National Advisory body needs volunteers to sit on Canada’s Volunteer Awards Committee

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 13th, 2021



We all play a role in recognizing Canada’s volunteers.

Great volunteers come from everywhere.

Until April 8, 2021, Canada’s Volunteer Awards (CVA) will be accepting applications for its National Advisory Committee (NAC).

Members of the National Advisory Committee play a leading role in the selection of Canada’s Volunteer Awards recipients by reviewing nominations and making recommendations to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. They also support the promotion of the program throughout their term.

volunteers cleaning up

Volunteers sweep the boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy

The committee consists of 15 volunteer members from across Canada who are passionate about volunteering. They are selected based on their knowledge and experience working or volunteering in support of community development. Additionally, members reflect Canada’s diversity and serve for a term of three years. If you have experience in one of the following sectors, you might have what the committee needs:

a not-for-profit organization
the charitable sector
the health sector
the social services sector
a service provider
the private sector, or
a municipality.

Employment and Social Development Canada is accepting applications until April 8, 2021. If you want to learn more about this opportunity or to apply, CLICK HERE

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City reminds public that we are into salamander mating season

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 11th, 2012



It’s Salamander mating season. And to do what that salamander needs to do to maintain the species he has to cross King Road – which means for a period of time King Road will be closed to traffic. This year, the road is already closed for construction of a nearby subdivision.

Salamander space at Nelson

The green patch has been identified as a natural habitat for the salamander and will not have public access. The shaded parts are land the Nelson Aggregate people want to extend their license to quarry. The large open area in the middle if the current quarry site that is reaching its extraction limits.

The annual passage of the endangered Jefferson salamanders during their breeding migration will begin soon on King Road near the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road. Since 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road for the salamanders which are a nationally and provincially protected endangered species.

The Jefferson Salamander has an exalted place in the minds of the environmentalists who want to keep the escarpment lands as pristine as possible which for them means not allowing any increasing in the size of the Nelson Aggregate open pit off Side Road number 2 at Guelph Line.

After failing to have an application to expand the pit in 2015 Nelson has filed a new application that sets aside land for the salamander.

That Nelson application is working its way through the application process.


Jefferson Salamander – becoming a cult figure with the various vested interests working to give them a place to live.

About the Jefferson Salamander
In Canada, the Jefferson salamander is found in Southern Ontario in select areas of deciduous forest, mostly along the Niagara Escarpment.

Jefferson salamanders spend most of their lives underground. As the weather warms up and the spring rains begin, the salamanders emerge and migrate to breed in temporary ponds formed by run-off, laying their eggs in clumps attached to underwater vegetation. Adults leave the ponds after breeding. By late summer, the larvae lose their gills, become air-breathing juveniles and leave the pond to head into the surrounding forests.

Adult salamanders migrate to their breeding ponds during wet rainy nights. They show a strong affinity for the pond in which they hatched and can be very determined to reach it, sometimes causing them to cross busy roads.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward appears to have adopted the Jefferson salamander – referring to them as “Jeff” in her comments which we share below.

“The Jefferson Salamanders are a unique part of Burlington’s biodiversity and have become a truly beloved part of our local community. At the City of Burlington, in partnership with Conservation Halton, we’re glad to play a small role in protecting the salamanders while raising awareness about their endangered status – ‘Jeff’ also is earning an unofficial mascot status for our city. Closing off this section of King Road each year is proving to be an effective tool in supporting the survival and recovery of this rare species. I’m always grateful to our residents for being willing to inconvenience themselves for a short period of time to help ensure ‘Jeffs’ numbers flourish in the future.”

hassaan basit

Hassaan Basit, President and CEO, Conservation Halton

Hassaan Basit, President and CEO, Conservation Halton chimes in with:  “With all due respect to Wiarton Willie, here in Burlington, we look to the Jefferson Salamander to let us know that spring is on its way. As the warmer weather and rain arrive, the Jefferson Salamanders head towards breeding ponds, that without human intervention, would require some of them to make a dangerous trek across King Road. Conservation Halton is proud to partner with the City of Burlington each year to ensure that the salamanders can safely make their way to the ponds.”

The Jefferson salamander is protected at both the provincial and national levels. It was added to Ontario’s endangered species list in 2011.

Unlike most small animals, Jefferson salamanders can live a very long time; up to 30 years of age.

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Public school board trustees looking for public comment on the selection of a new Director of Education.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 13th, 2021



Several months ago, Stuart Miller, Director of Education for Halton District School Board, announced his retirement effective August 2021.

