Daytime residential break and enters in Aldershot community

Crime 100By Staff

April 16, 2015


On Wednesday April 15th 2015 between 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM, unknown culprit(s) broke into two separate homes on Glenwood Avenue in Burlington (Aldershot Community)

Culprit(s) broke a small glass door window at the rear of each home which allowed them to reach inside to unlock the door and gain entry into the home.

Once inside, culprits ransacked various areas of the home stealing cash and jewellery.

Anyone who may have observed any suspicious persons and/or vehicles in the area are asked to contact Det. Ellie Bale of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Residential Crime Team at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2312 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Police would like to remind the public to remain vigilant in spotting and reporting any activity that appear suspicious.

The Halton Regional Police Service offers the following crime prevention tips to help reduce your chance of becoming victimized:

Lock your valuables in a safety deposit box.
• Install a loud audible house alarm.
• Secure your safes and lock boxes to the floor.
• Be cautious when allowing people you don’t know into your home.
• Report any suspicious behaviour to police.
• Keep a detailed inventory of your jewellery including photographs. This will assist officers in the event your property is stolen.
• Check with your insurance company to ensure you have adequate coverage for your valuables.
• If you encounter someone in your home, DO NOT CONFRONT THEM. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

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Head of the culture and heritage in Grande Prairie coming to Burlington to lead the AGB - wait till he sees the cost of a house in this city.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 7, 2015


The Art Gallery of Burlington announced today that they have appointed Robert Steven as its new President & CEO. Mr. Steven will assume his new post on 4 May 2015.

In a media release the AGB said: “The Board of Directors was looking for a very special leader who is capable of taking the Art Gallery of Burlington to the profile appropriate for the home of Canada’s largest collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics and to the level of community engagement that will best contribute to the quality of life of this city and region.

Robert Steven

Robert Steven appointed as President and CEO of the Art Gallery of Burlington.

We have found that leader in Robert Steven,” said Sandra Edrupt, Chair of the AGB Board. “We value Steven’s strategic business mind and believe that he can build synergy from our unique identity as both an art gallery and the home to the guilds of Arts Burlington.”

One of only 50 Canadian alumni of the prestigious Getty Museum Leadership Institute in Los Angeles, Steven’s educational background includes a Master of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto and a Fine Arts degree from the University of Waterloo.

Steven currently manages the Culture and Heritage Department of the City of Grande Prairie, where he oversees the City’s various cultural and heritage infrastructure and investments, including the three branches of the municipal museum. He caught the attention of the City of Grande Prairie, and now the Board of the Art Gallery of Burlington, through his impressive leadership of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, an organization that he transformed, expanded, professionalized, and modernized over his seven and one-half years of service as both its Executive Director and Curator.

His successes in Grande Prairie led to his recognition with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Premier of Alberta in 2012 and the Alberta Venture Magazine’s selection of him as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People for 2013.

Originally from Ontario, Steven’s earlier professional arts experience included rapidly increasing authority and responsibility at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery during a period of significant growth and change from 2001 to 2006. This encompassed roles as Preparator, Collections Management Project Manager, and Registrar.


Dennis Longchamps joined the AGB as Chief Curator. Dr. Longchamps also heads collections and educational programming

“Combining Robert’s strong arts executive and municipal leadership experience, with the strength of our Chief Curator, Dr. Denis Longchamps, who also heads collections and educational programming, we will have the leadership team that we need to take the Art Gallery of Burlington to the next level,” said Edrupt.

Many thought Longchamps would succeed Ian Ross who left the President and CEO role at the gallery on rather short notice after a 20+ year stint.

Kim Varian who led development for the AGB also left the gallery to work with her husband on the family business. Varian will continue with the AGB in a consulting and support capacity.

Grande Prairie has a population of 55,000+;median age is 30; average income is in the $126,000 range; a two bedroom apartment comes in at $1,115 a month – and here is the shocker for Steven – average house price is in the $316,000

Swarbrick at Womens International

Anne Swarbrick will now try retirement for the third or fourth time. It is not something she is very good at.

All this means that Anne Swarbrick, who was serving as the interim President and CEO can now return to what must be her third attempt at retirement

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What's On? - now you can find out.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 7, 2015


It isn’t the kind of graphic you can miss.

We wanted it big and bright to draw your attention to the Gazette’s newest reader feature.

WO dark blueWhile the words What’s On! aren’t unique – the concept was to create a place where whatever is going on in this city is posted.

In a recent survey we asked readers what else they wanted to see – more than 87% of the respondents said they wanted more information on what is happening in the city.

Our editorial staff will be putting in some of the information – anyone else can also add an event.

The feature is moderated – which means we see whatever is suggested and moderate it to ensure that it is “appropriate” and that the information is correct.

It will take a bit of time for people to get used to the feature and to follow the steps needed to complete an entry.

The feature will be useful for people who want to plan an event in the future but don’t want to conflict with some other event. All they have to do is scroll forward and see if there is a conflict.

There are some 400 events in the list – not all have been posted yet.

While this is a free service it is not meant for commercial operations too abuse.

In the very near future you will see information that is sponsored – which gives advertisers an opportunity to support an organization that is commercial in nature.

Services like this work if people comment on what is and what isn’t working. Please – comment and don’t be shy. We dish it out – we can take it.

Just don’t sue us – OK!

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Province to publish graduation rates: Halton Board released numbers yesterday.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 2, 2014


Ontario’s provincial high school graduation rate has increased again, with more students gaining the skills and knowledge they need to thrive and prosper.

The rate of students graduating within five years of starting high school was 84 per cent in 2014, which is 16 percentage points higher than the 2004 rate of 68 per cent. The percentage of students graduating in four years is 76 per cent, an increase of 20 percentage points since 2004, when it was only 56 per cent.

Since 2004, approximately 163,000 more students have graduated than would have if the graduation rate had remained at the 2004 level.
The provincial government is going to publishing school board level graduation rates from across the province. Ensuring parents, students, teachers and boards have access to consistent data will help inform efforts to improve students’ success.

It is difficult to fathom how publishing the graduation rate is going to help a student. It might help parents push their boards to improve the performance on teachers in high schools – seems like an expenditure that doesn’t need to be made.

The idea of sending anyone out in the world with anything less than a high school education is close to criminal. The only way to earn a living without a high school education is to steal or sell drugs – which is of course what far too many of them end up doing.

It would help too if the provincial government could work to create an economy that resulted in jobs for those who do graduate.

HDSB grad rates over 5 yr

Graduation rate for students who took five years to complete high school.

The Halton District School Board does keep graduation statistics. The Gazette education reporter Walter Byj will be reporting on this soon.

