The reason for the season ...

By Staff
December 25th, 2015

The kids have been up for hours, the gift are unwrapped and you are settling in for a comfortable day or perhaps visiting with family, or food for family that will arrive soon.

Santa For-unto-us-1024x473You are enjoying the holiday.

Remember, if you will, what we are celebrating – and the why of it all.

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The first of the new Canadians from the Middle East arrive at a resettlement centre in Hamilton; some may start their new lives in Burlington.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 24, 2105



How many will there be? We have no idea, said Gillian Kearns, interim director at the Wesley Urban Ministries in Hamilton, one of the re-settlement points for those people who have been sponsored by the federal government.

We are gearing up to get ourselves to the point where we have 150 places we can house people – which we figure will allow us to handle up to 450 of these newly minted Canadians who have come to us from the war torn Middle East.

There are currently 17 people at the Wesley office in Hamilton where there are 36 rooms in what was once a senior’s home.

Wesley Urban Ministry

Once a Seniors’ residence this Catherine street building in Hamilton is where the bus with new Canadians stops and where the process of re-settling people from the Middle East begins.

This is the first intake point and where we begin the process of orienting them to life in Canada, said Kearns who has been working with Wesley Urban Ministries (WUM),  for three years, an organization that has been around for more than 60 years. We help them open up their bank accounts, get them used to transit in Hamilton and walk through Jackson Square with them.

Graffitti parking lot Hamilton

A parking lot with graffiti all over the walls of a building across the street from the Wesley Urban Ministry offices is what greets the new Canadians who arrived last week – no grass and not a tree in sight – but the rooms are warm and the food is good.

Wesley Urban Ministries is right in the middle of that part of town where there aren’t’ a lot of trees and the closest park is a couple of blocks away. One has to look hard to see any grass. An abandoned bus terminal is steps away from the entrance to the WUM door and a parking lot across the street with some very impressive graffiti. You’ll never see anything like that in Burlington – over here we call it public art and pay artists a pretty penny to put it in place.

Wesley is now in the throes of hiring intake case workers – there were four and now there are ten; just about everything else has scaled up at the same rate explains Kearns.

Kearn’s doesn’t know if any of the government supported new Canadians will get to Burlington. “The biggest issue is the cost of housing – the funds these resettled people get can barely pay for housing in Hamilton and as everyone knows housing in Burlington is much higher.

Immigration poster

Canada has grown to a significant degree from immigration – there was a time when the railways and steamship companies advertised for immigrants. This poster is part of the story told when times were very different.

Those that get to live in Burlington will be part of the group that came into the country as private sponsorships – there is no link between the government sponsorships and those that are privately sponsored.

There are about 20 groups in Burlington that are working on private sponsorships.

Individuals and faith groups have banded together to support families – to do so the group has to show that is has $30,000 committed to supporting the family for a year. We don’t know at this point what kind of oversight there is for these private sponsorships.

We do know that the rest of the world marvels that Canadians pull together and help these people financially, emotionally – they almost adopt them.

Canada has brought in around 7,000 immigrants each year with about 300 of them starting their lives in Hamilton, so we have quite a bit of experience explains Kearns – this wave however is made up of people who had to make decisions very quickly and they left conditions that were pretty miserable.

Of the 25,000 the federal government has said will come to Canada about 10,000 will be private sponsorships.

Wesley has an offsite kitchen that prepares meals for several of the Wesley operations. Their chefs know how to prepare the diet Middle Eastern people want.

Each day begins with breakfast which the immigrants prepare for themselves in the small kitchen in the building, the other meals are brought in.

The first group haven’t been here a week yet and we don’t know when the next group is going to arrive. The general public know about as much as we do. When the aircraft land in Toronto or Montreal decisions are made at that end as to where people are going to be sent. We get a call telling us that a bus is on the way with a certain number of people and we take it from there.

Dec 1 audience 400 +

Hundreds of Burlingtonians gathered at a public meeting early in December to learn what they could do to support immigrants who were about to arrive in Canada.

We have no idea what is coming our way and the people on the bus know very little about where they are going – just that they are now safe, that the sheets on the bed are clean and they have a future to look forward to in a country that has welcomed them.

The hardest part of the task for the people doing the day to day work is always being “brain tired”. The problems just keep rolling in. Our case workers explained Kearns hear stories that are horrifying every day – we have to ensure that both our case workers and the people they are helping get the support they need as they do what is difficult work.

We create a profile for each immigrant so that we can figure out what they need to learn in terms of life skills; what they have in terms of work experience and education. They are in our care for as much as a year. The objective is to get them started and let them figure out what they want to do – they can basically go anywhere they want. They are permanent residents of Canada and in five years they can become citizens.

Helping hands exchanging information Gillian Kearns

Gillian Kearns, on the right, exchanges information with Burlingtonians at a public meeting early in December. She works with a team of people at the Wesley Urban Ministries helping the immigrants that have arrived re-settle themselves.

Our job is to know as much as possible about each person so we can help them resettle themselves.  We bring in people to do a full medical checkup – we look for signs of serious emotional stress and guide people who have come from half way around the world to a place they knew very little about adjust. The work is exciting Kearns added but there is just so much to do.

Clothing for everyone; answering the questions they have and helping them keep in touch with those they left behind. Getting the children into school and ensuring they can adapt.

