Burlington NDP candidate Andrew Drummond says the objective is an NDP majority government

By Ryan O’Dowd

October 5th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Andrew Drummond is back as the New Democratic Party provincial candidate and he’s in the upcoming (June 2nd) election to win it.

After a successful 2018 campaign where Drummond captured over 28% of the vote, more than doubling his predecessor, Drummond says this is the first election he’s entering where the expectation is victory.

Andrew Drummond with a supporter

Bolstered by a substantially higher campaign budget after consistent gains made in the region and provincial trends Drummond has no doubt this will be a winnable election.

“Yes we can win this election, unequivocally yes,” Drummond said. “We showed in the last campaign the city treats the NDP as the second choice here and going into this election, we know that we’re going to be the choice of progressive people. Over and above the ambitious platform that we will be releasing, the policy papers we’ve already put out, when you get to the doors and talk to people, those ideas really resonate.”

Drummond has been working on the upcoming campaign since the 2018 election ended, breaking to manage two federal campaigns to keep the momentum going. In addition to Drummond’s impressive personal results, he managed both federal NDP candidates to incremental gains, including most recently Nick Page on a budget of $12,000, down from roughly $30,000 the previous election.

Drummond operated on a $35,000 budget in his last provincial outing, which was the largest Burlington  constituency budget ever.

Drummond will face off once again with incumbent Jane McKenna.

This time around Drummond is operating on a baseline budget of $80,000, one he suspects will grow. He estimates the budget he has to work with will allow the campaign to fully cover the riding with literature twice over and afford him the opportunity to personally interact with every voter at the door.

‘We have been targeting this election. This is our moment here. We are very prepared to fight this next election,” said Drummond.

Drummond’s confidence is riding high following a vote of support from provincial party leader Andrea Horwath who plans on campaigning in the area; she will be present or providing a recorded message when he is acclaimed as the NDP candidate later this month.

Drummond was born into a political household, to parents he calls “Red Tories” who tried to push the party to the left. As a young child Drummond spent days in playpens in campaign offices. Political campaigns used to excite Drummond as a 25-year-old knocking on doors but over time that excitement has been deflated by the weight of his responsibility.

“I’ve always been excited about it. I’ll be honest it gets a little less exciting the more you do it. It’s a lot harder when I know how important the things that we’re fighting for are. And the pressure to do well increases, especially now with this campaign,” said Drummond.

Although Drummond tempers his excitement with responsibility he leaves nothing wanting for passion. Drummond says time will tell if his work as a campaign manager made him a better candidate but he enjoys the work.

Drummond: loves going door to door

“I love going door to door, I love meeting people face to face. In-person communication is what I think I do best. It’s what I enjoy most about campaigning and I didn’t get to do as much of that as campaign manager,” he said.

Drummond listed several reasons for his optimism about improving from his last outing toward fulfilling the party goal, which Drummond says is an NDP majority.

Drummond was nominated with six weeks left before the last provincial election; this time he has eight months to campaign before ballots are cast June 2nd, 2022.

The NDP enters this provincial election as the official opposition for the first time since 1987, and voters know Drummond from 2018. He jokes that what people wanted in Ontario in the last election was a Progressive Conservative government led by Andrea Horwath, calling her by far the most popular candidate.

Drummond cites his accessibility as a big factor contrasted with both opponent’s historical hesitancy and with his previous limitations.

Drummond took six days off of work for the last provincial election, this time around he will be committed to campaigning for two months.

When asked if he was concerned about the provincial Liberal government bouncing back from their worst-ever showing in 2018 and siphoning progressive votes Drummond laughed.

“How could I possibly say ‘no’ to that question? But if you ask [Liberal candidate] Mariam Manaa she has the same concerns. People here recognize that we will be the alternative,’ said Drummond.

Drummond’s campaign puts quality of life as a top priority. Printed on his face mask are the words: “everyone deserves paid sick days”. He speaks  enthusiastically about worker’s rights, climate change, cost of living, and affordable housing. Drummond hesitated to boil down his campaign to a handful of specific issues saying there are paths to improve every area of life in the NDP platform.

“One of the things that I have learned in politics is that every single issue, every last thing that you ever talk about is more complex than it looks at first glance, there is a layer upon layer to every issue,” said Drummond.

When Drummond accepted the nomination last election he said he wasn’t angry with the status quo he was saddened by it. Drummond pointed to failings, inaction, and what he called deliberate choices to harm the most vulnerable, citing the province clawing back disability benefits for those on CERB as a recent example.

Leader of the Opposition Andrea Horwath

Drummond will be acclaimed for the nomination on October 21st. He believes Burlington has shown itself to be a progressive town and the moment is now for the NDP to capitalize on their momentum.

“It’s a mix between crushing and exciting. I know we’re getting close and I’m trying to figure out in my head how long until I can go door to door and start talking about provincial issues”.

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Statutory meeting on a Kerns Road Retirement Home Development to take place Oct 5th - virtually

By Staff

October 3rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In language only a bureaucrat or a lawyer can write the plans for a four storey retirement home on Kerns Road are set out.

The development will replace a very small strip mall in a neighbourhood that is made up of windy, well-treed streets and large single family dwellings.

Architectural rendering of the proposed retirement home development

The proposal will be described and defended by Glen Wellings, (the planning consultant hired by the developer) at a Statutory meeting on October 5th at 1;00 PM. .

The Statutory meeting will be a virtual event which in the past has dampened public participation for many, but not all developments.

A virtual meeting is a different kind of public event – there is no sense of community, the speaker is in a virtual space where they can see the members of Council taking part and the Council members can see the person delegating.  There is no sense as to how many people are actually watching the web cast.

If the person delegating wants to use some visual material,  getting it to actually appear is not a certainty – there are still technical issues that have not been overcome.

Some municipal councils have moved to a model that runs both a virtual event alongside a live event. People can choose which route they want to take.

The Halton District School Board meets with half the trustees in the room and the other half taking part virtually.

Burlington City Council has a report on a possible return to meeting that will be live but with limited public participation and all staff participation being virtual.  The pandemic is still very much with us – and so is the phrase “with an abundance of caution” which is being overused to the advantage of people who are not strong believers in full public participation.

Bound by Kerns Road and Four Seasons Drive the property currently houses a small strip plaza.

What is Proposed?
A private land owner has made an application to change the Zoning By-law designation for the property located at 1600 Kerns Road. The location of the subject property is shown on the Location Sketch.

