Public school board loves the idea of free transit on Burlington transit buses for their high school students.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 12th, 2019



When Mayor Marianne Meed Ward left a city Standing Committee earlier this week she had a nod from her colleagues to have the talk she wanted to have with the Halton District Board of Education about putting students on Burlington Transit buses with a pass that made the service free to use – 24/7

There are some 4500 students who live outside the area that would qualify them for passage on a yellow school bus. Meed Ward wants them on a Burlington transit bus using a student pass that would be free and usable 24/7.

She takes that view even further – she wants transit free for everyone – 24/7.

She goes much further – she thinks transit should be a regional issues and that it should also be free.

Her argument was compelling enough for the school board trustees to pass a resolution urging the trustees, when they are meeting as a Board to make it formal and pass a motion.

Meed Ward + scl bd chair

Halton District School Board chair Andréa Grebenc welcomes Mayor Marianne Meed Ward to the first committee meeting of the year.

The trustees were meeting as a Committee of the Whole where they cannot pass motions. They will meet on Wednesday of next week and in all likelihood pass a motion which will have the school board more on side for the free transit idea than the city. Burlington Councillors don’t meet as a Council until the 23rd when they will have the opportunity to “make it so” as they say on Star Trek.

Mead Ward, who was invited to speak to the trustees (that would have been brought about by Trustee Leah Reynolds asking that the Mayor be invited – the two go back some distance,)

The Mayor’s pitch was twofold: she believed that getting students on buses was an environmental and an economic plus for the city.

Meed Ward told the trustees that there were some 4500 students who lived outside the area that would provide them with school bus passage. As a result parents were driving the students creating traffic chaos at most of the high schools.

The Mayor’s pitch had another angle – giving students free passes was removing barriers now in place that kept students away from opportunities to get to part time jobs, take part in extracurricular events and use the bus to explore their city.

Meed Ward told of her grade 9 experience in Kingston when she got a pass that let her go wherever she wanted on a bus. “It was really empowering” she said. “I was my own person and could go wherever the bus would take me. It helped me grow as a young person to be responsible and to be inquisitive.” She added that the service in those days was 25 cents.

Sue Connor, Director of Transit for Burlington, attended with the Mayor. The Board of Education Superintendent Roxanna Negoi, responsible for transportation, was asked how much the Board spent on bus passes and said it was between $110,000 and $120,000.

Connor, never a slouch when it comes to numbers, opened her binder and said that the public school board spent $115,500 and the Catholic Board spent $10,500.

Mayor Meed Ward knew she was talking to people her understood her language when ward 5 school board trustee Amy Collar said “This has been a long time coming.”

Heather Gerrits - Milton trustee 2019

Milton trustee Heather Gerrits

The Board of Education is made up of representatives from the four municipalities in the Region. Donna Danielli, representing Milton, said there was a concern that some people would feel that their community doesn’t have free bus service – why should yours – and quickly added that the idea was an “incredible vision”. Heather Gerrits, also from Milton said she “loved the idea” and began talking about how she would advocate with both Milton Councillor Colin Best and Milton Mayor Gord Krantz to get Milton going on something similar.

Meed Ward said she would be happy to assist in bring the other municipalities around to the idea and would chat up the other Mayors at Regional Council meetings.

The school board trustees couldn’t do enough and the Director of Education Stuart Miller got onside by saying he would take direction from his board and believed he could have a report ready for early December that would set out what should be in the Memorandum of Understanding that would be put in place and what should be out.

Stuart Miller

Director of Education Stuart Miller.

He was thinking in terms of a high level report that would be ready for the lawyers by the end of the year.

Meed Ward said there “was no moss under our feet”. Amy Collard added “we don’t want this to sit idle”.

You could see where this was going. There is nothing a politician likes more than real forward momentum.

Now to get the public on side and to work out just where the money for those free passes is going to come from.

Sue Connor told the meeting that she has a bus that is about to be retired. She will have it done over with signage and make it an Orientation bus that will travel from school to school and be used for public education on how to use transit as well.

As the meeting was edging towards a close Meed Ward gave Connor that look that said: ‘We clinched this one’ – and indeed they had.

Someone in the room said: “Giddy Up”

Trustee Danielli added that when it come to a new idea “success begets envy”. The hope appeared to be that that envy would result in every municipality wanting free public transit.

Halton Hills unfortunately doesn’t have a transit service.

When Meed Ward moves to make transit a regional service – Halton Hills will be part of that package.

Burlington’s 2014-2018 city council could not get past their view that transit really wasn’t what people in the city wanted. They missed all the signs saying otherwise – or perhaps the signs of the times have changed.

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Friends of Freeman station find they have friends at city hall as well - the city will pay to have rolling stock moved.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2019



This one has been a long time coming – and very richly deserved.

The volunteers that made the restoration of the Freeman Station possible worked hard against some really unfortunate resistance from the city council at the time.

They had every reason to be smiling. Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

They were never BFF but then Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster stood up when it mattered. Here they pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

It was then Councillors Marianne Meed Ward and Blair Lancaster that stood up to be counted and were there every step of the way as the volunteers overcame one obstacle after another.

The Mayor at the time seemed mute; two Councillors came close to conspiring to ensure that it didn’t happen; a staff civil engineer was less than truthful when she said the structure might well fall apart if any effort were made to move it.

Despite all this – a location was found, the station was successfully moved and the renovations began to take place. Hundreds of people offered memorabilia.


Telephone used by station masters,

The collection of railway lanterns is close to embarrassing – they have half a dozen key sets as well.

They have one of the receipt books that lists every package that came into the station and was shipped out from the Station.

Don Smith tells people of the days when he was a boy and would go with staff from his Dad’s funeral home to pick up new coffins that were being shipped to the then town.

A short while ago the Friends of Freeman FOFS learned that a steam engine and a tender plus two railway cars were available for the right organization.

The Friends of Freeman jumped aboard that idea and did their homework; approached council asking for some help.

They needed financial backing which they would have liked to see in the form of a grant, but if that was not possible, they would do the fundraising needed to pay the City back. A letter from the City indicating this financial support to move the equipment would form a key element of their proposal and would make it very compelling.

Council agreed to provide up to $150,000 to transport the engine and rail cars from Morrisburg,  Ontario where they are a part of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) and are located at Crysler Park, near Morrisburg.

The SLPC has decided the equipment does not fit its mandate as it is too modern for the era they depict at Upper Canada Village, and they do not wish to restore it. They have put it out to tender with the proviso that it must go to a museum, municipality or other similar entity in Canada, for preservation. The equipment will be granted at no cost, except its removal and relocation.

