Performing Arts announces deadline for nominations to its Hall of Fame.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 13th, 2017



The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is accepting nominations for its 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee.

Robert Missen

Bob Missen, 2016 inductee into the Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame. Missen joined Gordie Tapp (2013), Rainer Noack (2014), Lawrence Bonanno and Stewart Laughton (2015)

Established in 2013, The Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the performing arts in Burlington. Recipients of this award demonstrate the diversity of artistic accomplishment that comprises the rich cultural tapestry of the City of Burlington. The Hall of Fame Inductee will be announced at the 2017/2018 Season Launch event held at The Centre on Tuesday, May 17.

Nomination applications must be submitted by noon on Monday, April 10th, 2017. The nomination form can be downloaded from The Centre’s website.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre recognizes individual and group artists contribution to Burlington’s reputation as a city with a strong, long-term commitment to the development of cultural excellence.

The Centre’s Interim Executive Director, Brian McCurdy notes, “Year after year, we receive so many nominations for individuals who have made an impact through their work within or for the performing arts in our Community. It is a statement about the community as a whole and the overall commitment to Arts & Culture that we receive so many quality nominations.”

McCurdy went on to say, “This is a meaningful way to recognize those who have distinguished themselves by making the performing arts a part of our lives in a significant way.”

Hall of Fame Inductees include Gordie Tapp (2013), Rainer Noack (2014), Lawrence Bonanno (2015) and Stewart Laughton (2015) and Bob Missen (2016)

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The Seniors association appears to be coming out of hiding - will hold an Open Forum March 28th.

element_seniors-73x74By Staff

March 9th, 2017



The BSCI, which is the Burlington Seniors Community Inc. has announced a meeting, there first we believe since they were unceremoniously turfed from the Seniors’ Centre a number of months ago.

Seniors association posterThe locks on the door to the room they called their board room were reported to have been changed.

The Gazette has been told that the association did manage to take the cash they had in the bank with them – a reported $200,000

Getting a statement from Fred Hendriks, President of the Burlington Seniors Community has been impossible.

The organization is going to hold a meeting to talk about how they are going to move forward.

The meeting is to take place at the Library on Tuesday, March 28th: 10:00 am to noon.

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Gazette's ace columnist now a member of journalist's association - will cover the Premier's media conference on Wednesday

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 7th, 2017



Rivers reading a newspaper Jan 3-15

Rivers looks at print media from time to time – he prefers the electronic format for the immediacy it gives him and the ability to link what he writes to solid background material,

Our ace columnist Ray Rivers has become a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists, sometimes called the Centre for Investigative Journalism and plans on attending one of Premier Wynn’s media Roundtables being held for regional media to discuss Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan and how it benefits communities across the province on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

River cover politics for the Gazette – he’s been doing that for five years now.

Members of the media able to attend in person are asked to arrive at the Premier’s Office at 4:45 p.m. Those unable to attend are invited to call in.


In his spare time Rivers like to play the guitar and enjoy the Goodness of Guinness.

Rivers will be on deck Wednesday afternoon when he and a herd of other media will meet with the Premier as she explains what she plans to do to get her government past the post on the June 2018 provincial election

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Paddy Torsney hosts Senator Kim Pate at the 21st Women's Day breakfast.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2017



The 21st session of the International Women’s Day Breakfast hosted by former Burlington MP Paddy featured newly appointed Senator Kim Pate.

She gave the room of women an eyeful when she talked about the criminal justice system and how it treats women.

Kim Pate + Henderson - plates

Paul Hensall gave Senator one of the Convo Plates his Foundation created to keep a conversation about mental health going.

Pate was the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society for more than 35 years. She was instrumental in and widely credited as the driving force behind the Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, headed by Justice Louise Arbour. During the Inquiry, she supported women as they aired their experiences and was a critical resource and witness in the Inquiry itself.

It was no surprise then that Senator Pate chose to get very specific about what the federal government does and doesn’t do with and to women who are in conflict with the law.

Pate told the audience of influential Burlington women and representative students from almost every high school in the city, that it costs the federal government $348,000 to keep a woman in prison for one year.

She told the audience that the federal government spent more than $2 million transporting Ashley Smith from prison to prison before the young women ended her life in her cell while prison guards stood outside the cell door.

Ashley Smith was sent to prison for throwing stones at a postal worker. Her time in federal penitentiaries did not go well – she was a discipline problem and the time she had to remain in prison kept getting longer and longer.

The Ashley Smith case is one of those tragic embarrassments for which no one was held accountable.

Woman day 2017 Long line BEST

There was a long line up at the registration desk – for many high school students it was their first major event where they were celebrated as young women.

Accountability is big with Senator Pate – but she takes it much further than most and preaches that society as a whole is accountable for how we handle those people who come into conflict with the judicial system. She does not pull her punches and being soft is just not her manner. She differentiates between being soft on those who are responsible and being compassionate to those who need help.

Pate asked her audience – why does any of this matter to Burlington and replied to the question saying it is in our best interest.

Before she started her talk Senator Pate encouraged her audience to ask questions – interrupt me if you have a question. Clearly the Senator had not been to Burlington before – that isn’t the way we Burlingtonians behave. We choose to be polite – which some describe as our complacency – after all there is no serious criminal element in the city.

Womans day safest place - police

It was the safest room in the city – four female police officers shared the table with four high school students.

Pate pointed out later in her talk that she is in pretty consistent touch with five people in Burlington who are on the wrong side of the bars. A Gazette reader mentioned to us a few days after the talk that they were working with a young man who is serving a prison sentence.

More than 88% of the women in prison are there because of poverty issues – they cannot sustain themselves and are not able to get away from relationships that are abusive.

