Can Ontario Mayors put enough pressure on the Premier to bring about some kind of a roll back on Bill 108?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 19th, 2019



Do you remember what happened to the van that the Premier wanted outfitted with a mini-fridge and a leather couch? The blow back was pretty fierce and the Premier has had to do with staff driving him about in an SUV.

Ford and OPP commizsionerAnd then there was the friend that the Premier wanted to appoint as Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police. The blow back on that one was even fiercer. Someone else got that job.

Buck a beerBuck a beer fell off the radar screen.

The plans to limit the support parents with autistic children got was also changed after the public stood up and said – not for us.

The current elephant in the room is Bill 108 which threatens to cripple and have a devastating impact on how municipalities deal with the services they are expected to deliver.

We learned on Monday that Mayor Meed Ward was to take part in a conference call with the Minister of Municipalities and Housing – he is said to want to hear is what the municipalities don’t like and what they are proposing in the way of changes.

City Manager Tim Commisso was to take part in the conference call.

The Bill was introduced to the Legislature and passed and made law in less than 40 days.

The municipal sector was gob smacked, stunned and in a state of shock.

The Bill would make it close to impossible for the municipal sector to do their jobs the way they believe the public wants.

No word yet on what was said during the conference call.

But the pressure is building and we now know that this Premier will buckle – so keep up the pressure.

Summer is when the municipal politicians meet with their federal and provincial counter parts. The pressure on the provincial government at the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) conference will be immense.

Related news stories:

What Bill 108 will do to us.

Hersh on what Bill 108 could do to Burlington

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The dynamic around the Council table for Paul Sharman is a lot different today than it was for the previous eight years.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2019



Things do change.

There was a time during the life of the 2014-2018 Council where Councillor Sharman would lean over frequently and whisper something into Councillor Lancaster’s ear.

She tended to need a lot of guidance.

The two got along well – Lancaster listened and responded appropriately.

Then an election took place. Lancaster was not re-elected – it was close, too close for Angelo Bentivegna’s comfort and he knows he has to hustle to build the support that Lancaster had.

Sharman won – not by a huge margin; he won with 34% of the vote – and only because there were four candidates splitting the vote. The second place candidate was just 500 votes behind.

Paul SHARMAN 2,840 –  33.99%
Wendy MORAGHAN 2,336 – 27.96%
Mary Alice ST. JAMES 1,471 – 17.61%
Daniel ROUKEMA 1,319 – 15.79%
Xin Yi ZHANG 389  – 4.66%

Sharman pointing LVP

This is not a relaxed man – the vote count in the election explains why.

Sharman puzzled LVP

Sweating out an election campaign.

Paul Sharman was a very frightened man during the election campaign. He was the only member of the old council that was returned. Meed Ward didn’t run as a Council member – she ran as Mayor and we all know how that went.

What the Gazette is observing is the dynamic Councillor Sharman lives with now. He used to have a compliant, attentive fellow council member who would listen to him.

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster - both first term members. Will they both be returned?

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster – both were returned in the 2014 election. Lancaster was not returned in 2018.

He now has a council member that has difficulty understanding the discussion and some difficulty with the concept of nuance in many of the matters before council

Council Sharman sits to his right – often fiddling with his fingers or sitting stiffly with his arms folded across his chest.

The Gazette has the advantage of watching the council meeting via the web cast where we can see the faces of those delegating and get a closer look at the faces and the body language of the Council members.

We do miss the opportunity to meet and mix with the citizens who are in the Council Chamber. We will expand on why we have chosen not to be in the Council Chamber – sometime after July 1st.

As for Bentivegna and Sharman – the picture is worth 1000 words.

Sharman - Bentevegna + Stolte

A picture is worth 1000 words.

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


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Do you know what Distraction Theft is: Learn more and help identify two suspects.

Crime 100By Staff

June 18th, 2019



The Halton Regional Police want to advise you of a particular nasty bit of thievery taking place in the Region and ask for your help in identifying two suspects.

There is an increase in the number of shoulder surfing/ distraction-style thefts in Halton. The police captured images of two suspects: Do you know who they are?

On May 20, 2019, an 87 year old victim was shopping at a garden center in Burlington. Two suspects were in line behind the victim where they managed to observe his personal identification number. After following the victim to the parking lot, they engaged him in conversation about dropping some cash while at the store. The female suspect then put the “found” money into the victim’s wallet and walked away with the male suspect.

The victim returned home later discovered the missing financial cards and contacted police. The suspects immediately used the financial cards in Hamilton, Halton and Peel Region to make cash advances and retail purchases. The loss is estimated to be $3,300.

Distraction 1

Distraction 2Distraction 3Suspect One: Male, olive complexion, late 30’s to early 40’s, 5’4 to 5’6, medium build, 160 to 170 lbs, black beard, wearing blue jeans, tan coat, black shirt with logo, black baseball cap.


