Ward 5 candidate takes exception to the Gazette coverage he got; sends a Notice of Libel

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 23rd, 2018



During the municipal election we wrote a number of articles about different candidates. We had not gotten to the point where we were ready to interview Daniel Roukema, who was running for the ward 5 council seat.

We did get a strong note from him demanding that we remove personal information about him from the list of candidates that were running in ward 5. We explained that the information came from the city Clerk’s office and was therefore public and we could see no reason for removing it.

That was the extent of our early interaction with Roukema.

Daniel R

Daniel Roukema

We then learned that Roukema had at last one significant legal matter that had yet to go to trial and were able to obtain copies of the claim Roukema was making and the defence that has been submitted.

A few days later we were sent a copy of an email that had some intemperate language.

When we were publishing a round up the candidates in each ward the Gazette thought were likely to win the election we included links to the Statement of Claim, the Defence and a copy of the email that was sent to us.
Our role as media is to inform the public. Mr. Roukema certainly wasn’t going to release that information.

The article was published as an opinion piece.

Early on Monday, Election Day, we received a notice of libel from a Hamilton law firm.

Libel notices are an occupational hazard in the newspaper business.

The notice in part said (it was 37 pages long and included everything that ever appeared in the Gazette relating to Roukema.)

The relevant part said:

(i) A newspaper article published to www.burlingtongazette.ca on October 16, 2018 by Pepper Parr which contains, among other things, information and comments about Daniel Roukema pertaining to “financial baggage” and “legal claims”.

(ii) A newspaper article published to www.burlingtongazette.ca on October 21, 2018 by Pepper Parr which contains, among other things, information and comments about Daniel Roukema pertaining to his alleged “baggage” and “legal problems and approach to communicating with people”.

To fully appreciate what follows you need to understand what the definition of inter alia is. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as: among other things.

The Roukema lawyers said:
It is the position of Daniel Roukema that the abovementioned articles are defamatory in their entirety. Thus, should litigation be necessary, Daniel Roukema will be seeking damages based on the entirety of their contents. Nonetheless, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, Daniel Roukema complains in particular about the following statements and links to documents contained within the aforementioned newspaper articles:

a) [Daniel Roukema’s] financial baggage and legal claims will get in the way of his being able to be an effective member of Council.

b) [Daniel Roukema’s] working style lacks the collaboration he mentioned seven times in his closing remarks

c) Daniel Roukema brings far too much baggage to the campaign. His legal problems and approach to communicating with people are serious concerns.

Lawyers frequently use Latin terms. One of those terms is inter alia which means among other things.

The following came from Roukema’s lawyer. WE did not say this about the man.

These statements are false and malicious, as in their natural and ordinary meaning and by way of innuendo, the words meant and were understood to mean, inter alia, that Daniel Roukema

(i) was deranged, unbalanced, strange, and/or somehow mentally unhinged

(ii) was prone to bizarre and suspicious behaviour,

(iii) was prone to loitering and guilty of trespassing,

(iv) was dishonest

(v) was a liar

(vi) had somehow engaged in misconduct that was socially unacceptable and/or illegal

(vii) had conspired with others for nefarious ends (viii) had stalked others and invaded their right to privacy

(viii) had stalked others and invaded their right to privacy

(ix) had poor personal hygiene

(x) was covered in dirt and filth

(xi) was somehow pathetic

(xii) was a person deserving of pity

(xiii) was a person deserving of scorn

(xiv) was a person deserving of ridicule

(xv) was a person unfit to hold office

(xvi) had engaged in criminal misconduct

(xvii) holds authoritarian views

(xviii) has no respect for the rule of law

(xix) is somehow a threat to the personal liberty of citizens

(xx) is somehow a threat to the maintenance of a free and democratic society

(xxi) lacks integrity,

(xxii) lacks judgment.

Neither Pepper Parr or the Burlington Gazette made these statements.  We would not have permitted our legal counsel to use this kind of language.

Regarding all of the recipients of this notice, it is hereby requested that you immediately publish an apology on www.burlingtongazette.ca retracting the contents of the abovementioned comments in their entirety. Moreover, as further publication would itself be actionable, our client also requests that www.burlingtongazette.ca and/or Pepper Parr immediately remove the impugned comments, and any mention of the aforementioned comments, from the www.burlingtongazette.ca website.

Should you fail to provide on or before November 5, 2018 an affirmative response to this notice, our office has been given instructions to commence proceedings seeking both injunctive relief and monetary damages. However, as our client would prefer an amicable resolution to this situation, I trust that a civil action will not be required.

Of the five candidates running for the ward 5 city council seat Daniel Roukema placed third.

The vote count was:

Wendy MORAGHAN, 2336 votes, 27.96%
Daniel ROUKEMA, 1319 votes, 15.79%
Paul SHARMAN, 2840 votes, 33.99%
Mary Alice ST. JAMES, 1471 votes, 17.61%
Xin Yi ZHANG, 389 votes, 4.66%

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Meed Ward handily takes the office of Mayor from Rick Goldring; there might be just the one holder-over from the current council.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 23rd, 2018



While not official Official – the following are the results of the 2018 municipal election.

Meed WArd at PARC

Mayor-elect Marianne Meed Ward

Marianne MEED WARD, 23360 votes 46.04%
Rick GOLDRING, 16781 votes, 33.08%
Mike WALLACE, 9609 votes, 18.94%
Greg WOODRUFF, 983 votes, 1.94%

Marianne Meed Ward will be the new Mayor to be sworn in on December 3rd at the Performing Arts Centre.

It looks as if two of the incumbents, Jack Dennison and Blair Lancaster have lost – the ward 6 vote is very very close – might need a recount.

What kind of a Council will Meed Ward have to work with?

It will be Kevin Galbraith in ward 1, Lisa Kearns in ward 2, Rory Nissan in ward 3, Shawna Stolte in ward 4, Paul Sharman in ward 5 and Angelo Bentivegna in ward 6.

In an exclusive interview with the Gazette Meed Ward stressed how critical it was for the next city council to collaborate and work as a team.

With the only hold-over from the old council being Paul Sharman, she should be able to put together a Council that will work well together. Sharman will not have anything in the way of support. We can expect to see some of those 6-1 votes with Sharman on the short end of the stick; a position he was quite willing to assign to Meed Ward.

It will take at least a year for the new members of council to find their footing. In that year they are going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting.

The numbers on a ward by ward basis are as follows:

Kelvin Galbraith headshot_Super_Portrait

Kevin Galbraith

Ward 1
Jason BOELHOUWER, 679 votes, 7.71%
Vince FIORITO, 574 votes, 6.52%
Kelvin GALBRAITH, 1880 votes. 21.36%
Arlene IANTOMASI, 1142 votes, 12.97%
Andrew Paul JORDAN, 199 votes, 2.26%
“Kevin LEE. 838 votes. 9.52%
Garry MILNE, 164 votes, 1.86%
Tayler MORIN, 86 votes, 0.98%
René PAPIN, 556 votes, 6.32%
Marty STAZ, 1242 votes, 14.11%
Judy WORSLEY, 1443 votes, 16.39%

The Craven machine just couldn’t pull it off. The Chair of the Aldershot BIA, Kevin Galbraith defeated the Executive Director Judy Worsley who had the Craven ability to win behind her.

Lisa Kearns Election Photo

Lisa Kearns

Ward 2
Kimberly CALDERBANK, 1711 votes, 21.30%
Michael JONES, 781 votes, 9.72%
Lisa KEARNS, 3195 votes, 39.77%
Gerard SHKUDA, 73 votes, 0.91%
Roland TANNER, 2058 votes, 25.62%
Walter WIEBE, 216 votes, 2.69%

Lisa Kearns earned the win. She was up against a sterling candidate. Her performance as an ECoB delegator may well have won the seat for her.

Rory Nisan

Rory Nisan

Ward 3
Lisa COOPER, 764 votes, 11.91%
Darcy HUTZEL, 542 votes, 8.45%
Rory NISAN, 3467 votes, 54.05%
Peter RUSIN, 191 votes, 2.98%
Gareth WILLIAMS, 1451 votes, 22.62%

The surprise here was how soundly Rory Nisan
defeated Gareth Williams; the other surprise was
that Peter Rusin actually got the votes he did get.

Image 3

Shawna Stolte

Ward 4
Jack DENNISON, 4624 votes, 44.24%
Shawna STOLTE, 5828 votes, 55.76%

The only ward with a straight one-on-one race, the Roseland community finally got what they have been longing for. It will be interesting to see how Shawna Stolte grows into the job.



Paul Sharman

Ward 5
Wendy MORAGHAN, 2336 votes, 27.96%
Daniel ROUKEMA, 1319 votes, 15.79%
Paul SHARMAN, 2840 votes, 33.99%
Mary Alice ST. JAMES, 1471 votes, 17.61%
Xin Yi ZHANG, 389 votes, 4.66%

The high number of candidates let Sharman hold
on to the seat – 33.9% of the vote went his way.

Were the city using ranked balloting,
harman would probably not have won.

Ward 6
Angelo BENTIVEGNA, 2747 votes, 35.73%
Blair LANCASTER, 2708 votes, 35.22%


Angelo Bentivegna

Kinsey SCHURM, 954 votes, 12.41%
Ken WHITE, 1279 votes, 16.64%

What do we know? With just 39 votes between Lancaster and Bentivegna there will probably be a re-count – so don’t count Lancaster out yet. Would ranked balloting have given the seat to Lancaster?

