A February 4, 2015 initiated a review to determine if the Board offices are adequate to carry out the current and future functions of the Board. This report identified Snyder and Associates Inc. as the consultant to lead this study. Two phases were outlined. Phase one was a comprehensive needs assessment followed by phase two which provided options for consideration to address the needs identified in phase one.

A report to the Board in June 24, 2015 outlined the results of phase one, confirming that the current administrative spaces are inadequate to accommodate the current and growing needs of central staff and the functions they perform.

The second phase was a February 17, 2017 report that highlighted ideal proximity of departments for optimal synergies and the importance of centralizing all administrative functions of the Board at one site, ideally geographically central in the Board. The report confirmed the current practice of accommodating staff through reorganization and/or minor modifications/ renovations of current space is not a long term solution. Spaces are cramped, lacking privacy, meeting space is inappropriate, building systems are outdated and accessibility remains an issue.

The report identified the need for a facility that:

• is flexible and adaptable to future needs
• encourages collaboration and innovation
• provides a safe and inclusive environment
• is fully accessible for staff and the public
• enhances employee well-being to improve employee performance
• enhances community and board wide engagement

The report also outlined general specifications including square footage, cost and the number of staff to be accommodated.

An October 16, 2016 to the reported staff had been in contact with municipalities and a joint facility was not a likely option. Staff had also investigated available vacant land geographically central to the Board and determined there is no readily available vacant land.

The facility would require approximately eight acres of land. The report also outlined possible concept plans for two currently owned administrative centre lands: Gary Allan High School/New Street Education Centre and M.M. Robinson/J.W. Singleton Centre.

E.C. Drury Campus
During the course of the past 14 months, staff have investigated the potential use of the E.C. Drury site. This site is geographically located centrally within the Board which has some obvious advantages. The E.C. Drury site, however, is owned and operated by Provincial Schools. This is a complicating factor and to date staff have not been able to engage in the necessary discussions with the Province (Infrastructure Ontario) that would result in this piece of property being considered a viable option. Any further discussions would likely be long and arduous making this option less than ideal.

Land Availability
The consultants have suggested for a new location, eight acres would be sufficient to accommodate a new administration building. This site size would allow for unknowns such as site configuration, setbacks, easements, and future expansion. The Planning Department, supported by consultants Cushman & Wakefield, has confirmed there is currently very little available land central to the Board, including north Oakville or Milton that would meet the size and configuration requirements of a Board administrative office.

Potential Costs
Building a new facility would cost approximately $32 million (tender portion). The Ministry does not fund new administrative centres nor the acquisition of land for a new administrative facility. The Board must finance the construction and, if desired, land acquisition. The acquisition of property for school sites in North Oakville and Milton range in the $1.4 to $2.0 million per acre range. More specific to the Board’s needs for office/employment land, values in north Oakville or Milton are between $700,000 and $1,100,000 per acre, making the cost to purchase the land alone to be approximately $5.6-$8.8 million.

All options presented to the Board will result in a requirement to finance the construction of the new facility. In recognition that funds required to construct a facility would take several years to compile, the following recommendations to allocate funds to the Future Administrative Facility have been approved:

Allocation from Year-end Surplus:

December 2013) $ 1,125,291
November 2015) $2,500,000 Transfers within Accumulated Surplus:
November 2016) $8,919,579
Total $12,544,870

November 2016) $11,100,000

Total Funds Available for Future Administrative Facility $ 23,644,870

The balance of funds required to construct the new administrative facility would be secured through long-term financing. The principal and interest payments would be budgeted through the Board administration and governance funding envelope.

Ontario Regulation 193/10 restricts the amount of funds that can be used for the purposes of constructing administrative facilities. Under this regulation, the Board can only use proceeds of disposition which have been generated through the sale of a former administrative facility. Therefore, the Board cannot use proceeds of disposition generated from the sale of school sites.

Existing Administrative Office Sites
The utilization of existing Board property, either the J.W. Singleton Centre or New St. Education Centre site, would substantially reduce the total cost of the new administrative centre. The Board already owns both potential properties.

Renovating either existing building has been deemed to be problematic for the following reasons:

a. cost of retrofitting and updating the existing building
b. ongoing maintenance and operating costs of existing building
c. accessibility issues within the existing building

The M.M. Robinson H.S. property is approximately 33.6 acres in size, which includes J.W. Singleton Centre (see attachment). Although it is not identified as a separate piece of land, it is estimated the J.W. Singleton Centre site is approximately 5.7 acres in size. The New Street Education Centre/Gary Allan property consists of approximately of 14.67 acres, although the property is fragmented given the previous acquisitions of portions of the site to the City of Burlington.

The consultants have prepared schematic facility fit drawings confirming a 95,000 square foot admin centre could be placed on either property. If the Board were to move forward with building on either the J.W. Singleton Centre site or the New Street Education Centre site, an Official Plan Amendment and rezoning would be required. The Board’s Planning Department has identified the undertaking of an Official Plan Amendment and zoning amendment for the New Street Education Centre/Gary Allan site would likely be problematic, given the residential nature of the surrounding neighbourhood and the concerns related to a use that may not be compatible with the area.

street view of the site

If approved the building would be built on the north west corner of the Upper Middle Road – Guelph Line intersection in Burlington.

The location of the new administration centre on the existing J.W. Singleton Centre site would likely be less cause for concern from area residents. Locating a building at the northwest corner of Guelph Line and Upper Middle Road, would be more compatible to the adjacent land uses (i.e., retail malls to the east and southeast) and M.M. Robinson H.S., located to the west. Also, the location of a new administration centre on the current site, would allow for enhanced building exposure and street presence to ensure the Halton District School Board remains visible in the community.

Trustees - fill board +

The Halton District School Board trustees will decide if they want the administration to proceed with the construction of a new administrative building

The current location also offers better transportation/transit access due to its proximity to a major transportation corridors (Guelph Line/Upper Middle Road) as well as the QEW/403 and Highway 407, as compared to the New Street Education Centre/Gary Allan location. Planning staff believes the potential development of a new administrative centre at this location could provide for other office/retail opportunities that potentially could assist in the reducing the operating costs for the new administration centre.

survey01Does that sound like there will be a Tim Hortons included in the design.

