Blood clinic on Saturday - possible blood worker strike on the 8th - help if you can.

element_healthservices-74x74By Staff

January 1, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

There is an opportunity to get your habit of giving back to the community that has been so good to you back into gear – The Canadian Blood Service is holding their first Blood Drive for 2015.

Blood drop going into hand.January 3, from 8:00 am to noon. Book an appointment at 1-888-236-6283
Besides booking an appointment to donate blood you can also register to donate stem cells and learn about donating cord blood.

Making that appointment for January 3rd is a little more important this time around; the Blood Service employees are set to strike January 8th. The 13 blood service workers in Burlington, part of the 800 workers that could go on strike will resume negations January 5th.

OPSEU, the union representing the workers warn that concession sought by management pose a serious risk to the safety of the blood system. The concessions are said to include the layoff of skilled professionals and replacement with lower cost, casual part time employees and a changing workplace climate that demands faster processing of blood products and unreasonable production targets.

The consistent flow of blood products is vital to hospitals

Return to the Front page

We were hearing a different story about snow this time last year.

backgrounder 100By Staff

December 29, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

Do you remember this time last year?

It was snow, on snow, on snow with dozens of senior staff members out in the field on Christmas Day.

ICE STORM Millar road closed

Millar Road was blocked solid – for several days

sdwe

That was a live wire when it came down.

we

This tree actually survived – picture could go on a post card

jgt

Hydro crews worked around the clock and late into the night to get power lines back up. In several places new cable had to be strung.

Burlington Hydro CEO Gerry Smallegange and NAME

Burlington Hydro CEO Gerry Smallegange explaining to a community meting in Kilbride that work was progressing but it was just going to take time.

A little photo feature to remind you what it was like.

Maybe the August 4th flood is Burlington’s bad weather for the year?

Burlington asked the province for some financial relief due to the storm – the claim was for $1.8 million – we haven’t seen that money yet.

Return to the Front page

Marvelously renovated Mountainside recreation complex now open. Well worth the ten year wait.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 26, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was pretty close to a ten year project but John Taylor, Councillor for Ward 3 knew that he would eventually be able to deliver for the residents of the Mountainside Community – and he has.

Mountainside entrace BEST Johnson and planner

Project Manager Jennifer Johnson point out a detail in the entrance area of the rebuilt Mountainside Recreation Centre that is now open to the public.

Last week the marvelously renovated Mountainside Recreation Centre was quietly opened for people in the community. Early in January there will be a public opening – but Jennifer Johnson, city Project Co-ordinator already knows how well the place is going to work.

While she was checking on some last day details she put on her figure skates and tested the rink. It has been some time since Jennifer has skated and gone up on her toes and used the picks to twist and turn on the ice. She had the sheet of ice all to herself – and made the best of it. She did not tell us if she took even one small fall on that perfect sheet of ice.

Mountainside -  Corridor - from reception to pool area

The corridor that integrates the swimming – splash pad areas with reception and the ice rink is finished in material that has the look and feel of wood.

Johnson was Project Manager for the Haber Recreational Centre in Alton where she worked with the Board of Education to bring in one of the few fully integrated collection of a high school, a recreational centre and a public library in a community that is in the process of finding itself. There are those in Alton who refer to that part of the city as the NEW Burlington.

After 18 months of construction, the newly renovated Mountainside Recreation Centre is completed. It is not your typical recreation centre with that cinder block look to it.

Mountainside outdoor side view driveway

There are parking lots at the bottom of the slight grade leading to the entrance of the Recreation Centre; a drop off bay and a small parking lot at the top of the site. The architects chose a very fitting blend of stone, brick and paneling that fits in with the wooded location.

ZAS Architects did the design work and produced something that looks and feel a little more like a mid-level resort location than a community centre with both outdoor pools and an ice rink.
The use of building material that has a finish resembling natural wood gives one the impression, and a look and feel of natural wood is everywhere.

The contract to build was awarded to Bondfield Construction Company Limited in May 2013. The cost for the project totaled $9.3 million, which included all the hard costs (construction) and soft costs, architect fees, permits, project administration, contingency and furnishings.

Mountainside - concession area

The concession area is set up so that hockey players and those using the pools and splash pad outside have access.

The job amounted to a complete revitalization and connection of the existing arena and pool house buildings into one integrated recreational complex that has two community rooms with screens and projection equipment, refrigerators and micro-wave ovens. These are rooms that small dances could be held in.

The customer service area is very pleasing – the concession is set up so that it can serve the people using the pools and splash pad area in the summer and the people using the ice rink in the winter.

Mountainside - ice rink with chnage rooms BEST

Change rooms on the left and a brand new sheet of ice.

The change rooms in the ice arena are as upscale as most of the golf clubs in the community. Hockey referees have their own change room with lockers.

The centre is built into the side of a small mountain. Tree planting, re-forestation, trail installations were part of the revitalization.
The facility is now open for ice rentals and community room rentals. The grand opening will take place on January 2, 2015.

The Mountainside community now has the recreation centre it has waited for – Councillor Taylor just might burst with pride when the place is officially opened.

Mountainside outside entrace - public rt spot

Entrance to the Mountainside Recreation Centre. Public art is being done.

 

It was not an easy project to bring to fruition.  Parks and Recreation wasn’t all that keen on the idea and a former city manager tried to kill the project at one point.  They don’t call John Taylor the dean of city council because he has a pretty face.  He slugged away to keep the project in the budget – next week his constituents   can celebrate his perseverance with him.

In the months ahead, work on the public art that Simon Frank, the Hamilton artist selected, will be going forward – it will be interesting to see how this addition to the city’s bank of public art works out.

There have been some clunkers in the past.

Return to the Front page

Council members will be looking for time to go over the first cut of the 2015 budget during the holidays.

burlbudgetBy Pepper Parr

December 15, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

There will be some heavy reading for the newly elected Council. Director of Finance Joan Ford is going to deliver a copy of the Budget book to Council members December 23rd. It is usually a thick publication.

wervbg

Citizens meeting at the Art Gallery and going over a budget that has basically been decided.  Burlington’s version of citizen engagement.

The Budget book will come in two versions; one based on the format used previously and another in the new Service Based Budget format that will focus on Results Based Accountability.

The city has done two surveys – asking people what they want in the way of services and what they are prepared to pay. There was a survey done with the members of the Insight Panel and another that could be answered by anyone who was prepared to take the time to go through the document.

Getting a grip on what the public wants and what the city can afford to spend is the challenge this year. In the past we heard Mayor Goldring put out a number on what he wanted to keep the tax rate increase at – he’s not said anything about what he wants to see for 2015.

At a previous meeting of the Corporate and Community Services Committee the Mayor did mention that “we are in the ditch to the tune of $2 million”.

Joan Ford, the city's Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

Joan Ford, the city’s Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.  When the money she needs is not forthcoming – she refers to that as an “unfavourable variance”.

Director of Finance Joan Ford came back with a reply that only an accountant working for a bureaucracy would utter: Ford explained that the amount was not $2 million but $1.8 million and that it was an “unfavourable variance”.

Try that one in the private sector.

The shortfall is the result of delays in getting funds from the province to cover the cost of cleaning up after the ice storm LAST Christmas. The public sector does move at a different pace.

The early version of the claim the city was making on the province was for $2.9 million which included money spent by the Regional government. There was apparently a conversation between the city and the Region – suggesting perhaps that the Region do their own paper work?

It has been the city’s practice to hold a public meeting after the budget was basically set. A slick booklet was prepared for those taking part in the public meeting, usually held at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

City hall staff now realizes that the Burlington boundary doesn’t stop at the QEW and is looking into the possibility of holding public meetings at Tansley Woods and or at the Haber Recreation Centre.

Return to the Front page

Sound of Music sets February 15th as closing date for 2015 bookings

News 100 redBy Staff

December 14, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

Time to figure out if you and that horn are ready for the big stage.

The Sound of Music Festival has announced that they will be accepting submissions until February 15, 2015 through Sonicbids.

Small Town Pistols

Small Town Pistols played in 2013

The Festival celebrates Canadian and local musical talent, with a preference to performances with a repertoire of original music.

Local submissions are defined as “at least one member must reside in Burlington full-time”. Please indicate if you are local in your submission.

Submissions will only be accepted from Canadian performers with a preference for performers who have not played at the Festival in the past 2-3 years. Artists’ EPKs must be complete and up-to-date, and the required questions must be fully answered. Compensation is provided and will be negotiated at the time of booking.

