NDP candidate Andrew Drummond expects to win this election in Burlington

By Jason Octavo

May 13th 2022



The race for the provincial seat in Burlington is being hotly contested.

Andrew Drummond, who has been the NDP candidate for the last three provincial elections, believes that based on the last election results (he got 29% of the vote) he is the man to beat this time out.

Andrew spent his childhood in Kingston where he attended high school and went on to earn a degree in history at University of Waterloo.

Door to door – harvesting votes

He is currently the product manager for Rogers Cable where he markets the business product coast-to-coast. He is responsible for ensuring distribution and sales to small and medium businesses that want a basic cable internet solution.

Realizing that Drummond is now in fill election mode he said that Burlington needs the NDP a strong community voice. “I think local representation really matters,” said Drummond. “We need someone who’s going to both stand up for Burlington at the government table and get the things that Burlington needs.”

Jane McKenna, the current MPP, has decided to run for the Regional Chair. Drummond pulled in a strong 29th against the Progressive Conservative candidate.

Andrew got 29% of the votes four years ago. This time, he has high hopes that he will win this election. “The candidate for a riding should be the best available for the job. “To be perfectly honest, the way things are going here we expect to win this one.”

Drummond loves going door to door and meeting people face to face. “It’s the best way to have a conversation,” said Drummond. “The only way you’re going to understand what people are actually worried about in this community is if you go and talk to them.”

Drummond was born into a political household. His parents managed Flora McDonald’s campaigns in Kingston. He grew up spending days in playpens in campaign offices. Starting from the 1999 provincial election, he grew into thinking about the NDP. And then in 2006, he was certain this was the party that really represented him and the people’s values of Ontario.

Spencer Smith Park is photo op central for the political set.

For the last four years, his message in the articles he has written is to highlight things that often fall under the radar. A good example of this is a piece he wrote about Woman’s Place. He had attended their Gala. However, after he looked at their financial records, he learned that government funding was going down, and they needed to hire private professional fundraisers in order to make up that gap. He wanted to make sure that people, especially women fleeing abusive relationships are properly protected.

Running as NDP, Andrew finds his biggest struggle is the split between federal and provincial branches.

In order to improve his chances in winning this year’s election, he started working the day after the election he lost. “When I lost that election, I realized if I have the time, the effort and the money to do this, I can win this riding and I’ve spent the last four years talking to people setting up events, writing articles, meeting with community groups advocating for different causes, and most importantly, building the team and getting the fund raising in place – very necessary to run a proper campaign,” said Drummond.

We’ll find out if the NDP is going to get those votes on Election Day.

NDP candidate Andrew Drummond expects to win this election in Burlington


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Lots going on in ward 1- Councillor Galbraith opens the kimono a little

By Pepper Parr

May 12th, 2022



Galbraith meeting with constituents shortly after being elected

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith met with his constituents last night – it’s been literally years since he held a meeting.

Corvid prevented anything live so he did nothing.

Other members of Council did ward meetings that were hybrid – ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns led that way with regular meetings for her ward.

Bentivegnia has chosen to hold open door session and talk to whoever shows up.

To the best of our knowledge ward 3 Councillor Nisan has not met with his constituents but he is out knocking on doors.

Ward 3 Councillor Nisan

His personal and family health views keep him at home participating virtually in all city matters.

The Mayor has relied on Cogeco TV and radio to reach out to the public. She has so far not held an event where she can be held directly accountable.

Galbraith did quite well last night – a more detailed follow up on that meeting will be published – we are still waiting for a copy of his presentation.

He did come out with a statement on the status of LaSalle Park which certainly surprised us.

The Marina issues were another matter – the best Galbraith could do was assure those taking part in his meeting was that city hall is doing everything they can to resolve the insurance cover concern.

There is still some critical and vital information on that insurance mess that the public isn’t being made aware of at this point.

The property, the marina and the city of Hamilton are a toxic mix that could explode at any time despite the efforts being made at several levels to keep a lid on it all.

How this property line came about is an interesting story

The city currently has a long term lease with the city of Hamilton for the LaSalle Park property – the rate was $1.

Galbraith said last night that it was his hope that Hamilton will see their way to putting that current lease back in force for another 25 years.
The way things were done 25 years ago is not the way things between municipalities are done these days.

When former Mayor Rick Goldring took a shot at annexing part of Waterdown during the 2018 election Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberg didn’t take all that kindly to the suggestion.

Former Burlington city manager James Ridge listening to former Hamilton city manager Chris Murray who apparently said no to a sweet deal lease renewal for LaSalle Park

When James Ridge was city manager he started talks with then Hamilton city manager Chris Murray – but they didn’t get very far.

Awkward set of circumstances in play – it will be interesting to see how it works out.
Will Mayor Meed Ward slip over to Hamilton and take Eisenberg out for dinner and see if something can be worked out?

Is anyone lobbying the members of Hamilton city council – that’s the level at which the rubber is going to hit the road.

Related news story.
How former Mayor, the late Walter Mulkewich did the deal that had the city renting for 25 years

What does it cost to operate LaSalle Park?

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Green candidate Kyle Hutton looking for 15% of the popular vote in Burlington

By Jason Octavo

May 12th 2022



My task for the day was to interview Kyle Hutton, candidate for the Green Party in the upcoming election.

Kyle went to high school at M.M Robinson. He was there until Grade 10 before he dropped out due to circumstances as a teenager. However, he did complete a GED at Gary Allan High School. Afterwards, he went to Sheridan College at Oakville for the GAS program. He has lived in Brant Hills for about 20 years.

Kyle believes the key to a better economy is to lower taxes and gas prices. “Get down those costs, so that the next time we’re faced with a situation where our gas is going up to $2 a litre,” said Hutton. He also believes the amount of rental and housing laws that we’re facing is absurd. “For somebody just coming out of the pandemic, they can’t afford to live here,” said Hutton.

This is the first time that Kyle is being nominated as a leader of a party. So he may not have the experience as a candidate. However, as a full-time worker, he believes he can use his struggles in affording to live in this city to bring attention to these issues. And to finally have somebody in office who’s going to really talk about them and provide solutions.

Kyle believes the key to a better Ontario is by tackling the climate crisis. “Climate change is the crisis of the century,” said Hutton. “It’s killing our planet and its killing people. Kyle is worried that people are expecting future generations to deal with climate change; the time to deal with climate change is now.

“I love meeting people at their door, even if they’re just saying something like, oh, thank you very much and they just take the election literature.
said Hutton. “I think the interactions are good – people in Burlington are extremely polite”.

