Piano Series ends on the 26th - new season at Performing Arts revealed on the 28th.

artsorange 100x100By Staff

May 6th, 2019



The last of the 2018/19 Piano Series takes place on the 26th. A few days later the public will learn what the Performing Art Centre line up is going to be – that events takes place on the 28th.

Anagnoson & Kinton, one of the world’s finest piano duos, will be closing out the piano series on May 26 at 4:00pm.

The Piano was invented in the 1700s and is considered one of the most important instruments in Western music of all genres. Throughout the 2018/19 season, BPAC celebrated The Piano, presenting a four-concert series showcasing this magnificent instrument in distinct piano presentations, with some of Canada’s keyboard masters: music from Schubert, Ravel, Dvořák, and Stravinsky.


Anagnoson & Kinton: talent of this caliber on the stage of the Performing Arts Theatre is one of the reasons the place was built.

With over 1000 performances throughout the duo’s 40-year history, Anagnoson & Kinton have been repeatedly met with great critical acclaim across North America, Europe, China, and Russia. In addition to traditional recitals, the duo has commissioned numerous compositions, expanding the boundaries of traditional piano-duos.

Music of this caliber and quality is seldom available in smaller cities.

The tub thumping for the 2019-20 season follows.

In the past there have been some pretty limp performances at which the forthcoming Performing Arts Centre program was announced. There was one season when it was positively embarrassing.

BPAC reveal - Ladies with program

Performing Arts patrons going over the offerings for the year ahead before heading for the box office.

The event could be a show in itself. The regular theatre goers – and Burlington has a lot of them – turn out in droves with their programs in their hands and wallets open to ready to book their tickets.

The full extent of the season offering is set out – some promotion and a bit of razz-a-matazz is what show business is all about.

Hopefully, the people who run the Centre will break out the mold that has prevailed in the past.

Show a little leg!

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Cherry blossoms at RBG bursting out all over the place - they don't last long - four to five days. Something worth going out of your way for.

News 100 redBy Staff

May 6th, 2019



It’s a sure sign that spring has finally sprung—Royal Botanical Gardens’ (RBG’s) flowering cherry (Prunus) collection is reaching peak bloom. The collection can be located at various areas of RBG with greater concentrations in the Arboretum and Rock Garden.


Once the blossoms are in full bloom – they last four to five days.

Cherry blossoms last an average of four to five days once in full bloom, so those wanting to experience the collection will have to act fast.

RBG records the flowering times of its cherries on an annual basis as part of a biological science known as phenology, an important tool in helping to track climate change.

In 2010, the Gardens added 34 trees to this collection, donated to RBG as part of the Sakura Project, an effort from members of the Japanese and Japanese Canadian communities to plant over 3,000 cherry trees across Canada. These trees are planted at both the Arboretum and Rock Garden sites.

Chefs at RBG’s Rock Garden Café are offering special menu items to mark the occasion. Visitors can sip cherry blossom tea and enjoy salmon poke bowl and matcha semi-freddo as part of their cherry blossom experience.

Collection of trees

Absolutely magnificent

One of the most iconic spring sights at RBG is the flowering cherry circle in the Arboretum. The trees planted in this circle are Prunus ‘Accolade’ and were accessioned in 1966. P. ‘Accolade’ is a spectacular pink semi-double flowered cultivar that has achieved the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit (AGM). These trees look most spectacular when viewed against the backdrop of a pure blue sky. Once the flowers begin to fade and fall the surrounding grassy area looks like it is covered in pink confetti.

For those that like to dig into the details – more than you may ever want to know appears below. Walking amongst those trees is to live for – don’t miss the opportunity.

Japanese flowering cherries within RBG’s collection are some of most treasured and appreciated of these trees. These cultivars have been bred for centuries in Japan and play a hugely important role in Japanese society and culture. The Japanese name the flowering cherry sakura and the art and celebration of viewing sakura is known as hanami (flower viewing) during the day and yozakura (night sakura) at night. The short-lived flowers are particularly important in Japanese culture as a symbol of the ephemeral and impermanent nature of life.

The colours of cherry flower petals can vary considerably with the colour of the same flower changing from first emergence through maturity to blossom fall. Typically flowers are darker in bud becoming paler as they age and expand. Seasonal conditions, climate and soil type can also all have an influence on the annual colour of flowers.


What a great place for a Spring Wedding – can’t you just see a bride and groom walking down that path?

Cherry flowers are divided into four different groups which are based upon the number of petals. Whilst nature isn’t always perfect and variations occur as a rule:

• Single flowers have five petals
• Semi-double flowers have between 10 and 20 petals
• Double flowers have from 25 to 50 petals
• Chrysanthemum flowered cherries have more than 100 petals

The scientific name for flowering cherries is Prunus. The genus Prunus is in the Rosaceae or rose family. This family not only includes roses and flowering cherries but other notable ornamental plants such as Chaenomeles (Flowering Quince), Crataegus (Hawthorn) Fragaria (Strawberry), Malus (Crab apple) and Pyrus (Pear). As well as flowering cherries the genus Prunus also encapsulates plums, peaches, apricots and almonds. The Rosaceae family, as a result is one of the most economically important crop families.

