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Appeal Support for people who want to be involved in LPAT hearings dries up June 30th.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 22, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This will come as a bit of a jolt to anyone who wants to be involved in appeals to decisions made by city council on development applications.

A Gazette reader sent us a notice she got from the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre advising her that: “The Government of Ontario has made a decision to close the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre (LPASC). LPASC has until June 30, 2019 to wind down the business.

LPAT process graphic

So much for process – how do people navigate through the paper work and the procedures?

Effective immediately, LPASC will no longer be accepting new requests for professional services from the public. During this wind down period, LPASC is committed to continuing to serve, to the best of its ability, those clients who have retained its services. LPASC staff will be in contact with those clients with further details shortly.

If you have any questions, please send an email to info@lpasc.ca <mailto:info@lpasc.ca> or call 1-800-993-8410.

The questions should also be directed to Burlington’s Member of the provincial Legislature.  You might ask just how this decision came about.

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The road to riches you may have been looking for might be the one that gets you to Hamilton for a Dragon's Den audition.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 22nd, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you are waiting for the world to discover you and the great idea you have – your time may have come.

dragons den hamilton audition posterThe producers of the CBC hit television program DRAGONS’ DEN will be holding open auditions in Hamilton looking for the next big ‘thing’ on Saturday March 16, 2019 .

Entrepreneurs from across the country have a fresh chance to enter the DRAGONS’ DEN in a bid to score some high- powered financial backing for their business ventures.

DRAGONS’ DEN gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of wealthy Canadian business moguls – the Dragons. Successful pitchers will have a chance to earn real investment – from the Dragons’ own pockets! They’ll be looking for the biggest and best deals from coast-to-coast.

For more information on how to prepare for auditions, reference the Cheat Sheet, https://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/blog/audition-cheat-sheet .

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Turns out the title is Interim - but no one is saying why Acting ever got used.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 21st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It looks as if the Interim is still the Interim and not the Acting.

Tim - Tanner FinanceDuring the Capital Budget Standing Committee meeting today Tim Commisso was addressed as the Interim City Manager. A couple of chuckles were heard from the Staff Section of the council seating.

No one has said anything about how the title “Acting” got attached to Commisso’s name – clerical error perhaps?

The budget meeting went exceptionally well.  The performance put in by Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte on handling two very complex financial issues – Information and Technology and the Fire department, were lengthy but very well done.

Shawna askingThe financial requirement for Information Technology was in the millions and brought to light some serious issues that were not known or discussed at anything length at previous budget meetings.

This council is made up of younger people who are not afraid to ask questions and id they aren’t comfortable they ask a follow up question.

Lisa Feb 4

Budget Committee Chair Lisa Kearns

Budget Committee Chair Lisa Kearns was able to match the staff member explaining the technology word for word – she has been down that road before. They also managed to take a decent amount of money out of the Capital budget – they are determined to get any tax increase below 3% – given the rate at which they moved today – you can think in terms of something well below that 2.99% Mayor Meed Ward put on the table.

There is a different tone from this council.

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The political assassination of Patrick Brown: a perfect trifecta: mutineer-minded staff, a treacherous caucus and a damning news story.

 

“First I want to say these allegations are false. Categorically untrue. Every one of them.” (Patrick Brown, CTV News- January 24, 2019)

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

February 20th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

Part 4 of a four part article

patrick-brown

Patrick Brown is made leader of the Progressive Party.

Sir Isaac Newton taught us that what goes up must come down. But that doesn’t always mean the faster you climb up the political ladder the faster you’ll tumble down. Though it did for Patrick Brown, if being ‘down’ includes ending up as mayor of the sizeable city of Brampton, instead of premier.

Over a year has passed now since Brown was forced out as Ontario PC leader. And if, as he contends, this was a political assassination by his own party, the question is why nobody but me is talking about it. The entire issue has virtually disappeared from the mainstream news. Perhaps it’s because the PCs are able to do a better job of changing the message than their Liberal colleagues. So maybe we’ve got this pro-liberal media bias thing wrong.

Just look at how a single speculative allegation in the Globe and Mail, about the prime minister’s office and the federal Attorney General (AG), has led to resignations, including that of the second most powerful person in Justin Trudeau’s government – Gerald Butts.

News is what’s in the newspapers. But there is zero evidence that anything illegal or even improper happened. Denials abound of direction-given and pressure-applied to the AG, and SNC is still going to court rather than getting its plea bargain. The only story here is how the media and opposition parties are colluding to ruin Trudeau’s chances in the upcoming election.

