Criminal code charges laid against Sean Baird may impact a lot of vested interests in the city.

Crime 100By Pepper Parr

December 18th, 2019



The announcement that the police had a warrant to arrest Sean Baird may have had a number of people putting in calls to their lawyers.

Baird created a number of Ontario Corporations that were registered as Third Party advertisers during the 2018 municipal election that made Marianne Meed Ward the Mayor.

The Gazette was unable to elicit any comment from Sean Baird during that election – he basically said he had nothing to say.

Baird photo

Posters, reminding people to consider anonymously reporting criminal activity are being posted in Burlington bars and restaurants in a joint initiative between Crime Stoppers of Halton and the Burlington Restaurant Association. Taking part in the program’s launch are: front row from left, Const. Lad Butkovic, Karla Madge, Det. Const. Paul Proteau, Barry Glazier, Crime Stoppers of Halton Executive Director Dianne Hartwick and Mike Marcolin; back row from left, Ted Kindos, Sean Baird, Brian Dean, Burlington Restaurant Association President Craig Kowalchuk, Gene Quondamatteo, Mike Coles and Andrea Dodd. Baird is circled in red.

The election, one of the messiest Burlington has seen in some time, pitted a lot of vested interests against a public that wanted to retain the look and feel of the city, especially the downtown core where high rise condominium development applications were flooding the city’s Planning Department.

Police react to complaints – in Ontario they don’t go looking for infractions that might have taken place during an election.

Someone has to put information before them – then they take action.

Other than a concerned citizen – there were just three people who would have taken a complaint to the police.

We do know that the Halton Regional Police Service received a complaint and that they turned to the Ontario Provincial Police for help.

The charges that were laid came out of an investigation by the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch, with the assistance of investigators from Halton Regional Police. The Regional Police would not have a lot of experience or depth with this type of criminal offence.

The Provincial Police were asked to, in the language the police use, take carriage of the complaint.

The charges laid include:

Uttering a Forged Document – Contrary to section 368(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada

Fraud over $5000 – Contrary to section 380(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada

Corrupt Practice (four counts) – Contrary to the Municipal Elections Act.

The question on the minds of many is: Who took the complaint to the police and what were the police given in the way of information or evidence?

The Gazette published the names of the Third Party advertisers – they were all numbered companies, registered by Sean Baird. It was the Gazette that brought that information to the public.

Baird wasn’t running for public office –is it  reasonable to assume that he was acting on behalf of someone ?  Who?

When the police eventually locate and arrest Baird (at last report the police were still looking for him), he will be interrogated and then arraigned in Court at which point everything is public.

It will be interesting to learn who will defend Baird.

Related news stories:

The numbered companies

Arrest warrant issued for Sean Baird

Hanky panky during the 2018  election campaign.

The Baird numbered companies.

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The community is seriously divided on the private tree bylaw - so is council but the

News 100 greenBy Staff

December 18th, 2019



It has been a contentious issue for close to a decade.

It was impossible to find a consensus – positions were deeply divided. The environmentalists had a view point and they believe they are right; the property rights people know the environmentalists are wrong and have all kinds of documentation to show the law is on their side.

Positions taken by King George III were brought up by the property rights people who argue that the municipality don’t have the right to tell the owner of a tree what they can and cannot do with or to that tree.

City Council did get to vote on the bylaw that has several sections of which have been deferred to a January Council meeting.

The bylaw will not come into force until April 1st, 2020.

The fear amongst many in the city is that those who have trees on their property may choose to cut them down before the bylaw is in force.

Anthony Fac

Albert Facenda, a frequent council delegator.

Albert Facenda, a frequent council delegator said in a Gazette comment: “Arborist’s, Start your Chainsaws and Chippers!!  Between now and April 2020 tree service companies will be going crazy to get ahead of the deadline.”

Before the vote took place Councillor Paul Sharman tabled 12 amendments to the bylaw. Some were deferred but there was nothing of substance that was approved as an amendment.

Sharman hand up

Councillor Sharman: “”This Council couldn’t wait for Roseland pilot project to complete.”

In his closing comments Sharman said:

“This Council couldn’t wait for Roseland pilot project to complete.

“This Council couldn’t wait for the forestry management plan.

“This Council doesn’t even know the capacity of the built area was even designed to hold a bigger UTC than 15%, this whole thing may be a wild goose chase.

“As Arborist, Thomas Wright, says, this Council does not even know whether the City has a significant loss of tree canopy happening.

“So, it is proposed that the City of Burlington impose heavy fees, possibly significant fines and replanting costs on potentially 10’s of thousands of home owners in the next 10 years all with the single ideological goal of stopping them from cutting trees down that will die in any event.

“This bylaw may trigger a number of unintended consequences, including:

1) Providing home owners, the incentive of selling their land to assemblers who will convert single family home neighbourhoods into blocks of townhomes, especially south of the QEW. All because this Council has made it prohibitively expensive to improve their homes.

2) Disincentivizing home owners from ever planting trees on their own property because when they grow to be over 20cm’s they represent a significant financial risk in the event they wish to reorganize their property.

“People will not be allowed to manage their own property without paying huge, punitive fees to the City all to protect someone’s good idea.

Sharman picking

There were times during the private tree bylaw debate when Councillor Sharman was distracted.

“The reason the Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) in the urban area is only 15% is precisely because it was developed with homes. But no one in City Hall has checked that out.

“This whole rushed and ill-conceived bylaw is premised on the desire to sustain and increase the UTC significantly, but no one in the city has bothered to check how feasible that lofty goal is. All that is being done here is a huge penalty on anyone who wishes to improve their property. The property they have worked hard to own. The city is going extort huge sums of money to satisfy an idealistic fantasy.

“I cannot support this decision Council is about to make in the complete absence of evidence. I repeat myself again, this bylaw is rushed and ill-conceived.

Shawana Stolte 1

Councillor Stolte: “As a community …we are playing “catch up” to other more progressive municipalities.

Councillor Shawna Stolte responded saying: “I by no means see this Bylaw as being “rushed and ill-conceived” as presented by my colleague on Council.

“Staff have worked very hard on this policy framework and members of the Forestry Department have worked towards this goal for nearly a decade.

“As a community we are not leading the way…we are playing “catch up” to other more progressive municipalities that enacted tree protection bylaws years ago. If these policies had not been effective, those communities would have repealed them long ago.

