A Look at some of the ideas that were put together as the consultants tried to figure out what the public wanted.

By Pepper Parr

March 31st, 2022


There is a consulting group that operates under the name of The Planning Partnership.

Thy were hired by the city to take part in the study of the Waterfront Hotel site that everyone knew was going to be developed at some point.

The city began this work in 2015 when staffer Jodi Wellings was tasked with putting together some of the early thinking.

At that time the plan was to have whatever was built om the site face west and give a view of the Naval Promenade.

Among the decisions that came out of the early part of the study was the agreement that there would be a detailed study that the develop would par for but that the city would control.

The Waterfront Study got put on hold in 2018 because the Interim Control Bylaw that had been imposed and the issues related to the re-writing of the new Official Plan – call it the Meed Ward version for clarity – were taking up most of the capacity at city hall.  The deep thinking planners appear to have concluded that they had all kinds of time and that the developer would wait until the study was completed..

That decision has resulted in the developer deciding to proceed on his own with a development application that stunned a lot of people when it was first released.

The city should have seen that coming. Darko Vranich is a very strategic thinker – he saw an opportunity and went for it.

The Planning Partnership released their final report (240 pages plus) and offered their Preferred Concept that will get xxx

While holding the many public engagement events all kinds of ideas came to the surface and were set out in different reports.

Set out below are some of the drawings that reflected what kind of thinking was being done.

Then there was a couple of truly brutal designs.


Another that looked something like the stretch of building built on the south side of the Gardner Expressway in Toronto almost  obliterating any view of the lake


Are their options for the city to get out of a situation they created by not staying on top of a critical file ?  There was a point where the city did not have a planner assigned to the file.

We have an interesting month ahead of us.

Related news stories:

The man behind the development plans

Plan B has made a difference – have they gone far enough>

Return to the Front page

Here is what the consultants working for the city suggest as the preferred concept. Can we do better than this?

By Pepper Parr

March 31st, 2022



All kinds of activity on the waterfront.

The Waterfront Hotel Planning Study released their Preferred Concept for the site.

The city Planning department has announced that they are not approving the application that was submitted to the city.

Their report will be covered in a separate article.

Right now we want to show you want that Waterfront Study concept looks like.

In this concept the city did manage to get a 20 metre strip of land to add to Spencer Smith Park.


The structures as rendered are pretty brutal looking.

Return to the Front page

Arrest Made After Two Attempted Robberies in Burlington

By Staff

March 31st, 2022



The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has made an arrest in relation to two attempted robberies that occurred in Burlington.

On March 30, 2022, at approximately 9:30 am, a female suspect attended the drive-thru of the Wendy’s located at 2387 Fairview Street in Burlington. The suspect demanded cash from an employee and indicated she had a gun. No gun was observed. The suspect drove away from the scene without receiving any funds.

At approximately 10:00 am the same day, the suspect attended Spry Convenience located at 2164 Mountain Grove Avenue in Burlington. She approached an employee inside the store and demanded cash. The suspect again indicated she had a gun, although no gun was observed. The suspect left the store a short time later without receiving any funds.

In both incidents, the suspect was observed to be driving a 2022 Dodge Ram pickup truck which had been reported stolen from Hamilton earlier in the day.

No physical injuries were sustained as a result of either attempted robbery.

As a result of the investigation, officers were able to identify the suspect. She was arrested in Toronto shortly after 1:00 pm. The stolen vehicle was also recovered in Toronto.

Sophia Voortman (19) of Hamilton has been charged with:

  • Robbery (2 counts)
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime
  • Theft Under $5000
  • Fail to Comply with Release Order (2 counts)

Voortman has been held in custody pending a bail hearing.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4777 ext. 2316.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.


Return to the Front page

Public school board wants to hear from all of you. Topics for feedback include learning and instruction, safety and well-being and school environment.

By Staff

March 31st, 2022



The Halton District School Board is inviting students, parents/guardians and staff to participate in the online engagement survey Have Your Say from March 28 to April 21, 2022. Topics for feedback include learning and instruction, safety and well-being and school environment.

The survey is open from March 28 to April 21, 2022 and can be found HERE.

The information gathered from the Have Your Say survey will help the Board continue to create a positive environment, inform School Improvement and Well-Being Plans and allow parents/guardians and students to have a voice in creating a supportive community in HDSB schools. The survey will provide the Board with feedback regarding the goals and targets in the HDSB’s Multi-Year Plan 2020-2024. The Board will share a summary of the information collected with stakeholders in Fall 2022.

Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

“As partners in education, your input is valued and appreciated,” says Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. ”The Board is committed to fostering an inclusive environment and building relationships to continually improve the educational experience for all students. Engaging students, parents/guardians and staff is critical to student success, which is why we’re inviting you to complete this online survey. With your feedback, we can help guide meaningful change to improve student learning, well-being and success.”

The Have Your Say surveys will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. The surveys are confidential, with individual responses grouped together for analysis. For parents/guardians, the survey is available in seven additional languages: Arabic, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Urdu. Respondents will select their preferred language when they begin the survey.

Additional information, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), can be found at haveyoursay.hdsb.ca or by emailing haveyoursay@hdsb.ca.

Return to the Front page

Galbraith will run for ward 1 again - has he earned the opportunity to be returned ?

By Pepper Parr

March 30th, 2022



The pandemic certainly cut into meeting with people.

It wasn’t until I was part way through an interview with Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith that he mentioned he is never in city hall unless he is chair of the Standing Committee. Other than that he works from home.  The suggestion was that he might be able to sublet the space he has at city hall.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith during a Standing Committee meeting.

While Galbraith isn’t in the office all that much he is certainly busy enough with the development activity in his ward – which he now refers to as Ward 1 and not Aldershot – the Tyandaga people don’t like that name and the Maple people would rather be part of ward 2 – so for Galbraith – using the description ward 1 makes life a little less contentious.

I started out by asking Galbraith why he ran for office and how much of what he said he would do has actually been done. I followed that up by asking if he is running got another term.  He is.

He ran for office because he wasn’t happy with the kind of development that was taking place in the community.  He wanted to see more variation in the commercial space that was going to be in the ground floor of the developments popping up on Plains Road.

It took Galbraith some time to find a place in the community to meet with constituents. The Peach Cafe is where he is most comfortable.

He wanted space that had the duct work needed for restaurants in place and he wanted to see a larger variety of commercial operations.  The ward doesn’t have the supermarket choices he thinks the community needs.

The changes coming to Plains Road in the summer are significant and mark a distinct change that Galbraith thinks will get people out with their bikes.

The disappointing part of getting people on bikes is that Galbraith drives a gas guzzling pickup back and forth to city hall.  Optics on that one aren’t good.

Mayor Meed Ward and ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith are the co-chairs of the Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force.

There was a point during this first term where Galbraith appeared to be almost joined at the hip to Mayor Meed Ward; some felt that he should be a little more independent.  Galbraith points out that he has voted differently than the Mayor on a lot of the motions.  When Mayor Meed Ward drafted Galbraith the the Red Tape Red Carpet Task  Task Force she said she needed someone who understood what the commercial and development people were having problems with.

Kelvin is often uncomfortable with the pace at which business gets done at Council meetings.  He is a much more get on with it kind of guy – talking just so he can hear himself isn’t his style.

Galbraith made the point that many people think all the development is taking place in ward 2 – in the downtown core.  He passed along a list of the development applications taking place in his ward and suggests he might have at least as many.