Brown hounded out of Queen's Park

Brown being chased by media after announcing his resignation as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

There are troubling similarities with regard to the CTV report which ended Brown’s leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party. The allegations that Brown, the teetotaler, had plied an under aged girl with booze for sex were false on at least a couple of counts. For one thing the girl wasn’t underage and she admitted that the sex had been consensual. It was an inaccurate story which the network retracted, amended, and corrected; and over which Brown is now suing them for eight million big ones.

If this wasn’t a total conspiracy it sure looked, smelled and behaved like it. No sooner had the CTV story broken than Brown’s key caucus members convened for a conference call, without Brown. And when Brown finally got wind of the call and joined in, they had one message for him – just resign and now. They weren’t interested in his side or the story. They had the smoking gun so who needed to wait for the finger prints to come back from the lab.

Then there were the staff resignations, almost on cue in a perfectly orchestrated pincer movement – the perfect trifecta for an almost instantaneous bring down. His three top advisors led the stampede with…“Earlier today, all three of us became aware of allegations about Patrick Brown. After speaking with him, our advice was that he should resign as Ontario PC Party leader. He did not accept that advice.”

alykhan-velshiAlykhan Velshi, Brown’s chief of staff is a brilliant 30-something lawyer and policy analyst with credentials from the London School of Economics. He spent his formative years developing his skills as a neoconservative, first at the American Enterprise Institute and the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, then as a political operative in the government of former PM Stephen Harper.

Velshi has an impressive political resume, working in Harper’s office and also advising ministers John Baird and Jason Kenny. In fact Brown had hired him on the strength of his time with Kenny. And Brown should have known that was going to be trouble. Kenny, the ultra-conservative, and Brown, the political centrist, never saw eye to eye, particularly after Kenny virtually blackmailed the MP Brown into voting against his will on an issue.

And Velshi is as far right wing politically as Brown is firmly in the center of today’s political world. Velshi had been responsible for developing the Tory opposition strategy to Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s ‘Green Tax Shift’ carbon tax proposal back in the mid 2000’s. How was he now supposed to get behind Brown’s policy of implementing a comparable carbon tax?

But Velshi swore up and down that he was on-side with fighting climate change and a carbon tax. That would have been a 180 degree turnaround from his earlier days peddling fellow ultra rightist Ezra Levant’s oxymoronic notion of ‘ethical oil’. But he was not the only obviously disingenuous Tory signing onto Brown’s policies.

Brown PG-cover-1-227x300In fact almost all of caucus officially supported Brown’s ‘People’s Guarantee” which was endorsed at the party’s November 2017 policy conference. Though Velshi’s previous mentor, Albertan Jason Kenny, stormed out of the conference once he realized that a carbon tax was one of those policies.

There is no more reasonable explanation for what happened to Brown than the way he himself penned it in his book. If it wasn’t a set up, then we’ve all been watching too much TV, or too little. This was a perfect trifecta: mutineer-minded staff, a treacherous caucus and a damning news story.

Almost immediately after the CTV report Brown became a toxic commodity – an outcast ironically from the very party he had restored out of the ruins left him by former leader Tim Hudak. Brown was eventually evicted from caucus, disallowed candidacy to run again as MPP, and even refused the opportunity to run for Chair of Peel Region after Ford cancelled that election. Kathleen Wynne had been treated better.

Brown’s book may help identify the ‘how and why’, but it might take another book to identify the ‘who’ – who were the actual manipulators of this conspiracy. Doug Ford ended up the big winner  – he wasn’t even in caucus back then. Carolyn Mulroney picked up some of his staff, but lost her bid anyway in the leadership campaign. And pretenders to the throne, Vic Fedeli and Christine Elliott, were left just out of the winners circle once again.

Brown’s former chief man Alykhan got his old job back working for interim leader, Vic Fedeli, until the provincial election when he got himself sweet-hearted into a plum job at Ontario Power Generation. Except that, in a puzzling move, Ford’s own chief of staff indirectly fired Alykhan before he’d even sat down at his new desk.

Perhaps, like the Mafia, the Ontario PCs like to bury the bodies of their worn out operatives themselves. And on that count , despite the law suits, this whole affair was just an internal thing, a PC family matter.

Maybe that is the real reason why it’s not in the news anymore?

Background material:

Brown Denial –     Insane Month –    Brown Defence Statement

Brown’s Book –      Ethical Oil –     Alykhan Velshi

Fired from OPG

 

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.

Previous parts of the four part article.

The political take down of Patrick Brown – Part 1

Rivers on Patrick Brown – He said – she said – Part 2

Rivers on Patrick Brown – Part 3

 

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Did you take any pictures of the Trumpeter Swans at LaSalle Park on Family Day?

