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The ward 6 debate takes place this evening - Lancaster, the incumbent will not attend.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 20th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

The following are the opinions, reflections, observations and musings of Pepper Parr, publisher of the Burlington Gazette.

The second ECoB debate takes place in ward 6 this evening where there are three candidates; the incumbent Blair Lancaster, her strongest opponent in the 2014 race Angelo Bentivegna and Ken White a first time candidate.

The debate is to take place in the theatre in Hayden high school. Event starts at 7:00 pm with the doors opening at 6:30 pm

The event will be moderated by Deb Tymstra a popular Cogeco TV personality who has produced several programs and is a regular interviewer on The Issue.

Unfortunately, Lancaster has announced that she will not attend, because, she claims, the debate’s facilitator, is extremely biased. “While ECOB initially responded positively to my request to change the facilitator, they immediately went on to share information about my private correspondence with the Burlington Gazette—to discredit me and my concerns.   The Gazette then proceeded to write an article citing threats of violence against me. (The article Lancaster is concerned about are attached below.)

Lancaster, a two term member of city council was a member of the Shape Burlington report that was one of the attempt to get city staff and council to be more responsive to citizen concerns.  Lancaster did little to advocate for any real changes.

Considered part of the more reactionary wing of the current council Lancaster has a couple of achievements that need to be remembered. Her decision to work with ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward (she is now a candidate for the mayoralty) on saving the Freeman Station – they succeeded. The station is close to complete and is expected to be open to the public on a regular basis soon.

Were it not for the efforts of Lancaster and Meed Ward the Freeman station would be kindling burned in a fire place somewhere.

They had every reason to be smiling. Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

They had every reason to be smiling. Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

Lancaster brought another significant issue before council during the current term. Lancaster realized that the city was losing a couple of the long term care facilities – the Mt. Nemo operation was moving to Hamilton –and there was no land available for new facilities.

With a growing seniors population there is going to be a desperate need at some time in the near future.

Lancaster thought that long term care facilities could be built on land that was zoned as Employment Lands. She argued that the patient staff/resident ratio made these facilities significant employers and as such could be built in the Employment Lands the city has.

She didn’t get the traction the idea deserved.

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster: both part of the Shape Burlington committee who seem to have forgotten what the report was all about - civic engagement

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster: both part of the Shape Burlington committee who seem to have forgotten what the report was all about – civic engagement

She has a tendency to rely on Councillor Sharman, who sits next to her at council, for advice and direction.

She didn’t cover herself in glory on the air park matter. She was far too close to the owner of the Air Park at a time when the city was involved in expensive court proceedings

Lancaster can be scrappy at times and gets dramatic on occasion.

The evening she gave a demonstration on the use of Epi pens was a bit of a flop; the expert in the room politely told Lancaster that she wasn’t demonstrating the use of the pen properly..

Angelo Bentivegna came a close second to Lancaster in the 2014 election. There were 10 candidates in the race then. Lancaster took exception to the debate being sponsored by the Gazette. She has always had difficulty with media – it goes back to her days as a beauty queen.

To her credit she did tell the publisher of the Gazette after the debate that she thought the event was fair to all the candidates.

Bentivegna has done little since the 2014 election. In his campaign literature he said he “will create a ratepayers association in each community of ward 6 (Rural, Alton Village, Millcroft, and Headon Forest) to engage citizens in what’s happening in their area long before the ink dries!”

wevb

Ward 6 candidate Angelo Bentivegna

There isn’t a reason in the world why B couldn’t have formed those association the day after the last election. Saying you are going to involve people and actually doing so are two different things.

The  Bentivegna family worked hard to make a wonderful contribution to the Joseph Brant hospital.

In December 2009, Diane, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. The tumor and began a regime of chemotherapy and radiation proved to be successful. The family wanted do something special to thank our physicians, nurses, caregivers and the hospital.  They decided to raise funds to purchase  State of the Art Digital Mammography unit with a Biopsy attachment.

The goal to reach was $450,000.00. In 2012 they raised $75,000.00. In 2013 they raised $101,000.00 plus $88,000.00 on a Bobby Orr autographed Bruins color Corvette.

In 2014 they raised the balance to achieve our goal: $450,000. The equipment was purchased,  delivered and installed at Joseph Brant Hospital in 2014.

Bee covers all the bases in his campaign literature – but other than delegating on the signage that was to be permitted by candidates for council seats the Gazette hasn’t seen much of him.

Budget public Angelo Benivenuto and Carol Gottlob

Angelo Bentivegna and Carol Gottlob at a 2015 city budget meeting.

He did appear at a presentation of a city budget one evening during a snow storm when there were more people at the ice pad next door than there were in the room the budget was being explained.

Bentivegna was available for media interviews during his 2014 campaign – he has chosen not to be interviewed by the Gazette this time around. That puts him in the same camp at Lancaster, Sharman and Dennison – not the right side of the political spectrum to be on in this campaign.

In his campaign literature Bentivegna lists his issues.  He includes the schools which has nothing to do with the city, as a former educator one would have thought he would know that.

Taxes: We need to focus on industrial and commercial opportunities to reduce the dependency on raising residential taxes. Taxes over the last two terms have been excessive to say the least…4.3% this past year alone! This council spends our money recklessly. They have demonstrated throughout their term of office that this trend will continue!

Our city is reactive, when it comes to compliance, as to who follows the rules and who doesn’t. Our city leaves a ton of money on the table…would you…I will work to recapture lost revenues!

Traffic: Every day I hear from our residents…Please help us move traffic around our city!Our roads get busier and busier each day, drive any major road north to south or west to east and vice versa. Intensification added to Ward 6 and to our city needs to be planned better! We need to incorporate with help from developers (community benefits..section 37) and resident input, solutions to move traffic flow smarter, easier, and timely…

The Transit System: Put Transit where the cars are!!!! Transit needs to be easy for users…needs to be frequent and reliable…needs to be simple to use, even if you are not a transit user! We need to develop a trust in the system…a trust the allows frequency, on time and reliable service when we need it! Let’s create a workable plan and work with our stakeholders to lure riders.

OP & Development: I am not against development, we need it to become sustainable and to attract people and Jobs to our city…What I am against is ” the “NEW” way we do business in our City. Our Official Plan & our Zoning Bylaws moving forward will not only act as guidelines, but they will now become targets for amendments! There was a time when an ‘amendment” was a change to fill a need that was somewhat minor or insignificant…now amendments are serious “ASKS”…10 stories to 17 stories…is that the “NEW NORMAL”.

Rural: We need to actively revisit our Official Plan to give our farmers and rural residents the tools that create flexibility to effectively manage their lands for the future. Together we can make this a positive economic issue in our City.

Seniors: In the next twenty years our senior population will double. We need to have more places for seniors to interact and stay connected in our City. We need to design all inclusive amenities that allow seniors to stay connected & comfortable with aging.

