One reader wanted to know what motivated the note from the city; who are they chastising, the Gazette or Tom Muir?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 15th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On October 9th, the Gazette published an Opinion column by Tom Muir that was based on his attendance at a Local Planning Act Tribunal. A link to that column appears at the bottom of this article.

It was lengthy, which is typical for Muir.

LPAT hearings are not bed time reading.

The readership response to the article was surprisingly strong.

On Saturday, the 12th of  October the Gazette received the following from Kwab Ako-Adjei, Senior Manager of Government Relations and Strategic Communications.

Kwab“I wanted to take the opportunity to provide a clarification to a recent article, https://bit.ly/2q5unMg.

“The article includes a lengthy opinion in which the writer states that City staff had no responses or barely participated in the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) hearing for the proposed development on 92 Plains Road. However, neither the article itself or the opinion make clear that the hearing before the LPAT was a settlement hearing in which the City and the appellant were in agreement on the proposed development and the associated amendments to the City’s planning documents.

“In a settlement hearing, evidence must be provided to the Tribunal to support the settlement. This evidence typically is in the form of the expert opinion of a land use planner from one of the settling parties, as it was in this hearing. The other settling parties, such as the City in this case, do not call further duplicative evidence to support the settlement. It is in hearings where parties such as the City and a developer are not in agreement on the development proposal where the parties call their own witnesses to provide expert opinion, and cross examine opposing witnesses.

“It would be misleading to suggest that because the City did not have its planner provide an expert opinion that she did not act appropriately or that she did not represent the interest of Council’s decision to support the proposed settlement. Rather, the City’s legal counsel made submissions on the appropriateness of the settlement, including in the context of the in-force Official Plan. The LPAT hearing officer will consider the expert evidence provided, along with the submissions of the appellant, the City and the two participants to the hearing, and make a decision in the matter.

“The Notice of Settlement Hearing was also posted on our website, https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/92-Plains-Road-East.asp so residents could be aware of the hearing.”

We take the view that Opinion pieces are something you candisagree with but that the facts the writer puts forward are not debatable.

We sent the comment from the city to Muir and asked for a response from him. Muir said:

“I don’t know what to say as this just confirms what I said – the City staff Planner said nothing and the Legal staff said not much more and as I stated, which this writer appears to agree with.

“They did and did not do everything I said, and they have what I think are disclosure and professional duties as members of professional associations, that they didn’t act on.

“And the writer missed the part (section 3) of the story that indicated it was a settlement hearing as a part of it.

“The message initially went to MMW and TC and they knew it was a settlement hearing, and item 3 in the piece is as follows –

3. This indicates that the City agreement with the proposed settlement included agreement that the adopted but not legal OP was on the Table and they agreed to let the applicant Planner use it right from the start – they had the evidence from the applicant lawyer and they had to have agreed to it in order to say they had a settlement. The applicant Planner used an anonymous authority to say that someone at City told him this was the City directions anyways so he used it.

Muir glancing

Tom Muir

“The City staff said nothing about the misinformation and the frank falsification of parts of the applicant Planners testimony under oath. I raised these points under oath and they know the facts but said nothing, so going along with it.

“And is it professionally appropriate to remain silent about my point 12, (and 10) as follows;
12. In EO 86 the Planner rewrites the statement of the in force OP so as to remove the second of the “shall” policies wording and change it to “is intended to” with respect to maintaining the residential appearance and character of the property.

“This is a frank and deliberate lie to falsify the policy statement wording. City staff said nothing.

“In my view, this blows up the Planners credibility and trust. I would also cite my point 10 above.

“Does this mean that “expert witnesses” can say anything they want? And the City staff bears no responsibility for untruths that they are frank and legal partners to? The writer says the City agrees and does not bring duplicative evidence to support the settlement. Therefore, they agree with it all.

“The City Planner is not an expert witness as the writer implies and this is my experience that I can document but is beyond this space.

“After the Hearing, I wrote her asking for information on my points 10 and 11 and I’m still waiting for a response. There are other requests from me that have also remained un-responded to.

“I stand by what I wrote, and caution the writer that I have a great deal more that I can say on this.

“This story was a short form briefing for the recipients.”

Muir was not told who sent the concern about the Opinion piece he wrote nor was he contacted by anyone from city hall about his opinion.  He has said he is still waiting for responses from the Planning department.

We asked a number of other people we respect for their take on note from Kwab Ako-Adjei.

“Something doesn’t make sense here” was one response. “If the City wants to correct something that they feel needs correcting why didn’t they simply ask you for Tom ‘s contact information.”

The writer who insisted that their name not be used added: “Whatever your decide I would suggest you keep at arms length. Don’t put your name to anything in print.  City’s Opinion Piece not The Gazettes  or Pepper Parr’s opinion piece- with  “none of your salt or pepper.”

“I still wonder what is motivating this? Why the need for this public exoneration? Who are they chastising  The Gazette or Tom Muir?

Link to the Muir piece:

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Better debate behaviour and more responsible spending - please!

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 15th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Things to keep in mind as you think about where you want your ballot to go on Monday.

Worth noting is that the number of people who voted in the advance polls increased by 25% over the last election. Some clearly wanted to register their vote.

Will the numbers for 2019 exceed the vote count in 2015?

The issues are pretty clear.

Justin scheer debate

Prime Minister Trudeau debating Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer – it got nasty at times.

What I find myself thinking about is the debate behaviour and the spending promises.

These are all educated people who can read without moving their lips. Their parents surely taught them some manners.

The public wants to hear what they say; we want to hear sound, solid, supportable, cogent arguments. We didn’t get much of that.

Could the moderators not have threatened to cut off the microphones of those who talked over another speaker? There were a few occasions when one of the female moderators clamped down on a speaker. It needed to happen more often.

Jagmeet and BLOC debating

Yves-François Blanchet leader of the BLOC debates Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democrats.

The people who moderate have a responsibility to first set out the rules, warn what will happen when a rule is broken and then enforce the rules.

Can you imagine the behaviour change if a moderator turned off the microphone of a speaker who kept butting in on another speaker’s time?

May and Justin debating

Green Party leader Elizabeth May goes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during an English language debate.

The public deserves better, the process deserves better. Demand better.

Now – the spending. These people are asking to be THE leader of the country while they throw your money around like confetti at a wedding and give the public quickie accountings as to just how they are going to pay for those promises.

This is irresponsibility at a dangerous social level. The politicians give us what they think we want to hear – we applaud them, elect them and then complain bitterly when they fail to deliver on those ‘promises’.

There are lessons here for both the elected and the electorate.

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The Conservative Candidate has Taken a Stealth Approach to Winning the Burlington Seat.

federal election 2019By Pepper Parr

October 15th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Gazette has been interviewing candidates for the upcoming federal election in order to provide a perspective on where they stand on issues of interest to Burlington.  We may not get to them all but we will try.  But there is one candidate who has not yet responded to our request for an interview.

Michaels with election signJane Michaels is the Conservative Party of Canada candidate for Burlington.  And with the Liberals and Conservatives running neck-in-neck according to the national polls, who she is, where she comes from and where she stands should be highly relevant to the voters.  That is particularly important given that her Liberal opponent is generally regarded as doing a fine job representing constituents.

What to say about Jane Michaels, the Conservative Party candidate whose name will be on the ballet you are handed next Monday?

Jane Elizabeth Michaels chose not to take part in the BurlingtonGreen all candidates debate; she chose not to participate in the videos that were done about each candidate, she chose not to take part in the session at Nelson High School where all the candidates met with the students.

The Gazette has received scores of scraps of information; most of it gossip in nature.  We did receive a note from an individual who cannot be identified who said: “I have some very grave concerns about the potential of Jane Michael becoming a member of Canadian Parliament.

“I think there is some information that the Burlington voters have the right to know, but have concerns about what my legal obligation and potential repercussions are pertaining to in-camera meetings of the school board.”