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On the matter of report cards and how to ensure that your municipal government is held accountable.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 6th, 2019



Bringing about change is not an easy process – nor does it take place very quickly – if it takes place at all.

A newly formed transit will be known as Bfast - they intend to inform the debate on transit and insure the issue of transit service doesn't get lost in the Official Plan Review

A newly formed transit advocacy will be known as Bfast – they intend to inform the debate on transit and insure the issue of transit service doesn’t get lost.

A small group of people formed Bfast in 2013 – called themselves Friends and Supporters of Transit and designed a slick logo.

They brought in speakers to educate the public on just how bad transit service was in Burlington and put facts and hard data on the table to make their point.

The city went through two transit directors while Bfast battled a city council that would tell delegations that they either didn’t like what they were hearing or didn’t believe the data that was being put forward.

Goldring selfy

Former Mayor Rick Goldring on the day he took the bus to work – took a selfie to prove he actually rode transit.

Petitions with hundreds of signatures were treated as suspect by some members of Council

At the time few people knew that every member of council had been issued a free Presto pass which gave them the right to hop on any bus going their way. While it would be an invasion of their privacy to dig into the Presto data and see just which Councillor actually used the pass it would be nice to know – wouldn’t it?

The Mayor at the time probably did and then released a rather unfortunate picture of his riding the bus to work.

That picture appears in the Gazette for the last time.

The city once had a Transit Advisory Committee that was disbanded – it never had much in the way of traction with senior management at city hall.  Council at the time wasn’t in the least pro-transit.  Funds that were expected to go to transit to improve the quality of the fleet was spent instead on a “shave and pave” program designed to get longer life out of the roads.  It was tough times for transit advocates.

Bfast decided early in their life that they would issue a report card that ranked both performance and how well the service was funded.

2016 report card

2017 report card
There is a bit of a shift in 2018 – reflecting the arrival of Sue Connor as the Director of Transit but it wasn’t until 2019 that Bfast could issue a strong report card reflecting real change and the promise of even more to come.

Transit-report-card- 2018



The evidence is clear – if you pound away and continually appear before council you will eventually prevail – even if you have to elect a new more responsive council in the process.

You can beat city hall – the issue for Burlington is – can you re-educate staff and create a culture that puts the public first.

The one metric that was consistently high was the drivers – even though there was a time when the collective agreement they had was terrible and the overtime hours they were required to put in was on the wrong side of provincial legislation rules.

As Doug Brown put it so well at the 5th Annual Bfast Forum – “we aren’t there yet.

Related news story:

How sweet it was – the 5th Annual Bfast Forum.


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Bfast give transit A+ and B+ on their report card. Not a C in sight.

News 100 yellowBy Collin Gribbons

May 6th, 2019



Bfast Transit group logoTransit users in Burlington are happy with the improvements made over the past year and eager for more changes scheduled for the year to come. That’s the main takeaway from Burlington’s Fifth Annual Transit Users’ Forum, held May 4 at the Burlington Seniors’ Centre.

Audience with JE

More than 100 people packed the room at the Seniors’ Centre on Saturday to listen to the good news and celebrate the tremendous strides that are being made in the city’s transit service.

Another capacity crowd of more than 100 packed the meeting room as bus riders heard Mayor Marianne Meed Ward promise more improvements over the coming years. In addition to the mayor, five of six city councilors attended the meeting, showing support for a bigger role for transit as the city grows.

transit-report-card-2019-wThis year’s transit report card, an annual feature where riders vote on various aspects of the system, reflected the new optimism, with a much improved overall grade.

“You are the reason why transit is better in this city,” Meed Ward told the attendees.

“We have made some incredible strides forward on transit” in the 2019 city budget, she said. She thanked Council members for their support for free transit for low-income riders and for supporting an 18-month pilot project that will see seniors travel free in off-peak hours. “We’re going to make it permanent,” she stage whispered.

“We want people to be able to choose transit because it’s the best way to get around our city. We are not there yet,” she said.

“But the bottom line is that none of these changes would have happened without your advocacy. And along the way we’ve had some bumps. So I’d say, ‘Just hang in there. Keep advocating. Keep talking about transit.’ You did. You never stopped. And because of that, we’re here today with such great news. And there’s going to be more. We’re not done. This Council is just getting started in making sure that transit is the transportation option of choice.”

She thanked BFAST (Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit) for activism on behalf of transit.
“You have been in the trenches advocating for a long time, when it wasn’t a very popular message,” she said.

Not there yet

Doug Brown, chair of Bfast, wants to see a bus schedule with routes that work for people and not the current bus route set up in place. It doesn't work claims Brown.

Doug Brown, chair of Bfast, wants to see a bus schedule with routes that work for people.

