'If we fail to stop the spread of the variant viruses that are now rampant in the community we could lose the summer'

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 1st, 2021



Later today, Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce that the province will be put in a lock down mode for as much as 28 days.

This has been done before and the science community is of the belief that lockdowns work.

Brown and Williams

Dr Adelstein on the left and Dr.David Williams on the right at a technical briefing this morning.

This morning Dr. David Williams and Dr. Adelstein Brown took part in a video conference in which mush of the science behind the decisions that get made was discussed with media taking part in a short media question and answer session.

The news was not good.

Dr. Brown said that if the province did not go into a lock down now there “was very strong chance that we will lose the summer”.

Brown is part of a community of 120 scientists across the province who collaborate on collecting data and analyzing that data to determine the best preventive action to take.
The scientists advise – the politicians have to make the decisions.

Brown referred to data that had been collected showing that the people who need vaccinations the most are the people not getting the vaccinations.

vaxcination chart

Column 1 represents the people who are most at risk; the people in column 10 are at the least risk. The people who need vaccinations are the people who are not getting them. The race is to find a way to get those at the highest risk vaccinated as soon as possible.

Along with that fact is the perplexing problem of far too many people who qualify for a vaccination but not getting to the vaccination centres.

The province is in a third wave where the predominant virus is one the Covid19 variants which are proving to be more infectious and resulting in more deaths of people who are below the 80 year and 70 years cohorts.

field hospital - long look

The field hospital set up outside the Joseph Brant Hospital at a cost of several million was a wise decision.

The pressure on the hospitals is immense. Brown and Williams said that should the number of people in hospital ICU’s rise above 800 a tipping point will be reached where a triage approach has to be taken as to who gets treatment and who doesn’t.

This third wave is real” said Brown and “it is very dangerous because of the variants that are now rampant in the community with 67% of the cases reported being variant.

Williams referred to people meeting with people that are not part of their home group is “dangerous behaviour. The science community wants to see stay at home orders issued which does not appeal to the politicians who have to deal with the backlash from people who vote.
The province has yet to succeed in getting a strong message out to the public that we are very very close to a crisis.

Brown said the politicians have to be “more decisive’ and that we are in a “ground game” now.

Brown brought up another matter – the closing of schools saying that schools should be the last to close and the first to open.
He pointed out that students reflect the community they live in and the hard reality is that the students bring what they reflect into the classrooms.

Closing schools however also has serious long term impacts on mental health. If students miss too much classroom time their earnings potential as adults will be impacted.

The education one gets in grade three is not something you can go back and get when the student is moving on to grade four.

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Ontario Working with Conservation Experts to Protect More Natural Areas

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 1st, 2021



The Ontario government has established a working group of conservation experts to identify opportunities to protect and conserve more natural areas in order to enhance the province’s natural diversity and provide more recreational opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors.

open area in Peel

Protected and conserved natural areas is a top priority

“Expanding protected and conserved natural areas is a top priority in our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and we want to find new, innovative ways to meet this commitment,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “That’s why we want to hear from conservation and community leaders whose expertise can help identify new strategies to leverage the ideas, talents and expertise of the private sector and other outside organizations to help build on our government’s conservation efforts, like the Greenlands Conservation Partnership.”

The Protected Areas Working Group is made up of experts from the private sector, non-governmental organizations, as well as representatives from Indigenous communities.

Peter Kendall

Peter Kendall (Chair), Executive Director, Schad Foundation

Members include:
• Peter Kendall (Chair), Executive Director, Schad Foundation
• Andre Vallillee, Environment Program Director, Metcalf Foundation
• Chris McDonell, Chief Forester, Rayonier Advanced Materials
• David Flood, Chair, General Manager, Wahkohtowin Development GP Inc.
• Geoff Burt, CEO, Consecon Foundation
• George Ross, former Deputy Minister of Northern Development and Mines, and Research and Innovation and Consumer Services
• John Beaucage, Principal, Counsel Public Affairs and former Chief of Wasauksing First Nation
• John Snobelen, former Minister of Natural Resources
• Lorne Johnson, Vice-President, Ivey Foundation
• Lynette Mader, Manager of Provincial Operations, Ducks Unlimited
• Mike Hendren, Vice-President (Ontario Region), Nature Conservancy of Canada
• Paul Genest, Senior Vice-President, Power Corporation

The working group will explore a number of areas, such as identifying opportunities and addressing barriers to increasing protected and conserved natural areas, and how public-private partnerships could be used to further advance conservation efforts. The working group will deliver a report with recommendations to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Peter Kendall, Executive Director, Schad Foundation will chair the new Protected Areas Working Group which is made up of some of Ontario’s leading conservation experts.

“For the next two months, our group will identify opportunities to increase protected areas in Ontario. By working together, we are confident Ontario will once again become a leader in conservation, said Kendall.

The members of the working group bring a lot of credibility to the task. What seems to be missing is a way for local environmentalists to have their voices heard.

Vince Fitorio

Vince Fiorito has been a consistent advocate for stronger environmental protection

The people who take care of the creeks and open spaces and who are active locally need to be heard and have an opportunity to comment while the work is being done and not after a report is issued.

It would be nice if Peter Kendall undertook to issue a draft for public consideration and then, after looking for way s to include public comments and ideas move on to the final report.

• Ontario manages and protects 340 provincial parks and 295 conservation reserves, totaling 9.8 million hectares or over 9 per cent of the province.

• Conserving natural spaces can play an important role in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change by providing safe havens for wildlife, capturing and storing carbon, and improving resilience to weather events, such as flooding and drought.

• Recently, the government announced an investment of $20 million over four years in the new Greenlands Conservation Partnership to help the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance secure land to conserve ecologically important natural areas and protect wetlands, grasslands and forests that help mitigate the effects of climate change.


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City Clerk getting prepared for the 2022 municipal election - hopefully it will be cleaner than the 2018 event

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 1st, 2021



City Hall is slowly slipping into election mode.

They have started the process by putting out a survey to get a sense as to what people want in the way of information and instructions when a municipal election takes place.

Ballot going in boxWith an average voter turnout of 37% over the past three years one could venture to say – not very much – they don’t seem to care all that much.

In preparation for the upcoming 2022 municipal election, the City of Burlington is asking residents for their input on a number of election-related topics. Share your input on things like voting methods, election signage, voter turnout and more.

Your feedback will be used to inform a report to Burlington City Council about preparation activities for the 2022 municipal election which will take place on Oct. 24, 2022.

Couple of interesting ideas are floated in the survey – make a point of running through it – nothing difficult.

They ask how you feel about establishing a Campaign Contribution Rebate Program.

Should the City post candidate information, including their photos and responses to a standard community questionnaire on the City’s website to support public engagement for the 2022 municipal election?

The survey asks residents for feedback on various election matters, including:

Ideas to increase voter turnout
Suggestions for topics and panelists at an upcoming election open house
Voting methods
Using corporate resources in an election year
Rebates for campaign contributions
The management of election signs

The survey will be open until 11:59 p.m. on April 23, 2021.

Link to the survey is HERE

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Federal transportation department doesn't appear to be aware of long range plans for the Beachway

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 31st, 2021




MP Karina Gould engaging a constituent during the last federal election

In her monthly report to the public Burlington MP Karina Gould, a Member of the Trudeau Cabinet said she was “pleased to share the news earlier this month that an agreement is in the works between Transport Canada and the Cities of Burlington and Hamilton to come to an arrangement to keep the Burlington Piers open and accessible.

There is more work to do, but this is a very positive development for our community.”

The decision to limit access to the piers on both sides of the canal came as a surprise to many.

Burlington Canal

A federal government department is working with both Burlington and Hamilton to find a way to keep the piers open to the public.

What concerns the Gazette is: Where is the public participation on this one?  It was the public that was being kept off the pier for really spurious reasons.

Can you just imagine telling the public they could not stand on the pier and watch as the ship, some under full sail, glided by.

As well – Burlington and the Region are toiling away at a major design task for the Beachway including a park setting that will be on the north side of the bridge coming right up to the water’s edge of what is at that point Hamilton harbour.

Beachway - federal pier

Long range plan for the Beachway is to upgrade the area including significant changes to the western end – around the canal. These plans would seem to be at odds with what the federal Transportation department is working through for public access to the piers.

Sandy Empire - canal

Hundreds gathered on the piers to watch ships like this glide by.

Ships canal - crowd bith sides

Many will recall the hundreds of people that lined the piers when the tall ships paid Burlington and Hamilton a visit.




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Premier Ford: Don't make plans for Easter - sounds like a lock down will be announced

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 3oth, 2021


He does it almost every day of the week.

Stands before a teleprompter and does his best to tell people to stay at home until we have the COVID19 virus beaten.

He always has several people with him; Minister of Health, Minister of Finance – whoever can amplify the point he is making.

Hiller and the Premier

Hillier speaking fluidly and directly said if the vaccines were available everyone would get a vaccination. What he couldn’t do was say that he didn’t know when the vaccines would be delivered.

