City will work with communities to set up an outdoor rink for winter skating.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 18th, 2018



Applications to run an outdoor neighbourhood ice rink are now available from city hall.

The City of Burlington is encouraging neighbours to come together to maintain outdoor community ice rinks at their local park this winter. Applications for the Neighbourhood Rink program are available now at

Applicants can choose from 10 city parks that have a dedicated water supply or another local park without a water supply. Groups looking to organize a neighbourhood rink will need a minimum of six people from their community to maintain the rink. Applications are due by Dec. 31, 2018.

The following parks can accommodate an ice rink:

  • Outdoor skating rinksBrant Hills Park
  • Bridgeview Park
  • Central Park
  • Ireland Park
  • LaSalle Park
  • Nelson Park
  • Orchard Park
  • Sheldon Park
  • Sherwood Park
  • Tansley Woods Park

If your preferred rink location not on the list? Apply and let’s work together to see if we can make it happen.

City staff will install rink boards and hoses in each requested park and provide a training manual with tips on ice maintenance. As the colder weather arrives, each neighbourhood group will flood the rinks to get them ready for a first skate and then maintain them throughout the winter.

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Complaints against Council members Dennison and Lancaster don't get beyond the Clerk's desk - there is a process that can be used after thee election results are in.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2018



Is this the only way abuses of the electoral process can be managed?

Image 3

Shawna Stolte, believed to be in a tight race against incumbent Jack Dennison for the ward 4 seat files a complaint setting out election abuses with the city Clerk.

The complaint Shawna Stolte sent to the City Clerk/Returning Officer about Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison using city resources (mailing lists) to advance his election campaign is not the first the city has received.

The Stolte complaint against Councillor Dennison.

On September the 20th, Krista Richards sent a note to Lisa Palermo, a city staff member involved in the administration of the election.

It is my understanding from the “Use of Corporate Resources Policy” that “Distribution lists or contact lists developed utilizing corporate resources or through contact in a Member of Council’s role shall not be utilized for election purposes.”

For a sitting Councillor to knowingly contravene the Use of Corporate Resources Policy as well as breach of Privacy Policy in order to achieve an unfair advantage in the election is very disturbing.

I find it also very disturbing that your office chose not to respond to this complaint sent more that 3 weeks ago.

I want everyone on the distribution list used by Blair Lancaster to get an immediate apology using the following criteria.

1. Sent no later than 4 pm. September 17th.
2. No reprinting the objectionable email.
3. It is to contain an apology and admission of knowing the misuse of Corporate Resources.
4. An acknowledgment that this email was indeed sent to recipients who did not sign up for emails from her campaign and was based on the Ward 6 email addresses gained while in office.
5. She is to promise that no further emails will be sent to any recipient who did not specifically sign up through her website or a signup sheep
6. She is to provide a copy of the recipients List of both the email below and the new email to assure all recipients received it.
7. She is to add her competitors to the email for their information.

I look forward to you handling this in the unbiased nature your office is supposed to serve and giving this the immediate attention it was due 3 weeks ago.
Krista M. Richards

City Clerk Angela Morgan fails to ensure media alerted to Special Council meeting. Her communications people dropped the ball as well.

City Clerk Angela Morgan has to deal with the complaints and emotions of people who object to what some candidates are doing – she also has to work within the rules she is given. Thankless task for her.

The Clerk’s office responded:

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I will be advising Blair Lancaster of your concerns. If you would like to pursue it further, you can utilize the compliance audit process following the election. Information on the process will be posted by early November.

City Clerk/Returning Officer Angela Morgan later told Ms Richards that she ”Has no authority to require that action. If you have any concerns with the administration of the election from my office, please contact the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. They are the administrators of election legislation and can provide you with information on the authority of the Clerk.

Does this mean that an incumbent can do whatever they like with city resources during the election and face the consequences after the election?

Could the Clerk/Returning Officer investigate and issue at least a statement that the culprit has been reprimanded and publish that notice and also send that notice to all the names on the mailing list that was mis-used. At least make it very uncomfortable for those who choose to abuse the rules and then enact fines – substantial fines and take it out of their pay cheques.

What the public is seeing now is a procedure that lets the sinner’s sin and meet St. Peter a couple of months later.

Ward 4 candidate Shawna Stolte filed her complaint against Councillor Dennison with the city and asked for a decision by 4:00 pm of the following day. She did not get a response.

The process seems to ignore all infractions until after an election which isn’t very satisfying to the voters with complaints.

The Clerk has to work within the rules she is given, however, the Clerk could ask Council to petition the provincial government to change the rules.

And the new council members could beef up the Code of Good Governance and allow for some action to be taken during an election.

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Elementary school teacher arrested for Child Pornography Offences

Crime 100By Staff

October 18th, 2018



As a result of an investigation conducted by the Halton Regional Police Service – Internet Child Exploitation Unit, Christopher ROLLO (52 years) of Burlington was arrested on October 17th, 2018 and charged with:

HRPS crestLuring a Child Via a Computer (2 counts) ,

Possession of Child Pornography and Personation with Intent.

The victims in this matter were between 12-15 years of age.

Rollo is currently employed by the Halton District School Board as an elementary school teacher at Joshua Creek PS in Oakville, and had previously been a hockey coach with the Burlington Girls Hockey Club (2010-2015), Burlington City Rep Hockey Club (2005-2006) and the Flamborough Girls Hockey Club (2016-2017).

Investigators have determined that the accused was communicating with the victim’s online via Facebook, Instagram and Omegle, using the name: Cody Clarke and @clarkie1833

The accused was held pending a bail hearing.

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

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

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See Something? Hear Something? Know Something?” Contact “Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at

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

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A look at the numbers - who has to get what in the way of votes to be the next Mayor.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2018



In the 2014 election, the one that returned every member of council to office, five percent of the city’s 121,535 eligible voters, 6053 voted before the election day either on line or at the advance polls.

The Gazette learned from the Returning Officer that 9,000 people have registered to vote on line for the 2018 election – that number may have increased

News anal REDThe total voter turnout for the 2014 election was 37.6 per cent; 45,671 ballots were cast.

The increase in the online vote so far this election suggests there will be a higher turnout for the 2018 election.

The candidates know how many voters there are in their ward – that information is not posted on the city election web site for general reference.

We will use the 2014 eligible voter count for the purposes of an analysis and a projection of what could happen on October 22nd.  The actual numbers for 2018 will be higher.

Exclude Greg Woodruff for the moment – even though he may turn out to be a spoiler.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: she is more comfortable with herself as a speaker.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: she is more comfortable with herself as a speaker.

With three other candidates, one of them is going to have to get 40% of the vote to become Mayor.

Rick Goldring no longer has the base he felt he had.

Wallace at council meeting

Mike Wallace listening during a city council Standing Committee meeting.

Mike Wallace has a solid Tory base – does that amount to 40% of the voters. Likely not but more to the point Wallace hasn’t generated the excitement and enthusiasm that was needed and his performance in the debates didn’t give him the lift he would need.

The unknown is Marianne Meed Ward. If her base is as big as she implies it is then she could get 40% of the vote leaving 60% to be split between Goldring and Wallace. Can either of them get enough of that 60% to push them past Meed Ward?