The Greens are focused on building a sustainable and renewable economy. “This economy that we’re living in right now, we have polluters continuing on their merry way, and we have a gas economy in the country that’s focused on propping up lots of new roads while everybody’s trying to get off to them,” said Hutton.

The Green Party is the only one right now that’s admitting ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) is actually in poverty. “The only solution we can do to lift people out of poverty is to double ODSP,” said Hutton. “They have laws around ODSP, if you make more than $200 for a job, ODSP gets clawed back.”

Kyle says that public transit is worked around poorly. “When I was going to college at Sheridan, I would have to get on the bus. Go down to the GO Station probably waited 15 minutes for the train to arrive. And then I’d go to Oakville, wait for the buses there to go to Sheridan College. Overall, that took me 45 minutes to an hour to get from Brant & Upper Middle to Trafalgar,” said Hutton.

Kyle is tired of receiving decades of empty promises from governments. He has been living long enough to be around all three parties in power in this province. He is confident that not much has changed.

Kyle is hoping to aim for between 15 and 20 percent of the votes. If his party begins to really catch fire, he’ll go as far as intending to win.

We’ll see if the Green Party can make deeper inroads as the election moves forward.

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Chamber limits which political parties can take part in their all candidate event.

By Staff

May 12, 2022



The Burlington Chamber of Commerce will be holding an all candidates event on May 19th, 2022.

It starts at 7:30 am – will take place at the Holiday Inn.

The Chamber has sponsored this event for all the federal and provincial elections for decades.

It isn’t an actual debate – those attending can write out a question which gets screened – the objective is to merge similar questions.

The Gazette learned late yesterday that the New Blue Conservative party had asked to take part in the event and were turned away.

Progressive Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats and the Green Party are understood to be taking part.


The political party that didn’t get invited

It was too late in the day to ask questions of the Chamber.

Our question is: Why?

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Brynn Nheiley announced as Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility

By Staff

May 12, 2022



The City of Burlington announced the hiring of Brynn Nheiley as the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility.

Nheiley has nearly seven years of public sector experience, including three years at the City of Burlington as the Manager of Development & Design in the Community Planning Department.

Brynn Nheiley

As the Manager of Development & Design, Nheiley led a number of initiatives that has led to improvements in development planning that support better outcomes for Council, residents and staff; these include:

Establishing a two-stage reporting strategy in order to provide Council with the opportunity to make a decision on an application within the legislated timeline, while also enabling the flexibility for staff to work with applicants to create the best planning outcome for development applications.

Bringing together staff from key departments to collaboratively build a development review process that gives applicants a single point of contact, and single application to satisfy multiple pre-approvals, from multiple departments, which are required before a building permit can be applied for.>

Bringing together a management team that included staff from building, planning, forestry, site engineering and Information Technology Services departments in order to launch an entirely digital review process for all forms of development applications. The result was that the City’s development review process was delayed by less than two months from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prior to working at the City of Burlington, Brynn worked for the City of Hamilton as a Senior Planner and as the Acting Director of Planning and Building Services for the Town of Antigonish in Nova Scotia.

Brynn has a Masters of Planning from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Architectural Science from Ryerson University.




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There goes the football and the opportunity to do some spectacular planning

By Pepper Parr

May 11th, 2022



WHERE   While much of the recent attention has been on the ongoing saga related to the Waterfront Hotel site, under the radar there has been a lot happening at the Ontario Land Tribunal.

The Lakeshore (Burlington) Inc.(referred to as a Carnicelli development) that would be built on the east end of the football.

Within two hours of city council announcing publicly that it intends to oppose the Lakeshore (Burlington) Inc. application for a high-rise building at the easterly tip of the Old Lakeshore Planning Precinct (“the Football”), the Ontario Land Tribunal issued its decision for the 27-storey high rise development proposed by CORE  Development applications, immediately next door. We find it odd that the public was not advised by city council that a hearing was being held for the Core applications yet now makes public statements about another appeal.

How did this one get away?

The city went to some lengths last week to explain how and why they were appealing the Ontario Land Tribunal decision on the Carnicelli (Lakeshore (Burlington) Inc.)  development on the eastern side of where Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road meet.

There are a lot of questions to be asked about how the opportunity got away.

There was the hope as far back as the 2010 election that something unique would be built in this space. Instead developers bought up the properties and sought to develop high rise towers. This was the second lost opportunity in this part of town.

Later in the day while Council was debating a decision from the OLT on the Carniceli development the OLT released their decision on the CORE development.

The two are side by side in the football.  That brings to an end any opportunity to do something smart and spectacular with the space between the Old and the current Lakeshore Road.

In its decision, the Tribunal states:

This isn’t what citizens were expecting. It appears to be what they are going to get.

“The Tribunal finds that the proposed instruments [applications] constitute good planning. It finds that they facilitate development that is compatible with the existing and planned context and will make a positive contribution to the area in terms of improvement to the public realm, access to the waterfront, and built form, while optimizing the use of under-utilized lands through appropriate intensification for the area. Taking these factors into account, the Tribunal finds that the proposed instruments are in the public interest.”

In addition, the tribunal was not convinced by the testimony of the special planning consultant hired by the city to oppose the development or the city’s urban designer.

A Gazette reader described the decision:  “The failures at the Ontario Land Tribunal keep adding up for Mayor Meed Ward. We are not aware of a single hearing the city has won since she became mayor. What has become clear through several decisions from the tribunal is that the new Official Plan that the mayor boasts about has no legal status at appeal hearings because it has been appealed. Consequently, the evidence put forward by the city is based on the old Official Plan — the same one that has been confirmed to be out of date and non-compliant with existing provincial policies. In other words, the city’s witnesses have no real defence and are left blowing in the wind without approved policies to support them.”

How is that idea going at this point.

“How will the city fare at the Lakeshore (Burlington) Inc. hearing? Only time will tell, but it will certainly be a rough ride.

While Meed Ward ran on a populist, anti-development platform promising the world to the public, her ability to deliver on her promises is nothing more than a dismal and complete failure.

Related news stories:

The development on the eastern end.

The idea that CORE development brought to the table


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The Port Nelson Park is going to get an upgrade - and the Green Street Window on the Lake will get the attention it needs

By Pepper Parr

May 10th, 2022




We wrote about the Windows on the Lake last week as the result of an inquiry from an area resident.

Link to that story is HERE.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns dropped us a note bringing us up to date.

