Legislation changes the way Police Record Checks to be handled.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 2nd, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service provides Police Record Checks to all residents of the Region of Halton, for volunteer or employment purposes. This service is most efficiently obtained ONLINE or you may attend one of our five police facilities.

On November 1, 2018, the Police Record Checks Reform Act will come into force, ensuring a clear, consistent and comprehensive set of standards to govern how police record checks are conducted and disclosed in Ontario.

The Halton Regional Police Service offers three types of Police Record Checks for the members of the public who reside in the Halton Region. If you are unsure as to which Record Check you need to complete, please see our website.

• Criminal Record Check – Learn more or apply online now.
• Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check – Learn more or apply online now.
• Vulnerable Sector Check – Learn more or apply online now.

The Impact on Youth Record Checks

These standards also include how police services release Police Record Checks containing youth records to applicants. Up until now, police services have released a Police Record Check containing youth records directly to the applicant who then provides the Police Record Check to the organization or volunteer agency. The federal and provincial government has found this approach to be contrary to the Federal Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).

Fee scheduleAs of November 1, 2018, youth can only apply for a Police Record Check if:

A. The youth is applying for purposes of employment or volunteering directly with:

• the Government of Canada;
• the Government of a province; or
• a Municipality;
OR

B. The youth requires their own youth records for their own personal information (Privacy Request).

The Halton Regional Police Service will only provide Police Record Checks to applicants under the age of 18 for government positions.

What does this mean for Non-Government Agencies and Youth Seeking to work or volunteer at these organizations?

Effective November 1, 2018, non-government agencies are not authorized to receive any youth Police Record Check results. Similarly, youth are no longer required to undertake a Police Record Check for volunteer or paid employment with these agencies. To require applicants to apply and pay for a Police Record Check when no results will be released is not in the best interest of the applicants, the police service or the community.

Non-government agencies will now have to proceed with alternative application steps, such as interviews and references for youths, and not rely on, either in part or solely, a Police Record Check, as they may have in the past.

For more information about Police Record Checks, please visit our website:

You are also invited to contact our office directly with your inquiries:

Information and Records Services
2485 North Service Road West
Oakville, ON L6M 0Y3
P: 905-825-4777 ext. 4712

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Burlington woman struck out on her own and created a local business to speak at Ireland House November 8th.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

November 2nd, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Museums Burlington have added to their Speaker Series and will feature Stephanie Finn, the curator, event planner, and one-woman-show behind Burlington MADE, a growing series of modern, highly curated shopping events featuring local artists, makers, and food entrepreneurs.

Museum speaker seriesShe’ll be discussing how she left a cushy corporate marketing job and got her start in the craft industry in 2014, selling natural skincare products that she developed for her infant son’s sensitive skin, and then moved on to planning one-day events that celebrate craft and build community here in Burlington.

The next Speaker Series event with Stephanie Finn, Founder/Director of Stephanie Street Events, Burlington MADE, and Stephanie Street Soap & Skincare will take place on November 8th at Ireland House

Stephanie Finn

Stephanie Finn

Stephanie is the curator, event planner, and one-woman-show behind Burlington MADE, a growing series of modern, highly curated shopping events featuring local artists, makers, and food entrepreneurs. She’ll be discussing how she left a cushy corporate marketing job and got her start in the craft industry in 2014, selling natural skincare products that she developed for her infant son’s sensitive skin, and then moved on to planning one-day events that celebrate craft and build community here in Burlington.

Participants will learn how Stephanie formulates her skincare recipes, and have the opportunity to make and take home a container of lip balm.

Tickets are $20.00 each, include a glass of wine and your take away lip balm. For more information, call 905-332-9888 or email museuminfo@burlington.ca.

This is a licensed event, minors must be accompanied by an adult.

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Civic Chorale to perform on November 17th - Requiem and Handel's Utrecht Te Deum.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

November 2, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Civic Chorale is a mixed-voice community choir formed in 1994 through the collaboration of founder Dr. Gary Fisher and Mary Jane Price, former organist and music director at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, Burlington, Ontario.

They rehearse on Tuesday evenings, 7:15-9:30, and perform at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington, at 622 Guelph Line.

The next performance, their fall concert will take place on Saturday, November 17th at 7:30 pm at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, celebrating the Armistice of WW I with Handel’s “Utrecht Te Deum”, Parry’s “My Soul There Is a Country”, the Mozart “Requiem” and the premiere of a newly commissioned work by Mark Sirett set with the words from Lester Pearson’s Nobel Peace Prize speech of 1957.

November concert final poster“Many choral works celebrate victories,” comments the Singers’ director, Dr. Gary Fisher, “but very few celebrate peace – living together respectfully without the winners punishing the losers. The BCCS decided to celebrate their 25th anniversary by addressing that lack.”

Grants from the Hamilton Community Foundation and the City of Burlington Arts and Culture Fund allowed the Singers to commission “Faith in Peace,” an anthem from noted Canadian composer Mark Sirett.

Choir member Janet Gadeski wove the text from snippets of speeches by Canadian diplomat, parliamentarian and future Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, given when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.

“Sirett has created a powerful, evocative work,” Fisher enthuses. “It portrays Pearson’s grief when, during the Second World War, he saw the devastation of a bombed London neighborhood where nothing remained standing except a plaque in honour of the local men who had died during the First World War. Yet Pearson never lost his faith in humanity’s potential to live in peace. The grants we received for this project have helped to create a work that could be performed all over Canada to lift up the importance of peace.”

Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s “Utrecht Te Deum” complete the program. Displays by Burlington historian Ed Keenleyside, author of “We Were Just Doing Our Bit,” will show the impact of the First World War on Burlington.

The BCC will be joined by soloists and chamber players with accompanist Jennifer Goodine.

Tickets can be reserved for $20 by calling 905-577-2425.

Tickets are $25 at the door, or $20 in advance by calling 905-577-2425.

 

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The ward 1 Councillor Elect is 'speed dating' with the other five new members of council

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 1st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Kelvin Galbraith took the ward 1 city council seat by a decent margin given that there were 11 people on the ballot.

Kelvin Galbraith headshot_Super_Portrait

Kelvin Galbraith – about to learn that being a member of city council is a full time – and then some job.

His connections based on his leadership of the Aldershot Business Improvement Association proved to be what gave him the edge.  The woman who serves as the BIA Executive Director was also a ward 1 candidate – she will now work with Galbraith to grow the commercial sector

Solid Gold replacement

One of the bigger challenges coming down the pipe for the Aldershot community is the planned development on the Solid Gold property just east of Waterdown Road.