Today he was at the Humber River Hospital vaccination clinic.  Retired Army General Rick Hillier, wearing a smart looking black suit – no medals, and not much in the way of a smile on his face either.

The Premier ranted about the province being ready to put needles in arms but he didn’t have the vaccines needed. He ranted about the delays – each time laying another critical comment on the shoulders of the Prime Minister but not before saying the federal government was a good partner.

Problems galore on getting what the public told was promised.

When Hillier told the Premier he was quitting – saying his job was done – he didn’t elaborate.  The Gazette had picked up a number of comments on how bad things were between the General and the Premier but nothing we could get a quote on.

The General spoke for a few minutes assuring people that he believed every person who was eligable for a vaccine shot would get one by summer June 2oth.

Hiller walking away

Hillier leaves the podium – does not look at the Premier. They never did make eye contact during the period of time they were walking to and from the podium.

When Huller approached the podium to speak he didn’t use a teleprompter not did he flash a smile at the Premeir.  They did not make eye contact.

Same thing when Hillier left the podium – no eye contact with the General.  No handshake either but an elbow bump would have made the point.

The new infection numbers are higher than they have ever been.  The deaths are higher and the variant version of the virus seems to be making a tough situation worse.

Many of the people who know what they are talking about have urged the Premier to invoke a three week shut down.

The best the Premier could do today was say to the public:  Don’t make plans for Easter.

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High tech equipment has been in the hands of car thieves for some time: we are now seeing the results.

Crime 100By Staff

March 30th, 2021


The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has made a pair of arrests in connection to a vehicle theft.

The thefts took place in Oakville but the way the thefts were carried out and the technology the thieves used is startling.

Here is the full police report.

HRPS crestOn March 30, 2021 at approximately 1:30 am, an alert resident heard their vehicle start in their driveway and then discovered that their Toyota vehicle had been stolen. The homeowner contacted the HRPS immediately and officers soon located the stolen Toyota and a second vehicle being driven in tandem.

Attempts were made to stop both vehicles safety, however, the driver of the stolen Toyota failed to stop and was able to make good on their escape.

Police were able to successfully stop the second vehicle and arrest its two occupants.

Mohammad Khan (20) of Quebec has been charged with the following:

  • Theft of motor vehicle
  • Possession of Break and Enter Instruments

Pablo Rawlins-Ramos (25) of Quebec has been charged with the following:

  • Theft of motor vehicle
  • Possession of Break and Enter Instruments
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon
  • Fail to Comply with Probation
  • Fail to Comply with Weapons Prohibition
theft from cars - June 5-18

Quality video cameras are a huge help in capturing car thieves and excellent evidence when the case comes to trial

Police also seized a signal relay device at the time of arrest. This tool is commonly used to steal vehicles quickly. In a typical relay theft, suspects will approach a residence on foot and utilize a relay device to defeat the vehicle’s security system. One of the suspects will be positioned near the house and the other near the targeted vehicle. The technology being used is able to access the signal transmitted by the key fob inside the house and relay it to a computer that is in the possession of the suspect near the vehicle. This captured data is then used to program a blank key fob and start the vehicle.

The Halton Regional Police Service would like to alert residents of Oakville that the incidence of overnight vehicle thefts using a relay device are increasing. Thieves are targeting particular makes and models. They range from 2017 – 2020 Lexus vehicles included models RX350 and GX460, Toyota models, Land Rover Range Rover models and Ford pickup trucks. The targeted vehicles are stolen from residential driveways between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am.

Similar thefts are occurring throughout the GTA, as these vehicles are in high demand and are often shipped overseas.

We encourage homeowners to take these simple steps to reduce the risk of having your vehicle stolen:

  • Park your vehicle within a locked/secure garage as the majority of the vehicles are stolen from residential driveways
  • If a garage is not accessible, park another vehicle behind it in the driveway to act as a physical barrier to its removal
  • Invest in an aftermarket global positioning system tracker or have one installed by the dealer, as it may assist in recovery of the vehicle if it is stolen
  • Ensure your unattended vehicle(s) are locked and secure
  • Never leave spare keys in your vehicle
  • Never leave spare keys outside of your residence
  • When not in use, place vehicle keys inside a radio frequency shielding bag/pouch to block cell signals 
  • Equip your vehicle with an alarm
  • Use other devices to deter thefts (e.g. steering wheel locking device)
  • Consider purchasing a quality video surveillance system and ensure your cameras are properly placed and functioning for 24-hour use

Community safety is a shared responsibility. Help keep communities safe and immediately report any suspicious activity.

Anyone with questions or information about this vehicle theft is asked to contact Detective Constable Ben Merchant at the 2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2248.

Those vehicles were provably on their way to Montreal where they would be loaded into a shipping container and on their way out of the country within days; usually to the Middle East where terrorists make good use of them.

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Halton residents 65 years and older can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments starting Wednesday

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 1st, 2021



Starting Wednesday, March 31, Halton residents who are 65 years of age and older (born in or before 1956) can book an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic. Appointments are available in April.

needle and vaccine“We are continuing to make good progress to vaccinate our most vulnerable populations through our community clinics and mobile teams,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Our ability to keep vaccinating at this pace remains contingent on ongoing vaccine supply from the Federal and Provincial Governments. While the vaccine program progresses, our incredible public health team is also working tirelessly to quickly identify and manage COVID-19 cases to help keep our residents safe. In addition to getting your vaccine when it is your turn, please continue following all public health direction to protect yourself and others.”

Halton Region continues to follow Provincial direction on prioritization and is reminding residents that Public Health does not have the authority to make any exceptions; only those who are eligible can book appointments. The following groups are currently eligible for vaccination in Halton:

  • all Halton residents 65 and older (born in 1956 or earlier);
  • Indigenous adults (including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations) aged 55 years of age or older;
  • staff and essential caregivers from long-term care or retirement homes in Halton who have not received their first dose;
  • health care workers identified as highest priority, very high priority and high priority (providing direct, non-virtual care at least once a week) who live OR work in Halton; and
  • adults receiving chronic home care through a Local Health Integration Network or a home care agency.

“Although we have made significant progress in our vaccine rollout, we are seeing an increase in cases, particularly among variants of concern, and are firmly in a third wave of COVID-19,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “While our quick and steady rollout of vaccines is critical, it is only one important way we can protect each other and stop COVID-19. As we approach the long weekend, I urge residents to remain vigilant and not gather with individuals outside of your household. Please continue to follow all public health measures including wearing a mask and physical distancing from anyone you do not live with even if you or others have been vaccinated.”

Important information & instructions:

  • In addition to the groups that are currently eligible, on Wednesday March 31, Halton residents who are 65 years of age and older (born in 1956 or earlier) will also be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment through Halton’s online booking system.
  • While booking online is the fastest way to schedule an appointment, residents can also call 311 if they require booking support. Residents who are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine are asked not to call 311 or visit the online booking system to ensure eligible residents have access.
  • Vaccinations are by appointment only (no walk-ins) and must be booked through Halton Region’s online system or through 311. Please do not contact clinics directly. Bookings for Halton residents are not available through the Provincial booking system; residents who access the Provincial booking system will be guided back to Halton’s system.
  • Residents who have already scheduled an appointment for vaccination through Halton Region can now verify their appointment details directly online, including appointment time, date and location.
  • Eligible residents can book appointments at any one of Halton’s six COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics located in Burlington (including Joseph Brant Hospital), Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville (including Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital). Residents are reminded that parking is free at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and Joseph Brant Hospital for those with scheduled appointments at these clinics.
  • Halton Region continues to offer transportation services to and from appointments for residents who require support, free of charge, including residents 65 years of age and older.
  • All appointments are contingent on the availability of vaccine supply.
  • To maintain physical distancing and safety measures, please arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment (not earlier) and remember to wear a non-medical mask.

To learn more about Halton Region’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program, including who is currently eligible and how to book an appointment, please visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines.

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Regional Police Project #Noisemaker Aims to Target Loud and Unsafe Vehicles and Aggressive Driving

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 30th, 2021



The Halton Regional Police Service continues to receive numerous complaints from across the region regarding loud and unnecessary noise from motor vehicles which have been illegally modified by removing the mufflers, or modifying the exhaust system.

It has been observed through proactive enforcement that this unnecessary noise is often found to be accompanied by other illegal vehicle modifications, unsafe vehicle conditions and aggressive driving behaviours. During the course of the 2020 Project #Noisemaker campaign in Halton, Enforcement activities resulted in the following:

• More than 1420 charges laid region-wide
• 574 charges for no/improper muffler
• 396 charges for unnecessary noise
• 12 racing/stunt driving charges

carrally police breakup

Police breaking up a late night car racing rally

The remaining charges were primarily vehicle defects, moving violations, licence violations, licence plate violations, violations of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, and violations of the Environmental Protection Act (removal of vehicle emissions components).

