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 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, and all participants must fill out the pre-screening form one hour before their pool time at

Summer swim passes, and 30-day lap swim passes, can be purchased at

For more information on pools, visit

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


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 or

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 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 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

Roads, Parks and Forestry Services provided by the Roads, Parks and Forestry Department will continue as needed. Residents with questions or concerns can email 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 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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Update on hospital case load status


News 100 blueBy  Staff

June 26th, 2021



JBMH president Eric Vandewall is reported to be working on his schedule and aking tme to meet with the city. Dinner with senior city staff was a good start.

Eric Vandewall

Joseph Brant Hospital President and CEO Eric Vanderwall updates the community saying:

“Since my last update on May 28, we have seen continued positive signs of progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In recent weeks, Ontario has been reporting the lowest daily COVID-19 case counts in nine months. The seven-day rolling average is now trending at around 330 cases a day, whereas just over a month ago, we were seeing on average 2,500 cases a day. Additionally, last week we celebrated having no acute COVID-19 patients in our hospital for the first time since March. This is truly a significant milestone and I would like to thank our community for doing their part to help us push through the third wave.

“You have continued to follow public health measures as the province entered the first phase of a three-stage reopening plan and have protected yourself and your loved ones through vaccination. I am very proud to report that as of today, our vaccination clinic has administered over 40,000 doses. Across Halton, nearly 480,000 people have now received either a first or second dose. Thank you all for your efforts and action in helping our community stay safe.

“I know that the last year has been challenging; however, there have also been many exceptional moments and milestones. Our Annual Report for 2020-2021 was released last week sharing stories of Innovation and Compassion, Together with our Community. You may access a copy here. This report reflects the resilience and dedication of our staff and physicians and the support we received from the community over the last year. Our Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team are proud of the work and achievements by the Hospital and Foundation throughout an exceptionally challenging year.

six foot distance image

It is a rule that has served us all very well – maintain it please for a while longer.

“As we look towards our post-pandemic future and the needs of our hospital and community, we are actively recruiting RNs and RPNs to fill open positions in many areas of the hospital.

“As we continue into these bright and warm summer months, I encourage you all to take some time to rest, relax, recharge and reconnect. I also encourage you to do your part to get fully vaccinated to help us get one step closer to the end of this pandemic. Thank you, stay safe and take care.”


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Washrooms in city hall will be open on the weekends

News 100 redBy Staff

June 25th, 2021



The necessaries…

Out for some exercise downtown? City hall will be open to the public for washroom access every weekend until Labour Day weekend: Fridays, 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

washrooms city hall

City Council spent more than 45 minutes getting this through the Standing Committee.

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Public school board read into the record - the expectation is students will be in classrooms come September

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 25th, 2021



It has been a very difficult year for school boards across the province.

Child getting off school bus

Most of the students can’t wait to get back to their classrooms,

Senior staff at the Halton District School Board “expect” students to return to class in September but no one is able to say with certainty that they will open.

Everything depends on how many people have been vaccinated and if the new infection levels decline.

And – that one of the variants does not get past the defences we have in place.

At the last Board meeting until September the public got to hear the totals on the budget that had been approved.

The Operating budget came in at $815,389,709

The Capital budget came in at $87,383,860

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Grants available from Conservation Halton to reduce stormwater runoff

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 25th, 2021



Conservation Halton has a grant opportunity for residents and businesses interested in reducing stormwater runoff on their properties, which helps to reduce pressure on municipal sewer systems and local creeks leading to Hamilton Harbour.

Grants cover 50% of costs up to $2,500 for suitable water conservation projects within Waterdown, Pleasant View, Brant Hills, Tyandaga, and Aldershot.

Applications are due on July 31, 2021.

conserv grant

If you have any questions, or are interested in participating in the program, contact or call 905-336-1158 ext. 2285 for more information.

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How will Burlington benefit from new online casino laws ?

News 100 blueBy Erin Quattro

June 25th, 2021




Ford OPEN for businessWhen Premier Doug Ford won a majority in the Ontario legislature it was widely noted that one of his manifesto commitments was to legalize a wider range of online casino providers in the province. This significant move would likely spell the end of the effective monopoly that Ontario Lottery and Gaming currently has – and offer a much wider variety of choice when it comes to providers, games, themes and more.

