High end automotive dealers were bested by a handful of thieves

Crime 100By Staff

November 30th, 2020



It was slick – and it worked for a period of time.

The high end automotive dealers come away from this looking dreadfully stupid.

Solid police work has brought the most recent wave of car thefts – but there will be others. And of course drugs were part of the picture.

It began back in September when police services in the GTA began investigating an increase in test drive thefts occurring at local dealerships.

The suspects in these thefts used fraudulent identities and in many cases took advantage of current COVID-19 precautions to secure unescorted test drives and steal vehicles. In some cases, when the test drive was escorted by a sales representative, a staged collision was orchestrated in order to complete the theft. During this time primarily Mercedes products were targeted.

Members of the Halton Regional Police (HRPS) Oakville Criminal Investigations Bureau in collaboration with the Peel Regional Police and Hamilton Police Service began to investigate these incidents. The investigation was further supported by the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC).

Nov 30 Drug and Cash Seizure + high end cars

Stealing high end cars was a side line to the drug dealing.

On November 28, 2020, members of Peel Regional Police arrested two suspects in possession of a recently stolen vehicle. Subsequent search warrants were executed by members of the HRPS Oakville Criminal Investigation Bureau at two Brampton residences and on one vehicle.

Investigators seized a second vehicle (stolen from an Oakville dealership), approximately 450 grams of fentanyl, 45 grams of crack cocaine, a quantity of suspected Xanax tablets and approximately $10,000.

Azad Sandhu (18) of Brampton has been charged with:
• Theft of motor vehicle (3 counts)
• Possession of a counterfeit mark (false identity documents)

Steven Singh (20) of Mississauga has been charged with:
• Theft of motor vehicle (8 counts)
• Utter forged documents (8 counts)
• Possession of counterfeit mark (false identity documents)
• Possession for the purpose of trafficking (3 counts- Fentanyl, Xanax, Cocaine)

Both Sandhu and Singh were held in custody pending a bail hearing.

The theft of motor vehicle and related charges are in connection with incidents that occurred in Halton, Peel, Hamilton, and South Simcoe.

Prior to these arrests, HRPS investigators also executed a warrant at a residence in Toronto. This took place in October, 2020.

Multiple items were seized at that time including:
• A Mercedes vehicle stolen from Hamilton
• Stolen Ontario dealer plates
• Fraudulent Ontario and Quebec Driver’s Licences
• Approximately $3000

As a result of that earlier investigation, Yassine Jenkal (23) of Toronto was arrested and charged with the following:
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime (over $5000)
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime (under $5000) (2 Counts)
• Tampering with Vehicle Identification Number
• Possession of a Counterfeit Mark (4 counts)

Anyone with information in regards to these investigations is asked to contact Detective Omar Nadim of the 2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau 905-825-4747 ext. 2306.

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.


Return to the Front page

Have we reached the 'enough is enough' on the cannabis stores in the city?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 30th, 2020



There are seven LCBO stores in Burlington.

An application for the 17th cannabis retail location has been received; 10 of the applications are operational, five are under review, two, plus the most recent, are out for community comment.

Municipalities were given the option to permit the setting up of retail cannabis stores or to take a pass and not permit cannabis retail locations.

Burlington chose to permit them: it was a 5-2 vote permitting, with Councillors Stolte and Bentivegna against.

The Mayor was a very strong supporter, at times sounding like an advocate.

The other four were inclined to go along.

The Town of  Oakville decided not to permit  cannabis stores.

Many take the view that the commercial locations will fail if there isn’t a customer base creating a demand.

There is certainly a demand for the product – but it isn’t from the people of Burlington.  The folks from Oakville drive over to patronize the Burlington locations.

I am not opposed to the sale of the product – it’s legal – let people buy it.  My concern is why does Burlington have to become the destination for people in communities that don’t have cannabis shops where they live?

We keep hearing the argument that there are those who need the product for medicinal purposes.

Is this what the people of Burlington believe reflects the values of their community?

Is there a point the city might not want to go beyond?

And can city council do anything to perhaps cap the number of locations?

We think it is a question that can and should be asked of City Council.

Are we at that enough is enough point?

Related news story:

Application for 17th cannabis store received by the provincial government.

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.

Return to the Front page

The 17th application for a cannabis store in Burlington has been released

News 100 greenBy Staff

November 30th, 2020



An application for what will be the 17th cannabis retail store in Burlington has been received by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

cannabis retail outlet

A typical cannabis retail location: tightly regulated by the AGCO.

The corporate name is Sweet Releafs Inc. The proposed location at 728 Burloak Dr., Unit C4 is now up for public comment.

Written comments due to Province by December 11

This application does meet the City of Burlington Council approved guidelines.

Written comments about the proposed location will be received by the AGCO until Friday, December 11, 2020 and may be submitted online at www.agco.ca/iAGCO.

The AGCO will accept submissions from:

• A resident of the municipality in which the proposed store is located

• The municipality representing the area in which the proposed store is located and/or its upper-tier municipality.

Comments submitted to the AGCO should relate to the following matters of public interest:

• Protecting public health and safety

• Protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis

• Preventing illicit activities in relation to cannabis

After December 11, the AGCO will consider all written comments and available information to decide whether the application for the proposed store location will be approved.