Our schools: How will our schools stay viable and at capacity in the future. What will happen to the school buildings that may struggle or lay empty. Now is the time to work cooperatively with our province, region, and school boards……City Council as a whole needs to voice a collective opinion. I said this during my last campaign in 2014 and we still need to pay attention to these issues looking forward.

Recreational Facilities: A need to re-examine how we can be more productive in our arenas, parks, gyms and libraries. We are not maximizing potential revenues from our City owned facilities. We have an opportunity to be creative in partnering with the private sector to find ways to increase revenues and reduce overhead.

ken-white-clicker-problem

Ken White delegating at city council.

Ken White is an Alton Village resident. He takes a very tough approach to what he thinks a new council will do.  He is for firing the city manager

Alton skating - two boys + dad

A Do it Yourself community hockey rink that White was instrumental in creating.

White has been active in his community – that involvement had him out late at night flooding a do-it-yourself hockey rink.

White, unfortunately, got himself on the wrong side of the city’s Heritage Advisory committee who found they had to send him a cease and desist letter when he was linking an idea he had for heritage fund raising to the Heritage Advisory web site.  At the time his wife was on the Board of that Advisory committee – hashtag awkward.

Among the issues he wants to promote:

Responsible development:
The future of our fine city is in our hands and right now Burlington is in crisis. The choices we make today will have far-reaching impact and it is critically important that every decision be thoroughly examined, well balanced and sustainable. We want growth, prosperity and advancement, but never at a reckless pace and never at the expense – or exclusive benefit – of any one stakeholder.

“I for one do not want to sit on the sidelines and watch as potentially poor decisions bring on deterioration of the services, lifestyle and values we currently embrace”, Ken explains. “I am committed to be part of the solution, where growth is measured, analyzed for the common good and always well planned.” Today, we are already well ahead of provincially mandated intensification goals. Accelerated high rise development without corresponding infrastructure improvement will be harmful in the long term and we will all pay through skyrocketing taxation.

Responsible development.

Every one of us is responsible for making sure that our voices are heard and our opinions considered.

We also expect prudence, fiscal restraint, transparency and accountability.

It is troubling to see that these expectations are not currently being met by our City. Burlington’s budget increases have averaged almost 4% a year since 2014. The City’s “human resource” cost is now $141,000 per employee. With the new Joseph Brant Museum being built at an incredible cost of $650 per square foot, the existing City Council has demonstrated a total lack of restraint or prudence.

As a financial executive, Ken finds these statistics an assault to the principles of his profession. That’s why he advocates changes that would help the City operate in a manner resembling a responsible, successful business – thereby holding the line on tax increases.

Consider just a few of ideas on his low-cost, high-impact slate:

Improve efficiency by appointing a City Manager who would receive a modest base salary supplemented by a variable compensation for meeting aggressive cost-cutting goals.

Engage an independent body to investigate where the City wastes money and where it performs well. The province’s Auditor General is very effective at keeping both politicians and government employees thinking twice before spending money on White Elephants.

The Joseph Brant Museum is being built at a cost of $650 per square foot. While I support a greatly expanded museum for a City of Burlington’s size the construction costs alone exceed the cost of buying a house in Millcroft at less than $500 per square foot including the land!

The time for accountability is now.

Every proposal for a zoning change, development project or building permit must receive the City’s approval. That stipulation gives City Council enormous influence.

Existing Council has failed to exert that influence to the benefit of our children’s education. Its unparalleled access to School Boards is an indirect lever to ensure responsible planning, yet Council has refused to voice their opinion or speak on behalf of their constituents. Even the City Manager was silent while he sat on the Halton District School Board’s Program Accommodation Review (PAR).

The HDSB has chosen to close two high schools with one just outside Ward 6. Frank Hayden High School in Alton Village has 16 portables while, 3.8 kms away, Lester B Pearson is being closed. School Board Trustees are voting favourably to build a new $23 Million Administration Centre. Councillor Meed Ward took her fight to Queen’s Park and won the right to keep Central High School open. The rest of Burlington Council, including Blair Lancaster, voted to NOT send a letter to the Provincial government to stop the closures of more schools.

Other municipalities in Ontario demand that their School Boards and developers provide a cogent plan with respect to where, how and how many children are going to be schooled when a building or subdivision is approved. Acceptable development demands intelligence.

Burlington needs to step up and take its zoning responsibilities seriously.

Deb Tymstra

Deb Tymstra will moderate the ward 6 debate

Those are the ward 6 candidates – two of them will be debating this evening.

Deb Tymstra will be moderating.

Related articles:

Defending dumb decision

Lancaster announces she won’t show up at the debate.

 

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The full two hour ward 5 candidates debate is now on line.

council 100x100By Staff

September 20th, 2018

BURLINGTON ON

 

If you weren’t able to make it to the ward 5 council member candidates debates last night you can hear every blessed word that was said.

Candidates att table on stage

The four candidates that took part are: from the left Xin Yi Zhang, Daniel Roukema, Wendy Moraghan and Mary Alice St. James. Paul Sharman, the incumbent chose not to attend.

Mark Carr

ECoB debate moderator Mark Carr

Mark Carr moderated.

Here’s the LINK.

It runs close to two hours.

The debate was organized by ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington – an organization you might want to learn more about.

Related article:

Ward 5 ECoB debate – Councillor Sharman chose not to take part.

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Halton public school board students are getting better math test results.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 20th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Today the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) released results showing Halton District School Board (HDSB) students perform above the province in Grade 9 Academic and Applied Mathematics, and on the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).

Math infographicThe successful completion of the OSSLT is a requirement for graduation. These results are based on assessments completed in the 2017-2018 school year and show that HDSB students are well above the provincial standard (Level 3 & 4, or a B grade or above).

For Grade 9 Math, there are different assessments for students in the academic and applied courses. The Grade 9 Academic Math assessment results decreased by one percentage point to 91% – they remain above the provincial average of 84%.

There were 3,597 students enrolled in the Academic Math course in 2017-2018.

For the 616 students in Grade 9 Applied Math, results increased from 52% to 54% this year. This is nine percentage points above the provincial average of 45%.

The OSSLT results for 2017-2018 were also released today.

The HDSB’s success rate for students writing the test for the first time decreased by two percentage points from last year to 85%. This is similar to the drop in the provincial average from 81% to 79%. The overall results for the OSSLT demonstrate that students in the Halton District School Board continue to have strong literacy skills.

Boag DavidDavid Boag, Associate Director for the Halton District School Board said: “Last year, the Halton District School Board implemented a new Math strategy and this strategy is bearing positive results. We will continue to ensure math and literacy remain core areas of interest and focus as we continue to support all of our students.”

