CDH produces and distributes some solid data.

News 100 redBY Pepper Parr

August 5th, 2019


Ward 1Community Development Halton has been in the news frequently this last month.

Joey Edwards, the Executive Director for the past two decades, announced that she will retire in the fall. The Board has been actively developing the direction the organization will take in the years ahead.

A Gazette reader set out what he thought CDH needed to focus on as they revive an organization that has lost its focus.

Go onto Community Development Halton’s website and the one obvious thing that is lacking is a current statement of their Mission, Vision and Values. Virtually every organization today has this prominently displayed on their home page. CDH lists a lot of activities, but there is no easily accessible statement attesting to what they stand for, how they do it and their unique value proposition. I eventually found something called “Independent Community Based Planning in the Voluntary Sector”, but it was buried well into their website.

The second item that needs to be addressed is their name. Sorry, but “Community Development Halton” is amorphous and ill-defined. Develop what, and for whom? Looking at their website most of what they purportedly provide is social planning. Interesting research, but frankly not hugely impactful for a lot of residents, and most don’t connect with how this betters or improves their personal situation.

Another issue that needs to be addressed is their mandate. CDH’s website is laden with words like “facilitate”, “coordinate”, “partner”, etc. That does not describe an action oriented mandate or agenda. If you want broad-based community support, funding and engagement you need to be leading, directing and implementing. The not-for-profit community is strewn with all sorts of think tanks and research based agencies. Interesting from strictly an academic point of view, but not hugely impactful.

CDH operates with a 1990’s mindset, but that isn’t going to carry them very far into the future. The purpose statement on their website from the Social Planning Network of Ontario was written in 1994. The organization needs to re-position itself for changing times or else it will quickly fade into obscurity.

Recently CDH produced a profile of each of the six wards in the city – they sent the information to the ward Councillors but neglected to send the material to media – there is some solid data in those profiles.

The Gazette will be doing series on each ward and including that data. To give you a sense as to just how rich that data set is – look at what they have produced for ward 1.

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Jazz on the Plaza in August - Best entertainment offering in the city in August

eventspink 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 5th, 2019



It is close to the best entertainment offering during the summer – the Performing Arts Centre Downtown Jazz Festival outdoor on the plaza August 10th and 11th – rain or shine.

When it does rain – and it has in the past – they just move everything inside to the grand Family Room.

Amanda Martinez @ BPAC Plaza, Burlington Downtown Jazz Festival

Jazz on thee Performing Arts Centre Plaza.

The free event will feature an exciting line-up of Canadian jazz performers, as well as local talent, BBQ by Wendel Clark’s, and a beer tent by Shawn & Ed Brewing Company.

The weekend features free afternoon and early evening performances by the Shirantha Beddage Quartet, Thomas Carbou, Christine Tassan et les Imposteures, Steven Taetz, and Heather Bambrick & Jodi Proznick: East Meets West.

On Saturday, August 10th at 2pm Burlington’s own two-time JUNO nominee, baritone saxophonist Shirantha Beddage brings his brand of high-octane jazz back to BPAC. His original music combines hard bop and modern jazz to create a sound that is both accessible and sophisticated.

Les imposteurs Christine

les Imposteures

One of Montreal’s best jazz guitarists, Thomas Carbou is scheduled to perform at 4pm. A renowned guitarist, composer, arranger, improviser, percussionist and sampler, he describes his unique style as electro-jazz. Christine Tassan et les Imposteures bring their special blend of Gypsy jazz and revisited cover songs to the Plaza at 6pm.

These four exquisitely talented musicians bring together some of the best works by Django Reinhardt, Félix Leclerc and American swing composers.

On Sunday, August 11th Steven Taetz, a Toronto-based vintage pop, swing, jazz singer and composer, will perform at 4pm. Steven has worked all around the world, from NYC’s Carnegie Hall to The Rogers Centre in Toronto and House of Jazz in Montreal.


Heather Bambrick

Heather Bambrick & Jodi Proznick: ‘East Meets West’ takes the stage at 6pm. Not only are Heather and Jodi considered two of Canada’s finest musicians, they are also JUNO nominees, full of brilliant music, and full-on entertainment. Heather Bambrick is a BPAC crowd favourite and audiences will be delighted by her most recent collaboration.

Beat the summer heat with a weekend of cool jazz entertainment at the 2019 Burlington Downtown Jazz Festival! There will be a beer tent on the Cogeco Garden Terrace operated by Shawn & Ed Brewing Company and barbeque offerings for sale by Wendel Clark’s Classic Grill and Bar. In addition to the headliners noted above, local musicians Tim Park and Karen Thornton will entertain audiences in between the scheduled performances.

The Burlington Downtown Jazz Festival happens rain or shine! In the event of inclement weather, the festival will move indoors to the BPAC Family Lobby. This is a truly inclusive event, as all entertainment is presented to the community free of charge. Some tables and chairs will be provided, but due to expected capacity crowds, it is recommended that participants bring their own seating.


Shirantha Beddage

The Burlington Downtown Jazz Festival
August 10 & 11, 2019

Shirantha Beddage Quartet, August 10, 2:00pm
Thomas Carbou, August 10, 4:00pm
Christine Tassan et les Imposteures, August 10, 6:00pm

Steven Taetz, August 11, 4:00pm
Heather Bambrick & Jodi Proznick: East Meets West, August 11, 6:00pm


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Travel demand management - tools used by Burlington Transit to encourage and influence demand.

background 100By Pepper Parr

August 5th, 2019


This is a seven part series on transit and how Burlington plans to get to the point where the public will take public transit to get to where they want to go in the city because it is cheaper, faster, more convenient and seen as the smart thing to do.

Part 5. Travel Demand Management

Travel demand management are the tools that transit agencies can employ to encourage and influence demand, through affordability, incentivisation and holistic land use planning.

The tools can be used to move demand or encourage growth during non-peak times, such as the midday, evenings and weekends. This frees up peak capacity and increases resource utilization during those less busy periods. In this way, growth can be accommodated at a lower cost and overall efficiency improved.

Strategy 4A: Free Midday Travel for Seniors

In March 2019 the City of Burlington Council directed Burlington Transit to implement a pilot program of offering seniors free travel between 9:00am and 2:30pm on weekdays. This pilot has became effective in June 2019 and runs until 31 December 2020.

It should be noted that free transit also applies to seniors who use specialized transit. The AODA requires fare parity between conventional and specialized services, which will see an increase in demand on the specialized transit system. Unlike conventional transit, specialized transit peaks during the midday period and has less capacity to accommodate an increase in demand (due to the small vehicle size and on-demand door-to-door service delivery model).

Transit - seniors with Gould

Seniors taking part in a Bfast conference – elected officials hover over the table listening carefully.

Therefore, the introduction of this policy is expected to see an increase in specialized transit service hours and vehicle requirements, including an increased operating and capital cost. The extent of this increase is currently unknown, but should be monitored over the course of the pilot, with a plan in place to increase operations during the midday period to maintain an acceptable trip accommodation rate.

This fare change aligns with Burlington Transit’s Strategic Direction #1 (Be Customer-Focused in every aspect of how service is delivered), particularly Objective 1.8 (Affordability), in promoting access to transit for all residents of Burlington.