BFAST Chair Doug Brown praised Council’s new commitment to transit but reiterated Meed Ward’s sentiment that “we’re not there yet.” He pointed out that Burlington would still be below the GTA average municipal per-capita contribution to transit after this year’s budget increases.

He said BFAST rejects the recommendations of a transit consultant hired by the old Council that the city must choose between coverage of all areas and more frequent service on main routes. “Burlington needs both,” he said.

He also asked that the city meet its own long-established transit-service standards for frequency and availability.

Brown once again urged that the city examine transportation as a whole, rather than isolate elements like roads, parking and transit. He pointed to studies by Waterloo Region and the Canadian Urban Transit Association that showed transit can save cities money on road work and bring huge returns on investment for the local economy.

Burlington Transit Director Sue Connor outlined improvements that will begin in September, including more frequent, improved service.

Keep in touch
She asked users to keep in contact through the transit system’s customer service line and make suggestions for improvement. “We do take that feedback and we do look at it. We make service changes about six times per year so there are opportunities to change something that’s not working right.”

Stolte + Connor +

Shawna Stolte, Councillor for ward 4 and a bigger advocate for transit than many realized sits with Director of Burlington Transit Sue Connor during the 5th Annual Bfast Forum.

More than half of the meeting was given to the users themselves as they made comments and asked questions to a panel made up of Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte, Connor, BFAST Steering Committee member Glenna Cranston and Burlington bus driver Slawomir (Swav) Ozog.

Stolte said that after she was elected, she was researching other transit systems and came across an American article featuring the significant improvements made to transit in Brampton, where Connor was director at the time.

“We are so lucky to have Sue [Connor],” she said. “And what I am personally committed to, and I know the rest of Council is, is to working hard with Sue and to making sure that our Burlington Transit system is also one that eventually gets written about in articles across North America as a premier, leadership public transit system that’s working well for everybody.”

Doug and Colin Bfast

Doug Brown, on the left, and Collin Gribbons – wearing smiles – not always something seen at BFast events in the past.

Questions and comments came thick and fast on everything from electric buses to getting younger people to ride transit to service problems. Stolte noted that Connor took pages of closely written notes from the session.

Connor herself promised that she would take the comments to a meeting of transit staff in the coming weeks.

Attendees also paid tribute to Mike MacDonald, a transit activist and BFAST member who passed away recently.

This year’s forum was endorsed and supported by 14 community organizations.

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Majority of Halton is a risk area for ticks carrying the bacteria which causes Lyme disease.

News 100 redBy Staff

May 6th, 2019



On March 27, 2019, the Halton Region Health Department reported the majority of Halton is a risk area for ticks carrying the bacteria which causes Lyme disease. This is a result of active tick surveillance (tick dragging) conducted by the Health Department in 2018 and Halton has been included in Public Health Ontario’s updated estimated risk area map.


Nothing cute about this creature. The black laegs are what xxx

“Halton Region supports the health and well-being of all residents,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “Like many municipalities throughout Ontario, most of Halton is considered a risk area for ticks and Lyme disease.

While the risk remains low, residents should be aware of areas where ticks may be present and how to protect themselves and their families from tick bites.”

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, which are usually present in wooded, brushy or tall grass areas.

Residents throughout the region should continue to take precautions to prevent tick bites when enjoying the outdoors. Here are some steps to protect your health:

• If possible, avoid known tick areas (such as wooded, brushy or tall grass areas) and stay on trails when outdoors.
• Cover up by wearing long sleeved, light coloured shirts and pants with tightly woven fabric.
• Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into your socks to keep ticks away from your bare skin.
• Wear shoes that cover your entire foot, avoiding sandals or open shoes.
• Spray clothing and exposed skin with an insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin.
• Check your clothing and body for any ticks after spending time outdoors, especially around the groin, armpits and hairline. Carefully remove any ticks from yourself or a family member.
• Check your pets regularly for ticks as they could carry ticks inside your home.


Ticks and lyme disease

The southern part of Halton is where the infestation appears to be highest..

The Halton Region Health Department conducts tick surveillance in the spring and fall. Residents should continue to submit ticks to the Health Department for identification.

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Provincial policy document: Places to Grow to get an upgrade - it will set out how much more residential growth Burlington will have to absorb.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 3rd, 2019



The policy announcement made yesterday by the provincial government covered a lot of bases.

It said that: “The Greater Golden Horseshoe is the economic engine of our province, generating more than 25% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product. Right now, approximately 9.2 million people, or 25% of Canada’s population, live in this area and that number keeps growing – fast.

And added that: “To make sure that our policies put people first, we are updating A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. It is the product of a broad consultation where we heard from more than 1,100 people and received more than 650 submissions. We heard the government should facilitate the building of affordable housing options near transit to prevent sprawl and protect agricultural lands. The plan will help manage growth so communities in the region develop in ways that expand economic opportunity, while maintaining protections for our environmentally sensitive areas, including the Greenbelt, cultural heritage assets, and key employment and agricultural lands.