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Dundas at Brant closed while serious collision is investigated.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 20th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Police report a serious motor vehicle collision in the area of Brant St. and Dundas St. at approximately 3:30 in the morning.

Initial reports indicate three vehicles were involved.

Two vehicles possibly collided head on. One driver is trapped inside the vehicle. Police, Fire and Ambulance are on scene. Fire is working on extracting the driver while ambulance is treating injuries.

The Collision Reconstruction Unit has been called out to investigate.

Dundas St is completely closed in both directions. It is anticipated this closure will remain for some time.

Updates to follow when available.

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Gazette editorial cartoonist announced - has the Mayor in his sights.

The Gazette has its own editorial cartoonist.

Mike Allen, a Burlington resident who draws, teaches guitar and works in the music equipment business will be providing a visual look at events in the city of Burlington.

Sept 20-18

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Amazing Bed Race will be part of the Appleby Line Street Festival this Sunday.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

September 20, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As long as all the wheels are on at the Finish Line - 100 yards away - it's legit.

The Amazing Bed Race drew hundreds of observers when it took place on Brant Street. It will take place on Appleby Line this year.

Appleby Line Street Festival and the Amazing Bed Race have joined forces and will be part of what happens on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 – 1 to 5 p.m.

Road closures:

• Appleby Line, between New Street and Fairview Street, will be closed to traffic between 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

• Traffic on New Street will be detoured to Walkers Line or Burloak Drive.

Details

Appleby Line was closed to traffic for a street festival that needed a couple of years to find its footing. Adding the Amazing Bed Race which is usually held downtown should make a difference to the number of people who show up.

• Traffic on Fairview Street will be detoured to Walkers Line.
Parking restrictions posted:

• Do not park in restricted areas.

• Parking is available at the Appleby Line GO Station lot.

Resident access:
Emergency Services access will be maintained at all times in the event area.
Supervision:

Road closures will be managed under the supervision of the Halton Regional Police Service.

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The beginning of a change in the way political dialogue takes place began last night at Bateman high school.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 20th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Two things happened in Burlington last night at the Bateman high school. Both are relevant to the direction the city is taking in the way it elected officials will communicate with the people who do the electing.

Despite the significant efforts to derail the debates by  several of the members of council the event organized by a nascent citizen’s organization took place – it was the first of the seven debates that have been organized.

It was well attended, there were no glitches and the candidates gave a very good accounting of themselves.

Resident at Bateman debatte

As residents poured into the room more and more chairs had to be added.

ECoB has proven to be relevant, important and a much needed part of the process where dialogue can take place. It was a significant step forward for the city.

The creation of this organization was done by citizens, It would have been nice if the candidates had acknowledged the part that ECoB played in the event that allowed them to tell their story.

The second event was the view the several hundred people in the room got of the sitting member of city council for the ward.

Sharman team

Paul Sharman campaign workers preparing literature for distribution at a debate he did not participate in because he did not have any confidence in the organization that organized the event.

Paul Sharman chose not to attend or take part in the debate – but he did have people in the room distributing his literature.

In a statement Sharman made available to Mark Carr the event moderator, which he read out, Sharman said:

I apologize for not joining you at this evening’s debate.

Sharman seat at ward 5

The seat ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman didn’t fill at the community debate.

“Politicians always get to choose who they will or not work with when asked to participate in such an event.

In this case I chose not to because I am only willing to work with a well-established, community organizer, and I was not satisfied with ECOB in that regard. Please check out my website for answers to the questions that ward 5 citizens are asking me. Also, please send me an email with any questions you have.

“Thank you and enjoy your evening.”

Hard to add anything to a statement like that.

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Lisa Bull gives her side of the story on the Steve Cussons opinion piece.

opinionviolet 100x100By Lisa Bull

September 18th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Hello All – As the “accused” in the article that is linked below (and another PAR “expert” and Committee member) I thought it only fair that I have a chance to respond. Not that I expect to change any minds that have been made up about what “really” happened but to share my perspective. As most intelligent adults know, there are always multiple sides to every story and there is no such thing as a “true” account. Accounts can only represent the perspective of the person sharing them. So – here’s mine.

PAR banner

Collard and Miller

Ward 5 trustee Amy Collard giving Director of Education Stuart Miller the evil eye.

As anyone who followed the PAR process knows it was wrought with conflict, misinformation and confusion from the start. And, this continued right until the night of the final vote to determine which, if any schools in Burlington would be closed. The tension of the night was palpable – it was clearly felt by the Trustees and all of us who attended in the gallery. I came to the evening hopeful. I knew that our Trustee – Amy Collard – was planning on bringing forward a motion to introduce some alternate solutions to closing Robert Bateman (the full motion is posted on the Save Bateman Facebook site) I – like many of the community members were hopeful that the other Trustees might be willing to give this motion a chance. Ms Collard had shared her planned motion with her colleagues in advance of the meeting so they knew it was coming.

I thought her brave, innovative and courageous for wanting to try AGAIN to look at another option other than closing a school. However, it became clear very quickly that none of the other Trustees were interested in this. Much confusion began to take place as ms Collard tried to introduce her motion. The Chair was incredibly rude to Ms Collard during this process and other Trustees – including Leah Reynolds appeared to be working hard to vote against Ms Collard’s right to be even being able to introduce the motion. All of this can be seen on the video tape of the evening. As I sat with a friend and fellow Bateman parent – in awe of what was going on in front of us – we noticed that Councillor Meed Ward was furiously typing away on her I-Pad in front of us. She was making no attempt to shield her notes and we weren’t standing our our chairs or peering over her shoulder to read.

What she was writing was clear as day and right in front of us. Was she saying “CLOSE BATEMAN?”. Of course not.

But, what she appeared to be doing was providing very directive advice to Ms Reynold on how to stop Amy Collard’s ability to make a motion and then to stop the motion itself. At first, my friend and I couldn’t believe what we were reading.

While the photos posted on social media were a bit blurry, the messages we read Councillor Meed Ward typing were perfectly clear. They included:

Reynolds with Roberts rules

Was trustee Leah Reynolds getting instructions from PARC member and ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward. The evidence suggest that might have been the case.

” DON’T VOTE IN FAVOR! “(caps on in original) Let it go – done your job”

“Do not support (uphold) the Chair’s ruling to allow the amendment”

“Okay – you have done your job”

I still have the photos and am happy to share if someone wants to invest time in having them enhanced.

Maybe I’ll be proven wrong?

However, from our perspective, it appeared very clear that Councillor Meed Ward was a/ telling Ms Reynolds how to act, vote and speak and b/ that she was attempting to influence the outcome of a critical Board vote.

In my experience as a member of the PAR Committee I’d tried at least once to collaborate on an effort to stop all school closures. I’d tried to bring the whole Committee together to write a letter to the Provincial government as a group and while most all of the other school reps agreed to this, Ms Ward and the other rep from Central waited until the last minute and then decided not to work together with the Committee.

