Burlington to get an additional provincial electoral district for 2018 election

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 4, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

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

BURLINGTON, ON

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.

Policde-drugs-Feb-23-15-1024x575

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

BURLINGTON, ON

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___Gallery

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

BURLINGTON, ON

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

BURLINGTON, ON

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

BURLINGTON, ON

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

BURLINGTON, ON

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:

Assault
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

BURLINGTON, ON

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.

FF32

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

EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN DEALING WITH THE ACCUSED

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

BURLINGTON, ON

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

BURLINGTON, ON

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

BURLINGTON, ON

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

BURLINGTON, ON

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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Free movie for the kids on a PD day! These are going to go real fast.

Event 100By Staff

November 20, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Looking for something for the kids to do on the PD Day Friday, November 27?

Join Collective Hearts Burlington for a free movie day at Cine Starz Burlington.

Cinestarz logoThe event will be held from 12pm until 3pm at Cine Starz Burlington. Come out for a screening of Pan, Inside Out or Minions, family-friendly activities, and coupons from The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro, Wendel Clark’s, Curdz Poutinerie and more.

This event is brought to you by Collective Hearts Burlington, a group of nine charitable organizations celebrating Burlington’s designation as “The Giving City” and acknowledging the significant role that philanthropy plays in helping define, shape and educate our community.

Friday November 27, 2015
Time: 12pm- 3pm (films start at 1pm)
Location: Cine Starz Burlington
Upper Canada Place
460 Brant St., Unit 3
Burlington, ON L7R 4B6

Movie Selections: Pan, Inside Out or Minions

Seating is limited. Please arrive early as seating is first-come, first serve.

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Alton Village Public school to be expanded - five classroom to be added to accommodate 115 students.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 19th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

More than $7.7 million has been allocated to the Halton District School Board for the construction of two school additions, addressing the increase in student enrollment in north Burlington and Milton.

Alton Village public school

After just a few years after it opened the Alton Village Public school is to get a five classroom expansion.

Alton Village Public School in Burlington will receive $2.27 million to build a five-room addition, providing classroom space for 115 students.
The need for additional classroom space in Alton surprised a lot of people – until it was realized that many of the houses in the Alton part of the city are accommodating extended families where there are far more than the traditional two, three and perhaps four children.

This change in family living patterns got by the demographers at the public school board

Alton Village AVPS-Sign-up-seheets-silent-Auction

The Alton Village community knows how to do a fund raiser – here is the sign up sheets for all the donated items.

With a capital funding allocation of $5.52 million, Craig Kielburger Secondary School in Milton will receive a 10-room addition, providing accommodation for 210 additional students.

“This capital investment by the Ministry of Education will help improve the learning environment for students and relieve some of the accommodation pressures we are experiencing in these two communities,” says Kelly Amos, Chair of the Halton District School Board.

The school additions at Craig Kielburger Secondary School and Alton Village Public School were identified as the top two priorities in the Halton District School Board’s request to the Ministry of Education for Capital Priorities in 2015.

Funding for these capital projects was part of a $498 million provincial announcement on November 9, 2015 designated for new schools, additions and renovations.

The impact on parks and recreation services along with other social services can be expected to ripple through the city and the Region.

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School board promotes from within - appoints David Boag as associate director.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 19th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Halton District School Board Trustees voted unanimously in favour of the appointment of David Boag as Associate Director, effective December 1, 2015.

The decision fills the vacancy left when former Associate Director Stuart Miller was appointed to the role of Director of Education in October.

Stuart Miller

Trustees approve the appointment of the number two man in the administrative structure of the Halton District School Board

“The high caliber of the candidates who came forward willing to take on this role made the decision a difficult one,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. He added that “David has been an integral part of our senior administrative team, and his commitment to students, as well as a comprehensive yet compassionate approach to problem-solving while recognizing the needs of the student and school communities, will continue to serve this Board well.”

Boag David

David Boag – appointed Associate Director o Education Halton District School Board effective December 1st.