Due to the high volume of submissions, only those selected will be contacted.

For more detailed information CLICK here.

Return to the Front page

Does the downtown core look any better this Christmas - you be the judge.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 12, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

Donna Zaffino has been a Gazette reader for some time. She is a frequent commenter and can be, how shall I put this, direct at times. We love her for that.

When we did the piece a few days ago on the contest the Burlington Downtown Business Association was holding for the best dressed window Zaffino agreed with the position we took and said she would make a point of looking at the windows to see how the retailers did this year.

BDBA Xmas 2014 Mirellas BEST

Zaffino thought the use of Christmas tree branches was attractive and innovative – very much in the season.

BDBA Xmas 2014 Anise Apothecary

Zaffino thought this was one of the best windows this year.

BDBA Xmas 2014 Son of a Peach

Son of a Peach, a pizza locale took over their part of Pine Street with traditional lights and Christmas wreaths

BDBA Xmas 2014 Dickens

Dickens really upped their game this year. At night the decorating they did along with their neighbour makes that part of Elizabeth Street look quite festive.

BDBA Xmas 2014 Burlington Tourist office

This pathetic store front is that of the city’s Tourism office. Have you ever seen two more limp Christmas wreaths in your life. Sure make you want to visit this city.

 

The look and feel of a street are probably more important than the products that are on sale in the stores.  People are impacted by what they see and that impact determines what they do.  If a street is bright and cheerful people feel bright and cheerful.

If a street is decorated during a festive season people pick up the spirit if that season.

Here is Zaffino`s report: “I walked around downtown taking photos of the business that are participating in the contest.

I was not terribly impressed with any of the displays, especially any of the clothiers.

There were a few around that aren’t in the contest that may have been better.

I am not sure if Different Drummer is participating or not. Both nights I didn’t see anything. Maybe I show up after Ian turns off the display. I tried on Tuesday around 6:30 and again tonight.

There are only three windows that stood out for me and have stayed in my imagination. They are Mirella’s, The Olive Oil Dispensary and Anise Apothecary.

1) Mirella’s for the creativity of using cedar boughs as flared skirts on their mannequins.

2) The Olive Dispensary for the vibrant colours and of course the classic little train set.

3) Anise Apothecary for simplicity and the soft blues and white. Nature helped it along today by covering their little evergreens under the window in snow.

I think Wardel’s Insurance was nice but I can’t remember what it looked like nor what the theme was. I recall that it was bright and stood out from a street view.

BDBA Xmas 2014 Works

The Works decided to focus on just their window this year. Last year the wrapped the store like a Christmas gift box. Given their position on Brant – a stronger message was better

BDBA Xmas 2014 Rahoons

Rayhoon used a nicely decorated Christmas tree they brought in and electric lights to give both their restaurant and Village Square a solid holiday feeling.

BDBA Xmas 2014 Bushs Mens wear

Given the position this retailer commands on Brant Street a little more imagination would have made a big difference.

BDBA Xmas 2014 Brant Foundation

Both the city and the Hospital Foundation did such poor job of creating a sense of season with their store fronts.

I wasn’t able to photograph three businesses. Black Pearl, Omega and Deeth and Co. I won’t be able to get them until Saturday.

I’d like to take pictures of places that weren’t on the contest list who did some really nice work.  Look for more from me later in the week.

Thanks for the assignment it was fun.

Related articles:

2013: Retailers forget that it is Christmas

BDBA works to make store fronts more festive.

 

Return to the Front page

Ice show at the pond in Spencer Smith park - tonight!

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 11, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

Short notice!
1st Annual Christmas Collage Ice Show.

Mercedes-Benz is presenting a one hour, choreographed on ice performance showcasing local youth talent. The choreography encompasses 7 ice sports; figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, ringette, hockey, sledge hockey and curling. Free Hot Chocolate! Free Public Skate after the show! Free Giveaway for the first 200 families! Make this event your family’s new Christmas Tradition!

If you didn't get to strap on the blades this winter - you're out of luck.  Rink closes at 10:00 pm this evening.

It will be choreographed on ice performances showcasing local youth talent on the pond tonight.

Friday, December 12, 7 – 8 p.m. at the Rotary Centennial Pond (skating rink) in Spencer’s at the Waterfront, 1400 Lakeshore Road

General Admission: FREE – donations to Jumpstart at the event are appreciated!

VIP Balcony: Adults:$30.00, Children (under 12) $15.00, Family Pack (2 adults and up to 4 children) $75.00 (seating, blankets provided, overhead heating)

A portion of the proceeds generated by the event will be donated to Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart Charity.

Return to the Front page

Burlington MPP gives her inaugural speech in the legislature; supports bill on Invasive Species

News 100 redBy Staff

December 9, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

It is a tradition in the provincial legislature for one member to congratulate another when they make their “maiden speech” at Queen`s Park.  Monday morning Norm Miller, member for Parry Sound said “These are always special speeches, because you learn so much about the member’s family and what brought them to the Legislature.

“I’ve learned a few things today. The member’s mother was born in Glasgow, as my mother was born in Glasgow, and that she comes from a large family—the youngest of a large family. She certainly has a very close relationship with her mother.

“She also thanked the past member for Burlington for her work. I know that Jane McKenna has been out to some community events, and she says how nice you have been to her at those events.

“Congratulations on your maiden speech” said Miller

And with that Burlington`s first Liberal member of the legislature in more than 70 years stood up to give her first full speech

McMahon - looking direct into camera

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon delivering her inaugural speech in the legislature.

Ms. Eleanor McMahon: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I believe you will find that we have unanimous consent to allow me to deliver my inaugural address during debate on this bill today.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Ted Arnott): The member for Burlington is seeking unanimous consent to deliver her maiden, or inaugural, speech in this House. Agreed? Agreed.

The member for Burlington.
Ms. Eleanor McMahon: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m pleased to rise and join the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry in speaking in support of Bill 37, the proposed Invasive Species Act. This proposed legislation would address a serious threat to our province. Indeed, close to my home in the riding of Burlington, the Cootes to Escarpment is the perfect example, a precious tract of land that contains more indigenous species than any other area of Canada, a number of them species at risk. Bill 37 will protect areas like the Cootes to Escarpment.

Invasive species cause significant damage to the natural environment, which results in significant ecological, economic and social costs, as the minister outlined. This is the case within Ontario, across Canada and internationally. Invasive species move into ecosystems and take over, killing or crowding out some native species. Invasive species disrupt food webs, degrade habitat, introduce parasites and disease, and lead to species becoming at risk. Globally, only habitat loss is a bigger threat to biodiversity.

Cootes Paradise

McMahon wants to ensure that invasive species do not get into Cootes paradise.

Mr. Speaker, on a global basis, invasive species costs are estimated to be $1.4 trillion. That’s the equivalent of 5% of the global GDP and seven times the cost of natural disasters. Industries like fishing, hunting, forestry, tourism and agriculture can all be negatively affected by invasive species. In the Great Lakes basin, invasive species foul water intakes, reduce the value of commercial and recreational fisheries and reduce property values. Every year, invasive plants cost the agriculture and forest industries in Canada about $7.3 billion.

All invasive species pose some risk; however, some species pose a bigger threat than others. The members of this Legislature will be familiar with the Asian carp, which have damaged the ecosystems of many American lakes and rivers. There are actually four species of Asian carp: bighead, silver, grass and black carp. Our greatest concerns are bighead and silver carp, which have spread the most aggressively in the United States. They are considered one of the greatest threats to our Great Lakes.

Asian carp are voracious consumers. They eat up to 20% of their body weight each day. Everywhere they go, they eat the food supply that native fish depend on, and they crowd native species out of their habitat. The decline of native fish species could damage sport and commercial fishing right here in Ontario. Currently, there are no established populations—thank goodness—of Asian carp in Ontario waters. Preventing Asian carp from spreading in the Great Lakes is the best way to prevent harm to Ontario’s native fish species.

Another species that has not yet entered Ontario is the mountain pine beetle. In British Columbia, it has destroyed millions of hectares of pine trees. Reports have predicted that climate change, a major underlying cause of the proliferation of invasive species, may allow the beetles to spread north and east. The cost of fighting the mountain pine beetle is staggering. Since 2001, the BC government has spent close to a billion dollars fighting this one insect.

