The Not for Profit sector is hurting - leadership at one Regional agency is stressed and staff are uncertain about their futures.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 13th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is an agency in the Region that has served for several decades that is going through significant turmoil as it comes to terms with change.

We are not going to name the agency, nor will we name any of the individuals involved.

The agency is in the non-profit sector; it is suffering from the loss of funding at the provincial level and to some degree from the federal level.

social-services-and-communities-emblemSocial services at this point in time are, for the most part, a Regional responsibility.  The provincial government downloaded a lot of this responsibility to the municipalities who do not have the financial resources to deliver. The 2014-18 Burlington city council made little effort to take up any of the slack that resulted in funding changes at the Regional level.

The agency of concern has not managed to keep up with the way information is gathered and distributed – infographics for which the the city and the Board of Education have staff in place to create, is not a luxury this agency has – thus they are quite a bit behind in the quality of the information they can send out.

The dollars they get from their funders are put into creating policy papers and developing courses that other small non-profits can use to improve their operations and running programs to meet different needs in the Region.

The Trillium fund in the past was a significant source of funding for the agency we are focused on. That source has dried up.

Staff and Executive leadership at the agency are going through some deep re-thinking as they struggle to determine their direction and the validity of the mission.

Change is painful, the pressure on the Board of Directors is immense – finding people with the experience, depth and time needed to handle complex issues is difficult.

Leadership at the operational level is impacted by the quality of leadership at the policy level. Every leader has to take what former Prime Minister called “a walk in the snow” to think through if this is the time to make way for new leadership.

Everyone likes to leave on a high note – what if the high note’s time has passed?

Reputations and a life’s work should not just be trashed by a report that was not as well researched as it could have been.

The not for profit sector is hurting – this is the case in Ontario and across the country. The struggle to find new leadership and put them in place so that those who have been in place for decades can move on to new opportunities, requires judgement, wisdom and tact on the part of the Boards of Directors.

Salt with Pepper is the opinions, reflections,musings and observations of the Gazette Publisher

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Game 6 of NBA finals will be broadcast from Main Stage in Spencer Smith Park.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

June 12, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The wildly popular ‘Burlassic Park’ is moving to Spencer Smith Park in a partnership with the Sound of Music Festival.

The City and the Sound of Music Festival have worked with all the artists playing on Thursday June 13th to accommodate the largest outdoor viewing of the Toronto Raptors Game 6, in the Golden Horseshoe!

lonestar

Lonestar becomes the warm up band for Game 6 of the NBA finals.

The broadcast of Game 6 of the NBA Finals will be preceded by headline performance of “Lonestar” on the main stage.

The event can be shared by following the hashtag #burlassicpark
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sea-of-people-b

A reported 10,000 people gathered in Spencer Smith Park in August of 2016 to hear Gord Downie in his final concert.

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Give your council member a hug!

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They are under incredible pressure.

The work load is daunting.

The learning curve is just beginning to level out for five of them – it has been incredibly steep.

Some nod off during meetings.

The city council elected last October is sweating it out and for the most part they are doing a really good job and changing the way the city gets its work done.

Staff is still getting its measure as to just who the five new members are.

Both staff and council are badly in need of the kind of leadership a new city manager will bring.

When you see a council member – give them a hug.

Yesterday they put in a 12 hour day – with meal breaks as short as 20 minutes.

They approved a recommendation that Standing Committee meetings begin at 9:30 am instead of the past start time of 1:00 pm.

Staff is struggling to keep up with the work load and setting out deadlines that are going to be very hard to meet.

The challenge for both council and staff is to turn the good ship Burlington around as they set a new course realizing that the charts they had expected to use have been changed.

They need your support – be generous.

City council on innauguration Dec 3rd - 2018

The 2018 city council on the day they were sworn in.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette.

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Height, height and height are the top three issues for the city maintains ECoB executive member.

opinionred 100x100By Roland Tanner

June 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is eleven months since this council considered the application for 409 Brant Street.

At that time 24 storeys was a new and unwelcome maximum, blowing past the maximums set out in the then newly adopted Official Plan.

That was just the beginning. Since then we have seen multiple proposals come forward which approach 30 storeys.

ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington hope and expect that Council’s eventual decision on this building, which will not be for some time, will be not to approve it in anything remotely like it’s current configuration. That will be the correct decision, and it is the decision the voters expressed their wish for last year. Sadly, however, we also need to acknowledge the likely futility of that decision, whenever it comes.

Because this application is about who controls planning in Burlington.

Pearl and LakeshoreThis Carriage Gate development will inevitably be appealed to the new LPAT/OMB, an un-elected, un-answerable, faceless, undemocratic agency of government which will decide Burlington’s fate on this development, as it will on most of the other developments which will be coming to Council in the months and years ahead. With the passing of Bill 108 into law and the return of the rules of the old OMB, but with slashed timelines, the minor improvements in planning procedure achieved by the introduction of the LPAT have been lost.

A de novo hearing can enforce any decision it likes on Burlington, and precedent suggests the tribunal will not show any interest in the years of work staff and council have put into developing a vision for downtown.

To deal specifically with the problems with this development, I could, as so many have done on other occasions, talk about concerns with wind studies and setbacks, traffic effects and heritage protection. But I would simply be repeating what we’ve all heard many times before.

Certainly this building is inappropriate for downtown. It has hardly any stepbacks. The 45 degree angular planes across Pearl and Lakeshore run smack-dab into the 29 storey vertical wall the building creates at about the 8th floor.

All the design elements in the world to break up the tower’s appearance cannot hide the fact that this it is attempting to fit the most units it possibly can on a restricted lot size. It will worsen what has already become a problem area for wind on Pearl. It will be another large block in what has become the Lakeshore Chasm, a high-walled concrete tunnel channeling wind and traffic into our downtown.

It is an application, which if successful, will drive another nail into the coffin into what was once a promising urban promenade between Pearl, Old Lakeshore Road and Spencer Smith, losing a large percentage of the lake views that set Burlington apart from other cities.

Nick Carnacelli

Carriage Gates Homes president Nick Carnacelli

We have to recognize what this proposal is: it is a statement that Carriage Gate Homes considers the wishes of Burlington City Council and the democratically stated wishes of the residents of Burlington to be irrelevant.

They recognize that the power lies elsewhere, and their application has been designed with that in mind. And that was before Bill 108 became law. It is designed to be negotiated at LPAT, not to be approved by council. The Interim Control Bylaw, while allowing the City time to work out its own approach to downtown planning, is likely to be simply a delaying process.

However, and council can correct me if this understanding is wrong, we believe developers can still submit their appeals to LPAT even while the ICBL is in place. The city’s greatly reduced timelines are not changed.

This is a bleak picture, not just for those who want to see a reasonable and balanced approach to development in Burlington, but for anyone who believes in local democracy. Urban planning is now the preserve of whoever can pay for the best lawyers. Millions upon millions of dollars are being wasted – money that could make developments more affordable, and money that the City desperately needs to make up for the revenue it is losing under Bill 108. Ironically, In ECoB’s discussions with developers, it seems there’s one thing we can all agree on – the appeals process is a costly waste of time for all parties. Moreover, it is a process which most other provinces in Canada avoid completely.