Lastly, the location of the new administration centre at the existing location would ensure the current J.W. Singleton Centre workforce would be minimally impacted.

Get ready for the Burlington reaction to this one.

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Seniors will get to hear students doing a Band Extravaganza

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 19th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Approximately 900 Halton District School Board Grade 7 and 8 music students representing 24 elementary schools, will be convening for two special days of music collaboration, called Band Extravaganza on Tuesday, March 27 and Wednesday March 28, 2018.

Students playing instrumentsThe event will be held each day at the Burlington Music Centre (2311 New Street) and Burlington Seniors’ Centre (2285 New Street).

Students will start each day with a concert by the Halton Junior Jazz Band. Afterward, students will travel to breakout clinics specifically for their instrument and will later convene for a massed band rehearsal with guest conductors both days.

This should work out to be a great opportunity for the seniors.

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

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

survey01“The students are looking forward to rehearsing and performing in this massed band as it is inspirational and grandiose,” said Rebecca MacRae, the Board’s Instructional Program Leader (The Arts, K-12). “Music performance is the major curriculum connection during Band Extravanagza, as the students learn and perform two brand new pieces in one day.”

Long and McQuade of Burlington is generously providing music equipment and clinicians. Halton Board music teachers will also be directing instrumental workshops with students.

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Teaching girls to become radiant during Spring Break; it worked!

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Planning for Spring Break – what are the options for parents?

Is it just part of the school year when parents have to find something else for the kids to do outside the classroom? Is it a time for a holiday break?

Time to go skiing or go south and frolic on a beach?

It can get expensive but households that have both parents working need to do something – the last thing a parent wants is to have kids wandering around aimlessly.

At some point someone or somebody is going to have to come up with programmes for parents of moderate means that keeps the kids out of trouble and harms way.

Gina Faubert is a “personal coach” who has a string of initials after her name that certifies her to work with people on their health and their life issues – and we all have those don’t we.

Donations and Nina

Some of the food donations in the background – the four girls raised $1500 in cash – the balance of the $5000 raised was in food and Cash Card donations.

Along with the career that includes a very robust coaching practice she has a sideline that is a special project for her; she calls it Radiant Girls where the focus is on working with girls on their leadership skills and their personal sense of self-worth.

After watching Faubert take four girls through the last day of a Spring Break session one comes away with the sense that this for her is a personal passion.  She lets the group set their own pace but is there to remind them of just what the objective is. The experience gained through the full time coaching practice is used to work with girls that are going to grow up in a world a lot different than their parents.

Preparing the LEGO path

Cashelmara in the background, Nina and Zoe prepare the LEGO for the traditional 23 foot walk that they stretched to 41 feet..

The March Break program this year started out with 11 students but got cut back to four with last minute decision changes. So, while the class was smaller – it was what it was supposed to be – an opportunity for a group of girls who didn’t know each other when the week started to set out with an objective and make it happen.

Sending the video to FAcebook

Nina, Dana Sperling and Gina Faubert setting up the cell phones to broadcast the LEGO walk live to a Facebook page.

Faubert describes the program as one where girls will develop self-love, self-expression and emotional intelligence skills. Girls will learn the importance of being brave and kind; discover the power of gratitude and the meaning of empathy. It is all this as well as a leadership camp designed to teach girls between 11-15 how to make a difference in their community which they do by designing and implementing a charity fundraiser for underprivileged youth in Burlington.

Walking the LEGO path

Nina and Hayley do the LEGO walk on the 41 foot pathway they laid out.

The program adds in a physical challenge – a 25 foot LEGO walk – yup – they set out 25 feet  (turned out to be 41 feet) of LEGO in a pathway which the walk over in the bare feet. It isn’t as painful as it sounds but these girls didn’t know that when they started.

The organization the fund raising was going to be done for was determined beforehand. What the girls had to do was design and then execute the program.

Funds were going to be raised for the community homes unit of the ROCK – the Reach Out Centre for Kids. The group getting whatever was raised was the EarlyON Program.

The girls first had to learn about who they were raising funds for and then figure out how they were going to do it.  These were girls who had no idea that there were people who weren’t as fortunate as they were. Food challenged households were just not a part of the world they lived in.

The four girls did a remarkable job of raising $5000 in cash, food donations and toys.  The manager of the Michael’s No Frills on Guelph south of Dundas made a donation and added to that the donation of a $100 Cash Card every month for the balance of the year.

They did this by cold calling on people and making phone calls asking for donations. This too was not the world they lived in day to day.

Celebration

When everyone had done the 41 foot LEGO walk there is a celebration: Nina, Gina and Hayley share high fives.

All they had was the five days to get to know each other, make the accommodation and adjustments for the different personalities and learn to work together. There were significant differences in where each girl was on in their physical and emotional development with one girl bringing significant learning ability issues to the group.

While our time with the group was limited – it wasn’t hard to see how they worked through the challenges with Faubert reminding them of what they had been taught earlier in the week.

We live in a world where #metoo and #timesup are part of the language we use. Faubert wants to ensure that these girls have a strong sense of who they are and that they have real potential and will never experience #metoo.

The week long session ended with the girls gathered around an outdoor fire to review what they had learned and enjoy some S’mores, a delicacy I had never heard of  –  chocolate melted on Graham crackers with marshmallows.  These were Halal marshmallows. We do live in changing times.

 

Thank you notes

Hayley writes out personal thank you notes to everyone who helped raise the finds for the EarlyON provincial program run by the ROCK people.

Did it work? Hard to say but the four girls that started the session on the Monday were different girls on the Friday. Besides doing something that made a difference for someone else they came away with skills they didn’t have when they started.

I wondered what the hashtag they create might be.

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Another sneaky Identity theft scam using a well know financial brand name - PayPal

IDTHEFT 100X100By Staff

March 12th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is a real sneaky one.

The message tells you that you sent an amount of money from your Pay Pal account to someone you’ve never heard of – what do you do?

paypal logoYou might be inclined to click on the link to tell PayPal that you didn’t send this person any money. Which is exactly what the sender of the message wants you to do. They are in the process of stealing your identity.

They have your email address and they now know you have a PayPal account.

Pay Pal scam,

An email message like this gets an immediate response if you have a PayPal account – you want to tell them that you didn’t do what the email message says you did. The moment you do that – they have started to steak your identity.

