Halton Police R.I.D.E. Checks in Full Force - You can lose a lot more than your licence.


News 100 blueBy Staff

December 15th, 2015


The month of December is a time of holiday parties, work get-togethers, and family celebrations. Most events include the consumption of alcohol. The Halton Regional Police are well aware and ready to ensure people make the right decision through education and prevention or pay the price of being arrested for impaired driving.


Regional police doing RIDE checks – four arrested in Burlington so far this season.

The first week of our Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (R.I.D.E.) spot checks ran from Sunday December 6, 2015 to Sunday December 13, 2015. Over 3500 cars were stopped in R.I.D.E. checks. 11 impaired driving arrests were made throughout the Region.

Milton/Halton Hills: 6
Oakville: 1
Burlington: 4

On Thursday December 10, 2015, just before 7:00am, a woman drove herself to the Georgetown District Hospital to get medical attention for an injured finger. After being release four hours later, and ignoring the physician’s advice to not drive as she appeared to be intoxicated, police located her in her vehicle in the parking lot of the hospital. A 50-year-old woman from Halton Hills has been arrested and charged with care or control over 80 mgs.

On Saturday December 12, 2015 at 10:00pm, Milton officers were conducting R.I.D.E. checks on Main Street in the Town of Milton. A vehicle was stopped and police detected a strong odor of fresh marihuana coming from the vehicle. In addition to a small package of marihuana concealed on his person, a further investigation revealed a large duffle bag with 202 grams of marihuana and a significant amount of cash. A 20-year-old man from Milton was arrested and charged with possession for the purpose. A good example that RIDE stops don’t only catch impaired drivers.

On Saturday December 12, 2015 at 4:40 pm, a motorist and his 13-year-old son were driving westbound on Dundas Street near Sixth Line in the Town of Oakville. The motorist observed a white Dodge Ram that was also driving westbound, swerving in and out of the westbound lanes. After narrowly missing the motorist’s car several times, the Ram truck accelerated quickly and attempted to change lanes, ultimately colliding with the vehicle occupied by the father and son.
A 34-year-old man from Burlington was arrested and charged with impaired driving and driving with more than 80 mgs of alcohol in blood. The driver had not been drinking that day; his level of impairment was a residual of drinking the night before.

On Saturday December 12, 2015, just before midnight, a motorist called police to report an erratic driver on Walkers Line in the City of Burlington. Officers located the vehicle and discovered both passenger side tires were flat and the vehicle was being driven on its rims. A 27-year-old woman from Burlington was arrested and charged with impaired driving and driving with more than 80 mgs of alcohol in blood. The woman had a blood alcohol concentration of over three times the legal limit.

Halton officers will be out in full force the remainder of the month working diligently to reduce impaired driving everywhere.

If you see a suspected impaired driver, please call 9-1-1. Officers will respond immediately to ensure the driver is investigated and dealt with accordingly.

The advice and direction is simple: “Don’t drive impaired, you can lose a lot more than your licence.”

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Beer will be sold in supermarkets - but not in Burlington supermarkets - not yet. Does the city have a temperance society?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 15th, 2015


The government is delivering on its promise to allow beer sales in grocery stores by announcing the first 58 locations across the province where Ontarians will be able to buy beer.
There won’t be one in Burlington this time around – the closest will be in Oakville and Hamilton – Longos will have the Oakville location. Their Fairview location in Burlington happens to be in a plaza that already has an LCBO and a Beer Store.

Beer - locations mapPremier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Finance Charles Sousa announced the 13 independent grocery stores and 45 stores owned by large grocers that are now authorized to sell beer.

This is the first round of Ontario’s commitment to make it more convenient for people to buy beer. Ultimately, beer will be available at up to 450 grocery stores province wide — roughly the same number of locations The Beer Store currently operates in Ontario. Beer in grocery stores is part of the biggest shakeup to beverage alcohol retailing in the province since prohibition was ended in 1927.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which visited all 58 locations as part of the authorization process, will now monitor them to ensure that they adhere to laws on the safe retail of alcohol. These include designated sales areas and hours of sale, limitations to package sizes and alcohol content by volume, and rigorous social responsibility training for staff.

Premier Wynne’s comment that LCBO locations would be ideal for the sale of marijuana is a testament as to just how far Ontario has come. There was a time when the then Premier of the province would not allow news photographers to take his picture if there was a glass of beer in his hand.

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Engaging the public - a report to city council is probably the first time people even knew what was being done - not the usual definition of collaboration.

By Pepper ParrNews 100 blue

December 10th, 2015


Getting a different, more effective level of community involvement with what city hall does for the taxpayers began with a committee that was put together by former Mayor Cam Jackson back in 2009 when he formed a committee and asked the late John Boich and former Mayor Cam Jackson to chair it. They put out a report – Shape Burlington.


Walter Mulkewich, co chair of the Shape Burlington committee.

Once an active Tory, Boich left that political party when he could no longer live with what then Premier of Ontario Mike GArris was doing to the education system. Boich got involved in Liberal politics and became an advisor to Mayor Jackson. He died in March of 2011 and was made Citizen of the Year and had an elementary school named after him. He was co-chir of the Shapre Burlington report.00

The late John Boich, co chair of the Shape Burlington report – the document that started the process that is intended to improve citizen participation.

The document put a lot of noses at city hall out of joint. But the process of change began.

The city hired a consultant on a two year contract to meet with the public and come up with what was referred to as a Community Engagement Plan.

That didn’t work out all that well – the consultants contract came to an end – and things remained quiet for a period of time.

The city got a new Mayor (Rick Goldring defeated Cam Jackson in 2010 – then the city got a new city manager and there was a sudden, refreshing gust of fresh air and energy at city hall

ChAT got formed – it was to be the Charter Action Team that was going to put the Community engagement Plan into action.

City Council approved the Community Engagement Charter in April 2013.

In April 2014, City Council received the Charter Action Plan developed by the Charter Action Team (ChAT), which included tasks to be completed over the coming year.

In the early stage the ChAT had four citizen members: Steve Surya, Gloria Reid, Yvette Dhillon, John Searles. Reid an Surya are leaving the committee; their replacements will be announced in the near future


Community engagement gets significant lip service from city council – in their hearts they believe they are there to do what they think is best – they believe the voters put them in place to make decisions.