The voter turn out was much lower than many expect; the prediction was that the turnout would be above 50% – it was a disapointing 39.7? of the eligible voters.

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Resident is completely embarrassed that the City was not more considerate about taking care of our

News 100 redBy Staff

October 22nd, 2018



There is good news ( a longish line at a polling station) and some disturbing concerns (poor service for seniors) from a resident who was voting today.

I have just voted at Nelson High School. There was a long line out the door when I arrived but it moved at a reasonable pace, taking about 30 min to get through the whole thing. However, I am sure that the dozen or so folks I saw who relied on a walker or cane felt otherwise.

The ceremonies over the Naval Promenade becomes the fous with the Seniors' out in force listening to the All MAle Welsh Choir. Strolling along is Craig Stevens, the city's project manager on the pier project. He direction and oversight kept the project going when it got a little wonky at times - but that's another story.

Seniors with mobility issues need to be considered whenever an event takes place.

There was ZERO assistance available to them, no one greeted them or offered to make things easier or more comfortable, and there was no sign of another option for those with accessibility challenges. Given the fact that services for seniors have been one of the main topics of discussion throughout the election, AND that there is a high percentage of seniors in Ward 4, AND that they are the demographic with traditionally the highest turnout at elections, what kind of accommodations were made for those individuals who might have needed somewhere to sit while waiting for their turn? Better yet, why make them wait at all?

A gentleman in front of me who relied on a cane had to bounce from a stone out front of the school to a chair inside the main doors, to another chair positioned right outside the gym door. It was a horrible location for him to have to sit, but he should not have had to do that in the first place. It was only after I said something to someone who seemed like she worked there that she offered to move him to the front of the line. The fact that all these citizens of Burlington made the effort to come out and vote in spite of their physical limitations says more about their character and commitment to the election process than it does about our City Officials.

I am so upset, and completely embarrassed that the City was not more considerate about taking care of our most valued citizens, that I had to write immediately. Burlington, you can do SO much better than this!

Leslie Barbetta

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We are about to confirm our selection of municipal leadership for the next four years. Now is the time to re-state the service and planning priorities the citizens of this community value; clearly defining our goals.

background 100By Staff

October 22, 2018



A Gazette reader sent us a letter he received from that was published in the Meaford Independent last week, which he thought deserved repeating.

Burlington is not Meaford but as you read the piece you may find yourself thinking – that place is just like Burlington.

Burlington aerial

Home for all of us.

Congratulations and thank you to the citizens of our community who put their names forward to serve as municipal politicians. As tax-paying citizens, we expect our democratically elected officials to represent our interests and dig deep for the personal courage and commitment to move our community ahead to where we agree it needs to go. Building a genuine, efficiently managed community is a significant public responsibility and not an easy task with the ever-changing nature of societal and economic needs.

I am listening to the discussions and comments of candidates competing for positions as elected representatives of our community and I admit that I am concerned. No one would argue with the importance of ensuring our roads and bridges are safe, now and into the future, but there are other things that are important too. We want our elected representatives to talk to us, the citizens of this community, about the quality of life we seek to have for the future. I believe our government officials and staff need to work together with their citizens to clearly define what we want our town to look like, and once defined, determine how we get there.

It concerns me greatly when I hear comments like “give the developers and contractors whatever they want to encourage them to build new housing in our community.” Of course, we need to attract new families to live, work and go to school in Meaford, but we don’t want to meet this goal at the detriment of citizens enjoying what this community already offers. It is the challenge before us to agree upon and implement a balance in the use of resources to create the quality of community life that we seek.

What worries me are some of the comments I’m hearing about things like [community projects] being in jeopardy, or not being able to afford [services]. This is rubbish! People can afford what they want to afford and there are all kinds of levels of affordability. We would like our elected officials to implement plans to keep and build upon the services that our citizens value. It is also important that we have a clear vision of our priorities … now and for the future …. and that we communicate these clearly to those who represent us.
It is a huge expectation we have of our elected officials to come together and agree upon this community’s priorities and commit 100% to work together and with other governments to implement plans to make our priorities happen. There will never be enough money to do all the things that we want to do to enhance the quality of our community life, so we must be abundantly clear about our goals.

So, we have a lot of work to do. We are about to confirm our selection of municipal government leadership going forward for the next four years. In my personal view, perhaps now is a perfect time to re-state the service and planning priorities the citizens of this community value, and clearly define our future mission and goals.

As you go about casting your vote today – understand what the issues are – and make a choice based on what you know.

Tomorrow morning we will know who is going to lead the city through some of the difficult days ahead.

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Police Arrest and Charge Two Personal Support Workers for fraud against an 82 year old client

Crime 100By Staff

October 22, 2013


HRPS crestThe Halton Regional Police Three District Criminal Investigation Bureau have arrested and charged two Personal Support workers for committing various financial offences against an elderly 82 year old victim from Burlington.

Between April 4th and July 25th 2018, the two arrested persons used stolen cheques and credit cards belonging to the victim to amount of $6048.53.

Both persons arrested worked as Personal Support workers for the victim at separate times. There is no further risk to the public.

Melissa Watson (28 yrs) of Acton was released on a promise to appear in Milton Court on November 14th 2018 charged with the following offences:
• Fraud Under $5000,
• Uttering a forged document
• Possession of Property Obtained by crime

Sarah Taylor Mackenzie (25 yrs) of Burlington was released on a promise to appear in Milton Court on November 14th 2018 charged with the following offences:
• Fraud Over $5000
• Uttering a forged document
• Possession of property obtained by crime
• Unauthorized use of stolen credit card (two counts)
Halton Residents who have Personal Support Workers working in their homes should be aware of their Personal Support Worker’s identity, and have a detailed schedule from the agency providing care. Most Agencies and Personal Support Workers providing support in the home, unless specifically contracted to do so, are mandated to not complete any financial transactions, purchase items, or use the financial cards or cheques belonging to the patient or client receiving care.

Payments for services go directly to the company, who in turn pays the employee. If you have Personal Support Workers into your home, all valuables and financial items should be properly secured.

Persons who are Power of Attorney for their family members should complete regular audits of the family member’s finances and be aware of large, uncommon withdrawals from their accounts.

Halton Police contact: Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – 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).

Anyone charged with a criminal offence is  presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Municipal governments make most of the decisions that directly affect people’s day-to-day lives. Decide on Monday who you want at city council to make those decisions.

council 100x100By Staff

October 21st, 2018


Our colleagues at CATCH – Citizens at City Hall in Hamilton published a very appropriate piece earlier today.

Well worth reading – it tells people just who it is that butters our bread.

Across Ontario one out of six councillors will be acclaimed this year. That’s also true for 120 heads of councils and entire councils in 26 municipalities. The new Ontario premier believes voting is the only feature of democracy. He recently declared that “Democracy is you have an election – that’s what democracy is”.

In the provincial election he wasn’t supported by the majority of Toronto voters, but without warning he dramatically cut their municipal representatives to the same number as the city’s MPPs. His party obtained just 40 percent of the ballots cast last June and that was less than one-quarter of those eligible to vote.

Democratic activity measured by actual individual participation is far higher in municipal elections than at other levels of government. There are just 308 federal MPs and only 124 Ontario MPPs. That compares to over 25,000 municipal representatives, barring more changes like that imposed on Toronto this fall.

Hamilton municipal contests show that winners in wards without incumbents get elected with far less than half the ballots cast. And very low turnouts mean most incumbents are returned to office with the support of fewer than half the eligible voters.

Municipal governments make most of the decisions that directly affect people’s day-to-day lives. Provision of roads, water, sewers, waste disposal, and transit are all responsibilities of municipalities along with the determination of built form and development locations. Public health, fire protection, ambulance services and policing are also under city hall’s almost complete control.

Senior government levels have been actively downloading more responsibilities onto municipal governments including the provision of affordable housing, and paying for transit operating expenses. Municipalities also have implementation responsibility for many governance tasks that are funded and directed partly or wholly by the provincial government such as public health initiatives.

Even 70 percent of climate disrupting emissions occur in municipalities. Cities are already facing much of the burden of climate damages and some are playing increasingly important roles in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

People queue to cast their votes at a polling station in the Katlehong township, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, April 22, 2009. Voters lined up before sunrise Wednesday in an election that has generated an excitement not seen since South Africa's first multiracial vote in 1994, and that was expected to propel Jacob Zuma to the presidency after he survived corruption and sex scandals. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

People queue to cast their votes at a polling station in the Katlehong township, east of Johannesburg, South Africa in , 2009. Voters lined up before sunrise Wednesday in an election that has generated an excitement not seen since South Africa’s first multiracial vote in 1994.

Municipal politics is supposed to be “the closest to the people”, and local media, where it still exists, reports on the actions and views of individual councillors. Those representatives are far more likely to receive complaints, requests or other personal messages from their constituents than are MPs and MPPs.

People rarely hear what about what their MP or MPP has done because news coverage for federal and provincial legislatures focuses on the stance and behaviour of political parties and their individual leaders. And because of that or as a consequence, voting behaviour seems far more influenced by leaders and parties rather than individual candidates.

Municipal government is also by far the most transparent level. Here there are laws that prevent councillors from holding private meetings except under very specific circumstances such as labour negotiations or the sale or purchase of property. At other levels of government, most real decision-making takes place in secret cabinet meetings without even published minutes.