Goldring’s two unfortunate personal public attacks on Meed Ward soured many people on a candidate who was already in trouble. Is the Goldring vote low enough to let Wallace get the bulk of the vote (that 60%) to pass Meed Ward?

The Meed Ward team is pumped and primed – they believe 2018 is her year and they are fervent in their belief that she is the difference the city needs.

All the above is plausible – now bring Greg Woodruff back on the stage.

Just under 6000 people in Burlington voted for him as Regional Chair in 2014. Gary Carr literally blew Woodruff out of the water.

Greg WoodruffBut Woodruff didn’t sink – he has made some very intelligent remarks in each of the debates. He will never get elected Mayor – the question about Woodruff is where will his votes come from?

Are there people who are edgy about Meed Ward and will vote for Woodruff?

Are there past Goldring voters who are disappointed with what he hasn’t managed to do during his eight years as Mayor and will give their vote to Woodruff because Meed Ward is a little too over the top for then and there isn’t a hope in Hades that they would ever vote for a Tory?

The Woodruff vote has to come from somewhere. He had almost 6000 last time and he hasn’t done anything really stupid to lose any of that. His performance suggests his vote count will rise – the question is at whose expense.

If the Woodruff vote comes off of Goldring’s plate – Meed Ward is home free.  If it comes off Meed Wards plate she could be in serious trouble.

I have an amiable relationship with Dr. Shih, one of the smaller developers and owner of a number of plazas around the city giving him a consistent rental cash flow.


Dr. Shih, centre, at a community planning event.

We spent a moment in a hallway at the Art Gallery one recent evening and he asked me how I thought the election was going to pan out.

I took him through my ward by ward expectations and added who I thought would be the next Mayor. Dr. Shih gave me that inscrutable look of his, tilted his head and asked: How did your projection in the last election work out. He knew that I had been totally wrong.

Dr. Shih did not share his election result thoughts with me. He did use that Oriental phrase: “We live in interesting times’” and went about his business. The phrase is said to be a curse.

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Ward 6 candidate's car is vandalized.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2018



It isn’t supposed to be like this.

Ken White provided 3a

Ken White

Ken White, a candidate for the ward 6 city council seat, was out picking up a take out meal at the Indian Palace. He parked his cat in the layby near Thomas Alton and Tim Dobbie.

Walked into the Indian Place for the takeout and returned to find his car had been vandalized. Thee damage wasn’t serious. He will be able to wipe it off with a light solvent.

White car vandalized in ward 6

The vandalized car – belonged to Ken White, a ward 6 candidate.

Why is this kind of thing happening now in Burlington?

Has the city lost that sheen of civility we need to get along with each other?

White said on his Facebook page: If you support me thank-you but please do not call Candidates names, generally disparage them or graffiti someone’s property.

Normally I’d think it was kids but sickeningly I’m certain it’s an adult.

I’m leaving this on my car as a reminder to canvass even harder so the Weirdo’s we live among have absolutely no impact on this election.

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TVO hosts Goldring, Meed Ward and Wallace in a solid debate. You get to see what the options are on a bigger stage.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2018



It was worth watching – three of the Mayoralty candidates debating on TVO’s The Agenda.

It gives you a chance to watch a debate with an experienced moderator who put tough questions to the three of them.  This level of quality is something ECoB can aspire to.

TVO debate 2

The Agenda with Steve Paikin and three Mayoralty candidates

Steve Paikin covered a number of bases.

Development, intensification, aggressive third party advertising that was aimed at Meed Ward which the other two candidates said they knew nothing about.

That advertising didn’t fall off the back of some truck

Paikin missed picking up on Mayor Goldring’s two public gaffs when he went after Meed Ward with some uncalled for comments.

The matter of Mayor Goldring asking the province to think about letting us annex Waterdown came up. Wallace said the idea may well turn out to be a Pandora’s Box.

Meed Ward said it should never have been brought up.

TVO debate

It was a good debate – they got to go after each other in a polite Burlington way.

Paikin pointed out that one of the worst kept secrets in the province are the plans being developed at Queen’s Park for more municipal amalgamation. It was suggested that the provincial municipal ministry might decide to merge Burlington with Hamilton.

The question I found myself asking was: Which of these three do I want leading the city through the tough issues ahead of us.

Make a point of watching the 27 minutes – you will come away with a better view of what the options are after watching the program. Click on the link to view the broadcast.



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Canada enters new age - where will it end up - not all that certain - but the natives are happy. We replaced let then eat cake with let them smoke their brains out.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 18th, 2018



It’s this recurring dream – Rob Ford is back again but this time he’s the PM and his drug of choice is marijuana rather than crack cocaine. Why else would Canada be only the second, arguably the first, nation on earth to fully legalize weed? And it’s no wonder everyone in the country is so happy today. We haven’t seen this kind of euphoria since we won the Second World War. Our national jubilation is so strong that I’m sure Justin would not be opposed if he declared himself PM for life.

Weed line ups in Mtl

Montrealer’s lined up to purchase cannabis.

And if you turned on the TV recently you’d see how the media has freaked out – getting their high-on with non-stop broadcasting of all the ins and outs of this ancient far-out drug. Of course in Ontario you can only get MJ legally by ordering through the provincial on-line agency. Premier Ford, for some unknown reason, has killed the previous plan to conveniently and safely sell the product in LCBO stores. No, rumours to the effect that Doug is going back to his alleged occupation of dealing drugs cannot be substantiated – and besides he’s the premier of all the people now.

Drugs ordered on-line would have to be delivered by Canada Post, which is now almost certainly heading for a very long strike. So you might want to put a hold on stocking up your larder with munchies. And don’t be surprised to see some very happy posties dancing around on the picket line as they roll and light up your mail. And watch out for the stampede as the postal strike mob heads out for an overload of Timmys to feed their brains.

Since it’s now OK to engage in reefer madness the second shoe drops – the question about the fate of all those sorry sods who were unlucky enough to get nailed for simple possession. It was illegal at the time, right. But it’s not now. And there are still questions over what possession really means and when it means dealing.

The NDP says the records should be expunged and the Tories say spare the rod and spoil the children. Nobody should be pardoned, at least not without paying the fee and waiting for some ten years they believe. But hey, wouldn’t this be the perfect time for Mr Trudeau to pull off another of his famous public apologies.

Us border guards

US border guards are fixed on keeping out cannabis out of their country.

You are being warned by US authorities not to cross the border even if you so much as dreamt of ever getting high. The guards are rumoured to have access to the on-line store orders and your criminal records, even if pardoned. But then they do keep changing their story almost every day. Still I’ve learned not to mess, or joke, with those well armed folks. Besides it is above their pay-grade to even consider that recreational weed is legal in nine states and that over 60% of Americans want it legal everywhere.

All the people I know who ever smoked the stuff have decided to give up MJ now that it’s legal. I mean what’s the point – the thrill is gone. Surveys show that less than half of all Canadians are planning to ever buy the stuff. But they’re probably lying. And so are the ones who claim to never having at least tried it. We’ve been conditioned to lying about drugs from that first painful lecture our parents conducted on the birds and buds.

