Ron Foxcroft and his wife Marie charm the Queen who now owns two Classic Fox40 whistles.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 25, 2015


Ron and Marie Foxcroft went to London to see the Queen. More correctly Ron went as the Honorary Colonel of the Argyll’s to be presented to the Queen who is the Honorary Commander in Chief of the Argyll’s.

Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, receives Colonel Ronald Foxcroft (Honorary Colonel) at Buckingham Palace in London.

Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, receives Colonel Ronald Foxcroft (Honorary Colonel) at Buckingham Palace in London.

Foxcroft was there to accept the condolences from the Queen on behalf of the Regiment over the dearth of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo last year in front of the National Memorial in Ottawa.

Being presented to the Queen is a very formal affair – for most people. Ron Foxcroft is not most people.

He and the Queen just hit it off is the best way to put it. What is normally a five minute event spun out to more than 40 minutes during which the Queen told Foxcroft that she believed the Canadian reserve troops were the best their was and that her regiment, the Argyll’s were as good as it gets.

The Day the Foxcroft’s met the Queen started out with Ron and Marie leaving their hotel in a taxi for Buckingham Palace which a short trip away.

Traffic was heavy and it looked as if they were going to be late so they got out of their cab and began walking to the gates of the Palace where there were long line ups.

They got to the guards and explained they were there to be presented to the Queen and were let through and told to head for a second barrier.

Marie Foxcroft explained that there were a number of barriers they had to get through and the guards at one barrier would call forward to the next until they found themselves in front of a door that let them into the Palace

The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace was taking place at the same time which meant large crowds.

“We were just directed from one barrier to the next until we were in front of a door and we went in – and there we were inside Buckingham Palace where everything was so spacious” said Marie

Foxcroft - Palace large rooms

The rooms were massive with one room leading into another – it was easy to get lost.

One of the spaces was the size of a football field with these huge rooms everywhere.

Marie noticed that there wasn’t much in the way of vegetation but the grounds outside were spotless. One of the large outdoor areas they had to walk though was covered with small stones – almost like gravel that was raked several times each day.

Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, receives Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Hatfield (Commanding Officer) at Buckingham Palace in London.

Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, receives Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Hatfield (Commanding Officer) at Buckingham Palace in London.

The purpose of the visit was to present Foxcroft and Colonel’s Kennedy and Hatfield to the Queen and accept her condolences over the death of Cpl Nathan Cirillo. These two officers were, as Foxcroft described them “lifers” were there with their wives as well.

“The Queen didn’t look a day over 70 said Marie Foxcroft – she is very quick and at times there was a devilish look in her periwinkle blue eyes.”

The procedure followed had the “officers” of the Regiment meeting with the Queen in a private audience while their wives waited in the Empire Room to be “buzzed” in.

Foxcroft - Palace massive rooms

The rooms were massive – the Lady in Waiting said she often got lost in the place,

The wives spent the time with one of the Queen’s six ladies in waiting who chit chatted with them and explained that the Palace was so big that she at times got lost in the place.

The Queen asked where they were staying while they were in London and Foxcroft replied that they were at the Goring – to which the Queen replied “lawteedaw” which wasn’t language Marie Foxcroft wasn’t expecting from a lady she had curtsied before when she was introduced.

Then the Queen added that she was going to an event that evening and would meet Big Dave Goring – at which point the Queen put her arms out to indicate the Mr. Goring was a man of considerable girth.

“She was just so normal” said Marie –“it was if I was talking with my Mother.” “She has these periwinkle blue eyes and is so elegantly dressed” added Marie. The Queen’s two Corgis were in the room during the close to an hour visit “and she didn’t sit down once”.

Foxcroft Buckingham palace  gardens

Royal gardens at the rear of the Palace – Queen has her own John Deere grass cutter and Canadian geese who foul her lawns and hiss at her Corgis.

Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, receives (from left) Colonel Ronald Foxcroft (Honorary Colonel), Lieutenant Richard Kennedy (Honorary Lieutenant Colonel) and Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Hatfield (Commanding Officer) at Buckingham Palace in London.

Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, receives (from left) Colonel Ronald Foxcroft (Honorary Colonel), Lieutenant Richard Kennedy (Honorary Lieutenant Colonel) and Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Hatfield (Commanding Officer) at Buckingham Palace in London.  Marie Foxcroft commented on the numerous framed pictures on the tables.

At one point the Queen pulled back the drapes and showed the group the garden she would use to host a garden party. Foxcroft asked how many people would be at the garden party – 8000 replied the Queen who then pointed out her John Deere grass cutter.

The Queen then pointed to the Canada geese that fouled her gardens at which point Foxcroft produced two of his Foxcroft whistles and said he thought these would help.

Foxcroft poppy Queen Presentation

The framed replica of a |Canadian poppy was set out on an easel during the presentation to the Queen.

The Queen accepted the whistles – which seldom happens – and while she didn’t blow one at the time – Foxcroft is pretty sure she will eventually use what is part of a special production run of the Fox40 Classic whistle that has the crest of the Argyll’s stamped on the side. The Queen thought the men that rode what she called scooters beside her car should have these – scooters were where what we would call motor cycles

The Palace wakes up at 6:00 am but you never see any of the staff explained Marie. There is very ornate furniture all over the place and the rooms for the most part are very large – except for the room they met the Queen in.

What both Ron and Marie spotted was a table with dozens of framed pictures of family members.

Foxcroft asked if he queen had seen the new baby and she responded that she has “seen Charlotte the once but she was sleeping and I never wake a sleeping baby”.

I expected that Marie Foxcroft would have curtsied before her Queen – and wondered how elegant a curtsy it would have been. It took a little prodding but Marie Foxcroft, looking elegant in a pair of jeans, did her curtsy and immediately began to blush.

The day she married Ron Foxcroft she had no idea that she would one day stand with him before her Monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, receives Colonel Ronald Foxcroft (Honorary Colonel) at Buckingham Palace in London.

Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, receives Colonel Ronald Foxcroft (Honorary Colonel) at Buckingham Palace in London.  Foxcroft steps right up to shake the hand of his Monarch.

The protocol is for people meeting the Queen to first address her as Your Majesty and after that you refer to her as Mam. “Ron couldn’t get it right said Marie – he kept calling her Your Majesty.

“I was terrified that I was going to screw it up” added Foxcroft who said “there was perspiration dripping down his arms.”  Ron wasn’t the only one nervous yet during the interview with the Foxcroft’s in their home Marie referred to her time as “kibitzing” with the Queen.  Ron certainly got her going – they were having a fine time talking about ”her” regiment and how proud she was of the way they had served in Afghanistan.

When the audience with the Queen was over, Commander Andrew Canale, who is Equerry to the Queen wondered “what were you talking about” Audiences with the queen do not last very long. Ron Foxcroft seemed to have gotten through to her.

When asked if he managed to make a mention of his Fluke Trucking fleet – Foxcroft dropped his head a bit and said: No, I didn’t.

Queen Elizabeth has long fond memories of Canada and the Canadian she met last week certainly made an impression on her.

It was the trip and experience of a life time “but you know” said Marie, “it is nice to be home.”

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Regional police cracking down on distracted drivers - asking for public to help.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 25, 2015


On Friday May 22, 2015 between 6:00am and 6:00pm, officers from the three regional District Response Teams collectively worked together to target the Big 4 driving behaviours that are responsible for placing road users at most risk, namely;

impaired driving
 distracted driving
 aggressive driving
 failure to wear a seatbelt

Officers focused their efforts along the Dundas Street commuter route in the City of Burlington and the Town of Oakville.

Small click here - blackDuring the one-day education and enforcement project, a total of 197 Provincial Offence Notices were laid. The majority of these charges consisted of speeding and distracted driving offences.

Officers also provided several warnings and cautions regarding driving behavior.

Halton Regional Police would like to remind motorists that holding a cell phone when driving a motor vehicle is likely to become the leading cause of traffic fatalities by 2016. As such our Service remains committed to targeting motorists who commit this offence and doing all that is possible to ensure a safe commute.

The next Regional Safe Commute initiative will take place in the Towns of Milton and Halton Hills.