At a time of year when the rest of us are celebrating a major cultural and religious event, at a time when we usually have snow, we too have to adapt to a change and at the same time help those in our care adapt to the massive change in their lives.

It is exhilarating and at the same time it is tiring, adds Kearns  – but if we get it right we will have brought to this country people who will add to what we are – a caring, giving people who made a place for them in this world.

There is a small reception office on the ground floor of the Wesley Urban Ministry on Catherine Street where a cheerful well informed woman answers the phone and keeps in touch with staff. From time to time someone will quietly walk in and place an envelope on the counter. The receptionist smiles and asks – “would you like a receipt?” No – you can mail it, thank you.

That’s the way it works in this country.

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Showtimes at Ciné-Starz : Week of Friday, December 25, 2015 through Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cinestarz logo
Ciné-Starz Upper Canada Place, Burlington, ON


Week of Friday, December 25, 2015 through Thursday, December 31, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea (PG)
Fri – Thu: 11:00 AM, 12:45, 3:00, 5:30, 7:35, 9:40

Creed (14A)
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 2:50, 4:50, 7:10, 9:40

The Good Dinosaur (G)
Fri – Thu: 11:00 AM, 1:00, 3:00, 5:20, 7:40, 9:30

Love the Coopers (PG)
Fri – Thu: 11:00 AM, 5:10

The Peanuts Movie (G)
Fri – Thu: 11:10 AM, 1:00, 3:20

Spectre ()
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 2:45, 5:00, 7:05, 9:30

Suffragette (PG)
Fri – Thu: 3:35, 5:10

Bridge of Spies (PG)
Fri – Thu: 7:05 PM

Goosebumps (PG)
Fri – Thu: 11:05 AM

The Martian (PG)
Fri – Thu: 7:15, 9:40

Hotel Transylvania 2 (G)
Fri – Thu: 11:00 AM, 1:10

The Intern (PG)
Fri – Thu: 9:45 PM

CineStarz - popcorn

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Mayor scoots about town in an all-electric BMW loaned to him so hydro can collect data.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 20, 2015


The parking spots outside city hall are not actually assigned to specific members o council but they each have habits and the Mayor tends to take the one closest to the building – he also tends to back is car in.

Late last week the Mayor was scooting across the parking lot while I was having a conversation with Councillor Taylor. The Mayor didn’t head for the car the city provides him as Mayor for the city – he headed for a small but very smart looking BMW.

BMW hydro vehicle

Smart little BMW being loaned out to people that will allow Burlington Hydro to collect usage data. Mayor was one of the earlier experimenters.

Councillor Taylor mentioned something about getting to use the car sometime in the future – that was when the Mayor explained that the car was the property of Burlington Hydro – it was an all-electric vehicle that was being loaned out to various people to learn more about their driving habits. Along with the all-electric car there was an EV charging station where the user of the car could “fill-up”.

Burlington Hydro realizes that electric cars are becoming more popular and they need to ensure that the electricity grid that feeds hydro to our homes can manage the additional load that electric cars will place on the system.

Dan Guatto, a vice president and the COO for Burlington Hydro explained that each transformer on the streets of Burlington could probably handle as many as seven electric cars if the owners had EV charging stations in their homes.

And that is where hydro expects people to get the electricity they need into those cars.

BMW hydro EV charging device

Electric vehicle charging station in city hall parking lot.

The EV charging stations however are not just a big battery that put electricity into a car – they are actually “smart” EV chargers that are tied into the North American electricity grid with enough computing power to be programmed and managed the flow of electricity into the electric car and to manage the flow out of the car as well.

Guatto explains that the managing of the electricity is a significant challenge – the grid that we have in place wasn’t built for this added demand. So we have to manage the process of charging all those cars – ideally he added we would like to use nuclear generated electricity that we call upon late at night when it is least expensive.

The task right now is to determine what the demand I going to be – and the start of that process is to have the Mayor and other members of council driving the BMW while all the data is recorded and analyzed.

The Gazette doesn’t recall getting a media release from the city on this really interesting initiative – had we not spotted the Mayor getting out of the BMW we would never have learned about the program.

The city did have an EV charging station installed at the city parking lot on Locust Street and there was one of those infamous photo-ops done.

What has us scratching our heads is – why wouldn’t the Mayor want the citizens of the city to know about the program. It certainly fits into the Community Energy Plan that the Mayor loves to talk about.

One political wag suggested the Mayor didn’t want to have to explain to the public why he was driving a BMW leased by hydro. The Gazette would love to see the Mayor championing this initiative – it a great one.

The Gazette did suggest that its publisher might be able to help with the gathering of useful data if he had access to the BMW for a period of time – there was no response to that idea.

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Catholic school students have their art on display at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 18, 2015


Children at local elementary schools were challenged with designing an engaging poster around the theme of the RBC Blue Water Project. Launched in 2007, the RBC Blue Water Project is a 10-year global charitable commitment of $50 million to help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations.

RBC and Art Gallery of Burlington teamed up to spread awareness of this project while instilling values of environmentalism and creativity in our future generation.