Michelle Dwyer, then with the City Manager’s Office, Donna Kell (Clerks Department); Sean Kenney (Planning and Building Department); Angela Paparizo (Parks and Recreation Department, [member until fall 2014]); Kim Philips (General Manager, Senior Management Team champion [until fall 2014]); Doug Pladsen (Parks and Recreation Department, [since fall 2014]); James Ridge (City Manager, Senior Management Team champion -since spring 2015). Jeff Crowder, Carla Marshall and Sharon Will (ad hoc members, Clerks Department).

The team was in place to work collaboratively to put in place the Charter Action Plan, aiming to make public involvement part of everyday practice for City of Burlington staff.

They were to provide pre-consultation advice on public involvement issues or opportunities prior to launching a formal public involvement plan or activity


The people who worked long, long hours to put together the draft of the Community engagement Charter at a debriefing session.

They were to provide input on specific public information material before it is distributed.

Provide advice and insight to the City of Burlington’s citizen advisory committees, City Council and staff on city policies, services and programs related to public involvement

• Share information, best practices, trends, opportunities and challenges regarding public involvement

• Promote public involvement to increase the number of residents who take an active interest in city decision-making and can participate in engagement activities when they choose

• Participate in related meetings and training opportunities to stay informed of new and emerging public involvement practices
• Provide input on monitoring and measurement to ensure that the city maximizes public involvement opportunities in its policies, services and projects

• Report annually to City Council and the community regarding the status of involvement using defined metrics.

Community Involvement Activities in 2014 through Fall 2015

Lakeside Village visioning - Kaitline with man sneaky look

City transportation planner, on the right, working with a citizen at a public meeting that attracted more than 300 people. There wasn’t a word said about ChAT – they apparently organized the event. If ChAT has a story to tell they certainly didn’t tell it at this meeting.

ChAT provided advice to staff on the following topics (brackets provide information on community uptake of associated Insight Burlington and Let’s Talk Burlington tools):

1. City Services Catalogue (Insight Burlington: 252 responses)
2. Service Based Budgeting/the 2015 budget (Insight Burlington: 514 responses)
3. Parking Signage / On-street Parking (Insight Burlington: 1,047 responses / Let’s Talk Burlington: 818 responses)
4. Food Trucks (Insight Burlington: 815 responses / Let’s Talk Burlington: 68 responses)
5. Strategic Plan – process, engagement plan and as an active group presenting to council and workbook submission (Insight Burlington: 535 responses)
6. Community Trails Strategy (Let’s Talk Burlington: 219 responses)
7. Community and Neighbourhood Development opportunities
8. Coyote Management
9. Trumpeter Swans at LaSalle Park
10. Sponsorship, donations and naming
11. Chilly Half Marathon
12. e-Government project – a number of projects- the website, the public involvement portal/landing page and the “Get Involved” calendar (Insight Burlington: 296 responses)
13. Burlington Fire Department consultation – accreditation process
14. Public involvement metrics and measures
15. Preferences in communicating with the City of Burlington (Insight Burlington: 311 responses, Dotmocracy: 200)
16. City Talk magazine (Insight Burlington: 251 responses)
17. Election satisfaction (Insight Burlington: 183 responses)
18. Playgrounds (Insight Burlington: 242 responses / Let’s Talk Burlington: 359 responses)
19. Transforming commercial areas in the city (Let’s Talk Burlington: 202 responses
20. Transportation Master Plan (Let’s Talk Burlington: 438 responses)
21. Community Energy Plan (Let’s Talk Burlington: 160 responses)
22. Public Art (Insight Burlington: 308 responses, Let’s Talk Burlington: 41 responses)
23. Community Gardens (Insight Burlington: 318 responses)
24. Emergency Preparedness – raising awareness and communications
25. Business Plans
26. Intensification (Insight Burlington: 544 responses)

ChAT has been involved in or had an outreach activity at:

1. Citizen Committee recruitment Open House event (November 2014 and October 2015)
2. Culture Days 2014
3. Three Car-free Street Festival events
4. Canada Day 2015
5. Promoting Love My Hood initiative: 11 Love My Hood events occurred in the community

Chat plaque

Fifty of these plaques were ordered – expect to see them wherever people congregate.

ChAT and City Staff Members have:

1. Created the Community Engagement Charter – many citizens played a big role in the creation of the Charter in 2013
2. Created the Charter Action Plan
3. Created the first ever website portal for all things related to public involvement with the City of Burlington
4. Created and held the first ever “marketplace” for staff to showcase the tools, techniques, resources and principles to help with their public involvement efforts within the community
5. Created two videos to inform about and encourage participation in public involvement—one video with interviews and one animated
6. Asked to represent Burlington by making a presentation at the 2015 IAP2 (International Association for Public Participation) North American Conference (September 2015)
7. Taking a seat on the Board of Directors of Great Lakes IAP2 Chapter
8. Launched an online bylaws search tool (September 2015)
9. Included instant polling responses option for Insight Burlington surveys

One of the more telling figures in the data the ChAT team provided was this:

Just 18% of the people surveyed were aware of the Engagement Charter

• 85% knew they could attend a City Council meeting
• 64% were aware they could become a member of a Citizen’s Advisory Committee
• 61% were aware they could make a presentation at a council meeting
• 39% were aware they could participate in an online community panel

There were problems with community perceptions.  People felt their voice is not important, as City Council has already made a decision; that residents’ concerns are ignored.

The delegation process in place is a one way street – people are not allowed to ask questions of their council members in an open public session that is webcast.  Frequently; all too frequently, a delegation is made and not a single question is asked of the person making the delegation.

Work Plan/Next Steps/Deliverables for 2016

ChAT wants to increase the number of people participating on the Insight Burlington Panel and Let’s Talk Burlington, our online tools.

Increase the number people that are aware of their rights and responsibilities in the Community Engagement Charter and are aware of public involvement opportunities.

Create and use more standardized public involvement tools for staff to better track community engagement opportunities, satisfaction levels and results.

Expand ChAT by creating a larger community-based group that can help build capacity, share insights in terms of public involvement opportunities and replace citizen members of the core ChAT team.

Work with the larger community-based group to update and create terms of reference for the both the larger group and core ChAT team.

In the report made to city council the vision going forward is: To get “staff’s engagement skills, confidence and reach will continue to grow and that citizens’ appetite for involvement and willingness to get involved also continue to grow. Going down this road requires continuing support for staff and means placing more emphasis on making a public involvement call to action with residents. This is how democracy is strengthened.”

It is an impressive list of accomplishments – problem is that this is the first time the public has had a chance to learn what was being done on their behalf. The team is driven by staff – the public portion is far too small.