Anyone can report a traffic or driving concern by visiting our website and making a ROAD WATCH complaint.

ROAD WATCH is a community driven program encouraging anonymous reporting of incidents involving dangerous and/or aggressive driving. This program is an opportunity to bring an aggressive driver to our attention. Be the extra eyes and ears and learn more here:

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How does a community choose between its heritage and the need to intensify and at the same time treat the owners of property with the respect they deserve and ensure that their property rights are protected?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 23, 2015


How does a community choose between its heritage and the need to intensify and at the same time treat the owners of property in the downtown core with the respect they deserve and ensure that their rights as property owners are protected?

Burlington has lost a lot of it heritage properties. The city seems to have a problem with wanting to keep buildings that reflect the character of the city as it went through its various development phases.

It was the citizens and two members of city council (both first term members) that saved the Freeman station from becoming kindling for a fire place.

The city has a deep rich history as the “garden of Canada” that many people are unaware of and something that is never celebrated.
That history could be used to create a more acute awareness of the past and use that to build an identity that is more than a magazine’s definition of Burlington as the best mid-sized city in Canada.

Burlington city councils’ have always had difficulty with fighting to save properties that have heritage value.

Studio - Ghent farm house - bigger view

View of the old Ghent farmhouse from Brant Street at the corner of Ghent Street.

There is a property on Brant Street that has very significant historical value that is part of a small land assembly. The property is currently on the municipal registry of historically significant properties and has been given an A rating.

The owner of the property wrote the planning department advising they wished to have their property removed from the registry. Sixty days after such a request the city has to either seek to have the property designated as historical under the Planning Act or issue a demolition permit if one is requested.

The question becomes – is this property significant enough to be designated?

Ghent house - bigger view

A wider view of the former Ghent Farmhouse and its neighbours today.

A Staff report put on the May 11th Development and Infrastructure agenda but pulled when the issue it was related to was withdrawn by the owners of property at 795 Brant.

The Planning and Building Department received a written request to remove the property from the Municipal Heritage Register to allow the demolition of the farmhouse. If the city does not take a position within the 60 day period, a demolition permit must be granted.

Council must make a decision as to whether to designate the property pursuant to the Ontario Heritage Act in order to protect it from demolition or to remove the property from the Municipal Register to allow its demolition.

Ghent farmhouse - rear view

A rear view of the former Ghent farmhouse – numerous additions have changed the look of the building – have those additions made the structure any less significant historically?

With the request to have the building taken of the municipal register withdrawn the matter is moot – but this issue will be back before Council in the not too distant future.

This request is being made to facilitate redevelopment of the subject property in conjunction with 789 Brant Street.

The Staff Direction set out in the report that was withdrawn makes it clear where the Planning department wants to go – that may not be where city council wants to go – and it is the elected officials who make the final decision.

Burlington City Council Group

The developer assembling the property and representing the owner is reported to have lined up at least four council votes. Which of these four are onside for the destruction of the house?

People acting for the property owner are believed to have lined up the four votes on council they need to vote against the Staff recommendation.

Staff asked that the city “State an intention to designate the house and property at 795 Brant Street, Burlington, pursuant to the Ontario Heritage Act.

“Authorize the City Clerk to present the Designation By-law to Council to designate the property at 795 Brant Street, Burlington, pursuant to Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act if there are no objections to the statement of intention to designate in accordance with Section the Act and

“Authorize the City Clerk to take necessary action in the event that there are any objections in accordance with the Ontario Heritage Act.

The property has always been seen as historically significant. It was given an “A” grade when it was evaluated by Heritage Burlington in 1995, and later re-evaluated with the same “A” grade in 2003.

Ghent Gillies Maple Lodge 1902

Maple Lodge was built in 1854 by the Bent brothers, Jabez a brick maker, George a mason, and James a carpenter. George Ghent and his family lived for many years at Maple Lodge. The non-designated 161 year old historic home is in jeopardy of potential demolition, due mostly in part to the intensification policy of the Ontario Government. Maple Lodge is located at 795 Brant Street on the south east corner. This is how the home looked in 1902. Today, it is a commercial property.

Additionally, in 2014, Heritage Burlington retained a consultant to conduct a review of all formerly graded “A” properties on the Municipal Register to determine if they still belong on the Municipal Register. The recent review of the subject property by the consultant provided a grade of 82/100 (based on Heritage Burlington’s newly created “Evaluation Criteria”), and it was recommended it remain on the Municipal Heritage Register.

Currently, the property is within the boundary of “Downtown Growth Area” in the Official Plan; and zoned as “MXG” – “Mixed-Use Corridor Zone”.

The Planning department maintains that the “Maple Lodge” or “William Ghent House” or “Bray-Ghent Farmhouse” is a good example of an early vernacular style farmhouse; and is associated with the early farming in Burlington. “The house is significant as it provides the evidence of Burlington’s past. In addition, it has other important contextual, historical / associative, and physical/design values.”

One of the first families to settle in Brant’s Block was the Ghent Family. They had originally come to North America from Wales, settling in Maryland, then moving to North Carolina. As sympathizers with the British during the American Revolution, they were severely persecuted.

Ghent Gillies Rev David Ghent

The Reverend David Ghent was a brother to George Ghent and another son of Thomas Ghent and Elizabeth Davis. Rev. Ghent was instrumental in aiding William Lyon Mackenzie’s escape to the United States. Historically that was a very significant event. If this were the United states the house would have been saved years ago.

Thomas Ghent came to Canada with his wife’s family, the Davises, and was one of the early settlers in Saltfree Township. In true pioneering spirit, he purchased land from Joseph Brant in 1804, and became one of the founding families at Wellington Square. For 150 years, members of the Ghent family farmed continuously in Burlington.

The two-storey brick farmhouse was built in 1854 by Jabez Bent, who is also believed to have constructed the wall around the Union Burying Grounds and the Calvary Baptist Church (1446 Ontario Street).  Bent sold the house and its farm to Frederick Bray in 1859, and in 1896, the property was bought by William Ghent, who was the fifth generation descendant of Thomas Ghent. In 1909, Ghent divided the farm, including Ghent Avenue, into parcel lots. This house and its lot were bought by Edward Harmon and his sons in 1909. The house was a residence for the Alphonse Brooks family from 1935 to 1975, when it was converted to commercial use.

The Planning department describes the house as the last farmhouse in the area and is a landmark along Brant Street. The house is on its original location; and is a familiar structure in the context of the neighbourhood and downtown. The house is now surrounded by mix of land uses, such as, residential, commercial and mixed-use developments, and various architectural designed buildings.

“The “William Ghent Farmhouse” is a two-storey solid brick structure with end gable roof, and features symetrical three-bay façade and rear additions.

“The multiple rear additions were likely added over the years as the family grew. The rear and side additions feature gable roofs. The central door at the front façade has a detailed wood surround. Other architectural elements of the house include brick chimneys at the two ends of the gable roof of the original house; wide overhanging eaves and paired brackets under the eaves of the original house; and wooden window frames on the ground floor front façade and on both floors of the north-east side façade highlighted by wooden voussoirs.”

“There have been minor changes to the heritage attributes but the original character is retained. Visible changes to the building include painting of the brick façade, asphalt roof shingles, commercial signs, and windows and shutters have been replaced by aluminium framed single-hung one over one windows.

“Additional chimneys and skylights have been added. The rear yard of the property has been entirely paved to accommodate parking spaces and a driveway for commercial use, with the exception of shrub and coniferous trees to the side yards and lawn immediately in front of the house.

These are not minor changes by any stretch of one’s imagination.

The planners argue that “architecturally, the front façade and north-east side of the “William Ghent Farmhouse” is the most significant.

From a historical or associative perspective, the property satisfies the criteria for designation. Staff is of the opinion that the house is historically tied to its surroundings as the development around it (including Ghent Street) was part of the original farm.

“Staff does acknowledge that the house has been converted from its original purpose as a residence to commercial use. Nevertheless, they are of the the opinion that despite the alterations to the building and site, the property has retained much of its original character and fabric.

“The demolition of this unique style farmhouse would mean a significant loss of the property’s historic and cultural heritage values. Each heritage property that is lost incrementally undermines the city’s ability to understand and celebrate its past through tangible physical resources.