AGB env RBC pictures“We all know that a picture can tell a thousand words and then some. At RBC, we believe in the power of art to enrich our lives and enhance our communities. We are proud to support the Art Gallery of Burlington and the RBC Children’s Exhibition which encourages students to explore their creativity through visual art,” stated John Lever, Regional Vice President of RBC Halton South.

There were 119 entries; all from Catholic schools.

RBC announced the winners of the environmental-themed children’s art contest at the Art Gallery of Burlington earlier this week. The winners of what the bank calls it’s Leo’s favorite” award were:

Grade 8 – Holy Name of Mary School – (group ) Ariana, Giuliana, Kasia, Natalie & Renata
Grade 6 – St. Gabriel School – Candice
Grade 2 – St Mark School – Lilyanna

All the artwork is on display at the AGB until December 23rd. The event was a curated Kids’ Exhibition

RBC will also be making a donation to the Environmental Charity of choice for the winning participants.

The winners were each awarded with a bag of art supplies from the Art Gallery of Burlington. Additionally, each of the three schools will receive an in-class art instruction from one of our educators.

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MPP gets her flu shot - have you gotten yours? Available now at many local pharmacies.

element_healthservicesBy Pepper Parr

December 17th, 2015

Flu season – time to get your flu shot which is now a lot easier. Many pharmacies in the city offer the service. I got my flu shot at the supermarket – took just a few minutes – no line up, no appointment necessary.

McMahon getting flu shot Dec 16-15

James Morrison, Walmart pharmacist give Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon her flu shot

Burlington’s Member of the provincial legislature, Eleanor McMahon, got her flu shot at Walmart yesterday – took it like the trooper she is.
James Morrison, pharmacist manager for Walmart said they have given about 250 shots “basically the same number as last year”. The government pays Walmart $7.50 for each shot they administer.

McMahon flu shot grimmace

Waiting for the flu shot.

“We have been doing both nasally applied flu shot and those given by needle said Morrison.

The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association surveyed people who got their flu shots at local pharmacy – the 1,610 people surveyed said that for the most part they were happy with getting this kind of service at a local pharmacy.

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Ciné-Starz sShowtimes

Cinestarz logoCiné-Starz

Upper Canada Place,
Burlington, ON L7R 4B6


Week of Friday, December 18, 2015 through Thursday, December 24, 2015

Secret in Their Eyes (14A)
Fri – Thu: 5:00 PM

Love the Coopers ()
Fri – Thu: 11:00 AM, 1:00, 3:00, 5:30, 7:10

Miss You Already (PG)
Fri – Thu: 11:00 AM, 1:00, 9:35

The Peanuts Movie (G)
Fri – Thu: 11:10 AM, 1:00, 3:25, 5:10, 7:35, 9:25

Steve Jobs (14A)
Fri – Thu: 9:40 PM

Suffragette ()
Fri – Thu: 3:00, 5:00, 7:35

Bridge of Spies (PG)
Fri – Thu: 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:10

Goosebumps ()
Fri – Thu: 11:05 AM, 1:05

The Martian (PG)
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 2:45, 5:10, 7:00, 9:20

Hotel Transylvania 2 (G)
Fri – Thu: 11:15 AM, 1:30, 3:15

The Intern (PG)
Fri – Thu: 11:15 AM, 7:30, 9:30

CineStarz - popcorn

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Ice rink event - 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Rotary Centennial Pond in Spencer Smith Park

News 100 redBy Staff

December 10, 2015


The only thing that will prevent the Christmas Collage from taking place will be consistent rain – and while there may not be any snow – there will be ice at the Rotary Pond at Spencer Smith Park and that is all we need explained Michaela DiMarcantonio

The event is seen as the Kick off for the holiday season.

Presented by Mercedes-Benz Burlington to support of the McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Skater in the air

The kind of talent you can expect at the ice show.

This is the second annual Mercedes-Benz ice show that will bring performers together to share their passion for ice sports and the arts on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the Spencer Smith Park on the Rotary Centennial Pond in Burlington, Ont.

“Youth performers are the stars of our show,” shared Joanne Corner, Producer and Director, Christmas Collage. “It is important to celebrate their talents while in the spirit of the Christmas season giving back to the McMaster Children’s Hospital.”

The evening hosted by Clint “Bubba” O’Neil will incorporate seven ice sports into a choreographed performance including figure skating, synchronized skating, hockey, sledge hockey, ringette, curling and speed skating. Santa Claus will also be joining in on the fun.

Girls from skate club

Members of one of the ice skating teams taking part in the holiday season kick off event.

Admission for the Christmas Collage is free and all guest of all ages are welcome to attend. Online donations to the McMaster Children’s Hospital are encouraged and can be made at the following link:

The nonprofit organization began in 2014 with a vision to bring the Burlington and surrounding community together during the joyful time of Christmas. Christmas Collage is committed to raising funds to benefit local charities.

7:30 p.m. at the Rotary Centennial Pond in Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, Ont.

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Regional police putting officers trained in crisis intervention in cars; Community foundation sponsoring Wellness Wednesdays radio program.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 9, 2015


Mental health is getting much more attention – the Regional Police are partnering with St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton to develop a Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT).

This new initiative adds a layer of additional police response to mental health calls and crisis intervention. Teams will consist of a registered Healthcare Professional coupled with a specially trained uniformed police officer. Two teams will join our rotating platoon shifts each day, and will be specifically available to respond to calls involving persons in crisis.