During the project, more than 40 vehicles were removed from the roadway for various reasons including defects (causing the vehicle to be unfit), improper licences and stunt driving legislation. Further, the Project was successfully implemented by various Police Agencies across the Province.

As a result, the Halton Regional Police will be continuing with Project #Noisemaker. The region-wide project will be launching on April 1st, 2021 and will run until October 31, 2021. Project #Noisemaker aims to address concerns of motor vehicles with illegal modifications, unsafe motor vehicles, and aggressive driving.

As part of Project #Noisemaker, Officers from the District Response Teams and Regional Traffic Services will collaborate with partner agencies to conduct inspections through an Operation Wreck Check; will target illegal street racing activity through Project ERASE (eliminate racing activity on streets everywhere) enforcement dates, and will partner with Municipal Enforcement Officers to conduct enforcement of the Town of Oakville’s motorcycle noise by law.

The Halton Regional Police Service remains committed to road safety through prevention, education and enforcement initiatives.

Anyone with enforcement concerns is asked to fill out an online form available on the Halton Regional Police Service website.  CLICK HERE 

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Rivers on: The Politics of Taxing Carbon

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

March 30th, 2021



Erin O’Toole gave up a huge opportunity to advance the theory that he is a new kind of conservative. He says he wants to move his Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) into the more electable political centre of Canadian politics.  That would allow him to challenge the centre-left Liberals for that block of voters who can make the difference between forming government or lingering in opposition.

Erin Otoole

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole

But then his response following the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of federal carbon pricing disappointed a growing number of Canadians who have come to accept the carbon tax as a necessary treatment for our fossil fuel addiction.  And it took only a few hours after the court announcement for two of his biggest provincial allies on the tax, Scott Moe and Jason Kenny, to desert him, concluding they would now surrender and likely develop their own provincial carbon taxes.
Ontario has not yet said what it is planning to do, except that it will respect the court decision. Presumably that means doing nothing but watching the feds collect the money and redistribute it as they have been doing.  Ford, who came to power after the political assassination of former leader Patrick Brown, killed Brown’s plans for a provincial carbon pricing scheme with great aplomb.

gas pump carnon label

A label that just wouldn’t stay in place.

Ford then dismantled the in-place efficient Ontario’s cap and trade carbon pricing system at a cost of at least $5 million .  That move is costing the province an additional $2 billion annually in revenues.  Then Ford allocated $30 million in his losing effort to fight the federal carbon tax, and spent another $4 million advertising against the tax.
Then there was the cost of producing sticky labels mandated to go on to gas pumps across the province….and promptly fall off again.  Fortunately the court decision against the stickies saved Ford, a former label company executive, the embarrassment of presiding over a law and a label that just wouldn’t stay in place.  All in all, not bad for a government promising to cut waste.

The Supreme Court ruling has left everyone trying to figure out where O’Toole really stands.  On the one hand he has to be admired for entering the lion’s den of his party’s last convention, to declare that climate change is real.  Unfortunately the lions disagreed and, behaving like the dinosaurs they are, sent a red-faced O’Toole home, mumbling something about killing the carbon tax anyway.

But the paradox of promising to develop a Trudeau-beating climate plan and promising to kill any kind of carbon pricing scheme at the same time has never dawned on him.  He has continued to push the big lie that the tax hurts the poor and the disadvantaged which – thanks to the rebate – it doesn’t.  But then why should a little truth get in the way of well-established anti-tax ideology?

He is right, though, that the carbon tax would eventually kill jobs – oil industry jobs in an industry on its way to irrelevance.  Recall how politicians in Quebec used to worry about the loss of asbestos industry jobs, even as the workers were dying from asbestosis.  That debate ended and despite all the fears, the world did not.

Once all of the provinces introduce their own carbon taxes, the federal tax might almost be moot. Except to be effective a carbon tax has to keep increasing.  So that means that the feds will still be setting the rules.   And that is why the court decision is so important; to keep carbon pricing advancing and on a level playing field across the country.

It’s clear that O’Toole hasn’t thought this all out.   But he is still apparently working on his own climate change plan, which will be handicapped without the incentives offered by higher carbon prices. What might he include then?  He could be expected to offer even more subsidies to the oil companies as they try to bury their emissions, something called sequestration.  And he might commit to more nuclear power?  But don’t expect him to mention carbon pricing.

emmissions exhaust

Emissions: They are killing the planet

Quebec recently committed to ban the sale of gasoline powered cars by 2035.  Mr. O’Toole could hitch onto that as a national policy.  There is also speculation that the USA under the Biden administration may be looking at a gas guzzler ban as well.  Banning the sale of appliances which use fossil fuels, like gas water heaters, would be an even more effective way of curbing the demand for carbon based fuels.  Though one can only imagine how those dinosaurs that compose O’Toole’s base would react to that idea.

But no matter what final policy package Mr. O’Toole selects as his plan, to be effective it will have to involve the eventual closure of much of Canada’s fossil fuel industry.  And those jobs and all that oil income for the western provinces, where his political power lies, is why he rejected the carbon tax in the first place.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province.



Background links

O’Toole on Carbon Taxes –    Supreme Court –   Conservative Dinosaurs –  

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How has the city shaped you? The city wants to hear your story.

graphic community 3By Staff

March 29th, 2021



It’s tell me a story time. Can I fib a bit you might ask?

Just how colourful can my story be?

Beard - hoola hoope - run jump playCan I tell you about the time a leader in the Parks and Recreation department gave a hula hoop demonstration outside city hall?  Didn’t think so.

Everyday in Burlington, someone does something for a friend, a stranger or their community. Many times, no one knows the action or even the impact it has. Sure, the city has some larger than life events and local personalities that are exciting, award-winning and newsworthy, but it’s the random acts of community that really build our strength, sense of belonging and defines who we are as a city.

We are asking residents to share stories of what makes you proud to be Canadian and a Burlington resident, and how we come together as a City. Tell us about how you or someone you know has made a difference or has brought people together through random acts of community; moments of kindness or through small acts that may have made a bigger impact in your life or those around you.

We are looking for your stories of what makes you a proud Canadian and Burlington resident and how we come together. Here are some thoughts on stories you could share:

This is what city building is all about. Seven young Burlingtonians made plaster impressions of their hand prints which were then engraved on the marker that tells the story of the pier and its construction. Despite its construction woes and legal problms the pier is a magnificent addition to the city.

This is what city building is all about. Seven young Burlingtonians made plaster impressions of their hand prints which were then engraved on the marker that tells the story of the pier and its construction. Despite its construction woes and legal problems the pier is a magnificent addition to the city.

1. What do you love about Burlington or your local community?

2. What is it about Burlington that drew you here or keeps you here?

3. How has the Burlington community made you feel welcome or proud to be a part of it?

4. How have you or someone you know, contributed to the Burlington community that brings us closer together?

5. How has Burlington shaped you?

We are looking for your submissions in writing (500 words or less) or through a video (no longer than 1 min and upload via YouTube or Vimeo) or a combination of written with photos sharing a story.

You can start your story like this: “I’m proud to be Canadian and I love Burlington because……”

Personal Information contained on this page is collected under the authority of the Municipal Act, S.O. 2001, c.25, as amended and will be used for the purpose of gathering and sharing stories. Select submissions may be contacted for permission to share in other mediums. Questions about this collection should be directed to the Supervisor, Festivals & Events sandra.maxwell@burlington.ca, by phone at 905-335-7600, ext. 7724, or by mail at 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ontario L7R-3Z6.

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HDSB hosting Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for Parents

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

March 29th, 2021



The strain from the restrictions on what we can and cannot do while we weather ourselves through this pandemic are beginning to show.

The warm weather is going to attract all kinds of outside activity – and dinner at an outdoor patio – but only with people in your household – who are probably the last people you want to dine with – you’ve been cooped up with them for months.

The Halton District School Board is hosting two Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for Parents/Guardians on Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. at www.hdsb.ca.

talk to hs student

Tuesday, March 30 session will be for families with high school students

Discussion will include parent, child and youth mental health and well-being, ways in which parents/guardians can support their children, and resources available for youth and families. Each session will feature four panelists (parents, mental health experts, HDSB school social workers and community partners) who will share their experiences of parenting during COVID-19 and provide helpful information and resources.

The information session on Monday, March 29 will include information for parents/guardians of elementary students (Kindergarten – Grade 8) and the session on Tuesday, March 30 will include information for parents/guardians of secondary students (Grade 9 – 12).