Individuals are far more able to make delegations to city councils and their committees than to the federal parliament or the provincial legislature. Any resident can get at least five minutes in front of their local council on virtually any matter of concern.

On most planning matters, councillors are actually legally required to hear constituent views without limits on length of presentation. Laws also require public notification through newspaper advertising of many municipal proposals and decisions as part of ensuring democracy and democratic rights. It may be worrisome that those laws are all made by the province.

City election logoThis week’s election and what follows in the new term of council offer opportunities to either strengthen or further weaken effective democratic rights whose future appears increasingly uncertain. Individual action and those of groups will play an important role in both the implementation and protection of democratic rights. This includes the number of representatives, and the actual engagement of residents, not just in voting but in utilization of those rights.

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2018 Municipal Election Voting Locations - getting their by bus.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 21st, 2018



Xcelsior BUS 009 FRONT VIEWTomorrow, Monday, Oct. 22 is election day. The following are bus routes for each voting location. For bus schedules and maps, visit the Schedules and Maps page.

Ward 1
• Tyandaga Golf Course – 1265 Tyandaga Park Drive
Route 87 – Limited service before 9 am and between 3 pm and 6:40 pm
• Holy Rosary Catholic Elementary School – 261 Plains Road East
Route 1 – 30-minute service
• LaSalle Park Pavilion – 50 North Shore Boulevard East
300 – Weekday service between 10:29 a.m. and 1:29 p.m.
• Aldershot Arena – 494 Townsend Avenue
Routes 1 and 5 – 30-minute service on both routes
Ward 2
• The Salvation Army Community Church – 2090 Prospect Street
Routes 3 and 5 – 30-minute service on both routes
• St. John Catholic Elementary School – 653 Brant Street
Routes 3 and 5 – 30-minute service on both routes
• Art Gallery of Burlington – 1333 Lakeshore Road
Route 5 – 30-minute service. Route 10 – 20-minute service
• Burlington Seniors’ Centre – 2285 New Street
Route 10 – 20-minute service. Route 4 – 40-minute service, service ends before polls close, Route 300 – 60 minute service between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Ward 3
• Conservation Halton – 2596 Britannia Road
No transit at this location
• Brant Hills Community Centre – 2255 Brant Street
Route 2 – 30-minute service
• Mountainside Community Centre – 2205 Mt Forest Drive
Route 12 – 30-minute service
• M.M. Robinson High School – 2425 Upper Middle Road
Routes 3 and 12 – 30-minute service on both routes
Ward 4
• Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church – 1401 Guelph Line
Route 3 – 30-minute service
Route 302 – 60 minutes service between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
• Mainway Recreation Centre – 4015 Mainway
Route 25 – 30-minute service
• Gary Allan High School – 3250 New Street
Route 10 – 20-minute service
• Nelson High School – 4181 New Street
Route 10 – 20-minute service
Ward 5
• John William Boich Public School – 2474 Sutton Drive
Route 11 – 30-minute service
• Corpus Christi Catholic Secondary School – 5150 Upper Middle Road
Route 11 – 30-minute service
• Robert Bateman Secondary School – 5151 New Street
Route 20 – 20-minute service. Route 4 – 40-minute service, service ends before polls close
• St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School – 200 Kenwood Avenue
No transit at this location
Ward 6
• Haber Community Centre – 3040 Tim Dobbie Drive
Route 11 – 30-minute service
• St. Timothy Catholic Elementary School – 2141 Deer Run Avenue
Route 6 – 30-minute service
• St. Paul the Apostle Parish – 2265 Headon Road
No transit at this location
• Tansley United Church – 2111 Walkers Line
Route 25 – 30-minute service

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On Monday the voters get to decide who should be leading the city. It should not be Rick Goldring.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 21st, 2018



‘The Gazette was able to interview mayoralty candidates Marianne Meed Ward and Mike Wallace. We taped the interview.

We did not interview Greg Woodruff but did talk to him at some length on the telephone and did a piece on the role he has played in this election.

Goldring at Inspire April 2015

Mayor Goldring explaining intensification to the public.

We asked Mayor Goldring for an interview during the election campaign and did not hear back from his campaign manager.

During his first term of office we reported on the Mayor at length. Search the web site, the Mayor was covered at length and at the time he said we were doing a fine job. He made a 60 second statement on the role we had played during his first term Click to hear what he had to say.

We did interview the Mayor prior to his election to a second term as Mayor. The interview took place in the office of Rick Burgess a Goldring advisor, confidante and a former candidate for Mayor himself.

At the time we expected the Mayor to talk about what he had achieved in his first term and what he wanted to get done in his second term. We came away from that interview empty handed.

Mayor Rick Goldring

Mayor Rick Goldring addressing a group of realtors.

We were disappointed – at the time the Mayor didn’t have anyone running against him – it looked like he was going to be acclaimed.

It was evident to any observer that city council was not working as a cohesive body – not much sense of a council that had a clear vision and direction the residents could point to. Goldring however was popular. People liked him – he was seen as a decent man doing a decent job.

The hope for a private tree bylaw was just that – a hope. Goldring did manage to get a pilot tree bylaw approved for the Roseland community; that will not begin until the Spring of next year.

The New Street Road diet was a mistake that the Mayor should have seen coming. He didn’t.

The Mayor inherited the Pier problem.  The project was stalled and looked like it would be in court for a decade.  Before it got to the Court Room there was an opportunity to resolve the problem and save something in the order of $2 million.

We actually built the pier twice. First time it was built a crane toppled over ad revealed problems with the steel being used - it was all taken out. They ordered new steel and built it again. Now all the parties squabble over who is going to pay for the mistakes.

We actually built the pier twice. First time it was built a crane toppled over and revealed problems with the steel that was being used – it was all taken out; new steel was purchased and a new contractor built it again.

City Council, in a Closed session, turned down a revised proposal from the contractor and looked for a new contractor that tore out much of what had been constructed and completed the project at double the original cost.

The sale of lake shore land between Market and St. Paul streets was close to criminal. The city got less than a quarter of a million dollars for land that is now out of the public domain and will never be available to the public. There was never a solid reason for selling the land. A staff report said selling was an option; the report also said leasing the land was an option and doing nothing was also an option.


It is land that is now in private hands.

During the fund raising initiatives after the August 2014 flood I was covering a photo op with the Mayor. At the time he said that he had “finally figured it out – photo ops were the way to communicate with the public”. I shuddered – why in heavens name would a politician every say something like that.

In his first election as Mayor Rick Goldring published several solid policy papers. One was for something in the way of an incubator that would foster, nurture and grow small entrepreneurial start-ups.

The initiative was handed off to the Economic Development Corporation that created what is now Tech Place – a solid success.

As the Mayor moved from year to year he headed up a city council that couldn’t produce a budget that was much below a 4% increase every year. Numbers like that are what any housewife could tell you are not sustainable.

When the provincial government told the city it would have to come up with $60 million from the taxpayers to pay for a portion of the cost of building the transformed Joseph Brant Hospital the city created a special tax levy to raise those funds.

An architects rendering of the new entrance to the Joseph Brant Hospital whch will now face the lake. The entrance will be off LAkeshore Road with the new parking lot just to the west of the hospital.

The tax payers were willing – happy to pay for part of the transformation of their hospital. When all the the money was raised that had a right to expect the special tax levy to end. It didn’t.

The citizens of the city gladly paid the tax – their hospital was important to them. When the $60 million was raised the public had a right to believe that the special tax levy would come to an end. The city just kept on collecting the tax and used the money for infrastructure work.

Intensification then became an issue. While the city had known from at least 2006 that significant growth would have to take place; the Mayor fumbled that ball. It wasn’t until development applications began to pour into city hall and a 23 story building was approved that the public became alarmed.

Lisa delegation

Lisa Kearns delegating at city council on the Official Plan – she was one of 30 delegations.

There were more than 30 delegations made to city hall to stop the approval of a new Official city plan until the public had an opportunity to approve the plan. The plan did have to be approved by the Region but they weren’t going to do anything with it until after the election.

Many wanted the Official Plan to be made an election issues. The city listened but did not hear what the citizens had to say. Grow Bold was now very real; the city’s Planning department produced a document show where some 30 17 floor developments could be located.

The Mayor said those buildings would not be built for years – that build out was some time off. The residents were saying that those 30 buildings were going to change to character of the city that they cared about.

When the election for a new city council began to Mayor stunned many people with his personal attacks against Councillor Marianne Meed Ward who was running against Goldring to be the next Mayor.
The decency that Rick Goldring was known for began to disappear.

Maps of quarry cells and houses

The Mayor wasn’t able to let the environmentalist he used to be be public and support the Tayandaga residents who wanted something different done with the proposed quarry expansion.

People living on West Haven Road in the Tayandaga community learned that a shale quarry site was going to be developed 50 metres from their homes and that thousands of trees were going to be cut down. The quarry operators had a license issued to them in 1972, which in the mind of the Mayor gave them the right to do what they wanted to do.

The community raised funds and lobbied hard and finally got some traction – public opinion began to shift in their favour. The Mayor, a committed environmentalist lost the opportunity to lead.

During his second term the Gazette sent a note to the Mayor asking for a comment – we didn’t get a response. At the end of a council meeting I asked the Mayor when he would be able to get back to me. He said he wasn’t going to be getting back to me because I was “biased and unfair”.

There isn’t a politician on the face of this earth who hasn’t at some point said media was biased an unfair. It is a comment we expect.

