Lake Ontario levels are expected to remain well above seasonal average values through May and into June.

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 1st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

The latest information provided by the International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) indicates that Lake Ontario levels will continue to rise rapidly this coming week given the current flooding conditions within the lower St. Lawrence River combined with additional forecasted rainfall over the affected watershed area.

The latest daily mean water level of 75.38 m (IGLD 1985 Datum) is approximately 40 cm above the historical average for this time of year but is below the levels observed in 2017. Although forecast data indicates that the current level could rise an additional 15 cm during the coming week, with the potential for a greater increase depending on rainfall amounts, it is not expected that water levels will reach those recorded in 2017.

Notwithstanding, long-term Lake Ontario levels are expected to remain well above seasonal average values through May and into June.

Wave Action
Conservation Halton advises that Environment Canada has issued a strong wind warning that remains in effect throughout today. Sustained winds of 20 km/hr from the east with gusts up to 50 km/hr are occurring across western Lake Ontario. Resulting wave heights of 1 to 2 m can be expected.

Storm waves Flemming #3

That would be wave action.

In light of the elevated lake levels and strong winds, Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to exercise caution around Lake Ontario shoreline areas. Elevated water levels combined with the potential for waves to overtop breakwalls and other shoreline structures continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

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

Click for Current Conditions:

Water level forecasts:  Click here.
A  Water Safety is issued when high flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeist, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.

Return to the Front page

If you see thick black smoke on Friday - coming from the area where the Fire department is on Fairview - please don't call 911.

notices100x100By Staff

May 1st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The whole country is taking part in Emergency Preparedness Week, this happens during the first full week of May each year. The provincial theme this year is “Be Emergency Ready”. EPW promotes emergency preparedness and encourages Canadians to take action.

Burlington Fire is hosting events and activities about disasters Burlington residents may encounter and encourage everyone to take steps to be prepared.

One of the potential hazards in Burlington includes rail and motor vehicle emergencies. Two heavily used rail lines run through the city and a number of heavily travelled highways intersect in the city.

oil rail car on fire

Thousands of rail cars with flammable material pass through Burlington daily. Should one catch fire – training is needed to contain and then suppress the blaze.

The Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TransCAER) is coming to Burlington for a Flammable Liquids Fire Suppression Training training event exclusively for Halton Region Emergency Responders. Burlington Fire Department will host a the TransCAER First Responder Awareness Workshop on Friday, May 3, 2019 at Fire Headquarters.

This Flammable Liquids Fire Suppression Training at approximately 2 p.m. will produce black smoke that will be visible from the highway. They ask that you please do NOT call 911.

Return to the Front page

City wants designs for Park benches to be set up in Tansley Woods Park

News 100 redBy Staff

April 30th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city has put out a Request for Proposals for Public Art Benches – Tansley Woods Park

The deadline: Monday June 3, 2019

Budget: $4,500 CAD (design only)

The City of Burlington invites professional artists to submit proposals for a series of benches that will be installed in Tansley Woods Park (4100 Kilmer Dr, Burlington, ON).

Artists are asked to submit a proposal for three (3) designs that will be used to produce custom laser cut panels that will be installed in the backrest of the benches. A maximum of 12 benches will be produced using the artwork. The designs should be related in theme and aesthetic so that all of the benches work together as a series.

The successful artist will be awarded $4,500 for their designs. All costs and tasks associated with the fabrication, installation and maintenance of the benches will be paid for by the City of Burlington.

Pathway - city bench

Surely the most uninviting park bench ever made. Everyone involved in selecting this design should be require to sit on it for half an hour.

Whoever wins the award – would they please have a look at the benches on the Portal area of the city, across the street from city hall – and have a look at what have to be the most uncomfortable park benches every constructed.

Come up with something that is attractive, comfortable and that supports the back of the person enjoying the opportunity to relax and talk to the person with them or to a passerby who might join them.

Click here to learn more about the RFP

Related news story:

Park benches put on pathway.

 

Return to the Front page

Parks and Recreation sets out Summer Play programs - invites residents to sign up for ParticipACTION and help Burlington get designated as one of Canada's Most Active Communities.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 30th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We are finally through April and heading into what might prove to be a chilly May – but June is going to be real summer weather – RIGHT?

Now that we are dealing with Climate Change and not weather it is difficult to know what is coming our way.

Parks and Recreation is taking the view that the weather will be great and gearing up for a Month of Play (June) and asking Burlington residents and staff to “Walk the Talk” and sign up for ParticipACTION’s “Community Better Challenge” to incorporate physical activity where they live, work and play. The nationwide challenge will recognize and celebrate community achievements, crowning regional winners and ultimately appointing one community with the designation to be Canada’s Most Active Community.

Join us on May 6 as we rally our city around this exciting movement to get active in a Public Art Walk with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. Meetup will be at Civic Square, City Hall at 10 a.m.

two programs

Don’t forget to sign up for the challenge on ParticipACTION’s website. Download the app and begin to track your active minutes beginning May 31. Every minute counts….

Park Play Experience Fund
The Park Play Experience Fund is a one-year funding program that can provide up to $1,500 to bring people together and encourage our community to get outside and play in City of Burlington parks, trails and open spaces. The deadline for submissions is May 27, 2019. For more information and to complete an application, visit burlington.ca/parkplayfund.

