Who called whom: getting Brock to decide on Burlington

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the city announced it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (documents that are worth almost as much as the paper they are printed on) with Brock University on a possible move to the “best city in the country” my question was:

Who called whom?

Brock in Hamilton

The Education faculty needs to be moved by August of 2022

Was Brock looking for a new location and thought Burlington would be a nice place or was Burlington on the prowl for an academic institution that would be a one up on the school that McMaster University located on the South Service road after playing footsie with the city about locating the building in the downtown core?

Turns out that Brock decided more than 18 months ago that they needed to find a better location for the facility they had in the East end of Hamilton where public transit was very limited and the building footprint no longer met their needs.

So the word was out – which suggests that the Burlington Economic Development Corporation was the matchmaker.

There are some exceptional synergies laying out there to be exploited. It is now up to Burlington to find a location that thrills the deciders at Brock. Reputations rest on our making it happen.

Robert Bateman HS

Bateman high school site will at some point be declared surplus – could that structure be modified as a Brock Campus. Huge sports field behind the building that could become the community centre the Mayor and the ward trustee would like to see built.

The Robert Bateman High school is due to get shuttered in the not too distant future. When the Halton District School Board declares that property surplus, existing educational institutions have first dibs on the land.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward called the announcement “truly exciting news for Burlington.”

Annita Cassidy Hoey retirement

Anita Cassidy, Executive Director of Burlington Economic Development

Anita Cassidy, Executive Director of Burlington Economic Development said: “Burlington Economic Development has been working actively with the City of Burlington and our post-secondary partners to expand opportunities for undergraduate education in Burlington for a number of years and we are excited to move forward with Brock University.” said Cassidy.

Brock completed the sale of its Hamilton campus in September, in an agreement that gives the University the option of continuing to conduct teaching and research there until August 2022, allowing it time to obtain and prepare a replacement facility.

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The Medical Officer of Health has written us all a letter

October 19th, 2020

Dr Meghani at news conference Hamilton

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health

To the Halton community:
Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Halton and without a doubt we are firmly in a second wave of the pandemic. I know that we have asked a lot of you over the past several months and COVID-19 fatigue is very real.

We cannot let our guards down. The time to take collective action is now in order to prevent a much worse scenario and stricter measures in the future. COVID-19 has no borders and we need to work together to stop the spread. It is out of concern for our community that I am strongly recommending that all residents take the following steps immediately:

Limit close contact to people within your household. This means minimizing interactions with people who don’t live in your house, including dining at restaurants and other social gatherings.

Limit non-essential activities. This means trying to stick to essential activities as much as possible such as going to school or work (if you work outside of your home) and using online delivery services for errands when possible.

As always, when you are in public keep a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from those outside of your household, wear a mask when physical distancing is a challenge or when required, wash and sanitize your hands frequently and please stay home if you are sick, even if you have mild cold-like symptoms.

We have learned that many cases are linked to private social gatherings and group activities. We know there is a greater risk of transmitting COVID-19 in particular situations and settings where individuals have close contact with one another, often without a mask and for prolonged periods of time. While Public Health values physical activity and participation in sport, we must take a balanced approach to reduce transmission. To control the spread of the virus, I am also recommending:

Limit all team sports to training only, with proper physical distancing between players and no scrimmages or games. 

Suspend all indoor fitness classes.I know this may be difficult to adjust to as fitness and sports are an important part of our routines and help us stay positive through these challenging times.

Please consider other ways to stay active such as online fitness classes for all ages, runs, walks or hikes, or play an outdoor game with people in your household.

Dine at restaurants with people in your household only. I also encourage residents to order take-out or use meal delivery services to continue to support local businesses.

These recommendations are not provincial orders and will not be enforced. While I am strongly recommending residents take these steps, I understand that these may take time to adopt and may not happen overnight. It is my hope that everyone follows these recommendations to the extent possible to protect one another and stop cases from rising in our community. We all have a choice to make right now –between what we want to do and what we need to do.

We still have time to reduce the severity of this second wave, but we need your help to achieve this. We did it before and we can do it again. Thank you to everyone for staying in this together, taking this seriously and above all for being kind to one another. Please continue to visit halton.ca/COVID19for the latest information on cases and public health guidance.

Yours in health,
Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health

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Recreation department want to take a deep look at what more can be done at Tayandaga

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Tyandaga – the city owned golf course in the west end of the city – could be put to even better use. It is currently an 18 hole course from April to November, the green space is used as an 18-hole golf course. From November to March, it is enjoyed by residents for tobogganing, cross-country skiing, dog walking and more.

Tyandaga golf course aerial

Tayandaga – a recreational facility the city would like to get more out of; looking to the public for ideas.

The city thinks even more can be done with the space and is looking to the citizens for ideas and input; what recreational ideas residents have to further enhance what already exists at Tyandaga. We want to know what residents value about this expansive green space and explore ideas to make it even more vibrant. The City is looking for ideas related to the golf program and ideas related to the year-round park space.

Given that we are currently in a virtual world the city will hold a virtual meeting and invite you to submit questions.