Save the Planet - Goldring + organizer

During the election that returned Goldring as Mayor he found himself not able to speak on a public matter on city property. As Mayor he had a right to speak to citizens in Civic Square – he had difficulty defining just what his role as Mayor was.

What a wise politician does is look for a way to meet with the reporters or editors and talk through the differences. Media doesn’t wake up one morning and say: How can whack the Mayor today. We observe and report on what we see.

Do we get it right all the time? We don’t. But when we get it wrong we apologize publicly in print. When city council makes mistakes the Mayor calls them “learning opportunities”.

We read the Mayor’s platform and we listened to hundreds of people and report as well as we can.

For reasons that we don’t fully understand Rick Goldring lost his way during his second term.

He found himself trying to lead a council that had members who were not going to be led. Two in particular were as about as disruptive and rude as a member of council could be.

The Mayor described one of them as “one of the best strategists he had ever worked with”.

The other member of council announced his retirement and then wrote a piece in which he tried to scorch Meed Ward.

It was all just so uncivil, so unnecessary. It is all a matter of public record.

On Monday the voters get to decide who should be leading the city. It should not be Rick Goldring.

Salt with Pepper are the opinions, reflections, observations and musings of the Gazette publisher.

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Rivers: Is there a War on the Free Press

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 21st, 2018


“Here’s the smell of blood still. Not all the sweet perfumes of Arabia will sweeten this hand,” (Macbeth)

David Frum

David Frum – his Mother, Barbara Frum was a leading CBC broadcaster was a former speech writer for President George Bush and is now the editor of the Atlantic Monthly.

If only our own David Frum was still writing speeches for the US president, the new axis of evil might include Vlad, Kim and MBS (Mohamed bin Salman). But then Trump would have to be their apprentice, a role for which he has been rehearsing all his life.

If it was a fist fight that took the life of Jamal Khashoggi then why did MBS’s 15 men hit squad bring a bone saw as they flew in that morning to the party with him in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Islamic sharia law usually requires the courts to decide before amputating body parts and decapitation, and that is usually reserved for serious crimes like stealing food when you’re hungry or apostasy (renunciation of the faith). I guess MBS wasn’t aware that the best way to quiet a journalist is to damn him/her with faint praise.

Trump’s response says scads about him and his tribe at the outer right end of American politics. Former Baptist tele-evangelist and presidential hopeful Pat Robertson summed it up… “You don’t blow up an international alliance over one person, I’m sorry”. It is nice to see the great religions of the world finally aligning their stars.”


Jamal Khashoggi – slain inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey

But religion wasn’t why MBS assassinated Mr Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and American resident. He did it to send a message to anyone else thinking of criticizing him. And there is precedence – there is nothing new about dictators deposing and disposing of those who dare to criticize. Vlad gets away with it, as does Kim, and the Iranians and now MBS. Trump would really like to be able to exercise that divine right of tyrants as well, but that might be a bridge too far, even for the GOP (Republican) lap dogs who control his US congress.

So he does the next best thing. He belittles those in the mainstream media who have the temerity to believe it is their job to point out his inconsistencies and lies. Trump labels them all as fake news. He even goes further on occasion, recently praising a Montana political candidate for body-slamming a reporter who had the audacity to question GOP policy on health care. So why would Trump give a rat’s ass about some Muslim immigrant columnist working for the news outlet (Washington Post) he most despises?

What happened to Jamal Khashoggi is part of a dangerous global trend towards stifling the movement for democracy. Democracy does not function in a vacuum. News is the substance that helps us select our electoral picks. And we expect our news to be factual and true. But the truth doesn’t always seem fair. Nevertheless, the 1949 Fairness Doctrine in the US was intended to ensure that media remained balanced and objective in their reporting, at least until president Reagan scratched it off the law books.

Newspaper - person reading

We are to a large degree what we read.

We become what we read. If our standard read is the Toronto Sun we will ultimately hold views on key issues in conflict with someone who reads the Star.

And who can afford the time to read both papers. So the more divergent various media choose to make their stories, the more polarization we see in our society and in our voting trends. That is particularly important if you live in a one-paper town.

Facebook and Twitter are even more problematic since they are unedited. Anyone can write just about anything and make it sound like it’s the gospel. We once thought that social media had been intended primarily for family pics and that sort of thing. But thanks to the universality of the internet, social media has been effective at melding attitudes and changing voting patterns. For example social media was believed to have played a big role in the elections of Obama and Trudeau.

Last year there were 81 reporters killed across the globe and 250 were imprisoned for doing what they were supposed to do, keeping us informed. And that was the lowest number of deaths in a decade, down from 93 the previous year. Mr. Khashoggi wasn’t a reporter in a war zone and his death wasn’t collateral. But to brush off his death as Trump is doing is unconscionable, even for him.

Trump on Khashoggi,

President Donald Trump defending his position on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,

Trump is not the first politician to be challenged by a critical media and to shun and avoid them. Stephen Harper disdained the Ottawa media and sought to get his story out while largely ignoring them. At the provincial level Mr. Ford has taken his cue from Harper and set up his own news network.

In fact there are times when we do see media harassment. For example, the ultra-right Rebel media kept referring to Canada’s environment minister, Catherine McKenna, by the moniker ‘climate Barbie’ until she cleared the air with them. This was clearly a blatant attempt to humiliate the minister and to denigrate whatever she did as some kind of child’s play.

Recently the Burlington Gazette was banned from Council meetings and city property on some unsubstantiated charges of harassment. Fortunately the on-going cable video link allows the formal proceedings to be observed, though the real news happens, too often, behind closed doors.

What are we to think about democracy in this city? Is it possible that the Gazette’s publisher was being punished for once referring to Burlington’s mayor as ‘climate Ken’ or ‘development Rick’? But at least Mr. Parr isn’t being chased by 15 Saudi hit-men armed with a bone saw.

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:

Trump supports Assault –    Reporter Deaths –     Khashoggi’s Last Post –   Khashoggi’s 9/11

Pat Robertson –   Climate Barbie

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The Gazette's take on council seat election choices - ward by ward.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 21st,  2018



With 63 candidates, 11 in one ward and 10 in another, it is a challenge to cover them all.

The Gazette interviewed many, attended most of the debates and read the web sites with candidate platforms.  Here is out take on a ward by ward basis.

Marty Staz with Mak Carr

Marty Staz with Mark Carr on Cegoeco’s The Issue

In ward 1 there are two contenders for the seat vacated by Councillor Craven.  Marty Staz will serve that ward very well were he to be elected.  Judy Worsley is a contender but does not seem to have captured the imagination of the Aldershot residents.  If Burlington wanted one of the best environmentalists in the city Vince Fiorito is available.  Among the others there are several that are far from ready for municipal politics.  The democracy we have lets them run for office and they deserved to be heard.

Tanner standing

Roland Tanner

Lisa Kearns Election PhotoIn ward 2 there are two that have the potential to become good council members.  Lisa Kearns who first got noticed when she was involved in ECoB and Roland Tanner who served the city well when he was part of the Shape Burlington committee.

Ward 2 has been the most politically active for the past eight years.  The current Councillor Marianne Meed Ward kept citizens informed and created a culture that has served the city well.  Can Lisa Kearns or Roland Tanner continue that tradition?  Of the candidates nominated in the ward these two have the capacity to maintain that tradition.


Rory - glancing

Rory Nisan

Gareth Williams looking sidewaysIn ward 3 there is one of the worst candidates the city has ever seen.  Peter Rusin used his ward campaign to reach out and smear Marianne Meed Ward who was running for Mayor.  Rusin has been gunning for Meed Ward for the past seven years.  Rory Nisan and Gareth Williams are the leading candidates. If Darcy Hutzel had started earlier he could have become a serious contender.

Image 3

Shawna Stolte

In ward 4 we see the only one-on- one race for the Council seat.  Shawna Stolte is what city council needs – Councillor Dennison should have followed the path Councillors Craven and Taylor took and resigned.

The ward 5 voters have an opportunity to remove the most disruptive member of council the city has seen in some time.  Councillor Sharman has little in the way of achievements to point to – he has managed to alienate far too many people in his ward.  Collaboration and consensus are not his strong points.  We are pressed to figure out just what the strengths are..

Mary Alice with micMary Alice St. James has served the people of the east end ward 5 very well.  Her not living inside the ward boundary is not an issue –she is a football field outside the boundary.

Daniel Roukema brings far too much baggage to the campaign.  His legal problems and approach to communicating with people are serious concerns.  Claim against Daniel Roukema

The Roukena defence     Disturbing Roukema email

Wendy Moraghan served as a police officer for 30 years – that experience brings a police xx to most of the solutions she puts forward.


Blair Lancaster

In ward 6 the residents have to decide if they want to return two term council member Blair Lancaster. Some of her ideas a very good – her approach to getting something done for people that will need long term care in the future are worth additional debate – she is certainly going in the right direction

Her ability to communicate with people in an acceptable manner is questionable.  The Gazette filed a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner that will get heard sometime after the election.


Angelo Bentivegna

Is Angelo  Bentivegna ready for a council seat?  He has delegated on two occasions and brought about changes in policy.

Ken white is not yet ready for a council seat.

There are hundreds of pages of reporting on the candidates.  Use the search engine on the top right of the home page for additional information on any of the candidates. Inform yourselves and then vote – take a neighbour with you.  This is the most critical election Burlington has faced in a couple of decades.

Salt with Pepper are the opinions, reflections, observations and musings of the Gazette publisher.