Pending Applications

Amendment Applications

Applications in Other Stages of Development

1085 Clearview Ave.

1157-1171 North Shore Blvd

1371975 Ontario Inc. (Markay Homes) – 1167 Bellview Cres.

Adi Development Group – 101 Masonry Crt

Aldershot Properties Inc. – 35 Plains Rd

Fellowship Canadian Reformed Church – 1350 Waterdown Rd

Markay Homes – 1159 Bellview Crescent

National Homes (Brant) Inc. – 2100 Brant St

Urban Solutions – 539 King Forest Court

Where Galbraith differs from ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns is the way he interacts with his constituents.  He hasn’t held a meeting for the past two years – saying that Covid19 didn’t make meetings possible.  Kearns found a way to hold both live meetings that were also virtual.  It worked quite well.

Kelvin Galbraith talks to constituents in a coffee shop. He has yet to hold a community wide meeting that is live.

In terms of his retail politicking – Galbraith has some distance to go.  He is approachable – but you have to approach him.  He is not a glad handler.

His focus is business and he is very much in tune with the development community pointing to several developments where he believes he solved a lot pf problems that were created by community involvement.

National Homes Development on Brant – sold out in weeks.

The 2100 Brant National Homes development that is now underway was a mess.  Getting it through the various community development and  Statutory meeting stages was a challenge.

Galbraith now finds that the problems are with the city engineering department and other departments.

What surprised Galbraith was that National Homes, the 2100 Brant developers, tore down the sales office that was set up on the site.  All the homes were sold in a two week period – which points to just how significant the demand for housing is in the city.  Galbraith can’t get them approved and at the shovels in the ground fast enough.

Part two: What Galbraith wants to achieve in a second term if he is returned to office.  Coming soon

Return to the Front page

Government tables legislation to increase the rate at which houses are built: developers lobby is in love with this one.

By Pepper Parr

March 30th, 2022



You will not get much in the way of an argument from anyone on making buying a home easier.

Today, the Ontario government introduced legislation that, if passed, will support a plan to crack down on speculators who are driving up the cost of housing, protect home buyers from predatory development practices, and create more housing options for homeowners and renters by accelerating development timelines to get more homes built faster.

The More Homes for Everyone Act outlines the next suite of concrete actions the province is taking to address Ontario’s housing crisis. This plan, built on recommendations from the Housing Affordability Task Force and the first-ever Provincial-Municipal Housing Summit, will deliver both near-term solutions and long-term commitments to provide more attainable housing options for Ontario families.

It didn’t take long for the West End Home Builders Association to put out a statement. Here is what they had to say.

The Provincial Housing Affordability Task Force hit the nail on the head – we need to build more homes. More homes on the market in Hamilton and across Ontario will give everyone a fair shot at becoming a homeowner and building a future. For the last several years we have not been building enough homes to keep up with demand. This is exactly why bold provincial intervention is critically required: to reduce red tape and bureaucratic inefficiencies while incentivizing municipalities to speed up the housing approvals process.

A development that eventually got through the application process found that it didn’t have to set up a sales office – they were sold out in two weeks. Now they are stumped and stymied by the city engineering department.

The West End Home Builders’ Association (WE HBA) is supportive of the wide range of policies proposed in the More Homes for Everyone Plan and encourages all political parties to support a quick passage of legislation prior to the Writ being dropped for the provincial election. We need action now.

Mike Collins-Williams, CEO of the West End Home Builders’ Association.

“The West End Home Builders’ Association is supportive of the measures proposed by the provincial government to speed up the planning process through the More Homes for Everyone Plan to address Southern Ontario’s growing housing crisis. Building from the Housing Affordability Task Force report, this new legislation proposes efficient, targeted policies that recognize the need to get all kinds of new housing built faster in communities across the province,” says Mike Collins-Williams, CEO of the West End Home Builders’ Association.

WE HBA notes that the provincial government regards the Housing Affordability Task Force Report as Ontario’s long-term housing road map. Our members support the immediate measures in the proposed More Homes for Everyone Plan to encourage more timely municipal decision making and to streamline approval processes. The government has indicated that there will be additional measures implemented over the long-term through the establishment of a Housing Supply Working Group and future Housing Supply Action Plans.

The housing crisis is a complex issue that requires a long-term strategy and commitment from all levels of government and industry to work together as partners, to build the necessary supply of housing for a rapidly growing population.

Housing is a complex business as is the process that puts in place the regulations that set out the costs of completing a development application.

Recently Burlington city Council had to defer the determination of what planning application rates would be put in place.  BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association) and WE HBA took months of back and forth meetings and questioning the consultant that had prepared the report that set out what the rates would be.

In the end there was no appreciable difference between the end result and what was proposed in the first place.

The city manager mentioned during one of the meetings that the work the consultants were doing at the extra meeting was above and beyond what they had been hired to do – and that the city was going to have to get a retainer in place for the additional hours

That phrase – if the shoe fits – wear it; would seem appropriate right about now.



Return to the Front page

The Public now knows what the city's legal department wanted kept within a CLOSED session of Council

By Staff

March 28th, 2022


A number of Council members have been unhappy and somewhat disturbed over the way information was kept from the public by having the debate take place in a CLOSED session of Council.

When a CLOSED session of Council was about to take place – a notice would be read out saying what they (Council) needed to go into CLOSED for and then the web cast went dark displaying just GET THE VISUAL. When Council came out of a CLOSED session they would report that Council has agreed to do what was agreed upon in the CLOSED meeting.

Once council member complained publicly that “we can’t even tell the public the address of the property that was being discussed.  The struggle to determine what could and should be released was between Council and Nancy Shea Nicol, the City Solicitor.

Last week for the first time we saw a situation where Council talked about going into CLOSED but decided not to.  The City Solicitor said she would provide a report on what the issue was with all the details.


Some context:

The site was zoned MXT and as such the development application being made complied with the zoning by law and would go directly to site plan approval, Development Application proceeds straight to site plan.

In contrast when a zoning bylaw amendment is requested the proponent will go through community meetings, a Statutory Public meeting and receive a planning recommendation  report for council to  vote on.

None of these steps are required for applications that are in compliance with the regulations of the bylaw, as is the case with these lands.

What Councillor Kearns was able to do was undelegate the application which meant site plan approval would be determined by Council and not staff.

The developer chose to take their application to the Ontario Land Tribunal.  While waiting for a hearing date the city and the developer were able to come to terms on the differences and entered into a Settlement Agreement which will now be heard by the Ontario Land Tribunal on GET THE DATE.

There is a bigger question: When the city learned that intensification was going to be focused on what were originally called mobility hubs – later changed to MTSA Major Transit Service Areas  – why didn’t the Planning department look at the zoning status of all the lands around the MTSA and do what needed to be done to change the zoning.

The following is what the City Solicitor released.

On April 4, 2020 the Community Planning Department acknowledged that a site plan application had been received by Brookfield Properties, Inter Rent REIT and CLV Group Inc. (the “Applicant”) for Site Plan Approval for 2269, 2243 Fairview Street & 864 Drury Lane (the “Site”) to support the development of the Site with seven (7) residential towers on top of four (4) mixed-use podiums, with overall tower heights ranging between 29 and 37 storeys. However, the Site was located within an area that was the subject of an Interim Control By-law and related study, resulting in a development ‘freeze’ on lands within the study area.

The Official Plan Amendment (“OPA 119”) and Zoning By-law Amendment (“ZBA 2020.418”) that resulted from the recommendations of the ICBL study were appealed, including by the Applicant, in February 2020. These appeals to ZBA 2020.418 had the effect of continuing the development ‘freeze’ on the Site, and resulted in no decision being made on the site plan.

On August 11, 2021, the Applicant appealed the site plan application to the Ontario Lands Tribunal based upon non-decision of the City within the required time period set out by the Planning Act.

