It used to be 'A penny for your thoughts' - now it's can I hear what you think if I feed you?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 4th, 2019



City of Burlington launches new Food for Feedback event, a community engagement barbeque where residents can connect with City staff and Council to provide feedback on municipal projects and initiatives. Attendees will receive a free lunch from participating food trucks in exchange for feedback at this September 14th event.

It is a free, drop-in opportunity open to residents of all ages. Younger children are welcome to attend and enjoy the Imagination Playground on-site.

Food for thought graphic.The input citizens provide at Food for Feedback will help the City to continue to improve City services and initiatives.

Date and Location: Saturday, Sept. 14, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Central Park Bandshell, 2311 New St.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be held indoors at the Seniors’ Centre Auditorium, 2285 New St.

City booths at the event will include initiatives such as:

• Adopted Official Plan – Taking a Closer Look at the Downtown
• 2020 Budget
• Leash Free Parks
• Integrated Mobility Plan
• Climate Action Plan

Visit to learn more about the Food for Feedback engagement barbeque and other engagement opportunities available to residents to contribute their ideas and feedback on municipal issues and projects.

It appears that city hall has to spoon feed people to learn what their opinions are. For a city with a voter turnout of around 35% perhaps this is the best we can do,


Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “The City of Burlington belongs to all of our residents, so it’s important when opportunities arise that our community shares their ideas, thoughts, feelings, feedback and questions with us.

“Thank you to all those who regularly share their input and engage with the City of Burlington, your Council and me through online surveys, our websites, newsletters, email and social media channels — we truly appreciate you taking the time out of your busy days and schedules to contribute to important local initiatives.”

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Identity of fatally injured motorcycle rider released.

News 100 blackBy Staff

September 4th, 2019



The family of the 60-year-old motorcycle rider fatally injured in the collision on September 2nd, has authorized Halton Regional Police Service to release the identify of victim as Mr. Walter RITCHI.

The family would like to extend their gratitude for the efforts of the witnesses and citizens that rushed to provide aid and support to Mr. RITCHI after the collision.

Plains East + Cedarwood

Intersection of Plains Road East and Cedarwood Place.

On September 2nd 2019, the Halton Regional Police Service Collision Reconstruction Unit took carriage of the investigation into a motor vehicle collision in the City of Burlington which occurred shortly before 6:22pm at the intersection of Plains Road East and Cedarwood Place.

The collision between a motorcycle and an SUV resulted in the 60 year old motorcycle rider being transported to Hamilton General Hospital in critical condition. On the evening of September 3rd he was pronounced dead in hospital as a result of the head injuries he sustained.

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Suzanne Carte is Changing the Art Gallery of Burlington One Inclusive Show at a Time

artsorange 100x100By Doreen Nicoll

September 4th, 2019



Suzanne Carte is Changing the Art Gallery of Burlington One Inclusive Show at a Time

When Suzanne Carte joined the Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB) as Senior Curator in November 2018, it was clear she was passionate about inclusion and embracing as many voices and artistic experiences as possible.

Suzanne Carte AGB

Suzanne Carte AGB Senior Curator Photo credit: Yuula Benivolski

Originally from the West Mountain in Hamilton, Ontario, and having worked at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in the late 1990’s, Carte spent over twenty years in Toronto including the past decade at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU).

Carte, an award-winning curator and cultural producer, was the former Assistant Curator at AGYU. She had a bevy of accomplishments under her belt but was looking for new challenges outside of the academic institution. During her time at York University, she was an integral part of students’ experiences and worked directly with a multitude of student leaders and organizations focusing on artistic expression and social justice advocacy.

While Carte found room for movement and growth at the AGB she soon realized the position involved merging the old with the new. “I was naïve in the beginning, but had to become sensitive and respectful to the AGB’s history and relationships between the gallery and the guilds.” Carte is encouraging a younger generation of artists to showcase their talents while still paying homage to the seven art and fine craft guilds.

Carte inherited a wealth of artistic material that had been acquired over the 41-year life of the AGB. By freeing up storage space Carte was able to expand existing galleries. In the process, Carte established the Artist Material Fund (AMF), a grassroots recycling endeavour that benefits artists in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA). The project offers a variety of previously stored materials to artist studios, libraries and youth driven galleries.

The Workers Arts and Heritage Centre (WAHC) in Hamilton, Ontario is one of Carte’s favourite galleries because, “The staff are smart, motivated, and practice what they preach. I have immense respect for them.” The WAHC stored material for the AMF on their third floor and offered it to artists at no cost during the closing of her exhibition, Division of Labour.

Carte is caring for a collection, as well as a community, that is shifting from the object to the idea with a people focus. She wants to be, “…in a listening campaign. Listening to see where people are at, what they want, and who Burlington is. Listening to the edge of change.”

Suzanne CArte 2

Carte: “Burlington looks like how I want my programming to look. Black, brown, Indigenous, queer, immigrant, and intersectional.”

According to Carte, “Burlington looks like how I want my programming to look. Black, brown, Indigenous, queer, immigrant, and intersectional.” She hopes more young families and people see themselves reflected in the exhibitions. And she is accomplishing that, one show at a time.

Carte jumped in with both feet when she launched this summer’s exhibitions. The evening of May 24th Burlington saw crowds like the gallery had never seen before. Jeremy Dutcher, member of Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, was on hand to sing selections from his Polaris and Juno award winning album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa.

He was also there in support of Vutut Gwitchin artist Jeneen Frei Njootli’s solo show, my auntie bought all her skidoos with bead money. Frei Njootli created living art on four huge sheets of steel that morph over time. Shadowy impressions of the hand-sewn beadwork made by the females in her family are transferred to the sheets using grease. These images alter with changes in humidity and temperature.

Frei Njootli performed “I am she” at the opening while creating another layer of images on the steel plate. The sound of her voice united with the rattling of the metal was captured on a playback loop creating a soundtrack that could be felt through the body.

150 Acts: “Art, Activism, Impact” also launched that night. Inspired by Canada’s sesquicentennial this exhibit offers an essential moment of national reflection and an opportunity to question the relationship of nationhood to Canada’s Indigeneity. The art practices are personal, conceptual, cultural, political, and social acts as well as meaningful responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Using essential pieces from the Art Gallery of Guelph’s Indigenous collections in concert with contemporary art practices that showcase evolving Indigenous art forms, settlers are encouraged to actively engage in discussions around the collective histories and possible futures for this land we share.

Carte is following her superlative debut with no less than four ground breaking shows.

Suzanne Carte

Carte: The AGB is determined to be vigilant and visible in their support of 2SLGBTQIAP by placing critical conversations on gender diversity back into the public education sphere.

Opening Friday, September 6, 2019, The Gender Conspiracy will be an extravaganza including a children’s drag queen performance. Billed as an Open Letter to the Trans and Gender Diverse communities in the GTHA to express ally ship in furthering the discourse on gender fluidity and identity, sexual orientation, same-sex relationships, and consent to promote the mental health and safety of all 2SLGBTQIAP communities. The AGB is determined to be vigilant and visible in their support of 2SLGBTQIAP by placing critical conversations on gender diversity back into the public education sphere.

Carte believes in collaboration with community partners. Gender Conspiracy partners include The Positive Space Network, EGALE Canada Human Rights Trust, JAYU Human Rights Film Festival, Burlington Public Library, McMaster University Department to Gender Studies and Feminist Research, Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School Position Space (GSA), and Oakville Galleries.

From January to March 2020, Division of Labour: Second Edition invites artists to become part of the dialogue about race, class and labour as they relate to cultural waste. Barter economy systems, community action around consumption, and circuits of solidarity exchange are more present than ever in the daily working lives of artists and cultural producers. Visitors will learn about the scarcity of resources, labour rights, and the lack of living wages in the arts. The exhibition illustrates the power and potential of reused material for artistic production.