The Gazette is not alone in being shutout by this candidate.  Michaels also chose not to take part in the BurlingtonGreen all candidates debate.  She chose not to participate in the ECoB video interviews.  She chose not to take part in the candidates session at Nelson High School.

We have been advised that Ms Michael’s has been canvassing door to door and that she has opened an office on Brant Street.

Jane and AndrewOne would expect that a candidate for office would relish the opportunity to meet the press and tell her story, to let the the voters know why they should support her.  But Ms. Michaels seems to believe she can win by hiding in her office.

Perhaps she is concerned that someone will ask her about her experience and her political record.  As  as school board trustee she had been sanctioned by the Halton Catholic Board.  According to the former leader of the PC party she falsified her nomination application when she ran for the Tory provincial nomination, neglecting to note that she had declared bankruptcy, not once but several times.

We are advised that Ms. Michaels  attended the Burlington Chamber of Commerce Q&A session.  Were it not for that event we’d have to find ourselves calling Jane Michaels the stealth candidate.

Isn’t it time to come out and meet the public Jane?

 

 

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Karina Gould - who is she, what has she done and should she be re-elected?

federal election 2019By Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington’s residents live in one of three federal ridings. Burlington, where Karina Gould is running for re-election, Milton where Lisa Raitt is running for re-election and Oakville North Burlington where Pam Damoff is running for re-election.

Three women represent the residents in Ottawa; Jane McKenna represents the city at Queen’s Park and Marianne Meed Ward is Mayor of the city.

Gould is the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Lisa Raitt is the Deputy leader of the opposition and Pam Damoff is the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health.

Women have clearly taken the reins at the political level.

The Gazette will use its limited resources to do in depth interviews with as many candidates as possible. We expect that the followers of those we are not able to do one-on-one interviews with will see this as unfair. Life is unfair.

I met with Karina Gould and was joined by our political columnist Ray Rivers.

Wallace and Gould

Mike Wallace, the former MP for Burlington congratulating Karina Gould on her taking the seat.

Her win in the 2015 election was a surprise to many, especially Mike Wallace could not believe he was beaten by a woman who had not lived as long as he had been in office.

Karina Gould, a life long resident of Burlington, a graduate of M M Robinson high school and McGill University has had her eye on public office even as a teenager.

Winning wasn’t a surprise to her. While Burlington is defined as a conservative city politically, Gould found that she got a different view at the door steps where she was seen as young, personable, and likeable. People took to her and began to trust her and soon found that she delivered.

Gould in the Legion kitchen

Federal funding helped the Legion upgrade their kitchen – Gould there getting all the details.

She has a reputation for reaching out to groups of people who may not have much in the way of profile; the interest she shows is genuine.

Does she walk on water? No but people in Ottawa soon realized that Karina Gould was there to make a difference – in Caucus she asked questions and began the process of making connections and creating the network that every politician needs if they are to grow in the profession and if they are going to make changes.

Gould was made the Parliamentary assistant to the Minister of International Development and traveled the world where he core belief in the rights of women were shaken. The opportunities for woman in Canada and the lack of real opportunities in most of the third world countries stiffened the resolve Gould brings to just about everything she does.

Her appointment as the Minister of Democratic Institutions was a surprise to many; the way she handled the job from day one was also a surprise.

Changing the way politicians are elected in Canada has been a challenge – but Justin Trudeau made it a signature issue and Gould was put into a job that had not been done all that well by her predecessor.

Gould - first scrum

Gould’s first news scrum outside the doors to the House of Commons – she performed well.

During the first week on that job as the Minister of Democratic Institutions she had to stand before a lectern outside the doors of the Commons and tell the country that the government was not going to be able to deliver on the promise.

This isn’t the place to delve into just where the failure was (we cover that in a future piece) what was clear was the Gould had been thrown under the bus by the Prime Minister – and when the bus passed by Gould was able to stand up and get on with what was left of the job.

That was an impressive political feat – her ability to handle difficult situations was recognized.

Assuming Gould is returned to office and the Liberals form a government look for her to be in a bigger portfolio.

brant-museum-rendering

Federal funding made the transformation of the Brant museum possible.

We asked Gould what she had done for Burlington. She was able to trot out all the relevant numbers: the big junk of change for the transformation of the Joseph Brant Museum. Improvements in the gas tax money that comes to the city; major dollars for infrastructure improvements which worked its way into improving creeks from the ravaging dame that was done during the 2014 flood.

Those are all big ticket items and they are part of the job – cutting a ribbon and handing out cheques. Where one gets a look at the real Karina Gould is when you see her at community events mixing and mingling with people – never taking herself too seriously.

One Burlington Canada-Burlington1-2017

Gould has brought tens of millions of dollars to Burlington – the couple of thousand she made sure got to the Burlington One event is the one of which she is most proud.

A small amount given to the Burlington One event that brought together people from diverse cultural and religious communities. The Burlington One event came about just after the murder of a number of Muslim citizens at a mosque in Quebec city. It is events like this that make a community, indeed a country and a world work.

Gould will tell you about the funds that went to St. Luke’s Anglican church to upgrade the kitchen which they now rent out to other groups. The Legion got funds for their kitchen as well.

East Plains Road United Church got $40 million to put in an elevator that basically keep that church alive and bale to accommodate better child care operations.

Gould In the House while Obama speaks

A moment Gould will never forget – when US President Barack Obama spoke to the House of Commons.

Handing out cheques and cutting ribbons is part of the job – you do them.  There are though those occasions when the event is almost  bigger than life.  when President Barack Obama spoke to the House of Commons Gould asked a colleague to take her picture and to be sure that the President was evident in the background.  That was a big day for her.

Gould points to the power she has as a Minister to “convene” groups of people to talk about common issues. She listens, carefully and admits that on more than one occasion she has changed her mind on an issue after hearing from the people in the community

Every politician has a pet project – for Gould it is the Cootes Escarpment that is already xxx a xxx. The government gave the Royal Botanical Gardens $6 million to do corrective work on the wet lands.

She knows she wants to do something to even further protect what she calls “one of the most valuable environmental resources we have.” Look for something to come out of her office at some point – this is an issue for her.

Gould can talk about climate change as well as any politician but she will tell you that at the door it is not the #1 issue – health and provincial government cuts take the two top spots – followed by climate change.

Gould realizes the federal government has a lot of work to do in bringing the public around and getting them to buy into the need to make changes now if this planet is to be saved.

As we worked our way through the interview we found that it wasn’t possible to get Gould to comment on the other candidates. “I’d rather you talked to them” she said.

Gould and PM Trudeau

Cabinet solidarity is sacrosanct for Gould. Not even a hint of a negative word.

Gould is a party politician – she believes what the Liberal Party is doing and is proud to be a part of it. While she doesn’t talk about it – she has differences with government policy and they are voiced in caucus where, if you know the woman, she is listened to – closely. But when a Cabinet decision is made – she stands behind it.

Many, particularly women, felt that she should have been more closely aligned with the female Cabinet Ministers Jody Wilson Raybould and Jane Philpott. Gould will tell you that caucus stood behind the Prime Minister even though there are many who raise an eyebrow over the SNC Lavalin matter – Gould stood behind the party line – “it was important to save those 9,000 job and not make ordinary people suffer due to the crimes of senior management, who she pointed out are either on trial or in jail.” Well some of them are on trial and some did get sent to jail. The issue for many Canadians is the core culture of the company is much the same.

Will there ever be an issue where Gould will take a principled position and leave Cabinet. Yes, this is still a principled woman and she has voted against a government motion. Power does have the capacity to corrupt – Gould points out that being in Cabinet is pressure – “We are there to deal with that pressure and do the best we can for as many people as we can.”

Gould has difficulty with decisions that are based on “ideology” and not evidence based and has trouble to this day with many of the decisions that were made by the Harper governments.

Gould describes herself as a “go getter”, the kind of woman who “speaks up” and when faced with an open door she will “naturally walk through it”

She relies on those she has known for a long time, including high school and university teachers for comment; she sees herself as humble.