The graph below shows the rate of change for students who took five years to complete their high school education

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Spring GreenUp - Clean up registration now open.

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 1, 2015


It is close, you can almost feel it – but it isn’t here yet – is it?

The warm weather doesn’t have to be here to get BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association, in partnership with the City of Burlington, getting the word out on their annual event.

BG clean up graphicCitizens, schools, churches, community groups and businesses can participate in this year’s Community Clean Up Green Up events taking place from 9:00 to noon on Saturday April 25th and Saturday May 30th, 2015.

Since 2010, the city-wide clean-up efforts have collectively realized the retrieval and proper disposal of more than 10,000 kg (10 tonnes) of litter, with a record high of 13,500 participants in 2013 who registered to do their part to help make Burlington’s parks, streams, school yards, and neighbourhoods cleaner and greener.

Registration for this year’s events is NOW OPEN on the Burlington Green website

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Police will be out in force over the holiday weekend - enforcing the seat belt law.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 31, 2015


The Easter bunny may do the hip- pity hop thing – that’s not what the Halton Regional police are going to be doing – and they will not be handing out Easter eggs either – although the idea if Chief Tanner handing out coloured eggs does have some public relations appeal.

During the Easter long weekend the Halton Regional Police Service will be participating in the Spring 2015 Provincial Seatbelt Campaign
The campaign will run from Friday, the 3rd of April 2015 to Monday, the 6th of April 2015.

Police cruiser New_look

Expect almost every vehicle in the Halton Regional Police Service fleet to be out on the road over the Easter weekend. If you’re seen without a seat belt – $240 ticket.

Road users should be prepared to experience much higher volumes of traffic over the weekend, making it a particularly important weekend for all drivers, passengers and young children to be properly restrained, regardless of the distance to be traveled or anticipated road time.
“A properly worn seat-belt greatly increases the chances of surviving a motor vehicle collision.”

Front line officers, Community Mobilization Unit and District Response Team members will be engaged in targeted enforcement for this important provincial campaign.

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

If you happen to be a little short on points you might get a call from your insurance agent as well.

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Differences of opinion on how to resolve the coyote problem that is getting worse

News 100 redBy Staff

March 29, 2015


The Gazette did not have a reporter at the public meeting last Thursday when the matter of coyotes roaming the parks and ravines of the city was the major issue.

A few days after the meeting we got the following from a resident:

I was walking my dog at 11:30 along the paved trail connecting Burloak to Appleby line. A large Coy wolf was walking along the trail on its own. Clearly was not afraid of me and my large black lab which seemed small compared to this animal. Did not expect this at this time of the day and clearly it was not afraid of us.

I warned a lone jogger who turned and decided to jog in the opposite direction. During the winter I came across a number of rabbits that were being fed on as well. There is a danger from these animals. Clearly the city needs to do something about this.


A coyote sensing field mice beneath the snow prepares to pounce.

Glenda Dodd, a Hager Street resident did attend the meeting at Central arena and sent in the following;

“I would like to make comment on the resounding applause I received from people in attendance. It was for my objection to the proposed bylaw and the fact it is a difficult bylaw to enforce. The stand I took was that Improper Garbage Disposal is what should be controlled. The fact I received such overwhelming response to my remarks is the reason for this e-mail and request that you pay heed to what the people said by their applause.

“I know surrounding areas have “no feeding bylaws” but what good are they if in the meeting it was acknowledged that coyotes are a problem everywhere because of urban expansion. Why have a bylaw if it is already proven to be ineffective in our surrounding cities.

“A number in attendance, because of their personal encounters are now fearful of using their back yards, parks or having evening walks with their dogs, they were looking for more response about what is being done to remove coyote population.


Coyote den with pups.

Dodd adds: “Across from my house in the wee hours, I have seen a coyote walk up our street past the apartment building through the parking lot to the Hydro right of way. According to people who walk dogs, there is a coyote den not far from my area (I’m assuming from their description that it could be somewhere around or past Grahams Lane). I have not walked the area to find it.

Because of this proximity I feel as familiar as anyone in the City to speak regarding Coyotes and the proposed by law.  I strongly object to the proposed By-Law regarding feeding of animals.

“That is what they wanted, not a bylaw forbidding feeding. Whether there is a bylaw or not, if anyone suspects coyotes are being fed, a field observation would have to be made in order to apprehend whoever is doing and bylaw or not, if they really wanted to do such a thing would just become more evasive and discreet.

“I truly believe that instead of trying to redefine what a nuisance animal means the bylaw idea should be dropped altogether. Concentrate on something that can be enforced, like garbage and yard waste accumulation that houses mice and rats.

“We do not need a paint brush bylaw…Canada Geese and Seagulls are a specific problem then do what Midland did and enact a bylaw to prohibit the “Feeding of Canada Geese and Seagulls”

“As you admit, (Dodd is referring to either the Bylaw enforcement officer or the Mayor) it would be difficult to enforce such a bylaw, so why have it, to use in a worst case scenario, please. My comment was about not needing what was presented, that is what was approved via the applause I received. What the people wanted to know was what are you doing about the coyotes, they want them removed, not a nuisance feeding bylaw.

Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven, in an email response to Dodd said: “There was no “resounding applause.”
“What I heard was that people want support for the coyote problem. A wildlife feeding bylaw is a reasonable next step.

Councillor Craven may have felt his McMAster jacket would ward off some negative comment.  Don't think it did - every member of Council had their ears bent by the 125 people who showed up at the Mainway Arena SAturday afternoon.

Councillor Craven will often dress for the occasion.  In a previous public meeting he chose to wear his McMaster jacket.

“Yes, it would be difficult to enforce such a bylaw, but it would probably only be done on an exception basis to deal with the worst case scenarios. i.e. the gentleman in Tyandaga who is feeding the Canada geese in Fairchild Park to the point of damaging the park grass and attracting rodents….upsetting his neighbours.”

Unfortunately, the draft bylaw that was proposed does not appear to be on the city’s web site. We will work at digging this out and continue the discussion.

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Police warning Facebook users to screen new friend requests; aren't parents already doing this?

Crime 100By Staff

March 27, 2015


Police are urging Facebook users to be cautious when accepting new friend requests from persons they don’t know.

There have been several recent reports of Facebook users accepting friend requests from persons of the opposite gender. The new friend will then engage in on-line conversation with a goal of moving the conversation to a video chat using Skype.

Once on Skype, the new friend will engage the user in conversation of a sexual nature and ultimately have the user display themselves nude which the new friend records without the users’ knowledge. The recording will then be used to extort money from the Facebook user as the new friend will threaten to post it on all of the users friends’ accounts and on YouTube unless the user pays them a sum of money.