“One silver lining of the City of Burlington taking so long to enact our own tree protection bylaw is that we have benefited not only from the research conducted by other municipalities but also from the benefit of their lived experiences. This does not mean however that we should merely replicate another municipality’s solutions.

“We are unique, we are special and we have worked hard to collaborate and come up with an initial framework that fits our unique community.

“There remains some details to finalize, especially with the financial impact to the residents, but the purpose and objective of the bylaw is clear and I am proud to support this proactive, positive step forward for our community.”


Angelo - not getting it -deferal

Having seconded the 12 amendments to the Private Tree Bylaw Councillor Bentivegna had questions about many of them.

The 12 amendments Councillor Sharman put forward (they were seconded by Councillor Angelo Bentivegna who at times wasn’t certain where Sharman was going).
Council Meeting December 16, 2019
1. Direct staff to prepare a Forestry Management Plan equally as comprehensive as the Oakville Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan Town of Oakville, 2008 – 2027 by Q1 2021
2. Direct staff to update the Burlington Private Tree By-Law relative to the Burlington Forestry Management Plan when complete by Q2 2021
3. Direct staff to a) compare the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to Oakville’s 2017 By-Law and explain differences, and whether to modify Burlington’s b) update the Burlington Private Tree By-Law for review at March Committee Meetings
4. Amend the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to forego replanting or cash in lieu and planting of 1st 20 cm of any tree cut down under the tree by-law application process.
5. Amend the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to revise the aggregate planting policy and replace it with the Modified Oakville replanting requirement Attachment 1 and include adjustment for tree condition.
6. Amend Burlington Private Tree By-Law to increase 2mtrs set back from house allowance (whereby no application fees or replacement is required) to equal drip distance line or 4mtrs, whichever is less
7. Amend the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to include the following clause from the Oakville 2017 By-Law “5. The provisions of this By-law do not apply to the removal of trees: (g) to permit the construction of a building or structure, where the removal, injury or destruction is required under a building permit.”
8. Amend the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to require replacement tree diameter of 30mm instead of 50mm and adjust the associated cash in lieu accordingly
9. Amend Burlington Private Tree By-Law to exclude invasive species e.g. Norway Maple from application and tree replacement
10. Direct staff to develop firm policies for the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to define forestry assessment standards in order to allow citizens to clearly understand the basis of all City arborist’s assessments, decisions and ruling to ensure transparency and accountability for the February 2020 meeting cycle
11. Amend the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to exclude rural farm property other than up to 4 acres that are used for residential purposes. Exclude all wood lots that are subject to existing municipal by laws.
12. Direct staff to return of cash in-lieu funds to applicants if not used to plant trees on private property within 3 years proportional to contribution and actual plantings accomplished


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Is the staff compliment climbing just a little too quickly?

Budget 2020 redBy Pepper Parr

December 17th, 2019



Is anyone doing a staff compliment count?

How many people have been added to the number of people who are, or will be, on the city payroll ?

There will be eight more bus drivers by the end of next year; three are to be added to the Forestry department – that number could go to five.

The Municipal Accommodation Tax will put dollars into the Tourism budget – that money will have to be spent. The Customer Service unit is being created, which means finding a new city Clerk. Will it also mean additional staff for the Customer Service Unit that the current city Clerk is going to head up?

The Museum is going to need more staff if they are to function effectively.

Burlington has been in this situation before. Sharman, Bentivegna and Galbraith understand what a balance sheet looks like – that’s just three votes. Four are needed to put a stop to anything.

A little too early to be certain but this might turn into a tax and spend council.

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Long long debates - strong differences of opinion - but council voted to create a Private Tree Bylaw on a 5-2 vote.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 17th, 2019



They did it.

City Council passed a private tree bylaw during debates that got close to rancorous.

A number of items that are to be in the bylaw that will become effective April 1st, 2020 were deferred to a meeting in January.

There were 12 amendments put forward by Councillor Sharman – Bentivegna seconded the amendments.

The vote was 5-2 for with Councillors Sharman and Bentivegna opposed.

Trees Pine street

The tree was cut down to make way for a development – nothing has replaced it.

Tree Guelph line close up -no name

A Private Tree bylaw would have saved this tree or put some serious cash in city coffers if it had been cut down. There was no bylaw in place at the time this tree came down.

There is a lot that has to be adjusted before this bylaw will actually work.

Mayor Meed Ward was challenged twice on rulings she made as Chair of the Council meeting.

There were a number of delegations, two that brought solid information to the discussion.

The decision is historic for the city – will it bring about the results that this council wants?  Only time will tell.

The fear amongst some is that residents will begin cutting down trees to ensure that they don’t find themselves needing permits to cut down trees – permits that could cost tens of thousands.

This is a controversial bylaw – it is going to take some very deft management on the part of the Forestry department to convince people that there is a better solution than cutting down a perfectly good tree just because, as one resident put it, “it had become a nuisance”.

This by-law has the potential to come back and bite the city, this council and the Mayor.


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Nothing festive about city hall - about as welcoming as a county jail.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 17th, 2019



The talk is about making city hall a more service oriented place.

Making it a place where the tax payers can go to and get their problems resolved satisfactorily.

A pleasant place, filled with happy people.

Given that this is a festive season – perhaps the ground level would be decorated and Christmas Carols would be heard from speakers.

The large tree in Civic Square would be decorated with bright lights and those Christmas Carols could be heard and appreciated by everyone passing by.

In Burlington it is almost as if Scrooge and the Grinch who stole Christmas joined forces to make the atrium at city hall bereft of anything that suggests Christmas.

city hall lobby

The poinsettia on the counter is one of the signs that it is Christmas. There is a spindly little tree to the right of the security desk.

There is one spindly little tree to the left of a counter that has the word “Security” emblazoned across the front.

During one of the long Standing Committee meetings during the week City Manager Tim Commisso did say that it was going to take some time for staff to get the work done that is needed to create a more welcoming, service based mood.

Seeing will be believing. The place looks as if the city has fallen upon hard times.

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Council was half an hour short of approving a budget Monday night.

Budget 2020 redBy Pepper Parr

December 16th, 2019



Mayor with Civic bling

Mayor Meed Ward, sporting her civic “bling” ran a tight council meeting – was challenged twice on decisions she made and missed completing the budget – ran out of time.

They started at 6:30 – went without a break and listened to 11 delegations – then they jumped into the 2020 budget with the hope that they could nail that but they ran out of time.