Hotel on lower Brant Street

Lower Rant Street with two of the downtown core’s most historically significant structures. Would these two buildings ever be asked to meet with a wrecking ball?

Burlington’s Official Plan contains a number of policies related to the conservation of cultural heritage resources calling for the city to protect, improve and manage its cultural heritage resources in a manner that furthers the heritage objectives of this Plan and sets an example of leadership for the community in the conservation of cultural heritage resources. Cultural heritage conservation planning shall be an integral part of the land use planning process in the City of Burlington.

There are apparently other options. Staff suggests there is a third option which is to enter into discussion with the property owner and recommend that the request for demolition be withdrawn until such time as a comprehensive review of options including the demolition, conservation and incorporation or partial conservation of the house be explored.

City staff recommended that the property not be removed from the Municipal Register to facilitate demolition and that Council state its intention to designate the property. With the withdrawal of the request to be removed the municipal registry those suggested discussions can now take place.

If the property were to be designated it would be eligible to apply to the Community Heritage Fund for eligible restoration project. This would cover up to 25% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $15,000.

Burlington’s Heritage Property Tax Rebate program could also be available to the owners of the property. Currently, the program is only for residential uses in accordance with the recommendation of Heritage Burlington in its 2012 report, A New Approach to Conserving Burlington’s Heritage, a commercial component will be explored for the 2016 tax year.

Clemens Jim - Heritage

An opinion on what to do with the property will be sought from the Heritage Advisory committee. Chair Jim Clemens will have much to think about with this one.

There apparently isn’t going to be a formal public consultation, however, both Heritage Burlington and staff visited the property and it is on the |Heritage Advisory committee’s agenda.

Should Council eventually accept staff’s recommendation to state its intention to designate 795 Brant Street, the Ontario Heritage Act requires that notice of the intention be given to the City Clerk, and that notice be served on the owner of the property; the Ontario Heritage Trust; and published in a newspaper having general circulation in the City.

What does all this mean to the people who own the property and want to sell it and take their profit and move on?

What does this mean top the developer who is assembling the property and planning a project that will fall well within the Official Plan and the applicable zoning bylaw?

How does a community choose between its heritage and the need to intensify and at the same time treat the owners of property in the downtown core with the respect they deserve and ensure their rights as property owners are protected?


The history of the Ghent family and their significance to the development of Burlington.

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Public will be able to take city council behavior complaints to an Integrity Commissioner once the Code of Conduct has been passed.

backgrounder 100By Pepper Parr

May 19, 2015


After numerous meetings the city finally has a draft of a Code of conduct that will have close to the force of law and which if seriously violated could result in the suspension of a member of |Council.

Meed Ward at kick off

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward takes the position that she has the right and the responsibility to involve herself in any issue in any ward. Her belief is not shared by all members of Council.

The most contentious issue during the discussions is whether or not a member of council can involves themselves in issues outside their wards. Ward 2 Councilor Marianne Meed Ward has taken the position that she is responsible for ward 2 issues but can involve herself in matters that are city wide and has done so in the past.

Ward 1 Councilor Rick Craven feels that ward 1 is his turf and no one should intrude on his territory. Councilor Dennison felt that as a courtesy a council member should at last inform fellow members of Council when they are involving themselves in an issue in a ward that is not their own.

The document is not what you would call an easy read. The Gazette will publish the version of the Code of Conduct that gets passed by Council on the 25th.

The portion of the draft code was revised at the Standing Committee with the removal of the part that had to do with how and when a council member can involve themselves in matters outside their ward.  That section read:

General Integrity

• Members of Council are committed to performing their functions with integrity, accountability and transparency.
• Members of Council are responsible for complying with all applicable legislation, by-laws and policies pertaining to their position as an elected official.
• Members of Council recognize that the public has a right to open government and transparent decision-making.
• Members of Council shall at all times serve and be seen to serve the interests of the municipality in a conscientious and diligent manner and shall approach decision-making with an open mind.
• Members of Council shall avoid the improper use of the influence of their office.
• Members of Council shall not attempt to influence or interfere with, either directly or indirectly, financially, politically or otherwise employees, officers or other persons performing duties under the Provincial Offences Act.
• Where a member of Council is involved in an issue outside the Member’s own ward, the member will inform the ward Councillor of such involvement.

As a Standing Committee chair, Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven is as good as it gets.  Handling delegations and accepting the ideas of other people - not as good.  But he wins elections.

Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven takes the view that he is responsible for the concerns and issues in his ward and that other council members should basically mind their own business.   He lost that argument.

Deleting it from the code passed on a 4-3 vote.

In 2006 the Municipal Act was amended to provide municipalities with enhanced accountability powers including the ability to establish a Code of Conduct and appoint an Integrity Commissioner to administer the Code of Conduct.

Burlington’s city council began work on a Code in December 2013 as part of their governance review. Currently, there is a Code of Practice that was adopted in 1996. The Code of Conduct would replace this policy.

Any failure to comply with the code of conduct can have serious and significant consequences. “Members of Council shall adhere to the provisions of the Code of Conduct. The Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes Council, where it has received a report by its Integrity Commissioner that, in his or her opinion, there has been a violation of the Code of Conduct, may impose either of the following penalties:

• A reprimand;
• Suspension of the remuneration paid to the member in respect of his or her services as a member of Council or a local board, as the case may be, for a period of up to 90 days.”

It would be tough to get re-elected were a council member to be suspended for any period of time.

There have been four workshops held with Council to draft the code that was presented.

At the January workshop, Council received an update from the City Solicitor on Bill 8: Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014. Bill 8 significantly expands the role of the provincially-appointed Ombudsman in the affairs of municipalities. This includes oversight over the investigations conducted in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

In some cases, municipalities may forgo the appointment of an Integrity Commissioner and leave the oversight to the Ombudsman. It is staff’s view that despite the oversight from the provincial Ombudsman, it would still be prudent to hire an Integrity Commissioner at the local level. At this point the regulations on Bill 8 have not been released. Those regulations will likely include details on procedures for investigation and any related costs to the municipality.

Following approval of the Code of Conduct, staff will retain an Integrity Commissioner on a fee for service basis. The plan is to share an Integrity Commissioner on a fee for service basis with the Town of Milton. The Town of Oakville already has an Integrity Commissioner in place. The expectation is that the cost will come in at about $20,000 a year – which of course depends on how many complaints get sent to the Commissioner and how well our Council members behave.

Intense to the point of making delegations uncomfortable ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman does know how to drill down into the data and look for results.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman has in the past come perilously close to crossing some of the lines set out in the Code of Conduct.

One section of the Code of Conduct spells out very clearly that:
Members of Council shall not:

• Maliciously, falsely or otherwise inappropriately injure the professional or ethical reputation, or the prospects or practice of staff;
• Compel staff to engage in partisan political activities or be subjected to threats or discrimination
for refusing to engage in such activities; or
• Use, or attempt to use, their authority or influence for the purpose of intimidating, threatening, coercing, commanding or influencing any staff member with the intent of interfering in staff’s duties.

That requirement has not always been fully met in the past.

Free tickets to events have been a problem in the past – the rules were never very clear. They will be clear when the Code of Conduct is passed by city council.

“Members of Council are expected to represent the public and the interests of the municipality and to do so with both impartiality and objectivity. The acceptance of a gift, benefit or hospitality can imply favouritism, bias or influence on the part of the Member. At times, the acceptance of a gift, benefit or hospitality occurs as part of the social protocol or community events linked to the duties of an elected official and their role in representing the municipality.

“Members of Council shall not accept gifts that would appear to be in gratitude for influence or to induce influence. For these purposes, a gift, benefit or hospitality provided with the Member’s knowledge to a family member or to a Member’s staff, that is connected directly or indirectly to the performance of the Member’s duties is deemed to be a gift to that Member.

