Downtown Burlington experiences unplanned hydro outages

News 100 redBy Staff

October 3rd, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Hydro operations centre

Hydro operations control room. This is where the service information is gathered.

It has been a bit of a tough time for people in the downtown core, especially east of Brant. Power has been off for up to seven hours for some people.

At 6:45 am here were 49 people without power according to the Burlington Hydro web site.

Hydro outage map

Red hat identifies unplanned outage area. No specific boundary area detail was available.

The cause of the outage was described as “weather”

The Gazette will touch base with Hydro when media staff there show up for work and look for a more detailed explanation.

 

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Amica submits a revised proposal in August and then files an appeal of the city's decision to do nothing with the proposal.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 2, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On August 19, 2019, the Amica people along with their financial partner Bruce Partners submitted a revised development proposal which includes 17-storey and 12-storey building elements with a 6-storey lower building podium, transitioning down to a 2-storey element for a portion of the rear of the building. The number of proposed senior’s living units has been decreased from 475 to 419.

From Lakeshore Rd and 403

The development is at the intersection of North Shore Blvd and the ramp to the 403.

Then on September 23, 2019, the Official Plan amendment and Zoning By-law amendment applications to facilitate the proposed development were appealed to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT).

Amica appealed the applications based upon the lack of a City decision on these applications within the legislated timeframes, as set out by The Planning Act.

The site is within the City’s Interim Control By-law area, and as such, no recommendation reports have been brought forward for development applications in this area until such time as the Interim Control By-law is lifted and policy and zoning are in place.

site drawing

Where the development is to be located.

South east corner

A rendering of the view of the development from the south east corner.

South elevation

The elevation from the south.

One Burlington resident is concerned that the automatic appeal that arises from the city’s lack of decision is really just a fait accompli for the development.

Amica development rendering

An early rendering of what the site would have looked like to the people on the adjacent street.

“It will eventually pass because LPAT has jurisdiction and the city’s interim bylaw to halt development is nothing but an illusion of trying to do the right thing. If the city does nothing more than not make a decision, they are allowing developers to proceed in absentia.

The only plus in all that at this point is the revised plan is not as brutal to the eye as the first one.

North elevation

The revised elevation in the latest version of the Amica development.

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ECoB brings the federal election candidates to your living room.

federal election 2019By Staff

October 2, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

ECoB – the grass roots organization that gave Burlington the best look at the candidates in the municipal election has come up with an interesting approach to giving the public a look at what the federal election candidates have to say.

ECOB logoECoB, formed in 2017 , are the Engaged Citizens of Burlington. They have a small group in every ward in the city with a membership of 600 people. Anyone can become a member.

Producing videos like this takes hundreds of volunteer hours and needs money too. If you like what ECoB is doing, please consider donating to ECoB and becoming a paid member (it’s just $10 a year).

The organization is doing two minute videos of the candidates, well at least those that accept the offer to take part.

So far there has been one video each from the New Democrats, the Liberals and the Greens.

The idea was to produce short videos on the one subject. The same question is put to every candidate. The location is always the same at the Burlington Baptist Church on New Street.

Jennifer Olchowy, a member of the ECoB executive reads a prepared introduction about the candidate, introduces the candidate who then speaks for one minute.

The best way to appreciate and understand what ECoB is doing is to watch the videos.

The Gazette will be publishing everything produce and will archive the material as well.

October 1st

Liberal candidate Karina Gould

Green Candidate Gareth Williams

New Democrat Lenaee Dupuis

The Conservative candidate declined to take part.

ECoB did not hear from the Peoples Party of Canada candidate.

 

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Four days to figure out where the smell was coming from? The place slaughters pigs - one doesn't have to look far to find the source.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 16th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Complaints regarding the odour emitting from the plant at Harvester and Appleby had City staff and Council reaching out to Sofina Foods as well as the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to find a resolution to this issue.

A 150 year old corporation that plays a significant role in the Burlington economy. Should a slughterhiuse be in this location?

A 150 year old corporation that plays a significant role in the Burlington economy. Should a slaughterhouse be in this location?

Sofina Foods continues to investigate the origins of the odour and has been working with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Today, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks staff informed the City that on October 11, 2019, a ministry order was issued to Sofina Foods:

“The order requires the company to remove waste sludge from the property within three hours of filling a tanker trailer. We believe this is action that can be taken quickly to improve odours from the site.

The ministry has been responding to a large number of complaints about odours from the facility. Ministry staff have been to the property on several occasions to look into the sources of odours and to discuss actions the company is taking to control odours.

The order is an immediate measure to deal with one source of odours from the site. There are other sources of odours at the property, and the company has hired a consulting firm to assess sources of odours at the site. The ministry will continue to monitor the company’s actions and require it to identify and address its sources of odours.”

pigs-leaving-truck

In 2016 a tractor trailer flipped as it was about to enter the slaughterhouse – pigs were running everywhere for more than an hour.

Residents are encouraged to report any odour near the area immediately to Sofina Foods at (289) 834-3543, reporting the time and location of the odour directly to Sofina will assist their investigation.

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks will also continue to respond to complaints about odours, residents may also report odour problems as soon as possible to the ministry by calling the ministry’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060, which is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Although the City of Burlington has no jurisdiction in the case of Sofina’s operations, members of Council and staff, including the Ward Councillor Paul Sharman, continue to be engaged in finding the cause of the odour and a speedy resolution.