So we need to urgently address the few things that can be done in Burlington to reduce the focus on downtown, and which the province has made clear are within the city’s powers to do.

First. ECoB urges council to do all it can to immediately remove the Mobility Hub designation from downtown.

Secondly, also founded on information received from the province, we urge the City to explore everything it can to consider changing the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre to focus on Burlington’s real transit-corridor around the Go Station and Fairview and to work for that to be adopted in the next Regional Plan.

Without doing so, ECoB believes whatever changes the city makes to the Official Plans and zoning are largely irrelevant. The expectations of development in the Urban Growth Centre will always trump the limits made by Official Plans in the eyes of LPAT/OMB.

Thirdly ECoB urges council to start doing everything it can to engage the leadership of other cities in a campaign for renewal in municipal authority. It is a campaign that needs to persuade all political parties to put local democracy and root and branch reform of the provincial planning process on the agenda. Local planning, by cities in partnership citizens, is literally the only way in which we have ever built cities we can be proud of.

Finally, ECoB urges Council not to approve this development when it eventually comes before them, and to continue to make a case at every level for the implementation of a democratically informed planning vision.

Roland Tanner June 11-Roland Tanner, PhD, is co-chair of ECoB and was a member of the Shape Burlington report committee.

Related link: Strange bed fellows.

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We was hacked - fixed - we think

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

June 12, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Someone did us a dirty.

hacker

Someone paid someone like this to hack into our web site.

They hacked into the Burlington Gazette web site.

Faithful users who have us book marked had no problems – they got directly to the news we deliver.

Those who used a search engine to find us got a bit of a surprise. The hacker put in some re-direct commands and sent the user of to a site that sells pharmaceutical products.

We won’t go into any detail on the product offering

The re-direct is being erased, the software is being upgraded and a thicker fire wall is being installed.

A fascinating business.

Took a little sleuthing to determine where the problem existed and then to get a grip on the scope and scale.

The down side of course is that these repairs are on the expensive side and they get priced in US$.

For those of you who were inconvenienced – our apologies.

It looks as if the hack has been fixed.  Using the url:  www.burlingtongazette.ca will get you to us.

For the dude that did the dastardly deed – get a real job.  We are wondering just who it was that wanted us off the air.  Any suggestions?

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Politics does make for strange bed fellows.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 12, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The dynamic was delicious.

Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councilor Lisa Kearns

There was the candidate, Lisa Kearns, who won the ward 2 seat; there was the candidate, Roland Tanner, who lost to the current Councillor and then there was the Chair of the meeting, Paul Sharman, who was hearing people speak at a Statutory meeting about a project that no one spoke favourably about, other than the developers’ consultants.

The chair, Paul Sharman, was a member of the Shape Burlington committee. Roland Tanner, who did not win the ward 2 seat, was also a member of the Shape Burlington committee.  The two men didn’t get along at the Shape Burlington committee meetings and they didn’t get along Tuesday evening either.  At one point Sharman did his best to shut Tanner down.

Tanner was also a member of ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington, the organization that held election debates in every ward of the city, including ward 5 where Paul Sharman sought and won re-election.

Sharman seat at ward 5

Paul Sharman’s seat at the ward 5 ECoB debate.

Sharman did not take part in the ward 5 debate sponsored by ECoB. What he did do was trash the organization as illegitimate and misguided.

Roland Tanner June 11-

Roland Tanner

While Sharman didn’t take part in the ward 5 debate he did have some of his people on hand passing out literature.

Tuesday evening, Roland Tanner was delegating, answering some very direct questions from the ward 2 Councillor, Lisa Kearns and dealing with interruptions from the chair.

Politics does have the strangest of bed fellows.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette.

Related opinion piece: The delegation the chair wanted to cut short.

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Terry Fox Run folks get a break from city hall.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Terry Fox Run for a Cure got a bit of a break from city hall.

In the past they have had to pay a significant fee for the use of Spencer Smith Park.

Craig Gardner Terry Fox

Craig Gardner, chair of the Burlington Terry Fox Run Committee

Craig Gardner appeared before the Committee of the Whole Monday evening with a request that the city grant a permanent waiver of City fees related to the Burlington Terry Fox Run.

The Terry Fox Run started September 13, 1981 shortly after Terry’s death June 28, 1981. Terry started his run April 13, 1980 which included coming through Burlington, but he had to stop after 143 days and 5373 km on Sept 1, 1980 in Thunder Bay.

Burlington has had a run every year and after 38. During that time 23,000 runners in Burlington have raised over $2 million. Approximately 80% of these funds have gone to Cancer research including funding of cancer research at McMaster in Hamilton.

Isadore Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons Hotel chain, met with Terry before he passed away to get Terry’s okay to have an annual run (Izzy had lost a son to cancer in 1978).

It was at this time that Terry set the rules that all Terry Fox Runs to follow; those rules are still in place today.

There are to be no Corporate sponsorship, no entry fee, no minimum donation, not a timed run, family event, all funds raised must be forwarded to the foundation, any goods or services required to hold a Terry Fox Run must be donated or be covered by specific donations from third parties (e.g. food, service, or security requirements), locally everyone involved with the run is a volunteer, no paid staff.

Fox monument with Brant Inn

The monument to the time Terry Fox ran through Burlington was a citizen initiative, conceived and paid for by private donations. The only hitch with this project was how difficult city hall made to get it done. The citizens prevailed.

“As you can imagine” said Gardner, “ it is a lot of work to host a run under these rules. We find Burlington a great city in terms of local businesses generosity in donating goods and services without a tax receipt and without the ability to advertise their donation, but we find it very hard to solicit cash.

“We have minimal cash obligations of about $200 per year for honorariums for St. Johns Ambulance, a radio club that helps make our run secure and licenses to play music from SOCAN and RESOUND.

“The city bill which is in the neighbourhood of $700 for park rental and park staff for the 4 hours we are in the park Sunday morning is by far our largest cash expense.

“To uphold Terry’s wishes and as a Canadian hero we request the city permanently waive the fee for this event in his honour. Majority of the cities in Canada waive this fee, as is the case in Oakville. Our plea is to make every dollar we raise go towards the research of finding the cure for cancer.”

See link for details on the way funds are to be used go to: https://www.terryfox.org/our-role-and-research/policies-and-guidelines/

The reply from the council committee was one of the fastest we have seen – slam, bam and it was done.

The recommendation will go to Council on the 17th.

This should have been done years ago.

Will others come a calling asking for the same break? Might, but they have quite a barrier to get over.

The Gazette has covered every Terry Fox run for the past eight years.

Don Carmichael, chair of the Terry Fox run in 2012, meets with part of his team to go over the final check-ins before the event gets serious and the crowds begin to show up.

Fox 2013 ommy+daughter+dog

It has always been a family event.

Many of the pictures we cherish the most are set out below.

 

when you cross that finish line - a cup of water is real welcome. The Terry Fox organization in Burlington covers all the bases.

When you cross that finish line – a cup of water is real welcome. The Terry Fox organization in Burlington covers all the bases.

A really special team - Casey Cosgrove and his supporters.

A really special team – Casey Cosgrove and his supporters.

