Province announces a program to convince you to take the GO train - while you are actually in your car on the QEW.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2016



Not quite sure how to take this announcement from our provincial government – let’s see what you think.

GO train schedules are going to be displayed on highway signs telling commuters when the next train is leaving and how much time you have to get there.

Ontario is introducing a year-long pilot that will use electronic highway signs to show drivers nearby transit information and promote alternative travel options, to help manage congestion and get people where they’re going sooner.


The province appears prepared to go to ridiculous lengths to get you to use the GO trains

On October 17, a sign will be installed on the QEW near Appleby GO station displaying information about upcoming GO train trips departing from that station. The information will factor in the time it takes to drive there, park and catch the next available train. By the end of the year, the pilot will expand to Bronte and Oakville GO stations.

Let me see if I understand this. I am in my car on the QEW, heading east for an appointment or maybe driving to the Rogers Stadium to watch a baseball game. And the sign on the highway is supposed to convince me to hang a right and head for the GO station and take the train instead. Did I get that right?

The media release doesn’t say how much the province is spending on this initiative – nor do they make any mention about how they will measure the success of the idea.

This one has the look and feel of the road diet we put New Street on.

Where do these ideas come from?

Is there something in the water we drink?

Maybe I misunderstood the purpose of this project.


While there may be close to 3000 parking spots – finding an empty one can b a challenge at times.

Reminding me that the GO train is a very good alternative, perhaps even better than driving to get me to the stadium to watch the ball game – and if you know anything about parking prices in Toronto – it is a better alternative.

Telling me that this is a better alternative while I am already in the car. I don’t know about me changing my mind just like that.

The media release did tell me that the Appleby GO station has 2,964 parking spaces. As part of the pilot, technologies will be evaluated that determine real-time parking availability at GO stations. This information could also be displayed on the signs.

The two Jane’s going after the Progressive Conservative nomination to be the candidate for that party are going to have a field day with this one.

Jane McKenna and Jane Micheal have announced they are going after the nomination.getting new - yellow

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Central high parents group has a new Facebook page - check it out - it will be their prime source for sharing information. Web site to follow,

News 100 redBy Staff

October 13, 2106



central-high-schoolTo a considerable degree the group of parents working to ensure that the Burlington Central High school is kept open are working on the fly. They are nimble, quick to spot the changes that have to be made and, if you ever wanted to see what collaboration is all about – sit in on a couple of their meetings.

If there were any egos to be seen – they got checked at the door.

Most are young professionals who are way past the getting signatures on a petition. These people understand policy and they focused on strategy right from the beginning – they are focused and determined. The smarter people at the school board will want to pay attention to these people – they are the ones that will be coming up with the solutions.

The Facebook set up they are using has been changed – the NEW Facebook address is set out below.

The introduction to the Facebook page says it “was created by the committee of parents/residents and alumni (replaces the Group that was started) to keep the downtown core community informed on the HDSB’s proposal to close Central High School in 2018. The Board of Trustees’ final vote would be in May 2017, and the recommendation to close schools may change based on public input. It is important for us to share info and keep you informed of important meeting dates where you can provide ideas and feedback.”

While the Gazette can report on much of what the group does – their Facebook page will probably be the core source for information on an hour to hour basis. Bookmark it.

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If BCHS is a community school - then let's hear what the community wants their school to become - let's not limit yourselves to just struggling to keep it open.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 13, 2016



It was interesting, exciting and exhilarating to watch some 60+ parents, several with children in tow and babies in carriages talk about how they will go about ensuring that those children have a high school to go to. The Parent Council at the high school did a superb job of both organizing and pulling together information. A quick look at the sheets of notes highlights how thorough they are going to be.

The trustee for the ward was doing what she is supposed to do – advocate for her constituents. The ward Councillor did her job as well. Her “I am here for you” was what the room needed to here.

If one can assume that all four trustees are on side for keeping Burlington Central High open – that gets 4 of the 11 votes. What about the two more that will be needed to ensure that the proposal to close BCHS is not approved by the trustees?

As an aside it looks like the parents with students going to Lester B. Pearson are comfortable with the decision to merge that school with M.M. Robinson.


The potential to become one of the best high schools in the province rests in the hands of the Parent Council.

The people taking part in the first BCHS community meeting were active, engaged and offered some superb comments.

This is their school – and this may be the opportunity for the community to not only oppose the closing of the school but put together ideas and proposals that would make the place one of the best in the province in terms of where students go for their education.

The structure has a sense of style and solidity to it. It is in the downtown core.

It does need a makeover which if done properly will make the school the one many students will want to attend.

It is already unique with its K to graduation set up. It has a very significant number of bursaries and scholarship available to students.


These are the people that can make their school into whatever they want it to be.

It has a parent population that in 1975 raised $100,000 to, we are told, refurbish the auditorium. Those were 1975 dollars.

This is a group of people who should not limit themselves to the just keeping the school open.

Dare to be Daniel’s and show your Board of Education that you have a vision for your community school.

Salt with Pepper is an opinion column publish from time to time

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Parents organize to keep Central High School open.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 12th, 2106



The Halton District school Board recently decided that they needed to look at the number of high schools it would operate in the city of Burlington.

The review becomes necessary when the number of students in the school falls below a specific number – 65% of the schools capacity.

The school board staff set out a list of 19 options; the 19th was the one chosen for a review. The decision to do a review is made by the trustees.


Parents packed a meting Room at Wellington Square United Church – they will be doing that frequently in the next nine months.

Last night more than 60 parents met at the wellington Square United Church in a room that was packed and decided what they wanted to do about any possible closure of the Burlington Central High school.

They got an overview of what happened in 200 when Terry Ruff was the newly appointed principal at the high school learned that he might have to close the school. Ruff, a Burlington native, was also a Central high school graduate. They managed to beat back the idea of closing the school then – the community faces that same issue 16 years later.

These parents are not going to go quietly into the night. The meeting was to begin the process o getting themselves organized. They set up four committees:

Executive/Organizing committee: set agendas/meetings; includes Team leaders
Strategy Team
Logistics team: volunteer intake & assignment; coordinate topic Teams
Fundraising/Communications Team (social media, GOFundMe)

The following four people from the high school parent council are:

Michael Kukhta – Neighbourhood Meeting Facilitator/ BCHS Council Chair
Lynn Crosby – Neighbourhood Meeting C0-Facilitator/ BCHS Council Secretary
Dania Thurman – Neighbourhood Meeting Facilitator/ BCHS Council Vice-Chair
David Sykes – Neighbourhood Meeting Facilitator/ BCHS Council Treasurer

Where are they at and what are they up against?
Dropping enrolment and other factors trigger a proposal for a Program & Accommodation Review (PAR) for all Burlington secondary schools.

The HDSB Director of Education gets staff to write a report to which is given to the elected Trustees recommending that a PAR be undertaken. Of the 19 options in the report staff recommended using Option #19 as starting point for discussions.