Distraction 5Distraction 6Suspect Two: Female, White, mid to late 30’s, 5’4 to 5’5, thin build, 120 to 130 lbs, long hair up in a ponytail with dark roots, blonde tips, wearing a blue jacket, tan baseball cap, blue jeans, white cross body strap purse.

If you are able to identify the above two suspects or have any other information please 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

Police are reminding the public to make efforts to protect their (PIN) Personal Identification Number for their financial cards when making payments at merchants and using Automated Teller Machines.

Several different suspects have been approaching victim’s in retail parking lots and using some method of distraction theft to engage the victim in conversation such as: “returning money the victim allegedly dropped, or looking for the hospital or some vehicle mechanical issue”. The suspects then either pick pocket the victim’s financial cards or steal their wallets from their vehicles while the victim is distracted. When the theft is completed, the suspects then have the victim’s financial cards with the matching Personal Identification Number and proceed to go on a shopping spree with the victim’s financial cards.

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


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Anna Golding awarded the 2019 Art in Action scholarship.

Photo caption:

artsorange 100x100By Staff

June 18th, 2019



Art in Action’s 17th annual Studio tour takes place Saturday, November 2nd and 3rd. Fairview Street becomes Burlington’s Art trail for this tour stretching from Appleby Line to Spring Gardens Road. The 2019 tour features nine studios and 27 artists, including its most recent scholarship winner, Anna Golding who will have started at the University of Guelph, fine arts degree. Anna will be at Studio 9.

An important part of Art in Action’s mandate is to support the next generation of Burlington’s artists with this annual scholarship programme. The award ranges from $1000.00 to $1500.00 depending on the financial support the artists receive each year from those who attend the tour.

Art in Action scholarship

Art in Action member, Darlene Throop, left, presents their 8th annual Fine Art scholarship to Anna Golding from Dr. Frank Hayden Secondary school. Also in the photo is, Anna’s teacher, Jordie Burton.

Anna Golding explains what she does this way: “I create art that is an embodiment of myself. It begins as a piece pf me, then evolves in such a way that the end result can be carefully traced back to the original idea. One could say the process I go through is similar to that of Dr. Frankenstein & his monster, in the fact that his monster gets extremely out of his control and that is ultimately how my art ends up.

“My art shows truth of self, giving way to feelings of complete freedom and utter vulnerability in myself, during creation, and in viewers, as they experience it. ”

Help the 27 artists of Art in Action by becoming a friend of Art in Action with a donation of $100.00 Sponsorship levels include $200.00 and up to $1.000.00. Check out the website at: Help us keep this scholarship an integral part of our mission.

Follow the art trail from Fairview at Appleby to Plains Rd ending at Spring Gardens Road by the RBG.

For more information about the scholarship please contact Darlene Throop at

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Yes you can! Takes a little bit of digging but you can find out who does what - not in Burlington though - not yet.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2019



It boils down to a mindset – if you really want to – you can. Others have done it and done it very well.
Burlington isn’t there yet.

Last week we did a short piece on “open government” and mentioned that it is possible to reach someone who can answer your questions at the provincial level.

One of our readers did a little looking around and found that – Yes you can!

“I clicked around the Provincial staff directory, how impressive – it CAN be done. It HAS been done. It IS being done.
“That got me to then look at City of Toronto …

Group 7 blonde lady

The city held a Civic Action Lab a number of weeks ago asking what people wanted in the way of access to staff and information.

“Clicking around from this link opens up all sorts of things, including staff names, titles, emails, phone numbers, a detailed description of City Manager, a place to lodge complaints to City Manager, on and on it goes, easy, clear and open. If you didn’t know which person you wanted to talk to, you’d be able to figure it out.

Another reader chimed in with: “Last year as part of some campaign research, I did an open government analysis that used websites as an organizations proxy. I called Toronto the “gold standard”. It actually has an “open government” project that is leading edge.

“If you want an example that is very good and closer to home, look at Hamilton’s website – has many of the same features as Toronto. When an organization is truly open and transparent, there is no place to hide. Amazing what it does for accountability and performance..
Burlington has named the new city manager. City Council chose Tim Commisso who has been serving as the Interim City Manager. He takes up the full time job July 1st.

Commisso has worked for the city of Burlington before. He was with the city for 20 years before heading to Thunder Bay where he was city manager for seven years.

One of the projects he oversaw was the early stages of the decision to build a Pier and the renovation of what became known as the Paletta Mansion. Not particularly inspiring projects to put on the resume.

A majority of council bought what Commisso said he could do for the city – we understand the decision was not unanimous.
There was an item on the June 10th, Closed Session portion of the Committee of the Whole agenda labelled Confidential City Manager’s office report regarding a letter of understanding.