Invasive plants may not be as well known, but they are also a serious threat. One of them, hydrilla, is considered one of the world’s worst aquatic invaders. It can grow up to 2.5 centimetres a day, resulting in extremely dense growth that impacts boaters and swimmers. Hydrilla has not yet been detected in Canada, but it has spread rapidly throughout the United States. It is highly adaptable and thrives in many different kinds of aquatic environments.

McMahon reading her innaugural

The Inaugural speech was detailed focused and on an issue that is important to Burlington.

Asian carp, the mountain pine beetle and hydrilla aren’t yet established in Ontario, as I mentioned, but we are managing many invasive species that have become established here.

Some invasive species can be a threat to human health. One example is the giant hogweed, a plant introduced from Asia. Its toxic sap can cause painful burning blisters on the skin when exposed to sunlight. In addition to that threat, this plant can spread readily and shade out native plants, which can have an impact on our biodiversity.

Another invasive species that is already established in Ontario is the round goby. It is a small, bottom-dwelling fish that feeds aggressively on fish eggs, larvae and other small organisms found on lake and river bottoms. In less than a decade, the round goby has spread through all five of our Great Lakes and begun to invade inland waters. The round goby’s aggressive eating habits and ability to spawn several times each season have helped them multiply and spread quickly. In fact, in some areas, the fish has reached densities of more than 100 fish per square metre. Round goby have reduced populations of sport fish and threaten several species at risk in our Great Lakes basin.

There is no question that the threat of invasive species is real and significant.

Managing the threat of invasive species is challenging and complex. It requires a coordinated approach. Indeed, managing invasive species has always been a collaborative effort across all levels of government as well as with industry, environmental groups and the public.

Ontario plans to continue to collaborate with all of those involved in invasive species management, including the federal government, which has an important national role to play in invasive species management. Indeed, I want to be clear: Our proposed Invasive Species Act is intended to complement the role of the federal government, not duplicate or take over their responsibility. The proposed Invasive Species Act will enable Ontario to use its own framework to determine an appropriate course of action.

Preventing invasive species from arriving and becoming established in Ontario is critical in our fight against this growing threat. Evidence has shown that the costs of preventing invasive species from Preventing invasive species from arriving and becoming established in Ontario is critical in our fight against this growing threat.becoming established through taking immediate action are generally much lower than the costs of controlling an established invasive species. Like so many things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

We know that there may be many circumstances that arise where immediate and urgent action is required to eliminate or reduce the spread of an invasive species. This could happen if a new invasive species is found in Ontario or an existing invasive species is found in a new area of the province. The proposed legislation will help by allowing the government to intervene earlier and enable rapid response actions. This could include working with partners to stop an invasive species from spreading: for example, by preventing or restricting the movement of contaminated firewood.

Mr. Speaker, as I noted earlier, addressing the threat of invasive species is a collaborative effort. I would like to take a few minutes to highlight a few of the many enduring partnerships our government has built in the area of invasive species management and education. We place tremendous value on these relationships, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our ministry stakeholders for their valuable advice and for giving of their time and talents to enrich our public policy work as a government. Ontario works with the Great Lakes states and the US and Canadian governments to prevent aquatic invasive species, such as Asian carp, from entering the Great Lakes. Indeed, there is a federal office in my riding of Burlington which is doing extensive work in this area.

Ontario works with the Great Lakes states and the US and Canadian governments to prevent aquatic invasive species, such as Asian carp, from entering the Great Lakes.We have been working with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters for more than two decades to deliver the Invading Species Awareness Program. The program raises awareness of the threat of invasive species to Ontario’s biodiversity. It engages the public in preventing and controlling the spread, and monitoring the distribution, of invasive species. This program also operates the Invading Species Hotline to give the public an avenue to report sightings, seek information and request educational material on invasive species.

More recently, we established the Invasive Species Centre in Sault Ste. Marie to work with the federal government and other partners to address invasive forest and aquatic species and invasive plants. Ontario has provided approximately $9.7 million towards the establishment and operation of this centre.

Partnerships such as these are helping us to protect our natural environment and industries that contribute thousands of jobs to our economy. One example is recreational fishing, an industry that contributes about $2.2 billion to Ontario’s economy and is also a notable contributor to our tourism industry. Ontario will continue to collaborate and work with these partners and, if passed, the proposed Invasive Species Act could help us expand the use of strategic partnerships.

The proposed act would provide the minister with authority to enter into agreements to help us prevent, detect, control and eradicate invasive species. As such, the legislation will provide us with the tools we need to protect our environment and our economy. Under the proposed act, regulations could be made to prohibit certain activities to help prevent the spread of an invasive species. Agreements could identify exemptions that would be necessary to achieve desired outcomes. For example, an agreement with a local conservation partner could allow the partner to undertake a program to control species such as garlic mustard. The partner would be able to possess the plant during the control activities and then dispose of it properly.

As I said earlier, managing invasive species is a responsibility shared with other governments, industry, environmental groups and the public. In fact, Ontarians can report sightings of invasive species to help us detect new ones and monitor the spread of those that are more established.

We can all play a role in protecting Ontario’s biodiversity. How can we do this? By planting non-invasive species in gardens, by never releasing bait or any wildlife into nature, by washing our boats before moving them to another body of water, and by buying firewood locally and leaving what we don’t use.

We need to engage all Ontarians in doing their part to protect species and habitats, and as policy-makers, we need to do our part as well, by taking a leadership role with this proposed legislation. The proposed Invasive Species Act would help limit the social and economic impacts of invasive species by preventing them from becoming established, controlling their spread once they are here, and eradicating them if possible. As such, I would encourage all members of this House to support this critical legislation. I look forward to today’s discussion and the debate to come.

In the meantime, it is my honour and pleasure to stand in this House and spend some time talking about my journey to public life, to talk about what I hope to accomplish and bring to public service during my time here and thank the people who have helped me along the way.

It is worth noting that in strict terms this is my inaugural speech, Mr. Speaker, and that I have already had the honour and privilege of speaking on a number of occasions, to items that are not just of local interest and concern to the people of my riding of Burlington, but to Ontarians as well.

I must say that I am rather glad to have had these two months to begin to become accustomed to this historic and storied place and the work that we do here. As such, I can now look back on the past few months with a bit of perspective and experience.

McMahon innaug Dec 8-14 mouth open

Inaugural speech was lengthy; McMahon was certain her Mother Marie was watching.

If this speech were to have a theme, I would say that it is gratitude. There are many people to thank and many things to be grateful for. Let me begin by thanking the people of Burlington for the confidence they expressed in me on June 12. I am humbled by that confidence, and I look forward to serving them in this place, and to working with them towards improving the quality of life of all of the people in our beautiful city.

It is an honour and a privilege to have this opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, to be entrusted with their hopes and dreams, as well as their challenges. I’m grateful to have the chance to work on behalf of such an extraordinary community, and with such kind and generous people.

I would like to take a moment to offer a sincere thank-you to my predecessor, Jane McKenna, for her sacrifices and service in representing the riding of Burlington since 2011.

Applause.

Ms. Eleanor McMahon: Yes. Since my election, I have come to know what Jane knew during her three years of able service here: The hours are long, the time away from family significant. Thank you, Jane, for representing Burlington in this place so ably.

On our first day of orientation, we were reminded that, of the 13 million people who call Ontario home, we are but 107. “How fortunate am I?” I thought, and I know that many of my colleagues feel the same. We came here with a sense of purpose and excitement, and with a desire to serve.

My colleague the Honourable Ted McMeekin is fond of quoting Bobby Kennedy. Ted volunteered for Bobby on one of his campaigns, and he heard him say about his passion for making change: “Don’t get mad, don’t get even—get elected.” I think that call to action embodies the desire that most of us have here to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve, to work as diligently as we can on their behalf and to do so with a listening ear and an open heart.

Burlington ariel

McMahon and her late husband decided that Burlington would be home for them. She told the members of the legislature that Burlington was the most beautiful city in the province. Her speech almost turned into a debate.

Let me talk for just a minute, if I may, about another reason I’m grateful to the people of Burlington. I am not from Burlington. I was born in Windsor, Ontario. I came to Burlington in 2005. My late husband and I chose Burlington. He was an OPP officer, and to a certain degree we had a choice of where we wanted to live in the GTHA. We chose Burlington for its beauty and for its people, and for our families. My brother and his wife have called Burlington home for over 20 years. During that time, as a result of numerous visits, we fell in love with Burlington and decided to settle there, which we did in the summer of 2005.