That’s the city’s side of the story.

It took the Ministry how many days to tell the city they has issued an order? From the 11th to the 15th would make that four days.

That is a long time to hold your nose.

Sofina Foods operates the Fearman Pork operation in the east end.  Why didin’t the city use the name most people recognize?

No word from the Mayor’s office – this is a big stink issue.

That factory shares the environment with a larger community. They know what the rules off and they should have done something immediately.

No excuse for this behaviour.

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The favourable balance in the city's spending will be needed at the end of the fiscal year.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 1st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In the weeks ahead city council will begin crafting the budget for the 2020 year. It will be the second budget this team has done – but this time around they have a much better grip on just what they are spending and where the money is coming from.

Mayor Meed Ward and Councillor Sharman were the only two members of council who, at the time, had a full understanding of what putting together a municipal budget meant. It was a steep learning curve for the five new members of Council.

In 2018 the Mayor was determined to bring in a budget under a 3% increase. Councillor Sharman wanted to ensure that there was some money left in the reserve funds.

The budget increase was kept under 3%

Ford Joan at Budget Bazaar

Director of Finance, Joan Ford

At the city council meeting last week the Director of Finance, Joan Ford, brought people up to date on where things stood at the end of June. Most people who work on budget refer to having either a surplus or a deficit – the municipal world talks in terms of variances from what they budgeted as either favourable or unfavourable.

Set out below is the position at the end of June. Any surplus (oops favourable variance) doesn’t get returned to the citizens. It gets spread around and into reserve funds and anything they don’t know what to do with gets dropped into the tax stabilization fund. At least that was the practice from 2010 to 2018.

Mayor Meed Ward is going to break a lot of the rules as she works to refashion the way city hall operates. Having a council that is more informed on financial matters it should be interesting to see what they decide to do with one of those favorable variances.

They decided to:

Direct the Director of Finance to report back on the city’s retained savings strategy upon confirmation of the 2019 year-end actual.

Budget variances 2019

If the variance holds at $574,174 it will cover the $503,000 that got scooped from the city’s bank account.

Year-end projections will be refined by staff in order to improve their degree of precision. Services will also continue to exercise due diligence when authorizing large expenditures.

Any savings are viewed as “one-time” revenue. From a multi-year budgeting perspective, the use of “one-time” revenues should be tied directly to “one-time expenditure priorities that may include transfers to reserve funds. To do otherwise results in the reliance on “one-time” revenues for funding ongoing expenditures and is contrary to multi-year budgeting principles.

Staff will report to Council in the New Year with a specific recommendation once the year end savings are quantified. Staff continue to recommend contributions to Reserve and Reserve Funds to allow the city the financial flexibility to respond to uncontrollable factors (such as economic cycles, revenue fluctuations, and severe weather events plus short term and one-time needs, and sustainability to plan for today and the future.

masked banditThe monitoring of corporate and service expenditures and revenues is part of the Operating Budget Performance policy which exists as a key component of the City’s financial management control system.

It will be interesting to see how the Finance department handles that $503,000 that slipped out of an account and is never likely to return.

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The dog sets the pace for Ashley Worobec during a recovery walk after a 36 km run.

sportsgold 100x100By Ashley Worobec

October 1st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

After the heat and humidity of last Sunday’s long run, I welcomed the 14C at the start of this Sunday’s run.

Ashley watcvh Oct 1

The 36km on my schedule

I had 36km on my schedule, which is the longest run I’ve done since my last marathon in 2007. I was daunted, but hung in there with my training partners and we saw all of Oakville and most of Mississauga! Ha!

Most of our route was flat, along the lakeshore and surrounding areas, and I am really proud of this run.

I felt great, which gives me confidence in my training and my abilities, and I’m ready for next weekend’s “recovery week”, which has our long run capping out at 16km.

Oct 1 Ashley with dog

The dog sets the pace.

It’s amazing to me what our bodies can be trained to do – 16km is going to feel like a very short run to me, whereas only a few months ago it felt long. Perspective. We now have this recovery week, and then one more huge run (38km) on Thanksgiving Sunday, before we begin our 3-week taper.

A taper is a period of time where you focus on rest and recovery to allow your body to show up to the start line feeling strong and ready rather than depleted and tired. By that point, “the hay is in the barn,” as my former coach used to say, and you just need to reap the benefits of recovery and not overdo it; training gains are accomplished a few weeks after the actual training, so in theory, my fitness will peak on November 3rd for race day.

Ashley Oct 1 kids

Bulldog puppies yoga – a little easier than goat yoga.

After my run, my family participated in a really unique event – puppy yoga! A local yoga instructor teamed up with a local breeder of bulldog puppies and they put on a yoga class while the little pups wandered about for snuggles.

My kids loved the puppies, and I loved the recovery aspect and the bonus of some puppy time. I feel great today, and that shows me that I need to make yoga/mobility more of a focus on Sunday afternoons following these long runs.

I’ve also been getting out a lot lately with our dog- a nice dog walk after a run helps to flush my legs and speed recovery (do you see a pattern here?) and of course gives me a huge mental boost; Fall is my favourite season.