It did look like the message was from PayPal – their logo was on that incoming email.

When there is an email related to your money, pause and look at it very carefully. PayPal is a useful service (although I don’t understand why they need 3 to 5 business days to put money into your account – Interac does it instantly)

Careful – and make sure that you have subscribed to a service that will catch some of the maleware that get dropped into your computer.

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Making Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics the core of a new high school course offering begins.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 12th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

STEM is an acronym that refers to Science Technology Engineering and Math. The Halton District School Board (HDSB) is going to put an I in front of the acronym to get ISTEM and introduce a new program for grade nine students that will start at the Aldershot High School on 2019

These programs gives highly motivated Grade 9 students the opportunity to delve into 21st Century issues outside the confines of a traditional classroom.

Project Based Learning logoWith the guidance of qualified teachers, students will simultaneously explore related topics by examining real-world issues through interdisciplinary project-based learning; they will identify the issues and topics that matter to them, and then they will conceive, design, and build potential solutions to these challenges. Civics and Careers will be integrated into these inquiries, allowing students to achieve extra credits.

Which credits will be gained?

Grade 9 Science
Grade 9 Math
Grade 9 English
Grade 9 Technology
Grade 10 Civics (half credit)
Grade 10 Careers (half credit)

How is this accomplished?
Qualified teachers in these subject areas will work together to identify the principles, skills, and competencies, that are universal across their disciplines. These overlapping concepts will be taught concurrently, when possible, through project-based, discovery learning. As well, students will still have the opportunity to experience two elective credits along with their required compulsory credits.

What type of learner will be successful in this program?

Successful students will require the following skills:

Creative Thinking
Self-motivation
Time Management
Problem Solving
Aptitude in Math and Reasoning
Inquiry and Inquisitiveness
Collaboration
Independent Self-study

How many students will the program be able to accommodate in September of 2019?
The space capacity at Aldershot is 1018 students: 588 secondary students and 460 elementary students.

The decision to turn part of the secondary program at Aldershot high school into an ISTEM program means the board staff have to begin the really hard work of creating the course content. The Superintendents know what they want it to be – now they have to design the content, hire and train the teachers and upgrade some of the classrooms.

Blackwell + Tuffen as a team

Superintendents Terri Blackwell and Gord Truffen during a presentation to the Halton District School Board trustees

The assignment that is now in the hands of Superintendent Terri Blackwell and her team. They have more questions than answers at this point. The biggest thing they do have is clear trustee approval, the budget they need and a very clear objective with highly motivated people.  This is a teaching assignment that many of the best teachers in the Halton board are going to want to be a part of.

Who will be working with you on the course content?
The people developing the content have to work within the parameters of the Ontario curriculum. The community was a large part of making this happen – now that it has been approved the Board staff will be returning to the community for additional input.

Where will the students come from?

The expectation is that some will come from Hamilton, some will come from the private school sector and some will transfer from the Catholic Boards.

Exactly where? That won’t be known until parents with elementary students moving into the secondary level have those “what do you want to study in high school” conversations.

The Board expects to do a lot of marketing and community outreach on this one.

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Province gives municipalities funding to cope with legal, educational and public safety problems that will result from the sale of cannabis

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 10th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On March 7, 2018 shortly before 11:00 pm, Halton Police officers responded to the area of Maple Avenue and Plains Road East in Burlington, in response to a citizen-initiated traffic complaint. As a result of an investigation, Joseph Vaccaro (37), of Oakville was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80 mgs.

On March 8, 2018 shortly after 8:00 am, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of King Road and Plains Road East in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Christopher McBride (30), of Burlington was charged with driving while ability impaired.

HRPS crestThe Regional police issue regular reports on people who are charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) as part of their program to keep the roads in the Region safe.

That task is going to get a lot more difficult when the federal cannabis legalization allows for the sale of cannabis in retail outlets across the province.

At this point in time the police just have to deal with alcohol related offences. When the federal government decides to permit the sale of cannabis related products it will be a much more complex.

Ontario is stepping up support for municipalities and law enforcement to help ensure communities and roads are safe in advance of the federal government’s legalization of cannabis.

The province will provide $40 million of its revenue from the federal excise duty on recreational cannabis over two years to help all municipalities with implementation costs related to the legalization of cannabis.  The amount of money each municipality gets will be determined by population size with no one municipality getting less than $10,000

In addition, Ontario is taking further steps to ensure a safe and sensible transition for communities and people by:

Cannabis logo

Coming to a neighbourhood somewhere in Burlington.

• Increasing the capacity of local law enforcement, including the Ontario Provincial Police, by funding sobriety field test training for police officers to help detect impaired drivers

• Creating a specialized legal team to support drug-impaired driving prosecutions

• Increasing capacity at the province’s Centre of Forensic Sciences to support toxicological testing and expert testimony

• Developing a program to divert youth involved in minor cannabis-related offences away from the criminal justice system

• Creating a Cannabis Intelligence Coordination Centre to shut down illegal storefronts and help fight the unsafe and illegal supply of cannabis products

• Providing public health units with support and resources to help address local needs related to cannabis legalization

• Raising awareness of the new provincial rules that will take effect when cannabis is legalized federally.

Might be time for families to have one of those around the kitchen table talks on what the legislation is going to mean to high school students who get to drive the family car.

 

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Innovation high school program to be introduced in Aldershot for the September 2019 school year.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 8th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It’s a go!

Superintendent of Education Terri Blackwell and her team got the vote she needed to begin the really hard work to create a new program with a decidedly different and very innovative approach to the way we teach high school students.

Blackwell + Tuffen as a team

Superintendent of Education Terri Blackwell with Superintendent Gord Truffen during their presentation to school board trustees

When the Halton District School Board (HDSB) was going through the very painful Program Accommodation Review (PAR) exercise that resulted in the closing of two of the city’s seven high schools they also agreed to look at some different pedagogical approaches.

The original driving force was to do something to increase enrollment at the Aldershot high school – it was low enough to think about possibly closing the school.

The idea for something different at Aldershot came from the community with PAR Committee member Steve Cussons leading the drive.

Steve Cussons Aldershot

Steve Cussons

The community came up with a number of themes that could be used for a new program. The parents chose Innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – ISTEM

The Board voted to implement a program incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education at Aldershot High School that will begin in September 2019, with the students who are entering Grade 9 at their March 7, meeting.

