City plans to upgrade the look of Civic Square - provide some shading.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

February 15th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

The city has plans to upgrade the look and feel of civic square and they are asking artists who have an interest in making the city a nice place to live to submit their ideas.

Upgrading the Civic Square has been one of those things the city hasn’t asked the citizens of the city to chime in on. They will get a chance to get their views in between May 13th and 27th.

CITY HALL Cobalt

The flag poles will be moved further up Brant Street opening up Civic Square.

The overall design has been determined and artists are being asked to come up with some ideas on what kind of shading there should be and what it could look like.

The competition closes on March 15th – for those that are artists there is all the detail you will want right here.

There is a fee of $115,000 for the artist(s) chosen to do the job.

In the two diagrams that follow the city sets out what will be put where in terms of the flag poles – the six are going to be upgraded to eight.

There will be additional furniture and some tidying up around the fountain.

Fig 2

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

The creation and installation of the artwork is a two phase process. First phase is a look at what has come in in the way of ideas; phase two will be narrowing down to a short list of artists who will be asked to provide a preliminary art work concept.

Fig 3

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

Civic Square will be undergoing a renewal project to improve the quality of Civic Square as an extension of Burlington’s downtown main street. The primary objectives are to improve accessibility and overall character and to better support the community and local downtown businesses.

o Addition of lighting and moveable seating,
o Replacement of existing clay brick pavements and drainage system,
o Overall grade to be raised to eliminate steps and improve accessibility,
o Perimeter concrete planter/seat walls to remain but seat caps will be replaced,
o Addition of new trees, moveable planters and other plantings,
o Relocate existing flagpoles and adding two (2) more for a total of eight (8),
o Existing clock and decorative water fountain to remain in place.

In the instructions to the artists we learn that: “The overhead shade structure(s) will be installed on the south side of Civic Square. Ideally, this shade structure should be comprised of two to three (2-3) separate canopies, each supported by an independent foundation. The shade structure(s) will complement other site amenities including the concrete planter/seat wall, moveable seating, lighting and custom paving to create a space that is welcoming and open to pedestrians. It is anticipated that these amenities will further encourage the casual use of the space.”

Under a separate tendering process, the City will procure the contracted construction for Civic Square and Brant Street renewal in June so that on-site work can begin in late June.

The Civic Square tender project will not include the construction of the shade structure however it will include a lump sum cash allowance for the construction of the shade structure footings. The cost for the construction of the footings is not part of the $115,000 for this commission, as it will be paid for out of the construction budget for the Civic Square Project.

The contractor for the Civic Square project is anticipated to be complete and off-site by end of September. The artist will be expected to install the shade structure in October/November 2019.

 

Estimated Project Timeline (2019)

Civic sq timeline

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ACCOB holds its second AGM - they are now a solid part of the arts infrastructure.

artsorange 100x100By Pepper Parr

February 15th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was a quiet but very successful evening for ACCOB – the Arts and Cultural Council of Burlington. It was their second Annual General Meeting – something many weren’t certain was ever going to take place eight years ago.

The first seed that grew into what exists today was put into the ground when Trevor Copp delegated at city council saying he wanted to be able to work in the city he lives in. Copp is a performing artist.

City council heard what Copp was saying and over time funding was found to do some research and create a plan. Much of the research was done by an admittedly well qualified researcher who is based in Hamilton.

Teresa Seaton, organizer of the Art in Action Tour, thinks through a response at one of the Cultural Action Plan sessions. She is one of 250 people organized as an Arts and Culture Collective in Burlington.

Arts people in the city took part in many Cultural Action Plan sessions when they were organized as as an Arts and Culture Collective. The early phase hard work has paid off.

A plan was put in place, ACCOB was formed and over time they were able to convince the city that they needed support within city hall. Funds were found for a culture manager who over a period of time was given funds to add a half time support staffer.

The organization has a bank account with money in it and is now ready to take the next step and create a Strategic Plan.

Bernadette Ward Oakville Arts Council

Bernadette Ward, the Executive Director of the Oakville Arts Council

ACCOB brought in a guest speaker, Bernadette Ward, the Executive Director of the Oakville Arts Council – an organization that has been operational since 2004.

There normally isn’t much in the way of questions after an AGM – unless there are a lot of concerns and complaints. There were a lot of very good questions at the Tuesday evening AGM.

Sharman with Angela Papxx

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman with Angela Pappariza, Manager Culture for the city of Burlington.

Paul Sharman made an appearance – he is probably the member of council who will prove to be their strongest supporter. Sharman is a council member who actually buys a ticket and attends events at the Performing Arts Centre. Ask him for comment on an opera and chances are you will learn far more than you expected.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan may well turn out to be a strong arts advocate as well; his parents met each other at the Student Theatre

Getting your art on the walls of the Office of the Mayor is impressive; does it count if you're married to him?

Cheryl Goldring with some of the art her husband hung in his office.

Cheryl Goldring, an accomplished artist in her own right, told the audience that she is in the process of putting together a fund raiser for the Performing Arts Centre in early April – she expects to involve something in the order of twenty different performing artists.

Sounds a little like the Blue Jeans Festival that was put on at BPAC in its early years. Her husband played the piano, admitting that he had missed several of the piano classes while Mike Wallace danced to the Gene Kelly tune Dancing in the Rain.

Goldring had a lot of questions for Ward, the Oakville Arts Council Executive Director – look for something from her in the months ahead. She can now make more of her profile as an artist and bring about a stronger appreciation and a better response to the arts in this city.

Tim Park and Kim Verrall at ACCOB

ACCOB president Tim Park with Kim  Verral.

Tim Park was returned as President and is serving as Treasurer until they can find someone to do the numbers work.

The task for the year ahead is to put together a strategic plan and work at maintaining their visibility in the community.  The web site has been upgraded,they have money in the bank, they are now recognized by the city as the group that will serve a critical role in the building more capacity for the arts community.  They also now have a strong working relationship with the Performing Arts Centre.

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If you want to get out with the kids on Monday - think about LaSalle Park where you can see the beautiful Trumpeter Swans.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

February 15th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

LaSalle Park in Burlington is home to the largest over-wintering population of Trumpeter Swans in Ontario.

swan wings wideOn Family Day, Monday, February 18 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. members of the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Group and the Trumpeter Swan Coalition will be on hand to introduce you to these magnificent birds that have fought their way back from extinction with the help of a group of dedicated volunteers.

Hear the Trumpeter Swans’ amazing stories and learn more about them from the team of women who band and tag the birds.

