Lettuce Love a Pure Love Smoothie - and at 50% off - why not?

eventspink 100x100By Staff

November 17th, 2016



Does Social Media work?

Donald Trump certainly believes it does – look where it got him.

The good folks at Lettuce Love Café are using social media to announce their Pure Love Smoothie Bar and the 50% off all day on November 25th when they hold their Grand Opening.

lettuce-love-smoothies-posterSocial media is one of the ways commercial operations avoid having to pay for advertising. The Gazette, and every other on line media gets hundreds of pitches a week from public relations people asking us to give them a mention. Some of them are important enough from a public interest point of view to get coverage.

Others are just great examples of how interesting graphics and an innovative idea get attention. Here is what the Lettuce Love Café people put together in the way of graphics.

It caught our attention.lettuce-love-yoga

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Gould wants your input on the next federal budget - she puts a lot of effort into these events.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

November 16th, 2016



Our Member of Parliament, Karina Gould, is hosting a town hall discussion on Budget 2017, to provide residents of Burlington the opportunity to share their insights and suggestions for the 2017 federal budget.

Gould as a bandit

Right this way with your comments suggests MP Karina Gould who was masquerading as a Burlington Bandit.

The event is to take place at the Burlington Public Library, Centennial Hall, 2331 New St, Burlington, ON L7R 1J4 – Saturday, November 19, from 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Gould is asking for input from members of the community to identifying the opportunities that will help more families make ends meet, as well as ensure more prosperous communities, and foster long-term, sustainable economic growth.

Following the consultation, Gould will take these insights and suggestions back to Ottawa and present them to Finance Minister Bill Morneau.getting new - yellow

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Halton Learning Foundation gets a $10,000 boost from Siemens Canada.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 15th, 2016



The Halton Learning Foundation (HLF) held their Benefit Bash last week and gratefully accepted a donation of $10,000 from Siemens Canada in support of students of the Halton District School Board.

The donation kicks off HLF’s “No Student Left Behind” holiday appeal which is raising funds to ensure the estimated 10% of students of the Halton District School Board who live at or below the poverty line can access emergency funding or student subsidies to help them stay in school and focused on learning.


Ann-Marie Koumettou, Sr. Communications Consultant, Siemens Canada; Lesley Mansfield, Executive Director, Halton Learning Foundation; Ann Adair, VP, Communications and Strategy, Siemens Canada; David Grant, Board Chair, Halton Learning Foundation.

A key component of the No Student Left Behind appeal is a gift catalogue that enables people to purchase gifts that students need, such as warm winter coats and boots, athletic equipment, healthy snacks and lunches, or fees to participate in field trips.

“If you’re searching for a holiday gift for your child’s favourite teacher, or that hard‐to‐buy for relative, consider giving a No Student Left Behind gift,” says Lesley Mansfield, Executive Director of the Halton Learning Foundation.

“For a society to grow and be sustainable we need to ensure children have a strong educational base,” said Robert Hardt, President & CEO, Siemens Canada. “I personally believe it is the duty of the private sector to add value to society by, among other things, supporting educational goals.”

This is the second year in a row that Siemens worked with HLF to ensure that no student in our community misses out on their education because they don’t have the money to fully participate in school,” Mansfield said.


Olympian Mark Oldershaw

An avid supporter of Halton Learning Foundation, in addition to supporting No Student Left Behind, Siemens Canada also provides mentoring for Halton District School Board high school students, field trips to Siemens facilities and donations of funds towards STEM programming at Halton schools.

Olympian Mark Oldershaw –sponsored by RBC — spoke about the importance of mental wellness to an athlete.

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Your Waterfront - What's Happening? A lot more than you might realize.

eventspink 100x100By Pepper Parr

November 11th, 2016



Burlington tends to get defined by its relationship to the lake and the Escarpment. Try tinkering with either in a major way and the citizens descend on city hall.

Everyone have their own relationship to Spencer Smith Park and the Pier and most people tend to feel they are aware of what’s going on.

Burlington Waterfront, a small volunteer group of citizens dedicating their efforts to promote the protection of and enhance access to our waterfront have planned a meeting on Monday December 5th at 7pm. to share with you what’s happening

And just what is happening?

Bridgewater from the west - higher elevation

Bridgewater development on Lakeshore – rendering of the project from the lake.


One of many Windows on the Lake.

Windows to the Lake
Burlington Beach Park
LPMA wave break
Burloak Park
Martha St Adi tower
Water pollution at Brant St beach
Blue Water Place townhouses
Willow tree pieces
Bridgewater development
Waterfront Hotel master plan
Cootes to Escarpment Eco-Park System

The group has members from Wards 2, 4, and 6 currently – so not just downtown or along the waterfront. They are interested in expanding their membership but that is no the purpose of the meeting.

The Gazette has reported on all of these developments; what we haven’t done, and what the Waterfront group is doing is holding an event at which all the developments are talked about and reviewed at the same time.