Pate is a strong advocate of a living wage being paid to very person in Canada.

The two groups of people most as risk and who end up being tangled with the courts are women and students. At the root of all their problems is the matter of poverty.

“You will be changing that” Pate told her audience.

More than forty years ago in Dauphin, Manitoba residents were selected to be subjects in a project that ensured basic annual incomes for everyone. For five years, monthly cheques were delivered to the poorest residents of Dauphin, Man. – no strings attached.

And for five years, poverty was completely eliminated.

Womans day March 2017

The hall was filled – the guests at this table were at the buffet.

The project’s original intent was to evaluate if giving cheques to the working poor, enough to top-up their incomes to a living wage, would kill people’s motivation to work. It didn’t.

But the Conservative government that took power provincially in 1977 – and federally in 1979 – had no interest in implementing the project more widely. Researchers were told to pack up the project’s records into 1,800 boxes and place them in storage.

A final report was never released.

Kim Pate - senator

Senator Kim Pate

You can guess what Senator Pate is going to be advocating for while she serves as a Senator.

The money is always there she said – they found the $2 million they needed to transport Ashley Smith between eight different penitentiaries when she was behind bars.

The Ashley Smith story:
Ashley Smith, born 29 January 1988 in New Brunswick was adopted when she was 5 days old. According to her adoptive parents, Coralee Smith and Herbert Gober, she had a normal child hoodbut between the ages of 13i-14, her parents noted distinct behavioural changes in the child; by age 15 she had been before juvenile court 14 times for various minor offences such as throwing crabapples at a mailman, trespassing, and causing a disturbance.

In March 2002, Smith was assessed by a psychologist who found no evidence of mental illness. However, her behavioural problems continued and she was suspended from school multiple times in the fall of 2002. In March 2003, after multiple court appearances, Smith was admitted to the Pierre Caissie Centre for assessment.

She was diagnosed with ADHD, learning disorder, borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality traits.

She was discharged several days early from the Centre for unruly and disruptive behaviour and returned to the New Brunswick Youth Centre (NBYC).

Smith was remanded to the NBYC multiple times over the next 3 years; during this time she was involved in more than 800 reported incidents and at least 150 attempts to physically harm herself.

In 2006, Ashley Smith turned 18; in July of that year a motion was made under the Youth Criminal Justice Act to transfer her to an adult facility. Smith hired a lawyer to fight the transfer, but was unsuccessful.

On 5 October 2006, Smith was transferred to the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre (SJRCC). Due to her behaviour at SJRCC, Smith spent most of her time there in segregation; she was tasered twice and pepper-sprayed once. On 31 October 2006, Smith was transferred to the Nova Institution for Women in Nova Scotia (a federal institution). Through 2007, Smith was transferred a total of 17 times between eight institutions during 11 months in federal custody.

While at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario, on 16 October 2007, Smith requested to be transferred to a psychiatric facility; she was placed on a formal suicide watch on 18 October. In the early hours of 19 October, Smith was videotaped placing a ligature around her neck, an act of self-harm she had committed several times before. Guards did not enter her cell to intervene, and 45 minutes passed before she was examined and pronounced dead.

On 25 October 2007, three guards and a supervisor at the Grand Valley Institution for Women were charged with criminal negligence causing death in relation to Smith’s suicide; the warden and deputy warden were fired, but Warden Cindy Berry later quietly rehired. The criminal charges against her subordinates were later dropped.

No charges were ever brought against the warden or deputy warden.

On 8 October 2009, Smith’s family launched a wrongful death lawsuit against the Correctional Service of Canada, demanding C$11 million in damages; the suit was eventually settled out of court in May 2011 for an undisclosed amount.

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Possible high school closings - Parents want their questions answered - hundreds are very unhappy.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2017



It was a fully engaged crowd at the first public meeting held at Hayden high school where parents got to see just what the high school closing options were.

Engaged parents

The parents who attended the first public meeting at Hayden high school last week were fully engaged in trying to figure out and understand what the options for possible school closing were.  They don’t like the way the information is being made available and they want to be able to ask questions.


Last October the Board of education trustees accepted a report from the Director of Education and agreed that a Program Accommod-ation Review should take place.

That resulted in a committee (PARC) looking at the staff recommendation that Central and Pearson high schools be closed and accepting other possible options.

The PARC looked at 30 options and whittled the list down to the six that are now being taken to public meetings.

The second public meeting takes place at the New Street Education centre – it is going to be noisy.

Parents in front of maps

The Board of Education staff put up large posters setting out the boundaries that would apply to the various school closing options. Parents found that the staff members on hand to answer questions didn’t have much in the way of answers.

Comments from Gazette readers tell us that “many, many people (as in hundreds) are extremely dissatisfied with the way the so-called public information sessions are being held, specifically the display stations that were set up.”

“Parents want their questions answered, many have complained that staff at the last meeting were not able to do this properly. Every single member of PARC has asked that the format be changed to include a large group Q and A and they have refused.

“Their pathetic excuse is that the last meeting was with display stations and it wouldn’t be fair to the people who went to that one to change this one.

“Again, like so many answers coming from the board, this makes no sense.”

“Angry parents from Central, Nelson and Bateman are planning different tactics to have their voices heard at tomorrow’s meeting. Not sure how it’s going to play out but I think there might be fireworks.”

PAR HDSB Parents at Bateman

This was the extent of public participation at Bateman high school when the Board of Education gave an overview of the school closing process. Everyone thought that Central and Pearson high schools were on the list. Truth was – every high school was at risk.