Ashley Worobec is a chiropractor who specializes in sports medicine. A former Boston marathoner, Dr. Worobec often runs the Chilly Half marathon and Around the Bay 30K. She has lived in Burlington for ten years with her husband and their two children. She qualified to run in the New York City Marathon in November.

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What if the voters return a Tory Minority government

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 1st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The latest polls are telling us that unless things change we are heading for a minority situation after the polls close election day, with neither major party winning the magic number of 170 seats.

And that will almost certainly leave either the Liberals or the Conservatives looking for support among the smaller parties.

Mace leaves the House

The Sergeant at Arms carries the Mace out of the House of Commons signifying that it is no longer in session.

The options include a formalized coalition as the Liberals, NDP and Bloc had proposed back in December 2008. At that time the opposition parties were upset that the governing minority Tories didn’t have a fiscal plan to protect Canadians from the evolving global recession. Facing an imminent non-confidence motion Harper convinced the governor general to prorogue Parliament.

Once Parliament resumed he over-compensated for his near blunder by running up the largest deficit in the nation’s history, much of it wasted on frill spending for the G7 meeting in Toronto. With that, the coalition dissolved and Harper dutifully paid closer attention to opposition demands, at least until he won a majority in 2011.

The legal community was divided about the legitimacy of shutting down parliament in the face of a non-confidence vote just to avoid Harper’s almost certain defeat. British PM Boris Johnson recently tried to use the same tactic to shut down the British Parliament. In this case though, the British Supreme Court unanimously overturned his prorogation, citing that it was an affront to democracy.

After an election the party with the most seats can claim the right to form government, even without a formal coalition. Lester Pearson is seen by many as one of our best PMs though he never had the luxury of a majority of seats, nor a formal arrangement with any of the opposition. Notably he delivered universal health care and the Canadian flag. His approach was to find common ground on matters of policy in order to avoid losing the confidence of the house.

Pierre Trudeau and Stephen Harper for the most part followed that leadership model. Joe Clark, on the other hand, was inflexible and uncompromising, which accounted for his relatively short time in office. He was defeated on a budget in the House, and ultimately by the Canadian voters at the ensuing election.

Sheer loves oil and gas

Pipelines are dear to his heart.

Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives are currently leading in some polls, so the question is what happens if they get the most seats but not enough for a majority. Some of Scheer’s main policies involve building a trans-national oil pipeline, scrapping the current environmental assessment process, cancelling the carbon tax and rolling back other climate action initiatives.

Only his former colleague and opponent for the Conservative leadership, Maxime Bernier, and his ultra-right People’s Party would be on-side with those kinds of reactionary policies. Bernier is, after all, one of the last great climate deniers. And he has positioned himself so far to the right that the only seat his party may be able to win is in western Canada, the home to so many other real dinosaurs. That is unless Rob Ford’s widow surprises us all in Etobicoke. And we should have learned never to underestimate the Ford nation.

Scheer pointing at self

The country doesn’t know this man all hat well. This election campaign is making him much more visible to people of every political persuasion.

Scheer’s recently unveiled environment plan, which he labels as the best climate action plan, has been estimated to actually increase rather than reduce emissions by 2030, Canada’s target year under the Paris climate agreement. While there is independent analysis which shows the Liberal plan is likely to miss the 2030 target, it will at least reduce emissions.

Mr. Scheer’s claim made in the same breath that he attacks Mr. Trudeau, for likely missing the target, is more than duplicitous – a case of ‘talking rather than walking’, and following the lead of Tory provincial governments in Alberta and Ontario. Mr. Ford, for example, is increasing speed limits on its multi-lane highways which will lead to increased fuel use and auto emissions of at least 10%.

Bloc Q logo

The Bloc is still a strong political force in Quebec.

There is no social acceptability for an oil pipeline in Quebec, so Mr.Scheer won’t find any support among the separatist Bloc Quebecois, the provincial-only federal political party which is rising in the polls again in Quebec. Bloc policies for the most part are similar to those of the NDP, without a lot of the separatist rhetoric.

But even on separatism, it is no secret that Quebecers switched their votes en mass from the Bloc to the NDP once Jack Layton defied the Supreme Court and promised Quebecers, were he the prime minster, they could separate on a vote of 51%. And Jagmeet Singh has learned well from the master, stirring the pot with fresh foolish promises for a new federal deal and a more independent Quebec.

Singh - blue turban

Jagmeet Singh doesn’t have a lot of room for any political maneuvering.

Singh, in the short time he has been leader of the NDP, has proven every bit as opportunistic as Layton was. He is talking out of both sides of his mouth on TMX and the B.C. LNG project, approved and subsidized by both the feds and the province. Still, both he and Green Party leader Elizabeth May would have a membership revolt were they to support Scheer’s plans.

elizabeth-may

Green Party leader Elizabeth could end of holding the balance of power.

And without that support Scheer would have to go it alone, hoping the Liberals would support him on some issues. But Scheer has been particularly nasty when it comes to Mr. Trudeau, even in the pre-campaign period, so if there is some support it won’t be out of love. Scheer would need to try a little tenderness when it comes to his main opponent.

TMX pipeline

If you live in Alberta – this pipeline is the path to prosperity.