HRPS crestThe four officers selected as part of this one year pilot project have a background in mental health response and have experience working with our C.O.A.S.T. program (Crisis Outreach and Support Team). The mental health workers are comprised of two registered nurses and two social workers who all have extensive previous mental health experience. The four teams are currently receiving further crisis intervention training with a focus on risk assessment, Safe Talk training, and Assist training. The teams need to know when to intervene, how to deescalate and how to control a situation.

These Rapid Response Teams will be available and trained to defuse or deescalate crisis situations, advocate for the person and families in crisis, ensure mental health assessments are completed and will be better equipped to provide resources, help and support for everyone involved.
The teams will work seven days a week and will be dispatched to mental health calls throughout the Region of Halton.

“Front line officers are responding to mental health crisis calls on an increasing basis. Our new Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams will enhance our ability to deliver specialized services to people in those circumstances. Partnering with healthcare professionals is a progressive approach to providing timely and quality service to those struggling with mental health. “ Deputy Chief Duraiappah.

The Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams began patrols on Monday.

As police officers are increasingly the first point of contact for persons in crisis, the deployment of highly trained officers with the support of expert mental health workers is a large step in improving the interaction and relationship between police and people living with mental health challenges.
Having front line people available is one part of handling people under stress and not able to manage their mental health.

Wellness Wednesday graphicA second, equally important part, is educating the public and those with mental health issues to start removing the stigma that often surrounds this issue.
Wellness Wednesdays, sponsored by Burlington Community Foundation is a weekly national award winning radio show hosted by Ted Michaels, News Anchor with AM900 CHML that will be broadcast in January.

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CineStarz showtimes: Week of Friday, December 11, 2015 through Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cinestarz logoCiné-Starz Upper Canada Place,

Brant Street

Burlington, ON L7R 4B6


Week of Friday, December 11, 2015 through Thursday, December 17, 2015

Secret in Their Eyes (14A)
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 3:50, 5:10, 9:30

Love the Coopers ()
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 3:00, 5:15, 7:40, 9:40

Miss You Already (PG)
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 5:10, 7:15, 9:35

Steve Jobs (14A)
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 3:00, 7:15, 9:30

Suffragette ()
Fri – Thu: 3:00, 5:00, 7:35

Bridge of Spies (PG)
Fri – Thu: 1:10, 5:00, 7:00, 9:20

Goosebumps ()
Fri – Thu: 3:10 PM

Hotel Transylvania 2 (G)
Fri – Thu: 1:15, 3:15, 6:00

The Intern (PG)
Fri – Thu: 7:15, 9:30

CineStarz - popcorn

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Nominations for Burlington’s Best awards now open; rules tightened up.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 5th, 2015


The city is indeed filled with many superb people, groups and organizations. Well organized communities create ways to recognize the contributions they make.

The way in which a city does this is important – the event has to be done with dignity and not lavishly.

The recognition of those people who make this city what it is has had its share of ups and downs. The choice of MC has been uneven – last year a very solid choice was made. If you attend this year – and it is worth attending – look for the man in the white sports coat. He was great last year.

The event will take place in May at the Burlington Convention Centre.

The ticket price is moderate – it should be less – the event shouldn’t be expected to make a profit.

The food served has been a little on the skimpy side in the past; the program at times seemed rushed –a sort of how quickly can we get them out of here.

In the past mother’s has nominated a son, a husband could nominate a wife – it wasn’t a healthy approach to really recognizing the best we have.

While the rules don’t specifically say that you can’t nominate a relative – city staff have said that they will suggest to nominators that they might want to choose someone else. The rule should be crystal clear – you cannot nominate a relative.

In the past some have gamed the system and the committee that makes the decisions seemed to have forgotten why they were on the committee; it wasn’t to take care of old friends.

The Selection Committee has stronger leadership in place; expect to see a different event this year. BEST Awards Committee is made up of 10 voting members, including: six citizens from the community, and four representatives from media and information agencies.

The purpose is to nominate someone deserving of civic recognition for their hard work, compassion and dedication.

Nominations will be accepted until Feb. 19, 2016.  Last year the nomination closing date was extended – suggesting that there may not have been all that many nominations which would lead to one asking: Is this a relevant event?

It certainly should be – the strength of a community is the willingness on the part of individuals to pitch in and make a difference and a look at last year’s recipients makes it clear that we have some fine people in the city.

There are seven award categories of Burlington’s Best:
Citizen of the year
A person whose volunteer activity has made a significant and sustained contribution to the vibrancy and well-being of the Burlington community.

Junior Citizen of the year
A high school student, 18 years or younger who has made a significant contribution to the Burlington community.

Senior Person of the year
A person, 55 years or older who has advocated on behalf of seniors and/or made a significant contribution to the Burlington community.

Environmental Award
An individual or group that improved and/or protects Burlington’s environment.

Arts Person of the Year
An individual who has contributed to the arts in Burlington as an artist, patron or advocate including but not limited to, visual arts, media arts, musical arts, performing arts and literary arts.

Community Service Award
An individual or group whose volunteer activity has contributed to the betterment of the Burlington community.

Heritage Award
An individual who has demonstrated a commitment to the preservation of Burlington’s heritage, and has volunteered their time in an effort to support the preservation of Burlington’s heritage.