He has worked at any number of small business initiatives that included power washing driveway and plowing snow.

He has owned and operated the Fitness Firm located just west of the Plains Road – Waterdown Road intersection on property that someone is going to buy and develop at some point.

Many suggested this would put Galbraith in a conflict of interest – and it will. His answer to that is – “it certainly will put me in a conflict and I will recuse myself from any council vote.”

Galbraith takes the position that just because you own a piece of property doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be running for public office. You just have to let people know the facts and be transparent.

Station West A sign

Is Kevin Galbraith going to succeed where retiring Council member was not able to – in getting a small supermarket into the community. The Adi group are not known for being easy to deal with.

Galbraith is the kind of guy who flowered at doing door-to-door sales work. He is a consistent booster for the community: Thinks the Marina should be improved even more and that some way should be found to include a restaurant on the site. He’d like to see more in the way of restaurants in the community and like everyone else wants to know when there is going to be a supermarket in the west end of the community.

Galbraith has gone a little further than anyone else and is in conversations with the Adi people who are in the process of constructing the Station West development further up Waterdown Road. They, the Adi people see the need for a supermarket.

Galbraith, a graduate of the Business program at Brock University, wants the community to have more than just a Tim Hortons and a MacDonald’s in the way of coffee ships; “these are the only options we have at this point”.

The Fitness Firm Galbraith has owned and operated for more than 15 years has been restructured which will give him the time he is going to need to serve as a council member.

Galbraith said he would meet with constituents at his health club offices – he may find that isn’t going to make some people feel very comfortable. People feel that public business and personal commercial work should be separated.

While Galbraith has solid experience working with the commercial community in Aldershot he hasn’t seen much of city hall. This will be a new experience for him. His common sense and understanding of the street level needs of the Aldershot community should give him a bit of an edge in dealing with budgets and smaller developments.

He gets his first meeting on how the Region works when he takes part in an orientation at the Region later in November. “I’ve already gotten calls from people in Milton and I’m doing the ‘speed dating’ with my fellow Burlington council members.

He has had his first conversation with Paul Sharman, the holdover from the outgoing council.

Aldershot BIAWhere Galbraith will fit in with the crowd that has tended to focus on the downtown core is anyone’s guess – the one thing that was evident during the interview was that Kevin Galbraith is a leader – not a follow the herd type.

He got through university with a nickel of debt. He had a number of part time jobs that put beer money in his pocket and cash in the bank to pay for books and tuition.

Expect that same fiscal prudence from this man at city council.

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New elected members of city council have to figure our how to do their jobs - steep learning curve

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 1st, 2108

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The first thing the members of the city council you elected a week ago are going to have to do is show the public that things are going to be different.

That the respect for each other will be there – and when it isn’t there they will make sure that those who are out of line are brought into line immediately.

If the new council is truly new – citizens will be watching for this.

Without that civility and respect for each other the city is looking at four years of chaos.

Sharman Paul

Paul Sharman – the only council member who held his council seat.

The holdover from the council that is on the way out is Paul Sharman. Many found the man to be difficult to work with and at times seemed menacing to people who were delegating before council.

The Gazette has learned from a number of sources that Sharman is now reaching out in an effort to create bridges to the new members of Council. That is a good sign.

Mayor Elect Marianne Meed Ward is going to need some of the skills Sharman has always had in matters of finance and organization. The problem is going to be the radically different ideological differences between the two.

Some will say that ideology should not be the issue – when that is precisely what the election last Monday was all about.

With a voter turnout of less than 40% – this new council is going to have to be transparent in a way that this city has never seen. They are certainly up to it and if the election promises were real – this is the kind of municipal world all of the newbies want to work in.

It is not going to be easy.

Hand salute

The victory salute. Marianne Meed Ward recognizing the public that elected her at a Polish Hall event.

What the Gazette is watching for is the first few steps that Meed Ward takes as Mayor. If she can be seen as moving forward on several issues within the first 30 days and pulling the whole city together there is a chance that she can actually pull this off.

Meed Ward has time working for her. She get sworn in on December 3rd and begins budget deliberations on the 10th. She then has 12 days to make announcements, take positions before they all head off for the Christmas Holidays.

She has quite a bit of political capital but it doesn’t come from a very broad base. 60% of the population didn’t vote and while Meed Ward had a very convincing win over Rick Goldring and Mike Wallace it isn’t all that wide in terms of the population.

The Gazette’s early thinking on which of the three, Meed Ward, Goldring or Wallace would best serve the interests of those that were vocal – one can only guess what the complacent 60% had in mind – was that Meed Ward was the best hope the city had.

Her thumping the incumbent the way she did suggests that those who were focused and engaged felt she was the person to go with.

Thus we watch closely and carefully how Marianne Meed Ward re-directs the city she chose to live in 18 years ago.

In an exclusive interview with Meed Ward before the ballot were cast she told the Gazette her role models were Hazel McCallion and Bernie Saunders.

If she can focus on the best of both of them and convince her Council to follow her – it just might work.
It is the best hope we have.

Meed Ward is now meeting with the newly elected members of council to get to know them, hear what they hope to achieve during the next four years and answer the questions they have.

One newbie got a call from a constituent about a road problem; he thought about passing it along to the retiring member of council but decided it was his job to do even though he had yet to be sworn in.

He puts out a call to Meed Ward – what do I do? Problem solved.

One of the comments Meed Ward made before she was elected was that if she was elected she wanted to find a way to teach new council members how to deal with staff at city hall.

Who they are, what they do and perhaps how they can best be approached?

The public has now adjusted to the fact that there are going to be changes. People who once had influence at city hall are realizing that the phone calls they used to be able to make to a member of council or the Mayor will not be the same.

Angelo blue sports shirt

Angelo Bentivegna has delegated to city council and knows most of the staff members – he now has to decide what his approach to serving the public is going to be and can he reach the people who were die-hard supporters of the Council member he replaced.

Five of the members of council have no experience dealing with public issues. They each face a steep learning curve; some will do well quite quickly, some will struggle and some may fail and find themselves wondering if they made a poor career choice.

At this point each of the five new members are figuring out how they want to communicate with the people that elected them. Those that voted – and realize that 60% of the people eligible to vote didn’t do so, are, we think, are expecting these new council members to be communicating with them the day after they were elected.