The decision involves the spending of $1.7 million to upgrade some of the classrooms and cover the cost of teacher training.

In a media release the Board described I-STEM as a program that will equip students with global competencies, also known as transferable skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, collaboration and citizenship. Community and post-secondary partnerships will be essential elements of the program to enhance learning opportunities for students.

The program will be available to anyone in the Region – the only barrier is capacity – the number of classroom seats available.

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School board trustees get an opportunity to make a far reaching decision on the kind of education that will be delivered.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is something good that will come out of the Program Administrative Review (PAR) that resulted in the closing of two of the city’s seven high schools – the Aldershot high school will get a complete makeover that could turn it into a place that has all the buzz and excitement that Hayden high school has today. That is not to suggest that the other high schools don’t have anything going for them.

During the PAR debates the Board administration put out the idea of re-making Aldershot into a school that would attract people from other schools as well as other jurisdictions – a covetous eye was cast toward Hamilton. The original impetus was to increase the enrollment.

The program that is being put forward will increase the enrollment and significantly improve the profile of the school.

Steve Cussons Aldershot

Steve Cussens, Aldershot resident and PAR committee member.

Steve Cussens, one of the PAR members has been cultivating this idea since its inception. He was one of the PAR members pushing the idea of more in the way of educational innovation. His efforts have borne fruit.

There wasn’t a clear idea – other than to describe what might be done as a magnet school, a themed school, an alternative school, and/or an incubator school, when the plans were first talked up.

Blackwell

Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of PAR implementation

Stuart Miller, Director of Education assigned Terri Blackwell to the task. She took a very proactive approach and cast the net for participants on the discussion widely.

She went to the community – and they responded very positively.  Her report to the trustees last week was one of those meetings where every question asked was answered and then some. It is an exciting opportunity that is now in the hands of the trustees.

If the trustees buy into what they heard Aldershot will see students enrolling in the grade 9 class of what will be an ISTEM in the fall of 2019.

Some of the ideas that came from the public.  All of the themes suggested are set out in a link below.

Social justiceEnvironment - EcoEntreprreunership-businessArts

 

 

The Board was shown a short video on the way education has not changed – it set out just what the ISTEM initiative is setting out to achieve.  It certainly tells what advancing innovative practices is all about?

The objective is to create learning opportunities and support the development of transferable skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship; Self- Directed Learning; Collaboration, Communication, and Citizenship.

That is a tall order – but it is what education is all about.  Can the Board of Education administration pull this one off?

concept symbol

Graphic that sets out all the parts that come together to result in a new student program offering.

If what the trustees were told in February has merit this is a project that is being done the way a project should be done. Blackwell is doing a great job working with a team that is as broad based and inclusive.

They are already thinking through how they want to market this opportunity.

They have thought through how students from across the Region can use public transit to get to Aldershot.

Blackwell + Tuffen as a team

Superintendents Terri Blackwell and Gord Truffen during the presentation of the ISTEM proposal.

Gord Truffen, Superintendent of Education explained that the ISTEM program is a high school offering and will not impact the grade 7 and 8’s that are at Aldershot.

Aldershot parents are said to be halfway to reaching the $125,000 needed to upgrade the auditorium. They might want to reach a little further and allow for some state of the art communications for the space. If they are going to prepare students for the world they will work in – including the high end visual communication should be part of the experience.

Trustee Leah Reynolds mentioned that the Aldershot high school rent out their facilities more than any other school in Burlington –

They are looking at a budget of about $1.4 million to “repurpose” some of the rooms. The labs which are in good shape may need some upgrading.

If the questions from the trustees are any indication expect Oakville and Milton to want an ISTEM program offering in their community.

Current educational research acknowledges the need to recognize societal changes and how education addresses this landscape. The emergence of new technologies is disrupting how businesses operate and interact with their customers, how people work and the careers they pursue, and even how citizens relate to their governments. More and more, personal and national success depends on effective science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. The Halton Board has recognized this and taken a low enrollment problem and turned it into a growth opportunity.

design workshop

The process used to create new student course offerings.

process graphic

The driving forces that bring new ideas and programs to the public.

The ISTEM concept was refined through a consultation process which includes generating ideas, drawing on pedagogy (research and practice of teaching and learning) and looking at themes. Many of the generated ideas are reflected in the ISTEM Program Framework which draws attention to the process elements of the program.

Students will be engaged in a variety of learning processes – Project-Based Learning, Design Thinking, Entrepreneurship and Partnerships. The outer ring of the framework reflects HDSB’s current working definition of innovation as “the capacity to enhance concepts, ideas, or products to contribute new-to-the-world solutions to complex economic, social, and environmental problems”. The contentedness of the framework includes explicit connections to critical thinking and creativity in that “critical thinking and creative thinking work together to create innovation in the Design Thinking process. These thinking processes all work together to bring forth creative innovation and problem solving.”

The ISTEM program will open to all interested Grade 9 students in September, 2019. Subsequent years will see the program extend to Grades 10, 11 and 12.

The ISTEM program provides the Halton District School Board with an opportunity to explore and implement a thematic approach to a secondary school. It further allows for an evaluation of ISTEM’s efficacy and its possible expansion to other regions of the Board. Teaching and learning is an ever- evolving process. This endeavour in part reflects the nature of this evolution.

Related news story:

Themes submitted by the Aldershot community for a new course offering.

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Denis Gibbons: From alter boy to world class hockey researcher covering seven Olympic hockey tournaments.

sportsgold 100x100By Pepper Parr

February 26th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the 23rd Winter Olympic Games closing ceremonies were over Denis Gibbons was able to get to bed at a decent hour and not be up all night watching events that set a record for the number of medals won by Canada as well as new records in a number of sports.

Gibbons book cover picture of him

Denis Gibbons

That was a big change for Gibbons who has in the past served as a free-lance reporter in seven different Olympic hockey tournaments from 1988 to 2014.

Hockey and Gibbons go back to the days when Father David Bauer was a major force in the development of hockey in this country.

Gibbons, as an altar boy at St. Joseph’s Parish in Acton, followed the St. Michael’s Majors, the team Father Bauer coached, very closely. He was hooked on hockey for life.