Nomination forms can be completed online at or by picking up a nomination form at the clerks department at City Hall, 426 Brant St.

What to consider when you want to nominate someone:

The preparation of a good nomination should not require lots of work, especially if you are very familiar with the candidate and his/her work. A well written nomination should not be long. The best ones are short and clearly show the impact of the work of the nominee(s). The most time consuming activity is to select people who will support the award with a letter of recommendation and the follow-up to remind these authors to submit their letters on schedule.

Match the nominee with the award

As the nominator, your most important responsibility is to nominate a person who has made an important impact to the field of interest covered by the award. Nominators should always take two simple steps:

  1. Review the list of previous recipients to get an idea of the quality of the contributions of past winners.
  2. Make sure that the contributions of your nominee(s) satisfy the description of the award. It is not unusual to read a nomination of a person who has done outstanding work, but the work does not satisfy the description of the award.

Be specific

Provide a specific, meaningful description of the candidate’s contributions. Don’t say something like, “He/she has done good work.” Rather, be specific. This is the most important information that you can give in the nomination. Also, be specific in describing the impact of the contribution. In addition, make sure that your nomination is brief and contains a specific description of the candidate’s contribution.

Meaningful support letters

Sometimes selecting people to write meaningful supporting letters can be the most challenging part of the preparation of a good nomination. Make sure that these people are familiar with the contributions of your candidate and that they support your nomination. Get supporting letters from people who have used the contribution of the candidate. Also, ask the authors of supporting letters to avoid just copying what you wrote in the nomination. The selection committee treats these letters very seriously and expects the author of the letter to provide his/her personal views on the specific contributions of the candidate.

The 2014 choices were just fine; they reflected what had taken place in the community.

Burlingtons-Best-Winners 2014

The 2014 winners pose with their awards. From left to right: Mary Nichol, Tomy Bewick, Bonnie Purkis, Ron Foxcroft, Kevin Han, Jan Morris, accepting on behalf of her late husband Dave Morris, Susan Fraser.


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Ten year old watches as $5 grows into $410 - right before her eyes.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 5, 2015



Odd how some things happen.

Steve Howse was facilitating the public meeting on what the people of Burlington might want to do in sponsoring refugee’s from Syria Tuesday evening.

The Mainway Recreation centre room was full and hands were going up with questions or comments – Howse had to dash from one side if the room to the other – there was just the one microphone.

Eleeza - surprisedgetting funds

Ten year old Eleeza was a little stunned when people kept giving her money to buy stuffed toys for refugee children expected to arrive in Canada next week

Somehow a $5 bill ended up in Steve’s hand – he scooted to the other side of the room and gave it to 10 year old Eleeza who earlier had said she was raising funds to buy “stuffie’s that would be given to children who land in Canada from refugee camps next week.

Eleeza didn’t ask for funds – she just said she was raising funds – but that seemed to be enough for Howse who gave her the $5 – and that got the ball rolling. Before the evening was out she had collected $410

Eleeza’s mother Sehr said her daughter had already purchased 36 of the toys and that there was several hundred dollars collected – the toys cost between $5 and $7 dollars – so it looks like a lot of refugee children will be given a toy when the walk on Canadian soil.

Dec 2 meting crowd

The packed public meeting made it clear that Burlington wanted to do something for the refugees coming to Canada next week. There were more questions than answers at first but little by little information was exchanged and connections were made.

There were a lot of numbers flying around and the figure of a possible 120 people settling in Burlington got mentioned – with a less than 2% available housing rate no one was at all sure where these people would live – which didn’t seem to be a huge concern to the people at the meeting.

Anyone wanting to add to the amount collected for toys can email Eleeza’s mother at:

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Performing Arts Centre has robust program for December.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 4th, 2015


The Performing Arts Centre has a robust program for the month of December that starts with the annual Christmas concert by the Burlington Concert Band doing the The Magic of Christmas.

Cut and paste the link provided for each event for additional information and ticket purchases.

December 4th, 8:00 PM
Burlington Concert Band: 13th Annual Christmas–th…

Burlington Ballet Theatre – The Nutcracker
December 5th. 7:00 PM
BBT, one of the Burlington renowned not-for-profit ballet schools, performs the beloved family Christmas classic The Nutcracker. This fairy tale ballet filled with wonderment and child-like delight has dazzled audiences around the world and is a perfect way to celebrate the festive holiday season. BURLINGTON BALLET THEATRE is the only one NON-PROFIT BALLET organization in Burlington dedicated to bring the arts to the community through the involvement of local children, teens and adults to introduce as many as possible to experience the beauty and artistry of the Ballet world for the past 26 years.–…

Christmas Pops: Symphony on the Bay
December 6th, 4:00 PM
Join us as we pair with the Mohawk College Community Choir in a celebration of Christmas following the Santa Claus Parade. Enjoy Christmas pops favourites and beloved Christmas Choral Music.–symphony-on…

nutcracker_production_header.jpg__740x448_q85_crop_upscaleThe Nutcracker – Moscow Classical Ballet
December 8th, 7:30 PM
December 9th, 2:00 PM
December 9th, 7:30 PM
A magical evening ! Gather your family and friends and together enjoy the timeless holiday tradition of The Nutcracker¸ performed by the Moscow Classical Ballet.–moscow-clas…