These sessions will help parents/guardians learn about:

• How the pandemic may be impacting their, child’s, mental health and well-being
• Coping and well-being strategies for them and their children to support better mental health and well-being
• Resources and support available through their child’s school and within the community

Elementary Session: Monday, March 29 from 7 – 8:15 p.m. at www.hdsb.ca

• Noorie Soni, HDSB parent and PIC member
• Kim Menezes-Francispillai, School Social Worker, HDSB
• Shivani Patel, Lead, Access and System Navigation, Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK)
• Nathan Pillai, Clinical Psychologist, Bayridge Counselling Centre

Secondary Session: Tuesday, March 30 from 7 – 8:15 p.m. at www.hdsb.ca

• Darlene Wierski-Devoe, Parent and Program Supervisor, Halton Families for Families
• Melinda Dougan, School Social Worker, HDSB
• Shivani Patel, Lead, Access and System Navigation, Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK)
• Nicole Callander RSSW, Therapist, Bayridge Counselling Centre

Parent tlk to young

Session will have information for parents/guardians of elementary students (Kindergarten – Grade 8) and the session on Monday March 29th.

The sessions will be livestreamed through the HDSB YouTube channel. Parents/guardians can visit www.hdsb.ca at 7 p.m. on March 29 and/or March 30 to tune in. Registration is not required.

The HDSB is planning additional information sessions for parents/guardians on specific mental health & well-being topics to take place in the spring. The Board’s new Mental Health & Well-Being webpage has information for parents/guardians and students on mental health, ways to support positive mental health and well-being and how to get additional support at school and in the community.

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Council didn't ask - did they feel declaring a Climate Emergency was all they had to do?

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2021



City Council heard a report that was not good news from a climate perspective.

Bryan Purcell, a TAF (The Atmospheric Fund) VP, told council in a virtual delegation that “total carbon emissions in the GTHA increased 5.2% in 2018, reaching 55.5 Mt.

All gta numbersThe report is a stark reality check, showing that since the completion of the coal phase out, emissions are slowly increasing across all regions and nearly all sources.

The per capita natural gas emissions are increasing even when adjusted for population growth and weather.

TAF (The Atmospheric Fund)  is a regional climate agency that invests in low-carbon solutions for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and helps scale them up for broad implementation. They are  experienced leaders and collaborate with stakeholders in the private, public and non-profit sectors who have ideas and opportunities for reducing carbon emissions. We advance the most promising concepts by investing, providing grants, influencing policies and running programs.

Halton 19%

The source of the emissions – lowering them is the challenge – which we have not been meeting.

They are particularly interested in ideas that offer benefits beyond carbon reduction such as improving people’s health, creating new green jobs, boosting urban resiliency, and contributing to a fair society.

In the delegation some disturbing information was put before members of Council.

Unfortunately, not one member of Council asked Purcell any questions. Mayor Meed Ward did note that the day was the first anniversary of the Declaration of a Climate Emergency by the city.

where we areThere was irony in the Mayor recognizing that the Climate Emergency Declaration had been made and not asking a single question about a report that made it pretty clear Halton was not doing enough to mitigate damage to the environment or to do its part to meet the various agreements the country has entered into.

Perhaps they didn’t know just who The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) was: could that be why council listened to a five minute presentation about climate change and how we were doing in getting a grip on how we are doing  – not all that well by the way?

The City of Toronto Council created TAF in 1991 to finance local initiatives to combat climate change and improve air quality in Toronto. A $23 million endowment, coming from the sale of a City-owned property, was set up to fund their work. They are a registered non-profit corporation, with a Board of Directors appointed by the City and made up of City Councillors and citizens.

They work closely with City of Toronto departments and divisions, especially Toronto Public Health and the Environment and Energy Division, to test and advance innovative programs.

enablingIn 2016, the Province of Ontario provided a $17 million endowment to enable TAF’s services to be offered throughout the GTHA. In 2019, the Government of Canada committed to providing a $40 million endowment.  No funds are drawn from City,  Provincial, or Federal tax bases.

Council might want to go back and have a closer listen to what TAF is all about.


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Planner for Millcroft Greens gets grilled by Councillors after his delegation

graphic community 5By Pepper Parr

March 28th, 2021


Part 2 of a series.


Statutory Meetings are part of the development approval process.

During the Statutory meeting held March 2, 58 people delegated – each had 10 minutes.

Glenn Wellings, the planning consultant for the developer  spoke and answered questions.

A transcript of his delegation and the questions answered by follows.

Wellings chose to focus on four matters in his delegation – they were:

Public vs. Private Open Space

Land Use Compatibility

Future Phases of Development

Maintenance Building Relocation


Glenn Wellings  (GW)

Thank you Mr. Chairman, Committee members.


Glenn Wellings

Starting with the area of public vs private open space.  When the Millcroft community first developed, the city acquired a significant dedication of parkland and open space.  It is important for the community to understand that the golf course lands were not considered nor credited toward the contribution of public parkland and public open space.  The city instead took its full complement of park and open space lands independent of the golf course.  The golf course was private open space when it first developed over 30 years ago and it remains private open space today.  The golf course is not considered part of the city’s parkland system.

Turning to the next point, Land Use Compatibility.  Compatibility does mean identical or the same as.  Compatibility is an assessment of the co-existence and impact between land uses.  Millcroft Greens has chosen a built form that is compatible with abutting land uses.  In the case of Areas A through D, large lot single detached dwellings are proposed adjacent to large lot single detached homes.  This occurs already throughout the Millcroft community even in cases where the lot sizes are not identical.  With respect to Area E, the mid rise built form was chosen as it is situated along a major roadway, that being Dundas Street and the building could achieve a significant separation from the townhouses to the west without impact.  In the case of all development parcels, Millcroft Greens has taken the added step of proposing a six metre landscape buffer between existing and proposed land uses.

Turning to future phases of development, there has been plenty of speculation regarding additional development of the golf course lands beyond these applications.    MG decided very early on in the process that maintaining the existing golf course would be an integral part of the proposal.  Therefore, to speculate what might happen in the future is not relevant to the applications before Committee today.  To reiterate, the MG proposal before the city is to consider the development of five parcels of land with a retention of an 18 hole golf course in a reconfigured format.  There would be significant investment in the golf course redevelopment.

A final point dealing with the maintenance building relocation, due to the proposed redevelopment of Area A, the plan is to remove the current maintenance building and build a new smaller maintenance building closer to the clubhouse.  The maintenance building would be approximately 40% smaller than the existing facility.  The new building would be designed to architecturally complement the design of the existing clubhouse.  The maintenance building relocation does not require planning permission provided the current zoning by-law setbacks are complied with.  These setbacks include a minimum 15 metre setback abutting a residential zone together with a nine metre landscape buffer.

Before moving to the video presentation, a few housekeeping matters.

Wellings MAr 2 A

Glenn Wellings during his March 2nd, delegation.

First, Millcroft Greens (MG) has no concern with the staff recommendation to extend the period to process the applications.  In terms of further public consultation, MG is planning to hold a virtual drop in open house some time in later April.  Due to the continued limitations on gatherings and concerns with public safety, this will need to occur virtually.  More details are expected shortly in this regard.  And finally, MG team of consultants is available in the waiting room to answer any questions of Committee.  We have Frank Bond, the Project Manager from MG, we have Dave Leighton, the consulting engineer from Urban Tech, Ash Baron, the ecologist and arborist from Beacon Environmental, Aaron Wignall, Traffic Consultant from Crozier & Associates, and Steven Johnson our golf course expert from TGA Partners.

In addition, any responses to new questions from this afternoon and tonight’s public meeting will be provided on the MG website, www.millcroftgreens.com as on the bottom of the slide.  Thank you for listening.  I’d be pleased to answer any questions following the video.

Millcroft golf course

The development, created in the mid 1980’s with a golf course in the middle of it. It quickly became one of the most desirable communities to live in. Residents now feel threatened ny plans to add 98 home and a six story apartment.

QUESTIONS from members of Council

Meed Ward at BSCI

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

MMW Mayor Marianne Ward :  This question is around the recommendation you did touch on it Glen but I want to elaborate a little bit, the recommendation to allow staff to work on the file and you said you were ok with that.  Of course as we are all aware, when we go past the provincially legislative time frames for rendering a decision, we expose ourselves to a potential appeal to the LPAT for non decision.  So I’d like to get a sense of your intent.  Will you be filing a non decision appeal after the 120 days if we allow this recommendation to go through.  Then I’ll have a follow up.

GW:  Good question.  The LPAT process is complicated and I think Your Worship you understand that.  Just to be clear, we are in support of the staff recommendation which would extend it beyond the 120 days and as long as we’re moving forward in a positive manner and there is no hiccups in the process and then we don’t have an intention of filing an appeal for non decision but at the same time we need to protect that right your worship and if things do go off the rails, then that option needs to be available to MG but just to be very clear I think MG has shown a cooperation and willingness to work with the public and city staff to move this forward and engage with the public so that is still the goal.  At this point in time there has been no decision to file an appeal of these applications.  Hope that clarifies.

MMW:  Thank you for that.  Caveats noted that it could come.  Second question is a follow up to that around your expectation of time lines.  So where do you think you’re at and what are your expectations in terms of when you are expecting staff to provide a recommendation report for council decision?