On December 17, 2021 the Applicant submitted a Settlement Offer to the City for consideration. The Applicant is seeking a settlement of its appeals of OPA 119, ZBA 2020.418 and its site plan application. The Settlement Offer proposes a resolution of the appeals in which the Applicant would withdraw its appeal of OPA 119 and the City and the Applicant would seek approval from the Ontario Land Tribunal (“OLT”) for site-specific amendments to ZBA 2020.418 to permit the development contemplated in phase 1 of a phased site plan. These site-specific amendments would add to the regulations contained within ZBA 2020.418 to regulate the development proposed in phase 1 of the site plan, as described below. The City and Applicant would also seek an Order from the OLT removing the Site from the ongoing development ‘freeze’ that applies to this area. The Settlement Offer proposes to resolve the site plan appeal by the City and the Applicant seeking approval from the OLT for site plan contemplating development of phase 1 of a multi-tower residential development on the Site. Future phases of the development of the Site would require Site Plan Approval from the City. Additionally, the Settlement Offer contemplates the City and the Applicant agreeing to certain parameters that would not only apply to Phase 1 of the development set out in detail in the Settlement Offer, but also to the future development of phase 2 that would be subject to a future site plan approval process by the City. Key parameters of the proposed site plan appeal settlement include:

Phases 1 and 2 will each contain two towers of 33 and 37 stories (Phase 1) and 33 and 35 stories (Phase 2) in height;

The four towers proposed in Phases 1 and 2 will all be purpose-built rental buildings, with 100% of units in the buildings being in rental tenure;

Phase 1 will provide a total of 38 three (3) bedroom residential rental units, including 25 three (3) bedroom rental units contained within the two towers;

When the Applicant seeks site plan approval for Phase 2, the towers will include at least 25 three (3) bedroom residential rental units;

Provide a minimum 30m separation between proposed towers;

The tower floor plates of the four towers in Phases 1 and 2 will have tower floor plates of up to 890 square metres;

The Applicant will dedicate 1.71ha of parkland, in addition to providing cash-in-lieu of parkland in the amount of approximately $13 million. Additionally, the Applicant will provide a privately-owned publicly accessible space (‘POPS’), maintained in perpetuity at its expense, of 0.25ha located immediately adjacent to the dedicated parkland located along Fairview Street to function as one cohesive park that may be further expanded should lands to the west of the Site re-develop in the future.

Phases 1 and 2 of the Site Plan (containing two levels of underground parking will address groundwater through a private permanent pumping stormwater management system discharged into the City’s storm sewer system at regulated volumes and quality, with ongoing stormwater management system maintenance requirements registered on the title of the rental buildings. Future phase(s) of development on the Site will have separate underground facilities and stormwater management for those phases will be reviewed by the City in future applications for site plan approval.

The Applicant will make a Municipal Consent application to bring permanent buried hydro to the entire site (Phases 1, 2 and 3). Should the applicant wish to install additional temporary overhead hydro, those drawings and details will be included with the Municipal Consent application, along with required fees and securities.

Height of the site relative to other major developments in the city

Site Description and Surrounding Land Uses

 The subject site has an area of 3.4 ha, and approximately 224 m of frontage along Fairview, and 143 m of frontage along Drury Lane. Access to the site is currently provided via both Drury Lane and Fairview Street. A vacant garden centre, brewery, auto repair shop, dance studio and furniture store are currently located on the Subject Lands. It is the intent that the existing buildings and structures be demolished prior to the site being redeveloped.

Surrounding the subject site are the following uses:

North: The Lakeshore West GO rail line is located adjacent to the Subject Lands directly to the north. A low-rise residential neighbourhood occupies the lands north of the rail line. An overpass pedestrian bridge at the north terminus of Drury Lane provides access over the rail line to the residential community to the north.

South: Fairview Street, low rise institutional and medical building consisting of the Halton Catholic District School Board and a medical clinic.

East: Drury Lane, and a number of low-rise service commercial and retail uses are located east of the Subject Lands, including an automotive repair and home store.

West: A car dealership is located adjacent to the Subject Lands directly west, followed by a creek and the Burlington GO Station. The Paradigm Condominium development, (5 tower and 24 storey residential condominium development) is located immediately west of the Burlington GO Station.


The Site Plan Application:

The Site Plan application that is the subject of the appeal includes 4 buildings with a total of 7 towers ranging in height from 29 to 37 storeys. The comprehensive development plan will provide 2,515 residential units of mixed type and tenure; 3,703 square metres of retail/ commercial space; there will be shared amenity space between all buildings in a variety of forms, including indoor, rooftop and outdoor elevated amenity area; all proposed parking to be located within a combination of a 4-storey above-ground parking structure abutting the northern lot line or within 5 levels of underground parking abutting the southern property line. Each building is proposed as follows:

Building A will consist of a six storey podium and a 33 storey tower with 338 residential units.

Building B will consist of a five storey podium and two towers with 651 residential units. Tower B1 will be 29 storeys and tower B2 will be 34 storeys. Ten (10) Townhouse style units are incorporated into the podium fronting onto Fairview Street.

Building C will consist of a four storey podium and two towers with 774 residential rental units. Tower C1 will be 33 storeys and tower C2 will be 37 storeys.

Building D will consist of a four storey podium and two towers with 752 residential rental units. Tower D1 will be 33 storeys and tower C2 will be 35 storeys.

Vehicular access to the proposed development will be provided primarily through an internal driveway through the site from Fairview Street to Drury Lane, similar to the driveway that presently exists on the Subject Lands. The parking structure will be accessed via Drury Lane and the internal east-west driveway, which will function as a private street. Access to the underground parking will also be provided through the internal driveway. A minimal amount of layby parking is proposed at grade. Parking is proposed as 1-5 levels of underground parking and 4 levels of parking in a structure at the rear of the site. In terms of parking rates, there are 2761 spaces for 2515 units (including visitor), 154 spaces for commercial and 34 spaces for maintenance. The total parking rate is 1.16 spaces per unit.

The Site Plan in the Proposed Settlement

The Proposed Settlement contemplates a phased approach to the development of the Site, with site plan approval for phase 1 by the OLT, and subsequent phases of the development of the site to occur through future applications for site plan approval by the City. Phase 1 will consist of a four-storey podium and two towers with 774 residential rental units. Tower C1 will be 33 storeys and tower C2 will be 37 storeys. Phase 1 also includes the internal (private) east-west road and a public park. The OLT’s approval of the Site Plan for phase 1 of the development would include conditions of Site Plan Approval that would apply to Phase 1, which consists of buildings C1 and C2 on the Site Plan. As noted above, the parameters of the settlement (such as height and floor plate size) would apply to Phase 2 (Buildings D1 and D2 on the proposed plan); however, a new Site Plan Application to the City would be required to be approved by the City, subject to conditions. Phase 3 on the Site Plan, which includes Buildings A and B to the south fronting onto Fairview Street remains independent from the settlement and will require separate review and subject to that review, may or may not be approved by the City in its current form.



Return to the Front page

Provincial Liberal Leader Stephen Del Duca Lands a good punch on Premier Ford - not as good as Will Smith last night at the Oscars

By Pepper Parr

March 28th, 2022



Stephen Del Duca finally got a chance to land a solid punch on Premier Doug Ford.

Provincial Liberal leader Stephen Del Duca

In congratulating the federal Liberals on the signing of a child care funding agreement Del Duca said: “… I am disappointed that Premier Ford, who, knowing how difficult a time young families are having making ends meet, knowing that federal child care money was on offer that could change their lives, deliberately chose to make them wait, and wait, and wait for help.

“The thing is, the only time child care has been a priority for Doug Ford was when he cut it in his first two years in power.