Did it relate to the decision to take Tim Commisso on full time – no way of knowing – it was a closed session.

Which brings us back to “open government”. If this is what the public wants – they are going to have to push to get it. The administration certainly isn’t in any hurry to open everything up.

How do the members of Council feel?

Let’s ask them?


Related new stories:

Reaching the right person at the provincial level

How did information move in Thunder Bay.  Was there a policy of Open Data?

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Fire fighters in your neighbourhood would like you to take part in their Steps to Safety Home Visit Program.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 18th, 2019



There is nothing worse than waking up to the smell of smoke and realizing your home is on fire or walking into the kitchen and seeing something on the stove that is ablaze.


The Burlington Fire department has an active community Outreach program to educate and let the public see the equipment they use.

Most people don’t have a fire extinguisher at hand – they panic and call 911.

Most people don’t have an evacuation plan.

Most people don’t expect there to be a fire in their home.

The Burlington Fire department takes the view that nothing is more important than your safety. That’s why the Burlington Fire Department has created The Steps to Safety Home Visit Program.

Burlington firefighters will be visiting homes across the city this summer and fall to talk with homeowners about how residents can be safe at home.

Part of the visit includes a voluntary in-home safety assessment to make sure Burlington homes are protected by working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Understanding how to prevent fires from happening, having a home escape plan and being prepared for an emergency—big or small—are all essential steps to protecting what matters most.

Protect what matters most by following four simple steps to safety:

1. Prevent it – Stop fire and life safety emergencies before they start.
2. Protect it – Safeguard your home and family with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
3. Create it – Make a family escape plan.
4. Build it – Put together a 72-hour emergency kit.

Fire chief + swimmer

Fire Chief David Lazenby with a citizen who was rescued by firefighters at a swimming incident.

Why participate in the program?
• Peace of mind that your home and family are protected by working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as required by law.
• Meet firefighters from your neighbourhood fire station and ask safety questions.
• Learn how to stop fires from happening and what to do if there’s an emergency.

While participating in this program is optional, having working smoke and CO alarms is not. It’s the law that every home in Ontario must have:

• A smoke alarm on every level and outside all sleeping areas in your home.
• A carbon monoxide alarm next to all sleeping areas in any home with a fuel-burning appliance (i.e. natural gas, oil burning furnace, water heater, etc.) and/or an attached garage.

Know that smoke and CO alarms expire after 10 years, regardless of power supply. To determine how old an alarm is, check the side or back of the unit for an expiry date or date of manufacture.

The Burlington Fire Department has an Alarm Assistance Program (AAP) for homeowners over the age of 65 or residents with a disability that prevents them from maintaining their home’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. This program is for people with no support network or agencies available to assist. To learn more, visit:

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We're not there yet. Access for comment writers still not working.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2019



We aren’t there yet.

Readers of the Gazette are still not able to write comments on articles they read.

Go Daddy access denyThe techies tell us they are doing their best; we are currently working with “experts” at the third level within Go Daddy, which is where our web site is hosted.

They will be reporting back to us late today.

The problem is with a Fire Wall that was installed – it is keeping everyone out – and they don’t know why

Patience – we will get this fixed – and we will find a new home for the Gazette.

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Last word on the illegal dumping of landfill on the Air Park property; maybe not.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2019



The Official end of a sad story – one that cost the city of Burlington a bundle and grief to three citizens and some pain to the Burlington Gazette.

Back in 2010 when the Gazette first broke the story of trucks hauling land fill onto the Air Park property, the public learned that there was no permit to put the land fill on the site; there was no site plan filled and for a period of time no one was quite sure where the fill had come from.

The city sued, the Air Park owners sued and a couple of years later it all ended up with the city losing a critical appeal and the decision by council not to take it any further.


50,000 tonnes of landfill were dumped on the Air Park property – without the required permits.

The 50,000 tonnes of landfill are still in place, Barbara Sheldon still can’t see much outside her kitchen window other than a pile of earth that should not be there. The value of her property is considerably less than it was the day the first truck arrived.

Barbar Sheldon stares up at the small hill or landfill that has been dumped on the property next to hers. The Air PArk next door claims they did not need a permit to dump thelandfuil because they are federally regulated. Sheldon is speechless and cannot beleive this can happen. City council doesn't beleive it can happen either - but it is happening - as we speak.

Barbara Sheldon stares up at the small hill of landfill that has been dumped on the property next to hers.

The Mayor at the time look at the earth; said this is intolerable and drove back to his office. Nothing was done to make things right for Sheldon.

The Gazette, the Gazette publisher, Vanessa Warren and Monte Dennis were sued for $100,000. Years later the case was xx without costs. The document saying so is set out below.

