Downtowners get to hear what developer wants to do at Locust and Elgin across from city hall and the Performing Arts Centre.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 15, 2014

Burlington, ON


She does it differently.

We get to many, but not all, of the local meetings Council members hold and while they each have their own style, ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward does do something uniquely different. She listens, she coaxes answers out of people and – yes she still talks too much. But her people – and those that show up are very much her people; like her and they trust her.

Elgin - Locust re-developmentThursday evening the community meeting was about a condominium project basically across the street from the Performing Arts Centre wrapped around what is currently the Melodia restaurant. City hall is across another one of the three streets that border this project.

Zoning for the property is four storeys – and that zoning is specific to the property. The developer wants to add an additional floor and is asking for a change in the zoning and the Official Plan.
Meed Ward tends to personally oppose this kind of change in both zoning and the Official Plan. She argues that it is not the city’s job to make changes in zoning so that a developer can gain additional density and this a higher return on their investment.

Zoning on the property:

Permits high density residential, office & commercial uses
Permits density between 51 & 185 units per hectare
Retail uses required at grade
No surface parking permitted
Min. height 2 storeys – max. 4 storeys
Other Downtown Core sites allow up to 8 storey height through rezoning.
This area has a specific policy restricting height to 4 storeys to maintain compatibility with residential uses to the north and west

Meed Ward tends to look for trade-offs – in return for the additional density she looks for some form of contribution to the city. It can be public art or an amenity from which the public will benefit.

The fifth floor in the design is set back by about three metres on each side so that it doesn’t add to the perceived height of the building. What wasn’t stated at the meeting was that the mechanical equipment will be on top of the fifth floor; adding a bit more height.

The design is both traditional and classic in looks with detailing to be done in stone and brick. There will be bay windows in each unit with balconies built into the side of the structure and not hanging out on the side of the building.

Whenever a developer asks for a change local residents bring up the old setting a “precedent” argument and developers do try to exploit that when they are looking for a change in the rules.

City planner Bruce Krushelnicki tirelessly tells people that a change made in one location does not mean the same change is going to be permitted elsewhere. Planners ask one question: Is this a good plan and if, in their judgement it is good planning , they say so in their staff report. Have they made mistakes in the past? You bet your ‘bippy’ they have – the Ghent Street development was a serious mistake that we predict history will prove to have been wrong.

The re-development would be a fine addition to the downtown part of the city. Some suggested that allowing five stories would put pressure on the single storey and two storey dwellings in the neighbourhood – and it will. Many of the properties on Locust do not make economic use of the land they site on. Some of the properties are historic in nature and have to be preserved and the Heritage Advisory committee will be asked for an opinion on their historic credibility. One of the structures used on the property that was purchased by the developer used to house the Blair Lancaster Spa – while the building is on the Registry it is hard to see much in the way of historic value to the structure. It actually looks a little shabby.

The Core District group which keeps a close eye on development in their immediate neighbourhood and everything in the ward is good at getting the troops out to oppose projects. It would be a large step forward if they moved beyond just opposing and got into some serious thinking about what they want their neighbourhood to look like 5, 10 and 20 years out.

Greenberg Ken

Ken Greenberg told Burlingtonians in 2012 that they could have much more input if development proposals brought to the city if they organized.

Noted planner Ken Greenberg was in Burlington in April of 2012, as part of the Mayor’s Insight series of events – one of the better things the Mayor did in his first term of office. Greenberg explained that it is possible for the residents of a neighbourhood to set out their basic principles and invite any developer with plans to meet with them.

That is a part of what happened Thursday evening but that event was organized by the ward Councillor – the residents themselves need to take control.

The architect and the developer that met with the public Thursday evening appeared to be quite willing to accommodate the audience. They have yet to take an application to the planning department. They were convinced to meet with the residents in the community – about 50 people attended and they listened. They will now go back to their drawing boards, perhaps make some changes and submit their application. They have bought and paid for the property so they have sin in the game.

The developer said that they usually build one bedroom units but that real estate people in Burlington advised them that the market wanted two bedroom size units. One parking space for each unit and ¼ of a parking space for each unit to accommodate visitors.

Burlington aerial of city looking at Locust up

The proposed development is two blocks north of this intersection. Adding a fifth storey to the proposed building is not going to change the texture or feel of the neighbourhood.

When built – the structure will add dignity and grace to the streetscape. There really wasn`t much to complain about with this project. The chatter in the Gazette`s comments section based on a piece we published telling people about the meeting had these words: One said: “I do however like the design and the extra story is stepped back nicely and does not appear to be detrimental. If I’m a resident, I’d rather be near a high-quality 5 story building, than a cheapo 4 story building. Or a parking lot that a developer is sitting on in hopes of building something big for that matter. Hopefully they can get this done whether it happens to be 4 stories or 5 stories is not really the most important issue.”

Peter Rusin, a candidate for Mayor said:  “This site is actually quite suitable for an 8-storey redevelopment. There is no reason for any of the old Meed Ward crazy type of resistance; that negative philosophy increases taxes for everybody, keeps unwanted upward pressure on housing price increases for everyone, and kills downtown businesses that hope to rely on more people living in the core. I just hope the old Meed Ward mentality changes in the new term of council. I hope she does her math homework; this assignment is easy. Go to eight stories and encourage even more intensified projects; The future of Burlington depends on it.”

Another astute observer made this comment: “The main difference between Ms. Meed Ward’s point of view and Mr. Rusin’s is that the electorate supported the former and rejected the latter.
A principle of good planning is that we establish a plan and be extremely prudent about changing it. I don’t believe we owe developers the “right” to make a living.

This is a good development. It will be pricy but there will be quality sticking out of every corner. We will be lucky to get it. At least that is my take.

Related content:

What Ken Greenberg had to say about involving the community.
Initial response to the project was divided.


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First Regional Firearms and Weapons Amnesty a Success; 180 weapons turned in + 200 lbs of ammunition.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 14, 2014



Halton Regional Police have completed their month long firearms and weapons amnesty. It is evident our communities in Halton are that much safer due to the partnership between the community and police.
Between October 15 and November 15, 2014, Halton officers took in approximately 180 firearm were turned in, approximately 40 knives and 200 pounds of ammunition.

Police invited people with a firearm to turn it over to police who would destroy the weapons. When the announcement of the amnesty was made police cautioned anyone asking to have a weapon picked up to:


Officers assigned to pick up the weapons“ said the announcement will provide police identification and will require a signature for destruction. They added that “This Amnesty is an opportunity for everyone to take part in removing these firearms and weapons from the community, reducing the risk of them falling into the hands of criminals.`

Today there are 180 fewer guns in the community.

The police make as much use of photo-ops as the politicians and have invited media to attend a photo opportunity at HRPS Headquarters, 1151 Bronte Rd, in the Town of Oakville on Monday November 17th at 10:00am in the Community Room.

Related story:

Police offer an amnesty to owners of guns and other weapons

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Why war? Part of the reason - Hate, intolerance, envy, authoritarian leadership, political polarization and military zealots.

opinionandcommentBy James Smith

November 13, 2014



I remember this past Tuesday. I’m standing in my office staring at the framed memento, almost 100 years old. A thing I’ve looked at and read countless times; “In the Service of the Nation”. Standing silently I read the names of the engagements: Chateau Thierry, Soissons, Argonne. Argonne, where he received his Purple Heart. The Purple Heart is framed and kept by one of my brothers, now retired from the American Military.

Remembrance Day wreaths - dozens at cenotaphI remember. I remember being a child, holding the medal in my hand and can still feel how heavy & cold it was. How odd to touch the engraved name, the same name as me. I can now hear the TV downstairs again. Two minutes are up, all over, go back to what you were doing. Except I keep thinking of him, his easy smile, the shock of thick white hair, the soft voice that gave his birthplace away despite decades of life in Hell’s Kitchen. He’d never talk about the war, we kids would press but he’d cloud over and say something like “The park is no place to talk of such things”. The most he would ever say is that it was a quick way to become a REAL American.

I remember his funeral. I was just old enough to know that Vietnam was starting to go badly and my own childhood notion of going to America and joining the US Marines was starting to fade as a real goal. The flag draped coffin and the honour guard suddenly seemed very scary to a ten year old. I almost cried in shock when the rifle volleys sounded. The folded flag presented to my Grandmother made me think of what I had been seeing on the TV and the young men being killed in Vietnam.

I remember looking at the Empire State Building in the distance as we made our way back to the limousine and thinking as sad as I was, what would it be like if this was one of my cousins? What if it was my dad being lowered into the ground? I’ve sometimes thought back to that springtime week in New York as the time when I started to wonder about such things that Edwin Starr would sing about a few years later in his song WAR!

I remember the following November and learning to recite In Flanders Field (I still can by the way). At the Remembrance Day assembly not only did I recite John McCrae’s Poem but I introduced the speaker. A First World War Vet, a kindly and grandfatherly gentleman. He kept me on stage to hold his tin hat after I introduced him. The helmet had an odd slice in the back flange, I put my fingers in the hole as I nervously continued to stand on stage, the slash in the steel felt cold and jagged and I wondered about the hole.