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Meed Ward in an interview: city council just has to become more civil and collaborative.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 21st, 2018



We asked ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward, who is running for Mayor, what the top five things she has gotten done since you were first sworn in 2010

Freeman station Sept 18-17

Freeman Station – a Meed Ward win for the city – with help from Councillor Lancaster.

The saving of the Freeman station, getting the Drury Lane bridge repaired – the city thought it might have to be torn down, and pioneering the way the public gets informed about developments.

No longer safe for the public to use the Drury Lane pededstrain Bridge was closed in November. Estimate is that $2 million will be needed to re-build and $380,000 to put on a five year patch.

The pedestrian bridge was closed for a number of months. City had to decide if they were going to send $2 million for a new one or $380,000 to put on a five year patch.

We didn’t get beyond those three – Meed Ward needed to press home how important she feels maintaining respect for each other is in a civic, civil society.

“We don’t have to agree but we do have to respect each other” she said. Early in her first term she prepared a set of slides that she would put up at every community meeting – when things looked like they might get out of hand she would put the slides back up.

Those slides are now part of what the Planning department uses when staff are out at public meetings. They are used at Standing Committee meetings when she is the chair.

They came out of Meed Ward’s experience on the Joseph Brant Hospital Board where she learned how a board made up of professional people could function.

Meed Ward saw the hospital board as a high functioning group of people. They have term limits, mandatory training and succession planning. Meed Ward admits that succession planning can be awkward in an elected environment – but Burlington has a deputy mayor that is rotated through the council members. For the most part it is a ribbon cutting exercise but when the city experienced the flood Paul Sharman stepped in as Deputy Mayor until the Mayor got back into town.

At the hospital board” said Meed Ward, “they genuinely knew how to respect each other – there was a strong corporate commitment that allowed the members to vehemently and at times passionately disagree, – but they were able to work effectively without making it personal.” For Meed Ward it was wonderful to see that level of collaboration. She said they got great things done. They had a President and a CEO that brought exceptional skills to the job.

“At the end of the day we produced the best decision because we vetted everything thoroughly”

Better public involvement in development proposals:

From the very beginning she asked developers to meet with the community before filing plans with the city. Years later the Planning department told developers that they must meet with the community first before filing development applications.

Notice of meetings in communities are sent out to home within 120 metres for zoning matter and 200 metres for Official Plan amendment matters.

Meed Ward has gone well beyond those legislated requirements. She did mail drops throughout her ward with the larger developments.

In the early years of her first term it was the Planners who would explain a development – “the optics were terrible” she said. Now Meed Ward chairs the meetings in her ward, the Planners talk about the planning implications and the developer talks about the actual plan.

Her objective has always been to keep people informed. She was behind the improvement on the way the public was informed about how council members voted. On a number of occasions she would ask for a recorded vote which required every member to stand up and be counted. During one memorable meeting she made this happen on six different occasions.

For this she was labelled as divisive, not a team player.

The challenge now is that who voted which way does not appear in the official minutes of the meeting. A vote is either carried or not carried. Meed Ward is working on an improvement.

Meed Ward adds that “it took a lot of pushing to get that done but we have it – however we don’t have it at the committee level. If a vote loses at committee and doesn’t make it to council you never know how people voted – that happened with the off peak free transit vote.

We asked Meed Ward what she would do to re-shape council if she is elected Mayor.

“Establish civility which have been horrible on council and terrible in this election race.

“Establish some collaboration, there is no council wide collaboration on this council.

“As a mayor you cannot play favourites – you can’t talk to just a few until you get your four votes – you have to talk to everyone.

“Create an environment to respect diversity in perspective … understand that people have their reasons for voting the way they did – that has been absent from this council.

“People write and tell me they don’t always agree with me but they appreciate that I tell them how I got there and what my rationale was.

“Start with that – all the tools around team building will fall apart if there isn’t respectful discourse.”

While Mead Ward doesn’t know who is going to be elected she does know that there will be at least three new council members representing wards 1,2 and 3 – and there might be a new Mayor as well.

There is some concern that some of those who had difficulty collaborating and were unable to be respectful might get returned to office.

How does she cope with that? “You lead by example” she said.

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 Strategy Planning sessions.

“We now have the code of conduct and there are penalties that can be applied should it come to that. It never should. Hopefully you only have to do it once and everyone gets the message – if people are called out. If you don’t call them on it people get the impression that it is Ok – you have to stop the bad behaviour. You start by modelling true respect and collaboration.”

Burlington went for years without a Code of Conduct for the members of city council. The city manager had to be pushed by the provincial government to put a code in place.

Residents and council members can file Integrity Commissioner complaints

We wanted to know how Meed Ward would work with what she gets in the way of a council were she to be elected. Would she take them away on a retreat. She wasn’t sure if she could do that but she did plan to reach out to them as soon as she has seen the election results.

She would be reaching out to them the day after the election.

The province shortened the length of election campaigns but left the period of time between the counting of the votes and when the new council is sworn in and meets for the first time.

She pointed out that there will be a meeting for the old council at the end of November during which they can make decisions even though on December 3rd they will no longer be able to follow through on those votes if they were not re-elected – and two of them will have retired.

“We have this long period of time – more than a month where the old council is meeting and making decisions by people who are not going to be back.

Meed Ward wants better election processes and oversight and get rid of third party advertisers and get rid of anonymous funding.

James Ridge Day 1 - pic 2

James Ridge on his first day sitting in the Council Chamber.

We asked what she wanted to do about city staff were she to become Mayor. City council hires a city manager who in turn hires the staff he needs to run the city. Meed Ward is pretty direct when she says “ Staff recommends – council decides.”

She added that Council needs to show more leadership in directing staff and in making decisions.

The flow of information was a serious concern to not only Meed Ward. Council members were getting committee reports that ran well over 1000 pages and expected to digest it all in ten days.

“There were gentle conversations with staff on the flow of information” said Meed Ward

Med Ward said “We got the revised OP document a month before. It needed more time than that.” Meed Ward’s biggest disappointment was the amount of time that was given to the downtown plan – that was rushed through in two months and it needed a lot more time she said.

The public picked this up and delegated heavily – the council didn’t hear what the public was saying and the OP got sent to the Region over the protests of many.

The Gazette was surprised at how little mention there was on the arts during the election campaign – the city pumps well over a million dollars into the Performing Arts Centre, the Art Gallery and the museum. Meed Ward didn’t add anything to that during the interview.

Beachway - Full park

The re-development of the Beachway community will have a significant impact on how people use the lake front – it was never seriously debated during the election.

There was not a mention either of the plans for the Beachway community.

We wanted to know what Meed Ward thought the city was going to look like 5 – 10 -15 years out?
“We lost the Herd, a semi professional baseball team that got a better deal in Welland. Why asked Meed Ward. Why are parks in such disrepair?

Regional government:

Burlington goes to the Regional council as 7 people – Oakville goes as a team – how do you change that we asked. “Well you have to be aligned locally and if you are that will be reflected at the Region..
Meed Ward’s two top issues at the Region are growth, public transportation and roads

“I can get a single bus to Hamilton – I can’t get to Oakville on a single bus.
“We have to figure out if we are going to allow widening of the roads north of the QEW

The Region has said if you don’t want those roads widened then you can take them back and absorb all the costs

The city is believed to have achieved the growth that was required by 2031. There is another wave of population growth coming. The province will tell the Region what the growth requirement is going to be for 2041. They will then allocate how much of that growth is to go to each municipality. Those growth allocation numbers will be priority number 1 for Meed Ward. The council that goes with her to the Region will be pretty green – they are going to have to learn a lot fast.

The Region currently has Burlington’s Official Plan in the “in-basket”. They have to approve it, possibly make some changes and send it back. There are those that would like to see the OP sent back now without any changes so the city can revise the document and get it right.

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.

Meed Ward will tell you that there is a lot in the OP that is just fine – her problem is with the downtown core – and the number of matters that she thinks are missing. “We know we are going to have to amend the plan just as soon as it is approved” she said..

Legally she isn’t clear as to whether or not the city can do that.

“We would have to communicate to the Region that there is a new council that will have a different view of what needs to be changed” she said

Working with the school board and the matter of the two high schools; one already closed a second due to close in 2021. City has no input on those properties. It is only when the school board declares a school surplus that they no longer have a stake in it. After that there is a clearly defined process for determining what happens to the property.”

It doesn’t not just slide into a developer who decides he has some ideas for the land.

Meed Ward has suggested to the committee that looks into compensation take a longer look at just what a Deputy Mayor should be. Meed Ward wants to see more professional development and training for city council members. Next term she would like to see some definition put around the role of the deputy Mayor..

How the hospital tax levy got to be a tax that would be with citizens forever.

Burlington taxpayers were told by the province that they had to come up with $60 to pay for a portion of the hospital transformation; That news was delivered to the Mayor during his first month of his first term.
The city created a special tax levy that appeared as a separate line on the tax bill and over time the money was raised. Problem was that special tax levy didn’t disappear.

Meed Ward doesn’t exactly cover herself with glory in the way she handled this one. She said the recommendation was in a staff report. Does anyone read all of those staff reports? Meed Ward said she didn’t hear any complaints. Of course there were no complaints – the public didn’t know about the decision. The Gazette did raise the question on more than one occasion.

There could have been a referendum about redirecting those funds – no one asked for one.

“There were no questions so the tax levy remained with the funds going to infrastructure.”