Done properly – it would be the first time anyone has done something publicly that looks at the bigger picture.  Kudos to Dee Dee Davies and the Burlington Waterfront committee.


The bigger picture is something that has never really been explained to the public – a citizens group has taken up that challenge.

This group came about when the city shut down the Waterfront advisory Group established by former Mayor Cam Jackson when the pier was the hot topic.  The group wasn’t able to get much done – they do deserve credit for putting the Pump House to some use – many had hoped for something a little more imaginative.

When the city created Advisory group was shut down both Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward and the Mayor said they were going to form a group to keep the public aware of what was taking place.

Meed Ward actually got an organization going – the Mayor either lost interest or gave up when Meed Ward filled the need.

This is a citizen’s event – we don’t know if city hall people are going to be at the meeting; they have been invited.

The meeting takes place at the Brant Hills Community Centre, Mountainside Room. 2255 Brant Street, between Upper Middle Rd and Dundas Street.

In addition to the group doing the presentation, there will be some community groups who will be present with a poster to advertise their relationship to the waterfront.getting new - yellow

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Lest we forget

Lest we forget.

Remembrance reviewing stand

A veteran on the reviewing stand during a Remembrance Day parade

Let we forget. A veteran on the reviewing stand during a Remembrance Day parade.


Let we forget. A veteran on the reviewing stand during a Remembrance Day parade.


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Small business networking group comes back to life - trade show back by popular demand.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 11, 2016



James Burchill, the guy that beavers away creating a network for those commercial services operators and budding entrepreneurs who don’t fit in at the Chamber of Commerce and aren’t comfortable at the service club level but who nevertheless want to be part of a network, is back.

Burchill created the Social Fusion Network that went through several toothing experiences. He has put on two mini trade shows that out shone, significantly, what the Chamber of Commerce put on recently at the Holiday Inn.

Burchill is a shameless self-promoter – who understands social media and uses it to great effect for both his own interests and those of his clients.

He is also as up to date as anyone can be on the almost hourly changes in the high tech field.

He needed to take some time off for personal family matters – life tends to get in the way of business – and is now able to give his networking operation the time and attention it needs.

What do my people really want asked Burchill. So he did what anyone with the initiative would do – sent out a survey. He had to send it out several times (there were no repeats in the responders) to get a statistically valid return. Here is what he knows – and it was enough to decide there would be another trade show at the Performing Arts Centre – but that won’t be until April 6, 2017

Here is what Burchill knows – and what you now know: sfn-continue-y-n5-pm-starttwo-hours-y-nvenue-same
So it will be a 5 pm start – run for two hours and probably be at the same location each time. The Beaver and the Bulldog at the Waterfront was popular – but parking was a perennial complaint.presentation-formatpay-to-addvertise-to-membeshipchapterstrade-show-y-n

What did the repondes have to say? While they may have said maybe to several of the questions – they had comments.

Having to pay for parking sucks. They (the B&B) really should compensate for that I think. Sometimes you get the same people out every week….need new blood!

Speed dating like encounters with frenetic networker’s. Also, should have members take an oath to be honest in their engagement practices.

Location requires parking costs, just a minor annoyance. Tend to see the same people, however that makes it easier to spot and connect with the new ones.

Not long enough

Too many changes with this group. It’s not exciting like it used to be to attend. I used to look forward to this meetup in Burlington..

I get three copies of each message you send ­ and at times I feel a little badgered. paying for parking

People who throw their cards in your face before saying hello! Timing. Clear theme and goals.

They are always well­done! Thank you

Sometimes there are too many people that are just running around handing out business cards. A lot of members really push their products/services

Always in downtown Burlington. How about a location at the mall off Burloak or something closer for Oakville folks?

So many realtors, insurance people and investment people ­ many of which only want to pass out as many business cards as possible in the evening without making any real connections with others

No focus.

Start time should be 6pm­ 8pm

Perhaps that it may not be the best demographic for my particular service. Too many financial planners. Need new people to join.

People trying too hard to sell their services and not interested in your own

Always the same people from very small service businesses providing mostly consumer type products hanging out with each other ­ need more business to business members

It lost it’s local flavour long ago. It needs to be a Burlington group with Burlington business. Far too many people coming from way out of town for a “quick hit”. Successful networking is about building comfort & confidence in a relationship. These were previously quick encounters, like speed dating!

We have to give Burchill credit for letting it ll hang out. Those doing the objectionable stuff – take notice.  The Trade Show is  GO!getting new - yellowsfn-hash-tag-logo

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Brian McCurdy back in place at the Performing Arts Centre - all is well for now.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

November 3rd, 2016



The Art Gallery of Burlington is announcing innovative program after innovative program while the Performing Arts Centre continues with its ongoing production of musical chairs.

McCurdy - Ex Dirs + Chair

From the left, chair of the Burlington Theatre Board,  Ilene Elkaim, former Executive Director Brenda Heatherington, former Executive Director Brian McCurdy and former Executive Director Suzanne Haines. McCurdy is back in as interim Executive Director.

