Burlington now requires building permit applications to be submitted electronically

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 7th, 2021



The City of Burlington  has announced that applications for building permits can now only be sent to the City electronically.

This new online feature will enhance customer service for anyone requiring a building permit and reduce the City’s carbon footprint.

city hall with flag poles

No more trundling down to city hall – building applications have to be submitted electronically.

Applications which were processed before July 5, 2021 will continue to be processed in a hard copy format unless otherwise directed by Building and Bylaw Department staff. If you are unable to submit the application electronically, please contact the Building and Bylaw Department team at 905-335-7731, ext. 7470 or buildingpermits@burlington.ca.

To submit a building permit application online, go to burlington.ca/building.

The online system will make it easier and less time consuming for applicants as they will not need to courier, mail or drop off paper copies of the application.

For City staff, it will mean less printing and paper, improved review process and staff can access applications remotely.

Nick Anastasopoulos, City of Burlington Chief Building Official, commented that, “Throughout the pandemic, staff have been working very hard to get this new electronic system up and running. We’ve heard from residents and the industry that this was a high priority. Reducing our carbon footprint has been a key initiative of the Building and Bylaw Department and the introduction of electronic review will drive this initiative forward. We’re excited to have it in place so as to phase out paper submissions related to building permit applications.”

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Report from Clerk doesn't recommend a Campaign Contribution Rebate Program

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 7th, 2021



Running for office with little in the way of a community profile is very hard – but it can be done.

Running for office with little in the way of money is very very hard – but it can be done.

At the federal level there is a tax break for those who donate to an election campaign. A portion of a donation can be deducted from your income tax return.

City Clerk will oversee the municipal election and sign the document that makes the winners official.

Former City Clerk Angela Morgan signs the document that makes the election results official.

There is, at this point, nothing similar at the municipal level, however the Municipal Act permits a municipality to put one in place.  The Clerk sent Council a report that was discussed at considerable length earlier this week.

Campaign Contribution Rebate Program
The Act provides, but does not mandate, municipalities to pass a by-law to provide rebates to individuals who contributed to a Council candidate’s election campaign.

Rebates are funded through the general revenues of a municipality, in other words rebates would be a tax supported expense.

Municipal campaign contributions are not eligible for income tax rebates, as contributions to Provincial or Federal candidates.

The principle purpose of the program is to encourage participation in municipal elections by reducing the financial burden placed on candidates and campaign donors. A rebate program requires candidates to issue receipts to donors who would then apply for a rebate from the City.

Clerk Arjoon

City Clerk Kevin Arjoon – understands the procedural process exceptionally well.

Rebates would only be processed after the election, and after a candidate files their financial statements in compliance with the Act. Participation in the contribution rebate program by candidates is voluntary. A contribution rebate program enables a municipality to reimburse contributions made by individuals to a campaign of a candidate seeking election for Mayor or Councillor. A number of municipalities have implemented a contribution rebate program including the Cities of Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Markham, Vaughan, Whitby, Ajax and Oakville.

The criteria for eligibility and rebate formulas varies between municipalities. Likewise, the rebate payout amounts will vary greatly.

A municipal survey was conducted specifically to determine the collective scope and financial impact of contribution rebate programs across Ontario for the 2018 Municipal Election. The results of the survey (there were less than 300 people responding) will be set out in a separate news report.

Several factors should be considered prior to establishing a campaign contribution rebate program including:

Eligibility criteria for candidates to participate in the program
Whether it only applies to Mayor and Councillor candidates
Eligibility criteria for contributors
Whether the program should be limited to only residents of Burlington or open to all residents of Ontario
Minimum contribution amounts
A minimum contribution amount is required to be eligible for the program
Formula for rebate
Whether the formula should be consistent for all contributions or vary depending on the amount of the contribution Maximum rebate amounts


Marianne Meed Ward filing her nomination papers for the 2014  municipal election while husband Pete photographs the occasion.

A maximum rebate amount should be set
Administrative policies and procedures
Whether a candidate should be required to file an audited financial statement in order to be eligible for the program
Whether candidates must register in the program at the time of filing their nomination
Candidates requirement to keep meticulous records of all contributions received
The deadline to file all records and receipts with the City Clerk’s Office
Internal staffing resources required to support the program throughout the election period (before, during and after the election)

Administering a contribution rebate program will require staff resources for program administration, including analyzing financial statements, determining the eligibility of an application for rebate, and processing payment

Clerk Arjoon aghast

City Clerk Kevin Arjoon – surprised at a comment made.

Financial impact on Election program and budget
Residents were asked to rate their understanding of how a campaign contribution rebate program works, with 9% responding they had an excellent understanding of the program, and 27% responding they had a good understanding of the program. The majority of the residents therefore indicated they did not have a good understanding of such a program.

Of the 287 contributors for the question, 276 responded whether or not they support for establishing a program.
61% reported they are not supportive of the program, and 39% reported they are supportive.

Reasons for not supporting the program cited include:
A contribution is a contribution and should not be regarded as a way to get a rebate;
It’s taxpayer subsidized;
It sounds very complicated and unnecessary;
Responsibility should be up to the candidate to rally support. The municipalities have greater need for the funds;
There are other ways for people to support candidates.
Needs more transparency, major contributors (and the individuals most likely to benefit from this rebate) are corporate entities/developers/construction firms;
I don’t like that it’s funded through the general revenues of the municipality;
Added cost to administer;
The city should not be involved in the election campaign at all;
We don’t have enough money as it is;
There are higher budget priorities;
Contributes in favour of candidates supported by wealthy voters;
Tax dollars could be going to someone for whom tax payers did not vote.

Reasons for supporting the program cited include:
It removes the financial barrier which definitely negatively affects individuals participating in the election process and increases participation;
A good idea to promote contributions;
Support but consider minimum and maximum values.
Many people think they already get a tax rebate for municipal, because they do for federal/provincial. This would allow consistency with other levels of government and help fundraising, especially for residents who can’t fully fund their own campaigns.

At this time staff is not recommending a campaign contribution rebate program as it’s administratively burdensome and has not definitively demonstrated that it has a greater impact on voter turnout or the number of candidates. Based on the jurisdictional scan, using Oakville as a direct comparator, the program could have a budget impact of approximately $100,000 (just issuing rebates to Burlington residents) which equates to about 20% of the current election budget.