This city council has a hard adjourn at 10:30

No one is all that clear as to just where the budget increase is – it was at 3.99 then looked like it could drop to 3.5.

There was $800,000 for the eight bus drivers that will be needed for the four new buses that are due in September.

Burlington Transit getting new buses - to deliver less service.

The practice with the previous council was to have staff line up at the transit offices on Harvester Road and applaud as a new bus broke through a red ribbon.

Several council members felt that there was no need to budget for a full year’s expense when the buses weren’t going to be delivered until the fall. They decided that they would budget just $400,000.

There were other savings, small ones, and there were a number of items that Councillor Sharman had hoped would benefit his constituents. He couldn’t get the support of his colleagues on either of them.

The Clerk’s office is now going to look at the individual council members’ calendar and find the half hour to an hour that is going to be needed to get this budget passed so everyone can get away for some earned and deserved holidays.

A detailed report will follow once we know when they are going to meet.

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Party Clean Up - At the very least, you should clear up the dishes and glasses and put them in the dishwasher.

News 100 blueBy Jeremy Biberdorf

December 17th, 2019



Hosting a party is fun and exciting. Whether it’s Christmas, New Year or a special birthday celebration, you get to hang out with all of your favorite people.

party cleaning

At the very least, you should clear up the dishes and glasses and put them in the dishwasher.

However, cleaning up afterwards is not nearly as enjoyable. Ideally, you should clear up as much as you can as soon as the party ends. At the very least, you should clear up the dishes and glasses and put them in the dishwasher. You should also check for any spillages that may be a lot harder to deal with the next day. Here are some other tips to make after party cleaning slightly less of a headache.

Make sure that you have the utensils you need:
Before you start the cleaning process, you should make sure that you have all the utensils and cleaning products that you need. This means that you do not need to run to the store and stock up half way through the process. Items that you may need include:

Dishwasher tablets.
● Clean and dry cloths.
● Antibacterial spray.
● Kitchen cleaning spray.
● Floor cleaner.
● Polish.

Check what needs to be done and make a list of the items that you need. This helps to make sure that you have all the necessary items.

Let some air in:
Even if no-one was smoking at the party, there is still likely to be a stale smell in the air. You may also be able to smell unpleasant scents such as body odour and stale alcohol.

This is why it’s so important to let some fresh air in. Open doors and windows and use air freshener spray if necessary.

Collect dishes and bottles first
It makes sense to collect dishes, glasses and bottles first. As mentioned earlier, this should ideally be done as soon as the party ends.

party cleaning 1

Pour unfinished drinks down the sink and clean any bottles that can be recycled

Pour away unfinished drinks and clean any bottles that can be recycled. Dishes and glasses should be emptied and placed in the dishwasher. Remember to check all rooms for dishes and glasses. You would be surprised where people leave things at parties.

Be methodical
Once rooms are emptied of obstructions like dishes, you can clean them. Clean rooms one at a time. You should also plan your cleaning so that you do not trail through rooms that you have already cleaned.

Clean the floors last
Do not clean floors until you have finished all of the other cleaning. This stops you from getting dust and debris on clean floors. Once you start cleaning the floors, vacuum first and then clean wooden floors and wash carpets if necessary.

Get rid of stains as soon as possible
You should try to identify potential stains as soon as the party is over. Doing this makes them easier to deal with. Some stains, such as red wine, present a particular problem. If you encounter a red wine stain, it’s a good idea to use soda water to try and remove it. Add soda water, then blot the stain. You may need to repeat this process several times.

Take care of repairs
Hopefully, everything in your home will be intact after your party. However, accidents do happen. This is why it’s so important to carry out a thorough check for damage, such as cracked ornaments and broken chairs. Repairs should be completed as soon as possible, to prevent them from worsening. Depending on what the damage is you may be able to use one product for all cases of damage.

It’s important to make sure that hosting a party is a fun experience that you remember for the right reasons. Paying attention to these cleaning tips can help make this happen, by removing some of the stress.

Jeremy Biberdorf is a guy with answers to almost any question you have on maintaining a household – be it a 500 sq ft closet in New York or a 2500 sq ft home in the suburbs.  Ask him a house maintenance problem and he will have an answer.

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Holiday happenings city side: pools, parking, ice, transit - the whole nine yards.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 17th, 2019



A number of City administrative services will be closed for the holidays on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, reopening Thursday, January 2, 2020.

city hall with flag poles

City Hall closed Tuesday, December 24, 2019, reopening Thursday, January 2, 2020.

City Hall will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019, reopening on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.

Parks and Recreation Programs and Facilities

Activities and customer service hours at City pools, arenas and community centres vary over the holidays.

The Rotary Centennial Pond outdoor rink is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, weather dependent. The rink is closed on Dec. 25, 2019.

Residents can skate for free at various City indoor rinks thanks to Tim Hortons Free Holiday Skates, December 21, 2019 until January 4, 2020.

There are activities on New Year’s Day, including free swimming, skating and open gym time on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

Burlington Transit

On Dec. 25, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020, Burlington Transit will operate a holiday schedule. The downtown Transit Terminal and Specialized Dispatch will be closed on Dec. 25 and 26, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020

The administration offices are closed Tuesday, Dec. 24 and will reopen Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.

For real-time schedule information, please visit or use Google or Apple maps.

One of the new buses added o the Burlington Transit fleet. There were busses that had more than 15 years on their tires - those old ones certainly rattled down Guelph Line when I was on one of them.

There will be limited bus service on Christmas Day – it wasn’t always this way in Burlington. Date Service schedule/hours


Dec. 24 Weekday schedule ending at approximately 8 p.m.
Dec. 25 Holiday schedule – Route 1 and 10 on 30 minute frequency
Dec. 26 Sunday schedule
Dec. 27 to 30 Regular schedules
Dec. 31 Weekday schedule with the last Route 50, 51 and 52 buses leaving the Burlington GO station at 12:55 a.m.
Jan. 1 Holiday schedule – Route 1 and 10 on 30 minute frequency

Animal Shelter and Control
The Animal Shelter will be closed from Dec. 24 to 26 and 30, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020. On Dec. 31, the shelter will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

For more information or to report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit

Roads, Parks and Forestry
The administrative office will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019, reopening on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. Only snow removal and urgent services will be provided.

Court House - new

Court House is closed 24, 25 and 26, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020.