The application proposes the rezoning of the property to facilitate a retirement home having a height of four storeys with one level of underground parking and comprised of 123 units.

The proposed development also contemplates commercial uses at grade.

Four views of the proposed retirement home development.  The building will be terraced on the south side

The subject lands are currently designated ‘Neighbourhood Commercial’ in the City of Burlington Official Plan (1997), as amended and ‘Local Centres’ in the New Official Plan (2018).

The applicable zoning of the subject lands is ‘Neighbourhood Commercial (CN2)’ Zone. A site-specific exception (‘CN2-XXX) Zone’) has been proposed with amendments which include, but may not be limited to, matters related to permitted use(s), setbacks, height, parking and landscape buffers.

The portion of the lands associated with the Natural Heritage System are proposed to be rezoned to ‘Open Space (O2) Zone’ and dedicated to public ownership.

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Could a land swap save the city and keep the waterfront in the hands of the public?

By Pepper Parr

September 29th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was during a meeting on that wonderful deck that runs along the north side of Lakeshore Road – across the street from Spencer Smith Park where one can see the ships heading to, or leaving, Hamilton harbour and where, what a long departed friend said, one can enjoy an Adult Libation.

One of the prime places to just enjoy the city is on the north side of Lakeshore looking out over the lake. Great ideas bubble to the surface while enjoying an Adult Beverage,

I was meeting with a couple of friends and talking through possible options and new ideas to keep the Waterfront Hotel site in public hands rather than have a large tower go up.

At the time no one knew that the developer’s plan was for two 30 story plus towers on the site.

Many see the land south of Lakeshore Road as a “public” part of the public realm.  Much of it is land that was recovered and made usable with landfill.

The owners of the hotel do have title to some of the land but surely not all the land right up to the edge of the lake.

My friends, who don’t want their names trotted out at this point – at an appropriate time they will be more public.  These are men who comment intelligently on public matters.

They wondered aloud if there was not some kind of land swap that could be done.

And that was when a light bulb lit up.

It doesn’t function all that well as a place to work and the city is going to need a lot more space.

City hall as a building is not that functional.  It is past its best-before date but, because it is what we have, money is going to be spent on making the best of a bad situation.

It is an awkward building – there was no real design – additions kept being added. The entrance was once on the west side.

The Art Gallery has never been a truly functional building.  It is a collection of additions to a structure that were added on when there was a donor.

So – here is a swap that could be done:

The owner wants to build and has some impressive designs – that will, if ever built, change the heart and soul of the city. There is a chance to give the developer what they want and to save what is left of Burlington.

Exchange the Waterfront Hotel site for the city hall site and the Art Gallery site.

Then design a purpose built building that would house City Hall and the Art Gallery on the Waterfront Hotel site.

Include a band shell and ensure the roof of the structure is environmentally friendly.  And ensure that the building is not more than four storeys.

Two for the Art Gallery and two floors for the city.

Hold a charette and commission some design ideas from architects from around the world.

Imagine for a moment: City Hall and the Art Gallery nestled at the base of the slope of the land immediately south of Lakeshore Road leaving a clear view of the Lake.  Try the idea on for size the next time you are walking along the promenade and talk it up with your friends.

Parking – that is something that would have to be figured out.  The Lotus Street Parking lot is used by city hall staff now – that could continue and there could be some parking beneath the four storey building.

Can’t be done you say?  With the right leadership – it certainly can be done.

Rob MacIsaac, a former Burlington Mayor, took bold steps and changed the city in a way that no one has since his time.

Rob MacIsaac, a former Burlington Mayor, did it when he turned the former police station on Locust into the Performing Arts Centre, then had the building that houses a restaurant along with the tourist office on the ground floor and office for the Chamber of Commerce, the BDBA and the Economic Development Corporation on the second floor with five levels of parking above it all.

Then he got really ambitious and got a pier built as well.

So – never say it can’t be done – think about how it can be done and where the leadership is going to come from.

More on this going forward.

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.

 

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New Director of Transportation: Tolone retired more than a month ago, doubtful there will ever be another like him

By Pepper Parr

September 29th, 2021

BURLINGTON. ON

 

When there is a new appointment at city hall the Gazette reports on the newcomer and their experience.

Craig Kummer, newly appointed Director of Transportation.

Craig Kummer was announced as Director of Transportation Department; it is an important job and he brings an impressive record of achievement with him.

But before we get into telling you about the new Director – we would be amiss if we did not say goodbye to the Director who retired.

They called it the New Street Diet. Tolone never got a chance to say what he really thought of the idea. He kept his head down and lived through it – until the then Mayor gave up on the idea.

There will never be another Vito Tolone at city hall. He was more than unique – a pleasure to listen to, even when he got excited when an audience was giving him grief. Vito had to deal with traffic and in Burlington that is a touch point.

With Craig Kummer now signed on and fresh business cards to hand out he may want to get an idea of what Vito had to deal with.

Vito Tolone was not impressed. He had to deal with a city that had too many cars, not enough roads and a public that did not want to give up on their cars.

Vito knew more than anyone else what was needed to keep traffic moving – he was seldom listened to – even though he usually had the answers. We are told that Vito is about to take up carpentry on those occasions when he isn’t chatting with his friends at the Fortinos at Limestone Ridge.

Kummer brings over 20 years of public sector experience in the Transportation Industry to the City of Burlington.

For the past five years, he has served as the Senior Manager of Traffic Services with the City of Brampton and was responsible for the strategic alignment and delivery of programs within the Traffic Services Section.

During this period, he oversaw the implementation of many citywide initiatives including one of the province’s largest Automated Speed Enforcement programs and Brampton’s Active Transportation Master Plan.

He listened, he watched and he made a difference.

Kummer was an active member of the City of Brampton’s Smart City Team and the Hurontario Light Rail Transit Transportation Management Committee where he provided guidance and insight on transportation issues.

Prior to this, Kummer held several roles within the City of Brampton in the areas of Traffic Signals, Street Lighting, and Traffic Operations. In these roles, he was instrumental in the implementation of Transit Signal Priority and Brampton’s traffic management centre.

It was a day Vito Tolone just wanted to forget.

An active participant within the Transportation Industry, he offers support to moderate certificate programs, and currently sits on the board of directors for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Canada.