“Remember this headline – it’s from the Toronto Star – May 2, 2019:

Doug Ford’s cuts put over 6,000 subsidized daycare spaces at risk

“Ontario is cutting a total of $80 million from licensed child care across the province, including the $50-million fund to help offset costs for licensed child-care providers

“Today, Doug Ford brags about a financial agreement he could and should have gotten 6 months ago. His failure has cost families thousands. And while every other province got agreements early, many still opted to make their payments retroactive to the beginning of this year, because they knew it was needed.

“Ontario was last to sign and Ontario parents will be the last to benefit from the federal funding.

“Ontario Liberals are the only ones pledging that if we form government, we will make sure Ontario families do not pay the price for Doug Ford’s delays. We are the only ones who will make payments retroactive to January 1st – an average of $2,750 per child – and the only party pledging $10 per day for before and after school care by this September.

“I don’t trust Doug Ford to implement this agreement. I say that not out of partisanship, but based on both his past cuts, and his negotiating priorities.

“From Day 1, Doug Ford has wanted as few strings attached to this federal funding as possible. Ask yourself why and who that benefits. Again, just yesterday they were bragging about how they reduced some of those funding requirements.

“We all saw Doug Ford try to profit off federal COVID funds. Let’s not let him do the same with child care.”


Return to the Front page

41st edition of MUSIC HALL opens at Drury Lane

By Staff

March 28th, 2020



After being dark for more than 500 days, Drury Lane opened their 41st edition of MUSIC HALL and are back making live audiences smile, laugh and cheer.

“For 47 years, Drury Lane Theatrical Productions has enriched the cultural life of community by providing art that people can indulge in,” said MPP McKenna. “Having staged 136 productions over its storied history, Drury Lane’s musical productions impact artists, musicians, volunteers and audiences from Halton, Hamilton and

After being dark for more than 500 days the Drury Lane theatre reopened for their 41st production of Music Hall

The Ontario government recognizes the important contributions of theatre and the arts in our community. The $50,000 grant provided to Drury Lane by the province’s Community Building Fund will help ensure live theatre in Burlington for years to come.”

Normally presenting four productions per year, Drury Lane was forced to close its doors, like so many community groups and small businesses. Drury Lane’s primary source of funding – ticket sales – was eradicated. Thanks to the $50,000 grant, Drury Lane was able to pay for the things necessary to resume its activities and use their savings to pay the bills associated with having their own building, nicknamed The Loft, on New Street.

Now that the group can sell tickets again, it can return to being a vibrant member of the Burlington Arts & Culture community.

“The Community Building Fund grant was critical to allow Drury Lane to exist and continue to do what it does best,” said Carol MacKenzie, Artistic Director of Drury Lane Theatrical Productions. “Theatre’s primary source of revenue is ticket sales. Without that, we can’t survive. The grant kept us going and allowed us to return to providing a stage for local artists to perform and for Burlingtonians to enjoy and laugh along with others in a live audience.”

Celebrating its 47th Season as Burlington’s premiere musical theatre company, Drury Lane Theatrical Productions, a charitable organization, plays an important role in Burlington’s Arts & Culture community. In a normal year, Drury Lane impacts over 10,000 patrons, artists, and volunteers, providing the joys of stage musicals.

Matinées at 2:00 PM: March 27, April 3, 10, 2022

Evenings at 8:00 PM: March 18, 19, 25, 26, 31, April 1, 2, 8, 9, 2022

Tickets HERE

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Return to the Front page

Ukrainians meet in Polish Hall pleading for the governments to save their homeland from a dictatorship

By Pepper Parr

March 26th, 2022



I finally got to meet Emily Brown.  This was the women the federal Conservatives wrapped in a bubble and never let media anywhere near her.

Because Emily is a rifle hobbyist – and a sharpshooter to boot, all we had was pictures of an attractive woman holding a rifle. There was never a chance to actually talk to her.  Turns out Emily Brown is a decent person who can, if she has to, get nasty during a hard fought election.

She was the moderator for a panel discussion on the situation in Ukraine– held in the Polish Hall Saturday afternoon.

It was a hard afternoon the for 100 or so people in the room who were for the most part older with some attachment to Ukraine.

The split was about 60/40 mostly male and mostly Catholic.



These were people sitting in a room worried about what was happening in their homeland and worried sick about friends and relatives.

At one point in the proceeding Emily was talking and suddenly stopped – her emotions were getting the better of her – we didn’t see that Emily Brown on the campaign trail

There were three petitions that were on table waiting for signatures,  Part of the fear was that in time the horrible situation in Ukraine would get moved off the front page – some other disaster would take it s place.  And the people would be left to fend for themselves.

The Ukraine diaspora number about 1.4million people.  It is well organized having a national organization with chapters across the country.

There are parts of Canada that are more Ukrainian than Canadian.  They are a hard working, proud people who are stunned at what is happening to their homeland.

Complete cities are being blown apart.  One city, Mariupol has had 95 % of the apartment buildings damaged beyond repair

They met in the Polish hall to plead with all levels of government to save their homeland from a dictatorship.

They offered places to say in Canada while immigrants went through the process of getting settled once they had arrived.

The feared that their people would be forgotten and did not want them to be treated the way the federal government has treated the Afghanistanians they promised to bring to Canada.

The MP for Flamborough—Glanbrook, Dan Muys took people through the view he had as a Conservative member of the House of Commons and what people could do to pressure the government.

Many wanted to know why the aircraft that were taking supplies to Ukraine were returning empty instead of carrying passengers.

To be told that it takes time to process the people who now need to leave their country didn’t satisfy anyone.  A few medical situations have brought some children to the Hospital for Sick Children

Fund raisers are taking place at every event and meeting that takes place. .

One Christian (he did not want his last name used) did a graphic of women he named Saint Javelin after the Javelin missile that both Canada and the UK have provided the Ukraine Territorial Army and put together a web site to sell the decals.

He was quite surprised when 1000+ were sold the first day.  At the moment he is stunned at the $1.75 million he has raised with orders coming in from 70 countries. Half a million dollars has been sent to a Children’s relief Fund in Ukraine

The funds are being sent to the Ukraine to support different on the ground troops. A Canadian lawyer now working in the Ukraine managed to raise enough money to buy 150 bullet proof vests.

While the fund raising is desperate – getting people out of Poland where more than 1.8 million Ukrainians have fled to and are waiting to learn where they can go to start new lives is what the people who met on Saturday wanted to know more about so they can help.

Several times during the meeting the audience was rise to their feet and shout out the words “Slava Ukraini”, a symbol of Ukrainian sovereignty and resistance and as the official salute of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.  It was quite emotional.

At the close of the meeting the Ukraine national anthem was played.  Men and women who were somewhat stooped from age, stood quite a bit taller with their shoulders pulled back and their chests out at the words of the anthem appeared on screen.


Return to the Front page

Is Ontario falling behind the Electric Vehicle Opportunity?

By Connor Fraser

March 27th, 2022




Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is becoming a real problem – and it’s likely going to get a lot worse.

The city has installed a number of charging stations in its parking lots.

If you’ve driven past Mapleview Mall recently, chances are that you’d notice a flock of cars waiting to access the electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.  Through my family and friends, I know several young and middle-aged individuals who recently purchased an EV, and every third day must line up and wait in limbo for 30+ minutes while their car charges. What a (mostly avoidable) real waste of time.

I have also spoken with many who live in condominiums or apartment buildings that are reluctant to purchase EV’s because their parking spaces are not yet equipped with the necessary infrastructure. In an existing condo or apartment, the barrier becomes enormous due to large renovation costs. If residents who are not currently in the market for an EV don’t want to contribute, the expense becomes too prohibitive to share amongst the few residents that do. Many of my friends are first-time car owners and – since they tend to live in apartments – found the lack of infrastructure especially constraining of their excitement to purchase an EV.