David Boag’s Halton teaching career began in 1988 at Lester B. Pearson and Queen Elizabeth Park High Schools, before he took on the role of Department Head at Lord Elgin and EC Drury High Schools. His administrative experience as Vice Principal at MM Robinson, Robert Bateman, Lord Elgin and EC Drury High Schools prepared him for a lead role in the Board’s Learning to 18 Initiative. As principal, David was able to utilize this experience at Robert Bateman and at Gary Allan High School where he focused on alternative and adult education. He was also instrumental in developing strategies to re-engage students to return to school – a successful program that continues to offer graduation opportunities to returning students to this day.

HDSB sign with flag

Both the Director of Education and the Associate Director of Education appointed by Halton District school Board trustees came from within the organization – is there going to be any new blood brought in and an expansion of the gene pool.

David was appointed as Superintendent of Education in 2009 with responsibility for Student Services, and as Superintendent of Education with responsibility for School Programs (secondary) and Student Success this past year. As Superintendent, David was also instrumental in the development and implementation of the Employability Skills and Community Skills Certificates, and the Board’s Mental Health strategy.

David is committed to the provision of safe and inclusive learning environments for students, providing engaging and responsive instruction, and opening doorways and creating pathways for students who may find challenges in their educational careers.

“I’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities in this new role,” says David Boag. “I am very excited to continue working with a very talented senior administrative team and Board of Trustees to support all our staff in creating conditions to improve student learning and well-being.”

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Mayor has called a public meeting to learn more about what citizens are doing to support the Syrian refugees that will land on our shores before the end of the year.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 19, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Mayor Rick Goldring is hosting a community meeting on December 1 at Mainway Recreation Centre to discuss how the community can come together to support Syrian refugees.

Save the Planet - Goldring + organizer

During the last civic election Mayor Goldring faced a bit of a conundrum – there was a socially significant event taking place but because of the election Goldring felt he could not use city property. There is no election taking place now and our Mayor is gong to provide the kind of leadership every livable city needs. Kudos for him on this one.

The event takes place at 7:00 p.m. at 4015 Mainway. Speakers will include officials from the federal and provincial governments, Lifeline Syria, organizations that welcome newcomers, faith-based groups and service clubs.

Burlington does not have a council or any other kind of faith based group made up of all the local clergy that meets on a regular basis. Someone had to call this kind of meeting – kudos to the Mayor for leading this initiative.

The Mayor’s office would like to get a sense as to what different churches are doing – for more detailed information or to confirm your attendance, please contact Mayor Goldring’s office at 905-335-7607 or email mayor@burlington.ca.

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Personal best takes on a very real dimension for Kerry Halcovitch.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 19th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Personal Best has always meant achieving a time better than anything that she had achieved before for Kerry Halcovitch.

That personal best takes on a new dimension for Halcovitch who celebrates one year as a pancreatic cancer survivor.

Her next personal best? To compete in Ironman, Mont Tremblant, in June 2016 as a pancreatic cancer patient!

Kerry H

For Kerry Halcovitch – personal best is a daily triumph.

Pancreatic Cancer is a devastating diagnosis. 75% will pass within 3-9 months from diagnosis. 92% will not survive 5 years. These grim statistics have essentially remained relatively unchanged for over 40 years. In fact, research indicates that incidences of pancreatic cancer are in fact on the rise.

On Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 Burlington resident, Kerry Halcovitch, will kick off her Ironman training by inspiring 150 runners and walkers with her story of courage. She will then lead the 5km “Light Up the Lake” run starting from the Burlington Waterfront Hotel.

She will be speaking at 5:45 – it will be worth listening to.

Kerry and her husband David Halcovitch both work in law enforcement. Kerry is the Executive Assistant to Stephen Tanner, the Chief of the Halton Regional Police Service.

Kerry has run the Boston Marathon and is an Ironman athlete. David is a retired police officer, who completed his policing career with the Hanover Police Service as the Chief of Police. He presently is an international security specialist.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about what the police do can be learned if you get into the Citizen Police Academy.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 19th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Anyone interested in learning more about the Forensic Identification Unit, the Tactical and Rescue Unit, or the Collision Reconstruction Unit of the Halton Regional Police Service might want to follow up on a really interesting opportunity.