Her win in 2014 was a surprise – but not to her. The 2019 results are not the kind of thing anyone can call. While Gould will not comment on the people running against her – the field is not exactly filled with evident leaders.

The challenge for Gould, and it is one she can’t do much about, is the way the country decides whether or not the Prime Minister should be re-elected. If the country decides that mistakes were made but lessons have been learned and he should be returned Karina Gould is one of the people who will get him back into the Prime Minister’s office.

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'I wish I could explain': installation art at Norton Community Park

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city invests a considerable amount of money in public art and throughout each year contests are held that allow artists to pitch their ideas for what is referred to as “installation” art; something that is not permanent and is often work that can be interacted with.

The city announced seven installation art locations that were to be launched along with Culture Days which took place late in September.

A communications glitch got in the way of our publishing and promoting these events. The Senior Manager Strategic Communications prevented us from talking to the Manager of Cultural Services for some clarification.

The answers the Senior Manager Strategic Communications gave us were not clear and we didn’t have the time to do the back and forth that was required to get clear answers.

Cobalt Connects, the Hamilton based organization that manages the selection of artist’s process made what appears now available and we share it with you.

With information that is clear we can now share with you what the city made possible.

These installations were available on September 27 and will be on display until October 27, 2019. There are seven Temporary Art Installations.  These artists transformed spaces across Burlington with temporary public art installations. By placing art in unexpected spaces such as parks and community centres, the Public Art Lab brings contemporary art to new audiences. All installations are free of charge! The Public Art Lab is produced by the City of Burlington’s public art program.

The art is pretty well distributed throughout the city – except for Aldershot – they got stiffed.

Art Norton image

The wish might get you thinking – which is the point of it all.

The installation at the Norton Community Park is called Typographic Fencing; something that  defines space and prompts conversation by creating large-scale text in areas where it is not expected— around the edges of parking lots, near ravines, off divided highways, around a fenced-in playground.

These temporary installations are woven out of flagging-tape, a simple, inexpensive material used to mark boundaries. Squares in chain-link or vertical-bar fences become pixels on a screen or canvas, the medium for messages. The messages are installed anonymously and removed without ceremony. By transforming large-text into large questions, aim to spark a dialogue.

Lambchop is a street artist and designer based in the American South, specializing in permanent and ephemeral public installations investigating the relationship between place, typography, and interaction. Lambchop’s work has been exhibited internationally and recognized with a Communication Arts Award, a Society of Typographic Arts “STA 100” Award, has been featured through DesignMilk, NotCot and SHFT.

More on this artist at: cargocollective.com/lambchop

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Rivers on Climate Change: Canada is a Leading GHG Contributor

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 14th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Canada is one of the world’s leading contributors to climate change. Here are some facts:

Greenland iceberg melting

Canada’s climate is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world.

1. Canada is the 38th most populated nation on earth and we have the 11th largest economy;

2. But we are also the seventh (7th) biggest global emitter of climate changing greenhouse gases (GHG);

3. Each Canadian produces 22 tonnes of GHG per year, the highest among all G20 members and nearly three times the G20 average of eight tonnes per person;

4. Canada’s climate is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world; and

5. The UN says we have twelve years – three election terms – to make major reductions before we reach a point of no return for our climate.

As Canadians go the polls all of the political parties but two are committed to significant GHG emissions reductions. Only the Conservatives and the Peoples Party have platforms which will allow emissions to continue to increase, virtually unabated. And given that Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are either leading or tied with both in popular support and the potential seat count, this should be a serious concern for Canadians everywhere.

Ford and Scheer

Andrew Scheer and Doug Ford: Is this a scene we are likely to see repeated?

A Conservative party election would negate all of the current government’s recent initiatives on climate action, much as Ontario saw happen with the Ford government. Ford reset, lowered, provincial emissions targets after taking office, but has failed to make progress even on these. And unsurprisingly Mr. Scheer’s climate program mostly parallel’s Ford’s, including ending carbon pricing.

Elizabeth May’s Green Party has the most ambitious plan to reduce emissions, virtually doubling Canada’s committed reductions to the Paris climate plan – 60% by 2030. Unfortunately her plan is probably not realizable, at least not without a major buy-in by all Canadians. Her plans include banning the sale of gasoline powered cars by 2030. That would be fully a decade ahead of a similar law in B.C. and would necessitate the availability of over two million new electric vehicles for sale by 2031.

Sounds crazy, I know. But that is why the carbon tax makes so much sense. The tax increases annually as the availability of emission free vehicles and charging facilities become available. The existence of an ever increasing carbon price sends a powerful market signal to both buyers and vehicle manufacturers – shift to non carbon alternatives. And if you use an alternate you are rewarded by the rebates.

Nobel Environment economics.

William Nordhaus Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and the world’s leading economist on climate change, has been awarded the 2018 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences for “integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis.

Short of sending people to jail, market place mechanisms are the most effective way of changing behaviour and in this case, getting people out of their gas guzzlers. But don’t take my word for it, check with just about every environmental economist out there, including the guy who won a Nobel prize recently for exactly that thesis.

What is it that so-called business friendly Tories like Ford, Kenny and Scheer don’t get?

But May also wants to shut down oil production and the TMX (Trans Mountain pipeline) expansion. She’d start her attack on the oil polluters by cutting the subsidies. But she isn’t nuts, or as extreme, as some might think. Even Mr. Harper, back in 2015, joined other G7 leaders in calling for an end to fossil fuel usage by 2100. Ms. May just wants to speed that up… a lot . And for someone who has spent her entire life working for the environment she should know what she is taking about.

After all, if we only have twelve years until the big turning point when global warming becomes irreversible and takes on a life of its own, 2100 is at least 70 years too late. Mr. Trudeau is calling for Canada to be carbon neutral by 2050. But even that is too late, given what the climate scientists are saying.

Mr. Scheer, with his support base largely in western Canada likely gets his science from the oil companies, though many of those also support carbon pricing and movement to cleaner energy production. But he still thinks he can build more pipelines and expand the oil sands. And to add insult to injury he is also planning to cancel an EV purchase incentive program.

Rivers EV charging stations

The world as we need to at least begin to see it.

Even though Mr. Scheer has no plan to eliminate the deficit during the next government cycle, he still speaks to it as if he did. And everyone can agree that we don’t want to saddle future generations with massive financial debt. But none of that will matter once we upset the earth’s climate such that the global support systems are badly damaged and we can only bequeath a sick planet to our children and theirs.

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:

Canada Produces Most GHG

Most Powerful Tool

Ford Does Nothing on Climate

Harper G7 End of Fossils

Dirty Oil

The Polluters

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Prime Minister to Perhaps Hoist a Few While he Rallies the Liberal Faithful.

federal election 2019By Staff

October 14th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Liberal team will be in Hamilton on Monday, the 14th.

brewery collective

Part of the Collective Arts brewery.

They will be meeting from 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM
At Collective Arts Brewery
207 Burlington St E Hamilton ON L8L 4H2

The stop in Hamilton is part of a day long tour through the area starting in Windsor and ending at Mannheim, ON

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Ground is broken for the 23 storey Gallery on Brant; 30 months of construction ahead of us.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON.

 

The ground breaking took place, the backhoes have moved in and the big dig begins.

The contractor overseeing the actual construction don’t always know what’s in the ground they are digging into.

Northern side looking east Oct 11

Looking over the site to the south.

They are professionals and the work through and or around the problems. The top dog on the construction site – James – has done a lot of work in Burlington. He did the Performing Arts Centre, He did the Pearl on Pine retirement home. Home for him is in Newmarket – which is one hell of a commute.

We will work at keeping in touch with James as the building goes through the various stages of construction.

Oct looking south to James - site forman wlk

Back hoes ripping through the surface.

Thirty months to do the job and make room for the moving trucks.

Things got off to a good start with the formal part of the ground breaking.

The trick with these events is to get a dignitary to head up the event; a politician will do.