Burlington central High school was seen as being very close to the point where there are not enough students to justify keeping it open – parents think the numbers the board is using might be suspect.

Option #19 recommends closing Burlington Central High School, and Pearson High School.

Close BCHS; students west of Brant St redirected to Aldershot HS; students east of Brant St redirected to Nelson HS

Close Pearson HS; students redirected to MM Robinson HS, including those in Late French Immersion program

French Immersion eliminated from Dr Frank Hayden SS: FI students north of Upper Middle Rd redirected to MM Robinson HS

New FI program started at Robert Bateman HS: FI students south of Upper Middle Rd attending Hayden SS redirected to Bateman HS; FI students east of Appleby Ln attending Nelson HS redirected to Bateman HS

English program students south of Upper Middle Rd attending Hayden SS redirected to Bateman HS

The parents at Central high school, with very strong support from their municipal councillor Marianne Meed Ward are opposed to closing their high school.

The trustees were given the report on October 5th. On October 19th the trustees vote on whether to undertake a PAR.  Assuming they do, a  PAR Committee (PARC) Established on December 1st.

That committee will include:

Trustee from outside Burlington
Superintendent from outside Burlington
Principal or designate from each affected high school
Two parents/guardians from each affected high school

Once PARC is formed, municipal councillor or delegate is invited

HDSB staff are available as resources from specific HDSB departments including (not limited to): School Programs, Special Education, Human Resources, and Planning.

The goal the Central high school parents have set out for themselves is to participate fully in the Program & Accommodation Review, including HDSB Trustee meetings (Oct. 19 – vote on PAR; April 18 – public delegation meeting, May 3, May 17 – decision date) and public meetings (Dec. 8; March 2). Final report ready: March 29, 2017


Boiling all this down to the five key points is going to take a lot of work – the parents appeared to be up to the task if their first meeting is any indicator.

Throughout the process they intend to make their case that Central high school should be kept open. They will be collecting their own data and evidence and first-hand knowledge and stories

To build their case they are assigning different topics to research/write/present.

The parents are very concerned about Walkability – their want their children to be able to walk to school. They are firm in their belief that much of the data the school board is using comes from outdated statistics; faulty enrolment projections, and a misunderstanding of downtown growth.

They point to the problem in Alton where a band new high school was opened two years ago and is overenrolled due to multiple families living in the same household. The board staff weren’t aware that multiple families were living in the one house.

The parents are suggesting that the data doesn’t always reflect reality on the ground.

The impact on the feeder schools: Lakeshore, Tom Thompson, Central elementary is a concern.

The audience was told that schools cannot be closed in what are defined as Urban Growth Centres in the Provincial Places to Grow plan,

The audience was told that the staff report is thorough and that the focus of the report is on programs for students; heritage is on the list but it didn’t have much in the way of priority.


Former Burlington central High school principal Terry Rugg explained to parents what had to be done in 2000 when the board o education wanted to close the high school.

The parents seemed to be focused on “community” and the role schools play in the creation of community. Central is the only school in the Region that is a K to graduation school – the parents don’t want to lose that feature of their community.

Because it is an older school there are a lot of scholarships and bursaries attached to the school – what would happen to those were the high school to close?

Admittedly, the school could use some upgrading – it is an old school and it needs some help – bu it certainly doesn’t need to disappear.

In 1975 $100,000 was raised by the community to upgrade parts of the school.

Data available to the parents’ points out that household income for the Central high school catchment area is the lowest in Burlington – how are those low income families going to handle the cost of transportation to Nelson or Aldershot?

They point out that the report doesn’t offer anything in the way of a solution on what will happen to the grade 7 and 8 students should the high school be closed.

This is going to be a very active story and one that is critical to what kind of a downtown core community the city is going to have – these parents are not going to sit still and lose their high school.

There will be a web site with all the data and reports. The Gazette will let you know when it is up.

There is a Facebook page with 1500+ people looking in.


Can the parents convince the Board of Education to keep the school open?

The committee has collected $1750 of the 42500 target they gave – these funds will be used to print lawn signs and pay the rental fees for the space they use for their meetings.

What the parents are going to have to watch very carefully is how the Board of Education chooses to interact with them. Tread carefully was the advice given to the meeting.

Central High school is critical to the kind of downtown community the city has – there is a seperate high school a stones throw away.

What doesn’t exist is a committee where the city and the board of Education meet to thresh out issues.  Truth be told – the two organizations don’t get along all that well and tend not to cooperate very well.


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329 healthy food packages were handed out to students this weekend - they didn't include turkeys.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 10th, 2016



As we move into the Thanksgiving weekend teachers in the Region use one of their Professional development days which closes the schools for four days.

Most of us will sit at tables filled with platters of food and enjoy time with our families.

It is weekends like this that keep the volunteers at Food4kids busy – they pack food for kids that go home to a fridge that is pretty empty – no turkey on their plates.

Gayle Kabbash reports that 329 healthy food packages were given to children in Halton and 758 in Hamilton this week. “Our numbers will increase as we are higher at this time of year than last year.”

Food4kids - bag + apple

Food in a bag.

Food4kids is just one organization that helps students in need – there are a lot more of them than most people are prepared to admit.

Sheri  Armstrong, with the Learning Foundation reported that just 16 days into the school year there were 80 request for aid; compared with the 40 at the same time last year.

The Halton Learning Foundation (HLF) partners with individuals, corporations and community foundations to eliminate financial barriers to education for public school students in Acton, Burlington, Georgetown, Milton and Oakville.

They provide assistance through emergency funds for students-in-need, post-secondary scholarships, and engagement funds that help schools purchase tools and resources to engage students in learning.

With public support, HLF helps ensure that every student of the Halton District School Board has the chance to fit in at school, to have the same experiences as their peers, to be engaged in learning, and to explore possibilities for the future.

The Learning Foundation has provided Eliminating Barriers funds to virtually every school in communities across Halton. The majority of Burlington schools (95 per cent) have received Eliminating Barriers funds to help students in the last two years.


Thanksgiving – food on the table.

The odds are that there is more than one students in the life of your children who are in need of the basics like food or clothing or who are unable to participate in the class trip or other school activities.

We have much to be Thankful for today – hopefully we will find a way to help those that don’t have quite enough.

Halton Learning Foundation –

Eliminating Barriers

Food4kids –

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Ward 4 school board trustee withholds any comment on decision to undertake a Program and Accommodation Review.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 8th, 2016



The Gazette asked Halton District school Board trustee Richelle Papin, ward 4, if she had made any plans to respond to the decision the board has made regarding the possible closing of the Lester B. Pearson high school?

Papin’s response:

Richelle Papin - hand to chin

Halton District School Board trustee Richelle Papin.

Trustees should not be responding to the recommended option the report acknowledged regarding the possible closing of the Lester B Pearson High School. I’m not sure if the question can be answered right now. The director has presented a report regarding bringing forward a Program and Accommodation Review for Secondary Schools in Burlington. Part of the report, Ministry, requirement, is that the report must include a recommended option.