These sessions will be recorded. The link to the sessions can be found at getinvolvedburlington.ca/tyandaga.

City-wide: Oct. 27, 7 to 8 p.m.

Tyandaga Residents: Nov. 4, 7 to 8 p.m.

There is also an online survey.

Residents, golfers and the Tyandaga community are encouraged to also complete the online survey found at getinvolvedburlington.ca/tyandaga. The short survey is open now until Nov. 6, 2020.

Chris Glenn

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation Services

Questions or comments can be sent to Rebecca Holmes, Recreation Planner, 905-335-7600, ext. 7351 or Rebecca.holmes@burlington.ca.

“The green space at Tyandaga is a great asset to the community and the city. We want to ensure we’re using the area for the best possible recreational purposes. I encourage everyone to attend one of the two online engagement sessions and to complete the online survey. The information collected will be used to develop a recreation plan” said Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation Services

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When an intimate relationship breaks down – things get very ugly and people are hurt

Crime 100By Staff

October 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When an intimate relationship breaks down – things get very ugly and people are hurt. The Regional Police have to deal with these situations all too often.

child abuse 2In early September, the Halton Regional Police Service received a 9-1-1 call late at night from a young child stating that they could hear a physical altercation and their mother screaming for help.

Officers were dispatched to the residence, arriving in minutes. Officers made contact with the female party who exited the residence crying, with visible signs of assault on her face and body. The female party stated that the male party involved in this incident had left the residence on foot.

Officers cleared the residence to confirm that the male party had not re-entered and to ensure the safety of the three children in the residence. Uniform officers remained on scene and spoke with the female party.

Officers learned that the male party had arrived intoxicated at the female’s residence and assaulted her following a verbal altercation. The male had punched, choked, pushed and kicked her. During the assault, the female party yelled out to her sleeping children to call 9-1-1.

Thankfully, one of her children heard her and called for help. This led the male party to flee the residence on foot. The female party was able to lock the front door, securing the safety of her children and herself.

The male was arrested soon after and subsequently transported to Central Lock Up. Thereafter, the Halton Regional Police Service Intimate Partner Violence Unit took carriage of the investigation. The accused was charged with Assault Causing Bodily Harm and Mischief Under $5,000.

domestic violenceThe female party received medical attention and was referred to the Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit.

The Intimate Partner Violence Victim Coordinator worked with the victim to establish measures to increase her safety through a safety plan.

The Victim Services Unit also connects victims to appropriate support services in the community, assists with victim care, and, through the Victim Quick Response Program (VQRP+), can provide immediate short-term financial support toward essential expenses for victims of violent crime.

Unfortunately, this situation is not unique. This incident serves as an example of why we must look out for our neighbours, relatives, friends, and co-workers, especially if you suspect they may not be safe at home.

That is why the Halton Regional Police Service, in partnership with Halton Women’s Place and the Halton Regional Police Services Board, are unveiling a memorial site to commemorate victims of Intimate Partner Violence in Halton on Monday, November 2, 2020. Through this memorial, the aim is to:

• Honour ALL victims who have been killed in acts of Intimate Partner Violence, and
• Increase community awareness in relation to Intimate Partner Violence and, more specifically, gender-based violence.

Together, we must stand in solidarity to help end Intimate Partner Violence, because a life without violence is the only life to live.

The HRPS is urging victims or friends/family of victims to contact the Halton Regional Police Service, Halton Women’s Place or other community resources if intimate partner violence is happening.

Shelters across Halton are still open at this time and Halton Women’s Place continues to offer services. Shelters have taken precautions related to COVID-19 to ensure that no one is forced to choose between their safety and their health. Help is available.

sexual violence imageEvery person has the right to feel safe in our community.

You are not alone. Victims of intimate partner violence or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in Halton Region for victims of intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence:

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

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Use of city sports facilities is on pause until further notice

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

October 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As of Oct. 17, 2020 the city is “ Pausing all Burlington City-run indoor fitness classes for Adult 19+ and 55+, including indoor pickleball and aquatic fitness. Sports groups limited to training”.

Gymnasiums in Haber Recreation Centre

These spaces will remain unused until Public Health determines they are safe places.

Following the recommendation of Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health and emerging evidence indicating cases from indoor physical activity setting and contact sports are on the rise, the City of Burlington is taking action to help reduce COVID-19 transmission.
Any City of Burlington facility renter offering indoor fitness programs, including dance, Pilates and yoga, are also paused. To confirm if your program is still running, check with your organization.

Within City of Burlington facilities, activities are now limited to training only where proper physical distancing can be maintained. There will be no games or scrimmages until further notice.

The intent of this pause is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid going back into a modified Stage 2 status with further precautions.

The pause will be evaluated frequently and will be lifted once Halton Region Public Health deems it safe to resume these indoor activities in City facilities. The City of Burlington will continue to share updates with the public.

