Police holding Cram-A-Cruiser events across Halton Region next Saturday.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 23rd, 2018



The Halton Regional Police is holding Cram-A-Cruiser events across Halton Region next Saturday as part of the annual Toys for Tots – Miracle on Main Street toy drive.

Police officers and volunteers will be accepting new unwrapped toys, cash, gift cards (great for teens) or Canadian Tire money for the Toys for Tots – Miracle on Main Street initiative.


Cramming a cruiser

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Canadian Tire – 5070 Appleby Line, Burlington (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Canadian Tire – 777 Guelph Line, Burlington (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Canadian Tire – 2510 Hyde Park Gate, Oakville (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Canadian Tire – 1100 Kerr Street, Oakville (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Canadian Tire – 1210 Steeles Avenue East, Milton (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Toronto Premium Outlets – 13850 Steeles Avenue West, Milton (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Woodbine Mohawk Park Racetrack – 9430 Guelph Line, Campbellville (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
Canadian Tire – 315 Guelph Street, Georgetown (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Georgetown Marketplace – 280 Guelph Street, Georgetown (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)

Follow the events on twitter throughout the day for updates at @HaltonPolice.

For further information regarding the event in your District please contact:

Milton/Georgetown: Constable Maureen Andrew (Maureen.Andrew@haltonpolice.ca)
Oakville: Constable Ashley Lilliman (Ashley.Lilliman@haltonpolice.ca)
Burlington: Constable Ann Robertson (Ann.Roberston@haltonpolice.ca)

As we enter the holiday season, our focus becomes the hustle and bustle of shopping, dinner parties and family gatherings. As joyous as this season is, there are many families in Halton Region who struggle to provide their children with that special gift on Christmas morning.

Please bring your children to meet our officers and tour a police cruiser! Help us fill as many cruisers as possible and put a toy under the tree for a needy child this Christmas.

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Purse snatching is increasing - more than 130 reports in the past year,

Crime 100By Staff

November 23rd, 2018



There have been 130 reports of purse thefts made to the Halton Regional Police Service since the beginning of November 2017.

In these occurrences the suspects targeted female, older adults whose purses and/or wallets were stolen from their shopping carts while they were distracted in some fashion.

Purse snatcher

Nicole Wereszczynska – arrested for purse snatching.

On November 20th 2018 Nicole Wereszczynska (24-yrs) of Mississauga was arrested by members of Burlington Criminal Investigation Bureau for a wallet theft that occurred on October 24th 2018 at Food Basics.

Halton Regional Police were assisted by our Retail loss prevention partners using the ‘Retail C.O.P.’ (Cameras on Patrol) program in identifying the accused.

Nicole Wereszczynska was released on a Promise to Appear in Milton Court on December 19th 2018 for one count of theft under $5000.

Purse snatcher suspect

Unidentified purse snatching suspect

Halton Regional Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the other male in the image who was with the accused and is involved in this wallet theft.

Halton Regional Police are reminding residents to be aware of their surroundings and stay alert for distraction type thefts when shopping in the grocery stores, malls and other retail business.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents or other purse thefts is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Vulnerable Persons and Seniors Liaison Team at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344.

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

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You need a ticket to attend the new council inauguration on December 3rd.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 23rd, 2018



If you didn’t know it before – you know now.

You cannot get in to the Main Stage Theatre at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC) on December 3rd to witness the Inauguration of the new city council without a ticket.

You get a ticket at the Performing Arts Centre Box office or by going on line.

The tickets were available on line at noon today.

Ticket Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.23.36 PM ticket

Without a ticket like this you will not get in to witness the Inauguration of the new city council

Someone somewhere didn’t realize that the Performing Arts Centre was holding a Black Friday ticket Sale with good discounts.

No word yet if there were line up issues.

Going on line for tickets is very easy for regular theatre goers who have a BPAC account.

If you don’t have an account you have to create one on-line and then order your ticket.

The one good piece of news is that the tickets are free.

The Main Theatre has a capacity of about 720.

What happens if more than 720 citizens want to witness this Burlington history changing event?


Without a ticket – you won’t get one of these seats. The tickets are free.

There will be a reception in the Family Hall after the swearing in. Some food, provided by local caterers, will be available and the bar will be open for adult beverages.

There doesn’t appear to be a limit on the number of tickets you can order – someone might choose to get 50 and scalp the ones they don’t need.

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Can the residents of this city make a Mayor out of Marianne Meed Ward or will she become a one term wonder?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 22, 2019



In December of 2014, the city council that was first elected in 2010 sat behind a table on the stage of the Performing Arts Centre waiting to be sworn in. his was the first time the swearing in ceremony took place at that venue.

Trumpeters from the Burlington Teen Tour Band were in the gallery to the left of the stage; the sound of blaring trumpets heralded the event.

While the council being sworn on December 2014 was a repeat of what residents elected in 2010 there was still some electricity in the air.

As each member of Council was announced, after they had been sworn in, the applause for Marianne Meed Ward was just that much louder, lasted just that much longer than the applause for anyone else on that stage. If two people had stood up and shouted “bravo” and clapped loudly I swear she would have gotten a standing ovation.

Meed ward election night 1

Mayor Elect Marianne Med Ward at the Polish Hall on election night

Mayor Goldring may not have recognized what was going on but the 2018 election campaign had begun.
On Monday, December 3rd, Meed Ward will be recognized as Mayor and the trumpets will blare. The Meed Ward supporters will see this as the beginning of a new dawn.

It is far too early to tell if Marianne Meed Ward is going to grow into a great Mayor. There are still a lot of people out there that do not wish her well.

She is going to have to work with five people who have never served on anything that has had input into city policy considerations. Angelo Beneventigna is familiar with a lot of the people at city hall and has more in the way of understanding as to how the city works than most of the others.

What Beneventigna has to figure out and realize is that he wasn’t elected to be a “friend” of those who handle the day to affairs of the city but to assure that they are always accountable to council and to the wider public they serve.

Meed Ward will be something of a den mother for the first 18 months.

Paul Sharman, a man that Rick Goldring once said was the best strategic thinker he has ever met, will be sitting on the same stage.

Councillor Shar,man with his back to the camera debates with Councillor Meed Ward during Strategy Planning sessions. Both are strong contributors to Council and Committee meetings

Councillor Sharman with his back to the camera debates with Councillor Meed Ward during the 2011 Strategy Planning sessions.