We got his notice from the lawyer representing the Air Park on Friday of last week:

“For reasons I do not understand, the court in Brampton misplaced the order Justice Daley signed on October 30, 2018 before it was entered. One of our assistants has been following up with the Court, and the document was finally found and entered. I attach a copy of the entered order for your files.”

Air park - official end

The final word – on a sad part of Burlington’s history.

There was some satisfaction in knowing that we weren’t wrong; all the details are wrapped up in a cloak of silence. A way was found for the Air Park people to use a specific document to slip out of the bind they had gotten themselves into when they sued; they were able to walk away with nothing but their own legal costs to bear.

Dennis, Warren and Parr had to suck up their own costs.

Three binders

Vanessa Warren did a superb job of pulling together the evidence to support the defence argument that there was no libel committed.

Vanessa Warren proved to be a champion at pulling data together – the photo tells that story.

Maybe there is a movie or a television series in all this. It could include the buzzing of Dennis’s home by a helicopter late at night, the obfuscation and the damage done to a property owner.

Vince Rossi, president of the Burlington Executive Air PArk and beleived to be the sole shareholder of the private company, met with north Burlington residents. He took all the comments made "under advisement"..

Vince Rossi, president of the Burlington Executive Air Park.

At some point someone somewhere will want to do something with the Air Park. The current ownership is the stumbling block to anything reasonable being done.

There is considerable benefit to having an airport in the Region. Just don’t tell the Premier, he will want to allow the owner to exercise the right for an urban boundary expansions. If you think that is a stretch take a look at the development proposal for 29 stories on Lakeshore at Pearl.

Where there is major money to be made and lawyers who are crafty and creative – putting the two together produces some astounding results.


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City Council chooses the new City Manager.

June 17th, 2019

City of Burlington Announces City Manager
Burlington City Council is pleased to announce that after an extensive search and recruitment process it has appointed Tim Commisso as City Manager effective July 1, 2019. Tim has been Interim City Manager since January 2019.

The search for a permanent City Manager began in the new year and was an open and transparent process led by the city’s Director of Human Resources and Legacy Partners Executive Search, with all members of Council acting as the Selection Committee. Tim was the successful candidate among all the applicants and the decision was supported by all members of Council.

Each applicant for the City Manager position was involved in a staged screening and interview process: A total of 80 applications were received and shared with Council; the applicants were then screened by the Director of Human Resources and Legacy Partners to 12 from across the country; six applicants were then interviewed by Council. A management assessment tool was also utilized to assist in the final decision. Tim was the preferred choice of all members of council.

Prior to his role as the Interim City Manager Tim was a Senior Advisor at MNP, a national accounting, tax and business consulting firm.

Having served ten councils and eight mayors, Tim has extensive knowledge and experience in municipal government, strategy development, organizational effectiveness and performance, economic development and change management. Tim holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation and obtained his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Tim worked for the City of Burlington for 20 years holding various senior leadership roles including General Manager positions in Community Services and Development and Infrastructure, Director of Parks and Recreation and Deputy City Treasurer.

During his time in Burlington, Tim was at the forefront of community development and engagement. Tim was responsible for major community projects with resident involvement such as the Downtown Waterfront project, the Appleby Ice Centre and Paletta Park and Mansion. Tim was also the project lead on Financial Management System and the facilitation of the Strategic Plan.

Having worked in the public sector, Tim also brings many years of knowledge and experience in intergovernmental affairs. Tim’s most recent municipal experience was serving as the City Manager in Thunder Bay for 7 years from 2008 to 2015.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
“On behalf of Burlington City Council, I want to congratulate Tim on his new position. After an extensive recruitment process which began in the new year, Tim was the clear choice among members of Council for his steady hand, strategic approach and guidance throughout this transition period. In the six months that Tim has been Interim City Manager he has played a crucial role in moving many of Council’s strategic needs and priorities forward including the creation of a four-year Council Work Plan. It’s great to have Tim back at the City of Burlington; and he has already hit the ground running to serve our community.”

Interim City Manager, Tim Commisso

“I am honoured and feel very privileged to have been selected by City Council to serve the citizens of Burlington as City Manager. I’m also looking forward to continue working with the dedicated staff at the City of Burlington who provide incredible public services to residents.”

Related opinion piece:

The past is a good indication of the future.


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Pan handling gets a solid debate - can't outlaw it.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 17th, 2019



City council will meet this evening and pass bylaws making legal the numerous recommendations that were made at the Standing Committee and Committee of the Whole level.

They will decide how pan handling is going to be handled.

There were some interesting differences of opinion during the debate on this issue. The Mayor had no problem with people pan handling – they have a right to do so as long as they are not standing on roadways and interfering with the flow of traffic.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nissan wanted things to further than that – however Inspector Ivan L’Ortie, the senior officer at the Burlington unit of the Halton Regional Police explained that there really isn’t much the police can do. “We try to offer people who feel they have to beg to get the funds they need to live as much help as we can and there have been a few occasions where we have been able to make a difference. But if people want to pan handle – here isn’t much we can do.”