Let’s Get Walking Burlington!
“Burlington Walks the Talk” is a community program designed to inspire neighbourhood walking groups and encourage Burlington residents to walk together. Start a walking group for your neighbourhood today. Check out the “how to guide” and promote and invite others to join you on the City of Burlington Walk Meetup Calendar. The first 10 groups to register their community walk meetup will receive 10 Walk the Talk t-shirts. Learn more about the program and about upcoming walk meetups at burlington.ca/walkthetalk.

play street - pool

Play Streets
The Play Street program is designed to inspire residents to come together and promote community play! The program offers the opportunity for weekly, local street closures to encourage the use of neighbourhood streets for safe, active play and social interaction between neighbours of all ages. For more information and to complete an application visit burlington.ca/playstreet.

Backyard Pool Owner Safety Clinic
Two dates to choose from, Saturday, May 4 or Saturday, May 25, 2019 at Tansley Woods Pool from 10 a.m. to noon. This clinic will provide pool owners with the tools necessary to stay safe in and around the water of their backyard pool. Participants will received a backyard pool safety kit. Register online at burlington.ca/play.

gift card - pop up

Pop Up n’ Play
Popping up in City of Burlington parks throughout the spring, Pop Up n’ Play is a play experience where children can explore, create, imagine and play in their own way. Choose from, After School Pop Up n’ Play or Pop Up n’ Play Fitness editions.
See schedule at burlington.ca/popupnplay.

Give the Gift of Play
Not sure what to give your Mom on Mother’s Day? Give the gift of PLAY! Recreation gift cards are now available in any denominations and can be used to pay for memberships, registered programs or admissions to variety of programs. Gift cards are available at all recreation facility locations during regular customer service hours. Learn more: burlington.ca/giftcards.

Mama Mia

Return to the Front page

Suppression of flammable liquids exercises and training to take place Friday.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 29th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you happen to see a lot of smoke in the air near the fire station on Fairview – relax. The smoke is part of an awareness workshop taking place on Friday, May 3rd.

Tanker and oil storage

What happens when there is a fire on a site like this?

The Fire Department is hosting a Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response (TransCAER) First Responder Awareness Workshop on Friday at Fire Headquarters.

The Flammable Liquids Fire Suppression Training at approximately 2 p.m. will produce black smoke that will be visible from the highway. Please do NOT call 911.

First Responder Awareness Workshop will include rail awareness, tanker training and Flammable Liquids Fire Suppression Training

TransCAER, a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on assisting communities to prepare for and to respond to a possible hazardous materials transportation incident, will be providing the training.

TRANSCAER® members consist of volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation, distributor, and emergency response industries, as well as the government.

The training will take place between 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Flammable Liquids Fire Suppression Training runs from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

One of the training objectives is to make sure that local first responders are informed about the products being moved through this area by road and rail, and what measures are in place to ensure their safe transportation.

Remember – if you see a lot of black smoke – do not call 911.

Return to the Front page

City wants to show off the collection of art on the streets of Burlington -includes half a dozen bike racks.

artsblue 100x100By Staff

April 29th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is said to be excitement at city hall over the launch of the Art and the City, a self-guided downtown public art walking tour.

If you can get away from your job – join Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and arts and cultural staff for the official launch on Monday, May 6 at 10 a.m. The tour will start at City Hall, rain or shine.

The event is part of the City’s launch of ParticipACTION’s Community Better Challenge and Burlington Walks the Talk program.

Art and the City is available online and accessible from any mobile device. The free web app offers a new way to explore Burlington’s downtown and learn about public art in the process. The tour provides artwork information, photographs and a suggested walking route. The web-based map works across all platforms and allows residents to tour highlights from the public art collection using any internet-enabled smartphone or tablet.

art outside agb

Alumina was commissioned by the Art Gallery of Burlington in 2008. Payce explores the relationships between form and imagery and the connections of objects and ideas in his artwork. Alumina was inspired by late eighteenth century French Sevres vases and Renaissance Mediterranean apothecary jars (albarelli). Looked at from a different angle they could represent the milk cans that used to be part of the landscape before Burlington was a city.

Explore Burlington’s public art collection on this self-guided tour any time and at your own pace. Tour highlights include Portal (across from City Hall), Lady of the Lake (Spencer Smith Park) and Benevolent Angel (Burlington Public Library – Central Branch). Art and the City is divided into two parts and includes 25 public artworks in total.

A limited number of printed guidebooks will soon be available at all city facilities, the Art Gallery of Burlington, Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Burlington Public Library, Museums of Burlington and Tourism Burlington. Art and the City is also available online in PDF format to download, save, and print. Both formats are available online at burlington.ca/publicart.

“Public art is but one of the many things in Burlington that makes our city livable and enhances the lives of our residents”, said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward in a prepared statement. “ Our collection is quite extensive and unique, and there is something for everyone. The Art in the City walking tour is a great way to see the fantastic pieces we have located in the downtown area and it’s a great way to get some physical activity in, especially now that spring is here.”

 

Return to the Front page

'We listened', 'we adapted' and then made a decision. Best speech so far this term of council - made by a rookie.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 27th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It takes a little time for a newly elected city council to find itself. Five of the seven people who sit as city Councillors knew very little about each other before they were elected.

There were different approaches to public services, different philosophical motivations and different objectives.

Wednesday morning ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte gave a speech which is the best we have heard from this Councillor or from this council.

She set out in very clear terms how she and her colleagues approached a contentious issue for a neighbourhood and delicately set out what city staff and city council had done.

