Do you know your neighbours? Enough to help the police when there is an emergency?

News 100 redBy Staff

April 20, 2015


We see it every summer – police reports of break-ins and theft of property during the day when people are at work – or out of the house.

Police - know your neighbourThere was a report last year of a house being illegally entered at the front while the owners were in the back yard gardening.

Burlington is fortunate in that most people are quite vigilant and call 911 when they see something suspicious.

However, all too often the people making the phone call don’t have some of the information the police need.

Halton Regional Police Service recently put out a convenient form that they encourage people to use and stick up on the fridge.

You can print out this story and crate you own list of neighbours.

The police ask:

Do you know the first name of at least five (5) different neighbours?
Would you be able to tell police the address of the house behind you in the event you witnessed a break and enter?
Does your back door neighbour know your address?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, use the chart below and get to know your neighbours. And call 9-1-1 to report crimes in progress.

Police - Your neighbours

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Young girls prepare for the city wide GreenUp CleanUp event. Will you be part of it?

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 20, 2015


If we are taught young enough – the lessons are usually learned for life.

Brownies - Clean Up

Young girls learn about the world they inhabit and get ready to learn what Burlington does every year during the BurlingtonGreen CleanUp GreenUp campaign – this Saturday.

Last week the 24th Burlington Sparks and the 37th Burlington Brownies gathered at Rolling Meadows Public School for their introduction to keep the city we live in cleaner.

Girl guides 2 drawing Clean Up

Making their mark on the world they are going to grow up in.

Girl Guide chlk Clean Up

Paying attention to detail.

This Saturday, groups from around the city will be out gathering trash and tidying up after people who were less considerate.

Why so many tires end up in the creeks and ravines is hard to understand – but they are there.

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EARTH DAY is April 22nd - earth-loving celebrations are happening all month long!

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 13, 2015


2015 is shaping up to be a monumental year for the international climate movement, and Earth Day Canada wants to show the world that Canadians are ready, willing, and able to take meaningful action to support the health of our one and only planet.

A child with "Kids for a Clean Environment" helps

An Earth Day flag on display in Washington DC

Inspired by their 1992 Earth Day Flag that collected a total of 500,000 signatures from across the country, Earth Day Canada is again calling all Canadians to sign their 2015 Earth Flag and make a commitment to make Earth Day every day by doing your part to reduce carbon emissions 20% by 2020.

The 2015 Earth Flag will be taken to the COP21 International Climate Conference held in Paris this December where a new international agreement on carbon emissions will be signed.

How it works:
Signatures will be collected in person (at community events, schools, specific sites) and electronically through our website over the five months period from Earth Day, April 22, to September 22, 2015. These signatures will be placed or printed on pieces of cloth that will be sewn together to create a mosaic flag.

What unfortunately is not clear is how a person can send a signature or who in Burlington is collecting signatures. We asked the Earth Day organization but have not heard back from them.  We will do our best to keep you posted.

The flag will feature the Earth Day Every Day logo, as well as a 2015 pledge or pledges that represent the goals or commitments of Canadians to make deep carbon reductions.

The pledge:
I pledge to the best of my ability to help make the earth a safe and hospitable home for this and future generations.

We are working with school groups, youth organizations, First Nations, Faith Communities, Non-Governmental Organizations and individuals to revise the pledge for the 2015 Earth Flag. Stay tuned for the new pledge!

We plan to reveal the Earth Flag at an event in early November and collect the final signatures on the Earth Flag by those who will be representing Canadians at the Paris COP21 climate meeting.

In December at the COP21 meetings, Earth Day Canada will display the Earth Flag at a prominent location/event to portray the collective resolve of Canadians to reduce their carbon emissions.


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School board taking a closer look at growth in Milton and North Oakville - might result in some consolidation of schools in Burlington.

News 100 blueBy Walter Byj

April 17, 2015


The Halton District School Board was in a longer than usual Closed Session – close to an hour this time. No sword on what they talked about – the sense I got was that they may have been talking about a possible high school strike for Halton.

Once the doors opened the meeting moved briskly through a number of issues. The school calendar for the 2015/2016 was approved unanimously.

Bateman school sign

Are there too many high schools in the eastern side of the city?

The board then passed a motion that has the Halton Student Transportation Services hiring consultants to undertake a bell time analysis for both secondary and elementary students in an effort to find efficiencies and cost savings. Bell time is the buzz word for when schools start their day.

This program is awaiting the Catholic board approval on the same motion next week. The parameters and cost of the study would then be determined.