If approved, the cost to administer this program and the rebate amounts would be applied to the tax base and result in a 2022 budget impact. In addition, it is recognized that school board elections are the avenue where many may enter as first-time political candidates. Creating a by-law will benefit Council and Mayoral candidates, which may create inequities with the school board candidates. Should Council wish to explore the possibility of establishing a contribution rebate program for the City of Burlington, it may direct staff to report back with options related to the above considerations.

The Mayor loved the idea – other members of council were a little more hesitant.

More on this when we publish the results of the 20 question survey that less than 300 people responded to – that is not a number on which policy should be based.

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Suspect steals alcohol from two LCBO stores.

Crime 100By Staff

July 7th, 2021



On Tuesday, 22 June 2021 1601hrs., an unknown male suspect attended the LCBO store located at 501 Appleby Line in the City of Burlington and stole two bottles of alcohol valued at $93.55.

lcbo theft June 22

Suspect robs alcohol from two LCBO stores.

The same suspect committed another theft (Halton Occurrence #2021-195001) at this same store where he stole another two bottles of alcohol valued at $148.70. Total theft in two occurrences is $242.25.

Suspect: Male, White, in 20’s, approximately 5’10 and 200lbs., wearing a dark blue coloured “Dallas Cowboys” #9, Romo Jersey, dark pants, black running shoes and a blue coloured Dallas Cowboys cap. The suspect had a black coloured backpack. The suspect was wearing a medical mask PPE.

If you have any information on this case, please contact the HRPS or Crime Stoppers.

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Attracting talent to work at city hall is a problem - keeping those who already work for the city is an even bigger problem.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 6th, 2021



Laura Boyd, Executive Director of Human Resources, gave a presentation to staff on the problems the city is facing attracting the staff needed and keeping the staff they have.

hire problemsShe did not give them a pretty picture.

It was one of those Receive and File reports that was pushed down the line until September when some hard decisions have to be made on the staffing requirements the city is facing and a budget that could balloon to much more than the 5.47% projection.

The presentation was done in two parts – the discussion and debate and then into a CLOSED session where some of the hard and probably very expensive decisions will be outlined.  We never know what is said in CLOSED.

There are 48 positions that have to be filled; there are a number of very senior positions that are expected to take retirement in the not too distant future. At the close of the meeting it was announced that 31 year city veteran Vito Tolone will be retiring on August 27th.

past empl comments Glass doorAlmost every department needs additional staff and the brand, the way the City of Burlington is being described, perceived and seen by the public – on social media particularly, is taking a bit of a beating.

Boyd was telling council what the Human Resources Management Risks are and how she proposes they be managed.  She explained that the city does not have control of its brand and that from a staffing perspective they were headed for a perfect storm.

The ability to attract great people is going to require “new ideas and approaches”.

Another problem is the ability to retain great employees. Part of the solution is to “engage employees actively; develop them professionally and treat them fairly”.

The presentation was heavy on graphs that put a lot of facts before Council.

vacancies as of mid June 2021

Vacancies by department at mid June 2021


forecast requiremente to 2024

Where the retirements are going to take place.

HR org current

The Human Resources compliment now – several contract positions.

future HR ocer three years

The HR department three years from now.

Retention metric - turnover

Red line: Average Voluntary Turnover since 2010 = 5.4% Blue is the total turnover, orange is voluntary turnover.

retention + bar chart

Retention: Voluntary Turnover- Quits plus Retirements by Salary Grade. What is the data telling us? Voluntary turnover is trending beyond historical average.  Grades 10 and 11 have a higher rate of quits– losing future leaders.  Quits are double retirements in nonunion workforce.  Quits and retirements balanced in unionized workforce.  First four columns are union, others are pay grades.

The demand for people with very specific skills is being faced by every municipality in the province. The salaries that are being asked for would create a situation, explained Boyd, where you would have a staff member earning more than their supervisor. She added that talented people are accepting better offers elsewhere – when they leave we are losing our future leaders.

Boyd said she needed to get a handle on the compensation issue and beef up the HR staffing and improve the IT tools they have. “We are using five different applications and they don’t all work together.
However, it isn’t just having the tools that are needed – there is a cultural shift taking place; a work life balance is now important to the people being hired. The city is realizing that the “focus should be on people” and that all employers have reached a turning point.

The pandemic had an impact on several levels. People found they were able to have more time with their families and at the same time realized that working collaboratively isn’t all that effective when it is done virtually.

Councillor Sharman was surprised to learn that the HR department no longer performs formal annual performance reviews. Boyd said that they found the review process didn’t add much value to HR administration. Sharman clearly didn’t agree with that argument.

The work being done by many of the departments is much more complex. The Planning department is desperate for staff – they need people who have experience with high rise developments. Burlington doesn’t have much experience with that type of concentrated development – and there are several of them that will see the light of day in the next couple of years.

LPAT hearings have become an issue – staff with significant experience are needed to take part in a hearing to make the city’s case.

The strongest thing Burlington has going for it is that it is a nice place to live. The flip side is that it is an expensive place to live.

One of the surprising things heard was that people like working in Burlington because they get to interact with members of city council, which apparently isn’t the practice in most municipalities.

Laura Boyd 2a

Laura Boyd – Executive Director Human Resources

All the data Boyd presented will be part of the hard look that will be taken in September when detailed reviews of everything the departments deliver in terms of services to the public gets drilled into. Staffing to deliver those services will be a large part of those sessions.

Mayor Meed Ward asked Boyd how many people on the payroll were contract workers – Boyd said she felt a little squeamish – she didn’t have those numbers.

Right now at times it feels like we are playing “wack a mole” going from crisis to crisis to crises with the hiring process. Hiring people virtually hasn’t made the jobs any easier.

Related news stories.

Boyd lays it all out on the table: there is trouble in paradise

Find a way to recruit the right people and then give them reasons to come to work with all their energy and creativity.



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City manager sets out the job he has to do - will he be there to finish it?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 5th, 2021



The City Manager sets the tone for what happens on the administrative side of city hall.

Once there is a clear direction from City Council the city manager knows what his marching orders are and he gets moving.

Every city manager has his own style – they have all been male in Burlington – and that could change in the not too distant future.

In a report to Council today Tim Commisso set how he interprets what he has been ordered to do.

Commisso’s report is lengthy. He ties a large part of his work plan to what has been set out in the city Vision to Focus (V2F) which takes those parts of the 25 year Strategic Plan and determines which parts of that plan are going to be implemented this term of office.

In his comments Commisso refers to a number of tables that the Communications people were not prepared to make available at this point in time.

