Region tells the city the Official Plan they sent isn't legit - so that rush to get the thing 'approved' before the election was a waste of time.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 10th, 2018



The City of Burlington received notice from the Region of Halton on December 4th regarding the city’s Official Plan.

Noting that the notice did not arrive until the 4th, that means the surprise Mayor Meed Ward told the inauguration audience she had for them was not about the Official Plan – it was about the firing of the City Manager which took place the following day.

The notice from the Region advised that the city’s adopted Official Plan did not conform with the Regional Official Plan in a number of respects related to policies and mapping, and among others, in the areas of:

Regional Chair Gary Carr tasting honey while on an agricultural tour.

Regional Chair Gary Carr tasting honey while on an agricultural tour. There is some serious farming being done in the rural lands – not as much as the Planning department thinks.

• proposed employment land conversions and permitted uses within the employment areas and lands;
• the identification of and permitted uses within agricultural lands;
• the identification of and permitted uses within the Natural Heritage System; and
• transportation matters, including road classifications.

A media release from city hall said:

Ongoing work will continue between the city and Region which will result in a draft notice of decision containing modifications to the city’s Official Plan. These modifications will be shared with the city and brought forward to City Council for consideration.

The process for final approval of the city’s Official Plan will include:

• The ability for the city to make additional modifications before the Official Plan is approved by Halton Region where there is appropriate planning justification and public consultation

• Once city staff is of the opinion that the issues of non-conformity have been addressed, the proposed changes would be brought back to Council for a vote before final approval by the Region

• An indefinite “pause” of the 210 days the Region has to approve the Official Plan

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will work with her Burlington Council colleagues to ensure the city and Region are able take the appropriate time necessary to continue work on any potential modifications of the Official Plan.

This will also allow time for any additional matters the new Council would like to address before final approval.

Burlington city staff will bring forward a memo through the Council Information Package on Dec. 14 about next steps on this matter.

This process is going to be complex and there are just two members of the new seven member city council who have a solid grasp of what this is all about.

Holding hands

A great moment – and the beginning of a four year term of office.

The really steep learning curve for the new council begins this afternoon when they meet as a Standing Committee and get down to business – unless one counts the quicky Special Meeting of city council that took place last Tuesday.

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Suddenly the Escarpment could be at risk - not likely you suggest?

News 100 redBy Staff

December 7th, 2018



Earlier in the week, the Gazette learned the provincial government introduced what they call an economic development tool, an open for business planning bylaw (regulation) which would exempt major economic development projects, major employment uses from planning and environmental laws.

MMAH/Planning Act changes in Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act allows municipalities, with ministerial approval, to pass “Open For Business” bylaws that allow municipalities to bypass various planning statutes, including the Greenbelt Act, which Ford had promised to leave intact.

Those who follow this kind of stuff believe it is the beginning of opening up the Escarpment to development.

The city is more than just the Escarpment to the north and the lake to the south. It is the people in between that determine who we really are. And it takes more than a magazine saying we are the #2 city in the country doesn't make it so.

There are certainly farms in the Escarpment but a lot of the land is held by developers and rented to people who farm the property.

The Ontario Greenbelt Alliance in a media release they said: “The “Open for Business” zoning bylaw would be enacted by a municipality. Provisions in the legislation exempt municipalities to conform to aspects of the Planning Act, Great Lakes Protection Act, Clean Water Act, Greenbelt Act, Oak Ridges Moraine Act, Lake Simcoe Protection Act, the Places to Grow Act among others. Perhaps most disturbing is the provision that allows a project to proceed without a public meeting. Once the municipality has the Minister’s approval they can move ahead.

Escarpment - outcropping of rock

Without the Escarpment Burlington would be just another suburb

“Breaking the promise not to open up the Greenbelt shows a disrespect to voters. It also puts the health of farmers and rural landowners at risk. Just this week the Neptis Foundation released a report calling for a regional vision for the GGH. The health of our region depends on valuing our farms, forests, clean water sources and nature.

The Gazette asked Mayor Meed Ward for some comment. The city issued the following this afternoon.
“The Provincial Government tabled legislation referred to as, Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018, which, if passed would allow municipalities to, with the Minister’s consent, pass “Open for Business’” zoning by-laws.

“These bylaws would not be bound by existing legislation, such as the Clean Water Act, 2006 or the Greenbelt Act, 2005.

Halton escarpment - long view up slope

What kind of farming is being done and who owns the land are major questions to be asked.

“This change suggests that the Province is opening the Greenbelt for development, among other changes.

Mayor Meed Ward added: “We stand firm in our commitment to protecting our greenbelt from development and protecting our farm families and rural agricultural economy. We will also ensure our residents benefit from the protections in all the other pieces of legislation referred to in Bill 66.