Currently there are ten licensed cannabis retail stores in Burlington since the ACGO moved to an open licensing system for cannabis retail store applications earlier this year. The ten stores include:

• Relm Cannabis Co. 4031 Fairview St. Suite 103
• Corner Cannabis 3007 New St.
• The Hunny Pot Cannabis Co. 1505 Guelph Line, Unit 3-4
• Friendly Stranger Plains Road 1025 and 1059 Plains Rd. E., Unit 3
• Pioneer Cannabis Co. 1200 Brant St., Unit B-004
• mihi 3500 Dundas St., Unit A1B
• Canna Cabana Burlington 2400 Guelph Line, Unit 2
• Welcome Cannabis 1401 Plains Rd., Unit 5
• Spiritleaf 3295 Fairview St.
• Canada Buds 1860 Appleby Line, Unit 11B

Five additional cannabis retail stores are under review by the AGCO and two are out for comment, including this one.

Quick Facts
• On Jan. 14, 2019, Burlington City Council voted to allow the operation of retail cannabis stores in Burlington. Councillors Bentivegna and Stolte voted against the motion to permit the cannabis retail operations.

• On Apr. 1, 2019, the first round of brick and mortar, privately-operated retail cannabis stores opened across the province

• The AGCO is licensing and enforcing regulations related to retail cannabis stores in Ontario

• The ACGO introduced an open licensing system for cannabis retail stores in January 2020. On March 2, 2020, the ACGO began accepting store authorization applications.

• The provincial requirement for a cannabis retail store is 150 metres from schools (as defined by the Education Act), as per the provincial regulations. The City of Burlington guideline for a cannabis retail store is 500 metres from schools

Related content:

When is enough enough?

Return to the Front page

Driving instructor arrested on sexual assault charges.

Crime 100By Staff

November 28th, 2020



Some serious damage done to the reputation of a Driving Instructor

HRPS crestOn Thursday November 26, 2020, the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) report the arrest of a driving instructor who was operating in the city of Burlington.

56 year-old Muhammad Zafar of Hamilton has been charged with Sexual Assault and Sexual Exploitation. Zafar was held in custody pending a bail hearing.

Zafar operates as a driving instructor in the city of Burlington and the victim in this occurrence was a student of his. Police believe that there may be additional victims and that Zafar may have been operating as a private driving instructor in or around the Burlington and Hamilton area.

Crime stoppers logoAnyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Megan Wong of the HRPS Child and Sexual Assault Unit at 905 825 4747 ext. 8979.

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.

Return to the Front page

Private sector planner Glenn Wellings waxes eloquent over a transit station.

background graphic redBy Staff

November 29th, 2020



A small bus terminal on John Street that once had a recommendation from the Transit department to close the station that is the size of a standard classroom has had a serious impact on the way development in the downtown core took place.

The existence of the building and the designation it had, made it possible for the ADI Development Group to get their appeal of an application past the OMB.

The bus terminal that was now being called an MTSA came up recently when private sector Glenn Wellings talked about his boyhood days when he used buses; suggesting there might yet be a bigger role yet for the terminal.  Here is the way a planner saw the bus terminal meeting the interests of his client.


Private sector planner Glenn Wellings

The purpose of my delegation is to speak to concerns regarding the approach and recommendations with respect to the interim control By-Law study. I do have several concerns including modifications to the Urban Growth Centre Boundary so the transition policies however, Madam Chair given my ten-minute limit, I will restrict my comments mainly to the downtown bus terminal.

There is much…..been much discussion today and previously centered around the downtown bus terminal and several decades ago, the downtown bus terminal. I’m not sure if Council members will recall, some may not have been living in the Burlington at the time used to be located at Village Square, and that was probably about 40 years ago and the terminal at that time accommodated city buses, City of Hamilton buses, Gray Coach buses, Gray Coach is no longer with us, and also Go transit buses, and it served as a very important transit hub at a time when Village square was new, and transit was less of a priority than it is today, and how I know that is as a kid growing up in Oakville, I used to frequently take the bus between Oakville and St. Catharines. So the route I would take could be the Go bus along the Lakeshore Road and I would transfer to a Gray Coach bus at Village Square, and that Gray Coach bus would stop in Hamilton, Grimsby and on to St. Catharines, so it did at one time serve an interregional transit function.

I’ll fast-forward to today, there has been no significant investment in the downtown bus terminal. For many years, at a time when I believed the city needs to be investing in transit. It appears that these limitations and deficiencies of the existing bus terminal aren’t being used as a basis to establish updated land use policies for the downtown. A planning regime recommended by the interim control By-Law study seems to accept status-quo for the downtown bus terminal, so it doesn’t speak to possibly improving things, getting back to where it used to be and serving an interregional function. That’s not where the policy regime seems to be headed.

John Street bus terminal

Will history remember the impact the terminal had on the development of the downtown core?

So, the proposed policies do not in my reading support an enhanced role of this downtown bus terminal or even the potential of building something better, a new bus terminal and reintroduce into regional transit to the downtown. The downtown bus terminal has always had a different function than the Go station and the Go transit given the rail function at the Go station and the bus function downtown.

They’ve always had different functions so the typology being suggested and to support policies is really not much different than what we all know. Some may recall that the role bold official plan didn’t anticipate the potential for new transit terminal at 421 John Street and that’s parking lot no. 4 so, that was looked at previously.