During his first trip to the Soviet Union Gibbons found it difficult to get a real sense of what was going on – he didn’t know a word of Russian and the Cyryllic lettering completely baffled him. But hockey was hockey and he didn’t have to know Russian to understand the game.

Gibbons decided to learn Russian and see if he could get a free-lance assignment to cover the 1980 Olympics.
He got himself into a Russian class at McMaster University where it took him several efforts to come away with decent marks – but he eventually learned the language and got a job as researcher for the ABC television network in the 1988 Olympics.

Gibbons decided his experiences covering Olympic hockey were worth a book.

Gibbons Dennis N. Book coverThat book – Hockey My Door to Europe, which details his experiences that included being detained by the Czechoslovakian police and being in Europe when the Berlin Wall fell, is a detailed look at how hockey was covered by the television networks and the role Gibbons played in getting information out to the public.

The book has a Burlington angle – the Burlington Cougars midget reps were paying a visit to Semperk Czechoslovakia in 1983 to take part in a tournament. During some off time Gibbons was walking about with two cameras around his neck taking pictures. He attracted the attention of the STB – the Czech secret police.

For those interested in hockey – the book is a must.

A review will follow.

Gibbons is a former editor of the Burlington Post and currently free lances for the Bay Observer.

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Gould expands on the details of the Canada Learning Bond - $2000 is available through an RESP.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

February 22, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier this week a very pregnant Karina Gould stood before an audience and talked about the cost of an education and how the government was going to help.

Gould - baby + work comment

Karina Gould: “I will be working until the day I go into labour”.

A few days prior Gould told a CBC reporter that she would be “working until she goes into labour” and returning to the House of Commons as soon as possible.

Expect to see her in the House with the child snuggling up against her chest – perhaps even being fed. The country has never seen anything like this before.

Gould, the youngest female Cabinet minister in the country’s history, is not only doing her job as Minister of Democratic Institutions – she is alto filling in for her colleagues – she has delivered statement for two ministers recently.

Gould told the audience at The Centre for Skills Training and Development in Burlington that when “more people can afford post-secondary education, our economy can grow and our middle class can thrive. That is why the Government of Canada is helping more low- and middle-income families save money for their children’s post-secondary education through the Canada Learning Bond.”

That bond can provide as much as $2,000 that gets put into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for children from low‑income families, with no personal contribution required. This includes $500 for the first year of eligibility and $100 each following year, until the calendar year they turn 15.

The federal government has reallocated $12.5 million over six years, starting in 2017–18, from Employment and Social Development Canada’s existing resources to launch a pilot project. The pilot project will explore new ways to increase awareness and access to the Canada Learning Bond.

Budget 2017 approved amendments to the Canada Education Savings Act to allow the cohabiting spouse or common-law partner of the primary caregiver to request the Canada Learning Bond and the Additional Canada Education Savings Grant on behalf of an eligible child. This change will simplify the application process, ensuring that more children who are eligible for these benefits receive the support they need to help pursue post-secondary education.

Lisa Rizatto - The Centre’s CAO,

Lisa Rizzato, Chief Administrative Officer, The Centre for Skills Development & Training

Lisa Rizzato, Chief Administrative Officer, The Centre for Skills Development & Training told the audience that: “Funds from the Canada Learning Bond can be used by young students for future expenses related to their studies including trades schools and apprenticeship programs such as those offered in the Centre’s skilled trades pre-apprenticeship programs.

Support for young people, whether they are studying or working, would not be possible without our local representatives in parliament and federal government, and we’re proud to work with them to improve the lives of citizens in our community.”

While take-up of the Canada Learning Bond has steadily increased from 0.2 percent in 2005 to 34.7 percent in 2016, two thirds of eligible children are not yet receiving this education savings incentive, representing approximately 1.8 million children across Canada.

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Canada Learning Bond can put up to $2000 into an RESP - announced yesterday at The Centre.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 21st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Gould - very pregnant

Burlington MP Karina Gould – baby due early in March

Burlington’s Member of Parliament and federal Cabinet Minister Karina Gould stood in for the Minister of Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patti Hadju yesterday and announced the Canada Learning Bond program that funnels funds into Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP)

The total amount the Government deposits can be up to $2,000. Applying for and receiving the Canada Learning Bond will not affect any other benefits that an eligible child receives.

Through the Canada Learning Bond, the Government will add money to the RESP for an eligible child every year, even if you do not add any money.

An RESP is an education savings account set up with a financial institution like a bank or a credit union, or group plan dealer. The money in the RESP will grow tax free until it can be used for expenses related to their studies in:

Centre - skills directoryApprenticeship programs
Colleges
Trade schools; or
Universities

The announcement was made at The Centre for Skills Development and Training.

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Kickass Canadian is featured speaker at a Conservation Authority Workshop on March

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

February 16, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Sharing Experiences is a biennial one day capacity-building workshop for individuals and community groups interested in creating positive environmental change.

This year’s workshop will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Puslinch Community Centre at 23 Brock Road South, Puslinch ON N0B 2J0.

The goal of the workshop is to link like-minded people and groups to facilitate the sharing of ideas and experiences so that participants can build skills, network and share ideas about environmental projects in their respective communities. The workshop includes presentations, panel discussions and small breakout sessions delivered and facilitated by knowledgeable and experienced members of the environmental community.

Raffin - C3 ice breaker

Canada C3’s epic journey sailed from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage to inspire a deeper understanding of our land, our peoples and our country. Learn about the people we met, the places we visited and the conversations that took place across reconciliation, the environment, youth engagement, and diversity and inclusion at CanadaC3.ca

This year’s workshop features Keynote Speaker James Raffan, his talk is titled Our Home on Native Land. In 2017, James Raffan was involved in four epic sesquicentennial journeys that included paddling the Rideau Canal from Kingston to Ottawa, a circumnavigation of Canada from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage, a ship-based youth expedition from Resolute Nunavut to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and a quick trip to the North Pole from Murmansk, Russia aboard the world’s most powerful nuclear icebreaker.

Raffan - students on ice

Raffan is involved in a student scholarship program that makes it possible for emerging environmentalists to tour the far North.

With wonderful people in faraway places, he pondered climate change, canoes, youth engagement, the national anthem, diversity and inclusion, tolerance, reconciliation and home. Join one of Canada’s great storytellers for thought-provoking reflection on Canada 150 and beyond.