The Board of Trustees has begun the search process for a new Director of Education and have retained Joan M Green and Associates/Lough Barnes Consulting Group to guide them in the selection process.

Miller in a huddle with Grebenc

Board Chair Grebenc has worked well with the Director of Education

The trustees have decided to look to the community for comments and are inviting members of the community to participate in a voluntary survey to share their thoughts on the most important leadership attributes for a new Director of Education.

Please complete the Director’s Search Survey by 11:59 pm on Friday, March 19, 2021. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and is anonymous.

Andréa Grebenc, Chair for the Halton District School Board said: “The feedback received will assist us in developing a leadership profile and mandate for this critical role. The consultation process allows the Board to gather feedback on the characteristics, competencies and commitments necessary for effective leadership in the context of HDSB’s strengths, challenges and opportunities.”

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Federal government prepared to hand out $400 million to the municipal sector for networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges

News 100 redBy Staff

March 12th, 2021



That $400 million the federal government is handing out over a five year period  – was given to every municipality in the country.

Each of those now has to put together their proposals and basically compete for the dollars.

It’s a good move – getting people outside never hurts.

The media release explained it this way:

Mountsberg - winter trails

Given the opportunity the people of Burlington get out every chance they get.

Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Parliamentary Secretary Andy Fillmore announced $400 million over five years to help build new and expanded networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges, as well as support for repairs and planning studies. This is the first federal fund dedicated to building active transportation through Canada – powered by people – and part of the Government of Canada’s plan to create one million jobs, fight climate change, and build a more sustainable and resilient economy.

The new $400-million fund is part of an eight-year, $14.9-billion public transit investment outlined by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister McKenna on February 10, 2021. It will support communities as they build vibrant neighborhoods where people can safely live, work and play. The fund will also help Canadians living in rural communities and places without active transportation options to unlock the potential in their communities.

This is the rural Burlington residents want to keep - walking trails and quiet countryside.

Walking trails and quiet countryside.

In concert with this new fund, Minister McKenna and Parliamentary Secretary Fillmore also launched stakeholder engagement for Canada’s first Active Transportation Strategy. The strategy will be informed by input from the public and key stakeholders including provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and not-for-profit organizations and businesses and will help the federal government make smarter investment decisions to:

• Support the active transportation networks of the future;
• Promote healthier, walkable communities that are environmentally sustainable and affordable; and
• Support better data collection to ensure measurable outcomes.

Watch carefully for how you community responds to this opportunity.  Burlington is currently working on a Cycling Master Plan that is going to need to need millions to be completed – this fund appears to be tailor made for the Transportation people.

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Have the provincial Liberals found the candidate that can take the seat back from Jane McKenna ?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 11th, 2021



If you are a true democrat there is nothing nicer than an election.

If you’re a candidate – the push for power and a chance to get things done that you believe need to be done can be quite a rush.

2022 is an election year for both city hall and the provincial legislature. And this time around we just might see people holding a seat at city hall thinking they rather like the seats in the Legislature.

The Liberals are out looking for a candidate – a number of people have been approached – two and maybe three council members.

Meed ward looking askance

Some Liberals thought she was too divisive.

Not, surprisingly, the Mayor, who we thought had her eyes on the seat that Jane McKenna currently holds, would be in the running.

Meed Ward could not walk away from the work she has set out for herself, and the city of course, after just one term as Mayor.

We were surprised to hear Liberals saying, not suggesting, that Meed Ward was too divisive. I didn’t see that one coming.

Stoltr - Kearns - Nisan at bus money

Councillors Stolte, Kearns and Nisan: were all three invited to look at Queen’s Park.  Two of them were.

The Liberals we are hearing from – no one is talking for attribution and the current President of the Burlington Provincial Liberal Association isn’t returning our calls, suggests to us that Lisa Kearns has indicated she could get used to travelling to Toronto for work.

I have been working on a sit down meeting with Kearns (she knows what I want to talk about)  for the best part of this week – we haven’t managed to line up dates that work for both of us.

Bit of cat and mouse going on.

While 2022 is well over a year away, in the world of politics you begin organizing and putting out the feelers to the financial people.

The day of the big big dollar donations is over – takes a lot of work to bring in those hundreds of $50 and $100 dollar donations.
In 2022 things will get a little rushed as well – the province will send us to the polls on October 3rd and the municipalities will do the same thing on the 24th of October.

Doug Ford finger pointing

Doug Ford – He just might have a deal for you.

Covid19 has messed up everything taking place – it will probably do the same with the provincial date.