Since that time, my affection and my ties to the community have deepened. Burlington has been very good to me, and I’d like to thank my friends and my community for their warm embrace. Since becoming your MPP, your kindness and your graciousness have been nothing short of overwhelming. I’m grateful to you for making this native of Windsor feel right at home in Burlington.

I can honestly say that there is no more beautiful place to live in our province than Burlington. I’m delighted to have this opportunity—

Interjections.

Ms. Eleanor McMahon: That may be a moment of debate.

I’m grateful to have this opportunity to thank everyone who helped me during the election campaign this past June. To our extraordinary volunteers, our wonderful staff—most especially, our dedicated campaign manager—our generous donors, and to the members of the Burlington Riding Association, the words “thank you” don’t seem quite enough. Your support and your encouragement, your confidence expressed in me as your candidate, your kind words of comfort when I needed it most—for all of this and so much more, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Burlington Escartment 006

Parts of Burlington that McMahon loves to cycle through.

Your support for me helped me during the election campaign, and it will serve to guide me in my work as the first Liberal in Burlington in 71 years. Our celebration on election night was one I shall never forget, and nothing short of extraordinary. Thank you for being there for me.

Perhaps most memorable was the presence of my family on election night. It has been said, and it’s true, that to do this job truly requires a support network unlike any other. I am truly blessed with an extraordinary group of siblings, their spouses, and my nieces and nephews.

Most of all, I was proud of the fact that my mother, Marie McMahon, was there with me. When we learned that I had won, we were standing in the foyer of my brother’s home. In an exchange I will never forget, my mother turned to me and said, “Your dad would be so proud.” It was a touching moment, to be sure, but it brought home to me, as indeed did my decision to run, that I was truly fortunate to have been raised by two extraordinary people, who taught my brothers and sisters and I about the true meaning of working hard, giving back and community service.

My dad, Hugh McMahon, died in 1994 of cancer. Dad worked hard all his life. His family was his greatest joy. His own childhood was marked by challenging moments, from growing up during the Depression, to the start of the Second World War. Dad enlisted in the Canadian army at the age of 16; he lied about his age. He went overseas and served his country as part of the Canadian First Regiment. He landed in Sicily, saw action during the Italian campaign and later took part in the liberation of Holland.

A proud moment for me came in 2007 while attending, with an official delegation from Burlington city hall, the city of Apeldoorn, one of Burlington’s twin cities. We visited the Canadian War Cemetery in Nijmegen. A number of soldiers from my father’s unit are buried there, and his regimental crest is in the Apeldoorn city hall.

Dad returned to Canada after the war and married my mother, Marie, in 1948. He attended university briefly in Toronto and returned to Windsor, where he worked at Chrysler until 1981. Seven children followed, as did a life of community service in the militia and with many local organizations.

My mother, who I think is watching today, is a shining light for me. Mum will be 89 on Thursday. She was born in Glasgow and grew up in Windsor. A pioneer in so many ways and a strong believer in education, Mum attended Assumption University, then part of the University of Windsor. She got a science degree and served as a laboratory technologist at Windsor’s Grace Hospital for most of her career.

She and Dad both felt very strongly that education provided a gateway of opportunity, and they encouraged us in every way possible. Mum was adamant, too, that as women—there were five of us girls—we must have our independence, our own income and the ability to make our own decisions.
Mum is tiny in stature but mighty in every other sense of the word. Her love for her children, her care and concern for others and her utter selflessness have shaped my life in amazing ways. I would not be standing here today without her.

To you, Mum, I offer my undying love and thanks. Thank you for making me feel like I could do anything. Thank you for always being there for me, and for your wisdom and your friendship.
To my siblings: I’m truly grateful to you for your encouragement and support. I am so lucky to have such a tremendous group of ardent supporters and cheerleaders. As the youngest of all of you, I have benefited from your wisdom—and your mistakes—your advice, your terrific humour and your wit. You offer me a hand up when I need it, and no request is too much. When I told you I wanted to run, you were worried about the rigours of the debate and the demands of the job. After dutifully expressing your concerns to your younger sister, you were there from day one. Thank you all.

Earlier, I spoke of my parents as people who inspired me to public service. I grew up in a house where the mantra was, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Speaking of my mother, I should add that her personal commitment to her family and her community was recently recognized. Mum recently got a volunteer award from Hospice Windsor in recognition of her 30 years of service as a volunteer.

Applause.

Ms. Eleanor McMahon: Yes. Thank you.

Every Thursday Mum cooks lunch with her friend for the past 70-plus years, Mabel Gagnier, for hospice patients and their families. I know that Mum is loved by her hospice family, but I know too, because she’s told me this, that she gets as much out of this experience as she gives. Her stories of people who are in the most difficult and challenging of circumstances serve to bring a necessary perspective to her life and to mine as we reflect on what is important. As you can see, from my mother I learned empathy and compassion.

Speaking earlier this year to the CEO of the Carpenter Hospice in Burlington, I was reflecting on the same theme: the events that shape our lives and the people who inspire us. As we all know, one of the best parts of this job is the opportunity to attend events and meet the wonderful people in your riding. Well, it was very early in my job as an MPP that I truly understood what Burlington is made of, and it is strong stuff indeed.

Flood Fairview plaza

McMahon told her fellow parliamentarians how badly Burlington was flooded last August. She was instrumental in getting funds for the flood victims.

On the evening of August 4, a once-in-100-years storm brought 200 millimetres of rain to Burlington in just six hours. This rain is the equivalent of the amount of precipitation that Burlington would see in July and August together. This devastating storm flooded our streets and people’s homes. A rush of water filled people’s basements and over 3,100 homes were damaged. As the unrelenting rain fell that night, reports began to pour in of flooding on the 407, the QEW, Fairview and New Streets, Brant, Guelph, Walkers Line and Appleby Line; all flooded, our major north-south arterial roads. The water overwhelmed Burlington’s sewage system, which at capacity is built for three million litres an hour. At the height of the storm, this reached 10 million litres.

People’s basements filled in mere moments as creeks overflowed their banks. Visiting devastated homes the next day on Regal Road, among the hardest hit, I met people who fled with their children, their animals and a few precious memories as water filled their basements within minutes. Seeing their anguish, not to mention the contents of their homes on their front lawns, was heart-wrenching.

FLOOD basement blur couch

Homes were devastated by the flood. McMahon was out into the community within hours going door to door with the Mayor.

On the 5th, I got on the phone, but many people were calling, too, wondering how they could help. My colleagues were there, and I’d like to thank them. The member from Halton; the Minister of Labour, the member from Oakville, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, all in neighbouring ridings, were there, offering a friendly word of advice. Thank you.

Applause.

Ms. Eleanor McMahon: Yes.

But it was the response of our community that was so remarkable. I reached out to the mayor that evening. He was travelling back from his cottage in response to the disaster. His own home was flooded. He hit the ground running the next day, and as we travelled door to door together, it became apparent that greater assistance was needed.

On the night of the flood and in the days that followed, our EMS personnel were extraordinary. Our front-line police officers, firefighters, paramedics—all were there, doing an amazing job rescuing people from their flooded vehicles and responding to those in need.

Later on, with the assistance of the region of Halton, the Red Cross came to our aid and did an extraordinary job quantifying the amount of flooding and the impact on people’s lives. Together we mobilized community support. I called the CEO of United Way, and 72 hours later they had a website portal up and running to collect donations.

The mayor, working with our regional chair, mobilized staff. City and regional staff began the process of responding to those in need and going door to door. As the scope of the disaster became clear, city council met and declared a state of emergency, triggering an Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program request.

Flood BMO at the vault

Ron Foxcroft made the phone calls, Collen Mulholland displayed the cheque while McMahon pressed the province to deliver matching funds. The bankers were asked to give up some of the money in their vaults.

On the community side, donations poured in and the community foundation stepped up, offering much-needed volunteer and fundraising support. The CEO of the community foundation, Colleen Mulholland, and her team have done an extraordinary job. Under the chairmanship of Ron Foxcroft, the disaster relief committee has worked hand in hand with the community foundation to raise funds, and to date, I am proud to say that our generous community has contributed close to $1 million to help their neighbours in need.

Indeed, one of the truly wonderful things about Burlington is how generous our community really is. In 2010, 30% of Burlingtonians contributed to a charitable cause, higher than the provincial average of 24.5%.