Getting to the point where the Board of Education now has public interest has taken some time – earlier meetings at all seven high schools were very quiet and very poorly attended events.

That isn’t the case today – and parents want their Board of Education to respond to their demands.

The elected trustees are close to mute on this – they have the power to direct Board of Education staff to make changes in the way the public is informed – it is almost as if the trustees are in the pocket of the Director of Education.

The high school parents are not happy campers.

Central high school parents will be walking from the Roseland Plaza to the New Street education Centre. Nelson, Bateman and Pearson high schools are also reported to have plans.

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City hall forgets to use the words road diet or bike lanes in an announcement on the water main work to be done on New Street.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 3, 2017



Here we go again.

It is hard to believe how obtuse some of the people at City Hall can be.

A seven paragraph media release with the word pilot project slipped in but not one use of the work bike or the words road diet.

Here is what the city sent out.

“Water main work with Halton Region will begin on New Street between Dynes Road and Cumberland Avenue on March 7, resulting in lane closures and scheduled water service shutdowns. The construction is scheduled to be completed in May.

“The installation of a new water main between Guelph Line and Dynes Road began in October and November 2016. The work to install the rest of the water main between Dynes Road and Cumberland Avenue will start earlier than scheduled due to mild weather.

“Residents and businesses will be given 48 hours’ notice for scheduled water service shutdowns. Water main installation will include the replacement of curbs, gutters and the boulevard to restore any damage from the water main works.

“New Street between Walkers Line and Guelph Line is the site of a pilot project that began in August 2016 for all street users.

“Completing the water main installation in May will reduce the disruption to New Street into two shorter, two-month intervals rather than one six-month construction period originally planned for the spring and summer of 2017. This will allow for longer, uninterrupted traffic data collection.

“The city is collecting data, and will continue to collect data after the water main work is done and until the end of the summer to ensure the city has the data needed to assess the pilot. That information, along with travel times on nearby residential roads that run parallel to New Street, will be included in a recommendation report to Burlington City Council this fall.

“Creating more travel options for the community means thinking differently about how our city road network looks and functions. The one-year pilot on New Street is an example of how some existing roads in Burlington could be redesigned to give people more travel options to get around the city.”

One of the most contentious projects the city has decided to do – lessen the amount of road space for vehicular traffic on New Street and put in bicycle lanes. It was set up as a pilot project and public opinion views were all over the map.

It was so contentious that the Mayor couldn’t get some personal private time at the Y – residents kept approaching him to bend his ear.

In future they should take him by the ear out to the woodshed.

New street - as far as they eye can see

New water mains being laid down on New Street west of Guelph Line.

One of the reasons for doing the pilot project on dedicated bicycle lanes was because New Street was going to have significant water main work done and then a new layer of asphalt laid down – it was thought that would be a convenient time to install bicycle lanes and see how they worked.

To not even use the words “road diet” or bike or bicycle is sneaky and only adds to the cynicism over the way city hall works.  Do they think that by not using the words that people will forget?

Transparent – accountable – please!

Transit - Vito Tolone

Vito Tolone, Director of Transportation

They transportation department should be ashamed of themselves for letting this kind of media release get sent out. The close to 3000 people at have signed a petition have every reason to be angry – city hall has been exceedingly disrespectful

Vito Tolone, Director of Transportation is quoted as saying” “A lengthy and uninterrupted time-frame to collect all the data needed for the New Street pilot will be beneficial to staff when incorporating this information into our report to City Council.” He can’t say the words either.

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Social fusion at the B&B - in the Waterfront hotel -March 9th.

marketingmoneymojoBBy Staff

March 2, 2017



We are not sure how long James Burchill has been running his Social fusion Networks – four to five years for certain.

It's 50% business and 50% social - and that's about all I can tell you, says Burchill

It’s 50% business and 50% social – and that’s about all I can tell you, says Burchill of his social fusion networking events.

They are an occasion for the independent small business crowd, the men and women who run a small operation and make their skills available to the wider community.

They meet about once a month for an opportunity to connect, communicate and collaborate with other local business professionals.

March 9th is their next free b2b networking event and you are invited to enjoy a frosty beverage of choice at the cash bar and some COMPLIMENTARY APPETIZERS courtesy of myself and the B&B venue which is at the Waterfront Hotel.

Burchill suggests people bring their smile, some “casual conversation openers” (no rude limericks please) and some cash to cover parking.

Networking - right. It was an "epic" event for Burchill. So good that he is going to do it again next year.

Networking – right. Burchill at one of his first trade show events.

From 5-7pm with some of the nicest people Burchill knows.

One last thing, PLEASE RSVP so he can plan the food and staffing properly. It’s a pain to under staff or over produce food – no one like wastage or poor service.


Burchill also sponsors a trade show for the small business market.  It works quite well.  Loads of detail on that event right here.

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Robert Bateman high school is going to get a collective hug from anyone who decides to show up

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 2, 2017



There are a lot of unhappy people who are commenting on how poorly they feel the Halton District School Board is handling the flow of information on the recommendation that was given to the Program Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) to close Central and Pearson high schools.

Parents in front of maps

Parents scan details and specifics on each of the six school closing options that the PARC is currently considering for the report they will give the Director of Education.

The PARC is made up of two parents from each of the seven high schools. Their job is to give the Director of Education a recommendation. The Director of Education does not have to accept or adhere to the recommendation.

The Director then writes his report to the trustees and those trustees make the final decision.
The first public meeting to look at specifics and details was held earlier this week with a very large turnout.

The second public meeting is to take place next Tuesday, March 7th at the New Street Educational centre.

Bateman school sign

Robert Bateman high school is going to get a group hug on Saturday.