The best executive director the place ever had is back in the saddle – Brian McCurdy gave the place stability and some of the best programs that have graced the stages.

He did more with the community than anyone else but home was in Kingston and that was one hell of a commute.

So McCurdy left and they brought in a woman from Richmond B. C.; that didn’t work out and she went through the revolving door.

Haines at reveal 2016

Former Executive Director Suzanne Haines chatting up a theatre patron.

Shortly before Suzanne Haines lost the title of Executive Director, the best person the place ever had doing marketing and promotion decided she too wanted to move on. Hillary Saddler got the call to come back – quick and do what she and McCurdy had done so well in the past.

Don’t however look for anything in the way of news from either the Board of the theatre operation or from the people who run the place day to day.

Events are booked and the task now is to try once again to find just the right person to lead the operation.

McCurdy H&S

Brian McCurdy listening as he is lauded during his first retirement party. He is back in as the interim Executive Director

They want to look into cloning Brian McCurdy and also to learn how to communicate with the people who put up the dollars to get the place built.

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Art Gallery just might be getting into show business, opening up une petite Bistro perhaps ?

Event 100By Staff

November 1, 2016



A media release came in from Dennis Longchamps,  Artistic Director & Chief Curator at the Art Gallery of Burlington his agile mind to things other than art.

Do you wonder he asked, what happens behind the scenes at an art gallery? Do you have a sense of adventure?

after-hours-agb-logoThe Art Gallery of Burlington invites you to a night of discovery with After Hours.

Beer and wine tastings – unusual food pairings– experimental music and video art – dance performance – graffiti painting – and so much more!

Tickets are limited – $50 per person includes all of the above – Must be 19 years and older. Tickets available online only: https://artgalleryofburlington.com/afterhours/

Food and drink provided by Collective Arts Brewing, Son of a Peach Pizzeria, Sunshine Doughnuts, Twist of Fate and the George Hamilton. Music and video presented by And All Was Bright.

Copp and Fox First_Dance

Trevor Copp and Jeff Fox doing their First Dance routine.

Liquid Lead Dancing presented by Trevor Copp and Jeff Fox.

This could be really interesting. The media release doesn’t say if this is a one off – or if Longchamps has an ongoing program in mind.

Thursday, November 17th – 7 pm to Midnight

Midnight to 7 am would have been more exciting.

Looks like it is worth checking out.

A revolution at the AGB – this is Burlington you know.


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How many male Members of Parliament will Burlington MP Karina Gould manage to slip a pink high heal on?

News 100 redBy Staff

October 21st, 2106



She once got a shout out from the President of the United States when he was addressing the House of Commons – now she wants to get the make members of that same House out wearing high heels – pink high heels.

A number of weeks ago Burlington MP Karina Gould challenged the Speaker of the House to hold such an event – and somehow the challenge got taken up and on November 3rd Gould MP for Burlington will be hosting Hope in High Heels on Parliament Hill


Men in Burlington have been doing their annual pink high heel thing to make a point – and they are getting that point across. Next Month Burlington’s MP hopes to get every male member of Parliament into a pair of high heels The Prime Minister will pull it off – watch for some wobbly ankles from some of the others.

After participating in the Hope in High Heels walk organized by Halton Women’s Place in Burlington on September 24, MP Gould was inspired to bring the walk to Parliament Hill.

“The message is simple – we will not end violence against women and children, if boys and men are not included in the conversation and part of the solution,” said MP Gould in a statement in the House of Commons. “Having this event in Ottawa, encourages all Members of Parliament, Senators and their staff to show Canadians that we are united in this fight.”

Halton Women’s Place has organized Hope in High Heels in Halton for the past seven years to help raise funds for their women’s shelter in the Halton region and to raise awareness of this ongoing issue. Halton Women’s Place will travel to Ottawa with their hot pink heels in tow, for all male parliamentarians looking to participate.


There is a strong message behind those pink high heels – “real men don’t hit woman” The Halton woman’s Place houses a number of women who have been hit by men.

“Halton Women’s Place is thrilled to bring Hope in High Heels to Ottawa,” said Diane Beaulieu, Executive Director, Halton Women’s Place. “We are proud of our relationship with MP Karina Gould who continues to advocate for women’s issues, especially women’s shelters. This initiative shows our clients that our community supports them in their decisions to start a new life free of violence. We look forward to working together with our local, provincial and federal government on making change for abused women and their children.”

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said, “Together, we can create a Canada and a world where all citizens are respected, valued equally, and safe from violence.”

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Ten year old recently renovated Ancaster home part of the Junior League Holiday House Tour.

eventspink 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 31st, 2016



The 2016 Hamilton Burlington Junior League Annual Holiday House Tour has three location; two in Burlington and a third in Ancaster.

Every year, generous homeowners loan their homes to the Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington (JLHB) and talented design professionals transform them to showcase stunning holiday décor and entertainment ideas.