Shine On – The Universe of John Lennon
December 11th, 7:30 PM
Shine On: the Universe of John Lennon is a spectacular group made of some of Canada’s most renowned musicians, performing music by John Lennon and The Beatles uniquely arranged by Michael Occhipinti.—the-universe-of-…

Elvis – The Wonderful World of Christmas
December 11th, 8:00 PM
Inspired by music of Elvis Presley, this Yuletide spectacular is hosted by none other than the man himself. Steve Michaels sings the Christmas classics as well as serenading you with the King’s own holiday season favourites. This Christmas Special is a graceland of wonderment, celebrating the most glorious time of the year.–wonderful-world-of-c…

Jesse Cook
December 12th, 8:00 PM
With over 1.5 million albums sold worldwide, Jesse Cook is considered one of the most influential figures in “nouveau flamenco.” He is a Juno Award winner, Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s Player’s Choice Award silver winner in the Flamenco Category, and a three-time winner of the Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for Guitarist of the Year.

John Tom McDermott
December 13th. 2:00 PM
This year, share in the magic of the holiday season with your friends, family, and John McDermott as he performs a collection of heartwarming and memorable songs.

Brott Music Festival: Handel’s Messiah
December 16th, 7:30 PM
A must-see Christmas tradition in Burlington! Mark the region’s best Messiah on your calendar!–hande…

The Tribute
December 19th, 8:00 PM
Summon the Beatles one more time in this thrilling and entertaining tribute performance. Each of the 4 gets his chance to bring the crowd’s unison voice to a roar, bringing his most timeless classics to the stage. From the very first summoning, straight through to the end, this is an experience like no other: one night, four legends, and only you can make it happen. Serious fun – make it happen!–the-tribute_15343.html

The Celtic Tenors
December 20th, 2:00 PM
The Celtic Tenors have established themselves as the most successful classical crossover artists ever to emerge from Ireland. Daryl, James and Matthew have each been influenced by the musical traditions from their own individual parts of Ireland, but also show great flexibility in melding their voices to suit the appropriate classical, folk, Irish and pop genres.

We are indebted to Jim Riley for this information.

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Her name is Eleeza and she wanted to be able to give a toy to refugee children arriving in Canada next week.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 2, 2015


“My name is Eleeza”: she said during the public meeting on Syrian refugees held at the Mainway Recreation centre Tuesday evening. “And I am going to be taking these toys to children that we meet at the airport when they arrive from Syria.”


Eleeza collecting funds for the toys she wanted to give refugee children arriving in Canada next week from Syria.

Eleeza added that the toys cost about $5 each and she would appreciate any support she could get. A couple of minutes later someone slipped her $5 – and as the meeting progressed people would pass some money to her.

As the meeting was ending there was almost a lineup of people who were passing along five, ten and twenty dollar bills to a very surprised Eleeza and her amazed Mother.

Dec 2 meting crowd

There were very close to 400 people at the public meeting called by the Mayor to talk about the Syrian refugees expected to arrive in Canada next week.

The meeting attracted very close to 400 people. The Gazette will report on the meeting in detail in a separate article.

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Santa Claus parade celebrates its 50th year - a sleigh added for Mrs. Claus this year

News 100 redBy Staff

December 4, 2015


The Ho Ho Ho man is coming.

Santa will be on his sleigh as part of the annual Santa Claus Parade Burlington has welcomed for 50 years.

The parade assembles at Prospect and Guelph Line proceeds south on Guelph to New Street where it proceeds west along New Street to where it turns into James Street, and continues along James Street to Brant Street.
north on Brant Street and finishes at Brant and Caroline Street.

Santa Claus parade routeThere is an added feature this year – Mrs. Claus will have a sleigh of her own and will be in the parade right behind Santa Clause and his eight reindeer.


Mayor Rick Goldring – collecting for some organization during a previous Christmas parade.

The floats representing perhaps as many as 100 groups and organizations from across the city.

Mayor Rick Goldring has in the past chosen not to ride a car in the parade – on year he walked along the street with a hockey stick that had a sock on the end of it to collect whatever people wanted to donate. Memory, flawed at times, recalls that the collection was for the Old Timers Hockey Club – but we might have that wrong.

Mayor Golding didn’t appear to have much in the way of smiles or Ho Ho Ho in the promotional video that was put out.


When the Burlington Teen Tour Band takes to the street – they take up the whole street. While the band members do the marching – there are hundreds of proud parents lining the streets – many of whom met each other as teenagers in that band.

The parade begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 4:30 pm

Block off traffic in streets and you are blocking transit.
The following streets will have access limitations:

Prospect Street
from Cumberland Avenue to Guelph Line. Local access only.
1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Guelph Line
from Prospect Street to New Street

New Street
from Guelph Line to Martha Street

James Street
from Martha Street to Brant Street

Brant Street
from Baldwin Street/Victoria Avenue to Elgin Street

Burlington Transit bus routes will have detours on routes 3, 4, 10, 21 and 25.

Stops within the road closure areas will be marked out of service and will have details for the nearest available stop.

Due to the number of road closures impacting transit service that day and the crowds of people attending the parade, please ensure you allow extra travel time to reach your destination.