“We will not be comprising their safety or quality of life for speed. I do not see Burlington using this legislation, if it is passed. At the same time, we’ll do everything we can to ensure Burlington is open for business.”

Mary Lou Tanner, Deputy City Manager said: “Burlington has a long history of a firm urban boundary, supporting both the Niagara Escarpment Plan and the Greenbelt Plan. We strongly support protecting our rural area from development. Farming is part of our community identity and a key driver in the economy. At the same time, our administration is committed to reducing red tape.”

It is a real stretch to say that “farming is … a key driver in the economy” but the sentiment is there.

Open for business sign at border

Will Burlington see one of these on the north side of Hwy 407 leading into the Escarpment?

The Ford government has been consistent in its desire to open up everything they can see to some kind of business development.

With just over six months in office it looks like there is going to be a consistent battle to keep the Escarpment we have.

We will ask our MPP Jane McKenna for comment.

TV Ontario published an excellent piece on just what we could be up against.  Well worth reading.  CLICK here

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Santa 5K Road Race Road Closures Revised for Saturday, December 8

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

December 7th, 2018



The following revised Santa 5k race route and road closures.

Santa 5k

Santa 5k

Road Closures, 6 to 11 a.m.

Brant Street, from Ontario Street to Elgin Street

James Street, from John Street to Brant Street

Road Closures, 8:30 to 11 a.m.

Lakeshore Road, from Elizabeth Street to Maple Avenue

Burlington Avenue, from Lakeshore Road to Elgin Street

Elgin Street, from Nelson Avenue to Burlington Avenue

Nelson Avenue, from Elgin Street to Lakeshore Road

Brant Street, from Ontario Street to Lakeshore Road

Route Supervision
• Halton Regional Police Service will direct traffic at major intersections and event marshals will help runners and motorists at multi-residential driveways and on side streets
• Event notices were delivered to all residences, religious centres and businesses affected by the event

If you have any questions about the road closures or traffic control, please contact the City of Burlington event liaison at 905-335-7600, ext. 7201.

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City hall staff: There is the possibility that some of the really good ones will be gone. It will be our loss.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 7th, 2018



It has been a tumultuous week for the city – and for the staff at city hall.

city hall with flag poles

If there is a morale meter at city hall it isn’t giving a very high rating these days.

The City manager left the building on Tuesday, no word yet on who the interim city manager is going to be.

There is a Deputy city manager in place so things won’t spin out of control.

There are people in the city delighted with the dismissal of the city manager; they have hopes that there will be a few more dismissals in the not too distant future.

While all this takes place there’s serious damage being done to the mid-level people who do all the grunt work.

Burlington has a number of superb staffers, I could name more than 100 people, that I have worked with, talked to that are sincere, professional and very good at their jobs. They are career civil servants who work hard to manage hard issues.

One has to wonder how many are polishing their resumes and looking around for a better place to work. There are a lot of benefits to working in the municipal sector; the money is good, the benefits terrific and the pension grand.

And those things matter but that isn’t why the really good people get up every morning, go out the door and take on the tasks they have to deal with.

Burlington has some real issues that are complex and won’t yield to a simple answer.

The really good men and woman are well aware of the problems and they are more than capable of finding solutions. With a few exceptions they have not been well led. They do deserve better.

They will sign out at city hall this afternoon, head home to their families and wonder just where things at city hall are going to be six months from now.

There is the possibility that some of the really good ones will be gone; some into the private sector others with a different municipality. It will be our loss.

Pepper - Gazette shirt - no smileSalt with Pepper is an opinion column reflecting the observations and musings of the publisher of the Gazette, an on-line newspaper that is in its 8th year as a news source in Burlington and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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Regional police identify two Burlington residents charged with driving while impaired.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 7th, 2018




RIDE program now in force in HAlton Region

On December 4, 2018, just before 9:30 pm, Halton Police officers were conducting a RIDE initiative in the area of North Service Road and the Highway 407 overpass in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Ian Overend (42) of Burlington was charged with driving over 80mgs.

On December 5, 2018, just before 9:30 pm, Halton Police officers initiated a traffic stop in area of Mountain Grove Avenue and Upper Middle Road in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Christopher Maguire (43) of Burlington was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80mgs.

The Halton Regional Police Service remains committed to road safety through prevention, education and enforcement initiatives.

Members of the public are reminded that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a crime in progress and to call 9-1-1 immediately to report a suspected impaired driver.

Police services across Ontario are now issuing media releases naming those charged with driving offences.

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BUSH to headline the Kick Off part of the 2019 Sound of Music Festival

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 7th, 2018



We are not yet into winter – but the Sound of Music folks want you to plan for the summer and take a look at the headliner they have signed up for the 40th anniversary.