“Often it’s the little things. Everyone can find ideas for their own home, while on the tour.” says Dianne Brown, co-chair of the 2016 House Tour Committee.

The event is the JLHB’s signature fundraiser that generates the financial resources to help the charitable organisation, now in its 80th year, continue to make a lasting impact in the Hamilton-Burlington community.


The Ancaster home house rep team, from the left: Kathy, Karyn, Sarai and Roseanne.

The committee making this happen is made up of Diane Brown and Iris Hughes who are supported by teams of  House reps who oversee the coordination of the designers who are going to make the home look and feel festive.

The Ancaster home is a 3,200 sq. ft. – four bedroom, four bathrooms house that has undergone a significant renovation.

The biggest challenge in decorating the 10-year old Ancaster home was finding the right decorators. The house had just undergone an extensive renovation, and been completely redesigned.

It now has a very fresh and youthful, yet classic appearance.

This house has a stunning conservatory which hosts a beautiful grand piano. The room is majestic, elegant, and serene. Perfect for reading and relaxing while listening to lovely music.

The open concept plan across the back of the main floor boasts a beautiful kitchen and dining room with large two story high ceiling family room to the left.

Expansive windows across the back take full advantage of the spacious backyard views. The oversized dining table is a focal, point for large family gatherings.

House Reps, serve in an advisory role with the decorators, helping them to coordinate with each other.


The House Tour is a great way to pick up some ideas for holiday decorating – and those holiday aren’t that far off are they?

The event hours for this the 34th Annual House Tour are: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm on Friday, 10:00 to 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are available on-line – cost $25 for the three house tour

The Junior League is looking for people who would like to serve as volunteers for some of the three hours shifts at the different house tour locations. This is an opportunity to learn more about the Junior League – sort of a toe in the water approach.

If you think you can help please email Annette at housetours@juniorleague.ca

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The 20th anniversary event - Soup Bowl lunch at the Art Gallery

eventspink 100x100By Staff

October 27th, 2016



Thus is one of those event you want to order your ticket for now – they do go quickly.

The Art Gallery has been putting on this event for 20 years – this is the 20th anniversary of an event that has become a favourite fall fundraising event!

Soup - bowls on the trolly

Hundreds of hand made bowls await the guests who take part in the annual Soup Bowl lunch at the Art Gallery

The event brings together hundreds of people to select a handmade ceramic bowl and pair it with a gourmet soup from a local restaurant, all for a great cause. Last year we welcomed 900 guests and raised over $30,000

Soup - tables ready - BEST

The set up is very tastefully done – the room sparkles.

They do up the space nicely for a lunch that is a bowl of soup.

The funds raised support children’s programming, including Open Studio (a free drop in art centre for kids), diversified program offerings, and financial assistance for youth.

Thursday Nov 24 Lunch – 12pm
Very limited tickets available – call us at 905-632-7796 to purchase

Friday Nov 25 Lunch – 12pm
Very limited tickets available – call us at 905-632-7796 to purchase

Saturday Nov 26 Lunch – 12pm
Individual Tickets: $40 AGB Member, $50 Non-member
Tables of 8: $300 AGB Member, $375 Non-Member

Sunday Nov 27 Lunch – 12pm
Individual Tickets: $40 AGB Member, $50 Non-Member
Tables of 8: $300 AGB Member, $375 Non-Member

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Introduce your three year old to the world of a public school education. JK is where they start.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 26, 2016



Do you remember the day you first went to school? It was certainly a different time – we live in a different world.

To start with there are no longer rows of desks.

The Halton District School Board wants to make that transition as smooth as possible. In November and December, future students and their parents/guardians are invited to attend one of five Kindergarten Open Houses to learn more about starting school.


The years in school will probably be longer than the time they spend in any one job.

Drop by any one of the following open houses between 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

Thursday, Nov. 3 – Ethel Gardiner Public School (14365 Danby Road)

Thursday, Nov. 10 – Bruce T. Lindley Public School (2510 Cavendish Dr.)

Thursday, Nov. 17 – Tiger Jeet Singh Public School (650 Yates Dr)

Tuesday, Nov. 22 – Robert Little Public School (41 School Ln)

Thursday, Dec. 1 – West Oak Public School (2071 Fourth Line)

At the Open House, students and parents will:

• Explore a Kindergarten classroom
• Learn about play-based learning
• Pick up information and resource material in a free backpack
• Access information about community agencies and resources in Halton
• Get information about before and after school care
• Connect with special education staff to discuss any developmental concerns

Children born in 2013 can start Kindergarten in September 2017.

Registration for Kindergarten begins in January 2017 and takes place at the school your child will attend.

View our video to see what you will learn about the Board’s Kindergarten program.

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The people who build the condos and houses we live in toured one of the mobility hubs

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 24, 2016



Vince Molinaro, president of the Molinaro Group had a bunch of people over for lunch last week – 40 of them to be exact – mostly fellow developers who can pack a lunch,  if you know what I mean.