Members of Council are not precluded from accepting:

(a) compensation authorized by law;
(b) such gifts or benefits that normally accompany the responsibilities of office and are received as an incident of protocol or social obligation;
(c) a political contribution under the Municipal Elections Act;
(d) a memento of a function honouring the member;
(e) where a member is speaking or attending an event in an official capacity, the food, lodging, transportation and entertainment provided by provincial, regional and local governments or political subdivisions of them, by the federal government or by a foreign government within a foreign country, or by a conference, seminar or event organizer;

(f) food and beverages consumed at banquets, receptions or similar events, if:

1. attendance serves a legitimate business purpose;
2. the person extending the invitation or a representative of the organization is in attendance; and
3. the value is reasonable and the invitations infrequent;

(g) communication to the offices of a member, including subscriptions to newspapers and periodicals;
(h) gifts of a nominal value (e.g. baseball cap, t-shirt, flash drive, book, etc).


Some ward 6 residents felt their Council member, Blair Lancaster was just a little too close to the owners of the Air Park.

In the case of exceptions claimed under categories b, d, e, f, g, h where the value of the gift or benefit exceeds $25, or if the total value received from any one source during the course of a calendar year exceeds $25, the Members shall within 30 days of receipt of the gift or reaching the annual limit, list the gift or benefit on a Councilor Information Statement in the prescribed form and file it with the City Clerk. This information will be posted on the website with Councilors expenses.

Members are permitted to receive up to two tickets to a dinner or a fundraising event, as long as the Member is attending only one such event as a gift from the same individual or corporation within any calendar year.

Fundraising, Community Events and Donations are also clarified in the code.

This Code recognizes that as community leaders, Members of Council may lend their support to and encourage, community donations to registered charitable organizations and not for profit groups. Monies raised through fundraising efforts shall go directly to the groups or volunteers and chapters acting as local organizers of the group. This Code recognizes the important work of Members of Council in supporting charitable causes and the need for transparency in Members involvement.

This Code sets the following additional guiding principles for Members of Council

(a) Members of Council should not directly or indirectly manage or control any monies received relating to a charitable, not for profit or community-based organization’s fundraising in their capacity as a member of Council.
(b) A Member of Council or a third party acting on behalf of the Member shall not solicit nor accept support in any form from an individual, group or corporation with a pending matter, such as but not limited to, a planning or demolition application, partnership agreement, tender or Request for Proposals before Burlington City Council.
(c) With reference to Member-Organized Community Events, Members of Council must keep a record of the names of all donors and the value of their donation that supplements the event and file it with the City Clerk.
(d) Donation cheques shall not be made out to a Member of Council. Nothing included herein affects the entitlement of a Member of Council to:
• Use their office expense budget to run or support community events subject to the terms of the Councilor Expense Policy.
• Urge constituents, businesses and other groups to support community events and advance the needs of a charitable organization;
• Play an advisory or membership role in any organization that holds community events.

Once passed the Code gives the public a process to complain. Complaint of a Violation of this Code

Any individual that has reasonable grounds to believe that a Member has breached this Code, may file a complaint with the City Clerk.

The Integrity Commissioner shall be responsible for investigating such complaints and if the parties are in agreement, the complaint may be resolved by way of mediation.

If either party does not participate in the mediation process, if the complaint is not resolved through this process, or the matter is not appropriate for referral to mediation, the Integrity Commissioner shall assume responsibility for investigating the complaint in accordance with the procedures established by Council.

In the case of a complaint of discrimination or harassment, the complainant may file a complaint directly to the Human Resources Department under the City of Burlington Respect in the Workplace Policy. The complainant will also be advised of his or her right to advance an application to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

The procedure for filing a complaint includes an informal or a formal complaint

The formal procedure is as follows:

Any individual who has identified or witnessed behaviour or activity by a member that appears to be in contravention of the Code may address their concerns through the formal complaint process set out below.

1. All formal complaints must be made using the Complaints Form prepared by the City Clerk and/or Integrity Commissioner and shall be dated and signed by the Complainant.
2. The complaint must include an explanation as to why the issue raised may be a contravention of the Code and any evidence in support of the allegation must be included with the Complaints Form.
3. Any witnesses in support of the allegation must be identified on the Complaint Form.
4. The Complaint Form must include the name of the member alleged to have breached the Code, the section of the Code allegedly contravened, the date, time and location of the alleged contravention and any other information as required on the Complaint Form.
5. The complaint shall be filed with the Clerk who shall confirm that the required information is complete. The Clerk will forward the complaint form to the Integrity Commissioner who will determine whether the matter is, on its face, a complaint with respect to non-compliance with the Code and not covered by other legislation or policies.
6. The Integrity Commissioner may request additional information from the complainant.

Dennison and partner on the trail

Councillor Jack Dennison felt it was just common decency to advise a fellow council member that he was talking to people about a project in their ward.

The existence of an Integrity Commissioner gives the public some recourse to behavior they feel is wrong or unbecoming a member of a city council. However the authors of the code were aware of the possibility that someone might want to exploit the process in an election year. They covered off that possibility.

Burlington City Council Group

By the end of the month of May your seven members of Council will have to adhere to a Code of Conduct that allows for the suspension of a member of r up to 90 days of they stray from the rules.

The Integrity Commissioner shall not make any report to Council or any other person after the last Council meeting in June in any year in which a regular municipal election is to be held. Any reports would proceed to the first Council meeting after the Inaugural meeting of the new Council.

Any guesses as to how long it will take for someone in the city to file a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner and who the complaint will be against?

The Gazette will publish the code of Conduct in its entirety once it has been passed by Council.

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Is Premier Wynne coming clean on her plans for Hydro One? Joe Gaetan doesn't think so.

opinionandcommentBy Joe Gaetan

May 16, 2015


By Joe Gaetan is like a dog with a bone – he just isn’t going to let it go until he has ever last bit of meat on it.  Gaetan has been tracking the progress of the province’s “discussions” and Premier Kathleen Wynne’s statements on any plans to sell Hydro One.

According to a March 10, 2015 CBC report, “Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she hasn’t made any final decisions yet on asset sales, but she did not dispute a report that she is planning to sell shares in Hydro One”.

Hydro transmission lines

There are thousands of Ontarians who don’t think selling Hydro One is a very smart idea. The Premier appears to have already made up her mind. Have you?

Fellow Ontarians, in spite of her waffling, Premier Wynne must have been planning something big, because it’s now called Bill 91, The Building Ontario Up Act (Budget Measures), 2015. It’s Current Status, “The Bill has been Ordered referred to Standing Committee pursuant to the Order of the House Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs”.

The purpose of the Act is to implement Budget measures and to enact and amend various Acts. If you feel like reading the lengthy document you will come across sections such as Schedule 1 that deals with making Ontario a more beer friendly province, containing folksy language such as hectoliters, standard bottles of beer, microbrewers, beer, wine and wine coolers.

To pave the way to sell off Hydro One, Wynne apparently knew she had to change a slew of acts such as, The auditor General Act, The Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, The Co-operative Corporations Act, The Financial Accountability Officer Act, The Financial Administration Act, The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, The Commodity Futures Act and most importantly The Electricity Act, 1998.

Wynne H&S tight

Premier Kathleen Wynne – is she ready to say definitely where she stands on the possible sale of Hydro One?

For someone who wasn’t sure on March 10, Premier Wynne sure was busy doing a lot behind the scenes in anticipation of making her final decision found in B91. The piece de resistance of B91 is, Section 48.2 subsection (5), the section that deals with Restrictions on Province’s sale, etc. and specifically where the province,” shall not sell, dispose of or otherwise divest any common shares of Hydro One Inc. if the sale, disposal or divestment would result in the Minister on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Ontario owning a number of common shares that is less than 40 per cent of the outstanding number of common shares of Hydro One Inc.

Premier Wynne “what is it you can’t face”, maybe the truth about selling 60% of Hydro One all along?


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Sex education, core values and the role of the family in teaching values; is this something a government should be doing? If the parents are not - perhaps.

backgrounder 100By Pepper Parr

May 14 2015


We asked staff at MPP Eleanor McMahon’s office to provide us with some background material on the Health and Physical Education curriculum – referred by many as the “sex ed” course and were given and referred to the following material that clarifies some common misconceptions about what the curriculum will be teaching our children – including addressing concerns about the age-appropriateness of the content.