Trudeau - happy

Trudeau is delighted with the way his election promise is being received.

Justin may have broken a few promises in his term as PM, starting with the last election being the last election with a first-past-the-post electoral system. Hey but if you smoke enough dope the plan is that you won’t care – about that or our growing national debt, or the painful memories of that India voyage.

Of Canada’s recent PM’s: Diefenbaker killed the Avro Arrow; Lester gave us the flag; Pierre entrenched our supply management and cultural industries, Brian the gave us the GST and so-called free trade, Jean the long gun registry, Kim, Paul and Stephen almost nothing, but Justin made us happy. I wonder who will be remembered best in the history books.

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:

Pardons for Drug Possession –     Doug Ford and Drugs –    US Smokin’ States

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City View Park closed Oct. 24-26 for Snow Fighter Training

News 100 redBy Staff

October 17th, 2018



They may not be the Guardians of the Galaxy or an Avenger, but the City of Burlington’s Snow Fighter team will be guardians of our roads this winter, fighting what may feel like an infinity war against snowy and icy roads.

Snow plows in tandemThat’s pretty spicy language from the city’s communications department. The media release goes on to say: “In order to prepare, Snow Fighter training will take place at City View Park from Oct. 24 to Oct. 26, with the park closed to the public from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. on those days.

Snow Fighters, which include those who operate snow plows, sanders, salters and brine trucks, will be training and practicing their skills throughout the park’s roads and parking lots to ensure the Snow Fighters are ready for the first snowfall.

What is a little confusing is how do you train for driving snow plows when there is no snow? Or does the city know something about the weather the rest of us don’t know.

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Were Greg Woodruff to be elected Mayor - what kind of a Burlington would he try to create?

background 100By Pepper Parr

October 17th, 2018



He knew his stuff.

He had done his homework.

Some of his solutions for the city were a stretch – some made you wonder if had had gotten ahead of the cannabis legislation.

WoodruffBut during the ECoB debate when he pulled out some of the campaign material he used for the 2014 election – when he ran for Regional Chair – he was able to show that everything he said in 2014 had come true in 2018.

Does that mean he would be a great Mayor for the city?

Probably not – but Greg Woodruff has certainly made a significant contribution to the quality of the debate. There are solutions he was championing that were superior to those of Marianne Meed Ward who shared the debate events with him and the two other Mayoralty contestants: Rick Goldring and Mike Wallace.

He argued for nothing above six floors throughout the city and points out that no one ever challenged him on the position. The debate Q&A format didn’t really allow for much in the way of a challenge and for the most part the other candidates didn’t take him seriously.

Traffic barriers in place on LAkeshore for the Car Free Sunday last year were expensive and not really used. The event was poorly attended.

Traffic barriers in place on Lakeshore Road – making them wider isn’t going to do anything for traffic congestion. – more road just means more cars. expensive and not really used. The event was poorly attended.

On traffic, which everyone agrees is a serious problem Woodruff is blunt: there is no way to resolve it. The 100,000 people that are going to be added to the population are going to have to use the already congested streets which everyone says cannot be made any wider.

Transit as the solution – difficult for a city council that has never properly funded transit and for a budget that is already strained – how much high than 4% annual increases can the tax payer put up with – to pay for buses they don’t want to ride on?

Map of Saskatchewan

Burlington with a population bigger than the province of Saskatchewan? Boggles the mind.

Woodruff has the ability to make a point in language that can be understood – by 2041 the population of Burlington will be greater than that of Saskatchewan. Sort of puts Burlington’s growth in perspective doesn’t it?

Woodruff has a problem with the “I’m for reasonable growth” line being parroted by the other three candidates. They don’t define just what they think reasonable is.

Woodruff came to Burlington when he was in grade 10 – attended Nelson high school for the first year and the moved to MMR. Before Burlington he lived with his parents in Campbellville.

His graduate studies were done at Ryerson where he did computer studies. He earns a good living creating web sites and applications for commercial clients.

Woodruff sounds cranky when he points out that the current Mayor talks about the Official Plan that was passed and how it aligns with the Strategic Plan – but “no one ever mentions the impact of the Official Plan.”  The public is told there is nothing to worry about.

The Planning department is already snowed under with development applications. Woodruff believes that once the OP clears the Regional government new development applications will come rolling in. He maintains there are property consultants earning a decent living telling people how they can get in on this bonanza – especially in the downtown core.

Sign at Guelph Line north of new street. Are their days numbered?

The planners think many of the plazas in the city could handle a lot more intensification.

This man with a lot of common sense doesn’t believe there is really vision for the city that has been clearly explained and that has the support of most of the residents. He wants to know: what will the place look like. Condominiums on every one of the plazas in the city?

Why is he running when there isn’t much of a chance that he will get elected? He wanted the public to be aware that there are other options – his six stories max for Aldershot is one of them.

Is growth really necessary? Woodruff doesn’t think so. But the province says we have to grow – “it’s all set out in that Places to Grow document isn’t it ?”

We can say no – we can push back – we can keep up the pressure maintains Greg Woodruff.

He says he believes in growth – we just aren’t doing it right. “I am the only person who is saying that growth is not the best idea.

There is a short video with Woodruff doing one of the Smart Car Coffee Confidential interviews that gives you a sense of where he is coming from. Worth looking at. Here’s the link.

Woodruff got 12,344 votes in the 2014 election when he ran for Regional Chair. 5,812 of them were cast in Burlington.  He can expect at least that this time around.  What if he were to double that number – and THAT is possible.  He could make October 22nd very uncomfortable for someone.

Related news stories:

How Woodruff thinks he could become Mayor.

Debating the Official Plan

Getting back to good policy that respects the people who live here now.

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An email that you could mistake - always - if in doubt - don't.

Crime 100By Staff

October 17th, 2018



If you saw this email – you would be stunned.

And if you do a lot of your bill paying and invoice processing on line – you would be heading to the on-line bank account to see what this is about.

If you are a small business you know what your payables are – and you wouldn’t recognize this one. You might be tempted to click on that View the invoice – and at that point they’ve gotcha.

Which is the point behind the email.

You have to be careful – pay attention.

Here is what the email said:

indeed logo

Thanks! Your payment has been processed.
$459.15 CAD
Best Network Recruitment
Invoice # 16236125

Your charges:  September 2018 Advertising on
$459.15 CAD

You may also wish to
View billing history
Update payment method

This email was loaded with trouble.


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Coming to Burlington: an outdoor viewing party of the live Sportsnet broadcast of the evening’s featured NHL game

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 17th, 2018



The city is looking for volunteers for Rogers Hometown Hockey event that will hit the city October 27th and 28th.

Rogers Hometown Hockey will be welcomed to the city in the midst of largest food drive campaign in Canada, the Gift of Giving back. Young Burlington hockey players will be canvassing communities to gather non-perishable food donations. Residents are encouraged to continue to give generously.

Hometown hockeyThe weekend will feature a ball hockey tournament, local musicians on stage, activities and will end on Sunday evening with an outdoor viewing party of the live Sportsnet broadcast of the evening’s featured NHL game with Tara Slone and Ron MacLean on site in Burlington showcasing our great city.