As the first of the latest round of tall buildings in Burlington one would have looked for the Mayor to take part.

Not with this situation – The Gallery – which is what the building is going to be called, was not a favourite of Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

Had the previous city council been in office the Mayor would have been wearing his best and the city manager at the time would have burst with pride.

The best that could be done with the current political climate was the provincial member of the Legislature who can usually get a giggle out of people.

When the announcement was made about the first contractor for the Bridgewater development was made, Meed Ward, the ward Councillor at the time was there front and centre.

Ground break - Oct Suz Hammel, +

From the left: Suzanne Hammel, Nick Carnicelli, Jane McKenna, MPP, Mark Bales, VP with The Gallery. The name of the man on the right is not known to us. The Smile Carnacelli is wearing is a rare sight.

For Nick Carnicelli it was a day to celebrate and be happy. In all our years of working with Nick we have never seen a smile as big as the one he wore the day ground was broken.

It has been a grind.

high profile 421

The Gallery opposite city hall.

Carriage Gate, the Carnicelli family holding company, is known for a quality product. The Gallery is their first tall tall building in the downtown core (not counting Bridgewater which is mired in problem after problem) and getting to the point where Carnicelli was able to put a shovel in the ground was not a short happy trip.

This is the building that was the beginning of the change in what Burlington is going to be, like it or not.

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Council moves to take immediate action on an Air BnB location that is inexcusable and intolerable for people in the Lakeshore Goodram part of the city.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is a group of people who live on the eastern side of the city, south of New Street, along Lakeshore Road in the tonier part of town where there is a tendency for those flush with cash to want to build what Burlington calls “mega monster” houses. 5,000 square feet seems to be the minimum.

Lakeshore mega 4319 A view

Located at the corner of Goodram and LAkeshore, the house is for sale and being rented out for events.

The problem for those in the Lakeshore – Goodram – Oak Cr neighbourhood is an 8,000 sq. ft. dwelling that is on the market; first offered at $4.9 million now priced at $4.3 million.

There are people who have seen an opportunity with these buildings – they buy them and rent them out for weddings and large family gatherings using the Air BnB platform.

While waiting for the property to change hands the owner (or someone representing them) is renting the space out as a banquet hall.

Renting a house for a large family gathering is one thing – no one is offended by that kind of operation. Where things have gotten out of hand are with those who rent the space – at a fee of $1,250 per night – for graduation parties, wedding parties, family reunions or events when there is excessive drinking and all kinds of noise – at three and four in the morning.

People throw up on the lawn – and on the lawn next door as well. You can only image the behavior.
The area residents have organized as a Committee – ACT – Active Community Team, and have done everything they can think of – they have found the by-law enforcement to be of little use.

They appeared before city council earlier this week asking for an immediate Interim By-law that can be enforced by the city. The Staff report prepared for the meeting didn’t offer much in the way of relief.

Here are the relevant parts of that report:

The City of Burlington’s Zoning By-law 2020 does not specifically address short-term accommodations. The Zoning By-law identifies zones and provides regulations for areas that permit residential uses, but it does not regulate ownership or rental duration of residential dwellings. Dwelling units have historically been rented via monthly or annual leases and there are no current regulations that prohibit the rental of dwelling units for shorter periods of time.

The Zoning By-law also defines Bed and Breakfast Homes as:

An owner-occupied detached dwelling offering short-term lodging for compensation to the travelling and vacationing public. Guest rooms or suites may include a private bath but shall not include cooking facilities. Breakfast and other meals, services, facilities, or amenities may be offered exclusively to guests.”

Regulations under Part 1, Section 2.21 of the By-law, indicate Bed and Breakfast Homes are a use permitted in all zones, in detached dwellings only, on lots greater than 18 m in width, are limited to 3 guest rooms, and require an additional parking space for each guest room in addition to the parking requirements for the dwelling. A short-term accommodation is not currently regulated in such a fashion as it is not currently defined.

In recent years many municipalities have initiated studies to assess the impacts and develop regulations for short-term accommodations in response to issues arising in their respective communities. This includes larger municipalities such as Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa and Oakville, and smaller jurisdictions like Niagara on the Lake, Prince Edward County and Kawartha Lakes. The studies identified positive impacts such as financial benefits to homeowners struggling with housing affordability and increases in tourism; as well as nuisance issues related to traffic, noise and property maintenance in residential neighbourhoods, and potential negative impacts on the long- term rental market if it is more profitable to rent for short terms. Concerns have also been raised by hotels, motels and businesses traditionally involved in tourist accommodations that different rules and taxation apply to short term accommodations.

The studies also identified the range of stakeholders to be consulted in assessing benefits and impacts, and a variety of tools that could be implemented to regulate short- term accommodations. These include updates to policy documents and enactment of zoning by-laws, and licensing and registration tools. For example, some municipalities have restricted rentals to specific types of units; or only to units where the host is the principal resident; or specific zones or geographic areas. Licensing can be required only for the host or may also be required for the company providing the booking platform.

In Burlington, staff respond to many public inquiries seeking information on requirements to permit short-term accommodations within an existing dwelling unit, as well as questions from neighbours concerned about the potential for short-term accommodation uses when an accessory dwelling unit is approved. Additionally, complaints are received about noise, parking, traffic management, safety and garbage that residents attribute to short-term accommodations; as well as complaints about dwellings that frequently host events such as large parties and weddings.

By law person

By law enforcement officer

Burlington needs to develop an approach to short-term accommodations that responds to the issues and concerns raised above, provides the appropriate policy and regulatory framework to accommodate this emerging land-use and minimizes neighbourhood impacts. A study to assess impacts of the sharing economy was initiated by planning and licensing staff several years ago but was suspended to respond to other Council priorities. The specific issue of short-term accommodations was subsequently added to the Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review study that is scheduled to begin in Q3 2020 and will require a multi-year timeframe.

In response to the September 23, 2019 Council motion, options to address development of short-term regulations are presented below.

Immediate:
• Planning, Zoning and licensing staff will continue to gather research on short-term accommodation studies, policies, by-laws and regulations being prepared by other municipalities.
• Planning staff will monitor the outcome of LPAT hearings related to short-term accommodation by-laws enacted by other municipalities.
• By-law Enforcement staff will continue to respond to and investigate complaints and fully enforce current bylaws such as noise, property standards, exterior maintenance and parking.
• By-law Enforcement staff will continue to collaborate with other enforcement agencies/stakeholders and communicate with the Integrated Municipal Enforcements Team (IMET) which consists of Halton Regional Police Services, Halton Public Health, Burlington Building & Bylaw Enforcement, Burlington Fire Services and the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Medium-term (2020):
• Planning staff will initiate work on a Terms of Reference for a Short-Term Accommodation study to be incorporated with the Comprehensive Zoning By-law study with assistance from Zoning, Licensing and By-law Enforcement staff.
• Licensing and By-law Enforcement staff will monitor the effectiveness of licensing and registration by-laws enacted in other municipalities.

Long-term:
• The Terms of Reference for a Short-Term Accommodation study will be presented to Council for approval and the study will be undertaken in conjunction with the Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review.

• The study process will involve stakeholder and public engagement, and address matters including impacts on the rental housing market; housing affordability and tourism; potential policy and zoning by-law amendments that consider types of units, applicable zones, geographic areas, parking impacts and specific regulations; and licensing and registration options.

Options considered

Council could direct staff to proceed immediately with a short-term accommodations study. However, there is no capacity with the current staff complement. Should Council wish to initiate a short-term accommodation study in advance of the Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review, staff would need to report back on additional resource requirements, including one-time funding sources.

Mary Alice 2

Mary Alice St. James.

ACT was stunned – they expected something that would put an end to the problem; they had been living with it for more than a year.

The city has not been able to handle this kind of problem. For one – none of the bylaw enforcement officers are on duty when the behaviour takes place.

There is a lot of confusion within the municipal sector on just how to handle this kind of problem.