Sharman will be the odd man out on this council. He brings a reputation for abrasiveness and a tendency to be abrupt with people. He is more comfortable getting his own way.

When he became BFF (Best Friends Forever) with Councillor Craven there was little hope of there being much in the way of collaboration. Sharman consistently referred to Meed Ward’s “ideology” which wasn’t one he shared. He was more comfortable with his own. The Gazette began to refer to Sharman as “Mr. Data”; he always wanted more data. Over time we realized that the request for more data meant that Sharman didn’t have to make a decision.

Goldring saw Sharman as the best strategic thinker he had ever met – We won’t test the veracity of that statement. However, Paul Sharman does come at what he does from a strategic perspective.


Intense to the point of making delegations uncomfortable ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman does know how to drill down into the data and look for results.

In 2010, to the surprise of many and shock to others, he fist nominated himself for Mayor. When Rick Goldring filed nomination papers for the office of Mayor, Sharman muffled his ambitions, withdrew the nomination for Mayor and nomination himself for the ward 5 council seat that Goldring was vacating.

Meed Ward needs Paul Sharman to get through the first 18 months. He is the only person on the new Council that can get a budget passed. He might even manage to somehow produce a budget with a 0% increase. There are hundreds of thousands of dollars in city reserve accounts; – Sharman knows those accounts better than any of the newbies..

Could he find a way to loosen up some of that money?

The option the LaSalle PArk MArina Association hopes is chosen through the Environmental Assessment due MArch 2013.

Funds to pay for the break water barrier were found – all the city had to do was raid the Hydro Reserve fund.

If the outgoing council could find a way to use $4 million plus that was in the Hydro Reserve find for the breakwater facility at the LaSalle Park Marina – Paul Sharman can find a way to wiggle some funds out of other reserve accounts.  This of course will drive the Director of Finance bananas – that department likes nice thick reserves earning solid interest for the city.

Many people are watching how Meed Ward handles herself in the first 18 months. The people she took political power from are quite willing to see her fall on her face.

The pressure will be immense, which will be nothing new to Meed Ward. The current council has bullied and harassed this woman for the past eight years. Some of the behaviour bordered on the kind of thing you report to authorities that can take corrective action and ensure that there is due process.

Her council colleagues were not the only level that harassed Meed Ward; the failures in the Clerk’s department are legion.

Meed Ward tried hard to establish a good working relationship with Mary Lou Tanner when she was first appointed as the Director of Planning. Her efforts didn’t take.

In the months ahead, expect Councillor Sharman to go into his “smarmy” mode and do his best to charm the newcomers. He has reached out to all of them.

He will sit and wait patiently and should Meed Ward not be up to the job she has taken on – Paul Sharman will try to convince the city that he can do the job – for he was the best strategic thinker Rick Goldring had ever met.

Red jacket at city hall

The mandate is thin – the hope runs very deep.

Meed Ward’s mandate is thin. However, she has the goodwill and high hopes of many of the people who want to see the core values that are Burlington be recognized, kept and built upon.

Too early to tell if the battle lines for the 2022 election are drawn.

For her fans, and her supporters – stop lauding and convincing yourselves she can walk on water.  What Marianne Meed Ward needs is to be held accountable day in and day out.

In 2014 she asked people to trust her – they did and she changed the way the city operates.

She will need that trust going forward.

Related news stories:

The day city council beat up Marianne Meed Ward

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Martha street community divided on proposed development south of New Street.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 21, 2018



The meeting room at the Lions Hall on John Street was full; area residents wanted to know more about a proposed 11 storey development that was yards away from an application for an 18 storey development.  A 26 story development has been approved for the bottom of Martha street.  The neighbourhood was getting crowded.

401 Martha - audience

Audience at the Lions Hall listening to details on a proposed Martha Street development.

People were in the room to hear what the LDG group wanted to build on the east side of Martha Street south of New Street. The land they assembled backs onto Rambo Creek which has created some problems for the developer. The ownership of the creek and how the flood plain will be managed are problems that are still being worked on

The developers have yet to file an application with the city Planning department. The new rules for developments is the requirement that they meet with the public and get reaction from the community that is going to feel the impact.

And impact there is going to be on all of Martha south of New Street. Based on the developments that are planned 520 new residences are going to be created in a stretch of land that you could walk in less than ten minutes.

2018-10-17_Martha St_View 5

11 storeys with a set back from the street of two metres – total of 132 units, five of which will be two story townhouses.

The Adi development at Lakeshore, the Martha that will be on James (James Street and New Street cut through Martha Street).

LDG assembled six properties on which there are five houses.

The proposed development will have four levels of underground parking. There will be 135 parking stalls with an additional seven parking spaces for visitors. The current city parking requirement is for 1.25 parking spaces for each unit. It was not made clear if a parking spot was bundled into the sale price – prices have yet to be set.

The developers did tell the audience that the faster they get approval the lower the cost of the units. The audience chuckled at that comment.

There will be two elevators and the developers is looking for some way to include a ride sharing service..

There will be 80 indoor bicycle parking spots and six outdoor spots.

2018-10-17_Martha St_View 1

Some of the units at the ground level will be two story townhouses. Rendering shows a setback from the street of two metres.

The proposed LDG group development will have 132 condo units of which five will be two story townhouses with three bedrooms. These will be built into the street level of the building and have different cladding.

Those giving the presentation continued to point out that the development complied with all the current policies. This development has to comply with the existing Official Plan and not with the plan that was approved by city council and sent to the Regional government where it has to be approved.

While stressing that the proposed development meets all the current policy guidelines Marianne Meed Ward pointed out that a site with medium density should have 185 units per hectare.

Garden at the rear

Open landscaped space at the rear of the proposed building will abut Rambo Creep. The design shown at the public meeting had pathways for the general public – the audience wasn’t all that keen on that idea.

The developer will be asking for the right to build 413 units on each hectare; an increase of more than 200%.
The developers want to create as much outdoor space that can be used and are asking to have a set back from the street of just 2 metres; the bylaws currently call for a six metre set back.

Time line for this development? The developer said getting approval in principle should take about 18 months and two years to build.

Singe bedroom units will range between 650 to 900 sq. ft.

Two bedroom units will range between 850 sq. ft. to 1400 sq. ft. in size

The developers said they met with Mayor Goldring about the development.

Saxony on ElginThe LDG Group is currently building the six floor Saxony opposite the Performing Arts Centre on Elgin Street.  That development was originally set at four storeys – council approved an application for an additional two storeys.