Many people see the Terry Fox run as a unique thing that happened in Canada and was the result of one Canadian's supreme effort. The Canadian flag just seems to be a part of the event - and there were plenty of them handed out.

Many people see the Terry Fox run as a unique thing that happened in Canada and was the result of one Canadian’s supreme effort. The Canadian flag just seems to be a part of the event – and there were plenty of them handed out.

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Changes planned for Civic Square are going nowhere - until Council has had a look at the final design - which they claim not to have seen yet.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At just about every city council Standing Committee meeting there are a number of reports that are listed as part of the Consent Agenda.

These are reports that the Clerk’s Office doesn’t feel will require debate.

Any council member can ask to have an item taken off the Consent Agenda – which is what happened Monday evening when Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan asked that the report on changes to the design of Civic Square be taken off the Consent list – he had some questions – which led to close to an hour of discussion and a number of council members with their noses out of joint.

Civic Square Dec 2018

What Civic Square looks like today. The holding of the event to recognize the loss of a member of Walk Off The Earth and the Burlassic Park site for the Raptors games have changed the way the city sees the use of the space.

The only reason the item was on the Consent Agenda was because the cost of the project had gone over the permitted delegated spending level.

Rory Nisan

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan spotted a problem with a report – saved council and the city from a major embarrassment.

Councillor Nisan had problems with the process that was used and pointed out that Civic Square was a flagship location and the level of public engagement should have been much higher. He argued that there was no opportunity for Council to comment.

Nisan wanted the report deferred so that Council could get to see what the final project was going to look like.

It was explained that the Capital Works people were up against a very tight deadline in terms of the work that had to be done and the need to get that work done before a March 2020 date which is when the funds that came from the provincial government would no longer be available.

Mayor Meed Ward jumped on that issue saying she shared the concern and wanted to know why the design was not in the report and added that what she was hearing from people was a significant level of being “underwhelmed”.

Fig 2

The objective was to create a shade structure(s) to complement planned upgrades to the small gathering place in front of City Hall.

Staff had come back to Council for approval to spend more than they were permitted to spend – council got huffed over not being asked to approve the final project.

There were two public information sessions and an on-line survey.

Fig 3

The city describes Civic Square as a small yet vital gathering space located in the heart of downtown Burlington and acts as the front entrance to City Hall. In addition to providing residents and visitors a space to stop and rest, Civic Square is also home to a variety of arts and culture events.

Had Councillor Nisan not asked the Executive Director of Public works some questions this project to re-design what Civic Square was going to look like would have been a done deal.

Deferring it to the next Standing Committee cycle would have created timing problems on several levels – so Council decided to have the Capital Works people return the next day with a detailed report on what the site was going to look like.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns was fully aware of what was planned – she clearly dropped the ball on this one.

There will be some scrambling on Tuesday while Council scurries to recover from this gaff.  Staff didn’t think they had a problem. The shade devices will be gone by the time council finishes with this matter.

The Gazette reported at length on the project – council members missed that one.

Link to related news stories: Gazette new story in February – it was all there for anyone to read.

Gazette story in December of 2018 on the changes coming to Civic Square.

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Environmental impact to be included in every report delivered to Council - a BIG step forward.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Standing Committee of the Whole spent hours on a Climate Change report and heard some of the best delegations put before this council.

They were told to do things quickly and to get the message to the public that Climate Change is BIG – the biggest issue we face.
Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte wanted to make the point even clearer to staff and pointed out that the end of every staff report there was a section on Financial matters.

Shawna Stolte

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte – wanted the Environmental impact of every staff recommendation included in all reports.

Why she asked could there not be a section on Environmental matters. They dickered around with Environmental impact, Environmental consequences but settled on Environmental matters which forces staff to think about the environmental impact on every recommendation they bring before council.

It is going to take a bit of time for staff to get their heads around this; it was a small idea from Stolte that will have major impacts on the recommendations being put forward.

Councillor Sharman wanted Social matters added to the list – but after some back and forth with Councillor Nisan Council decided to go with just the one additional lens being added to the template the Clerk’s office uses.

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It hit the fan on Friday - we will be cleaning this mess up for years.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 10th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a Statement released by the Mayor last Friday she said that the Bill passed by the provincial government the day before will “have a devastating impact on municipal finances and local land use planning control.

Bill 108, also known as “More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan,” was first introduced just last month. Burlington City Council, Halton Region, fellow mayors from the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) and other mayors from across Ontario all expressed significant concerns with the impact it would have on our communities.

“Changes to development charges will mean growth will pay even less of the cost of growth, leaving taxpayers to make up the difference. This will unnecessarily add costs at a time when local governments are being asked to find savings.

“Reinstating the old Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) rules means even less local control over planning our communities.

“With legislation that impacts no less than 13 different acts, we requested more time to submit our comments before a decision was made, so we could better evaluate the potential impacts to our cities.

“The Province did not listen.

“We now turn our attention to the regulations that will implement the bill, expected this fall, where there may be opportunity to undo some of the damage Bill 108 will cause.”

Rohmer with MMW

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward meets Richard Rohmer on the beaches of Normandy during the 75th Anniversary of the D Day landings. Honorary Lieutenant General Richard Heath Rohmer OC CMM OOnt DFC CD QC, wasa born in Hamilton, he flew 135 missions in the Second World War, including two on June 6, 1944. He is now age 95, married for 70 years. He is still sharp as a whip and charming as can be. We are so grateful for his service and his lifelong contributions to our country.

Mayor Meed Ward released her statement while she was in France representing Burlington at the 75th Anniversary of the June 6th, 1944 D Day landings on the Normandy beaches which was the beginning of the end of World War Two. The war ended on May 7th, 1945.

We love logoWe Love Burlington had quite a bit more to say on the bill and provided much more detail.

Bill 108, was introduced and passed First Reading in the Ontario Legislature on May 2, 2019. On Friday May 31st there were public hearings with Third Reading on June 4th. Once it receives Third Reading it is effectively law.

The Bill has serious impacts on environmental protections and the protection of endangered species. The amendments seriously affect the preservation of bio-diversity. Schedule 5 of the Bill makes it far easier for plants and wildlife habitat to be destroyed. It would also lead to significant delays and uncertainty regarding listing of species at risk, providing more exceptions and mechanisms for escaping the prohibitions, severely limit the government’s mandatory actions to protect and recover species at risk and remove requirements for the Minister to consult with species experts. In a bizarre and deadly trade-off, the Bill would allow proponents to harm some ‘at risk’ species in exchange for benefitting others. It would create a mechanism where proponents could pay a regulatory charge in lieu of meeting conditions on a permit designed to protect and recover species or habitat. The new term, so aptly and grotesquely coined, is “pay to slay”.

We love at QP

The We Love Burlington Executive met with the Burlington MPP, Jane McKenna at Queen’s Park.

The Bill seeks to amend 13 different statutes that seriously impact municipalities and land use planning processes. It will change the collection of development charges with “soft charges” (i.e. those collected for community infrastructure such as libraries, community centres, arena, playgrounds or sports fields) no longer eligible for inclusion. The Bill will also seriously impact municipal heritage conservation. Bill 108 would also alter how development applications are reviewed by the City at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

It would effectively reinstate the former powers on the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) whereby LPAT would determine the “best planning outcome” in development disputes and could once again overturn a municipal council’s planning decision. It would effectively reinstate de novo hearings.