Mayor Meed Ward wanted to know if the city had a No Loitering bylaw; they don’t.

What became clear during the debate was that if people in Burlington want to put an end to pan handling all they have to do is stop giving the pan handlers any money.

Once they realize that there is nothing for them – they will stop.

Most of the pan handlers are not Burlington residents – they are people from the Hamilton area who seem to know a good thing when they see it. The people of Burlington are prepared to open their hearts and open their wallets and help them out.

The best way to help them out is to direct them to agencies that can support then to move onto a more secure life style.

Staff reported that a survey of other municipalities showed that none have pan handling bylaws – some try to do some educating.

Pn handling sign

Will Burlington see signs like this? It seems to be the only option available.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte went on line during the meeting and came back with a sign being used in Wainsboro, Virginia.

The feeling seemed to be that the residents can put a stop to the pan handling by refusing to give money.

Council decided to leave the task of creating an education program for the public – which is likely to include signs at some of the more popular pan handling locations urging the public to donate to the charities in place to help these people.

A report will come back to Council in September – assuming the recommendation gets approved this evening.

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Do you want to speak to someone in charge? You can at the provincial level.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 17th, 2019



While Burlington figures out just how it wants to communicate with its residents a reader popped us a note saying it is all about Open Government and Open Data.

speak to someone“Pepper – we were talking about ‘open government’ and organizational transparency as an element of accountability. I have attached a link to the provincial government directory. It continues to evolve, of course, but a version has been in place for over 20 years. They don’t need to create ‘best practices’ in Burlington, they can simply adopt or adapt them.”

The Gazette has found that Burlington has never been very keen on giving citizens direct access to staff. Provincial government does it – they’ve been doing so for more than 20 years.

Try it out – the link is there for you.

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Will Bill 108 spell the end of the Burlington that exists today?

opinionred 100x100By Penny Hersh

June 17th, 2019



BILL 108 – It is a definite “wake-up” call for Municipalities. I am probably in the minority, but perhaps it is needed. I have watched the Planning Department not be able to process an application in 210 days – WHY!  Some of the answers provided by some city planners were “we had an understanding with some developers to allow us to work together and not be concerned about the time frame”. Is this the way to do business?


The ADI Nautique development on Lakeshore at Martha,

I guess not because the City has been taken to the OMB/ LPAT for non-decision and with regard to the ADI Development on Lakeshore/Martha failed to defend its position. I doubt that ADI ever expected to get 26 storeys on that site.

The claim that the new 120 days does not give Municipalities enough time – perhaps the process the planning department is using is flawed. Why meet, as we have been led to believe, individually. Have all the players in the room at the same time – and have an understanding of who has to do what with definite time frames.

Old Lakeshore proposal

The sky appears to be the limit for a proposed development on Old Lakeshore Road across from Emmas Back Porch. Note the scale with the two storey heritage structure that the developer proposes to keep.

What I have heard at Council Meetings from the planning department is that the wind, the shadow, the parking , and transportation studies etc. have all been completed and the development application is “good to go”. Every development application is taken as a one off – not looking at the other three applications in the same area that are asking for the same if not more.

Try walking on Lakeshore across from the Bridgewater Development – we now deal with a wind tunnel that on days makes it almost impossible to walk. We have traffic congestion on Lakeshore Road when at certain times there are long lines of cars trying to get off of Lakeshore ( and there are no accidents anywhere), and Bridgewater is not completed. Potential owners have been told that their move in date is now June 2020. Residents get to look at this unfinished construction for yet another year. ADI is scheduled to start construction on the 26 storey condo on Lakeshore/Martha shortly. All those studies and we are dealing with a canyon effect on Lakeshore with only one development partially completed, and not occupied.

We have insufficient parking for condominium owners and their guests. Anyone who cycles along Lakeshore and in the downtown takes their lives in their hands. Sharrows on narrow streets do not provide a safe place for cyclists. New developments with less retail space does not make Burlington the “most livable , etc. city” that is always being touted. We have enough nail and hair salons, we need retail that will keep people from using their cars.

Handi vanWe have a public transportation system that does not meet the needs of the residents and certainly will not prevent people from using their cars. Free transportation from 9-2:30 Monday-Friday for seniors, while a nice thing to offer, is not the answer. It is a band aid approach to a more serious issue. Did you know that if someone takes a Handi-van into Hamilton, they have to change vans and get on a Hamilton Handi-Van to complete the journey? People who are eligible to use the Handi-Van have mobility and other medical conditions – and they have to change vans in all kinds of weather. Municipalities should have been working together, but they have not.