The best speech made by any Councillor so far this term went like this:

“36 hours ago we unanimously supported a Motion to Declare a Climate Emergency” said Stolte

Shawna Stolte - smile

Shawna Stolte – Councillor, ward 4.

“We need to demonstrate that we will commit action to this declaration by voting for safe, walkable, environmentally friendly alternatives on our neighbourhood streets.

“Council’s job is to listen… to everyone, and to adapt the plan so that the proposed change has the least negative impact possible on the environment and the neighbourhood.

“I believe we have worked hard to do that here. Citizen input has been a crucial part of this discussion and has had a large impact on shaping the project.

“When the community spoke up and said the quieter streets where everyone agreed walking on the road was safe, we listened and chose to not install any sidewalks on Lorraine Crescent, Apple Valley Lane or McIntosh Place.

“When the community spoke up and said that sidewalks on both sides of Strathcona was not necessary, as sidewalks on one side provided safe passage for those who needed it, we listened and re-engineered the project to only one side of Strathcona.

“When the community spoke up and said that no trees should be impacted, that permeable landscaping and grass should be preserved for storm water management and green infrastructure, we listened and re-engineered the project to bring the one sidewalk into the existing streetscape and ensure that NO trees were removed and there was minimal impact to the green infrastructure.

“When the community spoke up and said that residents had invested a lot of time, money and energy into landscaping that beautified the community, we listened and re-engineered the project to start the sidewalk at the existing curb line.

“When the community spoke up and said that people felt a sidewalk needed to be a little wider to accommodate effective snow clearing, we listened and re-engineered the project to help ensure safer walking in the winter months.

Shawna listening to Dennison

Shawna Stolte during an election debate.

“We have listened and adapted based on community input, but in the end, we need to look to the present and future needs for the community regarding safety, walkability and sustainable urban design.

“We’ve heard a strong voice today from a strong generation which is important.

“But there is another voice that needs to be represented as well.

“Parents with young and school age children struggle between work and raising children to find any free time to come and advocate at City Hall but I have shared with Council multiple emails from busy working parents who live both on and off Strathcona.

“We have heard from parents representing the children of the neighbourhood, we have heard from the local school representing the children of the neighbourhood and we have heard from the local school board trustee, who is here today representing the children of the neighbourhood, and all these voices have been urging me to support a sidewalk on behalf of the next generation.

“From the start of my campaign I have striven to work by the words of James Freeman Clarke who said:

“a politician thinks of the next election, a leader thinks of the next generation”.

It was a deliberate statement made by a Councillor who is not always that deliberate. She had thought through what she wanted to say and did so very very well.

It wasn’t the kind of statement that was heard at the 2014-2018 council – let us hope that Stolte stays true to her values and that her colleagues take on the same colours.

Stolte, a citizen with little experience in local politics took on a council member who had served for decades and continually won because too many people ran against him – thus splitting the vote and putting him back in office.  This time around it became possible to ensure that there was just the one candidate – and she won the seat.

Return to the Front page

CRM was never intended to be a replacement for personal contact and commitment.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 27th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is a little more in the way of an understanding as to how city hall wants people to communicate electronically with members of council.

We got a note from Andrea Holland who manages what is referred to as Service Burlington; that is the location where all the answers to the questions you have are supposed to be answered.

Holland explained that:

Service Burlington is overseeing the implementation of the new Customer Relationship Management System (CRM).

crm

Keeping all the points of contact in one place – conceptually, a good idea.

Service Burlington was initially created in 2013 to provide counter services for multiple departments in one location for customers. In 2015 the corporation engaged citizens, council members, staff and citizen advisory groups to develop a customer service strategy. Through that engagement it was identified that the corporation needed to make improvements and use technology to better serve and respond to customer information and service requests.

Up until March of this year, all calls received at the reception desk were transferred to departments to respond to customers. With a centralized system in place staff are able to continue working on customer inquiries or service requests and, more importantly, track how long a customer may have been waiting for a response and ensure it is completed in a timely manner.

By using a CRM system, it is our goal to answer the majority of questions and enter service requests at the first point of contact with staff, rather than transfer, and to ensure that customers are notified that their enquiries are being addressed by the appropriate department.

The Clerk’s department is the first department to start using the system and we are making adjustments along the way to make continuous improvements to the way we are providing customer service and our use of the new system. Implementing a system of this size is a large undertaking and the implementation of the system into the Clerk’s department is only the first phase of the implementation. The project team will be implementing the system into more departments this year to help make it more seamless and consistent for customers.

When the system is fully implemented, staff answering calls or emails will be able to provide customers with the right information using the system and provide customers with an email response (if they wish) or a case number for customers to follow-up with staff at a future date if they choose.

Callers will be asked to provide their name, contact numbers and address. This information is only used for the purpose of fulfilling a request and will not be shared without your consent.

If a caller wishes to remain anonymous, or withhold certain information, they are free to do so. By using this new system, customer inquiries and requests for service will not be lost regardless of the channel (phone, visits, email). Staff will be able to better monitor customer service levels and make adjustments accordingly.

A few observations:  Andrea Holland is both professional and personable. There is the making of a Clerk in the woman.

But the problem with much that comes out of city hall is that it is a city hall viewpoint with little in the way of real public input.  The concept of a centralized Service desk makes sense; what one has to be cautious about is how bureaucratized it gets.

There is a sensitivity that is missing which is seldom available when the level of engagement is limited to “council members, staff and citizen advisory groups to develop a customer service strategy”.