It also serves to explain that many parts of the curriculum are currently being taught as part of the 1998 curriculum.

McMahon at podium

McMahon comes from a family with strong core values and social convictions – she believes government has a role to play in ensuring our young are given the information they need to make informed decisions.

The safety and wellbeing of Ontario’s students is our government’s top priority, and we believe that students need to have the best information possible so they can make informed decisions.

The revised curriculum documents for Health and Physical Education, Grades 1 to 8, 2015 and Health and Physical Education, Grades 9 to 12, 2015, are available on the Ministry of Education website and can be accessed by the public (

Most parents don’t have the time or the inclination to spend hours wading through at times turgid government reports. They want to know, in simple language they can understand and easily grasp – ‘what are teachers telling my children’.

Well-being is a core component of the government’s renewed vision for education and we are committed to the success, safety and well-being of every student and child. The Health and Physical Education curriculum that is currently being used has not been updated since 1998 – this is over 15 years old – and the world has changed. Technology concepts such as Smartphones, “Snapchat” and sexting were not familiar to anyone, let alone children and teenagers.

In our increasingly interconnected world, students often get information from unreliable and inaccurate sources. The classroom is a safe place for children to learn, and Ontario teachers are professional trained to teach sensitive material. Our students deserve a curriculum that is current, relevant and age-appropriate to give them the best information possible to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

McMahon at BMO wondering when the provincial money is going to arrive

McMahon: a capacity to listen.

The revision of these curriculum documents is the result of work done through an extensive review process. This process was guided by research on current instructional approaches specific to this discipline, expert advice from academics, benchmarking and comparisons of the curriculum with that of other national and international jurisdictions.

It involved extensive consultation with parents, students, teachers, faculties of education, universities, colleges and numerous stakeholder groups including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Ontario Public Health Association and the Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition. More than 70 health-related organizations submitted reports for consideration, and thousands of parents provided their input.

That means a parent in every elementary school across Ontario, representing all four publically funded school boards, was provided with an opportunity to provide input.

Parents and educators play critical and complementary roles to support student safety and well-being. Recognizing this, our government has begun developing a series of resources for parents, which provide information on the Health and Physical Education curriculum and ideas for supporting learning at home.

McMahon at Up Creek - side view - smile

McMahon is in the community and of the community where she has to stick handle some awkward issues – how is she doing so far?

Eleanor McMahon believes that parents should still have their own conversations about sexual health with their children, particularly when it comes to personal values. Nothing can replace the love, care and concern of a parent. But she also believes the best way to ensure our children are getting the most accurate, fact-based, up-to-date and age-appropriate information is through a Health and Physical Education curriculum that has been informed by experts, research, educators and parents together.

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City looking into having a plaque made up to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope.

News 100 redBy Staff

May 13, 2015


North America will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope on July 13, 2015.  Terry Fox  visited Burlington during that first event.

The Terry Fox Run to Cure Cancer people were out trying to attract and involve people from the LAton Village to take part in the event in September,

The Terry Fox Run to Cure Cancer has been a Burlington event from the beginning 35 years ago. Last year the organizers of the event set up a booth in the Car Free Sunday in Alton.

The city has been  approached by the Burlington Terry Fox organization requesting a plaque or monument be installed along the waterfront, on the border between Wards 1 and 2, to mark the 35th anniversary.

Terry Fox ran along Spencer Smith Park during his cross Canada run, and the annual race takes place in Spencer Smith/Beachway Parks.
The city is exploring the idea further, and will be presented the following staff direction at the May 12, 2015 Community & Corporate Services Committee meeting:

Direct the Manager of Arts and Culture to consult with the Burlington Terry Fox Foundation in the design of a monument to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run with funding provided by the Terry Fox Foundation for implementation;

Direct the Executive Director of Capital Works to consult with Halton Region on a location of the monument in alignment with the Beach Master Plan; and

Direct the City Clerk to write a letter of support for the project to the Burlington Terry Fox Foundation.

The tension between Councillors Meed Ward and Craven is close to measurable,  Neither has ever been a fan of the other and on Monday evening the feelings got spilled onto the horseshoe of the Council chamber

The tension between Councillors Meed Ward and Craven is close to measurable at times. It will be interesting to see how they manage to cooperate at the unveiling of the plaque the city is considering. ,

It will be interesting to see how the Councillors for wards 1 and 2 manage to co=operate on this event.  They are not known for the conviviality of their relationship.

The plaque itself is a wonderful idea – Burlington has been a consistent supporter of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope since its earliest days.

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Latest bank scam - be vigilant, pay attention - and if in doubt - don't.


Identity theft - many faces  By Staff

  May 12, 2015



It looks like it could come from the Bank of Montreal – and we all make little goofs logging in. Did I make that many I might ask.

BMO scam - failed log ins

It might look legitimate – it isn’t.

This kind of scam is an attempt to get you to click on the link they want you to go to – then they begin to gather information. It doesn’t take them very long to get to the point where they have enough information to begin sucking money out of your bank account; your credit card or any number of places where you have funds that are accessible on line.

The sent from address used is a little confusing – this isn’t from a bank.

The basic rule is always be vigilant and if in doubt – don’t.

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Jeff Rubin returns to Burlington to talk about the carbon bubble - well worth listening to - appears at Central Library May 25.

Event 100By Staff

May 7, 2015


One of the most gifted and at times controversial writers on important public issues, Jeff Rubin returns to Burlington to mark a major event in publishing and in fiscal and environmental analysis–the release of his new book The Carbon Bubble.

Jeff Rubin Engaging IdeasA compelling, forthright author and speaker, recipient of the National Business Book Award and author of two momentous works of economic forecasting, Why Your World is About to Get a Lot Smaller and The End of Growth, Jeff Rubin is in great demand in all media for his cautionary insights and startling predictions.

“If the world is changing, those willing and able to change with it will be rewarded. For a high-latitude country like Canada, whose average temperature is expected to rise a multiple of the global average that change points to a fundamental rethink of our national economic priorities.” –from The Carbon Bubble

Small click here - blackThe Diffeent Drummer, is hosting Jeff Rubin in partnership with Burlington Public Library on Monday May 25 at 7pm in Centennial Hall at Burlington Central Library, 2331 New Street.

Tickets are $10, available at the bookstore and at the third floor Information Desk at the Library.

To reserve seats in advance, please contact us at (905) 639 0925 or

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Jane Mulkewich to talk to Americans about slavery practices in Canada

Event 100By Staff

May 7, 2015


Jane Mulkewich, a full-time career as a lawyer for the Ontario Nurses Association and daughter of former Burlington Mayor Walter Mulkewich, spends her free time researching, writing and speaking about an American slave girl named Sophia Pooley.

jane mulkewich

Jane Mulkewich practices law and will be speaking to the American Women’s Club about a salve once owned by Joseph Brant

Sophia was the first non-native resident of the Halton area, and was stolen and brought to Canada from New York in the late 1700’s, and belonged to the Joseph Brant family. Mulkewich will be telling this fascinating story to the American Women’s Club who will be holding their 38th Annual May Luncheon at Paletta Mansion,on May 14th at 4250 Lakeshore Rd in Burlington. The event is from 11am until 2 pm, and will include the Annual General Meeting for the AWCO,

Small click here - blackFounded in 1977, the American Women’s Club of Oakville is a non-profit organization, and membership includes U.S. born and naturalized citizens, both men and women, with the majority residing in the Halton, Hamilton and Peel regions of Ontario. The purpose of the club is to provide fellowship and social activities among Americans living in the area, and to encourage participation in service to the community, both civic and philanthropic.

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Meed Ward convinces developes to meet with the community and talk about what they want to do with their downtown property holdings.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper ParrSmall click here - black

May 7, 2015


Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward has always believed that citizens should be engaged much earlier in the decision making process than the city’s current policies require.

When changes are being made many people feel that the die has been cast and the politicians just want the voters to say they like what has already been decided upon.

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster: both part of the Shape Burlington committee who seem to have forgotten what the report was all about - civic engagement

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster: both part of the Shape Burlington committee who seem to have forgotten what the report was all about – civic engagement

That is the style we see from Councillors Craven, Sharman and Lancaster. Councillors Taylor and Dennison tend to show some flexibility.