WeLoveBurlington became concerned with the potential impacts of Bill 108 on Burlington and other municipalities when it saw the linkages to the provincial program downloading, capacity challenges and consultation/process deficiencies that are the true threats around the Ontario municipal government review.

MMW + Burlington delegation

Mayor Meed Ward observing as the We Love Burlington delegation speaks to Provincial Review Advisors.

Amalgamation was and is an effective rallying point but the issues with which we are most concerned are exemplified by Bill 108 – lack of adequate consultation with stakeholders and citizens around arbitrarily imposed changes, the quantum of dysfunctional change and unanticipated impacts imposed on municipal services and governance, the likely inability of an overloaded municipal system to accommodate the changes without higher taxes, reduced services and increased debt and, finally, the absence of a decisive and deciding voice for those most impacted by the changes – the citizens.

On June 1st, WeLoveBurlington responded to the extremely short deadline for comment on Bill 108. The contents of the letter follow.

May 31, 2019
The Honourable Doug Ford
The Honourable Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier
The Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Dear Premier Ford, Deputy Premier Elliott, Minister Clark:
Reference: 019-0016
Bill 108 – (Schedule 12) – the proposed More Homes, More Choice Act: Amendments to the Planning Act

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed Bill 108.

We are the WeLoveBurlington Advocacy Group. We are distinctly ‘grass roots’ and non-partisan. We advocate on a broad range of issues that affect the City of Burlington and its citizens.

At the outset, we would like to note several directions and tendencies of the current provincial government that have given us cause for ongoing concern and which we see unfortunately reflected in Bill 108.

First, a general rush to precipitous action with insufficient consultation with affected parties, interest groups and citizens generally. We understand that Bill 108 and its consequences are entirely within the powers and prerogatives of the provincial government. However, we firmly believe that appropriate and timely consultation with the electorate is a fundamental principle of the democratic process. Such has not occurred here.

Second, a tendency to download program funding and operational responsibilities with little consideration of their ultimate financial or operational impacts. Indeed, in many cases these potential affects are both unidentified and unclear resulting in a needlessly dynamic policy context and unfunded budgetary pressures. The result will predictably be reduced services, higher tax burdens and larger municipal debt.

Third, a tendency to disrupt and overload the existing framework of municipal services by imposing a quantum of change that is beyond the limited capacity of the municipality to accommodate. Bill 108 is simply the latest example of a series of provincially imposed changes to local municipal program delivery that were unplanned, unanticipated and threaten to render dysfunctional an already over-extended system.

In reviewing the proposed Bill we have multiple concerns but have limited our comments, given the very brief amount of time allowed for response and comment, to those that follow.

Threats to Bio-Diversity
The consequences of global heating and the need for preservation of bio-diversity are of the utmost importance to our province and our country in the 21st century. Unfortunately, instead of increasing the strength of our protections for these crucial needs, Schedule 5 of Bill 108 makes it easier for plants and wildlife habitat to be destroyed. If enacted as proposed, Bill 108 would lead to significant delays and uncertainty regarding listing of species at risk, provide for more exceptions and mechanisms for escaping the prohibitions, severely limit the government’s actions to protect and recover species at risk, and remove requirements for the Minister to consult with species experts. The amendments would also allow proponents to harm some species at risk in exchange for benefiting others (through landscape agreements) and create a mechanism where proponents can pay a regulatory charge in lieu of meeting conditions on a permit designed to protect and recover species or its habitat. The new term “pay to slay” that is finding traction with constituents is an apt if somewhat grotesque label.

Schedule 5 will accelerate the decline of species. This is not a trade-off voting constituents are willing to support. Schedule 5 should be eliminated from this Bill in its entirety.

Shorter Timelines for Review of Applications
Setting shorter timelines for the review of development applications directly impacts the ability of municipal planning staff to deal with the comprehensive nature of applications, consult with the public, or seek collaboration with applicants. Instead of allowing for the community and parties to work together, shortened timelines will increase adversity. These are impractical timelines for staff and Council for even the most simple, straightforward applications. The result will be even more appeals for non-decisions, thereby defeating the desire to increase housing faster.

Return to de novo Hearings
While the LPAT remains, it will no longer evaluate appeals based on compliance with official plans and consistency with provincial plans/policies. Bill 108 returns it to the more adversarial OMB process and, as such, a return to de novo hearings. This is very disappointing for residents and municipal governments, as it takes final planning decisions out of elected councils’ hands. Historically, the use of a de novo approach to appeals has resulted in drawn out hearings, lags in decisions and a backlog of cases. The return to this process has no positive effect to speed up housing development. This aspect of Bill 108 has been characterized as a return to the substance (if not the fact) of the former Ontario Municipal Review Board. We agree and consider it a fundamental flaw of the proposed legislation.

Mountainside PArk

The funding of public park space is expected to undergo a significant change,

Parkland and Development Charges
A long-standing tenet of land use in Ontario, as established by the province and undertaken by municipalities, is for the building of complete communities – places where homes, jobs, schools, community services, parks and recreation facilities are easily accessible. As intensification and vertical housing become more prevalent, particularly in cities such as Burlington that are targeted for intensification, access becomes even more important.

For decades, the province has allowed municipalities to require parkland based on number of units being built, creating a direct relationship to the number of people living in a new development. If cities choose to keep a limited version of the parkland dedication by-law, they lose the ability to collect land or cash based on units built and are limited to require 5% of the land area of the new development. A 5% requirement on a small site being used for a high-rise development does not deliver a “park” space for residents that will contribute to livability in any manner. Our parks are critical pieces of infrastructure that not only help to alleviate the effects of global heating but also play a pivotal role in creating places where people actually want to live. Further, Bill 108 compels cities to spend 60% of the money they collect each year, thus making it harder for cities to save up funds for larger park projects and land purchases.

Not only does Bill 108 severely curtail the ability for cities to require developers to provide parkland onsite, it also removes the ability for those same cities to use development charges to collect money for parks and other soft infrastructure. The proposed new development charges amalgamate many of the tools cities have used for things such as affordable housing and turned them into either/or situations. These restrictions are exacerbated by a yet-to-be identified cap the government will announce at a later date.

No Answers to Affordable Housing
Bill 108 does not provide for any mechanisms to ensure that reduced development costs are passed through to future home buyers and renters.

In large part the development industry is permitted to build the product it most wants, wherever it desires and sell it at whatever price it chooses.

Allowing municipalities to utilize inclusionary zoning as one of a suite of tools to address and increase the supply and integration of affordable housing through private development represents a more effective manner with which to create affordable housing. By doing so, municipalities maintain the flexibility to utilize the tools most appropriate to the local context.

Bill 108 does not represent the government action voting constituents want from provincial leaders. The City of Burlington and municipalities like it across Ontario have well planned strategies for growth with specific areas identified for intensification and new development.

Reasonable timelines are in place to ensure professional review and assessment of development applications while providing constituents with a voice. The City of Burlington currently has in place an Interim Control Bylaw that has imposed a hiatus on development applications for one (potentially two) years. The bylaw was enacted as a necessary mechanism to cope with both the volume and the complexity of current development applications. This would override it and introduce virtual chaos into the evaluation and approval process.