Many of, but certainly not all, the people who serve on the Advisory committees fail to understand that they are there to hold staff accountable – not to become their chums.

Shape Burlington logoThe need for a better way of communicating with city hall originally came out of the Shape Burlington report – the document that was the beginning of a new look at the way the city should engage its citizens.

The 2010 city council adopted the report unanimously, several senior city hall staff wanted parts of the report re-written with one not wanting the report released at all.
Once Council adopted the report it quickly forgot it existed. Two members of council who were first elected in 2010 were members of the Shape Burlington committee – both had terrible records in terms of how they served their constituents. It was our view that both neither liked nor respected their constituents.

There is nothing wrong with the idea of a centralized Service – concern is how it is implemented that matters most.

A Gazette reader commented that

CITY HALL Cobalt

“City hall needs to open up.”

“There is nothing inherently wrong in a Customer Relations Management System (CRM) but it needs to be coupled with a customer service philosophy that permeates through the organization and gives staff energy and focus. CRM can make operations more efficient if used properly but it can never replace personal contact and commitment; it was never intended to be a replacement. The City of Burlington needs to ‘open up’.

“It needs clear and understandable program descriptions with accountable staff identified and contact information clearly displayed. Accountability and visibility go hand in hand. It needs performance dashboards with metrics that are measurable to report on commitments and progress against plan. It needs transparent citizen engagement instruments so that the public actually contributes to decision-making and can see how operational and strategic directions evolved. And to ensure that the process is not merely cosmetic, it needs a comprehensive customer service program with an executive lead and compensable performance metrics that are in every staff contract and commitment.

“There are established and successful models for true Customer Service Management in operation in other municipalities and levels of government. Seek them out, adapt and adopt them.”

Related new story:

A service or a system

Shape Burlington – the report.

Return to the Front page

Is Caroline east of Brant going to see a proposed 8 storey medical services building transform into an 18 storey tower ?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 27th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I want to try and connect some of the dots.

While walking out of city hall recently (yes, I was in the building) a planning consultant, who once worked for a municipality sidled up to me and asked how things were going.

Medica One or the Carriage Gate project - pick the name you like best - will go up at the top of John Street and consist of a medical offices building, an above ground garage and an apartment/condo complex. It will bring significant change to the intersection and drive redevelopment of the plaza to the immediate north, A transit hub a couple of blocks to the south then makes a lot of sense.

The view from the corner of Elizabeth and Caroline with what was originally going to be an eight storey medical services building, then to the south an above ground parking garage and then the 17 storey that already has residents.

We chatted for a few moments during which time the independent planner said “I was able to get them 17 storeys on John Street.”

The developer was named – I left the conversation wondering what piece of property on John Street could the planner have been talking about?

That piece of information stayed lodged in my mind. I couldn’t figure out which piece of land was going to have a 17 storey building on it.

A few days later, during a conversation about a development that had three parts to it, the person I was talking to said that the two parts of the site that were yet to be developed had been sold.

That is when the penny dropped.

Carriage Gate - three buidings

Have the development interests in the above ground parking (green roof) and the ‘future office building been sold?

Was the 17 storeys that the planner “got” related to the development that has the Berkeley condominium that is now completed?

The original plan for that site was to have the 17 storey condominium, 8 levels of above ground parking and an 8 storey medical services building at the north end fronting on Caroline.

When the project was approved the city had concerns that the developer would not complete the development and included a provision that set out a fine of $300,000 if all three parts were not built.

Are those 17 storeys the independent planner “got” for the the developer going to sit on Caroline between John and Elizabeth?

Related news story:

The original plan for the site in John and Caroline

The Berkeley as it was being built.

Return to the Front page

City hall wants you to 'walk the talk' and then record your distance and psuh Burlington to the top of the list.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

April 26th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington is getting ready to launch the Month of Play (June) and has three new exciting initiatives lined up:

“Burlington Walks the Talk”,
“Community Better Challenge” and
“Art and the City” a self-guided downtown public art walking tour.

A public kick-off event for all three will be held at Civic Square at City Hall, 426 Brant St. on May 6, 2019 at 10 a.m., rain or shine.

Residents and media are invited to join Mayor Meed Ward in a leisurely Public Art Walking Tour in the downtown area, lead by Arts and Culture staff. The tour is expected to be 45-minutes and is accessible.

Terry Fox - Eagles walking up path - back

Does the Terry Fox Run for the Cure count as a ‘walking the talk” event?

Burlington Walks the Talk
Burlington Walks the Talk is a new community program that encourages people to form or join neighbourhood walking groups. It includes a “how to create a walking group” guide and place to share information about upcoming community walks to invite others to participate and learn more about walk meetup times and locations in Burlington. The first 10 groups to post their community walking group on the community walk meetup calendar will receive up to 10 t-shirts for their walking group (while supplies last).

ParticipACTION’s Community Better Challenge
This national campaign is looking for Canada’s most active city. The City of Burlington is challenging residents to track their physical activity through the ParticipACTION app on their phone and compete to become Canada’s most active city.

The challenge runs May 31 to June 16 and every active minute counts. Sign up by downloading the app with your postal code at community.participaction.com.

Art and the City – Downtown Public Art Walking Tour
New for residents and tourists is Art and the City, Burlington’s downtown public art walking tour. Art and the City is available online and accessible from any mobile device.

It was real art which the public liked and it was one of a number of elements that brought to the surface a desire for more in the way of cultural life in the city - and brought it from a community few knew all that much about.