Anyone who has encountered this scenario is encouraged to report it to your local police AND the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by phone at 1-888-495-8501, fax at 1-888-654-9426 or online at

You can protect yourself by carefully screening new friend requests, especially ones from the opposite gender.

If you do accept new friends where the conversation turns to one of a sexual nature and you are asked to do a video chat, you are being set up to be extorted. Should this occur, you are encouraged cease all communication with that user, unfriend them and report the account to Facebook.

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Secondary school strike not likely before end of this school year; fees for use of school space increase by 1.36%

News 100 blueBy Walter Byj

March 26, 2015


Following a passionate speech by delegate Peter Schuler, an aboriginal member of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the council unanimously voted to name the newest school in Oakville as Oodenawi Public School.

Oodenawi , the Ojibway translation for community, was chosen as an acknowledgement that the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation were the original inhabitants of the area now known as Halton.

The new Milton school will be called Boyne Public School which reflected the area where the school is located. Both school naming were unanimously approved.

An updated Student Trustee Policy recommendation was passed – more on that later in the week.
The balance of the school board meeting could be referred to as the “Gerry Cullen Show “the Superintendent of Facility Services presented a number of reports to the board.

The school board makes many of its facilities available through a rental permit process to the community. In Halton, as a result of a unique relationship with the board and the municipalities, the four municipalities are the primary tenants of the schools and through the parks and recreational departments they rent out the space. For the upcoming year, the rental rates will rise slightly by 1.36%.

This sparked a number of questions by the trustees. With the expansion of childcare/daycare centres at Halton schools, trustees Harvey Hope (Oakville) and Reynolds (Burlington) asked if usage of gyms as a recreation facility were being usurped by daycare usage. Superintendent Cullen assured the board that this is not a major concern as schools usually work out the problem within the school.

Trustee Gray (Halton Hills) asked if the board has any influence as to how parks and recreation rents out the space and if youth programs get their fair share of usage. Superintendent Cullen assured the board that parks and recreation are concerned with recreational activity feels that they are doing a decent job in renting out space.

Part of the massive gym set up in the Haber Recreation Centre

Part of the massive gym set up in the Haber Recreation Centre – space is rented out by the city of Burlington Parks and Recreation department

David Euale, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board is paid roughly what the Burlington city manager earns.

David Euale, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board is paid roughly what the Burlington city manager earns.  He retires in August

The city of Burlington has in the past had difficulty with all the paperwork involved in reconciling who used what when and where the funds received for use of the space is sent. For some Burlington Parks and Recreation staff – the paperwork was taking up far too much staff time.
Director of Education Eaule, who retires in August, brought the trustees up to date on the potential of a secondary school strike in Halton.

He explained that regulations in place do not allow a local board to negotiate with the Ontario secondary Schools Teachers Federation (OSSTF) until given a date by the ministry of Education. Late in February the Board and OSSTF agreed on nine meeting dates for the months of March, April and May. The dates are as follows;

March 4th 25th
April 1st, April 8th, April 15th, April 22nd,
May 6th, May 12th, May 14th

Those dates suggest there is no likelihood of a strike at the secondary level before school is out for the summer and Director Eaule has moved on to retirement.

The Director made no comment on where the negotiations are going or what the major issues are.
Chair Kelly Amos read a letter from a concerned parent who was objecting to the new health and physical education curriculum that will be introduced in September.

Kelly Amos

Chair Kelly Amos read into the record a letter from a parent opposed to the new new health and physical education curriculum curriculum.

Chair Amos said she was asked by the writer to read the letter to the trustees. The name of the author was not disclosed. Chair Amos swill respond to the writer and explained that the board is mandated to deliver the new curriculum.

Director Eaule added that the board will address parent’s concerns by explaining what options are available if they do not want their children attending these classes.

Other trustees added that they too are receiving negative comments from parents in their wards.

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Become more Earth Savvy: Detoxify your life and keep more of your money in your wallet.

Event 100By Staff

March 25, 2015

An ecofriendly non-profit will be meeting at East Plains United Church in Burlington (375 Plains Rd East) starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 to talk about Detoxifying Your Life.

Organic cleansingEarth-Savvy Living: will start with the screening of the short film “Story of Cosmetics” (8 minutes).
Mariah Griffin-Angus of Environmental Defence will lead a discussion on some of the toxic chemicals that we are exposed to in our daily lives and how they can influence our personal and environmental health.

Participants will then learn some easy ways to reduce exposure to these chemicals by making their own personal care and cleaning products through a demonstration led by the Program Coordinator of Halton Green Screens, Heather Govender.

The event will focus on greenwashing, marketing, and easy changes individuals can make to decrease exposure to toxic chemicals.

Each participant will go home with some products that they will make themselves. Participants are asked to come with two small jars and one spray bottle or squeeze bottle.

The event is free and refreshments will be provided.

The evening was made possible through the efforts of East Plains United Church, Hamilton-Burlington KAIROS, Greening Sacred Spaces, IDEA Burlington, and Halton Green Screens.

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Mayor gives certificates of appreciation to boys and girls who raised a record 281,878 pounds of food.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 24, 2015


Boy with red hair Giving back

The red hair and a comb don’t appear to have met very often – but he made his parents proud when he accepted his certificate for taking part in the Gift of Giving Back to the community program that has collected more than 1 million pounds in the past nine years.

In the world of politics it is all about being seen in the right situation at the right time – and if you can control that situation, so much the better.

Kissing babies has always worked – handling out awards to bright faced boys and girls who are playing sports is a very close second.

Last night Mayor Goldring got a chance to hand our certificates to hockey players who took part in the Gift of Giving program that pulled in a record 281,878 pounds of food that is given to local organizations – Salvation Army, Carpenter Hospice, Halton woman are among the recipients.

Boys at Giving Back presentation

While one boy accepts his certificate, a boy in the first row reads what he was given by the Mayor.

The November 2013 total 273,571 lbs of food.

Included in the groups that pulled in all this food were:

Eagle Rep hockey team
Burlington Firefighters
And Nelson High school students

BarracudasLogo cougars logo Eagles - hockey teamravens logoIn the past nine years the Gift of Giving Back to the Community program has topped one million pounds of food.

Some of the boys and girls who were to get certificates were not able to attend.  When the first name got called out with no one responding – there was a short awkward silence; when additional names were read out and no one came forward both the boys and the girls chanted in unison “not here” – they came close to taking the show away from the Mayor.

Mayor Goldring proudly handed out certificates to the boys and girls who trooped into the Council chamber to accept their certificates.

Goldring pointed out that there are 14,000 people (10% of the population) who live below the poverty line.