Our guest spoke not about war, but about the peace that he hoped we had gained through the horror of three wars. He told us of his wish that peace would fill our days so us kids would never have to see any of the horror that he, and my late Grandfather did. As he concluded his address he took a piece of metal out of his pocket and said how luck he was to be speaking to us and had me hand him his helmet back. With this nasty chunk of metal in one hand and the helmet in the other, he neatly locked the shrapnel into the hole in the tin hat. The audience gasped. After the assembly at recess I was briefly a cool kid because I had held this army helmet, but I recall being somewhat confused by the experience. I still am.

I remember and honour those who’ve served and those who’ve died and respect those who still continue to wear the uniform. I think all Canadians are a little more mindful and respectful this November after the killing of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, and Corporal Nathan Cirillo. But war should never be an option until every other option has been tried and found wanting. Since the Korean War Canada has a proud history of Peace Keeping, a tradition that some would have us move away from. In fact we have very few remaining Peacekeepers in this world and I don’t like this trend. I think my grandfather and others of his generation would tend to agree with me.

Vimy Ridge it seems is more important than Baldwin and LaFontaine, MacDonald and Cartier, Laurier and the settling of the west or many other achievements. In their book WARRIOR NATION: REBRANDING CANADA IN AN AGE OF ANXIETY, Ian McKay and Jamie Swift talk about the “New Warriors” who are “looking to shift public opinion.” They speak of “zealots” who would “transform postwar Canada’s central myth-symbols. Peaceable kingdom. Just society. Multicultural tolerance. Reasoned public debate.” They would replace these traditions with “A warrior nation. Authoritarian leadership. Permanent political polarization.” Vimy Ridge it seems is more important than Baldwin and LaFontaine, MacDonald and Cartier, Laurier and the settling of the west or many other achievements.

A battle in a useless war is now being spoken of as what “made” Canada. This trend troubles Messrs McKay and Swift enough they’ve written a book, and this trend fills me with an empty feeling. The first world war was a war between Empires that was foolish, brutal, stupid and avoidable. As a colony Canada was involved because we had no choice. That men fought, and fought bravely should be remembered, but so should the fact that it wrecked and bankrupted Europe and set the table for Fascism and Stalinism and the further horror that was the second world war. That we should say our nation “came of age” because brave men killed other brave men in a war that we had no say in seems to me to the acme of jingoistic nostalgia for the good old days of Red Ensigns and Rule Britannia not the foundation of the amazing country we live in today.

I remember an all but forgotten monument on University Avenue in Toronto. You’ve likely seen it, just north of Queen Street, it’s the memorial dedicated to those who died in the Boer War. The monument features two heroic young Canadian lads marching off to do battle. As they look to the middle distance, they march in the direction a young Britannia is pointing to.

Whenever I see this monument it always make me think she’s saying: “Go! Go forth & defend the Empire good lads! Africa must be free of the evil Dutch farmers and safe for gold & diamond mines and to build Apartheid! GO my lads GO!” It is a lonely and sad monument that seems to be forgotten. Many men fought bravely for Queen and Empire, four Victoria Crosses were awarded to Canadians in that war. Given the precedent of this forgotten monument why not dust that off too and say Canada was born on the Veldt at Paardeberg rather than Vimy Ridge? I say it’s just as relevant.

Part of the reason. Hate. Intolerance. Envy. Authoritarian Leadership. Political Polarization. Military Zealots. I remember visiting Sarajevo. Back when it was still Yugoslavia and I stood on the spot where Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated. The spot where the match was struck that started the Great War, and it seemed so ordinary and almost shabby. How did such a quaint and diverse city, an Olympic host city later become a place of such carnage in the Bosnian war? I bet I know part of the reason. Hate. Intolerance. Envy. Authoritarian Leadership. Political Polarization. Military Zealots.

We need to rid our landscape of such things. That the military will always be a large part of Remembrance day goes without saying. But we need to always ensure that our Remembrance Day ceremonies do not become jingoistic celebrations of conflict. The reason we remember those who served and who have fallen is to also reflect on the Peace and what is left of our Freedoms due to the service and the sacrifice of so many. We lose these freedoms through our complacency and acceptance of what the generals want.

Just to let you in on a teeny weeny secret; since at least the time of the Sumerians, the Generals have never had enough toys, and they always want to play with their toys.

I remember in the 1970’s some wag saying “rather than declare war on a little country, we should declare Peace on all countries”. I’d like to suggest we take this idea up and start a new tradition for our next Canada Day; two minutes of silence while we think about what we can do for Peace in our homes, workplaces, cities, provinces and our country. Perhaps then we can build a world that’s more like what my Grandfather would have liked to think that his service helped to build.


 James Smith is an architectural technologist who dabbles in politics and has been described as an essayist. The above is his most recent pondering.



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Are we ready to put an end to the harrassment of the women we work with?


By Ray Rivers

November 13, 2014



Maybe it was that melodic voice wafting through my car speakers. Or maybe the sense of command and confidence projected by this smooth talk show host, drilling down to get at the nut of each issue. I loved listening to Jian Ghomeshi and his well-honed ‘Q’ show which had risen to the peak of radio fame just in time for his dramatic tumble into disgrace, having been exposed as a closet misogynist, a woman beater.

Ghomeshi the radio host always seemed such a gentle and sensitive individual. Who would have guessed ‘Norman Bates’ might be lurking somewhere in his imagination. It wasn’t stabbing in a shower, but it was dangerous spontaneous choking and beatings. It is hard to believe that the man who crafted such a passionate and sweet tribute to his father, on his passing, could have been harbouring such a monster within.

And it wasn’t just the dating, but also his overbearing management style, that did him in. He had become the face of CBC radio, he disgraced himself and fell, as Shakespeare would have applauded – by his own devices. In this case it was his own violent hand. Yet there was an upside to this tragic story since it encouraged so many victims to spring forward for an emancipation of sorts, a new freedom to come forward and tell all.

We were treated to exposés by Ghomeshi’s former dates, his staff and his bosses at CBC, as they described his tyrannical, obsessive and demanding management style. And those stories, no doubt, seemed to encourage a couple of NDP MP’s to complain to Justin Trudeau presumably about a couple of his Liberal MPs hitting on them – or hitting them – we don’t know. Trudeau immediately suspended them from his caucus pending an investigation, only to be verbally abused by an angry NDP leader Mulcair.

Perhaps Mulcair was annoyed that his caucus members had gone to Trudeau instead of to him. Or maybe he was trying to draw cover for an impending harassment case between one of his own MPs and an office staffer. Then out of the blue Sheila Copps comes forward to tell all about an attempted assault by an MP during her time on the Hill, and adding that she had also been raped some years earlier.

All this coming-out makes one wonder who is next, and when will enough be enough already. And what is wrong with our elected federal representatives that they have to act like mischievous children while pay them to represent us in Ottawa. That is not how I want to be represented, perhaps we need an age limit.

We know that bullying behaviour starts early in life. Some would argue that It is a natural phenomenon, development of a ‘pecking order’ sort of thing – in a dog-eat-dog world where the strong survive and weak just suffer – where the cave man goes out to kill the bear and his favourite squeeze stays home to raise the babies and tend to the fire.

We demand equity, equality of opportunity and respect for human dignity.But that isn’t how our modern great society works. We demand equity, equality of opportunity and respect for human dignity; and we expect personal freedom regardless of gender, physical size or economic endowment. So we have started teaching children not to bully, intimidate, or harass, from an early age. That is the way we want them to behave in a civilized community, even if their parents don’t.

I can recall being at an official function a few years ago when one of my bosses came over and surprised me by squeezing my arm until it hurt. I yelled ‘ouch’ thinking she must have wanted to get my attention – and that sure did the trick. I might have made a formal complaint instead of just brushing off the incident, but like so many others I was a little embarrassed, so let it pass.

I consider myself a tactile person. I believe there are times, especially when grief or joy are upon us, that we humans need the assurance of another’s touch. Life would be so incomplete were society to ban physical contact entirely in the name of preventing potential assault. But touching does have its limits – hurting someone, spontaneously choking or punching them about the head is a whole different kettle of worms.

‘Q’ will stay on the air with a new executive producer and a new host, but for me it’ll never be the same without the brilliant Ghomeshi. I remember back to a time when an extremely hostile guest, Billy Bob Thornton, tore into Jian for the way he was interviewing. Billy Bob backed him into a corner and humbled him into an embarrassing submission. No, it wasn’t violence, but Jian Ghomeshi must have got a good taste of what it was like to be on the receiving end of bullying. Too bad he didn’t learn from that experience.

Rivers-direct-into-camera1-173x300Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking. Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province.

Background links:


Ghomeshi Ghomeshi Scandal  Trudeau MPs   NDP Staffer 

Sheila Copps  Billy Bob Interview   Sexual Consent 

Bullying   Stop a Bully  What’s Harassment 

Dealing with Sexual Misconduct

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Two of Burlington's best to be recognized for their philanthropy which wasn't limited to donating money. Hard work and open hearts did it.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

November 12, 2014



Can someone really change the world with a giving heart?

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), will tell you people can, through the giving of one’s time, talent or treasure, make a significant difference.