It was a great opportunity with a relatively short time line. An application had to be in by October 4th. FOFS didn’t have that kind of money – they asked the city if they would backstop the funding requirement.

Freeman - close to final

The station sits on private property that is a hydro right of way. Rent is $1 a year. The city owns the station – the Friends take care of it.

The city was prepared to go further than that – the recommendation out of committee was to put up the $150,000 as a grant – and then they got really generous and said that it was about time the city bought the land the Freeman Station sits on.

It can’t be used for any development – most of it is beneath a hydro right of way.


The engine – believed to have been used on one of the runs into Burlington.


The tender carried coal used to create steam to drive the four truck engine.


A passenger car that is believed to have been used during trips to Burlington.


A baggage car that could also be refrigerated.

This equipment is extremely rare, and in relatively good condition, needing only cosmetic restoration. The passenger car is so rare it may well be the only one left of its type in Canada. The locomotive served the Burlington area at one time, the refrigerated baggage car was of a type, and may have been one, that served the Freeman Station fruit platform. The passenger car may well have served Freeman Station.

FOFS has assembled a team of restoration experts and has the volunteer and sponsor base needed to restore this priceless historic railway equipment and make it, along with the station, a showpiece of which the citizens of Burlington can be proud.

They also have the land to accommodate the additions. Having restored Freeman Station and raised almost $1 million in funds, services and labour to do so, they can demonstrate to SLPC that they are a worthy candidate to receive their valued artifacts. At the present time FOFS has $30,000 available for restoration work.

The major issue is the cost of moving these large and heavy pieces to Burlington. FOFS has contacted four highly qualified and experienced movers of heavy equipment and asked each for a proposal. Three of the four have been to look at the equipment. All have given FOFS preliminary cost estimates ranging from $100,000 to $300,000. FOFS is now waiting on formal quotes and will meet with each to negotiate.

Freeman - scaffold outside platform windows

Volunteer working on the outside of the station.

The Freeman Station renovation is now virtually complete and is accepting visitors, and school trips. The station has proven to be a popular addition to the public spaces in Burlington.

They are now open Saturdays and Public Holidays and have visitor numbers typically between thirty and one hundred, with much larger crowds when they have a special event such as Doors Open. The addition of this rare railway rolling stock will add greatly to the attractiveness of Freeman Station and make it a more significant tourist attraction.

Freeman with stop and car in place

The challenge is going to be – where will the rolling stock go – they don’t want to block the view of the station.

It will draw visitors from far and wide and add to the educational experience provided by the station.

To make their proposal to SLPC credible by the deadline of October 4th, FOFS needs to demonstrate that they have the financial capability to move the equipment. Expect this to be approved at the council meeting on the 23rd.

Mayor Meed Ward may well drive to Morrisburg to present the application herself.


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Rainbow street crossings on the way - maybe something really spectacular if Councillor Sharman has his way.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2019



With 1500 plus people attending a very inclusive event at the Art Gallery it was not unusual to see city council decide that it too could make a difference and get its inclusivity colours out there.

Councillors Galbraith and Kearns got together to decide they would ask their colleagues to support their decision to put in a “rainbow” crosswalk.

Heck, Hamilton has one – we could do the same thing – and we might even go several steps further.

The city wants to be aboard the emerging focus on the LGTBQ2IS+ community. This year the City raised the Pride flag for the month of June. This fall, the Art Gallery of Burlington’s new exhibit “The Gender Conspiracy” opened. Burlington’s Inclusivity Advisory Committee, at their June 2019 meeting, supported working on Pride events for June 2020 with staff and citizens.

HRPS cruieser with rainbow stripes

The Regiomal police were one of the first to show their colours.

An area where numerous municipalities are also showing their support for Pride and the LGTBQ2IS+ community is installation of rainbow painted crosswalks at controlled intersections. It is an important public statement of welcome and inclusion that will be available year-round in our City.

In discussions with staff, Galbraith and Kearns felt it was time for the City to initiate a rainbow crosswalk. A staff direction was needed now so that the crosswalk could be painted in the spring in time for Pride 2020. They recommend the following staff direction:

“Direct the Director of Transportation Services to work with Councillor Kelvin Galbraith and the Aldershot Community in determining the most suitable location(s) to install rainbow crosswalks in the City of Burlington in recognition of Pride and inclusivity; and,

That the installation(s) be completed prior to Pride Month 2020.”

Well, they went quite a bit further than that. Director of Transportation Vito Tolone said there was enough money in the budget to put in at least two rainbow crosswalks.

He was given thee task of coming up with a list of all the places a rainbow crosswalk might be suitable.  Opposite the Art Gallery is a sure bet.

Four way - all way pedestrian crossing

A four way – all way crosswalk – where all traffic is stopped and the public uses the space for a couple of minutes and then it reverts to traffic. Sharman saw the stripes as being rainbow.

It then became a bit of a contest to see which wards would have the first rainbow crosswalk.

Councillor Sharman blew the debate wide open when he suggested: “Why are we limiting ourselves to just one crosswalk taking people from one side of the street to the other.?”

Sharman suggested the city consider installing a four way – all way rainbow crosswalk.  He didn’t get a round of applause for that one – but if this idea has legs you just might see something like that in front of city hall joining it to the two 23+ story condominiums that are going to be in place on the other side of the street in the next  four years – by about the end of the term of this council.

During the debate Councillor Kearns read into the record requests for rainbow crosswalk(s), were delivered to her office by local high school students, residents, and in direct conversation with constituents. The purpose is to show visibility and awareness to the ever evolving 2SLGBTQ Rainbow Community.


“On September 6th, I attended as an Ally with over 1500 people at the Art Gallery Burlington for The Gender Conspiracy: An Open Letter to the Trans and Gender Diverse communities.  It was an evening of contributing artists & community partners who are supporting a dialogue addressing human rights advocacy. 


“The purpose of a rainbow crosswalk here, just like the one presented at the United Nations which has been painted in the rainbow colours associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or two spirited movement is a reminder to local and world leaders that the fight for equality continues. This is not a gesture of special rights, it is acknowledging the battles that this community has faced historically around the world. I respect that this is a private matter for many, but it is right to honour those who have fought for rights in society – Harvey Milk, Larry Kramer, Sven Robinson, and the LGB youth who have a 14 times higher risk of suicide than heterosexual counterparts. We have to believe that we are part of ending this legacy and that we believe inclusivity means celebrating people for their accomplishments and merit only. 