Kummer is a graduate of the Transportation Engineering Technology Program from Mohawk College and has completed numerous management certificates.

He will join the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Service Group on Oct. 13 and report to the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility.

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Public School Classrooms will be Focusing on the Meaning of the Truth and Reconciliation reports

By Staff

September 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, Sept. 30, the Halton District School Board and individual schools will be honouring this important day with a number of acknowledgments and learning opportunities, in addition to lowering the Canadian flag at all schools and Board offices.

Traditionally, this day has been commemorated as Orange Shirt Day. Inspired by the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, Orange Shirt Day is held annually on Sept. 30. Phyllis was a student at St. Joseph Mission Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C. Orange Shirt Day is inspired by her experience on her first day at a residential school.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation seeks to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis residential school survivors, their families and communities, and to ensure that public commemoration of their history and the legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Stuffed animals were placed in front of the former Kamloops Residential School Monday in a community vigil that encouraged attendees to wear orange, a Canadian tradition that aims to raise awareness for the atrocities of residential schools.

“As we recognize this day, we must ensure that we go beyond wearing orange shirts,” says Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education. “Creating meaningful learning opportunities that centre Indignenous voices, focus on Indigenous rights, contributions, histories, truths and contemporary realities that are rooted in colonization helps create a more complete picture of the historical truths and realities of First Nations, Métis and Inuit. We all play a part in upholding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.”

“In upholding our responsibility to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action #62 and #63, resources have been shared with staff leading up to Sept. 30 and will be a part of ongoing learning throughout the school year.”

In many classrooms, a week of learning is planned for students and staff, which has included resources from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. As the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has stated, education holds the key to making things better.

Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board, has shared a video message for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

 

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Memorial Walk Will Take Place on Thursday Starting at the Western End of Spencer Smith Park

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this Thursday with a memorial walk at Spencer Smith Park.

The event begins at noon and runs until 6 p.m. on September 30th.

The memorial walk from Beachway Park to the gazebo begins at 3:30 pm and will be followed by a ceremony at 4:30 pm. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange.  Beachway Park is an extension of Spencer Smith Park – they come together at about where the Brant Museum is located.

City employees will observe the holiday from Sept. 27th through Sept. 30th by focusing on educational events and opportunities reflecting Canada’s commitment to understand the truth about Indigenous relations and advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Unidentified graves at a Residential school IN Western Canada

In June 2021 the federal government passed legislation to proclaim September 30th a public holiday. The holiday was created to honor Indian Residential School survivors and to remember the lives lost there. The implementation of the holiday was one of 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation originated with “Orange Shirt Day ” in 2013, where Canadians would wear orange shirts to signal their support for Indigenous communities, this year is the first time the day will be observed as a holiday.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action urged all levels of government-federal, provincial, territorial, and aboriginal-to work together to change policies and programs to address the harm done by residential schools and move toward reconciliation.

The calls to action are divided into two parts: legacy and reconciliation. The legacy calls to action are those seeking to address ongoing structural inequalities marginalizing Indigenous people, intentionally or not. Reconciliation calls to action are meant to advance the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in various sectors of society, educate Canadians about the truth of Indigenous relations, and affirm Indigenous rights.

The 94 calls to action were released in 2015, as of the Yellowhead Institute’s (a First Nations-led research center based in Ryerson University) 2020 report – only 8 had been followed through on to date

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Public School Board wants feedback on the Long Term Accommodation Plan

By Staff

September 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Parents/guardians, staff members, students and the broader community are invited to review and provide feedback on the Halton District School Board’s 2020-2021 Long Term Accommodation Plan (LTAP).

This plan addresses the existing and projected accommodation needs of students in elementary and secondary schools and identifies new capital project initiatives such as the need for new schools.

Before the LTAP is approved by the Board, feedback on the document is welcomed until Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.

It’s a 300 plus page report. Not for the faint of heart.

The LTAP, along with documents and resources outlining key points for Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville are available on the Long Term Accommodation Plan webpage on the Halton District School Board website (www.hdsb.ca).

The public is asked to provide feedback by Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 at 4 p.m. using:
● The online feedback form, or
● Email: plan@hdsb.ca

Once feedback has been collected, staff will provide a report for Trustees at the Oct. 20, 2021 Board meeting.

The LTAP is not a short document – it is data laden and not exactly bedtime reading.  The Gazette will review the documents and do our best to provide some clarification.

Some background information on just what the LTAP is and why it is in place can be found HERE

The full report is more than 300 pages long – it is not for the faint of heart.  It is broken out by municipality.

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Our Last Comment on the Federal Election in Burlington

By Pepper Parr

September 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is time to bring to an end the machinations of the recent federal election.

In the ten years the Gazette has been publishing we have never seen the bitter, angry misinformed comment from some of our readers.

One in particular, who chose to comment in the name she used most of the time and then on other occasions used her maiden name.

She made the claim – that a Conservative running for office would never take part in a one on one interview with the Gazette.

Clip from an interview with Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace advertisement in the Gazette – he ran several different ads.

We have to correct her. In 2015 Mike Wallace did an interview with us; he also advertised in the Gazette.

We were never able to convince Emily Brown to sit down for an interview.  This was a decision she made not have made on her own.  Except for a Conservative candidate in Milton, the Gazette was not able to do interviews with Conservative candidates.

Not healthy from a public engagement perspective.  And just plain bad politics.

We gave some thought to setting up a small card table right outside the Conservative campaign offices and waiting for Ms Brown – but thought the better of it – she is a gun toting lady and we are told a good shot as well.

 

 

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Police Seek Assistance Identifying Male who Exposed Himself in Burlington

By Staff

September 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a male who exposed himself at a Burlington pet store.

On August 22, 2021, at approximately 4:45 pm, a male suspect attended the PetSmart store located at 2311 Appleby Line in Burlington. He engaged a female employee in conversation before exposing himself by removing his pants and underwear. The suspect apologized to the manager and left the store before returning and offering to apologize to the employee.

The suspect is described as
• Male, 20-30 years old
• 5’10 – 6’0 tall, 160 lbs.
• Full beard
• Wearing a white t-shirt, beige pants and a camouflage “Support our troops” hat

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.

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Were we right? We certainly weren't wrong

By Pepper Parr

September 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There was a headline on a story that we published that gave the Conservatives in the city some indigestion

We wrote:

Karina Gould rallying her troops in the days leading up to the election

Karina Gould keeps the Burlington seat; Emily Brown was never able to attract the Conservative vote

Newspaper headlines can be misunderstood, especially if you don’t like what you think they said.