Visitors to the art gallery will become immersed in the multimedia collage work of Burlington’s senior media artist P. Mansaram when his self-styled Mansamedia is showcased from May to August 2020. Co-presented with South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), The Medium is the Medium is the Medium explores the artist’s decades-long practice of repetition as art, meditation, spirituality, falling in love, and as a way to finding god. The exhibit includes works from Mansaram’s five-decade career and will invoke everlasting feelings of travel through time, dimension and territory.

Then, from September to December 2020, Vessel: A Collective Feminist Collection Project will (re)write the matriarchal history of the AGB through the permanent collection with co-curators and collaborators Ness Lee, Su-Ying Lee, Suzanne Carte, Ivy Knight, and Myung-Sun Kim.

The AGB’s permanent collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics is the largest collection in the nation and will be used to unpack the feminist history of the AGB with local change-makers and leaders, by bringing the gallery’s vessels and containers out of the vaults and into the public space.

This collection considers the implications of feminist knowledge, labour, production, support, and ingenuity while opening a space for cross-disciplinary, intergenerational conversations and critical dialogue.

Carte is successfully crafting an art gallery that is, “A space for intergenerational dialogue, intelligence fed by exhibitions, and a place to socialize, learn and have fun and the same time.”

Open seven days a week, the AGB is a free public art gallery and community art centre that presents as many as 20 regional, national and international exhibitors a year. Located on one floor and with gender inclusive washrooms, the space has seven fully equipped studios, three galleries, a one of a kind gift shop, a sculpture courtyard and year-round conservatory.

Throughout the year there are free events, artist talks, screenings, and Sundays there are open studios for families.
The Art Gallery of Burlington 1333 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, ON L7S 1A9

Doreen Nicol - Raise the HammerDoreen Nicoll is a Burlington resident who is, if anything, outspoken.  She is a feminist, an environmentalist, a free lance writer, teacher and social activist  and member of several community organizations working diligently to end poverty, hunger and gendered violence.


Related news stories:

Doreen Nicoll and her garden


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Rivers: A carbon tax is the only tool governments have to reduce the amount of carbon in the environment.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

September 4th, 2019



Canada’s19th prime minister, the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, has always told it as she sees it. Who else, during the ’93 election, would have promised her electors continued high unemployment and deficits when they would have preferred prosperity and fiscal discipline. Or who else would be reported as saying, in a nutshell, that an election is no time to discuss important issues.


Kim Campbell was rooting for Hurricane Dorion to make a direct hit on Mar a Largo, Trump’s Florida golf course and estate.

She was understandably disgusted after US President Trump extended his war on planet earth by rolling back some 80 plus Obama era regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). So she tweeted that she was rooting for Hurricane Dorion to make a direct hit on Mar a Largo, Trump’s Florida golf course and estate. Of course, she immediately retracted and apologized, as persons of some significance are expected to do.

But she had only said what so many people who care about the future of this planet were thinking. Bring on retributive justice for one of the two global political leaders most bent on depriving future generations of the planet we know and love. And every person who cares about what is happening to our climate should feel her anger.

The latest roll back concerns fugitive methane emissions. Methane, identified commercially as natural gas, is a greenhouse pollutant which is more than 25 times as potent as CO2. And here even the industry is ahead of Trump, as BP, for one, has criticized this roll back as damaging to the reputation of an industry trying to show how ‘clean’ it can be. The amount of leakage in the production and use of natural gas is frightening. But leaving industry to govern itself has worked out about as well as asking the fox to manage the hen house.

Trump has championed coal, erroneously calling it clean since it still accounts for two thirds of America’s electrical utility GHG emissions. But he is losing that campaign regardless, as the industry is rapidly converting to gas and renewables, which are now far cheaper in addition to being cleaner. This is pretty much the same strategy the Ontario Liberals pioneered as they phased out coal and replaced it with renewables. And natural gas is there as a back up for peaking or when the wind doesn’t blow and sun doesn’t shine.

trucks on highway

If you drive the 400 series highway – any highway for that matter – you know the trucks rule the road.

Transportation accounts for almost a third of GHG emissions in America. And the USA is the second largest carbon emitter in the world, after China, so it is a critical issue. Trump’s roll back of Obama’s regulations for auto emissions is seriously wrong, and even the auto industry is opposed. Many auto companies are signing agreements with California and other states to continue making efficiency improvements.

Between 1999 and 2007 Canadian private vehicle emissions rose by 35%, almost twice the rate of population growth. Obama’s auto efficiency rules would have also applied to Canada and would have helped slow down emissions from the fossil fueled autos still selling like hot cakes – but even those new rules would not put a stop to GHG pollution.

It’s too little too late. The UN has suggested that there are only twelve years until a tipping point, a point of no return from dramatic change, is reached. So fine tuning the fuel economy for the gas engine is little more than the proverbial re-arranging of deck chairs on the Titanic.

Carbon tax - Canada France over 5 years.

France’s plight illustrates a conundrum: how do political leaders introduce policies that will do long-term good for the environment without inflicting extra costs on voters that may damage their chances of re-election? They raised the price of gas and the public rioted.

And a carbon tax at $20 or even $50 is not enough, on its own, to get people out of their gas guzzlers either. But the carbon tax and the federal electric vehicle (EV) rebate are the only tools in the transportation tool box, short of shutting down the roads and/or killing the economy. From comments to my column last week it was pretty clear that nobody wants road tolls, let alone shutting down the roads. So it’s got to be the carbon tax.

The Conservatives are the only major political party that is promising to cancel the carbon tax but is not offering an alternative policy for auto GHG emissions. They claim that the tax is hurting the poor folks. Which it clearly isn’t since 90 percent of the money is returned directly to tax payers as a credit on their income taxes. They get the tax credit even if they don’t have to pay any taxes.

So Andrew Scheer, Doug Ford and all the other conservative premiers are lying to us, by omission at the very least.

The poorest struggling or working class families are getting more back than they have to pay to fill their tanks and run their furnaces, on average.

In fact it is the wealthy that are affected most by the carbon tax. And as one can imagine the wealthiest 20% have more and fancier motor toys than those in the lower income classes. So the rich emit almost twice as much per capita as the lowest income Canadians. So exactly who are the ordinary folks that each of the political parties are aiming their pitches?

Kim Campbell H&S no blouse - robe

Kim Campbell was a Progressive Conservative who said what she thought.

Kim Campbell was a Progressive Conservative premier. But today’s Conservative party was taken over by the reform wing led by Stephen Harper and now Andrew Scheer. Campbell may not have been a social reformer, but as a member of Brian Mulroney’s cabinet she got to understand the environment. And so today’s Conservative party is not her party.

As a footnote on carbon taxes, we see Mr. Ford has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court. He has already squandered an estimated $30 million dollars when any thinking person could have told him he’d lose the court challenge. Perhaps nobody in his cabinet was willing to tell the emperor the truth about his new clothes. So what’s a few more million.

And to bring his point home, somewhat as Joseph Stalin could be expected to do, Ford is forcing every gas station owner in the province to slather his carbon tax propaganda on their pumps, or face a whacking $10,000 per day fine. That does seem a bit drastic for a province which Ford barely a year ago proclaimed to be finally open for business.

Gas tax sticker

Ford is forcing every gas station owner in the province to post a carbon tax message on their pumps.

And the poster is misleading on at least three counts. First, the scale of the sticker may accurately represent the amount of the tax, but not the impact of a 4.4 cent tax on the total cost of a litre of gasoline – which is what really matters. Second the sticker makes no mention that the tax is revenue neutral and fully 90% comes back in their income taxes.

Finally if the gas pumps are to provide useful information to consumers, what could be more useful than helping them understand the full impact of the gasoline they are buying and using, rather than just the carbon tax on it.

Sweden has recently adopted a policy to do just that. Much as society has placed full disclosure information on cigarette packages, gas pumps need to inform users about the myriad of health issues associated with petroleum and how that impacts health care costs. And then there is climate change.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

Kim’s Mar-a-Lar –   Kim Campbe ll Bio –    Methane Regulations

Auto Rule Roll Back –   Canadian Auto Emissions –    Carbon Tax Fight

Warning Labels

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Update to Burlington Motorcycle Collision from September 2nd

News 100 blackBy Staff

September 4th, 2019


On September 2nd 2019, the Halton Regional Police Service Collision Reconstruction Unit took carriage of the investigation into a motor vehicle collision in the City of Burlington which occurred shortly before 6:22pm at the intersection of Plains Road East and Cedarwood Place.