The Burlington approach to by law enforcement is to wait until someone complains. They then send someone out to see if they can solve the problems; if that doesn’t work they then issue letters and eventually a ticket.

With the income reaching $1250 per night a ticket would be seen as just part of the cost of doing business.

ACT wanted an Immediate Interim Bylaw

Mary Alice

Mary Alice St. James, a retired elementary school teacher who ran against Councillor Paul Sharman who chaired the meeting at which St. James delegated.

They argued that it is Irresponsible to put public safety second when every week we hear about a new shooting, a new throwing of a chair out a building, a new prom party gone wrong, a death.

Act said it was inexplicable to see in writing that citizens should continue to do what they are doing. It is not working. “We have contended with this for over one year and we have spoken with City Staff and every Bylaw service imaginable” said Mary Alice St. James, founder of the community organization.

Inexcusable and Intolerable that nothing would be done immediately. She added.

The Mega Mansion is in ward 4, where Councillor Shawna Stolte has been working with staff to find a way to solve this problem.

Shawna quiet“We have approx. 150 known Short Term Accommodation (STA) arrangements in Burlington. Of these, the Lakeshore property is the most challenging to the surrounding community, but there are 2-3 others that are occasionally causing issues.

“I have been aware of the Lakeshore AirBnB and the neighbours concerns for the past 6 months. The property is not only being advertised as an event venue but has also been rented out almost exclusively for weddings, bachelor parties and other events.

“I have been researching the issue, meeting with residents and advocating on behalf of the neighbourhood since June of this year.

“The police are responding to the best of their ability, but have made it clear that they consider noise and nuisance complaints lower on their “response priority”. Clearly they need to respond to citizen safety and crime related calls first.

“Burlington Bylaw officers have responded repeatedly to this property when neighbours call but they do not have the same mandate or training to engage in difficult or conflictual situations. Their job is not to intervene in a situation, but to educate, advise and enforce bylaw infractions.

“The biggest challenge is that the City of Burlington does not have a Short Term Accommodation Bylaw for our Bylaw officers to actively enforce.

“I have been researching the issue, meeting with residents and advocating on behalf of the neighbourhood since June of this year. I began meeting and corresponding with our Bylaw Dept in June and it quickly became clear that their ability to deal with this particular situation would be limited due to a lack of policy (bylaw) to enforce.

“At that point I engaged our Planning and Legal Departments in an effort to explore what policy amendments we could create to deal with this, and other Short Term Accommodation issues.

“This process was complex and my ability to get all departments on board to collaborate was challenging so at Council in September I brought forth a Staff Direction that read as follows:

Direct the Director of City Building to report back to the Planning and Development Committee meeting of October 8, 2019 with options to regulate operations related to Short-Term Accommodation rentals, including immediate, medium term and long-term options.”

“The report that we received this week somewhat addressed the medium and long term goals but by no means addressed the direction to provide immediate options to address this issue.

“The Committee meeting ended with this agenda item being “referred” to Council with the expectation of staff to report back to Council on October 28 with concrete, actionable, immediate options to deal with this issue.

“I’m trying to not take over Staff’s role but I do look forward to hearing about Temporary Bylaw or Licensing options when staff report back on October 28.

“The suggestion of a Citizen Working Group was an attempt to engage those citizens most impacted by the situation, in an advisory capacity and give them the opportunity to contribute ideas and suggestions as the City moves forward to create a Short Term Accommodation Bylaw.”

There is a similar Airbnb Mega Mansion in Aldershot. It is currently advertised as the Bong Mansion.

Short-term accommodations are a new type of land use that can provide positive impacts to the community. A comprehensive assessment of issues related to short- term accommodations is required to develop the policy and regulatory tools that will best serve the Burlington community. This study is proposed to be undertaken as part of the Comprehensive Zoning By-law review study to be initiated in Q3 2020.

Council wasn’t prepared to sit on this for a year. There will be something that will be immediate at the council meeting on the 28th.

Let’s see just how this council responds to a disgusting problem in a part of the city that is used to getting what it wants.

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A viewpoint on where the city is going - straight up seems to be the direction.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There are all kinds of ways to communicate – tweeting being the one that some people can’t stay away from.

A reader who follows all this stuff sent us a tweet with an in depth comment on what can and perhaps cannot be done with the “football” between Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road.

It is described by another reader as “One of the best comments we have read regarding development and the Downtown Urban Growth Centre. Thank you James, whoever you are. “ There are some suggestions that the James is someone Burlington has experienced.

You can read the viewpoint here.

A thought some might want to ponder:  Just how long does one think city hall itself will sit on that land?

 

409 with 423 shadowed

These are the two developments to be built across the street from city hall. The on on the front left is now under construction; the other has been approved for 17 storeys – they want what the other has been approved at 23 storeys.

421 James street rendering

City hall will be dwarfed by the developments on the other side of the street. A former Deputy City Manager described it as “iconic”.

In from the east

This might well be the view that people have as they enter the downtown core via Lakeshore Road. The building is stunning.

Let’s not limit the view to just what can be seen from the upper floors of city hall. The “football” is going to offer some stunning views that might get added to what will be visible right across from city hall.

model 3 d 0f the site

The downtown that some think is Burlington’s future.

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Police Trying to Identify Owners of Seized Property

Crime 100By Staff

October 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The stuff is sitting in a locker at Police Headquarters waiting for someone to claim it.

The “stuff” is recovered stolen property that police discovered when they arrested Bradley MARK (37) of no fixed address and charged him with:

Break and Enter with intent
Possession of Break in instruments
Possession of property obtained by Crime
Fail to comply with probation order

The Halton Regional Police Service are still trying to identify the rightful owners of property seized in relation to the arrest made last July. You can Click Here and review the photos of the property on the police Flickr account.

Police theft recoveries

Some of the jewelry recovered by police.

If you are the rightful owner and can identify any of the property or have information concerning this investigation please contact Detective Constable Jacques Brunelle of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2334 or the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau general line at 905-825-4747 ext. 2316.

This situation goes back to July 4th 2019, when the Halton Regional Police Service arrested a suspect attempting to gain entry into the Kings Carwash located at 1448 Grahams Lane in the City of Burlington. At the time of the arrest a large quantity of jewelry believed to be stolen was recovered.

Investigators are currently liaising with Hamilton Police and further charges are pending.

Anyone who may have additional information concerning this investigation is asked to contact Detective Constable Jacques Brunelle of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2334 or the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau general line at 905-825-4747 ext. 2316.

Tips can also be submitted 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

People charged with a criminal offence are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

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Calling All Three-Year Olds - Kindergarten Open Houses

News 100 redBy Staff

October 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

kindergarten childrenBeginning school is a big step for children and parents, and the Halton District School Board wants to make that transition as smooth as possible. In October and November, the Board is hosting Calling All Three-Year Olds Kindergarten Open Houses in Acton, Georgetown, Milton, Burlington and Oakville for families to learn more about making the first school experience a happy one.

Future students and their families are invited to attend any of the following Kindergarten Open Houses, to be held between 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Acton: Thursday, Oct. 17 – McKenzie-Smith Bennett Public School (69 Acton Blvd)

Georgetown: Thursday, Oct. 24 – Silver Creek Public School (170 Eaton St)

Milton: Thursday, Nov. 7 – P.L. Robertson Public School (840 Scott Blvd)

Burlington: Thursday, Nov. 14 – Alexander’s Public School (2223 Sutton Dr)

Oakville: Thursday, Nov. 28 – Emily Carr Public School (2255 Pine Glen Rd)

At the Open House, students and parents will:

• Explore a Kindergarten classroom
• Learn about play-based learning
• Pick up information and resource material in a free backpack
• Access information about community agencies and resources in Halton
• Get information about before and after school care
• Connect with special education staff to discuss any developmental concerns

Registration for Kindergarten begins in January 2020 and takes place at the school your child will attend. Children born in 2016 can start Kindergarten in September 2020.

Parents/guardians can learn more about the Calling all Three-year Olds Kindergarten Open Houses on the HDSB website (www.hdsb.ca and search: Kindergarten).