A motion to have time set aside for recognition of excellent achievement within the Halton board, student or staff, was forwarded to the next meeting pending further clarification.

The Long Term Accommodation Plan was then presented by Domenico Renzella, Senior Manager of Planning and Lucy Veerman, Superintendent of Business Services. The LTAP, references what the board is going to need in terms of facilities based on enrollment projections. The enrollment projections from 2015 to 2024 and the identifying of new capital project initiatives for the Board from 2016/17 to 2019/2020 were part of the report which the Gazette will cover in more detail soon.

The key takeaway was the explosion of enrolment and new schools in the Milton area and northeast Oakville with the corresponding decline in enrolment in Burlington and parts of Oakville. This could lead to potential school consolidations in the near future. The trustees were advised that there would be public consultation.

The Halton Student Transportation Services annual report for the fiscal year of 2013/14, said there were a total of 448 routes which covered 34,058 daily kilometres and transported 29,268 students for the Halton board and the Catholic board combined. The Halton board transported 18,834 students at a cost of slightly more than $19 million.

Mark Zonneveld, Superintendent of Education (Student Services), presented the Gifted Screening Interim Report which outlined the procedures of identifying, nominating and then accepting students into the gifted program within Halton.

Of the students that are initially identified as gifted, only 35% enter the program after further testing. Over the past five years, the number of students identified as gifted by grade four has risen to 4.3% For the 2013/14 year, 61 students were placed in the Gifted Programme in East Halton, 29 in the West and 30 in the North

The meeting concluded with Stuart Miller, Associate Director of Education, giving a Program Viability update. Over the past years, the French Immersion program has impacted somewhat negatively on the English program and the Program Viability Committee was formed to study this matter.

The committee has met three times to date and is reviewing the situation within the Halton area along with studying how other boards are affected along with potential solutions. The committee will meet again on April  20th, hopefully a more detailed report will be available to the next board meeting.  The public is not invited to take part in these meetings,

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Volunteers - the people who are there when you need them and ask for nothing in return are recognized.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 16, 2015


Would the world continue to turn without volunteers? There are a lot of people in the Burlington whose lives are better because of the many volunteers – and the lives of those volunteers are richer because of the work they do.

At about this time last year Community Development Halton created an award in the name of former Burlington Mayor Walter Mulkewich to recognize the work volunteers do.

Ann Coburn’s Director of Volunteer Halton, in handing out the awards made these comments:
We are witness this morning to the recognition of the work, generosity and impact of individual volunteers across Halton’s four communities. You and other extraordinary volunteers have said to us repeatedly, “it isn’t really me, it is about the group, it’s about the energy and commitment of my neighbours”.

This rippled through us at Community Development Halton that we created an award to celebrate those amazing and dedicated people who come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems in their community.

Mulkewich llistening

Walter Mulkewich, taking in a political speech on a sunny summer afternoon.

This award honours a citizen of Burlington, a citizen of Halton, Walter Mulkewich, who has worked and is working tirelessly to influence evolution and advancement in sectors such as the environment, economic development, social development, mental health, and the arts and culture. Walter epitomizes the characteristics of leadership: honesty, integrity, courage, and inclusion. He is a man graced by the passion for fairness, for social justice, and for human well-being.

In 2015, the committee is honouring, T.E.A.C.H., with the Mulkewich award.
T.E.A.C.H. is an acronym meaning Teach, Empower, Advocate for Community Health. T.E.A.C.H. is a Consumer Survivor initiative operating across Halton that provides peer support and advocacy to individuals experiencing mental health and substance use. All thirty+ volunteers have lived experience with the mental health and addictions system. Volunteers have been actively involved in numerous facets of education, support, training, counselling, outreach and promotion, even back office and administrative duties, marketing and event planning.

T.E.A.C.H. is an organization whose foundation has been built on the effort and inspiration of community volunteers. T.E.A.C.H. is guided by the “Recovery Philosophy”, which affirms that all people experiencing challenges have inherent strengths, and that they can – and will – get better.

Joseph Kiss - volunteer

Joseph Kiss, Rolling Horse Community Cycle. Joseph provides free bicycle repair and basic bike mechanics for children and adults in neighbourhoods across Burlington.

Having an organization such as T.E.A.C.H. has allowed individuals and their families to start a dialogue in the community surrounding mental health and addictions. T.E.A.C.H. assists us to better understand mental health and additions so that we can be supportive and inclusive. T.E.A.C.H. partners and collaborates with numerous social and health agencies building their collective capacity to support the growing needs of our citizens suffering from mental health and addictions.