For information on recreation services, visit burlington.ca/fall. To reach customer service, call 905-335-7738.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward explains: “Taking this temporary pause now, will allow us to come together sooner. Despite our best efforts, we’re still seeing a steady increase of COVID-19 cases in our city. While this news will be disappointing to many residents, we must keep in mind these are truly extraordinary times and they require extraordinary efforts on all of our parts, as a community, to ensure we slow down the spread of this pandemic. We will beat this, as long as we stay patient, vigilant, and continue following the advice of our medical and health professionals.”

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Some got $2500, others less - total of 124,000. distributed to the retail and hospitality sector to keep the public safe

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The small “main street” retail operations, especially the hospitality sector have been badly hurt by the restrictions COVID-19 has placed on the way we live our lives and the things we can and cannot do.

The Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington gave themselves the collective title – Team Burlington and went about looking for ways to help those who really needed the help.

City Council set aside $125,000 that would be made available and is leaning on the Regional government to match that amount. There were 95 applications with 59 commercial operations getting a grant.

Carla Nells CoC

Carla Nell, President and CEO of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce

The five organizations teamed up with the city and the POST Promise to deliver an innovative new program to provide financial support to Burlington’s small business community during COVID-19.

A direct outcome of the Burlington Economic Recovery Network (BERN) also led by Team Burlington, is the one-time grant of up to $2500 to be used towards related COVID-19 costs such as purchasing PPE, renovating a physical space to adhere to public health guidelines, purchasing of signage and/or barriers.

Carla Nell, President and CEO of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce said: “As a result of COVID-19, public-facing businesses, such as food services and retail stores, have seen a decline in revenues anywhere from 60-70%.

“ These businesses are under tremendous pressure to adapt their physical spaces to adhere to reopening guidelines. Through speaking with stakeholders, it became clear that the City could support in restarting the economy and rebuilding consumer and employee trust by offering financial support to adapt to the reopening guidelines laid out by the Province. We are very proud that Burlington is the first municipality we know of to launch a program of this kind, and to be taking actionable steps toward helping businesses reopen safely.”

Post promise

This graphic in the window or door of an organization means they have signed a pledge to observe and enforce the five practices that limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

The Burlington Safe Restart Program has partnered with POST Promise, a private-sector initiative, in collaboration with various levels of government, designed to help Canadians confidently and safely visit public spaces and the workplace. Businesses who apply for the Burlington Safe Restart grant are required to make the POST Promise, which provides education and training on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Grant recipients will be able to display Burlington Safe Restart signage as well as the POST Promise logo in their storefront window, demonstrating their commitment to doing their part to protect the public’s health during COVID-19.

Applications for the Burlington Safe Restart program were accepted from eligible businesses between September 29 to October 13. More information on the program including eligibility requirements and the application form can be found at www.investburlington.ca/covid19.

Funds available for the first phase of the $250,000 program were paid out to:

A & S Mixed Martial Arts $1,500
A & Z INC $2,500
Agenzia Delicata Inc o/a Mirella’s Ladies Boutique $1,100
Aldershot Dental Hygiene $2,500
Athabasca Coffee House $2,500
Babaz $2,500
Barra Fion $2,500
Barry’s Jewellers $1,500
Beauty Destination spa $2,500
Beaver & Bulldog Burlington $2,500
Blo Blow Dry Bar $2,500
Boon Burger $1,900
Brant Pump & Patio $2,500
Brodie Chiropracitc Professional Corporation $1,500
Burlington Laser Eye Centre $2,500
Centro Garden Limited $2,000
Chickadee Kids Company Inc. $2,500
CineStarz Upper Canada Place $2,500
Culaccino $2,500
Dermetics $2,500
Downtown Bistro $2,500
Dr. Roman Galkin Dentistry Professional Corp. $2,500
Eye Focus $1,063
Eyes Childcare Burlington $2,500
Familia Fine Foods $2,000
HealthView Chiropractic Wellness $326
Industria Pizzeria $2,500
Jans Awnings $1,200
Lifestyles For Life $2,500

Lil’ Monkeys Indoor Playgrounds Inc. $2,500
Lingerie D’Amour inc. $2,500
Loch Side Hospitality Ltd. $2,500
Modern Hearing $2,500
On The Cusp Dental Hygiene $1,500
Orman G. Bush Ltd. $2,300
Pedlar Dentistry Professional Corporation (Dental Life) $1,000 Pepperwood $2,500
Pluckers $2,500
Posh couture $2,500
R Powered Fitness Inc $1,000
Ridgeview Restaurant Limited $2,000
Specs on Pearl Inc. $2,500
Styled Inc $2,000
Tamp Coffee co $2,200
The Dickens $900
The Follicle Spa Inc $2,500
The Golfer’s Academy Inc. $2,500
The Lashery $2,500
The Martini House $2,500
The North Coal Inc $1,000
The Olive Oil Dispensary Inc $2,500
The Platter Company Inc. $2,500
The Spa in the Village Inc. $1,000
The Tell Tale Heart Tattoo $2,500
Tread Well Inc. $700
Viking’s Landing Entertainment Inc $2,500
Walker’s Chocolates $2,500
Waterfront Hotel $2,500
Ye Olde Squire $2,500

Total distributed: $124,689.00

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Food Bank presented with close to $70,000 from the Burlington Tim Hortons operations

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Guaranteed to be the biggest fundraiser of the year at the Burlington Food Bank. Can’t thank Tim Horton’s enough, was the way one of the volunteers put it.