Bring your camera and take part on the photo contest. More details HERE

The event is free. All ages welcome.

The event will be held along the shoreline of LaSalle Park 831 LaSalle Park Road. Booths will be set up near the boat launch. Banders and taggers will be working in the beach area.

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Taking part in the decision making process that determines where new high tower buildings can be built is not a simple process.

ScobieNews 100 redBy Staff

February 15th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Gary Scobie attended a Local Planning Act Tribunal (LPAT) case conference meeting recently.

It was the follow up to a meeting at which he presented a lengthy document on why he felt the Reserve Properties appeal of a city council decision that permitted 17 stories the developer wants 24 – same as the one on the other side of the street.

The LPAT Case Management Conference was for the 409 Brant Street Appeal. Reserve Properties wants 23 storeys instead of the 17 storeys approved by Council in 2018. Reserve Properties wants to be able to go as high into the sky as Carriage Gate is going to go with their approved 24 story tower on the other side of James Street.

409 Brant imageScobie expects the location to be called “Twin Towers” should the Reserve Properties win at the appeal hearing.

Scobie had applied to be a Participant in the LPAT appeal back in January and he submitted his views to all Parties as required and filled in all the proper paperwork. Those views are the subject of an opinion piece Scobie wrote.

Yesterday the LPAT representative Chris Conti agreed with the Parties that they should all wait for the outcome of a pending trial in Toronto that will better define how LPAT functions going forward. The objective of the Case Management Conference was to set a date sometime in the summer for the next LPAT meeting on the Reserve appeal..

Scobie finds he is still a Participant in the appeal hearing, as far as he understands, but was told that his role may have ended with his submission. He apparently has no ability as a Participant to further expand or comment on the submission he made nor will anyone ask him any questions on the document.

Doesn’t sound as if the LPAT process does anything for citizens than the former Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) process did.

Related article:

Scobie’s presentation to the Local Planning Act Tribunal

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Trumpeter Swan photo contest - Monday - Family Day at LaSalle Park

Trumpeter swans x3

The pictures are awesome – they are really beautiful creatures and Burlington is home to hundreds of them.

The Trumpeter Swan Coalition in Burlington is committed to protecting the birds and their habitat – something that hasn’t always been easy in Burlington.

The Coalition is holding a gathering of those who want to observe and learn more about the birds on Family day at LaSalle Park.

The Gazette has partnered with the Collation to hold a photo contest.

There will be first, second, and third cash prizes of $100; $50 and $25.
Anyone can enter a photograph.

Two requirements:
The photograph has to be taken at LaSalle Park and it has to be taken on Family Day Monday, February 18, 2019

The event: Trumpeter Swan Day at LaSalle Park
11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

No pets please.

You submit your photograph in a digital format to:

swans@bgzt.ca

monogamy-swansPlease provide:
Your full name
Email address
Telephone number

Every photo sent in will be acknowledged.
Winners will be announced by the Trumpeter Swan Coalition in about a week after Family Day.

Updates will be published in the Gazette and on the Trumpeter Swan Facebook page.

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Has the issue on which the next federal election will be fought come to the surface? The issue is stinky.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

February 13th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Globe and Mail gets the prize for turning what might have been a relatively peaceful run-up to this October’s federal election into an exciting game of gotcha. Everyone is waiting to hear from Canada’s former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has remained silent to this point but is clearly stirring the pot.

Jody-Wilson-Raybould

No one really knows what happened – at some point Jody-Wilson-Raybould will have something to say and it will reverberate.

Having hired a heavy hitting legal beagle to represent her, it is only a matter of time until she starts singing publicly about what has been going on. Though that has not stopped just about everyone, least of all the politico’s, from heavily debating and already passing judgement.

If the Globe is right, this is about a decade-old bribe which SNC Lavalin paid Libyan dictator Gaddafi’s family in order to build public works there. Bribery and corruption are illegal for Canadian companies even if they do it off shore. The SNC executives responsible have all left the company, one had served time in a Swiss jail, and the company itself has been banned from obtaining UN contracts for a decade.

Quebec based Lavalin is one of the top-ranked engineering design firms in the world with operations in over 160 countries and employing thousands in Canada. Its operations cover the field from primary to service sector consulting and engineering services, including the Candu Energy nuclear reactor division, which it acquired from Atomic Energy Canada several years ago.

snc-lavalin

SNC Lavalin – has been a problem corporation for some time but always a big big hitter in Quebec.

Last fall Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPA) were made law in Canada, bringing us in line with US and UK corporate wrong doing legislation. A DPA, which has been under development for a while, is essentially a plea bargain whereby the guilty party acknowledges their wrong doing, pays a hefty fine and promises to be good from now on. And most importantly for everyone, it avoids a costly and uncertain trial.

We have been led to believe from the Globe articles that Kathleen Roussel, Canada’s director of public prosecutions wanted to take SNC to trial regardless of the DPA. And further that AG Wilson-Raybould was standing by her director of prosecutions. But the prime minister’s office or somebody else was pressuring the AG to change her stand and her mind.

Trudeay and Jodi

In better days – they were made for each other.

The PM claims that neither he nor his office ever directed the AG to go the DPA route and that he had told Wilson-Rayboult these kinds of decisions were hers and hers only. But then she was moved out of the AG position at the last Cabinet shuffle and given a lesser portfolio.

All of this leaves more questions than answers:

1. If he had every confidence in his AG, why did Trudeau shuffle her?

2. If he just wanted to shuffle his Cabinet, why send her to Veterans’ Affairs, which is considered a demotion?

3. Shouldn’t Trudeau have been prepared for disappointment and even hostility from his former AG for demoting her?

4. Wilson-Rayboult would have been instrumental in drafting the DPA, why didn’t she support it rather than a trial for the SNC case?

5. If it wasn’t the PM, who in the PMO was pressuring the former AG?

6. Was SNC-Lavalin also involved in pressuring the AG?

7. Clearly this issue would have been discussed extensively in Cabinet and among the PM and AG’s advisors – if she felt she couldn’t do what was right, why didn’t she resign then as AG, rather than now?

8. As AG, a powerful Cabinet position, why didn’t she just stand her ground – or at least have the conversation with the PM he said he was open to?

9. Who leaked the story to the Globe and if it was the former AG, wasn’t she breaching Cabinet secrecy and also breaking the law?

This story is far from over but everyone needs to keep their gun powder dry (for the firing squad) until there are some answers to these questions. I will be following up on this story in due course.