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Conservation Authority offering courses for new Canadians with foreign trained environmental backgrounds.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 24, 2015


People new to Canada hear the phrase all the time or see the words printed in advertisements – Canadian experience necessary.

When that happens we lose the opportunity to have access to people with skills and talents this country needs.

For a third straight year, Conservation Halton is offering, a training, engagement, and networking opportunity for foreign trained environmental professionals in Halton Region, starting in April.

Halton escarpment - long view up slope

The Region has a geography that is hard to match anywhere else in Ontario. A great place for environmentalists trained in other countries to get experience.

The New Canadians Conservation Course is a six-week certificate workshop series being offered by Conservation Halton for New Canadian immigrants. It is designed to help participants gain valuable, introductory knowledge and enhance their employment, volunteer, and engagement opportunities in the Canadian environmental management sector. Expert speakers will deliver a weekly workshop on topics such as:

• Planning and Environmental Management
• Local Ecology and Biodiversity
• Forestry Management
• Natural Hazards Management and Source Water Protection
• Recreation Management and Risk Assessment
• Governance, Communication and Social Media
• Environmental Education and Outreach

“This is more than just a formal course, it offers a forum to exchange ideas and compare notes on ‘what worked back home’ and what commonality we have between conservation issues and practices here and around the globe. Judging from past experience, there will be no shortage of ideas, networking opportunities, or people with PhDs, who now call Halton home, and are looking to contribute to conservation in Ontario” said Hassaan Basit, Director of Strategic Planning and Communication for Conservation Halton.

Escarpment in the summer - green green

The Region is probably one of the best places in the province for environmentalists to get experience on a wife variety of forests.

“The course also has a second, equally important objective”, continued Basit, “it promotes Conservation Halton’s environmental and recreation programs and services to new and ethnically diverse residents within the watershed.”

Former course participant Junyan Zhang commented, “The Course offered me a broad overview of the various departments at Conservation Halton and what kind of work they do. It introduced me to great people as well as to a variety of conservation topics, regulations, legislation, and Acts I had no clue that existed. It helped me essentially for better career planning and advancement. Thank you!”

Escarpment - outcropping of rock

The Halton Conservation Authority has legislated responsibility for large parts of the Region as well as stewardship of outstanding views.

Spaces in the New Canadians Conservation Course are limited and interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter by Tuesday, April 7, 2015 by e-mail to the course coordinator at, or by mail: New Canadians Coordinator, c/o Conservation Halton, 2596 Britannia Road West, Burlington, ON L7P 0G3.

The course is free except for a registration fee of $15 for candidates who are admitted to the course. Successful participants will receive a certificate of completion at a formal graduation ceremony during the Conservation Halton Awards of Excellence on June 23.  Click for more details: 

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Persian artist, new to Canada, will exhibit and do his art work at the Art Gallery of Burlington

Event 100By Staff

March 20, 2015


Hamed Naseri’s, a geologist from Tehran, in Canada less than a year will be both exhibiting and working on his bold, heavily detailed ink paintings. The detail is quite extraordinary.

Rumi Nebula 2014 AGB

Hamed Naseri’s art is bold, almost daring in its use of colour and at the same time as detailed as the innards of a Swiss watch. Naseri will be exhibiting and doing his work at the Art |Gallery of Burlington.

Naseri draws his inspiration from his life and the world around him. Nature, figures, architecture and the concept of ‘home’ are explored in imaginative realms in his works.

Persian poems are often incorporated into his paintings, occasionally appearing as part of the design. These fine details add to the painting’s narrative, combining traditional stories with vibrant images.

Naseri seeks to immerse viewers in his imagination – to feel the fire, wind and waves. This exhibition marks the one year anniversary of his artistic career.

Hamed Naseri AGB

Hamed Naseri will be doing his art at the Art Gallery of Burlington. Photo Credit of Artist: Chuck Burdick, 2015

A graduate of Geology from Tehran University, Hamed Naseri travelled throughout Iran studying the flora and fauna of the country’s many landscapes. He also observed the kind hospitality of local residents, which lead to his artistic exploration of the question ‘what is a home’?

The artist brought his passion of ink painting to Canada in December of 2014. For Naseri, creating his paintings in public spaces allows him to observe the nature of the city and spaces around him.

As part of the exhibition, he will be working on new pieces in the gallery.

Winds & Waves is at the Art Gallery of Burlington from March 20, 2015 – April 19, 2015 in the RBC Community Gallery

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Spring will have arrived at 6:35 pm - Earth Hour gets celebrated next Saturday - will the Mayor take to a skate board again?

News 100 redBy Staff

March 20, 2015


At 6:35 this evening – spring will have arrived – and while there might be one last bit of a winter blast – the season has changed and we can begin to prepare for summer. Two-four time will be here soon enough; that’s the weekend the gardeners come out in force – not the weekend the hockey fans head for the Beer Store – no reason for Maple Leaf fans to make a weekend of it.

Snow plows 2 Spring 2015

These snow plows are parked for the summer – they certainly got a work out this winter – as did all of us.

One of the first things we get to do in the new season is celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The City of Burlington is encouraging residents and local businesses to participate in Earth Hour by turning off all non-essential lights and appliances for one hour at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28.

Now in its eighth year, the annual lights-out event, organized by the World Wildlife Fund, brings together more than 7,000 communities from around the world to symbolize their commitment to the planet by switching out the lights for one hour.

Ward Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring put their political repitations on the line and stand on skate baords.  Is there one foot on the ground there?

Ward Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring put their political reputations on the line and stand on skate boards.  Will the two of them try that again now that it’s Spring.

“I encourage residents and businesses to take the challenge and power down during Earth Hour,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “Earth Hour is a great reminder about how our actions impact the environment. Through its Corporate Energy Management Plan and Community Energy Plan, the city is committed to looking at how energy is used and generated in the community and where conservation and efficiency measures can be put in place.”

“In 2014, Burlington City Council endorsed the city’s first Community Energy Plan, developed with community groups, agencies and businesses. The plan is a holistic view of how energy is used, conserved, generated and distributed with a focus on how community partners can work together to improve and integrate community energy systems.”

Nice corporate statement – but not much about what the city has actually done in the past year

“The city has been working to put in place an energy management program aimed at saving energy and reducing costs for city facilities. In 2013, the city was awarded the Community Conservation Award by the Ontario Power Authority for its commitment to conservation.”

Commitment is about all we have on the Corporate Energy Management Plan

The people over at the fire department pass along some safety tips to keep in mind if you are one of the people that get into the Earth Hour idea.
When turning off lights in support of Earth Hour, consider these important safety tips:

• Test all smoke alarms to ensure they are working
• Consider using LED candles
• Keep candles away from curtains and decorations, and place in a sturdy container that contains the flame
• Always keep lighters and matches out of reach from children
• Never leave the room when a candle is burning.