For example, T.E.A.C.H. works with our local hospitals, P.O.S.S.E. (Peer Outreach Support Services & Education) , Halton A.D.A.P.T. (Alcohol Drug and Gambling Assessment Prevention and Treatment), Summit Housing, S.T.R.I.D.E. (Supported Training & Rehabilitation in Diverse Environments) and the Region of Halton, to name a few.

Yvonne Kato volunteer

Yvonne Kato is a holistic therapy volunteer at Breast Cancer Support Services, offering Reiki to members. Breast Cancer Support Services provides a variety of healing modalities to women living cancer, to help them ease the stress and side effects of treatment.

While much of the audience was made up of Volunteers taking part in the Breakfast event, Joey Edwardh, was not just speaking to the converted when she said: “The theme this year for National Volunteer Week is the ripple effect of volunteerism. A volunteer action is like a stone thrown in a lake: its effect has a direct impact. At the same time, like ripples, volunteer efforts reach out far and wide to improve communities..

Quoting Christine Mason Miller, Edwardh said: “When we focus our energy towards constructing a passionate meaningful life, we are tossing a pebble into the world creating a beautiful ripple of inspiration. When one person follows a dream , tries something new, or takes a daring leap, everyone feels that energy and before too long they are making their own daring leaps and inspiring yet another circle. “

Cavan Cook volunteer John Howard

Cavan Cook, John Howard Society, Burlington & Area. Cavan is a Mentor for Youth At Risk Development (YARD) program. He provides individual support to a young person focused on setting up and achieving positive goals.

She added: Like a pebble thrown into the water, volunteer action creates many ripples of inspiration and encouragement . Volunteers reach out beyond themselves to engage in kindness and caring for others. They are special people, with busy lives, who make time for others. They see and respect the dignity of their fellow men and women. In a thousand different ways they lighten the load for those who are burdened by illness, troubles or disadvantage.

Volunteerism has always been with us, we call it neighbours helping neighbours, supporting one another when affected by disaster, concerned citizens see a need in their community, form groups of like-minded individuals to address the need and create change.

Our Governor General, his Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, said the third pillar of Canada will be encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism. He went on to say that “Canadians have a long history of coming together and helping one another. Service to country shaped us, service to family and community sustains us, and this tradition of service will carry us forward into the future”

The Ripple Effect! Throughout history we can trace back to organizations that were formed to address areas of injustice and the social needs of society. In Canada, organizations emerged in direct response to a need in community all of which involved Volunteers as founders, supporters and front line workers.

Linda McKay with Mayor and Searles

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring on the left with John Searles and Linda McKay who is with the Burlington Public Library. Linda McKay is a dedicated Visiting Library Service Volunteer at the Burlington Public Library. She delivers books to several customers, who are unable to travel to the library themselves, and they think the world of Linda.

One such as example , as it happened in our neighbouring community of Hamilton. In the 1950’s a group of mothers desperate to find a cure for polio, which was an epidemic at that time, formed the Marching Mothers and went door to door in their neighourhoods, collecting dimes for research. The Marching Mothers were instrumental in supporting the research of Dr. Jonas Salk, whose polio vaccine was released in 1955, putting an end to the epidemic. The Marching Mothers movement today is known as the March of Dimes.

This is only one example of an organization that made a significant difference in the lives of Canadians and exemplifies the Ripple effect of how the action of a few can and do change the lives of many.


The Seniors Ambassador Connector Program was pilot project in Burlington and the ripple effect is that it is now expanding to Halton Hills. Shown here are the Burlington Ambassadors.

The Seniors Ambassador Connector Program was pilot project in Burlington and the ripple effect is that it is now expanding to Halton Hills.
Volunteer Halton is privileged to work on a daily basis with like-minded individuals and groups who identify a need and move into action. We see every day individuals who answer the call for change, come together as strangers, connect through a cause and end up with lasting friendships. When asked volunteers always mention that they could not do the work without the support of their Coordinator, Manager of Volunteers.

These professionals dedicate long hours organizing, preparing and supporting the work of volunteers and volunteers themselves.  Today we recognize and celebrate the wonderful volunteers who come from all walks of life, different experiences and from all ages to create the ripple effect that changes lives and communities!

Edwardh chose to leave her audience with a pungent thought to ponder.

Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers
The Titanic was built by professionals.

That sort of sums it up – doesn’t it?

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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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