Given the heavy use they all made of Facebook and Twitter and, assuming they kept the names of the people they communicated with, one would think they could have something up in the way of a communications vehicle and a strategy.

Shawna Stolte, who took ward four from a long long term incumbent, found that she really liked talking to people on their doorstep. You can’t cover the 20,000 plus people she now represents walking door to door.

Another newbie thought he would be able to see people in the office of the health club he operates – shades of the Jack Dennison approach; used to be that when you wanted to see Dennison you had to hoof it over to his health club.

Some are suggesting that we need to give these five new members of council time to adjust – the problem with that approach is the issues the public have don’t wait.

Most of these people ran on a campaign that included better engagement. The proof as they say is in the pudding.

How are they doing so far?

Pepper - Gazette shirt - no smileSalt with Pepper are the opinions, reflections, 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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New innovative high school program to be explained to the public at Aldershot high school.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

November 1, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A project that was one of the really positive parts of the PAR that closed two of Burlington’s seven high schools was the decision to create a new program that would be located at the Aldershot High school.

It went through a number of names and took a little time to put together the team that was going to create a new, and some thought radical change in high school programs.

Blackwell

Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education for the Halton Board.

The project was handed off to Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education for the Halton Board is referred to as iStem which is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

The Halton District School Board is holding an I-STEM Open House for students, families and community members to learn about a new regional program for secondary students. The four-year program, located at Aldershot School, will begin in September 2019 with students entering Grade 9.

Available to students in Halton and beyond, the I-STEM program will enable students to develop innovation skills related to engineering design and design thinking, entrepreneurial thinking skills, and global competencies. Community and post-secondary partnerships will provide enhanced learning opportunities for students.

The I-STEM Open House will be held on Tuesday, November 13th from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at Aldershot School (50 Fairwood Place W, Burlington).

M Benz event istem posterAt the I-STEM Open House, students and parents will learn about the:
• four-year program and I-STEM certificate
• unique opportunities within and outside the school
• application process (the application deadline is January 19, 2019 for students interested in entering the program in September 2019)

The I-STEM program has been developed in collaboration with innovators, educators, industry leaders and community members. I-STEM Program Development and Advisory Partners include: McMaster University, Mohawk College, Canada 2067, Let’s Talk Science, Engineers of Tomorrow, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), TechLink, and I-THINK.

To learn more about the I-STEM program, visit www.hdsb.ca (Search “I-STEM”) or email I-STEM@hdsb.ca. Follow the I-STEM program on Twitter at @ISTEM_hdsb.

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Twin Flames will be on stage and doing a workshop at Performing Arts Centre

eventsred 100x100By Staff

November 1st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Twin Flames will return to the Community Studio Theatre for a concert on Friday, November 9 followed by an Indigenous Music & Culture Workshop on Saturday, November 10.

Twin flames

Twin Flames on stage

Twin Flames is a multi award-winning husband and wife duo that combines two accomplished and very unique singer-songwriters Chelsey June, an Algonquin Cree Métis Woman from Ottawa, and Jaaji, an Inuk Mohawk man from Nunavik and Kahnawake. Together they take audiences on a musical journey across Canada and the Arctic.

Twin Flames push the boundaries of contemporary folk, with Indigenous, Inuit stories and traditional styles that incorporate both Western and traditional instruments, with songs written in Inuktitut, English and French. They were awarded Best Folk Album and Best Duo for their Album Signal Fire at the Native American Music Awards on October 12.

Chesley June

Chelsey June, an Algonquin Cree Métis

They will be facilitating an Indigenous Music & Culture Workshop on Saturday, November 10 at 1pm in the BPAC Community Studio Theatre to further their goal of introducing people from around the world to their beautiful cultures, harmonies and powerful songwriting.

The workshop is free of charge and is part of BPAC’s overall commitment to supporting the education and advocacy of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Twin Flames – Concert
Friday, November 9 at 7:30pm in the Community Studio Theatre

Indigenous Music & Culture Workshop with Twin Flames
Saturday, November 10 at 1pm in the Community Studio Theatre

Register at Burlingtonpac.ca/events/twin-flames/

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Festival lights being prepared for installation. Can snow be far behind?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

November 1sty, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It gets dark earlier, more of a chill in the air and Halloween is behind us.

The Downtown Business Association used to support this effort financially - they had to cut back - Burlington Hydro took up the slack. So what is is that BDBA does for their members?

Will the same Sentry’s be set up on Lakeshore Road this year? FEstival lights will be put in Place November 13th and 14th.

That means we now move into the Festive Season – which means the lights will be going up along the Lakeshore Road side of Spencer Smith Park.

Festival of Lights - set up

One of the many volunteers who show up every year to install the lights in Spencer Smith Park.

A lot of people are doing a lot of work to have everything ready for installation on November 13th and 14th.

Watch for it.

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Police record checks process changed effective today. Some surprises.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 31st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service provides Police Record Checks to all residents of the Region of Halton, for volunteer or employment purposes. This service is most efficiently obtained ONLINE or you may attend one of our five police facilities.

HRPS crestOn November 1, 2018, the Police Record Checks Reform Act will come into force, ensuring a clear, consistent and comprehensive set of standards to govern how police record checks are conducted and disclosed in Ontario.

The Halton Regional Police Service offers three types of Police Record Checks for the members of the public who reside in the Halton Region. If you are unsure as to which Record Check you need to complete, please see our website.

• Criminal Record Check – Learn more or apply online now.
• Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check – Learn more or apply online now.
• Vulnerable Sector Check – Learn more or apply online now.

The Impact on Youth Record Checks

These standards also include how police services release Police Record Checks containing youth records to applicants. Up until now, police services have released a Police Record Check containing youth records directly to the applicant who then provides the Police Record Check to the organization or volunteer agency. The federal and provincial government has found this approach to be contrary to the Federal Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).

As of November 1, 2018, youth can only apply for a Police Record Check if:

A. The youth is applying for purposes of employment or volunteering directly with:

• the Government of Canada;
• the Government of a province; or
• a Municipality;

OR

B. The youth requires their own youth records for their own personal information (Privacy Request).

The Halton Regional Police Service will only provide Police Record Checks to applicants under the age of 18 for government positions.

What does this mean for Non-Government Agencies and Youth Seeking to work or volunteer at these organizations?