Emily Brown

When we said Brown was not able to attract the Conservative vote we were referring to the number of people who had voted Conservative in the past who did not appear to show up in 2021.

Conservatives votes in the past were substantially more than the number that showed up in this election.

The Liberal vote – held at basically the same number in other elections.

We thought there was something about Emily Brown the Conservative vote just wasn’t buying.

In 2006 Wallace got 28,030; Liberal Paddy Torsney got 21,656

In 2008 Wallace got 28614; Liberal Paddy Torsney got 19,57721,656

In 2011 Wallace got 32,958; Liberal Brierley got 14,154

In 2015 Mike Wallace got 29,870 votes; Gould got 32,229Head

In 2019 Jane Michael got 23,467; Gould got 34,217

In 2021 Emily Brown got 25,842; Gould got 31,602

There was that 25 to 30 thousand range that the Tories held year after year.

Karina Gould came along and moved beyond the 30,000 level but the Tories didn’t move with her.

There was a solid Wallace vote. Jane Michael should never have been a candidate; the Burlington Conservatives saw through her and didn’t show up.

The point we were making is that the strong Wallace vote just wasn’t there for Emily Brown this time around.

The Liberal vote held for Gould – even though Justin Trudeau had called a vote the country didn’t need – her vote count improved.  Gould clearly has captured the hearts of Burlingtonians.

Does that once vibrant Conservative vote still exist?  Of that no one can be certain.

The piece we published.

 

 

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The two Michaels - when will the Governor General name them as Members of the Order of Canada ?

By Pepper Parr

September 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Many in Burlington have been patiently waiting for the federal government to announce that Terry Fox will be on the next version of the five dollar $5.00 bill.  They aren’t ready to announce yet.  The wheels turn slowly.

Hopefully they will not be as slow when the Office of the Governor General, where the Order of Canada awards and announcements are made, decide that the two Michael’s are to be made Members of the Order of Canada.

There is a process of course and it has to be followed – but is this not a very special situation ?

Michael Kovrig on the left, Michael Spavor on the right

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor spent more than 1000 days in wretched jail cells,  cooped up with others because the Chinese government wanted to force the Canadian government to let one of their citizens return to China.  We are not going to name the Chinese citizen – enough attention has been wasted on her.

All she had to do was admit what she eventually did admit she had done.

The Michaels are different – they stood strong during a very hard situation.  Now they have to adjust and learn about all the things they missed.  Their credit cards have to be renewed; do they have places to live?  Do they have jobs?  Is their mental health good?

Both men are going to need time to adjust – they will need as much privacy as media and the public in general can give them.  In the immediate future though, there is an opportunity for their government to formally recognize their contribution to making this country what it is.

 

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One road to more affordable housing in Burlington is a closer look and some action on Inclusionary Zoning

By Staff

September 25th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Inclusionary zoning (IZ) is a relatively new strategy in many Canadian municipalities that specifically allows municipalities to require affordable housing units to be provided in new residential development projects.

There is little value for IZ in areas where, due to the lack of market demand, significant measures and incentives are required to attract development. In these circumstances, more direct measures such as funding construction of affordable housing units through non-profit organizations may be more efficient at addressing affordable housing needs.

Young families have been driving the population growth in the reason; that growth is threatened by the high cost of housing,

Halton Region has a higher proportion of family households than most other areas of the province. Across Halton 78.4% of the dwellings are family households, compared to 71.3% across the GTHA and results in a lack of available detached or semi- detached single-family dwellings.

By 2041, the percentage of family households is projected to decrease to 75.8% of Halton’s housing mix. After 2021, intensification in Halton was planned to be pursued aggressively with 90% of the growth in built-up areas being in the form of condominiums and apartments, and just 10% in the form of ground related housing.

If Halton wants to attract younger generations to support its aging population, it will need a proper housing mix including condominiums and apartments to do so.

Younger families have been the bedrock of Halton’s growth and are the most likely to stay in the region long-term and multi-generationally. If these families have to drive further to find the quality and price of home they expect, Halton will be left with an aging population that has a higher demand on local services such as health care, without a stable and growing tax base to offset and support that increased usage.

Inclusionary zoning should be based on a partnership model. The costs of establishing affordable housing units should be shared among the province, municipalities, development industry, non-profit housing sector, housing advocates, as well as the public.

This is one f the last single family dwellings projects in the city. No more land

When determining what areas would benefit from inclusionary zoning, it is important to assess the specific housing types targeted for affordable housing, target groups where policy efforts should be focused, potential developments that may be exempt from IZ, and examples of how IZ would work in practice and how potential measures and incentives would apply to a given development.

Burlington has a Housing Strategy Working group led by ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stole that happens to have a wide range of people involved in housing issues taking part.  Some deep discussion on how to create an Inclusive zoning category for Burlington (it would have to be Region wide) and maybe even a recommendation to both the city and the Region.

This article along with several others came out of a Dispatch released by Community Development Halton – it is one of the best CDH has produced in some time.  The work was done by Rachel
Ferry, a McMaster University placement student.

 

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The number of cars on Burlington streets isn't being looked at properly

By Pepper Parr

September 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward once said that fireworks were something she heard about from residents almost as much as parking.

Parking – where do the people driving put their cars when they want to shop, or visit or dine?

Back up a bit and ask – where are all the cars coming from?

Back up a bit more – when a development application is filed with the Planning Department one of the reports that must be included is a traffic study.

Look at any number of those studies and they will all say that the number of cars that might be added to the flow of traffic in the city is “acceptable”, or words along those lines.

The people who write these reports are seen to be professionals who know their craft very well and their evidence is accepted as true.

The traffic reports get an OK from the planners.

And – the OK for that single traffic study might be very valid.

But there is a bigger picture that has to be looked at – and at this point no one is looking or asking the question.

All the traffic from the underground garage will exist on to Elizabeth, shown on the left. To the left of the development is the site for whatever the Waterfront hotels site ends up looking like for the site

The hundreds of cars coming out of the Bridgewater Development will exit the development onto Elizabeth street and then can continue north or go right or left on Lakeshore Road.

The hundreds of cars that are expected to come out of the proposed redevelopment of the Waterfront Hotel site also empty onto Elizabeth Street and then can continue north or go right or left on Lakeshore Road.