The developed policies with no anticipated changes to the bus terminal or even looking at an enhanced role of that downtown bus terminal is not in my opinion long range planning. To me it is not consistent with the Urban Growth Centre nor its transit supportive or a reflection of the spirit and an intend of the major transit station area. Madam, I would like to ask for clarification on three areas and I believe Ms. MacDonald did provide clarification on one area but I just want to be clear of my understanding under the proposed policy regime, is it downtown Burlington will continue to be a Urban Growth Centre with a minimum density target of 200 people on jobs per hector and the downtown Burlington will continue to be a major transit station area and a mobility hub. I’m hoping I got that right but I would just ask for some clarification because there was some confusion and some of the delegations on that point.

Secondly, is Council likely aware the Mattamy application have been in process for more than two years and were filed under the current approved official plan and I would ask for confirmation through staff that the proposed policies are not intended to retro-actively apply to these applications moving forward. And you heard the delegation of Mr. Snider, he had indicated that there is Case Law and there are rules that the policies at the time of application are the ones that should be used to evaluate an application and there is much Case law on that point.

And thirdly, and I’m not sure the answer to this question. If the policies in the proposed Openna 119 are appealed, how does that reflect the timing of the new official plan? OPA, and I’m assuming that the official plan cannot be finalized and approved piecemeal without knowing what’s happening in the downtown, in the policy framework for the downtown which is a major source of the intensification that will occur in the city. So I’d ask for some clarification on that point. I’m not sure how that would evolve. And lastly, I would ask for written notification of any approvals of the OPA and zoning By-Law arising from this exercise and subject to clarification of those three points.

CLK: (Councillor Lisa Kearns) So you spoke about does the study consider an enhanced role of John Street of bus terminal with interregional long-range planning. So the section 3.4.4 transit network and demand does speak to the Burlington transit trips that do occur between Hamilton and Burlington. So I’m just wondering if you’re making statements that it hasn’t may be looked at the regional connectivity piece. I just want to know those things are in there. Are you aware of that?

GW: (Glenn Wellings) And I’m also looking at a little more broadly than that and may be if there is a better bus terminal, that it could be an airport shuttle service running from that. I think we all need to look at the possibilities of what the downtown bus terminal could be rather than what it is today.

CLK: Okay. So I’ll ask staff what the forward thinking long-range planning lens was applied to that. Thank you.

CSS: (Councillor Shawna Stolte – Chair of the meeting) Thank you. Now we have a question from Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

MMW: (Mayor) So just to your clarification question, if I may, there’s no proposed changes on our agenda today to the UGC or the MTSA.

That’s been covered several times so that’s out of scope that we’re dealing with today. Just so you know. So the question is around how we enhance the transit function really throughout the City, downtown for sure. This is a very transit-friendly Council and we have added Millions in our two budgets that we have done to transit. So my question for you is…. And Go transit, of course, is provincial. We can’t tell them where to put their routes, but should a Go bus come to downtown Burlington or we get a nicer terminal and one of the recommendations was additional shelters and so forth, will the downtown ever function the same as the Go Station with 15-minute service across…. Effectively across Ontario? Would you say there is a distinction, nevertheless between those two?

GW: The GO Service just keeps on getting better and better so it does serve a great function for the City. It’s to me the only way to get downtown if you’re going to Toronto.

MMW: I agree with you on that.

GW: Yeah, so the roles have always been different and I didn’t want to suggest otherwise,

MMW: Right.

GW: But I think we can do better than what we have downtown.

MMMW: Yeah, I think we can certainly enhance that. I think… I’ll save it for my comments. We agree there is always going to be a difference between the two which means there’s a difference in ridership and land use. With respect to the Mattamy proposal that you’re representing, you raised some concerns that I was just trying to take notes about how the policy framework that we’re dealing with today, the MTSA piece, would affect that property. Do you have specific policies that you’re concerned about would somehow impact that piece?

GW: No…

MMW: you don’t want it to be retroactively applied. So I’m just wondering….

Mattamy - 2082-2090-James-at-Martha-Perspective-768x641

The Mattamy development Wellings was delegating on at Council

GW: No particular policies. It’s more of a general approach to evaluating the applications. Mattamy invested in this downtown at a time where there is a different mindset. I am not here to throw stones at anybody. There is a different mindset…. There was a different mindset than there is now, they’re struggling with that, and they’re trying to figure things out. They’re following what’s going on. They’re frustrated. They’re angry and they are just trying to figure out what’s going to apply going forward and I think they deserve that clarification.

So creating policies to respond to an application that’s been in process for two years to me is grossly unfair and prejudicial and if that’s going to occur, then the Mattamy applications made it to go to LPAT because they can’t be dealt with fairly in this room and I’m hoping that’s not the case, that that’s not where they want to go. They want to work with the City. But I would hope that we could clarify which policies are actually going to apply to them going forward.

MMW: Okay. I will ask that of staff. But the…. Certainly the understanding that is throughout the report is that once we approve new official plan policies, they will apply equally to everybody. Nobody gets special treatment. So unless there are specific aspects of the policy, I think that would be helpful for us to hear, if there are specific things that you think are not good planning, then please, you know, let us know sometime between now and the 30th of January.

GW: and through you, Madam Chair, not to belabor the point, but I would ask that you get legal advice on that point.

Return to the Front page

One of those top level medical guys used the word 'precarious' to describe the Covid19 situation in Ontario

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 28th, 2020



It isn’t the best of news.

Two COVID-19 outbreaks at the Joseph Brant hospital.

Climbing numbers within the city and additional deaths.

PHU Nov 27

Data at the close of November 27th.

Shops, supermarkets and hardware stores are pretty busy. I really wish the supermarket I go to would limit the number of people allowed in the store at the same time. Yes it slows things down but it keeps everyone safer.