Effective November 1, 2018, non-government agencies are not authorized to receive any youth Police Record Check results. Similarly, youth are no longer required to undertake a Police Record Check for volunteer or paid employment with these agencies.

To require applicants to apply and pay for a Police Record Check when no results will be released is not in the best interest of the applicants, the police service or the community.

Non-government agencies will now have to proceed with alternative application steps, such as interviews and references for youths, and not rely on, either in part or solely, a Police Record Check, as they may have in the past.

Fee schedule

If you have to be finger-printed you need to make an appointment and provide some very specific information.  Here is the link for more information on that service.

For more information about Police Record Checks, please visit our website: https://www.haltonpolice.ca/about/courtsrecords/policerecordchecks.php.

You are also invited to contact our office directly with your inquiries:

Information and Records Services
2485 North Service Road West
Oakville, ON L6M 0Y3
P: 905-825-4777 ext. 4712

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A new development will be going before the public before the planners at city hall see anything - is this the way development applications are going to be handled going forward?

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 1st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

A new development will be going before the public before the planners at city hall see anything – is this the way development applications are going to be handled going forward?

A development taking place in ward 2 is going to be presented to the public BEFORE it is presented to the Planning department.

That is new; the ward 2 Councillor and Mayor Elect Marianne Meed Ward explains “This is a pre-consultation with the community prior to submitting an application, so we will all see the information at the public meeting.

This approach to development was unheard of with the council that was first elected in 2010.

The development will be presented to the public at a meeting to take place at the Lions Hall on November 19th, at 6:30 pm.

Nov 17 meet dev proposalThe development is yards away from a controversial  18 storey development.

Councillor Elect Lisa Kearns published a note telling her “constituents” that she would be attending the meeting to represent their interests.

Kearns gets to represent the good people of Ward 2 sometime during the evening of December 3rd once she has been sworn in.

nautique-elevation-from-city-july-2016

Adi’s Nautique development is stuck at the Administrative Review level.

Martha Street is undergoing a massive change.  The Nautique, an ADI development that is stalled in an Administrative Review Tribunal hearing is planned for where Martha meets Lakeshore Road.

The Mattamy development for the corner of James and Martha is working its way through the planning process.

The Mattamy development was for 18 fkloors at one point – then got taken down a notch to 17 storeys which is what the city was prepared to approve on Brant Street.

The Adi development is for 24 storeys and almost across the street is the 22 storey Bridgewater development that is well underway; the full height has already been reached.

Mattamy - 2082-2090-James-at-Martha-Perspective-768x641

Mattamy wants to put up a 17 storey tower right across the street from the proposed 11 story building the public get to know more about later in the month.

 

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Air Park withdraws its libel claim against Gazette, Warren and Dennis

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 31st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Sometime before noon yesterday, Justice P. A. Daley signed an Order. It reads as follows:

This Motion made by the Plaintiff for an Order dismissing the within action without costs was read this day at the City of Brampton.

ON READING the consent, file:

1: THIS COURT ORDERS that the within action be and the same is hereby dismissed without costs.

THIS COURT ORDERS, in accordance with the consent, that the terms of the settlement of the action are confidential.

Which means we, the Gazette and the other people involved in this court case can’t say what the specifics of the agreement that was reached actually are.

Vince Rossi, president of the Burlington Executive Air PArk and beleived to be the sole shareholder of the private company, met with north Burlington residents. He took all the comments made "under advisement"..

Vince Rossi, president of the Burlington Executive Air Park.

We can tell you that the Plaintiff was the Burlington Air Park Inc. and that the Defendants were the Burlington Gazette, Pepper Parr, Vanessa Warren and Monte Dennis.

The Air Park sued the defendants for libel based on stories the Gazette published and letters to the Editor that Warren and Dennis wrote.

The action began in 2014 and concluded yesterday. The man who did the suing decided he didn’t want to proceed.

Three binders

Civil trials are based on evidence that is to a large degree paper based – lots of it. The documentation that was prepared for trial was assembled by Vanessa Warren who did an exceptional job.

In civil matters there is a well-defined process that involves a lot of paper and the use of expensive lawyers.

The last stage, before a trial can take place is called a Pre-Trial conference where the lawyers meet with a Judge to determine what the issue is and how long a trial would take.

We need to be very careful here because we are not allowed to say what was discussed during the Pre-trial conference.

The only people in the room were the Judge and the lawyers. I was representing myself so I was in the room with the lawyers.

It was during the Pre-trial conferences that went through three session; two one hour sessions on Monday the 29th and another hour and a half session on Tuesday the 30th out of which came the Order that stated the Plaintiff, The Burlington Air Park Inc., no longer wished to proceed.

What does this decision mean to the people of Burlington and how they can react to situations where they feel and believe their environment is being damaged and that their rights as citizens are being both abused and denied will be the subject of a follow up article.

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Police arrest taxi driver for sexual assault.

Crime 100By Staff

October 31st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On October 25th 2018 members of the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit concluded their investigation with the identification of the male party responsible for committing the sexual assault.

HRPS crestDonald Williams, 75 years of age and lived in Burlington, was arrested and charged with one count of sexual assault. He was released from custody with a November court date.

It should be noted that the accused is employed by Burlington Taxi, and met the victim while driving for the company.

If you have additional information regarding this incident, you are asked to contact the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit; Detective Sergeant Chris Newcombe at 905-465-8965 or Detective Constable Mark Werner at 905-465-8947.

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 www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca

In an earlier media release the Halton Regional Police Service reported they were investigating a sexual assault that occurred on Claridge Road, in the City of Burlington. On July 27th 2018 at approximately 7:00 PM, the male suspect attended the adult female victim’s apartment complex and made contact with her. The two parties had spoken on one occasion prior to the incident, so the male was invited into the victim’s residence, at which point she was sexually assaulted.

The male initially introduced himself as “Bernie”, and then stated that his name was actually “Martin”. He stated that that he lived in the area.

The police were successful in finding the suspect and charges were laid.

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Way back when the city manager made comments at a committee meeting that could be described as an effort to influence the decision that was to be made.

background 100By Staff

October 30th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was a pivotal meeting; took place on November 1st, 2017 when the Planning and Development committee heard the staff report on the development application for the NE corner of Brant and James Street.

421 Brant

It’s a done deal – the 24 storey tower will go up. And it is likely to be twinned by a tower of the same height on the SE corner

The development application got approved and was named The Gallery by the developer.

The eventual decision meant a 24 storey tower opposite city hall and the issue that became the focus point for the election that took place a week ago yesterday that put a new Mayor in office.