Plains East + Cedarwood

Fatal accident took place at the intersection of Plains Road East and Cedarwood Place.

The collision between a motorcycle and an SUV resulted in the 60 year old motorcycle rider being transported to Hamilton General Hospital in critical condition.

On the evening of September 3rd he was pronounced dead in hospital as a result of the head injuries he sustained.

The investigation is on-going, any witnesses to the collision who have not yet spoken with police are asked to call 905-825-4747 ext: 5065.

Police have not released the name of the deceased.

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Is Burlington a migration friendly city? Port Nelson United Church and the Roseland Community Organization are sponsoring a speakers series on the subject.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

September 3rd, 2019



Most churches have an Outreach program. Some work with under-served groups in the city. Others focus on advocacy of some form.

Port Nelson United Church

Port Nelson United Church – location of a speakers series on migration.

The Port Nelson United Church and the Roseland Community Organization have come together to present their Compassionate Justice Speaker Series, MIGRATION: FROM GLOBAL TO LOCAL. This is obviously a topic of great interest and a conversation that is both relevant and necessary.

Included in the speakers list is the Mayor along with some highly qualified people.  The first event is on the 26th – 7:00 pm.

Details on the events are set out below.

Port Nelson speakers

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City Staff and Council are currently laying the foundation on which whatever Burlington is going to be in the future is being built.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 3, 2019



The City commissioned a Growth Analysis Study to identify an appropriate level of population and employment growth that can be anticipated for the City between now and 2041. The study findings are intended to help inform the growth analysis work being undertaken by Halton Region through the Integrated Growth Management Strategy (IGMS) by providing a finer grain analysis of the growth opportunities within the City of Burlington.

Some of the numbers that are coming out of the reports put the kind of growth the city could be facing in context: an additional 58,321 to 85,863 people and 22,669 to 53,137 jobs between now and full build out.  Full build out is assumed to be post 2041 and represents a conceivable end state where land has been fully optimized.

Assume just two people to a dwelling (and that is quite an assumption) we are looking at between 29 and 42 thousand new dwellings.

That certainly put the 2018 election debate in context.

In 2008, the City undertook an Intensification Study to better understand the intensification opportunities in the City which could accommodate growth to 2031. It was recognized at that time that the City’s supply of Greenfield land was diminishing and a more comprehensive approach to planning for intensification was needed.

Boundaries set out for the Downtown mobility hub.

Boundaries set out for the Downtown mobility hub.

The study focused on key areas within the City’s urban area and included a site by site analysis to identify opportunities for infilling and redevelopment. This study, which laid out a general framework for longer term growth planning in the City, determined a reasonable estimate of residential units, people and jobs, which could be provided through intensification by 2031. The study also concluded that Burlington was expected to exceed the 40% intensification target in the Growth Plan that is applied Region wide.

The study findings were used to inform the growth analysis work that was undertaken by Halton Region through their Sustainable Halton process, which resulted in population and employment growth forecasts to 2031 as well as intensification and density targets for the City and the other municipalities in the Region.

Halton Region’s Official Plan Review and Integrated Growth Management Strategy
Halton Region is currently undertaking a review of their Official Plan, as required by the Planning Act. The Region’s Official Plan Review (ROPR) commenced in April 2014 and is being undertaken in three phases. Phase one was completed in October 2016 with the completion of a Directions Report which identified the key policy areas for review through the ROPR and established a high level work plan to complete the detailed research and policy development to be undertaken in phases two and three of the ROPR.

2041One of the key policy areas identified by the Region is the Integrated Growth Management Strategy (IGMS) which is a growth strategy for the Region to the planning horizon year of 2041 that will incorporate the population and employment forecasts for the Region in accordance with Schedule 3 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The result of the IGMS work will be an updated growth strategy for the Region and its local municipalities which is based on the integration of land use, infrastructure and financial considerations, that conforms to both Provincial and Regional policy directives.

Phase two work on the IGMS began in the spring of 2018 with a kick-off meeting with the local municipalities. Since then, staff have been actively engaged with the Region on the IGMS work through participation on technical committees, attending meetings and workshops as well as providing background data to support the development of the growth scenarios, which were shared with Regional Council on June 19, 2019.

City of Burlington Growth Analysis Study
Recognizing the growth work being undertaken by the Region through the IGMS as a region-wide provincial conformity exercise, City staff saw the opportunity to engage a consultant to undertake growth analysis work at the local level to inform the process at the Region and provide support to City staff and Council in reviewing and providing feedback to the Region on the IGMS work.

Study Process and Work Plan
In the fall of 2018, the City retained Dillon Consulting with support from Watson and Associates to undertake an analysis of the City’s population and employment growth trends to better understand what an appropriate level of population and employment growth might look like for the City between now and 2041. The study findings are intended to inform and support the process being undertaken at the Region by providing a finer grain analysis of growth opportunities in the City and is not intended to supersede the Region’s process. City staff also recognize that components of the growth analysis study could be used or leveraged for other city projects and initiatives.

The project work plan prepared by Dillon and Watson for the growth analysis study included:

• A review of growth related background data;
• A review of the policy context to gain a better understanding of the long-term growth potential for the City;
• Confirmation of the estimated long-term supply of land within the City for residential and non-residential growth;
• An economic, socio-economic and demographic trends analysis which will also include commentary on local factors and economic drivers which are anticipated to influence future residential and non-residential development trends in the City;
• The development of three city-wide population, housing and employment growth forecasts, including the identification of a preferred growth forecast;
• Identifying potential opportunities and challenges associated with the city’s ability to achieve the preferred growth forecast.

A project kick-off meeting was held in the fall of 2018 which included staff from various internal city departments, acting a project steering committee. Various background data related to land use and development was also provided to the consulting team to assist with their review and analysis. In March 2019, a workshop was held with internal city staff which provided the opportunity for the consulting team to share the findings of their analysis and for staff to provide feedback on a draft of the growth analysis study.

Study Purpose & Components
As indicated, the purpose of the Growth Analysis Study is to identify an appropriate level of population and employment growth that the City can anticipate between now and 2041. The study takes into consideration both supply and demand factors while addressing the following key questions:

aerial of Bronte meadows

Bronte Meadows – designated Employment Lands, the owners, Paletta International, have been trying for years to have it zoned residential. It was part of a package of land in the GTA that was offered to Amazon when they were looking for a new HQ.

• How much land supply is there to accommodate future long-term population and employment growth in the City?
• What are some of the recent broader macro-economic and regional growth trends which will influence growth in Burlington?
• What do the City’s recent economic, demographic and real estate trends tell us about future growth potential?
• What is the potential range of population and employment growth that the City can expect between now and 2041 based on available supply and market trends?
• Given the range of potential growth and multiple opportunities for development, what are the phasing considerations for residential and employment growth?

The analysis in this study relies on a number of different sources including components of the City’s adopted Official Plan, Halton Region Official Plan, the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe as well as provincial guidelines (e.g. MTO Transit Supporting Guidelines). Data related to the City’s active development applications and building permits was also relied upon to complete the analysis.

Adopted New Official Plan
The Dillon – Watson study recognizes the direction received by Council to undertake a scoped review of the building heights and densities contained within the adopted new Official Plan. The methodology used in the analysis builds upon the urban structure and intensification opportunities identified through the City’s growth framework in the adopted new Official Plan. However, building height permissions in the adopted new Official Plan were not used in the analysis. As such, any changes that result from the scoped re-examination of the adopted new Official Plan are anticipated to be within the supply scenarios tested.

Mobility hubs

The Mobility Hubs are on a bit of a hold while the Planning department focuses on a number of critical studies that need to be completed before development can get back on track.