The Tim Horton’s 2020 Smile Cookie Campaign was a HUGE success this year! Burlington Tim Horton’s Restaurant Owners collectively raised $69,249 for the Burlington Food Bank in just one week.

The store owners gathered together at Cameron Robins’ store on Plains Rd to present the cheque.

The 70k cookie

The Smile Cookie sale raised $69,249 for the Food Bank. Every penny of each cookie sale went to the Food Bank.

Cameron, thanked everyone adding that this was such a wonderful way to give back.

Everyone gets a cookie that the staff have decorated with the entire proceeds going directly to the food bank to feed families in our Burlington community.

This donation comes at an excellent time; we are seeing the usage of the Food Bank increasing. With these funds they are able to purchase healthy nutritious food and produce to help balance their client’s needs.

Tim Horton’s staff have put a Smile on the faces of thousands of people in Burlington.

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Mayor and MP McKenna would rather the good folks from Peel stay in Peel

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward cozying up to MPP Jane McKenna – there’s a picture you won’t see very often.

Meed Ward H&S profile

Mayor Meed Ward

McKenna

MP Jane McKenna

In a Statement released by the Office of the Mayor on the dismaying increase in new cases of COVID-19 in many parts of Ontario, including here in Burlington the logo of MPP McKenna stands beside the photograph of the Mayor.

The two women joined forces to support the implemented targeted public health measures in known hot spots including Peel, Toronto and Ottawa to help mitigate the spread of this highly contagious virus.

The joint Statement said: “To help further minimize the spread in Burlington, we are respectfully asking our valued friends in neighbouring hot spot communities to voluntarily refrain from in-person visits to businesses outside their local area. We encourage those in our local community to continue supporting the many local businesses, as they have done throughout the pandemic.

“When people travel outside of these hot spots, it defeats the purpose of the restriction, and minimizes our ability to contain the virus. Limiting discretionary travel is essential to preventing additional cases, and potentially avoiding further restrictions that will negatively impact the economic and physical health of more Ontarians.”

Gazette readers report on Mississauga residents using gyms in Milton for their exercise – an almost guaranteed approach to spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Almost everyone supports the tightening of activities in the hot spots but the “common sense and good judgement” Mayor Meed Ward speaks of isn’t being used – which is why things are getting worse.

If we keep this up there will come a time when we will be in an economically brutal lock-down. By the end of next week we will know how we individually managed Thanksgiving.

If the numbers are high now – wait until we see where they are the two weeks before Christmas.

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Thefts from unlocked vehicles in driveways south of the QEW have increased: Police saying Lock it or Lose it

Crime 100By Staff

October 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Residents in southern Burlington – south of the QEW, are reported to be getting a little sloppy about locking their cars at night.

The younger criminal set are finding they can steal small change and at times electronic equipment from unlocked cars.

HRPS crestHalton Police are reminding residents to Lock it or Lose it: there has been a recent increase in overnight thefts in the city, especially south of the QEW.

Over the past few weeks, a significant rise in theft incidents from vehicles has been reported to police. The reported incidents have occurred during the overnight hours and involve thieves entering unlocked vehicles to steal loose change and other valuables from inside.

The latest rash of incidents has occurred across the City, but thieves have been primarily targeting Burlington’s south end, south of the Q.E.W.

As police continue to investigate these crimes, we would like to remind and are urging Burlington residents to remain vigilant by keeping watch for suspicious vehicles and or persons in their neighbourhoods and to report it immediately to police.

Police are reminding the public of the following prevention tips:

Ensure your unattended vehicle(s) are kept locked/secure
• Never leave personal identification or valuables in your vehicle
• Park in well-lit and attended areas whenever possible
• Never leave spare keys in your vehicle
• If you have to leave valuables in your vehicle, lock them in your trunk. Don’t tempt thieves by leaving packages or purses in plain view or on the seat.
• Remove garage door openers, G.P.S. navigation, cell phone devices and power cords from your vehicle if possible or at the least, removed from view
• Consider installing C.C.T.V. / Surveillance cameras which can capture the crime and aid in suspect identification
• Ensure residences and garages are locked when absent from the home or turning in for the night
• REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY TO POLICE IMMEDIATELY

Anyone with information related to these incidents is asked to contact the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4747 ext. 2316. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

For additional information about community concerns in Burlington, follow us on Twitter @HRPSBurl. Additionally, for the latest crime data, crime prevention tips, news releases and general information – visit the Service’s website www.haltonpolice.ca.

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Artists find a way to support the hospitality sector.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington’s favourite fundraiser is back… social distance style!

Individually hand crafted bowls done by artizans across the province. Enjoy a special gourmet soup and then take the bowl home.

Individually hand crafted bowls done by artizans across the province. Enjoy a special gourmet soup from a local restaurant.

In an effort to support our local restaurants, we’re hosting this year’s Soup Bowl Fundraiser to go!