The Mayor tends to sit between the two groups. He gets keen on an idea and sticks with it – but when there is significant blow back – he backs away. Bicycle lanes on Lakeshore Road is perhaps his worst example – taking the wind turbine was another.

Burlington’s approach to civic engagement hasn’t gotten far beyond approving, unanimously, the Shape Burlington report and putting an “in principle” community engagement document in place but then never acting on it.

Vanessa Williams + Woodruff Budget meet

Vanessa Warren on the right wanted to know why residents were not permitted to have real input on the creation on the city budget – she didn’t like the idea of reading through a document with decisions already made set out for her.

During the public budget deliberations in 2013, Vanessa Warren, who was just beginning to come to the attention of the public, asked at a meeting at the Art Gallery, why the public wasn’t seeing the numbers when they were being put together. She objected to having to look at numbers and get to make a comment and then go home – with nothing changing.

Meed Ward wants to do it differently. Her first reference is usually to her constituents – who meet almost as community council. She listens, is frequently surprised at what she hears from her constituents and then makes changes.

Attend a ward 1 or a ward 6 community meeting and watch the flow of information and ideas – they go in just the one direction. These are the fundamental differences in how Councillors Sharman, Meed Ward and Craven see their jobs.

The older members of the population are content with leaving everything in the hands of the politicians – that was their experience and they are comfortable with that approach.

There is a younger generation that doesn’t buy into that top down approach. They are comfortable with searching out their own information and will debate with their council member.

The two groups in ward 5 who were very unhappy with the way their Council member represented them with the sewer back up problems that did serious damage to their homes made their views known frequently.  They didn’t believe they were being heard and went off on their own.

Sharman for his part was very sincere in his efforts to do something for his constituents – it was a matter of very different operational styles. Sharman prefers command – the residents prefer collaboration – not Mr. Sharman’s strong point.

Meed Ward has invited residents to participate in a series of workshops that will see major downtown land owners, city staff, businesses and residents meet to discuss the future of their downtown.

Big on providing services. Political enough to be on the winning side?

Meed Ward used up her postage budget for the year in her first three months as a Council member.  Her style is to get information out to people.

What Meed Ward has managed to do is pull the people who own the land into the discussion – let them hear what residents would like to see. The smarter developers listen to residents and bring them on side – it does away with loud, noisy contentious public meetings.

The Molinaro’s learned the hard way with their Brock Street condominium that it is better to work with residents than fight them. When they moved forward with their Fairview Road – five tower – Paradigm project they worked with the community and with the residents – guess what – no noisy contentious public meetings.

The ADI Development Group decided from the GetGo that they would bull their way through the city planning department and city council and get themselves before the OMB where they think they have a better chance of getting a 28 storey tower on a plot of land less than an acre in size approved.  They just might be right.

Meed Ward arranged for a public meeting on the expansion and significant upgrade to Brant Square Plaza. The project met all the zoning requirements; they could have asked for more height but chose not to.

Meed Ward takes the view that all the decisions and as much information as possible should be run by the citizens. Petty power politics isn’t her game.

The workshops will allow participants to provide input into what they think the downtown should look like in the future.

The first workshop takes place on May 13 at Burlington Lion’s Club Hall beginning at 7 p.m. and will have city planners sharing information about existing city policies and what’s up for review.

Participants will also start to map out principles around design, compatibility, height, density, heritage, jobs, and more.


Citizens at a public budget meeting – they get to comment – they don’t get to demand that changes be made.  The meetings are more of a public relations exercise.

“Residents want to be involved in downtown development early on,” said Meed Ward. “This approach brings together all stakeholders to collectively and collaboratively shape the future of our downtown.”

Seating is limited for the May 13 workshop. For more information and to register, please contact Georgie Gartside, Assistant to Councillors, at or 905-335-7600, ext. 7368.

This is an approach that most of Burlington doesn’t benefit from – with the exception of Councillor Taylor who has a long standing working relationship with his community.

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Halton public school board learns that elementary school teachers could strike on May 11th

Newsflash 100By Walter Byj

May 6, 2015


Although by the usual standards, it was a quick meeting with the public adjournment at 8:35 pm., the potential fireworks was announce by Director of Education David Eaule near the end.

Small click here - blackHe stated that he was in possession of a copy of a letter that was sent to the Minister of Education, Liz Sandals and Michael Barrett, (President of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association) that was sent by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.

The letter stated that EFTO was giving 5 days notice for a possible strike in Halton elementary schools beginning May 11th.

At this time there is no indication of the type of strike, possibility a work to rule or walkout. Director Euale stated that there would more substantial information either on Thursday or Friday.board

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Haudenosaunee Clans…Extended Families of the Iroquois exhibit opens at Crawford Lake

theartsBy Staff

May 5, 2015


Crawford Lake Conservation Area is featuring the artwork and writings of talented Tuscarora artist Raymond R. Skye. The exhibit, titled Haudenosaunee Clans…Extended Families of the Iroquois opens today, Tuesday, May 5 and will be on display 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily until June 30, 2015 in the newly built Deer Clan Longhouse.

Raymond Skye

Raymond Skye

The exhibit will engage guests in a rich experience combining art, video, and hands-on elements to build understanding of the heritage and clans of the Haudenosaunee people. Imagine standing in a modern longhouse, listening to the lyrical poetry of the book The Great Law Kayaneren’ko:wa as written and narrated in English by Metis author David Bouchard, and in Mohawk by Six Nations of the Grand River community member, Frank Miller. The powerful words are accompanied by the visual feast of Raymond’s artworks.

Tim Johnson, Associate Director for Museum Programs, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington and New York had this to say about Skyes’s work:

“The value of Raymond Skye’s artistry is immeasurable. In an information age where ideas and influences are transferred around the globe at the speed of light, it is vitally important that distinct cultures and nations have in place powerful and sustainable mechanisms for their preservation. As an earnest and life-long student and teacher of Haudenosaunee culture, Ray’s contributions to his heritage are numerous and exceptional.

His art documents the primary narratives of Haudenosaunee origin, emergence, and history, enveloping substance within imagery that informs cultural awareness and inspires the people to forever remember. The presence of an artist like Raymond Skye in our community and nation is not only invaluable, it is essential!”

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Cherry blossom trees in Spencer Smith park burst into bloom - winter is over.

Event 100By Staff

May 5, 2015


On May 12, 1989, Mayor Roly Bird signed a twinning agreement with Mayor Kurihara of Itabashi, Japan.

Cherry Blossom aisle

Many Burlington visitors see the rows of cherry blossom trees as a bridal arch. The trees were a gift from Japan.

As a result of that agreement two rows of Sakura Cherry Blossom trees have grown in Spencer Smith Park.

On Saturday, May 9, 2015, 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Burlington, Lakeshore Room the public is invited to the Sakura Cherry Blossom Festival.

The Japanese look forward to the annual bloom of the sakura tree as it is the premier sign of spring in Japan and blossom viewing parties are organized by companies, departments, neighborhoods and families.


Japanese taiko drum demonstration, with Burlington’s own Do Kon Daiko drum group

Koto performance and hands on demo by members of Kiri Koto Ensemble

Japanese dancing performed by Suzuran Odori Dancers

Martial arts displays from Burlington’s Shudokan Family Karate.

A presentation outlining the history of the sakura, both in Japan and here in Burlington

Cherry Blossom trees

Each year, usually in May, the trees blossom adding to the splendor of |Spencer Smith Park

Burlington’s sakura trees are located in Spencer Smith Park, near the gazebo and the pier

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Burlington Mural project looking for artists to do one mural in each ward - decent funding available.

theartsBy Staff

May 4, 2015


Art – mural art to be specific – is going totally local. If you don’t reside in Burlington – you don’t get considered.

The City’s Public Art program has been massaging this idea for a while now – calling it the Burlington Mural Project, it is designed to tell local stories using local artists.

Murals - Toronto soldiers

This mural is on a store wall in Scarborough.