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Lisa Kearns stakes out her territory, announces at public meeting she is there to serve the residents. She will be sworn into office December 3rd.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 21st, 2018



It might have been a little confusing to Martha Street residents who attended a proposed development meeting at the Lions Hall earlier this week.

The room was full; representatives for the developer were on hand to explain what they proposed and get feedback from the area residents.

Kearns direct smile

Lisa Kearns – not waiting until she is sworn in to represent ward 2.

Where it might have been confusing was: who was the ward council member? Lisa Kearns, elected to that job in October gets sworn in on December 3rd. She stood up and introduced herself to the audience as the council member and she was there to work for them.

Sitting on the other side of the room was the real ward Councillor, Marianne Meed Ward, who was also the Mayor Elect. Marianne was able to chuckle at the confusion.

In the past Meed Ward has called meetings when there was a new development being proposed in her ward.

Meed Ward winsome

Marianne Meed Ward, current Councillor for ward 2 gets up-staged by Councillor elect at a ward meeting. Meed Ward did get to speak as the Mayor Elect.

She would invite the community and the developer and chair the meeting.

The rules have changed. Meed Ward’s practice was made part of the development process. The Planning department will not accept an application until the developer has met with the community – that requires a developer to hold a public meeting. The developer chairs the meeting.

That left Meed Ward who is the ward Councillor and the Mayor Elect sitting at the back of the room waving her hand in the air to get heard.

At the end of the meeting Kearns stood by the exit door shaking people’s hands and thanking them for coming. Nothing shy about this woman.

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What will the 2019 tax increase be ? Let's hope the new council is open and honest about what the taxes are going to be.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 21st, 2018



On Jan. 29, 2018, Burlington City Council approved the 2018 Operating Budget with a 4.36% city tax increase, resulting in a 2.64% overall tax increase.

Everything about that statement which appears on the city website is true.

However, the only number that the newly elected city council can do anything about is the city’s budget.

Stolte and Kearns - budget book

Newly elected city Councillors Shawna Stolte (ward 4) and Lisa Kearns (ward 2) look over the budget book for 2018. They will get the budget book for 2019 later this year.

The tax bill residents receive includes the city’s tax, the Board of Education tax and the tax levied by the Regional Council.

The city has absolutely no impact on the tax levy from the school board. All the city does is collect the money for the Boards of Education.

At the Regional level Burlington has 7 votes out of a total of 21 votes. We have influence but the Regional tax level which covers waste collection, social services, police, part of the water system and health services to name some of what the Region does are not decisions Burlington Regional Councillors make in isolation.

Something many people don’t realize is that half of a Burlington council member’s income comes from the Region.

That 2.64% that the city makes mention of is the result of averaging the three – Boards of Education, Region and the city tax levy.

It is convenient for the politicians to use the average number – it is lower, makes them look better.

Burlington has had annual increases that were either more than 4% or just under that level in each of the past seven years. It was only in the first year of the council that served from 2018 to 2014 when the tax increase over the previous year was 0%.

That feat was achieved for the most part by then newcomer to city council Paul Sharman who just pushed and pushed and pushed and made it happen.

It will be interesting to see if the five people elected to council for the first time  will be honest, open and transparent about how much of your money they are going to collect

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City hall online forms scheduled maintenance - Nov. 23 at 9 p.m., back on line on the 24th at 9 am.

notices100x100By Staff

November 20th,2018


The City of Burlington’s online forms are scheduled for maintenance on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, starting at 9 p.m.

The following online forms will not be available during the maintenance:

• Business License Renewal
• Property Information Requests
• Marriage Licenses
• Senior Rebates application
• Dog Licenses
• Tax Assessment Lookup

These forms will be available again starting on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 at 9 a.m.

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Tansley Pool life guards recognized for their part in saving the life of a swimmer.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

November 20th, 2018



The Burlington Fire Department recognized the aquatic staff at Tansley Woods Pool who responded to the near drowning incident in September.

Fire Chief David Lazenby yesterday, acknowledged the team work of seven Tansley Woods lifeguards for their life saving efforts made on Sept. 24, 2018 at Tansley Woods Pool.

Mr Breedveld, a swimmer was without vital signs when City of Burlington lifeguards pulled him from the water. They performed lifesaving efforts until emergency services arrived and could take over.

Mr. Breedveld attended the event with his wife and personally thanked the lifeguards and first responders for saving his life.

Life savers

Front from left to right: Burlington Fire Captain Dan Udovc, Acting Captain Adam Cioruch, Mr. Breedveld, Firefighter Jenny Blain and Firefighter Brett Turner. Back: Heather Kress – Supervisor of Aquatics, Lifeguards Diane Selman, Stephanie Judd, Julia Watson, Kevin Dawley, Chantelle Andree, Meagan Laking, Stephanie Armstrong, Burlington Fire Chief David Lazenby

Fire chief + swimmer

Fire Chief David Lazenby in conversation with Mr. Breedveld

The seven lifeguards: Stephanie Armstrong, Diane Selman, Kevin Dawley, Stephanie Judd, Chantelle Andree, Julia Watson and Meagan Laking, were presented with certificates from the Burlington Fire Department, the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department and the Lifesaving Society.

Fire Chief David Lazenby said ““It is an honour to recognize the Tansley Woods lifeguards for their excellent team work and lifesaving skills. They are heroes and we are proud to serve our community along side them.”

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Festival of Trees at BPAC will support local theatre productions.

artsblue 100x100By Staff

November 20th, 2018



The Performing Arts Centre is a place where performances take place – it is not a production theatre – the don’t create and produce plays or dance events except on rare occasions when they partner with a local group that has produced a play that they want to put on stage.

Part of the mandate of the Performing Arts Centre is to encourage small local, sometimes experimental groups to bring their productions to the theatre.

Festival of Trees courtesy of BPAC

Twenty five six foot artificial Christmas trees will be raffled off to raise funds for local performance groups.

The problem is someone has to pay for the space that is used – the local groups seldom have the funds – and space at the theatre is not cheap. Many groups take a pass on the chance to use the Community Studio Theatre.

ACCOB – Arts and Cultural Council of Burlington found a way to work with the Performing Arts Centre to raise funds that would be dedicated to paying for space rentals.

They came up with the idea of Festival of Trees – these are artificial trees that are decorated and set out in the Family Lobby.

This year there will be 25 artificial trees each six feet tall. They were donated by Canadian Tire – Burlington stores and will be raffled off about a week before Christmas.