The future availability of a vaccine doesn’t look all that promising. The predictions are that in Canada we will not see the bulk of the population completely vaccinated until December of 2021.

You can bet that the politicians at the federal and provincial levels will be deemed to be front line workers.  The people working in the hospitals have to be first.

Can we keep on going the way we have had to for another full year? There are some that can’t keep away from their favourite watering hole for more than a couple of weeks.

Canada doesn’t appear to have the manufacturing capacity to make the stuff and bottle it.

Flu shot line up

We had long line-ups for the annual flu shot. It will be much different with the vaccine is available.

We have manufacturing capacity for run of the mill annual flu shots – the vaccine for COVID-19 is a much more complex product requiring equipment we just don’t have.

Worrying for sure.

While going through the Saturday papers I read that the word “precarious” was used by Dr. David Williams to describe the situation we are in – not very reassuring.

And have you noticed that the top people at the federal level are beginning to equivocate somewhat ? Where are they when you really need them?

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.

Return to the Front page

Second section at Brant hospital experiences Covid19 outbreak - two dead

News 100 redBy Staff

November 28th, 2020



For the second time this month the Joseph Brant Hospital has informed the public that there has been an outbreak of COVID-19 in the hospital in an Inpatient Unit.

I inpatient unit, 3 North 700 (3N700), after a health care worker and two patients tested positive for the virus. All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and physicians.

On November 18, Halton Public Health declared an outbreak on 7 South 100 (7S100). As of November 27, four (4) health care workers and six (6) patients have been linked to the outbreak that now includes both units.

Two patients connected to the outbreak have died.

Brant impact reportThe hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control team and Employee Health Services are working closely with Halton Public Health to monitor all patients, staff and physicians who had direct contact with those infected with COVID-19. All patients on the units, along with staff and physicians who have been exposed, are being contacted, tested and supported.

Additional important measures have been taken to protect the health and safety of our patients, families or care providers, staff and physicians, including:

• Enhanced daily deep cleaning on 7S100 and 3N700
• Monitoring patients for any new symptoms, especially fever, cough and shortness of breath. Tests will be immediately ordered for patients should they develop COVID-19 symptoms
• Closing 7S100 and 3N700 to visitors, with very limited exceptions. Family members and caregivers are asked to work with the patient’s care team to discuss arrangements

These enhanced protocols will remain in place for the duration of the declared outbreak, then reassessed on an ongoing basis with Halton Public Health to minimize further risks.

JBH Remains Safe To Receive Care

Joseph Brant Hospital remains a safe place to receive care, and continues to perform safe surgical and out-patient clinical care, including emergency and urgent care. Cancelling a procedure is not necessary, and delaying treatment can actually can pose a serious risk to a patient’s health. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your health care provider or the hospital.

Return to the Front page

Conservation Halton benefits from federal money - Milton MP delivers dollars

News 100 greenBy Staff

November 27th, 2020



Its been a good couple of months for Conservation Halton.

The federal government has left a decent amount of money on their doorstep.

AVK with Cons Halton

On the right, Milton MP Adam van Koeverden with Conservation Hassaan Basit, President and CEO of Conservation Halton CEO to his immediate right. The others were unidentified.

Yesterday, there was an announcement delivered in a cold looking field where a small group gathered inside a tent and around a microphone to celebrate a grant of $4.8 million of which $275,000 went to Conservation Halton Foundation for aquatic SAR outreach and habitat enhancements in Conservation Halton’s Watersheds.

This project focuses on performing outreach and engaging with landowners who own properties in Bronte Creek, Fourteen Mile Creek and Sixteen Mile Creek.

Through this fund, under the Nature Legacy initiative, the Government of Canada is helping to build a culture of conservation that empowers Canadian organizations to work together to conserve nature.

Milton MP Adam van Koeverden delivered the good news and said: “Today’s announcement reaffirms this government’s commitment to preserving and protecting Canada’s rich biodiversity, and I’m so proud that we continue to prioritize the conservation of this country’s natural beauty. Halton is home to a number of aquatic species at risk, and this funding will help support the vital work that the Conservation Halton Foundation does to preserve and rebuild their fragile ecosystems – ensuring that my friends and neighbours in the community can enjoy and learn about these species for years to come”

“As we live through climate change, improving climate resilience to protect our communities is more important than ever. This funding has positively impacted aquatic species at risk throughout the watershed, allowing us to improve their habitats, while also allowing us to continue our important work of improving water quality and flood water storage for our communities.”

Hassaan Basit, President and CEO of Conservation Halton, who now has to spend the money said: “As we live through climate change, improving climate resilience to protect our communities is more important than ever. This funding has positively impacted aquatic species at risk throughout the watershed, allowing us to improve their habitats, while also allowing us to continue our important work of improving water quality and flood water storage for our communities.”

Return to the Front page

Working through what they want to study next is going to be virtual for HDSB grade 9 students

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 27th, 2020



A question that might be asked is – how much more of the direction, education and guidance for students will be delivered virtually?

It's not the kind of high school you were used to - MORE HERE

Students in a cooking class – part of the Pathway offerings.

The Halton District School Board will be holding a A Future that Fits pathways virtual event on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 1:30-2:45 p.m. for Grade 10 students. It will be hosted on a dedicated website and students will attend virtually as part of their regularly scheduled afternoon class.

A Future that Fits encourages HDSB Grade 10 students to explore a variety of career and Pathway program possibilities. Students will be able to interact with teachers in different sessions, view pop-up testimonial videos from former students and explore various program brochures.