This lead me to believe that Councillor Meed Ward was focused solely on keeping Central open and had no interest in working with others to keep all schools open.

MMW typing

Marianne Meed Ward at her iPad.

I add this only to explain that I had every reason to believe that Ms Meed Ward was working with Ms Reynolds to shut down any attempt to save Bateman from closure.

Was I right in my assessment on the night of the vote? Councillor Meed Ward argues that I was not, She argues that she was merely trying to help Ms Reynold navigate Robert’s Rules. I can tell you that from what I saw, her notes appeared to go far beyond this. I suspect that the full “truth” will never be known.

I made the decision to share this information publically because I was shocked by what I saw. As someone who lives in Ward Two I was already incredibly disappointed in Ms Reynolds decision to go back on her campaign promise of “Close No Schools” and felt that the communication between her and Councillor Meed Ward was unacceptable.

I know that Councillor Meed Ward has a small but strong core of avid supporters who will defend her and her conduct until the end. And, in our democratic society they will soon have their right to show that support by voting for her. I, on the other hand, will show my support for leaders who I believe have demonstrated a commitment and a willingness to support to ALL citizens of Burlington.

Packed - it was that packed

Lisa Bull in the purple scarf – Steve Cussons is to her left – short grey hair at a packed public meeting on the closing of two of the city’s two high schools.

One final thought for you all. I’m currently dealing with a serious health issue. And, while all of the activity around PAR and the election seemed so important and so critical months ago and inspired so much passion, rage and anger I am learning – unfortunately the hard way – that these issues, while are important, are certainly not the most important things in life.

So I leave this discussion by genuinely wishing everyone all the best.

 

 

 

Related opinion piece:

The opinion piece Lisa Bull is responding to.

Meed Ward and Reynolds 2014 election nightEditor’s note:  The Gazette did ask Meed Ward for a copy of all the notes that were sent from her to trustee Leah Reynolds.  There was no response.  We are in the process of getting all the photographs taken and having them enhanced so that what was photographed can be seen by the public.

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The quaintness Burlington longs for will be in the part of Waterdown the city wants to annex.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 19th, 2018

BURLINGTON. ON

 

There is another way of looking at the idea the Mayor has of annexing parts of Waterdown.

There is a real drive to keep Brant Street the way it was in the 60’s and 70’s; small, quiet, slightly quaint.

The picture got over-developed (pun intended) when the city approved a 24 storey structure opposite city hall. ‘There goes the neighbourhood’ would certainly apply in this situation.

high profile 421

The Burlington the city is going to get …

Waterdown- street 1

The Burlington many had hoped the city would be. We couldn’t keep what we have – so we are going after parts of Waterdown.

In a Scott Radley radio broadcast – the link to that is HERE, made it pretty clear that Mayor Goldring had not really thought this one through.

To not even advise Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger beforehand is an insult and just plain bad politics.
Goldring’s rationale appeared to be that annexing Waterdown would “help alleviate the growth pressure on Burlington” Goldring sees a natural affinity between Burlington and Waterdown and thought that this was an idea to at least consider.

Eisenberger didn’t see it that way. Hamilton has invested more than $50 million in Waterdown and didn’t take kindly to the Mayor of Burlington grabbing the tax revenue and development charges that are generated by developers and tax payers in Waterdown.

Scott Radley

In the Scott Radley radio program, on which the interviews took place, Goldring said that no one at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs thought it was an outrageous idea.

Eisenberger, trying to be polite, thought that he was owed an apology for the way Goldring “completely blind-sided” him.

“This sounds like an idea that Goldring just threw up in the air without thinking it through. I don’t know where this is coming from.” Said Eisenberger.

LaSalle Pacillion

Hamilton just might take the property back when the lease expires.

It probably puts the kibosh on Burlington’s efforts to buy the water lots that are part of the LaSalle Park and owned by Hamilton. They just may have a very nasty surprise for us..

Eisenberger pointed out that he saw Goldring as a huge supporter of intensification and that what Burlington was doing amounted to the tail wagging the dog – he could have added that the dog just might decide to bite.
Hamilton has 165 hectares of land that it is ready to develop; and there are 5000 residential properties currently in various stages of development.

Eisenberger thought that at a minimum there should have been some analysis and research done before putting an idea like this on the table.

Messy messy. To get back to that quaint feeling that many in Burlington want to keep – it seems to be something that is now gone putting the Emerald and St Luke communities at considerable risk.

The quaintness that Burlington wants will be in Waterdown where the streets are a lot more vibrant than anything Burlington has.

Look at the Waterdown street scrapes.

waterdown street plumbing

waterdown 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Send the kids to Spy School on the October 5th PA day.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 19th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The next P.A. Day Camp being put on by the Museums of Burlington is on October 5

Spy school theme MuseumsThe theme is a “Spy School”

Space is limited.

Reserve your spot online or call 905.332.9888 and ask to speak with one of our Educators.

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Burlington READS - a library program you won't want to miss

eventspink 100x100By Staff

September 19th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington READS is an author & book talk series that runs in the fall and spring. The library features three celebrated and thought-provoking Canadian books and invite local readers to come together to meet the authors and discuss the titles. Presented in partnership with A Different Drummer Books and Art Gallery of Burlington

Meet the Author: Tim Cook, Vimy: The Battle and the Legend – SOLD OUT

We mention this event to give you a sense of the quality of the programs being put on by the library.

Date: Wed September 19
Time: 7-8.30pm
Place: Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Room, 1333 Lakeshore Road

Tim Cook talks about Vimy: The Battle and the Legend, and his 10th and newest book released on Sep 18, The Secret History of Soldiers: How Canadians Survived the Great War.

A bold new telling of the defining battle of the Great War, and how it came to signify and solidify Canada’s national identity. Tim Cook, Canada’s foremost military historian and a Charles Taylor Prize winner, explores why the battle continues to resonate with Canadians a century later. Vimy is a fitting tribute to those who fought the country’s defining battle. It is also a stirring account of Canadian identity and memory, told by a masterful storyteller. (excerpted from www.penguinrandomhouse.com)

Meet the Author: Plum Johnson, They Left Us Everything

Date: Tue October 23
Time: 7-8.30pm
Place: Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Room, 1333 Lakeshore Road

They left us everything COVERAbout the book
After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents, author Plum Johnson and her three brothers have finally fallen to their middle-aged knees with conflicted feelings of grief and relief. Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home. Plum thought: How tough will that be? I know how to buy garbage bags. But the task turns out to be much harder and more rewarding than she ever imagined. They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past, and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future. (excerpted from www.penguinrandomhouse.com)

Meet the Author: Tom Wilson, Beautiful Scars: Steeltown Secrets, Mohawk Skywalkers, and the Road Home

Date: Sun December 9
Time: 2-4pm
Place: Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Room, 1333 Lakeshore Road

Steeltown book coverAbout the book
Raised in the rough-and-tumble world of Hamilton, for decades Tom Wilson carved out a life for himself in shadows. He built an international music career and became a father, he battled demons and addiction, and he waited, hoping for family secrets and lies to cease and the truth to emerge. It would. And when it did, it would sweep up the St. Lawrence River to the Mohawk reserves of Quebec, on to the heights of the Manhattan skyline. Tom writes with unflinching honesty and extraordinary compassion about his search for the truth. It’s a story about scars, about the ones that hurt us, and the ones that make us who we are.