The Routes 3, 4, 10, 21, 25 buses will be detouring around the parade and marshalling routes.

There will be no service on Guelph Line between Fairview Street and Lakeshore Road from 1 to 5 p.m.

• This affects the Route 3 which will travel around the road closure area along Fairview Street, Cumberland Avenue, New Street and Rossmore Boulevard. Please move to stops on these roadways.

There will be no service on New Street, between Brant Street and Rossmore Boulevard. from 1 to 5 p.m.

• This affects Routes 4 and 10 which will travel around the road closure area along Fairview Street and Lakeshore Road. Please move to stops on these roadways.
There will be no service on Prospect Street from 11 to 5 p.m.
• This affects Route 4, 21 and 25 which will travel around the road closure along Fairview Street. Please move to stops on these roadways.

There will be no service on Drury Lane or Teen Tour Way from 11 to 5 p.m.
• This affects Route 4 which will travel along Fairview Street instead. Please move to stops on these roadways.

Santa For-unto-us-1024x473It is a Holiday Season and a festive season – lets not forget why and what we celebrate Christmas Day.

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CineStarz Showtimes: Week of Friday, December 04, 2015 through Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cinestarz logoCiné-Starz Upper Canada Place, Burlington, ON
Burlington, ON L7R 4B6


Week of Friday, December 04, 2015 through Thursday, December 10, 2015

The 33 ()
Fri – Thu: 7:10, 9:35

Love the Coopers ()
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:40, 9:40

Suffragette ()
Fri – Thu: 3:00, 5:10, 7:30, 9:30

Bridge of Spies (PG)
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 3:30, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00

Goosebumps ()
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 3:15, 7:00

Sicario (14A)
Fri – Thu: 9:30 PM

Hotel Transylvania 2 (G)
Fri – Thu: 1:15, 3:15, 5:00, 6:00

The Intern (PG)
Fri – Thu: 1:00, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30, 9:40

Minions (G)

Fri – Thu: 1:10 PM

CineStarz - popcorn

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Curated original art and handmade goods on sale at a POP up market on Pearl Street.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

November 29th, 2015


No Vacancy Art is holding a pop-up Holiday Art Market at 440 Pearl Street in downtown Burlington.

SUGAR pLUM pop UPThe items in the market are curated original art and handmade goods.  Curated means someone with a discerning eye look at what an artist had done – you know that it is unique.

So rather than hitting the mall to battle the crowds, why not slip into our little shop and shop in an inspiring environment.

Sugarplum Hours of Operation:

Friday December 4th: 4PM – 8PM
Saturday: 10AM – 4PM
Sunday: 10AM – 3PM

A BIG thank you to 440 Fitness for their generous donation of space!

Visit their website at, call them at (905) 639-1440 or email

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Crowd shows up in the drizzle for the Downtown Caroling Stroll - Mayor couldn't get the Tree of Hope lights to go on.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 27th, 2015


Stroll - large view - packed - a bit

Despite a drizzle that came and went – Civic Square was full.

There are two events in Burlington that often get a whack from the weather: Clean Up – Green up in the Spring when thousands in the city turn out to get trash off the ground and into waste barrels and in the weeks before Christmas the Downtown Carol Stroll takes place.

It is often just a little on the brisk side in the Spring and in the fall we get rain or close to howling snow.

Stroll - girl with candle

There were hundreds of young people out for the event.

The Stroll this year was to take place on an evening when it had rained – consistent drizzle actually, most of the day. The plans were great – the weather wasn’t but people showed up nevertheless and by the time it was to begin Civic Square was pretty full.

Stroll - family with candles

The Downtown Christmas Carol Stroll was a family event.

There were families from well north of the QEW who made the trip downtown – the city seems to have this divide at the highway but it didn’t factor into the event Friday night.

The lineup for the burgers supplied by The Works took more than twenty minutes to get through.  It was worth the wait – turkey burgers with a cranberry topping.

For reasons that are probably outdated all the senior elected people were trotted out to say a few words.  We didn’t see any of the Council members milling among the crowd.   What do the dignitaries add to the event – other than getting their pictures taken?

Stroll Mayor not on

The Mayor flipped the switch – nothing. The picture is slightly out of focus – the photographer was watching the faces of the crowd and didn’t quite get the look of astonishment on the face of the Mayor.

The dignitaries took to the stage and made short short speeches and readied themselves to turn the lights on the Christmas tree that is known as the Tree of Hope. The countdown began and on “1” the Mayor pushed the huge switch – and nothing happened.

Everyone laughed and while the technicians tried to figure out where the problem was – the lights never did go on and people moved on ready to either go home or try doing at least part of the Stroll.

Stroll - Chris Hallas - Hydro

Chris Hall, manager with Burlington Hydro didn’t have an answer as to why the lights would not go on when the Mayor threw the switch. She did say that the hydro bill had been paid.

The lineup of events was impressive – the weather just didn’t cooperate. A number of the restaurants used social media to remind people of what they were offering.

The event is put on by Burlington Hydro Electricity Services with a helping hand from the Burlington Downtown Business Association.

Hydro funds the Festival of Lights that was superb this year. The Lights are well work a trip down to Spencer Smith Park.

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Public art for each of the city's six wards to be unveiled next Tuesday at the Freeman Station

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

November 26, 2015


Some time ago the city deiced to spend a chunk of money on public art and asked the citizens to tell them where they thought the art should be placed.

