Wisdom will be available at a Green Bench - at The Centre - Monday noon to 2:00 pm

eventspink 100x100By Staff

June 14th, 2019



The operators of the Schlegel Villages, long term care and retirement homes, are doing their part to put an end to ageism.

green bench

The Elder Wisdom bench – at entrance #5 Burlington Centre

They have come up with a unique idea – set benches out and invite people to spend some time with a senior to talk about their experiences.
They use benches painted in a signature green and putting them out in very public places.

The program is called Elder Wisdom – they use the hash tag #ElderWisdom and will be visiting the Burlington Centre (was once called the Burlington Mall) on Monday June 17th from noon to 2:00 pm.

Seniors from The Village of Tansley Woods will be at the Centre with the green #ElderWisdom bench to share in conversations with the Burlington community.

#ElderWisdom is a social awareness campaign aimed at highlighting senior wisdom and contribution in our communities in hopes to honour the wisdom of the elder, end ageism.

Ageism is a form of discrimination, often experienced by seniors. Our elders have a great deal of wisdom to contribute to their communities. However, societal norms marginalize seniors, treat them with disrespect, make them feel unwelcome and generalize as if they were all the same.

Elder - cop

Wisdom moving from the senior to a senior police officer.

• comedians and talk show hosts joke about seniors and memory loss;
• doctors often talk past the senior patient to an adult child as if the senior wasn’t even in the room and
• younger adults mock seniors for being ‘slow’.

Ageism robs seniors of choice, independence, dignity and negatively impacts their quality of life.

It’s an interesting approach to a problem that limits the degree to which seniors can be active participants in the growth and well being of their communities.

Burlington Centre – June 17th noon to 2:00 pm

The green bench will be at entrance number 5.

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Motorcycle - vehicle collision at Guelph and Upper Middle - road closed for a period of time.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 14th, 2019



HRPS crestThe Police Service is investigating a serious motor vehicle collision in Burlington. Shortly before 7:30 am, this morning officers responded to the intersection of Guelph Line and Upper Middle Road in Burlington for reports of a collision involving a motorcycle and a vehicle. The driver of the motorcycle suffered serious injuries and was transported to hospital.

The intersection remains closed at this time to allow Halton Regional Police Service’s Collision Reconstruction Unit to investigate. Updates will be provided on our Twitter page; @HaltonPolice.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 905-825-4777 ext. 5065.

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City suffers from a half a million dollar computer scam.

Crime 100By Staff

June 14th, 2019



It took more than a month to tell the story but at least they went public with a computer scam that cost the city more than half a million dollars.

ID theft screenThe city got stung by a scam that fooled a staff member into transferring funds to the account of a company they had done business with in the past.

The scam was based on an email asking to have banking information changed.

With that information the thief was inside the city system.

It took a week for the loss to become evident – bank was called, police notified but the money is gone and once it is out the door there is no getting it back.

Was it sloppy on the part of the staff member? A little perhaps – but it is very very difficult to stay on top of the attempts to get at your money.

The Gazette was hacked earlier this week. In our case someone got at us by getting inside the server that our site runs from.

Our readers are still not able to comment on news stories.

We live in a different world and have to learn think differently.

The senior people at city hall in the Finance and IT departments will be devastated – some lessons will be learned and procedures will be tightened.

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Halton Crime Stoppers assisting to combat Fentanyl

Crime 100By Staff

June 13th, 2019



Crime Stoppers of Halton, in partnership with Halton Regional Police Service, is targeting the dangerous and increasingly widespread trafficking and dealing of Fentanyl and other opioids.

fentanyl a

“Fentanyl and related opioids are becoming ever more common in Halton Region and that raises concern for the safety of our communities,” says Constable Nadine Clarke, police coordinator at Halton Crime Stoppers. “Every tip from the public is investigated and every dose of Fentanyl taken off our streets is a life potentially saved”.

“Halton Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $2000 for valid tips that lead to an arrest, and all tips are 100% anonymous. Halton Crime Stoppers will never ask for your name, address, phone number, e-mail address or other personal information.”

Anyone with information on the trafficking or dealing of Fentanyl and related drugs in Halton Region are asked to contact Halton Crime Stoppers either by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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Bringing climate change to the table - single use plastics are killing us - it is now in the food chain.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

June 13th, 2019


“Ben…I’ve got one word for you – Plastics” (The Graduate 1967.)

Read the polls, there isn’t much good to say about the government Ontario voted into office just over a year ago. So the announcement that it is planning to shift the costs of managing packaging waste from the tax base and onto the companies which create it, is worth celebrating.