• Monitor the impacts of the free midday travel for senior’s pilot project on ridership, technology, customer service, revenue and operating costs for the course of the pilot before implementing further changes or mitigation measures.
• Budget to increase specialized transit service levels during the pilot project to maintain an acceptable trip accommodation rate.

Strategy 4B: Affordability

In conjunction with the City’s decision on senior’s fares, Council also agreed to change the Subsidized Passes for Low-Income Transit (SPLIT) subsidized pass program from a 50 percent fare reduction to a free monthly pass, effective May 1, 2019.

The existing SPLIT pass has been in place for almost nine years and has provided a 50 percent fare subsidy to residents of Burlington that are low income. The program is administered and initially funded by Halton Region Social Services. The change in the program to a free pass will see the City of Burlington cover the remaining 50 percent difference in the pass. Since the number of pass holders are relatively small, this change is not expected to have a significant impact on Burlington Transit’s operations or revenue. However, Burlington Transit should report to Council how this has affected their budget and seek additional funding to cover lost revenue.

This fare change aligns with Burlington Transit’s Strategic Direction #1 (Be Customer-Focused in every aspect of how service is delivered), particularly Objective 1.8 (Affordability), in ensuring access to transit for all residents of Burlington.

• Monitor the usage of the new SPLIT pass and report the amount of lost revenue to Council.

Strategy 4C: Free Transit for Children

As of March 9, 2019, kids 12 and under were permitted to ride for free on GO Transit. The program has an estimated cost of $8 million dollars of lost revenue. This does not take into account an increase in ridership and revenue from adults that use the service more often as it is more affordable to travel as a family unit. Much of this additional ridership occurs during the off-peak periods such as weekend family travel or school trips during the day.

Currently in Burlington, children under 5 ride for free whereas children between 6 and 12 pay $3.50 cash or $1.90 with Presto. Currently, children 6 to 12 represents 0.05 percent of total ridership on Burlington Transit. Using Presto data, it is estimated that 16,723 children under 12 are current Burlington Transit customers, with an estimated revenue of $30,938.

Burlington GO south side

Tight integration between the Transit schedules and the GO schedules are critical.

Having a similar fare structure is important to improve the eligibility of the system of passengers travelling with children using both GO Transit and Burlington Transit, as the same fare rules would apply between the two systems. This will become increasingly important with the introduction of RER, when the GO Rail network is further integrated with Burlington Transit routes and services (see Strategy 3D). In the short-term passengers travelling with children connecting between the two systems still receive a reduced fare through the co-fare agreement between Metrolinx and Burlington Transit (70 cents), allowing Burlington Transit to maintain an important revenue source. The challenge will be to integrate the service with Presto and to identify which passengers boarding a Burlington Transit bus as a GO Rail station are eligible for the co-fare payment between Burlington Transit and GO Transit.

This fare change aligns with Burlington Transit’s Strategic Direction #1 (Be Customer-Focused in every aspect of how service is delivered), particularly Objective 1.8 (Affordability), in ensuring access to transit for all residents of Burlington.

• Continue to maintain same child fare policy in the short-term to maintain revenue stream from the co-fare agreement.
• Monitor ridership and revenue changes that have occurred on other GTHA systems that have implemented a similar child fare policy (e.g. Durham Region Transit).
• Implement the child fare policy in the medium-term, with the introduction of RER and subject to Strategy 1D, or prior, depending on the results of the review of the impact from other GTHA systems noted above.

Strategy 4D: Discount Student Pass

Secondary school students offer a significant opportunity to encourage transit familiarity, increase ridership and establish travel patterns that may continue into post-secondary student and adult life. To maximize this opportunity, Burlington Transit, Council and the school boards within the City of Burlington are in the process of investigating a secondary student strategy. This strategy should include transit familiarization outreach for grade 7, 8 and/or 9 students and a discount secondary student pass. If the ‘free child fare’ program is extended to age 12, this student pass program should begin at age 13 (grade 7 students) for ease of administration and to ensure a continuous fare program during middle school years.

Current routes April 2019

The current transit route map.

Ridership growth that occurs with these types of programs may also result in service improvements required to accommodate an increase in demand, particularly around school bell times. The ridership growth plan does account for increases in service frequency over the five year business plan (Strategy 1B), which should provide enough capacity to meet increased peak demands. If demand does exceed the planned increase in service, some strategies to off-set potential operating and capital cost increases include:

a. Only allow free or discounted travel on weekends, holidays or after 4:00pm on weekdays (so that students do not use the service to go to/from school);

b. Partner with school boards to receive partial funding for lost revenue;

c. Work with the school board to ensure there is no reduction in yellow-school bus services without a corresponding increase in funding to support the student pass program; and/or

d. Develop a formal booking process for formal school group excursions to ensure Burlington Transit is aware of these trips and that it occurs during periods or on routes where there is sufficient capacity to accommodate the trip.

This program will help to achieve Burlington Transit’s Strategic Direction #3 (Be Business-Minded and aligned with municipal directions), particularly Objective 3.8 (Demand Management), by promoting long term behaviour change with younger transit users.

• Implement a grade 9 transit outreach program in the short term to ensure transit literacy. If the free child fare program is extended to age 12, consideration should be made to extend this to grade 7 or 8.
• Further investigate a discounted or free middle and secondary student program, involving financial contributions from local school boards to cover a portion of predicted lost revenue. If the ‘free child pass’ program is extended to age 12, this program should be started for grade 7 students (13 years of age and older).
• Monitor program for a year-long period and extend to other grades for subsequent years.
• Partner with school boards to receive partial funding for lost revenue.

Proposed routes Sept 2019

Proposed routes Sept 2019

Part 1: Transits five year plan has what some might call an over abundance-of wishful thinking

Part 2: Strategies and recommendations to create the needed structure and delivery model.

Part 3: Making all the parts fit.

Part 4: Can the public afford the new ideas?

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Proposed citywide Private Tree Bylaw information and engagement sessions

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

August 5th, 2019



The City wants to engage residents on the development of a citywide Private Tree Bylaw. The pilot project, which is currently underway within the Roseland community, will be reviewed.

Public sessions will be held throughout the city with the goal of informing and gathering feedback on the potential implementation of a Private Tree Bylaw citywide.

Earlier in the year, two information sessions were held to discuss the Pilot Private Tree Bylaw within the Roseland community.

An online survey is available at until August 26, 2019 for those unable to come to one of the information sessions.


Roseland – where the value of high end homes are threatened by ageing trees.

Citizen Action Lab – Citywide Private Tree Bylaw Engagement
Citizen Action Labs are where people work together in small, welcoming groups to engage, discuss, share and explore new ideas.

Appleby Village - trees on Pineland

Gorgeous trees – cut down because geese were eating the apples and the church next door didn’t like the Canada geese fouling the parking lot.

Residents are encouraged to come to any one of the three sessions planned:

• Saturday, August 24, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Mountainside Recreation Centre Rm 2, 2205 Mt Forest Dr.
• Monday, August 26, 1 to 4 p.m. at Royal Botanical Gardens, Auditorium Rm B.
• Thursday, August 29, 7 to 9 p.m. at Tansley Woods Community Centre Rm 1&2, 1996 Itabashi Way

Businesses such as landscapers, pool companies, homebuilders, general contractors and tree companies are also encouraged to come and learn and provide feedback about the bylaw.