While this is, at this point in time, a Ward 2 concern it will become an issue elsewhere when the large developments along Fairview and in the east end of the city come online.

We challenge Councillor Kearns to look for a way to require traffic studies to focus on the impact the single development will have (they are already required to do that) AND to provide a report that sets out the impact their development will have on new developments already approved within a 120 metre radius.

The planners can work out the specifics; the objective is to have information that sheds light on that bigger picture.

It is the bigger picture – everything happening within a specific radius that isn’t being looked at.

The city planners don’t ask – they aren’t required to.

We don’t quite why Heather MacDonald, Chief Planner doesn’t go before council and point out that they are not asked to report on the bigger picture – and ask Council to give them a Staff Direction to do just that.

At some point someone has to get ahead of the problem and ask the bigger question.

If we don’t the phrase in the Official Plan that has Burlington as a “City that Moves” will have to add – moves very very VERY slowly.

To Lisa Kearns and Heather MacDonald – the ball is in your court.

Looking forward to listening to what you put before Council on this one.

 

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.

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Renovictions: A nasty little procedure for getting rid of a tenant - then upping the rent

By Staff

September 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier this week Community Development Halton put out a very good report. It was lengthy – so we decided to break it down into several segments.

There is a nasty process that some landlords use to evict their tenants – make some upgrades to the property and then put it back on the market – at a significant rent increase.

The market for rental housing is very very tight.

The process is known as renovictions

Organizing and fighting back. Does it work?

There has been a drastic increase in the number of renovictions in the past few years. Landlords are allowed to end tenancy if major renovations are required to a tenant’s unit by issuing a N13 (notice of termination for renovation or repair).

Eviction notices like the N13 or N12 (terminating a tenancy for landlord’s own use), are not the same as an eviction order but a tactic used by landlords to regain control of the unit.

In Ontario, the only way to legally evict a tenant is through a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board. If after receiving the N13, a tenant decides if they want to challenge it. Their next step is an LTB hearing, in which an adjudicator listens to both sides, considers the evidence and then makes a decision.

The majority of these cases never reach the LTB and therefore this becomes an illegal eviction strategy that is used to increase rental costs.

It is becoming increasingly common for landlords to evict tenants and then re-list the same unit a couple of months later, with a few to no renovations completed at all. If the tenant decides to move out without going through the LTB process, they have the right to move back into their unit once the renovation is completed. The landlord cannot increase the rent – generally they can only raise it according to the percentage mandated by the province’s rent increase guideline.

According to a November 2019 report from the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, over the past four years in Toronto there has been a 294 per cent increase in N13 applications and an 84 per cent rise in N12 applications.

However, since landlords need a building permit to evict tenants, the city could use that as a leverage tool if they find out that the permit has been used fraudulently (the work was never done, or the tenant never got the right of first refusal).

The renoviction practice takes place in the area. – this was in Hamilton.

The landlord should then get another permit moving forward. Challenging an eviction notice is a lengthy process that requires a lot of maneuvering through a complicated system. And for a lot of tenants, the stress of a potential eviction is reason enough to start looking for a new home.

The current provincial government has placed a temporary ban on evictions during the pandemic and landlords are encouraged to work with tenants to establish fair arrangements to keep tenants in their homes, including deferring rent or other payment arrangements.

However, back pay in rent is piling up and many are still getting eviction notices which leads to an uncertain future for many when it comes to where they will live once the eviction bans are lifted.

Related news story:

Affordable housing – how can it be made to happen?

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What is being done to address the issue of housing affordability ?

By Staff

September 22, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The evidence is in, and it is overwhelming. The cost of housing has grown much more quickly than household incomes. The past year has seen housing affordability discussed frequently as the impact of COVID-19 on changing work arrangements has created different opportunities for where people are located. This Community Dispatch will look at what is being done to address the issue of housing affordability.

Federal
Based on the belief that every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable home, The National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10 year, $70-billion plan that the federal government has put in place to create a new generation of housing in Canada that is affordable and inclusive. The NHS is designed as a toolkit to address challenges across the housing continuum and spectrum of housing needs, with its initial focus on vulnerable Canadians including women and children fleeing violence, Indigenous peoples, seniors, and newcomers to Canada. The National Housing Strategy will result in up to 100, 000 new housing units and 300, 000 repaired or renewed housing units creating an entirely new generation of housing in Canada.

Using a mix of funding, grants, and loans, the strategy will create affordable, stable, and livable communities that are mixed-income, accessible (located near amenities and transportation), and sustainable. Rising house prices have made home ownership more difficult. Additionally, Canada’s rental housing supply is aging, many buildings are in poor shape and in need of costly repairs, and the overall supply is not keeping up with the needs in many cities. Therefore, by bringing together the public, private and non-profit sectors, the NHS can create new affordable housing supply by increasing the capacity of the community housing sector, increase funding for building new affordable shelters and supportive housing, encourage construction of sustainable rental apartments using low-cost loans, and utilize surplus lands and buildings to create socially inclusive housing that provides solutions to housing challenges. However, recent analysis of the NHS by the Parliamentary Budget Officer has found that the impact on housing need has been limited over its first three years.

Housing is a federal issue.

While ambitious in its targets, the NHS’s program design is not beyond critique. Its centrepiece financial instrument, the Rental Construction Finance Initiative (RCFI), for example, is ostensibly designed to address rental stock gaps by providing housing developers with quicker access to loans, thereby accelerating housing supply. Critics have argued that the RCFI – which is receiving 85% of the total increase in the NHS budget – may help increase housing supply for “middle income renter demand,” but the inflated income thresholds used in its framework impedes it from providing significant affordable housing solutions (see CURE Brief, Review of RCFI, Jan, 2021).

Provincial
The government of Ontario is supporting the goals of the National Housing Strategy through the Community Housing Renewal Strategy and the Housing Supply Action Plan. 56% of renter households in Ontario cannot afford the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment ($1,266). Rising housing costs have a significant impact on low-income households, and many require some form of assistance through the community housing system.

The Community Housing Renewal Strategy outlines how the government of Ontario will work with community partners to stabilize and grow the community housing sector. It is proven that when people have the housing they need, they have better health, education, and employment outcomes.

The province needs to show serious leadership if the number of new affordable housing are to be built.