Each of the trees is sponsored by a local organization as well.

Raffle Tickets can be purchased in person in the BPAC Family Lobby: 1 ticket for $2, 3 tickets for $5, 7 tickets for $10

The raffle ticket proceeds and the tree sponsorship money goes to ACCOB.  Last year the initiative was able to raise $3000 that paid for dour days of Community Studio space.

The Performing Arts Centre will be open daily from 12pm to 4pm, and prior to evening performances, throughout the Festival, with extended hours based on Lobby activity.

LightsUp theatre

The LightsUp production of Run for your Wife one of the local productions that benefited from the 2017 Festival of Trees fund raiser..

ACCOB decides who will be given the space for a production. ACCOB members have an opportunity to submit their ideas.

The 2018 recipients were Lights Up! Theatre; Koogle Theatre and Andrea Battista.

For those who want to see innovate, ground breaking theatre and dance in the city, find a way to spend some time in the Performing Arts Centre Family Room and buy a handful of raffle tickets.

Buffy St. Marie, and all the other headliners are good for those looking for entertainment. Bringing in a Russian dance group for a production of the Nutcracker Suite is also part of what a Performing Theatre should be doing.

Fay - hands out

BPAC Executive Director Tammy Fox

Now that BPAC Executive Director Tammy Fox has found her footing she can now perhaps get more innovative. She is known to be trying to put something together with the Sound of Music people.

Something that might get taken up by the new city council that will be sworn in early in December – at the Performing Arts Centre (will this count as local entertainment?) is – how can more in the way of funds be funneled into local original works.

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A financial update that forgot about the environment - without it, nothing else matters.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

November 20th, 2018



They’re calling it an ‘economic outlook and fiscal review’. After all it’s been less than six months since Ford rode his big blue machine into the premier’s office. But it’s clear from this economic statement that his team hasn’t yet sorted out all its priorities, even as the brain trust tries to deliver on some of the promises from the election campaign.

The deficit was just one of Ford’s prime promises, and the PC’s s have managed to wrestle it down by a whacking half billion dollars to a mere $14.5 billion. Of course the deficit would be even lower had Ford just accepted the auditor general’s estimate rather than creating his own numbers. But it makes better politics if you can claim you inherited a huge deficit.

And what we are seeing of the accounting is a little confusing because Ford’s finance minister, Vic Fedeli, insists that they actually saved the taxpayers over three billion dollars. He is obviously referring to the price of the environmental programs his government killed. But getting rid of ‘cap and trade’ also killed the goose that laid the golden egg which funded those green initiatives.

Money in your pocket

The statement is pretty clear. Is it the direction the Ontario economy should be going in?

Conservatives are about nothing if not cutting taxes. And Ford, true to his word, has run up half billion dollars of new debt by providing a tax credit for those earning less than $30,000. This credit, called LIFT, is being sold as an alternative to allowing the minimum wage to rise to $15. But nobody is buying that since two thirds of workers in that income range already don’t pay any taxes. And allowing minimum wages to rise wouldn’t have increased the deficit.

He is also dabbling in trickle down economics by killing the income surtax for the wealthiest in Ontario – those earning more than $300,000. Tax cuts at the top and bottom mean that the middle class will need to make up the difference eventually – subsidizing everyone else.

And while the government may take credit for a four cent gas pump price drop, that should be kept in context. Market forces alone have reduced prices by over 25 cents from earlier this year, and those forces may just as easily reverse direction into the future. And then an imminent federal carbon tax will cost at least another four more cents.


A program that will last less than a year. Very tough on those that lose the benefit.

Perhaps the biggest cost saving in this mini-budget actually comes from dropping the universality of the ‘OHIP plus’ drug plan, excluding those with an existing private health plan. Clearly this was something the previous Liberal government could have done and it is a good example of the kind of efficiency Ford had presumably been talking about. Education spending appears to not have been touched and health spending has increased ever so slightly, helping Ford keep his promise of providing more beds.

The government is taking heat for terminating three oversight agencies which monitored francophone rights, child care and the environment. Despite promises to continue to deliver this oversight through the auditor general or ombudsman offices, it is unlikely the Environmental Bill of Rights will survive. And there is a double whammy for Franco-Ontario residents as a French language university proposed for Toronto is also canned. That is on top of the three satellite university campuses Ford has already chopped.

Government employees and civil servants take part in a demonstration against the Spanish government's latest austerity measures, in the center of Madrid, on November 16, 2012. Spain announced on November 15, 2012 it has moved into a second year of a job-killing recession, a day after millions joined anti-austerity strikes and vast protests. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

Is never cutting costs good financial stewardship?

Overall this mini-budget is about austerity as the government looks into the nooks and crannies of its programs to save some tax payer dollars. Of course much of those saving will end up funding the PCs own priorities, like the tax cuts and the senseless fight with the federal government over the carbon tax – which legal experts expect them to lose. A hiring freeze has also helped keep the cost of government down, although Ontario already had the lowest provincial public sector costs per capita in Canada.

And the overall effect of the budget will be contractionary at a time when Ontario is likely nearing the end of its economic boom cycle. Cutting the renewable energy and energy retro-fit programs, formerly a key growth area, will hurt all the working people that Ford keeps promising to help. Trickle down tax cuts for the rich never pay for themselves in increased economic activity and serve more as drain than an economic pump. Finally, the lower income tax cuts pale compared to the economic spending power of a $15 minimum wage for those who spend everything they earn.

But, Ford did deliver on his Buck a Beer promise – sort of.

If this budget was intended to stimulate growth and employment it is a failure. And despite the rhetoric and hype, Ford is pretty much retaining most of the previous government’s initiatives, even if that means turning what he called a Liberal mess into a PC mess.

Except when it comes to the environment! The often promised new climate change plan is nowhere in evidence and if it ever does arrive may likely surface as a piece of tokenism – like a page from the former Harper federal government’s playbook on the environment. But we should remain optimistic.

Climate change fire

Catastrophic fires in California are now an annual thing.

Climate change waves

Flooding on the east coasts and hurricanes that demolish communities are now part of the hurricane season.

For a budget which does so little, especially even it comes to the deficit, its pictorial presentation as a comic book almost seems appropriate. But there are serious issues facing the province and one of the most critical is nowhere to be seen, not even in the closing statement… “We gladly tighten our own belts now, knowing that it will provide this generation and future ones with the secure, prosperous future they deserve.”

What good is it to balance the books when the very planet our lives and livelihood depend on is in peril?