This is only one option which could very likely change after the PARC is completed.

Due to low enrollment, underutilization in a number of Burlington secondary schools and the possibility of inequity in education for some secondary students, the director is recommending that the Halton District School Board undertake a Program and Accommodation Review (PAR).

If the Board of Trustees approve the report, the Program and Accommodation Committee will begin the PAR. At this point, I need only respond to whether I agree that the report should be approved or not approved to begin the process. The trustees as a group will do that when we vote on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

The Gazette asked if Papin planned on organizing a public meeting. Her response:

Richell Papin - finngers down

Trustee Papin has not yet made any comment on what she thinks should happen to Lester B. B> Pearson high school nor has she commented on the views of parents in her ward. These may follow when she returns to Burlington from a short Thanksgiving vacation.

The four Burlington trustees are planning a Super Council meeting for Monday, October 24, 2016 at the JWS office, Board Room for 7 pm to 8:15 pm. We will be meeting with the Director, some Superintendents, Principals and Secondary School representatives. The public is welcome.

Papin was out of the country limiting communication.

Parents in the downtown core concerned about the possible loss of Central High school have organized a meeting at Wellington Square United Church for Tuesday evening – October 11th at 7 pm.

getting new - yellow

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District school board staff recommending the closure of two high schools June 2018 - Central and Lester B. Pearson.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 4th, 2016



Burlington does not take to change all that well.

A change in the configuration of traffic lanes on New Street has everyone up in arms – both those wanting the change and those opposed to a change.

The Halton District School Board has told the public, via the release of the agenda for the October 5th regular board meeting, that two of the city’s high school “could” be closed effective June 2018.

Burlington has seven high schools:

Aldershot High School,
Burlington Central High School,
Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School,
Lester B. Pearson High School,
Nelson High School,
M.M. Robinson High School and
Robert Bateman High School

A recommendation to close two of the seven Burlington Central High school and the Lester B. Pearson high School, has left the community thunderstruck.


Central High – the school in th downtown core is where the biggest battle to remain will take place. The ward alderman has already come out against closing the school – fortunately the school board trustee might give the decision more thought and wait until there is more in the way of public feed back.

Feathers flew, school board trustees were inundated with phone calls and emails. One can expect all kinds of misinformation to get in the way of what the board is being asked to approve.


The spunk and school pride at Lester B. Pearson may not transfer to M.M. Robinson where most of the students will transfer to in the 2019 school year.

Some things to keep in mind: Staff prepare reports, they work within the provincial guidelines and have a collection of acronyms that that can’t be used in a Scrabble game.  The staff report goes to the trustees – those men and women you elected two years ago – they are going to make the decision on your behalf.

There is a well-developed process for community input – use it before you lose it.

The proposed time line, assuming the trustees, go along with the staff recommendation is as follows:

If the Program and Accommodation Review proceeds as scheduled the following is a proposed timeline for the implementation staff recommended (they are considering 19 different options)

Completion of a PAR with a Final Decision in 8 – 9 months

Capital Priorities Application and Funding  takes 3 – 6 months

Transition Planning takes  1 year

Pre-Construction and Construction (project dependent) 1-3 years

School Closing June 2018

Now to those acronyms – try to remember them – the process doesn’t make much sense without some understanding of what the Gazette has come to call “board speak”

PAR – Program and Accommodation Review
As outlined in the Board PAR policies, the Director must prepare a Preliminary Report which identifies a school or group of schools that may be considered for a Program and Accommodation Review. In order for a PAR to be initiated, one of five conditions must be met. The conditions are as follows:

1. The school or a group of schools has/have experienced or will experience declining enrolment where On-The-Ground Capacity (OTG) utilization rate is below 65%;

2. Reorganization involving the school or group of schools could enhance program delivery and learning opportunities;

3. Under normal staffing allocation practices, it would be necessary to assign three or more grades to one class in one or more schools;

4. The current physical condition of the schools negatively impacts the optimum operation of the building(s) and program delivery;

5. In respect of one or more of the schools under consideration there are safety, accessibility and/or environmental concerns associated with the building of the school site or its locality.

LTAP – Long Term Accommodation Plan is something done by all school boards annually.  The plan is  adopted by the Board of Trustees. The document provides enrollment projections for the upcoming ten years for all schools in Halton.

PARC Program and Accommodation Review Committee is an advisory group that acts as an official conduit for information shared between the Board of Trustees and their communities. The PARC will meet, review information, provide feedback from the community, and suggest options.

Each PARC consists of a Trustee and Superintendent from an area outside of Burlington; Principal or designate, two parents/guardians

Utilization rate – the percentage of the capacity that is being used.


The table set out above shows enrollment estimates for the next ten years, the capacity of all the high schools in the city; the percentage of that capacity that is being utilized and the amount of space that is available. These numbers are for all the high schools – a breakdown of the numbers for each school is set out below.

Staff are recommending that two high schools be closed in June of 2018:
Lester B. Pearson be closed and the current student population be sent to M.M. Robinson which is 1.6 km away.


The Utilization rate is just too low to justify keep the school open. Lester B. Pearson High School, Grades 9-12, located north of the QEW between Guelph Line and Walker’s Line. The school offers English and Late French Immersion programming. It is the only school in Halton to have Late French Immersion. Late French Immersion begins in Grade 7 at Sir E. MacMillan Public School. Growth from infill developments are included in projections. The utilization is 65% and it is expected to decline. There currently is an excess of 220 spaces in the facility. Enrollments in Grades 9-11 English are expected to be less than100 students per grade. The board staff may have failed to recognize the changes taking place between Guelph Line and Walkers Line – east and west and between Upper Middle and Mainway – north south. Real Estate agents will quickly tell you that multiple families are living in a single detached house with basements being converted into a bedroom for four and six children. Many of these families are from the Middle East and culturally they are comfortable with a large family in the house – this is the way they choose to live because it is the only way they can afford houses in that community.


The Burlington Central facility houses elementary and secondary school classes (Grades 7-12) and is located within the downtown core. Combined with adjacent Central PS (K – Grade 6), this facility forms a part of a K-12 campus. This school offers English and French Immersion programming. Enrolments are projected to be stable. Growth from infill developments are included. The high school’s utilization is expected to remain stable at 68% capacity. In 2015, there were 376 available pupil places in the facility. Burlington Central is the only facility without an elevator/stairlift. The sports field lands are not owned by the Halton District School Board.

Staff is recommending that Burlington Central HS be closed effective June 2018. All secondary students, west of Brant St., will be redirected to Aldershot HS and secondary students east of Brant St to be redirected to Nelson HS.

This recommendation does not include the redirection of Grade 7 and 8 students from the Burlington Central Elementary PS.

In the event that the decision is made to close this high school, there is a potential that a Program and Accommodation Review may be required for the elementary schools that currently feed into Burlington Central PS for Grades 7 and 8.