Using an interactive program people were given access to a map on which they could say where they thought public art should be placed.  There was to be one for each ward.

The city’s public art adviser ran a juried competition and the following six people were selected:

Judy Mayer-Grieve: King Road Underpass, Ward 1
• Claire Hall: Freeman Station, Ward 2
• Teresa Seaton: Amherst Park, Ward 3
• Hannah Sell and Liam Racine: Port Nelson Park, Ward 4
• Tamara Kwapich: Orchard Community Park, Ward 5
• Donna Grandin: Ireland Park, Ward 6

After that there wasn’t much heard – some people knew about the work being done but there was nothing coming our of city hall.

Seaton with ward 3 art work

The Seaton work that will be installed in ward 3 consists of three stained glass pieces coated with a protective surface that will preserve the glass

The Gazette did get to see the work Teresa Seaton was doing only because we had dropped by her studio.  There was little to see for the other artists. It was almost as if everyone wanted to keep the project a secret – perhaps city hall felt the public would swallow hard when the amount spent on the project was made public.

Artists are entitled to earn a living – and if Cobalt Connects, the Jeremy Freibrger operation that advises the city on a number o cultural matters put a price on something there is probably value in it for the city.

The art for ward two is in place at the |Freeman Station – views are varied on this piece, it seemed d a little on the “sophomoric” side.

Freeman - public art

The official announcement of the six pieces of public art be placed in each of the city wards will take place at the Freeman station net week – December 1st.

Next week, Tuesday, December 1, there will be an official unveiling of the art that is now in place on the side of the Freeman station which will be where the other five pieces of art will be shown in photographic form.
The local artist mural initiative is a new public art program designed to tell local stories using local artists. This year’s program commissioned six small to medium-scale murals throughout the city. These commissions were open exclusively to Burlington, Ont., artists. Free professional development opportunities were offered to assist artists with the application process and project development.

A community jury of residents and artists representing each ward reviewed the proposals and made the selections.

Freeman Station is located at 1255 Fairview St., next door to the Fire Station headquarters – that building is in the final stages of a significant rebuild.

Light refreshments will be provided.

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All the Maple Leaf booty Scott Stewart got from the Mayor will not change that team's chances of winning anything but it did make Stewart happier about leaving.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 27, 2015


City hall has a practice of celebrating the departure of its senior staff. These are sometimes done at a Council meeting – on other occasions at an event where people can gather, swap tales and remember the contribution the departing staff member made.

Thursday evening 125 or so people dropped into the Waterfront Hotel to bid farewell and good fortune to Scott Stewart who leaves Burlington for Guelph where he will serve as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer.

Stewart Scott blue sweater - more face

Scot Stewart was probably born a Toronto Maple Leaf fan – cold comfort but the sweater keeps him warm.

Mayor Goldring who opened the comments part of the evening, put his gift bag with a bold Toronto Maple Leaf crest on it and spoke well of the work Scott had done on getting the city and the hospital administration into the same bed. He remarked as well on excellent work done on getting the pier built right during the second try and suggested that if Scott wanted to take the air park with him to Guelph – he didn’t think Burlington would object to having Guelph annex that part of the city.

There were remarks from the head of the Transportation department who generously gave Scott a STOP sign – “just in case things don’t work out in Guelph” commented Vito Tolone. The idea of seeing Scott Stewart as a crossing guard amused many.

Stewart, Glenn and Clarke at reception

Cary Clark on the left watches as Scott Stewart accept a painting done by Rob Peachey. Chris Glenn looks on.

The comments from people who worked closely with Stewart were at times funny and at times an insight into the man. Rob Peachey, who oversees park development and is the guy who has to get those two Windows on the Lake between Market and St. Paul opened up, turns out to be a talented artist who did a painting of Kerns Cliff Park that was presented to Stewart. It was at that moment we learned that Scott chose that location to propose to his wife Darlene. A romantic devil isn’t he.

Stewart with the look

When you got “the look” you knew you were probably in a bit of trouble. The comment was usually – “fix it”.

Scott Stewart’s carer moves on. He was an exceptionally valuable member of the tem that keeps this city operational – at times it looked like he was doing it single handily. His shoes are going to be exceptionally hard to fill – his character and his humour are irreplaceable. His comments: “fix it” and “good luck with that one” are words that will be remembered for some time.

There was an occasion when the “soccer” moms were complaining about the covered field time they felt they were not getting. A group of them, strollers in front of them, delegated at city hall. It was a boisterous meeting and for a period of time it looked like it was going nowhere. The “soccer Moms” were not going to be blown off.

Scott Stewart standing with grin

It was tough year for Scott Stewart – his trials in Burlington are over. Next year will be better.

Stewart got the meeting to the point where it looked like a compromise had been found and he gave the task to Park and Recreation Director Chris Glenn with the comment – “Work it out with Chris – and if you can’t work it out with him – you will have to work it out” with me – and you do not want to have to work it out with me.

The soccer moms got it worked out with Chris Glenn.

His style is one that any budding municipal bureaucrat would be well advised to copy.

Quite why this city Council did not choose Scott Stewart as City Manager is something many will wonder about for some time. That’s all water under the bridge.

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