This Saturday the parents at Bateman high school are going to gather and collectively give their school a “hug”.
Bateman is a pretty big school – it is going to take a large crowd of people to circle that building on Saturday.

The group hug takes place at 1:00 pm.

One Gazette reader wrote in and said “your story about the Mayor’s response show how heated it’s gotten and also how poorly the board is handling it all.”

The PARC has now whittled down the 30 options that it was given to six. Under these different options Central, Pearson, Bateman and Nelson could be closed.

There is an option that says – don’t close any of the schools – but change the school boundaries so that the existing high school population is spread more evenly between the high schools.

Trustees - fill board +

Halton District School Board trustees – there are 11 of them; four representing Burlington – all the trustees will vote on school closings

Whatever the school board trustees decide, and it is those trustees that are going to make the final decision on May 17th, the concerns should be addressed to the final decision makers – these are the people you elected to oversee the operation of the school in the Halton Region.

There are 11 trustees, four from Burlington that will decide what the board should do.

When the process of determining how to manage the problem of 1800+ empty classroom seats in the high school was put before the public there was very little public interest.


There were less than ten people at the first “information session” given by the school board staff at Bateman high school. One of them was the school principal.

At the first information meeting, there was one held at every high school, there were just five people at the event held at Bateman.

The school board had large banners nailed to the front of six of the high schools to alert parents to the situation.

The focus is currently on the work the PARC is doing. That will shift to the report the Director of Education, Stuart Miller has to write and present to the trustees on March 29th.

The critical dates are set out below.

Public Meeting #2 (South Burlington schools)
March 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm
New date New Street Education Centre
3250 New Street

PARC Working Meeting #5
March 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm J.W. Singleton Education Centre
2050 Guelph Line

Director’s Report (with compiled feedback) to Committee of the Whole March 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm J.W. Singleton Education Centre
2050 Guelph Line

Public Delegation Night
April 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm J.W. Singleton Education Centre
2050 Guelph Line

Final Report to Board of Trustees for decision May 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm J.W. Singleton Education Centre
2050 Guelph Line

Protest outside board office

Protesters have stood outside the Board of Education offices on Guelph Line any time there is a PARC meeting.

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Senator Kim Pate to address the female leaders of the community this Friday.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

March 1, 2017



Paddy Torsney, Delacourt's "interrogator" during the evening certainly understood what the author was saying when she declared that attack advertising certainly works.

Paddy Torsney, former Member of the House of Commons, has been hosting the breakfasts for more than 20 years

She has been doing it for 21 years – holding a breakfast to encourage young woman that they can and should play a major role in the society they live in.

There are leaders in Burlington today who got to where they are today because they took part in one of those breakfasts.

This Friday, at the Holiday Inn, Paddy Torsney will introduce Senator Kim Pate as the guest speaker.

Tickets, $17, are available only at A Different Drummer – move quickly this event should sell out.

Before she was appointed a Senator Kim Pate was with the Elizabeth Fry Society, an organization that advocated for women who had gotten caught up in the criminal justice system.

Senator Pate’s curriculum vita sets out all the work she has done and the recognition she has been given. What it doesn’t do is get to the character of the woman. She is fearless and has worked tirelessly to bring about badly needed changes in the lives of women who have experienced marginalization, discrimination and oppression.

Senator Pate is a tough cookie when she has to be. There are a lot of men in senior positions in the justice system who skirt the Senator.

Pate was appointed to the Senate in 2016. First and foremost, she is the mother of Michael and Madison, as well as a nationally renowned advocate who has spent the last 35 years working in and around the legal and penal systems of Canada.

GG2015-0043-039 February 13, 2015 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Kimberly Pate, C.M. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presided over an Order of Canada investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall, on February 13, 2015. The Governor General, who is chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order, bestowed the honour on 2 Companions, 8 Officers and 36 Members. His Excellency presents the MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF CANADA insignia to Kimberly Pate, C.M. The Order of Canada was created in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Since its creation, more than 6 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. Credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall, OSGG

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, congratulating Kim Pate after her investiture to the Order of Canada. Photo Credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau.

Senator Pate graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1984 with honours in the Clinical Law Programme and has completed post graduate work in the area of forensic mental health. She was the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) from January 1992 until her appointment to the Senate,

Prior to her work with CAEFS, she worked with youth and men in a number of capacities with the local John Howard Society in Calgary, as well as the national office. She has developed and taught Prison Law, Human Rights and Social Justice and Defending Battered Women on Trial courses at the Faculties of Law at the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University and the University of Saskatchewan. She also occupied the Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 2014 and 2015.

The Senator is widely credited as the driving force behind the Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, headed by Justice Louise Arbour. During the Inquiry, she supported women as they aired their experiences and was a critical resource and witness in the Inquiry itself. She also persuaded the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to initiate the Self-Defence Review and appoint the Honourable Madam Justice Lynn Ratushny to review the convictions and sentences of women jailed for using lethal force to defend themselves and/or their children against abusive men.

Pate outside the Senate

Kim Pate outside the doors to the Senate.

Pate is a member of the Order of Canada, a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, the Canadian Bar Associations’s Bertha Wilson Touchstone Award, and five honourary doctorates (Law Society of Upper Canada, University of Ottawa, Carleton University, St. Thomas University and Wilfred Laurier University) and numerous other awards.

This is not an event to be missed.

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Herd looking for a name for their mascot - tickets to the Jays home opener for the person who comes up with the right name.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

March 1, 2017



The new Herd mascot needs a name and the ball club wants the public to help out in deciding what that name should be.

So they are holding a contest to find the best name

Herd mascot name contestClick on the link to get to the on-line contest entry form.