Seven philanthropists and organizations from the AFP Golden Horseshoe Chapter will be recognized for their commitment to supporting and inspiring philanthropy in their communities through the 7th Annual National Philanthropy Day (NPD) awards presentation. Two of these outstanding people are Burlington.

National Philanthropy Day® is set aside to recognize, and pay tribute to the great contributions that philanthropy – and those people active in the philanthropic community – have made to our lives, our communities and our world. Each year, AFP honours individuals and groups who, through their hard work and dedication, have enhanced and inspired philanthropy locally and around the globe.

National Philanthropy Day is officially recognized by the Government of Canada’s National Philanthropy Day Act. This acknowledges the important role philanthropy plays in building strong communities, promoting civic engagement and improving the lives of Canadians through the work of caring individuals and charitable organizations.

“We are celebrating those who have made significant contributions to philanthropy,” explains Roger Ali, President of the AFP Golden Horseshoe Chapter. “Volunteers, donors and fundraisers, and their dedication to doing good works for charities and causes within our regions is an inspiration to all of us,” he adds. “And we are part of something much broader; we share this day with some 50,000 people in more than 100 communities and around the world who are paying tribute to National Philanthropy Day in many distinct ways. I extend congratulations to all the award winners!”

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser – Susan Busby: Nominated By: Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation
Not only has Susan Busby’s personal giving been instrumental to the success of ensuring state-of-the-art health services for our community, her volunteer contributions are equally inspiring as an active and valued member of the Joseph Brant Hospital and the Foundation’s Boards. She served as Chair of Board of Directors, Volunteer Governor, member of the Ambassadors Council and Campaign Cabinet member, just to name a few.

Busby Susan

Susan Busby; recipient of the 2014 Association of Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Volunteer award.


Susan is a true champion of children and youth in need. As a former teacher and principal, Susan recognized the importance of student success and achievement and dedicated her time to build the Halton Learning Foundation. Her involvement with the Nelson Youth Centres provided tremendous leadership as a tireless advocate and fundraiser. Through annual fundraisers she helped raise the profile of the organization in the community to support children’s mental health programs.

Susan exemplifies the true spirit and best qualities of our community. Her leadership and passion for engaging others to give truly represents philanthropy and the positive impact others can make in their community.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser – Ron Foxcroft; Nominated by: Hillfield Strathallen College
Affectionately known as “Mr. Hamilton”, Ron Foxcroft is a passionate advocate for causes involving children and a healthy community, as well as a highly successful entrepreneur. In Ron’s words: “Building healthy bodies and minds makes for a stronger community. Recreation leads to a lifetime of better health, self-esteem, leadership and teamwork skills.”

Foxcroft Ron ACP

Ron Foxcroft; recipient of the 2014 Association of Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Volunteer award.

Ron has a steadfast belief that anything is possible with hard work, determination and the support of dedicated volunteers. He has an unwavering commitment to his philanthropy, the Hamilton/Burlington communities, and his untiring volunteerism. Ron never hesitates to use his broad network of connections and relationships to engage others and help him achieve his goals.

Over the years, he has been committed to a broad range of local causes including: McMaster University, St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hillfield Strathallan College, Mohawk College, Hamilton Community Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, McMasters Children’s Hospital and City Kidz, just to name a few. Countless individuals and organizations have benefitted from his volunteerism and he is an incredible inspiration and role model for leadership and generosity.

The above is what the Association of Fundraising professionals had to say about Busby and Foxcroft. Here’s the real skinny on those two. Susan Busby will tell you that she has a saint of a husband who has been beside her every step of the way – and then some. Marie, Ron Foxcroft’s wife will tell you that she gave up trying to keep up with Ron. She’s happy when he gets home.

You could not find two people more unlike each other than Foxcroft and Busby. Busby uses her skills as a high school principal to let people understand how something should get done. She has that remarkable ability to let people figure out what she has in mind – and then she helps them get it done.

During her various assignments at the hospital Busby had to deal with people who had very healthy egos; she dealt with those egos very effectively, a testament to her length of service to the hospital and the wider community.

Foxcroft is a little more aggressive. He twists arms – nicely – but you know your arm is being twisted and if you’ve been around Burlington at all – give in when he calls.

Ron is the kind of guy who can keep a secret but he does that a little differently than most of us. He tells you the secret and makes you promise not to pass it on – and then he holds you to that promise.
Mayor Goldring called Ron Foxcroft when he needed help with raising funds for Flood Disaster Relief. Foxcroft had cheques on the table before the end of the week and began going through his Rolodex and making calls.

He set an ambitious target and then did a number on the provincial government to ensure that they too came through with the commitment Burlington needed. MPP Ted McMeekin, responsible for the Flamborough to the west of us was also the Minister who would have to sign off on the funding.

McMeekin got the Foxcroft treatment for three solid days – the man may never be the same. But earlier this week the local MPP’s, Indira Nadoor-Harris and Eleanor McMahon announced that the provincial government would provide up to $3 million to Burlington on a two-for-one basis; for every dollar we raised the province would add two dollars.

Ron Foxcroft didn’t start making calls during the media event at which the announcement was made – but he was on the phone while driving home – a hands free phone.

Fund raising ends on Friday, the evening Foxcroft and Busby are to be recognized. Will Ron walk from table to table asking for cheques – and has he put the touch on Susan Busby yet?

Two fine people being recognized for decades of personal philanthropy – kudos to the two of them.


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Part 2 - The 38 of Burlington's finest lost in theFirst World War.

backgrounder 100By Mark Gillies

November 10, 2014



The first news about the loss of a soldier who lived in Burlington was a telegram from Ottawa.  That telegram would have come through the railway station that the men board the train to Toronto on.

Simmons standing

Edward Cooper Simmons

My grandfather served in that war.  He wasn’t one of the of the 300 men from Burlington but he was part of that cohort that volunteered to fight in the first Great War.  They believed it was the war that was going to end all wars.

Burlington was a town with a population of less than 2000; it sent more than 10% of its population off to fight a war that was on the other side of the world.  everyone in town knew some of these men.

Simmons form

The Army Death detail document tells us Private Simmons died if influenza and pneumonia in the field. We are given the name of the cemetery his remains were laid to rest in.

One of the those men was Edward Cooper Simmons.  He died in the field of influenza and pneumonia.

Buckingham name on small statue

Buckingham’s name is on a small cenotaph elsewhere. Shown is a closeup of the names. There is the name of a seaman as well.

Robert John Buckingham was killed in action on May 30th, 1918 at a battle south of Sancourt.  The Army death documentation says where he was buried.  That is all that exists in the way of documentation but along with his name there is a tombstone with Robert John Buckingham’s name on it.

Allen - news item

Some detail taken from the Gazette, which at the time was the newspaper for the town. Note the easy, almost colloquial style.

The Allen’s were a very prominent Burlington family.  They owned a hardware store that was on Brant Street – not far from where Burlingtonians will gather on Remembrance Day. Joseph E. Allen was one of the 38 that left for the war and did not return.  As a boy Joe surely walked by the place the cenotaph now stands.  The short news item in the Gazette told of an injury.  Allen later died of that injury.

Reese attetation

The phrase “sign-up” refers to this document which the Militia called an Attestation Paper.

Private Reese was Killed in Action in a battle at St. Julien on April 28, 1915. The documents tell us little more than that.  When men enlisted they completed what was known as an Attestation form that set out the information the government needed.  The department that handled all the paper work was called the Militia Department.

Robert Ray Reese was part of the Canadian Over-seas Expeditionary Force.  He signed an Oath that was then signed by the local magistrate.  His next of kin lived in Toronto.  Reese was single.  There was an Attestation form for every man that “signed-up”

Oaks form

There wasn’t a lot of information available on Private Albert Oakes.

Albert Oakes died in the same action as Private Reese. The battle at St. Julien took at least two men from Burlington.  They died days apart on the same battlefield.  All we have in the way of records is the Army death detail document.

Harry George Bracknell was at first thought to be missing.  The documentation says he was later presumed to be dead while fighting in a battle on Hill 60 in Belgium.  The document was signed by General Murray Maxwell.

Bracknell form

Harry George Bracknell – Very few details, missing, presumed dead.

Thousands of men were blown to piece by shells that landed close to where they were standing.  There were no remains to bury – just a document saying they had been lost.  All we have is a name on a cenotaph in Burlington.



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Citizens advising government in more than a token way: democracy appears to still have some life left in it.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

November 6, 2014



Local government works best when the people in the community play a meaningful role in the determination of what the tax rates should be and what the money raised is to be spent on.

Bureaucrats can`t do it all. In Burlington, many of the senior people don`t live in the city 0- their relationship with citizens is for the most part paper based and interactions at committee or Council meetings.

Burlington has a number of Advisory Committees – some work exceptionally well while others are a mess. This reporter has sat in on two Advisory Committee meetings where members were throwing copies of reports at each other.



Nicholas Leblovic. chair of the now sunset Waterfront Advisory committee.  Some Advisory Committees work well – others don’t.

The city has created Advisory Committees and shut them down before they completed a full term; that was the fate of WAPA – the Waterfront Access and Protection Advisory committee that was the starting point for that startling decision of the Council that will end its tem at the end of the month.