There are charging stations throughout many cities.

Electric Vehicles are a real part of our future. In 2021, the Federal Government announced an ambitious target to ensure that 100% of car and passenger truck sales are zero-emission by 2035. The question becomes: How can we adopt this technology in a way which maximizes convenience, and minimizes disruptions – such as wasting time lining up to use public charging stations? Electric vehicles are a distinct technology requiring different interactions than conventional autos. Electricity cannot be transferred as rapidly as gasoline, which makes charging painful for those short on time. Although EVs are increasingly evident on the streets, I don’t believe that anyone (government, community groups) is having a serious conversation about the infrastructure required to support their use, and how that infrastructure should be distributed.

My opinion is this: We should aggressively prioritize uptake of private charging infrastructure, and carefully plan public or semi-private infrastructure to “fill in the gaps” and accommodate those who cannot access private charging. Research shows that poorly planned public charging infrastructure goes underutilized, and is rarely profitable as an investment. Furthermore, consumer research consistently reveals a preference for the convenience of private charging opportunities wherever possible, given the amount of time it saves. Imagine replacing the semi-weekly routine of replenishing your vehicle (and how much time that wastes every week, month, year, decade,…), with a simple “plug and done” routine when you arrive home from work. This reality is possible for most people, but rapidly slipping away.

This development is at the settlement stage with the Ontario Land Tribunal – has the installation of charging stations been included in the settlement?

There is a major role for the provincial and municipal governments to play in this endeavour. At the provincial level, the building code should be immediately updated to require that all new residential constructions (i.e. single detached homes, apartments, and condominiums) have the capacity and “rough-in” connections to support Level-2 EV charging to 100% of parking spaces. This is a no-brainer. Every new apartment, condo and single detached home that is built without this equipment sets the stage for an expensive renovation, or community dispute somewhere down the line. Conversations with real-estate developers, combined with my own secondary research suggest that many new builds do not come with adequate EV infrastructure (if any) – and that the private sector cannot be relied upon to provide solutions. They will build to the minimum standard required, and shouldn’t be blamed for it: The standard needs to be higher.

When Bunton’s Wharf was built electric cars were not part of the way people drove. Who will pay to put charging stations in these buildings. The Condo Corporation is going to have to take on that task.

The province should go one step further and require that owners of existing apartment buildings and condominiums equip 100% of parking spaces with Level-2 charging capacity and energy management systems by 2035. Implementing this requirement might be aided with a standalone legislative tool. For condominiums, the government could offer to cover one quarter of renovation costs before 2025, one fifth before 2030 and none thereafter, with fines for non-compliance beginning in 2035. To demonstrate a commitment to equity, for apartments, co-ops, and community housing, the government could offer to cover half of renovations costs before 2025, one third before 2030 and one fifth before 2035.

Noncompliant landlords of these complexes (including municipalities, in the case of community housing) could be targeted with even more stringent fines after 2035. Without stronger direction, governance issues might delay apartment and condominium residents from benefitting from convenient charging infrastructure and prolong decisions to remain with gasoline vehicles.

Since municipalities have control over open-air parking spaces through zoning bylaws, their role should be to plan targeted public infrastructure that accommodates those without private options. This might include bylaws mandating all workplaces (existing and planned) have a small percentage of parking spaces equipped with Level-2 chargers for exclusive use by those without access to private parking.

Additional bylaws might require all shopping, grocery, and community centres have a small percentage of parking spaces equipped with Level-3 chargers. The percentage should be increased for those locations within a short radius (i.e. 2km) of highway exits to ease range anxiety of those making long distance trips. Promoting highway-proximate infrastructure in this manner would offer the added benefit of maximizing infrastructure utilization in periods of low travel, while offering minimal inconvenience to travelers.

Approaching charging infrastructure in this fashion has the upside of maximizing the convenience of private charging, accommodating travelers and those without private options, and minimizing the potential underutilization of widespread public charging infrastructure.

Ontario has charging stations along the full length of the 401 – at some point every major community in the province will have public parking stations. Better restaurants and hotels will include them.

By not actively coordinating charging infrastructure at the provincial-municipal level, purchasing an EV will bring increasing and unnecessary challenges to first-time home buyers and those living in apartments and condominiums. This includes a significant number of individuals in the young and old-age demographic. A “laissez-faire” approach also carries negative implications for meeting climate targets, and Ontario’s ability to sustain an innovative manufacturing sector.

Please consider submitting your opinion to the City of Burlington’s Electric Mobility Strategy survey by March 31, 2022: https://www.getinvolvedburlington.ca/electric-mobility-strategy


Connor Fraser is a post graduate student at the University of Toronto enrolled in the dual Master of Global Affairs and Master of Business Administration program.






Return to the Front page

Minister Gould sprinkles $30,000 plus to Library and BurlingtonGreen

By Pepper Parr

March 25th, 2022



While public money was being handed out with much glee – the event this afternoon at the library was one of the first networking events people have been able to take part in for a couple of years.

People gathering in small groups – first time they have been able to do this for two years.

Colleen Mulholland remarked while she was speaking to the people gathered to hear a funding announcement that this was the first time she has stood at a podium in two years.

Burlington MP Karina Gould

Karina Gould, MP for Burlington and Cabinet Minister for xxx announced $33,859 being provided to projects in Burlington for community-led infrastructure projects as part of the Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative

The announcement involved the Burlington Community Foundation which worked with Gould at involving the Community Foundations across the country.

The funds were to support the Burlington Library and Burlington Greem:

  • $19,650 was invested to fund the Burlington Public Library for Connection for All- Post Covid Technology Access project

The funds would go to the purchase of fully loaded computers people  xxx

  • Sue Alksnis, Volunteer & Fundraising Manager with Burlington Green explaining how the funds they received would be used.

    $14,209 was invested to fund BurlingtonGreen for Clean Up Green Up – Expanding Vulnerable Community Connections project

Gould noted that “As Canadians continue to adapt to the realities of COVID-19, local governments and community partners across the country are adapting their spaces and services to keep residents safe and healthy, support economic recovery, create jobs, and build vibrant, resilient communities.”

Colleen Mullholland, President & CEO, Burlington Foundation said: “Public spaces are an essential part of the fabric of a community and are often the first contact community members have with their city. Public spaces are a form of democracy welcoming everyone to enjoy honoured to partner with the federal government’s Canada Healthy Communities Initiative to support these two very deserving projects.”

Lita Barrie, CEO, Burlington Public Library told how the funds they were given would be used to purchase fully loaded lap top computers that people who don’t have such equipment could use.

BurlingtonGreen has partnered with the Food Bank and Art House to provide free and accessible resources to help more of the community such as members served by the Burlington Food Bank to participate in rewarding eco-action opportunities to care for local nature and the environment”

Amy Schnurr, Executive Director, BurlingtonGreen was not able to attend the event.  She had come in contact with a person infected with Covid19 and was self-isolating.

There are a lot of people that find themselves in this situation.

The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative was created to help communities adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and create safe ways for residents to access services and enjoy the outdoors. The Initiative is designed to fund eligible projects between $5,000 and $250,000 that fall under three main themes: creating safe and vibrant public spaces, improving mobility options, and digital solutions.