Is it really the responsibility of a developer to provide affordable housing? Perhaps Burlington should have used the money they spent on the Pier to provide some affordable housing? It’s all about priorities and “legacy projects”.

Bill 108For a few years I have said that the OMB/LPAT has to go. I now question if all Municipalities are able to act alone to meet Provincial Mandates. Developers are in the business to develop. It is the responsibility of Municipalities to have in place an Official Plan that meets the mandates of the Provincial Government. Some municipalities seem to have done this. It seems, unfortunately, that Burlington has not, and I question if any new Official Plan that is passed will stand the test.

We are ill-prepared to deal with what is coming down the road, and complaining and blaming others is definitely not the answer. Things have changed.

Get your house in order. Hire people who can do the job, and get rid of those who cannot. This is how business operates in the real world.

Penny HershPenny Hersh was part of the driving force that created ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington.  She serves at the co-chair of ECoB



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54 year old Hamilton resident driving motorcycle killed as the result of a collision on Derry Road.

News 100 blackBy Staff

June 16th, 2O19



Late late Friday evening – the 14th the Regional Police responded to a collision on Derry Road, west of Guelph Line.

Halton police - good angleA westbound sport utility vehicle, driven by a 72 year old Burlington resident, turned left across the path of an eastbound motorcycle, driven by a 54 year old Hamilton resident.

The motorcycle rider was thrown from his motorcycle to the roadway and suffered fatal injuries. He was pronounced deceased on scene. The female driver of the sport utility was uninjured.

The Collision Reconstruction Unit attended the scene and assumed responsibility for the investigation.

Any witnesses who haven’t spoken to police are urged to call (905) 825-4747 extension 5065.

A traffic fatality took place in Burlington on Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Guelph Line and Mount Forest.

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Bill 108 is like a bowling ball - knocking pins down all over the place. Has it put parts of the Escarpment at risk?

News 100 redBy Staff

June 16th, 2019


CATCH (Citizens at City Hall) uses transcripts and/or public documents to highlight information about Hamilton civic affairs that is not generally available in the mass media. The Gazette has republished one of their reports that is relevant to Burlington.

The Citizens at City Hall in Hamilton are shouting as loudly as those in Burlington and across the province over a piece of legislation introduced in May and made law in June – an astounding pace for any government. Bill 108 has upended planning at the municipal level.

It “came out of nowhere”, changed thirteen statutes, and was pushed through the provincial legislature so fast that city staff could only tell councillors after the fact about the multiple problems it imposes.

Dubbed by the Ford government “the more homes, more choice act”, Bill 108 upends Hamilton’s downtown secondary plan, imposes severe challenges for municipal efforts to rationally plan and pay for growth, and makes it more difficult for citizens to challenge new development.

“The winners appear to be land developers and speculators who can avoid the current comprehensive land planning process and have been given new rights to push for urban boundary expansions. Burlington’s mayor describes it as “welfare for developers” and an analysis by Environmental Defence found it largely aligns with the requests made to the province by the Ontario Home Builders Association.

“The legislation was introduced on May 2, with a comment deadline of June 1. It was finalized two days later and will likely be imposing planning nightmares by early July when city staff expect to be inundated with developer attempts to expand the urban boundary.

The community would never have come into being were it not for the building of the 407 highway. That decision opene4d up land that was part of rural Burlington. Alton Village is bounded by the 407, Walkers Line on the west and Appleby Line on the east with Dundas making up the southern boundary.

Burlington’s Urban-rural boundary was Dundas – when the 407 Hwy was created that boundary got shifted. Will Bill 108 allow additional boundary shifts?

“The legislation tears up the long-standing rule that only municipal governments can propose an urban boundary expansion and only with detailed justifications. Under Bill 108, expansions of up to 40 hectares can now be applied for by individual landowners at any time and must be decided on by council within a much reduced time-frame that will be very difficult to meet.

“Official plan amendments, for example, now must be decided within 120 days of being submitted by a private developer instead of 180 days, and zoning changes must be finalized within 90 days. Failure to meet these deadlines allows the developer to bypass council and appeal directly to the provincial tribunal.

“Staff told Councillors last week that they had asked for longer periods to adequately respond but were unsuccessful. So it will now be much harder for city planners to assess developer proposals, undertake traffic and other studies, receive input from other city departments and commenting agencies, consult with the public in affected communities and then make a recommendation to council within the timeframes. And multiple developer proposals will likely arrive at the same time.

“We could have multiple 39.5 hectare applications all being submitted more or less simultaneously and then trying to figure out how to deal with all of those applications,” warned Hamilton’s chief planner Steve Robichaud. “We could have everybody applying individually and I think that is what will happen. As soon as the first person comes in, the rest will want to start piling on.”