They were on an Ontario Home Builders Association tour of developments that were part of what have come to be known as hubs – places where different forms of transportation come together: Go trains and buses, transit, cars, bicycles and those who choose to walk.


Burlington has identified four different locations for mobility hubs. while they haven’t officially determined which location they will start with the Molinaro Group has started construction on their five building Paradigm project.

Municipalities are looking at the idea of making these hopes the focus of development opportunities.
Burlington has identified four such hubs.

While the city was doing its identification thing – the Molinaro group was digging a big hole in the ground and are not at the tenth floor of the west building of what is going to be a five structure project with an average height of 20 storeys just a bit over a stone’s throw from the GO station on Fairview east of Brant Street


The West tower of the five building Paradigm project has reached the tenth floor level. They are at the 85% SOLD level on two of the five towers that will average 20 storeys each.

The association says the population of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area is expected to reach more than 10 million by 2041, and most of the growth — 79 per cent — will take place outside Toronto: in York, Durham, Peel, Halton and Hamilton.

This is a “historic moment for city building,” the association says, with an anticipated $32 billion in rapid transit expenditures over the next 10 to 15 years.

The 40 developers, members of the association and other interested people set off on a daylong excursion last Thursday that started in Port Credit before heading to Paradigm Condos adjacent to the Burlington GO station. From there, they continued to Hamilton’s West Harbour.

Vince Molinaro

Vince Molinaro – president of the Molinaro Group and a former president of the Ontario Home Builders Association

Molinaro, whose Molinaro Group is the developer of the Burlington condominium project, says mobility hubs around GO stations are rich with possibilities but bring unique challenges.

A mobility hub is a term used to describe housing and commercial intensification around transportation nodes, such as GO stations. It creates opportunities for commuters to get around without relying on automobiles. The hubs are seen as a way to help with gridlock.

Molinaro says the municipal government in Burlington has been supportive of his project because the developer and city planners are on the same page when it comes to housing intensification. But with the development being so close to the railway tracks, his company has had to deal with numerous requirements from CN.

We had to construct a five-foot-thick, concrete wall between the tracks and the towers to help protect residents in case of a derailment.

Paradigm - crash wall

That is a five foot thick concrete crash wall that the railway authorities required between the development and the railway tracks.

The track also required a 30-metre easement that cannot be used for residential space. More liability insurance was required than normal because of the five-tower project’s proximity to the tracks. Rather than $10 million, they needed $100 million.

Despite all of that, he says, the development is proceeding well. Construction on the west tower has reached the 10th floor, and a late summer opening is planned for next year. Work has also started on two other towers.

About 85 per cent of the units in the first two towers have been sold, Molinaro says. The buildings vary in height, but average 20 storeys. The final two to be built will have commercial and office space along with residential.getting new - yellow


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Parents beginning to organize for crucial meetings on which, if any, high schools in Burlington should be closed.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 24, 2016


The meetings to explain the Program Accommodation Review to patents will take place on the dates and at the high schools set out below.

Date School Time
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Robert Bateman HS 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Nelson HS 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Thursday, November 3, 2016 Aldershot HS 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday, November 3, 2016 Burlington Central HS 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Monday, November 14, 2016 Lester B. Pearson HS 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Monday, November 14, 2016 M.M. Robinson HS 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 Dr. Frank J. Hayden SS 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm


There is a lot of work to be done on the part of parents. Central High school parents set out the tasks as they saw them.

Once parents have an understanding of the process the Program Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) gets set up.

The members of the PARC (there will be just the one committee) will be:

A Trustee as an ad hoc member, and Superintendent, both from an area not under study;
From each affected school:

the school Principal or designate (resource only)
two parents/guardians from each school, one of whom will be nominated by the School Council Chair; the other will be selected by the Superintendent(s) through the submission by parents of an expression of interest.

The Superintendent will review all parent representation and endeavor to ensure that all affected geographic areas and programs are represented.

A municipal Councillor will be invited to the committee once the committee is formed.

This is not going to be a small committee”

1 trustee
1 Superintendent
14 parents
7 principals
1 municipal Councillor

Our count is 24 people.

Timeline for the complete process:
PAR Initiated
October 19, 2016 (Done)
J.W. Singleton Education Centre
2050 Guelph Line


Expect to see rooms full of parents for the next number of months. This was the first parents meeting for Central High school parents.

Formation and orientation of Program and Accommodation Review Committee (PARC)
December 1, 2016

Public Meeting #1
December 8, 2016

PARC Working Meeting #1
January 26, 2017

PARC Working Meeting #2
February 2, 2017

PARC Working Meeting #3
February 9, 2017

Public Meeting #2
March 2, 2017

PARC Working Meeting #4
March 23, 2017

Director’s Report to Committee of the Whole
March 29, 2017
J.W. Singleton Education Centre
2050 Guelph Line

Public Delegation Night
April 18, 2017
J.W. Singleton Education Centre
2050 Guelph Line

Presentation of Report to Board of Trustees for Decision
May 17, 2017
J.W. Singleton Education Centre
2050 Guelph Line

There is a lot of work to be done – and a considerable amount of disruption throughout the high school system in Burlington.