Learn more about the Halton District School Board’s Kindergarten Program.

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A loyal voter with concerns about some of the baggage the candidate is carrying.

federal election 2019By Pepper Parr

October 9th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

Karina not the kid

Typical suburban lawn sign – what is that splash of yellow?

The personal touch has always been what made the difference.

Doesn’t matter which sector you are in – city hall, supermarket, garage – even politics – especially politics.

We usually think in terms of the service we get from the people we interact with.

A dedicated Gazette reader spotted this on First Street, Burlington, between Guelph Line and Beaver Street.

The property owner was buying the Liberal candidate – but not the Liberal leader.

Karina not Justin UP close

There are conditions attached to this vote.

He sees the note attached to the election sign is priceless. Sort of a sentiment, we all like Karina but have problems with Justin.

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An up close look at what took place at an LPAT meeting - scary.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 9th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

The Gazette received the following from the city three days afrer the article appeared.

“I wanted to take the opportunity to provide a clarification to a recent article, https://bit.ly/2q5unMg.

“The article includes a lengthy opinion in which the writer states that City staff had no responses or barely participated in the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) hearing for the proposed development on 92 Plains Road. However, neither the article itself or the opinion make clear that the hearing before the LPAT was a settlement hearing in which the City and the appellant were in agreement on the proposed development and the associated amendments to the City’s planning documents.

“In a settlement hearing, evidence must be provided to the Tribunal to support the settlement. This evidence typically is in the form of the expert opinion of a land use planner from one of the settling parties, as it was in this hearing. The other settling parties, such as the City in this case, do not call further duplicative evidence to support the settlement. It is in hearings where parties such as the City and a developer are not in agreement on the development proposal where the parties call their own witnesses to provide expert opinion, and cross examine opposing witnesses.

“It would be misleading to suggest that because the City did not have its planner provide an expert opinion that she did not act appropriately or that she did not represent the interest of Council’s decision to support the proposed settlement. Rather, the City’s legal counsel made submissions on the appropriateness of the settlement, including in the context of the in-force Official Plan. The LPAT hearing officer will consider the expert evidence provided, along with the submissions of the appellant, the City and the two participants to the hearing, and make a decision in the matter.

“The Notice of Settlement Hearing was also posted on our website, https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/92-Plains-Road-East.asp so residents could be aware of the hearing.”

If you have heard of LPAT; know what the acronym stands for – read on.

If you don’t – quit now.

LPAT is Local Planning Appeals Tribunal.

It is the level the developers and city can turn to when there is a difference over a development proposal.

Few of the people who follow this stuff have much that is positive to say about the tribunal.

A handful of people chose to sit in on an LPAT hearing at city hall recently.

Tom Muir, one of the types that keeps up to date on this stuff attended – here is what he had to say on what he saw and heard,

I want to provide you with a short briefing on my experience. I have provided you with extended notes and comments on this appeal evidence so I will stick to key points and, as it turned out, a long one page of 13 points.

1. The Lawyer representing the City, David Klacko, and the City Planner, Melissa Morgan, indicated to the LPAT Chair that they would not be presenting any testimony or evidence. Over all, from my perspective over the entire Hearing they might as well have not been there.

Plains Road 92

Architectural rendering

2. The Applicant lawyer and Planner disturbed me when they went straight to the adopted Official Plan as the first argument in the Policy Frame supporting the proposal (Item 12 of 112 in the Evidence Outline).

I was further disturbed when the City Lawyer and Planner said nothing at this time about this and as supposed professionals with obligations of disclosure, did not indicate that this adopted OP was not in the City Policy Frame for policy and thinking in this application.

It was only at the very end of the Hearing after all the testimony was done, did the City lawyer say about 20 words to indicate that the adopted OP was not in the City policy frame here, but that the proposal conformed with the in force OP.

3. This indicates that the City agreement with the proposed settlement included agreement that the adopted but not legal OP was on the Table and they agreed to let the applicant Planner use it right from the start – they had the evidence from the applicant lawyer and they had to have agreed to it in order to say they had a settlement. The applicant Planner used an anonymous authority to say that someone at City told him this was the City directions anyways so he used it.

4. This applicant Planner stated that the amendments requested conform with the general policy directions of the new draft Burlington Official Plan (EO 107). He also stated that this adopted OP conforms to the Halton Region Official Plan when this is patently false as the Region did not approve it on the grounds of non-conformity. The applicant lawyer tried to argue that the adopted OP is legal and can be used.

5. Overall, in this Planner testimony, there was a great deal of emphasis on the adopted OP in support of the application and settlement. In this testimony, given under oath, there was a total disregard and no mention for the “shall” or mandatory OP and Zoning policies specific to this site. City staff made no comments. There was no explanation or planning rationale provided for disregarding the “shall” provisions. City staff said nothing.

6. I was given 20 minutes to testify under oath and I raised a large number of issues from this previous testimony and from my own evidence. I will provide only a few of the key issues here. The City Lawyer did not cross examine my testimony.

6. There was applicant Planner disregard to compatibility policies with only 1 criteria mentioned (upper floor setbacks) out of the City policy number of 13. City staff said nothing.

7. Nothing was said or evidence provided about the City policies on intensification adjacent to existing low density neighborhoods. City staff said nothing.

8. There was no evidence or testimony about the City Policies around Urban Design and City Guidelines for Mixed Use and Residential Mid-Rise Buildings. City staff said nothing.

9. These policies are indicated by the City as policies subject to “shall” be done for all proposals. Nothing was said or done by either Party on these.

92 architect plan.

Site rendering.

10 The applicant Planner misleadingly wrote in EO item 10 (Subject; Surrounding Land Uses), and further stated under oath, that a “property at 105 Plains Rd received approval in 2013 for demolition (done) in order to construct a mixed use building, however, building permits for the mixed use building have not yet been issued. In addition, in oral, he stated that an 11 storey building was planned. This was not only misleading and untrue, but there is no such application in the City files.These statements were presented as I noted, as a surrounding land use and were taken by the Chair as a factual support for the 92 Plains proposal.
City staff said nothing to factually clarify the truth of the matter. I wrote the Planner yesterday asking for this information, which she should have, but I have not heard anything back.

11. The applicant Planner repeatedly (10 times; EO 11, 39, 54, 56, 62, 67, 72, 83, 99, 111i) and incorrectly stated, that the proposal at 92 Plains Rd was within 500 meters of the Go Train station, which is a MTSA, and therefore the site is in the Mobility Hub area having a 150 unit/ha target. He used this to repeatedly argue support for the proposal and this is misinformation used in a misleading way repeatedly.

This estimate of distance is important because of the MTSA target boundary, so I had two different distance estimates to dispute this in testimony. The first is an estimate from Google of 600 meters straight line, and a second is by car from parallel to the Go station building estimated straight down Waterdown Road to Plains RD corner light, which is about 650 meters. Note that these are straight line distances and nothing moves to the GO in a straight line from the site on 92 Plains Rd.

City staff said nothing to clarify.

12. In EO 86 the Planner rewrites the statement of the in force OP so as to remove the second of the “shall” policies wording and change it to “is intended to” with respect to maintaining the residential appearance and character of the property.
This is a frank and deliberate lie to falsify the policy statement wording. City staff said nothing.
In my view, this blows up the Planners credibility and trust. I would also cite my point 10 above.

13. In the written and spoken under oath testimony the applicant Planner committed a significant number of omissions of relevant evidence, states partial evidence resulting in misinformation, untruths such as above, fallacies such as non sequitors, false dilemmas, begging the question or circular arguments that have the conclusion wanted based in the premises, and others beyond this space.

Muir making a point

Tom Muir making a point at a community meeting.

I have written more here than I expected and there are many more points I could cover. I will also say that the City staff, and the applicant Planner, having professional and disclosure duties associated with the law and planning professions and oaths of office, could have helped me and the Hearing and Chair, with getting to the truth and the facts, but they chose to remain silent and not assist in this.

