One of the best team of volunteers in the city will be back at the Freeman station - April 16th and 30th - brings work gloves

News 100 redBy Staff

April 10, 2016


They need help with scraping and painting, window cleaning, cleanup of the grounds, moving and cleaning Whinstones, installing safety material on the windows, relocating
the TH&B car, and moving the security fence.

Freeman - view from the south - volunteers needed

The outside of the Freeman station is looking pretty good – lots more to be done on the inside.

Does any of this appeal to you?

How about being a part of the team that has contributed over 3,000 hours of effort to get the Freeman Station to the point where they are thinking seriously in terms of setting a date for the place to open.

Freeman - close to final

The was the end of stage 1 – getting the station off blocks and to he location where it would rest on a foundation. That was phase two. The volunteers who are making this happen have put in more than 3000 hours of work – so far.

The Freeman Station has a proud history, not because of what the majority of city council did to keep it from being sold for kindling – but proud because of the tiring efforts and hard work to first find a site for the structure and then to raise the funds to get it moved and then to get started on the work that will make it a destination for many visitors to the city.

The Friends of Freeman Station want you to dig out your work gloves and wear old clothes and then show up on one of the two (both if you are so inclined) volunteer dates: April 16th and April 30th.

Getting it - blueWith the hardest part of winter behind them – the team will be out in full force. There is a lot to be done yet

The team would like to know what kind of talent is going to show up: alert them about your skills by emailing them at – and let them know what you can do.

Return to the Front page

Photographers looking forward to the annual Latow photography weekend: April 16th - 17th

eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 9, 2016


“ Yes we know you’ve heard it all already”, said David Low, president of Latow, the Burlington photography Guild, “but a week from now Latow will be holding its Annual Photography Weekend with David duChemin, who is regarded as one of the top photography educators anywhere.”

David du Chemin

David duChemin

David duChemin is a world and humanitarian assignment photographer, best-selling author, digital publisher, and international workshop leader whose nomadic and adventurous life fuels his fire to create and share. When on assignment du Chemin creates powerful images that convey the hope and dignity of children, the vulnerable and oppressed for the international NGO community. Drawing on a previous career in comedy, du Chemin is a dynamic and engaging presenter and educator. A driven artist, creative professional, entrepreneur and life-long adventurer, du Chemin educates and inspires through stunning visuals and hilarious travel stories.

David du Chemin picture - man at mosque

From the David duChemin collection.

Saturday’s full-day seminar, Photographically Speaking, – a day of inspiration and

Sunday mini-seminars: three 2-hour sessions: A Stronger Approach to Travel
Photography, Stronger Landscape Photography, and The Visual Imagination.

Saturday evening Latow AV Festival – 10 presentations combining images and music in
innovative ways.

Latow is the photography guild associated with the Art Gallery of Burlington.

Return to the Front page

Ontario high school students invited to Challenge the World through volunteer efforts.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 9, 2016


Ontario is challenging high school students to “change the world” by volunteering for at least three hours in their communities.

The challenge runs from April 10 to May 23, coinciding with National Volunteer Week.

volunteeringThis year’s goal is to have 39,000 students aged 14 to 18 participate in volunteering. The ChangeTheWorld challenge, which is delivered in partnership with the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network encourages young people to get involved in their communities and helps them develop important skills like teamwork and leadership.

Ontario high school student are required to put in 40 hours of volunteer time in order to graduate.

Return to the Front page

Long-Term Accommodation Plan

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 8th, 2016


Parents and community members are invited to review and give feedback on the Halton District School Board’s 2015-2016 Long-Term Accommodation Plan

This plan addresses the existing and projected accommodation needs of students in elementary and secondary schools and identifies new capital
project initiatives, such as the need for new schools.

The Long-Term Accommodation Plan along with Powerpoint presentations, which we have set out below, outlining key points for Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville.

Elementry Capital prj part 1

Elementary capita part 2Secondary capital prjThe information is available on the school boards web site at Follow the link from the homepage under ‘Program and Accommodation’ to access the plan and presentations.

The Board wants any input before Wednesday, April 27, 2016.

You can communicate using either of the following:

The online feedback form here <>
or visit

By mail: Planning Department, PO Box 5005 STN LCD 1, Burlington, ON L7R 3Z2

Staff will report back to Trustees at the May 4, 2016 Board meeting and recommend any changes to the LTAP.

There isn’t much in the way of opportunity to comment on the web site. You might find it more useful to be in touch with your trustee if you have concerns. Responders are given a number of boxes that can be ticked off. The questions asked are:

Check all that apply

Timing and Status of Capital Projects
Condition of Physical structure, facility issues (e.g. equity between new and old schools)
Future elementary and secondary boundary reviews and Program and Accommodation Review
School utilization rates and capacities
School program offerings and/or relation to school utilizations
Transportation issues and walkability of schools.