From the Councillor to a resident:

Thank you for reaching out to the City to inquire about the status of the Green Street Window-to-the-Lake. The City is in the process of awarding the shoreline construction contract for execution this summer. This contract includes the rehabilitation of both the water’s edge at Green Street and Port Nelson Park. Work is anticipated to start in early July. As you can appreciate, the shoreline must be complete to provide stable conditions for park/window development. Construction of each park will follow in 2023.

A saw mill operated at the Port Area. Burlington used to ship tonnes of lumber to Europe. Some may have arrived at the Port as logs that were cut and loaded aboard what would have been sailing ships.

Something has always struck me about the waterfront and that area between St. Paul and Port Nelson Park a spot that was once the location of the largest port for what is now Burlington.

When I look at the property and the drop to the water level I can’t figure out just where the wharf or jetty would have been.

Anyone out there that knows? Might make some time to mosey along to the Historical Society and look through their archives.

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Service Burlington counter moving to new temporary location at 390 Brant St., directly beside City Hall, starting Wednesday, May 11

By Staff

May 9th, 2022



Service Burlington, currently located at 426 Brant St., will temporarily move to a new location on the third floor of 390 Brant St. beginning Wednesday, May 11.

390 Brant, better known as the Sims building; the city bought it a number of years ago. It is right across the street from the Queen’s Head – a spot where an Adult Beverage can be enjoyed.

The new location at 390 Brant St. is directly beside City Hall (to the south) and can be accessed by customers from the entrance off of Elgin Street. (See map attached).

The relocation of Service Burlington is being made to limit the disruption experienced by customers visiting the Service Burlington counter during the construction currently underway at City Hall. Service Burlington is closed to walk-in customers on Monday, May 9 and Tuesday, May 10 in order to complete the move, with the exception of marriage license and commissioning appointments.

During the move, it is still easy to connect with the City by calling 905-335-7777 or emailing city@burlington.ca to receive service. Many City service payments are also available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Additional services and meeting updates
Individuals wishing to submit nomination papers for Burlington’s 2022 municipal election can do so by appointment only. Appointments can be made by contacting the Office of the City Clerk at 905-335-7777 or clerks@burlington.ca. The location of appointments to file nomination papers will temporarily move to the third floor of 390 Brant St. More details will be shared by the Office of the City Clerk when appointments are confirmed.

Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 426 Brant St remains open to the public for Committee and Council meetings.

Burlington City Council has implemented hybrid Council meetings and members of the public have the option to participate in or observe Council meetings in person at Council Chambers or remotely. For more information, please visit burlington.ca/delegate.

Angela Morgan, Strategic Lead – Customer Experience

Angela Morgan, Strategic Lead – Customer Experience is the person having an experience of how own striving to get a new approach to serving the people of the city and at the same time be in a location where everything doesn’t have to be dusted every day and staff don’t have to wear ear muffs.

“Moving the Service Burlington counter to the building beside City Hall will ensure that we can continue to offer customers a positive experience when they come to visit us. We sincerely apologize for the disruption and look forward to seeing our customers soon at our new temporary location on the third floor of 390 Brant St.

We will continue to update the public about when Service Burlington will move back to City Hall.”

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How City Hall refused to share information: We push for better transparency - your job is to demand it.

By Pepper Parr

May 9th, 2022



Every reporter strives for accuracy – they listen hard to what people are saying – waiting for that quote that just makes the story.

Accuracy matters – not as easy to get as people think.

Technology has made a big difference; it allows a reporter to capture what a person said and then transcribe it and use it in the copy being written.

As everyone knows – the technology can bite your bum.

The people best at getting what is said down perfectly are the Court reporters – they have a device that lets them capture what is said and instantly read it back

A number of years ago the City employed what would be the equivalent of a court reporter to capture what was said at Council meetings.

A Court Reporter with the transcribing equipment

The transcript produced was something the Gazette was very interested in getting a copy of.

We asked if we could have a copy.

We were told we couldn’t have the document which we thought was a public document.

We asked if we could buy a copy of the transcripts.

No the city wasn’t interested in doing that either.

We asked for the name of the company doing the work.  We thought we could buy the transcripts directly from them.

No – the city was not prepared to give us the name of the company that was doing the transcribing.

Kwab Ako-Ajei.,Director of Communications

All this back and forth was done by email with the Director of Communications Kwab Ako-Ajei. Director of Communications for the city.  Kwab reports directly to the City Manager.

Someone somewhere at city hall made the decision that the Gazette, a credentialed online newspaper, operating for more than ten years (longer than the people who have their fingers on the flow of news information to media have held their jobs), that the Gazette was not to be given access to the data they need to do their job effectively.

Council talks about the importance of media in the process of engaging the public. At one point the Mayor of the city publicly praised the Gazette for the job it was doing.

We may have done the job a little too well for some.

What to do?

Folks, Burlington is your city, your home.  You elect the government you get and they appoint the administrative leadership.

We push for better transparency – your job is to demand it.

Part 1 of the series

Part 2 of the series





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Impact of COVID19 on 131,624 Halton caregivers: what were the lessons learned? Not very many

By Staff

May 9th, 2022


Part 2: Caregivers.

This Community Lens, the second in a two-part series on caregiving, will draw from the findings of a 2021 survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on caregivers.

The survey was carried out by the Ontario Caregiver Organization (OCO) deep into the second year of the pandemic, between September 24th and October 12th, 2021.

Released in November 2021, entitled, ‘Spotlight Report, The Impact of COVID-19 on Caregivers: Year Two’ , it is the second pandemic caregiver survey undertaken by the organization. Its first pandemic survey, ‘Spotlight on Ontario’s Caregivers COVID-19 Edition’, was released in December 2020.

Former Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon speaking with seniors at a meeting in the Library.

The OCO defines caregivers as “ordinary people who provide physical and/or emotional support to a family member, partner, friend, or neighbour”. Funded by the Government of Ontario, the OCO is a nonprofit that was created in 2018 “to support Ontario’s estimated 3.3 million caregivers”.

In publishing this Community Lens, CDH intends to raise awareness of the experiences of caregivers, in our view, an increasingly important, but often overlooked, area of life for many people and families across Halton.

COVID-19 Impacts on Caregivers
Since the OCO’s first pandemic survey in December 2020, the findings from the 2021 survey indicate that many of the negative and difficult personal caregiver experiences deteriorated further. There were 801 “self-reported caregivers” aged 16 years and older who participated in the online survey between September 24 and October 12, 2021. As part of its research, the OCO also conducted a series of ten in- depth interviews alongside the online survey.

In the second year of the pandemic, caregivers reported increases in “feeling tired, anxious, overwhelmed, trapped, frustrated and unappreciated”. In fact, according to the 2021 survey findings, caregiver burnout was at record high levels.