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 20th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you were one of the several hundred people who spent some time on Family Day – Monday at LaSalle Park and you took some pictures you think are pretty good – make a point of entering them in the photo contest.

More details in the attached news story. Deadline for entries is 10:00 pp.m., Friday February 22nd.

Send your entries to

swans@bgzt.ca

Details on photo contest sponsored by the Gazette in partnership with the Trumpeter Swan Coalition.

Trumpeter swans take center stage at LaSalle Park on Family Day.

There were some very good pictures taken – one of the many is set out below.

wings up

This picture was taken by a Gazette staff photographer.

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Getting a budget done - not all that easy for the five first timers.

Budget 2018 ICONBy Pepper Parr

February 21st, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Just how does the city budget get created and passed and what do the members of council do to ensure that tax payers are getting value for money?

Staff in the Finance department present a draft budget to city council
That draft is the result of a process that has each department putting together their budgets which gets vetted by a team that consists of senior staff, the Director of Finance and the city manager.

The public get to delegate on the draft budget.There was email feedback, there was a telephone town hall, the city made use of its Get Involved service that lets people say what they think on various issues.  And then there was that button-holing that politicians have to live with from residents who want something for their special interest or community.

Members of Council inevitably have questions – with the current five new members of Council there is not only a steep learning curve but also a lot of questions that are often specific to their wards.

The following is a list of some of the questions individual council members asked. The name of the council member who posed the question is not provided – unfortunately.

Service: Recreation
Question: Securing Sponsorship Funds by Naming Corporate Assets
Who is responsible for generating sponsorship funds through the naming of corporate assets?

Haber name in sign

The Haber Law Group got naming rights to the Recreation Centre in Alton for 20 years – paid millions.

Response: To date, naming opportunities have been done on a project by project basis with Parks and Recreation staff usually taking the lead. A sponsorship package is approved by council and potential sponsors are sought. Most recently the city was successful in securing a naming opportunity for the Haber Recreation Center; unsuccessful in securing a sponsor for the renovated Nelson Outdoor Pool.

Funds secured are placed in a reserve to support future capital renewal of the asset that was named. There have been differences of opinion on whether the city should secure sponsorship for the overall name of an asset, with there being more comfort with naming components within an asset.
A review of the corporate sponsorship policy will be undertaken later in 2019, early 2020

New street - being rebuilt

It was Regional budget dollars that paid for the re-build of New Street. Infrastructure no matter who pays – in the end it is coming out of your pocket.

Question: What would be the impact on the overall 20-year asset management plan if the increase in the infrastructure renewal levy was decreased to 1% instead of 1.25% for this year, and what is that amount worth?

Response: A 0.25% decrease would reduce $400,000 of funding to the capital program in 2019 and $8 million of funding over the next 20 years ($24 million over the 60-year Asset Management Plan). $4 million of projects would need to be removed from the 10-year capital budget and forecast.

The capital projects impacted by the reduction risk higher costs in the future to complete and additional costs by the way of minor maintenance expenditures until the work can be done. The projects timing in the capital program is based on assessed condition, warranting the required work, deferring work can impact the resident’s experience and derived quality with the asset.

Question: Provide a list of statutory and discretionary development charge exemptions and a list of ineligible services.

Response: List of statutory and discretionary development charge exemptions and list of ineligible services:

The Development Charges Act along with regulation O.Reg. 82/98 provides legislated statutory development charge exemptions for the following:

• Industrial building expansions up to 50% of the gross floor area
• Intensification within existing residential developments with up to 2 additional dwelling units permitted within existing low-density dwellings and 1 additional dwelling unit permitted within medium and high-density dwellings
• Municipalities (City and Region)
• Board of Education and local board, as defined in the Education Act

The City’s existing DC by-law (46-2014) also provides non-statutory exemptions from payment of development charges with respect to:

• Hospital, excluding any portion of the lands, building or structures occupied by the tenant of the hospital

• A place of worship
• Conservation authority
• Seasonal structure and temporary venues
• Parking garages
• Agricultural uses
• Canopy (structure with one or no walls, ie. Gas pump islands)

Ineligible services:

In accordance with the Development Charges Act and O. Reg 82/98, a development charge by-law may not impose development charges to pay for increased capital costs, prescribed as ineligible service listed below:

• Cultural or entertainment facilities, including museums, theatres and art galleries

• Tourism facilities, including convention centres,
• Acquisition of land for parks, including woodlots
• Hospitals, as defined in the Public Hospitals Act
• Landfill sites and services
• Facilities and services for the incineration of waste
• Headquarters for general administration of municipalities and local boards
• Lands for parks, includes land for woodlots and land because it is environmentally sensitive

Project: Funding for Capital Projects from Parks and Recreation Reserve Funds

Question: How are the reserve funds managed and what amount of funding is coming from them for capital projects?