About the Private Tree Bylaw
No person can injure, destroy, cause or permit the injury or destruction of a tree with a diameter of 30cm or greater or of a tree of significance (historic or rare).

To read the full Pilot Private Tree bylaw currently in effect in the Roseland community, including information on permits, exemptions and fines, visit

Belvenia trees-1024x768

Belvenia – probably the most beautifully treed street in the city.

Examples of exemptions include:
Trees with a diameter of less than 30cm

For the purpose of pruning in accordance with Good Arboricultural Practices

For emergency work
If the tree has a high or extreme likelihood of failure and impact as verified or confirmed by an Arborist or the Manager
If the tree is dead, as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate
If the tree is an ash tree (due to the Emerald Ash Borer), as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate
If a tree is within two metres of an occupied building

For more exemptions, visit

A person wanting to remove a tree with a diameter larger than 30 cm or of significance can apply for a permit online by visiting

Minimum fine is $500. Maximum fine is $100,000.
Burlington is one of Canada’s best and most livable cities, a place where people, nature and business thrive. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at and download the free City of Burlington app.

Meed Ward H&S

Mayor Meed Ward “…completely supportive of extending the Private Tree Bylaw.”

The Goldring city councils just could not get their heads around the need for a private tree by-law – it took them forever to get a by law in place on a pilot basis in the Roseland community.  Mayor Meed Ward elected in October made it very clear where she stood.

“I am completely supportive of extending the Private Tree Bylaw, currently underway as a pilot program in Roseland, across our City. I have repeatedly said protecting Burlington’s tree canopy is one of my goals as Mayor because they’re a valuable resource we need to preserve.

“We’re at a crucial point in our City and the time to act is now. Making sure we examine things through a climate emergency-lens, this bylaw makes sense and is needed. It is a realistic and achievable action that we, as a City and as citizens, can do to protect our environment, health and well-being, and help minimize the effects of climate change.”

When city staff went along with a resident’s request to take down a tree so that a drive could be built on a property that was getting a new house built there were just two people who opposed the idea: the ward Councillor and the Mayor – suggesting that this council may not be as supportive of a city wide private tree by law as the Mayor.

Steve Robinson, Manager of Urban Forestry explains that:  “Ninety per cent of the City’s urban forest is located on private property. By creating legislation like the Private Tree Bylaw, these assets can be protected as valued parts of our green infrastructure, while they continue to help reduce the effects of climate change. As a community, we must evaluate the feasibility of a bylaw of this magnitude as it has implications to individual residents, but has the potential to yield tremendous results to benefit the community.”

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Pier to Pier for a necessary 22 km run in preparation for NYC marathon in November.

sportsgold 100x100By Ashley Worobec

August 5th, 2019



Had a great week again this week, the pinnacle of which happened on my Sunday long run.

22 km run

Just for the record

This week’s long run was 22km, and my training group did what we call the “Pier run”: this means our route included four piers- the Brant Street pier, both lift bridge piers (one on either side of the canal), and the LaSalle Park marina pier.

It was a gorgeous morning and we started at 7am while most of the City was still asleep on this sunny long weekend. Nutrition is a huge part of a long run like that, and I took in a lot of water, a bit of Gatorade, and a couple of gels while on my run.

My favourite gel is a natural product called Endurance Tap, and it’s only got three ingredients- maple syrup, sea salt, and ginger. They are a Canadian company and I love them so much that I’m a brand ambassador for them. They sit well in my stomach and don’t give me any GI upset that can be common in long-distance running.

When running for so long, your body shunts blood away from your digestive system and prioritizes it into your muscles, so sometimes it’s tough to take in needed nutrition while on the run.


Solid breakfast

I’ve included a picture of the breakfast I ate after this particular run, a variation of which I eat many days each week- eggs for protein, spinach for iron, strawberries for antioxidants, sweet potatoes for carbs, peanut butter for fat, and coffee for coffee!

One other thing to note this week is that I changed my running shoes. I keep track of my mileage, and most recommendations advise changing shoes after 500-800km. I hit 800km on my current pair, and while they still look good on the outside, I know that’s enough mileage that they’ve done their work and taken a beating.

Running shoes

The running shoe that has never let her down.

Since a big focus for me right now is injury prevention, I don’t want to make a silly training error like that that’s so preventable. I always have a couple of pairs of running shoes sitting in my closet, as I buy them when I find them on sale throughout the year, and then they’re there for me when I need them. When I find a shoe that I like, I’ll often buy a few pairs at a time, as running shoe manufacturers often make changes to their shoes with each new yearly edition.

I run in Mizuno shoes; they are narrow and fit my foot well.

Now, to sleep and recover!

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ECoB wants the city to allow more time to ensure the widest deepest public input on Official Plan is achieved.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 4th, 2019



ECoB – the Engaged Citizens of Burlington have been watching how the city has decided to engage and consult on the re-assessment and review of the Official Plan.

To complete the work being done ECoB believes the city will have to allow more time and money to get the job done right.

ECOB logoIn a letter sent to their membership ECoB set out their concerns and asked for feedback from the membership.

It is essential to note that ECoB was treated with shabby disdain by two of the 2014-2018 council members; one of the two lost her seat, the other, Paul Sharman who held the ward 5 seat because the vote was badly split, has yet to find the decency to admit that he was wrong and support the organization going forward.

ECoB has grown from the outstanding success they had with the Mayoralty debates followed by the “conversation” on the Performing Arts Centre at which people got a close look at how their Mayor did when she went up against Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

Aldershot debate

The Aldershot All Candidate debate filled a church hall to standing room only. The event was sponsored by ECob.

The organization is now focusing on how and to what degree citizens will have input on the Official Plan that is being re-assesed and revised.

What is clear now is that ECoB has earned a seat at the table; a situation the city has recognized.  It is now up to the ECoB members pay attention, keep informed and grow the membership of the organization.

ECoB’s Update on Burlington’s Official Plan Review

“ECoB’s executive and ward committees have been busy in recent months. We will be sending you the first of what will become a monthly newsletter in the next few days.

“But first we wanted to update you on one of the most important things happening at City Hall right now. The Review of Burlington’s Official Plan, which is being reassessed by the City Planning Department following the Region of Halton’s request for certain changes, is now underway. The entire process of review has a very short timeline, and needs to be approved by Council by March 2020.

ECoB engagement“Citizen engagement is the term commonly used for public consultations which offer citizens the opportunity to participate in meaningful ways in the decisions, actions and processes which shape their community.

ECoB pre-engagement

“Pre-Engagement is the consultation undertaken by the Planning Department to seek input from various groups on the best form for Citizen Engagement on the Official Plan Review.

ECoB’s Role in ‘Pre-Engagement’

“The Planning Department has been undertaking a ‘pre-engagement’ exercise in recent weeks in preparation for a new round of Citizen Engagement on the Official Plan. This engagement will relate solely to downtown Burlington.

“The intention of the pre-engagement was to consult with various groups to make sure that the citizen engagement that is carried out for the OP Review is done right.

“Those consulted at this stage included Citizen Advisory Committees, the City ‘Charter Action Team’ (an advisory group tasked with overseeing implementation of the City’s Engagement Charter), ECoB and Hamilton-Halton Home Builders Assoc.