Bowl sales begin Thursday, October 15, 2020 and the event runs through the month of November. Stay tuned for exciting updates including restaurant announcements, supporting sponsors, bowl gallery preview, and more!

How it Works

Step One: Choose a Bowl
Browse our online gallery and select a handcrafted, one-of-a-kind, ceramic bowl. Bowls are $55 – AGB Members: watch your email for an exclusive discount code. Your purchase includes a voucher for a bowl of soup from one of our participating restaurants. Complete your purchase and keep your receipt handy – you’ll need it for the next step.

Step Two: Plan your Pick-Up
After your purchase, you’ll be notified of dates and times available for you to pick-up your bowl from the gallery. When you arrive, you’ll be given a Soup Bowl Swag Bag that includes your bowl & soup voucher.

Step Three: Enjoy your Soup
Contact your restaurant of choice during the month of November to book a time to redeem your soup voucher. Be sure to book your favourite restaurant as soon as possible; some limitations may apply.

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What is it that determines when a member of council should declare a conflict of interest?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Every time the development at the top of Clearview Street in Aldershot comes up Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith declares a conflict of interest.

His home is within the 120m distance from the development and he is seen as having a conflict.

Galbraith doesn’t have any problem with having to take this decision – he sees it as the right and proper thing to do.

Clearview from the south

The Clearview development runs the length of the space between Clearview and St. Matthew.

The Clearview development is contentious and has gone through a number of changes. Galbraith takes no part in the debate and does not vote on the matter.

KG house to street end

Kelvin Galbraith’s home is to the right of the tree trunk, one lot to the west, The Clearview development is at the top of the street where the think grey fence is located.

Galbraith knew that when he was elected he would have conflicts. He chose to do the smart thing and meet with the City Solicitor before he was actually sworn, in we understand, to ask what the rules were and what was required of him as a Councillor.

Galbraith has property interests along Plains Road as well and will declare a conflict of interest should that property become part of a development issue.

Galbraith slight smileWhat we are seeing is a sterling example of how a Councillor should behave, which was certainly not the case with at least one member of the 2014-18 council.

During the September 30th Standing Committee meeting Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns put forward nine amendments to the Official Plan that was being debated.

One of the amendments related to the Lions Club property that is bound by New Street, Maria, Martha and Elizabeth.

Lions Park

The Lions Park. The Mayor lives kitty corner from Maria Martha intersection centre top of the illustration,

The Lions Club began buying up pieces of property in the 1920’s. The structure that is currently the Club House for the Lions and home to ROCK – Reach Out Centre for Kids also has space in the building which is due to have a second floor added.

While the land is owned by the Lions Club it operates as a city park and is maintained by the city.

The city also has a right of first refusal should the Lions Club choose to sell the northern portion of the property.

An interesting side note – the building on the southern part of the site was once the barn for the transit cars used by the Radial Railway that used to run along what is now Centennial Trail.

View MMW to park

The Mayors home is approximately where the truck is parked in the driveway. The North East edge of the park is seen on the right hand side

During the debate around how the property would be zoned the Lions delegated and said they would like to see the park zoning designation removed from the property. They felt that zoned as parkland lessened the value of the land should a time come when the Lions wanted to sell and the city chose not to be a buyer.

Living next to a park is usually a plus for a property owner.

The Mayor happens to be a property owner who lives kitty-corner to the park.

At no point during the debate did the Mayor declare a conflict of interest.

The Gazette sent a note to the City Clerk (Does the Mayor not have a conflict – she lives across the street?) asking if there was not a conflict.

The City Clerk sent back a note saying:

Please note that the our Members of Council are bound by the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.50. In accordance with the Act, it is the duty of the member to disclose an interest. Staff does not provide comment or advice on whether a member may have a potential conflict under the Act. Section 28 of the Procedure By-law outlines the process that must be taken if a member has an interest that they disclose.

We don’t know if the Mayor has a conflict.  Councillor Galbraith said he has a conflict and his house is as close to the Clearview development as the Mayor’s house is to the Lions park.

This is a question that the provincial Ombudsman can answer.

 

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Virtual pre-consultation for major Brant Street development.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The virtual Pre-consultation for the Molinaro development proposed for the Brant and Ghent intersection will take place this evening between 7 and 9:00 pm

Molinaro Brant and Ghent

The development covers three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent.

Instructions for Zoom Webinar

Participate On-Line via Zoom:

https://zoom.us/j/96657726680

Webinar ID: 966 5772 6680

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A delay in getting that new version (the endorsed one) of the Official Plan to the Region - wonder why?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2020

Official-Plan-Binder_Image

Grow Bold went out of favour.

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A source in the city communications department told us that: “The logistical details of how we submit the OP to the Region are still to be confirmed.”

That document was passed at a Special Meeting of Council on October 6th.

Why the delay?

Perhaps a new design for the cover is in the works?

Related news story

Getting the plan to the Region

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Just what DID Heather say?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Just what DID Heather say during both the September 30th Standing Committee and the October 7th Council meeting?