We strongly urge you to pause Bill 108 in its entirety and work in tandem with the City of Burlington, the Halton Area Planning Partnership and like bodies across Ontario to attain plans and policies that reflect clarity, consideration and certainty in managing growth, delivering suitable development for our population and building infrastructure that works in favour of the people and the environment.

If the current government is truly “a government of the people” receiving its direction from ‘the people’, then it needs to both listen to their voice and permit them the time to articulate it.
Sincerely, We Love Burlington Executive

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Height and intensification are the issue: Scobie points out that for the developers - the sky is the only limit.

opiniongreen 100x100By Gary Scobie

June 7th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I am writing this to expose the absurdity of the Province’s growth centre density targets and how this absurdity is working against good municipal planning, against the livability of Ontario cities where targets apply, against the democratic right of citizens to control their own neighbourhood growth and for just one group – developers.

Bus terminal - gateway - to what

Mobility Hubs can be either full-fledged Gateway Mobility Hubs along GO Transit lines or Anchor Mobility Hubs where municipal transit stations occur. Is this really an Anchor hub?

Henceforth when I refer to growth centres I mean official Urban Growth Centres assigned to municipalities by the Province and Mobility Hubs assigned either by the provincial Metrolinx organization or created by municipalities themselves. The Mobility Hubs can be either full-fledged Gateway Mobility Hubs along GO Transit lines or Anchor Mobility Hubs where municipal transit stations occur. Each has a density target assigned consisting of the number of People and Jobs (P&J’s) per hectare. Not all growth centres have the same areas or density target, but for simplicity I will use the largest area and the highest density target to describe the maximum effect, unless I use an actual growth centre that has been designated.

Mobility hubs

The thinking was to create four mobility hubs and allow significant growth. The studies needed to flesh this out have been put on hold,

A theoretical growth centre is circular and can have up to an 800 metre radius. The area is calculated by the pi X r-squared formula we learned in school, where pi is 3.1416 to four decimals and r is the radius in metres. In this case the area could be up to 3.1416 X 800 X 800 = 2,010,624 square metres. A hectare is 10,000 square metres. So the maximum area of a theoretical growth centre is 2,010,624 / 10,000 = 201.0624 hectares. Let’s round this off to 200 hectares for simplicity.

The growth target for most growth centres is 200 P&J’s per hectare. So theoretically the largest growth centres could have up to 200 X 200 = 40,000 people and jobs within it. That in itself is quite a staggering number, when you consider that Burlington has a population today around 180,000 and if just one growth centre had a maximum area and no jobs, it would have to house 40,000 people in a relatively small area, about 22% of the current total Burlington population.

high profile 421

Going up opposite city hall – sales centre is operational.

But let’s pause here and examine a real growth centre in Burlington, the Urban Growth Centre in the downtown. It is smaller than the circle I described as theoretical and it is shaped more like a upside down capital “T”, stretching up Brant street and adjacent streets and along Lakeshore Road. It is about half the size at 104.6 hectares. So its target is 104.6 X 200 = 20,920 P&J’s. Yes, that’s pretty dense. We were at 157 P&J’s in 2016, over 78% toward target. So we need to get to 200 P&J’s in this growth centre by 2031. At the pace of current approved and constructed or awaiting construction buildings, we will handily reach target well before 2031.

In actual fact, we will not need one more high rise building, beyond those approved, added in the Urban Growth Centre in the next 12 years. We could get to target with a mix of low and mid-rise new buildings. Even though overall Burlington population growth (again assigned by the Province without our consent) will have a new higher target assigned for 2041 compared to 2031, the growth centre density targets are unchanged for both dates. The new assigned population will be expected to be housed at the three GO Station Gateway Mobility Hubs that have been spec’d out for up to 69,000 people and jobs. So even with more assigned growth of population, it would seem that our downtown just might be able to survive and still be liveable at about 21,000 people and jobs by meeting its density target.

Urban growth centre

Citizens are arguing for some limits on just how much development takes place in the downtown core. Interim Control Bylaw has halted any development for a year.

But wait, there’s more! You see, the density target for growth centres of 200 P&J’s per hectare is a minimum target, as developers often point out. So what, you may say. We’ll make our minimum target and no municipality is being threatened by the Province with nasty repercussions if they don’t make theirs. But the Halton Home Builders Association is recommending density targets be increased once municipalities reach the minimum. So municipalities wouldn’t get rewarded for meeting the minimum target, they would get penalized by being forced to densify even further if this recommendation ever went through. Some reward.

Now here’s the real absurdity. The Province “encourages” municipalities to go beyond the minimum density target. OK, but how much beyond? Well, er, there is no “how much”. In the absence of a maximum density or a suggested maximum, there is no number given by the Province nor a hint of what it might be if there was one.

As an Applied Math grad, that can only mean one thing to me. The maximum is infinity. And most people know that means there is no maximum whatsoever. You can bet that the developers and their planners and lawyers, who are smart people by the way, certainly know this and love this gift from our Province. And they make good use of this phraseology of encouraging higher than minimum targets to lobby cities, the OMB and the LPAT that it is their civic duty to go, as Buzz Lightyear would say “to infinity and beyond”. It’s like a license to build ever higher, ever more high rises in growth centres “because the Province wants us to do it”.

nautique-elevation-from-city-july-2016

Approved – at 24 storeys – the city opposed the development – the OMB said they could. No hole in the ground yet – they are testing to determine just where the water table is.

Would any Official Plan (OP) that doesn’t allow infinite growth in a growth centre therefore be not “in compliance” with the Provincial Policy Statement and the Provincial Growth Plan? So OP’s might be useless to stop this quest for infinite density? Good city planning might also be in danger, although the LPAT & OMB often refer to “good planning” as something they can identify and appreciate, especially when it comes from “experts” (most Planning Departments need not apply since only the Province decides who’s an expert, it seems). All these are worrisome issues for citizens who care about Burlington and support reasonable growth.

Confused? Don’t be. The latest suggestions for changes to the LPAT from the Province are to dismiss a municipality’s OP if it isn’t “good planning” and decide for them what “good planning” is and how many high rises should be allowed and how high these building should be in growth centres, so that we can reach toward infinity by 2031, by 2041, or by infinity I guess.

How many P&J’s should be stuffed into growth centres? An infinite number apparently. And developers are lining up to feast like they’ve never feasted before with high rises everywhere in growth centres, foisting these on unsuspecting municipalities.

In our capitalistic society, where money trumps all reason, municipalities and their citizens seem nearly powerless to stop this. Welcome to the absurd world of growth centre math and the greed that is satisfies.

Now I fully realize that the target is not infinity, but citizens must realize that the impetus from developers to build higher and higher is strong and steady and the Province with its proposed weakening of citizen input to the LPAT process and its proposed takeover of decisions on just how far we go with density and height (under its “good planning” auspice) are putting all cities in Southern Ontario at risk for destruction of the character of their downtowns, the increase of congestion in both people and vehicles and the lowering of livability standards.