Kearns at Rainbow crossing

Councillor Kearns with the kind of side walk crossing lines she would like to see. The first might be in Aldershot.

“This has been a tough staff direction to bring forward. It is bold to open an emotional, objective, personal conversation in a very public forum. I personally have stretched my education, understanding and empathy to be certain that this work is meaningful. 


“I know that the optimal location would be in the downtown and I fully support that. But at this time  with the onset of construction, there are unintended consequences that will project negatively on this initiative. Councillor Galbraith has stepped up to propose a location on Plains Road on the other side of Wolf Island Bridge – an entrance to Burlington, this signals that individuals are entering a safe & inclusive city. 


“Our commitment to inclusivity as a City is strong, it brings us together, it does not divide us. 

“We know this by the symbolic raising of our Pride Flag in June, by having Halton Regional Police Service as a recognized leader for its award-winning efforts to reach out to the diverse communities it serves, and by Burlington’s Inclusivity Advisory Committee working towards Pride events for June 2020 with staff and citizens.


“Our commitment to inclusivity as a City is strong. We are making life more welcoming, to creative inclusive space, and to show that love is love.”

As the committee was getting ready to move on to the next item she advised her colleagues that Tuesday was National Suicide Day.

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Nelson high school expansion finally gets the funding to proceed - opening September of 2020 is a stretch.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 10th, 2019



The Halton District School Board can finally put the Nelson High School addition out to tender.

Collard and Miller

Ward 5 trustee Amy Collard glaring at Director of Education Stuart Miller who went ahead to close Bateman High School. She was livid.

Director of Education Stuart Miller told the Gazette last week that “everything was ready” but the tender could not be put out until funding was in place. Yesterday the money rolled in.

The funding included a child care retrofit at Frontenac Public School.

For the construction of an addition at Nelson High School, the Board will receive $15,184,482. This project includes a new library and cafeteria to support the consolidation and closure of Robert Bateman High School in Burlington.

The Board will receive $1,028,508 to construct a two room stand-alone child care retrofit at Frontenac Public School that will accommodate 15 toddler and 24 pre-school spaces. The Lord Elgin YMCA Child Care Centre will move from Robert Bateman High School to Frontenac Public School in Burlington. Design phases are complete and the new space is expected to open in September 2020.

The funding of the additional space at Nelson puts the final nail into the closing if Robert Bateman High school.

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Last year there were 941 registered runners - can we make it 1000 this year?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 10th, 2019



This will be the 39th Annual Terry Fox run. What a record!  The Terry Fox Run for Cancer has raised over $2 million in the 38 years during which 23,00 people have participated.

The event has raised more than $81,000 in Burlington last year – tens of thousands of people have taken part; great research has been done with the funds raised.

Last year there were 941 runners registered, 115 volunteers and they raised $75,000.

Terry Fox run map

The Run location start and finish is east of the pier on grassy area south of Waterfront Hotel

The route is 2.5 km along waterfront and promenade so 5 km round trip

Registration at 8 am runners leave at 9 and walkers strollers dogs leave at 10 am

Fox monument with Brant Inn

Monument marking the 3582nd kilometer of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope Run that took place 35 years ago. The plaque noting that the historical Brant Inn used to be located a dozen yards or so to the south sits to the left of the monument.

Terry Fox 2019 shirt

The 2019 T-shirt

We will have usual suspects politically to kick it off Sunni Gennesco of Klite fm is MC

We have two live bands on the route including the ukulele busker band doing an all Canadian set in honour of Terry

Burlington Gymnastics Club will be working with kids on various equipment in a tent. Free food, massages, balloon animals, henna tattoos and face painting

No entry fee no minimum donation – this is a Family event – dogs welcome

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Five land-based gaming options closest to Burlington

eventsblue 100x100By Claire Nash

September 10th, 2019



Nash - slots Nash


Considering the hectic lives we lead these days, going about your day-to-day work without taking a break can take a toll on your health. This is where the importance of taking a vacation every now and then comes into the picture. And what better way to take some time off than indulging in your favourite casino games!

Although the ideal scenario would be you travelling to some land-based casino resort, spending a few days (and nights!) there and coming back refreshed, if it’s something that you don’t have the inclination or the budget to do, you can always play exciting casino games on your mobile phone too! For instance, these are the best mobile casinos available to Canadian residents.

The Burlington residents on the other hand can try out any of the below detailed land-based gambling options closest to the city. And if you’re in the mood to venture a little farther, here are four of the best land-based casinos in and around Ontario.

OLG Slots Casino & Flamboro Downs Racetrack Dundas

The Flamboro Downs is essentially a horse racetrack based out of Dundas, Hamilton. It houses close to 800 OLG slot machines for people wanting to indulge in some exciting gambling. The place is close to 20 minutes’ drive away from Burlington and once you are done gambling, you can admire Hamilton’s popular peak and two scenic waterfalls – Tew’s Falls and Webster’s Falls.

OLG Slots Casino & Campbellville Mohawk Racetrack

Around 30 minutes’ drive from Burlington, OLG Slots Casino & Campbellville Mohawk Racetrack is counted amongst the most visited gambling venues in Canada. You can witness plenty of contests and races happening here on a daily basis, with many bars and restaurants in the vicinity. The casino enthusiasts can play at 912 slot machines installed by OLG Slots at the venue. Who knows, if it’s your lucky day, you might win big like this woman from Ontario.

OLG Slots Casino & Woodbine Racetrack
Situated 59 km and 40 minutes’ drive away from Burlington is the OLG Slots Casino & Woodbine Racetrack, 20 miles west of Toronto. The establishment houses 2500+ slot machines and various other electronic gambling options including Sic Bo, poker, roulette, baccarat and blackjack. The Woodbine racetrack offers bets on Greyhound and horse races, apart from many more.

Nash - wheelOLG Casino Brantford
While OLG or Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation owns several different casino facilities in leisure centres across Ontario, it has its own establishment in Brantford known as the OLG Casino Brantford. This casino facility is 56 km and 40 minutes away from Burlington. Spread over an impressive 30,000 ft² area, it offers 540 gaming machines, 59 casino gaming tables, several poker games and an exclusive poker room.

OLG Slots Casino & Elora Grand River Racetrack
Also known as the Grand River OLG Slots, this facility is situated in Wellington’s South Boulder Highway, inside the Grand River racetrack. On offer are a wide range of bingo games, slot machines and live harness racing. You can reach here in 1 hour by car from Burlington, and once here you can also sample a wide range of culinary options around the racetrack.

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Could pausing to give cash to a pan handler get you a ticket for distracted driving? Some members of council think that might be a good idea.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 10th,2019



What do you think about this one?