During the summer, I attended many events which contributed to the flood relief, raising funds and rallying the community, from neighbourhood fundraisers like the Up the Creek event started by some neighbours whose street and homes were flooded—they raised $20,000—to our Rotary Club’s Ribfest event, which raised thousands of dollars as well. There I was, side by side at the door, raising money with buckets, mayor and city Councillors right beside me.

While the scope of the disaster made for a challenging summer for our community, and while much of the hard work remains to be done by the committee as they adjudicate requests for funding, I am proud to say that on November 10, my colleague, the member from Halton, and I announced that our government would be contributing up to $3 million to support Burlington and its flood relief. For a new MPP, this was an extraordinarily proud moment.

Speaker, the election provided me with an excellent opportunity to speak to some of the opportunities and challenges facing our community. During that time and since, I’ve had many conversations about the kind of Burlington we all want now and into the future. Burlington has one of the highest median incomes in Canada and we enjoy an excellent quality of life overall. Still, there are challenges. As the recent Vital Signs report by the Burlington Community Foundation shows, Burlington has one of the oldest populations in the GTHA. While most of our seniors are aging successfully, over 5% of them are living in poverty. More broadly, close to 8% or over 13,000 of our residents in Burlington are living in low-income households. When it comes to housing, access to affordable housing remains a barrier to many.

When it comes to employment, Burlington is doing well, with stronger employment levels than Ontario as a whole. The number of jobs is up 7% and the number of businesses is up 4% since the 2012 employment survey.

werf bfgt

Infill housing on what were once half acre single story post war bungalows are now the norm for Burlington.

To maintain this excellent quality of life, I’ve had conversations about how, as a community, we can work together to tackle some of our challenges. Burlington is built out; therein lies another challenge. Our growth will come from infill and density. With growth comes the need for stronger transportation networks. I look forward to working with city hall, our region, local businesses, citizens’ groups and my colleagues in the House on creating transit hubs in Burlington and encouraging the kinds of alternative transportation—cycling and walking—that will make our community more connected and more liveable, and attract investment.

Issues such as food security, investing in our agri-food sector, which is a strong sector locally, and continued investments in health and education will continue to dominate my conversations in the months and years to come and remain areas of strong local focus. In particular, youth and adolescent mental health is another area which is in significant need of focus, as demonstrated again by our community foundation and their work. I’ve also had terrific conversations about how, working together, we can find solutions to these important issues.

On a final note, Mr. Speaker, I started this speech talking about what brought me here and what I hope to accomplish. I want to close my remarks by mentioning someone who’s no longer here but who had and continues to have a very positive impact on my life. On June 6, 2006, my late husband, Greg Stobbart, a veteran OPP officer with 24 years of experience in policing, was killed by a careless driver. Greg died, not in the line of duty, but doing something he loved. We were training for a triathlon. He had recently purchased a new bike, and with a beautiful day beckoning, set out on a training ride from which he never returned. Greg’s tragic death at the age of 44 in a senseless collision was a life-changing event for me, for my family and for his as well. His legacy lives on in me and my desire to continue in this place the work that I started to create a more bicycle-friendly Ontario.

McMahon in blue jacket

McMahon became a force to be reckoned with in the cycling community and created the Share the Road organization and pushed the province to pass Gregg’s Law

Our response to Greg’s death came on many fronts. First, working with then-Minister of Transportation the Honourable Jim Bradley, we changed the Highway Traffic Act. In 2009, after sustained advocacy, we got Greg’s Law passed, increasing the penalties on suspended drivers based on similar legislation in six other provinces. The man who killed Greg had five convictions for driving under suspension, four convictions for driving with no licence, $15,000 in unpaid fines, and two months after he killed my husband, he hit someone else.

As you can imagine, Mr. Speaker, this instilled in us the importance of focusing on that advocacy and securing those changes to the Highway Traffic Act. Our goal was to prevent others from going through what we did, and we wanted to get those repeat offenders out from behind the wheel and off the road. Greg’s Law became the law of Ontario in October 2009.

Second, we launched the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in Ontario in 2008. Share the Road has become the provincial cycling policy and advocacy organization, representing thousands of local organizations, cyclists, stakeholders and municipal leaders from across Ontario, united in a vision of safer communities for all road users.

In 2012, I had the privilege of sitting on the coroner’s review into cycling deaths in Ontario and secured a recommendation for an Ontario cycling strategy. Together with the Honourable Glen Murray, who was then Minister of Transportation, I launched that strategy, the first of its kind in Ontario in over 20 years, in September 2013, a proud moment.

McMahon staff watching innaugural

MPP McMahon’s staff watching her inaugural speech on desktop computers.

In Greg’s memory, and in memory of all the cyclists who have been killed and injured, I look forward to continuing the work we started at Share the Road. Together with all members of this House, given the tremendous benefits of cycling, I look forward to making our communities and our province even more bike-friendly in the years to come.

In the interim, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you and my colleagues and all the members of this House for their gracious welcome, for your friendship and your support, for this opportunity to share my thoughts with you and for the privilege of being the MPP for Burlington.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Return to the Front page

You do get to vote for the People`s Choice in the Santa parade - after you`ve told them more than you might want to tell.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 8, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

It took a while – but a source sent us the location of the People Choice vote for the best float in the Santa Claus parade.

Ho Ho man himself

He`s making a list – checking it twice. Turns out it was city hall making that list.

It`s lengthy and you had better remember the name of the float because there are few hints.

The site is really a data mining effort on the part of the city.  Sobeys put up a miserable $50 to collect names, addresses and email addresses.  You know what they are going to do with that data.

It was a nice idea, poorly executed and turned out to be more in the interests of the city than the citizens.

Find out for yourself at

 

 

Return to the Front page

Coal in the Christmas stockings for the city hall grinches who screwed up the Santa parade voting.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 8, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Santa Claus parade did take place; the streets were well lined and there were no incidents.

Viewers were supposed to be able to vote for the People`s Choice – choosing the float they thought was the best in the 49th annual parade.

All they had to do was go to the city web site and cast their vote.

Christmas Parade
cms.burlington.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=29585
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
Dec 2, 2013 … Guelph Line to Brant St. and Caroline St. NEW! 2013 People’s Choice Award. Vote for your favourite float at www.burlington.ca/parade.

Santa parade voting notice

Date was wrong and there was no place to actually vote.

Problem was the city web site didn`t have any place for people to vote. There was no place to enter your choice.

At another location on the city web site there was a large graphic showing the parade route – but the date of the parade taking place was wrong. Now the Gazette knows all about typographical errors – but we don`t have the resources city hall has.

There were a couple of parade sponsors – corporations who got behind the idea of a People`s Choice – hope they get their money back.

Good idea with strong community support – but the Grinch`s at city hall wouldn’t let it happen. Coal in their Christmas Stockings.

Breaking news:

Location to vote for the People`s Choice in the Santa Parade:

 

Return to the Front page

Santa Claus parade - Sunday - starts 2:00 pm. Note the name of the best float and vote for a winner.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 5, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Sunday – starts at 2:00 pm and winds its way down Guelph Line – starting at Prospect and ending up at city hall – the Ho, Ho, Ho man himself. Santa will be at the end of the parade waving away.

Santa parade routeNEW! Vote online for your favorite float. The 2014 People’s Choice Award voting will begin on December 7, 2014. (Link to vote on line wasn’t available at time of publication – when it is available we will pass it along,)

Goldring

Mayor Goldring always shows up; this time he was collecting for the Old Timer’s Hockey Team

Last year the People’s Choice Award Winner was Keller Williams Edge Realty.

Hosted by the City of Burlington, the 49th annual Christmas Parade features entries including bands, colourful floats, clowns and mascots; paid for out of the float fees the city charges.

Kids will line streets; many of the same community groups will be in the parade.  Some of the residents on streets that butt into New Street park vehicles at the intersection and have hot chocolate – we saw a hibachi lat year,

Real Xmas message

The hustle and bustle of the malls can never dull the real message – it is always the same. That’s the way it is supposed to be.

Return to the Front page

Mayor promises to give the city the sameleadership he gave in his first term.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 3, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON

 

He didn’t get it off on his best foot. Mayor Goldring reminded the audience at the Inauguration of the 2014-18 Council that the last time he was on the stage of the Performing Arts Centre he was playing the piano – “and I was terrible” he said.

Foxcroft and Mayor Goldring - the Foxcroft look

Ron Foxcroft on the right explaining to Mayor Goldring that talent was needed to get the job done.