409 with 423 shadowed

Looking south down Brant the light shaded building has been approved at 24 storeys, the building to the south of that has been ok’s at 17 – they are appealing to get 24 – same as the guy next door.

Is this what Ontario city populations desire? Is this what Ontario citizens thought they were voting for a year ago? I don’t think so. Yes, there will be more people coming to cities and for many that will mean being housed in high rises around GO stations. Citizens realize and accept this. In Burlington we have room for this. So we’re not against growth, only growth in inappropriate places, like our downtown.

Pearl and Lakeshore

Developer is asking for 24 storeys – same as the approved building to the east,

What can we do? Contact the Mayor and your Councillor and support their efforts to stand against over-development of the downtown and also of the numerous plazas and strip malls that are or will face the same sort of pressure to infill at high density numbers far out of character with the surrounding neighbourhood. City governments and their planning departments must stand firm against what may seem an impervious and imponderable regime constructed by the latest version of our Provincial masters, who apparently think they know best how to manage our cities. Contact your MPP and let her know you want a made in Burlington development plan.

Citizens must attend local meetings on development hosted by the City and delegate at City Hall when Statutory Public Meetings are called. Let the Province know that we care about our city and our elected officials know better how to manage growth than the Province does.

Only the sky is the limit to developers. We need to lower that limit.

Gary ScobieGary Scobie is a frequent commentator on how Burlington can grow – he advocates for responsible and thoroughly thought through growth.

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Mobility hub studies put on hold.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 7th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Reality has hit the city’s planning department.

They have put the Mobility Hub Study on hold while they deal with the re-examination of the adopted Official Plan and the Interim Control Bylaw, passed on March 25, 2019.

Paradigm -3 from front

The first three of a five tower project right beside the Burlington GO train tracks has sold well. It was the right kind of development in the right location.

Work on the Mobility Hubs, including the development of the Downtown Mobility Hub Area Specific Plan (secondary plan), has been taken out of the day to day operations.

What will the impact of that decision be? There are so many balls in the air that it is difficult to fully comprehend what can impact what – loads of room here for unintended consequences.

Kudos for the Planners for making a tough call.

The focus on the GO stations as the location for growth was a sound decision – the trick is to get it right the first time.

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City having difficulty keep parkland in usable shape; Mother Nature is getting the best of them. Ball parks closed as well.weather is proving to be

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 7th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The consistent rain and cool temperatures has created the ideal environment for growing grass at a fast pace; it has also created conditions that make it very difficult for the City to service the parks, primarily cutting the grass.

In some park areas, the ground is too wet for the equipment to cut the grass without sinking into the soil, creating issues with rutting and equipment getting stuck.

Once the grass is long, it does take extra time to cut in order to prevent damage to the equipment from overheating.

Mary Battaglia, Director of Roads, Parks and Forestry Department and the person responsible for ensuring that the parks and sports fields are usable explains that: “Given the conditions with rain, it is likely going to be a few weeks before we are able to get the grass cutting under control and return to normal cutting rotations.

“Unfortunately, we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature and we are doing our best to work under the current conditions. Everyone’s patience is appreciated while staff work to address this situation.”

Ireland park grass ruts

Spongy grounds and long grass is making it difficult to keep the grounds in decent shape.

Those wet conditions have playing and multi-use fields un-usable.

As a result the following grass multi-use fields and ball diamonds are closed today:
• Brant Hills Park D1, D2, D3, F1
• Breckon Park D1
• Cavendish Park D1
• Champlain Park D1
• Fothergill Woods Park D1
• Frontenac Park F1
• Gary Allen High School Park F2
• General Brock Park D1
• Hidden Valley Park D1
• Lansdown Park D1, F1
• Leighland Park D1, D2
• M.M. Robinson High School Fields
• Maple Park F1
• Mohawk Park D1
• Nelson Park Casey Cosgrove Baseball Field (D1)
• Newport Park F1
• Ryerson Park D1
• Sheldon Park D1, F1
• Skyway Park D2
• Wellington Park F2

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Final bio pesticide spray to take place Saturday June 8th: 5 to 7:30 am

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 6th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A low-flying helicopter will be applying the final application a bio-pesticide over four wooded areas to control gypsy moth populations. This pest causes significant defoliation and potential long-term impact to the City’s urban forest. The first spray date was May 31.

The final application of the pesticide on June 8 will be completed between 5 and 7:30 a.m. and is expected to take 5-10 minutes for each park.

Mountainside PArk

Mountainside Park trees to get final spray.

The areas include:

• Forestvale/Kerncliff Park
• LaSalle Park
• Lowville Park
• Mountainside Park

An interactive map is available on burlington.ca/gypsymoth that allows residents to enter an address so they can see where the address is in relation to the spray areas.

Updates will be posted on the City’s Twitter and Facebook accounts @CityBurlington and online at burlington.ca/gypsymoth.

Rob Peachey, on the left, Manager Parks and Open Spaces for the city, talks through some solutions to managing the very large weekend crowds.

Rob Peachey, on the left, Manager Parks and Open Spaces for the city, talks through some solutions to managing the very large weekend crowds at Lowville Park..

The City’s contractor will be applying a Class 11 biopesticide, Foray 48B, REGISTRATION NO. 24977 PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS ACT, with active ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis ‘kurstaki’.

Steve Robinson, Manager of Urban Forestry advises that: “The first application went very well. This second spray is standard practice and will help ensure we protect our trees from this pest in these areas for many years to come. Strong trees with a healthy leaf canopy help reduce temperatures, act as wind-breaks, provide homes for animals and help prevent flooding and erosion. They’re simply good for everything which is why we do everything we can to protect and promote them.”

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Freeman Station published summer schedule - make a point of touring the place - well worth your time.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 6th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Freeman Station has announced their operating hours.

Freeman hours

Freeman Junction sign BEST

The station is open today because of hard work done by a group of volunteers.

Interesting to note that they have items that are for sale and that the model railway in the lower level of the building is now open.

Every child from about the age of five should be given a chance to tour the place and begin to understand how Burlington grew from a farming and produce community to what it is today.

A group of people started six years ago to save the structure at a time when the city wasn’t even able to sell it as kindling.

Some brave souls worked hard to find a location and then to raise the funds to keep it in one piece and put it on a foundation – all during a time when the city had basically given up on the idea of their being an historic railway station that the public could tour.

Freeman-five-1024x906

Some of the people that made the Freeman Station possible at a city council meeting.

A developer, (the Molinaro Group) with some prodding from a ward Councillor was able to put some Section 37 money into the building and when a particularly tough time hit them then Mayor Rick Goldring came through for them.

The Freeman Station is now a fact – built and operational – now what to do with it?

The hours of operation are impressive – it will call for a lot of volunteer time to keep the doors open. The people that did such a marvelous job of refurbishing the place do not have the skill set to market it effectively and run it on a day to day basis.

brant-museum-rendering

Rendering of Brant Museum – scheduled to open in July.

It needs a home within the city bureaucracy – the most obvious home is within the Museums Burlington set up that over sees Ireland House (which is very well run) and the transformed Joseph Brant Museum that as sucked up some $10 million in public money and is scheduled for a July opening.