Commisso puts it this way:

The objectives outlined in this document encompass specific priorities that the City Manager intends to actively pursue and accomplish over the next two years. The objectives encompass both proposed new and existing V2F items (Table 1) with an enhanced focus for 2021/22 being largely on “Our People”, given the importance of this area on the future prosperity and success of the city.

Commiso July 5 a

City Manager Tim Commisso

A summary of the key Council outcomes achieved to date and planned for 2021/22 YE is summarized in Table 2 (Organized chronologically by Standing Committee of Council).

For the City Manager, the process of strategic management starts with the development and integration of personal objectives. While the objectives need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Timebound), they must also be easily understood and regularly communicated to Council and staff as to their performance status.

Clearly articulated objectives anchored by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) represent the foundation for achieving organizational strategic performance. Stated simply, an objective is meaningless without a related measure of progress towards achieving the objective.

As indicated, for 2021/22 my new objectives are focused primarily on “our people” and “our workplace”. The most important or the Wildly Important Goal (WIG) is as follows along with the rationale. Note: the reference to WIG is based on terminology used in the strategy execution methodology outlined in the 4 Disciplines of Execution (Covey, McChesney and Huling –Published 2012).

Objective #1: Improving Workplace Culture including the level of Staff Engagement and Overall Positive Attitudes.

The above goal and KPI(s) are intended to contribute directly to realizing the key outcome of building a distinct and enabling workplace culture, a corporate culture which relies on and leverages very strong existing departmental workplace cultures. To excel strategically, our internal city-wide culture must foster, and support engaged employees to continuously add value by embracing change, driving innovation, and improving city business processes. Today’s leading organizations understand that they need to be more than just satisfied employees, they need to be fully engaged employees. Therefore, led directly by the City Manager and Executive Director of Human Resources, an employee engagement strategy is recommended that:

• regularly and efficiently surveys employees to accurately measure overall engagement levels and attitudes.
• provides informal and formal engagement and learning experiences.
• creates opportunities for employees to feel valued and recognized for their work.
• communicates results, regardless of the outcome, regularly and transparently.

Commisso H&S June 7th

Commisso spent years at city hall before moving to Thunder Bay, retiring and returning to Burlington to be drafted by the newly elected Mayor who then convinced Council to take the interim out of the title.

By utilizing “touch base” engagement surveys, asking the right questions, measuring the right factors with benchmarked results, the city will execute on a strategy to measurably improve employee engagement and in turn, our overall strategic management performance.

The following are three key considerations for implementation of the CM 2021/22 Objectives

1. Review & refine the Objectives and related Strategic Actions
The CM objectives and related strategic actions will be reviewed over the next few months and will be fully integrated with the “refresh” of V2F planned for Q3 2021. Refining the objectives and executing on the strategic actions will be an iterative process recognizing that budget resource needs and organizational capacity may likely be constrained over the next two years. The key for the City Manager will be to work closely with Council and the leadership team and remain focused on achieving measurable progress with each of the objectives.

2. Communicate the Objectives
Effective communication of the objectives is fundamental to both accountability and transparency which is in turn critical to achieving the intended strategic outcomes.
A focus will be given to the following best practices related to communication:

• Focus on the need for change and urgency in the communication. Answer the key question – Why does the organization need to change now?

• Follow-through on communicating the status of the objectives as well the completion of strategic actions with all staff – Be accountable for results.

• Avoid communication that is flat and two-dimensional. Make use of all communications channels, including staff meetings, corporate KPI dash boards, direct email messages and social media.

Tim hand onn chin May 5

As city manager Tim Commisso sits in on the meetings to listen and when they need help he comments. The previous city manager had a much more intrusive style. Commisso is a listener.

3. Integrate Key Objectives into an updated Corporate Performance Evaluation Process
The City Manager must set the example by directly aligning and integrating personal performance objectives with the completion of the City’s key strategic actions in V2F.

As noted in Table 1, a specific objective has been included in the City Manager’s 2021/22 Objectives related to development of a new performance management framework, using a format which is easy to administer and linked directly to individual strategic workplan objectives. Working closely with the leadership team, a realistic target would be to have this framework in place over the next 18-24 months and aligned with the updated non-union job evaluation system. BLT org chart June 2021

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Process of setting the 2022 budget begins: early version has increase set at 5.57%

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 5th, 2021



It is that time of year again – setting the budget for 2022 and, from a Council member perspective, keeping an eye on what the budget will do to their re-election prospects.

Expect every member of Council to seek re-election with a maybe not for ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns (who has told one of her supporters that she will not run again) and possibly ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna who may find that the work load is not something he wants to take on for four more years.  However, he has said publicly that he is planning on running again.

In a Staff report that will be discussed at a city Standing Committee meeting Monday July 5th timelines for the 2022 budget are set out.

Council Workshops –Service Presentations 

The budget projections for each of the 38 services the city provides will be reviewed on September 22, 23, 28 & 30, 2021

Budget Overview November 3, 2021

Budget Virtual Town hall November, 2021(TBC)

2022Budget Review & Approval  – November 30 &December 2, 2021

Council –2022 Budget  Approval December 14, 2021

Council Workshop sessions have been scheduled over 4 days to allow the 38 City Services to present overviews of their business plans to Council. Each of the City Services have been grouped into the 8 sessions by themes somewhat aligned to the Strategic Plan.

historical tax increases

With a projection for a tax increase of more than 5% the historical record looks a little dismal.

These workshop presentations will include:

A summary of current financial investment by service

An overview of current service delivery including known financial gaps and service needs

An overview of the asset investment required for service delivery

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

An overview of service goals and objectives

A portion of the presentation on the first day (Session 1) will be set aside to provide an overview of the incremental budget investments including staffing that have been made during this term of Council (2019-2021).

In addition, a portion of the presentation during the last day (Session 8) will include an update on the overall Designing and Evolving Our Organization (DEOO) process.

Reckoning and future direction:

Some of the spending done in the past few years is now going to have to be reckoned with.

This budget is going to be a turning point for the city.  The impact of the Interim Control bylaw that stopped approval of projects for a year (it has extended now to whenever the LPAT hearings resolve the appeals made), the creation of an approved but not yet in force Official Plan and the significant number of high rise tower development applications that are challenging the Planning departments ability to do its work on a timely basis.

assesmenet growth

The growth of properties that go on the tax base is too low – all the development that has people worried about what their city is going to look like does pay some of the bills. Right now those hi-rise towers are holes in the ground.

The success Mayor Meed Ward has had in getting the Urban Growth Boundaries moved well north of the downtown core and getting the province to realize that a bus terminal was not a Major Transit Service Area are wins for which she is not getting the credit she deserves.