  • The Planning Department has provided us with a summary of pre-engagement. Download it here.
  • The Planning Department’s Draft Engagement Plan. Download it here.
  • Download ECoB’s Response to the Pre-Engagement summary and draft plan.

“ECoB welcomed the opportunity to meet with the Planning Department and provide its ideas regarding a good engagement process. It also welcomes the desire by the City to carry out more rigorous engagement processes than have been seen in the past.

ECoB’s Concerns About Weaknesses In Engagement Plan.

“Nevertheless, there remain concerns about the Draft Engagement Plan and the results of the Pre-Engagement exercise. These are set out in detail in the links above.

“These weaknesses are caused by two constraints – time and money.

“While ECoB acknowledges the urgent need to complete the review and for Burlington to have a new Official Plan, we also believe that it is essential that the most rigorous engagement process possible is undertaken. For the City to provide the Planning Department with a budget too limited to carry out adequate engagement is a fundamental mistake, and risks repeating the mistakes which have made the OP Review necessary. Likewise, if an additional month of engagement would guarantee substantially more rigorous results, that month would be a worthwhile delay. As it stands now the primary citizen engagement that will take place will be in a period of approximately 6 weeks: late August and October..

“Above all, the engagement must reach out beyond traditional public meetings and website questionnaires, which are limited by the self-selecting nature of participation. Many groups – commuters, young families, teenagers, new immigrants – will never participate in traditional engagement exercises. The most important part of the process is to form a representative snapshot of public opinion which ensures the results reflect potential differences in age, gender, ethnic background and more. This requires attempts to reach citizens at home and in ways which don’t require them to ‘opt in’ to participation.

“We therefore urge the City Manager and Council to do all they can to provide more resources, and if possible more time, to the Planning Department to complete as rigorous and representative an engagement exercise as possible.

“From both a symbolic and practical perspective, it is essential the city demonstrates the extent of its commitment to rigorous engagement as part of the Official Plan Review.”

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Round two - another assault on rural lands: Nelson Aggregates plans to file a new application - plans to give the city hundreds of acres for parkland.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 3rd, 2019



In an announcement made sometime in June, Nelson Aggregates set out its plan to expand its Burlington quarry into the adjacent Burlington Springs Golf Course and a smaller parcel of land to the south.

The announcement added that, “Once operations are complete, Nelson would donate the nearly 1000 acres of rehabilitated land to the public, creating Burlington’s largest park.

Aerial of the site

An aerial view of the site.

site detail

Technical drawings show the south extension – this is the land that was in the 2011 application that was dismissed; and the extension into the golf club property.

“This quarry has played an important role as Burlington’s main source of local gravel for 50 years,” said Quinn Moyer, President of Nelson Aggregates. “We would like to see it provide high-quality, low-cost aggregate for another 30 years and then continue to serve the people of Burlington as the city’s largest park.”

The owner and operators of Nelson Quarry plan to close the facility in about 25 years. They are asking the City of Burlington, the Region of Halton, and their neighbours, to help create the largest park in Burlington, the nearly 1000-acre Mount Nemo City Park.

Over the next 30 years, they intend to expand the quarry operations into adjacent properties that they already own. During that same time, they propose to donate the land they are no longer using to the public.

Over that same period, year-by-year, parcel-by-parcel, Nelson proposes to transfer ownership of all the land to the public for recreational purposes.


The orange line is the boundaries used in the 2011 application that was dismissed – the lower part was the new area Nelson wanted to begin to quarry.










It was on October 11th, 2012 that a Joint Tribunal dismissed the Nelson Aggregate application to expand the quarry.

With the current approach Nelson appears to want to get permission to expand operations into new lands they have acquired with a promise to turn over various parcels of land to the city for a park they claim will be the city’s largest.

The proposed park would be 5.7 times larger than Burlington’s City View Park, and would be donated to the public in stages following approval. The size and scale of the park would allow for abundant recreational opportunities, from biking and swimming to rock climbing and soccer.

What will the park look like?

It would be more than twice the size of High Park in Toronto, and could have dozens of uses, from rock climbing to beaches.

Map if site and City View park

Were the proposed park ever to materialize it would add to the traffic on the rural roads – watch for the howls from those who chose the peace and quiet of the country side that they don’t want destroyed.

The expansion Nelson is looking for would encompass 180 acres. The bulk of the proposed expansion is in a different location than a 2004 proposal, (there is some confusion around the 2004 date) and a much smaller extraction footprint of 134 acres is proposed to protect the unique local environment.

“We learned a lot from our 2004 application,” Moyer said. “We heard from residents about what is important to them and we have incorporated that into this plan. We look forward to an ongoing dialogue with the community in the coming months.”

Nelson plans to formally submit its proposal in November. Plans for public consultation will be announced.

It was a rather stunning announcement that amounts to Nelson Aggregates looking for a way to get around the decision made in 2011 to not permit an expansion of the quarry that has been extracting aggregates for more than 50 years. They are now looking for a way to continue doing so for another 30 years.

There will be a community meeting at the Conservation Halton offices on Thursday August 8th
The application will ask to be able to expand to the south and the west.

The first phase of the expansion will be to the south of the existing quarry, across the No. 2 Side road.

south extension

Detail on the southern extension.

The proposed area is currently a mix of residential, agricultural and vacant land. This is the land that Nelson wanted to expand into in 2011.

expanding west

Detail on the expansion into the golf club lands.

The westerly expansion would take place beginning in 2025 on the site of the Burlington Springs Golf Course.

Environmental Protection

Env protect area

Ecological enhancements to 19 acres around the South expansion; enough to keep the natives happy?

“We are committed to continuing to treat the areas around the quarry with the utmost care. In addition to large buffer zones between the quarry and sensitive areas, we are proposing ecological enhancements to 19 acres around the South expansion to enhance the natural habitat and protect water sources”, said Mover.

Based on the information available the plan has four phases.

Phase One

Phase 1

Phase 1

Within three years of our plan’s approval, we will transfer 162 acres of rehabilitated land to the public.

With a large lake system, this area at the east end of the existing quarry already has the potential for water sports, hiking, cycling and an expansion of the Bruce Trail system.

Phase Two

Phase 2

Phase 2

“This nearly 200-acre parcel of land to the south of the quarry will be transferred to the public about 10 years after approval of our continued operations. Its large lake could form the basis of a sandy beach that permits many water sports. It could also include significant natural woodlands and wetlands.”

Phase 3

Phase 3

Phase 3

“Ten years after approval, we will transfer the second piece of property to the public. The 100-acre parcel is located to the west of our current operations. It has the potential for 5km of trails, a disk golf course and a clubhouse.”

Phase Four

Phase 4

Phase 4

“The final piece of land in the heart of the current quarry comprises nearly 200 acres. It has the potential for 10km of trails, rock climbing, tobogganing, an amphitheater and more. Once donated, it becomes the keystone piece in Burlington’s largest park.”

The key word throughout the detail on each phase is “after approval”. Nelson wants the approval in exchange for a mined out quarry.

Given the fight that citizens in this city put up the last time an application was made by Nelson one would have thought there would be some mention of the issue by the ward Councillor. There is mention of the meeting on August the 8th at the Conservation Authority office on Britannia Road.

Nothing in the Councillor’s June newsletter; the July newsletter has yet to be published.