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Burlington Green to hold a debate for Mayoralty candidates - Schnurr to moderate.

News 100 greenBy Staff

September 119th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington Green asks you to mark the date for the Municipal Election All-Candidates Event on October 3, 2018

BG Our VoiceThey will be hosting an All-Candidates Event and Mayoral Candidates Debate in partnership with Nuvo Network ahead of the Municipal Election. The event will be held on Event Wednesday, October 3, 2018 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Nuvo Network, located at 1295 North Service Road, Burlington – at the Intersection of Kerns Road.

BurlingtonGreen Executive Director Amy Schnurr with the bike Mountain Equipment Coop donated to the drive to get votes to win as much of the Jamieson Vitamins Call for the Wild Contest. There was $100,000 to be divided between five organizations.

BurlingtonGreen Executive Director Amy Schnurr will moderate the Burlington Green Mayoralty debate.

The format of the event is a Mayoral Candidates Debate that will be moderated by Amy Schnurr

There will also be an opportunity for the ward candidates to engage and interact with the crowd before the debate Mayoralty debate takes place.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman, who has said he will not take place in the debate to be held in his ward this evening but that he would take place in the Burlington Green debate.

Problem with that is there is no debate for the ward level candidates – which Councillor Sharman knew.

Burlington Green asks that: “If there is a local environmental issue that concerns you that requires immediate attention, please let us know. Or, if you are someone with an interest in environmental issues who likes to follow local politics, we can use your help and invite you to learn more about our volunteer Advocacy Team.

The Mayoralty debate is part of Burlington Green’s Advocacy initiative. Working under the tag line Our Voice the environmental group sets out subjects they have focused on.

Protect Burlington’s Trees
Plan Effective Transit
Preserve Greenspace
Conserve Natural Habitat
Trumpeter Swans
Save Farmland

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The end of Burlington as you know it - thank Mayor Goldring

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 19th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is called connecting the dots.

Mayor Goldring determines that he is in trouble with his election campaign.

goldring-at-council

What has he done?

Mayor Goldring is Chair of an AMO committee (Association of Municipalities of Ontario)

He gets together with other Mayors, most of whom are east and north of Burlington.

He comes up with the idea of meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs asking him to ease up on the Places to Grow legislation which requires municipalities to create more housing and jobs.

The Mayor meets with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and some of his staff who, according to Mayor Goldring, had no objections to his suggestion that Burlington be permitted to annex parts of Waterdown.
Goldring doesn’t say how much of Waterdown he wants to annex.

Goldring doesn’t inform Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger

Fred Eisenberger

Fred Eisenberger – thinks the idea was a flyer crafted on the back of a napkin.

Eisenberger is not impressed. He calls the idea a flyer that was written on the back of a napkin.

While all this local nonsense is going on the Premier of the Province has made it very clear that he wants less local government and is ramming legislation through to get a bill passed that would let him reduce Toronto city council from 47 members to 25.

Holding a session of the Legislature at mid-night would qualify as ramming.

Premier Doug Ford has said he will use a section of the Constitution  to impose his will on municipalities.

Doug Ford finger pointing

What will Doug Ford do with the idea of Burlington annexing part of Waterdown.

The province can order a municipal level of government to do anything he wishes

Watch for what Doug Ford does with the subject that Rick Goldring put on the table.

Doug Ford will order Burlington and Hamilton to merge and become one municipality.

Premier Harris forced the amalgamation of the Toronto suburbs into the mega city that is now Toronto.

The end of Burlington as you know it will have been brought about by Rick Goldring.

Burlington sign

The sign might get an upgrade.

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Wallace and Meed Ward respond to Mayor Goldring's plan to annex parts of Waterdown.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 18th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier in the day the Office of the Mayor released a news media that said the Mayor had taken part in a meeting at Queen’s Park with the Mayor of Aurora to ask that the provincial government take another look at the Place to Grow legislation.  Goldring said that he wanted to see part of Waterdown annexed by Burlington.

Mayoralty candidate Mike Wallace said later in the day that: “An amalgamation debate occurred while I was on council, and at the time, I supported Waterdown becoming part of Burlington.

Waterdown map

Wallace H&S

Mike Wallace – candidate for Mayor

“However, that was a much different time. Now, Waterdown is experiencing much of the same density issues as Burlington, and has dealt with them from a Hamilton perspective. While the idea may still have some merit, Burlington may end up taking on more problems than any boundary expansion may solve. I believe there are more urgent concerns regarding the provincial planning requirements of Burlington – such as congestion and changes to the Places to Grow Act.

“As Mayor, this is where I will focus my political capital with the Ontario government.

Meed WArd at PARC

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward – a candidate for the Office of Mayor.

Marianne Meed Ward sees the idea of annexing Waterdown, which is now a part of Hamilton quite a bit differently and has quite a bit more to say about the idea which was put forward by Mayor Goldring today during a meeting with the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

“The idea of annexing Waterdown to Burlington is a diversion from the central concern of residents this election, which is over-development of Burlington, due to the decisions by the current mayor and council.

“Before annexing another community, that hasn’t asked for this, we need to clean up our own back yard by amending the Official Plan, advocating reasonable growth not over-development, and respecting residents enough to include them in decision-making before the fact.

“Burlington residents have not been consulted on annexing Waterdown, nor have they asked for this. The people of Waterdown and Hamilton have not been consulted. Burlington city council, Halton Regional council and Hamilton city council have not been consulted. So much for collaboration.

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

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring

“Enough of “Hail Mary” ideas cobbled together in a political back room and launched on an unsuspecting public for political gain, upending the democratic process in the middle of an election.

“Residents deserve better from their elected officials.

“Regarding amending the Places to Grow Act, the province has already given Burlington city council the tools to control growth – but this council isn’t using the tools we already have.

“Over development in Burlington is the direct result of decisions by the current mayor and council to go beyond provincial growth requirements and approve developments at 2, 3 or 4 times Official Plan provisions.