Response: The Parks and Recreation Department utilizes reserve funds to partially support capital initiatives for the repair and renewal of facilities and associated program amenities/enhancements in the Organized Sport Support, Recreation and Culture service areas.

Angela Coughlan Pool

Angela Coughlan Pool

Reserve Funds related to facilities and programs are funded by a 5% surcharge place on user fees. Funds from these Reserve Funds are used to offset a portion of capital costs related to repair, renewal and enhancement of facilities and programs in the asset type, for example; surcharges collected at Angela Coughlan Pool would be placed in the “Pools” Reserve Fund and used for pools asset renewal projects.

Projects presented through the capital budget that are funded or partially funded through Reserve Funds illustrate details as such under the budget summary.

Service: Municipal Law Enforcement (additional By-law Enforcement
Question: Bylaw: getting from 6 (proposed budget) to 8: I understand Parks and Recreation have a parks enforcement office, and parking enforcement is also separate from bylaw. Can we redeploy a parks and rec, and a parking officer to bylaw to bring the total bylaw complement to 8 officers? Or redeploy one officer from animal control to bylaw to achieve one of the 2.

Response: Parks and Recreation have Park Ambassadors who work with sports groups on proper park etiquette and problem-solving issues (lights on, lights off etc). These are part- time staff who work in summer months.

Parking Enforcement is contracted out to a 3rd party provider (Core Commissionaires) and the enforcement officers are not City employees.

Moving an animal enforcement officer would result in service reductions to customers and Animal Control Enforcement overall. This would impact the work the animal enforcement officers do on investigations, ticketing, and coyote management (as examples).

Service: Road and Sidewalk Maintenance

The view looking south in lot 4 off John Street - notice how they managed to clear the sidewalk in front of the meter but not for the path to the meter.

Would this stretch of sidewalk qualify?

Question: What would be the cost of plowing the pathway at Brant Hills Community Centre? Are there any other locations not currently maintained in the winter?

Response: The additional cost to maintain this pathway is minimal and could be accommodated however there are significant safety concerns during freeze/thaw conditions given the hilly nature of the pathway.

There is a further 57 km of footpaths not in the road allowance that are not maintained in the winter. To maintain all of these pathways in the winter would require significant resources including additional staffing and capital equipment.

Given the significant amount of work and resources required to partially implement the new minimum maintenance standards on sidewalks adding additional footpaths is not recommended at this time.

Service: Transit

One of the new buses added o the Burlington Transit fleet. There were busses that had more than 15 years on their tires - those old ones certainly rattled down Guelph Line when I was on one of them.

What would free transit cost the city?

Question: What is the cost to provide seniors with free transit between 9:30 am and 3:30 pm Monday to Friday?

Response: The estimated cost is $300,000 for conventional transit and $60,000 for para-transit service.

Service: Recreation

Question: What expansion have we done to the pickleball program to address demand?

Response: We have been successful at obtaining grant funding to support a program expansion at various locations throughout the city. To date, we have also considered partnering to maintain this program expansion as well as looking to convert outdoor tennis courts, in specific target areas, to outdoor pickleball courts. Funding ends after this year. To date, all program expansions have had to be funded by grants which is not sustainable.

Service: Recreation and Organized Sports

Question: Have we been able to meet the community need in terms of fee assistance and other similar type requests?

Response: To date, we are able to meet the demand we receive through the various funds available such as Community Matching Fund, Fee Waiver and Fee assistance programs. Financial assistance is supported in part by the tax base and also by external funders / donors.

Service: Local Boards

BPAC-full-front1-1024x624

Performing Arts Centre get a substantial subsidy.

Question: What savings would be achieved by holding the boards and Committees to 1.5% across the board instead of 2%?

Response: The total savings of reducing the city’s contribution to the local boards to a 1.5% increase instead of a 2% increase would be $75,457 as detailed below:

local bd budgets

Service: Corporate Expenditures (VDRF)

Question: Can the provision to VDRF (Vehicle Depreciation Reserve Fund) be reduced? Showing a $402K increase.

Response: The Vehicle Depreciation Reserve Fund is used to fund the replacement of the city’s Fleet vehicles (excluding conventional buses). The policy approved in 2018 is to increase the provision by 4% annually. In addition, $270,000 of tax supported funding previously required for debt charge repayment (see $500k reduction in debt charges) was restated to support the Handi-van renewal requirements. Handi-vans were previously replaced using funding from gas taxes.