24, 25 and 26, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020.

Halton Court Services
Halton Provincial Offences Court will be closed Dec. 24, 25 and 26, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020.

Free parking is available in the downtown core in municipal lots, on-street and the parking garage during the month of December and on Jan. 1, 2020. There is a maximum of three hours for on-street parking spaces.

FreeP December FNL ParkingNOTE: The Waterfront parking lots (east and west) do not provide free parking during December or on statutory holidays.

For parking emergencies or enforcement over the holidays, please call 905-825-4777.

Do you have family and friends visiting for the holidays? A reminder that there is no parking on city streets overnight between 1 and 6 a.m.

Exemptions to allow overnight parking on city streets may be obtained by calling 905-335-7844 or visiting

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Skating at the Rotary Centennial Pond is on hold until the water-main break is repaired.

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 16th, 2019



Ice pond - RotaryJust when it was getting to be really ice skating outdoors weather – a water-main break at Rotary Centennial Pond and Spencer’s at the Waterfront puts a kybosh on that idea.

The break occurred Sunday evening. The Rotary Pond will remain closed as crews identify the extent of the damages and work on the repairs. All recreation skating is cancelled until further notice.

Hopefully it will be repaired by the end of the week – schools are out then.


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Provincial Police issue arrest warrant for Sean Baird; charged with serious Criminal Code offenses.

Crime 100By Staff

December 16th, 20119



Meed ward election night 1

Marianne Meed Ward celebrating her election win in October 2018

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward announced this morning that she was pleased to learn that the Ontario Provincial Police issued warrants for the arrest of Sean Baird, a Burlington restaurant operator.

Baird was charged with

· Uttering a Forged Document – Contrary to section 368(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada

· Fraud over $5000 – Contrary to section 380(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada

· Corrupt Practice (four counts) – Contrary to the Municipal Elections Act.

Baird was a third party advertiser during the 2018 municipal election. During that election the Gazette identified Baird as the person behind several numbered corporations that were registered as a Third Party Advertiser.

At that time the Gazette was unable to identify which candidate Baird was working on behalf of.


Mike Wallace was a candidate for Mayor in the 2018 municipal election

Goldring campaign picture

Rick Goldring was a candidate for Mayor in the 2018 municipal election.

Marianne Meed Ward was running against Rick Goldring, Mike Wallace and Greg Woodruff.  Meed Ward won by a respectable margin.

There was some pretty dirty politics in 2018. Meed Ward wasn’t prepared to let it go and appears to have taken the matter to the Halton Regional Police who turned to the Ontario Provincial Police who investigated and eventually laid charges.

In her statement the Mayor said she “welcomes the news that criminal charges have been laid against and an arrest warrant issued, for Sean Baird, a third-party advertiser that targeted my mayoral campaign in the 2018 municipal election.”

The Provincial Police, in their media release said: “In December 2018, the OPP received a request for assistance from the Halton Regional Police Service. The request was made in relation to allegations of improprieties during the 2018 Mayoral Election in the City of Burlington.

As a result of the investigation, the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch, with the assistance of investigators from Halton Regional Police, have charged Sean BAIRD, 47, who was not involved in the Meed Ward campaign.

The Provincial Police add: “Any person with information regarding the whereabouts of this person is requested to contact the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), where you may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2000.

Sean Baird appears to be a fugitive from justice.

There are going to be a number of nervous 2018 mayoralty candidates – Baird was working for someone.

Related news stories:

Six numbered corporations registered as Third Party Advertisers.

Baird owns several numbered corporations.

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Walking the talk - crafting a budget that focuses on climate change issues hasn't put members of council in electric cars.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 16th, 2019


We were advised by the Office of the Mayor this afternoon that “The vehicle the Mayor uses is an electric plug-in.  Our apologies for any embarrassment we might have caused her Worship.

The climate has dominated the 2020 budget deliberations. Trying to get electric buses as soon as possible, pushing a private tree by law onto the books, setting aside funds to work on the Climate Action Plan, buying level two charging stations that would be set up at community centres.

Electric car fill up

If you get to the Locust Street parking garage early enough you can park your electric car and charge it at the same time. But get there early – they get taken up quickly.

Getting people out of their cars and onto buses by making it free for those under twelve, putting together a deal with the school boards that will have high school students riding a bus to school. During the summer there was a program that had seniors using transit free during the off peak hours.

Progress – Mayor Meed Ward would like to make transit free for everyone and if the buses they ride were all electric she would be ecstatic.

But there is a fly in this ointment; none one of the city councilors drives an electric vehicle.

BMW hydro EV charging device

Burlington Hydro leased an electric BMW and made it available to members of the 2014-18 city council and covered the cost of a charging station outside city hall to introduce the elected to electric vehicles. Nothing happened.

One reported that he drives his boys to school in his pickup truck and admitted that he found himself following the school bus in his pick-up truck explaining that the school bus didn’t come close enough to his home to make it convenient.

That is not exactly walking the talk.

The Mayor is provided a car as part of her benefit package – to the best of our knowledge it is not an electric car. (See correction at the top of this story) To her credit to the Mayor walks to city hall when she doesn’t have to travel – which isn’t very often.

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Sheila Jones named new Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 16th, 2019



Sheila Jones is the successful candidate for the position of Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability. Prior to her new role, Sheila was the City’s Auditor, a position she has held since she began with the City in 2009.

Sheila Jones

Sheila Jones; now the Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability.

From 2013 to 2016, Sheila led the Business Performance Advisory Unit which introduced Service portfolios and business plans to the organization. The introduction of both Service portfolios and the Business Case approach to justifying a new expenditure was new to the city; it took a bit of time for the line people to adjust to the change.

The creation of the new approach set the city up for the much more effective system that is in place.

In 2015 interview Jones explained where Council felt they fit into the Business Plans and Cases, Performance Tracking and Monitoring, Performance Reporting and Continuous Improvements process.

Were they OK with maintaining a strategic view of services by making decisions regarding commissioning and/or decommissioning of services; increasing and/or decreasing service levels and their appetite and/or tolerance for risk and a review of service portfolio?

Examples of de-commissioning a service were seen in the 2014 budget. Do you want leaf collection in the fall as frequently; how often do you want sidewalks plowed ?  The leaf collection has been an issue since then,

Jones asked Council rhetorically in 2015: Do you accept Council’s role and responsibilities? 100% they said BUT, …there was still some work to be done to show the link from strategic goals to performance management.