Hunt Gibbons

Superintendent Julia Hunt Gibbons explaining a program to a student at an event where real people talked to real people.

“Attending this event will provide students with an opportunity to explore career areas that interest them and engage in meaningful conversations with program leaders,” says Julie Hunt Gibbons, Superintendent of Education with the Halton District School Board. “The aim is to create an awareness of the wide range of pathway planning opportunities for students in Halton high schools.”

The event keynote speaker will be entrepreneur/youth coach Sam Demma. Through his message, he will empower students to explore the many pathways opportunities HDSB has to offer and will emphasize the importance of pathway planning and incorporating a philosophy of the power of ‘small consistent actions’.

The keynote speaker will be followed by approximately 60 breakout rooms where students will interact with the HDSB teacher leads of the programs available. There will be three breakout sessions lasting 20 minutes each. The lead of each program will explain the opportunities and advantages of the special programs and allow time for student questions.

The HDSB offers more than 60 Specialist High Skills Major programs (SHSM), the concentrated Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), and other specialty programs in high schools throughout Halton.

Return to the Front page

Medical Officer of Health uses graphs to tell a sad story - we did this to ourselves.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 27the 2020



The Region of Halton held a very lengthy meeting yesterday.

One of the reports they responded to was an update from Dr. Hamidah Meghani who produced a number of charts that were on the mind boggling level.

Have a look:


Dr. Meghani set out a time line showing her audience what we have been through.


The slope of the graph in October and November was very troubling for the medical community. They found that the public was not listening to the steps they had to take – daily.

where they got it

Where were people getting the infections? Dr. Meghani told her audience that the virus was not being passed around at the school level. Students were bringing it to the schools from their homes.

work place breakout

There were a number of workplace outbreaks in Halton. One impacted people who lived in four different Public Health jurisdictions. Tracing at that level of complexity proved to be a major challenge.

cumulative deaths

There is something so very stark about this graph. Deaths were close to flat from May to October – then they sky-rocked. Those deaths were due to a society that would not exercise the personal discipline needed by everyone during a crisis.

Return to the Front page

Public school board invites three year old's to the virtual classroom world

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 26th, 2020



Is this a sign of the way education is going to be delivered in the decades ahead?

The Halton District School Board (HDSB) has put out a call to all three year olds offering them an opportunity to learn about Kindergarten through a virtual experience.

Families are invited to learn about starting Kindergarten and sign up to receive a welcome package.

Starting school is a big step for children and parents/guardians, and the Halton District School Board wants to make that transition as smooth as possible said the HDSB in a statement released yesterday.

Students at Lincoln Centennial public school. Ontario school boards are struggling to find low-cost options to school additions to accommodate full-day kindergarten. Some options may include bussing kids. Reading are Heyley Ta and Zeynep Coskan-Johnson. Feb 21 2013. Bob TYmczyszyn/St. Catharines Standard/QMI AGENCY

Is this model of early education about to disappear ?

This fall, the HDSB is welcoming future students and their families to a virtual Kindergarten experience at kindergarten.hdsb.ca to learn more about making the first school experience a happy one.

Due to current public health restrictions, traditional in-person Kindergarten Open Houses are not possible this year. Instead, the HDSB has created a virtual experience for three-year olds and their families.

At kindergarten.hdsb.ca, three-year olds can explore a Kindergarten classroom to see what their future classroom might look like next September. There are videos to watch, pictures to view and fun activities for kids. Parents/guardians can learn about the Kindergarten program at the HDSB, play-based learning, community resources in Halton and before-and-after school care. Families can also sign-up to receive a welcome package from the HDSB including a free children’s book.


Is this the classroom of the future?

Registration for Kindergarten begins in January 2021 and will be by appointment only (in-person and/or virtual) through the school your child will attend. Further information will be shared in the new year. To begin Kindergarten in September 2021, children must be four years old by Dec. 31, 2021 for Junior Kindergarten (Year 1) and must be five years old by Dec. 31, 2021 for Senior Kindergarten (Year 2).

Come September of 2021 the HDSB will have a new Director of Education as well. Stuart Miller advised the Board of Trustees recently that he would be retiring in August.

Return to the Front page

Councillor and Mayor push Ministry to hold public meeting on the Quarry license application

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

November 25th, 2020



Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan and Mayor Marianne Meed Ward moved a Motion at the Regional Council meeting today taking exception to the way the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) were dragging their feet on ensuring acceptable public engagement.

Meed Ward style

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Rory Nisan

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan

The Motion was adopted unanimously.

The outcome will be a letter to the MMNRF asking that they do their job and ensure that there is access to information about the current application in a transparent and timely manner.

The legislation requires an applicant for a licence to comply with the prescribed notification and consultation procedures.

Nelson aggregates report that they have:

conducted more than 50 hours of Public Information sessions.

The mayor and councillor have conducted two other public information sessions.

Right now for three weeks, or 120 hours, Nelson Aggregates is offering any member of the public a time to speak one-on-one with our experts to address any questions or concerns they have.

And we will post the questions and answers online to transparently encourage accessible, public discussion of the issues

That is 170 hours of public consultation and information sessions. And that is way above and beyond the four hours or so that is required.

Councillor Nisan said the one-on-one phone calls that were taking place were found to be intimidating by some people.

The Motion, which is a little on the wordy side, sets out what the ward Councillor and the Mayor want the public to understand.

There is a deadline of December 14th for public comments.