The focus on getting high rise housing around the GO stations was aptly described by the Mayor as the creation of the new small cities.  Five years from now there will be a number of new city councillors to accommodate the new wards that will have to be created to accommodate the population growth.

While the fight isn’t over yet the desire on the part of the developers to put up tall buildings in the downtown core, especially in that football shaped piece of property between Old Lakeshore Road and Lakeshore Road, is no longer the slam dunk it looked like when the 2014 city council held its last meeting.

Coping with all these changes brings with it challenges that have to be dealt with – they all show up in a budget that also has to cope with the costs of a pandemic.

Fortunately the province has created funding sources that leave Burlington in pretty good financial shape in terms as to what the pandemic has cost the city.

The cost to the hospitality sector has been brutal and a number of operations in that sector will not survive.  Retail has also taken a hit.

Forecast 2022

It all adds up.

The financial fundamentals for Burlington are pretty good; the leadership on the administrative side has been what was needed to get us through the pandemic.  Going forward city manager Tim Commisso may not want to continue to handle the day to day grind.  He has found his future leadership within the organization and appears to have done a good job of nurturing and developing the administrative talent.

There are a number of senior level retirements coming up – legal and human resources come to mind.  The legal department has had difficulty finding talent with an understanding of the way the municipal sector works – it is a world unto itself.

Treasurer Joan Ford should be given medals for the job she has done.  Along with a superb level of service Ford has grown the talent within the department to ensure that the financial side continues delivering.

Managing the changes the pandemic has brought about has critically impacted on the way citizens who pay attention to what gets done at city hall are able to participate.

multi year simulation

A simulation based on the available data shows hefty tax rates for the last year in the current term of council and for the first three years of the next term of office. Can they be elected on this platform?

Having to go virtual has almost put an end to the kind of delegations citizens would provide.  Not being able to be in the room, actually see all the members of council and react to their body language, facial expressions severally limits genuine participation.

We all pay for the lack of thoughtful response from concerned citizens.

Council at work July 5

This is your city council in a virtual session. There were no delegations at this meeting. The view does not include all the participants.

The Public Board of Education manages to have some of the trustees take part in the meeting by being in the room.  Burlington’s city council is close to being at the point where limited public participation could begin – there has been no signal from the members of council that this might be in the offing.

Life is easier when you don’t have to respond to criticism from someone right in front of you – looking you in the eye,

Kind of convenient for them.

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A Municipal election without elections signs - council is talking about the idea. Mayor thinks it's great

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 5th, 2021



Is the city considering fees for election signs during the next municipal election?

There was a time when the city considered fees for election signs now some council members want to get rid of the things. Karmel Sakran lost in his provincial bid

An election without lawn signs?

And a campaign donation rebate program?

And the right to put bumper stickers on your car?

All part of a rather robust conversation at council this morning.

The report from the Office of the Clerk got nicely roasted by several council members – the document from the Clerk appeared to create more questions with few answers.

One of the problems within the Clerk’s Office is that all the top staff are new to the city and not fully aware of some of the really really stupid decisions made by a previous Clerk.

More on this when they return from lunch and a Closed session with outside legal counsel.

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Is Joe Dogs at risk? Probably

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 4th, 2021



Well – there goes that neighbourhood!

Joe Dogs is at risk,  the best that can be hoped for if the 26 story development is approved on the site literally next door, there will be an opportunity to quaff a cool one while watching the construction take place yards away.

The Renimmob Properties Limited, a corporation new to the Burlington development scene, has either purchased or obtained options on the property.  Approval of the development will be the beginning of a whole new look to the area.

The deep thinkers in the Planning Department have scoped out what they think that part of the city should look like.

site aerial

What we all know at the No Frills Plaza is expected to undergo a major change in terms of what is on the site and the uses to which it is put.

John Street, which is actually a lane north of Caroline, would be extended through the plaza property and reach Victoria Street.

Front and rear renderingsRambo Creek runs through the back end (east side of the plaza property) – the plans call for the creation of a walking trail with park benches and the shifting of the No Frills supermarket closer to Brant Street with large scale (17 storey) housing and underground parking.

If and when it is completed it will be a neighbourhood unto itself with a storied pub part of it.  All Joe Dogs has to do is issue patrons hard hats and hope everyone survives.

A couple of blocks to the north is the the Molinaro proposed development that will take up three corners of the Brant – Ghent intersection.

Both the Molinaro and the Renimmob developments are well north of what is seen as the downtown core. What they will do is create a much more vibrant community along Brant and meet the growth targets the province requires.

Even further north there are the properties that surround the GO station with the right to put up structures of almost any height – those proposed properties comply with the existing Official Plan and zoning in the area.

The graphic below shows what is in the works and what exists in that mid part of Brant street.

surrounding development
There is more to this story – tune in for part two on Monday.

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Tough questions being asked about an incomplete development on John Street: Carriage Gate in the spotlight again

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 2nd, 2021



Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns reports that her “office regularly receives ongoing concerns and questions about the progress on this property.”

She is referring to the property bounded by John, Caroline, Elizabeth and Maria that currently has a 24-story condominium. The original development plan was to include an above ground parking garage and a medical office at the north end along Caroline.

Medica One or the Carriage Gate project - pick the name you like best - will go up at the top of John Street and consist of a medical offices building, an above ground garage and an apartment/condo complex. It will bring significant change to the intersection and drive redevelopment of the plaza to the immediate north, A transit hub a couple of blocks to the south then makes a lot of sense.

The tower on the left has been constructed and is occupied. Some of the underground work for the garage is completed. The medical building is reported to be part of an application for additional height.

“I agree with residents that this matter has gone on much too long” reported Kearns in her most recent Newsletter.

“Since the onset of my term as Ward 2 Councillor, I continue to advocate on behalf of the community to have this project move forward. In response to many inquiries, see the following chart recently received from the City’s Legal Department. As soon as my office is in receipt of information of progress on this site, we will be sure to share with residents.”

This development was problematic from the day it got to the city Planning department. The council at the time had concerns about the development being completed and put in a clause that would ding the developer for $300,000 if the developer failed to deliver on schedule.

Carriage Gate - three buidingsMuch of this was well before Kearns began to care a hoot about what happened in the ward.