Return to the Front page

Halton students to compete as public speakers - English competition next week; French competition took place earlier.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 7, 2016


Each year, the Halton District School Board hosts public speaking competitions in Canada’s two official languages.

The English public speaking competition involving approximately 20 students in Grade 9-12 on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. It
starts at 6:30 p.m. at White Oaks Secondary School (1330 Montclair Dr., Oakville). The public can attend this free event.

The event provides separate competitions for Junior (Grade 9-10) and senior (Grade 11-12). Students speak on any subject they choose for 5-6 minutes
without a microphone and be judged on organization, effectiveness originality, grammar, delivery, voice, body language, eye contact, grammatical correctness, enthusiasm and pronunciation. The judging panel will include Associate Director of Education David Boag, Board trustees Kim Graves and Kelly Amos, and a member of the Oakville Toast Masters.

Kyle Stewart, White Oaks Secondary School teacher and co-organizer of the April 12 event, said public speaking is a skill that can benefit students in their education pursuits as well as in the workforce.

“This event is an opportunity for students to showcase their strengths in public speaking,” Stewart said. “We are expecting a tough competition and
fantastic speeches from these exceptional students.”

Prizes will be awarded to the winners in the Junior and Senior categories.

Last week, the Board held its French public speaking competition for more than two-dozen elementary and secondary students. The winning students will represent the Board at the Canadian Parents for French French Public Speaking Regionals at the Glendon campus of York University on *Saturday
May 14, 2016*.

The winners were in the following categories: Core French Junior – Manahil Sabrini W.H. Morden Public School; Intermediate – Urmi Sheth, W.H. Morden Public School; Extended French – Junior Alish Ahmed, W.H. Morden Public School, Intermediate – Sara Zia, W.H. Morden Public School; Francophone Plus (FSL+) Junior – Jose Milan, Forest Trail Public School, Intermediate – Julia Mistele, Sunningdale Public School, French Immersion – Junior Vanditha Widyalankar, Tiger Jeet Singh Public School; Intermediate – Abigayle Burnette, Rolling Meadows Public School.

Grade 11-12 student Nicolas Génier, White Oaks Secondary School (WOSS) – French as a mother tongue; Grade 11-12 student Abdulrahman Al Bochi, WOSS – French Immersion; Grade 11-12 student Afif Bhimani, WOSS – Extended French; Grade 9-10 student Danyaal Irfan, Iroquois Ridge – French Immersion; Grade 9-10 student Abi Sudharsham, WOSS – Core French.

Return to the Front page

Province wants to hear about problems you might have had with your financial planner.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 7, 2016


If you have at some point felt your financial planner was not really delivering the level of service you thought you deserved for the fees you are paying – the province wouldlike to hear from you.

Happy young couple discussing with a financial agent their new investment

This isn’t the experience for everyone who engages a financial advisor – the province wants to hear about your experience.

Ontario is seeking public feedback on recommendations to help consumers access quality, professional financial planning and advice.

The Expert Committee to consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives has issued a report outlining preliminary recommendations, including:

Regulating individuals who serve as financial planners and advisors

Harmonizing industry education, credentialing, licensing and titling standards

Establishing clear rules to protect consumers and mitigate the risk of conflict of interest

Starting today, Ontarians can provide feedback on the expert committee’s recommendations by:

Submitting comments online to

by June 17

Getting it - yellowOr attending one of the public town hall meetings being held across the province

The committee will use the feedback to finalize its recommendations to government, which are expected this fall.

The financial services sector, including financial planning and advising, is critical to Ontario’s economic prosperity. In 2015, the sector accounted for 390,000 jobs across the province, generating almost 10 per cent of Ontario’s GDP.

The Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives was established in 2015.  The final report by an expert advisory panel reviewing the mandates of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the Financial Services Tribunal and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario with the goal of modernizing the regulation of financial services and pension plans and increasing agency accountability, is due to be released this spring.


Return to the Front page

Psychologist will explain why some children and adolescents have difficulty managing their behaviour.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

April 7, 2016


The Halton Board of education is going to host behavioural expert who will talk on dealing with challenging behaviour in children and teens on April 27, 2016. The event starts 7 p.m., and will be held at Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Ablon Stuart J.

Dr. J. Stuart Ablon, on the right, will speak about why some children and adolescents have difficulty managing their behaviour.

Dr. J. Stuart Ablon will speak about why some children and adolescents have difficulty managing their behaviour. His presentation will provide an overview of Collaborative Problem-Solving, an evidence-based approach to understanding and helping children and adolescents with behaviour challenges.

Specifically, the Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach provides an alternative conceptualization to help parents with explosive noncompliant children and adolescents. The CPS model helps adults teach children lacking cognitive skills in the domains of flexibility/adaptability, frustration tolerance and problem‐solving.