 

Service: General – HR Budget Summary

Question: Why is HR up 7.1%? Is this the head count increase?

Response: 7.1% HR increase includes business case requests as well as the base budget. Base budget increase is 4.8% and when you exclude the regulatory/contractual obligations as well as the 2 staff for Halton Hills fire communications and the road patroller that is funded by the Region, the base budget increase for HR is 3%.

Question: What is the total amount of budget reductions required to get the increase to 2.99%?

Response: $1.6 million of on-going savings would be required to reduce the proposed budget from 3.99% to 2.99%.

The challenge for this new city council is determining what will be  cut?  Will this council focus on projects in their wards or will they take a longer term approach and structure the budget to ensure that the public gets value for the money spent.

We will report on that debate which takes place today.

Council chamber - new look

The seven members of city council who sit in this renovated council chamber will decide just what your tax bill is going to amount to.

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Councillor creates Registry of people who ask to meet with her on city business.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 20th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Kearns with Mike

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns – possibly a real McCoy.

We knew she was going to be different when she made that “phony baloney” comment at one of her early ward meetings. Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns was talking about the “stuff that was coming out of the Transportation department.

When when she turned to the Clerk at one of her early budget meetings and asked: “Do I talk now” we were seeing the real McCoy.

During the first month she was in office Kearns said that she was going to create a Business Registry. Anyone wanting to talk to her about a business matter would have to sign the Registry so that her constituents would know who she was talking to. We don’t yet know how detailed that Registry is going to be – just that there will be one and that it will become public starting at the end of March.

Here is what Ward 2 City Councillor Lisa Kearns has on her city hall information page:

Kearns registry

How many of the other council members have said they will create a Registry? Has the Mayor created a Registry for the people that ask to meet with her?

The next Ward 2 Community Update meeting:

Thursday, Feb. 28 2019

7 p.m. – 8 p.m.- doors open at 6:30 pm at the Burlington Public Library, Holland Room – 2331 New Street.

 

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Regional police alert public to telephone scams taking place in Halton.

Crime 100By Staff

February 19th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

HRPS crestThe Halton Regional Police is warning citizens against several telephone scams that are operating within the region. Over the past few weeks, residents have reported receiving calls with the following themes:
Scam #1:
Caller indicates they are from the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) and that you owe money for taxes. In some cases, the suspect tells the victim a warrant will be obtained and they will be arrested if they do not make an immediate payment. Payment is requested in the form of gift cards that are not traceable (Amazon, iTunes, Google Play). The victim attends a store, purchases a large quantity of gift cards and gives the caller the personal identification number (PIN) or verification number.

Scam #2:
Caller indicates they are from your bank and need help to investigate an internal fraud between the bank and another retail store. You have been selected to assist with the investigation and could earn up to $500.00 for your help. The caller then directs you to purchase a large quantity of gift cards (Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Walmart) and call them back with the PIN. You are told where to purchase the gift cards and cautioned not to disclose the reason or directed to say you are purchasing the cards as gifts for your children or grandchildren. Suspect may also gain remote access to victim’s computer (online banking). The promised deposit appears in their daily banking account; however, it is transferred from victim’s line of credit/savings unbeknownst to victim.

Scam #3:
Caller identifying themselves as a bank employee and advises you that one of your credit cards has been compromised. The caller indicates they will deposit a large sum of money into your account (much larger than what you are alleged to have lost), however, you are asked to transfer back a portion of the money. Suspect may gain remote access to victim’s computer (online banking). The promised deposit appears in their daily banking account; however, it is transferred from victim’s line of credit/savings unbeknownst to victim.

Scam #4:
Caller indicates they are with some type of police or other law enforcement agency, or a lawyer representing a loved one (they will often use a grandchild and elicit a promise “not to tell” anyone). The caller directs you to initiate a money transfer. The caller is often asking for thousands of dollars to “post bail” for your loved one. Older adults are often the target of this scam because they want to help their grandchild.

Please be aware of the following:

• No government agency, financial institution or legitimate business is ever going to ask you to make payment in gift cards, money transfers or wires.
• No government agency, financial institution or legitimate business would give you money and ask for a portion to be reimbursed.
• No government agency, financial institution or legitimate business is ever going to ask you to assist them in an internal fraud or similar style investigation.
• No law enforcement agency, bailiff or lawyer will contact you asking for bail money to be wire transferred.