The detail in the document matters – no so much for what was done – that is why these people are employed. The collaboration seems to have been between the numerous people at city hall – they have failed to understand that the public needs to be at the table participating as equals – it is their money that is being spent.

Full text of the Community Engagement Charter

City Council workshops the idea of community engagement; takes it with several grains of salt.

City Council unanimously approves engagement charter.

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Six pieces of public art - one in each ward have been completed and are now in place - five to 10 thousand each.

artsblue 100x100By Staff

December 8, 2015


The Gazette erred – big time – on the original version of this article, we put a price tag on the public art that was just plain wrong – and we apologize for the error.  The correct numbers are now in place.

The public art that came in at between $5,000 to $10,000 each for the six wards was officially unveiled last week.

It is worth looking at – some of it is drive by and not that easy to actually see – others you might not get to.

The Gazette is pleased to show you both the art and the artist.

The local artist mural initiative is a new public art program designed to tell local stories using local artists. This year’s program commissioned six small to medium-scale murals throughout the city. These commissions were open exclusively to Burlington, Ont., artists. Free professional development opportunities were offered to assist artists with the application process and project development.

The city’s public art adviser ran a juried competition and the following six people were selected:

• Judy Mayer-Grieve: King Road Underpass, Ward 1
• Claire Hall: Freeman Station, Ward 2
• Teresa Seaton: Amherst Park, Ward 3
• Hannah Sell and Liam Racine: Port Nelson Park, Ward 4
• Tamara Kwapich: Orchard Community Park, Ward 5
• Donna Grandin: Ireland Park, Ward 6

King Road

Judy Mayer-Grieve did the mural at the King Road Underpass. There was a time when the King Road was often just a line up of vehicles waiting to cross the rail line. The underpass was a huge improvement – which the mural celebrates.


Clair Hall did the mural on the side of the Freeman Station. While the station is some distance from where it once served Burlington which was then an agricultural community, the restoration of the station is one of the best examples of citizens moving in and taking on a project the city could never manage to make happen.

Seaton at Amherst

Teresa Seaton did the art work that is in Amherst Park park next to a community garden. The art has been tempered and will easily withstand the winter weather.

Couple coloured box

Hannah Sell and Liam Racine did the art work that is located in the small Port Nelson Park where it will be seen by thousands. There was a time when tonnes of timber was shipped from a wharf at the foot of the park.


Tamara Kwapich did the mural in Orchard Community Park; once the location for some of the best apple orchards in the province.

Four pieces

Donna Grandin did the four pieces that are at Ireland Park. Each reflects a different part of the city.

The Gazette was fortunate to be able to watch Teresa Seaton do her art work – she provided a number of pictures that she grouped as “the process”.

Worktable Seaton

One of the stained glass pieces being assembled.

StudioLife_DSC6264 12.48.19 PM

Teresa Seaton at her work bench.

Seaton advises that the “better photo-graphs” were taken by David Galway

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Online Payments for Parking Tickets and Dog Licenses Experiencing Technical Issues

notices100x100Online Payments for Parking Tickets and Dog Licenses Experiencing Technical Issues

The City of Burlington’s online payment system for parking tickets and dog licenses is currently unavailable due to technical issues. We apologize for the disruption. We are working to restore the services as soon as possible.

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Regional police putting officers trained in crisis intervention in cars; Community foundation sponsoring Wellness Wednesdays radio program.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 9, 2015


Mental health is getting much more attention – the Regional Police are partnering with St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton to develop a Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT).

This new initiative adds a layer of additional police response to mental health calls and crisis intervention. Teams will consist of a registered Healthcare Professional coupled with a specially trained uniformed police officer. Two teams will join our rotating platoon shifts each day, and will be specifically available to respond to calls involving persons in crisis.

HRPS crestThe four officers selected as part of this one year pilot project have a background in mental health response and have experience working with our C.O.A.S.T. program (Crisis Outreach and Support Team). The mental health workers are comprised of two registered nurses and two social workers who all have extensive previous mental health experience. The four teams are currently receiving further crisis intervention training with a focus on risk assessment, Safe Talk training, and Assist training. The teams need to know when to intervene, how to deescalate and how to control a situation.

These Rapid Response Teams will be available and trained to defuse or deescalate crisis situations, advocate for the person and families in crisis, ensure mental health assessments are completed and will be better equipped to provide resources, help and support for everyone involved.
The teams will work seven days a week and will be dispatched to mental health calls throughout the Region of Halton.

“Front line officers are responding to mental health crisis calls on an increasing basis. Our new Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams will enhance our ability to deliver specialized services to people in those circumstances. Partnering with healthcare professionals is a progressive approach to providing timely and quality service to those struggling with mental health. “ Deputy Chief Duraiappah.

The Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams began patrols on Monday.

As police officers are increasingly the first point of contact for persons in crisis, the deployment of highly trained officers with the support of expert mental health workers is a large step in improving the interaction and relationship between police and people living with mental health challenges.
Having front line people available is one part of handling people under stress and not able to manage their mental health.

Wellness Wednesday graphicA second, equally important part, is educating the public and those with mental health issues to start removing the stigma that often surrounds this issue.
Wellness Wednesdays, sponsored by Burlington Community Foundation is a weekly national award winning radio show hosted by Ted Michaels, News Anchor with AM900 CHML that will be broadcast in January.

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Ten year old Eleeza with the 300 Beannie Boos that were purchased with the $1300 she raised; toys for Syrian children expected in Canada next week.


People just kept giving her money – she collected $410 at the public meeting and went on to raise $1300 to buy toys for Syrian children expected in Canada next week.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 8, 2015


So what happened people ask – with that ten year old who was buying toys for Syrian children that are due to arrive in Canada sometime next week?

Young Elleeza raised $1300 in just 10 days – this worked out to over 300 Beanie Boos which will be given to Syrian Children.

Eleeza’s mother in an email said: “We are waiting to hear a final decision if we will be going to Pearson to distribute the toys or if we will be distributing them to different organizations to give directly to Syrian families.

Eleeza with Beannie Boos

300 toys on display – to be given to Syrian children when they arrive in Canada.

“The generosity of the Burlington community has been amazing. Not only was everyone willing and happy to donate, many community members turned this into a learning and teaching opportunity for their families and children.

“One family told us that part of the children’s holiday money was being donated to this cause.

Other parents took their children to the stores to actually purchase the Beanie Boos and explain to their kids who the toys were going to. So many wonderful people contributed in many ways.

Some would give Eleeza high fives as they dropped off their donations, others would offer such motivational words that Eleeza is already thinking about the next cause that she can be involved in.