One Alberta news media is pleading for a majority government by either main party, amid the fear that the TMX pipeline may be cancelled as a ransom demand by third parties in a minority government. The parties on the right can count on about a third of the all the votes, another third will likely go to the Liberals and the remainder will be held by the smaller left leaning parties.

The stronger the support for the third parties, the greater the chance that Mr. Scheer will able to slip up the middle and win a majority government, much as Ontario premier Doug Ford did last year. But the reality is that unless Andrew Scheer breaks through the 170 seat barrier he might as well trash most of his party’s platform. He will not be able to implement it in whole, nor even most of its components. Trying to do that would doom him to the fate suffered by Joe Clark – a short lived term in office followed by another election.

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:

Election Tipping Points – Political Coalition –

Maxime Bernier

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Federal election debate to take place at the Nuvo Network Thursday evening.

federal election 2019By Staff

October 1st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

BurlingtonGreen is sponsoring what is probably going to be the best debate between the federal election candidates that citizens of Burlington will get to hear is to take place on Thursday at the Nuvo Network.

They expect a large crowd based on the registration thus far. The event will go like this.

NuvoOne

A rendering of what the Nuvo Network will look like when the refurbishing of what was once the television studio that broadcast the 100 Huntley Street evangelical programs from is completed.

• 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Doors open and opportunity for the public to submit questions. There will be an opportunity for interviews with the candidates during this time, in addition to photography.

• 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Moderated Debate. The emcee/ moderator of the debate is BurlingtonGreen’s Executive Director, Amy Schnurr. The debate will take place in Founders Hall, thus we respectfully ask that you wrap up conversations and take your seat among the audience in a timely fashion, no later than 6:55 pm.

The debate will commence at 7:00 pm sharp and finish at 9:00. The format will consist of a series of pre-determined questions asked by Amy, our partner and a youth representative, in addition to questions that will be provided from the audience and vetted.

There will be no open microphone.

• 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm: Reception to meet the candidates.

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Can the development proposals planned for the 'football' be stopped?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 30th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In from the east

The view of the as yet unnamed tower as you drive into Burlington from the east.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward left the meeting before it ended. A presentation was being made by Old Lakeshore Burlington Inc. who were explaining what their development proposal idea was for the property at the east end of where Old Lakeshore Road and Lakeshore Road was going to look like; she had heard all she needed.

A part of the city that she used as the rallying cry for her election to city council in 2010 was about to be turned into something similar to what Toronto did to the land south of the Gardner Expressway and Lake Ontario. It was not what she had in mind for her city.

SOW images for fottball

This was the limit Marianne Meed Ward was calling for in the 2010 election.

The provincial government approach to development changed when Doug Ford came into office, the massive change in what LPAT (Local Planning Authority Tribunal) was going to do for the municipal sector wasn’t helping.

Was there a way out of or around what was heading our way?

There might be.

At this risk of using a phrase that didn’t actually resonate in Burlington – it is time to be bold. Let’s try – “Daring to be a Daniel” instead.

There is in the municipal world a number of tools that can be put to very good use – but it does require some creativity.

Russian nesting dolls

A doll within a doll – a planning tool within a planning tool.

I spoke to a number of people about what the city is up against and got some solid feedback. One resident, long in the tooth and the holder of much wisdom and experience in matters related to planning, suggested the approach the city could take is a little like those Russian nesting dolls.

All these planning and land management tools can be made to fit into each.  It takes very tight strategic thinking and you’re going to need a lot of that high priced legal talent to make it all happen – but they experts we spoke to told us it could perhaps be done.

Is it worth the risk to take a shot at it?

Site overview - aerial

The developer sees the 26 storey tower as the eastern gateway to the city – it’s impressive. Is it the best thing for the city?

There is currently an Interim Control Bylaw in place for the Urban Growth Centre. It has about eight months left in the first year it is going to be in place. The city could extend that bylaw for a second year.

The Chief Planner Heather MacDonald has a team of consultants working with her on what the city might do in terms of the kinds of development that will be permissible.

What is permitted

The A and B properties are in what is called the “football”

The “football” is within that Urban Growth boundary – so nothing is going very far until that interim bylaw is lifted.

What I learned in my talks with a number of people is this:

The review of the adopted – but not yet passed by city council Official Plan, could designate certain lands as having a special interest for the city in terms of the long range development.

They could put what is known as an H designation – a HOLD on what gets done with a piece of property.

With that hold in place the city has time to re-think where it wants to go.

Burlington has had relatively large community protest groups in the past. The Save our Waterfront group had more than 1000 members - did it achieve anything other than getting its founder elected to city hall? Here one of the masters of public involvement, former Toronto Mayor David Crombie talks with current SOW presisdent.

Former Toronto Mayor David Crombie talking to Mike xxx, who at the time was President of the Save our Waterfront group that had 1000 members,

With that time available Burlington can then form a group that studies the potential for the “football”; former Mayor David Crombie suggested to the Waterfront Advisory Committee that was in place at the time that they do just that. He added that putting a couple of “oddballs” on such a committee is always a good idea.

I learned that there is also a Community Improvement section in the Municipal Act – it is sometimes referred to as a Community Development Plan.

That part of the Act could be used to put together a plan that had wide wide stakeholder involvement.  These plans, I was told, give a municipality a tremendous amount of power and scope – they are in effect putting the needs and interests of the citizens first.