There is a fee of $15 for the workshop which includes lunch and breakfast. You can find the link to register on the Sharing Experiences workshop page – www.conservationhalton.ca/sharing-experiences-2018.

The organizing team is comprised of Conservation Halton, Credit Valley Conservation, Friends of Mill Creek, Grand River Conservation Authority, Green Venture, Halton Environmental Network, Hamilton Conservation Authority, and the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club.

This event is sponsored by Conservation Halton Foundation and Little Mushroom Catering.

Version 2

Dr. James Raffan – a Kickass Canadian with a passion for the North.

Dr. James Raffan is a writer, geographer and Kickass Canadian (kickasscanadians.ca/james-raffan/) with a passion for the North. He is a Fellow of the Explorers Club, Past Chair of the Arctic Institute of North America as well as a Fellow and Past Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, earning the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, the RCGS Camsell Medal, and, most recently, Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal from Governor General Julie Payette

 

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Civil, civic conversations. If you can’t do that – don’t waste your time writing.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 13th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was the call for a Task Force on Bullying and Harassment that got us started on this. Then the note from    James Schofield that led to our asking: “Are we part of the problem – we thought we were part of the solution.”

The Gazette opened up a comments section on the newspaper and the response was robust.  But we began to notice that people were disrespecting one another and we began to tighten up the rules on what was acceptable.

We then began to look at the comments section of the Gazette and decided that we needed to tighten up on what we were permitting.

censored

Removing content that is disrespectful is not censorship.

We learned that this isn’t going to be a simple process.

We edited a comment from a reader taking out disrespectful language – here is what came back

“I’m out” said Michael Drake. He added: “I appreciate the Gazette trying to cover these issues but can’t abide censorship of any kind. Time to go yell at some clouds.

“Good luck everyone (that includes you too James).”

The comment that we edited removed the name calling. We wanted the comments section to be a place where civil, civic conversations could take place. So Michael will no longer be with us because he feels respect for those we share this planet with is akin to censorship.

James Schofield put it very well when he said in the article that “I think the recognition that commenting on your site is a privilege, not a right, and certainly not a “free speech” right, is also important.”

Civil, civic conversations. If you can’t do that – don’t waste your time writing.

Related content:

Lancaster calls for a Task Force

Whose interests are being served

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The last farm house in what was once Appleby Village was rich in history and the city's farming past.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 12th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When we published the story on the Taylor farm and the house on the property at Appleby Line at Mainway we didn’t have access to much in the way of pictures.

A Gazette reader with a keen interest in heritage had taken some snapshots and made them available to us.

Site with address and backhoe

Backhoe sitting on the plot of land where what became known as the Taylor house existed. Not only was the structure the last farmhouse in what was once called Appleby Village it was demolished without a permit.

Historical picture

Burlington once had many houses like this – they were the homes of farmers who worked the land that is now covered by six lane expressways and factories. Prize Short Horn cattle and proud Clydesdale horses were in the field and milk sold for 10 cents a gallon and one cow earned the farmer $5.34

“We all understand that we need to progress and modernize” said our reader, “ As long as it is done with collaborative stewardship.” Nothing collaborative about the sound of a backhoe tearing away at the walls of a house that is the last piece of what was once a small village.

This is one of the last remnants of the Village of Appleby, which was almost entirely demolished in the 1950s to make way for service roads for the expanded QEW. The house is set back from the road, with a well kept lawn and rows of trees on either side of the house. The landscaping is traditional.

It was built in 1896 for Charles Fothergill; there is a date stone and name found engraved in the chimney.
In 1877 the property was owned by John Fothergill.

rubble

Somewhere in that rubble there is a stone with the date the house was built and who it was built for – the people who arranged for the demolition chose not to collaborate with the city to salvage some of our history – no wonder we know so little about ourselves.

According to Memories of Pioneer Days, pp. 171-172, John Fothergill was the only son (of ten children) of Christopher and Frances Fothergill, who immigrated from Applbey, Westmoreland, England to settle on this new world Appleby Line in the early 1830s.

John married Charlotte Tuck and in 1878 purchased the Balsam Lodge farm from Arnanda Baxter.

In 1889 Charles, their eldest son, married Amelia Cole and took over this part of the Fothergill farm property on the east side of Appleby Line. His younger brother Christopher went to the Yukon and is mentioned in Laura Berton’s book, I Married the Klondike…

The third son, Thomas, married Lucy Matthewman of Appleby and farmed the Fothergill property on the west side of Appleby Line.

Burlington crest - with city reference

The city crest pays homage to a proud past.

According to an article by Alana Perkins in the 24 May 1997 issue of the Spectator, their house was the Lucas Farmhouse which was dismantled, moved, and rebuilt at the (former) Ontario Agricultural Museum at Milton.
According to Murray Fisher’s ‘Farewell to the Garden of Canada’ (1984), this farm was owned by H. Featherstone, Mixed farming, sold to J. Taylor, Mixed Farming.

Ruth and Jack Taylor were the last people to live in the house.

The property is identified as “employment land” and given its location that is likely what it will remain as.

One wonders if that stone with the date and name were recovered during the demolition.

There are rules against tearing down a building without a permit. The fine is reported to be $2000 an d it is the city that will have to take any action that is going to be taken.

Expect the city manager to be tough on this one.

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Ridge tells council there is going to be a workshop on the long awaited code of conduct for members of Council during a discussion on harassment and bullying in the city.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

February 8th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

Ridge tells council there is going to be a workshop on the long awaited code of conduct for members of Council during a discussion on harassment and bullying in the city.

Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster was chairing a Committee of the Whole meeting and handed the gavel to the vice chair so she could speak to a memo she had distributed to her colleagues.

Much of what Lancaster had to say was deeply disturbing. Lancaster told of a threatening email she had received with a photograph of a severed wrist attached to it. A number of staff members received the same email – city manager James Ridge told the committee that he sent a very stern email response to the person who sent the document.

Lancaster on bullying

Councillor Lancaster speaking to her colleagues about a Task Force on harassment and bullying in Burlington.

Lancaster talked of a very unhealthy situation and suggested that when Councillor Meed Ward spoke on a matter of personal privilege the “council chamber was not a safe place” which seemed a little extreme but the way Lancaster puts it there does appear to be a problem with the way people address each other.