The Gazette will drive some of the streets in the city on Saturday to see if the message is getting through.

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David Donnelly, counsel to the Environmental Defense fund and greenbelt math:

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March xx, 2015


Part 2 of a 2 part feature

When David Donnelly gets wound up he is close to a force of nature. His explanations and solutions for saving the environment are those of a driven man.

His mission is to offset the influence, clout and financial muscle of the development community – his current focus is the threat to Ontario’s greenbelt

He is one of those lawyers in the province who does his environmental homework home work and asks the hard but to him very obvious questions.

He formed his law practice in 2008, the year the bottom fell out of the financial world.

Donnelly - on a roll

David Donnelly: a force to be reckoned with once he gets wound up.

He keeps a close eye on the development community and brings 25 years of experience and expertise to his work. During the early March Town Hall meeting held recently in Burlington to rally the troops for the forthcoming public meetings on the Land Use Planning Consultations the province is holding starting late in March.

There will be a meeting in Hamilton on April 22 and another in Milton on April 16th.

There are people with wheelbarrows full of money and the patience of Job who have cast their covetous eye on all that lands in Burlington north of Dundas. They are whispering in the ears of the politicians and the bureaucrats on the e need to open up some of that land to residential development so that municipalities in Halton Region can meet their growth targets.

Donnelly points out that:
The population of Greater Toronto and Hamilton (GTAH) area Golden Horseshoe is expected to be 3.7 million by 2031.

The GTAH, which includes the Region of Halton is expected to accommodate 2.3 million people by 2031

The city of Toronto is to add 470,000 people by 2031

Donnelly math works like this:
With 2.3 million more people projected for the GTAH (which includes Hamilton) everything outside Toronto is going to have to absorb 1.83 million people. That figure is the e 2.3 million provincial projection less the 470,000 Toronto will absorb = 1.83 million


Burlington allowed six original Veterans Land Act properties to be assembled into a project that has 54 units. City council spent more time squabbling about keeping a tree than they did about how cramped this community is now.

Where will this growth go: Donnelly projects 60% of it will be greenfield and 40% intensification.

werf bfgt

This 58 unit project replaced six small bungalows – seen to the left. Intensification – just not good community.

Burlington politicians continually talk about being built out but there are two large sites that are primed for development: Eagle Heights in the west end of Aldershot and the Bronte  Meadows property along Upper Middle Road and Burloak. The Meadows is currently designated Employment Lands but there are a number of reasons to believe that it will be changed to residential.

Burlington also has a number of mobility hubs that are more of an idea than a reality at this point but offer significant intensification opportunities for the city.

Donnelly - H&S nice shot

David Donnelly: leading environmental lawyer spoke recently in Burlington

Donnelly explains that from 2006-2011, the overall intensification rate (excluding Toronto)
was 39%. Greenfields accommodated 61% of that growth.

Donnelley’s Greenfield math produces the following:

1.83 million X 0.60 = 1.1 million people on Greenfield sites
He projects 2.99 residents/unit

More Donnelly math:

1.1 million people ÷ 3 residents/unit = 367,000 Greenfield units required (single/semi/townhouse)
That’s how many people the area will have to accommodate – 367,000

Where will the houses they live in be built? Some Greenfield, some by intensification claims Donnelly.

What Donnelly is pointing out is that the land in the rural part of Halton – and large part of the greenbelt, which the developers want to move into is not necessary

Donnelly argues that the land supply is not an issue

He explains:

Greenfield supply in GTAH is already designated at 47,000 hectares
Take that 47,000 ha X 17 units/ha = 800,000 units
800,000 units X 3 people/unit = 2.4 million people

No need to encroach on the greenbelt argues Donnelly – the existing land will accommodate all we are expected to have to accommodate into 2031 – Donnelly didn’t project beyond 2031.

He adds an additional twist to his argument that there is no reason to touch the greenbelt.

The 2006 Census reports 370,000 units occupied by 65+ year old residents

In 2031 there will be 370,000 units (singles/semis/towns) occupied by 90+ year old residents

Back to that Donnelly math:

 370,000 units X 3 residents/unit = 1.1 million people
We need Greenfield land for 1.83M people by 2031, or 600,000 units
We have land designated to accommodate 2.4M people, or 800,000 units
Coming back into the market, are 370,000 already-built singles/semis/towns to accommodate 1.1M people
We have ground-related units to accommodate 3.5M people or roughly double the 1.83M to be accommodated.

Ipso facto – we don’t need to touch as much as a square foot of greenbelt land for housing.

Is north Burlington ever going to get the kind of representation it needs and deserves?  It is going to be up to that community to find a local candidate that can draw support from the people south of 407 down to Upper Middle Road.  Sarah Harmer - where are you when we really need you?

Paert of the Ontario Greenbelt that makes up North Burlington – which some argue is under threat and has to be protected from unnecessary development. Province has scheduled a series of Land Use development meetings across the province.

This isn’t an argument that is going to sit all that well with the development community which has very deep pockets and great lobbying bench strength – plus significant clout as a result of the election campaign contributions.

But it is the argument David Donnelly and the Rural Burlington Greenbelt Coalition will be taking forward during the public hearings.

One those occasions when Donnelly gets to orate on the defense of the environment – he can get really wound up. Facts, especially figures, literally gush out of him. When he is done his body slumps a little and a “there – do you get it?” look spreads across his face.

David Donnelly has done his thing – and if you believe his numbers – he has done it well. He will be doing this frequently in the months ahead.


Part 1 of a 2 part feature

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You can be Irish on the 17th - just don't be behind the wheel and inebriated at the same time.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 16, 2015


The Regional Police are making one of those extra efforts to enforce the traffic laws on St. Patrick’s Day.

HRPS St. Patrick's DayFor the First Time offender there is a
• 3-day licence suspension
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

For the Second Time offender (within 5 years)
• 7-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol education program
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

For the Third Time offender (within 5 years)
• 30-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol treatment program
• Six-month ignition interlock licence condition
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

Subsequent infractions (within 5 years)
• 30-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol treatment program
• Six-month ignition interlock licence condition
• Mandatory medical evaluation
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

These roadside licence suspensions cannot be appealed. Suspensions will be recorded on the driver’s record. For up to five years, these roadside suspensions will be considered when determining consequences for subsequent infractions.

Now if they can get as tough with drivers who deliberately distract themselves using a cell phone – we will have made some progress.