So that’s what has happened – so far.

Their might just be more to this story.

Previous articles:


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Public school board has tentative agreement with occasional teachers.

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 4th, 2015


Someone at the Halton District School Board is working overtime the board has been announcing tentative agreements with their unionized employees.

This week the Halton Elementary Occasional Teachers Local, representing more than 900 occasional elementary teachers put their thumb print on a tentative deal that now must be ratified by both the Halton local members and the Halton District School Board.

Terms of the tentative agreement remain confidential until the ratification process is completed.

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Burlington to get an additional provincial electoral district for 2018 election

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 4, 2015


The provincial government has added new constituencies that will result in 122 Electoral Ridings after the next provincial election in 2018.

ONB federal boundaries

The illustration shows just the Burlington portion of the federal Oakville North Burlington electoral district.

The Electoral Boundaries Act, 2015 will increase the number of provincial ridings in southern Ontario and make them consistent with the new federal electoral boundaries. As a result, there will be 15 new ridings in southern Ontario, mostly in areas that have seen significant population changes.
The new electoral map will be in place for the next general election scheduled for 2018.

The federal government re-shaped the riding of Burlington and created Oakville North Burlington (ONB). Liberals won both ridings in the 2015 election.

An interesting twist – According to the Chief Electoral Officer, provisional registration could allow Elections Ontario to work with schools and the driver’s licensing program to encourage 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register so they are ready to vote once they turn 18.

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Is that a Pot of Coffee or Pot in your Coffee? Rivers comes out for legalization of marijuana.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

December 4th, 2015


Imagine a ‘pot’ of coffee – made with real pot. In the late sixties we were encouraged to share a little ‘tea’ with Goldie, a popular feature of the late ’60’s Smother’s Brothers Comedy hour. Tom and Dick were fired by an uptight CBS, in part for that. But they cut the cloth of political comedy for Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Trevor Noah.


Halton Regional Police have a unit dedicated to tracking down drug dealers – columnist Ray Rivers feels they won’t be needed when marijuana is legalized.

A Canadian company has developed an alternative way to administer medical cannabis. You just drop a pod in your Keurig and bingo, you get a standardized dose of the heady stuff (THC) in your caffeinated brew. Orally ingesting marijuana has always been tricky because of the lag time, so this should make it all a little more reliable, predictable. But for many, it sure beats ‘smokin’ the shit’ – or using a vaporizer, something the Ontario government hasn’t quite figured out.

Marijuana seized in Ottawa

The manufacture, growing and distribution of illegal substances has created a criminal element that police cannot control. Will the legalization of relatively soft drugs drive the criminals out of the community?

What a great way to start your day. Mary Jane and Joe together to greet you at the breakfast table. Your morning beverage to wake you up and chill you down at the same time; getting you up and down, flying to the sun and back down to earth, all at the same time. And if you can mix the whacky-backy with tea and coffee, why not wine or whiskey, and make it available at your favourite LCBO?

In fact British Columbia liquor stores have jumped the gun and are already vying for that very franchise. And why not? Licensing existing liquor stores to sell pot makes a lot of sense, since all are provincially regulated and most are provincially run. As for B.C., where some liquor stores sell snacks as well as liquor and beer, we’d be able to buy our beer, weed and munchies all in one place – one stop shopping for body and the mind. And we can put all of that on the credit card. Have you ever known a drug dealer to accept credit?  Goddam the pusher man!

Canada’s new health minister is aware that the world is watching the Trudeau government as it proceeds to rid us of a stupid prohibition that has plagued us for generations. Uruguay has the distinction of being the first nation to legalize cannabis, though its success has been less than impressive. Even in the most progressive country in Latin America, old habits die hard. So organized crime is still mostly in charge of the drug trade and the police seem to have missed the memo – that it is legal now.

Mexican authorities, who went part way by decriminalizing all street drugs a while ago have also been disappointed with their results. Since the rules allow such tiny quantities, real ‘tokers’ turn to the drug gangs to buy in more volume. And the cops, always looking for another bribe, are still arresting people. It may just be too early to say how well this half-measure is really working, but half-way is sometimes no way at all.

Maijuana and police

Raid after raid to seize marijuana – columnist would like to see the product sold in the LCBO outlets and let the government tax the sale.

The US state of Colorado has had a different experience. Costs for drug related offences are down almost 90%, saving the state millions of dollars in enforcement and adjudication costs. There was some $40 million in new revenue in 2014, which was in part reallocated for health programs. Crime rates fell; violent crimes, property damage and burglaries were down by as much as 10%. Even traffic fatalities came down by about 3%, challenging the naysayers, who had speculated, incorrectly, about ‘stoners’ on the road.

Washington State, the other early US adopter of legalized weed has had a similar experience, though even better from a cost savings and revenue perspective. Most critically, marijuana use among youth has not increased, a frequent talking point among the opponents of legalization.

It was Justin’s father who commissioned the Le Dain Commission to look into the issue back in the ’70’s.. Way back then Le Dain recommended that we lift the prohibition on cannabis. And it is finally going to happen, some 40 years later. So, make mine a double-double.

Rivers-direct-into-camera1-173x300Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking. Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran as a Liberal against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province. Rivers is no longer active with any political party.

Background links:

Coffee Pot      Share a little Tea      Pusher Man       Uruguay drugs       Mexico Decriminalization

Canada being Watched        Province Flip Flops

Another View      LSD 

B.C.     Colorado     Washington      Le Dain Commission

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Collard fails to hold her vice chair slot on the public Board of Education: Amos returned as chair and Graves - out of Milton gets elected as vice chair.

News 100 greenBy Walter Byj

December 3, 2015


It had all the signs of being a routine election. Each December, the Halton District School Board votes for the upcoming years Chair and Vice-Chair. This is an annual process with the 11 Halton District School Board trustees choosing from within their colleagues for these roles.

Only two trustees put forth their name for the position of Chair, current Chair Kelly Amos (Oakville) and Vice-Chair Amy Collard (Burlington). After the usual speeches stating their attributes for the chair position, the trustees voted and chose to re-elect Trustee Amos for an additional year as chair.

Kelly Amos

Kelly Moss – re-elected as Chair of the public school board

Amos has served in the role of Chair of the Board since 2013, and has previously fulfilled the role of Vice-Chair as well as serving on a number of Board committees including Communications, the Halton Learning Foundation and as founding chair of the Board’s Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) in 2006. She served her first term from 2000-2003 (after being appointed in September 2000 prior to being elected in the November 2000 municipal election), and was re-elected in 2003. She returned as a trustee when elected in the 2010 municipal election, and was re-elected in 2014.