If Doug Ford can get a bit of a break and get enough of us vaccinated before those variant strains of Covid19 begin to run rampant he would be smart to call a snap election.

Problem with that is we really haven’t seen very much in the way of smart thinking so far have we?

The scientist’s world-wide have gotten us to where we are and for that we should all be grateful.

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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Those clocks Spring Forward - make the change on Sunday

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 11th, 2021


Clocks - forwardDaylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at 2:00 A.M.

The practice in many communities is to change the batteries in the smoke alarms and to adjust the clocks.

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas.

As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure your rental properties comply with this law.

If you are a tenant of a rental property and do not have the required number of smoke alarms, contact your landlord immediately. It is against the law for tenants to remove the batteries or tamper with the smoke alarms in any way.

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Virtual meeting on a Housing Strategy gets more than a mouthful of data - but few realistic ideas were put on the table

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

MARCH 11th, 2021



The people who made the time to watch the first meeting on the approach the city wants to take to its Housing Strategy got a sense as to the size of the problem – along with plea from city staff running the virtual event to please take part in the survey and let them hear from you.

There weren’t enough people to keep the phone lines buzzing – a couple of people got in twice, one small developer created a phony name for himself and called in twice; one gentlemen needed three cracks at the log in procedure to make it to the screen.

Organizationally – it was presented in a traditional way – with a panel of people who are close to housing issues and have an understanding of the size of the challenge.

Then a panel of citizens and then calls were taken from those watching.

The five experts knew their stuff and brought unique and important perspectives to the event.

Mike Simiono, newly acquired Director of Community Planning (Burlington poached him from Oakville) talked about the meaning of owning a house and the role it take in creating community.

Ted Hildebrandt did a statistical overview. Some of his material was dated but the points were still clearly made.

The number of people who drive to Burlington from Hamilton was startling – the belief is that people live in Hamilton because housing is less expensive there.

commuting flow

The commuting flow in the chart on slide #7 was taken from the 2016 Census. It is derived from a question asking “At what address did this person usually work most of the time?” On this chart, the blue bars indicate people that are commuting to work in Burlington from the respective municipalities. The orange bars indicate people leaving Burlington to work in other municipalities. In terms of the figure of 24,505, this is the number of Hamilton residents that travel to work in Burlington.




rental vacancy 16-20

More space available …

rental rates Ham - Burl

... at less cost.

living alone 2016

The number of people living alone – Data as at 2016

pop changes regionCity staff did an entry explanation to set the context within which the city has to work. Currently the city has no direct responsibility for housing: that responsibility rests with the Region – they work with what the province makes available in terms of enabling legislation and funding.

The federal government does have a National Housing policy – it just doesn’t seem to be meeting the needs of places like Burlington.

Central Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) has been active and creative in funding and sponsoring creative approaches to housing – the co-op housing sector would not exist were it not for CMHC.

The cost of housing in Burlington and the availability of affordable housing is the challenge before the working group the city is setting up to dive deep into the data.

housing sales

Between 2015 and 2019, the average price of new sale in Burlington was $527,949 and the average price of resale was $676,628. On an average annual basis, the average price of new sales increased at a rate of 5.6 per cent per year. The average price of resale increased at a higher average rate of 9.3 per cent. The 5 year average price of both new and resale was $670,091, which increased at an average rate of 8.7 per cent per year.

affordable housing sales

Nine affordable units were sold for more than $393, 400 – which is the threshold for an affordable home. 24 were sold below the threshold.

City council endorsed a recommendation from the Planning department and hired consultants.  The plan is to move into an action-implementing mode once the results of the survey have been analyzed as well as any feedback from those that took part in the Zoom meeting.

A report gets taken to Council on April 6th.

There is a survey on the city Get Involved part of the web site. That survey is open until Match 19th – LINK to the survey.



There are affordable units in Burlington:

1,497 subsidized units made available by community housing providers in Burlington

838 units across 13 properties are directly owned/operated by Halton Community Housing Corporation.

659 other subsidized housing units are made available by 11 other non profit and cooperative housing providers funded by Halton Region.

162 additional new subsidized (brick and mortar) units were recently created in Burlington by the Region as part of the Comprehensive Housing Strategy

344 additional subsidized housing options and growing have been secured in Burlington with 16 landlords using rent supplement funding.

125 additional Burlington based households and growing are receiving a portable housing allowance to subsidize their rents.

This adds up to 2,128 subsidized units in Burlington.

City Council wants to increase that number – and is hoping to come up with a strategy that will make it possible.

There will be a part 2 with the comments made by the panelists.