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Smart kids - looking for that first job - bureaucrats put up unnecessary hurdles.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

March 15, 2015


Whenever your city council talks about the economic growth needed – the words “high tech, high paying jobs” get used. Everyone wants those jobs – Burlington wouldn’t chase after an abattoir.

Those technical jobs are what every municipality wants; starts up would be nice too. Having those young people with nothing but ideas and energy are what make new things happen – these are the men and woman who come up with technical/digital solutions to some of the problems we have. This under 20 cohort is in the process of changing the world – partly because the world they are struggling to grow and prosper in has changed from the world there parents grew up in

But who are these kids – and they are kids for the most part; where do they hang out, how do you identify one of them
About 50 of these under 20 techies gathered at the Art Gallery earlier in the week and gave presentations about what they have done in the past and what they were doing now – but more importantly they talked about what they were looking for.

L3Wescam at Tech 20

Vincent Hamel, Manager, Electro-Optical Engineering, L-3 Wescam

These were smart young people; several had already made significant contributions. The problem for then is going to be reaching them

For reasons that we can’t understand all I can tell you is the Amanda R has got a really strong grip on what it means to network and how to get her face in front of the people she wants to work with and for – but I can’t tell you how to reach her – privacy issues – which is really bureaucracy run amuck.

Ella E gave her peers some of the best advice they are ever going to get. “People hire people” she said – the resume is part of the job search process but they are not going to hire you from a couple of piece of paper. Ella talked about young people going to meet up events and handing out resumes and not sticking around to talk to people “or worse” she said. “They stand in small groups talking to each other.”

These are smart young people who no longer need the privacy protection that early teens need.  Having said that – let me tell you what I can about these people

Oleg - TU20Oleg L.; a grade 12 student from Oakville who wants to become a Software developer. He recently completed a semester-long co-op with Promys Inc. that led to a full time summer job offer. He talked about how demonstrating a high level of skill and commitment during a short-term co-op can lead to extended opportunities with an employer.

He is looking for internship/co-op opportunities in a computer security or with a software development firm.

Ella TU20Amanda R.; a first year University of Waterloo doing the Honors Mechatronics program is a Schulich Leader scholarship winner. After competing in robotics competitions for 6 years and volunteering in LEGO robotics since 2011, she is currently working on her first co-op placement as an Automation Engineer at Camcor Manufacturing. Part of the Linamar Group

Amanda talked about the importance of networking before, during and after internships and co-op programs. Her presentations skills were remarkable for a woman her age. She is looking for opportunities to work with engineering companies involved in national defense.

Amanda TU20Ella R., a grade 12 student from, Oakville is studying to become a competitive robotics software developer, autonomous programmer and on-field strategist. She completed an Internship with Hatch Inc. last summer in the Thermal and Nuclear Sector.

Ella talked about how her internship opened her eyes to the variety of roles available on engineering teams in a large company setting.

Ella is looking for a multitude of engineering experiences that will expand her skillset in multiple different sectors, from electrical engineering to software engineering. Ultimately, her long term goal is to work on projects involving robotics and artificial intelligence.

Eddie TU20Eddie S., grade 12 student, Milton. Is studying competitive robot design, build team leader and on-field strategist
Eddie hasn’t taken part in an internship program yet, but wants to learn more about opportunities related to engineering and design. His has advanced skills in design, engineering and robot fabrication, but he is unsure of where to turn for information on internships that would suit his interests and future career development. He is interested in the biomedical side of engineering, and hopes to be working in that field in the future. He is looking for opportunities that will progress his career toward this goal.

Sam TU20Sam R., 1st year student at OCAD University where he is majoring in Graphic Design. Sam completed a communications internship with Appleby College two years ago that led to a paid, full time position with their communications team the following summer.

Sam talked to the group about how his technical and creative skills in graphic design and digital photography were expanded while meeting the needs of the internship, and how he benefited from the responsibility and creative freedom provided by both the internship and full-time summer positions.
Sam is interested in working with organizations that will stretch his technical and creative skills further, while providing opportunities to continuing developing his portfolio of graphic design, photography, videography and motion graphics work.

A smart bunch of young people getting ready to enter the work force; taking those first hesitant steps and for the most part doping rather well.  The government agencies and volunteer groups who put on the event – and it was a good event – do these young people a dis-service by not identifying them and giving out their coordinates.

The meet up is arranged by volunteers who do their best to dig out students who are into high tech. “We know they are out there” said Kimberly Neale, one of the volunteers, “but finding them and catching their attention is not that easy.  We use social Media as much as we can – but its pretty much word of mouth.  The 50 that showed up are people we’ve not seen before.

Most of those involved in this second meet up were from Milton and Oakville.

Anyone interested in taking part or if you know someone who might be interested have them get in touch with Kimberly Neale.

Meanwhile we will work on getting those full names for you.

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Gillies thinks civic recognition of John Waldie embarrassing and pathetic, suggest naming something significant after the

Who Knew 100x100 2015By Mark Gillies

March 13, 2015


John Waldie was an incredible man; a son of Burlington, who from humble origins rose to fame and fortune. He was a great philanthropist, and a man who was proud to call Burlington his home.

John Waldie Portrait 1906  P4

In 1906 in St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Victoria Harbour, this portrait of John Waldie was taken to honour the man that built the church. St Paul’s opened that same year. In 1907 John Waldie died of heart failure and was buried at historic Greenwood Cemetery in Burlington.

John Waldie made a huge impact on the small community of Victoria Harbour with the establishment of the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company. Today, the Waldie sawmills are gone, the lumber business is no more, but many of the local buildings that John Waldie built, are still in use today.

These landmarks, including St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, the General Store and the Library have been officially recognized as historical, and are an integral part of Victoria Harbour’s exciting past life as one of Canada’s largest lumber producing communities.

Victoria Harbor Heritage Properties P4

The Village of Victoria Harbour has recognized 22 buildings as having historical significance. Half of this total are buildings built by John Waldie and the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company including St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, the General Store and the Library, all three donated to the community by the philanthropist John Waldie and the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company.

“The Legacy of John Waldie and Sons”, is the history of the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company, and the Waldie family. Written by Kenneth A. Armson and Marjorie McLeod it does both the man and his work justice. Might not be available in local bookstores but it can be purchased on line at |Amazon.

The Legacy of John Waldie  P4

 You won’t find this book on the best seller’s list, but “The Legacy of John Waldie and Sons” is a very interesting read. You will learn so much more about this incredible man and his family.