Notably absent from Ford’s mini-budget is any attempt to mitigate the province’s contribution to global warming. That is no less serious a public concern than the debt, especially for Ontario’s youth. But at least we can take comfort from the immediate extension of liquor store hours and the upcoming whacky weed stores next year.

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:

Mini-Budget –     Cutting Oversight –    More Cutting

Even More Cuts –     Environmental Commissioner

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A juried craft show for the discriminating buyer - entertainment and loot bags as well.

eventsorange 100x100By Pepper Parr

November 20th, 2018



When we are told that an event is being curated we usually think of an art or craft exhibit; a situation when experts have reviewed and determined what will be in the exhibit.

A curated shopping event is something new. Stephanie Finn thinks curating shopping events is the kind of thing that is efficient and smart – a good business opportunity as well.

Burlington MADEBurlington MADE is the corporate name – the focus is on craft items made by Burlington artisans.
Finn looks for items that will interest a demographic she has focused on; younger people who has better than average disposable income and

Stephanie Finn

Stephanie Finn

Stephanie is a marketer.

She identifies market niches and develops them into events and then looks for artisans that have product that she thinks will attract her market.

She then finds a location that is several cuts above a church basement and has free parking.
Her next event will be at the Ron Joyce Centre at the McMaster University School of business on the South Service Road.

Saturday, November 24th – 10am to 4pm

Meet 55+ of the best local makers.

Enjoy live music and gourmet food and drinks.

Burlington MADE products

Perogies and toques – about as Canadian as you are going to get.

VIP Tickets are now on sale! Your VIP Pass grants you access to an express check-in lane anytime during the market (especially valuable in the morning!). It also comes with a coffee, tea or hot chocolate at the show, a sweet treat, and a keepsake tote bag filled with surprise goodies and exclusive deals from our artisans and favourite local businesses. Get one before they’re gone!

There is a $5 entrance fee.

The items will have been juried by a group of three people. Stephanie said she has “thousands” of applications from people who want to be part of the Burlington MADE event.

It’s worth taking a look at – she attracts a younger, discriminating crowd.

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Fiorito wants to see attention paid to getting lids on Blue Boxes and a ravine management program.

100 daysWe asked Burlington residents that we know and have communicated with in our seven years of operation what they think the new city council needs to do in its first 100 days.

There are a lot of people unhappy with transit; unhappy with the thinking that is coming out of the Planning department and worried about annual tax increases of around 4% annually.  Here is what Vince Fiorito thought.

By Vince Fiorito
November 20th, 2018

Congratulations to Burlington’s elected City Councillors and Mayor! May you govern wisely for our community’s benefit!

Rules of engagement graphic

These were the rules Mayor Elect used at her ward meetings. The city adopted them for city wide use.

Your First 100 Days sets the tone with constituents, city staff and various interest groups. Please treat everyone with dignity and respect to foster a cooperative, collaborative environment at city hall. You never know who can help or hurt you, including former political rivals, their supporters and the person who waters the plants in your office? Why the plant person? They overhear conversations as they water plants and know much more than they let on; same with the person who empties the trash. I recommend you get to know “everyone” at city hall.

We need a Mayor at the helm with all Councillors rowing in the same direction to make progress on important issues. I recommend all Councillors fly their ideas by the Mayor first before making public pronouncements.

Within the first 100 days, everyone must have a firm understanding of how the city collects and spends our money. I recommend an independent audit of city finances to establish baselines to measure improvements, as well as identify past poor decisions, waste and mismanagement.

You have a mandate to change the city Official Plan and solve traffic congestion problems. Please design our city to accommodate walking, biking, taxis (fleet owned autonomous vehicles), public transit and delivery vehicles. Make developers accommodate and pay for their fair share of improvements which increase property values.

All new development must prioritize creating affordable, accessible housing for seniors living on fixed incomes and millennials moving out of their parent’s basement.

We need to reform our electoral system to make every vote count, even when 11 candidates run against each other.

Sheldon Creek - farm equipment + Vince

Vince Fiorito with a piece of equipment that got dumped into the Sheldon Creek ravine.

On the environmental front we need:
• lids on Blue Boxes
• a city wide tree by-law
• a plan to relocate the Aldershot Quarry
• a ravine management policy
• a biodiversity and endangered species management policy
• an invasive species management policy
• a recognized right to know about local pollution sources
• a program that makes polluters pay for improvements to the ecological systems that clean our air, purify our water and producing uncontaminated food

Vince FitorioVince Fiorito, a ward 5 resident and an acknowledged expert on invasive species and local environmental issues.  He was named the Sheldon Creek Steward by Conservation Halton

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Christmas concert at Compass Point Bible Church this Saturday.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

November 19th, 2018



The Burlington New Millennium Orchestra conducted by maestro Charles Cozens, is performing at Compass Point Bible Church, 1500 Kerns Road, on  Saturday, November 24th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Compass Point Bible ChurchTickets are $49 Premium, $39 Adult and $22 Youth 18 and under.
Available through our website or call 416.616.1098


The Burlington New Millennium Orchestra (BNMO) is a professional orchestra comprised of highly respected musicians and talented soloists whose performances are comparable to those of the Canadian Opera Company, the Metropolitan Opera and other leading orchestras.

Charles Cozens: arranger, composer and orchestrator
Charles Cozens is the driving force of the Burlington New Millennium Orchestra a contemporary chamber orchestra specializing in a broad based non-classical repertoire. Highly acclaimed as an arranger, composer and orchestrator he is best known for his compelling symphony shows, featuring arrangements for full orchestra performed by artists that include Sir Elton John, Randy Bachman, The Nylons, Mark Masri and more. He is also an accomplished orchestral and theatrical conductor, pianist, accordionist, and CD producer.

Family Holiday Concert
The evening also includes celebrated guests Lindsay Barrett, Soprano; Peter Barrett, Baritone; Internationally acclaimed Hamilton Children’s Choir and Simone Caruso, Soprano plus a special appearance from Santa Claus!

Lindsay Barrett – Soprano
Lindsay Barrett attended the University of Toronto’s Opera School receiving the Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Scholarship. Her credits include performances with Off Centre Music; Saskatoon Opera; Highlands Opera Studio; and U of T Orchestra. Lindsay is currently an artist with the Canadian Opera Company.

Peter Barrett – Baritone
Recipient of the Ian Rosenblatt Bursary at the Wexford Festival in Ireland and a top prize winner in the Montreal International Music Competition, baritone Peter Barrett is one of Canada’s most important new faces on the opera and concert stage.