“We need to build more housing that people can afford so people have places to live near stable, reliable employment. That’s why we’re creating provincially significant employment zones to make sure that businesses – from manufacturers and industrial parks to high-tech offices – have room to grow.

Star front page

Toronto Star headline

What do they plan to do?

“Across Ontario, there are empty-nesters who want to downsize, but they can’t find or afford the home they need near family and friends. If they could, it might free up a larger home for a young couple looking for a house with more space for their growing family, close to a park and a great school. Instead, everyone feels stuck.

high profile 421

Approved – across the street from city hall – with the block to the immediate south awaiting a development that will want the same heiight.

“It can take years of paperwork before a shovel ever breaks ground on a new housing project. Some government policies and processes are duplicated and can create delays for no reason, which drives up costs for home buyers.

“That’s why we’re reviewing every step of the development process and every policy, regulation and piece of legislation to eliminate unnecessary steps, duplication and barriers. We are cutting red tape and as we do, we are holding firm to our commitment to ensure the health and safety of Ontarians, and protect the environment, agricultural lands and our rich natural heritage.

Making it easier to build new housing

bring housing to market faster by speeding up local planning decisions and making the appeals process more efficient

make it easier for homeowners to create residential units above garages, in basements and in laneways

help build housing, including affordable housing, near transit

help municipalities implement community planning permit systems (e.g. in major transit station areas and provincially significant employment zones), which will streamline planning approvals to 45 days

simplify how funds are collected for community benefits such as parks and daycares

make upfront development costs easier to predict

give communities and developers more certainty on what they can build, and where they can build it

Go trains and high rises

Increased GO train service and high rise towers – all about being open for business.

“An item sent to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal is still waiting for a decision, seven years later. That’s thousands of homes stuck in the pipeline, waiting to be built, and seven years of rising costs. Getting rid of that backlog will bring new housing to market, today.

“Conflicts can arise during the process of land use planning. The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal hears these disputes, but there is a backlog of Ontario Municipal Board legacy cases — approximately 100,000 units are tied up in Toronto alone. There are also too many complex processes standing in the way of creating new housing.

The province is proposing changes that will:

hire more adjudicators to help address the backlog of legacy cases by investing $1.4 million in 2019-20

ensure the tribunal has the powers and resources needed to make more timely decisions

allow the tribunal to make the best planning decisions in the place of Council

charge different fees and move towards a cost recovery model, while allowing community groups and residents to maintain affordable access to the appeals process

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Sport Field Status: Basically wet and sloppy except for artificial turf.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

May 3rd, 2019



All Grass Multi Use Fields and Ball Diamonds will be closed May 3, 4, 5, & 6 2019 due to weather.

Fields and Diamonds will be inspected daily and status will be updated each day starting May 6.

Artifical Turf fields remain open.

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Where do those who have to rent or choose to rent fit into the new policy?

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 2nd, 2019



The provincial government announced a program that, they say, will allow all Ontarians to find a home that meets their needs and their budget.

The plan that was announced will:

Cut red tape to make it easier to build the right types of housing in the right places
Make housing more affordable
Help taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned dollars

“Housing innovation isn’t just about new designs and materials, it’s about creative partnerships too. By working together, non-profits, co-ops and the private sector can help solve Ontario’s housing crisis.

5 point plan

A 5 point plan – is it really that simple?

“When individuals find a home, they are healthier and more productive. This benefits not only the individual, but also the province, as each person has the opportunity to contribute to our economy.

“More housing that meets people’s needs and budgets boosts Ontario’s economy by helping us keep jobs and support job creation. Businesses – from manufacturers to high tech firms – need employees, and those employees need affordable places to live. By making housing more affordable, businesses large and small will invest in Ontario again.

“More homes, more choice is about unlocking the development of all kinds of housing. From ownership to rental housing, whether built by private developers or non-profits, our action plan will help give people more choice and help bring costs down.

The plan is complemented by our Community Housing Renewal Strategy, which helps people with low and moderate incomes who can’t afford today’s high rents to find affordable housing. It will transform a fragmented and inefficient system into one that is more streamlined, sustainable and ready to help people who need it most.

It also includes early steps to improve community housing across the province:

helping tenants become economically self-sufficient
making it easier to predict and calculate rent
shortening waiting lists
helping people in greatest need
making community housing safer

We will work with municipalities and non-profits to sustain, repair and grow our community housing system.

Together, these plans respond to the diverse housing needs of all Ontarians.

What are they going to do for renters

Priorities - when looking pie chartIn today’s market, finding an affordable rental apartment can feel like winning the lottery. People are renting longer and more people are looking for a place to rent, but new construction has focused on condominiums rather than rental apartments.

Many people prefer to rent. But high home prices mean those who want to buy are also renting, or renting longer, which drives rents up. We need more housing – to own and to rent – to bring the market back to balance.

More homes, more choice will make it easier to build rental housing. For example, right now, home builders pay development charges up-front. A developer who builds a house and/or condominium builders can offset these development charges by preselling units. A developer who builds a rental unit can’t.