“Among many other changes “it means the matters that were worked out with community in terms of the downtown secondary plan bonusing – that’s gone by the wayside,” Robichaud told councillors.

“That’s partly because of the severe limits that have been put on the use of the inclusionary zoning that allows cities to require affordable units in new residential developments. These were demanded by citizens last year and acceded to by the city for the full downtown, but now will be limited to major transit stops such as the proposed LRT.

“Councillor Whitehead asked staff if the province had explained why it was shortening the timeframes, and was told that no justification has been provided. Whitehead predicted there will be “a lot more cases that will bypass the democratic process and go straight to appeal”.

“Those appeals will no longer give deference to council positions. And residents registering to participate in the appeal hearings will no longer be permitted to speak at the tribunals, but only submit written statements. There’s also a reference to different fees for “different classes of persons” but no explanation of what this means.

“The changes to the Planning Act alone overturn many of the reforms of the last 15 years, including reversing the changes to the Ontario Municipal Board adopted in 2017 after nearly two years of consultations. “

Halton escarpment - long view up slope

has Bill 108 put parts of the Escarpment at risk?

From a Burlington perspective you can bet developers are looking at the 40 hectare boundary expansion that is now permissible and wondering how it can be applied to land north of the 407 Dundas border that has kept the escarpment safe.

These border expansions can now be applied for by individual landowners at any time and must be decided on by council within a much reduced time-frame that will be very difficult to meet.

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Be mesmerized by the brilliant colour combinations of the iris collection at the RBG Laking Garden.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 15th, 2019



Be prepared to be mesmerized by the brilliant colour combinations of the iris collection at the Royal Botanical Gardens’ (RBG) Laking Garden – they are at their peak bloom.

iris 1 RBG

Royal Botanical Gardens’ (RBG) Laking Garden

Visitors can also explore the peony collection and perennial borders while enjoying live entertainment, guided tours, and presentations at the RBG Discovery Cart.

“You really have to come to RBG and immerse yourself in this collection to gain a full sensory experience that iris can provide,” said RBG Curator of Collections, Alex Henderson. “We have over 1,000 iris displaying an array of brilliant colour and the fragrance is truly captivating.”

Planted in 1947, the iris collection was RBG’s first herbaceous collection of importance with the main focus on tall bearded iris. There are approximately 250 species of wild iris found around the world and several are planted here.

iris 2 rbg

Set on a fertile terraced plain, formerly a market garden, the site is home to RBG’s herbaceous perennial collections.

The name iris derives from Greek meaning rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species and cultivars. RBG’s collection includes award-winning bearded iris and hundreds of others including miniature bearded, dwarf bearded, intermediate bearded, border bearded, tall bearded, Siberian, spuria and wild species iris.

The garden also features a broad selection of tree and herbaceous peony cultivars, as well as several ancestral wild species. The Greeks referred to peonies as ‘the Queen of all herbs’ while the Chinese considered them ‘the King of all flowers’. Over time, peonies have been used ethno-botanically as a medicinal plant, as a spice, for making tea, as a perfume and the seeds were even used as jewelry.

Peonies are divided into three groups. Herbaceous peonies, which die back to the ground each winter, Tree peonies, which are one- to two-metre tall woody shrubs that bloom ahead of their herbaceous cousins, and the latest introduction of Intersectional (Itoh) hybrids, a cross between the two. The herbaceous peony collection is predominantly on the lower terrace near the gazebo while tree peonies are found on the upper terrace.

RBG’s Laking Garden (located at1260 Spring Gardens Road, Burlington) is set on a fertile terraced plain, formerly a market garden, and is home to RBG’s herbaceous perennial collections. The belvedere at the end of the path offers a panoramic view over the entire garden.

This garden, overlooked by a small cottage, offers the visitor an insight into the depth and breadth of perennial plants.

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Male driver in accident on Brant at Mount Forest succumbs to injuries; pronounced dead at hospital.

News 100 blackBy Staff

June 14th, 2019



HRPS crestAt approximately 1:44pm on the 14th of June 2019 the Halton Regional Police Service received information of a motor vehicle collision that occurred on Mount Forest Drive just east of Brant Street in the City of Burlington.

The initial investigation has revealed that a Honda Civic was eastbound on Mount Forest Drive from Brant Street when it mounted and crossed the center median and entered westbound lanes. It then mounted the north curb and entered the parking lot of a plaza on the north side of Mount Forest Drive where it struck two parked vehicles.

The 65 year old male driver from Burlington was taken to Joseph Brant Hospital by Halton Region Paramedic Services where he was pronounced dead.

Due to the severity of the outcome, the Collision Reconstruction Unit has taken carriage of the investigation. The road was closed for approximately four hours for the at-scene investigation.

Any witnesses who have not yet spoken with police are asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 905-825-4747 ext: 5065.