The report that was being discussed set out Senior Management, Service Owner and Staff Role and Responsibilities. Each was to maintain an operational and tactical view of services by:

making decisions regarding how services are delivered within the limits of Council approved service levels and budgets; determining, tracking/monitoring and reporting on performance and identifying risks; determining and implementing opportunities for continuous improvement; reviewing services and maintaining the service portfolio based on the decisions of Council.

It was this level of detailed work that made Sheila a natural for the job.

The work Sheila Jones back in 2015 is a primer for the five new members of the current Council

Shelia Jones does not suffer fools very well. She tends to be a little on the media adverse side but she understands and works well within both accountability and transparency standards

Prior to working at the City, Sheila worked with RBC Financial Group. She holds an MBA from Queen’s University, is a Certified Government Auditing Professional, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Internal Auditor and has Certifications in Control Self-Assessment and Risk Management Assurance.

Sheila’s position will have corporate responsibilities for strategy execution, business performance, service reviews, continuous improvement, change and risk management. Sheila will champion the organization’s strategic plan and corporate strategies and related risk mitigation initiatives.

Corporate structure Nov 2109

The new role will be effective on Monday. There were more than 90 applications from both the public and private sectors for the position.
The position of Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability is a new position to the City as part of a new organizational design implemented in September which put more emphasis on strategic management, risk assessment and public accountability.

Filling the Executive Director position will complete a key role and team in the City Manager’s Office. Reporting directly to Sheila will be the positions of Business Performance Manager and Manager of Strategic Initiatives & Corporate Projects. Chief among Sheila’s responsibilities will be to lead this team in monitoring, guiding and reporting back, on a regular basis, on the City’s Vision to Focus work plan. From Vision to Focus is the City’s work plan that prioritizes key strategic directions from Burlington’s long-term 25-year Strategic Plan and details key goals and strategic actions required to move these priorities forward during this term of Council.

City Manager Tim Commisso said Sheila brings a wealth of knowledge in the areas of risk management and accountability. Having Sheila dedicated to working closely with the Burlington Leadership Team and leading our strategic planning and risk management functions, including oversight of the implementation of Council’s Vision to Focus work plan will ensure the goals within the plan are met.”

Sheila Jones is now in a position to get Council to think “strategically” about those leaves.

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Gould gets her marching orders: The 2019 mandate letter.






December 13th, 2019

Dear Ms. Gould:

Thank you for agreeing to serve Canadians as Minister of International Development.

On Election Day, Canadians chose to continue moving forward. From coast to coast to coast, people chose to invest in their families and communities, create good middle class jobs and fight climate change while keeping our economy strong and growing. Canadians sent the message that they want us to work together to make progress on the issues that matter most, from making their lives more affordable and strengthening the healthcare system, to protecting the environment, keeping our communities safe and moving forward on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. People expect Parliamentarians to work together to deliver these results, and that’s exactly what this team will do.

It is more important than ever for Canadians to unite and build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient country. The Government of Canada is the central institution to promote that unity of purpose and, as a Minister in that Government, you have a personal duty and responsibility to fulfill that objective.

That starts with a commitment to govern in a positive, open and collaborative way. Our platform, Forward: A Real Plan for the Middle Class, is the starting point for our Government. I expect us to work with Parliament to deliver on our commitments. Other issues and ideas will arise or will come from Canadians, Parliament, stakeholders and the public service. It is my expectation that you will engage constructively and thoughtfully and add priorities to the Government’s agenda when appropriate. Where legislation is required, you will need to work with the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and the Cabinet Committee on Operations to prioritize within the minority Parliament.

We will continue to deliver real results and effective government to Canadians. This includes: tracking and publicly reporting on the progress of our commitments; assessing the effectiveness of our work; aligning our resources with priorities; and adapting to events as they unfold, in order to get the results Canadians rightly demand of us.

Many of our most important commitments require partnership with provincial, territorial and municipal governments and Indigenous partners, communities and governments. Even where disagreements may occur, we will remember that our mandate comes from citizens who are served by all orders of government and it is in everyone’s interest that we work together to find common ground. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is the Government-wide lead on all relations with the provinces and territories.

There remains no more important relationship to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. We made significant progress in our last mandate on supporting self-determination, improving service delivery and advancing reconciliation. I am directing every single Minister to determine what they can do in their specific portfolio to accelerate and build on the progress we have made with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

I also expect us to continue to raise the bar on openness, effectiveness and transparency in government. This means a government that is open by default. It means better digital capacity and services for Canadians. It means a strong and resilient public service. It also means humility and continuing to acknowledge mistakes when we make them. Canadians do not expect us to be perfect; they expect us to be diligent, honest, open and sincere in our efforts to serve the public interest.

As Minister, you are accountable for your style of leadership and your ability to work constructively in Parliament. I expect that you will collaborate closely with your Cabinet and Caucus colleagues. You will also meaningfully engage with the Government Caucus and Opposition Members of Parliament, the increasingly non-partisan Senate, and Parliamentary Committees.

It is also your responsibility to substantively engage with Canadians, civil society and stakeholders, including businesses of all sizes, organized labour, the broader public sector and the not-for-profit and charitable sectors. You must be proactive in ensuring that a broad array of voices provides you with advice, in both official languages, from every region of the country.

We are committed to evidence-based decision-making that takes into consideration the impacts of policies on all Canadians and fully defends the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You will apply Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in the decisions that you make.

Canada’s media and your engagement with them in a professional and timely manner are essential. The Parliamentary Press Gallery, indeed all journalists in Canada and abroad, ask necessary questions and contribute in an important way to the democratic process.

You will do your part to continue our Government’s commitment to transparent, merit-based appointments, to help ensure that people of all gender identities, Indigenous Peoples, racialized people, persons with disabilities and minority groups are reflected in positions of leadership.

As Minister of International Development, you will lead Canada’s efforts to reduce global poverty and inequality, provide humanitarian assistance, help the world’s poor adapt to climate change, and support displaced persons, particularly with access to education. Core to your portfolio will be the implementation of the Feminist International Assistance Policy, which has made Canada the leading donor globally in support of gender equality, women’s rights and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights.

I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory and Cabinet processes to deliver on your top priorities. In particular, you will:

Deliver Canada’s international development assistance that increases every year towards 2030, reflecting our commitment to realizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Implement the Feminist International Assistance Policy, which is geared and prioritized towards reducing poverty, including by creating opportunities for women on the ground in developing countries.