Heather, being Executive Director Heather MacDonald who is also the Chief Planner for the city, was asked on multiple occasions if she supported the amendments made to the Official Plan late in the process of revisions being made to the OP that have been ongoing for more than a year.

MMW Oct 6 anthem 2 look

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, standing in the Council Chamber during the singing of the national anthem.

The amendment came out of the minds of the Mayor and ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns.

Each of the amendments was strenuously debated at the Standing Committee and done as a recorded vote at the Council meeting.

Specifics on those changes brought forward, and eventually passed at council, will be covered in a separate story – they are a little on the complex side.

Sharman at transit

Councillor Sharman – a very deliberate questioner

Councillor Sharman led the putting of the question to MacDonald on each item. “Do you support the amendment?”

MacDonald + Enns

Heather MacDonald, on the right with Alison Enns at a public meeting.

During the first two amendments MacDonald was a little hesitant – not with her answer but in the way she expressed it. By the third amendment she had her answers formed in her mind and said consistently:  “we gave council our best planning advice and are comfortable with what we did”.

She added later that she could not professionally support the amendments. While the consultant the city hired to advise, at a cost of $600,000 plus on a sole sourced contract, was not taking part in the meeting, Sharman asked if he was supportive and MacDonald said he was not.

MacDonald was put in a very awkward position. She and her staff had done a gargantuan job of ensuring that the recommendations put forward were solidly researched and based on defensible planning practices. The numerous studies done were there to support the decisions made.

Audit Kearns 5

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns.

Then the Mayor and Councillor Lisa Kearns, come forward with major changes – mostly to the east side of Brant Street.  There was nothing inherently wrong with the changes – why didn’t they come from the planners?

Councillor Sharman concluded that when (he made a point of not saying if, but when) the plan is appealed to the Local Planning Act Tribunal (LPAT) the city will have to hire new  planners because ours, Heather MacDonald, has already said she could not support the amendments.

Councillor Nisan took exception to the mention of hiring lawyers and added that this had already been covered; something that would have been done in one of the now infamous Closed Council Sessions.

This is high stakes stuff at a very professional level – it is the kind of thing one stakes their reputation on. One has to wonder if there was a meeting between MacDonald, city manager Tim Commisso and the Mayor at which MacDonald may have said that she could not support the amendments and would resign before they were passed by Council.

That would have put the fat in the fire.

The planners at every level did some fine work. The amendments took the bloom off the rose; they could have been discussed in detail before it got to the point where the Mayor was challenging the planners.

Meed Ward did say that she understood the position the planners had taken and added that the planners are in place to give council their best thinking.

She also said that Council has a moral and ethical responsibility to do what they believe is best for the city saying  “this council is not a rubber stamp”.

There is now a state of tension between Council and the planning department that should not exist.

Sharman folded

Councillor Sharman

Angelo B

Councilor Bentivegna

Galbraith slight smile

Councillor Galbraith

The recorded votes, with one exception, were 4-3: Councillors Sharman, Bentivegna and Galbraith voted against the Mayor’s amendments and the other three siding with the Mayor.

Council Sharman pointed at that there are at least 23 appeals before LPAT – arguing those appeals are going to be a boondoggle for the planning and legal professions.

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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Traffic restrictions on John and James for the installation of a construction crane

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

John Street between James Street and Maria Street will be closed on Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for crane activity.

Gallery

The look of lower Brant when the construction is completed.

Local access will be maintained from Maria Street only and through traffic will be detoured around the block.

The Gallery, the name given to the  23 storey condominium tower going up across the street from city hall, has advanced the construction – they now need to begin building up as well as down.

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Council does not appear to be interested in taking a long term view of the application for new quarrying licenses in the Escarpment

City Council was given a thorough report on what was involved in the Nelson Aggregate application for new licenses; one to quarry on land to the west of the current site and another to quarry on land to the south.

Quarry map

The shaded area are where Nelson Aggregates want to expand.

The information Council was given was more in the way of background – nothing was going to happen for a couple of years – other than the preparing and issung of a number of technical studies.

This part of the process was expected to cover several years.

What became clear during the meeting was that while the quarries were in Burlington proper, the city was certainly not going to have the last word – they would be lucky to have much to say at all.

The Regional government was going to spearhead the messaging while the JART – Joint Application Review Tribunal would do all the initial review of the document – which comprised of thousands of pages of technical data.

All that data and the summary of them would get presented to Burlington, the Region of Halton, the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the provincial Ministry that oversees the operation of mineral extraction operations, they would all be expected to weigh in on what it would all mean to the city.

The NEC and the Ministry are what count.

The document that held the most information for everyone at Council was a Process Time Line that sets out who is going to do what and when.

Quarry time line

What was entirely overlooked at the Burlington Council meeting was the long term Nelson Aggregate intention to turn the quarried out properties to the city who could then turn them into a huge public park.

This council did not seem to want to take a long term look – the focus seemed to be the impact the application might have on the 2022 municipal election.

The Escarpment is seen as sacrosanct – no housing developments except for maybe something very very small in the three settlement communities of Lowville, Kilbride and Mt Nemo.