Mobility Hub Work
The study also recognizes the work that has been undertaken to date on the Mobility Hubs. For the downtown, the Urban Growth Center boundary and density target established in the Growth Plan were used in the supply analysis, while the population and employment ratios were based on the detailed mobility hub work. Similarly, for the GO Station mobility hubs, two density targets were used in the supply analysis; one reflective of the density target identified in the adopted new Official Plan, while the other reflective of the density target established in the Growth Plan. The population and employment ratios used in the analysis were based on the mobility hub draft precinct plans.

Supply Analysis
A review of the City’s active development applications was completed to inform the analysis of the supply of land available for both residential and non-residential growth. These development applications represent a snap shot in time and reflect development applications ranging from those under review by City staff to those currently under construction.

The supply analysis completed as part of this study helped to understand how much additional growth the City could expect based on current policies and plans. A top-down approach was used to estimate supply by applying a density target (people and jobs/ha) along with population and employment ratios to different areas of the City to identify the full build out potential. However, for some areas of the City which are not anticipated to accommodate much of the new growth, a factor was applied to identify full build out potential.

Full build out is assumed to be post 2041 and represents a conceivable end state where land has been fully optimized.

All this takes place while development work in the downtown core is under a one year freeze that has about five months left before a recommendation comes back from the planners. The Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) was deemed to be necessary when the city found it was overwhelmed with development applications.

Telier + MacDonald

Planner Jamie Tellier and Director of Planning Heather MacDonald during a city council meeting.

Planning Director Heather MacDonald was given the green light to single source the consultants she would use to put together the report. MacDonald has been a planner for at least two decades and she knows all the players in that game. She is firm on the report being in the hands of council within the one year time frame she was given; in our last conversation with MacDonald she made it very clear that meeting the delivery date was paramount – and she doesn’t appear to be one who scrimps on quality.

While the ICBL report is being researched and written the “Adopted Official Plan” is getting a very heavy duty re-write and re-think.

And while that re-write and re-think is taking place there is a group working on plans that attract as much public reaction, response, comment – anything anyone wants to say.

Mayor Meed Ward has made it the thickest of the pillars that hold up her election platform.

She wants to hear – she wants to listen.

The five new City Councillors are in for the hardest assignment they have ever been given. Some are faltering under the work load; some live on this kind of deep policy stuff.

There is a public that depends on the thinking they do and the wisdom they bring to the table.

After a decent summer break – they skipped a July Council meeting – they are now back in the trenches. In seven weeks they will celebrate being elected.

Two of the five (Nisan, Kearns) fought off contenders, one other (Stolte) was a certain winner once it was a clear one on one race with a long term incumbent, the other (Sharman) was an incumbent who won because two women let the vote be split. Another (Bentivegna) won by the slimmest of margins against a candidate who really didn’t run all that much of a campaign. The last newbie (Galbraith) came out on top of a very crowded field.

City council on innauguration Dec 3rd - 2018

Were the right choices made – can the team handle the amount of work they have been given? Time will tell.

We will know in the not too distant future if the right choices were made.

There is no doubt that at the Mayoralty level the right choice was made given what was on offer. Only time will tell if the Mayor lives up to the promise.

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Two days of Standing Committe work to be followed by one of the toughest issues the city has to deal with: intensification.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 3rd, 2019



It will be a very full week.

On Monday, the 9th, Council starts off with a daylong meeting that has 8 consent items on the agenda.

Then details on the Provincial Audit and Accountability Fund, that’s the program that has the province coming in to help (tell?) the city how to run their operation.

Transit movement

Detours that transit buses will take when The Gallery starts demolition and construction opposite city hall.

Concrete truck movement

Cement and dump trucks will come down John Street, slip into the construction site and then leave via James street – passing buses along the way.

The Standing Committee will be discussing Open air burning permit areas, a Stormwater management update, the badly needed Construction and Mobility Management Policy. The city got caught a little short-handed on this one; two projects that are expected to be putting up hoardings in the near future met with ward 2 residents and talked about how they would handle the trucks and the traffic on Brant Street opposite city hall and on Lakeshore at Martha. Both locations are going to be construction sites for the next 30 months – at the same time Lakeshore Road is to undergo some serious upgrades that will close it down for up to 8 weeks.

The Strategic Asset Management Policy is going to be discussed, and Consideration for free transit for students will also get discussed.

Weather - LaSalle Park Marina

The LaSalle Marina just might end up with a very different governance model. Discussion will take place this week. Flooding has been a serious problem.

The Marina governance and operating model will be presented – this item will take place in the evening – at 6:30 pm.


Improvements to the Skyway Arena and community centre are in the works. There was a time when citizens didn’t think they were being heard. They are today. Will they be heard when a decision gets made on the massive development plan yards away from the arena

The New Skyway Community Centre will also be discussed during the evening of September 9th.

On Tuesday the 10th council meets as a Standing Committee – Planning and Development this time.

There will be two Statutory Public Meetings; these are public meetings held to present planning applications in a public forum as required by the Planning Act.

One is a rezoning application for the hydro corridor north of 1801 Walker’s Line which staff is recommending be refused.

The second is for an official plan amendment and rezoning application for 2085 Pine Street
Statutory public meeting and recommendation of refusal of rezoning application for the hydro corridor north of 1801 Walker’s Line (PB-16-19)

Both items will be discussed at 6:30 p.m.

The Heritage Burlington 2017/2018 annual report and 2019 objectives is being treated as a consent item.

pan handle sign 3 BEST

Several Council members liked what was being done in Waynesboro – they want staff to look into some better ideas.

Traffic management strategies will be discussed at the 9:30am meeting along with Relocation of Bingo Connection and Downtown Streetscape Guidelines. Panhandling on streets in the City of Burlington is to be discussed – this matter often brings out emotional responses from those that delegate.

There will be a Staff direction regarding Airbnb’s and then the Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force recommendations.

This item amounts to much more than a discussion about the Task Force the Mayor set up to hear what stakeholders had to say about how efficient city hall was or wasn’t. Buried within the report is the wish of the Mayor to totally revise the way economic development is done in Burlington.

There will be an Amendment to Nuisance and Noise By-law 19-2003 and results from Halton Regional Police Service’s pilot project to stop noisy moving vehicles

Parking lot CArolina and John June 2019

Council didn’t get a chance to opine on the construction of this parking lot at John and Caroline – it just got done. This Council wants greener parking lots.

Green parking lot design guidelines for new parking lot at John and Caroline Streets and future builds. The 2018 – 2022 council has a very green agenda and were upset when the John and Caroline parking lot got opened without any serious consideration to making it a “green” space. Capital Works, the department that oversees and administrates the construction work for the city didn’t see that coming.

Wednesday is an Audit Committee meeting – dry as toast for the most part.

Thursday is a tough one. Members of Council were presented with a 152 page report on what the city is facing in terms of population growth and just where that intensification can or is going to take place.

That will be a special report later in the week.

Related news articles:

Pan handling

Construction site management

Skyway Arena and Community Centre

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Culture days

artsblue 100x100By Staff

September 1st, 2019



The City of Burlington’s public art program has selected seven professional artists and artist teams that submitted proposals for temporary art installations throughout the city. Many of these installations are interactive – those  artists want public participation.

The first of these opportunities is at the Lowville School House on Sept. 5,6, 9 and 10 in Lowville Park. Artist Thomas Sokoloski is looking to record stories about Lowville.

All seven temporary art installations will be unveiled as part of the Burlington’s Culture Days event, later this month on Sept. 27 – 29, 2019. The installations will be exhibited for one-month, running from Sept. 27 – Oct. 25, 2019.

Sharman with Angela Papxx

Angela Paparizo in conversation with Councillor Paul Sharman

Angela Paparizo, Manager of Arts and Culture for the city explains the bigger picture:  “These temporary art installations will be interesting and captivating. Sculptures, stories, treasure hunts, murals and photos will create a sense of intrigue and hopefully encourage people to seek out these installations and start a conversation. Launching at Culture Days is a great way to kick off the weekend as well as the installations’ month-long viewing.”

Her is a list of the Artwork Concepts


Lowville school house – talking walls.