By postponing development charges until the buildings are rented, developers will be encouraged to start building rental housing again. More homes, more choice will also work to cut red tape around development approvals so new homes will be available to rent sooner.

Making it easier for landlords to navigate the complex building code approvals process will help create more rental housing. In Ontario, roughly 30,000 to 35,000 new homes are built each year, and many of them could include secondary suites, like basement apartments.

For rent signWe’re encouraging small landlords to create new rental units too, by making it easier to build second suites (like basement apartments) and helping them navigate the complicated building code approvals process. We are also expanding development charge exemptions to include second units in new homes.

As more rental units are built, tenants will have more choices and rents will decrease.

Creating more rental units is an essential part of our action plan. But once they have a place to live, renters shouldn’t have to worry about being treated unfairly or being unlawfully evicted. Ontario has strong protections for renters and we will do more to help tenants and landlords know their rights and how to resolve disputes.

Helping renters and landlords resolve disputes is the role of the Landlord and Tenant Board, but a shortage of adjudicators has created delays – average wait times are more than two months! The government is working with Tribunals Ontario on addressing shortages of adjudicators at the Landlord and Tenant Board. There have been a number of recent appointments and recruitment is underway to fill other adjudicator vacancies.

The government is also providing more than one billion dollars in 2019-20 to help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness. Hundreds of organizations across Ontario have long-standing agreements to provide community housing to Ontario’s most vulnerable, and as many of these agreements approach their end, our government’s Community Housing Renewal Strategy will help them become more sustainable.

Delays for a NfP

Can this type of delay be brought to an end.

The changes all have merit.  A first read suggests that the delays, the red tape and the costs are all bunched at the municipal end of the spectrum.

There isn’t a thing the province can do about how effective the municipal bureaucracies are.

Skip over to the series of meetings on Red Tape and the attempt Mayor Meed Ward is making to roll out a Red Carpet for people who have to work with city hall to get a sense as to just how bad it is.

A couple of the more painful comments:

• City is too slow to react
• City staff have a lack of knowledge behind the scenes/of private sector and are unresponsive
• Staff are inconsistent in their application of policy
• Turnover of City staff

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Big business/manufacturers in the city give the city an earful - it wasn't all bad..

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 2nd, 2019



It was a major talking point at the State of the City address Mayor Marianne Meed Ward gave to the Chamber of Commerce in January.

There were a number of groups that were to get a chance to pass along their beefs and bouquets to the Mayor and senior city hall staff.

Red Tape - red carpet crowd March 28

Some Council members too part in the first session.

Previous groups included: City Staff and Partner Organization Focus Group Highlights and Small Business Focus Group Highlights

The focus this time was on the big business/manufacturers in the city.

Councillor Kelvin Galbraith, along with Interim City Manager Tim Commisso and team members from the Burlington Economic Development Corporation took part in the 90 minute session.

Attendees included CEOs, Founders, General Managers and VPs from businesses around Burlington varying in industry and location. There were approximately 20 leaders in the room ready to share insights with us over the 90-minute session.

In keeping with the format of prior sessions, attendees were asked to share the challenges they faced to starting and/or growing/expanding their business, anything they felt was already working well, and ideas they had for what will make things better.

What we heard from this audience” said the Mayor, “was the following challenges, many of which were commonly heard at other groups, with a few new insights and examples.

Red tape red carpet• The Permit process – flaws and delays
• Dealing with the MTO – lack of accountability to timelines, unwilling to conduct site visits
• City is too slow to react
• City staff have a lack of knowledge behind the scenes/of private sector and are unresponsive
• Staff are inconsistent in their application of policy
• Fees are inconsistent
• Turnover of City staff
• Sense of confrontation with City staff – rational conversation is difficult
• Lack of common sense and practicality in processes
• Commercial/employment zoning needs
• Regional transit connectivity and transportation/traffic overall
• Lack of land availability / larger space for manufacturing
• Sign bylaws are too restrictive
• Access to high tech talent / post-secondary / new fields & areas of study
• Site visits are needed to understand practical issues
• Tough finding the right department at the City
• Incremental feedback on multiple submissions
• Need clear timelines / business timelines
• Ineffective communications
• Lack of incentives if not manufacturing
• Skilled and non-skilled labour/talent

To ensure we don’t try to fix what’s not broken, the audience also told the Mayor about the following processes and issues that were already working from their point of view (common comments are highlighted in bold):

• New council = progressive thinking
• The Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force – appreciate the City is listening and willing to change
• BEDC support, networking events and TechPlace
• Employee retention and recruitment
• Recent immigrants in the area provide a great talent pool
• Success in exporting / export funding was helpful (got cut thought)
• Location: close to highways, the border, and Go train
• Innovation through partnerships
• Growth of manufacturing locally
• Rotational Engineer program uses fresh grads to fill roles
• Product development support funding (SRED, IRAP)
• Access to a huge market next door (Toronto)
• Engineering staff at the City of Burlington are constant, fair, good to deal with, consistent