Pan hamdler and cop - ticket

Police in Burlington don’t ticket pan handlers – there is nothing illegal about begging for money.

The police being able to give you a ticket for pausing to give some money to a pan handler at an intersection.

Mayor Meed Ward said her understanding was that this could be done. The ticket would be for distracted driving where a ticket comes in at as much as $1000.

From the provincial web site:
Most drivers caught, talking, texting, dialing or emailing on a handheld device will be fined up to $1,000 — more than double the current fine. Additional penalties include a three-day licence suspension and three demerit points. And that’s just the beginning. December 31, 2018

Panhandling OK tosay no

Council didn’t like the idea of signs – but they want to do something about the problem.

The idea landed on the table during a discussion of signs directing people to not give money to people pan handling but rather direct those people to agencies that can help.

Council agreed to a recommendation that would make use of City Talk, an insert that appears in a print newspaper and using social media to educate the public.

More on this later in the week.

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Councillor Nisan asks staff to dig out information that is already public - his first step in doing anything about the Nelson plans for a bigger quarry operation.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 10th, 2019



Some movement at city hall on the expected application to do more quarrying by Nelson Aggregates.

14a rendering of the lake 77acres

A decommissioned quarry site turned into a lake – 30 footballs fields in size.

The company has been very proactive and going to some lengths to get its story out – the ward Councillor appears to have forgotten that the job is to listen to all sides of an application.

We reached out to the Nelson Aggregate people and learned that they haven’t heard a ward from Councillor Nisan.

What the Councillor has done is ask his colleagues to support his Staff Direction for the following:

Direct the Director of City Building to report back to the Planning and Development Committee on the land use development application and review process related to the proposed Nelson Quarry expansion, including but not limited to the following:

• summary of the process including decision points;
• anticipated timelines for process steps;
• roles and responsibilities of review agencies;
• a summary of process and outcomes of the previous proposal for expansion; and
• a summary of any the new provincial legislation related to aggregate resources.

All that information is currently in the public domain – If Nisan wanted some additional depth the Deputy City Manager would have told him everything he would need to know and then some.

The Staff Direction move might just be some way of Nisan saying to his constituents: ‘I’m working for you’.

3 holdings

The Nelson offer is to turn all the land over to the city when they have completed the quarrying.

Council appears to have taken the position that they will talk to the quarry people when the site has been decommissioned. What Nelson Aggregates is required to do in the way of decommissioning is set out in their license, which the Gazette has made public.

rehab note

Note attached the one of the Nelson Aggregates licenses.

What Nelson is saying is that they have some unique ideas on what they can do with the site when they are finished that will determine just how they do the decommissioning – not whether or not they are going to do it.

Councillor Nisan will never know what they are thinking if he doesn’t talk to them.

He seems to be arming for a fight.

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Marathoner celebrates 40th birthday - does a 16.51 km run to celebrate.

sportsgold 100x100By Ashley Worobec

September 10th, 2019



I was asked about the technology I use in my running and how that’s changed over the years.

The watch

Worobec says the watch is the best technology investment she ever made.

The truth is, I only jumped on the “running technology” bandwagon a couple of years ago. I bought a Garmin watch in August 2017 (my sister-in-law worked for Garmin, so that’s why I chose that particular brand) and now I can’t imagine running without it!

Data to date

On going data.

This watch does EVERYTHING for me – it tracks my heart rate (via my wrist; there’s no chest straps involved like older versions), my step count, my pace per kilometre, my distance, my elevation, and much, much more. One of the functions I use regularly is programming workouts- as shown in the example below, I’ve programmed it to run hard for 1 minute, recover for 2 mins, hard for 2 mins, recover for 1 minutes, and repeat that 7 times; this watch will then guide me through that workout and beep at the appropriate times to alert me when to rest and when to push hard.

Morning run

The results of a morning run.

The other technology I use is run mapping. The main website I use for my routes is I’ll map the route ahead of time so that I’m sure I’m going the appropriate distance. This comes in handy when I’m not running with my training group; when I’m running with them, our routes are all pre-planned out for us.

I’ve also linked my watch to Strava (, which is like social media for endurance athletes.

Schedule - 1-2 punch

The watch is tougher than most coaches. Unforgiving!

I’m connected to lots of running friends on there and I can go onto the Strava app and see what runs others have been doing, as well as give them “kudos” (similar to a “like” on Facebook). I find Strava to be a good source of accountability and a bit of a competitive tool as well.

40th sunrise

The sunrise Ashley Worobec witnessed on her 40th birthday. Blessed

I turned 40 on Saturday, and of course I started my day with a run. I’ve included a picture of the sunrise that morning- sunrise runs are my favourite, and I ran along Burlington’s waterfront, which is also my favourite. It was the perfect start to a wonderful day.

November 3rd – the marathon date. I’ve been excited about this for a long time.  The fee to take part – once you qualify is $385.

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Election debate: Burlington Green working with NuvoOne to host a debate between the federal candidates.

2019 graphic federal electionBy Staff

September 10, 2019



Burlington Green has joined forces with Nuvo One to sponsor a debate between the candidates for the Burlington seat in the House of Commons.

Candidates at this point are Karina Gould, Liberal incumbent; Lenaee Dupuis,  New Democratic candidate; Gareth Williams, Green Party candidate; and Elizabeth Jane Michael, Conservative candidate.

Election debate

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West Nile virus found in Eight batches of infected mosquitoes found in the Region - all four municipalities.

notices100x100By Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2019



They are a seasonal threat that we have to pay close attention to.

This is how the West Nile virus is transmitted..

This is how the West Nile virus is transmitted..

The West Nile virus is carried by mosquitoes

A batch of mosquitoes trapped last week in Burlington has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).

This is the eighth batch of WNV positive mosquitoes for Halton this year. The other batches of mosquitoes testing positive for WNV this year were in Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville.

They are clearly evident throughout the Region. The rains and pooling of water gives them a place to breed.

“Halton is committed to reducing West Nile virus in our communities through education and preventative programs such as larviciding,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Until the hard frosts of fall set in, Halton residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites.”

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in areas such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, tires and other locations that hold water.

Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

• Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
• Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.
• Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects, where possible. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
• Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
• Make sure window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.

Locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied this year are available at

For more information about West Nile virus or to report standing water at public facilities, please visit, call 311 or email

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By law officers are reported to be tearing out naturalized gardens they once said were in compliance.

News 100 greenBy Doreen Nicoll

September 9th,2019


Part 1 of a 2 part story.