The volunteers will help with various aspects of the events being held in downtown Burlington.

There will be two areas for volunteer hours: waste sorting and popcorn distribution.

The online application form can be found at The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 21.

If you have any questions about the positions available, please contact

For more information about the events during the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour stop in Burlington, visit

About Rogers Hometown Hockey
Each week during the 2018-2019 NHL season, the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour will visit a different community across the country with a weekend of free outdoor hockey festivities for all ages, culminating in an outdoor viewing party of an NHL game broadcast every Sunday, with Ron MacLean and Tara Slone hosting live onsite from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio.

The family-friendly weekend tells the stories of local upcoming talent and alumni, provides an inviting atmosphere for the community to come together to show their passion for the game and ultimately, celebrate the game of hockey which has been woven tightly into our great Canadian culture.

Related news story.

First news of the Hometown Hockey event.

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How is the vote in ward 4 going? The Gazette thinks Shawna Stolte can defeat Jack Dennison.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 17th, 2018



The Gazette has looked at the ward debates, attended many of the candidate events and arrived at conclusions in each ward. Those conclusions are based on watching the incumbents for more than seven years and interviewing most of the new candidates. Here is the way we think things will go in ward 4

What did we learn from the ward 4 ECoB debate?

We learned that Jack Dennison, the incumbent has been in office for a long long time; he said 36 years and two months during the ECoB Q&A.

Shawna listening to Dennison

Shawna Stolte during the ward 4 ECoB debate.

Many think his time has come. Shawna Stolte came to that conclusion and decided to run for the seat.

In 2014 Carol Gottlob gave Jack Dennison a good run for the money – a woman with little in the way of profile she managed to take 35% of the vote. It was evident there were cracks in the Dennison base vote.

Did the crack in the base change the way he served. Not one bit.

When ECoB set up the debates for each ward Dennison jerked them around. He wouldn’t confirm the date they had selected; said he didn’t know enough about ECoB. He knew enough to at least try and stay away from debate.

He put his opponent in the very awkward position of not knowing if she was going to have a conversation with the moderator or was going to do a Q&A with the incumbent.

When Dennison would not commit to the date that was chosen for the ward 4 event (he was given six days to decide) ECoB went with the date they had planned originally. Unfortunately that date was the day there was a city council meeting. ECoB might have been wiser to stick with the date that Council was not meeting.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison always has an eye open for an economic opportunity - sees a great one for the city: sell the golf course.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison

The ECoB people were never certain that Dennison was going to show up until he walked through the door. He wasn’t capable of giving the organizers a heads up and tell them that he would spend some time at the city council meeting and then head over to Nelson high school.

Shawna with Jack at debate

At least he showed up. Jack Dennison with Shawna Stolte on the Nelson high school stage.

However, arrive he did. No apology for being late. He settled into his chair and behaved as the amiable man he conveys to people.

Shawna Stolte did fine for the most part. Few knew that she was not well; she wasn’t at all sure she could make it through the evening.

She handled the questions put to her as well as Dennison did.

The bothering matter was the several “high fives” the two of them did during the evening. It is never a safe move to get to close to Jack Dennison – he will charm and manipulate.

It would have been nice to see Stolte differentiate herself from Dennison.

When Dennison arrived – a half hour late – the moderator shifted gears smoothly and reverted to the original format which was to put questions to the candidates.

First question was: What would you like to see city council do more of and less of.

Dennison said he wanted the public to know more about development applications before they got to the Standing Committee stage.

Marianne Meed Ward has been saying that for the past eight years and actually doing that for development applications in her ward. Jack had no problem taking her initiative and making it his own – and not a word of recognition to Meed Ward for the job she had done. Instead Meed Ward gets described as divisive.

Image 8

Shawna Stolte at the Farmers Market

Stolte couldn’t match Dennison’s knowledge of budget matters but she did let the public see how she thinks.
She thought members of council should get out and meet the public much more. She acknowledged that council members have boards and committees they have to sit on and wondered if city council could not be enlarged by perhaps two members who would be Member at Large with no specific ward responsibilities but they would handle the boards and committee work: The Hospital Board, the Library board, the Performing Arts Centre Board and the Arty Gallery along with the Downtown Business Development Association.

The idea needs discussion and some fleshing out – but it has merit. Not bad for someone who isn’t yet a rookie member of council.

Stolte is basically a decent person; deception isn’t something she learned, listening is something she had to learn. Social workers make decisions about people lives and they don’t get the opportunity to correct any mistakes they make.

If our reading of the city is correct – the citizens want a change and they want their council members to not only listen but to hear what the residents are saying and to be accountable to them.

Burlington is so damned polite that they never say; Excuse me, that isn’t quite what I had in mind.

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

Citizens often pack city hall to delegate and hope that they are being heard.

There is a strong core group that has been very vocal – for the most part it is very active south of the QEW. There are people in the northern part of the city who know next to nothing about city hall. They willingly pay taxes that have been increased at about 4% every year and for some of the communities they put up with parking problems that are impossible to deal with.

Stolte is the only candidate in a one-on-one race with a long term incumbent. Dennison does not do well in the Roseland community. His decision to sever his Lakeshore Road property really offended that community – so much so that they blackballed him from membership at the community association.

Dennison - second house

The second house built on the property that Jack Dennison managed to sever.

Dennison lost his application for the right to sever the property. That didn’t stop him. He appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board where he won the right to sever and build a second house – which he promptly moved into and rented the house with an historical designation that Dennison always spoke of as a badge or personal honour.

The phrase ‘conflict of interest’ is not one that Dennison ever really understood; he certainly didn’t abide by it. His Cedar Springs health club sold services to the city which put him in a conflict of interest which Dennison rarely declared. For Jack Dennison – he was just taking care of business.

Dennison email

A portion of a recent newsletter Councillor Dennison sent out. A number of people have claimed that Dennison used city resources in putting together the email list he used – a no no in municipal election. The tone of this news letter is pretty defensive.

At the end of the Q&A at Nelson high school the moderator asked the candidates to talk about their strengths and weakness. Stolte was as direct as you can expect. She said she was a social worker and active in community development because those two occupations spoke to her personal values.

Were someone to suggest at some point in the future that a decision she made as a council member was a conflict of interest she would be aghast. Openness and transparency are written all over the woman.

Being accountable is something that she will learn – it isn’t that she is not accountable – she is entering an arena where competing interests want her support. She will make wise decisions and she will make mistakes and learn that it is very hard to be accountable in the eyes of everyone.

Is she up to it? We think so; Shawna Stolte is certainly a far better choice than the incumbent.

Dennison announcing

Jack Dennison the day he announced the sale of his health club – a difficult day emotionally.

Dennison has made a point of keeping his constituents informed with his newsletters. He used to hold regular meetings at the health club when he owned it. Residents remember that. We recall one comment from a Gazette reader who wanted Jack to run for Mayor. He built that kind of loyalty and when he helped you out he let you know, and would remind you, that he had helped.

Being a city Councillor for Jack Dennison was friends taking care of friends.

If you live in ward 4 and haven’t yet voted – make some time to watch the video. You can skip through parts of it – especially the part where Dennison explains the way the tax rate is determined. Not sure he would understand what he said if he were to listen to it again.