Dr. Ablon is the Director of Think: Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Return to the Front page

Local resident wants to prove that Burlington is a ‘sharing city’ - join him at the library on the 14th.

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 5, 2016


“From the time we are little, we are taught to share” declared Lawson Hunter. ”However, as we age, the desire to acquire ‘stuff’ grows as soon as we earn a little bit of money and join the consumer society. Advertising pushes us to buy the next best thing, a bigger, better, newer version, a complete set, to find happiness and fulfillment. That may be good for the economy but is it good for society?

Uber taxi

Uber taxi, while disruptive to the taxi industry, is one of the more popular sharing services.

“Capitalism may be built on competition,” says Lawson Hunter, “but history shows that we progress much further if we co-operate with one another.” Collaboration, the sharing of ideas and resources, takes us leaps and bounds beyond the private, proprietary approach. Community has always meant working together to achieve good for everyone, not just the individual. Inequality results when many hands do the work but only a few grow wealthy because of it. Sharing brings everyone up to the same level and everyone benefits.

Some call it the ‘sharing economy’; the gig economy; the gift economy; peer-to-peer accommodation; or collaborative consumption, but at its core it is very simple – if you’re not using something why not let someone else use it?

Though not officially counted in the GDP, the sharing economy could grow to $335 billion by 2025, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. This is the foundation behind such revolutionary start-ups such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, TaskRabbit and dozens of other disruptive technologies that citizens and cities are embracing or challenging, depending on your point of view.

To that end, Hunter met with the Mayor to see if he could get something going at that level – the Mayor is going to think about it.

He has run the idea by a couple of council members – they didn’t day ‘not a hope’. Hunter, who is a letter carrier dabbles in some public relations consulting.

Library shelves with books

Libraries are perhaps the original sharing service.

The sharing economy has opened the door to more efficient uses of everyday items we own but do not use to their fullest capacity. For example, car ownership is ubiquitous and yet most cars sit parked for most of the day. Someone may purchase a drill only to use it a half a dozen times in total leaving it to lay in the toolbox for years. Books, clothing, household items may be used once or twice and then discarded. This is an incredible waste and unsustainable. Why not ‘share’ with someone else, reducing cost, optimizing resources, and extending the usefulness of thousands of articles?

Hunter points out that we already share quite a lot! We just don’t know about it or take it for granted. Libraries, food banks, used clothing stores, parks, public transit, recycled building materials, and even co-operative housing are examples of the sharing economy.

Volunteering to coach hockey, teaching someone to read, driving a patient to the hospital, carpooling, shoveling your neighbour’s sidewalk are just some of the ways we already ‘share’ our time and effort, goods and services. It’s important to measure, and celebrate, the many ways society shares its common resources. There is an international organization that wants every community to stand up and be counted in The Sharing Cities Network –

Getting it - blackHunter explains an event called a mapjam – a time when people get together and map out just where sharing is done in a city. “You would be surprised ay just how much sharing goes on” and points to a number of situations in Burlington where people on a street collectively own a heavy duty snow blower.
More than 500 MapJams have been hosted in 60 countries – two have taken place in Canada – Elora and Toronto.

bikes for rent

Many cities around the world have created bicycle sharing services.

Hunter wants Burlington to join that Network. To kick things off, he is hosting a ‘#Map Jam’ on Thursday, April 14, 7:30pm, Frank Rose Room, at the Burlington Central Library. Every organization that shares, opens its doors, facilitates exchanges, co-ordinates time-sharing or carpooling or food banks or little league sports, arts, and activities is invited to network, meet other sharing activists and exchange information. The general public is also invited to learn more about the sharing economy. “We may all be amazed at how we already are in the sharing economy,” says Hunter.

What Hunter is promoting is exactly what the Parks and Recreation department is trying to get going in the city.

Related news story – city prepared to fund projects

Return to the Front page

That rain runs into Burlington's 17 creeks - high water time.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 31, 2016


How does that phrase go? In like a lion out like a lamb?

We seem to have a pretty wet lamb this last day of the month of March which produced a warning form Conservation Halton advising that natural watercourses are at or near bankfull conditions.

An additional 25 mm of rain is forecast and there is potential for greater rainfall depths associated with thunderstorms this evening.

creek swift water

Saturated ground and consistent rain the past few days has Burlington’s 17 creeks running close to their high point – not the safest place for the kids to play

This precipitation, in conjunction with saturated ground conditions will result in higher than normal water levels and flows in local streams. Widespread flooding is not currently anticipated however flooding of low lying areas and natural floodplains may be expected.

Keep the children away from watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream flow and weather conditions and will issue further messages as necessary.

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Friday April 1, 2016.

Return to the Front page

We will never know that the Mayor had to say about his private tree bylaw or what the rest of council had to say about adding bike lanes to the New Street construction tender.