Out west in Castlegar, British Columbia, the Waldie sawmills are also gone, having closed in 1961. But, the residents of Castlegar still remember the Waldie legacy. Today, Waldie Island on the Columbia River has been turned into a nature park with hiking trails. A bird sanctuary, has been set up for the revival of the blue heron on the Waldie Island Heron Reserve. The idea is to reclaim the historical heritage of this part of the Columbia River.
The Waldie family has left a huge economic legacy in Canada, and the little communities of Victoria Harbour and Castlegar have done their part and remembered the Waldie family and their enormous contributions to these two communities.

Waldie Island  P4

Pic: Waldie Island The citizens of Castlegar, British Columbia, to honour the Waldie family were pro-active and developed Waldie Island located in the middle of the Columbia River into a beautiful wilderness location complete with hiking trails and a bird sanctuary.

Burlington, as we all know, has been reported to be one of the best places to live in Canada, and this community has also remembered and recognized the Waldie legacy, but not quite in the same manner as Victoria Harbour and Castlegar.

Dan Chalykoff  p4

 Dan Chalykoff is a professional heritage consultant, with outstanding credentials, retained by the City of Burlington to assess the city’s historical properties. His recommendations were pretty much ignored by the volunteer committee Heritage Burlington.

The Waldie home at 3265 Mayfair Place, known as “Erin” was added to the Heritage Registry several years ago. The historic home was built around 1845 by Henry Sovereign, an original United Empire Loyalist descendent. His father John bought the land from Christiana Hill, a daughter of Joseph Brant in 1812.

Recently, a heritage report was commissioned by the City of Burlington with Mr. Dan R. Chalykoff, a professional heritage consultant with outstanding credentials, to create an Interim Evaluation which was made available in January 2013.

Mr. Chalykoff stated in his report that the home (3265 Mayfair Place) remain on the register for possessing cultural value and interest under all three of the main criteria listed in Ontario Regulation 9/06 from the Heritage Act. His detailed report also stated, “without this property all built vestiges of Burlington’s settlement era in this neighbourhood will be extinct”.

Sovereign House & Erin  P4

 On the right is 3265 Mayfair Place, or “Erin” as it looks today. This beautiful residence has undergone several changes over the years since it was originally built around 1845, but it is still historical and is a very important part of Burlington’s heritage. The home on the left is “Sovereign House” in Bronte. Now owned by the Bronte Historical Society, this historic home was built over several years from about 1825 until around 1846 and today operates as a heritage museum. The two homes are strikingly similar in design. David Sovereign built the “Sovereign House” residence, while Henry Sovereign from the same family built “Erin”.

In  May 2013, James M. Clemens, Chairman of Heritage Burlington, which is a committee of volunteer citizens that report to the City of Burlington, overturned Mr. Chalykoff’s professional opinion and recommended that “Erin” be removed from the Heritage Registry. With vague non-proven references to the house, Clemens goes on record and states, “the present dwelling has perhaps been incorrectly dated to 1845”, and that parts of the house do not line up to the stone rubble basement, and “it may be that the original dwelling over the rubble basement was razed”, and parts of the house appear to be late Victorian and part Edwardian.

These were the main non-professional reasons given for the reversal of keeping this historic 170 year old residence on the Heritage Registry. Mr. Clemens and his committee have apparently ignored the fact that it was not uncommon for residents of that time to alter their dwelling over several years, something that does not usually affect the heritage and historical value of a residence.

I share the views of Chalykoff   that there is an incredible amount of historical significance to this famous 170 year old residence called “Erin”, despite it being cosmetically updated. In my opinion, Heritage Burlington under the guidance of Chairman James Clemens have made a very serious error. This is unacceptable.

James Clemens was Chairman with the same Heritage Burlington committee that recommended 504 Burlington Avenue be removed from the Heritage Registry for lack of historical significance. May I remind Mr. Clemens that 504 Burlington Avenue was the Lorimer residence for 50 years. It was built by renowned custom home builder George Blair, whose other homes in the core area have been recognized as historically significant, and I might add with much less historical relevance than that of the Lorimer residence.

One of Burlington’s greatest historical magnetic personalities of the early 20th century was the owner Harry Lorimer, who was the station master at the historic Freeman Station when it opened in 1906, and he was also the station master for the previous Freeman Station, before it burned to the ground in 1904.

Harry Lorimer changed careers and went into the retail business and purchased Allen’s Hardware Store, at the corner of Brant & Pine Streets, from James S Allen, a former Mayor of Burlington, and turned it into a retail legacy providing local market gardeners and homeowners with everything they needed.

The Colton & Lorimer Hardware store was the leading retail catalyst for Burlington moving quickly into the 20th century as it began to transition itself from an agricultural town to a suburban community. Yes, Mr. Clemens, there is great historical significance to the residence at 504 Burlington Avenue. It was the home of an outstanding citizen of Burlington. You sir, and Heritage Burlington have made another serious error. This is unacceptable.

Harry Lorimer & 504 Burlington Avenue  p4

 Harry Lorimer is another outstanding citizen of Burlington from the early 20th century whose great contributions to Burlington’s development have gone unnoticed and unrecognized. Heritage Burlington has removed the Lorimer residence at 504 Burlington Avenue from the Heritage Registry. From their ignorant point of view there was a lack of historical significance.

These are just two glaring examples of incredibly bad judgment by this committee. Heritage Burlington under the questionable leadership of James Clemens have recommended to City Council the removal of many more historical properties from the Heritage Registry designation. In my opinion, Heritage Burlington appears to be more counter- productive than anything else. They are failing miserably to recognize and preserve our most valuable historical properties. This is unacceptable. Is this how Heritage Burlington is going to recognize John Waldie and the Waldie family’s contribution to Burlington?

James Clemens and Marianne Meed Ward  p4

James Clemens is the Chairman of Heritage Burlington. With Mr. Clemens is Councillor Marianne Meed Ward who also sits on the Heritage Burlington committee and represents the City of Burlington. Heritage Burlington has been systematically recommending removal of some of Burlington’s most historical properties from the Heritage Registry.


John Waldie Study Hall p4

On the second floor of the Burlington Central Library you will see for yourself what the City of Burlington has done to recognize one of its greatest philanthropic citizens. There is a small sign hanging overhead, “John Waldie Study Hall”. On the wall to the left of the door is a framed portrait of John Waldie. This is the same 1906 photograph from St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Victoria Harbour. Do the words pathetic or embarrassing come to mind?

Not to be outdone by Heritage Burlington, here’s how the City of Burlington has recognized John Waldie, Canadian philanthropist, the “Father of Burlington”, and the “Father of the Burlington Library”. Need I say more.

James Clemens is the Chairman of Heritage Burlington. With Mr. Clemens is Councillor Marianne Meed Ward who also sits on the Heritage Burlington committee and represents the City of Burlington. Heritage Burlington has been systematically recommending removal of some of Burlington’s most historical properties from the Heritage Registry.