No mention of the Jefferson Salamander in this new plan.

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Nish Duraiappah named Chief of Police of Peel Regional Police.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

August 2nd, 2019



Duraiappah HRPS Deputy chief

Deputy Chief Nish Duraiappah – made Peel Region Chief of Police

Deputy Chief Nish Duraiappah has been named Chief of Police of the Peel Regional Police.

The Halton Regional Police Service announced their gratitude for his 24 years of service and commented on his day-to-day approach and the many initiatives that have flourished under his leadership have had such a positive and valued impact on our members, as well as the community he has served.

GG02-2016-0335-030 September 16, 2016 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada His Excellency presents the Member (M.O.M.) insignia of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces to Deputy Chief Nishan J. Duraiappah, M.O.M. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presided over an Order of Merit of the Police Forces investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall on Friday, September 16, 2016. During the ceremony, the Governor General, who is chancellor of the Order, bestowed the honour on 1 Commander, 4 Officers and 46 Members. Credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall, OSGG

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, then Governor General of Canada, presided over an Order of Merit presented to Nish Duraiappah of the Police Forces investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall.

Halton Regional Police Services Board Chair Rob Burton said: “Deputy Chief Nish Duraiappah has been a valuable member of the team responsible for our success here in Halton. He has also been a key leader in public safety throughout Ontario and Canada. We sincerely wish him all the very best in his new role next door in Peel Region.”

Chief Tanner comments: “Both personally and on behalf of all members of the HRPS I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Deputy Duraiappah on the great accomplishment in being named the next Chief of Police of the Peel Regional Police.

“Nish has been an incredible member and leader within the Halton Regional Police Service throughout his 24 year career and will be greatly missed. But, at the same time, we wish him all the best in his new role and in all future endeavors which will come his way as he continues as a recognized police leader here at home and across Canada.”

Police senior command at HQ

Deputy Chief Nish Duraiappah, centre, at the opening of the new Halton Regional Police Services Board new headquarters.

Tanner looks forward to continuing to work closely with Nish as a neighbouring police chief and partner in building strong community safety and well-being across our two Regions.

Duraiappah will run a police service with more sworn officers and a bigger budget – and problems a lot more severe than those he had to manage in Halton.

He is expected to take his guitar with him.

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Financial Representative Arrested for Fraud Offence

Crime 100By Staff

August 2nd, 2019

HRPS crestThe Halton Regional Police Service – 3 District Criminal Investigation Bureau has arrested and charged an Ajax man with fraud stemming from a series of incidents in 2012.

Jamshid (James) Pournader (65) has been charged with one count of Fraud Over $5,000.
The accused is associated with a company JSP Holdings and has acted as a “financial representative” with access to investment services and products.

The victim came forward to police after her bank assisted with a review of her personal finances and investments. The loss to the victim is $212,000.

The public are reminded that financial advisors, mortgage brokers and insurance agents are all licensed and regulated by various provincial organizations. Your investments and purchases should be with a regulated financial institution and investors should regularly review their investments and statements.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Seniors Liaison Team at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344.

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

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No. 4 Side Road closed Aug. 12 to 23, between Appleby and Walkers Line

notices100x100By Staff

April 2nd, 2019



Burlington’s side roads don’t mean all that much to those who live south of Dundas – unless you are out for a pleasant drive.

If you live in the area know that No. 4 Side Road will be closed Aug. 12 to 23, 2019 between Appleby Line and Walkers Line

It will be a full road closure.

The Capital Works people have to remove and replace deteriorated road-crossing culverts near 4391 No. 4 Side Rd.

Detour Routes: Use the detour route along Appleby Line, Britannia Road and Walkers Line for access to and from No. 4 Side Road.

For more information about this project, please contact
Amy Daca at 905-335-7600, ext. 7576 or Umar Malik at 905-335-7600, ext. 7426

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Community Development reaching out for comments and possibilities as they prepare for a different future.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

August 2nd, 2019



With a change of leadership in the months ahead, Community Development Halton (CDH) has begun the process of re-examining and re-inventing itself. They want to hear from the community (that is YOU) on which community development services to continue and EXPAND upon.

Edwardh Joey talking to Goodings

Executive Director Joey Edwardh talking with supporters at an annual meeting.

Executive Director Joey Edwardh has resigned after two decades of service.

The Board asks: “If you used any of their services and resources such as boardroom/ meeting room use, volunteer positions promotion, volunteer referrals, featuring your organization, building capacity through volunteerism, research and data analysis, age-friendly initiatives, empowering seniors workshops, educational sessions/workshops, neighbourhood development, social planning, asset mapping, publications such as Our Halton Reports, Community Lens, Community Dispatch, or consulting with their staff, they want to hear your voice to help shape the future of CDH.
CDH Cafe graphic

They are encouraging you and your staff  to make time to come to ONE of the following sessions.

      Milton: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 9:30 am – noon

      Bob Rumball Centre, 7801 Side Rd. 5, Milton


Oakville and Burlington: Thursday, August 15, 2019 9:30 am – noon
Halton Regional Centre South Auditorium, 1151 Bronte Rd., Oakville

Halton Hills Friday, August 16, 2019 9:30 am – noon
Hillsview Active Living Centre, 318 Guelph St., Georgetown.

Those from Burlington are to take part in the Oakville event.  They shouldn’t expect a caravan of supporters to make the trek.

The Possibility Café process will be facilitated by Jody Orr from The Chrysalis Group, and Coordinator of the Halton Nonprofit Network.

CDH staff or board members will not be present. This will allow an open and honest conversation among community members, associates, partners, and friends to take place.

Please R.S.V.P. at

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Arrested on human trafficking charges - male faces 11 Criminal code counts.

Crime 100By Staff

August 2nd, 2019



The Halton Regional Police Service – Human Trafficking Unit has arrested a Toronto male for exploiting an adult female for sexual purposes.

On July 31, 2019, Everett Effah (30) was arrested and subsequently charged with the following criminal offences:

•Trafficking in Persons
•Receiving Material Benefit Resulting from Trafficking in Persons
•Receiving Material Benefit from Prostitution
•Exercise Control
•Advertising Sexual Services
•Living off the Avails of Prostitution
•Procure to Become a Prostitute
•Assault with a Weapon
•Sexual Assault
•Possession of a Controlled Substance

TraffickingThe investigation began after receiving information brought forward by the victim in this occurrence. Effah is currently being held in custody while awaiting a Bail Hearing.

If found guilty Mr. Effah will have been shown to be a very nasty man. However, he would not be doing what he is doing if he did not have customers.

Anyone who may have additional information pertaining to the offences related to this Accused are asked to contact Detective Dan Ciardullo (905-825-4747 X 5331) of the Halton Regional Police Service – Human Trafficking Unit.

The Halton Regional Police Service is a member of the Halton Collaborative Against Human Trafficking along with several other stakeholders and agencies. This Collaborative is dedicated towards providing services and support to those who have experienced Human Trafficking in Halton and surrounding regions. Local organizations such as “SAVIS” ( are able to provide first response care and support to victims of human trafficking.

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


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City is looking for some input on Leash-Free parts of the city.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 1st, 2019



The woof woofs need more room to run around.