They have announced that the first co-headliner for the 2019 Kick-Off Concert will be BUSH who are celebrating 25 years since the debut of their multi-platinum album ’16 Stone’.


BUSH to be part of the headline events for the start of the Sound of Music 2019 Kick Off event. Free concerts part of the SoM begin on June 13th.

In an enthusiastic set of statements the SoM Executive Director, Myles D. Rusak said: “This truly is an exciting time for the Festival. Our goal is to see not only the Festival itself grow; but the entire entity that is the Sound of Music.

“Our kick-off generates critical resources that will allow us to realize this vision and in turn better support the Arts Community at large. You are going to see some amazing announcements and new initiatives to celebrate our 40th anniversary which in turn will pave the way for the next chapter that is the Sound of Music.”

The one day kick-off concert takes place five days before we open the proverbial doors to Canada’s Largest Free Music Festival -June 13-16, 2019.

Tickets are on sale now. Grab your tickets before Tier 1 quantities sell out. Prices will go up when Tier 2 pricing kicks in.
• ADULT $60
• YOUTH $25
• VIP $95
• FrontRow $95

The Kick off events, usually all ticketed events takes place five days earlier.

The Festival is currently recruiting for volunteers.
Visit if you are interested in applying.


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A scammer using Pay Pal to attract your attention.

Crime 100By Staff

December 7th, 2018



Pay Pal is a service that many people use, especially when they want to transfer funds to people or places out of the country.

While it is a little on the pricey side – it is convenient and it works. There are a lot of small companies that rely on it.

The Gazette uses the service. Seeing an email advising us that a payment has been received is not an unusual thing.

So when this message advised that a payment had arrived it would have been natural to click on the message.

That would have been an expensive click for us. The message was phony. What were the clues. Look at the message:Pay Pal scam

Pay Pal scan 2

Looks legit – but look again at the message line that is at the top of every eamil – telling you who it came from:

Pay pal scam 3

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Rivers: Only a fool should want to put more money into expansion of the oil sands.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

December 7th, 2018



Our American neighbours tend to see Canada as that socialist state on their northern border. We do have single-payer health care in each province and there is a national broadcaster partially funded by the federal government. But we are a lot less socialist than we used to be back when our federal government used to run a national railway, our biggest airline and our very own oil company, Petro-Canada.

Transmountain pipelineToday Canadian governments of all political persuasion agree that oil production is best left to the private sector. Except, we don’t leave it alone. Federal and provincial governments annually subsidize the oil sector by almost three and a half billion dollars – just under a hundred dollars for every man woman and child in the country. And that doesn’t include Mr. Trudeau’s recent purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Of course the governments spend tax dollars on a lot of things, like defence, education and health care, but mostly for services which are not for-profit. But business is supposed to be business, and no commodity is more market oriented than oil – just watch the daily fluctuation at the gas pumps. And note that, with annual profits into the billions, PetroCan and its partner Suncor are one of the biggest items on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

But the markets are telling us that the cost of producing oil in Alberta exceeds the value of that resource in the marketplace. Of course there is a glut of the stuff globally today and it’s now a buyers’ market. But while the best quality crude has dropped to as much as a third of its peak value of only a couple of years ago, oil sands bitumen is bottoming out at $10 a barrel.

rail tanker cars 2

Leasing rail cars – a lot of them are made in Hamilton.

And even though a new pipeline or another 7000 rail cars would help move that oil to Asian markets where the price might be better, it’s still low quality oil and some of the most expensive to produce. So neither another pipeline nor more rail cars make economic sense as an investment. If they did wouldn’t industry have already taken care of that? In fact wasn’t lack of profitability behind Kinder Morgan blackmailing the federal government into buying its old pipeline.

Mr. Trudeau had no choice, politically, you might say but to buy that last pipe dream politicians east of the Rockies sleep on. He had to be seen helping an Alberta whose premier had embraced a carbon tax, among other things. Rachel Notley is acquiring some 7000 new rail cars for the same political reason. It’s something we call corporate welfare.

There is panic in the oil patch. So Notley, acting on a proposal from the non-socialist opposition parties, is also intervening in the market by winding down oil production, hoping for a better match with market demand and improved oil prices. It is probably a political set-up, staged by her opponents, hoping she’ll pay a price at the polls come next year’s provincial election. Then the odds are against her anyway.

zero emmission car

Only zero emitting cars will be sold in B.C. after 2040.

But the odds are also against the oil sands enduring. General Motors just closed its largest assembly plant in Canada, in Oshawa, claiming it’s crossed over to building electric vehicles. And that is a common theme by auto execs everywhere as they enter the growing movement to end the reign of guzzler. Only zero emitting cars will be sold in B.C. after 2040.