Contest winners will receive a 5 game Herd flex pack, 2 Burlington Herd T-Shirts and 2 Toronto Blue Jays April home game tickets!

The ball club, now under new ownership, has mounted an aggressive public relations campaign to attract a larger audience. There is a recently announced Home Plate Club and Nickel Brook has been named the Official Beer Partner.

The team has been announcing new signing and renewal signings to the roster for a team that will play their season opener at Nelson Park where the Herd will face the Kitchener Panthers at 1:05 pm.

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Chilly Half Marathon will close down large stretches of Lakeshore Road on Sunday

notices100x100By Staff

March 1, 2017


The Chilly Half Marathon will alter three transit routes on Sunday.

Routes 3, 10 and 20 will have detours during the marathon that will be taking place in downtown Burlington closing Lakeshore Road from Maple Avenue to Burloak Drive causing detours on Routes 3, 10 and 20 as follows:

Route 3 – between the Downtown Terminal to Guelph Line and New Street, will detour using James and New Streets

Route 10 – between Maple Avenue and the Downtown Terminal, will detour using Ontario Street, Locust Street and Caroline Street

Route 20 – between Appleby Line and Spruce Avenue to Burloak Drive and Winston, will detour using Spruce Avenue, Hampton Heath, Stratton Road, and Winston Road

Delays can be expected on these routes in the affected areas. Please plan ahead and use to access up-to-date schedule information in real-time.

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Is the corporate cost cutting at Tim Hortons going to hurt the Sound of Music?

News 100 redBy Staff

February 28th, 2017



There was an extensive look at the way the Tim Hortons operation has changed now that there is new foreign ownership in place.

The tag line on the magazine cover said: “Since taking over the iconic chain in 2014, its new Brazilian owner, 3G Capital, has purged head office, slashed costs and squeezed suppliers. Shareholders are happy, but is 3G tearing the heart out of Timmy’s?”

Hortons - geting screwed

A lot of people are getting screwed over as a result of the cost cutting at Tim Hortons. will the Sound of Music take a hit at the sponsorship level?

Senior management at the head office in Oakville was close to decimated. The corporate mantra is cost cutting – and they took to that like ducks to water.

A lot of good people in Burlington had to find new jobs.

What hasn’t worked its way to the top of the pile is what is the cost cutting is going to do, if anything, to the sponsorship money Tim Hortons has poured into Burlington in the past.

They were major sponsors of Sound of Music – will that continue?

Stay tuned.

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Protest march runs into a hurdle - city council won't be in the council chamber this evening.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 27th, 2017



Central Strong got a bit of a surprise when they learned that city Council was not going to meet on Monday, evening, which was when they had planned on marching into city hall to voice their complaints about the way the city was handling the meetings over the possible closing of two of the seven high schools in the city.

central-strongCentral strong is the group that represents the parents at Central high school who do not want to see their high school closed.

The city has a schedule for regular Standing Committee meetings and then meetings of the city council.  The Standing Committee is siting in the afternoon but not in the evening.

Walk to schoolCentral Strong might like to think that city council decided not to meet because they were afraid of a demonstration in the Council Chamber- the reality was that there apparently wasn’t enough in the way of matters that needed attention so the meeting was cancelled.

There was an occasion several months ago when citizen delegated before city council to keep the ten minute time allocation they had or delegations.

Council appears to have found a way around the problem of those pesky delegations – just don’t bother to meet at all.

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Public meeting dates on school closings and online survey time frames announced.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 23rd, 2017



With the Program Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) having gone through a long and very arduous process that some of them are not suited to they can now rest on their oars for a few weeks and see what the public has to say about the six options they have decided should be looked at seriously.

The vast majority of the members of the PAR committee are doing superb work.

PARC with options on the walls

The 14 members of the Program Accommodation Review Committee are all volunteers who have put in some long hours and exchanged thousands of emails to get to the point where there are six options for the public to review.

The disappointing aspect of the PARC process is that we now have parents from different schools battling with other parents to ensure that their school does not get closed. The process that Burlington has had to follow almost guaranteed this outcome – the PARC members find themselves between a rock and an even harder place – they have not had an opportunity to frame the debate and discussion and have not had the benefit of adequate an accurate information.

Hard working people PARC

The PAR committee members are fully immersed in the process.

For several this is going to be a very dis-satisfying experience. They deserved better treatment. These people volunteered – put in hundreds of hours and their work is not finished yet. There are some very talented people on the PAR committee and for the most part the ideas they have put forward are commendable.

They had hoped to have some input on the on-line survey that is going to be done – no such luck. One PARC member expressed some concern with the survey that is being put together. The one done December 8th was described by Kirk Perris, the man who put it together as “not one of his better efforts”. That wasn’t an understatement.

The public meeting plan explained to the PARC members was for an event that is to be as interactive as these things can be.

There are two parts to the public engagement: an online survey and public meetings where people can look at the details and ask questions. There will be one public meeting in the north end of the city and a second, with identical content in the south of the city.

Kirk Perris - Ipsos Reid

Kirk Perris, the IPSOS Reid facilitator hired by the board is designing the public meting content and the on-line surveys. He and PARC chair Scott Podrebarac are guiding the process.

Perris intends to set up information stations for each of the six options. Board staff will be on hand to explain the details of each option. PARC members will be on hand as well to give their take on how they got to where they are.

The on-line survey will be opened on the 27th of February. It will be sent out to all parents and there will be an on-line version for anyone else who wants to participate.

The first public meeting in the north end of the city is on the 28th – at Hayden high school, the second is on March 7th at the Gary Allan educational centre on New Street. Both start at 7:00 pm

The survey goes off-line on the 131th of March. There will be print versions of the survey available.