Barbara Teatero, Executive Director Museums Burlington

Barbara Teatero, Executive Director Museums Burlington

The paucity of information that has come from the Museum operation has been a situation that is part of the way the current Executive Director has operated. There will soon be an occasion for new leadership of the Museum operation – once the city treasurer gets used to the kind of money the transformed Museum is going to need to be operational.

Some major surprises coming on that front.

Culture has never been a top of mind issue for city council – it is seen as a nice to have – something every city Burlington’s size has – but for Burlington not something that there is much heart and soul in.

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Social policy advisor argues that the Ford budget cuts are neither efficient nor necessary in today's political context and carry potentially disastrous consequences.

opinionred 100x100By Staff

June 6th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Community Development Halton has been serving the community for more than 30 years. Joey Edwardh, PhD, Executive Director has been a vocal advocate for social change.  She comments on remarks by her colleague David Thornley.

“As I move throughout Halton’s community of social and health agencies, I am aware of the anxiety and sense of vulnerability enveloping the sector. I feel the immense weight on the shoulders of my colleagues as they contemplate increasing need for services from a diverse and growing population combined with deep cuts to the service provided by their agency. They know that people will suffer.

“This Community Dispatch shares David Thornley’s thoughts on how this budget doesn’t have to be this way. David is a colleague who has worked extensively in both government and the non-profit sector and is a policy advisor to the Social Planning Network of Ontario.

Thornley maintains: “Every Ontario budget must be viewed through two lenses: how it invests in the future health and prosperity of its people; and how the political and economic context shaped or limited its choices. Two divergent views have emerged on Premier Doug Ford’s April 11th budget. Some observers see deep cuts and a significant erosion in public services like those under Mike Harris. Others see a largely flat-lined budget unlike Harris’s cuts of 1996. Both views miss that Doug Ford faced much more favourable political realities than those facing Mike Harris in 1995. Ford’s cuts are neither efficient nor necessary in today’s political context and carry potentially disastrous consequences.

“Fiscal context matters. The decade before 1995 was marked by higher income taxes, reduced federal transfers to provinces, and a major economic recession. By the early nineties, debt interest payments were consuming 36% of federal spending. In its 1995 budget, Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin went all in on what became the blueprint for austerity throughout Canada. The 1995 Ontario budget projected federal cuts of $3.6 billion to Ontario alone by 1997- 98. In 1999-2000, federal transfers to Ontario were still 11% lower than in 1991- 92.

“The Ontario NDP under Bob Rae, combating three years of declining revenues, limited program spending increases to under 1% a year from 1992-93 to 1995-96. With declining revenues and reduced transfers from Ottawa, the 1996 Harris budget saw deeper cuts to public services as the only viable option given its commitment to cut taxes. Elements of the Harris budget simply deepened and extended spending cuts under Rae. Two ministries exempted from cuts by Rae, community and social services and economic development and trade, saw dramatic cuts under Harris, including deep cuts to social assistance.

Ford - For the People.

Premier Doug Ford: Talking about his first budget.

“The lead-up to Ontario’s 2019 budget was very different: a decade of lower taxes, increased federal transfers, and a strong recovery after the financial crisis of 2008-09. Federally, debt interest payments decreased nearly 50% as a share of spending. In Ontario, repeated tax cuts resulted in only a 33% growth in personal income tax revenues compared to 60% for tax revenues overall. Program spending lagged behind both inflation and population growth.

“Ontario today faces a healthier fiscal situation of increased federal transfers, reduced public debt levels and the capacity to raise revenues after years of personal and corporate tax cuts. Yes, the 2019 Ontario budget is essentially a flat lined budget, but Ontario already has the second-lowest per capita program spending of any province. Most ministries lack the capacity to absorb further cuts without seriously eroding access to services.

“Instead of forward-looking investments, the 2019 budget offers deep cuts (19% or more) in nine ministries with reductions in 11 others. True, a handful of ministries see increases, but the larger pattern mirrors deep cuts under the earlier Harris budget. Worse still, many targeted cuts are neither efficient nor necessary. Health was largely flat-lined, but this masks deep cuts to public health spending, including a reduction of nearly $100 million in Toronto alone. Most of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s cuts come from slashing 29% in legal aid funding including the elimination of Ontario’s funding for immigrants and refugees.

“Both public health and legal aid services reduce inequality, representing foundational aspects in sustaining a fair and just society. Other cuts form part of a larger pattern including: a $670 million cut to student aid, the 50% reduction to Ontario Library Service, reduction of grossly inadequate social assistance rates, abandoning the basic income pilot, the rollback of workplace standards for those in precarious employment, rollback of the planned $15 minimum wage, cuts to Ontario Trillium Foundation, defunding of the Ontario Child Advocate and slashing compensation levels for the victims of crime.

“Together this paints a disturbing picture of a government that demonstrates a callous indifference to basic needs and the community supports essential in maintaining the vitality and social cohesion of cities, towns, and villages across Ontario. Equally disturbing, none of these cuts have anything to do with efficiency. They are an abdication of the public responsibility of any government to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of its residents.

“They are malicious and punishing cuts targeted to the most vulnerable – young people, the poor, recent immigrants, and rural communities. They threaten human health and diminish opportunities to prosper. They offend any sense of collective responsibility and undermine progress in strengthening our communities. Such cuts are unconscionable and completely unnecessary.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. The Ford government’s moves to scrap the $1.7 billion in cap and trade revenues and another $1.7 billion in corporate and other tax changes identified in the October 2018 statement could fully fund all of these cuts.

“These cuts are a calculated political choice, but also a cowardly choice. No political party would dare campaign openly on such a harmful and inhumane agenda.

“These actions don’t strengthen our communities, they hurt them. Hopefully, with this sorry example to draw upon, no political party will ever do so again.”

David Thornley

David Thornley

David Thornley has worked extensively in both government and the not-for-profit sector and is a policy adviser to the Social Planning Network of Ontario.

 

 

 

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Mayor in France to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the landings on the beaches of Normandy - where hundreds of Canadians lost their lives.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 6th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow are the opening lines to the classic poem written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae during the First World War.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward is in France for the celebration of the 75 landing of Canadian troops on the beaches of that country.
On the drive to the location of Juno Beach, where Canadian troops landed the people she was driving with saw a field of poppies – and had to stop to take a picture.

Poppies

Most Canadians who see a field of poppies immediately think of the McCrae poem. The poppies are a common sight in parts of France.

Such an idyllic photograph on the way to the scene of a terrible battle with the loss of hundreds of lives.
Keeping up with what the Mayor is doing in France is not going to be easy; John Bkila, her media liaison at city hall advised the Gazette that:

“In contact with my colleague Victoria Al-Samadi and the Mayor in France, many things are changing from minute to minute with respect to the planning and itineraries for the 75th anniversary of D-Day events there – this is partly due to the involvement of many organizations and people, such as Veterans Affairs Canada and other local, Canadian and international dignitaries.

“As a result, we will wait to post the accurate itinerary upon the Mayor’s return, including names of individuals involved and photographs.

“The Mayor and the Mayor’s Office is looking forward to sharing the full details and purposes behind each of her activities upon her return.

“If anyone is interested in more immediate information, the Mayor’s several social media accounts are providing a great deal of live updates through photos and videos.”