Lowville Park – artist: Thomas Sokoloski
The expression “If these walls could talk…” comes to life with “Listening to the Walls”, a site-specific interactive installation inspired by the memories of the Lowville community. In the tradition of a community ‘barn-raising’, residents are invited to participate in a ‘memory-raising’ to build and structure an oral history about their experiences. Adorning the upper walls of the barn will be photographic portraits of these storytellers, and below them designated areas where the public can listen to walls tell these stories from within.

Sokoloski is looking for people’s stories about the Lowville. He will be at the Lowville School House on Sept. 5, 6, 9 and 10 to record people’s stories. Residents with an interesting story to share, are encouraged to contact Thomas Sokoloski at or call 905-548-0111 to schedule a time.

Pic 1 Spencer Smith Park

Spencer Smith Park – waste management as an art form.

Spencer Smith Park – Artist: Arianna Richardson
Arianna Richardson, performing as The Hobbyist, will create an interactive installation and performance art project called “Garbage Party”. The installation consists of a gigantic, absurdly over-decorated, re-imagined version of waste infrastructure. “Garbage Party” prompts the public to consider their own relationships with waste and recycling, presenting a playful and absurd site in which to engage in conversations about our consumer society and the impact of the waste it generates. From Oct. 22-25 from 1 to 5 p.m. each day,

The Hobbyist will be performing on-site maintenance, collecting and documenting trash in the area, and then conducting a short survey with participants.

Gazebo - new location

The new Gazebo.

Spencer Smith Park – Artist: Troy Lovegates
Troy Lovegates is an internationally prolific street artist who works in a variety of mediums, including murals, screen-printing and woodcarving. For this project, Lovegates will create “Hide and Seek,” a series of folk art wood sculptures that have been hidden throughout Spencer Smith Park. Park visitors are invited to participate in a “scavenger hunt” to find the sculptures and collect a stamp at each location.

Visitors can pick up a map with clues from the birdhouse box located beside the gazebo and start their adventure. The first 100 people to turn in their completed map will receive a special prize!

Brant Hills Community Centre – Artist: Jimmy Limit
Jimmy Limit will create a large-scale photographic mural entitled “Photos from Brant Hills Community Centre.” Inspired by the functions and surroundings of Brant Hills Community Centre, Limit will photograph materials associated with sports, the gym, library and materials found in the natural park surroundings of the community centre. By using the language built around commercial photography and advertising, Limit’s images document unlikely assemblages, which cause the viewer to question the motives of the imagery when placed in the public realm.


Burloak Park is now much more than a concept.

Burloak Park – Artist: Tyler Muzzin
Tyler Muzzin will create a floating sculpture entitled “The Great Dark Wonder”. The sculpture is a 1:2 scale mobile research station floating between the breakwater and the shore of Burloak Waterfront Park. Using cellphones, visitors can listen in on a dialogue between two fictional ornithologists who are eternally confined to the research station by unknown forces.

Muzzin’s installation explores ideas of the “Natural” through the lens of ecocriticism. The installation focuses on the representation of physical environments and the ways in which these environments are depicted and, in turn, consumed by mass culture.

Norton Park - mural

Norton Park, one of the most active in the city already has some permanent public art.

Norton Park – Artist: Lambchop
Lambchop will create a large-scale text installation entitled “Typographic Fencing.” The installation defines space and prompts conversation by creating large-scale text in areas where it is not expected— around the edges of parking lots, near ravines, off divided highways, around a fenced-in playground. These temporary installations are woven out of flagging-tape, a simple, inexpensive material used to mark boundaries. Squares in chain-link or vertical-bar fences become pixels on a screen or canvas, the medium for messages.

The messages are installed anonymously and removed without ceremony. By transforming large-text into large questions, aim to spark a dialogue.

Tansley Woods

Tansley Woods will be getting a “sound” treatment.

Tansley Woods Community Centre – Artist: Kristina Bradt
Kristina Bradt will create “Intersection,” a soundscape projection installed in the lobby of the Tansley Woods Community Centre. Bradt visited the facility at different times throughout the season to collect sound using a field recorder. By capturing the sounds of the activities, events and people that move through the space, Bradt captured that which often goes unnoticed.

Bradt then uses these recordings to create a large-scale floor projection that features bright, abstracted imagery that has a contemporary feel and brings a sense of wonder and curiosity directly inspired by the energy and livelihood of those who inhabit the space. What you see is the artists’ interpretation of the sound data, turned visual art.


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School Zones Should Be Safe Zones - Regional police will be out in force to ensure that you do your part.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 2, 2019



Child getting off school bus

She just can’t wait to get to her classroom – she may not have learned to look both ways.

They are back in school.

Which means paying more attention to the way we drive and watching for the kids who are not as cautious as they should be.

The Halton Regional Police have begun their School Zones Should Be Safe Zones program.

The Halton Regional Police Service is out in force with their Project Safe Start.

This will be the 12th year the Service has conducted their homegrown campaign, which focuses on education, awareness and high-visibility enforcement of traffic laws throughout Halton Region, particularly in and around school zones.

Police with radasr guns at Alton two officers

Police officers with hand held radar devices catching drivers speeding right outside a high school.

This annual campaign is two weeks long and focuses on the period during which children are returning to school. This year’s campaign will run between Monday, August 26 and Friday, September 6, 2019.

School zones should be safe zones. Officers are reminding motorists that over 100,000 students return to school in Halton Region on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Motorists should be on heightened alert for increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic in and around school zones.

It is important to remember driving safely is your priority:

Drive at a safe speed. Aggressive driving such as speeding, tailgating and failing to comply with road signs increase the likelihood of a collision. Aggressive driving reduces your reaction time and makes your vehicle movements unpredictable to other drivers.

Be aware of your surroundings when driving. There are three types of distractions: taking your eyes off the road, taking your hands off the wheel, and taking your mind off driving. Holding your cellular phone in your hands is an offence, regardless of whether you are talking on it, using the navigation system or changing a song. This is still applicable when stopped at a red light. Did you know that texting while driving increases the risk of a collision by 23 times?

Drive responsibly. Drug-impaired driving and alcohol-impaired driving can result in serious injury or death to you, your loved ones and other road users. Impairment slows your ability to react to changing road conditions. Drinking before driving and any form of drug use will impact your ability to drive.

Halton residents have ranked traffic concerns as their #1 policing priority. Project Safe Start is just one of the campaigns that the Halton Regional Police Service engages in throughout the year in an effort to educate the public and enforce the Highway Traffic Act and other traffic-related legislation.

Sergeant Ryan Snow, Traffic Services Unit: “All motorists have a role to play in traffic safety, especially as children return to class this fall at one of the over 160 educational facilities across Halton Region. Project Safe Start aims to ensure that our youngest and most vulnerable road users remain safe. The Halton Regional Police Service would like to encourage motorists to slow down, drive sober and avoid using their cell phone and other devices at all times while driving. Regardless of who is at fault, when a vehicle collides with a pedestrian or cyclist, the consequences are usually tragic. All children deserve to attend school – safely.”

Pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and police all play an integral role in ensuring safer roads within Halton Region. We thank the community for doing their part to ensure school zones are a safe place to be.

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They are sent out by the tens of thousands - if you don't recognize the address - ignore them.

Crime 100By Staff

September 1st, 2019



Scamming people is a full time job for some people.

They never let up.

You can defeat them by just paying attention.

You don’t cross the street without looking both ways or making sure the light is green – unless of course you’ve glued your eyes to the cell phone.

The cardinal rule is – If in doubt – don’t.

All one had to do with this scam on those who have Pay Pal accounts is to look at the address it came from – that is not a Pay Pal address.

Pay pal blocked scam

This would have been sent to tens of thousands of people whose names were bought from some ‘black’ source then used to attempt to trick you. Look at the email address the notice came from set out below – that isn’t Pay Pal.

Pay Pal part 2

Always look at the address the email came from. If you don’t recognize it – don’t open the email.