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

 

Background links:

Lavalin –     DPA –    Lavalin Other Crimes

Lavalin Background –     AG Talks –     MacLeans Story

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Province sends $57.6 million to the Region who spend it on the Wyecroft Road extension and and bridge.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

February 13th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If they had waited a day it could be seen as a Valentine from the province saying they really did love us.
The Region announced this afternoon that the provincial government is funding new infrastructure to relieve traffic in Burlington and Oakville

The provincial commitment is to fund the Wyecroft Road Extension and Bridge Project.

In July 2018, Regional Council approved this critical infrastructure project as the candidate to utilize the remaining funding of $57.6 million from the Move Ontario Quick Wins Fund.

Wyecroft Rd

Wyecroft Road will extend past Bronte and cross the Bronte Creek to lead on into Burlington.

Wyecroft Road currently ends at Bronte Creek and local traffic is diverted north to the QEW or south through residential neighbourhoods. The road extension and bridge crossing will now connect Burlington and Oakville over Bronte Creek and provide much needed traffic relief for the area.

“The Wyecroft Road Extension and Bridge Project will provide critical east-west connectivity over Bronte Creek between the City of Burlington and the Town of Oakville,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “I would like to thank the Provincial Government for this investment in infrastructure that will allow residents, businesses, cyclists, transit users, pedestrians, first responders and motorists to experience an immediate benefit from a multi-modal connective corridor.”

The funding of the Wyecroft Road bridge does mean that the grade separation for Mainway east of Walkers Line will be on hold for a little longer – unless of course the province wants to lay just a little more love on us.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward “ welcomes the announcement of the much needed project that will bridge Oakville and Burlington, providing greater access and transportation options for residents, and help reduce congestion on the QEW by providing additional east-west connections.”

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Resident explains why the high rise development in the downtown core can and should be brought to an end.

opinionred 100x100By Gary Scobie

February 13th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I am a citizen of Burlington who has taken an interest in the re-development of Burlington’s downtown, delegating at numerous Planning and Development Meetings and City Council Meetings in opposition to the over-intensification of Burlington, particularly our downtown.

I wish to participate in this LPAT appeal, speaking in opposition to the appeal by Reserve Properties Ltd. I have no direct pecuniary interest in this development. My written submission follows.

Gary Scobie

Gary Scobie

I have delegated at City Hall on this development proposal, on the 421 Brant Street proposal (now approved), on the 374 Martha Street proposal (now approved) and on Burlington’s new Official Plan (unapproved), so I have a history of engaging in development matters in Burlington. I am fully aware of the Places to Grow, Greenbelt and Metrolinx legislation in Ontario and the desire to intensify Southern Ontario municipalities, reduce urban sprawl and protect our natural and agricultural greenbelt.

I understand the minimum density targets assigned to areas designated as Urban Growth Centres and Mobility Hubs. I also understand that there are no building upper height regulations in Provincial legislation. Building height upper limit is left to municipalities and their zoning regulations. Thus municipalities have the obligation and the right to define how they will meet Provincial people/jobs density targets and where high buildings should best be situated to add to density while preserving the urban character and living environment for citizens.

I do take issue with the Provincial designation of Downtown Burlington as an Urban Growth Centre and the Metrolinx designation of the Downtown Burlington Transit Terminal as an Anchor Mobility Hub. They each bring density targets to our downtown that I feel are excessive. I believe that our new City Council will be debating the merits and validity of these designations and consulting with the Province on the ability to move the Urban Growth Centre elsewhere in Burlington and un-designate the Anchor Mobility Hub. I will reference these two issues further in my submission.

I will also reference our new unapproved Official Plan and how it has been used by developers and our former City Council to gain inappropriate building heights downtown while violating our current approved Official Plan. Our new City Council will also be debating amendments to limit height in this unapproved plan before sending it back to Halton Region for approval.

In actual fact, this appeal is not inconsistent with a Provincial Policy Statement and does not fail to conform to a provincial plan. But that is in itself a real problem. The policy statements and plans of the Province place no upper limits on building heights, so when the sky is the limit then there can be no violation or lack of conformity by a developer’s application that involves high rises. With no limits on height, no building adding density in a designated urban area would ever fail a provincial mandate or target. The density targets, whether within a Mobility Hub or Urban Growth Centre or not, can usually be met with mid-rise buildings. But developers like high rise buildings because their motivation is profit rather than public good. Public good (or bad) is just a by-product of the constructed building.

Brant looking north - Kellys

What a develop wants to build on the south side of James Street on Brant will dwarf city hall even further. Gary Scobie spoke at the LPAT meeting which is hearing an appeal of the 17 storey’s the city approved for the site – the developer wants 24 storeys.

Developers can dress their proposals up to look and sound pretty nice and say that the Province is demanding that they build high rises, but that is not true. The Province is simply asking municipalities to build to an area density target, not a site specific one. And yes, the target can be exceeded, but it is not mandated. My understanding is that most cities are well short of their assigned area targets, unlike Downtown Burlington which will reach its Urban Growth Centre Target well ahead of time. And there are no announced penalties for cities that do not meet target. So the Province’s targets are just that; targets that have no teeth behind them and leave the real work to the municipalities to figure it all out. I ask the Tribunal to let the City of Burlington do just that.

Let me use an analogy to make a point. Pretend we’re in a very small room that has a grid pattern of downtown streets on the floor, with electrical connections running along each street. The Province says heat the lower half of the room to a certain average temperature. Developers suggest that 150 watt incandescent light bulbs at most corners should do it. They each produce a lot of heat as a by-product of lighting them. But this creates high heat just at each location, while other parts of the room stay cool. It is inefficient, but it does eventually bring the average temperature up, but with hot areas at street corners and cool areas elsewhere. The average temperature is likely felt by no one.

light bulbs

How many light bulbs will it take for the decision makers to see the light?

The Planning Department and Council have a better idea. Use 40 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs not just at corners but also along some more of the downtown streets, so heat buildup at each bulb location is less, but more bulbs spread this lower localized heat around much more efficiently to bring the same average temperature as the developers’ solution, but spread more evenly across the downtown so more people actually feel the average temperature.