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Parks are beginning to dry out - techies putting in some time to improve parking service documents.

notices100x100By Staff

June 14th, 2019



Things are looking up for the kids who want to use the ball diamonds – there is just one park with a shut down notice attached to it:
Champlain Park D1

baseball players

This is why we have ball diamonds.

While the kids are out playing the techies at city hall have advised that the Parking forms feature on the city web site will be shut down on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. while they do some maintenance offline.

This will affect some online forms. Parking forms will be offline and not available during the maintenance.

• Parking Ticket Payment
• Parking Permit Renewals
• Parking Exemption

No word on what is being done to the banking software that someone had their way with in May.

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Business is seeing an opportunity and moving quickly to exploit it. Was this fast enough?

marketingmoneymojoBBy Pepper Parr

June 14th, 2019



Business is all about seeing an opportunity and moving in fast fast FAST and taking advantage of what you know.

Here is an example:

A devoted reader wrote us, and many others we gather, with the following:

“$#It happens, and in a busy office apparently, it’s “to be expected” when a staff member is able to approve a half-million dollar spend.

“That’s the story I read yesterday when I learned my home-town Burlington, had been conned out of $503,000 by an email phishing scam.

“Of course, people immediately wade in and point fingers.

“But they’re missing something deeper, something far more sinister.

“Admittedly, the story is still unfolding, and Burlington has already been in touch with the bank. The 5-0 are looking into it too. That’s the police if you didn’t catch the cool slang I slipped in there.

“And while the dust settles on this, and they look for a scape-goat or some other poor soul to offer up to the gods as a social sacrifice.

“I say it proves what I’ve been saying for ages: Email is unbelievably powerful.

“Written properly you can woo a lover …

“… Sell a widget and even …

“… Con a city into giving you HALF-A-MILLION-DOLLARS.

“For the record (in case you wondered,) I’m not going to teach you how to con people using email in next month’s issue of the Lazarus Letter, I am however going to teach you something equally powerful: NECST.

Of course, as with all things … you could corrupt that for your nefarious ends – if that’s your thing.  More apparently at:

Related news story:

The computer scam that hit the city.

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Some detailed pictures on hate crime suspect - can you help identify the young man police want to interview?

Crime 100By Pepper Parr

June 14th, 2019



An update on those terrible hate messages that were seen at six locations in the City of Burlington since May 21, 2019.

The Halton Regional Police Service need your help in identifying the person(s) responsible for displaying hate-motivated images at various locations in Burlington. New photographs of one person of interest have been obtained.

hate facing side angle

The high quality visuals will help identify this young man – if you recognize the face – call the police or Crime Stoppers.

hate solid face frontal

Do you know this young man – he needs help before he does something dangerous to someone. Hate has a way of spiraling out of control.

That person of interest is described as: male, white, 18-25 years of age, average build, wearing blue jeans, Under Armour Jacket, Adidas running shoes, grey t-shirt and wearing an Adidas grey/orange/black backpack.

Also observed at one incident wearing a blue baseball cap.

hate backpack

Is the back pack familiar? Could it belong to someone in your family. Help them get the help they need. Call the police before the suspect does anything worse.

The Halton Regional Police Service 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 person(s) responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jared McLeod at 905-825-4777 ext. 2385 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

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.

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

Sometime 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.

There is a bit of an upside – the quality of the videos is very high – investing in good equipment is well worth the cost- it proves to be a strong deterrent.

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Road Safety Lawn Sign Campaign - Councillor will deliver the goods.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 14th , 2019



To discourage speeding and to encourage safe driving on our neighbourhood streets, the city has established a road safety lawn sign campaign. Signs are available to residents free of charge (one per household).

Slow-Down_LawnSign_Web2019How to get a sign:

If you are in ward 4 (maybe this applies to all wards) Shawna Stolte the ward 4 Councillor

1- will deliver signs to residents. Send an email to with the following details:

Survey Participant: Yes or No

Transportation staff will be conducting a short survey in late 2019 or early 2020 to get feedback about the program. Please indicate if you do or do not wish to participate when sending your email.

2- Pick up a sign at City Hall, Service Burlington counter, 426 Brant Street, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Sign Placement:

Please ensure that sight line obstructions are not created when placing your sign. The sign must:
▪ be set back a minimum of 0.6 meters (2 feet) from the curb or edge of the roadway;
▪ not obstruct the travelled portion of the roadway, median, traffic island, sidewalk, bicycle path, or multi-use trail;
▪ be inserted into the ground using the wire frame only;
▪ be placed where it will not obstruct sight lines for pedestrians, cyclists or drivers; and
▪ be placed as supplied and without further illumination or the use of reflective tape.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte clearly wants those sign out on as many lawns as possible. Support her.

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