Quarry map

Quarry lands and where they want to expand.

WHEREAS the MNRF issues licences for pits and quarries in the Province of Ontario;

AND WHEREAS the Aggregate Resources Act R.S.O. 1990 is the primary legislation for the management of the aggregate resources in Ontario, the control and regulation of aggregate operations; the rehabilitation of land from which aggregate has been excavated, and the minimization of adverse impacts on the environment in respect of aggregate operations in the Province of Ontario;

AND WHEREAS the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry is responsible for the administration of the Aggregate Resources Act;

AND WHEREAS Nelson Aggregate Co. owns and operates the Burlington Quarry (ARA Licence #5499) under a Class A licence for unlimited dolostone extraction, below water, in a 202.5 hectare licenced area at 2433 No. 2 Side Road in Parts of Lots 1 and 2, Concession 2 and 3 in the City of Burlington;

AND WHEREAS there has been significant public concern over Nelson Aggregate Co.’s 2004, 2006 and 2008 applications to expand the Burlington Quarry including impacts to private water wells, the natural environment, noise and air quality, blasting, traffic, rehabilitation, cumulative effects of the existing and proposed quarry operation, and the impact on the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve;

AND WHEREAS in May 2020 Nelson Aggregate Co. applied to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for a Category 2 (below water), Class A licence, to the Niagara Escarpment Commission for a Niagara Escarpment Plan Amendment and Niagara Escarpment Plan Development Permit, to Halton Region for a Regional Official Plan Amendment, and to the City of Burlington for a Local Official Plan Amendment to expand the existing operation by 78.4 hectares with a 2,000,000 tonne extraction limit per annum to the west and south;

AND WHEREAS there is a widespread public desire to have access to information about the current application in a transparent and timely manner given the significance of potential impacts to private water wells, the natural environment, noise and air quality, blasting, traffic, rehabilitation, cumulative effects of the existing and proposed quarry operation, and the impact on the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve;

AND WHEREAS Section 11(1) of the Aggregate Resources Act provides that the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry shall require an applicant for a licence to comply with the prescribed notification and consultation procedures;

AND WHEREAS the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s prescribed standards for consultation require applicants to host a presentation to the public, in the locality of the application, outlining all details of the proposal (information session, open house, community meeting, etc.) In the past, the long-standing practice has been to hold these sessions in person;

AND WHEREAS the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry issued a bulletin in August 2020 suggesting that applicants for new aggregate licences are now permitted to post information to a public website and schedule individual appointments with members of the public in place of a public information session;

Quarry time line

License application time line

AND WHEREAS, due to COVID-19 restrictions, prescribed time periods under the Aggregate Resources Act were suspended between March 16th, 2020 and September 11th, 2020 and have resumed as of September 12th, 2020 to include the 45-day notification and consultation period for aggregate applicants to provide public notice, hold information sessions for licences and provide the public, agencies and other stakeholders an opportunity to submit written notice of objections/concerns;

AND WHEREAS Nelson Aggregate Co., through their Notice in the Burlington Post dated October 29, 2020, and associated mailings sent to agencies and nearby residents, have launched the 45-day review period under the Aggregate Resources Act for individuals to provide their objections and reasons for objecting, with a deadline for submissions of December 14, 2020;

AND WHEREAS Nelson Aggregate Co., through that Notice, indicated that a public information session will not be held due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and instead indicated that information will be posted to its website and Nelson is willing to

organize calls between members of the public and its consultants to discuss details and answer questions related to the application;

AND WHEREAS the bulletin issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in August 2020 is uncharacteristically vague and represents a departure from longstanding, observed protocol that directs proponents to host open public meetings as part of due process and does not recognize the prevalent availability of tools and resources to enable effective virtual public meetings during the pandemic;

AND WHEREAS Halton Regional Council does not believe that Nelson Aggregate Co.’s approach informing the public of its 2020 Burlington Quarry application meets long established and practised protocol as prescribed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry representing minimum standards for effectively engaging communities that are potentially impacted by applications under the Aggregate Resource Act;

AND WHEREAS precautions around COVID-19 have resulted in a number of changes to the way all levels of government operate and engage with the public, including moving Council meetings, public engagement and consultation into online formats;

AND WHEREAS Halton Regional Council and staff continue to stress the importance of public engagement even during the COVID-19 pandemic and, much like the significant majority of municipalities and public agencies across the Province, are currently using virtual formats for public information sessions and statutory public meetings required by the Planning Act;

AND WHEREAS Halton Region is home to 23 licensed aggregate sites, with two active aggregate applications and one impending aggregate application, it is important to ensure that the prescribed notification and public consultation process occurs in an open and transparent manner allowing for live and active verbal exchanges between parties;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Halton Region is committed to a well- functioning ARA review and approval process and encourages the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, in the strongest of terms, to require aggregate applicants in Halton Region to hold online public information sessions as prescribed by the Aggregate Resources Act for new and/or expansion applications, including that of Nelson Aggregate Co.’s for its applications to expand the Burlington Quarry;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Halton Region staff be directed to contact Nelson Aggregate Co. to schedule and support the delivery of a virtual public information session;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Regional Chair write a letter outlining the above to the Premier of Ontario, the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry; the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and provide a copy to Association of Municipalites of Ontario, Halton’s MPPs; for their information and to the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton and the Town of Oakville; and Conservation Halton for their endorsement.