Intended as an annual program, it will commission small to medium-scale murals throughout the city. These commissions are open exclusively to Burlington, Ontario artists. There will be free professional development opportunities offered to assist artists with the application process and project development.

Six murals (one mural per ward) will be commissioned in Year 1 of the program. Commissions will range in value from $2,500 – $12,000 depending on the scale and complexity of the project.

The locations for the murals were selected through a public process. Residents were asked to submit mural locations and themes (via an online and in-person survey). 333 location suggestions were received, resulting in 114 unique locations. Locations that are not selected in Year 1 will remain on file for subsequent years of the program.

Applications can be found on the Calls for Artists page

The public art program hosted a ‘Murals 101’ workshop on April 25, 2015, which featured Karin Eaton, Executive Director of Mural Routes and mural artist Allan Bender in a lively discussion about contemporary mural making.

Mural - Flat Iron Bldg Toronto

This mural is at the rear of the Flat Iron building on Front Street in downtown Toronto

They discussed a variety of mural techniques and materials using real life case studies. A copy of the powerpoint presentation and additional notes are available on the Public Art website.

The applications are due on June 8th

Application Review Sessions will take place on May 25-26, for those who need help preparing an application to the Burlington Mural Program? The Public Art Managers are hosting a free application review session on May 25-26. Book a one-on-one session (20-30 minutes) to review a draft of your application and receive constructive feedback.

These sessions are open to all artists who are actively preparing an application to the Burlington Mural Program. Attendance will be voluntary and appointments must be booked in advance. To book an appointment please contact: Kim Selman, or 905-548-0111

There are a wide variety of resources related to mural production, installation and conservation online. The Public Art program managers have complied a list of useful resources that may be helpful when preparing an application.

The project is being managed by Cobalt Connects – they are looking at a possible ten year program but add that it will probably be more like five years.

Five murals in each ward of the city might be a little over the top’

It will be interesting to see what comes in in the way of ideas.

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The first responders - the men and women who are at your door when there is an emergency- they need you to do your part.

Halton’s Emergency responders kick off Emergency Preparedness Week at First Responder’s Day celebration

News 100 redBy Staff

May 2, 2015


The only time an emergency matters – is when that emergency is on your doorstep – and far too often that is just a little too late.
Being prepared – without getting bent out of shape is what the Region is promoting with the emergency responders events planned for the  celebration of First Responder’s Day and kick off the 2015 Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week -May 3 to 9.

This year’s Emergency Preparedness Week theme is: I am Ready. We are Ready.


Back row (left to right): Firefighter Kevin Dudek, Captain Trevor Edmond, Firefighter Mano Kruger, Firefighter Alex Shipley, Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner, Halton Paramedic Services Deputy Chief Christine Barber, Oakville Fire Department Deputy Chief Brian Durdin, Regional Chair, Gary Carr Front Row (from left to right): Zerezghi Haile, Raine Montgomery (age 9), Andrea Montgomery, Jayden Montgomery (age 7), Don Goshgarian

“Community safety remains a top priority for Halton Region and I would like thank all of Halton’s first responders for their ongoing efforts and for helping to keep Halton the safest community in Canada,” said Regional Chair, Gary Carr.
“This year’s Emergency Preparedness Week theme serves as a great reminder that emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. I ask all our residents to reach out to others who may be vulnerable or unable to support themselves during an emergency, including family, friends and neighbours.”
Reaching out to others means knowing your neighbours and letting them know about you.
The Province of Ontario designated May 1 as First Responders’ Day to celebrate the sacrifices and hard work of First Responders who have devoted their lives to public service. Emergency Preparedness Week is a national awareness initiative that encourages residents to take steps to be prepared for a range of emergencies. It aims to raise awareness of the three key steps to being prepared for an emergency:

Step 1: Know the hazards and risks in your area;
Step 2: Make a plan to protect your family in the event of an emergency; and
Step 3: Get an Emergency Go-Kit so that you and your family are self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.

Do you think that you could survive for 72 hours in the home you live in now? Do you have what you need? Think what would happen if you were suddenly told that you could not leave your home for the next three days due to some catastrophe?
For more information on instructions and what should be included in the emergency kits you should have. You do have one – don’t you?

In photo
Back row (left to right): Firefighter Kevin Dudek, Captain Trevor Edmond, Firefighter Mano Kruger, Firefighter Alex Shipley, Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner, Halton Paramedic Services Deputy Chief Christine Barber, Oakville Fire Department Deputy Chief Brian Durdin, Regional Chair, Gary Carr

Front Row (from left to right): Zerezghi Haile, Raine Montgomery (age 9), Andrea Montgomery, Jayden Montgomery (age 7), Don Goshgarian

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Touch a truck - the kids love this kind of thing.

Event 100By Staff

May 2, 2015


It will be the weekend when the gardeners go nut2 – the 23rd and 24th of May. They will be flooding the gardening stores and working away in their gardens – and if there is a parent that is a gardener the kids are going to have to fend for themselves.

Public works equipment

The kids like getting up close to this kind of heavy equipment. It’s an inexpensive day out for a family.

How about getting out and Touching a-Truck? Each year the city holds a celebration for National Public Works Week – public works people are the men and women who fix the pot holes, shovel the snow and clean the catch basins – the unsung heroes who keep the wheels of the city going around.

Small click here - blackAnyone who has nothing better to do is invited to the city’s roads and park maintenance facility to get an up-close look at a variety of city vehicles.

At the Touch-a-Truck event, families are invited to:

– Get close to city vehicles, including a fire truck, street sweeper, and
– Sit in a backhoe simulator to experience what it’s like to be a driver
– Enjoy a free barbeque (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

So come on out to this year’s Touch-a-Truck event and get a unique look into our city vehicles. Saturday,
May 23, join the City of Burlington for the third annual Touch a truck event
11:00 AM – 02:00 PM
Burlington Roads and Parks Maintenance Facility
3330 Harvester Road
Burlington, Ontario, L7N 3M8

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Is it the parents who need sex education?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

May 1, 2015


Was Dr. Benjamin Spock the father of us all? His ‘Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care,’ published simultaneously with the birth of the first postwar baby boomers, set the path for child development for my generation and, at least, for the one that followed. Spock held that sex-education, including its spiritual aspects, should be part of a broad health and moral education, from kindergarten through the end of high school, ideally carried out harmoniously by parents and teachers.

Sex education pictureIsn’t that exactly what the updated provincial sex-ed curriculum is trying to do? Spock has his detractors but there have been scores of pedagogical disciples who mostly followed in his footsteps and adhered to his general principles. And after a couple of generations it is hard to criticize what we have grown to know and appreciate.

Of course the ‘spare-the-rod’ clan, and those newer-Canadians who were steeped in a traditional authoritarian family cult, object to what they see as the self-actualizing child. They consider sex-education, any of it, an insult and a case of the state interfering in their personal lives. Some hold, and others worry, that what they call ‘juvenile permissiveness’ will lead to a more violent and sexually perverted society, even if the numbers don’t support that linkage.

But the elephant-in-the-room is whether sex-education encourages sex? Spock and his disciples argue that the more children learn about sexuality from authoritative sources (parents, teachers, accurate literature), the less they will feel compelled to find out for themselves. We’re talking about where they get their facts (friends, violent movies, the internet, sexting or worse).

G. W. Bush ushered in an era in US education where sex-education became nothing more than preaching abstinence. A decade later, the results have been shown to be dismal, at best. In the US there are 750,000 teen pregnancies each year, 82% unintended, and almost 60% percent of these result in children bearing children. The rest of the teen pregnancies are either aborted or were miscarried. And then there are the sexually transmitted diseases.

Obama overturned Bush’s failed initiative, and now the US only funds programs which have been proven effective at reducing teen pregnancy, delaying sexual activity, or increasing contraceptive use. Abstinence, no doubt, remains a topic of discussion within these comprehensive sex-education programs, but their primary purpose is to prevent negative sexual health outcomes.

Ontario’s new sex-education curriculum is to be implemented starting this September, which will land it just in time for the expected federal election this autumn. Some pundits have speculated that this might be a factor among voters who are unable to distinguish between federal and provincial policies and responsibilities.