Long the target of the greenies everywhere, Barclays Bank shareholders have now demanded it pull its investments out of the ‘tar sands’. The plastics industry, the other main user of petroleum, is also under attack, particularly for single uses and packaging . There is this island of waste plastic the size of France in the middle of the Pacific ocean. And even in our once pristine Great Lakes plastic residue can be found in just about every fish species.

Of course prices will go up again before they go down again, and so on. Then, there are still millions of gasoline powered cars, gas heating appliances and so on. So the petroleum industry will not disappear over night, nor forever, as has Quebec’s deadly asbestos industry. But only a fool should want to put more money into expansion of the oil sands.

And guess what? The carbon tax is not to blame for the current crisis. Though Alberta has one, which is even more progressive that the one the feds will be implementing in most of the rest of Canada early next year. But then Rachel Notley gets it – unlike her fellow premiers immediately to the east of her. Besides she’s seen how Canada’s first carbon tax has worked out for her neighbour just across the Rockies.

BC has had its carbon tax for a decade now. But it hasn’t stifling the economy as Ontario’s Mr. Ford would mislead all the people of his own province. Quite the contrary, because or in spite of its carbon tax B.C.’s economy has been growing at a rate of 3.5% for the last four years. And the federal carbon tax is modeled on the one that pioneered in Lotus Land. Imagine what it might do for Ontario’s economy Mr. Ford!

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:

Alberta Oil Crisis –      Canada’s Fossil Fuel Subsidies –      Buying Rail Cars

Oil Cuts –      Plastic Bags –      Pipelines?

Barclays –      BC Zero Emissions

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Mayor announces her staff appointments.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 6th, 2018



Marianne Meed Ward today announced who will staff the Office of the Mayor.

She has done away with the title – Chief of Staff, which was a little pretentious when her predecessor created the title.

Victoria Hughes Alsamadi

Victoria Hughes-Al Samadi will work as Chief Communications and Strategic Advisor

Victoria Hughes-Al Samadi will work as Chief Communications and Strategic Advisor and will start January 7. Hughes-Al Samadi is a South-East Burlington resident with what is described as a wealth of experience in communications and strategy. She has toiled with senior executives at Manulife and Sun Life on their internal and external communications. She is said to have helped create innovative new corporate policies in the highly regulated financial industry.

She joins the Mayor from her most recent role as AVP at MD Financial Management where she oversaw content, social media and digital marketing.

Hughes-Al Samadi is the co-author of a book on inheritance planning, and spent time over the years partnering with many local Burlington business owners through the Burlington Downtown Business Association as well as Burlington Tourism to create digital content and strategy.

In the media release Meed Ward said: “A key role for the mayor is building relationships toward shared goals and Victoria has the background and experience to make it happen.”

Meed Ward has followed a path Rick Goldring walked when he poached the city hall reporter from the Burlington Post. Tina Depko Denver spent two years at City Hall and moved on to McMaster University.
John Bkila is taking the role of Media Specialist and Community Liaison starting December 17th.

John Bkila

John Bkila is taking the role of Media Specialist and Community Liaison for the Mayor.

Bkila is an award winning journalist with nine years’ experience. He gained some additional experience working communications during a brief volunteer stint with Engineers Without Borders.

He has an Honours degree in Political Science and a deep interest in all levels of politics, particularly municipal. John’s previous work kept him connected to the pulse of the community and made him eager to assist the public with their issues and concerns.

Annemarie Cumber has taken the role of Constituent Assistant. Raised in the downtown core of Burlington, Annemarie brings strong dedicated city experience having worked in various departments within the city. Prior to coming to the City of Burlington, Annemarie worked for senior executives at Ontario Hydro and Electrical Safety Authority providing executive assistance support.

Annemarie also has experience working in the community’s fitness industry helping others keep healthy. In the few weeks we have worked together since the election, Annemarie has been compassionate and dedicated in serving residents and getting results, often going above and beyond the call of duty.

Until the Mayor’s Office will be fully staffed, in the interim please direct all inquiries for scheduling, proclamations and media requests to Annemarie.


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Those development projects: How many are there and where are they going to be built? Will they ever be built?

News 100 redBy Staff

December 6th, 2018



During the election mention was made regularly that there were 30 development applications being processed by the Planning department.

Several of the either retired or defeated members of the 2014-2018 city council didn’t confirm that number.

MMW Mike and Goldring 2

TVO debate – Then Mayor Goldring was less than impressed.

When Mayor Meed Ward was debating on TV Ontario with the other three candidates she pulled out a map she had showing just where those developments were located.