August 15th, I published an article about Antheia, a long-time homeowner in Burlington who has been maintaining a naturalized area in her front yard since 2015. The City of Burlington has repeatedly told Antheia she is in violation of City by-laws despite the by-laws allowing for naturalized areas. According to Antheia, “Every year they mischaracterize my naturalized area as a lawn and demand that I cut everything down to less than 8 inches/20 centimetres or they will come and do it themselves and charge me.”

After discussions with the by-Law supervisor in July 2019, Antheia was assured her property was being maintained as a naturalized area and was in fact in compliance. One month later, after allegedly receiving many complaints from neighbours, the City sent Antheia a letter demanding she cut everything – all the same plants that were in her yard when the City deemed it in compliance – to less than 8 inches/20 centimetres. She had until August 20th to comply.

On August 16th while Antheia was exploring options to save her plants, the City cut six feet of her naturalized garden to less than an inch/2.5 cm in height. No plants were spared and the devastated milkweed were carted away to be composted undoubtably with Monarch eggs or caterpillars clinging to leaves and stalks.

August 18th, I published the story of Paul Raun and his garden. Three-quarters of Raun’s front yard has been naturalized and is home to over 23 kinds of wildflowers, 12 types of shrubs and vines, three varieties of wild grasses, a sycamore and a redbud tree.

GARDEN Paul Raun

Paul Raun’s garden. Has been told it is in compliance – worried that it will be torn up nevertheless.

Raun purchased his wildflowers from reputable, and qualified, nurseries who specialise in indigenous plants. But, on August 14th, Raun received notice that he was in violation of By-Law 59-2018 which states grass and ground cover must be cut to a height less than eight inches or 20 cm. He had seven days to comply.

Raun made many attempts to speak with the by-law officer, but finally heard from her the day after the article went online. Arrangements were made for two by-law officers to attend Raun’s garden on August 21st to confirm which plants constituted weeds under the by-law.

After learning about what happened to Antheia’s garden Raun took two days off work to keep an eye on his plants.

Not surprisingly, not one of Raun’s plants was considered a weed.

The by-law officers did voice concerns over a vine growing along the side of the yard and some cypress trees growing along the property line. Both the vine and the cypress trees belonged to Paul’s neighbour. No action was taken regarding these two violations.

In his backyard, Raun was asked to move rose bush and tree trimmings further away from his house and to cover them with soil. He complied with this request. According to Raun, “With respect to the wood pile, it consists of branches from a dead rose bush that had grown along the side of our back deck as well as low-hanging branches that I trimmed off a redbud tree. The by-law officer suggested that I bury it just in case a neighbour complained about it.”

Raun says, “With respect to the discrepancy between the original order and the subsequent positive evaluation that by-law officers Ibrahim and Natalie gave our native plants garden, it may have had to do with Natalie’s lack of knowledge about plants.”
“With respect to the need for a more detailed bylaw related to naturalised gardens, it is crucial to spell out the grounds on which one could have a wood pile consisting of cut branches and how far away it would have to be away from neighbouring dwellings, in addressing the issue of harbouring creatures at odds with the interior of one’s dwelling.”

Raun also believes, “With further respect, the rule for a two-feet buffer along property boundaries needs refining to consider a variety of potential scenarios. The officers raised no complaint about the wild grapevine growing along our southern fence along with wildflowers and wild prairie grasses spreading right up to it without a two-foot buffer. Why is it acceptable to have a fence running along a property line but not a row of shrubs to which any wild-flowers or tall grasses can run up, albeit kept a tiny bit back?”

Both these situations, and many more across the city, are prime examples of the current by-law being used by neighbours to harass and bully individuals embracing ecological landscaping into complying with the untenable and unsustainable grass monoculture sprinkled with a few continuously flowering hybrid mainstays that still permeates the conservative, eco-unfriendly city of Burlington, Ontario.

Doreen Nicol - Raise the HammerDoreen Nicoll is a Burlington resident who is, if anything, outspoken.  She is a feminist, an environmentalist, a free lance writer, teacher and social activist  and member of several community organizations working diligently to end poverty, hunger and gendered violence.


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Home gardens are bursting with produce; peaches are nice and corn is just what it is supposed to be.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2019



It’s the time of year to drive around the province to take in some of the fall fairs and realize that the harvests will soon be taken in.

Corn is in the stores, the peaches are pretty good, early potatoes are being pulled up.

Jan - beans on vine

Green bean plant that got away on itself.

Appreciating and being thankful for what we have is part of the society we live in. Those who have plots in the several community gardens in the city will be out frequently picking what they planted some months ago.

The illustration for this mention is a bean plant that got carried away.

Tough to keep up with the growth.

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Council will decide whether or not to recommend that LaSalle Park Marina Association continue to run the marina.proceeding with a new wa

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2019



When John Birch was the President of the LaSalle Park Marina Association he was pretty sure he saw some light at the end of the tunnel.

Birch has been like a dog with a bone on the issue of getting the Marina the support it needed from the city. The organization wasn’t looking for a handout. They have an enviable record for the way they have held up their part of the bargain on the Joint Venture Agreements with the city.

Birch wanted to see a permanent wave break built and fought that battle for close to a decade.  He lost.

John Birch

John Birch weathering the storms.

Unfortunately for Birch the LPMA had a special meeting on July 3rd and voted him out as President of the organization. He did not go willingly but has accepted his new fate. He attends all of the committee and council meetings that dealt with the LPMA wave break and governance models but sits at a healthy distance from the rest of the crowd.

Politics is a blood sport and the LPMA issues were very political – Birch did his best and much of the success for getting the wave break problems to where they appear to be going is due to Birch. You don’t have to love him – but you do have to respect what he got done.

Many in the city see the Marina as a place for the rich to play with their toys. The record shows that the membership is made up of typical upper middle class people in Burlington.

There is an element in Burlington that does not want to see a marina paid for by taxpayers. What many fail to accept is the LPMA has carried the weight on the operation of a marina that has public access for anyone who wants to launch their boats.

On September 29th, Council should get a report from the Standing Committee of September 9th, which basically says the best deal out there for the city is to sign a new agreement with the LPMA.

LaSalle PArk MArina as it looks today - 219 slips with wave breaker and docks thathave to be brought ashore every winter.

LaSalle Park Marina as it looked in early 2019 – 219 slips with wave breaker and docks that have to be brought ashore every winter.