He was preceded by keynote speaker Ron Foxcroft who was funnier and agreed with the Mayor that the city had a fine council to go forward with. The city was now in a position to “elevate its game”.

The Honourable Mr. Justice Dale Fitzpatrick commissioned the declarations of office. The members of Council weren’t actually sworn in they just read a statement saying they would basically behave and do the best they could. They all said that last time.

This Inauguration was the first held outside city hall – and it was a decent event. The seats certainly weren’t filled and about 20% of the 400 in the audience were city hall staff – but it was a good idea and should become a tradition for the city.

All the notables were there – but surprisingly – the only candidate who did not win election was Carol Gottlob who ran in ward 4 against Jack Dennison. Every member of Burlington’s council was re-elected which Foxcroft thought was great – there were now no trainees on Council was how he put it. They were all seasoned veterans.

Rick Goldring said all the right things; he thanked the 61 people, who stepped up as candidates to put their names on the ballot for Regional Chair, Mayor, Council and School Board in the 2014 Municipal Election. “Putting your name on a ballot is an act of courage and a true testament to your commitment and love for Burlington. You put your ideas, reputations, and yourselves on the line, offering to serve your community and share your skill and passion. This is democracy at its best.”

He congratulated his council colleagues: Rick Craven, Marianne Meed Ward, John Taylor, Jack Dennison, Paul Sharman and Blair Lancaster. Each was applauded when they were introduced; had there been an applause meter Meed Ward would have been the hands down winner.

Save the Planet - Goldring + organizer

During the election campaign the Mayor chose not to address his citizens on the steps of city hall because it would be seen as campaigning. The issue was one of changing the way the world treats the planet; it was a bigger issue than municipal politics. Daring to be a Daniel was just not within the Mayor’s comfort zone. we will all pay for this.

“Your successful election campaigns are” said the Mayor “an endorsement of your tireless efforts and results. We must continue to work diligently and collaboratively, to earn the trust of our constituents. We have been provided a mandate collectively to continue to serve our fellow citizens to address the issues, opportunities and challenges that continue to face us. It is only by working collaboratively, respectfully and in an atmosphere of trust that we can thrive as servants of the residents of Burlington.”

“I firmly believe that holding elected office is an honour and privilege that should never ever be taken for granted. Whether you have served on council for 4 years or 26 years, let us never forget how and why we ended up here. At the same time, we all have to realize that we must make decisions that balance current and future needs.”

“We have to be leaders, not politicians, and be ready to make decisions that may not necessarily be popular in the short term. Getting re-elected should not be our goal. Serving the 180,000 residents of our community is the lens that we need to look through and at the same time be ready to hear and listen to all views on all issues that may result in revised and enhanced decisions.”

“In our decision making,” the Mayor continued, “we must embrace differences in view points and opinions. Having every major decision be unanimous is not our goal. Having thoughtful, informed, forthright, and respectful dialogue is our objective, not just among ourselves, but also with city staff and the community.”

“While we have done great work together, we have much more ahead of us and the community has heightened expectations for us to realize.” The Mayor did get that one right.

My Vision for Burlington

Goldring said: “In the last 4 years and during the election campaign, I have connected and had dialogue with 1000s of residents. Residents made positive comments and some suggestions for improvement. What I heard and I believe we all heard is that our residents love living in Burlington and are proud of their community.”

“My vision for Burlington builds on our past achievements and on where we need to be: a community that is healthy, sustainable, prosperous, safe, inclusive, caring and fun, and has a strong sense of who it is; balancing the vibrancy and amenities of a modern 21st century city with a distinctly rural character that is nestled in majestic and natural splendor is a big part of who we are.”

It is indeed a very big part of who we are – but we are more than our geography and the Mayor did get it when he said, “this balance is manifested in a true, ‘community’ feel, which is best represented by our waterfront, where young and old celebrate large scale, world class festivals, intimate community events, or through a simple stroll, jog, bicycle ride, roller blade, or reflection.”

Mayor Rick Goldring explaining to Kilbride area residents what was being done and the time frames the repair crews were working to in their community.

Mayor Rick Goldring explaining to Kilbride area residents during the ice storm last year what was being done and the time frames the repair crews were working to in their community.

He was also right on when he said “the reality is that Burlington is, in fact, at a critical juncture: we cannot stand still because we have to balance our revenues with the services and infrastructure that residents need us to provide and deliver. We cannot burden ourselves, our children, and future Burlingtonians. The challenge in front of all of us is what we prioritize, how we innovate and design, and what we deliver.”
That was the hint that there are changes coming to tax rates and the level of service we are going to be getting from city hall. Expect some new taxes as well.

The Mayor told his audience that” in the brief time I have with you this evening, I will give you a flavour of the challenges ahead of us. The heavy lifting is to come and we need the involvement of the community.”

Reviewing the words on paper after the Mayor completed the vision portion of his address I felt I was looking at one of those Where’s Waldo puzzles but couldn’t find what I thought was going to be there. I couldn’t find any vision.

Vibrant Neighbourhoods

After decades of unprecedented growth in traditional green field communities like the Orchard and Alton, we have virtually no more room for such development.” Has the Mayor forgotten that Eagle Height is still there, the Evergreen project on Tremaine Road is still there and the city is thinking about converting a lot of employment land to residential. There is a challenge on development – we didn’t hear any ideas as to how this council will address those challenges.

“Councils both current and past” said the Mayor “have been resolute in protecting the 50% of Burlington that is rural and agricultural. The area north of the Dundas/407 corridor with the Mount Nemo plateau, the Bruce Trail, Lowville Park and the unique hamlets of Lowville and Kilbride makes Burlington unique and contributes to the quality of life of the whole city. This area with the tremendous amount green space and woodlots is truly the “lungs” of Burlington.  If the rural north is the lungs then downtown is the “heart” and soul of Burlington.

True

“I meet people on a regular basis” said the Mayor “who have moved to our downtown from other areas of Burlington or Canada. They love it. Why – because you can walk everywhere. Shops, services, restaurants, the waterfront, the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, the Art Gallery of Burlington and the Joseph Brant Museum all contribute to downtown being one of the most walkable neighbourhoods in Canada.”

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: she is more comfortable with herself as a speaker.

Councillor Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring. When members of council were introduced during the Inaugural Meed Ward got the loudest and most sustained applause. The two will face off in 2018

“We need to apply the same thinking in establishing walkable, compact and amenity rich neighbourhoods in other areas of Burlington. The desire to live in more amenity rich – transit supported neighbourhoods has increased dramatically.”

I wasn’t able to make the connection between being able to walk to most things and how that made Burlington a vibrant city.

“I have been talking about this for the last 4 years” said the Mayor and “ I have realized for the vast majority of people in Burlington there is a disconnection and a lack of understanding about why we are in this position and the benefits of a more urban environment. The context needs to be communicated and we need to engage our residents in this discussion so we can receive input resulting in development that is appropriate for Burlington.”

There will continue to be a disconnect and a lack of understanding; the same seven people who led us for the last four years are going to lead us for the next four years – how will anything different be done?

“We will also be investing in maintaining and improving infrastructure such as roads and technology that can move people and goods more efficiently, while also including bike lanes and enhanced public transportation, to promote healthy living, less traffic, a cleaner environment, and cater to the diverse needs of our community.”

Most of the data in the recently released Vital Signs report suggest just the opposite. We do not use transit; we want to drive our cars and there isn’t going to be a bike lane on Lakeshore Road because council voted against that during the last term.

Prosperity

“As a result of slowing residential growth and residential build out” said the Mayor, “we must strike a new balance between corporate and residential tax revenues by attracting new businesses. This is especially important given our rapidly aging population, which is higher than most neighbouring communities.

“More importantly, these businesses can provide employment opportunities to Burlingtonians who want thriving, challenging, and rewarding career options, but want to work close to home to spend more time with their families or to simply achieve a life balance. Reduced commuting times can also mitigate financial and environmental challenges.”

Noble sentiments – except that the Vital Signs report used data from the Regional government that pointed to the fact that there are now more people working in retail than in manufacturing. No one moved to Burlington to work as a sales clerk in a store or a waiter in a restaurant.

“I also want to encourage and foster entrepreneurship. Such companies create a stunning 80% of new jobs in Canada and create business clusters, which, in turn, attract young people and families.”

“Entrepreneurship” said the Mayor also creates a culture of innovation and creativity that not only fuels those enterprises, but can also cultivate a mindset that can help find better ways for us to live, work, serve each other, collaborate, and govern.”