What was clearly wanted, and certainly delivered, was a set of OP and Zoning amendments that is custom made to fit the settlement proposal. What the real plan or truth is has nothing to do with it.

In conclusion, I will say again that this settlement will have implications and consequences as a precedent setting model for what is to be willingly enabled, permitted and allowed in Burlington. It will be carried into whatever size you want to think of everywhere.

This is where your new Plan is going. “Ye who enters here, abandon all hope.”

Tom Muir is an Aldershot resident who knows more about Development Charges and far more than anyone should know about development in the western end of the city.

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They've done it again - failed to communicate and left the public wondering what had happened.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 9th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Figure this one out.

There is a development proposed for some of the property on the land between Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road – referred to as the “football”

CORE rendering

The first of two 24+ storey structures planned for the “football”.

The development is controversial.

The city sent out a notice with the following note:

updated supporting documents
Application received – September 13, 2019

Then there is a list of the supporting documents.

Core site

The property to the right of the CORE development (outlined in blue) also has a 24+ development proposal,

• Arborist Report
• Architectural Plans
• Construction Management Plan
• Construction Management Plan 2
• Construction Management Plan 3
• Environmental Site Screening Checklist
• Functional Servicing and Stormwater Management Report
• Geotechnical Investigation
• Grading and Site Servicing
• Heritage Impact Statement
• Landscape Concept Plan
• Noise Impact Study
• Pedestrian Wind Study
• Phase I ESA
• Phase II ESA
• Planning Justification Report
• Reliance Letter
• Remediation Plan
• 7th Floor Amenity Plan
• Shoring and Excavation Plan
• Site Plan
• Sun Shadow Analysis
• Survey
• Transportation Impact Study
• Urban Design Brief
• Waste Management Plan

No mention of which document was updated or what part of the document was revised.

The Planner on the file, Melisa Morgan, will know what and where the updates are – could she not have shared this information?

This sort of thing happens again and again – and is accompanied by that bit of tripe that talks about an engaged city.

Related news stories:

CORE public presentation

Old Lakeshore Burlington Inc.  development.

There are other options.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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Charo: Hot Flamenco Night - Instantly recognizable!

eventspink 100x100By Staff

October 8th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Charo at BPAC

Charo: Instantly recognizable for her witty humour, lovable accent and mastery of the flamenco guitar.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre presenting: Charo: Hot Flamenco Night on Saturday, October 12 in the Main Theatre, the only Canadian date for this legendary performer.

Instantly recognizable for her witty humour, loveable accent and mastery of the flamenco guitar, Charo has been an integral proponent of contemporary Latin music since the 1970s.
is also smoking hot!

Although popular as a musician, singer, comedienne, stage and screen performer, it is Charo’s trademark quirky comedy and expressions – Cuchi-Cuchi! – which has endeared her to the world.

Charo: Hot Flamenco Night will feature a mixture of her patented rhythms and mastery of classical guitar. It is a combination of the most exciting and original music of today and the most famous classical masterpieces in the world. Charo performs passionately throughout, blending heart and soul with her unique Flamenco style.

Charo is an American music and pop culture icon who has entertained millions throughout her career. She also teams up with top-name DJs and producers from around the world, who add their dance mixes to Charo’s virtuoso guitar performance to creates dance hits.

Charo: Hot Flamenco Night
Saturday, October 12 at 8pm
440 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario
Tickets can be purchased by telephone, online or in person:
905-681-6000, https://burlingtonpac.ca/events/charo/
Tickets: $69.50
Sponsored by Andrew Peller Ltd.

 

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What’s open and closed in Burlington on Thanksgiving ?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 8th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City crest - old hand drawnThanksgiving should be something special for Burlington. Deep within the DNA of the city is an attachment to the land that is evident in the city crest.

Time to be aware of both the changing of the season; farmers are beginning to roll out large sheets of plastic over some of their crops, there are pumpkins for sale at the supermarkets and almost every rural cross road.

For those who get to church – that time honoured hymn: First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear – come ye thankful people come …comes to mind.

What’s open and closed in Burlington on Thanksgiving

Most administrative offices will be closed Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 for Thanksgiving. For a complete listing of hours of operation, phone numbers for City facilities and available services, please visit burlington.ca.

For information about what to do in Burlington on Thanksgiving weekend, please visit burlington.ca/calendar and tourismburlington.com.

Tree - Thanksgiving

Sign of the season changing.

For hours, City facilities’ phone numbers and services, please visit www.burlington.ca.

Looking for things to do?
Please visit www.burlington.ca/calendar and www.tourismburlington.com

City Hall
Closed Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.

Parks and Recreation Programs and Facilities
Hours vary.

Activities and customer service hours at City pools, arenas and community centres will vary over the holiday weekend. For drop-in program times, please visit burlington.ca/dropinandplay. For customer service hours, please visit burlington.ca/servicehours.

Burlington Transit
On Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, Burlington Transit will operate a Sunday service and the downtown Transit Terminal and Specialized Dispatch will be closed. Regular service resumes Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. The administration offices are closed Monday, Oct. 14 and will reopen Tuesday, Oct. 15. For real-time schedule information, please visit triplinx.ca or use Google or Apple maps.

Roads, Parks and Forestry
Closed Monday, Oct. 14. Only emergency services will be provided.

Animal Shelter and Control
Closed Monday, Oct. 14. Open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. For more information or to report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit www.burlington.ca/animals.

Halton Court Services
Halton Provincial Offences Court will be closed Monday, Oct. 14.

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

NOTE: The Waterfront parking lots (east and west) do not provide free parking on statutory holidays.

Do you have family and friends visiting for the holiday weekend? 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 www.burlington.ca/parking.

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Rivers on the Debate: Was this Dragon’s Den or the Cooking Show?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 8th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Trudeau scheer

Just Trudeau and Andrew Scheer – they hammered away at each other. Neither managed to land a really hard punch.

There were fleeting discussions around some issues, but all anyone will remember is the storm of insults hurled by adults acting like children.

And it all started with Andrew Scheer using his opening speech to level insults, and stunning hyperbole, at the prime minister.

“He puts on a middle-class mask and then raises taxes on middle-class Canadians. Mr. Trudeau you are a phony and you are a fraud and you do not deserve to govern this country….”

The concept of a single national leaders forum to discuss policy in both official languages is a worthy goal. But the proof is in the execution and there was so much wrong with this so-called debate. There was way too much on the program plate to being with. And when one tries to do everything one seldom does anything well.

May Trudeau

Elizabeth May, Green Party leader held her own – was it enough to advance their number of members in the House.

For another thing there is no such thing as an ordinary undecided Canadian voter. And I’m getting really tired of seeing some random uninformed person pretending to represent me and asking a poorly constructed question to the leaders. That time would have been better utilized in the debate proper by the party leaders to actually explain their policies.

Then there were too many people involved for an effective debate. And while everyone wanted to be there, not everyone benefitted from that experience. Maxime Bernier, for example, might have stood a better chance of winning, at least his own seat, had he just stayed home. And what is a separatist party doing in a debate about national issues?

While the Greens, NDP, Bloc and the People’s Party all serve a useful function in our political system by bringing ideas to the table, there is no hope any of them will be forming government.

Max Jagmeet BLOC

Maxine Bernier on the left Yves-François Blanchet of the BLOC, center and Jagmeet Singh – they won’t form a government but they could determine who does govern.

And how is it fair that a party without official party status, and currently holding only a couple seats, like the Greens, Peoples or BLOC, get equal debate time with the Liberals or CPC which hold the vast majority of seats and popular support? Shouldn’t they have just mailed in their questions instead?

But it was the negativity which almost sent me off to bed for an early night. Real debates are supposed to be beyond insults and slander. And Scheer wasn’t the only one trying to brand his main opponent, though he was the worst. That is after all, the sum total of how the Conservatives are running their campaign this year. Almost half of everything (47%) coming out of mouths of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) is negative and personal, and all of it aimed at Mr. Trudeau. And, despite Mr. Singh claiming the high moral ground, the NDP is almost as bad.