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RBG looking for new people to serve as Board members

graphic community 3By Pepper Parr

March 11, 2021



iris 1 RBG

The RBG is a leader in the development of new strains of plants.

Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is seeking community leaders to serve on ITS Board of Directors as they embark on the implementation of a Master Planning initiative that aims to position the Gardens as Canada’s leading environmental centre with world-class gardens, natural areas, programs, services and facilities.

As community leaders, Board members possess a well-developed interest in horticultural, conservation, education and related science, along with a commitment to RBG’s mission – to connect people, plants and place for the purpose of nurturing and preserving healthy growing life on our planet.

As a registered charity, RBG is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community members, representatives appointed by four levels of government, and a representative from the RBG Volunteers.

The Role
The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing RBG to ensure its viability and sustainability by:

RBG garden - lilacs

Almost every variety of lilac you can imagine. These are seen by the RBG Board as assets that have to be protected.

· Establishing RBG’s strategic direction and priorities that will ensure fulfillment of its objects as defined in legislation;

· Safeguarding RBG’s resources;

· Monitoring the performance of RBG and the results achieved relative to its strategic priorities;

· Determining the overall approach to governance issues; and,

· Reporting to key stakeholders.

The Board meets at least five times annually, including RBG’s annual meeting. Directors are expected to serve on at least one sub-committee.


RBG Turner tea-house

The Tea House – will it reopen soon?

We have an immediate requirement for members with experience in:

· Philanthropy and Fund Development
· Government Relations

RBG is also seeking to build a roster of potential talent to be considered for future Board and Committee vacancies with experience in the following areas:

· Risk Management
· Strategic Planning
· Not-for-Profit/Governmental Agency Governance
· Government Relations/Public Administration
· Organizational Effectiveness

RBG is committed to equity and diversity and welcomes applications from all individuals.

Please reply with a C.V. and covering letter addressed to the RBG Governance Committee c/o Carrie Haans, Executive Assistant to the CEO at chaans@rbg.ca.

RBG aerial

The RBG Arboretum

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Mayor sends a memo - it was not well received

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 10th, 2021



They all got the memo.

It apparently didn’t go down very well.

Meed ward election night 1

Marianne Meed Ward – the night she won the 2018 election

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward is reported to have advised her colleagues that as a result of her concern over her life work balance she has instructed her colleagues not to send her email after 5:00 pm and not before 9:00 am.

Where did the Mayor ever get the idea that her job was 9 – 5 ?

And, we wonder why she didn’t just advise them that she would not be answering email after 5 or before 9.

There are other directives put to the six ward Councillors – and they aren’t liking the treatment coming from the Mayor.

When the current Council was sworn in December of 2018 five of the six ward Councillors knew next to nothing about the job they had taken on and relied heavily on Meed Ward to guide and direct them.

Five of the six now feel they are ready to be more involved in the long term thinking and are able to mount initiatives of their own.

sharman with sign

Councillor Paul Sharman, chairing a virtual meeting of Council

Paul Sharman, Councillor for Ward 6 and in many ways the dean of this Council, doesn’t take too much guff from the Mayor; he sits on the sidelines waiting for the opening he needs to take her on directly.

The email sent to the other five members of Council could be the thin edge of the wedge that will separate Meed Ward from the fan club that has supported her for years.

No revolt yet – but those on the seventh floor, which is where the Councillors live, are not happy, or impressed with the Mayor who works out of the 8th floor.

Situations like this seldom get better – they fester and infect.

Mayor Meed Ward may not have the leadership skills many thought and hoped she had. Managing your peers when you are the first among equals is a critical skill set.

How long will it be before the ward Councillors stand up to the Mayor?

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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Museum plans an Easter Egg Hunt - passport and popcorn part of the offer

eventsred 100x100By Staff

March 10th, 2021



The Brant Museum has come up with something that will get the kids outdoors.

They are calling it an Around the Town Easter Egg Hunt: a chance to explore and learn about some of Burlington’s most notable heritage sites on an Easter egg hunt around the city.

Easter egg hunt April

Your ticket includes an Egg Hunt passport, Easter popcorn, and supplies for Easter crafts that will be led through virtual instruction. Ideal for children ages 6 – 12 years old.

Tickets are $10 per child. Easter packages will be available for pick-up at Joseph Brant Museum from Tuesday, March 30th to Thursday, April 1st between 10am – 3pm.

A mention of why we celebrate Easter would have been nice. The 6-12 age group should understand the Christian part of our Christian Judaeo fundamentals.