Right now the Planning department is dealing with a development application, which they have to accept and issue a report on.  They don’t have anything to compare it to – something that might be better for the city.

If the buy in from the public was high enough the city could move to expropriate all the land within the “football” and float a bond to pay for it.

If the Mayor wanted to get really creative she could look for a way to create a bond that the average citizen could units of.

Meed ward looking askance

Does the Mayor think there is a way out of what the developers have told us they want to do with the football? Will the Mayor manage to toss it back to them and expropriate the land.

Meed Ward is staring at a couple of developments that will put 26 storey condominiums on land she believes should not be any higher than 12 storeys.

LPAT will not let that happen – the developers know they will win at that level.

There just might be a way to do something truly stunning for the city.

Market-Lakeshore-foot-of-St-Paul-looking-west3-1024x6821

All of this was close to given away to the owners of properties that abutted the waterfront.

That terrible loss the city suffered when lake front land between Market and St. Paul was sold for a pittance can’t be reversed – but amends could be made for that loss.

Emma’s Back Porch and the Water Street Cookery could be part of something truly unique.

All it takes is takes innovation, creativity and courage.

We are far from experts in this field. But we do believe that citizens will stand up for themselves when the leadership they want leads.

The 2006, 2010 and the 2014 city council’s didn’t lead.  Mayor Meed Ward has made it clear things will be done differently – how much differently.

Let’s see where the Gazette’s active comment people have to say.

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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City council opts for free transit for high school students; top bus driver in the city and the Mayor and going to steer this one.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 30th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was the Mayor’s initiative from the get go.

She is going to ride this one and reap the benefits.

Meed Ward was a big fan of getting people out of their cars and on public transit.

She was behind the free ride for seniors that is now in pilot and reported to be doing very well.

She next moved onto getting high school students on to public transit.

Her goal is to have anyone who has somewhere to go to do so by just hoping on the bus – free for everyone, eventually.

Meed Ward took it one step further – she thinks transit should be a Regional government issue so that there is easy travel to Oakville, Milton and even Halton Hills where there is currently no public transit.

Transit-report-card- 2018

Public perception was very poor in 2018

transit-report-card-2019-w

It improved in 2019.

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.

Then it becomes totally free?

The instruction that came out of the city council meeting last week were crystal:

Direct the Mayor and Director of Transit to develop a draft report including a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding free transit for Burlington students, outlining the program, costs, revenue impacts, eligibility, and commitments in more detail, in partnership with Halton Region and the four school boards that serve Halton students: Halton District School Board, Halton Catholic District School Board, and the two French school boards, Conseil scolaire Viamonde and Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir, and report back to council for a decision.

Mayor Meed Ward is going to be at the table where this happens – bet on it.

This initiative is going to be led by Burlington Transit with the different Boards of Education picking up the tab – they can certainly expect to pay more than they are paying now.

The Halton District School Board fell in love with the idea and had their motion passed before the city had their’s cast in stone.

HDSB Director of Education Stuart Miller when asked how this was going to work out said:

“It’s a little complicated.

“We do need the Catholic Board to agree and the transportation consortium as well. That hasn’t been done yet, but I suspect it is just the timing and it will as soon as the Boards can all meet.

“As for the work, most of it will be done by the City of Burlington with us helping to educate our students. The budgetary component will also be largely Burlington. We will continue to contribute the amount we have been providing, but this is pretty straight forward.”

Let us hope so.

Director of Transit Sue Connors, who did some exceptionally good work with the Brampton Transit system when she ran that operation, can be expected to do the same thing here. She is looking forward to being the first city in the province that has electric buses.

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High school students do very well in mathematics and literacy tests; exceed the provincial average..

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 30th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We reported earlier today on how well the grade 3 and grade 6 students did on their testing. Earlier in the month the Ontario Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released results showing Halton District School Board (HDSB) students continue to perform above the province in Grade 9 Academic and Applied Mathematics, and on the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).

These results are based on assessments completed in the 2018-2019 school year and show that HDSB students are well above the provincial standard (Level 3 & 4, or a B grade or above) in Grade 9 Math and on the OSSLT.

For Grade 9 Math, there are separate assessments for students in the academic and applied courses. The Grade 9 Academic Math assessment results remained consistent with the previous year with 91% of students performing at the provincial standard. In the HDSB, there were a total of 3,698 students enrolled in the Academic Math course in the 2018-2019 school year.

For the 619 students in Grade 9 Applied Math in the 2018-2019 school year, results increased to 55% from 54% in the previous year. This is 11 percentage points above the provincial average of 44%.

grade 9 results

HDSB is proud of its “Applied Strategy” along with efforts to ensure that applied classrooms are engaging, active, relevant, and challenging places to learn through experiential opportunities. Professional learning opportunities were offered each semester for all teachers of Applied level courses. Additional sessions for Math occurred with a specific emphasis on the strengths and needs of students with learning disabilities in Mathematics. Schools applied best practices and proven strategies for teaching Mathematics. This focus on closing the gap in achievement, engagement and well-being for students in Applied courses resulted in a higher proportion of students in Applied level Math meeting the provincial standard for a third year in a row.