  • Community Foundations of Canada was selected through an open call for applications to implement a national project. Together with its partners, including the Canadian Urban Institute, it is working with pan-Canadian networks to manage the funding process and serve the distinct needs of communities across Canada, including equity-seeking groups interested in applying.
  • Over 650 projects are taking place across the country as part of the Healthy Communities Initiative, including in every province and territory.
Return to the Front page

Temporary Road Closure - Locust Street, March 28 to April 25, 2022

By Staff

March 25th, 2022



Locust Street will be temporarily closed between Elgin Street and Lakeshore Road

Locust street – just north of city hall

Monday, March 28, 2022 to Monday, April 25, 2022

for excavation works related to pipeline repairs by Trans-Northern Pipeline Inc.

Access to adjacent buildings, including the municipal parking garage, will be maintained from Lakeshore Road and through traffic will be detoured around the block.

This might be a good time to do a major re-routing of this pipeline.

Return to the Front page

Notice of Public Open House and Statutory Public Meeting - this is the second set of Public information meetings and a second Statutory meeting.

By Staff

March 24th, 2022




Under the heading “Public Open House and Statutory Public Meeting,” the story provides the date and time of the Public Open House with the log-in information of the Statutory Public Meeting.

This would cause readers to enter an invalid passcode when trying to attend on April 6.  The corrected information is set out below.,

Public Open House (Virtual)

When: Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at 7 p.m.

Description: The purpose of the Open House is to provide the public with the opportunity to review and discuss the proposed Amendment. To submit questions in advance, email ropr@halton.ca or call 311. Please check halton.ca/ropr closer to the meeting to download a copy of the presentation and follow along.

Meeting ID: 998 6917 9299 | Passcode: 682244 (if requested)


Statutory Public Meeting (Virtual)

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

Description: The purpose of the Statutory Public Meeting is to provide the public with the opportunity to provide comments to Council on the proposed Amendment and for Council to consider the feedback prior to making a decision on the Amendment.

Meeting ID: 999 8275 2781 | Passcode: 624381 (if requested)

To join (applies to both sessions):

  • Online: On the date of the event, visit halton.ca/ropr.
  • By phone: Call 1-855-703-8985 (Toll Free) or 1-647-374-4685 and use the Meeting ID and Passcode above.


The Climate Change people won the battle the last time the Integrated Growth Management Strategy was debated at the Region.

The vote was a pretty convincing 15 – 9 against what the Regional Planning people had put forward.

This time around they will be debating a Proposed Amendment to the Regional Official Plan“ROPA 49:

There were 58 delegations the first time this was debated.

An Amendment to Implement the Integrated Growth Management Strategy”Halton Region is holding a Public Open House and a Statutory Public Meeting in connection with Draft Regional Official Plan Amendment No. 49 (ROPA 49).

ROPA 49 is proposed as a component of Halton’s Regional Official Plan Review and municipal comprehensive review process pursuant to the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Section 26 of the Planning Act, as amended.

Purpose and Effect of ROPA 49

The purpose of proposed Regional Official Plan Amendment 49 (ROPA 49) is to help define where and how Halton will grow. It is the second Amendment to be considered by Regional Council as part of the Regional Official Plan Review (ROPR) and builds on the Regional Urban Structure defined by ROPA 48.

It proposes to implement the results of the Integrated Growth Management Strategy and Regional Council’s direction to accommodate population and employment growth within Halton’s existing Regional Urban Boundary to 2041 and to develop a framework for planning for growth from 2041 to 2051.

ROPA 49 also proposes changes that support Halton’s growth strategy, including updates to policies and mapping related to Settlement Area boundaries, the Regional Urban Structure, Strategic Growth Areas and Employment Areas, as well as forecasts and targets for population and employment growth, intensification, density and phasing.

The proposed ROPA applies to all lands in the Regional Municipality of Halton.

Public Open House and Statutory Public Meeting


Public Open House (Virtual)Statutory Public Meeting (Virtual)When: Wednesday, April 6, 2022Time: 7 p.m.


The purpose of the Open House is to provide the public with the opportunity to review and discuss the proposed Amendment. To submit questions in advance,

.Meeting ID: 999 8275 2781

Passcode: 624381 (if requested)

To join:Online: On the date of the event, visit halton.ca/ropr.

By phone: Call 1-855-703-8985 (toll-free) or 1-647-374-4685 and use the Meeting ID and Passcode above.

While the argument was about saving farmland – the issue was really Climate Change

How to Participate in the Statutory Public Meeting

Any person may attend the Statutory Public Meeting and make submissions concerning the proposed Amendment. If you wish to make a written submission or to make a verbal submission at the Statutory Public Meeting, please email regionalclerk@halton.ca and ropr@halton.ca by 4:30 p.m. on April 12, 2022. Written submissions provided by lettermail can be addressed to:c/o Regional Clerk Graham Milne1151 Bronte RoadOakville ON L6M 3L1Advance registration is strongly encouraged for those who wish to make a verbal presentation during the meeting.

To preserve the integrity of the meeting, anonymous or offensive Zoom account names will not be allowed to speak. Halton Region is not responsible for unstable internet connections that may impact your ability to provide your comments. Participants who are disruptive or who speak on a subject other than the stated purpose of the meeting may be removed from the meeting without warning

.All information including names, addresses, opinions, presentations, reports, documentation, etc. provided for or at any public meeting are considered public records. This information may be posted on Halton Region’s website and/or made available to the public upon request. The Statutory Public Meeting will be streamed and a video of the meeting will be made available on halton.ca/ropr.

If you wish to be notified of the decision of Halton Region on the proposed Amendment, you must make a written request to the Regional Clerk.Additional Information. Information and material relating to the proposed Amendment, including a copy of Draft ROPA 49, will be available for public inspection by visiting halton.ca/ropr or by contacting Planning Services by email at ropr@halton.ca or by calling 311.

To ensure staff are able to consider and address comments on Draft ROPA 49 for Regional Council’s consideration, please provide all submissions by May 13, 2022. Submissions not provided for the purpose of the Statutory Public Meeting can be emailed directly to ropr@halton.ca.For more information about this matter, including information about appeal rights, contact Planning Services by email at ropr@halton.ca or call 311.

If you require an alternative format or need accessibility-related accommodation to access or comment on ROPR materials, please email accesshalton@halton.ca or call 311, 1-866-442-5866 or TTY 905-827-9833.Copyright © 2021 Halton Region, all rights reserved.Our mailing address is:Halton Region1151 Bronte Road Oakville, On L6M 3L1CanadaQuestions or concerns:Call 311 in Halton or 905-825-6000Toll free: 1-866-442-5866 Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Related news stories:

Regional Council takes a pass on Staff proposal on Integrated Growth Management Strategy

Councillor Sharman offers his opinion on intensification and what it will mean

Return to the Front page

City Hall is Now Open - With a Much Different Look - Ground Floor is a Construction Site

By Pepper Parr

March 24th, 2020



The city is opening up – no need to flash your plastic card proving when you were vaccinated.

No need to wear a mask – you can go almost anywhere.

If you find that you need to go to city hall – you will have to use the Brant Street entrance to get in and – open your eyes – the main floor is under renovation.

Service Burlington, which is the city’s central customer contact centre, located at City Hall and has temporarily moved to the second floor of City Hall.

The Service Burlington counter at City Hall, at 426 Brant St., is open to the public to offer in-person payments for:

• Parking permits and tickets
• Property taxes
• Freedom of Information requests
• Garbage tags
• Dog licenses
• Property information requests
• Recreation services

The counter is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Commissioning and marriage licensing services are also available by appointment.

Payment methods accepted:

Debit card payments and cheques are accepted for all payment types. Credit cards are accepted for all payment types except property taxes. If you would like to pay property taxes in cash, please visit your local bank to make the payment.

Related news story
First look at a new ground floor for city hall.

Related news story:

First look at what the city planned.

Return to the Front page

Is there a change coming to the way Council handles CLOSED sessions ?