Birds and the bees

For many parents talking about sex is just not something they can do – a classroom can provide the information young people need – we cheat them if we fail to inform them.

I recall canvassing, when I ran provincially in Burlington, and being accosted by voters angry over the implementation of the federal long-gun registry at that time. So that should be a consideration for the Liberal leaders. Though, the push-back on the curriculum is coming mainly from the religious-right, who identify mainly with the Conservative party anyway. And then there are the new Canadians who often find common ground with the Tories on this issue.

Of course if the parents could all be trusted to objectively teach their kids the essentials about sex, this might not even be an issue. But they don’t, do they? How many parents take the time or have the courage to discuss sex in the context of a modern diverse society – and beyond the elementary birds and bees?

Parents have no prepared curriculum and generally no training. And even if they did, the topic is likely way too personal for most of them to handle it in an objective and balanced manner. Kids find their way through the internet, on the streets or in somebody’s recreation room when the parents are still at work.

As for those angry, complaining parents who think they know better than professional educators and psychologists, the apple usually falls near the tree. Tolerance and respect for others is as important in sexuality as the lessons on anatomy, I would think – but what do I know.

I’m an economist, went to a one-room school, was raised on a farm and I got my education out behind the barn.

Background links:

Notable Quotes Dr. Spock       How Dr. Spock Destroyed America      

Effectiveness of Sex-Ed Programs       Teen Sources of Sex Information      Anti-Sex Ed Coalition

Wynne and the Federal Election   Conservative Protests    Canadian Pregnancies


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.

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Population shifts suggest there might be some consolidation, especially at the public elementary school level

News 100 redBy Walter Byj

May 1, 2015


While some parts of the Halton region are experiencing high growth spurts, others have remained stable. In one part of the Region, schools need to be built to accommodate the growing population while others areas face shrinking school populations. This is the case for a number of areas in established geographical areas of Burlington.

For elementary schools, Burlington has 10 areas that are identified by an ERA -Elementary Review Area – (remember the acronym – it gets used frequently) number and capacity is measured by OTG – on the ground – (same with this one) seats that do not include portables. Each of these areas has their unique situations.

ERA 100 (Aldershot and Tyandaga) is in western Burlington and is represented by Aldershot Elementary, Glenview King’s Road and Maplehurst, the utilization of the totality of the schools is in the 63% to 68% range and will remain so for the next 10 years. Aldershot Elementary is currently at 46% and will continue at that rate for the next 10 years while King’s Road will decline from 66% in 2014 to 52% by 2024.Maplehurst is currently at 71% while Glenview stands at 93% for the current year.

Small click here - blackThe enrolment should be somewhat consistent for the next 10 years with a potential uptick for Glenview pending the development of the northern Aldershot community north of the QEW.

Central High school

Central High School enrollment is expected to increase

ERA 101(Downtown) covers the downtown core of Burlington and includes Burlington Central, Central Lakeshore and Tom Thomson schools The overall utilization rate is currently 91% and should remain in that area for the next 10 years. The number is highly influenced by Tom Thomson which in reality is overcapacity as it has 10 portables (mainly due to French Immersion) and will continue their use for the next 10 years. Burlington Central is at 65% currently and is projected to increase to 73% by 2024. Central is at 84% and projected to fall to 72% by 2024. Lakeshore should grow from its current 63% to 73% in 2024.

Tecumseh Public school

Tecumseh is in an area where several schools have gone beyond their built capacity.

ERA 102 (Roseland and Shoreacres) is bound by Guelph Line to the west, Appleby to the east with the QEW to the north and the lake to the south. It includes John Tuck, Pauline Johnson, Ryerson and Tecumseh. This area has a utilization rate of 88% which will drop to 77% in the following 10 years. Both Tuck (134%) and Pauline Johnson (117%) are over overcapacity and currently rely on portables to accommodate students. By 2024, Tuck is projected at 107% and Pauline Johnson at 110%. Ryerson currently is at 49% and is expected to grow to 53% by 2024. Much of this growth will come from phasing in the gifted program from Charles R. Beaudoin. Tecumseh will drop from the current 57% capacity to 51% by 2024.

It should be noted that there are no French immersion classes in this area as the students attend either Tom Thomson or Pineland.


Enrollment at Mohawk is expected to decline going forward.

ERA 103 (Appleby) covers the area between Appleby line and Burloak with the QEW to the north and the lake at the south. There are three schools in this area, Frontenac, Mohawk Gardens and Pineland and has an overall utilization rate of 78% which will remain steady to 2024. Mohawk has a rate of 71% but this is expected to drop to 63% by 2024. Frontenac, at 56% is expected to grow to 76% by 2024. This will mainly be due to Pineland becoming a French Immersion school with the English stream moving in some part to Frontenac or Mohawk. Pineland, at 111% is well over capacity and has six portable to cover the overflow. As the transition to a French Immersion school only continues, the utilization rate will slowly decrease to 88% by 2024.

ERA 104 & 105 (Brant Hills, Headon and Tyandaga) is bounded by Dundas to the north and Upper Middle to the south with Walker’s Line being the eastern boundary. The four schools in this area are Brant Hills, Bruce T. Lindley, CH Norton and Paul A. Fisher and have a current utilization rate of 87% which will decline to 76% by 2024. Brant Hills has the lowest utilization rate at 59% and is projected to drop to 57% in 2024. Bruce T. Lindley is healthy at 93% and will remain stable for the next 10 years and is projected to be 89% in 2024. C.H. Norton is healthy at 91% but will slide to 73% in 2024, while Paul A. Fisher is currently at and will remain in the low 60 percentile for the next 10 years.

ERA 106 (Mountainview and Palmer) holds four schools with highway 407 on the west, Walkers on the east with Upper Middle on the north and the QEW to the south. The utilization rate for this area is 87% and should fall to 76% by 2024. Although each school currently has a strong utilization number, they will each experience decreasing numbers in the upcoming years as follows;

Clarksdale – 94% to 77% (2024)
Dr. Charles Best – 92% to 84% (2024)
Rolling Meadows – 78% to 68% (2024)
Sir E. Macmillan – 96% to 77% (2024)

ERA 107 (Millcroft) has two schools, (Charles R. Beaudoin and Florence Meares) and is between Walkers Line and Appleby and Dundas to the north and the QEW to the south. This area is currently at 105%, but is expected to drop to 86% by 2024. Charle R. Deaudoin will drop from its current 114% to 80% in 2024 while Florence Meares will drop from 95% to 91% during the same time period.

ERA 108 (Orchard) contains three schools (Alexander’s, John William Boich and Orchard Park) and lies between Appleby and Bronte and Dundas to the north and the QEW to the south. This area is currently at 115% of OTG and will slowly decline to 93% by 2024. Both J.W. Boich and Orchard Park are over utilized and will continue until 2024. Alexanders, which is currently at 119% is expected to drop to 70% by 2024.

Alton Village sign

The public school in Alton is already beyond capacity; Hayden High School is now operating with all the high school grades.

ERA 109 (Alton) has one school, Alton Village, and is bound by the 407 to the north, Dundas to the south and Walkers to the west and Tremaine to the east. This school is over utilized at 124% and this could rise to 153% by 2024.

ERA 110 (Rural Burlington) has one school also, Kilbride, and has a current OTG of 77% which will drop to 73% by 2024.

These numbers reflect a bleak future for some of the elementary schools in Burlington. Forecasting is not an exact science, but unless Burlington has a major change in its population makeup Burlington might be looking at some consolidation.


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Police end long investigation into sexual abuse - charge now retired school teacher.

Crime 100By Staff

April 30, 2015


The Halton Regional Police Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Bureau have completed an investigation into allegations of historical sexual assault against a now retired school teacher.

It is alleged that the accused was teaching at Fairview Public School in the City of Burlington over the years 1969-1975 and sexually assaulted a male student during that time.

David COTTERELL, 67 years, of West Grey, Ontario has been charged with Indecent Assault on a Male, scheduled to appear in court on May 20, 2015.

Police encourage anyone with information related to this investigation to contact Detective Constable Wendy Clayton at the Halton Regional Police, CASA Bureau – 905 825 4747 Ext 8970 or

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