“We are pleased to see progress in our EQAO Math scores for the 2018-2019 school year, and are especially encouraged to see a percentage point increase in Grade 9 Applied Math,” says David Boag, Associate Director for the Halton District School Board. “We will continue to ensure math and literacy remain core areas of interest and focus as we continue to support all of our students.”

grade 10

The Grade 10 Literacy Test (OSSLT) results for the 2018-2019 school year were also released recently. The successful completion of the OSSLT is a requirement for graduation. The HDSB’s success rate for students writing the test for the first time increased by one percentage point from last year to 86%. The overall results for the OSSLT demonstrate that students in the Halton District School Board continue to have strong literacy skills.

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Some of the grade 3 and 6 marks are ahead of the provincial average but down slightly from the previous year.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 1st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The concern about student performances, the worry about disruption in the number of students in a classroom are what we hear about in the news.

There is some positive news: student grades are very good – higher in the Halton District School Board (HDSB) than the provincial average.

HDSB continues to perform above provincial average in Grade 3/Grade 6 Reading, Writing and Math on EQAO assessments.

Results released today from Education Quality and Accountability Office; results for students in Grade 6 Writing increased by one percentage point.

Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) show Halton District School Board (HDSB) Grade 3 and 6 students continue to perform above the provincial average based on assessments completed in the 2018-2019 school year. These results show that HDSB students are well above the provincial standard (Level 3 & 4, or a B grade or above) in Grade 3 and Grade 6 Reading and Writing.

grade 3 - 6In Grade 3 assessments, the HDSB outperforms the province by seven to nine percentage points. In Grade 6 assessments, the HDSB exceeds the provincial average by six to eight percentage points with 87% and 88% of Grade 6 students meeting the provincial standard on Reading and Writing, respectively.

In primary classrooms, HDSB staff continue to focus on sustaining effective Comprehensive Literacy Programs which include assessment for learning, differentiated and guided instruction and methods of monitoring student achievement. The Board continues to apply the Levelled Literacy Intervention Program to support students.

EQAO results are used to support continued student improvement at the school, system and provincial level. Results provide insight on how students are doing compared to the rest of the province. The Board uses this data at the school and board level, along with a variety of other student assessment data, to focus efforts toward continuously improving student achievement.

While students in the HDSB continue to perform well above the provincial average, the Board recognizes the need to make improvements in Mathematics. In 2017, the Board implemented the Mathematics Improvement Plan, which is in line with the Ministry’s Focus on Fundamentals in Mathematics Strategy. This work includes a focus on mathematics leadership, professional learning to support teachers in mathematics instruction and assessment, and investment in high quality resources and training for these resources in every school.

David Boag

David Boag, Associate Director for the Halton District School Board.

The HDSB Math Plan was launched three years ago and includes extensive support for student and staff learning, and involves developing learner profiles, using effective instructional and assessment strategies and resources to support Math learning.

“We are very proud of the HDSB’s EQAO results as the Board continues to exceed the provincial average on all assessments,” says David Boag, Associate Director for the Halton District School Board. “This success is attributed to the hard work and dedication of our staff, families and most importantly, our students.”

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Senior's Day on Tuesday - several free drop-in programs

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 30th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

October 1st is National Seniors’ Day and the city is going to celebrate with several free drop-in programs.

The objective is to honour and encourage older adults to connect and play which is important for a healthy, active life.

On this day, City of Burlington Adults 55+ Aquatics and Skating drop-in programs are free for participants aged 55 years and older.

Tyandaga golf course aerial

Golf goody: two adults aged 55 years and older can play for the price of one between 10 a.m. and noon.

At Tyandaga Golf Course, two adults aged 55 years and older can play for the price of one between 10 a.m. and noon.

Community partners will be at various facilities with information on services and fun activities.

Older adults are encouraged to visit any of the locations listed below to meet community partners and be entered for the chance to win one of two Burlington Seniors’ memberships and one of two Parks and Recreation $25 gift cards.

There is nothing fancy about the place. It's simple, serves the purpose with a bus stop almost outside the door and plenty of parking. And the kitchen will rustle you up a sandwich if you're hungry. The Seniors like it the way it is.

There is nothing fancy about the place. It’s simple, serves the purpose with a bus stop almost outside the door and plenty of parking. And the kitchen will rustle you up a sandwich if you’re hungry. The Seniors like it the way it is.

Participating Locations:
• Aldershot Pool
• Tyandaga Golf Course
• Burlington Seniors’ Centre
• Tansley Woods Community Centre

To view a complete listing of drop-in programs CLICK here.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward tells us that “The older adult population of Burlington is vibrant and engaged, and a vital part of our communities. I encourage all adults aged 55 and older to take advantage of the free drop-in programs or to stop by the Burlington Seniors’ Centre to see our community partners, socialize and enjoy the day.”

Mandy Newnham, Supervisor of Recreation wants these senior’s “to come out to the variety of registered and drop-in recreational programs for Adults 55+ across the city to keep active and play every day.”
Ensuring Burlington is an age-friendly city is a commitment Burlington City Council made in the City’s 25-year Strategic Plan. Under the ‘A City that Grows’ direction, the City committed to developing an age-friendly strategy that supports aging in place. Ensuring sufficient Adults 55+ space for recreation and social activities is provided throughout the city is part of the plan.