Peter Barrett has performed with the Canadian Opera Company, Newfoundland Symphony, Brooklyn Academy, Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Hamilton, Newfoundland Symphony and Vancouver Opera.

Hamilton Children’s Choir
Hamilton Children’s Choir, enjoys its reputation for being one of the leading children’s choral programs in the world. Going far beyond technical excellence, the choir lead by Music Director, Zimfira Poloz, consistently dazzles audiences with its focused sound, brilliant repertoire, and captivating stage presence.

Celebrating over 40 years of choral singing, the Hamilton Children’s Choir has grown to include six choral groups and approximately 200 young singers aged 3 to 18. The HCC’s Ilumini choir has shared the stage with world renowned international artists, including Celine Dion at the 1999 Juno Awards and more recently, internationally acclaimed a capella group, Rajaton.

In addition, HCC is an active part of the thriving local arts community, performing with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Bach Elgar Choir, the Toronto Northern Lights, TorQ, Chorus Niagara, Young Voices Toronto and the Canadian Male Orpheus Male Choir.

The HCC has also performed at the Choirs & Organ Concert at Roy Thomson Hall, enjoyed special performances at the Haida Celebration, Ontario Sings, and at Hamilton TiCats games.

Simone Caruso
Simone Caruso, started singing, dancing and playing piano at the age of nine. She then went on to achieve all her Royal Conservatory of Music certifications, performed for five years with the Hamilton Children’s Choir, beat out more than 130 competitors for a spot at the 2009 Canadian Youth Talent Competition and become a finalist for Hamilton Teen Idol.

In 2017, Simone Caruso launched her debut album. Described as a “classical crossover,” Only Love is a mix of both original and previously recorded songs, compiled with the assistance of Juno nominated arranger/composer Charles T. Cozens.

BNMO_LogoPurpleBNMODon’t Miss this amazing concert!
The concert is at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, November 24th, 2018 at Compass Point Bible Church, 1500 Kerns Road, Burlington, Ontario L7P 3A7.


Tickets are $49 Premium, $39 Adult and $22 Youth 18 and under.
Available through our website or call 416.616.1098

Burlington New Millennium Orchestra present unique concerts featuring talented professional performing artists from the local, national and international arts communities. BNMO present a fusion of cutting-edge digital music technology integrated with traditional instrumentation that redefines the concert going experience.

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Royal Botanical offers a full schedule of events - a Brunch with Santa is different.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 19th, 2018



Holiday magic returns Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) with Holiday Traditions, RBG’s annual seasonal celebration, entertaining visitors from Saturday, November 17th to January 6th.

North Pole adventures at Hendrie Park include Visits with Santa (drop-in, Wednesdays, November 21 to December 19, Fridays November 23 and December 7), and Santa’s Signature Experience (November 17 to December 23), a separately ticketed event including an hour of programming, and a return trip on the RBG Express train experience.

Train display RBG

Escarpment Train Exhibit takes place in the old Tea House at the Rock Garden.

At the picturesque David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden, Winter Lights at the Rock leads visitors through a winter wonderland with thousands of festive lights, Christmas melodies, food and drink around the firepit and the Escarpment Train Exhibit. This unique holiday experience provides a special evening to capture those perfect holiday memories.

Holiday Traditions is also home to three train experiences. In addition to the RBG Express ride-on train, Canada’s largest botanical train show at RBG Centre features numerous Canadian landmarks constructed from over seven tons of cedar slabs, 3,000 pounds of rock and 250 feet of track, and nestled amongst hundreds of live plants.

The Escarpment Train Exhibit at Rock Garden is the newest locomotive attraction, a “G scale” model set that illustrates three eras of locomotion history. The Escarpment Train Exhibit is available as part of general admission on weekends, or as part of Winter Lights at the Rock.

Weekends are filled with seasonal activities, children’s entertainment and local school and adult choirs. Special events include two evenings of Fest of Ales, a unique celebration of craft beer (December 6 and 7), Brunch with Santa (December 8, 9 and 16), and evening entertainment as part of Winter Lights at the Rock. Winter Lights at the Rock is sponsored by Colliers Project Leaders.


Winter Lights at the Rock
Thursdays to Sundays*, November 17 to December 30 (*some date restrictions apply)
6 to 9 p.m.; Rock Garden
Tickets required: rbg.ca/winterlights

Botanical Train Display
November 17 to January 6
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; RBG Centre
Included in general admission or membership. rbg.ca/trains

Escarpment train

Escarpment Train Exhibit

Escarpment Train Exhibit
Weekends, November 17 to December 24
10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Rock Garden
Included in general admission or membership. rbg.ca/trains

Entertainment: Cartoon Bob
Saturday and Sunday
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; RBG Centre
Included in general admission or membership.
See weekend entertainment schedule at rbg.ca/holiday-entertainment

Saturday and Sunday
10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; RBG Centre
Included in general admission or membership.
See weekend activity schedule at rbg.ca/holiday-activities

RBG winter walk

Winter Walks

Winter Walks
Saturday and Sunday
11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; Hendrie Park
Included in general admission or membership.

Train Scavenger Hunts / Activity Book
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; RBG Centre
Included in general admission or membership.

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Performing Arts shifts into the Festive season with a display of 25 Christmas trees - all to be raffled.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

November 19th, 2018



The Festival of Trees is going to light up the Family Lobby of the Performing Arts Centre from November 22 through to December 20

The lobby will be lit up with a colourful and festive display of trees that is sure to spark some yuletide enthusiasm in anyone that visits. This is the 2nd Annual joint community fundraising initiative by The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC) and the Arts & Culture Council of Burlington (ACCOB).

Festival of Trees courtesy of BPAC

The twenty five – 6-foot, pre-lit artificial Christmas trees are all generously donated by Canadian Tire – Burlington Stores.

Raffle Tickets can be purchased in person in the BPAC Family Lobby: 1 ticket for $2, 3 tickets for $5, 7 tickets for $10

Each Christmas Tree is sponsored and decorated by a local business or organization within the Burlington community. Patrons and visitors to BPAC will have the opportunity to take one of these trees home by purchasing raffle tickets for the Festival of Trees draw.


An Andy Kim Christmas December 20th.


All trees will be raffled off and winners announced during intermission on Thursday, December 20 at The Andy Kim Christmas show. Proceeds benefit the BPAC/ACCOB Community Studio Theatre Initiative, which provides greater access to BPAC for local community performing arts organizations. The proceeds will be used to cover the base rent of the Community Studio Theatre at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre for 4 days in 2019.