By Pepper Parr

March 24th, 2022



Getting any information about what takes place in a CLOSED session of Council is  a little like squeezing that last little bit of toothpaste out of the tube.

You run your fingers along the sides and squeeze to get the toothpaste to the top of the tube and onto the tooth brush.

City Solicitor Nancy Shea Nicol

That was the image that came to mind as I listened to Nancy Shea Nicol, City Solicitor, as she  explained to Council that she would have a report to them on what came out of the closes session on Tuesday.

Someone somewhere in city hall has decided that this going into CLOSED session on almost any matter had to come to an end – the public had a right to know what was taking up so much time in the legal department.

Nancy Shea Nicol is an old  school lawyer – say nothing or at least as little as possible.

There are occasions  when a CLOSED session is required for a property matter.

Ward 4 Councillor Lisa Kearns – wants a more transparent approach to CLOSED sessions of Council

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns wanted to know why the public could not at least have the address of the property that was being discussed.

There appear to be changes in the wind.  It would really be nice if the Mayor made a statement explaining that a change was necessary and setting out what the public had a right to know what the business of the city was about.

The city is in the process of buying the old Bateman High School property.

The School Board has said they want to sell because they have no use for the space.  They do however want to rent some of the space from the purchaser.

Brock University has been talking to the city about renting some of the space to set up a teacher training program.

The city wants to put some of the space to use as well; library and something for the seniors in the east end of the city.

These are all public organizations – why all the secrecy?

Old habits? It was just the way things were done?

A fresh wind appears to be blowing through the legal department.

About time.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.





Return to the Front page

Council approves a small home energy efficiency retrofit program - if it proves to be viable look for a 50,000 + homes to be involved

By Pepper Parr

March 23rd, 2020



Council decided to support the implementation of a small-scale home energy efficiency retrofit program that would include a virtual delivery centre/support for homeowners and loans through a Local Improvement Charge (LIC) mechanism.

The city has some 58,000 homes that do make efficient use of the energy needed to heat their homes.

Expect this one to become a major issue during the October municipal election.  It’s big and it is important

The report setting out the details and the specifics will get back to Council in 2023 well after the 2022 municipal election.

Much of the ground work on this project came out of The Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College (CCCM) where a feasibility study was completed for a home energy efficiency retrofit program.

Staff recommend a small scale home energy efficiency retrofit program with specific measures to reduce the carbon footprint in the residential sector.

There will be an interest-bearing loan program for up to $10,000 per household to cover the cost of an air source heat pump and leak sealing to improve energy efficiency.

Starting with a small scale program (about 20 households) will give staff the experience and knowledge required to work on scaling up a program to engage more homeowners.

As part of the 2023 budget process, staff will present a business case to include funding for an FTE (full time employee) to coordinate the program and allocate funding to support retrofit loans to homeowners.

A website (Better Homes Burlington) will also be launched as a one stop shop for homeowners.

The eventual goal is to scale up the program to support Burlington homeowners in completing energy efficiency retrofits of their homes; there are many variables which can impact the next steps:

• Competing priorities to be assessed during the 2023 budget process and final outcome;
• The level of demand by residents for a city loan (subject to interest) to finance their energy retrofit;
• The extent of interest and commitment of other municipalities to partner with Burlington on a regional program;

This came out of the decision by Council to declare a climate emergency in 2019 and a target for Burlington to become a net carbon neutral community by 2050.

Implementation of a home energy efficiency retrofit (HERO) program is one of the key program areas identified in the Climate Action Plan. The plan includes a target of over 50,000 existing homes (singles, semis and towns) requiring energy retrofits, including the installation of heat pumps. The challenge becomes how to educate, encourage and incent homeowners to undertake a retrofit to reduce their carbon footprint.

Council approved the $182,000 budget but also encouraged staff to apply to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative for funding to support the HERO project.

Staff worked with the CCCM on a funding application and were successful in securing a $100,000 grant to support the project. FCM’s CEF initiative supports feasibility studies, program design, and project implementation for municipal HERO projects.

The city’s funding application was focused on assessing the feasibility of a home energy efficiency program with elements of program design included. It is important to note that the FCM funding primarily supports full program development (via homeowner loans offered through Local Improvement Charge (LIC) loans), scaling and implementation, but not pilots unless they are innovative and unique.

Home energy efficiency retrofit program:
Refers to a project or upgrade to a home that reduces energy use and/or greenhouse gas emissions (ie. adding insulation; upgrading heating and air conditioning equipment; and/or adding renewable energy options, etc.). Over the past few months, the CCCM with support from the Bay Area Climate Change Council, has developed a program based on these values:

• Support for upgrades with high emission reduction potential
• Manage (minimize) costs to reduce emissions
• Program equity to address energy poverty
• Promote transparency and consumer choice
• Create market confidence for home upgrades

The overall goal of the program is to implement a home upgrade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Burlington homes. Co-benefits of a program include local employment opportunities; reducing energy poverty; and improved home comfort and enjoyment.

The idea certainly has merit – but it has a long way to go before it is ready for a full scale roll out.

The CCCM forecasts growth over a number of years in home energy efficiency, specifically related to the Burlington program air source heat pump conversions and leak sealing initiatives:

Program Year Homes Upgraded per Year

Some residents may pursue other programs offered through Enbridge Gas and Natural Resources Canada.

In the event that the budget business case (for 2023) is not approved to support the initial proposed program, staff will provide limited support to homeowners by continuing to promote options available and host informational webinars with community partners. However, individual support to homeowners would not be possible without a full time position to support the program. Staff will continue to discuss regional partnership opportunities with nearby municipalities with the potential to present a subsequent business case for consideration during the 2024 budget.

The CCCM led the process to assess the feasibility of a HERO program for Burlington. It started with background research of best practices across many jurisdictions where home energy efficiency programs are offered. There was a coordinated effort with the Bay Area Climate Change Council to interview local stakeholder groups, city staff, municipal staff (from other communities), and 3rd party delivery agents. A homeowner survey was completed with both online and telephone respondents. Demographic and housing data was assessed along with home energy audit data (audits previously completed in Burlington) to help narrow down home energy efficiency measures for Burlington.

Regular updates were provided to a small staff team with the Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services; the Manager of Environmental Sustainability; and representation from the Finance department. Updates were also provided to the Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the city’s Climate Action Plan and the Bay Area Climate Change Council’s Implementation Team (focused on home energy efficiency retrofits) who provided guidance and acted as sounding boards.

Total Financial Impact
It is recommended that the city develop necessary measures to support a small scale program with LIC loans and communications and marketing. This is a preliminary budget and a business case will be submitted for the 2023 budget cycle to support the operational elements for a small scale program, including one full-time staff member to administer the program.

Feasibility and Program Design Budget:
Council approved $182,000 in September 2020 to support this project. In addition, staff were successful in securing an additional $100,000 in a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for a total of $280,000. Staff received council direction to transfer $60,000 to the development of the Climate Adaptation Plan (Climate Resilient Burlington), leaving $220,000 available for the HERO feasibility and program design project.

The agreement with CCCM for their work has a budget of $174,000, leaving $46,000 in available funding for climate related initiatives. The final remaining amount is subject to change based on the final review and reconciliation of expenses with FCM.

The Better Homes Burlington proposal is a key measure identified in the city’s Climate Action Plan. Support for homeowners to improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint will assist Burlington in becoming a net carbon neutral community and showing leadership on climate action.

Related news story:

It works – story of an example

Return to the Front page

JBH Gradually Easing Public Health Measures: Surgical Activity has Reached 90 %

By Eric Vandewall

March 23rd, 2022



As key public health and health system indicators continue to improve, Ontario and local governments are gradually easing public health and safety measures. While many of us welcome the opportunity to take part in indoor social activities such as sporting events, it is important to recognize that COVID-19 remains transmissible to vulnerable individuals receiving care in healthcare settings. We cannot lose sight of our role in protecting the health and safety of patients and healthcare workers at Joseph Brant Hospital.