In the data the Councillor refers to there is a chart with questions and answers reported to have come from the legal department.
Never seen responses like this from the Office of the Solicitor for the Corporation of Burlington.

carriage gate data

In a September 2017 news story the Gazette reported:

“… John Street construction site is to include a public garage and a medical centre – they will follow the construction of the condominium. Medica One or the Carriage Gate project – pick the name you like best – will go up at the top of John Street and consist of a medical offices building, an above ground garage and an apartment/condo complex. It will bring significant change to the intersection and drive redevelopment of the plaza to the immediate north, A transit hub a couple of blocks to the south then makes a lot of sense.

The city expected all three projects to rise at the same time – and were worried enough about the construction actually taking place that they had the developer commit to coughing up $300,000 if the project doesn’t proceed by March of 2020.

City hall does appear to fully appreciate the market forces the developer has to contend with.  The utility poles will disappear – all the cable will be underground. Getting that decision in place was no simple matter.

Berkeley - Maria entrance

A portion of Mario was closed during construction of the Berkley. Not many developers get that kind of leeway.


Carriage Gate, the developer, has had their share of grief with both the city and Burlington Hydro over the existence of utility poles on John Street. A hydro line had to be pulled in from Lakeshore Road to the site – an expensive job. There was much discussion over whether or not all the hydro wires would be underground.

The developer was prepared to pay for the cost of burying the cable in front of their project but wasn’t prepared to pay for the cost of burying the cable for every foot of the distance from Lakeshore Road.

And they didn’t like the price for doing the work that Burlington Hydro had put on the table.

It’s getting resolved – with the developer trying hard to keep the lawyers out of the room.

When completed John Street will take on a much different look. Other developers have already begun to acquire and assemble property on the street.

As construction continues the planners are looking for ways to improve the look of the rest of the street and bring more activity to the area.

Not much has changed.

Related news stories:

Is eight going to become 18?


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Local Art being Commissioned for Waterfront Trail along the Beachway

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 2nd, 2021



The Beachway is getting a lot of attention these days.

Lovely part of the city – just find a parking spot when you get there.

In the not too distant future we should be seeing some local art to brighten the place up

The city sent out a Request for Proposals for Temporary Public Art Signs at The Beachway

Deadline: Friday July 30, 2021

Budget: $500 (design only), 15 commissions available

Here’s the fine print:

The City of Burlington public art program is launching a temporary art project, RE:DE(SIGN) as part of the 2021 Culture Days. Running from September 24 – October 24, Culture Days is 4 weeks of arts and culture experiences indoors, outdoors and online.

Waterfront Trail - from east - few people

This quiet path was once where two railway tracks carried freight from Burlington to the rest of the world. Freeman Station was one of the stops.

This project will commission 15 Burlington artists to create small-scale works that will be installed on signposts along the Waterfront Trail, stretching from Beachway Park to the Lift Bridge. This project will provide trail users with a safe and accessible way to enjoy art and to learn more about the amazing creators in our community. Each artwork will be accompanied with a profile of the artist.

This call is open to Burlington-based artists and is open to all art forms that can be presented in a sign format. This includes, but is not limited to: visual art, graphic art, photography, poetry, writing, etc. Sound-based work such as music, spoken word, theatre, etc. may also be presented using QR codes.

Project Goals

The theme for the 2021 Culture Days is RE:IMAGINE. Arts and culture emerged as a lifeline of joy, providing gifts of colour, hope, and reprieve needed to make it through this past year. Collectively, we’re imagining what a post-pandemic world could look like and how we can each contribute to that picture being brighter. Through that lens, Culture Days has chosen RE:IMAGINE as the very apt 2021 theme.

RE:IMAGINE signals a positive turning point – the commitment to building tangible change into the future of arts and culture.
Artists submitting proposals for RE:DE(SIGN) should take inspiration from the RE:IMAGINE theme.

Is this a big part of the dream the Mayor is looking for? How big a part of the city is the waterfront? Is it more than just something to look at?

The Art work will be placed along the Waterfront Trail right up to the canal.

Additionally, the artwork should:

Be easily legible to pedestrian traffic, artwork that incorporates text must adhere to AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) guidelines.

The artwork must be suitable for presentation in a public space, for all ages (i.e., the artwork may not contain profanity, hate speech, graphic imagery, etc.)

Important! Please read the full Call for Artists document (Click HERE to download PDF) before submitting an application as this contains important project details and application instructions.

Submit your Application Online

Applications may be submitted online, using Submittable. Click HERE  to start your online application. You will need to create a free account to use Submittable. Please contact Kim Selman, 905-515-9334 or kim@cobaltconnects.ca if you need assistance with your application.

The Beachway is a storied part of Burlington.  It was once a self-sustaining community of several thousand people.  You can search the Gazette Archives for stories on what life was like in that community

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Art Gallery appoints an Interim Executive Director: Lina Jabra starts July 6

artsorange 100x100By Pepper Parr

June 30th, 2021



The Art Gallery Board moved with dispatch in finding an Interim Executive Director for a minimum of six months while the Board does a thorough search for a full time Executive Director

Lina Jabri AGB

Lina Jabra; new interim Executive Director at the Art Gallery of Burlington

Lina Jabra will  join the AGB on Tuesday, July 6th, and remain in this position for a minimum of six months while the Board undertakes a search for a permanent CEO.

“The Board is very excited to welcome Lina to our organization,” said Jane Depraitere, AGB Board Chair. “Her experience in the arts sector including staff and volunteer leadership, her demonstrated strengths in community and audience engagement, and her commitment to innovation highlighting diversity and inclusion will help position the AGB for success during this transition period as we move forward”, said Ms. Depraitere.

Lina brings over twenty years of experience in the not-for-profit arts and culture sector. She is a graduate of the BFA program at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and completed Executive Education Certificates in both Art and Non-Profit Management from Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University.

Since 1988 Lina has served with Arts-based organizations both as Executive Director as well as Management Consultant, including the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in Toronto, VSA Arts of New Mexico, Through the Flower Foundation (TTF) attached to artist Judy Chicago in New Mexico, and the Ontario Clay and Glass Association in Toronto.

AGB live auction - closer look

Visitor to the Art Gallery looks closely at a painting listed in the auction catalogue.

Lina said:  “The Art Gallery of Burlington’s dedication to supporting and transforming the appreciation and love of art for all communities aligns with my experience and interest in the arts and art education, community building, and innovative programming, within a caring, collaborative and creative environment. I look forward to working with the AGB’s staff, volunteers, Board, members and all stakeholders in this exciting role”.


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Sudden interest in a two year old drug bust story - why?

Crime 100By Staff

June 30th, 2021



Website based newspapers are different.

The story is in the archives and get read years later.