When development applications go before a Standing Committee they start out with a presentation by the Staff Planner, often followed by comments from the develop.

Rarely does the most senior bureaucrat make comments before an application is discussed publicly. The Gazette has never seen a city manager do this in the seven years we have covered city council.

On November 1st, 2017 city manager James Ridge said the following.

“I’d like to make a few introductory comments just before I turn it over to Kyle.
There are two issues that I would like to address in relation to this application that have come up over & over again in the context of the last number of months.

“The first is the relationship between the application and the new plan for downtown and the Official Plan.

“The timing is unusual.

Ridge shilling for the developer

James Ridge: “”You’ve made a decision …

“This is coming just months before we consider the new Official Plan and has been going through the approval process in parallel with conversations we’ve been having about the downtown.

“I’d like to start with the Strategic Plan.

“You’ve made a decision as a City that the City will grow in certain strategic locations and downtown Burlington is obviously one of the locations.

“Tonight, you are considering the merits of this application which addresses at least some of the goals identified in the Strategic Plan.
It delivers a mix of housing, office, retail, in the City’s urban growth centre.

“It’s walkable.

“It is close to major transit hub and it is arguably higher density.

“There can be an argument about whether it is the right density or not,
and people have asked how this relates to the work done in recent months in downtown and that’s been engaged a lot of the community and there are obvious questions about the relationship.

“The short answer is this.

“The application is not bound by that work, by the work that’s been done nor is it bound by the new Official Plan, but nonetheless, it reflects much of it, and that’s the interesting reality of this application.

“The new Official Plan hasn’t yet been approved.

“It won’t be for a month or so, and as such, this principle by law must be considered in the context of the existing Official Plan.

Ridge shilling 2

James Ridge: “The application in front of you takes the density that is allowed in the existing Official Plan, and reconfigures it …

“The application in front of you takes the density that is allowed in the existing Official Plan, and reconfigures it in a way that we believe is consistent with the work that’s been done in recent months in the downtown and the intent and goals of the Official Plan.

“The applicant has a right now in law today, without further council approval, to build 12 storeys across that sight, and the fact that we have been able to take the rights that the applicant has under the current Official Plan, 12 storeys across the whole site, and reconfigure it in a way that is far more reflective of the work that’s been done over the summer around the downtown growth plan and the new Official Plan is a function of hard work that’s been done by Kyle and his colleagues and the applicant and I thank them both for that.

“The application in front of you isn’t bound by the new draft Official Plan, it still achieves a number of the key priorities that the public told us were priorities this summer.

“When we talked about the downtown, they include wider sidewalks, less sun shade impacts, respect for the character of Brant Street, more public open spaces and excellence in architectural design and Kyle will talk about these in more detail.

“So I’m very pleased that staff and the applicant have been able to incorporate many aspects of the new plan and the public’s priorities for the downtown in this application on an entirely voluntary basis.

“While some may argue, and I’m sure many will, that this application doesn’t fully or sufficiently reflect the new downtown plan, I think that any fair-minded person says, looking at the application, there has been a real effort to at least address some of the vision for the downtown in the plan, notwithstanding the fact it’s not bound by the new draft plan.

“The second thing I’d like to talk about is height and height is often the issue that generates the most conversation and controversy about an application,

“You know that as well or better than I do, and yet decisions based primarily on the height of a proposal can have bad outcomes, especially dangerous in my professional opinion is the notion that shorter buildings are always preferable to taller ones and this application is a case study in that fallacy.

“This applicant has a right to build 12 storeys across the whole site In our professional opinion, having the site developed as a full 12 storey block is as inconsistent as you can possibly get with the vision for downtown that has developed through the summer.

Ridge 4

James Ridge: “… the applicant has the right to do 12 storeys across that site today …”

“Once again, the applicant has the right to do 12 storeys across that site today and we think that would have lasting negative impacts for the downtown, and that’s nor an extreme case or hypothetical.

“The applicant came in in 2012 with a proposal to do exactly that, 12 storeys across the whole site.

“We have pictures if you would like to see them, and to the applicant’s credit, they backed away from that proposal and have come with something different, and while height is clearly a consideration, I want to stress it is not first and foremost about height in this application.

“Show this to you graphically … this is about taking the densities that the applicant has as a right by law right now and reconfiguring it differently.

“Height is part of those considerations but it is not the only one.

“So simply put, our collective professional advice to you is that reconfiguring much of the density on this site from 12 storey monolith to a taller skinny to tower on a smaller footprint is far preferable.

“It is better to have wider sidewalks.

“It’s better to have the expanded view to City Hall and the cenotaph.

“It’s better to have more open space on the street and more sunlight than have 12 storeys across the whole sight, in our professional opinion.

“The benefits of height need to be considered fairly.

“In my professional opinion, that happens rarely.

Ridge 3

James Ridge: “Height tends to be a bogeyman …”

“Height tends to be a bogeyman, something that is seen as fundamentally bad in a development.
and we ask only that we have a fair and an honest conversation about both the downsides of height and there are some, but also a conversation about the benefits and there are many of those as well.

“So with that, I’ll turn it over to Kyle”

Kyle Plaz

Kyle Plaz

Here is what is interesting about the comments made by the city manager: they sound like someone acting as a shill for an initiative.

Mention is made of a 12 storey monolith on several occasions but the public never got to see a drawing of what the monolith would actually look like. No architectural rendering.

421 Brant 12 and 23

The dark shading is what the developer had an “as of right” to build. The light blue is what city council approved instead.

There was never the sense that the 12 story’s was actually seriously considered. The public was just given the impression that it was going to be plunked down on the land and that it would be squat looking and really ugly.

Ridge uses the word fairness in his remarks – many of the delegators who spoke to council later on in the process (there were 30 of them) had to focus on a development that was going to change the city they knew radically.

It was clearly what the city planners wanted.

12 storey design

Some creativity might have solved that 12 storey situation.

What if the city had challenged the developer to hold a design competition for a building that was just 12 storeys – what have others done with 12 storeys?

12 storey desigh 2

Others have dome some very good 12 storey designs.

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She is the best hope we have - but that doesn't mean she can walk on water. Meed Ward now has to demonstrate that she is the leader the city needs.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 30th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The first thing the members of the city council you elected a week ago are going to have to do is show the public that things are going to be different.