The enrollment, utilization ans space available in the other five schools is as follows:


Located within the Aldershot community in southwest Burlington, the Aldershot facility houses elementary (Grades 7-8) and secondary classes (Grades 9-12). It is the only Grade 7-12 school available west of QEW/407 ETR. This school offers English and French Immersion programming. Enrolments are projected to decline beyond 2020. In 2015, there were 327 available pupil places in the facility. Growth from infill developments and North Aldershot Planning Area developments are included in the projections. The high school’s utilization is currently 78% and is expected to increase to 83%, by 2019. It is projected there will be close to 100 English secondary students per grade (excluding Grade 12).

Aldershot High School


Nelson High School, Grades 9-12, is located south of the QEW between Walker’s Line and Appleby Line. This school offers English, French Immersion, and Secondary Gifted Placement. Enrolments are expected to increase over the next ten years. Growth from infill developments are included in the projections. Nelson HS utilization rates are expected to remain above 80%. Nelson HS has the second highest high school utilization in Burlington. There is an excess of 343 available places at this school in 2015. There is support for a Nelson Stadium Revitalization project between the community, Board and Burlington staff.

Nelson High School


M.M. Robinson High School, Grades 9-12 is located north of the QEW between Guelph Line and 407 ETR. The school offers English, French Immersion and SC-SPED programming. It is one of two schools to offer SC-SPED programming in Burlington. The SC-SPED program was added to the school in 2013. Growth from infill developments are included in the projections. The utilization is below 55% and is expected to decline. There is currently an excess of 617 spaces in this facility.

M.M. Robinson High School


Robert Bateman HS Robert Bateman High School, Grades 9-12, is located south of the QEW between Appleby Line and Burloak Drive. A small area known as Samuel Curtis Estate in Oakville is directed to this school. The school offers English programming, International Baccalaureate programming (IB) and a variety of Self Contained-Special Education (SC-SPED) programs. Robert Bateman High School is the only school in Burlington to offer the IB program. This program attracts students from senior elementary schools in the Burlington area. This high school is one of two schools to offer SC-SPED classes and as such, this school has specialized facilities to accommodate the programs. Growth from infill development is included in the projections. Utilization is below 65% and is expected to decline. There currently is an excess of 500 spaces in the facility. The combined English program and IB program is expected to be under 100 students per grade (excluding Grade 12), by 2022. Hayden is already over-utilized and there are three new developments that are going to feed into the school – the third is the development at Dundas and Walkers Line.


Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School, Grades 9-12, is Burlington’s newest high school located in Alton Village, north of Dundas St. It opened in 2013 and offers English and French Immersion programming. Enrolments are expected to increase. It is the only high school in Burlington that is currently above total capacity (2016) and is expected to continue to grow until 2021. Growth from new development west of Guelph Line and north of Dundas Street, and infill development is included in the projections. Current utilization is 118%. A major development application has been submitted after projections have been created for the 2015-2016 LTAP in the Evergreen Community, located north of Dundas St., and west of Tremaine Line. This area has not been assigned to a specific school. The development consists of 907 residential units. The City of Burlington is in the midst of creating a secondary plan. It is anticipated that there will be approximately 50 secondary students from this area. The closest high school to this development is Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS.

Using the space that is available in a school if there aren’t enough bums to put in the seats.

The province recently gave the school boards permission to rent out some of their space to community organizations.

The Community Planning and Partnership Guidelines directs Boards to identify potential partnership opportunities and to share such opportunities with government agencies and parties that expressed interest for such opportunities.

In response, the Halton District School Board adopted the new Community Planning and Partnership Policy on October 21, 2015. The first annual Community Planning and Partnership meeting was held on June 22, 2016, in Burlington.

Approximately eight organizations had representatives at this meeting. There have been three follow up meetings and preliminary inquiries with interested partners since June 2016. At this time, there has been expressed interest in potential partnerships, but no specific details related to a partnership within a Burlington secondary school.
So that opportunity isn’t going to save either of the two high schools.

What is possible with both is re configuring them into affordable housing which is a Regional responsibility. However, surely the Region could pick up the telephone and call the school board and ask: ‘What do you think of the idea of selling the buildings to a developer we can convince to take on such a project.’

Have a chat with the four major developers who want some additional height and density and suggest a proposal to turn a high school into affordable housing units might elicit a favourable response to more height and density.

None of the developers in this city are interested in including affordable units in their buildings – they are marketing a lifestyle that doesn’t include people who can’t afford a unit that is going for something north of $400,000

Closing one high school in a community the size of Burlington would be a big deal – suggesting that two be closed at the same time is a bigger piece of meat than th school board can chew through in the time frame they have given themselves.

These decisions are Burlington decisions – but there are school board trustees from Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills – what impact will their votes have on a Burlington situation?

Interesting times ahead – stay tuned.getting new - yellow


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Historical burial ground opened to the public during Open Doors last Saturday.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 4th, 2016



I’d heard about it; drove by the place hundreds of times, knew what it was but had never had a chance to actually go into the place.

It was the Union Burial grounds on Plains Road established in 1848 by ten pioneer families who were members of the Methodist Union.


A brick wall, first built around 1882 to enclose the Union Burial grounds, now needs both renovation and repair

The chief architectural feature is the fine brick wall surrounding the 138-by 104-foot burying ground. The wall was built around 1882 by brick mason Jabez Bent. There are also fine wrought iron gates at the front and side. The memorial markers commemorate some of the earliest pioneers in this area.

The site was originally farm land owned by Asahel Davis, a Methodist, a community who wanted burying grounds separate from those established by the Anglican Church at St Luke’s and St John’s. Religious differences were a big deal in those days.


The Ghent’s were prominent farmers in Burlington. Both Thomas and hos wife Elizabeth rest in the Union Burial grounds.

The families holding plots in the Union cemetery were major contributors to the early growth, prosperity, and well-being of Nelson and the Village of Wellington Square which are parts of what we know as Burlington today.

The Baxter’s, the Crosby’s, the Cummins’s, the Davis’s, the Fisher’s, the Gage’s, the Galloway’s, the Ghent’s, the Kerns’s and the Pearl’s – the families whose names identify many of our strrets created their own cemetery.

It is quite run down these days. The families moved on and there aren’t that many descendants of its founders around to continue to manage and maintain this historic burial place.

The brick wall is, sadly, in need of restoration. The wrought iron gates and original name plaque also date from 1888. The grave markers are invaluable historic records and also merit preservation. This cemetery feels especially unique given it’s setting of urban development.

“The families who created this cemetery came to Canada during the American Revolution. They were British and chose to remain part of the British Empire in North America. The Americans were in the process of creating their own country, there were just 13 colonial states at the time, who didn’t want the British imposing taxes on them. Out of the struggle between the Thirteen Colonies and their mother country emerged two nations: the United States and what would later became Canada.


The smaller markers recognize members of the family – several for children that died at a very young age.