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No appealing for a break at the parking ticket office - door will be closed.

notices100x100By Staff

August 30th, 2019


The parking ticket appeals office located on the first floor of City Hall at 426 Brant St. will be closed on the following dates:

• Tuesday, Sept. 3 – closed between 1 and 4 p.m.

• Wednesday, Sept. 4 – closed between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

• Friday, Sept. 6 – closed between 2 and 4 p.m.

Outside of these closure times, the parking ticket appeals office is open Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Is this shift the first step to limiting the time this office will be open?

Is this not a service that could be made available to the public in the evenings?


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Cellphone Restriction in Classrooms to Take Effect this Year

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 29th, 2019



The question that comes to mind is – what took so long?

Ontario’s Minister of Education announced plans to move forward with restricting the use of cellphones and other personal mobile devices in classrooms beginning November 4, 2019.

student on cell phoneThe restriction applies to instructional time at school, however, exceptions will be made if cellphones are required for health and medical purposes, to support special education needs, or for educational purposes as directed by an educator.

During the consultation on education reform in fall 2018, 97 per cent of parents, students and teachers who participated said that cellphone use should be restricted in some way.

In response to this feedback, the Provincial Code of Conduct has been updated to include this restriction. It sets clear standards of behaviour and requires that all school boards ensure their own codes of conduct are up to date and consistent with requirements.

“When in class, students should be focused on their studies, not their social media,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “That’s why we are restricting cellphones and other personal mobile devices in the classroom, while making sure technology is available to help students achieve success in the digital economy and modern workforce.”


To ensure that parents and guardians are clear on the new guidelines, including the exceptions, the following resources are available:

• Parents’ Guide to the Provincial Code of Conduct

• Cellphones and Other Personal Mobile Devices in Schools – Questions and Answers for Parents and Guardians.

In our travels as journalists we have, on far too many occasions, watched students chit chat with each other during a classroom presentation.

There are occasions when a cell phone is a useful tool and should be permitted in a classroom.

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Nelson Quarry application for an additional license to be made in November; public meetings on the site in October.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

August 29th, 2019


Exclusive to the Burlington Gazette.  Part 3 of a 3 part series.

Is the park that Nelson Aggregates wants to create a city park or a Regional Park and if it is a Regional Park should it be administered by the Conservation Authority or the city of Burlington?

Haasaam Basit Conservation Halton

Hassaan Basit, Chief Administrative Officer Conservation Halton

Hassaan Basit, Chief Administrative Officer of Conservation Halton, said he has not been approached by Nelson Aggregates but that his organization is already administering several large recreational attractions that include Eden Glen, the skiing facility that gets thousands of paying visitors every year as well as the Mountsberg facility that is a very popular destination for people across the province.

If a lake were created in the former quarry sites it would draw large crowds because the water would not be as cold as the waters of Lake Ontario.

There are three phases to the creation of parkland with four distinct transfers of property from Nelson Aggregates to public ownership over a period of about 30 years with the first piece of land being transferred immediately.

3 holdings

The lands that Nelson Aggregates is either quarrying or wants to quarry.

The land, 946 acres in total, would be transferred in several phases. The first will be the 119 acres in the eastern side of the property south of #2 Side Road. This is property where the Jefferson Salamander has habitat and cannot be mined. Nelson has already done remediation work to make it more habitable for the Salamander and expects to do more before any transfer takes place.

Nelson said they would turn over 119 acres immediately, then turn over an additional 77 acres in +/- ten years, then 144 acres from the quarry that is nearing its end of life and finally 606 acres in 30 years when the golf course property meets its end of life

While the quarry people are not tourism or destination experts they do point out to some terrific potential if one includes Mt Nemo in the mix. The walk up the Mt Nemo trail to the edge of Mt Nemo where you look out over a vast piece of land and on good days you can see the CN Tower, which the Nelson Aggregate people will quickly tell you it was made of aggregate quarried by Nelson.

When Nelson Aggregates made an application to quarry land they had purchased south of the quarry lands they were denied the permit they wanted.

At that time the community was adamant about not wanting any more trucks on the road and no more of what they argued was damage to the environment.

They did their homework and presented an argument that the three member Joint Administrative Review Tribunal panel bought – no license.

Nelson aggregates then did their homework and looked for ways to be able to overcome the issues the tribunal believed were significant enough to not permit another license.

They have looked at the land where the Jefferson Salamander was known to inhabit and learned that the creature does not live in the western section of the south property.

8 avoid and enhance the Jefferson area

The lands where the Jefferson salamander are known to live are to be protected when the southern property is quarried.

Nelson has done a number of enhancements that made the property more environmentally suitable for salamanders which will make it possible for Nelson to argue that the western part of the southern lot is not a natural habitat for the salamander and point out that there are none there at this point in time.

Nelson will be pointing to Regional, municipal and Niagara Escarpment policy and regulations that not only permit aggregate mining but encourage it.

In 2004 through to 2012 the rural community fought hard, spent a lot of money they didn’t have and energized a community that convinced the politicians in office at the time that a new quarry was not a good idea.

Rural Burlington has been threatened on more than one occasion. There was a point in recent memory when it looked like the province was going to ram a highway through the community starting at somewhere near Kilbride and have it link to Hwy 407 and QEW.

Once again, the community came out in force and the government in office at the time backed away from the idea.

Trucks taking away

Trucks move in and out of the pit every day.

Mining aggregate is a profitable business and the Nelson lands have high quality stone that is very much in demand. The location is also very close to highways needed to move the product.

During the first public meeting on the new quarry question Roger Goulet told the crowd that filled the room at the Conservation Authority that PERL was not likely to be revived to take on this latest battle to prevent the zoning changes that are needed.

“You are going to have to find the leadership you need within the community, then do your homework, go over all the studies the company has to file and find in those studies the issue you need to stop the development.”

Goulet was one of the PERL people who put in eight years battling the quarry people.

Lowville Regulars - Rickli +

Walt Rickli on the left.

Walt Rickli, a vocal advocate for the Lowville community suggested that it might be time to re-think the way rural Burlington gets used by the larger public. He came close to being booed by some people in the audience.
Nelson believes they meet all the policy requirements and the existing regulations and that they have done what needed to be done to ensure that a species, the Jefferson salamander, is not put at risk.

It is going to come down to how strong the community response is, whether or not the ward Councillor is ready to lead that battle and if the community can raise the funds needed to hire the professionals that will take their arguments forward to whatever hearing is held.

This is the very early stage – the application has yet to be filed with the Regional government, the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the City of Burlington. The community can’t do much in the way of reacting until they see what Nelson Aggregates has to say in their application.

They point to the decommission note attached to their license and believe that they are more than meeting that requirement.

rehab note

A note that is part of the license issued to Nelson Aggregates.

They are not sitting idle. Nelson has had people talking to anyone they can get in front of and have an impressive presentation that they are showing to various stakeholders.

They have planned several public tours of the site during October and have hired public relations firms with experience in managing situations where there is community dissent and digging the support there is and making sure that support is heard.

As one drives along # 2 Side Road it becomes quickly evident that the road will have to be made quite a bit wider if it is to handle the traffic should it become a public site.

Part 1 of a 3 part series
Part 2 of a 3 part series.

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Rivers: economist in him wants road tolls; he is looking for a politician to lead that charge..

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

August 29th, 2019



There is only one way to describe the experience of driving back from northern Ontario on a long Ontario weekend.

Overwhelming traffic and grid lock! Much like the rest of the free highways around the province, and the GTA in particular most days.

HOT lanes

Pay a fee and you can ride in that left hand lane.

So the economist in me wants to cry out road tolls. That’s right. Not only would the cost of tolls ration demand, but the tolls would also raise much needed cash for governments all drowning in deficit financing. That does mean that rich folks could afford to take the highway more often than the poor – and unless there are reasonable options to driving that will get the equity folks all upset.

In fact everyone seems to get upset. Nobody likes toll roads, even if, like the 407, they are relatively painless – get a transponder and the cost goes on your monthly visa bill. And talk about success, that highway is now worth over $30 billion, ten times the value Mike Harris got for it twenty years ago.