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Patio time planned for mid April - will the weather crimp that?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 9th, 2021



City Council approved an earlier start date and streamlined approval process for the opening of outdoor patios – you will be able to quaff an ale outdoors on April 15th.

The ice is gone from the Rotary Pond and we are seeing double digit temperatures.

The croci should be breaking through anytime. Right? Will the robins show up soon?

Who knows – we are entering the new normal and almost anything seems possible.

Gibbons - patio open

The kind of patio and the level of safety will be the issue – and that depends on how quickly we reach herd immunity.

The city gave the hospitality community every break possible. They approved expediting the approval process for 2020 temporary patio permit holders to allow their permits to be renewed this year based on their 2020 patio approvals. Application fees for the 2021 temporary patio program are being waived to help businesses recover during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council previously approved a streamlined zoning processes for patio tents at a virtual meeting of Burlington City Council on Feb. 3, 2021. These changes included:

• removing the zoning requirement for a temporary tent to be three metres from a building or property line,
• zoning restrictions on tents larger than 60 m2 and
• waiving the requirement for a site plan approval and zoning clearance certificate

Burlington City Council has also approved an additional $5,000 to the existing grant tent permit program to reimburse the costs of related fees for an estimated total amount of $10,000 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund. This grant will cover the City building permit fees for outdoor tent structures when an alternative solution and/or building permit is required, until Oct. 31, 2021.

Applications for the 2021 temporary patio program are being accepted until Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Business owners/operators that would like to install a temporary patio during the 2021 patio season are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will still be accepted after this deadline but may take longer to approve.

City staff are committed to reviewing temporary patio program applications and working collaboratively with applicants to help local restaurants and businesses understand how they can safely operate an outdoor patio during the 2021 patio season.

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Major new approach to housing development in the works - city wants to get in on the game

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 9th, 2021


Part 4 of a 4 part series

Last night there was a two hour Zoom event on the Housing Strategy your city council wants to put in place.

The city uses its Get Involved web site  program to spread the word. If you know about that part of the city web site – you can keep up to date with what the city is doing in terms of projects.

HS The panel

These are some of the people who took part in the Zoom event Monday evening. But that is not what this story is about.

The city doesn’t do a particularly good job of promoting that site.

Mostly of the members of Council did very little directing people to the event.

The Gazette  covered the event  and will report back to you.

But that is not what this story is about.

The Housing Strategy is one part of what the Burlington Lands Project (BLP) is all about. Never heard of the Lands Project? That doesn’t surprise us. It too has been poorly promoted

There is a link at the bottom of this article telling you what we know about the Project.

A few weeks ago there was a bit of a scramble by members of Council to get a seat on the BLP Steering Committee, where much of the grunt work is expected to get done.

The final decision on any development will be made by city council. The concern was this – would every idea get taken to city council or only those that the Steering Committee felt had merit and were worth taking to council?

Council couldn’t decide who the members of the BLP Steering Committee would be several weeks ago – it was left with the City Manager and the City Solicitor to come back with some suggestions.

Tim-Commisso-finger-up-hard-eyesCity Manager Tim Commisso reported last week that he talked to everyone involved and was not able to arrive at a consensus as to who should be on that Steering Committee and suggested Council discuss it.

The feeling that came out of Council was that the Mayor should be there along with the Chair of the Standing Committee the Steering Committee would report to. WHICH ONE

That didn’t go down all that well with ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman who really wanted to be on that Steering Committee. Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte, the strongest talker on the Affordable Housing file, had a passionate hunger to be on the Steering Committee and argued that given that she was going to be the incoming chair of the Standing Committee the Steering Committee would be reporting to – she too should be on the Steering Committee to give it a sense of continuity,

Sharman was not impressed with Stolte’s bonafides and basically trashed her.

Commisso stareCommisso thought he might see every member of Council wanting to be on the Steering Committee – not something he was on for.

Here is how they settled it. None of the members of Council would be on the Steering Committee BUT every proposal and idea that came forward would be taken to council.

The Steering might rank their development preferences but Council would know everything that was discussed.
It will be interesting to see how that works out.

What you, the weary tax paying citizen can do is look in on the Zoom meeting this evening and give a listen and contribute your ideas on the affordable housing file.

The BLP is not just about housing – it wants to do more about getting more shovel ready sites in place for future job site.

The Economic Development people talk in terms of having 50 hectares of land shovel ready for development – there are less than 20 l hectares 0f shovel readyproperty at this point.

While there isn’t a lot of land left for employment sites – there are some sites that are zoned employment lands – the owners of those properties want to upgrade the zoning for residential.