One of the prime election issues was what Meed Ward called over-development. The other was the very poor public engagement on the part of senior people at city hall.

The firing of the city manager underlined just how unhappy people were with the way they were being treated.
Days after being elected the city manager went on holiday, hours after being sworn in City Council met and the man was fired.

high profile 421

Approved – but a building permit has yet to be issued. City council might un-delegate site plan approval and manage that process itself


The OMB didn’t buy the city’s argument against the ADI development – it has a green light.

409 Brant image

This development on the south eat corner of Brant and James is before the Land Planning Appeal Tribunal.

With close to two years left on what is believed to be a five year contract the city is facing a whopping settlement – thought to be close to half a million dollars.   The price of progress.

City Council is going to take the balance of the month to think about what they want in the way of a city manager – early in January the search for a replacement will begin.

There is a lot of thinking for those five people who are completely new to municipal politics. We are going to see what they are made of very quickly.  No pressure.

In the meantime – what about those development project? Where they and what are they?
The map set out below tells you where they are. Now to learn just what they are.

Development project Dec 2018

Development projects set out by ward. They aren’t in just the downtown core.

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Changes being made to Civic Square - there will be a much more vigorous discussion in the not to distant future.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 6th, 2018



The city is making some upgrades to Civic Square, the space to the south of city hall.

The budget for this project is $600,000.

Many of the improvements planned for the space are required to improve things like accessibility, safety and convenience.

Civic Square Dec 2018

How much longer will this view last.

The city held an on-line survey that was poorly promoted and the results of that survey have yet to be made public.

With the plans either approved or being appealed to the Land Planning Appeal Tribunal there could be two 24 storey towers across the street from city hall five years from now.

Expect to see a more extensive and vigorous public debate on what happens to Civic Square.

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If there are going to be cannabis stores in Burlington - where might they be?

background 100By Staff

December 6th, 2018



Just where can a cannabis store be located?


What started out as a way for smokers to cut down on their nicotine intake has turned into another carcinogenic drug that younger people have taken up.

The province has published very detailed rules and regulations that determine what can be placed where – those regulations may not serve the interests and values of the city.

Council will debate and determine if they want to permit the opening of cannabis retail outlets in the city.  The city has a survey taking place on line now.  CLICK here to access that survey.

The online survey is open to Burlington residents until Thursday, December 13.

The Ontario Cannabis Store website is the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis. It follows strict rules set by the federal government.

The government is also moving forward with a tightly regulated private retail model for cannabis that will launch by April 1, 2019. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario is the provincial regulator authorized to grant store licences. The Ontario Cannabis Store will be the exclusive wholesaler to these stores. Private stores will be introduced with strict controls to safeguard children and youth and combat the illegal market.

Cannabis and schools

School exclusion zones for ward 1,2,4 and 5

Cannabis schools 3 and 6

School exclusion zones for wards 3 and 6


Where you cannot smoke or vape cannabis

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis in:
indoor common areas in condos, apartment buildings and university/college residences
enclosed public places and enclosed work places
non-designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns

Schools and places where children gather
You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:
at school, on school grounds, and all public areas within 20m of these grounds
on children’s playgrounds and public areas within 20m of playgrounds
in child care centres, or where an early years program is provided
in places where home child care is provided — even if children aren’t present

Hospitals, hospices, care homes and other facilities
You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

within 9m from the entrance or exit of hospitals (public/private), psychiatric facilities, long-term care homes, independent health facilities

on outdoor grounds of hospitals (public/private) and psychiatric facilities

in non-controlled areas in long-term care homes, certain retirement homes, provincially-funded supportive housing, designated psychiatric or veterans’ facilities, and residential hospices

Publicly owned spaces
You cannot smoke or vape cannabis in publicly-owned sport fields (not including golf courses), nearby spectator areas and public areas within 20m of these areas.

Vehicles and boats
You cannot consume cannabis (smoking, vaping, eating) in a vehicle or boat that is being driven or is at risk of being put into motion.

Other outdoor areas
You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

in restaurants and on bar patios and public areas within 9m of a patio

on outdoor grounds of specified Ontario government office buildings

in reserved seating areas at outdoor sports and entertainment locations

on grounds of community recreational facilities, and public areas within 20m of those grounds

in sheltered outdoor areas with a roof and more than two walls which the public or employees frequent, or are invited to (e.g. a bus shelter)

police trafficHeader

Police now have serious penalties they can impose – on the spot. Have taxi money with you.

serious penalties

Cannabis – driving icon Driving
Driving impaired by cannabis is illegal and dangerous. Cannabis, like many other drugs, slows your reaction time and increases your chances of being in a collision.