“Those that left the colonies became known as The United Empire Loyalists who wanted to remain faithful to the Crown and wished to continue living in the New World. Therefore, they left their homes to settle eventually in what remained of British North America.

For many years after those people would put the letters UE after their names – United Empire. Many of the markers in the Union Burial ground have those letters on the stones.

“The Loyalists came from every class and walk of life. Some depended on the Crown for their livelihood and status and had considerable wealth and property. Many were farmers and craftsmen. There were clerks and clergymen, lawyers and labourers, solders and slaves, Native Americans, college graduates, and people who could not write their own names. Recent immigrants from Europe also tended to support the Crown.

“They had little in common but their opposition to the revolution. Their reasons for becoming Loyalists were as varied as their backgrounds. Some had strong ties with Britain: others had simply supported what turned out to be the losing side. Local incidents, fear of change, self-interest, political principles, emotional bonds – one or any combination of these influenced their decision to remain loyal to the Crown. The common thread that linked these diverse groups was a distrust of too much democracy which they believed resulted in mob rule and an accompanying breakdown of law and order. The Reverend Mather Byles mused, “Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?” Loyalists believed that the British connection guaranteed them a more secure and prosperous life than republicanism would.

“Historians estimate that ten to fifteen per cent of the population of the Thirteen Colonies – some 250,000 people opposed the revolution; some passively, others by speaking out, spying, or fighting against the rebels. Approximately 70,000 Loyalists fled the Thirteen Colonies with roughly 50,000 settling in British North America.

“Of less practical value than land and supplies, but of more lasting significance to the Loyalists and their descendants, was the government’s recognition of the stand that they had taken. Realizing the importance of some type of consideration, on November 9, 1789, Lord Dorchester, the governor of Quebec, declared “that it was his Wish to put the mark of Honour upon the Families who had adhered to the Unity of the Empire…” As a result of Dorchester’s statement, the printed militia rolls carried the notation: U.E., alluding to their great principle The Unity of the Empire.

“Those initials “U.E.” are rarely seen today, but the influence of the Loyalists on the evolution of Canada remains. Their ties with Britain and their antipathy to the United States provided the strength needed to keep Canada independent and distinct in North America.

“In the two centuries since the Loyalists’ arrival, the myths and realities of their heritage have intertwined to have a powerful influence on how we, as Canadians, see ourselves. Truly, the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists not only changed the course of Canadian history by prompting the British government to establish the provinces of New Brunswick and Ontario, but it also gave them special characteristics which can be seen today. Perhaps the most striking of these is the motto on the Ontario coat of arms: Ut incepit Fidelis sic permanet that is, “Loyal she began, Loyal she remains.”

One of the people telling the story of the Union Burial grounds on Saturday was Stephen Davis, a surveyor who works for the Region; his descendants are buried on the grounds.

“We restored the rear wall and we will re-build the west wall. Trees planted too close to the wall grew and pushed over the brick work. It is a lot of work and we don’t have that much time – we are busy raising our family’s and some of the families buried here have moved on” said Davis.

Davis is working on some ideas on how young people can develop an interest in their ancestry and take part in the rehabilitation of a significant part of Burlington’s history.

Related articleL:

Does the Ghent house on Brant Street at Ghent matter historically?

Large portion of this report came from a document written by Ann Mackenzie M.A.

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Anishinaabe speaker, educator, and musician Eddy Robinson will be at Crawford Lake October 15th.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

October 4th, 2016



Anishinaabe speaker, educator, and musician Eddy Robinson brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to the national conversation about Indigenous communities in Canada. He will be speaking at the Crawford Lake Conservation Area on Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Increasing media coverage of the challenges faced by Indigenous communities in Canada leaves many of us with questions about how such disparity can exist in our own country. Eddy will use his remarkable gift as a storyteller and teacher to bring this workshop to life and make the issues engaging for workshop participants.


Crawford Lake, it is a meromictic lake meaning that it does not receive the same atmospheric disturbances as other bodies of water, so the water remains calm almost all the time. And this makes for some great photos and clear water to take a look at fish and other interesting features. A boardwalk surrounds the lake, so it is quite accessible to almost everyone.

Come early for this remarkable workshop and you can explore the 15th century reconstructed Iroquoian Village and rare meromictic lake located onsite. Explore the past and then learn about our collective present, so we can make a more inclusive future.

“Through stories and song, Eddy works towards a day when the power of knowledge, inclusiveness and sharing of First Nations cultures helps our nation and all its’ people become connected and stronger.”

Tickets for the October 15 workshop at Crawford Lake are $25 per person (plus HST), you can purchase tickets online through the event listing at

Eddy Robinson, Indigenous Speaker, Artist, Musician & Activist was born to the Missanabie Cree First Nation, but born and raised in Toronto. Eddy didn’t enjoy an easy childhood as an Anishinaabe youth in the big city. His father, a Residential School survivor, left the family when he was just three years old and he subsequently endured years of abuse from an alcoholic parent. It was during these early years that he was first exposed to a heritage that he now credits with saving his life.


Eddy Robinson, Indigenous Speaker, Artist, Musician & Activist was born to the Missanabie Cree First Nation.

Eventually ending up in the care of his grandparents, Eddy found himself on the same path of violence and addiction that dominated his childhood. He credits a Catholic priest at the Native Peoples Parish in Toronto for first encouraging him to seek out his roots. He pointed Robinson to a traditional Anishinaabe Vision Quest/Fasting ceremony that would begin his journey towards sobriety.

The power of the Dewegun (Drum) has opened the door to other aspects of his culture. A member of the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Eddy established his First Nations owned and operated business Morningstar River in 2007 to address the societal need for Indigenous education and displays of authentic culture. Eddy is a noted Anishinaabe artist, musician, activist and educator, and is a member of the National Speakers Bureau.

Crawford Lake is located at the corner of Guelph Line and Conservation Road (formerly Steeles Avenue) 15 km north of the QEW, and 5 km south of the 401 in Milton. The pristine waters of Crawford Lake have drawn people to its shores for hundreds of years. The rare lake, with surrounding boardwalk, is nestled in lush forests atop the stunning Niagara Escarpment where visitors can watch soaring turkey vultures glide through the Nassagaweya Canyon.

You can step back in time and explore the 15th century Iroquoian Village that has been reconstructed on its original site at Crawford Lake. The spirits still sing in the longhouses where tools, animal hides and the smell of smoke let you experience the rich history of Ontario’s First Peoples. Crawford Lake’s Customer Service staff can be reached by telephone at 905-854-0234, ext. 221, or by e-mail,

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Walk to school day takes place on Wednesday - let the kids know today because they are probably going to expect you to drive them.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 4th, 2016



There was a time when everyone walked to school – you met up with friends at the end of your street and you walked as a small group with your friends and learned what real gossip was all about.


Bikes parked at the Beaudoin school. This doesn’t happen every day.

When that practice came to an end – and why it came to an end is something the Gazette would invite some comment on.

Why do we insist in doing everything for our children? Are the streets of Burlington not safe?