We shouldn’t get too excited yet, however. The province is really only thinking about appointing a special advisor to recommend options, and results could take months, or even years. Still, this announcement is an encouraging headline from a premier who seems totally anathema to all things environment – killing the cap and trade carbon program, cancelling renewable energy and tree planting projects and fighting the federal government over the carbon tax, and so on.

But there is an ever-growing parade of doom-and-gloom environmental stories which frequent the news media these days. The fact is that an estimated 100 millions tonnes of plastic float in our oceans and some eight million tonnes are added to waterways globally every year.

Virtually all fish species now contain some plastic in their bodies – and so do we.

waste philippines-canada-waste

How the waste got out of the country is the first question and why we were so embarrassing long it bringing it back and then fining the people who shipped it out in the first place.

And when it comes to plastic waste, Canada recently became an international environmental pariah. China had stopped importing plastic waste, forcing large generators of the stuff, including Canadians, to divert exports to a number of third world Asian nations, ostensibly for recycling. But much of the waste was burnt or dumped anyway – but over there – out of our sight.

And a lot of it was too contaminated for recycling, prompting some of these nations to send the refuse back. Our own green PM looked particularly red-faced, caught in a squabble over our waste with the mad-dog president of the Philippines, even though the shipments had been made under the former PM’s watch.

Greenpeace together with the #breakfreefromplastic coalition conduct a beach cleanup activity and brand audit on Freedom Island, Parañaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The activity aims to name the brands most responsible for the plastic pollution happening in our oceans. A banner reads "Polluted by Single-use Plastic". Freedom island is an ecotourism area which contains a mangrove forest and swamps providing a habitat for many migratory bird species from different countries such as China, Japan and Siberia.

The sign says it all.

Earlier this year 186 nations, signatories to the UN sponsored Basel Commission, added plastic waste to the list of toxic substances not to be exported and dumped in developing nations. The US, almost alone as a non-signatory to the convention, opposed the motion but Canada signed on.

Mr. Trudeau has been under pressure to do more about the plastics problem notwithstanding the Basel amendment. For example, there was a Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment report out last year calling for zero plastic waste. The EU and some other nations have already announced plans to ban single-use plastics.

Then Mr Singh and the federal NDP recently declared they would ban single-use plastics by 2022, were they to assume the throne. So Trudeau had no option but to announce he’d do a ban even a year earlier (2021). But given the legislative agenda it couldn’t happen until after the election in October anyway. So it’s a perfect election promise.

waste turtle and straw

The damage from single use plastics is seen at a painful environmental level.

Now everyone is wondering whether Mr. Scheer will fall in line and also announce a ban on single use plastics when he brings out his long-promised environment plan. This plan which has been promised and delayed almost since he assumed the leader’s mantle is now targeted for the end of this month. People need to contain their excitement though, recalling that his predecessor, Mr. Harper, never did deliver his promised climate action plan.

It is a reasonable assumption that Mr. Ford’s primary motivation for wanting to shift the cost of waste to industry is to improve his government’s bottom line. Nevertheless this initiative should provide an incentive for manufacturers to reduce the amount of packaging they use.

Economists call it internalizing the externalities – companies will need to find better ways of packaging their products or the products will cost more and be less competitive in the market place. Ironically for Mr. Ford, that is exactly the logic behind the federal carbon tax – get off the carbon bandwagon or be prepared to pay more.

Ford may also be thinking ahead about a possible increase in blue box items should his tearing up the Beer Store’s contract result in termination of their role as a used alcohol container depot. In any case one must remember that the Blue Box program was never intended to reduce our waste, just to divert it from landfill or incineration.

waste blue box

Beer bottles in Blue Boxes?

And the blue box has been more or less successful in that regard. But the program is costly in economic terms as well as in other ways – given the duplication of collection, etc. So shifting the responsibility for packaging waste back to industry might lead to a better option. In any case, not all of the waste, and plastic in particular, can be recycled and much of it ends up in landfill anyway.

Getting rid of single use plastics will have an impact on the oil producing sector, as well. While estimated at only 3% of today’s 100 million barrel global production, a universal single-use plastics ban will amount to another shovel of dirt on the grave of a dying industry. And how long will it be before even more plastics are heading for this future?