In real life, the 150 watt bulbs are high rises. The 40 watt bulbs are low rises to 4 storeys. The 60 watt bulbs are mid rises to 11 storeys. High rises concentrate people, parking and traffic congestion, shadowing and wind effect in high degrees at major corners. Low and mid rise buildings concentrate fewer people per building across a greater spread of the downtown, so congestion for traffic and parking is lessened because it is spread out in the wider area. There would be less shadowing and wind effect from lower buildings. The ability to fight a fire in such lower buildings would be much easier than to fight a high rise fire, lessening the danger to tenants. Both solutions can reach an area target, but the low to mid rise solution does it in a kinder and gentler way, without packing in hundreds of people in small ground area sites soaring to great heights just to give us a new skyline.

Of course neither solution would have to be considered if our downtown was freed from Urban Growth Centre and Anchor Mobility Hub designations and their growth targets.

City Hall BEST aerial

Quite where the city hall fits into the longer term development picture is not at all clear. There is a report in a file outlining what might be possible.

Getting back to this proposal, to build to match the height of the tower across the road (421 Brant Street) is simply using as a precedent a poor decision by our former City Council to over-reach in height its own current and proposed Official Plans, against the public outcry and the public good. The idea of the twin towers as a gateway to our iconic eight storey City Hall and its adjacent Civic Square is one great marketing scheme, but fails as suitable to this location. I believe it fails as suitable in any location in Burlington. A gateway is usually a structure far lower in height than 23 storeys. And no gateway is required to our City Hall. The approach along New Street, then James Street is a grand enough gateway.

I ask the Tribunal to keep in mind that the new City Council may succeed in removing the Urban Growth Centre and the Anchor Mobility Hub from the downtown, making a mockery of any claim that we must build this tall building here or anywhere downtown to conform to provincial policy and plan. The old Council assured citizens that no new single building creates a precedent. Yet developers seek to use precedent as a reason to build ever-higher (and in this case near twin) buildings and the OMB has in the past let precedent seep into decision-making. I request that the LPAT not be influenced by precedent-based arguments from developers. Using bad precedents will only produce a worse future.

The Urban Growth Centre can be moved by a municipality – Oakville did so in 2005. An Anchor Mobility Hub is required to have a dedicated rapid light rail connection with a Gateway Mobility Hub. There are no plans for an above-ground or subway rapid transit linkage connecting the Transit Terminal to the Burlington GO Station. Thus, it does not qualify as a valid Anchor Mobility Hub.

Boundaries set out for the Downtown mobility hub.

Boundaries set out for the Downtown mobility hub. Scobie argues that the criteria for a hub don’t exist.

 

Now to the factual reason that the Tribunal should deny this appeal and in fact, if within its power, reduce the height to a mid-rise limit. Our new Mayor, as Councillor for the Downtown in the previous Council, proved that we were on target in moving toward the 2031 density numbers with the current Official Plan and advocated for an easing of height limits that were proposed in the new Official Plan. With a new Council in place, with a majority of members who were elected advocating for such an easing, I am confident that they will support the Mayor in her advocacy for reasonable height downtown.The appeal height request and the previous Council decision to award 17 storeys height both fly in the face of the current approved Official Plan which designates a 4 storey height, moving to 8 storeys with negotiated community benefits. As do the density numbers which are proposed by the developer at 1135 units per hectare.

If we use a conservative average of 2 people/jobs per unit, this would translate to 2270 people/jobs per hectare, where the current Official Plan would allow up to an 8 storey building, roughly one-third as high and therefore holding approximately 700 people/jobs per hectare, still fairly dense and helping move toward the area target of 200 people/jobs per hectare of an Urban Growth Centre.

high profile 421

Opposite city hall on north side of James

409 Brant image

Opposite city hall on the south side of James. Developer wants same height as the other side of the street 24 storeys – city approved 17 storeys.

An eight storey building on this site would aid the target and impose a much less imposing structure on this neighbourhood. It would be a model to replicate in other downtown core locations that the Planning Department and City Council deem suitable to intensification toward target. It would also agree with the current Official Plan. These are reasons enough to turn down the appeal by the developer and allow the City to decide on height in the downtown core that is more in line with citizen wishes. If possible, I would recommend that the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal not only do this, but rule to uphold current City Zoning at this site if it is within its power.

This appeal is clearly in violation of the Official Plan of our municipality. The past poor decisions of City Council and the OMB on excessive intensification in our downtown cannot be undone, but they can serve as learning experiences to help guide our planning in the future to increase density, in a way that helps our downtown maintain its character and attraction without the over-congestion that comes with high rise after high rise appearing at each major corner and section assembled by developers.

Elizabeth Interiors - Brant Street sign

The former retail location is empty – developer has been given approval for 17 storeys – has appealed to allow 24 storeys.

Brant-and-James-Carnacelli-oroperty

Once a popular restaurant location – it will be redeveloped and become a 24 story condominium.

The history of treating each high rise application as a one-off decision in isolation without looking at future ramifications of the cumulative effect of successive high rise applications in a small area should end here. I’m asking the LPAT to consider this issue and support our municipality in its quest to grow its density in its own way, by rendering a decision that will promote this.

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Developer proposing 59 storey tower in Stoney Creek - is that a number coming our way?

News 100 redBy Staff

February 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Those who want a simpler, smaller more cohesive community might shudder just a bit when they learn of the three towers that New Horizons want to build in Stoney Creek.

Proposed for a site that will have three towers – 59, 54 and 48 storeys, respectively, on Frances Avenue near Green Road overlooking Lake Ontario

New Horison - Hamilton towers 3The massive development could add 1,836 units to the neighbourhood between the water and the QEW.

Burlington residents might begin to feel they are lucky that developments in this city will be at the mid twenty storey level.

New Horizons is the developer building the Bridgewater condominium site on Lakeshore Road at Elizabeth.  Completion date is not known – the topping off appears to be done.

The tallest structure in the three unit development is 22 storeys which is made up of two condominiums and a four star Marriott Hotel.

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Robert Douglas “Bob” Brechin passed on January 25th after a long struggle with Parkinson’s and Cancer.

News 100 blackBy Staff

February 12, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a statement released today from the Office of the Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said:

Our city has lost another highly-regarded leader of our community with the passing of Robert Douglas
“Bob” Brechin. He died on January 25th after a long struggle with Parkinson’s and Cancer.

Bob Brechin

Robert Douglas “Bob” Brechin.

A known family man and civic-minded career-man of 40 years at Dofasco, Mr. Brechin also served as an Alderman for Burlington City Council for 19 years, between 1978-1997, and was elected as a Halton Regional Councillor serving between 1991-97.

His work with Dofasco provided Mr. Brechin with a career that spanned accounting, sales, and international marketing and time as the director of a Canadian tin plate recycling council.