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

March 26th, 2016


As Standing Committee meetings go it was a pretty full agenda. The afternoon session was full and some significant recommendations were made. One was so important to this council that they held a Special meeting of council to pass a recommendation they had made minutes before – that had to do with the designation of a piece of property in the city core in ward 2.

The Gazette reports on that event elsewhere.

Council Chamber April 2011

The webcast station is tucked away in a corner at the back of the council chamber. It needs an equipment upgrade and better oversight as well.

The evening session had three items that were important:

1 – Memorandum from Mayor Goldring requesting pilot for private tree by-law in Roseland. (DI-01-16)
2 – Report providing enhanced cycling infrastructure options for New Street. (TS-06-16)
3 – Statutory public meeting and report providing information regarding a rezoning application for 2384 Queensway Drive (Habitat for Humanity Halton). (

The meeting did take place and there was some media in attendance. The Gazette chose not to attend this meeting – choosing instead to hear a presentation on what is being done with the Randle Reef – a pile of toxic sludge in Hamilton harbour that is being covered over using $2.3 million of your tax dollars.

We decided we could pick up the webcast and report on the evening meeting of the Development and Infrastructure Standing Committee.

Well – we are not able to report on that meeting – the web cast does not include either sound or the closed captioning.  As of Thursday afternoon – no one seems to know quite why.

Councillor Craven could make ammends and spearhead a drive to get the Freeman Station located in Spencer Smith Park where it belongs. That would mean getting along with Councillor Meed Ward. Can Craven get beyond his problems with Meed Ward and see the greater good for the city?

Councillor Craven chaired the Development and Infrastructure meeting and was not aware it wasn’t being fully broadcast. No one told him. As a former broadcaster that must rankle him.

The Chair of the Standing Committee didn’t appear to know that his meeting was not being effectively broadcast. There is no reason why he should. The Information technology staff didn’t seem to know that the broadcast wasn’t complete either.

The Gazette was able to get through to Councillor Meed Ward who made inquiries – the city manager doesn’t appear to have been in the loop.

This is sort of like a radio station going off the air and no on at the station being aware that no one could listen to what was being said.
The city did add a note to the web site saying:

D&I – Mar 22, 2016 – 6:30 pm
Due to technical difficulties, the evening session of the Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting on March 22, 2016 does not contain audio or closed…

We don’t know of there was a malfunction of the equipment or if it was the web caster who didn’t push a button or if the committee clerk failed to push a button.

The record of the meeting is lost – forever apparently – so the public has no way of knowing what the Mayor had to say about his motion to create a private tree bylaw nor do we know what the discussion was about adding bike lanes to the construction work currently being done on New Street.

The Committee Clerks does take minutes –we are about to see just how completely inadequate those minutes are. We will publish them just as soon as they are available.

The questions one asks is: What’s going on at city hall? We do not believe the failure to capture the sound and the closed captioning was deliberate but we do wonder aloud why someone did not check to ensure that the sound was being captured and broadcast. Is this something the webcaster should have done ? Is it something the Committee Clerk should have done? Should the Committee Chair, Rick Craven have checked, or more importantly, should the webcaster or the Committee Clerk alerted the chair to a problem – and once it was evident there was a problem should the city manager James Ridge not have made a statement and apologized for the screw up?

This mistake points to a bigger problem – the equipment the city uses is ancient and the quality of the broadcast is terrible. The mages are fuzzy and it is difficult to understand just who is speaking at times.

We have a city administration that goes on and on about how well they engage the people picking up the tab – but they rob you of the opportunity to go back and see just what the rascals are doing.

Return to the Front page

Police will be out looking for people not using their seat belts - it will cost $240 if they find you.

notices100x100By Staff

March 24, 2016


As the Easter long weekend arrives so does the Spring Provincial Seatbelt Campaign. The Halton Regional Police Service reminds motorists that wearing a seatbelt while in a motor vehicle is the law and officers intend to actively enforce that law.

The campaign will run from Friday, March 25th, 2016 – Monday, March 28th, 2016.

Police presence

Deputy Chief Nishan DURAIAPPAH on the right.

Halton Regional Police Service Deputy Chief Nishan DURAIAPPAH is pretty blunt and direct when he says: “A properly used seatbelt is the most important piece of restraint system your car has. It’s also one of the few things you have full control over. Regardless of whether you’re on a short trip and you know the roads, you need to wear a seatbelt. The decision not to could be the last decision you make. When a driver not wearing a seatbelt is involved in a collision, the ability to control your vehicle is lost – and the likelihood of serious injury or fatality increases dramatically. Each year we stop and charge hundreds of drivers for not wearing their seatbelts and will continue to do so. Our officers will be diligently enforcing the seatbelt legislation throughout this traffic safety campaign.”