“Burlington’s share of growth from the province is 185,000 by 2031; as of the 2016 Census we were at 183,00. We have met or surpassed our growth – 13 years early. And yet, the current mayor and majority of council approved a new Official Plan that takes Burlington well beyond provincial targets, including adding up to 30 more downtown high-rises.

high profile 421

A 24 story structure opposite city hall on the north east corner of James and Brant has been approved.

“I’m the only Councillor who voted against this new plan.

“I’m the only candidate who is committed to amending the Official Plan, which this mayor supported.

“I’m the only candidate committed to working with the province to remove the Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub designations from downtown which would have relieved growth pressure. The current mayor did not support those motions, leaving the downtown at risk.

“I’m the only candidate committed to taking only as much growth as Burlington infrastructure will allow, when new growth targets are assigned by Halton Region to 2041.

“We need a strong voice and advocate in the mayor’s office to take action using the tools we already have for reasonable growth, not over development.

That’s why I’m running for mayor of Burlington: to listen to residents before announcing decisions, and take action on their concerns – over development, not annexing neighbouring communities.

We have an unprecedented opportunity for change this election to forge a new direction for Burlington and regain control of growth, with at least three new members of council to be elected (Ward 1 and 3 retiring, my Ward 2 seat open)

The public won’t be fooled by 11th hour declarations and promises, when the current mayor had 12 years to act – 4 as a Councillor and 8 as mayor.

“The time for talk is over. It’s time for action on the issues that matter to Burlington residents.”

Related news story:

Where is the justification:

Mike Wallace website

Meed Ward website

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Police are still still charging drivers with over 80 mgs

Crime 100By Staff

September 18th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Are we ever going to learn?

The Regional Police have an ongoing program of focuisg on apprehenading people who drive while they are impaired.

Right now most of the charges are related to alcohol.

With cannabis about to become legal the job the police face is much bigger.

A report on those driving with over 80 mgs is set out below.

Will there ever be a day when no one is apprehended?

police in cruiser

Writing up an offense report and issuing a ticket.

Impaired Driving Offences Within Halton Region

On September 14, 2018 just before 11:00 pm, Halton Police officers initiated a traffic stop near the intersection of Trafalgar Road and Marlborough Court in Oakville. As a result of an investigation, Sundip Patel (36), of Oakville was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80 mgs.

On September 15, 2018 just before 10:00 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Bridge Road and Third Line in Oakville. As a result of an investigation, Laura Lategan (27), of Oakville was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80 mgs.

On September 15, 2018 shortly after 10:00 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a citizen initiated complaint in the area of Guelph Line and Prospect Street in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Jamie Sutherland (45), of Burlington was charged with driving while ability impaired and driving over 80 mgs.
On September 17, 2018 shortly after 8:00 pm, Halton Police officers initiated a traffic stop near the intersection of Steeles Avenue and Eighth Line North in Halton Hills. As a result of an investigation, Gary Boulton (63), of Lakeside was charged with driving over 80 mgs.

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

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

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Could Waterdown become part of Burlington? Where is the justification?

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 18th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor Rick Goldring has taken part in a trip to Queen’s Park with Aurora Mayor Geoffrey Dawe of Aurora asking the province to put a hold on the Places to Grow legislation

Goldring added his own wish to the requests being made.  He would like to see Waterdown added to the city of Burlington.

Waterdown map

Just how much of Waterdown does Burlington want to annex? Has the Mayor called his friends in Hamilton about this? Maybe those LaSalle Park water-lots the city want to buy from Hamilton could be part of the package?

In a media release Goldring said: “Mayors of Aurora, Brantford, Burlington and Whitby have significant concerns on how the province’s growth, density and intensification targets have forced our cities to grow.”
“The top-down approach of the past 13 years has resulted in forced growth on our cities that often doesn’t reflect the values of our community”

Goldring along with Geoffrey Dawe said: “We are asking the province to:

• Fix Ontario’s ‘Places to Grow’ Plan, beginning with putting a freeze on the density requirements demanded by the province while a comprehensive review takes place.

• Give local Councils the ability to control the speed of development in their communities, instead of the full-speed ahead approach demanded over the past decade.

Watertower_ water towerThe objective was to address issues specific to Burlington. Mayor Goldring is “asking the province to help alleviate growth pressures on downtown Burlington and provides fairness for Burlington taxpayers who, for years, have been directly impacted by growth in Waterdown that has created new demands on Burlington’s infrastructure.”

Goldring and Dawe met with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and MPPs on the government side.

About ‘Places to Grow’:

The Ontario government passed the ‘Places to Grow’ Act in 2005. The amended version of the Act is available at: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/05p13.

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Goldring wants Burlington to annex parts of Waterdown.

Newsflash 100By Staff

September 18th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor Rick Goldring is asking the provincial government to consider adding Waterdown to the city of Burlington.

The Mayor does not appear to have kept his fellow council members informed as to just how big a financial mess the Performing Arts Centrre was experincing.

Mayor Rick Goldring

In a media release he said: “This will help alleviate growth pressures on downtown Burlington and provides fairness for Burlington taxpayers who, for years, have been directly impacted by growth in Waterdown that has created new demands on Burlington’s.”

More to follow.

 

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Just who will be on the stage when the ward 5 debate takes place Wednesday evening at Bateman high school?

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 17th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

The following are the opinions, reflections, observations and musings of Pepper Parr, publisher of the Burlington Gazette.

There are five candidates in ward five running for the city council seat.

The incumbent, Paul Sharman, who has served two terms as a city Councillor finds that he is unable to attend a public meeting at which he would debate with the other four candidates.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman is usually very direct, tends to want to see data that is verifiable and expects to get his way.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman is usually very direct, tends to want to see data that is verifiable and expects to get his way.

Councillor Sharman just doesn’t like community organizations he does not control; never has never will. A community organization has mobilized itself to organize the debates but the Councillor does not think they are legitimate enough for his liking.

During his decision to run for office in 2010 Sharman first filed nomination papers for the role of Mayor. He had not lived in Burlington all that long, had not done all that much as a person active in his community. Sharman was a member of the committee that produced the Shape Burlington report, he was also a member of the city council that endorsed the report which he then forgot about.

During his first term of office Sharman was a fire cracker. One more than one occasion he has put a senior staff member in their place.

He was the driving force behind the 0% tax increase for 2011.

He was the driving force behind getting something done with the Lakeshore Village Plaza that was close to a dump; shabby and to a considerable degree unoccupied.

Sharman worked hard to get something done. He managed to help craft a Staff Direction that got the Economic Development Corporation involved. That resulted in hugely successful community engagement event where all kids of ideas were brought to the surface and city hall got a better idea as to what the residents were looking for.

The owner of the proper was persuaded to attend the public meeting. His firm had hired planners, architects and specialists to do the studies city hall needs before they accept a development application.

That’s when the proverbial hit the fan. What the property owner’s planner put before a public meeting was close to outrageous.