There are Advisory Committees that do superb work – better than staff people at city hall. And there are Advisory Committees that are poorly chaired.

Who sits on the Advisory Committees?

The city runs advertisements asking for people to submit an application; they are reviewed, people are interviewed and the selections announced. The decisions of city hall staff who make the recommendations then go to Council where they are approved. There have been occasions when Council decide not to approve a particular person – that kind of a decision gets made in a closed session.
Thus the final word on who sits on those Advisory Committees is made by Council – they want to keep the trouble makers out – or do they want to ensure they will get people who will support what Council wants to see done?

Do Council members put names forward?

There are people in this city that do not agree with some of the policies city Council puts forward and they would like to see some form or organized opposition in place.

While municipal governments do not follow provincial or federal party lines – there are people who would like to see something in the way of an organization that is not specific subject based.


Cut line

The Official waterfront advisory committee was shut down by the city – citizens thought it important enough to have a committee and formed something independent of city hall.

The Burlington Library is working with the city this year to put on an event that will let people learn more about the different advisory committees. The event will include committees that are not part of the civic administration.

The event: An Introduction to Boards and Committees, takes place on November 19th at the Central Library – starts at 7:00 pm. Oddly enough it doesn’t appear on the Library calendar and the city hasn’t said a word about it publicly. Disapointing.

The city has since advised that the event is n the city web site and that paid advertising is to appear soon.

While a large part of the city population lives south of the QEW – there are a lot of people north of that stretch of pavement. Why isn’t an event like this held in Alton in the recreational complex up there? This would give the people north of Dundas and those to the immediate south a chance to really participate.

Among the Boards and committees that will have representatives at the event are:

Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee
Burlington Cycling Advisory Committee
Sustainable Development Advisory Committee
Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee
Senior’s Advisory Committee
Inclusivity Advisory Committee
Mundialization Committee
Committee of Adjustment
Downtown Parking Advisory Committee
Burlington Public Library Board
Burlington Museums Board
Doors Open Volunteer Organizing Committee
Canada Day Committee Organizing Committee
Christmas Parade Committee

Bfast Transit group logo

Bfast is an independent group that is well informed on transit matter. They delegate frequently.

We understand that BFast (Burlington For Accessible Sustainable Transit) will also have a table for people who want to be involved in transit issues.


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Greg Sorbara, former Ontario finance minister to speak about his new book at Central Library

Event 100

By Pepper Parr

November 6, 2014



In his day he was one of the heavy hitters at Queen’s Park. He ran the elections that got Dalton McGuinty elected and re-elected. He had his own problems with an inquiry and was totally cleared. He experienced a little too much zealousness on the part of the police.

A new session of Engaging Ideas, proudly hosted by A Different Drummer Books and Burlington Public Library, features a guest renowned for his achievement and experience and for his insight into our political process:

Greg Sorbara in the Legislature

Greg Sorbara in the Legislature – always on his feet with the facts at his finger tips.

A senior figure in Ontario’s governance, as long-serving MPP, as Liberal Party president and as Minister of Finance, Greg Sorbara will take his audience through the many colourful challenges of his long and extraordinary career, and share the startling facts and opinions newly revealed in his candid and provocative memoir.

“This is a lovely, insightful book from one of modern Ontario’s most influential figures. It provides deep insight and personal reflections on both the policy process and the real-world of politics from a man who has shaped the evolution of Ontario as much as anyone in the past three decades.”: that’s how Matthew Mendelsohn, a former senior federal and provincial civil servant describes the book.

The Battlefield of Ontario Politics on November 17 at 7pm at Centennial Hall, Burlington Central Library, 2331 New Street.  Tickets are $10, available at A Different Drummer Books and at the Third Floor Information Desk at the Library.

Sorbara has been a member of the Ontario Liberal Party, and served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1985 until 1995, and then from 2001 until 2012, most recently representing the riding of Vaughan. Sorbara served as the Minister of Finance in the Liberal government of Premier Dalton McGuinty from 2003 to 2007.

He differed with Premier David Petersen on the calling of the 200xx election – won his seat but the Liberals lost that election. He ran for the leadership of the party; lost to Lynn McLeod.
He was a supporter of Dalton McGuinty and did all the backroom thinking for each of the McGuinty elections.

He resigned on October 11, 2005, following a police investigation involving his family’s real estate development firm and was reinstated on May 23, 2006 after a judge ruled that there was no cause for including Sorbara’s name on a search warrant.


Greg Sorbara during the public investigation days. He was totally cleared of any wrong doing.

Sorbara chaired the party’s successful 2007 election campaign but announced on October 26, 2007 that he was leaving the cabinet to spend more time with his family but would continue as a backbench MPP.
On August 1, 2012, Sorbara announced that he was retiring from the legislature but would stay on as chair of the Liberal’s election campaign.

He will be at the Central Library on November 19th – should be a fine evening. The man has a great story to tell.

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Tell five people and ask them to also tell five people: Town Hall meeting for flood victims.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 3, 2014



There are believed to be between 500 and 250 homes in Burlington that were damaged by that August 4th flood that were either uninsured or under insured.

The citizens of Burlington have pulled together and raised $800,000 to date with the expectation that the amount will grow to $1 million by the end of the fund raising campaign.

Now – time to begin putting that money to good use and helping the people whose homes were damaged.

BCF Town Hall meeting


The Burlington Community Foundation (BCF) is holding a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday November 4th to explain the process that is being used to take care of those who need financial help.

To some the forms and the process might be confusing. The BCF will be explaining the process and will also have people on hand to work directly with those who need help,

The BCF believes there are at least more than 100 people who need and are entitled to help. It is vital that these people be in touch with the BCF and if at all possible that they attend the Tuesday meeting.

When you read this , please tell at least five other people and ask those five people to tell five other people.

If you were flooded and are either uninsured or under insured please attend the November 4th meeting.

There are people who can help – but they need to be able to talk to you.

The meeting is taking place at the Seniors’ Centre on New Street between 7:00 and 9:00 pm.

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Halton Regional police ask: Keep your Thumbs Up and off the cell phone; keep your head up and on the road and Be Alert.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 1, 2014



The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) hold an Annual Crime Prevention Week campaign. This year, the Halton Regional Police Service is focusing on the increasing issue of Distracted Driving.

One only has to drive around to see the number of distracted drivers either talking on their cell phones or with their heads down, texting in their laps.

In 2013, distracted driving caused more deaths than impaired driving in Ontario. It is also a direct cause of 30-50 percent of collisions, yet people continue to ignore the warnings and choose to drive distracted putting not only their lives at risk but everyone around them.

Texting map

The markers on the map will show how many people in each community actually signed the pledge on line – were you one of them?

Halton Regional Police issued a total of 6,857 distracted driving tickets in 2013. From January through to October 2014, 6,916 tickets have been issued. Drivers are not getting the point.

Our “Thumbs Up Against Distracted Driving” campaign is an educational initiative that serves to create awareness and encourage dialogue between drivers of all ages in hopes of getting people to take the pledge to put the phone down.

High School Liaison officers will be engaging youths in high schools around the Region to break the habit and put their phones down while driving. A thumb band with the reminder “W82TXT” will be handed out to be worn.

The Regional police are going close to all out on this educational initiative and have set up a section of their web site where people can “take the pledge” not to text while driving.

They have created a map showing how many people in each community within the Region have taken the pledge.

thumb-bands1“We encourage people to go to our website and take the pledge. A friendly challenge between municipalities can be followed on the map. Take the HRPS Pledge and watch the numbers in your municipality grow” suggest the police.  Click here to take that pledge.

Let’s all help make Canada’s, more specifically, Halton’s roads the safest in the world!

Follow @HaltonPolice on Twitter and join the conversation using the following hashtags: #HRPSPledge and #W82TXT.

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Hamilton artist Simon Frank to design art installation for Mountainside Recreation Centre

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 31, 2014



Burlington, through its Public Art Program, has selected artist Simon Frank to install a public art piece at Mountainside Recreation Centre.

Frank was chosen by a community jury through the Public Art Program after the call for proposals produced a list of 32 submissions. The list was shortened to four artists: Karl Ciesluk from Ottawa, Ont., Simon Frank from Hamilton, Ont., Andrew Owen from Toronto, Ont. and Teresa Seaton from Burlington, Ont.



“Frank has a well-established, contemporary art practice that examines the relationship between people and the natural environment,” said the jury’s statement. “He was able to clearly communicate his understanding of the community that the public art will exist in.”

Frank, a poet, artist and rustic furniture-maker, will use community input, the design of Mountainside and the natural area to create his final plan. He will be on site this fall to explore the area and consult with the community as he begins the $25,000 project. Dates, times and locations for public input will be announced.

The public art piece will complement the Mountainside Recreation Centre revitalization project.
Simon Frank was born in 1968 in Glasgow, Scotland, but grew up in Dundas, Ont. Over the past 18 years, Frank has participated in solo and group exhibitions across Ontario, as well as exhibiting in special projects in Saskatoon, Italy and South Korea. He has received grants from both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

Simon Frank art Island

“Island” at the Dominic Agostino Centre

Frank has installed two permanent, public art works in Hamilton: “Island” at the Dominic Agostino Centre (2003) and “Concrete Poetry” on Locke Street (2011). He has also been a finalist in public art competitions in Waterloo and Surrey BC. Frank is a member of the Hamilton-based collective TH&B, which has produced site-specific projects in Hamilton, Kingston, Buffalo and New York.