When housing is affordable and in areas near transit, schools, workplaces and amenities, individuals have the opportunity to manage their lives and raise their families. Community housing provides a home for people working in low-income jobs, for seniors, those living on social assistance, and for individuals with developmental disabilities, mental health and addictions challenges and for people who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, or human trafficking. Community housing provides homes to over 250,000 families and individuals across Ontario.

In order to increase the supply of market housing, the Ontario government is developing a detailed Housing Supply Action Plan to create more affordable and good quality places to live. During an online consultation, more than half of the submissions from the general public said their top criteria when looking for a home were affordability, followed by transit, schools, and services located nearby. By making the most of infrastructure investments and encouraging more density around major transit stations the plan will make it easier to build the right types of housing in the right places and help Ontarians find a home that meets their needs and budget.

Halton
The success of the National Housing Strategy also requires collaboration with municipalities to empower communities to create strategic plans and locally informed approaches to curb and reduce homelessness while creating new housing opportunities for vulnerable residents. The Comprehensive Housing Strategy, initiated in 2014, serves as the Region’s 10 year housing and homelessness plan that strives to encourage and protect affordable housing in Halton. In 2019, Regional Council endorsed the Comprehensive Housing Strategy Update 2014-2024 – Five-year Review, which provides updated actions and targets for the CHS. These include creating a range and mix of new housing across the housing continuum to meet the needs of the Halton community; protecting existing rental housing so that it continues to be available to residents; and, providing coordinated services to Halton residents who need support to obtain or maintain their housing.

The State of Housing Report is prepared annually to provide a review of housing supply and demand and is used to inform the Comprehensive Housing Strategy.

Halton is a community of more than half a million people with some of the most expensive housing in the province – creating affordable and attainable housing is proving to be a challenge.

Halton’s vision includes advancing the supply of an adequate mix and variety of housing to meet differing physical, social, and economic needs. The report also assesses the Region’s success in achieving its Regional Official Plan housing targets that call for at least 50% of new housing units produced annually in Halton to be in the form of townhouses or multi-storey buildings, and at least 30% of new housing units produced to be affordable or assisted housing.

Halton’s Housing Model gathers various information including household income, household spending, housing costs, and average rents in the region from a variety of data sources including Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Statistics Canada, and Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).

An analysis is then conducted on this data that generates thresholds based on household income and housing cost and that calculation is undertaken for both the assisted and affordable (non-assisted) segments of the housing continuum. A table showing the income and housing cost thresholds in included below.

Income and Housing Cost Thresholds table from the State of Housing Report 2020, Halton Region

Lasting impact of COVID-19
According to the Oakville Resiliency Report of 2020, the pandemic has also made the task of finding affordable housing more difficult. Cost of housing including rentals have fluctuated and many congregate living situations have become dangerous due to the difficulty of physical distancing. Long-term care facilities were hit the hardest by the pandemic with overwhelming outbreaks among residents and staff.

Emergency shelters were also impacted by the pandemic, having to reduce their capacity to abide by social distancing guidelines. Within Halton, a new shelter for families and single women was acquired, while the Lighthouse Shelter was transformed to a men’s only shelter with targeted mental health supports. As well, hotels were being leveraged as needed to address surge demand.

According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board Market Watch, as of August 2021 the average sale price for a home in Halton was $1,206,016, an increase of 17% from the previous year.

The pandemic has created extra challenges and exacerbated others. For women in abusive relationships, there was increased risk when stay at home orders were implemented and violence escalated. According to Halton Women’s Place, shelter capacity decreased based on Covid guidelines, leaving many fleeing violence unable to secure space. As a result, women were waiting longer to come. It is anticipated that there will be a surge after the pandemic ends.

Evictions during the pandemic rose – then there was a ban – but the ban ended.

Changes to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) in the context of the pandemic have also impacted low- income and otherwise marginalized tenants and brought awareness to inequalities and accessibility concerns moving towards online hearings, as documented by Ontario Legal Clinics. Access to technology is highly unequal and the LTB cannot assume that all individuals have equal access to computers, internet connection, phone minutes, or the private space to participate meaningfully in hearings. Additionally, accessing legal assistance or advice during the pandemic when many legal clinic staff are working remotely is challenging especially with short timelines and delays in processing of important documents electronically. With these changes, the LTB has a responsibility to ensure that its response to COVID-19 does not unfairly exacerbate homelessness or the effects of the pandemic on racialized, Black, and Indigenous communities, or renters living in poverty.

This Community Dispatch was produced by Community Development Halton, a not for profit organization that focuses on community development for the Region.

Related news stories that will be published in the near future are on: Inclusionary Zoning; newer forms of housing arrangements and Renovictions – a rather nasty practice some landlords are  using.

 

 

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City of Burlington will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30 as a holiday

By Staff

September 22nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, Sept. 30 as a holiday. To mark the importance of the day, City of Burlington administration buildings will be closed.

Residential school survivor Lorna Standingready (left) is comforted during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada closing ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, June 3, 2015.

Beginning Sept. 27, and leading up to Sept. 30, City employees will observe the holiday by focusing on educational events and opportunities that reflect on the nation’s past and recommit to understanding the truth of our shared history and advancing reconciliation.

We encourage residents to visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website for educational materials and event opportunities.

City Services open and closed on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021:
City Service Holiday Closure Information

Animal Services The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. remains closed to the public due to COVID-19. To report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit Burlington.ca/animal.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate a regular weekday schedule on Sept. 30. For real-time bus information and schedules visit myride.burlingtontransit.ca.

The downtown terminal at 430 John St. and Specialized Dispatch will be open.
City Hall The Service Burlington counter at City Hall (426 Brant St.), will be closed to all appointments and walk-in service on Sept. 30.

Many service payments are available online at Burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office All court proceedings will be closed on Sept. 30 and all matters that were scheduled for that day will be rescheduled.

Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will be open and operating with skeleton staff on Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Telephone and email services will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at: 905-637-1274 and burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca.

With the exception of the skeleton staff operations on Sept. 30, telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. All in-person services are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or online at Halton Court Services.

Parking Paid parking will be in effect on Sept. 30.

In Downtown Burlington, receive 90 minutes of free parking when you pay for parking at the pay station or using the HonkMobile app.

Parking in Downtown is Burlington is free after 6 p.m. and on weekends.