Excellence in Government

“The Drummond report that was published two years ago commissioned by the Ontario Government discusses the importance of living within our means in an environment of slower growth. The concept of doing more with less will continue and is particularly applicable to Burlington. The transition to Service Based Budgeting for the 2015 fiscal year is not a panacea or cure for all that ails us. However, it does provide us with a framework that will assist in effectively prioritizing, designing, evaluating and funding programs and services that meet the evolving needs of our residents.”

det

It didn’t take the Mayor long to realize that the photo ops were the easiest way to create a profile and there was seldom any risk involved.

“As an organization we need to and we will continue to embrace the concept and practice of continuous improvement. As individuals, as a team and as a city, there is always room for improvement.”

“Let’s not allow the fact that we are already a very desirable city to live, work, play, raise a family and retire contribute to any complacency.”

“The City of Burlington does not operate isolation. There are many partners that we need to continue to work with in addressing our complex challenges and opportunities including Halton Region, other cities, the province and the federal government.”

“We are fortunate in Burlington to have a spirit of cooperation and collaboration with other orders of government in large part because of the efforts of Gary, Eleanor, Indira and Mike Wallace who are all committed to be bold and innovative in advocating for Burlington.”

This city has to give MP McMahon and keynote speaker Ron Foxcroft a truckload of credit for getting the province to change their mind when they originally said no to the request for financial support for the flood victims.

“The intense storm on August 4 that was unique to Burlington and resulted in flooding to 3500 homes, and the Ice Storm last December, are local evidence confirming the fact that we have to be prepared for warmer, wilder and wetter weather that is extremely unpredictable.”

“On August 4, certain parts of Burlington received as much rainfall in less than a day that was equal to an average July and August combined. Just across the border in Buffalo and western New York, in an area that is used to receiving significant snowfall annually, received the equivalent of one year’s average snowfall, not in the winter months of January or February but in a few days in mid-November. In 9 out of the last 11 years, the insurance industry has paid out more in homeowner claims than they collect in premiums. Currently, Canada is the only G8 country that does not have overland flood insurance for homeowners in the market place.”

“Being a more resilient city should be the goal for every municipality. I assure all of us that Burlington will be a leader, working with the other orders of government, in addressing climate change adaptation.”

It has been evident for some time that Mayor Goldring wants to work with other levels of government; he is in the process of positioning himself on different boards and committees to expand Burlington’s voice. Time will tell if Rick Goldring will prove to be an effective voice should he get where he wants to do.

The Mayor does deserve credit for the initial actions he took once he had a clear understanding as to just how much flood damage had been done. He placed two critical phone calls and got the response he needed. He called Collen Mulholland , president of the Burlington Community Foundation and asked if that organization would take on the task of managing the fund raising drive and then to oversee the distribution of funds that would be raised.

Burlington's MAyor thinks through what he does and chooses to err on the side of caution.  Polite and as straight as they come - he will seek direction when he feels he needs it.  On his sponsorship he needs and should expect some comment from his council members.

Burlington’s Mayor thinks through what he does and usually chooses to err on the side of caution.

The Mayor then called Ron Foxcroft and asked him if he would lead the fund raising drive. Those two calls were leadership at its best – doing the right thing at the right time. We need to see more of this from the Mayor.
My vision” said the Mayor, “ is to make this city ours. Not yours and not mine but ours. We will do this by working closely with residents to make a city that works for all of us and a city that we continue to be proud to live in.”

“We will need your help to shape the Burlington of the future; we have the opportunity to continue to build and redesign our City to meet the needs of today and the changes needed for tomorrow. There are many opportunities through the Official Plan review process. In concert with the Strategic Plan, this document is the blue print for our City going forward.”

“Even during the best of times, there are always challenges to address that are formidable and daunting. But we are emboldened with confidence given our national recognition as being one of the very best cities to live in Canada. The talents, passion, and leadership of everyone in this room and across our entire community will continue to make Burlington a great city where opportunities abound for everyone.”

“Let us all work together and, over the next four years, make real progress and a real difference for the Burlington of today and tomorrow.”

And with that the audience headed for the bar where the soft drinks were free and you could eat all the cupcakes you wanted.

There was a better table of food at the 2010 Inauguration.

Burlington Teen tour band at inaugual

Return to the Front page

Master ice sculptor to be at Royal Botanical Gardens - not to be missed.

Event 100By Staff

December 2, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

Watch sculpting master Michael Muli use various techniques to transform ice into art at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Ice sculptor - Muli - head art

A master ice sculptor will be at the Royal Botanical Gardens December 6thand 7th. No to be missed.

Michael is creating an enormous 3D tribute to the RBG Train Show for kids to climb aboard. You can drop by and get your picture taken with the kids.

Be sure to stop by and get your photo taken with the final piece before it disappears!

Event takes place from December 6 (1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.); December 7 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

 

Return to the Front page

Mayor to hold fund raiser three days after being sworn in.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 1, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

Aldershot Village sign Plains Rd

Sign at the western gateway to the city.

With the chain of office officially his for the next four years Mayor Rick Golding can settle in and make Burlington a better place.

One of the first things that he did as Mayor for the 2014-18 term was get his picture taken in front of spanking new sign telling traveler’s they are about to enter the village of Aldershot.

Later today the Mayor will give his Inaugural address and possibly even give us a peek at his thinking for the next four years.

Foxcroft and Mayor Goldring - the Foxcroft look

The guy on the left, Mayor Goldring, invited the guy on the right, Ron Foxcroft, to give the keynote speech at the guy on the right’s Inaugural event. The guy on the right is funnier than the guy on the left.

Mayor Goldring managed to let himself get upstaged by Ron Foxcroft who will deliver the Keynote address – there will be at least one joke at the Mayor’s expense.

On Thursday the Mayor will glad hand with those invited to a fund raiser to pay off his election campaign debt. Goldring fully expected the 2014 election to be a cake walk; there wasn’t a challenger on the horizon other than Anne Marsden who has run frequently in the past.

Council will begin to take care of business on the 15th when the Standing Committees meet.

Goldring had a campaign team which amounted to a collection of names; no one expected to have to do anything. Then out of the blue came Peter Rusin who did very poorly in the vote count but did manage to keep the Mayor on his toes for a couple of weeks.
Fund raising for Mayoral races usually gets done well before the election. If funds have to be raised after the election it is usually because there was a very hard fought race. That certainly wasn’t the case this time around – did the Mayor get caught flat footed on this one?

Expect anyone who thinks they can curry a little favour with the Mayor to happily accept an invitation to this event. The Gazette wasn’t invited.

 

Return to the Front page

Belle Epoch theme planned for AGB 2015 Art Auction; that will be different!

Event 100By Pepper Parr

December 1, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Art Gallery of Burlington is proud of its rich tradition in hosting an annual, live art auction. The event is a critical fund raiser for the AGB which sees itself as the heart of arts and culture in the region.

With an inspiring variety of exhibitions, education programs and an acclaimed Canadian contemporary ceramics collection, it is vital that AGB raise funds to continue to offer enriching programs to our community and keep the galleries free and accessible to all, seven days a week. Thus the art sale.

The next will be their 36th year and will be grown into a week-long celebration of visual art with local, regional and national artists.
It all begins May 31st and runs through to – June 6th, 2015. Mark those dates on your calendar.

Wine poster - Belle Epoch

The Belle Epoch was a time of new ideas, emerging artists and rife with political controversy. There was a World’s Fair held in Paris – the world was alive with new wealth and ideas – it all ended with the start of the First Great War

This week-long celebration features: an Art Sale; a live auction as well as a Silent AuctionThis year there is going to be a theme to set a tone. The AGB people are stretching their wings and actually getting creative. They have chosen La Belle Époque as the theme, which we are told came out of the creative mind of Cheryl Goldring, chair of the Planning committee and an artist with a reputation of her own

Belle Époque was a period characterized by optimism, peace at home and in Europe, new technology and scientific discoveries. The peace and prosperity in Paris allowed the arts to flourish, and many masterpieces of literature, music, theater, and visual art gained recognition. The Belle Époque was named, in retrospect, when it began to be considered a “golden age” in contrast to the horrors of World War I.

J'accuse front page Belle Epoch

For a citizen of France to accuse the President of the Republic in a newspaper front page letter was unheard of – those were heady times. The Art Gallery of Burlington wants to re-create some of that era with a theme for the 2015 Art Auction.