GW:  I was a little bit surprised by the presentation by planning staff that the report would come back in September 2021.  That’s not information that we had before today’s meeting.  Also I can say that as we will continue to work with staff, there is a lot of public agency comments we have not received, so we’re waiting for some feedback from public agencies as well as city departments.  Once we get that feedback, we’ll probably have a sit-down with staff and work through the concerns and comments.   So it’s a little bit early to start speculating on time lines other than that we’re prepared to work with staff and try to have a report to committee as early as possible.

MMW:  Ok, so just a quick follow-up on that.  The September 2021 is that a concern for you?  You said it was a surprise today.  Are you troubled by that or are you prepared to work in that projected timeline?

GW:  Tough question.  We’re certainly prepared to work within those timelines as long as we’re moving forward in a positive way.  I can’t stress that enough.  If this goes off the rails then things could change but right now where we stand and where we sit in the process we are working cooperatively to work through the issues and the process with city staff and we’ll continue to do so.  So I think I’ll reserve judgement on the September 2021 timeline right now until we get further feedback and have further dialogue with staff.

AB Councillor Angelo Bentivegna:  Thanks Glen.  Wondering if we can go back to the video that had the two fences side by side with the buffer in between.

GW:  I’m not in control of the video and based on our technical difficulties today, I’m scared about going back.

Angelo watching Roru

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna

AB:  Ok, that’s ok.  If we can visualize the two fences and all the greenery in between, I’m getting these questions over and over again, that is going to be a condominium area that will be maintained by I’m not sure who at this particular point, and will those fences be, what will they look like?  I think we saw chain link fences.  What will that look like when people are looking at their backyards.  What are they going to be seeing?

GW:      Good question.  Right now the plan is to provide a six metre landscape buffer strip between existing and proposed development and at this point in time the six metre landscape strip is intended to be managed and maintained by the condominium corporation for each one of the parcels and that’s certainly a matter that MG is willing to discuss but the intent is to provide a fairly robust planting strip where there would be a screen between existing and proposed development.   The details still need to be worked out and certainly we’re receptive to any comments in that regard.

AB:  The biggest concern I keep hearing is that if the condominium level of service is typically being paid by one side and not the existing residents who are already there, it will affect the visual upkeep of their back.  That is their big concern.  What is the intentions of MG to make sure that doesn’t happen?

GW:  Couple of things, first of all it would be zoned for protection.  The draft zoning bylaw that’s been provided to the city does provide an open space zone within the 6 metre landscape buffer.  As far as the condominium corporation is concerned, the mandate of that corporation would be to maintain that 6 metre landscape buffer strip in perpetuity and have proper reserves to ensure that maintenance.  That’s the plan now but we’re certainly  open to any comments or alternatives that may come forward to discuss how that landscape buffer unfolds.

AB:  Second question.  Is the maintenance shed that’s going to be relocated, I understand it’s 40% of the existing, and it’s going to be where the clubhouse is and it’s going to take the look of the clubhouse.  Is that building going to be above ground or in the parking lot or grass area and is there any digging downward that needs to happen to construct that?

GW:  The precise location of the maintenance building has not been determined but you’re correct, it would be 40% smaller than existing.  The existing facility up on Dundas is pretty large and it’s much larger than what they require.  In terms of the relocation of that, it’s expected that it be in close proximity to the clubhouse off the parking lot but the precise location and the building details really aren’t known at this stage.

Rory chair July 9

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan (RN) :  Thank you  First question relates to your response to the mayor about possibly appealing.  So you say if things go off the rails, you might appeal, and as long as they are proceeding in a positive manner, are you deciding that if you think you’re going to get approval you’ll stick around but you may appeal if you get a report you don’t like?  What does that mean?

GW:  We’re starting to get into a legal discussion and to be honest I’m not prepared to go into that today because we’re just speculating in terms of what may or may not happen.  The Planning Act is pretty clear as to when you can appeal an application or decision and at this point in time I’m not prepared to come before you and suggest that MG will give up any of those rights.  But I can tell you that MG has every intention of working with this council, with city staff and the public on further dialogue.  I had mentioned the open house that we’re planning to hold in later April so that dialogue and engagement will continue in a cooperative fashion but Councillor Nisan,  I do appreciate the question, I just can’t speculate on what may or may not happen if there is a future LPAT appeal.

RN:  So thank you for that.  I just want to make sure it’s understood that you cannot make any promises about an appeal at this stage.

GW:  No promises.

RN:  Ok.  That’s fine.  That’s your prerogative, I understand.  But it’s important for us to understand that as well.  I have a second question.  I know this one quote you had where you said you’re proposing large lot single detached homes beside other large lot single detached homes.  So point taken there, but I want to know why you’re asking for so many changes to the R3.2 regulation.  So you’re asking for a change from open space and obviously that’s a major thing to be considered by all of us, but within the R3.2 regulation you’re also asking for exemptions there and you’re asking for more exemptions than you’re willing to follow the requirements.  For example, front yard down to 4.5 metres when it’s supposed to be 6, reductions to the rear yard, the side yard, the street side yard, lot covefage, dwelling depth, building heights where you want to be able to build a flat roof 12 metre structure where we only allow 7, if I’ve got that right, two stories, so why are you asking for all those changes and why aren’t you just asking for a bunch of townhouses here?

GW:  A lot in those questions.  First of all, townhouses were not considered as I mentioned about the compatible built form and MG thought that singles adjacent to singles made the most sense in terms of Areas A through D and with respect to Area E, the mid rise building being proposed.  With respect to the zoning and the number of changes, I think Committee members need to realize your zoning by-law is extremely out of date.  It’s not current and it’s not reflective of the built form today for single family homes so there was a number of suggested changes.  I would imagine when the City does get around to updating its zoning bylaw, that it will reflect more current standards but your by-law is really out of date and that’s one of the reasons for the number of changes being requested through the draft zoning bylaw.  And we’re certainly prepared to discuss that draft zoning bylaw with City staff as well as Committee members as we move forward.

sharman with sign

Ward 6 Councillor Paul Sharman

PS Councillor Paul Sharman (PS):  Thank you for the presentation Glen.  Question about the concerns from the community about flooding.  We’ve seen a series of photographs of storm impact and water all over the golf course.  We’ve seen a number of effects on peoples’ properties.  So as you are now into the process and you have engineers looking at that, what plans are there to mitigate the risks that they have concerns about?

GW:  I’m going to have to rely on Dave Leighton (DL) to respond to that question.  So I think he needs to be brought out of the delegate room to respond to the concern of flooding.  Sorry for the awkwardness Councillor Sharman but I’m just not an expert on storm water management.

PS:  No it’s fine.  I appreciate having the experts, the professionals to talk about it.  Thanks you.

DL:  You’re correct.  The Millcroft community was designed to flood.  The golf course was designed to flood to protect the residents of Millcroft.  Our application, we cannot increase flooding.  We cannot aggravate flooding.  We have to secure a permit from Conservation Halton and approval from the City of Burlington, so we can’t make any existing condition any worse and our goal is actually to improve it.

PS:  Thank you for that.  From a technical perspective, can you talk about the kind of mechanisms available to you please.

DL:  Absolutely.  We have our hydraulic models that we received from the conservation authority that calculate flood levels.  We’ve gone out and done detailed topographic surveys so we have all the correct elevations.  Some of the mitigation methods that we’re using, those who are familiar with Appleby Creek and specifically down by the existing pond, that is used both for irrigation for the golf course and as a water hazard, there is a concrete weir on the north side of Upper Middle.  Through removing that weird, it was artificially backing the water up.  With removing the weir, and reshaping the flood plain, we are actually going to be lowering the water levels in that region of Appleby Creek between Millcroft Parkway and Upper Middle Road.  So we have certainly used all the stormwater and technical tools available to us to assess the existing flooding and what is our proposal to reshape the flood plain and ensure that we don’t aggravate or increase any flood levels upstream or we wouldn’t be able to secure any approvals from any of the agencies.

PS:  Can I ask a question for clarification.  Do I understand you to say that you’re actually improving the current condition of the Millcroft neighbourhood as a result of the actions you’re taking with the weir?

DL:  Yes, we are.  With the lowering or the removal of the weir, there’s two benefits.  One is the opportunity for ??? upstream and the lowering of the flood plain so our submitted functional servicing report does show that water levels have lowered.

Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns (LK) :   My question centres around the public engagement and the vast amount of communication that has come through all of our offices and is captured within the report before us  today.  My question for you is can you give two demonstrable examples of where you’ve taken that community feedback and have changed or modified the plans before us from per-consultation or preliminary concept to what was finally presented.  Can you demonstrate at all that that community feedback has been taken into account to make any changes?  (**hear someone in background say “that’s so funny”)

GW:  Good question.  I need to take that one under advisement.  I don’t have the answer off the top of my head but it’s something that I’ll go back and have a look at but there were a number of comments that came out of the September meeting that did inform the applications that were filed.  I just don’t have an answer at my fingertips.