Golf courses are OK with the residents – the accepted community norm is that those people who can afford five and ten acre properties on which they can build relatively large homes are more than welcome.  Gated driveway are acceptable architectural features.  If you don’t fit into that demographic – then the Escarpment just isn’t for you.

16 Rendering of bowl Golf club or main quarry

The existing quarry on the north side of Side Road # 2 is close to being mined out. Rehabilitation is currently already underway. When completed there will be a swimming area, paths and park area with acres of land to roam around on.

That Burlington is going to grow immensely is a given – mostly housed in apartments or condominiums with not much in the way of parkland.

We are seeing exceptionally large crowds along the Beachway where parking becomes an expensive issue when you see the amount on the parking ticket.

The several Conservation areas are now regulating who can go into their parks and how long they can stay.

While we are not out of public park space we are now rationing the space we have and charging fees for entrance.

Beach - swimming

The property on the south side of Side Road # 2 would be turned into a lake with a large shallow area that will be very safe for young children. The Jefferson Salamander habitat will be well to the east of this lake.

Another large park in the Escarpment area makes sense and certainly deserves consideration.

Not by this Council and certainly not during that period of time when re-election is the focus.

The last time Nelson Aggregates made an application for new licensees they were turned down because the Jefferson Salamander habitat was threatened.  Nelson Aggregates has made sure that issue is covered in this latest application.

To the surprise of some there is a citizen organization with a reported 400 members supporting the long term development of turning the quarries into public park space.

There is also a well organized citizens group opposed to the quarry expansion,

Council has to determine what they want to do. Will they choose to say they will protect the Escarpment.  From what?  Newcomers having a place to play?

Part 1 of a three part series on the Nelson Aggregate issue.

A very large development that is a short drive from the Escarpment – no park land for those people.

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Beer Store closes Elizabeth Street Location: employee tested positive for COVID

News 100 redBy Staff

October 12th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

beer storeThe Beer Store announced today that its 396 Elizabeth Street location has closed while they complete a deep clean.

The Beer Store learned that an employee at the store tested positive for COVID-19. The Beer Store is working in consultation with Halton Public Health and has closed the location.

It will re-open on Tuesday, October 13.

All potentially affected employees will self-isolate and symptom monitor as a precautionary measure.

The Beer Store has implemented mandatory employee face coverings in all their stores, in addition to robust cleaning and public distancing protocols already in place.

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Community Development Halton moves to an open membership format: a much needed and welcome change.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 12th, 2020,

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Community Development Halton (CDH) is not an organization that is immediately recognized when the letters CDH are mentioned.

It is one of a number of non-governmental organizations in place to serve the community.

It relies on public money to exist – most of the funding comes from the Region of Halton and the United Way.

CDH logoLike all the other incorporated not for profit organizations – it holds an annual meeting.

CDH did something startling at its Annual General Meeting earlier this month.

When the province made changes to the Not-For-Profit Corporations Act, many organizations amended their  by-laws, reducing voters to board members only – CDH followed suit a few years ago. However, when the current board reflected on the impact to its transparency and inclusiveness, it voted to reverse the change.  What CDH has done is re-open the organization to membership – which is what elects the Board of Directors that sets policy and direction.

Jan + scarf

CDH president Jan Mowbray.

“They amended the rules related to membership.  There are now two forms of membership: Individual and Organization” explained CDH president Jan Mowbray.

“Organization” means any non-profit or charitable organization; grassroots group, or public or private entity, but does not include a political party or political organization.”

“A member must live or work in the Region; members must pay the membership fee.”

The membership fee structure for individuals has yet to be confirmed – however, the members of the Board pay an annual fee of $100.

“Each individual member and a single representative of a member organization shall be entitled to cast one vote on each question at any Annual General Meeting or Special Meeting, provided that the individual or organization was a member in good standing on December 31 of the prior year and remained so for the period up to and including the date of the Annual General Meeting.”

The AGM is always in September – thus preventing any last minute attempt to add new members and change the direction of the organization.

“Ten percent of the membership can petition the President to call a meeting of the Board.”

“A quorum at an Annual General Meeting shall be more than 10% of CDH members in good standing.”

“A motion or resolution shall be carried if it is approved at an Annual General Meeting by more than 50% of those voting.”

There are far too many organizations in place to serve the city that use the Directors in place as their membership – they keep re-electing themselves or determine who they want to join the Board.  They become the “old boys club”.

This is a very healthy change, hopefully one that will be taken up by other Not-for-Profit organizations with the Sound of Music (SoM) being an organization that needs a change.  There was a time when there were more than 100 SoM members.

In the past far too many NGO’s suspended membership and changed their constitutions to having the members of the Board being the only members who could re-elect themselves at will.

The logic behind changing the rules was that “the board was unanimous in its desire to be completely inclusive and transparent.  When only  the board could vote on an issue, it left our stakeholders with no say at all in an organization that represents all of Halton”, said Jan Mowbray, President of the CDH Board of Directors.

Nixon Image

Executive Director Mike Nixon

CDH also has a new Executive Director – Mike Nixon –  who was in complete support of the change.  A number of Staff changes were made as well.  COVID issues meant putting some staff on furlough for a period of time.