Lakeside village plaza proposal

The proposed Lakeshore Village Plaza development. The city planners have yet to issue their report on the proposal.

It was never very clear just how in sync Sharman was with his constituents. At the two public meetings we watched him he seemed more defensive about the project and said it was now in the hands of the planning department staff who would prepare a report for city council.

The Gazette did learn that the city planners want much more in the way of park space and they want to see the skating pad and the park to the north of the site included in the development.

Sharman is on record as saying the development is too expansive. Many residents wanted to hear Sharman say that it was far far too large and that he would not be supporting what he had seen.

Sharman gets no brownie points for his early position on the work a community group did to save the Freeman Station. His comments to the late Jane Irwin when she was pleading for the time they needed to find a location for the structure were dismissive, embarrassing and shameful.

He argued against a pilot program that would have made transit free for seniors one day of each week. Oakville did a pilot that proved to be very successful and resulted in increased transit use overall. Sharman argued that the data wasn’t conclusive.

Sharman is an account by profession – what matters most to him is ensuring the right data is at hand to make a sound decision. It took the Gazette a couple of years to realize that the longer Sharman kept asking for data the longer it meant he didn’t have to make a decision.

Sharman puzzled LVP

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman

The one tool missing in the Sharman toolkit is an executive capacity to make a decision.

His relationships with people are awkward. His treatment of a former Director of Transit deserved to be investigated; his relationship with a member of the planning department was well outside the limits of a member of council and a city employee. There are rules that set out what is acceptable.

There are two women running for the ward 5 council seat: Mary Alice St. James and Wendy Moraghan.

St. James is a retired elementary school principal who is known, liked and respected within the community.
She has been a tireless community activist on the Blue Water development; that was turned down by staff.

The developer appealed the staff decision to the LPAT. The appeal was lost.

St James talking to seniors

A slid campaigner – appreciated by the seniors.

St. James knows the issues. She is tireless when it comes to connecting with residents; the senior’s love her. She offers to play card games with the seniors, go for walks with those who want to lose some weight.

She can talk – she can talk – to the point that on occasion she loses her listener.

She was an active participant in the Shoreacres character study. She has attended Ontario Municipal Board hearings.

Mary Alice - pointing

Mary Alice St. James attending the anniversary of a school she served as principal.

Ms St. James does not live in the ward she wants to represent. She is about two football field length west if the ward boundary. This is not material. While it is preferable that a candidate live in a riding, what matters is the quality of the candidate. Insisting that your candidate of choice live in the ward is pretty provincial. The current Mayor did not live in ward 5 when he was the council member for that ward.

St. James maintains a web site, an email address and she tweets.

Web site: https://www.stjamesward5.com/
Email: stjamesward5@gmail.com
Facebook: Mary-Alice St. James – Ward 5 councillor
Twitter: @14marocks

Wendy Moraghan is a former police officer with 30+ years’ experience. Her career was focused for the most part on community relations tasks.

Moraghan with seniors

Detective Constable Wendy Moraghan with some of her friends at a meeting of seniors who were learning how to detect counterfeit money.

Our first interaction with Detective Constable was on an occasion when she was running a meeting for seniors that had several Bank of Canada staffers explaining how to detect counterfeit currency.

Events like this are a way for people that need to use walkers to get out of the house.

The men taking part in the event were quite taken with the attractive blonde police officer who was kind and attentive. One commented that if he was looking for girlfriend she would be his choice. We wrote up the meeting to reflect the mood of the room. The Detective Constable took exception and proclaimed that she was a married woman.

It was suggested to us by senior levels of the police service that it was important to maintain good relationships and would we consider removing the article. There was no threat – a decent woman didn’t appreciate the article – it wasn’t important enough to insist that it remain.

When we learned that Ms Moraghan was running for public office – she called us – and asked if there was going to be a problem with the past. None whatsoever. Ms Moraghan will have to get used to a different level of involvement with her constituent should she win.

Wendy M on Paul in group setting

Councillor Sharman defending a point of view while being peppered with questions from candidate Wendy Moraghan.

So far she has been very much ‘in your face’ with Mr. Sharman. She is strongly opposed to the proposed Lakeshore Village Plaza. She presses him for answers and doesn’t tolerate his practice of skirting around an issue (No pun intended.)

While police officers are in place to serve the public they don’t often actually engage with the public outside of police duties. That’s the nature of police work.

Wendy Moraghan H&S

Wendy Moraghan is a candidate for the ward 5 seat on city council.

Unfortunately that leaves people like Moraghan out of the loop on local matters. That is not so suggest the Ms Moraghan doesn’t know all that much about what is going on in the city.

She is an avid environmentalist. To the best of our knowledge we have never seen or heard of Moraghan making a delegation at city hall.

Moraghan is the Chair of the Willow Foundation. Established in 2002, The Willow Foundation is a non-profit registered charitable organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. The Foundation enhances the lives of seniors and adults with disabilities living in Halton Region’s three long-term care homes through a variety of programs and activities. From weekly ‘Artist Corner’ to Zumba classes, from our annual Strawberry Social to Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony we bring our residents a variety of social, arts and physical fitness programs.

Moraghan is about as local as a girl can get. Attended Pineland public school, Nelson high school, worked at Canadian Tire in the summers, was a member of the Burlington Teen tour band.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wendymoraghanward5/
Web site: https://www.wendymoraghan.ca/

Daniel Roukema and Xin Yi Zhang are fringe candidates. Mr. Roukema has said elsewhere that he is not certain he will take part in the debate.

Daniel Roukema

Daniel Roukema works in the Immigration sector and is a candidate for the ward 5 seat on city council.

Mr. Roukema was in touch with the Gazette yesterday demanding to know why we had published his home address. We explained that we took our information from the city’s web site. We find it difficult to understand why a candidate running for public office would not want the public to know that they lived in the ward.

Roukema maintains a web site that sets out his campaign. It can be found at:

www.roukema.ca. 

email: electdaniel@roukema.ca

xyz 2

Xin Yi Zhang is an Information Technology specialist and a candidate for the ward 5 city council seat.

Mr. Xin Yi Zhang is also a fringe candidate. We were unable to find the time to talk to him – our fault not his. This candidate has a web site: www.electxyz.com. He can bee reached by email at: electxyz@gmail.com

While the subject of what is going to happen to the high school the debate is taking place in will not be part of the ward level debate – it will be the 800 lb. elephant in the room. Given the plans that are in place now, Bateman will be closed by the time the election after this one takes places.

Bateman parents are desperate for a solution – moving the programs and the students from Bateman to Nelson high school is not seen as a solution; they see it as disruption and expense that isn’t necessary. They are not necessarily wrong – but that train left the station without them when the debate was really intense and the Bateman parents assumed Central was going to be closed and they were safe.