What the parents need to understand is that it is the trustees they elect who will make a final decision not the bureaucrats. Work with your elected officials.getting new - yellow

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School board trustees vote to form Program Accommodation Review Committees to review the staff recommendation to close two high schools - Central and Lester B. Pearson.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2016


There will be a Program Accommodation Review (PAC) – and it is going to keep the parents hoping.

Board of Education trustees voted last night 10 – 1 to form Program Accommodation Review Committees.

The possible closure of both Burlington Central High school and Lester B. Pearson high school are now distinct possibilities.

There is a tremendous amount of work to get done and the learning curve is going to be very steep for the parents.

A Program Accommodation Review is something a board of education has to do when the enrollment in a school falls below 65%.


Central High school could handle an additional 275 students – but they just don’t live in the community.


Lester B. Pearson is a small school to start with and enrollment is projected to decline.

The recommendation the Board put on the table was to look at closing both Lester B. Pearson and Burlington Central High school.

Central High is a large school with a very strong connection to their community – they hit the ground running and have made strong arguments for not even holding a Program Accommodation review at this time.

The trustees didn’t see it that way and voted to take the next step which is to form a Program Accommodation Review Committee (PARC). (Note the school board people love acronyms – get used to them.)

The task now is to create the PARC’s.  Burlington Central is well prepared for this next step.
Lester B. Pearson (LBP), a much smaller high school and it doesn’t have the depth as a community school that Central has. We will return to the LBP situation.

Trustees - Papin - Oliver - Grebenc

Trustees Papin, Oliver and Grebenc

The Board of Trustees is responsible for deciding the most appropriate pupil accommodation arrangements for the delivery of its elementary and secondary programs. Decisions that are made by the Board of Trustees are in the context of carrying out its primary responsibilities of fostering student achievement and well-being, and ensuring effective stewardship of school board resources. The Board of Trustees may consider undertaking pupil accommodation reviews that may lead to school consolidations and closures in order to address declining and shifting student enrollment.

Trustees - Gray - Reynolds - Collard

Trustees Sams, Reynolds and Collard.

The PARC process has been revised and this is the first time the Halton Board has had to work under the new rules which shorten the amount of time to go through that process.

Here are the steps that are going to be taken:

● Director’s Preliminary Report to the Board of Trustees; DONE
● Preparation of the School Information Profile(s); these are ready to now be turned over to the PARC that is to be formed.
Each high school will have its own PARC
● Board of Trustee’s approval to undertake a Program and Accommodation review process; They did that on October 19th.
● Communication with all stakeholders about the process, opportunities for involvement, and identifying outcomes; The Board staff are going to have their work cut out for them on this level.
● Establishing the Program and Accommodation Review Committee; The jockeying for the spaces on this committee is going to be interesting to watch.
● Consultation with Local Municipal Governments/Community Partners;
● Public Meetings;
● Final Staff Report, including a Community Consultation section;
● Public Delegations to the Board of Trustees;
● Decision by the Board of Trustees; and,
● Implementation and Transition Planning.

A PARC will be formed following the consideration by the Board of Trustees of the Director’s Preliminary Report.


Parents getting the agenda explained to them by the Board o Education communications manager.

The PARC will consist of the following persons:

A Trustee as an ad hoc member, and Superintendent, both from an area not under study;

From each affected school:

the school Principal or designate (resource only)

two parents/guardians from each school, one of whom will be nominated by the School Council Chair; the other will be selected by the Superintendent(s) through the submission by parents of an expression of interest. The Superintendent will review all parent representations and endeavor to ensure that all affected geographic areas and programs are represented.

All Trustees are invited to attend PARC working meetings to observe the proceedings.


Dania Thurman on the left – one of the more active parents at Central High school.

The PARC is to be created within five business days of the motion to form the PARC was passed – which happened yesterday. Things begin to move very quickly at this point – and it is going to be difficult for the parents at Lester B. Pearson to keep up.

Once the PARC is constituted, it will invite a municipal Councillor or delegate to join the Committee. The Committee will be deemed to be properly constituted whether or not all of the listed members are willing and able to participate.


Matthew DiSouza – a Lester B. Pearson student

The Board will invite PARC members from the school(s) under review to an orientation session that will describe the mandate, roles and responsibilities, and procedures of the PARC.

That is what the community is going to immerse themselves in – the people selected for the PARC is important – getting the right people is important.

How did we get to this point? Well enrollment numbers were the first indicator that a change was needed. Burlington has seven high schools, Oakville has six. And Oakville has a larger high school population than Burlington.

Director of Education Stuart Miller explained that the preferred size of a high school is 1200 students. He added using that number Burlington has one and a half too many high schools.

That is the lens the board of education bureaucrat use – they have to look at the numbers – the province requires that they do just that.

However, it is the parents that are at the top of the food chain. It is their money that pays for everything and it is the education of their children that is at issue.