A news cycle that begins at the start of a day is over by the time the sun sets. Meed Ward regularly talks up her 22 years as a journalist doesn’t seem to be able to make a daily deadline to the people that elected her. Disappointing.

It was a terrible time – pictures available to us today testify to just how gruesome it was.

Landing craft approaching

Landing craft heading for the beaches of Normandy France where many faced withering fire from German guns.

Running ashore fron landing craft

Men racing toward the shore of the beaches of Normandy France. Many didn’t make it.

 

Battle on the Beach

For some the battle to get off the beach was fought yard by yard – many didn’t make it.

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Gareth Williams seeking the Green party nomination for the federal election expected in October.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 6th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Gareth Williams, one of the candidates for ward 3 in the municipal election has decided he wants the Green Party nomination.

In a note on his Facebook page he states:

“I’m excited to announce that I am seeking the nomination to run for the Green Party in the upcoming federal election in Burlington!

Gareth Williams

Gareth Williams

“Canadians have become disillusioned with the current government, who promised ‘real change’ in 2015 but have stalled on many issues, including on the threat of climate change. When many were looking for leadership, we were given a pipeline instead.

“Like many I had enough, and sought people committed to real action. I found the Greens were ready.

“This isn’t a decision I’ve made lightly, and I am realistic about my chances, but I believe strongly that 2019 will be the year for a Green breakthrough. Voters have woken up to the fact that when you elect Greens, the established parties take notice. Just witness the success of Greens in BC, PEI, New Brunswick over the past several months. And of course Mike Schreiner right here in Ontario has been invaluable in holding Doug Ford’s government to account and keeping the priorities of ordinary Canadians at the forefront.

“Many who supported the Greens voted strategically in 2015 based on the promise that it would be the last election held under First Past the Post. Those same voters were then disappointed when Justin Trudeau abandoned that promise, then went on to offer half-hearted attempts to address climate change, with approval of projects like the TransMountain pipeline leading many to wonder just who it was they voted for. The prospects for climate action under a Conservative led government are even worse, and Ontarians have seen first hand in recent months what voting Conservative because they don’t like the Liberals gets us. And like many I am uninspired by the NDPs leadership and continuous waffling on the issues.

Gareth Williams 2

Gareth Williams: has yet to learn to relax.

“I believe Canadians want to send a message to the Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP that addressing climate change, poverty, implementing electoral reform, improving transparency, and co-operation across partisan lines aren’t just talking points– they’re what we demand out of our politicians.

“That’s why voters in Nanaimo chose to send the second Green MP to Ottawa last month. Many of you have told me that you’re similarly upset with how the big three parties take our votes for granted, and I agree, so I made the decision to put my name forward as a positive choice this fall as part of the Greens.

gareth-williams

Gareth Williams – acquitted himself well in the municipal election.

“Right now I’m working through the process of officially becoming a candidate, but if you want to help me secure the nomination, please respond below or send me an e-mail gwgreen2019@gmail.com or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter. The most important goal right now is to recruit new Green members here in Burlington – if you’re interested in signing up, or just learning more about Green policies such as ‘Vision Green’ or ‘Mission Possible’, visit www.green.ca.

“You must be a member before June 15th to vote at the nomination meeting to be held this July.”

Gareth has an excellent mind but is as wooden as a 2×4.  He has yet to learn the art of relaxing, of being folksy with people and putting them at ease.  The Greens have always had a tough time finding a candidate.  We have it on good authority that former Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring is not going to seek the Green nomination.

Williams is quite right; their is wind in thee sail of the Green boat.  The public may well have become fed up with a lot of what has happened in the past four years – and Climate Change is top of mind for everyone.

Just chill a bit Gareth and try not to make the mistake of changing your image in the middle of an election.

All four national political parties either have named their candidates or have people actively seeking the nomination.  Their may be some independents.

 

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Police looking for suspects who have displayed hate-motivated messages.

Crime 100By Staff

June 5th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Police are seeking public assistance to identify the persons responsible for displaying hate-motivated messages at six locations in the City of Burlington since May 21, 2019.

The first known incident occurred on May 21, 2019 near Dundas Street and Guelph Line, and involved a note being left on a private vehicle that included a hate-motivated racist message.

The second incident occurred on May 23, 2019 and involved an Anti-Semitic poster that was placed on a traffic post.
The next incident occurred on May 26, 2019 when hate propaganda was placed on a number of vehicles in the parking lot of a church near Mainway and Walkers Line.

Hate crime suspects

Suspects approach the doors of Burlington’s city hall.

On May 30, 2019, a complainant reported to police that an Anti-Semitic message was written on their vehicle in marker.

Some time between June 1 and June 2, 2019, Anti-Semitic imagery was found posted on the front doors of the Burlington Art Gallery.
In the most recent known incident, Anti-Semitic imagery was found posted on the front doors of Burlington City Hall on the morning of June 2, 2019.

The Halton Regional Police Service condemns any/all such incidents that impact or erode the community’s sense of safety and well-being.

“Hate crime has no place in any community, and I am confident that the persons responsible behind these ignorant, cowardly and hateful acts will be quickly identified with the public’s assistance.

“No one has the right to make another person feel fearful because of the colour of their skin, race, religion, ethnic origin or any other factor. The Halton Regional Police Service is committed to fully investigating these crimes and ensuring those responsible are brought to justice,” said Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah.

The HRPS is investigating these offences as hate crimes that willfully promote hatred. We are appealing to the public to come forward with any information that would assist us in determining the persons responsible. Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 905-825-4777 ext. 2315 or ext. 2316 or the on-duty 3 District Staff Sergeant at 905-825-4777 ext. 2310.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See Something? Hear Something? Know Something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

Mayor Meed Ward issued a Statement earlier today saying: “On behalf of the City of Burlington and Burlington City Council, I join Halton Police in condemning all incidents where this type of despicable behavior takes place. Hate absolutely has no place anywhere in our city. Burlington is a place that embraces and celebrates diversity, acceptance and respect.”

The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister for Democratic Institutions and Member of Parlimenrt for Burlington said:  “These crimes displayed hate-motivated and anti-Semitic messages around the City, including at City Hall.

“These types of acts are unacceptable and there is no place for hatred or violence in our community. No one in our community should feel discriminated against because of their faith. Burlington is a place that celebrates our diversity. We are a tolerant and accepting city where everyone should feel welcome.

“In a world where hate and racism continues to rise, we must respect each other, and embrace each other’s differences. Our diversity is our strength. We must continue to fight against discrimination of all kinds and we must stand up against hatred in all of its forms.”

 

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Nisan elected to Board of FCM

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 5th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Rory Nisan microphone

Councillor Rory Nisan – elected to Board of Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Regional Councillor Rory Nisan was elected to the Board of Directors, Ontario Caucus for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), at their Annual General Meeting in Québec City.

FCM has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901 and plays an important role in advocating to ensure the needs of municipalities are reflected in federal policies and programs.

“On behalf of Regional Council, I would like to congratulate Councillor Nisan on his election to the FCM Board of Directors,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Rory will be a strong advocate for Halton Region at the federal level. He is consensus builder who will represent Halton with the same passion and dedication he demonstrates as a local councillor for Burlington and regional councillor for Halton.”

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