Return to the Front page

Neighbourhood rink program revised - applications close December 2nd

sportsgold 100x100By Pepper Parr

November 25th, 2020



There was ice on the pond this morning – not thick enough to hold anyone up – but winter is here and that means skating and shinny hockey.

outdoor rink - flooding

City is providing boards and tarps this year

The city has a program to support outdoor neighbourhood ice rinks available now; Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond to open in December.

The City of Burlington is launching the annual Neighbourhood Rink Program where neighbourhoods maintain outdoor community ice rinks at their local park this winter. Applications for the Neighbourhood Rink program due by Dec. 2, 2020.

Modifications have been made to the program to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The City of Burlington will work with your group to support your neighbourhood rink by:

* Providing, installing and leveling of 15 cm high rink boards (approximate size of the rink is 11x24m)
* Providing a tarp and hoses
* Providing a training manual including tips on ice maintenance

Applicants who apply will be responsible for:

* Organizing a working group of at least six community champions to help maintain the rink
* Providing water and filling and maintaining the rink
* Arranging to have shovels available so that snow can be cleared from the rink
* Ensuring that physical distancing is maintained at three metres unless the other skater(s) are from your household, and City of Burlington signage stays intact

Neighbourhood rinks are open to all community members to skate for free. Anyone using the rinks must ensure proper physical distancing, follow the limit on gatherings to ensure three-meter distancing from those not within your household, keep the number of skaters to 25 or less and avoid overcrowding the rink.

For more information, visit 



Return to the Front page

There is a Magic Trail that winds its way through the city - Santa is said to be travelling that trail early in December

News 100 redBy Staff

November 25th, 2020



To bring happiness and joy to the neighbourhoods of Burlington this holiday season, the City of Burlington is launching Santa’s Holiday Magic Trail (SHMT) and asking you to join virtually for Story Time with Santa.

Santa’s Holiday Magic Trail
Santa’s Holiday Magic Trail is an innovative alternative to the traditional Santa Claus Parade. Due to COVID-19, the traditional Santa Claus Parade will not happen this year as the City continues to follow public health direction and the need to maintain physical distancing and avoid crowding.

Ho Ho man himself Santa

No reindeer this year – an antique fire truck and with the Ho, Ho, Ho man ringing a bell

Santa’s Holiday Magic Trail will feature Santa Claus riding on an antique fire truck with a police escort through different Burlington neighbourhoods each weekend in December. To keep residents safe, the truck will not make stops and residents are asked to view Santa from within their own household or if outdoors, follow public health direction and maintain two metres physical distancing from anyone not from your household.

Each day, Santa will be moving throughout the neighbourhoods from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.

Dec. 5: Rural Burlington, Tyandaga, Brant Hills and Mountainside

Dec. 6: Headon Forest, Palmer, Tansley and Millcroft

Dec. 12: Alton Village, the Orchard, Corporate, Pinedale and Elizabeth Gardens

Dec. 13: Longmoor, Shoreacres, Roseland and Dynes

Dec. 19: Aldershot, Central and Plains

Dec. 20: Make-up inclement weather date, if needed

For resident safety, the exact route of the SHMT cannot be posted in order to avoid potential gatherings along sidewalks awaiting his arrival. Santa will safely move through neighbourhoods and residents are asked to avoid gathering. The fire truck and police escort will sound their sirens occasionally.

Anyone who sees Santa can use the hashtag #SpotSantaBurlON to notify neighbours of his location and spread the magic.
Santa will not be stopping to accept letters, milk or cookies or posing for photos. Please use caution and stay safe when near the road.

Information is also posted on burlington.ca/parade.

Story Time with Santa
Beginning Dec. 19, at 6 p.m., Santa will bring greetings to Burlington residents and read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” as well as tell stories of the north pole, his reindeer and the nice list. The video will be posted on burlington.ca/parade and will be available for viewing anytime until Dec. 31.

Our Mayor sees a “silver lining” in the pandemic we are under.   “The silver lining throughout this year has been finding new and creative ways to do things and celebrate holidays from how we’ve traditionally done it before. I want to thank our Recreation Services staff for coming up with Holiday Magic Trail and Storytime with Santa, and putting it together to help our community usher in the Christmas spirit to our Burlington.”

www.burlington.ca/parade is the link you want to catch all this fun.

Return to the Front page

Burlington Mayor Asks Residents to Stay in their Regions During Lockdown, Support Local Businesses Through Online Shopping & Curbside Pickup

News 100 redBy Staff

November 25th, 2020



Mayor Marianne Meed Ward is asking the people of Burlington to stay within the Region of Halton during the lockdown period that applies to people in Peel and Toronto.

There may well be people in Peel and Toronto who will want to come to Halton municipalities to shop.

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

I have received many recent requests from residents to take action on people travelling from lockdown areas into Burlington to patronize our shops and services.

In these challenging times, I stand with other mayors across Ontario, including in the Region of Halton, Mayor Rick Bonnette of Halton Hills, in asking residents to stay in their own communities for the time being.

In October 2020, Burlington MPP Jane McKenna and I issued a statement asking residents to stay in their communities and that message is still relevant today.

Your local businesses need you now, more than ever. Consider shopping online, curbside pickup and purchasing gift cards to give those businesses hope and support heading into the new year.

The City of Burlington has no jurisdiction to prevent travel between regions. We do recognize that some people will need to travel for essential reasons, such as work, school, or medical or other appointments. We are asking everyone to limit non-essential trips outside your local region.