Over the past eighteen years, Frank has participated in solo and group exhibitions across Ontario, as well as exhibiting in special projects in Saskatoon, Italy and South Korea. He has received grants from both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. Selected exhibitions and offsite projects include: “Take on Me”, Luminato Festival, Toronto (2014); “Romancing the Anthropocene”, Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2013); “View (from the escarpment)”, Art Gallery of Hamilton (2012); “The Tree Project”, McMichael Gallery, Kleinburg (2012); “Terra Incognito”, Rodman Hall, St Catharines (2009); “Earth Art”, Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton (2008); “Sketch for New Forest”, The Koffler Gallery, simon Frank - ConcretePoetryToronto (2007); “Wild Wood” Haliburton Forest Preserve, Haliburton (2007); “The Forest for the Trees” Galleria di Arte Contemporanea, La Spezia, Italy (2007); “Ice Follies 2006”, WKP Kennedy Gallery, North Bay (2006); “Gold Leaf” (performance), Art Gallery of Ontario (2005); “Shorelines”, MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie (2005); “Exchange-Changing the Landscape”, The Tree Museum (2004); “SPASM II”, Saskatoon (2004); “The Geumgang Nature Art Project”, Korea (2002); “CAFKA/Power to the People”, Kitchener (2002); “Zone 6B: Art in the Environment”, Hamilton (2000). Frank is also a member of the Hamilton-based collective TH&B, which has produced site-specific projects in Hamilton, Kingston, Toronto, Banff, Buffalo and New York.

The mission of the City of Burlington’s Public Art Program is to enhance the quality of life in Burlington through art. The program strives to bring artwork by both established and emerging artists throughout Burlington.

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Devil’s Night at Edy Roy Glass Gallery.

theartsBy Lana Kamarić 

October 28, 2014


Thursday evening, at the Edy Roy Glass Gallery on Spring Garden Road, just in behind the Royal Botanical Gardens, True Visage, a specialty show for Devil’s Night will take place.

True Visage will be featuring a new body of work from Salt, a glass artist from Austin Texas, which will include his glass pipe work as well as a series of masks – appropriate for the occasion.

In these new pieces, Salt examines the masks we wear through the faces we put on for the world. He plays with the concept in both a literal and figurative sense, postulating that while we do not necessarily cover our faces with a latex shield we do tend to smile even when we are not happy.

Kim Zii glass + Edy Roy Gallery

Latex masks with removable glass eyeballs are part of the True Visage exhibit at the Edy Roy Faller this Thursday

Salt has collaborated with special effects artist Kim Zii to create latex masks with removable glass eyeballs. Zii is also an experienced glass and make-up artist from Philadelphia.

In addition to the masks Salt will also be displaying a series of glass pipes. As a functional piece he raises the question of whether the pipe is disguised as art or if the art is disguised as a pipe. Salt describes the pipe as a product of its environment – much like the faces we wear for the world.

Salt’s work often resembles monsters and strange creatures. True Visage was created specifically for this Halloween geared show. Edy Roy Glass Gallery strives to promote original and unique pieces. Creative director, Kyle Brooke, focuses on pieces from “artists that have something to say and have a voice.”

While the gallery does display traditional soft glass work, they also work to showcase the contemporary glass movement that involves borosilicate glass work, which tends to be more functional. Brooke provided some insight into this movement, specifically that of glass pipe art. She describes this art form as a subculture much like graffiti and tattoo art.

Kim Zii glass pipes

Kim Zit’s glass pipes are a subculture much like graffiti and tattoo art

Brooke also mentioned how this art form has become its own industry and gathered many followers. Artists do events all over the world and are often regarded as “rockstars” in their field. Brooke discovered this movement in the US and is working to bring more of it to Canadian audiences.

The opening night will be this Thursday October 30th. A private showing will take place for the sponsors on the opening night, however the show will be open to the public from 6 – 10pm.

The Edy Roy Glass Gallery exhibits are very popular and draw a lot of people for their specialty shows.  Line ups are not uncommon – it is expected to be quite the event. In the spirit of Halloween the event will be a masquerade, so bring your mask.

Kamaric H&S 1Lana Kamarić is a contemporary surrealist artist and a self-taught painter. Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia Lana arrived in Canada at the age of five. After moving to Burlington she attended Robert Bateman High school and graduated from York University with a degree in Art History. Lana has worked with the Museums of Burlington, the Art Gallery of Burlington and is currently working as a full-time artist. Lana was a participant in Cirque, the 2014 No Vacancy installation event in the Village Square. Her last show was Art in the Workplace at McMaster Innovation Park.

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Citizen wants city hall staff to help flood victims fill in forms that are complex and confusing

opinionandcommentBy James Smith

October 24, 2014



The Red Cross identified more than 200 homes that were severely damaged.  The city asked the Burlington Community Foundation to take on the task of raising funds from within the community and handle the processing of flood relief applications.  Aid is available only to the people who had no insurance or were under insured.  Many of those who did not have insurance were unable to buy insurance because of past flood claims. To date there are something in the order of 40 applications received by the Community Foundation.  James Smith knows of at least five people who do not understand the forms and believes there are others.  He wants the city to lend a hand.

Open Letter

Mr. Patrick Moyle, Interim City Manager, The City of Burlington

As you may know I am a candidate for Burlington’s Ward 5 in Monday’s municipal election but this is not a political message. Rather this is an urgent request to the civic administration, on behalf of the many people who have had their lives and property damaged by the storm of August 4th.

The City of Burlington needs to help, advise and offer direction on the process of how to make claim through the Ontario Disaster Relief Plan (ODRAP) that the Burlington Community Foundation (BCF) is managing.

The process is almost unknown to a large number of residents who had their homes damaged by the events of August 4th. The form, as developed by the BCF may be thorough, but is only readily available from the BCF’s website, and many seniors do not readily have access to the internet, the form is also 13 pages long and fairly complex. Add to these hurdles, the process is not well understood by many.

Here’s what thousands of residents of Burlington’s South East need, and need right away:

Train a handful of City Staff, (15-25) from any department, and familiarized these City Staff members with the ODRAP process, the forms produced by the Burlington Community Foundation (BCF) and how to fill out the forms and how to deal with questions from those who will apply.

Organize staff into teams to hold small scale meetings in a large number of locations across the South East of the City, in City facilities but also in non traditional locations such as: Places of Worship, Stores, Restaurants, Work Places and even private residences.

Use whatever means possible to let those who’ve been damaged know about when and where meeting will take place. Do not simply rely on Advertising in local media and city websites and social media. Old school methods should include flyers, door-to door canvas, mobile signs and posters on utility poles.

Organize meetings that are part information and part working meetings with greeters directing the public to either information or intake workers.

These meetings need to be working meetings that focus on having these members of city staff to assist residents fill out & and accept forms and documentation, and follow-up with those who apply or who need further information.

As a city, I feel we owe this kind of effort, at the very least, to those in our community who have been damaged by the events of August 4th.

I trust you agree with me and will find the resources to accomplish this without delay or direction from council because; it is the right thing to do.

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Transit gets discussed at community meeting: Hlusko and Brown didn't like what they heard

News 100 redBy Staff

October 23, 2014



Burlington Transit held a community meeting on proposed changes to Route 6 at Tansley Woods Community Centre Tuesday evening. It was not a smash hit.

Two seasoned observers, one, the best mind on transit matters the city has and Jennifer Hlusko, a current school board trustee running for the ward six council seat who always has a command of the numbers on anything she talks about,  comment on the event.

Hlusko had this to say:

“I attended the City’s presentation last night about the options that City Staff are considering to response to the complaints received from Headon Forest Drive residents. I had attended the Council meetings last May to listen to the residents’ delegations.

Hlusko H&S

Jennifer Hlusko

I was astounded by what I witnessed last night. The City hired a Consultant to handle this transit complaint. Dennis Fletcher, of Steer Davies Gleave, told the audience that over the past few months he has read every email and complaint received from the public. Mr. Fletcher said he was “brought in by the City to be an objective third party”.

In addition to the Consultant, I counted 8 City staff members, 23 residents, 3 Ward 6 Councillor candidates and 1 Ward 6 trustee candidate. Significantly, in the room was Mike Spicer, Director of Burlington Transit. John Duncan, Burlington Transit, was quick to tell me staff weren’t being paid overtime. That wasn’t my objection (although I expect they’ll be given lieu time).

My objection was that the City once again hired a Consultant to handle a file that staff should handle. There was nothing that Mr. Fletcher provided last night that staff couldn’t have handled themselves. Halton District School Board staff frequently lead very contentious public meetings dealing with boundary reviews and school closures.