Stop by BPAC to take a stroll through the Festival of Trees and light up your holidays. There will be feature surprise performances and fun activities for the whole family.

The Performing Arts Centre will be open daily from 12pm to 4pm, and prior to evening performances, throughout the Festival, with extended hours based on Lobby activity.

BPAC and the Arts & Culture Council of Burlington extend their sincere appreciation and special thanks to Canadian Tire – Burlington Stores for their generous donation of all of the Christmas Trees in the Festival and to the following community businesses and organizations for their generous sponsorship of the trees: 27th Orchard Scout Troup, A Different Drummer Books, Aldershot Village BIA, Members of the Burlington Network Group, Bodhi Bar, Burlington Beach Rentals, Museums of Burlington, Century 21 Dreams Inc. – Rebecca Keddy, Conservation Halton, Cori Arthurs Floral Design, Harmony Jewellers, Hayley Verrall Music and Artist Leah Verrall, Holland Park Garden Nursery, Joelle’s & Jeff’s Guyshop, Long & McQuade Burlington, Mirella’s Ladies Boutique, Molly Cake, Mrs. B’s Gifthouse, Nancy Brewer Professional Corporation, S. Taylor Jewellery Appraisal & Consultation, Ti Vesto and Tourism Burlington.

The Holiday programming at the Performing Arts Centre includes:

John McDermott Christmas with Special Guests Dala December 2,

Very-Electric-Christmas BPAC

Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas December 5,

Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas December 5,

National Ballet Theatre of Odessa’s The Nutcracker December 7 & 8,

A Next Generation Leahy Christmas December 13, and

The Andy Kim Christmas December 20.

All BPAC Presents Holiday performances are generously sponsored by Cogeco.

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Margaret Lindsay Holton's newest title 'Trillium' to be released at A Different Drummer on December 7th.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2018



She describes herself as a “provocative Golden Horseshoe artist and author,and is inviting people for a ‘MEET & GREET’ book signing of her new novel, Trillium, at A Different Drummer Books, in downtown Burlington, at 513 Locust Street, on FRIDAY, December 7th, from 7 to 8pm. There will be cider & cookies on hand too!

Holton H&S

Margaret Lindsay Holton

Margaret Lindsay Holton, tackles a number of timely issues in this latest work under the guise of an adult hybrid historical novel. This epic family saga spans 250 years, from the 1750s to 2001 and follows three families as they arrive, strive and survive in the Niagara wine-making region of Ontario.

It all starts with nineteen year old Tom Hartford clings for his life to a boulder halfway down the Niagara Falls gorge.

An award-winning writer of two other ‘Canadian manners’ novels, ‘Economic Sex’ (1985, Coach House Press) and ‘The Gilded Beaver’ (1999, Acorn Press Canada), Holton uses the dialogue of a multitude of characters to demonstrate the enduring influence that ancestors have on future generations. The author describes the work as a “memorable sweep of local history that includes, as example, unsavory aspects of WW2 when Italian-Canadians fought at the European front but were also incarcerated in Canada.

Trillium FRONT MLH“Nuanced yet deliberate, Holton’s sub-text also invites contemplation about our changing social habits, manners and mores as a result of manufacturing innovation. When automobiles, TVs and the birth control pill became household commodities, they irrevocably altered how we interact.

“This epic story comes to a conclusion just as the internet and the new digital age is taking off within campus environments in the early 2000s. It’s worth remembering that Facebook, Twitter, and the internet as we know it, now so commonplace, did not exist a mere two decades ago.

Long an active artist of the area, born and raised on a North Burlington sheep farm, Holton’s main studio is now on the Hamilton Beach strip.

City View Park

Holton has very strong views on the artificial turf put in the City View Park

Holton is also a political activist who tackles environmental issues mercilessly. She foresees a political reckoning when the artificial grass in the City View park has to be ripped out. The park, located on Kerns road near Dundas St, west of Brant St, is a 165-acres of both active and passive park amenities including 3 artificial turf sports fields.

The park is within walking distance of the Holton family homestead.

If unable to attend the ‘MEET & GREET’ on December 7th, an epub edition, and an alternate US-made print edition, will be available in early Spring 2019 via Amazon.ca.

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Sound of Music Festival appoints new Executive Director.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2018



SoM logo 2018It took a little while but the Sound of Music (SoM) Board has selected and hired a new Executive Director to replace David Miller who got dropped like a stone last July.

The SoM Board announces that after an “extensive search with the assistance of leading recruitment professionals HR- Fusion. The Sound of Music Festival is excited to announce Myles D. Rusak as the new Executive Director.

Myles brings over 15 years’ experience in the not-for-profit industry along with a lifetime of musical passion as a musician and champion of Arts & Culture.

Myles Rusak H&S

Myles D. Rusak, the new Executive Director of the Sound of Music Festival.

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Myles attended the Lakehead University Fine Arts Music program where he studied Jazz & Vocal. His Not-For-Profit career has brought him to leadership positions with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – Southern Alberta; James Allan’s Girls’ School in the United Kingdom, Alberta Theatre Projects, Parkinson Alberta and most recently as the Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grand Erie.

Myles maintains his Musical passions as a board member and volunteer (past and present) for the Brantford Symphony Orchestra, Magnus Theatre, Thunder Bay Blues Festival, and various Fringe Festivals across Ontario.

He is also an avid musician who can be found playing guitar, drums or keyboard at various times throughout Southern Ontario.

Rusak with a top hat

Myles Rusak, centre, is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Sound of Music Festival. He appears to have a touch of show business in him.

Board President, Peter Martin said: “Myles’ addition to the Sound of Music provides a fresh perspective on building relationships throughout the Burlington Community. This is an ongoing priority for the festival as we continue to engage the people of Burlington and surrounding area and create an artistic space which is of benefit to the entire community.”

He added that Myles’ experience in strategic planning and leadership will be invaluable to the success of our Festival. We are most excited to have him at the helm and look forward too many years of continued success under his guidance.

Rusak ran as a ward level candidate for the County of Brant; placed sixth out of seven candidates.

Rusak with wife and daughter Paris Apothecary

Myles Rusak with wife and daughter in the Paris Apothecary

He and his wife ran the Paris Apothecary in Paris Ontario

That is certainly an eclectic background.