Expand Canada’s support for global education, including for the poorest and most vulnerable:

Invest at least 10 per cent of our bilateral international development assistance envelope on education; and
Lead an international campaign to ensure that all refugee and displaced children can get the education they need and deserve.

Increase Canada’s collaboration on innovative financing with new and existing partners in civil society and the private sector, including through the continued implementation of initiatives that the Government has introduced, such as the International Assistance Innovation Program, FinDev Canada, the Sovereign Loans Program and the Equality Fund, and ensure they are fully aligned with Canada’s feminist approach to development.

Improve the way we manage and deliver international development assistance to ensure greater effectiveness, transparency and accountability.

Maintain the gender equality focus of all of Canada’s international assistance investments to address economic, political and social inequalities that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential.

Develop additional programming on the intersection between women’s rights and climate adaptation in order to better support sustainable and equitable resource management, agricultural production and access to markets.

Develop programming that recognizes, reduces and addresses the unequal distribution of paid and unpaid care work and that supports and protects the rights of paid and unpaid care workers to address a root cause of global inequality.

Support the Minister of Foreign Affairs to establish the Canadian Centre for Peace, Order and Good Government.

These priorities draw heavily from our election platform commitments. As mentioned, you are encouraged to seek opportunities to work across Parliament in the fulfillment of these commitments and to identify additional priorities.

I expect you to work closely with your Deputy Minister and their senior officials to ensure that the ongoing work of your department is undertaken in a professional manner and that decisions are made in the public interest. Your Deputy Minister will brief you on the many daily decisions necessary to ensure the achievement of your priorities, the effective running of the government and better services for Canadians. It is my expectation that you will apply our values and principles to these decisions so that they are dealt with in a timely and responsible manner and in a way that is consistent with the overall direction of our Government.

Our ability, as a government, to implement our priorities depends on consideration of the professional, non-partisan advice of public servants. Each and every time a government employee comes to work, they do so in service to Canada, with a goal of improving our country and the lives of all Canadians. I expect you to establish a collaborative working relationship with your Deputy Minister, whose role, and the role of public servants under their direction, is to support you in the performance of your responsibilities.

We have committed to an open, honest government that is accountable to Canadians, lives up to the highest ethical standards and applies the utmost care and prudence in the handling of public funds. I expect you to embody these values in your work and observe the highest ethical standards in everything you do. I want Canadians to look on their own government with pride and trust.

As Minister, you must ensure that you are aware of and fully compliant with the Conflict of Interest Act and Treasury Board policies and guidelines. You will be provided with a copy of Open and Accountable Government to assist you as you undertake your responsibilities. I ask that you carefully read it, including elements that have been added to strengthen it, and ensure that your staff does so as well. I expect that in staffing your offices you will hire people who reflect the diversity of Canada, and that you will uphold principles of gender equality, disability equality, pay equity and inclusion.

Give particular attention to the Ethical Guidelines set out in Annex A of that document, which apply to you and your staff. As noted in the Guidelines, you must uphold the highest standards of honesty and impartiality, and both the performance of your official duties and the arrangement of your private affairs should bear the closest public scrutiny. This is an obligation that is not fully discharged by simply acting within the law.

I will note that you are responsible for ensuring that your Minister’s Office meets the highest standards of professionalism and that it is a safe, respectful, rewarding and welcoming place for your staff to work.

I know I can count on you to fulfill the important responsibilities entrusted in you. It is incumbent on you to turn to me and the Deputy Prime Minister early and often to support you in your role as Minister.



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Aldershot to get its own retail cannabis outlet.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 13th, 2019



The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has received an application for a fourth cannabis retail store in Burlington called the Friendly Stranger Plains Road. The proposed location at 1025 and 1059 Plains Rd East, Unit 3 is now up for public comment.

cannabis - opening day

Opening day at a Burlington cannabis store.

Written comments about the proposed location will be received by the AGCO until Dec. 27 and may be submitted online at 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 Dec. 27, the AGCO will consider all written comments and available information to decide whether the application for the proposed store location will be approved.

Burlington has two cannabis stores authorized by the AGCO and open. Three more applications are in progress, one of which is the Friendly Stranger Plains Road.

Galbraith slight smile

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith said “We heard from a few of the delegations when we were debating the cannabis retail bylaw for Burlington that Plains road would be an ideal location for a few stores. Not surprising that we are now seeing our first application. This location meets all of our current city and provincial guidelines and fills a vacant space that has struggled to maintain a business operation.  Cannabis is a legal product and this provides a convenient location to the surrounding community to purchase a product that is produced and regulated by the higher levels of government.”

Meed Ward - tight head shot

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “This location meets all of the City of Burlington’s criteria and retail store guidelines for our preferred locations. While we continue to learn from the launch of this new industry and watch it evolve, our City has been a leader in creating our own made-in Burlington guidelines of where we would like to see these types of stores located and their proximity to sensitive land uses. The City opted in to permitting retail cannabis stores and we need to continue to see them as a legitimate part of our local business community.”

Quick Facts: 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

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Andrew Scheer got this one right: Liberals in the House didn't support his motion.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

December 13th, 2019



Readers will know that it is not often I agree with Andrew Scheer. But I was encouraged by the part of his rebuttal to the throne speech, where he raised resolution of the year-long China problem. And again, I applauded Scheer’s follow-up motion to strike a committee to that end, a motion supported by all the opposition parties, though not the Liberals.


Scheer’s motion to strike a committee that would look into Canada China relations was a good move.

It’s possible the government knows what it is doing on this file and has it under control. But that’s not good enough. Canadians are in the dark and want some answers. The Chinese leadership’s anger over the detention of the nation’s Huawei executive is unmeasured and precipitous. Seizing innocent Canadians and torturing them to make a point and then declaring a trade war are pretty hostile acts for a nation which used to consider Canada one of its best friends in the west.


Dr. Norman Bethune saved the lives of millions of Chinese soldiers and civilians during the second Sino-Japanese war. He is credited with bringing modern medicine to rural China.

Canadians were once held in high regard. Our own Dr. Norman Bethune saved the lives of millions of Chinese soldiers and civilians during the second Sino-Japanese war. He is credited with bringing modern medicine to rural China, having treated sick villagers as well as wounded soldiers. His selfless commitment made such an impression that Mao Zedong wrote a eulogy to him on his death – one that had been celebrated by generations of Chinese people.