There’s been some debate in Burlington about what this move could end up meaning if Ford is able to get these changes through. This article will explore the considerations in more detail.

An increased range of choice

If Ontario’s government presses ahead with the liberalization of online casino laws, the main benefit will be a significant increase in range of personal choice when it comes to how Burlington’s residents might wish to spend their time. Casinos based on the web tend to offer many online slots, for example, and they may also offer more table games. However, at present, those who want to play online casino games have to do so using a province-run lottery version – meaning that the range of choice is particularly restricted.

This is already somewhat more liberal than in some other jurisdictions around the world, where governments continue to restrict access to all online casino games. But it’s not as liberal as in some other parts of the world, where there is a thriving and competitive gambling sector. Premier Doug Ford’s commitment to, in essence, privatize the gambling sector in Ontario is a way of helping people access the gambling services they want – rather than what services the province thinks is right for them.

As well as the simple right to choose what sort of game to play and which provider to use, a more competitive gambling sector is also likely to offer people the chance to pick the themes and aesthetics they prefer in their games. If a game or a theme is not available in the province-run version, it most likely will be in the private sector.

More revenue for the area

PAID taxing casinosHowever, Ford’s commitment also has another motive. Allowing online casino operators to work in the province means that they can be taxed – and this in turn can create a new stream of revenue for the local government. This can in turn, or at least in theory, be spent on services and provisions which benefit Burlington. Political decisions about what will be spent where do not yet appear to have been made for good, but a richer province often translates to better services and better provisions.

Some have sounded a note of caution about whether or not the revenue earned by the Ontario provincial government as a result of taxes raised on any potential private sector online casino would be spent on Burlington in particular, or whether it’s possible that other areas of the province might receive the bulk of the money. Of course, there is no guarantee that Burlington in particular will receive guaranteed funding for capital works or any major projects, but if the spending is assigned to the province generally, then it is likely that schools and other public services in the Burlington area will eventually benefit.

Impact on main street?

In some localities, question marks might be raised about whether or not in-person casinos will be harmed by the emergence of more appealing online alternatives – and whether this will have an impact on jobs, footfall and more. As it stands, however, there is currently no in-person casino in Burlington directly. There are some in the wider area, such as in Dundas, but Burlington itself is not served by such a venue – meaning that liberalization of online casinos is unlikely to have a direct negative effect on the city’s economy.

Overall, it remains to be seen exactly how Doug Ford’s plans will pan out in the long run. The level of detail around how this liberalization programme will be implemented is scant, and there’s still no firm guarantees about what any potential tax revenue may be spent on. What’s clear, however, is that there are certainly some advantages for residents of in-person casino-free Burlington. A much greater array of gambling choice is on the cards, for example, while a more padded bank account for the whole province can only be a good thing.

Background links:

Industry report


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Province lets communities open up just before Canada Day - no fireworks yet

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 24th, 2021



The province will move into Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen as of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

This stage includes, but is not limited to:


Sound of Music will get no sympathy from Alexandre Kubrak were she to be elected a Council member. She thinks the event should be looking for additional sponsors - she's not the only one with that thought.

No crowds like this – not for awhile. But there is progress being made.

Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people

·     Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 5 people

·     Essential and other select retail permitted at 50% capacity

Are live public city council meetings essential - will we see more open deliberation on public issues?

Are city council meetings essential ? Will they be opened up soon?

·     Non-essential retail permitted at 25% capacity

·     Personal care services where face coverings can be worn at all times, and at 25 per cent capacity and other restrictions

·     Outdoor dining with up to 6 people per table, with exceptions for larger households and other restrictions

At this time, the province will remain in Step Two for a period of approximately 21 days to continue monitoring key public health and health care indicators.


Read the Media Release
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Council members all a twitter over the tweets - the Red Queen is under fire

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 24th, 2021



The bubble burst yesterday.

The anger and resentment that has been building up for more than a year is finally very very public.

Three members of Council released a Joint statement on Wednesday setting out their displeasure with Mayor Meed Ward. A copy of that document (page 1) is set out below.