When Toronto’s city council wanted to impose some road tolls to help with city finances the Liberal provincial government feared a public backlash in the upcoming election, so nixed it. As it turns out that would hardly have hurt them in their election fortunes.

weekend traffic

Weekend traffic

In fact only the Green Party has had the courage to advocate road tolls. The other parties would no more dare to promise tolls, than they would photo radar or another long gun registry. The Wynne Liberals did, however, initiate tolls for driver-only cars using high occupancy lanes (HOV) – thus making them high occupancy or toll (HOT) lanes.

So what are our federal politicians promising to do about cars and congestion as we head to the polls in October to vote for them? The Harper Conservatives had launched a national multi-government infrastructure program as the centre piece of their effort to pull Canada out of the 2008 recession. That effort has been criticized for leaving too much money on the table – more ‘much-ado’ than actually ‘doing’.

As part of their 2015 election campaign the Trudeau Liberals had promised a massive nearly $200 billion, 10 year infrastructure program – increasing Canada’s infrastructure by roughly 20%. But like the Tories before them, they have found it difficult to spend as planned. The money needs to be initiated through application from the responsible jurisdictions and that takes two or more to tango.

One might recall the squabble between the Premier and the PM over the Bombardier transit car layoffs in Thunder Bay. It turns out that Mr. Ford had dropped the ball and failed to apply for the infrastructure money which might have kept the company and its employees working.

construction workers

Tolls would pay for infrastructure – which would create jobs.

Infrastructure investment is credited with creating over 547,000 jobs in 2017 alone. And job creation was the primary motivation behind the Liberal infrastructure program. Though fewer jobs were actually created than planned, it all helped move Canada to a four decade low rate of unemployment, and away from impending recession as Trudeau came to power.

Roads are high on the list for funding, getting almost a quarter of all that infrastructure money. Of course we can all see that money at work as we navigate our way through construction season. But you don’t have to be in a corn field in Iowa to know that if you build it they will come – no sooner do we finish a new road then it is congested with cars again.

There are an ever increasing number of trucks on the road and some of the blame goes to the wasteful industrial practice of just-in-time parts delivery, where trucks essentially become warehouses on wheels. Then there is the new trend of on-line shopping with free truck delivery to your door.

Bernier immigrant sign

No immigration – no traffic congestion.

And where do all the cars come from? On going urban sprawl necessitates car ownership and private vehicle commuting. Maxime Bernier would blame congestion on too much immigration. But nobody is listening to him, preferring to label him and his party as racists and keeping that party at the bottom of the polls.

Between 2011 and 2016, almost 30 per cent of immigrants to this country, some 356,930 people, settled in the Toronto census area. Even if only one in four acquired and drives a car that is still almost a hundred thousand cars we’ve added to Toronto area roads during those Harper/Trudeau years.

Elections are a perfect time for trying out new ideas. Kathleen Wynne promised to build some long needed high speed rail in southern Ontario had she won the last election. It is not clear how many drivers would have left their cars at home and shaved a four-plus-hour commute in rush hour down to 73 minutes – but at least they would have been given the option.

The federal government has played a huge role in facilitating the development of transportation in this country, the railways and highways and even pipelines. Isn’t it time for one of the political leaders to come out swinging with a better idea about resolving our road congestion?

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

National Infrastructure –    More Infrastructure –    Even More Infrastructure –    Free Highways

Canadian Immigration –    Toronto Immigration –    High Speed Rail

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Regional police finally arrest a suspect after chasing, laying out out a tire deflation device - then using K9 to arrest suspect hiding in bushes.

Crime 100By Staff,

August 28th, 2019



After a chase by police, and several attempts at stealing another vehicle didn’t work, the police found their suspect hiding in some bushes.  Fabulous police work.

HRPS crestJust before noon yesterday the Regional police attempted to stop a vehicle whose driver they believed was wanted for several Criminal Code offences. The suspect fled and a brief pursuit was initiated in the area of Queensway Drive in Burlington. Due to the dangerous manner in which the driver was operating the vehicle, the pursuit was terminated by police.

The vehicle was observed again by police in the area of Harvester Road and South Service Road in Burlington. A tire deflation device was deployed, however the driver was able to evade it.

A short time later, the suspect attended a car dealership and attempted to rob an employee of his personal vehicle. This attempt was not successful and the suspect fled in his vehicle once again. The suspect drove the wrong direction onto the Queen Elizabeth Way exit ramp at Walkers Line, and was involved in a minor collision.

The suspect fled the scene of the collision on foot and attended a nearby hotel. The suspect approached an employee of the hotel and demanded their personal vehicle keys. After obtaining the keys, the suspect again fled the scene on foot.
K9 and uniform officers searched the area and after a lengthy track, located the suspect concealed in a bushed area.

Nathan Howes (29) of Brantford is charged with:
-Flight From Police
-Dangerous Operation
-Fail to Comply with Recognizance (x3)
-Robbery (x2)
-Failure to Stop After Accident

Howes was held in custody pending a bail hearing on August 28, 2019 in Milton.

This is the stuff of television shows.

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HDSB Director of Education is still a little short of cash but did get more than last year - he also got 800 more students.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 28, 2019



The start of a new school year has parents busy getting their children ready, getting the clothing and supplies that are needed and wondering what their children are going to learn in the school year ahead.

While parents ready the family, the school board administrators ready the schools, classrooms and teaching staff in a climate where the provincial funding is at times ‘iffy’.

Miller with students Mar 7-17

Stuart Miller, talking to students during the difficult days when high schools were being closed.

Stuart Miller, Director of the Halton District School Board, has worked through several months of dealing with the Ministry of Education and is still waiting for approval to send the plans for an addition to Nelson High School to take in the students who will leave Bateman High School when it closes.

“The design has been approved, the funding has been approved but we don’t yet have permission to issue the tender”, said Miller.

“I’m not sure I am going to have classrooms ready in time.”

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

Bateman high school may be kept open a little longer than expected – forever? Not likely.

Keeping students at Bateman for a little longer isn’t going to hurt anyone – there are some that might see it as a sign that perhaps the move will never be required.

Funds aren’t flowing the way they have in the past added Miller. The HDSB did get an additional $1.5 million but they also got an additional 800 + students this year; the final number will be known when the doors open next week.  This increase would translate to over an additional $20 M in costs.

The HDSB has always felt it was getting the short end of the financial stick from the province.

The new school being built in Oakville might be ready but Miller won’t guarantee that all the paint will be dry when the doors open.

Blackwell and Miller at itsem Nov 2018

Superintendent Terri Blackwell with Director of Education Stuart Miller the day that hundreds of parents showed up to register their children in the iStem program at Aldershot high school.

Miller will be at Aldershot High School next Wednesday to formally welcome the first iStem students to the facilities that have been built for a different approach to high school educations.  The Board spent about 1.4 M on upgrades to Aldershot.

iStem was one of the positive things that came out of the Program Administrative Review (PAR) that saw Lester B. Pearson and Bateman High School closed – which amounted to two out of the seven high schools in the city.

Proteau at desk

Claire Proteau in her office – where she is open and engaging with her students.

The merging of the Pearson students into M. M. Robinson went exceptionally well due in no small measure to the superb direction from MMR principal Claire Proteau and the decision to move the Pearson vice principal into MMR.  Cost of  transitions/moving LBP to MMR – about $175,000.

The HDSB trustees are going to have to grapple with losing $6.8M from a funding source called Local Priorities. This money was not in the budget for this year( it was provincial funding from last year).

All the union contracts come up for renewal this year.  Miller feels confident that there won’t be any impossible situations at the local level – what happens at the provincial level is something he wouldn’t even hazard a guess at.

The International Baccalaureate program that was moved from Bateman to Central takes root this year with pre-grade 9 and a pre-grade 10 offering.  Miller expects about 100 students to register at Central for the program.  He expects about 600 to register at White Oaks high school for the program there.

With streets crowded with students come Tuesday,  let’s hope the the police crack down on irresponsible drivers will have an impact so we can have a traffic accident free week.