LK Ok, then maybe just as a follow up question. How would you define what we should be looking out for as indicators that MG has worked with the community, worked with council, worked with staff to bring about a plan that works for all of those stakeholders?  What should we be looking for if we’re not able to identify modifications at this point in the evolution of the application?  What should we be looking for?

GW:  I think you should be looking for opportunities.  Has there been an opportunity to engage.  Has there been an outreach by MG which there certainly has been, and a dialogue with the public and I think as a councillor that’s obviously pretty important to focus in on pubic engagement and whether that informs any changes to the applications, that’s a completely different matter.  If there is some constructive comments that we feel would benefit the applications, it’s certainly something we’d take into account.

LK:  My second question is of the 800 pieces of literature we’ve received and the numerous comments that have come through your office what would be maybe the top two constructive recommendations or interest that MG would say maybe has some value to explore for further consideration?

GW:  I think we’re still looking for some constructive feedback because all we’ve heard from many people is “we don’t want it” and frankly that doesn’t help.  If there is constructive comment on how if this were to move forward and how this could move forward in the best possible way, those are the constructive comments, quite frankly we haven’t received a whole lot of and we’re open to receiving those comments and see if that can inform.  I think change is really difficult and we all understand that and appreciate that but residents as far as change is concerned, they are fine with change if it’s in someone else’s backyard and if it’s in their backyard, they tend to resist it.  Change is inevitable.

RN:  Point of Order Chair .  This is going off the rails and not on point of the application.

Chair Galbraith:  I agree.

Galbraith slight smile

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith – Chair of the meeting

Kelven Galbraith – Chair of the meeting and Councillor for ward 1. (KG):   I’m going to jump in with a first question before we go to second time questions.  Thanks for the presentation Glen.  We’ve heard some concerns about safety of the current golf course and how the changes are going to improve on that.  Can you just elaborate a little bit on how that will happen?

GW:  I’m probably better to direct that comment to Mr. Steven Johnson. (SJ) He is our golf course expert that’s available.

SJ:  So if I heard the question right, it is what modifications have taken place in order to rectify some of the safety concerns.  One of the key things when you’re getting into the changes is when you’re modifying the golf course is basically the landing areas and the distances.  So basically, par 3s, when you change from a 4 or 5 to a par 3, you mitigate the dispersion patterns and therefore just by doing that alone, will impact and improve safety.  From the point of view of the tee boxes, locations and modifications in that regard, they will also change safety precautions because right now the centre lines will change under the new program and therefore the landing areas will move the ball away from, as best they can, into areas that will be larger landing areas away from backyards.  You’re never going to mitigate all issues.  But this plan definitely makes the proposed course much more safety factor from balls going into backyards.

KG:  So shorter course, safer course, basically.

SJ:   And also centre lines.  So shorter course, safety, that’s number one.  But also changes in centre line and tee areas into landing areas also changes and creates safety.  It’s the same as when you see any community that’s being built with a golf course, you see trees and buffers going up and sometimes you find it going up after the fact.  With this you find that you’re already able to move some of the tee decks and (a) shortening the hole but (b) changing the centre lines you also make it safer as well because of dispersion patterns.  And then when you take longer clubs out of your hands, the dispersion factor changes as well.

KG:  yes, noted.  Thank you.  Second time speaker, Councillor Bentivegna.

AB:  The question has to do with roads and the new roads that we’re putting down.  I just want a visual here.  We’re going to have a road and we have a row of homes and in behind there will be another road and another row of homes and the question is when a home is between two roads, are these roads standard width roads and because it’s private property I don’t know how it works and I can ask staff that as well but what is the width of that road in front of the homes and behind the homes and is it legislated?

GW:  These are condominium roads that are being proposed and the width of the condominium roads, the paved surface, is roughly equivalent to the paved surface of a local road without the extensive boulevards  so they would serve the same purpose and there are other condominium roads within the Millcroft community and servicing some of the development parcel so they would be similar to those roads.

AB:  So can cars park on the street on those condominium roads, in front of their homes?

GW:  The intent is on one side that there would be some on street parking.  That is the intent.  What you need is to make sure is you keep 6 metres free and clear for fire access and emergency access purposes.

AB:  Second question.  Has to do with air quality compatibility.  And I know one of the 30 plus studies you did talked about air quality.  When we do air quality, and again I’m new to all this, do they take into consideration 30 years of golf green spraying?  And obviously those chemicals are no longer in use anywhere else other than in golf courses, we know that.  Is that taken into consideration when they do those tests?

GW:  Shorter answer is I don’t know.  We’ll have to take that one back.  We don’t have our air quality expert here today but we’ll certainly take that one back and put a response on the MG website and share it with city staff.

MMW:  Follow up question.  I wanted to ask you a question about the distinction you made in your presentation between public open space and privately owned open space and try to understand a little better sort of what you were getting at there.  The lands of course are privately owned, nobody disputes that, but they are zoned, the vision for them in terms of the use in the city’s OP are for open space, in both the OP and the zoning, so regardless of ownership tenure, the vision is to keep that open green space.  So can you just talk to me about what difference it makes, what you were trying to get at in your presentation, what difference it makes that it’s not publicly owned at this point, still zoned as green space?

GW:  I was simply trying to make the distinction that these were not taken as public open space and parklands through the consideration of the Millcroft community when it first developed.  They were not accounted for or considered as parkland or public open space.  So it was just making the distinction between ownership and to me there is a difference.

MMW:  So that’s what I’m trying to understand.  Can you tell me what the difference is on ownership?

GW:  In terms of ownership, if it were publicly owned then the City certainly has control over the use of those lands currently and in the future when they’re privately owned, the City can zone those lands and of course an owner of those lands can bring forward an application for consideration of a different use so it was really just trying to distinguish between public vs. private ownership.

MMW:  Right, sorry, I think the question was more around what difference does it make for the ongoing use given that regardless of ownership public or private, the use as defined in our OP even at the time of this development is for open space, in both the OP and the zoning.  That’s the vision for this in our plans.

GW:  That is what the OP and zoning bylaw do with the exception of Parcel E.  Parcels A through D is open space.  I do acknowledge that, but MG has made an application to propose a different use of portions of those lands with the retention of the golf course and they’re asking for those applications to be considered.  If they were publicly owned lands, these applications wouldn’t be on the table.

MMW:  That wasn’t my question but you’ve kind of touched on it so that’s fine.  I gather that you’re still waiting on comments from the regional OP.  Their plan also, on page 10 of the report, their plan designates this as Regional Natural Heritage System in Section A of A to D.  E is completely different so we won’t talk about E.  But A is definitely Regional Natural Heritage System and any alteration of the components of a Regional Natural Heritage System are not permitted unless it’s been demonstrated there will be no negative impacts on the natural features or areas or their ecological functions.  So have you heard back from the Region whether they are even on for that in Section A?  Feel free to answer why is this not also a regional OP amendment.  I guess they do their comments through our process, I guess that’s why.  But what have you heard from the Region?

GW:  We haven’t received regional comments so I‘m hoping those will come soon but it’s important to note that the whole golf course is not a Regional Natural Heritage System, it’s just a small portion of it – the vicinity of Appleby Creek and the pond are considered Regional Natural Heritage System.  So these lands are in the urban area under the Plan; they’re in the urban surfaced area.  And of course municipal services are available to these lands and to the community so we will see what the region has to say.  I’m not going to speculate.  No answer yet.  There’s quite a few comments still outstanding.

MMW:  Sometimes because of the time delay between the report and a meeting like this there could be a time delay so I’m trying to ascertain if they have provided anything in the interim.  So yes it’s just Area A, but it is one of the areas being proposed for redevelopment, so thank you for that.

RN:  Coming back to the zoning bylaw for a second, and the reason I brought up the townhouses is that it seems like all the changes that you’re proposing reflects more of a townhouse form than a detached form.  I’m certainly not suggesting that townhouses aren’t a good idea here, far from it, but I’m just wondering can you provide comments at some point about why you think these are appropriate using neighbouring zoning bylaws because you’ve asked for no maximum lot coverage.  Is there precedent for that?

GW:  Zoning is complicated and in terms of lot coverage yes there is precedent for zoning bylaws that do not have lot coverage and the reason being is the coverage is actually controlled through different means, being setbacks from the side, the rear and the front.  So sometimes the controls result in a lot coverage yield.  What we’ve done in terms of the zoning bylaw, and certainly Councillor Nisan, we’re prepared to spend much more time on the zoning bylaw and discuss with City staff, is we’ve also provided for the opportunity of bungalow product in the zoning bylaw but I do want to remind you and committee the proposed lots through Areas A through B are 50 foot lots so that’s a large lot in the urban surfaced area, so I would not equate these in any shape or form to townhouses.  But the zoning bylaw is prepared in draft form, it’s submitted to the City, the City is reviewing it and I expect to have comments back on it, so there is some provision that will warrant further discussion.