The media release sent out by the school board uses the phrase “the need for safe places to walk”. Which streets to which schools in Burlington are unsafe?

“International Walk to School Day, October 5, began as a simple idea – children and parents, school and local officials walking to school together on a designated day. It is an energizing event, reminding everyone of the health benefits of regular daily activity, and the need for safe places to walk.”

“Suzanne Burwell, the Board’s Environmental Sustainability Coordinator says “Being active on the trip to school has a measurable effect on concentration levels”. She added that “Incorporating activity into morning routines is beneficial to the whole family, so if walking all the way isn’t feasible, consider connecting with other families to take turns walking with students, having students walk in groups or park legally a few blocks from the school, walk the rest, and start your day stress free.”

Do you get the sense that is a serious, significant commitment to convincing parents not to drive the kids to school?

I didn’t.

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Keith Hoey and the Burlington Chamber of Commerce: He says it is the best networking deal in town - and he might be right.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 27, 2016



So – you’ve been in business for a reasonable period of time and you now need to expand your reach into your market. Or you are climbing the corporate ladder and you want to grow your personal network.

Keith Hoey, president of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce told an audience of new members that people buy things from people they know” and added – “so get to know people – network, that is what the Chamber of Commerce can help you do.”


If you had a question: Keith Hooey had an answer for you. All part of his regular new member orientation sessions.

You know that networking is the key to it all – but where do you go to begin creating that all important personal network?  Ask that question of Hooey, and he will whip out an application form faster than you can pull out a business card.

Hoey is passionate about the work he does. He is unrelenting and is also a very funny guy.

Last week, the Gazette sat in on an orientation session for new Chamber of Commerce members – there were about 35 people gathered at the Burlington Golf and Country Club.


As interesting as Keith Hooey, president of the Chamber of Commerce was – there was business to be done.

Hoey wasn’t selling memberships – the people in the room were already members – what Hooey was doing was explaining just how good a deal they had gotten themselves into.

The benefits were impressive – Hoey almost made it sound as if you could end up making money on a Chamber of Commerce membership. The 3.5% discount on gas purchases will certainly get you started on the savings side.

If you are a small business operator there is the opportunity to sign your staff up to a health benefits plan.  The opportunities to meet people are abundant. There is he Before 9 crowd and the Business After 5 crowd that were described by Hooey as the best networking opportunities in the city.

The selling features that Hoey focused on were the Chamber’s three prime purposes: Networking,  Education and Advocacy.  The organization has over 1,000 corporate members, ran 103 events last year and has eight committees advocating on behalf of their membership.

How effective is the Burlington Chamber of Commerce in advocating or its members? Hoey gives on sterling example. There was a time when Burlington was short 22 doctors which was hurting companies that wanted to attract talent to the city. A committee was put together and after a period of time – these things do take time –  a program was put in place that attracted doctors to the city – Burlington is now just two doctors short of what it should have the size of its population.

Hoey had one word of caution for the new members he was orienting – “I hope you joined because you are interested”. An uninterested member was a person Hooey would chat up and give them reasons to become interested.

One critical comment: Hoey will tell people to “get out there and make money”. One doesn’t hear him say – and “give back to your community”. Other than that he does a great job.

He gave the new members all the time they needed and answered all the questions they asked – and kept looking at the clock – checking the time.

Hoey was leaving for a Chamber trip to India – a part of the world he had not been to before. And he had yet to pack for his afternoon flight.

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Culture weekend and Doors Open Burlington take place next weekend - plan for it, there is a lot to see.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

September 23, 2106



The 7th annual Culture Days weekend kicks off next Friday, September 30 and runs through Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd. Burlington is getting more involved than ever by making arts and culture accessible to the community.

This year’s Culture Days will feature many different types of artists, activities and events, including Doors Open Burlington us for the 5th year in a row.

Here is a breakdown of some of the events taking place:

Art Gallery of Burlington,

Burlington Libraries,

Burlington Performing Arts Centre,

Burlington Student Theatre,

Burlington Teen Tour Band,

On October 1st, Civic Square is transformed into Art in the Square, an event that runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Artists and artisans will showcase their artwork in a marketplace and provide interactive activities for the community. The event will feature live music and dance performances and provide the opportunity to be a part of the audience, explore various art techniques and try something new.

Doors Open Burlington
open-doors-2016-listThe 7th annual Doors Open Burlington takes place on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is an occasion to see your city from a different perspective and celebrate the cultural importance of the sites throughout the community. The event will highlight important buildings, organizations and landmarks that make Burlington a culturally vibrant place to live, work and visit. Admission is free!


The city is a collection of doors – next weekend you get a chance to open many of them and take a peek inside.

The Burlington Cycling Committee will lead a bicycle tour of the Burlington sites for the Doors Open event. Meet at City Hall, Civic Square at 10 a.m. and begin our journey to explore the sites. All ages are welcome and we will keep a leisurely pace using all available bike paths and bike lanes. There will be an opportunity to stop and visit each site. We estimate the cycle tour will take about two hours.

The looming question about this event is – will they drive along New Street and take advantage of those new bike lanes – and will that traffic count in the data the city is collecting.

Registration is required at the start of the tour.

Visit to plan your weekend.

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United Way fund raising teams are going to try and pull a 200,000 lb A300 UPS cargo plane 50 yards - really?

eventspink 100x100By Staff

September 22, 2016


It will be the photo op of photo ops.


Tips the scales at 200,000 lbs – and they want to pull it at least 50 – by hand.

A team of people trying to move an Airbus A300 – 50 feet across the tarmac at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport.

The occasion is the official kick off of the Burlington and Greater Hamilton United Way fall fund raising drive.

The Gazette plans on being there to see if this can actually be done.


Former, now retired Burlington General Manager Kim Phillips giving it her best as she works with other staff on a United Way fund raising drive.

In past United Way drives we have seen staff at city hall tug away on a rope to move a heavy duty truck

The theme for 2016-17 is: Help us change 164,000 lives. In the past the United Way has created a fund raising target and found that they were losing sight of the real reason for being – people.

They have helped 164,000 people change their lives by being there to help when help was needed.
The United Way serves as a safety net – with that organization in place dozen of agencies through the two communities would not have the funds to give the help that is needed


Shelves in a food bank – not exactly a supermarket is it.

That help covers the gamut from providing lunches for children on the weekend when there just isn’t a meal for them.

It includes financially supporting organizations that are on the ground, in the field delivering the support for the disadvantaged, the infirm – those down on their luck – often through no fault of their own.

Plane pulls are one way of getting some attention.
The Plane pull takes place on Saturday at the airport – make a day of it and takes the kids to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

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Grade six math scores low across the province - slightly above the provincial average in Halton.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 21, 2016



The province released the results from the Ontario Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) which show Halton District School Board students continue to perform above the provincial average, with significant gains experienced in Grade 3 Reading and Grade 6 Writing levels.

These results were based on assessments completed in the 2015-2016 school year for primary and junior students in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.