The Spiral Stella -one of the better pieces of public art that few know all that much about.

The free web app offers a new way to explore Burlington’s downtown and learn about public art in the process. The tour provides artwork information, photographs and a suggested walking route. A limited number of printed guidebooks will soon be available at all city facilities, Burlington Public Library and Tourism Burlington. Art and the City is also available online in PDF format to download, save, and print. Both formats are available online at burlington.ca/publicart.

The first 50 participants that join in the public art walking tour will receive a “Burlington Walks the Talk” t-shirt and an Art and the City tour guidebook. T-shirt sizes are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants in the Public Art Walk with the Mayor event do so at their own risk and acknowledge that accidents and/or injuries could occur while participating in this event. The City assumes no liability for any liability, claims, demands, damages, actions, or causes of action now existing or which hereinafter may arise as a result of my participation in the event, whether any injury is caused by the negligence of the City, participants or third parties.

(The legal disclaimer above reflects wording provided by the City and any grammatical errors are theirs. )

Return to the Front page

Who knew? Phillip has known for years and the people who have property backing onto Tuck Creek south of Spruce might want to know as well.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 26, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Gazette has run a comments section since the day we started up.

There are some people who abuse the privilege – there are some who think writing comments in the Gazette is a God given right.

There are a number of people, far too many if I do say so myself, who see the comments as irresponsible and not really serving any purpose.

There are others who comment frequently and add significantly to the body of information we use to make decisions.

We got a comment from Phillip Wooster this morning that we want to share.

He was responding to a comment made by another reader who had commented on the decision city council made to declare a Climate Emergency.

Let Phillip tell you what he learned.

I can attest about your comment about building in a flood plain. In 1979, while I was considering buying a house backing onto Tuck Creek, I had a choice between one north of Spruce on Regal Road and another south of Spruce. I happened to have a chance meeting with a farmer who had owned property at Lakeshore and Pine Cove in the 1950’s. He told me to buy south of Spruce–when I asked why, he told me that north of Spruce was a flood plain. In 1954, Hurricane Hazel turned the area into a lake; he said if there was another such weather event, the same thing would happen. And in 2014, guess where the flooding occurred. WHO KNEW????

Flooding Tuck_Creek_1

Tuck Creek

There are few real estate agents in town who will tell you what Phillip has known for years.

Thank you Phillip.

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

Return to the Front page

Public school board trustees looking for input from parents on class size changes proposed by province

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 26th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board trustees are reaching out to communities in the Region to gather feedback from parents/guardians, students, and community members to include in their submission to the Ministry of Education’s consultations on class size, mandatory e-learning courses and hiring practices. The Ministry’s proposed changes include an increase in average class size of one student in Grades 4-8 and an increase in average class size in high school from 22 to 28 students.

Hayden high school

Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School

The meetings will take place at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at three schools across the region:

• Thursday May 2, Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School (3040 Tim Dobbie Drive, Burlington)
• Wednesday May 8, Abbey Park High School (1455 Glen Abbey Gate, Oakville)
• Monday May 13, Milton District High School (396 Williams Avenue, Milton)

The agenda will be interactive, with Trustees briefly setting the context followed by participants working together to provide feedback around key areas including class size, e-learning and hiring practices.
Participants are asked to bring a Wi-Fi enabled device (phone, tablet or laptop) to assist in the feedback-gathering process.

Miller in a huddle with Grebenc

Director of Education Stuart Miller confers with Board chair Andrea Grebenc.

“It is critical that Trustees hear from the community on these important issues,” said Andréa Grebenc, Chair of the Halton District School Board. “As Trustees, our mandate as set out by the Education Act is to maintain focus on student achievement and well-being, to assist the Board in delivering effective and appropriate education programs to its pupils and to bring concerns of parents, students and supporters of the Board to the attention of the Board. Holding these meetings will assist us to meet these responsibilities in an informed way.”

To learn more about the Ministry’s consultations and the Education Action meetings, visit www.HaltonEducationAction.ca.

To indicate interest in attending a meeting, find a map to meeting locations, or to request a copy of the final submission for the consultations from the Board of Trustees to the Ministry of Education, please refer to the website. Confirmation of attendance is requested for planning purposes.

All are welcome to attend.

 

Return to the Front page

Regional police bring in the K9 unit to capture two resisting arrest.

Crime 100By Staff

April 25th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It took a number of police officers and the use of the K9 unit to capture and arrest two suspects but arrested they were and now await bail hearings.

On Wednesday April 24, 2019 at approximately 1:17 am, a uniformed officer was driving in the area of Plains Road West near Daryl Drive.

police dog running

K0 unit at work

The officer observed a black Dodge Ram pickup truck and attempted to stop the vehicle for a Highway Traffic Act offence. The vehicle failed to stop for the officer and fled the area at a high rate of speed. At 1:26 am, a concerned citizen from the Snake Road area contacted police when this same black truck drove on to a front lawn. The vehicle was left running with the lights on and the occupants fled the area on foot.

Halton Regional Police officers flooded the area and set up a perimeter. The Canine Unit attended and tracked for more than an hour until the two accused parties were located hiding near the Notre Dame Motherhouse.

Both were arrested shortly before 3:00 am without incident.

The pickup truck was confirmed to be stolen from Hamilton and break and enter tools were located within the vehicle.