“The upcoming year will have both challenges and opportunities,” says Amos, “but by working collaboratively with each other to seek out information and find the best possible solutions; by working with our senior staff to create new goals for our Multi-Year Plan and the annual Operational Plans; by engaging our parent communities and working with our provincial and municipal partners, I believe we have the collective knowledge, diverse opinions and perspectives that can only help this Board grow stronger – to continue its position as a leading board in this province.”

Collard Amy

Amy Collard – acclaimed as a trustee in two elections – but fails to hold her positions on the school board.

This was followed by the vote for Vice-Chair. Trustee Collard put forth her name to keep her current position and was faced by only one opponent, trustee Kim Graves Milton). After counting the votes, it was announced that there would be a new Vice-Chair, Kim Graves.

Kim Graves

Kim Graves, school board trustee for Milton, elected by her peers as vice chair of the school board.

Graves was elected as a Milton trustee in the November 2014 municipal election, after being initially appointed when a trustee vacancy arose in July of that year. Graves defined herself as a trustee who wanted to take a collaborative approach to her role of Vice-Chair.

Continuing with regular business, the board ratified the following action items;

• 2014-15 Financial Statements/Surplus Balance
• Trustee Professional Development( to cover costs in attending the Ontario Public School Board Association Public Symposium in January 2016)
• Policy Development and Review Policy (Approval of the revised Board Governance Policy that has been posted on the board website for 25 days for public input).
• Correspondence re Polling Station Security (Approval by the board for the chair to write to the Ministry stating safety concerns during elections on school property and requesting funds for security. Letter to be shared with municipalities and Catholic school board).

There was plenty of discussion in regards to any potential boundary changes for the year 2016-2017. Tom Thomson Public School was originally identified as potentially running out of space, but with the current review on French Immersion it was felt by staff that any decision be delayed until the following year as Tom Thomson could accommodate students for the 2016-2017 school year.

There was brief discussion as to how incoming Syrian refugees would affect enrollment at Tom Thomson but the consensus was that it was too early to forecast the number of refuges that would arrive in Burlington and where they would live.

Director Miller stated that Associate Director of Education, David Boag, would assume his position as chair of the Program Viability Committee. Although Miller will no longer be chair, he will still be involved.


Stuart Miller – Director of Education for the Halton District School Board

Miller also announced the retirement of Superintendent of Education (K-Grade 8) Tricia Dyson. He spoke very highly of her contributions to the Halton board said that although she will be sorely missed, he wished her well in her new retirement even suggesting that she run for a trustee position.

The Board now has two superintendent positions to fill and with advertisements being posted on Thursday with interviews scheduled for January 7th and 8th. The plan is to have the new Superintendents starting on February 1st.

Prior to the start of the meeting, there was a strong rumour that additional agreements union agreements were reached within the Halton board. Just awaiting for the media release with the details.

Trustees will hold their second December meeting on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 beginning at 7 p.m. at the JW Singleton Education Centre, Burlington.

The regular schedule of Board meetings will resume in January, with the first meeting slated for Wednesday, January 6, 2016. The entire upcoming meeting schedule for the Halton District School Board posted on the Board’s website at: www.hdsb.ca

Perhaps by the end of 2016 there will be at least some improvement on the Board of Education’s web site.

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Burlington shows why it was named the best mid-sized city in the country - 400 helping hands at Mainway recreation centre offering to help the Syrian refugees

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

December 3, 2015


City’s do not get opportunities to show their true colours that often. For Burlington the place to display their colours seems to be the Mainway Recreation Centre.

In 2011 a public meeting was held over the plans the province had to push a highway right through the Escarpment from about Kilbride onto Hwy 407.
There was a very boisterous meeting at which the public let it be known that this is not what they wanted – the NGTA – Niagara to Greater Toronto Area Road is currently on hold.

Tuesday evening the people of Burlington were given another opportunity to show who they really are when close to 400 people took part in a public meeting to learn about what they could do to aid the refugees the federal government is bringing to Canada.

Dec 1 audience 400 +

Not a single negative comment from the 400+ people who were at a public meeting to learn how they could help Syrian refugees,

Mayor opened the meeting and quickly turned it over to the newly elected Member of Parliament, Karina Gould who pointed out that her grandparents were refugees.

McMahon and Gould doing Cogeco interview

MPP Eleanor McMahon and MP Karina Gould being interviewed for Cogeco television.

Gould then explained what the federal government was doing and how the public could be involved. She explained that there are five components to the federal level involvement after which the province gets involved. The Regional government plays a role at the affordable housing and social services level.
The municipality works with residents who want to be personally involved in getting the refugees settled into the community once they arrive.

The 400 hands at Mainway Recreation could not get their hands high enough into the air when asked to signify they wanted to help.
Steve House serves as the facilitator – his job was quite easy – it amounted to running around with a microphone – there was no need to control an unruly crowd – the room full of Burlingtonians were there to help.

Gould gave some background: 200,000 people have died in attempting to flee Syria and other parts of the war torn Middle East; there are 11 million displaced people and four million flooding into Europe. This is the largest refugee problem since the Second World War, said Gould.

She made a very interesting point when she told the audience that the Commissioner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said recently that if anyone could bring in tens of thousands of refugees – Canada could. We brought in refugees from Hungary when that country was going through a revolution; we brought in refugees when thousands of refugees were fleeing Vietnam and we brought in hundreds of refugees from Kosovo.

Canada is the only country that allows private sponsorship of refugees. Burlington has several groups that are sponsoring families. One well known couple (they asked not to be named) are part of a group of 18 sponsoring a family. Another consistent Gazette reader who has a home that she was preparing to put on the market – it has three bedrooms and is centrally located – wanted to know how she would go about working with other people to get a refuges into the home. She was not looking for any kind of a financial return – she just wanted to make the house available to someone who was coming to Canada as a refugee.

“The view these people have of Canada, indeed the view the world has of Canada” said this benefactor, “is being determined now by the way we behave. This is my kind of Canada” she added.

The five phase federal government work begins with identifying people in refugee camps who are interested in coming to Canada

These people then have to go through interviews and medical checkups – when that is done they are given the papers they need to come to Canada as Permanent Residents. One of the problems Canadians workers in the refugee camps have is getting exist Visas for the refugees to be able to leave the country.

Then comes the task of transporting the refugees and setting them into some form of accommodation where, as one of the public meeting participants put it “they will sleep on a bed, with clean sheets and rest their head on a pillow – something many of them may not have done for years.”