Drivers should you choose not to buckle up you could face a fine of $240 and 2 demerit points which will remain on your driving record for two years from the date of the offence.

Drivers are reminded that they are responsible to ensure all occupants under the age of sixteen and occupying a seating position are wearing the complete seat belt assembly, including a properly approved child seat or booster seat.

Return to the Front page

Shortcuts, shorthand - all part of the texting world.

backgrounder 100By Staff

March 23, 2016


2016 is all about mobile web and short ‘bite-sized’ communications. Our desktop messaging has shifted to our smartphones and tablets, and spelling and grammar have been slashed in favor of thumb-typing speed. All the while, we still need to pack meaningful information, courtesy and etiquette into our messaging.

I'll call this one - you call that one.

I’ll call this one – you call that one.

Hundreds of bizarre texting jargon expressions have spawned as a result. Primarily about shorthand and the removal of capitalization and punctuation, the new jargon is all about speed and brevity.

It saves us keystrokes to say ty (thank you) and yw (you’re welcome).

Capitalization and punctuation are optional. Yes, English teachers cringe at this new and loose language of messaging. In text messaging, lowercase is the norm for speed. For desktop email and IM, UPPERCASE is acceptable for emphasizing one or two words a time. AVOID TYPING ENTIRE SENTENCES IN UPPERCASE – IT’ CONSIDERED RUDE SHOUTING.

Some of the more used shorthand –

WBU – What About You?
IDC – I Don’t Care
W/E – Whatever
Also: wuteva – Whatever
PROPS – Proper Respect and Acknowledgement
NP = No Problem
NVM – Never Mind
IDK – I Don’t Know
TYVM – Thank You Very Much
WTF – What the F*ck?
LOL – Laughing Out Loud
BISLY – But I Still Love You
BBIAB – Be Back in a Bit

If you want to add to the list – add a comment.

Return to the Front page

Community gets to see just how smart Halton students are at 27th annual skills Competition.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 22, 2016


Halton District School Board will be holding its 27th annual Halton Skills Competition which will be hosted by Robert Bateman High School, 5151 New Street in Burlington.

The competition will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., with the results revealed and celebrated at the medals presentation starting at 5:30 p.m. on April 5th
Approximately 1,200 elementary and secondary students from across the Halton boards will compete in a wide range of skills in more than 40 competitions. Teams of elementary students in Grades 4-8 will take part in activities like the technology challenge, green energy challenge, distance challenge, Lego robotics, and TV/video production competitions. New to this year’s competition will be a demonstration of the learning students are experiencing as teachers integrate robotics into the curriculum.


Robotics students at Central High prepare for their comptitions.

Secondary school students will compete in numerous events including architectural CADD, auto collision repair, auto service technology, auto painting, baking, cabinet making, character animation, culinary arts, desktop publishing, digital photography, distance car challenge, electrical installations, electronics, fashion design, floristry, graphic design, hairstyling, health care, home building, team and individual carpentry, home building, horticulture and landscape, landscape design, mechanical computer-assisted design, precision machining, refrigeration, robotics and control systems, website development, welding, small power equipment and TV/Video production.
A Career Showcase will take place during the day with representatives from the community, business, industry and education sectors.

“The Halton Skills Competition is a fabulous way to showcase the amazing talents of our students as they engage in friendly competition at a very high level,” said Julie Hunt Gibbons, Superintendent of Education for the Halton District School Board. “There is a huge need for skilled trades in our country, and it is very encouraging to see the both the interest and incredible skill levels acquired by our students during their time with us.”

Getting it - redStudents successful in the competition will go forward to represent the Halton District School Board at the Ontario Skills Competition in Waterloo from May 2-4, and then onto the Skills Canada National Competition in Moncton from June 5-8.

Return to the Front page

Economic Development supports the strategic plan - warn the city that they now have to effectively execute the plan.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 22nd, 2016


The Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) created a 10 year Economic Vision that is a foundational part of the strategic plan the city approved at the standing committee level last night.

The economic visions acts as both a standalone economic strategy which outlines in detail the vision for Burlington’s economy and will also be fully integrated into the City of Burlington 2015 Strategic Plan.

Strat plan other part of room

From the left: JCBourne and Norm McDonald of consultants KPMG, Frank McKeown, BEDC Executive Director, Councillor Paul Sharman, Andrea smith, Official Plan review manager and Councillor Blair Lancaster at a strategic Plan review meeting.

Burlington Vision 2025 will allow the business community to better understand the economic situation in Burlington and its position in the changing global economy, create a clear direction for economic growth in Burlington, help to address the economic pressures and trends in the region and act as the roadmap to economic prosperity in Burlington. The result will be a focused economic strategy that illustrates our short and long term objectives and identifies the strategies that will allow us to achieve them.