It is now up to the parents to come up with the ideas that will resolve the problem on the table.


Director of Education Stuart Miller getting a briefing.

Miller said a number of times that the option put on the table is rarely if ever the option that gets chosen. Which is fine but in order to be able to come up with the best option parents need to ensure that they do not lose control of the process.

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‘You know this is pretty good stuff – we need to listen to these people.’

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 19th, 2016



Stuart Miller is the kind of man who enjoys a challenge.

There isn’t all that much bureaucrat in the man – he likes people and he loves the job he has been dropped into – even though at times it does almost overwhelm him.

Hammil + Miller

If there are a bunch of teachers and students doing something on a Saturday – chances are Stuart Miller be with them.

He is the kind of Director of Education who will slip over to Robert Bateman High school for lunch – one, because there is a great cooking class over there and two, he just likes being around students.

You will find him at some kind of student event on a Saturday when most of the senior board people are chilling at home.

He has some major administrative tasks in front of him but for Miller the administrative part isn’t the challenge that has him tossing and turning – it is the impact the change is going to have on the students he is responsible for – and make no mistake about it – he feel responsible for them and takes great pride when those students do well.

Six months ago he was struggling with how his board was going to handle the very significant increase in parents wanting to get their children into French Immersion almost from the day they walked into a school.

He faced several issues there – and he doesn’t have those issues resolved yet. He couldn’t find enough highly qualified teachers and he had a real concern for that small number of students who were not ready for French Immersion in the early years – if at all.

Stuart Miller

Always engaging – always listening. Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

The best and the brightest in a student population always catch they eye of senior board administrators. Miller has an eye for the kid that is perhaps a little slower and needs a little more time or who doesn’t fit in all that well socially but is razor sharp.

Students aren’t the only concern for Stuart Miller. Wednesday evening he is going to hear delegations from half a dozen parents who are going to hand him a 12 page summary of the concerns they have over the thinking that is going to go into a PAR Review

In less than a week, a group of about ten parents – maybe less – pulled together loads of input from parents, did a thorough review of a long document the school board staff have had months to prepare and have come back with their thoughts on what the board thinks it should do.

That the senior bureaucrat could be as productive.

To be a fly on the wall of Miller’s office as he flips through the pages of the report the parent’s prepared.

Miller has an at times wry look on his face and my bet is that when he completes his reading of the document he is going to smile and say to his staff:

‘You know this is pretty good stuff – we need to listen to these people.’

That’s the kind of Director of Education we have in Halton.

Let’s see how he handles the situation on Wednesday evening.

Salt with Pepper is an opinion column written by the Publisher of the gazette.  we invite well thought out opinions from others in the city.

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If you go to the Habitat for Humanity Restore between now and the end of the month - they will get a $1 donation for every transaction done. Go now!

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 17th, 2016



Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore is going to get a $1 donation for every ReStore transaction from October 17 to October 31st.

habitat-restore-locationThose funds will help more families build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable Habitat for Humanity homeownership.

The donation is coming from Proctor & Gamble and Swiffer, one of their products.

With nearly 100 locations across Canada, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores are home and building supply stores that accept and resell quality new and used building supplies, home furnishing, appliances and décor. Habitat’s ReStores accept donations of secondhand, overstocked and discontinued items, as well as salvageable building materials donated by manufacturers, stores, contractors and individuals. Proceeds fund Habitat for Humanity operations and homebuilding projects in communities across the country.

To provide additional incentive, Swiffer is also giving out a free Swiffer Duster with all purchases while supplies last.

The funds generated through this campaign will be used towards Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga’s ongoing builds in Burlington, Acton, Georgetown and Mississauga. Once complete, the project will enable more families than ever before to partner with Habitat for access to affordable home ownership.

Habitat for Humanity’s first ReStore was opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1991. Today, there are almost 100 locations across Canada and almost 1,000 worldwide generating funds to support the work of Habitat for Humanity. It’s estimated that Habitat’s ReStores in Canada have been directly responsible for the construction of 1,200 Habitat for Humanity homes and in excess of 250,000 tonnes of material being diverted from landfills.

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Lakeshore school area parents get the ball diamond they wanted - raised half the money themselves - city came through with $5000

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 17, 2016



The field has been re-graded, gravel screen laid down between the bases, the pitcher’s mound is no longer a place for water to gather, and home plate can actually be seen.


Pitchers mound and a level field – a bunch of boys made it happen.

There are new benches, the back stop has been replaced and safety fences were installed where the players sit waiting their turn on the field.

The rehabilitation of the ball diamond at Lakeshore Public school got done because a bunch of boys saw an opportunity with a grant program the city announced awhile back.

The getting of the grant for the Lakeshore school ball diamond was driven by Griffin Gervais, a grade five student who depended on his Mother to get him to meetings.

The ball diamond was in pretty rough shape: The grounds needed a serious leveling out – they had little rises and small shallow spots. The bases needed bags that were properly anchored – third base is currently a small hole that collects water.