Dogs off leash in Central Park - if you have an opinion - speak up

Dogs off leash in Central Park – if you have an opinion – speak up

The City of Burlington is looking for feedback on the City’s current Leash-Free Area Criteria.

Residents are encouraged to visit to review the criteria and provide the City with feedback and suggestions.

The City currently has three public Leash-Free Areas:

• Roly Bird Park (2203 Industrial St.)
• Norton Park (4275 Dundas St.)
• Bayview Park (1800 King Rd.)

With feedback from residents, staff will report back to City Council by the end of this year.


The current Council-approved criteria, described below, is used when the public expresses interest in requesting a new Leash-Free Area.

The survey is looking for resident feedback on the criteria along with any suggestions on the criteria that residents may have.

Current Criteria for Creating a Leash-Free Area

• Parks must be within City of Burlington boundaries
• Leash-Free Area must be at least 0.3 hectares (30 metres x 30 metres)
• All Leash-Free Parks must be enclosed with permanent fencing, which the City will provide as part of the budget process
• An assessment will be made to whether parking will be required at a proposed leash-free site, based on the size of the Leash-Free site, location and any disruption to park function.
• A significant barrier must exist between Leash-Free Areas and children’s playgrounds, splash pads, sports fields, waterfront, cemeteries and residential housing.
• Leash-Free Areas cannot be located beside schools or in the City’s waterfront parks
• Area must be accessible to the public for year-round use
“Leash-Free Areas are great amenities in our parks. They encourage play and socialization for all. We also know there are challenges when developing new Leash-Free Areas, and with the general operation of them.

The city asking you what you think – they want some help shaping the Leash-Free future.”

Ideas, opinions what works and what doesn’t work as well as what could work..  Is the current criteria the right criteria?

Speak up!


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A Flood Watch becomes very real when there is a heavy rainfall - and Burlington knows what a heavy rainfall is all about.

notices100x100By Staff

August 1st, 2019



Wonderful weather.

Flood watchBut the water level in Lake Ontario is still higher than normal – receding yes – but all it will take is one handful of a rain storm and we will be back to the water levels that are a concern,
Conservation Halton has issued its most recent Water Watch Report.

Storm water - creeks

These are the major creeks that run through Burlington – their flooding in 2014 caused millions of dollars in damage and huge havoc to thousands of households.

The latest information provided by the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) indicates that Lake Ontario reached a mean daily water level of 75.72 m on July 30th, declining just under 1cm per day during the preceding week. The latest water level is 20 cm below this year’s peak level (recorded on June 15th), but remains 77 cm above average and continues to be a record level for this time of year. Record high outflows (equivalent to the peak releases during June to August of 2017) continue to be released to lower the lake level and provide some relief to shoreline stakeholders, while also considering the effects of higher flows on interests in the St. Lawrence River.

Lake Ontario levels are expected to continue to slowly decline in the coming days, with the forecasted drier conditions combined with the continuation of record-high outflows. Notwithstanding, water levels will remain elevated for the next several weeks and well into the summer months as record inflows from Lake Erie are expected to continue.

All shoreline areas should be considered dangerous during this time. Localized flooding combined with the potential for waves to overtop break walls and other shoreline structures continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Conservation Halton is asking all residents to exercise caution around Lake Ontario shoreline areas and to alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

This Flood Watch – Lake Ontario Shoreline message will remain in effect until August 15th. Conservation Halton will continue to monitor Lake Ontario wind conditions and lake levels closely and will either terminate this message or issue further updates as necessary.


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More than any child could want in the way of fun events at the Joseph Brant Day at LaSalle Park.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

August 1st, 2019



In this portrait Joseph Brant is seen wearing the gorget given to him by King George III. That gorget is the most important piece in the collection at the Joseph Brant Museum.

In this portrait Joseph Brant is seen wearing the gorget given to him by King George III. That gorget is the most important piece in the collection at the Joseph Brant Museum.

They call it the Civic Holiday at city hall – for the Museums of Burlington, the event at LaSalle Park has been known as the Joseph Brant Day in recognition of the contribution Brant made to the establishment of the city.

Events begin at 11:00 am and run through to 4:00 pm at LaSalle Park, FREE parking is available at Aldershot High School, 50 Fairwood Place West, Burlington.

Since 1980, Joseph Brant Day has been held at LaSalle Park on the Civic Holiday Monday in August. For over 30 years, the Museums of Burlington has presented this event that celebrates our local heritage, multiculturalism and community.

A new attraction this year will be the Children’s STEAM Zone, where kids will have fun being a Scientist, Technologist, Explorer, Athlete, and Mathematician with interactive activities. The Zone will connect with the newly renovated Joseph Brant Museum, and promote the Children’s Discovery Gallery “The Burlington STEAM Zone.”

Some event highlights include:

Brant Day - Food truck line -2

One of the biggest gatherings of Food Truck operators the city gets to see – all at LaSalle Park.

– Family-friendly entertainment
– Food truck rally
– Zorbit Sports bubble soccer
– Spin and win prizes
– Trampoline fun with Springfree Trampoline
– Water relay races with Bradbury Estate Realty
– La Salle Park Splash Pad (admission rates apply)
– Community displays
– Vendor market
– Quench cart (bring a refillable water bottle)


Celebrating Burlington’s Multi-Culturalism
Main Stage Entertainment:

Brant day pillow case race

A pillow case race at a past Brant Day.

11:00 am – Opening ceremonies
11:30 am – Eagle Flight Singers and Dancers
12:30 pm – Halton Dance Network
1:30 pm – Chinese Performing Arts Society
2:30 pm – Caribbean Steel Drummer
3:15 pm – Bare Blue Sea Band

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What will not be open on the Civic holiday.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 1st, 2019



closedIt’s the Civic Holiday this weekend; a number of administrative services will be closed on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, reopening Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019.

City Hall will be closed on Monday, Aug. 5, reopening on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Parks and Recreation Programs and Facilities
Activities and customer service hours at city pools, arenas and community centres vary over the holiday weekend. Please visit for a complete listing of program times and for hours at customer service locations.

Burlington Transit
Burlington Transit will operate holiday service schedule and the administration office and Specialized Dispatch will be closed on Monday, Aug. 5, reopening on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Visit for more information.

Animal Shelter and Control
Closed Monday, Aug. 5. Open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. For more information or to report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit

Roads, Parks and Forestry
The administrative office will be closed on Monday, Aug. 5, reopening on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Only urgent services will be provided.

Halton Court Services
Provincial Offences Courts will be closed on Monday, Aug. 5, reopening on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Free parking is available in the downtown core at all pay machines located on the street, municipal lots and the parking garage on weekends and holidays.

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

Do you have family and friends visiting for the holiday weekend? A reminder that there is no parking on city streets overnight between 1 and 6 a.m. Exemptions to allow overnight parking on city streets may be obtained by calling 905-335-7844 or visiting  You can get a permit on line.

Fireworks Safety
A reminder from the Burlington Fire Department: the safest way to enjoy fireworks this Civic Holiday is to let the professionals handle the lighting and fireworks display. If you do have fireworks planned for your celebrations, please follow safety tips at: running on mini beach

A 7 year old aboriginal boy demonstrated using hoops at the Brant Day event at LaSalle Park

A n aboriginal boy demonstrated using hoops at the Brant Day event at LaSalle Park

Kids + water = fun and noise - all part of the Halton Children's Water Festival. A full day of fun at a cost of $5 per student.