We do know some businesses have already taken voluntary steps to reduce visits between regions. Some gyms, for example, have suspended membership travel privileges; some restaurants have asked for identification and will only seat members of the same household together.

We thank them for these voluntary, preventative measures that are aimed not only at doing their part to limit the spread of COVID-19 across regions, but also to protect their own staff and other customers.

We encourage people to check with your intended destination by phone or through their website before visiting so that you are well-informed of their health precautions and protocols ahead of time.

We know many of our residents who work in front-line retail or other services, often at minimum wage, are concerned about their own health and safety with an influx of potential customers from lockdown areas with much higher rates of COVID-19 infection and spread. We understand these concerns and ask everyone to consider these workers and their families before travelling to regions outside their own.

We continue to ask our Burlington residents to limit your own trips to essential outings only and to limit contact with anyone you don’t live with. To individuals in our city living alone, we echo the Province’s message of choosing one household to be in contact with.

We need to slow the spread of COVID-19 and can do this together by staying home and staying local.


Return to the Front page

Region talks about burying the towers while Hydro does expensive maintenance work.

hydro work - insulator repair

Insulators being replaced on hydro towers.

News 100 greenBy Staff

November 25th, 2020



An observant Gazette reader recalled story we did on the idea that was floated at a Regional council meeting about the hydro towers along the Beachway might be buried.

While out for a walk our reader took the photograph that is shown and added the comment that: ”Can’t see these coming down anytime soon…as new glass insulators are currently being installed.”

She just might be right.

Related news story:

Will those Hydro towers ever disappear

Return to the Front page

Second Virtual Regional Official Plan Review to take place this evening.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

November 25th, 2020



The process that is going to result in the removal of a designation that skewered the kind of development attracted to the downtown core and that will result in a change in the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre continues this evening as a virtual public meeting.

A meeting with the same material took place on the 19th during the day.  The event this evening is at 7:00 pm – runs for two hours and is well worth your while if you want to understand how changes get made in the city and the Region.

Aerial COB - frm Region

Where is the growth going to take place?

The Burlington MTSA and Urban Growth Centre (UGC) issues are the focus of the meeting which are part of the  Regional Official Plan Review.

Whatever decision gets made on the MTSA and UGC from a Burlington perspective will be included in the next version of the Official Plan that is released.

Several questions put forward by the Regional planners drive these virtual meetings:

Did we hear you?

Is this what you are saying?

This listening exercise is an ongoing process.

Questions from the public are a large part of the meeting.  During the first session the questions were detailed and the answers given were robust.

Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Time: 7 p.m.
Call 1-855-703-8985 (Toll Free) or 647-374-4685 or 647-558-0588 or join via Zoom Meeting ID: 980 8592 6459 | Passcode: 930488

Related news story:

First virtual meeting on the Regional Official Plan review – an event of critical importance to Burlington

Return to the Front page

The impact Covid19 has had on the Joseph Hospital

News 100 yellowBy Staff

November 24th, 2020



COVID has changed everything.

Brant Join the JoyIf you think the changes it has made in your life – think for a moment about the changes it has made in the medical community.
The Joseph Brant Hospital talks about the impact the virus has had on their operations:

COVID-19 has changed our lives in immeasurable ways. From physical distancing to face coverings and social bubbles to self-isolation it has been a year unlike any other.

And despite it all, our collective appreciation for your support of Joseph Brant Hospital has been consistent through it all.

Brant impact report

We are pleased to share the impact your support has had in our COVID-19 Impact Report.


Return to the Front page

Karen Roche named Fire Chief for City of Burlington

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 24th, 2020



Karen Roche has been named the Fire Chief for Burlington.

Chief Roche brings more than 24 years of progressive Fire service experience working in many facets of the emergency services.

Karen Roche

Karen Roche has been named the Fire Chief for Burlington

Most recently as Acting Fire Chief and prior to that Deputy Fire chief with the City of Burlington.

Chief Roche was the first woman to be named a Deputy Fire Chief – that was in December of 2o14.

This has afforded Karen a thorough understanding of the challenges of managing modern fire services during times of economic, demographic and community risk-based issues, including her role in the Emergency Control Group (ECG) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Burlington is committed to promoting access, equality, diversity and human rights through innovative policy, programs and services. Chief Roche is committed to contribute in a meaningful way to this through her appointments to the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); International Diversity Executive Leadership Program (iDELP) and more recently the joint Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) / International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) appointment to the International Bullying Taskforce.

Return to the Front page

Very credible citizen points to some sloppy prevention practices at Jo Brant.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 24th, 2020



We received a comment recently from a reader that is very disturbing.

We have chosen not to identify the woman but can verify that she is very credible.

Here is what she had to say:

“I had an appointment last week at a nearby medical center. When I arrived, I was told to call the number posted on the door and wait in my car until someone came to find me.

“Once I was escorted inside, my mask was checked, my temperature was taken and I was led to the doctor’s office.  In contrast today, I went to Joseph Brant for a scheduled procedure.

“Entering through the north doors, I found people wandering in and out randomly. The question check was quick, no instructions were given as far as hand sanitizer and I was left to wander the hallways to find the location of the unit I was to visit.

“In my opinion, the hospital must do a better job of screening those who are required to visit this facility in these difficult times.”

The Joseph Brant Hospital has a regrettable history of sloppy prevention practices.  We thought the lesson had been learned.  Time for the hospital Board members to ask some hard and direct questions, and for the Medical Officer of health to visit and underline what this pandemic requires of the medical community.

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.

Return to the Front page