Meed Ward is usually very quick to point to everything that impacts the people of the city – this one was allowed to slide through. Something to be watched for is she is elected Mayor on Monday.

The day city council experienced a major melt down.

The December 19th, 2012 Standing Committee meeting was a disaster. Council was deciding who would sit on which boards and committees

Meed ward said that usually the choice of committees is determined before the meeting starts but on that December day two Councillors met in the foyer and colluded to remove Meed Ward from the hospital committee and the Downtown BIA. Councillor Lancaster was put on the BIA.

The Mayor had been blind-sided by Councillors Craven and Sharman.

People were aware of the city council dysfunction – on December 19th – we saw it – it was ugly – the city council at its worst

Visual - city council full

When the elected members of Council take their seats on December 10th, they will be in a re-designed council chamber. The big question for the public is – will they behave any differently and who will sit as Mayor.

We asked Meed Ward: How do you stop this kind of thing? Do you send them home and bring them back when things settle down?

“The challenge” said Meed Ward” is to change the behavior.  Will an election put an end to that ?  Meed Ward said she cannot speak for others

“The first thing we have to do is find a way to respect each other” she said.

Term limits? Certainly for the Mayor said Meed Ward. Council members – she wasn’t sure how long
Term limits force changes said Meed Ward. When a seat is vacated new blood gets brought in.
The civility of the new council will be determined in some degree on who gets returned

Meed Ward has suggested to the committee that looks into compensation take a longer look at just what a Deputy Mayor should be. Meed Ward wants to see more professional development and training for city council members. Next term she would like to see some definition put around the role of the deputy Mayor..

What does the Meed Ward future look like?

What does Meed Ward see in the next 5/10/15 years?  What has the city got going for it?  Will this continue to be a nice place to live?

Mead Ward point to her campaign brochure which sets out why she is running.

The printed piece of paper is something she controls – what happens on a day to day basis is something she does not control – the best she can do is manage it

What is there out there that she hasn’t seen? “I didn’t see the cannabis question coming” she said.

Paletta MansionMeed Ward said great cities don’t happen by accident. The citizens of this city fought to make them great. In Burlington the citizens said no to town houses on the Paletta property

They said no to development in Central park

They said no to the sale of the land on the Lake side of Lakeshore Road between Market and St Pail Streets – they lost that one


The chunk of land in the centre block got sold.

Citizens have taken their city council to court when they were unhappy.
Meed Ward said “ there are generations that delivered for us – it is now our turn to deliver for them – what are we going to deliver

Meed Ward said she believes the citizens want that that small town community feeling. She isn’t saying no to development – but she doesn’t want development that is going to destroy the city people have said they want

Seniors Centre

A Seniors’ Centre is needed in Aldershot and in the east end – ideally in the Lakeside Village Plaza that is being re-developed.

Green spaces, trees, community centre’s are what she wants to focus on.  Sports fields need to be improved – people are having difficulty getting ice time and time on playing fields.

“I ensured that there was an additional $200,000 put into the budget with more to follow.
We have to actively take steps to protect what we have.”

In the Avondale community, where a developer wanted approval for the Bluewater development that would take more lake shore land out of public hands, the developer used the city decision to sell that lake shore property between Market and St. Paul as justification to show that the city didn’t need any more lake front property in the public’s hands.

Meed Ward will, if she is elected Mayor, she try to “undo and hold back some of the decisions that have been made and at the same time move forward on some of the good things.”

She wants to see something better done with the Nelson stadium. More trees and better transit.

She fears the city is in serious trouble with the tree canopy we have.

She hopes that within five years people will be able to travel on reliable transit easily and cheaply.

Meed WArd at PARC

Marianne Meed Ward – She began delegating to city council then ran for the ward 1 seat – was defeated by Councillor Craven – moved to ward 2, continued to delegate, especially on Saving the Waterfront. Ran for Council and was elected twice. Now she is running for Mayor

Marianne Meed Ward was born in Colorado – she came to Canada when she was in kindergarten.
She lived in Richmond Hill, Kingston, spent a year at Kingston Collegiate. Went to Carleton University to study journalism – she was never employed full time at a newspaper but her first published piece was a freelance article published in the Ottawa Citizen – it was about job placement for people with disabilities.

She got a job as the editor of a national magazine, was promoted to publisher and, after a number of years decided to go out on her own where she made more money. She freelanced for 11 years.

Asked what who she looked to as a role model – she thought for a moment and said Hazel McCallion – the Mayor who grew Mississauga into the city it is today.

Anyone else, I asked. I’ve always liked the way Bernie Saunders does things, he was consistent and the public was with him.

Marianne Meed Ward, an 18 year citizen of Burlington believes the public is with her. She will know what the immediate future holds for her Monday night.

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How many voters and how much money will the candidates spend to get those votes.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 20th, 2018



Where are the voters and how much will the candidates be able to spend on getting hose votes;

The following came from the City Clerk.

The spending limits are calculated in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 Based on the number of electors within the ward and City as of September 14, 2014.

The formulas are prescribed as follows:

Spending Limits
Head of council: $7,500 + $0.85 per elector
All other offices: $5,000 + $0.85 per elector

Number of Electors Maximum Expenses
Mayor                        126,791       $115,272.35
Councillor Ward 1    19,552         $21,619.20
Councillor Ward 2    17,547         $19,914.95
Councillor Ward 3    17,712          $20,055.20
Councillor Ward 4    26,638         $27,642.30
Councillor Ward 5    22,763          $24,348.55
Councillor Ward 6    22,579          $24, 192.15

Mayor candidates Oct 9

Cartoonist Mike Allen reminds you to vote.

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Former Meed Ward groupie has a change of heart - truth and transparency are her issues.

opinionviolet 100x100By Janice Connell

October 20th, 2018



I am concerned that much of what I read appears to be pro Marianne Meed Ward, but it is not based on factual evidence.

As a woman, my go to is always to support another woman, when the facts show that she is equally qualified as a man. I enthusiastically voted for Marianne Meed Ward (MMW) in a previous election and became a MMW “groupie.  I followed her on social media, read her newsletters, based my opinion of Burlington politics solely on her information.

Unfortunately I believed what I read to be true, including her negative comments about the Mayor and the other Councillors. Facts shed light on truth and during a two year fact based experience of dealing with City Council, I was shocked at how misguided I had been in assuming everything I read from MMW was based on truth and transparency. I regret having prejudged the Mayor and Councillors. The positive is I learned to research for the truth.

I no longer support MMW. I am writing this to share my truth, and because of concerns residents have shared with me about criticizing MMW. Men are concerned about being called sexist. And women are remaining silent as they do not want to be bullied by MMW and some of her supporters. When I was considering going public with my experience with MMW, I was shocked when strong independent women warned me not to drag myself and my family through the retaliation. I had been through it before with MMW and some of her supporters and it was very unpleasant.

During the two years that we were “up against” MMW and her massive campaign through flyers and social media, we who challenged her had our characters attacked, sustained verbal abuse at City Hall meetings, and faced harassment by MMW supporters who threatened to tear down the property fence.
Oprah’s words; “What I know for sure; Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have” resonates in my heart and inspired me to “speak my truth.”

I encourage you to find your truth. You are welcome to share my truth with your friends. Most important make your voice count and VOTE!

I am a member of a group of women known as, “Burlington Women 4 Truth”

We are women who love Burlington and are willing to stand up for the values we treasure: truth, transparency, and trust. We are stay at home moms, professionals, business owners, volunteers and retirees.
Political issues do not divide us. We respectfully “agree to disagree.”

We are concerned that not all candidates have been truthful and transparent in their relaying of information to the residents of Burlington and this is a breach of trust.

We believe that all residents deserve to know the facts before giving a candidate their vote and we are willing to share our factual based information.

For more information please contact burlingtonwomen4truth@gmail.com

Janice Connell after delegating to city council i committee - She thinks she just might have nailed it!

Janice Connell

More on the facts.  Janice Connell is a Lakeshore Road resident whose home is between Market and St. Paul street where the land next to the edge of the lake was owned by the city and the province.  A staff report contained an a recommendation that suggested that the property could be sold.  Janice and her husband saw an opportunity and lobbied hard to buy the property.  They were successful and the ability to walk along the edge of the lake on property that is stunning was and the opportunity for the public to use the land was lost forever.   Janice and her husband had every right to buy the property.  They engaged Peter Rusin as the land use specialist who provided a lot of the background research.

Full disclosure: During a very difficult time in my life Janice Connell arrived at my front door with a gift – a box of chocolates and an inspirational book.

Related news stories:

The story behind the selling of the land


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Marty Staz: How do we want our city to grow ?

opiniongreen 100x100By Marty Staz

October 20th, 2018



Really, How Do We Want To Grow

Being involved in a municipal election campaign for the first time has certainly been an eye opener. What started out as a bucket full of presentable ideas has now morphed into a collection of defined plans, processes and objectives. The more you talk with people, the more you research and the more you think.

This eventually provides you with something that you truly believe is the right plan.

Side view - mid rise

An election campaign was an eye opener for Marty Staz.

Without a doubt, the most talked about and the most focused topic in our city is intensification, or as I often refer to it over-intensification. So to begin, let’s look at a definition of intensification. From the website Neptis.org intensification is defined as any new residential development within the existing built-up urban fabric. By this definition, intensification may occur on undeveloped or on previously developed land; what makes it “intensification” is its location within the area defined as already urbanized. This definition is the one used by the Ontario government. So, keeping this definition in mind, let’s explore what is really going on in Burlington.