The SoM is an organization with a volunteer base that is to die for. It is both extensive in size and impressive in terms of the way they show up year after year to make the Festival the continuing success it has been.  When former Executive Director David Miller was shown the door the volunteers took the decision personally and many basically quit the organization.

When the Myles Rusak appointment was announced one Gazette source wanted to know if “ this fellow is full time this year or watching and learning as he has no festival experience.”

The source went on to say that “ a lot of the volunteers are walking including committee chairs based on not replacing any of the other paid staff accept for chair.

“Apparently Rian Malloch got a bigger contract to do much more”.

Malloch was the “spin doctor” the SoM Board used to tell the Miller firing story when things were a little chaotic at the SoM.   He has a strong music background.

There appears to still be some dissension in the ranks. The upside however is that the Board did send the media release to the Gazette. We just might be able to kiss and make up with that Board after all.

Related new story:

The SoM without Dave Miller


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Bridging the gaps between those who won and those who lost during the election is job #1 for Mayor Elect Meed Ward.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2018



With Thanksgiving and Halloween behind us the next holiday Season has to be Christmas.

How do you know it is here? Check out the mall parking lots. Or look for the community Christmas trees that are going up.

Aldershot tree 2

It looks as if Aldershot was the first community to erect a ward level Christmas tree.

Aldershot appears to be the first ward in the city to put up a tree. Mayor Elect is doing the right thing early in the game – getting out with people in Aldershot, wrapping her arms around the shoulders of the ward election winner and the second place candidate – the job now is to pull the community together and show them how people can work collaboratively and cooperate.

MMW with Kelvin and Judy W

Mayor Elect Marianne Meed Ward with Kelvin Galbraith, elected to represent ward 1 and Judy Worsley who placed second. Hopefully Worsley will stay in with the Aldershot BIA.

Some questions that come to mind?
The new council will be sworn in on Monday December 3rd at 6:30 pm at the Performing Arts Centre. When the event took place in 2014 there was a motivational speaker – Ron Foxcroft did the honours then.

Does the Mayor Elect have any say in who that speaker should be? And if she does who should Marianne Meed Ward choose to address the audience? Who is there out that that has the kind of public profile needed to attract attention and who has a message that will represent what Meed Ward wants her council to stand for and someone who will resonant with the audience.

Ken Greenberg was in Burlington a couple of years ago with a strong message on how municipal governments can build community. He is one the better recognized planners in the country – speaks around the world.

If Jane Jacobs were alive she would have been a natural.

The decisions Meed Ward makes in this first hundred days are vital to both bridge the gaps that exist between those who won and those who lost and at the same time send a message – this is who we are and this is what we want to do.

Deliver that message with strength, humility and a tablespoon of kindness.

Outgoing Mayor Rick Goldring made it clear that if called upon for advice he would be available; Meed Ward would be wise to lunch with him several times during at least her first year in office.

Sometime in the near future she will announce who will staff her office.  The person she chooses as Chief of Staff, assuming she retains that position, will be interesting.

Meed Ward set out a part of her agenda when she used a point of privilege at the final meeting of the current municipal government to make it clear that personal attacks were no longer going to be tolerated.

She said:

Meed ward election night 1

It started at the Polish Hall on election night: where it goes – only time will tell. There were a lot of high hopes in that hall.

Meed Ward said “it was very unfortunate that a member made comments that were a personal attack. .

“We have seen enough of that.

“We saw it during the election

“We see it around this table

“It is a new day

“This stops here

“It stops tonight

“The new council will have respect for each other.

“Respect for the people and respect for staff”

Meed Ward has let the city know some of what she stands for; she has been applauded for not letting this slide by.

Related news story:

A strong statement was made: This stops now.

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Don Fletcher suggests the new city council ask the Region to send the proposed Official Plan back so that it can be re-written.

100 daysWe asked Burlington residents that we know and have communicated with in our seven years of operation what they think the new city council needs to do in its first 100 days.

They get sworn in on December 3rd.  There are a lot of people unhappy with transit; with the thinking  coming out of the Planning department and worried about 4% tax increases.   People voted for a new path to get the city out of the rut many feel it is in.

By Don Fletcher
November 18th, 2018

“What a great initiative!

Asking for engaged citizens’ ideas, prior to the swearing in of our new Council.

While not original, I think the primary objective of the new Council has to be to “fix” our proposed Official Plan.

Official-Plan-Binder_ImageBy “fix”, I mean to retract from the Halton Region’s inbox our current proposal, and in particular, modify and resubmit a downtown plan (with community support) to be a mid-rise (4-8 storey) community, as opposed to the proposed high-rise ( 14- 25 storey) alternative.



1) This is what our Mayor-elect Marianne Meed Ward campaigned on. Trust needs to be restored.

2) The urgency of the submission was self-imposed and the Region will understand, given the “sea change” based on this issue at City Hall.

3) It’s what most engaged citizens want, because they felt that they were being ignored with its’ hasty approval. It became an “election issue”, maybe the central one.

4) It will unquestionably be the “elephant in the room” with all other matters. Deal with it upfront!

5) The developers need certainty with what is permissible in making future investments.

6) LPAT, unlike its’ predecessor OMB, treats the Official Plan as an enforceable criterion (I.e. teeth).

7) The Official Plan has longevity, unlike many of us.

Planning staff put together charts and posters to advise, educate and inform the public. An Official Plan review isn't a sexy subject but it deserves more attention than it is getting.

Planning staff put together charts and posters to advise, educate and inform the public.

Okay.   So nothing radically new there!

I would like to add a “how” we could do this..

Relationship is the medium for results and accomplishments.

I learned this as an executive of a $5B successful Canadian public corporation.

We have a largely new Council with a current understanding of what the residents want, and a staff that mistakenly thought they did.

I’m not a big fan of the one employee of Council, City Manager construct, with all of its’ implications.  It feels as though we, the citizens through their representatives, are having our input constricted through a straw.

I recommend that the new Council convene an offsite (3-day) planning session, with all the functional heads in the administration (including the City Manager) at City Hall, to work through the City’s values, objectives and plans. A derivative benefit of such a meeting would be to begin developing those relationships needed to move the City forward and in a positive direction.

I know of a few very capable facilitators who could help.

What should I be paid for this idea?

A seat at the offsite meeting table. After all, I am a management consultant.”

Don Fletcher is a downtown Burlington resident who has been a city council watcher for some time.  Before retirement he was a senior vice president with a public Canadian company in the communications and entertainment field.

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