In addition to an illustrious career, Mr. Brechin was very active in the community, getting involved with the Hamilton and District Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Manufacturing Association in Exports, Canadian Exporters’ Association, Society of Management Accountants, and the Niagara Escarpment Committee in a variety of committee chair and board member functions.

He also volunteered his time with the St. Raphael Parish and Burlington Reuse Centre, as well as joined board and fundraising activities for the Hamilton/Burlington YMCA, United Way of Burlington, Hamilton- Wentworth, Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital, Burlington Art Centre, LACAC (now known as Heritage Burlington) and the Canadian Institute of International Affairs.

Mr. Brechin will be greatly missed by the residents of this city and all those he impacted through his service to the community and region.

On behalf of Burlington City Council, I want to express our gratitude for Mr. Brechin’s service to our city over the years and send my deepest condolences to Mr. Brechin’s wife of 67 years, Edith, his family and friends.

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Readers have an opportunity to give council the benefit of their creative thinking. Let’s help them do the job.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Yesterday the Gazette published an opinion piece on an opportunity for the current city council to take steps to ensure that Burlington got the kind of city manager it needs.

Mayor Meed Ward made a point of telling the public that council was going to take the time to get the job done right.

A Gazette reader commented as follows:

You have provided a good and thoughtful perspective on the current situation. There is a rare opportunity today for City Hall to be opened up, programs made understandable to citizens, performance made transparent and staff made both accountable and visible to the clients they serve.

ECoB debate at Baptist on New

Burlington has hundreds of residents who want to play a part in creating a city that fits the vision they have. This is one of the crowds that took part in a public meeting.

There are a number of readily available exemplars in the form of other jurisdictions that have adopted ‘open government’ reforms to make the bureaucracy responsive/understandable to the public, to greatly improve client service, to reduce unnecessary processes and boost overall function.

I would hope that this Mayor and this Council would look for best practices in other jurisdictions, as they exist quite close at hand – Toronto, Hamilton and Oakville to name just three.

Similarly, I would expect that Burlington might want to beg, borrow (or steal) the directly applicable expertise that is at hand, both in other municipalities and right in our own backyard.

However, to date (and it is early days), the signs have not been overly positive. Simple reforms such as staff contact listings, clear organizational charts and simple program guides remain on the ‘to do’ shelf.

ECoB Crowd Feb 22

This was a meeting for people interested in the process of getting elected. The desire for a better form of local government was there. The 2018 election did bring in a much different city council that can now tap into all the talent available.

More substantive improvements such as performance dashboards, responsive reporting and feedback vehicles and effective self-service portals are not even referenced. Indeed, the COB website remains one of the worst and most difficult to navigate of any municipality in the GTA (IMO). And recent staff additions appear to focus on communications and social media without any marked improvement in these areas either.

Time will tell whether this is the watershed Council many had hoped for. Early indications are not promising.

Let us not despair this early in the game.

Gazette readers have commented intelligently in the past; there is an opportunity now for those readers to do some research on just where they feel “open government” is practiced and set out some ideas that members of council can benefit from.

We look forward to publishing what we receive.

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LPAT is beginning to look like a pat on the head for some residents and then being asked to go away.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The business of making changes to the Official Plan that was adopted by city council on April 26, 2018 but not accepted by the Regional government has begun.

Changes to the Official Plan was a contentious election issue and resulted in a new Mayor and a decidedly different council. Five of the members are new.

Getting all the changes made is not going to be a simple one step process.

On Feb. 7, 2019, Burlington City Council voted to re-examine the policies in Burlington’s Official Plan, adopted in April 2018.  That plan was sent to Halton Region for approval. The Region sent the plan back with some questions without approving it.

Meed WardMayor Meed Ward has taken the position that “Once the Region identified areas of non-conformity, that stopped the clock on approving the new Official Plan and opened the plan up for any other matters of discussion. This allows our new City Council the time to define what areas we want to study, undertake that work, consult with the community, and send back a comprehensive plan. We expect that plan to truly reflect the needs, best interests and vision of the community and it’s elected Council.

The motion, approved by Council, directs Burlington’s Director of City Building to immediately commence a process to re-examine the policies of the Official Plan adopted April 26, 2018.

Proposed Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017

On January 15, 2019, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing released proposed amendments to the Growth Plan, 2017 which can be found here. The Province identified that the purpose of the proposed changes is to streamline growth management planning in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to achieve the following outcomes:

• More Streamlined Process: Provide greater flexibility so that municipalities will be able to move forward faster on the implementation of the Plan and meet the deadline to update Upper-tier and Single-tier official plans to conform with the Plan by July 1, 2022.

high profile 421

One of the development proposals that can resolve the housing availability. Nothing affordable about it.

• More Land for Housing: Respect the ability of local governments to make decisions about when and where to add new land for housing, to ensure that there is enough housing supply to meet demand.

• More Housing and Jobs near Transit: A more flexible framework for focusing investments around transit infrastructure will enable municipalities to plan to increase the supply of housing and jobs near transit faster and more effectively.

• Greater Local Autonomy and Flexibility for Municipalities: Ensuring that municipalities will have the ability to implement the Plan in a manner that better reflects their local context while protecting the Greenbelt.

A staff report regarding the proposed submission to the Province will be delivered to Planning and Development Committee on February 27th at 1 pm.

It is clear that there are going to be many stages in the re-writing of the plan that was approved in April of last year.  What we are seeing now is just the first step.  It will be interesting to see how Staff responds to the Direction.

The matter of streamlining the process has a number of Burlington residents who have been trying to take part in Tribunal hearings concerned.

One Gazette reader said in her opinion “the streamlining comes about because there is little or no resident participation.”

LPAT process graphicResidents are finding that they have no problem preparing comments – they are accepted and put in the file. But when they ask to be able to be a “participant” they are for the most part being denied.

Scobie

Gary Scobie delegating at city hall.

Gary Scobie asked to be a participant on the Reserve development for the former Elizabeth Interiors property.  The developer didn’t have a problem with Scobie and the city lawyer didn’t have a problem – so there he was – a participant.  Now what – Scobie doesn’t know – he might have played his role – submitting a document.

A resident of the Dynes Community was told they would not be recognized as participants. To date that group has spent $17,000 to date on legal counsel.

Being a participant you have no liability.  If you have status as a Party you could be sued if the developer thinks you have simply tried to delay an application from being approved.

With the OMB – a resident could come to the hearing – and as a participant could basically delegate.  The lawyers from both sides then had the opportunity to “cross examine the witness”.