The recommendation is that the city finalize a long-term licence agreement with the LaSalle Park Marina Association for the operation of the Marina at LaSalle Park substantially in accordance with confidential document council will see. The agreement is based on Council’s approval of the purchase of a new floating wave break that is going to come in at a cost of about $4 million of which the LPMA will pay about $2.7 million over the term of the license agreement.

The city spent a considerable amount on several studies, one of which set out various governance models. The report from the consultants suggested that finding anyone who would take on the marina operation either as a public marina – City owned and operated, direct management contract, profit sharing management agreement or a Public/Private marina or a Private marina or something that is an Arm’s Length operation of marina – just isn’t in the cards.

The purpose of the lengthy report, with tables on every conceivable cost, took a look at:
Other potential operating models for the LaSalle Park

The option the LaSalle PArk MArina Association hopes is chosen through the Environmental Assessment due MArch 2013.

The dream wave break for many at the Marina was something permanent – it wasn’t to be.

Provide staff’s evaluation of the operating models and a recommendation for a Marina operator

Seek Council’s approval to enter into a long-term licence agreement with the LaSalle Park Marina Association for the operation of the Marina

Satisfy any outstanding staff directions related to the Marina

To summarize LPMA’s overall contribution to the new floating wave break, and

Finalize any operational requirements as the current agreement between the City of Burlington (City) and LPMA expires on October 31, 2019.

The LaSalle Park Marina Association has been involved in the operation of the marina since 1980 . They currently have a Joint Venture Agreement with the City that expires at the end of October 2019. The Marina has 219 slips and is protected by a floating wave break. The Burlington Sailing and Boating Club (BS&BC) and the Able Sail program are separate entities that offer sailing programs at the Marina. In addition, the City has a public boat launch at the Marina that is protected by the floating wave break.

LaSalle Park - bring about a boat on its way to the water.

LaSalle Park – getting a boat lined up to be set in the water – the beginning of a new sailing season.

The current wave break has reached the end of its useful life. The LPMA wanted to see a permanent wave break but ran into problems with the cost and an inability to work out an acceptable plan to protect the boats with the Trumpeter Swan Coalition who want to ensure that the swans are not disrupted.

Over this past year Committee has received three reports related to the Marina one of which was a report on alternative governance models for the Marina with the following staff directions:

Table city manager’s office report on alternative operating models for the Marina at LaSalle Park to the Committee of the Whole meeting on September 9, 2019 at which time staff will provide a recommendation on a preferred operating model for the Marina.

Staff secured the services of a consultant, TOURISTICS, to undertake an analysis of potential operating models for the LaSalle Park Marina.

Following the Committee meeting on July 8, 2019, the consultant revised the report to reflect the discussion and direction staff received. This included:

Increasing the annual license fee for the Marina operator, reducing the amount for annual maintenance for the floating wave break and eliminating costs for the Marina operator related to the removal and installation of the docks each year.

An Overview of LPMA’s operation and financial information

Comparing LaSalle Park Marina with other marinas based on the features and value of amenities
Outlook for future slip occupancy for LaSalle Park Marina
Information and financial data related to all aspects of LPMA, Burlington Sailing and Boating Club and Able Sail
Financial viability of LPMA’s current operating model
Outlines several different operating models along with financial implications to the City including:
Public marina – City owned and operated, direct management contract, profit sharing management agreement
Public/Private marina
Private marina
Arm’s Length operation of marina

The consultant’s report identified that, based on the limited services and amenities available at LaSalle Park Marina along with the limited number of slips, a private operator would have challenges meeting its financial goals and would not consider the Marina at LaSalle a viable long-term business.

LaSalle Marina - baots lined up

LPMA membership was healthy but a concern about not being able to get insurance due to the condition of the wave break threatened that membership.

Based on the data and research presented by TOURISTICS, it appears to staff that continuing the relationship with LPMA to operate the Marina is the most economical and feasible option for the operation at LaSalle Park. Given LPMA’s longstanding commitment to the Marina, its volunteer capacity and involvement with supporting the operation, the Marina’s limited amenities and limited number of slips, this is the preferred model that has the least impact on the taxpayers of Burlington while leveraging community support to maintain the Marina in the City.

Staff and representatives from LPMA met on a regular basis to negotiate a new licence agreement for the use of water lots and the operation of the Marina behind a new City owned floating wave break. Staff and representatives from LPMA have agreed in principle on a draft agreement and the volunteers should be recognized for their time and effort in finalizing the document.

The water lots are owned by the City of Hamilton. Burlington tried to purchase those water lots but a price could not be agreed upon.

Staff recommend the existing agreement with LPMA stays in place until October 31, 2019 and to start the new licence agreement effective November 1, 2019.

LPMA is committed to the Marina being publicly accessible and affordable and will be making a presentation to demonstrate their support of this.

With the existing Joint Venture Agreement with LPMA coming to an end, there are a couple of housekeeping items that need to be addressed including the disbursement of the City held reserve funds to LPMA charter members and undepreciated senior members. Additional information related to the reserve funds is included in the financial section of this report.

LaSalle Park lands - Hamilton

The area in green is land owned by the city of Hamilton. North Shore Blvd runs through the property with the LaSalle Park Arena jutting out into the lake.

Should Council want to consider an alternative operating and governance model for the Marina they will have table after table that break down the costs for each operation.

The very tight timeline would not preclude LPMA from submitting a proposal to operate the Marina.

The timelines do present uncertainty for a new Marina operator and boaters related to the 2020 boating season. The new operator would need to start marketing the Marina to boaters during the winter and then have all facets of the operation in place for April/May next year. The timelines would not position a new Marina operator for success in 2020.

A lot of money has been spent getting to this point. There has been a rigorous inspection of all the issue, something that had been lacking.

The city did find a reserve fund they could raid – how the Hydro Reserve Fund gets to be used for a marina wave break replacement is one the politicians will have to explain).

There will be a $2.1M (which could rise to $2.7) repayment by the LaSalle Park Marina operator through an annual licence fee.

They are going to have to negotiate a $500,000 contribution for the LaSalle Park Marina to the wave break, electrification and/or finger docks as part of the negotiation on a renewed agreement .

The City Manager will consult with the LPMA and make recommendations to Council of compensating LPMA for costs they have incurred to date in leading this project.

In finalizing an agreement with LPMA, staff reviewed the financial assessment completed by Accountants Grant Thornton did a financial assessment to ensure that revenues and cost assumptions were up to date and are reflective of the conditions in the licence agreement.
Key Assumptions made were that:

• Revenues forecasted at a 1% growth with a stabilizing occupancy of 93%
• Expenses are forecasted at 1%, include;

o Maintenance of docks, walkways etc.
o Assumption for future electricity costs should electrification of docks proceed
o Portion of water lot fee to Hamilton Port Authority (24%)
o Repayment of joint venture loan (balance owing $225,000 over 7 years)
o Payment of a licence fee to the City

LaSalle Park MArinaBased on the above assumptions the financial forecast as provided by Grant Thornton shows that LPMA is financially sustainable.