The development of Vision 2025 was founded on two core principles:

Understanding our current situation through data analysis and
Engaging stakeholders to create a common vision that can be achieved in partnership.

An extensive baseline analysis and stakeholder engagement process was undertaken to support these objectives which engaged over 300 stakeholders through a combination of interviews, surveys and workshops. This process was overseen by the Economic Vision Advisory Committee composed of 19 stakeholders who met regularly throughout the development of Burlington Vision 2025 to review work completed and develop draft directions for the economic vision. The results of this work is set out in separate reports:

Burlington Base Analysis
Burlington Key Sector Analysis
Burlington Infrastructure & Employment Lands Analysis
Burlington Competitive Analysis
Burlington SWOT Analysis
Online Survey Summary Report
Stakeholder Interview Summary Report
Burlington Rural Strategy Background Document

These resulted in the following five  Strategic Pillars and 2 Economic Enablers for Burlington Vision 2025:

Strategic Pillars

Development & Intensification of Employment Lands
Vibrant, Diverse & Growing Community
Fostering Business Growth, Investment, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Integrated Transportation & Increased Connectivity
Developing a Unique & Dynamic Brand for the City of Burlington

Economic Enablers:

Infrastructure Planning by all Regulatory Bodies
Intergovernmental Alignment

McKeowen and Sharman

From the left: Frank McKeown with Councillor Paul Sharman during the first creation of a Strategic Plan in 2011

BEDC Executive Director Frank McKeown was happy to see the city getting away from a brand that had defined the city as age friendly with one of the larger serniors population in the province and the largest in the Region. He wanted to see the city’s brand focused on vibrancy, innovation and growth.  He added that “we have to become better at redevelopment because there is precious little greenfield development left.

McKeown said he has found that the city has a very strong working relationship with Hamilton; one that is much stronger than the one with Oakville or Milton.   He hopes to create stronger bonds between both McMaster University and Mohawk College.

McKeown said he hoped council was inspired by the document and that he hopd as well that staff wouild feel inspired as well.

“We need to be more innovative” he said “and we need to attract talent to make this happen.  Council has to be part of the talent attraction team.”

The success of this plan will not be seen just at city hall – it will be seen in the commercial community and that success will attract more successes.”

Frank McKeown  told city council last night that he supports the Strategic Plan and pointed out that the hard part now begins” You have to execute on the plan you are about to make policy for the city.” He added that less than 10% of most Strategic Plans get properly executed.

Return to the Front page

Does the Burlington Teen Tour band define the city? It is certainly better then that expensive pier. Have your say.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 22, 2016


Burlington residents are going to decide on what Burlington’s theme for the Canada 150 Mosaic Mural is going to look like.

And what is the Canada 150 Mosaic mural all about.

If you are a little weak on your Canadian history – think 1867 when the country was created – add 150 years and you get to 2017 when the country is going to go bananas over our sesquicentennial.

Canada Day SLIDER

New Canadians being sworn in at a Burlington Canada Day event. In the lower left corner former Former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario – The Late Lincoln Alexander and wife Marni Beal Alexander.

The Canada 150 Mosaic Mural is a national project created by Albertan artists Lewis Lavoie, Paul Lavoie and Phil Alain. During the two years leading up to Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, the artists plan to create murals in 150 different communities across the country as part of the national celebrations. Each mural will incorporate locally relevant imagery. The mural will also be featured on the project’s website where the 150 completed murals will be virtually joined together and displayed.

“The City of Burlington will be participating in the Canada 150 Mosaic project through our public art program,” said Angela Paparizo, manager of arts and culture.

“The mural will be made up of approximately 400 individual tiles painted by the residents of Burlington. It is open to residents of all ages and skill levels. The tiles painted by

Burlington residents will be joined together to create a large mural designed by the artists.”

Residents can vote online and chose from these themes for the Burlington mural:

Brant Street Pier
Burlington Teen Tour Band
Joseph Brant
Lake Ontario
The Niagara Escarpment

Let the city know what you would like to see as the theme – CLICK here.

Those with some other idea for a theme for Burlington can email it to

Voting has already started – a sense of where citizens are going with this one is evident in the graph below.  Perhaps every member of the \teen Tour Band voted – along with the band alumni – it is a pretty big group.  City council will shudder if the public voted for the (paid for twice) pier and most people know so little about Joseph Brant the founder of the city that he will get precious little memtion.

Canad 150 mural - Early vote result
The Canada 150 Mosaic artists will be in Burlington to direct tile painting with residents on Monday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 23, 2017. The final mural will be unveiled on Canada Day, July 1, 2017.


Return to the Front page

Great idea helping high school grads make the best of their prom to take place again this year.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 21st, 2016


Various schools within the Halton District School Board will be hosting open houses in late March and early April for Grade 12 students to select various free articles of donated prom clothing.