The residents we have talked to get the feeling that the process is going to be “streamlined” because it will consist of lawyers talking to lawyers and arguing fine points of provincial policy. The “local” element and response seems to be missing.

Not a healthy process.

Will the city planners push for better public participation?

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All City of Burlington facilities closed and programs cancelled due to winter storm

notices100x100By Staff

February 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Enough said the decision makers at city hall.

As of 4 p.m. today, the City of Burlington is closing all city facilities and cancelling all city-run programs and rentals for Tuesday, Feb. 12. The City will work with sport user groups and renters to reschedule times.
Residents are strongly encouraged to avoid travelling as the roads are unpredictable as the city’s snow-fighters plow, sand and salt the primary roads.

Snow fall - Joe Dogs Feb 2-15 001

Hospitality services taking a beating today.

All vehicles parked on the street must be removed and parking exemptions are void. Failure to remove vehicles from residential roads could result in being ticketed or possibly towed to allow snow plows and other heavy machinery to safely navigate the narrow streets.

If residents notice a vehicle on their street, they are encouraged to kindly ask the owner to remove the vehicle or call Parking Control during business hours at 905-335-7816 (Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.) or after-hours, Halton Regional Police Service at 905-878-5511. (Ask for “dispatch” and police will send a parking officer).

Residents are also asked for their patience as clearing all 1,900 km of roads can take up to 24 hours and 850 km of sidewalks can take up to 72 hours to clear.

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City Planning and Development Committee meeting cancelled.

Newsflash 100By Staff

February 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Planning and Development Committee scheduled for this evening – Tuesday February 12th has been CANCELLED. It will be rescheduled.

A Statutory meeting on the Lakeside Village Plaza was on that agenda.  There are many people wanting to delegate at that event.

Lakeside village plaza proposal

The proposed plan was just a little too much for most people in the neighborhood. Has the developer heard what the residents thought?

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If you park on the street - you might find a parking ticket on the vehicle. Snow day - no street parking.

notices100x100By Staff

February 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city has a message for those who are able to or have to stay at home because of the weather: Don’t park your car on the street – give the snow plow operators a chance to do their job.

An accumulation of 15-20cm is expected The city will be concentrating on Primary and Secondary roads during the snowfall.

Please do not follow snow plows too closely or pass them when they are clearing the roads. Vehicles parked on-street during a snowfall and prior to clean up operations may be subject to ticketing or towing.

Snow plows - tandem on Fairview

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Second information session on private tree bylaw to take place February 26 - bylaw becomes effective March 1st in Roseland community.

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

Second information session on private tree bylaw to take place February 26 – bylaw becomes effective March 1st in Roseland community.

The City of Burlington’s second public drop-in information session on the Roseland Private Tree Bylaw pilot is set for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Central Arena’s auditorium.

The first drop in session took place at LaSalle Park, about as far away as one could get from where the impact of the bylaw is going to be felt.

The Private Tree Bylaw will come into effect on March 1, 2019, only within the Roseland community area, for two years. Later this year the city will begin the process of public engagement on the possibility of implementing a citywide private tree bylaw.

Appleby Village - trees on Pineland

These trees in the east end of the city are at the edge of land that a developer wants to put two apartment towers on – the trees would be cut down and replaced.

The pilot project aims to protect private trees with diameters larger than 30 cm, historic and rare tree species from damage or destruction.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to attend to learn more about how the bylaw will protect Burlington’s tree canopy and how it will impact their homes and businesses.

Businesses such as landscapers, pool companies, homebuilders, general contractors and tree companies are also encouraged to come and learn about the bylaw.

The first information session was held earlier in the month specifically for Roseland residents. Approximately 25 people attended the session.

Tree Guelph line close up -no name

Private property – private tree. This type of thing would not be possible under a private tree bylaw – without something in the way of consequences.

About the Private Tree Bylaw
No person can injure, destroy, cause or permit the injury or destruction of a tree with a diameter of 30cm or greater or of a tree of significance (historic or rare).

To read the full bylaw, including information on permits, exemptions and fines, visit Burlington.ca/PrivateTree.

Examples of exemptions include:

• Trees with a diameter of less than 30cm
• For the purpose of pruning in accordance with Good Arboricultural Practices
• For emergency work
• If the tree has a high or extreme likelihood of failure and impact as verified or confirmed by an Arborist or the Manager
• If the tree is dead, as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate
• If the tree is an ash tree (due to the Emerald Ash Borer), as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate
• If a tree is within two metres of an occupied building
• For more exemptions, visit Burlington.ca/privatetree

Willow tree wood

This will tree was taken down in |Spencer Smith Park because it was thought to be diseased and in danger of falling down. No permit was needed.

Permits
A person wanting to remove a tree with a diameter larger than 30 cm or of significance can apply for a permit online by visiting Burlington.ca/privatetree.

Fines
Minimum fine is $500. Maximum fine is $100,000.

Public Information Session
Residents and businesses are invited to attend an information session on the Private Tree Bylaw pilot on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Central Arena (auditorium), 519 Drury Lane, Burlington.
The session will allow residents and businesses to learn about the Private Tree Bylaw and how it will impact their homes, business and neighbourhood by speaking with city staff including members of the Forestry Department.

For those who are unable to attend, more information can be found at burlington.ca/privatetree.

In comments from the Office of the Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “I know from talking to residents that there are many people in our city who are passionate about our trees. Their benefit extends far beyond the beauty they provide. Their ability to mitigate flooding and absorb pollution is tremendous. They are a critical part of Burlington’s green infrastructure; we need to protect them and that’s what we believe this Private Tree Bylaw will accomplish.”

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry explains that: “Every tree matters. Our trees are under constant threat from climate change, weather-related storm events, invasive insects and diseases, as well as people. The benefits trees provide to all of us are critical such as air quality, shade, and carbon sequestration. We are working hard to protect trees, including encouraging preservation and replanting to restore lost canopy. It takes decades for the lost benefits of one mature tree to be replaced. Together, we can keep Burlington green and healthy which benefits us all.”

GreenUp 2017 tree plant

When large numbers of new trees have to be planted scores of volunteers show up.

There are those that are having problems accepting that the city can tell them what they can do with trees on their property. Understanding that a tree is not a person’s property but a piece of nature that they have become stewards of while they are owners of the property. As a steward their role is to do everything they can to ensure the tree is cared for and allowed to grow to its full maturity and serve the environmental needs of the wider community.

One can no longer cut down a tree just because one no longer wants to rake the leaves up in the fall.