Muslin woman taking down information

There was a significant number of people from the Middle East who are now living in Canada taking down information and explaining what the refugees were dealing with.

Then Canadians welcome the refugees – many of the members of the Syrian community are looking for ways to be at the airport to greet these people – they will be coming into the country at the rate of 400 every day starting next week until the end of the year – this is a mammoth logistics challenge.

Some of these refugees will meet with their sponsors and move to the housing that has been arranged. The others will be part of the federal government compliment – they will be sent to different communities across the country.

Settling these people into the community is not a simple task: there will be language issues, getting the children into schools, acquainting them with the neighbourhoods they are going to be living in, helping them with getting bank accounts opened and taking them to super markets. It is going to be very confusing to all of the refugees.

Steve House, the facilitator explained that the public meeting was just the first part of the conversation with the people that Canada has opened its doors to.

A central information clearing site is being set up – it looks as if it is going to come out of the Mayor’s office – Tuesday evening there was a lot that wasn’t clear – everyone was going to have a web site and everyone promised to help.

The Muslim, Moms were in the room – they were going to help. The Halton Mosque on Fairview will be helping.

Once housing is found for those who are part of the federal government part of the program – that is those who do not have private sponsors – they will need clothing. The weather has been very unseasonable – a bit of a break for everyone.

MPP Eleanor McMahon will serve as the point person for problems that have to be resolved at the provincial level.
No one is quite sure just how many refugees will arrive in Burlington. There are a reported five sponsoring groups in the city – with many others wanting to  partner with others to become sponsors.

Mayor with participant - Baptist

Mayor Rick Goldring talking to a member of the North Burlington Baptist Church.

Mayor Goldring thought that Burlington could take in something in the order of 300 families – but at this stage all anyone has to go on is the interest and the willingness of the people of Burlington to help.

MPP Eleanor McMahon explained the role the provincial government was playing – getting OHIP cards for these people promptly was major. Social welfare is handled by the Region. The school boards are preparing for newcomers – how many – they have no idea at this point.

The logistics involved in this task are huge – it looks as if Canada is going to receive 450 refugees every day starting Thursday until the end of the year.

Helping hands exchanging information Gillian Kearns

Exchanging information and contact points – Gillian Kearns of the Wesley Urban Ministries is on the right – a Hamilton based group that has the best on the ground information.

Burlington’s role in all this became clear last night as the public heard from woman who lives out of her wheel chair, lives by herself and has a second bedroom she was willing to make available. “I live by myself and having a person living with me will do more for me than I do for them. “I can take care of their children if they have any and baby sit for them” she added.

The room broke into instant applause – and that was the way the evening went. There wasn’t a single negative remark made during the two and a half hour meeting.

Police presence

The police presence was much bigger than that seen at other public events – did they have public safety concerns?

There was some concern – there were about half a dozen police officers at the back of the room; including one of the Deputy Chiefs and the Burlington Superintendent and a female Staff Sargeant. It is rare to see that level of police presence at any event in Burlington. They obviously had their concerns.

Whatever the concerns were – they didn’t surface. This was a room full of people who wanted to learn how they could give – and give – and give.

There were staff in the room from the Region explaining what the affordable housing policy is – the 1.6 % vacancy rate with waiting lists in the thousands is going to create some social strain.

North Burlington Baptists

Members of the North Burlington Baptist church explaining what they are doing and welcoming anyone who wants to partner with them.

There were people from Port Nelson United Church; there were people from Burlington Baptist Church who were partnering with McNeil Baptist in Hamilton. The North Burlington Baptist Church was interested in anyone who wanted to talk to them

Food Banks let people know they were on board, the Compassion society was heard.

The evening closed with a close to middle aged man, Ahmed, who said he was a refugee from Iran and that he came to Canada when he was ten after experiencing eight years of war.

He is an engineer, gainfully employed and involved in the community. “I am the investment you are making in these people coming from Syria”

It was an excellent positive note on which to close a very successful community meeting.

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Ten possible names for the lover she wished she'd never met. Regional resident got conned; the lover got to wear handcuffs.

Crime 100By Staff

November 30th, 2015


A 60-year-old victim from the Region met the man police recently arrested through an on-line dating site in August 2015 and had a brief relationship where the victim allowed the accused to stay at her residence for approximately one month.

Hearts - red and black

One heart was red, warm and giving – the other as black and just took.

The victim began to notice jewelry and art missing from her home and upon confronting him and ended the relationship, the accused quickly disappeared.

Halton Regional Police located and arrested the accused on Saturday November 29, 2015 at a motel in the Town of Georgetown.

Enrico CAGNOTTI, 58 years of no fixed address has been charged with:

Theft Over $5000

Fail to Comply with probation order x 2

The accused was wanted by Toronto Police, South Simcoe OPP and Peel Regional Police for charges of breach of probation, fraud, utter threats and forcible confinement.

The accused has been known to use alias names such as:

Enrico Depaolis,
Juiseina Cagnotti
Guesppa Depaolis
Rick Cagnotti
Eric Paolis
Rick Gambino
Franco Cesaretti
Enrico Paulozza
Enrico Pirolo
Rick Zeller

Halton Regional Police would like to take this opportunity to remind the public to protect yourself when using on-line dating sites. These sites can help deliver a rewarding relationship but can also unknowingly introduce you to a scam artist or fraudster. Protect yourself, your identity and your property.

Anyone with any information on this crime is asked to contact Detective Maureen Martin of the Oakville Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4747 ext 2219 or anyone with information on this or any other crime who would like to remain anonymous is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Maintenance workers at public school just have to ratify the agreement - and the schools will smell nice again.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 30th, 2015


The hallways and the washrooms in Halton’s public schools are going to be a lot cleaner than they were earlier this month – and the cleaning will not get done by the vice principals.

Cleaners - schools

Schools will be cleaner – maintenance workers just have to ratify the offer made – and shiny hallways and clean washrooms will become the norm.

The Halton District School Board has announce a tentative local agreement has been reached with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) – Halton Local 1011, representing more than 300 Halton custodial and maintenance staff.

The tentative deal must be ratified by CUPE Halton Local 1011 members and the Halton District School Board. Terms of the tentative agreement remain confidential until the ratification process is completed.

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Music teacher arrested on three sexual assault charges at public schools.

Crime 100By Pepper Parr

November 30th, 2015


These stories are tragic.

The moment names are put into the public domain there are hundreds of people who lose.