It would be advisable for anyone responding to the survey to wait until they have had a chance to attend one of the public meetings.

Perris talked in terms of questions that would be open ended as well as questions that would be closed ended.

He described the meetings as an exercise in public engagement – there are a lot of smart people who are looking very carefully and closely at the process so far and they do not feel engaged.

One PARC member wanted to know how the data collected is going to be used: “is this a popularity contest or are you going after data that is quantitative or qualitative? Why are we doing this?

PARC Feb 9 Reynolds and Grebenc

Burlington trustees Andrea Grebenc, on the left and Leah Reynolds have attended all the PARC meeting. Trustees Papin and Collard’s antecedence has been more sporadic.

There are some serious concerns in the minds of those people who are following this issue as well as members of the PARC.

The trustees who will make the final decision are sitting on the side lines – observing. One cannot envy them for what is coming their way.

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The Herd is in the Barn at the Farm - translation: The baseball team will be playing on the field at the Nelson Stadium.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

February 22, 2017



Get used to the name The Herd – Burlington’s Inter-County Baseball League entrant. They were the Twins when they first came to town; were re-named the Bandits and are now The Herd.

The name has something to do with our agricultural roots. .

They will be playing in the Barn – what most of us know as the Nelson Stadium.

It’s all about creating a brand.

The new owners are setting out to make attending a baseball game a little more upscale than sitting on am aluminum bench.

herd-logoOver the course of the next four months, the Herd will unveil each part of their scheduled improvements and showcase the new experiences available to fans next season at the Farm (Nelson Park).

They’re going to roll out a series of enhancements and improvements to going to a ball game.

They have created a Home Plate Club, the first part of a plan to enhance various areas within the ballpark. The Home Plate Club will see the addition of five premium tables behind the backstop. Each table will include three patio chairs, an all-inclusive food and beverage package throughout the game with wait staff and a reserved parking spot.

Herd T-shirtProfessional baseball teams across the country are creating areas inside their stadiums that bring not only a unique viewing area, but increase the overall fan experience. The Herd are joining this growing trend with the addition of the Home Plate Club.

The Home Plate Club will provide THE best viewing and fan experience in the entire ballpark and will become the ideal destination for entertaining current and prospective clients along with rewarding employees and their families. Fans will be able to reserve an exclusive table for three every game for only $50.

Each table purchase comes with the best seat in the park and wait staff delivering unlimited food and beverages (non-alcoholic) throughout the entire game.

If you would like more information on the Home Plate Club, including booking and availability, please contact the Burlington Herd front office at 905-630-9036 or email us at

The Herd takes to the field for the first time on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the Barn (Nelson Park). Season tickets and group packages are now on sale by calling (905) 630-9036 or by visiting the team’s new website,

The Herd can be followed on social media platforms (“iblherd”), including

Herd, Barn, Farm – get used to it!

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Hamilton Philharmonic members to perform at Central Library

eventspink 100x100By Staff

February 22, 2017



At the Burlington Public Library! Central Branch

Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra Composer-in-Residence, Abigail Richardson-Schulte will be giving an informative and engaging talk hosted from the piano.

This musical journey takes us through Germany, Russia and Spain from the Romantic period through to the early 20th century.

Tuesday, February 28 at 2pm

Monique HPO

Monique De Margerie

Principal Trumpet Michael Fedyshyn, accompanied by pianist Monique De Margerie will be part of the program.

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Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to visit the city Friday - will be welcomed by the Town Crier.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 22, 2017



It’s going to be the best photo op the Mayor is going to have this year – unless Joseph Brant is resurrected on Canada Day – than all bets are off.

The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, will head up a Round Table discussion on seniors’ housing needs in Burlington on Friday.

Lt Gov Ontario

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell

The event is to take place at the Art Gallery of Burlington with the Town Crier leading the welcome to the Lakeshore entrance of the AB.

The Burlington Teen Tour Band will perform foe the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

Burlington has of the largest seniors communities in the province from a percentage of the population aspect.

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Can we expect to see parents opposed to the closing of Central high school marching up Brant Street?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

February 16, 2017



They don’t call it grass roots organizing for nothing.

It is when you go out into the streets and invite people to a meeting that you hear and learn what the issues really are.

Wednesday evening, Central Strong, the parent group at Central high school, invited people to a meeting to hear what they had to say about how the Program Accommodation Review (PAR) process was going.

Central Strong - Setting up for hundreds

Setting out chairs for a crowd that reached the 100 people level.

Not all that good at this point according to Ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward who is one of the two Central high school community reps on the Program Accommodation Review Committee (PARC).

The people putting the meeting together had no idea how many people were going to show up – they set out 50 chairs and hoped for the best. They ended up setting up more than 100 chairs.

The meeting was orderly and a lot of useful and significant information came to the surface. There were people in the room who took part in preventing a closure of the school in 1978 and again in 1998. These were tested and proven community activists.

The mood was upbeat – Ian Farwell, the other Central high representative on the PARC told the audience that this is not a done deal.

Meed Ward said she felt that whatever the decision was it should be a better outcome for the students and added that closing Central where 92% of the students walk to school and bussing them to another school is not a better solution.

Some felt that forcing students to leave their community for an education is a Human Rights matter – that may be a bit of a stretch, but it does reflect the depth of feeling the patents have for the strength of their community and how they feel.

What came through very clearly was that the process is flawed and that the board is not being transparent. New information comes in and it doesn’t get the attention it deserves was a common complaint.