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Council members take a tour of the IKEA operation. Sharman takes a pass.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 28th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They were just serving on behalf of the public they serve and doing a tour of the IKEA .  Looks like a happy enough occasion.

Council at IKEA

All they needed was the City Clerk and this could have been a meeting of city council. Councillor Sharman did not attend.

What would call for a tour of IKEA  that involved every member of council- except a Councillor who has been known to skip events?   Something new from IKEA?

Their plans for a re-locate a number of years ago to a site on the North Service Road didn’t work out – there were concerns from Conservation Halton related to just how close Tuck Creek was to the eastern edge of the property.

Maybe this was just an occasion for a big photo op.

 

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City locks doors to washrooms in the Beachway on a sunny Saturday afternoon - why?

News 100 redBy Staff

September 28th,2019

BURLINGTON, ON

The city has responded to this article.  See below.

There are washrooms on the north side of the Snack Shack that remain open throughout the year.

Readers are writing in advising us that the toilets on the Beachway are locked.

“Weather of 25 degrees Celsius and the doors are locked. I saw a dump, I thought maybe we had bears in Burlington.”

Another reader wrote that “toilets at the beach are locked, there are people defecating in the bushes.”

Beachway washrooms

Washrooms in the Beachway. Locked on a warm fall weekend: why? Not much in the way of bushes for people to drop their shorts in.

It was a wonderful sunny day – a great time to get out and enjoy the weather.

Most people know there are some washroom facilities in the Beachway – why in weather like this would they be locked?

The washrooms are a bit of an embarrassment as they are – they are due for a major upgrade.

Does the city follow a rule that once we are into fall weather the washrooms are automatically locked – or maybe someone didn’t show up to unlock them.

Poor policy, lousy public service.

Come Monday we will ask Parks and Recreation and see what they have to say.

The city responds: The washrooms at Beachway Park were open on the weekend. The change rooms are now locked for the season and this may have caused the confusion. The change rooms are located in a separate building on the south side of the Snack Shack also have washroom facilities. The doors for the change rooms were locked while the adjacent washrooms remain open until the water is turned off for the season.

 

There are washrooms on the north side of the Snack Shack that remain open throughout the year.

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Police Seeking the Public's Assistance - Stabbing Incident in Burlington

Crime 100By Staff

September 28th,  2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Night spots get very dangerous when people feel they can carry a knife and then stab someone when there is an altercation.

The stabbing took place almost a month ago at a local club.

The Halton Regional Police Service is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect responsible for a stabbing that took place at the ‘Island Nightclub’ in Burlington.

On August 31, 2019 a male suspect got into a physical altercation with another male outside of the night club. During the fight, the suspect stabbed the victim with an unknown object causing a puncture wound to the victim’s shoulder. The suspect then fled the area on foot.

The victim was treated and released from hospital.

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect responsible for the stabbing incident.

Stab Suspect 2Stab Suspect1Suspect is described as a male, black, with a slim build, short dreadlock style hair and unshaven. He was wearing a dark shirt and dark pants. The suspect appeared to be approximately 21 years of age and wore a black satchel slung off of his shoulder.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jared McLeod at the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825 4747 ext. 2385.

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.

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Stunning design for the Lakeshore Road - but no one at the public meeting liked the height.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 27th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mayor stood at the back of the room, glumly listening to a development presentation that, if ever built, would crush the agenda she has had in place from the day she first began to be politically active in ward 2 where she became the Council member, served two terms and went on to get elected as Mayor.

Design principles

Design concept principles.

The development is in a prime location – at the visual entrance to the city as one drives in from the east.

The shape of the property gave the developer the opportunity to do something stunning and Nick Carnacelli didn’t disappoint.

In from the east

Looking at the development as you drive into Burlington from the east.

The design is stunning, it sets a new benchmark for excellence in outside appearance and will certainly draw the clientele that can afford what it is going to cost.

The only problem was – no one liked the height – they wanted something lower.

Time may prove that lower buildings will become possible in Burlington but the evidence at this point is that height is a given – the issue will be where that height gets situated.

The city had more than a decade to make it clear that it had different ideas for what it referred to as “the football” because of its shape – enclosed by Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road and limited to some degree by the set back and top of bank requirements along the lake which is yards away from this development and the one proposed next to it.

From Lakeshore and Martha

Looking west along Lakeshore Road, Martha’s Landing is on the left.

The meeting began with Andreas Houlios, a city planner setting out what the zoning was and what the Official Plan that is in place permits. Burlington has an Official Plan that was put in place in 2008.

A new plan was passed by city council in 2017 but not approved by the Region.

The 2018 election brought in a new council that took what they called an “approved” Official Plan and began the process of revising it. The city is waiting for that revision to be made public as soon as it is complete. But right now, today – the Official Plan as it will apply to this development reads like this:

Official Plan designation:
• Downtown Mixed Use Centre
• Old Lakeshore Rd Mixed Use Precinct (Area B – East Sector)

Site Specific Official Plan Policy:
• Building heights up to 10 storeys and 31.5 metres
• Taller building heights up to 12 storeys and 37 metres permitted subject to certain requirements
Subject Site
What is permittedWhat is permitted on this site?
Current Zoning:
• DL-A (Downtown Old Lakeshore Road)
• Permits a variety of retail and service commercial uses, office, hospitality, entertainment and recreation uses, as well as apartment buildings and retirement homes.
• Maximum height of 10 storeys -12 under certain situations.
• The Provincial Planning Act allows applications to be submitted at any time by landowners to change the Official Plan designation and/or zoning on a property.
• The City is required to process these applications following a set of Provincial rules and regulations and with consideration being given to existing Provincial and Regional policy.
• City planners obtain technical advice and public input before making a recommendation to Council.
• If Council does not make a decision on an application within the legislated timeframe, the applicant may be appeal the applications to the LPAT, if desired.