If you are ever in doubt, please contact the police for assistance. Please safeguard yourself and your loved ones by discussing these scams and what to do when a call like this is received. If you suspect you have been contacted by a scam, hang up immediately.

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Development proposed for site in Aldershot where Meed Ward announced her decision to run for the office of Mayor.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

February 19th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The site is just yards away from where Marianne Meed Ward officially threw her hat into the ring for the office of Mayor. Months later she sits in an office on the eight floor of city hall.

Show whuch ward

Meed Ward supporters indicating which ward they lived in – representatives from every ward were there.

Her campaign was about sensible, responsible development. She spoke to a small, enthusiastic audience at the top of Clearview Avenue overlooking the site on which the ADI Development Group is building what will amount to a new neighbourhood that will align with the mobility hub, the plans for which have yet to be finalized.

An application has been made to change the Official Plan designation to High Density Residential to allow the development of a mid-rise, 6-storey apartment building, with 160 dwelling units at a density of 258 units per hectare. A rezoning application has also been made to change the corresponding zoning to a site specific Residential High Density RH1.

Clearview renderingClearview mapThe lands are currently designated as low density residential in the City’s Official Plan which allows for detached and semi-detached dwellings, and other forms of ground oriented housing not exceeding 25 units per hectare. The lands are zoned R2.1 in the City’s Zoning By-law which allows for detached dwellings and an accessory dwelling unit within a detached dwelling.

A date for the first public meeting has not yet been set.

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Trumpeter swans take center stage at LaSalle Park on Family Day.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

February 19th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The weather was great!

Liz and ward 2

Michael Jones talks to Liz Benneian about the turnout for Family Day – it was great.

It had been a tough weekend weather-wise but it changed for Family Day and particularly for those who took the opportunity to gather at LaSalle Park and watch the Trumpeter swans and walk among them.

people swans bridge

People walked about the swans while those with impressive camera equipment were clicking away.

The swans were at one point on the very edge of extinction and in some communities they are still at risk.

Cluster

At feeding time the birds cluster and poke away at the food. The birds with light brown colouring are younger birds.

But at LaSalle Park on Monday they were out there for all to see. Liz Benneian stood at the entrance telling anyone who would give her two minutes more than they ever thought they would know about the swans and the problems and victories that the Trumpeter Swan Coalition have experienced.

The Gazette sponsored a photo contest with the Coalition. There wasn’t very much in the way of lead time but at the end of the day there were more than a dozen entries with more to come.

There are some stunning pictures that will be shared once the judges have done their job.

Forever the advocate

Liz Benneian uses every opportunity she gets to tell the swan story.

The Coalition shares the waterfront space with the Marina – that relationship gets stiff from time to time. With changes on city council there appears to be a much better relationship coming to the surface.

wings up

A swan about to take flight.

The public participation was good – and the people on hand to tell the swan story were exceptionally well informed.

mate for life

They mate for life and swim around in pairs much of the time. Is there a lesson here for the rest of us?

shelttered

The swans gather in a small cove at the eastern end of the waterfront park.

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What Are Snapchat Emojis And What Do They Mean

News 100 yellowBy Larisa Wong

February 18th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

One of the most popular social media platforms is Snapchat. It has grow in popularity ever since launching and it is particularly a hit with young adults and teens. If you use Snapchat, then you probably see many emojis, but do you actually know what they are and what each one means? Don’t worry because the rest of this article will go into more depth about what they are and what some of them mean.

What Are Snapchat Emojis
Snapchat emojis tracks the way you and your friends on the platform interact with one another. The emojis that show up on your friends tab can be affected by various factors, such as how often you and your friend send one another snaps, the length of time you’ve been friends and other users you interact with. These are the main factors.

Think of Snapchat emojis as other emojis that are commonly used on social media sites, but they are slightly unique.

What Do They Mean
Here is what the most popular emojis mean:

baby face emojiThe Baby Face– Do you see this emoji? If so, then you’ve just added someone new to your Snapchat’s friends list. If you just joined Snapchat, then this emoji will be shown frequently. Think of the baby face emoji symbolizing that you are brand new to the site or that you have new friends on Snapchat, if that makes sense.

The Birthday Cake Emoji– If the birthday cake emoji pops up near one of your friends as you’re scrolling your list, then you can probably guess what it means. If not, it means it’s their birthday. When a person signs up to Snapchat, they provide their date of birth and on that date is when the emoji will appear near their name. Don’t forget to wish them a happy birthday if you notice this emoji near their name.