If a police officer finds that you are impaired by any drug, including cannabis, you will face serious penalties, including:

an immediate licence suspension
financial penalties
possible vehicle impoundment
possible criminal record
possible jail time

Police officers have tests to determine if you are impaired and are now also authorized to use oral fluid screening devices at roadside to help enforce the law.

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Critical decisions being made at city hall - staffing of the Mayor's office announcement was due today.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 6th, 2018



City hall is leaking like a sieve.

Leaking seive

City hall is leaking like a sieve.

Numerous trusted sources have touched base with the Gazette with tips on what is taking place in a building undergoing a radical change.

All three sources, who have passed along basically the same information, have demanded that we not publish and certainly not name them. We’ve been told that the tap will get turned off if we say too much.

Fear abounds – talk too much and your career may come to an end.

Reference is made to some of the positions in the Mayor’s office that are to be filled. Mayor Meed Ward did say earlier in the week that staffing announcements would be made soon.

Sources use the phrase “her comfort zone”.

Getting the right staff people in place is critical to a Mayor. The work is demanding and what is really vital is getting people who will, to use a phrase Meed Ward used often, put truth to power. Meed Ward needs people who will tell her what she may not want to hear.

A former staff assistant to Meed Ward when she was a member of council was thought to be a great fit – but something went wrong. That staffer left Meed Ward’s office and worked within the Clerk’s office and is now back as an assistant to a new Council member.


Pete Ward, the Mayor’s best mentor photographing Marianne Meed Ward when she was filing her 2014 nomination papers.

The Mayor told us during the inauguration, that her husband was her greatest mentor; he does have exceptional strategic skills.

What politicians have to work hard to insure is that they are not living inside a bubble where they hear what they want to hear and listen to people who may not have the strength to challenge them.

Meed Ward said all the right things the evening she was sworn in; the public loved it. The Gazette was impressed.

What we are hearing from people who seem to be part of the transition to a new regime is that there is some concern with the people being considered for staff rolls.

Former Council member John Taylor used to say: Stay tuned.

Stand By says the city motto - for how long one might ask?

Stand By says the city motto – for how long one might ask?

The Gazette might begin to use the city motto – Stand By.

Several of our sources are aghast at some of the Standing Committee chairmanships that have been made.

All seven members of Council got sworn in at the Regional level on Wednesday.  Half their income is from the Region.

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The firing of the city manager: Tacky is perhaps the best that can be said about the way this is done.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 5th, 2018



Here is how it was done.

Wearing chain of officeMayor Marianne Meed Ward called a Special meeting of Council for 3:00 pm on Tuesday December 4th.

She had the right to do that.

She would have had to get every member of this new council to agree to a waiving of the rules regarding Notice of Meeting.

The Gazette was not made aware of any notice of meeting nor was any other media that we checked in with.

The agenda for the meeting is set out below.

Ridge fired - council meeting

The way this was done raises a number of questions.

There was no report to Council.  There was “verbal discussion”

There was no video.  Given that the Mayor knew she was going to take Council into a closed session perhaps there was no need for video.  But that is not the point.  Process matters.

In the media release the city did not say that there was a Special Meeting of Council and the Mayor did not say a word.

The “banana republics” in parts of South America and Africa work like this.  We don’t do this in Canada.

There were many good reason to end the City Manager’s contract – at what price is a good question to ask.

Five people who didn’t have even 24 hours of experience as city Councillors take part in the firing of the chief administrative officer that they had all met during the campaign.

Tacky is perhaps the best that can be said about the way this is done.

The minutes of the meeting have yet to be published on the city web site.




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Two Youths Arrested for Convenience Store Robbery in Alton community.

Crime 100By Staff

December 5th, 2018



On December 3rd 2018, the Hasty Market Convenience store located at 4265 Thomas Alton Blvd. in Burlington was robbed.

Alton Village signShortly after 7:30 PM, two males, one armed with a knife, entered the store and ordered an employee and customer to move aside while they stole a quantity of vaping products from behind the counter. The suspects then fled the store on foot and were last seen running northbound through the parking lot.

Police searched the area and located one of the males who had stolen property from the robbery in his possession. Through further investigation, the second male was identified and has since been arrested.

Two youths aged 15 and 17 who cannot be identified because of their age are charged with robbery and wearing a disguise during the commission of an offence. One of the youths was also charged with possession of property obtained by crime. One was held for a bail hearing while the other was released on a Promise to Appear in Milton Youth Court on January 3rd 2019.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Constable Gina Brunelle of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2364.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Pond in Spencer Smith Park will open December 8th; tobogganing locations announced.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 5th, 2018



Burlington is set for winter fun with the launch of its Neighbourhood Rink program, the opening of Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond at the Waterfront at Downtown Burlington and dedicated locations for tobogganing.