While one in three caregivers in the 2021 survey reported that they had “no one to ask for help” if they needed a rest or if they became sick.

The climate of heightened anxiety around COVID-19 transmission, among other factors, impacted caregivers and care recipients, with 56% of caregivers reported worrying about “managing care recipient’s anxiety due to Covid-19”.
COVID-19 caused significant service and care support disruptions, which would have been felt disproportionately by caregivers who were already overstretched, such as those with smaller family and friend networks.

Mary Alice St. James talking to seniors during an election campaign.

The increased pressure on the healthcare system during the pandemic impacted 75% of caregivers who were required to take on “responsibilities that would otherwise go to a personal support worker or nurse”. Overall, caregivers reported that more time was spent caregiving during the pandemic, “61% say the hours they spend providing care has increased”. According to the 2021 survey, almost one in five carers (18%) were “caring for more than one person”. The pandemic not only created additional complexity for that group, but for many caregivers, 59% of whom said their responsibilities were more difficult in 2021 “than before the pandemic”.

The top three reasons that caregivers gave were:

“Being at home all the time, the care recipient is unable to get important social interaction (38%) Difficulty accessing the doctors and/or other healthcare professionals (36%)

Delayed/cancelled appointments require more time and effort in rescheduling (33%)”.

Enhanced health and safety protocols in hospitals and long-term care facilities, introduced to keep the most vulnerable safe from COVID-19 transmission, were nonetheless difficult experiences for many caregivers and recipients, particularly those that were already isolated and lonely pre-pandemic. Due to enhanced COVID-19 health and safety rules, “26% [of caregivers in the 2021 survey] had to send the care recipient to the hospital alone”.

Canadian caregivers also reported worse personal pandemic impacts than their global counterparts. A survey by Embracing Carers, released in 2021, found that, “70% of Canadian carers say that the pandemic has worsened their emotional/mental health, compared to 61% of the 12-country average” and “61% of Canadian carers say that the pandemic has worsened their physical health, compared to 46% of the 12- country average”.

Burlington has a very strong network of seniors who have clout that spreads throughout the Region of Halton. This crowd was focused on transit while the MP, Karina Gould and then ward 2 Councillor, now Mayor Burlington, Marianne Meed Ward look on.

Post-Covid Financial Pressures: Rising Living Costs to Impact Caregivers
Financial hardship exists among caregivers, just as it is experienced by individuals and families across our communities. The OCO 2021 survey reported that, “20% of caregivers took out a loan or a line of credit to help pay for the expense [of caregiving], up from 17%” in the 2020 survey. 9 It found that 45% “experienced financial hardships [in 2021], compared to 41% in 2020”, an increase of 4% during the two pandemic surveys. Perhaps a more concerning trend was that the 45% of caregivers experiencing financial hardship in 2021 was up 13% (from 32% in 2019). Moreover, the 2021 level of self-reported financial hardship (45%) is more than double the 22% reported in the 2018 survey.

The current rise in living costs being witnessed across the country will only serve to increase the financial hardship of many caregivers. In “January 2022, Canadian inflation surpassed 5% for the first time since September 1991”. 10 In February 2022, national average prices climbed further. Canada’s inflation level for February 2022 sat at 5.7% (12-month average, compared with February 2021).

Staple food items are increasing faster than the 5.7% inflation level. In February 2022 (compared with February 2021), fresh or frozen beef prices were up 16.8%, chicken was up 10.4%, and “dairy products and eggs were up 6.9%”.  These macro economic price trends support the personal reflections of caregivers in the OCO 2021 survey: 47% of whom said that “there have been more costs related to providing care” during COVID-19.

Councillor Sharman has held two public sessions with Senior’s as part of his effort to understand their needs and develop policy that Council can put in place to serve this vital community.

Caregivers fortunate enough to have access to a motor vehicle are experiencing much higher price increases than the 5.7% inflation level. In February 2022, Canadians “paid 32.3% more at the pump compared with February 2021”. 14 Such fuel price increases are likely to put caregivers under increasing financial pressure, disproportionality impacting more rural and isolated caregivers and those with inadequate access to public transport. The associated tasks around providing caregiver support, some of which are heavily reliant on transport, such as attending doctors’ appointments, prescription runs, buying medical and care supplies, are now more expensive post-Covid.

This Community Lens showed that the negative experiences of caregiving during COVID-19 were exacerbated by a pandemic that affected service provisions, contributed to increased anxiety and burnout, impeded crucial social interactions, and increased financial pressures on caregivers.

Unfortunately, the post-COVID economic climate is unlikely to offer much respite for struggling caregivers in the months ahead. Gas and essential food item prices are fast outpacing Canada’s 31-year inflation high of 5.7%, which was announced for February 2022. 15 These post-COVID price increases, caused in part by higher “input prices and heightened transportation costs,” come on top of already increased costs that were associated with caregiving, as reported in the 2021 OCO survey.

If there is to be a positive takeaway from the pandemic it may be, as the CEO and board chair of the OCO put it in their opening remarks to the 2021 survey, “the expanded understanding of what caregivers do and why they are essential partners in care”. We hope this Community Lens series has contributed, in a small way, to this understanding, and helps shine a light on the role that an “estimated 131,624 Halton caregivers” play in supporting families, friends, and the wider healthcare and social system.

Further Resources for Caregivers
If you are a caregiver, or know someone who is, and would like further information around resources and support, we recommend visiting the Ontario Caregiver Organization website:    https://ontariocaregiver.ca

As always, if you have any feedback about this Community Lens or about any of our other social policy and planning work, please reach out to data@cdhalton.ca

Community Lens is prepared by Community Development Halton to disseminate and interpret important community data as it becomes available. For more information please contact us at data@cdhalton.ca or 905-632-1975

Community Development Halton 3350 South Service Road
Burlington, ON L7N 3M6
905-632-1975 www.cdhalton.ca

Caregivers:  Part 1

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The chess pieces on the election chess board are moving into place.

By Pepper Parr

May 9th, 2022



On the surface there isn’t all that much in the way of news about the October municipal election.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman filed his papers – he likes the job and is having fun.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman – waiting for the voters to come to him

Don’t be at all surprised if you see him doing the reverse of what he did in 2010 when he first ran for public office.

At that time he first filed nomination papers for the office of Mayor. When Rick Gold also filed papers for the job of Mayor, Sharman withdrew the papers for the job of Mayor and filed for the ward five seat – which he won and seems to be saying he would like to hang on to for an additional four years.