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This city council has an opportunity to bring about the changes that are really needed at city hall.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

February 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

MMW-arms-out-thank-you-2-300x198

With power in her hands – Mayor Meed Ward has an opportunity to really lead.

When newly elected Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward had the Chain of Office placed around her neck on December 3rd, she told the audience that she had some news she would release the following day.

The next day city hall announced the dismissal of city manager James Ridge.

Commisso alone

Interim city manager Tim Commisso.

While there was a Deputy City Manager, this new city council wanted an experienced city manager in place and entered into a short term agreement with Tim Commisso to serve as an Interim City Manager for a period of six months and announced that council would begin the process of finding the next full time city manager

Burlington has gone through four city managers in an eight year time frame.

Former Mayor Rick Goldring dismissed Roman Martiuk. The city then hired Jeff Fielding who left the city of London to come to Burlington.

City manager Jeff Fielding is about to significantly reorganize the senior levels at city hall. will Council let him do it?

Former City manager Jeff Fielding did his best to significantly reorganize the senior levels at city hall. When a better offer came along he left.

City staff needed time to get used to the energy and drive that Fielding brought to the city. After less than two years a head-hunter discovered Fielding and introduced him to Naheed Nenshi,  Mayor of Calgary – those two were a match made in heaven.

Fielding resigned and the city was once again looking for a city manager. They brought in Pat Moyle, who was a retired CAO for the Region of Halton to Burlington.

Moyle saw the city through the August 2014 flood and kept the city on track while the search for the next city manager took place.

Council settled on James Ridge who came to Burlington from British Columbia. Ridge was a good fit for the Goldring council; – he wasn’t a fit for then ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward.

Ridge 4

City manager |James Ridge defined his job as protecting his staff rather than holding them accountable. In one memorable memo he told staff that he “had their backs”.

Ridge is reported to have told a person he knew well at city hall that if Meed Ward won he would not be the city manager for long. That proved to be true.

There has been no word yet on if there have been any meetings on what the process of looking for a new city manager will be.

In a detailed book on the Premiership of John Robarts, who was Premier from 1961 to 1971, Steve Paikin reports that in 1968 Robarts “created one of the most important advisory bodies in his entire premiership.”

John Robarts - one of the best Premiers the province ever had: knew how to balance a budget.

John Robarts – one of the best Premiers the province ever had.

Robarts had been convinced that the province had grown to the point where it needed more qualified people in its senior ranks and created a Commission on Government Productivity that helped set the framework for an administration that has served the province exceptionally well.

The Commission wrote ten reports and lasted well beyond Robarts’ years as Premier. It submitted ten reports.

The Gazette is not suggesting that Meed Ward and her council create a commission that takes a decade and writes ten reports but she might want to give serious consideration to looking for outside advice on what the structure of a municipal government should – could look like in these changing times.

The last time any advice was given to Burlington’s city hall it didn’t get much in the way of a professional reception.

Shape Burlington logoThe Shape Burlington report set out what was wrong with city hall and what was needed in the way of change. Written by John Boich and former Mayor Walter Mulkewich who were served by a board of advisors, Senior city hall staff at the time didn’t want the report published – that wish wasn’t granted – they then wanted some changes in the wording.

Jogn Boich - co-chair of the Shape Burlington Committee died in 2011

John Boich – co-chair of the Shape Burlington Committee died in 2011

Asking the late John Boich to revise strongly held views was not a wise response. In terms of culture and the way city hall has chosen to serve the public that pays them – here hasn’t been much of a change. City managers have taken the view that their role is to protect their staff rather than consistently hold them accountable for the quality of the work they do.

It should be possible to find a consulting firm (not the one that foisted that 25 year Strategic Plan on the city), to do a comprehensive report in three months and then meet with council to expand on their views and recommendations.

city hall with flag poles

There is an opportunity to change the way city hall is currently organized – too many silos as well as significantly change the culture. Shape Burlington was the start.

If the city is  ever going to get to be run properly they might as well take the time to do it right. There are structural issues that need attention and there are cultural issues that need to be worked on.

Let us not make this a missed opportunity.

Salt with Pepper are the views,musings and opinions of the Gazette Publisher.

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TEC thinks they now have a true advocate for their cause.

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Tyandaga Environmental Coalition (TEC) continues to focus on the issue of Meridian Brick’s planned development (clear cutting and quarrying the North Aldershot East Quarry in ward 1.

During the election they focused on getting their story in front of every candidate – a mammoth task with 11 people running for the ward 1 seat.

Graphic of TEC quarry

The quarry operation was part of a corporate amalgamation and was re-named – Meridian Brick.

“TEC was delighted” with the outcome at the Mayorality level – they needed some time to get a sensed as to where the new Council member for the ward stood on the quarry issue.

They are now reviewing/resetting their strategy as a result of the new leadership and senior staffing changes at city along with the change in policies and legislation.

In November, 2018 TEC members had an introductory meeting with MPP Jane Mckenna who is open to meeting again.

TEC stop quarry expansion Jul17

Tyandaga community organizes to prevent the clearing of an estimated 9000 trees behind their homes.

On February 6th, members of TEC met with Councillor Galbraith. It was an introductory meeting at which TEC requested that he and the City take the lead and determine a solution that would benefit all involved and stop the clear cutting.

Galbraith slight smile

Ward 1 city Councillor Kevlin Galbraith

“We were pleased to hear that this community matter is a priority for Galbraith.  We expect he will speak about this at his upcoming ward meeting which will take place on Wednesday February 13 from 7-9pm at NUVO Network, 1295 North Service Road, Burlington.”

Note that due to ongoing renovations, the front door at NUVO Network is not in use – parking and entrance are at the back of the building.

You can find his contact information on the Galbraith website: https://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/councillor-kelvin-galbraith.asp

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Rivers: Universal pharma-care a no brainer - will save the country $8 billion as well.

 

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

February 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We’ve seen the numbers. Canadians spend almost $30 billion a year on some 600 million prescriptions. And we know we could save as much as $8 billion by transitioning to a universal nation-wide single-payer system. It’s a no-brainer, right?

Tommy Douglas

Tommy Douglas – advocating for universal health care.

What would a universal program look like? It could be modeled on Canada’s universal health care system. In fact that would make it the perfect complement – administered by the provinces and funded jointly by both levels of government. The provinces already have a seniors’ drug program in place, and Ontario even had an OHIP+, covering those youth without a private health plan.