Neighbourhood Rinks
The Neighbourhood Rink program is back for a fourth year and encourages neighbours to come together to maintain a natural outdoor ice rink in their local park.

City staff will install boards for ice pads in various parks throughout Burlington that will be maintained by neighbourhood volunteer groups. The rinks are open to the public and free to use. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact The deadline to apply for a rink is Dec. 31, 2018.

Skating rink Discovery LandingThe outdoor ice at Rotary Centennial Pond is scheduled to open on Saturday, Dec. 8, weather conditions permitting. Located at the Waterfront at Downtown Burlington, the pond hosts nearly 9,000 skaters each year. The rink is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and skating is free. On Christmas Eve, the rink will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and then closed for Christmas Day.

Skating Lending Program
The city is asking residents to donate gently used skates they no longer need. These skate donations will be used for the lending program at Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond, which began in 2016. The skate lending program is available weekends and school holidays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Skate donations can be dropped off at city pools, arenas and community centres.

For up-to-date information on ice conditions at Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond, please call 905-335-7600, ext. 8587. To learn more about the pond’s features and rules, visit,


Sliding in Lowville park

The city has designated six areas in the city that are safe for tobogganing. They include:

• LaSalle Park, east of the parking lot
• Tyandaga Park at hole number four on the west slope
• Central Park on the hill northwest of the community garden
• Brant Hills Park, southwest of the tennis courts
• Nelson Park on the east side of park, north of the Centennial bike path
• Lowville Park on the hill at the southwest end of park.

Get outside and enjoy the many parks, outdoor spaces, play fields and recreational play experiences that support active living and a healthy lifestyle for all ages, abilities and cultures.

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Regions takes a hard look at the Official Plan and tells Burlington the document needs more work. A grateful Mayor may have offered to drive to the Region to retrieve the document.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 5th, 2018



The city adopted its Official last April, on the 26th; and sent it to the Region of Halton where it has to be approved.

On May 11, the Region acknowledges the Burlington Official Plan was received and that they are the approval authority to make a decision on the Plan.

Official-Plan-Binder_ImageDuring the last number of months, Halton Region staff have been working closely with City of Burlington staff in the review of the newly adopted Plan to address conformity to the Region of Halton Official Plan.

In a media release the Region said: “Through this review, Regional staff have identified a number of matters with respect to the Plan’s conformity to the Halton Region Official Plan that need to be resolved prior to making a decision on the Plan.”

A notice the Region sent the city set out additional information related to these matters and having to do with non­ conformity with the Halton Region Official Plan.

The Region has said they are ready to work with Burlington in an expeditious manner.

The Planning Act states that if the approval authority (the Region of Halton) fails to give notice of a decision in respect of all or part of a plan within 210 days after the day the plan is received by the approval authority, any person or public body may appeal to the Tribunal all or any part of the plan.

An exception to this provision applies if the approval authority states that the plan or any part of it does not, in the approval authority’s opinion, conform with the upper-tier municipality’s official plan.

The Region of Halton, has informed the City of Burlington that through its delegated authority to the Chief Planning Official, is of the opinion that the Plan does not conform to the Region of Halton Official Plan (2009) (“ROP”).

The Plan does not conform to the ROP with respect to policies and mapping related to, among other matters:

The city is more than just the Escarpment to the north and the lake to the south. It is the people in between that determine who we really are. And it takes more than a magazine saying we are the #2 city in the country doesn't make it so.

Farmland use was one of the issues the Region had with the Official Plan Burlington submitted.

proposed employment land conversions and permitted uses within the employment areas and lands;

the identification of and permitted uses within agricultural lands;

the identification of and permitted uses within the Natural Heritage System; and

transportation matters, including road classifications.

The Region takes the position that the 210-day review period does not begin to run until the Region of Halton confirms that the non-conformity with the ROP is resolved.

As such no appeals under subsection 17(40) of the Planning Act may be filed at this time.

Which is probably just fine with the new Mayor and city council as well as the hundreds of people who didn’t want the Official Plan approved before the election.

With the Official Plan now back in the hands of the Burlington Planning department city council can issue a different set of instructions to deal with the issues that had people upset and angry.

The Downtown Mobility Hub is probably history and the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre may now get the consideration Meed Ward wanted when she was the ward 2 Councillor.

The creation of the Downtown Mobility hub was argument enough for the Adi Nautique development to get out of the Ontario Municipal Board without a scratch.

It is certainly good news for the new Mayor and those people who delegated to put the Official Plan on hold until the voters decided who they wanted running the city.

The Planning department now has to wait until new instructions are sent and also wait until a new interim city manager is in place.  There has been no suggestion that the current Deputy City Manager will fill that interim role.