The following ideas about what can change and improve were put forward:

• Work hard to create a customer service culture at City Hall. Start at the top and trickle down. Help everyone feel good at the end of the day for what they did and how they did it.
• Change how work is assigned: Rather than having work assigned to whoever is next available, have the same person allocated to all permits for the same building so that the familiarity is there to increase speed and customer service rather than have so many different people involved each time and forcing them to start at square one and get up to speed.
• Advocate and influence with other government and regulatory agencies.
• Site plan vs. survey education – field trips and training
• Include copyright protection (not here now)
• Ombudsman backed by Council
• Better performance management of City staff with KPIs attached / measurements
• Consider CRM/Software solutions for better digitization/automation of processes as well as tracking
• Electronic file transfers of documents submitted
• Status on reports on file in less than 3-4 weeks / Customer Status reports conducted by Staff
• Lunch & Learns for Developers
• Exception approvals at the counter
• Staff to ask the question: how can we make this work?
• New City staff should have to have spent time in the industry first (externally)
• Leverage development around Go stations
• List of issues that are black/white – clear & automate (ex: building code)
• Personalization of website – “what are you here for today”
• Self-serve options
• Overall management / admin/ project management for applications
• Business concierge support
• More mixed-use service available without getting in car
• Better marketing and promotion of Burlington to businesses
• Need tax credit advocacy with Minister of Finance
• Review incentive programs to be more accessible
• Incentives to hire new grads
• Need a tech school in Halton (post-secondary)
• Ontario apprenticeship: training and tax credit (needs new process released)
• Increase limits on “Now Hiring” portable signs
• More affordable housing (for employees)
• Foreign worker depository
• All day Go train (24 hours)
• Transparency on timelines / status updates
• Be willing to refund processing fees if deadlines aren’t met by City

Mayor Meed Ward

Marianne Meed Ward during the Swearing in Ceremony in December.

Meed Ward reports that: “Overall the session provided a forum for this group of leaders to directly communicate with City leaders, and each other, helping ensure our businesses feel heard, valued and supported as critical parts of Burlington’s economic health and well-being.

‘”We are listening at City Hall, and we are thankful for all the insights and ideas that are helping us identify what we can do – or do better – do help our businesses grow and thrive.”

The next group to get the Red Carpet treatment and an opportunity to cut some of that Red Tape will be leaders and stakeholders from the real estate and development industries (May 1st) and on May 15th we will meet with some of our rural business owners to better understand their unique needs and challenges.

The idea certainly had merit. Some of the comment were damning – a sign that there are some serious problems at city hall. The comments (a couple were brutal) don’t get softened by the positive compliment that were voiced.

Media didn’t take part in the event. The Mayor chose not to allow media to hear what was said – one of the concerns was that people who represented a corporation might make a comment that would reflect poorly on that corporation – bad PR isn’t something the corporate sector invites.

‘You can hear what I have to say – but don’t attribute anything to me’ seemed to be the approach.

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Steve Clark: 'Ontario needs more housing, and we need it now.' - the government then took action.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 2nd, 2019



The first word we got on the massive changes the provincial government was planning to make in the way housing is provided came from a reader who was vacationing in Cuba.
It is a whopper of a media release and covers renters, people who want to own and the people who build the homes and apartments.  All backed up by 14 footnotes.  This was a major policy announcement.

Steve Clark, Minister of  Municipal Affairs and Housing said:

Steve Clark Minister

Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

“Young families are searching for their first home, close to schools, where they can build a life and raise children. Seniors are thinking about downsizing and want homes that meet their needs as they age, staying in neighbourhoods they love. College and university students need a place to live close to school while they study. So many people want to live where they can commute to their jobs easily, and get home to family and friends faster, so that they can enjoy their down-time.

“Everyone is looking for something different, and each person has a budget. The cost of buying a home is becoming out of reach for many and affordable rentals are too hard to find. Plus, the cost of housing is hurting Ontario’s economy, making it harder to attract investment and create jobs.

“Ontario needs more housing, and we need it now. It’s time for our government to take action.

“We must build smart and we must be flexible. Housing must be built in the right places, so we can maintain Ontario’s vibrant agricultural sector and employment lands, protect sensitive areas like the Greenbelt and preserve cultural heritage. Every community should build in response to local interests and demand, building a mix of housing to accommodate diverse needs.

“Government cannot address the housing crisis on its own. We can make it easier for municipalities, non-profits and private firms to build housing. We can help to boost supply and give people more choice.

“More homes, more choice outlines our government’s plan to tackle Ontario’s housing crisis and encourages our partners to do their part by starting now, to build more housing that meets the needs of people in every part of Ontario.


Housing chart 1 Infograph

This infographic details the realities of Ontario’s housing crisis. But how did we get here? To start, building housing takes too long and costs too much. There is red tape, unexpected changes and government fees that add years of paperwork and can also contribute tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of an average home. These layers of regulation and “not-in-my-backyard” attitudes make it hard to build different kinds of homes – the townhomes, mid-rises and family-sized apartments that the people need. Meanwhile, rents skyrocket because it is difficult and costly to build new rentals and to be a landlord.