Recreation Programs and Facilities Drop-in recreation programs and rentals will run as scheduled on Sept. 30. Visit

Burlington.ca/dropinandplay or follow @BurlingtonParksRec on Facebook and @Burl_ParksRec on Twitter for the latest updates.

Registered recreation programs will be closed on Sept. 30. Participants impacted will be contacted with additional details.

Please note: In keeping with the provincial regulations and Ministry of Health guidance, effective Sept. 22, 2021, individuals entering indoor City facilities used for sports, recreational fitness activities, meetings, and events, will be required to be fully vaccinated (as defined in the provincial guidance) and provide proof of vaccination, along with identification (unless otherwise exempt). To learn more, visit Burlington.ca/coronavirus.

Roads, Parks and Forestry The administrative office will be closed on Sept. 30. Essential services will be provided as required.
Burlington is a City where people, nature and businesses thrive. As residents continue to rediscover many of their favourite spaces and activities in the city, City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at Burlington.ca/Enews and follow @CityBurlington on social media.

Quick Facts
• Sept. 30, 2021 will mark Canada’s inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation also known as Orange Shirt Day.

• In June 2021, the federal government passed legislation proclaiming Sept. 30 as a public holiday. The holiday is one of 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is intended to honour and commemorate Indian Residential School survivors and those children that did not make it home.

• Before it was a public holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was started in 2013 as “Orange Shirt Day” where Canadians would wear the bright colour as a sign of their allyship and support toward Indigenous communities.

Links and Resources
• Learn more about Orange Shirt Day and how you can contribute: www.orangeshirtday.org.
• Hear Survivor stories and read the Calls to Action at National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

 

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Former Burlington Elementary School Teacher Charged with Historical Sexual Assault

By Staff

September 22, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has arrested a male in relation to a sexual assault that occurred at a Burlington elementary school in 1982.

It has been ranked as the best elementary school in Burlington.

In July, 2021 a former female student at John T. Tuck Elementary School in Burlington, contacted the HRPS to report that she was sexually assaulted by a teacher when she attended the school in 1982.

Michael O’Grady (72) of Burlington, has been charged with:

  • Indecent Assault to a Female

O’Grady was released on an Undertaking.

O’Grady taught at various schools within the Halton District School Board and police believe there may be additional victims.  Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Constable Carly Irwin of the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit, at 905-825-4747, ext. 8976, or by email at carly.irwin@haltonpolice.ca.

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.

Every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Victims of sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in Halton Region for victims of sexual violence:

  • Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777
  • Halton Women’s Place 905-878-8555 (north) or 905-332-7892 (24-hour crisis line)
  • Halton Children’s Aid Society 905-333-4441 or 1-866-607-5437
  • Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
  • Thrive Counselling 905-637-5256 or 905-845-3811
  • Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)

 

 

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How and why was the Rambo Creek diversion chanel built

By Eric Chiasson

September 22, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

For those of you who live or work in the downtown Burlington area or who enjoy spending time there, you might be familiar with a quiet little creek running through the downtown neighborhoods bringing plenty of small wildlife like foxes, possums, and countless birds and reptiles to our backyards – it is known as the Rambo Creek.

Its headwaters come from north of the QEW passing through several box culverts under the highway and parallels Brant Street to the east zigzagging its way through town to Lake Ontario.

Map of downtown Burlington – alignment of Rambo Creek and Rambo Creek Diversion Channel

It wasn’t always a quiet little creek.  There was a time a while back when it would overflow and sometimes flood during big rain falls eroding its banks causing damage in the downtown area.  In the 1990’s, however, the Rambo Creek Diversion Channel and its associated flood control structures were built to stabilize the creek and protect downtown from flooding (Hager-Rambo Flood Control Facilities Study Report 2020 – Wood).

Over the past half century Rambo Creek has been getting more crowded with urban development.  Parking lots and buildings have been built up against it, and in some cases, right over it!  A good portion of the creek is buried in box culverts carrying its waters through town mostly unseen.  Following it through town from Highway 403 all the way to its outlet to Lake Ontario near Lakeshore Road and Torrance Street can be challenging because it moves sporadically from forested open creek beds to long underground culverts.  It winds between apartment buildings and hides behind strip malls.  In some locations, it meanders through residential backyards.  If you’re close by and you pay attention, you’ll hear its natural sounds a running water.
Rambo Creek flowing through downtown residential backyards (left), between buildings and parking lots and diving under roads (right)

Over the years, attempts have been made to stabilize the creek bed by means of concrete retaining walls, gravity stone walls, boulders, and culverts, and have all been subject to significant maintenance and repairs especially during rainy seasons.  As much as we try to control water, its damaging affects through erosion are as inevitable as gravity.  So, to mitigate the risk of flooding and damage to downtown infrastructure, a diversion channel would be needed to control the volume of water going through Burlington’s historic neighborhoods, which was eventually built in the 1990’s.  The channel was funded by multiple levels of government and is maintained and operated by Conservation Halton to reduce the risk of local damage due to flooding (www.conservationhalton.ca/dams-and-channels).

The creek would need to be intercepted high enough to go around the more densely developed downtown area but low enough to maximize the flow reduction through town.  And then a less developed route for the channel would have to be chosen.  Its starting point would be near the intersection of Fairview Street and Brant Street, and the water would be carried safely southwest to the Hamilton Harbor thereby significantly reducing the volume of water going through downtown.

Rambo Creek Diversion Channel near its starting point next to Fairview Road
The diversion channel today consists of a long concrete paved channel approximately 2.5 km long with steep slopes diverting flows from the Rambo Creek itself, and runs southwest parallel to Fairview then curves south through residential neighborhoods under several roads until it goes under Maple Avenue.  This location is one of the best places to watch the channel in action after a big rain fall with deep water being diverted from downtown.

Then the channel runs between Maple View Mall and Maple Park then through a large triple-barrel culvert under the QEW connecting to Indian Creek where a large energy dissipation structure was built to avoid damaging Indian Creek during heavy rains, and flows down Indian Creek’s natural creek bed large enough to carry the water safely to the Hamilton Harbor.
Downstream end of the diversion channel with energy dissipation structures (beautifully garnished with local artwork)
At any given time, there is always some water flowing through both Rambo Creek and through its diversion channel.  During rain falls, however, the volume of Rambo Creek itself increases only slightly accommodating more local runoff form the downtown area, but you’ll notice the flow in the channel increases significantly taking on the majority of the upstream flow from the rains saving downtown from severe damage.