The ward 5 debate that is taking place is your opportunity to ask questions and decide for yourself which of the five you want to represent you at city hall.

ECOB logoECoB – the Engaged Citizens of Burlington has gone to considerable length to make this debate happen despite the efforts of the current city Councillor to shut it down.

Councillor Sharman has said he will not attend the ECoB debate but will take part in the candidate Meet and Greet Burlington Green is sponsoring. That event is at a location that doesn’t have any public transit. The debate that will take place is between the candidates for Mayor.

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The human side of politics - it can hurt.

opiniongreen 100x100By Shannon Gillies

September 18th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

Shannon Gillies was a candidate in the 2010 municipal election.  She was new to political theatre – all she had was some ideas and a conviction that the Burlington she cared about was undergoing a change which she didn’t think all that many people wanted.

Little did Gillies know than that the change she sensed in 2010 would mushroom and result in a 24 story structure opposite city hall – and that was just a starting point.

Gillies write the Gazette with these comments:

“We’re at that point in the municipal election season where things start to get nasty and the gloves come off. Suggestions are made about candidates being in it for themselves, or for developers, and not for residents. Nasty comments from anonymous accounts are made on Twitter. Facebook posts are shared about how our city is being ruined which riles up the others and they all tsk tsk about it over their lattes without really knowing the facts.

“What people tend to forget at this heated point in the process is that candidates are human beings and they’re rarely up to anything nefarious. Every single one of them is a human being. It doesn’t make someone a bad person just because he or she has a different opinions and views and approaches than you. No one runs for office because they want to ruin their city.

“I’ve been there. Eight years ago, I was a total rookie and had no idea what I was doing. What I did know, is that I wanted to make my community better. I thought our downtown was dull and frankly, quite crappy and I wanted to make it better, so I decided to run for council. Unfortunately, no one knew who I was, I didn’t have much community experience, I was too shy to knock on every door, voters didn’t agree with my views, and I lost. That’s fine. I deserved to lose. That’s how elections should work.

“What people should know is that running a campaign is hard. There is an unimaginable amount of learning in a short amount of time. Campaigns are also emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and can take a real toll on a marriage. I’m always fascinated that so many people think that taking contributions from developers is a huge sin. I would’ve gladly taken anyone’s money! Anyone who thinks someone would work his or her butt off and sacrifice their family for months only to sell their integrity for $750 or $1000 dollars over a four year period is a fool. But I digress. Instead, I spent over $10,000 of my own money, which my husband still hasn’t quite forgiven me for.

“The absolute worst part of running for council, and what I wasn’t prepared for, was the condescension and the cruelty. I was told on numerous occasions that my campaign was “a good experience” for me or told with a patronizing smile that maybe I should try running for school trustee instead. Someone said I shouldn’t have worn a pink suit for my campaign photo. I was told I didn’t exactly look like a Councillor and was asked on numerous occasions why I didn’t have children. Lack of experience aside, I was employed, nearly forty years old, university-educated, knew my stuff, and was adequately articulate. These comments were unwarranted. But alas, that’s politics.

During the campaign there was a personal family matter that kept me away from the city. I considered dropping out of the race but decided to stick it out. I tried my best to complete the endless number of questionnaires that candidates receive from various community groups but was completely overwhelmed. I couldn’t get to the doors. I didn’t have a team and was doing everything myself.

I had to be at a hospital feeling very distressed – someone close to me was  big health challenge. It was an awful time. One day, while I was in a waiting room at the hospital, trying to catch up on campaign matters on my laptop, I got an email suggesting I was in bed with developers (I think because I had written something that was pro-intensification), and that I hated trees.

What?! Have you seen my yard? I love trees!

“The angry email ended with a wish that I have a miserable life and not ever enjoy a successful career in politics. In retrospect, it was a dumb comment I should have ignored, but at the time, under the circumstances, it caused me to run to my car in an underground lot and break into tears. I couldn’t understand how people could be so awful. I know better now.

“My point is that we’re all stuck on this earth together and we need to be kind. It’s fine to have political disagreements and we should absolutely have political disagreements. But let’s just remember that all candidates are human beings, with lives separate from election campaigns, and are made out of flesh and blood, not steel.”

Shannon GilliesShannon Gillies is a frequent contributor to the Gazette. We welcome he insight and candidness. Besides the trees on her property Shannon has a couple of rabbits about the house. She looks just fine in a pink suit.

 

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Ward 6 candidates

council 100x100By Staff

September 17th,2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

ward6_map-321x650Angelo Bentivegna
3219 Renton Road, Burlington, ON, L7M 3C6
905-973-6923
Angelo.Bentivegna@gmail.com
www.AngeloBentivegnaWard6.ca

Blair Lancaster
3210 Hazelwood Ave., Burlington, ON, L7M 2V4
905-335-7068
blair@blairlancaster.ca
www.blairlancaster.ca

Kinsey Schurm
4163 Millcroft Park Dr., Burlington
289-828-0435
kinseyschurm@gmail.com

Ken White
905-220-4707
ken@kenwhiteward6.ca
www.kenwhiteward6.ca

Deb Tymstra will moderate the ECoB ward 6 debate

Always an artist at heart, Deb Tymstra worked tirelessly on behalf of the arts in Burlington. Rotarian Award richly deserved.

Always an artist at heart, Deb Tymstra worked tirelessly on behalf of the arts in Burlington. Rotarian Award richly deserved.

Deb Tymstra, a co-host of Your TVs, The Issue. She has been involved in the Burlington community since moving here in 1976. She is the owner of DWA Business Services, a past president of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, a driver, along with many others, in convincing council to approve the development and creation of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, and a recipient of Rotary’s Paul Harris Award.

A community producer and host of several shows with Cogeco, including Neighbour to Neighbour and most recently At Home, Deb introduced viewers to issues, organizations and individuals who believe in the value of contributing in a positive way to the communities in which we live. Deb is married to Gerry, the mother of three daughters and grandmother to three grandchildren.

ECOB logoECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington was formed in December of 2017 when a number of residents became concerned about the rate of and scope of development that was taking place in the downtown core.

Citizen engagement was a key issue. Residents felt that Council was not listening to their concerns regarding their vision of what they would like their Burlington to look like.

ECoB set out to educate and inform residents. They held an event for anyone wanting to run in the October 2018 municipal election and built a to scale Lego based model of what the city would look like with developments that were approved and planned. The city administration said there wasn’t time to have this 3D model built – so ECoB did it.

They then set out to hold debates in each of the wards in the city, something that had not been done before as well as a debate for those running for the office of Mayor.

The organization is funded by donations from people who attend meetings.

Pure grass roots organization.

The ward 6 debate takes place in the theatre at Hayden high school on September 20th.  Doors open at 6:30 – debate runs from 7:00 to 9:00 pm

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