RN:  I’ll have more questions for you and staff about that and I’ll save my comments on it for later.  Just getting back to Councillor Kearns’ question, which I thought was a very pertinent question, you mentioned that you’ve mostly heard just opposition but I’ve heard very specific opposition for specific reasons, so I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss those concerns as just being opposition, so I want to know what you’ve done to mitigate concerns that have been raised.

GW:  By no means are we ignoring public concerns and I want to be really clear on that point.  I spent last night going through a couple of hundred submissions just trying to get a handle on the public concerns, so it’s a process that’s going to evolve, we’re going to go back and look at the public concerns.  A lot of those concerns are common.  Some of them are a little bit different.  So the goal of the MG group is to take those public concerns, evaluate them and discuss them with city staff and if there are some solutions or changes that could be brought forward, we would do that, but the public comments are important, as what we are going to go through today is important in hearing the feedback from the public and there has been lots of correspondence I know.  Councillors, you have all received that correspondence.  It’s pretty daunting.  There are a lot of letters and materials to go through and we will go through them and provide an assessment.

RN:  Thank you.  I would just note that is the point of the pre-consultation meeting that we had months ago.  Chair, I have two more questions if the board is clear and then I’m also finished.

Chair:  Yes, I’ll just remind committee that this is delegate 1 of 57.  Go ahead with your questions councillor.

RN:  Promise not to be as hard on the rest of the delegates in the community.  In E, is it going to be a six storey building or a seven storey building because the staff report says seven.  And what will be the actual linear height of that building?

GW:  The proposal is six storey.  As far as the linear height, I don’t have that at my fingertips but I can certainly follow up on that.  It’s on the plans, I just don’t have them in front of me.

RN:  Well just to clarify, the report says Unknown Linear Height so I’m wondering why you didn’t know at the time or perhaps I’ll ask staff why this wasn’t presented at the time of the report and it says seven storeys, not six, in the report so something’s not right here.

GW:  I think staff will have to confirm that CN, because it’s definitely a six storey building as far as I’m concerned and if you want a metric equivalent to the six storeys, we’re happy to provide that, I just don’t have it at my fingertips.

RN:  That would be great, thank you.  Final question, why are you offering compensation to homeowners?  It’s unusual to do that.  Why aren’t you just presenting the plans to go ahead.  Why are you offering compensation?

GW:  First of all, the offer of compensation, the principle of compensation is something that was put forward by MG and it’s something that’s still on the table.  Because it’s not a planning matter, it’s not something I’m prepared to discuss at today’s public meeting.  It is a matter between MG and the adjacent residents.

RN:  Well it was in your video, so is there someone on the line that could respond to that?

GW:  No there isn’t, Councillor Nisan, and that’s not something we’re going to discuss today.

RN:  You brought it up.  It’s in the video.  So you brought it up.  So that’s why I’m bringing it up.

GW:  Councillor Nisan, I think you’ve heard my answer.

Chair:  I think the answer’s clear,

RN:  Yes it’s clear.  I don’t understand it, but you’re right, it’s clear.  Thank you very much.

Chair:  OK, thank you Glen.  I see another question from Mayor MW.

MMW:  One final question on the public engagement piece and two excellent questions earlier, so just to follow up on that.  One of the requirements that our planning department has, and it may be somewhat unique to Burlington, it’s why we do a pre-consultation public meeting is so that the applicant can demonstrate that they modified plans in respect of the public input they heard and we’ve heard very similar comments at the pre-consultation public meeting as are in, certainly some of the comments now as residents have seen some of the public reports are much more detailed, but certainly some of the same themes.  So I did want to go back and give you a chance to say how you have satisfied that city requirement in your plan to take into account and modify your plans in respect of the information that you heard from the Community, partly through the pre-consultation process which was quite extensive.

GW:  It’s not something I have at my fingertips tonight.  I can tell you that the pre-application meeting had a number of comments.  There was also comments from the BUD, the City’s Urban Design Review Panel and those were all sort of gathered and looked at in terms of the submission.  In terms of pinpointing, your Worship, on specific areas where changes occurred, I’m going to have to just take that back and follow up on that.  I just don’t have it at my fingertips.

MMW:  Ok, that was the answer.  However, my understanding was that the Planning Justification Report that would be submitted is required to show those things in the actual report and as the author of that report, that’s why I’m asking you the question.  So, granted it may not be off the top of your head, and I’ve looked at the Planning Justification Report and I can’t find it there either, unless it’s sort of woven in, but it’s a requirement that it be documented when you apply for the application so I guess I’m just asking where to find that and if that requirement has actually been met.  I don’t know, but …

GW:  Yes it has your Worship and what is required of city staff on a pre-application meeting is that detailed minutes be prepared, there was actually a transcript prepared and the latter part of the Planning Justification Report does go through the areas that were raised through that pre-application meeting.  But I think you’re wanting to know how some of those comments facilitated change and I’m saying I don’t have that at my fingertips.  It’s something I’m prepared to come back with.

Meed Ward style

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

MMW:  Ok, that would be extremely helpful and I will also ask staff as this may be something we need to make even more clear to applicants that they are required to be quite clear in their application how they’ve addressed those.  That’s the intent of the policy framework that we have and we have followed for some time.  But I suppose there’s more to come all around.  There are technical comments to come and you’ve certainly heard from us that that’s really something we need to see.  Thank you.

Chair:  Ok, thank you Glen.

The meeting then went on to hear other delegations.

The Gazette and Wellings Planning Consultants are involved in a libel dispute

Part 1 of the series.












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Millcroft: Fundamentals of an established community being challenged.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

March 27th, 2021


Part 1 of a series

Millcroft logoThe proposal by Millcroft Greens Corporation (“Millcroft Greens”) seeks to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law and register a plan of subdivision to allow five portions of the existing Millcroft Golf Course (“Areas A-E”) to be developed with residential uses. A total of 98 detached dwellings and one mid-rise apartment building containing 130 dwelling units are proposed.

The development resulted in a Statutory meeting that was stretched over three different days, heard from more than 58 delegations, and ended up with Staff directed to continue working with the developer to see if there was a compromise.

The Statutory meeting, something required by the Planning Act, was the largest and longest in the history of the city.
Planning department staff set out what was being proposed when they presented a series of graphics.

All 5 sites

Illustration shows where the developer wants to put in new homes. All are single family dwellings – with E being a 6 storey apartment.

Areas A - B C

A close up an sites A and B – with zoning shown.

Area D and E

Sites D and E – E will be an apartment building

Area A and B detail

Sites A and B appear to be the most problematic. The location and space that existing homes take up is shown in light grey.

There are a number of agencies and departments that have to give consent on a development of this nature, which has taken up a lot of time – so much so that there is concern the 120 day time limit will not be met. If it isn’t met, the developer has the right to take an appeal to the LPAT – Local Planning Act Tribunal.

The developer has said that at this point they are not thinking in terms of going to LPAT. The residents don’t believe them.

The concern at the home owner level is intense. There are two groups. MAD – Millcroft Against Development – and I Love Millcroft.

MAD has hired an independent planner who at one point worked with the city planning department when the project was being processed. Alan Taylor didn’t work on this particular development but he appears to be fully aware of the problem areas: what rights the developer has over what is described as privately owned open space.

That space is the land the developer wants to re-develop. Most of it is a golf course which is said to no longer be profitable. By changing the design of the golf course the developers argue that it will be safer and that a smaller golf course will be profitable.

This is part 1 of a multipart series.  Next – the delegation for the planner, Glenn Wellings, a very active developer in the Burlington market with at least three major developments in the hands of the Planning department.

The Gazette and Wellings Planning Consultants are involved in a libel dispute

Millcroft current Sept 21

The current golf courses layout.

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Finally - the facts on the status of the federal riding of Burlington constituency nomination process

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 26, 2021



This is a story that has gotten out of hand.

It has to do with a report that Cheryl Craig was nominated as the candidate for the federal Tories.

She has not been nominated.

In fact nominations for the Burlington seat in the House of Commons are still open – a date has not been set for a nomination meeting.

Those are the facts given to us by a senior Conservative Party official.

Cheryl Craig PC candidate federal

Cheryl Craig

We can add to that – three reliable sources in Burlington said they received the email we received that had a picture of Cheryl Craig and a map of the constituency along with background material on Ms Craig.

We got calls from people we trust who said they had been invited to have a telephone conversation with Conservative Party Erin O’Toole.

Others said they had gotten calls asking for donations. Some of these may have been robocalls.

Some have asked that we pull the original story.

We are not going to do that at this point – however we will do so should we hear from Ms Craig telling us that she erred when she sent people the notice or that she was not behind the notice that was sent. We can be reached by email at publisher@bgzt.ca

Something smells and the odour is not coming from any of the orifices in our body.

We much appreciated the call from an official at the Conservative party in Ottawa.

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Is a new, very young man in the process of creating a political profile and looking at the ward 2 council seat that will soon be in play?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 25th, 2021



Political leadership is something that has to be grown.