“The province doesn’t build housing, but we can cut red tape to create conditions that make it easier to build housing and introduce policies that encourage densification. We can also make the most of infrastructure investments and encourage more density around major transit stations. We can do all these things while maintaining important protections for existing residents of stable communities, a vibrant agricultural sector, employment lands, the Greenbelt, our cultural heritage and the environment.”

There are additional news stories on this announcement.

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What did you do on Earth Day? Edge Imaging took care of part of the planet.

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 2nd, 2019



Climate change and how we are going to change the way we behave as inhabitants of this earth has become the issue for many companies that want to position themselves as socially responsible.

edgee staff 1

The Order Processing Team at Edge

For Edge Imaging, the Canadian school photography company, located in Burlington taking care of this planet is something they have been doing for nine years.

They use Earth Day as the occasion when every gets outdoors and picks up trash in the vast green space around its Burlington office. The company has created a tradition around involving its executives and employees in keeping the Earth clean, and it celebrated Monday for the ninth year in a row.

Edge full team

It was “All hands on deck at Edge Imaging on Earth Day.

“Being eco champions isn’t just something Edge talks about. We take it seriously and we know it’s on us to keep our space green and healthy,” says Edge Imaging CEO, Dan Boudreau. “This is why environmental sustainability is a main pillar in our corporate social responsibility platform. It’s good for the planet and our team gets to have some fun.”

Edge has a strong eco-oriented culture, and ensures that its actions line up with its values. All photos are printed on recycled photo paper, using a printer with a 100% carbon-neutral manufacturing process. In 2015, they were inducted into the Burlington Hydro Conservation Hall of Fame for retrofitting their head office and photo lab with sustainable light sources.

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City to hold Citizen Action Labs to get a better grip on just what role citizens should play in the setting of the agenda.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 1st, 2019



City Hall has decided to take a hard look at what exists in the way of Advisory Committees and who sits on them. A Citizen Action Labs has been created that will start with an online survey to study Citizen Advisory Committees.

The City of Burlington is reviewing Council-appointed Citizen Advisory Committees to determine the best way to use the knowledge and diversity that citizen advisory committees can bring to the city.

Throughout May, staff will be seeking input online and in-person from current citizen committee members and members of the public as well as researching how other municipalities use citizen groups for feedback and advice.


A budget review meeting in 2010 – well attended – took place a bit before the election. Problem with this meeting was that the budget had basically been decided upon by the finance people – the public was being asked to comment.

Budget public Angelo Benivenuto and Carol Gottlob

Citizen involvement in public issues runs from terrible to quite robust. Here Angelo Bentivegna  and Carol Gottlob, both candidate in the 2010 municipal election take in a budget meeting at which they were the only “public” at the meeting. It was a snowy night. Bee went on to win his ward seat in the 2018 election.

Citizen Action Labs are where people work together in small, welcoming groups to engage, discuss, share and explore new ideas.

Three Citizen Action Labs are planned. Current and past citizen advisory committee members and members of the public are encouraged to attend. Registration is required as there is a maximum capacity of 80 people at each session.

The registration link can be found at Burlington.ca/AdvisoryCommittees.

Citizen Action Lab – May 25, Saturday session – Mainway Recreation Centre – 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Citizen Action Lab – May 29, Wednesday afternoon session – Central Library – 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Citizen Action Lab – May 29, Wednesday evening session – Central Library – 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Current and past citizen advisory committee members and members of the public are encouraged to attend. Registration is required as there is a maximum capacity of 80 people at each session.
Online Survey

An online survey is available at getinvolvedburlington.ca/actionlabs for anyone interested. The survey will be available until May 14, 2019.

Once the information has been collected and analyzed, staff will share a report with City Council.

Citizen Lab poster

About Citizen Committees
The City of Burlington citizen advisory committees play a key role in providing advice and feedback to Council and staff on a variety of issues in the City.

The following is a list of the Council Appointed Citizen Advisory Committees:

• Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee
• Burlington Cycling Advisory Committee
• Burlington Downtown Parking Advisory Committee
• Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee
• Burlington Integrated Transportation Advisory Committee (ITAC)
• Burlington Seniors’ Advisory Committee
• Burlington Sustainable Development Advisory Committee
• Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee


• Audit Standing Committee
• Burlington’s Best Committee
• Burlington Mundialization Committee
• Committee of Adjustment
• Greater Bay Area Sub-Committee
• Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee
• Charter Action Team

“Keeping our fingers on the pulse of our community helps set us all up for success” said  Mayor Marianne Meed Ward . “We value the feedback we get from our residents and various committees, and we want to make sure Council and City staff receives that public input in the most effective way possible. Other municipalities use their citizen committees differently, so we want to learn from our own residents which ways they feel would be best for them and Burlington moving forward.”