Related news stories

The first we heard of the BLP

Just what is the Burlington Lands Project.

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Covid infections reported to be more than 1600 in one day - same day the province announces that malls can be opened

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 8th, 2021



T- shirt - what part no

Is the province listening?

There was a great phrase I once saw many years ago on a button a woman was wearing.

It read: What part of No do you not understand?

That one stuck with me.

Today I am asking anyone who can respond: What part of the following do I not understand.

The province released updated Covid19 infection numbers – more than 1600 with ten new deaths.

On the same day we are told that Toronto and Peel have been moved to the grey zone and the malls will be opened – albeit at 25% of capacity and that they will be doing screening for everyone entering.

Did someone at the decision making level not understand the numbers? 1600 + – the highest since early February.

The virus is still hopping from person to person in the community. Clamp down until it is at the 100 a day and most of us are vaccinated.

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Kearns is named valedictorian by her classmates - has completed a stiff management course

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 8th, 2021



On this day – dedicated to celebrating the achievements of the women in the community – let’s look at what one member of city council has managed to achieve.

Lisa Kearns went back to school this year and by the end of the week she will be able to put the designation: ICD.D behind her name.

That designations states that she successfully completed the course at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management.

Kearns - trhe like

Lisa Kearns, Councillor for ward 2 – a wicked sense of humour and an ability to drop great one-line zingers.

The classes were done virtually, which did not make them any easier. The certification is issued by the Institute of Corporate Directors – in the corporate world that counts.

Each class had about 40 people in it. Most were in what Kearns called the 40 years of age range, which probably says more about her age than she intended.

Those of you who follow Kearns will have been treated to her, at times, wicked sense of humour and her ability to drop great one-line zingers that she sometimes regrets saying – but she is who she is.

Her fellow students appear to have come to appreciate who she is – they made her the class valedictorian.

Lisa Kearns taking questions

Dangerous woman when she has a microphone in her hands.

How does she do it? The woman is the Mother of two children, a city Councillor as well as a Regional Councillor, who is a Full Press Monty participant at every meeting.

Getting the designation was important to Kearns who clearly has higher political aspirations adding that she “paid for the course.”   The courses are not cheap – think in terms of thousands – seven to be more precise.

Mayor Meed Ward is taking a similar course at McMaster. In a statement made by the Mayor at the time she said:  her courses were paid for by a benefactor she did not choose to name.

One has to wonder how that went over during the ethics part of the McMaster program.

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Parks and Recreation program registration opens March 13th

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 7th, 2021



Someone believes there is going to be a Spring followed by a Summer during which the city Parks and Recreation department will offer the best program it can and still abide by whatever COVID19 conditions are in place.

Registration for spring recreation programming opens March 13

Spring programs can be viewed now at burlington.ca/recreation.

Burlington residents can register for in-person, outdoor and virtual programs for Adults 19+, Adults 55+ on March 13 at 9 a.m. Registration for Youth programs will happen at 11 a.m. on March 13.

Pks and Rec registration
An account is required to register online. You can create an account or register at liveandplay.burlington.ca.

Residents can call 905-335-7738 for staff-assisted telephone registrations.

Anyone with questions or needing assistance can contact the Recreation, Community and Culture Department by email live&play@burlington.ca or if you need to speak to someone, call 905-335-7738 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

Haber - basketball

Everyone can’t wait until the COVID19 crisis is behind us. Gyms and play fields that have been closed will burst with activity. Can’t wait.

If restrictions change due to the pandemic, we will do our best to adjust and modify the program.
Safety requirements are in place for all programs and include Bring Your Own everything, and the requirement for masks for all non-physically active programs.

Anyone participating in an in-person program will need to fill out the mandatory health screening form at burlington.ca/screening before each session.

Outdoor programs will require participants to dress for conditions and will run rain or shine. Cancellations due to extreme weather conditions of thunder, lightning or high-winds or in the case of unforeseen staff absence will result in credits to affected customers.

Recreation Fee Assistance
Recreation is for all, regardless of financial situation. Recreation Fee Assistance is funding made available to resident individuals or families who need help to pay for City of Burlington recreation programs.

For more information or to apply, visit burlington.ca/feeassistance. You can also leave a confidential voicemail message at 905-335-7738, ext. 8501 and staff will return your call to assist you.

Chris Glenn

Director of Recreation, Community and Culture, Chris Glenn

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture has said he is “ taking a cautious, phased-in approach to re-opening our recreation facilities. We want to welcome everyone back but we’re doing it with an abundance of caution to ensure staff and participants remain safe and have confidence in our safety procedures.