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Pin ball machines will be operational at the Brant Museum on October 6th.

eventsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 28th, 2019



We now know when the first SPECIAL EXHIBITION will take place at the transformed Brant Museum.  PART OF THE MACHINE: ROCK AND PINBALL begins October 6 through to January 12.

It is these special events that are expected to pay the freight for the operation of the transformed facility. The million and a bit that the city is pumping into the space will only go so far.

pin ball machines

Fun galore on dozens of pin ball machines that will be free to use.

Before the pinball machines get plugged in there will be an opening of the Museum for the public on September 15th – noon to 4:00 pm with no entry fee.

We have no word on what the entry fee  for the Museum is going to be on a day to day basis nor do we have a schedule on what the Museum hours of operation will be.

An observant Gazette reader advises us that:

General admission is:
$10.00 ADULT
$6.00 CHILD
3-12 years

Under 3 years

Up to 2 adults/seniors and up to 4 children


And that the hours of operation are:

Mon / Closed
Tues / 10:00am-4:00pm
Wed / 10:00am-4:00pm
Thurs / 10:00am-7:00pm
Fri / 10:00am-4:00pm
Sat / 12:00pm-4:00pm
Sun / 12:00pm-4:00pm

We do know that the new Executive Director or is it Director, different titles are coming out from the museum media people, will take the helm on September 9th.  Kimberly Anne Watson was named to the position effective September 9th

The first special exhibition in the Showcase Gallery at the Joseph Brant Museum, is being billed as the Canadian premiere of Part of the Machine: Rock & Pinball from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

The interactive exhibition features rock-themed, playable pinball machines alongside merchandise and artifacts related to artists and bands.

COST: Included with regular Museum admission. What isn’t made clear is whether or not pinball machine players have to come with pockets full of Loonies or Toonies.

Not much in the way of history about a pin ball machine – but it could be fun.

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What is Nelson Aggregates offering and what is the public getting? At first blush it looks like a good deal; going to be a tough sell to the rural people.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

August 27th, 2019


Exclusive to the Burlington Gazette. Part 2 of a 3 part series.

Nelson Aggregates is quarrying a site between Colling Road and #2 Side Road, west of Guelph Line. They have been doing that for several decades.

In 2004 they applied for a permit to quarry south of the property they were working on and, after a long arduous battle, the issue went to a Joint Administrative Review Tribunal where a three member panel found for the citizens.

He isn't exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

He isn’t exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

The Tribunal took the position that any work done on the site south of the property they were working on would endanger the Jefferson Salamander.

Nelson Aggregate was stunned at the decision; it was close to the last thing they expected.

The decision meant a major change in their plans and at the time the laying off of a number of employees.

Almost from the day the decision was handed down Nelson Aggregates pulled a team together to review and understand just what their problem was and what they could do about it.

Trucks taking away

Truck traffic is one of the downsides of any increase in mining capacity. It is a problem and it has to be dealt with – creatively.


The market for quality aggregate was strong and looked to become even stronger. The Nelson site on Colling Road has some of the best stone in the province; that and its location make it a site that Nelson wants to keep in production for as long as possible.

After a considerable amount of research the company learned that the Jefferson Salamander had habitats on the eastern side of the south property but nothing on the western side of the site.

Burlington Springs Golf

Burlington Springs Golf Club: Several years of golf left in the place.

Corporately they also decided to seek a license for an even larger site – the Burlington Springs Golf Club.
The company, wholly owned by Lafarge, knew that the properties they wanted to quarry met both the Regional and City of Burlington bylaws and complied with Niagara Escarpment regulations.

Burlington adopted an Official Plan in 2018 which the Regional government sent back for some minor changes but told the city that they were not limited to correcting just a few minor problems – they were free to totally revise their Official Plan if they wished.

Nelson believes they are in compliance with the Official Plan that is in force now and that they will be in compliance with the adopted plan when it is made official.

Public opinion is going to be a major factor in this new application. The company decided they would make the city an offer they believed couldn’t be refused – give them all the land once the quarry work was done in about 30 years which many saw as a “pig in a poke”.

8 avoid and enhance the Jefferson area

The yellow outline is the part of the property that will be quarried. The red outline is where the Jefferson Salamander does his thing – Nelson has already done considerable enhancement work to that part of the property.

The land, 946 acres in total, would be transferred in several phases. The first will be the 119 acres in the eastern side of the property south of #2 Side Road. This is property where the Jefferson Salamander has habitat and cannot be mined. Nelson has already done remediation work to make it more habitable for the Salamander and expect to do more before any transfer takes place.

The most recent statement from Nelson Aggregates is that the land would be transferred the day all the necessary bylaws and agreements are in place.

Nelson said they would turn over 119 acres immediately, then turn over an additional 77 acres in +/- ten years, then 144 acres from the quarry that is nearing its end of life and finally 606 acres in 30 years when the golf course property meets its end of life

The deal is that the city would have a site that did have some Salamander habitat on it but that those would be clearly identified; there would still be space the public could use. That would happen the day the bylaws were signed.

14 phase - the lake

It will become a lake when the quarrying is done – in about seven to ten years. The lake will be the size of 30 football fields with a surface slope that has space for those who just want to play in the water.

The next piece of the pie would become available in about seven to ten years and that would be a lake about the size of 30 football fields (77 acres) that would be crafted while the quarrying was being done. There would be a large beach area at the north end, then a shallow water level that became a deep end at the southern part.

The next phase would be when the current quarrying is done at the site now in operation – an additional 114 acres would be given to the public.

The last piece would be the 606 acres that are currently golf course land.

3 holdings

These are the Nelson holdings. The property in the center, outlined in blue is where current quarrying is taking place. The property at the bottom, outlined in green is owned by Nelson. The largest part will be set aside for the Jefferson Salamander, the part in red is where quarrying will take place and when mined out will be turned into a large lake. The property to the left is golf course land on which Nelson has an option.

Those who don’t want any more quarrying argue that the company has to leave the site in a pre-determined condition. True – the company argues that they are adding far more value to the property they are turning over to the city when the deal is signed than called for in their license.


They point out, as well, that they are complying with the decommissioning of the site as set out in the license.

Many people are not aware that an aggregate licensing agreement does not have a time limit. With the license in hand the company can mine for aggregate as long as they believe there is stone to be had. Every license has a decommissioning requirement that Nelson shares willingly and are constantly complying with.

During our tour of the site we saw numerous examples of rehabilitation work that had been done and was being done.

Wheel wash

Washing station – mandatory for every truck that leaves the site.

We saw a “truck wash” that every vehicle leaving the site was required to drive through to get mud off the wheels and undercarriages of the trucks.

We also saw an unmarked police cruiser parked on the Nelson property in place to look closely at any truck they felt might not meet the road safety standards.

Is what Nelson offering a good deal for the public? It could be.

It is certainly a good deal for Nelson – and after all that is the business they are in and there is a need for quality aggregate.

Is there more than could be done? It would be great if Nelson could find people with open minds and little in the way of vested interests who have a sense of vision and a lot of imagination to sit as an Advisory committee who may not have any clout other than the ability to go public when they have concerns over the direction Nelson is taking.

Rory Aug 8 meet

Rory Nisan, the ward Councillor is going to have his hands full placating the rural residents and at the same time looking for the bigger picture where rural Burlington can become a destination for everyone – not something the residents want to hear.

There is a phrase in the lexicon – social license – the degree to which a society will allow change and the degree to which commercial interests will set aside the need for an immediate return on the assets they have so that something bigger and better can be created.

The idea for a Mt Nemo Park is excellent – but there is a lot of work to make it happen and everyone is going to have to adapt.

Part 1 of a 3 part series.

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Parking appeals office closed for two days - will open on Friday.

notices100x100By Staff

August 27th, 2019



Parking - municipal cash grab

Sometimes you actually get a break at the Appeals Office.

The Parking Ticket Appeals Office Closed Aug. 28 and 29

The parking ticket appeals office located on the first floor of City Hall at 426 Brant St. will be closed on Wednesday, Aug. 28 and Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.

The office will re-open on Friday, Aug. 30 at 9 a.m.

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