Eric Vandewall: President and CEO Joseph Brant Hospital

Individual organizations and municipalities are responding and managing these new measures differently – some may choose to adopt current practices, while others may take a more careful and measured approach depending on local conditions and the populations that they serve. The lifting of public health measures by provincial and local governments is, at the end of the day, a judgement call.

Hospitals have the discretion to establish their own guidelines and review them on an ongoing basis. At this point, JBH will continue to require that all patients, essential care providers, and visitors wear a hospital-issued, medical grade mask while in the hospital. This decision is rooted in data, evolving science and evidence-based best practices – it is what is best for our patients, our staff, physicians, learners and volunteers.

We have not changed our COVID-19 vaccination requirement for Essential Care Providers (ECPs), with very limited exceptions. ECPs are still required to complete a COVID-19 screening before coming to the hospital. It is important for patients and their loved ones to review the visitor guidelines; we will continue to re-evaluate our policies in the weeks and months ahead, with input from our patients, their ECPs and our staff.

We have made changes to the limits on ECPs, recognizing the important role ECPs play in a patient’s care, well-being, and recovery. Patients staying in hospital can have two ECPs at their bedside, and individuals coming for appointments or coming to the Emergency Department can have one person accompany them.

I am pleased to report that our surgical activity has reached 90 per cent of pre-COVID levels, consistent with the changes in provincial direction. Our diagnostics are running at full capacity. We continue to explore additional strategies to address the surgical procedures backlog and are we are working closely with our surgeons to monitor deferred procedures very closely to ensure timely access for patients requiring  urgent and time-sensitive procedures.

Throughout the pandemic, we have shared what we are seeing in our community when it comes to care needs – this includes the growing need for mental health and addictions (MHA) services. I invite you to a virtual panel about Burlington’s current and future needs for these services on Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. The panel aims to shine a light on this important topic; help people to discover the available services in the community; and to provide a forum for questions and answers at a time when many are looking for more support.

Join our MHA experts, Dr. Steven Selchen and Dr. Monidipa Ravi; our moderator, Jane McKenna, MPP for Burlington and Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues; and Michelle Barr, Director of Services of Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK). Please go to www.keepcareclosetohome.ca for details on how to join the virtual discussion, and please take a moment to fill out a short survey about the mental health and addictions resources in our community.

These last two years have been incredibly difficult for everyone. The road behind us has been a long one, and we are moving in the right direction, with high vaccination rates and a decreasing trend in COVID-19 hospitalizations. As public health measures continue to lift, we encourage you to continue to follow the guidance of medical experts and public health officials.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our teams have continued to care for people in our community. I am so proud of our teams here at JBH and I would like to thank all of our dedicated staff, physicians, learners, and volunteers for their incredible efforts to provide safe and quality care.

Thank you for your continued support.

Please take care, stay safe and be well.

Return to the Front page

City Updates Vaccination Policies for Volunteers and Staff

By Staff

March 23rd, 2022


Masks aren’t a must but hugs are in – according to the Mayor.

Vaccinations are heavily encouraged.  For those who do not get vaccinated – there have been consequences.

The creation of the vaccine in such a short period of time will be seen as a true marvel.

The City’s COVID-19 Volunteer Vaccination Policy has been repealed.

This means  volunteers, when accessing City facilities and taking part in City activities, will not be required to show proof of vaccination.

On March 14, 2022, the City of Burlington COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Policy was amended; staff that are not vaccinated will continue to have the option to test (Fire Department staff excluded). The decision to amend the COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Policy was done in light of the evolving pandemic situation and messages from the Chief Medical Officer of Health regarding workplace vaccination policies. In addition, the Province of Ontario lifting its vaccine passport requirements and remaining capacity limits factored into this COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Policy amendment.

Being tested isn’t quite this dramatic.

Passive screening for the public visiting City facilities will continue to be in place. (Passive screening is a list of questions that are asked.) Members of the public who wish to continue to wear their mask in City facilities are welcome to do so and we ask the public be patient and kind with one another and staff as we move through these changes together. Daily active screening of City employees and source control masking will remain in place for City staff.

Passive screening means:

  • you must post signs with clear instructions at all entrances that tell people how to screen themselves
  • the signs should include the screening questions and instruct people with symptoms or high-risk exposures not to enter the premises
  • people are assumed to have screened themselves and followed the instructions
  • you do not need to ask anyone to report the result of their screening
  • a person should be told not to enter if they volunteer the information that they did not pass the screening assessment

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward: vaccinated or tested.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward explains: “Vaccination policies for our City staff and volunteers have been flexible throughout the pandemic — changing as needed to respond to health indicators and advice from health officials. Based on the current situation, and in keeping with advice from the Medical Officer of Health and the Province, in lifting requirements to show proof of vaccination in certain settings, we are modifying our policy once again. City volunteers won’t be required to show proof of vaccinations, and City staff (with the exception of the fire department, due to the nature of the job) have the choice of vaccination or testing.”


Return to the Front page

Director of Education panel: Two Spirit & Transgender Awareness: Beyond Bathrooms.

By Staff

March 23rd, 2022



The next Halton District School Board (HDSB)  Director’s Panel Series on Identity, Inclusion & Human Rights will take place on March 29th at 6:00 pm

The working title for the event is Two Spirit & Transgender Awareness: Beyond Bathrooms.

Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board

HDSB families, staff and community members are invited to the Director’s Panel Series on Identity, Inclusion & Human Rights to raise awareness on historical and contemporary issues of identity, inclusion and human rights. The next session in the panel series will be:

Two Spirit & Transgender Awareness: Beyond Bathrooms
Tuesday, March 29 at 6 – 7:30 p.m.
This will be a virtual event, with the livestream linked on the HDSB website (www.hdsb.ca).
Registration is not required.

Panel speakers include:

• Dani Araya, Coordinator, Trans Youth Mentor Program, The 519
• Andie Davis, HDSB Grade 11 student
• Lyndon George, Indigenous Justice Coordinator, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
• Eliot Newton, Education Program Coordinator, Comprehensive Sexuality Education, at the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
• Stella, HDSB Grade 8 student
• Phi Trân Trinh, Program Coordinator, Positive Space Network
• Dinaly Tran, Nonbinary BIPOC Program Coordinator, Planned Parenthood Toronto

Those interested in attending the event can submit a question to the panel before or during the panel discussion through this Google Form: https://forms.gle/L5AxQvpErhR9wpkG9

Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board explains:    “Each session in the series will explore how issues of identity and inclusion intersect with education,”

“This provides an opportunity to create awareness of multiple perspectives of insight and analysis on how individual identities can be reflected and engaged in the broader HDSB community. This panel series aligns with the Board’s commitment to raise awareness of diverse community perspectives and the need to broaden resources to support inclusion and student achievement, as reflected in the HDSB’s Multi-Year Plan 2020-2024 and the Human Rights Equity Action & Accountability Plan – The Way Forward.”

Future sessions in the series include:
• Indigenous Perspectives on Decolonizing Education and Land (Tuesday, April 26 at 6 – 7:30 p.m.)
• Perspectives on Islam and Islamophobia (Tuesday, May 31 at 6 – 7:30 p.m.)

Previous panel sessions include Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred (Feb. 7) and Black Excellence: Today and Every Day (Feb. 28). Full recordings of these panel discussions are available to view on the Director’s Panel Series on Identity, Inclusion and Human Rights webpage.

Return to the Front page