Fire– Have you been snapping with a friend for at least three days in a row? If so, then you’ll see the fire emoji on your list. The number next to the flame will represent how many days your streak is. If it’s four days, then the number for will be next to the fire emoji.

Hourglass– This emoji means that your streak is about to end with the person that it is next to. All you have to do is send them a quick snap. After you do this, your streak will continue, but do remember that chatting along won’t keep the streak going. This is why you’ll want to take snap selfies via the selfie camera.

Grimace– The grimace emoji appears when you share a best friend with the friend that the emoji is showing next to. It indicates that the person interacts quite a bit with the friend you interact with regularly. The more you interact with specific users, the more likely you’ll end up seeing the grimace emoji appearing.

smile emojiThe Smile Emoji- This emoji means the users is one of your good friends because of how frequently you interact with them. It also means they send you many snaps and so do you, but it does not indicate they are your number one best friend. The more active you are on Snapchat, the more of a chance you have of spotting this emoji.

The 100– This is one of the best emojis on Snapchat. Make sure you take a screenshot of it if you come across it because it means that you are on a huge streak. To be more specific, it means your streak with a specific person has hit the 100 day mark, which is quite impressive.

Purple Zodiac Sign– When you click on a user’s name to view their profile and you see a purple Zodiac sign near them, it means they have entered their birthday. The Zodiac symbol for that month shows up. If you ever get curious about who has entered their date of birth and what their Zodiac symbol is, then click on people’s profile.

Gold Heart- The gold heart emoji indicates that you and the person are best friends on Snapchat. It means you have sent this person many snaps and they have done the same. In fact, it means you’ve sent them the most and they’ve sent you the most.

sun glasses emojiSunglasses– The sunglasses emoji means you and the person share a close friend. A close friend does not mean they are one of your best friends, but it is a user who sends you snaps on a regular basis. Don’t be surprised to see this emoji pop up regularly as you become a more frequent user of the platform.

Now you know what Snapchat emojis are. You also have an idea of what some of them mean. With that said, if you’re not using emojis on Snapchat, then you should start.

Larisa Wong is a recognized expert on the use and meaning of emojis She works out of  the Murcia region of  Spain which borders on the Mediterranean Sea.

Related link:

More on the Snapchat people.

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Young on strategic plans: Thinks we need one - not certain on who gets to write the document.

opinionred 100x100By Jim Young

February 18th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In recent Gazette articles and comments, Burlington’s 25 Year Strategic Plan, “Grow Bold”, has garnered much criticism of its name and the plausibility of a vague plan that looks 25 years ahead.

growbold-847x254

Grow Bold got the boot – the Mayor had to almost push it out the door.

The name really doesn’t matter. Call it Grow Bold, Grow Smart or just The 25 Year Plan; having a plan is important. To achieve anything of consequence we need a longer term view of how our city might look in 25 years. That view is necessarily vague and aspirational; who really knows where we will be by then?

Aerial downtown - before pier

This aerial of the city is going to look a lot different in five years – in a decade you won’t recognize the place,

A personal analogy might be a 40 year old planning to retire at 65. How will that retirement look in 25 years? Do I want to travel? Spend time with grandkids? How will I pay my rent? Will I have to keep working? Of course these possibilities may change over the 25 years, but we still need to plan for them. You cannot drive to Florida if your GPS is only programmed to the end of the street. Unless we are extremely lucky, little in life is achieved without a plan. Call this our “Retirement Strategic Plan.”

StPlan-flip-charts2-1024x746

The creation of the 2010 -2014 Strategic Plan was a city staff – city council effort that then went to the public. They filled pages of flip chart work but found at the end of the sessions that city staff and council were on different sides of a fence. It was that way for the term and the one that followed.

Then we need more specific details: How much should we save and where will that money come from. Will it be RRSPs? Tax Free Savings? Is there a Company Pension? Can I live in my kid’s basement if my Retirement Strategic Plan doesn’t work? This is the meat & potatoes of our planning. Call it our Retirement Official Plan.

Then come the bumps on the road to retirement. When we run into car repairs or the basement floods, when we face short time work or job loss: Changes we must make to our plans. “Amendments to The Retirement Official Plan.” Doubtless we will have contentious domestic debate about these.

Municipalities need plans too. City planners work on at least three levels, with many sub levels in between. The Strategic Plan, The Official Plan and Zoning / Bylaw Amendments to those plans.

Strategic-Plan-Workbook-400x330

It started out as a four year plan – the term of a city council ….

The Strategic Plan: A long term, aspirational view of where we might like to be in 25 years. Obviously no-one really knows where we will be by then; but we must have an idea of how we want our city to evolve over that period. This is the one plan that Burlington consulted citizens on and actually did a reasonable job on.