The ward 4 choices are very clear. If the residents want change – Stolte offers that.

The 2018-2022 Council will be different – there are going to be at least three new members due to the Councillors Taylor and Craven retirements and Meed Ward giving up her seat to run for Mayor.

There may also be a new Mayor – Rick Goldring is in a very very tight race.

Electing Shawna Stolte in ward 4 would mean the new Council members would be a majority on the seven member council; something the Mayor choices would have to deal with.

There are dozens of news stories on Jack Dennison.  Use the Gazette search tool on the Home page to find them.

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

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Meed Ward issues a statement on the sustained personal attacks, lies and defamation being heard during the last week of Burlington’s mayoral race.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 16th, 2018



Mayoralty candidate Marianne Meed Ward issues a statement on malicious attack advertising.

“Our campaign, and only our campaign, continues to be the target of numerous, sustained personal attacks, lies and defamation, which are ramping up in the last week of Burlington’s mayoral race. The latest is a flyer slandering me while promoting the current mayor, and a series of Facebook and Instagram ads and videos which use the same slanderous content as the Campaign Research push poll in August/September.

Rusin 2

What has a flyer about the pros and cons of two mayoralty candidates got to do with a person running for the ward 3 council seat?

“Negative personal attacks and smear campaigns have no place in this election, or any election, anywhere, against any candidate. These tactics divide our community. Every candidate should be condemning this appalling behaviour, especially where it is used to promote their own candidacy.

“The public are not fooled, and have told us they are in fact disgusted by this. We’ve been overwhelmed with support from the community, with residents contacting us to say there is no place for these tactics, regardless of how they are voting.

Meed Ward“I want to thank the decent people of Burlington for calling for this to stop, and for rising above. Residents will cast their votes based on platform and track record, not lies and slander hiding behind numbered companies and anonymous polls.

“The smear campaign will not intimidate or silence us from continuing to speak out for reasonable growth, not overdevelopment, which has emerged as the key issue in this election. We will continue to advocate for our community and for better decisions on development with a new mayor and council who will work with residents.”

Mayor Goldring said in a news report that he was aware of the attack ads and was not involved with them or supportive of them.

The flyers that were distributed by ward 3 council candidate were his and his alone. Rusin has opposed Meed Ward for more than five years. He has used whatever electronic media he could find to trash the woman.

Running as a council candidate gave him the platform he needed to continue – his nomination became a megaphone to get his message out.

It will be interesting to see just how many votes he actually gets.

Greg Woodruff was very firm in his condemnation of the flyers, and the electronic tricks and games that have been played.

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Police and public school board issue statements on using cannabis

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 16th, 2018



marijuana-dispensary-holding-weed-1280The Halton District School Board and the Halton Regional Police issued statements today that relate to the impending legalization of cannabis in Canada.

The Halton District School Board is communicating with families and staff and sharing online resources about the legalization of cannabis, which takes effect tomorrow.

Cannabis will be legalized in Canada on October 17 however, it will continue be illegal for individuals under 19 years to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis. It is illegal to provide cannabis to someone under the age of 19.

This is the same as the minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario.
At HDSB schools, it will continue to be illegal for anyone, regardless of age, to smoke or vape cannabis. This includes:

• at school, on school grounds, and all public areas within 20m of these grounds
• on children’s playgrounds and public areas within 20m of playgrounds
• in child care centres, or where an Early Years program is provided

The Halton Regional Police Service announced a Fit for Duty Policy

Effective October 17, 2018, the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has in place a Fit for Duty Policy that takes into consideration the impending legalization of cannabis in Ontario.

The policy states that all members, volunteers, and workers performing work on behalf of the Service must be fit for duty.

In order to support the safety and well-being of HRPS members, the policy also imparts a duty on all members to disclose if they have, or believe they have an addiction or dependency (to alcohol and/or drugs).

This duty allows the Service to connect such a member with a treatment plan to support them on their path back to wellness.

The Service has spent considerable effort in consulting extensively with police services across the country with the goal of developing a robust and sustainable fit for duty policy. This consultation included a full environmental scan of best practices and policies in place at other services and across a variety of public-facing and public safety industries.

Chief of Police Steve Tanner explains that Social Media is not the same as a 911 call

Chief of Police Steve Tanner says all police officers must be Fit for Duty when they are working a shift.

“We appreciate that our members hold key positions of trust within our community and are given extraordinary powers as they perform their duties in ensuring the safety of others. While we respect that on October 17, it will be legal to consume cannabis, we recognize that we are responsible for ensuring that the safety of HRPS members and that the safety of our community are not compromised as a consequence,” said Chief Stephen Tanner.

“It is my expectation that when members are off-duty, they are not consuming alcohol and/or any drugs (including cannabis) or intoxicant in a manner that would render them unfit to perform their duties safely and effectively.”

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Flood warnings are made regularly, floods take place regularly - the average citizens wants to know what they can do today.

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 16th, 2018


We are indebted to CATCH (Citizens at City Hall), a Hamilton group that uses public documents to highlight information about Hamilton civic affairs that is not generally available in the mass media.

The extreme flooding accompanying recent hurricanes in the southern US carries a stark warning for Hamilton and other Canadian communities of increasingly severe rain storms. That threat was echoed by the province’s environmental commissioner in her recent report and again when she spoke last week. And it was particularly underlined by the frightening assessment last week from the world’s climate scientists.

Researchers have had time to examine what happened in Texas last year with Hurricane Harvey that dumped several FEET of rain onto Houston and surrounding areas. They have concluded that climate change greatly worsened that precipitation and made it three and half times more likely.

This fall more unbelievable rainfall volumes arrived with Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. Preliminary evaluation indicates the amounts were 50 percent higher because of climate change, and that 11,000 additional homes were inundated because of higher sea levels driven by the same cause.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maps show a vast area that was subjected to a greater than 1000-year deluge. Detailed information is still being examined on Hurricane Michael that devastated the Florida Panhandle last week.

Commissioner Dianne Saxe told a climate conference at York University last week that extreme weather this year in Ontario has already caused more than a billion dollars in insured damages. Even without uninsured losses that’s five times the amount in any year prior to 1998 and second only to 2013 when Toronto suffered massive flooding.

Flood Fairview plaza

A commercial plaza parking lot on Fairview could not manage the amount of water.

Her report to the provincial legislature issued at the beginning of this month cites flooding in numerous Ontario cities including Hamilton and warns that growth in the golden horseshoe “combined with climate change, wetland loss, and inadequate stormwater management could dramatically increase the frequency and intensity of urban flooding.” She explains that “Ontario’s municipalities face a staggering $6.8 billion stormwater infrastructure deficit” and that “basic physics” mean rising temperatures pose a huge threat.

“In general, warmer temperatures drive higher evaporation rates of surface water, and increase the amount of moisture that the air can hold. Every degree Celsius that the temperature rises, the air is able to hold (and drop) seven percent more moisture, making storms more intense and severe.”

Hamilton has experienced more than 20 storms since 2005 that flooded homes. The most destructive was in 2009 when over 7000 homes were inundated, but the largest hit mainly rural areas in upper Stoney Creek and Binbrook in 2012 that dumped six inches in three hours and was categorized as a one in a thousand year event.