Without this amazing, critical, and unassuming piece of infrastructure, the Rambo Creek would constantly be trying to erode the banks of our historic Burlington neighborhoods.  So next time we get a heavy rain fall in the area, thank the Rambo Creek Diversion Channel and the people who built it for keeping the downtown core safe from being washed away.

 

Eric Chiasson is a civil engineer by training and a construction manager by trade.  Having built many infrastructure projects throughout Canada and the United States over the past 25 years he has become a subject matter expert in infrastructure and construction.  Eric is driven by his curiosity to learn more about how things are built and how they work, encouraging others to join the ranks of those who design and build the infrastructure that makes living in our cities possible.

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Public can now get a look at what the developer wants to do with the Waterfront Hotel site

By Pepper Parr

September 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On the evening of September 8th, there was a virtual pre-application presentation given by Bousfields, planners for Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc. , which is the company expected to make the application.

It was the first look at what the property owners had in mind for the re-development of the Waterfront Hotel site.

Two things about the images shown below – we were able to show a bit of what the developers have in mind last week.

I think the design is superb.

But I don’t think that design is what the people of Burlington want. It is some distance from the slightly quaint look of the downtown core, which isn’t all that big. It is my belief that there isn’t all that much vibrancy to it. But that’s my personal view.

The decision that gets made about this development is to be made by the people of Burlington.

Unfortunately the people of Burlington didn’t get to see the presentation.

There were just over 100 people participating in the virtual presentation – of which at least a dozen were city staff.

During the Q&A part of the presentation the Gazette asked how we could get a link to the presentation which was recorded.

No one had an answer so on September 11th, I reached out to the Director of Communications Kwab Ako-adjei with the following:

Greetings

I think you will have taken in all of the pre-application virtual meeting on Wednesday.

Quite a show.

As you know it was recorded and the developer didn’t raise any objection on it being made public – what wasn’t clear was –

Thomas Walker (I erred and used the wrong last name – it is Douglas) was asked and didn’t seem to know where it would be located nor did he leave me with the sense that it would actually be put on the city web site.

Would you follow this up for us please.

I address this to you because we intend to follow how the request is handled and want to be on record as having reached out to the head of the Communications department.

Stay well

I later got a reply from Carla Marshal, who is one of the Communications Advisers with the city.

Good morning, Pepper.

Please take a look at this information, which should help to clarify the City’s role in the development application process: Understanding the Development Application Process – City of Burlington

The meeting was led by the developer so the developer owns the recording of the event. The City does not own the recording; the developer does. It is at the sole discretion of the developer, in this case, Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc. c/o Bousfields Inc., if and where the recording is posted; it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website: https://bousfields.ca/

Shortly after there was a response from Suzanne Vukosavljevic,  who was filling in for Marshall..  She said:

The City posts its own meeting recordings on the City site but in this specific case you are asking about, it was not a City meeting so therefore, the City is not posting the recording.

Your questions have been answered by staff below.

Thanks for your interest.

The city provided the following:

As the communications advisor for Planning, I have worked with staff to provide you with the following information:

From Thomas Douglas, Senior Planner, Community Planning:

Pre-Application Community Meetings are hosted by the proponent of a development, not the City. If/when the proponent proceeds to submit a development application to the City for their proposal, as part of their application they must provide minutes from the Pre-Application Community Meeting, a written summary of public input received at the meeting, and an explanation of how public input has been addressed and reflected in the submitted application.

In cases where a Pre-Application Community Meeting occurs virtually, this may be done using the City’s or the applicant’s teleconferencing program. When the City’s technology is used, staff will record the meeting and provide the recording to the proponent to aid them in documenting meeting minutes and public input received. The City does not post the recording on the City’s website, and it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website.

I will inform the proponent of the 2020 Lakeshore Road development proposal that the Gazette has expressed interest in obtaining a copy of the recording.

I hope this helps!

I didn’t feel my request had been met and responded:

Actually it doesn’t help very much.  I then set out more specifically what I was looking for: Carla’s responses are short – set in red.

Does the city have a copy of the event that was recorded? No
Pre-Application Community Meetings are hosted by the proponent of a development, not the City.

If not – does the city intend to obtain a copy?
No

and where will the copy be located on the city web site

The meeting recording will not be located on the City website; it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website –

Further: whose technology was used – re: using the City’s or the applicant’s teleconferencing program. When the City’s technology is used, staff will record the meeting and provide the recording to the proponent to aid them in documenting meeting minutes and public input received.
The applicant has the recording.

Further – who would make the decision to not post the recording, should it become available on the city web site.
it is up to the proponent to decide whether they will post the recording online on their own website

I reached out to the planner Bousfields and asked where we could get a link to the presentation. And waited.

This morning there was a response from the Bousefields planner with a link to the presentation.

And later in the day there was a link from Thomas Douglas with the same link.

That’s a lot of back and forth – but we did get what we were asking for. Why the difficulty is beyond me.

There are two images below. They are of what the building will look like from Lakeshore Road and what it will look like from the Lake.

A rendering of what the development might look like from Lakeshore Road. Commercial space will exist at grade.

 

A rendering of what the site will look like from the Lake. Each tower will sit on a four storey podium and then rise to 30 storeys and 26storeys.

In part 2 – there is more in the way of visuals and comment on how the virtual event went and what was learned.

The developer can now submit an application.

When and if they do – they are expected to show how they responded to some of the issues and concerns that were raised.

Bousfields added: Note that the plans are not final and are subject to modifications as we move forward. No formal applications have been submitted at this time, and the public meeting was simply to gauge public interest and explain the proposed intent for the site prior to submission of formal planning applications.

 

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A suspect on an attempted murder charge has been found deceased

By Staff

September 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON. ON

 

The Halton Regional police were looking for David Lavoie (37) of Hamilton as a wanted in connection with a shooting in City of Burlington on September 9, 2021.

Lavoie was found deceased on the evening of Monday September 20, 2021, in Burlington.

Police are not searching for any suspects related to his death and it is not deemed suspicious.

Lavoie was wanted for the charge of Attempt Murder.

The shooting took place at a residence in the area of Maple Crossing Boulevard shortly after 6 pm on September 9, 2021. One victim was transported to hospital and is currently in stable condition.

The police confirmed that the victim and the suspect are known to one another.

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