Mr. Fletcher presented the 3 options (that were already available online), took questions from the audience then invited them to review the charts up close. Neither he nor staff would provide ridership data. To me, that is the crux of the matter. Mr. Fletcher did take the opportunity to diss the school board for downloading the problem of transporting Notre Dame Catholic SS students onto the City of Burlington. How many students ride the bus? If the route is changed to Option #1, has the administration at Notre Dame been asked how that would likely impact ridership? Does the City project that changing to Option #1 will increase ridership by providing direct access to the Supercentre mall, MMRobinson HS, the No Frills plaza, etc.? Can these projections be shared with the public?

Mr. Fletcher said that City Staff will prepare a report that will go to Council in December. If I am elected to be the Ward 6 Councillor, rest assured that I will advocate for data based decisions. Furthermore, that data is shared with the public. I will highlight for the public every time the City considers hiring a Consultant and how much it will cost taxpayers.

I invite residents to attend the repeat performance on Thu Oct 23rd at Tansley Woods. While the notice states the meeting start time is 6pm, the presentation does not begin until 6:30pm.

Here are the three options. Please note they did not include an option along Upland Drive that meets the criteria of providing transit to the Burlington Supercentre mall, but would consider it if the public requested it. Then when an audience member asked if they would consider Deer Run, Mr. Fletcher said, “We are not looking for streets to put a bus on or to take a bus off. We are trying to provide a service to meet GO times.”

The Hlusko comments were published by Hlusko on “blog” she writes almost daily

Doug Brown and Susan Lewis look over a 1982 copy of the city's bus schedule.

Doug Brown and Susan Lewis look over a 1982 copy of the city’s bus schedule.

Doug Brown, chair of Bfast a transit advocacy group based in Burlington made the following comments about the meeting.

Residents do not have the right to remove service from transit users. Not wanting a bus or bus stop near your home is not a reasonable request. It is strange that Council has been so receptive to moving bus stops and bus routes away from complaining homeowners, while showing no interest in the hundreds of complaints from bus users who have lost service during the arbitrary changes resulting from the “Interim Plan” of September 2012, and the wholesale route and schedule changes of November 3, 2013. Does Council have a bias against transit using citizens?

Transit routes should be determined by user needs and through a long-term, comprehensive transit plan. The November 03, 2013 changes did not meet these criteria.

Any changes made to Route 6 should be based on user needs and views – not on unreasonable requests from non-users to remove service.

Further transit changes should be based on a long-term well researched transit plan. Since the 2010-11 Transit Master Plan was aborted by the City in January 2011, there has been no long-term transit plan. The current Transportation Master Plan would have been a good opportunity to develop a long-term integrated transportation plan that would have included a balanced strategy for moving people via car, transit, cycling, or on foot. This opportunity is being missed.

In an interview the day after the meeting Doug Brown said: “To put it mildly, not a good public meeting.
The meeting had a number of non-transit using residents of lower Headon Forest and Pine Meadow. There were some transit users there, even though the Tansley Woods meeting site has hourly bus service – not great accessibility if you can’t drive there.

The meeting began with a talk by a paid facilitator who spent 25 minutes describing the three options that Burlington Transit has developed for the north end of Route 6.

I was the first person to speak from the audience, but was stopped half a minute into my statement by the facilitator and Mike Spicer on the grounds that only comments on the posted three options were allowed. Before being cut-off, I was interrupted several times by some rude residents with comments such as “have you heard the buses.”

I did at least get my first point out that no resident had the right to prevent transit from using their street, and that streets were public right of ways.

Empty buses was the theme of most of the non-transit using residents. Four transit users did speak, but it was very apparent that the NIMBY-minded residents had created a very anti-transit mood. The first transit user to speak felt compelled to apologize for his comments since they contradicted the presented empty bus claims.

Nonetheless, there were several good observations from the few transit users there. One lady recommended going back to the old #6 route which serviced Burlington Mall as well as the Fortinos plaza.

Anyway, back to my comments which I was prevented from delivering. My first point was that residents did not have the right to remove bus stops or buses from their streets. The second issue is that Transit routes should be determined by user needs and through a long-term, comprehensive transit plan. Good transit planning cannot be achieved by the ad hoc and time constrained options presented at the meeting.

My third point was that any changes made to Route 6 should be based on user needs and views – not on unreasonable requests from non-users to remove service. This is a key issue as staff and council seem to pay much more attention to non-transit users views than the needs of transit users.

And my fourth point was that further transit changes should be based on a long-term well researched transit plan. I noted that the City’s 2014 Capital Budget document shows no funding allocation for a transit plan until 2018 meaning that for the next 4 years, any transit measures will be ad hoc and not based on a sound long-term plan.

The three options presented by the City were far too limited as they ignored the central issue of lack of funding and poor service levels (one- hour headways on the north east routes). Staff has apparently ruled out any alternative that would cost more money – which rules out many potential options for better service.

A final comment – I have been attending many public meetings over a very long time. Last night was the first time I was stopped from speaking.



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Flood victims struggle to get the information and help they need - bureaucrats talk a lot, politicians get caught in the middle.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 22, 2014



A second citizens group has been set up to deal with the flooding problems that resulted from that August 4th flood. This group, known as Halton Residents Against Sewage Backup and Flooding (HRASBF) has been a little more active at the social media level and expects at some point that it will join forces with Burlington Sewer Back-up Victims Coalition (BSBVC)

Differentiating between the two groups can be confusing so we will call them the “Victims” and the “Advocates”.

Flood rally Oct  25-14The “advocates” once met with ward five council member Paul Sharman at what he wanted to call a private meeting held in a church. It was clear at that meeting that the residents had more information than the council member who admitted that his problem was getting information out of the Regional level of government.

The “advocates have called a public meeting for Friday, October 24th – from 4:30 to 6:30 at Fortino’s Plaza

Sharman, to his credit, got the Region to do a study of flooding in July – before the August storm because there had been persistent flooding in his ward.
The flooding issue has come close to defining Sharman’s re-election campaign.
Jack Dennison, who is running for re-election in ward four claimed he had inspected more than 1000 basements.

Peter Rusin, who is running for the office of Mayor said Mayor Goldring’s absence from last night’s meeting was less than encouraging. If I was elected Mayor, it would not be resident groups requesting meetings or pressuring for solutions. I would set up a series of workshops involving Regional Engineers, City Engineers, the Conservation Authority and possibly include representatives from both the federal government and the insurance industry.

“My goal” said Rusin, ” would be to fast track and prioritize future remediation measures such as capital projects for new storm water ponds, greater erosion control, flow capacity consideration and emergency plan measures.”

This is a difficult time for those involved in the politics of wards four and five – there are some terribly painful human tragedies going on in hundreds of households but there isn’t all that much a candidate can actually do.

The need for the flood victims is financial but unless a home owner was uninsured or under insured they will not benefit from the funds being raised by citizens through the Burlington Community Foundation.

The frustration in the community comes through in the email chatter – some of which we set out below.

The email chatter:

Christine Thorpe

Christina Thorpe, spokesperson for the Halton Residents Against Sewage Backup and Flooding (HRASBF) speaking at a community meeting at Glad Tidings church on Guelph Line.

From: Harnum, Jim []
Sent: October 21, 2014 9:25 AM
To: ‘Christina Thorpe’
Subject: RE: Flood
Hi Christina,
Sorry for the delay in responding, I was out at an offsite meeting yesterday. The magnitude of this storm was unprecedented in Halton Region, in the past we had only experienced 20 to 30 flood claims per year vs 3000 in one week. We did not have this pamphlet prepared until after we received feedback from the community, that more information was required.
With respect to your second point, please accept my apologies for the impression that I was downplaying the impact or magnitude. I was merely stating the facts concerning the dilution factor of the water in basements. I recognize that this has been a terrible event for thousands of individuals and by no means was I downplaying the impacts. A storm of this magnitude would have overwhelmed any system in Canada as sanitary sewers are not designed to handle rain water, especially at these magnitudes.
Jim Harnum, CET, MBA Commissioner, Public Works

Thorpe responds:

From: Christina Thorpe []
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 10:16 PM
To: Harnum, Jim
Subject: Re: Flood
Hello Jim,
With all due respect, hard copies should have been mailed or hand delivered to each resident within a few days of the backups/flooding with the ex-gratia grants. Does the region realize how many residents were blindsided by restoration companies and contractors? These restoration companies charged exorbitant fees and did not do proper clean up and residents were none the wiser, and according to the Ontario Environment Safety Network (OESN), every home they visited in Burlington was inadequately cleaned and tested.
I, personally, don’t appreciate your downplay of the situation. My children have unexplained rashes on their legs and face. I have seen exhaustion in elderly folks and those who are not well. The region should be holding information sessions for residents in this aftermath in conjunction with the public health department.

Jim gets back to Christina:

Jeff Brooks - hand to head

Jeff Brooks, candidate for the ward three council seat speaks at the Glad Tidings meeting.