Accused:
Kyle Hunt (29) of Hamilton
Charges: Flight from Police, Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Weapons Dangerous, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime (Over $5000), Possession of Break and Enter Tools

Accused:
Ashley Wilson (25) of Hamilton
Charges: Possession of Property Obtained by Crime (Over $5000), Possession of Break and Enter Tools

Both Accused parties were held for bail and appeared in the Milton Provincial Court on Wednesday April 24, 2019. Hunt was remanded into custody and will appear in Bail Court on Friday April 26. Wilson was remanded into custody and will appear on Thursday April 25, 2019.

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

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

Return to the Front page

An exceptional setting for a Mother's Day event. Saturday May 11th

eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 25th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Finding something new, interesting and different for Mother’s Day can be a challenge.

The people at Ireland House have been offering a unique experience at Ireland House Museum.

Ireland House Tea Tour Mothers Day

A different way to celebrate – Mom will enjoy the tour of the kitchen in the lower level of Ireland House.

The Mother’s Day Tea & Tour will serve premium tea, traditional sandwiches and desserts, followed by tours and demonstrations on the hearth at the historic Ireland House.

Select from one of 3 seating times (11 am, 1 pm or 3 pm). Tickets are $40/person. A maximum of four people can be seated at your table, not recommended for young children.

Once your booking is processed, a museum representative will contact you to confirm your table arrangements. Tickets are non-refundable.

Click to book tickets:

Return to the Front page

Mayor and the MPP exchange letters; MPP slips an advance copy to some media.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 25th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In the world of politics you send out the bad news media releases late in the day on a Friday. Works even better when there is a long weekend.

Last week Burlington MPP Jane McKenna went even further.

jane-mckenna-joe-dogs

MPP Jane McKenna at a public event.

Late last Thursday, that would be the 18th of April with the Friday being a holiday, “MPP Jane McKenna sent a letter to my office”,said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, “expressing her concerns with my April 15th statement about the recent provincial budget.

“She also shared her letter with the Burlington Post/Inside Halton where it appeared in a story on April 20th. Having personally received her letter yesterday morning, I then had the opportunity to review it and respond.

The following response was sent to her yesterday:

Dear Ms. McKenna, M.P.P.,

Much discussion is being had in the public domain since the release of the Provincial Budget earlier this month. As a result of the many cuts that were announced by Premier Doug Ford and his government, citizens and communities continue to voice their concerns over the impact they will see and feel to services they count on and priorities they value. From increasing classroom sizes to slashing funding for indigenous affairs to changes in funding for families dealing with autism, there are many issues of concern.

As Mayor of Burlington, I am focused on the list of things that directly impact our municipal bottom line and represent a downloading of costs to our tax payers. Issues of particular concern to our city involve cuts of over $300K to the Conservation Authority that will hurt flood mitigation strategies and impact public safety, recent Province-wide public health funding cuts which were only disclosed late last week and whose impact (both financial and practical) to our residents is yet to be clarified, and the cancelled promise of incremental gas-tax funding increases which would have helped fund essential transit improvements in Burlington and beyond.

As I said in a previous statement, I am particularly disappointed in the government’s decision to cancel the incremental increases in Provincial gas-tax funding over the next 10 years – a promise that was made by the conservative party during the election campaign as reported in a recent article by the CBC. The related numbers you referenced in your letter are incorrect. I would welcome a discussion with you, myself, and Joan Ford, our Director of Finance, who can furnish you with the correct numbers. For example, your letter referenced transit ridership data from 2013 to 2015, and we have already seen increased ridership from 2016-2018 that add new context to this issue. The gas tax increase from 2% to 2.5% would be enough to fund one additional bus purchase each and every year: a substantial impact to our city.

While the Council of the City of Burlington acts prudently and does not budget for any upper-level government transfers promised during election campaigns, federal or provincial, we do get them consistently every year and they amount to millions of critical dollars (originally collected from our own tax payers) being delivered back to us so that we can reinvest in our city’s infrastructure and services. Over the past week, I have spoken with Mayors in neighboring municipalities who share our concerns and we are now discussing a joint response.

Health, the environment, transit and infrastructure are not the places to be making cuts. Ultimately these decisions will download millions in costs to municipalities and their tax payers in order to maintain the services they’ve come to count on.

Once again, I would welcome a further discussion on these issues in person with myself and my team anytime.

Sincerely,

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward City of Burlington

What did the MPP say to the Mayor? We don’t know yet – Ms McKenna doesn’t send her media material to the Gazette – she doesn’t like the stories we right about some of her public behavior.

Return to the Front page

Politicians gather for a photo-op - and some detail on federal spending.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 25th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

For some reason the Honourable Karina Gould, MP, Burlington, Minister of Democratic Institutions and Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville North-Burlington, joined Mayor Marianne Meed Ward to announce the Burlington projects that will benefit from the Federal One-time Municipal Infrastructure Top-up funding.

A media release with the information would have done the trick.

Climate Change is the flavour of the month and every politician who has served more than a year in office learns to discern what the issues are – or they aren’t around for a second term.

Climate emergency graphicBurlington had declared a Climate Emergency the day before; there was every reason to roll with the momentum. And roll they did.

Last month’s federal budget included municipal top-up funding to support local infrastructure priorities. This one-time doubling of the Federal Gas Tax funding will result in an extra $5.6 million for infrastructure. Federal Gas Tax funding can be used in eligible categories including productivity and economic growth through areas such as roads, bridges or public transit, clean environment initiatives such as community energy systems or strong cities and communities via sport, recreation, culture, tourism or disaster mitigation.