“Many of our programs for the spring will take place outside, too. For those who still want to enjoy our virtual programs, we still have our Active-at-Home videos and TelePALS running. Keep checking the website as we are adding more programming frequently.”

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We were just unreasonable - not more than that.

background graphic redBy Pepper Parr

March 7th, 2021



For a city that is unable to stop talking about being voted the best medium sized city in Canada to live in it is nice to know that we were not reprehensible, scandalous and outrageous

NationalHomes renderingThat finding came out of a decision made by John Douglas in an LPAT (Local Planning Act Tribunal) hearing that said:

The Tribunal further finds, that although unreasonable, the actions of the City did not rise to the threshold of being reprehensible, scandalous and outrageous.

The Tribunal awards costs on a partial indemnity basis. As per the Motion Record, the Applicant/Appellant is seeking an order for the Tribunal directing the City to pay costs totaling $28,481.62. Exercising its powers under Rule 23.10 of the Rules, the Tribunal is fixing costs on a partial indemnity basis (at 60%) in the amount of $17,088.97 plus interest.

The hearing related to the National Homes development on Brant Street that is now under construction. 233 townhouses will be built.

Related news story

Mayor wears this one.

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Rivers: My Conversation with the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada


Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

March 6th, 2021


“I’ll slash funding for English TV and CBC News Network, and end funding for digital news.”

(Erin O’Toole – Feb 14, 2020)

He said it plain – no love wasted for the national broadcaster, even on Valentine’s Day.

Otoole hands out

Erin O’Toole – Defeated Andrew Scheer in the leadership contest – now he wants to form a government.

There were issues which I really wanted Erin O’Toole to clarify for me when I set out to request our interview. First, O’Toole has promised that his climate change plan would deliver faster carbon emission reductions than Mr. Trudeau’s plan. And he would do it without the provision of a carbon tax, which would be relegated to the dustbin in an O’Toole government. And he’d do all this while pushing for more oil pipelines and oil.

So what and where is it – this magic plan? Well it’s still a secret. It’s still being developed. It probably has to stay that way, until he becomes PM, so the NDP don’t take credit for inventing it should the Liberals implement it. The mind boggles.

Another issue is Mr. O’Toole’s preoccupation with firearms. It’s true he spent a good part of his life in the military, but he ended up as a flight navigator. You’d think he’d know more about a compass than a gun, so perhaps this is just pistol envy. Still he has made this a major plank in his platform.

He points out that the biggest trouble with today’s gun control is the lack of public education about guns. And then in one breath he declares that Canada’s firearms control system actually works really well, and efficiently.

And then in the next breath says that his top priority would be to scrap the existing Firearms Act. And he’d cancel the requirement for vendors to keep a record of who purchased guns. And while he was at it he’d also kill the legislation the Liberals recently introduced banning assault rifles, high capacity ammunition magazines and silencers.

otoole scratching head

Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole figuring it out

That would mean potentially allowing powerful military-type weapons systems including the M16, AR-10, AR-15 and M4 firearms, onto our streets, or at least our gun cupboards. He has received an A grading by the lobbyist outfit CCFR (Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights).

O’Toole has gone after the Trudeau government for not doing more to stop the smuggling of firearms across the US border. And he may have the answer. Just make these weapons legal here as well, and smuggling would be unnecessary.

A third of his Tory membership are COVID action deniers. Or at least they want the governments to stop restricting economic activity and get back to normal, whatever that can be when this epidemic is killing our senior citizens and threatening to spread like wildfire. For example, Flamborough Glanbrook MP David Sweet, having himself come back, quilt-free, from a foreign vacation, says let it rip.

O”Toole himself is ignoring this growing chorus of voices around him who are telling him to be like Texas. You have to die from something anyway, right? But it does take a lot of courage to go after Trudeau for not doing enough to keep the virus out, when a sizeable chunk of his membership is saying let it be.

R B Bennett

It was the R. B. Bennet, a Conservative government that formed the CBC

Finally what is it with O’Toole’s promise to defund the CBC? It is a little difficult to appreciate why the federal Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) has such a long standing animosity against Canada’s national broadcaster. After all, the CBC was a service originally initiated back in 1932 by R.B. Bennet, a conservative PM.

One might think the Tories object to the cost of the annual subsidy paid to the CBC, some $1.2 billion a year. But a sizeable subsidy is annually paid out to the other Canadian broadcasters, private though they are. And if it’s about the cost, why squash the English television and digital news services, ironically the only part of the corporation which brings in advertising dollars? It may actually cost more to kill the CBC than to keep it intact.

cbc The National

CBC – the country’s most trusted news source.