On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 9:16 PM, Harnum, Jim <> wrote:
Hi Christina,
Residents can get hard copies at Region offices or they can call 311 and we will mail them out one. ‎During the Aug 4 flood, the ratio of rainwater to sewage was very high, in other words the majority of water in basements was rainwater mixed with a very small volume of sewage. Therefore the threat to health was very small. As far as fecal mater in weeping tiles, most plumbing would be thoroughly flushed after another heavy rainfall, which we have had several since the flood. If a homeowner did still have a concern they could enlist the services of a plumber to send a camera into weeping tiles to review the condition. I hope this helps and answers your questions.
Jim Harnum, CET, MBA, Commissioner of Public Works


Christina responds again:

From: Christina Thorpe
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 8:48 PM
To: Harnum, Jim
Subject: Re: Flood
Hi Jim,
Where can the hard copies of the guide be found? Did elderly home owners who do not have access to computers, those who lost their computers or those who no longer drive receive copies from the region?
Also, you have not answered the question of fecal matter stuck in the weeping tile and drains. How is the region responding to this?
Christina Thorpe
On 2014-10-19, at 6:17 PM, Harnum, Jim wrote:


Derek Johnston joins the chatter and gets a response:

Hello Mr. Johnston,
> Thank you for the information, I will review the situation that occurred on Mcraney Avenue in the past to see if there are similarities. As far as the health and wellbeing of homeowners, Halton has also been very proactive in this area. Although we cannot go into residences to review the presence of mold or other contaminants, we have worked closely with our Public Health Department and developed very comprehensive material on our website to help homeowners understand the issues.

We have also developed a very detailed guide titled “A guide to Flooding Prevention and Recovery”. This guide has all of the information that homeowners in Halton would need to help protect themselves from future flooding events and how to ensure that their homes are safe if they do experience flooding. The website link is below and the guide is located here as well. The guide is also produced in hardcopy for those who do not have access to a computer.
Jim Harnum, CET, MBA, > Commissioner, Public Works
> —–Original Message—–
Johnston sends a polite response:

From: Derek Johnston []
> Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2014 4:44 PM
> To: Harnum, Jim
> Cc: Paul Sharman; Phil Cavanagh; Christina Thorpe; Bob Vrenjak; Carr, Gary; matt johnston; Linda Johnston;
> Subject: Flood
> Thank you Jim

Nicole Dunn HRASB

Nicole Dunn, part of the (HRASBF) talked about the health issues related to the flooding. She thinks they are serious and being overlooked by the Regional bureaucrats.

> We are not done yet but i am impressed by the quality of your response and by the fact that it came out so promptly on a Sunday afternoon,.
> You might want to take a look at what happened on Mcraney avenue 20 years back it was remarkably similar to the Tuck Creek overflow . The City of Oakville picked up the tab for all repairs to a large number of flooded homes My serious concern at this point is the most vulnerable flood damaged people. There are a lot of elderly people in our neighbourhood. I am concerned that sewage damage which is not immeadiately apparent might be missed leaving a festering disease and mold Infested condition with possible deadly ramifications. Is there any way we can make sure that all houses are safe. Please be advised i am aware of several homes where damage to the piping did not become apparent until weeks after the flood , Sewer gas smell and backed up sewage pipes were discovered. i want to be sure that all flood victims are safe from disease and illness.
> Best Regards Derek Johnston

Jim Harnum responds to Johnston again:

On 2014-10-19, at 11:16 AM, Harnum, Jim wrote:
Hello Mr. Johnston,

Thank you for your e-mail, I understand your concerns and assure you that the Region is taking this issue seriously and we have been very active in assisting residents and looking for short and long term solutions.

The Region has received over 6000 flood related inquiries since August 4th. All calls received by 311 (Access Halton) by phone or e-mail that require follow up are logged and tracked. Staff has responded to calls received by connecting directly with residents or by leaving a message with relevant information. We have encouraged all residents impacted by flooding to contact 311. This message was communicated to over 30,000 Burlington residents using the Community Emergency Notification System as well as by the Red Cross when they visited 10,979 homes at the request of the City and the Region following the flooding. There has also been communication through the media and social media.

I would also like to provide you the following additional information highlighting the Region’s response to the August 4th storm.

Over 3000 homes have been visited by Regional staff and almost $2 million in ex-gratia grants provided to assist residents. The Region also initiated a special program for residents in high priority areas where homes have been impacted by repeat flooding, covering 100% of the costs of basement flooding prevention measures. It is expected this program will cost an additional $1 million.

The regular Basement Flooding Prevention Subsidy program is available to all residents covering up to 50% of the cost to install basement flooding prevention measures. The demand for this program increased significantly after the August 4th storm. It is estimated that the Basement Flooding Prevention Subsidy program will cost the Region over $1 million.

Since the August 4th storm, the Region has also provided enhanced waste collection services in Burlington to assist residents clean up following the flooding. The cost of the enhanced services is expected to cost approximately $500,000.

Halton Region has supported the City’s request for Provincial assistance through the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) and the fundraising efforts by the Burlington Community Foundation to provide financial assistance to residents impacted by the flood.

Halton Region has not previously experienced a storm with the intensity of the August 4th storm. It is clear that weather patterns throughout the world have changed. The City and the Region have initiated reviews of the storm water and sanitary sewer systems to identify actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of future flooding given the new realities of climate change. The review will consider changes in infrastructure, programs to disconnect private downspouts and updates to the Basement Flooding Prevention Subsidy program. Public Information Centres will be scheduled to update residents as the study proceeds.

Taylor with Sharman

Councillors Sharman and Taylor attended the community meeting but neither was asked to speak. Shaman’s ward was seriously damaged by the flooding. One would think the residents would want to hear from him. Taylor who has been around longer than any other council member knows more about how the Region works than anyone else on Council could have added some very useful information.

Residents with questions or concerns related to basement flooding are encouraged to call 311 or visit the Region’s website at In addition, the Region has recently published a “Guide to Flooding Prevention & Recovery” which is available online at, or by calling 311 for a print copy.
Jim Harnum, CET, MBA, Commissioner, Public Works
—–Original Message—–


Regional Chair Gary Carr jumps in:

From: Carr, Gary
Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2014 5:30 PM
To: Derek Johnston; Harnum, Jim; MacCaskill, Jane
Subject: Re:

Thank you
Jim will give you a detailed update


On Oct 18, 2014, at 5:28 PM, Derek Johnston <> wrote:

You quick response on a Saturday afternoon is noted and appreciated.
Thank you Derek Johnston



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Open Letter to Regional Chair, Gary Carr

opinionandcommentBy Halton Residents Against Sewage Backup and Flooding

October 22, 2014



Dear Mr. Carr:

Eleven weeks have passed since the Aug. 4th flood and majority of Burlington residents are still wondering what happened on that day when tens of thousands of liters of raw sewage and overflow from creeks entered into their homes, causing millions of dollars in damages and a plethora of issues from insurance battles to health risks to stolen repair deposits.

Below are questions and concerns from the residents of Burlington which HRASB compiled over the last several weeks. Health and Safety.

As you are well aware, there is a sizeable elderly population in Burlington and many live alone or with their domestic partner of many years. Several of these elderly folks did not have their homes cleaned out within the recommended time frame for a sewage backup. Also, the Ontario Environmental and Safety Network (OESN) mentions that fecal matter trapped in weeping tile and drains can release methane gas, not to mention when affected areas of the home are not adequately cleaned and tested (which OESN found in every case), then bacteria and viruses could grow and overt health effects could occur to otherwise healthy individuals. Why not bring in the Public Health Department to inspect homes?

Follow-up by the Region
We are aware of at least two residents who reported sewage backup flooding to the Region but were not contacted. Of those residents who were contacted by the Region, some reported missed appointments by Regional staff which resulted in delayed reconstruction or pressure from insurance companies for installation of the backwater valve system. Many residents still have storage pods in their driveways.

Burlington Flood Relief Foundation
Why did the representatives from the Burlington Flood Relief Foundation decline two invitations to attend sewer backup meetings thereby missing opportunities to connect with 350+ residents who were directly affected by sewage backup?

Wastewater Capital
Wastewater capital investment for new development in Oakville is 368.4 million dollars from 2012-2016 and a mere 6 million dollars for Burlington in the same time frame. Residents understand that Oakville is experiencing growth; however, Burlington east wastewater pumping stations were identified as ‘poor condition’ and the ‘highest priority’ (in Halton) as per RV Anderson and Associates engineering study provided in 2012 to the Halton Region. Why so little capital investment in Burlington when there are known issues?

Backwater Valve and Subsidy Decisions
Some residents will receive full coverage for the installation of back water valve and sump pump system while others will not. What exactly are the criteria for full subsidy and who oversees the program?

Construction by Year-End
If the Region is waiting for the results of a flood report expected in July of 2015, why are there plans to begin construction by year- end in some neighbourhoods? What knowledge does the Region have currently regarding the sanitary sewer infrastructure which has not been made public?

New Development
Residents feel that developers have ‘no business’ proposing high-rise apartments downtown, at Appleby Mall, or any other area of Burlington significantly impacted by sewer backup/flooding. Until the major infrastructure problems are identified, made public, and ultimately fixed, there will be significant push back by the residents.

We look forward to your response.

Members of the HRASB

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A quiet well run ward with some strong development potential and an Air Park that is a problem that could become an opportunity.

backgrounder 100By Pepper Parr

October 21, 2014



The ward covers the eastern half of rural Burlington and tracts that run from Hwy 407 down to Upper Middle Road and includes the well-established communities of Millcroft and Headon. The newly created Alton community brought much more diversity into the ward and small pockets of development along the 407.