Page two of the Joint Statement

While the specific issue was the way the Mayor was over-riding the process and procedure she wanted to use to allow the painting of six Rainbow Cross walks across the city, it was also the straw that broke the camel’s back.

MMW infront of Rainbow at Lakeshore and Burlington

Has the Mayor made the Rainbow Crosswalks the hill she is prepared to die on?

The Mayor chose to send out a tweet early on Wednesday thanking three Councillors for their support and being less than collegial to the other three.

Councillors Bentivegna, Nisan and Galbraith were thanked for their support while Councillors Kearns, Stolte and Sharman were ignored leaving the impression that they were not true supporters of the LGBTQQIP2S+ community.

Support for the LGBTQQIP2S+ community is divided in Burlington.

The Halton District Catholic School Board decided not to permit the flying of the Pride flag outside their schools while the public school board permitted the flying of the flag.

While the issue of support for the  LGBTQQIP2S+ is important, very important, the Joint Statement isn’t really about the flags or Rainbow Crosswalks – it is some Councillors saying they have had enough of the mayor’s antics.

On the surface the Mayor is all kissy kissy, nice nice. Referred to as the Red Queen by her detractors Mayor Meed Ward has yet to find a way to build community without body checking the other members of Council.

For the most part she doesn’t treat the five new Council members as equals – they haven’t earned their spurs yet in the Mayor’s eyes; they haven’t gone through the eight hard years Marianne went through as she battled to bring about changes in the kind of growth that was taking place.

Many felt the small village feel that many loved about the downtown core was being lost. Meed Ward positioned herself at the person who could change that; the voters believed her and elected her as Mayor.

The five newer council members see things differently, while Councillor Sharman, who once filed nomination papers to run for Mayor, sits on the sidelines waiting for Meed Ward to slip to take a run for the Chain of Office.

Feelings are running high, ambitions are coming to the surface. There are at least two of the five newcomers who are harbouring and nurturing plans to seek the office of Mayor.

However it is not just political ambition behind the very public squabble. The newcomers have found their footing and no longer want to be treated as people going through a process of on-the-job training.

They resent the way the Mayor feels she can dip into the reserve funds at will; they are troubled with the need the Mayor seems to have to hog all the limelight.

They are fiscally conservative and realize they are staring at a possible 5% tax increase in an election year.

Many of those who follow local politics closely are beginning to realize that the Red Queen is not a team player, that there is a streak of revenge within the woman and a tendency to alienate people for all the wrong reasons.

Meed ward looking askance

Was the way the Mayor treated three members of her council a political misstep?

Is there a reckoning awaiting the Mayor? Time will tell; the summer is a lighter period of time for city hall.

Much more to think about on this matter. Stay tuned.

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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Transportation that will help disabled people get to vaccination centres part of a new program


News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 23, 2021



The provincial government is going to spend $3.7 million to cover the costs of providing transportation to vaccination centres for the disabled.

The program is a partnership with the Ontario Community Support Association to help people with disabilities, including seniors with mobility issues, get to and from vaccination sites so they can get their shot and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

vaccination sign

Transportation can be arranged for disabled and seniors with mobility issues.

To date, over three-quarters of all adults in Ontario have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with nearly 26 per cent fully immunized. The Accessible Drive To Vaccines program will ensure that anyone who wants a vaccine is able to by connecting eligible individuals with staff and volunteers who will drive them to and from local vaccination sites across the province.

This includes individuals who have not yet received their first shot, or anyone who may require additional support to access their second.

“Our government understands that some Ontario residents may face barriers in traveling to a vaccination site,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “This program will ensure that transportation is not a barrier to vaccination. It will help many Ontarians with mobility issues get vaccinated.”

This initiative will focus on helping people who do not have access to accessible transportation through family, neighbours or community organizations.

“In many communities across Ontario, the dedicated staff and volunteers who work in the community support sector have been providing safe rides to vaccination sites for several months,” said Deborah Simon, OCSA’s Chief Executive Officer. “As demand continues to grow, we’re pleased to be involved in coordinating this project, which recognizes, supports, and extends the capacity of these hard-working organizations to help vulnerable people protect themselves against COVID-19.”

Getting as many Ontarians as possible vaccinated is a critical part of the government’s strategy to fight COVID-19.

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