The back stop is close to being ready to fall down. And the benches are kind of crappy.


Billy the Bandit poses with Griffen Gervais, MP Karina Gould on the left and ward Councillor Marianne Meed Ward.

The project got started when Griffen met Burlington’s MP Karina Gould and asked her if she could help him do something. Gould was about to explain the intricacies of Canada’s separation of powers when Ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward happened along, heard about the problem and said she was pretty sure what Griffin and his buddies wanted to do was possible under a program that was being rolled out by the city’s parks and recreation department.

The city had created a Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund that could put up as much as $5000 into a project that is designed to improve a community. The Parks and Recreation people were overseeing the program which meant a lot of paper work

The city had set aside $50,000 for the program last fiscal year and went into communities to talk up the program.


More than 200 people showed up on a bright sunny Saturday.

The objective wasn’t to just improve facilities but to help community’s work as communities where people would gather together and work on a common objective.

It was an amazing day with over 200 people coming out to celebrate. Evelyn Quist, Lakeshore Public principal took part in the festivities.

In Burlington some communities work very well – in others the cohesion needed to make a place work as community hasn’t developed. The Matching fund is intended for a project people want to see done in their neighbourhood.

Backstop Lakesh PS

It was a pretty rough looking ball diamond before Griffen Gervais and his buddies got started.


Proud parents – Griffen Gervais with his Mom Carrie and Dad standing in front of the new backstop.

Griffin project is going to come in at about $11,000 – they applied for the full $5000 from the city and fund raised to pull in the balance.

The community was expected to raise half of the amount needed. That half could be cash, or in kind materials. Any work that people did on the project was counted at the rate of $17.02 for each hour worked. 50% of any professional services that were needed could be included in the budget.

Denise Beard, Manager Community Development, made sure her staff did everything they could to make it work – including finding the insurance coverage needed.

Carrie Gervais, Griffen’s Mother rounded up the quotes needed from the Board of Education. They included $200 for a party in the park to celebrate their success which is all part of the city’s objective. They want people to come together, work together to make their neighbourhoods better places.
Related story:


Lakeshore ball park - matching grant winners

In no specific order: Sawyer Cobham. Scott Rose, Griffen Gervais, Kayden Maslanyk discuss the problems with their ball diamond. They set to work raising the funds to rehabilitate the diamond which was official last Saturday.


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Provincial Liberals get transparent - release their financial statements.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 16th, 2016


Nice to see a political organization that understands transparency.

The Burlington Provincial Liberal Association held their Annual General Meeting last week and did all the usual stuff. Then they did something this reporter has not seen before in this city – they released their financial statements.

Good on them.


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Save the date: House Tour organized by Hamilton-Burlington Junior League.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 14, 2016



We have put Thanksgiving behind us – and we will survive Halloween and then set our sights on what we plan to do for the holiday Season.

Someone has asked you to buy a ticket to an event – $25 – $30 if you decide to pay at the door  to visit some homes that have been decorated for the Holiday season – but they can’t tell you where the houses are other than that there are three places you are going to go to; two in town and a third a couple of miles away.

Oh, and you are going to love what to see.  Houses, beautifully decorated houses – and the money is going to a good cause.

You might have figured out by now that you’re being asked to take part in the Junior League of Hamilton – Burlington Annual Holiday House Tour of Distinctive Homes where homes are chosen and made over by creative designers.

They do the whole house – and really give it the “treatment”  The least you are going to come away with are some really smart design ideas.

This year one of the homes in Burlington is a 5,500 sq ft – 4 bedroom, 5 bathrooms set up; the second Burlington home is a 2,400 sq ft – 4 bedroom, two bathroom arrangement.


A home decorated on a previous Junior League House Tour.

The third home is in Ancaster is a 3,200 sq. ft. – 4 bedroom with 4 baths.


Big job – big committee -this crowd organizes the finding of the homes that are part of the tour and then lining up the decorators.

The Junior League has been doing these tours for 34 years. Visitors can tour three gorgeous homes, filled with stunning décor and holiday decorating ideas, and feel good about the fact they’re helping the Junior League to improve the community.

Every year, generous homeowners loan their homes to the Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington (JLHB) and talented design professionals transform them to showcase stunning holiday décor and entertainment ideas.

“Often it’s the little things. Everyone can find ideas for their own home, while on the tour.” says Dianne Brown, co-chair of the 2016 House Tour Committee.

The event is the JLHB’s signature fundraiser that generates the financial resources to help the charitable organization, now in its 80th year, continue to make a lasting impact in the Hamilton-Burlington community.

The committee making this happen is made up of quite a collection of women.


Iris, Annette and Diane – co-chairs of the House Tour Committee

They are looking for people who would like to serve as volunteers at the different house tour locations. This is an opportunity to learn more about the Junior League – sort of a toe in the water approach. Diane Brown would love to hear from you. info@juniorleague.ca

Tickets to the event are available on line at:



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