And that is what the developer has done. They are asking for a change to the Official Plan and changes to the zoning on the site.

The property happens to be within the boundaries of an Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) that is currently in place for one year – that year has about eight months left.

Site overview - aerial

The development will dominate the entrance to the city.

The Planning department will receive the application but will not begin a Staff Report until the ICBL is lifted.

With that background in place the audience of about 40 people got to hear what NAME had to say about the merits of the development. He did not get a round of applause and he was interrupted a number of times.

Mark Bales, a vice president with the developer Old Lakeshore Burlington Inc., stood a few times to elaborate on a point and to answer questions from a less than friendly audience. Mr. Bales at one point chose to hold his open hand up facing Councillor Lisa Kearns in an effort to stop her from speaking – an atrocious bit of behavior that we have seen before.

Nick Carnecelli, standing at the back of the room signaled to Bales to tone it down.

The audience the developer was dealing with did not want what was being proposed – they wanted the 12 storeys the Official Plan permits.

There were some ideas put out on how traffic might be managed and the wish for a more “village like” setting. Nothing the developer was going to do anything with.

It is now a waiting game until the ICBL is lifted.

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Road Closure: King Road, between Plains Road East and North Service Road - Sept. 30 - Oct. 4, 2019

notices100x100By Staff

September 27th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Beginning Monday, September 30th, a section of King Road will be closed between Plains Road East and North Service Road to allow for underground utility connection work. The closure will be in place until Friday, October 4th, 2019.

werb

King Road before the grade separation went in.

Local and emergency vehicle access will be maintained up to the closure points throughout the duration of the project. A detour for through traffic will be in place via Plains Road, Waterdown Road, North Service Road.

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Mayor adds staff member with a degree in criminology to her team.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 26, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mayor’s office now has a full compliment. Her new Executive Administrator and Constituent Liaison started 0fficially on September 23rd which means Georgie Gartside can hopefully return to working as the Administrative Assistant with ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte.

The newbie to the Mayor’s office is Darian Mills who brings a highly-relevant background as an assistant for the Member of Parliament for Brantford Brant.

DarianMills-300x300

Darian Mills – Executive Administrator and Constituent Liaison

The Mayor points to Darian’s “unique combination of government experience, customer-service skills, administrative excellence and positive energy.

“She has an Honours degree in Criminology and a passion for politics, and all things dogs-related. Darian is focused on serving the people of Burlington and helping me, as your Mayor, realize our collective vision for our City.

The Mayor thanks Georgie Gartside, “who was my assistant when I was a Councillor, for stepping in during this transition period and helping the Mayor’s Office run smoothly for the past few months.

It was a busy summer and a busy start to the fall in the Office of the Mayor, and Georgie’s skills and experience were appreciated more than I (and the rest of my team) can possibly say.”

The Mayor also thanked Councillor Shawna Stolte and the entire team of councillors’ assistants for being so flexible and collaborative, pulling together to cover the workload while we searched for this new team member.

The Mayor also set out the procedures for communicating with her office. For an efficient response continue to email mayor@burlington.ca.

The Mayor’s Office Team:

Victoria Al Samadi, Mayor’s Chief of Staff; Victoria.Alsamadi@burlington.ca; 905-335-7600, ext. 7703 (contact for policy and strategy);

Darian Mills, Executive Administrator and Constituent Liaison; Darian.Mills@burlington.ca; 905-335-7607 (for general enquiries);

John Bkila, Media and Digital Communications Specialist; John.Bkila@burlington.ca; 905-335-7600, ext. 7478 (for media inquiries).

The online process for all inquiries related to the Mayor’s Office with regards to event invitations, requesting a proclamation, congratulatory letter or certificate, a flag-raising, or a meeting have been streamlined.

For events, proclamations, letters/certificates or flag-raising requests, please head to https://webforms.burlington.ca/Mayors-Office/Invite-the-Mayor.

For requesting a meeting with the mayor, please visit https://webforms.burlington.ca/Mayors-Office/Request-a-Meeting-with-The-Mayor.

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Transit route 4 detour begins September 30th.

notices100x100By Staff

September 26th, 2019

Burlington, on

 

Burlington Transits route 4 has a detour, between Dynes Rd. and Cumberland Ave.
starting September 30th through to October 5th due to construction in the area.

The following stops not be serviced.

• #148 – Prospect St. at Dynes Rd.
• #159 – Cumberland Ave. at Woodward Ave.
• #160 – 3232 Prospect Ave.
• #164 – Cumberland Ave. at Northgate Dr.
• #168 and #174 – 3270 Prospect St

Route 4 will travel along Dynes Rd. and Woodward Ave.

Route 4 map

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