During the meeting at which PARC members were asked to set out which option met the PARC Framework criteria and which ones did not – the meeting was told that it was going to cost approximately $10 million to get the schools up to the AODA standard and how much would be saved if Central and Pearson were closed.

PARC with options on the walls

PARC members with the sheets of paper on the meeting room wall where they would indicate the option that they felt should be recommended to the Director of Education.

Shortly after being given this information, with no opportunity for debate, the PARC members were then asked to put dots on the option they favoured. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if closing Central would save $3 million in AODA costs and several more million in operating costs – why the board recommendation – Option 19 – got more dots than any other option,

Several parents made much of the boards transportation policy – they built Hayden so students would not have to be bussed out of that community and now they want to close two schools in southern Burlington and bus those students out of their community.

“A dumb idea” called out one parent. Very few parents were calling out abusive comments – these were people who came to listen, to have their concerns heard and then to talk through options.

In 1998 when the board wanted to close Central the community held a parade up Brant Street. That was the tipping point in public opinion then said one parent. Look for another parade this third attempt to close Central high school.

Dania Thurman H&S Vg

Dania Thurman, one of the spokes people for Central Strong

Lynn Crosby

Lynne Crosby, one of the spokes people for Central strong.

Lynne Crosby and Dania Thurman, the two spokes people for the Central parents, did a 25 minute interview on CHML during which they were asked where the Mayor of the city stood on all this. “Ask him” the two responded. Burlington is represented in the PARC process by city manager James Ridge who the Mayor said had volunteered to take on the task. Ridge attends as an observer and does not get to vote on anything. So far he has spoken on one occasion when he said all development in Burlington is taking place above the QEW. There is much more current condo development taking place south of the QEW. Few are impressed with Ridge’s comment up to this point.

The Central crowd was even less than impressed with the facilitator working for the board from Ipsos Reid. Some felt the board should have asked for someone else to serve the boards need or cancel the contract.

Kirk Perris handled the December 8th meeting at which a lot of data was captured though a process that most saw as poorly design and badly executed. Perris did say later that it wasn’t one of his better days. No kidding!
Central parents point out that were the board to close Bateman high school and redistribute those students to Nelson and M.M. Robinson 1340 of the 1800 empty seat problem would be resolved.

Station West A sign

Several hundred families could well move into the townhouses being built at the Aldershot Go Station.

Were Central to be closed Aldershot high school would suddenly have a massive problem on its hands. The ADI Station West development is going to add a significant number of students to Aldershot.

Not so says the Board – those are condo’s and family’s don’t choose to live in condo’s. Much of the ADI product is townhouses reply the Aldershot parents who also point to the long delayed Eagles Heights development in the North West corner of the city where 1000 houses are expected to go up.

There is a bigger long term impact on the downtown core that Central parents feel most people aren’t getting.

Meed Ward put it front and center when she said that if Central is closed there will never be another high school in the downtown core – that land will be far too expensive. “If we let this go we will have lost a downtown high school forever.”

The audience was asked how many of them knew people who attended Central lived in condos or apartments – more than 20% of the hands in the room went up in the air. That surprised a lot of people.

One of the parents involved in the 1998 battle pointed out that the parents have a much more compelling argument this time around. The fear Central Strong has is that not enough people are fully aware of just how serious the problem is. “The board is worried” said one parent “they realize this is not going their way and they don’t know what to do about that”.

The two Central PARC members claim that on two occasions when they have raised an issue they were told they were out of order and their issue was dismissed. Ian Farrell is not the kind of person you want to attempt to dismiss lightly.

The process bothers many. Meed Ward complained that the PARC members have not been given a formal opportunity to dialogue – the moderation is terrible; it is a frustrating process; we are in a tough situation, she added.

Many of the PARC members from other schools are breathing a sigh of relief and saying to themselves “at least it is not us” when it is very clear that all, except for Hayden high school, are at risk.

Sharn Picken confering with a parentr at a PARC

Sharon Picken is one of the two Bateman high school PARC members. A very strong advocate for keeping that high school open.

The Bateman people certainly understand that and are putting up fierce arguments about even the idea of closing tat school.
“Rationality has left the room” was a comment heard.
The Ward 1 and 2 school board trustee arrived late – she was king part in one of the board’s regular meetings and left that event early to speak. Asked where do the trustees get their information as they prepare to vote, Leah Reynolds replied that they are waiting to see what comes out of the PARC process.

Reynolds added that the trustees do not see what he PARC members get sent to them or say to each other.

PARC Feb 9 Reynolds and Grebenc

Burlington trustees Grebenc and Reynolds attend every PARC meeting.

Reynolds and the other three Burlington trustee attend the PARC meetings as observers. Grebenc and Reynolds attend every meeting – the other two Collard and Papin are more sporadic in their attendance. Collard will be facing strong pressure to not back a Bateman closing.

Reynolds attended a meeting of Aldershot parents and learned that many did not know the school closing process was even taking place.

A shock to the people taking part in the Central strong meeting, which took place at the Lions community hall, was that 60% of the people in the room had children in school at the elementary level – these people were very concerned about where there children were going to spend their high school years

The meeting was told that the argument being put forward by the board is that larger high schools are able to offer a much larger choice of programs than small schools – yet the student survey made it clear that there are more course conflicts at Hayden, the largest high school, than at any other high school.

What parents are finding is that the information they are given just does not square with the on the ground reality they are facing.

Many just don’t have any confidence in the process and don’t believe the board staff are telling them the full story.

The PARC members for Central said that there are far too many walk on pieces of information. Meed Ward said some information is put in front of them without their being any opportunity to discuss or dialogue.