We watch traffic to the website closely to understand where the readers are coming from and what they are interested in.

In June of 2020 we published a story on a drug bust, a rather large endeavour that kept the police busy for a number of months.

There was nothing exceptional about the story – what caught our attention was the sudden increase in the traffic.  This past couple of days a couple of hundred people were interested in what happened to the five accused.

What was the story about? CLICK on the link.

The traffic to the story was decent when the arrest announcement was released.  Someone was tracking this story.  Then it soared.  We haven’t had a chance to talk with the Crown and learn if a trial has taken place.  Someone cares about this story,

Drug bust viewers


Drug bust 2020

There were no prescription drugs in this bust.

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Stay close to shore when using a flotation device

News 100 redBy Staff

June 30th, 2021



They look like fun and they are fun – only if used wisely.


These were not meant for use more than 25 yards offshore.

The Halton Regional Police, along with local marine rescue partners, have been experiencing a large volume of persons swimming in Lake Ontario on beach toys (also known as “Floaties”).

While perfectly fun to enjoy close to shore – the Marine Unit has rescued numerous persons who have drifted kilometers off shore in water that could cause hypothermia.

Hypothermia can be dangerous as it may lead to drowning.

Marine 1

This Marine Unit craft can move at quite a clip but they really don’t want to find you floating around some distance from the shore line.

The Marine Unit would like to suggest that if you are going out on the lake on one of these toys, wear a personal flotation device, stay close shore and watch the wave and wind conditions.

Have fun, and please stay safe!

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The Bateman High school story has a decent ending - the community comes out on top

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 30th, 2021



The community battle to keep the current Robert Bateman High school functioning at some level within the community has been won.

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

Bateman parents fought hard to keep the high school open.

The parents with students attending the school were not able to keep the high school open – the bulk of the high school program got transferred to Nelson High School.

The Bateman parents were not wrong.

Ward 5 trustee Amy Collard, Ward 5 said “I have championed the idea of moving Gary Allan High School to the Bateman site since the decision to close Bateman was made in 2017, and I am very pleased to see the Board moving in this direction. The continued presence of a secondary school in southeast Burlington is good for the community.”

Amy Collard 1

Trustee Collard was consistent in her efforts over a five year period that the school site be retained for public use.

Collard fought consistently to keep as much of the school operations in the community. At their June 2 meeting, Halton District School Board trustees approved a plan to relocate Gary Allan Learning Centre to Robert Bateman High School, both located in Burlington, and declare the remainder of the Robert Bateman High School facility surplus to its needs and to circulate it for purchase to other public agencies according to Ontario Regulation 444/98. This regulation sets out who can purchase or lease school property declared surplus and in what order expressions of interest are dealt.

As part of its disposition strategy of the former Robert Bateman High School property, the Board seeks to retain a long-term interest of approximately 45,000 square feet within the facility to accommodate Gary Allan Learning Centre, which provides adult, alternative and continuing education programs, and language instruction programs for newcomers, among others.

The plan to retain an interest in the facility is to ensure that the Board continues to maintain a visible and continued presence in the Southeast Burlington area, and continue offering and operating important educational programs within the community.

Through the Ontario Regulation 444/98 circulation process, public agencies will have the opportunity to submit their interest in retaining the remaining area of the facility of approximately 167,000 square feet to operate for their own uses in collaboration with the Board.

Public agencies include any government and/or educational entity that has jurisdiction within the area in which the school is located. The remaining Robert Bateman HS facility will be offered to prospective public agencies as a shared ownership, or as a long term lease back arrangement with the Board for up to 25 years on a cost recovery basis.

Burlington Marianne Meed Ward has had her eye on the property as well. Her ideas parallel those of Trustee Collard.

City Council is fully supportive of the City taking the important next step of formally submitting an expression of interest to purchase the Robert Bateman site now that the Halton District School Board (HDSB) has declared the site surplus.

Bateman high school

The building is in good shape, has a city owned swimming pool attached to it and a large sports field with a track at the rear.

The City’s expression of interest will include the exploration of a partnership with Brock University to offer post-secondary programming on this site. The Burlington Economic Development Corporation has been the lead on that part of the file.  Anita Cassidy has been working with Brock University on this.

In addition to exploring a relationship with Brock, the City also plans to partner with other institutions, ensuring that there is an adaptive reuse strategy for the site. This includes the Burlington Library relocating its Appleby Line branch to this location to develop a hub for learning and education.

Trustee Collard was very interested in having the school serve as a site where people new to Canada go for help in adjusting to how things are done in Ontario.

The Recreation Centre which is attached to the east side of the high school only adds to the outcome.

This acquisition would push forward key objectives laid out in the City of Burlington’s 25-year strategic plan. Key pillars of this Plan include making Burlington a city that grows through attracting talent, good jobs and economic opportunity to the community.

The Burlington Economic Development Corporation has been working with Brock University for some time. Setting them up at the Bateman site is a perfect fit.

From the left, WArd 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster sitting in for MAyor Goldring who had to remain at Regional Concil to assure quorum, as she signs the 20 year $1.3 milion naming rights deal with Chris HAber in the Centre. Chris Glenn on the right is pleased with that much casj

Former ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster as she signs the 20 year $1.3 million naming rights deal with Chris Haber lead partner of a Burlington law firm.  Chris Glenn, Director of Parks and Recreation witnesses the “steal of a deal”.

What we are seeing in this situation is much like the opening of the new high school and Library in Alton Village. The addition of a recreation centre resulted in a fully rounded community centre with a commercial driving school office on site.   All it needed was a coffee shop and a dry cleaner to make it complete.

There is a very large sports field and track at the back of the school that will serve all the interests.

The issue will be to ensure that they do not give the “hub” a name that will come back to embarrass us all.

Naming rights were sold for the Alton set up – if naming rights are sold for Bateman location please ensure that the city gets a better deal. The price Haber paid for the naming rights was close to a steal.

Related news stories

Haber takes the naming rights

Collard fights to keep Bateman High school open.

The fight to keep Bateman open got a little dirty

Brock University decides they like Burlington better than Hamilton

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Changes in the leadership at the Art Gallery

theartsBy Pepper Parr

June 30th, 2021



The Performing Arts Centre has managed to keep delivering value to the city.

Robert Steven AGB

Robert Steven

The same can’t be said for the Art Gallery.

They are currently reported to be looking for an interim Executive Director.

Robert Steven was shown the door over what were reported to be differences over the direction the Gallery had taken in the past few years.

There has been no public comment on Steven’s departure; members of the Gallery did receive a letter advising them of the change.