Prom white-high-school-graduation-dresses-07_4

It’s a big night and they want to look great – and their is a great program in place to help out with the clothing side of the evening.

High school social workers are once again hosting an initiative to help students look their best for their Grade 12 prom, called Fashion Forward. New or gently-used articles of prom wear for all students were donated and available for students free of charge. There are many different styles, colours, and sizes of formal dresses available including suits, shirts, ties and shoes.

The open house for Burlington will be at:

• Thursday April 7, 2016 at M.M. Robinson High School (2425 Upper Middle Road, Burlington) from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.

Students are asked to bring their student identification card with them.

We don’t know how long this program has been around nor do we know who came up with the idea – but it is a superb way to let young people get to their prom look smashing.

Return to the Front page

11 impaired drivers in 72 Hours plus the four on St. Patrick's Day totaled 15 drunks behind the wheel in four days,

Crime 100By Staff

March 21st, 2016


Halton Police had a busy weekend removing eleven (11) impaired drivers from the Region’s roads.

The first arrest occurred Friday at approximately 8:20 pm in Oakville. A 40 year old female was involved in a motor vehicle collision. Police attended the scene and commenced an investigation. She was arrested shortly thereafter for impaired driving.

Twenty minutes later police responded to a citizen’s complaint of a possible impaired driver northbound on Brant Street near Upper Middle Road, Burlington. Police attended the registered owner’s residence and observed him exiting his vehicle. He was subsequently arrested for impaired driving.

The third arrest occurred in Oakville at approximately 5:30 am on Saturday March 19. A vehicle struck a hydro pole on Lakeshore Road in the Maurice Drive area of Oakville. Police attended and arrested the 22 year old male driver for impaired by drug operation.

Saturday night Police in Burlington arrested six (6) impaired drivers. Four were involved in collisions. The remaining two were called in to police by citizens. One driver attempted to walk away from the scene but was prevented from doing do by citizens who witnessed the collision.

Police in Oakville received a call for a collision in the area of Bayshire Drive and Summerhill Crescent. A vehicle struck a parked car and the driver fled the scene. He was located at his residence a short distance away. The 40 year old male was arrested for impaired driving.

The eleventh impaired arrest occurred in Burlington. Staff at the Plains Road McDonald’s observed a customer passed out behind the wheel while in their drive through. They contacted police but he left prior to police arrival. Police attended his residence and arrested the 37 year old Burlington male driver.

Getting it - yellowFour drivers were also arrested on St. Patrick’s Day, totaling fifteen in four days.

When you report an impaired driver, you are helping Halton Region remain one of the safest regions in Canada!

The Halton Regional Police Service thanks the numerous concerned citizens who continue to report impaired drivers; you can report suspected impaired drivers by calling 911 when it is safe to do so, and reporting the vehicle description, license plate, direction of travel and a description of the driver.

Traffic crimes cost society more, devastate more Canadian families, and inflict more physical insult than all other criminal offences combined!

Return to the Front page

Board of education holds meetings for parents transitioning their children with special needs into Kindergarten

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 21st, 2016


The Halton District School Board invites parents to attend an information session in the next several weeks to gain information, meet other parents and ask questions about transitioning their children with special needs into Kindergarten. The following meetings will be held:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 – Emily Carr Public School at 4-5:30 p.m., 2255 Pine Glen Rd., Oakville

Monday, April 4, 2016 – M.M. Robinson High School at 9:30-11 a.m., 2425 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington

Monday, April 11, 2016 – Ethel Gardiner Public School at 7-8:30 p.m., 14365 Danby Rd., Georgetown

Monday, April 20, 2016 – P.L. Robertson Public School at 7-8:30 p.m., 840 Scott Blvd., Milton

Getting it - blackTopics for this information session will include:

● Learn about support and programs offered by the Halton District School Board
● Speak with parents whose children with special needs have recently entered Kindergarten
● Learn more about the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC)
● The role of the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
● Meet Special Education staff from the Board and ask questions
● Visit a Kindergarten classroom (except at M.M. Robinson High School)

Information sessions will begin with a brief overview presentation followed by a choice of small breakout sessions focusing on specific topics.

There will be childcare available at all information sessions.

Return to the Front page

Do you want to make sure you get the Gazette?

“I didn’t see that article” is a comment we hear frequently from readers.

Gazette logo Black and redThe Gazette is an on-line newspaper that you can get delivered right into your mail box just as soon as it is published.

Many readers have made logging into the site something they do every day – others come in and see what’s going on a couple of times a week.

We have  lot of people who go south for the winter and they come on line to see what has happened in their hometown.

At the bottom of each story there are two small boxes – they are beneath the section you make a comment if you are so inclined.

If you want to get the Gazette automatically – scroll down to the bottom of any article.  You will see two small boxes underneath the space where you can make a comment.