No question the other networks wouldn’t mind seeing the CBC gone. It’s still competition, even though they already have a much greater audience. But the CBC/Radio Canada is the most trusted news media in the country. And we are in the midst of a brave new world of fake news. One only needs to look south of the border and the role fake news played in the assault on the US Capitol.

In fact over 80% of Canadians support our national broadcaster and want to see the CBC continue and even expand its broadcasting agenda. So why would someone running for prime minister want to unstick the glue that in many ways keeps us all together, including our remote indigenous population and Francophone Canada.

otoole attacking

Erin O’Toole – knows how to fight back.

We do know that this contempt the Tories harbour for the national broadcaster goes back to the troubled relationship Mr Harper had with the media, and the CBC in particular. He even tried to set up his own news system and in the end the party turned to the right wing extremist paper, The Rebel. In fact a former director of the Rebel ended up running Andrew Scheer’s campaign.

Erin O’Toole, after being criticized for his party’s association with The Rebel, swore off giving any more interviews to that right wing rag. He must have sworn off the Burlington Gazette as well, because he and his office ignored my requests for an interview. I got an immediate automatic email thanking me for contacting him, both times, but then it was crickets. So we didn’t really have a discussion, but I’m still waiting for that phone to ring.

Rivers hand to face


Ray 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:

Let the Pandemic Roll –    David Sweet –     Recovery Plans

Trust in the Media –     Polling –     Anti-Choice –

The Rebel –    Climate Plan –     CCFR

O’Toole on Guns –     CBC –     CBC Public Support

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Medical Officer of Health releases video for those getting vaccinations

News 100 redBy Staff

March 6th, 2021



Dr. Hamidah Megani, the Halton Region Medical Officer of Health, released s five minute video earlier today.

MOH full screenIt is worth watching

To do that CLICK HERE


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More than 15 thousand over 80 have registered for the vaccine shot. Doses are in place and locations being prepped.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2021



Keeping up with what the political class has to say can be daunting at times.

Keeping the average person informed means tracking a lot of people.

tweet logoYesterday Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr tweeted; “We have registered 13,240 residents age 80 and older which is 26,480 appointments for both doses.”

He also tweeted this morning, “At one of our vaccination clinics. Our Halton team has registered 15,245 residents age 80 and older which represents 30,490 appointments for first and second doses.”

The schedule going forward looks like this:

vaccine roll out

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City has to write a developer a cheque for $17,088.97 + interest. Mayor has to wear this one

News 100 redBy Staff

March 5th, 2021


Correction:  The figure of  $281,481.62 should have been $28,481.62

The City has been ordered to pay costs in the amount of $17,088.97 plus interest, to the Applicant/Appellant, which in this case is National Homes, who are in the process of developing the property at 2100 Brant that will, upon completion, be a 233 town house development.

National Homes

The site used to be a hay field. The developer has named the property Tyandaga Heights

The city got hit because way back in 2017 National Homes made an application for amendments to both the Official Plan and the zoning on the property.

Marianne Meed Ward, who  was then the Council member for Ward 2, voted against the National Homes development.

National Homes took the city to LPAT (Local Planning Act Tribunal) for failing to make a decision within the required time frame.

They eventually resolved their differences at Pre-Hearing Conferences and signed Minutes of Settlement on November 20, 2018.

In October citizens had chosen a new Mayor and a significantly different Council – with just the one hold-over from the previous Council.

The inaugural meeting for the new City Council, with Meed Ward as Mayor, took place on December 4, 2018.

On December 17, 2018, the new Council held an in-camera meeting and decided to back out of the Minutes of Settlement.

We now know that the city decided to resile (which is lawyer speak for abandoning a position or a course of action) in that CLOSED meeting.

The National Homes people were ticked off and asked LPAT to award them costs of $28,481.62.  They got   $17,088.97.

That CLOSED meeting must have been a doozy – five of the seven people were brand new Councillors with precious little experience in matters like this.  Meed Ward knew what she was doing, Councillor Sharman would have been opposed – for the others – they may have left the room scratching their heads.

Several days before they had gone along with the Mayor on the firing of James Ridge, the then city manager.  Ridge certainly knew what was coming: days before he had told colleagues that if Meed Ward was elected he was toast.

The surprising part of that was – anyone who knew how to read tea leaves would have known that Meed Ward was what the public wanted.

Not as many feel the same way today.


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