These arms length, tax supported organizations have always been tight-lipped when it comes to internal leadership matters.

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Where does the money get spent? Have fun following the money trail

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 29, 2021



It is too hot to spend much time outside and at this point in the pandemic we are all bugged out from bingeing on Netflix.

What’s left to do?

Try this: have you any idea how much money gets spent by your government – federal, provincial and municipal?

There is an interactive map that lets you dive down into the data and learn where the money went and what it was spent on and a bit of a time line.

Infrastructure map

Each of the images on the screen has data behind it – you can drill down several levels.

Link to that web site: CLICK HERE

This will keep you going for hours; the carbon man will love it.


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Ontario Funds Combatting Islamophobia in Schools

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 29th, 2021



The Ontario government is investing in a plan to counter Islamophobia and ensure classrooms are free from discrimination.

Those in the community who were raised in a different culture than what most of us are used to seeing are beginning to play a larger role in public life.

Muslims participating in Call to Prayer

Muslims taking part in a public prayer event at Spencer Smith Park.

The Muslim community recently held a Call to Payer on a Friday afternoon in Spencer Smith Park rather than at their mosque.
Few people in Burlington had ever witnessed such an event.

We now have a Muslim woman nominated as the Liberal candidate for the next provincial election.

We see a lot more woman wearing the hijab when they are out for a walk or in the supermarkets. We are also seeing different food offerings on the shelves.

We human being are not very good at adapting to change. The kids get it – their parents have a more difficult time.

As part of the Safe Return to Class fund, Ontario’s government is providing $225,000 to the Muslim Association of Canada to create digital resources for educators, students and parents to raise awareness about Islamophobia. These resources will provide information about Islamic practices, values and misconceptions, root causes of Islamophobia and ways to help end Islamophobia, racism and discrimination.

Ontario is also providing $75,000 to the National Council of Canadian Muslims to facilitate outreach and engagement with Muslim parents and families, with a focus on newcomer communities. These engagements will provide information on school supports and will provide culturally relevant resources to enhance well-being for families and help Muslim students prepare for the return to school in September.

sign at call to Prayer

The Muslim community is reaching out to the people of Burlington – the city now needs to learn to hear what they are saying.

According to the most up to date data from Statistics Canada, hate crimes have been on the rise in Canada, with a nine per cent increase in anti-Muslim attacks in 2019, when compared to the previous year. Tragic and disturbing reports and incidents across Canada and the world over the past years underscore the need for action.

“It is unacceptable that many Muslim students continue to face discrimination in our schools, on our playgrounds and in communities across this country,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. “That is why we are investing and partnering with community leaders — who are leading this effort— to counter racism and better support Ontario’s Muslim students and their families.

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Step Two of Reopen plans effective June 30th

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 29th, 2021



Finally, we are moving into Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen.

In this step there are all kinds of things that people can do.

Details are set out below.
However, the virus is still out there – we all know the rules – there are times and places when a mask and social distancing are necessary.

Halton will officially move into Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopen, beginning Wednesday, June 30 at 12:01 a.m. The Roadmap is the province’s three-step plan to safely lift public health measures based on provincewide vaccination and infection rates.
Changes to recreation programming

soccer 22Sport Fields
Effective June 30, all outdoor sport is open, and the City will contact sport organizations for scheduling. Additional guidelines include:

• Cohorting is no longer needed and there are no league limits
• Incidental contact is allowed, e.g. tagging a player in baseball, or a defender using their body in soccer. Sustained contact that takes place in games like rugby or football is not permitted
• Face masks are not required when outdoors but recommended. Masks are required if you cannot maintain a three-meter distance for sports, and two-meter distance for other activities
• Outdoor sport facilities with spectators is permitted at 25% for seated venues.

Nelson swimming poolOutdoor Pools
Nelson and Mountainside Pool and Splash Parks, LaSalle Splash Park and splash pads are open for swimming lessons, drop-in lap swims, and recreational swims, including Tim Hortons Free Summer Swimming Days throughout the summer, until Sept. 6.

For all outdoor pools, registration is required 25-hours in advance at burlington.ca/dropinandplay, and all participants must fill out the pre-screening form one hour before their pool time at burlington.ca/screening.

Summer swim passes, and 30-day lap swim passes, can be purchased at liveandplay.burlington.ca

For more information on pools, visit burlington.ca/swimming.

Outdoor Adult Drop-in Programs
Outdoor adult drop-in programs for wellness and fitness are open for registration. Pre-registration is required at burlington.ca/dropinandplay.


The Bistro, the heart of the Seniors'entre and the focal point for many of the administrative problems. The new agreement with the city didn't resolve this problem but they have agreed to give it a year to come up with a solution that works for everyone.

The Bistro, the heart of the Seniors’ Centre won’t be open until we are in Step Three of the Road map to Re-opening.

Indoor facilities will remain closed until Step 3 of the Province’s Roadmap to Reopen with exceptions such as summer camps.

Other City services
City Hall
426 Brant St. 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.
Service Burlington offers marriage licenses and commissioning services by appointment only. Please call Service Burlington at 905-335-7777 or start your booking online to schedule an appointment at burlington.ca/marriagelicences or burlington.ca/commissioning.

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.
Burlington Transit Burlington Transit continues to operate on a modified schedule. For schedule and real-time bus information, visit myride.burlingtontransit.ca. Reduced Youth Summer passes and SPLIT passes are available to purchase at the Downtown Terminal, 430 John St.

Halton Court Services In-person court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. Telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or online at Halton Court Services.

Parking Parking enforcement is in effect. Residents needing to park on-street past the five-hour limit can apply for a parking permit or exemptions at burlington.ca/parkingexemption.

Roads, Parks and Forestry Services provided by the Roads, Parks and Forestry Department will continue as needed. Residents with questions or concerns can email RPF@burlington.ca or call 905-333-6166.

As the provincewide vaccination rate and key public health and health care indicators improve, and City staff receives and reviews updated orders from the Province of Ontario and more details under its Roadmap to Reopen, we will continue to comply and keep you up-to-date on available City services and what can open while keeping City of Burlington staff and residents safe.

Burlington is a City where people, nature and businesses thrive. 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 download the free City of Burlington app.