Financial sustainability is achieved as a result of LPMA sustaining day to day operations, reserving funds for future replacement of Marina infrastructure (docks, walkways) and being able to provide an annual licence fee to the City.

As per Council’s direction, the agreement with LPMA includes an annual licence fee which is estimated to generate $2.7 million over 25 years and exceeds the minimum $2.1 million repayment required by the City.

LPMA maintains a reserve fund balance of approximately $406,372 which is earmarked towards the electrification of docks and general improvements to the Marina. As per the licence agreement, should electrification of the docks not occur within a specified time period, $350,000 of LPMA’s reserve fund balance will be provided to the City as their upfront contribution to the capital cost of the new wave break. It is financially prudent that the remaining balance in the reserve fund should remain with the LPMA to provide them with financial flexibility for operations and general improvements to the Marina.

Staff do not recommend that LPMA be reimbursed for costs leading up to this project. To date, LPMA has put forward $150,000 for their share (50%) of the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Recreational Boating Feasibility and Capacity Study. Those costs were incurred by LPMA and the City as a requirement to replace the existing wave break structure and should not be reimbursed as LPMA benefits from the new floating wave break.

As part of negotiating the licence agreement, LPMA will continue to review opportunities to increase revenues and manage costs. Option that will be explored for feasibility are pay for parking, public boat launch fee and fee structure.

Over a 25-year period the City’s overall known cost of the new wave break would be $4 million in upfront capital, plus an annual operating cost of $20,000 for a total cost of $4.5 million. It is estimated that LPMA over that same period can pay the City up to $2.7 million through a licence fee, resulting in a net city cost of $1.8 million.

For committee’s information, the $2.7 million being paid over 25 years would be equivalent to a loan of $2.1 million at 2.25%. In effect, the City is realizing a capital contribution from LPMA of $2.1 million, plus an implied interest recovery of $0.6 million.

Getting to this point has not been cheap. The City’s funding, excluding the tender award has been as follows:

• $150,000 Environmental Assessment and Recreational Boating Feasibility and Capacity Study (50% cost share with LPMA)
• $72,600 Grant Thornton Wave Break Viability
• $21,500 Grant Thornton Financial Assessment Floating wave break
• $25,000 TOURISTICS Report Potential Operating Models (Estimate)

Is all this more than the city spends on the Performing Arts Centre or the Art Gallery or the cost of running the arena?

Burlington is a lakeside city – it should perhaps have a marina; now to find a way to add some amenities – parking and maybe even a small café with a licence.

Ia the Marina just a nice-to-have? Something the Mayor cautioned against again and again when she was a Councillor with an eye of the Chain of office.

Interesting how things change.

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The Art Gallery was swamped Friday night with many people who had not been in the place before - all part of a Gender Conspiracy.people

eventspink 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2019



It was an event that is difficult to describe.

That it packed, really packed the Art Gallery Friday evening is what struck most people.

It was certainly one of the most diverse crowds this city has seen in one place with the LGBT crowd out in force.

The event was part of a Gender Conspiracy that is the prime project from Senior Art Gallery Curator Stephanie Carte who was appointed to the position last November.

Gender conspiracy -clowns

A Family Read Along – was part of a mixed bag of events with a consistent theme – inclusivity.

Events that had actors, performers on a runway were standing room only – there were no chairs,

Was it an art show – there were pictures on the walls. Was there an overall theme – that was difficult to tell.

Is there more – apparently.

There wasn’t much in the way of a printed program. No one stood and made announcements.

donutsYou mingled – early in the evening there was wine tasting, finger foods and a huge offering of donuts.

Then there was a Read Along for Families that reminded one of a Sharon, Lois and Bram, followed by a Night of Cabaret with Drag Queens on the runway.

If it has taken you a bit to get used to LGBT – get used to the fuller term LGBTQI2s

Earlier in the week, free-lancer Doreen Nicoll did a piece on what Stephanie Carte had in mind.

According to Carte, “Burlington looks like how I want my programming to look. Black, brown, Indigenous, queer, immigrant, and intersectional.” She hopes more young families and people see themselves reflected in the exhibitions. And she is accomplishing that, one show at a time.

There will be more.

Related news story.

A Gender Conspiracy being formed at the AGB.

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Gazette web site attacked for the third time - whose ox was being gored?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2019



There has been a third malicious attack on the Burlington Gazette web site.

Last Friday we published a short opinion piece on the Mayor and the lunch she had with her brother in Oakville while he was in the area.

The Mayor had posted a photograph of the lunch on her Facebook page,

There were a number of comments made by readers, one of which was thought, at the time to have been sent in by the Mayor.

The Mayor did not make the comment nor was the email address used one that the mayor uses. The URL did have the words which was mistaken as one the city uses.

The Gazette has reached out and apologized to the Mayor. We did not hear from her directly.

While there was nothing journalistically with the piece, it was identified as an opinion and we have removed it from the web site.

Whoever sent the malicious email also managed to replace the proper IP address to an address that was applied to the last several hundred comments the Gazette has received.

We are working on that problem.

An IP address is very useful in determining just where an email came from.

This is the third time the Gazette has been tampered with. The one that took place earlier in the year locked people out of the comments section.

Someone out there thinks their “ox has been gored” and doesn’t want Gazette readers to be able to comment. Forensic investigators are being engaged to get to the bottom of this most recent attack. .

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Lakeshore renewal: Walkers Line to Appleby to be resurfaced

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 5th, 2019



The City of Burlington is making improvements to Lakeshore Road from Nelson Avenue to Locust Street. The City did not return a request for exactly when the work is to begin.

Capital Paving Inc. was awarded the project. The project map, included with this update, shows the planned improvements.

Lakeshore close

Project Scope and Schedule
Schedule and traffic interruptions Work being done
June – complete • Street lighting replacement

September to mid-October
• Lakeshore Road will stay open for this work. The through lane near the ongoing construction will be closed with the centre turn lane used to keep traffic moving in both directions.

• Asphalt path replacement with concrete path – south boulevard.
• Storm sewer repairs
• Sidewalk repairs – north boulevard
• Curb and gutter repairs

Mid-October to early November
• Lakeshore Road will stay open for this work. The through lane near the ongoing construction will be closed with the centre turn lane used to keep traffic moving in both directions.