BOUNDARY MAP WARD 6There isn’t much in the way of industry in the ward; The Hanson Brick Works operates at Dundas Street, there are a lot of commercial operations but all are small in nature. Emery Developments decided to build two five storey towers attached to each other with a two storey atrium at Palladium Way. The intention of the developer is to build on speculation. They were confident enough that the market was there for their offering and expected some occupancy in late 2015.

Tremaine-Dundas project  - land

Staff recommended a Mixed Use plan but indicated that if council selects the all Employment option, staff are able to support this, but cannot support an All Residential option

The Krpan Group project at Dundas and Tremaine is stuck at the OMB – residents have heard very little about this project which has a number of features and approaches to development that are worth paying attention to – but they don’t appear to have any traction in the mind of the Council member for the ward

There was to be a new court house for provincial offences in the war but that disappeared just as fast as it appeared when local opposition spring up without the ward Councillor knowing all that much about the plans.

There isn’t a ward council – that kind of citizen involvement doesn’t sit all that well with the Council member; it would mean sharing the power a member of Council has and attracting meaningful input from the community.

Millcroft and Headon are strong communities that with few problems. Snow removal, road repairs – the usual municipal services are what they ask for – just keep our taxes down.

Dundas Street is due for a very significant upgrade and a widening that will make it a much different road than it is today – it isn’t clear yet what kind of development it will attract. The Region expects to run busses along that road as part of an inter-city transit offering at some point. That is years away but the work needed to create an additional east west road has been made at the Regional level – so Dundas get upgraded


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

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

The opening of the Hayden Recreational Centre, the Frank Hayden High School and a new branch of the library system created a community that pulled itself together very quickly and managed to produce three South Asian candidates for the ward seat.

Transit is not yet a significant issue – most of the seniors are at a point in their lives where they still drive their cars. The demographic of that cohort will shift significantly in the next ten years and the need for more in the way of community services geared to seniors and transit service that will let them get to different places in the city will become evident.

Air-Park-construction-site - earlyThe Air Park is both a problem and a significant opportunity but at this point any ideas that are being discussed come from the mind of Vince Rossi who has yet to provide anything in the way of a business. Rossi has been able to get away with dumping land fill without the required permits because no one, including Blair Lancaster, paid much attention – they bought the argument that the air park was federally regulated and no one asked any questions.

There is an opportunity to do something with the 200 acre property that fits in with an Air Park and the rural setting – no one has come up with anything yet. Not the Economic Development Corporation, not the Region, not the city – not even the people who live in the eastern half of rural Burlington.

Background links:

The ward Councillor: an assessment.


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Chair of stop Escarpment Highway Coalition joins the debate - says a New Niagara highway corridor is not needed in Burlington.

backgrounder 100Letter to the Editor
By Geoff Brock
October 20, 2014


A point of clarification. Peter Rusin never said a highway through Burlington was inevitable. He did say a new highway was inevitable and that if Burlington didn’t get proactive with the province and make sure they were at the table where the decisions are going to be made there could be a highway through Burlington.

I’m want to respond to the discussion I’ve seen in the news over the past weekend about a new Niagara Highway coming to Burlington.

I’m very disappointed to see that Peter Rusin, one of the candidates for Mayor in Burlington, is supporting a new Highway through Burlington because he thinks that will end traffic congestion and drive growth

NGTA full study area Juny 4-2012Mr. Rusin’s position ignores the 10+ year study process that was completed by the Provincial Ministry of Transportation in 2013. This study involved multiple municipalities, dozens of Public consultation meetings, and over $10 million in consulting work and transportation planning. The conclusion was that a New Niagara highway corridor is not needed in Burlington. The Stop the Escarpment Highway Coalition was an active participant in this process, along with the City of Burlington and the Halton Region. The conclusion that was reached is a great example of local community groups working with local governments. I don’t know what facts Mr. Rusin is working with other than his own personal opinion.

MidtownOakville mobility hub study

Metrolinx completed the Midtown Oakville Mobility Hub Study in October 2012. The study developed a long-term vision for the Oakville GO Station and surrounding lands, building on the substantial amount of planning work the Town of Oakville has already completed – the May 2011 Livable Oakville Official Plan and the June 2008 Draft Midtown Business and Development Plan. It focuses on the redevelopment of publicly-owned lands around the Oakville GO station, the majority of which is owned by Metrolinx. The study also looks at expanding the GO station to ensure it can best accommodate significant growth planned for the area and future Trafalgar Bus Rapid Transit.

Mr. Rusin seems unaware of the work Metrolinx is doing in the GTHA to get people out of cars and onto transit. Some things Burlington can do alone, and some need Regional and provincial support. GO train electrification will get us GO train service every 15 minutes all day long, all year. That should get some cars off the road and improve air quality! Expanding the Mobility hub around the Burlington GO station could further help reduce congestion and create an employment centre. You only have to look at the great work done in Oakville to define a vision for the Mobility hub around their GO station. Do look.

Getting people out of cars is tough unless they have a viable alternative. Even the MTO’s long term plans show Burlington only moving from less than 5% of trips on transit, to slightly over 10% in the next 15 years. We need politicians and leaders who will ask “What will it take to get 20% of trips on transit?” The answer is better and more convenient service!

NGTA No-highway-here1-285x300There are lots of great policy ideas that Burlington can do on their own. Local trips on transit are not that convenient. It’s still difficult to get from Burlington to Oakville or Hamilton on transit. Working together with sister municipalities, instead of having standalone transit systems, will support the way citizens are living and working in the community. This idea requires regional thinking and cooperation and the vision a municipal mayor can give to the process.

Study after study shows that $1 spent on transit infrastructure returns many times the benefit of one spent on roads. Cars are going to handle the majority of trips for a long time, but the mix is going to change. We need leaders who understand that long term shift is coming and set the course to keep Burlington one of the most livable cities in Canada.

Geoff Brock is the Co- Chair, Stop the Escarpment Highway Coalition


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Loose leaf collection begins November 3rd; start bagging them now - make room for the snow that is coming.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 19, 2014



Looseleaf collection 2014A loose leaf collection service is provided to Burlington residents in the fall, typically beginning the first week in November of each year. This program is in addition to the Yard Waste Collection Service provided by Halton Region Waste Services.

Please follow the guidelines below to help ensure a timely and cost-effective leaf collection program:

Please have your loose leaves raked and ready for pickup just prior to the start date for your collection area.

Be mindful of collection dates and avoid raking leaves to the road too early.

Place leaves up to the edge of the curb or roadway (but not on the road) in a loose pile so city equipment can reach them.

Ensure loose leaves are not over catch basins or in the ditches in front of your home .

Please make sure leaves do not contain branches or other debris. Leaves mixed with other waste cannot be collected.

Avoid placing leaves on sidewalks and walkways.

Remove basketball nets, parked vehicles and other obstructions from the road to allow city crews clear access to leaf piles.

Do not place garbage bags, garbage bins, Blue Boxes or GreenCarts on top of loose-leaf piles.

Bagged Leaf and Yard Waste Collection
Halton Region continues to provide collection of bagged leaves and yard waste on the same day as your garbage pick-up. This program is a separate program from Burlington’s Loose Leaf Collection.
Leaf Disposal Alternatives.

• Mulch leaves to use in gardens, flowerbeds, or leave them on your yard.
• Compost leaves in your backyard composter.
• Deliver leaves to the to the Halton Waste Management Site in paper bags or in bulk for composting

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Gazette to put election results on-line - available seconds after count is completed. We will be as current as the CBC - and local, local, local.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr, Publisher, Burlington Gazette

October 19th, 2014



Early next week all of the homes south of Dundas in Burlington will see a small flyer in their mail boxes. It will be the first piece of direct promotion the Gazette has done since its inception four years ago.

The flyer announces the posting of real time election results on the front page of the Gazette on October 27th just as soon as the polls close.

Election flyer side 1 Results

Gazette’s first piece of promotional material.

Burlingtonians will be able to go to the Gazette web site and see what the most recent results are for the office of Mayor and the six council members.

We will not be posting the results for the Regional chair – while there are other people running for that office – it is evident that Gary Carr will be returned.

We will not be posting the results of the trustees for either the Halton District School Board or the Halton Catholic District School Board.

The Gazette is a not for profit organization – w do not have a revenue stream. The expenses to date have come out of our pockets and there is only so much time and financial resources available to us.
We will be doing on going news coverage and the results will be available once the school board trustee winners are known.

Our flyer – which measures 6 x 9 inches has, like every other piece of paper, two sides. We didn’t need both sides of the flyer – so we sold side two. Because our part of the flyer is about election results we had no problem with an individual running for office using side two.

Election flyer sid2 2 Rusin

Sharing the space on a piece of promotional material should not be seen as an endorsement of the candidate.

Our accepting an advertisement from a candidate for the office of Mayor is certainly not an endorsement. If Peter Rusin should win the mayors chair it will be because he did it on merit.

Rusin needed name exposure – the flyer is going to get to every home south of Dundas – that’s exposure.

Why not north of Dundas? There wasn’t enough time to get the flyers into production and into the hands of the distribution company in time for the scheduled delivery.

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