The results in 2015-16 are being compared to results in 2013-14, as EQAO was not administered in public school boards last year.


These scores are nothing to shout about – surely this isn’t the best our teachers can do?

In Grade 3:

• Reading: Results show a three-percentage point gain in Reading from 76% to 79% of students achieving at or above the provincial standard, while the provincial average was 72%.

• Writing: 78% of students attained the provincial standard, a decrease from 81%. The provincial average was 74%, decreasing from 78%.

• Math: Overall, provincial results declined from the previous EQAO assessment. In Halton, 70% of students – compared to 74% – exceeded the provincial standard. The provincial average was 63%, a four-percentage point drop. The decrease in Halton and Ontario was the same.

In Grade 6:

• Reading: Results remained at 85% of all students achieving at or above the provincial standard, while the provincial average was 81%. The past five years have seen growth of 6% overall in Junior Reading.

• Writing: Results showed an increase to 85% from 82% of all students achieving at or above the provincial standard, while the provincial average was 80%. The past five years have seen an increase of 8% overall in Junior Writing.


We hope no one sees the reading and writing scores as acceptable – 90+ should be the goal that is reached. Math is terrible – expect the province to create a task force to up those numbers. Expect the Halon District school Board to move faster than the province.

• Math: Results decreased by five percentage points to 56% of students achieving at or above the provincial standard. The province saw a decrease of four percentage points in Grade 6 Mathematics with 50% of students achieving at or above the provincial standard.

While the Board is pleased with the overall EQAO results, having achieved higher than the provincial results in all six categories of the primary and junior assessments, HDSB recognizes the need to improve particularly in the area of math.

David Boag

David Boag, Associate Director of Education

“The Board continues to focus on its robust early literacy plan in all schools and is proudly making continuous gains in Grade 3 Reading,” said David Boag, Associate Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “The Board’s Junior Reading and Writing scores improved as well, with the highest results ever in Grade 6 Writing.”

Junior Math results continue to decline for the Halton District School Board as well as for the province. While Halton continues to achieve above the provincial average in this category, the Board recognizes Junior Mathematics is an important area of focus.

“To improve math results, the province announced a revised math strategy this past spring. Halton is revising its Math Plan to reflect that strategy by developing goals to close the student achievement gap,” Boag said.

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Halton District school board grade 9 students are doing fine with their math scores - literacy is right up there as well.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 21, 2016



Grade 9 month doing fine ‘’’

The province might be having problems with the mathematics scores for grade 6 students but the Halton District School Board is pleased with the scores for the grade 9 math.

Today the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released results showing Halton District School Board students well outperforming the province in Grade 9 Academic and Applied Mathematics, and on the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Secondary students must write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) as a requirement of graduation.


There is clearly a lot of work to be done on the Applied side.

For Grade 9 Math, there are different assessments for students in the academic and applied courses. On the Grade 9 Academic Math assessment, 90% of students achieved the provincial standard, unchanged from the previous year’s result. The provincial average decreased by two percentage points to 83% of students achieving the provincial standard. In total, there were 3,302 students enrolled in the Academic Math course in 2015-2016.

For the 655 HDSB students in the Applied Math course, 55% attained the provincial standard in 2015-2016, a one percentage point increase from the previous year. The provincial average decreased by two percentage points from 47% to 45% from the previous year.


Literacy results are strong – are we seeing much in the way of creative writing at the high school level?

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) results for 2015-2016 were also released today. The Halton District School Board’s success rate for students writing the test for the first time remained unchanged at 88%, while the provincial average was 81%, a drop of one percentage point from last year. The overall results for the OSSLT in Halton continue to demonstrate remarkable consistency.

This year, the OSSLT participation rate was 97% and the success rate was 88%. Both of these Halton results are above the provincial average, showing Halton students continue to demonstrate strong literacy skills.

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Can high school students become philanthropists? Foundation Board member thinks so.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 19th, 2016



An interesting idea cropped up during our interview with Tim Cestnick, the newest member of the Burlington Foundation, which most of you will remember as the former Burlington community Foundation.

New members of any board need to take a little time to settle in and get a sense as to how the board has run in the past. Tim Cestnick and Tim Hogarth go back some time – both are polished senior executive types that know how to think through problems and take a strategic look at what the objective is. And both are now board members of the Foundation. Hogarth has been on the board for a period of time.

foundation-lansberg-speakingThe Foundation recently went through a re-branding and is well into the roll out of their Mental Health Awareness work they have been doing the past two years. They have a major speaker. Michael Landsberg,  in town in October.

The number of Endowments they manage grows steadily as does the assets under administration – $10.7 million now.

The organization is readying itself for its Annual Gala that is being chaired by Rick Burgess this year. The event will be held at the Performing Arts centre on October 22nd.

foundation-gala-2016foundation-gala-dateThe Gala is a major fund raising event that covers the operational costs of the Foundation.

Every organization that relies on the public needs to constantly refresh itself and while a brand change perhaps perks things up a little, the meat is in the ideas they come forward with. And this is where Cestnick’s thoughts on just what philanthropy is all about are very relevant.

The vast majority of the people out there would say that people with a lot of money can become philanthropists – Cestnick doesn’t see it that way. He thinks we can tech people at the high school level to think in terms of being philanthropists.

“Why can’t a high school student can’t set aside a small sum each year and make that their philanthropic donation – something that would be built on each year?

We have United Way for that might be a response – and it is a good one.

If one looks at the annual Terry Fox run that takes place in Burlington every year you get a sense of how a public will take to an idea; how they will respond to something that changed the way they see the world.


Others are already involving their youth in philanthropic ventures.

Philanthropy allows that kind of thing. The United Way seeks funds to provide services. The Burlington Foundation came to the realization that we need to look at Mental Health differently and bring it in out of the cold where it wasn’t talked about – we just felt sorry for those who were experiencing bad mental health.

The Foundation now has a program in place that has people talking about mental health and what has to change in the way we deal with this now growing social problem. That hasn’t been the kind of work that organizations like the United Way are doing. This is not to take anything away from what the United Way does – we could not survived as a caring society if we did not have the United Way in place.


Tim Cestnick newest Burlington Foundation Board member.

Tim Cestnick talks in terms of people needing to “feel” it when they are donating money. You give something up, you do without something you enjoy when you choose to make a philanthropic donation.

If I understood Tim Cestnick correctly he is interested in introducing people to the idea that there is something biblical about philanthropy and I got the impression it was something he might try to get on the Foundation agenda.

It will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere – it should.


Related article:

Cestnick appointed to Burlington Foundation board.

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MoonGlade was an outstanding success - 17 installations that saw more than 3500 visitors during a four hour show event.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 19, 2016


It went well, it went very well.

The MoonGlade event put on by No Vacancy in partnership with the Art Gallery of Burlington was a huge improvement over the event last year. Shows what a curated event can be.