They don’t just fall off a tree like a ripe apple.

Public service is seen as honourable with good salaries and wonderful benefits.

The current city council has a very young group of people. They had an exceptionally steep learning curve and at least two have yet to get to the point where they are competent. They may never get there.

Kearns Lisa side view Mar 2019

If Lisa Kearns jumps to Queen’s Park – that opens up the ward 2 seat.

The ward 2 council seat is now in play – that will become official when Lisa Kearns comes out of her political closet and confirms that she will carry a Liberal flag come the 2022 provincial election. She will do so when it is to her advantage.

Question then is – who will replace Kearns? Kimberly Calderbank has said she will run again.

Roland Tanner has realized that he would have been a terrible Councillor and has decided to stick to his information technical pursuits. His 905er podcast does not appear to be any better than his description of how he would do as a politician.

The word abstemious might apply.

There is a young man in the city who appears to be grooming himself for a shot at the ward 2 council seat.

David Vandenberg, studied political science at McMaster, served as campaign manager for Rick Goldring in 2018 – that didn’t turn out very well – more the candidate than the campaign manager.

Vandenberg giving back

Name a charity group that needs help – and David Vandenberg will be there.

Vandenberg gets involved in organizations focused on helping other people. He is currently part of the Wellington United Church Meals Ministry that prepares take-out meals. It grew out of the Friday Night Community Dinners that were cancelled due to Covid19 issues.

The giveaway sign that David Vandenberg was going to throw his hat into the ring was the Burlington Dave podcast that Vandenberg hosts four times a year.

Vandenberg explains his podcast pursuit this way:

Vandenberg data

The Vandenberg score card

“Burlington is full of folks of all ages who strive every single day to create a virtuous, equitable and compassionate community. Reflecting on over a decade of local engagement, I have had the privilege of learning about our community, the heroes within it and the landscape in which we live – here in Burlington, Ontario.

“I hope to highlight some of our local heroes, business champions, and heritage and community issues through this blog.

Vandenberg introduces himself to people who visit his Facebook page this way:

“If we have not met before, thanks for popping by! If we know each other, welcome back! My name is David Vandenberg. I am a passionate community leader and speaker in the Halton Region. My deep commitment to innovative community and city-building inspired me to work in the advocacy space for local organizations.

Vandenberg on zoom call

Vandenberg on a Zoom call

“I am a recent McMaster Grad who now works as the Operations Manager of the Meal Bag Program at Wellington Square United Church. Outside of work, I love to capitalize on our proximity to hiking and biking trails, sit on boards of local charities and advocate for issues and people that are close to my heart.

“Building bridges is what I do. I truly believe that when we work together in our community, we can drive a bigger social impact. I hope you enjoy hearing about some of the incredible people, businesses and stories I have to share with you here in Burlington.”

That is about as political as a profile can be.

Vandenberg and Mother

David Vandenberg with his Mother

Our first reaction to young Vandenberg is – Good Luck to you, young man. Your heart appears to be in the right place.
And then we ask: Have you ever had a full time job at which you were more than a volunteer. We are aware of some internships you’ve done – all good.

We would like to see situations where you worked hard, got promotions and added responsibility. Were placed in situations where you gained what the soft liberal set call “lived experiences”.

There was a quote you put up on the Facebook that impressed me.

Vandenberg graphic

If that is the way you think, if you really have that level if realpolitik you just well might grow into a credible and effective politician.

Goodness know the city could use more of those.

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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Federal Conservative's announce their candidate for an election that could be called shortly after the budget is passed

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 24th, 2021


This story has been re-written.  Additional information became available.

The smell of elections is in the air – or is that just the Spring weather?

The Provincial Liberals appear to have chosen their candidate: Lisa Kearns is reported to have been asked to be the candidate. No word on when that is going to become official.

News anal REDShe will be happier at Queen’s Park than she is at city hall. The Mayor is proving to be just a little too much for several members of Council.

Kearns could defeat Jane McKenna – big question is – can the Liberals form a provincial government?

The Gazette has been unable to interview Kearns – the last we got was:  “Sorry. Not available this week.”

We got a notice that the federal Tories announced Cheryl Craig will be nominated for the federal election.

That was not correct.  Either Cheryl Craig or someone on her behalf circulated an information sheet along with a constituency map saying she would be nominated.  Officials from the federal Conservative party advise us that a nomination has not taken place.

The following came from Cheryl Craig or someone representing her.

Cheryl Craig PC candidate federal

Cheryl Craig” Burlington resident for four decades nominated as candidate federally for the Conservatives.

“Craig, a Burlington resident for more than four decades, has “ a broad range of business, sports and social relationships developed by working in a variety of volunteer, appointed and elected positions.

A lifelong Conservative, Cheryl, successfully worked on many Federal, Municipal and Provincial election campaigns. She chaired former Halton Regional Chair, Joyce Savoline’s campaign to become our Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament.

Cheryl Craig has deep roots in Burlington, a successful business owner with great name recognition, substantial work, life and community experience and accomplishments, who is very comfortable and effective interacting with people from all walks of life.

Cheryl’s, numerous accomplishments directly improved the quality of life for many people in our city for which she has won many awards, including a Canada 125 Medal, for volunteer work.”

Cheryl Craig’s background is considerably more diverse.

Craig ran for Mayor in 1991; Walter Mulkewich took the Chain of Office.  For a period of time she ran Cheryl Craig Careers – a job placement outfit. She was also pretty involved in the the BIA and Chamber of Chamber locally.

She was always active in the PCs, and there was a story way back about her seeking the nomination (provincial or federal?) and the PCs naming someone else – the old story of the higher-ups picking a favourite.

She also ran in the old Ward 6 (downtown – pretty well the current Ward 2) and was banned from running in the next municipal election because she didn’t file her financial statement after losing.

The Gazette got a call from Cory Hann who said he was with the Conservative party in Ottawa and that nominations for the Burlington constituency have yet to take place.


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If you are over 70 - log in and register for your vaccination

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 25th, 2021



The next cohort – those 70 and over – step up and register for your vaccination

The system the Regional Public Heath Unit has put in place is superb – there is no other word for it.

vaccination sign

Don’t show up more than ten minutes ahead of your appointment.

Well organized with all kinds of people on hand to step you through the process.

One little thing to keep in mind – don’t show up too early – 10 minutes before your slotted time is enough.

If you are over 70 – here’s the drill.

Starting Friday, March 26, Halton residents who are 70 years of age and older (born in or before 1951) can book an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic. Appointments are available in March and April.

To book an appointment CLICK HERE    Have your OHIP card in front of you when you book.


Gary Carr when he was Speaker of the Provincial Legislature.

“We are making great progress with our vaccination program and we are continuing to book and vaccinate eligible residents as quickly as possible,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Our six vaccination clinics across Halton are running smoothly thanks to the commitment of Regional staff and our partners at Joseph Brant Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. We will keep moving forward with our program, dependent on vaccine supply from the Federal and Provincial governments.”
Halton’s six clinics are by appointment only and are located in Burlington (including Joseph Brant Hospital), Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville (including Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital).

Additional locations will continue to be identified as required. Residents are reminded that appointments must be booked through Halton’s online booking system or if you require assistance call 311.

Bookings for Halton’s clinics are not available through the Provincial booking system; residents who access the Provincial booking system will be redirected to Halton’s system.

Hamidah Meghani

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health.

“While we have made significant strides, it is important to remember that vaccine coverage is not yet widespread and we must continue to follow public health measures,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “COVID-19 can spread easily if we let it and our individual actions are critical to limiting transmission. Please continue to stay home as much as possible, limit trips to essential outings only, keep a distance and wear a mask around anyone you do not live with. As always, please stay home if you are not well, even if your symptoms are mild.”


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Burlington Man Arrested for $1.6 Million Fraud

Crime 100By Staff

March 24, 2021



The Halton Regional Police Service – Fraud Unit has arrested a Burlington man in relation to a fraud investigation.

iiroc logoThe accused was an investment industry professional who worked for a financial company that was registered with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

Between 2011 and 2016, two victims invested a total of approximately $1.6 million with the accused to purchase insurance and other investments. The accused diverted the funds he received from the victims to his own bank accounts.

The fraud was discovered in 2016 when the victims learned that the accused had entered into a settlement agreement with IIROC which resulted in a permanent prohibition on registration.

On March 17, 2021 Brian Kumar (47) of Burlington, was arrested and charged with:

 Fraud Over $5000 (3 counts)

Kumar was released on an undertaking.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Det. Constable Kevin Barkhouse of the Halton Regional Police Service – Fraud Unit at 905-825-4777 ext. 8912.

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

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No WiFi at Discovery Landing for two weeks. IT maintenance

notices100x100By Staff

March 24, 2021



WiFi student

As of March 24, Wi-Fi at Discovery Landing in Spencer Smith Park will not be available for two-weeks due to IT maintenance.

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