That was similar in uniqueness to the Toronto and Calgary floods in 2013 and the 2014 deluge in Burlington that flooded 6000 homes and simultaneously shut down both the QEW and the 407. Saxe reported that the Insurance Bureau of Canada now says one in ten Canadian properties “will soon be uninsurable by the private market” and that the United Kingdom has already stopped using public funds to bailout victims.

“In the UK they already know they can’t afford that anymore since the 2007 floods when they had three billion pounds in losses. That was the biggest destruction of infrastructure since the Luftwaffe,” said Saxe. “And they finally realized after several years of flood after flood the government cannot pay for everything anymore. But are we having an honest conversation on that? Are we hearing any conversation about it? We’re not.”

Among her recommendations is a requirement for municipalities to regularly update floodplain maps and conducting “climate change vulnerability assessments of their infrastructure as a condition of obtaining provincial government funding for projects.”

Flood presentation - 407 flooded

The 407 became impassable in the western Halton

Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confronted the world with the grim news that the Paris Accord promise to keep average global heating to 2 Celsius degrees is far too dangerous. One effect of failing to do that is that the frequency of extreme rainfall doubles between 1.5C of heating and 2C. Even emergency cuts of nearly half in greenhouse gas emissions in the next 12 years won’t save the planet from catastrophic damages.

Flood presentation - map showing area of rainfall

It was a very local storm that dumped xx rain on the eastern part of the city with next to nothing in Waterdown. It was in reality several storms that caught everyone off guard.

The full report says we have to end fossil fuel use, reverse deforestation and reduce meat consumption. But the IPCC’s previous predictions have mostly turned out to be underestimates and critics argue this latest report is subject to the same flaws. The summary document, for example, is approved word by word by political representatives. In addition the effect of tipping points and feedback loops are still not incorporated into the IPCC forecasts.


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Orchard residents get to hear what their Councillor has to say about his performance - the rest of the ward got forgotten.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 16th, 2018


‘There now – that didn’t hurt did it’ is an appropriate comment to make to Councillor Sharman at the end of the debate that took place at the Halton Waldorf school last night.

all candidates

The candidates, all of them this time, listening to Xin Yi Zhang.

The other four candidates for the ward seat showed up and did what they did at the first ward 5 debate that Sharman found he just could not attend because he didn’t know enough about ECoB, the grass roots citizens organization that is evolving into something that has been lacking in Burlington for more than a decade: a group that will help the public speak back to a city council that has not been able to both listen and hear what the people of the city want.

The evening was for the people in the Orchard community, a part of the city that is rich with schools but poor when it comes to parks and places for children to play.

Orchard community entrance sign

It was planned as a community that would be serviced by state of the art transit – that never happened and now they have to cope with serious parking problems.

The less than 200 people that attended were typical Burlington polite and none of the candidates pulled a gaff they couldn’t recover from.

Amy Collard 1

Ward 5 public school board trustee Amy Collard moderated the Q&A sessions.

Traffic congestion and better facilities for the children were top of mind. The question and answer sessions were moderated by Amy Collard, the ward 5 school board trustees who did say at one point that she understood how hard elections were. Ms Collard has never really fought an election – she has always been acclaimed and has served her constituents better than any other school board trustee.

A number of interesting facts came to the surface. The Orchard doesn’t have even one city facility. It has a parking problem that is structural. When the community was being built the plan was to include a state of the art transit service that would serve the community.

The houses got built – the buses never arrived.

Mary Alice

Candidate Mary Alice St. James was the only one who came close to holding the incumbent accountable.

While the event was supposed to focus on the Orchard, the plans to re-develop the Lakeside Plaza got a fair share of the time. Too big, and nothing for the residents was the complaint. The developer wants 900 units, candidate Mary Alice St. James wants to see that cut back to 300 – and forget about the idea of 18 storey building at the edge of Lakeshore Road.


Councillor Sharman, expecting to be re-elected, got through the Orchard Q&A. Getting through the election is another matter.

Councillor Sharman did explain that what the public has seen is what the developer is proposing.

The city has to accept every proposal put in front of them. Planning staff then come up with a recommendation for city council.

Sharman let the room know that he expected to be the council member who would be part of the council that decides. He said that the staff recommendation would get to council in March of next year– but that could be May or June.

There will be at least one more community meeting and then the Statutory public meeting and then to Council – the public could see something in the way of a decision in the summer – which will not keep anyone happy.

Of the less than 200 people in the room – the vast majority were supporters of one candidate or another. There weren’t very many undecided voters in the room.

What was evident is that the Orchard has a focal point – a Facebook page with more than 2000 followers.

This community has found a way to keep in touch.

Glenda Carver

Glenda Carver was called the “Mayor of the Orchard” – they got that one right.

Glenda Carver, the woman who organized the event and runs the Facebook page got described as the “Mayor” of the Orchard.

Mary Alice St. James described the Orchard as school rich and park poor. He comments were the liveliest made during the evening – there was a point at which it looked like she had Councillor Sharman on the ropes but she didn’t follow through. Halfway through the evening it was clear that no one was going to lay a glove on Sharman. He made it through another round.

Daniel R

Daniel Roukema gave the word “collaborate” a solid workout in his closing remarks. Van he walk that talk? He added that he “really wanted the job”

Daniel Roukema has proven to be a strong campaigner. Had he started earlier and had the residents seen him at city council meetings delegating on their behalf he could have been a contender. His financial baggage and legal claims will get in the way of his being able to be an effective member of Council. His working style lacks the collaboration he mentioned seven times in his closing remarks.

Xin Yi Zhang, a kind, quiet gentle man working in the financial sector as an IT specialist, while also working on a doctorate said he knew about traffic congestion. He had been struck by cars on more than two occasions. He uses local transit to get to the GO station; the man certainly walks the talk when it comes to transit.

What was really interesting is that the Orchard community had plenty of asks – all of which are going to cost. Not one word or question about the 4% + tax increases the city has levied.

In 2011 there was a 0% tax increase and it was Paul Sharman who made that happen.

Wendy M

Wendy Moraghan; an all in Burlington girl – Teen Tour Band, Pinedale school, Nelson high school and 30 years with the police force. Is a Council seat next?

Wendy Moraghan admitted that she tended to bring a police service spin to her candidacy; she saw community safety as what results in the quality of life everyone enjoys in Burlington.

She made a telling remark when she explained that the bus that used to run along Spruce – and past the Council members house – doesn’t operate anymore.

The excellent idea that came out of Oakville – to let seniors use the bus free on Mondays – didn’t get approved at council. Councillor Sharman said he needed more data before he could vote for the idea.


It really was an Orchard at one point – one of the best in the province. What it wants now is a swimming pool – they would settle for some splash pads.

What the Orchard showed the community is that it has learned how to communicate amongst themselves – now let’s see who they choose to represent their interests at city hall. The ward 5 election race is going to be one of the most interesting races in the city. The tone of the city council in place on December 3rd when they are sworn in will be determined by the quality of the candidates.