In Ontario, The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2006) has policies designed to contain the urban footprint of one of the fastest-growing metropolitan regions in the developed world. Research has shown that if the Toronto region, which includes Burlington, continues to grow as it has in recent decades, its residents will experience a decrease in their quality of life. This last sentence is where I think we have to push the pause button and determine how we want Burlington to grow.

After looking at the various development projects on our city’s website, either proposed or underway in our city, I determined that there are 28 projects with a proposed height of 8 stories or more stretching to 25 stories. Eight of those projects are proposed for Ward 1. Also, let’s keep in mind that this number is what is current. With the recent approval of 23 stories across from City Hall I can only imagine what future proposals will look like. So this brings me back to the question of how we want to see our city grow. When going door to door and listening to what people have to say I would suggest that the answer is a resounding no – but growth is inevitable. I know we have growth targets in place as mandated by our provincial government but that’s an argument for another time. In my opinion achieving those targets is a non-issue.
So how do we want to grow?

Staz on the missing middleThere is a very interesting concept referred to as “The Missing Middle”. The illustration below gives us a good visual interpretation of what the missing middle means and if you want a good real-life example of this just look to Mississauga. This city started out as a bedroom community for Toronto full of single family homes. When growth started to occur their local politicians decided that the solution was to grow up, so now it’s either single family detached or high rises that stretch forever.

To be perfectly clear, any design that reflects the Missing Middle still must adhere to specific density requirements and accommodate the proper parking, green space, parkland, etc. Just look at the proposed townhouse development at 2100 Brant Street as an example where these standards have been ignored.

“Well-designed ‘Missing Middle’ buildings unify the walkable streetscape as they greatly diversify the choices available for households of different age, size, and income. Smaller households tend to eat out helping our neighbourhood attract wonderful restaurants. Diverse households keep diverse hours meaning we have more people out walking our streets at more varied hours—keeping them safer.” — Ellen Dunham-Jones, professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs

So this is a call for architects, planners, and developers to think outside the box and to begin to create immediate, viable solutions to address the mismatch between the housing stock and what the market is demanding—vibrant, diverse, sustainable, walkable urban places. Missing Middle housing types are an important part of this solution.

The City of Burlington is at a crossroads and I honestly think that this could be a solution to growing our city, meeting our provincial mandates and creating a great place to live.


Marty_Staz_Marty Staz is a candidate for the ward 1 city council seat and is a former president of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.

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Will the No Frills supermarket on Brant Street be located?

News 100 redBy Staff

October 20th, 2018



A place to shop for food.


So what are the long term plans for the No Frills on Brant, north of Caroline?


John - No frills - laneway

Decent product selection – and lots of parking space. What does the future hold for the location?

The graphics that appear on Planning department maps suggest some changes.


Baldwin Blenheim Caroline - No Frills

Caroline Street is at the bottom of the map. Where is the supermarket?

In order for the Planning department to create a map like this one would expect there would be some discussion with the owners of the property. When is there going to be a discussion witth the people who use and rely on the No Frills supemarket?

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The Downtown mobility hub with the 30 towers.

background 100By Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2018



Home work.

The graphics set out below are on the small side – the content is important if you want to understand what the Planning department is suggesting.

The first graphic is of the Downtown mobility hub that is for the most part on the eastern side of Brant Street from Lakeshore on the south to Prospect on the north.

There are small boxes with numbers which indicate the height that will be permitted on different properties.

During the election campaign ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward, a candidate for Mayor, has been saying that there will be 30 towers in the Downtown Mobility hub – Mayor Goldring doesn’t deny that – but adds that the 30 would be at “build out”.

In order to fully appreciate what this looks like we have broken the large graphic, which is shown first,  into three parts which allows you to see the streets and the number of buildings and their height that are proposed.

Burlington aerial

The city from the air – getting a closer look at the plans for new structures and proposed heights.

DT Mob hub

The Downtown Mobility hub that runs from Lakeshore Road north to Prospect. At build-out you won’t recognize the city.

Now that graphic above broken into smaller pieces.

Part 1 DT MB

The section from Prospect south the Baldwin.




Part 2 DT MB

The section from Baldwin to Elgin – the band of green is the pathway that will run through the city from about the Performing Arts Centre to Maria.

Part 3 DT MB

From Elgin to the lake. Burlington’s new look. The map doesn’t show what the Plan B group have in mind for the Waterfront Hotel site that is going to get redeveloped at some point. Downtown might become a construction site for the next decade.

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Wallace wants to be at Queen's Park before the ink is dry on his business cards should he be elected Mayor.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2018


Exclusive to the Burlington Gazette

When asked: Why run Mike Wallace said “We live in a terrific community – but we are facing some challenges and I think our relationships with, not only our fellow Councillors, but with those at the regional and provincial levels as well need some work.

Wallace at council meeting

Mike Wallace taking in a city council meeting.

Wallace thinks the way we solve our problems is what will define the kind of city council he wants to lead.
“I think that the way we solve the problems of growth, intensification, traffic and transit is going to call for partnerships and I think I am the best candidate to deliver that kind of leadership.

Wallace said he had decided to run before the June election that put a Conservative government in office at Queen’s Park. “I thought there needed to be changes in the leadership and the city mayor and that the city needed someone who understands the process and is willing to be much more decisive.”

Wallace said “we need to move the agenda forward – it took them six years to do a Strategic Plan which put the city behind on the Official Plan (OP) review – because of that lack of leadership we are now behind the 8 ball.”

“My experience at the federal and municipal levels means I can add a tremendous amount of value.”  We asked Wallace if he felt bound by the current Strategic Plan.  He said “the 25 year Strategic Plan should be used as a reference document and that each Council should have its own four year action plan.”

Wallace said he has heard that there will be a spanking new council chamber ready for the new Council but hasn’t seen anything yet.

Wallace doesn’t think in terms of his first 100 days. His first priority will be to get to know who his Council members are and to learn what they want to see done.

His first hundred days – get to know my Councillors, get us up to speed and involve myself in their training, particularly the budget because there is a steep learning curve. I think I can be a mentor.”

“Three things that have to be done in the first while: Getting a council in place that can make quality decisions, there is a lot of work to be done, we may not get Christmas off.

“The Province says we have to decide on cannabis – Jan 22 is the date on that by which city Council has to make that decision”.  Wallace is for waiting to see how other municipalities manage canibus retail operations in their city’s.

“There is a need for me to send a message, not just to council, but to staff that there is a need for a new culture at city hall – not just for the council members and staff but for the public as well

“I want the new council to think more of a how can we help. There has to be a better sense of collaboration – I don’t want silos, I wants them all in the same tent working towards the same goal.

“I think it starts with staff understanding that that is the kind of atmosphere we want” and he hopes this is what the council members want. Hopefully there will be a culture they want to develop.

“Leadership” said Wallace “comes from council and particularly the mayor’s chair. There has to be a positive message to staff because they do most of the work.” Wallace said he wants them to be “excited about the new council and excited to be working for Burlington.”

He said the atmosphere hasn’t been as productive as it should be. To bring about the changes he believes the city needs Wallace said he will be reaching out and meeting those that are elected immediately

He said he could meet with them as a group before they are sworn – he can do anything he wants but before they are officially members of Council and added that he would clear this with the Clerk.


Rob MacIsaac – a leader Wallace worked with.

Wallace said it is “vital to create those positive relationships and pointed to the days when he was a Council member under Rob MacIsaac I. We knew where each of us stood. “I want that same sense of working together on my council.

Atmosphere and tone are critical said Wallace and I think I have the leadership skills to make that happen.
Wallace said he didn’t know the city manager very well “I met him a few times”

When MacIsaac was mayor the city manager got clear direction. He said he would be happy to work with the current city manager to improve the relationship between council and staff to ensure that the direction staff gives is actionable. Wallace said he isn’t sure that has existed over the last number of years

Asked how fast he he wanted to get to the Region and talk about the OP Wallace said they have a certain amount of time to take action – to tell us if it is congruent with the Regional OP.

Queen's Park

Mike Wallace wants to get to Queen’s Park quickly and get help from the province to solve our problems.

For Wallace the top priority is to get to Queen’s Park and see if we can get them to make some changes with their plan that fits better with our plan and he expects he will be able to do that some time in the Spring of next year

He said the transit solution needs more money. We asked: with a 4.3 % budget projected for the next fiscal year where is the money going to come from?

His fundamental view on transit is that what is needed to get a person who wants to get from A to B … effectively and efficiently

He didn’t have solution but said he “did like the look of the current Director of Transit who did good work at her previous job. ” Wallace said “We are putting $10 million into transit – we need to figure out where transit is going – should we be looking at shared services, Uber, or dial a ride because 40 foot buses aren’t the answer. He concedes that transit is part of the solution and ways have to be found to increase ridership.

He is prepared to try the free service for seniors idea that is being used in Oakville.

Burlington Transit getting new buses - to deliver less service.

Burlington Transit getting new buses – Wallace doesn’t think these 40 footers are what we need.

We didn’t come away with the feeling that Wallace has a significant commitment to transit – just that it is something we are going to have to have. The issues that he gets passionate about is the current Handi-Van service. He thinks that service should be Region wide – having people transfer buses at municipal borders is just plain dumb.