Meed ward election night 1

Mayor Elect Meed Ward thanking the crowd at the Polish Hall.

That the respect for each other will be there – and when it isn’t there they will make sure that those who are out of line are brought into line immediately.

If the new council is truly new – citizens will be watching for this.

Without that civility and respect for each other the city is looking at four years of chaos.

The holdover from the council that is on the way out is Paul Sharman. Many found the man to be difficult to work with and at times seemed menacing to people who were delegating before council.

The Gazette has learned from a number of sources that Sharman is now reaching out in an effort to create bridges to the new members of Council. That is a good sign.

Mayor Elect Marianne Meed Ward is going to need some of the skills Sharman has always had in matters of finance and organization. The problem is going to be the radically different ideological differences between the two.

Meed Ward election night 4

Gives a whole new meaning to Standing Room only.

Some will say that ideology should not be the issue – when that is precisely what the election last Monday was all about.

With a voter turnout of less than 40% – this new council is going to have to be transparent in a way that this city has never seen. They are certainly up to it and if the election promises were real – this is the kind of municipal world all of the newbies want to work in.

It is not going to be easy.

What the Gazette is watching for is the first few steps that Meed Ward takes as Mayor. If she can be seen as moving forward on several issues within the first 30 days and pulling the whole city together there is a chance that she can actually pull this off.

Meed Ward has time working for her. She get sworn in on December 3rd and begins budget deliberations on the 10th. She then has 12 days to make announcements, take positions before they all head off for the Christmas Holidays.

She has quite a bit of political capital but it doesn’t come from a very broad base. 60% of the population didn’t vote and while Meed Ward had a very convincing win over Rick Goldring and Mike Wallace it isn’t all that wide in terms of the population.

The Gazette’s early thinking on which of the three, Meed Ward, Goldring or Wallace would best serve the interests of those that were vocal – one can only guess what the complacent 60% had in mind – was that

Meed Ward was the best hope the city had.

MMW Mike and Goldring 2

Rick Goldring, Marianne Meed Ward and Mike Wallace debating on TVO’s Agenda

Her thumping the incumbent the way she did suggests that those who were focused and engaged felt she was the person to go with.

Thus we watch closely and carefully how Marianne Meed Ward re-directs the city she chose to live.
In an exclusive interview with Meed Ward before the ballot were cast she told the Gazette her role models were Hazel Mccallion and Bernie Saunders.

If she can focus on the best of both of them and convince her Council to follow her – it just might work.

It is the best hope we have.

Pepper - Gazette shirt - no smileSalt with Pepper are the opinions, reflections, observations and musings of Pepper Parr, publisher of the Gazette.

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Loose leaf collection begins next week.

notices100x100By Staff

October 29th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The loose-leaf collection program starts on Monday, November 5th.

This crew will probably not be clearing the leaves from your property. They were working along New Street when this picture was taken.

Get those loose leaves to the edge of the road for pick up.

Check the leaf collection schedule and rake leaves to the curb as close as possible to their pickup date.

To ensure the safety of collection crews and avoid damaging equipment, please keep the loose-leaf piles free of debris and sticks.

Leaves mixed with debris and waste will not be collected. Please help prevent flooding, by keeping catch basins and ditches clear of leaves.

To ensure a successful pick-up, residents can:

• Rake leaves to the edge of the curb or roadway in a loose pile. Do not pile leaves on the road
• Remove basketball nets, cars and other obstructions from the road during pick-up dates
• Clear leaves from sidewalks and walkways
• Avoid placing garbage bags, bins, Blue Boxes and GreenCarts on top of loose-leaf piles
• Give crews distance to remove the leaves when driving

After the collection program is complete, any remaining leaves should be placed in yard-waste bags for curb side collection by Halton Region.

Mark Adam, manager of road operations reminds you that “Over the next six weeks, city crews will be in neighbourhoods across Burlington collecting leaves. Residents can help by making sure they rake leaves close to the edge of the curb in loose piles, free of debris, to ensure crews can easily and safely pick them up.”

Leaf collection 2018

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Art in Action Studio Tour - November 3rd and 4th.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 29th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This will be the 16th Annual Art in Action Tour; a two day event that takes you into almost every corner of the city to look at the work done by local artists and talk to the men and women who did the work.
If you take the tour, the price is certainly right – FREE – you will meet interesting people and learn what it is that takes them in the direction they have chosen.

Tour runs on both November 3rd and 4th – you won’t miss the locations – there are signs ensuring that you won’t get lost.

AiA_Studio_Tour_Map_2018-1

As you travel from studio to studio you will find yourself bumping into people you saw at a previous gallery – some fast friendships have been made this way.

Here are the artists – and where they are located. Make a day of it.

Studio 1Studio 2Studio 3Studio 4Studio 5 Studio 9 revisedStudio 6Studio 7Studio 8If you think you don’t know enough about art to go on a tour, think again – you don’t have to know anything.

If you see something you like – you get a chance to talk to the artist and you may end up buying the piece.

On my very first tour I saw a postcard of a painting that intrigued me.

cat losier

The “stoned” cat.

Several years later I got to meet the artist and mentioned the post card I had bought and learned to my delight that the original was available.

Met with the artist, saw the original, bought the original but have yet to frame it. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I swear the cat that was done as a “transfer” was stoned – that appealed to me.
And no – my piece of art is not for sale.

That cat and I understand each other.

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Thorneycroft exhibit at the AGB is wild, big, imaginative and not to be missed.

artsorange 100x100By Staff

October 28th, 2108

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We really should have told you about the Diana Thorneycroft exhibit when it opened at the Art Gallery.

It opened in September – the election kept us away from a lot of the cultural life of the city.

Thorneycroft

Diana Thorneycroft

Thorneycroft is a Winnipeg artist who has exhibited various bodies of work across Canada, the United States and Europe, as well as in Moscow, Tokyo and Sydney. She is the recipient of numerous awards including an Assistance to Visual Arts Long-term Grant from the Canada Council, several Senior Arts Grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and a Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Thorneycroft - full ramp

It is huge, sweeping from floor level to the height of an average person’s shoulders. Kids will love it – just make sure they don’t touch the ponies.

Her exhibit may have been the last one outgoing Senior Curator Denis Longchamps did for the AGB before he headed west to the  Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery in Waterloo.

The Thorneycroft work has been the subject of national radio documentaries and a CBC national documentary for television. Thorneycroft’s photo-based exhibition, The Body, its lesson and camouflage was on an eight city tour from 2000 to 2002.