Paul Sharman would like to be Mayor but he needs to be certain that he has the support to defeat Marianne Meed Ward, the current Mayor.

Sharman is the best long term thinker this Council has; he has the best numbers mind – Kearns comes close but doesn’t have the depth or experience Sharman has.

Sharman has a clear vision for the city and knows how to get there.

The abrasiveness we saw during his first term of office does not appear to exist in the man’s makeup anymore. What changed – hard to tell but what we saw regularly six to eight years ago we just don’t see anymore.

Stop digging!

Meed Ward is already in a bit of a hole – Sharman just wants to let that hole get deeper – so deep that she can’t climb out of it.
Events at city council this past week suggest she is doing a fine job of digging a deeper hole. A marine term might be apt here; Meed Ward is being ‘deep sixed’.

There is that well known phrase when you find yourself in a hole – Stop digging.

Paul Sharman with his eye on the prize.

That one doesn’t appear to be one that our Mayor has read about.

For Sharman it is a waiting game. In the event that he decides he can’t beat Meed Ward – he is a shoe in for ward 5.

Keep a close eye on what he does in the next couple of months

We do.

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What do the Political Parties Have to say About Income Security - Subject Experts will do a Deep Dive on the Problems

By Staff

May 9th, 2022



Community Development Halton and the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton are hosting a web cast on the 18th starting at 6:30 pm

Link to registration page is HERE

The panel consists of subject experts that will guide a conversation on income security issues in advance of the election in Ontario on June 2. Minimum wage, social assistance, basic income, employment precarity, and childcare, are all on the docket for this important discussion.

This stuff matters – this is the time to get informed.


Tom Cooper, Director, Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

Carolyn Ferns, Public Policy Coordinator, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

Pam Frache, Organizer, Workers’ Action Centre, and Coordinator, Justice for Workers campaign

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Rivers makes an early election call - leaves some, but not much, room for an upset. Four more years for Doug

By Ray Rivers

May 9th, 2022



When the results are all tabulated sometime after June 2nd, Doug Ford will be back in power as Premier according to today’s poll numbers.

The 2022 election has just begun but already the consensus is that it’s Ford’s to lose. Mr. Ford has travelled a long and rocky road since he first became premier. Still while things look good now for his reelection, as others have found, in politics anything can happen.

Poll positions the day the election started.

Ford’s popularity dropped like a stone almost right after his 2018 election victory. His personal vendetta against Toronto city council, arbitrarily slashing their representation was petty and abusive. His cancellation of renewable energy and other environmental initiatives were irrational and costly. His war against teachers was mean and retrogressive. And his failed campaign against the revenue-neutral carbon tax was a complete waste of energy and tax payers’ money.

Ford took the limelight in briefing Ontario about what needed to be done during the pandemic,

The arrival of COVID saved Ford’s premiership. He took the limelight in briefing Ontario about what needed to be done during the pandemic, though he misplayed his hand on at least a couple occasions.  Other premiers, like Alberta’s Jason Kenny, made Ford look good. And the pandemic forced Ford to work cooperatively with the federal government which ended up serving both of their interests. After all, the feds did the heavy lifting – provided the vaccines and massive subsidies to just about everyone. That federal support was largely responsible for keeping the province from falling into a huge deficit which would have made today’s economic recovery difficult.

Ontario’s jobless rate has fallen to 5.3%, even below what it was pre-pandemic. Strong economic growth is a good thing for a governing party at election time. And further driving that growth is the massive near $20 billion provincial deficit forecast for this year. It seems that Ford’s earlier preoccupation with deficit has been put on hold, or forgotten, these days. Still, with a bit of luck and good management he’ll be able to claim that the province in on track to balance its budget in a only a couple years from now.

Incumbency, particularly during the pandemic has been working for governments facing re-election. And the pandemic is not yet over. Besides voters tend to reward first term governments with a second term, unless they have been really bad to them. And you can’t be all bad when you’re handing out gifts, even if that means bribing people by giving them back their own money – cutting gas taxes and eliminating license plate fees. What’s not to like about getting back two year’s worth of licence fees?

Andrea Horwath: the fourth and probably the last time,

As for Ford’s opponents. Andrea Horwath is leading her party for the fourth and probably the last time, and it’s not apparent that she’s learned much from her previous losing campaigns. Her most recent attack ads, especially at her Liberal opponent, appear desperate. Clearly she’s just trying to hang on to those Liberal voters who supported her last time. But attack ads are more likely to turn them away.

And attack ads don’t replace a solid policy platform. In fact her policy cupboard is pretty scant and so yesterday,  implementing two of her main planks, universal dental and pharmacare, will be redundant and probably a waste of money since the federal government is planning its own nation-wide programs before long. And her performance as opposition leader was barely noticed. She may be the most trusted political leader in Canada but she has been one of the least vocal opposition leaders over the last four years.

Stephen Del Duca; a relative unknown with a swimming pool problem

Stephen Del Duca is a relative unknown for most people. Having held a couple of ministerial posts under the Wynne government he lost his own seat in the last election and now leads a party which doesn’t even hold party status in the legislature – leading it from outside of the legislature. And he did himself no favour when he got into hot water with local authorities over building his backyard swimming pool. But unlike Horwath he has been taking political risks with his ongoing stream of policy pronouncements – though some, like re-introducing Grade 13, do not appear to have been well vetted.

Del Duca is a fighter In the game of politics, and he is willing to take risks which might get the public’s attention, for better or worse. Still, for an aspiring politician any news is good news. He provides a sharp contrast to the more cautious Horwath, something his rising poll numbers are beginning to reflect. Whatever he’s doing seems to be working.

Green Party leader Mike Schreiner has been an effective and rational voice at Queen’s Park but nobody will put money on the Green Party winning anything but Mr. Schreiner’s own seat after the dust settles for June 2nd. The Green’s mainstay is protecting the environment, including climate change mitigation, but the other two opposition parties also claim that as one of their priorities. And that provides an alternative to Doug Ford’s conservatives, who have shown little regard for things environmental, climate change in particular.

The opposition parties all support carbon taxation of some sort, and Horwath has even mused about bringing back the emissions cap and trade program which Ford killed almost immediately after winning last time. They support subsidies for electric vehicles to make them more price competitive, so new car buyers will make the shift away from gas guzzlers. And for some reason education and health care have also become right/left issues, with the opposition parties wanting to see smaller class sizes in schools and the end of private, for-profit, long term care.

The highway Doug Ford will build if he wins – because the Progressive Conservatives don’t think climate change is not a winning issue.