That may be too long ago for today’s Chinese leaders, but even they might have heard that it was Justin’s father, Pierre, who made Canada the first western country, since before the Korean War, to it grant it recognition as the rightful government of China. Canada also played the lead role in bringing China into the World Trade Organization, something which stinks of irony now that we are having to sue them over their illegal blockade of our oil seed and meat exports.

China is our second biggest trading partner. But the trade is horribly lopsided. We import much more than they buy from us. In 2016 we imported over $40 billion more than we exported to China. Much of that trade is in the kind of disposal-ready stuff one sees at the Dollar Store or Walmart, aka China Inc. Chinese-made goods have virtually helped decimate our textile, book making and other manufacturing industries.

And Canadians are starting to get fed up. For example, a recent Pew Research survey showed that two-thirds of Canadians now view China negatively. But we don’t see that reflected in the limited actions our federal government has taken so far, actions which have failed to bring about the kind of behavioural changes we should expect.

So people are speaking up. The Senate recently suggested using the Magnitsky law to sanction Chinese officials. Somebody else has mused that we should ban commercial air freighters from over flying Canada. Of course banning Huawei from investing in Canadian telecom infrastructure, as most of our five eyes partners have done, is a no brainer.

Emerald ash bore wings open

Emerald ash borer: The insect arrived from China in some kind of wood product and is now eradicating ash trees across this province.

Even though China is in the WTO, the nation is anything but a fair trader, it has a long history of ‘dumping’ goods on foreign markets, stealing intellectual property and manipulating its currency. We could retaliate in kind. For example banning all Chinese forest products as a precaution against something like the emerald ash borer ever happening again. The insect arrived from China in some kind of wood product and is now eradicating ash trees across this province.

The Trudeau government has promised legislation to ban single use plastics. We could virtually ban imports from all nations, including China, which are packaged in plastic – or at least insist that all exporting nations take its waste back for recycling… and not just dump it in the ocean.
And then there is the question of foreign investment. Mr. Trudeau, like his processor Mr. Harper has appeared indecisive and inconsistent, seemingly making up policy on the fly, when trying to decide just how much of our door we can safely open to the second largest economy on earth.

Today’s China is a rapidly militarizing autocratic state with a president-for-life. And given the upshot from this Huawei extradition morass it is clear that China understands neither the rule of law nor how to conduct non-combative diplomacy. One just needs to consider Tibet, Tiananmen Square, Falun Gong, Uighurs and now Hong Kong where 300,000 people with Canadian citizenship live.

Tianamin square

Tiananmen Square and the courage of one man – changed the world.

This is a complicated and even dangerous file, and lives are at stake. In addition, China has been touted as one of the potential markets for all that extra oil and gas which Alberta and B.C. keep saying they can export. But how likely is that if Canada responds in-kind and the spat escalates?

Andrew Scheer did the PM a favour by striking this committee, something which Trudeau may learn to appreciate, despite his knee jerk rejection. Perhaps he is concerned about control. Though chaired by the PM’s party, Liberals are not in majority. And the PM and ministers can be called to testify as witnesses. And why not? Call it full disclosure. Call it burden sharing. Call it how minority government should work – that is, cooperatively.

It is been a rare moment when this columnist actually agreed with the leader of the Conservative party. And then Mr. Scheer has the gumption to up and resign, apparently because he was under attack for using party funds to send his kids to private school. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to give Scheer my blessing.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

Trudeau Legacy China –     China History

Throne Speech –    Magnitsky

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Public school board supports free transit for high school students - city will give it the nod on Monday.

Budget 2020 redBy Staff

December 12th, 2019



Trustees of the Halton District School Board (HDSB) encourage the Burlington community to add their voices to ask the City of Burlington to support free municipal transit for high school students. The City is currently in budget talks, which includes a process of prioritizing such initiatives.

School buses

High school students might get an upgrade to the traditional orange school bus to a nice new electric bus. Not this year – but soon if the four boards and the city can work out an understanding.

Halton District School Board Trustees will be delegating Burlington City Council on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 in favour of continuing talks to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for all Burlington high school students to ride municipal transit free of charge beginning September 2020.

Grebenc - expressive hands

HDSB Chair Andrea Grebenc.

Tracey Ehl Harrison

HDSB vice chair Tracey Ehl Harrison

Earlier in the year the HDSB re-elected Andrea Grebenc as chair and Tracy Ehil Harris as vice chair – this is the third term for each woman.

This item will be on the Council agenda on Monday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Burlington City Hall.

Currently, school boards pay for student municipal transit passes for specific high school students who commute to specialized programs offered at schools other than their home school. One of the possible Halton District School Board commitments under the MOU could be to maintain the current level of financial contribution to help offset the costs to the City.

The school board trustees are asking people to consider attending the December 16 meeting to support the Trustee delegation, delegating yourself or sending in a letter of support.

The city has allocated $42,500 to cover the cost and is looking to the other school boards to chip in.

Burlington City Council is trying hard to get electric buses into the fleet, add to the size of the fleet and install EV chargers for the buses – they come in at $1 million each.

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Tax increase still at 3.99%; Mayor wants to keep it there - couple of Councillors seem prepared to let it rise - even if just a bit.

Budget 2020 redBy Pepper Parr

December 12th, 2019



Meed Ward style

The Mayor is rock solid on holding the budget increase to 3.99% over last year’s 2.99%

It’s still a 3.99% tax increase with the very real chance that it will go up to 4.35% which the Mayor is really, I mean really opposed to – others don’t seem as fussed about something higher than the 3.99%

It’s all about optics, girls and boys – and speaking of optics, why did three council members have something else they just had to get to and excused themselves for a period of time.

Mayor Meed Ward said “Gotta make tough choices – you know where I am coming from.”

Councillor Stolte asked aloud if the lens they were looking at the budget with was a 3.99% or was it the merit of the item that was being debated.

Pedestrian crossg

Spending on upgrading pedestrian crossings to make clear the point that the street and roadways are for people. That item got cut.

Money to be spent on pedestrian cross walks got whittled down from $200,000 to $100,000 and eventually settled at $30,000.

Kearns at podium

Councillor gave up the Chair for an hour but returned.

Sharman hand to head

Councillor Sharman left and didn’t return.