The exhibit at the AGB covers three of her recent works Herd, The Village and Black Forest (dark waters); it is a stunning installation. Over a hundred and fifty toy horses stampede throughout the gallery in Herd, some with morphed appearances. The altered physical representation of the horses highlight a juxtaposition of the animals as vulnerable yet powerful, tamed but wild.

Introducing young children to art is not always easy – they have yet to develop critical skills. The Herd is big and imaginative- the kind of visual that will stretch a young mind. It will be difficult to keep their hands of the hundreds of ponies that are charging up a steep slope.

Thorneycroft is known for creating provocative and controversial photographs that challenge her audience’s viewing experience. Her seemingly comical images composed of innocent subjects-dolls and toy figurines -and set against the landscapes of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries reveal, upon a closer examination, a deeper and darker meaning.

Titled Group of Seven Awkward Moments, the exhibit was at the McMichael Art Gallery in Kleinburg.

Thorneycroft - partial slope

Looking down the ramp the ponies are running up.

In one of the pieces in that exhibit she used Arthur Lismer’s 1922 canvas, ‘Sombre Hill, Algoma’ as her backdrop. In the foreground is a model of the Avro Arrow airplane propped up by pontoons that Thorneycroft took from a Cessna model. An interceptor aircraft, the real Arrow in the mid-1950s was celebrated as the cutting-edge of Canada’s aviation industry.

However, in 1959, at the height of the Cold War, its production was cancelled by the Diefenbaker government and all five flying test models and production aircraft destroyed, along with their blueprints. In Thorneycroft’s alternate universe, though, one has survived and been adapted to serve the more prosaic needs of the Great White North.

You will see that imagination at work in the Herd – on at the AGB until the November 18th.

Thorneycroft - close up

A closer look at those ponies is the result of an artist’s imagination at its fullest.

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If we care about the future of the planet, the only issue that should matter is the environment.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 27th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Trudeau Liberals are getting worried, some might say panicky, about their most important signature program – climate change. When polled, Canadians claim to be almost universally aware, even though fewer people are convinced of our role in the problem or that climate change is even a real threat. But awareness in opinion polls doesn’t always translate into what happens at the election polls, as we’ve seen in Ontario and New Brunswick recently, and possibly Alberta next spring.

Easter Island statues

This wasn’t the solution for Easter Island – the problem cannot be ignored.

Given the most recent scientific report, global warming will be the single most important issue people will be voting on in the federal election next year. The battle lines are already drawn. The Conservative party, which has never had a climate plan, will stand alone among today’s parties. And if Andrew Scheer becomes Canada’s next prime minister, federal policy will be a replay of what is happening at Queen’s Park. Scheer would terminate Canada’s most important program to fight carbon emissions – the carbon tax.

Two years ago, as Canada was signing onto the Paris climate change agreement, every sub-national government in the country, but one, embraced the Pan-Canadian Framework, a market-based national climate plan, including carbon pricing. It was a rare moment of national conciliation. The feds wouldn’t unilaterally impose a carbon tax where carbon pricing was already underway, as it was in Canada’s four largest provinces at the time.

The other provinces were given time to come up with their own carbon pricing system but Manitoba, Sask. and New Brunswick flunked the laugh test, and Ontario gave Mr. Trudeau the finger. So these provinces and the territories will get a federally imposed tax this January where the money collected will be rebated through the income tax system directly to residents in those jurisdictions.

The $20 per tonne tax will cost about 4 cents at the gas pumps and about 3 cents for natural gas. The critics rightly say the tax isn’t high enough to get people to switch to lower carbon emitting alternatives, such as electric vehicles (EV) and electric heating. But those who reduce their use of fossil fuels will still be the winners – with more cash in their pockets than they had to payout in carbon taxes.

Nissan Leaf

One of the way we can reduce what we do to the environment.

Market signals work for both demand and supply. Consumers will be given another reason to go green, especially as the tax gradually jumps to $50 in 2022 One can see how a rational car buyer would want to consider the cost of gasoline when choosing between buying an SUV, a Prius or a Nissan Leaf And that market signal should also prompt the auto companies to increase the supply of hybrid fuel as well as pure EVs – the ultimate solution.

The critics are right that the the $20 per tonne carbon tax is too low an incentive for people to break with their business as usual. It’s a start but slightly higher fuel prices are not enough. So other market based instruments might be a good idea. Economic incentives for doing the right thing, like buying EV’s, weather proofing your residence or business, and converting your heating systems to clean renewable electricity would be a good idea. Gosh weren’t those the programs Ontario’s new government just cancelled?

Some European countries and even China have announced they will be banning all gasoline powered cars in the future. Now that is a powerful market signal to auto makers to jump start more technological progress and to car buyers thinking about resale values. Perhaps that strategy will appear in the plans of Scheer and Ford, when they eventually get around to drafting one.

Rivers EV charging stations

If we could turn these EV charging stations into status symbols we just might change some minds.

And of course there is a need for education. After almost two decades after being introduced into Canadian market place it is astounding the number of people who still have no idea that gas-electric hybrid cars exist, and that buying one could save as much 50% of their annual gas bill. After owning my Prius for 200,000 kms I calculated I’d driven the last 100,000 kms for free.

Of course other matters will come up in the course of the election, like the federal debt and deficit, social and immigration policy, taxation, and possibly trade or other international matters. But if we care about the future of the planet, the only issue that should matter is the environment, and what we’re prepared to do about climate change in particular.

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:

Pan-Canadian Plan –   Technology –   How Climate Change Will Look –   Opinion Polls

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Losing the race with grace and humility is the sign of a great candidate.

opiniongreen 100x100By Roland Tanner

October 27th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Thank you so much

On Monday night I didn’t get the result I and my team wanted to see, but I believe the results, in Ward 2 and across Burlington, were excellent ones for our city. I don’t have the slightest reservation in congratulating Lisa Kearns on an excellent campaign.

Burlington and Ward 2 voted for the things I entered the race to pursue.

A return to civility and respect for residents’ voices.

A council that doesn’t just listen, but sees engagement with citizens as the constant responsibility of every level of democratic government.

A council that will protect downtown from excessive intensification, and demand a creative approach to growth directed at creating complete communities on a human scale.

A transformational approach to better transit, walkable and cyclable communities, and infrastructure that gives us all transportation choices.

A focus on affordable and subsidized housing so our parents, children and grandchildren can afford to live and work here.