Are you curious to know what it’s really like to be a police officer? Want to know about fraud and identity theft prevention?

The Halton Regional Police Service still has spots available for the upcoming session of the Citizen Police Academy. This informative and innovative program runs from 7-10 pm every Tuesday night for twelve weeks, between January 26th and April 12th 2016.

HRPS Storm sniffing

How do the police choose dogs for the canine unit and how does the police officer handle the actual training – and where does the dog go at night?

Each week participants are given presentations on various aspects of the Police Service. Just a few of the areas of the Police Service that are covered include Recruiting, Hostage Negotiations, Major Crime Investigations, Police Training Unit, Polygraph, Morality/Drugs, and the Communications Bureau.

This voluntary program is designed for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge of their local Police Service, and policing in Canada in general.

HRPS - coffee maker Both suspects

How do the police get video from crime scenes and how do they analyze the information?

Preference is given to persons who reside in, work in, or own a business in the Region of Halton.

For more information go online:

A current email address is mandatory for communication purposes and correspondence.

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Chef Daniel contributes a soup recipe to the Art Gallery Soup Bowl event

News 100 yellowBy Staff

November 19, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Later today the first of several hundred people will arrive at the Art Gallery of Burlington, select a soup bowl and enjoy soups from some of the best kitchen in the city.

One of the recipes comes from the kitchen of the Pearl and Pine Retirement Residents where Chef Daniel oversees the meals prepared for the resident.

The private dining room looks better than most restaurants in this city.

Soup Bowl Chef DanielChef Daniel Obeng, a Ghanaian by birth was raised in a tougher part of Toronto but overcame that background and is now the Executive Chef at the Pearl and Pine said that beets are one of his favourite vegetables “I just love the colour and the different things you can do with a beet.

Soup bowl - prive dine roomChef Obeng trained at the renowned George Brown Culinary school in Toronto as well as studying at the Humber and the Stratford schools.

The soup will be one of dozens that will be served at the Art Gallery during the fund raising event which runs from the 19th to the 22nd. Not to be missed

Roasted beet Volute

Ingredients: Makes about 4 servings
1 cup diced peeled beets
2cloves minced garlic
2 cups chicken broth
2 stalk celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cup 35% cream
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 Tablespoon EVOO (divided)
S/P to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

The Smoke seeds:

1cup pumpkin seeds
1 puck Hickory flavored bisquettes
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place beets into a baking dish, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and black pepper.

Roast in the preheated oven until tender, about 1 hour; allow to cool. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, and stir in the celery, onion, and garlic.

Cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in the cooked vegetables, chicken broth, thyme, and bay leaf, bring to a boil, and reduce heat.

Simmer until the celery is very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat, and discard the bay leaf. Puree the mixture in the pot with an immersion blender until its smooth; stir in the cream and lemon juice. Season the soup and pass through a fine chinois and serve, garnish with smoke pumpkin seeds

Add the remainder oil to the seeds, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Smoke for 1 hour.

What is this soup recipe all about – learn more.

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Pieces from the Permanent Collection at the AGB on display for two months

artsblue 100x100By Staff

November 17th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Taken from the largest collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics in the world, Still Life – Landscape from the Permanent Collection will run November 27, 2015 to January 31, 2016.

Harlan House - Iris vase

Harlan House, Iris vase – 1989

Co-curated by the AGB’s Chief Curator Dr. Denis Longchamps and Permanent Collection Curator Jonathan Smith, who recently celebrated 25 years with the AGB.

Still life and landscape, while they are considered to be classic subject matter for painting, are a rich source of inspiration in the clay community. From decorative motifs to sculptural installations, this exhibition looks at a rarely examined area of inspiration and their relationship to each other.

Join AGB curators Denis Longchamps and Jonathan Smith on Sunday November 29 at 2:30pm for their free Curators’ Talk on the exhibition.

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