Another one that gets to Wallace is why isn’t there a bus service that will get people in Burlington and Oakville to the Pearson airport directly. If he had his way Wallace would like to see transit becoming a GTA west service.

He believes there is technology out there that is not being tapped into.

I asked Wallace why people feel the city isn’t working – why is there is a sense of dysfunction that we are hearing about in this election?

“People are frustrated” said Wallace –” they can’t point to anything that this council has done.  On the OP this council didn’t read the public.”  Wallace doesn’t blame staff.  The Strategic Plan set out the vision especially on land use but the OP doesn’t address how that is going to be achieved.

Orchard PArk residents pack the public gallery at city hall where nine delegations spoke AGAINST a citty staff recomendation for parkland in their community.

Residents pack the public gallery at city hall.

He maintains that “this council has not been proactive … they claim that they held a certain number of public meetings but they didn’t respond to the public concerns. This council has been in a bit of a bubble – not proactive and they didn’t accept input from the public on the issues. They have worked from a Father Knows Best position.”

Wallace wondered why are all the Standing Committee meetings are held down at city hall. If there are issues that relate to a community – hold Standing Committee meetings in those communities makes some sense.

“Why are we not meeting at the Haber Recreation Centre. Wee need to do something that lets people know we are reaching out.”

He wants to get to Queen’s Park in his first 100 days and convince them to make some changes to the Place to Grow plan and let the city get rid of the downtown mobility hub and move the Urban Growth Centre boundaries further up Brant Street. He wants help from the Provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs to help Burlington decide where and how grows.

The Baxter was a very successful condo development; seen as a prime location and an attractive building to boot. The proposed structure for Brock and Elgin is anything but attractive if the drawings are any indication of what they want to build.

The Baxter

He wants changes made so that the city can take control of its destiny. He admits that there are going to be three towers in the downtown core for sure. He can live with the height the Baxter has but he doesn’t want to see a downtown that works for just those who are fortunate enough to live there

He wants to see specialty retail in the downtown core and thinks the it should be the entertainment focus; a major thread in the social fabric of the city.

The litmus test for Wallace is when people come to Burlington, downtown is where they want to go. “If we over develop it will become restrictive for other people – it will become a place just for those who live in the core.”

We asked Wallace where he would cut if he had to bring in a budget that is at inflation. The city portion of the budget has been running either side of 4% for the past seven years. Wallace once reminded the audience during a debate that the city once went for a number of years with 0% budget increases.

He wants staff to work within the budgets they are given and doesn’t think there has to be any services cut – that there is more than enough money coming in. As long as the city keeps close to inflation Wallace thinks the city will be fine.

Wallace points out that Burlington is part of a two tier government and we need to focus on the blended tax rate. The current council has been doing that for a number of years. If Burlington could keep its own budget at inflation taxes would be a lot different.

Wallace said “there is money available for some projects but that the city departments need to live within what they are given and projects might have to be stretched out over a longer period of time.
Wallace pointed to the federal government where there was a plans and priorities approach – he wants staff to better manage what they are given.

aerial of Bronte meadows

Mike Wallace thinks Bronte Meadows could be turned into the kind of community needed to solve many Burlington’s housing and work related problems.

Liberty West, is a Wallace pet project that he believes can solve a lot of the pressing issues the city has. His vision is for a part of the city that has offices and residential mixed together where the housing would be more affordable and keep the younger people in the city instead of having them move to Toronto.

Wallace likes the look of Bronte meadows and believes the city can work with the Paletas who own the land.

When would he like to see shovels in the ground?  Wallace said he hopes to have the plan in place by the end of his first term. He pointed out that right now the land is the subject of a Special study – he wants that study accelerated and have the city begin moving on some of these opportunities. Council has to stop sitting around and begin to get things done.

One can almost see the outline of a second term election for Wallace.

Caroline Wallace

Caroline Wallace – likes the idea of moving to the core of the city.

Wallace and his family live on the eastern side of the city. His wife Caroline has been said to be interested in moving into a condominium in the core. “We won’t be living in a high rise condominium” said Wallace. “A townhouse for us. We are both walkers –something within 2 km of city hall” seems to be what he is suggesting.

All Mike Wallace has to do to make all this happen is get more votes than the other three candidates on Monday.

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Councillor Lancaster sends a surprisingly rude email to a constituent: election stress?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 19th, 2018


Why would a candidate send an email like this days before the election?

As you are aware you have previously been banned from communicating with the City in regard to the flood because of your viscous and unreasonable behaviour. Please stop this harassment. Blair
Read on.

We are in the dying days of the most controversial election the city has seen in a long long time.

There are three incumbents facing voters that are not happy and a Mayor that is up against stiff competition.

This is not the time for any of the incumbents to make a mistake. They need to work their base and be nice nice to everyone.


Blair Lancaster in a photograph from her election campaign material.

Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster who has demonstrated some strong diplomatic skills in the past appears to have lost it. . She can be poised, knows how to handle large unruly groups; we’ve seen her do it. The two people running against her would have a significant barrier to get over.

Then Lancaster blows it. Every member of council has a constituent that makes their life difficult; they go with the territory.

Krista Richards is tenacious – when she has an issue it is better to pay attention and bring the concern to a close – quickly before it gets out of hand.

Richards is not a fan of her council member. She does not subscribe to the Council members Face book page or follow her tweets.

But somehow Lancaster got Krista’s name and election material was arriving in her electronic mail box.

Richards believed this was a violation of the city election rules that does not allow members of council to use city resources to get re-elected  and sent a complaint to the Clerk’s office.

Richards didn’t get a response in what she thought was a reasonable amount of time.

The Clerk’s office did say that they would bring the email being sent to the attention of the Council member – and Lancaster apparently reacted.

She said:

Blair Lancaster brings a soft approach to Council. Doesn't speak nearly as much as the other members. To early to tell if she is effective as the constituent level.

Blair Lancaster

From: Blair Lancaster <blair@blairlancaster.ca>
Sent: October 19, 2018 11:48 AM
To: Krista
Subject: Stop

Krista, I have never added you to my newsletter. My website and my newsletter are not corporate resources. In addition your continued slanderous attacks are being noted. As you are aware you have previously been banned from communicating with the City in regard to the flood because of your viscous and unreasonable behaviour. Please stop this harassment. Blair
Sent from my iPhone

The Gazette has also had its issues with the Council member.  We filed a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner when we believed that Lancaster made public matters related to a person that were discussed in a Closes Session of city council.

That matter is pending.

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Scammer tells us that we will be fined $20 if we don't do as they ask.

Crime 100By Staff

October 18th, 2018



The cheek!

Scammers from somewhere out there try to lure me into their operation and add a note that if I don’t respond – they are going to ding me $20.

We are aware of people that have been pulled into scams like this.  It is a very painful experience and usually takes months to get your on line business operations back up and running the way you need them.

Be vigilant.  At some point the banks will find a way to prevent this kind of thing – getting the technology to work for us would be nice.

scotis scam 1

Scotia scam 2

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Crime Stoppers works - the community benefits and the police can work with the help they are given.

Crime 100By Staff

October 19th, 2018



Crime Stoppers not only pays people who help solve crime, but the program gives residents an anonymous way to identify offenders and make our communities safer.

Recently, the effectiveness of Crime Stoppers in Halton was evidenced after tipsters provided crucial details that helped Halton Regional Police Child Abuse and Sexual Assault investigators identify and arrest an individual accused of sexual assault.

Halton Regional Police issued a public appeal for information after a brazen daylight sexual assault on a residential street in Burlington. That appeal resulted in anonymous tip submissions to Halton Crime Stoppers, which ultimately led to the swift identification and arrest of the suspect.


Jan Westcott, chair of Halton Crime Stoppers

Jan Westcott, chair of Halton Crime Stoppers, said this is just one of numerous occasions through the years where residents have called the anonymous tip line to help police solve crime.

“We very much appreciate those individuals who provide information that allows investigators to identify perpetrators or locate people who have committed crimes in our communities,” Westcott said.
“Crime Stoppers of Halton has operated a tip line in the region since 1988 when various Chamber of Commerce groups and residents in the region requested a method for people to provide police with information anonymously that could allow them to solve crime,” he said. “At the time there were a number of Crime Stoppers programs operating successfully in neighbouring communities and other cities across Ontario.”

Westcott said through the cooperation of citizens calling the tip line almost 2,200 cases have been solved since the program began and more than 1,000 individuals arrested. Tips to Crime Stoppers have also been responsible for the seizure of more than $18 million in illegal drugs and the recovery of almost $3 million of stolen property.

“People definitely make a difference when they call Crime Stoppers to provide valuable information to police to help them solve crime,” he said. “Tips like the one which helped quickly identify this sexual assault suspect demonstrate how Crime Stoppers not only assists with arrests, but shows how anonymous callers can prevent further crimes from being committed in the community and consequently making our streets safer for everyone.”

Westcott said Crime Stoppers is a citizen-run charitable organization and has helped police maintain Halton as one of the safest regions in Canada.

Jan Westcott

Jan Westcott

“Our board routinely authorizes payments for anonymous tips that solve various crimes,” Westcott added. “We want the public to know that Crime Stoppers operates year round, 24 hours a day, so people in the community can anonymously provide information that police may need to solve any crime. Callers are never asked to give their names and do not have to testify in court since their anonymity is guaranteed.”

Westcott said Crime Stoppers is only successful because people are calling the tip line and providing information that will help solve crime and keep our keep our communities safe.

Related news story:

Teacher arrested.

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