In her comments on the memo she sent to her Council colleagues she said she felt the city had an obligation to stop this kind of intimidation and harassment. She added that was sure every member of council has had one of their community meetings hijacked.

Lancaster said people feel that if they don’t agree with you they have the right to attack you verbally. She added that there are few strategies to deal with external harassment.

The discussion involved members of staff and it became clear that the Deputy City Manager was going to be tasked with whatever came out of the discussion. City Manager James Ridge added to the discussion and quietly let it be known that there would be a Workshop on the long forgotten Code of Conduct for members of city Council.

This matter has been waiting for someone to breath some life into it ever since the Mayor passed it along to the city manager many,many, many moons ago.

Ridge-Tanner + on code of conduct

City manager James Ridge explaining to council that there will be a Workshop on a code of Conduct for members of council – this has been in the works for more then five years – it was the province pushing the municipalities – several council members did everything they could to prevent the Clerk from creating such a document.

Ridge told Council that the province was now bearing down on the municipalities and requiring them to have a Code of Conduct for Councillors in place.

The city has a code of conduct for its staff – as far back as the first term of this council there has been bickering and some back stabbing between members of city council on what was acceptable behaviour.

For the first time in this reporter’s experience we heard a member of Council use a Point of Privilege to address a concern about the behaviour of a member of council.

Lancaster was asking for a Staff Direction that would:

Direct the Deputy City Manager to create a Task Force to address issues related to bullying and harassment in the City of Burlington both internally and externally and report back in Q3 2018.

The task force will make recommendations for Council approval that will be tied to a City of Burlington “Governance Model” that will support an inclusive environment at all City facilities that is safe and welcoming for all who engage with the City of Burlington. The Governance model will apply to stakeholder interactions both internally and externally.

Lancaster said that the incidences of harassment and intimidation have occurred both internally and externally and appear to be linked with the insurgence of social media, media, increased communication and participation with the public.

council with term dates

This council couldn’t agree on what should be in a Code of Conduct dung its first term – 2010 – 2014. They are going to have to put such a policy in place before the end of this term.

The Staff direction included the comment that “It has been difficult to address these incidences without clear policies in place. The city has some policies and programs that address bullying and harassment in the workplace, such as: respect in the workplace and the employee code of conduct. There is no overarching policy that brings together standards for interactions between staff and the public, with the exception of Parks and Recreation Department who do have some guidelines as they pertain to their programs. The Charter Action Team (ChAT) also began the work to engage citizens respectfully, but it is clear that more needs to be done by setting standards for all modes of communication and interactions with stakeholders.

The intent of the staff direction is to create a task force of stakeholders who will consider this matter and recommend policies to help address. The task force will be directed to consider a governance model in order to commit COB to zero tolerance policies that will identify bullying and harassment by any means, including: verbal communications, emails, social media, gestures, physical touching, telecommunications, untrue statements, threats, racism, bigotry, to name a few.

The COB “Governance Model” will set standards and policies for behaviour while working and engaging with the COB as well as guidelines that will identify harassment and bullying behaviours and will set out the necessary actions and responses that COB should take in order to eliminate or stop the harassment or bullying in order to protect and provide a safe environment for all individuals involved.

During the discussion Councillor Meed Ward made the point that one has to be careful to not use policies and practices to stifle citizen comment.

Sharman - bullying meet Feb 5-2018

Councillor Paul Sharman .

Councillor Sharman kept using the phrase “mis-information” without being specific as the the information he was talking about.  Information one doesn’t agree with is not mis-information.- whose information

Once established, policies must be communicated with an implementation plan, both to, and through, management. This ensures that management is given the appropriate guidelines and information to be able to comply with governance. This includes delegation of authority and responsibility, stakeholder communication with management to discuss feedback. Vision, strategies and policies are communicated to managers who are expected to communicate and comply with them. Decisions that have been escalated to management or where governance is not clear.

The Task Force would include:

Deputy City Manager
Councillor Blair Lancaster
Clerks Department employee
Legal Department employee
Human Resources Department employee
Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee member (Task Force will gain feedback regularly from the Inclusivity Committee)
Residents (2)
Halton Regional Police
City of Burlington Employees (2) Charter Action Team member
Maximum 12 members

Councillor Craven expressed a concern over how the Chair of a council committee can handle situations where the behaviour of a delegation is unacceptable.

Brian BIAC chair

Brian Wrixon, chair of the Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee speaking at a council meeting

Councillor Sharman told the Chair of the Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee that he had been watching some television on the growth of Nazism and how misinformation and propaganda was used by the Germans and asked if Brian Wrixon cared to comment on this and what was happening in Burlington. Wrixon said he had no comment.

Several council members said they realized the behaviour of the American president had radically changed what civil discourse has become – Burlington city council want to try to stem that tide.

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Comments on the cycling survey - are the right questions being asked?

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 6th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Joe Gaetan is a Burlington resident who lives in a high rise on Maple Avenue.

He cycles about 1,250 km a year in Burlington and another 250 km while vacationing in Palm Springs CA

Gaetan finds Palm Springs a much better place to cycle than Burlington, mainly because of their wider streets.

The Cycling survey is online.

He completed the online Cycling Plan survey and has some comments:

Sharrow-bike-lane-marking-1024x768

Do sharrows give a false sense of security?

“In terms of increasing the amount of cycling, I don’t believe there is much Burlington can do that will cause me to cycle more. But here are few things than could be considered when reaching out to us in surveys. I am not a big fan of cycling sharrows as I believe they give one a false sense of security and I go out of my way to avoid using streets that have sharrows.”

Here are some things/comments ideas etc. that impact cycling and could possibly be added to the survey.

Will this MAyor on this bike ever get to ride on a separate and safe bike lane on the LAkshore Road? Not if they MAyor folds at city council this evening.

Mayor Goldring on his bike, Councillor Dennison on roller blades – a photo op.

Cycling Frequency ( how often and how far)
Daily, weekly, kms. cycled per year etc
In which months do you cycle using check boxes Jan to Dec

Why I don’t cycle to certain destinations?
Fear of having bike stolen
Location and type of bike stands

Things I fear the most as a cyclist:
Distracted drivers
City buses
Pick-up trucks with large side mirrors
Young children suddenly crossing my path
Pedestrians with head phones

Cycling driver dooring a cyclist

Driver education.