When the PARC is told just how much the AODA changes are going to save and then told a few minutes later how much is going to be saved if option 19 – close two high schools – is chosen and then they are asked to choose the options they like best, of course option 19 us chosen. Meed Ward and her colleague Ian Farwell felt the PARC members were being manipulated.

It was a successful grass roots community meeting – what comes out of it will be seen in the days and weeks ahead.

Meeting dates as of Feb 16The end of all this is May 17th, when the 11 trustees cast their votes. Meed Ward put it well when she said “we are in the valley” right now, “in a trough” that we need to get out of that trough.

Would a march up Brant Street make a difference?

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Family Day events - city hall closed - Conservation Authority wide open.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

February 13th, 2017



Lots of competition for what people decide to do on Family Day – Monday the 20th.

A number of the city’s administrative services will be closed

Parks and Recreation Programs and Facilities: Activities and customer service hours at city pools, arenas and community centres will vary over the holiday weekend.

Handi van

Holiday service on Family Day for the Handi-van service

Burlington Transit and Handi-Van: On Monday, Feb. 20, Burlington Transit will operate a holiday service and the downtown Transit Terminal, Handi-van Dispatch and the administration office will be closed. Regular service resumes Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Roads and Parks Maintenance: The administrative office will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20. Only winter control and emergency services will be provided.

Halton Court Services: Provincial Offences Courts in Milton and Burlington will be closed Monday, Feb. 20.

Free parking is available in the downtown core, on the street, municipal lots and the parking garage on weekends and holidays.

The Conservation Authority wants to get you out of the city and into the hinterland north of Dundas.
To embrace the magic of winter, you have to step outside! Beat those winter blahs, and get out to Crawford Lake and Mountsberg Conservation Areas on Family Day Weekend for a couple of fun, family friendly events.


Snowshoeing – how to do it right. A Family Day offering at Crawford Lake.

Crawford Lake wants you to enjoy a flurry of outdoor activities during its Snowflakes and Snowsnakes festival, while Mountsberg invites you to enjoy winter in the country at Tales by a Winter’s Fire.

Crawford Lake’s Snowflakes and Snowsnakes event includes, winter themed crafts and games, a marshmallow roast, and an introduction to snowshoeing (weather permitting). During the snowshoe demonstrations, visitors will learn more about the history of this popular sport, proper snowshoeing techniques and the health benefits of snowshoeing. The winter games sessions will include a round of snowsnake (conditions permitting), a traditional Iroquoian sport that challenges you to see how far you can send a wooden “snake” down a snowy path.

Children will love experimenting with snow and ice during the craft sessions and the Iroquoian Village will also be open for exploration daily. Finally, when it is time to get warm, visitors can settle in around a crackling fire to roast their own marshmallow.

Mountsberg’s Tales by a Winter’s Fire features an opportunity to enjoy winter in the country. You can roast hot dogs and marshmallows and share stories around the warmth and crackle of an outdoor bonfire.

All of this and more can be done at the ‘Tales by a Winter’s Fire’ program. Come and enjoy winter puppet shows, wagon rides, live animal encounters and Raptor Presentations. Please note there is an additional fee for rides and the hotdogs. We invite you to join us at Mountsberg for a memorable winter experience for the whole family.

Entrance to Tales by a Winter’s Fire and Snowflakes and Snowsnakes is covered under the regular park admission fees of: Adults $7.50, Children $5.25, Seniors $6.50, while children 4 years of age and under are free. The daily park admission is good for entrance that day into any of Conservation Halton’s parks.

Certainly lots to do.

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Kaarolyn Smardz Frost, author of Steal Away Home to speak at Central library

eventspink 100x100By Staff

February 15th, 2017



For readers of The Book of Negroes, Bound for Canaan, House Girl and The Illegal comes the story of a fifteen-year-old escaped slave named Cecelia Reynolds, who slips away to freedom in Canada while her Kentucky owners holiday at Niagara Falls.

Kaarolyn Smardz Frost will be talking about her book, Steal Away Home, at Central library on Tues., February 21, 7 p.m.

Kaarolyn Smardz Frost

Kaarolyn Smardz Frost

In this compelling work of narrative non-fiction, Governor General’s Award winner Karolyn Smardz Frost brings Cecelia’s story to life. Cecelia was a teenager when she made her dangerous bid for freedom from the United States, across the Niagara River and into Canada. Escape meant that she would never see her mother or brother again. She would be cut off from the young mistress with whom she grew up, but who also owned her as a slave holder owns the body of a slave. This was a time when people could be property, when a beloved father could be separated from his wife while their children were auctioned off to the highest bidder, and the son of a white master and his black housekeeper could become a slave to his own white half-sister and brother-in-law.

Cecelia found a new life in Toronto’s vibrant African American expatriate community. Her rescuer became her husband, a courageous conductor on the Underground Railroad helping other freedom-seekers reach Canada. Widowed, she braved the Fugitive Slave Law to cross back into the United States, where she again found love, and followed her William into the battlefields of the Civil War. Finally, with a wounded husband and young children in tow, she returned to the Kentucky she had known as a child. But her home had changed: hooded Night Riders roamed the countryside with torches and nooses at the ready. When William disappeared, Cecelia relied on the support and affection of her former mistress—the Southern belle who had owned her as a child.

Book - Kaarolyn Smardz Frost - Steal away homeOnly five of the letters between Cecelia and her former mistress, Fanny Thruston Ballard, have survived. They are testament to the great love and the lifelong friendship that existed between these two very different women. Reunited after years apart, the two lived within a few blocks of each other for the rest of Fanny’s life.

Steal Away Home, is the riveting true story of escaped slave Cecilia Reynolds and her lifelong friendship with her former mistress.

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