Strat-Plan-logo-25-years-1-768x488

… and just sort of grew when a consuklting firm with the compliance of the then city manager took council in a much different direction.

The Official Plan; a detailed and much more pertinent document, sets out the steps needed to realize the strategic vision. Mandated by the province for regular review, it re-evaluates the plan to adjust for economic, social, demographic and political shifts that may not be foreseeable but will inevitably take place over 25 years.

This is the plan that should have defined the transit, parking, congestion, intensification plans and area/zone specific heights as they evolved over the next 5 years of that 25 year strategy. Sadly our last City Council failed to provide an Official Plan that met regional requirements and utterly misjudged local sentiment on every level.

Outraged citizens vented their anger in wholesale changes at the last election.

Lastly there are Amendments to the Official Plan and the Zoning Bylaws of that plan. These are often the most contentious and time consuming aspects of city planning. Amendments address those changes to residential, commercial and retail building in our neighbourhoods, which have greatest impact on life and work in our communities.

No matter what the Strategic or Official Plans say about height and density on your street or the plaza at the end of the block, developers can apply to amend the plan or zoning bylaw. These are the matters that are currently the most contentious in our city.

Subject to a 210 day deadline for response by municipalities, there are so many zoning / bylaw amendments active in Burlington that city planners are failing to respond to them in time, opening the door to so many appeals by developers.

These are not failures of the strategic plan. They are failures of process, of consultation and, of course, they must be addressed. In its early actions Council has demonstrated a willingness to address these issues and already there is a feeling that city staff are adapting to this new council paradigm.

We can and should oppose bad planning, we deserve greater say in the plans and the processes, but instead of abandoning the discipline of Strategic Planning, let us work with our new council and city planners to make these plans better. Let us align city plans with citizen visions rather than developer bottom lines in the knowledge that the only thing worse than a Vague Long Term Plan is No Long Term Plan At All.

Jim Young answering RG

Jim Young delegating at city hall.

Jim Young is an Aldershot resident who delegates at city Council frequently and has, in a number of cases, given some very wise advice.  It was seldom received with much in the way of grace by the 2010 to 2018 city council

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Another development proposal asking for ammendments to the Official Plan that exceed the height limits by more than 100%

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 18th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In October 2017, Burlington City Council approved the development application submitted by Roman Home Builders for 2085 Pine St., permitting a five-storey residential building.

Since that time, the ownership of the property has changed. The new owners are working toward submitting a new development application and concept for 2085 Pine St. that will increase the height from the 5 storeys that have been approved to 11 storeys.

The approved 15 residential units would increase to 40 units.

Pine at Martha

The issue for this location has always been the retention of the heritage structure.

A development application has not been submitted to the city at this time.

A public meeting is to be held on February 21st at 6:30 pm at the Lion’s Club at 471 Pearl..

The changes the developer wants would require an amendment to the Official Plan and a change to the zoning bylaw.

The immediate area has a number of development applications that have either been approved (ADI at the corner of Martha and Lakeshore 24 storeys) or are in the process of being considered by the city’s Planning department. They include plans for an 11 storey development on the east side of Martha south of the James – New Street intersection, the Mattamy development –  18 storeys at the corner of James and Martha

Matammy - James St

The Mattamy development – 17 storeys – has had a convoluted approval path.

A proposal for 29 storeys – (the highest so far for the city) at the intersection of Pearl and Lakeshore Road.

This number of developments gives the word “intensification” a whole new meaning doesn’t it.

The Mayor is now looking at a number of developments that challenge the current bylaw – crunch time soon for what kind of city Burlington is going to be a decade from now.

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How does an Interim get to be an Acting - and what is the difference?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 16th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier in the year, after dismissing the City Manager, Council hired Tim Commisso to serve as an Interim city Manager for what was described as a six month contract, while City Council figured out what it wanted in the way of a new City Manager.

Commisso alone

Tim Commisso – Interim or Acting?

Commisso had been employed by the city of Burlington for a number of years and left holding the title of General Manager.

Our sources tell us that he was a “stand up kind of guy”. A straight shooter who was liked, respected and appreciated. Commisso left Burlington to return to Thunder Bay, the city he was raised in, to serve as City Manager and retired from that job.

He seemed like a good fit for Burlington’s short term needs.

What is confusing is the way Commisso is described in a document that will go to the Budget Committee next week. That document has him as the “Acting” City Manager.

 

Commiso title

What is the difference between an Acting and an Interim? And why the change now? And who made or approved he change?

Just asking!

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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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