Why do I cycle?
Exercise
Pleasure
Shopping

Things I would like to see
Bike licensing ($5 per person vs bike we have 4 bikes)
Mandatory lights and bells
A cycling awareness program to cyclists, pedestrians, motor vehicle owners
Something on electric bicycles

The city is well into the construction of the Elgin Promenade – a bike/walking path that runs from Brant to Martha and will connect with the Centennial Path.

Elgin promenade

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Disruption - understand it before it disrupts your company.

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

February 6th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Technology and disruption are among today’s hottest buzzwords.

But how are technological developments going to affect your business? What should you be doing about it?

How can you avoid the trap of doing nothing until it’s too late?

Alfredo Tan

Alfredo Tan

The people at the DeGroote School of Business are inviting people to join their GTHA executive network on February 15 for a thought-provoking conversation about the future of work.

Alfredo Tan, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, WestJet, formerly of Facebook Canada, will share why every company and every industry will be affected by technology, and what you can do to prepare.

The event is open to alumni, business community members, and students.

Online registration.

 

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City has begun to gather data that will be used to shape the Cycling Plan.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

February 4th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Hall is inviting the public to share their thoughts and ideas about what would improve cycling in Burlington.

The feedback will be used to help shape the city’s new Cycling Plan which will guide the future of cycling infrastructure in the city.

Burlington is at a unique time in its history. In the past, growth has meant the development of new neighbourhoods but growth in the future looks very different for Burlington because our city has very little room left for traditional suburban-type development.

Cycling survey photo

Cycling as the city seems to want to portray it. Is it a realistic picture?

Instead of growing out, Burlington City Council has made the decision to grow up and intensify in key urban areas. This direction, approved through the city’s Strategic Plan in April 2016, will enable Burlington to curb sprawl, protect the rural area and make efficient use of land and infrastructure.

The 2016 Census data shows Burlington grew by 7,535 people between 2011 and 2016 – a 4.3% overall growth rate. The provincial Places to Grow policy mandates that Burlington plan for a population of 193,000 by 2031, however, the city will reach this population number within the next few years.

As the city plans for future population growth with documents like the proposed new Official Plan and Mobility Hubs, it must also plan for how people will move through the city.

Over the last 30 years, Burlington’s transportation network has accommodated growth by building more roadways. This strategy is no longer sustainable. The city does not have the space to build new roadways and the financial cost to maintain a larger network of roads is significant.

A 21st century city is built around a different transportation model, one designed to provide people of all ages and abilities with more travel choices for things like walking, transit and cycling.

Burlington’s Cycling Plan was last updated in 2009. Since that time, the following cycling investments have been made:

Implementation of over 200 kilometers of on-road and off-road cycling infrastructure

Trail - CentennialFour metre-wide multi-use paths paved along hydro corridors

The New Street Pilot Project was an experiment to reduce road capacity and add on-road buffered bike lanes.

That idea didn’t work out; after considerable public reaction the city decided to abandon that initiative. What city hall learned was that is was going to have to be much more transparent when new initiatives are being brought forward.

Among current initiatives are:

Consideration given to include cycling facilities as part of all new road reconstruction projects with a preference for implementing on-road bike lanes

The use of bright green pavement markings at major intersections to clearly mark cycling lanes.

The new Cycling Plan will build on these successes and recommend new programs and policies that seek to provide safe, comfortable, and convenient routes for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

How do people feel about the use of bicycles.  The graphic represents where public opinion was in 2009.  Has it moved very much?

Cyclists by type

The Cycling Plan is now on the public engagement phase – gathering feedback that will be used to help shape the Cycling Plan.

What is confusing is the disparity between what city hall tells the public and what people see on the street.   The city uses a photograph of a relatively young person on a bike in the winter. Cyclist - winterAt the same time city hall and all the members of council tell the public that Burlington is becoming a city of seniors and that the seniors population is where the population growth is taking palace.

This citizen isn't smiling. Was she one of the hundreds that were basically locked in theoir homes during the five days of heavy winter weather because streets were not cleared?

This citizen isn’t smiling. Was she one of the hundreds that were basically locked in their homes during the five days of heavy winter weather because streets were not cleared?

Those seniors are for the most part not going to be riding bicycles.  Pushing walkers is what we will see on the streets,

Opportunities to participate are available through an online survey open until Feb. 23, 2018.
https://luraconsulting.mysocialpinpoint.com/citythatcycles#/

There will be a series of Drop-In events throughout the community.

Staff will be showing up all over the city seeking input and reaction.

Monday, Feb. 5, 6:30 – 9 a.m. – Nelson Recreation Centre,
Friday, Feb. 9 6 – 8 a.m. Appleby GO Station,
Friday, Feb. 9 – 4 – 7 p.m. Mountainside Community Centre,
Tuesday, Feb. 13 – 7 – 9:30 a.m. – Tansley Woods Community Centre,
Wednesday, Feb. 14 – 6 – 8 a.m. – Aldershot GO Station,
Wednesday, Feb. 14 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Brant Hills Community Centre,
Saturday, Feb. 17 – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Mainway Recreation Centre

The number of Drop In events is impressive. These began at the end of January – six have taken place so far.

What the city has to learn is just how the public views the use of bicycles – are they a form of family exercise and part of the recreational plan or are they a form of transportation that will replace the car and at times be used instead of public transit.

The city has budgeted funds for where a cycling bridge over the QEW could best be located.

The Gazette is aware of one business person who keeps her bicycle in her office and uses it for short trips in the downtown core.  You are not going to see this lady biking to Hamilton.

Cycling Bus Bike Rack use

How heavily are the bike tacks on buses being used?

The extent of bicycle use the public is prepared to live with is the issue – hopefully city hall will not come up with any surprises.  The information gathering has to follow the education part – a major shift is going to take place in the way people get around their communities – the car has been the mode of choice for the past three or four decades – that is going to change and the public will have to understand why.

Failure to do that will see another uproar that will equal the reaction to the 23 storey high rise opposite city hall and the plan to turn New Street into a road that would have few lanes for cars and lanes on either side of the road for bicycles.

City Cycling Plan – 2009

The New street Road Diet kerfuffle.

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