Oh sure, negative campaigns work. At least they did in the USA for Donald Trump, who falsely accused his opponent of being crooked, accompanied by a charming chant of ‘lock her up’. It was a lie but if you repeat a lie often enough people start to believe it. And though Trump lives in a glass house, none of the stones have ever bounced back to hit him – at least not yet.

And so it is with Mr. Scheer. He lied on his resume about being an insurance broker. He tried to hide his dual nationality. Doesn’t he break US law every time he crosses the border without his US passport? And he lies every time he talks about the federal carbon tax.

sheer

Andrew Scheer – he was better in the English language debate – French is not a language he is comfortable with.

Scheer has never taken responsibility for his actions. Unlike Trudeau who recognizes his mistakes, Scheer never apologized for misleading people with his fake resume, not his previous stand on LGBT rights, nor holding back on his citizenship. And how ironic to label Trudeau with ‘not as advertised’ and ‘can’t be trusted’.

There are serious policy differences between the two leading political entities in this country. Let’s have a serious debate about the future of fossil fuels and whether we need more pipelines and petroleum resource development.

Let’s discuss the merits of doing more of what we have always done or taking more drastic climate action. Let us address the still growing wealth and income gaps in this country. Let us resolve the importance of balancing the budget versus borrowing for investment in our human and physical capital, and growing the economy.

Maxime Bernier has invited Canadians to have an adult discussion on immigration and our refugee policy. Elizabeth May has demanded that we ban the internal combustion engine by 2030. Jagmeet Singh would like Canada to reopen the constitution and find a new accommodation for Quebec.

Mr. Scheer has promised to bring back a partisan Senate and Mr. Singh’s party has long called for its abolition.

What about defence policy and Canada’s contribution as it applies to NATO spending targets? There is discussion of a wealth tax and of raising the capital gains tax to 100%. What about China?

This week’s debate may have been good entertainment, though for me it was depressing. Government should be about policy and not just theatre. It is unclear if any one of the six party leaders ‘won’ in the so-called debate, but we all lost an opportunity to be better informed on the issues before us and what these characters would really do if we elect them PM.

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:

Five key moments

Two two mainline parties.

Where do they stand on taxes

 

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A bit of an improvement on commercial vehicle inspections but the number charged with offenses is still far too high.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 8th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you’re driving on the major highways you know how many trucks there are on the road. And you have every right to wonder just how safe those trucks are – the Regional Police completed a Commercial Motor Vehicle Blitz.

Despite very poor weather conditions they inspected more than 300 commercial motor vehicles.

police-vehicle-inspection_022-1024x755

The police arrive well equipped to do through inspections.

The two-day enforcement blitz, that involved officers and inspectors from the Halton Regional Police Service, along with assistance from neighbouring police services, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Finance/ Environment yielded the following results:

• Total commercial motor vehicles inspected: 308
• Total commercial motor vehicles taken out of service: 99 (33 percent failure rate)
• Total charges laid: 239
• Sets of licence plates seized by police: 11

2018 Results:
• Total commercial motor vehicles inspected: 443
• Total commercial motor vehicles taken out of service: 143 (32 percent failure rate)
• Total charges laid: 268
• Sets of licence plates seized by police: 13

truck-blitz-commercial-police

Is the load properly and safely secured?

Top five charge categories laid during 2019 blitz:
• Failure to complete daily inspections
• Vehicle maintenance
• Failure to obtain annual inspection certificate
• Cargo securement
• Weight violations

New this year, officers also implemented impaired driver screening tests through the use of SFST (Standard Field Sobriety Testing), ASD (Approved Screening Device) for alcohol and ADSE (Approved Drug Screening Equipment) for drugs including THC and cocaine.

The blitz resulted in a total of 182 impaired driver screenings (83% of all heavy commercial motor vehicles drivers inspected during the blitz). These screenings showed a high level of compliance with 179 pass results (98%). The drivers who did not pass were given suspensions for being in violation of the zero alcohol or drug provisions for commercial motor vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act.

“1 in 3 trucks being removed from service as a result of our annual blitz says a few things. Credit to the trucking industry who make safety their priority – as many truck operators do recognize the thin margin for error that exists in operating complex trucks on our roadways. Mechanical fitness, load security and driver fitness are not an option – it’s an obligation.

Tractor trailers will get very close inspections Monday and Tuesday of next week - Halton police are going to crack down

Tractor trailers get very close inspections.

For those who don’t, Halton Police and our partners will continue to hold truck operators accountable to elevate safety for all road users. Safe trucks, safe loads and safe drivers benefit everyone” said Sgt. Ryan Snow, Traffic Services Unit.

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City council is looking at four options related to a new private tree bylaw.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

October 7th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city is having the private tree by law debate – again.

We are in different times and different actions have to be taken.

Burlington declared a Climate Emergency – many many others have done the same thing. This city council wants to go a lot further than any past council in saving the trees and it is going to cost – quite a bit.

Belvenia trees-1024x768

This is what the urban canopy is all about. Lose it and the value of the houses on the street plummet.

At the Burlington federal candidate debate Liberal Karina Gould said there was no problem with people agreeing that climate change was real – where we have the problems she said is their willingness to pay for the changes that are going to have to be made.

Council had four options in front of them: Here they are with the costs attached.

Trees Pine street

These trees were cut down to allow for the building of a retirement home on Pine Street.

OPTION 1: Status quo
A status quo approach was considered as part of this report. This would allow the current Pilot Private Tree Bylaw in Roseland to run the original 2-

Pros: Allows for more time to evaluate the pilot.

Cons: This does not consider the implications of a declared climate emergency, and delays protection of trees citywide.

COST: Option 1 – no impact

OPTION 2: Expand the Bylaw to Ward 4 Only
The expansion of the bylaw to ward 4 was considered as part of this report. The staff requirement would be reduced to 1 full time staff, with associated cost reductions.

Pros: Provides for a slightly larger pilot area.

Cons: This does not consider the implications of a declared climate emergency, and delays protection of trees citywide.

COST: The operating budget impact is $95,000 for 1 full-time tree protection officer. The capital budget impact is $51,000 including the purchase of 1 electric vehicle and charging station.

Geese on Guelph Line and the apple trees

This group of trees beside a popular church on Guelph Line were cut down because the geese were eating the apples and pooping on the church drive way.

OPTION 3: Repeal the Pilot Private Tree Bylaw and approve a bylaw for the urban area only
This option would protect all private trees within the urban area of the City and exclude all agricultural and rural areas north of Highway 5/407.

Pros: Provides protection for private trees in the most populated area of the City.

Cons: Does not provide protection for residential properties in the rural area that are not covered under the Regional bylaw for woodlots.

COST: Option 3 and 4 – The operating budget impact is $300,000.00 including 5 full- time staff (1 supervisor and 4 tree protection officer)

OPTION 4: Repeal the Pilot Private Tree Bylaw and approve a city-wide private tree bylaw

Pros: This option provides the highest level of protection by including the entire city.

Cons: Increased resource requirements in both operating and capital budgets.

The capital budget impact is $250,000 including the purchase of 5 electric vehicles and 2 charging stations to be installed at the City’s Operations Centre.

Source of Funding
The Private Tree Bylaw will be funded through both the operating and capital budget, and a business case has been prepared for consideration in the 2020 budget process. There will be partial cost recovery of administrative costs through permit fees, as well as bylaw contravention fees through site inspection, estimated at approximately $200,000.

Amy Schnurr

BurlingtonGreen Executive Director Amy Schnurr

Contracted service costs are expected to decrease by $12,000 per year. The impact to the property tax rate is estimated at 0.18%.

In the ensuing debate we will see how our city Councillors handle the issue and what the public has to say.

There were two delegations to the meeting Monday evening; the Executive Directors of both Burlington Green and Oakville Green.

The report will come back to city council in December.

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