BCSI Meed Ward unveiling

Mayor Meed War opening an outdoor exercise area in the east end.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward believes: ““We are going in the right direction and getting closer to enjoying more activities and visiting more of our favourite businesses safely. I want to again thank our community for your continued efforts in following public health advice and guidelines, and getting vaccinated. It’s through your sacrifices and actions that we’re in the next step of reopening. We are getting closer to being on the other side of this pandemic together as a community.”
business organizations)

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Mariam Manaa has been nominated - now the challenge - getting elected

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 28th, 2021



Manaa Miriam H&S

Mariam Manaa Liberal candidate in the next provincial election

The Liberals have nominated their candidate for the next provincial election scheduled for June of 2022. Mariam Manaa defeated Andrea Grebenc.

The likelihood of the Premier calling a snap election is high – providing he can come up with an angle that lets him look like the hero he needs to be if the public is going to return him to office.

Dealing with the pandemic put Doug Ford well outside his comfort zone.

The messaging was for the most part terrible; the decision to re-open the hospitality sector in February was a serious mistake that his Science table had warned him about.

Doug Ford is a business person. He believes that business large and small drives the economy and that a healthy economy is what it is all about.

He cannot see beyond those blinders.

Doug Ford covid t shirt

A Premier out of his comfort zone.

His government is at risk. When there is blood in the water the sharks come out. Every riding association is evaluating its prospects. The Progressive Conservatives have Jane McKenna in place. Opinion on Jane is divided and she is her own worst enemy.

The New Democrats have not publicly announced their candidate but if it isn’t Andrew Drummond they don’t have a hope.

The problem for their leader is that Andrea Horwath can’t be elected Premier. Whatever the ingredient is that gets one elected Andrea doesn’t have it.

The Greens may put up a candidate.

Manaa with empower sign

Mariam Manaa: an advocate for women even during her high school years.

The Liberals made a bold choice. The chose Mariam Manaa, a young Muslim woman who wears her hijab most of the time and is active and effective within the Muslim community.

She defeated Halton District School Board Chair Andrea Grebenc who we believe was seen as the favourite.

What was it that had the Burlington Liberals choose Manaa? She got the most votes – does that translates into her bringing more people into Liberal Party membership?

The problem with the process the Liberals used for creating membership was that anyone could become a member. All you had to do was prove you lived in Burlington and you were a member.

Membership in the Ontario Liberal Party is open to all residents of Ontario who are 14 years of age or older.

A savvy political wannabe would call every BEST Friend Forever they had and encourage them to join the Liberal Party and vote for them as the candidate.

It becomes a popularity contest – the candidate with the most members (friends) can expect to win the nomination.

Did Manaa do what any smart politician would do, which is to is get out and round up every breathing body you can find and urge them to become a member?

And once a member, ask them to vote for you as the nominee when the election deciding who the candidate is to be takes place.

Anybody who lives in Burlington could become a Liberal. And I mean anybody.

There was no membership fee, no oath or even a pledge to accept and support a set of principles and objectives.

Liberal party logo OntarioThe idea at the time seems to have been: let anyone become a member and once we know who they are they can be nurtured and grown into a campaign worker, perhaps a financial donor and, heck, maybe even become the candidate in a riding that will take anyone as the candidate because they haven’t got a hope in hell of winning the constituency.

Did Manaa dig deeply in the Muslim community and create more members than Grebenc?

We will never know. The Burlington Provincial Liberal party proved to be very poor messengers this time out.

The election results for nominations are never made public.

Nor does the party association say a word about who brought in the most new members. Those that became members don’t declare who they are supporting.

It would be interesting to know just how many new members the Burlington Liberals brought in.

There isn’t much evidence on which to make assumptions.

The issue for the Burlington Liberals is can Mariam Manaa beat Jane McKenna and if she does, on what issue will she win?

Hate-Suspect-2_B-400x320Will the just-below-the-surface racism in Burlington rear its ugly head and fail to look at the merit of each candidate?

Recent elections in Burlington have gotten very dirty and have resulted in Municipals Act, Elections Act and Criminal Code offence charges being laid.

The objective in politics is to win the seat and hope that the party wins enough seats to form a government.

The Gazette knows of one person who is not and never will be a Liberal – but joined the Party nevertheless in order to be able to cast a ballot against a specific candidate.

Another, who is politically svelte, joined to vote for a particular candidate but would never work to get her elected.
With the membership determined it is then up to candidates who seek the party nomination to convince those members to vote for them as the candidate.

We don’t know if a membership was made available to the candidates.

Facebook likesIt’s a little like setting out to see how many likes you can get on your Facebook page. Do they mean anything?

The process strikes me as devoid of any principles or values. At the federal level those values are difficult to find but that is another story.

We look forward to how Mariam Manaa positions herself and tells her story.

Seeing someone from the diverse (what a terrible word – is there not a better one?) community seeking our vote is progress for Burlington.

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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Planning for a federal election that isn't needed is well underway

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 26th, 2021



If one follows main line media, the big guys in the bigger population centres, there is a federal election in the making with plans to cause one to take place well underway within the Liberal Party who currently serve as a minority government.

That they have been in place for just two years is an inconvenient fact –this is politics – they call it a blood sport for a reason.  Politics is about power – a majority is a thing of beauty for a government.

Justin Trudeau and his merry band have determined that they can serve us all if they can just get a chance to govern the way they want to govern.

Elections Canada, the organization that runs federal elections has issued documents that include suggestions such as campaigners keeping at least two metres from others and avoiding handshakes and the distribution of pamphlets and buttons.  When that level of detail is issued – you know that the election planning is well underway.

It is the view of the Gazette that Justin has turned out to be less than the politician his father was and that his time as a Prime Minister should come to an end.

We hope that Burlington’s MP, Karina Gould, speaks out against an election at this time in caucus meetings.  That is the one place where she can speak her mind.

In public, she is a member of Cabinet and required to support the team.

Should an election take place in the fall and should the Liberals get returned as a minority Justin Trudeau should do the right thing, fall on his sword and find something else to do.

We should wish for at least that.

We should be demanding that this government remain, do the best they can until the pandemic comes to an end and then go to the people asking to be returned based on how well they got the country through the pandemic, how well they have done with the economy and what they have chosen to do with the critical issue we all face with the Aboriginal community.

We have stiffed these people for far too long.  They need and deserve the water in their homes that we all have in ours.  And they deserve homes that have taps and toilets that use the water.

Some think that as a demographic the Aboriginal community is not as productive as it needs to be.  If that is the case, and it is far from proven, it is because we created the conditions that made them that way.

Every Remembrance Day we celebrate, honour and remember those we lost in wars to defend the democracy we have, yet we seem to be having difficulty doing what has to be done to celebrate, honour and remember those who were laid in graves at such an early age.

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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