The Region’s decision to send the Official Plan back to the city is a validation of the election results even if the Regional issues are not part of what Burlington voters were angry about.

Confusing times – with the right leadership doing the right things for the right reasons, the city could be a much different place in five years.

Assuming the new city council doesn’t blow it

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Area residents, including Burlington arrested on various child pornography charges

Crime 100By Staff

December 5th, 2018



Some really dirty stuff coming out of the Halton Region Police offices.

HRPS crestDuring the month of November, members of the Halton Regional Police Internet Child Exploitation Unit (ICE) participated in a Provincial initiative along with 26 other police services across Ontario. The focus of the initiative was to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet

During that time, the ICE unit took part in numerous investigations resulting in a number of arrests, search warrants and electronic seizures within Halton Region.

Arrested and charged parties are as follows:

Christopher HARVIE – 42 years old of Burlington, charged with: Possession of Child Pornography x 2, Make Available Child Pornography, and Access Child Pornography

Eric PARSONS – 30 years old of Hamilton, charged with: Luring, Invitation to Sexual Touching, Possession of Child Pornography

Gary HORNER – 67 years old of Toronto, charged with: Luring, Invitation to Sexual touching
Anthony (Tony) DAWKINS – 60 years old of Georgetown, charged with: Possession of Child Pornography x 2, Make available Child Pornography, Access Child Pornography

William MATHERS – 42 years of Milton, charged with: Luring, Invitation to Sexual Touching, Making Sexually Explicit Material Available to a Child

Liam Murphy – 22 years old of Oakville, charged with: Luring, Invitation to Sexual Touching, Making Sexually Explicit Material Available to a Child

Jianbo HONG – 41 years old of Oakville, charged with: Possession of Child Pornography x 2, Make Available Child Pornography, and Access Child Pornography

Halton Regional Police Service reminds parents to be vigilant when monitoring their children’s online activities, and to discuss internet safety strategies with them.

Anyone who may have any additional information pertaining to these types of investigations are asked to contact D/Sgt Chris Newcombe 905-465-8965 or Det. Todd Martin 905-465-8983 of the Halton Regional Police Service Internet Child Exploitation Unit (I.C.E.).

These investigations have been funded and made possible through a grant from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See Something? Hear Something? Know Something?” Contact “Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at
Please be reminded that all persons charged are presumed

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Centennial Pool - Service Disruption: will reopen Thursday at noon

notices100x100By Staff

December 5th, 2018



Due to a mechanical issue Centennial Pool is closed Wednesday, Dec. 5 and the morning of Thursday, Dec. 6. The following swims have been cancelled:

Wednesday, Dec. 5 2018
Water Running 10-11am
Aquafit 10am-11am
Adult 55 Plus Lap Swim 11am-Noon
Lap Swim Noon – 1:30pm

Thursday Dec. 6 2018
Lap Swim 6:00-9:00am
Water Running 9:00-11:00am
Swim Training 11:00- noon
Service will resume at 12 noon on Thursday.

centennial pool - inside

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With the city manager clearing out his office and the official plan on its way back from the Region Mayor Meed Ward can now get on with the Burlington re-build she has always wanted to do.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 5th, 2018



The approved Official Plan is on its way back to Burlington. The Region found that it didn’t comply with it’s Official Plan – so Burlington has to fix what was really a small problem.

The City Manager has quit – our view is that he wasn’t pushed – he jumped.

There are a couple of other senior people who will be retiring.

Mayor Meed Ward is probably going to have to give Tim Dobbie a call and ask him to come back and serve as thee interim City Manager.

The Deputy City Manager will probably see the writing on the wall and decide to take a break from the municipal world. Mary Lou Tanner and Meed Ward did not see the world from the same angle and it wasn’t because she didn’t try.

Meed ward election night 1

The election celebration …

The voters wanted a change – and they got one.

All but one member of Council was returned. That’s as close to a clean sweep as you are going to get.

Rebuilding is going to be a massive task.

We can expect to see who the Mayor appoints as her Chief of Staff – she might rename the job.  she is going to need a top team to get the job done – and it isn’t going to get done in a single term,

The upside to this is Meed Ward has huge energy.

She is going to have to rely on that energy to bring about the changes she wants.

MMW arms out - thank you

Meed Ward thanking the audience at her inauguration

She is going to have to work Queen’s Park for some of the changes she wants at city hall.

She has all kinds of reaching out to do and at the same time nurture a very new, young and inexperienced city council.

Exciting times – the caution: Don’t blow it.


Salt with Pepper reflects the opinions, observations and musings of the publisher of the Gazette, an on-line newspaper that is in its 8th year of as a news source in Burlington and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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