Danielle Mantin COB

Danielle Manton delegating at a Board of Education meeting.

Danielle Manton, Manager of Committee Services who will be overseeing the data collection said: “The Citizen Action Labs are a new way to brainstorm, share ideas and discuss topics.

“We’re hoping this format will allow us to get as many new ideas as possible from participants and will form the basis of our engagement and research.

“The Labs will be run by a professional, independent facilitator who will ensure we get the best discussions and ideas from everyone. Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to go to getinvolvedburlington.ca/actionlabs to give us their feedback.

“We are excited to begin a new conversation with citizens and to further explore ideas on how we might provide advice to Council and staff differently than we are today.”

Survey location CLICK here

Jim Young

Jim Young

The use of Advisory committees has been a concern to some:  Jim Young had some very pointed observations that he made during a city hall delegation.  Well worth reading if what happens with the concept of citizen participation matters to you.

Jim Young column

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Public school board has a busy schedule during Education Week - contest for pictures posted. Could be fun.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 1st, 2019



With provincial funding for education taking a beating from the Doug Ford government the Halton District School Board has decided to celebrate Education Week from May 6-10, 2019 by focusing on innovative learning in action, and celebrate inclusivity and student and staff achievement.

The HDSB will celebrate through a different lens each day of the week to focus on the importance of schools, staff, families and the community working together to support the well-being and success of students.

Hammil + Miller

Stuart Miller, Director of Education is on the right – chatting with a teacher during a robotics event.

“Education Week is an opportunity to reflect on the exciting learning opportunities taking place across our Board and celebrate the many successes of our students and staff,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the HDSB. “We recognize that student success and well-being requires a partnership among schools, staff, parents/guardians and the community, and during this Education Week, we celebrate students and the entire network of people that support them each day.”

Monday, May 6 – #LoveMyHaltonSchool Social Media Contest: To kick off Education Week, students, staff, and parents/guardians are encouraged to share activities and initiatives taking place at their school on social media using the hashtag.

Take a picture – perhaps of the crossing guard that you like, or a teacher  that has really been helpful – something that expresses what you feel about your school and use the hashtag to publish it.

Tuesday, May 7 – Engagement & Achievement: The HDSB will highlight how students are engaged in their learning, school, and community, and how staff contribute to a collaborative learning environment.

Wednesday, May 8 – Stewardship & Resources: The ways in which students are provided with innovative and creative opportunities and supported through technology and resources within accessible and equitable environments will be explored.

Thursday, May 9 – Equity & Well-Being: Examples will be shared of how the HDSB strives to provide an inclusive and caring learning environment while advancing a culture of respect that supports the well-being of all students and reflects the changing needs of school communities.

The Board is proud to recognize the success of students through its annual Celebration of Student Excellence event on Thursday, May 9 at Garth Webb Secondary School (2820 Westoak Trails Blvd, Oakville), beginning at 7:30 p.m. One student per school is honoured for their excellence in academics, athletics, self-improvement, community work, citizenship or student leadership. A link to the livestream of the ceremony will be on the homepage of the HDSB website (www.hdsb.ca).

Friday, May 10 – Celebrating Excellence: Following the previous evening’s Celebration of Student Excellence, the accomplishments and successes of HDSB students and staff will be recognized.

Cafeteria crowd Nov 2018

Hundreds of parents crowded into Aldershot high school to learn more about the new iStem program to be offered in September.

The HDSB has a number of things to celebrate as the begin the process of ending one school year and thinking about the next year.  In September the iStem program will begin at Aldershot high school where more than 100 students will take part in an exceptional program that has the potential to be expanded throughout the Region.

iStem – a program that focuses on science, technology, engineering and matheatics.  All taught with a leaning towards entrepreneurship.

Numerous HDSB schools have organized events during Education Week that focus on student success. They include:

Nelson High School: Students will visit Schlegel Villages retirement community on Tuesday, May 7 to learn about employment opportunities in the health sector of long-term care.

A number of schools will be participating in the 14th annual secondary school student art exhibit, State of the Art, which will be held at the New Street Education Centre (3250 New St., Burlington) from May 8-10.

Created by Grade 9-12 students, the works of art incorporate painting, sketching, sculpture, photography and mixed media. The opening reception will be held Wednesday, May 8 from 6-8 p.m.

On Wednesday, May 8, McKenzie-Smith Bennett Public School, in Action will provide an information night for families to engage in wellness activities such as zumba and soccer and participate in a session with staff from Woodview Day Treatment Programs, who will speak about childhood anxiety.

Eastview Public School, in Oakville, will host a student-led assembly on Thursday, May 9 to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion. Students will read the novel You Be You and create art pieces representing themselves.

Education matters – without one you could be flipping burgers for the rest of your life or welcoming people at WalMart.  Graduate.

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

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 1st, 2019


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.

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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



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.

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

News 100 redBy Staff

April 30th, 2019



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.


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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



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

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

News 100 redBy Staff

April 29th, 2019



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.

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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



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.”


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'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



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.

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