Councillor Kearns scooted out for an hour, Councillor Sharman disappeared at about 1 pm and didn’t return.

Councillor Galbraith said he had to go but managed to hold it. So it was really just two out of the seven,

Budget is the reason they are there – no excuse for having to attend some other “scheduled” event.

Director of Finance Joan Ford pointed out that this Council managed to pass two budgets in the same calendar year – true, and this council worked hard at shaving a thousand or two here and another thousand there.

They adjourned for the day at about 3:30 pm and will be back at it on Monday. A round up of what got approved and what didn’t make the cut will follow later in the day.

There was one motion put on the table – and no one voted for it. Not sure how that happened – doesn’t the mover of the motion have to vote for it?  (No, they don’t – getting it on the table is sometimes the only way to debate its merits.)

The Procedural Bylaw is something Councillors are going to have to spend more time reading; several don’t know the rules and that slows things down.

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Government ends the current six week session; will return in two months to take care of the people's business.

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 12th, 2019



In a media release from the province we are told that:

After a successful fall session, the Ontario Legislature will be adjourning until the (They will return to the Legislature two months into that New Year) New Year. Since October, the Government of Ontario has worked collaboratively with Members of all parties to more effectively and efficiently deliver on its plan for the people of Ontario.

Ford at joseph-brant-hospital-doug-ford“This has been an incredibly productive legislative session,” said Minister Paul Calandra, the Government House Leader. “We have worked across the aisle on initiatives such as the Fall Economic Statement, the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, the modernization of the rules and procedures of the Legislature, and the Poet Laureate of Ontario Act, sponsored by Percy Hatfield, MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh.”

Over the past several weeks, (the government sat for just six weeks after a long long summer-fall break) the Ontario Government has many Legislative accomplishments, including:

• Passed Bill 116, the Foundations for Promoting and Protecting Mental Health and Addictions Services Act which, if assented to by the Lieutenant Governor, will establish a Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence within Ontario Health and support the province’s participation in a national class action lawsuit against more than 40 opioid manufacturers and wholesalers.

• Passed Bill 132, the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act which will simplify and modernize regulations while protecting health and safety.

• Passed Bill 136, the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, which implements the strongest penalties in Canada for people who violate animal welfare laws while enhancing oversight and accountability.

• Passed Bill 138, the Fall Economic Statement, A Plan to Build Ontario Together Act, which delivered on the government’s commitment to cut Ontario’s small business tax rate by 8.7 per cent and helped reduce the cost of living in northern Ontario by cutting the aviation fuel tax.

Ford - For the People.• Passed Bill 124, the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act.

• Introduced the Trust in Real Estate Services Act which has now passed second reading. This bill if passed, would increase consumer confidence, enhance standards for real estate professionals and brokerages and provide additional flexibility to keep pace with a modern marketplace.

• Introduced and began debate on the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act which, if passed, will better protect our hardworking farmers, their families, their employees and their farm animals by addressing unique risks associated with on-farm trespass.

• Introduced the Rebuilding Consumer Confidence Act, which, if passed would overhaul the Ontario new home warranties and protection program, reforming Tarion Warranty Corporation, making it consumer-focused.

• Introduced the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act which, if passed will modernize and improve how legal aid services are delivered, class actions are handled, and how court processes are administered. This bill also paves the wave to allow identities and legal documents to be verified online, making life easier for the people of Ontario. .

• Successfully modernized the rules of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to enhance debate, empower independent Members, and allow the accommodation and full participation of Members of Provincial Parliament with disabilities.

Ford at joseph-brant-hospital-doug-ford• Worked across party lines to advance two Private Members’ Bills – Bill 6, the Poet Laureate of Ontario Act, sponsored by NDP MPP Percy Hatfield and Bill 123, co-sponsored by PC MPP Lorne Coe and Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner, which would create a fine for drivers who block parking spaces that are reserved for electric vehicle charging.

“Our priorities this legislative session have been to restore trust and accountability in government, to reduce red tape and regulatory burdens for our job creators, and to build safer communities,” added Minister Calandra. “While there is still much work to be done, I am very pleased with the progress that we have made and the cross-partisan relationships we continue to build.”

That’s the government’s side of the story.

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The Loose Leaf collection program has ended, zone four did not get full service. Program is under review.

News 100 greenBy Staff

December 11th, 2019

Burlington, ON


The Loose Leaf Collection Program has officially, and finally, been completed for 2019.

Residents with remaining leaves can bag them for Halton Region’s Yard Waste Collection, which has been extended until Dec. 20, 2019.
Leaf collection in Zones 1, 2 and 3 were completed.


Will the Provincial Review of services the city delivers decide that the Loose Leaf Collection should end ?

This year’s loose leaf collection had scheduling and operational problems due to challenging weather patterns which started with a very early snow storm on November 11, freezing temperatures and precipitation. The machinery used cannot pick up frozen leaves. When the temperatures returned to normal, crews worked long hours to complete Zones 2 and 3 before the unfavorable weather returned.

In total, ten days of loose leaf collection were lost due to the weather.

The City cannot do leaf collection and snow clearing at the same time because the same trucks are used for each service. The trucks need to have the leaf collection equipment removed and the plow blades and sand/salt spreading equipment attached.

Service Review
The Province of Ontario has provided funding to municipalities and school boards throughout the province to conduct independent reviews to find efficiencies while protecting important front-line services. Loose Leaf Collection was one of the four City of Burlington services reviewed.

The consultant’s final report will be delivered to the Province by Dec. 31, 2019.


Mary Battaglia, Director of Roads, Parks and Forestry.

Mary Battaglia, Director of Roads, Parks and Forestry said: “This was a challenging year. I would like to acknowledge all of the hard work our crews put in to collecting leaves and removing snow as well as our admin staff. We can’t collect leaves and remove snow at the same time and snow removal will always take priority.

We are very aware of the challenges that rescheduling and cancelling leaf collection means for residents and we greatly appreciate all the residents who bagged their leaves and exercised patience and understanding.

Our focus is now on clearing roads.”

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Wolfe Island Bridge down to two lanes until March of 2020.

notices100x100By Staff

December 11th, 2019



The Wolfe Island Bridge temporary lane closures have been extended to March 23, 2020

The temporary lane closures for eastbound and westbound traffic on the bridge on Plains Road West, west of Botanical Drive has been extended however one lane will remain open in both directions at all times.

Wolfe Island bridge

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