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Ward 4 Councillor gets caught with his hands in the cookie jar.

council 100x100By Staff

October 16th, 2018



Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison, who is in a tight race for his council seat knows the election rules of engagement better than anyone else running for office this time around.

Jack D 2 hands raised

Jack Dennison, ward 4 Councillor

Nevertheless he chose to use an email list that was his as a member of council – but not something he can use in an election.

He got caught doing just that and his opponent Shawna Stolte took a formal complaint to the Clerk’s office.

October 15, 2018
Lisa Palermo, Elections Officer
City of Burlington

Hello Lisa,
I am requesting an investigation into the email titled:

From: Councillor Jack Dennison <>
Date: October 12, 2018 at 4:18:01 PM EDT
Subject: Advance Polls Open Saturday

I has come to my attention over the past 48 hours that this email was received by dozens of Ward 4 residents who have come forward to advise me that they never gave their email to Jack Dennison for the purposes of receiving election propaganda and that the only way Jack Dennison would have access to their personal emails was if he were to have used the contact list developed utilizing corporate resources or through his contact in his Member of Council’s role.
It is my understanding from the Use of Corporate Resources Policy that the following is true,

“Distribution lists or contact lists developed utilizing corporate resources or through contact in a Member of Council’s role shall not be utilized for election purposes.”

For a sitting Councillor to knowingly contravene the Use of Corporate Resources Policy as well as breach the Privacy Policy in in order to achieve an unfair advantage in the election process is of very disturbing concern. I use the term “knowingly contravene” with confidence as it is clear that City Council reviewed this particular policy on October 30, 2017.
The gravity of the situation is quite serious as the Ward 4 Newsletter email list that I believe Jack Dennison either used, or copied to use under his personal email address, reaches 4000 (over 30%) of the households in Ward 4. This reach is considered accurate as the number is a direct quote from Jack Dennison’s campaign materials.
I am requesting two courses of action to rectify this serious breach of ethics on Jack Dennison’s part.
1. The Elections Clerk demand that Jack Dennison send an immediate apology to the same email contact list that received the October 12, 2018 email and such an email would have to meet the following criteria:

• Would be sent no later than 4pm on Tuesday, October
16 (before the next Advance Poll Date)

• It would contain a subject line that refers only to the previous spam email, such as “Apology for my email of October 12.”

• It would not reprint the objectionable email.

• It would contain only the apology and an admission of knowing misuse of Corporate Resources,

• as well as an acknowledgement that the Oct. 12 email was sent to recipients who did not sign up for emails from his campaign and may have been based on his official Ward 4 newsletter email list

• and would promise that no further emails will be sent to any recipient who had not specifically signed up on his website or a signup sheet to receive campaign emails.

• Jack Dennison would provide a copy of the Recipients List of both the October 12 email as well as the new email to prove the lists are the same and I would receive confirmation of both.

Shawna 1

Shawna Stolte, ward 4 candidiate.

2. Following receipt of the above, the Elections Clerk issue an immediate Cease and Desist Order to Jack Dennison in regard to emailing election materials to residents who did not directly agree to receive information in regard to his re-election.

I look forward to your prompt attention to this matter and I will bring a printed and signed copy of this letter to Burlington City Hall for your records.

Thank you,

Shawna Stolte
Candidate for City Council – Ward 4
Burlington, Ontario

Let’s see what she gets at 4:00 pm.

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Regional police set out what they can and can't do to enforce the rules around the use of cannabis.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 15th, 2018



As of October 17, 2018, the legislation that governs the possession, consumption, sale and cultivation of cannabis will be substantially changing.

The Halton Regional Police Service has collaborated closely with our Municipal and Regional partners to ensure a consistent service delivery response for members of the public, in all areas of the Region, once cannabis becomes legalized.

We recognize that after October 17, there will be a period of transition and social adjustment that will require flexibility and consideration as the community, the Service and the Courts react to the new laws.

Enforcement Role of the Halton Regional Police Service

The Halton Regional Police Service remains committed to the safety and well-being of our community.

In this regard, the Service will continue to respond to and investigate complaints involving:

• The alleged illegal sale and distribution of cannabis, particularly occurrences involving the sale of cannabis to youth;
• Incidents of drug-impaired driving;
• Youth (under the age of 19) who are possibly possessing or consuming cannabis, regardless of the location; and
• Cannabis consumption in a motor vehicle or on a vessel (boat).

The Halton Regional Police Service will not be responding to incidents where the sole complaint is that of nuisance cannabis smoke or cannabis consumption not involving youth or a motor vehicle/boat.

The Halton Region Health Department will be responsible for enforcing requirements of the amended Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, which is expected to come into force on October 17, 2018. The Act would prohibit the smoking of cannabis in the same places where the smoking of tobacco is prohibited. These places include enclosed workplaces, enclosed public places and other specified places such as school property, recreational facilities, sports fields, children’s playgrounds, hospital grounds and restaurant patios.

Halton residents who wish to report complaints about cannabis use in prohibited places that don’t involve youth or a motor vehicle are directed to contact the Halton Region Health Department at 311.

Where Can Residents Access Additional Information

If you wish to learn more about the new legislation, please refer to our Cannabis Resources on our website. We have included information about the consumption, sale, possession and cultivation of cannabis, as well as the detection and enforcement of drug-impaired driving. For your convenience, there is also a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page where you can find answers to common questions.

How Can Residents Navigate Cannabis-Related Conflict

We understand that the legalization of cannabis may cause conflict in the community.

It is important that our residents know that once legislation is in place, there is no lawful authority for our officers to respond to complaints regarding nuisance cannabis smoke. If you are concerned about nuisance cannabis smoke (for example your neighbor is smoking cannabis on their deck and you can smell it in your backyard), we would encourage you to engage in a respectful conversation with the person or ask for the assistance of a third party (another neighbor).

We ask that members of the community remain patient and respectful, particularly in the period of transition after cannabis is legalized.

Commitment to Consistency

We anticipate that members of our community will be reaching out with questions and complaints regarding cannabis once it is legalized. We have provided enhanced training to our call takers and dispatchers in our Communications Bureau, and have collaborated diligently with our Municipal and Regional partners to ensure that you get consistent responses, regardless of where you direct your inquiry.


We are going to have to get used to the stuff.

Legislative Summary

Two new pieces of legislation come into effect on October 17, 2018.

The Federal Cannabis Act — this piece of legislation decriminalizes the possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal use in Canada. The Act has defined legal possession levels for the various forms that cannabis can take (i.e. seeds, dried cannabis, fresh plants). However, the Act also creates a series of criminal offences for unlawful possession, trafficking, and cultivation.

The Cannabis Control Act, 2017 — this new legislation will govern where and how individuals can purchase, transport and consume cannabis in the Province of Ontario. This new act is very similar in terms of wordings and authorities to the Liquor Licence Act. The new act defines the legal age for possession of cannabis (in Ontario) as 19 years of age or older. The Act also includes some offences relating to sale and distribution of cannabis. Those who commit offences under this act will receive Provincial Offence Notices with a set fine, or be summonsed to appear in court if the charge is more serious.

In addition, the amended Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 is expected to come into effect on October 17, 2018. This legislation would prohibit the smoking of cannabis in the same places where the smoking of tobacco is prohibited.