Everybody is promising more affordable housing. But only Ford’s plan has some detail and that involves ramping up urban sprawl into the rural landscape in the GTA. Ford clearly sees the Greenbelt as a land reserve just waiting for new development, rather than a natural endowment for future generations. Consequently it should be no surprise that his proposed new highways projects would run through a good part of the Greenbelt.

As the campaign kicks off, the PCs with 35-40% of Ontario voters backing them, are almost 10 percentage points ahead of the second place Liberals. And when translated to seats that should produce a solid majority for Mr. Ford.

That means that the three main opposition parties will be competing for almost 60% of decided voters. Should the Tories stumble enough to lose that majority seat count, either the Liberals or NDP might be asked to form a minority government. But none of the opposition parties are interested in supporting a Ford minority.

Although there is always someone saying it’s time to unite the left, personalities and tribal party loyalty never allows that to happen. Horwath hopes that her attack ads against Del Duca might give her the edge. But this could backfire since attack ads often say more about the attacker than the victim. Besides all the NDP supporters I know would prefer to win by promoting what they stand for, and not just attacking the the other candidate. More more like Gandhi and less like Putin.

And if Del Duca were to respond to those ads in kind, the anti-Ford crowd might well decide that neither party deserves their support, and just stay home on voting day. And that would ensure another four years for Mr. Ford and his Progressive Conservatives.

Ray Rivers will be with us every Monday until May 30th.

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Jim Thompson ask some pretty direct questions: How did the LPMA manage to spend a reported $97,000 on legal costs.

By Pepper Parr

May 8th, 2022



Today is the kind of day the boaters would have been out washing down the decks of their boats and preparing for the launch.  Will there be a launch this year – not something anyone can be really certain about.

The LaSalle Park Marina with a rendering of the wave break in place.

Jim Thomson delegated before a Standing Committee and gave Councillors some background on the problems with insurance coverage for the LaSalle Park Marina.

Jim Thomson – asks a lot of questions

Thomson is not a boater, he is not a member of any of the associated clubs.

His only involvement with the marina was a complaint he made back in 2016 when he had a complaint about smells coming from the docks which in those days were hauled out of the water every year.  The shellfish had accumulated – he called the city – got nothing and decided to call the health department – guess what – the city responded.

Jim was just as  direct with Council. Thomson knew that the law suit that was impacting the renewal of an insurance policy was something the city knew about the day the claim was made – the city was originally a party to the claim.

Somehow the city got themselves removed from the claim but that doesn’t detract from the fact that they knew..

Slip and falls tend to be in the $10,000 to $40,000 range – how do you spend $97,000 on legal fees and still not have a settlement?

Thomson believes that the claim – a slip and fall event, has eaten up $97,000 in legal fees.

The only people who know who filed the claim is the LPMA Board and of course city hall.

Thomson said that slip and fall claims tend to be between $10,000 and $40,000 with few being at the high end.

The slip and fall claim was served early in 2019 – the most recent operating agreement with the city was signed later in the year.

Thomson wonders was the matter of the insurance was not brought up at that time – where is the proper due diligence Thomson asks.

If the city was able to get itself off the claim that would suggest the accident took place on one of the links between the rows of boat slips.

Is this a pace city hall can work at?

A lot of questions – not many answers at this point.

City manager Tim Commisso – commenting during the Marina delegations.

Thomson has an interview being set up with City Manager Tim Commisso – no date yet.  It will be a telephone interview; tough to present an argument that way.

Thomson had an issue with an item being on the agenda with no report that people could read before taking part in the meeting.  Burlington is at a point in its pandemic evolution where people can delegate in person.  Thomson was very much in person.

He told Council it needed to “act instantly or boaters will lose their season.

He told Council that “Staff doesn’t know what’s to be done” and that “Staff has no idea of the problems”.

Thomson also said:  It’s hard to delegate on a report that arrives late on the agenda adding that “a verbal update” doesn’t leave any room for community comment at the committee stage.

Where, Thomson wanted to know is where was ” the transparency we’ve all been hearing so much

Thomson filled in some of the information holes:

LPMA Claims history has caused current insurer to cancel.

Rick Craven, a former ward 1 Councillor identified two outstanding claims as slip-and-fall lawsuits.

Are there other claims that have been settled? Has the City reviewed the claims history?

Is this where the slip and fall took place?

Are the docks un-safe?

Do they need modification to reduce slips/falls?

Thomson quoting the the Burlington Boating and Sailing Club Commodore Scott Lowell: “It is now imperative that the City of Burlington assume direct management of what in the end is their marina (they own the wave- break and the docks) and move quickly to open the marina,”

Thomson doesn’t buy the imperative argument. “There is significant cost to the city running the marina; Not something the City should be rushing into

He added that the the City is in possession of a report on running the marina that would result in an  operating loss of $196,750 for the year 2022

The data in the 2019 report assumed the city would already have been operating the marina for two years. It also assumed that the city would have about 9 month to plan the take-over.

Thomson left City Council with these thoughts”

Is all the data, background information and history coming together to form a perfect storm?

The lease on LaSalle Park is up at the end of the year.

What happens next year?

The City needs a Master Plan for LaSalle

If the City wants a Marina do it right

Council and staff need to stop improvising

A lot more to come on this file.

Stay tuned.

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Burlington's Windows on the Lake - a sad history.

By Pepper Parr

May 7th, 2022



A Gazette reader wrote:

“Hi I’ve been looking down Green Street for more than six years hoping I’ll see a Window to the Lake pop up.

“I know Burlington doesn’t complete projects at the same pace as say Dubai.. But the pace on this project is glacial. I’ve heard all of the reasons high water, Canada 150 funding; I suppose now it’s COVID.

“I’d like to know if my neighbours are getting this long proposed park during our lifetime? Or will we be visiting Sweetgrass park learning about the Medicine wheel first? “

Our reader makes a good point. The Green Street Window on the Lake sort of got lost in the frantic shuffle that saw land along the edge of the lake shift from the hands of the city to three property owners who paid peanuts for the property and enhanced the value of their lots considerable – very considerably.

This is the view the three families bought – it was once public property

The blame for this crime and it was a crime does not rest with the people who bought the property. They saw an opportunity and went for it and out manoeuvred the city’s efforts which were pathetic.

There was a time when the city actually had a Waterfront Advisory Committee. One of the tasks they took on was to survey all the Windows on the Lake to determine just how many there were and what condition were they in.

Gary Scobie, far right, was a member of the Waterfront Access and Protection Advisory Committee which was sunset by the city last December. Scobie went on to sit on the Ad Hoc Waterfront Committee. Nick Leblovic is on the right.