In the newly rich United States, emerging from the Panic of 1873, the comparable epoch was dubbed the Gilded Age.  In the United Kingdom, the Belle Époque overlapped with the late Victorian era and the Edwardian era. In Germany, the Belle Époque coincided with the reigns of Kaiser Wilhelm I & II and in Russia with the reigns of Alexander III and Nicholas II.

All that rich history will be wrapped into a theme that will set a tone considerable different than previous art auctions. The city can perhaps attend an event that has the potential to get away from the stodginess that has at times crept into AGB events. Looks like they are going to zip it up a bit.

There is also going to be a 200 for $200 event; 200 painting priced at $200 each. That should appeal to the younger set that wants to begin collecting seriously.

The Planning committee wants the public to party like it’s 1889 when the world celebrated the opening of the World’s Fair in Paris and the coming of age of Impressionism. That might be a bit of a stretch – after all this is Burlington.

The Art Gallery of Burlington will be transformed into a Parisian market as guests are immersed in late 19th Century Paris with all the exciting sights and sounds of that vibrant era; art, music, jugglers, dancers, cafes, bistros and marketplaces.

The committee planning this event includes: Cheryl Goldring, Chair, Susan Busby, Anne Brownell, AGB, Catherine Brady, Cheryl Soderlund, AGB, Louise Cooke, Kim Varian, AGB and Don Graves.
Submission packages for artists can be downloaded here.

 

Return to the Front page

Country and western singer Hayley Verall to sing national anthem at council swearing-in on Monday.

theartsBy Pepper Parr

November 30th, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

It won’t be the cowboy hat and the blue jeans Monday evening for Haley Verrall, the Nelson High student, who will take to the stage and lead the people at the Performing Arts Centre in the singing of O’Canada as they witness the Swearing In of the new city council.
Hayley is a young, 17, Burlingtonian who is fashioning a career as a singer song-writer who wants to change the world with words and music.

She took part in the city’s culture week and was recognized by Angela Pap Paparizo at city hall and then got a call from the Mayor’s office asking if she would be interested in singing the national anthem for the Swearing In.

Both Hayley and her Mom Kim couldn’t say yes fast enough. The question then was – “Do I have to wear a dress” asked Hayley.

Hayley Varall - sweet smile at piano

Hayley Verrall at the keyboard. She will sing the national anthem at the Performing arts Centre during swearing-in of new city council.

The budding artist has six songs written, a CD with her picture on the cover and more lyrics in the works. Her preference is country and western – with bluegrass where her heart really lies at this point in her career.

Hayley plays piano, trumpet, ukulele, banjo and guitar – you know which the favourite is as she slides the guitar strap over her should and adjusts the instrument to her body and strokes the strings.

Hayley plays around town wherever she can get herself in front of a microphone in Burlington. She has a spot in Waterdown that makes her welcome as well.

Hayley Verrall - standing with guitar

The guitar is her instrument of choice. Hayley Verrall singing “Follow Your Dreams”.

Besides being a musician, Hayley is a gamer. She thinks university is in her future with McMaster or Western as the destination for her. Teaching music is something she thinks she could do quite well – but the long term career isn’t the real focus for Hayley. Right now it is writing some and playing wherever she can find people who want to listen

Her Mom, Kim gets a credit as the co-writer for several of the songs written so far. Described as a musician with influences as diverse as country, rock and pop Hayley has been written up as “a versatile performer who blends her instinctive attitude for fresh melodies with a consistent background as a skilled classical pianist.”

Music for Hayley is more than simple entertainment; it is a medium to inspire, share and tell stories that can relate to an audience in a unique way.

We won’t get to hear the true love music on Monday – not unless Hayley rolls from the national anthem to “Young Gambler”, a featured piece on her CD titled: You Ain’t seen Trouble Yet.

 

Return to the Front page

WANTED! Female under 5'7

News 100 redBy Staff

November 29, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Are you female? Under 5’7” tall?

Sound of Music Leisl

If you can sing “16 going on 17” there is a place on a stage for you.

Do you look the part of “Liesl” from The Sound of Music?

Can you sing “16 Going on 17”?

Then fame and fortune await you – well maybe not fortune.

The people who run Koogle Theatre would like to talk to you about their upcoming concert with Symphony on the Bay “An Afternoon of Rodgers and Hammerstein”

If you’re interested pop them a note: info@koogletheatre.com

Return to the Front page

Learn more about synchronized swimming and try some of the moves - Centennial Pool - Saturday.

Event 100By Staff

November 29, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you haven’t got your weekend plans worked out and you are looking for something different to do with the kids – what do you think about Synchronized Swimming ?

The Burlington Synchronized Swimming Club (BSSC) invites families and friends to join us for a FREE family swim as part of the Burlington Sports Festival. Celebrate the power of sport that builds strong communities and get active with BSSC!

Synchronized swimming

Join the Synchronized Swimming Club at the Centennial pool to learn more about synchronized swimming and try some of the moves.

Did you know that synchronized swimming is a hybrid form of swimming, dance and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers performing a synchronized routine of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music?

Join us to learn more about synchronized swimming and try some of the moves.

SATURDAY, November 29, 2014 from 3:00 – 4:30 P.M. at the Centennial Pool, 5151 New Street,

Have fun with a FREE family swim that includes a “try it” session offered by BSSC

 

 

Return to the Front page

Get a close look at how the police do their jobs and consider a career in policing.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 28, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

Are you a teen in the Halton Region who would like to understand more about the Police, Ethnicity and Culture (PEACE) in our communities?

Are you interested in a career in policing?

Have you ever wondered what the police do, how they prevent and investigate crimes and what the different units within the service are responsible for?

Would you like to have hands-on practical experience of what it’s like to be a police officer?

HRPS crestIf you are 15 – 18 years old and the answers to these questions are yes, maybe you’d like to check out the Halton Regional Police PEACE program!

There are still spots available for the Winter Police Ethnic and Cultural Education (PEACE) program, which runs from 6:30 – 9:00 pm every Tuesday night for twelve weeks, starting January 20, 2015 and April 7, 2015.

Each week, students will be given presentations by the different units and bureaus within the police service, with the emphasis being on practical demonstration and involvement. As well, students will learn about cultural awareness and inclusion, how the police service strives to provide equitable service for all communities within our Region and how we are educating new Canadians and recent immigrants about policing in Canada.

You can find out more about this free, voluntary program by visiting our website and clicking on Diversity.

Just complete the application form on line and Email it to the Diversity Coordinator at the contact information on the form.

 

Return to the Front page

The Nucracker to have a three day, four performance run at the Performing Arts Centre: December 18-20.

Event 100By Staff

November 28, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

It’s not quite Christmas without taking in a performance of The Nutcracker,

There will be four runs of  Tchaikovsky`s renowned ballet at the Performing Arts Centre December 18th, 19th and 20th.

Nutcracket - National Ballet of CUBA 2The Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble (CBYE) will be presenting their critically acclaimed production of The Nutcracker featuring the world renowned National Ballet of Cuba.

The CBYE has been bringing arts and culture to the local community since 1991 by collaborating creatively alongside the National Ballet of Cuba in addition to hosting and producing countless shows with a wide range of Canada’s most captivating dancers.

Under the direction of Hamilton Arts and Entertainment Ambassador Ms. Gurdil-Diamante, The Nutcracker features the National Ballet of Cuba’s finest dancers accompanied by an ensemble of talented children from Hamilton and Burlington. The Nutcracker is the perfect ballet experience to delight both first-time attendees and life-long lovers of the art; a cherished seasonal classic for young and old alike.

Nutcracker - National Ballet of CUBAGary Smith, Theatre and Dance Critic for the Hamilton Spectator said “It’s the most authentic, most moving, most spirited Nutcracker there is. It’s filled with the joy and love of Alicia Alonso’s thrilling choreography and Tchaikovsky’s music. Best of all it’s performed with the passion and heart only these Cuban dancers can bring to ballet.”,

Dates for this limited run are:

Thursday, December 18, 2014
Opening Night Performance: 7:30 pm

Friday December 19, 2014
Evening Performance: 7:30pm

Saturday December 20, 2014
Matinee Performance: 2:00 pm
Final Performance: 7:30 pm

VIP tickets, which include a meet and greet with the award-winning dancers and the best seats in the house are available for each evening performance.

Click here for the Box office or call 905-681-6000

Return to the Front page