City staff brought a report with recommended projects to council earlier this month. Council has approved these projects:

Elgin Promenade, Phase 4 – $700,000

There are some who wonder why this expenditure would be approved until the issue as to just what is built on the old Elisabeth Interiors site has been determined.  Much of what gets build on that site will result in parts of the Promenade that will run right beside what is now Kelly’s Bakeshop.

Transit Bus renewal program – $500,000
Wolfe Island Bridge, additional rehabilitation – $230,000
New Street resurfacing, advance from 2023 to 2020 – $2,050,000
Beachway Pavilion, decking and accessibility improvements – $350,000

A much needed improvement – hopefully the public washrooms will get some attention

Civic Square, additional enhancements – $265,000
Skyway Arena, new small indoor walking track – $1,500,000

Most projects are expected to be completed within 18 months, with the exception of the New Street resurfacing, which is anticipated to happen in 2020 and Skyway Arena enhancements, which will take two to three years to complete.

Gould Karina H&S

Karina Gould, MP, Burlington, Minister of Democratic Institutions

The Honourable Karina Gould, MP, Burlington, Minister of Democratic Institutions said at the photo op on Wednesday that: “The Federal Municipal top up will allow municipalities, like Burlington, to continue to fund long-term, stable infrastructure projects such as public transit, water and wastewater, local roads, sports and recreation facilities and tourism infrastructure. The investment announced today reiterates our commitment to making our communities stronger and more resilient.”

Damoff ofice opening

Oakville Burlington North MP Pam Damoff

Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville North-Burlington, who will probably get to hold her own photo-op with the Mayor of Oakville said: “Public investments in areas like infrastructure and public transit are crucial to driving economic growth and strengthening the middle class. Through my experience on Oakville Town Council, I saw first hand the benefits of funding to municipalities to help them build and revitalize their local public infrastructure while creating jobs and long term prosperity. By making smart investments in local infrastructure, we can build roads, transit and water systems that make a difference in our communities.”

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward added her comments: “It is always a fantastic thing when our levels of government work together in a way that betters our amazing City. And this Federal One-time Municipal Infrastructure Top-Up Funding of approximately $5.6 million does just that.

The waterfront file was one THE Councillor Meed Ward domain but she has backed away a bit from this one of late.

Marianne Meed Ward as a Council member during a Strategic Plan session at LaSalle Pavilion.

“This is prudent spending ” said Meed Ward “and reflects the majority of the things we heard from the community that they wanted. These choices help make our city more livable, and encourage healthy living, environmentally-friendly choices, and improve our infrastructure to keep people moving safely and efficiently.

“It’s always a difficult job paring down the list of what projects can benefit from funding like this, so I want to thank our City of Burlington staff for the great job they did in balancing the known priorities of our community and helping us get started as soon as possible.”

Other spending to look forward to are:
Housing:  To help municipalities grow housing supply and find new solutions for affordable housing, Budget 2019 proposes to provide $300 million to launch a new Housing Supply Challenge.

The Housing Supply Challenge will invite municipalities and other stakeholder groups across Canada to propose new ways to break down barriers that limit the creation of new housing.

Energy efficiency
Budget 2019 plans to give resources to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM), municipal funding program, the Green Municipal Fund for three initiatives that would provide financing to municipalities.

1. Collaboration on Community Climate Action ($350 million) will provide municipalities and non-profit community organizations with financing and grants to retrofit and improve the energy efficiency of large community buildings and community pilot and demonstration projects in Canadian municipalities, large and small. FCM and the Low Carbon Cities Canada Initiatives will create a network across Canada that will support local community actions to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions.

2. Community EcoEfficiency Acceleration ($300 million) will provide financing for municipal initiatives that support home energy efficiency retrofits. Homeowners could qualify for assistance in replacing furnaces and installing renewable energy technologies. The FCM will use innovative approaches like the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) model that allows homeowners to repay retrofit costs through their property tax bills.

3. Sustainable Affordable Housing Innovation ($300 million) will provide financing and support to affordable housing developments to improve energy efficiency in new and existing housing and support on-site energy generation.

Can you feel the federal election coming?

Return to the Front page

Armed Robbery in Burlington: cell store staff did not sustain any physical injuries.

Crime 100By Staff

April 24th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service is investigating an armed Robbery that took place at a Freedom Mobile store located on Upper Middle Road in Burlington.

Freedom mobile logo

Freedom Mobile located on Upper Middle Road in Burlington robbed at knife point.

On Tuesday April 23, 2019 at approximately 5:20 pm, three male suspects entered the store and confronted a staff member working the store front. The staff member was threatened with a knife before a quantity of cellular phones and cash were stolen. The staff member did not sustain any physical injuries.

The three suspects fled in a dark coloured 4-door sedan.

Suspect 1: Male, approximately 5’9″ – 5’10” in his 20’s, wearing all black clothing and a mask
Suspect 2: Male, approximately 5’7″ – 5’8″ wearing jeans, a hoodie and a black mask
Suspect 3: Unknown

Anyone with information or who may have video surveillance or dash-cam video of the suspects/ suspect vehicle are asked to call D/Cst. Dave Griffiths of the District 3 Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2350 or the on-duty Staff Sergeant at 905-825-4747 ext. 2310.

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

Return to the Front page

Community Development Halton going through a transformation with revenue raising getting more attention.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 24th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In the past few months Community Development Halton has sponsored a number of special focus courses – five that we can count so far.