Click on the lower of the two small boxes – we drew a red oblong rectangle around the one you need to put the check mark in.

Gazette New posts notificationYou do need to make a comment – be polite and if you don’t want your comment published just say so.  All comments are moderated.

Once you have entered a comment click on the Post Comment  box and it gets sent to us.  Make sure you put the check in that lower box.

You will then get an email asking if you really want to be notified when a new story is published.

Tell them you do – and zippo – you are a regular subscriber – and the news will be delivered to you automatically.

News that matters, news that puts what happens in your city in context with an approach intended to ensure the people who serve you are accountable to you.

It was the Gazette that broke the story on the Air Park bylaw abuses.  It was the Gazette that followed the construction of the pier – the one we built twice and paid for both times.


Return to the Front page

Will you flick the switch?

backgrounder 100By Pepper Parr

March 18, 2016



The plan is for the lights to go out at 8:30 Saturday night and remain out for an hour. Will you flick that switch to recognize Earth Day? And if you do what difference is it going to make.

Turning off the lights for an hour isn’t going to save the planet.

It is however a statement – and it is a statement the public needs to make – for a couple of reasons.

The earth is not going to disappear – it will be around for a long time – it is we human beings who are at risk.

Vince Fitorio

Vince Fiorito – probably the city’s best environmental advocate.

Vince Fiorito, a Burlington citizen nominated for the Environment award as one of Burlington’s Best, will bend your ear badly if you let him get started on what we human beings have done to the environment. He does however make a number of critical points.

“2015 a new record high average temperature for the planet’s climate. It broke the 2014 record that was a new high. What seems evident is that there is a rate of change taking place that we have not seen before.

“We are in uncharted territory now. It doesn’t take a genius to know that as these trends continue, the result will be series of unprecedented floods and droughts.

“No human being has ever breathed an atmosphere of 400 ppm of carbon dioxide. What does that mean?   The more carbon in the air the warmer the climate gets.

“We have cut down most of the forests and altered the earth’s ecosystems in ways that reduce the ability of the earth to sequester carbon.

“No one can claim to know the future. What we do know is that CO2 levels are rising, along with the average global temperature and sea levels. Oceans are acidifying. Corals reefs and life at the bottom of the ocean food chain is dying.

Blue sky begins to break through the clouds over Arctic Ocean ice Sept. 9, 2009.

Arctic Ocean sometimes does not freeze over – even in winter.

“The last time the earth’s atmosphere had this much CO2, the Arctic ocean didn’t freeze, even in “winter”. Eventually the climate may change to the point where Greenland will become tropical enough to support crocodiles and palm trees, like it was 55 million years ago when ocean levels were 50-100M higher than today.

“The Arab spring and the Syrian civil war are just a taste of what may be coming.

“How does one link a war half way around the world to climate change? That unrest and violence was preceded by a five year climate change exacerbated drought across North Africa and Middle East. Farmers couldn’t pay their bills, lost their land and moved to the cities where they didn’t find jobs and in the case of Syria, didn’t find a caring government either.

“When people are so poor they can’t afford to some of the nicer things they want, they pick up signs and protest. When they are so poor they can’t feed their children, they pick up guns. When the level of desperation reaches the point where the majority of people have nothing to gain from the status quo and nothing to lose from chaos, even the wealthy living in “safe” gated communities become refugees.

“Likely the biggest climate change exacerbated crisis in the near future will come in Bangladesh. Already they’ve lost about 10% of their rice production in the Ganges river delta to rising ocean levels and salt water contamination. Sooner or later a massive climate change exacerbated typhoon will hit this region, flooding and contaminating the remainder of the delta with salt. Then 100 million people will suddenly become food insecure and desperate. The same thing will happen in the Mekong river delta and many other food production areas.”

What would a drought do to wheat farmers in Saskatchewan?

Why do you think those millions of Americans want Donald Trump as their president? Because he says he will do something for them and they are so desperate they will vote for a man that is seen as a dangerous demagogue by many. And they are our neighbours.

xxx 2

Climate change demonstrations

Millions around the world demonstrate regularly for changes – before the planet becomes a place we can no longer live in.

The environmental movement has been around for a long time. When it began we were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.

Mainstream North America remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries, and beginning to raise public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and links between pollution and public health.

We are now at least at the point where we accept that the climate is changing – we have yet to get to the point where we are ready to do anything about it personally.

Save the Planet - Goldring + organizer

Burlington doesn’t hold large demonstrations – we are too polite to do anything like that. Mayor Goldring did speak to a group of activists about climate change – it was during an election and he was told he couldn’t use the Gazebo in Spencer Smith Park nor could he use Civic square – so he gathered in front of a coffee shop.

Earth Day has reached its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.

Today, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day.

Flicking that switch for an hour on Saturday won’t save the world – but it will be a statement – and that is a start.

Return to the Front page