But to go that route, the provinces would have to agree among themselves on the universality and portability aspects. And they’d have to agree with the federal government on their joint responsibilities and cost sharing. That kind of deal might have been do-able back when the feds and most of the provinces shared a common political stripe, but with national partisan bickering increasing in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election, it won’t likely happen this year.

Ford at joseph-brant-hospital-doug-ford

Doug Ford at the Joseph Brant Hospital

For starters, Ontario, which is preoccupied with cutting or ending former Liberal programs has little interest in adding anything resembling a new or expanded social program, especially one which might lead to increased taxes. And cost-sharing discussions with a federal government currently being sued over carbon taxes is definitely a non-starter.

On the other hand there are good reasons for the federal government to implement a cross Canada program all on its own, given federal jurisdiction in the management of pharmaceuticals in this country.

One might expect the provinces to welcome a comprehensive program, funded at the federal level, saving them the costs of current provincial drug programs. But provinces are always wary about federal intrusion in what they see as their areas of responsibility, particularly in Quebec, so it’s not that easy.

How can we afford it? Well folks we are already paying the costs…and more. The existing patchwork of federal and provincial government subsidized programs is being funded through your tax dollars. On top of that, there is the cash we dole out at the pharmacy, the subscriptions to private drug plans, and the lower earnings accompanying a work place drug benefit. And that doesn’t count the costs to both the health system and work places for people who can’t afford to fill their prescriptions and end up just getting sicker.

It’s what we learned after moving to single-payer universal health care. We can’t afford not to have Pharma care. The four to eight billion dollar savings estimates may be speculative but it’s clear the savings won’t be zero. Efficiencies will be gained as competing pharmaceutical programs are reduced. Lower prices should be expected by negotiating for larger orders and buying in bulk. And then, of course, there is all that drug and drug insurance company profit.

Big pharma

Profits for the pharmaceutical industry are among the highest in the world.

Besides partisan politics at the provincial level, the other obstacle to implementation comes from lobbying by the Canadian patent drug industry and its international parents. They have become wary of efforts like Pharma care to compromise their profits in the nation with the highest drug prices on earth, after the USA. So they have offered to voluntarily hold the line on drug price increases over the next decade.

Their offer, which they estimate at $26 billion has been spurned by the federal government and for good reason. One has only to look at countries like New Zealand for inspiration. They manage to keep drug prices as low as one tenth of those here.

Pharma care was an integral part of Tommy Douglas’ vision for the nation’s first medicare program which he enacted In Saskatchewan. It was also a component of the original plan for universal national health coverage which the Pearson government introduced in 1964. The federal Liberals, in 1997, campaigned on a pledge to develop a plan for the implementation of universal Pharma care but failed to deliver.

Layton_Quebec

Jack Layton won almost everything in Quebec in the 2011 election. That let Stephen Harper form a government with the NDP serving at the Opposition.

Only in 2004 had Paul Martin finally secured landmark inter-jurisdictional agreements for a number of social programs, including universal Pharma care. But dithering and being caught up managing fallout from the Liberal Sponsorship scandal took its toll. In 2006 Martin’s minority government fell thanks to Jack Layton’s NDP, and with it so did our hopes for universal Pharma care.

Stephen Harper wasted no time giving any more time to universal Pharma care. Tommy Douglas must have shuddered in his grave knowing that his own party had helped deprive Canadians of Pharma care for the next decade and a half. It was only last year that the Liberals announced setting up an advisory committee to plan for a national drug plan.

scheer mute

Scheer hasn’t had much to say on a universal health care plan.

And Trudeau’s own finance minister mused that it might require means testing for income, thus ending dreams of universality. He clearly needs a primer on what the term Pharma care really means. And so does opposition leader Scheer, who, like Harper before him, has been mute on the idea, except for partisan attacks on the person leading the advisory committee.

And if Scheer wins the next election… there may well be somebody else writing this column in fifteen years and she’ll be asking … It’s a no-brainer, right?

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province. He developed the current policy process for the Ontario Liberal Party.

 

Background links:
Global Pharmacare –     Pharmacare –    National Program

Drug Prices Deal –     Advisory Committee –     Scheer

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Pasquale Paletta dies at the age of 87 - funeral on Monday

News 100 blackBy Staff

February 10TH, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward issued the following statement on behalf of city council on the death of Pasquale Paletta:

“I and many residents of Burlington are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Pasquale Paletta. Our condolences go out to Pasquale’s family.

ergr

Pasquale Paletta

Pat, as he was affectionately known, donated generously to health care organizations which has greatly benefited all our residents. The City of Burlington has also been a recipient of his family’s generosity through numerous contributions including an addition at Carpenter Hospice, Tansley Woods Community Centre and a contribution to Paletta Mansion allowing the early twentieth century mansion to remain in public hands.

Pat’s many business interests through his hard work, perseverance and vision, have all contributed to the growth and prosperity of Burlington. His incredible legacy as a self-made businessman will continue to carry on now through his family.

Mr. Paletta has left us a great legacy that will last for years to come.”

PALETTA_logo1The legacy is undoubtedly impressive – what is even more impressive was the relationship between the sons and “Pat”. In the lobby of the head office, before it was severely damaged by a fire, there hung a picture of Pat, which Angelo explained to an audience once, was their Mona Lisa – “we genuflected every time we came into the building”.

Everything the boys learned when they were young, was at the hands of their father. He was the one who made the decisions on which properties to buy, he was the one who created the strategy and took the risks.

Paletta- dad + the fourThe skills the boys have and the business acumen they developed came from a father who came to this country with very little and grew it. He prospered and gave back to the city that was home to him.

From an obituary we learn that in 1953 Pat purchased his first animal which was the beginning of the empire. In 1954, Pat, his father and brothers built their first meat packing plant in Hannon. In 1964 they purchased property at Appleby Line and QEW in Burlington and opened a federally inspected meat packing plant.

Paletta_intlBy 1983 he built the business to become the largest private meat packer in Eastern Canada. In the early 1970s Pat vertically integrated into livestock production by starting a beef feedlot and crop production to supply livestock to the meat packing plant, becoming the largest feedlot in Ontario. He also fed cattle in Western Canada and US.

In 1967 Pat started the real estate division which has prospered to owning lands across Ontario and becoming the largest land holder and developer in the Region of Halton and City of Hamilton combined.

Funeral Mass on Monday, February 11th at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, 2016 Blairholm Ave., Burlington. Interment at Our Lady of Victory Mausoleum in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Pasquale Paletta was 87.

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