I want to thank everybody who took even the smallest role in this process for your support and your interest.

Tanner standing

Roland Tanner

Thank you for reading my emails and articles.
Thank you for taking lawn signs.
Thank you for your donations and incredible generosity.
Thank you to the volunteers, family and friends who worked harder and were more generous than I could possibly ever have expected, to reach so many doors with me, to speak to so many residents in every corner of Ward 2 and to make this campaign one I can be proud of, even though we didn’t win.

Working with you all was both a privilege and an absolute blast.

Next steps

I’m not going anywhere. A new and better council still needs residents to stay engaged. Council alone will not create a better Burlington. A large part of the responsibility still falls to us. I intend to stay involved and keep pushing for the things I care about, and the things the residents of Ward 2 and Burlington care about.

Burlington is coming of age. There is huge promise in our city as it grows and changes, while treasuring and protecting our history, heritage and special neighbourhoods. I can’t wait to be part of that future.

 

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It is long, complicated and very disturbing for those who understand why we have due process and the rule of law.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Part 5 and the last of a series

When we left you last – there were two banning notices from city hall.

Neither had even a hint of due process. We live in a society whose foundation is built on the rule of law.

We live in a city where the City Manager, who served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he left with the rank of Captain after 12 years of service, and is presumed to understand something about the administration of laws, rules and regulations, nevertheless issued a Trespass Notice with no due process.

When the second banning notice was delivered November 20, 2017 there was mention of an email I had sent the then Director of Planning. That email was the pretence the city manager used to issue a second ban that was for an indeterminate length of time.

We searched our email files and found the email.

Tanner email Oct 30

 

 

 

The wording of that email is quite small – It said; “I have had developers tell me that you are using the time off to prepare you witch costume and broom for Tuesday night. Any comment – for attribution?  The spelling error was mine.

I personally didn’t think the email was offensive but Ms Tanner did. I wrote an apology that was sincere. In my world, when a sincere apology is given, adults accept the apology and move on.

The apology wasn’t acknowledged.

When the second banning was issued I retained legal counsel who wrote the city in June of 2018.

This time the city said we should perhaps talk.

August was a period of time when my counsel was away for the month. That got us into September. James Ridge was out of the country for a period of time. Some possible meeting dates were shared.
At this point there is no date for a meeting.

James Ridge did advise us that “We will not be providing the investigation report in advance of the meeting, and are assessing whether it can be redacted in a way that sufficiently protects the identities of the women involved.”

He added: “You should also be aware that while the decision to lift the ban, or defend it in court, is ultimately mine, I would want to brief Council on my decision in camera, and that would occur no earlier than November.”

James Ridge is going back to Council for approval – which suggest to me that he got permission to ban me from city council in the first place.

Our demand of the city was for a copy of the Protocol that was issued to staff as to how they were to handle me and a copy of the Investigation the city had done about the complaints they received. Are those complaints as flimsy as the complaint Ms Tanner had – an email that was sent in jest the day before Halloween.

I felt I was entitled to be made aware of those first complaints. It may not have been necessary to know who made the complaints. For some reason city hall seemed to feel that complaints about behavior can be made in a vacuum; were the people who made the complaints sworn?

The city has a protocol for handling behavior complaints between staff that involves contractors working for and with the city. As a journalist I was neither an employee nor a contractor so the very detailed process didn’t apply.

A more professional approach would have been to call me in and say there were complaints and while I am not an employee or contractor the city was going to apply the staff protocol to me as well.

However, if the objective was to shut me out of city hall and prevent me from talking to staff in an attempt to shut the Gazette down, so far it hasn’t worked but at least we now understand the motive.
It look as if there is a resolution to all this out there somewhere.

My concern isn’t being allowed to walk back into city hall. I don’t have much of an appetite to spend time in the place. I do miss my conversations with the security guard.

The decisions the city manager made totally trashed what I had in the way of working relationships with more than 45 staff members that I admired respected and enjoyed working with.

Another very troubling part of the notice the city manager served on me was his saying I could not meet or talk to elected members of council in their city hall offices or at public events.

Ridge wrote: “When attending City sponsored events such as public meetings, open houses, social events located at places other than City Hall or Sims Square, you are to refrain from interacting with city staff, its representatives or Councillors.”

That one stunned me – hard to believe that people elected to public office would let the man that reports directly to them decide who they can see and who they cannot see. Perhaps this is what city council wanted; did all of them, even Marianne Meed Ward and John Taylor go along with tthis?. For some that was perhaps welcome, they could avoid talking to media with the excuse that ‘James Ridge said I can’t’.

The decision made by James Ridge was one that he put before the members of council in a Closed Session.

We have no idea what the members of city council had to say at the closed meeting; we don’t know who asked questions; we don’t know if the decision to authorize the city manager to issue the Trespass Notice that keeps me out of city hall was unanimous.

Did anyone ask if there was the required due process? The city Solicitor was in the room, she is a Member of the Law Society and has a license to practice law in the province; she knows what due process is. She also knows what the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is and she would, if she were being as professional as she is supposed to be, know that those rights were really trashed.

My issue and overriding concern is: How do I repair the damage that has been done?. I believe that at some point in the not too distant future I will be permitted to return to city hall and to talk to staff with all the conditions James Ridge put in place removed.

My objective from the very beginning has been to get this matter before some level of the judiciary where there is due process, procedure and rules of evidence.

That stuff is expensive.

What I have taken from this experience is the need the current city manager has to control. His default position is to issue edicts that cannot be supported in law.

Requiring media to put their requests to talk to staff before his office allows James Ridge to control what kind of information journalists have access to – that isn’t the way a democracy works.

Unfortunately for me and the citizens of the city, at least a majority of the elected members of council agreed with the city manager.

Media serve a role in a democratic society. As the publisher of the Gazette I certainly didn’t always get it right, I may have been a little too aggressive – but I was transparent and accountable. And everything is on the record, in the archives and searchable.

There are consequences to the decisions the current city council and the city manager have made.

Rule of law graphicThe next step is apparently going to again be done in a Closed Session by a Council that will have no authority, no mandate and very little credibility.

My objective is to get this matter before some level of the judiciary where the rule of law, due process, evidence that can be tested and the people making the decision are concerned about what is right.

I’ll get there somehow.

Part 1 of a series

Part 2 of a series

Part 3 of the series.

Part 4 of a series

Rivers on a Free Press

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