When Denis Longchamps, Chief Curator, added his skill set to No Vacancy’s organizational talents the city ended up with an event that can only grow. We are all winners with this one.


The tunnel portion of Kune Hua’s installation

It is an event Burlingtonians are going to have to grow into. Among the 17 “installations” pieces the one put on by Kune Hua was by far the most popular. While it wasn’t “art” per se, it certainly attracted a lot of people.

There was a line up outside the installation even though most people didn’t know what it was until they got inside and had a conversation with Kune who talked to everyone who passed through.


Part of the Kune Hua installation consisted of a number of tents set up – people went in and just talked to the person inside. About what? We didn’t ask – hundreds lined up.

It was described by one arts professional as something that was more philosophical than installation art – but it appealed to people.

Kune was on a high when the event came to a close; he sent a thank you out to all those involved and said:  “What an incredible night! 🌸🌝 Feeling so much love 💗 and the light ✨ was certainly bright tonight. The LOVE garden was in full bloom and hundreds of people picked up the fragrance. Thank you so so much to everyone who helped make this happen from creating it, supporting it and experiencing it! It truly was a magical night.”

Jim Riley was given the space he needed for his visual installation.

One person who attended said the Art Gallery had probably never seen this many people in the place at one time before.

An added bonus for the people who went to take part in MoonGlade was the “stitched art” exhibit that was on at the same time. Unfortunately many, if not most people didn’t realize that the work was unique and one of the best shows of stitching, which is an offshoot of quilting, that will be seen in this province.

Kelly Bruton of Newfoundland had an excellent installation that called for some interaction to be fully appreciated.


Shevon Madden’s installation.

Shevnon Madden’s installation of a wire sculpture of a horse head with all the musculature of the neck clearly delineated was quite stunning. Her visual and vocal commentary made a telling point on how we train animals.

Longchamps wanted a much more hands on approach and art that was both interactive and made a social comment. For the most part he got much of what he wanted.

What was missing was public interaction.


The Deconstruction table – created by Kelly Bruton

Kelly Bruton had difficulty getting people to spend any time at either her destruct or reconstruct tables. The object was cut up T-shirts into strips of cloth and use the strips to make rugs.


The reconstruction table.

What we noticed was that people flitted from one installation to another and didn’t quite know what to do when they got there.

The exception was the Kune Hua installation. No one was able to say quit why it worked – just that it did. And that can be said for everything about MoonGlade.


It was mediation and music – which is what many wanted.

The Beer Garden went well; the Food Trucks met the need and the music was just fine.

Look for this event to be repeated next year. Kune Hua hasn’t a clue as to what he will do for a repeat. He has a full year to think that through.

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Vaccine for shingles now free to seniors.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 15, 2016



Hearing that – Starting today, the shingles vaccine will be available across the province for people 65 to 70 years of age might get little more than a shrug from most people.

For those who have experienced shingles it is no laughing matter.


Shingles is a very painful condition – it isn’t limited to people over 65.

“Shingles is a painful illness caused by the chickenpox virus that can reactivate without warning later in life. The shingles vaccine lowers the risk of getting shingles significantly and reduces the chance of complications from this disease for people without medical contraindications.

The government is investing $68 million over three years in order to publicly fund the vaccine, which will reduce the likelihood of Ontario seniors developing the painful infection, and reduce visits to emergency rooms and hospitals.

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, affects more than 42,000 people every year in Ontario and can cause complications such as loss of vision and debilitating nerve pain. Studies show that the vaccine is highly effective when seniors are vaccinated between the ages of 65 – 70, and this new program aligns with scientific and expert recommendations from Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization and Ontario’s Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Those who are eligible for the shingles vaccine should contact their primary care doctor or nurse practitioner to receive the vaccination.

Approximately 850,000 seniors between the ages of 65 and 70 years are expected to be eligible to receive the publicly funded shingles vaccine.

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Getting the kids off the sweetened beverages is a challenge indeed - but the city is going to try.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 15, 2106


How would you describe getting the kids to drink water and give up sugar-sweetened beverages?

Some would call that a “challenge” which is exactly what city staff and Community Development Halton are going to try to do at the Healthy Kids Community Challenge that will take place Tuesday, September 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mountainside Recreation Centre.

Residents are invited to a community workshop to share ideas on how to encourage children and families to drink water as a healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages.

Goldring + Tina 4 run jump play

Mayor Goldring was on hand for the launch of the Healthy Initiatives program. He didn’t try the hoola hoop but he did draw in chalk on the sidewalk.

“Having a city that is healthy and green is one of the four key objectives in Burlington’s 25 year strategic plan,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “We want to help motivate kids to drink water when they are thirsty and make choices that will lead to good health.”

Ideas generated from the community brainstorming event will be used to support the second theme of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, Water Does Wonders.

Burlington is one of 45 communities selected to take part in the Province of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge program, created to support healthy and active lifestyles in children zero to 12 years old.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will launch a new theme related to physical activity or healthy eating about every nine months and Healthy Kids Community Challenge Burlington will work together with local organizations to develop programs, policies and initiatives that promote and enable healthy behaviours.

Beard - hoola hoope - run jump play

The program started out as a provincial Healthy Kids Community Challenge, created to support healthy and active lifestyles in children zero to 12 years old. Millions were to be put into the program which the city outsourced partially to Community Development Halton.

“Children need a lot of water to stay hydrated and healthy,” said Jennifer Spence, the co-project lead for Healthy Kids Community Challenge Burlington. “Water makes up more than half of a child’s weight, and a steady supply is necessary to keep bodies working properly.”

When members of city council are deliberating and are in their seats for a couple of hours – they have a small fridge that holds cool beverages. In the five years the Gazette has covered this city council we have yet to see anyone of them come out with a container of water.

The Mayor does bring in his personal water bottle.

City council chambers might be a good place to start this change.

There is more information about the Healthy Kids Community Challenge Burlington, visit or like Healthy Kids Community Challenge Burlington on Facebook, follow @HeathlyKidsBurl on Twitter and @HealthyKidsBurlON on Instagram.

Related articles:

It started out as Run Jump Play


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The first reported human case of of WNV has been reported to the Region's Medical Officer of Health.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 15, 2016



A Halton resident has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).

This is the first reported human case of of WNV reported to the Region’s Medical Officer of Health this year.

The Halton Region Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani , advises residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites

WestNileVirus_transmission“While 80 per cent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms, others will have West Nile fever consisting of fever, headache, muscle ache and a rash. If residents are concerned or experiencing symptoms, I would encourage them to visit their health care professional.”

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas and in places that hold standing water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires.

Residents are encouraged to take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

• Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.

• Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.

• Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects, where possible. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.

• Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.

• Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.

As part of its ongoing West Nile prevention program, Halton Region staff continually monitor areas of standing water, eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites and larvicide when mosquito larvae is found. A map showing the locations of standing water sites on public properties that have had larvicide applied this year is available at

To report standing water at public facilities or for more information about West Nile virus, please visit or dial 311.

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