The August Civic holiday – best way to spend it.

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ONE BURLINGTON - an occasion when different faiths, cultures and community organizations share ideas, food and entertainment.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

August 1st, 2019



The Good News: The annual One Burlington celebration is on again this year. The bad news is that it does conflict with the Joseph Brant event at LaSalle Park.

One faith dancer

The costumes are bright, the energy from the dancer is incredible.

ONE BURLINGTON is in Burlington’s Central Park on Civic Holiday Monday August 5; Noon to 4pm at the Central Park band shell on New Street at Drury Lane

One faith beards standing

Their faith, their culture and their dress are parts of this community that we know very little about. The event is an opportunity to meet them and to hear what they have to say – and give them an opportunity to meet us.

ONE BURLINGTON consists of representatives from the many faith communities serving the Burlington area. The impetus for the first event in the summer of 2017 was the Quebec City mosque shootings in January that year. They also held an event in 2018.

The shootings in the Pittsburgh synagogue in in 2018 and in the Christchurch, New Zealand mosques in in March this year show that faith-related violence remains a major concern.

One faith Islamic sign

People from a number of different faith and cultural organizations will be taking part in the event.

Their purpose is to celebrate faith and culture by hosting an annual celebration to encourage people from diverse faiths to get to know each other better and thus discourage hate-related violence.

The theme this year is “Embracing Diversity”. It will be an embracing occasion with dancers on the stage – you will see and hear music you won’t see anywhere else in the city.

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If the Economic Development Corporation is wrapped up - what does that do to TechPlace and the hefty lease they signed?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 30th, 2019



What started out as a comment made at the annual Chamber of Commerce State of the City address given by newly elected Mayor Marianne Meed Ward may become a rather impressive Trojan Horse.

Red tape red carpet

Was this initiative a brilliant Trojan Horse?

The Mayor made mention of a committee she was setting up – to be called the Red Tape – Red Carpet (RTRC) initiative during which she, along with her colleague ward 1 city Councillor Kelven Galbraith, were to listen to various groups in the city about their concerns with city hall and the help they needed to grow their businesses.

Lurking in the background was a consistent complaint on the part of the developers and a number of businesses that had found it was very difficult to get anything through city hall in a reasonable amount of time

The RTRC team met with

Rural Business Focus Group, Development and Real Estate Industry Focus Group, Large Business and Manufacturers Focus Group, City Staff and Partner Organization Focus Group, Small Business Focus Group and heard what expected – the departments don’t talk to each other- the agencies (Fire, Education, Region, Conservation) are brought into the picture one at a time.

While Meed Ward was meeting with the various groups – all of which were closed to media – a consistent trait we have noticed from a Mayor who touts her 22 years as a journalist with a high regard for the role the media plays, the Burlington Economic Development Corporation was in the process of looking for a new Executive Director. Anita Cassidy has been serving as the Acting Executive Director for more than a year.

Her predecessor, Frank McKeown, who was at one point Mayor Goldring’s Chief of Staff and went on to run the BEDC, fully understood what the job was – keep the business we have and find new ones – he was just never able to land a really big one.

McKeown thought he was going to be able to put together a partnership with a German consulting group that wanted to get into the North American market. McKeown had his eye on a partnership with McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering – it didn’t work out – the Germans chose Hamilton instead,

Frank McKeown and Mayor Meed Ward never broke bread together – they had strong differences of opinion on what economic development was all about.

Frank McKeough, former Chief of Staff to MAyor Rick Goldring asked about how politicians can handle complex issues when voters tend not to be informed and don't have the background needed to arrive at decisions.

Frank McKeown, asking about how politicians can handle complex issues when voters tend not to be informed and don’t have the background needed to arrive at decisions.

Some think that McKeown resigned as head of BEDC when he could see that Meed Ward was going to be the next Mayor. McKeown always did have a good eye for figuring out which was the wind was blowing and whose sails it was going to fill.

While he ran BEDC, McKeown created TechPlace – a location where small start-ups could move in for a period of time and find their footing and then move out of TechPlace and set up shop in Burlington and grow as a new business opportunity for the city.

During this mix of events Mayor Meed Ward got invited to take part in a “Tale of Two Cities” with Oakville Mayor Rob Burton who explained to a good audience at the Performing Arts Centre that economic development should be an in house operation.

There are dozens of business people with tonnes of experience in drawing new business to a municipality that will tell you it is nuts to put that kind of an operation in city hall. Views are clearly divided on that issue.

At roughly the same time Burlington learns that L3Wescam is going to move out of the space they are in on the North Service Road to a new site in Waterdown. The Mayor was caught off guard and had to scramble to put a decent spin on the news.

L3WEscam Burlington location

L3Wescam will be leaving these premises for a new purpose built location in Waterdown.

It isn’t clear if Hamilton had gotten to L3Wescam and found them a deal they couldn’t refuse; they did that with International Harvester who were all set to move their parts distribution operation from Burlington to Mississauga – then they got a great deal from Hamilton and a time frame that worked for them.

The new Mayor had ideas of her own – she had begun toying with the idea of creating an MDC – Municipal Development Corporation that would be an in-house operation. In the material she prepared she went so far as to describe the job the Chief Development Officer of such an organization would be doing.

“Establish a position at City Hall to act as our Chief of Business Development, serving as a primary outreach for attracting new businesses to Burlington, overseeing and expediting applications through the system and reporting progress and obstacles regularly to City Council and the City Manager

During the July 15th Council meeting- the last one until September the Mayor asked her colleagues to support her idea and move it forward – the support she needed wasn’t there – council deferred the matter to the September meeting when the consultant’s report on the future of BEDC was in hand.

Anita Cassidy

Anita Cassidy finds herself facing an uncertain future over decisions she didn’t make.

One wonders what Anita Cassidy was thinking as she watched this parade of events pass her by.

The city, which provides most of the BEDC budget is current having a study done on what their role should be. As Mayor, Meed Ward sits on the BEDC Board.

Economic Development is critical to the growth of a municipality – some do it very effectively – Welland Ontario is a great example. Others slip and slide around and lose opportunities that they didn’t even see.

The business of attracting a corporation to move to town is really a networking game – you need someone who knows the players, plays a decent game of golf and has a great story to tell.

Burlington has the elements of a great story – parts of which are buried because their value is not perceived.

What isn’t clear yet is whether or not Mayor Meed Ward has the capacity to listen and to surround herself with people who she trusts and will rely upon when it comes to the complex process of how decisions are made. The jury is out on that one – and when it does return it might well be a hung jury.

There is one final irritant – a fly in the soup if you will.

Tech Place has just under five years left on a lease that has a sliding scale of rent increases. In the final full year of the lease rent will be a combination of net rent and additional rent for a total of $301,877 in the 6th year. That is a big nut to crack in anyone’s language.

TechPlace is a program of the BEDC, it has a staff of 1.5 people and an average annual contribution from BEDC’s core budget of approximately $220,000 per year.

Gross rent over the 6-year contract varies from $24,000 in year 1 to an annual cost of $301,000 in the final year.
There is basically nothing in the way of a revenue stream and while there are some bright spots in the Tech Place story it isn’t enough to cover the rent or justify the expense.