• Asphalt milling and paving
• Maintenance hole adjustments
• Lane marking

November • Project Completion

Lakeshore construction map

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Two Males Arrested After Violent Sexual Assault in Burlington

Crime 100By Staff

 September 6th, 2019



In late August 2019, members of the Halton Regional Police Service, Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit (CASA) commenced an investigation after a female victim attended a business located on Harvester Road in Burlington, between Walkers Line and Appleby Line, and was administered a noxious substance and violently sexually assaulted by two male parties.

Accused #1 befriended the victim on Facebook prior to meeting with her, and utilized the name “Sharifulla Mokbel”.

Accused #2 was also active on social media, and is known as “Pena R-One” on Facebook, and “pena619” on Instagram.

The two accused may also be active on other social media platforms.

On September 4, 2019, members of the CASA Unit arrested both accused parties, and held them pending a bail hearing. A second court appearance is scheduled to be held in Milton on September 6, 2019.

Accused #1 – Sharifulla (Sharif) Mokbel (27) of North York has been charged with:
-Sex Assault Cause Bodily Harm
-Administer Noxious Substance
-Gang Sexual Assault
-Sexual Assault

Accused #2- Satlykglylych Gafuri (27) of Toronto has been charged with:
-Gang Sexual Assault
-Sexual Assault

Police believe there may be additional victims and are asking anyone with information regarding this or similar incidents to contact the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit – Detective Sergeant Chris Newcombe at 905-465-8965 or Detective Constable Marla Adams at 905-465-8979.

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

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


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Mayor unable to find a restaurant in Burlington to treat her brother to oysters on the half shell.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 6th, 2019



It takes a certain kind of person to run for public office. And should they get elected it takes a certain kind of person to succeed at the job.

That job isn’t about them – it is about the people they serve.

In clerical circles – priests and minister, pastors and rabbis use the phrase: a calling; they feel called to do the work they do.

We seldom see that kind of language in political circles. Politics is about power.

That power belongs to the voters who give it to the people they elect who they trust to serve the public’s interests.

The public looks for wisdom and good judgement.

It was surprising then to see a photograph of Her Worship Mayor Meed Ward sharing oysters on the half shell with her brother, who happened to be in town, at what looked like a very swishy restaurant near the water – sailboats in the background.
Family is said to be everything – unless of course it is totally dysfunctional – but I digress.

MMW with brother - Oakville

Oysters on the half shell – a favourite Meed Ward delicacy shared with her brother at an Oakville restaurant.

Some might ask – especially those in the hospitality business – why the Mayor didn’t take her brother to a Burlington restaurant. Spencers is the equivalent to anything Oakville has. Others have the same ranking.

Many of the people who run restaurants supported the Mayor in her bid to become Mayor. This must be just a little galling.

We are not arguing that the Mayor should only ever be seen in a restaurant in Burlington. What we do want to suggest is that when she publishes pictures of herself on her Facebook page – it would be politically smart to make sure that the background is a Burlington skyline. They don’t call these things photo ops for nothing.

Council will be in full bloom next week; thick agendas will sit in front of them and some serious recommendations will get passed on to city council later in the month. No word yet on who the Mayor is bringing into her office to replace the staff member who decided she liked greener, more digestible grass.

The Mayor pinched the assistant to the ward 4 Councillor who now has to rely on the other assistants for the support she needs.

Word is that it could be as much as a month before the staff problem is resolved. Is Mayor Meed Ward running into the same problem Mayor Goldring had – not being able to find good people she can work with to carry out one of the toughest jobs in the city.

The staff member she pinched is as good as they get – Meed Ward should have kept her when she was he assistant as a Council member.

The job calls for wisdom and judgement – which seems to be missing at the moment.

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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Federal government drops 307 big ones into the lap of HalTech: earmarked for female entrepreneurs.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 5th, 2019



HalTech Regional Innovation Centre, based in Burlington, Ont., will receive around $307,000 from the federal government to create an accelerator for women entrepreneurs.

The goal of the new accelerator at HalTech will be to help women entrepreneurs scale their businesses and reach new markets. The program will provide mentorship, skills training, and programming to help women grow their businesses. The government said final funding, which is being provided through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), is subject to negotiation of the contribution agreement with HalTech.

Haltech group 307 thousand

Can’t name them all – on the left Karen Grant Executive Director of Angel One; three to the right Shann McGrail , Mary Ng, minister of small business and export promotion, Anita Cassidy Interim Executive Director of Economic Development Corporation, and on the far right MP for Oakville Burlington North Pam Damoff.

“The women entrepreneurs and business leaders of Burlington and southwestern Ontario make outstanding contributions to our economy and communities every day,” said Pam Damoff, member of parliament for Oakville North–Burlington. “Today’s investment by our government will create and support jobs in southern Ontario and help more of our women-owned and women-led businesses grow, innovate and export to new markets. These investments are good for our community, good for Ontario and good for Canada.”

Damoff has been assiduous in advocating for women – this grant has her fingerprints all over it.
Granted (no pun intended) there is a federal election looming and Damoff is not the shoo in that her colleague Karina Gould of Burlington is; all Damoff needs to return as an MP is a visit from the Prime Minister – providing he manages to clean up his act.

Women gossiping

Women getting caught up at a Tech Place event. HalTech shares office space with Tech Place and Angel One.

HalTech offers free business advisory services, learning workshops on entrepreneurship and commercialization, and for assistance with corporate innovation programs. Its verticals of note include digital media, advanced manufacturing, cleantech, health tech, FinTech, and EdTech. Haltech is a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, a program that includes 17 Regional Innovation Centres.

This women’s accelerator is not Haltech’s first initiative to support female entrepreneurship. HerHalton is HalTech’s peer-to-peer initiative for women who live and or work in the Halton Region. Members of HerHalton can empower each other through discussions, collaboration, and networking opportunities.

Shann Mcxxx

Shann McGrail, the HalTech Executive Director – pleased with the federal grant.


The government’s investment was made as part of the WES, which is looking to improve access to financing, talent, networks, and expertise through an investment of nearly $2 billion. The goal of the strategy is to double the number of women-led or women-owned businesses by the year 2025. Today’s announcement was made by Mary Ng, minister of small business and export promotion, as part of a cumulative $507,000 investment through the WES, which included other organizations.

Shann McGrail, the HalTech Executive Director and xxx of Angel One can certain deliver the support services budding female entrepreneurs need. A good first step – seeing some gender balance in the distribution of federal funds is a welcome change.

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