This is not a traditional area for CDH – an organizational that does a lot of research and spawns organizations that get spun off and continue to serve the wider community.

MAID dying

One of the more recent focused day long course offerings from Community Development Halton.

 

Food 4 Thought and the Age Friendly operation are two examples.

Transit - Rishia Burke + McMeekin

Retired MPP Ted McMeekin in conversation with a former Community Development Halton contract staffer.

The CDH Board has gone through some significant changes – financial constraints have called for some cut backs in the number of hours staff work and a push on bringing in some revenue.

CDH came out of what was once known as the Burlington Social Planning that was headed up by retired MPP Ted McMeekin.

Like every worthwhile organization CDH is going through a transformation and learning to adapt to changing circumstances on the funding side and an even greater need for more in the way of actionable data and the creation of services that meet identifiable needs.

Return to the Front page

Street Sweeping to begin in May

News 100 redBy Staff

April 24th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Get the roller-blades and skateboards ready, declared a City media release.

street sweeperBurlington’s annual spring street sweeping blitz will begin in the first week of May. The cleaning of winter sand and debris from roads is expected to take six weeks with a crew of seven vehicles working seven days a week.
Street sweepers are exempt from the noise bylaw; however, to reduce noise disruption, residential streets will only be cleaned between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. The rest of the time will be spent cleaning primary and secondary roads.

Residents are asked to avoid parking cars on the roads and to remove encroaching basketball and road hockey nets from the street so the sweepers can move quickly and efficiently.

“This winter we used a lot of sand” said Mark Adam, Manager of Roads, “so it’ll take some effort to get it all cleaned up. The fewer parked cars and nets on the roads, the faster and better the crews can work. Moving around obstacles takes more time and means we can’t clear the curbs and gutters.”

Return to the Front page

Burlington is now a city with a declared Climate Emergency.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 24th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Council unanimously passed a motion to declare a climate emergency. The notion was brought forward by ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan.

Numerous cities around the world have recently declared climate emergencies in response to findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that we have only 12 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees, beyond which any further increase would significantly worsen the risk to hundreds of millions of people of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty. London (UK), Los Angeles, Vancouver, Halifax, Kingston and Hamilton have each declared climate emergencies recently.

Flooding BSBVC effects in water

A residential basement after the August 2014 flood.

Burlington has already felt the effects of climate change over the past several years; climate matters are currently ranked as the third highest risk on the City’s Enterprise Risk Register, which measures overall risk to the City.

The City is currently updating many of its plans in relation to climate change including the Community Energy Plan (transitioning to the Climate Action Plan), Corporate Energy Management Plan, Storm Water Design Standards and Urban Forest Management Plan. The City has set a goal to be net carbon neutral by 2040 and work towards being a net carbon neutral community.

The climate emergency declaration would increase the city’s ambition on climate change initiatives, including in the community, and provide staff and residents with clarity of purpose regarding Council’s view of the importance of climate change.

Action items from the declaration include:

• That a climate emergency be declared for the purposes of deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, environment and community from climate change; and
• That Council and staff immediately increase the priority of the fight against climate change and apply a climate lens to the plans and actions of the City of Burlington including the Council strategic work plan and future budgets; and
• Staff are directed to bring a report to the June 3, 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting that outlines actions taken to date and includes a critical path for the development of the first City of Burlington Climate Action Plan that will:

The tree was on private property. Should the owners have been required to get permission to cut it down? Is a bylaw needed for this kind of a situation?

The tree was on private property. Should the owners have been required to get permission to cut it down? The city does have a pilot private tree by law for the Roseland community.

1. address the operations of the corporation of the municipality as well as the functioning of the entire community; and

2. include a plan for a thorough and complete consultation with stakeholders and the community; and

3. increase action and ambition for the City’s climate change-related activities; and

4. include performance metrics to track progress and timelines for achieving key deliverables/major milestones, and a strategy to report back publicly on progress.

• Direct the City Manager to bring back the Burlington Climate Action Plan to Council no later than December 2019 for approval.

Climate emergency graphic“Our health, livelihoods and futures are directly linked to the environment”, said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. “ Flooding, storms, water quality and air quality affect everything and everyone in our community. Real change requires all of us to work together.

“If our goals are to build a prosperous, healthy and green city for the long-term, we need to take serious, tangible action. Passing this declaration is another step in ensuring that we are doing everything we can to stop climate change — this companion motion includes timelines for action, as well as reporting back on initiatives that are already underway at the City of Burlington.”

Nisan Lowville Feb 7 BEST

Councillor Rory Nisan – not doing media interviews these days.

Councillor Rory Nisan, who chose not to be available for an interview, did say in a written statement that: “By declaring a climate emergency, Burlington City Council is recognizing the magnitude of the challenge we face in combatting climate change. But it is only one step. Through the declaration we have requested a comprehensive climate action plan by the end of the year and that plan is where we will begin to make real, practical change for Burlington.”

The Mayor and some members of her council held a media event this morning to explain what the city planned to do with the $5.6 million they got from the federal government recently.

One of the council members drove away from the meeting in a high end pickup truck. I was struck with a dose of envy (it’s a guy thing) and wondering what kind of a statement was being made.

To the best of our knowledge there isn’t a member of council driving an electric vehicle. Full disclosure – I don’t drive one either but then I don’t pull in 100 big ones annually either.

Return to the Front page