Here are a few of my suggestions in my order of importance to better recognize John Waldie as one of Burlington’s greatest citizens.

1.) The Burlington Central Library is a very boring and uninspiring name. We can do better. My suggestion is to rename it “The John Waldie Memorial Library”.
2.) Erect a bronze statue at City Hall and locate it on the City Hall grounds in an appropriate open space complete with a small engraved biography of the man.
3.) Name the City Hall property “John Waldie Square” with the sub-heading,
“Father of Burlington”. Add a plaque to a prominent position on the grounds of City Hall.
4.) Add John Waldie’s portrait complete with a description to the lobby of City Hall, local fire and police stations, schools, and any other local public buildings.
5.) John Waldie was involved in shipping, owning several lake freighters, that operated from the three wharves at the foot of Brant Street. Consider naming the new pier after John Waldie.
6.) Rename Mayfair Place where the Waldie home now stands. Call it John Waldie Place or something similar.
7.) Name a park after John Waldie. How about Central Park? That’s not a great name.

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Pauline Johnson public school students are to be part of a national broadcast involving 79 schools.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 10, 2015


The 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag is an ongoing thing – Burlington is feeling the celebration with students at Pauline Johnson Public school singing their little hearts out while a voice recording technician captures it all. Children from different classes are paraded into the gym and get put into place and given instructions.

The recoding technicians does several takes – one that was going very well got cancelled when one of the boys had a very impressive sneeze

Another got scrubbed from the sound of a camera clicking – it was my camera

Alice Mary St. James, principal at Pauline Johnson is justifiably proud of the students – the pictures tell the story.

Pauline Johnson - lined up

They stayed this still during the four recordings of O Canada they did.

Pauline Johnson Public School has a student population of 285 – it’s an older school; a place that gives you the sense it is well run. Like a comfortable pair of slippers.

Before each recording session the technician chats with the students: How old is the Canadian flag? Who was the first Prime Minister of Canada – no one got that one but when asked what Canada had before the Maple Leaf was adopted one boy knew every detail of what we used to call the Red Ensign.

Pauline Johnson - close up kids + girl

That young lady was not going to miss a word

Another little girl in that halting voice only a grade four student can have, explained in almost excruciating detail why we have the Maple Leaf.

When all the recordings are done they will be merged into a single sound track that anyone can download.

Hint here to city hall – the recording of O Canada that is played before each city council meeting is just plain terrible. Someone in the Mayor’s office could get on the phone and arrange to get a copy of the recording.

The school is one of 79 across the country selected for this program

Pauline Johnson - grouped with St. James

Rapt attention to the recording technician – waiting for the cue to start

Pauline Johnson with Steph MacLellan

Everyone is paying close attention – well almost everyone; four takes and the singing session was a wrap.

Part of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the first hoisting of the Canadian flag is to have a student at each participating school write an essay.

Alice Mary St. James

Pauline Johnson Public School principal Mary Alice St. James

Because Pauline Johnson Public school was named after the aboriginal poet, grade 6 student Avery Cline wrote a poem

Why I’m proud to be a Canadian

Waking up every morning
Knowing I a free
A peaceful day lies ahead of me
To believe, think, talk and ask as I please
The potential of all rising up like a seed

From PEI beaches to Yukon Mountains
Kindness from others flows like a fountain
We all pull together and work as a team
With blue skies above
While the sun beams collide
Our destinies forever abide.

The great four seasons we hold so dear
Their own special qualities
That bring so much cheer

Now I’ve laid it out clearly
Why Canada’s close to my heart
A love for our country
Set each day apart, fresh starts.

Principal St, James, nearing the end of a public school career, is one of the schools that has Core French starting at grade 4 – she wasn’t disappointed when Core French starting at Grade I was not offered to her school. “Some of these children are not quite ready for language instruction”she said. There is no doubt in the mind of St. James that French is essential – the pedagogical question for this principal is –  when do you start?

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City planner gives his viewpoint on Planning Act changes; it will be a lengthy process.

backgrounder 100By Staff

March 10, 2015


The province recently announced changes it wants to make to the Planning Act and the way Development charges are to be implemented.
Everything the city does in the Planning and Building department is impacted by these changes – getting the views of the Bruce Krushelnicki, the city’s director of |Planning then are useful – what does he think this is going to mean?

“Of course this is a Provincial legislative proposal and will be the subject of wide review and debate. This will I am sure, evoke an important conversation, one that has been expected for some time following the announcement last year that the Planning Act was undergoing a scoped review.
My initial comment is that there is a lot more detail necessary before we can understand the impact of the changes that are proposed. The note identifies a “stakeholder working group” that will assist in implementing some of these changes, so the details may be some time yet in coming.

The proposed changes that would enhance public engagement are welcomed and I look forward to some additional information about the proposed “community permit planning system”. Planning Advisory Committees – which can even now include citizen membership – have been part of the Planning Act for many years and I await the details regarding the changes that are proposed. It appears that when such committees are formed, citizen membership may be required.


What will the revisions to the Planning Act mean to citizen input on what gets built?

The change to a ten-year review requirement for Official Plans is very welcomed. When the Act was revised some time ago, the previously optional five year review was made a mandatory requirement. As Official Plans have become more complex, the five year review (including OMB appeals) was often scarcely completed when a new review would commence. Some in the planning profession expressed concerns that plans were almost constantly under review. Some argue that this has resulted in a lack of stability in the policy framework. This may be intended to address this concern.

Providing more stability over planning documents addresses the concern expressed by some that it is too easy to apply for amendments and if unsuccessful, too easy to appeal an Official Plan, even one that has been recently approved. The two year moratorium on private appeals as they are called – that is appeals lodged by persons when an private application for amendment is refused or ignored – means that councils can expect their plans to remain unchallenged for a period of time.

According to the proposal as described, a council will nevertheless be able to amend their Official Plan on their own initiative.
The proposal also seeks to remove the opportunity to appeal some issues to the OMB. Removing appeal opportunities cuts both ways. That is, appeals can be made by citizens against a decision of council and appeals can also be made by developers against a decision of council. How appeal opportunities for all parties will be affected will be important to learn as details become known.

New City park - bulldozers

What will any Development Charge changes mean to the cost of housing?

It is also proposed that more clarity will be provided in determining what constitutes a minor variance to the zoning by-law. Minor variances are decided by the Committee of Adjustment, an independent body appointed by council.

Currently there are four long standing “tests” for a minor variance. Presumably the criteria for approval by the Committee will be clarified by the stakeholder working group. This is yet another is area where much more information is need before the implications can be assessed.”

This process of revising two very significant pieces of legislation has clearly just begun.

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