That must concern Mr. Ford’s ideological twin and defender of all that’s back to the future in Alberta. Mr. Kenny won his election on a promise go back in time, to expand rather than oversee the demise of Alberta’s number one revenue maker. Shuttering oil sands production and cancelling proposed pipelines was never something he’d dreamt of.

waste back-to-the-future-tribeca

Most of us had even heard of climate change when Back to the Future was on our screens.,

But Albertans who read the papers should have understood that Kenny’s promises to expand the province’s oil industry were nothing more than dreams, and an unattainable fantasy. I’m also a fan of ‘Back to the Future’, the epic 1980’s sci-fi movie. But even then, in 1985, before most of us had even heard of climate change, Doc and Marty’s DeLorean ended up being powered with garbage instead of petroleum.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers

Background links:

The Graduate –   Blue Box Changes –   Blue Box –    Ford’s Shift

Philippines Squabble –     US Waste Export –    Consuming Micro Plastics

Banning Single-Use –    Basel –    Oil Industry

Harper Environment Plan

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Burlington now has two advocacy groups - The Lovelies are now advocating for better government along with ECoB who are sponsoring the Tale of Two Cities this evening - Oakville and Burlington Mayors will have a go at each other.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 13th, 2019



Burlington now has more than one group advocating for better government and a better Burlington.

ECoB – the Engaged Citizens of Burlington proved to be very effective.

They sponsored debates in every ward during the municipal election and this evening they are sponsoring a discussion between Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Oakville Mayor Rob Burton on the Tale of Two Cities at the Performing Arts Centre. “Tip off” for that event is 7:00 pm.

There are 575 people who have free tickets – if you don’t have a ticket – worry not as there are about 50 seats still available.  Just walk in and you will be welcomed.

After a solid meal of civic politics one can wander on down to Spencer Smith Park and see if the Raptors can beat the Golden State Warriors and cover Canada in Glory. The Toronto Maple Leafs were never able to do that.

The advocacy newcomers – We Love Burlington are a much smaller group with no plans for involving the community to the same degree that ECoB has

LoveliesWe Love Burlington – we are calling them “The Lovelies”, are delivering mailers to different neighbourhoods to spread awareness about the group and talk about what folks can do to be heard.

We Love Burlington has prepared the following set of principles which they believe should be followed by the City of Burlington when considering development applications, particularly in the downtown and in waterfront areas city-wide.

They submitted these as commentary on the latest development application, for 2069-2079 Lakeshore/383-385 Pearl Street and will submit it going forward for all relevant applications, as it seems citizens do have to keep repeating their arguments over and over again. Depending on the specific circumstances of individual development applications, we may add further details and comments as we see fit.

Among the issues they want to sprinkle some star dust on are:

• Burlington’s downtown belongs to all the citizens of Burlington and should be developed as a vibrant, inclusive place for people to live, work, shop and entertain themselves.

• Burlington’s downtown is the cradle of its waterfront – a natural asset belonging to all citizens and deserving of completely open access, and careful, responsible stewardship.

• Access to Burlington’s waterfront includes visual and line-of-sight approaches. It must neither be blocked from public entry nor blocked from a reasonably unobstructed view. What is or is not “reasonable” is a determination that must be made carefully and by fairly considering all affected parties and interests.

• The height of buildings that border Burlington’s waterfront and core downtown areas must be carefully regulated to allow open access and appropriate sight lines to the waterfront and green spaces. Again, the degree of regulation must reflect the fair and careful consideration of all affected interests.

• The City’s approved Official Plan and the plan in force is the 2008 version that has been judged to be consistent with the overriding 2014 Provincial Policy Statement and Growth Plan. As such, all development proposals being submitted for approval should be assessed using the terms, conditions and provisions of the 2008 Official Plan.

• Optimization of provincial intensification objectives should not be accomplished solely or primarily through the construction of ‘tall’ buildings in the City’s downtown core. Alternate approaches and locations must be considered and “optimization” should not be considered to be synonymous with “maximization”.

• Development proposals that seek approval to construct in the downtown core must provide clearly identified/identifiable, valued, measurable community benefits. The determination of these benefits must be an open and collaborative process involving all affected parties and must be pre- rather than post-approval. The nature and scope of community benefits will, ultimately, be approved by council and should be directed to areas of greatest community need (i.e. affordable housing).

• Development proposals should always consider and identify the cumulative effects for things such as traffic, parking, shadowing, wind tunnelling etc. rather than those specific and isolated to only the development being proposed.

• Full development costs should be borne by the developer or development proponent and not passed on to taxpayers in the form of higher property taxes or greater municipal debt.

• Good policy and planning involves the appropriate balancing of local, regional and provincial interests. When these interests do not align, local concerns should not be subordinate nor should the developer’s voice predominate.

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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



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



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 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
Twitter: @cityburlington
Facebook: @cityburlington
Instagram: @cityburlington


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



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



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



Someone did us a dirty.


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



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



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



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



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



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



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”.


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



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



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



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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