The organization has now completed the needed structural changes.

Edwardh-Joey

Dr. Joey Edwardh

Dr. Joey Edwardh, who retired last October after more than twenty years at the helm during which time some significant changes were made in the way social issues were deliberated upon at a public level.

 

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Citizen suggests a pause on adding people to Advisory Committees

opinionred 100x100By Lawson Hunter

October 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As Council knows, public engagement is near and dear to my heart. I’ve spoken about community education, a wider approach to give citizens the opportunity to comment on policies and plans, and I’ve proposed various methods of having community voices heard – in particular – citizens’ assemblies.

I respectfully ask that Councillors search out information on how Citizens’ Assemblies work and how they are successfully being used around the world.

Fortunately, I have the time to attend Standing Committee and Council meetings being held during the day. Many in our community cannot afford to take time off to participate.

I attended one of the Citizen Action Labs, have spoken to several ex-members of Citizen Advisory Committees, attended a few of those committee meetings as a silent observer, and read the various documents, staff reports, committee minutes and the recommendations from the Citizens Advisory Committee Review Team. As you know, I go in for the deep dive.

As public engagement goes, I look at what the City has done with regard to the Adopted Official Plan and the ‘Take a Closer Look Downtown’ initiative as the gold standard. Dozens of opportunities, countless interactions, volumes of documents to pour over, many, many Get Involved messages, even walking tours and town halls.

Compare that to the City’s outreach for the Advisory Committee Review. Three Action Labs, an online survey and a questionnaire at an outdoor market. All done over a year ago. Yes, there was a citizens Review Team that, I presume, worked diligently to interpret the responses heard. But there was no opportunity to respond to the document that they produced.

Basically, a year has passed and silence. If nothing screams Public Engagement – in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS – it’s the Advisory Committee structure. Something that the public has been complaining about for over 20 years.

Then, on Sept. 17th up pops a staff report with a phased in approach and a request from the Corporate Services CSSRAC committee to start recruiting Advisory Committee members.

Which to my mind, means that we’ve gone back to the status quo while the Clerk’s office works out the details.

So here’s my request. Hit the pause button for a few more months. We’ve all been distracted by COVID. Parents are struggling how to send their kids to school and keep their families safe. Operations at City Hall has morphed into a giant Zoom call. Council is about to be swallowed up with the City’s 2021 Budget. Business owners are fighting to keep their doors open. And more and more people have lost their jobs, and are lining up at Food Banks and COVID testing sites.

Is this the time to start recruiting for Advisory Committees? We’ve gone seven months without them. What harm would another few months do?

Hit the pause button and give this staff report, and some details, to those people who spent their time attending the Action Labs, who bothered to fill out the surveys, who sit or have sat on previous Advisory committees, the Engagement Charter and Shape Burlington.

Give us a chance to review what’s being proposed. One last chance to make a suggestion or comment. A bit more time to decide whether or not we want to sign up for a committee, or decide to let others take over.

That would be Public Engagement, the kind that we deserve here in Burlington.

 

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Thanksgiving Day - what's open - what isn't open.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

What’s open; what’s not open – Thanksgiving Holiday.
Animal Services
The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.

To report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit www.burlington.ca/animal.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate a holiday schedule on Oct. 12. The downtown Transit Terminal, Specialized Dispatch and the administration office will also be closed on this day.

Schedules and specialized booking are available at burlingtontransit.ca. For real-time schedule information visit Google/Apple Maps or triplinx.ca.

City Hall Closed on Monday, Oct. 12.
The Service Burlington counter will re-open Oct. 13 and is available for the following in-person payments from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday:

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

Service Burlington continues to offer marriage licenses and commissioning services by appointment. Please call Service Burlington at 905-335-7777 to schedule.

Cash payments are currently not accepted. Many service payments are also available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Anyone entering City Hall must wear a mask or face covering unless exempted from by the Mandatory Mask Bylaw.

Residents are asked to bring and wear their own masks.

Building and Planning
Service counters for building and planning are currently closed and staff continue to process applications electronically.

For more information about building permits and business licences, visit burlington.ca/building.

For information about development applications, visit burlington.ca/developmentinfo

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office Closed on Monday, Oct. 12.

Administration Counter Services, at 4085 Palladium Way, will re-open on Oct. 13 and 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 online services are also available, please visit Halton Court or email burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca

Free parking is available downtown, on the street, in municipal lots and in the parking garage on weekends and holidays.

NOTE: The Waterfront parking lots (east and west) do not provide free parking on statutory holidays.
Parking exemptions are currently not required for overnight parking on City streets between 1 and 6 a.m., due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. burlington.ca/parking

Recreation Programs and Facilities Arenas will be closed on Oct. 12 and re-open on Oct. 13.

Angela Coughlan Pool will be open on Oct. 12. Pre-registration is required. For scheduled programming, visit burlington.ca/fall

Roads, Parks and Forestry Administrative office closed on Monday, Oct. 12.

Essential and reduced parks maintenance services will be provided.
rlingotn.ca

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