Please direct any inquiries to Inspector Kevin Maher at

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City Clerk explains why the delay in getting the PIN number needed to complete on-line voting.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 15th, 2018


Headline has been revised after details supplied by City Clerk/Returning Officer

Mark Gillies, a frequent contributor to the Gazette had a problem when he went online to vote.

on line voting“My wife and I tried online voting this morning. It was unsuccessful. We followed the entire procedure successfully, right up until a PIN number was to be emailed to each of us from the city. Usually, something like this would be sent immediately, but in this case we’ve waited patiently for over half an hour, and still nothing has been sent.

“I’m wondering if other residents of Burlington have been facing the same problem. If they are, then this whole online voting is a complete waste of time and a big embarrassment for the City of Burlington.”

City Clerk and Returning Officer for the municipal election Angela Morgan has advised us that “there are absolutely no problems with internet voting.   As we have stated in all of our materials, it can take up to 24 hours to receive your PIN.

“There are a number of security measures in the background that need to be verified before a PIN in released.  Also, in some cases, the PIN e-mail has gone into the SPAM folder in voter’s inbox which is based on the settings with their providers.

City Clerk Angela Morgan fails to ensure media alerted to Special Council meeting. Her communications people dropped the ball as well.

City Clerk Angela Morgan signing the 2010 election returns. That was an easy election – the 2018 event is turning out to be a much more boisterous event.

“We have staff assisting any voter that is having issues or have not received their PIN after 24 hours – from my count a very small number of people have not received their PIN after 24 hours and in the majority of cases it has to do with their e-mail provider.”

If you need help – call the city at 905-335-7600.  The city clerk advises that 9,000 people have registered to vote online and the majority of those have cast their ballots.

Gillies pointed out that “younger voters would prefer online voting rather than taking the time to line up at a polling station. How many of these younger voters might just not bother to vote at a polling station then? I wonder if this apparent screw up would favour, or harm any of the candidates.”

Gillies adds that this is “such a decisive election” every vote needs to be counted properly.

Gilles wrote a series of articles on the people who built the city we have today. His series on Spencer Smith were exceptional.

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City issues a second banning notice - tougher than the first one and using the flimsiest of evidence

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 15th, 2018


Part 4 of a series

Let’s review the facts we have so far.

In the fall of 2016, the city administration claims there were complaints about my behavior with female staff at city hall.

They do not ask me to come into city hall and discuss that behavior.

They hire an independent investigator who interviews some people. I have no idea who those people are.

I am not interviewed. A report is prepared and presented to city council in a Closed Session believed to have taken place between August 25th and November 16th, 2016.

James Ridge

Burlington city manager James Ridge now in the fourth year of a five year contract.

On November 17th of 2016 James Ridge City manager asks to meet with me. I assume there is going to be an interview. When I inquire as to what we will be discussing Ridge doesn’t say. He then sends me a letter via email which set out and advises me that the city is using the Trespass Act to prevent me from entering city hall or Sims Square.  If I want to enter city hall I must be escorted by security personnel.

I am apparently allowed to enter other city buildings, the Transit offices, the Roads and Park Maintenance office.  I choose not to enter any city premises.  The details of this first ban are set out in part 3 of this series.

There is more detail on part 3 of this series – the link to that is at the bottom of this article

I meet with an individual who has served in municipal administrations in very senior positions and asked what he would have done if he had faced this kind of a situation that involved me. The response was: We would have met with you, described the behavior and cautioned you.  I meet with this person, someone I have known for more than a decade, on a number of occasions.

It takes a full year for all this to play itself out.

The first banning was for a period of a year after which it was to be reviewed. That review would have been sometime after November 20th 2017


Mary Lou Tanner came to Burlington as the Director of Planning and promoted to Deputy city manager sometime later.

In July of 2017 I take part in a walking tour of John Street with City planner Mary Lou Tanner and staff planner Charles Mulay. The tour lasted about an hour. The conversation was amiable; I learn how planners take a longer look at a part of the city that is undergoing change.

The story on that tour is published in the Gazette on  July 17th.

The Grow Bold Plan the Planning department has released in being discussed publicly – there are numerous city sponsored meetings. I am in touch with planning staff by telephone continually for follow up questions.

Bustamenta - centre ice

Planning department staff at a public meeting.

Some of the staff appear to be uncomfortable with what they can tell me. On a few occasions staff suggest I clear the request with Tanner.

Tanner and I come to an agreement that I will ask my questions of staff electronically and copy Tanner on all the requests for information.

I was beginning to feel that the city really just wanted to restrict my access to information that any journalist is entitled to. The role of a journalist is to ask questions.

On October 30th 2017,  the date is critical – it is the day before Halloween. I send Mary Lou Tanner an email – when she can be available for a phone call. I get one of those “out of the office” responses.

Tanners out of office notice

Later that same evening of October 30th, 2017 at 6:47 pm I send Tanner a note. At the bottom of the note there is an emoji, which in my world signifies that the contents are meant to be funny.

The pre Haloween email

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

On November 20th, there is a response from the city manager. Portion of that letter appear below.  The complete letter is appended at the bottom of this article.

Despite the actions taken by the City, those actions appear to have been ineffective in preventing your further harassment of female staff. On the 30th of October this year, I was contacted by the Director of Planning and Building, Ms. Tanner, who provided me with a copy of an e-mail that you had sent to her that was both offensive and misogynistic in nature. Ms.

Tanner was very disturbed by your action in this regard. The City simply cannot and will not permit you to continue to harass our staff and in particular our female staff.

As a direct result of your actions, I have decided that the restrictions placed on your access to City Hall functions and contact with staff pursuant to the Trespass to Property Act as set out in my September 8, 2016 correspondence will continue indefinitely with two modifications as highlighted below.

This second banning is indefinite which I did not believe the city had the right to do.

I kept the correspondence from the city to myself and the small group of advisors I had put together.  When Councillor Lancaster posted a comment on the Facebook Burlington News in September that I had been banned from city hall I decided it was time for me to tell my story and to make the letters from the city public.

The Lancaster comments are set out in part 2 of this series.  I filed a formal complaint with the Integrity Commissioner because I believe Lancaster published information she got from a Closed Session of city council

I had already engaged a new lawyer who wrote the city. I had to borrow the $5000 retainer the lawyer required. His hourly rate was more than my disposable income for a month.

When the first banning notice was put in place I struggled to figure out what it was I had done to merit the action the city manager had taken.  I had done nothing.

When I was given the second banning notice in November of 2017 – this one was for an indefinite term, I finally had some evidence.  An email – sent as a humorous Halloween joke was all the city had.  They decided to define it as misogynistic and sexual harassment.  It was nothing of the kind.  The city manager was going to use whatever pretense he could come up with to keep me out of city hall and away from staff.

The letter the new lawyers had sent to the city manager got a response; things begin to change; city hall suggested we meet.

More on that change in tone at city hall in the next installment.

Part 1 of a series

Part 2 of a series

Part 3 of the series.

Next: Part 5 of a series – final part.

Apology to Mary Lou Tanner

Complete November 20th, 2017 letter

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

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