Our reports on that work by a bunch of diligent volunteers appeared in the Gazette.

The Chair of the Advisory Committee at the time was Nicholas Leblovic, a friend of then Mayor Cam Jackson.

A lawyer by profession and said to be an expert in his field which was the leasing and ownership of aircraft and oil rigs.

These assets were often owned by investors and leased to oil drillers or air lines.  Big business done at an international level and very lucrative.

Nick no longer practices law –  he didn’t last all that long as Chair of the Waterfront Advisory Committee.

The Mayor wasn’t happy, some members of Council weren’t happy – a Staff report was ordered up and the conclusion was that the Advisory Committee should be sunset.

Leblovic is a political junkie – he loves the game and always wants to be at the table.  He is reported to be a part of Mayor Meed Ward’s re-election committee.

The St. Paul window above and the Market Street Window on the left.

The work the Advisory Committee did however worked its way into the agenda and in time a report came to council with some commendations on what to do wit two of the Windows on the Lake – they were at the bottom of Market Street and St. Paul

The options were:

Do nothing
Develop the Waterfront Trail a little further or
Sell the property.

It was never clear just who signed off on the report and let the Sell the Property be an option.

All the land inside the yellow border was public. The city sold the piece in the middle and in the process took from the people of Burlington a gem.

The option was just enough for the three property owners along the edge of the property to make an offer which was accepted and the land was then in private hands.  It was owned jointly by the city and a provincial ministry.

Peter Rusin did a superb job for the three property owners who bought up what was going to be part of the Waterfront Trail

The family’s hired Peter Rusin, who went on to run for the office of Mayor, but before that put together a document that set out in considerable detail an argument for selling the property.

All that was sold was the land between the Windows on the Lake.

Today those two windows are publicly accessible and a really nice place to sit and read and while away part of a day.

Our Gazette reader wants to see the same thing happen to the window at the bottom of Green Avenue.

Be careful what you ask for

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Marina will not open as planned - new date cannot be set until insurance issues are resolved.

By Staff

May 6th, 2022



This is an unfortunate situation that could have and should have been looked into some time ago.

City Council and senior staff are working diligently to solve the problem – some comments and background at a later date.

LaSalle Park – these boats might be stuck on the site for some time.

The boat launch which was to take place on the 15th is now delayed – a new date has yet to be determined.

The delay is due to insurance renewal issues. The City is aware of the LaSalle Park Marina Association’s (LPMA) expired liability insurance and difficulties finding a replacement insurer. The City is working closely with the LPMA to find a short-term and a long-term solution to open the marina.

At the May 5 Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee meeting, City Council gave a staff direction which includes doing due diligence to identify and fully address the financial, legal, human resource and operating risk exposures to the City in order to operate the LaSalle Park Community Marina on an interim basis for the 2022 season based on a target date for opening of no later than June 15.

A key component is the interim Marina operation must be at no cost to the taxpayers of Burlington inclusive of City reserve funds. Early in this term of Council they approved taking $4 million out of the hydro reserve fund to pay for the wave break that was desperately needed.

City staff will report back to City Council on May 17, 2022 and at the June 9, 2022 Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee.

The community marina is a key feature that the City values and wants to keep open, as is evident by the $4 million investment in the floating wave break that was installed in 2020. Proper insurance is required for operation and options are being explored. The closure of the marina also means the Burlington Sailing and Boating Club and the Able Sail program cannot operate from the marina and the boat launch will remain closed.

About the LaSalle Park Community Marina
Through an agreement with the City, the marina has been has operated by the LPMA for 41 years. The City owns the wave break and the marina.

The wave break is in place – now insurance issues will keep the boats out of the water.

The Marina is in a decent location.  Parking is an issue and the site could use a decent restaurant. Marina has 219 docking spaces and is protected by a new floating wave break that was installed in 2020.

The Burlington Sailing and Boating Club and the Able Sail program offer sailing programs at the Marina. In addition, the City has a public boat launch at the Marina that is protected by the floating wave break.

Without a solution the marina will not be able to open. As it is many of the boaters will want to look for a new location – and there aren’t many of them in the immediate area.

This could end up being a black day for a lot of people.

Chris Glenn: Director of Parks and Recreation and Culture.

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture said during the Standing Committee earlier this week that: “The City of Burlington is committed to working with the LPMA to find a short-term and a long-term solution to keep the marina open for residents and tourists. We know the marina is a key feature for many people. We are exploring multiple options to get it open for the 2022 boating season and beyond. Until a solution is found, the marina and boat launch will remain closed and further update will be shared with the public as available.”

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Service Burlington counter is closed - too much construction noise - but marriage license appointments are still taking place.

By Staff

May 6th, 2022



The Service Burlington counter that was on the main floor of city hall was moved to the second floor due to main level construction has now been closed ass of noon today.

Too much noise from the construction work.

The city does have a heart – Service Burlington appointments booked today for marriage licenses will take place. If you have any questions, please call 905-335-7777.

A reminder that many service payments are available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices.

More information about the temporary closure to walk-in customers will be provided early next week.
City Hall Modernization Project

The construction at City Hall is happening as part of the City Hall modernization project. The project is one of 22 recommendations from the Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force report and will create a more open, customer-facing area on the first floor of City Hall.


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Property tax payment dates - and what the taxes amount to

By Staff

May 6th, 2022



After a decent day in a Standing Committee during which the city DID WHAt Council moved into a Special meeting of Council during which they passed a motion setting out the 2022 Tax Levy Bylaw

The bylaw allows the city to bill 2022 property taxes and set payment due dates for final tax bills on June 22 and Sept. 22, 2022.

Final tax bills will be mailed in late May.

The 2022 Tax Levy Bylaw reflects the budget processes of both the city and Halton Region. The province provides the education tax rates. The overall property tax increase is 2.84 per cent or $22.17 for each $100,000 of urban residential assessment.

COVID-19 Property Tax Relief
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic impact, on Jan. 11, 2022, Council approved a 2022 COVID-19 Property Tax Deferral Payment Plan program to provide relief to residents and businesses that continue to face financial hardship due to the pandemic. The application-based program allows eligible property owners who are unable to pay property taxes by the regularly scheduled tax due dates, to defer taxes under a pre-authorized payment plan.

Eligible property owners may include unpaid balances from March 1, 2020 onward in the deferral plan and they can choose which month they would like to start the monthly payments. The remaining options for start dates are June 1, or July 1.

Equal monthly withdrawals will be made that will allow for the property taxes to be paid in full by Dec. 1, 2022. Property owners enrolled in this payment plan will not be subject to penalty and interest charges as long as payments are made.