In material from BEDC we learn that “TechPlace is a one-stop destination for new and growing technology companies. TechPlace was established to support Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015 – 2040 that calls for “Innovative, entrepreneurial businesses have settled or developed in Burlington. The city has helped create the technological support, business supports, infrastructure and educational environment to attract start-ups and growing businesses” and to “Create and invest in a system that supports the start-up and growth of businesses, innovation hubs and entrepreneurship.

“Following best in class ecosystem research and stakeholder engagement conducted in 2017 a clear need to have a physical space to build a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem in Burlington was identified to create connectivity, vibrancy and tell our entrepreneurial story. Burlington Economic Development Corporation became the change champion and opened TechPlace to accomplish the City of Burlington Strategic Plan in a way that was aligned with community need and stakeholder input.”

Angelo B

Angelo Bentivegna wanted more information on that Tech Place lease.

This is the kind of language developers trot out when defending applications.  No one appears to have asked the hard question: How are we going to pay rent of $300,000 in the last year?  Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna kept asking questions about that lease – bless him for that – no one else was.

“TechPlace is focused on supporting the scale up and growth of high potential companies through its Launch Pad program and a host of wrap around services delivered through partners such as Haltech, Angel One, Mentorworks, Mohawk College, McMaster University and Halton Region Global Business Centre.

“In addition, BEDC has created a “Soft Landing” program to use as a unique business attraction tool that allows companies considering a location in the west GTA to establish a footprint in Burlington and begin operations while BEDC supports their long term business relocation to Burlington through its traditional business support services.”
There is some pretty fancy language in the BEDC material – the results, while interesting, are not going to do much in the way of changing the makeup of the commercial sector in the city.

Tech place logoSince TechPlace launched in 2017 it has hosted over 10,000 visitors, 200 events, attracted 13 LaunchPad companies, creating a strong business attraction brand and value proposition for Burlington. Results since inception are:

Total LaunchPads -13
Total LaunchPads from outside of Burlington – 10 of 13 Graduates – 7
Graduates that stayed in Burlington – 5 of 7

The BEDC material adds: “There have been a number of recent changes to the local start-up support ecosystem including the launch of Nuvo Network and the review of the Regional Innovation Centre model by the provincial government including Haltech.

“This creates opportunities for reviewing TechPlace’s operating model and determining whether BEDC delivering TechPlace activities directly or spinning off the activities to a partner can create the same benefits for Burlington with a different operating and financial model.”

“As part of the overall BEDC review, it is worth reviewing the efficiency, effectiveness and optimal structure and mandate of TechPlace to determine the pros and cons of retaining it as part of BEDC or spinning it off to an independent provider. The review would include a cost-benefit analysis of the current investment in TechPlace and what it produces in business attraction, versus other strategies for business attraction (e.g., dedicated staff) that don’t rely as heavily on physical space.”

This amounts to Corporate Spin on a situation that is unraveling quickly.

Is the BEDC signalling that Tech Place has not panned out the way they had hoped and that it is time to bail out?

Ward 1 Councillor Kelven Galbraith was taken on a tour of the McMaster Innovation Park and had this to say: “It was amazing to see the business success stories that have emerged from the park and the continued investment into their facilities and operations.

‘The City of Burlington and Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) looks forward to a great business relationship with the McMaster Innovation Park in the future”. That train may have already left the station.

Meed ward looking askance

Mayor Meed Ward has a strategy and a long term objective – don’t get in the way.

The Mayor wasn’t all that interested in waiting for the result of the BEDC review – she had a job description in her hand for the person who is going to bring some life to attracting new enterprises to the city – all she needed was three of the six votes from her colleagues – they weren’t forthcoming.

Tech Place was seen by former Mayor Rick Goldring as one of his success stories – he really wanted it to work.

Wanting just isn’t enough – is it? The city just might have to suck up that rent cost and look for someone who will take over the lease.

Sean Saulnier over at NUVO One isn’t likely to be the white horse the city needs.

The financial reckoning will take place and a new story line will be spun out of city hall. Burlington learned to leave well enough alone when the New Street Diet proved to be a dismal failure. Are we about to repeat that performance?

Don’t expect to see much in the way of transparency in what happens next – and give up on the idea of holding anyone accountable.

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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NYC marathon run is 100 days away - the training is relentless.

sportsgold 100x100By Ashley Worobec

July 30th, 2019



Friday, July 26th marked 100 days until the NYC marathon.

100 days might not sound like much, but it still means more than another three months of solid training.

The goal for me throughout this training is to focus on proper recovery and injury prevention, so I’m doing a lot to support those goals.

I try to get to a yoga class once per week, or do some yoga and mobility work in my backyard. Running inherently tightens everything up, and I feel like my muscles and joints move better if I continue to focus on mobility – it only takes a few minutes to see the benefits, and I really advocate this under-utilized component of athleticism to all of my patients.

Push ups lawnThe general rule is that dynamic stretching (stretching that involves movement, like walking lunges, marching and leg swings) is best to be done before activity, whereas static stretching (stretch and hold movements, like the downward dog seen in my photo) is best to be done after activity.

SleepI am also really trying to focus on sleep, and that 9 hours you see on my Garmin reading happened the night after a 20km run (my longest run to date in this training plan).

Sleep is when our body rebuilds itself, and since marathon training is so catabolic (breaks down muscle), sleep helps to rebuild that damage and repair stressed tissues.

My long run will build up again this weekend to 22km, and then I’ll have a recovery week of a 16km long run- this method of a few weeks of mileage buildup, followed by a recovery week where mileage is decreased, is called “periodization of training,” and it is used across many training domains, including running and weight-lifting.

RECOVERY is key, you cannot expect your body to just do more and more and more without giving it a break periodically.

Another important component of my training right now is building leg strength and power, and this is done with hill running (trills, or trail hills, as noted below).

Although the NYC Marathon route is not known for it’s hills, the number of bridges (and therefore bridge ascents) that we have to cross is deceiving, and there is 10km of ascent throughout the 42.2km route!

Hill training, and the benefit of leg strength, is very important if I’m going to make it up those bridges.

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Level of disinfectant in the wading pool cause of seven people being transported to hospital for further evaluation.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 30th, 2019



This afternoon, on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at 2 p.m. City of Burlington aquatics staff noticed an odour.

Staff cleared the pool and evacuated approximately 40 people outside the pool and splash pad perimeter.

Staff called 9-1-1 and fire, ambulance, police and the health department responded at 2:13 p.m..

Splash pad LaSalle - swimming

The facility at LaSalle Park is very popular.

Eighteen individuals were assessed on scene and seven people were transported to hospital for further evaluation.

It has been determined that during routine maintenance, water levels had dropped causing disinfectant to enter the pool at higher than normal levels, but still within the recommended range. The levels have since been further lowered. The City is reviewing this incident to prevent future incidents.

The Burlington Fire department inspected and tested the entire perimeter of the pool for air quality and deemed all levels to be safe.

At this time, the Halton Region Health Department is on scene. The wading pool and splash pad will reopen once approved by the health department. The City expects to reopen the pool tomorrow at 11 a.m. once it has been tested, inspected and confirmed safe.

The above is the city’s story – and they will stick to it until an independent authority takes a closer look and asks some “why’s” about how disinfectant levels are determined.


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