Sexual assault is so damaging to the victim, to the school at which it took place, to the families of the person charged with the crime – the damage and the personal pain is never ending – lives are destroyed.

The Halton Regional Police Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Bureau have concluded an investigation involving allegations made against a teacher in Burlington.

On Friday November 27, 2015, a Burlington man was arrested after receiving complaints of physical abuse and inappropriate sexual touching by several students.

Dennis CONNOLLY, 58, of Burlington, has been charged with:

Sexual Assault x 3
Sexual Interference x 3

During the time of these incidents, the accused was employed with the Halton District School Board as a music teacher at Alexander’s Public School in the City of Burlington, he is not currently working at the school.

Investigators suspect there could be additional victims and are encouraging them to contact Detective Constable PRESCOD of the Halton Regional Police Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 8977 or anyone with information on this or any other crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Police ask the public to EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN DEALING WITH THE ACCUSED Jason Larry KEARNS, who is wanted for several offences.

Crime 100By Staff

November 27, 2015


In November 2015, while staying at a motel in the Halton Region, an incident occurred and Jason Larry KEARNS, the accused, was in the process of being removed from the property which required the police to attend.

The accused fled prior to police arrival and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

During the investigation officers located a modified shotgun, ammunition and a quantity of cocaine.


KEARNS is wanted by Halton Regional Police for:

Possession of Ammunition while Prohibited
Possession of a Firearm while Prohibited
Knowledge of Unauthorized Firearm
Possession of a Prohibited/Restricted Firearm
Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
Breach of Firearms Regulation
Possession for the Purpose – Cocaine


KEARNS is described as 6’1”, 190 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. He has a tattoo “MTV” on his left upper arm and a scar on his forehead.

KEARNS is known to frequent the areas of Milton, Burlington and the surrounding areas.

This is week 32 for the “Fugitive Friday” initiative whereby the Halton Regional Police Service, Burlington station, reaches out to the public to help locate wanted persons and hold them accountable for their actions.

There are numerous people who continue to evade the police and the court system and continue to live out in our communities while having a warrant for their arrest in place.

The Burlington Offender Management Unit shares information on a wanted person in hopes that the public can assist in locating the individual.

They share “Fugitive Friday” information on their website and via social media through Twitter @HRPSBurl and @HaltonPolice.

Anyone who may have witnessed this person or has information that would assist investigators in locating him are encouraged to contact D/C Bulbrook – Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Offender Management Team at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2346 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Halton Crime Stoppers joins a coalition to stop the sale of illegal cigarettes by gangs of criminals

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 23, 2015


There isn’t a parent out there that encourages their child to smoke. Some may tolerate the habit but by now we know that smoking is not going to improve your health – and while some think it is “cool” there is now far too much evidence telling even those who move their lips when they read that smoking will shorten your life span.

And yet cigarettes still sell – for $80 a carton which keeps many people away from the habit. Taxes have put a social habit out of reach for many, particularly young people who don’t have all that much disposable income.

But – the tobacco is addictive and there are those who have not been able to kick the habit. Create a market that is highly profitable and addictive enough and someone will find a way to serve the need.

Enter the criminal element – there are a reported 175 gangs in Canada peddling illegal contraband cigarettes at $8 to $10 for the equivalent of a carton. And targeting young people.

The hit to the federal coffers is bad enough – more than $2 billion a year in taxes that don’t get collected.

Crime stoppers anti smokes coalition

Norm Bellefontaine on the left and Gary Grant on the right with demonstration packages of illegal cigarettes that are being sold by criminal gangs to young people.

Some see the selling of illegal cigarettes as a “victimless crime” – that $2 billion that is not collected in taxes is money the governments cannot spend providing you with services.

So we have a product that is not healthy for you and expensive and is addictive as well. And now the criminals have put themselves into the business of selling the cigarettes.

Where is the pinch point? How do the police put a stop to the sale of cheap cigarettes and how do they get public support?

Enter Crime Stoppers – they provide an anonymous way for a parent to place a call telling where their child buys cigarettes. If enough people call Crime Stoppers the police begin to have enough data to figure out where the cigarettes are being sold and can do what they do best – apprehend criminals.

The crime of selling the illegal contraband is a difficult one for police to do all that much about – the selling of a product without collecting the tax is seen as a tax problem – it has only recently been made a part of the criminal code – and truth be told it isn’t one that many people get excited about.

Guns and hard drugs keep the police busy enough – who is going to bother with someone selling bags of illegal cigarettes?

That has been the problem – knowing that 42% of the cigarettes sold are contraband and illegal gives you some idea as to how big the problem is – the profits from the sale of contraband cigarettes becomes the seed money for other criminal activities.

Gary Grant is the national spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco. He is also a decorated retired police officer with the Toronto Police Service and current director and founder of Toronto Crime Stoppers.

Crime stoppers poster

Crime Stoppers is a safe anonymous way to inform the police that you believe a crime has taken place.

Gary’s career in policing started in 1968 when he joined the Toronto Police Department right after high school. His passion for community policing saw him assume a wide range of positions while working in law enforcement including stints as Staff Sergeant with the Public Complaints Investigation Bureau, Co-chair of the Toronto Police Chinese Consultative Committee and Aboriginal Consultative Committee as well as Staff Superintendent of Operational Services.

As his career grew, his leadership and success saw him assume roles with increasing responsibility including that of Interim Deputy Police Chief for the Toronto Police Service in 2005. Gary is a passionate supporter in the fight against contraband tobacco, and has been a vocal proponent of increased government intervention and involvement in the cause.

The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco is a Canadian advocacy group formed with the participation of businesses, organizations and individuals concerned about the growing danger of contraband cigarettes. They share the goals of working together to educate people and urge government to take quick action to stop this growing threat.

The Halton unit of Crime Stoppers is working with the Coalition and running an educational program and using the Crime Stoppers service as a platform parents can use to pass along information.

Hopefully it will work.  The telephone number to call should you learn that your children are buying illegal cigarettes from criminals is on the poster above

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Elementary public school teachers take a tentative deal to their 2800 members - particulars to follow.

News 100 greenBy Staff

November 23, 2015


The wind has gone out of any sail that may have been propelling a teachers strike at the elementary level – any level for that matter.

CH awards HDSB winners

Two teachers totally captivated by the tweets coming in on their Smart Phones.

The Halton District School Board say they are pleased that a tentative local agreement has been reached with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Halton Teachers Local representing more than 2,800 Halton elementary teachers.