Quick Facts
• The City of Burlington collects property taxes for the city, Halton Region and the Halton district school boards. The total combined tax levy for all three entities is approximately $452.3 million. The city’s levy is $191.6 million; the city collects $144.6 million on behalf of Halton Region; and $116.1 million on behalf of the Halton district school boards. The taxes levied for Halton Region and the Halton district school boards are remitted to them.

• Customers who use the drop box at City Hall (426 Brant St.) to drop off their tax payments should note the drop box has moved to 390 Brant St. at the corner of Brant Street and Elgin Street– this is the same building where Coffee Culture is located. Residents can find the blue drop box at the Elgin Street entrance to 390 Brant St. Please see map attached.

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Freeman schedule

By Staff

May 6th, 2022



With life getting back to normal you will want to know what is open and what the hours are.

The Freeman Station on Fairview has become a go to place, especially for parents with children who want to take them to places that are fun.

The display in the basement of the building, called a diorama, tells the story and the roll rail played in the city’s growth.

Parents will learn even more than the kids.

Related articles:
The model set up in the basement of Freeman Station

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STOP the SPRAWL: the growth taking place and what is in the works adds to the climate emergency

By Staff

May 5th, 2022



The provincial election that began officially yesterday is about climate change.

Your life and the quality of the life you live in the next three to five years is going to be decided on who you elect on June 2nd.

Stop the Sprawl a group working across the province is doing there best to set out the issues and give you a chance to take part in this vital exercise.   Send them your thoughts: Stop Sprawl Halton – stopsprawlhalton@gmail.com

On April 14th 2022, Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act hurriedly received royal assent a scant two weeks after it was introduced. Bill 109 formalized a provision that would allow the Minister to refer Official Plan Amendments to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) if the Minister is not satisfied with the submission.

Beausoleil, the structure on the left in this rendering was approved at the Ontario Land Tribunal level – city council was not in love with this one.

This is an unacceptable shift from the long-standing process whereby provincial and municipal planning staff work collaboratively to achieve consensus on Official Plan submissions. Simply pitching submissions to an arbitrator that allows a single individual the authority to accept or deny Official Plans converts municipal planning to an adversarial process that will unnecessarily cost municipal taxpayers millions of dollars.
Official Plans and local autonomy threatened

In November 2021, Hamilton City Council voted to accommodate all expected future growth within its current urban boundaries, rather than sprawling outward onto precious farmland, woods and wetlands because the mandated market-driven housing mix CAN be accommodated.

It is unacceptable, therefore, that Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark stated in the legislature that Hamilton’s refusal to expand its urban boundaries was unacceptable to the Ford government, and that he was considering referral of the matter to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) for a decision. Hamilton’s approved plan was in compliance with all provincial policies.

In February 2022, Halton Regional Council also directed their staff to prepare an Official Plan with no urban expansion for the next 20 years, recognizing they have enough vacant land within the current urban boundary to accommodate all mandated growth to 2041. Halton also elected to delay approving its plan for accommodating growth to 2051 until the province reveals its response to the Affordable Housing Task Force Report. Halton fully intends to be compliant with Provincial legislation once the new rules are known.

Many other municipal councils are still completing their Official Plans. Will their deliberations be subject to the Minister’s whims too?

Referral to the OLT: double jeopardy for Councils and taxpayers

The problem in the Region of Halton is the same problem Hamilton is fighting.

The threat of referral to the OLT, with its significant price tag, will surely influence decision- making as councils struggle with the cost of a potential OLT court case. Councils understand that there is always the threat of going to the OLT to defend their decisions from challenges from land speculators. But they should not have the province also threatening the same challenge. What, in effect has happened is that the challenges expected from speculators will now be paid for by the people of Ontario via the Province’s intervention.

It is an affront to democracy to reject the planning decisions made by elected councils, when they have followed provincial legislation and made their decisions following due process, consistent with local priorities.

Ontario’s Stop Sprawl Coalition calls on the Province of Ontario to repeal sections of Bill 109 that deal with referrals to the OLT.

We have a climate emergency: plan for it!

The climate has changed – the sudden floods in 2014 caused this flooding in Burlington

Ontario’s Stop Sprawl Coalition supports:

• Ending exclusionary zoning to allow for gentle density in existing neighbourhoods
• Growth through sustainable, more efficient use of land
• Ending sprawl as a means of accommodating new population
• Designing complete, walkable, transit-supportive mixed-use communities
• Saving farming, not just farmland
• Rethinking employment areas for efficiency of land use
• Protection of natural assets, including watersheds, water sources, sensitive lands and biodiversity
• Broad community consultation including Indigenous voices

The Places to Grow Act (PGA) was introduced in the Province of Ontario in 2005. This provincial legislation provided new guidance for how municipalities accommodate growth. It was introduced specifically to address the alarming loss of prime agricultural farmland in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) and the negative consequences of sprawl such as increased commute times, traffic congestion on provincial highways, loss of productivity, increased greenhouse gas emissions and the unsustainable increasing costs to the taxpayers for servicing sprawling growth.

The PGA for the first time forced all municipalities in the GGH to reduce their reliance on converting farmland to subdivisions and introduced mandatory intensification targets within built- up areas of the communities.

The Ford government updated the legislation in 2019 by walking back the intensification targets and by introducing a goal that would effectively require municipalities to approve more sprawl to accommodate growth. The key new requirement was to accommodate the future market for single family dwellings.

Since late last year, Stop Sprawl organizations have sprung up across the GGH in response to these changes which move the province in a backward direction. Municipalities have other priorities that will be thwarted if they simply comply by approving sprawl.

How we must grow during climate breakdown

The Green space we have left. In Burlington the Escarpment is protected – will a second term PC government keep that protection in place.

Ontario’s remaining green spaces are precious. They mitigate climate change and provide future food security. We applaud municipal councils that have chosen to accommodate growth within their existing urban areas and are diligently working on policies that will increase the supply of single-family dwellings without an urban expansion. They have chosen to grow by focusing intensification along higher order transit corridors and in commercial nodes. They have chosen to provide more opportunities for affordable housing to be built near services. They have chosen to plan for growing vibrant walkable, less car-dependent neighbourhoods. They have chosen to grow in a more financially viable way in contrast to accepting the escalating cost of growth through continuing expansion of their urban boundaries.

Stop Sprawl Ontario supports sustainable growth that integrates responsible land management , more efficient use of land, and focuses on creating walkable, livable, healthy communities for all residents in harmony with nature.

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