The province nailed down their deal with the teachers and now each Region settles local issues. Halton reached a tentative agreement which has only to be ratified by the teachers.

The tentative deal must be ratified by both the local Halton ETFO teacher members and the Halton District School Board.

Terms of the tentative agreement remain confidential until the ratification process is completed. We will pass along whatever we can dig out on the terms of the agreement.

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A new tax coming our way - storm water management tax is thought to come in at $50 to $100 for a small household - malls and churches will take a big hit.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 23, 2015


Storm water management began getting all kinds of attention soon after the floods of 2014 but it had been on the city’s radar screen well before that.

Former city manager Jeff Fielding had some ideas that would have resulted in a separate corporate entity that would have managed storm water and create a new revenue opportunity for the city – but that didn’t even get off the ground.

Flood Fairview plaza

The plaza and mall operators can expect to see a significant tax added to their operating costs – the smarter ones will begin looking for remedies.

While Burlington was spending millions getting an understanding on why so much damage was done –other municipalities were developing plans to collect revenue for a problem that was now being looked at by everyone.

At the Budget review meeting held last week Councillor Lancaster asked how Waterloo handled storm water and was told that they had done a lot of public engagement and had a program that offers a credit of up to 45% of the stormwater utility fee for properties that manage their stormwater.

Residential stormwater management techniques can include rain barrels, trees, cisterns, infiltration measures or rain gardens.

Burlington has yet to create a program to collect any revenue but it is very clear that such a fee is coming our way.
Lancaster wanted to see incentives for people and a program that was easy to administer.

On Friday a group of insurance executives and senior people from Ontario municipalities met at the Royal Botanical Gardens to hear what the insurance industry was thinking and learn what some municipalities were doing.

Mapleview Mall parking - south west side

A storm water management tax is going to hit the bottom line of the malls – might result in significantly different parking lost designs as well. Could Burlington have become a leader in this field.

Mapleview Mall - parking north east side

The mall operators will never put in parking meters but they will be thinking through how to redesign their parking lots to limit the damage storm water does on large space with no effective way for water to run off.

There is certainly going to be a fee. The figure of $50 to $100 was mentioned for the average household with everything being based on how much ground there was.

The focus was not on just what a homeowner would have to pay- those with large parking lots are the ones going to take the hardest hit.

That includes the large malls who will have to build the tax into their cost of doing business. Places of worship that have large parking lots are going to have to find a way to pay a tax as well. Traditionally churches have been exempt from taxes. Those days appear to be coming to an end.

The stormwater credit program in Waterloo is available for commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-residential properties, based on the stormwater quality, quantity and education measures in place.

The good people of Burlington can expect to see something come out of city hall on how storm water management is going to be paid for early in the New Year.

Exactly who will manage the program and where the leadership will come from isn’t at all clear.

City General Manager scott Stewart doesn't take this smile to hospital meetings.

City General Manager Scott Stewart will be taking his smile and his skill sets to Guelph.  we are losing a good one.

Earlier this month general manager Scott Stewart gave his resignation to the city manager and will take up the job of Deputy CAO of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services in Guelph; he begins that job December 7th.

Stewart had been in the running for the job of city manager for Burlington twice – he was passed over both times and decided it was time to move on. There was a time when Burlington had three general managers – come December we will not have any – everything will land on the desk of James Ridge who took up the job late in March.

The management team below General manager has also seen a number of changes.

That roster currently includes:

Mike Spicer – Director of Transit
Cathy Robertson – Director Roads and Parks Maintenance
Nancy Shea Nicol – Director of Legal Services and city solicitor.
Joan Ford – Director of Finance
Bruce Zvaniga was the Director of Transportation – Vito Tolone is currently serving as the interim Director.
Chris Glenn – Director Parks and Recreation
Sheila Jones – City Auditor
Christine Swenor – Director of Information |Technology Services
Bruce Krushelnicki was Director Planning and Building – he has been replaced by Mary Lou Tanner.
Alan Magi runs Capital Works
Roy Male ran Human Resources for years – he retired and was replaced by Laura Boyd.

Joan Ford, the city's Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

Joan Ford, the city’s Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

The only person who could move into the role of a General Manager would be Joan Ford who does a superb job at finance. She is backed up by a solid team.

James Ridge has his work cut out for him. He has a number of messy files on his desk – none that he created – just past problems that are not going to go away. He has a Strategic Plan that has to be completed; his work plan has about 50 blank spots in it – no reflection on his management ability – he needs to know what Council is going to approve in the way of a Strategic Plan before he can know what he has to do.

Ridge’s biggest task is going to be creating the team that will work with him to move the city forward. The completion of the Official Plan Review is also in the wings. That work was progressing quite well – it has been moved to the back burner while Council focused on the Strategic Plan.

Then it got brought forward again – to the surprise of the Planner working on the file who was left with the impression that it had to be done quick quick quick.

Official Plans don’t lend themselves to quick quick quick.

Andrea Smith has been doing a superb job – better guidance on time lines and where the development of the plan fits into the bigger picture is what she needs most.

If you’re getting the impression that there is a little disarray at the most senior level at city hall you are more right than wrong.

Budget 2014 Jivan - good oblong

Municipal^pal civil servants are for the most part dedicated innovative people who work hard. They need an environment in which they can excel.

The municipal world works at a pace that is significantly different than the private sector. There are some exceptional people who work within the municipal sector – they are creative, innovative and genuinely want to make the cities they work for better places to live. But they have to be led and Burlington has had some challenges at this level.

The current city council is not of one mind. There are very distinct differences between members of Council; there are council members who have been at the table far too long and solid strong leadership from the person who wears the chain of office just isn’t there.

Burlington City Council Group

City Council – This is not a team that pulls together and it certainly is not of one mind.

Every member of the current Council was re-elected in 2014. The taxpayers now have to settle for what they chose. And get used to the idea of an additional tax they will have to pay.

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Architect looking for older pictures of the Skyway Plaza on Lakeshore Road east.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 22, 2015


Do you happen to have any photographs of the Lakeside Plaza taken way way back when it was first opened? During those days when it thrived?

SKYWAY-WITH-SHOPPERS-SIGNThere is going to be a visioning exercise that will involve the community on what the existing Lakeside Plaza might look like as it works its way towards future development.

The team of architects putting together a visual presentation would like to find some old pictures – if you have some you are prepared to loan them – be in contact with Cynthia Zahoruk, 905-331-4480: by email at – cz@czarchitect.com

The visioning event will take place at the Robert Bateman High school cafeteria at 7:00 pm Tuesday the 24th of November.

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